Minecraft players thought they were getting mods when in reality they were just served intrusive ads.
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Minecraft players thought they were getting mods when in reality they were just served intrusive ads.
Minecraft players thought they were getting mods when in reality they were just served intrusive ads.
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Practicing professionals, especially those that work with technology, don’t usually have a lot of free time. That’s why Whizlabs, which provides fast and easy access to web-based certification courses, is so popular. And, since you can purchase a lifetime subscription today at pre-Black Friday prices, you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t at least check them out.
Whizlabs provides students with a vast array of technical certification courses. It’s perfect for anyone currently working in a professional setting that wants to expand their skill set. They could help you to advance your career to become a certified programmer, Linux expert, AWS administrator, and more. And it’s way more flexible than traditional classroom training, so it’s great for anyone that has a busy schedule.
According to this article, the benefits of continuing education may go far beyond the obvious career ramifications. If convenience and accessibility weren’t enough to make you jump at this opportunity, then maybe the price will. A lifetime subscription, which is valued at $4,499, costs just $110.49 when you enter the code SAVE15NOV at check out right now.
Prices are subject to change.
The Black Friday sales season is here! The best deals are often not on Amazon. The prices shown below are the best available now, though you may need to buy quickly as some deals will sell out.
Christmas is all about the kids. Nothing beats the smile on their faces (and your own) when you know you’ve given them a gift they really love.
But shopping for kids’ Christmas presents has become incredibly difficult – not because you’re short of options, but because there’s almost too much choice. And when it comes to choosing tech for a child who probably knows more about it than you do, you can feel out of your depth.
We’ve put together our ultimate tech gift list for kids, which contains dozens of tech products any child would be happy to receive. We’ve considered all ages, from youngsters right through to teenagers, and focused strongly on value for money – Christmas is an expensive time, especially when it might seem that quantity of gifts can outweigh quality.
In this round-up we’ve got everything from big-ticket gifts like phones, tablets, laptops, smartwatches and games consoles to smaller tech accessories that would make great stocking fillers or less expensive presents from their favourite aunt or uncle. There’s something here that every kid will love.
It has a 7in IPS display with a reasonably low resolution of 1024×600 pixels, but it’s a great size for small hands and the 1.3GHz quad-core processor inside is more than sufficient for playing casual children’s games.
It’s reasonably easy to lock down the Fire 7 using parental controls, but if this is a particular concern we also recommend the Kids Edition (£99.99). It comes with a tough bumper case and a two-year warranty that covers accidental damage, plus access to games, videos, music and more at Kids Unlimited.
You’ll find more tablets primed for children in our round-up of the best kids’ tablets.
It wouldn’t surprise us if top of your kids’ Christmas list was a new iPhone, but few parents are going to have the budget for that without looking down to an older model.
If you have made the decision that your child is old enough to be responsible for a smartphone, our favourite budget option is the Poco X3 NFC. It packs in strong specs, an excellent camera, a beautiful display, and absolutely fantastic battery life.
We’ve also rounded up some great SIM deals to keep them in credit.
See more best budget phone ideas.
Read our full Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC review
You’ve probably seen PopSockets before, but you might not know what they’re called. Attaching to the back of a smartphone or tablet they lie flat but, when needed, can pop up and act as a stand or simply offer extra grip.
If you’re worried about your child smashing their expensive new device as it tumbles from their tiny hands, they’re seriously worth a look.
As a gift we love this personalised Custom PopGrip, which costs £16.99 direct from PopSockets. It comes in a range of colours, and you can apply your own photo to complete the design.
Phones, tablets and handheld gaming consoles keep the kids quiet only so long as their batteries hold out. A power bank or wireless charger (or even a combo of the two) can extend the peace until you feel they’ve had enough screen time.
There is a crazy amount of choice out there, especially for power banks, which come in various capacities with differing inputs, outputs, features and performance. Make sure you know what you’re looking for by checking out our buying advice on the best power banks and the best wireless chargers.
Every year we run into the same question from parents looking to buy the ultimate Christmas gift for their child: a laptop. But not just any laptop, a gaming laptop that costs less than £300.
But while integrated graphics chips are getting more powerful all the time, to play the most intensive games your child is really going to want a dedicated graphics card and a powerful processor, and that you are not going to find at £300. You might actually find better value from a budget gaming desktop PC.
Read our full Lenovo IdeaPad S340 review
The best budget media streamer you can buy, Roku Express is cheaper than the Fire TV Stick and more user-friendly than Chromecast. Offering access to all the main free and paid catch-up and on-demand streaming services, it’s an ideal gift for an older child who is picky about what they watch.
