The Fastest And Best Microsd Cards

With the use of devices comes a need for storage. Everything from cameras to smartphones and tablets requires space. Whether it’s for photos, music, video, or even just an operating system and apps, there’s a lot of data. And it needs to live somewhere.

Despite the prominence of cloud storage, microSD cards are not disappearing anytime soon. While the iPhone and iPad notoriously lack expandable memory and have since their inception, many more devices are adopting the microSD slot. Notably, Samsung’s Galaxy lineup dropped microSD support for its Galaxy S6 phone, only to bring it back for the S7. When choosing a microSD card, keep in mind speed, size, and usage.

Considerations

All microSD cards are not equal. Sure, they may have the same minuscule form factor, but there’s quite a bit of variance. Here’s what to look for:

  • Speed — microSD cards for the SDHC/SDXC specifications receive ratings by speed class. These range from speed class 2 to class 10. A microSD card of speed class 2 offers a 2 MB/s minimum write speed, whereas a card of class 10 possesses a 10 MB/s minimum write speed. There’s also UHS speed class, of which there’s 1 and 3. A 1 mandates a minimum 10 MB/s write speed. A 3 means a 30 MB/s minimum write speed. Within UHS, there’s also Video Speed Class, requirements for UHS cards to meet MLC NAND flash memory specs.
  • Space — Do you need 2 GB or 200 GB? Storage capacity depends on what you’re doing with the microSD card. In general, it’s better to have more space than not enough. For this article, we’ll mainly focus on capacities of 64 GB and greater. When you can get a 16 GB card for around $15, and a 64 GB microSD for about twice the price, the price-per-storage ratio is unrivaled.
  • Price — With higher classes and lower prices, it’s tough to recommend anything below a Class 10 card. Try to opt for a microSD card that’s at least a 64 GB Class 10.

For further help, check out our guide to avoiding mistakes when buying microSD cards, from compatibility to speed.

Best microSD Cards for Smartphones

Smartphone users likely value storage size over write-speed. Most high capacity cards feature a high enough write speed for most uses, as it’s unlikely you’ll be shooting 4K or 8k video on your cell.

Samsung Evo Plus — With up to a whopping 128 GB of space, the Samsung Evo Plus microSDXC card meets the UHS-3 specification. With read speeds as high as 100 MB/s and write speeds up to 90 MB/s, the Evo Plus promises the best of both storage and speed. 128 GB promises about 16 hours of full HD video, more than 10,000 pictures, and over 30,000 songs.

The Samsung Evo Plus is also X-ray, temperature, water, and magnet resistant. With 9 MB/s read and 3 MB/s write speeds for 4Kb performance, the Evo Plus is a winner. Storage Review deemed the 128 GB Evo Plus the best choice for smartphones, tablets, and general consumer products.

Samsung EVO Select — Available with as many as 256 GB, the EVO Select is a high-performing microSD offering from Samsung. Although the 256 GB iteration is about $150, the 128 GB Select can be purchased for $40. A high read/write speed of 80 MB/s and 20 MB/s respectively make the Select an excellent choice.

SanDisk Ultra — SanDisk’s line of Ultra microSD cards provides fantastic value. With up to 200 GB and 90 MB/s read speeds, the SanDisk Ultra offers major value. The 200 GB variant runs for about $70.

Best microSD Cards for DSLRs and Video Cameras

When it comes to digital photography and video, there are two priorities: storage space and write speed. You want high read/write speeds for data transfer, but also a high capacity storage card. That’s because pictures and videos can consume a lot of space, particularly at higher resolutions.

Samsung Pro Plus — Samsung once again dominates with its Pro Plus cards. With several variants, including 128 GB, 64 GB, and 32 GB, there are plenty of storage options.

Benchmarks from Have Camera Will Travel found the Pro Plus clocking 90 MB/s read and 84 MB/s write speeds. That’s performance enough for 4K resolution content. That level of transfer speed costs money, though. The 128 GB version retails for about $100. Compare that to the Sandisk Ultra’s 200 GB card for about $70. Yet the Samsung Pro Plus is UH-3 rated, whereas the Samsung Ultra is only a Class 10. Average consumers won’t notice a difference, but photo and video enthusiasts will.

Lexar 633x — Lexar’s high-performance 633x card comes in 256 GB, 200 GB, 128 GB, 64 GB, 32 GB, and 16 GB capacities. Because of its U1 and U3 ratings, the 633x is perfect for quick transfer and playback of high-resolution (1080p/4K/3D) content.

Lexar reports read speeds of up to 95 MB/s. Unfortunately, read speed is much slower: around 32.4 MB/s when sequentially writing. Nevertheless, it’s perfectly suited to 4K video recording and therefore a good choice. It’s officially recommended by GoPro for use with the Hero3 and Hero3+, and there’s a reason. The 633x boasts both storage space and speed. However, it’s a bit on the pricier side with a 64 GB microSD clocking in around $60. Thus, it’s difficult to recommend for use aside from DSLRs and video cameras.

SanDisk Extreme Plus — The Extreme Plus line from SanDisk is available in several forms, from 32 GB to 128 GB. It’s certainly not cheap, with a 128 GB microSD retailing for about $100, and a 64 GB for more than $40. But it’s a U3, Class 30 card rated for 4K UHD. 95 MB/s read and 90 MB/s write speeds mean the Extreme Plus is a great bet for photos and videos. According to PC Advisor benchmarks, the Extreme Plus hit some solid 92 MB/s reads, delivering superb value.

Best microSD Cards for Security Cameras

With security cameras, storage space trumps the need for quick read/write speeds. A security camera captures a lot of footage. Some require multiple microSD cards. Ultimately, you want to prioritize capacity over performance.

Samsung EVO — The EVO is a modestly performing card, with an up to 48 MB/s write speed. As a Class 10, UHS-1 card, it’s still speedy, but the lower read/write speeds mean it’s a cheaper card. A 128 GB Samsung EVO runs for around $50 — a great deal. It’s an excellent card for capturing full HD video. Even so, the EVO is more applicable to a security camera set up rather than a DSLR or video camera that requires constant playback.

Patriot LX Series — Patriot makes a great microSD card in the LX Series. The high-speed Class 10, UHS-1 microSD boasts solid transfer speeds of up to 90 MB/s and, moreover, it’s pretty affordable. The 256 GB version offers such speeds. Cards with capacities of 128 GB and smaller are rated to 85 MB/s for writes. With a 128 GB microSD card for around $40, it’s hard not to recommend the Patriot. Amazon users noted that it’s fine for up to 4K resolution, so the Patriot LX Series should be suitable for security cameras.

