There is no denying that summer is fast approaching. Although some people embrace that as a season to get tanned, the heat of the summer months gives off something that most people find unbearable.
True enough, there was a study that was conducted about a decade ago that air conditioners have helped prevent heat-related deaths by up to 80% since the 1960s.
If you do not want to deal with the summer heat, get yourself an air-conditioning unit. Today, I am going to be talking about the best portable ACs in 2020.
Things to Consider
Before buying an air-conditioning unit, you must first know a few things so that you can get the best one for you.
For starters, you want an AC that is easy to install. You see, while portable air conditioners can be moved from one place to another, it doesn’t mean that they’re all easy to set up. If you do not want to have the hassle of cumbersome installations, make sure that you get one that is known to be easy to configure.
Aside from that, you’ll also have to look at the BTU of the unit. BTU is just a measure of the AC’s ability to cool down a particular room measured in square feet. The higher the number, the bigger the room it can (theoretically) cool down.
You also have to think about the design. There are air conditioners that use a single-hose or dual-hose technology. The former uses a single hose to exhaust hot air while the latter makes use of two hoses- one for exhaust and one for intake.
Other nice additions would include a remote control, the ability to pair up with your mobile device, and a multi-year warranty (preferably 3 years or more).
Best Portable ACs in 2020
If you want one of the best portable ACs on the market that you can find today that is offered at a relatively low price, the SereneLife SLPAC10 is for you.
It is an air-conditioner that is rated at 10,000 BTU that can effectively cool down a room that is about 450 square feet.
The unit has three operating modes which can help you dictate the machine how much powerful cooling you will need. This is perfect for whenever the heat is quite unbearable in your household.
I also love the fact that this AC has a built-in dehumidifier and an air purifier that can help prevent dust and other allergens from circulating in your home.
It is quite portable and its caster wheels allow you to wheel it in and out of any room in your house without any problems. Although you can technically carry it with you, I wouldn’t recommend it because it is a bit heavy.
Still, if you want a portable AC that is loaded with features that don’t have a steep price tag, the SereneLife SLPAC10 is definitely the one to get.
If you have a relatively small house and you do not want to spend a lot of money on an air conditioner that can do a lot of things for you, this Honeywell AC is a good choice.
It has a 10,000 BTU rating which is the same number as that of the top recommendation but it is a bit more portable thanks to its lighter weight.
Aside from the fact that this unit comes with its own dehumidifier, you can also set it to run at set intervals during the day. That is thanks to its controls that are quite easy to understand.
You can set it to turn on automatically at specific times of the day without any intervention which I believe is a really nice touch.
People will surely love its auto-evaporating system which effectively alleviates the need for manual draining. Therefore, you need not maintain this unit too often than others.
3.Whynter ARC-14S Dual Hose
If you have a large house but you do not want to spend $1,000 on a competitive air-conditioning unit, then the Whynter ARC-14S is one that I can recommend.
It has a pretty good BTU rating of 14,000 which means that it can effectively cool down a house that is between 600-750 square feet big.
This portable AC has a dual hose design which, as I’ve mentioned earlier, uses two hoses that act as an intake and an exhaust. It also has a dehumidifier that can theoretically drain as much as 101 pints of water (moisture) per day, though that is probably just a threshold. Still, a lot of people actually love its built-in dehumidifier, so that tells you that it is doing its job really well.
Aside from that, it has an air filter with activated carbon that ensures that your home will have fresh air circulating all throughout.
My only gripe about this unit is that because it uses a dual-hose design, you should position it near a window so you can route the hose for the exhaust outside.
Other than that, this is a pretty competitive portable AC that I can wholeheartedly recommend if you have a large house.
If you intend to cool down a medium-sized room, I can recommend the LG LP1017WSR. It has a 10,000 BTU rating which means that it can effectively cool down a room that is up to 450 square feet.
Its aesthetics are plain and simple but that is okay because it is pleasing to the eyes. But, despite its modest look, it does have some pretty nifty features baked into the machine.
Aside from the fact that you can have this air-conditioner turned on at specific times of the day, it also has an auto-swing ventilation system that helps eliminate hot spots in the room that you put the AC in.
In addition, it also has an auto-evaporating mechanism that eliminates the need to drain its water receptacle from time to time- giving you peace and convenience.
Although it has a dehumidifier, it is not as good as the other ACs on this list. Still, for $429, the LG LP1017WSR is a pretty good contender.
