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Sony SRS-XB12 Bluetooth Speaker Review: Loud Sound in a Tiny Package

I have used a lot of Bluetooth speakers, and for the most part, I have found that larger, usually more expensive ones offer better sound. However, they do compromise considerably on portability — that’s one of the reasons you might see me carrying around a JBL Go instead of my relatively bigger (but better sounding) Sony Bluetooth speaker. However, when Sony sent over the SRS-XB12 over to us for a review, I was immediately drawn towards it — it’s small, not as much as the JBL Go, but still relatively tiny, and my experience with Sony’s Bluetooth speakers suggested that it would have better sound quality than my usual JBL go-to; and so, in the last 10 days, I’ve had the XB12 dangling off of my bag, and I’ve used it for everything from listening to music at work and home, while watching movies, and everything in between.

At Rs. 3,990, the Sony SRS-XB12 is a Bluetooth speaker that seems to be priced just right, but the question I most often got with the speaker was “is it worth the price?” If that’s what you’re wondering too, here is my in-depth review of the SRS-XB12 Blueetooth speaker.

Design and Build

Like I said, the SRS-XB12 is a relatively tiny speaker, and that’s great for anyone looking to get a speaker that they can carry around; not only for random music sessions at work or college, but also on backpacking trips. It comes with the usual Sony design, with a plastic body that feels rubberised, it looks tiny, and yet, it’s a compact package that packs in quite the punch when it’s turned on.

I have no complaints with the design of this speaker. True, the light blue ‘Sony’ text and the similarly coloured strap on the side look awfully weird with the dark shade of the speaker, but when you look at this speaker as a whole, it’s a very well designed piece of audio equipment.

Even build-wise, Sony has not left anything to complain. It’s small but sturdy, it’s built . very well and can take hits — I should know, I’ve accidentally hit this speaker on handrails and car doors more times than I can count — it exudes a feeling of quality that you probably won’t find in a speaker in this price range, and even the wire-mesh covering the speaker on top is extremely strong. The buttons are not too out there, but they’re tactile, and the two ports on this speaker are covered with a rubber flap that’s just extremely satisfying to pull off.

What’s more, the speaker is IP67 rated, so not only can you use it for pool parties or on the beach, it will not die on you if you drop it in the pool either. Full disclosure, I didn’t drop this speaker in a pool, but I did throw a lot of water on it, and it works just fine.

Audio Quality

Sony’s Extra Bass line-up of speakers and headphones have always been about that bass, with some of them even featuring a dedicated Bass Boost button like my Sony MDR-XB950BT headphones. This tiny little speaker doesn’t come with a dedicated Bass Boost button, but it does come with solid bass output by default — true to its ‘XB’ moniker.

Sound quality from this speaker is awesome — it’s loud, and while it’s not as loud as some other Bluetooth speakers might get, it’s loud enough to easily fill a medium sized room by itself, which makes it great for house parties, plus you can pair it up with another XB12 speaker to form a stereo pair and get even better, louder, more vibrant sound output from the set up.

That impressive sound quality can be attributed to this — the SRS-XB12 comes with a monoaural speaker up top, right under that metal mesh, and a passive bass radiator on the bottom for an extra thump in bass heavy songs.

The highs and lows are clear, the mids are nicely balanced, and regardless of how quiet, or how loud you set this speaker to be, it doesn’t distort the sound at all, which is awesome, and not entirely something I was surprised by because like I said, Sony’s Bluetooth speakers are really good.

For a speaker as small as this one, I was surprised by the kind of sound this thing can produce, and that too without losing on clarity. If you’re looking for a Bluetooth speaker that you can carry around, and with which you can rock out with ease, the SRS-XB12 will not let you down.

Buttons and Ports

The SRS-XB12 also comes with quite a lot of buttons and two ports on its body. There are a total of 5 buttons here. There’s a power button you can press to turn the speaker on and off, or long press to enter pairing mode; there are the usual volume up/down buttons. Right next to those is the play/pause button which can also be used to answer calls, or, if you long press it, will launch the default assistant on your phone, and you can ask it to change songs or whatever, by talking to your speaker. Then there’s the ‘Add’ button on the right which is how you pair two of these speakers together to form a stereo pair.

To Sony’s credit, I’ve found the buttons on every Sony Bluetooth speaker that I’ve tried to be fairly tactile, even if they don’t look it, and the SRS-XB12 is no exception. Pressing these buttons is a remarkably tactile feeling, and I am guilty of fidgeting with these buttons quite often while at work, even without anything playing on the speaker.

Move slightly to the right from here, and there’s also a charging indicator LED, and a mic-hole below it. Further to the right is a rubberised flap that you can pull out to access the charging port, the AUX-in port, and the Reset button. The speaker charges via a micro-USB port which is standard on most Bluetooth speakers, but I really wish there was a USB-C port here instead.

Connectivity

In terms of connectivity, the SRS-XB12 comes with Bluetooth v4.2 on board, and yeah, it’s not Bluetooth 5.0, but really I’m fairly certain you can’t find a Bluetooth speaker with Bluetooth 5.0, at least in this price range. The reason I’m not complaining about this is simple — the speaker connects easily and the connection holds up well enough so I don’t have any complaints with Bluetooth 4.2 being here and not Bluetooth 5.

What could be a deal breaker to a lot of people, is the absence of aptX support on the speaker — that means you could’ve gotten better connection stability, and lower latency on the speaker, but for some reason, Sony has skipped out on it. Other than that though, the speaker supports all the major codecs you might want: A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP, you name it, it’s got it.

Battery

Another thing I’ve noticed with a lot of Sony’s Bluetooth audio accessories, is that they offer insanely good battery life. The SRS-XB12 are no different; Sony rates them to have a 16 hour playback time on one charge, and I found that to be quite accurate. In my usage, the speaker easily lasts over 14 to 15 hours on a charge, even on high volumes. That’s really impressive, and you’ll only truly be able to appreciate it when you see just how small this speaker really is.

I have barely had to charge this speaker in my usage — the battery life is that good. However, the time that I did have to charge this felt like forever, because the speaker takes a long time to fully charge. Charging from almost 0% to full takes well over 4 hours, and it can get annoying.

However, the battery life is simply amazing on the SRS-XB12, and I don’t find 4 hours to be a big trade-off for getting over 15 hours of battery life from the speaker. You obviously might find that hard to swallow, what with smartphones charging in less than 90 minutes these days, but in my personal experience, I didn’t have to charge the XB12 as often as I would a smartphone anyway, so comparing them makes little to no sense.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Portable, comes with a strap to hang it from your bag
  • Loud and clear audio quality with good bass
  • Excellent battery life
  • Tactile buttons
  • IP67 rating

Cons:

  • 4 hours+ of charging time

Sony SRS-XB12 Bluetooth Speaker: Should You Buy It?

All things considered, the SRS-XB12 is a Bluetooth speaker that checks off a lot of the boxes for a great Bluetooth speaker — it’s portable, it has great sound, the XB moniker is justified thanks to a good bass output, it has an IP67 rating, and it comes with a rather amazing battery life. The only real con I found with this speaker is the charging time, but like I said earlier, that can be overlooked thanks to the playback it offers. At Rs. 3,990, the Sony SRS-XB12 is pretty much the speaker to get if you’re looking for portability with great sound, and if you ask me, this is the speaker I’d suggest to anyone looking for a Bluetooth speaker under Rs. 4,000.

Buy the Sony SRS-XB12 Bluetooth Speaker from Amazon (Rs. 3,990)

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Reviews

Netgen Morgen Review: A Good Looking, Great Sounding Bluetooth Speaker

We get a lot of Bluetooth speakers here at Beebom, which is great because not only do I love listening to music, I also love checking out exciting new products. So when we received the Netgen Morgen Bluetooth speaker, I was excited. However, having preferred Sony speakers personally, I was carefully tempering my excitement with the Netgen Morgen, just in case I expect too much of it. Well, I’ve been using the Netgen Morgen for quite a while now, and at Rs. 5,999, it’s not the cheapest Bluetooth speaker out there. So, if you’re wondering whether it’s worth the price, here’s my review of the Netgen Morgen Bluetooth speaker.

Netgen Morgen: Specifications

Dimensions 232x153x65mm
Weight 1200g
Speakers 2x 10W Speakers
2x Passive Bass Radiators
Connectivity Bluetooth v4.0;
NFC
Ports AUX-in;
microUSB for charging
Battery 5,000 mAh
Price Rs. 5,999

Design and Build

When I first took the Morgen out of its box, I was pleasantly surprised by its design. Unlike most Bluetooth speakers that want to look and feel portable, the Morgen is clearly designed to stay in your home, and blend in with your decor. It’s classy, it’s built out of aluminium, and it’s clad in a soft cloth, not unlike a Google Home speaker.

Even so, the Netgen Morgen is by no means a huge speaker, or a heavy one, or something that’s cumbersome to carry around. In fact, even though I personally feel that this speaker demands to fit right in your house, the handle up top makes it incredibly easy to carry around, so you can take it on trips and to house parties at your friend’s place.

Thanks to its aluminium build, the Morgen doesn’t ever feel flimsy or weak, or something you need to be very careful around. In my usage of the speaker, which ranged from using it at work, to stuffing it in my bag and carrying it home, it’s not suffered any visible damage, and that’s really very impressive.

Netgen has also taken care of what could’ve been minor quibbles here; the bottom of the speaker comes with two big, round rubber patches to ensure the speaker doesn’t slip off your table, the Netgen branding, though placed up-and-center, is small-ish, and classier than what some other brands would’ve done. The only minor flaw I find here is the fact that the Morgen’s handle doesn’t fold over to make it easier to stuff into a bag; other than that, I’m very satisfied with the design and build here.

Audio Quality

Even though the design and build of the Morgen is really amazing, audio is where the speaker really shines. With a size this big, I was anyway expecting a pretty good sound quality, but even with my higher than usual expectations, the Netgen Morgen blew me away.

With two 10W speakers and two passive radiators, the Morgen can get pretty loud… really loud. However, loudness ceases to matter on a lot of Bluetooth speakers because they end up absolutely crushing the sound quality in exchange for loudness; not the Netgen Morgen, though. This speaker manages to sound amazing at all levels of volume. The bass doesn’t vanish at lower volumes, and the treble is always great. Even with the volume set to max, the speaker doesn’t distort, and it’s just overall a really great sounding package. What’s more, the soundstage is pretty wide, and music from the Morgen has a certain depth to it that is usually missing from a lot of Bluetooth speakers.

Features and Buttons

As if all that praise wasn’t enough for this speaker, the Netgen Morgen also comes with a bunch of additional features. Equalizers, for one. While the right dial on the Morgen is for adjusting volume levels, the left can be rotated to choose from one of four equalizer presets on the speakers. There’s Rock for when you’re listening to some classic rock songs, Jazz for setting the perfect evening with your significant other, Dance, and of course, there’s the Normal mode which works for everything. The active equalizer is illuminated by an LED light, so you’ll always know which setting you’re at.

Meanwhile, the right dial has gesture-support. When I say gestures, it’s nothing fancy, but it definitely comes in handy. You can swipe left or right on the right dial to skip between tracks, and that’s pretty much it, but personally, I found this to be more intuitive and easier to do than pressing and holding on a button, which is what most other Bluetooth speakers do.

There’s also NFC here, which makes pairing your NFC enabled smartphone with the speaker a breeze. Just turn on NFC on your phone, turn on the speaker, and tap your phone on the spot where the NFC logo is, and that’s it, pairing started.

Then there’s the power button, which, again, does more than just one thing. Obviously, it turns the speaker on and off, but it also puts the speaker into pairing mode with a long press, and it plays and pauses music with a short press.

Ports

Moving on, the Netgen Morgen doesn’t really have a lot in the way of ports — there are only two here. There’s an AUX-in port, so you can pick up a 3.5mm cable and use a wired connection between your phone and the speaker. I’m not sure why you’d want to connect a Bluetooth speaker to your phone using an AUX cable, but it’s nice to know Netgen gives us the option.

Other than that, there’s the microUSB port here, which, you guessed it, is meant to charge the speaker. I’m still uncertain why companies won’t move to USB-C on Bluetooth speakers too, but I’m holding out hope that we see that happen really soon.

Battery

Speaking of USB-C and charging, let’s turn towards the battery in this thing. The Netgen Morgen comes with a 5,000 mAh battery, which might sound big, but when it’s driving two 10W speakers, it’s only fair to have a battery that big. At around 70% volume, the Morgen lasts around 6 hours on an average, although you can comfortably use it at 50% volume most of the time and extend that by around an hour. It’s not a lot, but like I said, I personally feel that this speaker is better suited for in-the-home listening, which makes 6 hours sound pretty great.

