Gadget news
Shark HydroVac Cordless review: a very effective vacuum-mop
2:10 pm | May 7, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Home Small Appliances Vacuums | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

Shark HydroVac Cordless review: two-minute review

The Shark HydroVac Cordless is a multipurpose cleaner that vacuums and mops at the same time. For this review, I tested the UK version, but there are equivalent models in the US and Australia (there are minor differences in specs, but essentially this is the same product):

There are plenty of reasons to admire this product. It’s powerful, and can tackle lots of different types of wet and dry debris on hardwood flooring, as well as freshening up door mats and rugs. This means you can do away with your traditional mop – should you be able to prize yourself away from it – and condense the number of cleaning tools you need. 

It cleans by sucking up the spillage as you push back and forth until the area is left looking clean and smelling fresh. It’s capable of tackling mess such as milky cereal, baked beans and biscuits. It works fast too. We'd expect nothing less from the brand behind many of the best vacuum cleaners on the market. 

It's not quite perfect. It doesn’t come with a crevice attachment, so you’ll need to use the vacuum’s head to get right up to the skirting and into corners, which can sometimes be tricky. And while it has a self-cleaning feature to keep the insides smelling fresh, you will also need to keep on top of the vacuum’s maintenance and clean and dry the dirty water tank and brush roll after every use, which can be a bit of a pain.

Overall, I was very impressed with pick up – both on finer dust and larger wet debris. I also like how easy the vacuum is to store on the charging dock so that it’s conveniently ready when you need it. It gives you a decent 25 minutes of runtime too – all in its handy cordless design. If you're on a tighter budget and don't mind a cable, there's a corded version that's cheaper. 

That's the short version – read on for my full Shark HydroVac Cordless Cleaner review.

Shark HydroVac Cordless Hard Floor Cleaner review: price & availability

  • List price: US$359.99 / £329.99 / AU$399.99
  • Launched: 2023
  • Available: worldwide

While Shark sells small appliances worldwide. The cordless model I tested is the UK version, which has a list price of £329.99. The US version (WD201) has a list price of $359.99, but at time of writing was discounted to a far-more-affordable $199.99. The Australian version (WD210ANZ) has a list price of AU$399.99.

 If you’re looking to spend a little less and don’t mind a corded model, you can get a corded version in the UK and US. In the UK, this is the WD110UK and costs £279.99, in the US it's the WD161 and costs $249.99. Note that Shark recommends that you replace the filter and brush roll every six months, which is an ongoing cost. 

Two-in-one vacuum cleaner/mops can vary quite a bit in price, with the cheapest starting around £150 / $190 / AU$285 and going up to around £350 / $440 / AU$665. While the Shark HydroVac isn't the cheapest option on the market, the design has a lot of premium features, and I'd say it's good value for money. 

While Shark offers discounts at peak sale times throughout the year including Black Friday and Cyber Monday, at the time of writing the product is being sold at full price.

  • Value for money score: 4 out of 5

Shark HydroVac Cordless cleaner specs

Shark HydroVac Cordless Hard Floor Cleaner review: design

  • LED headlights illuminate hidden debris
  • Ample 500ml water tank
  • Stylish charcoal grey design plus compact charging dock

The Shark HydroVac Cordless Hard Floor Cleaner WD210UK has a stylish charcoal grey finish and sleek body. The body is relatively light at 3.95kg, and the design includes an antimicrobial brush roll and a 500ml water tank.

Although you can't wall-hang this device, it does come with a docking station where the cleaner sits neatly when not in use. It’s the size of a standard cordless vacuum, so while it won't take up too much room, it helps if you have a large room or separate utility area to store it.

Shark HydroVac Cordless floor cleaner plugged in and charging

(Image credit: Future)

What I instantly liked about the two-in-one cleaner is how easy it is to get set up. Attach the body to the head by following the simple instructions provided. When it's ready to go, fill the tank with water and add some of the cleaning solution provided. The LED control panel on the cleaner is simple to read and provides info on battery life and cleaning solution levels.

This cleaner is designed for use on both wet and dry messes, and a variety of floor types. You start it up simply by leaning the handle of the device back.

Close up of dirty water tank on Shark HydroVac Cordless floor cleaner

(Image credit: Future)

There are two modes. In hard floor cleaning mode, it'll vacuum when you're pushing forwards and wash when you pull back. The device automatically starts in this mode when you turn it on. You can also switch to a freshen mode using the button at the top of the handle. In this mode, it seems to mop lightly in both directions. There's a self-cleaning mode that you can activate by pressing the start button once the device is on its stand. You’ll need to supplement this with your own cleaning, however – I'll get into that more in the Performance section.

Shark HydroVac Cordless floor cleaner with LED lights illuminating the floor

(Image credit: Future)

When the device starts, LED headlights illuminate to help you see hidden debris as you vacuum.

It’s worth noting that while the Shark HydroVac Cleaner can be used on low-pile carpets rugs, the brush roll won't work on plush/thick long pile. If you’re after a cleaner for a thicker carpet, you’re better off taking a look at the Shark CarpetXpert Deep Carpet Cleaner EX150UK.

