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Hardware

  • Apple HomePod release date slips to ‘early 2018’

    The HomePod was one of the biggest Apple announcements of the year, as the Cupertino company joined Google and Amazon in developing a smart speaker. Apple sought to differentiate the HomePod by positioning it as a premium sound system -- hence a steep US$349 price tag. But you're also getting Siri integration, the ability to daisy chain HomePods and the ability to analyse your room to create the best audio experience. The company was originally targeting a December 2017 launch date. Now, Apple has issued a statement to US media, revealing an "early 2018" release date instead. "We can't wait for people to...

  • Five weird smart devices you might not know about

    Every day the Internet of Things grows, with new and unique smart devices being added to the market. We've heard of smart watches, smart fridges and even smart coffee machines. But there are some smart devices that many of us never saw coming -- from autonomous lawnmowers to Bluetooth-enabled condoms. Here are five smart devices you never knew existed. 1. Smart Wine Bottle Sleeve If buying expensive wine is not helping you reach the ultimate level of pretentiousness that you desire, you could always invest in a WiFi enabled wine sleeve. Kuvée, a company which specialises in advanced and sophisticated wine bottles,...

  • Samsung DeX conversational review: a look at the future?

    For the past six or seven years, smartphone brands have dabbled with mobile/desktop convergence. There was Motorola and the lapdock, Alcatel and its own effort and, of course, Microsoft and Continuum for Phones. This year though, we've seen Samsung take a stab at the "your phone is a PC... kinda" trend, launching the DeX dock alongside the Galaxy S8 (review). And at first appearance, it's pretty similar to Microsoft's effort in terms of hardware setup. Andy Walker and Hadlee Simons put the DeX through its paces -- read the conversational review below. Hardware Hadlee Simons: Take a look at the dock itself...

  • TV box spec comparison: Kwese Play vs Telkom LIT TV

    The battle for streaming devices is heating up in South Africa, as Telkom launched its LIT TV box a month or two ago and the Kwese Play box also received a release. But which one is better based on the specs and price? We take a look. Horsepower From a sheer power perspective, there's no doubting that the LIT TV box looks like the better option. Featuring a quad-core A53 chipset, 2GB of RAM and 8GB of expandable storage, it's clear that Telkom's device is more powerful on paper. By comparison, the Kwese Play box has 512MB RAM and 256MB of expandable storage....

  • Oculus Go revealed: a $199 standalone VR headset

    Oculus has made a name for itself thanks to its Rift headset for PCs, while also teaming up with Samsung for content on their Gear VR mobile headset. Now, the Facebook-owned firm has revealed Oculus Go, a standalone VR headset -- no PC or smartphone needed. Coming in at US$199, the Oculus Go comes with a controller and features a "high resolution fast-switch LCD screen", as opposed to an OLED display. The company adds that the Oculus Go features its "best lenses yet", while speakers supporting spatial audio are built into the headset. Then again, those wanting something more discreet can plug...

  • Reviewer’s Google Home Mini goes rogue, records everything

    Manufacturers of smart speakers have gone to great lengths to explain to users that the devices respect their privacy. But Google was in a rather tricky situation after a tech journalist's Google Home Mini speaker malfunctioned. Android Police journalist Artem Russakovskii was one of many to receive a Google Home Mini at the company's 4 October event. But quickly found that it was listening to and recording everything, instead of only listening to a hotword to activate. "Several days passed without me noticing anything wrong. In the meantime, as it turns out, the Mini was behaving very differently from all the...

  • Xiaomi Mi Box review: what to expect from cheap 4K Android TV box?

    On paper, the Xiaomi Mi Box seems like a cheap and viable alternative to the Apple TV, being equipped with 4K and HDR capabilities. Heck, Apple has only caught up now when it comes to these standards. Meanwhile, Xiaomi's streaming box has been on the market for over a year, even coming to the USA via Walmart. Unfortunately, you can't pick it up in South Africa, being one of the few major Xiaomi devices to miss our shores. Still, you can actually pick one up from online retailer Gearbest, so we got a hold of a review unit via the website, being...

  • Google Home Mini leaks, to be revealed at Pixel 2 event?

    The Google Home smart speaker is one of the cooler Google devices released in recent years, offering useful features in a handy format. Between general voice queries, music playback and reminders, it (along with Amazon's Echo) popularised the idea of a smart speaker in the first place. Now, 9to5Google has uncovered evidence of a Google Home Mini device, essentially being a smaller, cheaper version of the original smart speaker. The publication dug through the Google Home app, finding an image of the diminutive gadget. Update: We found a full-res image of the new Google Home Mini in the latest Google Home app https://t.co/m9lxzczRTM...

  • Mirabook vs Superbook: crowdfunded lapdocks compared

    We've seen lapdocks launching before, way back in 2011. It's a fascinating concept that sees you dock your smartphone into a laptop shell. The resulting fusion means your phone powers a laptop-style experience, complete with larger screen, keyboard and trackpad. Unfortunately for Motorola and its original lapdock, we got a rather underwhelming, laggy experience. But the last 18 months or so has seen a resurgence in this sort of tech as devices get more powerful, with the Mirabook and Superbook being two of the leading third-party solutions. But which one seems better? We look at what each brings to the table...

  • Amazon Fire TV 4K: a cheap HDR-equipped Apple TV 4K rival

    Earlier this month, we saw the Apple TV 4K finally revealed, being the company's long-overdue foray into 4K (and HDR) video content. Now, Amazon has taken the fight to Apple with the Fire TV 4K. It's not the first time we've seen Amazon reveal a 4K-equipped Fire TV device, but the new streaming gadget also offers HDR support, for starters. Other noteworthy features include Dolby Atmos support, 60fps compatibility, Alexa Voice support, 1.5Ghz quad-core A53 processor, 2GB of RAM and 8GB of storage. It's not a bad deal for US$70, especially if Apple's US$179 effort is a little out of reach....