Oneplus’ $15 wireless Gaming Triggers turn your Android smartphone into a Nintendo Switch

Good News: They work with Android as well as iOS devices. Bad News: They’re currently only being sold in India.

The Gaming Triggers from OnePlus dropped randomly out of the blue when company CEO Pete Lau tweeted about them. According to Lau, they’re solid, responsive, and pleasingly clicky – and they’re built to work with any smartphone (regardless of their make), because “the best product design is one that leaves you free to make your own choices.”

The Gaming Triggers work like an extra set of fingers. Hit the trigger and a plunger taps a part of your screen. Designed to sit on the upper edge of your smartphone as you game in landscape mode, the triggers are specifically targeted towards players of Battle Royale-style multiplayer mobile games including PUBG, Call of Duty, Free Fire, although mounting and using the triggers sacrifices a small portion of screen estate as they physically cover your smartphone display.

The OnePLus Gaming Triggers’ price point is exceedingly low for most gaming hardware (even mobile ones), although that’s purely because they’re completely analog and have no electronics on the inside (instead, they have capacitive pads that tap on your screen when triggered). This also makes them compatible with any touchscreen device including your Android smartphone, iPhone, and even your iPad, as long as the device in question is under 11.5mm in thickness (case included).

The triggers can be independently placed on any side of the phone, and they come with a bilaterally symmetric design. Depending on your on-screen buttons, you can distribute them on the left or right, or use them both on one side of the phone. They can be used in portrait mode too, although the ergonomics of that arrangement is really up to the user.
Fun Fact: You could potentially even use them to activate your camera shutter, giving you a real, tactile camera button that’s much easier to press instead of awkwardly tapping your smartphone display with your thumb.

The tactile capacitive buttons work remarkably fast, offering zero lag as compared to wireless controls. OnePlus uses industry-leading Omron switches inside the Gaming Triggers, providing users with that reliable clicking sound and much better tactile feedback as they play. The switches themselves are made from a Zinc alloy, for that cool metallic touch, and they sit within a PolyCarbonate enclosure for that rugged, long-lasting build quality. Sadly, the triggers are only available to customers in India through the OnePlus website for a price of 1,099 rupees (a little under $15). OnePlus hasn’t really mentioned anything about global availability yet.

Designer: OnePlus

Xbox test brings Microsoft’s Chromium-based Edge browser to consoles

You might finally have a good reason to use the web browser on your console for more than the bare necessities. The Verge reports that Microsoft has started testing a version of its Chromium-based Edge browser on the Xbox One and Series X/S. Particip...

This Apple TV cover-case makes your set-top box look like a Nintendo console!

Elago is back with a nostalgic revival project… although this time, it isn’t a cover-case for the AirPods or the Apple Watch. The Elago T4 is a silicone cover that slips around your Apple TV set-top box, transforming it from a sleek black device to a grey SNES-inspired gaming console. In fact, there’s a cover-case for the remote too, turning its back surface into a faux controller complete with the XYAB and D-Pad buttons.

Of course, there are some who’d prefer the cutting-edge black aesthetic of the Apple TV, but what the Elago T4 does is introduce a nostalgic touch to the device. Sure, it’s meant for a subset of gadget-lovers and not everyone, but for its target audience, the T4 provides a beautiful bit of nostalgia while also giving your set-top box a nice, impact-resistant cover-case! Oh, and that lanyard on the TV remote case REALLY makes it easy to carry and use.

Designer: Elago

Lenovo’s new Lavie Mini hopes to be everything from a laptop to a handheld gaming console

It seems that the guys at Lenovo and NEC have some ideas to bridge the gap between desktop gaming and mobile gaming. Sure, companies like Razer, Alienware, and Nvidia have tried in the past to make Windows-based PC gaming more mobile and handheld, but what Lenovo and NEC’s LaVie Mini aims at doing seems much more interesting… because the LaVie Mini isn’t a portable Windows gaming device… it’s a hybrid between a laptop, a tablet, and a Nintendo Switch.

Equipped with an 8″ touchscreen display, the Lavie is slightly larger than the iPad Mini. The convertible laptop comes with an Intel Iris Xe graphics card and 11th Gen Intel Core i7 mobile processor built into it (you could say that the LaVie presents Intel with its Hail Mary moment after a series of commercial failures), along with 256Gb of SSD storage and 16Gb of RAM. This pretty much makes it a good portable laptop to have on you for quick work sessions and presentations (and a neat alternative to Chromebooks), but fold the laptop’s keyboard all the way back and the LaVie Mini is a completely new beast. Weighing a mere 579 grams (1.2 lbs), the LaVie Mini becomes a versatile handheld tablet running Windows… and its dedicated gaming controller accessory turns it into a console that’s as handy as the iPad running Apple Arcade, and as tactile and functional as the Nintendo Switch with all its controls, buttons, and triggers. Ports on the LaVie Mini mean your video could even be outputted to a television, with resolutions as high as 4K 60fps while streaming videos (that spec may not stand for gaming, however).

With its small size, foldable form, controller ecosystem, and versatile Windows platform, the LaVie Mini hopes to be a best-of-all-worlds sort of device. The fact that it runs a desktop-ready OS and comes with its own keyboard positions brilliantly against the iPad Pro; not to mention the fact that it’ll easily be able to run Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass as well as Google’s Stadia, giving it a superior edge as a handheld gaming console. Pricing and availability details for the LaVie Mini are still under wraps, but we’re hoping Lenovo addresses this at CES, which is just mere days away.

Designers: Lenovo & NEC

Fan-made world’s smallest portable Nintendo 64 console is literally the size of its cartridge!

Just in case you’re wondering… no, this isn’t the latest Nintendo Switch, even though it quite strongly resembles one. In fact, its predecessor isn’t even from this decade, or era. Meet the world’s smallest portable Nintendo 64, a handheld version of the popular 64-bit gaming console from 1996 that’s designed to be as small as humanly possible. In fact, if it hadn’t been for the hulking cartridge, I’d venture a guess that this console could be a whole lot smaller.

The World’s Smallest Portable Nintendo 64 is the work of Gunnar, who goes by the name GmanModz on YouTube. Only earlier this year he designed a version of the N64 with a GameBoy Advance SP-style folding screen. While that version was more user-friendly, this one focuses more on scaling down the tech to its smallest avatar… and with a 118mm x 84mm form factor (with just 20mm of thickness), it quite literally is the world’s smallest N64 ever made; and in more ways than one, because this variant doesn’t use custom PCBs. It actually uses original parts from the stock Nintendo 64 console that have been expertly trimmed down, re-organized, re-wired, and re-soldered together. In a very Ship-Of-Theseus sense, GmanModz’s N64 is more original than other consoles that use emulators and ROMs to run N64 titles, because this bad-boy plays the original games on original hardware!

However, certain trade-offs needed to be made to make the device handheld and as tiny as possible. This includes the addition of a 18650 lithium-ion battery, a 3.5-inch 320×240 display, a speaker, and joy-cons pulled from the Nintendo Switch (for the smallest footprint). GmanModz’s console also ditches a few controller buttons due to space constraints, and the 18650 battery gives it roughly an hour and a half’s worth of playing time, but that doesn’t discount exactly how impressive it is to make a console as small as this!

Designer: Gunnar (GmanModz)