Gadget news
OnePlus Nord 4 rumored to launch in second half of July
11:21 pm | May 31, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Mobile phones news | Comments: Off

While OnePlus has launched the Nord CE4 back in April, the Nord 4 still hasn't been made official. According to a new rumor on the matter, that's set to change in the near future. Specifically, at some point during the third week of July - so between July 15 and July 21. Assuming this rumor pans out, this means the Nord 4 will be announced almost exactly one year after its predecessor, the Nord 3. OnePlus Ace 3V The Nord 4 is expected to be a rebranded Ace 3V, which debuted in China in March. Thus, it should be powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 7+ Gen 3 chipset, the best performing...

Google Pixel 8a vs. Pixel 8
9:41 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Mobile phones news | Tags: | Comments: Off

Google has the habit of dropping an 'a' model some time later than the regular flagship duo and such is the case now with the Pixel 8a. Sure, if you already have the Pixel 8, you don't need to be contemplating much around this time, but if you're in the market for a new Pixel, things get more complicated. So we figured we'd put together a summary of how the 8a is similar to its more esteemed stablemate and how the two differ, possibly helping you decide for yourself. Table of Contents: Design Display Battery Life Charging Speaker Test Performance Cameras ...

Google Pixel 8a vs. Pixel 8
9:41 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Mobile phones news | Tags: | Comments: Off

Google has the habit of dropping an 'a' model some time later than the regular flagship duo and such is the case now with the Pixel 8a. Sure, if you already have the Pixel 8, you don't need to be contemplating much around this time, but if you're in the market for a new Pixel, things get more complicated. So we figured we'd put together a summary of how the 8a is similar to its more esteemed stablemate and how the two differ, possibly helping you decide for yourself. Table of Contents: Design Display Battery Life Charging Speaker Test Performance Cameras ...

Apple Vision Pro to roll internationally in July
8:12 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Mobile phones news | Comments: Off

Nearly a year after it was first announced and over three months after it went on open sale in the US, Apple Vision Pro is now rumored to launch internationally in July. According to a new report from MacRumors, Apple will launch the Vision Pro in the United Kingdom, Canada, and China in the third or fourth week of July. The new rumors suggest that Apple stores in the UK have received new furniture items including couches which will be used for customers to test out the Apple Vision Pro in-store. Apple Vision Pro Demo Zone at Apple Fifth Avenue store In addition, several Apple...

Oppo Pad 3, OnePlus Pad 2, and OnePlus Watch 3 are allegedly delayed
6:46 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Mobile phones news | Comments: Off

The Oppo Pad 3's specs leaked earlier this week, but now it seems like we won't be seeing it launch anytime soon. A new rumor from the prolific Chinese leakster Digital Chat Station says the device is now delayed. But it's not the only one. Also delayed according to DCS are the next OnePlus Pad, the next OnePlus Watch, a new color for the OnePlus Buds 3, and the Oppo Enco X3 flagship TWS earbuds. Oppo Pad 2 No reason has been given for the delay, and it's apparently an indefinite delay at this point. DCS has also confirmed that both the Oppo Pad 3 and the next OnePlus Pad will be...

Amnezia VPN review 2024
6:45 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Pro Security | Tags: , | Comments: Off

I’m usually quite suspicious of free VPNs, especially ones with such bold claims about their privacy stance. Usually, all it takes is a visit to their privacy policy to find that the VPN is subsidized by intrusive data-scraping or, even worse, ads inserted directly into your browsing traffic. When I saw that Amnezia VPN advertised itself as a free service, I immediately started looking for the catch.

I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that Amnezia VPN seems to be taking a totally different approach.  It’s an open-source solution built by a Russian team in collaboration with Privacy Accelerator, an organization dedicated to funding and developing privacy tools for use inside Russia. Without diving too deeply into the politics, Russia’s increasingly hostile stance towards free speech necessitates the use of the best VPNs around to communicate without worrying about prying eyes reading over your shoulder - or worse.

About the company

The Amnezia team released a completely open-source and decentralized VPN solution to combat Russia's harsh censorship. It isn’t decentralized in the Web 3.0 sense of the word, where everyone contributes their bandwidth to a single VPN network, but decentralized in the true sense of the word: there is no “Amnezia network”.

Let’s get this out of the way: Amnezia is not a one-click VPN solution. In fact, the Amnezia team doesn’t host their own servers at all. They’ve instead released a VPN product that allows you to deploy your own customized VPN server on the hosting site of your choice. While they recommend several known hosting providers, including Amazon AWS and Digital Ocean, you’re entirely free to pick whichever host you want. In theory, you should even be able to host a VPN off of your domestic internet connection.

So, if Amnezia doesn’t host a VPN service for you, what does it do? Well, Amnezia takes a lot of the difficulty of running a secure VPN server out of your hands. If you’re worried about a third party reading the data you route through a VPN, Amnezia lets you take back control by running your own VPN server. As long as you trust your host, you’re in complete control of how your server works. 

Amnezia VPN pricing

Amnezia is completely free—that’s free as in free speech, and the client and server source codes are available on the GitHub repository for anyone to download. You don’t need to pay a penny to download the product and you’re able to modify and redistribute it as you wish. 

Amnezia is also licensed under GPLv3, which means that it’s a breach of the license to use the Amnezia code as the basis for your own paid white-label VPN service. Other than that, you’re free to do anything you like with the code as long as you continue to distribute it with a GPLv3 license and don’t charge users.

The Amnezia project is funded by a combination of donations from various sources and contributions from non-profits through the Privacy Accelerator project. If you’re interested in chipping into the project, you can subscribe to the Amnezia Patreon or donate through Bitcoin, Monero, or Payeer.

Does Amnezia VPN offer privacy?

The real appeal of Amnezia is unparalleled control over your data. Even the most bullet-proof VPN solutions require you to trust your provider to protect your data from external hackers and their own employees. With Amnezia, you can pick the server host you have the most confidence in, and keep the administration of your own VPN server entirely in-house.

I particularly like how Amnezia handles DNS leaks. If you’re using a VPN while browsing the web, and if your DNS requests are still going through your ISP’s DNS servers, you’re actively disclosing the domain of every website you visit to your ISP (and thus, the government). Amnezia solves this issue by providing an interface allowing you to install your own DNS server on your hosting of choice, minimizing the amount of data you leaking while browsing.

