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The latest MacBook Pros fully embraced USB-C. Charging, displays, and other I/O are all connected through this universal port. In a profession that is quite storage-intensive, I’ve spent my fair share of time researching and testing hard drives. The Glyph Atom has become my latest favorite, and has so far been my drive of choice with my new MacBook Pro.Choosing a drive
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When searching for a drive, there are so many routes to go down. First, you need to decide if you’d like a portable drive, to tote around with you, or if you want a stationary desktop drive.
Desktop drives are usually relegated to be the larger storage options. They can be larger and more power-intensive after all.
Portable rigs are often a bit more expensive and have lower capacities. After all, they have to cram the tech into a smaller body, while retaining speed and adding some ruggedness.
Glyph fits into the portable drive camp. Though surprisingly, being an SSD it has quite a fair bit of storage.Drives speeds
Aside from sizes and capacities, drives also come in a variety of speeds, and I/O. You may have a blazing fast drive, but if you are limited to USB 2.0, it won’t go faster than a maximum 480Mbps.
Traditional hard drives are slowest. Usually coming in at 5400Rpm or 7200Rpm, with the faster rotation being the faster drive. Hard drives are usually limited to around 180MBps.
Solid State Drives, or SSDs are faster, because there are no moving parts, and can have read speeds up to 450MBps. This is quite respectful! The very popular Samsung T5 falls into this category.
Turns out though, you can make that speed go faster. Enter RAID drives.What makes Glyph different
Glyph utilizes RAID-0. This is known as striping RAID. What happens is that instead of writing to just one drive at 480MBps, it writes to two drives simultaneously. Ostensibly doubling the read and write speed of the drive.
The exterior of the drive is also really nice. It has a smooth anodized aluminum finish that while not just matching the MacBooks, is a great heatsink. It also comes in a silicone sleeve. The sleeve is removable if your Glyph would prefer not to adorn it. I really love when companies pay attention to the details, and Glyph does that because if you do take of the silicone cover, underneath are two silicone feet on the bottom to still prevent it from sliding on your desk. I really like that aspect. Though when you are on the go, the cover is best left in place as to not scratch the drive, or any of your other metal gadgets.Performance
While other SSDs like the Samsung T5 can write at 450MBps, the Glyph is capable of writing all the way up to 860MBps, in theory. That is nearly double the performance! Real world usage is going to be a lot slower, right? Well, after several run throughs of the Black Magic Disk Speedtest, I was regularly getting between 700 to nearly 900 MBps. Those are some fantastic numbers to be seeing on a portable drive.I/O
The Glyph works great with the new MacBook Pro because it is fully capable of using USB-C and Thunderbolt 3. In the box, it comes with a USB-C cable, as well as a USB-C to USB-A for older machines that don’t fully support the USB-C standard.
That single USB-C port is the only port on the drive, so you don’t have to worry about any additional power, or other cords to look for.The bottom line
When I say I’ve tried dozens on dozens of drives, I mean it. I have network drives, desktop drives, build-your-own RAID solutions, etc. I always look for redundancies and ways to protect my data.
Glyph has outperformed nearly all my other drives. It is fast, functional, and looks great. I’m not saying that the Glyph is the only drive out there that supports two, RAID-0 SSDs in a super tiny USB-C enclosure, but I’m saying that its competition is limited.
If you are looking for one of the best portable SSDs around, you can find the 1TB model over on Amazon for just above $400. If you are looking to go a bit cheaper, they of course have non-RAID options like the 256GB SSD for $249.
What do you think of the speed of the Glyph Atom RAID SSD? Do you think these premium features warrant the price? Let us know your thoughts down below.
You're reading Review: The Glyph Atom Is One Of The Fastest Ssds Out There
“Everything is political.” Only three words, but it’s probably the most daring statement in Life is Strange 2. Video games have long distanced themselves from any whiff of political controversy, and yet here’s one with the courage to say “Being a bystander isn’t an option.” Or at least implying that being a bystander is in itself political.This is America
You play as Sean Diaz, a Seattle teen with typical teenage concerns. The opening is a masterful bit of misdirection, a reprise of the low-stakes social maneuvering of the previous Life is Strange. Sean’s headed to an illicit party with his friend Lyla, and it’s up to him to bring supplies: Alcohol, snacks, condoms, a blanket, maybe even marijuana if so inclined.
IDG / Hayden Dingman
Or a cigarette.
