1More’s PistonBuds Pro Q30 look like great budget buds at $50 | Digital Trends
The new PistonBuds Pro Q30 from 1More boast AirPods-like looks along with active noise cancellation (ANC) and spatial audio, but it’s their rock-bottom $50 price that stands out. As part of the launch, 1More has dropped the price to $40 for a limited time, making these wireless earbuds even more attractive. The PistonBuds Pro Q30 are available in white/gold or black/gold combos.
In the past, 1More has favored a stemless design for its PistonBuds lineup, but this time the company has opted for a stem-based approach. If you’ve ever tried PistonBuds in the past and found them a poor fit, this new shape might be a better option.
Inside the buds are 10mm diamond-like carbon (DLC) drivers that 1More claims will deliver “powerful bass and vibrant vocals” and three microphones per side. The mics power the earbuds’ ANC modes, which include transparency, wind noise resistance mode, and an adaptive mode. With the help of an AI-enabled voice recognition algorithm, 1More promises the new PistonBuds will deliver clear calls.
Though not intended as sports wireless earbuds per se, the PistonBuds Pro Q30 have an IPX5 rating for water resistance, which will keep them very adequately protected from sweat and the occasional splash if you clean and dry them after each use.
Battery life is rated at 7.5 hours with ANC off, and the charging case’s supply can extend this to 30 hours. A fast-charging system can top up the earbuds with an extra two hours after just 10 minutes in the case. Unfortunately, wireless charging is one feature that didn’t make the cut at this price.
There’s an optional low-latency mode for gaming applications, and the 1More Music app can enable a spatial audio feature for “360-degree listening.” Bluetooth 5.3 is supported, along with Bluetooth Multipoint for simultaneous connections to two devices.
This is the best Lenovo gaming PC you can buy | Digital Trends
Lenovo’s Legion series is known for its solid lineup of gaming notebooks, but it also includes gaming tower PCs. With an elegant design and standard-size components, the Legion Tower 7i is currently the best Lenovo gaming PC you can buy. In our testing, we concluded it delivers strong performance alongside an appealing and subtle design.
Unlike most prebuilt gaming desktops, it comes with a standard mid-tower chassis. This allows for comprehensive upgrades in the future, meaning you can easily swap out or add parts if or when required. All the parts installed inside the Tower 7i are standard, including the motherboard and power supply.
It also looks elegant with subtle curving around the edges, a sandblasted finish, and a tempered glass side panel so you can show off your internals. While our review unit didn’t include any RGB fans, the retail unit comes with a total of six RGB fans, along with RGB lighting for the Legion logo on the front and the GPU.
Thanks to the perforated front panel, the case gets plenty of airflow. There’s a 360mm AiO liquid cooler on the front that pulls in fresh air and keeps the CPU well under limits, while two 120mm fans are placed on top and one in the rear to exhaust hot air.
The Legion Tower 7i offers some of the best performance thanks to the top-of-the-line hardware offerings from Intel and Nvidia. Lenovo has notably bumped up the processor class to Intel’s Core i9 series, andit’s paired with an RTX 4080 graphics card. Currently, you can only configure this machine with the Intel Core i9-13900KF processor, with 32GB of DDR5-5600 memory and a 1TB NVMe SSD. Other important components include an 850-watt power supply, 2.5G Ethernet, Wi-Fi 6E, and Bluetooth 5.1 support.
In terms of performance, the Legion Tower 7i is exceptional. The Core i9-13900KF is one of the most powerful processors on the market today, which was evident in our benchmark testing. However, there is a concern that restricts the performance of the CPU– the out-of-the-box memory speeds. Thankfully, there’s an easy fix where all you need to do is head into the BIOS and switch to the correct frequencies.
On top of that, you get the full potential of Nvidia’s RTX 4080 graphics. It might not be as powerful as the 4090, but it is still a 4K capable GPU, with Cyberpunk 2077 averaging above 60 frames per second (fps) at 4K with everything maxed out. Additionally, you get all the benefits of DLSS, including the latest generation that offers impressive frame generation technologies. Essentially, you have all the power at your disposal to play almost any AAA gaming title at the highest graphics settings.
While all of this costs close to $3,200, it is important to know that a similarly configured desktop from Alienware is going to cost you at least $600 more. On the other hand, there’s the MSI Aegis RS 13, which is close to $300 cheaper, but comes with a lower-tier processor. Lenovo also offers the Legion Tower 5i, which starts at $799 and is available in various configurations, including with Intel’s 13th-gen desktop processors paired with RTX 30 and 40 series GPUs. If you prefer AMD, then there’s also the Legion Tower 5 series.
“You’ll be hard-pressed to find another e-bike with the XP 3.0’s features for less than $1,500.”
Best e-bike for the price
Hydraulic disc brakes for smooth stops
Ships fully assembled
Rear rack carries 150 pounds
Excellent selection of optional accessories
No brake light
Harsh ride without rear suspension
If your goal is to find the best quality, most versatile e-bike for the lowest price, you don’t want to decide without considering the Lectric XP 3.0. Selecting the XP 3.0 as the best budget e-bike for the 2023 Best Electric Bikes article was my easiest decision for that roundup.
Because of its relatively low $1,000 price point, the Lectric XP 3.0 is an excellent choice if you are curious and want to try using an e-bike for inexpensive alternative transportation, exercise, or fun. The XP 3.0 also folds to a reasonable size, allowing it to be transported inside an SUV, RV, and even most cars. That means you don’t need to risk it getting dirty, damaged, or stolen on an external rack.