  • Design score: 4 out of 5

Shark HydroVac Cordless floor cleaner review: performance

  • Effective cleaning on sealed hard floors
  • Quite noisy in use
  • Lightweight and easy to move about

If you’ve ever tested a cordless vacuum cleaner, you know how bulky they can sometimes feel. But I found this design reasonably lightweight and well balanced. It's easy to drive around the floor – both on hard flooring, mats and rugs. The head of the vacuum is wide enough to make good progress in just a few strokes, but not overly chunky.

On a full charge, it ran for 25 minutes, which was long enough for me to do a refresh of my hallway, dining room, living room and kitchen before needing to refill the water and pop it back on the charger.

Shark HydroVac Cordless floor cleaner on a wooden floor

(Image credit: Future)

In hard floor cleaning mode, the simple push-pull action is a joy to use, and perfect on the days that I simply needed to quickly pep up my dusty dark walnut hardwood flooring. I found it also worked well on tougher messes – for example when the kids had brought mud into the hallway, or spilt cereal under the kitchen breakfast table (Cheerios are the bane of my life!).

The HydroVac also managed to clean up baked beans on vinyl flooring within seconds, as well as sucking up digestive biscuit crumbs with ease, and always leaving a fresh smelling surface behind. The suction is powerful and I was impressed with just how quickly it got to work.

I also tried refresh mode on a doormat and my Persian carpet. I was a little apprehensive as I've tried wet-dry cleaners in the past that have left my carpet sodden wet. Luckily, the HydroVac didn’t leave too much residue behind. While it’s hard to tell whether it makes any real difference when freshening mats and carpets, I think the fact that it leaves behind a trace of multi-surface cleaning solution with odour neutraliser reassuring.

On the down-side, I found the Shark HydroVac could get quite noisy – ramping up to 83.1 decibels in use and really packing a punch for a minute or so when it’s in self-cleaning mode. Comparatively, I measured my Dyson V15 Detect Absolute at 76.4 decibels.


The HydroVac has a self-cleaning mode, which can be activated when it's back on its charging base. This helps freshen up the inside mechanisms and cleans the brush roll. That's useful because the antimicrobial brush roll can take a bit of a battering, depending on what you’re cleaning. Straight after cleaning up beans and biscuits it was looking rather dirty, for example.

Close up of brush roll on Shark HydroVac Cordless floor cleaner

(Image credit: Future)

That said, you will need to then empty the dirty water tank and also leave the brush roll out to dry for up to 24 hours before using it again. If you forget to empty the tank after use, the dirty water tank will start to smell as I found out on one occasion..

However, you'll also have to do your own maintenance work. After every use, I had to empty the dirty water tank and take off the brush roll (often clogged up with food or hair) to clean myself and leave it out to dry. While this is relatively easy, it is something to bear in mind if you think that the self-cleaning mode here does it all.

  • Performance score: 4.5 out of 5

Should I buy a Shark HydroVac Cordless?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

How I tested the Shark HydroVac Cordless Hard Floor Cleaner

I used the Shark Hydrovac in my home for six weeks. In my home, walnut hardwood flooring runs through the hall to the dining room and living area and it’s prone to looking dusty if not cleaned regularly. I used the Shark Hydrovac to clean the floor daily. I also used it on the vinyl tiles in the kitchen and upstairs in the bedroom where we have laminate hardwood flooring.

I tested how well it did on targeted areas and scattered a section of the room with large oats – to mimic large debris – and a mixture of flour and crushed biscuits – to mimic finer dust. I was keen to see how quickly and effectively it could clean up the area. I also used it to clear up a baked beans spillage on the vinyl flooring in my kitchen and measured the noise levels of the vacuum using the Decibel Meter App on my iPhone. Finally, I also used it in freshen mode to clean the small carpets and doormats throughout the ground floor of my home.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed: May 2024

MSI Titan 18 HX review: a gaming colossus
8:52 pm | May 2, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Gaming Computers Gaming Laptops | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

MSI Titan 18 HX: Two minute review

The MSI Titan 18 HX returns in 2024, reclaiming its title as the best gaming laptop for those looking to splurge on the most over-the-top desktop replacement money can buy.

The Titan 18 HX, like its 2023 predecessor, the MSI GT77 Titan HX, is a $5,000 desktop PC masquerading as a gaming laptop. Clocking in at just under 8 lbs/4kg, you're going to feel this one if you ever have to actually carry it anywhere, and most backpacks out there won't even fit it. This laptop, then, will be relegated to your desk with the occasional trip to another room at most.

While it sacrifices portability, it does come with some absolutely bonkers hardware, including a 175W RTX 4090 mobile GPU, a 95W Intel Core i9-14900HX processor, up to 128GB DDR5 RAM, and up to 4TB SSD storage, with one of its three M.2 SSDs slots being a PCIe 5.0 interface for the best SSD speeds possible (though it doesn't come with a PCIe 5.0 drive, you'll have to provide that yourself). Throw in the world's first 18-inch 120Hz 4K+ mini LED display with 120Hz refresh and HDR1000 certification, and you have the most decadently specced gaming laptops I've ever tested.

