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Samsung QN800D review: an impressive 8K TV that proves they still have a place in the world
6:30 pm | June 13, 2024

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

Samsung QN800D review: Two minute review

The Samsung QN800D is the entry-level set in the company’s 8K Neo QLED range, offering  8K resolution at a slightly more affordable price than the flagship Samsung QN900D. It’s still a pricey TV, however, with the 65-inch model I tested currently selling for $3,499 / £3,499 / AU$4,799 – a higher price than most premium 4K TVs. 

Samsung makes some of the best TVs and consistently flies the 8K flag as other brands move away from the technology. Based on the performance of the QN800D, it may be justified to fly that flag. 

The QN800D’s picture quality is nothing short of impressive, mainly due to the exceptional 8K AI upscaling and Real Depth Enhancer Pro features of the TV’s NQ8 AI Gen2 Processor. These add incredible depth and refined detail to any textures, and the picture also has rich contrast and impressive black levels for a mini-LED TV. There is some minor backlight blooming and reflections can occur in harsh lighting conditions, but those are the only drawbacks of an otherwise phenomenal picture. 

Gaming features are plentiful with the QN800D, with its four HDMI 2.1 ports kitted out with all the bells and whistles we look for in the best gaming TVs. The QN800D supports 4K up to 165Hz,8K up to 60Hz, VRR including AMD FreeSync Premium Pro and comes with Samsung’s useful Gaming Hub. Gaming performance is excellent, feeling smooth and seamless even in the most intense of FPS games, and with the TV’s 8K AI upscaling, graphically beautiful as well. 

Sound quality is an area where the QN800D stumbles compared to the rest of its performance. A 4.2.2-channel speaker array provides exceptional tracking of on-screen action and dialogue is crisp and clear, but the QN800D’s lean bass means it can’t compete with some of the best TVs for sound such as the Sony A80L and Panasonic MZ2000. As such, it will be worth pairing the QN800D with one of the best soundbars to compliment its picture quality. 

The QN800D uses Samsung’s ‘Infinity One’ design for a sleek, slim appearance with a near bezel-less look that allows the impeccable picture to be the star of the show. It also comes with Samsung’s One Connect Box to house all external source connections, making the QN800D perfect for wall mounting. It does come with a premium metal stand, but be warned, it can be a little fiddly to fit on. 

There’s no getting around the fact that the QN800D is a premium-priced TV, with many flagship 4K models, including some of the best OLED TVs, selling for significantly less while still offering many of the same great features. There’s also a lack of 8K media to make full use of the QN800D’s high resolution. But the QN800D’s impressive 8K upscaling breathes extra life into every source it’s given, especially 4K movies with HDR. If you can stretch your budget for it you won’t be let down. I may have been skeptical about 8K TVs before, but the QN800D has made me a believer. 

Samsung QN800D with Star Wars The Force Awakens on screen

Star Wars: The Force Awakens shows the QN800D's bold colors and highlights.  (Image credit: Future)

Samsung QN800D review: Prices & release date

  • Release date: April 2024  
  • 65-inch: $3,499 / £3,499 / AU$4,799 
  • 75-inch: $4,499 / £4,499 / AU$6,499 
  • 85-inch: $5,999 / £6,999 / AU$8.999 

The Samsung QN800D is the entry-level 8K Neo QLED model for 2024 and sits below the flagship Samsung QN900D. It is available in 65-, 75- and 85-inch sizes and was released in April 2024. 

Since its release, we have seen some offers and reductions on the QN800D in its various sizes. The 65-inch model I tested has seen roughly $200 off, with as much as £500 off in the UK for the 85-inch model, though it still carries a high price tag across the board. 

Samsung QN800D review: Specs

Samsung QN800D review: Benchmark results

Samsung QN800D slim one connect box

The Slim One Connect Box handles all external connections to keep things tidy.  (Image credit: Future)

Samsung QN800D review: Features

  • NQ8 AI Gen2 Processor with 8K AI Upscaling Pro
  • 4.2.2-channel speaker array
  • One Connect Box    

The Samsung QN800D uses the  NQ8 AI Gen2 Processor, which boasts features such as 8K AI Upscaling Pro to upscale 4K images with up to 84% of the resolution of native 8K (according to Samsung). It also has Real Depth Enhancer Pro and Adaptive Picture, both of which use AI technology to analyze the picture and the surrounding environment to enhance images. The QN800D can display native 8K video, but there are no broadcast or home video 8K options outside of YouTube. 

Like all Samsung TVs, the QN800D supports the HDR10+, HDR10 and HLG HDR formats, but not Dolby Vision. 

For gaming, the QN800D is equipped with four HDMI 2.1 ports that support up to 165Hz refresh rate at 4K, 60Hz at 8K, VRR (including AMD FreeSync Premium Pro), ALLM and HGiG. It also features Samsung’s Gaming Hub that locates everything gaming-related in one handy location, including cloud-based gaming apps from Xbox, Luna, Nvidia GeForce Now and more. 

The QN800D comes with the One Connect Box Slim, which houses all connections and links to the TV with a One Connect cable. This design keeps cables tidy, especially for wall-mount installations. Along with its four HDMI 2.1 ports, connections include optical digital audio out, an ATSC 3.0 tuner (US-only) and aerial and satellite connections for the UK, and three USB ports including USB-C. 

For audio, the QN800D has a built-in 4.2.2 channel speaker array with 70W of power and support for Dolby Atmos. It also supports AI features such as Adaptive Sound Pro and Active Voice Amplifier Pro, which analyze the scene and viewing environment to optimize sound. The QN800D supports Q Symphony, which combines the TV’s audio output with compatible Samsung soundbars when connected. 

The QN800D uses Samsung’s own Tizen smart TV platform, which appears largely unchanged for 2024 except for a new ‘recommended for you’ section that recommends movies and TV shows based on your past viewing. There is also a new 'Recent' window that lets you easily jump back into a movie or TV show you were recently watching. 

  • Features score: 5 / 5

Samsung QN800D with gemstone on screen

The Samsung QN800D's 8K upscaling results in some incredible picture detail.  (Image credit: Future)

Samsung QN800D review: Picture quality

  • Exceptional picture detail  
  • Effective 8K upscaling
  • Minor reflections and backlight blooming   

With he 65-inch QN800D’s picture presets in their default settings, peak brightness measured 1,045 nits measured on a 10% HDR window in Standard mode, and 1,126 nits in Filmmaker Mode. 

Those results don't match up to the flagship Samsung QN900D, which clocked in at 1,979 nits on a 10% window in Filmmaker Mode when we tested it. It also isn’t as bright as the Samsung S95D QD-OLED, which gave a result of 1,868 nits peak brightness in Standard mode. But the QN800D did have excellent full-screen brightness results, measuring 626 and 528 nits in Standard and Filmmaker Mode respectively, and such high full-screen brightness makes it ideal for daytime viewing and sports. 

When tested in our lab in varying lighting conditions, including harsh overhead lights, there were some mirror-like reflections on the QN800D’s screen, but they weren’t too distracting, and brighter images weren't an issue at all. 

After cycling through picture presets, Filmmaker Mode was the most accurate. Standard will suit people looking for a brighter image, although textures don’t look as natural in that mode as in Filmmaker. 

Upscaling on the QN800D is incredibly effective. Starting with broadcast TV viewing, in both standard (SD) and high-definition (HD), images looked crisp and clean. Even SD TV shows didn’t have the common fuzzy texture issue that regular LED TVs suffer from. 

Moving onto a 4K stream of Star Wars: The Last Jedi on Disney Plus, the characters’ facial features were incredibly detailed, with Real Depth Enhancer Pro adding even greater refinement for a lifelike appearance. The throne room fight scene features lots of red tones and the QN800D displayed them in a bold, vibrant fashion, with lightsabers in particular taking on a shimmering brightness. When I measured the BT.2020 and UHDA-P3 color gamut coverage using Portrait Displays’ Calman software, it gave results of 69% and 94% respectively. Those numbers were lower than expected, but didn’t take away from the QN800D’s impressive color rendition. 

Demo footage from the Spears & Munsil UHD Benchmark 4K Blu-ray disc revealed all the QN800D’s strengths. The outstanding level of detail demonstrated itself once again, with forest landscapes and sunsets on sea horizons looking incredibly realistic and animals appearing true to life. The 8K upscaling added an extra layer to these images that I’d seen so many times on 4K sets but importantly didn’t over-sharpen the textures for a fake-looking style. 

Close-up studio images with fully black backgrounds demonstrated the QN800D’s superb contrast and black levels, with the bright objects well-balanced against the dark backgrounds. Some backlight blooming was visible, but it was minor. Scenes of a Ferris wheel and city skyscape at night also showcased the QN800D’s excellent local dimming, revealing only the slightest hint of backlight blooming once again. 

Moving onto a 4K Blu-ray of The Batman, the QN800D displayed deep blacks and excellent shadow detail. In a scene where Batman walks down a gloomy hallway lit only by bright wall lamps, the QN800D kept the gloomy, grainy tone of the film while maintaining superb backlight control for spectacular contrast with only minor blooming. Once again, detail was impeccable with a close-up shot of Batman showing stubble I hadn’t noticed before on a 4K screen. 

Motion handling on the QN800D was effective. Viewing the opening test flight sequence in Top Gun: Maverick, the long, panning shot that follows the Darkstar jet showed minimal judder even with motion controls turned off, although motion smoothing controls can be adjusted if you wish.  

I decided to test the QN800D’s intelligence mode settings (its Adaptive Picture) which adjust brightness and color based on lighting conditions. In Optimized mode, I found that textures in Top Gun: Maverick were too sharp, taking away their natural look. An Eye Comfort mode adapts the color temperature based on the scene (cooler for bright, warmer for dark) to reduce eye strain, but unfortunately, this once again made textures too sharp. Thankfully these settings are switched off by default, allowing the more effective AI features to do their work. 

Despite some backlight blooming and occasional screen reflections, the QN800D has an impressive picture overall, with outstanding detail, incredible 8K upscaling and spectacular color and contrast. 

  • Picture quality score: 5 / 5

Samsung QN800D rear drivers

Part of the Samsung QN800D's 4.2.2 channel speaker configuration.  (Image credit: Future)

Samsung QN800D review: Sound quality

  • 4.2.2 channel speaker configuration 
  • OTS+ (Object Tracking Sound Plus)  
  • AI Adaptive Sound Pro 

The QN800D has a 70W, 4.2.2 channel speaker system that supports Dolby Atmos. I found dialog to be clear across all sources, whether it was broadcast TV news or action-filled movie sequences. The TV’s Object Tracking Sound Plus feature is incredibly effective, with the sound closely following the action on screen. During the batmobile chase in The Batman, each screeching tire, explosion or crunch was naturally placed, and in Top Gun: Maverick, jets soaring in all directions were easy to follow. 

Bass on the QN800D was solid enough, though it sounded thinner than the surround effects and dialog. Compared with other sets, there were only two sound presets: Standard and Amplify. Amplify provided the most accurate sound profile and was the mode I used for testing. In some instances, Atmos reproduction wasn’t the most effective, with the rain in the batmobile chase scene from The Batman being barely noticeable. In Top Gun: Maverick, however, there was a sense of spaciousness during any flight sequences.  

The QN800D’s Adaptive Sound mode was more trebly and surround-focused, sacrificing the already lean bass. Adaptive Voice Pro as expected prioritized speech above all else and although effective in some scenarios, it wasn’t the best for movies. 

Sound on the QN800D will be perfectly fine for most and is impressive in some areas, but this TV could benefit from one of the best Dolby Atmos soundbars to complement its fantastic picture quality. 

  • Sound quality score: 4 / 5

Samsung QN800D stand

The Samsung QN800D's stand feels premium but might be tricky to install for some people.  (Image credit: Future)

Samsung QN800D review: Design

  • Slim One Connect Box  
  • Infinity slim design  
  • Fiddly stand installation 

The QN800D has a premium ‘Infinity One’ design, with a solid, silver, metal frame and a trim bezel that allows the picture to become the main focus without any borders. It also measures a razor-thin 0.7 inches (17.2mm) without its stand. 

An external One Connect Box houses all inputs, with a single cable connecting to the QN800D. It's a good design that keeps cables from sources tidy and is especially useful for people looking to wall-mount.

The QN800D also comes with a weighty, black metal stand that feels suitably sturdy and gives the TV a floating appearance when viewed front on. However, it’s worth noting that the stand was very fiddly to install, with me and a colleague needing to hold the stand in place while trying to line up and tighten the screws. Make sure you have another person with you when installing this TV. 

Samsung’s SolarCell remote draws power from surrounding light and can also be charged using USB-C, making it significantly more eco-friendly than remotes with disposable batteries. Although on the minimal side, with settings, volume and app shortcut buttons for Netflix, Disney Plus and Prime Video making up the majority of buttons, it should suit most people. 

  • Design score: 4.5 / 5

Samsung QN800D with Tizen home page on screen

Tizen's 2024 version focuses on customization and personalization.  (Image credit: Future)

Samsung QN800D review: Smart TV & menus

  • Tizen smart TV platform
  • Different portals for Gaming, Daily and more   
  • Customization options 

The QN800D uses Samsung’s Tizen system as a smart TV platform. Although its overall design remains largely unchanged from 2023, there have been updates for 2024. 

