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How to Manually Switch AirPods Between Mac, iPhone, and iPad

If you love your AirPods or AirPods Pro, you might want to use them with all of your Apple devices. Here’s how you can manually switch your AirPods or AirPods Pro between Mac, iPhone, and iPad in just a couple of taps or clicks.

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Khamosh Pathak

The Best Portable Photo Printers for iOS and Android Devices

Best Portable Photo Printers of 2020 for smartphones at homePixieMe/

Being able to quickly print off your favorite photos from your smartphone is great for making instant memories or scrapbooking. These photo printers can be taken anywhere and do a great job of bringing memories to life.

Although these printers are small enough to take with you anywhere, they aren’t your only option for printing photos. If you want larger photos than what these portable printers can offer, which tend to max out at around 4 x 6 inches, or if you’re looking for super high-quality prints, you should upgrade to a bigger printer, though be warned that larger printers will cost at least double the amount portable printers do.

What to Look for in Portable Photo Printers

Although smartphone photo printers seem deceptively simple, there are actually a ton of factors to consider when buying one. By taking a moment to learn about the myriad options and features, it’ll be easier for you to choose the perfect photo printer for your needs.

  • Paper and Dye Types: Most printers ship with a small amount of photo paper so you can start using it right out of the box, but it’s up to you to keep up with refills. The smaller photo printers use 2 x 3 inch photo paper for the most part, but there are a few that can print other sizes, ranging from 2.1 x 2.1 inches up to 4 x 6 inches. Dye and paper types vary by printer, as well, but most use ZINK—or zero ink—paper, which has dye crystals embedded in the paper that are activated by heat. Others might work like old-fashioned Polaroids, have all-in-one cartridges just like a regular printer (albeit a miniaturized version), or use four-pass dye sublimation to apply colors.
  • Editing Options: The best portable photo printers have companion apps available through which you can import and edit your photos before printing them. Some of these apps focus on basic edits like cropping, brightening, and adjusting the color balance of your photos, while others go all out and let you add filters, emojis, text, and other fun elements for total customization.
  • Connection Options: There are several ways these printers can connect to your phone to print photos. Some require a physical connection, like through a USB port, while others offer digital connectivity options like Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. The majority of printers also work with both iPhone and Android devices, though not all do, so double-check device compatibility with the printer you want before you make a purchase.
  • Power Source: The majority of mini photo printers use rechargeable batteries. While those batteries make them highly portable, they still have a relatively short battery life. Expect anywhere from 10-35 photos per charge, so don’t leave the charging cable behind if you’re planning on doing tons of printing.

Best Overall: HP Sprocket

HP SProcket best portable photo printer for iphones and AndroidHP

The HP Sprocket makes it easy to print all of the awesome photos on your smartphone anywhere you go. The free Sprocket companion app (for Android and iOS) lets you edit and decorate your photos with filters and emojis before printing. It also makes it easy to create custom photo albums and connect your social media accounts for instant printing. Multiple people can connect to the Sprocket at one time, and the app (along with a personalized LED light) shows who’s currently printing in the queue.

The Sprocket prints on ZINK photo paper with peel-and-stick backing, which measures 2 x 3 inches with a print resolution of 313 x 400 DPI. The Sprocket comes with 10 sheets of photo paper to start, and the battery can print about 35 photos per battery charge. The printer connects to your phone via Bluetooth 5.0, comes in four cute colors, and measures 3.15 x 4.63 x 0.98 inches, so it’s small enough to store in a bag or desk drawer.

Best Premium Option: Canon Ivy

Canon Ivy Best premium photo printer for smartphones photo editing appCanon

If you want a mini photo printer with features as premium as its design, look no further than the Canon Ivy Mobile Mini Photo Printer. It comes in three gorgeous colors—rose gold, mint green, and slate gray—and its Android and iOS companion apps offer powerful editing tools, including image filters, frames, effects, AR live filters, collage prints, and tile print options, plus you can add text, stickers, emojis, drawings and more to make every photo look absolutely perfect. Print photos from your phone’s gallery, or directly from your Instagram or Facebook page.

