When it comes to VR, imagination’s the limit. That’s why it’s constantly developing, whether we’re talking about headsets, games, or controllers and other peripherals. Even though virtual reality is a relatively new field, there’s already many variations, so it’s high time we took stock of and sorted through everything.
What kind of VR headsets are out there? What do they have to offer? And which one will give you want you want and need? No doubt, in the near future, VR will evolve in ways both exciting and alarming, but here’s a quick guide on what’s available in the here and now.
How to Choose a VR Headset – Buying Guide
When researching this article, we realized we wanted to talk to someone in the VR industry who was both consumer and insider, who buys and plays around with headsets as an excited fan, but also who’s caught up on all the newest trends and developments. And so we interviewed Tony, the SkarredGhost.
Tony has been interested in tech since he was very small. In 2014, he co-founded Immotionar, a VR startup aimed at bringing the entire human body into the virtual world (instead of just your hands and head).
He currently pens the blog The Ghost Howls, where he talks virtual reality, augmented reality, and startups. He's also active on social media, where he talks tech and business, sometimes seriously, sometimes jokingly, but always with a lot of passion.
・The Ghost Howls Blog: https://skarredghost.com/
Tethering: The Tools You Use Will Affect Your Gaming Experience
VR headsets can be tethered–in other words, connected to a device that does the bulk of the processing. Or, they can be standalone or mobile-based. And the tethering will predetermine a lot of other factors, from quality, to price, to user-friendliness.
PC: The Best Specs, but Useless Unless You Have a High-End Gaming PC
The most powerful piece of tech you have at your fingers is probably your computer. So it stands to reason that desktop headsets, which require a continuous connection to a high-end PC, offer the best of VR. These will give you the clearest and least laggy graphics, as well as a huge selection of games.
But all of that comes with a cost. First off, it’s the most expensive–pretty much always upwards of $300. And that doesn’t even include the cost of the powerful PC and graphics card you’ll need to own to run the software. (The Vive Pro, for example, demands at least a GTX 1060 or RX 480–and the newer, the better.)
It also requires the most setup–whether that be of external cameras used to track the player’s movements or a huge cable connecting you to your desktop (that you will constantly trip over). The cable’s such a nuisance, in fact, that some people have tried to get around it by wearing what’s essentially a PC-backpack hybrid.
And, regarding the tethered headsets, they can offer a world with better-looking graphics. While, on a standalone like the Focus or the Quest, this is impossible. If you render a huge number of polygons, you'll have something like one frame per second and you’ll probably vomit in 30 seconds of gaming. So it depends on the power of the device—this is the real problem of standalones.
Console: Only Slightly Inferior to PC Headsets, but a Good Deal Cheaper
We say “console” headsets, but what we really mean is PSVR–it’s the only one that’s out right now. If you have a PlayStation, the PSVR is a cheaper, viable option to a desktop headset. The graphics aren’t as clean, movement isn’t as smooth, but the experience is still comparable to what headsets tethered to $1000 gaming PCs will give you.
Setup is pretty self-explanatory. You plug your PlayStation into your TV, your headset into your PlayStation, and add on the PlayStation camera. The camera needs to be angled so it can see you and your hands–and hopefully track everything. We think the PSVR is user-friendly and a good match for middle-class consumers, but it does have one big weakness, as Tony mentions below.
Someone told me, for instance, that if it’s Christmas and you have a Christmas tree behind you while you play with the PSVR, the tracking goes completely crazy. So there are some problems. Otherwise, the experience is worse than PC but good anyway. And this is the reason why PSVR is selling very well.
Smartphone: Affordable and of Pretty Nice Quality–If You Have an Android
You could say there’s two kinds of VR headsets for smartphones–the kind that is basically a piece of cardboard you strap onto your head and high-quality devices with smooth, colorful graphics. Everything looks a bit angular and cartoonish, of course, but the individual pixels aren’t that noticeable, and it’s a pleasant experience overall.
Set-up is also pretty easy; you just strap your phone into the cardboard ones, or plug them into the fancier headsets. The only thing is, the nicer headsets are only compatible with Androids. And it will remain that way until Apple begins its foray into virtual reality.
Also, while cardboard headsets can technically be used with any device, always check out the recommended screen size. Otherwise, your phone might be too big and not fit into the device, or it might be too small and slide around inside the device–thereby preventing the illusion from working.
