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A well-rounded VPN delivers reliable speed, privacy and DNS content unblocking. ExpressVPN has all that and more. It ensures user protection with 256-bit AES encryption, IP address masking and a kill switch to prevent network traffic from leaking in case connection is lost. It also doesn’t log any personally identifiable info. Don’t know how to set it up? There’s a live chat support available 24/7 to help. Each plan comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. $12.95/mo.
Describing itself as “the world’s fastest VPN,” IPVanish supports up to 10 connections on multiple devices at a time and offers unlimited P2P traffic and bandwidth. It has a zero-log policy and uses 256-bit AES encryption to protect its users’ privacy, making it perfect for anonymous torrenting. There’s no free trial available, but there’s a 7-day money-back guarantee, which is pretty much the same thing. As of August 2018, a 1-year plan costs $6.49/mo.
VyprVPN provides fast speeds at good value, not to mention that it has an extensive range of clients. When it comes to encryption, it gives users the option to choose from OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, PPTP and Chameleon. It’s packed with features that make a VPN service great, including zero-knowledge DNS and a kill switch. Best part is it’s located in Switzerland, where privacy laws are favorable. The basic plan costs $5/mo, while the premium option comes to $6.67/mo.
Hotspot Shield stands out from the pack by giving users what they need in a VPN service while keeping the price point low. It masks IP addresses, hides physical locations and encrypts data—all the good stuff. It doesn’t keep activity logs, and it provides a kill switch to boot. There’s a free tier available, but needless to say, it doesn’t offer as many features as the premium version, which costs $2.99/mo under a 2-year plan.
Security and speed are 2 of the most qualities a VPN service should have, and NordVPN has both and then some. It supports up to 6 devices and uses 256-bit AES encryption, as well as other security measures such as an automatic kill switch, a no-logs policy and DNS leak protection. What’s more, it offers what it calls SmartPlay technology, allowing users to unblock streaming services locked behind geo-restrictions. The 2-year plan costs only $3.29/mo.
Using a VPN can get a bit complicated sometimes, but TunnelBear makes everything about it as simple as it can get. As proof, it provides a user-friendly software, and it doesn’t even use any jargon on its website. In other words, it’s perfect for first-time VPN users. It supports up to 5 simultaneous connections and offers a wide range of clients. TunnelBear is also the only VPN that has published an independent security audit, making its policies crystal clear. The 1-year plan costs $5/mo.
VPN Unlimited is one of the services among the current brood that can provide impressive speeds. It promises not only total security but also absolute privacy, which means its users will be safe online and remain anonymous and untracked. It has a 7-day trial so that users can take it out for a spin first, and on top of that, there’s a 7-day money-back guarantee too. The 1-year plan is priced at $5/mo, and there’s a lifetime option available for a one-time payment of $149.99.
With a user base of over 10 million, CyberGhost is definitely among the most trustworthy VPN services out there. It’s got what people should expect from a VPN, including a zero-log policy, IP address masking, data encryption and Wi-Fi protection. It has a range of clients, and there’s even a feature that fires up the VPN when the user loads certain apps. There’s a free version, but not only is it slow, it also comes with ads and limits connectivity to 1 device. The 18-month plan costs $2.75/mo.
Geared toward gamers, the Asus RT-AC86U is built for a lag-free online gaming experience. Performance is solid. It provides great coverage and speed at 802.11ac. Design-wise, it’s obvious it’s taking up the ROG scheme. Considering what it can deliver, it’s a bang for the buck at $194.99.
Samsung Connect Home provides a mesh Wi-Fi system that can cover just about every corner of your home. It isn’t packed with a ton of features, but it gets the job done while doubling as a SmartThings hub. In other words, it’s perfect for homes with a lot of smart devices. A unit costs $129.99, but a package of 3 is available for $299.99. There’s a $199.99 pro version too, which is designed for heavier bandwidth usage.
The Netgear Orbi RBK50 is a wireless mesh system that’s made up of a router and a wireless Wi-Fi extender. The two work together to provide a wide coverage zone of up to 5,000 square feet, making sure there aren’t any dead spots in big homes. Best part is it’s easy to set up—just plug the router into your modem or internet source, place the add-on unit somewhere away from the first one and fire it up. As of August 2018, it’s available for $323.99 and each additional unit for $212.99.
AmpliFi HD is one of the nicest-looking wireless routers in the market. While you’d get pretty much the same experience as you would with other devices among the current crop such as Google Wifi, nothing quite beats it in the aesthetics department. It even has an LCD touchscreen, which makes it look even more modern. $149.99.
As Linksys puts it, this wireless router is “engineered purely for gaming.” It has a ton of features for gamers, including firmware and UI designed to control gaming traffic. Coupled with a good internet connection, it delivers on its promise of a lag-free online gaming experience. $299.99.
ZenMate takes the headache out from setting up and using a VPN by removing any jargon from the picture. Targeted at first-time VPN users, its forte is in its clients’ ease of use. The beauty of it is it takes just a few clicks to get things going, even for a beginner. It’s got everything that users need too, such as unblocking content, privacy online, and data encryption. The problem is, expert users might find it lacking in terms of controls. The 1-year plan comes to $5.99/mo.
