The best wireless earbuds for 2022

Companies continue to find new ways to impress with true wireless earbuds. There’s no doubt the popularity of Apple’s AirPods helped make them a mainstay, but plenty of others offer reliable connectivity, great sound and active noise cancellation (ANC) in increasingly smaller form factors. You can also get features that used to be reserved for premium models on mid-range devices. Of course, the popularity means that new earbuds are popping up all the time and the list of options is longer than ever. To help, we’ve compiled the best wireless earbuds you can buy right now, including noteworthy features for each selection.

Engadget's picks

Best overall: Sony WF-1000XM4

Sony keeps its top spot on our list for its combination of great sound, powerful active noise cancellation and a long list of features no other company can compete with. Just like its headphones, Sony manages to pack a ton of handy tools into its flagship true wireless model. The basics like wireless charging and battery life improvements are covered, but company-specific features like Speak-to-Chat automatic pausing, Adaptive Sound Control adjustments based on movement or location, 360 Reality Audio and a customizable EQ are icing on the cake. Plus, DSEE Extreme upscaling helps improve compressed tunes over Bluetooth.

Runner up: Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3

If sound quality is your primary concern, the Momentum True Wireless 3 is your best bet. You won’t get the truckload of features that Sony offers, but Sennheiser does the basics well at a lower price than the previous Momentum earbuds. A new Adaptive Noise Cancellation setup continuously monitors ambient sounds to suppress them in real time. Inside, the company’s True Response transducer is paired with 7mm dynamic drivers for top-notch audio.

Best noise cancellation: Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II

When it comes to blocking out the world, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II are the best at the task. Bose introduced a redesigned set earlier this year and the smaller buds deliver a more comfy fit. The company also managed to improve ambient sound and maintain its track record of solid audio quality. However, the real star here is the ANC performance which is hands-down the best you can get right now. The QC Earbuds II don’t have some basic features like multipoint connectivity and wireless charging, so that might factor into your decision.

Best budget pick: Jabra Elite 3

Jabra packs a lot into a set of earbuds for under $100. The Elite 3 don’t have ANC, automatic pausing or wireless charging, and the EQ changes are limited to presets. However, these affordable buds have impressive sound quality, good battery life, reliable on-board controls and a very comfy fit. If you’re looking for something that just gets the job done, the Elite 3 is more than capable.

Best for iOS: Apple Airpods Pro (2nd-gen)

Apple’s latest AirPods Pro are a huge improvement over the 2019 model. The company managed to improve the sound quality and ANC performance while keeping all of the conveniences that make AirPods the best option for iOS and Mac. To me, the most impressive feature is the transparency mode, which is more natural sounding than any other earbuds by a mile. You can leave these in during a conversation and it’s like you’re not even wearing them. Of course, fast pairing, hands-free Siri and wireless charging (MagSafe or Apple Watch chargers) will also come in handy.

Best for Android: Google Pixel Buds Pro

Google has hit its stride when it comes to true wireless earbuds. Every new model the company introduces is an improvement after its first attempt failed to impress. With the Pixel Buds Pro, Google offers deep, punchy bass, solid ANC performance, reliable touch controls and wireless charging. Plus, there are added convenience features for Android and Pixel devices including Google Translate Conversation Mode.

Best for workouts: Beats Fit Pro

Most of the best AirPods features in a set of workout earbuds? That’s the Beats Fit Pro. Thanks to Apple’s H1 chip, these buds offer one-touch quick pairing, hands-free Siri and Find My tools. They’ll also allow you to use Audio Sharing with an Apple device and another set of AirPods or Beats headphones for tandem listening or viewing. Balanced and punchy bass will keep the energy up during workouts while good noise cancellation and a comfy fit make these a solid option outside of the gym too. And there’s plenty of support for Android, so these aren’t just a good buy for iOS users either.

Honorable mention: Sony LinkBuds S

One of the biggest surprises this year wasn’t Sony’s unique open-wear LinkBuds, it was the more mainstream follow-up. With the LinkBuds S, the company debuted a more “traditional” design akin to its premium WF-1000XM4, only this model is much smaller and lighter which leads to a much more comfy fit. These tiny buds muster some punch when it comes to sound quality too and support for high-res listening (LDAC and DSEE Extreme) are both onboard. Capable ANC lends a hand with environmental noise and transparency mode can keep you tuned in when needed. What’s more, handy Speak-to-Chat is here and Adaptive Sound Control can automatically change settings based on activity or location. That’s a lot of premium for features at a mid-range price.