5.hOmeLabs 14,000 Portable AC
Even though you are going to get a portable air conditioner, it doesn’t mean that some of them aren’t noisy. In fact, there are some really serious offenders when it comes to the noise department, so if you value silence more than anything, the next recommendation will suit you perfectly.
The hOmeLabs 14,000 portable AC, as you can tell by the product’s name, is a portable AC that has a 14,000 BTU rating. That means that it can cool down even the largest of rooms and it has a simple and easy installation process.
Its strongest feature (aside from its cooling capability) is its silent operation. You would expect that this powerful air-conditioner is loud when it operates, but that is not the case here. In fact, at only 45dB when fully maxed out, this is one of the most silent portable ACs on the market.
Other nifty features include a remote control, washable filter that ensures only clean air is circulating in your house, and a competitive dehumidifier that can remove up to 100 pints of water in your house in a day.
If you need a portable AC that can cool down a relatively large room, the Haier HPC12XCR is another great choice.
Its 12,000 BTU rating ensures that even the larger rooms get their fill of cool air. I love the fact that its cooling capability remains consistent across the board thanks to this unit’s ability to remove moisture from the air while it is cooling the room down.
This model uses a dual-hose technology, so although it is quite portable thanks to its caster wheels, this unit is not something that you can easily move from one room to the next.
Despite the fact that it uses two hoses for its operation, it is still quite easy to install. You just have to be wary about the placement of the hoses.
Another strongest feature of this portable AC is that it is one of the most energy-efficient units on the market. So, if you worry that your electric bill is going to shoot up, this air-conditioner is for you.
This next portable air conditioner is a unique one because aside from its capability of cooling down a room up to 600 square feet, it can also help provide heat in the winter as well.
The Frigidaire FFPH1222U1 has a 12,000 BTU rating but what is interesting is that you are also given the option to use the unit as a heat source in the cold winter months.
It has an automatic temperature readout in that it can automatically adjust itself to cool down a room if the ambient temperature goes beyond a certain threshold.
Aside from that, this air-conditioner also has an automatic swing functionality that you can enable or disable if you wish. This feature will automatically help circulate cool air more effectively than having it stationary.
Because this unit has an all-black color scheme, it may or may not suit your preference. However, from a pure cooling perspective, as well as its unique ability to act as a heater, I can still vouch for this particular air-conditioning unit.
Whynter is a reputable company when it comes to portable air conditioners and this next recommendation certainly deserves some praise.
The Whynter ARC-122DHP is one of the most powerful ACs on the market. It has a dual-hose design that can effectively cool down a room much faster than others.
What’s interesting is that like the previous recommendation above, the ARC-122DHP can also act as a heater as well. This multi-purpose AC is worth buying just for its flexibility, but it also comes with some nifty features as well.
It also has an auto-evaporation system which means that you no longer have to worry about manually draining water that was condensed due to its operation. This particular feature automatically shuts down the unit’s compressor, allowing it to dissipate any water from its reservoir.
Of course, it should go without saying that it also has a washable carbon filter that makes sure that the air that is circulating inside your house is clean and fresh.
The only thing that you have to be wary about this unit is that it is the least portable among the ACs on this list. But, if you are not going to move this air-conditioner a lot, then this is worthy of your purchase.
9.Blaux Portable AC
Now, all of the portable air-conditioners on this list are technically mobile in that you can put them in any room in your house, but not all of them are that portable.
You see, even if you have the ability to place them anywhere you want, you actually have to set things up first before you can use them. That is why some people that buy portable ACs rarely bother moving the unit elsewhere in their homes because of this.
If you want a truly portable air-conditioner- one that you can bring with you anywhere inside your home or office- then look no further than the Blaux Portable AC.
This unit is relatively small and has a cubed design that allows you to place the unit anywhere you like.
Instead of using hoses, this particular air-conditioner makes use of the power of water. You just fill it with some water in its reservoir and then turn on the unit and that’s it.
It is truly portable because instead of having to plug this device into an electrical outlet, it makes use of rechargeable batteries instead. And, charging this unit doesn’t require a lot of hours- just two hours at maximum is needed.
Although it is certainly not as powerful as some of the ACs on this list, it is good enough that it can cool down a small to medium-sized room.
Google Nest Audio vs Amazon Echo- The Battle of the New ‘Smart’ Speakers
Smart home speakers are not as popular as mobile phones, but in my opinion, it actually should be.
