Nintendo Switch, a long-term review | Review

My name is Peter, also known as NoMorePeter, and I am a lifelong gamer and content creator from Antwerp, Belgium.

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch, a long-term review | Review

Nintendo launched the Nintendo Switch in the beginning of 2017. The hardware is a little over two years old and it is time to take a closer look at the current condition of this best-selling hybrid console. Has the Nintendo Switch delivered on its promises and realised the expectations of both a traditional and portable console?

The concept behind the system is refreshing. The Nintendo Switch is a hybrid console that can be used as both a stationary and portable device. Without any effort, you start a session in handheld mode and play until you want to continue the same adventure on a larger screen.

Docked or undocked mode, that’s the question

Whether or not you use the Nintendo Switch in handheld or docked mode, you will certainly have a good time playing the latest games of third party developers and exclusives. The Nintendo Switch does give you the best of both worlds and offers a more traditional console and handheld experience in one convenient package.

Hardware and power consumption

Hardware wise, the Nintendo Switch is a compact tablet with a 6.2-inch touchscreen and controllers attached on both sides. This makes it more convenient to use the console in handheld mode. Longer game sessions feel comfortable, even though the screen is relatively small compared to modern smartphones and tablets standards.

Look and feel is not the sole strong point. The hardware inside the device is nothing less than a Nvidia Tegra X1-processor. This makes the device power efficient and delivers the performance required to play even the most recent games, with a few compromises here and there. According to Nintendo, the battery life will range from two-and-a-half hours up to six hours, depending on the requirements of the games being played.

The limited 32 GB of internal storage, on the other hand, is a downside. If you plan on downloading multiple games, you will need to insert a separate micro SD card into the extension slot to further expand the existing internal storage.

A few scratches on the surface

The dock included with the Nintendo Switch works fine and offers a completely different experience compared to playing a game in handheld mode. Unfortunately, the dock is large and covers the entire screen of the device. This might result in scratches when switching regularly between docked and handheld mode.

In the end, it is definitely worth using the Nintendo Switch in docked mode. Playing a game on a large television is a completely different experience and makes local multiplayer games even more enjoyable. This docked mode brings a more traditional console experience to your living room.

Ports of existing games

The pre-launch concerns about the potentially limited library of games and interest of third party developers are replaced by a long list of exciting news and a flood of games, some of it new, some of it ported versions of titles from other consoles.

Ports such as Doom and Diablo 3 are running relatively fluent on the Nintendo Switch, but at a cost. Developers lower the resolutions and graphics quality of their games to deliver a smooth gameplay experience. This is most noticeable in handheld mode. In docked mode, the resolution of games is slightly higher.

It is incredible to see these hardware intensive titles arrive on a portable system, unfortunately the lower resolution makes the gameplay experience a bit troublesome. The screen itself looks great in terms of image quality and colour accuracy, but the hardware is not powerful enough to play the latest games.

Entertainment system

Of course, talking about the gaming experience does not tell the entire story. A lot of users expect support for services such as Netflix or YouTube. At the time of writing, the Nintendo Switch only supports an official YouTube app.

As an entertainment system, the available selection of music and video streaming application is too limited to be worth a purchase. The Nintendo Switch does not even have an internet browser, nor support for Netflix or Spotify.

Nintendo Online and voice chat

The Nintendo Switch is clearly not an entertainment system, it is a video game console. A year after its initial launch, Nintendo introduced Nintendo Switch Online, an online service to play multiplayer games with friends over the internet.

Nintendo Switch Online requires the purchase of a monthly subscription, but costs less than the online service of the other available consoles. Unfortunately, some simple features such as voice chat are not supported on the Nintendo Switch. To talk to your friends, you need to download a separate application on your smartphone.

This Nintendo Switch Online app improves the multiplayer experience, but these features should be included in the software of the console itself. An app is useful, but meant as an additional method to interact with friends.

Verdict

The Nintendo Switch is clearly not an entertainment system, but a nearly perfect console. The device delivers a good gameplay experience in both docked and handheld mode and brings friends together for hours of entertainment.

Whether or not you plan to explore Hyrule in The Legend of Zelda – Breath of the Wild, the Nintendo Switch is still worth your time, even if you buy one two years after its release. The exclusive titles are some of the best local multiplayer games on the market.

Product information

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

A hybrid console to play the best local multiplayer games of this generation on your television at home or in handheld mode.

