Huawei Matebook X Review

Huawei has been making huge strides in the computing industry over the last couple of years, hitting the consumer market hard with the introduction of the Nexus 6P back in 2015. Since then, it’s been slowly creeping into US consumer awareness, and has started producing both smartwatches as well as 2-in-1 ultrabooks. Now, the company is looking to compete in the ultra-slim notebook market, and has built something which it thinks is ready to take on the 12 inch Macbook, the Huawei Matebook X.

This is the company’s first true laptop, with all of its past computers being 2-in-1 tablet designs. Though it lacks a touchscreen and is limited to just 2 USB-C ports, the Huawei Matebook X makes up for it with its ultra slim and portable design which should make any style-obsessive user swoon.

So can the company break past their tradition of producing tablet-style 2-in-1’s and move into the more traditional ultrabook market? It’s time to find out.

Design

The Huawei Matebook X has a design language which takes a number of cues from the 12″ Macbook. With a sturdy aluminum shell sizing up to 12.5mm and weighing in at 1.05kg, this laptop is as portable as it is functional, and features a beautiful 2k 2160 x 1440 display and bezels of only 4.4mm on each side. There is essentially no wasted space on this laptop, and everything from the screen to the keyboard is nearly edge-to-edge.

The footprint of the laptop is extremely minimal, with a diagonal distance of just 13 inches on the body. The Matebook X is made to go anywhere you do, and should fit easily into just about any backpack or laptop case you want to toss it in. The aluminum finish traverses nearly every inch of the notebook, from the top of the shell to the keyboard and palm rests. This gives the unit an extremely premium feel, especially with 2 of the 3 color options coming in with gold accents.

There is a speaker grill sitting right above the keyboard which features Dolby Atmos sound, and a power button that doubles as a fingerprint reader for biometric sign in capabilities. This is an incredibly welcome addition, as you merely need to keep your finger on the button for an extra couple of seconds in order to sign in to Windows biometrically. The company brought this over from their mobile handsets, and we’re extremely glad to see some sort of extra security keeping your data safe.

Save the palm rests, very little of this laptop’s space is actually wasted. You can see how hard Huawei worked to make this thing as compact as possible, while still retaining the ability to get work done. There is a very minimal thickness increase as you move along the side of the device, but it is so minimal that you will only notice it if you go looking for it. This is to accommodate for the ports near the top of the device while allowing for a very minimal keyboard tilt.

The Matebook X uses a completely fanless design, meaning it makes effectively no noise, but also makes it quite susceptible to heat. There are four rubber pads and three screws mounted to the bottom of the unit, but overall it looks quite sleek. With nothing but a subtle shiny Huawei logo sitting in the top shell, this laptop looks very elegant and boasts simplicity over gaudiness.

Ports and Features

The left side of the device features a USB Type-C port for power input with a 3.5mm headphone jack resting right below it, and the right side of the notebook has another USB Type-C port for data only. This is a strange move for Huawei, since in theory the USB Type-C standard is able to house Thunderbolt 3 to transfer both power and data through the port. Forcing the user to use the leftmost port for power instead of either seems like a strange and limiting move, as the side you want to plug your laptop into can change dramatically depending on the situation.

Fortunately for consumers, the Matebook X comes with, you guessed it, a dongle. This dongle is called the MateDock 2.0, and expands your right-end USB Type-C port into another USB Type-C port, a full-sized USB Type-A port, full size HDMI, and VGA. In this way, you’re able to plug in an exterior display as well as transfer data, which is useful since the laptop itself does not have many of these capabilities.

I’m a bit confused about the evolution of the Huawei MateDock. This 2.0 “evolution” technically has less ports versus last year’s model, is more awkwardly shaped, and is made of plastic instead of metal like the initial release. One large benefit is the fact that this dongle comes with your Matebook instead of being an optional accessory, but we would have preferred to at least see an extra USB Type-A port like was present in the last iteration of this dongle.