SanDisk High Endurance Video Monitoring Card — Well, it’s right there in the name. The SanDisk High Endurance Video Monitoring Card comes in 64 GB and 32 GB flavors. With its Class 10 rating, it’s sure to handle 1080p video playback and recording. This card is specifically engineered to withstand tough environments, with waterproof and shock-proof specs. Therefore the High Endurance card caters to both home video monitoring systems as well as dashcams. At around $30, the SanDisk High Endurance Video Monitoring Card is a safe bet if you’re seeking storage specifically for video cameras.

What’s the Best microSD Card?

It’s refreshing to see microSD cards making a comeback. With increasingly more storage space available in smaller form factors, expandable memory is a welcome trend. For most average consumers, high capacity microSD cards are available on the cheap. Lots of 128 GB cards clock in around $40–$50, a pretty stellar price per gigabyte. Unless you truly require high read-write speeds, you should be fine with anything. It’s mainly for high definition video and photos that high-performance cards are necessary.

Which microSD card are you using and what for? Or do you wish your device had a microSD card slot?

The Best Samsung Laptops, Tablets, And Chromebooks

When you’re looking for a mobile computer today your options are better than ever. You can choose between: laptops and tablets; cheap and expensive; Windows, Android, and Chrome OS; and many other things.

Samsung has a foot in each one of these markets. But which of its products are worth buying? We’ve studied the company’s range, as well as tests, reviews, and user feedback, to decide our picks for the best Samsung laptops, Chromebooks, and tablets.

The Best Samsung Laptops

Samsung’s laptop range incorporates entry level (the 5 series), mid-range (7 series), and high-end (9 series) models, along with the gaming-oriented Odyssey. All of the devices have things to recommend, but it’s at the mid and high end that you’ll find Samsung’s best laptops.

Best Premium Laptop: Notebook 9 Pro

  • Premium quality laptop
  • Fast i7 processor
  • Lots of RAM
  • Small bezel around screen
  • S Pen included in package

Samsung’s Notebook 9 Pro is a powerhouse by anyone’s standards. The Windows 10 laptop packs a 7th generation i7 processor (with 2.7GHz clock speed), a massive 16GB of RAM, 256GB SSD, and 1080p 15″ touchscreen into a body just 0.77 inches thick.

The display supports HDR, is surrounded by modest bezels, and flips back 360 degrees to allow the device to function as a tablet. Connectivity includes a USB-C port, two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, and a Micro SD card slot. Most tests mark the battery as being good for 6-8 hours of use.

best samsung laptop tablet chromebook
Credit: Samsung

What earns this laptop its “Pro” title is the inclusion of Samsung’s famed S Pen. The smart stylus, which has proven so popular on the Galaxy Note series of smartphones, adds a whole extra layer of functionality without the need to connect more peripherals.

While it works for note-taking and general navigation, the S Pen really come into its own as a creative tool. Couple it with design apps like Photoshop and Illustrator, and being able to directly manipulate images will change how you work. And unlike Windows Ink pens, the S Pen is stored inside the Pro’s case. It never needs charging or pairing, and you’ll always have it with you.

The Notebook 9 Pro also comes in cheaper and lower-specced 13″ and i5 models.

Best Convertible Notebook: Notebook 7 Spin

  • Great spec mid-ranger
  • Latest generation i5 processor
  • Upgradeable memory and hard drive
  • Lots of ports
  • Fast charging

If you prefer something more affordable, the Notebook 7 Spin sits very nicely in the mid-range. It offers some of the sweet design touches of its flagship counterpart, but at a more reachable price.

The 13.3″ model is powered by a 7th-generation i5 processor, which is more than good enough for all but the most demanding of tasks. It’s backed up with 12GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive. Handily, both of these are upgradeable. You can install up to 32GB of RAM, while the hard drive can be swapped out for a much faster solid state drive.

The 1080p touchscreen supports HDR video. And the 2-in-1 form factor (why buy a 2-in-1?) means the display can flip around, so you can use the laptop as a tablet. Also, there are ports galore: 1 x USB-C (which supports 4K out with an optional adapter), 1 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0, HDMI, and Micro SD.

best samsung laptop tablet chromebook
Image Credit: Samsung

There are a few compromises. In particular, the integrated Intel HD Graphics 620 is nothing special, and certainly not for gaming. Battery life is quoted at 9.5 hours, with tests putting it at a little over five in real-world use. It charges quickly, though.

The 7 Spin also comes in a 15-inch version. This is perhaps more of a desktop replacement since it weighs five pounds.

The Best Samsung Chromebooks

Chromebooks have a reputation for being simple and affordable, with broad appeal. Samsung has this part of the market covered but offers great options for more demanding users, too. These devices have a range of interesting features, from spill-resistant keyboards to support for Android apps.

Best Budget Chromebook: Chromebook 3

  • Very inexpensive
  • Decent amount of RAM
  • Well rated display
  • Spill-resistant keyboard
  • Great battery life

The Chromebook 3 is the kind of computer most people think of when they think of Chromebooks: it’s cheap. While this should limit your expectations it does make the machine ideal for the biggest target markets for Chrome OS. It’s a solid option for kids needing a first computer for school, or for an older relative who wants something for checking email and paying a few bills.

The Chromebook 3 is available in a few different configurations, and it’s worth paying a few dollars extra for the option with 4GB of RAM. That’s double what the base model and most other budget Chromebooks have, and should give you noticeably better performance. It’s allied here with an Intel Celeron processor good enough for web and video use, and 32GB of storage.

best samsung laptop tablet chromebook
Image Credit: Samsung

There are some standout features. The 11.6-inch, 1366 x 768 pixel display is well regarded for its brightness and realistic colors. Tests show the battery life pushing the 10-hour mark. And there’s plenty of connectivity options, including two USB ports, HDMI-out, and a Micro SD slot.

Best Premium Chromebook: Chromebook Pro

  • Premium design and build
  • Very high-resolution display
  • Runs Android apps
  • Energy-efficient processor
  • Aspect ratio great for tablet use

If you want the speed and simplicity of Chrome OS but don’t want to forego premium quality in your laptop, the Chromebook Pro is a fantastic option.

Its 12.3″ LED display has a resolution of 2400×1600 pixels, which is higher than even the considerably more expensive Notebook 9 Pro. It’s a touchscreen, and with the 360-degree rotating display can switch into tablet mode. The 3:2 aspect ratio (squarer than the usual widescreen format) helps with this, although it does mean that your videos will be letterboxed.