The best smart home devices and kitchen gadgets that make great gifts

Everyone wants their home tidy, organized and safe, but it’s not always easy to keep it that way. Fortunately, there are gadgets that can help make all of it a little easier. We often review smart speakers, robotic vacuums and more here at Engadget, and for the holiday season we’ve compiled a list of favorites that will make excellent gifts for you or your loved ones. Plus, they don’t need to be super tech savvy to use these either – most of our suggestions are simple enough for those new to the smart home world.

Instant Vortex Plus

Instant Vortex Plus air fryer
Engadget

Air fryers might seem like just glorified convection ovens, but in our tests, we found that they do produce astoundingly crisp foods, with results that are either better or comparable to convection toaster ovens. The Instant Vortex Plus is easily our favorite, thanks to its clear viewing window so your giftee can see the food while it’s cooking, plus there’s an odor-removing filter that helps reduce cooking smells. It’s roomy enough to fit four large chicken thighs and it heats up much faster than a conventional oven. Best of all, clean-up is near effortless – the rack is dishwasher-safe and the non-stick drawer basket can be washed with soap and water.

Buy Instant Vortex Plus at Amazon - $133

Arlo Essential Video Doorbell

Arlo Essential Video Doorbell
Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

If your loved one frequently complains about stolen packages or simply wants a way to see who’s at the front door without opening it, consider gifting them a video doorbell. Our favorite is the Arlo Essential Video Doorbell, which is compatible with Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa and Apple Homekit. They’ll be able to get a 180-degree view of their visitor from head to toe, plus it alerts your phone with a video call whenever someone rings the bell. It comes with a three-month trial to Arlo’s Smart subscription service right out of the box, which also includes motion detection that differentiates between a person, package, vehicle or animal.

Buy Arlo Essential Video Doorbell at Amazon - $150

Google Nest Hub (2nd gen)

Google Nest Hub (2nd gen)
Google

Google’s Nest Hub smart display is a great device to have around the home — especially if your gift recipient already uses the Google Assistant. It works as a digital photo frame and they can use it to watch YouTube and Netflix. It can also make calls via Google Duo and offers recipe videos along with step-by-step cooking instructions. If the user so chooses, they can track their sleeping patterns if they place the device next to their bed. Additionally, if they already have a Nest Doorbell camera, they can easily use the display to see who’s at the front door.

Buy Nest Hub at B&H - $100

Amazon Echo Show 8

Amazon Echo Show 8
Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

For those who prefer Alexa over the Google Assistant, the Echo Show 8 is a great alternative to the Nest Hub. It also works as a digital photo frame and its 8-inch display is a good size for streaming shows from Amazon Prime, Netflix and Hulu while prepping dinner. It can also be used to keep up with the news, check the weather and control smart home devices. Since Amazon has a partnership with Allrecipes and Food Network Kitchen, users can find assorted recipes and instructional videos as well.

Buy Echo Show 8 at Amazon - $130

Blink Indoor camera

Blink Indoor camera
Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

Blink’s indoor camera offers the gift of peace of mind in a compact and affordable package. Your loved one will appreciate the fact that Blink is wireless and battery-powered; since they don’t have to place it near an electrical outlet, it can sit almost anywhere. They also won’t have to worry about recharging the camera since it can last up to two years on its two included AA batteries. Aside from just letting them monitor their home, it also features customizable motion alerts so they’ll only get alerted when they want to. There’s also two-way audio so they can hear and speak to the person (or pet) on the other end.

Buy Blink Indoor at Amazon - $80

iRobot Roomba 694

iRobot Roomba 694
Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

Maybe you have someone in your life who could use a little help cleaning up after themselves. For that, we recommend getting them one of our favorite robot vacuum cleaners, the iRobot Roomba 694. It can suck up dirt and debris from both hardwood and carpeted floors, with an edge-sweeping brush taking care of dusty corners. The companion app lets them control it remotely, or they can set up a cleaning schedule so the little robot can do its thing at a set time. It even automatically docks and recharges itself if it’s low on battery.

