Reviews

0

A couple months ago I reviewed MSI's GT75VR, and even though I respect how hard it is to cram desktop-level components, ridiculously loud speakers, and a custom mechanical keyboard in a laptop body, gigantic 17-inch systems like that don't really do it for me. That's because weighing in at almost 5kg and measuring 5cm thick, the GT75VR doesn't really deliver the portability I expect from a gaming laptops. With a starting price of $3799, it sure as hell ain't cheap either. But the GS63VR Stealth Pro is a whole 'nother story. It's slim, it's sleek, and it's got one of the most colourful RGB keyboards out there - all starting at $2,999.

0

Cardio is hell.

About the only thing that helps me put in a solid half hour is a good playlist, so a great pair of fitness headphones is an absolute necessity.

Can Plantronics Backbeat FIT 305 make hell a little more bearable?

2

It seems inevitable that one day your entire home will be wired so that smart assistants can hear your every request, no matter where you are. But if you mostly rely on a smart speaker, its built-in mic can only eavesdrop so far. Companies like Google would certainly love it if you bought a smart speaker for every room in your house, but a better solution is to just make your Google Home portable with a fancy pair of battery pants.

2

We humans have shockingly malleable tastes. Studies have shown that we are more likely to prefer something if we think it's expensive (even if it isn't). It stands to reason, then, that a cocktail costing $1,611 should be roughly 80 times more delicious to me than any I've ever purchased for myself. So, when Trader Vic's asked if I wanted to try their extremely limited-edition tipple, of course I jumped at the chance. Verdict?

2

"Go back to the time of your ancestors, and be still," meditation guru Deepak Chopra said as lights flashed onto my eyelids. "Journey back to the beach or a grassy knoll or the cool forest or the dessert oasis or the waterfall or mountain top or river bank or the campfire where your ancestors sat millennia ago as the sun rose or the sun set or the moon rose and stars twinkled. And then, be still."

0

If it looks like a premium smartphone, acts like a premium smartphone but is the same price as a 'budget' smartphone, is it still a premium smartphone? Not really, no.

But that doesn't mean it's all bad news for the Agora 8 Plus.

7

The price of high-end smartphones has gotten out of control. The iPhone X starts at $1579, while Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 retails at $1499, and as much as I like nice things, ponying up that much for a phone is kind of ridiculous. Do we really need a notch that lets you turn your face into an animated pile of poop, or a stylus that won't make your shitty stick figures look any better? But don't fret, because it's still possible to get a very good phone for a decent price.

0

GoPro has been the leader on action cameras from the very beginning, and its brand has attained a kind of Xerox-like omnipotence - despite the company's ongoing struggles in recent years. Amongst GoPro's problems is the difficulty in making the improvements to its line look like anything more than iterations. With its new Hero6, GoPro has juiced its top camera's guts to make it capable of some frankly incredible slow-mo action. Whether that's enough to make a difference, remains to be seen.

8

Instead of a normal shower, imagine standing up every morning inside of a storm cloud: The shower curtain bucking and bellowing in the wind; the air, hot and humid as a heavy mist envelopes you, washing away soapy suds. That's what it's like to use a Nebia, the shower system that's won over the biggest names in tech without a single "smart" feature. No sensors, no Bluetooth, no Wi-Fi, but it feels goddamn glorious.

5

A few months ago, Huawei passed Apple to become the second largest smartphone maker in the world, (Samsung is number one). Its latest flagship handset, the Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro, comes complete with its own homegrown silicon that Huawei claims should make its smartphone the most intelligent.

18

Typing at work on Microsoft's new 15-inch Surface Book 2, I can't shake the feeling that this thing's not for me. Don't get me wrong, it's a powerful laptop, it's beautiful, and the workspace its giant screen affords made me completely forget I wasn't seated at my desk with my usual 32-inch extra-wide display. So sure, the thing is for me, in the way that a very expensive sports car will most definitely sit in city traffic for hours right next to a yellow cab. But do I need the thing, and should I spend $US3,300 (expect upwards of $4,361 here) on it? Of course not.

3

With his first published novel, The Martian, Andy Weir blinded us with science. It's no secret to say that the story's massive success was due to his factual yet fascinating explanation of how someone could plausibly survive on Mars. In Artemis, Weir tries to evolve to a new level of storytelling, but the changes are unfortunately not for the better.

0

The last time we saw Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) in Marvel's Cinematic Universe, he'd fully embraced his Punisher persona and taken to doling out his personal brand of justice even after he'd killed the people directly responsible for the death of his family. It's interesting, then, that that man is not the Frank Castle we meet in the opening moments of Netflix's The Punisher.

20

Zack Snyder's Justice League is both the best and worst of everything we've seen from the Warner Bros. DC Extended Universe movies. There are plenty of things to like, and about an equal number to dislike. But ultimately, its good things bumped up against the bad enough to leave me with hope and excitement for what's to come.

4

You are probably surrounded by more computers than you know what to do with, whether it's the phone in your pocket, the old clunker at home, or the sleek little ultraportable you got from work. And while they are more than enough for everyday tasks, when it comes to real graphics prowess, I'm talking about serious gaming, 3D design, or photo/video editing, most systems don't have the guts -- or the space to accommodate the kind of silicon you'd need to push pixels around.