And before you say it, mini LED isn't an OLED, I know, but I honestly prefer mini LED displays on gaming laptops, and this one can get you 112% of the DCI-P3 color gamut, so video editors and other creative pros might want to take note of this one as well.

Design-wise, this laptop is an improvement over its predecessor in a number of ways, not the least of which is that it does introduce some grey into the chassis to help break up the super-aggressive gamer black styling of the GT77 Titan HX (and even adds some light blue accent touches to the rear), as well as introducing a seamless trackpad and more refined curves into the keydeck.

The Titan 18 HX's mechanical keyboard, meanwhile, features Cherry MX ultra low-profile switches that are a dream to type on, and the seamless trackpad is adequate for basic use; but as with any gaming laptop, you'll probably want to use the best gaming mouse you have handy while actually gaming.

Given the laptop's size, MSI was able to pack in some powerful speakers that provide a much more immersive audio experience than you'll find on a lot of other laptops. Of course, you'll have to turn the volume up to drown out the whine of the laptop's cooling system, which can get noticeably loud under strain. You can adjust this in the MSI Center, though it will come at the cost of performance.

Speaking of performance, gaming on this laptop is an absolute joy. The very best PC games run buttery smooth at max settings, and while enabling ray tracing at the laptop's native 3840x2400p resolution on some titles will require you to use DLSS upscaling to get a playable framerate at 4K, that's the case with even the best graphics card in a desktop PC.

Still, for the amount of money this laptop will cost you, you could also be forgiven for asking if it's really worth the price. If you're the type to ask such a question, don't worry, it's an easy question to answer: this laptop isn't for you. If you want the absolute best gaming performance in a theoretically portable form factor and money isn't an object for you? Well, you are exactly the person this laptop is designed to cater to, and you won't find many, if any, better gaming laptops on the market than the MSI Titan 18 HX.

MSI Titan 18 HX: Price and availability

An MSI Titan 18 HX on a table

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
  • How much is it? Starting at $4,999.99 / £4,379.98 / AU$6,999
  • When is it available? It is available now.
  • Where can you get it? You can get it in the US, UK, and Australia

The MSI Titan 18 HX is available now in the US, UK, and Australia, starting at $4,999.99 / £4,379.98 / AU$6,999. All configurations come with an Intel Core i9-14900HX processor and 4K+ mini LED display, and the US has two configurations on sale right now. They both feature an Nvidia RTX 4090 mobile GPU and 4TB storage, with the only difference being a choice between 64GB or 128GB RAM.

In the UK, the Titan 18 HX starts with an Nvidia RTX 4080 GPU, 64GB DDR5 RAM, and 2TB PCIe 4.0 storage, and goes up as high as an RTX 4090 with 128GB RAM and 4TB storage. In Australia, the Titan 18 HX starts with an RTX 4080 GPU, 32GB RAM, and 2TB storage, and goes up to an RTX 4090, 128GB RAM, and 4TB storage.

In no universe is this a cheap gaming laptop, and it's challenging to think of another 18-inch laptop that goes quite this hard on the specs. Even the Alienware m18 R2 pulls back from a full 4K display, much less 4K+, and tops out at 64GB RAM. Even upping the m18 R2's storage to 8TB with everything else maxed out doesn't even bring you up to the MSI Titan 18 HX's starting price.

Again, I can't stress this enough, only those with the deepest pockets need consider this one.

  • Value: 2.5 / 5

MSI Titan 18 HX: Specs

An MSI Titan 18 HX on a table

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

This is easily the most obscenely configured gaming laptop I've ever laid hands on, and I wouldn't be surprised if you could still play the latest AAA games at max settings at 4K for the rest of the decade. The hardware will likely physically fail on you before this thing is rendered obsolete when it comes to gaming or high-end performance.

  • Specs: 5 / 5

MSI Titan 18 HX: Design

An MSI Titan 18 HX on a table

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
  • Gorgeous mini LED display
  • Improved chassis aesthetics
  • Ports galore
  • Low-profile mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX switches

The MSI Titan 18 HX introduces several improvements over last year's Titan, while generally keeping the fairly Decepticon-like aesthetic that the Titan is known for.

Starting with the sheer size of the thing, it's slightly bigger than its predecessor, a feat I didn't think possible. It also adds about 0.5 lbs to its weight, making it by far the heaviest laptop I've used in at least a decade or more.

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An MSI Titan 18 HX on a table

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
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An MSI Titan 18 HX on a table

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
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An MSI Titan 18 HX on a table

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
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An MSI Titan 18 HX on a table

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
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An MSI Titan 18 HX on a table

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Opening it up, you'll find a low-profile mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX switches for some seriously smooth typing. The trackpad has gone seamless, as well, offering a glassy but responsive surface for your palms and fingertips to glide over. The trackpad itself is responsive, with good feedback, though a gaming mouse or controller is recommended for higher-level precision.

