Author Archives: Chris Davies

Writing for R3 Media since 2006, Chris Davies is currently executive editor for SlashGear and Android Community. Based in San Francisco, he's responsible for SlashGear's editorial decisions and covers all forms of consumer technology. You can follow him on Twitter.

2017 Volvo V60 Polestar First Drive: Feeling Blue

2017 Volvo V60 Polestar First Drive: Feeling Blue

It's a Volvo renaissance right now but, though the XC90 and S90 may be flying off dealers' lots with their high-tech cabins and minimalistic style, true aficionados know it's Polestar where the Swedish spirit lies. Whether that spirit is akvavit or high-octane gasoline is questionable - the uncharitable might suggest they both taste the same - but the 2017 Volvo V60 Polestar and S60 Polestar are unmistakable. Peak crazy comes in the shape of a bright blue wagon.

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Elgato’s Stream Deck is a game streamer’s studio controller with LCD buttons

Elgato’s Stream Deck is a game streamer’s studio controller with LCD buttons

Game streaming on platforms like Twitch are increasingly popular, and Elgato is expanding beyond just capturing your play and helping streamers look more professional with a new studio controller. The Elgato Stream Deck promises an end to keyboard shortcuts and juggling different windows to handle precut media, social networking, graphic overlays, and more, with a set of customizable LCD buttons.

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Apple Clips taps face recognition and AI to make social movies

Apple Clips taps face recognition and AI to make social movies

Apple has a new app for iPhone and iPad video editing, with Clips promising a simple way to create perfect content for Instagram, Facebook, and more. Set to hit the App Store in April, Clips won't replace iMovie for iOS, Apple's existing video editing app for its mobile devices. Instead, it'll offer a different - and in many ways much easier - way to put short videos together.

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Apple’s new 9.7 iPad cuts the price to coax tablet upgrades

Apple’s new 9.7 iPad cuts the price to coax tablet upgrades

Apple's iPad is the current crown-holder in tablet sales, and now there's a new, cheaper version of the 9.7-inch iPad in an attempt to hold onto that record. Priced from $329, the new iPad 9.7 is partly Apple's attempt to coax long-time owners of its older tablets to upgrade, something tablet users in general have proved more reluctant to do than they might with their smartphones. In that vein, it offers a few notable improvements.

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Plantronics BackBeat 500 Series hands-on: Bluetooth headphones on a budget

Plantronics BackBeat 500 Series hands-on: Bluetooth headphones on a budget

With Apple hastening the decline of the headphone jack, what do you do if you're not inclined to spend $150 or more on Bluetooth headphones? After taking on Bose back in October, Plantronics is back with an even more affordable set of cans, the BackBeat 500 Series. Promising some smarter Bluetooth tricks than AirPods, with a bargain $79.99 price tag, there's a lot to recommend them.

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Fuel Cell Safety: Why hydrogen cars like Honda’s Clarity are safe

Fuel Cell Safety: Why hydrogen cars like Honda’s Clarity are safe

"Will it explode?" isn't the question Honda dealers want to be answering about the 2017 Clarity Fuel Cell, but hydrogen's tricky history means they'll probably hear it more than once. Fuel cell engines are faintly magical in science terms, taking hydrogen, converting it into electricity, and then emitting nothing but water as a waste product. Problem is, say "hydrogen" and many people hear "Hindenburg".

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2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell First Drive: Hydrogen Hero

2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell First Drive: Hydrogen Hero

Strange new hydrogen fuel; same reassuring Honda experience. That's the equation the 2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell is counting on for success, a four-door premium sedan straddling the cutting edge of propulsion and the familiarity behind the wheel that the automaker is known for. Not a science experiment, or an ecological hair-shirt, but simply guilt-free driving with nothing but pure water coming out of its hidden tailpipe.

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Lotus Elise Sprint goes back to lightweight basics

Lotus Elise Sprint goes back to lightweight basics

Lotus was always a proponent of the "simplify, then add lightness" school of car design, preferring to focus on weight rather than just shoehorn in more power. Still, though the British automaker was more removed than most from the trends of the car industry, the Elise gradually became better equipped and, as a result, heavier. Now, there's a new Elise Sprint edition, which takes Lotus right back to founding principles.

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Philips Hue E14 candle adds color and white to smart bulbs

Philips Hue E14 candle adds color and white to smart bulbs

Another day, another Philips Hue bulb, and the number of lamps, lights, and fixtures you can give a connected upgrade continues to increase. Philips has added an E14 candle bulb to the Hue line-up, its range of ZigBee-linked, app-controlled LEDs. According to the company, it's one of the most requested sizes from existing Hue users.

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Peak Design Everyday Backpack 20L Review

Peak Design Everyday Backpack 20L Review

It's fair to say that Peak Design started something big with the Everyday Backpack. The company, already beloved for its Everyday Messenger bags among other camera accessories, set out to raise $500k on Kickstarter back in 2016; it ended up pulling in more than $6.5m, then nearly $700k more in a second preorder phase. Clearly, the Everyday Backpack tapped into something photographers in particular were looking for, but as I discovered myself there's more to the bag than just that.

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2017 Subaru Outback 2.5i Touring Review: The Charm Wagon

2017 Subaru Outback 2.5i Touring Review: The Charm Wagon

Is the 2017 Subaru Outback a crossover, an SUV, or - heaven forfend - a wagon? The jacked-up, load-toting version of the Legacy station wagon, the Outback may be hard to pigeon-hole but that hasn't stopped it selling. Indeed, you could well find yourself questioning the crossover craze by the end of your drive.

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Neato’s robot vacuums now obey Google Home’s voice orders

Neato’s robot vacuums now obey Google Home’s voice orders

The number of ways you can automate your home just by barking at it continues to grow, with Neato adding Google Home support to its connected robot vacuum range. Available as a new talent for the smart speaker today, the integration allows you to trigger a clean entirely hands-free. The functionality joins Neato's existing Amazon Alexa support.

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