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iOS 18 to bring text effects to iMessage, updates to Control Center
11:41 am | June 1, 2024

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

Apple will introduce iOS 18 on June 10 at WWDC. While the brand hasn't revealed anything about iOS 18 yet, MacRumors claims Apple plans to add a new text effects feature to the Messages app on iOS 18, which could allow users to animate individual words in a message. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman claims iOS 18 will also bring updates to the Control Center. While Gurman doesn't get into the specifics, MacRumors claims that Apple has internally tested a redesigned Control Center for iOS 18. A lot of people using macOS 15 and iOS 18 keep mentioning the revamp to Settings. Obviously not a huge...

Onyx Boox Page review: the Android ereader that can shop both Kindle and Kobo stores
3:25 am | December 19, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers eReaders Gadgets Tablets | Tags: | Comments: Off

Onyx Boox Page: Two-minute review

The Onyx Boox Page is very much like the Kindle Oasis, especially since its plastic body looks far more premium than the Kobo Libra 2. Sharing the same 7-inch screen size as both the older models from Amazon and Kobo, the Onyx Page is just a touch faster thanks to a better processor. 

Like the other two, there are physical page-turn buttons here that also double up as the volume controls. Yes, there’s a speaker built-in, but don’t expect the sound quality to wow you. It sounds a little tinny but it suffices if you’re only using it for audiobooks. However, a better listening experience would be via Bluetooth-connected headphones or speaker of your choice.

There’s a very generous 32GB of storage here, just like the Kobo Libra 2, but the Page also features a microSD slot in case you want to expand storage – after all, audiobooks take up more space than ebooks. Moreover, the battery life here is excellent, thanks to a 2,300mAh pack under the hood.

My main complaint is the afterimage issue caused by bringing up the E Ink Center to access shortcuts or control sliders. I’ve seen this before on other Onyx ereaders, but where that’s usually been a ghosting issue, here it’s a dark overlay of the control panel remaining on the page. This doesn’t happen every time, but often enough that it gets annoying.

Another complaint I have is the lack of waterproofing for the Page, so avoid the bath, the pool and the kitchen sink when using this ereader.

Access to content on an Onyx Boox ereader is also still disappointing. While there are two bookstores on the Page, one is Chinese, the other only has ebooks that are already in the public domain.

That said, the Page runs on a simplified version of Android 11 and gives you access to the Google Play Store. From here, you can download the Kindle or the Kobo app (or both) and find your next read there. The flip side to this is your purchased content from the apps won’t get added to the Page’s default library, taking away the plethora of customizations you can apply to ebooks within that default folder. 

So if you don’t mind being restricted within the Android apps for Kindle or Kobo, the Onyx Boox Page can be considered to be two ereaders in one. And it's certainly priced competitively in some markets, costing as much as the Kobo Libra 2 in the US, which is still our #1 pick of the best ereader overall.

A hand holding the Onyx Boox Page with the thumb on the page-turn buttons

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Onyx Boox Page review: price and availability

  • Retails for $249 / €279 / AU$419
  • Available now directly from Onyx or select retailers

Announced in the first half of 2023, the Onyx Boox Page is available to purchase directly from the manufacturer or from selected retailers like B&H in the US. Onyx has an European warehouse from where UK customers can order the Page, and potential Aussie customers can grab one from third-party retailers like Big W

It will set you back $249 / €279 / AU$419 at full price (around £240 in the UK), matching the Kindle Oasis in the US and UK, but costing more in Australia where the Amazon alternative is AU$399. It’s more expensive than the Kobo Libra 2 in all markets, however, which now retails for $189.99 / £169 / AU$319.95.

While it might cost more in some regions, it's worth considering if you want one ereader to access both the Kindle and Kobo Stores, although it’s important to keep in mind that you will be restricted to reading on those apps if you purchase content from there.

• Value score: 4 / 5

A hand holding the Onyx Boox Page within its magnetic sleepcover

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Onyx Boox Page specifications

Onyx Boox Page review: Design and display

  • 7-inch E Ink Carta 1200 screen with glass anti-glare layer
  • Premium looks despite plastic body
  • No water resistance

When it comes to ereaders with physical page-turn buttons on a side bezel, the popular models like the Kindle Oasis and the Kobo Libra 2 are slightly thicker on that side to allow for a comfortable grip. The Onyx Page, on the other hand, has uniform thickness throughout, which gives it a sleek aesthetic. The page-turn buttons are comfortably located, although I think a little bit of space between them would make switching between the two a bit more ergonomic (but that’s me just nitpicking, really).