The Chromebook Pro has a Core m3 processor, which delivers ample performance for the key uses of a Chrome device. It’s also energy efficient, with tests showing the battery to be good for 5-7 hours of use. On top of that is a healthy 4GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage.

Other extras include an S-Pen stylus, housed and charged inside the Chromebook’s casing, for added productivity. There’s also a 720p webcam and a couple of USB-C ports.

best samsung laptop tablet chromebook
Image Credit: Samsung

Perhaps most interesting of all is the inclusion of Google’s Play Store. You can use this to install and run Android apps, and vastly increase the capabilities of this Chromebook in the process.

The Best Samsung Tablets

Samsung sells a range of tablets covering most price points. The Android-powered Tab A series includes entry-level devices for users on tight budgets. The price bump up to the Tab S range gets you a noticeable update in quality. For something a little different, the Windows-powered Galaxy Book is also a good option.

Best Overall Tablet: Galaxy Tab S2

  • Premium design, very thin
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • Very high-resolution screen
  • Double-digit battery life

You could look at Samsung’s S-series tablets as providing Android alternatives to the iPad. The Tab S3 is the new flagship model and is an iPad Pro competitor. It comes in sizes up to 12″ and includes an S Pen stylus. It’s also expensive and targets a niche market.

A better option for most users is the Tab S2. This mainstream device is effectively a take on the standard iPad and is available in 8″ and 9.7″ versions. It launched with Android Marshmallow, but an update to Nougat has since been released. It’s unclear at the time of writing if it will get further updates.

The 8-inch model has a 2048 x 1536 pixel AMOLED display. It’s powered by a fast octa-core processor and 3GB of RAM. There’s 32GB of internal storage, and you can expand this through the Micro SD card slot.

The camera uses an eight-megapixel sensor, and the lens has an f1.9 aperture. This captures more light and is ideal for shooting in less than perfect conditions. Security comes via a fingerprint sensor positioned below the screen, and the battery should get you a good ten hours of use based on mixed usage.

best samsung laptop tablet chromebook
Image Credit: Samsung

The S2 is still a feature-rich package, and it’s all crammed into a ridiculously slim body. It’s just 0.22 inches thick and weighs only 9.35 ounces.

Best Premium 2-in-1: Galaxy Book

  • Runs full Windows
  • Comes with S Pen and keyboard
  • Compact and portable
  • Can run desktop apps like Photoshop

The Samsung Galaxy Book does not run Android, it runs Windows. Samsung classifies it as a tablet, yet it’s actually a 2-in-1 device styled along the lines of Microsoft’s Surface Pro. This means it is a tablet (available in 10.6″ and 12″ versions) with a detachable keyboard that makes it a whole lot better for productivity.

The best value 10.6″ model has a 1920×1280 pixel LCD display (the OLED model costs over grand). It runs on a 7th-generation Intel Core m3 processor, with 4GB of RAM. There’s 128GB of internal storage, and you can add more with a microSD card.

As these specs show, the Galaxy Book isn’t a workhorse, but it is up to the task of handling larger programs like Photoshop.

Although this is ostensibly a tablet, there’s no rear camera, only a front-facing webcam. In tests, the battery lasts around seven or eight hours depending on usage.

best samsung laptop tablet chromebook
Image Credit: Samsung

As well as the keyboard, the Galaxy Book includes an S Pen. Both charge through the main tablet body, so neither needs to be powered separately. They’re also permanently connected, so you never need to navigate the fiddly Bluetooth pairing process associated with many addons.

Your Choice?

As one of the world’s biggest and most popular tech companies, Samsung has something for every type of user and every budget. Which one would you choose?

Do you use a Samsung tablet or laptop, and would you recommend it to others? Are you planning to buy any of the products listed above? Share your thoughts and opinions with us in the comments below.

Never Buy A Phone From Your Carrier! Buy Unlocked Phones And Save Hundreds

Did you know it’s much cheaper to buy unlocked phones? Big cell companies sell contract phones at a tremendous markup, disguising their overpricing through subterfuge: The true price of the phone gets rolled into your monthly cellular bill.

Never buy a smartphone from a carrier — ever. Most consumers don’t know that they can purchase contract-free phones. Unlocked phones can work with MVNO plans, with plans costing half that charged by major carriers.

The six phones presented in this article provide excellent value. The prices start at $20 and run as high as $650. However, if you are looking to sign a contract with a carrier (and I strongly suggest that you do not), check out Riley Dennis’s list of the best Android smartphones — she’s absolutely correct. However, if you need reasons to dump your carrier and hook up with an MVNO, read about it here.

Two Kinds of Phones

As I’ve mentioned before, there exist two kinds of unlocked phones—those that work with GSM networks and those that work with CDMA. Other cellular technologies exist, but they’re not entirely mainstream and are largely based on the ubiquitous GSM standard. Also, a rare number of phones work on both GSM and CDMA networks, such as the Google Pixel.

CDMA: CDMA technology semi-locks phones into a single network, so while these phones can unlock, there are all kinds of hassles in transferring them between carriers. For GSM phones, however, phones can migrate to another network by simply changing the SIM card. Note, though, that many CDMA phones do not use SIM cards.

  • In the US: Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel, MetroPCS, and US Cellular.
  • In Japan: DoCoMo.

GSM: Internationally, GSM remains the dominant cell technology. CDMA does exist in almost all markets, although it’s generally associated with third tier carriers. It’s only in the US that it possesses the lion’s share of the market. Consequently, most dual-SIM international phones are GSM based.

  • In the US: T-Mobile and AT&T.
  • In India: Airtel, Reliance Communications, and Idea Cellular
  • In the United Kingdom: O2, EE, and Vodafone

The phones presented in this article are specifically labeled with the correct network that they function on. When purchasing a phone, always make sure you’re buying the right model for your network. If you’re switching to an MVNO, the MVNO will correspond with a particular network—for example, Airvoice Wireless (which rents spectrum from AT&T) only works with GSM phones. MVNOs cost very little per month. Oftentimes, you can save between $20 and $100 per month.

Criteria

I use three factors in determining the phone’s final grade: First, the best features of the phone are weighed. Second, the worst features of the phone are weighed. Third, I divide the price of the device by the aggregated consumer feedback scores from Amazon, Newegg or other smartphone review websites (whichever was available). The final result shows how much you pay per star of rating. This measure isn’t intended as a serious metric, although it should indicate better overall value, rather than raw performance.

