Posts Tagged: Best

The best smart pens for 2021

Smart pens tend to be a niche item for students and certain professionals with extensive notetaking tasks. If you need a smart pen, we have some suggestions.
Android | Digital Trends

Best Samsung Galaxy Note 20 deals for December 2021

Here’s all you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra, along with the best deals.
Android | Digital Trends

Best Cyber Monday Chromebook deals 2021 — what’s still available

Need a new laptop for work or study? Here are the best Cyber Monday Chromebook deals you can shop today.
Android | Digital Trends

The best Android games available (December 2021)

The Google Play Store is loaded with some terrific titles — and some terrible ones. We’ve vetted all the options to bring you the best Android games around.
Android | Digital Trends

Best Verizon Fios new customer deals for December 2021

Looking to save by bundling your internet, landline, and TV plans? We’ve got the best Verizon Fios deals here.
Mobile | Digital Trends

Best Cyber Monday Tablet deals 2021 — what’s still available

Cyber Monday is the last chance of the year to grab some massive bargains. Here are the best Cyber Monday tablet deals you can still shop.
Android | Digital Trends

Best Cyber Monday Phone deals 2021 — time is running out

Here are all the best Cyber Monday phone deals you can shop now that Cyber Monday has arrived in all its glory.
Android | Digital Trends

Best Cyber Monday deals 2021: 215+ deals from $25

We help you plan for and shop the best Cyber Monday deals for a wide variety of products.
Wearables | Digital Trends

Best Cyber Monday Apple Watch deals 2021: Early deals today

Black Friday is over, but the best Cyber Monday Apple Watch deals are now arriving. These are the best picks you can shop right now.
Wearables | Digital Trends

Best Cyber Monday Kindle Deals 2021: Early offers today

From the lead-up to the end of the sales, we’ll be tracking all the Cyber Monday Kindle deals available this year right here.
Mobile | Digital Trends

Best Cyber Monday Smartwatch Deals 2021: Early offers today

Check out the best Cyber Monday smartwatch deals here, with offers from retailers on wearable devices from brands like Apple, Samsung, Fitbit, and Garmin.
Mobile | Digital Trends

Best Black Friday iPhone deals 2021: Sales you can shop right now

The year’s sales bonanza has begun, and the biggest Black Friday iPhone deals are here. We’ve already rounded up all the best picks right here.
Mobile | Digital Trends

The best small smartphones you can buy in 2021

In a world of phablets, some of the smallest smartphones can still pack a punch. We take a look at some of the best smaller smartphones you can buy right now.
Android | Digital Trends

The best portable power stations

A power generator keeps gadgets running for camping trips and short outings. Here are the best portable power stations available.
Emerging Tech | Digital Trends

The best smartphones for 2021: Which should you buy on Black Friday?

Here are the best smartphones on the market today. From the iPhone 13 Pro to the Pixel 6 Pro; if you’re shopping for a new phone, we’re here for you.
Mobile | Digital Trends

The best Pixel 6 Pro screen protectors

The Pixel 6 Pro is the most premium smartphone Google has ever made, featuring a stunning display. Protect it with one of the best screen protectors.
Mobile | Digital Trends

Best Black Friday smartwatch deals 2021: Cheapest prices today

Check out the best Black Friday smartwatch deals here, with offers from retailers for wearable devices from brands like Apple, Samsung, Fitbit, and Garmin.
Android | Digital Trends

Best Black Friday Kindle deals 2021: Deals you can shop today

From the lead-up to the end, we’ll be tracking all the Black Friday Kindle deals available this year right here.
Mobile | Digital Trends

The best Google Pixel 6 Pro cases and covers

The Pixel 6 Pro features a powerful Google-made chipset and a triple-lens camera. Protect it with the best Google Pixel 6 Pro cases available now.
Android | Digital Trends

The best 5G phones to buy in 2021

5G coverage is constantly growing. If you’re near a major city, maybe it’s time to start shopping for a new 5G phone. Here are the top phones that support 5G.
Android | Digital Trends

Best iPhone 12 deals for November 2021: iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro

If you’re after iPhone 12 deals, iPhone 12 Pro deals, or discounts on the iPhone Mini, we’ve got them all right here.
Mobile | Digital Trends

Best Black Friday Chromebook Deals 2021: Cheapest prices today

Need a new laptop for work or study? Here’s are the best 2021 Black Friday Chromebook deals you can shop now.
Android | Digital Trends

GameSir T4 Mini review: One of the best pocket game controllers

New week, new game controller to review. There’s no shortage of these for any kind of preference you might have, and GameSir has been putting out tons of great options over the last few months, whether you want an Xbox-style controller, something designed for touch screens, or anything else you have an itch for. We’re […]

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The best tablets for 2021: Which should you buy on Black Friday?

