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8 Best Portable Aircons in 2020- Keep Your Home Cool and Chill

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Whynter Dual-Hose Portable Air Conditioner

Summer is fast approaching and I know what you’re thinking- you do not want to feel the summer heat. If that is the case, investing in the best portable aircon in 2020 is the best way to go.

There are so many of them out there. While window air conditioners are pretty powerful, the problem is that they are pretty much stationary. People surely do not have the money to go with a centralized AC because that is just way too expensive.

Fortunately, there are portable ones that you can bring with you wherever you need it. So today, I am going to talk about only the best out there.

Why Go for a Portable AC?

A lot of people ask me why they need to go for a portable AC as opposed to a window type air conditioner and there are actually plenty of reasons.

First is that a portable AC can be placed anywhere. If you want to focus on a particular room, you can place it there without any problems.

With window ACs, they are much bulkier and they do not look nice when seen from the outside. Furthermore, while they are indeed powerful, they are only situated in one place and cannot be moved much like a portable AC.

Best Portable Aircons

1.Whynter Dual-Hose Portable Air Conditioner

Price: $515

Whynter Dual-Hose Portable Air Conditioner

This is what I would consider to be the best portable AC overall. The Whynter AC has a dual-hose design and without getting overly technical, it just means that the unit can keep the room cooler than the others in the market.

If your place is quite humid because of the weather, this AC also comes with a dehumidifier that can remove as much as 101 pints of moisture in a 24-hour span.

Its 14,000 BTU ensures that it can cool an effective area of 700 square feet and it also comes with a fan if you do not need the full cooling potential of the AC.

If there is one thing that you may not like about this product, it is its weight. At 80 pounds, moving this AC from one room to another will prove to be challenging. But, if you want one of the best out there, this Whynter portable AC takes the cake.

2.LG LP1419IVSM 14,000 BTU Smart Portable Air Conditioner

Price: $679

LG LP1419IVSM 14,000 BTU Smart Portable Air Conditioner

The LG LP1419IVSM comes in a close second mainly because its cooling capabilities are just a little bit inferior to the previous recommendation (but only by 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit, mind you).

What I really love about this AC is that you can use your Android Smartphone to control its parameters thanks to its ‘smart’ capabilities. All you have to do is download the LG ThinQ app from the Google Play Store, tether your phone to the AC, and away you go!

You can control a lot of things- such as setting a preset schedule for the AC to run at regular intervals, how cold the AC should be, among many other things.

This portable AC makes use of a dual-inverter compressor technology which just means that it is much more energy-efficient than non-inverter types. As to how efficient it is, the company claims it can help you save as much as 40% energy compared to others which can help minimize your electricity bill.

The AC is also not loud as well. At only 56 decibels using the highest setting, you and your family members can sleep soundly at night without the air-conditioner chugging in the background.

Even though this unit comes with caster wheels and handles, bear in mind that it is still cumbersome to place this from one place to another. It is easier than the Whynter portable AC above, but not as much in this regard.

3.Black+Decker BPACT08WT 8000 BTU

Price: $330

Black+Decker BPACT08WT 8000 BTU

We usually equate size to performance which means that the bigger the product, the more powerful it would be. But, good things also come in small(er) packages.

Black and Decker’s products have always been one of the best in this field and the BPACT08WT is definitely one of them.

One of its standout features is that it actually has a vertical ventilation system as opposed to the horizontal ones found on the market.

That feature basically means that it can cover the room with cool air much quicker than others in its class and it truly shows in testing.

It has a relatively lower BTU at only 8,000 but you will be surprised by how efficient this thing is. It comes with remote control and LED digital timer that helps you automatically turn on the AC at select times of the day.

At just 52.9 pounds, it is a bit heavy but it is definitely more manageable than the previous recommendations, so you can easily place this thing wherever you need to.

If I had to nitpick, its fan-mode is not as powerful as others. But other than that, this one is pretty good and what you would consider as a ‘bang-for-the-buck’.