The home menu is now split into three categories: For You, which bases recommendations on apps and viewing history; Live, showing live TV; and Apps, which displays your installed apps. Navigation is easy enough across any of these menus, but For You is likely to be the most used. 

There are also several ‘portals’ that can be accessed, with each housing a different category. Daily+ aims to be a day-to-day portal, encompassing apps such as Samsung Health, workout tracking and a video calling app. There is also Ambient, for displaying artworks and images, and Gaming Hub for everything gaming. 

There are plenty of picture settings to play with for those who like to tweak and experiment and these are all easily accessible, allowing for high levels of customization. A fair amount of sound settings are provided as well, but as stated above, Standard and Amplify are the only sound presets. 

  • Smart TV & menus score: 4 / 5

Samsung QN800D with Battlefield V on screen

Gaming features and performance are incredibly strong on the Samsung QN800D.  (Image credit: Future)

Samsung QN800D review: Gaming

  • Four HDMI 2.1 ports
  • Gaming Hub  
  • Low 9.8ms input lag   

The QN800D is equipped with all the gaming features you would need, including 4K 165Hz and 8K 60Hz refresh rate, VRR with AMD FreeSync Premium Pro, and ALLM across all four HDMI 2.1 ports. The Gaming Hub portal houses everything gaming in one handy location, including links to popular live Twitch streams and cloud-based gaming apps including Xbox, Luna, Nvidia GeForce Now and more. 

With Battlefield V on Xbox Series X, the gameplay felt incredibly smooth and free of any screen judder or tearing, and switching between targets in a vast landscape on a desert mission was seamless and easy. This is probably due in part to the QN800D’s ultra-low input lag, which I measured at 9.8ms using the Leo Bodnar HDMI 4K input lag tester – a number that rivals many of the best 120Hz TVs. 

Graphically, the QN800D is extremely impressive. Using the same phenomenal 8K upscaling it does for movies, every detail in Battlefield V was amplified – the large desert landscapes took on a realistic look and the intricate details of the various weapons were more pronounced. The QN800D added depth to every aspect of the game, and I could adjust its game-related settings on the fly to enhance things even further by calling up the onscreen game menu. 

  • Gaming score: 5 / 5

Samsung SolarCell Remote

The Samsung SolarCell remote is a more eco-friendly approach to remote controls.  (Image credit: Future)

Samsung QN800D review: Value

  • Very pricey compared to 4K models 
  • Unique 8K features 
  • Limited 8K content  

With the QN800D being an 8K TV (even a mid-range one by 8K standards) it unfortunately carries a high price tag. For the 65-inch model I tested, you’ll pay $3,499 / £3,499 / AU$4,799. To put that in perspective, you can buy the Samsung QN90D (Samsung’s upper mid-range 4K Neo QLED), which has many  of the same gaming and smart features as the QN800D, in a 65-inch size for $2,699 / £2,399 / AU$3,995. 

The QN800D does offer unique features compared to 4K models, most notably the 8K AI upscaling and the NQ8 Gen2 AI Processor. However, there are no real 8K sources outside of YouTube to make use of the QN800D’s native 8K display But if you can stretch your budget to make use of the 8K upscaling and processing chops the QN800D provides, I’d recommend it. Just keep in mind that you can buy a mid-range 4K OLED TV such as Samsung’s own S90C and one of the best Dolby Atmos soundbars for a good deal less.

  • Value score: 3.5 / 5

Samsung QN800D with reptile on screen

The Samsung QN800D shows off its spectacular contrast and image detail.  (Image credit: Future)

Should I buy the Samsung QN800D?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider...

Samsung QN800D with testing equipment attached

(Image credit: Future)

How I tested the Samsung QN800D

  • Tested in lab with varying light conditions
  • Tested using a variety of SDR and HDR sources
  • Measurements made using Portrait Displays' Calman software

I tested the Samsung QN800D in our lab, which allows me to view in conditions including harsh overhead lighting, dimmed lighting, and pitch black to test a TV's handling of reflections and the effectiveness of its backlight. 

After an initial run-in period with some casual viewing to determine the most accurate picture mode, I then tested the QN800D using standard and high-definition broadcast TV, 4K Blu-ray, and 4K streaming apps such as Disney Plus and Prime Video, using reference scenes from TV shows and movies that I regularly use fo testing.

To test the QN800D's picture, I looked at contrast, color, brightness, backlight control, and motion. I also evaluated its sound quality, checking for object placement, speech clarity, bass levels and virtual surround sound delivery. 

For objective testing, I used specialized equipment including a test pattern generator, colorimeter and Portrait Displays' Calman calibration software. I tested the QN800D (like all TVs) for SDR and HDR brightness, grayscale and color accuracy, and color gamut coverage. 

For gaming performance, I used an Xbox Series X to test gaming features, graphics and overall quality. I also measured the QN800D's input lag using the Leo Bodnar HDMI 4K Input lag tester. 

For a more detailed breakdown, check how we test TVs at TechRadar at the link. 

Corsair K65 Plus Wireless Keyboard: a responsive, well-featured gaming keyboard that’s great for typing too
4:41 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Keyboards Peripherals & Accessories | Tags: | Comments: Off

Corsair K65 Plus Wireless Keyboard: one-minute review

Let’s cut to the chase – the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless Keyboard is a fantastic wireless RGB gaming peripheral. Really, the only reasons to stay away are if you need a different form factor, whether it’s a full-size model or something in a more diminutive package, or if you find the price a bit too much to stomach. While plenty of premium gaming keyboards go for a similar price, you can certainly find decent models for much less.

That said, I will say I was essentially smitten the first time I typed on the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless. For me personally, it’s certainly among the best wireless keyboards and best mechanical keyboards out there. Whether it’s one of the best keyboards for you will depend on what you’re looking for, of course.

Outside of the main downsides I already mentioned, the only other reason someone might avoid this keyboard is if they want something that looks a little less like a gaming keyboard. As good as I think this keyboard looks, it still feels more appropriate for a gaming setting than a professional one.

Corsair K65 Plus Wireless Keyboard: price and availability

Connectivity options of the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)
  • How much does it cost? $159.99 / £149.99 (about AU$250)
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? On sale in the US and UK

Paying $159.99 / £149.99 (about AU$250) for a gaming keyboard is a lot for most people, especially as everything else in life seems to cost a little more these days. For better or worse, though, spending that much on a premium gaming keyboard with wireless connectivity is par for the course.

The Razer BlackWidow V4 75% I reviewed last year, which not only shares the same size, but also allows you to replace keycaps and switches to your heart’s content (in fact, you can use both three- and five-pin switches) goes for $189.99 / £189.99 / AU$349.95. And, since it’s aimed at modders, any first-party additions like different keycaps only adds to that price tag.

Or, take a look at the Yunzii AL71. It costs almost the same depending on where you are ($159.99 / £129 / AU$245), and offers a lot of the same features regarding customization, connectivity, and even being able to switch between Windows and Mac connectivity. It is a slightly smaller form factor and you won’t get the control dial seen on this Corsair keyboard (more on that in a moment).

Value: 4 / 5

Corsair K65 Plus Wireless Keyboard: design and features

Corsair K65 Plus Wireless keycaps

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

As far as the design of the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless goes, let’s start with the basics. This is a 75% sized model, meaning that you forgo a number pad and extra dedicated macro keys as you would see on full-sized options, but you still have the arrow keys as well as Page Up, Page Down, and Home (that you would miss out on with even smaller form factors). Plus, you still have a media key in the form of the control dial in the upper-right corner of the keyboard.

The keycaps have a soft feel with a concave shape to them that makes for easy, comfortable presses. And, since Corsair uses a top mount plate and stabilizers, not to mention pre-lubed switches, every press feels almost like pressing into a firm pillow (that might be a bit hyperbolic, but you get the idea). Each press is stable as the switches and keycaps have no wiggle to them – just a proper up and down motion.

There are also two layers of sound dampening built into the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless, and the Corsair MLX Red switches are designed for quiet operation as well. That makes this among the quieter mechanical keyboards I’ve used.

Corsair K65 Plus Wireless Keyboard Specs

Layout: 75%
Switch: Corsair MLX Red
Programmable keys: Yes
Dimensions: 12.59 x 5.35 x 1.37-inches (LxWxH)
RGB or backlighting: Yes (customizable)

Moving on to connectivity, the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless has just about everything you could ask for. There’s the wireless dongle, of course, for 2.4GHz operation, as well as USB connectivity for wired use and charging. Furthermore, there’s also Bluetooth on hand. Plus, you can pair this keyboard with three different devices and use hotkeys (mapped to Home, Page Up, and Page Down) to switch between each Bluetooth connection.

The controls for switching connectivity, excluding the different Bluetooth sources, are on the back of the keyboard along with another little switch that lets you flip between the Windows and Mac layout, a feature I really appreciate.

Since this is a gaming keyboard, RGB lighting is on hand and it’s quite colorful. You can customize to your heart’s content, even on a per-key basis, in the iCue software. Using that you can also remap all the keys along with some limited but useful customizations for the control dial, which controls the volume by default.

If there’s a missing piece of the puzzle here, for me it’s a nice wrist rest, especially considering the price. However, Corsair does include a keycap puller to remove both the keycaps and switches, which are hot-swappable.

Design: 4.5 / 5

Corsair K65 Plus Wireless Keyboard: performance

Corsair K65 Plus Wireless gaming

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

All this attention to detail spills over to the way the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless performs. Thanks to a polling rate of 1,000Hz and switches that have an actuation point of 1.9mm, not to mention require just 45g of actuation force, this keyboard is as quick as most people will need.

While there are a few keyboards with a higher polling rate or lower actuation point, I would say that pretty much nobody but the most competitive gamers will notice any kind of difference. Even then, I have my doubts.

Whether it’s keeping up with the action in Battlefield 2042, Rocket League, Cyberpunk 2077 (the games I like to use for testing), or any other fast-paced title, there’s no question that this keyboard is up to the task.

I was even able to get the desired results with very light presses, so there’s no need for a heavy hand. Of course, if you are heavy-handed, the switches are rated to last 70 million keystrokes. Since Corsair employs N-key rollover, I never experienced any missed presses either.

More broadly, thanks to all the factors incorporated in its construction that I mentioned before, as well as the fact that the switches are pre-lubed, typing on this keyboard is a dream. In fact, I find that most decent gaming keyboards can keep up with general typing needs. 

Where this keyboard really sets itself apart is with its feel, as I was able to do quite a bit of typing without putting too much pressure on my fingers. Plus, it feels really nice to type on. If you’re willing to splurge, I definitely think the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless is a worthy recommendation.

Performance: 5 / 5

Should I buy the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless Keyboard?

RGB lighting of the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

Buy it if…

You want a lot of features
From being able to hot-swap the switches to changing between a Windows and Mac layout, not to mention all the connectivity options, the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless is about as fully loaded as they come.

You want an accurate, fast, and comfortable typing experience
It’s not only fast and accurate for just about any gaming needs, the K65’s quiet, soft operation makes for a very comfortable typing experience.

Don’t buy it if…

You need to save some money
Let’s be clear: the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless is worth its price. But if you’re on a budget, you can sacrifice some of its quality-of-life features for a cheaper keyboard that will still provide the performance you need.

You need a wrist rest
As comfortable as this keyboard is to use, I’m surprised it didn’t come with its own wrist rest. You can buy a third-party one, but for the price, you would think it would come included.

Also consider

How I tested the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless

  • Used regularly for a couple of weeks
  • Tested with typing as well as gaming
  • Tested all included features

I used the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless Keyboard regularly for a couple of weeks, typing quite a bit on it, as well as playing games. Specifically, I tried fast-paced gaming like Battlefield 2042, Cyberpunk 2077 and Rocket League as well as more sedate games like Starfield. I even tried it with some RTS titles like Iron Harvest.

I looked at other aspects beyond performance, of course. I played with the K65’s programmable features, whether remapping or adjusting RGB, and the various connectivity options.

I’ve tested a lot of tech gear over the years from laptops to keyboards and mice, and so have been able to use my expertise towards giving an honest and fair opinion, not to mention a critical eye, to any product I test.

  • First reviewed June 2024
Insta360 Go 3S review: a worthy 4K successor to the Go 3
4:00 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Action Cameras Cameras Computers Gadgets | Tags: | Comments: Off

Insta360 Go 3S: two-minute review

The new Go 3S is the latest in a line of the world's smallest action cameras by Insta360, with convenient magnetic mounting and useful accessories for hands-free operation and unique POVs. When your phone won't do or can't be risked, the tiny and fully waterproof Go 3S steps up. 

It updates the one-year-old Insta360 Go 3 with some key upgrades, chiefly bumping video resolution up from 2.7K to 4K. This makes its handy multi-aspect video recording even more appealing for TikTok and YouTube reels. It's also equipped with Apple Find My, which is a useful addition to a tiny 1.38oz / 39.1g camera. 

Higher resolution video is the main improvement here. Otherwise, there's nothing majorly new in the Go 3S and much of the information in our Go 3 review is relevant to the latest iteration. However, the Go 3S is still a worthy upgrade and one of the most creative and best action cameras available.