Buy Roomba 694 at Amazon - $274

August WiFi smart lock

August Smart Lock 4th gen
Engadget

Smart locks are a great way to add security and convenience to any home. We recommend August’s WiFi smart lock because it’s easy to use, and since it fits over an existing deadbolt, it’s great for homeowners and renters alike. It lets your loved ones unlock the door completely hands-free, which is handy if they have their arms full of groceries. They can set it so that it automatically locks once the door is closed, or after a set period of time. If someone’s at the door but they’re at the office or in the backyard, they can easily let them in with a single finger tap. They can also grant access for specific friends or family members, which means they might never need to put the key under the doormat ever again.

Buy August WiFi smart lock at Amazon - $230

Mila air purifier

Mila air purifier
Mila Cares

Air purifiers are great gifts for anyone who has allergies, lives in a polluted area or just wants to breathe easier at home. And if you want to give someone a smarter air purifier, consider the Mila Air. It ships with one of seven pre-configured HEPA filters that can filter out particles and allergens like pollen and dust. It also has a ton of customization options: There’s a “Housekeeping Service” mode that goes full blast when no one’s in the room, a “Sleep Mode” that turns the lights off and reduces the fan speeds at night, plus a “White Noise” option that mimics soothing sounds like waterfalls. The Mila also has a bevy of sensors that can tell you if there’s carbon monoxide in the air, or if the humidity is too high.

Buy air purifier at Mila - $349

TP-Link Kasa smart plug

TP-Link Kasa Smart Plug
Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

With a smart plug, any appliance can be part of a connected home for not a lot of money. TP-Link’s Kasa smart plug is a particularly good one because it is both affordable and incredibly compact (and if you’re really short on space, there’s a mini version that’s even smaller). Together with its companion app, they can schedule a timer to turn on and off anything from Christmas lights to a coffee maker. It’s also compatible with both Alexa and Google Assistant, which lets them add voice control to any outlet.

Buy Kasa smart plugs at Amazon - $30

Eero 6 WiFi Mesh router

Eero 6 WiFi Mesh router
Eero

With most of us having so many gadgets and smart home devices, perhaps the best thing you can give your loved one is the gift of better WiFi to keep things running smoothly. Amazon’s Eero routers will deliver just that. The latest models support WiFi 6, the latest and fastest WiFi standard, and will support 75-plus devices simultaneously. It also covers up to 1,500 square feet with WiFi speeds up to 900 Mbps, so it’s unlikely they’ll ever have to deal with dead spots or buffering again. The Eero 6 also comes with a built-in Zigbee smart home hub that lets them connect compatible devices without having to purchase a separate device.

Buy Eero 6 at Amazon - $89

Philips LED Smart Bulb starter kit

Philips LED Smart Bulb starter kit
Engadget

Add some color to your loved one’s life with the Philips LED smart bulb starter kit, which comes with four multi-color bulbs plus a Hue Hub that connects them all together. The bulbs can fill the room with millions of different colors so they can choose from warm moody lighting for a cozy atmosphere or rainbows for parties. In the companion app, they can create timers and routines so that their lights gradually turn on in the morning or off in the evening. And it’s scalable: They can eventually have up to 50 lights connected to one Hue Hub, giving them the freedom to outfit their whole home with smart lights if they wish.

Buy Philips Hue starter kit at Amazon - $200

Pixel Fold renders dream up Google’s next big thing

Google seems to be gearing up to expand its Pixel brand, starting with the shiny new Pixel Watch launched last month. The company also already confirmed that it will be launching its first Pixel-branded tablet next year, and it seems to be taking a rather different course from typical slates like the Apple iPads and the majority of Android tablets. One thing it hasn’t confirmed yet at this point is a foldable device that many are sure is happening next year as well. While nothing is official yet, these beautiful renders and bits of information do paint an almost complete picture of what is being called the Pixel Fold, suggesting that it’s going to be just as divisive as any other foldable phone in the market.

Designer: Jon Presser (Front Page Tech)

Almost everyone is expected to launch a foldable phone these days, including Apple, which is highly unlikely at this point. The reality is that, despite all the buzz and hype, foldables are still seen as an eccentric luxury, a very expensive experiment in what the future of mobile could be. Ironically, that’s exactly the perfect chance for Google to step in with its own take on a foldable Android device, only to announce its retirement a year or two later.