A free mobile app adds voice- and remote control, but the diminutive Roku Express will sit unobtrusively below a TV where it will happily operate with the bundled infra-red remote control. Small and light, it’s difficult to believe such a tiny box can make such a huge difference to your entertainment experience.
Read our full Roku Express (2019) review
If your budget stretches to AirPods, great – your kids will love it. If not, there are significantly cheaper options that will amaze you with their quality.
These budget buds from TaoTronics cost under £50 and they sound great. Audio performance is impressive and the huge battery life means you won’t need to interrupt your listening sessions very often.
For more budget options see our round-up of the best budget wireless earbuds.
Read our full TaoTronic SoundLiberty 79 review
A pair of headphones is the gift that keeps on giving – to you, since you no longer need to listen to yet another Minecraft walkthrough on YouTube.
But kids’ ears are sensitive, and an adult pair of cans is neither going to fit comfortably nor build in proper safeguards that will avoid life-long damage to their hearing.
We like the JuniorJams from Puro Sound Labs, one of several recommended in our separate guide to the best kids’ headphones. These good-looking wireless on-ear headphones are lightweight and foldable. They feature volume limiting (to the standard 85dB), and sound quality is excellent – possibly the best we’ve heard on a kids product.
You don’t need us to tell you kids love music, and sometimes it’s okay to let them blast it out for the whole house to hear rather than slapping on a pair of headphones.
Bluetooth speakers used to go down a treat, allowing them to stream YouTube or Spotify music from their phones and tablets, but these days it’s becoming increasingly difficult to recommend budget models when we are faced with some excellent-value smart speakers.
Apple is still one of the coolest tech companies in the world in the eyes of most teenagers. If they have an iPhone, an Apple Watch would make like the best present ever. Except, as with all Apple stuff, the new Watch Series 6 is kind of expensive, starting at £379.
By buying the older model you miss out on some of the more recent developments in the line – for example, the faster processor, the larger always-on display – but the Series 3 remains a great smartwatch, and a gift your child will love.
Currently retailing at a reduced price of £49.99, the Ace 2 (reviewed) is a waterproof fitness tracker aimed at kids aged 6 and above. With accounts previously accessible only by those aged 13 and above, with Ace 2 Fitbit has opened up a whole new world of activity tracking for children, who are most likely going to want to use it because it feels like a grown-up thing to do.
For its younger audience Fitbit has made some tweaks, stripping out the calorie counting and adding in different modes for kids and parents. Through the Kid View, kids can see only their stats data, badges and clock face options, plus are able to connect with parent-approved friends.
Be sure to check out the best Fitbit deals before you buy.
If your teenage children are forever losing things, one of the biggest worries is often that they will misplace their house keys.
Tile has a range of Bluetooth trackers that can be attached to the stuff they need to keep safe, and not only to their keys but also their bag, wallet, phone and other stuff that may or may not be carried around with them.
The cheapest option is the Tile Mate, which has a 200ft range, a loud alarm, a water-resistant design and a one-year battery life. The more you buy the cheaper each becomes.
Digital cameras used to be a go-to gift for kids, but these days they all use their phones. That is unless they are too young to own a phone.
The other time kids might need a camera is, of course, when they are participating in extreme sports. You know, climbing trees, jumping in puddles and so forth.
GoPro is easily the best known action camera maker, but many of its products might be a little too expensive for your budget. And depending on your child’s age they could also be overly complicated to use.
For younger kids we like the Kidizoom Action Cam from VTech. It’s perfect for little adventurers aged 5 and above.
In the box you’ll find various accessories, such as a waterproof case and various mounts, but you will need to supply your own microSD card for storage.
Able to capture high-definition photos and video, kids can add a range of visual effects, enjoy three included games, and mess about with various shooting modes: stop motion, slow motion, fast motion and reverse video.
Our favourite instant camera, the Instax Mini 11 from Fujifilm lets you print out the photos you love from the camera itself – very much like the old Polaroid cameras that were around when we were kids.
It’s very user-friendly, making it a good option for photography beginners and kids. Its design is chunky and retro, available in a range of colours.
Read our full Instax Mini 11 review
Following in the same vein as the instant camera above is the instant printer, an example of which is this HP Sprocket.
They’re better than instant cameras in that you can print photos taken on a better-quality camera, or the one you have to hand all the time (your smartphone).