Insta360 Go 3 specs:

Weight: GO 3S camera: 1.38oz / 39.1g; Action Pod: 3.4oz / 96.3g
Dimensions: GO 3S camera: 1.0 x 2.1 x 1.0in / 25.6 x 54.4 x 24.8mm ; Action Pod: 2.5 x 1.9 x 1.2in / 63.5 x 47.6 x 29.5mm

Maximum video resolution: 4K: 3830 x 2160 pixels at 24/25/30fps

Maximum photo resolution: 12MP (4:3); 9MP (16:9)

Connectivity: USB-C 2.0, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 5GHz

Storage: 32GB, 64GB, 128GB

Battery capacity: GO 3S: 310mAh; Action Pod: 1,270mAh

Quoted run time: Go 3S: 38 mins; Action Pod: 140 mins (for 1080p 30fps video

Its waterproofing depth, double the Go 3 at up to 33ft / 10m, increases slow motion frame rates with up to 200fps in 1080p and it comes equipped with a slightly wider lens.

There's also a neat trick – the Go 3S will automatically switch video aspect ratio based on whether it's horizontal or vertical when filming starts. Sporty types might be interested in the Garmin / Apple / Coros stats overlay option for Go 3S videos.

Gesture control has been added to voice command control, so you can position the Go 3S and start recording without needing to be hands-on, or have the Action Pod element to hand – the pod that's pictured below transforms the Go 3S into a Go-Pro-like action cam.

While the Action Pod transforms the Go 3S' handling and makes it a suitable vlogging camera, it isn't fully waterproof like the camera is, or a dedicated action camera like the DJI Osmo Action 4, so you can't use the pairing everywhere.

Insta360 Go 3S camera in its housing attached to a selfie stick, outdoors

Insta360 Go 3S inside the Action Pod and attached to the optional Insta360 2-in-1 selfie stick. (Image credit: Future | Tim Coleman)

Naturally, there are some compromises versus bulkier alternatives. Battery life from the tiny 310mAh battery is limited to 38 minutes when shooting Full HD video. That's less than its predecessor's 45 minutes and way less than other action cameras, such as the GoPro Hero 12 Black and Insta360's own X4 360-degree camera.

Overall image quality doesn't compare, either. Although Insta360 says the Go 3S is 'Dolby Vision-Ready' with new HDR technology, there's no HDR video mode like you'd get in a camera such as the DJI Osmo Action 4, meaning you lose out on highlight and shadow detail when lighting is less than perfect. Photos are capped at 12MP in 4:3 or 9MP in 16:9, too.

However, you're buying into the Insta360 Go series for its unrivaled versatility. It's why we rated the Go 3 as the perfect camera for FPV drones and a superb hands-free camera ideal for BTS video and first-person perspectives.

My kids have been super busy getting creative with the Go 3S, attaching it to the soccer goal in the garden, our family dog's collar on walks, and inside the guineapig hutch to see what our cute furballs get up to away from prying eyes (not much, it turns out). 

A quick online search further reveals clever ways people have used a Go camera, shooting from angles you couldn't otherwise consider, such as inside a box for unboxing videos.

And when paired with the Action Pod its functionality is improved, as is battery life, boosted to 140 minutes of 1080p video recording. Being able to choose between the standalone camera and pairing it with the Action Pod further increases versatility.

It might not be perfect, but the Go 3S is edging ever closer and is an excellent smartphone alternative for creative filmmakers.

Insta360 Go 3S camera attached to a sweater magnetically

The Insta360 Go 3S camera magnetically attached to a sweater with the magnet pendant inside the clothing.  (Image credit: Future | Tim Coleman)

Insta360 Go 3S: price and availability

  • Launched on June 13, 2024
  • Bundles from $399.99 / £349.99 / AU$719.99
  • Can be bought as a standalone without the Action Pod, from $239.99 / £209.99 / AU$429.99

The Insta360 Go 3S can be bought standalone or bundled with the Action Pod. Those that already have the Go 3 but want to upgrade to the Go 3S for its 4K video and new features can save a bit by opting for the standalone option. Like a phone, you can buy the Go 3S in different storage capacities, in this case, 64GB or 128GB versions – the Go 3S has internal memory only. 

The Standard Edition Go 3S bundled with the Action Pod costs $399.99 / £349.99 / AU$719.99 for the 64GB version, or $429.99 / £369.99 / AU$769.99 for the 128GB version. The standalone 64GB Go 3S is priced at $239.99 / £209.99 / AU$429.99 and it's $269.99 / £229.99 / AU$479.99 for the 128GB one. Overall, the Go 3S hovers around the Go 3 launch price, give or take $20 / £20 / AU$40 – in the UK it's cheaper than before. 

I had the Standard Edition bundle in 'Midnight Black'. In the box comes a magnet pendant (lanyard), pivot stand (tripod mount), easy clip (for hats and animal collars, etc), and an adhesive plate. That's a generous selection of accessories (see gallery, below), but additional accessories, such as the 2-in-1 selfie stick that you can see in some of the pictures, are also available on the Insta360 website.

  • Price score: 4.5/5

Insta360 Go 3S: design

  • The Insta360 Go 3S weighs just 1.34oz / 39.1g or 4.78oz / 135.4g with the Action Pod
  • Convenient magnetic mounting and handy supplied accessories 
  • Increased waterproofing up to 33ft / 10m

The Insta360 Go 3S comprises two elements; the camera and the Action Pod  – the latter transforms the Go 3S into a GoPro-style action camera. Without the Action Pod, you have one of the smallest and lightest action cameras available. It has has no real rival.  

Both elements are made from rigid plastic. I'd be happy to put them in harm's way – they've taken the occasional knocks from fast-moving balls and clumsy drops, and come out unscathed.

The thumb-sized Go 3S is a twinge heavier and a fraction deeper than the Go 3 but, otherwise, maintains the same dimensions, meaning it'll work with the same accessories. Put the two cameras side by side and you'd be hard-pressed to note any difference: we're talking a few mere millimeters and grams.

Image 1 of 6

Insta360 Go 3S camera alongside all the supplied accessories on a wooden surface

The items in the Insta360 Go 3S box (Image credit: Future | Tim Coleman)
Image 2 of 6

Tiny Insta360 Go 3S camera only in the hand

(Image credit: Future | Tim Coleman)
Image 3 of 6

Insta360 Go 3S camera in its housing with rear selfie screen flipped upon a wooden surface

(Image credit: Future | Tim Coleman)
Image 4 of 6

Insta360 Go 3S camera in its housing with rear selfie screen flipped upon a wooden surface

(Image credit: Future | Tim Coleman)
Image 5 of 6

Insta360 Go 3S camera secured in a clip accessory

(Image credit: Future | Tim Coleman)
Image 6 of 6

Insta360 Go 3S camera in its housing and attached to an accessory on a wooden surface

(Image credit: Future | Tim Coleman)

It pairs with the exact same Action Pod to boost battery life and for easy navigation of settings, plus remote control and viewing. Those who already own the Go 3 but want the Go 3S can save a little by opting for the standalone camera over the bundle.

The camera element has just one button that starts and stops recording. It's equipped with a built-in microphone, internal memory (64GB or 128GB), and a magnetic mount along its back. This forms a strong connection with metal surfaces and Insta360 Go accessories, including into the cavity of the Action Pod.

The Action Pod is pretty simple, too. Its control layout includes a USB-C port for charging, lock button to release the docked camera, on/off button, quick menu for shooting modes, and a flip-up touchscreen that reminds me a lot of the Insta360 X4's: it's responsive and large enough to view clearly, and therefore very useable for remote functions instead of the Insta360 Studio app.

It also features a magnetic underside for snapping into place on accessories such as the Pivot Stand, although at almost 3.5oz / 100g the pod is too heavy for placing sideways onto metal surfaces.

Image 1 of 5

Insta360 Go 3S camera in its housing with rear selfie screen flipped upon a wooden surface

(Image credit: Future | Tim Coleman)
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Insta360 Go 3S camera attached to a sweater magnetically

(Image credit: Future | Tim Coleman)
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Tiny Insta360 Go 3S camera only in the hand

(Image credit: Future | Tim Coleman)
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Tiny Insta360 Go 3S camera only in the hand

(Image credit: Future | Tim Coleman)
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Insta360 Go 3S camera in its housing attached to a selfie stick, outdoors

(Image credit: Future | Tim Coleman)

I love the versatility you get with the Go 3S. As a standalone camera, it's the smallest and lightest in the business and super convenient for hands-free videos. Inserted into the Pod, you get easy viewing for vlogs, selfies, and so on. There's a third option, too: remotely controlling and viewing what the camera sees through the Action Pod even when it's disconnected.

There are times you'll want just the Go 3S camera, such as in tight spaces and underwater: it's waterproof up to 33ft / 10m, but the Action Pod is only splash-proof. It may look like an action camera in the Action Pod, but only the camera element can be classed as an action camera.

  • Design score 4.5/5

Insta360 Go 3S: features and performance

  • Reliable Bluetooth connection between Go 3S and Action Pod, albeit with limited range 
  • Modest battery life
  • Effective gesture control and voice command

Both the Go 3S and Action Pod are slick, quick to start up and pair effortlessly. The two elements enjoy a seamless Bluetooth connection when divided, and the Action Pod's real-time view and remote controls are super responsive. 

There is a natural limit to the range the Bluetooth connection covers, so the Action Pod won't work for remote view and control in several scenarios. You'll lose connection beyond the range of a few meters, and sooner still with the Go 3S underwater. 

You can also remotely control the Go 3S using the Insta360 app, although the dedicated user interface of the Action Pod will have you leaning to that instead of your phone.

Insta360 Go 3S camera in its housing with rear selfie screen flipped upon a wooden surface

(Image credit: Future | Tim Coleman)

Battery life is a sour note: 38 minutes is respectable for such a tiny camera, but one of the inevitable compromises versus a dedicated action camera. And battery life is less than the Go 3 camera in like-for-like tests recording 1080p video.

To counter this limit, the Go 3S can extend record times by going to sleep for video modes, such as TimeShift and Timelapse. And virtually all the shooting modes are super simple to use and create decent footage with.

You can also boost battery life by docking the camera into the Action Pod, which has a maximum 140-minute life.

Gesture control and voice commands are pretty reliable and it's handy having both options: when you're in noisy environments gesture control is useful. You also get confirmation that filming has started by way of the flashing red light on the front of the Go 3S.

Image stabilization is reasonable, but there are smoother systems out there and the best shots you get with the Go 3S are when it's mounted to a stationary object rather than strapped to a rapidly moving one. You'll get the best results by utilizing the gyroscope. 

  • Features & performance score: 4/5

Insta360 Go 3S: image and video quality

  • Improved video quality, but still not quite as good as rival dedicated action cams
  • Wider and versatile lens
  • HDR is for photos only

Insta360 has addressed the limited video and photo quality of the Go 3 by increasing resolution. We now get 4K video and 12MP stills, versus 2.7K video and 6.6MP stills. If this increased resolution is all that Insta360 upgraded from the Go 3, it would be enough to greatly bolster the Go 3S' appeal, but there's more. 

Videos are sharper than before, with Insta360 also pinpointing 50% increased CPU power and better dynamic range thanks to Dolby Vision-Ready HDR technology. You can see the difference from the Go 3 but I think that overall quality still lags behind the best action cams like the Osmo Action 4 and Hero 12 Black, especially when lighting is anything other than optimum. 

Still, it's a price worth paying to obtain what are otherwise impossible shots.

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A dense woodland, taken with the Insta360 Go 3S

Detail is reasonably crisp in this woodland 12MP photo (Image credit: Future | Tim Coleman)
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A dense woodland, taken with the Insta360 Go 3S

With the image brightened the degree of JPEG processing to reduce noise taking place becomes clear, smudging detail (Image credit: Future | Tim Coleman)
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A backlit fire in the woods, taken with the Insta360 Go 3S

Dynamic range is pretty limited (Image credit: Future | Tim Coleman)
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A backlit fire in the woods, taken with the Insta360 Go 3S

Still, you can darken images to ensure you capture the most amount of detail in highlights (Image credit: Future | Tim Coleman)
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Boy doing peace sign in the passenger seat of a car, taken with the Insta360 Go 3S

This is an unprocessed DNG raw file. It has a fine grain to it, whereas the next image which is the JPEG version shows aggressive noise reduction and smudged detail. I prefer the raw file (Image credit: Future | Tim Coleman)
Image 6 of 6

Boy doing peace sign in the passenger seat of a car, taken with the Insta360 Go 3S

This is the JPEG version of the previous DNG raw image, and it shows aggressive noise reduction and smudged detail. I prefer the raw file (Image credit: Future | Tim Coleman)

Increased resolution is super handy for filmmakers regularly switching between vertical, square, and horizontal formats to shoot Instagram, TikTok and YouTube-ready content. The FreeFrame mode is particularly helpful for this, as you can shoot first and pick the aspect later. Multi-aspect shooting is also better supported by a slightly wider angle lens.

You also get tracking autofocus, with visual confirmation when faces have been detected on the Action Pod's screen proving useful when vlogging. The ultra-wide angle and small image sensor naturally provide great depth of field. There's no official minimum focus distance listed in the product spec sheet, but objects very close to the camera won't be in focus. 

For photos, you do get an HDR option which generally gets you the best results. Overall, colors are pleasant and auto exposure works pretty well, plus you can override it with exposure compensation to brighten or darken the image where needed. 

