Fashion is cyclical and it seems like cassettes may just be making their comeback. Audio manufacturer Fiio just debuted their latest retro CP13 cassette player at CES this year, and it shouldn’t be long before people are making mixtapes again. Just to prime us for that retro-resurgence, LEGO builder Srta.JirafaEnfadada designed a to-scale Sony Walkman made entirely out of LEGO bricks… and the best part, it actually fits LEGO cassettes in!
Before MP3 players and iPods pretty much changed the game, cassettes were the gold standard in music playback. Cars had cassette players, people owned boomboxes, and for a brief while, the Sony Walkman was one of the coolest products you could own. Designed to play cassettes on-the-go, the Walkman walked so the iPod could run. You could make your mixtape, pop it in, and listen to music either on the Walkman’s built-in speaker (if it had one), or on a pair of headphones or earphones for a private music experience.
This entry into the LEGO Ideas forum is based on the WM-22 Walkman, available in the iconic red colorway. It features the classic opening flap on the front that lets you put cassettes in and take them out between plays, with a transparent window that even lets you peer into the walkman’s insides to see which cassette’s loaded. Around the periphery are its play-pause and rewind/fast-forward buttons, and a simple rotary dial to adjust volume. The WM-22 didn’t sport a record button, which most costlier models had, allowing you to even capture audio directly to the cassette. However, it did have a 3.5mm jack, which can be found on this LEGO version too (right above the volume button), allowing you to hook a pair of headphones in. You’ve also got 4 different LEGO cassettes to choose from with the build, adding variety to your music library!
The Sony Walkman was submitted to the LEGO Ideas forum, an online dashboard where LEGO enthusiasts can share their own LEGO-based creations. The forum allows the LEGO community to vote for their favorite designs, with the top-voted ones getting turned into box-sets for us regular-folk to buy. The Sony Walkman sits at 2,068 votes as of writing this article, and if it hits the coveted 10,000 mark, it could potentially be made into a retail set! You can vote for the Sony Walkman or any of your other favorite designs on the LEGO Ideas website.
Smartphones have long been regarded to be ringing the death knell of digital cameras, but that has mostly been hyperbole. Sure, the old point-and-click cameras may have finally met their match, but professional-grade shooters like DSLRs will hardly feel threatened. While smartphones have quite a number of desirable features like advanced computational photography and filters, dedicated cameras win in the sheer raw power of their optics. That’s especially true since they can easily switch out lenses as they need to while keeping the same powerful sensor. Since that’s nearly impossible with smartphones, the OPPO Find X7 Ultra has made the bold decision to carry the world’s first Quad Main Camera system that’s poised to blow the competition out of the water and deliver stunning photos at every click.
Smartphones have started using more than one camera to make up for the inability to switch lenses. Each camera used a different lens with a different focal point, but because of limitations in past technologies and design, phone manufacturers were forced to make do with different sizes of sensors to fit inside a smartphone’s cramped space. This meant that ultra-wide or telephoto cameras would have significantly different output qualities from the main camera, sometimes better, more often worse. Parity between these cameras is exactly what OPPO has been trying to deliver in the past generations, culminating in what is probably the most advanced smartphone camera system in the market to date.
The OPPO Find X7 Ultra boasts not only a quad camera system but a Quad Main camera system. Although they differ slightly in terms of specific specs, all four use a 50MP sensor, lead by the new Sony LYT-900, the latest generation of that coveted 1-inch sensor. What this practically means is that there is no loss of quality and no disconcerting jitter when switching between wide, ultra-wide, 3x zoom, and 6x zoom cameras. And yes, the phone has two optical zoom telephoto cameras, both of them with periscope-style lenses. With this unprecedented combination, OPPO is able to seamlessly cover a wide range of focal points, from 14mm to 135mm to even 270mm as if it were changing DSLR lenses on the fly.
