Budget and/or Flagship: The OnePlus 6

Confession: it’s getting harder and harder to write these phone reviews. Either I’m becoming jaded or the phones are now just too darn good. Probably both. The basic requirements of a good phone, once you move up from the entry level, are an up-to-date version of the operating system running on a fast processor in tons of RAM with lots of storage, displaying on a big clear screen. Yes, and a high-resolution camera. Some punters… Now read on…

The iFi nano iDSD Black Label DAC and MQA

My credentials as a full-on audiophile, such as they might have been, were comprehensively blown at the beginning of this year. My audiologist revealed that my hearing starts to fall off at 1kHz and is technically classed as “severe” above around 8kHz. (The full story is here.) The range of human hearing is generally reckoned to be between 20Hz and 20kHz, spanning some seven octaves. Some audiophiles claim that even sounds above 20 kilohertz need… Now read on…

AZIO Retro Classic Keyboard

A couple of months ago I slipped a mention of the new AZIO Retro Classic Keyboard into my review of the Varidesk ProPlus 36, telling you I’d follow up when the Bluetooth version of that keyboard arrived. This is that promised review. Keyboards have been much in the news of late, largely on account of manufacturers like (and also mainly) Apple. In the race towards ever thinner, ever lighter laptops, designers have been taking risks… Now read on…

Blink Steps Outside with the XT

Last year Tested Technology reviewed the low cost and very adaptable Blink wireless security camera system. Favourably, overall. The two cameras we set up around the house were there, however, for no longer than the review period. The family objected to being under constant surveillance and the system had to be dismantled. It was no good explaining to them that the Blink system allows the cameras to be scheduled only to switch on at certain… Now read on…

Augmented Hearing: the NHS Teneo M+

Hearing aids may seem like a specialist subject. But it’s one that perhaps should be engaging all of us. Not just because the world population as a whole is getting deafer younger. As the components and sensors in our phones become smaller and more numerous—and cheaper, many pundits believe these could eventually end up as an integral part of our bodies. Not necessarily surgically implanted—more likely temporarily housed in some body cavity. The ear canal… Now read on…

Getting Up to Date with QNAP’s QTS part 2

One of my very first confessions to you when I started this QNAP saga nearly three and a half years ago was that I knew I was biting off much more than I could chew. Specifically, I wrote: “this might be the toughest review I’ve ever tackled…” not just because of the far-reaching operational scope of the device, but also because “…the Taiwanese manufacturers behind the TS-451 haven’t been content to put this thing on… Now read on…

Stand & Deliver: The Varidesk ProPlus 36

Shortly before my 77th birthday, I treated the Tested Technology office (and therefore myself) to an electric recliner. But my dream of spending my declining years, er, reclining, was shattered by an email offer from the US company Varidesk Inc of one of their front-line products to install, test out and, if I so chose, retain for permanent use. Varidesk’s timing was uncanny. Within a few days of luxuriating in the pushbutton-controlled comfort of my… Now read on…

Getting Up to Date with QNAP’s QTS part 1

The classic view sees a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device as something that sits quietly in the background delivering files across the network as required. There will be occasional updates to maintain security. That’s not, however, how the Taiwanese manufacturer QNAP views the NAS. As regular readers will know, I’ve been living with the QNAP TS-451 for about three years now. Thanks to the generosity of QNAP and of Western Digital who supplied the four… Now read on…

Excellent Price. But is the Honor 7x for you?

Honor is the mid-range brand for Huawei, the world’s third-ranking smartphone maker. Huawei owns the largest share of its home market, China, which also happens to be the biggest smartphone market in the world. But China is now stuffed to the gunnels with phones. Growth has slumped. So Huawei is making a huge effort to sell into the outside world. And the odds are stacked against it. The United States government, suspicious of Chinese cyber-stealth,… Now read on…

BE Free8s: The Darling Buds of Optoma

On December 13th of 2016 Apple broke new ground in audio with the introduction of its wireless AirPods. A pair of Bluetooth earbuds that, uniquely, were not wired together, communicating wirelessly not only with the music source, but also with each other. A radical new idea? Not quite. It’s something standard NHS hearing aids have been doing for over a decade. And in at least one important respect Apple’s new AirPods were a step back… Now read on…