You’ll connect to the printer via the app and Bluetooth, and your pics are printed on 2 x 3 inch sticker-back ZINK photo paper, using a print resolution of 314 x 400 DPI. The photos are water-resistant, smudge-proof, and tear-proof, so they’ll be able to keep up with your adventures. The Canon Ivy is also super portable, as it measures just 3.2 x 4.7 x 0.70 inches.

Best Premium Option

Canon IVY Mobile Mini Photo Printer through Bluetooth(R), Rose Gold

This beautiful smartphone photo printer uses ZINK paper and has an app for editing photos.

For Higher-Quality Prints: Fujifilm Instax

Fujifilm Instax best highest-quality portable photo printerFujifilm

Serious photo lovers will find something to love about the Fujifilm Instax. It offers photo prints in a higher resolution than its competitors (800 x 680p with a print resolution of 320 DPI), which means more details, sharper details, and better color gradation. You can apply light edits to your photos before printing them on the companion Android or iOS apps, apply a collage template, and apply filters and text.

The Instax’s prints measure 2.4 x 1.8 inches and its laser exposure system means fast printing (rough 10 seconds). Its rechargeable battery can charge via the included micro USB cord. You can keep an eye on the film and battery with the LED lights on the side or even reprint a photo in an instant with the handy Reprint button.

For Higher-Quality Prints

Fujifilm INSTAX Share SP-2 Mobile Printer (Silver)

Enjoy larger, higher-resolution prints with a higher DPI and editing capabilities.

Best Budget Photo Printer: Kiipix Portable Photo Printer

Kiipix best budget photo printer scan and print your photosKiipix

The Kiipix Portable Photo Printer takes a slightly different approach to printing pictures from your smartphone. Instead of connecting with a cord, with an app, or over Wi-Fi, it simply scans photos directly from your phone’s screen, so remember to turn your phone’s brightness all the way up. Although the Kiipix’s convenient design means you don’t have to deal with an intermediary app or worry about the device’s battery dying on you, it also means you’ll have to edit your photos elsewhere before scanning them.

Many user reviews on Amazon claim that prints from the Kiipix tend to have a retro look to them, which could be because the Kiipix scans your images off a screen rather than processing the digital image directly. That may be the trade off for its lower price point. Nevertheless, the printer supports two sizes—2.1 x 3.4 inches and 1.8 x 2.4 inches—and it uses Fujifilm Instax Mini film.

Best Budget Photo Printer

KiiPix Portable Photo Printer, Black

Scan photos directly from your phone’s screen and print them without Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

Best Heavy-Duty Portable Photo Printer: Canon Selphy CP1300

Canon Selphy best heavy-duty portable photo printerCanon

If you don’t mind trading off a bulkier frame for more features, the Canon Selphy is a seriously good pick. The photo printer measures 7.1 x 5.4 x 2.5 inches, and it has a built-in 3.2-inch LCD screen that’s perfect for navigating the menu options and editing your photos. There’s even an optional battery pack you can buy for the Selphy if you’re planning on bringing it with you on your next road trip. The Selphy is also compatible with an impressive four photo print sizes: 2.1 x 2.1-inch, 2.1 x 3.4-inch, 3.5 x 4.7-inch, and 4 x 6-inch prints, so you can have both wallet-size memories along with larger photos for a scrapbook.

You can connect to the printer via the Android and iOS companion app or by connecting your device via USB. The app has a fun Party Shuffle feature in which all of your friends can send images from their phones to the printer and it will combine them into a fun collage you can print. It can handle square Instagram prints (hence the 2.1 x 2.1-inch paper option), and even create vertical photo booth prints on 4 x 6-inch paper you can cut in half and share with a friend.

Best Heavy-Duty Portable Photo Printer

Canon SELPHY CP1300 Wireless Compact Photo Printer with AirPrint and Mopria Device Printing, Black (2234C001)

Print four photo sizes, and navigate the menu with the on-board screen and companion app.

Best Photo Printer for iOS: Prynt Pocket

Prynt Pocket best photo printer for iOS iPhone Apple devicesPrynt

The Prynt Pocket has a cool feature you won’t find anywhere else: the ability to embed a video inside your photo print. It uses augmented reality to add a video inside your photo, and all you have to do to see it is hold the Prynt app on your iOS device over the photo and watch. It’s a refreshing way to add some extra fun to the photos you decorate your apartment with or share a secret memory with friends. Or, if you just want to keep it simple and not bother with a video, the app lets you add fun borders and filters to your photo before you print it from the app.