Videos are recorded onto internal memory. I had the 128GB version and shot a lot of footage before the card filled up. Thankfully, even the 4K video files only take up a sensible amount of memory. 

  • Image and video quality score: 4/5

Insta360 Go 3S: testing scorecard

Should I buy the Insta360 Go 3S?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Insta360 Go 3S: also consider

How I tested the Insta360 Go 3

  • Used in mixed weather with and without the Action Pod
  • Long timelapse and video sequences that tested battery life
  • Experimenting with the various video and photo modes

I tested the Insta360 Go 3S much like any other action camera: playing with its various video and photo modes to record adventurous and creative content, without babying the hardware. 

It's been used extensively to record hyperlapses (TimeShift mode) and slow motion sequences, while the multi-aspect ratio FreeFrame mode has enabled me to pick which format to export videos in using the Insta360 app. 

I've also used the various accessories supplied with the camera: the magnetic pendant for underneath clothing, the magnetic clip, and the Pivot Stand. Insta360 also supplied me with the 2-in-1 selfie stick and Monkey Tail accessories for this review. 

I don't own an iPhone so was unable to test the Apple Find My feature.

Videos and photos have been viewed and edited using the Insta360 Studio app. I then exported both edited and unedited files for clear viewing on a desktop.

  • First reviewed June 2024
Shure AONIC 3 review: superb-sounding wired earbuds that nix excess noise
4:00 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Audio Computers Earbuds & Airpods Gadgets Headphones | Comments: Off

Shure AONIC 3: Review

The Shure AONIC 3 earbuds claim they supply “striking full-range sound” – and spoiler alert, Shure isn't lying. When listening to various tracks, every individual sonic element feels like a uniquely scented flower, coming together to create an immersive garden of sound.

Tuning into St. Thomas by Sonny Rollins, I found that the percussion features dotted throughout the track sounded detailed and the record’s drum solo came through with sharpness. I was delighted by the wonderful separation on offer, too, with the rhythmic guitar loop in Young Blood by The Naked and Famous maintaining its distinct position in the track without becoming lumped in with the bass – and even at very loud volume levels, I could still appreciate each individual component of the song.

Not only do the AONIC 3 do well at delivering sound in a distinct manner, but audio is presented with wonderful clarity across all frequencies that sees them stack up well against even some of the best wired headphones. Rich mid-range tones are the real star of the show, with powerful vocals, blaring electric guitars, and percussion feeling particularly impactful. Highs aren’t totally flawless, but they certainly have an air of delicacy and sweetness that will please the majority of listeners.

I’d argue that, sonically, the only downside is with the transmission of deep bass and ultra-low frequency audio. When listening to I Want You by Moloko, the pumping bass sounded defined, but didn’t have the weight that I hoped to feel. It’s important to caveat this by saying that the deep bass still sounded very clear and wasn’t muddied with other elements of the song, which is a pretty layered piece – it just didn’t hit as hard as I’d like. Ultimately, there’s still great balance here, but those looking for an earth-shaking deep bass might be better served by a set of the best wireless earbuds with EQ controls instead.

An excellent wired listening experience wouldn’t be complete without a strong level of passive noise isolation. Thankfully, the AONIC 3 deliver on this front and then some. While in the office, I heard little to nothing other than the music playing from these buds (at 50% volume), and was massively impressed by their ability to keep unwanted distractions at bay. At one stage, someone was hammering away building a shelving unit, but the AONIC 3 severely dampened the coarse noise of clanging metal. 

If you’re listening to music at a slightly quieter volume, you may still hear some external sounds filter through. In light of this, if you want near-silence then you may be better off with Bluetooth buds capable of great active noise cancelling. As you can see from our Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2 review, Bose's buds might be a better option as they perform very well in this department, and still sit among the best wireless earbuds.

Should you go on a longer walk, you may well be using the AONIC 3 for hours on end and, for that, you want comfort. These buds have a bendy cable that wraps around your ears rather than just hanging straight down. Since it’s adjustable, you can tailor the fit perfectly to your ear shape – although it’s worth mentioning that it took me a while to find the right fit. Sometimes if I took the buds out, I felt the wire took a few seconds to readjust, but it wasn’t too much of a bother.

On finding the right fit, the AONIC 3 were pleasant to keep in for multiple hours, and I only had to adjust them a couple of times through the multiple full days of use. The wrap-around design also helps to keep cable noise to a minimum, which is particularly important if you want to maintain a clean listening experience while on a run or doing other physical activities.

To boost enjoyment, you can also select between a range of different ear tips to find a feel that suits you best. There are small, medium and large foam and gel tips included, but there are also yellow foam and white triple-layered gel alternatives in the box. After rotating through the entire roster of ear tips, I felt that the default medium-sized Comply tips provided the best comfort and sound quality overall. If you hold the Comply tips in place for 15-30 seconds, they expand to fit your ear canal, providing an optimal seal. The AONIC 3 buds also come with a neat-looking circular carry case, in which you can store your comprehensive collection of ear tips.

That’s not all on the customizability front, though. The AONIC 3 can be inserted into an included adapter for use in 0.25 inch (6.3mm) jacks. Additionally, the buds themselves are detachable, and you can add them to an over-ear wireless adapter (sold separately) and listen to audio via a Bluetooth connection – although detaching them is a little tougher than I’d have liked.

The AONIC 3 are most certainly designed to deliver super sound, but do they look cool while doing it? Sort of. They’re not exactly stunning, mainly due to the model’s chunky Y-cable and controller. The angled earbuds are quite sleek, though, and the way they slip behind the ear makes for a discreet, clean look. You can choose to purchase the AONIC 3 in either Black or White, and both colorways lend themselves to the minimalistic vibe.

Although the controller may appear to be slightly oversized, it works great and has appropriately sized buttons. The play/pause button enables users to skip songs and take or hang up calls on the go. There’s also a switch on the controller that can be set to “A” or “i” mode, depending on whether you’re using an Android- or iOS-powered device. The built-in microphone works well, and I heard only a bit of static when recording and listening back to a voice note.

The Shure AONIC 3 bring fantastic sound, solid comfort, and very good noise isolation – a set of qualities that these buds share with some of the best wired headphones. However, this comes at a price – and not a particularly low one. Coming in at $199 / £209 (about AU$300), the AONIC 3 are a little steep; but if you can stomach the cost, I would certainly recommend them.

Shure AONIC 3 next to carry case

(Image credit: Future)

Shure AONIC 3 review: Price and release date

  • $199 / £209 (about AU$300)
  • Launched on October 1, 2020

 

The Shure AONIC 3 earbuds released on October 1, 2020, and are directly available via Shure’s digital store in the UK and the US, but not Australia.

Their list price at the time of writing is $199 / £209 (about AU$300), which certainly isn’t cheap, but nowhere near the dizzy heights you’ll see from premium models such as the Sennheiser IE 900s, or even Shure’s very own AONIC 5.

Shure AONIC 3 review: Specs

Shure AONIC 3's controller against turquoise background

(Image credit: Future)

Should you buy the Shure AONIC 3?

Buy them if...

Don't buy them if...

Shure AONIC 3 review: Also consider

Shure AONIC 3 review: How I tested

Shure AONIC 3 on top of amp

(Image credit: Future)
  • Tested over the course of a week
  • Used in the office and while on walks
  • Predominantly tested using Tidal via the FiiO M11S

I used the Shure AONIC 3 buds over the course of a week, predominantly putting them to the test in an office environment and while out on walks near busy roads to trial their noise isolation capabilities. 

To test musical output, I used the Tidal app on the FiiO M11S hi-res music player. When listening to tunes I played tracks from the TechRadar testing playlist, which contains tracks from a variety of genres. I also tried the AONIC 3 on my Windows laptop while watching videos on YouTube or tuning into the latest news on the BBC website. 

Read more about how we test.

  • First reviewed: May 2024
HP E45c G5: a huge, immersive monitor, but it comes at a price
9:30 pm | June 12, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Monitors Peripherals & Accessories | Comments: Off

HP E45C G5: One-minute review

Using the HP E45c G5, a 44.5-inch ultrawide monitor, is an experience. It’s not for everyone as the price tag is high, and it takes up a lot of space (as any 40-inch+ monitor would, of course). However, it’s engagingly immersive for media and, more importantly, allows for the ability to streamline a workflow where you need to look at multiple tabs or windows without having to switch between them.

If you’re looking for 4K resolution or need impeccable color accuracy and coverage for editing, your money may be better spent elsewhere. That’s not to say this screen isn’t great, or falls down badly in those respects, but the HP E45c G5 is among the best monitors for those looking for that immersive experience or ability to spread out a workflow, and not so much for other considerations.

Of course, if you’re reading this review, you’re probably looking for one of the best ultrawide monitors for your needs, anyway. In that regard, I think it’s up there.

HP E45C G5: Price and availability

HP E45c G5 running Sable

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)
  • How much does it cost? $1,099 / £959.99 / AU$2,045
  • When is it available? It’s out now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US, UK and Australia

While the HP E45c G5’s price tag is certainly justifiable, $1,099 / £959.99 / AU$2,045 is not a small chunk of change to pay for a monitor. However, it fills a very specific niche as it’s for those who like to have the screen real-estate of two monitors, but in a somewhat more streamlined setup.

Looking at it from that perspective, the price tag isn’t so bad. Most decent monitors are going to set you back about $400 to $500 anyway, so getting two of them will be the same price as the HP E45c G5, while requiring two spots on an outlet or power strip for power, not to mention you won’t have a single ultrawide screen if you want to use it this way.

As for the similarly-sized competition, you’re looking at the same kind of asking price or more. For instance, the Corsair Xeneon Flex 45WQHD240 OLED is just as big and has a nicer OLED display with a faster 240Hz refresh rate, but costs $1,999.99 / £2,099.99 / AU$3,299.99.

Or, consider the Samsung Odyssey OLED G9 with its similar aspect ratio and resolution. Of course, it does have an OLED display as well, so it’s going to cost much more at $2,199.99 / £1,599 / AU$3,399. Really, the only way you’ll pay the same $1,000-ish price tag as this HP display is to find the older non-OLED version of this monitor or go smaller.

Value: 4 / 5

HP E45C G5: Design and features

Image 1 of 2

HP E45C G5 cable management

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)
Image 2 of 2

Assembling the HP E45C G5

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

When discussing the design of this HP monitor, we have to go into detail about the obvious fact that this thing is big. With a 44.5-inch VA panel, it’s made to replace the need for two monitors. In fact, I would say it’s mostly better than using two monitors as the 1500R curvature allows for a more natural way to take in the whole panel. Plus, you can either split the screen between two sources, or expand the screen real-estate of one source in a way that isn’t separated by the blemish of an inconvenient bezel (well, two bezels).

HP E45c G5 Specs

Screen size: 44.5-inches
Aspect ratio: 32:9
Resolution: 5,120 x 1,440
Brightness: 400 nits
Refresh rate: 165Hz
Response time: 3ms gtg (overdrive)
Viewing angle: 178/178
Contrast ratio: 3,000:1
Color coverage: 99% sRGB
Inputs: 1x DP 1.4, 1x HDMI 2.1, 2x USB-C, 4x USB-A, 1x RJ-45
Weight: 32.18lbs (14.6kg)

Of course, the downside with this one-panel solution is that you don’t have the same level of ergonomic control as with two separate monitors, so for example, some people like to use the second monitor in portrait mode, and obviously that’s not possible with the HP E45c. Aside from that, the HP monitor’s overall ergonomics are somewhat limited, offering a 10-degree swivel in either direction, along with a 5-degree downward tilt and 20-degree upward tilt. On a more positive note, at least its height adjustment is substantial at around 8-inches.

Another point in HP’s favor compared to using two monitors is that the HP E45c’s base, while substantial, takes up less space than you would need for two monitors. Additionally, its stand comes with some basic cable management to keep the desk looking tidy. On a side note, assembling the whole thing is much easier than I thought it would be – just attach the stand to the back of the monitor while in the box, attach the base, and just pick it up from behind.

There are plenty of ports available as well, including three video-capable inputs: HDMI, DisplayPort, and USB-C. While there are no duplicates, so you won’t be able to plug in two laptops that only have HDMI, that’s still enough to take advantage of its ability to split the screen between two sources. Also, that USB-C port can deliver up to 100W of power to one PC, or 65W to two computers.

There’s also an additional USB-C port and a couple of USB-As on hand for peripherals. Since this monitor is a multi-tasker’s dream, KVM is incorporated too. You can even plug in an Ethernet cable with the HP E45c G5.

The last design-related aspect I want to mention is the OSD menu button on the back. It’s situated all the way over on the right side behind the panel, requiring a bit of a stretch whenever you want to change a setting.

Design: 4.5 / 5

HP E45C G5: Performance

Using the HP E45c as a productivity monitor

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

When it comes to performance, most of the negatives go right out of the window. Though this large display is limited to a (still great) 99% sRGB color coverage, its DCI-P3 coverage is not provided, and there are no settings for different color coverages, meaning that this is probably not an ideal monitor for photo and video editing.

However, for the rest of us non-creatives, it’s a blast to use. It still looks great with its dual QHD (5,120 x 1,440) resolution at a 165Hz refresh rate, and offers the kind of immersion for gaming and media that I found engrossing (I did have a powerful PC on hand to run it, of course).