Retail price: 319,00 euros

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Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro, a camera you can use as a mobile phone | Review

My name is Peter, also known as NoMorePeter, and I am a lifelong gamer and content creator from Antwerp, Belgium.

Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro, a camera you can use as a mobile phone | Review

After five weeks with the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro, it is time for an in-depth review of this mobile phone. The Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro is the top model of the Xiaomi Mi 10T series and the 128 GB model has a retail price of 599 euros. The 256 GB version costs 649 euros. These prices position the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro in an interesting market segment.

A high-end phone

In terms of hardware, the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro is an decent and competent device with a premium design. The processor used in the mobile phone is the Snapdragon 865 processor. It provides great performance in applications and makes it possible to multitask. The internal memory is 128 GB or 256 GB, but it is not possible to expand this internal storage with a microSD memory card.

The Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro offers 8 GB of system memory. This is less than some other devices in the same market segment, but more than enough to use multiple applications at the same time without any problems or slowdowns.

A modern design with prominent cameras

There is little to complain about the design of the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro. The phone is somewhat large with its 6.67-inch screen and weighs 218 grams. However, this makes the phone feel comfortable in your hand. The back of the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro is a bit rounded near the edges, and the buttons are located in accessible positions.

The power button on the right side of the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro has a built-in fingerprint scanner. The position is ideal as you place your thumb or index finger in the exact spot as you hold the device. The fingerprint scanner responds incredibly fast too, it is precise and unlocks your phone in milliseconds. The volume buttons are also found on the right side above the power button in a convenient location.

It is all about the details

The Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro features three cameras on the rear of the device. These cameras can be found on a separate island in the top left corner and are positioned a few millimetres higher than the cover of the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro. This sets them apart from the rest of the phone.

Some users would prefer a matte black finish on the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro as it leaves less fingerprints and dust visible. Of course, this is nothing an additional cover cannot fix. Speaking of a cover. Xiaomi supplies a transparent cover with the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro to protect the device. The Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro is also delivered with a screen protector pre-applied on the touch-screen.

Minor details, but a real added value in comparison with the competitors.

A screen with a 144 Hz refreshrate

The Xiaomi Mi 10T features a touch-screen with a resolution of 2400 x 1080 pixels and a refresh rate of 144 Hz. A little hole can be found in the top left corner of the screen, which is the location of the 20-megapixel selfie camera. The refreshrate of the screen will be reduced to save battery life if the refreshrate is not required for the content shown on the screen.

The colour reproduction of the 6.67-inch screen is excellent. From the front, the colours look accurate and correct. The brightness of 500 nits is also sufficient in outdoors. The decision to use an LCD screen is an unfortunate one, as some competitors deliver mobile phones with OLED displays in the same price range.

Enough battery capacity for two days

The battery life of the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro is impressive. If you use the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro less often, you may be able to last a day and a half or even two days without charging. The device features a 5000 mAh battery capacity that exceeds the batteries of its direct competitors. However, it is recommended to take a charger with you on the second day in case the battery runs out faster than expected with longer use.

The Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro itself charges fast. After an hour, the battery is fully charged. Wireless charging is not included, but given the price of the phone this is understandable. The manufacturer has to compromise on a few features that are not essential in order to offer the hardware specifications used in the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro at this retail price.

An incredible 108-megapixel camera

The most noticeable feature of the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro the manufacturer Xiaomi has not compromised on are the cameras. The Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro is a real contender with its main sensor with an impressive resolution of 108-megapixels. The wide-angle lens of 13-megapixels and macro camera of 5-megapixels are also present on the backside of the device. The front camera has a resolution of 20-megapixels, which is sufficient for most selfies and group photos.

Detailed photos and video recordings

In terms of picture quality, the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro performs well. Photos look great in good lighting conditions, but also in darker environments and more difficult settings the image quality remains excellent. In use, you notice that the night mode is redundant to take good photographs with the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro. This is a positive note.

The Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro records 8K video at 30 frames per second, 4K at either 30 or 60 frames per second and 1080p at up to 120 frames per second. It is also possible to use the gyroscope-enabled electronic stabilization to reduce sudden movements in the recorded videos. More than enough for both professional and amateur film makers.

The Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro is a good choice

The Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro is an excellent choice when it comes to devices between 500 and 600 euros. It is a segment more and more competitors seem to focus on, yet the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro is able to set itself apart with its remarkable camera options and modern design.

Product information

Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro mobile phone

One of the best mobile phones within the 500 and 600 euros price range featuring a premium design and an impressive 108-megapixel camera.