Photos are printed on 2 x 3-inch ZINK photo paper with a peel-and-stick back, and to print a photo, just physically plug your phone into Prynt’s dock and get started. You can pull photos directly from your iPhone’s gallery or your Instagram feed at that point, or take photos and videos in real time with your phone connected to the device. The only real downside of the Prynt is that it’s only compatible with iPhones (sorry Android users).

Best Photo Printer for iOS

Prynt Pocket, Instant Photo Printer for iPhone – Cool Grey (PW310001-CG)

Print photos directly from your iPhone and Instagram page, and embed AR videos.

Best Photo Printer for Android: Kodak Mini 2

Kodak Mini 2 best photo printer for androidKodak

If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of connecting to your photo printer via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi (or physically connecting it), the Kodak Mini 2 you can keep things simple with NFC One Touch … if you’re an Android user. Apple users can only connect with Bluetooth. The mini smartphone photo printer creates 2.1 x 3.4-inch color or black and white prints using a four-pass D2T2 dye sublimation method, and prints dry instantly. Kodak’s cartridges combine paper and ink, and can be purchased in increments of 20, 30, or 50. There’s also a companion app for Android and iOS where you can crop, add filters to, and otherwise edit your photos before printing them.

Most Portable Photo Printer: Polaroid ZIP

Polaroid Zip most portable photo printer photo editing app for ios and androidPolaroid

With the Polaroid ZIP, you’ll have a teeny tiny photo printer that packs a punch. The pocket-sized printer is a godsend for travel bloggers and party-goers alike, and its vibrant prints bring your prints to life. The free companion Android and iOS apps give you the power to edit your photos (think: brightness adjustment, blurring, color temperature adjustment) and even customize them with cute stickers and filters with a dash of creativity. Then all you have to do is zip them over to the printer directly from the app over Wi-Fi.

The ZIP prints pics on 2 x 3-inch ZINK photo paper, which has an adhesive back and is tear-proof, waterproof, and smudge-proof. The Zip’s rechargeable battery handles up to 25 prints on a single charge, and includes the charging cable you’ll need when it’s time to recharge.

Most Portable Photo Printer

Polaroid WiFi Wireless 3×4 Portable Mobile Photo Printer (White) with LCD Touch Screen, Compatible w/ iOS & Android.

This printer’s small size and powerful features make it a powerhouse anywhere you go.

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Suzanne Humphries

Logitech G915 TKL Review: Skinny but Solid

Logitech G915 TKLEric Schoon

It’s been about 10 months since the original Logitech G915 was released, and it’s been positively received since then for its impressive low-profile design, dedicated media controls, and incorporation of Logitech’s “Lightspeed” wireless tech. Logitech’s back at it again with the G915 TKL—a tenkeyless version of the G915. This compact and thin board seems ideal for those with limited desk space, but let’s see if it can live up to its high asking price of $229.99 first.

Looks and Layout

The G915 looks great; the dark-grey brushed aluminum body compliments the all-black keycaps (which thankfully, use nice-looking legends) and buttons perfectly. On top of that is the RGB lighting under each key, button, and the Logitech logo. The lighting is bright and vivid, and there’s a good deal of customization to be had using Logitech G Hub.

Of course, the major difference between the original G915 and the TKL version is the layout. I’m a big fan of the tenkeyless layout, as it opens up a lot more space for mouse movement without cutting out anything too important. If you’ve never used a tenkeyless board before though, it’s just a normal keyboard with the Numpad chopped off (as you can see in the image above).

G915 layoutEric Schoon

Besides that, the only other notable thing about the G915’s layout are the various buttons scattered about the top of the board. Before we talk about their functions though, I want to talk about the buttons themselves. Because these things are way too sensitive. Just brushing your finger over them seems to activate them. This isn’t a huge deal, but it’s annoying anytime you need to move or pick up the keyboard.

Nitpicking aside though, the buttons are still useful to have around. You’ll be frequenting the cluster of buttons on the right side of the board as that’s where the media controls are (i.e., skip track, pause/play, and mute) along with the oh-so-smooth volume wheel.