Sean lives in a typical suburban house with his dad Esteban, a mechanic, as well as his eight-year-old brother Daniel. And much of this opening chapter is about setting up those relationships. Wander around, and Sean regales you with bits of family ephemera. The three of them watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy every year. Esteban hates sushi, but orders it because his kids like it. There are even a few choices to make, like whether to tell your dad you’re borrowing money to spend on drugs and alcohol, or lie and pretend it’s for more respectable pursuits.
It’s pleasant. Dad’s down working on the car he plans to give you, once you’ve gotten over your fear of the driver’s test. Daniel’s working on some secret project in his room, which obviously can’t be good. And you? Raid the cupboards, sketch a bit, flip on the radio and sing along. It’s just a crisp autumn afternoon.
Until it all goes wrong.
IDG / Hayden Dingman
I won’t detail exactly what goes wrong, or how. Suffice it to say Sean and Daniel are thrust into a situation that quickly spirals out of hand, and in a panic Sean decides they need to run for it. So they do, all the way into the woods around Mount Rainier and then south into Oregon. The eventual goal is Mexico, but Mexico’s a long way away and you’ve got maybe $40 in your wallet. What do you do?
And this time around I feel like there’s a cohesive story, too. I enjoyed the previous games, but it was more for the moment-to-moment character interactions than the overarching plots. In the original, Chloe and Max were fantastic, the town of Arcadia Bay a great backdrop, but the “Where’s Rachel?” subplot felt like a cheesy slasher film. Then Before the Storm made Chloe and Rachel even more endearing, but the drug dealer storyline never went anywhere interesting.
IDG / Hayden Dingman
Tell Daniel scary stories, he’ll have nightmares. Let him gorge on berries unsupervised, he might get sick. Teach him to skip stones or to conquer the claw game, and he’ll feel more confident. Steal, and he’ll notice.
IDG / Hayden Dingman
It’s stressful, though I think Life is Strange 2 plays it a bit too safe in this opening chapter. No surprise, as there are four more episodes to come, but the tough decisions don’t feel quite tough enough yet. It’s too easy to play the ethical Sean, to always make the “correct” choice and come out okay. I hope the pressure ramps up as we go.
I also hope it doesn’t though. Sean and Daniel are already mired in tragedy, and to be honest I was glad not to make any hard calls. We found berries in the woods, enough for Daniel to eat and be content. A friend gave us $40, enough to buy bus tickets. These small victories felt reassuring, as I tried to shield Daniel from harm and minimize trouble for Sean as well.
And in any case, what Life is Strange 2 says about America and Americans is almost as important as Sean and Daniel’s story. It’s ugly. Even in Seattle, a bastion of progressive politics, Sean’s racist neighbor tells him to “go back to Mexico.” Later another character says “You’re the reason we need to build that wall.” Good people are few and far between. Hell, even a family you meet at a gas station looks at you with disdain, the dad saying something like “Didn’t we leave Berkeley to get away from stuff like this?”
IDG / Hayden Dingman
Which is not to say it’s perfect, either. Some of the more emotional moments strain against the limits of the character animations (Daniel can get particularly creepy at times) and a few lines of dialogue come off hammy.
Those who take issue with Life is Strange 2’s politics will also undoubtedly point to the middle chapter, which unfortunately plays up one character as so villainous he’s more of a caricature. Those missteps can be dangerous in this sort of charged narrative, because any misrepresentation or exaggeration is fuel for complaints. It’s why so many games shy away from politics. Most of the time, it’s just easier to say “Nah, we didn’t mean anything by this” than to open yourself up to criticism.Bottom line
But I’m glad Life is Strange 2 ($40 on Humble) didn’t take the easy road. This has the potential to be a landmark moment for interactive storytelling, and I’m honestly stunned Square Enix allowed Dontnod to make it. Games don’t take these risks, ever—and certainly not in something this high-profile.
To find the fastest VPN, the two most important factors are download and upload speeds. Download speeds are most likely the primary concern because when using the internet, it is imperative to get data from remote servers as quickly as possible. However, upload speeds can be equally as important for some. Gamers, for example, need low server ping in order to register their actions as quickly as possible.
When evaluation VPN connection speeds, we look at both download and upload speeds, focusing on the percentage of the base speed that is maintained (or exceeded). That percentage of speed that is retained is the best measure for the true experience of using a particular VPN. This is due to the fact that numbers can differ quite a bit from ISP to ISP, device to device, or connection type to connection type so retained relative speed is only constant. We’ve tested numerous VPNs and put their servers through countless speed tests to determine the fastest services on average. We then put together a list of the fastest VPNs we’ve tested.
Read below to see our picks for the fastest VPN, as well as our recommendations for best choice for upload speeds and the VPN with the best speeds while staying as private as possible.