Co-founders Levi Conlow and Robby Deziel launched Colorado-based Lectric Ebikes in 2019, determined to make e-bikes more accessible by selling quality bikes for prices that were lower than they were at the time. Conlow says the XP 3.0 is the company’s bestselling model.
The most recent Lectric XP 3.0 upgrades
The newest Lectric XP 3.0 e-bike has hydraulic brakes for smoother stopping power with less rider effort. The latest model also has an upgraded electric motor and a proprietary algorithm called Lectric Pedal-Assist Wattage Regulation (PWR), which improves power delivery when the rider pedals in one of the five power-assisted pedaling modes.
Lectric XP 3.0 is the second version with the same model designation. Lectric Ebikes upgrades e-bikes when it can add new features or better components without raising prices, rather than holding changes for the next model year. For that reason, a used XP 3.0 may not include the upgraded features.
How fast, how far, and how much?
Lectric ships the XP 3.0 configured as a Class II e-bike, which means the top speed is 20 mph using powered pedal assistance or the half-twist throttle on the right handgrip. However, you can increase that limit to 28 mph if you reconfigure it to Class III. Three buttons on the left handlebar let you change power and other settings on the center display.
Lectric rates the XP 3.0’s maximum range at 20 to 45 miles with the standard 48-volt, 10.4Ah lithium-ion battery fully charged, but you’ll need to pedal with minimal power assistance at no more than 10 to 15 mph on flat, dry roads to get close to the maximum range. As with all e-bikes, higher speeds, less pedaling, and even cargo weight can all lower range. Charging the battery with the included 2-amp charger takes five to six hours.
The compact folded size of the Lectric XP 3.0 means it doesn’t require much space in your home, office, or vehicle.
The Lectric XP 3.0 starts at $1,000, but a range of accessories can push that price higher. Even if you add multiple accessories, you’ll still probably pay less for the XP 3.0 than the base price of comparable e-bikes.
Power on demand
The Lectric XP 3.0’s upgraded rear hub electric motor delivers 500 watts of continuous power with a peak output of 1,000 watts and 55 newton-meters of torque. The peak power helps when you want an extra boost to get through an intersection or travel up a substantial grade.
The XP 3.0 uses cadence sensors, which are supposed to add more power the faster you pedal, but we’ve sometimes encountered issues with them on competing bikes. Pedaling at any speed sometimes causes a sudden power boost that catches riders off guard, and even experienced riders sometimes complain about a jerky ride. The XP 3.0 addresses this issue with Lectric PWR, an algorithm that smooths out power delivery, adding power more gradually by balancing the pedaling speed and the bike’s current speed. It’s also supposed to increase range and efficiency by eliminating starts and stops of the motor.
Anecdotally, it works great. I generally prefer e-bikes with throttles due to the lurching effect I often experience with some cadence-sensing systems, but I didn’t encounter issues with the XP 3.0. We have an extremely steep driveway, and I’m careful not to start too fast when heading out for a ride, especially in the fall, with many leaves on the ground. However, with the Lectric XP 3.0, it was easy to control the added power from pedaling.
If you’ve assembled almost any other e-bike, you’ll be pleased to find that the Lectric XP 3.0 ships fully assembled. Once you lift the folded bike out of its shipping box and remove the protective packing materials, all you need to do is unfold the frame, unfold the handlebar stem, insert the handlebars with cables already attached, adjust the seat height, unfold the pedals, and you’re done. There’s a helpful getting started video on the company website if you have questions, but the process is fast and easy.
The battery fits inside the XP 3.0’s frame, which means you need to fold the bike to access it, but that’s not much of a hassle since you can just charge the battery inside the bike. Folding and unfolding the bike is simple, but I found it easier after the first few times.
The XP 3.0 seat height from the ground adjusts from 32 inches to 42 inches, and the handlebar adjusts from 45 inches to 48 inches high. Lectric rates the e-bike for riders from 4 feet, 10 inches tall to 6 feet, five inches tall. The total payload capacity is 330 pounds, which includes the rear rack’s 150-pound capacity.
At 64 pounds with the battery installed, this isn’t an e-bike you’d probably want to carry up and down flights of stairs often, but it’s about average. Its compact folded size means it doesn’t require much space in your home, office, or vehicle.
The bike has 20-inch diameter by 3-inch wide puncture-resistant tires with a moderately knobby tread and Slime anti-flat tire treatment. The tires are a compromise between heavier 4-inch to 5-inch fat tires that enable all-terrain riding, and thinner and lighter street tires that add agility and less rolling resistance for better battery range.
Options for the XP 3.0 include child seats, coolers, food delivery packages, and a covered pet trailer.
The XP 3.0’s hydraulic disc brakes are a big deal for an e-bike at this price level, especially with 180mm rotors rather than the more standard 160mm. Mechanical disc brakes are fine, but require harder squeezing and typically need more adjusting over time than hydraulic brakes. The brakes work smoothly, but we wish that applying them automatically lit up the rear lights like brake lights on a car — some more expensive models do this.
Ride comfort is a bit mixed. Despite setting the adjustable front forks to the softest setting, I found the ride with the bicycle-style seat harsher than expected. There’s no rear suspension, which isn’t at all unusual. I found relief by dropping tire pressure to 25 psi, which is the lowest Lectric recommends. Another, probably better fix would be upgrading to the thicker comfort seat and suspension post package, which is a $99 option.
