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Synology DiskStation DS218+ review

Synology DiskStation DS218+

The new DS218+ is the most impressive NAS in Synology's two-bay range for home users. It's got powerful hardware and lots of features that you expect in the high-end segment, like a versatile operating system, a solid selection of ports, and support for 4K video streaming.

Those specs make it a very attractive option for power users and consumers who want a future-proofed NAS. Question is, does it have what it takes to also impress in real-life? I've tested the DS218+ to find out.

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SJCAM SJDASH dash cam review

SJCAM SJDASH

SJCAM has become one of the biggest players in the action camera market thanks to devices like the SJ5000X Elite and SJ6 Legend. And now it's come up with a product targeting a different audience.

The SJDASH is SJCAM's first dash cam and, just like the other devices in the company's range, it is designed to appeal to consumers looking for a good balance between quality and price. Question is, how does it perform? I've tested it to find out.

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diskAshur DT2: A super-secure PIN-protected desktop drive [Review]

There are many ways to secure your personal data, but if you have a lot of files and folders you want to keep completely private, then you really need to be looking at a hardware solution.

iStorage sells a range of external OS and platform independent USB drives that use hardware-level, real-time military grade AES-XTS 256-bit encryption to secure your content, with access via a built-in PIN pad.

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OnePlus 5T: Is this the best flagship killer yet? [Review]

OnePlus 5T display

It does not take long to realize that the OnePlus 5T is designed to impress. The new flagship killer ticks all the right boxes with its high-end processor, cutting-edge display, dual camera and premium unibody construction. It is a tour de force, and that is before we even consider the price.

But specs do not tell the whole story. There is more to the OnePlus 5T than meets the eye. It feels balanced, as my colleague Joe Wilcox would put it, unlike any other flagship killer before it and many of its rivals. Undoubtedly, it is the most attractive smartphone that OnePlus has released so far.

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OnePlus 5T first-impressions review

When looking at the OnePlus 5T, it is difficult to believe that it is not a completely new flagship killer. You can thank the novel new display for that. It takes up more space on the front, giving you the impression that you are in for a completely different experience.

The new display is also larger, but it has small bezels all-around, which means that the whole device feels manageable in the hand. The aluminum body, which sports a Midnight Black finish on my review unit, has a quality feeling, which is what you expect from a OnePlus device.

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SJCAM SJ6 Legend action camera review

Of all the action cameras that I have used, the SJCAM SJ5000X Elite is probably the one I liked the most. The video quality was top-notch, it was well made and it also got lots of updates. The SJ6 Legend has replaced it, but does it live up to its predecessor?

The new action camera is similar in terms of specs, but thanks to some key changes it makes for a much more interesting proposition. But how does it perform? I've tested the SJ6 Legend to find out.

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Something you gotta know about iPhone X

I consider myself lucky, although some commenters (you know who you are) will disagree, by successfully ordering from Verizon Wireless the iPhone X for delivery on launch day—November 3rd. A FedEx driver brought the anticipated package to my door yesterday afternoon. I hauled down to Apple Store to purchase AppleCare+ before my grubby paws caressed the steel rims (vroom)  and generous glass (screen measures 5.8 inches diagonally).

Replacing iPhone 7 Plus, which features and benefits greatly satisfy, is a bit extravagant. But I wanted the X to review and for its smaller size but larger display—understanding caveats: Home button's removal changes fundamental interaction and means adapting habits (oh my aching muscle memory).

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Maze Alpha is a nice phablet that offers great value for money [Review]

When we reviewed the Maze Blade back in June, we were flabbergasted by the sheer amount of quality components that the Chinese vendor, Maze, managed to cram in this smartphone.

The Maze Alpha is the bigger brother of the Blade and has an even higher specification without adding much to the price.

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AOC U3277PWQU 32-inch 4K UHD Professional Monitor [Review]

I'm a big fan of value. Is that because I'm not a wealthy person? Partially. Even when I can afford something, however, I don't necessarily buy it. When buying a car, for instance, I try to get the most bang for my buck while getting a reasonable vehicle -- my only new car purchase was a Ford Focus priced below invoice. Could I have gotten a better vehicle? Sure, but the Focus provided value.