Charging takes place via the microUSB port, and according to Netgen, the speaker charges at 5V/1A — that’s 5W charging, similar to what you’d find on an iPhone XS with the bundled adaptor, but knocks at iPhone aside, the speaker takes almost 4 hours to fully charge, and then it’ll last you another 6 to 7 hours depending on the volume you’re listening at. If you’re wondering about the battery performance at 100% volume, your guess is as good as mine because as loud as this speaker gets, I couldn’t test it at 100% long enough for fear of the neighbours complaining against me.

Connectivity

In terms of connectivity, the Netgen Morgen comes with Bluetooth 4.0 — sad, I know, since most speakers at least come with Bluetooth 4.2 these days, but it does claim (and live up to) a 10m connection range, which is definitely nice. What’s a bigger bummer here, is that the speaker doesn’t support aptX — now personally, I don’t mind that because the sound quality here is definitely good, but hell if there was aptX support here, things would’ve probably been even better, right?

Pros and Cons

The Netgen Morgen is a pretty solid Bluetooth speaker, but as strong a contender as it is for being one of the best in its price, it does have some shortcomings too, so let’s take a look.

Pros:

  • Good build
  • Great sound quality
  • Decent battery life

Cons:

  • No aptX support
  • Bluetooth 4.0

Netgen Morgen Bluetooth Speaker Review: Should You Buy It?

So, the Netgen Morgen is a pretty solid Bluetooth speaker. It brings great sound quality, a solid build paired with really nice design choices, and it looks like a solid speaker to consider. At Rs. 5,999, the Morgen does have some competition. There’s the JBL Flip 3, priced at Rs. 5,999, and there are a whole bunch of Bluetooth speakers from Sony in this price range as well. However, even with all of that, I would suggest you give the Netgen Morgen a try, because it’s honestly a really amazing Bluetooth speaker, and unless you want portability of the likes that is offered by something like the Sony SRS-XB12 (Rs. 3,650), the Morgen sounds better than most of its competitors.

Buy the Netgen Morgen from Amazon (Rs. 5,999)

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Reviews

BenQ Zowie XL2546 Gaming Monitor Review: Feature Rich but Slightly Flawed

If you’re in the market for a gaming monitor, you’ve probably come across a whole bunch of them at multiple price points. However, if you’re looking for a monitor that brings a ton of features, and comes in at a competitive price point, the BenQ Zowie XL2546 is probably one you would’ve seen. So, if you’re planning on buying this gaming monitor, and are doing your due diligence before making a purchase such as this, I mean, it’s priced at Rs. 37,690, we have you covered. Here is our review of the BenQ Zowie XL2546 gaming monitor.

Zowie XL2546: Specifications

Before we dive into the review, let’s get the specifications for this monitor out of the way.

Display Size 24.5-inches
Resolution 1920×1080 (Full HD)
Refresh Rate 240Hz
Response Time 1ms
Aspect Ratio 16:9
Brightness 320nits
Viewing Angles 170/160 degrees
Stand 90-degree pivot, 45-degree swivel, 140mm height adjustment, -5 to 20-degree tilt adjustment
Ports 1x HDMI 1.4
1x HDMI 2.0
1x DVI-DL
1x DisplayPort 1.2
1x Headphone Jack
1x Mic-in

Zowie XL2546: Design and Build

The Zowie XL2546 looks like most other expensive gaming monitors at first blush. It has a thick build to accommodate the plethora of ports, and things like the built-in headphone hanger, it doesn’t do a lot to hide its bulk, and it looks slightly intimidating, especially if you’re using it at work, like I am, and you’re surrounded by sleeker looking monitors.

That’s not bad though, because the Zowie XL2546 doesn’t try to make its way into fitting in at your workstation, even though, as I’ve found through my usage of this monitor over the past few weeks, it can fit in for all the work-related tasks you might need it to do. With this monitor, BenQ simply had gamers in mind, and that’s very obvious in a bunch of design aesthetics that the company went with.

One of those design aesthetics is the black and red color combination used throughout this monitor and its stand (which is included, by the way), but even so, BenQ doesn’t overdo it, and it looks nice, and adds not only a splash of color, but also some character to the set up. Then there’s the height marker running along the side of the stand. It goes all the way from 0 to 14cm, and comes with a small plastic marker so you can remember what height adjustment you prefer for gaming (and/or work). The stand also comes with tilt degrees marked on it, and the base has a set of markers to identify when the monitor is perfectly straight towards you.

What’s really good about the design here is that sheer number of configurations you can use this monitor in. It can be brought close to the desk, tilted up and down, swiveled around, and even rotated 90-degrees into a portrait orientation (that might come handy for streamers wanting to use a secondary display to show their Discord, Steam, or Twitch chat. Basically, the Zowie XL2546 is as versatile as it gets as far as configurability options are concerned, and I really like it.

There are relatively big bezels here though, which isn’t really something I personally like, but BenQ claims that it’s helpful to make gamers focus on the game without getting distracted by their surroundings — something that’s also done by the included shields that attach to the sides here. That said, these aren’t massive bezels, especially when put in perspective to the size of the display itself, and after an hour or so of using the monitor, you don’t really notice them anymore, unless you’re hunting for the buttons on the bottom right to adjust a setting on the display.

Moreover, the bezels certainly add more in the way of a sturdy construction, which is yet another thing that’s great about this display. It doesn’t feel weak or cheap; it’s made of high quality plastic and metal, and while it’s certainly a little on the heavier side, the included handle on top of the stand makes for easy portability should you need to move the monitor to a different location in your house, or, as was the case for me, in the office.

Zowie XL2546 Display and Picture Quality

This is a relatively difficult section to describe, because even though this monitor is aimed at gamers, I also used it as my daily display for work, and in those situations, this doesn’t seem to be the best display out there. Especially if you’re coming from a higher resolution laptop, such as my usual daily driver 2017 MacBook Pro with its 13-inch Retina display.

Still, since this is a gaming monitor, I’ll treat it as such, and not dock points for flaws that are really only visible when using this is a non-gaming display.

So this here is a 240Hz panel with a response time of 1ms, and those are specs you would expect from a display priced at Rs. 37,690. Does that make a big difference to games? Kind of. Does it make a big difference in daily usage — definitely. As long as your laptop or PC has a GPU that’s capable of driving 240Hz displays (and most modern GPUs will do), everything on this panel is pretty frikkin awesome. The animations are smooth, scrolling is a treat, and gaming is smooth and responsive. It’s all pretty great.

For testing this display from a gaming display point of view, I connected it to one of the many gaming laptops at our office, and yes, gaming on this display is fun. It’s definitely better than gaming on a standard laptop display, and the refresh rate and response time will certainly make a difference, especially in fast-paced shooting games like Fortnite, PUBG, or Battlefield V.

When I did connect the display to my MacBook Pro for general office-related work, I had to set the color profile to fix the otherwise washed out colors that the monitor defaulted to. However, that’s something I’ve noticed happen with a lot of displays so it’s not really something I’d attribute to this monitor itself. Other than that though, the Zowie XL2546 is a pretty solid display.

The colors here are nice, and while I do feel like the whites are a little less white than what they should be, it’s not a big difference, and general media consumption on this display is satisfying enough an experience. That said, I’d suggest staying at arm’s length from this display because a 1080p resolution on a 25-inch monitor will definitely show you pixels if you’re looking at it too close, and that can (and will) ruin your experience, even in movies, and especially if you’re using subtitles.

The one thing that I don’t like about this display are the viewing angles. Zowie claims the monitor has 170/160-degree viewing angles, but move your head even slightly off the center of the display and it takes on a yellow-ish almost sepia-like overlay which looks absolutely terrible. The only consolation to that is the fact that while gaming, you’ll not really be looking at your screen from the side, so it shouldn’t bother you while you’re engrossed in a match of PUBG.

Zowie XL2546: Ports and Connectivity

The Zowie XL2546 comes with a plentiful selection of ports on both the side, and below the bottom lip of the display. There’s quite a lot of stuff here, but mostly what you’ll be concerned with are the HDMI ports, and the USB 3.0 ports on the side.

There are 2 HDMI ports, one of which is an HDMI 1.4 port, and another an HDMI 2.0. There’s a DisplayPort, a DVI slot, a headphone jack, mic-in, USB-3.0 ports, and even a headphone hanger, which isn’t strictly a port, but it’s a handy addition to the monitor, so you can easily store your headphones when you’re done gaming, and pick them back up when you’re ready for more rounds of your favorite game.

Zowie XL2546: Features

As a gaming monitor, the XL2546 would be remiss if it didn’t offer features that are aimed specifically at gamers, and it offers quite a lot of them, so let’s take a look at them one by one.

1. DyAC

DyAC, or Dynamic Accuracy, is a feature that works more or less to reduce motion blurring on the display, making it easier for you to aim at moving objects in games. DyAC comes in three settings: Premium, High, and Off. While Zowie claims that High and Premium are considerably different in terms of performance, I found both of them to be pretty close, but DyAC does make a big difference because turning it off results in a very observable change in the way games look and feel on the display.

2. Black eQualizer

No I didn’t get the capitalisation wrong there, that’s how Zowie writes Black eQualizer. Think of this as the Pixel 3 Night Sight feature but for your display… almost. With Black eQualizer, the monitor will increase the brightness in dark areas in a game, but will maintain the white areas so they don’t become over-exposed. This can come in very handy for spotting enemies hidden in the dark, and in PUBG, it definitely helped me quickly take a look inside houses without having to actually properly look and check if there was a hidden enemy in the dark somewhere.

3. ColorVibrance

ColorVibrance, or CV, is another feature in the Zowie XL2546 that makes colors stand out better, and can help with spotting enemies easily. Personally, other than colors becoming more saturated, CV didn’t really feel like a very helpful gaming feature to me, and I found myself leaving CV at the default value of 10 throughout my usage of this monitor.

Apart from these features, the Zowie XL2546 also comes with Flicker Free technology which reduces screen flickers, and helps avoid strain on the eyes. There’s also the Shield here, which, contrary to what you might think, is not actually meant to add a little privacy to your gaming sessions. Instead, BenQ says that this helps gamers focus on the game better. Now, I’m not sure about that, but personally, after having used Shield on the monitor for a week or so, I can’t go back to using it without the Shields, so it definitely helps with concentration, and a more immersive, less distracting experience, which is awesome.

Zowie XL2546: S Switch

The Zowie XL2546 also has an additional accessory. Called the S Switch, this circular set of, well, switches, comes with 3 custom keys that you can program to quickly change the display settings on the monitor. You can simply change the settings to whatever you want, then press and hold on the 1,2, or 3 buttons on the S Switch for 3 seconds, and the setting will be saved. From there on out, you can simply press the button to switch display settings of the monitor to your liking, so you can create a setting that suitable to games like PUBG, one for something like watching movies, and yet another one for casual usage, and quickly switch between the three with just the push of a button.

I didn’t use this very often, but it was helpful to quickly be able to switch settings from game-mode, to something more suited for finishing off articles on the website. Plus, the base for the Zowie XL2546 comes with a dedicated place where you can keep the S Switch — that’s definitely a good touch, and, if you’re not using the S Switch, like I wasn’t, you can use that place on the base to keep your drinks, which is also pretty handy.

Zowie XL2546: Pros and Cons

The Zowie XL2546 definitely looks like a pretty solid gaming monitor, but as the age old adage goes, there are two sides to every coin, so lets take a quick look at the good and the bad of this monitor.

Pros:

  • 240Hz refresh rate
  • 1ms response time
  • S Switch makes it easy to switch profiles
  • Built-in headphone hanger

Cons:

  • Viewing angles are not good
  • 1080p resolution seems a little low for a big, 25-inch display, especially when using it close up.

Zowie XL2546: Worth the Money?

All things considered, the Zowie XL2546 is a pretty good gaming monitor. It’s packed with features, it comes with a 240Hz refresh rate, and 1ms response time, it brings a nice, versatile stand that can let users set up their monitor any way they want and more. However, at Rs. 37,690, the drawbacks of the Zowie XL2546, especially the shabby viewing angles, sound more jarring than they otherwise would. As a purely gaming display, the Zowie XL2546 is good, but there are other options out there. There’s the Acer Predator XB272 which is priced at Rs. 39,990 and brings 240Hz refresh rate, 1ms response time, and a Full HD 27-inch display. There’s also the HP 27XQ, which brings a 144Hz refresh rate, 1ms response time, and a 27-inch QHD display for Rs. 35,399. There are others too, and all of this just goes to show that the Zowie XL2546 has tough competition in this segment, and other than the added features that it brings to the table, major brands like HP and Acer will definitely bring the fight to it, and personally, they feel like better choices.