Retail price: 599,00 euros

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Elgato Green Screen, a retractable green screen for background removal | Review

Streaming is more mainstream than ever before. Today, anyone can make it as a streamer, or at least that is the idea. Elgato understands this message and provides products for beginners and professional streamers. The Elgato Green Screen is no exception and makes it possible to remove the background of your webcam.

Green screens are common practice in the world of cinema. They are used for special effects and the editing software is capable to filter out the green background. For streamers, a green screen is a helpful tool to cut out the background in your webcam. There is no need to clean up the room behind you.

Easy to use and store

However, many of these green screens require a construction to hang the green cloth over. This can take a long time to set up. The idea behind the Elgato Green Screen is convenience, you take the product out of the box and it is ready to go. No screws or construction required.

The Elgato Green Screen is about 150 centimetres wide and comes in an aluminum casing that you can position on the ground with the two folding feet. The two clips on the metal casing allow you to open or close the product. To set it up, you pull up the green screen. That is all you have to do: it is practical.

A retractable metal mechanism

The design is comparable to the retractable stand-up display panels you may have seen at exhibitions or conventions. The mechanism on the back ensures that the green cloth can be pulled out of the casing with ease and it remains at the correct height.

The green screen is 100 procent polyester and looks clean. Ask any content creator, another advantage is that it remains stretched and smooth. No creases that cause self-shadows to be visible on the canvas.

When collapsed, the Elgato Green Screen can be stored under a bed or pushed to the side of a room. The handle on the top of the Elgato Green Screen allows you to move the product with ease after the stream. It takes less than a minute to retract or store the green screen.

Is it worth adding a green screen to your stream?

Depending on the software and setup, and in particular the lighting conditions, you may have to tweak some settings. This is the key to success for novice users. If there is insufficient light or the light is not consistent over the green background, it is difficult or even impossible to filter the green cloth out of the background.

The better solution, of course, is a dedicated streaming lamp or ring light. The combination of Elgato Green Screen and Key Light is not cheap, but both convenience and a good result are worth something.

For beginners and professionals

The Elgato Green Screen is a convenient retractable chroma key panel. It has great build quality and it performs exactly as it should. Seen the price, it is more of a premium product and intended for streamers who go live on a regular basis. If you remember anything from this review, let it be the convenience of the product.

Product information


Elgato Green Screen

Elgato Green Screen
A convenient and retractable chroma key panel to help you remove the background of your webcam in the most common streaming software.

Retail price: 159,90 euros

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Akai Professional APC MINI controller, a MIDI controller for content creators | Review

A MIDI controller allows you to improve your workflow in video and music production software. The Akai Professional APC MINI controller works great for beginners and professionals. The controller is not an essential tool for every content creator but it is helpful. Each adjustment or feature is within reach with this controller.

The Akai Professional APC MINI controller is designed to work with the included music production software. As this blog does not really have a connection with music production, the implementation of the controller in other software began.

Even though, the Akai Professional APC MINI controller comes with a license code for Ableton Live Lite, this review will take a closer look at the implementation of the MIDI controller in other software and tools.

Launchpad buttons and faders

The controller is compact and features enough buttons and faders to work with most tools and software. The Akai Professional APC MINI controller has a multicolor launchpad grid with a total of 64 assignable buttons. Near the bottom, you have nine faders.

The buttons on the Akai Professional APC MINI controller are small and made of rubber. This makes the controller comfortable and easier to get used to. Compared to other more expensive MIDI controllers, the buttons and faders of the Akai Professional APC MINI controller are equal to the task.

Despite the controller being made of plastic, it still feels solid.

Macro buttons and keyboard shortcuts

The buttons of the controller were assigned to keyboard shortcuts using a macro button tool. These keyboard shortcuts were later assigned to specific tasks in the Open Broadcaster Software Studio software. The faders were assigned to a software-based audio mixer for precise control over the audio levels of the inputs.

However, the faders are not motorised and if you use a computer mouse to change the position of the fader in the audio software, you will have to physically adjust the position of the fader on the Akai Professional APC MINI controller. More expensive controllers tend to include this feature.

More advanced features for computer wizards

After a few hours of work, you can assign different keyboard shortcuts to the buttons with the help of a macro button tool. The more experienced users can also change the colours of the 64 launchpad buttons, but the technical information is limited and you have to do a lot of research to make it work.