BLU Tank 2 T193

Technically the BLU Tank 2 T193 is a dumbphone with limited smart capabilities. You might call it a semi-smartphone. I consider it among the best phones for the elderly as it doesn’t require interacting with a touchscreen and the features are limited to the essentials. On top of that, its battery life is ridiculously long, so it makes the perfect gift for someone with failing memory.

Networks: GSM

Pros:

  • Amazing battery life
  • Super low cost
  • Small size; easy to carry around
  • Physical buttons make it easy for the elderly to use

Cons:

  • Limited feature set; lack of apps
  • Tiny screen

Per star rating: $21 / 3.8 stars = $6 per star

Since the article was published, Blu has released a new version of their phones, the BLU Tank 3.

Never Buy a Phone From Your Carrier! Buy Unlocked Phones and Save Hundreds blue tank 3

BLU Advance 5.5 HD

BLU Advance 5.5 HD is the lowest priced Android 6.0 smartphone you can buy unlocked, anywhere. BLU made a name for itself by reselling China-based Gionee smartphones in the United States. Their phones generally emphasize value over performance.

Networks: GSM

Pros:

  • Lowest priced, unlocked Android phone with Marshmallow (Android 6.0)
  • Dual SIM for international travelers
  • Good performance, particularly for the money
  • Great value and lowest total price for a brand-new smartphone
  • microSD card support

Cons:

  • Won’t ever receive a firmware update
  • Weak support from chipset vendor
  • Average battery life

Per star rating: $90/3.7 stars = $24 per star

Never Buy a Phone From Your Carrier! Buy Unlocked Phones and Save Hundreds blu advance 5 5 hd

NextBit Robin

Startup NextBit released the Robin to widespread cheers. It managed to squeeze modern smartphone guts into an inexpensive package totaling less than $165. It comes with all the bells and whistles that you need, including 802.11ac wireless connectivity, 32GB of storage, and the Snapdragon 808 processor. Overall, you get a lot for your money. Some shortcomings include a plastic frame prone to warping, and average battery life.

In all honesty, this is the phone that I would have purchased had Google not tricked me into buying the Pixel XL.

Networks: GSM

Pros:

  • Elegant and sleek design
  • Modern smartphone guts
  • Excellent hardware (particularly for the money)
  • Best value out of all smartphones on today’s market

Cons:

  • Snapdragon 808 processor runs a little warm
  • Battery life is average
  • No microSD card support

Per star rating: $174.94 / 2.8 stars = $62 per star

Never Buy a Phone From Your Carrier! Buy Unlocked Phones and Save Hundreds nextbit robin amazon product link

Motorola Moto Z Play

The Motorola Moto Z offers a high powered processor, modularity (what’s a modular smartphone?), and overall outstanding performance. Motorola’s Moto Mods program allows consumers to add a high powered camera, projector, or speaker to their device. The extensibility also adds additional battery life.

Networks: GSM

Pros:

  • Excellent features, including gesture support and voice recognition
  • Uses one of the fastest processors on smartphones
  • Modular design enables long battery life via Moto Mods

Cons:

Per star rating: $400 / 4.5 stars = $89 per star

Never Buy a Phone From Your Carrier! Buy Unlocked Phones and Save Hundreds moto z amazon product

OnePlus 3T ($439 via OnePlus)

OnePlus’s 3T is a refresh of the OnePlus 3 series. It’s not that much different from the OnePlus 3, with the exception that it dispenses with a torrid (and potentially unreliable) Snapdragon 810 processor. The 3T uses a Snapdragon 821 — the same in Google’s Pixel — but for $200 less! Both CNET and the Verge regard the OnePlus 3T as one of the best Android smartphones of 2016.

On the downside, OnePlus’s operating system seems to be in limbo after CyanogenMod’s dissolution.

Networks: GSM

Pros:

  • Includes one of the fastest Android processors around
  • Modern smartphone internal components
  • AMOLED screen
  • Long battery life
  • 64GB of storage on the entry model

Cons:

  • AMOLED screens suffer from burn-in
  • Uncertainty regarding the operating system
  • No water resistance

Per star rating: $439 / 4.5 stars = $97 per star

Never Buy a Phone From Your Carrier! Buy Unlocked Phones and Save Hundreds oneplus 3t amazon image

iPhone 7 32GB

Apple created the smartphone market. The iPhone 7 offers one of the fastest and most reliable handsets around. But beware: Apple produced two models of iPhone! One is for CDMA carriers (Verizon and Sprint) and one for GSM carriers. Fortunately, an unlocked iPhone includes both CDMA and GSM compatibility. iPhone 7s sold on contract through either T-Mobile or AT&T won’t be able to function on Sprint or Verizon networks.

Networks: GSM and CDMA (with restrictions, see above)

Pros:

  • Latest, state-of-the-art product from Apple
  • Cutting edge features
  • iOS, if you are locked into the Apple app ecosystem
  • Water resistance

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Fewer features compared to Android
  • Unlocked model is substantially better than GSM-only model

Per star rating: $650/4.3 stars = $151 per star

Never Buy a Phone From Your Carrier! Buy Unlocked Phones and Save Hundreds apple iphone 7 amazon link

Conclusion: What’s the Best Smartphone for the Money?

If you’re looking for an unlocked cell phone with excellent value relative to reviews, BLU Products Tank 2 T193 and the Advance 5.5HD provide the best low-cost products on the market. Unfortunately, because of the relative obscurity of their manufacturer, few reviewers have given credit to otherwise value-packed phones.

Never Buy a Phone From Your Carrier! Buy Unlocked Phones and Save Hundreds image chart smartphone value per star

On the other hand, assigning a per-dollar ratio to reviews doesn’t fully capture the performance and features of higher end phones. One thing is certain, though: Consumers seem more satisfied when paying more money. However, there are big gaps in per-dollar satisfaction when going from a $90 smartphone to a $165 device. There’s an ever bigger drop-off in satisfaction-per-dollar when going from a $430 device to a $650 smartphone. The moral of the story: Spend your money wisely. Sometimes big things come in small (or cheap) packages.

Has anyone purchased a low-priced smartphone? What were your experiences? Let us know in the comments!

Image Credit: beeboys and Ganibal via Shutterstock.com

Should You Buy a Windows, Android, or iPhone Device?

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The mobile phone war hasn’t yet ended. People remain confused about whether they should get a Windows, Android or iPhone device. The bad news is there isn’t a clear winner. The good news is that it’s easier than ever before to choose the right platform and phone.