Make it your own with accessories and upgrades
Lectric Ebikes has an excellent selection of accessories for the XP 3.0. I asked the company to send the accessory mirrors and phone mount you can see in the above photo. Mirrors are essential for any e-bike unless you only ride off-road, and a phone mount is handy. The mirrors performed very well without jittering, and the phone mount solidly holds a large smartphone case.
Other desirable options include a 48-volt, 14Ah Long Range Battery for the XP 3.0 that adds 20 miles to the range estimates, plus a variety of add-on racks, baskets, and bags. Because the rear rack can hold 150 pounds, I requested the Passenger Kit with a passenger seat, foot pegs, and grab handle shown in the photo below.
Additional exciting accessories for the XP 3.0 include Thule child seats, hard and soft coolers, food delivery packages, and even a waterproof, covered pet trailer rated to carry pets up to 50 pounds.
I wholeheartedly recommend the Lectric XP 3.0 e-bike. With its $1,000 price, it’s an impressive value. You’ll be hard-pressed to find another e-bike with the XP 3.0’s features for less than $1,500. The Engwe EP-2 Pro is a similar folding bike with less desirable mechanical brakes and a $1,200 price tag. The Himiway Cruiser has comparable power and larger tires, but also has mechanical brakes, and costs $300 more than the XP 3.0. Choosing the value-rich Lectric XP 3.0 is an easy decision, preferably with select options to tailor the ride and capabilities to fit your needs.
2024 Fiat 500e is a small, affordable EV | Digital Trends
The 2024 Fiat 500e marks the return of an EV that its maker once asked Americans not to buy. Fiat certainly thought the timing wasn’t right for that original 500e, but the timing of the new version, which is scheduled to arrive in early 2024, seems impeccable.
The first Fiat 500e was sold only in California and Oregon, and was built purely to satisfy California’s zero-emission vehicle mandate. Early EV enthusiasts liked it, thanks to an affordable price and retro styling carried over from a concurrent gasoline 500 model. But Sergio Marchionne, then head of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (the predecessor of current Fiat parent Stellantis), said the company lost money on each car and once declared that he hoped customers didn’t buy it.
Things are different this time. First shown in 2021 and already on sale in Europe, the new 500e is still a modern interpretation of the classic 1950s Fiat 500. But instead of being a converted gasoline car, it was designed from the ground up as an EV. And Fiat isn’t just building this version to satisfy regulators. It’s not even doing a gasoline version this time around.
While larger than the previous-generation 500, which was last sold in the U.S. in 2019 in gasoline form, the 2024 500e is still a small car. And with a curb weight of 2,952 pounds in launch spec, it’s among the lightest EVs on sale, Fiat notes. That’s less than the similarly tiny Mini Cooper SE, and it’s refreshing given the trend toward ever-heavier electric trucks and SUVs. Think of this as the anti-Hummer EV.
A single electric motor sends 118 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels, which will propel the 500e to a blazing top speed of 94 mph. A 42-kilowatt-hour battery pack provides an estimated 149 miles of range. A Combined Charging Standard (CCS) connector allows for DC fast charging at up to 85 kilowatts, enough for an 80% charge in 35 minutes. A full charge using a Level 2 AC home charge takes four hours and 15 minutes.
The 500e gets the expected tech features, but nothing more. A standard 10.25-inch touchscreen runs the same Uconnect 5 infotainment system as other Stellantis models, along with wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and Amazon Alexa features. Basic driver-assist features like automatic emergency braking and lane keep assist are standard as well.
Fiat will launch the 500e in a single “(RED Edition)” spec in partnership with (RED), the AIDS charity co-founded by U2 front man Bono. It’s priced at $34,095. Other variants will be launched periodically as limited releases, similar to fashion product drops. Fiat also plans to take at least some of the buying process online, while still retaining its traditional franchised dealer network.
The new 500e arrives at a time when small, affordable EVs are few and far between. It will certainly stand out from the rest of Stellantis’ planned North American EV lineup, which consists of a Ram pickup truck, Dodge muscle car, and some Jeep SUVs. So while the original 500e may have been ahead of its time, this new version arrives not a moment too soon.
Looking for an innovative way to light up your home office, living room, or bedroom? Consider adding a smart lamp to your shopping list. While these products will illuminate a dark space just like a traditional lamp, they’re packed with additional features – such as the option to set timers, change colors, or connect to the rest of your smart home.
The best smart lamps come from trusted brands like Philips, Govee, and Amazon, though you’ll also find lesser-known companies such as Moonside and Hatch churning out incredible products. If you need help searching for the right one, here’s a look at the best smart lamps for all types of rooms.
Philips Hue is highly esteemed in the world of smart lights, offering one of the most robust lineups in the industry. The Philips Hue Iris is its latest smart lamp, which is notable for its unconventional design. Taking some of its design cues from the previous Philips Hue Bloom, the Iris sports a more spherical design that makes it perfect as a spotlight on a desk. It’s great for accenting wall art, and there’s a bit of residual glow around its translucent base, too.
It doesn’t disappoint in its performance, delivering strong light that can illuminate corners and small spaces easily, and the colors emit a deep, vibrant glow. That’s important when it comes to creating the right ambiance. Since it’s part of the Philips Hue family, it can be paired with other smart lights from the company to deliver some breathtaking light scenes.