However, not all cardboards are equal. I have a cardboard here that I bought for maybe $20 on Amazon, and it’s terrible. It has terrible lenses; the cardboard is very uncomfortable and such. But, when I went to a friend’s company, I tried the cardboard that they bought, and the optics were good and the comfort was so-so. It depends a lot on the manufacturer.
On the other side of the spectrum, there's high-quality headsets the Samsung Gear VR. They provide high-quality VR with great visuals, with comfort, and all the rest. Of course, you’re fixed; you can only rotate your head, but at least you have a good experience. The problem is they cost a bit more, especially because you need a high-quality phone. But, the difference is noticeable.
Standalone: Portable and You Don’t Need to Gather Any Other Gear
Standalone is perhaps the most user-friendly; you take it in your hands, you turn it on, you put it on your head, and you’re gaming. There’s nothing to plug it into–Vive, actually, calls its Focus “instant-on.” Takes just a few seconds to set it on your head.
Of course, you have to fit all of that processing power into a device light and small enough to go on your head, so the graphics aren’t going to be as crisp, the movement not as smooth. The games standalones provide are also not as deep or numerous as those available on tethered devices.
But maybe you've seen that, some months ago, I interviewed Mr. Alvin Wang Graylin, the regional president in China of Vive. And he said a very interesting thing to me. He said, “In my opinion, the standalone is the one that will go to the masses. While the tethered headsets—the premium experiences— will be for enterprises or for gaming.”
He made the comparison with cars. He said the standalones are like the Sedan—the kind of cars that everyone has. And the gaming, tethered headsets are BMWs, Mercedes, Porsche—these kind of high-quality cars for people who want more performance.
How Do the Graphics Look?
To make yourself really believe you’re in a virtual world, the main things you have to trick are your eyes. Does everything look solid and not pixelated? Does the world around you seem to move in conjunction with your body? Many factors contribute to graphics; here are a few of the most telling.
To Immerse Yourself, You Can’t Go Wrong with OLED and a Resolution of at Least 1080×1200 per Eye
If you see huge pixels wherever you look, it’s a sure giveaway you’re in a digital world. Currently, most headsets offer a resolution of at least 1080×1200 per eye, which is good enough for an immersive experience. This is, however, just one guideline–and below, Tony talks about other ways manufacturers try to make pixels less noticeable.
As for the display, it can be either LCD (liquid crystal display) or OLED (organic light emitting display). Generally speaking, OLED will give you richer, saturated colors and cleaner images. (And they’re more expensive.) However, LCD technology is still evolving. If you look at newer LCD screens, oftentimes, they change colors just as quickly and look almost as good as OLED displays.
What's important is that you don’t see the pixels, and, with current headsets, this isn't possible. The only one that claims such a rich resolution is a headset called the Varjo. Varjo is a company that makes enterprise headsets. And they feature something like human eye resolution, so you shouldn’t see the pixels when you put the headset on. But its cost will be in the $5,000 - $10,000 range.
So the aim is reaching that level of quality, but, at the moment, with the average consumer headset, it's not possible. The more resolution you have, the better—the visuals are better, it is more credible, and such.
For Minimum Lag, See if You Can Get a Refresh Rate of 90Hz
Refresh rate is a measure of how fast your display updates the image on its screen; if a frame is illuminated 70 times per second, then you have a refresh rate of 70Hz.
90Hz will give you fluid motion. If you need to compromise, try not to go below 60Hz. If the game lags too much, your brain gets confused. You would turn your head, only to have the system update the visuals 2 seconds later–the perfect recipe for motion sickness.
However, if you go below 60, I will notice that as well. For instance, if you go to 30, you’d start to see lag; you turn your head, and the display lags in responding to your movements, to what you do, and so becomes really unpleasant.
I think that that the minimum to have a good VR experience is 60Hz, 60 frames per second. And the current standard is around 90Hz. And the future—what we’re shooting for is 120Hz.
Field of View: You’ll Be Fine with Something Around 100°
The wider the field of view, the more real the environment feels. Humans have a monocular FOV of about 200° (what you see through separate eyes) and a binocular FOV of around 120°(what you see through both eyes at the same time)–this overlapping area is where we have depth perception. Vertically, we have a FOV of around 130°.
In an ideal world, your entire field of view–including the monocular–is covered by your VR headset. However, it takes a lot of computing power to provide that much image in high quality.
