Bluetooth speakers are one of the most versatile gadgets out there. These wireless speakers are portable and also bundles a slew of features. For instance, some of the Bluetooth speakers are waterproof, while others deliver loud audio to be used at parties. The best part is that some of these Bluetooth speakers have built-in microphones so that you can carry on your phone conversations without disconnecting your phone.
Until a few years ago, wireless Bluetooth speakers with microphones were a common thing. However, now things have changed, and a few of the makers have stopped adding this nifty feature. If you look around, the new launches like the JBL Flip 5 or the UE Wonderboom do not have a built-in microphone.
Luckily, there are still a few Bluetooth speakers that come with built-in mics. These mics pick up your voice well so that you can carry on your phone calls at times. But before that,
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1. BANG & OLUFSEN BEOSOUND A1 2ND GEN
The Beosound A1 also has other tricks up its sleeves. For instance, it has a waterproof rating of IP67, has a decent battery life of around 18 hours, and supports Qualcomm’s aptX Adaptive Bluetooth codec. However, the feature that separates it from its peers is its support for Amazon Alexa.
Thanks to the Alexa integration, you get an array of 3 mics. These ensure that the speaker can hear your commands even when it’s playings songs or podcasts. Plus, the three-microphone array transmits clear conversations through the mic. The mic’s noise isolation is on point and ensures that it carries minimal noise across. Some users have also used it for online Zoom meetings and calls and have had good experiences so far.
The Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 speaker offers decent battery life and USB-C charging. The folks at Tech Advisor found the battery dropping to about 90% after 6 hours of use after being connected to a Windows PC.
If you want a speaker that belts out quality audio and also lets you take up audio and video calls with ease, then this one is a worthy pick. However, note that the control buttons, situated around the lower edge, can be a little difficult to see and touch.
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2. JABRA SPEAK 710 MS
Like the one above, the Speak 710 is small, which makes it portable. In addition, the speaker has a small stand at the back that allows you to angle it towards yourself during calls and video meetings. At the same time, it delivers a clear voice, thanks to the built-in HD Voice feature. This Bluetooth speaker comes with a dedicated dongle should you want to connect it to your computer.
It also delivers immersive audio for music. However, though it features a premium look, it doesn’t look as trendy as its mainstream Bluetooth speakers, such as the Sony SRS-XB12 or the new JBL Go 3.
That said, you get a fairly good battery life of 8 hours. So if you want a business-grade Bluetooth speaker with a microphone and do not want to compromise on the quality, it’s the perfect pick.
3. SONY SRS-XB23 WIRELESS PORTABLE SPEAKER
One of the first things that will catch your eye is its new design. The SRS-XB23 has two passive radiators at the top and bottom. Plus, the IP67 waterproof rating means you needn’t worry about water and dust damage.
But, this speaker is for entertainment purposes only. You may take the occasional call or meeting with this. However, it’s not meant for serious office use. The lack of dedicated voice-enhancing tech means you won’t get the same clarity as the Jabra Speak 710. Nevertheless, it gets the work done, and that’s about it.
4. EMEET LUNA
This is made possible by the built-in tech, which cancels out noises and hums of fans and printers. At the same time, it projects a clear and noise-free sound.
When it comes to connection, it has a versatile setup. Apart from the Bluetooth connection, it lets you connect via a USB-C dongle and AUX connection. Plus, you can also daisy chain other eMeet speakers if the need arises.
However, when listening to songs or watching videos, you might not get the same quality. This is partly due to the tech that highlights voice during calls and suppresses the songs’ bass and highs. So yeah, you might be looking at bass-less music. That said, if you want to have a break and want to listen to your favorite tracks, it’s possible.
5. TRIBIT STORMBOX MICRO
As noted earlier, it delivers punchy audio. But as it is with certain speakers, the audio distorts a little when the volume is cranked up. But if you were to compare it with other similarly-sized speakers such as the JBL’s Go lineup, the Stormbox Micro delivers better audio.