Keyboard

I was originally a bit worried about the feel of this keyboard, as the overall thinness of the notebook would normally make for a sub-optimal experience. However, Huawei has managed to pack in a full-fledged board with 1.2mm of key travel. Combined with the tough metal keys, this results in an extremely positive typing experience. There is also next to no keyboard flex since it is embedded right into the aluminum chassis itself, giving the keys an extremely premium feel.

The keyboard has 2 different lighting settings available to the user, which can be either minimally or brightly lit. The laptop will adjust the light option automatically based on the available light in the room, but you can always force it to use one of the 3 modes if you choose to do so.

The keys on this laptop are splash resistant too, so you should be safe just in case you happen to spill some water or other liquid on it. Though you shouldn’t go around dunking this thing in a tub, you should be protected against more minimal accidents.

Touchpad

The touchpad of the device is quite a bit wider than it is tall, and has a very slick and soft finish that makes it a joy to use. There are right and left click buttons built right into the touch-pad with no visible separation, and there is nice feedback on the unit when compressed. The touch-pad is recessed into the device ever so slightly, but it is hardly noticeable in use. I do enjoy this feature however, as it separates the wrist rest from the area which you would actually be touching quite well.

The Matebook X uses Microsoft’s precision touch drivers which work very nicely and support multi-touch gestures. Tracking is great and feels smooth, and I actually enjoy using this touch-pad much more than something like the Dell XPS 15. While some might be wishing for a taller track-pad, the sensitivity is quite high and it only takes one fluid swipe to get from one end of the screen to the other.

Display

The Huawei Matebook X uses a 2k 2160×1440 IPS display with Gorilla glass, and it is absolutely stunning. The display covers 100% of the sRGB color gamut, making it a great option for someone who wants to do some professional color editing on the go. Adding to this, it can also get quite bright, with a peak brightness of 350 nits and a contrast ratio of 1000:1. If you were looking for a laptop with a bright, color accurate screen, this one fits the bill quite nicely.

The device also uses an aspect ratio of 3:2, which is quite a bit taller than the average laptop’s ratio of 16:9. This is nicer for content like websites, and gives a certain aesthetic feel usually only available on tablets. However, most video content is produced for 16:9 displays, so you are going to get some letterboxing on the top and bottom of the screen when watching most videos in full screen. This is barely noticeable however, and the benefits unlocked from a taller screen far outweigh the cons in my opinion.

Speakers

Huawei has partnered with Dolby Audio to produce what I think are some of the best sounding laptop speakers on the market. Even turned up to full blast, the audio experience on the Matebook X delivers clean crisp audio with extremely minimal distortion. Huawei has made a big deal about the speakers in this unit, and now I can see why. This is the first time Dolby has designed custom speakers for a PC, and it is evident that it was important to them that they get it right.

Huawei says that the Dolby Atmos software is able to analyze the incoming audio signal in real time in order to adjust for a better listening experience. This aids in creating a sound signature that is crisp and clean with wonderful bass response and extremely clear dialogue.

Atmos was originally developed for the cinema in order to create a 3D-like audio experience, but the company has finally opted to bring it to notebooks in order to help make the laptop media experience better. While I wouldn’t say the sound feels like it is coming from all around me like Huawei and Dolby are claiming, the experience is certainly much more rich and full than something from a competing laptop. This absolutely blows something like the Dell XPS out of the water in terms of sound quality, and you’ll never want to go back to other laptop speakers again.

There are two motors in each speaker placed within the grill above the keyboard which fire upwards to produce sound. This is a much better implementation than a bottom-firing option as it minimizes distortion, but I do love something like the Surface Book which fires sound directly into your face. Overall though, the audio experience makes me feel as though I don’t need external speakers, and I’m often finding myself wish I could use the laptop’s speakers instead of noise-canceling headphones in the workplace.

Performance

Our Matebook X sports a 7th generation Intel Core i7 7500U dual-core processor running at 2.7GHz with a 2.9GHz boost, 8GB of RAM, and a 512 GB SSD. This is quite a nice set of specs for a laptop of this footprint, which absolutely blows similarly targeted laptops such as the Macbook out of the water. Priced at 1699 €, this notebook comes out to just about the same price as the top model Macbook as well, and it’s base clock is just about twice as fast. The boost clock does come in lower however, so Apple likely clocked their notebook lower in order to preserve battery life.

