Hands On

Opera Neon hands-on: “Concept Browser” hits more than it misses

Opera Neon hands-on: “Concept Browser” hits more than it misses

Opera is looking to change the state of internet browsers, and it has launched a new browser called Neon as the first step in realizing that vision. Starting today, Opera Neon is available to download on Mac and Windows, and it's the culmination of a year and a half of work by Opera's design team. As everyone knows, competition in the web browser space is stiff, so I downloaded Opera Neon and took it for a spin to see how it stacks up to more traditional browsers.

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HTC U Ultra price, specs, and unique features

HTC U Ultra price, specs, and unique features

The folks at HTC have released a new set of devices, the most powerful of which is the HTC U Ultra. We had the opportunity to go hands-on with the HTC U Ultra and its closest relative, the new HTC U Play, getting up close and personal to see all the details. These devices have been created in a vein similar to the LG V10 and V20 devices, made to cater to users with a very specific set of features on their "must have" list for a smartphone.

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HTC U Ultra and U Play hands-on: 2017’s Android wildcards

HTC U Ultra and U Play hands-on: 2017’s Android wildcards

HTC has not one but two new Android smartphones, the HTC U Ultra and HTC U Play, part of its new "U" family that promises to be more personable - and hopefully memorable - than previous handsets from the company. Intended to claw back some of the attention HTC has lost over the past couple of years at the hands of the iPhone and Samsung's relentless Galaxy launches, the concept behind "U" is to buck the status quo, seemingly based on the principle that you might not be able to convince everybody so you might as well really, really cater to a subset of HTC fans. We spent some time with both devices to see if they could sway us.

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Just unveiled, the Bentley Continental Supersports is a 209 mph beast

Just unveiled, the Bentley Continental Supersports is a 209 mph beast

What does it take to be the world's fastest four-seater production car? If you're Bentley, the answer to that is a 6-liter, twin-turbocharged W12 engine, squeezed inside the stately curves of the 2017 Continental Supersports, and pushing the coupe to a heady 209 miles per hour. Freshly revealed in the metal on the eve of the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) 2017, this latest Supersports is setting the bar high.

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Toyota’s Concept-i designers talk AI co-pilots and self-driving style

Toyota’s Concept-i designers talk AI co-pilots and self-driving style

Toyota's Concept-i autonomous car winks at you, remembers the minutiae of your interests, and suggests detours to hang out with your friends: all in the name of getting you to trust its self-driving talents. Revealed at CES 2017 in Las Vegas, CA. this week, on the one hand it's a striking design study intended to explore the new possibilities unlocked when you're liberated from the tyranny of everyday driving. At the same time, though, it addresses a more fundamental issue, around trust in technology and the fear of the expert. I caught up with Ian Cartabiano, lead designer at the Toyota CALTY studio, and William Chergosky, interior lead designer, to find out why Concept-i is so important.

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NVIDIA SPOT hands-on: this is SHIELD’s smart home

NVIDIA SPOT hands-on: this is SHIELD’s smart home

NVIDIA SHIELD has suddenly begun to look like a smart home master this week at CES 2017, adding Google Assistant and SmartThings to take the IoT in one swift stroke. For new users, all that's needed is the NVIDIA SHIELD TV device - it includes a standard TV remote and a gaming remote, both of which have microphones to accept voice commands. NVIDIA SPOT also has a microphone as well as a speaker, acting as an extension of the smart home functionality of NVIDIA SHIELD with Google Assistant and SmartThings connectivity.

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Switchmate’s no-tool smart home upgrades get sleeker

Switchmate’s no-tool smart home upgrades get sleeker

The Internet of Things may be the next big marketing pitch, but battery life, installation hassles, and general complexity can make upgrading to the smart home a headache. Promising Bluetooth simplicity and no tools required, Switchmate brought its latest range of battery-powered IoT gadgets to CES 2017 this week. Like the company's first product they're designed to be renter-friendly, but they also expand the number of devices you can add remote control to.

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LEGO Boost hands-on: simplifying brick robotics

LEGO Boost hands-on: simplifying brick robotics

It's almost never too early to begin learning about robotics - that's what LEGO seems to be telling us with LEGO Boost. The LEGO Boost system is a platform aimed at children 7-years and up. This is decidedly different from previous LEGO robotics sets offered in the past, like the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 which requires a bit more skill than most 7-year-olds are able to muster to make full use of.

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This one big deal might make TrackR the tracking device to have

This one big deal might make TrackR the tracking device to have

TrackR has a pair of new Bluetooth device trackers for CES this year, the Pixel and Wallet 2.0, but it's a deal to dramatically extend its crowd-based location service that's most interesting. The company, known for its keychain and wallet tracking dongles that communicate via Bluetooth with your smartphone, has cut a deal with Brocade to enhance indoor and outdoor location services. It could mean significantly more chance of finding your lost keys, cellphone, or cat.

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Part tiny PC, part tablet: Ockel Sirius A is 6-inches of Windows 10

Part tiny PC, part tablet: Ockel Sirius A is 6-inches of Windows 10

Small form-factor PCs aren't new, but Ockel is pushing the envelope with the Sirius A, a full touchscreen Windows 10 computer compact enough to fit your hand. At the opposite extreme to vast touch-enabled All-in-Ones like Microsoft's Surface Studio, the Sirius A instead aims for the ultra-compact end of the spectrum. That opens up some really interesting possibilities.

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Razer Project Ariana hands-on at CES 2017: gaming room lighting gets wacky

Razer Project Ariana hands-on at CES 2017: gaming room lighting gets wacky

Razer's Project Ariana was used this week at CES 2017 to show the potential of Razer Chroma lighting in full-room immersion. The company announced earlier today that they'd be making Razer Chroma open to 3rd-party partners, meaning more companies could bring millions of colors of light to their devices. Project Ariana is a device that lights up a whole room - and it's not just a concept for Chroma Lighting. This is a real-deal product that Razer says will be a production device - available for purchase - by the end of the year 2017.

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This Samsung spin-off reinvented the Post-It (for some reason)

This Samsung spin-off reinvented the Post-It (for some reason)

If there's office contraband then it's probably the humble - but coveted - Post-It pad, but one Samsung spin-off is aiming to give the sticky note a tech upgrade. Mangoslab began life as a Samsung Venture funded start-up courtesy of the South Korean company's internal incubator back in 2016, and its first product is Nemonic, a sticky note printer making its debut at CES 2017. Rather than a pad of Post-Its on your desk, you have a small printer block instead.

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