The operating system remains an important part of a smartphone. A few things matter when you’re purchasing a phone. Battery life, screen size, camera, and some other features are often as important as the software.

Keeping the whole package in mind, here’s what the three top mobile ecosystems offer today. And just to help you further, the best phones you can buy as well.

Apple iPhone

Apple has only a few smartphone options. You can buy the 4.7-inch iPhone 7, the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus, or the smaller 4-inch iPhone SE.

iOS is easy to use and intuitive, which makes it ideal for first-time smartphone users or those who find Android too complicated. First and foremost, Apple updates iPhones for several years, much longer than most Android devices. It also relies on Apple services, so it’s ideal if you already use a MacBook or an iPad. Like we always say, buy the ecosystem, not the gadget


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On the hardware front, the iPhones are as good as they come. They have arguably the best cameras around — especially the iPhone 7 Plus


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— and both the seven series phones boast of long battery life. A gorgeous screen finishes the package.

The Disadvantages of the iPhone

But that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Apple removed the headphone jack on iPhones


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, so you now have to use Bluetooth headphones or Lightning earphones. Not everyone likes that.

Best Phone 2016 -- iPhone Headphone Jack

Plus, the Lightning cable isn’t as ubiquitous as micro-USB or USB-C, a port common to Android and Microsoft devices. There’s also a case to be made to skip the iPhone 7 and wait for iPhone 8


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While iOS is easy for newcomers, it severely limits what you can do. You can’t customize its themes or skins; a mess of widgets and alerts clutters the notification center; the locked operating system doesn’t allow you to tweak it to how you like things.

Best Phone 2016 -- iPhone SE

With all those considerations in place, here’s who should buy an iPhone:

  • If you’re looking for a small phone, get the iPhone SE


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    . Nothing on any platform matches up to it.
  • If you seek simplicity and reliability, the iPhones are better than their Android counterparts.
  • Want a great camera and other smartphone basics? Get an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus.
  • If operating system updates are important to you, then iPhones have the best track record among all platforms. It’s best to buy the latest one (i.e. the seven series) since it receives the longest support period.
  • iPhones are more future-proof than other smartphones. So if you buy one phone for the next three years or more, this is a safe bet.

Recommended iOS Phones

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iPhone 7 or 7 Plus: This one is simple. You’re choosing the size you’re comfortable with, and you need to know if the extra features of the iPhone 7 Plus


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matter to you.


Apple iPhone 7 32GB Unlocked, Black US Version


Apple iPhone 7 32GB Unlocked, Black US Version

Buy Now At Amazon
$520.00

iPhone SE: And of course, like we said earlier, the iPhone SE is the best small-size phone


iPhone SE Review




iPhone SE Review

Apple’s newest iPhone is the smallest produced by the company since the release of the iPhone 5s in 2013. Despite being crammed with the latest hardware, you’d struggle to tell the two apart.
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. It’s missing a few features, like 3D Touch and the fantastic front-facing camera, but it’s still worth it.


Apple iPhone SE A1662 GSM Unlocked Phone, 16GB, Rose Gold (Certified Refurbished)


Apple iPhone SE A1662 GSM Unlocked Phone, 16GB, Rose Gold (Certified Refurbished)

Buy Now At Amazon
$158.99

Google Android

Buying Android means choosing between a wide range of products. Even though now Google makes the Pixel


Google Unveils New Pixel Phones, Chromecast Ultra, & More…




Google Unveils New Pixel Phones, Chromecast Ultra, & More…

Google has unveiled a host of new hardware, including new Pixel phones, the Chromecast Ultra, the Daydream View, Google Home, and Google Wifi.
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 series smartphone, there are plenty of other companies with fantastic devices.

Android enjoys an advantage over Apple in its customizability. Over the last few years, Android experienced explosive growth and evolution. The new Material design overhaul


Exploring Android L: What Exactly Is Material Design?




Exploring Android L: What Exactly Is Material Design?

You may have heard about Android L and Material Design, but what exactly is this new design philosophy and how will it affect Android and other Google products?
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is beautiful, it works better on low-end hardware, and it receives love from developers.

The Google Play Store now matches Apple’s App Store. Any major app released on one will find its way to the other, so don’t let that be a factor in your decision.

Best Phone 2016 -- Android Phone in Hand

Android’s biggest selling point now is its artificial intelligence. Google Now towers over voice-controlled smart assistants


OK, Google: 20+ Useful Things You Can Say to Your Android Phone




OK, Google: 20+ Useful Things You Can Say to Your Android Phone

Slowly, without us noticing, the future has arrived.
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, outperforming Siri and Cortana comfortably. Couple Google Now and another smart tech, and your Android feel magical.

Finally, since so many companies make Android devices, you’ll get something that fits your exact needs. If you aren’t worried about the camera but care about the phone lasting all day, then you’ll get Androids with long battery life. Google caters to every niche.

Best Phone 2016 -- Android Skins Fragmentation

The Disadvantages of Android

Fragmentation remains Android’s biggest hurdle. Since so many manufacturers make so many phones and put different skins on Android, the operating system doesn’t look the same on all phones. It leads to confusion, anger, and dissatisfaction.

There’s also an issue with updates. While Samsung might update its flagship Galaxy S7 phone to new versions of Android, the cheaper phones ignore such upgrades. Before you purchase any Android, you’ll need to research if it is likely to get upgrades


Why Hasn’t My Android Phone Updated Yet?




Why Hasn’t My Android Phone Updated Yet?

The Android update process is long and complicated; let’s examine it to find out exactly why your Android phone takes so long to update.
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.

Some people also find Android overwhelming. The amount of customization it offers can overwhelm some users, who just want a simpler phone.

Best Phone 2016 -- Android Nexus

With all those considerations in place, here’s who should buy an Android:

  • If you like to be able to control every aspect of your phone, Android is the only operating system to let you do that.
  • If you want a specific type of phone, like say a particular screen size along with other hardware must-haves, Android is almost always your only choice. Picking the right equipment is as important as the software it’s running.
  • If you’re on a budget, Android offers excellent phones at low prices, where you won’t find anything of that level on Windows Phone or iOS.

Recommended Android Phones

Best Phone 2016 -- OnePlus 3

Google Pixel / Pixel XL ($650 and up): The first “Made by Google” phones obviously top the list here. If you want the pure Android experience, and especially if you like to use Google products, it doesn’t get better than this.