Plus, Amnezia isn't interested in keeping, collecting, or storing logs, claiming:

"You have full control over your data. The app does not collect or transmit any statistics, logs, or other information about users or their data."

Amnezia VPN logging and privacy statements

(Image credit: Amnezia VPN)

Amnezia VPN protocols

When you’re installing Amnezia, you’re presented with a choice of server settings based on the severity of censorship in your country. It's pretty much just a novel way to pick the protocols installed on your VPS by default, but, it's nice to see that it’s couched in language a non-specialist will understand.

Disclosing that you’re under extreme censorship will install OpenVPN over Cloak, medium censorship uses a hardened version of WireGuard, and low censorship will install default WireGuard.

Choosing to install your own VPN protocol instead lets you choose between default OpenVPN, OpenVPN over ShadowSocks, and IKEv2. All of these protocols are highly secure but differ in terms of connection speed and how obviously they appear as VPN traffic when analyzed. 

IKEv2, OpenVPN, and WireGuard are all easily detected by basic deep package inspection (DPI) techniques and, as such, are only offered for the sake of encrypting your data. Any ISP looking to block your VPN traffic will shut down the connection to your VPN server, even if you’re also running an obfuscated VPN service. Instead, I’ll look at Amnezia’s obfuscated protocols and how well they hold up. 

Without access to Russia or China’s internet routers, it’s difficult to truly tell how well a VPN protocol holds up under scrutiny. With that said, there are multiple techniques you can use to identify VPN traffic and it’s possible to make educated guesses about how governments track VPN usage.

The most obvious one is comparing against a list of known VPN servers. This could involve using the VPN service and enumerating endpoint IP addresses assigned to you, or accessing a third-party IP database of known VPN addresses. It’s not a comprehensive solution but it’s a good start for any authoritarian government. It works against commercial VPNs, but Amnezia skirts this problem by letting you host your own VPN—any hosting site could be a VPN, and it would simply be unfeasible to block every hosting site without making the internet completely unusable. 

Want to learn more?

Curious about VPN protocols? Or want to figure out which one is your match made in heaven? Check out our guide to VPN protocols.

An ISP could also block the default port numbers for VPN protocols. OpenVPN and WireGuard both connect to a fairly unique default port, but this isn’t a particularly effective solution. By changing the port to something another ubiquitous web service uses (such as 443 for HTTPS), you can ensure your VPN traffic can’t be blocked at the port level without forcing an ISP to block the other services associated with that port, again, making the internet completely unusable.

Both of these techniques are somewhat rudimentary and don’t address the actual problem: DPI. OpenVPN and WireGuard traffic can be identified by looking at the structure of the packet headers, which have a distinct set of bytes. You can try this out for yourself by opening up WireShark and capturing some traffic with WireGuard open. You’ll see that the first byte in the WireGuard header is either “01”, “02”, “03”, or “04”, each corresponding to a type of WireGuard packet, followed by three bytes of “00”. A DPI program can match these bytes to instantly determine whether this is a WireGuard packet without reading the inner contents. From there, it’s as simple as null-routing the destination of the packet, and now your WireGuard connection no longer works. A similar concept applies to OpenVPN. 

This means there’s a flashing arrow over every VPN packet you send that says “Hey, I’m a VPN packet!”. It’s not hard for your ISP to capture this information. Amnezia employs some interesting ways to avoid classification, but let’s finish discussing the ways an ISP can identify VPN traffic with the most nebulous, and least understood method: behavioral analysis.

The frequency, size, and destination of individual packets can be aggregated to create a statistical profile of a user’s internet traffic. Then, this reveals information about the stream of traffic, even if it's encrypted and obfuscated. Neural networks can be trained to accurately identify OpenVPN traffic with over 90% success rates. The entropy of an encrypted message can be analyzed to decipher which file type it might be, too. These are just the techniques we’re aware of, but many DPI vendors use black-box software to analyze traffic and this is especially true of ISPs in repressive regimes. 

It’s not all doom and gloom, however. Security is always an arms race, even when it seems dismal for one side. Amnezia offers several different obfuscation methods with different levels of success against DPI. OpenVPN over ShadowSocks is the most well-known... and least effective. It creates an encrypted connection to a SOCKS5 proxy server, allowing you to run a VPN over the connection which doesn’t show any tell-tale signs of VPN use. 

Unfortunately, the behavioral analysis I talked about earlier exposes ShadowSocks. It’s hard to find concrete details on how China blocks this system, but chatter amongst VPN circles suggests it’s fallen out of use and authorities are starting to use it to identify connections. This is backed up by the existence of SSAPPIDENTIFY, an academic project published by Xidian University, China, which seeks to classify types of ShadowSocks application traffic by using neural network classification. There are also suggestions that ShadowSocks is now vulnerable to active probing, whereby an ISP will send crafted traffic to a suspected ShadowSocks server and analyze the response to determine whether it’s really a ShadowSocks server.

Thankfully, ShadowSocks now supports plugins that enhance the usability of the project as an obfuscation tool. Cloak is the most important one offered by Amnezia, as it drastically reduces the protocol's vulnerability to active probing methods while continuing to masquerade as HTTPS traffic not easily identified by traditional DPI methods. Cloak does significantly downgrade the speed of your internet connection, but it’s worth it if you’re extremely concerned about the security of your internet traffic.

Finally, we get to Amnezia’s custom implementation of WireGuard: AmneziaWG. It’s important to note that AmneziaWG is not Amnezia’s recommended solution for extreme censorship, which is OpenVPN over Cloak. Instead, AmneziaWG is a hardened version of WireGuard that removes several key aspects used to identify WireGuard using traditional DPI methods. It changes the header values from the static ones I outlined earlier to random values, which makes it harder for DPI to identify the WireGuard packet. WireGuard packets also have a static size of 148 bytes, but AmneziaWG appends junk data to the start of a packet to randomize the packet size, making packet matching harder. Finally, the initial session connection is disguised by sending junk packets at the start of the connection. Honestly, it’s unclear if this would make a massive amount of difference to traditional DPI methods but potentially confuse statistically-based behavior analysis.

