As time marches on, more people become wired (or wireless, as the case may be), which means that the number of devices in the average home is increasing. More devices means more charging, which can take up valuable electrical socket space. Couple that with the need for wired data transfers to a computer and, well, port real estate values rise. There is a neat product called the Hub IT Sync & Charge Station that deals with this inflation of need. Created by Eggtronic (Italy), this modular device can accommodate up to 7 wired devices for charging; and if you have a hand-held that conforms to the Qi (pronounced “chee”) standard of charging by induction, it can support that, too!
There are really two choices when considering the purchase of headphones: go big or go home. This may not sound like the most sage advice, seeing as most of us are not fabulously wealthy; but it does carry some merit. Skimping usually results in headphones that break too easily, usually due to cheap build quality – it also tends to mean robbing yourself of a better audio experience. Now, if you are super-careful and you don’t really care about audio quality, then there probably is no lower limit to your headphone budget. However, if you are someone who doesn’t mind spending more to get more, then you might want to consider a pair of ME03 in-ear headphones. Once again, New York’s Master & Dynamic (makers of the MH40) have merged form and function to create something truly special.
With the release of both Forza Horizon 2 and Driveclub at the end of last year, one would think that everyone’s racing needs were met – but this is not the case. While both of those proved themselves to be great videogames, one would be remiss if they did not try out Ubisoft’s The Crew. While perhaps not as pretty as Forza or as technical as Driveclub, The Crew brings new meaning to the term “open world”. Sure, it’s not perfect; the game occasionally suffers from repetition and a silly story – but if you love arcade driving games it is probably one of the most fun titles out there in the genre – and the social aspect makes for some really great experiences.
The folks at SteelSeries are no strangers to the creation of great audio products. I have reviewed a few of them before, as has Shaun Hatton when he wrote about a pair of Siberias. While I have never experienced the Siberia line in the past, I have heard lots of great things about them. A few weeks ago, SteelSeries sent Toronto Thumbs a Siberia V3 Prism to review. The V3s are not marketed as the highest tier in the line (that honour falls to the V3 Prism Elite), but they perform well and give PC gamers a nice enough option if they don’t already have a pair of good headphones, though they have a few shortcomings for the price.
I am a sucker for a game with a great story, especially a tale with a folksy twist. Kalimba, developed by Press Play for the Xbox One, tells a decent tale and keeps players hooked with its clever, twitchy, dual-character colour-based puzzle-platforming mechanics. While there are moments of head-scratching frustration, Kalimba is enjoyable overall, and thanks to co-op game-play, has extended value for those who enjoy sharing their gaming experiences with a friend. This game is a no-frills thrill that reinforces that age-old adage: practice makes perfect.
In most homes, the router isn’t something you tend to think about until something goes wrong with it. The “unplug it and plug it in again” ritual of addressing misbehaving routers has been commonplace for so long that South Park lampooned it back in 2008. If you’re looking for a router that offers a robust feature set that won’t get in your way, you’ll want to consider the Linksys E8350.
When you are out and about, where do you keep your smartphone? I tend to keep mine in either my front pants pocket or the inner breast pocket of my coat – easy to reach locations that make it a simple matter to pull out my phone when I need it. Of course, there are disadvantages to these locations: sitting down, for instance, makes it a chore to pull the phone out of my pants pocket, and both of those locations are default storage spots for spare change and keys, which is not so friendly to the screen of my smartphone. The folks at Clipless (from Port Hope, Ontario) have come up with an alternate location with the use of their new product – and that location is: practically anywhere. Toronto Thumbs checked out the Clipless kit that was sent to us from their office, and it’s a really interesting and useful gadget.