Thinner than the thinnest netbook or ultrabook, very solid and made (almost) completely from premium materials and components, the HP Elite x3 Lap Dock is a curious piece of technology. Designed as a laptop form factor to function as a Windows 10 Continuum display, is it a glimpse of the future of mobile computing or an ultra niche accessory? Actually, a little of both. Does it work? Is it finished? Is it over-priced? These are questions that I'll be answering in my multi-part review here on AAWP.
Recent Reviews - Accessories
I seem to have become synonymous with various things, one being smartphone imaging and another being power bank reviews, with the flexible and future-proof Lumsing Glory P2 Plus being the latest and best. Yet the OUTXE (OUTdoor Xtreme Energy, apparently!) Rugged Power Bank offers a totally different USP - it's fully waterproof (to a maximum of IP67) and pitches itself as the ultimate accessory for the outdoor enthusiast, with a seven LED 200 hour floodlight that's perfect for camping or emergencies.
Lumsing is at it again, upping the ante just as I think I've already found my perfect smartphone power bank. The Unique Selling Points of the Glory P2 Plus are notable here - I'd normally consign a charger review to the 'Flow' column but this one needs more comment - this is not your common or garden power bank. Parallel charging through two inputs, adaptive high-spec outputs, sublime flexibility and there's an exclusive 10% offer too (see my PS).
Once every couple of months, I rave about a new power bank as the best thing since sliced bread. However, I justify this by pointing out that technology moves on and power banks have been adapting at each stage. I'm very picky about what I accept for review, and this Lumsing gadget has both microUSB and Type C input, plus USB-A QuickCharge 2.0/3.0 and Type C output, all in a compact and robust metal body with terrific internal capacity. What's not to love?
It's a fair cop, my title was more descriptive than accurate - this little gadget is actually called, on Amazon, the 'EC Technology 5200mAh Portable Charger External Battery Power Bank', a typical SEO-heavy name that's not as interesting as the product itself. You see, this fills a very real need, at least in my household.
The Holy Grail? For a mobile and active person? Whether walking, running or cycling, the ultimate smartphone headphones should be slimline, produce audio quality as good as cushioned over-ear monitors, while sticking in place whatever contorted positions you get into or whatever vigorous motion you've involved in. That's a tall ask, yet I think I've found something that fits the bill.
Buoyed up by the first batch of Terrapin Lumia 950 and 950 XL accessories reviewed, I went further and got in the polar opposite of the leather folio design - yet still with kickstand - I can't do without my media.....(!) Here then are the Terrapin Full Body Shock Resistant Armor cases for the Lumia 950 XL - and they do them for the Lumia 950 as well, so the same applies for that model. Not only do they do what they claim to do, they're unbelievable value at under £7 each.
Although I feel naturally more inclined to the back-replacement Mozo leather accessories for the Lumia 950 and 950 XL, there's also a lot to be said for a wrap around 'folio' case that provides a genuine layer of extra protection, adds storage for one or more cards (and thus aids as a wallet) and, potentially, provides landscape mode support for media consumption. Terrapin are a new name to me in this sphere, and I've been looking at three likely suspects from their extensive range.
I have a dream. A dream where my smartphone is my computer, my work horse. Within 10 seconds and almost zero preparation I want it to deliver me a big screened, QWERTY keyboarded experience. Continuum is one way to go, but we don't yet have the HP Lap Dock, plus that's going to be quite expensive and heavy/bulky, i.e. it won't fit in any pocket. The ZAGG Pocket Keyboard does, it's £60 (or less) and I'm writing this review on it. In my car, while waiting for family, with almost no preparation needed.
Charging your smartphone in the car has always been something of a necessity, especially on long journeys, where the phone may also be a music or podcast player and a sat-nav. And with the new breed of current-hungry USB Type C phones - think Lumia 950 and 950 XL, what's needed is something that's both jack compatible and also capable of supplying enough power. Enter the latest lteration of the Tronsmart car charger - with both 3A Type C output and a generic Quick Charge 3.0 Type A socket.