Philips Hue Iris
Best smart lamp overall
Sharper Image Bonsai Bluetooth Speaker Lamp with Wireless Charging Pad
Best smart lamp for the bedroom
Good audio quality
Wireless charging for most smartphones
A little expensive
Relatively low brightness
If style is your chief goal, you’ll love this little LED light inspired by bonsai trees. It’s also quite versatile — there’s a small Bluetooth speaker for playing soothing sounds from your mobile devices and a Qi standard wireless charger for charging your phone. Touch controls allow you to adjust the brightness of the LED light, or you can press and hold to active a sleep mode that shuts off after 30 minutes.
The Sharper Image Bonsai lamp is made of metal and cherry wood, and the LED light is a 20-watt equivalent, so you won’t be using it to light up a whole room, but rather as an accent or nightlight. Keep in mind that you may need to take thicker cases off of phones to successfully charge them wirelessly on the lamp.
Sharper Image Bonsai Bluetooth Speaker Lamp with Wireless Charging Pad
Best smart lamp for the bedroom
Lepro Smart Table Lamp
Best smart lamp for the living room
Handy physical controls
Some challenges connecting to Wi-Fi
Loses color saturation at low brightness
This affordable smart lamp is an excellent starter model with a wealth of control options, including an app that makes it easy to adjust color, tune your white light temperature, and adjust brightness. For those who want to dive deeper, you can also set timers and schedules for how the lamp behaves throughout the day. Users who want to keep it simple can adjust the lamp with the onboard buttons. It’s even compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant if you prefer to give voice commands or tie it into a routine.
We also like that the Lepro Smart Table Lamp cover diffuses the light enough that you can put this lamp nearly anywhere on the higher brightness settings without worrying about it becoming distracting. The lamp plugs into outlets with a USB-C cable and adapter, but if you have a compatible power bank, you can also turn it into a portable unit.
Lepro Smart Table Lamp
Best smart lamp for the living room
Globe Electric Smart Table Lamp
Best smart lamp for the office
No hub required
Groups with other lights
Some shipping issues
Sometimes activates on its own
This elegant lamp from Globe Electric will be at home on any desk in your home office, but it houses surprisingly smart features that make it a major upgrade from any traditional desk lamp. Using the app, you can turn the 7-watt, 400-lumen bulb into any color or any color temperature you want for the exact look you need. Full scheduling is also enabled, and you can even control the lamp with Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant. That also means it’s easy to set routines with those services if you want something beyond the modes that the app offers.
Note that the Globe Electric Smart Table Lamp is primarily downward-facing and designed to illuminate your desk activities. This model isn’t a good option for adding light to the entire room, just lighting your current work area. That’s a plus if there are other people in the room you don’t want to disturb, but it’s not a great pick for an accent light or greater illumination.
Globe Electric Smart Table Lamp
Best smart lamp for the office
Amazon Echo Glow
Best smart lamp for kids
Compatible with Alexa Routines
Uses voice commands
Has app control
Easy to use
Not very bright
Doesn’t dim with touch
Needs an Alexa device for voice controls
The Amazon Echo Glow provides a significant amount of entertainment and functionality. It connects with any Echo product, and it’s interactive. Its unique Rainbow Timer can be enacted through a simple “set a timer for” command, bringing a fun, colorful light show to your space.
You’ll know the time is winding down when the glow color transitions. It can work as a visual cue to inform you if something is almost done cooking or let kids know it’s time to get ready for bed. The lamp can mimic a flickering flame, create a dance party atmosphere with its disco lights feature, and more. You can also set specific settings to prevent your child from accidentally finding inappropriate content. A subscription to Amazon FreeTime can limit your Echo Glow to kid-friendly audiobook and music titles.
Note: This product is different than the interactive Amazon Glow device.
Amazon Echo Glow
Best smart lamp for kids
Best stand-up smart lamp
Tons of preset light modes to choose
Govee does a great job with a wide range of smart lights, and their stand-up Lyra lamp is no exception. Once it’s tucked into a corner, the mobile app provides a wealth of customization options. Set up different colors and animations, use the in-line mic to sync the light with music, and the Google Assistant and Alexa integration means you can pair it with your other smart lights. A weighted base keeps it a stable addition to wherever you want to place it.
Saturation and brightness are quite good and strong enough to flood an area with atmosphere. Individually-controlled LEDs allow for a smooth gradient to be produced along the length, so you aren’t stuck with just a single solid color at any given time.
Best stand-up smart lamp
Hatch Restore 2
Best smart light with alarm clock
Tons of lighting options
Functions as an alarm clock
Not as bright as other options
Some features locked behind monthly subscription
If you’re searching for a bedside lamp, it’s hard to beat the Hatch Restore 2. This sleek-looking device functions as both a lamp and alarm clock, offering dozens of customization settings that make it easy to personalize its performance. It’s not nearly as bright as some other options on this list, but it makes up for it with a robust app that lets you set schedules, change its color, or select from several unique sleep sounds to aid in your nighttime routine.
The biggest downside to the Hatch Restore 2 is its price tag. It clocks in at a hefty $200 – and you’ll want to join the monthly Hatch Sleep program to gain access to all its features. And at $5 per month, that can quickly add up. But if you don’t mind the cost and need a lamp that pulls double-duty as a smart alarm, the Restore 2 deserves a closer look.