OnePlus 3 ($399): The great part about Android is getting a premium phone without paying a premium price. Our current pick for such a combo is OnePlus 3


OnePlus 3 Review




OnePlus 3 Review

OnePlus One and OnePlus 2 were tricky to get hold of, despite attracting favorable reviews. This time around, things are different.
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, which offers everything that the best Androids and iPhones have to give. Try it — you’ll wonder why you ever paid so much for phones.

Blu Life One X2: For $200, you won’t believe what you get: a Full HD screen, Android 6 Marshmallow, a decent processor, 4 GB of RAM, and 64 GB of onboard storage. In case you’re looking for something cheaper, we have other Blu options among the best smartphones for students this year


The Best Smartphones for Students in 2016




The Best Smartphones for Students in 2016

Before heading back to school this season, consider getting a new smartphone. Think a daily driver! But what are the best smartphones around?
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. (Be aware of the security issues with BLU phones, though).



BLU LIFE ONE X2 – 4G LTE Unlocked Smartphone – 64GB+4GB RAM – Grey


BLU LIFE ONE X2 – 4G LTE Unlocked Smartphone – 64GB+4GB RAM – Grey

Buy Now At Amazon
$450.00

Microsoft Windows 10 Mobile

It’s difficult to take Windows Phone seriously when Microsoft itself seems ambivalent at best towards it. But if you can’t stand both Android and iOS, this is your only real third choice.

Windows 10 Mobile benefits from the fact that the same apps work on desktop and mobile, so there is slightly better app support than you’d get otherwise. But even then, several popular mobile apps are missing from Windows Mobile. There’s no Snapchat. One of the world’s biggest finance apps, Mint discontinued its Windows Mobile app.

The limited or missing app market is the biggest issue with the new operating system. If you are okay with that, though, then Windows 10 Mobile has a few good things going for it


Why You Should Upgrade to Windows 10 Mobile and How to Do It




Why You Should Upgrade to Windows 10 Mobile and How to Do It

Windows 10 Mobile has finally been released to the public. Provided your phone is supported, you should upgrade. Here’s everything you need to know about upgrading from Windows Phone 8.1 to Windows 10 Mobile.
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.

Best Phone 2016 -- Windows Mobile Music

Windows Mobile’s simplicity is a big draw for people. It may look and behave differently from Android and iOS, but first-time smartphone users find it intuitive.

Plus, Windows wants Continuum to switch between your phone and PC quickly. The company envisions a future where you will hop from one device to the other seamlessly. Unfortunately, while the idea is good, it isn’t implemented well yet. But there’s potential there.

Best Phone 2016 -- Windows Mobile Nokia

With all those considerations in place, here’s who should buy a Windows 10 Mobile device:

  • If you want an easy interface and just the essential mobile apps that most people rely on, Windows Mobile get the job done.
  • If your connection to technology revolves around Microsoft products alone, and you, don’t care much about other services.
  • If you want something different from Android and iOS, Windows mobiles are your only real options right now.

Recommended Windows 10 Phones

Best Phone 2016 -- Lumia 950 XL

Microsoft Lumia 950 XL ($499): The Lumia 950 XL is the premier Windows Mobile experience, and it shows. Packing a high-resolution screen, one of the best smartphone cameras in the world, and a large battery, this is the phone to get to experience Continuum, Microsoft’s intelligent assistant Cortana, and all other features.

Microsoft Lumia 950 ($399): The Lumia 950 is a watered down version of the 950 XL, but costs $100 less. The camera and processor, while good in their right, are of a lower quality than the XL. Still, overall, the Lumia 950 is a fine smartphone


Microsoft Lumia 950 Review




Microsoft Lumia 950 Review

This could be Microsoft’s final flagship phone. With many declaring Windows 10 Mobile dead on arrival, just what is the point of the Lumia 950?
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.

Windows, Android, or iPhone in 2016?

If you had to advise someone to buy a phone in 2016, which of the three major mobile operating systems would you recommend and why? Is there anything that makes one better than the other at the end of this year, going into 2017?

The Best Graphic Tablets And Programs To Use If You Want To Break Into Digital Cartoon Design

Cartoonists and comic creators are moving away from traditional pen and paper. Today, artists can use graphic tablets which allow them to achieve the same results on their computers.

If you’re just starting out on your digital art journey, you’ll need to buy a graphic tablet and download an appropriate editing app. It doesn’t matter whether you’re learning to draw manga comics or you dream of becoming the next Joseph Barbera, having the correct tools is half the battle.

But which tablets and apps are right for you? In this article, we’re going to introduce you to the five of the best graphic tablets for beginners, then recommend some software for you to use.

Graphic Tablets

In recent years, there’s been an explosion in the number of graphic tablets on the market. Top-end models—such as the Wacom Cintiq 22HD—now retail for more than $1,750. If you’re already an established artist, it’s money well spent. But if you’re a beginner who’s looking for your first big break, spending so much money on your first device would be foolish.

Instead, you should set your sights a bit lower. Here are some tools for you to consider, each of which is aimed at different subsets of users and has different price points.

1. Wacom Intuos Pro

“For the wannabe professional.”

If you’re confident in your abilities and happy to spend the money on a quality tablet, you can’t go far wrong with the Wacom Intuos Pro. At $479, it’s considerably cheaper than the market-leading Cintiq, but it still packs a powerful punch.

The tablet comes in three different sizes, but you shouldn’t consider purchasing anything other than the 16.8″ x 11.2″ (42.6cm x 28.4cm) large edition. For $100 more, you can upgrade to the Paper version. It lets you export your pen-on-paper doodles directly to your computer.

best graphic design tablets

Quick Specs

  • 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity
  • Pen tilt recognition
  • 5080 LPI
  • 200 points per second
  • Support for multi-touch gestures
  • Eight customizable express keys
  • Wacom Grip Pen included

What Are People Saying?

CNET—“It’s an essential buy for creatives who do a lot of digital freehand sketching.”
Fstoppers—“The Intuos Pro is an absolute joy to use . . . It’ll pay for itself in the time you save.”

2. Huion H610PRO

“The best entry-level model for hobbyists.”

If digital cartoon design is a hobby rather than a career, you should consider the Huion H610PRO. It costs $72.99 but consistently scores highly among users. It boasts an average of four stars from more than 1,200 reviews on Amazon.

Measuring 10″ x 6.25″ (25.4cm x 15.875cm), it’s significantly smaller than the Wacom Intuos Pro. As such, it’s unsuitable for professionals or people who like to work on large projects across several monitors. However, for beginners, its “bang for your buck” is unrivaled.

best graphic design tablets

Quick Specs

  • 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity
  • Eight customizable express keys
  • 16 mappable hotkeys
  • 200 report rate
  • Weighs 635 grams
  • Left-handed driver for southpaws
  • Compatible with Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Corel Painter, Autodesk Sketchbook, Manga Studio, Clip Studio, and Zbrush
  • Battery-free P80 Huion stylus included

What Are People Saying?