You see, companies are slowly rolling out smart home devices so that your life will be so much easier given the convenience of having them.
That being said, I am going to be talking about the Google Nest Audio and Amazon Echo speakers because they are the ones that are at the forefront when it comes to smart home speakers. Which of these should you choose? Read on to find out!
For those of you who do not know, Google Nest Audio is actually the Google Home speakers that were released just about a year ago. It seems that Google wanted to use a new moniker to denote that this particular thing can ‘nest’ your other smart home devices.
The Amazon Echo, on the other hand, refers to the medium-sized Bluetooth speaker that the largest online retailer sells. The company is set to release a new version of this device soon, so it would be interesting to see how well it performs.
Even though the new version of the Amazon Echo hasn’t arrived at our doorstep yet for an official review, this is not to say that we can somehow speculate what it can offer, especially considering that the company has provided us with some really good information about it.
With all of those out of the way, let’s talk more about the design first. The Google Nest Audio takes on a more cylindrical approach in that the speaker itself has a higher height than the Amazon Echo.
For that reason, you are getting a 75mm woofer and a single 19mm tweeter. Google touts the Google Nest Audio as a better sound solution compared to its original Google Home Speaker because of the changes.
On the other hand, the Amazon Echo, in my opinion, has better sound quality. That is thanks to its two 20mm tweeters and a huge 76.2mm woofer. Its design is more spherical but I am pleased (and surprised) that Amazon was able to include two tweeters on its Bluetooth speaker implementation.
At the base of the Amazon Echo is a blue light ring that changes the way it emits light depending on the current usage.
Both of these Bluetooth speakers are offered in various colors so you have different options to choose from.
If you look at the design of both speakers, you could make a case that the Amazon Echo wins this round when it comes to pure sound quality. Its two tweeters compared to the single tweeter on the Google Nest Audio, provides it with a much better chance of delivering mid-high sound frequencies.
This is not to discount the fact that Google has some tricks up its sleeves because its AI technology is smart enough to adjust the sound quality on the fly when needed.
Both of the speakers have an adaptive sound feature wherein if it detects that the ambient noise is loud enough, it increases the volume of whatever content you are consuming at that moment to compensate. This is using both of the speakers’ microphones. The volume should normalize to the last known level after it detects that the ambient sound has quieted down.
Of course, this is only my opinion after looking at the spec sheet because I will have to get my hands on these things before I can give my honest opinion. But, my initial assessment would be that the Amazon Echo delivers better sound compared to the Google Nest Audio.
To be able to provide you with ‘smart’ features, both the Google Nest Audio and Amazon Echo are equipped with processors that can handle just that.
The Google Nest Audio comes with the company’s TeraOPS A53 processor which is a quad-core chip that boasts of better performance compared to the company’s previous Bluetooth speakers.
On the other hand, Amazon’s own speaker is equipped with the AZ1 Neural Edge processor that, according to the company, should be more responsive to voice commands compared to previous versions.
It is hard to say who wins this round. You see, Amazon has Zigbee hub integration which means that your connected smart home devices have better compatibility with the said speaker because of this.
However, we all know that Google’s AI technology is so advanced (and even more accurate) than Alexa, so it could potentially provide you with better features overall compared to Amazon’s Bluetooth speaker.
Of course, I cannot truly say which one wins this round until I get to review these wireless audio solutions. In that case, stay tuned for more.
The Google Nest Audio will be available on October 5, while the Amazon Echo will not be released until later this month (October 22). That being said, both of these speakers will retail for $99.99, so stay tuned for our official product reviews to help you know which one you should ultimately choose for yourself.
Best Tech Deals in October 2020
Technology is always going to be there to help improve our lives. We at Startechnews will provide you with some of the best tech deals every month and today, I am going to be talking about some of the products that have received good price cuts.
Although Black Friday happens in the same month, most of these deals will not be a part of that special day.
Anyway, here are some of the best tech deals in October:
Best Tech Deals in October
1.Apple iPhone XR
Price: $550 (was $599) @BestBuy
If you are fond of using any devices under the iOS ecosystem, then I highly recommend that you get your hands on this Apple iPhone XR deal.
Yes, I know that this device is dated at this point but its specs, as well as its overall performance, are still really good in this day and age.
What I love about iPhones, in general, is that their Bionic chips outmatch the performance of any flagship Android device released in the same year, so you can rest assured that the XR can still be good for at least 2-3 years from now.