Hatch Restore 2
Best smart light with alarm clock
Moonside Lamp One
Best smart lamp for your gaming desk
Millions of color options
Lights dance across the lamp in unique ways
Lacks HomeKit support
Small, affordable, and with tons of customization options, the Moonside Lamp One is a great choice for a desktop smart lamp. Using an accompanying smartphone app, the Lamp One can produce a dazzling array of light shows. Whether you want dozens of colors to cascade across its surface or have a few colors pulse on and off, there’s almost no limit to what it can achieve. Its construction is a bit less impressive than expected (instead of frosted glass or a squishy rubber, it’s composed largely of cheap plastic), but that’s a minor complaint about an otherwise versatile device. There’s also the option to connect your lamp with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa, making it easy to sync with the rest of your smart home.
Moonside Lamp One
Best smart lamp for your gaming desk
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the advantages of smart lamps?
Smart lamps offer a lot of advantages over traditional lighting, the least of which is energy-saving. Smart LED lights use less power than halogen or fluorescent bulbs, and the scheduling features mean you can automatically turn the lights off at a certain time without lifting a finger.
You can also use smart lamps as security. If you can tie your lamp into the rest of your smart home and have it activate when a security system detects motion, you provide the illusion that someone is home even if the house is empty.
Smart lights can serve dedicated purposes that traditional lights can’t meet, such as the Glow Light helping you fall asleep or providing on-the-go illumination.
What should you consider when looking at smart lamps?
Smart lamps can become a staple product in your home. Many people are first exposed to smart products through smart lighting, and smart lamps are a direct extension of that. These lamps often feature equally as many (if not more) features than a standard smart bulb because they are designed from the ground up to serve a specific purpose.
When shopping for a smart lamp, first consider its use. Where do you want to place this lamp? Is it for reading, lighting up a room, or ambiance?
Consider whether the lamp needs to be plugged in at all times or if it can be placed after being charged. Lamps that don’t require a power connection provide more flexibility in placement throughout the room and are often best for ambiance instead of utilitarian lighting.
What features are included in the lamp? Some lamps can pulse the lights in time with music, while others can only cycle through colors on command. You should also consider how smart its smart features are. Does it work with Amazon Alexa and Google Home, or can it only be controlled via the app?
What is your budget? Smart lamps range in price from $30 all the way up to $200 or more. Lamps that provide ambiance often cost more, but lamps that can light up a room or that aren’t from as well-known a brand can be found for lower prices.
It turns out that the answer is because they’re just better. And not in the $1,000-Apple-stand better kind of way. Just that bit better. And when you’re on a quest to reduce back pain in your office, you’ll try just about anything.
So my latest venture was replacing my monitor stands with a third-party solution. And I wish I’d done it years ago.
You can move your monitor exactly where you want
I’m a big fan of multi-monitor setups. They’re great for boosting productivity and for giving you a good look at Discord or a Wiki page while gaming. I love it so much that staff writer Jacob Roach and I even had a the tech-journo equivalent of a fight over whether ultrawides are better. But with the constant churn of new PC hardware through my office, I’m a stickler for making the most out of the hardware I have. I want whatever I’m working with to do just that: work. And that’s meant that I have some serious legacy hardware still in use. Like a 15-year-old monitor.
That 24-inch monitor isn’t just a bit bulky — it also has a chunky stand, with typical 2008-era lack of maneuverability. Combine that with a slightly more mobile Asus MG279Q from a more modern era, and I’ve simply gotten used to them being at mismatched heights and imperfect angles. Well, that’s no longer an issue with a third-party monitor arm. I’ve got them set up almost perfectly in line, and crucially, all at a comfortable height for me to work at, discouraging further slouching or eye strain.
They’re angled more comfortably, too, so everything feels about roughly the same distance from my eyeballs. Finally, I can enjoy something of an emulation of the curved screen wonders of Jacob’s ultrawides. I’m not jealous, honest.
Just look at all that space
With my myopic focus on improving posture and reducing pain, I didn’t even consider how much extra space using a desk clamp monitor arm would free up. While the old Dell’s stand was pretty big, the newer Asus one wasn’t much better. With a desk clamp dual-arm setup, I suddenly have a couple extra square feet of desk space, which makes a massive difference, especially when my desk is getting a bit messy.
Even cable management is easier
When I got my fancy new Uplift desk, I told myself I’d finally route all the cables so they were out of sight and, ideally, out of mind. At the time, with my old monitor stands, that meant a lot of cable ties and double-sided tape tucked round the back of the desk. Over time, though, as the desk has gone up and down and the tape’s tackiness has waned, my tidied cables aren’t quite what they once were.
Switching over to a dual monitor arm made for a great opportunity to fix that and it helped a lot with it, too. The arms have their own built-in cable runners, covering the most important and inelegant portion of the cable run:from monitor back to under the desk. From there, it’s much easier to hide the cables from sight, making for a more negative space-filled office space, which feels like it aids productivity and reduces my ever-present drive to procrastination.
How to buy a monitor arm
Intrigued by my monitor arm journey and want to join me in this new wondrous world of maneuverability? Here are the most important factors to consider when buying a monitor arm:
Compatibility: Check the VESA mounting system for the arm(s) that are compatible with your monitor(s). It’s no good buying an arm if it doesn’t fit your display.
Check the weight: Make sure the new monitor arm(s) can handle the weight of your monitor(s). You can probably go over a bit — I have done by a kilo — but it’s probably best to stay within the rated weight tolerances.
