ICYMI: Toyota Sienna 2021 is a stress-free engine for people
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This week we reviewed the gadgets that surprised us, and a few that disappointed us. First, Devindra Hardawar will change her position on the minivans after driving the Toyota Sienna 2021. Next, Cherlynn Low tested the HP Elite Folio laptop, which left a lot to be desired in the software department. Cherlynn has also tested the OnePlus Nord N200 5G, which is a bargain if you’re not interested in performance delays and lower camera features. And finally, James Trew played with the second-generation iZotope Spire portable studio that received some updates, but still lacks a key feature.
Although they often provide more safety, features and space than other vehicles, minivans have some stigma attached to them. Devindra Hardawar has been firmly anti-minivan for a long time, but the 2021 Sienna he changed his mind. It has a sportier style with sharp lines, a large grille, an 11.6-inch infotainment screen for second- and third-row passengers, and because it’s a hybrid, it offers at least 35 MPG of mileage combined with all-wheel drive. It’s also a competitive price starting at $ 34,460 (although the Limited model will be tested starting at $ 50,085).
After driving her parents and daughter around, Devindra was surprised to find the 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine and dual electric motors to be smooth and responsive even when passing through the highway. And I was always impressed by how much more room I had. The last row of seats can be easily placed flat with a rope tug, providing additional load space and making food items less stressful. He also liked the included Safety Sense 2.0 technology, which helps identify pedestrians, adjust direction if the vehicle is drifting and uses radar-assisted cruise control to keep a safe distance from other vehicles.
Cherlynn Low says the novel HP Elite Folio the laptop aligns itself with the company’s reputation for producing attractive laptops. The new machine features a classy leather construction, reliable LTE connectivity and a stylus with Wacom technology – all of which helps justify its $ 1,889 price tag. It also features a pull-forward touchscreen with a 3: 2 aspect ratio, a solid battery life of 15+ hours and loud, clear speakers. Cherlynn said she also liked the keyboard because of its adjustable backlight and its well-spaced layout.
Despite all these promising features, Cherlynn found the overall user experience to be messy. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2, 16 GB of RAM and Windows on ARM software is gone when switching between Word and Slack documents. She also said that the laptop could use a lock to put the screen in place after it has been slid forward because the panel would occasionally pop out of the cover, which is a less-than-ideal thing that happens when you are in the middle of work.
James Trew was impressed by iZotope’s Spire Studio. The portable recording device, connected to the phone has an unusual and playful design and allows musicians to carry a “studio” with them via the integrated microphone, storage and two combi-XLR ports. He called it a “curious but convincing proposal,” so I was waiting to check it out refreshed model which adds more onboard storage (up to eight hours of recording), revised preamps with improved interference rejection and higher volume, more Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.
James says it’s easy to see why the Spire could be favored by amateurs and professionals alike because it’s simple but incredibly capable. He found that the companion software is accurate when reducing external noise, and says the overall app is very user-friendly. He says the improvements made to the second generation of Spire have made the already solid device even better, but he still longs for the day when he will be able to connect the device to a computer via USB. Upgrades cost – exactly $ 150 more than the first generation, which brings the entire unit up to $ 499.
A $ 240 smartphone with 5G seems like too good a deal to be true, so Cherlynn Low tested it OnePlus Nord N200 5G to see how it went. While the robustly built smartphone has a 6.49-inch HD + LCD screen that cools down to 90Hz, Cherlynn said it lacks the colors and contrast levels offered by competing OLED screens. And even though it likes the clean user interface of OxygenOS 11, the low-end Snapdragon 480 processor is delayed and stopped when it switches between the camera and other apps.
The Nord N200 also features a triple camera system consisting of a 13-megapixel main sensor, a 2-megapixel macro lens and a 2-megapixel monochrome lens. While it looks good on paper for a budget smartphone, Cherlynn said all the shots she took look dull, especially compared to the same shots taken by $ 350 Pixel 4a. He also said that the night landscapes were blurry and noisy, and the OnePlus ’night mode didn’t do much to resolve this. The battery lasted more than 17 hours during testing, but I always thought this T-Mobile exclusive would be suitable only for die-hard OnePlus fans with tight budgets who are eager to jump on 5G.