For those on a budget, the TCL 617-Series is a solid choice. It’s not exactly on par with the best 4K TVs on the market, but let’s be realistic: Most of us aren’t willing to shell out over $1,000 for one. This is well below the usual price range. At just $650, you’d already get a bright and colorful HDR, as well as Roku TV and Dolby Vision support. Sure, there are flaws such as restricted motion settings, but they’re arguably minor. In short, it’s a bang for the buck. $569-1,899 for 55-75" sets.
The Amazon Fire TV Cube is an all-around streaming device perfect for homes with an ecosystem built around Alexa. It supports 4K and HDR, and there’s an Ethernet adapter to make sure you get a stable internet connection. Voice commands make controlling it a lot easier than with a remote. For example, I can just ask Alexa to “play The Crown,” and it’ll fire up the TV and Netflix all on its own. Only downside is, there’s no Dolby Vision support. $119.99.
Samsung evidently stepped up their design game with the Q9FN. HDR picture quality is superb, and audio isn’t just powerful but also balanced. It even has a great smart system to boot. Unlike its predecessor, you won’t see contrast issues here, thanks to its Full Array Local Dimming (as opposed to edge-lit LED). With FALD mixed with Quantum Dots tech, it delivers more color and brightness than other Samsung TVs. But what makes it the best 4K TV are its HDR10+ and Q HDR EliteMax features. $3,300
The Nvidia Shield brings gaming and streaming together into one package. Based on the Android TV platform, it’s capable of 4K and HDR playback, and it offers hundreds of games, many of which are exclusives. You can even stream PC games to it, and the bundled controller feels like it’s made with console gamers in mind. The thing I like about it the most is how I can watch Netflix or YouTube in 4K and play games all in one place. With a controller, it’s $199.99, and it’s $179 with just a remote.
As a mesh Wi-Fi system built for business, the Netgear Orbi Pro guarantees there’s coverage in every corner of the office. It’s easy to set up and delivers reliable performance so that work isn’t interrupted by, say, a slow Wi-Fi. It isn’t cheap, but what you’re getting for it is uncompromising quality. $424.99 as of August 2018.
Simplicity is the forte of the Google Chromecast 2. It’s a no-frills streaming device and works with just about any smartphone or tablet. It builds on its predecessor in a lot of ways, and the biggest change is the upgrade to 802.11ac, which translates to a better overall wireless connection. It’s just the thing for Android fans with a Google ecosystem at home. It doesn’t support 4K or HDR streaming, though, but it’s on the affordable side at only $35.
Wireless routers aren’t made to be pretty, but it’s always a treat when one that’s aesthetically pleasing comes around. Not only is the Starry Station easy to use, but it’s also got the looks and a reliable performance to match. It even sports a 3.8-inch LCD touchscreen where you can access more info and controls. Its fan does get loud at times, though. As of August 2018, it’s available for $149.09.
This wireless router may be behind the times when it comes to appearance, and it even has an old-fashioned user interface, but it makes up for them in fantastic performance. TechRadar’s tests found that it can deliver a throughput of 2,400Mbps over a 2.4GHz and 5GHz band. As of August 2018, it costs $356.28.
This router is an upgrade from the TP-Link Archer C5400, and it comes at a more affordable price point. While it doesn’t win marks for its appearance, it does deliver uncompromising performance. It’s not a mesh Wi-Fi system, though, but it does make up for it in features, such as Alexa and IFTTT integration. It’s a little on the pricey side at $299.99, but as of August 2018, retailers are selling it anywhere between $248 and $268.
The Roku Ultra supports 4K, HDR and everything included with the excellent Roku Streaming Stick Plus ($59), but adds an Ethernet port for a more stable wired connection, and a USB port for external storage so you can just plug in any compatible device to view its contents. The lost remote finder is a nice touch too. Just press the button and the remote will emit a tone so you can find it. As of August 2018, it’s available for $89.
Barbecue doesn’t get any more real than this. Not only will you eat some of the most tender meats here, but you’ll also get placemats that show you the specialties of barbecue-loving regions, such as Memphis pork ribs and Texas beef brisket, which are both on the menu. Meats are dry rubbed and slow smoked using oak, hickory, and fruit woods, resulting in full-flavored smoky goodness. What’s more, its desserts, such as peanut butter pie, can satisfy even the most serious sweet tooth. $$.
In terms of design, Lenovo toned down the Legion Y530 to keep prices low and compete with the likes of Razer, but it didn’t compromise performance in any way. The base model ($750) comes with an 8th-gen Intel Core i5-8300H, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 married to a 15.6-inch screen with a 1920 x 1080 resolution. If you want a little more oomph in the GPU department, the GTX 1050 Ti model is available for $840. Only problem here is there’s no GTX 1060 option.
Pitmaster Tyson Ho, who polished his skills on the grill with barbecue buff Ed Mitchell in North Carolina, brings the techniques from the state to NYC. Pigs are roasted whole and dressed with a sauce made of vinegar and pepper. You won’t find brisket or pulled pork drenched in too much sauce on the menu, as it’s sticking to tradition. What you’ll come across instead are sweet potato waffles with bourbon syrup and smoked sausages, among others. It’s the beer hall and barbecue joint to be. $$.
