Cool Gad­gets to Buy Under Rs 300 In India

In this digital era gadgets, it can rightly be said that smartphones and humans are inseparable. But what is even more inseparable are smartphones and their accessories. For starters, only a chosen few can make through the day without a data cable or a pair of earphones.

gadgets

Yeah, smartphone or computer accessories are essential in the day-to-day life. But it’s also true that a majority of these accessories are expensive. Thinking along the same lines, we have compiled a list cool gadgets which are below Rs. 300 on Amazon. So, let’s have a quick roundup of them.

1.  BUDDY SELFIE FLASH

If your Android smartphone is one which lacks a selfie flash, then worry not, we have a nifty trick to solve the problem of dark selfies.

Say Hi to the Selfie Flash. This external flash with a 16 LED bulbs is light and can be carried easily in your pockets. All you need to do is plug it into the headphone jack and switch on the lights. The Buddy selfie flash is rechargeable and has a capacity of 200 mAh.

2. MI LED LIGHT

The Mi LED light is the perfect companion if your laptop doesn’t have a backlit keyboard. It comes with a USB connector at one end and all you need to do is plug it into your laptop to give the necessary light.

What’s more, the Mi LED light can also be plugged to a power bank and used as a torch light or as a table lamp.

This handy light is available in two colors — Blue and White — and can be purchased online through the MI store for just Rs. 250. A universal travel adapter should be the first thing to go into your backpack if you are planning for an overseas trip. Though there are many options out there, an inexpensive choice would be the World Wide Travel Charger Adapter.

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3. WORLD WIDE TRAVEL CHARGER ADAPTER

A universal travel adapter should be the first thing to go into your backpack if you are planning for an overseas trip. Though there are many options out there, an inexpensive choice would be the World Wide Travel Charger Adapter.

5. HERO NFC TAGS

Given that one can whip up NFC recipes in just a matter of minutes, it’s imperative that you know own a few NFC tags to speed up your work. For starters, NFC tags can be used as alarm clocks or to set up Wi-Fi networks. All you need is an NFC-enabled smartphone and an app to write the task to the tag and you are done.

6. USB FAN

Does a USB powered fan sound a tad over-the-top? Well, in this sweltering heat, it would be highly unlikely. Gadget Deals offers a diverse range of small micro-USB powered fans which you can plug on your smartphone and use it in times of emergency.

7. KIDSLOUNGE LED SHOELACES

If you on a lookout for shoelaces which glow and change colors, then you are in for some luck. The Kidslounge LED shoelace does just that. It is powered by a battery and you just need to lace it on your shoes and switch it on. Impressive, ain’t it?

8. 6-WAYS AUDIO SPLITTER

The 6 ways audio splitter is a cool device if you want to split music among your buddies and yet not compromise on the audio quality. The 6-ways Audio Splitter also comes with an AUX cable and can easily power up to 5 devices at the same time.

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9. MXPLOD EARPHONES

If you have been looking for a pair of earphones which resemble the iPhone’s earphone, then the mXplod earphones will serve the purpose perfectly. And in terms of quality too, the mXplod Earphones don’t do badly either — it manages to output decent quality audio.

10. PREMSONS FIDGET SPINNER

Fidget Spinners are one of the latest fads in the tech world and when a fidget spinner combines the beauty of LED light and a spinner, it’s definitely a must have. What’s more each of the light panels can be activated by touch and has three distinct modes and creates a number of beautiful patterns and designs when spun.

11. TECHNOTECH CARD READER

The Technotech Card Reader is not just a card reader, it’s much more than that. It is a mini USB 2.0 hub which can connect up to 3 USB cables and has 4 slots for memory cards — be it a microSD card or a massive SD card. This product is especially handy if your laptop has fewer USB ports.

12. STORITE 5 IN 1 OTG MICRO CARD READER

The Storite 5 in 1 OTG is a micro card reader for the Android smartphones. This card reader is compatible with Android phones having version 4.2 or above and has a micro-USB port. With this card reader, you can use your phone to read your cards or connect your phone to a USB flash drive or a keyboard.

Ocu­lus Rift Prices Slashed by $200 for a Lim­it­ed Time

Facebook-owned virtual reality tech company Oculus is cutting down the price of its VR hardware — the Rift headset and Touch Controllers — for the next six weeks as part of its ‘Summer of Rift’ sale which offers deals on VR content like games and more.
Ocu­lus

While the VR tech has gained considerable popularity among tech enthusiasts, it still lacks mass acceptability mainly due to the premium price at which it’s being currently sold.

Oculus is offering its Rift headset and Touch controllers for $399.

By offering its VR hardware at a discounted price, the company is hoping that more people will buy and adopt the technology which features high-quality immersive gaming and entertainment media.“Grab and throw objects, cast spells, or paint and sculpt like the real thing. Plus, with a suite of experiences that promise action, adventure, mystery and excitement, you’ll be transported to places you’ve never imagined,” the company stated.