4.Frigidaire Gallery Cool Connect Smart Portable AC

Price: $649

Frigidaire Gallery Cool Connect Smart Portable AC

If you have a relatively large house, you will need a portable AC that has enough power to cool any room in your abode. That is where this portable AC comes in.

This smart portable air conditioner from Frigidaire Gallery is pretty good. It can be connected to your home network to allow you to control the AC using your mobile device. In fact, it is also compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa so you can control the unit just by using voice commands.

One nifty feature of this AC that I wish every other unit out there also has one is its ability to send you an alert that you need to change the filter.

Its 360-design just makes it so that it can help distribute air upward, in turn, cooling the room at a much faster rate. It can cover up to 550 square feet so it is powerful enough to cool whatever room you put this model in.

5.Honeywell HL12CESWB Portable Aircon

Price: $550

Honeywell HL12CESWB Portable Aircon

One of the things that sway people away from getting a portable AC is that some of them are just too loud to deal with. Fortunately, there are some out there that specialize in low-noise operation and the Honeywell HL12CESWB is one of them.

This portable AC is among the quietest on the market. At just 51 decibels on the highest setting and its 6,500 BTU operation just means that it can silently cool a good-sized room without a hitch.

You can also easily place this portable AC anywhere you want because it comes with smooth casters and it is relatively lightweight at only 67.3 pounds as well.

It can be installed easily so even the non-tech-savvy user can quickly put this up without any problems.

While its cooling performance is not up to par with the top recommendation on this list, it is still relatively powerful and its silent operation just makes it more of an appealing option than the others.

6.Whynter ARC-122DS Dual-Hose 12,000 BTU

Price: $460

Whynter ARC-122DS Dual-Hose 12,000 BTU

While it is indeed true that portable ACs can be placed in one room to another (hence, the word ‘portable’ in its moniker), not all of them are created equally.

Sure, you can put them anywhere you need to but some of them are quite bulky and they require some sort of installation first before use. The good thing is that there are others that put ease of use as their main feature.

The Whynter ARC-122DS is one of the best portable ACs out there in terms of mobility. You can place this unit from one room to the next and have it up and running in less than two minutes!

Aside from its amazing portability, it is also one of the quietest out there as its highest setting only achieved 55 decibels of noise. Its 12,000 BTU rating also means that it can cool a relatively large room without too much of a problem as well.

If there is one negative that I can say about this model, it would be its average performance. Your room can still be cooled really well, but when you compare it to others, its cooling capabilities are middling at best.

7.LG LP1417GSR 14,000 BTU

Price: $ 549

LG LP1417GSR 14,000 BTU

The LG  LP1417GSR is a pretty powerful portable AC that you can install in a huge room and you can rely on it to cool the room down. It is rated to cool down a 550-square foot room and it is quite efficient at that.

This is a smart portable AC which means that you can link your Android device on it to control its settings. You can even program the unit to turn on minutes before you enter your home which is a nice addition.

Aside from its cooling capabilities, I really love its auto evaporation system. This just means that maintaining this AC is not as cumbersome as others as you do not have to manually empty the buckets.

The only thing that I should caution you about this product is that it may not be the best for your bedroom mainly because it is also one of the loudest portable ACs on the market.

But hey, if you really want a powerful air conditioner that you can install anywhere, the LG LP1417GSR  definitely fits that bill.

8.Whynter ARC-12SDH Portable Air Conditioner and Heater

Price: $519

Whynter ARC-12SDH Portable Air Conditioner and Heater

Whynter is a brand that specializes in dual-hose ACs that can cool any room in just a few minutes. But, the ARC-12SDH model not only has a pretty efficient cooling system, but it also has a heater to help you and your family keep warm in the winter as well.

This unit also comes with an effective dehumidifier that can absorb as much as 96 pints of moisture present in the air in a 24-hour period. That is pretty neat considering that summer is approaching and you would need such a feature to help tone the heat down.