With a lot of awards under its belt, it’s hard to go wrong with Pig Beach. From the smoker, you can get tender baby back ribs, succulent turkey breasts, juicy briskets, and pork meat that falls off the bone and slather them with brown sugar-honey sauce or hatch vinegar barbecue sauce. Now, from the grill, you can get burgers smothered with cheese and even buffalo wings, not to mention the bar’s alcoholic slushes and milkshakes make for some great drinks to go along with the meat. $$.
In terms of design, the Huawei Matebook X Pro is hard to beat, and it’s got the right hardware to match. The base model ($1,199.99) has an 8th-gen Intel Core i5-8250U, a 256GB SSD and 8GB RAM under the hood and a 13.9-inch 3K LED touchscreen paired with UHD Graphics 620. The upgraded model ($1,499.99) bumps the specs to an 8th-gen Core i7-8550U, 512GB SSD, 16GB RAM and an NVIDIA GeForce MX150. As TechRadar says, it’s more affordable than its competition. Only downside is there’s no SD card slot.
Dell brings performance and portability in one gorgeous package, and the result is the XPS 13. It’s easy to carry, thin and has the horsepower to handle your daily workload at school. As TechRadar says, it’s the best laptop for college students. The base configuration ($749.99) comes with a 7th-gen Intel Core i3-7100U, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD and a 13.3-inch 1080p display. If it has any fault, it’s the stiff starting price, not to mention getting the Rose Gold variant adds $50 to the total cost.
Among those that are paving the way of 2-in-1 laptops is the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro, and that’s thanks to its great design and feel and S Pen, which is handy for jotting down notes. It has a 7th-gen Intel Core i7, and the 13.3-inch model ($1,100) comes with 8GB RAM and HD Graphics 620, while the 15.6-inch version ($1,300) boasts 16GB RAM and AMD Radeon 540. Thing is, it’s limited to 1080p, and its battery life is inconsistent, but it’s still among TechRadar’s recommended devices.
As TechRadar says, the best laptop for college students is affordable yet capable of delivering performance. That’s what the Surface Go can offer. It has an Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y, HD Graphics 615, 4GB or 8GB RAM, 64GB eMMC or 128GB SSD and a 10-inch 1800 x 1200 PixelSense touchscreen. While the Pentium CPU seems like bad news, it can handle whatever schoolwork you throw at it. With an excellent build quality and low starting price of $399, it’s hard to go wrong with it.
As recommended by TechRadar, the Samsung Notebook 9 has all the right stuff to keep up with college students: 8th-gen Intel Core i7, NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD and a 15-inch 1080p display. It’s portable and sports a fingerprint scanner to boot, and it has great battery life that’s estimated to last up to 19.5 hours. Storage space isn’t that big, though, and it’s a bit on the pricy side at $1,500.
The Microsoft Surface Pro is one of the best laptops for college students, TechRadar says. It’s portable, and it has the hardware to handle your schoolwork. The base configuration ($799) comes with a 7th-gen Intel Core m3, HD Graphics 615, 4GB RAM and 128GB SSD. The specs can go all the way up to a Core i7, 1 TB SSD, 16GB RAM and Iris Plus Graphics 640. It has an excellent build quality and long battery life too. One issue here is the Surface Pen was pulled from the bundle.
The Samsung Notebook 7 Spin may not be a front-runner in the competition, but it gets the job done. It’s a convertible laptop with a 13.3-inch 1080p touchscreen that can bend all the way back. That way, it can be used as a tablet, but it doesn’t come with a stylus. Performance isn’t an issue, as it houses an 8th-gen Intel Core i5, UHD Graphics 620, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD. While it may be lacking for some, it does compensate for it with a long-lasting battery life. Recommended by TechRadar. $900.
Belkin’s BoostUp Wireless Charging Pad can reliably output up to 7.5W, and it can still juice up your phone even if it has a 3mm thick case, meaning you don’t have to keep removing the case each time you set it down for a charge. It’s not the smallest wireless charger out there, but it’s still pretty easy to carry around. $50.
Affordability, superb performance, portability—these are what the Asus ZenBook UX330UA can deliver. It packs an 8th-gen Intel Core i5-8250U, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD and sports a 13.3-inch FHD screen. It has plenty of features you’d expect from top-of-the-line devices too, including a backlit keyboard and fingerprint scanner. Best of all, its huge 57 Whrs battery should keep the lights on for one whole day at school. No wonder it scored a 9 out of 10 in Digital Trends’ review. $749.
In the heart of 21 Greenpoint is a huge wood-burning oven, but it’s not just for show; it’s the lifeblood of the American dishes the restaurant serves, where the bread and pizza are baked and where the meat and variety of root vegetables are roasted. Not only does the menu change every day, but the cooking staff is accommodating of requests, so patrons can ask for vegan and vegetarian alternatives. It’s hard to find another place that can offer quality American food at affordable prices. $$.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 distinguishes itself with its 13MP Four Thirds sensor, pairing it with a 24-77mm F1.7-2.8 lens. Thanks to its huge sensor and bright lens, it can take great photos with blurry backgrounds. Also, it can record video in 4K, and it’s capable of continuous shooting with autofocus. Some may be bothered by its non-touch LCD screen and lack of a built-in flash and neutral-density filter, though. $600.