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Earlier this year in March, the company had dropped the price of its Rift headset from $798 to $598. The current price slash brings Oculus Rift’s cost closer to Sony PlayStation VR and away from HTC Vive which is being sold for $799.

Oculus kicked-off their ‘Summer Sale’ almost a month back, offering deals on existing gaming and media titles, new game launches and other VR related announcements.

Apart from offering a discount on its VR hardware, Oculus also announced the inclusion of E3’s Echo Arena and Lone Echo in the Oculus Store on July 20.

A number of games including Rick and Morty, Batman: Arkham VR, Star Trek: Bridge Crew, Robo Recall, Wilson’s heart and hundreds more are available to play on Oculus Rift.

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OCULUS-READY PCS AND LAPTOPS

  • Asus ROG G20CI
  • Razer Blade 14″
  • Asus ROG G752VS
  • Alienware 17
  • Asus G752VM
  • Falcon Northwest Tiki
  • Cyberpower Gamer Ultra 3000
  • Cyberpower Gamer Ultra 2400
  • Falcon Northwest Talon
  • Lenovo IdeaCentre Y700
  • Aorus X7 V6
  • Lenovo IdeaCentre Y900
  • Alienware Aurora
  • Asus ROG G11CD
  • Alienware 15
  • Cyberpower Gamer Xtreme VR 8020
  • Lenovo IdeaCentre Y720-Cube
  • Asus VivoPC X

Top 5 Wire­less Mouse With USB‑C Connector

In 2020, and consumer gadgets Mouse are quickly moving to the USB-C era. Almost all the accessories, smartphones, and even laptops carry a USB Type-C port. There are quite a few PC monitors with USB-C ports as well. So, why leave the humble mouse behind? Though the market is still developing, there are handful of wireless mouse options with USB-C connectors. And the best thing is that they are available for gaming as well as office use purposes.Mouse

In this buying guide, we’ve compiled a list of the best wireless mice with USB-C connectors. What’s the advantage, you ask?

In most cases, when the battery runs out, you can still use these mice to carry on your work by simply hooking it to a compatible USB-C cable connected to your laptop. Besides, on some mouse, you get the advantage of fast charging as well.

Now that’s settled, let’s get started!

1. LOGITECH MX MASTER 3

One of the highlights of the MX Master 3 is that it bundles a total of 6 programmable buttons that you can use for app-specific tasks. For instance, you can tweak the buttons on the thumb pad to open your frequently accessed apps. The good news is that the mouse comes pre-programmed with some assignments for apps like Chrome, Safari, MS Word, etc.

Aside from the above, it can tracks up to 4,000 dots per inch, which is decent for office-related work, be it flying through long spreadsheets or working your way through different layers in Adobe Photoshop. Oddly enough, the MX Master 3 works on any surface. So if the situation demands, you can have it working on a glass surface, wooden table-top, or top of tablecloths. Cool, right?

And well, any mention of this third-generation MX series mouse is incomplete without the mention of the Magspeed scroll. The wheel can switch between step-by-step ratcheting scroll (detent mode) and free-spinning mode seamlessly and as per the need of the hour. If you are interested in how the innards of this mouse work, this Bolt blog will help you with all the nitty-gritty details.

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2. CORSAIR DARK CORE RGB PRO SE

This gaming mouse sports a tad different look. There are two supportive rests on both the edges, and the left-wing is removable if you are not too comfortable with a rest for your little finger.

Being a gaming mouse, most of the things are configurable. For starters, you can pick between three connections—USB wired, Slipstream, Bluetooth. Secondly, the RGB lighting is customizable, and so are the button action, all thanks to the proprietary iCue software.

3. ASUS ROG CHAKRAM

Typical to a true gaming mouse, this one bundles a sleek line of RGB lighting and offers plenty of room for button customizations and assignments. And the peak sensitivity of 16,000 DPI is good enough for high-intensity games and battles of the virtual world.

Like its counterpart above, you can also hook in the USB-C wire to use it as a wired mouse. But thankfully, the wireless performance is as good as wired, and this might make you jump ship to the wireless world. Another remarkable thing is the inclusion of Omron switches, which are rated to last around 50 million clicks.

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4. LOGITECH MX VERTICAL

Quite naturally, the button placements of this mouse are unique compared to conventional mice. The scroll wheel and the left/right clicks are located at the top of the curved handle, making it simple to wheel through long PDFs and webpages. Simultaneously, there are two customizable buttons placed at the thumb pad, and the clever positioning eases the operation of this mouse.

Like the Logitech MX Master 3 mentioned above, the DPI is the same at 4,000 DPI. While this level of DPI may be considered a tad low for gaming, thankfully, it’s good enough to scroll and breeze through documents and other office-related work, and you shouldn’t feel any lag. Furthermore, you can tweak the DPI and customize the functions of the thumb buttons through the in-house Logitech Options software.

The tool comes with plenty of room for customizations, and unlike most mouse software, it’s simple and straightforward to use.