Combined with this impressive hardware is OPPO’s new HyperTone Image Engine, designed to combat the unnatural colors, exposure, and sharpening that most computation photography software produces on smartphones today. Along with the famed Hasselblad Portrait Mode that accurately emulates four iconic Hasselblad cameras, you are promised to get breath-taking and natural-looking images, as if they were taken with a professional DSLR or mirrorless camera. And if you’re the type to really get into the nitty-gritty of camera settings, the Hasselblad Master Mode upgrades the typical Pro Mode to add even more fine-grained control over image quality.
Despite all the camera hardware packed inside, not to mention the latest and greatest components available in the smartphone industry to date, the OPPO Find X7 Ultra remains slim, sleek, and stylish, belying its powerful capabilities. The two-tone design of the previous Find X6 generation returns with a bit more character this time, wrapping around the distinctive camera circle more loosely. Available in Ocean Blue, Sepia Brown, and Tailored Black, the OPPO Find X7 Ultra marries head-turning elegance and groundbreaking performance in a package that’s sure to give shutterbugs something to talk about.
The running community is used to the regular wireless earphones with ANC and splash-proofing. For the first time, there is a company that thinks the runners – and those involved in active sports – need a specially tailored pair of earphones, which is a little more. And who better to do that than Sony!
The masters of good sound and design excellence have revealed the Float Run (available on Amazon), which forgoes the traditional in-ear design for an off-ear style that allows the earbuds to rest outside the ear while holding snug with a clip-on, over-ear extension and a flexible neckband.
Those who remember bone conducting earphones would recognize the design instantly. Sony Float Run is engineered to be worn outside the ear, somewhat like the bone conducting ones that are clipped to the ear lobe. I have used this type of earphones; the sound and efficacy are not compromised but there is a pain point, they tend to release the sound outward so people around can hear what you are listening to.
How much has Sony figured that out and plugged the pain point is going to clear up only with use – we were not able to find clear evidence to this – but what we are clear about is that the Float Run is a comfortable fit and delivers high-quality sound to the listener.
The speakers of the Sony headphones are designed to float in front of the ears so you can enjoy comfort and convenience while running. Since the ears are not stuffed with the buds, the runners or sportspersons do not feel pressure in the ear, even after prolonged usage. The interesting aspect of the Sony device is that it allows you to hear the ambient sound naturally when you are wearing them.
The sound from the outside is naturally heard, so it can be safely worn while walking on the trail, running on the road, or pumping your muscles in the gym. If the sound from the outside is allowed in, the earbuds have to maintain a good speaker standard. To that end, the Float Run come with large, 16mm driver that allows excellent sound, thick base, and treble; though slightly higher volume than usual may be necessary.
Provided with IPX4 Splash Protection, the Sony earphone, which runs for up to 10 hours on a single charge, would allow you to enjoy music when you are sweating or running in a sudden shower. The Float Run weighs only 33g and is powered through the USB Type-C connector. If you like the idea of an earphone that doesn’t make your ear feel constrained, you can think of taking these home for usage during sports, including running.
At YD, we live by the fundamental belief that there’s nothing more powerful than an idea. Concepts have always enthralled us, because they represent what our future could look like, and that’s where designers come in with their unique skill – imagining this conceptual alternate reality on behalf of all of us. As we come to a grand close to 2023, we look back at some of the concepts that we (and you, surely) loved. These concepts represent some of the most intriguing ideas and visions of the year, like imagining what a proper PlayStation Portable in the modern age would look like, or even the Gen-2 CyberTruck for instance. We’re even crowning one of these concepts as our “Best Concept Design of 2023” for its sheer vision, attention to detail, and the fact that it just ever so slightly made us want to throw money at our screens. Want to know what it was? Want to also see the other concepts that made it to this ‘Best of’ list? Scroll down to find out!
1. MOI3D Gaming Console by Vadim Danilkov (Best Concept Design of 2023)
We loved this console for a few reasons. Aside from the fact that it’s detailed down to the last screw and capacitor (check the video), it’s also a tsunami of absolute nostalgia. The MOI3D is a handheld console concept that’s designed to run any PlayStation CD right back to the 1994 PS One. It comes with all the bells and whistles, starting from a screen on the front and a CD-reader on the bottom to action buttons (including L1/L2 and R1/R2), HDMI out, USB-C charging, a CD tray button, and front-firing speakers. Notably, it lacks a 3.5mm audio jack but more than makes up for it with backward compatibility with games from as long as 30 years ago when the PlayStation first debuted!