If you’re looking for even more VPN options, check out our comprehensive roundup of the best VPNs in all categories.
Updated 01/23/2023: Check out our latest review of IPVanish. This appealing U.S.-based VPN has made great improvements to its server spread and speed in recent years and they now have an independently verified no-log policy to top it all off.
1. Hotspot Shield – Fastest VPN, period
Large country selection and plenty of servers
Domain visits are recorded, though not tied to you
Read our full
2. ProtonVPN – Second-fastest overall, fastest upload speeds
Easy-to-use multi-hop feature
Supports TOR over VPN connections
Best Prices Today:
Upload speeds are a different story. In that competition, HSS doesn’t even crack the top 20. Proton, however, is the leader there, retaining more than 80 percent of the base upload speed. If you want something that offers a higher degree of privacy, and has top-rated download and upload speeds, then ProtonVPN is the way to go. ProtonVPN also has extra features that may interest some, such as a multi-hop VPN, called SecureCore, support for Netflix and other streaming services, and a few TOR-friendly routers to boot.
Read our full
3. Mullvad – The most private speed demon
Higher level of anonymity possible than with most VPN services
Windows desktop is easy to use
Not guaranteed to work with Netflix
Lacks the extra services that some VPNs offer
No password protection for your account
Best Prices Today:
If you don’t want to compromise on privacy and anonymity, while still getting solid speeds, then Mullvad is the best choice. This super-simple VPN supports connections via 38 different countries, and it costs 5 Euros per month (around $5.70 at this writing). We’ve often referred to Mullvad as the “Swiss bank account” version of VPNs, because Mullvad actively resists obtaining any of your personal information.
Instead of signing up for an account with the standard email and password, Mullvad assigns you a random account number and that’s it. No birth date or anniversary passwords to give you away. One number and that’s it. In our tests, Mullvad was sixth place for download speeds, though its upload speeds were on the weaker side, maintaining just under 60 percent of the base speed.
After Mullvad, we have to turn back again to ProtonVPN since it’s so fast, and the privacy promises are good, though you won’t get the same amount of anonymity as you do with Mullvad, as email and password combos are the norm.
Read our full
4. ExpressVPN – The bronze medalist
Consistently good speeds
Easy-to-use desktop program
Broad device support
Logs data transfer amounts
More expensive than many competitors
Read our full
5. NordVPN – Honorable mention
Enough features to appeal to power users and novices
Best Prices Today:
Nord regularly appears at the top of many VPN rankings, and it’s no surprise to see it here. In our tests, NordVPN retained 49 percent of the base speed, which is plenty fast. It’s also inside the top 10 for upload speeds. Of all the VPNs here, NordVPN also has to be one of the most feature packed, rivaling ProtonVPN. It supports multi-hop connections, TOR over VPN, ad and tracker blocking at the server level, and a variety of other options.
Read our full
Testing is pretty simple. We test the speeds in five countries on a given day, testing each country location three times. These countries are typically the U.S., the UK, Germany, Australia, and Japan, but that can change depending on the locations the VPN offers and if there are any unique testing requirements.
The daily speeds are averaged together to get a daily average speed. We test a total of three days at different times of the day to account for any variation. Then we take the average of each testing day to get an overall average. That overall average is then expressed as a percentage of the base speed. That way the test results provide a sense of how much speed a VPN retains versus hard numbers, which can vary based on internet service providers, routers, and other equipment, time of day, and so on.How to pick a VPN
VPNs are a tricky subject. First of all, many security experts often don’t have a very high opinion of VPNs. That’s due in part to shenanigans from early VPN companies, as well as the fact that the entire use of a VPN is based on trust. You have no way of knowing for sure if your service is doing what it says it’s doing, hence the need for trust. VPN companies are going a long way to improve trust with third-party audits and upholding their privacy promises in court.Company leadership
So how can you put your trust in a VPN? There are a few steps you can take. First, make sure you know who is behind the company. It’s easier to trust a company if you know where they are located and who is running the show. Next, consider VPNs that aren’t in exotic locations half a world away. You can raise objections about the so-called “Fourteen Eyes” all you want, but if you’re using a VPN to access Gmail, Facebook, and Twitter, then far more sensitive information than your browsing history could potentially be exposed under force of law.Logging policy
Once you’re comfortable with the company providing your service, it’s time to see what kind of information they’re logging from your activity, if any. Some VPNs promise to log nothing, some take minimal data to improve their networks, while others log a surprising amount. Ideally, you want a VPN that logs as little data as possible, especially when it comes to which websites you’re visiting–though if speed is your primary concern, you may be able to forgive HotSpot Shield for collecting the TLDs you visit on an anonymized basis.Server count
Next, you may want to consider how many servers a VPN has. The more servers there are, the less chance of congestion and reduced speeds. It also makes it easier to switch servers in the same country when you need to for viewing Netflix or other needs.Free vs. paid
Finally, you want to be a paying customer with a VPN when possible. Free and paid VPNs can have differing privacy policies, and free VPNs often have paltry data limits that aren’t helpful. If you only need a VPN for a limited time, many services have month-to-month commitments at prices ranging from $5 to $10.Final points
After you go down the speed rankings behind HSS and ProtonVPN, the speeds start to group up into tiers pretty quickly within the top 10. ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and Perfect Privacy make up the third tier after the top two leaders. Then Mullvad, Surfeasy, Private Internet Access, Air VPN, and HMA round out the top 10 for download speeds.