5. MICROSOFT SURFACE PRECISION MOUSE

As you may have guessed by now, the USB-C port is strategically placed at the front of the mouse. You can switch to the wired mode as per your preference. If you forget to bring along the Bluetooth 4.2 LE dongle with you, the wire will double as the bridge between the mouse and the PC. The only issue is that it can be a tad stiff.

The Microsoft Surface Precision can track from 400 to 3,200 DPI, a tad less than the Logitech MX Vertical. That said, it should be decent for office use or regular home use. It’s worth noting that it’s easy to switch between the different DPI levels just as easy it is to customize the buttons. The DPI can be adjusted via the proprietary software in increments of 200.

At times, the Surface Precision can turn out to be a bit laggy, when compared to its counterparts.

SCROLL. CLICK. SCROLL.

Last but not least, if you want to go all-in the USB-C world, you can check out the Jelly Comb 2.4G Wireless Mouse. It packs a USB-C receiver and is the one for you if you have one of the compact laptops with USB-C ports. It’s sleek and has a flat top and is primarily designed for office use or casual usage. And well, it costs a lot less than its counterparts above.

Xiao­mi Mi A1 Pros and Cons: Should You Buy It?

Up until August 2017, Stock Android and Xiaomi was a combination unheard of. However, that changes today with the launch of the Xiaomi Mi A1 — the first phone from Xiaomi to feature stock Android and a dual camera setup (in sub-Rs 20000 price bracket).Mi

Priced at Rs. 14,999, the Xiaomi Mi A1 boasts a fresh new design, Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chipset, 4 GB of RAM and more. Plus, it has also been claimed that the later copies of the Mi A1 will be made in India, thus making it a Make in India smartphone. So, should you buy the Xiaomi Mi A1? Here, we weigh its pros and cons and help you make an informed decision.

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XIAOMI MI A1 PROS

1. The Power of Dual Camera

Aforesaid, this is one of the first Xiaomi phones in the sub-Rs 20000 price range to sport a dual camera setup. The marriage of the 12-megapixel wide angle lens and telephoto lens lets you achieve DSLR-like bokeh effect, much like the recently launched OnePlus 5.

Also, Mi A1 boasts of 1.25-micron large pixels resulting in more light intake. And capturing object and subjects from a distance is a breeze with the 2X optical zoom and a 10x digital zoom.

2. Timely Updates

With Xiaomi embracing Android One, the Mi A1 will receive software updates and security patches in time. Though, the updates won’t come from Google directly — since they don’t support dual camera phones — the Mi A1 will receive timely updates from Xiaomi.

In fact, the company claims that the device will be upgraded to Android Oreo by the end of 2017 and will be one of the first Xiaomi phones to get Android P, i.e. whenever it’s launched.

3. Universal USB Type-C Support

First, it was the Mi Max 2 and now the Mi A1. Both of these are the first phones in the budget segment to sport USB Type-C charging port. Until before, Xiaomi’s more budget-orientated offerings like the Redmi 4 and 4A came with microUSB support.

4. Pure Android Experience

Aforesaid, the Mi A1 runs on pure Android version and this essentially means that the Mi A1 is free of any bloatware apps. Along with pure Android experience, you’ll also experience Android Nougat in all its glory.

As you might know, the absence of bloatware reduces the load on the device thus lending a smooth experience.

5. Gorilla Glass Protection

Again, a feature which rarely makes an appearance on budget Xiaomi smartphones. The Mi A1 is shielded from minor scratches and shatters by Corning Gorilla glass protection.

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XIAOMI MI A1 CONS

1. Adios MIUI Features

Though the pure Android experience in the Mi A1 is buttery smooth, however, it has a slight inconvenience to it as well.

The Mi A1 is the first phones from Xiaomi not to sport the MIUI ROM, which means that the feature-rich experience associated with Xiaomi phones is absent in this one.

2. No OIS or EIS

Yeah, the dual camera is a flagship dual camera. But before you get carried away, let me tell you that the Mi A1 lacks image stabilization techniques on both the rear cameras. So, you might end with wobbly videos.

3. Unlimited Storage on Google Photos … Really?

Yeah yeah, the Xiaomi proudly boasted of unlimited photo storage on Google Photos. As amazing as that may sound, there’s a hidden aspect in that claim.

4. No Dedicated Slots for MicroSD Card

If you look at the latest smartphones like Samsung Galaxy J7 Max or the Moto G5 Plus, it comes bundled with a dedicated slot for memory card. This feature lets you enjoy the full benefits of both the SIMs and also of the expandable memory.

The above feature is sadly missing from the Xiaomi Mi A1. So, you can either use the dual SIM feature or a SIM card or a memory card.

5. No Quick Charging

The 3080mAh battery unit of the Mi A1 will be able to see you through a day of regular use. But then, when it comes to the charging time, the phone will take it sweet time in getting fully charged since it lacks Qualcomm’s Quick Charge tech.

SO, WILL YOU BUY IT?

Overall, the Xiaomi Mi A1 is a decent phone with a dual camera setup, premium design, bloatware-free Android experience and the latest version of Android. Plus, the full metal unibody design and stylishly cut corners give an extra edge to the Mi A1 — and all these features at an incredible price of Rs. 14,999.