Buy the BenQ Zowie XL2546 from Amazon (Rs. 37,690)

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Reviews

Canon Pixma G3010 Review: An Affordable, Feature Rich Ink Tank Printer

As far as printers are concerned, my colleagues have all suggested that Ink Tanks are better than Ink Jets, and while I’ve not used a lot of Ink Tank printers, when Canon sent over the new Pixma G3010 to us for testing and reviewing, I was slightly more excited to check it out than I usually get about printers. So, if you’re in the market for a printer, and the Pixma G3010 (Rs. 12,623) has caught your attention, here’s my full review of the Canon Pixma G3010 all-in-one printer:

Pixma G3010 Specifications

Dimensions 445 x 330 x 163mm
Weight 6.3kg
Functions Print, Scan, Copy
Printing Resolution 4800 x 1200
Connectivity USB, WiFi, Canon Print app
Scan Speed ~19 seconds
Print Speed Color: ~17 seconds
B/W: ~11 seconds
Display 1.2-inch LCD

Design and Build

The Canon Pixma G3010 isn’t the most compact all-in-one you’ll find. However, it is definitely one of the better looking ones out there. The printer comes in a nice matte-black finish that just looks classy, and just overall this feels like a better built unit than most other printers in its price range.

The buttons are all arranged on the right side of the printer, which is also where you’ll find the LCD display. Not a lot can be said about these buttons, other than the fact that they get the job done. Personally, I didn’t find myself using the buttons all that much, since almost everything on this printer can be done using a smartphone (more on that later), but the times when I did use the buttons (mostly to turn the printer on or off), the buttons felt tactile, and definitely well built.

That’s not surprising, Canon’s products are well built (just take a look at their cameras), and the Pixma G3010 is no exception.

Other than that, the printer comes with the usual things — the extendable paper tray, and the (also extendable) paper output tray. The input tray is great, since it easily folds on top of the printer itself, so it can protect the internals of the Pixma G3010 from dust — that makes it easier to store the printer when it’s not being used.

The Pixma G3010 is also well designed in the way that Canon has arranged the ports on this thing. There’s the main power-input on the left hand side of the printer (which is also a reversible connector, and I love that. Brownie points to Canon), and there’s a USB port on the right hand side that you can use to create a wired connection between the printer and your system.

Setting Things Up

Setting up the Pixma G3010 might seem like a mammoth task if you take a look at the included manual with its really confusing drawings. However, it’s actually not that difficult to set things up. The most important things while setting up the printer is actually installing the cartridges in the print-head, and filling up the colors — Canon provides single bottles of all the colors you’ll need to fill the printer up inside the box itself, so you can get started with printing right away.

Once you’ve filled the ink, and set the cartridges, you can move on to connecting the printer to your PC and/or your smartphone — using a wired connection or a wireless one if you’d like. For the wired thing, you’ll have to use the USB-port on the right hand side with the included USB cable.

Connection and Compatibility

Even though the Pixma G3010 only offers a single USB port for wired connectivity, it does offer a plethora of ways to connect to a PC or a smartphone. There’s obviously the wired method that you can use, by connecting the printer to your PC with the included USB cable and installing the drivers, either from the Canon website, or from the included CD.

However, you can also use the Canon PRINT app (Android, iOS) to connect your phone to the printer and print photos, documents, scan items directly to your phone’s memory, copy, and even click pictures from your smartphone camera and directly print them out with the Pixma G3010.

You can obviously also make the Pixma G3010 available over your internet so all your local devices can access it wirelessly and send printing jobs to it. That makes it very easy to share the printer, especially if you’re in an office space with a bunch of systems, all of which might need access to the printer sometime or the other.

You will need the drivers for the printer in order to set things up, like I said, but there’s one interesting thing I noticed. So Canon says that macOS isn’t supported by the printer yet, and yes, if you try visiting the web-page mentioned in the manual for downloading drivers, you’ll not find a download button. However, I was able to get the printer working with my MacBook Pro running macOS Mojave by simply downloading the Pixma G3010 series drivers from this website.

I’m not certain if Canon would approve of that, but hey, I use a MacBook Pro and I wanted to also test this printer out with my laptop, so I did what I had to. The good news is that it works perfectly fine, so if you’re using a Mac, this is something you can do to get the printer working with your laptop as well.

Printing, Scanning, and Copying Performance

To test out the printing performance of the Pixma G3010 printer, I printed out an absolute ton of documents and images, both coloured and black-and-white, to see what things look like, and how good the printing quality on this printer actually is. I printed out documents, Photoshop files, even the Amazon listing for this very printer. I also scanned documents, took a picture from my phone and used the Canon PRINT app to print it out, and a lot more.

By doing all of that, the conclusion I’ve arrived at is that the Pixma G3010 will not let you down no matter what you’re asking it to print. It can print text files, images (both monochrome and coloured), pictures clicked from your smartphone, and even screenshots you may have taken, all with a decent speed, and good quality that’s at par with what other printers offer in this price bracket.

Unlike a lot of other printers, the ink doesn’t smudge if you touch (or even rub) the paper too hard immediately after it’s done printing, and there’s also no colour bleeding on the paper. I did notice once that there were some wet spots on a sheet, but that only happened that one time, and never happened again, even though I printed almost everything I read today, so I’m willing to write that off as a one-off error that will almost certainly never happen again.

For pictures, I didn’t have glossy photo quality papers on hand to actually test this out properly, but even on regular quality A4 sheets, the photos printed from the Canon Pixma G3010 look good. The printer doesn’t seem to mess up colours at all, and the photos turned out really nice, especially considering that I used regular A4 sheets to print them out. I’m fairly confident the print quality of pictures on actual photo-quality sheets will be a lot better.

Also worth mentioning is that while the printing speed here is decent, the printer does take a couple of seconds to start printing when you send a document or an image to print — this happens regardless of whether you’re printing over a wired USB connection, over WiFi, or sending a print job from your smartphone using the Canon PRINT app. It’s not too long a wait, but if you find yourself printing hundreds of documents every day, the wait might get annoying for you. However, this is something we’ve seen happen with a number of ink tanks in this price range.

Other than that, the Pixma G3010 can also scan documents and copy documents and both these functions work as you’d expect them to. You can either start a copy function by pressing the ‘Black’ or ‘Colour’ button on the printer, or you can start a copy job through the Canon PRINT app. Scanning also works really well, in fact, if you start a scan from the Canon PRINT app, you can even save the scanned copy to your smartphone directly, which is just really cool.

Pros and Cons

While I personally came to a positive conclusion about the Pixma G3010 printer, here are some of the most important pros and cons about the printer so you can get a quick overview of everything this printer does well, and things it could improve upon.

Pros:

  • Good build
  • Printing quality is nice
  • Scanning and copying work really well
  • Excellent mobile app available for both Android and iOS

Cons:

  • The buttons can be confusing
  • No official macOS support

Canon Pixma G3010 Review: Worth the Money?

So, the Canon Pixma G3010 is a pretty amazing all-in-one printer that brings quite a lot of features, including wireless support, for a pretty competitive price of Rs. 12,623 on Amazon, and personally, I think this is a solid printer to consider if you’re looking for in the Rs. 12,000 to Rs. 15,000 price range. It offers all the features you’ll need, WiFi printing, easy set up, good print quality, an amazing mobile app, and more. That said, there are other printers you can consider as well — there’s the HP Ink Tank 419 that my colleague reviewed, which offers a lot of these very features, for Rs. 13,150, but doesn’t look nearly as good. There are also options from Epson that you can check out, but at the end of the day, Canon is a name that’s pretty well known in the printing space, and keeping that in mind, I’d say the Pixma G3010 is definitely a printer worth considering.

Buy the Pixma G3010 from Amazon (Rs. 12,623)

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Reviews

Blaupunkt BTW-01 True Wireless Earbuds Review: Good, but Difficult to Recommend

I’ve used and reviewed quite a lot of earphones and headphones, and mostly because I really like checking out new earphones almost all the time, it’s kind of an obsession. So, when Blaupunkt sent over the true wireless BTW-01 Bluetooth earphones, I just had to check them out. Well, I’ve been using these earphones for the last week or so as my daily drivers, so this is my review of the Blaupunkt BTW-01 truly wireless Bluetooth earphones, and whether they are worth their Rs. 4,999 price tag.

Blaupunkt BTW-01 Specifications

Bluetooth Version Bluetooth 5.0
Profiles HFP, HSP, A2DP, AVRCP
Battery Life up to 6.5 hours (when using single earbud)
up to 5 hours (when using both earbuds)
Charging Time 1.5 hours (for earbuds)
1.5 hours (for case)
Weight Earbuds: 5.5g each
Case: 29g
Price Rs. 4,999

Design and Build

If there is one place where I have most of my concerns and complaints, its the design and the build of these earphones. So, the BTW-01 come in a decent looking case that also charges them when they’re inside it, but while the case looks decent enough, just a quick touch on the case gives away the feeling that it’s a cheaply made case. The plastic is cheap and flimsy, and opening the case is neither tactile, nor does it feel sturdy enough to handle being opened and closed multiple times, sometimes with excessive force when the user might be in a hurry.

I’m not sure why Blaupunkt would go for a case that gives off a distinctly less-than-premium feeling to these earphones, especially when the case is the first point of contact that a user will have with these earphones.

The fact that the case is cheaply made and leaves a bad first impression, is even more troubling because the earbuds themselves are actually built pretty well. They don’t feel flimsy or cheap, even though they’re made of plastic, and the design elements chosen by Blaupunkt are great, especially the ring surrounding the touchpad on each of the earbuds, which just lends them a subtle amount of bling, without being overdone.

I also really like the fact that the strength of the magnet inside the case is nice and the earbuds drop into place with a satisfying click — that’s something my Galaxy Buds don’t do, and it kinda sucks.

Speaking of things that suck, there’s still a microUSB charging port on the case here, which is sad because I feel like we should have USB-C on everything now, especially on accessories and smartphones. Right now, I use the same USB-C cable to charge my MacBook Pro, my Galaxy S10, and my Galaxy Buds. It’s easy, it’s elegant. However, while using these Blaupunkt earphones, I’ve had to carry a microUSB cable, and an additional adapter for it just to charge these things which is just something I find really annoying.

Overall, I think the design and the build on these earphones is only decent. There are some good things, like the strong magnet in the case, and the nice looking earbuds, but there are issues like the flimsy case, the microUSB port, and just the fact that the first impression you’re likely to get from opening the box of these earphones will be that of exasperation. Hopefully, that’ll fade away when you actually open the box and start using the earbuds themselves.

Comfort and Fit

Speaking of using the earbuds themselves, I found the Blaupunkt BTW-01 to be a fairly comfortable pair of truly wireless earbuds to use, even though it took me a while to be confident that they won’t just fall out of my ears while I bobbed my head along to music.

The thing is, the shape that these earbuds are, isn’t one of the best that I’ve seen. The bulk of the earbuds is towards the back, and they solely depend on the silicone earbuds to stay in your ear; there’s no earhook, or any other support for the earbuds when they’re in your ears.

If you’re like me and you’re used to wireless earbuds that come with earhooks, or are just shaped to get more support from your ear, putting the BTW-01 in your ears will make you constantly worry about them falling off. That said, they didn’t actually fall off in usual usage, but I’m confident I will not be using these at the gym, or while jogging in the park.

Once you get past the fear that these earphones will fall out of your ear, they are actually fairly comfortable to use as long as you put a properly sized earbud tip on (Blaupunkt gives different sizes in the box). I used these earphones a lot at work, and I didn’t feel any sort of fatigue in the ear, or anything uncomfortable, other than the occasional feeling that they might fall out of my ears.

I wouldn’t rate these earphones as being great as far as comfort and fit are concerned, but they are definitely good in comfort, and above average for the fit.

Audio Quality

Even with all the comfort and fit in the world, earphones will pretty much be useless to you unless they sound good, or at least acceptable, and at Rs. 4,999, the bar for ‘acceptable’ is pretty high. Fortunately, the Blaupunkt BTW-01 are well above that bar.

The earphones get pretty loud, and even then, I didn’t notice any distortion in the highs, which is great, because a lot of earphones start making the highs too loud at higher volumes and it just hurts the ears.

1 of 2

The BTW-01 have ample bass, even though it’s not as deep as something like the Noise Shots X3 Bass, but it’s definitely nice and heavy without being too overpowering. The same can be said about the highs and the mids, the Blaupunkt BTW-01 have decently well defined highs and mids — they’re not the best, but they’re good and for Rs. 4,999 they’re one of the better ones.

Personally, I didn’t find any problems with the Blaupunkt BTW-01 as far as the audio quality is concerned, and I think if you buy these, you’ll not be disappointed by them either.