Meida controls on G915Eric Schoon

The right side features another cluster of buttons. This is where you can enable the “gaming” mode (which, by default, disables the Windows, FN, and Menu keys—more on this later), adjust the lighting brightness levels, and toggle between standard Bluetooth and Logitech’s Lightspeed wireless.

Faster Than Light

G915 Lightspeed WirelessEric Schoon

Speaking of Lightspeed wireless, it’s one of the more appealing features here for gamers. Lightspeed wireless promises ultra-low latency while remaining wireless, which should mean the keyboard is viable to use in competitive matches. Although, you can also plug in the detachable MicroUSB cable to use the G915 in wired mode (alongside charging it).

But how good is Lightspeed really? While I was using the keyboard (for both gaming and typing), I honestly couldn’t feel a difference between the wired, Lightspeed, and Bluetooth modes in regards to latency. But feelings aren’t very scientific, so I spent some time on a reaction-time test in all three modes to see if I could get some more concrete data.

My reaction time (averaged out) was the lowest in wired mode at around 220 milliseconds, then in Lightspeed mode at around 270 milliseconds, and finally, Bluetooth mode where I got around 375 milliseconds. Unsurprisingly, wired mode is still the way to go if you want the lowest latency possible (it was also the least variable). However, Lightspeed is a legitimate improvement over standard Bluetooth wireless for gamers who want to cut the cord.

Solid Build, Shallow Switches

Logitech G915 TKL side viewEric Schoon

Thanks to the aluminum frame, the G915 feels remarkably solid in the hands for how thin (around one inch thick) it is. There’s no flex of any kind (believe me, I tried) and the weight (1,025 grams) is the perfect middle-ground between being light enough to move around easily while not budging when in use. The rubberized fold-out keyboard feet found on the bottom of the board also help ensure the keyboard doesn’t move while in use.

With how thin and solid this keyboard is, you could safely throw it into a bag without much to worry about. And, don’t worry, the thin frame doesn’t lead to thin battery life, because this keyboard can last up to 40 hours while in Lightspeed wireless mode with the backlighting on, with it lasting about 45 days with the lighting off according to Logitech G Hub.

But when it comes to a keyboard’s built quality, the main thing that matters, in the end, is the typing experience. The G915 is a mechanical keyboard, but it doesn’t use standard MX-style mechanical switches. To achieve the ultra-thin design, Logitech designed the low-profile GL line of switches. They’re about half the height of standard mechanical switches, and use a completely different stem design (so most aftermarket keycaps are a no-go).

GL Tactile switch on G915Eric Schoon

So, how do they feel? My unit has the GL Tactile switches, which are your standard brown-style switches (the most popular of which are the Cherry MX Brown switches). Comparing them to the Gateron Browns I had lying around, I was impressed by how similar they felt—although the difference in travel distance was immediately apparent. Of course, that low travel distance is ideal for competitive gaming, but even for typing, the switches feel pretty good to use. They don’t match the satisfaction that standard mechanical switches will give you, but for what they are, they’re more than fine.

As I said, my unit has the GL Tactile switches, so I can’t say too much about the GL Clicky or GL Linear switches that are also available. However, I think it’s safe to say that they’ll feel pretty similar to other blue- and red-style switches respectively—except for travel distance.

The (Bad) Software

Logitech G Hub

Everything about the G915 so far has been great, but if it has one major weakness, it’s the software. The G915 requires you to use Logitech G Hub to customize anything about it. This limitation, by itself, is finebut it would be a lot easier to swallow if G Hub felt like software that was worth using. G Hub can be difficult to navigate, and it feels clunky to use overall. It has this drag-and-drop design that, while in theory is a good idea, feels terrible to use thanks to the laggy interface. But, of course, G Hub’s UI being bad is hardly an original complaint.

But that’s all set dressing, functionality is what matters most. Unfortunately, G Hub doesn’t impress with that either. The biggest problem I have with the G Hub is the options when it comes to reprogramming keys. You have some nice options, such as program-specific actions (for example, muting yourself in Discord); creating program-specific profiles (which automatically kick-in when the program launches); and a macro creator which, while unpleasant to use, does feature everything you’d need to create complex macros. (It even records mouse input from non-Logitech mice.)