This isn’t meant as a gaming monitor necessarily and is more targeted to worker bees who need a lot of screen real-estate to spread out on. This is an aspect I really appreciate, as I often have to look at several tabs to access and process different bits of information for articles and reviews. Additionally, the monitor can snap windows to an assortment of grids for easy organization.

HP was thoughtful enough to include a pair of 3W speakers. They’re loud enough and sound fine if you just need some audio in a pinch. But, if you care about sound quality, you’ll really want to pair this monitor with some decent speakers. This is true of 99% of the monitors I test, mind you, and it’s still nice to have integrated speakers as a little extra for a well-rounded experience.

Performance: 4.5 / 5

Should I buy the HP E45C G5?

HP E45c G5 picture in picture

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

Buy it if…

You hate switching windows or tabs
With this ultrawide panel, you no longer have to rifle through different tabs and windows to find what you’re looking for. You can streamline, organize, and spread out your workflow here.

You want an immersive experience
It might not be 4K, but the dual QHD screen is plenty sharp enough. And, with its 1500R curvature and ultrawide panel, you’ll be engrossed in whatever you’re doing.

You have multiple PCs to connect
As a monitor meant for multi-taskers, the HP E45c comes with the right kind of features including KVM and picture-by-picture so you can seamlessly switch between two different computers.

Don’t buy it if…

You’re on a budget
Compared to buying two separate monitors, the price is right. But if you’re on a budget, you can get a decent monitor for much less. You’ll just need to go smaller.

You need portrait mode
If you’re considering alternatives to a second display, just be aware that by the very nature of this monitor, ergonomically speaking you’ll be forever locked in landscape mode.

Also consider

How I tested the HP E45C G5

  • Used regularly for a couple of weeks
  • Tested with multiple sources
  • Tried out all the features

I used the HP E45c G5 regularly for a couple weeks. I tested it with various games, as well as connecting multiple sources to see what it’s like viewing them side-by-side with its wide 32:9 aspect ratio. I tested the various features as well, not to mention the built-in speakers.

After spending some time with the HP E45c G5, it’s obvious that this monitor is for those looking for an impressive visual experience for gaming, for instance, or, as HP has positioned it, for streamlining and organizing a large workflow.

I’ve tested a lot of tech gear over the years from laptops to keyboards and speakers, and so have been able to use my expertise towards giving an honest and fair opinion, not to mention a critical eye, to any product I test.

  • First reviewed June 2024
Honor 200 Pro review: a portrait powerhouse
5:30 pm |

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

Honor 200 Pro: Two-minute review

Honor’s 'number-series' phones have a reputation for delivering flagship-level specs at mid-range prices. We saw this in 2023 with the impressive Honor 90, and the Honor 70 before that. However, while the range has, in the past, included Pro variants in China, they’ve never made their way to Europe, until now.

The Honor 200 Pro is a different class of device to last year’s Honor 90. Rather than targeting the upper mid-range market, it’s aimed at the lower-tier of flagship devices. Think the Samsung Galaxy S24, rather than A55. At this level, you need top-notch cameras, blazing-fast performance and cutting-edge features to compete, and thankfully, the Honor 200 Pro delivers on all fronts.

Honor 200 Pro

(Image credit: Future / Luke Baker)

The most exciting feature is, surprisingly, a new set of portrait filters developed with the world-famous Studio Harcourt. Yes, they’re just filters, but the results speak for themselves. You can take some truly stunning portraits with this phone.

Elsewhere, the device is solid on across the board. The phone's Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 chipset allows for smooth and snappy daily operations and a great gaming experience, the mammoth 5,200mAh battery keeps things ticking over for a long time, and its charging is among the fastest in its class, either wired or wirelessly.

The competition is fierce, though, and devices like the Samsung Galaxy S24 and Google Pixel 8 are sure to be more appealing to some buyers. In either case, you get more advanced AI features and a longer window of support, but you’ll miss out on the impressive battery life and portrait prowess of the Honor 200 Pro. Whether it’s right for you depends on your priorities.

Honor 200 Pro review: Price and availability

  • Costs £699.99 in the UK
  • Released May 2024 – China only, June, 2024 – internationally
  • No availability in US and Australia

The Honor 200 Pro launched alongside its non-Pro sibling, the Honor 200, in China on May 31, 2024. Then, less than a month later, both devices made their global debut in Paris on June 12. Both phones are now available to pre-order in Europe, but as usual, there’s no US or Australian launch on the cards.

The Honor 200 Pro costs £699.99 in the UK and comes in one storage configuration: 512GB with 12GB RAM. For context, the comparable Samsung Galaxy S24 starts at $799 / £799 / AU$1,399, so £699.99 is a reasonable price for the Honor 200 Pro.

  • Value score: 5 / 5

Honor 200 Pro review: Specs

Honor 200 Pro review: Design

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Honor 200 Pro

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Honor 200 Pro

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  • Velvety-feeling matte glass back
  • Casa Milá-inspired camera surround
  • IP65 dust and water resistant

The Honor 200 Pro stands out from the crowd with its unique elongated circular camera surround. Apparently, this design is inspired by the shape of Barcelona’s Casa Milá, but it also looks a bit like an airplane window, or a turret from Portal.

I found the notch a little off-putting at first, but it has grown on me somewhat, and it definitely helps to differentiate this model from the sea of circular and square-shaped camera bumps. The silver bezel surrounding the camera glass looks super-premium, too.

Elsewhere, things are a little more traditional. The phone has curved edges on the front and rear that make it feel slim and comfortable in the hand, and there’s a high-gloss metal frame around the edges.

The rear is made from glass and it has a velvety-feeling matte texture, similar to recent Vivo flagships like the X100 Pro. It feels lovely and is completely immune to fingerprints, but it’s slippery, so you’ll need to be very careful if you use it without a case. Thankfully, a transparent TPU number is included in the box, so you can keep it protected easily.

The Honor 200 Pro is available in three colors: Moonlight White, Black and Ocean Cyan. I have the white version in for testing, which has a marble-like pattern across the rear, and it reminds me of a fancy kitchen countertop. The black version has a more understated uniform finish, for those that prefer a more professional look. Meanwhile, the cyan model is the loudest; it has a dual-texture rear with a sweeping S-shaped curve down the back. 

  • Design score: 4 / 5

Honor 200 Pro review: Display

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Honor 200 Pro

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Honor 200 Pro

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  • 6.78-inch quad-curved 120Hz OLED display
  • 3840Hz PWM dimming
  • 4000 nits peak brightness

The Honor 200 Pro has a bright, vivid display that’s curved on all sides, and an adaptive refresh rate that can dynamically shift between 60Hz and 120Hz, depending on what you’re viewing. It’s not quite as impressive as an LTPO panel, which can go all the way down to 1Hz, but it still means you can expect longer battery life without sacrificing smooth scrolling and high-refresh-rate gaming.

Usually, I prefer flat displays, but the Honor Magic 6 Pro won me over with its relatively tight curves – effectively delivering the best of both worlds. I was hoping for more of the same here, but that’s unfortunately not the case. The Honor 200 Pro has a more typical curved display.

Some people are sure to love it, and it definitely helps to make the device feel slim in the hand and pocket, but it’s more prone to accidental touches than I’d like. 

Elsewhere, I have zero complaints. The panel is sharp and high-resolution, the color rendition looks fantastic, and it’s more than bright enough to compete with the springtime sunshine. There are plenty of eye health features included here, too.

The display can deliver an astonishing PWM dimming rate of 3840Hz, besting some of the priciest flagships on the market. The Samsung S24 Ultra only supports 480Hz PWM dimming, for example. If you’re not familiar, this tech essentially ensures low flicker at all brightness levels, to reduce eye strain for those who are sensitive to such things.

  • Display score: 4 / 5

Honor 200 Pro review: Cameras

Honor 200 Pro

(Image credit: Future / Luke Baker)
  • 50MP main (f/1.9)
  • 50MP 2.5x telephoto (f/2.4)
  • 12MP ultra-wide macro (f/2.2)

Honor describes the 200 Pro as “the portrait master”, so clearly it believes in the phone’s photographic capabilities. And indeed, this phone packs some serious hardware to support that claim.

Around the back, you’ll find a 50MP main camera with a 1/1.3-inch sensor and OIS, a 50MP 2.5x telephoto with OIS and a 12MP ultra-wide with macro focusing capabilities. On the front, there’s a pill-shaped cutout housing a 50MP wide-angle selfie camera.

As usual, the main camera delivers the most impressive results, especially in low light, where the larger sensor comes into play. The camera app gives you a 2x button for digitally cropping in with this camera, and there’s almost no loss of quality when the lighting is sufficient.

The 2.5x telephoto is very impressive, too. Personally, I would have liked a longer focal length, but this 70mm-ish equivalent is still very useful. You can get good results pushing it to about 5x or so before the image starts to break down, but if you go above 10x with the digital zoom, prepare for disappointment.

The ultra-wide is decent, but with a 16mm equivalent field of view, it’s not quite as wide as some of the competition. It does have autofocus, though, and it can focus extremely close for some unique macro shots. It’s lower resolution than the other sensors, but it still captures a good amount of detail. It’s not great in low light, but that’s usually the case with ultra-wides.

The selfie camera has an ample 50MP resolution and a wide FOV that makes it suitable for group shots. Of course, you can also digitally crop into a more typical focal length. It doesn't seem to have autofocus, which is a bit disappointing, so you’ll need to ensure that you’re standing in the sweet spot for the best results.

The most impressive thing about this camera isn’t the hardware, though, it's a new portrait mode developed in collaboration with legendary Parisian portrait studio Studio Harcourt. And yes, it is essentially just a couple of filters, but they’re really, really good ones.

Harcourt Classic aims to recreate the studio’s signature black and white headshots, and the results can be stunning. It’s most effective with portraits – that’s what the feature is designed for, after all – but I got great results with animals, too.

Harcourt Color is a similar effect, but in color, as the name suggests. It creates images with a lovely warm color palette. Both modes add an artificial bokeh effect, and they seem to accentuate lens flares from light sources, too. Honor’s edge detection is second to none, and I was really impressed with how well it managed to cut out wisps of hair and other difficult scenes.

Finally, there’s a Harcourt Vibrant, and I found this a little less impressive. It processes color similarly to the normal camera modes, and it loses some of that vintage allure that the other modes provide. Still, it might be useful to have if you prefer a poppy vibrant shot.

I was a little disappointed to learn that these effects only work on the main and telephoto rear cameras, so you can’t use them for snapping selfies. I’d love to see support for that added, but maybe this selfie camera didn’t quite get the Harcourt stamp of approval.

When it comes to video shooting, the Honor 200 Pro supports capture at up to 4K 60fps on the main and telephoto cameras, while the ultra-wide and selfie camera max out at 4K 30fps. The resulting videos have great stabilization, and as usual, Honor’s software has tons of features packed in, including full manual controls.

  • Cameras score: 4 / 5

Honor 200 Pro camera samples

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Honor 200 Pro camera samples

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Honor 200 Pro review: Performance

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Honor 200 Pro

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  • Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 chipset
  • 12GB RAM and 512GB storage

The Honor 200 Pro is powered by the new Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 chipset, which is supposed to bring some of the flagship Gen 3 experience to more affordable price points. In day-to-day use, I’d say it achieves that goal; the phone feels snappy and apps open quickly with no stuttering or hesitation.

In benchmarks, the difference becomes more apparent. The Honor 200 Pro finds itself lagging behind last year’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2-powered phones in graphical performance, and occasionally beating them in computational workloads. So, it’s not quite top-of-the-line, but it’s still a more capable gaming machine than the Exynos-powered Galaxy S24 or Pixel 8, for example.

I had no issues playing graphically demanding games like Wuthering Waves at maximum settings, so in the real world, the 8s Gen 3 provides more than enough horsepower for most people. The phone does heat up a bit when you give it such a demanding workload, but it always remained comfortable to hold. Honor’s new super-sized vapor chamber is clearly working as it should.

  • Performance score: 4 / 5

Honor 200 Pro review: Software

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Honor 200 Pro

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Honor 200 Pro

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  • Magic OS 8.0, based on Android 14

The Honor 200 Pro runs Magic OS 8.0, a heavily customized skin that’s built on top of Android 14. This is the same software that we tested on the Honor Magic 6 Pro, and it’s a pretty significant departure from the stock Android experience.

Honor takes some inspiration from Apple for Magic OS. The notification shade and quick settings menu are separated, the app drawer is disabled by default, and there’s even a Dynamic Island-like feature that Honor calls Magic Capsule.

If you’re used to a more traditional Android experience, Magic OS will take some getting used to. On the flip side, if you’re coming from an iPhone, you might have an easier time. As an Android user, I found it jarring at first, but it has grown on me. I especially like the Magic Capsule, as it gives me quick access to my media controls and timers no matter which app I have running in the foreground. 

Another great feature is Honor’s Magic Portal. This allows you to drag text or images to the side of your display, and a selection of recommended apps will pop up. Then you can quickly share or search for your selection in the relevant app. I love being able to drag an address into Google Maps for speedy directions, and it’s a really fast way to reverse image search, too.