Interaction and Features

The Blaupunkt BTW-01 also come with touchpads on both the earbuds that come with support for multiple kinds of taps, and it works pretty well. Here’s what you can do with these earbuds:

  • Answer calls: single tap on the left or right earbud
  • Ending calls: single tap on either earbud
  • Rejecting calls: long press on either earbud
  • Voice assistant: triple tap on the touchpad on either earbud
  • Play/Pause: double tap on either earbud
  • Previous song: long press left earbud
  • Next song: long press right earbud

While these features are pretty self-explanatory, it’s important to note that the BTW-01 can be used individually as well, so if you’re only using the left earbud, you won’t get access to the ‘Next song’ function, and if you’re only using the right earbud, you won’t get access to the ‘Previous song’ function on the earbuds. All of the other features work via either of the touchpads so they’ll work regardless of whether you’re using both the earbuds, or only one of them.

Connectivity

Anyway, let’s move on to connectivity. So the Blaupunkt BTW-01 come with Bluetooth 5.0, which is amazing, and they also let you use them individually. So you can choose to use just one of the earbuds and keep the other one in the case if you want.

However, if there’s one issue I have with the connectivity here, it’s the fact that connecting these earbuds to your phone is more time consuming than it should be. Here’s a basic outline of how you’d connect the Blaupunkt BTW-01 to your phone:

  • Long press (about 5 seconds) on the left earbud to enter pairing mode, and pair the earbud to your phone.
  • Turn on the right earbud (long press about 2 seconds), and it should automatically connect to the left earbud.
  • You can now listen to music, take calls, etc using both the earbuds.

However, in case the earbuds don’t connect to each other, the procedure to actually clear the pairing list from both the earbuds and then letting them connect to each other is a complicated little issue that I don’t want to get into. All I’m saying is that I’d have really appreciated if I could just pop open the case, connect to the earphones, and use them without having to follow all these steps.

Anyway, at least the earbuds have decent range, and they are able to maintain sound quality over a distance, which is definitely nice, even though I tend to keep my phone in my pocket when I’m not sitting at my desk. There’s no aptX support here though, which is definitely something of a deal breaker to most people, but if it’s not a deal breaker to you, by all means, consider these earphones.

Battery

Then there’s the battery. While Blaupunkt doesn’t really give away the battery specs for these earphones, the manual does mention the expected battery life and charging time, and from my personal usage, the manual is pretty close to real world usage.

The earbuds lasted me around 4 to 4.5 hours of use, at maximum volume, and keeping the volume to around 60-70%, they lasted around 5.5 hours. I didn’t test the battery life while using just one earbud because that’s just not how I can ever listen to music, and I refuse to put myself through that. Still, judging by the fact that the battery life is close to what Blaupunk claims, I’m sure if you’re using these in single-earbud-mode, it should last you around 6 hours.

Charging the earbuds is taken care of by the case, so all you need to worry about is charging the case itself, which takes around 90 minutes to fully charge. As far as the charging is concerned, the Blaupunkt BTW-01 are pretty much what every other truly wireless earbuds are like — charge the case, and let the case charge the earbuds — and I don’t have a problem with that (other than the microUSB port here).

Pros and Cons

If you find the entire review too big to read, here’s a quick look at the pros and cons of the Blaupunkt BTW-01:

Pros:

  • Good sound quality
  • The earbuds look nice
  • Touchpad controls work easily and intuitively
  • Decent battery life

Cons:

  • Charging case is poorly built
  • microUSB port
  • Connecting the earbuds isn’t the easiest thing

Blaupunkt BTW-01 Review: Worth the Price?

So overall, the Blaupunkt BTW-01 are pretty solid earbuds that are only slightly let down by the poor build of the charging case, and the fact that connecting them isn’t as straightforward as you’d like it to be, but other than that, these are good earphones. That said, unless the Blaupunkt brand name is something you find irresistible, I think the Noise Shots X5 (Rs. 4,699) and the Noise Shots X3 Bass (Rs. 3,749) are worth checking out, although connecting them is equally unintuitive.

Buy the Blaupunkt BTW-01 (Rs. 4,999)

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Reviews

Jabra Elite 85h Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones Review: Almost the Best

Active Noise Cancelling headphones can be pretty amazing, or pretty terrible, depending on how well they actually cancel noise in real-world situations, so when Jabra sent over their Elite 85h Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth headphones (Rs. 28,999) over to us, I tested them the way I would test any pair of ANC Bluetooth headphones — while travelling. I’ve used these headphones for a considerable amount of time over the last two weeks, and I’m pretty impressed with them, so why did I put “Almost the Best” in the title? Well, read on to get a detailed look into the Jabra Elite 85h Headphones — their ups and downs, pros and cons, and more.

Jabra Elite 85h: Specifications

One of the best things about Jabra’s website is the fact that they give proper specifications for their headphones, as compared to a lot of other brands that simply mention “battery life” and “Bluetooth version”.

Dimensions 195 x 82 x 225 mm
Weight 296 grams
Bluetooth Bluetooth 5.0
Ports and I/O USB-C; 3.5mm AUX
Battery Life Up to 41 hours (without ANC)
Up to 36 hours (with ANC)
Number of Microphones 8 (4 used for ANC)
Price Rs. 28,999

Clearly, the Jabra Elite 85h bring a lot of impressive numbers on paper, but let’s take a look at how these translate into the real world.

Design and Build

If you buy these headphones, Jabra knows enough to send them packed with a carrying case, because with headphones this size (and at this price) you’ll want to keep them in a case when you’re not actively using them. Not that these headphones are flimsy or weak; if anything, the Elite 85h are pretty well built, and feel sturdy and premium to the touch — as they should.

The design is pretty straightforward, and Jabra has clearly not taken too much of a risk here, which is perfectly fine by me. These headphones look impressive and attractive, without looking overdone and flashy. The back of the earcups are covered with a mesh-fabric material, while the earcups themselves are made out of a leatherette material that’s soft to the touch, and really comfortable to use. There’s a blend of high quality plastic, ABS, PC and other materials that keep the weight low, while giving off a premium look and feel.

The Elite 85h also come with an interesting UX choice — folding the earcups to disconnect and opening them back up to connect. That’s very similar to what you’ll see in some magnetic Bluetooth earphones, such as the OnePlus Bullets Wireless earphones, and it’s really neat seeing this on a pair of headphones. To be honest, I wasn’t completely sold on this implementation, but I used it on my weekend trip to Nainital, all through the train and the cab journey, and I found myself loving the ease of use this brings. It’s incredibly quick to respond and very reliable in its functionality to make me want this functionality on all headphones.

Thanks to this functionality, along with an automatic power-off in 72-hours feature, Jabra did away with the power button on the Elite 85h — it’s simply not required. There are still a bunch of buttons here though, and we’ll talk about these in detail later, but one thing I really like on these headphones is the USB-C port for charging. I love USB-C, and thanks to this port, I just carried one charger on my trip for my laptop, my phone, my power bank, and my Bluetooth headphones. That’s incredible ease of use, and I love it.

Comfort and Fit

The Elite 85h are also amazing when it comes to the actual comfort while wearing them. True, at 296g they’re heavier than headphones like the Sony WH-1000XM3, but even so, Jabra’s offering doesn’t feel heavy on extended usage — and I should know, I used them continuously for over 7 hours on my train + cab journey to Nainital.

The earcups have a firm grip that puts just enough pressure to hold the headphones in place, without making it feel like the headband is pressing into the top of your head — something I’ve noticed happening with a lot of headphones. Along with that, the fact that the headband also has the same leatherette material used on the earcups helps with the headphones being comfortable when being used for a long period of time.

Audio Quality and Noise Cancellation

The Jabra Elite 85h come with impressive audio quality all around and while these are one of the best headphones I’ve used, they’re definitely not the best. Let me explain: the Elite 85h have impressive sound. They get quite loud if you push them, the sound doesn’t distort, and the bass is heavy enough to be thumpy, but not heavy enough to get overwhelming. Along with that, the treble is really well tuned — the elite 85h just offer a really nice blend of highs, lows, and mids.

the Jabra Elite 85h are the second best sounding pair of headphones I’ve tried in this price range.

However, if you’re listening to bass heavy songs on these headphones and you turn the volume to max, the bass sometimes does distort. I could clearly hear the bass distorting in some EDM songs that pump the bass exceedingly hard. For some reason this was even more pronounced when ANC was turned on the headphones. Turning ANC off, or reducing the volume to around 80% almost completely gets rid of this problem.

Apart from that one thing that bugs me though, the Jabra Elite 85h are the second best sounding pair of headphones I’ve tried in this price range. The first are obviously Sony’s WH-1000XM3 ANC headphones that are just so blissfully good at everything it’s almost wrong of Sony to not give others a chance.

Noise Cancellation

Anyway, coming back to the Jabra Elite 85h — these headphones are a very close second to Sony’s offering, and the sound quality on the Elite 85h is really impressive. Speaking of impressive, let’s talk about the Noise Cancellation.

The Jabra Elite 85h come with Active Noise Cancellation, and there are different modes:

  • Active Noise Cancellation On
  • Active Noise Cancellation Off
  • Hear-through

The effect of turning ANC on or off is pretty obvious, but Hear-through is a cool feature that I use at work a lot. With hear-through, the Jabra Elite 85h essentially mix your music with the ambient sound they take in from the microphones, so you can hear your surroundings while you listen to your music. This is most likely aimed at people listening to music while running or jogging, but it’s incredibly useful at work, because I can keep listening to music and still discuss things with my colleagues. One thing to notice here is that if you’re listening to music at anything higher than 60-70%, hear-through is basically useless since you won’t be able to hear anything.

Anyway, with Active Noise Cancellation On, the Jabra Elite 85h perform admirably, and if I compare them to the Sony WH-1000XM3, they’re very close. With ANC on, you can completely immerse yourself in the music, movie, or podcast you’re listening to — and I did this with all three of those while I was in the train. It’s pretty great, especially in trains and flights with little kids that keep creating a ruckus — I speak from experience.

That said, I did notice one odd thing with ANC on these headphones — if you’re travelling in a car with the windows rolled down, the ANC tries to compensate for the noise the wind creates, and sometimes the headphones just end up making a very loud and annoying static sound as a result. I found this out by accident, but it’s incredibly annoying and there’s no way to fix this unless you turn off ANC, or roll the window up. It’s an issue that’s very specific to a particular situation, but it’s annoying as hell. I’m not sure if the Sony WH-1000XM3 would also have this problem, but logic suggests that they might, considering how ANC works.

Connectivity

In terms of connectivity, the Jabra Elite 85h bring all the good stuff — there’s Bluetooth 5.0, which is something you wouldn’t get with Sony’s WH-1000XM3 headphones (those come with Bluetooth 4.2). However, the Elite 85h don’t come with aptX or aptX HD support, which is weird at this price range. In fact, Jabra isn’t even mentioned on the aptX website. Still, if you’re willing to ignore the absence of aptX on these headphones, the connectivity here is on point in every other way.

The headphones stay connected easily over 7-8 metres in a regular home-space which is pretty great, and there’s no signal drop or distortions. Also, you can connect two devices to the headphones at the same time, which can come in handy if you want to pair your phone and your laptop to your headphones at the same time to listen to music from your laptop and still be able to take calls from your phone straight on your headphones.

Connectivity wise, the Jabra Elite 85h are actually pretty great, and the only drawback I could find here is the missing aptX support, which, honestly, is something you would expect in high-end headphones like these.

Buttons and Ports

Moving on to the I/O on these headphones, the Jabra Elite 85h come with quite a lot of that. There are only two ports here — a USB-C port for charging, and an AUX-in port. The USB-C port is a personal favorite of mine, and I honestly can’t wait for even affordable headphones to come with USB-C — it’s faster, and just more convenient.

The AUX-in port, well, that’s a life saver if you ever run out of battery and want to listen to music. Simply connect the headphones in wired mode and keep listening. True, ANC won’t work, and neither will hear-through, but at least you can listen to music on these even if you manage to completely drain the battery (which is a task, believe me, but more on that in the battery section).

There are also a bunch of buttons here — there are the usual play/pause, and volume control buttons on the right earcup under the mesh-fabric material, that also serve the dual purpose of putting the headphones in pairing mode, and skipping tracks with long presses.

There’s also the Assistant button on here which you can use to activate the smart assistant on your phone, so you can send messages and stuff without having to take the headphones off.

Lastly, there’s this button without any markings on it — it basically switches between the various noise canceling settings:

  • ANC on
  • ANC off
  • Hear-through

There are helpful voice prompts when you switch between these modes as well, just in case you’re unable to figure out what mode you’re in. These modes can also be switched between from the companion smartphone app: Jabra Sound+ that’s available for free on the Play Store and the App Store.