An MSI Titan 18 HX on a table

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

The Titan 18 HX comes loaded with 4x2W up-firing speakers on either side of the keyboard, as well as 2x2W subwoofers for extra bass, all of which work together to create some very rich sound, at least as far as laptop speakers go.

An MSI Titan 18 HX on a table

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

The IR webcam also gets an upgrade over last year's model, now at full HD as opposed to 720p, and features a physical privacy shutter, which you always love to see on a laptop.

An MSI Titan 18 HX on a table

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

The display though is the big feature here with a speedy 120Hz refresh rate on a 3840x2400p mini LED panel that is bright and vibrant. It also has VESA DisplayHDR 1000 certification for a fantastic color contrast with deep blacks, and covers 112% of the DCI-P3 color gamut according to our tests.

An MSI Titan 18 HX on a table

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

In terms of ports, having a chassis this big means you can cram in a lot of ports, and the Titan 18 HX does not disappoint. You get three USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 ports, two Thunderbolt 4 ports with DP output (with one featuring PD3.1 certification for fast charging devices), one HDMI 2.1 port that can push 120Hz video at 4K, an SDCard slot, an RJ45 ethernet port, and a 3.5mm combo jack. You even get a Kensington lock slot for good measure.

Overall, this is one of the best-looking MSI gaming laptops I've seen this year, and its wealth of features, ports, and more make it a standout device before we even get to its performance.

  • Design: 4.5 / 5

MSI Titan 18 HX: Performance

An MSI Titan 18 HX on a table

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
  • Best-in-class performance
  • Able to hit 60 FPS at 2400p on most games without upscaling
  • Upscaling can get you 60 FPS or better in games with ray tracing turned on

This gaming laptop absolutely puts some of the best gaming PCs to shame with its performance. Its 2400p resolution understandably taxes the hardware when playing high-end games at its native resolution at max settings, but in titles like Assassin's Creed Mirage, Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and Far Cry 6, the Titan 18 HX is easily able to clear 60 FPS at 4K on its highest settings, and that's not even factoring in any graphics upscaling.

Turn upscaling on, where available, and you can push the limits of the display's refresh rate on most games. If you factor in ray tracing, though, you can get in the neighborhood of 60 FPS or higher with appropriate upscaling, and on games like Cyberpunk 2077, it's an absolute necessity if you want to max everything out and get a better-than-just-playable frame rate. 

Looking at its competitors, though, among the other 18-inch gaming laptops we've tested in our labs so far this year, none can match what the MSI Titan 18 HX brings to the table in terms of performance. The fact its competitors are all limited to 1600p QHD+ displays means that if you want the absolute bleeding edge of what laptop gaming can deliver in terms of 4K visual spectacle, the Titan 18 HX is really your only option.

  • Performance: 5 / 5

MSI Titan 18 HX: Battery life

An MSI Titan 18 HX on a table

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
  • Terrible battery life, but it'll rarely be on battery power anyway
  • Charging to full will take you a couple of hours

Understandably, battery life is not this laptop's greatest strength, but to call it a weakness is a bit unfair. This is not the kind of laptop you'll use unplugged for any length of time, as you would one of the best ultrabooks or a MacBook Pro.

This is a desktop replacement, so even though its two hours and 40 minutes of battery life while surfing the web is a pretty funny data point for a $5,000 laptop, you'll never actually use the Titan 18 HX this way outside of extremely rare instances. Its bulk will make it difficult to bring it anywhere period, much less somewhere that doesn't have an available wall outlet.

Still, compared to other 18-inch gaming laptops, the Titan 18 HX's battery performance still falls about 20% below the class average of three hours and 27 minutes. That means it doesn't get a total pass from me on battery life, but it is hardly a factor anyone should realistically consider for a laptop like this.

  • Battery Life: 2.5 / 5

Should you buy the MSI Titan 18 HX?

Buy the MSI Titan 18 HX if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider

If my MSI Titan 18 HX review has you considering other options, here are three other laptops to consider:

How I tested the MSI Titan 18 HX

  • I spent about a month testing the Titan 18 HX
  • I used our standard suite of benchmark tests
  • I primarily played games on the Titan 18 HX, though I also used it for general computing and content creation

I spent about a month with the MSI Titan 18 HX, using it as an everyday work machine at home while gaming at night once work was done. I also used it for content creation work with Adobe Photoshop.

This is a gaming laptop, first and foremost, so I tested it with our standard battery of gaming benchmarks and other benchmarks that check for CPU, GPU, and overall system performance.

I've been reviewing laptops for TechRadar for nearly half a decade now, and as a lifelong PC gamer, I know how games should run on given hardware, and how much that hardware should cost you to maximize the value to the consumer. I also have a Master's Degree in Computer Science, so I'm able to really dig in and analyze the nitty-gritty of the hardware in a way many other reviews can't.