With a 2,600-pound pit at hand, pitmaster Matt Fisher and owner Bill Fletcher has this joint sending out one mouth-watering barbecue after another, from Red Wattle pork smoked using maple wood to succulent, dry-rubbed briskets. The meal isn’t complete without a bottle of the local beer, or maybe a shot of bourbon or rye. $$.
At Double Zero, the menu is mostly made up of low-gluten pizza and “not pizza.” You won’t find any meat or dairy too, but the thing is, you won’t be looking for any once you’ve tasted what it has to offer, from the sweet potato cavatelli to the vegan cheese plate served with almond ricotta or truffle cashew. Couple all that with organic wine in an urbane setting filled with exquisite artwork and communal tables, and you’ve got yourself a place that deserves the Bib Gourmand status. $$.
This is one of the barbecue places around where you can get great food and eat in comfort. Most of the meat on the menu is dry rubbed to perfection, and every order comes with two sauces: the fiery Hollapeno, which adds a spicy zing to the mix, and the tomato-based Jointsmoke. The beef short ribs and the pulled pork sandwich are to die for, and the iceberg wedge salad served with blue cheese dressing has me cleaning my plate up every time. $$.
Al Bustan offers a refined dining ambience with its white leather chairs and numerous chandeliers that brighten the room. Full of Lebanese specialties, the menu consists of a variety of meze, as well as house specials and prix fixe. Whet your appetite with the fattoush salad, or maybe the sambousek jibneh, a pastry brimming with feta cheese. Don’t miss the mashawi, a mixed grill platter, or the kouzi, a huge phyllo filled with carrots, peas, spiced rice and lamb. $$.
There are a lot of barbecue joints in NYC, but Mighty Quinn’s Barbecue manages to stand out from the pack. That’s thanks to its pitmaster Hugh Mangum, who brought together Texas and Carolina barbecuing techniques and created a new category in its own right called “Texalina.” The meats are cooked over a mix of apple, cherry, and oak woods in a 7,000-pound smoker that’s running 24/7, giving not only the food a full smoky flavor but also adding a campfire scent to the whole place. $$.
Falansai is one of the places you just can’t say no to. Chef and owner Henry Trieu, who may be familiar to foodies in the Bay Area, mans the kitchen here, serving next-level Vietnamese dishes. Case in point, there’s the goi du du, a papaya salad paired with shrimps, mint and crushed peanuts, as well as the cari bi do, a coconut curry made with kabocha pumpkin and filled with carrots, mushroom and cassava. Try the bánh mì, and it just might change your outlook on sandwiches. $$.
Building quite a reputation for themselves, owners Frank Castronovo and Frank Falcinelli set up a rustic place complete with brick walls, bare wooden tables and ambient lighting in 2004. Since then, Frankies 457 Spuntino has been serving quality Italian dishes in Brooklyn’s Carroll Gardens. When you do pay a visit, don’t miss the linguine served with fava beans and tomato broth. Pair your meal with a fennel, celery root and parsley salad, which could tempt you to lick your plate clean. $$.
This restaurant offers an authentic Brooklyn feel, from the bare brick walls and wood tables to the ambient lights and wood-burning brick oven. The menu is full of American small plates that’ll make you keep coming back for more, including the barbecued kohlrabi served over grits and the soft-shell crab laced with cashew butter and sweet-and-spicy sambal. On top of all that, there’s an extensive cocktail selection. $$.
Glady’s serves up some of the most exquisite Caribbean dishes. At this café, chef and owner Michael Jacober will give your taste buds a real treat with a variety of rum cocktails and flavorful dishes. Speaking of flavor, the kitchen’s jerk seasoning is on point, and just about any meat—chicken, pork, lobsters and even seitan—is laced with it. You can’t go wrong with any order, especially the curry goat. $$.
Lively vibe aside, what you can expect at Gran Eléctrica is Mexican cuisine with a touch of Californian style. Kick things off with a margarita at the bar, and then move on to the variety of small plates such as queso fresco, memelitas de frijoles and spicy salsa verde. You can’t afford to miss the chile relleno stuffed with Havarti. $$.
It’s not every day you get to enjoy a rustic dining experience at a Greek taverna, and Gregory’s 26 Corner Taverna offers just that. Inside, it’s adorned with Greek flags and artificial grape bunches, among others. While the service isn’t the fastest in the business, the food is certainly worth waiting for, from the tirokafteri, thick feta mixed with pickled chili that’s served alongside pita points, to the stuffed green horn pepper served over fried slices of squash and scordalia. $$.
While it’s a traditional Korean restaurant any way you look at it, Hamh Ji Bach is far from run-of-the-mill. That’s evidenced by the perpetually busy staff catering to its many diners. Highlights on the menu include the samgyeopsal, marinated pork belly you grill at the table and tuck inside a lettuce wrap with add-ons such as kimchi, and the mit bachan, steamed eggs cooked in a clay pot with kimchi, tofu and spicy mackerel. $$.