Jabra Sound+ App

The Jabra Sound+ app is your one stop solution for managing and customising the Elite 85h. This app is where you’ll find settings like choosing Moments for your headphones. Moments can be thought of as customisable sound profiles. There are four:

  • Commute
  • In Public
  • In Private
  • My Moment

with each of these Moments you can choose between ANC on/off or HearThrough mode, you can adjust the Music equalizer, and you can choose a Music preset.

For example, I’ve set Commute to have ANC on, In Public to HearThrough, and In Private to ANC off. This way, I don’t have to listen to random kids on my commute, but I can still listen to my coworkers when I’m at work, and when I’m alone, I can save battery by turning ANC off.

You can switch quickly between these Moments from the notification the app puts into your Notification Center, but to actually utilise these to their full extent, there’s a feature called ‘SmartSound.’

With SmartSound enabled, your headphones analyse the sound in your surroundings and automatically choose Moments based on that. So they will switch automatically from Commute to In Public when you reach work, and from In Public to In Private when I’m back home. It’s pretty impressive, even though it does take some time to analyse ambient sounds and change Moments.

Other than that, the Sound+ app brings the Discover tab which is where you will find tips, tricks, news, and even firmware updates for your headphones.

Battery

The Jabra Elite 85h come with a battery that’s rated to last up to 41 hours with Active Noise Cancellation off, and up to 36 hours with ANC on, and that claim is pretty accurate. From a full 100% charge, these headphones have been used for almost 16-17 hours so far with ANC turned on all the time, and they’re at 60%. Clearly, they’ll last around 34-35 hours. That’s pretty damn impressive.

Plus, thanks to USB-C charging, I don’t have to worry about carrying a separate cable for the headphones either because my phone, my laptop, and now these headphones, all can be charged from the same USB-C cable. Charging the battery also doesn’t take too long; the headphones charge in around 2 to 3 hours, and, while I didn’t test this particular thing out, Jabra claims that a 15 minute charge can get them up to 5 hours of listening time, which is also pretty impressive.

Pros and Cons

So, the Jabra Elite 85h are a pair of really impressive headphones, but they too have some drawbacks and flaws. So here’s a handy list of the good, and the bad about the Elite 85h:

Pros:

  • Good sound quality
  • Excellent battery life
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Premium and sturdy build
  • USB-C

Cons:

  • No aptX support
  • Bass sometimes distorts at high volumes
  • ANC is not at par with competitors like Sony’s WH-1000XM3

Jabra Elite 85h: Should You Buy These?

So the question at the end of all this is should you buy these headphones or not. After all, at Rs. 28,999 these are a big investment. Look, the Jabra Elite 85h bring great sound quality, an amazing battery life, good ANC, and a lot more to the table, but even though these are a great sounding pair of headphones that offer a high level of comfort, they don’t quite parallel the offering from Sony in the WH-1000XM3 (Rs. 28,999) which are quite simply the best headphones I’ve used in this price. They offer better sound quality, a more balanced bass and treble output, and better noise cancellation as well. If I were you, I would go with the Sony headphones over these.

Buy the Jabra Elite 85h (Rs. 28,999)

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Reviews

Asus ROG Zephyrus M GU502GU Review: For the Perfect Mix of Gaming, Portability, and Style

Gaming laptops have a reputation for being large, unwieldy machines that simply can’t be lugged to and from work or school everyday; or at least they shouldn’t. However, I really admire Asus for their ROG Zephyrus series of gaming laptops that bring high end gaming in machines that don’t look out of place in a non-gaming setting. So when Asus sent over the Zephyrus M GU502GU (Rs. 1,49,990) to us, I was excited to see what Asus had accomplished with this Zephyrus laptop. I’ve been using this laptop for well over a week now, and this is my in-depth review of the Zephyrus M GU502GU gaming laptop.

Asus ROG Zephyrus M GU502GU Specifications

First off, let’s get the on-paper specs out of the way. Here’s what you’ll find under the hood of the Zephyrus M GU502GU:

Processor Intel Core i7-9750H
GPU Nvidia GTX 1660Ti with 6GB GDDR6 VRAM
RAM 16GB 2666MHz
Storage Up to 1TB SSD
Display 15.6-inch Full HD IPS level panel;
144Hz Refresh Rate;
3ms Response Time;
100% sRGB Pantone Validated
Keyboard Backlit chiclet keyboard;
N-key rollover;
RGB lighting;
Aura Sync;
Hotkeys (Volume down, volume up, mute, Armoury Crate)
Audio 2 speakers with Smart AMP technology
Array Microphone
I/O Ports 1 x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type C DisplayPort™ 1.4 and Power Delivery
1 x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type A
2 x USB 3.2 Gen1 Type A
1 x HDMI 2.0b
1 x 3.5mm Audio Jack
1 x Audio Jack Mic-in
1 x RJ45
1 x Kensington Lock
Connectivity Intel® 802.11ac (2×2) Gigabit Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 5.0
Weight 1.9kg

Now that the specs are out of the way, let’s take a deeper look at the Zephyrus M GU502GU.

Design and Build

Like I mentioned earlier, I really admire the Zephyrus line up of laptops from Asus for bringing great gaming power in a sleek design, and the Zephyrus M GU502 is no different. It comes in a stunning looking chassis with a metal cover on the lid, a soft-touch material surrounding the keyboard and covering the palm-rest, and a great selection of ports rounding off the look of the laptop.

There’s the ROG logo on the lid which lights up in red and looks kinda nice on the brushed metal finish. Inside, the display is surrounded by thin bezels, giving the laptop a modern look, with the exception of the giant bottom bezel which holds the subtly done “ROG Zephyrus” branding, and a large sticker showing off the credentials and specifications of the display, which I hate. I dislike stickers on laptops as a general rule, and this one looks ugly too; but I guess you could remove it if you wanted to.

One issue here is that the Zephyrus M GU502 doesn’t come with a webcam, and while that’s not a deal breaker to me, since I never use the webcam, it might be a deal breaker to some of you out there.

Then there’s the keyboard and the finishing around it. This area gives a very nice rubberized feeling that’s just the perfect amount of grippy and satisfactorily soft to the touch to ensure I was comfortable using this laptop for hours and hours on end. Plus, I suppose this would also make it easier to keep my palms on the laptop during winters when my MacBook Pro gets so cold to the touch it’s uncomfortable to type on.

Overall though, the ROG Zephyrus M GU502GU is a well designed and well built laptop, and I have no real complaints with it so far. In fact, I really like the design and build of this laptop.

Display

The ROG Zephyrus M GU502 comes with a 15.6-inch FullHD IPS level panel with a 144Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time – both important numbers for gamers. Thanks to the high refresh rate, things look really smooth on the Zephyrus M. Even outside of games, the general animations, scrolling, everything just looks really smooth on this display and I’ve grown really fond of that. The 3ms response time might not matter to regular users as much, but for gamers this is a decently good response time to get.

Other than those two things, the display is wonderful in almost every other aspect too. It’s big and has a lot of screen real-estate to multi-task with ease. It’s Pantone validated, which results in great color reproduction all across the board, so watching movies and TV shows, and playing games on this display is a wonderful experience.

The one place where I do have a complaint with the display is brightness. The brightness levels for this display are very low, and to top it off it comes with a matte finish which, even though it helps avoid glare, makes the display look even less bright than it probably would with a glossy display. It’s decent for indoor use, but outdoor use, especially in bright sunlight is definitely a problem.

Other than that one (and kind of major) issue with the display, the laptop does everything else wonderfully, including, performance.

Performance

The Zephyrus M GU502GU comes with impressive specs – there’s a 9th-gen Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, a 512GB SSD, and Nvidia GTX1660 Ti GPU. All of that results in amazing performance.

Regular tasks are obviously nothing to this laptop. You can multi-task all you want, open a load of tabs on Chrome (I had almost 20-30 open all the time), and even run an instance of Photoshop at the same time, and this laptop won’t break a sweat. It’s really great.

However, that’s expected from a laptop that costs as much as this one does, but this is a gaming laptop, so the more important metric for judging its performance is how well it handles gaming.

Well, I played a bunch of games on the Zephyrus M GU502GU including Unreal Tournament, Far Cry 5, and obviously, PUBG, and the laptop handles all of these games really well.

In PUBG, at High settings, the Zephyrus M got a frame rate of 85 to 100FPS easily, that would go higher if you played around with the graphics settings a bit, but a frame rate of 85FPS+ is good enough for me, and I didn’t feel the need to push it further, especially at the cost of graphical quality.

Even Far Cry 5 performed very well on this laptop. In Ultra graphics settings, the laptop pushed an average frame rate of 66FPS, going as high as 79 and as low as 53FPS.

Switching graphics to High resulted in a very slight improvement in performance, with the average frame rate settling at 69FPS, and getting a maximum of 80FPS.

I even tried switching the graphics to Normal just for the heck of it, and that got an average frame rate of 73FPS, going as high as 85FPS and as low as 57FPS.

Clearly, the laptop can handle Far Cry 5 on Ultra settings with ease. I even played Far Cry 5 for a bit on Ultra settings and it ran wonderfully, which is great.

Unreal Tournament, well, I installed the alpha version of Unreal Tournament from the Epic Store because I wanted to try it out, and the Zephyrus M was pushing around 75 to 80FPS on the game at all times which is great. Also, the game itself is great too.

If the gaming performance of this laptop wasn’t enough for you, or if you’re just looking for results from a standardized test, well, you’ll be glad to know I ran benchmarks too.

In 3DMark TimeSpy, the laptop scored 5,426 points which is pretty impressive, and in PCMark 10, the Zephyrus M GU502GU got a score of 4,772 points.

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3DMark Time Spy
PCMark 10

Overall, Zephyrus M’s performance is top notch and it won’t let you down whether you’re gaming, or taking it to work and doing regular office work. It’s just an all around wonderful performer and I’m very impressed by it.

Keyboard and Trackpad

Speaking of things I’m impressed by, let’s talk about the keyboard and trackpad here. The Zephyrus M comes with a keyboard that I can only describe as “very Asus” and I mean that in a good way. Most Asus laptops have good keyboards, and this one is no different. It’s not a mechanical keyboard, but it has ample travel without being too bouncy, the keycaps are flat instead of curved, but they’re still easy to hit accurately and they’re made of high quality plastic instead of the cheap feeling ones that a lot of other brands use.

The layout is also really good, and I especially love the full arrow-key layout instead of the compact layout that makes it very difficult to use the arrow keys without actually looking at them in the middle of a game. Plus, there are also four dedicated keys above the keyboard for increasing and decreasing the volume, turning the mic off, and for launching Asus ROG Armoury Crate software at the press of a button.

One additional thing I really liked about the keyboard is you can lock the Windows key to not open the start menu. This is really handy because I hit the Windows key a lot by accident while gaming and on most laptops it opens up the Start menu and I end up dying in my game, and that’s very annoying. On this (and probably other Asus laptops) I can simply press Fn + Windows to disable that functionality and I’m really happy that this feature exists.

Anyway, moving on, there’s the trackpad, and this is amazing as well. The Zephyrus M comes with a decently sized trackpad which is not too big, but it’s not small either. Plus, it supports Microsoft Precision drivers which just makes using it a lot better and brings support for intuitive gestures which is also pretty cool.

I/O and Ports

The ROG Zephyrus M also comes with a decent selection of ports and I/O that should suffice for all your needs. The laptop comes with 1 x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type C DisplayPort™ 1.4 and Power Delivery, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type A, 2 x USB 3.2 Gen1 Type A, 1 x HDMI 2.0b, 1 x 3.5mm Audio Jack, 1 x Audio Jack Mic-in, and an RJ-45 ethernet port.

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In my usage of this laptop I didn’t feel short on ports or connectivity options and I don’t think you will either. Plus, the USB-C port is definitely awesome to have, and with Power Delivery, it can fast charge USB-PD compatible devices, which is also cool.

Audio

If there’s one thing about this laptop that I found underwhelming, it’s the audio. The laptop comes with bottom firing speakers, which is probably why the sound is underwhelming, muffled, and honestly, not loud enough at all. I tried watching movies on this laptop, and it just doesn’t cut it.

As a gamer, I’m sure you’ll most probably be using headphones while you game, so you probably won’t have to deal with this too often, but if you think you can watch movies on this laptop without a Bluetooth speaker, or a wired external speaker, you’re in for a shock.

At the very least, I would’ve expected Asus to put the speakers slightly towards the sides, like they did with the TUF Gaming FX505DT, but alas, the Zephyrus M GU502GU is absolutely let down by its speakers.

Battery

Lastly, there’s the battery. The Zephyrus M GU502GU comes with a 76Wh battery that Asus claims lasts up to 6 hours on a charge, but the only time I noticed that happening was when I put a bunch of games on download and left the laptop to do its work while I played games on my PS4. Other than that, the laptop doesn’t last anywhere close to 6 hours on a charge. I was consistently getting around 3 hours of battery life from this laptop.