You should note that all of these obfuscation techniques add additional overhead when using WireGuard proportional to how much junk data you’re adding on a per-packet basis. All of these metrics are customizable from inside the Amnezia app, so you can balance obfuscation against speed until you find a sweet spot that confuses DPI while keeping your connection usable. While I don’t have a Russian or Chinese ISP to test against, it wasn’t possible to create a set of rules in WireShark that could accurately characterize AmneziaWG traffic without prior knowledge of user settings. Amnezia’s own testing in these regions suggests that any regime that outright drops unfamiliar UDP traffic will filter out AmneziaWG traffic, so where possible you should probably stick to the slower OpenVPN over Cloak protocol. However, for regimes with less advanced DPI, such as Iran, Egypt, and Turkey, it may be a viable solution. Your mileage may vary.

Amnezia VPN setup and configuration

Amnezia makes server administration surprisingly simple, too. You set up a VPS server on your account and provide details to the Amnezia app, which you’ll have set up on your phone or desktop. Once the app logs into your VPS provider for the first time, it sets up the relevant public key infrastructure and OpenVPN key-pair necessary to authenticate you securely in the future. The client then connects by SSH and automatically installs and configures the Docker software required to run your VPN connections.

Do it yourself

We used Amnezia VPN to set up a VPN server from scratch—and the result was pretty awesome.

Each time you start a new VPN protocol connection, your Amnezia client boots up a new Docker instance with randomly generated SSH keys. This approach has two major benefits: any data left behind by your VPN instance is removed from the server after your connection is terminated, and any new instances have completely fresh credentials. If you’re worried your key has somehow been compromised, you can tear down your Amnezia instance and start a new one in just a few moments.

After you’ve started up an Amnezia instance, all admin is taken care of inside the app. Installing new protocols on your server, sharing your access credentials with others, and adding new servers to your client only takes a few taps. It makes tweaking your VPN service shockingly easy and I’m impressed with how seamless this process is. It’s clear that Amnezia’s team put thought into creating a user-friendly product that’s still powerful enough to provide effective security while browsing.

Amnezia anti-censorship tools

Amnezia also recently announced the launch of its anti-censorship tool, available in Russia, Myanmar, Iraq, and Kyrgyzstan, at no extra cost.

These four countries have been hit particularly hard by censorship, making it increasingly difficult for citizens to access sites and services like Facebook, X, WhatsApp, and TikTok. It's easy to take these platforms for granted, but they're vital sources of information, allow folks to keep up with current events, and a means to stay in touch with friends and family.

Amnezia's tool allows access to sites that'd otherwise be inaccessible, thanks to censorship.

  • In March 2022, Russia blocked independent media outlets covering the Ukraine war, including the BBC and Deutsche Welle, as well as popular social media platforms. Amnezia worked alongside Russian human rights activists, Roskomsvoboda, to release the first version of the service.
  • In 2021, following a military coup, Meta services were blocked in Myanmar. Fortunately, the Amnezia service arrived in the country in April 2024.
  • Kyrgyzstan blocked TikTok back in April 2024, though citizens can now regain access to the app via Amenzia.
  • Amnezia introduced its tool into Iran in May 2024, too, using the AmneziaWG protocol—a necessity, given that all standard VPN protocols are blocked in the country.

Performance testing: How fast is Amnezia VPN?

Ultimately, your speed and streaming capability will vary massively depending on which host you use and how far away you are from it. For this reason, it’s hard to come up with meaningful numbers, because your experience is absolutely going to be different from mine.

What you should keep in mind is that Amnezia is not an ideal solution for unblocking content streams such as Amazon Prime or Netflix, as these providers are constantly on the lookout for non-residential access to their streams and block those IPs accordingly.

Amnezia VPN review - final verdict

It could be said that there’s nothing fundamentally innovative about Amnezia VPN—after all, what’s stopping you, a tech-savvy internet user with unfiltered website access from registering a VPS subscription and installing some open-source VPN software yourself?

If that’s your takeaway from Amnezia VPN, you’re missing the point. Not everyone has the knowledge or resources to set up a micro-VPN service securely, but everyone should have access to a free and unfiltered internet. It shouldn’t be an exercise in gatekeeping, where only the most well-read and capable internet users can duck past censors. Privacy tools need to be easy to use to keep the barrier to entry as low as possible. This philosophy is baked into Amnezia’s design all the way through. You can even share your VPN client information with other users through the app so it’s possible to run a single VPN server for several of your friends and family with relative ease.

Amnezia embraces this philosophy wholeheartedly with a simple interface and clear, concise support material that walks you through the installation process in plain English. I can’t speak for how the site reads in Russian, but I can only assume it’s similarly well-written. The source code for both client and server has been independently audited by 7ASecurity, which published several exploits of varying severity that the Amnezia team has patched. This approach to transparency is really refreshing from a VPN provider.

The only significant issue I can see with Amnezia is that you’re handing over your server credentials to a third party, which automatically administers a server for you. Normally, this is a setup I’d balk at. However, the Amnezia app and server are both fully open-source. You can browse the source code line by line for yourself if you need convincing that Amnezia isn’t malicious.

I can only think of one other solution that’s attempting to do something similar to Amnezia, and that’s Outline VPN from Jigsaw, a Google technology incubator dedicated to technology projects that intersect with online anonymity and freedom of speech. It uses ShadowSocks to tunnel a ChaCha20 encryption stream, but it’s not as pointedly designed to evade DPI as Amnezia is, nor is it nearly as user-friendly. Although Outline is also open source, Jigsaw’s proximity to US defense projects makes me somewhat uncomfortable so when it comes down to it, I’d bet on the rag-tag group of Russian privacy advocates in the long run.

Dell P2725HE USB-C Hub Monitor review
6:44 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Pro | Comments: Off

There is no secret that I am a huge fan of Dell monitors. Not because they are overly flashy or always the best of the best. Yes, some monitors are better at certain things than comparable Dell monitors are. But, I am such a fan of Dell monitors because of their reliability, consistency, flexibility, and overall usability by nearly anyone in any field. I've seen Dell monitors used in professional settings, creative settings, personal use, light gaming, offices, bullpens, homes, and hospitals. I have seen Dell monitors everywhere. They make solid screens that appeal to the masses and are widely usable. In the battle for the best business monitors, the Dell 2725HE is a predictable continuation of that trend.

