Was Devindra Hardawar wrong about something? Our fellow editor explains why he purchased a standalone Ultra HD Blu-ray player in 2020, after declaring the format “already lost” to streaming four years ago. Apparently the Xbox One X’s built-in player and streaming options just can’t beat the standalone’s ease of use or Dolby Vision HDR picture quality from a disc.
Plus, the $250 Sony UBP-X800M2 can play his SACD and DVD-Audio discs. Guess some people just can’t stay away from “dead” disc formats.
Apple brings its new Magic Keyboard to the 13-inch MacBook Pro
The butterfly keyboard is dead, but the touch bar remains.
Five years after Apple introduced the “butterfly” keyboard that had so many issues, the company has excised it from the lineup. The 13-inch MacBook Pro was the last device to get refreshed with the Magic Keyboard that our reviewers prefer, along with available 10th-gen Intel CPUs for more power and a physical escape key. The new laptops are available to order now, starting at $1,399 (for a 10th-gen CPU with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, the price starts at $1,799).
Microsoft shifts the focus on Windows 10X to single-screen devices
According to Microsoft’s chief product officer Panos Panay, “single-screen devices will be the first expression of Windows 10X that we deliver to our customers, and we will continue to look for the right moment, in conjunction with our OEM partners, to bring dual-screen devices to market.”
Reading between the lines, it appears that dual-screen machines, like Microsoft’s Surface Neo, the Dell Duet concept or a future Yoga Book, will take a bit longer to ship than anticipated. In the meantime, Windows 10X will deliver its more efficient version of computing to traditional single-screen laptop hardware.
How to buy a smart display in 2020
Amazon vs. Google
Smart displays are the second-wave devices born out of the success of the Amazon Echo, Google Home and others. Companies recently decided to make new smart speakers with touchscreens of all sizes, adding visual and tactile components to what were once devices you could only bark orders to. While this may seem counterintuitive, there are a number of reasons to choose a smart screen instead of a smart speaker — glanceable information and video streaming are just a couple of them.
Amazon and Google dominate the space, but your decision of which smart speaker to buy isn’t as simple as choosing between the two tech giants. Check out our guide to buying a smart display and our list of the best smart displays you can get today.
Updated Theraguns run quieter and have a companion app
The Theragun mini might be the most interesting one.
You can’t browse social media without coming across massage guns from the likes of Theragun. Using a jackhammer motion to soothe aching muscles, they’re apparently an expensive hit. The company, now known as Therabody, has revealed its fourth-generation series, including a new petite (and cheaper) model, the mini, which comes in at under $200. The top-end models come with exchangeable batteries, wireless charging (why?!) and swap-out massage accessories, including a thumb. They’re available to order now.