  • First reviewed May 2024
Nsign TV review
1:18 pm | February 13, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Pro | Tags: | Comments: Off is a communication platform as a service (CPaaS) that integrates smart content with digitization projects through AI, Big Data and IoT. It allows developers to create and customize digital signage solutions for various sectors and industries. In case you are wondering, the company does put its name in all lowercase letters for reasons unknown, perhaps to buck the trend of many other companies almost randomly capitalizing letters in their name just to look different, but we think it makes it a little bit difficult to read.

Founded in 2007, and located in Spain, has won several awards for its innovative projects, such as the digital signage circuit for the HLA International Clinic in Barcelona, the best DOOH project at the AV Integration Awards 20231. also offers a player application that is compatible with the main operating systems on the market, such as Windows, Android, Linux and WebOS. It counts among its users notable organizations including Electronic Arts, Domino’s and Nespresso.

Nsign TV: Features

Nsign TV features

(Image credit: Nsign TV) is a digital signage platform that offers a variety of features for creating and managing engaging content for different sectors and industries. Some of the features of are:

  • System-on-chip (SoC): can run on multiple multi-brand devices without the need for an external media player, reducing complexity and costs.
  • Layout Configurator: allows the creation of more zones on a screen, directly from the platform, without the need for external graphics or video editors.
  • Menu board: enables the digitalisation of menu boards for the foodservice sector, allowing dynamic and interactive content that can be updated in real time.
  • LED: supports LED screens of different sizes and resolutions, and can integrate with other technologies such as IoT, AI and Big Data.
  • DOOH: has won awards for its innovative digital out-of-home (DOOH) projects, such as the digital signage circuit for the HLA International Clinic in Barcelona.
  • Compatibility: offers a player application that is compatible with the main operating systems on the market, such as Windows, Android, Linux and WebOS.

Nsign TV: Pricing

Up and down the Nsign website, there is no upfront pricing, and rather they take the opaque route. This is frustrating as it is much easier to shop for a plan when the pricing and the features are all laid out, preferably with an informative chart. If this sounds like too much of a request, its competitors provide this, so it is unclear why Nsign goes this route.

Alternatively, they go with the plan for a trial, and 30 days for free to decide if this is for your business, or not. Really though, Nsign should not get people just to try the service to have to then decide if the price works for them or not. Furthermore, there is no free tier. At least we do not see that a credit card is required in order to access the trial which makes going ahead to try it considerably more palatable than the fear of getting a recurring charge for a service that you did not end up wanting.

Without Nsign laying it out, it is unclear if there are tiers to choose from, or just the one subscription. All we could find is that there is a Basic plan for the cloud based subscription, and it has a cost of $20/month/screen. We also did not find any info on an annual discount.

Nsign TV: Support

If you are looking for support, there are a few options available for you.

Direct support options for Nsign appear to be somewhat limited. We appreciate that there is a direct phone number easily findable on the website, with for Spain, or also a US based phone number in Miami. However, there are no hours or days of operation indicating when we should call. Also, there are no other direct support options limited, such as email, a support portal, a fax or a chat so this is limiting in our modern time when many users appreciate the multiple options to get support.

Following somewhat analogously, there is some self help support, but overall just a few options. We did find a blog of articles, with three posts in the last month which is encouraging. We also found an Nsign Academy area which was over promised, as this academy has just six courses, including Introduction, Widgets and Pro Features. We needed a sign in to proceed further and actually see the course so we will reserve judgment on the quality and usability of the course. We did not find a FAQ, nor a user forum.

We also think that the links to social media are lacking as well, with just Instagram, Facebook (last post in September 2023), and LinkedIn.

Nsign TV: Final verdict is a communication platform as a service (CPaaS) that integrates smart content with digitization projects through AI, Big Data and IoT. It allows developers to create and customize digital signage solutions for various sectors and industries. It has won several awards for its innovative projects, such as the digital signage circuit for the HLA International Clinic in Barcelona. It offers a variety of features, including System-on-chip (SoC), Layout Configurator, Menu board, LED, DOOH, and Compatibility. It has a 30-day free trial, but pricing is not clearly listed on its website. Support options are somewhat limited, with direct support available by phone only. Self-help support is available through a blog and an academy with six courses. Social media links are also lacking. 

Samsung demoes transparent micro LED display
2:21 pm | January 9, 2024

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

Samsung is having one announcement after another at CES 2024 in Las Vegas. One of the products that were introduced at the expo was a transparent micro LED display that “blurs the boundaries between content and reality”. The panel has a see-through display that allows you to view content and see what is going on behind the screen as well, and there is even a short video to give you a better idea. The product is a result of six years of research and development, said Samsung. The company is currently selling a 110-inch non-transparent microLED TV for $150,000, so even if it is...

Samsung demoes transparent micro LED display
2:21 pm |

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

Samsung is having one announcement after another at CES 2024 in Las Vegas. One of the products that were introduced at the expo was a transparent micro LED display that “blurs the boundaries between content and reality”. The panel has a see-through display that allows you to view content and see what is going on behind the screen as well, and there is even a short video to give you a better idea. The product is a result of six years of research and development, said Samsung. The company is currently selling a 110-inch non-transparent microLED TV for $150,000, so even if it is...