Dell P2725HE

(Image credit: Collin Probst // Future)

Dell P2725HE: Unboxing and First Impressions

The unboxing experience was nothing special. I was greeted with the 27-inch diameter panel, the stand arm, the stand base, cables, and documentation—nothing special, but I also had everything I needed. I used the included USB-C cable to plug into the upstream port with 90W PD and plugged the other end into my laptop, and I was good to go. It was as easy as that. The whole setup time was a matter of minutes.

As mentioned, this monitor may not have flashy features, but it's great for getting work done, using a larger display for your computer at home, checking personal things, or any other general use. This monitor will work well if you don't need specific features like 4K resolution, ultra-wide aspect ratio, or high brightness. This monitor has versions available with up to 4K resolution if that is something you need.

Dell P2725HE

(Image credit: Collin Probst // Future)

Dell P2725HE: Design and Build Quality


Screen size: 27-inch

Resolution: 1920 x 1080

Brightness: 300cd/m2

Aspect ratio: 16:9

Contrast ratio: 1,500:1

Viewing angle: 178/178

Dell's P2725HE is designed first and foremost as a business and productivity machine. Yes, as I have expressed, it can be used for countless other tasks. However, this monitor's design and build are centered around all-day usage, in and out of specific tasks, completing spreadsheets, research, emails, writing, reading, organizing, consuming content, creating content, and so forth. 

This is meant to be used at length for all tasks, not just sprints for specific tasks. Because of this, Dell has included their eye comfort technology (ComfortView), a 1500:1 contrast ratio, a built-in display manager to help with multitasking, an option to daisy chain another monitor, and more ports to allow for change in gear and ease of use throughout the day.

Dell P2725HE

(Image credit: Collin Probst // Future)

Dell P2725HE: In use

I found using this monitor has been a breeze. As it has a larger display than my 13-inch MacBook Pro, it may be one of the best monitors for MacBook Pro that we've tried - not too pricey, pretty versatile. It's great for getting work done, writing these reviews, checking emails, researching, and even some light photo editing. I don't game often, but my light gaming (admittedly, usually through my iPad Pro and an Xbox One Controller) also worked great on this monitor. For the price, I am happy with this monitor's performance.

The ports work great. I can plug in any HDMI device I may have, though if there is an option, I am absolutely going to take advantage of the 90W PD charging by using the USB-C upstream port. This way, I can also take advantage of the other available ports. I hooked up my ethernet line easily, along with a dongle for my mouse and keyboard, a storage drive for backups, a charging cable for my iPhone, and a lamp (via USB-A) for some desk lighting.

Dell P2725HE

(Image credit: Collin Probst // Future)

A monitor with a built-in hub is a huge money saver, productivity booster, clutter-helper, and aesthetically pleasing benefit. I love the ease of walking over to my desk with this monitor and plugging in a single cable directly from the monitor to my laptop. This desk setup is simple—just my MacBook and this monitor. Sometimes, I'll add that external mouse and keyboard, but I don't need to. With all that, I only need to plug in one AC outlet.

If I want to change the brightness, contrast, color profile, or resolution, I can use the proprietary DDPM app directly from Dell to do so without touching the monitor itself, which makes this monitor even more user-friendly.

The last thing I will mention is that while I am not a fan of the look or the low cable passthrough of Dell's monitor stands, they are beneficial and practical. With this monitor stand, I can raise and lower my monitor to get the proper ergonomic height; I can rotate it 90 degrees to put it in portrait orientation, swivel the display on the base to find the right combination, and tilt the monitor down 5 degrees and up 21 degrees. That said, I can get this monitor exactly where I want it without needing a third-party monitor arm.

Dell P2725HE: Final verdict

If you want a well-priced, 27-inch, HD-resolution monitor, you should probably pick up the Dell P2725HE. If you want a higher resolution or one with more features, you should check out Dell's wide selection of monitors.

We tested out the best monitors for a dual screen setup and these are our top recommendations. 

Dell Latitude 7030 Rugged Extreme tablet review
6:32 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Pro | Tags: , | Comments: Off

Having tested out a number of the best rugged tablets, we've always enjoyed Dell's durable devices. For us, the Dell Latitude Rugged series remain top contenders for anyone who needs a robust tablet for outdoor use. So, we put the Dell Latitude 7030 Rugged Extreme to the test to see how this hybrid tablet-laptop with detachable keyboard performs under pressure. 

Dell Latitude Rugged 7030 Tablet

(Image credit: Collin Probst // Future)

Dell Latitude 7030 Rugged Extreme: Unboxing and First Impressions

While the box is pretty basic, once I got past the packaging, I immediately noticed the compact durability I had in my hands. The 10.1-inch form factor does take a moment to get used to, as it is pretty tiny. But once I got into setting things up in settings and using this to get some work done, I stopped feeling like it was a limited device but rather a massive computer eloquently crammed into a niche format. 

For those on the go outdoors, working on a job site, out for days at a time, or even if you need something rugged for another reason, this laptop might be what you are looking for. Frequently, if you need a device that you can take to rugged places, you will be moving in and out of that place. Having a highly portable, smaller device that can still get the job done with ease computing-wise is a brilliant move in those situations.

While the size is small, the heft and rigidity of the Latitude 7030 are still very much noticeable. Right away, when I grabbed the handle of this laptop/tablet, I was thrilled to feel like I could swing this computer around by the handle without any issue. This device is reinforced in the corners, covers all the ports and cameras, and has a nice coating around the edges, protecting it from scuffs or damage.

Dell Latitude 7030 Rugged Extreme: Design and Build Quality


Processor: 12th Gen Intel Core i7-1260U

RAM: Up to 32GB LPDDR5

Storage: Up to 2TB NVMe SSD

Display: 10.1-inch FHD (1920 x 1200) outdoor-readable, 1000 nits brightness

Operating System: Windows 11 Pro

Battery: Dual removable batteries (up to 18 Wh each)

Ports: USB-C 3.2 (Thunderbolt 4 Optional), USB-A 3.2, microSD slot,

Connectivity: 5G, GPS, Wi-Fi 6E with Dual Band Support, FirstNet, Bluetooth

Weight: 2.2 lbs

The more I looked at this laptop-tablet hybrid, the more areas for mounting and modular swapping I noticed. The Latitude 7030 Rugged has an entire ecosystem of accessories that can be added and removed anytime to help customize the tablet to your needs. 