Why it’s noteworthy?
The Best Design title doesn’t come easy. We rate our designs on their brief, their output, the level of detail, their originality, and their overall appeal and the MOI3D smashed it out of the park on all levels. The amount of detail is dizzying, and the prospect of being able to play all your favorite PS games on one handheld console is even more exciting!
2. Tesla Cybertruck 2.0 by Dejan Hristov
As the Cybertruck FINALLY begins delivering to customers who first ordered it back in 2019 (if they were ready to pay that tear-jerking new price), we decided it was time to plan for the next big thing. Dejan Hristov’s Cybertruck 2.0 really caught our fancy for its unique design. It was eye-catching and iconic without being polarizing, and still somehow stuck to the Cybertruck’s design language without looking like it was made using origami. The gentle curves do a wonderful job of reflecting light and the world around it, creating the truck’s overall appeal, and if that rear truck bed wasn’t enough storage, this one also sports a frunk that opens like a drawer cabinet!
Why is it noteworthy?
Hristov’s design paints an arguably less polarizing picture of the Cybertruck but retains its overall soul. When Musk made a point that all pickup trucks looked the same, he wasn’t wrong. Hristov carries that torch but creates an EV that looks different without looking ugly.
03. Apple iPhone Ultra by Jimmy Huynh
We all thought Apple would drop an iPhone Ultra this year, but the company delivered something just as good – an iPhone Pro series made from titanium, with USB-C, and an Action button. Sure, it doesn’t look as captivating as this particular concept by Jimmy Huynh, but we love it all the same. As far as this iPhone Ultra concept goes, Huynh retained the Watch Ultra’s aesthetic beautifully, with a gorgeous crown, orange action button, and that nude titanium finish that culminates in those speaker grills at the bottom. Sure, some might find that odd bump on the side unappealing, but we appreciate anything we can rest our fingers against as we hold this phone up.
Why is it noteworthy?
It’s been a hot minute since Apple announced any new iPhone range. The Watch got an Ultra debut last year, but Apple’s stuck to the iPhone, SE, and Pro range for years now. Although some say there wouldn’t be much difference between the Pro and the Ultra, we disagree. The Ultra isn’t a creative-aligned iPhone. It’s an iPhone that’s built like a brick. Incredible sturdiness, game-changing resilience, and the kind of software security that would make it perfect for government officials (perhaps even the ones in the CCP)!
04. Nothing Power Bank by Subhav Menon Srivastava
Last year Nothing created waves with its first transparent-bodied smartphone, and while we got the Nothing Phone (2) this year, we were hoping for a few phone-adjacent accessories. A Nothing Power Bank, for example. This transparent portable charger from the mind of Subhav Menon Srivastava has us drooling because of how gorgeous it looks. While most power banks have nothing more than an Li-ion battery and a PCB, Srivastava makes things interesting with printed elements on the outer glass, and an LED display that shows the battery percentage of the power bank. You’ve also got a whopping 10,000 mAh battery on the inside, and a few LED lights that bring the power bank to life when plugged in.
Why is it noteworthy?
Our readers certainly loved the Nothing Power Bank, with 60,000 views on the concept. That pretty much affirms that there’s public demand for the Nothing Power Bank, so if Carl Pei is reading this…
05. Apple Mac Nano by Le KBM
Sometime in 2022 (or probably earlier) a patent surfaced for an Apple keyboard with its own Mac computer built into it. Given that Apple was developing its own silicone line, at the time this made absolute sense. Fit an entire Mac into a keyboard and you had yourself a makeshift Mac Mini with you! Plug a display in and you were ready to go (maybe you’d need a trackpad or mouse too, but you get my drift). Designer Le KBM decided to build out this vision, creating the Mac Nano concept. The concept features a rejuvenated Magic Keyboard with a touchbar on top and an M-series chip inside, giving it laptop-worthy computing power in the format of a keyboard. Hook an iPad or an iPhone to it and you have yourself a renegade Mac with a touchscreen. What’s not to love?!