Still, the Akai Professional APC MINI controller is one of the best additions to the streaming setup. In Open Broadcaster Software Studio you can start the broadcast with a single button, switch between the available scenes or change the volumes of a microphone or capture card using the faders and a software-based audio mixer.

Time for research

If the software you are using supports keyboard shortcuts, MIDI controllers or operation with a macro button tool and you have time to research the more advanced features of the device, the Akai Professional APC MINI controller is the MIDI controller for you.

Product information


Akai Professional APC MINI controller

Akai Professional APC MINI controller
The Akai Professional APC MINI controller features enough buttons and faders to control most audio and video production tools if you want to research the more advanced features.

Retail price: 99.99 euros

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Sharkoon Light² 200, a precise and colourful gaming mouse | Review

Lighter than light is the best description of the Sharkoon Light² 200 lightweight gaming mouse with a total weight of 62 grams. The ergonomic design and matte finish give the computer mouse a premium look and feel. Not to mention the modular design and changeable illuminated parts for less than 50 euros.

The design of the Sharkoon Light² 200 reminds us of the Glorious Model O mouse, but the build quality of the Sharkoon Light² 200 feels better and more robust in the palm of your hand. Compared to the Logitech M500 computer mouse used before, the Sharkoon Light² 200 feels feather-light.

An ergonomic design for right-handers

The Sharkoon Light² 200 is a mouse designed for right-handers with a raised left side. This ergonomic shape is a design that works and the computer mouse remains comfortable to use even after longer periods of time, but not for left-handers.

The scroll wheel feels great and the same is true for the two buttons on the left side of the mouse as they are positioned right under your thumb. The matte paint on the computer mouse prevents an excessive build-up of fingerprints and gives the Sharkoon Light² 200 a premium look with the lighting effects.

A modular design and changeable cover

The hexagonal holes of the honeycomb structure are the most remarkable detail on the left and right sides of the Sharkoon Light² 200, but the computer mouse is delivered with an interchangeable non-honeycomb top cover. This makes it possible to change the computer mouse to a more traditional look and feel.

The modular design uses magnets to keep the top cover in the correct position. The detachable top makes the mouse easier to clean. This modular design is also present on other elements of the Sharkoon Light² 200. You can replace the black DPI button behind the scroll wheel with the included blue or red button.

Change the colours without software

As mentioned before, the Sharkoon Light² 200 is a colourful computer mouse with different light effects. The colours and effects of the illuminated elements can be changed with shortcuts, no software required. Those who do not want illuminated elements can turn the lighting effects off.

You switch between the existing lighting effects and profiles of the Sharkoon Light² 200 with the thumb button 1 + right click and the thumb button 2 + left click + right click. There is additional software available to change more advanced settings and, as the design and features of the Sharkoon Light² 200, the software just works.

A budget-friendly computer mouse

The Sharkoon Light² 200 tries to stand out from its competitors and delivers in terms of design and features. The mouse cable is long enough for use with most setups and is reinforced with a textured woven fabric. Despite the low cost, the computer mouse feels strong and and looks as if it is a premium product.

The hexagonal holes of the honeycomb structure exposes the insides of the Sharkoon Light² 200 and not all users will enjoy this design choice, but if you are looking for a budget-friendly computer mouse under 50 euros the Sharkoon Light² 200 is an excellent option with a modern design and illuminated elements.

Product information


Sharkoon Light² 200

Sharkoon Light² 200 gaming mouse
A lightweight gaming mouse with a weight of 62 grams and a modular design. Combined with the changeable illuminated parts, it just works.

Retail price: 49.99 euros

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Sharkoon PureWriter TKL RGB delivers a modern typewriter experience with customisable lighting effects | Review

The search for a good and compact keyboard is not an easy task. The Sharkoon PureWriter TKL RGB has been around for several years, and yet it remains one of the best mechanical keyboards on the market with low-profile switches. The keyboard is also equipped with customisable lighting effects to meet your personal preferences.

The Sharkoon PureWriter TKL RGB is a compact mechanical keyboard when it is positioned in front of you on a desk. The keyboard is smaller than most keyboards seen the removal of the keypad. In professional work related environments, the full-version of the Sharkoon PureWriter may be the better choice. This version not only adds a numeric keypad, it also features physical media keys.

An ergonomic typing experience

The Sharkoon PureWriter TKL RGB uses keycaps with a matte finish to prevents an excessive build-up of fingerprints on the keys. An additional feature is the aluminium look of the edge that gives the mechanical keyboard a premium look. Even though the rest of the keyboard is made of strong and durable plastic.