However, if you’re a gamer, you’ll most likely keep the laptop plugged in while gaming so the battery life shouldn’t be an issue. However, if you’re like me and you’re planning on using the laptop at work or in college, you’ll need to keep the charger handy.

Pros and Cons

So the Zephyrus M GU502GU is a pretty decent laptop, but it doesn’t get it all right. Let’s take a quick look at the good and the bad about this laptop.

Pros:

  • Excellent design
  • Amazing performance
  • Good keyboard and trackpad

Cons:

  • Battery life is sub-par at best
  • Speaker quality is not good

Asus ROG Zephyrus M GU502GU: Should You Buy It?

The ROG Zephyrus M GU502GU is a a pretty good laptop. It brings great performance packed inside a stylish chassis, a good keyboard and trackpad, along with a decently wide selection of ports and I/O options. However, at Rs. 1,49,990, the Zephyrus M is competing against the MSI GL63 9SEK gaming laptop (Rs. 1,47,500) which brings the same 9th-gen Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, a 1TB HDD + 256GB SSD, and 6GB RTX2060 graphics. The only place where the MSI GL63 9SEK lags behind is the weight – it’s 300 grams heavier.

The thing is, if you’re looking for a gaming laptop for playing high-end games on, the MSI GL63 9SEK is a much better deal. However, if you’re looking for a laptop that can handle gaming and fit in at your office, maybe go with the Zephyrus M GU502GU.

Check out the Zephyrus M GU502GU (Rs. 1,49,990)

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Reviews

Asus ROG Strix Scar III G531GV Review: A Solid Gaming Laptop

With all the gaming laptops that I have reviewed, a couple of themes have always stood out to me, and anyone who has read any of the other gaming laptop reviews that I’ve written would know, that I admire Asus for building gaming laptops that don’t look like giant, unwieldy behemoths that I can’t keep on my desk without attracting too much attention. However, when the Asus ROG Strix Scar III G531GV arrived at our offices, I found myself at a loss for how to really describe this laptop. It’s not as spaceship-like as gaming laptops like the Alienware Area 51m, and it’s not as understated as, say, the Zephyrus M that I reviewed a while back. Anyway, I’ve been using this laptop as my daily driver for almost a week now, and if you’re wondering whether the ROG Strix Scar III is worth the Rs. 1,54,990 price tag, here’s my review of the laptop.

Asus ROG Strix Scar III G531GV: Specs

Before we jump into the review, let’s do what we always do and take a look at the hardware this laptop brings to the table:

Display 15.6-inch FullHD;
144Hz;
3ms
Processor Intel Core i7-9750H;
2.6GHz, up to 4.5GHz;
6 Cores/12 Threads
RAM 16GB DDR4 2666MHz
GPU Nvidia RTX 2060;
6GB GDDR6 VRAM
Storage 1TB NVMe SSD
I/O and Ports 1 x Type C USB 3.2 (GEN2) support DP function;
3 x Type A USB 3.2 (GEN1);
1 x HDMI 2.0b;
1 x 3.5mm Audio Jack/ 1 x Audio Jack Mic-in (Combo Jack);
1 x RJ45 LAN Jack
Connectivity Intel® 802.11ac (2×2) Gigabit Wi-Fi;
Bluetooth 5.0

With that out of the way, let’s take a look at the ROG Strix Scar III.

Design and Build

Like I said earlier, the moment I looked at this laptop, I was confused about how to describe it. The Asus ROG Strix Scar III lands somewhere in the middle of understated designs and extremely spaceship-like designs. However, as I continued using the laptop, I realized that that’s not a bad thing at all. If anything, it makes the laptop stand out a bit, without standing out so much that it looks out of place; not just in an office space, but at home, in a coffee shop, or wherever else you might find yourself using the laptop.

Design wise, Asus has done what it does so well, and nailed the design on the Strix Scar III. I don’t really have any complaints here. The lid features the typical Asus brushed-metal finish, along with the big, glowing ROG logo, which, by the way, isn’t just red here, it’s actually RGB.

Inside, the laptop comes with the gorgeous FullHD display with minimal bezels on all sides, except for the bottom bezel. However, while I’ve stopped calling out laptop makers for big bottom bezels on gaming laptops, I want to give a shoutout to Asus for making this bottom bezel look cool. It’s not just your regular-looking bezel. Instead, Asus has cut it out at the right two-thirds and that little design choice gives the front of the laptop a lot more character and I dig it.

The keyboard also features RGB lighting, and a bunch of keys on the top for quick and easy access to important functions, which is something I’ve started appreciating as I use this laptop more every day. The sides of the keyboard have a nice, carbon-fiber-like design pattern which looks cool, sure, but also prevents oily or sweaty palms from leaving prints all over the palm-rest.

On the sides you’ll find the ports, with a very weird port on the right, and a bunch of ports, including the charging input, and the USB-C port on the back.

Of course, since this is a gaming laptop, there’s RGB in places. The keyboard, like I said, has RGB lighting. So does the ROG logo on the lid. However, with the Strix Scar III G531GV, Asus has added RGB lighting strips on the base of the laptop, and while these aren’t really visible when you’re actually using the laptop, the light glows out from the edges of the laptop and looks incredible at night, or in darker areas.

The laptop also feels really sturdy to the touch (and to the flex), and I always gives off a feeling of being a premium device, as it should.

Display

The ROG Strix Scar III G531GV comes with a big, gorgeous looking 15.6-inch Full HD display. That in itself is pretty good, with sharp text rendering, pretty solid brightness, and great color accuracy. However, Asus didn’t stop there. Since this is a gaming laptop, the display also offers gaming-oriented features.

This here is a 144Hz display, which means that you get reduced motion blur, and just an overall smoother experience with Windows animations, scrolling, and everything else. The response time is also a pretty solid 3ms, which isn’t something a regular user would care much about, but as a gamer, that obviously matters to you.

However, even though this is a gaming laptop, it’s great for regular workloads as well, and the display reflects the same. It’s a really good display, with good colors, great brightness, and nice viewing angles. Everyday tasks on this display are a treat, whether it’s writing articles or reading them, or watching movies and TV shows on Netflix (which, by the way, is more affordable now, so yay!)

So yeah, the display on this laptop is great, and I really don’t have anything to complain about here. Unlike the Zephyrus M GU502GU that I reviewed earlier, this display gets pretty bright so sunlight visibility shouldn’t be a problem.

Performance

Now let’s talk about one of the most important aspects of a gaming laptop – performance. The Strix Scar III doesn’t shy away on performance at all. The laptop comes packing an Intel Core i7-9750H processor clocked at a base frequency of 2.6GHz, and a max frequency of 4.50GHz which is great. There’s 16GB DDR4 2666MHz RAM on board, along with a 1TB NVMe SSD for fast storage, and the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 GPU with 6GB of GDDR6 VRAM.

That’s plenty of power, and it shows in both real world usage and benchmarks. I started off my testing with some benchmarks on the laptop, and things look fine here. In 3DMark Time Spy, the Strix Scar III scores 5,160 points, while in PCMark 10, the laptop scores 4,191 points. I also ran Cinebench R20’s CPU test on the laptop and got a score of 2377 points there, which is good enough.

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Cinebench R20
3DMark Time Spy
PCMark 10

In real world usage too, the laptop doesn’t disappoint. I did quite a lot of office-related work on this laptop, with over 15-20 tabs in Chrome open at all times with an instance of Photoshop in the background for editing images, and the laptop handled it all perfectly. However, with specs like that, I wasn’t really expecting the laptop to have trouble with some Chrome tabs and Photoshop. I was really excited to check the gaming performance on this thing, and it didn’t disappoint.

In Far Cry 5, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite games to test gaming laptops with thanks to its built in benchmark, I tested the laptop in both High and Ultra graphics settings. With graphics set to High (which is the default that Far Cry picked out), I got an average frame rate of 88FPS, going as high as 102FPS. Switching the graphics settings to Ultra got an average frame rate of 83FPS, going as high as 99FPS and as low as 70FPS.

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That’s pretty impressive for Far Cry 5, and personally, I played the game in Ultra instead of High, because I think an average frame rate of 83FPS is pretty solid for a game like Far Cry 5 in Ultra settings.

I also tried playing Apex Legends and PUBG, and both those games also work great on this laptop, not that I was surprised. In Apex Legends, the laptop easily pushed anywhere from 75-90FPS in-game, with the lower FPS values coming in during intense gunfights, and explosions. I honestly suck at the game, but it’s not the laptop’s fault. In PUBG, the laptop easily got around 130FPS in High settings. Changing that to Ultra resulted in a major drop in frame rates, but I was still getting well over 90FPS, which is just awesome.

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PUBG High
PUBG Ultra

Overall, the performance here is amazing, and pretty solid for a laptop in this price bracket. I honestly don’t think the ROG Strix Scar III leaves a lot to be desired in terms of performance; but then again, that’s true for almost everything this laptop does, and it does quite a bit.

Keystone

Normally I would follow the performance section with the keyboard and trackpad, but the ROG Strix Scar III G531GV comes with what Asus calls a “Keystone.” This is pretty impressive. This amber colored NFC key basically unlocks the Shadow Drive inside the laptop. Sounds interesting? It really is.

When you first plug in the Keystone in the laptop, it automatically launches the Armory Crate application, where you can pair the Keystone to your PC, and set it to unlock the Shadow Drive. This is an extra 800GB of storage built in to your system that you can keep locked and hidden until you plug in your Keystone.

One of the best use cases that I could come up with for this would be to use this laptop as a work/play device, with the Shadow Drive holding all my games, so while I’m at work, there’s nothing to distract me from working, but when I’m at home I can just plug in the Keystone and transform the ROG Strix Scar III into a machine loaded with my favorite games.

Keyboard and Trackpad

Anyway, coming back to the regular flow of a laptop review, let’s talk about the keyboard and trackpad. There’s not really a lot to talk about here, but there are a few things I want to point out.

First, the keyboard feels ridiculously great to type on. I have used a bunch of Asus laptops in the past, and while those keyboards were great, this one just feels extremely responsive, easy to type on, and doesn’t cause fatigue – all of which are positives that I would want on every laptop ever. The keycaps are very slightly curved which adds to the comfort and ease of typing on the ROG Strix Scar III.

It’s also great for gaming, thanks to the properly spaced arrow keys here, instead of the stupid compact arrow key layout you’ll find on a lot of laptops these days. Asus clearly doesn’t care about making the keyboard fit into a perfect rectangle on its gaming laptops, and that’s fine by me. I’d rather have a keyboard I enjoy using than something that looks symmetrical but is absolutely poor in terms of usability.

I’ve spent a lot of hours typing on this keyboard; heck I’m typing this review on the ROG Strix Scar III and not only is it not tiring to type on this, it’s downright fun. I love using this keyboard.

The trackpad too is pretty great. In typical Asus fashion, it’s not among the biggest trackpads I’ve used on Windows laptops, but it’s not small either. It’s pretty well-sized, and it’s a precision touchpad so you get access to gestures and better tracking, which is awesome.

I do have one concern here – the palm rejection on this trackpad is average at best. It mistakes my palm for actual touchpad input very often, which can quickly get annoying when gaming because it keeps screwing up the crosshair, but is also annoying while typing because the cursor sometimes moves away to a random position.

Oh also, if you looked at the picture above and wondered what the “Num LK” key is all about, well, simply long press on it, and watch what happens.

Yeah, there’s a numpad built into the trackpad, similar to what we saw with the ROG Zephyrus S GX531GW, except the trackpad is placed in its proper position here.

So yeah, the ROG Strix Scar III G531GV is amazing when it comes to the keyboard and trackpad as well.

I/O and Ports

So far, the Asus ROG Strix Scar III G531GV has nailed almost everything, and there’s really not a lot left to check. Coming to the ports and I/O options you get with the laptop, there’s a decent amount here as well.

You get three USB 3.0 Type A ports, you get a USB-C port, an RJ-45 ethernet port, a headphone and mic combo jack, an HDMI port, and, of course, a charging port. Plus there’s also the Keystone port.

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That’s definitely not a lot of ports as far as gaming laptops are concerned, but it’s also definitely not a scarcity of options.

Audio

When I used the Zephyrus M earlier this month, I was pretty unimpressed by the audio quality on the laptop. However, the ROG Strix Scar III didn’t let me down in terms of audio – the laptop’s side-firing stereo speakers get loud enough and don’t crackle or distort.

I have watched a considerable amount of movies and TV shows on this laptop, and I never felt the need to connect an external speaker here, the audio was loud, clear, and balanced. That’s pretty wonderful.

