Features

Living with AirPods: Three months to change my mind

Living with AirPods: Three months to change my mind

Three months in, has the reality distortion field around the AirPods faded, or are Apple's Bluetooth headphones still my pick of iPhone accessories? They may have met with some ridicule when Apple revealed them, but the ongoing stock shortages would suggest that the mass market doesn't care: they want their AirPods, and they're willing to pay $159 for them. Having lived with them as my primary headphones for some time now, I can't say I disagree.

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2017 Alpina B7 Review: A BMW M7 by any other name

2017 Alpina B7 Review: A BMW M7 by any other name

You wait a couple of decades for one BMW M7 to come along, and life brings you two. Well, not quite: neither BMW's own M760i or this, the 2017 Alpina B7, is officially an M car, but then neither would you really want them to be. Go too far down that track and you end up sacrificing luxury in the name of raw performance, and that's entirely at odds with the 7 Series raison d'être. Does that make the Alpina B7 a plutocrat's sports pretender? No, no it does not.

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Three Android phone screen privacy apps to foil snoops

Three Android phone screen privacy apps to foil snoops

Ever feel paranoid when using your phone in public? Perhaps you have a super-secret Instagram account you don't want your coworkers to know about, or maybe you worry someone will spy your Reddit username on incoming notifications. Whatever the reason, privacy is important to most people and doubly so when it comes to phones, perhaps our most intimate of personal gadgets. Here to help is a litany of screen privacy apps for Android, all of them designed to obscure your phone's display so others have a hard time snooping over your shoulder.

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2017 Jaguar F-Type SVR Review: 575 singing horses

2017 Jaguar F-Type SVR Review: 575 singing horses

Should you manage to beg, borrow, or steal the keys to the 2017 Jaguar F-Type SVR, drop everything - bags, laptop, kids - on the ground and drive to the nearest tunnel. Wait until the road is clear; be patient, my friend, because I promise you the payoff is all worth it. You can occupy yourself by opening the windows and tugging the tactile drive-mode toggle into Dynamic, which has the time-saving side effect of switching on the Active Sport Exhaust. Then, when you have the road to yourself, floor the gas.

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Why the LG G6’s display leads the way in 2017

Why the LG G6’s display leads the way in 2017

It's fair to say the LG G6 looked pretty odd in the first leaked photos. By the time the Android smartphone hit the stands at Mobile World Congress last month we were pretty much inured - both from leaks and LG's own near-constant drip-drip-drip of announcements - to its tall & skinny design. Still, when you first pick it up you notice, even if subconsciously, there's something strange going on.

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D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD Review: HomeKit’s first camera is raw

D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD Review: HomeKit’s first camera is raw

Apple's HomeKit makes a simple promise: take the disparate parts of the connected home, and bring them together under one straightforward umbrella. Still, the stringent requirements around things like security and ease of setup has meant partner devices have been slower to trickle down to the market than for rival platforms: this D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD has the title of first HomeKit-compatible security camera available. $200 gets you a very wide angle lens and freedom from subscription fees, but there are still signs that neither HomeKit nor D-Link's camera are quite where the competition has reached.

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2017 Mazda CX-5 First Drive: Obsession pays off

2017 Mazda CX-5 First Drive: Obsession pays off

Mazda finds itself in a tricky spot. The CX-5 is due for a refresh; however, it's also the best-selling car in the company's US line-up. Sales in 2016, in fact, accounted for a quarter of all Mazda purchases in the US. Get it wrong, and the 2017 CX-5 could end up doing more harm than good.

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2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF First Drive: Hard top, easy decision

2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF First Drive: Hard top, easy decision

If the 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF aims to introduce some hard-top practicality to the iconic little roadster, does it run the risk of losing what makes a Miata, well, a Miata? That should've been the question we asked when the Japanese company unveiled the RF at the New York Auto Show a year ago: instead, we were too busy being wowed by its innovative retractable roof and achingly pretty design. Fast forward to today, with the first of the MX-5 RF Launch Edition cars reaching the initial 1,000 buyers and the regular versions landing in Mazda dealerships, it's time to get behind the wheel and ask the tough questions.

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Desert storm: Catching air in Toyota’s TRD at the 2017 Mint 400

Desert storm: Catching air in Toyota’s TRD at the 2017 Mint 400

There's more than one way to get to Las Vegas from downtown Los Angeles. You could hop on a jet at LAX and be there before you're half-way through your in-flight movie. There's always I-15, that shimmering ribbon of sun-baked asphalt that takes you through Barstow and Baker before spitting you out across the Nevada line within spitting distance of Sin City. Then there's the road less traveled - where's there's not really any road at all - that runs you through the network of casually-maintained desert paths frequented by utility companies, park rangers, rattlesnakes, and in my case, a pack of brand-new 2017 Toyota TRD Off-Road and TRD Pro pickups.

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A new Google Pixel XL Review in brief, 5-months later

A new Google Pixel XL Review in brief, 5-months later

It's been 5 months since I started using a Google Pixel XL and, like no other phone before it, I can't imagine switching to any other device. While it's quite possible the newest wave of smartphones from brands like Samsung and LG will out-style and out-display the Pixel with their newest devices this year, there's little real reason why I'd feel the need to switch. Our initial Google Pixel Review took place back in October of 2016 when the smartphone launched - can sustained quality over this period of time make the heart fonder?

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Inside Cadillac’s early bet on Vehicle-to-Vehicle tech

Inside Cadillac’s early bet on Vehicle-to-Vehicle tech

Until now, the only way one car could communicate with another was if the driver leaned on the horn or made imaginative hand-signals to their fellow motorists. With the arrival of the 2017 Cadillac CTS, though, all of a sudden the vehicle itself gets chatty. Making V2V, or Vehicle-to-Vehicle, communication a standard feature, it promises not only an increase in on-road safety but to pave the way to new semi-autonomous and self-driving features. The big question is, with Vehicle-to... well, anything still in its infancy, why is Cadillac making the jump now?

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Snow Joe iON24SB-XR Review: Battery-powered snow blower says ‘shush’ to winter

Snow Joe iON24SB-XR Review: Battery-powered snow blower says ‘shush’ to winter

It took a long time for battery-powered tools to gain the same respect as their corded peers, and one of the technologies that played the biggest role in their eventual proliferation was lithium-ion technology. The same energy storage systems tapped into by electric cars heralded a new era in longevity and capability for saws, drills, and impact wrenches, and also erased fears about over-charging and potentially damaging battery packs that were prevalent with nickel-cadmium designs.

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