One of the pleasures of my job is to be exposed to many new and disruptive products. The Thanksgiving and December holidays are quickly approaching, so it’s that time of year when I’m fortunate enough to evaluate new tech products that deserve attention. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.
Keep in mind that my comments are not intended as an in-depth review, but as preliminary impressions to prompt you to investigate and research further.
let’s get started.
HP Envy 34 All-in-One Desktop (2022)
Even though the all-in-one (AIO) PC market has simulated the overall contraction in the desktop PC market over the past few years, the pandemic-induced work-from-home phenomenon has proven to be a repeat for these convenient, mostly cable-free PC. Note, however, that AIOs typically offer minimal internal upgrade capability, which can be a problem for some power users who don’t want those restrictions.
HP is one of the few PC makers that continuously launches new AIO designs every year. The latest update to the HP Envy 34, currently with a starting price of $1,700, is one of the most beautifully designed models by the Palo Alto-based manufacturer.
HP Envy 34 All-in-One Desktop | image credit: HP
Squarely positioned to appeal to creative professionals, it also has broad utility for consumers and mainstream SMB users. The HP Envy 34 has an excellent non-glare 5K 34″ display, a mobile HD webcam with an integrated shutter for privacy protection, and great performance.
Of course, comparably priced legacy desktops can deliver more power, especially in the discrete GPU area. But given its extensive feature set, the HP Envy 34 offers excellent value for my money.
It’s the perfect PC for executive offices, home offices, and dorm rooms because of its cable-free nature – it only requires a power cord as the keyboard and mouse connect via Bluetooth.
On the back of the unit are the typical classifications of Unified Interfaces:
- 4 USB-A Ports
- 2 thunderbolt 4 port
- Audio – Headphone/Microphone Combo
- hdmi out
- Gigabit Ethernet
Cable management is enhanced with a magnetic clip that helps keep cords organized and within reach, a great touch.
Creative professionals will be drawn to the massive 34″ display that’s paired with 5K resolution in a 21:9 aspect ratio, which puts the Envy 34 Display on par with Apple’s vaunted 27″ iMac. I found the 500 nits to be exceptionally bright on this display.
5K resolution (5120 x 2160) is common to all models of the HP Envy 34, though more expensive configurations include higher-end, game-friendly Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 discrete graphics.
Another important feature that users should love is that the stand easily accommodates two more USB-A ports, a media memory card reader, and a third USB-C port.
External I/O Ports on the HP Envy 34-c0340t All-in-One Desktop | image credit: HP
When configured with a high-end Intel i9-1100 processor, Nvidia RTX 3080 discrete graphics, 32GB of memory, and a 1TB SSD, the price can quickly climb to $3,430. But properly configured models are available for less than $2,000, and it’s the ideal PC for users working from home, design-sensitive corporate execs, and professional content creators.
If you’re considering an AIO PC, you can’t go wrong with the HP Envy 34.
HP Elite Dragonfly G3 Notebook
Thin and light laptops have dominated the PC landscape ever since Steve Jobs dramatically pulled the original MacBook Air out of an envelope at an Apple launch event in January 2008. With its release, Apple effectively declared to the rest of the industry, “This is how a laptop should be designed.”
However, more than 14 years have passed, and the PC industry has not stood still. There are several excellent alternatives to the MacBook Air, most notably the recently announced Dell XPS 13 Plus, which allows the entire palm rest to be used as a touchpad.
While no product in this category has achieved perfection status, the new HP Elite Dragonfly G3 comes close. It’s an absolute pleasure to use with its lightweight, surprisingly thin, and elegant form factor design, featuring great performance, excellent battery life, and a superior 3:2 display that boosts productivity.
HP Elite Dragonfly G3 Notebook | image credit: HP
Perhaps most importantly, the Elite Dragonfly G3 offers the best typing experience of any thin and light laptop I’ve come across.
Like previous Dragonfly models, this new one is made of magnesium and has been refreshed with a mix of magnesium and aluminum, which contributes to the curved “pillow corners” design on the display lid and outer base images.
Weighing in at just 2.2 pounds, this laptop has a highly polished executive look with a display that can be opened with one hand. It is available in 2 non-controversial colors: Slate Blue and Natural Silver.
Of course, HP offers the Elite Dragonfly G3 with a range of panel options, ranging from a multi-touch Full HD+ (1920 x 1280) WLED panel to a single 32K (3000 x 2000) OLED panel that delivers better crispness .
Internally, HP chose to use Intel’s more efficient 15-watt Core i5 1245U, Core i7 1255U, or Core i7 1256U, instead of Intel’s new 12th Gen Intel Core P Series, which uses more watts. It’s a wise choice as it extends the Elite Dragonfly’s battery life, which is impressively north of 14 hours.
HP Elite Dragonfly G3 Right-Side Ports | image credit: HP
In terms of security, the Elite Dragonfly also supports Windows Hello facial and fingerprint recognition. I find the latter more convenient.
The icing on the cake is the Elite Dragonfly G3’s story of sustainability: The laptop’s outer carcass uses at least 90% recycled magnesium, which will warm the hearts of individuals with environmental concerns.