Why is it noteworthy?
Conceptually, the Mac Nano seems somewhat strange but then again, the Mac Mini was an odd concept too. Why create a portable Mac when the MacBook Pro was already a thing? Well, the Mac Mini sort of found its own place in the Apple ecosystem, and for people looking for an ‘Air’ version of that, the Mac Nano is the perfect choice! Plus, we haven’t seen a ‘nano’ Apple product in a while!
06. PocketMan P1 Handheld Console by Grzegorz Rozwadowski (Twig Studio)
The PocketMan P1, inspired by Teenage Engineering’s raw, industrial design, boasts a sleek metal-first aesthetic with exposed screws. It features essential controls like a D-pad, action buttons, multiple joysticks, and four shoulder buttons. It also offers a USB-C port, a 3.5mm aux jack, and card readers on both sides for game loading. The black-and-white screen gives it a retro touch, possibly with an option for a color display. While currently a concept, the P1 showcases minimalist metallic design, rejecting the need for excessive ergonomics and RGB lighting in gaming hardware.
Why is it noteworthy?
Aside from that nostalgic handheld form factor, there’s a lot to be appreciated about how wonderfully cyberpunk the PocketManP1 looks. When your eyes aren’t immersed in the game, they’ll probably be admiring every inch of the P1’s metallic design while your hands familiarize themselves with every single button, trigger, and joystick.
07. Note Digital+Analog Desk Accessory by Harshit Sahu
Part digital clock/calendar, part whiteboard, and part pinboard, this Note-taking desk accessory has the best of all worlds. It’s essentially a compact whiteboard that can flip over, doubling your writing space. One side features a dotted grid for diagrams, while the other can be plain or carry the same design. Sticky notes can also find their place on this versatile board. What sets Note apart is the addition of a multi-purpose vertical screen on the left side, displaying the time, calendar, and synced appointments from your phone. It even offers functions like a timer, world clock, and music player.
Why is it noteworthy?
“Paper can be simple, and apps can be quick, but not everyone needs all the commitment that these two different note-taking methods sometimes require,” says our Co-Editor-in-Chief JC Torres. This piece of digital stationery may not be a revolutionary device, but its creative integration of analog and digital concepts makes it a focused and efficient tool for specific needs. It simplifies your workflow without overwhelming you with unnecessary features, ensuring that your productivity remains the top priority.
08. Sony Playstation XPERIA by Santosh Palaniappan
This one’s a classic case of “what could have been”. Designed by Santosh Palaniappan, the PlayStation XPERIA is the perfect hybrid between a smartphone and a gaming device, combining the company’s two successful product lines. Featuring a sliding display that reveals gaming controls underneath, along with a triple-camera setup, it offers versatility beyond gaming. Messaging, internet browsing, selfies, movie watching, and social media game streaming become seamless possibilities. The PlayStation Xperia strikes a balance between smartphone and gaming device aesthetics, combining the functionality of a smartphone with the visual appeal of the PS5. Its white and black design with textured grips and the iconic PlayStation symbol microtexture on the rear exudes elegance. Front-facing speakers enhance the media and gaming experience, and sliding the screen transforms it into a handheld console.
Why is it noteworthy?
With a focus on both gaming and smartphone capabilities, the PlayStation Xperia concept offers a promising vision for Sony’s future product lineup, blending the best of both worlds for tech enthusiasts and gamers alike. It doesn’t compromise on anything a gamer would want in their phone or their handheld console, and let’s be absolutely honest, it looks positively drool-worthy!