So, is the Xiaomi Mi A1 worth the money it demands? Going by the specs on paper, it sure looks like it has hit the jackpot.

5 Features I Wish iPhone X Will Include

The 10th Anniversary Apple iPhone or iPhone X (as it has been now been termed) is all set to make its grand appearance in less than a day. Since the beginning of this year, the rumor mills are abuzz with the speculated features and leaks — right from the vertical alignment of dual cameras to the bezel-less display.

iPhone
Building on the excitement of the iPhone launch, we have compiled a list of features that we wish the new Apple iPhone X will include.

1. BETTER IRIS SCANNER

We all remember the Iris scanner of the Samsung Flagships — Galaxy S8 and S8+ — and their performance. Wear a pair of glasses/lens or take the Galaxy S8 to a dark room, the Iris scanner will refuse to unlock the doors to your phone.

Plus, not to forget the security vulnerabilities associated with it. Hopefully, with the iPhone X, things will change for the better. Not only will we have a snappier Iris scanner but one which will work in all valid conditions — no matter what.

2. TOUCH ID

The last few months, the tech circle has been abuzz with news citing that the new iPhone X ‘s Touch ID. Initially, the speculations were about the new and unique under-the-display Touch ID, but soon it was revealed that Apple will do away with the Touch ID altogether.

But in the absence of a Touch ID, let’s hope that the new recognition system is robust enough to handle the unlocking part well — especially when it comes to unlocking the phone in dark. And talking about having a physical button as a backup plan, I am all in for that.

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3. BIGGER SCREEN

2017 is all about great screen-to-body ratios. The new Galaxy Note8 has a screen to body ratio of 83.2% while LG’s V30 boasts of a screen-to-body ratio of 81.2% approximately.

Again, if we look back to the iPhone 7 Plus, it featured a screen-to-body ratio of roughly 67.7%.

4. HIGHER SCREEN RESOLUTION

Almost all the high players in the smartphone world are playing with QHD panels and 4K display these days. If you recollect, both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus featured only LED screens with HD and FHD resolution respectively. And with the iPhone X, it’s reported that Apple will introduce an edge-to-edge OLED display. Compared to LCDs, OLED displays produce dynamic results, thanks to the faster response times and rich color reproduction.

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5. HEADPHONE JACK

Yes, the famous debate about missing headphones jack is a never ending debate. While a portion of the consumers prefers it the wireless way, the other half prefers to go the wired way.

Reason? Well, for starters, the fear of misplacing or their limited functionality when it comes to pairing them with other devices. Though we fear that this wish won’t be granted — considering that even the Essential Phone has nixed it — we really wish to see a headphone jack on the new iPhone X.

WHAT’S YOUR WISH?

These were some of the features that we wish to see in the tenth anniversary iPhone aka iPhone X. Of course, only time will tell how many of these 5 wishes will bear fruit. Until then, why don’t you tell us your wishlist?

7 Essen­tial Lap­top Accessories for Col­lege Students

Essential College life can be hard. The insane number of assignments, project work, plus not to mention the extra-curricular activities can surely test anyone’s patience.

Essen­tial

However, there is always a workaround, and with the right accessory by your side, you can make your college life a bit bearable. OK, I might be exaggerating, but yes, you get the drift. In this list today, we are showcasing a list of top seven essential laptop accessories to help you on the go.

1. LAPTOP SCREEN PRIVACY FILTER

If you want to keep your work away from prying eyes, the best investment would be on a screen privacy filter. These filters restrict the viewing angle and hence, the screen is only visible to the one who sits directly in front of it i.e. you and you alone.

The 3M Privacy Filter is available in multiple sizes depending on the you’re. It also comes with a few clear plastic tabs to hold the filter in place. However, this system seems to work seamlessly if there’s a slight raised perimeter around your laptop’s screen.

For laptops with edge to edge screens, you may want to double check on the screen size before you hit the buy button.

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If you’re looking for a privacy filter on a budget, you can check the Akamai Privacy Screen Filters.

2. EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE

If your laptop’s onboard storage isn’t much to boast about, the most viable option is a good budget-friendly external hard drive. Unlike the heydays, thankfully, external hard disks are now small and easy to carry around.

The Buffalo MiniStation comes preformatted with the NTFS file system, however, it can be made to work on macOS just by reformating it into HFS+, thanks to the ModeChanger feature. On a brighter side, it also allows HFS+ formatting, on the rare occasion where you’d want it to work on both a Windows or a Mac system.

Other than that, the highlight of this device is the NFC security feature where you can unlock the drive using an NFC key card. What’s more, it comes with a pair of USB 3.0 connectors. However, it lacks a USB-C port thus, not future-proof.

3. WIRELESS PORTABLE PRINTER

Alas, a few of us still have to submit our homework and assignments in the physical form. If you’re caught in the same mess, the most obvious choice is a handy compact printer.

Getting the printer up and running isn’t rocket science, All you’d need to do is follow Canon’s setup wizard.