The drop-off for upload speeds is much more gradual making any of the services mentioned in the upload section a good choice if this is your primary concern.
Speeds aren’t the only consideration one can have for a VPN, but for many people it’s the primary one. We’ll also be looking soon at the best VPNs for other uses including streaming, torrents, mobile, and more.FAQ
1.What does a VPN do?
A VPN (virtual private network) encrypts your internet traffic and disguises your identity while browsing the internet. A VPN will anonymize your online traffic and keep your ISP or other third parties from snooping on your internet browsing.
Additionally, VPNs allow you to connect to servers all across the world. So if you’re looking to access location-restricted content, such as streaming services, you can connect to the appropriate country’s server and gain access that way.
2.How does a VPN work?
A VPN hides your IP address by redirecting it through a remote server hosted by the VPN company. To anyone looking in, the VPN server then becomes the source of your data instead of yourself. These remote servers can be in your own country or located in different countries around the world. All of your network traffic from your computer to the VPN is sent over a secure and encrypted connection.
When connected to a VPN while browsing the internet, the VPN acts as a middleman between your computer and a website. Your computer sends a request to the VPN which then passes it on to a website. The website then sends its response back to the VPN which forwards it through the secure connection to your computer. All of the traffic rerouted through the VPN shows as coming through their server rather than your own computer. This keeps your ISP and other third parties from snooping on your internet activity.
3.Can you use a VPN to watch Netflix?
Yes! If you’re located in a country where particular Netflix content isn’t accessible, you can use a VPN server located in a different region to access that content. While certain streaming services try to prevent VPN connections, you can usually find a server that isn’t blocked.
Good VPN companies offer thousands of servers in which to connect to from all over the world. If your intended use for a VPN is to watch a streaming service such as Netflix, connection speeds and unblocked server availability will be the most important factors to look out for. (See our roundup of the best VPNs for our recommendation for Netflix streaming, as well as a host of other use cases.)
4.Will a VPN affect my internet speeds?
In the past, VPNs were notorious for slowing down internet speeds. But nowadays it’s the exception rather than the norm.
5.Do VPNs protect against malware and computer viruses?
There is no email program associated to perform the action
Email clients like Outlook and the default Mail app from Windows 10 can sometimes crash.
This error will stop you from being able to use your preferred email app normally, but this guide will help.
If you want to fix any other issues that you encountered in your favorite email client,
check out our
dedicated Outlook page
Also, you will find everything you need to know about how to repair any Windows 10 apps on our
Microsoft Troubleshooting Hub.
When you open Outlook, sometimes you receive the following error message:
No email program is assigned to perform the desired action. Install an appropriate e-mail program, or create an assignment in the Control Panel under Default Programs if a program is already installed.
When this error occurs, it is also no longer possible to transfer files to the Outlook system. And that can be pretty annoying especially if you have something urgent to send.
If you’re also having this problem with Outlook on your Windows 10 PC, you can try the steps mentioned below and resolve it by yourself.
How do I fix no email program associated to perform the action?1. Set an email program as default
the Windows key +
I, and select Apps.
Default Apps, and select the application under the
Mail (Or an application of your choice) from the newly appeared list.
Restart your PC.
If you don’t have an email program, then you can download any email program of your choice and then follow the above steps to set it as default.
By default, Windows 10 comes with a simple Mail client. Keep in mind that this application is a very down basic version compared to Outlook, and the automatic insertion of BCC email addresses can not possible with it.2. Delete the Outlook registry keys
Press the Windows key
navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareClientsMailMicrosoft Outlook
and confirm any additional prompts.
Close Registry Editor.
Press the Windows key + I.
Settings app, go to System, and select Default apps
Choose the application under the
Mail as the default email client.