The AC is programmable so you can set the unit to turn on at specific times of the day and you can forget about it. It is that effective.

Its 12,000 BTU rating also means that it can support up to a 550 square foot room which, in most cases, should support any-sized home.

The design of this product might be unappealing, but with its features and performance, this warrants your money without a doubt.

What to Look for in a Portable Air-Conditioner

When you are shopping for a portable air-conditioner, you might get bombarded with a lot of information that you might not know anything about. Here are some of the terms you need to be acquainted with before buying one:

1.BTU

This is basically just a measure of the effectiveness of a portable AC in terms of its cooler performance based on an area. For instance, a 14,000 BTU AC can cool a 700-square foot room without any problems (though that is just a theoretical figure, at least you get the point). The higher the BTU, the bigger the room it can supposedly cool.

2.Portability/Ease of Use

Another thing to look for is how easy the AC is to set up. While it is indeed ‘portable’ in the sense that you can put this anywhere you need to, you will still need to set things up accordingly.

If you want one that you can just easily place in a room and have it up and running in no time, find one that is known for its ease of installation.

3.Noise

How noisy or quiet the air conditioner is will be up to you, but just remember this: The more powerful its cooling capabilities are, the more likely it would be noisier than others. 

Generally, a 50+ decibel AC is okay for normal room operation, but it may not be enough to cool a relatively large room. So, it is up to you whether you want a more silent AC or one that has the cooling capacity to support whatever sized-room you have in your house.

4.Single or Dual Hose

You might also see a portable AC that uses a single hose and one that uses a dual hose technology. What is the difference?

Well, almost all of the AC units out there make use of a single hose wherein it would suck out all of the air pressure in a particular space while also releasing cool air in the process.

The single hose design is okay, provided that it is not placed in too tight a room because it can prove to be detrimental from an air pressure standpoint. Not only does this particular model have to work hard to cool the room but the overall feeling that you get from its operation might not prove to be uncomfortable for you and your family.

You see, a single hose acts as an exhaust of hot air. As the air conditioner gets warmer because of its normal operation, hot air needs to be exhausted via the hose toward the outside.

If you have any cracks or possible spaces where hot air could get into your house, that would result in negative air pressure that could potentially increase moisture levels inside your home.

If you have the money, it would be better to get a dual-hose design, though it doesn’t come with its own set of compromises.

Because it has two hoses (one that sucks the air from the vicinity of the AC while the other outputs air), it proves to be a more efficient process. However, the biggest problem here is its portability. Let me explain.

While you can still place the AC anywhere in your house, the problem lies in the area where you should put the thing. You see, the other hose has to be facing outside of your house so that it can output the hot air that it sucks from the other hose.

So, it is a bit tricky. Yes, you get a better cooling performance with a dual-hose design but you also sacrifice its portability as well. Again, the choice is up to you.

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Google Nest Audio vs Amazon Echo- The Battle of the New ‘Smart’ Speakers

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Google Nest Audio vs Amazon Echo

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!

Design

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.

Sound Quality

Amazon Echo

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.

Smart Features

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.

Availability

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.

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Best Tech Deals in October 2020

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Amazon Echo Dot

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

Apple iPhone XR

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

Amazon Echo Dot

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.

3.Nintendo Switch

Price: $275 (was $299) @Amazon

Nintendo Switch

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

Beats by Dr. Dre Solo Pro

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

Apple Airpods Pro

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.

6.TCL 43S425

Price: $229 (was $329)

TCL 43S425

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

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 (1)

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)

Bose QC 35 II Wireless

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.

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Apple iPad 8th Generation Review- An Iterative Upgrade

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Apple iPad 8th Generation Review

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.

That being said, the 8th generation iPad was just released after the new iOS 14 update was launched. But, if you already have a 6th or 7th generation iPad, should you upgrade to the new one?

Design

Apple iPad 8th Generation Review 2020

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.

Display

Apple iPad 8th Gen

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.

Apple iPad 8th Gen Review

Verdict

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.

