About the Author

Jeff Benjamin

@JeffBenjam

Jeff produces videos, walkthroughs, how-tos, written tutorials and reviews. He takes pride in being able to explain things in a simple, clear and concise manner.

Jeff Benjamin's Favorite Gear

July 18

It seems like there’s always some controversy surrounding new Apple hardware. These devices are some of the most popular in the world, which means that they’re bound to get closely scrutinized, perhaps more so than any other tech product on earth.

With that said, there’s a brewing controversy over CPU throttling in the new MacBook Pro. Of course, throttling on a laptop as thin as the MacBook Pro is to be expected, but issue has been taken with the amount of throttling present in Apple’s high-end 6-core Core i9-powered machine.

The scrutinization is warranted, especially when you consider that the least-expensive Core i9 MacBook Pro sells for $2,700. If you opt to max out the GPU, RAM, and SSD storage, the price quickly balloons to nearly $7000 after tax.

Just how bad is CPU throttling on the 2018 MacBook Pro? Let’s do a brief export test with Final Cut Pro X to investigate further.  expand full story

July 17

The fourth iOS 12 developer beta was released earlier today for iPhones and iPads, and we’ve compared it with the previous beta to help identify new changes and features. Watch our hands-on video comparison for the lowdown. expand full story

Sylvania HomeKit Light Strip

July 16

The Blackmagic eGPU is an external graphics enclosure sold exclusively (for the time being) at the Apple Store. It’s a notable product for several of reasons. First and foremost, it’s the first time that Apple has sold an external graphics enclosure in its store. This makes sense, considering that macOS was recently upgraded with official eGPU support in version 10.13.4 back in the spring.

Another reason to take note is that the Blackmagic eGPU is the first external graphics chassis to include official support for the LG UltraFine 5K display (hands-on), a monitor that Apple recommends as a replacement for its now discontinued Thunderbolt Display.

But perhaps the most appealing feature of the Blackmagic eGPU is its silence. Blackmagic advertises its ultra quiet status right on the product packaging, and it’s not joking, this enclosure is extremely low noise.

With a launch alongside highly anticipated new MacBook Pro hardware, the Blackmagic eGPU is now available exclusively at Apple Stores. Is this the eGPU that you should consider for your Mac? Watch our hands-on video for the details. expand full story

July 12

Good news for those of you who can’t wait to get your hands on Apple’s just-announced MacBook Pro. First shipments of Apple’s refreshed laptops begin today, with expedited orders slated to arrive as early as tomorrow. expand full story

After using Affinity Designer on iPad, I can confidently say that there aren’t many apps of a similar echelon in the App Store. The companion app to Affinity Photo, Designer is a vector illustration app that can operate as an outright Adobe Illustrator replacement for many graphic artists.

In this initial hands-on walkthrough, I step through over 20 features in Affinity Designer, focusing heavily on the gesture-based toolset that makes it such a powerful app for iPad users.  expand full story

Apple’s launch of refreshed MacBook Pros is the big news for today, and rightfully so. The update checks off many customer wants, such as DDR4 with up to 32GB of RAM on the 15-inch model, and quad-core CPUs on the 13-inch model.

But graphics are still an area that could use assistance, and Apple recognizes this. Earlier this spring it launched a new version of macOS with official eGPU support in tow. Today, The Verge revealed that Apple has worked with Blackmagic Design, known for its DaVinci Resolve NLE, on a brand new all-in-one $699 eGPU. expand full story

July 11

Affinity Publisher beta for Mac slated to arrive before end of August

Affinity Publisher is an upcoming desktop publishing app that many are hoping will serve as legitimate Adobe InDesign alternative, much like sister apps Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer have served as viable alternatives to Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. Lost amid the shuffle of today’s release of Designer for iPad, developer Serif says that the Publisher beta will arrive before the end of August.

With the resounding success and universal praise heaped upon last year’s launch of Affinity Photo for the iPad, it was only a matter of time before its companion app, the popular vector illustration tool, Affinity Designer, was brought to the platform.