These accessories range from the handle itself to a hand strap for ease of holding, the stylus, an external battery charger (as opposed to charging via the laptop, this charges the hot-swappable batteries so you can keep the tablet on the go), a magnetic mount, a kickstand, shoulder straps, vehicle docks, and chargers, and the detachable keyboard. 

You can create whatever working machine you need through these accessories, let alone the modular portion of the computer's optional I/O bay. You can outfit this bay to fit another USB-A, an RJ-45 jack, a barcode scanner, or a universal audio jack. Lastly, you can utilize the programmable physical buttons to launch applications, run programs, control features, and do things of that nature.

Dell Latitude Rugged 7030 Tablet

(Image credit: Collin Probst // Future)

Along the side are some covered ports for the various IOs that come standard, along with the customizable port. On the back live are the hot-swappable battery bays, the power button, an optional fingerprint reader, a SmartCard reader for authentication methods, a flash, the rear camera, and VESA mounting points. You can find the front-facing camera on the front top of the device, along with an IR Camera. You can find four programmable buttons and the docking connector at the bottom of the device.

Dell Latitude 7030 Rugged Extreme: In use

While I am not a first responder, trekking up a mountainside, working a job site, or wearing a hard hat where I work, I was able to imagine just how helpful this tablet might be to those who are. Customizing a computer to complement your work rather than molding your way of working around the device's limitations is excellent. The included front and rear-facing cameras allow for, for example, a construction site's general contractor to take photos of progress or areas that need to be addressed directly on their device without pulling out a camera or personal phone.

Dell Latitude Rugged 7030 Tablet

(Image credit: Collin Probst // Future)

For first responders, the ability to mount this computer to their cruiser or truck and connect to FirstReady net for reliable coverage that first responders use is not only helpful but vital.

Sure, you can get a lot of these features on any number of other devices, but with this rugged tablet, you get all of that in a compact and discrete 10.1" tablet that you can hot swap features with, swap out batteries to keep going, and even un-mount from any docking station to take with you while you move around.

Dell Latitude Rugged 7030 Tablet

(Image credit: Collin Probst // Future)

Dell Latitude Rugged 7030 Tablet: Final verdict

If you need a laptop that is as mobile and active as you are, the Latitude 7030 might be the perfect device for you, especially after you customize it to fit your needs beyond what the base model offers. Dell has numerous software features that I didn't get a chance to mention that make the overall experience of this tablet feel much more desktop-like than tablet-like, which is perfect for those who need a tried and true version of their trusty Windows 11 Pro to get their job done.

We've tested the best rugged laptops and best rugged phones for durability in the field.

The Pump review: Arnold Schwarzenegger offers his muscle-building expertise to the masses
6:15 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Health & Fitness | Tags: | Comments: Off

You’ve heard of Arnold Schwarzenegger. You’re familiar with the best fitness apps. Put the two together and what do you get? The Pump, that’s what. 

The app is Arnie’s latest way of offering his considerable training experience and expertise to “anyone with access to a phone”. 

Rather than providing thousands of bright video workouts like rivals such as Peloton, The Pump offers a select few long-term plans, a goal-setting framework for everyday life called “Action Plans”, and a blog-like “Community” section where Arnold’s team shares interesting info and like-minded users are able to chat. 

The workout plans are designed to help you hit one of two fitness goals: ”get big” or “get shredded”. 

Admittedly, this can seem like you’re not getting as much bang for your buck as you do with similarly-priced alternatives like Sweat and Centr, which put a vast library of fitness content at your fingertips. But that’s the whole point, The Pump’s creators argue. This is because the two pillars of any successful strength training plan are consistency and systematic progression. If you’re flitting randomly from class to class on a more expansive app, you’re unlikely to get either of these things.

The Pump, on the other hand, serves you with a limited number of longer-term plans to follow based on your fitness goals. Consistency is paramount, with workouts scheduled on set days and ticked off when you get them done. If you’re looking to build muscle then, paired with appropriate nutrition, this will get you results. 

Admittedly, this approach isn’t for everyone. If you just want to move more for your health or enjoy a varied fitness routine, look elsewhere. But if you’re a strength training fan looking to build muscle, picking up a subscription to The Pump could pay dividends. 

The Pump: Price and availability

Screenshots from Arnold Schwarzenegger's The Pump app

(Image credit: The Pump app)
  • $9.99 per month (£10.49 in the UK, approximately AU$15 in Australia)
  • $99.99 per year (£105.99 in the UK and approximately AU$150 in Australia)

You can download The Pump app for free, but you’ll need to pay $9.99 per month to unlock access to its training plans. Or you can save $20 by paying $99.99 for a full year. New joiners will also receive a seven-day free trial, so you can try before you buy. 

This is a fairly standard price for a fitness app. You don’t get anywhere near the amount of content you would from the likes of Peloton, which costs $12.99 per month for the App One membership, but everything that is there is all experience-based muscle-building gold.

From a training point of view, I’ve known people pay far more per month for a solid workout program, which is exactly what this app provides. 

Some might argue that the StrongLifts app is a cheaper alternative, with a free version available or a pro version costing just $50USD per year. However, the focus here is more on improving your strength for the big three lifts (the squat, bench press and deadlift), with these three lifts dominating most programs. That’s why I think the community element, wider bodybuilding scope and more varied sessions make The Pump a worthy extra investment for most people. 

  • Value score: 4/5 

The Pump: Design

  • Simple to navigate
  • Clean design

This app isn’t as busy as others I’ve tried like Peloton, Echelon and Freeletics, and that’s one of its strengths. 

There are five tabs – a homepage, workouts, community, action plan and profile – and each one is straightforward to use. The white text on a black background is easy to read, and I found navigation pretty intuitive. If anything, it could have benefited from a few more images from Arnie’s colorful career, but that’s just my preference. 

As mentioned in the intro above, there are a limited number of workout plans (not individual workouts) available. Those that show up are tailored to your answers in a quick induction (equipment available, goals, training experience – the usual culprits). 