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8 Best Portable Aircons in 2020- Keep Your Home Cool and Chill

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Whynter Dual-Hose Portable Air Conditioner

Summer is fast approaching and I know what you’re thinking- you do not want to feel the summer heat. If that is the case, investing in the best portable aircon in 2020 is the best way to go.

There are so many of them out there. While window air conditioners are pretty powerful, the problem is that they are pretty much stationary. People surely do not have the money to go with a centralized AC because that is just way too expensive.

Fortunately, there are portable ones that you can bring with you wherever you need it. So today, I am going to talk about only the best out there.

Why Go for a Portable AC?

A lot of people ask me why they need to go for a portable AC as opposed to a window type air conditioner and there are actually plenty of reasons.

First is that a portable AC can be placed anywhere. If you want to focus on a particular room, you can place it there without any problems.

With window ACs, they are much bulkier and they do not look nice when seen from the outside. Furthermore, while they are indeed powerful, they are only situated in one place and cannot be moved much like a portable AC.

Best Portable Aircons

1.Whynter Dual-Hose Portable Air Conditioner

Price: $515

Whynter Dual-Hose Portable Air Conditioner

This is what I would consider to be the best portable AC overall. The Whynter AC has a dual-hose design and without getting overly technical, it just means that the unit can keep the room cooler than the others in the market.

If your place is quite humid because of the weather, this AC also comes with a dehumidifier that can remove as much as 101 pints of moisture in a 24-hour span.

Its 14,000 BTU ensures that it can cool an effective area of 700 square feet and it also comes with a fan if you do not need the full cooling potential of the AC.

If there is one thing that you may not like about this product, it is its weight. At 80 pounds, moving this AC from one room to another will prove to be challenging. But, if you want one of the best out there, this Whynter portable AC takes the cake.

2.LG LP1419IVSM 14,000 BTU Smart Portable Air Conditioner

Price: $679

LG LP1419IVSM 14,000 BTU Smart Portable Air Conditioner

The LG LP1419IVSM comes in a close second mainly because its cooling capabilities are just a little bit inferior to the previous recommendation (but only by 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit, mind you).

What I really love about this AC is that you can use your Android Smartphone to control its parameters thanks to its ‘smart’ capabilities. All you have to do is download the LG ThinQ app from the Google Play Store, tether your phone to the AC, and away you go!

You can control a lot of things- such as setting a preset schedule for the AC to run at regular intervals, how cold the AC should be, among many other things.

This portable AC makes use of a dual-inverter compressor technology which just means that it is much more energy-efficient than non-inverter types. As to how efficient it is, the company claims it can help you save as much as 40% energy compared to others which can help minimize your electricity bill.

The AC is also not loud as well. At only 56 decibels using the highest setting, you and your family members can sleep soundly at night without the air-conditioner chugging in the background.

Even though this unit comes with caster wheels and handles, bear in mind that it is still cumbersome to place this from one place to another. It is easier than the Whynter portable AC above, but not as much in this regard.

3.Black+Decker BPACT08WT 8000 BTU

Price: $330

Black+Decker BPACT08WT 8000 BTU

We usually equate size to performance which means that the bigger the product, the more powerful it would be. But, good things also come in small(er) packages.

Black and Decker’s products have always been one of the best in this field and the BPACT08WT is definitely one of them.

One of its standout features is that it actually has a vertical ventilation system as opposed to the horizontal ones found on the market.

That feature basically means that it can cover the room with cool air much quicker than others in its class and it truly shows in testing.

It has a relatively lower BTU at only 8,000 but you will be surprised by how efficient this thing is. It comes with remote control and LED digital timer that helps you automatically turn on the AC at select times of the day.

At just 52.9 pounds, it is a bit heavy but it is definitely more manageable than the previous recommendations, so you can easily place this thing wherever you need to.

If I had to nitpick, its fan-mode is not as powerful as others. But other than that, this one is pretty good and what you would consider as a ‘bang-for-the-buck’.