For prints the Sprocket uses ZINK (Zero Ink) paper, 2x3in in size and sticky-backed for easier application wherever your heart desires. A pack of 10 is provided in the box, and thereafter it costs roughly £10 per pack, though you can save money per print by buying bigger packs.
Fun and educational, this Electric Dough Fantasy Kit from Tech Will Save us is an ideal gift for kids aged 4-6, teaching them about electrical circuit building and creativity through play and tactile technology.
What’s not to love about making cute creatures out of dough, especially when they light up? The kit includes a selection of pop-out card designs, dough colours and circuit tools.
If the kids love it, also check out the Electric Dough Project Kit.
The Orboot is an educational toy for kids that combines a physical globe with an augmented reality app for Android and iOS that can take them on an adventure around the world.
With more than 1,000 fun facts to learn the Orboot can stimulate their curiosity about the wider world, focusing on cultures, cuisines, monuments, inventions, animals and maps.
Help your kids bring their drawings to life with a 3D pen. These work by heating up and then extruding through a nozzle coloured plastic that can be shaped in any way you like, allowing for hours of fun.
Drawing with 3D pens can be tricky to get the hang of, and when you’re dealing with hot plastic and components you want to ensure your kids are safe, so 3D pens tend to be targeted at different age groups. For real youngsters we love the Oaxis MyFirst 3D Pen (£36.99).
These USB-rechargeable devices are chunky enough for little hands to clutch on to, and there are no accessible hot parts. One-button operation simplifies use, so the only hand-holding they’ll need is in clean-up – but even that should be simple thanks to the non-adhesive filament that can be easily lifted from hard surfaces. (6m of filament is included in the box.)
Another cool but also educational product from Tech Will Save Us, the Arcade Coder promises to change family game night forever.
Aimed primarily at kids over the age of 6, the Arcade Coder is a games console that plays on their creativity and basic coding skills by enabling them to invent and then code games for up to four players. Games can be created from scratch, or they can ‘reinvent’ old favourites.
Of all the products we wrote about during last year’s holiday buying season, electric toothbrushes were arguably among the most popular (quite possibly because there are some great deals to be had). The kids want to get in on that action too, and for us adults anything that is going to help convince them to actually brush their teeth is a win-win.
We love this fun Deeno-Saur toothbrush for kids aged 3 and above. With soft bristles it won’t be too harsh on their teeth, and the head is wrapped in silicone protection to guard their teeth and gums. It uses sonic brushing technology and an intuitive bristle pattern to get into all the hard-to-reach areas, and there’s a tongue cleaner on the rear.
A timer makes sure they keep brushing for two minutes, and when connected to a companion app (iOS and Android) they will earn Deeno coins as a reward. In the box you’ll find two heads, some stickers for customising Deeno, a tiny egg that hatches into a dinosaur, and three AAA batteries.
But Deeno-Saur is just one of many electric toothbrushes aimed at kids, and with the upcoming release of Frozen 2 we think this Elsa toothbrush from Oral-B will also go down well.
For older kids Oral-B also makes the Junior Kids Electric Toothbrush, aimed at those aged 6-12.
If your child is playing games online with their friends, they are going to need a headset – but where on earth do you start?
We like the Turtle Beach Recon 70P. It’s PlayStation colours, but it’s a wired headset (with a 1m cable) so will work on all platforms. It has an adjustable headband, and swivelling ear cups to help find a comfortable fit.
Turtle Beach has placed a flip-mic and volume controls on one of the earcups rather than using an in-line control, making it easy to adjust volume and mute your mic in the heat of battle.
We’ve got some more budget options here.
Okay so it’s definitely true that it’s possible to spend a ton of cash on keyboards aimed at gamers, and there is a lot to be said for some of the more premium models and how much they can enhance your gameplay. But, at a certain age, it’s also true that all a child wants is for their keyboard to light up in funky colours.
This Trust GTX 830-RW might seem like a substantial present, especially wrapped up under the tree, but in fact it’s available for much less than you might think.
It’s a full-size model, and supports rainbow wave illumination with adjustable brightness. For gamers there’s anti-ghosting, and you can disable the Windows button to stop accidental presses meaning the Start menu will pop up at exactly the wrong time.
It’s a wired keyboard, so setup couldn’t be easier: you just plug and play, with no worries about what happens when the batteries run out.
For some more premium options see our guide to the best gaming keyboards.
Fortunately, everything we just said about keyboards above also applies to mice, and we’ve seen 10-year-olds seriously lose their, ah, bananas, over this £12.99 mouse from VersionTech. Why? Because it lights up in seven different colours. Seriously.