Here are our picks for the best tablets in every category, so you can find the right one to fit your needs.
Android | Digital Trends

Best Black Friday Phone Deals 2021: Cheapest prices today

Here are all the best Black Friday phone deals you can shop today, as well as some buying advice to help you make the right decision.
Android | Digital Trends

Best Black Friday Tablet Deals 2021: Cheapest prices today

Here are all the best Black Friday tablet deals you can shop today, with some useful buying advice to help you make the right decision.
Android | Digital Trends

The best cheap Fitbit alternatives for workouts

As much as we love Fitbits, they’re rather expensive. If all you want is a simple activity tracker, however, then check out these great cheap Fitbit alternatives.
Mobile | Digital Trends

The best Fitbit for men in 2021

Attention guys! If you are intent on a healthier lifestyle, a Fitbit may be in your near future. Here are some of the best Fitbits available for men.
Wearables | Digital Trends

The best gifts for the creatives in your life

If there’s an artist in your life the best gift you can give them is inspiration. Whether they’re a painter, writer, musician or anything else. Something to get their creative juices flowing will be welcome. Trust us. There are countless ways to spur creativity and aid the creative process — many of which don’t require spending any money, like meditation or simply taking a long walk. But there are tools out there that can help someone stretch beyond their comfort zone, or simply document and fine-tune their own ideas. From subscriptions, to books, to extremely bizarre instruments, here are the best gifts for the creative in your life.

You Are an Artist by Sarah Urist Green

Items for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
Will Lipman Photography for Engadget / Penguin Books

It might seem counterintuitive, but sometimes just being told what to do is a great way to spur creativity. Because, truth is, rarely is the actually creative part in the original idea, but rather in the execution of it. The problem is, once someone leaves school nobody is giving them assignments any more. That’s where You Are an Artist comes in, a book compiled by Sarah Urist Green, the host of PBS’ The Art Assignment on YouTube. It’s a collection of 50 assignments crafted by a diverse set of artists to help get the creative on your list, well, creating.

Many of the assignments focus on visual arts, asking them to make endless copies of an image using a Xerox machine, or to take random photos of a location and make notes on details they might normally miss. But there are others that encourage them to hum or clap along with the sounds of traffic, or engage in word games. You Are an Artist is the sort of book they’ll probably revisit time and time again. — Terrence O'Brien, Managing Editor

Buy You Are an Artist at Amazon – $ 13

Apple Pencil (second-gen)

Apple Pencil 2nd generation
Valentina Palladino / Engadget

The iPad has become a key tool for creatives over the years and arguably nothing has contributed to that more than the Apple Pencil. Most of the newest iPads support the second-generation Pencil and it’s admittedly much more convenient than the first purely for its magnetic charging method. But otherwise, the Apple Pencil is the best stylus I’ve ever used because it has little to no latency and that helps mimic the feeling of drawing with a traditional pen and paper.

While investing in a paper-like screen protector will blur the lines even further, you don’t have to do that to get an excellent experience from the Apple Pencil. Drawing is seamless, taking notes is a breeze (especially with iPadOS 15 if you use Apple’s Notes app) and the possibilities are endless once you get familiar with third-party programs like Procreate. Battery life is superb, too: I’ve spent hours drawing in Procreate or experimenting with different planner layouts in GoodNotes and I have yet to pause a session to recharge the Pencil. While the Apple Pencil hasn’t completely replaced traditional art forms for me, it’s certainly the most useful tool I own for when I want to be creative. — Valentina Palladino, Commerce Editor

Buy Apple Pencil (2nd gen) at Amazon – $ 129

Astrohaus Freewrite smart typewriter

Items for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
Dan Cooper / Engadget