That’s why devices out now aim to cover just your binocular FOV. After all, we see only a tiny, focused region in high resolution, and our peripheral vision is blurry. So, with current technology, we’d say a FOV of 100° is a good threshold for an immersive VR experience.
And there's also this little thing that few know about—a bigger field of view means also more motion sickness. So it's a little drawback of having a bigger field of view. But, anyway, it's what we want to have.
I noticed how field of view is important when trying HoloLens, which is an augmented reality headset. A little field of view of like 30° really breaks the magic—you don’t have the illusion anymore. You just have a tiny window where you have the mixed, the augmented reality, whatever.
Tracking: It’s Cool to Walk Around, but Is Your Room Big Enough?
Some headsets offer a huge play area. The Oculus Rift and the Vive can now follow your movements across a space of around 10 ft²–this is known as room-scale tracking. We hardly need to talk about how much more immersive the experience is if you can use your own two legs to move around.
Of course, if you live in a tiny studio apartment that’s crammed with stuff, you’re going to crash into things. For room-scale tracking, you need to measure out a space dedicated to VR. Setup is also more of a pain, because you have to position the sensors or cameras in such a way that they can keep track of you across the entire play area.
It was fantastic because I could move and see everything moving smoothly around me. You get a sense of freedom when you have untethered VR with room-scale tracking.
Content: Check First to See if Your Favorite Games are Available
Chances are, you want a VR headset with access to a bunch of content. Manufacturers that have been around for a while, that have a number of devices out, are going to have the most extensive libraries.
But there’s a few other things you can consider when looking at content. Do the manufacturers have any partnerships? Vive, for example, works with Steam, which is an extensive game library. Do you like any of the games currently available on the device? Not only can you play those, but you can also look forward to sequels in the future.
After Oculus, we have Steam. There are lots of Steam VR games that are great. Steam is the best place to find games for PC, and even for VR, it is the same. The VIVEPORT is lagging behind a bit because it is a new ecosystem, so it has few high quality games at the moment.
PlayStation is another topic; it has its own walled garden. I don't love PSVR, but I know that it is a great console and a good ecosystem for gaming because it is a console. So it has some exclusive titles like Resident Evil that everyone is vying for.
Peripherals: For Comfort and Realism, You Want Streamlined Controllers and Audio Systems
Sometimes, peripherals can be game-changing. Some VR headsets still use gamepads, which are fun, but many new controllers are streaming onto the market, such as motion-tracking wands. The more streamlined the design is, the more real everything feels.
The Tracker for the Vive, for example, looks like a big hockey puck. You attach it to things, which it automatically turns into a controller. You can stick it onto a racket and play a virtual game of tennis, for example. Or you can mount it on a gun, and where you point the gun, your digital crosshairs will follow.
Also, check out if the headset comes with integrated audio. If not, you will have to plug in separate headphones. If you’re an audiophile, you might prefer this because then you can use your own high-end audio system. But it is extra weight on your head. Integrated audio systems will be much more comfortable, and while the sound isn’t topnotch, it’s good enough for a believable VR experience.
But it’s better, for instance, than the Vive controllers that are very big and can be used only as a magic stick and not as a true hand. But Valve is developing these controllers called the Knuckles that will substitute for the current Vive ones.
And these Knuckles are very interesting because the hand emulation will be better than Oculus Touch and let you, for instance, squeeze objects in VR. It also lets you completely open your hands. So, for instance, you can, in VR, take a ball and then launch it in a very natural way. We are all waiting for these new controllers because, in my opinion, they will take VR another step further.
Mixed Reality Features: It’ll Let You Both Check in on and Manipulate the Real World
VR was made to help us escape from reality, so pass-through–the ability to see footage of the real world through your display–is still a relatively new and unpopular feature. However, it’s worth checking out, for a couple of reasons.
If, for example, you need to read a text message, or respond quickly to something in the real world–a strange sound, for instance–you can do so without taking off your headset. It also opens up lots of gaming and programming possibilities, where you can digitally manipulate the real world in whatever way you wish.
I don’t know if you remember this song from the 80s—“Take on Me” by a-ha. In the music video, part of the world is drawn by pencil and the other part is the real world, so there is this kind of portal, this kind of window that takes you continuously from the real world into this drawn world.
And someone made a demo for an AR kit that was something similar. So these are the kinds of fancy effects that you can have with headsets.