As a new-starter, I found I had to complete a 90-day “The Foundation” program to gain access to any other plans. The focus is on drilling consistency; if you only have one workout at a time to focus on, you’re more likely to stick to the plan, and that’s a surefire path to results.

However, if you’re a seasoned gym-goer, you may not want to strip your training back to three days per week for 90 days before you can get return to your usual frequency. 

  • Design score: 4/5 

The Pump: Features

  • Everything you need to support training for muscle gain
  • Informative and enjoyable “community” blog
  • Minimal extras beyond a goal-setting page 

Features are limited on this app, and again, I’m not sad about it. They can be boiled down to three main offerings; workout programs, “Action Plans” and community. 

Workout programs should be pretty self-explanatory. Everyone starts with a 90-day foundations course to get them in the swing of things, then there are a few different plans to choose from depending on your answers in the intro questionnaire. 

For me, there was the prospect of unlocking muscle-building plans named “Next Level”, Foundations Continued”, and “The Classic Arnold Throwback”. The last option is a six-day-a-week lifting plan inspired by Schwarzenegger’s bodybuilding training of old, which will send die-hard (wrong action film?) fans into raptures.  

Action Plans are Arnie’s tried and tested goal-setting method, both in and out of the gym – set a longer-term goal, identify something you can do every day to work toward achieving it, then tick off each day that you take this measure. I think some people will find this helpful, but I found it wasn’t something I kept coming back to. 

Finally, Community is set-up like an old-school blog, with posts showing up chronologically in a vertical feed. You’ll find nutrition tips, guest posts, muscle-building tricks and occasional Q&A’s with Schwarzenegger, and members have the opportunity to chat in the comments. This element, I loved. The blog posts aren’t just public relations fluff  – they’re genuinely interesting and useful. Expect insights from experts, interviews with actors and discussions on recent health and fitness research results. 

Screenshots from Arnold Schwarzenegger's The Pump app

(Image credit: The Pump app)

Schwarzenegger’s (roughly fortnightly) Q&A’s are a highlight too. There’s a real focus on inclusivity with users of all fitness levels celebrated for their successes. 

This is all overwhelmingly positive, so you might be wondering why The Pump only scores 3.5 out of five for its features below? The simple answer is that there just aren’t many of them. 

What is there is very solid, but I can’t award it a four or above knowing what rivals offer. The likes of Fitbit and Apple Fitness+ can link to their brands’ respective smartwatches, offering insights on sleep, nutrition-tracking and more. 

Meanwhile Peloton, Hydrow and the like offer a plethora of follow-along workouts with engaging videos and enthusiastic instructors, as well as the chance to hop onto exercise machines for a connected workout. 

The only videos I came across on The Pump were exercise demonstrations linked in each workout, as well as occasional nostalgic clips from bodybuilding’s golden era in the 1960s and 1970s. And, while I thoroughly enjoyed the throwbacks and insights from Arnold on how to get the most out of each move, this wasn’t enough to bump up the app’s overall score.

  • Features score: 3.5/5 

The Pump: Performance

  • Clean and easy to use
  • No problems
  • Doesn’t push the envelope

The Pump doesn’t get much wrong on the performance front, although some of this can be put down to the app not pushing the envelope particularly far. It’s intuitive to use with clean design, and I didn’t find any of the landing pages to be overcrowded as can sometimes be the case with busier fitness apps. Instead, it’s just a functional combination of text and buttons – no thumbnails or moving parts.

The app’s no-frills approach continued during my workouts. And, as someone who likes to keep their gym sessions largely analogue, I appreciated this. There were boxes to enter my reps and weight lifted for each set, helping me track my performance so I could progress my lifts week-on-week. This allows you to take advantage of progressive overload, which is the principle behind any successful strength-building plan.  

There was also an automatic timer to stop your rest times from outstaying their welcome, if that’s a common problem for you. If not, you can put your phone back in your pocket (or throw it aside, as lifters love to do). 

  • Performance score: 4/5 

The Pump: Scorecard

TechRadar fitness writer Harry Bullmore completing a workout from Arnold Schwarzenegger's The Pump app

(Image credit: Future / Harry Bullmore)

The Pump: Should I buy?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

How I tested

I used The Pump app for a week, following its "The Foundation" workout plan, using its Action Plan feature to work towards a goal outside the gym, and regularly checking in on new posts in the Community section of the app. 

The Foundation program provided three full-body workouts to complete every other day during the week, so I headed to the gym and took them for a spin. 

Also consider

Dreo PolyFan 704S smart fan review
6:01 pm |

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Dreo PolyFan 704S two-minute review

As someone who is always hot and has been known to wear flip flops and shorts when in winter, I own – and have tested – a huge number of fans in my time. This includes cheap, desktop models right up to Dyson behemoths and I can honestly say the Dreo PolyFan 704S beats them all. 

It's a high-performing, smart pedestal fan that comes with a huge, and impressive array of features. Not only does it provide nine speeds of powerful airflow that cools you down without ever leaving you feeling icy cold, it covers a huge distance. Despite its relatively small, 9" / 22.7cm fan head. This is due to its huge 110ft / 33.5m wind distance coupled with the fact you can angle it by 150-degrees horizontal and 120 degrees vertical. Even in Turbo mode, where the fan operates at maximum speed, the fan is surprisingly quiet, while in Sleep mode and at lower speeds you can barely tell it's on. So much so I often went to turn the fan on, via the app, before realizing it was already running. 

Dreo PolyFan 704S

(Image credit: Future)

Speaking of the app, the fan comes with Wi-Fi built in which means that you can connect and control it from both your phone, as well as your voice through smart speaker integration. Via the Dreo app you can set the angle, control the speed and oscillation, set timers and schedules and even customize the fan to match its speed to the room's ambient temperature. Or, via Alexa or Google Home, you can turn the fan on and off, increase or decrease the fan speed, and even adjust the angle by as little as one-degree increments, hands-free. 

It's not perfect. The premium features and performance are let down slightly by the fan's plastic stand, which makes it look and feel cheap. I'd also like the option to change the oscillation speed but these are very minor points. In all my time testing the best fans, I'm yet to find a fan that ticks as many boxes as the Dreo PolyFan 704S and this makes it great value for money and a worthwhile investment. 