The microphone is not the best in the market, especially when you compare it to the ones above. However, for the price, it gets the job done. Though it has USB-C charging, you will have to compromise on the battery life. On a single charge, it lasts about 8 hours on moderate volume.
GET YOUR VOICE HEARD
Today, speakers with mics are a rarity compared to a few years ago. Nevertheless, a couple of them still let you use them for your calls and conferences effortlessly.
If you plan to use the mic functionality frequently, it would be best to get dedicated speakers for office use, such as the Jabra Speak or the eMeet Luna. They offer good noise cancellation and transmits a clear voice.
The Apple AirTag is a blessing for people like us who often misplaces their belongings, be it car keys, earphones, or small bags. However, when attaching this tracker to wallets and purses, the conventional holders and cases do not get the job done efficiently. After all, you won’t like to clip a keychain into your wallet.
Thankfully, a few dedicated AirTag holders for Apple AirTags that you carry the trackers with ease.
So, without further ado, let’s check them out. But before that,
- Here’s how to use the Apple AirTag with your iPhone
- Find the best silicone replacement bands for Apple Watch Series 6
1. AIRTAG WALLET CASE
As you may have already expected, you can slide the holder into the wallet’s pockets. The width is minimal and equates to carrying three credit cards. However, do note that the wallet will have a slight bulge.
If you are looking for something easily removable when you switch wallets, then this is the one for you. However, note that the tag holder can be a bit bigger if you use a tri-fold wallet.
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2. HAWANIK SLIM POCKET WALLET
The wallet is slim, and though the quality is not top-notch, it gets the work done. You will need to push a little harder for the snap to lock, though.
So far, it has had some good user feedback from its userbase. It’s slim, well-built and capablity to hold AirTag securely makes it desirable.
Sony PlayStation 5 has an HDMI 2.1 display port to connect it to your TV or gaming monitor. And it’s this display technology that has partly made it possible to run games at high frame rates and faster refresh rates. You get dynamic HDR support as well. However, the HDMI 2.1 cable that comes with the PlayStation 5 is rather short, and if you have an elaborate setup, you might run into problems in routing it from your gaming console to your TV or monitor.
Aside from replacing a short HDMI cable, it never hurts to get an extra cable as a backup.
So, if you are in the market looking for some quality HDMI 2.1 cable for your TV or PS5, here are the ones you can buy. But first,
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1. CABLE MATTERS PREMIUM BRAIDED CABLE
- Length: 6.6ft | Officially certified: No
The connector ends are gold-plated to protect against rusting.
These cables are not certified against the HDMI 2.1 standard, but they work well with high-end TVs, Apple TVs, and gaming consoles such as the PlayStation or Xbox.
2. AMAZONBASICS PREMIUM HDMI CABLE
- Length: 3ft, 6ft, 10ft | Officially certified: No
It’s a simple cable and doesn’t have fancy features such as long strain relief or ridges for better grip. But for the price, it does its job well. And as long as you do not plug and unplug it regularly, it should last you long.
3. HIGHWINGS ULTRA HIGH SPEED HDMI BRAIDED CORD
- Length: 1.5ft, 3.3ft, 6ft, 10ft, 15ft | Officially certified: No
While it delivers 4K content at 60Hz without any issues, there have been some negative reviews for its 4K/120Hz capability. On the other hand, a few users have reported it to work well with the new Sony PlayStation 5 and the Apple TV 4K.
The cable is durable, and the long strain relief makes it easier to grip. And the subtle grips are the cherry on top. That said, this Highwings HDMI cable is not yet certified by the HDMI Forum. While gets the work done, you might want to check out the certified options.
4. ANKER ULTRA SPEED HDMI CABLE
- Length: 6.6ft | Officially certified: Yes
For those unaware, certified cables are tested by the HDMI Forum to ensure low EMI. This is done to reduce the possibility of interference with other wireless networks, phones, and media players.