09. Ford Mini Bronco by Naoto Kobayashi
Ever seen an off-roader coupe? Well, feast your eyes on the Ford Mini Bronco, a two-door off-roader that we absolutely wish was real. Crafted by designer Naoto Kobayashi, the Ford Mini Bronco boasts a unique design with distinctive pixel-inspired headlights in the front and dynamic taillights at the rear. It’s ideal for a group of two or three adventurers looking to hit the off-road and embrace an eco-friendly lifestyle. This compact EV offers SUV-like excitement without the fuel consumption of larger Ford vehicles. However, it’s important to note that the Ford Mini Bronco is currently just a concept, a vision of what the future of transportation could hold. We can only hope that one day, this remarkable concept will become a reality.
Why is it noteworthy?
The Mini Bronco is a small-format-large-ambitions car that really doesn’t compromise on space or features. The lack of two extra passenger seats means the Mini Bronco has a spacious rear, perfect for storing your outdoor gear. Its short wheelbase and minimal overhangs (on the front and rear) promise enhanced off-road capabilities, and Kobayashi even managed to fit a large-size tent on the top that people can sleep in!
10. Google G Spot Tracking Device by Obi Fidler
Google will help you search for a lot of things, but this is a first! Meet the G Spot, an audacious concept from the mind of Obi Fidler that doubles as Google’s first-ever tracking device. The G Spot is a sleek and compact GPS smart tracker that takes inspiration from Apple’s popular AirTag. This innovative device boasts a conveniently small form factor, making it a breeze to carry around discreetly. What sets it apart is its seamless integration with Google’s robust ecosystem, allowing you to effortlessly track its whereabouts through the Find My Device and Google Maps services… and obviously that name, which I will never tire of saying!
Why is it noteworthy?
This one makes the list just for how much of a belly laugh it gave us as we first saw it online. The entire project is an absolute riot, making fun of what could be Google’s tracking device. Hilariously named the G Spot, this tracking device comes equipped with a tensor chip and a whole lot of double entendres!
It’s that time of year again when we take stock of the past 12 months and reflect on the ups and downs in order to get a brief glimpse of what lies ahead. It has been a pretty active year for the tech industry in many segments, from companies recovering or folding from the events of the past 3 years to the explosion of AI-powered services. Of course, there has also been a torrent of new designs and product types, such as the gaming handheld fever that’s gripping the PC market. In other words, there has been a great storm swirling in the tech and consumer electronics world, and now that the dust has finally settled, we’re taking a look at some of the best product designs that you can grab today or in just a few months.
Best Mixed Reality Headset – Apple Vision Pro
After years of speculation and waiting, Apple finally revealed its hand and showed the world its vision for its mixed reality platform. Of course, that includes the hardware that will become the gateway to that reality, the Vision Pro. In typical Apple fashion, the headset isn’t just a rehash of any old VR/AR gear and is specifically designed not only to showcase the power of Apple’s Spatial Computing but also to provide convenience and comfort in all aspects.
As expected from any Apple product, the Vision Pro has a minimalist, understated design where every part is made with meticulous attention to detail. In addition to luxurious, comfortable materials, the headset is designed to be lightweight and well-balanced, allowing for long hours of use without straining the head. It was also made to immerse the wearer in a virtual world without taking them away from the real world, especially when communicating with others by making eye contact. Apple’s visionOS platform is carefully tailored to mix the real and the virtual seamlessly. Admittedly, the pricing for the Vision Pro is going to be high, but that’s also on par with any high-quality product that Apple makes.
Best Gaming Handheld – Lenovo Legion Go
Although some manufacturers have been churning out portable gaming PCs for years now, things really heated up when the big names in the industry started jumping in. Valve got the ball rolling with the Steam Deck, followed closely by the ASUS ROG Ally. Lenovo may just be the latest to jump on board, but thanks to both its expertise and the advantage of hindsight, the Lenovo Legion Go is pretty much ahead of the game not just in terms of specs but also in design.
Yes, the Legion Go looks big, but mostly because it has the biggest screen among handheld gaming PCs in the market today. Its removable controllers give the perfect Nintendo Switch vibe, but the FPS mouse mode also delivers a new and unique way to play games. The high-performance hardware leaves few complaints, aside from the usual battery life, and the built-in kickstand removes the need for a separate accessory. There’s definitely still room for improvement, so it’s actually exciting to see what Lenovo has planned next for this device category.