One of the possible reasons for the already mentioned Outlook error message is the corrupted registry keys. This can lead to several problems whenever a program tries to connect to the Outlook Simple MAPI interface.
Therefore, you will have to first delete the corrupted Outlook registry keys and then you can repair the Outlook.
If you bump into any errors while trying to access Registry Editor, fix them quickly with this guide3. Repair the Outlook system
Select Settings, and go to Apps.
Choose Office, and press on Change.
Select the Repair function.
The longer you use Outlook, the more emails, and appointments you manage with it, and so increases the possibility that problems like the error message No email program is assigned to perform the desired action will occur.
Under certain circumstances, Outlook may even crash regularly while you are working, or your profile may no longer open at all. In such cases, you have to repair the Outlook system with the solutions above.
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What they do is quite a cost efficient measure, keep the shell of the laptop the same and update the internals. They have sold different models of the Voyo VBook V3 with the Core M 6y30 processor, and now have done the same thing with the new Apollo Lake Pentium N4200, a refreshing change from the usual Atom devices.Voyo VBook V3
While the shell of this laptop stays exactly the same as previous iterations, there are a couple more changes to the internals of the device. First, the battery has been bumped up a nice 20% and there is now an SSD in addition to an eMMC drive, which has not been done before. The price has also gone up, sitting at a pretty $420USD, which is now a pretty penny away from the Atom version. Even if the laptop is good, the processing power would have to be a massive improvement to justify the price bump. Thus, in order for this to be a good buy, one of two things (or both) have to happen; first, the processing power has to somehow match a Core M device in basic tasks at least, or the laptop has to take a huge price cut. And if both happen, then more power to the people. Let’s see how well this laptop does.
“Same outsides, new insides”Voyo VBook V3
Processor Intel Apollo Lake Pentium N4200
Display 13.3″ 1920×1080 px, touchscreen
Storage 128GB M.2 SSD + 32GB eMMC
Operating System Windows 10
Cameras 2MP Camera
Physical Properties 1.5kg, 33.00 x 22.00 x 1.60 cm
Big thanks to Gearbest for providing this review unit.Voyo VBook V3
Voyo did not design the shell of this laptop but rather purchased it from an ODM (Original Design Manufacturer). This is why every single V3 ever released (Bay Trail, Cherry Trail, Core M, Apollo Lake) uses the same externals with different internals. I am a huge fan of the soft touch rubber used on the outside. Yes, it’s not aluminum like my Xiaomi Air 12 but the rubber definitely does not exude a cheap feel. Only the brown colour was available, and while it is drab to say the least, the colour and logo strongly resemble older Dell laptops from yonder.
The V3 has two USB ports, an SD card slot as well as a mini HDMI port. I do wish for a full size HDMI port but that doesn’t always happen.
You also find volume and power buttons on the left side similar to what you would find on a tablet, most likely for use in tablet mode. There is also a key to lock the keyboard as well.
Opening the lid is incredibly hard even with two hands, which is mostly a good thing, I think we all would rather have an overtly stiff hinge instead of an overtly lax one.
While it’s not a deal breaker that Voyo used the exact same design as in previous versions of the V3, I do wish they chose a new design with smaller bezels. The bezels on this are huge. With Macbooks, Dells, and even Xiaomis utilizing tiny bezels, large bezels like these are inexcusable.
Even the newly released Chuwi Lapbook has 8mm bezels. You can rotate the screen all the way around but for myself it’s a gimmick. If you frequent planes or schools I suspect this might be a useful feature for you though.
The power and volume buttons are on the left side and just below that is the keyboard lock switch. I found myself frequently pressing the power button accidentally while I was trying to lock the keyboard, a minor annoyance.
The biggest (pun intended) complaint I have with this device are the bezels. They are unsightly and detract from the looks of this device. But other than that, the V3 is still a well made and respectable device.
“Large bezels”Voyo VBook V3
I figured I would dedicate an entire section to interacting with the laptop itself because there are enough methods of interaction that cramming them all into the build quality section up above would make it too unwieldy.
Here we have four ways to interact with the device, there is the keyboard, trackpad, touchscreen, as well as the included stylus.
The chiclet style keys on the keyboard do feel a tad cheap having just moved from my Xiaomi Air 12. I have slight difficulty depressing the keys especially with my right hand as I recently injured my wrist. That being said, the resistance is welcome as I found my Xiaomi’s keys a little too easy to depress resulting in the occasional mistype.
Windows gestures don’t seem to be working either but that isn’t a big issue and is actually a welcome subtraction.
The touchscreen is decent. The level of touch sensitivity is definitely more than enough, but it falls behind the sensitivity on an iPad or Surface. That being said, it’s still a great (and in some cases a better) option for interacting with browsers.