It’s not all perfect, though. There’s a little bit of bloatware to clean up when you first set up the phone (mostly just Honor’s own apps), and the Magic Capsule had a couple of hiccups during my use. Again, nothing horrific, but it wouldn’t let me tap the media controls at some points, and then it randomly started working again. I am using pre-release software, mind, so in all likelihood, these issues will be ironed out.

  • Software score: 3 / 5

Honor 200 Pro review: Battery

Honor 200 Pro

(Image credit: Future / Luke Baker)
  • 5,200mAh silicon-carbon battery
  • 100W wired charging
  • 66W wireless charging

The Honor 200 Pro uses the same cutting-edge battery tech as the Honor Magic 6 Pro to squeeze a 5,200mAh battery pack into a very svelte shell. This means it’ll easily get you through a day of very heavy use, a day and a half poses no issue, and you might even get two days out of a charge if you use it sparingly.

What’s more, the Honor 200 Pro charges up very quickly with the included 100W wall adapter. By my count, it took just 50 minutes to go from completely dead to fully charged. Half an hour on the charger will get you up to around 70%.

It also boasts the same lightning-fast 66W wireless charging speed as the pricier Magic 6 Pro. You’ll need Honor’s SuperCharge stand to get the full power output, but I happen to own one, and it’s impressively quick. It’s well worth the investment to be able just to slap your phone down and have it fully topped up in about an hour.

  • Battery score: 4 / 5

Should you buy the Honor 200 Pro?

Buy it if...

You want a more affordable version of the Magic 6 Pro
There are plenty of similarities between this phone and Honor’s flagship Magic 6 Pro. If you like the look of that device, but it doesn’t fit your budget, then this is a great alternative.

You love taking portrait shots
The Studio Harcourt-inspired portrait modes are some of the most impressive I’ve ever seen. If you take lots of portraits, you’re sure to love this phone.

You want a slim phone with great battery life
The Honor 200 Pro has a slim chassis and its curved edges make it feel even slimmer. Despite that, it packs one of the biggest batteries in its class and can go a long time in between charges.

Don't buy it if...

You’re an avid selfie snapper
While the rest of the cameras impressed, I found the selfie camera underwhelming. There’s no autofocus and you can’t use the awesome Harcourt filters, either.

You love stock Android
Honor’s MagicOS 8.0 is a big change from stock Android, and some users are sure to find it overwhelming.

Honor 200 Pro review: Also consider

The Honor 200 Pro delivers impressive specifications and features at a competitive price point, but the competition has plenty to offer, too.

Samsung Galaxy S24
Samsung’s most affordable flagship is a more compact option that doesn’t compromise on specs and quality. If you’re keen on generative AI features, it offers a lot more in that department.

How I tested the Honor 200 Pro

  • Review test period: Two weeks
  • Testing included: everyday use including web browsing, social media, photography, video calling, gaming, streaming video, music playback
  • Tools used: Geekbench 6, 3DMark, GFXBench, native Android stats, Honor 100W charger and wireless SuperCharge stand

I popped my SIM card into the Honor 200 Pro and lived with it as my main device for around two weeks before reaching any conclusions. I used it exactly as I would use any other phone, taking tons of pictures, gaming, messaging, working, streaming video and navigating with Google Maps.

I also compared the experience of playing graphically demanding games like Wuthering Waves, Genshin Impact and PUBG Mobile to my experiences with other Android flagships like the Honor Magic 6 Pro, Vivo X100 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra. In addition, I ran several benchmarks on the handset including 3DMark, GFXbench and Geekbench.

Battery performance was assessed based on my real-world usage and charging times were measured using the included 100W wall adapter and cable. I also tested the wireless charging capabilities with Honor’s Wireless 100W SuperCharge stand. 

Read more about how we test

First reviewed June 2024

Corsair M75 Wireless Mouse: top-notch gaming performance for both righties and lefties
4:56 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Mice Peripherals & Accessories | Comments: Off

Corsair M75 Wireless Mouse: Two-minute review

While there are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to the best gaming mouse, Corsair’s new M75 Wireless looks like it has all the goodies necessary to make that shortlist.

This mouse has the speedy and accurate performance that gamers need, the lightness that makes whipping it around furiously on a mousepad (or appropriate surface) effortless, and the kind of connectivity that lets one not only go cord-free, but allows for use with a second source without having to move the wireless dongle.

Whether it’s the best mouse for you will depend on a few factors. While there is a dedicated DPI button, it’s located underneath, which will deter some, especially if you still need all the other buttons for whatever hotkeys and shortcuts you like to have at your fingertips. More importantly, it’s expensive for a mouse. There are plenty of capable mice for much less, especially if you don’t care so much about wireless connectivity.

With that in mind, you’ll see regular comparisons to the non-wireless Corsair M75 that the company also provided for review. Since they’re very similar mice, with the main differences being connectivity and weight (the non-wireless version is quite a bit lighter), you can decide if you want to spend more for wireless connectivity or not.

Corsair M75 Wireless Mouse: Price and availability

Corsair M75 wireless mouse

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)
  • How much does it cost? $129.99 / £119.99 / AU$203.08
  • When is it available? It's out now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US, UK, and Australia

If you were to categorize gaming mice into budget, mid-range, and premium brackets, the Corsair M75 Wireless fits into the latter category. While there are some more expensive options out there, the Corsair M75 Wireless is plenty pricey at $129.99 / £119.99 / AU$203.08.

If you want to spend a little less and don’t care about wireless connectivity, the Corsair M75 non-wireless version goes for a somewhat more palatable $79.99 / £79.99 / AU$141.08. That’s still somewhat expensive, but you’re partially paying for its ambidextrous quality, not to mention its top-notch components.

You can certainly spend much more on a gaming mouse as the Razer Basilisk V3 Pro shows us with its $159 / £159 / AU$289 price tag. It does have 10+1 buttons (the +1 is a profile button underneath) and the ability to upgrade to wireless charging capabilities. But all that’s rather overkill for most people.

If you want something that’s competent and works for both righties and lefties but at a significant discount, the Cooler Master MM311 might be a better fit. It still has a solid 10k DPI and 2.4GHz wireless connectivity, and while it doesn’t have Bluetooth onboard, it is way more affordable at $39.99 (about £34, AU$59).

Value: 4 / 5

Corsair M75 Wireless Mouse: Specs

Corsair M75 Wireless Mouse: design and features

Corsair M75 Wireless compared to the wired Hero model

Corsair M75 Wireless compared to the wired Hero model (Image credit: Future / James Holland)

First off, let’s dive into the design of the Corsair M75 Wireless. The most striking thing to me is not the two zones of RGB lighting on the palm rest and underneath, which are plenty bright, or the M75’s very smooth exterior. What strikes me most is its symmetrical design.

This mouse was made for both righties and lefties. In fact, it has identical side buttons on both sides that are magnetically held in place. Corsair included raised buttons that can be substituted for easier pressing no matter which orientation you prefer. This is also the case for the non-wireless version.

On top, you have the normal left and right buttons, and center wheel. What’s different compared to a lot of other gaming mice is the fact that the DPI button is nestling underneath. This is always a pain (again, also true for the non-wireless version).

Luckily, you can easily reprogram any but the dominant main button (left click in regular mode, right click in left-handed mode) however you like, including setting as the DPI toggle, DPI up, DPI down, and Sniper. Unfortunately, if you want to use all those buttons for other hotkeys, you’re going to have to find a compromise somewhere.

Also worth noting is how light this mouse is at just 89 grams. That’s very good for a wireless mouse as it needs to hold a battery, something that you don’t have to worry about with wired mice. The wired Corsair M75 is even lighter at 75 grams. While you can find some even lighter mice that hover in the 50 gram range, these feel balanced and lightweight enough to not cause any fatigue.

Before we dive into the performance, I also want to mention the connectivity on hand. While the wired version just connects via USB, the wireless M75 also adds in 2.4G Wireless (it also comes with a wireless dongle) and Bluetooth. Due to this, you can switch between your gaming PC with the wireless connection and a work computer on Bluetooth with just the press of a button. That button also happens to be the power button, which sits opposite the DPI button underneath.

Design: 4.5 / 5

Corsair M75 Wireless Mouse: performance

Corsair M75 mouse underside

Underside of the Corsair M75 mouse reveals the DPI button (Image credit: Future / James Holland)

When it comes to performance, there’s only one complaint about the Corsair M75 and that’s the placement of the DPI button. You either lose another button for that purpose (by remapping it), or you live with your DPI setting as it is, with no ability to switch on-the-fly (as changing involves messing about with turning over the mouse, of course).

Beyond that, its 2,000Hz polling rate when used in wireless mode and 26,000 DPI provided via Corsair’s own Marksman sensor, not to mention speedy optical switches for all the buttons, all make for a mouse that will have no trouble keeping up.

I used it in firefights when playing Cyberpunk 2077 and Battlefield 2042, and also in RTS games like Iron Harvest, as well as in Rocket League. All I can say is that if there was a bottleneck in doing better in any of those games, that bottleneck was me.

Lastly, I want to quickly mention the iCue software used to remap buttons, change RGB lighting, or adjust settings like putting the mouse in left-handed mode or enabling all side buttons. I’ve used the software for a long time in the course of testing Corsair products and have gotten used to it. Once you get iCue, it’s easy to use, but it does have a little bit of a learning curve. Be patient and you’ll be able to unlock just as much from the Corsair M75 Wireless as any other mouse.

Performance: 5 / 5

Should I buy the Corsair M75 Wireless Mouse?

Corsair M75 gaming mouse in action

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

Buy it if…

You’re a leftie or ambidextrous
You can use the Corsair M75 Wireless and its wired sibling no matter the orientation you need. And you can replace the side buttons with raised ones for better personalization.

You want top-notch performance
With its 26K sensor, optical switches, and relatively light nature, this mouse will keep up with all your gaming needs.

Don't buy it if...

You can’t sacrifice any buttons
If you need access to that DPI button but can’t sacrifice any of the other buttons to remap it, other mice place the DPI button on top where you can use it on-the-fly.

You’re on a budget
This is an expensive mouse. If you’re on a budget, there’s something out there that will meet your needs (or, at least, most of them) for far less.

Also consider

How I tested the Corsair M75 Wireless Mouse

  • Used regularly for a week
  • Tested with different genres of games
  • Fully tested all features

I used the Corsair M75 Wireless as well as its non-wired sibling regularly for a week, playing fast-paced games like Battlefield 2042 and Rocket League, as well as RTS games like Iron Harvest, not to mention less demanding titles like Starfield.

I looked at other aspects beyond performance, of course. I played with the M75’s programmable features, including remapping and adjusting RGB, and also looked at how easy it was to remove and replace the side buttons.

I’ve tested a lot of tech gear over the years from laptops to keyboards and mice, and so have been able to use my expertise towards giving an honest and fair opinion, not to mention a critical eye, to any product I test.

  • First reviewed June 2024
Nothing Ear review: the third-generation wireless earbuds bring major upgrades
2:00 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Audio Computers Earbuds & Airpods Gadgets Headphones | Comments: Off

Nothing Ear: Two-minute review

The Nothing Ear are actually the third-gen version of the company’s flagship earbuds line. If you're not up-to-date on your Nothing history, this should be enough to make you aware aware that Nothing cares, well, nothing about naming conventions.

In many ways, the shiny new Nothing Ear are really great earbuds for the price and among my favorite of all the in-ears I’ve tested for TechRadar. Having said that, I’d much rather be using whatever Nothing comes up with next than these new-for-2024 models. Might that be the Nothing Ear (4)? Who can say. For now, the Nothing Ear have a few glaring issues that – potentially ironed out in a future version – could be some of the best noise-cancelling earbuds out there.

My biggest issue with the Nothing Ear, something which plagued testing, was their surprisingly low maximum volume. When outdoors, the buds don’t reach even the quietest volume I like to listen to – even with decent noise cancellation, it was hard to enjoy music in noisy areas. 

Next up is the battery life. Earbuds makers really need to understand that five hours of listening just doesn’t cut it in this day and age, when people spend more time with headphones on than off. I had to keep pausing my testing in order to let the buds charge – that isn’t a good sign, even if the case does hold quite a bit more juice.

Talking of the case, it’s made of a really cheap-feeling plastic is a contender for the least-nice-to-hold earbuds holder I’ve ever used. It creaks and flexes in the hand, and I feel like one drop from even the lowest-slung coffee table would crack it. That’s not even to make mention of the fairly uninspired and blocky look of the thing.

That's my main Nothing Ear gripes off my chest, early doors, so I can spend the rest of this review heaping on the praise they rightly deserve. The Nothing Ear offer spectacular audio for the money. The equalizer gives you total control over the buds’ sound, more so than in most rival products, and that’s doubly the case if you like a thumping, accurate, crisp bass. 

If you felt the ground shaking in early June 2024, that wasn’t an earthquake – it was me testing these buds' bass. It’s incredible, and you can almost feel your head thumping at how vibrant the low frequencies are. For some, it might be too much, but that’s why it’s so great that the equalizer lets you bring out the sparkle in your music.

The Nothing X app also brings a fantastic sound detection technology, to try and tune music specifically for your ears. A few brands offer this but none has had such a dramatic effect on the listening experience as this one.

Sure, the Nothing Ear's charging case isn't the best, but the buds are much better: they’re lightweight and sit in your ear as reliably as an earring would – so much so, you can easily forget that you’re wearing them. 