Whether it happens sooner rather than later, these renders, all based on leaked information, represent a close possibility of what the Pixel Fold could look like. Admittedly, it looks very classy and professional, especially with its sparkling chrome edges and reflective glass back. When folded, the external screen looks big enough to be a regular-sized “phablet” or giant phone. Unfolded, however, it means that it would be more square than a typical tablet. There is also no gap near the hinge when the phone is folded, unlike the Galaxy Z Fold series, which isn’t exactly that novel considering that the OPPO Find N and the Huawei Mate Xs 2 have already pulled it off.

While all of the above sound good and expected for such a device, there are a few details that could give would-be buyers pause for thought. The extra large camera bump on the back runs horizontally like the Pixel 7’s, but it is a discrete island rather than a visor. The Pixel 7’s camera design wouldn’t have worked anyway since it would have gotten in the way of the hinge. It’s a rather thick bump, for that matter, and it could make the device wobble when unfolded and laid on a desk. Either way, it looks a bit awkward and very unlike the Pixel 7’s signature design.

The internal screen also has quite some bezel around it, which is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it’s far wider than what we’re used to these days, even on foldable phones. On the other hand, it possibly leaves enough room for a front camera without resorting to cutouts and under-display gimmicks. According to the leakster, the Pixel Fold is going to be quite heavy in hand, which doesn’t really sound reassuring for this kind of device. That said, that heft could also give it a bit of a premium feel that’s associated with materials like metal rather than cheap plastic.

The biggest deal-breaker, however, might be its rumored $1,800 price tag, a very steep figure at a time when manufacturers like Samsung are trying to make the device category more palatable. Pixel phones do have that mark of being more expensive than comparable phones, so that’s not exactly surprising. It doesn’t inspire confidence, however, given how Google tends to provide or sell products with much buzz only to pull the rug from under people’s feet when they least expect it.

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Google’s Board 65 & Desk 27 all-in-one video conferencing, touchscreen displays will make remote meetings very inclusive

As we enter 2023, we must take a moment to consider how the work landscape has changed in the past three years. Through – and beyond – the pandemic, remote and hybrid work routine has become a norm wherein every space; living room of your home or the cubicle in the office has the potential to transform into a meeting room thanks to the state-of-the-art video conferencing equipment available today.

Irrespective of many setups on the shelves, it is not as easy to get out there and take home the best one your eyes find pleasing. Different businesses/workstyles require a piece of other equipment. The idea is to finalize the capabilities of the various teams that will be, involved and the effective medium you will use. We are not getting into all the possible video conferencing applications blanketing the internet, in fact, we stick with Google Meet and the search engine giant’s own fantastic devices to make video collaboration and seamless communication possible.

Designer: Aruliden and Avocor

Enter Board 65 and Desk 27! Part of Series One Room Kit – Google Meet hardware lineup – the two devices are made exclusively for Google Workspace by Aruliden and display manufacturer Avocor to cater to all video conferencing needs of any business. Board 65 is a 65-inch touchscreen device designed for video conferencing over Google Meet in team spaces. It integrates video conferencing and digital whiteboarding solutions into one sleek device. Board 65 – given its size – can either be wall-mounted or placed on a specially-designed mobility stand to turn floor areas into collaboration spaces. It allows participants to carry out instantaneous meetings and puts integrated digital whiteboarding at any collaborator’s fingertips.

Smaller in size but equally capable, the Desk 27 is a version designed for private spaces like your cabin in the office or for the work desk at home. It features a 5MP camera and is available in two colors: charcoal and chalk. Sitting on your work table, the Desk 27 makes meeting and whiteboarding comfortable and exclusive for you while functioning as a monitor and dock for your laptop. Evident from the design and delivery, Board 65 and Desk 27 both imagine how the future meeting rooms would look and how such all-in-one devices, integrated with sound canceling technology and multiple hardware solutions, will make video collaborations more inclusive allowing participants to “connect, create, and collaborate” despite their physical location.

