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Review: Dyson Pure Cool Tower

Thomas McBride

For those of you the Northern Hemisphere, summer is right around the corner. With that, barbecue is on the way, maybe some pool or beach days, but most importantly: warm weather. One way to beat the heat, is the latest and greatest Dyson Pure Cool. If you are familiar with Dyson, you’ll recognize the Pure Cool immediately for it’s eye-catching design, plethora of easy to use tech features (including connected smart home tech), and stunning capability.

First of all, the Dyson Pure Cool follows in Dyson’s storied history of great design. While the engineered, industrial design with a nice balance between hard edges and rounded corners may not fit in an 1800’s museum, chances are it won’t look out of place in your living room or den. The Pure Cool comes in 3 colorways, White/Silver, Iron/Blue, and Black/Silver. The latter is a Dyson.com exclusive, and also my favorite. I love how the Pure Cool takes up relatively small floor space, yet has a presence that is undeniable and looks like it belongs in the MoMA. Continue Reading

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Review: Logitech Harmony Elite

Manoj Ramesh Shastri

You may know the feeling. The living room table or couch is full of remote controls of various devices, and you always happen to pick up the wrong one. For years, Logitech’s Harmony remote controls have been a solution to this problem and have deservedly dominated the market. With everything trending towards smart homes, however, completely new devices came into play that didn’t exist years ago. The Logitech Harmony Elite is said to have responded to the emergence of the new technology​.​Smart remotes are the next way to simplify your smart home life, but how do you know what the best smart remote control is for your needs? One solid option is the ​Logitech Harmony Elite Remote Control​. It connects upto 15 devices at once with a variety of customizable settings to match your individual needs, and doing so is a breeze​.​If you have your device names and model numbers, the set-up is a breeze, and once it connects to the Wi-Fi, the Harmony will even find some of the devices for you.Connecting to Bluetooth devices (such as gaming systems) require additional steps that can all be done through the remote. After communicating to the app on which device you’re using and syncing with the remote, the screen will lay out instructions for proper pairing.

Once you have all of your devices connected, you can customize it all to your individual needs. Even after the initial set-up, it’s easy to go back and make adjustments, either from the remote or from your smartphone. You can make custom favorite buttons on the touch screen so even odd or unusual equipment is accessible to you, no matter what your home set-up may be. If you’re worried that it may be too complicated to set-up, never fear—the app will guide you through the whole selection process, and give you command suggestions. After that, it’s as simple as touching the button you want, with no need to point at the device you want to control. But everything isn’t joyus here, ​The app is slow, confusing and not particularly pleasant to use. Of course, it can do its job, especially when it comes to configuring the remote. But in 2018, the fact that every setting requires seconds of waiting is very inconvenient. And no, it’s not synchronized with the Harmony remote control. This is something Logitech can fix with software updates. Continue Reading

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Review: Amazon Echo

Manoj Ramesh Shastri

Back in 2014, Amazon shocked the world with the first Echo smart hub. Five years on, you can find its Alexa smart assistant powering smart hubs in homes around the world. But, despite its ubiquity, the Amazon Echo isn’t the best smart hub (or smart speaker, for that matter) on sale. Its easily-confused AI and middling sound quality mean that there are better options out there. The original Echo was a device that genuinely changed the tech market. Sure, we were all familiar with Siri on iPhones, but the idea of having a voice controlled speaker was new. Since 2014, Amazon has introduced more Echo variations than you can shake a stick at. All of Amazon’s Echo devices are powered by Alexa, the company’s smart assistant. It’ll play music, control your smart home devices, perform internet searches, check the weather, and let you buy products from Amazon, as well as plenty more​ ​bespoke skills​. Continue Reading

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