Leaked Huawei nova 12 render reveals triple camera and LED ring light
2:46 pm | November 22, 2023

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

Huawei is gearing to launch the nova 12 series, and a leaked render revealed what the devices might look like. According to one source, there will be three cameras on the back, and one of them will feature an LED ring light. The camera island looks similar to the nova 11 devices with a big golden circle around the main camera, but the smaller cameras' alignment is different. We can also see the power key protruding, meaning this phone has an OLED screen with a fingerprint scanner underneath. According to reports, there will be at least three nova 12 devices, and the lineup will also...

Philips Hue Smart Button review
10:24 pm | September 25, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Home Smart Home | Tags: | Comments: Off

One-minute review

The Philips Hue Smart Button is a wireless controller for the Philips Hue smart lighting system. It works in a similar way to the Hue Wireless Dimmer but is smaller, offers two different mounting options, and is intended to be a quick and simple way to control a bulb, a room, or an entire home with a press.

The button can be programmed to control Hue lights in several different ways. There’s a brief tap and a longer press-and-hold, each of which can be set to do different things. It’s also possible to have the button set a scene depending on the time of day, or it can cycle through several pre-programmed scenes with each subsequent press. A long press is used to dim whatever lights the button is programmed to control.

A wall-mounting plate is included in the box, along with a small disc that's the size of the button itself. Both can be fixed to the wall with the supplied adhesive strips, and the button itself snaps magnetically into place on either plate.

Philips Hue Smart Button: specs

Philips Hue Smart Button: performance

  • Wireless, powered by a CR2032 coin battery
  • Attaches magnetically to included wall plate and adhesive disc
  • Soft plastic finish with discreet status LED

The Philips Hue Smart Button works very much like other Philips Hue accessories, including the Wireless Dimmer and the Tap Dial Switch. Lights respond quickly to a press, and it can be set up to either control Hue lights directly or via the optional Hue Bridge.

You don’t need a Hue Bridge to use the Smart Button, but installing one will unlock greater functionality for both your Hue lights and accessories – most notably the ability to control your lights from the Hue app when away from home.

Philips Hue Smart Button

(Image credit: Future)

The button itself is made from a soft-touch, slightly rubberized plastic that gives it a premium feel. It’s a nice finish but one that has a habit of attracting dust and quickly looking unclean. The clicking action feels fairly premium, and we welcome the LED that's hidden beneath the plastic surface and can only be seen when illuminated. This helps alert you to any connection problems and blinks green when the button is pressed.

The mounting plate can be stuck to any interior wall with the included adhesive strips, or mounted with screws, if you prefer. The button also comes with a much smaller mount, which is also magnetic and features adhesive strips on the back. In our opinion, opting for the latter results in a much cleaner setup and means you won’t have the Philips logo slapped across your wall.

Philips Hue Smart Button: app

  • Quick and easy setup
  • Simple to configure
  • Fairly limited customization options

As with other Hue accessories, adding the Philips Hue Smart Button to your lighting system is done via the Hue app. The setup process is quick and easy, giving you the opportunity to name the button (something like "Hallway") and assign it to a room of lights. Alternatively, the button can be tasked with controlling one or more specific Hue lights and lighting strips, or a specific zone similar to one that includes every Hue light in the household.

As well as Hue lights, the Smart Button can control the Hue Smart Plug in exactly the same way. This means it can be used to fire up a heater, a fan, a lamp or pretty much anything that plugs into a wall outlet.

Using the Hue app to change how the button works is easy. You can pick which lights, rooms or zones it controls (ranging from a single light to an entire home), and configure what happens to those lights when you give the button a quick press or a press-and-hold.

By default, a single press activates a time-based lighting setup. Here, your lights will adjust to a certain setting depending on the time of day, with each 24-hour period sectioned into five different lighting presets, each mimicking natural sunlight at that time of day. This means cool, bluish white light in the morning; warmer, more yellow light in the afternoon and evening; and a darker, dimmer orange glow at night. You can change the time and lighting setting for each of these to suit your needs.

Philips Hue Smart Button

(Image credit: Future)

Alternatively, a press can cycle your lights through a range of presets. Up to five different lighting scenes can be added, with each button press skipping to the next one.

Lastly, there’s the press-and-hold control. This is far more limited, and it can only be used to either dim a certain set of lights or turn off every Hue light in your home. The latter is pretty useful, especially if you mount the Smart Button by the front door, ready to be pressed to turn everything off on your way out.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to configure this more deeply. We’d like to have a long press turn all the lights off but also turn on a single lamp in the lounge to act as a burglar deterrent. This limitation sums up the Philips Hue Smart Button: it works very well but only if you don’t expect too much from it. More possibilities for customization would have been welcome.