Key reprogramming in Logitech G Hub

The annoying part is that the only keys you can reprogram are the Function keys. You can switch between three layers on the fly, so that’s technically 36 keys in total, but being able to reprogram stuff like the Scroll Lock or Pause keys (keys I never use) would have been nice. You also can’t reprogram any of the extra buttons or the volume wheel, which is a shame considering how useful a reprogrammable scroll wheel could have been.

If we compare this to Logitech’s competitors, for example, Razer, which for years has been allowing users to reprogram each key in-depth using its Synapse software, G Hub just feels lackluster in this regard.

Lighting adjustments in Logitech G Hub

Things do start to look a little better when we look at lighting. The UI is still annoying to use, but the options presented are solid. You can choose between various effects and presets, or individually color each key. Lighting profiles are also the only things that can be flashed to the board’s memory (meaning it will be saved even when you’re using a computer without G Hub installed), which is nice to see.

While G Hub doesn’t allow you to do anything like combining multiple effects to create something more unique, the options presented here are still enough for most people to adjust the lighting to their liking.

Gaming mode options in Logitech G Hub

The final main option in G Hub is altering what keys get turned on and off when you flip into the “gaming” mode. I never use this sort of mode on any keyboard, but for users who do, there is a strange limitation here. By default, gaming mode disables the Windows, FN, and Menu keys. Fairly normal so far, but you aren’t allowed to re-enable those keys in the gaming mode. This is especially strange as every other key can be freely enabled and disabled to your liking.


Logitech G915 "G" LogoEric Schoon

The Logitech G915 TKL is a strange keyboard for me. There’s no doubt in my mind that it’s a good keyboard, but for the high asking price, it becomes difficult to recommend. You have to highly value the G915’s unique feature set for the price to be worth it. Because, to be fair, this is the only low-profile mechanical keyboard I can think of that uses the tenkeyless layout, features full dedicated media controls, and has this level of build quality.

If you don’t care about the low-profile nature, better options exist out there for less that can either give you a better typing experience with full mechanical switches, or more features when it comes to customization.

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Eric Schoon

iRig Keys 2 Mini is a MIDI controller with a headphone jack for your iPhone

3612a6e0-bbdd-11ea-a7fb-7923c1400216iRig is no stranger to the world of portable MIDI controllers. And, frankly, there’s no shortage of great keyboards out there that will fit neatly into your backpack. But IK Multimedia was one of the earlier brands to start building music-making gear…

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The iRig Pro Duo makes managing advanced audio workflows simple anywhere

Connecting audio interfaces to the various mobile and computing devices we use these days can be a confusing headache. The iRig Pro Duo, which IK Multimedia announced this year at CES and recently released, is a great way to simplify those connections while giving you all the flexibility you need to record high-quality audio anywhere, with any device.

The basics

The iRig Pro Duo is a new addition to IK’s lineup based on the original iRig Pro, which adds a second XLR input, as the name implies. It’s still quite small and portable, fitting roughly in your hand, with built-in power optionally supplied via two AA batteries, while you can also power it via USB connection, or with an optional dedicated plug-in power adapter accessory.

Compared to desktop devices like the Scarlett Focusrite 2i2 USB audio interface that’s a popular standard among home audio enthusiasts, the iRig Pro Duo is downright tiny. It’s still beefier than the iRig Pro, of course, but it’s a perfect addition to a mobile podcaster’s kit for ultimately portability while also maintaining all the features and capabilities you need.

The iRig Pro Duo also includes balanced L/R 1/4″ output, built-in 48v phantom power for passive Macs, a 3.5mm stereo jack for direct monitoring, 2x MIDI inputs and dedicated gain control with simple LED indicators for 48V power status and to indicate audio input peaking.


Beveled edges and a slightly rounded rectangular box design might not win the iRig Pro Duo any accolades from the haute design community, but it’s a very practical form factor for this type of device. Inputs go in one side, and output comes out the other. IK Multimedia employs a unique connector for its output cables, but provides every one you could need in the box for connecting to Mac, iOS, Windows and Android devices.