The Freewrite smart typewriter is a niche device that would nonetheless make a wonderful present for any aspiring writer. Or, come to think of it, anyone who is already committed to the art of putting words to the page. The Freewrite combines an excellent mechanical keyboard with an E Ink display, and while it can get online to sync drafts to the web, that's the only thing it can do. There's no way to browse the web, play a game, or watch YouTube on the Freewrite, which makes it a lot easier to just sit down and get into a flow state. The E Ink screen and keyboard can take a little getting used to, but both things quickly become assets when just looking to get some writing done. And thanks to the low-power display, the Freewrite lasts for a week or two of heavy writing. At $ 600, it's a serious investment — but gifting one to an aspiring writer should give them great motivation to write that book they're always talking about. — Nathan Ingraham, Deputy Managing Editor

Buy Smart Typewriter at Freewrite – $ 600

Factory Records: The Complete Graphic Album

Mute: A Visual Document: From 1978 – Tomorrow

Items for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
Thames & Hudson

Decades worth of record label design offers a wellspring of visual aesthetics to kickstart your own creativity. There are even a few monoliths of music and design culture that succeeded in the record industry without succumbing to the corporate machine. Factory and Mute records are such creatures. Spawned in the UK in the late ‘70s (though only Mute remains today), both companies informed generations through tales of — sometimes careless — business tactics and quality curated output. In general, they were groups driven by a DIY aesthetic and creativity unhindered by official structure.

Not only did these labels champion freedom of musical expression and help drive new genres of music, but they also became an outlet for visual designers. Most notably, Peter Saville’s (found) cover art for Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures album (Factory) is ubiquitous today with its mountainous range of wavy lines. Spending time digging through either of these books which are chock full of art, music and history can get your creative juices flowing. Either are a welcome gift for family, friends or even yourself. — Jon Turi, Homepage Editor

Buy Factory Records at Amazon – $ 34Buy Mute: A Visual Document at Amazon – $ 45

Ruhlman's Twenty by Michael Ruhlman

Items for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
Chronicle Books

I’ve gotten to the point in my cooking journey where trying recipes isn’t as interesting to me as learning new techniques. Do I have a pile of go-to recipes in my Paprika app? Yes, but now I’m more interested in mastering cooking methods that essentially set you up to make your own recipes from scratch. Ruhlman’s Twenty is one of the “cookbooks” I’ve been turning to the most in my quest, and if some of the concepts in the book may seem basic, that’s because they are. Most cooking shows and online recipe blogs don’t explain why they add an acid to a tomato sauce or how to get a perfectly crispy french fry rather than an oily, soggy mess — but this book does. It takes you back to basics, explaining the proper techniques behind different ways of cooking, so that you can understand what’s happening to your food as you prepare it. And don’t worry, it doesn’t read like a textbook and there are even complete recipes in there for you to follow if you wish. Ultimately, Ruhlman’s Twenty has made me a more competent cook who isn’t forced to consult a recipe every time I prepare a meal. — V.P.

Buy Ruhlman's Twenty at Amazon – $ 19

Make Noise Strega

Items for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
Make Noise

A new instrument can be a decent way to snap someone out of a creative rut. But even better than a new instrument is a weird instrument. And if the musician in your life likes things on the weird side, I highly recommend the Make Noise Strega. It was designed in collaboration with Alessandro Cortini (touring member of Nine Inch Nails), and eschews most of your usual synth controls and makes sounds that are best described as weathered.

The front panel is a confounding array of glyphs and lines that look like something out of a book on the occult. The express goal of the Strega is to get someone experimenting — literally poking and prodding at the various touch panels that serve as modulation sources and destinations using a person's own body as a patch cable. It won’t be for everyone, but if you’re shopping for the kind of person who loves lo-fi warbles and nightmarish drones, they’ll love the Strega. — T.O.

Buy Make Noise Strega at Sweetwater – $ 599

POTAR Design's Sound Urchin

Items for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
POTAR Design

Okay, calling the Sound Urchin an “instrument” might seem like a stretch, but the otherworldly sounds it creates are sure to inspire the musician in your life to tackle composing differently. It’s essentially a bunch of metal rods stuck to a guitar pedal enclosure with a microphone inside it. The rods aren’t really tuned in any traditional way, which allows for the creation of unexpected melodies, but it can also be a source of clanging percussion or ominous wails. When paired with some effects this strange little box is capable of being the basis for an entire composition — albeit a slightly odd one.

This particular recommendation came courtesy of Abby Santourian, a Chicago-based musician and music gear expert at Reverb who told Engadget via email: “For centuries, artists have been inspired by the sea, but I think this takes that idea to a new level…. When combined with other pedals and effects, the sonic possibilities and combinations are seriously endless.” — T.O.