It’s a pretty basic optical mouse in other respects, although almost certainly a little less basic than the generic mouse that was sold with their desktop, and an improvement over many laptop trackpads.
There’s an ergonomic design with a rubber scroll wheel, and it’s wired so you simply plug it into a USB port and you’re away. A dpi button on top lets you switch between 800, 1200, 1600 and 2400dpi resolution, and there are two side buttons. Simple, but they’ll love it.
So it’s pretty obvious that most kids would love a games console (although some of the recently launched models are both expensive and very difficult to get hold of), but what if they’ve already got one?
A subscription to the exclusive membership service or a gift card for their preferred game store would go down a treat. Here are some options:
Kids learn an incredible amount through having so much free-to-play and streaming video at their fingertips, but it’s important that they keep reading in order to get a good grasp of spelling, grammar and the written language.
If you really can’t drag them away from their gadgets, consider a Readly subscription, which puts a whole world of digital magazines in their hands – they can read as much as they like. Not all titles are going to be age-appropriate, but with 4,525 available (including our own), they are sure to find something of interest.
You can get a Readly gift card direct from the site, with options for three-month (£23.97), six-month (£47.94), nine-month (£71.91) and annual (£95.88) packages.
The mid-range Navi 22 look set to arrive in January with 12GB GDDR6 memory
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The Black Friday sales season is here! The best deals are often not on Amazon. The prices shown above are the best available now, though you may need to buy quickly as some deals will sell out.
DJI’s Mavic Mini was a remarkable achievement: a sub-250g drone that shot decent video, took decent photos and was easy to fly. It was also relatively affordable to boot.
A follow-up wasn’t expected so soon, but the Mini 2 addresses a few of the criticisms of the original and makes the new, higher price well worth paying. The Mavic part of the name has been dropped even though it’s still in the Mavic range.
With the ability to shoot 4K video at 100Mbps (the bitrate is the main highlight here) and RAW photos, plus Ocusync 2.0 for control and video transmission up to 10km, there’s almost nothing to criticise here.
Almost is the operative word here because, even though you’ve no right expect it at this price, it would have been nice to record 4K at 60fps, but it’s 24, 25 or 30fps.
The real blow, for some people, is the continued absence of Active Track. On DJI’s pricier drones (and for those with longer memories, also on the older Spark) it’s a system that allows you to select a person or an object, such as a car, and the drone will lock onto that subject and follow it, both by moving the drone and also the camera to keep that subject in the frame.
It’s useful if you want to record yourself skiing or cycling along a hilltop trail. But you’ll have fly manually with the Mini 2 to capture such scenes. And this is despite the fact that the Mini 2 can track subjects in Quick Shots mode, so removing Active Track is a conscious decision by DJI and makes it all the more frustrating.
The other big omission are sensors for avoiding obstacles. While these aren’t guaranteed to work in all situations on DJI’s other drones, they do prevent crashes and can also be used with Active Track to avoid obstacles while tracking a subject.
Whether due to their weight, which would push the Mini 2 over the limit for registration in some countries, or because of the extra cost (or more likely to stop the DJI’s cheapest drone competing with those more expensive models) they aren’t present.
Assuming that these aren’t dealbreakers for you, then there really is a lot to like about the Mini 2. In the UK and US, and possibly other countries, you won’t have to pay a fee or have the hassle of registering the Mini 2 before you can fly it.
While you’ll still have to abide by local laws about where you can fly a drone, you can charge up the batteries, install the DJI Fly app and get flying.
Design-wise it’s hard to spot many differences between this and the older Mavic Mini. Yet there are many changes: a new battery design, a new multi-charger, new propellers and plenty more. It’s small enough to sit on your hand and – as printed on the side – weighs only 249g.
Charging is via USB-C, or the multi-charger in the Fly More kit that takes three batteries (but charges them one after another, annoyingly).
There’s a new LED strip on the front whose colour you can customise in the Fly app, and a button on the rear which you press and hold for two seconds to put the drone into Quick Transfer mode. This broadcasts a Wi-Fi network to which your phone can connect directly (without the controller) and allows you to import video and photos at ‘up to’ 20MB/s.
It sounds like a handy feature, but in my tests, it proved troublesome, complaining that I was in a ‘high interference’ location and transfers kept failing after running at 1.5-2.5MB/s.
I suspect this is designed to be used out in the field, where it could be handy, though low-resolution previews are saved in real-time to your phone, so it’s hard to think of many reasons why you’d need to download the original quality versions to your phone in this way. I prefer to pop the microSD card (which isn’t supplied, by the way) into a USB 3 card reader and transfer video and photos in bulk to a PC.