Despite the thickness, these Anker cables are flexible. They deliver an impressive performance, whether you connect to a 4K receiver or your Sony PlayStation. And that’s one of the main reasons that this Anker HDMI cable is popular on Amazon. People love it for its flicker-free picture quality and the fact that it simply works.
It’s a premium product and compared to some of its peers. It’s a little on the expensive side. However, it’s available in a fixed length of 6.6 feet.
5. ZESKIT MAYA 8K HDMI CABLE
- Length: 1.5ft, 3ft, 5ft, 6.5ft, 10ft | Officially certified: Yes
Though it’s slightly thicker than conventional cables, it’s pretty easy to bend and route it through cable sleeves or wire trays.
The connector has a solid build and is durable as well. The Zeskit Maya cable is quite popular on Amazon, primarily for its picture quality, affordable pricing, and durability.
BRIDGE THE GAP
Ultra-high-speed HDMI cable or HDMI 2.1 cables are future-proof. So even if you get a couple of extra cables, the odds are that they will work fine on your high-end TV or streaming box. And the fact that they are backward compatible with the older versions is the cherry on top.
So, now that you have settled on a high-speed cable, which new PS5 game are you planning to play next?
When buying a camera backpack, you need to consider plenty of things, such as the quality of the material, size, and capacity. More importantly, there should be enough straps to take the weight off your shoulders. A well-designed travel camera backpack lets you do just that. Not only do they let you carry your camera accessories with ease, but these travel bags also have extra room to pack an item of clothing or two.
You can carry your tablet or laptop. So that even if you have to edit photos on the go, you can do so.
Read on to read about our recommendations for the best camera travel backpacks that you can buy. But first,
- Here are the top 5 fluid head tripods for videos and still photos
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1. LOWEPRO PROTACTIC 450 AW II
The highlight of the ProTactic 450 AW II is its space. As per its makers, it can fit two full-body DSLR cameras with ease. The removable dividers are sturdy, and you can tailor them easily.
Since it’s a big bag, you’ll have to compromise a little on its weight. This one weighs around 5.7 lbs. That said, it’s comfortable, and the waist and chest straps along with the shoulder straps help in even weight distribution.
The ProTactic 450 AW II is a premium bag. If you have to carry all your camera gear together, this camera travel backpack is a good pick.
2. NOMATIC MCKINNON CAMERA PACK
The insides are customizable and can be moved around it to fit the shape of lenses and camera bodies. Plus, there are quite a few pockets to store small camera accessories.
The straps are designed cleverly to distribute the weight evenly around your upper body, thereby leaving your shoulders free to take pictures. It’s comfortable to use in the long run, and there are quite a few users who have spoken highly of its durability and comfort.
3. THINK TANK PHOTO STREETWALKER PRO V2.0
Like any travel camera backpack, this one lets you move the dividers around. If we talk numbers, there are one large and six small dividers.
The best part is that the Photo Streetwalker Pro lets a strap hold a standard tripod. The shoulder straps are padded and let you use your shoulders freely. Unlike the one above, there are no waist straps.
That said, it’s a well-made camera bag and can hold on to your camera and its accessories without sagging. The best part? It’s not as expensive as its counterparts above.
4. F-STOP DALSTON 21L ROLL TOP CAMERA BACKPACK
It’s spacious and can fit two mirrorless cameras with ease. The removable inserts are padded, which is a big plus.
At the same time, this Dalston backpack is weather and abrasion-resistant. However, the feature which makes it stand apart from the rest is its dual-side zippers which adds to the accessibility. However, you may find it a tad difficult to reach the lower end of this camera backpack.
That said, it’s a looker and lets you carry both your laptop, and the 15-inch MacBook Pro fits well in this camera backpack.
CARRY WITH STYLE
As exciting as it is to own a ton of camera equipment, it’s not as easy to carry them all simultaneously. The idea is to find the travel backup to hold the gear you can’t do without improvising on the spot. After all, creativity is the key, right?