The 7-inch E Ink screen – which has a glass anti-glare layer on top and sits flush with the bezels – is encased within a plastic body that looks much better than what we saw on the Kobo Libra 2. At first glance, I thought the Page had a metal chassis like the Kindle Oasis. There’s a strip of subtle artwork on the rear panel where you would expect a grip and it seems to be silk-screened on. However, there really is no grip here and I think the magnetic case that Onyx has made for the Page might be a good (additional) investment in case of butter fingers.

Another reason I think the sleepcover would come in handy is to avoid smudges on the device. As nice as the chassis looks, it’s a magnet for fingerprints – both front and rear.

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The USB-C port, speaker and microSD card tray on the Onyx Boox Page

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)
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Onyx Boox Page ereader within its magnetic case

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)
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The apps interface on the Onyx Boox Page

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

On one corner of the device’s edge is a power button, so subtle that it’s easy to miss. Another long edge has the rest of the physical goodies, including a USB-C port for charging and data transfer, dual speaker grilles and a microSD card tray. In the box, Onyx has thoughtfully included a pin so you can open the card slot in case you want to expand the 32GB built-in storage.

The screen itself is lovely and very responsive. Most ereaders I’ve tested that use the E Ink Carta 1200 screen tech offer good contrast, so text stands out nice and sharp on the display, and that’s the case here. It’s a capacitive multitouch screen with no writing capabilities.

You can adjust the screen’s frontlight to either cold or warm hues but there’s no way to set automatic light temperature changes from cold to warm as the day progresses – both the Kindle Oasis and the Kobo Libra 2, however, do offer this feature. That said, none of the Onyx Boox tablets I’ve tested allow you to set automatic light hue changes for reading in the evenings and nights, so I’ve always just set it to a slightly warmer setting that I find comfortable at any time.

• Design & display score: 4 / 5

Within the Kobo app on the Onyx Boox Page

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Onyx Boox Page review: User experience

  • Overwhelming device settings options
  • Auto-rotates orientations, which can be locked if needed
  • Onyx’s Control Center is handy but often leaves overlay

As with most Onyx ereaders, the user interface takes a little getting used to – it’s not as intuitive as, say, Kindle or Kobo, but you do get a lot of control on how you want your e-paper tablet set up.

For example, you can set the page-turn buttons to scroll instead of turn a page, and they also double up as the volume controls when you’re listening to an audiobook or music (which you can sideload, and there’s a dedicated player too).

By default, the screen is set to refresh after every five taps, but this can also be changed as you see fit. I had mine set to refreshing after every tap, however, as I found ghosting can be an issue, and it also meant any overlay from the Control Center dropdown would disappear immediately too. This, though, can affect battery life and, if you don’t need the Control Center too often, leaving screen refresh rate at five or 10 taps will help push the charge for longer.

Button settings on the Onyx Boox Page

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

You can choose what you see as soon as you wake or power on the Onyx Page (default library, the apps page, store, etc) and set up on-screen gesture controls as well. I personally think that Onyx’s customization options are overkill for basic ereaders like the Page, but it’s also nice to know they’re there.

Speaking of the Control Center: this is where you get shortcut access to a lot of controls, including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, plus volume and frontlight adjustments. To access the Control Center you just swipe down from the top right corner of the screen. This is also where you get other options, like setting the device to airplane mode, auto-rotation controls and a screen recorder. There’s also a Kids’ Mode option that allows you to set a screen password, but keep in mind that you cannot reset this password once set.

Within the default library application – where all ebooks are automatically stored when you sideload – is a floating toolbar that gives you easy access to font and page controls. This, too, can be customized to include the shortcuts you will actually use within this application. The floating toolbar isn’t available outside of the default library application however.

The floating toolbar in the default library app on the Onyx Boox Page

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

As I’ve already mentioned, this Android tablet gives you access to the Google Play Store, from where you can download handy apps. In my case, it was the Kobo and Kindle apps so I could access not only the respective bookstores but also my existing library on each, as well as the ebook subscription services I pay for (Prime Reading and Kobo Plus in my case). While you can’t move your purchased content to the default library application, you can read within the app, but without the advantages of the floating toolbar.

The Onyx Boox Page allows you to sign into select cloud services, which is handy if you have an existing library you want to sideload onto the device. This includes Dropbox and Google Drive, but if your files aren’t on any cloud storage service, I found using BooxDrop was the best option to transfer content. You don’t need to create an Onyx account – you can use your mobile number to receive a verification code, then drag and drop what you want transferred onto the web version of the application.

Like I said, there’s a lot here to wrap your head around and it takes some experimentation, but once you’ve found the best setup for you, the Page can be quite enjoyable to use.