4.Frigidaire Gallery Cool Connect Smart Portable AC

Price: $649

Frigidaire Gallery Cool Connect Smart Portable AC

If you have a relatively large house, you will need a portable AC that has enough power to cool any room in your abode. That is where this portable AC comes in.

This smart portable air conditioner from Frigidaire Gallery is pretty good. It can be connected to your home network to allow you to control the AC using your mobile device. In fact, it is also compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa so you can control the unit just by using voice commands.

One nifty feature of this AC that I wish every other unit out there also has one is its ability to send you an alert that you need to change the filter.

Its 360-design just makes it so that it can help distribute air upward, in turn, cooling the room at a much faster rate. It can cover up to 550 square feet so it is powerful enough to cool whatever room you put this model in.

5.Honeywell HL12CESWB Portable Aircon

Price: $550

Honeywell HL12CESWB Portable Aircon

One of the things that sway people away from getting a portable AC is that some of them are just too loud to deal with. Fortunately, there are some out there that specialize in low-noise operation and the Honeywell HL12CESWB is one of them.

This portable AC is among the quietest on the market. At just 51 decibels on the highest setting and its 6,500 BTU operation just means that it can silently cool a good-sized room without a hitch.

You can also easily place this portable AC anywhere you want because it comes with smooth casters and it is relatively lightweight at only 67.3 pounds as well.

It can be installed easily so even the non-tech-savvy user can quickly put this up without any problems.

While its cooling performance is not up to par with the top recommendation on this list, it is still relatively powerful and its silent operation just makes it more of an appealing option than the others.

6.Whynter ARC-122DS Dual-Hose 12,000 BTU

Price: $460

Whynter ARC-122DS Dual-Hose 12,000 BTU

While it is indeed true that portable ACs can be placed in one room to another (hence, the word ‘portable’ in its moniker), not all of them are created equally.

Sure, you can put them anywhere you need to but some of them are quite bulky and they require some sort of installation first before use. The good thing is that there are others that put ease of use as their main feature.

The Whynter ARC-122DS is one of the best portable ACs out there in terms of mobility. You can place this unit from one room to the next and have it up and running in less than two minutes!

Aside from its amazing portability, it is also one of the quietest out there as its highest setting only achieved 55 decibels of noise. Its 12,000 BTU rating also means that it can cool a relatively large room without too much of a problem as well.

If there is one negative that I can say about this model, it would be its average performance. Your room can still be cooled really well, but when you compare it to others, its cooling capabilities are middling at best.

7.LG LP1417GSR 14,000 BTU

Price: $ 549

LG LP1417GSR 14,000 BTU

The LG  LP1417GSR is a pretty powerful portable AC that you can install in a huge room and you can rely on it to cool the room down. It is rated to cool down a 550-square foot room and it is quite efficient at that.

This is a smart portable AC which means that you can link your Android device on it to control its settings. You can even program the unit to turn on minutes before you enter your home which is a nice addition.

Aside from its cooling capabilities, I really love its auto evaporation system. This just means that maintaining this AC is not as cumbersome as others as you do not have to manually empty the buckets.

The only thing that I should caution you about this product is that it may not be the best for your bedroom mainly because it is also one of the loudest portable ACs on the market.

But hey, if you really want a powerful air conditioner that you can install anywhere, the LG LP1417GSR  definitely fits that bill.

8.Whynter ARC-12SDH Portable Air Conditioner and Heater

Price: $519

Whynter ARC-12SDH Portable Air Conditioner and Heater

Whynter is a brand that specializes in dual-hose ACs that can cool any room in just a few minutes. But, the ARC-12SDH model not only has a pretty efficient cooling system, but it also has a heater to help you and your family keep warm in the winter as well.

This unit also comes with an effective dehumidifier that can absorb as much as 96 pints of moisture present in the air in a 24-hour period. That is pretty neat considering that summer is approaching and you would need such a feature to help tone the heat down.