The whole thing is wrapped in a matte, slightly rubberized outside surface that feels grippy and durable, while also looking good in an understated way that suits its purpose as a facilitation device. The knobs are large and easy to turn with fine-grained control, and there are pads on the underside of the Duo to help it stick a bit better to a surface like a table or countertop.

The lighting system is pretty effective when it comes to a shorthand for what’s on and working with your system, but this is one area where it might be nice to have a more comprehensive on-device audio levels display, for instance. Still, it does the job, and since you’ll likely be working with some kind of digital audio workflow software whenever you’re using it that will have a much more detailed visualizer, it’s not really that much of an issue.

Bottom line

As mentioned, iRig Pro Duo works with virtually all platforms out of the box, and has physical connector cables to ensure it can connect to just about every one as well. IK Multimedia also supplies free DAW software and effects, for all platforms – though you do have to make a choice about which one you’re most interested in since it’s limited to one piece of software per customer.

If you’re looking for a simple, painless and versatile way to either set up a way to lay down some music, or to record a solo or interview podcast, this is an option that ticks essentially all the boxes you could come up with.

Techcrunch?d=2mJPEYqXBVI Techcrunch?d=7Q72WNTAKBA Techcrunch?d=yIl2AUoC8zA Techcrunch?i=S6eck-nimps:vNgsnhKUJCg:-BT Techcrunch?i=S6eck-nimps:vNgsnhKUJCg:D7D Techcrunch?d=qj6IDK7rITs

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Darrell Etherington

PowerA’s Nano Enhanced is a compact Switch controller with pro features

ad454ae0-b78e-11ea-bf3a-20d28ed004dbPeripherals maker PowerA does a good job of making third-party gamepads — the MOGA Pro has been a bit hit with Android gamers, for example. Now, the company is launching a new controller for the Nintendo Switch. The Nano Enhanced Wireless controller…

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The Nest Hub Max Can Now Make Group Video Calls

A group Google Duo call on a Nest Hub MaxGoogle

One of the headline features of the Nest Hub Max is the built-in camera. With it, the Nest Hub can recognize who you are and surface specific information for your day. Naturally, you can also use it to make Google Duo or Meet video calls, but until now, it was a one-on-one affair only. Now Google is rolling out group calls to the Nest Hub Max.

Group calling is more important than ever, as more and more people work remotely while the Covid-19 pandemic continues. But thanks to everyone suddenly needing to join video conferences, webcams quickly went out of stock everywhere.

A Google Meet call on a Nest Hub Max with one person doing a handstand.Google

You can turn your Wyze Cam, DSLR, or even your tablet into a webcam, but it’s always nice to have even more options. And that’s where Google is stepping in. It’s rolling out group call features for both Google Duo and Google Meet to the Nest Hub Max.

If you use Google Duo, you’ll need to set up a group meeting first in the Duo mobile app. Once you have that set, you can say “Hey Google, make a group call” and tap the group meeting you want to join.

Google Meet is a little bit easier, just say “Hey Google, start a meeting” to start a new meeting, or say “Hey Google, join a meeting” to pick an existing call to join.

Much like Facebook Portal hardware, or the Xbox Kinect with Skype, Google’s software will automatically change framing to keep you in the center as you move around a room. The feature works within reason, it’s a fixed camera after all and will crop the room, but as long as you’re somewhere in the camera’s view, you’ll be visible to everyone else.

A list of household contacts on the Googe Nest Hub MaxGoogle

Google is also rolling out household contacts to make calling individuals easier. Going forward, once you have added contacts, you’ll be able to say “Hey Google, call Babysitter,” and it will call the specific person you have listed as “Babysitter” in your contacts.

Google says the features are already rolling out and should show up on your devices in the coming weeks. Other smart screens will follow, including those made by LG, JBL, and Lenovo.