Dreo PolyFan 704S review: price and availability

  • List price: $149.99 (silver); $159.99 (gold)
  • Only available in the US

There are four models in Dreo's PolyFan range, starting with the entry-level $89.99 PolyFan 311 up to the flagship $199.99 PolyFan 715S. The Dreo 704S launched in Spring 2024 and, at $149.99 for the silver version, sits just below the flagship in terms of price and features. You can alternatively buy a gold model for $159.99.

This makes the 704S one of the more expensive pedestal fans, not just in the Dreo range but more widely too. You can buy basic pedestal fans for around $50, while good-quality pedestal fans tend to cost $100. However, when you add smart features like those seen on the 704S, these prices rise to between $130-$150 meaning Dreo's model is on a par with its rivals.  

You can buy the PolyFan 704S direct from Dreo in the US, as well as Amazon, and Walmart

The best like-for-like alternative to the Dreo 704S is the $135 Ofuzzi Breeze 10 Pro+. It offers similar app and voice controls, is almost as quiet and has a slightly narrower, 140 degree horizontal oscillation range. It only produces half the wind distance and the app isn't available on the Google Play Store; you have to download it via the Ofuzzi website. 

While $149.99 isn't cheap, especially when you can get a standard pedestal fan for a third of the price, the Dreo 704S is priced fairly compared to similar models on the market. You're largely paying for the smart features and the fan's power, but both are more than worth the investment making the fan great value in my opinion. 

  • Value for money score: 4.5 out of 5  

Dreo PolyFan 704S review: specs

Dreo PolyFan 704S review: design

  • Plastic, conical stand feels and looks cheap
  • By contrast, the fan head is high-end
  • Touch controls and display
  • Adjustable height + vertical oscillation is welcome

The Dreo 704S isn't the most elegant pedestal fan I've used. I reviewed the silver model and while the fan head is classy and well-built, the plastic, conical and chunky design of the stand and base makes the overall fan look and feel cheap. That's not to say it's ugly; it will comfortably fit in to most people's homes but I would have preferred more metal accents or features to give it a more premium feel to suit its price. 

The major plus side to this, however, is that the fan is easy to move around. It weighs 17.82lb / 8.1kg and has a handle on the rear to make it comfortable to pick up and reposition. The base measures 13.7 x 8.7" / 34.8 x 22.1cm (D x W), making the 704S compact enough for tight spaces while still feeling sturdy and secure and delivering powerful airflow.

Dreo PolyFan 704S

(Image credit: Future)

The fan head sits between two arms that allow for an impressive range of oscillation, both horizontally and vertically. As you change the fan head's position, it glides smoothly between these arms and looks high-end. The fan itself is made using three blades (said to have been inspired by the wings of an owl) behind a 9" / 22.7cm circular protective grille. In stark contrast to the plastic stand and base, the fan head and grille look and feel high-end. 

The fan's touch controls are then aligned vertically down the front of the base. From top to bottom: 

Dreo PolyFan 704S controls

(Image credit: Future)
  • Wi-Fi indicator light
  • Power button
  • Fan speed – 1-9
  • Fan mode – Normal, Natural, Sleep, Turbo, Custom, and Auto
  • Timer – up to 12 hours
  • Vertical oscillation 
  • Horizontal oscillation

You can also control the fan via remote control, or by connecting it to the Dreo app. This remote control can be stored on the fan's base via a small clip, to avoid it getting lost. However, I rarely used the remote – favoring the touch controls or the app – so it hardly ever left this clip. 

At its tallest, the fan measures 42.5" / 108cm but can be dropped down as low as 37.5" / 93.5 cm. This range is more than adequate for when your sat on sofa, working at a desk or lying in bed. What's more, the fact you can tilt the head up on its 120 degrees vertical axis adds significantly to this height and range. I often stood over the 704S with the fan tilted towards my face in between reps, while working out. This is a very welcome bonus. 

The majority of elements on the 704S fan are well considered. It's a shame it's let down by its plastic look and feel but this is a relatively minor flaw in an otherwise attractive and well-designed appliance. 

  • Design score: 4.5 out of 5

Dreo PolyFan 704S review: performance

  • Whisper quiet, even on Normal mode
  • Extremely powerful, even on the lowest settings 
  • App adds unprecedented control and customization 

While the design of the Dreo PolyFan 704S has a couple of flaws, the same can't be said for its performance. It's rare for me to say this, but I'm struggling to find fault with it. 

Even on the lowest setting, the fan is powerful and effective. I could sit on the other side of the room and still feel the wind touching me. The air itself is cool enough to lower both my temperature, and the temperature of the wider room, without ever making me feel cold, or icy, as is common with powerful fans. 

This made it an ideal fan to have in the bedroom at night. As did its whisper-quiet noise. The PolyFan 704S has a Sleep mode that reduces the strength of the wind, which in turn lowers the sound so it doesn't disturb you in the night. Yet I didn't need to use this mode. The fan is so quiet on Normal mode, even on the highest speed settings, that I could sleep comfortably and without distraction. The biggest benefit of using Sleep mode is that the speed gradually decreases throughout the night. This means that as the temperature drops outside, you're not still being blasted with a fast wind speed that no longer suits the temperature in your room.

At its quietest, the 704S lived up to the brand's promise of producing just 25dB of noise, akin to the sound of leaves gentle rustling. On the highest, Turbo mode this noise increased to slightly above Dreo's promised 51dB, averaging 56dB. A small, almost indiscernible difference and at a level that's equivalent to the humming of a refrigerator. 

Speaking of modes, the differences are as follows:  

  • Normal Mode: This mode runs the fan at a fixed speed, selected manually. 
  • Auto Mode: This mode adapts the speed based on the ambient temperature. 
  • Turbo Mode: Runs the fan at the maximum speed.
  • Natural Mode: Natural mode varies the fan speed to simulate a natural breeze. 
  • Custom Mode: This mode lets you set different speeds to correspond to different ambient temperatures. For instance, when the room temperature exceeds 23 degrees, you can set the fan to switch on at Speed 3 and so on. 
  • Sleep Mode: Air circulator speed decreases every 30 minutes, offering Level 1 to Level 9 options.

