February is the cruelest month. An unconventional sentiment, maybe, but by now we've lost that New Year's vigor, spring is still just out of arm's reach, and our only escape is the dumping ground of post-awards-season Hollywood. But that's ok! Because February also brought some major upheavals to our Best Gadgets roster. So turn away from those gray skies, and just keep staring at the shiny gadgets. Because by the time you manage to tear yourself away, spring just might have already sprung.
Having the ability to set up a Wi-Fi network wherever you need one can be great, but it can also come at a cost. Hotspots come with expensive plans, and more and more often, phone tethering does too. The Karma 4G hotspot, on the other hand, is totally pay-as-you-go, and even comes with the built-in ability to accrue a (small) stash of data completely for free—everything you want and nothing you don't need. More »
A good bag is just about as important as the gadgets it carries. Your electronics are fragile and expensive to replace, and your back is fragile and impossible to replace. Ogio's Renegade RSS bag is damn near as good as it gets at protecting both. With a crush-proof laptop pocket and more cushioned nooks and crannies than you could possibly have gadgets, this is the only—and maybe last—bag you'll need. More »
The Microsoft Surface was the biggest new tech of 2012. Its first iteration—Surface RT, a confusingly named and marketed tablet-with-a-keyboard—bombed. Pretty hard. So why believe in the full-powered Surface Pro? Simple. It's a braver and more divergent take on the laptop-tablet convergence than anyone else has risked so far. And that's certainly not to say it's entirely successful—but as far as current Windows tablets, it's the best you're gonna get. More »
The Meridian Explorer takes the digital audio from your computer's USB port, puts the code through some very fancy electronics, and spits out an analog signal to to your headphones or stereo. Yes, your computer's sound card already has a built-in digital-to-audio converter that does this, but the Explorer is made by one of the most sophisticated manufacturers in the world. With both audio quality and design at such a high caliber, this product is obviously targeted at people who've got space in their budgets for extravagance. But, if that happens to be you, we highly recommend you buy this. More »
A few years ago we had the pleasure of reviewing a pair of odd, conical, ceramic speakers by California-based designer Joey Roth. They were spectacular. Now Roth has built out the system with a beautiful ceramic subwoofer designed specifically for use with his speakers, but theoretically, they could work with any audio system. It's beautiful to look at, but more than anything, we can't get over how lovely this thing sounds. Unfortunately, factors like fragility and cost mean they're not for everyone. More »
If you're taking your first steps out into that brave new world of electric razors, with all the various features and price points, it can all be a bit bewildering. The Philips Norelco Click & Style is for newbies, with everything you could need to start, and nothing more confusing than that. Plus, it can shave or trim hair just about anywhere on your body—and well. At $70, it's a cost-effective way to wade into the world of electric razors and decide if you're into them before you shell out for something more sophisticated. More »
A zillion new smartphones are going to be announced soon at Mobile World Congress, each promising camera advancements that may or may not live up to the hype. But with what's on the market right now, Nokia's Lumia 920 has the best smartphone camera you could hope to find. One major plus is the optical image stabilization, which helps the camera achieve a passable photo even under the toughest circumstances. Even using only the automatic setting, it still gets an accurate exposure and decent image in all shooting conditions. You can't beat it. More »
Metro PCS isn't exactly known for its selection of cutting-edge devices. Yes, it has the Galaxy S III now, but they charge 500 bucks for it. Pardon us for generalizing, but we're going to posit that people on Metro PCS are looking to save money. This is 300 bucks cheaper than the Galaxy S III, but you're still getting an incredibly quick phone that'll do basically everything you need it to do, and well. Add in how cheap unlimited plans are on Metro PCS, and this setup just might be one of the best deals in mobile. More »
The Titan is Nvidia's "Big Kepler" GPU, and has double the transistors and almost double the CUDA cores of the mid-range GK104 chip found in its flagship GeForce GTX 680 GPU. Though it runs at a lower clock speed in stock trim, it should still offer a sizable performance improvement over the already capable GTX 680.More »
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