Tagged With consumer tech

Damn, I've never seen a tech company give up on a project so quickly since Microsoft bet big on the Kin, but Intel may have taken the cake as it announces the closure of the division responsible for its intriguing Vaunt smart glasses. Just five years after creating the New Devices Group, Intel is shuttering it, and unfortunately, that will also mean the loss of an estimated 200 jobs, according to The Information, who first reported the closure.

If you're serious about gaming, you need a good pair of headphones. And if you want to communicate to your team, you're going to need a mic too. But that doesn't mean you have to drop a ton of money on something that will address both issues. So to find out which headset does the best job of marrying these two functions for less than $150, we pitted five popular gaming peripheral makers in a battle to see which is best.

After pleading guilty to charges of violating sanctions and illegally shipping US goods to Iran, ZTE agreed to pay almost $US900 million ($1.2 billion) in fines in 2017, with up to $US300 million ($386 million) in possible additional damages. However, it seems those penalties weren't enough for Uncle Sam, because today the US Department of Commerce slapped the Chinese phone maker with a ban preventing American companies from selling components to ZTE for the next seven years.

Yesterday, Google sent out an internal email to G Suite administrators announcing a new design for Gmail on the web sporting a "fresh, clean look". Images of the presumed redesign were then leaked to Android Authority before appearing on Imgur with key info redacted via large black blocks. And now today, The Verge obtained additional images of what the revamped Gmail could look like when it rolls out for real sometime in the next few weeks.

Google appears to be done with two phones that were the company's signature devices just two years ago. Ars Technica pointed out that the Pixel and Pixel XL have now disappeared from the Google Store and Project Fi store. Google confirmed to Gizmodo that the devices will no longer be made available to purchase directly from the company.

Well, it looks like we actually might see the return of Snapchat's overhyped Spectacles soon. As Variety first reported, the FCC published a filing by Snap for a "wearable video camera" yesterday, just a month after rumours came out that the company might release not one, but two different versions of its video-recording sunglasses. Let's hope they look better than the last ones.

Google's Chromecast devices are handy (and cheap) little dongles for anyone who wants to add streaming functionality to their TV. But since the Chromecast Ultra came out in the spring of 2016, there haven't been any new Google-branded additions to the family.

There's no better example of the war between form and function than smartwatch design. There are boxy, bulging, touchscreen wearables that do almost everything your smartphone can, and there are sleeker analogue alternatives that maybe keep track of how many calories you've burned. With the latest version of the Vívomove HR, Garmin has tried, and mostly succeeded, in balancing both approaches, creating a smartwatch that hides a respectable list of features behind a traditional analogue face.

Ahead of Avengers: Infinity War's official release in just a few weeks, China's Brando has revealed the penultimate collectable for fans of Thanos' rise to power. Why buy a simple life-size replica of his infamous Infinity Gauntlet when you could buy this superior life-size replica made from actual copper, with glowing Infinity Stones, and sitting atop a display base that turns it into a booming, 72-watt wireless speaker?

Companies keep trying to make tablets for education happen. Two weeks ago, Acer announced the $US329 ($428) Chromebook Tab 10, a confusingly-named slate running Chrome OS that was designed with students and teachers in mind. Then Apple followed that up with a revamped iPad featuring some new education apps and Apple Pencil support. But to me, neither of these devices truly hit the spot, because they still lack the one feature you need for real productivity: A keyboard.

Usually when researchers find bugs in software, even critical ones, the company responsible apologises, addresses any flaws, and then puts out an update for people to download again. However, in the case of Intel's Remote Keyboard app for Android, it seems even that is too much work for Intel. After three different security researchers found a number of severe exploits, the company seems to have decided to ditch the app altogether instead of patching the holes.

Now that notches are popping up on just about every new smartphone screen, Apple's next iPhone will need some new tricks to stand out from its competitors. But if a report from Bloomberg is true, instead of coming up with entirely new ideas, it seems Apple may try to crib some features from a handful of five-year-old devices.