Best Foldable Phone – OPPO Find N3
Foldable phones are becoming mainstream to the point that there might be too many to choose from at this point. While Samsung still has the lion’s share of people’s attention, it has long relinquished being the best in this market. It has easily let its rivals pass it by, and OPPO, who is relatively new to the scene, has just produced what is pretty much the best foldable phone you can buy (depending on where you are).
The OPPO Find N3 combines not just the best specs but also the best designs currently available in this category. It folds flat, has stylish color options, and has a more normal, wider shape that makes it more usable as a regular phone when folded. And it doesn’t skimp on the cameras, which is something that most foldable phones still have a hard time getting right. This particular model might not be available in all markets, but the OnePlus Open is a dead ringer and might be available in countries where the OPPO Find N3 isn’t.
Best Laptop/Portable PC – HP Envy Move
When thinking of “portable computers,” most will probably think of laptops since those are the most common designs available. They’re not always the best, though, especially when you consider the ergonomics involved. Desktop PCs, however, are just too large and bulky to be portable, even the thin all-in-one PCs are firmly rooted to desks. HP is challenging that status quo with a unique PC that is as portable as a laptop yet as usable as an all-in-one desktop.
The HP Envy Move is, for all intents and purposes, an AIO or All-in-One PC that was designed to be carried around, especially thanks to a built-in foldable handle and a pocket for storing a wireless keyboard. Its large 23.8-inch screen has plenty of room for work and entertainment, and you won’t have to crane your neck down every time you use it. Yes, it’s probably going to be awkward to carry it with you everywhere, but when you have a few fixed places to set up work or sit down for a movie, this computer will give you the full desktop experience in no time flat.
Best Portable Power Station – Bluetti AC500 + B300S
A stable supply of electricity has almost become a luxury these days. Power grids can go down without prior notice, or you might find yourself spending days and nights outdoors. Gas generators no longer cut it and are dangerous liabilities rather than assets, but there’s, fortunately, a large selection of safer and greener battery-powered generators now available today. Perhaps too many, in fact, since they come in all sizes and capacities, but Bluetti’s latest modular AC500 inverter and B300S expansion batteries offer the perfect flexibility for all your power needs.
The modular design of the Bluetti AC500 means that you can stack as many as four of these 3,072Wh batteries if you need to, enough to power a home for a day or two. Or you can only bring the inverter and one battery module if you just need to go camping over the weekend. Best of all, you can charge the batteries using solar power, so you don’t even have to worry about power outlets in case of emergencies or being stuck outside. It’s a great way to enjoy the conveniences of modern life by having access to safe and sustainable power at any time.
Best Powerbank – Anker 737 GaN Prime 24K
Our dependence on computers and smartphones becomes pretty obvious when we start scrambling for a charger and find no power outlet available. There’s a variety of portable batteries, a.k.a. power banks, available today, but not all of them deliver the power you need to charge multiple devices, let alone a power-hungry laptop. Anker is one of the leading brands in this space, and it has a solution that addresses that need without forcing you to carry a veritable brick in your bag.
The Anker 737 GaN Prime 24K offers portability and power in a compact package. It has enough output and battery capacity to charge a MacBook, for example, which means smartphones, accessories, and even drones are no sweat at all. GaN (Gallium Nitride) technology makes charging not only faster but also safer, while a helpful LCD display shows all the necessary stats you need to keep tabs on the power bank itself as well as the devices it’s charging. The block is admittedly chunky, but compared to power banks of similar capacity, it’s surprisingly compact and light, making it the perfect all-around partner for any mobile worker.
Best Smart Speaker – Sonos Era 300
The hype around smart speakers may seem to have died down, but that’s mostly because they have become almost too common. Every modern Bluetooth-enabled speaker these days has some smarts now, leaving manufacturers more freedom to explore other designs. Sonos is one of the pioneers in the wireless speaker space, and it continues to push through with new designs even in the face of unrelenting competition. Its new Sonos Era 300 this year makes an impact not only with its design but also with its commitment to the environment.