Source: Google

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Josh Hendrickson

How to Play PS3 Games on Your PC with RPCS3

PS3-on-the-PC-with-RPCS3-featured.jpg People thought that emulating the PS3 on a PC would be impossible for decades, thanks to its wholly alien architecture. And yet, the team behind the RPCS3 emulator proved nothing is impossible since today we can play games made for Sony’s Playstation 3 on our PC! Let’s see how you can now play PS3 games on your PC with RPCS3. Related: Best Retro Gaming Emulators for Linux Download and Install RPCS3 Visit RPCS3’s official site and download the emulator to your hard disk drive. RPCS3 is available for Windows and Linux. We will be setting it… Read more13680783.gif

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Odysseas Kourafalos

How to Connect GameCube Controllers to the Nintendo Switch

If you want the nostalgic feel of the classic GameCube controller, you can use an old GameCube controller in place of the Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Cons. It’s the perfect accessory for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Edition, but you can use them in just about any game.

Read This Article on How-To Geek ›

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Joshalynne Finch

5 Great Handheld Gaming Machines for Under $100

Evercade, Nintendo 2DS XL, and Revo K101

While you may love playing games on your home console or powerful desktop PC, those aren’t exactly portable machines. If you want to play games on the go, you’re going to need something more pocket friendly. Sure, you could just play on your phone, but there are many handheld gaming systems that offer a much better experience.

What to Look for in a Handheld Gaming System

Whether it’s running an emulator or official cartridges, a few things must be considered when selecting your system.

  • Library: The library is the most important part of any game system. Sometimes, this library will be accessed through the use of official cartridges or downloads. Other times, it will be through third-party emulators and read-only memory (ROMs). Official cartridges and downloads tend to be the simplest way to acquire games, but ROMs can provide a much larger catalog of games to play at the cost of being more complicated and, depending on how you acquire your ROMs, legally gray.
  • Compatibility: If you are going down the emulation route, you’re going to need to know what systems your new handheld can safely emulate. Some emulators struggle with certain titles, so keep your expectations in check.
  • Build Quality: While you can’t expect anything crazy in terms of build quality for less than $100, that’s not an excuse for the build quality to be straight-up bad. The build should match the price you paid, and any system you buy should feel nice to play on (because if it doesn’t, then what’s the point?).
  • Battery Life: All gaming sessions must come to an end, and if you’re playing on a handheld, that end may come from a dead battery. Obviously, longer is always better, but it is important to note that battery life will be affected by what games you play. (Basically, more intensive games burn through the battery quicker.) Most modern handhelds (and all the ones on this list) use rechargeable batteries, so we’ll be sure to note the estimated battery lives of each system—at least when the manufacturers supply one.

For the Biggest, Easiest Library: Nintendo 2DS XL

Nintendo 2DS XLNintendo

If you don’t want to worry about dusty old cartridges or deal with the inherent complications of emulators and ROMs, then the 2DS XL is the way to go. While the specs are by no means impressive, this is a Nintendo system, and Nintendo knows how to make incredible games on underpowered hardware. The 2DS XL shares the same hardware as the New Nintendo 3DS (yes, that’s the actual name, the New 3DS is a more powerful version of the original 3DS) but without the 3D screen. So, you can play any 3DS game on the 2DS XL, but it is important to note that games that make heavy use of the 3D effect (which are few and far between) might not be fully playable.

Even with that limitation, there are still plenty of games to play on the 2DS XL. From original titles like Super Mario 3D Land and Kirby Planet Robot to full remakes of classic titles like Star Fox 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Timethe 2DS’s library is chock-full of quality games. And that’s not even mentioning third-party releases like Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate and Shovel Knight.

The 2DS’s library doesn’t stop with the recently released either, it fully supports any DS cartridge (which alone doubles the game library) and, with access to the eShop—Nintendo’s digital storefront—the 2DS can also play classic titles from systems like the NES, SNES, Game Boy, and even non-Nintendo systems like the Sega Genesis. The available libraries for each of those systems aren’t massive, and some systems are obviously missing (namely, the Game Boy Advance), but it’s still a good selection of retro titles.

As far as the 2DS XL itself goes, it’s what you would expect out of the DS line. A clamshell design that makes it ideal for portability, two screens that are small enough (top screen is 4.88 inches and the bottom is 4.18 inches) to make the 240p display passable, 3.5-7 hours of battery life, and a nice-looking and colorful exterior.

Overall, if you want a system with zero complications, the 2DS XL is the way to go. It is one of the pricier systems on this list, just scraping the line of being under $100, but hey, at least it comes preinstalled with Mario Kart 7 out of the box. And, who doesn’t like Mario Kart?