Hangawi offers patrons a traditional Korean dining experience with low tables, various Korean artifacts, clay pots and serene music and lighting. Customers even remove their footwear and store them in cubbies. The menu is full of interesting treats you can’t miss out on, particularly the ssam bap. There are even gluten-free dishes in the selection and a prix fixe menu. $$.
This Cuban café offers not only dishes packed with a lot of flavor but also a cozy spot to enjoy a meal, either by the sidewalk or at the bar inside. Don’t miss the Cuban-American black bean soup frijoles negro or the palomilla steak sandwich with caramelized onions served alongside plantain chips. With the captivating sound of conga drums, dance parties are held on Tuesday nights, making it livelier than usual. $$.
After the success of High Street on Market in Philadelphia, chef Eli Kulp set up shop in NYC. At High Street on Hudson, expect to be wowed by the delicious homemade breads, as well as the extensive breakfast, lunch and dinner menus. Among the standouts in the restaurant are the broccoli dressed with herbed mayo and grilled cheese paired with roasted potato bread. $$.
This deserves to be considered among the best curved gaming monitors around because of its 144Hz refresh rate and speedy 1ms response time, but that’s not all it’s got to offer. Colors are rich, and the display is bright as well. Screen size measures at 32 inches, and it has a 2560x1440 resolution and 16:9 aspect ratio. There’s also FreeSync (but no G-Sync) and HDR support to boot. It’s put up on sale most of the time, but when it’s not, it’s priced at $600.
For authentic Japanese ramen, you can’t go wrong with HinoMaru Ramen. Don’t miss the Hakata-style tonkotsu ramen for that creamy pork bone broth topped with char siu, kikurage mushroom, nori and fishcake. Pair it with a small plate of gyoza or shrimp nikuman and complete the whole meal with a Sapporo on tap. There’s also vegetarian ramen with a soy milk base on the menu, which is arguably as rich as its meat-based counterparts. $$.
Ribalta brings authentic Neapolitan cuisine to NYC, from the gnocchi laced with pesto to the Margherita with the perfect balance of tomato sauce, olive oil, basil and mozzarella cheese. The secret is in the dough. Calling themselves “extremely traditionalist” when it comes to the dough, the kitchen staff use only flour that’s been certified by the Le 5 Stagioni and yeast from Italy, making pizza so light and easy to digest that you’ll be asking for seconds. $$.
At the Pan-Asian restaurant Purple Yam, it’s hard to decide what to order—because just about everything on the menu is so good. The best way to go at it is to come visit with a lot of friends and order plenty of dishes to share with one another. Standouts include the chicken adobo paired with a green mango salad and the pa jun, a Korean pancake laced with scallions and shrimps. $$.
For the ultimate Chrome OS experience, Google Pixelbook is sure to deliver. It’s sleek and convertible, and it has a high-resolution touch display. When it comes to performance, there’s no issue at all. It’s fast and smooth, packing a 7th-gen Intel Core i5 and 8GB of RAM. Battery life is rated at 10 hours, and it has a 128GB SSD. In short, it’s the Chromebook with top-notch hardware. The thing is, it’s expensive at $750 (as of September 2018), and that doesn’t even include the stylus.
The mix of Prune’s tiny space and interior décor makes for one cozy dining spot, and the kitchen never disappoints with its creative dishes. Chef, owner and writer Gabrielle Hamilton throws together straightforward dishes that pack a ton of flavor, from the stewed tripe Lyonnaise swimming in rich broth alongside celery and carrots to the poached chicken in fatty stock with oxtail and ham. Choices are always aplenty thanks to the nightly specials. $$.
Prime Meats offers an excellent German fare. Savor the sausages and burgers, which are hand-crafted creations you can’t miss out on. Complete the whole flavorful experience with creamy squash soup or German potato salad that’s paired with thick bacon lardons and various herbs. The place has a welcoming feel to it, from the cheerful servers to the interior décor of knotted net curtains and bentwood seats. $$.
It’s hard to pick where to go to for an authentic Thai fare because of all the options out there, but Paet Rio makes it easy to decide. If you do pay a visit, look forward to nothing less than perfection when it comes to Thai food, from pla muek yang, grilled squid with a to-die-for sauce, to the sai krok Isan, fermented sausage served with helpings of chili, peanuts and cabbage. $$.
HP’s Gaming Pavilion 15 is just the thing for those who don’t love the Omen brand but still want a machine from the PC maker. Its display measures at 15.6 inches, and it’s available in FHD or 4K. Also, there are a lot of options to customize the device’s guts: the $750 model comes with an 8th-gen Intel Core i5-8300H and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, while the $920 version packs an 8th-gen Core i7-8750H and a GTX 1060. As CNET mentions, it’s competitively priced.