That being said, if you are okay with this, you can get head on over to Best Buy to get yours.
Lastly, if you have an old iPhone, you can also surrender that and get even more discounts as well!
2.Amazon Echo Dot
Price: $39.99 (was $49.99) @Amazon
The Amazon Echo Studio is always going to be the best in terms of Amazon’s line of Bluetooth speakers, but there are people who are okay with the convenience and the form factor of the company’s Echo Dot line.
The Amazon Echo Dot is currently sold for just $39.99 and although it is just a $10 discount, it is still pretty good nonetheless.
One of the reasons why I highly recommend that you get one for yourself is that you can actually use Alexa to help you do a lot of different things.
If you are following some sports teams, for example, you can ask Alexa to search for scores and any news about the teams that you are truly passionate about.
The device’s always-on microphone is there to take your voice commands and Alexa will do the rest for you.
Although it is relatively okay as an audio solution, there is more value when it comes to using its ‘smart’ features.
Price: $275 (was $299) @Amazon
The Nintendo Switch is considered to be one of the company’s best gaming consoles yet. The beauty about this particular game console is that you can either play it as-is (handheld) or you can wire it to your TV via HDMI to enjoy your games at a higher fidelity screen.
This deal is for the new version of the Nintendo Switch that aims to fix the joycon drift issue that has plagued the first version of the console and it has a bigger battery life so that you can play untethered for a longer period of time.
You can buy the discounted Nintendo Switch at Amazon.
4.Beats by Dr. Dre Solo Pro
Price: $199.95 (was $299.99) @BestBuy
The Beats by Dre Solo Pro is a really good pair of wireless headphones that have active noise canceling. Although you might not like its on-ear design, this pair of cans is still quite comfortable to use for hours.
You get a lot of different color options to choose from and its ergonomic design allows you to use these headphones without any issues.
The Beats by Dr. Dre Solo Pro currently retails at a discounted price of $199.95 down from $299.99. If you are a fan of the brand or just for good Bluetooth headphones, in general, this is a really good choice.
5.Apple Airpods Pro
Price: $219 (was $249) @Amazon
The Apple Airpods Pro needs no introduction. It is one of the best Bluetooth headphones that you can buy not only for your iPhone but also for your other mobile devices as well.
Part of the reason why so many people love this particular product is due to its active noise-canceling feature. Normally, you can only expect great performance if you are using over-ear headphones, but not the Airpods Pro.
Its active noise-cancellation is really good because it shows you a warning that you shouldn’t enable the feature when you are walking on a busy street. It is really that effective.
It has consistently been compared to other Bluetooth audio solutions on the market, but nothing compares to it unless, of course, if you are talking about high-end over-ear solutions.
If you are interested in getting your hands in an Apple Airpods Pro, you can head over to Amazon to purchase this thing for only $219.
Price: $229 (was $329)
If you want to get your hands on an Android TV that is really good and it doesn’t break the bank, then I suggest that you look at the TCL 43S425.
This is a 43-inch 4K TV that has the famous Roku operating system built-in. That means that you can enjoy a ton of different features, movies, and TV shows without ever having to download any application to do those things.
Although TCL is a relatively new brand in the US, you can rest assured that the build quality and the materials that are used in the making of these television sets are of high-quality.
7.Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2
Price: $229 (was $279) @Amazon
We considered the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 as one of the best smartwatches for Android and even though it is a year and a half old at this point, it is still pretty good regardless.
You are looking at a smartwatch with great build quality and you can use this no matter what activities you are going to do.
Its battery life is okay, though not that great. The good thing is that you can top this device up quickly and easily using its included charger.
If you want a smartwatch that allows you to track your physical activity really well, get this product as soon as possible.
8.Bose QC 35 II Wireless
Price: $239 (was $349)
Consistently regarded as one of the best Bluetooth headphones for quite some time now, the Bose QC 35 II Wireless is great both in terms of comfort and sound quality.
Although its overall performance does not rival that of the company’s higher-end models, this is not to downplay whatever this thing is offering because it still provides you with some really amazing features- one of which is its award-winning active noise-canceling capability.
You should get the Bose 35 II Wireless right now because you can have the chance to get a limited edition Rose-Gold color if you order this month.
Apple iPad 8th Generation Review- An Iterative Upgrade
When it comes to ease of use and convenience, people like getting Apple’s products because of its more streamlined approach to everything. Sure, there is a lot to tinker on Android but that is also precisely the reason why the user experience, at least for the layman, is not as great.