It’s obviously nowhere near the quality you’d get with headphones, and it goes without saying that you’ll need headphones for gaming, unless it’s a really casual gaming session. However, for regular usage like watching movies and TV shows, or listening to the occasional song, these speakers are definitely more than enough.

Battery

As far as battery life is concerned, the ROG Strix Scar III G531GV doesn’t really do anything great here. In my usage of the laptop, which is mostly Google Chrome and Photoshop, with the occasional YouTube video, or a TV show on Netflix or Prime Video, the laptop lasted around 2.5 to 3 hours on a charge – now that’s fine, but it’s not the best and it can quickly get annoying, having to charge the laptop every few hours especially if you’re at work.

For gamers though, that’s not too much of an issue, since you’ll most likely have it plugged in while gaming for the best performance. However, if you’re planning on using this laptop as your gaming beast at home, and workhorse at college or office, don’t forget to bring the charger along.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Great performance
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • Good design
  • Display is bright and sharp
  • Shadow Drive and Keystone are insanely cool

Cons:

  • Battery life is average at best
  • Palm rejection on touchpad is not good

Asus ROG Strix Scar III G531GV Review: Should You Buy It?

So, now that we’ve seen everything there is to see about this laptop, let’s answer the most important question – should you buy the ROG Strix Scar III G531GV at its Rs. 1,54,990 price tag. To put it simply, yeah, by all means. This laptop offers a lot of amazing features in the price. Pair that with the great design, excellent performance, good audio quality, and a 144Hz/3ms Full HD display, and this is definitely a great laptop to go for.

However, if you want to save some cash, you can also check out the MSI GL63 9SEK which comes with a 9th-gen Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, 1TB HDD and 256GB SSD, and RTX 2060 graphics for Rs. 1,47,389. However, you’ll have to compromise on the storage, since the MSI laptop comes with a 1TB HDD, while the Asus ROG Strix Scar III comes with a 1TB SSD.

Buy the Asus ROG Strix Scar III G531GV from Amazon (Rs. 1,54,990)

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Reviews

Sony SRS-XB32 Bluetooth Speaker Review: The Perfect Party Speaker

Every time Sony launches a Bluetooth speaker, I’m just generally more excited than most people here. That’s partly because I absolutely love listening to music on speakers, and mostly because I’ve found Sony’s Bluetooth speakers to offer better sound quality when compared to what other brands have in the market. So naturally, when the nice people over at Sony sent us the SRS-XB32 for a review, I was hyped. After all, I’ve been a fan of the SRS-XB20 that I purchased around a year or so ago, and I loved the SRS-XB12 that I reviewed a while back, and I expected the XB32 to do just that — and it did. All of that, and way more. So if you’re wondering what the new Sony SRS-XB32 is like, and if it’s worth the asking price of Rs. 10,990, here’s my review:

Sony SRS-XB32: Specifications

Before we jump into the review, let’s take a look at the specifications of the Sony SRS-XB32.

Dimensions 238 x 84 x 83 mm
Weight ~900g
Speaker Size 2x 48mm units
Connectivity Bluetooth v4.2;
NFC
Supported Codecs SBC, AAC, LDAC
Frequency Range 20Hz – 20kHz
Battery ~24 hrs in standard mode with light off;
~14 hrs with lights and Extra Bass on
Ports microUSB;
AUX-in;
USB-A
Price Rs. 9,990

Design and Build

Sony’s Bluetooth speakers have always had amazing build quality, and the XB32 is no different. It comes in a rubberised finish that adds to the grip, it features a design that makes the speaker handy, even though it’s a pretty big Bluetooth speaker, and also, at around 900 grams, a heavy one.

Still, Sony has managed to design it almost to perfection. Like I said, it’s really easy to hold this speaker, and that really surprised me in all the best ways. Also, Sony seems to realise that a party speaker will most likely be used in pool parties, and that someone will inevitably drop it inside the pool (you know it’s true), which is probably why there’s an IP67 rating here, and Sony explicitly mentions that the speaker can be washed with water if you want to — you can bet I did just that, and I’m happy to report, it’s working fine and dandy.

It’s also shock proof, and apparently conforms to the MIL-STD 801 F Method 516.5-Shock tests, so you can probably drop it from 1.22 m height on plywood of 5cm thickness, but I did not. Jokes apart though, it’s nice that the speaker will be able to tolerate random bumps and the occasional drop.

Coming to the aesthetics and material choices made here, the speaker, like I mentioned above has a rubberised finish on most of its body, and the buttons feel like they are in fact, made out of rubber. The LED light strip that goes around the entire face of the speaker is covered in a clear plastic as well, and shines brightly through it, which is great for setting a party mood.

There’s a mesh design on the back for the passive bass radiator to thump the beats out of; after all, this is an XB branded speaker and that means Extra Bass. Plus, sitting right beside the bass radiator grill are the ports and buttons, covered with a rubber flap to prevent water and dust from getting inside the ports.

I’m pretty impressed by the design and build of these speakers, and I wish more brands would go this route with their designs. You know, give me IP rated, bass radiating speakers which are big but easy to hold and with rubberised finishes for better grip. I love this.

Audio Quality

Speaking of things I want more brands to do — the Sony SRS-XB32 have amazing sound quality. Just dead on-point, especially considering the price they’re coming in at. Now I know, at Rs. 10,990 these aren’t exactly ‘budget’ Bluetooth speakers, but they aren’t that expensive, either, and the sound quality that these will bring along can justify the price tag pretty well. That, and the features, but we’ll talk more about them in a different section.

Sound from the XB32 hits all the right spots. It’s loud, and can get extremely loud at max volume and still not distort audio. True to its name, the speaker brings loud, thumping bass, without being obnoxiously bass-heavy and drowning out the mids and highs. Basically, the XB32 is a well balanced speaker when it comes to audio. Plus, you can always turn off the Extra Bass setting if you want a more natural sound.

Speaking of turning off the Extra Bass setting by the way, there’s no Extra Bass button on this speaker. Instead, there’s a button called “LIVE” which switches the audio modes between Extra Bass and Live Audio, and then there’s a third audio mode called “Standard” audio mode, and to enable that you’ll have to rely on a combination of buttons, LED indicators, and patience.

If you’re confused right now about the sheer number of sound modes on this speaker, don’t worry, I was too. Sony is offering just way too much in this tiny package, not that I’m complaining. However, to make it easier for you to understand the different sound modes you get here, let me break it down:

  • Live Audio: With this mode, the speaker tries to create a concert like feel with a wider soundstage so you get a more natural sound. When this mode is on, the Live button LED is also on.
  • Extra Bass: This mode is meant to be used when you need the thumping bass for your EDM playlist. When this mode is on, the Live button LED is off, and the power button LED is white.
  • Standard Mode: In standard mode, you basically get neither the extra bass, nor the wider soundstage, but you do get a huge bump in battery life, which is great. When this mode is on, the Live button LED is off, and the power button LED is green.

Alright, so that’s a lot of sound modes. However, from using this speaker for a while, I’ve come to realise that the Extra Bass setting is where this speaker is the most fun, so I’d recommend keeping it set to that, unless you’re camping out and need longer battery life, in which case, switch to the Standard mode instead.

Whatever mode you choose, though, this speaker sounds great, and I don’t have any complaints with the sound quality here. It’s amazing.

Features

I usually don’t have a dedicated section for ‘features’ in a Bluetooth speaker review, but the SRS-XB32 comes with an absolutely insane amount of features to be ignored. Honestly, it took me the better part of a day to use and figure out all the features Sony has baked in here. Let’s take a look at the features offered by the SRS-XB32, all of which are offered via the Sony Music Center app (Android, iOS) and the Fiestable app (Android, iOS):

Sony Music Center Features

1. ClearAudio+

Inside the Sony Music Center app, within the settings for the XB32, you’ll find a section for ‘Sound’ and inside that, is ClearAudio+, and the description for this simply states “Sony’s recommended sound settings for music listening with one simple operation.”

With this turned on, your speaker is set to the preset for ‘Extra Bass’, and the equaliser is set to completely balanced, as you can see from the screenshots below.

2. Sound Mode

Within the Sound Mode, you’ll find the settings for the Preset Mode on the speaker, and the equaliser. The Preset Mode can be switched between ‘Live Sound’, ‘Extra Bass’, and ‘Standard’, while the equaliser can be adjusted to adjust the bass, mids, and treble output from the speaker.

3. Power Option

There’s also the Power Option category wherein you can adjust things like the auto standby for the speaker, which, when enabled turns the speaker off if its not in use for approximately 15 minutes. There’s also an option for Bluetooth Standby, and turning the battery level voice on or off.

4. Illumination

Inside this category, there’s only one setting — Lighting Mode. However, once you tap on Lighting Mode, the app surfaces so many lighting modes that it’s sort of overwhelming. However, it’s a lot of fun playing around with these, and I’d definitely recommend you go ahead and take a look at this.

5. Party Booster

Party Booster is a fun little thing baked into the SRS-XB32. This can be enabled with a double tap on the back of the speaker, and then… well, then you can slap the speaker on any of its faces to play drums on it, among other things. The screenshot below can probably do a better job explaining this than I can.

To be honest, when I first read ‘Party Booster’ I don’t know what I expected, but I did not expect this. However, this is a lot of fun, and it’s even more fun to suddenly blast a bass drum near someone who’s not expecting it — like Rupesh.

Fiestable App

The Fiestable app is, well, sort of fun, depending on how much you like playing with the lights on the SRS-XB32.

Within the Fiestable app you’ll get settings for illumination control, which is not the same thing that it meant inside the Sony Music Center app. Confusing, I know, but bear with me.

With Illumination control in the Fiestable app you can play with the lighting effects on the speaker in real time. Drag your finger around the color-circle and the speaker’s LEDs reflect the change. This, Sony apparently thinks, is something you’d want to do in parties… I definitely didn’t, but hey, it’s nice to have the feature just in case, you know.

Other than that, the app brings motion control, where you can perform gestures with your phone to control things like skipping tracks, the brightness of the speaker’s LEDs, and more. That sounds cool in theory, but it’s difficult to use, and I don’t think you’ll use it after the one time when you’re just trying it out — I didn’t.

Buttons and Ports

Anyway, moving on from the features, let’s take a look at the various buttons and ports offered on the XB32. On the top panel, you’ll find 5 buttons, some of which perform dual functions, and some of which can be pressed in combination with others to perform a completely different function. I wouldn’t have found this out without reading the manual that Sony doesn’t give with the speaker, but mentions as a link that you can head over to (SRS XB-32 manual). To save you the trouble, I’ll be explaining all of that as well.

Buttons

1. Live

First up, there’s the Live button. You can press this to switch between the Live Mode, and the Extra Bass (or Standard) mode. When Live mode is turned on, the Live button LED is on, and the Power button LED is on, and white.

2. Play/Pause

This is pretty straightforward. It controls music playback, and can also be used to answer calls through the speaker, if that’s something you’re inclined to do. Personally, I prefer answering calls through my phone’s earpiece, but again, it’s nice to have the feature, just in case.

This button can also be pressed in combination with the volume down button for 3 seconds to switch between Standard Mode and Extra Bass Mode if the Live mode is not enabled.

3. Volume Down/Up

The Volume Down and Volume Up buttons are fairly straightforward too — they let you control the volume of the speaker. However, you can press the volume down button in combination with the Play/Pause button for 3 seconds to switch between Standard Mode and Extra Bass Mode, if the Live mode is not enabled.

4. Power Button

Then there’s the power button, which, with a single press can turn the speaker on or off. However, long pressing the power button turns on pairing mode on the speaker so you can connect it to devices.

5. Battery Button

On the back, inside the rubber flap, you’ll see a button labelled ‘Batt’. Pressing this makes the XB32 announce the battery left in the speaker, which is handy. Also, you can long press this button to turn the speaker’s light on/off.

6. WPC

The Wireless Party Chain button is how you’ll link up (up to 100) compatible Sony speakers with the XB32 in order to play music through all the speakers for an epic party experience. Compatible speakers include the SRS-XB22, SRS-XB32, SRS-XB21, SRS-XB31, SRS-XB41, SRS-XB20, SRS-XB30, SRS-XB40, GTK-XB60, and GTK-XB90. You can find detailed instructions on how to use Wireless Party Chain inside the user manual.

7. Add

The Add button lets you connect two speakers to each other to either play sound from both of them, or use them as a stereo pair for a more immersive experience. This can only be done between two XB32 speakers, though.

Ports

Those were the buttons, now let’s take a look at the ports on the SRS-XB32. There are a total of 3 ports on the speaker:

1. microUSB port

This is the place you’ll charge your speaker from. Sony includes a microUSB charging cable with the speaker, so even if you’ve made the switch to USB-C everything, you won’t have to go to the trouble of finding a microUSB cable lying around to charge the speaker.