There is also an included pen that charges via USB and each charge yields around 4 hours of use. However, the pen experience is not very good. I tried using it to write in Onenote, and there is no pressure sensitivity and there is a tiny bit of lag compared to active styli.
That’s not the worst part though. the worst part is how far the pen needs to be lifted away before it “deactivates”. You need to move the tip of the pen at least 1cm away from the screen before the pen deactivates completely and if you don’t, you look like a 3rd grader practicing cursive for the “most improved” award. however, if you are used to writing in cursive, then this pen is perfect for you.Voyo VBook V3
The 1080p resolution on the 13.3” definitely looks nice, colours are reproduced nicely and there is quite a bit of contrast. The screen is a slight bit on the blue side, but this won’t affect anyone at all unless you’re doing some serious colour grading (which you could not perform effectively on a Pentium).Gizchina News of the week
The display does excel in terms of colour reproduction and contrast.Voyo VBook V3
We have downward firing speakers and its definitely not the most ideal place for laptop speakers. It is easily muffled if used on your lap and is difficult to hear. However, even on a hard surface, maximum volume isn’t the loudest. It has difficulty matching up to my Xiaomi Air 12 but is still loud enough for moderately loud environments.
Audio quality is a mixed bag, while you have decent mids and highs (no they are in no way great), there is some bass for TV shows and movies, however explosion heavy movies are not a very good experience, so you can go ahead and count every single Michael Bay movie out for the count.Voyo VBook V3
Voyo has wisely bumped up the battery capacity from 10,000mAh to 12,000mAh, a nice 20% bump from the original. However, even with this battery increase, I do not expect better battery life than Atoms as it has a 6W TDP while Atoms have miserly 2W TDPs. A good reference is the Xiaomi Air 12, which has a 10,000mAh battery and the Core M 6y30 with a 7W TDP (around 7 hours of battery life).
The new Apollo Lake processors are also a lot less bursty which would also mean reduced battery life.
The results are somewhat within my expectations, I was expecting about the same battery life as the Atom version of this laptop (around 8-9 hours of use) and I got slightly less than that. The 8 hours of screen on time consisted of web browsing, word documents, and email, so nothing intense. I did play a couple of YouTube videos though (not 2K or 4K).
I performed some battery tests and was able to obtain about 8 hours and 20 minutes of video playback , a good result here but not the best. Web browsing saw a lower battery score with continuous browsing draining the battery in about 7:21, still a decent result here.
The battery results were somewhat within my expectations, there is a bigger battery, but there is also a more power hungry CPU, so I wasn’t expecting any huge jump in battery life. It takes about 2.5-3 hours to charge this laptop up completely.
“Decent battery”Voyo VBook V3
Hmm, performance, what to expect. The new Intel Apollo Lake chips are so new that there are at most 3-4 products currently released using said line of chips. Performance wise they squeeze exactly between the Atom chips and Core M chips with performance of the N4200 trending slightly closer to the Core M. We already know how previous generation Celeron chips perform, so let’s see how much the new Apollo Lake architecture improves performance.
Let’s first talk about general use before we move on to benchmarks. Opening and closing light Windows store apps as well as light desktop programs is on par with my Core M Xiaomi Air 12 which is definitely a huge upside for this device. That being said though, a Cherry Trail Atom does not necessarily lag when doing the above items either, but there is a noticeable speed difference between the N4200/Core M vs Cherry Trail devices. A good analogy would be like comparing a Snapdragon 821 to a Snapdragon 625. The Snapdragon 625 does not lag, but the 821 will open apps that much faster.
There is a Foresee M.2 SSD and an eMMC drive as well, I got quite decent speeds, and the SSD definitely contributed to the snappiness I felt while using it. There is also an extra slot for another M.2 SSD, which is an upgradeability option I was not expecting from something so cheap. The N4200 still falls behind in one regard though, and that would be Chrome. It is still slightly laggier compared to Edge and cannot play back 2K or 4K videos smoothly when the exact same video plays back perfectly in Edge.
Now for (in my opinion) the most impressive part. I was able to GIMP (Photoshop) quite effectively, doing anything that did not involve applying filters (which is CPU intensive) was quick. And I was editing a DSLR photo as well. Now before you go on to the next paragraph, here’s part two of “the most impressive part”. I was able to edit 1080p video quite effectively using Da Vinci Resolve, which is a free video editing program that is slightly less fleshed out than Premiere but still more than enough for someone like me. Now keep in mind that exporting said video took me about 4-5 times as long as my gaming desktop, but the fact that a Pentium chip can edit basic 1080p video sent a shiver up my spine. Does that mean I will have no reason to upgrade my desktop? Nope I’ll definitely be upgrading it, I need an excuse to buy the latest and greatest in computer hardware.