• User experience score: 4 / 5

The navigation options on the Onyx Boox Page with the Library selected

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Onyx Boox Page review: Performance

  • Remarkable battery life
  • Quick page turns and responsive screen
  • Ghosting occurs intermittently; occasionally significant when using the Control Center

When it comes to overall performance, it’s hard to fault the Onyx Boox Page. Reading is a good experience, with page turns working well via both screen taps and the buttons. Text appears nice and sharp, although if what you’re reading has low-resolution images, they can appear a little fuzzy.

I found sideloading files (ebooks and music) via Google Drive and BooxDrop was very easy; while I didn’t try signing into my Dropbox account, I reckon it’s just as simple and quick.

The speakers, though, aren’t anything to write home about. They’re fine for listening to audiobooks, although they don’t get too loud, but music doesn’t sound great. Pairing a set of Bluetooth headphones with the Page was easy when I tried it and I found that using headphones or a paired speaker to be the better listening experience for both audiobooks and music.

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The highlight function on the Onyx Boox Page

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)
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The Kobo Android app on the Onyx Boox Page

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Ghosting can occur occasionally if the ebook you're reading has images in it, but the most significant problem is the dark overlay of the Onyx Control Center as I've mentioned before. While it doesn't occur all the time, it happened often enough that I changed the refresh rate to be after every 1 tap from the default 5 taps. This is my only complaint when it comes to performance and it's not isolated – a lot of the Onyx ereaders I've tested do have issues with ghosting.

Where the Page really excels is battery life. It houses a 2,300mAh pack and that can last you about six weeks with an hour of reading each day. I had my review sample of the Page set to 40% brightness and approximately 25% yellow light, refresh rate set at 1 tap and Wi-Fi always on to access my Kindle and Kobo accounts. I also used the device for an average of two hours and got about 4.5 weeks of reading till it dropped to 10% battery. My battery life test also included a few minutes of web browsing using the built-in browser app, as well as listening to audiobooks on the Kobo app.

Topping up for me was just as good – I had it plugged into a 65W GAN wall charger via good quality USB-C to C cable and it took about an hour and 20 minutes to go from 9% to full.

Performance score: 4.5 / 5

The navigation options on the Onyx Boox Page

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Should I buy the Onyx Boox Page?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider

The closest competitors to the Onyx Book Page are the Kindle Oasis and the Kobo Libra. While both these options are now aging, they're still excellent alternatives and we've listed direct specs comparisons below.

How I tested the Onyx Boox Page

  • Used as main ereader for about eight weeks
  • Read for about two hours a day, with some ad hoc listening sessions
  • Use the device to browse the web and download Android apps

Onyx Boox Page standing upright on a table

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

I am a voracious reader, so reading every single day for at least an hour or two is normal for me. So I just switched out my usual ereader for the Onyx Boox Page for a period of about eight weeks.

During this time, I averaged about two hours of reading each day, although every once in a while I listened to an audiobook for about 20-30 minutes on the Kobo app, which I downloaded via the Google Play Store that is already available on the Page.

I also downloaded the Kindle app to access my purchased content there.

I signed into Google Drive to sync some ebooks I already own, plus used BooxDrop to sideload other content, including music files, which I also listened to intermittently without headphones. Most of my listening sessions, however, were via a set of paired Bluetooth true wireless earbuds.

I used the default browser occasionally as well and kept tabs on battery drain as I performed different tasks on the Onyx Boox Page.

Read more about how we test

[First reviewed December 2023]

Origin EON17-X review: a gaming beast with style to spare
9:49 pm | July 3, 2023

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

Origin EON17-X: One-minute review

The last time we reviewed the Origin EON17-X gaming laptop in 2016, it was dubbed “the most powerful gaming laptop we ever tested,” and this is just as true today as it was in 2016 with latest EON17-X. This latest version features everything from a lovely 4K display and high octane performance to wonderfully lit RGB keyboard. 

This time around, we didn’t have much issue with the trackpad (which won’t get much use during most mouse-based games anyway) but the laptop lacks a fingerprint reader, which is a shame. All in all though, everything about the EON17-X is bigger and better in every way. 

This includes some impressive specs. Our review model featured a 24-core 13th-Gen Intel i9-13900HX, Nvidia RTX 4090 mobile, 32GB DDR5 RAM and a 1TB SSD alongside an additional 2TB SSD. The component list is more than enough to take advantage of the beautiful 17-inch 144Hz 4K display. Gamers looking to have more of a competitive edge can get a lesser spec 1440p display configuration that can go up to 240Hz as well.