2. AUX-in

This is great for when you want to quickly play music through your iPod, or your smartphone (provided it still has a 3.5mm jack). You can just connect your phone/music player to the speaker via an AUX cable and start playing music.

3. USB-A Port

The USB-A port is another great addition here. Since this speaker has a pretty good battery, it only makes sense that in emergencies, you can charge your iPod or your phone with the speaker using this USB-A port, and keep the party going without having to worry about running out of battery.

Connectivity

In terms of connectivity, the Sony SRS-XB32 comes with Bluetooth 4.2, and I still don’t understand why we’re not getting Bluetooth 5.0 on these things yet, but that’s fine. There’s NFC here, which is great for quickly connecting your phone with the speaker, and the speaker supports a bunch of codecs. There’s no aptX support here, but the speaker does come with LDAC support which is great, and can optimise connection priority to provide the best audio experience with your phone, provided your smartphone also supports LDAC.

In real world usage, I observed that the speaker maintained a strong connection with my phone well over 8-10 metres, and only started distorting and breaking up a bit once I crossed that threshold, but that’s true for almost every Bluetooth speaker out there. Other than that, the connectivity and connection quality here are pretty amazing and I have no complaints in this regard whatsoever.

Battery

Moving on, Sony’s speakers have always had pretty impressive battery life. In fact, even the tiny SRS-XB12, I got a battery life of around 14-15 hours regularly, and the SRS-XB32 are no different. Sony has rated these for 24 hours of playback time, and that holds true. I took these speakers on a recent trip to Neemrana and they held up extremely well. I have easily gotten around 20 to 22 hours of battery life from these speakers with a variety of settings (Extra Bass, full volume, and other things).

Clearly, the battery life here will not disappoint you, and the only thing that I have to complain about, is the fact that they charge with microUSB. I mean, seriously, Sony, these are Bluetooth speakers priced at over Rs. 10,000, put a damn USB-C port. It’s high time.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Excellent sound quality
  • Amazing battery life
  • IP67 rating
  • Shock proof
  • USB-A port for charging your phone
  • Absolutely loaded with fun features

Cons:

  • No USB-C port
  • Using the button-combinations can be confusing
  • No Bluetooth 5.0
  • No aptX support

Sony SRS-XB32 Bluetooth Speaker: Worth The Price?

At the end of the day, the question we need to answer is this — is the Sony SRS-XB32 worth its asking price of Rs. 10,990? The answer to that, in my opinion is a loud and resounding “Yes, it is.” The SRS-XB32 offers everything you’d want from a speaker, and some things you probably didn’t know you wanted. It has excellent sound quality, amazing build that’s shock proof and IP rated, it offers a really good battery life along with support for charging your phone if you need it, it offers lighting effects that are controllable with the smartphone app, and it offers a bunch of quirky features like Party Booster. Really, the only complaints I have are the lack of a USB-C port, and Bluetooth 5.0.

So yeah, if you’re looking for a Bluetooth speaker around Rs. 10,000, go for the Sony SRS-XB32, you won’t regret it.

Buy the Sony SRS-XB32 from Amazon (Rs. 10,990)

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Reviews

Dyson V11 Absolute Pro Vacuum Cleaner Review: Sorry, Dyson, I’m Not Giving This Back

I know what you’re thinking — “that’s a weird title for a review”, but bear with me, okay, and you’ll see just why I’m never returning the V11 Absolute Pro that Dyson sent over to us for a review.

Working here at Beebom, I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing just so many gadgets that I’ve honestly lost track (and count). However, I never thought I’d be this excited about a vacuum cleaner as I was when Dyson sent over the V11 Absolute Pro to us for review.

First off, this was my first real-world, hands-on experience with a Dyson product, ever, and it couldn’t have been a better one, straight from the unboxing. Look, I’m nothing if not an absolute maniac over in-box accessories. Seriously, give me more accessories in the box than I know what to do with, and my day is made; that’s exactly what it was like to unbox the V11 Absolute Pro. There’s just so much stuff in the box here. There’s the main machine itself, obviously, but then there’s all of this stuff:

  • Docking station
  • Charger
  • Extension wand
  • High torque head
  • Soft roller head
  • Crevice tool
  • Combination tool
  • Mini-motorized tool
  • Mini soft dusting brush
  • Mattress tool
  • Up-top adapter
  • Extension hose
  • Wand storage clip

Yeah, that’s all of the add-ons, adapters, and heads I saw when I opened the V11 Absolute Pro’s box. It’s impressive. From there onwards, things just kept getting better and better.

Design and Build

The V11 Absolute Pro features remarkable design. It does. It’s not flashy or tacky, but it’s not too much of an understated design either — after all if you spend Rs. 52,900 on a vacuum cleaner, you’d probably not want to keep it hidden from the world, or maybe that’s just me, but seriously, even if you keep it in plain sight for the entire world to see, I wouldn’t blame you — that’s exactly what I did because damn this thing looks great. It’s a clean looking, relatively minimal design that just isn’t something I had expected to see on a vacuum cleaner. Plus, it’s hyper-intuitive in the way it’s been made. All the accessories of the V11 Absolute Pro just click into place and can be clicked out of being attached to the vacuum, or the extension wand with minimal effort and time. There’s a display on the back that shows you the mode the vacuum cleaner is being used in (more on that later), and the cleaning-time remaining.‌‌ The filter simply locks into place, and can be cleaned with just a twist-off to take it out and cleaned, and cleaning out the waste-bin is just as intuitive. Overall, if I were to sum-up the design of this vacuum cleaner in a word, I’d say “intuitive”.

However, design would only go so far in making me happy. Other than being an absolute (no pun intended) sucker (no pun intended)‌ for in-box accessories, I’m also a little careless with stuff, but the V11 Absolute Pro is built great. I never dropped the machine, thankfully, but I did bump the accessories into walls and tables a lot and they are still holding up well, so that’s amazing.

The build isn’t metal all the way, with the main machine having a plastic exterior for obvious, weight-saving reasons, but it’s not a cheap plastic build at all. It’s well built, it’s sturdy, and it feels strong and stable to hold and use. It’s just incredibly well built and I have only good things to say about the design and build of the V11 Absolute Pro.

Usage and Cleaning

Once I had unboxed the V11 Absolute Pro and awed over the sheer amount of accessories it came with, it was time to actually clean with the thing, and once again, things just kept getting better and better. First off, this is a cordless vacuum, which makes it extremely handy to use around the house without having to constantly manoeuvre the electrical cord around the house, through furniture settings, and in-between different power sockets for every other room. No, this just needs to be charged and charging the V11 Absolute Pro is, once again, an intuitive process — clearly, Dyson has made impressive design choices here.

Simply pop in the machine to the charging dock, or connect it directly to the charging cable for around 3 hours, and the V11 is ready to go.‌ I did just that because I wanted an uninterrupted time playing around with the many attachments, and when I finally got to cleaning… my oh my.

The V11 Absolute Pro cleans like, well, an absolute pro. It really does. I could throw numbers like 185 Airwatts of suction power, 14 cyclones generating over 75,000G force, 125000 RPM‌ motor, etc, but at the end of the day, what all of that means, is deep, satisfactory cleaning.

I’ve cleaned everything with this vacuum, from living room couches and curtains, to carpets, wooden tables, doormats, wall skirtings, fans, and the floor, and the V11 has cleaned everything to near perfection.

A lot of that is also thanks to the fact that there are attachments for every use-case you might have. There’s the motorised-roller tool that comes with a soft roller and is great for cleaning wooden surfaces, there’s the mini-motorised roller tool that’s great for cleaning carpets and couches, and there’s the High Torque cleaner head that is great for cleaning floors and carpets thoroughly, and it can detect the surface its on and adjust suction accordingly — so you get higher suction and faster roller movement on carpets, and lower suction and slower roller movement on the floor. It’s pretty great.

High Torque cleaning head

There’s also the carpet cleaning tool, the crevice tool which is perfect for reaching tight spaces, the combination tool for dusting or for removing cobwebs, the mini-dusting tool, and more.

Carpet Cleaning Tool

I was also very impressed by the up-top adapter which makes it incredibly easy to clean things like fans, or that hard to reach shelf on top of your cupboard.

Cleaning Modes

The V11 Absolute Pro also has three different power modes that I have at my disposal.

  • Eco
  • Medium
  • Boost

Eco is what Dyson recommended I use this vacuum at for regular usage, and that’s exactly what I did… for a couple of days. The Eco mode is honestly great for everyday cleaning — it’s powerful enough, and lets the battery last longer.

Medium, on the other hand, is what I most commonly used, because I find myself needing to vacuum my couches most often, thanks to all the food I eat while sitting on them, and Medium just offers that extra power to clean out things

Boost mode is just ridiculous. It’s almost as if it exists purely for Dyson to show off just how powerful this thing is. It eats battery for dessert.

So yeah, with the combination of the incredibly powerful suction power, and the sheer number of attachments for almost every use-case you might have, the Dyson V11 Absolute Pro is impressive, amazing, and absolutely ridiculous in how great it is.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Remember that scene in Friends, where Monica cleans her apartment with a vacuum cleaner and then cleans the vacuum cleaner with a smaller vacuum cleaner?‌‌ Yeah well, that was funny, but vacuum cleaners actually do require cleaning and maintenance, so Monica was doing the right thing, but I digress.

Coming back from random Friends references, cleaning and maintaining the V11 Absolute Pro is nice and easy too, as I found out after cleaning my house and car with the V11.

The dust, dirt, and all the other stuff the V11 picks up gets collected in a chamber, and I was happy to see that emptying it in a bin was easy and didn’t dirty my hands at all. It’s a simple push on the red handle underneath to push out all the collected dirt into a bin. It’s also strangely satisfying to do this.

Other than that, there’s the filter that can be cleaned and the motorised attachments that can also be cleaned. I didn’t have to clean any of those things in over two weeks of regularly using the V11 Absolute Pro, and that goes to show just how good this machine is, or maybe my house is just that clean.

Still, if the need arises to clean the filter, it’s super easy. Just a simple twist on the purple cover and the filter comes out. Clean it with a brush if that’s good enough, or wash it, and then let it dry for 24 hours before putting it back in the machine, and that’s it.

Oh also, before I forget, what I found cool about this entire filter situation is this — when the filter is dirty, the display on the back will tell you that it’s dirty. So yeah, there’s no need to keep an eye on the filter turning from white to brown or black to know whether it needs washing. Just leave it to the V11 Absolute Pro.

Battery and Charging

Speaking of the display on the back, this is also where the V11 Absolute Pro displays the remaining cleaning time, and the charge percentage when the unit is connected to the charger.

Charging the V11 can be achieved in two ways:

  • connect the V11 Absolute Pro to the charging cord directly.
  • route the charging cord through the wall-mount, and hang the V11 Absolute Pro on the wall-mount to charge.

I tried charging the V11 Absolute Pro both ways, but I didn’t install the wall mount out of sheer laziness, so I’m still using the wall mount, but it’s more of a floor mount now, which is just… well, it is what it is.

Anyway, the V11 takes around 3 hours to fully charge, and then, offers a battery life that varies according to the mode you’re using. In Eco mode, the V11 Absolute Pro lasts around 60 minutes, which is enough time to thoroughly clean out your house. This falls to around 20-30 minutes in Medium mode, and around 10 minutes in Boost mode.

I used the‌ Boost mode once, just for the heck of it, and it’s ridiculously powerful. It’ll probably come in handy to clean out pet hair off of your couch. For the most part, though, I used the Dyson V11 Absolute Pro in Eco and Medium modes.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Great design
  • Easy to use
  • Extremely powerful
  • Great battery life
  • So. Many. Attachments.

Cons:

  • Pricey

Dyson V11 Absolute Pro Review: My Precious

In conclusion, much like Gollum was with the ‘Ring’ in The Lord of the Rings, I am not willing to part with this vacuum cleaner, and that’s as much of a surprise to me as it probably is to you. The V11 Absolute Pro is amazing, it offers easy usability, great battery life, more power than you will normally need, an army of attachments for almost every use-case you might have, and so much more. It is pricey, at Rs. 52,900 for the regular variant and Rs. 59,900 for the special Gold variant that also brings a floor-stand along with all the accessories in this one.

I know what you’re thinking right now — “Rs. 52,900 sounds too steep for a vacuum cleaner” — and you’re right, it is. However, the Dyson V11 Absolute Pro justifies that price with all the features, the ease of use, the design, and everything else that it does. I had, so far, stayed away from the temptation of using a Dyson vacuum, but now that I have, I can’t go back to anything else. So no, dear Dyson rep who is reading this, if you want this V11 Absolute Pro unit back, you’ll have to pry it from my cold, dead hands.

Buy the Dyson V11 Absolute Pro from Amazon (Rs. 52,990)

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