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Pixel 7 Pro signature design element is apparently its biggest durability flaw

Google doesn’t really have a good track record when it comes to hardware, especially when you consider that it occasionally cancels products for one reason or another. Its hardware products aren’t exactly the most aesthetically pleasing in the market, either, save for a few times it did actually hit gold. Last year’s Pixel 6 was one such example, earning praise and sales for its fresh and quirky new design. The Pixel 7 refines that formula to make the phone look a little more mature and professional without losing its personality. Unfortunately, you always run the risk of tripping when you change something, which seems to be the case with this year’s Pixel 7 Pro, whose sleeker design might have caused it to become less durable than its predecessor.

Designer: Google

The biggest change from the Pixel 6 to the Pixel 7 is the design of the “visor” bump that house the phone’s cameras, which now visually and structurally blends into the mid-frame. This means that the raised portion is no longer covered by glass or uses a different material but exposes its metallic surface to the world. This gives that camera bump a more stylish appearance and a textured feel, but, as YouTuber JerryRigEvertyhing discovered, also makes it more vulnerable to wear and tear.

It’s natural for exposed metal to get a few scuffs over time, but the Pixel 7 Pro durability test showed that it takes very little for keys and coins in your pocket to leave their mark on the smartphone’s camera bump. For some people, these scratches might give the phone a bit more character, like the unique patinas that develop on leather. But when these appear within two years or less, it might cause a bit more concern, especially since this is the part of the phone that will rub against surfaces the most.

A bit more worrying, however, is the actual durability of the phone against bending, like when you accidentally sit on it or place something heavy on it. The good news is that the phone won’t break easily in that scenario. The bad news is that it’s likely to create a gap at the side where metal meets plastic along the intersection of the mid-frame and the camera bump. This small bit of plastic is necessary for radio waves to pass through the phone’s metal body, but its new placement creates a structural vulnerability. Once that gap appears, the phone’s waterproofing flies out the window.

The Pixel 7 Pro is admittedly eye-catching, and its design upgrade proves the phone’s maturity. Unfortunately, that didn’t come without its unforeseen costs, though none of them are deal-breakers, to be honest. Hopefully, Google will continue to carry this new signature design with the Pixel 8 next year and address these concerns along the way. After all, the last thing we need is yet another generation of smartphones whose broken parts will pile up in landfills yet again.

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Pixel Watch iFixit teardown reveals its beauty is only skin deep for now

Google finally launched the first smartwatch under its own Pixel brand, and the reception of the wearable device has been a bit mixed. Its unique dome-like display definitely gives it a unique visual personality, but the jury is still out when whether that’s actually a strength or a liability. Even with years of references and lessons from other manufacturers, the Pixel Watch seems to have all the makings of a first-gen device, especially once you start to open it up. As iFixit discovered, the smartwatch’s simple yet attractive design doesn’t extend inside, and the device could be a nightmare for both owners and technicians that need to simply repair a cracked screen or a loose crown.

Designer: Google

Unlike almost all Wear OS smartwatches today, the Pixel Watch does away with the visible external bezels with a very curved glass that covers the screen. It’s almost like the Apple Watch, except that it comes in a circular shape. Like the Apple Watch again, the Pixel Watch utilizes a digital crown, but the similarities end there. The crown has been noted to look a bit cheap, and at least one reviewer has experienced the domed screen cracking for no apparent reason.

These flaws on their own wouldn’t be too disastrous if it were easy to fix the Pixel Watch, which isn’t the case yet for this first attempt. To its credit, the back is easily removable with some heat and prying, and iFixit a mysterious adhesive that could be good news for repairs in the future. The screen can also be pried off with the same techniques, but it cannot be disconnected unless you really dig inside.

The small, squishy battery needs to be removed first, which needs a bit of heat that could be a disaster waiting to happen. There is a maze of screws and components that you need to get out of the way first before you can even disconnect the display cable. Even after all that, it is nearly impossible to remove the crown and buttons without risking irreparable internal damage. Considering these mechanical parts are likely to fail at some point, that’s not a reassuring scenario.

To be fair, this is Google’s first smartwatch, so there’s still ample room for improvement on all fronts. It’s not a great first step, though, especially considering how late it is already in the game. Perhaps more worrying is that this is a company that is notorious for suddenly canceling products and services, even those that many people have heavily invested in already. It’s going to be a tense waiting game to see if future Pixel Watches will be able to rise to the challenge or be unceremoniously put to pasture after one or two tries only.