Top 5 Best VR Headsets for Smartphone to Buy Online
So let’s say you just want to dip your big toe into the water, see what VR’s like. And you’ve got a pretty decent phone. Then we recommend picking up one of the headsets below–whether of the cardboard or classier kind–to get a taste of what VR can do.
5. Official Google Cardboard
Perfect for Testing out VR: It’s Cheap, It Works, and It’s Cute
This is your threshold into VR. For $15, you get depth, as well as a sizeable library with curated titles. The cardboard, however, was made more for virtual adventuring than games. Forget controllers–there’s not even a head-strap, which means you have to hold the cardboard up to your eyes like binoculars. So you can watch immersive videos or take a tour of the International Space Station, but you can’t interact with anything.
However, the views you get are believable. The setup is also easy, though it’s vital you align your phone properly. You also need to make sure you hold the cardboard at the right angle and distance from your face; otherwise, you could strain your eyes or experience motion sickness.
4. MERGE VR/AR Goggles
The Clearest and Most Comfortable Cardboard (Actually Foam) Headset
A lot of MERGE apps are meant for kids. The Miniverse gives you some stories and shooter games, as well as a fair amount of travel and educational content. (You can, for example, tour Ireland or visit St. Peter’s tomb at the Vatican.) Setup and pairing is pretty easy–you just have to read a QR code, and your phone tells you what to do next.
While the Merge may look fancy, it is still a cardboard-type VR. (Well, it’s actually made of foam, which makes it quite comfortable.) It does little more than act as a vessel, and the quality of your experience will depend largely on the phone you have. But the MERGE is compatible with both iOS and Android, and the focus is passably clear. (The lenses do occasionally slide out of place.)
3. Google OEM Daydream View
Extremely Cushy and Breathable, with Decent Content
Look at that thick layer of foam. The Daydream View is super cushy, the fabric is breathable, and the bands distribute weight evenly across your head. It works with a variety of top-class Android phones, but iOS users are out of luck. The graphics are crisp, especially for a smartphone headset, and you get a FOV of 100°–an improvement over the 90° view of the previous model.
The Daydream has just a couple hundred apps in its library, and they’re basically reiterations of simple smartphone games: shooters, one-room mysteries and horrors, as well as some virtual roller coasters and underwater adventures. But the biggest flaw is probably that you can’t adjust focus, so if you’re myopic, you have to keep your glasses on (or get contacts).
2. Pansonite VR Headset with Remote Controller
Integrated Audio, Clear Images with a FOV of 120°, and AR/MR Capabilities
Remember how we talked about mixed reality earlier? The Pansonite has a removable front plate, which means you can use your smartphone camera and overlap the real and virtual worlds. You also have a dial on top to adjust focus, and the pictures are clear–constrained, of course, only by the quality of your phone–with a FOV of 120°.
There is integrated audio, but it’s aux input, which means you need an audio jack on your phone. (Another setback for Apple.) And, it seems that the controller is only compatible with Android. (iOS users, there is another version of the headset without the controller, and it’s cheaper!) The comfort isn’t bad. The headset itself is light, and the leather pad is cushy and breathable.
1. Samsung Gear VR w/ Controller
You Get Comfort, Resolution, and Content–Only If You Have a Samsung Phone
The controller might not imitate a human hand, but it allows you to interact with your game in ways other smartphone VR headsets simply do not. It’s a motion wand, and it has a trigger, which will make shooters a lot more fun.
The cushion that goes around your eyes is soft, and Samsung added a few more air vents, making the headset breathable. It’s easy to adjust focus, and you get a resolution of 1440×1280 per eye. (Though, of course, remember that the Gear is compatible only with Samsung phones, and the graphics have to stay at a level that smartphones can handle.) The biggest downside to the Gear is that there’s no positional tracking–meaning the headset can’t tell when you’re walking.
Top 3 Best VR Headsets for Console and PC to Buy Online
These are the most powerful VR headsets, so if you’re picky about quality, turn here. But, remember that a headset is only as good as the device it’s tethered to–so unless you have a hi-spec PC (or a PlayStation), owning these will be no more than a dream.
3. Sony PlayStation VR
Solid, Believable Graphics and a Compelling Library of Games
The images are crisp enough–though, out of the holy trio we’ve introduced here, PSVR lags behind the most in terms of optics and boasts the lowest resolution. But, either way, the graphics are good enough that you feel like you’re in another world. And the screen is capable of reaching a refresh rate of 120Hz, which means smoother movement.
