May, a month named after the nurturing Greek Earth goddess Maia, whose 31-day tenure over the mortal realm marks when spring shifts into summer. In terms of tech, the month has seen some practical if not immediately flashy products, along with some fun and intelligent new gadgetry to improve our everyday lives.
A review of the month’s offerings means running a gamut of tech of all shapes, sizes, and capabilities. And this month we give you the lowdown on a VR headset, an e-bike, and a smart espresso machine, among others. Read on to discover the best tech goddess Maia had to offer this May.
Facebook-owned Oculus helped position VR as a consumer-facing product and not merely the stuff of silicon valley proselytizing. That said, getting users to mass-adopt its headsets has proved more difficult. But with the $399 Oculus Quest, the VR company’s time might finally be nigh.
The device offers an immersive gaming experience that requires no phone, PC connection, or wires to operate. Being so self-contained allows users to more seamlessly enter the Quest’s virtual realms and take the device anywhere.
Cannondale Tesoro NEO X Speed
A good bike is expensive. A very good e-bike is no cheaper. But the pedal-assisted electric Cannondale Tesoro NEO X Speed earns its $4,200 price tag with thick wheels, a stylish alloy frame, rear carrier, kickstand, and integrated lighting on a two-wheeler built for touring, trekking, and — according to the brand’s marketing materials — “hooning around the city having a laugh.”
The Tesoro NEO X Speed has a rechargeable 500Wh battery that takes about 4.5 hours to fully get its juice back and is powered by a 250W Bosch mid-drive motor. The whir of the motor might distract from the natural sounds of your environment, but you’ll be having too much fun to notice.
Dell XPS 13 (9380)
Laptop manufacturers that aren’t Apple have spent years trying to steal away market share from the House that Jobs Built, despite creating products that, in many respects, performed better. More than anything, Apple’s competitors just couldn’t match the Cupertino giant on the aesthetics front.
So imagine our surprise when the $900 Dell XPS 13 emerged as a viable MacBook rival. The XPS 13 is slim and light but powerful enough to handle a serious workload. You can also level it up with a non-glare screen, full HD, UHD, and touchscreen options. Dell has also moved the webcam to above the display, so no more weird neck shots.
Razer Core X Chroma
Laptop users rejoice, more ports and more power are here in the shape of the $399 Razer Core X Chroma. When it comes to external graphics card enclosures (eGPU), the Thunderbolt 3 cable of this device significantly boosts the graphical performance of even the slimmest laptop while also offering extra USB ports and connections.
It should be said that the Core X Chroma arrives empty, but the possibilities are manifold. Your computer must be Thunderbolt 3-compatible and carry either an AMD or Nvidia desktop graphics card. Each of these can incur additional costs, of course, but what you’ll get from the Core X Chroma is a 700W power supply, four USB 3.1 ports, and GPU power usage at 500W. Add to that the Chroma lighting effect and your machine will truly be flying.
Beats by Dre Powerbeats Pro
The $250 Powerbeats Pro are described as workout headphones, but we all know these were made for flexing well beyond the doors of your local Equinox.
They’re comfortable and steady in the ear and provide a bass thump as large as its carry case (about twice the size of an AirPods case). The long battery life means you can be in your own headspace for hours. Design-wise, they’re not exactly subtle, but if you’re sporting Beats by Dre you’re likely to be living an outsized kind of life, right?
OnePlus 7 Pro
Until recently, the bout for the best big phone was a skirmish between Apple and Samsung. Google’s Pixel XL has thrown punches too, and Huawei might have something to say if it could enter the US market, but OnePlus is another that can hold its own.
How do you beat the giants? Undercut in price and punch above your weight, which is exactly what the OnePlus 7 Pro does. The Android smartphone claims to be just as good as a Galaxy S10 Plus or iPhone XS Max while selling via T-Mobile for $699. With a 6.5-inch screen, 19.5:9 aspect ratio, motorized pop-up selfie camera, and a curved screen similar to its Samsung counterparts, this is an unexpectedly big hitter.
Jura S8 Superautomatic Touchscreen Espresso Machine
The jury’s out on whether caffeine can make you smarter, but a smart coffee machine? Very clever.
The Jura S8 Superautomatic Touchscreen Expresso Machine can not only brew lattes, macchiatos, flat whites, and ristrettos, but all sorts of pours for tea drinkers as well. But smartest of all is a digital interface operated via the high-res touchscreen or Jura Coffee app. You can use it to adjust the AromaG3 grinder to your coffee preference.
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