Pick the mount style: Some arms mount on the wall, some clamp to your desk, and some are designed to drill straight through them. I could have done that with mine for additional strength, but if you think I’m taking a drill bit to that walnut butcher block, you’ve got another thing coming.
Make sure they can do what you want: Different monitor arms have different movement capabilities. If you want your monitors on top of each other, or spaced far apart, or anything beyond the absolute basic side by side mounting, make sure your chosen mount can do it.
Lucid Gravity: Range, charging, price, release date, more | Digital Trends
There’s finally another option in the world of electric SUVs. The Lucid Air has long been known as the electric car with the longest range, but Lucid is finally branching out with a bigger option — the Lucid Gravity. It offers a similar design sensibility as the Air, with more room on the inside and pretty great performance.
The Lucid Air could well be the go-to electric SUV, at least when it comes to luxury options. Curious to learn more? Here’s everything you need to know.
Lucid Gravity design
If you’ve seen the Lucid Air, you have an idea about the overall design of the Lucid Gravity. The car is sleek and stylish, and while it’s not the most unique-looking car out there, it’s clearly a premium car overall.
On the front of the Gravity can be found two slim headlights and a swooping hood that arcs across the front. The side profile of the car slopes down toward the back, where you’ll find a rear light bar. In most color options, there’s a two-tone look, which some will love and others won’t.
In some ways, the Gravity looks simply like a taller version of the Air — but again, that’s not a bad thing. It’s not the most revolutionary design, but it still looks quite good.
Lucid Gravity interior
The interior of the Lucid Gravity is premium too. There’s a nice stitched leather that in most of the images is a saddle brown.
Like in the Lucid Air, there are two displays at the front of the car. There’s one super-wide display that stretches along the front for lights and wipers, instrument monitoring, and mapping, and a secondary display that can be used for climate controls, driving modes, and other settings. This particular dual-display setup is somewhat unique to the Lucid Gravity and Lucid Air, and having driven the Air, I can say it’s relatively intuitive and easy to get used to.
The Gravity is, of course, more roomy than the Air — to the point where it offers three rows of seats. There’s also a center console for storage in between the two front seats, and a pair of tables can fold out from the front seats for the second-row passengers.
Lucid Gravity models
The Lucid Air came in a number of different models, and it’s entirely possible that the Gravity will eventually be available in a multiple trim levels too. Lucid has yet to announce the trim levels for the car, so we can only speculate.
If the Gravity is like the Air, it could come in a base “Pure” trim, ranging up to the Touring, Grand Touring, Dream Edition, and Sapphire packages. If those trims are planned, it’s unlikely they’ll all be released at launch — after all, Lucid only just recently launched the Lucid Air Sapphire.
Lucid Gravity range and charging speed
The Lucid Air is known for its excellent range, and thankfully, that continues with the Lucid Gravity. The Lucid Gravity, according to Lucid, will have a range of more than 440 miles — and while we do expect that figure to be for the highest-range models, even the base model will likely have a better range than most other electric cars out there. We’ll have to wait and see, though.
The charging speed will be excellent too. Lucid says that the Gravity will get up to 200 miles of range in 15 minutes via a 350-kilowatt charging station. That means that the Gravity will be one of the fastest-charging cars out there today, and will be able to take full advantage of the faster charging stations.
Lucid Gravity performance
The Lucid Gravity doesn’t just offer an excellent range — it’s super quick too. The Gravity will come with dual electric motors, with all-wheel drive being standard, at least at the beginning.
Exact numbers for the performance of the Gravity have yet to be revealed, but it’s likely that the Gravity will offer similar performance to the Lucid Air. That means that it’ll get around 480 horsepower in the base Pure model, 620 horsepower in the Touring trim, and 1,050 horsepower in the Grand Touring trim.
We’ll have to wait and see exactly how well the Lucid Gravity performs in the real world. But, if the Gravity is anything like the Air, it could end up being one of the fastest electric cars out there — the Lucid Air Dream Edition currently sits only behind the Tesla Model S Plaid on the list of fastest production cars.
Lucid Gravity price
Don’t expect the Lucid Gravity to save us from a lack of affordable electric SUVs — the Lucid Air starts at $74,900, and the Gravity will be in the same neighborhood. Lucid has said that the car will have a starting price of “under $80,000,” but we don’t expect it to be much under that.
Of course, that price will be for the base trim of the car, and higher-end models will certainly cost more. Just look at the Sapphire edition of the Lucid Air, which had a starting price of around $249,000. It’s hard to imagine that Lucid won’t eventually offer a similarly priced version of the Gravity.
Lucid Gravity release date
So when will you be able to get your hands on the Lucid Gravity for yourself? Unfortunately, you’ll still have to wait a while. Lucid has said that the Gravity will be available starting in late 2024, so it may still be a year out from consumer availability. You can order it now though, if you so choose — but again, it’ll be some time before you actually get it.
Alienware Gaming Laptop with an RTX 4090 is $700 off Today | Digital Trends
One of the best gaming laptop deals comes, predictably, from Dell. Today, you can buy the Alienware m16 gaming laptop for $2,800 thereby saving $700 off the usual price of $3,500. A high-end gaming laptop, this is one that will prove to be a fantastic investment for your gaming future. If you’re keen to learn more, take a look below at what we have to say about it or simply hit the buy button to get straight to the specs and making a purchase.
