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SNOO Smart Sleeper Review- Does This Bassinet Deserve the Hype?

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SNOO Smart Sleeper Review

One of the hardest things parents must do is to keep their babies calm. There are a lot of factors that can affect a baby’s sleep.

You see, there are some that are natural sleepers while there are others where you have to do certain things in order for them to catch some sleep.

Today, I am going to be talking about an expensive bassinet called the SNOO Smart Sleeper. Does it deserve the hype or is it one of those products that over-promise and under-deliver? Read further to find out.

What is It?

The SNOO Smart Sleeper is a new-age bassinet that aims to provide comfort to your babies. It has great features that are aimed to give your newborn the perfect environment for them to sleep soundly.

A lot of people love this product while there are others that say that you should just save your money and look elsewhere. What is my take on it? Before I will give my verdict, I will talk about the specifics first.

What’s Included?

When you purchase the product, you get a lot of things included in the package. The first will be the bassinet itself.

For those of you who do not know, think of a bassinet as a small crib where you put your 0-6 months old baby. It comes with its own cushion to provide maximum comfort.

Also included in the package are some sleeper sacks with ‘wings’. Basically, there are two connectors that are built into the bassinet so that the swaddle latches onto them, therefore, locking your baby securely in place.

How Does It Work?

SNOO Smart Sleeper Review 2020

What makes the SNOO Smart Sleeper a new-age bassinet is that it uses modern technology to keep your baby calm and provide them with a suitable environment that will (hopefully) help them sleep better.

The small crib has a motor underneath it that ‘rocks’ the bassinet with just the right intensity to simulate movements as if your newborn is still in the womb.

It can connect to your home network and can be controlled using a companion app. You can tinker with the white noise (because this bassinet comes with some speakers), as well as the intensity of the rocking motion.

This product was made in collaboration with Dr. Harvey Karp (author of the ‘Happiest Baby on the Block’) and Yves Bahar, an industrial engineer of the Herman Miller office.

The bassinet has been tested extensively and is perfectly safe for babies to use aged 0-6 months.

Since the crib will rock or vibrate with some intensity, the sleeper sack that will be attached to the bassinet will ensure that your newborn stays in place. This is where I have qualms with the said product.

You see, babies are not the same. There are those that have a calm demeanor and there are those that would prefer much more freedom of movement.

Since your little one is going to be inside the sleeper sack, their movements are relatively restricted which means that if your baby is fidgety, the position they are in might not be the most ideal or comfortable for them.

However, this is not to say that the product doesn’t work. Because it was scientifically tested, the SNOO Smart Sleeper is safe to use but its effectiveness will really depend on your baby.

When looking for customer testimonials, I would say that the vast majority of them are pleased and happy with the product. However, there are also some people that would advise against it. To help you decide, read further about its new-age features.

The SNOO Smart Sleeper App

One of the things that parents really love about the SNOO Smart Sleeper is that it comes with a companion app that can help you control the bassinet’s motor and white noise to help your baby fall asleep without you having to touch the actual crib.

The application can be downloaded using an Android smartphone or an iPhone and it has a pretty simple interface. People are divided about this app, though.

For those that leave some positive feedback, they say that it is quite easy to use in that they can take advantage of the hands-free operation quite nicely. Tinkering with the device’s settings is a breeze because the app provides those options directly on the main menu.

Others that do not like the app are those that experience some usability issues. For instance, the application might lag or hang up completely- prompting you to restart the device and try again.

To be fair, the application has since received a lot of updates and those issues, at least in my testing, have been fixed. I never had any lags or freezes while using it at all.

SNOO Smart Sleeper

Verdict

So, do you need to buy the SNOO Smart Sleeper? Well, I do not have a definitive answer. But let me explain what I love and do not like about the product.

What I love is that it is quite comfortable for the baby. You can really tell that it is intended for babies 0-6 months old because the swaddle, as well as the mini-crib itself, comes with materials that provide peace of mind to both babies and parents alike.

The white noise can be adjusted using the companion app and you can also use the said application to turn the rocking intensity up or down depending on how your baby feels while inside it.

What I do not like is the price and what you can get from its base package. You see, the complete package costs $1,395, and that only includes the bassinet, one sleeper sack (or swaddle), and some padding.

For that price, it would have been nice if you get at least 3 sleeper sacks so that you can wash the ones that have been dirtied while using a fresh one for your baby.

However, it might be appealing to you that the company is offering a rental program where you can use the product for $4/day. If that is something that is okay with you, then I would recommend it.

All in all, do I like the SNOO Smart Sleeper? Yes, but I cannot wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone because of its price and what you can get. Fortunately, you can try the product on your baby by enrolling in their rental program that is found on their website.

