Gadget News – September Edition

Thermo Peanut

Smart home devices come in various shapes and sizes, fulfilling most of the modern homes’ needs or wants. Thermo Peanut is a brand-new device which has a simple goal: to track temperature in various areas of your home.

What’s so special about this temperature tracker? First of all, it’s cheap enough, allowing you to purchase a dozen of devices, and then stick them to walls and devices.


Thermo Peanut uses a Bluetooth connection that has a range of up to 200 feet. You can place a device in the living room, another one near the baby’s bad, another one in the fridge, another one outside, another one in the dog house, and so on.

As you add more Peanuts, a comprehensive heat map is being generated, allowing you to take better energy-related decisions.

Thermo Peanut comes with a capable software application – Sense Peanut – which allows you to track the temperature of all the sensors in a single screen. The app is also able to alert you whenever the temperature in the monitored area goes below or exceeds the set limit.


Apple AirPods

Apple has scared quite a few people when it has announced that the next iPhone generation will not include a headphone jack. I have joined the ranks of the saddened people as well, the minute I realized that my high-quality, expensive headphones will be useless from now on.

The AirPods were supposed to make me feel a little better, I guess. They were also supposed to be much more than a pair of Bluetooth headsets, right?


These headphones have a somewhat innovative design; they look okay, and they will probably sit fine in most people’s ears. But the positive aspects of the AirPods stop here.

First of all, you need to charge them. Quite often! They only last five or six hours, and then you have to recharge them. I’d always go for wired headphones, rather than have another device that needs to be charged each and every day of my life.

The sound quality is okay. An “I’ve never bought a $150 headphone before” okay. Because if you did this before purchasing the AirPods, you will be disappointed by their sound quality. It’s not terrible, but it’s not great either.

This is a gadget from the future that may have been released too early, or even on the wrong planet. I really wanted to love these headphones, but I can’t find too many reasons to do so.


The Lenovo Yoga Book

This Yoga laptop / convertible combines a low power consumption Intel Atom CPU with a keyless keyboard that comes straight from the future. It also includes a stylus and weighs a negligible 1.5 pounds.

And that’s not all! The slate can be used not only for stylus input, but also as a digital note form. I could explain it clearly (maybe not!) but this video will show it all.

As you can see, Yoga Book will be an ideal device for students. Its price will be around the $700 mark for a Windows-based machine. An Android version, which should cost under $600, will also be available.

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Wi-Fi News

EU Implements 5G Networks

The European Union continues to step up its digital initiatives. Recently, the EU officials have come up with another set of policies that will help European citizens browse the Internet at higher speeds and get access to more content.

The EU plans to implement 5G mobile networks in the entire union by 2025. In case that you didn’t know it, 5G speeds are the equivalent of gigabit Internet, which most of us are unable to get even with standard, wired connections.


It looks like Europeans are ahead of us when it comes to Internet-related initiatives and technologies. Their free roaming plan was rejected, but the fight against extra roaming charges continues. Another interesting proposal is to have free Wi-Fi hotspots in all the major EU towns by 2020.

The European Union also wants to erase any borders when it comes to media services. Digital content should be accessible across the entire EU, according to a recent proposal. This means that any European citizen should be able to watch all of Netflix’s programs regardless of the country that he is currently visiting, for example.

Another proposal would have Google pay whenever they show an article snippet in their search results. It’s no surprise that Google wants to keep people on its search results pages as much time as possible, because this increases the possibility of having them click one of the paid ads. As you can guess, Google is not that happy about this decision.


TP-Link AC750 Significantly Boosts Wi-Fi Range

I’m not sure about you, but I’ve never had access to a Wi-Fi network until ten years ago. But these days, Wi-Fi has become a crucial part of our lives.

Technology – including Wi-Fi – fails us from time to time, though. Routers have gotten better and better as new chips have been developed, but this doesn’t mean that they can defy the laws of physics.

If you’ve got a big house and a single router, you’re probably having a hard time trying to get a strong Wi-Fi signal in every room. Sometimes the problem can be solved easily, by replacing your router antenna with a high gain antenna that’s connected to the router using a long U.FL cable.

Of course, you could also add several routers in your home, but fortunately there’s a much easier, less expensive solution: a Wi-Fi repeater.

Wi-Fi repeaters connect to your existing router and rebroadcast the signal in the areas where the signal is weak.


TP-Link’s AC750 Dual Band Wi-Fi Range Extender, which sells for under $30, is a great little device, and its setup is straightforward. First of all, plug the extender close to the router, and then connect it to the router. Then, unplug the extender and plug it closer to the area that needs a stronger Wi-Fi signal.

Tests show Internet speeds improvements that range from 100% to 3000%. Yes, it’s possible to boost your Wi-Fi speed by 30 using a $29.95 device!

If you have dead Wi-Fi zones in your home, this router is definitely an inexpensive problem solver.


New Wi-Fi Assistant Features

Google has recently added a set of useful features to its Wi-Fi assistant a few weeks ago. If you’ve got a Nexus device, the application can now connect to a non-secure public network, and then secure it by making use of a VPN connection. This means that you can browse the web, update your Facebook status, check email, and more, without having to worry about the security of the network that you are connected to.


Sure, this was possible before Wi-Fi assistant as well, but people were supposed to use separate applications to the that. It’s nice to have these features built right into your phone’s software.

The update has already hit Google’s Play Store, but it may take a few more weeks until it is available for all of us.

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