HP Elite Dragonfly G3 Front View | image credit: HP
The HP Elite Dragonfly G3 is one of the most impressive laptops ever to cross my radar screen. Its “elite” design, strong battery life, rich feature set, and excellent connectivity features (Wi-Fi 6E and optional 4G LTE or 5G cellular support) will cost you dearly. A fully configured model will run over $3,000. Price aside, you’ll undoubtedly fall in love with the HP Elite Dragonfly G3 – if you can afford it.
Motorola Q14 Tri-Band Mesh Wi-Fi System (AXE5400)
Many readers of my technology column know that I’m a big fan of the overall Wi-Fi router trend, which has embraced mesh technology over the past several years.
These routers alone can solve one of home users’ biggest connectivity problems: reliably getting strong Wi-Fi coverage throughout the living space.
Mesh routers are game-changing in a typical home with many active uses, e.g., gaming, streaming, videoconferencing, productivity, etc.
While most consumers still use older Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) routers, several companies are offering faster mesh routing iterations based on Wi-Fi 6 or (more recently) Wi-Fi 6e.
Motorola has joined the mesh router party with its offering Q14 Tri-Band Mesh Wi-Fi System.
Motorola is catching up with more established players like Linksys, Netgear, and Asus. Despite its late arrival to market, there’s a lot to like about the new Q14.
Motorola Q14-Wi-Fi 6E Mesh Router | image credit: motorola
The Q14 enables 6 GHz wireless bands for dramatically increased speeds and up to 160 wireless channels that can be used simultaneously. This feature translates to a recognizable increase in the number of Wi-Fi devices used simultaneously in your home without compromising on overall performance.
Mesh routers usually consist of the router itself and one or two “satellite” nodes that can extend coverage to 5,000 square feet, which is especially helpful for those with larger properties and Wi-Fi for devices outside the home. – Requires Fi connectivity, such as security cameras and sensor based alarms.
Priced at $649 (though you can currently buy it on Amazon for $500), the Q14 offering sent to me included a router and two nodes, so it provided maximum Wi-Fi connectivity in my home.
Wrapped in a premium mesh fabric, routers and satellites feature a cutting-edge modern design to complement any room. You won’t be embarrassed to have them sit on a bookshelf, desk or cabinet.
The Motorola Q14 Wi-Fi 6E Mesh System can be proudly displayed as a design element. , image credit: motorola
What sets the Q14 apart from other mesh routers I’ve used isn’t just its overall excellent performance. Router setup is enabled by one of the most intuitive smartphone apps I’ve used, and it offers the convenience of parental controls and cybersecurity at no extra cost. The app designed by Minim allowed me to set up the Q14 in less than 20 minutes without any hiccups.
Unlike many other companies that have taken a similar app-based approach to product setup, the Moto Sync app is highly visual and intuitive. It should be noted that Minim holds an exclusive global license to design and manufacture consumer networking products under the Motorola brand. Plus, the Q14 is an independent Wi-Fi network and can only mesh with other Q14 routers. It is not a universal expander.
The Moto Sync app that powers the Motorola Q14 Mesh Wi-Fi 6E router. image credit: motorola
There are many appreciable mesh routers on the market, but the Q14 stands apart from a price standpoint. At less than $500 for the Q14-02, which covers 3,500 square feet, it’s a bargain compared to Netgear’s $1,499 Orbi quad-band Wi-Fi 6E mesh system, though the Q14’s technical feature set is more modest. Is.
Regardless, the performance differences will vary for most mainstream home users, and I’d recommend saving $1,000.
Dell Pro Webcam – WB5023
Last year, Dell impressed many in the tech industry with its stylish 4K Dell Ultrasharp Webcam. Initially priced at $200, it was positioned to appeal to users working from home who needed better videoconferencing capability and had other options than Logitech’s 4K Brio webcam.
Acknowledging the market demand for low-resolution webcams at a more value-oriented price, Dell recently unveiled its $110 Dell Pro Webcam – the WB5023 that delivers “good enough” 2K QHD video resolution (1440p/s). 30 fps or 1080p/60 fps). Which is more than enough for standard videoconferencing.
Dell Pro Webcam WB5023 | image credit: Dell
With a built-in monitor clip with 78-degree field of view (FOV), 4X digital zoom, and tripod attachment capability, this webcam, like its 4K predecessor, looks and feels high-quality (Logitech 4K Brio) even more) ) in terms of hardware.
It’s probably not the right webcam if you’re creating high-quality video content or need 4K resolution for professionally produced podcasts, but its overall image quality is excellent.
What’s more, unlike 4K UltraSharp webcams, it includes more sophisticated features like a built-in microphone and AI auto-framing that tracks your face and keeps it focused on-screen.
Another important point: Dell’s webcams, including these models, are optimized for use with Windows PCs. They’ll work with Macs, but Dell doesn’t provide macOS drivers for tweaking webcam settings.
The bottom line is that it’s the ideal budget-friendly webcam that works well, underscoring Dell’s brand reputation for solid value.
Remember that the tech product prices above are always a moving target as we are in the holiday season when online retailers have promotions that will offer substantial discounts off MSRP.
This point is especially true for Amazon, and the price of an item can vary greatly from day to day, so keep that in mind when you’re about to pull the trigger and order these or any other high-tech products. Do it.
Happy Holiday Shopping, everyone!