Where the PSVR really falls short, however, is the tracking. It depends on the PlayStation camera. If the camera isn’t positioned right, the VR loses track of you and of the Playstation Move controller, which will result in your virtual hands madly flying around. There’s also no integrated audio. But, as gamers will know, PlayStation has an impressive game library, and this holds true for the VR as well.
2. HTC Vive Pro
For Techies: The Headset with Graphics and a Tracking System that Are Subtly the Best
If we talk highly technical specifications, the Vive Pro is the best right now. It features a fancy AMOLED display and a resolution of 1440×1600 per eye. What this means in plain speech you get clearest, least blocky graphics currently possible, but it’s still nowhere near human eye resolution (where you can’t see any pixels), which might not be available for at least another 1-3 years. But you also get the biggest, most accurate tracking area (33 ft²) and integrated headphones.
If the price is too steep, you can get the original Vive for half the price, and the specifications are only slightly lower. The Pro is for techies that worry about fine details and subtle improvements; in other words, it’s a prosumer device, which is why it comes in second.
1. Oculus Rift + Touch Virtual Reality System
Mind-Blowing for the Average Consumer: A Compelling Game Library and Streamlined Controllers
As Tony mentioned, the Rift has the most to offer to everyday consumers. It’s got an extensive game library, with a number of compelling titles, such as Lone Echo, which captures the majestic, uncanny feeling of floating in space. There’s also bundles available on Amazon, which give you immediate access to games like Marvel’s Powers United and Robo Recall.
The Rift features a refresh rate of 90Hz, an OLED display, and a resolution of 1080×1200 per eye. You need a third sensor for room-scale tracking (8 ft²) and must place them so both your hands and head are visible at all times. So the tracking is slightly less reliable–but remember too that currently the Touch controllers offer the best hand emulation available to the average consumer.
Top 3 Best Standalone VR Headsets to Buy Online
Now, we move into the final stretch: standalone VR headsets. These are the most arguably the most convenient because you don’t need to worry about whether it’ll be compatible with your smartphone or whether your PC (and graphics card) is powerful enough.
3. HTC Vive Focus
Superior Graphics and Tracking, and Still Evolving
When it comes to numbers, the Focus wins hands-down. It has an OLED screen with a resolution of 1600×1440 per eye and a refresh rate of 75 Hz. In addition, HTC arranges the pixels in a way that makes them less noticeable. The headset has 6DOF tracking, meaning it knows when you’re walking–and, theoretically, it can follow you anywhere. There are also integrated speakers.
Despite all this, the Focus ranks in at three because it’s available in the U.S. only for developers. The VIVEPORT has few apps–though you can now access StreamVR through a 3rd party software called Riftcat. Also, many features are still in development, such as 6DOF emulation for the current 3DOF controller (which only tracks rotation). So, for now, the Focus is only for VR fanatics.
2. Lenovo Mirage Solo
WorldSense Tracking Allows Leaning, Ducking, and the Taking of a Few Steps
What we loved most about the Mirage Solo was Google’s WorldSense tracking, which follows your steps so you aren’t limited to tilting your head. However, you’re only allowed to duck and shuffle around a center point. If you stray too far from the center, the game pauses, which can be frustrating. Also, the Daydream ecosystem is sparse and doesn’t include many games that take full advantage of the tracking system. However, it’s nice being able to lean into a painting.
The refresh rate is just a bit higher than the Go, at 75Hz, and the resolution is the same, at 1280×1400 per eye. There is no integrated audio–but the extra technology still makes the headset weigh in at about a pound and a half. The weight, is, however, well-distributed.
1. Oculus Go (64GB)
For the Average Consumer: All-Around Good, but Not Breath-Taking Specs
Even though the Oculus Go doesn’t need to be connected to anything, it lacks positional tracking; that means it doesn’t know when you walk around. But if you can get your fill with seated experiences, the Go has a solid resolution of 1280×1440 per eye and a refresh rate of 72Hz. Nothing that will blow your socks off, but enough to ensure that the experience is pleasant.
There’s also integrated audio, in the form of spatial speakers. The sound quality is pretty good, but if you have roommates, you might want to pair up headphones anyway. You also get access to the Oculus Store. Honestly, the Go is like a version of the Gear–but without the Samsung phone. Note, too, that there’s two storage sizes: 32 and 64 GB, the former $50 cheaper.