Between those two display ranges, those looking for one of the best 17-inch gaming laptops around can make everything about their EON17-X personalized to their specifications in nearly every way. From laptop chassis graphics to its internal components, so gamers should be able to get whatever performance benchmarks they particularly want with this high-powered gaming laptop. 

There are a few things that may annoyingly unify all of the configurations available. One thing for sure is the fan noise that can get pretty loud during menial tasks. It also hurts the already lacking internal speaker set up. Meanwhile, the EON17-X is pretty expensive regardless of which configuration you go with, ranging between $2,720 (about £2,650/AU$4,360) and $5,390 (about £4,315/AU$8,090). That said, this is easily one of the best gaming laptops around for those with deep pockets, so if you go for this one you won't be disappointed. 

Origin EON17-X: Price & availability

An Origin EON17-X on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
  • Currently, the Origin EON17-X is only available in the US through the Origin store
  • Prices range from $2,720 to $5,390, depending on configuration

There is a lot of flexibility in how potential buyers can design their Origin EON17-X experience, but it is going to cost a lot no matter what you decide. There are tons of customization options when buying the EON17-X through Origin’s online store, but our review set-up costs about $3,790. 

Starting out at around $2,720, individuals can get an Intel i9-13900HX, Nvidia RTX 4080, 16GB DDR5 RAM, 512GB SSD RAM with a 17.3-inch 1440p display with a 240Hz refresh rate. 

Folks with big money looking to blow some stacks can go as high as $5,390 (about £4,315/AU$8,090) which includes everything in the review configuration alongside 64GB DDR5 RAM and a pair of Corsair 8TB MP600 Pro XT NVMe SSDs. Regardless of how buyers get their EON17-X, it does come with Origin’s signature lifetime service and support with options that can be extended between one to three years for a fee as well. Simply put, there is a feeling of luxury customer service alongside the high-end purchase.

As of now, there aren’t any available options for either UK and Australian territories.

  • Value score: 4.5 / 5

Origin EON17-X: Specs

An Origin EON17-X on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

 The Origin EON17-X currently comes in a variety of customizable configuration options, so you'll have to dig into the configuration section of Origin's site to get a sense of how much your ideal laptop will cost you, but these are the specs on our review unit as well as the starting configuration.

Origin EON17-X: Design

An Origin EON17-X on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
  • There are plenty of ports including two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports for use on two 4K displays or one 8K display
  • The 4K display has fantastic image quality and performance
  • Not having SD card slot nor fingerprint scanner is disappointing

Compared to previous generations, Origin has said that the EON17-X is 13% lighter and 42% thinner. Considering the amount of components in the spec heavy gaming laptop, it still manages to weigh under 8lbs. Though it’ll still be a bit difficult to fit inside a mid-to-large backpack, it doesn’t feel as bulky as it potentially could have. 

Looking at it closed, the most noticeable thing many will recognize are the customizable display rear which can feature HD UV printed panel or custom laser etching. The all black material used throughout really blends well with whatever custom panel used and feels adequately durable.

Beyond the various ventilation grills, it’s clear as day that there is a nice variety of ports. The right side are two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports with two USB-A 3.2 ports alongside headset and mic jack on the left. Having Thunderbolt 4 ports allows users to use two 4K displays or one 8K display for added measure. 

On the rear are singular HDMI and Mini DisplayPort ports, ethernet 2.5 port, charging port and Kensington Lock port. It would have been nice to have an SD card slot for creatives alongside a fingerprint reader for security purposes.

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An Origin EON17-X on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
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An Origin EON17-X on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
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An Origin EON17-X on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

The EON17-X opens about an inch near where the bottom panel ends to reveal the gorgeous 17-inch 4K display with full HD webcam at the top. From general browsing to playing stunning AAA games, this is one of the best laptop displays in its class. 

Having the 140Hz refresh rate ensures games and videos are relatively smooth. Colors are crisp and vivid while offering really good general image quality. As an added cherry on top, the display also features G-Sync too. Gamers who want a higher 240Hz refresh rate can try the 1440p configuration if needed.

At the bottom half is a lovely keyboard featuring per-key RGB lighting. Those personalizations in lighting can be customized through the featured Control Center app that also features performance options but more on that later. It felt good using the keyboard as it offered both comfortable keystrokes and plenty of function keys. 

Even the touchpad is smooth to use during general and creative tasks. Of course, it’s best to use a gaming mouse if trying to play genres including shooters and the like.