The Intel HD 620 iGPU isn’t exactly going to be pushing high frame rates in games, but it gets the job done in terms of displaying content and encoding video. When doing basic photo editing we found it to do just fine, but video editing makes it fall a bit short. If you’re simply surfing the web and doing light tasks on this thing, it will be a great option, though you’ll need to be wary of those Chrome tabs and streaming video in the background. While writing this review I had E3 2017 streaming on YouTube, and it caused some pretty major lag. This was while connected to an external display however, and most users will likely be using the laptop on the laptop display itself. That being said, it would be nice to get some smoother computing, so we would have liked to see a higher boost clock than is offered by this laptop.

Heat/Noise

The Matebook X can get quite hot. When I went to install Chrome on the notebook the CPU kicked it up a notch, and the bottom of the device got quite toasty. You’re going to want to use this in a cool or room-temperature area, since there are no fans present in the device. Using this thing on your lap may also get a bit uncomfortable when doing heavier tasks, so you may want to stick to a desk for most tasks. That being said, the heat is more targeted towards the top of the unit’s keyboard, so it’s not generally too uncomfortable to use on the daily.

The Matebook X makes essentially no noise since it is a fan-less design. This is awesome, since it means you will always be able to hear what you need to from the speakers, and you’re never going to be annoying the people around you. While other laptops can get quite loud while under load, the Matebook chugs along silently. This is especially useful for working in public places like coffee shops, where others might be bothered by extra noise. With such silent computation abilities, it’s hard not to love this little laptop.

Battery Life

Battery life is an area which the Matebook X saw very mixed results. Though the company says the laptop can get 10 hours of video playback with 1080p video, our testing indicated 3 hours and 35 minutes of general use using 3DMark’s Home battery test. This test continuously ran a number of tasks that you would do while using your device at home, including writing, photo editing, video chat, casual gaming, and web browsing. We ran the benchmark with the brightness set to 50% just as the company did in their video playback testing, though continuously playing back video may be much more efficient than running a bunch of other services. However, this test included heavier tasks such as light gaming, which is going to significantly decrease battery life on the device.

After using the laptop normally without any gaming included, we saw about 7 hours, so it was likely the gaming and video chat simulation that drained the battery in these tests. That isn’t to say these circumstances wouldn’t come about in day-to-day use, but it is a bit of a stretch to say you are going to do all of these actions in a single charge. My real-world tests included a lot of writing and a bit of YouTube streaming, and we saw much better results in that use case.

The Matebook X uses a 41.4Wh battery, and it charges very quickly. After I ran the battery test that drained this thing dry, I was able to charge it back up to 100% in about 2.5 hours, all while using it with an external display. If you’re someone who needs to be able to juice up your laptop on the fly for a bit of quick use, this laptop will do great.

Price & Specifications

Price
UK
1399 € 1599 € 1699 €
Touchscreen: No No No
Processor: Intel Core i5-7200U Intel Core i5-7200U Intel Core i7-7500U
OS: Windows 10 Home Windows 10 Home Windows 10 Home
Memory: 8GB DDR3 8GB DDR3 8GB DDR3
Storage: 256GB SSD 512GB SSD 512GB SSD
Graphics: Intel HD 620 Intel HD 620 Intel HD 620
Display: 3:2 13″ 2k
(2160×1440)
3:2 13″ 2k
(2160×1440)
3:2 13″ 2k
(2160×1440)
Battery Life: 41.4Wh – Up to 10 hours of video playback 41.4Wh – Up to 10 hours of video playback 41.4Wh – Up to 10 hours of video playback

Gallery

Final Verdict

I was immensely surprised at how much I came to adore the Huawei Matebook X. Though it’s not going to be doing any heavy gaming, its compact size, great keyboard, fantastic screen, and amazing speakers left me wanting to leave my XPS 15 at home most of the time. That isn’t to say it doesn’t have some serious caveats though. The body gets quite hot when under load, and performance can lag a bit if you aren’t great with your RAM management and want to stream video at the same time as doing work. The Intel 620 graphics work fine for general use but won’t get you very far if you want to do anything past productivity. Overall though, it is a great option for those who want a compact option on the go, and it will be more than enough to blast through your daily web surfing and writing activities.