To be honest, the best of VR is still to come. In fact, Oculus has just announced the Quest, which next year may become the best standalone headset ever. And none of the headsets available now lets you freely use your body or fully satisfies the human eye. After all, our bodies are complex machines–and to build a device that can truly make you lose track of reality is no small feat.
But these headsets are fun and innovative. They’re exciting and game-changing. And they’re at the forefront of a new consumer market. So, decide: do you need to see the very best VR has to offer right now? Or do you just want to get acquainted with VR and wait for future developments? That will decide which of the headsets above is right for you.
In 2016, virtual reality went mainstream with inexpensive VR headsets for smartphones. No longer did people have to have a high end gaming PC to experience the joys of virtual reality. There’s so many types of VR headsets on the market today, and VR apps are becoming more and more complex–so if you’ve been on the wall about getting a VR headset for your iOS or Android, now’s the time. The question is, what should you be looking for when you purchase one? How to Choose a VR Headset for Smartphones – Buying Guide Before you buy your VR headset, there are some key things to consider. Choose a Headset That Fits Your Phone VR headsets have a compartment in front where you store your iPhone or Android. It’s important that the smartphone isn’t rattling around in the headset, since VR relies on splitting the screen into two sections. There’s usually a physical divider in the headset, which’ll tell you how you should line your phone up. If it’s skewed, you aren’t going to get that immersive e
Live free of wires! It’s 2018 and Bluetooth headsets are more popular than ever due to their form factor, style, ease of use, and most of all, convenience. With so many extra features–such as being waterproof, optimized for Skype, or noise cancelling–it can be daunting deciding which headset will suit you best. Brands like Sony, Bose, Jabra, LG, Logitech, Plantronics, and more are all vying for your attention but never fear, help is at hand. As such, we’ll be looking at how to choose the Bluetooth headset that’s right for you based on features and functionality. Once all that’s said and done, there’ll be a top 10 list of the best Bluetooth headsets to buy online. So what are you waiting for? Let’s take a look. How to Choose a Bluetooth Headset – Buying Guide When deciding on a headset, it’s best to choose one tailored to your needs. Here are some points to consider when choosing your headset. The Four Main Types You’ve got four main types of Bluetooth headsets. They’ve all got streng
If you’ve been studying Japanese for long enough, you’ve probably considered investing in a Japanese-English electronic dictionary. Ubiquitous in Japan and full of more (and better) resources than you could ever have on your phone, it makes sense to have one if you’re serious about your study. But with so many models each with different functionalities, it can be hard to pick one out. In this guide, we’ll cover the things you should look for when choosing an electronic dictionary so that you can find the right one for you. If you’re still stuck at the end, we have a list of our 7 favorite options (available in the US) for you to consider. How to Choose a Japanese English Electronic Dictionary – Buying Guide Because there are so many different functions on a Japanese English electronic dictionary, we figured it’d be most practical to pick out the most important ones and talk about them one by one. After all, when faced with a daunting task, the most efficient thing to do is divide and c
eBooks have come a long way and gone through many transformations since being released over ten years ago. The advantages of eBook readers are multifold over spine-and-cover books and tablets. You’ve got obvious things like memory space, to clarity and lighting, distraction free reading, and even waterproofing. With so many different companies, ranging from Sony to Amazon, there are tons of options. To find the perfect eBook reader, think first–what kind of bookworm are you? Benefits of an eBook Reader There are many reasons to switch from traditional books to eBooks. The following are a few of the biggest. The Power of a Library in the Palm of Your Hand Instead of having to carry around an entire library on your back, with an eBook reader, you can carry thousands of titles in one handbag-sized tablet. And that tablet will sort and alphabetize your titles for you–something that’s near impossible in the unkempt homes of reading addicts. Something else about eBook readers: when you ne
If you’ve got an audio player, smartphone, or action camera, you’re going to need a Micro SD Card. And you’ve got quite a few choices: storage sizes that range from 64 GB to 128 GB to 400 GB, as well as the formats SD, SDHC, and SDXC. Here, we’ll introduce the basics of SD cards and talk about how to choose one. We’ll look at speed ratings, cost performance, and additional support, then talk about 10 great SD cards you might want to look into. The Basics of Micro SD Cards You’re looking through a shelf of micro SD cards, and you’re beset by computer terminology, jargon left and right. Leaves you pretty clueless on what to buy, right? Let’s go through the basics. The Simplest: Cost Money is something we all understand. Micro SD cards start off at around $10 and end up in the $100 range. What makes for the difference in cost? Mainly, data storage size and data reading/writing speed. Then you’ve got the location of the manufacturer (whether it was made in the good old USA, or not). Of cou