For an exquisite American fare that’s hard to beat, you can turn to none other than Olmsted. Kick things off with the duck liver mousse or lobster “thermidor.” Follow it up with the roasted and grilled duck served with spring onion, shaved truffles and cherries. The dishes pack a lot of flavor and freshness, as ingredients are plucked from its very own garden. Also, the interior is unmistakably Brooklyn, from the bare wood tables and marble counter to the exposed brick walls. $$.
Oso, which translates to bear in Spanish, serves up Mexican dishes that will never disappoint. The flavors Mexico City has to offer are alive and well on every plate, from the braised octopus tostada to the variety of tacos. Don’t miss the authentic antojitos that might tempt you to lick your plate clean. The inside has a warm vibe to it thanks to ambient lights and wood tables. There’s even a mural themed after El Día de los Muertos in a corner to complete the picture. $$.
The Acer Aspire E 15 might not look like a gaming laptop, but in its own right, it can be called one. It can even be a cheap desktop replacement in some cases, as CNET points out. That isn’t surprising considering that the $600 configuration comes with an 8th-gen Intel Core i5-8250U, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, an NVIDIA GeForce MX150 and a 15.6-inch FHD display. It has plenty of ports, and there’s even a DVD burner if you still need one.
The ASUS TUF Gaming FX504GD is available in up to 4 configurations to suit your needs and budget. The starting model ($700) houses an 8th-gen Intel Core i5-8300H, 8GB RAM, 1TB SSHD and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050. Its display isn’t that good, though, but the $899 version fixes that with its IPS-level display, not to mention it comes with a GTX 1050 Ti, a Core i7-8750H and a 128GB SSD and 1TB HDD combo. Among the redeeming qualities it has is its keyboard for long gaming sessions, as CNET says.
At first glance, the ASUS ZenBook 13 UX331UN isn’t what you’d normally call a gaming laptop, but it still deserves to be a part of this list. One big reason is it’s the thinnest 13-inch laptop around with discrete graphics, as CNET says. That means it can handle some light gaming while staying ultraportable. At that, the $975 (as of August 2018) comes with a 13.3-inch FHD touchscreen, backlit keys, an 8th-gen Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD and an NVIDIA GeForce MX150.
As recommended by CNET, the Acer Nitro 5 has what you should be looking for in a gaming laptop. Under the hood, the base configuration has an 8th-gen Intel Core i5-8300H, 8 GB RAM, 256GB SSD and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050, which is paired with a 15.6-inch FHD display (1920 x 1080). While it’s not the flashiest gaming laptop out there, it’s a bang for the buck, with a $700 starting price as of August 2018.
Dell’s G Series laptops consist of the G3, G5 and G7 models, succeeding the Inspiron 15 7000. While the G3 doesn’t look much like a gaming laptop, it’s got the right specs to deliver speedy performance. On the other hand, the G5 and G7 are what you’d expect gaming laptops to look like. An entry-level G3 ($700) comes with an 8th-gen Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 paired with a 15.6-inch FHD display. At $999, you can even bump the GPU to a GTX 1060 Max Q.
A Red Dot Award 2017 winner, the in-ear Bose QuietControl 30 boasts the manufacturer’s highly regarded noise-cancellation tech. Couple that with a comfortable fit and a battery that can last up to 8 hours, and you’ve got yourself some buds you can’t leave home without. If it has any fault, it’s the sound quality; in other words, it’s not that great at a high price point of $249.95 .
The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II is one of the smallest cameras that can really deliver excellent image quality, sporting a 20MP 1-inch type sensor and a 24-100mm F1.8-2.8 lens. Aside from its high build quality, it also provides a speedy performance. If it has any fault, it’s that users with big hands might find it hard to hold, and it doesn’t feature 4K video capture. $650.
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 V builds on its predecessor with a better processor and additional features, while retaining the same viewfinder, lens and sensor. It stands out from the current brood with its built-in high-res EVF, 24fps burst shooting, ability to capture video in ultra-slow motion and oversampled 4K, autofocus system with a 315-point phase detection and superb photo quality. The gripes: there’s no touchscreen, and it has a short battery life, not to mention it’s pricey at $900.
There are many things to love about the Canon PowerShot G1 X III, from its APS-C sensor the manufacturer managed to cram into its compact body to its excellent Dual Pixel CMOS AF. For a fixed-lens camera, it sure can take high-quality images. The thing is, its lens is a little slow, and it can’t record video in 4K. It’s on the pricey side too at $1,099.
The Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS200/TZ200 boasts a 20MP 1-inch type sensor and a 24-360mm F3.3-6.4 lens, and it can capture video in glorious 4K. It has a built-in electronic viewfinder, and it features an impressive long zoom in a compact form factor, but because of that, it has a soft lens. One more thing that’s great about it is it’s pretty easy to use thanks to its touchscreen and dial. $800.
This compact camera is equipped with a 20MP 1-inch type BSI CMOS sensor and a 24-100mm F1.8-2.8 lens. Unlike the others with shorter lenses, this one probably won’t fit in your pockets—unless you have huge ones—but it does make up for it in other features, such as a built-in high-res EVF and great ergonomics. It even has a dedicated dial to boot. The downsides are a weak battery life, a so-so image quality because of its soft lens, a lack of subject tracking and poor depth tracking. $700.