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If you are on a budget, check out the Canon PIXMA iP2820 Inkjet Printer. Priced at $34.43, this printer is compatible with both Windows and MAC OS, however, it doesn’t have support for Wi-Fi.

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4. LAPTOP LOCKS AND SECURITY CABLES

Laptops are expensive devices and nobody would want their device or data to fall into the wrong hands. However, if you’re new to a place, it’s impractical to carry the laptop along with you every time you have to hit the loo. That’s when laptop locks and security cables come into play.

Other than that, using the Kensington laptop lock in day-to-day life isn’t laborious. The small stub can be kept connected to the computer throughout while attaching the tumbler to it only when required.

However, the steel wire of the Kensington ClickSafe Portable Laptop Lock’s wire isn’t that durable. However, as user Stephanie Wolf observes, it would at least stop crimes of opportunity during that small time you’d leave it alone.

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The above lock is priced at around $79. However, if you’re looking for a cheaper option, the Ruban Notebook Lock and Security Cable is the answer.

5. KEYBOARD COVER

If you have a brand-new MacBook Pro, it would be a good idea to invest in a quality keyboard cover to protect it from cosmetic and functional damage.

Another advantage of using a keyboard cover is that instead of hitting hard plastic, your finger touch soft silicon thus giving making it a comfortable experience. The only issue with this cover is that it hinders the keyboard backlight.

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Desktop users may check out the Bonayuanda Keyboard Skin Protector.

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6. USB KEYBOARD LAMP

If you don’t like your keyboard to light up a Christmas tree, the best bet would be to invest in a USB keyboard lamp. These are super compact and all you need to do is plug it into the USB port and it lights up your keyboard.

The lamp is stable and flexible at the same time. However, if your laptop doesn’t have too many USB ports, and instead rely on USB hubs, the length of around 10-12 inches may pose a bit of an issue.

7. LAP DESK

Last but not the least we have a Lap Desk. Especially useful in the absence of a study desk, these mini desks can easily fit a laptop, smartphone and a couple of other stationeries.

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If you’re looking for a no-frills lap desk, you can give the Honey-Can-Do Portable Lap Desk a try.

LEARNING WITH A TECH ANGLE

So, these were some of the essential laptop accessories that you must certainly have to push your learning experience. So, how many of these did you have already?

6 USB‑C Pow­er Deliv­ery Cables for Fast Charging

USB-C with Power Delivery, or PD, is the future of gadgets and rightly so. This new generation technology can power compatible smartphones and laptops like MacBook Pro or Chromebook Pixel in a jiffy. And the story doesn’t end there. With the right USB-C cable by your side, you can also expect fast and quick data transfers.

USB-C

All you need to do is pair these cable with a compatible USB-C charger, and you will be able to charge your device on the go. USB-C PD cables go beyond charging and data transfers. These universal cables are also capable of bidirectional power delivery. So, if you have an external drive, you can use a single cable to power the device as well as for data transfer.

So, if you are looking for the best USB-C power delivery cables for fast charging and data transfer, here are some of the best ones out there.

Before that, take a look at these options:

1. ANKER POWERLINE+ III

One of the primary highlights of this cable is its build. The company claims that it can withstand 35,000 bends. Though no one is keeping count, it’s worth saying that it will last you a long time. The build is further aided by the nylon braiding which keeps the cable safe from fraying and splitting. Furthermore, you can bid farewell to unnecessary tanglings.

Another feature worth the slightly-high price tag is the finish and the build. The build is solid and the slim design of the connectors means it doesn’t crowd the neighboring ports.

2. NEKTECK USB-C CABLE WITH POWER DELIVERY

If we talk about data transfers, this one leaps and gives you a theoretical transfer speed up to 10Gbps. For those unaware, USB 3.1 or SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps, has a maximum throughput of 10Gbps. So, if your laptop has a compatible port, you will be able to transfer data as fast as the Flash. Okay, I might have gone a bit overboard, but you get the drift. While you won’t get an actual speed of 10Gbps, you will get a comparatively faster speed.

The best part about Nekteck products is their USB IF-certifications. These cables have been tested by an independent lab for performance and safety. Unlike the one above, this Nekteck USB-C cable measures just 3ft. If you ask me, it’s sufficient for most situations, especially of all your peripherals are in the same place.

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3. CBUS 6.6FT USB-C 100W

The connectors carry a coat of aluminum oxide, and they’re rust-proof and resistant to impacts, as per the company’s claims. It works well in charging as well as in data transfers. “Works great for powering or connecting your USB-C devices. Tried and tested with cell phones, laptops, docking stations,” writes one user.

One of the drawbacks of this cable is the shorter strain relief. On the upside, the cable is thick and might not fray as soon as the Apple’s stock cables.

4. FASGEAR USB C TO USB C CABLE

The available in many sizes give you the flexibility to route your cables as per your desire. That also brings a disadvantage. Because these cables are bulky and thicker, you might face some difficulty in carrying them or storing them when not in use.