The frameless body of the Sharkoon PureWriter TKL RGB is equipped with foldable feet to tilt the keyboard in a better writing position. The rubber underneath these feet ensures a secure hold on the surface below the keyboard. Without these feet, the Sharkoon PureWriter TKL RGB rests on two rubber strips near the front of the keyboard. This design results in reduced slip resistance.

The height of the keyboard together with the low-profile switches supports an ergonomic typing position, even without an additional palm rest. After extensive use, the keyboard remains comfortable. The tone and tactile feedback of the blue switches is pleasant and not too loud.

A durable mechanical keyboard

The Sharkoon PureWriter TKL RGB is available with blue or red low-profile switches. These two version offer a different typing experience seen the Kailh Blue switches feature a more audible click and the Kailh Red a more linear clickless typing experience without additional audible feedback.

The lower keys lead to a somewhat shorter travel, but the Sharkoon PureWriter TKL RGB retains the feel of a mechanical keyboard. Both versions of the Sharkoon PureWriter TKL RGB feature an actuation point of 1.5 mm and the switches are rated for at least 50 million keystrokes.

The keycaps of the Sharkoon PureWriter TKL RGB are positioned on top of the keyboard without a plastic frame surrounding them. The benefit of such a design is that it makes the keyboard easier to clean and prevents dust build-up in between the individual keys.

Change the lighting effects without software

Despite the lower price of the keyboard, the Sharkoon PureWriter TKL RGB features illuminated keys. Each key is individually illuminated and the background lighting of these keys can be adjusted to your personal preference with a keyboard shortcut. The lighting effects range from rainbows to pulsating colours.

There is no software available or required to select the preferred colour, brightness, lighting patterns or deactivate it. A few button presses and you should be able to find the right effect. However, due to the lack of software, you are not able to change the lighting effects on a per key basis without creating additional profiles.

Designed to meet your personal needs

The Sharkoon PureWriter TKL RGB is delivered with not one, but two cables. Therefore, you can choose whether you want to use a 50 cm or 150 cm cable to connect the keyboard to a computer. It is convenient and makes it possible to meet the needs of your personal desk. You can also replace the cable when it breaks.

The reduced slip resistance with folded feet remains a minor point of criticism, however the Sharkoon PureWriter TKL RGB feels as a modern typewriter. The compact design, ergonomic typing position and customisable lighting effects make this mechanical an excellent choice if you are looking for a low-profile mechanical keyboard.

Product information


Sharkoon PureWriter TKL RGB

Sharkoon PureWriter TKL RGB mechanical keyboard
The Sharkoon PureWriter TKL RGB remains one of the best mechanical keyboards on the market with low-profile switches and lighting effects.

Retail price: 69.99 euros

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Ubiquiti UniFi AP AC Pro, advanced indoor and outdoor access points with a clean industrial design | Review

Are you looking for a solution to provide a stable wireless internet connection in your home or office? You may consider the access points of Ubiquiti. The UniFi AP AC Pro offers a wide coverage and comes with a clean industrial design that will not stand out too much in residential and professional environments. However, it offers support for most end-user requirements.

The Ubiquiti UniFi AP AC Pro access points are solid access points that you can install inside your own home. The access points come with a mounting system to attach them to both a wall or ceiling. As a user you can choose where you want to position the access points.

Power over Ethernet

To make the access points as convenient as possible, Ubiquiti decided to leave the power adapter behind. The Ubiquiti UniFi AP AC Pro access points are powered by a standard Ethernet cable connected to a switch or router that supports Power over Ethernet. However, not all consumer network hardware such as routers or switches are equipped with these advanced features.

The Ubiquiti UniFi AP AC Pro supports both power over Ethernet standards known as 802.3af PoE and 802.3at PoE+. Remarkable, the triple pack with three of these Ubiquiti UniFi AP AC Pro access points comes without the included PoE adapters you receive if you purchase a single access point.

If your network hardware does not support Power over Ethernet, you will need to purchase other network hardware or search for Power over Ethernet adapters to power the Ubiquiti UniFi AP AC Pro access points.

Good performance over a long range

After mounting the Ubiquiti UniFi AP AC Pro access points to a ceiling or wall, they require a brief installation procedure. You can configure the modules in a few minutes with a telephone or computer through the UniFi application. The access points are capable of transmitting a signal on the 2.4GHz band with a maximum speed up to 450 Mbps and 1.3 Gbps on the 5GHz band.