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Sustainably tinkered Google Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro offer irresistible photography and battery to back it up through the day

I’d be blunt in accepting that unconventional gimmicks in a new phone launch don’t impress me much. However, on the heels of Apple’s unrealistic software-hardware integration to make little changes deliver drastic fan-favorite results; Google has left me floored with the launch of the redesigned Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro at the Made by Google event – both in terms of quality and price.

Powered by the AI capabilities with Android integration on the home-baked Google Tensor G2 processor, the two new Pixel siblings are definitely grownups from the reimagined Pixel 6 series from last year. The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro thrive on their ability to deliver best-in-class photos and videos (at least that’s how Google presents them and we take the word at its face value), unconditionally fast performance, and smooth display!

Designer: Google

Evidently, the new phones look identical to their predecessors, however, the reworked camera visor on the back of the Pixel 7 series really sets the design apart. From how it appears, the Pixel 7 has a single pill-shaped cut-out in the camera visor that houses the two camera sensors, while the Pixel 7 Pro finds an additional circular cut-out next to the pill-shaped opening that houses the phone’s third camera sensor. On the front, the design is undistinguishable from the 6 series with a near bezel-less edge-to-edge display and hole-punch front camera.

The body enclosure of the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro are made from 100 percent recycled aluminum. Smooth to hold and interact with, the Pixel 7 features a 6.3-inch Full-HD OLED display and it is delivered in three interesting Snow, Obsidian and Lemongrass colors. For the love of those who despised the curved display on the Pixel 6 Pro, the Pixel 7 Pro ditches the curve for a flat 6.7-inch LTPO pOLED panel. The larger Pixel 7 Pro comes in Snow, Obsidian and Hazel colors. The next-gen Google Tensor G2 processor is paired with a Titan M2 security chip to superimpose multiple layers of security on the Pixel 7 series smartphones to render the apps and browser in them secure. The phones will also get VPN by Google One without additional cost for beefing up the security cause.

Available for pre-order (and to go on sale starting October 13), the Pixel 7 priced $599 and the Pixel 7 Pro starting at $899 gets the much-awaited Face Unlock in addition to the under-display fingerprint sensor. While the interesting Photo Unblur feature, Google is adding to the Google Photos for Pixel 7 and 7 Pro users (where they can improve the quality of old or new blurry photos) is inviting, but you should be tilting toward the new smartphones if you want an all-day battery, a smooth display and want to click professional level photographs with amateur-level skills.

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Google Pixel Tablet design is aiming for a completely different market

The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro are now out, along with the much-awaited Pixel Watch. These devices have been expected for months now since they were first confirmed in May, and they signify an important shift in Google’s public marketing strategy. While the tech giant previously focused on what it was really good at, such as the hardware and the software, a large part of the rhetoric around Google’s new products touch on their designs, colors, materials, and even their sustainability aspects. Although it isn’t expected to arrive until next year, that same focus seems to already be ready for the Pixel Tablet. And based on the company’s not-so-subtle wording, it’s going to be a very different tablet from the kind that Apple and Samsung have been selling for years.

Designer: Google

Tablets never really had a consistent raison d’être, at least compared to their smartphone cousins. Initially, they were simply thought of as gigantic phones, but recent years have seen them take on a completely different role. Thanks to Apple pushing the iPad Pro, many tablets today are considered to be creativity and productivity tools, especially when paired with a stylus, for people on the go. The Pixel Tablet, in contrast, is something that is going to be a homebody instead.

Google sees tablets as entertainment devices often left at home and sometimes lost inside drawers or, worse, kicked under furniture. With this singular use case in mind, the Pixel Tablet will be giving the housebound slate an upgrade, with just enough muscle to handle not just videos but also video calls, some photo editing skills, and, of course, hands-free control with Google Assistant. More importantly, however, Google will be adding a new home for the tablet so that it doesn’t get lost while also still having access to some of those functions.

The Charging Speaker Dock’s name definitely speaks for itself and transforms the Pixel Tablet into what is practically a detachable Nest Hub Max. In this configuration, it becomes a smart display and control center for your smart home, a smart speaker for your parties, and a small movie screen. This focus on a specific set of features is critical to the design of the Pixel Tablet. Unlike an iPad Pro or a Galaxy Tab S8, it doesn’t need to like half a laptop. Instead, it can focus on a design that will look attractive when standing alone at home.