Fstoppers—“If you don’t own a tablet yet, don’t have the budget for a Wacom, or you’re looking for a smaller and cheaper digital art board to travel with, do not look further, this is most likely the solution for you.”
Tablets for Artists—“If you’re looking for a professional-quality drawing tablet that’s great value, the Huion 610 Pro is worthy of consideration.”

3. Ugee 1910B

“Simulates a traditional pen-and-paper experience”

Unlike the Wacom Intuos Pro and the Huion H610PRO, the Ugee 1910B shows your artwork in real-time on its screen. Accordingly, many users will find that the tablet provides a more natural usage experience; it feels like you’re working on a piece of paper rather than a computer.

It costs $409. That’s not much cheaper than the Intuos, but significantly less expensive than the similarly-equipped Cintiq. Much of your purchase decision will boil down to whether you would enjoy using the 19-inch 5080 LPI screen.

best graphic design tablets

Quick Specs

  • 1440 x 900 screen resolution
  • 800:1 contrast ratio
  • 16.7 million display colors
  • 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity
  • Multi-angle adjustable stand
  • P50S Graphic Pen included

What Are People Saying?

Tablets for Artists—“The Ugee is a fine choice for artists on a budget, for students, or beginners wanting to try a tablet monitor without a big investment.”
Art’s Art Reviews—“The Ugee 1910B is a tablet display that may serve as a good alternative to the more expensive displays such as Wacom’s Cintiq line.”

4. Wacom CTL-471 ONE

“The cheapest graphic tablet worth buying.”

The Wacom CTL-471 ONE ONE is in direct competition with the Huion H610PRO. If you’ve used Wacom tablets before, or you trust the Wacom brand name more than Huion, the $39 CTL-471 ONE represents a sensible purchase.

Wacom primarily aims the product at people who’ve never owned a graphic tablet before. In addition to painting, drawing, and sketching capabilities, it’s also ideal for editing photos and using on-the-go. Ultimately, with 4.5 stars on Amazon, you know you’re going to get a quality product.

best graphic design tablets

Quick Specs

  • 1024 pressure levels of sensitivity
  • 2540 LPI
  • Weighs 240 grams
  • 152 x 95 mm active area
  • No multi-touch support
  • Pen included

What Are People Saying?

Art’s Art Reviews—“If you are a beginner looking for your first tablet, the Wacom CTL471 will serve you well. Just make sure you’re comfortable with the area of drawing space that this tablet provides.”
Sweet Monia—“It can be an excellent choice for first graphics tablets owners, it can also be a great option for those looking for a second tablet to carry on-the-go.”

5. XP-Pen Artist 16

“A slightly cheaper alternative to the Ugee 1910B.”

At $490, the XP-Pen Artist 16 is more expensive than the Ugee 1910B. Apart from the price, there is little difference between them. Both let you design directly on the monitor’s surface.

The tablet’s biggest selling point is the quality of its screen; the 1080p 15.6″ FHD IPS display looks stunning. Size-wise, it measures 15.9″ x 8.6″ (40.5cm x 25.5 cm), making it slightly smaller than the Ugee.

best graphic design tablets

Quick Specs

  • 16.7 million display colors
  • 1,000:1 contrast ratio
  • 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 2048 pressure sensitivity levels
  • 5080 LPI
  • 200 reports per second
  • Pen included

What Are People Saying?

Parkablogs—“Drawing performance is good. The pressure sensitivity works very well. The display is responsive, and lines appear instantly as they are drawn. There’s no lag.”
Surface Pro Artist—“The Artist 16’s FHD (1920 x 1080) display and 2048 pressure levels should be sufficient to satisfy most entry- and mid-level users.”

Graphics Editing Programs

The graphics editing program is the software the cartoonist uses with a graphic tablet in order to draw on the computer. For the sake of simplicity, we’ll focus on software that specializes in producing 2D raster art.

Photoshop and Corel Painter

“The professional options.”

Photoshop and Corel Painter are two of the most powerful tools used by professionals in the comic industry. They come with a wide array of brushes, effects, and plug-ins that provide digital cartoonists with all the versatility they need to produce beautiful art.

Additional features include support for layered editing and masks, professional text editing for typographers, and more.

best graphic design tablets

Photoshop Elements

“The perfect balance of price and functionality.”

Photoshop Elements is targeted at hobbyist cartoonists and the occasional user. It’s sold at a fraction of what Photoshop sells at, and may be given as a freebie when purchasing certain graphic tablets.

It doesn’t include many of the advanced features that Photoshop has, including advanced selection and editing tools, advanced text editing, and support for CMYK coloring.

GIMP

“A free option for beginners.”

GIMP is a free, open-source alternative to Photoshop. It runs on all major operating systems and is designed to work smoothly with Wacom tablets.

The app provides most of the same core functionality as Photoshop offers (for 2D image editing) and is a true lifesaver for anyone who needs basic features while saving money.

Which Graphics Tablet Will You Buy?

In this piece, we’ve introduced you to five of the best graphic tablets for anyone who wants to break into digital cartoon design.

Now it’s your turn to contribute. Which graphic tablet would you recommend to a beginner? What makes it so unique? Or perhaps you’ve already used one of the five devices we covered? If so, let us know what you thought of it.

As always, you can leave all your opinions and input in the comments section below.

Image Credit: Sergey Nivens via Shutterstock.com

7 Reasons The Lenovo Yoga A12 Laptop Sucks And 7 Superior Alternatives

The Lenovo Yoga A12 laptop looks like technology from the future. A few troubling aspects of the futuristic device should give prospective buyers pause, though. The advertising may not live up to the device’s performance.

To illustrate, watch a video highlighting the primary features of the A12:

If you were to judge a book by its cover, the Yoga A12 looks like one of the best devices ever made. It boasts a razor thin profile of 11mm and 13 hours of battery life. On top of that, it offers superior build quality, incorporating magnesium and aluminum into its chassis. However, don’t let appearances fool you. The A12 won’t fit the needs of anyone interested in productivity.

