Reviews

7

Tiny wireless earphones are all the rage right now. Apple, Jabra, Sony, Jaybird, Bose, and now Bang & Olufsen have all joined the race to build miniature 'buds that sit in your ears without cables, and each one wants to be the pair in your pocket. B&O Play's Beoplay E8 takes a fashion-forward approach, but these pint-sized earphones also sound incredibly good for their size.

0

In recent years, set-top boxes have been shrinking down to tinier, cheaper packages with a growing list of fun new features. The new Fire TV dongle with 4K, HDR, and Dolby Atmos showcases some of the best aspects about this trend. It's cute. It's a thrill to use. It's just $US70. The only problem is that you still can't use the new Fire TV for everything. It's very good, but it's not the very best.

3

There are always going to be people who want a big, powerful laptop. I'm talking about people like developers that want to show off early game builds at trade shows or stubborn people who simply can't compromise on performance when they are away from home. But is there any benefit to turning these 17-inch behemoths into something that thin and light too?

1

Thor: Ragnarok is the funniest Marvel movie to date. In fact, it may be the funniest superhero movie ever. From the first scene until the very last, it's a non-stop cavalcade of jokes wrapped around an epic, sweeping space adventure. The whole thing will make you absolutely giddy.

0

Sonos wouldn't like it, but you could call its new smart speaker an "Echo." A high-end, very nice-sounding, but flawed Amazon Echo -- the kind someone who just got a promotion might buy themselves, because unlike the $US50 Dot or new $US100 Echo, this speaker will set you back $299.

30

When Google released the Pixel last year, it was taking a stand. No longer would Google hardware be tainted with the brands and logos of other companies, even if behind the scenes, Google still needed help from those same companies to actually build its phones. And despite designs that were almost offensively ugly, a lack of standard flagship features such as water-resistance and expandable storage, and massive supply chain problems that made it hard to actually buy one months after its initial release, there were bright spots like the Pixel's excellent HDR photo mode and an untainted Android experience.

0

In Happy Death Day, a college student is forced to relive her birthday over and over again. That sounds nice, except for the fact that she's always, always, murdered at the end of it. To stop the loop, she'll have to figure out who is killing her.

0

It feels like we're leaving the world of set-top boxes as we know them behind. For one, few people own a TV big enough that you could actually put a box on top of it -- that's been true for a long time. The box itself has also dwindled down to a dongle, a handy little thing that disappears behind the screen. These HDMI sticks have been a bit weak in the past, serving as a convenient but compromised alternative to a larger piece of hardware. The Roku Streaming Stick+, with its ability to handle 4K and HDR, changes all that.

4

People have been forecasting the death of the PC for years, and while all that noise is clearly overblown, there is one segment of the computing world that should probably go away: the traditional clamshell laptop. Now I'm not saying we should do away with notebooks PCs as we know them or more specialised notebooks like mobile workstations or gaming laptops, I just think it's past time we replaced all the boring old notebooks with 2-in-1s.

0

I was about an hour into zombie horror board game Dead of Winter when I gave up all hope of ever being happy again. My players were surrounded by the undead, I was nearly out of supplies, and my heart was beating like a jack-hammer. It took all my courage not to flip over my brother-in-law's table and scream: "Screw it, let the zombies eat my face! I don't even care anymore."

16

I've never actually met Seth MacFarlane, so saying I don't like the guy isn't a personal dig. I've just never been a fan of his style of comedy, especially Family Guy (hate it) and the Ted movies (ugh). And yet somehow I'm enjoying the hell out of The Orville, his new live-action Star Trek homage.

11

It's almost unfair that most of the world met our voice-controlled future in the form of an Amazon Echo. Sure, the gadget works, but damn is it ugly. The Google Home was better but still sort of silly-looking. That's why the sleek, minimalist Google Home Mini feels like a revelation.