Using Digital photo frames is one of the best ways to keep things animate with a slideshow of photos. Also, there’s no hassle of managing printed photos and change the photos as per your preference. While there are quite a few digital photo frames with internal memory, they are not as versatile as the ones that have dedicated companion apps or cloud storage like Google Photos. The former means that you will be able to send photos directly from your iPhone or Android phone.
So if you have captured a lovely photo on your iPhone recently, all you need to do is share it directly via the app, and it’ll update the image in no time. There are quite a few digital frames that work brilliantly with iPhones. At the same time, the installation process is simple, and some of the frames support a few other nifty sharing methods.
If you want a digital photo frame that works seamlessly with iPhones, here are our top recommendations. But first,
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1. NIXPLAY SEED WAVE
The good thing is that the iOS app has a simple UI that makes it easy to navigate. For example, to display a slideshow, you need to create a playlist of the photos and share them. Moreover, you can also share the email address with your close friends and relatives so that they can share their pictures directly to the frame.
Aside from the above, this Wi-Fi photo frame boasts of a bevy of features, including an integrated speaker (for your videos), sleep schedule, motion sensor timings, transition types, brightness, among others.
The premium pricing means you get a few premium perks, such as Alexa and Google Assistant support. Plus, it also supports other web-based services like Facebook and Instagram.
It’s not an independent digital photo frame and needs AC power. Thankfully, it integrates the power cord beautifully with the back stand. Several users vouch for Nixplay’s impressive customer care service on Amazon. They are quick to assist with problems related to the frames and general queries.
2. AURA MASON FRAME
The frame connects to Wi-Fi, and you can add photos directly from your phone’s gallery or iCloud. The app integration is seamless, and several users have pointed this in their reviews. The good thing is that you can create a dedicated album on your phone, and the frame will auto-sync the images.
Whenever you add a bunch of new images to that album, they will pop up right away. Moreover, it has a web uploader just in case you want to upload some old photos and snapshots.
The Mason supports only cloud-based uploads, which means you can’t upload pictures via pen drives, emails, or the likes.
Apart from the above, the Mason frame has quite a few nifty features that justify its price tag and in the right way. For instance, it automatically crops photos to meet the size of the frame. Secondly, the automatic light sensor adjusts the screen brightness as per the ambient lighting.
3. AURA CARVER SMART DIGITAL PICTURE FRAME
One of the features which set it apart from other picture frames is its landscape-only orientation. However, it has some interesting features as well. For one, the Intelligent Photo Pairing feature pairs two similar portrait frames together in a frame. This way, you won’t have space on display. At the same time, it lets you share over 10,000 photos from your phone. Cool, right?
4. FEELCARE SMART WIFI DIGITAL PICTURE FRAME
In fact, the iPhone app has been praised by several users for its seamlessness and easy configuration. The frame connects directly to your home Wi-Fi. And if on some days the Wi-Fi is acting wonky, you can also plug in a micro SD card with some photos.
The low price tag means you will have to give up on some features. For example, the configuration is done on the frame and not through the app. Thankfully, it comes with plenty of add-ons such as brightness, control, slide-show speed, etc.
The good thing about this frame is that there is a small gap between the bezel and the actual photo, which gives the impression of a conventional photo frame with a matte. It may not have the best picture quality, but for the price, it does a decent job.
5. PHOTOSHARE FRIENDS AND FAMILY SMART FRAME
The companion app is compatible with iPhones and can handle up to sending 50 photos at a time. Moreover, you can also add some lively captions for some of your favorite memories. It’s an FHD display, and the picture quality is fairly decent for the price. However, don’t expect the very best. On the upside, you get several extra perks, such as playing videos and music.
Apart from dedicated picture frames, you can have a peek at smart displays such as the Amazon Echo Show. With these, you will get the best of both worlds. Not only will they display your memorable moments, but you can also use them to control your smart home gadgets, listen to the latest news, or stream songs on the fly.