Whether you want to hit like Federer or play casually with friends, choosing a tennis racket is a big decision. Many beginners, however, only know names like Wilson, Head, or Babolat, while frame, head size, weight, strings, grips, and other features remain a mystery. But never fear! We’ve compiled a list of the 10 most popular tennis rackets online for beginners, or those in the market for new equipment. No matter your skill level, we’re here to help you find the perfect racket to improve your game. How to Choose a Tennis Racket – Buying Guide Before introducing our recommendations, we’ll explain some important features of a modern tennis racket point-by-point. We’ll focus on three major aspects here: weight, head size, and frame stiffness. It’s okay if you don’t understand yet; just keep reading. Choose a Weight According to Your Strength One of the most important points to consider when choosing a racket is the weight. Generally, rackets weigh about 300 g, but the range can
For most of us, spending hours on the computer is almost an inevitable part of life. Unfortunately, that can leave our arms and wrists stuck in uncomfortable positions for an unhealthy amount of time, leading to issues like carpal tunnel syndrome. But using an ergonomic mouse pad can help! Ergonomic mouse pads are designed to keep your hands and wrists in more natural positions to prevent injury. But because we all use the computer differently and have different needs, it’s important to pick the right one for you. This guide will help you to figure out what just you’re looking for. If you’re still stuck at the end, we’ve also got a list of our ten favorite mouse pads for you to start your search. How to Choose an Ergonomic Mouse Pad – Buying Guide Deciding to get an ergonomic mouse pad can change your computer usage for the better–if you get the right one! Pick a Support Material Based on Your Computer Usage There are two main types of wrist supports: memory foam and gel. Each has the
In 2018, many vehicle owners simply use their smartphone’s map app, but there’s a whole range of advantages to having a physical GPS system in your car. These devices come with a variety of optional features, such as advanced lane guidance, forward collision warning, and even DVD players. We’re going to recommend the top 10 GPS systems for your vehicle, taking into account the features they offer and how well they get you from point A to point B. Let’s explore the world of GPS technology! How to Choose a Car Navigation System – Buying Guide Sometimes, a smartphone just doesn’t cut it. Having to constantly look down, then back up towards the road is dangerous. So, if your car doesn’t come with one, it’s probably a good idea to acquire a NAVI system (unless you’re one of those dads that stick to physical maps; in which case, good for you). So we’re going to take a look at a bunch of different NAVI features and help you settle on a system that’s right for you and your ve
The bound, the wind, and electric crack of a well-executed smash. The shuttlecock coming down like lightning at 200 mph. For fanatics, a pro badminton match is as mesmerizing as the roar of a thunderstorm. And now, you want to get in on the fun. Step one: get a good racket. Rackets vary in size, flexibility, and weight; each adjustment is made to suit a certain play style. On top of that, you can get a racket for cheap at your local WalMart, or real expensive at a specialty shop. So, what racket should your humble amateur play with? Let’s talk. How to Choose a Badminton Racket – Buying Guide Let’s start out with what features make a badminton racket a good partner. Choosing a Racket Based on Weight You’re going to be swinging that racket for a long time, so watch the weight. Weight is denoted by a U. But be careful, the smaller the number, the lighter the racket. Here’s a rough guide on the numbers. (Caution: they do differ by brand.) 5 U: around 75 g – 80 g 4 U: around 80 g – 85 g
You’re at a concert and, as always, the band is a series of impressionist blurs on stage. You need opera glasses. After all, sporting events, concerts, plays, and the opera are all more exciting when you can actually see what’s going on. Opera glasses aren’t limited to those dainty lorgnettes you see in movies, exclusive to Victorian era ladies up in their boxes. There’s actually a diversity of types and features. So let’s talk about what opera glasses are and how to find one that’ll work for you, in the 21st century. How to Choose Opera Glasses – Buying Guide There’s so many numbers and terms that come with a good pair of opera glasses: objective lens diameter, real field of vision, magnification. What does it all mean? Let’s try to make everything a little clearer. How Far Are You From the Stage? Magnification A common misconception: higher magnification means clearer images. Actually, higher magnification will shrink your field of vision, and make the images more susceptible to shak