1. Touch Keyboards (Halo Keyboard) Suck

A touch keyboard dispenses with physical keys and relies on the same touch technology in a smartphone for registering key presses. To date, few manufacturers employ touch keyboard panels. Other than allowing for an impossibly slim profile, touch keyboards offer spill resistance, touchpad capabilities, and mechanical reliability. But that’s where the advantages end and the problem start. In brief, they suck at the one thing they promise to do: typing.

Lauren Goode, of the Verge, reviewed a similar touch keyboard-equipped laptop: the Yoga Book.

While one of the most impressive looking devices ever produced, the Yoga Book suffered from a truckload of shortcomings. Namely, its touch keyboard makes typing difficult.

But if you’re dying to try the underlying technology, check out the Yoga Book. It may not offer the state-of-art in hardware, but it does double as a functional Wacom for designers.

2. It’s Actually a Downgraded Yoga Book

The Yoga A12 offers similar specs to last year’s Yoga Book. Like the Yoga Book, the A12 features a 360-degree keyboard. Users can flip the keyboard back, turning the device into a tablet. We refer to these devices as 2-in-1 convertible laptops because they can transform from a laptop into a tablet.

If you aren’t familiar with 2-in-1 devices (what’s a 2-in-1?), better options abound. For example, the Asus Chromebook Flip uses a similar rotatable hinge. But instead of Android, the Flip uses ChromeOS — and that means it also runs Android apps.

The biggest difference between the Yoga Book and the A12: its operating system. The A12 comes with Android, instead of Windows 10. And that can prove problematic for those interested in productivity.

7 Reasons the Lenovo Yoga A12 Laptop Sucks and 7 Superior Alternatives asus flip chromebook

3. Android Isn’t a Complete Desktop Operating System

While the Yoga Book offers both Windows and Android, the Yoga A12 includes just Android. Unfortunately, that leaves out many Windows desktop applications. On top of that, Android’s user interface doesn’t scale properly on anything larger than a 5-inch smartphone. To Lenovo’s credit, they included the ability to run some apps in tablet mode. The result? You get a somewhat awkward-to-use, oversized Android tablet.

7 Reasons the Lenovo Yoga A12 Laptop Sucks and 7 Superior Alternatives dell 15 3000 inspiron amazon link

For productivity, a superior alternative is the Windows 10-equipped Dell Inspiron 15 i3558. It comes with double the RAM, 31-times the storage, and a far more powerful Intel Core i3 processor for $313. It does not include a touchscreen or a rotatable hinge, though.

4. It’s Probably Never Getting a System Update

There are two reasons why the A12 won’t get a system update (or firmware update): first, Lenovo ranks near the bottom of manufacturers in how often it updates the software of its Android devices, and second, Intel discontinued future Atom processors for mobile, which means a probable end to device updates.

Lenovo’s own Android firmware update table leaves out last year’s Yoga Book — meaning, it never received a firmware update. If Lenovo can’t even update a $500 product, it almost certainly isn’t going to update a $300 device.

7 Reasons the Lenovo Yoga A12 Laptop Sucks and 7 Superior Alternatives lenovo firmware update android matrix

On top of that, the Atom processor suffers from compatibility issues with many Android games. Unless a game provides specific compatibility with x86 processors, there’s a good chance it won’t work. For those interested in running Android apps on a 2-in-1, look no further than a Chromebook. Because ChromeOS uses an emulation technique for running games, it suffers from almost none of the compatibility issues associated with x86 hardware on Android. A great example is the Acer Chromebook 14, which employs an Atom-based Celeron N3160 processor.

5. The Specifications Are Woefully Overpriced

Perhaps the clearest indicators of its horribleness are the A12’s specifications. Take a quick look:

  • Intel Atom x5 system-on-a-chip
  • 12.2-inch 1200 x 800 touchscreen
  • 2 GB of RAM
  • 32 GB of storage
  • Touch keyboard

These specifications approximately equal the impulse-buy $100 laptops sold at Walmart.

7 Reasons the Lenovo Yoga A12 Laptop Sucks and 7 Superior Alternatives chuwi hi10 2 in 1 amazon

On the other hand, for slightly less money, you can pick up the Chuwi Hi10. The Hi10 features double the storage and RAM, a Full High Definition (FHD) 1080p IPS display, and the ability to dual-boot Android and Windows 10. On top of that, the Hi10 includes a tablet-optimized version of Android, known as Remix OS. While the keyboard sells separately, all together, the cost comes out to less than the Yoga A12.

On the other hand, some might argue that the Lenovo Yoga A12 offers a larger 12.2-inch screen. Even so, you can find cheaper 11.5-inch (only an inch smaller) tablets for around $100.

6. Its Screen Won’t Impress Anyone

If you prefer large screens, the A12 comes up short again. The 1200 x 800 resolution on a large 12.2-inch display won’t impress anyone in the $300 price range. You can find similar or larger screens for much less. For example, the RCA 11.5-inch Galileo Pro offers comparable specifications but at $220 cheaper.

7 Reasons the Lenovo Yoga A12 Laptop Sucks and 7 Superior Alternatives rca galileo tablet walmart

If you love HD-resolution screens, you can find a much better deal in the Acer Chromebook R11. The R11 offers a slightly better screen, along with overall superior specifications to the A12. Most important, it can also run Android apps on ChromeOS, which completely obviates the need for an Android-based laptop.

7. Lenovo Has a Sordid History With Spyware

Lenovo beats all competitors at spying on their customers. In 2015, users found three different malware suites preinstalled on low-end Lenovo laptops. The worst of these, the Superfish malware client, allows Lenovo to intercept and decrypt its users’ internet traffic. It also injects ads into browsers. While Lenovo offers a tool for removing its malware, some manufacturers don’t include any unwanted software. For example, Olimex.

7 Reasons the Lenovo Yoga A12 Laptop Sucks and 7 Superior Alternatives TERES I OLIMEX product link image

For those concerned about security, Olimex announced a mostly open-source, build-it-yourself laptop for around $250. It offers substantially weaker specs than the A12, but with a better screen. Unfortunately, the laptop kit went out of stock immediately after its announcement — but a restock should be imminent.

Who Should Buy a Lenovo Yoga A12?

No one should purchase a Yoga A12. The A12 is best seen as an aesthetic triumph and perhaps a portent of things to come. Unfortunately, its design won’t accommodate the vast majority of users’ needs. On top of that, even at $300, the price falls dramatically short of its competition.

In 2017, $300 buys a lot of machine. The A12 offers little in the way of specifications, value, and functionality. Had it included ChromeOS instead of Android, it might have been salvageable — but as it stands, you are likely to find a better device by throwing a dart inside a used electronics store, blindfolded, and heavily medicated.