Most bookshelf speakers deliver audio delivery to fill up a room compared to portable Bluetooth speakers. It stands true if you use the top-of-the-line speakers. Compared to their portable counterparts, bookshelf speakers have a bigger footprint. So if you can’t adjust them on your desk (or on an actual bookshelf), you can fix them on a wall mount or a floor stand.
Besides letting you have more space on your desk, these mounts let you have the flexibility of moving the speakers in the direction of your choice. When it comes to audio delivery, we all know how direction and placement are important.
If you are looking for some quality bookshelf speaker mounts and floor stands, here are our recommendations. But first,
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1. VIVO PREMIUM UNIVERSAL FLOOR SPEAKER STANDS
Base dimensions: 8 x 8-inch
The stands are easy to assemble and bundles a solid build. More importantly, the carpet spikes and the rubber feet make them stable, irrespective of the type of flooring.
If you want a classic look and do not mind paying a premium, this Vivo stand is a worthy pick.
2. PERLESMITH ADJUSTABLE HEIGHT SPEAKER STANDS
Base dimensions: Up to 4.5-inch
Apart from the default keyhole insert, it also ships with vertical plates to mount speakers with mounting holes at the bottom. Installation is plain and simple, and several users have pointed this out. Combining the rubber feet and the cast iron build to ensure that your prized speakers do not topple over.
3. VIDEOSECU ADJUSTABLE HEIGHT SPEAKER STANDS
Base dimensions: Up to 5.5-inch
This stand is equipped with side clamps to lock the speakers in place. Besides that, the padding prevents scratches and scuff marks. Again, there is nifty cable management in place. However, some people have complained of the cable holes being too small.
While the VideoSecu speaker stand has received some rave reviews for its easy assembly and build, it is top-heavy and can wobble if you have hefty speakers.
4. PYLE SPEAKER WALL MOUNT
Base dimensions: Up to 10-inch
Surprisingly, you can extend the arm away from the wall by around 11.8 inches.
As we noted above, these are simple mounts and do not have the flexibility to adjust the angle of the speakers. Moreover, a single mount can house only one speaker. Naturally, buying a second mount shoots up the overall cost.
Nevertheless, they have attracted several positive reviews, with people appreciating its durability and sturdiness. Alternatively, you can check out the Wali dual speaker wall mount brackets if you are looking for dedicated mounts with keyhole inserts.
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5. MOUNT-IT! SPEAKER WALL MOUNTS
Base dimensions: Between5.4 to 11 inches.
The Mount-It! speaker wall mounts are quite popular on Amazon and several users have touted them for their durability and build quality.
6. VIDEOSECU SIDE CLAMPING BOOKSHELF SPEAKER WALL MOUNT
Base dimensions: 5.3-inches to 11-inches
The best part is that the clamp holds tightly to the speakers. So it won’t let the speaker fall even if you change the angle a bit.
MOUNT THEM ALREADY
Today, bookshelf speakers have several input connectors, and you can pair them with anything—right from a turntable to a new-age digital TV. So getting a proper and stable mount can keep them intact in a spot. That way you can enjoy the best audio quality from them, without worrying about the space they consume.
Portable Bluetooth speakers are quite convenient to carry around and use. Charge them and then pair them with your smartphone or tablet to listen to your favorite songs or podcasts. The best part is that most affordable Bluetooth speakers are small and lightweight, thereby making them easy to carry around. So whether you clip them to your backpacks or your bike’s handles, as long as the battery is charged, it will do the duty of blasting the newest songs.
You can pair up these speakers with your laptop and enjoy movies and videos. We’ve compiled a list of affordable bluetooth speakers that cost about $100.
Read on to find our recommendations for the best affordable Bluetooth speakers under $100.
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1. OONTZ ANGLE 3 BLUETOOTH PORTABLE SPEAKER
Aside from the above, Cambridge Soundworks’ OontZ Angle 3 packs enough features for its price. This triangular Bluetooth speaker has a rugged build and carries an IPX7 rating to protect against water splashes.
On the downside, the OontZ Angle 3 still packs a micro USB port for charging.