In fact, the Pixel Tablet looks almost boring in isolation and in comparison to the iPad Pro. Its back is too plain, and the thick bezels around its screen feel like something from ages past. Instead of spending time on broad design strokes, Google chose to focus on the little details, like its “premium nanoceramic” finish that will supposedly make the tablet comfortable to hold and beautiful to behold. It’s definitely an intriguing take on the tablet that clearly sets it apart from the rest of the market that is focusing on tablets as laptop replacements. Whether that will be enough for the Pixel Tablet to succeed, we’ll have to wait until 2023 to find out.

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Google Japan Makes 5-Foot Long Keyboard with All Its Keys in a Single Row

Because when it comes to computing, there’s always room for unimprovement, Google Japan has created a 5.4-foot long keyboard with all the keys in a single row. Presumably inspired by the dancing piano keyboard scene from Big, its creators say the keyboard prevents having to look in every direction for the key you need since it can only be left or right and not up or down. Of course, you may still need a yardstick to reach it.

I learned how to touch type in high school, and it’s hands-down been one of the most useful skills I ever learned. As a matter of fact, it may be the only useful skill I learned in high school. I mean, besides, how to entertain myself in detention. Now I’m never bored.

I don’t think Google is actually going to produce the keyboard for sale, presumably because it’s a ridiculously bad idea. You need any more bad ideas, Google? Hire me; I’m full of them. Here’s a freebie: a 12-pound computer mouse that can only be moved incrementally for extreme precision.

[via PCMag]

Pixel Watch unofficial unboxing reveals an interesting design with a few caveats

Google’s first-ever smartwatch is about to be officially announced in a few days, but the Pixel Watch has, of course, already been leaked to death at this point. Google itself has shown off the smartwatch’s appearance here and there, but it hasn’t completely revealed its design from all sides and angles. Fortunately, we can look to unofficial information and sources for those details, allowing us to form a complete picture of the Pixel Watch. Unless Google makes a shocking U-turn, we might finally have everything there is to know about the Pixel Watch, at least from a design perspective, thanks to this super early unboxing of the device. But while the smartwatch’s somewhat unique design does pique our interest, it also raises a few questions about its usability and longevity.

Designer: Google

After years of speculation and wishful thinking, Google finally confirmed back in May that it was indeed planning to launch its first smartwatch under its own Pixel brand. It also gave a preview of that smartwatch’s design, which was admittedly like no other smartwatch on the market. There are still a few specific details missing, but the unique aesthetic of the Pixel Watch has been cemented in people’s consciousness by now. Apparently, someone on Reddit got their hands on one this early, and they generously shared images of what the wearable device would look like.

Unlike any other smartwatch or traditional watch so far, the Pixel Watch’s design can be likened more to a smooth and glossy pebble than a timepiece. It has a nearly domed top glass and an equally curved bottom, which would most likely make it wobble on top of any surface unless the bands are attached. It’s almost like a cross between an Apple Watch, which has a similarly curved display, and the typical round bodies of Wear OS smartwatches.

 

The design is admittedly novel and attractive, giving the Pixel Watch a unique visual identity that will help it stand out from the rest of the smartwatch market. It barely has any bezel, at least not that we can see, but it might just be a visual trick. There are already a few misgivings about how the display’s real bezels are underneath that domed glass, meaning that the actual active portion of the screen is quite smaller than the watch itself, leaving a sizable border around the edges.

Many smartwatches do have very visible and sometimes large bezels anyway, so that shouldn’t matter in theory. There are, however, some people that consider this design almost deceptive and definitely wasteful since you don’t have full access to the entire surface of the watch. Whether that “hidden” bezel has any practical function, we’ll have to wait and see.

The Pixel Watch has a seamless design where the body blends smoothly into the straps. This beautiful aesthetic, however, is only made possible by using a proprietary strap connector, not unlike what Apple does with the Apple Watch. Not only does this mean that you’ll be unable to use standard watch straps, it also means you’ll always be at the mercy of the few manufacturers that will make compatible straps. Once these companies, including Google, stop making such straps, you’ll be out of luck. The Pixel Watch is set to debut on October 6th at 10 AM ET.

The post Pixel Watch unofficial unboxing reveals an interesting design with a few caveats first appeared on Yanko Design.