What do you think about the Matebook X? For a first attempt at a full-fledged ultrabook, we think Huawei did a pretty amazing job. Though pricing has only been announced for Europe, we still don’t know when this thing is actually set to hit the market. For those who have been searching for a solid alternative to the Macbook, look no further.

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Nintendo Switch battery life – how to make the most of it!

Nintendo Switch battery

The Nintendo Switch is not just a great console for playing in your living room, but Nintendo has also placed a lot of emphasis on its portability. The concept of being able to play ‘Breath of the Wild’ wherever you want is very attractive, but it has one major shortcoming: battery life. Playing a graphically intensive title like ‘Breath of the Wild’ will only get you about 3 hours of play time when the Switch isn’t docked.

For long flights, the Switch will be unable to sustain its charge. Let’s try to fix that in this Nintendo Switch battery life guide!

Nintendo Switch battery tip 1 – Detach those Joy-Cons!

We’ll start with the controllers. When attached to the Switch, the Nintendo console might be super easy to hold but did you know that they also will keep charging up via the console? Detaching them means they’ll instead run off their own batteries, which should get around 12 hours of use. If you need more juice, then you should consider the Nintendo Switch Charging Grip which is charged via USB-C and also provides a more comfortable grip if you prefer a more traditional game controller.

For flights, you can then put the screen portion into kickstand mode and game with a more traditional controller setup. How much of a real battery difference will this make? Honestly, you’re probably only going to get an extra 15-30 minutes of usage, but when we are talking about such a limited battery life (3 hours) to begin with, every little bit helps.  Anything to help out your Nintendo Switch battery life even a little, right?

Nintendo Switch battery tip 2 – Turn down the brightness

The Switch’s screen is easily one of the most battery-draining components. The good news is that you can turn down the brightness in order to conserve a little energy. To do so, you simply hold the Home Button, pull up the quick settings and slide the brightness slider to the left.

Turning down brightness will make the screen harder to see in daylight, but it can make a huge difference in battery life. How much will depend on the game, but we’d say it’s entirely possible to extend things a good 30+ more minutes by going this route.

Nintendo Switch battery tip 3 – Consider airplane mode

If you’re not interested in playing in kickstand mode and want to keep those joy-cons attached, you might want to consider turning on airplane mode. This will turn off WiFi, Bluetooth, and other wireless connectivity options that typically put a fair amount of stress on the battery. Note that wireless controllers won’t work in this mode, and you’ll be limited to using the Joy-Cons (attached to the system).

The amount of life you save here can vary, but again, we’re talking about at least 15 to 20 minutes extra.

Nintendo Switch battery tip 4 – Battery packs for the win

Honestly, the best way to save battery life is to give up on saving battery life. If you want to play the system the way it has meant to be without resorting to lowering brightness, turning off connectivity, and other little sacrifices — get a battery pack! Just keep in mind you probably won’t be able to use the system in kickstand mode, due to the fact that the Nintendo Switch’s USB Type-C port is at the bottom of the console, and therefore will be blocked.

If you prefer playing with the joy-cons attached, however, battery packs a a great route to take.

A new product called the SwitchCharge is currently being developed with support on IndieGoGo. Expected to be released in August 2017, it fits securely around the Switch and contains a 12,000 mAh battery, estimated to bring the battery life to 12 hours! It too can be charged by an external battery pack and also comes with a more stable kickstand.

Or you can buy a more traditional battery pack, which you’ll find some great portable battery pack options over at our sibling site, Android Authority.

The Switch is beloved by many, and we hope that your battery life problems can be solved to provide you with hours and hours of fun. If you have any other methods that you personally use to keep your Switch alive, drop us a comment below, we would love to hear from you.

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Best smart helmets – keep your head safe while you ride!

