Wednesday, November 30

The technology without which I could not have “lived” this 2021 | Digital Trends Spanish


Phones, laptops, smart home connected devices, screens… Hard to give an exact number of all the computers that passed my desk this year. Of course, there are some devices that I decided to purchase on my own, once the analysis was done. So, by way of recap, I write to you about the technology without which I could not have “lived” this 2021, to put it somehow.

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Mesh or mesh system (Wi-Fi 6)

Wi-Fi 6 will be the norm for most connected products launched in the coming years. And it is that it is a standard whose capacity is four times higher than 802.11ac (or Wi-Fi 5), while its range can be double.

Throughout 2021 I have already tested some Wi-Fi 6 compatible phones and computers, and in order to make the best use of them, I decided to order the system mesh TP-Link Deco X60, the basic two-piece package (enough to cover a total space of 460 square meters).

This meant having stable coverage —without changing the network— anywhere in my house, even for those products compatible only with the 2.4 GHz frequency.

“The X60 is ready for the current ‘technology ecosystem’ of people and also to welcome all the new next-generation devices that you plan to buy later,” was the conclusion I reached in the review of this product.

New streaming services

There were three streaming services that excited me for their arrival in Mexico —and other parts of Latin America—, where I write these lines: Paramount Plus, HBO Max and Star Plus. The problem is that it takes time to see all the content they host.

In the case of the last two, the live sports billboard that they made available to the region was surprising, so watching the Champions League matches or F1 races was as simple as running the respective application.

In any case, the service that most hooked me was HBO Max, especially for new proposals such as Landscapers, Mare of Easttown, The White Lotus Y Succession. In the end, I was left with only two of these new services: WarnerMedia and Paramount Plus (Star Plus’s live options are incredible, however, it also has one of the highest costs for Mexico compared to streaming platforms).

Free photo and video editing programs

DaVinci Resolve

Editing videos or photos is not one of my primary job duties. It is true, there are moments in which it is necessary to modify the color or contrast of an image, or to cut a clip with the idea of ​​sharing it on social networks.

Thus, paying for a license for these actions is like spending on a streaming service that rarely runs. Some free editing programs are a good fit for the casual user who might be me.

When it’s time to edit some personal videos I use DaVinci Resolve, but make no mistake: it offers professional options, so it is also suitable for advanced people when it comes to moving images.

In photo, I make use of GIMP when I need a somewhat detailed edition – it can also be as complex as the user wants -, while for simple cuts and automatic color, tone and contrast modifications, I resort to Photopea (some of your options, in fact, look just like Photoshop), which doesn’t even require installation as it runs online.

MacBook Air with the M1 chip

MacBook Air M1, one of the best laptops for photo editing
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

It’s true, the MacBook Air with the M1 chip It is a product that arrived in 2020, however, I acquired it in mid-2021: it represented my return to macOS after having been for a couple of consecutive years with different Windows 10 machines.

I know a 13-inch screen might come up short at this point, but since I knew it would be anchored to my desk alongside an external 27-inch monitor, I had no doubt that this would be the laptop for me.

What I can say is that the performance presented by the MacBook Air is a champion in every sense of the word. It does not start to waver even when it has spent a considerable day responding to the most diverse tasks of productivity and entertainment. No less important is that it intuitively links to AirPlay-compatible displays and sound systems.

Here is what I wrote at the time as part of the computer experience: “More than one point can be mentioned that could lead to problems later with this laptop, such as storage and low number of ports (again, the inclusion of a hub is almost imminent). But there is nothing to object to him when talking about his answer, which seems to have been tailored to the needs of whoever sits in front of his screen, regardless of whether he is a student or a professional ”.

Audio system with Dolby Atmos

It was quite a discovery to equip my smart screen with the new sound bar Sonos Beam, compatible with Dolby Atmos surround audio technology.

The most incredulous will say that a connected TV already provides good audio quality, and they may be right. The truth is that a soundbar how this will give you another dimension when it comes to entertaining, one in which it seems that sound “moves” in a three-dimensional space, that is, it is not limited to the channels that were so important a few years ago.

Likewise, it is worth noting that there are more and more streaming platforms that are compatible with Dolby Atmos, from the interesting HBO Max to the emerging Apple Music.

For all these reasons, the second-generation Sonos Beam is interesting for those of us who, for the first time, enter the category of sound bars. Perhaps we were not so aware of the “deeper” experience that could be obtained from the various entertainment services.

Connected appliances for home

Inadvertently, this year I purchased a variety of “simple” gadgets that connect to the internet, from wall plugs to an indoor webcam. The phone remains the configuration and management bridge.

And since the screen that I used the most in 2021 has Google TV integrated, I almost always chose to set the Assistant of the Californian company by default in the different gadgets that were arriving.

I have used Alexa with a satisfactory experience, however suddenly one smart assistant overlaps the other. People who use Apple software and hardware know this well: Siri is almost always the first choice.

What is certain is that this trend that everything will be connected begins to consolidate in the so-called end user, having more and more electronic devices with the ability to link to others through the home internet network, as can be demonstrated in my case .

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