For authentic gelato, you can’t go wrong with Grom. The chain never mixes coloring agents or aromas in their Italian ice cream, and it uses a whipping technique to produce a refined texture that’s hard to find anywhere else. In other words, it’s bringing the flavors of Italy to NYC. Don't miss the tiramisu and pistachio. $$.
The Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV has all the right stuff you’re looking for in the RX100 lineup, from the small form factor to some of Sony’s latest tech. That said, it’s equipped with a 20.1MP 1-inch type stacked CMOS sensor and a 24-70mm F1.8-2.8 lens, allowing it to deliver superb image quality. What’s more, it has a pop-up EVF, and it can capture video in 4K. Its zoom could use a little work, though, since it’s not exactly on par with the competition, and it’s not that affordable at $800.
Presumably built for travel, Sony’s Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VI fits snugly in your pocket. Don’t let its portable form factor fool you, as it takes high-quality images with its 20MP Stacked CMOS sensor and 24-200mm F2.8-4.5 lens. On top of that, it has a built-in EVF, a 315 phase detection AF and a flexible lens. This is arguably among the best cameras out there that’s this small. Take note it has a pretty short battery life, though, and it isn’t exactly what you’d call affordable at $1,200.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100/TZ100 provides excellent zoom in a small package. It sports a 20MP 1-inch type BSI CMOS sensor that’s coupled with a 25-250mm F2.8-5.9 lens. Highlights include a superb autofocus system, a built-in EVF and the ability to capture video in 4K. If there’s anything to complain about, it’s the camera’s small EVF and soft lens. $700.
Emack and Bolio’s Ice Cream is almost always packed with kids standing in line, and for good reason too. Described as “ice cream for the connoisseur,” the shop’s smorgasbord of flavors is sure to have what you need to satisfy even the most serious sweet tooth. Couple that with its cones covered with cereal or candy, and you’ve got a treat that’s hard to beat. $$.
Sedutto has been serving ice cream and yogurt that’s to die for on the Upper East Side for more than 30 years already, and it’s easy to imagine why. The joint offers not only classic flavors but also creative ones that’ll make you keep coming back to try them all out. $.
You’d like it too if you ever tried it out—the ice cream at Mikey Likes It Ice Cream, that is. The owner, Michael “Mikey” Cole, set up shop after getting his hands on a homemade vanilla ice cream recipe at his aunt’s house. You can’t afford to miss out on the Southern Hospitality, pecan ice cream mixed with chunks of pecan pie and praline pecans. $.
The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory is the place to be after a hearty Chinatown meal. Enjoy a scoop of classic vanilla or 2, but if you’re feeling a little adventurous, try out the black sesame or taro. $.
As the name suggests, this joint serves up burgers—veggie burgers, to be exact. But beyond those, it’s got ice cream and gelato that makes it a proper destination to satisfy your sweet tooth. Try the strawberry sorbet or the vanilla labne gelato. $.
An East Village favorite, Davey's Ice Cream is one of the shops you just have to pay a visit to. It’s got plenty of flavors you can’t miss out on, including the roasted pistachio and the black sesame seed. It offers a lot of seasonal specials too. $.
Ice & Vice puts a little twist on classic flavors, and how! There’s Milk Money made with toasted milk, chocolate ganache and sea salt, as well as Basic B that mixes Mexican vanilla and black lava sea salt. Seasonal flavors are on the menu too, such as Tico Time, chili lime plantain chip and pink guava. $$.
Up for some of the best gelato you can find in NYC? Then stop by MilkMade Tasting Room. Starting out as a subscription service in 2009, it soon became an ice cream shop that serves up exquisite creations by Meredith Kurtzman, who is arguably one of the greatest gelato makers in the city. Taste the coffee with whiskey or sea salt caramel. $$.
Milk Bar Fidi is the ice cream shop you’d never want to miss. Its cereal milk soft serve with corn flakes “tastes just like the milk at the bottom of a bowl of cornflakes” but in ice cream form. Try the birthday cake flavor, and you won’t be disappointed. $$.
Top-of-the-line sound quality, long-lasting battery life (up to 25 hours) and noise cancellation—these are what make a good wireless headset, and the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless has them all. Comfort isn’t an issue. You can wear them for hours on end. Build quality is also excellent. You can expect them to last for years. The only downside is, it’s way too expensive at $599.95.
Not only does this pair of wireless headphones have excellent sound quality, but it also features noise cancellation that’s comparable with the best of the best. Also, its design is compact, making it ideal for traveling. The thing is, it’s on-ear, and not over-ear. That means it could get a bit uncomfortable when you wear it too long. $299.95.
Building on its predecessor the Bose QuietComfort 35, this wireless headset adds Google Assistant to the picture. The 2 are practically the same, from the top-quality noise-canceling tech to the excellent balanced sound quality and comfortable fit. It can hold enough juice to last up to 20 hours to boot. Design could use a little work, but that’s subjective. $349.95 .
For a pair of excellent wireless headphones that isn’t too hard on the budget, you can’t go wrong with Jabra Move Wireless. The design is awesome, and it’s easy to carry around. It can even deliver a good sound quality. Battery can last up to 8 hours. The only issue is a little sound leakage, but hey, it’s a bang for the buck at $69.99 (as of August 2018).