So there’s a lot to like here, and a fair bit to love, too – it’s just a shame that the Nothing Ear have those three glaring issues. I could look past any one of them alone, but together they make it hard to give the buds a higher review score.

Nothing Ear review: Price and release date

The Nothing Ear buds between two fingers.

(Image credit: Future)
  • Announced in April 2024 alongside Ear (a)
  • Costs $149 / £129 / AU$249

The Nothing Ear was announced alongside the affordable Nothing Ear (a) in April 2024, with the buds hitting store shelves a matter of days later. This was just over a year on from the release of the Nothing Ear (2) – the Ear are follow-ups to those and how I wish the makers would have just called them the Nothing Ear (3), for simplicity’s sake. Got it? Good.

You can pick up the Nothing Ear for $149 / £129 / AU$249. That's how much the Ear (2) cost last year everywhere except in Australia, where a slight price bump has come into play.

That means you can’t quite consider these ‘cheap’ earbuds, but they’re certainly not pricey ones either. There’s not much competition at this in-between price point, with many earbuds aiming at customers who want to spend less than $100 / £100 / AU$200 and most of the step-up options costing double that.

But if you do want something for this specific price, there are a few options like the Beats Studio Buds, Jabra Elite 5, Sennheiser Accentum and of course the bog-standard Apple AirPods. Or check out our best earbuds page for various budgets. 

Nothing Ear review: Specs

Nothing Ear review: Features

The Nothing Ear buds in their case.

(Image credit: Future)
  • 5-hour buds battery, 24-hour with case (when ANC is used)
  • Decent noise cancellation, with caveats
  • Nothing X app brings useful extras

Lots of the Nothing Ear's magic comes from their tie-in phone app called Nothing X. You don’t need the app, but lots of the features it brings are game-changers.

With the app you can set touch controls (discussed in detail in the Design section), fiddle with sound settings with an equalizer, bass booster and hearing test (all dealt with in the Sound quality section), toggle the noise cancellation (explored in the Features sect- oh, wait, that’s this one!) and change a few other settings like in-ear detection and which audio standard you stream from. Plus you can do an eartip fit test and find the earbuds if you lose them. That's a lot.

The noise cancellation is good – great in some circumstances and a little lacking in others. It’s not quite best-in-class for mid-range earbuds but it’s up there. There are six optional modes: off, Transparency (basically like an ambient mode) and four different intensities of standard ANC: high, mid, low and adaptive. 

The latter, which I found myself using for most of the testing period, changes the level of noise cancellation based on where you are, which means the Nothing Ear aren’t using loads of battery to block out noise if you’re home alone. 

Screenshots from the Nothing X app.

(Image credit: Future)

In most cases, the noise cancellation was good at removing background sounds, but it didn’t always succeed when there was a lot going on – a busy road near my house proved a bane every time I was near it. This combines with a volume issue that we’ll explore later on, to make the buds inadequate when you’re somewhere noisy.

The adaptive mode also felt slow to respond to changes in environment and often played catch-up when I was moving through different locations.

A bigger issue with the buds – or a shorter issue – is the battery life. When you’re using ANC, you can only listen to the Nothing Ear for about five hours before they need to be recharged, which really isn’t going to cut it. The case will give you a fair amount of lasting power, at 24 hours, and those figures are much better at 8.5 and 40.5 hours respectively if you opt to turn noise cancellation off.

From my testing, the adaptive noise cancellation did seem to give me a little extra listening time, so I’d recommend it for anyone who thinks five hours might be enough but aren’t totally sure.

The Nothing Ear connects to your phone or tablet using Bluetooth 5.3, which I found reliable – it only dropped once and that was for a second. And for all you wondering, you don’t need to connect the earbuds to a Nothing phone in order to enjoy all of their features.

Pairing is quick and easy, whether you’re connecting the buds to your phone for the first time or every other time you’re using them. I’ve got no complaints, and everything worked as intended – as did other features like the quick wear detection, the dual connections so you can pair the buds to multiple devices and jump between them and a latency mode, so the buds are handy for gaming.

You may also have heard that Nothing is now offering pinch-to-speak to ChatGPT integration across its earbuds, provided you own a Nothing Phone. I don't – and I think only a fraction of potential buyers here will be fully immersed in Nothing's ecosystem. But nevertheless, it's a feature worth mentioning – and it's available in Nothing's older earbuds lineup too. So, if you kit yourself out with Nothing Ear, Nothing Ear (a), the inaugural July 2021 Nothing Ear (1), the October 2022 follow-up Nothing Ear (Stick), the March 2023 Nothing Ear (2) or Nothing's budget CMF by Nothing Buds (including the CMF Neckband Pro and CMF Buds Pro) plus a Nothing smartphone (Nothing Phone 1Nothing Phone 2 or Nothing Phone 2a) running the latest version of the app and ChatGPT, you'll be able to use it. 

  • Features score: 4/5

Nothing Ear review: Design

The Nothing Ear buds in their case.

(Image credit: Future)
  • Small and comfortable earbuds
  • Buds have IP54, case has IP55 protection
  • Tacky plastic case

You know what you're going to get with true wireless earbuds like the Nothing Ear: two small buds and a case.

In true Nothing fashion the case is see-through, letting you gaze adoringly upon the buds inside should the mood so take you. However, the plastic material used for the holder feels incredibly cheap – dare I say ‘tacky’? – and a little fragile, too. It creaks when you hold it too tight and it’s a shame that Nothing wouldn’t opt for a more premium design.

It’s a square case, a little bigger than some I’ve seen but it fits in pockets easily. It has a USB-C port on one side for charging and you can also charge wirelessly, although it’s pretty slow. The case measures 5.5 x 5.5 x 2.2 cm and weighs 51.9g.

The buds themselves are nice and small and at 4.62g each they’re lightweight in the ear. They’re stem-style buds which gives them a nice rigid fit, although the Nothing-style see-through look might put off fashionistas.

There’s a touch control on each stem and, while you can rely on them to pick up individual touches pretty easily, there’s a noticeable delay between a press and the action actually picking up. You can customize the actions for single, double and triple pinches as well as a single and a double pinch and hold, on both the left and right buds, giving you a whole host of customization over your gestures – if you can remember what each single action does, that is. I, frankly, could not.

The buds have an IP54 rating against dust and liquid, while the case is a slightly higher IP55. This means that both can survive all but the finest particles and also sprays of water droplets, with the case withstanding stronger showers of water.

  • Design score: 3.5/5

Nothing Ear review: Sound quality

The Nothing Ear bud in an ear.

(Image credit: Future)
  • Oodles of bass (in a largely good way)
  • Responsive and handy equalizer
  • Some distortion, but not much

The Nothing Ear sound pretty good for buds at this price, but they are absolutely fantastic for bass lovers. Seriously, these are second only to sitting on a bass amp blaring out Debaser by Pixies when it comes to thumping rhythms.

I spent my initial testing time with the ‘More Bass’ in the equalizer and the ‘Bass Enhance’ options turned on and the latter at its highest setting. And with these settings turned on, the bass is intense – you’ll hear it pushing past all the other parts of any song to sit forefront and I could almost feel my head vibrating with the music. 

This incredible amount of bass can likely be attributed to two features. One is Nothing’s custom-built 11mm ceramic drivers made just for these buds (you won't find them in the Nothing Ear (a), which include more traditional solo dynamic drivers in each bud), and the other is an algorithm from the company which is designed to detect and enhance bass sounds in music.

If you’re not a bass fan, you’ll be glad to know that you don’t have to turn it up to 11 like I did, and in fact the buds sound great when all these modes are turned off. The default sound is quite bass-heavy, but you can change that.

The in-app equalizer lets you tweak the buds’ output whether you know how they work or not: a simple mode lets you spread sound between treble, bass and mid, while an advanced mode gives you a lot more versatility, and a sound personalization mode tests your hearing to work out a perfect mix for you.

The Nothing Ear buds on a log.

(Image credit: Future)

The latter is surprisingly effective, too, and the several-minute-long test helped me find a nice mix (while also making me realize that my hearing is quite different between my ears!). What’s doubly great is that you can use this test and the equalizer, so you can account for both your hearing and your preferences.

Nothing’s buds are strong whether you want to pull out some nice crisp treble, some sturdy mid or the aforementioned bass. And there’s enough clarity to give a decent amount of sound stage, more than you normally hear in buds at this price – you can hear different instruments spread around you.

I did notice a tiny bit of distorting on certain parts of songs, with acoustic guitars and hi-hats getting a little scratchy if I let the equalizer bring them too far forward in the mix, but you’re about to read about why peaking isn’t as much of an issue as it could be.

This has all been a lot of praise for the Nothing Ear’s audio but the buds do have one major issue – an Ear-chilles’ heel, if you will – when it comes to volume. The max volume is far, far too low.

At its highest output, the Nothing Ear are roughly as loud as my usual comfort volume when I’m indoors, and below it when I’m out and about. I’m not usually a fan of overly loud music, so these buds will really disappoint people who do.

It’s an issue most palpable when you’re out and about – the noise cancellation is good, but if you’re in a loud environment or just want to really feel the energy of the music you’re listening to, the Nothing Ear just don’t get loud enough to compete with what’s around you. And, yes, I spent ages digging around in the in-app equalizer and that’s not the issue.

  • Sound quality: 4/5

Nothing Ear review: Value

The Nothing Ear buds by their case.

(Image credit: Future)
  • Punchy above their price class
  • Will compete with predecessors

Between the feature set and sound quality, the Nothing Ear are punching well out of their price class. Nothing could have charged 25 per cent more for these buds and they'd still be competitively priced.

You're getting more than you pay for by a country mile, with the Nothing X app's features in particular feeling incredibly premium.

If anything threatens to upset the Nothing Ear's value proposition, it's price cuts to the previous two generations of Nothing Ear, as well as the more affordable Nothing Eer (a). Each bring similar feature sets but for a lower price, so if you don't need all the trimmings of the top-tier offering, you could be swayed by them.

  • Value: 4/5

Should I buy the Nothing Ear?

Buy them if…

Don’t buy them if…

Nothing Ear review: Also consider

How I tested the Nothing Ear

  • Tested for over two weeks
  • Tested at home, in the office and on walks

I used the Nothing Ear for two weeks prior to writing this review and testing was mainly done with the buds paired to my Xiaomi phone, though I did use it on a Samsung one for a while, too. I didn't test it with a Nothing phone.

During testing I listened to various genres of music, played games and watched TV shows. I did so across various mixes, sound profiles and music features on the Nothing X app and, as mentioned, also used the hearing test halfway through the testing process. I listened at home, in my office and on many walks around my local area, as well as central London.

The Nothing Ear is just the latest of many gadgets I've tested for TechRadar over five and a half years, which includes many other earbuds, smartphones, tablets, speakers and more.

  • First reviewed in June 2024
NinjaOne review
10:52 am |

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

NinjaOne is a highly popular RMM and endpoint management solution that lets businesses and IT teams manage systems in their organization. Founded in 2013 by Sal Sferlazza and other IT pros, NinjaOne now boasts 17,000+ customers with over 5 million managed endpoints. 

You can manage various kinds of devices such as Windows, Linux, Mac, and SNMP devices, VMWare endpoints, and cloud infrastructure.

In this article, we’ll discuss in detail the nuances of NinjaOne, including its features, performance, ease of use, and how it stacks up against the competition. Keep reading to find out if this is the RMM tool you’ve been looking for. 

NinjaOne: Plans and pricing

NinjaOne does not reveal its pricing on its website. You’ll have to contact its sales team and specify your needs to get a custom quote.

However, after some digging, we were able to arrive at a few numbers. To put it broadly, you can expect to spend anywhere between $2-4 per endpoint, depending on the number of endpoints you need to manage. 

For example, if you have around 50-100 points, you can expect a pricing of $3.5-4. You can also score better pricing if you’re willing to negotiate and press hard with the sales team. NinjaOne often offers volume-based and bundle discounts, too.

Plus, there’s also a free trial, which you can use to test the product out before reaching out to the sales team for a quote.

This custom pricing policy can be a mood killer for some users. With other RMM software, you know how much you will be spending right from the outset. However, with NinjaOne, you will get a quote only after an extensive conversation with a sales representative. 

However, one of the biggest positives of custom pricing is customization – you only need to pay for the features and capacity you really want to use.

NinjaOne: Features

NinjaOne makes it easy to monitor all of your endpoints and generate custom alerts based on performance and health, making it one of the best remote desktop software. You can either use one of its 100+ monitoring templates or create one from scratch for custom alerts. 

You can monitor information like processors, memory, antivirus statuses, Microsoft Security Centre status, network adapters, IP addresses, and loads more.

NinjaOne remote monitoring

(Image credit: NinjaOne)

We also like the fact that you can get alerts in more than one way – in-app notifications, email and SMS notifications, or mobile push notifications.

Taking this a step ahead, NinjaOne allows you to automate processes and workflows once a monitor is triggered. A common example can be automatic ticket creation whenever a server is down.

Patching is one of the key functions of RMM software and NinjaOne does this pretty well. As per the G2 Spring 2024 report, NinjaOne is the #1 rated patch management tool.

The platform employs a cloud-native approach to patch management. This means that it isn’t necessary for a user to be connected to the company’s network or VPN to be patched.