According to the 2013 US Census, about 0.6% of Americans use a bicycle to commute to work. The number of registered motorcycles in the USA has grown to over 8 million, as of 2015. Statista also reports over 6.4 people participated in skateboarding activities in 2016. What do all these people (and other active citizens) have in common? They need to keep their heads safe!

There is obviously a high demand for protective headgear, but it’s 2017 and we won’t settle with the bare minimum. Everything is becoming smart and helmets can do much more than keep our heads together. Technology can make helmets safer, funner and more convenient. How? Let’s jump right into our favorite smart helmet products to show you.


Motorcycle helmets

Sena Cavalry Helmet

Any motorcycle rider will recognize Sena. The brand is very well known for its quality Bluetooth communication systems, and many claim they simply can’t be beat. But their devices are usually simple add-ons for any helmet out there. Not this one!

The Sena Cavalry Helmet is a motorcycle half helmet with all communication systems integrated. The unit connects via Bluetooth and has a set of speakers, as well as an integrated microphone. This is by no means a lackluster unit. It can communicate with other communication systems at up to 900 meters, supports voice commands, has a built-in FM radio and can even share music.

Interested? Do keep in mind Sena products are not cheap. This little helmet retails for $ 349, a pretty high price to pay for a half helmet. Its smart capabilities may be worth every penny, though.

Sena Inc Helmet

Now, if you do want a full-face helmet with all the benefits the Cavalry has to offer, Sena is also working on the Inc Helmet. Sena claims this is the first helmet with intelligent noise control, which pretty much means it applies noise cancellation to mute wind noise and other elements that make riding more dangerous and uncomfortable.

In addition, the unit does come with all the bells and whistles. Features include 8-way communication at up to 2 km, ambient audio mode, FM radio, audio multi-tasking, voice commands, Bluetooth 4.1 support and more.

The bad news? You can’t get it yet. This was supposed to launch in early 2017 for $ 799, but we haven’t heard a thing about it for a while. When launched, this is likely to be the best of its kind, though.

LiveMap Helmet

While competitors like Skully and Nuviz have risen and fallen, LiveMap continues standing after an unsuccessful 2013 Indiegogo campaign and years of work. Their complete motorcycle helmet experience is said to be launching in Q2 2018 and you can now pre-order your unit for $ 1500.

Wait, what?! That may seem like a very high price (and it is), but we must also take a look at what this thing can do. For starters, the helmet can project GPS navigation directions straight into your face shield. This means you don’t need to turn your eyes into a tiny display or look around for your phone. Just keep your eyes on the road and white for directions to appear. And that is not all the projector can display; you can also keep track of speed and other parameters.

The helmet carries a fully functional camera, which can record footage of your adventures, as well as evidence in case any accident or incident takes places. The mic and headphones will also allow you to use voice commands, listen to music, answer calls and more.

Neat, right?

Reevu MSX1

This is not exactly a “smart” helmet, but it would be a smart purchase if you like being safe. The one thing it does, it does very well – keeping you aware of what’s behind you.

The Reevu MSX1 turns your helmet into a rear-view mirror of sorts. It takes light from the back, bends it around the head and displays an image of the road behind the rider.

The company uses reflective polycarbonate material that is both more resistant and lighter than glass. There are no electronics going on here, which also means ther eis no need to charge or use batteries. Pretty cool, right?


Cycling, skating and other sports helmets

LifeBEAM Smart Helmet

Forget those annoying chest straps, watches and other accessories that get on the way of your performance. The LifeBEAM helmet gives cyclists the edge by offering seamless heart rate, calorie and performance tracking. You have to wear a helmet to stay safe, so why not add all this functionality right into it?

This gadget is for those who simply want to perform their best while cycling. Unlike most products in this list, LifeBEAM won’t keep you entertained or communicated with the outside world. The technology was originally designed to track pilot vitals, so you know this is no toy.

Interested? The LifeBEAM Smart Helmet can be found on Amazon and pricing starts at $ 175.