This Fasgear cable is quite popular on Amazon and has earned the tag of Amazon’s Choice. People love it for its data transfer and charging speed, and so far, it has 78% 5-star reviews.

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5. CHOETECH USB-C CABLE

The 6-foot length makes it more flexible, especially if the power outlet is at a distance from your usual place.

The price is considerably lower than the Anker PowerLine+ III cable or the in-house Apple cable. Of course, you won’t get the same data transfer speed, but thankfully, the charging speed works as advertised. “Seems sturdy and very well made. Works great for my Macbook Pro (15”) as well as Macbook Pro (13”),” writes one user.

OTHER USB-C PD CABLES YOU CAN CONSIDER

DITCH THE STOCK CABLE

These days, phone batteries die out sooner than anticipated, thanks to apps and content and nope, fast charging is the new normal. Out of the above, the Nektech charger seems to fit the bill of being able to power your phone as well as in aiding fast data transfers.

How to Use HP Active Pen: A Guide with Tips

First of all, congrats on buying that new HP Active Pen or a touch HP laptop. Now that you are a proud owner of one of the two, let me tell you Windows has signficantly improved the touch experience with Windows 10 — be it using the fingers or a digital pen.

HP Active Pen

You may have figured it by now that the basic functionality of the HP Pen is to tap the item with the Pen’s tip to select it and double tap it to open it. However, that’s not all that the HP Active Pen can do for it offers many other hidden features too. So in this post, we will dive deep into the world of HP Active Pen and tell you some of its tips and tricks. Consider this post as your HP Pen manual or a guide.

USE PEN AS AN ERASER

Most HP Pens come with two side buttons. Let’s call them top and bottom button for this post. The shape of the buttons might vary for your model.

By default, pressing the bottom button turns the Pen into a digital eraser. It is used to erase the drawing, color, or handwritten text in the supported applications such as OneNote, Word, Sketchpad, and others. All you need to do is press the button and drag your Pen over the data that you want to delete.

RIGHT-CLICK WITHOUT MOUSE

The top button lets you right-click wherever it is supported. To do so, touch the laptop screen with your Pen, press and hold the top button for a second or two, then release the button and lift the Pen. Doing that will open the right-click menu. In case the right-click menu is slow on your PC, try these fixes.

SELECT TEXT

Another useful way to use the HP Pen is to select the normal text just as you do with your mouse. For that, simply touch the screen with the Pen and wait for the typing symbol to appear. Then drag the Pen to select the text.

The feature works without pressing any button on apps like Word. But for other apps like Chrome, you have to first press and hold the top button before touching the screen and then drag the Pen over the text that you want to select while keeping the button pressed.

Again, just like a mouse, tapping the text twice with your Pen will select the word and tapping thrice will select the entire paragraph.

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VIEW PREVIEW

On touch-enabled Windows devices, Pen is the replacement or an alternative for a traditional mouse. So it performs almost the same functions including showing the previews. To open a preview, just hover your Pen over an item.

Use it in YouTube to view the video preview, move it over buttons/menus on a website, or hover it over the apps in the taskbar — to name a few examples.

CHANGE BUTTON FUNCTIONS

Don’t like the default behavior of the buttons of your HP Pen? Well, change it to a function of your choice. You can use the buttons to take a screenshot, play, pause, undo, and do other useful things.

To customize the buttons, you will need the help of HP Pen Control app. On some devices, it comes preinstalled. To open it, go to Start Menu and look for HP Pen Control app. If the app isn’t available, download it from the following link.

Select the new action for the buttons from the drop-down boxes available next to their name and click on Apply.

The buttons cannot be customized to open apps. However, if you use the HP Active Pen with App Launch, you can customize the App launch button to open an app of your choice. For that, go to Windows Settings > Devices > Pen & Windows Ink. Scroll down and change the function under Pen shortcuts.

WRITE TEXT ON SCREEN

When you are using your HP laptop as a tablet, not necessarily in the tablet mode, you can use handwritten text to input in the text filed. Meaning, if you are comfortable with handwriting, you don’t have to use the touch keyboard, you can directly write/ink on the screen, and it will be converted to text.

To do so, press any text field with the tip of the Pen and the handwriting panel will open. Now write with the Pen, and you will see it convert to text in real time.

Also, you can even write directly with your fingers on the handwriting panel. For that, you will have to enable the setting ‘Write in the handwriting panel with your fingertip’ available under Windows Settings > Devices > Pen & Windows Ink.

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DRAW IN WINDOWS APPS

You’ll see direct pen input in supported Windows apps such as Microsoft Office apps, Sticky Notes, Photos app, etc. When you touch the screen with the tip of your Pen, you can directly start writing or drawing in the app. You will be offered some customization options such as pen size, type, colors, and other things.

BONUS HANDWRITING PANEL TIPS

Here are some tips that can be used to ease the process of writing with your Pen in the handwriting panel. The panel looks like this:

Erase a Word

In the handwriting panel or input, when the handwriting has been converted to text, draw a single line preferably horizontal over the word that you want to delete.