Pre-order Sound Urchin at Potar Designs – $ 125

The Artist Way by Julia Cameron

Items for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
Will Lipman Photography for Engadget / Souvenir Press

If you’ve heard about Morning Pages, or Artist Dates, both are two core habits established in The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron’s decades-old book on creative practice. That’s probably the most straightforward way to describe this book, which walks you through a 12-week program of writing exercises and tasks, all aimed at freeing up your creative powers. The crux of it is demanding three pages of handwritten writing every day. While it’s often a stream of consciousness — and if your handwriting is atrocious, barely legible — Cameron’s advice is to simply put the writing out there, and see where it takes you. Famous fans include Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert, Alicia Keys and practically half of the comedians whose podcasts I listen to, it seems. The book does get a little bit spiritual at times, which you may or may not be fine with, but the core exercises and ideas can be pretty powerful, especially if you’re in a creative rut, or simply looking to add more artistic output to your day-to-day life. — Mat Smith, UK Bureau Chief

Buy The Artist's Way at Amazon – $ 25

Moog Subharmonicon

Items for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
Moog

Another slightly weird instrument to consider is the Moog Subharmonicon. The sounds it produces are more “standard” than the Strega (for lack of a better term), but its sequencer and focus on subharmonics are anything but. It takes inspiration from a pair of early experimental electronic instruments — the Mixtur-Trautonium and the Rhythmicon. The Subharmonicon encourages one to explore the concepts of subharmonics and polyrhythms to create unexpected melodies and rhythms. It’s capable of that classic Moog sound, but it will also force someone out of their comfort zone. — T.O.

Buy Moog Subharmonicon at Amazon – $ 699

Sensel Morph with Thunder overlay

Items for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

Sometimes a person doesn’t need whole new sounds to get the creative juices flowing, but just a new way of making those sounds. The Sensel Morph is an impressively portable and flexible MPE MIDI controller with amazing shapeshifting possibilities. It can be a piano, a pad-based drum machine, a sketch pad, or an obscure controller inspired by Don Buchla — the driving force of West Coast-style synthesis.

The Buchla Thunder overlay marries the expressive possibilities of the Morph with an approach to composing melodies and harmonies that it’s fairly safe to assume your giftee has never experienced. Instead of a traditional piano layout it’s a series of pads organized into a roughly bird-like shape that you’re supposed to tap and slide along to create unique timbres. Its unfamiliarity forces anyone to stop thinking about what they already know about playing music and focus instead on the results.

Plus, the Morph has a number of other overlays so, if the Thunder has worn out its welcome, it’s still incredibly useful and flexible. — T.O.

Buy Morph with Thunder overlay at Sensel – $ 269

Splice Creator plan

Items for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
Splice

Sure it’s easy to just grab a drum loop from the top of the Splice charts and wind up sounding like everyone else. But there are far more interesting ways to find sounds. For one, search results can be shuffled. So, rather than just using the same Rhodes sample that thousands of other bedroom producers have relied on, a person can hit the shuffle button and grab something that might be flying under the radar. This technique can also be combined with searching for random terms on Splice, rather than pulling up specific instruments. (Just Google “random word generator” and use that as the basis for a search.) There are lots of interesting and sometimes strange sounds and loops to be found by searching for things like “clinic” and “preparation.”

The entry-level $ 10 Sounds+ plan includes 100 sample credits. But your giftee would probably really appreciate the upgrade to the Creator Plan. That includes 200 credits, plus access to Splice’s surprisingly excellent Astra soft synth, its Beatmaker drum machine plugin and a library of tutorials and lessons on music production under the Skills banner. Sometimes, when you’re not sure what to do, simply learning a new skill or trick can get the creative juices flowing again. — T.O.

Get Splice Creator Plan

Tascam DR-05X

Items for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
TASCAM

A decent field recorder should be in pretty much every artist’s arsenal. For a musician, obviously, it’s valuable for recording samples and capturing impromptu jam sessions. Anyone can buy sample packs, sure, but building a custom drum kit from snapping twigs and the crunch of dead leaves is a surefire way to get someone thinking outside the box.

