ArchiveDecember 2017

Smarter Coffee 2nd Generation review:


The Good The Smarter Coffee 2nd Generation grinds beans and brews hot pots of drip to order. It links to a companion app and works with Alexa, Google, and IFTTT. The Bad It’s expensive. Its smart functions are limited. Setting it up is a pain. It brews weak or bitter coffee. It doesn’t have a thermal carafe. The Bottom Line Pass on the Smarter Coffee’s disappointing pots and...

JVC Kenwood will showcase wireless Android Auto at CES 2018


Android Auto cuts the cord next year via a pair of WiFi-enabled multimedia receivers that will debut at CES. JVC Kenwood will showcase a pair of multimedia car audio receivers that feature wireless Android Auto connectivity. We’ve already seen wireless Apple CarPlay reach dashboards via Alpine’s ILX-107 aftermarket receiver and BMW’s latest generation of iDrive infotainment...

Pilota Ferrari: A classroom like no other


Ferrari’s driving schools can take you from rookie to racer — if you have the cash. Join us as we learn how to get the most from the epic Ferrari 488 Challenge. Today’s supercars are nothing short of astounding. Their handling and speed surpass the performance of yesterday’s quickest race cars, yet they offer modern niceties like comfortable interiors and air conditioning. Of...

2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe review:


I’ll admit it — I wasn’t the first person to jump up with excitement when Mercedes-AMG announced that it would be incorporating a second, lower tier of performance vehicles. AMGs, to me, have always stood as wild variants of otherwise-sedate luxury cars with immensely powerful engines. When AMG announced the -43 lineup, packing turbocharged V6 engines, I clutched every pearl I...

Bonavita Connoisseur review:


The Good The Bonavita Connoisseur creates fabulously good pots of coffee for a lot less money. It’s compact, easy to use, and has few parts to clean. Its thermal carafe keeps contents hot for hours. The Bad It’s not as attractive as brewers built by Technivorm. The Bottom Line The Bonavita Connoisseur is the best coffee maker to buy if you want superb pots of drip and spend less cash...

2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 review:


My navigator, Rebecca Donaghe, and I were in Johnson Valley, home of the infamous King of the Hammers rock crawling race. It was the fifth day of the all-female, all off-road Rebelle Rally and we were currently sitting in second place overall and leading the Bone Stock division in a 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2. Perched atop a steep and rocky hill, a blue flag indicated a checkpoint. I took a deep...

Noon Smart Lighting Starter Kit review:


The Good This easy to install smart switch system looks good, has a easy-to-use app and works with Amazon Alexa. The Bad This system is expensive and it doesn’t work with lamps on outlets or with ceiling fan lights. The Bottom Line If you’re interested in lighting design and how it can change the ambience of your living spaces, the Noon Smart Lighting System is an intriguing, but...

2017 Fiat 500C Abarth: The most fun you can have for less than $22,000


There are some cars in this world that just bring me joy. My daily-driver Mazda Miata is one, the Jeep Wrangler and Chevrolet ZR2 are others, and last week I got acquainted with another joyful little runabout, the 2017 Fiat 500C Abarth. The Abarth was first introduced to the current Fiat lineup in 2012, playing on the heritage of the Italian Abarth racing team of yore. It sits above the naturally...

Asus AC2900 dual-band Wi-Fi router (RT-AC86U) review:


The Good You can customize just about every setting and the 5GHz speeds are amazing. It also has gaming-centric features, security for your entire home and USB 3.1 Gen 1 for fast network storage and printing. The Bad You can only use the app while you’re connected to your home network, and the physical router has to stand upright with no wall mount option. It’s only dual-band, so it...

Loupedeck review:


The Good Brings a fast, physical, intuitive interface to Adobe Lightroom editing. The Bad No Bluetooth, no illumination on the controls for working in the dark. Buttons are spongy, and there’s a risk it won’t keep up with Lightroom features. The Bottom Line Loupedeck encourages experimentation and can speed up editing, but it’s best for people who spend many hours in Lightroom...

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