Gadgets


Reviews
VIZIO S5451w-C2
Sound Bar With Patrons

By Jorge Figueiredo - October 22nd, 2014

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Audio is a very important part of the home theatre experience. Without effective audio delivery, movies and videogames become a ho-hum affair, and they lose their immersive quality. It makes sense; so much work goes into creating realistic sound fields in films and video games – even movies that don’t have a lot of “special effects” still have a fair bit of work done in the audio production. In my opinion, having discrete speaker outputs (5.1 minimum) is the way to go; but what if you can’t run wires? What if you have a small space and you can’t justify spending a lot of money on a number of different speakers? What if I told you that there is actually a great product from VIZIO that allows you to have a great 5.1 surround sound system that doesn’t require complicated installation – but still delivers a powerful and immersive experience?

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Reviews
Parrot
Jumping Sumo

By Jorge Figueiredo - October 18th, 2014

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I’m used to France-based Parrot making toys that soar – namely the AR Drone series; but earlier this year, I attended a media event that demonstrated that Parrot also made remote-control ground vehicles. The Jumping Sumo is an interesting two-wheeled oddity that is capable of far more than just driving. Using your iOS or Android phone (or tablet), the Jumping Sumo is a toy that is easy to pick up – but it’s not without its quirks.

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Cool Kickstarters
Optinvent ORA

By Jorge Figueiredo - October 16th, 2014

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Google Glass is all the rage – but there are others entering the fray. Take Optinvent’s ORA, for example. It definitely takes a bit of a different route – but still looks to be quite functional and interesting, as per their Kickstarter. We shot a few questions at Kayvan Mirza (CEO & Co-Founder of Optinvent) – and he sent us a return volley of answery knowedge!

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Reviews
Ollie

By Jorge Figueiredo - October 15th, 2014

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If you like remote-controlled vehicles, then our review of Sphero probably tickled your fancy last year. Who wouldn’t be fascinated by a remote-controlled sphere (which actually moved at a decent clip)? Well, Colorado-based Sphero (formerly known as Orbotix), has released a follow-up product in the form of the cylinder-like Ollie. Sphero was kind enough to let us check out their product and I have to tell you, if you found Sphero to be a fun ride, wait until you try Ollie!

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Events
Tech Products Showcase
Future Shop & Best Buy Canada

By Evan Bergstra - October 13th, 2014

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The following article was written rather unprofessionally in the tipsy haze following Evan’s return from a consumer tech trade show at the Westin Harbour Castle. In his defense, though, his week was packed and he had to get this out or risk letting it slip through the cracks. His drink was red wine and his soundtrack was The Naked and Famous. He recommends both for most occasions.

Trade shows are a bit of an odd place for journalists. The events are set up so that salespeople from consumer product companies can rendezvous with buyers from all manner of retail outfits. The salesfolk make their pitches and the buyers buy wares. It makes sense, sure, that critics should attend to have a look at the next big thing to make its way to the shelves – except the brand booths are often staffed by people trained on pitching products to retail buyers rather than media or consumers. I felt a wee bit out of place, but I still saw some really cool stuff and I’ll give you the breakdown from each company that I was brought to.

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Reviews
Master & Dynamic
MH40 Headphones

By Jorge Figueiredo - September 30th, 2014

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If I had to choose between the different types of headphones (to wear or recommend to others to use), I would select over-ear headphones every time. And in a market dominated by Beats (due more to marketing than the actual quality of the product) there are a number of different models to choose from. Master & Dynamic is a relative newcomer to the fray, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at their own entry to the over-ear headphone market, the MH40. This high-quality product, dubbed “the modern thinking cap”, sounds as good as it looks, and if you’re looking for a premium product that is durable and effective, this should be one of your first choices.

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Reviews
PlayStation Gold Wireless Stereo Headset

By Jorge Figueiredo - September 28th, 2014

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While there are a bevy of personal sound delivery solutions for the Playstation 3 and Playstation 4 from third parties, Sony’s own headphone solutions have always been a welcome one. Both the Wireless Stereo Headset and the Pulse Elite Edition Wireless Headset are great products, delivering great sound quality while remaining conveniently portable and durable – all for a reasonable price. Sony’s PlayStation Gold Wireless Stereo Headset is the latest in their line of listening technology, and it should come as no surprise that this full-featured headset meets and exceeds the bar set by the previous two headphones.

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