movies
Insidious: The Last Key Takes the Franchise in Some Surprising (and Welcome) Directions

The fourth film in a horror franchise, released on the first weekend of the new year, is just about the easiest movie to write off ever. And yet, you shouldn’t do that with Insidious: The Last Key, despite it being all of those things. It’s a creepy, unpredictable, and surprisingly heartfelt addition to the franchise—and easily the best film in the series since the first one. Read More >>

battlemodo
This is the Perfect Laptop Under £1,200

Everyone deserves to have a laptop that they can use in a coffee house without shame, carry to classes without pain, or use to tweak a few photos on without frustration. To that end, I’ve been spending a lot of time with some of the best laptops under £1,200. Read More >>

reviews
The Google Home Max Almost Made my House go Boom

The weird thing about picking up the Google Home Max is the weight. It’s only 11 pounds, but it feels heavy, the way speakers used to feel. So I feel like I smirked when I plugged it in, thinking, “This thing’s gonna be loud.” At top volume, the Google Home Max did not blow me away. I could, however, have a conversation with it. Read More >>

reviews
Samsung’s HMD Odyssey Is the Swankiest Way to Enter Virtual Reality

The first time I held Samsung’s HMD Odyssey in my hands, there was only one thought in my head: this is not a toy. I didn’t think that with other VR headsets. Acer’s was clunky and cool, the PSVR was sleek and simple. But Samsung’s HMD Odyssey is a class above, a full 1.4 pounds of reality-altering gadget hanging from your face, with and AKG headphones, and a microphone built into its decidedly unattractive, front-loaded headset. It’s more akin to heavy-duty, serious sets like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. The Samsung device has its own merits and flaws that stand out. Almost immediately I realized that it’s a clumsy thing built for deep, immersive game experiences. It’s not a toy—it’s the headset equivalent of the guy who brings a desktop computer to Starbucks to play League of Legends. Read More >>

reviews
Amazon’s Echo Spot is a Good-as-Hell Alarm Clock

The smartphone made the standalone alarm clock worthless. Sure you probably know some alarm clock holdouts (a parent or grandmother perhaps), but you probably just use your phone, which is already resting on the nightstand and has a decent enough alarm. The $130 (£97) Amazon Echo Spot, a new, tiny, Alexa device with a camera, display, and shockingly powerful speaker, is so good that you won’t mind turning off the phone to let the Spot get to the business of waking you up every morning. Read More >>

reviews
MSI’s GS63VR Is a Perfectly Balanced Gaming Laptop

A couple months ago I reviewed MSI’s GT75VR, and even though I respect how hard it is to cram desktop-level components, ridiculously loud speakers, and a custom mechanical keyboard in a laptop body, gigantic 17-inch systems like that don’t really do it for me. That’s because weighing in at almost 10 pounds and measuring 2.3-inches thick, the GT75VR doesn’t really deliver the portability I expect from a gaming laptop. With a starting price of £2,599, it sure as hell ain’t cheap either. But the GS63VR Stealth Pro is a whole ‘nother story. It’s slim, it’s sleek, and it’s got one of the most colourful RGB keyboards out there—all starting at £1,479. Read More >>

reviews
I Hate My Squatty Potty

This year I joined the Squatty Potty ranks, investing in one for the sake of my aggrieved gastrointestinal tract. My digestive system is reminiscent of Moses’ trek through the desert: nothing passes for 40 days and 40 nights. So I did what [apparently] everybody does: I watched a unicorn defecate a rainbow ice cream cone of joy, and procured my Squatty Potty. Read More >>

audio
Bowers & Wilkins’ New Noise-Cancelling Wireless Headphones Blew My Mind

I’m a longtime Bowers & Wilkins fan. The headphones are so good, I’ve always thought, they don’t even need noise-cancelling. Well, Bowers & Wilkins didn’t listen to my thoughts and recently released a set of noise-cancelling headphones. I was wrong. The Bowers & Wilkins PX are are the best wireless headphones the company’s ever made. Read More >>

star wars
The Last Jedi Takes Star Wars to a Fantastic New Level

Days removed from seeing Star Wars: The Last Jedi, I still can’t believe it’s a real movie. I can’t believe what writer-director Rian Johnson did: He took all of our preconceived notions of what a Star Wars movie is and evolved them. The movie is genuinely shocking at times—multiple times—but it also feels fully authentic to the Star Wars universe. And this is why The Last Jedi is so good, even if there are a few hiccups along the way. Read More >>

movies
The Charismatic Cast of Jumanji Elevates an Otherwise Trivial Action Adventure

The formula of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle sounds like it can’t miss. Put some big personalities in a gorgeous setting and have them tell funny jokes and perform a lot of action. When those big personalities are played by stars like Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, and Jack Black, the odds of success are even higher. Jumanji meets those expectations for sure, it just never exceeds them. Read More >>

smartphones
ZTE’s Ambitious Dual-Screen Phone Shouldn’t Exist

I really wanted to like the ZTE Axon M the first time I tried it. With the trend of smartphone screens getting bigger and longer, surely a phone sporting two screens instead of one would be even better, right? Read More >>

smartphones
Razer’s Powerhouse Phone for Gamers Is Delightfully Different

While its original mission was to make high-end gaming mice, Razer’s line of products has grown over the years to include everything from keyboards and fitness bands to entire desktops, laptops, and pretty much anything else the company could put RGB lighting in. However, up until now, there was one glaring hole in Razer’s otherwise comprehensive lineup: phones. After all, more people spend time playing Candy Crush and Clash of Clans than even the most popular AAA PC titles. The problem is that when a £180 Moto G5 can play Super Mario Run just as well as a £1000 iPhone X, WTF is a gaming phone even supposed to be? Read More >>

reviews
Microsoft’s Giant Surface Book 2 Is Very Powerful, Very Fast, Very Pretentious

Typing at work on Microsoft’s new 15-inch Surface Book 2, I can’t shake the feeling that this thing’s not for me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a powerful laptop, it’s beautiful, and the workspace its giant screen affords made me completely forget I wasn’t seated at my desk with my usual 34-inch extra-wide display. So sure, the thing is for me, in the way that a very expensive sports car will most definitely sit in city traffic for hours right next to a taxi. But do I need the thing, and should I spend £3,000 on it? Of course not. Read More >>

gaming
If You Love Retro Gaming, the SN30 Pro Is the Only Gamepad You’ll Ever Need

Nintendo has promised that the Switch’s upcoming online service will include a library of classic games that will help turn the portable console into an epic—but not perfect—retro gaming machine. The one thing the Switch is missing is a genuine, four-way D-pad, but that can be easily remedied with 8Bitdo’s new SN30 Pro gamepad—a clever hybrid of both classic and modern controllers. Read More >>

robots
I Let an £600 Alexa Robot Creep Around my House Like a Tiny, Mechanical Zombie

Have you ever fantasised about having the weather read to you every morning like it was a beautiful Shakespearean sonnet? That’s probably the best reason to choose UBTECH Robotics’ new Alexa-enabled Lynx robot over the Amazon Echo — that, or you’re very, very lonely. Read More >>