The other new feature is only included in the Fly More kit: a propeller protector which wraps around the drone and holds all four rotors in place and prevents damage while you’re carrying the Mini 2 around.
And that’s the other reason to spend extra on the Fly More version: it comes with a great shoulder bag that has space for the drone, controller, battery charger, spare propellers and USB cables.
Plus, it comes with three batteries in total, providing a little over 90 minutes of flying time, though obviously you’ll need to land the drone to swap batteries after half an hour.
The final noteworthy point about features is that DJI now supplies the same controller as you get with the Mavic Air 2, and it is much, much better than the Mavic Mini’s.
Partly that’s down to Ocusync 2.0 which means a robust signal at greater distances (a maximum of 10km in the US and 6km in the UK and Europe), but also because the phone mount is a lot easier to use, and puts the screen above the controls where it should be, and makes it easier to connect the cable to your phone’s USB port. Cables are included for Lightning, USB-C and microUSB.
A nice addition is the pause icon on the return-to-home button. This is because it can be used to halt the Mini 2 in the middle of a Quick Shot.
With upgraded motors, the Mini 2 can withstand wind better than the Mavic Mini, up to 24mph (around 37km/h). It also has faster acceleration (if you need it) and 2x lossless zoom when shooting in 1080p, which come in useful if you love recording at 48, 50 or 60fps which aren’t available if you choose 2.7K or 4K.
Digital zoom is possible (2x at 4K, 3x at 2.7K and 4x at 1080p). While it might seem pointless, it does appear to bring out a little extra detail compared to simply zooming in a video editor, or when grabbing stills from a video and cropping in Photoshop. Plus, you can use the controller’s function button along with the dial behind it to zoom in and out, allowing you to create dolly zoom effects, or just zoom smoothly while flying.
Photos can be shot in DNG alongside their compressed and processed JPG counterparts so you can import these into a suitable photo editor and apply that processing – including white balance and highlight recovery – yourself. The results (the shot above has been processed by our own pro photographer) are impressive for an entry-level drone, but it is disappointing that there’s no RAW equivalent for video.
What you get is 100Mbps MP4, which along with proper 4K resolution, is a big step up from the 40Mbps 2.7K Mavic Mini. It’s a variable bitrate, not constant, but it’s more than twice what was available on the Mavic Mini.
It means video quality is impressive for a ‘cheap’ drone and although pros wouldn’t go near it, it’s perfectly acceptable for showing on your 65in 4K TV to your family and friends.
The easiest way to describe the quality is that it’s much the same as you’d get from your smartphone, except perfectly stabilised by a 3-axis gimbal.
Video becomes soft when you’re panning left or right, or up very close to objects. But when flying 50m away, things look nice and sharp, with good detail levels and natural-looking colours.
The Mini 2 has a few other tricks up its sleeve, too. It can automatically take and stitch together 3×3 (above), 180° (below) and spherical panorama photos, can do automatic bracketing for HDR photos and also take photos at intervals between 5 and 60 seconds.
Finally, there are QuickShots which any owner of a recent DJI drone will be familiar with. They’re fun pre-determined flight paths recorded in 720p (unfortunately) which create sharable videos. They’re also the only easy way to get the Mini 2 to orbit a point of interest (usually yourself) and get other amusing shots.
The Mini 2 is on sale now. The basic kit costs £419/US$449/AU$749. That includes the drone, one battery and one pair of spare propellers. This is £50/US$50 more than the Mavic Mini cost when it launched.
But it’s the Fly More combo that you’ll want to go for. This may be more expensive at £549/$599/AU$949 but it’s well worth it as it includes an extra two batteries, a propeller guard (for keeping the propellers from getting damages), a three-battery charging hub, an 18W charger (the power brick), extra sets of props and a shoulder bag to carry it all in.
With considerably more improvements and upgrades than it first appears, the Mini 2 really is a fantastic little drone. Video quality is markedly improved over the Mavic Mini, and the ability to shoot RAW photos (as well as the auto exposure bracketing feature) means it’s a great tool for aerial photography as well.
Add the upgraded motors which allow for better wind resistance, the significantly better controller and massively better range (and performance when there’s lots of interference) it easily justifies the price hike.
Even without Active Track (which is the biggest disappointment – not the lack of obstacle avoidance) it’s a great buy.
Look no further for the best POS systems available today: we’ve done all the research and found the best systems for retail, hospitality, and more.
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