NinjaOne patch enablement

(Image credit: NinjaOne)

NinjaOne supports more than 140 commonly used applications, which can be patched automatically. We also liked the initiative, dashboard, and detailed patch status reports, which can help you view compliance status at any time.

The platform also connects seamlessly with Splashtop, TeamViewer, and Connectwise ScreenConnect, giving MSPs plenty of options to connect to endpoints. You also get multi-monitor support and adjustable-resolution video streaming, which works in any bandwidth condition.

NinjaOne: Interface and performance

The NinjaOne dashboard is pretty intuitive and easy to navigate. You get a panel on the left with a list of all connected endpoints. All you have to do is click on a connected system to view its status.

You also get a health overview of all the systems in your network. The platform offers tabs like overview, OS patches, software, tools, backup, etc. under each system setting. The activities tab, for example, gives you a detailed list of what each person was doing on the network, including login and logout times and software and hardware changes, among others.

NinjaOne dashboard

(Image credit: NinjaOne)

One thing we particularly liked about NinjaOne is its detailed URL addresses. Let’s say you’re checking the inventory status of one of your offices and want to share it with a team member. Instead of guiding them through the entire path, you can share the URL right down to the inventory list. Such detailed and specific URL addresses make navigation and internal communication pretty easy. 

NinjaOne: Security

NinjaOne employs strict compliance, product, and information security protocols. The platform is compliant with GDPR, SOC 2 Type II, SOC 3, and HIPAA. NinjaOne goes out of its way and also complies with PCI-DSS, even though it’s not applicable to the company.

Other product-based security protocols include extensive audit logs, multi-factor authentication, and rule-based access controls. Apart from this, the platform uses industry-standard AES-256 for data encryption. All of your data is encrypted and stored on a secure, non-publicly accessible server.

NinjaOne also offers several security and backup tools to keep your data safe from external threats. You can remotely edit registries, manage applications, deploy scripts, and manage endpoint protection automatically on all devices.

There’s also a credential exchange that helps you store and inject credentials seamlessly while deploying patches or remote device connections. Furthermore, you can leverage the Ninja Data Protection feature to recover and backup critical information from a particular workstation or from entire servers with three storage options – local-only, cloud-only, and hybrid.

NinjaOne: Support

Customer service is another area where NinjaOne excels. With a CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) score of 98 and an average response time of 65 minutes, the platform is currently ranked number one based on a survey of 380+ MSPs. 

In fact, you get free customer onboarding services with valuable technical advice, which makes initial onboarding and troubleshooting seamless.

NinjaOne: The competition

NinjaOne is an ideal solution if you’re a large business with around 500 to 1,000 endpoints. However, for smaller businesses with only a few systems, NinjaOne can be expensive. In this scenario, you can look at alternatives like AnyDesk, which costs just $14.90/month, allowing you to manage around 100 devices with just a single licensed user. 

Another option you can consider is TeamViewer, which also offers a handy free plan for personal use. Besides this, you can choose from different plans, depending on the size of your business. What’s more, TeamViewer can help you with internal communication through audio and text conversations, and you also get a video conferencing feature along with a screen recorder.  

NinjaOne: Final verdict

NinjaOne is, quite simply, one of the best RMM tools around, especially when it comes to patch management. You can automate various tasks across systems on an easy-to-use dashboard. 

The best thing about the platform in our testing was its quick onboarding. With its complementary onboarding services, you can expect to manage endpoints within hours. Plus, its customer service team boasts a CSAT score of 98, which is always a huge positive.

The only downside to NinjaOne, if there were ever one, is its non-transparent pricing. You will have to contact the sales team and describe your needs in detail to get a quote. 

Additionally, smaller teams with only a handful of endpoints may find NinjaOne to be a tad bit expensive. That said, NinjaOne is an excellent choice for large teams with more than 500-1000 systems to manage.

Ninja One: FAQs

What is NinjaOne used for?

NinjaOne is a remote monitoring and management (RMM) platform with the aim of simplifying monitoring and managing endpoints through a lightweight agent application on the device. Not only can you monitor all your devices from a single place, but you can also run functions like OS and software patching, backups, and several automations.

How much does NinjaOne cost?

You’ll need to reach out to a NinjaOne sales representative to get a custom quote, which would be based on your organization's needs and the number of endpoints. On average, you can expect to spend around $2-4 per endpoint if you have more than 1,000 endpoints to manage. 

For anything less than that, NinjaOne may prove to be slightly pricey. If you want something more affordable, you can look at AnyDesk. However, you may not get the superior patch management and customer service that NinjaOne offers.

What type of devices can I monitor with NinjaOne?

You can manage and monitor Windows, Mac, Linux, and VMware endpoints, as well as SNMP devices and cloud infrastructure, with NinjaOne. This ensures you have a one-stop solution for all your management needs.

Varier Actulum home office chair review
9:56 am |

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

Varier Actulum home office chair: 30-second review

Specs

Frame Material and Build Quality: Made from high-quality beech wood with a natural lacquer finish.
Dimensions: Height: 87cm, Width: 51cm, Depth: 56cm
Weight: 8.5kg.
Upholstery Options and Materials: Upholstery is available in various fabric options, including Fame, Revive, Breeze Fusion, and leather.
Maximum Payload: 110kg (approximately 17 stone)

The Varier Actulum is a stunning, seemingly simple piece of ergonomic furniture that effortlessly combines form and function and offers plenty of flexibility over its use. The chair's striking aesthetic, featuring a beautifully moulded ash frame and high-quality fabric seats, immediately sets it apart from conventional office and dining chairs. This Scandinavian-inspired design not only enhances the visual appeal of any space but also serves a crucial functional purpose.

We've tested out plenty of the best office chairs, but this one is certainly very different. Central to the Actulum's design is its active sitting position, which promotes subtle yet constant movement. Once you're sat in the chair, the pendulum motion enables you to tilt forward and backwards, responding naturally to your body's movements. Back in Action, who supplied the chair, highlights that this feature helps to build core muscles and reduces neck and back pain by encouraging an active posture. 

However, initially, users may find the rocking motion and the firmer pads needing to be more familiar, especially if they are used to softer, static office chairs. However, these design choices are intentional and aimed at providing long-term comfort and health benefits. After just a short time with the chair, you can start to feel the support and, most importantly, a reduction in stiffness and discomfort associated with prolonged sitting that we all do when working on computers.

The Actulum's versatility is another significant advantage. Designed for both office and dining use, it offers the flexibility to fit seamlessly into various environments. Whether you are working at a desk or enjoying a meal, the chair provides consistent support and comfort. The natural movement encouraged by the chair not only helps maintain focus but also reduces the physical strain of being seated for extended periods.

Constructed from high-quality beech plywood, treated through an iterative moulding process, and finished with ash veneer, the chair feels like it has been built to last. The use of water-based lacquers should ensure the chair's resilience to extended use.

Despite its premium price, the Varier Actulum is a worthwhile investment. The high-quality materials, innovative ergonomic design, and the array of customisable upholstery options justify the cost when ordering. The chair's ability to offer you better posture, reduce discomfort, and support overall health makes it a great choice.

Varier Actulum home office chair: Price & availability

Varier Actulum home office chair review

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

The Varier Actulum costs £899 and can be purchased in the UK from the Back in Action official website by clicking here. For retailers outside the UK, see the official Varier official site by clicking here

  • Score: 4/5

Varier Actulum home office chair review: Design & build

Varier Actulum home office chair review

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

The chair reflects a contemporary Scandinavian aesthetic, characterised by clean lines and bold colours that seamlessly blend wood and fabric. The ash wooden frame, available in either natural or black finishes, is moulded to create ergonomic curves that enhance both the chair's functionality and its tactile appeal. Large, flush bolts contrast against the light ash wood of our review sample, adding to the visual appeal while highlighting the chair's high-quality construction. Our review unit featured a striking yellow fabric, offering a vibrant touch to its sophisticated design.

The chair's frame is constructed from high-quality beech plywood treated through an iterative moulding process. This involves combining several layers of plywood, which are then glued together to achieve the chair's sweeping shapes. The plywood is covered with an ash veneer, which is manually sanded and coated with water-based lacquers for a durable finish. This finish is available in either natural ash or black ash, depending on the desired aesthetic.

A notable design feature is the absence of traditional full armrests. Instead, the ash frame sweeps back slightly, aiding both standing and moving the chair and supporting free movement while seated. This design choice may initially seem unconventional, but the absence of armrests quickly becomes a non-issue, as it enhances the chair's ergonomic benefits.

The Actulum has extensive fabric options. Our review model came with the bright yellow Revive fabric, which is the standard material for these chairs and is available in a huge range of colours. Revive is 100% recycled polyester that is both hard-wearing and soft on the skin. Other fabric options are available, such as wool blends and eco-friendly polyester blends, which can be better suited for different environments and workspaces. These alternative materials are available in a variety of colours but usually come at an additional cost.

Despite its comparatively lightweight design, the Varier Actulum is exceptionally sturdy. The chair easily supports the weight of a 13-stone (approximately 83 kg) individual, with a maximum payload of 110 kg (about 17 stone). The high-quality fabrics used are durable, and you can choose and adapt these materials to better suit your specific needs when ordering the chair.

One interesting feature is the hard rubber damper placed between the backrest and frame, designed to absorb impact when you sit down. This small but significant detail enhances the overall comfort and durability of the chair, ensuring a smoother and more supportive sitting experience.

  • Design & build: 5/5

Varier Actulum home office chair: Features

With this chair, it's all about that pendulum movement, which allows the chair to tilt forward and backward, responding naturally to your body movements. This dynamic sitting position helps to promote continuous micro-movements, which are beneficial for building core muscles and reducing neck and back pain. Unlike traditional chairs, the Actulum encourages an active sitting or kneeling posture, which the manufacturer highlights can lead to significant health benefits over time.

One of the unique features of the Actulum's design is the Flexible Backrest, which is made possible by a slim, flexible joint between the backrest and the frame. This feature allows the backrest to adapt to various sitting positions, providing consistent support and comfort as your body shifts throughout the day. 

The price of chair is expensive, so it's reassuring that it has been constructed from High-Quality Materials with a frame made from top-quality beech plywood. This material undergoes an iterative moulding process involving heat and pressure, which ensures durability and flexibility. The plywood is then covered with an ash veneer, which is manually sanded and coated with water-based lacquers, providing a durable and aesthetically pleasing finish.

The chair is available in a variety of Upholstery Options, starting with the standard Revive fabric, a 100% recycled polyester that is both hard-wearing and soft on the skin. Our review sample arrived in a stunning bright yellow. Suppose you're looking for something different from the texture and finish of the fabric. In that case, you can select a variety of alternative materials when ordering, such as wool blends and eco-friendly polyester blends.

The Ergonomic Design supports a variety of sitting positions, which helps strengthen core muscles and promotes better posture. With a weight capacity of up to 110kg (approximately 17 stone), the Actulum is sturdy, robust, and elegant, accommodating a wide range of users. 

  • Features 5/5

Varier Actulum home office chair: Performance

Back in Action Desk Single Column

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

Sitting on the Varier Actulum for the first time immediately highlights the difference between this chair and a standard office chair. The pendulum motion works with you, allowing the chair to move and tilt in response to your body. This dynamic interaction initially feels a bit disconcerting but is expected, given the chair's unique design. As you lean back, the chair tilts with you, and when you lean forward, it moves to support your new position. This takes a few moments to get used to, but it quickly becomes second nature.

As you continue using the chair, you'll notice the absence of rotation—unlike traditional office chairs. However, the armrests are set back, providing ample space to manoeuvre. The way you twist and move in the chair adapts naturally due to its design, allowing for fluid transitions between different sitting positions. 

During the first few days, you will need to adapt to the Actulum's unique sitting experience. However, once you become accustomed to the chair's dynamics, it will feel natural and far more comfortable than standard office chairs. 

Over a week, the initial awareness of the chair's distinct characteristics fades, and it becomes a seamless part of everyday working life. Unlike traditional office chairs that require constant adjustments for height, tilt, and armrests, the Actulum adapts to your body's natural movements. 

Most office chairs have plenty of adjustment; however, the chair needs more manual adjustments, since it's designed to support natural body movements without the need for mechanical alterations. You adjust your seating position through your body's motions, making the chair intuitively comfortable.

This absence of adjustable parts might seem limiting at first, but it contributes to the chair's ergonomic benefits by encouraging continuous movement and reducing the tendency to remain in a static position. After a week of working hard, the chair blended into the office environment. As somewhere to sit when working, it was exceptionally comfortable to the point of not really being noticed. The style and design also gave the studio a touch of contemporary style amongst the lighting and backdrops. Still, most noticeably, even without wheels, the design and weight made it easy to manoeuvre.

  • Performance: 5/5

Should you buy the Varier Actulum?

The Varier Actulum is ideal if you are a professional or work from a home office and want a chair that helps prioritise ergonomic health and active sitting. It's a perfect choice as a chair that promotes movement and reduces tension during long hours of sitting, and that was certainly apparent through testing this chair over a period of time. 

The chair's flexibility and high-quality build make it suitable for both office and dining use, and the choice of materials means that you can adapt it to use and personalise it to your style. If you value comfort, design, and posture support, this chair is an excellent choice.

Varier Actulum home office chair review

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...


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