Why you should buy the Alienware m16 gaming laptop
Alienware is responsible for many of the best gaming laptops with a penchant for offering high-end hardware. This particular model boasts a 13th-generation Intel Core i9 processor teamed up with a huge 32GB of memory and 2TB of SSD storage. Continuing its powerhouse reputation, it also has an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 graphics card with 16GB of dedicated VRAM. That’s a fantastic set of specs to ensure that you won’t have any trouble playing the latest games for a long time to come. If you’re looking ahead and want to make sure you can play games in style for a while to come, this is the solution for you. It won’t become out of date any time soon.
The Alienware m16 gaming laptop also has a great display with a 16-inch QHD+ panel with 2560 x 1600 resolution, 240Hz refresh rate, 2ms response time, and 100% DCI-P3 support. Alongside that is Nvidia G-Sync + DDS support to ensure your games will always look fantastic. Above it is a full HD IR camera for taking video calls or recording reaction videos.
You might notice that Alienware isn’t listed among the best laptop brands but that’s because these days, it’s part of Dell, so you’re getting a ton of reliability here. The Alienware m16 gaming laptop uses Alienware Cryo-tech, an advanced cooling technology, to keep things ticking along nicely. There are also four fans with ultra-thin fan blades while seven heat pipes keep the internal temperature regulated. You also get exceptional audio thanks to Dolby Atmos support while even the keyboard is great thanks to being an Alienware M Series 1-Zone AlienFX keyboard.
Packed with all the features possible to make gamers excited, the Alienware m16 gaming laptop is currently down to $2,800 from $3,500 at Dell. A considerable saving of $700, this is your chance to grab a fantastically high-end laptop for less. Check it out now before it sells out.
1,000+ DeWalt Tool and Accessory Prices Slashed at Amazon | Digital Trends
Being handy around the house is important, whether it’s fixing up some stuff that has fallen apart or doing home renovation and improvement. The same goes for shop tools and things like jig saws and sanders, as having those nearby and the skills to use them can save you a lot of money. Even so, power tools can be quite expensive, and you might end up using all that money you save doing things yourself by buying the tools. Luckily, there are a couple of great sales you can take advantage of, such as this massive one from Amazon on Dewalt tools and accessories. There are thousands of things on sale, so you’ll certainly find something you’ll use and while we’ve done our best to collect some of our favorite deals, be sure to check everything using the button below. Also, be sure to check out some excellent cordless vacuum deals because you will almost certainly leave behind a mess.
What you should buy in the DeWalt Tool & Accessory sale
Probably one of the better things to grab if you’re building a whole new toolset is this 20V MAX Cordless Drill and Impact Driver, which gives you two very important tools
. That said, you could buy each one individually if you have the other, like this 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit that’s
and includes a battery pack. Alternatively, if you want something fancier, you could always get this 20V MAX Cordless Impact Wrench Kit, for example, which is
Alternatively, if you’re looking for shop tools, there are some of those too, such as this 20V MAX Orbital Sander with a brushless motor which is
. There is also this excellent 20V MAX XR Jig Saw with a 3,200 Blade Speed and LED light that’s been
. Circular saws are also quite popular shop tools, and DeWalt has some of those too, like this 20V MAX Circular Saw that
Amazon also has some critical DeWalt accessories for sale, such as the DPG82 Concealer Anti-Fog Dual Mold Safety Goggles that have been
and should absolutely be picked up for your safety. If you have a lot of tools, or use them often, it’s also worth grabbing a two-pack of the DeWalt 20V MAX XR Battery
. You should also probably grab the DEWALT TSTAK Tool Box to keep everything inside, especially since it’s been
Brighter isn’t better for OLED monitors. An expert told me why | Digital Trends
“That’s just too dim.”
It’s the same feedback I always get when reviewing OLED gaming monitors, which have made waves throughout this year. The criticism puts a damper on the otherwise jaw-dropping color and perfect contrast. The brightness measurements certainly seem to affirm that suspicion, showing they sometimes provide more than half as much brightness of a traditional LCD display. But are they really too dim?
To better understand how OLED differs, I talked with Jacky Qiu, vice president and co-founder of OTI Lumionics. OTI doesn’t make panels, but its research of the technology is critical to how OLED is used by major companies today. And according to Qiu, there’s a good reason for the dimness of OLEDs — so be careful what you ask for.
Apples to oranges
OTI is a company that knows OLED inside and out. It’s a materials company, or as Qiu put it, “anything to do with, like, hard science stuff” of OLED technology. Its main claim to fame is CPM patterning, which opens a “window” in the material to place sensors under the display. Qiu pointed to a camera, an IR emitter, and an IR camera for an implementation of Face ID as an example.
But for our purposes, the company investigates the technology of OLED, with backing from companies like Samsung, LG, and the Universal Display Corporation. So, my first question focused on the feedback I always see surrounding the dimness of OLED panels. Qiu pointed to a fundamental difference between LCD monitors and OLED monitors: “For an LCD, you’re essentially having a backlight … and you can just have them as bright as you want.”
As Qiu points out, LCD and OLED are fundamentally different. That sets the comparison between LCD brightness and OLED brightness up for failure: “You’re comparing something that, you know, is used for lighting or something [that] can be very, very bright to something that is OLED, that is basically each individual cell in your monitor is acting as its own individual small light-emitting diode.”
OLED will always be dimmer because it can’t rely on a bright backlight alone. Qiu pointed to LED light bulbs you might have around your house.
“You can light your room with LED light bulbs, so you can just blast that light to be very strong.” LCD monitors with dimming zones then selectively choose where on the screen to blast that bright light, increasing the contrast. Some tech, such as mini-LED, include a huge number of dimming zones to carefully control the contrast.