I tried to game on the laptop and was slightly surprised by the results. I could play DOTA2 at 1080p with about 30fps on lowest settings which is impressive considering every Atom device could only crank out 30fps at 720p. I then tried Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and I was able to get around 25-30fps at 720p which was nice. I was actually able to get around 21-27fps in 1080p in similar situations meaning a smaller than expected performance hit. And finally Skyrim was playable at 30fps 720p on lowest settings as well. Do note that the gameplay portions of the video look significantly laggier than what you would expect from the aforementioned framerates because I had FRAPS enabled which takes a good 5-8fps from the total framerate. The laptop does get warm quite easily when gaming but the surface temps on the laptop never got hot enough for discomfort. Most of the heat is concentrated around the 360 hinges with almost no heat on the surfaces near the keyboard.Benchmarks. I only ran a couple of them because I’m lazy, but here we have it. First is Cinebench, which is a CPU and GPU test, and it gets a score of 9.33fps and 125 cb, which is definitely a lot more than what an Atom processor (around 50-60cb) is able to get, but it still trails behind Core M processors (even those two generations old, which ranges from 180-220).Geekbench also tests both your CPU and GPU and it gets very respectable scores, 1600 for single core performance and 3570 for multicore performance. That’s more than double what a Cherry Trail Atom obtains in both single and multicore (740/1430) performance. It still falls behind the Core M 6y30 though, trailing about 20-30% behind (2156/4249).
The final benchmark I ran was Octane which is a browser based benchmark. It got around 8900 in Chrome which is not bad, getting around double what an Atom processor would score. It does fall quite far behind the 6y30 though which scored almost 20,000 in Chrome.
I’m quite satisfied and somewhat impressed by overall performance. Software like GIMP and Da Vinci impressed me with the speed with which photo and video editing took place. However, I was slightly disappointed with the gaming results, I was expecting to be able to play something like DOTA2 at higher framerates at 1080p, but 30fps is still a playable framerate.Voyo VBook V3
Both USB ports are capable of powering hard drives, charging phones, and the like. WiFi performance is weaker than usual, it struggles to get good speeds two floors above my router. Bluetooth range works fine. The webcam is just a 480p webcam, and as the internet likes to call it, it’s basically a potato.Voyo VBook V3
The Voyo VBook V3 is expensive, or at least the Pentium version is compared to certain Atom devices you can get nowadays (like the EZBook 2). With that increased expense you do get a much more powerful processor and a bigger battery, but that’s about it. You also get the strange combination of an M.2 SSD and an eMMC drive, as well. However, everything else stays the same.
I really don’t know if this laptop is worth the $400, even though the N4200 CPU does give a vastly improved experience, on par with Core M laptops in light use. And the reason why I’m hesitant to endorse this product as something that is “worth it” is because Core M laptops that have been out for a while regularly go on sale or have permanent price cuts.
You can purchase Cube tablets with Core M CPUs for $300 if you’re lucky, with $450 regularly seen. What’s ironic is that the Core M version of the Voyo VBook V3 can be had for $387 right now, a good $50 cheaper than original price of the N4200 version! I don’t envision these Pentium/Celeron devices maintaining their prices for very long and as time goes on the prices will start getting slashed, and this Pentium laptop will fit nicely into the niche between the Core M and Cherry Trail devices.
“An expensive starting price”
You can buy the Voyo VBook V3 here. The original price is around $420 but it’s currently on flash sale for $359.Voyo VBook V3
Voyo VBook V3
Best Prices Today: Meta Quest 2
As well as being more comfortable to wear, it makes the Quest 2 more portable than its predecessor, and replacing the original rubber strap for a fabric one makes it even more compact. However, a number of Quest 2 users experienced skin irritation with the foam system, so Oculus now bundles a silicone cover in the box that fits over the foam interface.
That new strap system is designed to be simpler and more comfortable, making it easier for first-time VR users to get the best fit possible.
Oculus also boasts that the new strap system is more flexible than the original, accommodating all kinds of hairstyles and head shapes, but with relatively short hair, that’s not really a problem I’ve ever had with the Quest.Display
Refined design aside, the biggest change to the Oculus Quest 2 is undoubtedly the display. It’s a fast-switch LCD display like its predecessor, but that’s where the similarities end; the Quest 2 has upped the resolution of the display, now equating to 1832 x 1920 per eye compared to 1440 x 1600 of the original Quest, and there’s also a 90Hz refresh rate on offer this time around too.Controllers and hand-tracking
Oculus essentially removed the thumbrest from the controllers when updating them for the original Quest, and that was a big complaint from VR fans – especially those that had the original Rift and knew what they were missing out on. Oculus heard the complaints, this time offering a larger thumb rest area next to the analogue sticks, and the controllers are generally a little larger than the originals too.