To support these speeds, the Ubiquiti UniFi AP AC Pro access point is compatible with a wide range of network standards such as 802.11a, 802.11ac, 802.11b, 802.11g and 802.11n. In combination with multiple internal antennas, these access points provide good performance over a long range, both indoors and outdoors.

The Ubiquiti UniFi AP AC Pro has a range of 122 meters. More than enough in most environments. Please note, to use these advertised maximum speeds, both your router and the devices you want to connect must support the 5 GHz band and network standards.

Create multiple wireless networks

If you choose to use multiple Ubiquiti UniFi AP AC Pro access points in your network, you can configure them to work together and create one large wireless network in your home or office. Your computer, laptop, tablet or phone will be connected by default to the strongest access point if multiple points are within range. The access points have to be set to the same SSID.

You can walk around the house with such a wireless network without the risk of losing your connection if you move from one floor to another. You can also divide the network into multiple networks. Using a guest network on the Ubiquiti UniFi AP AC Pro, you prevent people from being able to access your private documents.

Manage your network

Managing the access point is simple and convenient through the included UniFi software. If you connect multiple access points to each other, you can manage them at the same time from the cloud. If you are looking for a more basic access point, the Ubiquiti UniFi AP AC Pro is perhaps too advanced. Interesting detail, you can even turn off the light circle on the access points so the modules remain unnoticed.

To create a wireless network in a professional environment, some additional hardware is required. If you want to create different local networks and additional guest networks, a separate network controller is required together with some technical network knowledge. The Ubiquiti Network Management Controller software is free with no fees and can be installed on multiple types of devices.

Not for the average user

The Ubiquiti UniFi AP AC Pro access points deliver good performance and are easy to use. Its professional and clean industrial design is competitive and makes it the ideal choice for larger home networks or more professional users and environments. The manual is rather limited and not very helpful, to be honest for users without a technical background.

However, the access point may not be intended for non-technical users. You need more technical knowledge to integrate the access points into your own network and use the more advanced features. Still, the easy-to-use application enables a basic installation for inexperienced users if you have the required network hardware in your home or office.

Product information


Ubiquiti UniFi AP AC Pro

UbiQuiti UniFi AP AC Pro
Advanced indoor and outdoor access points with a clean industrial design to extend your local wireless network for the more advanced users.

Retail price: 149,00 euros

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HyperX QuadCast, the best standalone microphone for livestreamers, podcasters and content creators | Review

The HyperX QuadCast is a great looking standalone condenser microphone for both streamers, podcasters and content creators. The red and black colour scheme gives the microphone a modern and elegant look, however this design choice will not be preferred by the different types of users and work environments. Yet, it is an excellent microphone in setups without a dedicated audio mixer.

When searching for a microphone for a computer setup you have two options. On the one hand you can choose a microphone with an audio mixer or a standalone microphone that you can connect directly to a computer or laptop. If you decide to go with the second option there is a large chance that you will see the HyperX QuadCast condenser microphone in the lists of available standalone microphones.

A condenser microphone

The HyperX QuadCast is a high performance microphone with a solid and strong design. The device sounds as good or better than its competitors. The HyperX QuadCast features four selectable polar patterns: stereo, omnidirectional, cardioid, and bidirectional.

As a content creator, you will want to use the cardioid pattern so you record the sound in front of the microphone. This removes most of the environmental sounds. Since the HyperX QuadCast is a condenser microphone and not a dynamic microphone, you need to record in a quiet environment without noticeable sound sources.

A clear side-address microphone

The HyperX QuadCast is a side-address microphone. This means the HyperX QuadCast accepts audio from an angle perpendicular to the microphone. As opposed to a front-address microphone, you speak to the side of a side-address microphone and not to the top of the recording device.

As a test, there were made multiple audio recordings with the HyperX QuadCast set to the loudest and lowest settings to listen to the recorded ambient sound. Remarkable, there is no audible static noise from the microphone itself. After these tests, the settings were changed to achieve the best performance in the recording location.

Audio recording and tonecolour

The sample and bit rate of the HyperX QuadCast are good enough for most professional livestreamers, podcasters and content creators who are looking for a convenient standalone microphone. The recorded audio is clear of static noises and the tonecolour is true to real-life. Some friends even mentioned themselves that the voices sound the same through the microphone as in a personal conversation.