An OLED display doesn’t work that way. Each pixel is its own self-emitting diode (basically a small channel that can pass electrical current), so you can’t just blast a backlight and get higher brightness. There is no backlight.
Without the backlight of LCD, the next option would be just to send more electrical current through the diode to increase the brightness, but that’s where OLED can run into issues.
The first thing you’ll hear about OLED monitors is that they’re too dim. The second thing you’ll hear is that OLED monitors suffer from burn-in. This is where static elements fade into the screen over time, and you can’t get rid of them. Rtings recently published a burn-in report on OLED gaming monitors and found some displays could show burn-in in as little as 700 hours. Stop the presses!
“Most of the stuff in the field, even from 10 years ago — for example, your PlayStation Vita — the burn-in is not a tremendous issue per the use,” Qiu said. “As long as you’re not basically using your OLED TV to watch CNN or watch sports, like, 24/7, nonstop, the burn-in is not as noticeable.” Qiu was careful to clarify that “we work on OLED, do always take anything I say with a small grain of salt.”
Burn-in is a result of the how much degradation a single diode has undergone. If you have a static element on a set of pixels, they’ll wear down faster showing that single image than the rest of the display, where content and colors are constantly shifting. Modern OLED monitors have ways to get around this risk, though.
Qiu also pointed to how modern OLED displays deal with the risk of burn-in. First is that, while you’re viewing content, the pixels will shift on static elements, attempting to evenly wear down the pixels so burn-in isn’t noticeable. Then, about once a day, the monitor will adjust the voltage threshold to the diodes so that they’re uniform. And finally, after about every 1,000 hours of use, the panel will go through every diode and refresh them for uniformity across the screen. The material is still degrading, there’s no way around that. But these features ensure that the degradation is even so you don’t ever see any nasty burn-in.
All of this effort is to delay the inevitable death of the organic material that makes up OLED. It will degrade over time, but as long as the degradation is uniform, you shouldn’t notice burn-in.
The brighter the display, the larger the risk of burn-in becomes.
How does this factor into brightness? You can’t avoid degradation, but that process is sped up by feeding the diodes more current and increasing their brightness. “You basically make the choice of either going brighter or having a longer lifetime,” says Qiu. “It’s typically a trade-off.”
As an example, Qiu pointed to theoretically increasing the brightness by 20%. “The end consumers want it to be 20% brighter, right? So it could be, instead of it needing to be 20% brighter, it could have 1.5x longer lifetime.”
The risk of burn-in becomes much more real then. Instead of looking at a life span of six years, you might be looking at a life of only a couple of years. OLED makers need to balance the brightness with longevity.
This isn’t a new problem, either. I was talking with Digital Trends’ resident TV expert Caleb Denison, who told me that LCD panels have similar problems when increasing the brightness of the backlight. It’s not burn-in that LCDs face, but a drop in image quality as the brightness goes up. LCD and OLED are fundamentally different in how they approach brightness, but they both have to deal with balancing brightness against other factors.
Perception vs. reality
OLED monitors will always be dimmer than LCD, but you don’t need to succumb to burn-in to have an enjoyable experience. The actual brightness put out by OLED is lower, but that’s not what your eyes perceive.
Qiu pointed to something that, by his own admission, he’s not an expert in. But it holds a lot of truth. “If you use OLED, basically, because it’s a self emitter, you can have sharper contrast that can give you an effect of higher perception of brightness.”
Brightness needs context, and context is thrown out the window when comparing two numbers pulled from a luminance meter. OLED is dimmer, but does it actually look dimmer? In most cases, it doesn’t.
First, contrast. OLED has theoretically infinite contrast, and your eye can only take in so much light at once. A bright, sunny day is much brighter than your 2,000-nit LCD TV, but your TV will probably look brighter in a dark room. There’s more contrast localized to one area. The same is true with OLED. Because the dark parts are so dark, the bright parts look brighter by comparison.
Alienware 34 QD-OLED Monitor | 7 Myths Busted
There are several other factors at play with perceived brightness, too. One is how close that source of light is to your eyes. As an example, Caleb brought up having a single light bulb on in a large room. Get right next to it, and you’ll probably damage your eyes. Step a foot away, and you’ll be able to read a book. Go to the other side of the room, and you may not be able to see enough to tie your shoelaces.
The same is true for your monitor. It’s never more than a couple of feet away from your face, so the perception of light is much larger. I asked Caleb about how much viewing distance impacts brightness, and he didn’t mince words. “It’s pretty big, I would say.”
With a gaming monitor, you’re probably sitting no more than two feet away.
Another factor here is how big the light source is. I recently reviewed the Samsung Odyssey OLED G9, and I heard a lot of feedback that it was too dim considering the price. It’s a massive monitor, so it never felt dim because the physical light source is so big. In fact, it felt searingly bright, regardless of what the luminance meter said.
The actual brightness you see depends on several factors: viewing distance, contrast of the screen, color purity, and ambient light. It’s only in that last area where OLED runs into issues.
There is a level in which OLED can’t get bright enough to overcome the ambient light in your room, but that’s only one of several factors that influence how bright a monitor actually looks. And in the context of a gaming monitor, where you’ll probably be sitting no more than 2 feet away without direct sunlight, it’s not much to worry about.
I mean, what’s the worst that could happen? You need to pull a shade?