Philips Hue Smart Button

(Image credit: Future)

Philips Hue Smart Button review: Should I buy?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Philips Hue Smart Button review: Also consider

If you want to add more smart lighting to your home, here are a couple of options to consider...

Philips Hue Smart Button review: How I tested

  • I added the switch to my Hue lighting system
  • I set up and used the switch as part of my daily routine

I fitted the Smart Button to a wall in my hallway and configured the switch to cycle a Hue light bulb in the hall through several scenes when pressed, then turn off all of my Hue lights with a long press.

I also experimented with the settings and used the Smart Button for other uses, including as a portable dimmer switch for my lounge Hue lighting. Being wireless, the button also spent time on my bedside table and at my desk where it was configured to control office lighting.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed September 2023

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Roborock Dyad Pro review: It’ll keep hard floors spotless
7:06 pm | June 29, 2023

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

Two-minute review

The Roborock Dyad Pro may be a one-trick pony; but it performs that one trick very well. This standup mop-vacuum is perfect for anyone whose flooring comprises mainly hard floors. In particular, flooring that may not do well with standing water – as you might experience when using a traditional mop.

Is it one of the best vacuum cleaners available now? Yes, but only if you don’t need a stand-alone vacuum function; the Roborock Dyad Pro doesn’t do that. However, in terms of its mopping function, it offers a couple of settings with which you can either use it on full power to clean your floors, or conserve both water and power if you’re trying to clean a large area.

While it isn't unique in the market, this wet-only vacuum from the Chinese-based Roborock – a company that’s made a name for itself in the vacuum market over the past 10 years – has very little in the way of competition, with only some offerings from Samsung and Bissell’s CrossWave line coming to mind. In fact, having mopping functionality seems to be more prevalent in some of the best robot vacuums.

Regardless of the uniqueness of this offering, the Dyad Pro is simple to get going. Putting it together, filling it up, and docking it in its charging base will take around 10 minutes. Emptying it of dirty water and debris is just as easy. All-in-all, just about everything about the Roborock Dyad Pro is straightforward.

Of course, there are a few flaws here. It’s on the heavy side, which can make setting it in its base a bit difficult. Plus, functionality through the app is limited, especially since this isn't the kind of vacuum that you can run on its own as you would a robot vacuum. We struggled with the floor-drying mode, too, which didn't appear to work – although it didn't take long for the floors to dry naturally, so the fact that the mode was a tad lacklustre wasn’t too serious of an issue.

Having spent a week with the Roborock Dyad Pro, it’s a hardy recommendation for anyone looking to replace their mop or wanting to combine mop and vacuum duties in a single cordless vacuum. For those who have carpeting, it won’t replace a vacuum outright; but this model does make cleaning hard floors incredibly easy.

If you're still sat on the fence about what a wet and dry vacuum cleaner does, then reading this review will at least give you flavor of what you can expect.

Roborock Dyad Pro review: Price and availability

  • List price: $449.99 / £489.99 / AU$799.00
  • Available in the US, UK, and Australia

The Roborock Dyad Pro, whose official launch was in January at CES 2023, is the kind of product that you could class as expensive – if you haven’t seen the competition.

Nevertheless, at $449.99 / £489.99 / AU$799, this view could be justified when you consider it can only be used in wet mode, and when models such as the Shark Stratos Cordless with Clean Sense IQ – a Tech Radar favorite – costs around $50 / £50 more. Other options include the Samsung Bespoke Jet, which includes a dry vacuum mode, but this costs a whopping $1,035 / £629 / AU$1,299. However, unless you're happy to consider a more manual solution such as a Swiffer or traditional mop, you’ll have a hard time spending less for a cordless vacuum / mopping solution.

Value: 4.5/5

Roborock Dyad Pro review: Specs

The Roborock Dyad Pro comes with a vacuum and charging station.

Roborock Dyad Pro review: Design

  • Easy to assemble and clean
  • A bit bottom heavy
  • Comes with bright, legible LED screen

Roborock Dyad Pro

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

On first receiving the Roborock Dyad Pro, putting it together is as simple as plugging in the base and inserting the handle into the body of the vacuum. Next, you fill up the clean water tank and the detergent compartment, and following some time charging, it's ready to use.

The Roborock Dyad Pro cuts a striking figure in white and black, but unfortunately, it's a bit bottom heavy, as a result of the body of the vacuum containing both a clean and dirty water tank.

Thankfully, though, access to the various parts – whether that be to one of the compartments or the two rollers on the underside of the vacuum – is super easy, making cleanup and troubleshooting straightforward.

To that effect, the dirty water tank has a few components, including a filter and reservoir, that takes just a few minutes to empty and clean out. You will have to remove the filter to pour out the dirty water, where you’ll also find plenty of debris to discard.

Roborock Dyad Pro

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

As far as controls go, the Dyad Pro features three buttons on the handle. The top one is a self-cleaning button, which you press once the Roborock Dyad Pro is back in its charging base, while on the front side there are two more buttons: one for power and one to change modes. There are four modes available: Eco, Auto, Max, and Floor Drying. 