Lumos Helmet

Maybe you don’t care about entertainment, communication or vitals. You just want to get from point A to point B, and you want to do so safely. Having a bicycle as a main form of transportation is not as safe as one would wish. You are sharing the road with drivers operating multi-ton machines.

It’s partly our duty to make sure drivers know we are there, and this is where Lumos comes into play. This helmet is equipped with a series of lights that will keep you safe and predictable. The white lights in the front will keep you visible for incoming traffic, while the red lights on the back will keep your 6 clear.

There is a wireless turn signal controller you can mount on your handlebars. IT does exactly what you are imagining; simply press the left/right buttons to let drivers behind you know where you are going. The helmet can also sense when you are slowing down and turns on a brake light, but this is still a beta feature.

Interested? No need to wait! Just head over to the Lumos Helmet website and get this helmet for $ 169.

Airwheel C5

The Airwheel C5 is for the adventurous souls who want to have fun, share their experiences and keep themselves safe. It does come with speakers and a microphone, making it possible to listen to music, get audio directions and even answer phone calls.

The camera can be used for multiple functions, including photo shots, video and even security monitoring. That’s right! Just leave your helmet can keep an eye on your home and any abnormalities will be noticed upon your return. Its WiFi connection also allows users to share their adventures through social networks.

Interested? You can get one from Amazon starting at $ 124.99.

Classon Smart Helmet

The Classon Smart Helmet is very unique. Not only because of its features, but the helmet itself is designed in a very interesting way. It almost looks like a flat cap. But be sure that it has all the necessary materials and features to keep you safe.

The Classon Smart Helmet can detect when you are slowing down and signals a brake light for those behind you. It also knows when you are using hand signals and starts blinking its own turn signals to help you out.

My personal favorite feature is its ability to tell when a car is incoming. There are front and rear cameras keeping track of your environment, and a light will blink in your peripheral vision when something dangerous approaches your blind spots.

The unit’s lights can also help you navigate through town. And if you want to share your rides videos can be pulled from the camera feed.

The bad news is that this product is not yet available. It was launched via Indiegogo and is scheduled to ship this September. Those who want to sign up for one can pre-order it for $ 149.

Add-ons

Fusar Universal Smart Helmet System

These smart helmets are very convenient, but they are often not the best looking. Nothing beats getting your favorite helmet and simply making it smart; that is eactly what the Fusar Universal Smart Helmet System does.

The kit comes with a camera that mounts on top of your helmet, a handlebar remote control and a Bluetooth headset. The main unit features a 16 MP Sony CMOS sensor that can record video up to 1080p @ 30 fps (more modes will be added after the first update). It also comes with a gyroscope, magnetometer, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS positioning, IP67 certification and a 2300 mAh battery that can last up to 4 hours.

Meanwhile, the included headset has a rider-to-rider intercom with a 50 feet range, Bluetooth 3.0, DSP noise cancellation and a 1-hour battery life. And most functions can be controlled with the 3 buttons found in the remote.

Interested? You can pre-order the Fusar Universal Smart Helmet System for $ 499.99. It is scheduled to ship this summer, though, so you will have to wait a bit to get your hands on it.

BE-LINK Helmet Bluetooth Audio System

You don’t need all those fancy features? Maybe all you want is to rock to your tunes and the BE-LINK audio system (version 3.0) will do just that for a pretty low price. This thing goes for just $ 49.99 and can be installed into any helmet. Its battery can go for up to 9 hours and the company promises great sound coming from its 30mm drivers.

Sena 20S

Motorcycle communication systems are very popular among riders, so we thought it was important to add one to the list. The Sena 20S is not only what we consider the best bang for your buck, but it has become a favorite among many motorcycle enthusiasts.

This thing can do it all. Its Bluetooth 4.1 capabilities will keep you answering calls, listening to music and following directions seamlessly. Talking about doing all these things – you can do them simultaneously. The Sena 20S is special in that it uses audio multi-tasking. This means you can continue talking to your buddies while listening to music or following navigation instructions. No distractions or interruptions!