2. JBL GO 3 PORTABLE SPEAKER
This trendy speaker is cool enough for a day out on the beach. It’s fully waterproof, and the IP67 rating will keep it protected from water damage. It has a few limitations. For instance, there’s no speakerphone, and the lack of a companion app means you won’t be able to pair it with a secondary device.
Aside from that, it packs in Bluetooth 5.1, which is known for its power efficiency. However, the battery life of the JBL Go 3 is not as impressive. This one lasts around 5 hours on a full charge.
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3. TRIBIT STORMBOX MICRO
It comes with a decent build. It has the same rubbery grills that are synonymous with most speakers of this size and price. Surprisingly, the StormBox Micro has USB-C charging. The battery lasts around 5 hours depending on your volume levels.
4. JBL CLIP 4 PORTABLE MINI BLUETOOTH SPEAKER
This year JBL has upgraded the shape of Clip 4 to oval. And yeah, there’s a strong metal carabiner as well. Like the Go speaker, the Clip 4 is also available in a slew of attractive colors. It has a rating of IP67 for dust and water resistance.
It’s worth mentioning that the Clip 4 can’t be paired with other JBL speakers to amplify the audio output. And well, for the price, it isn’t a big compromise.
5. SONY SRS-XB12 MINI BLUETOOTH SPEAKER
Another advantage of the SRS-XB12 is the nifty Add button, which lets you pair this speaker with other Sony speakers to amplify the sound.
Battery-wise, the SRS-XB12 plays a safe bet. On a single charge, it can last up to 16 hours on moderate volumes. And if you ask us, that sounds decent for a speaker which costs less than $100. However, it still packs a micro-USB port which is a bummer.
6. ANKER SOUNDCORE MOTION BOOM OUTDOOR SPEAKER
Unlike the other speakers on this list, this speaker lets you fine-tune the audio through the companion app. Apart from the built-in presets, you can also save your EQ settings.
The Soundcore Motion Boom is a large speaker and comes with a handle at the top for easy portability. It’s fully waterproof and has an IPX7 rating. And if that wasn’t cool enough, let us tell you that it can also float in water while playing your favorite song. Now, that’s quite something, right?
7. ANKER SOUNDCORE MOTION PLUS
The audio output is impressive for the price. It delivers a heavy and rich bass with clear and crisp audio. And the wider soundstage helps it stand out from the rest of the speaker on this list.
Furthermore, the volume can be amplified by pairing it with a secondary Motion Plus speaker. The battery lasts around 12 hours on a single charge. While, it’s not the best out there, the impressive audio for the price makes this portable Bluetooth speaker a worthy pick.
Most of the sub-$100 speakers do a pretty good job of playing your favorite songs loud and clear. And they are the perfect fit for random get-togethers or a day out on the beach.
A typical students laptop packs a lot of features generally. It helps for research work, creating documents, watching movies, or playing games. Many would point at the Apple MacBook Air but it is expensive and not really wholesome. Thankfully, there are ample Windows laptops and Chromebooks out there that are not as expensive and lets you go about your job seamlessly.
Performance is not the only factor to consider when picking a laptop for a student. It should both have long battery life and be portable. And hey, build quality is also an essential factor, especially if you are thinking of using it until the next chapter starts.
So, if you are in the market looking for some well-performing student laptops under $700, here are our recommendations.
Let’s check them out. But first,
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1. HP ENVY X360
- Weight: 2.9 pounds | Display: 13.3-inch FHD
- Ports: 2 x USB-A, 1 x USB-C, 1 x microSD slot
And it’s not just the performance that drives this laptop. The display is clear and crisp on the 1080p display. You will see accurate colors, and the stereo speakers ensure that you can easily binge-watch your favorite series without any issues during your breaks. It’s worth to be noted that the Envy x360 comes with Bang & Olufsen audio center.
Apart from that, you get the option of connecting an MPP 2.0 stylus, should you want to indulge in a little digital sketching. And the 2-in-1 design is the cherry on top.