Join Words

To join two words together, draw an arc over them.

Separate

Similarly, to separate two words from each other, draw a caret (^) between them.

CAN WE HAVE MORE?

So that’s how you can take the full advantage of your HP Active Pen. I would really like to have more functions as present in the S Pen of Samsung Note series. Having the ability to open apps by the side buttons and customizing their long press would be a bonus.

What features do you want in the HP Active Pen? Let us know in the comments below.

Next up: Bored of the same old apps on your Windows 10 PC? Check these 15 must-have apps for Windows 10.

Best Leather Bands for the Fit­bit Ver­sa 2

The new Fitbit Versa 2 makes for a compelling smartwatch for it looks quite elegant, thanks to its flat square dial. It was the square dial with tapered edges that enticed me when I got my hands on it. But, the default band or strap does little to no justice to this smartwatch, especially when it comes to everyday wear. It’s stiff and can be quite uncomfortable to wear for longer durations. Thankfully, like most Versa smartwatches, you can swap it out for a stylish and comfortable leather band.Fitbit Versa 2 

Leather bands add to the class and elegance to any watch, be it the good old analog watch or the new-age smartwatches, and the Fitbit Versa 2 is no exception. These bands help make the shift from a casual setting to a formal setting in an instant.

So, if you are looking for the leather bands for your new Fitbit Versa 2, we have a collection of the best replacement straps available.

1. BAYITE BANDS

The thin band means less space for sweat and water to be trapped, which ultimately leads to more comfort. And if you wear your watch every minute like I do, you must know that this is an important factor.

Apart from that, there are many prints to choose from. You can either go for the standard dark colors or go for a more lively floral print.

The Bayite leather straps cost less than $10 and have amassed a good number of reviews owing to the comfort and durability. “I love the slimness of my new band, it’s very comfortable and very pretty and was easy to install,” writes one user.

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2. EZCO LEATHER BANDS

For a strap that is just priced at around $11, the details are pretty much spot on. All the perforations are evenly spaced, and the black buckle boosts the overall looks. It’s suitable for people with wrists that have a width between 5.5 to 7.8-inches.

It’s quite popular on Amazon and has an overall rating of 4.3-stars out of 5, and Fakespot estimates that about 69 percent of those are reliable.

3. KADES FOR FITBIT VERSA 2

The company claims that the underside consists of hypoallergenic leather, which means fewer rashes and irritations. More importantly, it doesn’t cause sweat to build on the inside.

Like its counterpart above, the Kades Leather band is popular among its user base. It has a rating of 4.4-star out of 5 on Amazon, with propel praising its color, comfort, and easy installation process.

4. FITBIT VERSA PERFORATED HORWEEN LEATHER BAND

There are two sizes to select from, and the smaller one fits on the wrists measuring between 5.5 to 7.1-inches. It’s available in two shades — Moss Suede and Charcoal.

And the genuine Horween leather will last you longer compared to some of the third-party variants, as long as you take proper care of it.

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5. VANCLE LEATHER BAND

It fits wrists with a circumference between 5.5 to 7.9-inches, and there are more than a dozen color options to pick from.

One of the highlights of this band is the even spacing of the perforations and the stitches, which adds to the looks of the watch.

6. MALEDAN SLIM LEATHER BANDS

There are two sizes to choose from, and we would recommend measuring the circumference of your wrist before ordering one. After all, you wouldn’t want a long tail of strap hanging around, right?

The buckle is made from stainless steel, and so far, there have been no complaints of rusting if we go by the reviews on Amazon. Speaking of reviews, this leather band for the Fitbit Versa 2 is quite popular and has attracted a user rating of 4.6-stars out of 5 on Amazon.

STAY FIT AND STYLISH

While leather bands help accentuate a watch’s looks by several folds, it’s worth noting that they are not one of the most comfortable bands to wear while you are sweating out in the gym or out running on the trail. In such cases, it’s best to invest in a nylon strap or a sports strap. They may not be the best looking ones in the herd, but they are comfortable to wear and at the same time, prevent rashes and irritations.

If you are looking for a durable silicone strap, try out the ones by XIMU. They have enough perforations to let sweat escape, and the silicone of the band is breathable and waterproof. Or, you can check out the nylon bands by Welltin. They are available in a wide array of colors and are comfortable to wear.

5 Wireless Mice With Programmable Buttons

At times, a mouse with just two buttons and a scroll wheel doesn’t get the job done. Whether you are playing your favorite game or getting your office work done, more buttons can always get that extra thing done with a click and moving your finger or thumb. mouse with multiple programmable buttons helps you be resourceful and save time in the long run. For instance, you do not need to go all the way to the Back button on your browser. You can hit one of the programmable buttons, and it will get the job done. And it’s just one of the many scenarios.

Buttons

At the same time, wireless connectivity means that you can do away with the cable clutter. The compact and lightweight nature means you can easily toss it in your bag when you are traveling. In addition to that, you do not have to worry about lags and delays as well.

