After years on the periphery, Thunderbolt docks are finally becoming a mainstream peripheral. They not only simplify bringing a laptop to your desk by reducing the number of separate things you need to plug in, but provide a means to pump more data from more sources into a laptop than possible otherwise via the limited number of ports on modern, slim laptops, such as a MacBook Pro. More like a drive bay or card slot of yesteryear’s computer towers, docks provide flexibility as we all push our computers further in the post-COVID world. Today, I look at three of the best and what they can offer you.
I’ve been curious about the proliferation of what we might call “generic” wi-fi routers on Amazon from brands other than the big names that are immediately recognizable. Have routers finally reached a point that they are so basic that pretty much anyone can produce a decent one? I decided to take a router from ECPN — a company so generic that it doesn’t even have a live web site — out for a spin.
After hanging onto my trusty (and non-butterfly keyboard equipped) 15” MacBook Pro for five years, when Apple finally ditched the butterfly keyboard and offered perhaps the most impressive Mac upgrade since 2012’s Retina MacBook Pro, I knew it was time to upgrade. Coming from the long forgotten days of 2015 into the present of 2020 means buying totally into USB-C and that meant I was going to face some growing pains with a new system. A good USB-C hub makes the move much easier.
Over the last few decades, we have become accustomed to something rather unfortunate: we buy significant pieces of technology that we then discard as essentially useless after only a short time. I decided to set out to revive a nearly ten-year-old computer and see if this (relatively speaking) prehistoric computer could be brought up to a state of usefulness in the modern era.
With the Kindle Fire’s impending release adding yet another interesting dimension to the tablet market, selecting a tablet to give as a gift this season has become all the more complicated. More than likely, Amazon’s entry will dramatically change the playing field, but other tablets continue to have significant merits that make them worthy of gifting consideration this year. We look at the cream of the crop of those other tablets in light of the new Kindle, below.