The Sonos Era 300 has a distinctive shape that almost looks like a flattened speaker icon, with a front half that flares out and a back that is more or less uniform in size. That shape isn’t accidental, as it allows the multitude of woofers and tweeters to be positioned for maximum efficiency and performance. What really makes the Sonos Era 300 extra special, however, is the attention that it gives to sustainability, picking materials, lowering power consumption, and encouraging quick repairs in order to reduce its negative impact on the environment.
Best Wireless Earbuds – Sony WF-1000XM5
Apple may have made wireless earbuds popular, but it is far from being the only game in town. When it comes to design and especially sound quality, the AirPods are easily eclipsed by products from more experienced brands. Reclaiming its foothold in this audio space, Sony has launched a new pair of high-end buds that truly immerse you in your favorite music, regardless of your environment.
The Sony WF-1000XM5 boasts one of if not the best noise canceling experiences that tiny buds can offer. It even uses some AI special sauce to also reduce noise interference when you’re making calls, allowing for clear and crisp audio on both ends of the line. Best of all, its minimalist design doesn’t call attention to itself, but its stylish appearance won’t embarrass you if people do notice.
Best Robot Vacuum Cleaner – SwitchBot S10
We have long gone past the days when robot vacuum cleaners only vacuumed floors and still left everything else to humans. Now they can dump their dirt into bins on their own and even wipe the floor with a mop when needed. Human intervention can’t be removed completely, like in taking out the dust bin or refilling water in the tank, but the SwitchBot S10 further reduces the need for manual interaction by making the robot smart enough to dump its own dirty water and stock up on clean water all by itself.
The small and narrow auto-emptying station of the SwitchBot S10 is rather deceptive, making you think it’s less capable than its larger competitors. But that’s because the exciting action happens away from that bin and at the separate water station that lets the robot vacuum exchange dirty water for clean one using the same pipes that you already have for drains and faucets. It can even refill a humidifier’s water tank on its own, presuming it’s SwitchBot’s humidifier, of course. These almost completely automated processes reduce the need to get your hands dirty, literally, and reduce the risks of getting contaminated and sick from handling waste materials.
Best Smartwatch – Apple Watch Ultra 2
Just like with smart speakers, the smartwatch market has more or less normalized by now after a long struggle in trying to carve out its niche. Designs may no longer be changing drastically, but innovation hasn’t stopped completely either. Now it’s a race to put the best health sensors you can cram in such a small space, but Apple has long been ahead of the race and the Apple Watch Ultra 2 cements its lead even further.
The Apple Watch Ultra series delivered what users have been asking for a long time, more space to see the information they need at a glance without having to tap their way through screens. It also adds a new double tap gesture so you won’t even have to use your other hand for basic actions like stopping a timer, ending a call, or better yet, taking a photo from your iPhone. It also introduces Apple’s first carbon-neutral products, offsetting the negative impact the production of its smartwatches has with “carbon credits” from nature-based projects and parts.
The LEGO-based pixelated look goes well with the PS One, which ran 32-bit games when it launched in the 90s. We’ve come a long way since then, but LEGO Builder GoofySwan099 decided to do a grand throwback to the good old days with this LEGO version of Sony’s first-ever gaming console. It isn’t clear how many bricks this build uses, but it comes with all the bells and whistles, including memory card and controller inputs on the front, an opening CD tray, and RCA ports on the back. Accompanying the console itself is a controller, multiple memory cards, and even a LEGO compact disc that fits right into the machine!
Although a little rough around the edges, the LEGO PS One is a spitting replica of the original. It’s fairly operational with maneuverable parts, add-ons, and a matching color scheme complete with logos to remind you of the real deal. Lift the hood and you’ll see a rotating CD that comes out (don’t forget to blow on the CD as you put it in like they used to back in the old days), and along with memory cards that saved game progress, you’ve got two slots for controllers, enabling team and mano-a-mano gameplay.
