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Reviews

Blow Up Hall: exterior (Photo: Loz Blain/gizmag.com)

I've traveled all the way to Poland specifically to check out one of the world's most unique hotels. Half luxury accommodation, half art installation, Blow Up Hall 5050 is the singular vision of Poland's richest woman. As soon as you step into the lobby, you become part of a giant digital artwork that sets the tone for a strange and wonderful luxury experience. Your door key is an iPhone, there's no room numbers, cameras and screens constantly capture, chop up and spit out your image as you walk through disorienting hallways, and no two rooms are the same. It's quite an experience ... if you can get past the square toilets.  Read More

Gizmag takes a second look at the PS Vita, a top-notch portable gaming machine with a scan...

It's hard to believe that it's been been almost two years since the PlayStation Vita launched. When we reviewed Sony's next-gen portable in 2012, we found it to be just about the ideal portable gaming console. But how does it hold up today? Has competition from smartphones and tablets stuck a knife in the Vita, or does its recent price drop warrant a second look? Read on, as Gizmag revisits an old favorite, the PS Vita.  Read More

The Pelican ProGear S100 Sport Elite includes a hard, watertight laptop case in the back

Last year, Pelican launched a line of backpacks, rolling its hard-case protection into comfortable, shoulder-harness form. On paper they look like a great way to protect laptops and tablets, but how do they hold up in the real world? We took one of the packs around the globe, from the 2013 New York Auto Show, to the Dusseldorf Caravan Salon, and finally to the IAA show in Frankfurt. Here's what we learned.  Read More

Gizmag reviews the new Sony SmartWatch 2

Does a more advanced smartwatch make for a better smartwatch? We considered the Samsung Galaxy Gear to be a barrier-pushing watch, with features like a camera, voice dictation, and phone calls. But then again, it's also only compatible with one phone at launch. Sony's newest SmartWatch, meanwhile, falls into the keep it simple, keep it compatible camp. Are rock-solid notifications and Android-wide compatibility enough? Let Gizmag try to help you answer that, as we review the Sony SmartWatch 2.  Read More

Gizmag tries out the BoomBottle

A lot of people like listening to music while cycling, but don't want to unsafely shut themselves off from traffic noise by wearing headphones. There are already a few devices that address the issue, but Scosche recently introduced its own unique alternative – it's called the BoomBottle, and it's a rugged Bluetooth stereo speaker designed to be carried in a bike's water bottle cage. After meeting some company reps at Interbike 2013, I got the chance to try out one of the funny little gadgets for myself.  Read More

Using open-source software, TAZ can be adjusted to reach print speeds of up to 200 mm/sec

Boasting the largest print envelope available for less than US$5,000, the LulzBot TAZ is a RepRap-style 3D printer that presents an open, no-frills design. The TAZ 1.0 is LulzBot’s fourth generation printer, and it uses the company’s sixth generation hot-end (the nozzle and extrusion mechanism for 3D printing). This printer uses an open-source format for both its software and hardware, also known as Libre Hardware.  Read More

Gizmag reviews the Galaxy Gear, Samsung's bold new take on the smartwatch

When a new tech product launches, reviewers usually come to some sort of consensus. Often something just clicks, and you see raves across the board. Other times, the product has obvious flaws, and critics are all equally quick to point those out. The early consensus for the Samsung Galaxy Gear, however, isn't quite jiving with us. Though it's been almost universally panned, we had a very different take on it. Why? Read on, as Gizmag gives you a different perspective on the new Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch.  Read More

Gizmag reviews the new Samsung Galaxy Note 3, with its even bigger screen and improved sty...

Samsung's Galaxy Note 2 was one of our favorite mobile devices from the last year, but it still had some room for improvement. What happens when Samsung takes that already great mobile device, and improves on it in all the right areas? Well, you get an absolute beast of a mobile device, the Galaxy Note 3. Join Gizmag, as we review Samsung's latest flagship phablet.  Read More

The Defender, in place on the handlebars and ready to go

Last year, a couple of MIT grads took to Kickstarter to raise production funds for their just-about-everything-proof bicycle light, the Defender. Made mainly from a solid block of aluminum, the light was reportedly tough as nails, waterproof, and very theft-resistant. It was also designed to look like the cylinder of a revolver. Well, the Kickstarter project was a success, and the light is now available for purchase. I got my hands on one, to see if it actually lives up to its makers' claims.  Read More

The Mega sports a faux chrome plastic back

Whatever sort of smartphone you might want, Samsung has got you covered. Unlike its chief competitor, Apple, which recently broke with tradition by unveiling (gasp!) two new models of iPhone at once, the Korean monolith makes devices of all shapes and sizes. Samsung's huge 6.3-inch Galaxy Mega sprang forth from that spirit of concocting a flavor for every taste last month, and I've spent the past few weeks putting it through its paces to try to find out if there's room in my life for such a sizable smartphone. Here are a few of the conclusions I've reached over the course of my month with the Mega.  Read More

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