It does feature a universal intercom with up to 2 km of range and can connect with up to 8 riders. Voice commands, advanced noise control and FM radio will also help make that ride more comfortable.

Interested? Sena is not exactly cheap. This specific communication system currently goes for about $ 269 on Amazon.


Wrapping up

Stay safe and enjoy the ride, guys. We have shown you some awesome tools to do so, but please do hit the comments if you want to recommend some of your favorite helmet tech. Have any of you used these? How do you like them?

The post Best smart helmets – keep your head safe while you ride! appeared first on TabTimes.

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The best standing desks – pros, cons, and should you buy one?

Standing desks are all the hype these days. People are spending big bucks on these hot office commodities. Why? Should you jump off your chair and stand with this new trend? In this post we are going to tell you all about standing desks, their pros/cons and our picks for the best standing desk you can buy. Stick around for all the details!

But what is a standing desk exactly?

A standing (or stand-up) desk is a workstation designed to keep you on your feet or a high stool, as opposed to sitting on a more traditional chair. These desks can take multiple forms and shapes. Some move up and down to adapt to different positions, while others are static. Users even build or buy extensions to turn their regular desks into standing ones, but we will talk more about different versions later in this post.

The benefits and downsides of standing desks

So why would you want to stand while working? Good question, and it mostly has to do with potential health gains. According to the Annals of Internal Medicine, a sedentary lifestyle has proven to be detrimental for your health, even if you try to counteract this with exercise after the fact.

Harvard experts claim not moving too much can affect more than just your cardio-vascular health. And there are studies backing this, linking higher risks of obesity, cancer and type 2 diabetes to sitting down for prolonged periods.

Let’s take a closer look at how these studies word things, though. A sedentary lifestyle and sitting for long periods of time is bad for you, that’s for sure. But this doesn’t exactly mean that standing up for long periods of time is exactly the solution.

Via Amazon

Whether you are sitting or standing, doing so statically is the problem. Not to mention that standing up for long periods of time can add back problems to the equation. And if you are thinking this will help you lose weight — nope, you need to do more than just stand to accomplish that! A study from the NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) confirms standing still doesn’t burn enough calories when compared to sitting to make a difference on weight loss, yet it does affect your energy levels. This means you will just be getting tired without really helping the obesity issue.

The point here is that standing, in and of itself, won’t negate the effects of working in front of a computer all day. The clue to a healthy body is keeping it in active movement. With that in mind, let us remind you that just buying the best standing desk and using it won’t help. Instead, see it as a tool to keep your workflow in different positions and your body in constant movement. Sit down for a bit, stand for another while, try to keep your printer and other tools far away to inspire more activity and so on.


Best standing desk – Our top picks

With that in mind, we do still stand by the fact that using a standing desk correctly has its benefits. Are you looking to get yourself one? There is are tons of options out there, so let’s show you some of our very own top picks and help you find the best standing desk for your needs.

Fully Jarvis Bamboo Adjustable Standing Desk

Standing desks can be really expensive, but you don’t really have to spend thousands of dollars on a flat table that moves up and down. There are some great options for acceptable prices, and the Fully Jarvis is actually the cheapest option in this list at a starting price of $ 470.

The desktop is made of sustainable bamboo, with no pesticides, fertilizers or colorants. The frame can handle up to 350 pounds of weight, so be sure this thing can carry all your office items. Sizes start at 30×27 inches, and the biggest version is 78×30 inches. You can include extras, such as locking casters, pencil trays, monitor arms and desk lamps.


Uplift Height Adjustable Desk

Uplift’s prices can be pretty reasonable if you don’t go crazy with the upgrades. Basic Height Adjustable Desks start at $ 499 and measure 42×24 inches. The basic versions can be upgraded to 80×30 inches.

You can get pretty fancy with Uplift, though. L-shaped and corner desks are also available, but those can go up to the thousands of dollars, depending on the type of material, space, upgrades and other factors.


IKEA BEKANT Desk

No need to go looking for obscure manufacturers. IKEA has joined the standing party with their BEKANT Desks. Just like everything else IKEA makes, the BEKANT Desk is simple and clean. It does come in a multitude of colors and shapes, though, giving users plenty of options to choose from. And prices start at only $ 479!