The battery life is decent and you should get a day’s worth at average brightness.
2. ACER SWIFT 3
- Weight: 2.65 pounds | Display: 14-inch FHD
- Ports: 1 x USB-C, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 port, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x HDMI, 1 x 3.5 audio
It weighs 2.65 pounds and you can easily carry it in your backpack. The 14-inch FHD screen helps to make the text and visuals appear crisper. That said, the screen isn’t exactly too bright and you’ll have to stuggle if you plan to work outdoors in the day.
As noted earlier, it can effortlessly multitask, whether it’s running a boatload of Chrome tabs together or switching between two or more apps. And this has been backed by quite a few authoritative reviewers. The seamless performance is backed by long battery life.
3. LENOVO THINKPAD C13 YOGA
- Weight: 3.30 pounds | Display: 13.3-inch FHD
- Ports: 2 x USB 3.2 Type-A, 2 x USB-C, 1 x HDMI, 1 x MicroSD card reader, 1 x 3.5 audio
And it’s the stylus that comes in handy for many reasons. For one, you can jot down quick notes and reminders, apart from using it occasionally for illustration purposes.
The ThinkPad C13 Yoga is powered by AMD’s 3000C-series processor, though there are a few Ryzen variants. The 3000C-series processor is fast and can easily handle anything you throw at it without going warm or slowing down. The battery life is decent for Chromebooks.
Of course, the battery life depends on the intensity of your work. And more power-intensive work will tend to drain the battery faster. Nevertheless, the folks at The Wired managed to eke out around 9 hours during their battery tests. Not long ago, Chromebooks were often ridiculed for their functionality, rather limited functionality. Thankfully, things have changed for the better with devices like the C13 Yoga.
Another Chromebook that you can check out is the Google Pixelbook Go M3. While it has an impressive battery life and comes in a chick package, the 8th-generation Intel Core M3 processor can at times be laggy. If you can extend the budget, you can check out the Intel Core i5-8220Y powered Google Pixelbook Go. Though it’s a tad expensive, this Chromebook is often touted to fly through everyday tasks with ease.
4. ACER CHROMEBOOK SPIN 713
- Weight: 3 pounds | Display: 13.5-inch, 2256 x 1504
- Ports: 2 x USB-C, 1 x USB 3.0 port, 1 x HDMI, 1 x 3.55 audio, and microSD slot
The folks at Laptop Mag could run 20 tabs together without any issues. Interestingly, seven of those tabs had YouTube videos running. The battery life is not bad either. On average, it should last you around 10 hours.
As noted earlier,k you get the advantage of added vertical height. There’s less amount of scrolling involved when reading and browsing online. It’s slim and can be carried conveniently in bags. Interestingly, it’s certified (MIL-STD 810G) against drop and temperature changes. Cool, I’d say.
5. MICROSOFT SURFACE GO 2
- Weight: 1.2 pounds | Display: 10.5-inch 1920 x 1280
- Ports: 1 x USB-C, 1 x Surface Connect port, 1 x Surface Type Cover Port, 1 x MicroSD, 1 x 3.5 mm audio
It’s the convertible design that adds to its versatility. Be it fitting into a small space or using it as a book to go through your notes; the convertible design amplifies its usability. And hey, you get neat specs like a touch screen display in a neat 3:2 aspect ratio panel. Whenever you need it, you can prop it up in a kickstand position.
Owing to the form factor, you can expect some tradeoff, and for this option, it’s the battery life which lasts around 5 hours. It’s on the shorter end, and you’ll have to ensure that the battery is topped up daily. Note that Microsoft ships a higher variant of the Surface Go 2. This one packs the top-end Intel M3 processor and naturally costs a lot more than this one.
Wireless earphones are small, compact, and don’t have the most tangled dread – wires. That makes them popular and convenient today. Apart from that, features like Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and Ambient Noise give them an edge over others. Ambient Noise is also known as headphone transparency mode. It helps you focus on listening to songs and podcasts by canceling out the ambient sounds. That’s quite useful when jogging or walking in a public area which has a lot going on.