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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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SNOO Smart Sleeper Review- Does This Bassinet Deserve the Hype?

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SNOO Smart Sleeper Review

One of the hardest things parents must do is to keep their babies calm. There are a lot of factors that can affect a baby’s sleep.

You see, there are some that are natural sleepers while there are others where you have to do certain things in order for them to catch some sleep.

Today, I am going to be talking about an expensive bassinet called the SNOO Smart Sleeper. Does it deserve the hype or is it one of those products that over-promise and under-deliver? Read further to find out.

What is It?

The SNOO Smart Sleeper is a new-age bassinet that aims to provide comfort to your babies. It has great features that are aimed to give your newborn the perfect environment for them to sleep soundly.

A lot of people love this product while there are others that say that you should just save your money and look elsewhere. What is my take on it? Before I will give my verdict, I will talk about the specifics first.

What’s Included?

When you purchase the product, you get a lot of things included in the package. The first will be the bassinet itself.

For those of you who do not know, think of a bassinet as a small crib where you put your 0-6 months old baby. It comes with its own cushion to provide maximum comfort.

Also included in the package are some sleeper sacks with ‘wings’. Basically, there are two connectors that are built into the bassinet so that the swaddle latches onto them, therefore, locking your baby securely in place.

How Does It Work?

SNOO Smart Sleeper Review 2020

What makes the SNOO Smart Sleeper a new-age bassinet is that it uses modern technology to keep your baby calm and provide them with a suitable environment that will (hopefully) help them sleep better.

The small crib has a motor underneath it that ‘rocks’ the bassinet with just the right intensity to simulate movements as if your newborn is still in the womb.

It can connect to your home network and can be controlled using a companion app. You can tinker with the white noise (because this bassinet comes with some speakers), as well as the intensity of the rocking motion.

This product was made in collaboration with Dr. Harvey Karp (author of the ‘Happiest Baby on the Block’) and Yves Bahar, an industrial engineer of the Herman Miller office.

The bassinet has been tested extensively and is perfectly safe for babies to use aged 0-6 months.

Since the crib will rock or vibrate with some intensity, the sleeper sack that will be attached to the bassinet will ensure that your newborn stays in place. This is where I have qualms with the said product.

You see, babies are not the same. There are those that have a calm demeanor and there are those that would prefer much more freedom of movement.

Since your little one is going to be inside the sleeper sack, their movements are relatively restricted which means that if your baby is fidgety, the position they are in might not be the most ideal or comfortable for them.

However, this is not to say that the product doesn’t work. Because it was scientifically tested, the SNOO Smart Sleeper is safe to use but its effectiveness will really depend on your baby.

When looking for customer testimonials, I would say that the vast majority of them are pleased and happy with the product. However, there are also some people that would advise against it. To help you decide, read further about its new-age features.

The SNOO Smart Sleeper App

One of the things that parents really love about the SNOO Smart Sleeper is that it comes with a companion app that can help you control the bassinet’s motor and white noise to help your baby fall asleep without you having to touch the actual crib.

The application can be downloaded using an Android smartphone or an iPhone and it has a pretty simple interface. People are divided about this app, though.

For those that leave some positive feedback, they say that it is quite easy to use in that they can take advantage of the hands-free operation quite nicely. Tinkering with the device’s settings is a breeze because the app provides those options directly on the main menu.

Others that do not like the app are those that experience some usability issues. For instance, the application might lag or hang up completely- prompting you to restart the device and try again.

To be fair, the application has since received a lot of updates and those issues, at least in my testing, have been fixed. I never had any lags or freezes while using it at all.

SNOO Smart Sleeper

Verdict

So, do you need to buy the SNOO Smart Sleeper? Well, I do not have a definitive answer. But let me explain what I love and do not like about the product.

What I love is that it is quite comfortable for the baby. You can really tell that it is intended for babies 0-6 months old because the swaddle, as well as the mini-crib itself, comes with materials that provide peace of mind to both babies and parents alike.

The white noise can be adjusted using the companion app and you can also use the said application to turn the rocking intensity up or down depending on how your baby feels while inside it.

What I do not like is the price and what you can get from its base package. You see, the complete package costs $1,395, and that only includes the bassinet, one sleeper sack (or swaddle), and some padding.

For that price, it would have been nice if you get at least 3 sleeper sacks so that you can wash the ones that have been dirtied while using a fresh one for your baby.

However, it might be appealing to you that the company is offering a rental program where you can use the product for $4/day. If that is something that is okay with you, then I would recommend it.

All in all, do I like the SNOO Smart Sleeper? Yes, but I cannot wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone because of its price and what you can get. Fortunately, you can try the product on your baby by enrolling in their rental program that is found on their website.

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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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