So, if you are looking to buy a wireless mice with programmable buttons, we have compiled a list of the best ones out there. All you need to do is pick one which suits your requirement the most.

1. LOGITECH MX MASTER 3

It’s the successor of the much-lauded MX Master 2s. Speaking about programmable buttons, the MX Master 3 comes with preloaded profiles for some of the popular tools and apps such as Chrome, MS Office, and Adobe Photoshop, among others. Of course, you are free to customize them as per your wish. Apart from the spiffy scrolling, you can make the best of the company’s proprietary Flow feature that lets you seamlessly switch between Windows and macOS based systems.

The buttons carry ergonomics-friendly design. Apart from the standard right-click, left-click, and the scroll wheel, you will find the thumb buttons. Compared to its predecessor, the thumb buttons on Master 3 stack together so that you can easily use them as per your convenience without moving your fingers around much.

And guess what, there’s a helpful gesture control on the thumb rest as well. You can connect the MX Master 3 to three different devices and the best part is that you can switch between them on the fly via the button at the bottom.

Speaking of the specs, Logitech uses the Darkfield sensor in the MX Master 3 and has a DPI of 4,000. It sweetens the deal because you can use the mouse on any surface, be it glass or wood, and it works as advertised. That said, it’s not the idea mouse for competitive gaming. However, it’ll certainly be a good companion if you want to game just to unwind.

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2. RAZER VIPER ULTIMATE

Speaking of DPI, this one goes many steps forward and supports up to 20,000 DPI. Yep, you read that right. As per the folks at Tech Rader, you can experience the improvement in performance of this mouse after you connect it to your gaming PC or laptop.

At the same time, the optical sensor is highly accurate and the new optical mouse switches ensure that your clicks are accurate. Say goodbye to the annoying double-click issues. Even though it’s an ambidextrous mouse. It’s highly comfortable and the ergonomic design means that you will be able to use it for long periods.

What sweetens the deal is the lightweight nature of the mouse, making it extremely easy to use. However, if you have used a heavy mouse before, you might find the shift a tad problematic initially.

With an all-black look, the Viper goes for a subtle design. The battery life is great, and if you are willing to go for the overall experience, you can also get your hands on the wireless battery dock.

3. CORSAIR HARPOON RGB

Apart from the standard buttons, this one packs two side buttons, a mouse wheel button, and a CPI switch button. The buttons are clicky, and the texturized surface on the thumb rest makes gaming comfortable.

All the buttons are customizeable via the official Corsair CUE software. However, it’s not one of the intuitive software out there and can be quite challenging for first-timers. The DPI button can cycle between five DPI settings.

The performance of this gaming mouse is excellent, minus latency & lags. And that’s one of the reasons that it has earned a fair share of reviews on Amazon. At the time of writing, the Corsair Harpoon had around 67% 5-star rating with people praising it for its durability, battery life, and performance.

The Corsair Harpoon can get you around 60 hours of battery life. And if you run out of battery, you can charge it while gaming.

4. RAZER MAMBA

The Mamba has a pretty symmetrical and subtle design, especially for a gaming mouse.

Customizing the buttons is via the in-house Razer Synapse 3 software. Though it’s not one of the intuitive software out there, assigning different actions for the buttons is a pretty simple affair. Beyond that, you can also play with the lighting of the scroll wheel and the Razer logo. And yeah, you can also tweak the DPI levels, if at all you want to assign different functions to the DPI buttons.

Speaking of the DPI, it ranges between 100 – 16,000 DPI.

When it comes to user reception, reviewers are happy with their purchases. It has over 75% 5-star user ratings and an average rating of 4.5-stars on Amazon. One user sums up his experience as, “The mambas durability is just so much better than the viper and it feels smooth and has a great grip. Battery life is decent.”

The battery life is fairly decent. The Mamba lasts around 50 hours and you may through a week of work and play on a single charge.

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5. MICROSOFT SURFACE PRECISION

The Surface Precision mouse bundles three extra buttons, and all of these are stacked just above the thumb rest makes it all the better.

And this premium mouse is one of the best options if you want to up your Windows game. The buttons come pre-programmed. While two of the thumb buttons lets you glide forward and back on browser pages, the remaining one helps you switch swiftly between different views on the Task Viewer. Cool, right? Of course, the button assignments are changeable as per your requirement via Microsoft’s Mouse and Keyboard Center.

Undoubtedly, this is a flagship device, and it performs its job to a T. The precision is accurate, and the battery life isn’t too bad. What’s more, if the charge runs out, you can connect it via the USB-C charger and go about your business.

Users recommend it for its ergonomic design and comfortable fit, and so far it has managed to collect an average of 4.3-stars out of 5 on Amazon.

CLICK. CLICK. SCROLL.

So, which type of mice are you looking for? Are you looking for one to improve your productivity levels? Or, are you looking to up your gaming skills?

Razer Viper Ultimate and Logitech G Pro are often a preferred choice among people who love to game occasionally. The best part about these mice is that they are durable and will last you a couple of years. Plus, the wireless feature means one less cable.