My favorite mode is Natural mode. It really does feel like there's a gentle breeze flowing over you and this is comfortable and calming. Auto Mode works really well, too. In my living room I have a large bay window that faces west. In the morning the room is cool but as the sun travels over the house and beams through the large window, this room can become stifling – the difference can be as much as 10 degrees. Auto Mode solved this problem. Without having to make any adjustments, the fan kicked into action before the heat could reach an uncomfortable level and maintained a cool temperature all day. Elsewhere, the Custom Mode is a great addition but beyond playing around with it in the app to see how it worked, I never used it. The other modes gave me more customization and automation than I needed.  

Dreo PolyFan 704S display

(Image credit: Future)

When it comes to oscillation, the wide range of movement both vertically and horizontally, combined with the power and efficiency of the wind, means the PolyFan 704S can cover a surprisingly large space despite its relatively small fan head. You can select the angles at which the head oscillates from a list of presets – 30, 60, 90, 120 or 150 degrees for horizontal oscillation, or 30, 60, 90 and 120 degrees in the vertical – or you can customize these angles in one-degree increments. 

The presets can be accessed via the base's touch controls, and remote. It's easy to keep pressing the respective buttons until you reach the desired angle. However, you can only customize the more precise angles via the app, or using voice commands. My only, very minor complaint is that the oscillation speed is slower than I'd like. I'd love the option to speed this up but I'm nitpicking. I remarked to my partner during my review that "I love this fan" and it's true. From how easy it is to use, to the fact the large number of options and settings never feel overwhelming, its power, efficiency and how well it fits into my home and lifestyle, it's almost perfect. 

  • Performance score: 5 out of 5  

Dreo PolyFan 704S review: voice control

  • Easy to set up 
  • Adds an extra level of personalization
  • Perfect for hands-free control

One of the standout features of the Dreo PolyFan 704S is the ability to control it using voice commands via your smart speaker. 

Once the fan is connected to your home Wi-Fi, via the Dreo app, you can connect it to any Amazon Echo or Google Home device on the same network at the press of a button. Once connected, go into the Settings menu on the Dreo app, select the Voice Control menu and you'll see all the relevant command prompts. I used my with Alexa and there are 26 standard prompts listed. Everything from, "Alexa, turn on Dreo Fan" to, "Alexa, increase Dreo Fan horizontal angle by five degrees", timers, and more. 

I often used these controls at night when the fan was in my bedroom. If I hadn't set the angle or speed correctly before getting under the covers, I could ask Alexa to adjust the power and wind direction without having to leave my bed. It's pure convenience, or laziness depending on how you look at it, but it's a fantastic addition. Similarly, when I had the fan in the playroom, I could get the fan to follow where my youngest was playing, by asking Alexa to change the angle and oscillation, to make sure he remained cool while jumping around the round.  

Beyond the standard Alexa-powered voice commands, thanks to Alexa Routines you can also create a sequence of events based on other criteria. For example, I set the fan to switch to Sleep mode at 10pm, or even switch off when it detected snoring. This is in addition to the timer and scheduling features found on the Dreo app. All of the Alexa features are managed via the Alexa app, and are simple to navigate and set up. Once you're in the Alexa app, you can also edit the voice prompts and control the fan's settings, adding yet another way to control the device. 

Dreo PolyFan 704S review: app

  • Offers a wide variety of customization options
  • Easy to set up and intuitive to use 

The app, alongside voice commands, is one of my favorite features of the Dreo PolyFan 704S. It's intuitive and everything is well-labelled and clear. When you first open the app it will search for nearby Dreo devices. If it doesn't, or it fails to find the devices, make sure Wi-Fi is enabled by pressing and holding the horizontal oscillation touch button for five seconds. 

The app guides you through setup and once the fan is connected, you'll see an image of it on your app's homepage. From this homepage you can see how much time is left on the timer, the room's current temperature, what mode the fan is on, and any schedules you've set, at a glance. You can also access the fan's Wi-Fi and voice controls via the Settings button. 

Dreo PolyFan 704S app screenshots

(Image credit: Future)

Clicking the image of the fan takes you to the full range of 704S' controls. There's a menu at the top that lets you switch between Standard, Turbo and Custom modes. In Standard mode, you'll additionally see four icons, each one corresponding with the four wind modes: Normal, Auto, Sleep and Natural. A slider on the right-hand side lets you manually adjust the fan's speed, above the fan's oscillation controls and 3D Angle Control. 

You can then enable panel sounds, set the display to turn off after one minute, set a child lock and calibrate the oscillation.  

Out of all of these features, my favorite – and the one I use all the time – is the 3D Angle Control. On this screen you can manually set the horizontal and vertical angle of the fan head by running your finger over the screen. Alternatively you can move it using the arrows, or set Common Angles. The latter is particularly useful if you like the fan at a certain angle in bed but you don't want to manually set it each night, after having changed it during the day. 

Dyson fans and purifiers have offered a similar feature on its smart appliances for years, yet it's rare to find control like this on such a relatively affordable fan. I'd pay a large part of the PolyFan 704S' price for this feature alone. 

  • App score: 5 out of 5 

Should you buy the Dreo PolyFan 704S?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

If you don't want or need all of the Dreo 704S fan's features, here are a couple of options to consider...

Dreo Pilot Max

This tower fan is a top option for those on a budget, and it doesn't lack features. It offers 12 speeds, 4 modes, and 4 oscillation degrees. The overall design is sleek too.

Read our Dreo Pilot Max review

Meaco MeacoFan 1056P

The Meaco MeacoFan 1056P tops our best pedestal fan list because it's effective, it oscillates both horizontally and vertically, and comes with 12 speed settings.

Read our Meaco MeacoFan 1056P review

How I tested the Dreo PolyFan 704S

  • I used the Dreo PolyFan 704S and its app for 4 weeks
  • Positioned in different rooms around the house 

I used the Dreo PolyFan 704S in different rooms around my home for four weeks. This included my living room, large open-plan loft, children's bedrooms, and master bedroom. 

I used the device every day, and on nights when the weather was warm, on a range of modes and speed settings. I scheduled timers to turn the fan off, and tested all the features of the app, and its remote control. This includes using voice commands.

I also monitored how loud the fan was on different speeds, and in different modes.  

Read more about how we test

First reviewed May 2024

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