These Bluetooth headphones are among the best of the best in the current market. That’s because they have a good sound quality and long battery life of up to 10 hours, but what makes them really stand out is their build quality and excellent noise isolation. The thing is, the buds are connected by a wire, so some purists might say it isn’t truly wireless, not to mention the in-line remote kind of weighs the cable down. Still, it’s a good value for money at $79.
The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 blends affordability with premium features. Case in point, it’s got noise cancellation, and it can pair with 2 devices at the same time. Couple that with decent sound quality, a comfortable fit and long battery life of up to 24 hours, then you’ve got yourself a pair of wireless headphones that’s more or less on par with the likes of Sony or Bose. All that for just $199.99.
The Jabra Elite 65t is described as “true wireless earbuds for calls and music,” and it certainly lives up to it. These Bluetooth buds aren’t just reliable and capable of delivering great sound quality, but they’re also packed with plenty of features. The best part is, they can last up to 22 hours on a single charge. They're only rated at IP55, though, meaning its water resistance has a lot of room for improvement. $169.99.
If you’re looking for excellent build quality and performance, then you can’t go wrong with Anker’s PowerWave 7.5 Pad. For starters, it can charge the Samsung Galaxy S9 at 10W or the iPhone X at 7.5W, and it even has a built-in fan so overheating isn’t an issue here. It comes with a Quick Charge 3.0 adapter and a 3-foot PowerLine Micro USB cable to boot. The only gripe is the fan gets noisy sometimes. $46.
Case Mate’s Power Pad wireless charger may not win marks for its design, but it gets the job done, and how! It provides fast charging for Samsung phones at 9W and 7.5W for iPhones. You can juice up your phone either in portrait or landscape, which is pretty rare for charging stands. Also, the pad has a TPU ridge to make sure your device doesn’t slip off. It’s a little expensive at $60, though.
Made for iPhones and Qi-enabled devices, Native Union’s Drop Wireless Charger promises a charging rate of up to 10W. Notably, the design makes it stand out among the current brood, but it’s not just for show: those ridges are made of rubber to hold on to your phone securely. The manufacturer even includes a braided USB Type-C cable that measures at 6.5 feet in length. It’s not exactly affordable, but it’s worth every penny. $60.
Tronsmart’s AirAmp wireless charger can deliver up to 10W of juice to your phone, fast charging Qi-enabled handsets such as the Samsung Galaxy Note8. Heat won’t be a problem with this charger too, and that’s all thanks to its built-in fan. It isn’t the best-looking device out there, but its charging rate, safety tech and affordable price point make it one heck of a charger. $24.
The CHOETECH Aluminum Wireless Charger can charge your iPhone or any other Qi-compatible phone at 5W. The metal design gives it a sleek appearance, but that’s not all it does: it helps keep the temperature in check alongside a smart chip inside that prevents overheating, short circuits and overvoltage. It has a glowing ring to let you know when it’s working, and it even has a built-in light sensor that turns down the brightness when it gets dark. The best part is, it’s only $13.
This wireless charger doesn’t just look good, but it also does its job well, delivering an output of up to 10W for your Samsung Galaxy S9 or iPhone X. It comes in red, white or gray, and when in terms of design, it distinguishes itself from the competition with its interesting form factor and fabric wrap. Also, it’s packaged with a USB-C to USB-A cable and a power adapter, so you’re all set from the get-go. $55.
When it comes to design, there aren’t many wireless chargers in the market that can compete with Grovemade’s Wireless Charging Pad. It’s made with soft natural cork and features a stainless steel base, giving it a clean and stylish look. There’s even a nylon-braided power cable and wall adapter included in the box. The thing is, it charges only at 5W, and that’s really slow especially for an $80 charger.
If you’re in the market for a wireless charger with a refined minimalistic design, Mophie has got you covered. The Charge Stream Pad Plus measures at just 0.46 x 3.82 x 3.82 inches, and it can output up to 10W. In other words, it’s not just easy to carry around, but it’s also capable of delivering a fast charging speed. $60.
RAVPower’s HyperAir Fast Wireless Charger can charge Android devices and iPhones up to 10W, and it includes a cable and adapter too, which is nice. It’s got a lot of safety features to keep the temperature down and prevent overvoltage, overcurrent, overheating, overcharging and short circuits. $26.
Bezalel’s Futura X is the wireless charger that’s perfect to bring along as a traveling companion. That’s because it’s easy to carry around, and it has a small form factor that makes it super portable. Design is noteworthy as well. It sports an acrylic surface, giving it that sleek look, and a milled aluminum base. Color options include white or black. However, it charges only at 5W. $50.
Mophie has just the thing for travelers: the Charge Stream Travel Kit. The name says it all. It’s a bundle that comes with everything you need, including a 2.4A wall adapter, a 2.4A car adapter, a 4.9-foot USB-A to microUSB cable and a travel pouch to put them all in. It can juice up your phone at 5W, but if that’s too slow, you can always plug your phone into an electrical socket with the wall adapter. $50.