Lastly, on the top of the vacuum body you'll find an LED screen that relays all the information you need to know. It shows the current battery charge, a blue indicator line that starts to turn red the dirtier the mess you’re cleaning up, and the mode you’re currently using. The display is simple and straightforward like everything else here, and is more than bright enough to read.

Design: 4.5 / 5

Roborock Dyad Pro review: Performance

  • Only has wet cleaning mode
  • Does a fantastic job cleaning all sorts of debris
  • Has multiple modes – although the floor-drying mode doesn’t work

While it’s unfortunate that the Roborock Dyad Pro doesn’t have a dry vacuum-only function, it does a wonderful job in its dual vacuum and mop guise. With its combination of detergent and water, plus those dual rollers, it quickly picks up and cleans whatever I'm clearing on its first pass.

I used the Roborock Dyad Pro to clean up cat litter that had been spread outside the litter box (and this was the clay-type litter), as well as debris left from cat-scratch toys and general accumulated dust with the odd large particle – notably a rubber band. No matter what I wanted to clean up, the floor was left spotless. Cleaning out the dirty water tank, I even noticed that it had picked up a bunch of hair that I didn’t even notice was on the floor.

Roborock Dyad Pro

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

Since all the controls are on the handle, switching modes – from Eco or Auto mode to Max for dirtier messes – is at your fingertips. The positioning of the LED screen at the top also makes it easy to keep an eye on battery life and the level of dirt being cleaned up.

The Roborock Dyad Pro not only does a good job of cleaning up, it’s pretty easy to use as well. Note that it's somewhat bottom-heavy, which maybe a surprise when you first grab hold of it to use. In addition, when you turn it on, it lurches forward like it has a mind of its own. However, once I'd become accustomed to this, it actually proved useful, requiring less effort on my part to push the vacuum forward to clean.

Roborock Dyad Pro

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

As far as the modes go, they all work as intended – although you could easily just leave the Dyad Pro in Auto mode the whole time, since it automatically adjusts power according to how dirty your surfaces. However, the floor-drying mode doesn’t appear to work as intended. While unfortunate, I found that a mopped floor would dry up within 5 to 10 minutes, so this is unlikely to be an issue – except for the fact that the Roborock Dyad Pro offers a mode that doesn’t do anything.

Note that this isn't the quietest vacuum, running at around 66dB; but it’s around the level you'd expect from a vacuum. Plus, it will verbally announce when you switch modes or set into the base for charging / self-cleaning.

Performance: 4.5 / 5

Roborock Dyad Pro review: App

  • Easy to install
  • Set up scheduled cleaning and cleaning zones
  • Access real-time camera, microphone and speaker
Image 1 of 2

Roborock Dyad Pro

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

Roborock Dyad Pro

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

The Roborock app, at least for use with the Dyad Pro, doesn’t seem to be all that useful. In fact, it almost seems as though it was included for the sake of being able to state tat the vacuum offers app support.

While vacuuming, the app doesn't offer any functionality that isn't doable by pressing a button on the handle. Grabbing your phone to change modes is more cumbersome than simply making the change on the vacuum itself. In addition, since the display shows the Roborock Dyad Pro's battery status, checking the app for that is pointless as well.

The only saving grace here is that you can adjust some settings for when the vacuum isn't in use. For example, you can turn on the self-cleaning function for as soon as the vacuum is docked, or continued cleaning right after the cleaning head has been unlocked. There are also some settings that refer to the drying mode, plus a Do Not Disturb mode that will turn off that LED screen during quiet hours.

Rating: 3.5 / 5

Roborock Dyad Pro review: Battery life

  • Enough battery life to clean a large apartment on a single charge
  • Takes a while to charge back up

Using the Roborock Dyad Pro for 10 minutes at max power brought battery life down from 100% to 60%. Considering the unit is doing more than just vacuuming, that’s pretty good going – especially when you consider that I was able to cover my kitchen, living room, hallway, and one bedroom, and then slowly make my way back to the charging base.

Roborock advertises that the Dyad Pro can cover 3230 square feet (in Eco mode) off a single charge – and I can believe it based on my results. If you’re using mop / vacuum to clean a large home, however, then you may have to do so in shifts. And, since the battery can take some time to charge back up, you might be left hanging for approximately an hour or so before you can use it again.

Battery: 4 /5

Should you buy the Roborock Dyad Pro?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Roborock Dyad Pro review: Also consider

If a robot vacuum isn't for you, why not consider a cordless vacuum? There's no automation, but you retain freedom from cables.

How I tested the Roborock Dyad Pro

  • Used for a couple weeks
  • Cleaned up different types of dirt and debris
  • Looked at its various features including the app

To test the Roborock Dyad Pro, I used the model for a couple weeks to vacuum and mop the hardwood floors in my apartment. I cleaned up various types of particles, from cat litter to even larger debris. I tried to run down the battery as much as I could, although I did run out of floor space to clean. And, I went through all the functionality of the associated app.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed June 2023

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