But even beyond that, it’s great for documenting ideas and finding inspiration. Yes, there are voice-note apps, but your giftee might like having a dedicated (and distraction-free) tool for documenting ideas, inspiring sounds and capturing interesting lectures or panels. A writer can set a recorder up and talk through the plot of a novel they’re working on, without worrying that their battery will die. Or a painter can record the ambience of a cafe they frequented while traveling in Paris and revisit it to find inspiration for a new work. — T.O.

Buy Tascam DR-05X at Amazon – $ 119

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

Best Garmin watch deals for November 2021

Garmin makes some of the best fitness wearables, and we can help you find the right one at the right price with this roundup of the best Garmin watch deals.
Wearables | Digital Trends

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is ONLY $200 at Best Buy today

Right now, you can pick up the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 for just $ 200. It’s a smartwatch deal that you don’t want to miss.
Wearables | Digital Trends

The 100 best Android apps (November 2021)

Finding all the best Android apps for your device can be a time-consuming task. We’ve rounded up our top 100 apps, with something for every occasion.
Android | Digital Trends

Best Black Friday Fitbit deals 2021: What to buy today

Fitness enthusiasts shouldn’t let Black Friday Fitbit deals end without taking advantage of them, as there are nice discounts on the brand’s different models.
Wearables | Digital Trends

The best solar chargers for your phone or tablet

Tired of worrying about charging your phone while on the trail? These six solar chargers can help in a pinch.
Emerging Tech | Digital Trends

The best AT&T phone deals for November 2021

If you’re a current or new AT&T customer in need of a device, we’ve got the best AT&T phone deals right here.
Android | Digital Trends

The best iPad Pro deals and sales for October 2021

Shopping for the absolute best and beefiest tablet money can buy? Look no further than these iPad Pro deals.
Mobile | Digital Trends

Best Amazon Fire tablet deals for October 2021

Whether you want a tablet for yourself, your kids, or for grandchildren, you can choose from two generations of cheap Fire tablets with three display sizes.
Mobile | Digital Trends

The best telescopes for 2021

These six telescopes are excellent for both first-time stargazers or your family’s most-learned astronomer.
Emerging Tech | Digital Trends

The best fitness trackers for 2021

Looking for your first fitness tracker or an upgrade to the one you’re wearing? Here are our picks for the best fitness trackers that are available right now.
Wearables | Digital Trends

The best smart notebooks for 2021

Part digital, part analog, put pen to paper with smart notebooks that save your writing and doodlings to the cloud. Here are a few of the best available now.
Android | Digital Trends

The best FPV drone videos of all time

Check out the some of the best FPV drone videos you’re ever likely to see, created by incredible pilots at the top of their game.
Emerging Tech | Digital Trends

The best smartwatches for 2021

Smartwatches offer notifications, fitness tracking, and more. Choosing one is the hard part, so to help, here is our list of the best smartwatches you can buy.
Wearables | Digital Trends

Apple Watch Series 7 Review: The best smartwatch you can buy, by far

Spoiler alert: The Apple Watch Series 7 impresses at every turn, and does everything you could want and more.
Wearables | Digital Trends

The best Bluetooth trackers for 2021

Always losing your keys? You’ll probably want to invest in a Bluetooth tracker. We’ve picked some of the best on the market to help you keep track of things.
Emerging Tech | Digital Trends

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 down to lowest-ever price at Best Buy — but hurry!

The GPS, 42mm version of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is down to $ 300 on Best Buy, after a $ 50 discount under the retailer’s early Black Friday deals.
Wearables | Digital Trends

The best cheap Samsung Galaxy S20 deals for October 2021

If you’re after Samsung Galaxy S20 deals, Galaxy S20+ deals, or Galaxy S20 Ultra deals, we’ve got them here.
Android | Digital Trends

Best Prime Day Drone deals 2021: What to expect

Prime Day is nearing and we’re checking out what to expect from the Prime Day drone sales that should happen soon.
Emerging Tech | Digital Trends

The best USB-C cables for 2021

Many new smartphones require USB cables, as do various accessories. Our roundup of the best and most versatile cables on the market will make your choice easy.
Android | Digital Trends

The best iPhone to buy in 2021

Shopping for a new iPhone? We compare all of the current models available to determine the best options for every need and budget.
Mobile | Digital Trends

The best Android smartwatches for 2021

If you’re looking for a smartwatch to pair with your Android phone, here are the best Android smartwatches for 2021.
Android | Digital Trends