reviews

Review: Innergie PowerJoy 30C USB-C Wall Charger

tl;dr: The Innergie PowerJoy USB-C charger is a solid power adapter for charging via USB-C and USB-A simultaneously. If you have a high-power-draw device like a MacBook Pro, then the adapter may have a little less utility, but if you use a smaller USB-C device and need to charge both it and a USB-A device, then this is one of the most compact and well-built adapters I've used.

Innergie PowerJoy 30C USB-C wall power adapter

A month ago, I received an email from Innergie asking me if I'd like to review their new USB-C charger they were releasing. I had just returned from a business trip and was slightly regretting only having my MacBook Pro's included USB-C charger, which has one USB-C port. Charging my phone meant plugging my laptop into the AC adapter, then plugging a Lightning cable into my MacBook Pro.

Review: CHOETECH USB-C to DisplayPort cable

tl;dr: The cable is well-built and delivers 4K at 60 Hz without issue. And the DisplayPort end even uses the locking mechanism to ensure it's retained better—but it's also a tiny bit longer of a connector than most others, meaning it's not the best fit if your monitor needs to fit in a tight space!

When I upgraded my 2016 MacBook Pro, I decided to also replace my main external display (a 1080p 27" monitor) with a 4K UHD equivalent. Since I work on my computer all day, I find it's important to have as good a display (sharp, good color, etc.) as possible, to prevent eye strain.

4K displays are interesting beasts—there are so many pixels on these displays that even decent older laptops (like my former 2013 MacBook Air) couldn't drive a 4K display in native resolution, even if I had the proper mini DisplayPort cable.

Review: AUKEY 30,000 mAh USB-C Portable Charger (with USB A, USB C, Micro USB)

Jeff's Rating: 3/5

tl;dr: Slightly pricey, could use a better interface for charge status, and holds 20% less than the advertised capacity, but the still-plentiful amount of stored energy and the ability to charge via USB-C or USB-A makes this a versatile and potent power pack for the price.

Ever since the mid 90s, when I was able to lug around 'power bricks' with my then-amazing PowerBook 190 and 180c (hand-me-downs from relatives), I've been hoping for a reasonably-priced power brick that would double my laptop's battery life, affording me the ability to work all day even when I'm doing a ton of crazy things, like building a ton of VMs and Docker images.

AUKEY 30000 mAh Portable Charger

Review: Satechi USB Type-C inline Power Meter (ST-TCPM)

tl;dr: It's a power meter, not a protection circuit. It works well and is worth the money if you need to monitor power consumption, but it's made of plastic and doesn't feel like it can take a beating, so handle with care.

For some time, I've used a PowerJive USB Power Meter to measure the charging rate of various USB power adapters, and even things like how much power a Rasbperry Pi uses under load.

Review: NOYCE 13' (4m) Lightning cable

tl;dr: If you need a long Lightning cable, this is one of the few reliable options. If you need the fastest charging possible for an iPad, stick to Apple's much shorter cable.

A year or so ago, the owner of NOYCE Labs sent me a sample iPhone-compatible microphone to test, and I really liked it—I still use it for impromptu recordings with my iPhone, in fact!

NOYCE 4m 13ft Lightning Cable with Box

So when I got an email requesting I review NOYCE's latest product, the longest (at least that I know of) Lightning USB cable available on Amazon, I gladly accepted. NOYCE sent me their 13-foot-long (4 meters for the non-Imperial reader) Lightning cable, and I've used it for a couple months now, so I figured it was a good time for a review.

I returned my 2016 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

tl;dr: After two weeks of use, I returned my 2016 13" MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and bought one with Function Keys instead. Read on for detailed Battery stress tests, performance tests, and an exploration of how Apple's botched this year's Pro lineup.

I've owned almost every generation of Mac desktop and laptop computers, and have survived many transitions: 680x0 to PowerPC, Classic Mac OS to OS X, to the PowerPC to Intel switch. I've also owned almost every generation of iPhone and iPad. I even maintain a huge list of all the Macs I've owned! I could justifiably be labeled an 'Apple fanatic'.

I use a Mac as my daily driver, and have rarely made a tech-related purchase I regretted. And I've never returned a Mac, until today.

Review: AUKEY USB-C Hub for New MacBook Pro

I have a 2016 MacBook Pro (without TouchBar), and for this Mac, or for a 12" MacBook, a hub/adapter with power delivery is absolutely essential for desk use, due to the limited number of USB-C/ThunderBolt 3 ports.

Eventually, I'd like to plug one ThunderBolt 3 cable into my MacBook Pro and get 4K video at 60Hz (through either USB-C, DisplayPort, or HDMI 1.2+), USB 3.0 for my existing USB 3 devices, and a power pass-through so I can get the full 61W of charge out of my Apple AC adapter.

AUKEY USB-C Hub - 3x USB 3.0 ports

A Tale of Two Apples: AirPods and the Touch Bar

Yesterday UPS delivered a BTO 2016 MacBook Pro 13" with Touch Bar (to replace my 2013 11" MacBook Air), and a set of AirPods (to replace three different headsets I use daily in my work as a remote employee).

AirPods on 2016 MacBook Pro 13" Touch Bar Safari address bar in Charging Case

The two products tell a different story about the company that makes them:

MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

The MacBook Pro fails to 'thrill' in a way that no other Apple device I've made the conscious decision to purchase has.

Upgrading from a 2013 MacBook Air 11" (portability is king to me, but I needed more performance), the only major external difference is the retina display—something most other 'pro' Mac users have been enjoying since 2012. The Touch Bar itself is mostly useless to me for two reasons:

Review: Epson DS-40 WiFi portable document scanner

Epson DS-40 Portable WiFi Document Scanner

I've always been fascinated by digital scanners; my Dad worked in an industry that allowed him access to some of the newest tech in terms of computing, so I was able to use a full-color (16-bit!) digital scanner hooked up to an early Mac IIci running Photoshop when most people still used computers with 8-bit displays.

3-pass color scanner SCSI with PowerBook 180c
My very-old 3-pass color scanner connected to a PowerBook 180c. It took over a minute per scan—and much longer at 'photo' resolutions.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - reviews