The AC is programmable so you can set the unit to turn on at specific times of the day and you can forget about it. It is that effective.

Its 12,000 BTU rating also means that it can support up to a 550 square foot room which, in most cases, should support any-sized home.

The design of this product might be unappealing, but with its features and performance, this warrants your money without a doubt.

What to Look for in a Portable Air-Conditioner

When you are shopping for a portable air-conditioner, you might get bombarded with a lot of information that you might not know anything about. Here are some of the terms you need to be acquainted with before buying one:

1.BTU

This is basically just a measure of the effectiveness of a portable AC in terms of its cooler performance based on an area. For instance, a 14,000 BTU AC can cool a 700-square foot room without any problems (though that is just a theoretical figure, at least you get the point). The higher the BTU, the bigger the room it can supposedly cool.

2.Portability/Ease of Use

Another thing to look for is how easy the AC is to set up. While it is indeed ‘portable’ in the sense that you can put this anywhere you need to, you will still need to set things up accordingly.

If you want one that you can just easily place in a room and have it up and running in no time, find one that is known for its ease of installation.

3.Noise

How noisy or quiet the air conditioner is will be up to you, but just remember this: The more powerful its cooling capabilities are, the more likely it would be noisier than others. 

Generally, a 50+ decibel AC is okay for normal room operation, but it may not be enough to cool a relatively large room. So, it is up to you whether you want a more silent AC or one that has the cooling capacity to support whatever sized-room you have in your house.

4.Single or Dual Hose

You might also see a portable AC that uses a single hose and one that uses a dual hose technology. What is the difference?

Well, almost all of the AC units out there make use of a single hose wherein it would suck out all of the air pressure in a particular space while also releasing cool air in the process.

The single hose design is okay, provided that it is not placed in too tight a room because it can prove to be detrimental from an air pressure standpoint. Not only does this particular model have to work hard to cool the room but the overall feeling that you get from its operation might not prove to be uncomfortable for you and your family.

You see, a single hose acts as an exhaust of hot air. As the air conditioner gets warmer because of its normal operation, hot air needs to be exhausted via the hose toward the outside.

If you have any cracks or possible spaces where hot air could get into your house, that would result in negative air pressure that could potentially increase moisture levels inside your home.

If you have the money, it would be better to get a dual-hose design, though it doesn’t come with its own set of compromises.

Because it has two hoses (one that sucks the air from the vicinity of the AC while the other outputs air), it proves to be a more efficient process. However, the biggest problem here is its portability. Let me explain.

While you can still place the AC anywhere in your house, the problem lies in the area where you should put the thing. You see, the other hose has to be facing outside of your house so that it can output the hot air that it sucks from the other hose.

So, it is a bit tricky. Yes, you get a better cooling performance with a dual-hose design but you also sacrifice its portability as well. Again, the choice is up to you.

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Google Nest Audio vs Amazon Echo- The Battle of the New ‘Smart’ Speakers

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Google Nest Audio vs Amazon Echo

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!

Design

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.

Sound Quality

Amazon Echo

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.

Smart Features

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.

Availability

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.

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Best Tech Deals in October 2020

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Amazon Echo Dot

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

Apple iPhone XR

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

Amazon Echo Dot

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.

3.Nintendo Switch

Price: $275 (was $299) @Amazon

Nintendo Switch

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

Beats by Dr. Dre Solo Pro

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

Apple Airpods Pro

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.

6.TCL 43S425

Price: $229 (was $329)

TCL 43S425

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

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 (1)

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)

Bose QC 35 II Wireless

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.

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Apple iPad 8th Generation Review- An Iterative Upgrade

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Apple iPad 8th Generation Review

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.

That being said, the 8th generation iPad was just released after the new iOS 14 update was launched. But, if you already have a 6th or 7th generation iPad, should you upgrade to the new one?

Design

Apple iPad 8th Generation Review 2020

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.

Display

Apple iPad 8th Gen

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.

Apple iPad 8th Gen Review

Verdict

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.

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