Recent Reviews - Microsoft

Review: NexDock 360

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You'll have seen my unboxing and first impressions of the new NexDock 360 - a lapdock? A portable monitor? A fancy screen-enabled USB hub? Well, just as with the previous NexDocks ('2' and Touch), the NexDock 360 is all of these. Slightly smaller than its predecessor, the '360' adds a twist in being able to fold back from laptop to tent to tablet. Which is pretty cool, even if the bezels and speaker situation mean that you might not do this very often. The highlight for 'All About' fans is, of course, that this can expand your Windows 10 Mobile or Android* smartphone to a desktop experience. Plus it's a flexible HDMI monitor for everything else. Including iPhones and games consoles.

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Review: Microsoft Surface Duo 2

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2017’s Project Andromeda, four years on, has evolved through Surface Phone (unreleased), Surface Duo (2020, poorly received and very poorly selling), to the new Surface Duo 2. It has specs right up with flagships of today, a truly innovative form factor (as per the original concept), and is priced at an absolute premium. But is it for you? I attempt to answer that in my full review below.

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Review: Tegic 4-in-1 Type C/Lightning/USB-A multi-cable

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What a great idea and implementation. One high current braided (non tangle) cable to suit everyone. USB-A or Type C to Lightning or (again Type C) - a few of these in your gadget bag and it really doesn't matter which one you pull out, since you just adjust the ends as needed. Supporting up to 60W power transfer, at under £20 this is a cable that thoroughly tickles my gadget brain!

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Review: Surface Go vs Surface Laptop Go

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Whether a fan of Windows (for AAWP) or Mobile in general (for AAM), one thing you'll have been keeping an eye on from Microsoft is their affordable ultra-mobile PCs, the Surface Go range and Surface Laptop Go. Despite the headline, this isn't as easy as a simple A-B comparison, since each is available in a surprising number of variants - thus, I'll try a compare using broad strokes and concentrate on giving a flavour of what each is good at.

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Review: Moshi Sette Q 'twin 15W' Qi charger

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Wireless charging continues to grow and grow in popularity. Anecdotally I've only plugged a smartphone in to charge about twice in 2021 - everything else has been wireless. And, although we've been used to trickle charge power ratings from Qi in the past, 'fast wireless charging' (15W and higher) is now almost ubiquitous in smartphone flagships. Meaning that many old pads really need replacing in order to get higher wireless charging speeds. Even my beloved 5-coil Choetech pad maxes out at 10W per device, while generic pads from before 2020 will likely top out at 5W or 7.5W. Enter the Moshi Sette Q, promising dual 15W charging, as well as premium materials and bonus USB-A 'daisy chain' power out.

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Review: Yking 2000mAh Qi coil (adding Qi to the IDOL 4 Pro)

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Following on from my feature on adding a Qi charging coil to a generic smartphone that doesn't have Qi built-in - and following on from my earlier Flow story of a 1000mA (1A) coil that utterly failed to work with the Alcatel IDOL 4 Pro - I've bought in the upgraded 2000mA (2A) coil, to see how that changes things. The bad news (AAM) is that compatibility with Android phones is patchy, but the good news (AAWP) is that it reverses its predecessors failings by working with the Alcatel IDOL 4 Pro and adding a whole new feature to this otherwise forgotten faux-flagship on Windows 10 Mobile...

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Review: Gaston Luga Praper laptop backpack

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We get sent quite a wide variety of accessories for review! In this case, an all-purpose accessory for your Surface Pro or similar laptop or hybrid - it's a leather and canvas backpack with dedicated pouch for the important hardware, plus enough space in the main body for all your adapters, cables, chargers, Bluetooth speakers, err... sandwiches, Thermos flask, whatever you need with you at all times on your travels. So yes, a little generic as a review item, but site owner Rafe is a backpack fan too, plus this is a rather nicely done mobile accessory and worth writing up. 

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Review: Type C (including Power Delivery) charger round-up

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Over the years we've seen an uptake in USB Type C. The Lumia 950/XL were in the vanguard, along with the Google Nexus devices of the time. From basic 5V/3A delivery through to multiple voltages in 2020, Type C has both come a long way and also gotten slightly more confusing. Here, providing a brief summary of the technicalities involved, I also want to (start to) review some of the commercially available USB Type C mains adapters. Don't worry, I'll add to this in time.

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Review: Vava 12-in-1 USB Type C Docking Station

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Modern ultra-light laptops and hybrids tend to come with one or (at most) two USB Type C ports - and that's your lot. Meaning that there's a whole market for USB 'hubs' (e.g. the one I reviewed here from Choetech) and 'docking stations', as here. When is an accessory a hub and when is it a docking station? I'm going by size and weight - the Vava docking station here is around a foot long, has 10 ports/jacks, plus a mains 100W power supply that's simply enormous. The implication being that you'd leave this in the office, plugged in to all your desktop 'stuff' and then plug your smartphone/hybrid/notebook in when you arrive.

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Review: Surface Go - part 6: Verdict

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Just scraping into 2018, this is the final review part (for now) of one of the most impressive mobile computing devices I think I've ever used. Not a smartphone, not a laptop, not even a tablet, but something in between that encompasses most of their roles. True, it's too big to be pocketed, and true, it's probably too small to be used as an all-day computer, but embrace the Go lifestyle and you can do more while (literally) on the 'go' than ever before. Microsoft has got (almost) everything right in this new Surface product, with perhaps the only significant caveat being battery life - you'll probably need to take a USB power bank on long trips!

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