Users with a deeper voice will notice that the HyperX QuadCast records the deeper tones of their voice without any kind of problems. The microphone registers the lower tones with subtle details. However, a more professional audio setups with additional audio mixer and dedicated microphones will sound even better.

Modern design and advanced features

The reason to choose the HyperX QuadCast over its competitors is its modern looking design. It is clear they designed the microphone with gamers, livestreamers, podcasters and content creators in mind. The microphone features a red light on the inside to indicate it is recording audio. It looks great on camera combined with the black design.

On top of the HyperX QuadCast, there is a touch-sensitive button to mute or unmute the microphone. This features removes the clicks from physical buttons. Even the light turns off to indicate the microphone is muted. It is great to be able to mute the microphone without audible button presses in the recorded audio.

To monitor the sound of the HyperX QuadCast, you can connect headphones to the microphone with a standard headphone connection. This features is essential for podcasters.

Anti-vibration shock mount and adapter

The HyperX QuadCast comes on a standard desk mount, but features an anti-vibration shock mount to remove most of the environmental sounds. This shock mount sets the condenser apart from most competitors and makes it a great choice for the price.

To make the HyperX QuadCast an even better choice, it also comes with an adapter to mount the microphone with the anti-vibration shock mount to a more professional boom arm to further eliminate the vibrations of keyboards on your desk.

Adjustable settings and internal pop filter

The HyperX QuadCast may sound great, but you will have to change some settings to make it sound even better in the environment you use it in. The internal pop filter makes the microphone sound clear in most environments. However, it is recommended to use a pop filter to reduce sound of outgoing air in audio recordings.

A note for users with mechanical keyboards, the HyperX Quadcast records your keystrokes, even on the least sensitive gain settings. You want to isolate the keystrokes in an audio editor. The microphone allows you to reduce the gain with a physical dial on the bottom of the microphone.

A great choice

It is not often needed to change settings while recording audio, but it is convenient that the HyperX QuadCast offers this feature. The HyperX QuadCast is a great standalone microphone with advanced features that can stand out from the competition with the included anti-vibration shock mount and internal pop filter.

Product information


HyperX QuadCast

HyperX QuadCast microphone
The best condenser microphone for livestreamers, podcasters and content creators who are looking for an easy-to-use standalone solution.

Retail price: 139.99 euros

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Klipsch R5 wireless headphones deliver clear sound, but at a cost | Review

The search for good and clear wireless earphones is not evident. Many brands offer these earphones and they can be found in different price ranges. The Klipsch R5 wireless earphones look great and promising on paper, but can a premium brand distinguish itself from the other wireless earphones on the market and deliver a better and more clear audio experience?

The sound of the Klipsch R5 wireless earphones is clear compared to other wireless earphones from competitors. The highs, mids and lows are present in good proportions, but sometimes they miss depth in songs with a focus on bass and lower frequencies. Once you find the correct songs with a more neutral balance, the audio experience is comparable to higher-end audio systems.

Clear sound without static noise

A wireless connection and design may result in a certain level of interference or static noise, but these elements are not noticeable when using the Klipsch R5 wireless earphones. Some cheaper wireless earphones often tend to lose their connection or have an audio delay, but listening to music or videos remains a problem free experience with the Klipsch R5 wireless earphones.

Decent battery life and sweat-resistance

The wireless design requires a good battery life and freedom of movement. The Klipsch R5 wireless earphones deliver 8 hours of listening. This in combination with a reliable and balanced sweat-resistant design, make these earphones comfortable and prevent them from falling out of your ears during more intense walks and even workouts.

The built-in remote has three buttons and makes it possible to control music and phone calls without taking your mobile phone out of your pocket or backpack. To make voice calls even more convenient and pleasant, the microphone reduces the environmental noise and helps you sound loud and clear.

Adjust the earphones to your personal preference

The Klipsch R5 wireless earphones use a neckband to connect the two earphones together. There are two cinch pieces included with the wireless earphones to adjust the cable to the desired length. Some users prefer a loose cale, others a more tight fit around the back of their head. The inluded ear wing can be attached to the earphones for a secure and firm grip in your ear.

Expensive compared to other models

As an objective experiment, two different wireless headphones were given to a few friends who served as test persons. One model were the Klipsch R5 wireless earphones, the other product a cheaper pair of earphones from a local retail store. To our surprise, most users did not hear a noticeable difference in the audio patterns.