Until a few years ago, Ambient Sound was only available in a handful of wireless earphones. Things have changed for the better, and this feature is now available in almost all premium wireless earphones. The best part is that you can enable it with a tap of the button (or touchpad) on the earphones.
Here are our recommendations for the best wireless earbuds with the ambient sound feature.
Let’s check them out. But first,
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1. SAMSUNG GALAXY BUDS PRO
The ANC feature works its best seal the ear canal to remove any noise and distraction. The degree of ANC is customizable and you can select one depending on your preference. The Ambient Sound feature can be turned on/off right from the touchpads on the earphones, and this is a huge plus.
As long as you find the right fit, the Galaxy Buds Pro is comfortable to wear even for long periods. The best part is that the IPX7 waterproof rating makes them suitable for the gym, and the lightweight nature helps its cause. The compact charging case is the cherry on top.
Last but not least, the audio delivery is balanced. While you may not get a thumping bass, but it gets the job done. At the same time, it comes with added perks like wireless charging, voice detect, and spatial audio.
2. SONY WF-1000XM3
The Sony WF-1000XM3 is not a discreet looking pair. And you can attribute that to it’s slightly dated design. Nevertheless, the buds are lightweight and are comfortable to wear. One of the main highlights is that Sony ships six pairs of ear tips (form-based and silicon-based), and they add to the comfort in the long run.
They pack touch-based controls, and the companion app can customize them. Like most ANC earphones, the battery life is on the shorter end. You will get around 5-6 hours of constant playback time before the buds need a top-up on a single charge. Thankfully, this can be taken care of by the charging case, capable of providing up to three charge cycles.
The WF-1000XM3 has a few limitations. This pair of earphones don’t have a dedicated IP rating and lacks support for wireless charging. You can enable the ambient noise with just a tap. Also, the soundstage is quite impressive.
3. AUDIO-TECHNICA ATH-ANC300TW
The ANC is almost in the tunes of Sony’s WF-1000XM3. The companion app allows several customizations, and the ability to switch the levels of ANC and Ambient Noise is probably one of the highlights. Both these options give you the flexibility to pick the noise level (or no noise) as per the scenario at hand.
However, not all is hale and hearty. With ANC, the Audio-Technica ATH-ANC300TW lasts for only 4.5 hours, with the charging case providing around 13 hours as a backup.
4. JABRA ELITE 85T
The app comes with pre-built soundscapes, which means you do not need to open your music app separately if you want to listen to white noise or rain sounds on loop.
The only drawback is that the Elite 85t comes with physical buttons. Now, when most wireless earphones are moving to touch-based buttons, the physical buttons seem a bit of a downer. On the upside, the buttons are soft to press and do not jam into your ear canal when pressed.
The battery life is decent for earphones with ANC. On a single charge, they will last around 5.5 hours with ANC, and you can buy around 2 more hours if ANC is disabled. While the battery life is considerably decent, they are shorter than the Sony WF-1000XM3’s duration.
But, the attribute that leaps up is its instant connection process. They connect as soon as you open the case and put the earphones in your ears.
5. SENNHEISER MOMENTUM TRUE WIRELESS 2
The folks at the What Hifi state that the Momentum True Wireless 2 delivers an impressive soundstage and can be compared to the likes of Sony WF-1000XM3 or the much-popular Apple AirPods Pro. Now, that’s something, right?
At the same time, the ANC quietens the environment so that you can pick every detail in your favorite songs. You can enable ANC and ambient sound feature using the buttons.
The Momentum True Wireless 2 walks the line between large earphones and discrete earphones like the Galaxy Buds Pro. Well, they do protrude less from your ears, but aren’t entirely invisible once you prop them up.
That said, it brings an attractive package for the price, and if you want to listen to great music with clear vocals and music, you shouldn’t miss this one.