Apple hardware, Moto smartphones, laptops, wearables, and more: Reviews round-up
Apple 27-inch iMac (2019)
The overlap between the iMac and iMac Pro ranges is a little puzzling, but the improved performance of the 2019 iMac will be welcomed by owners of older Mac models who have eyed the iMac Pro with envy and empty pockets. The iMac Pro will still be more adept at workstation-level tasks. But for many professional users in fields such as video, design and audio, the 2019 edition of the standard 27-inch iMac will be a very welcome upgrade.
Apple iPad Air (2019)
With different iPad models of various sizes, capabilities, and price points, there's bound to be some debate on which model to purchase. I'd imagine that for most users -- including those in the enterprise -- the new iPad Air is the right choice. It's not overly expensive, and the recent updates provide modest performance improvements over the iPad.
Apple iPad Mini (2019)
We are mostly happy with the device thanks to its price, Apple Pencil support, size, apps, and performance. We are not so pleased with the media viewing experience and massive top and bottom bezels, but there is no competition in the small tablet space so are willing to compromise in these areas.
Apple AirPods (2019)
When it comes down to it, there's not a big difference between the first and second generation AirPods. Talk time, improved connection speed, and Hey Siri are the headlining features, and to some, they won't mean all that much. But for those who have had the original AirPods since launch and are seeing diminished battery life, or those who have never owned a pair and are ready to make the wireless jump, the new AirPods are worth every penny.
Motorola Moto G7
The Moto G7 is a $300 budget phone that looks, feels, and performs like a high-end phone. We can't think of another low-end smartphone line that's continued to push the boundaries of what a budget smartphone is and should be able to do. Motorola continues to blur the lines of budget and high end, without raising the end cost. If you need a new phone but don't want to spend a ton of money, you can't really go wrong with the Moto G7.
Motorola Moto G7 Power
Performance is a non-issue, and the battery life is nothing short of amazing. We'd gladly give up a second camera on the back of a phone and a little bit of added weight and thickness in exchange for an extra day's worth of use. The camera is a clear weakness, but, to be fair, that comes with the territory when you're looking at sub-$300 phones. You can't go wrong with any of the G7 variants, but our money's on the G7 Power.
Huawei P30 Pro
The P30 Pro's headline feature is clearly its quad camera system, but there are plenty of other things to like about it. The in-screen speaker system works well, as does the in-screen fingerprint sensor. The OLED display is superb, and the battery should last all day for most users. There are downsides, but other smartphone makers will have to seriously up their camera game to compete with what Huawei is offering here.
Oppo Find X
The Oppo Find X is a frustrating handset. The 6.4-inch AMOLED screen is superb, but the single speaker is lacklustre. The cameras are good, but the pop-up mechanism makes face login awkward - and because there's no fingerprint sensor, your only other choice is a less-secure but easier-to-manage PIN. Oppo can clearly innovate, but the company should also remember to cover the basics when designing a premium-priced handset.
Asus VivoBook 15 X512
Several things lift the Asus VivoBook 15 X512 out of the ordinary. Its separate narrow-format number pad will be a plus if you do a lot of spreadsheet work, and the clever ErgoLift system pushes the keyboard up at a comfortable typing angle. Battery life might get you through a day's work on a full charge, and the slim bezels are welcome. There are disappointments elsewhere, though. Our review unit's screen lacked vibrancy, the keyboard had a spongy feel, and the USB 2.0 ports should be replaced with USB 3.0.
Is it possible to buy a decent laptop for £160 (around $200)? An 11.6-inch Chromebook is just about doable for that sort of money, but getting a full-size Windows 10 notebook on a budget that small is a tall order. Until now. At the time of writing, the HeroBook is available for $199 from Amazon and £162 from Chuwi's official Ali Express store. For that price you simply can't go wrong if all you want is a basic notebook for office productivity. Just make sure you get one with the FHD IPS panel.
Amazon Kindle (2019)
With last fall's new Kindle Paperwhite, that ebook reader and the Kindle Oasis both offer an IPx8 waterproof rating. For those not reading in those conditions who want an affordable Kindle, Amazon introduced the new all-new 2019 Kindle starting at $89.99. If you do not need any water resistance on a Kindle, this all-new one should be perfect for the masses. The reading experience was excellent.
Garmin Forerunner 245 Music
The Forerunner 245 Music is comfortable, lightweight, and well constructed. It lasts for several days, even with regular running, and also seemed to charge up fairly fast. It is priced at $349.99, but if you don't want the music capability you could also pick up the Forerunner 245 for $50 less. You can buy the black model with a black band or aqua band or choose a white model with white band.
Garmin Approach S40
The Garmin Approach S40 is a rather affordable option for tracking all of the details of golf and helping you improve your game. It is a lightweight wearable that should be comfortable to all and can even be used as a GPS sports watch for select sports.
The Amarey A800 is a robot vacuum that is perfect for those of us who hate faffing around with Wi-Fi, and poorly written apps, but want a vacuum to efficiently clean their floors. If this is you, then the A800 will not disappoint.