Design aside, there are other benefits to the updated controller, arguably most important being a boost to battery life. The original Quest controllers died a little too quickly, and that quickly became inconvenient – especially if you used disposable AA batteries to power the controllers. Oculus has done a lot of work behind the scenes and implemented a number of changes, like reducing the number of infrared LEDs in the rings, to offer a claimed 4x improved battery life.
That’s hard to verify of course, but after using the Quest 2 for a few weeks, I’m yet to replace the AA batteries in the controllers, and I certainly couldn’t say that of the original controllers.
Though the layout of cameras hasn’t changed on the Quest 2, there does seem to be a noticeable improvement to hand-tracking – possibly due to the improved processing power available.
It’s much more stable this time around, and I don’t seem to have to be so obvious with my gestures when playing games like Waltz of the Wizard. It’s still best performed in well-lit environments, with performance quickly deteriorating with available light, but I’d certainly class it as a viable alternative if your controllers are dead and you want to watch a bit of Netflix in VR.Performance
Alongside the Snapdragon XR2 you’ll find an increased 6GB of RAM and either 128- (replacing the 64GB model) or a whopping 256GB of internal memory, depending on the variant you go for. It’s worth noting that storage space is the only difference between the two versions of the Quest 2, with identical hardware in every other respect.
You’ll need to be in a well-lit environment for the four on-board cameras to correctly calculate its position, but more importantly than that, your hands won’t be tracked if they’re out of view of the cameras – behind your back, for example. That may seem niche, but there’s a swathe of VR titles on the Quest that require you to reach behind your shoulder to access weapons and other gadgets, so it’s something you’ll likely experience often.
It does use the built-in sensors to estimate its position in the physical space, but it takes a split second to regain full tracking upon redetecting the controllers, and that can make all the difference in a gritty competitive shooter like Onward.
It’s not a problem exclusive to the Quest – it’s also a problem with the Oculus Rift S and the HTC Vive Cosmos – but unless you want to set up a dedicated play space with trackers placed around the room to completely capture movement, à la the Vive Cosmos Elite, it’s a compromise you’ll have to put up with.
Don’t get me wrong, it offers impressive 1:1 tracking and works flawlessly most of the time, but there are occasions where it might get a little confused.Content & Oculus Link
Oculus claims that developers have found the Quest platform to be more profitable than other VR platforms, suggesting that there could be a swathe of apps and games actively in development for the platform. Couple that with the improved performance on offer from the XR2 chipset and it’s likely that the content available on the Oculus Quest will continue to grow over the coming months and years.
Essentially, you’ll never run out of things to play and experience on the Oculus Quest 2.Price
The original Oculus Quest had an RRP of $399/£399 for the 64GB variant and $499/£499 for a model with a boosted 128GB of storage, coming in at the same price as the Oculus Rift S and undercutting rivals like the HTC Vive Cosmos while offering standalone functionality. That’s a competitive price for what’s on offer, which makes the price of the Oculus Quest 2 even more surprising.
Then, in 2023, Oculus decided to bump the base storage up to 128GB without increasing the $299/£299 price tag.
Though a price hike is never welcome, even at its new price, the Quest 2 still represents great value for money compared to the £699/$699 HTC Vive Cosmos and £919/$999 Valve Index. It’s a little more expensive than Sony’s PSVR admittedly, but it’s much more capable in pretty much every way.
The Oculus Quest 2 is available to buy right now from Oculus and key third-party retailers like Amazon, John Lewis and Currys in the UK and US.
Once you’ve picked one up, take a look at our pick of the best Oculus Quest accessories.Verdict Specs
Dimensions: 191.5 mm x 102 mm x 142.5 mm (strap folded in), 191.5 mm x102 mm x 295.5 mm (strap fully opened up)
Tracking: 6DOF head and hand tracking via Oculus Insight
Storage: 64GB or 256GB
Display: Fast-switch LCD display, 3664 x 1920 panel (1832 x 1920 per eye), 90Hz refresh rate
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Platform
Audio: Integrated speakers and microphone, 3.5mm headphone jack
Battery life: 2-3 hours
Charge Time: Around 2.5 hours
IPD: Three settings (58mm, 63mm and 68mm)
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