There is this saying that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Well, although I would have liked to say that here, I just don’t think that that approach applies here.
You see, the design of the 8th generation iPad is identical to its predecessor. As in everything about its aesthetics are similar which means that if you want to imagine what the new iPad looks like, all you have to do is look at the 7th gen variant.
Like all things, it can be a good thing or a bad thing. It is a good thing because that familiar design should feel right at home, especially for people that already own an iPad. It is bad because, in this day and age, more and more mobile devices have slimmer bezels and the new iPad still has those atrociously huge ones.
Don’t get me wrong, there are practical uses to having large bezels as it allows you to hold the tablet better when using it in landscape mode, but if you are watching online content, you can’t help but be bothered by the huge sides.
There are two versions of the 8th generation iPad and that is one with WiFi only and the other one having LTE. Its dimensions are 9.8 x 6.8 x 0.29. The only difference between the WiFi and the LTE versions is that the latter is a bit heavier at 495 grams compared to the 490 grams of the former.
Thankfully, Apple didn’t remove the headphone jack but if you are going to utilize its built-in speakers, you are better off using a good Bluetooth speaker instead.
The 8th generation iPad has a 10.2-inch Retina Display with a resolution of 2160 x 1620 and 264 pixels per inch or PPI. It has a good peak brightness at 500 nits, though you can still experience some problems when you are outside and the sun is shining brightly.
You can utilize the Apple Pencil on this device and it is also quite accurate as well (just keep in mind that it is sold separately).
What I love about iPads, in general, is that their displays provide you with crisp and clear details. Whether you are working on your documents or perhaps watching your favorite movies and TV shows, they do not disappoint.
Specs and Performance
- CPU: A12 Bionic
- GPU: Apple GPU (4-core graphics)
- RAM: 3GB
- Storage: 32GB/128GB
- Display: 10.2-inch Retina IPS LCD Display, 2160 x 1620, 4:3 aspect ratio, 500 nits brightness, 264 PPI
- OS: iPadOS 14
- Cameras: 8-megapixel (back), 1.2-megapixel (front)
- Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 AC, Bluetooth 4.2
- Battery: 32.4 Wh
So, if the 8th generation iPad has an identical design to its predecessor, what has changed here? Well, I am glad you asked. The only notable difference here is that the new model comes with the A12 Bionic chip and that’s pretty much it.
While you could be unhappy with the change, the new CPU actually beats its predecessor by a lot. By using Geekbench 5, single-core scores are about 60% higher than the 7th gen iPad and about 100% better in multi-core tasks than the previous model.
Granted that the said benchmark is relatively old, you couldn’t argue that the new processor is indeed way better than its predecessor.
Even when you are just using the tablet the way it should be used, you can really tell the difference. This is more evident if you are going to play some games.
Now, do not worry about the 3GB of RAM because the iOS ecosystem is quite streamlined and efficient that you normally wouldn’t need more than that.
It should also go without saying that the included cameras are just there for show and they do not really do anything special, so I don’t think that covering them is warranted here.
Sure, the new 8th generation iPad doesn’t bring a lot to the table, but its new processor is leaps and bounds better than its predecessor. Does that justify buying the new one? Probably not, especially if you already own the 7th generation model.
However, if you own an older iPad and you want better performance across the board, then you could probably spend your money to get one.
My gripe here is that there are only two storage options to choose from. You can get the 32GB variant for only $329 but in this day and age, 32GB is not a lot of storage space.
If you want more storage, you will need to spend an additional $100 premium just to get the 128GB model. In fact, I would go on to say that you should be buying this particular model compared to the 32GB variant. I just don’t like that the company is gouging you another $100 ($429 in total) just to get one.
The 8th generation iPad is disappointing in a lot of ways and its only redeeming quality is its new processor. It would have been nice if there is a redesign or that the lightning cable is changed to USB-C, but there is just not a lot of things to talk about here.
Therefore, I should say that the 8th generation iPad is just an iterative upgrade. Whether you want to buy it or not is entirely up to you.
Google Nest Audio vs Amazon Echo- The Battle of the New ‘Smart’ Speakers
Best Tech Deals in October 2020
Best Laptop Deals in October 2020
Amazon Luna- Everything You Need to Know About Amazon’s Cloud Gaming Service
Apple iPad 8th Generation Review- An Iterative Upgrade
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