Five Cool Tech Gadgets To Start Your Year The Right Way
It is 2018 now and here are the five cool tech gadgets to get your year started off right. To kick things off here we have:
The Google Home
Now this isn’t brand new, however, I’ve just gotten a whole set of Google Homes for my house, and I love them. Well there’s a lot to like with Alexa, and I’m sure Siri on the HomePod is going to be great if you have like around 400 bucks, Google Home has really hit a nice sweet spot between sounding good, as well as having the super useful Google Assistant.
The real sweet spot for me though, is the Google Home Mini. So these guys launched at 50 dollars, which is a pretty decent price for what is still a nice speaker, and gives you all the functionality. However, for the next little while, these guys are at around 30 dollars.
And at that price, I’ve got like 3 of them in my house. Now this doesn’t matter at all to anyone besides me, probably, but even though the Google Home does sound better, I kind of prefer the Mini just because Google Home to me looks like an air freshener.
I don’t know, I just don’t like the way this thing looks. Whereas Google Home Mini looks really cool. You can just slide this on like a desk or something, and no one would ever really look twice.
There’s a lot you can do with Google Home, but the main things I do is listen to music, do like alarms, as well as listen to a little bit of like podcasts and some news.
Bitdefender Box 2.
You guys have probably heard of Bitdefender before for their antivirus software, but with the Box, they’re stepping it up to the hardware side of things to protect your entire network. But on top of being able to cover things like your phone as well as your laptop, it also can help protect against your smart home devices from being attacked.
So there’s really not a whole lot to this guy. You essentially get power in, you get Ethernet in, and you get Ethernet back out. So after a quick set up we have the Box up and running.
All we need is the Bitdefender Central app for iOS or Android, and from here we can control pretty much anything. So you can see notifications if it decides there’s any kind of vulnerabilities in your network. You can also make sure that all your devices are protected, if they need attention, or if they’re unprotected.
While the box will protect your device when you’re at home on your own wifi, the included total security software will also protect your other devices, like Mac, Windows, Android from threats when you’re staying on public wifi. Since this is hardware-level security, you can do some pretty interesting stuff with it.
So not only is it going to do it’s best to filter out any kind of suspicious activity, but on top of that, say you’re on a website that isn’t secured, and you’re trying to put in your credit card, or your social security number.
Well the box is going to try and catch that and give you a warning saying “hey, are you sure about that?” You’re also getting some protection against brute force attacks as well as ransomware, and because it detects all the devices on your network and gives you a full status report.
Say you connect a old laptop that hasn’t been updated in awhile, you’re going to get a notification saying, “hey, it’s time to get an update on that guy.” Windows XP is not cool anymore.
So if you guys want to check out the Bitdefender Box 2 for yourself, like always, google is the best thing to start with. By typing in Bitdefender Box 2, you will be able to find its main official website there.
Moto E4 Plus
So what’s nice about this is, for a phone that costs less than $200, you’re getting a metal build, a good screen, good camera, fingerprint sensor.
There’s really not a lot to hate on. One area a lot of budget phones skimp on is the screen, and thankfully the Moto E4 Plus isn’t too bad. So it is a 5.5 inch panel with a 1280×720 resolution.
Now yes, that’s going to be a little bit on the low side, but thankfully it’s a good panel with solid color. Inside, the specs might not look impressive with a Snapdragon 427 processor, 2 gigs of ram, and either 16 or 32 gigs of storage, but what really puts this over the top is the battery.
This guy is rocking a massive 5,000mAh battery. To put that in context, that’s almost double the size of something like the iPhone X. Now yes, it does mean that the phone is a little bit chunkier than it might otherwise be, but especially considering the fairly low end internals, this guy is going to last forever.
Well that battery is really what pushes it over the edge for me. This is hands down the best battery life on a smartphone. And when you consider that that’s again, less than $200, you should really give the Moto E4 a shot.
Continuing on the Google train, we have the Chromecast Ultra. Now the Chromecast has been one of my favorite ways to stream video for a few years now, but the Ultra is the way to do it in 4K.
If you guys caught our iPhone X is it worth it video, this is actually how we were able to test HDR on YouTube. So what we did was, we would upload the video to YouTube, wait for it to process for like three hours, and then we would play it back on a OLED TV, using the Chromecast Ultra to actually see what it would look like once it was fully processed.
This guy is pretty powerful considering just how tiny it is. It’s also really stuck in there. So it is a little bit bigger than a standard Chromecast, but really not by much. It’s the same basic idea where you plug it in via HDMI to your tv.
There’s a micro USB lead here for power. Once you set it up on wifi, it’s pretty straightforward. So you get just a bunch of generic wallpapers in the beginning, but you can stream pretty much anything to it from the app or from Google Home. Hey Google, play the latest ‘Austin Evans’ video on Youtube.
That is so cool. So what’s really neat about this, is not only can you control that with voice, as well as of course from your phone, but you can also have multiple Google Homes as well as multiple Chromecasts set up in your house.
All of these gadgets are great, however you’re probably going to want an actual phone to control everything, which is where the Moto E4 Plus comes in.
Acer Asprire E15
Say that a smartphone isn’t what you’re looking for this year. Well that is where the Acer Asprire E15 comes in. I’ve actually wanted to do a video on this for awhile, for one big reason. It is one of the most highly selling laptops on Amazon period right now.
You don’t exactly get a lot in the box though. So on one hand we get the laptop itself with some wonderful cardboard and some cardboard shavings. On paper, it looks pretty good. So you’re getting a Core i3-7100U 4 gigabytes of RAM, as well as a 1 Terabyte hard drive.
There’s some nice features that separate this from other budget laptops, starting with the display. So it is a 1080p panel, and well yes, while it may not be the best looking 1080p screen in the world, but it is a lot of better than other laptops at around 3 to 4-hundred-dollar price range.
Nice touches like having a backlit keyboard as well as a full number pad is nice, and the port selection is interesting. On the left side we have a good selection including a pair of USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI, VGA, Ethernet, as well as USB type C, but on the other side we get the headphone jack, another USB 2.0, as well as the DVD drive, because you know, laptops with USB type C ports and DVD drives are all over the place.
Remove three screws and pop off this bottom panel though, and not only we get access to the hard drive, which is actually kind of slow, and I would probably swap with an SSD, but also our memory.
Four gigs is fine for now, but it would be really simple to upgrade this guy to 8 gigs. Acer claims that Asprire E15 has up to 12 hours of battery life, and while the build quality does leave a little bit to be desired, there is a ton to like with this laptop. I see why everyone keeps buying them.
So I’m curious, which of these five cool tech gadgets would you guys want to pick up for 2018? Let me know in the comments below, and I will catch up with you next time.