You can find wireless earphones that perform almost the same for a lower price, but the wireless connection remains a strong point of the Klipsch R5 wireless earphones. Some test persons experienced a static noise and stutter when using the cheaper wireless earphones. These distorting elements in the audio were absent in the tests with the Klipsch R5 wireless earphones. The later delivered a much better experience.

Disadvantages of a small in-ear design

Earphones do not always give a correct reproduction of audio due to their smaller and more limited design. This is also the largest disadvantage of the Klipsch R5 wireless earphones and other comparable in-ear earphones. Due to the small size, there is not enough room to create a realistic sound representation and fit larger components.

The highs, mids and lows are present, but due to the limited dynamic range there is a loss in audio details. In music, the loss of details results in less clear instruments or vocal details and clarity. Seen the retail price for the premium Klipsch R5 wireless earphones, you expect an even better audio performance and more details.

Conclusion

In short, the Klipsch R5 wireless headphones sound clear and decent but there is little to set them apart from competitors. The included accessories and tips allow you to further customise the earphones to your own personal preferences. This is an added value compared to other brands, but does not make up for the premium price.

Product information


Klipsch R5 Wireless earphones

Klipsch R5 wireless headphones
Decent earphones with clear sound covering the high, mid and low frequencies with a minimal loss of details, but there are no features to set them apart from other competitors.

Retail price: 119.99 euros

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Sharkoon QuickPort XT HC Pro docking station adds removable storage to any system | Review

It has happened to almost all users at one point, your desktop or laptop breaks down. If you are able to remove the internal storage from the device to insert into an external docking station, you may be able to transfer the data. The Sharkoon QuickPort XT HC Pro is a user-friendly choice to read both solid state drives and hard disk drives.

The Sharkoon QuickPort XT HC Pro is a convenient docking station to connect your non-integrated hard drive or solid state drives to your system. The docking station holds one 2.5″ or 3.5″ hard disk drive slot to add removable storage to any system. The device makes it possible to copy data from hard disk drives without the requirement to build them into a desktop.

This is the easiest way to temporarily connect a hard drive to your desktop or laptop. The Sharkoon QuickPort XT HC Pro docking station is plug-and-play and user-friendly. If no hard drive is inserted in the top of the docking station, a cover protects the inner workings from dust. However, it does not cover the entire area so dust can still get inside the device.

Not all drives are supported

The docking station supports hard disk drives and solid state drives with a maximum capacity of 8 TB. This is more than enough storage space for most users, but it does not support the drives with larger volumes. If you want to add larger drives, it is best to look at an external hard disk enclosure or a network attached storage solution.

It also ensures fast transfers of all your files. The maximum data transfer rate is 5 Gbit/s. The Sharkoon QuickPort XT HC Pro docking station also works on USB 2.0 devices. Older systems can use the device, even if transfering data requeres more time.

Real-life tests and transfer speeds

In the tests performed with the Sharkoon QuickPort XT HC Pro docking station, it became clear:y you do not reach the advertised transfer speeds in all circumstances. The transfer speed depends on the type of drive and the size of the files you want to transfer.

The drives often transfer data faster while connected inside the computer, but in some cases the difference is hard to notice. The status light on the front of the docking station allows you to see the read and write activities on the hard disk drives or solid state drives.

Connect other devices

The Sharkoon QuickPort XT HC Pro docking station is also equipped with an integrated USB 3.0 front hub with two different USB-A 3.0 ports and an SD card reader. These additional features make the docking station more convenient for different types of users.

Even consumers who do not often connect a hard drive will benefit from this device. The option to connect hard disks to the external docking station may be useful for these users at some point, you never know when a computer fails to boot and you need to recover the data.

Sleep mode and power saving

The Sharkoon QuickPort XT HC Pro switches itself off after 30 minutes if the docing station is not in use. This sleep mode prevents the docking station from consuming power. The on/off switch allows you to turn off the docking station. You do not have to unplug the power adapter.

The included USB-A cable to connect the Sharkoon QuickPort XT HC Pro docking station to a desktop or laptop is on the short side with a length of one meter. For some users this length is too short to reach their computer when the docking station is placed on their desk.

Product information


Sharkoon QuickPort XT HC Pro

Sharkoon QuickPort XT HC Pro
A user-friendly external docking station to read and transfer data from both solid state drives and hard disk drives.

Retail price: 29,99 euros

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Disclaimer. This post contains copyrighted images from the Sharkoon QuickPort XT HC Pro, a docking station developed and produced by Sharkoon. The fair use of copyrighted works for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting or research is not considered as an infringement of copyright.