For Playing Old-School ROMs: PocketGo V2 and RG350

PocketGo V2 and RG350Bittboy, retromimi

If you’re willing to go down the route of ROMs, then the Bittboy PocketGo V2 is your best bet at the price point. It’s built to play any game from the pre-PlayStation era, which includes such iconic systems as the SNES, Game Boy Advance, and Sega Genesis. And, the MicroSD card slot (which supports cards up to 128 GB in size) makes it easy to load ROMs onto your system. The screen measures at 3.5 inches and displays a 240p image (which, considering the games you’ll be playing on this, is more than fine).

If you want a bit more power though, then the RG350 is the logical step up. It has a similar design to the PocketGo V2, with the ability to emulate PlayStation 1 games as well (along with all the systems the PocketGo V2 can). Unfortunately, it doesn’t support other fifth-generation consoles like the Sega Saturn or N64, but for fans of the PS1, this is a no-brainer upgrade. Same as the PocketGo V2, it supports MicroSD cards up to 128 GB in size. And, the screen is identical to the PocketGo V2’s as well.

Both of these systems are priced under $100 (with the RG350 costing about $10 more than the PocketGo V2), but they both come in a couple of different bundles that vary in price that can include accessories like carrying bags and 32 GB MicroSD cards. An aluminum version of the PocketGo V2 is also available if you want something more premium, but that increases the price to about $110.

For Playing Real Game Boy Advance Cartridges: Revo K101

Goolsky Q9Goolsky

The Game Boy Advance had some fantastic games, but if your old GBA bit the dust (or can’t deal with the non-backlit screen anymore), then the Revo K101 is the simplest way to play those old cartridges once more. Functionally speaking, the Revo K101 is basically just a Game Boy Advance clone, but with a rechargeable battery, adjustable backlit screen, MicroSD card slot (if you prefer ROMs over cartridges), and the ability to output to a TV. The build quality won’t blow you away, but it’s enough to make the K101 a viable handheld. The screen measures at 3 inches and displays a 480p image.

The Revo K101 comes in a lot of different names from different manufacturers, and you’ll probably have some trouble tracking an original model down because production was halted. The one we linked to specifically is the Goolsky Q9—one of the easier rereleases to get your hands on.

For Playing Real Game Boy Advance Cartridges

An NES You Can Fit in a Carry-On: Retro Champ

Retro ChampMy Arcade

Plenty of ways exist to play the most iconic games the NES offered today, but what about the more niche titles? Those only tend to be found in their original format: cartridges. And if you have a collection of those either sitting in storage or proudly displayed on a shelf, then the Retro Champ will allow you to play them once again. (And to be clear, the Retro Champ only supports playing with cartridges.)

The Retro Champ allows for both NES and Famicom cartridges to be slotted in and played on either the handheld itself or a TV with an HDMI cable. (Some wireless controllers are even available). The screen on the Retro Champ measures at 7 inches (resolution isn’t provided, but it’s not like you need a high-resolution screen for these games), and you can expect the Retro Champ to last about 3-5 hours on a full charge.

Besides that, there’s not much more to the Retro Champ, and there doesn’t have to be. If you want to revisit this generation of gaming in a portable and authentic way, then the Retro Champ is the best option.

For Even Older Games: Evercade

evercade with blaze introSte Knight

If you want to dive deep into the earlier days of gaming, then the Evercade is the system to buy. It’s a fantastic little system capable of running cartridges jam-packed with retro games. Simply purchase one of the game-pack cartridges off of Evercade’s site, and you’re ready to play. You can even plug your Evercade into your TV with an HDMI cable to play on the big screen.

You can play games from big-name developers like Atari and Namco, while also getting a glance at some relatively smaller developers like Interplay and Data East. There’s a decent selection of games available, so if you have a passion for this generation of gaming, you’ll have a lot to work through.

As far as the actual system itself goes, it’s pretty great for the price. The design is colorful, and all the inputs feel solid to use. The battery lasts for about 4 hours, so you’ll definitely need to charge it between play sessions.

Proactive Computing found this story and shared it with you.
The Article Was Written/Published By: Eric Schoon

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