“The console has working features such as a power button, open button, memory card ports, controller port, and reset button. The back of the console is also detailed, showing all of the ports to connect the console to a television,” says LEGO builder GoofySwan099.
There’s even venting on the sides, designed to push air backward and out of the console!
At 2487 votes, the LEGO PlayStation One is gradually climbing up the Ideas forum charts, where community members like you and me get to vote for our favorite fan-made pieces. If it reaches the 10,000 vote target, LEGO’s internal team will consider making this into a box set, following some amount of design refinement.
Sony just released the PlayStation 5 Slim to give gamers another reason for hitting the couch this winter season. The console is considerably smaller than the bigger brother released in November 2020. The question remains, is it the better version of the PS5 or do gamers deserve a better gaming console from Sony?
This is where the rumors of a PlayStation 5 Pro sound exciting, filling in the gap to the long lull before PS6 finally hits the shelves. Like the PS4 Pro, the PS5 Pro gaming console is destined to be a better version of the base PlayStation 5. So, what will the PS5 Pro be like set for a probable November 2024 launch? It’ll be more powerful, have more memory and have advanced hardware.
Designer: Seungjae Lee
This flamboyant concept gives our imagination wings of what PS5 Pro could bring to the competition. The main focus here is on the augmented reality and virtual reality aspects of modern games, and that’s where we’re headed in the future. Gear for such a gaming console requires VR headsets and accompanying controllers. The rear of the console houses the VR controllers and headsets and comes with wireless plug-and-play functionality.
To keep the wire-clutter of main cables routed to the console to a minimum, the bottom rear handles the organizing aspect. What’s most intriguing about this concept gaming console are the controllers. They can behave as knuckle controllers in conjunction with the VR headset for an immersive experience. When two are joined together, they behave as a normal controller of the current generation.
Not only the controllers, but the VR headset also has a hidden surprise on top. There are docked wireless earbuds that can be used for increased audio immersion. All-in-all, the PS5 Pro concept is designed for enhanced gaming experience in the Metaverse. To add spice to the customary PlayStation theme, Seungjae has designed the renders in peppy options including a camouflage skin.
Sony has got the premium, mid-range and budget audio listeners covered with the WF-1000XM5, Linkbuds S and WF-C700N earbuds respectively. Console gaming is also on their radar with the announcement of the PlayStation earbuds earlier this year but will it be enough to challenge the likes of Razer, Asus ROG, Roccat or Turtle Beach?
Tapping this segment of the growing market is in Sony’s scheme of things as they’ve just released the InZone Buds. The gaming-centric wireless earbuds are designed keeping in mind the low latency and extended gaming sessions on mobile devices, as well as PC and gaming consoles via a dedicated USB-C dongle.
To attend to the specific needs of competitive gamers, the InZone WF-G700 earbuds tout a massive 12-hour standalone battery (with ANC turned off) and 24 hours in the case, courtesy of the Bluetooth Low Energy (LE Audio) and a new smart chip. They have a very low latency of 30 milliseconds for in-game tactical advantage in first-person shooters. 360 spatial audio is another feature that’ll keep gamers interested in these earbuds.
To get the most life-like immersive experience, you’ll have to use the Sounf Field Optimization with the 360 Spatial Sound Personalizer smartphone app. This customizes the audio delivery by analyzing the ear canal using feedback microphones to measure the sound inside the ear canal. The user can totally personalize the spatial listening experience thereafter.
Long gaming sessions are a certainty, so the earbuds are very comfortable for lengthy use since they weigh 8.2 grams in total. The included set of four ear tips ensures you get a comfy experience wearing them. For gamers who are audiophiles too, the earbuds should fare well since they come with the same Dynamic Driver X architecture as that on the premium WF-1000X series. However, keep in mind they are tuned for delivering gaming-optimized audio and should do well in situations where ANC and ambient modes are needed.
The IPX4-rated InZone earbuds are currently up for pre-order for a price tag of $200 in white and black color variants. These are the more premium gaming earbuds you can own if you are looking for a pair that’s better than the current options for a competitive edge.