When it comes to monitors, I am the same way. My main computer these days is a 2016 MacBook Pro. Now, the obvious choice of a monitor wold be a fancy 5K variant from a company like LG. And yeah, I am sure a 5K display looks brilliant with macOS. But guess what? It is expensive. Instead, 4K is more than enough for my needs. When I want a monitor, I usually turn to AOC. Why? Its products are very good and budget-friendly. I've been testing the company's U3277PWQU 32-inch 4K UHD Professional Monitor lately, and I have some definitive opinions.

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Synology DiskStation DS418j is a four-bay NAS ideal for home users [Review]

The new DiskStation DS418j is among Synology's most attractive options for home users with higher storage needs. Part of the entry-level J Series, the four-bay NAS has solid hardware and all the right features that you expect in this segment, including a powerful operating system and lots of useful software add-ons.

It is also among the most-affordable NAS devices in the four-bay range, which makes it a prime choice for buyers on a budget. But, just how good is it in real life? I've tested the DS418j to find out.

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Creative Sound BlasterX AE-5 32-bit 384 KHz PCIe gaming sound card [Review]

With many consumers owning laptops or tablets as their sole computers nowadays, the concept of installing a sound card -- let alone any add-on card -- can be totally foreign. Believe it or not, however, many people still use and love desktop computers -- including yours truly. Not only can a tower be more powerful than their mobile counterparts, but they can be much easier to upgrade too.

Even if you do own a desktop computer, a high-end sound card, such as the Creative Sound BlasterX AE-5 which I have been testing, may not be in your best interest. This card is designed for computer enthusiasts that are audiophiles, gamers, or both with decent headphones or speakers; there is no point in buying a high-end sound card to use with $10 Walmart speakers, right? The big question is, should you purchase the card?

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Sphero SPRK+: A fun, programmable robot for all ages [Review]

If you want to teach children how to code, then buying them a product like the Raspberry Pi makes a lot of sense. It’s versatile, and cheap enough that if they break it, buying a replacement shouldn’t be too big a deal.

Not every child is going to want to learn how to program a Pi though -- the appeal of it won’t necessary be apparent to a kid who just wants to play. This is where SPRK+ comes in. The Sphero robot can be driven using an app, and then -- when the appeal of that wears off -- programmed in a choice of ways.

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Doogee BL7000 is an affordable smartphone with a huge battery and nice hardware [Review]

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Doogee seems to be on fire; the outfit, which is several orders of magnitude smaller than bigger names like Lenovo, Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi, has been pushing out new models like there’s no tomorrow. The vendor embraced a niche approach with the S-series (for secure), the BL series, the Mix (bezel-less), the Shoot series (for photography aficionados) and a few more.

After the Doogee Mix and the Doogee T5 and just before we review the S60 rugged smartphone, we’re taking a look at the BL7000 with the first two letters meaning "Battery Life" and 7000 representing the battery capacity (in mAh).

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Edifier e235 Luna E -- solid sound meets deep-sea vibe [Review]

Edifier e235

For people who have invested in a large screen TV with a view to enjoying a home cinema experience, one of the most common complaints is the quality of the built-in speakers.

The latest flat-screen TVs lack the big wooden cabinets of old for sound to resonate around in and so the audio quality from their on-board speakers tends to be a bit weedy. Most therefore look to add a soundbar or external speaker system to improve the experience.

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OnePlus 5 is not your typical flagship [Review]

There are few smartphones that attract as much attention as a new OnePlus flagship. And it is easy to understand why. You get pretty much everything that you expect from a flagship device, but at a fraction of the cost. That recipe has not changed with this year's OnePlus 5.

Though it has not changed dramatically on the outside, the new "flagship killer" is more powerful and exciting than ever. It's also more expensive, which brings up an interesting question: Is the OnePlus 5 still special in today's crowded market?

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