  • Design score: 4 / 5

Origin EON17-X: Performance

An Origin EON17-X on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
  • Handles AAA gaming at 4K resolutions at max settings really well
  • Fans can get obnoxiously loud
  • There are several performance modes through the Control Center app
Origin EON17-X Benchmarks

Here's how the Origin EON17-X  performed in our suite of benchmark tests:
3DMark Night Raid: 40,694; Fire Strike: 30,845; Time Spy: 19,778
GeekBench 5: 1,994 (single-core); 18,463 (multi-core)
24,956 (multi-core)
Total War: Warhammer III (1080p, Ultra):
121 fps; (1080p, Low): 163 fps
Cyberpunk 2077 (1080p, Ultra): 92 fps; (1080p, Low): 107 fps
Dirt 5 (1080p, Ultra): 148 fps; (1080p, Low): 203 fps
PCMark 10 Battery Life: 3 hours and 16 minutes 

There isn't a modern game that the Origin EON17-X can't handle. The review configuration we received with the Intel i9-13900HX and Nvidia RTX 4090 can handle 4K resolution gaming at max settings while maintaining respectable frame rates. 

During our benchmark tests, Cyberpunk 2077 was able to get 92 frames per second at 1080p. Playing at 4K with the same settings and ray tracing gave an average in the low 60s. Users who want higher frame rates can utilize DLSS for image upscaling if that's not enough. 

The same results came during our time trying out Dirt 5 which provided 148 fps average at 1080p with max settings. Playing the rally racer at 4K allowed the game to hover around 100 fps as well. 

When it came to everyday usage, we were able to get high frame rates at 4K resolution on games including Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, Need for Speed Unbound and Forza Horizon 5. Meanwhile, it was fairly easy to create and export 4K video through Adobe Premiere Pro as well.

Be mindful that when maximizing system resources, the cooling system will have the fans running at high volume. This can be trouble if using the EON17-X without headphones as it can intrude a rather unflattering speaker system. One way to quiet it down is through the Control Center app which has a quiet mode outside of various performance modes. 

The internal speakers have Sound Blaster Pro audio support but general audio quality is subpar in addition to lacking good volume. We suggest picking up one of the best PC gaming headsets you can when using the gaming laptop. Go on, you can afford it.

  • Performance score: 4.5 / 5

Origin EON17-X: Battery Life

An Origin EON17-X on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
  • Battery life is marketed for about 6.5 hours
  • During test we got around 4 hours of usage
  • Charging to full takes a few hours max

As with many high powered laptops of its nature, don’t expect very much battery life out of the Origin EON17-X. Origin estimates up to 6 ½ hours between charges but we weren’t able to reach that during tests. Using PCMark 10 Battery Life tests, we only received around 3 hours and 16 minutes. 

Taking the EON17-X to bed to work on editorials through Google Docs, the gaming laptop reached around four hours before shutting down. Part of that was turning off various settings like keyboard lighting, dimming the screen a bit and putting on Power Saving mode through the Control Center app. Individuals taking a bi-coastal flight may barely make it with the EON17-X. 

Charging the device through the rear power port may take around two hours and the power brick that’s included is a bit hefty as well. Again, this is expected when dealing with gaming laptops of this nature.

  • Battery score: 3 / 5

Should you buy the Origin EON17-X?

An Origin EON17-X on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Buy it if...

You want an absolutely powerful gaming laptop without thought of cost
It doesn’t matter what configuration one is interested in, the Origin EON17-X shines when it comes down to performance. From 1440p to 4K, it can handle pretty much anything.

You require some personal customization in your gaming laptop
There are so many options in how potential buyers may want their gaming laptop including visual, performance, storage and warranty. 

You want a quality high resolution display and refresh rate
The 4K display offered on the EON17-X provides great image quality and has a 140Hz refresh rate. If screen resolution doesn’t matter much, there’s also a 1440p option that has an even higher refresh rate of 240Hz.

Don't buy it if...

You need a more affordable gaming laptop
Nah, this ain't it.

You want a quieter gaming laptop
All of that power means some serious cooling solutions and those fans get loud when operating on all cylinders.

You are a creative who wants an easier process and added security
Considering how expensive the EON17-X is, it would be nice to have some form of biometric security like a fingerprint scanner. Also, creatives may miss the lack of an SD card slot. 

Origin EON17-X: Also consider

If my Origin EON17-X has you considering other options, here are two more gaming laptops to consider...

First reviewed July 2023

iOS 17 to bring massive Control Center revamp
4:47 am | April 6, 2023

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

iOS 17 is all set to be presented on June 5 during the keynote on the first day of Apple's annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC). If you were wondering what to expect from the upcoming release, an anonymous source who leaked accurate details about the Dynamic Island last year has some details. Apparently, iOS 17 will be focused on performance and stability improvements, so you shouldn't expect huge changes, with one exception. Current Control Center Allegedly, the company will revamp the Control Center for the first time since its introduction - the feature made its debut...