The height can be adjusted between 22 and 48 inches, covering most statures and positions. It also comes with a 10-year warranty and has everything you can expect out of IKEA furniture, such as a seamless design, easy-to-clean surfaces and a very functional nature.


UpDesk Ultra UpWrite

UpDesk is not to be ignored. They created the UpWrite, one of the most popular standing desks. Every news source was talking about it for a while, and for good reason – it is a great tool with no bells and whistles. It is also pretty expensive with a base price of $ 899 for the 48×30 inch version. You can upgrade to 60×30 inches for $ 949 and 72×30 inches for $ 999.

Is it worth the cash? This desk is a favorite for many reasons. It can carry over 375 pounds of weight and is pretty quiet doing so. Not to mention its steel footings, integrated chord management, mounted power strip and easy-to-work motor system.


Get off your chair!

That’s the end of our best standing desk guide! Now get off that chair! Keep your body moving and extend your life! Then use that extra time to hit the comments and tell us your thoughts on standing desks. Are you buying any of these? Are there any others you would recommend?

The post The best standing desks – pros, cons, and should you buy one? appeared first on TabTimes.

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What is a meme?

what is a meme

We see them everywhere we go: memes. For a long time I had no clue what those funny pictures with the big block text on them were actually called. Maybe you are, or were, in a similar boat? Today, we will take a look at what a meme is and hopefully share a few interesting tidbits of meme history!

Definition of a meme

The Oxford English Dictionary tells us that a meme (mi:m) is a noun:

1. An element of a culture or system of behavior passed from one individual to another by imitation or other non-genetic means.

2. An image, video, piece of text, etc., typically humorous in nature, that is copied and spread rapidly by Internet users, often with slight variations.

A few of you will know (okay.. VERY few) that the word takes its origin from the Attic Greek ‘μίμησις’ which translates to imitation or making a likeness (Perseus Encyclopaedia). So when you see something like the meme below, we can tell that the meme in question is by taking a popular image from the film ‘Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’, and creating something similar.

what is a meme

 This imitation is achieved mostly by using the Candy Man’s expression to make it appear that he really could be saying the new line of text. The first official use of the word “meme” has been credited to the well known evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book “The Selfish Gene”.

History of internet memes

One of the earliest internet memes came in 1996, when the 3D dancing baby model became one of the first viral hits. Versions of the baby showed up on a number of TV shows, most prominently on Fox’s hit dramedy Ally McBeal. Yet another early internet meme hit was the Hamster Dance web site in 1998, featuring animated GIF images of dancing hamsters and other rodents.

The popularity of the many internet memes that center on images with big blocks of white texts can be traced back to 2007. That’s when Eric Nakagawa and Kari Unebasami took an image of a cat found on the Something Awful site and placed a new caption on top: “I can has cheezburger?”. The image was posted on their website and the rest is history. While similar images were previously posted on the 4chan site, the “I can has cheezburger?” meme caused the trend to really take off for a more mainstream internet audience.

Uses of memes on the internet

In today’s internet-centric society, we have been rapidly moving away from proper long-form conversations and have been moving towards instantaneous communication brought about largely by social media such as Twitter. We may be only allowed 140 characters, but that does not mean that we cannot stick a meme into our tweets to make them more impactful. Pictures, as opposed to text, have much more pull on our emotions. Memes have also made their way into the political sphere, proving that they can be used to spread more serious information. Making someone laugh, by showing them a meme, can impact the way in which they view a subject, which is one way that people can use memes to change the public opinion.

Memes play an important part in bringing us all together, and Facebook has proved to be a wonderful platform for that. Just by searching on Facebook, you can find meme groups and pages for a variety of pop culture topics. Even college communities have been making pages for their memes, one of the first being the UC Berkeley page which quickly spread, and now most of the Ivy League have pages dedicated to their humor!

Let us know what you thought of our detailed discussion on memes in the comments. And if you want to see some of the finest memes available, check out our gallery of the best Android memes!

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