After publishing a teaser almost a year ago to the day, Affinity Designer is making its iOS App Store debut. To celebrate, developer Serif is launching the app at a special $13.99 introductory price, a 30% discount off the full price.

Like Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer brings desktop-class high-level capabilities to iPad users. After using it, I can say that it is unequivocally one of the most impressive iOS apps I’ve ever used. Serif has taken full advantage of the iPad’s multi touch gestures in a way that allows users to pull off all sorts of quick shortcuts without delving deep into the app’s deep menu set. It’s not a mere port of the Mac version (on sale for $34.99), but a feature-complete illustration app that’s built from the ground up with touch in mind. expand full story

July 9

Today Microsoft officially took the wraps off the next product in its Surface lineup, a budget-minded tablet called Surface Go. The Surface Go is a 10-inch tablet that starts at a pocket-friendly $399, but you’ll need to pony up more cash for more storage and memory.

Lighter and smaller than the Surface Pro, the Surface Go features dimensions of 9.6-by-6.9-by-0.3 inches and weighs just 1.2 pounds. The 10-inch 3:2 1800-by-1200 PixelSense Display dominates the front side of the device, but substantial bezels remain on each side of the display.

Preorders start tomorrow, July 10th, with shipments scheduled to begin in early August. expand full story

As a Toyota driver, I’ve been subjected to the company’s horrible Entune-powered head unit for the last 6 years. On my 2012 model, it’s bundled with a matte resistive touch screen that requires you to press in on the display to control the unit. As you can probably imagine, the stock unit is extremely clunky and difficult to use. It’s so bad that I wouldn’t purchase a new Toyota without a new capacitive CarPlay unit built in. Thankfully, Toyota recently wised up and decided to adopt CarPlay after holding out for several years.

If you’re like me and stuck with a terrible stock head unit, then a CarPlay-enabled aftermarket radio may be the key to a much better audio, messaging, and navigation experience while on the go. There are caveats associated with having an aftermarket head unit installed, but as my recent experience with the Pioneer MVH-1400NEX shows, the upsides outweigh the potential downsides. expand full story

July 3

The third iOS 12 developer beta has been released for eligible iPhones and iPads, and we’ve taken it for a test drive to uncover what’s changed. Watch our video walkthrough for the hands-on details and comparisons.

expand full story

July 1

With macOS 10.13.4’s support for external graphics, Apple is officially allowing users to supplement their Macs with an eGPU like the Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box. Unfortunately, the ability to render apps via an eGPU while being displayed on your Mac’s built-in screen, possible via developer app updates, is quite rare.

A recently released script called set-eGPU, from eGPU.io alumnus @mac_editor, gives users more control over GPU rendering. The script overrides plist values assigned to GPUSelectionPolicy, available in macOS 10.13.4 and later, for installed apps dynamically.

In other words, this script uses tools already baked into the latest versions of macOS to give the end user more control over eGPU usage. A primary benefit is that it allows an external GPU to render installed applications and present them on your Mac’s built-in display. With this script you can now force eGPU rendering for many of your installed apps without an external display.

As you might expect, one of the first apps that I tested was Final Cut Pro X, and the results are encouraging. Watch our hands-on video walkthrough for the details. expand full story

June 29

Although I wouldn’t recommend running a macOS beta on a primary work machine, I am testing it on my MacBook Pro, and it’s been a positive experience thus far. Now that the public beta release of macOS Mojave is out, it’s a good time to consider five of my favorite features like I did previously with iOS 12 and watchOS 5. Have a look at our hands-on video for a brief demonstration. expand full story

June 27

Compared is a series focused on showcasing products that operate in the same space as Apple hardware. These may include laptops, phones, tablets, smart watches, etc. 


I recently got my hands on Huawei’s just-launched MateBook X Pro laptop. It’s a Windows-powered machine in an ultrabook form factor with a stunning 13.9-inch 3:2 minimal-bezel display. At first glance, it looks very much inspired by the MacBook, almost like a mix between the 12-inch MacBook and the MacBook Pro.

How does Huawei’s flagship compare to the MacBook Pro? Watch our hands-on video for the details.

expand full story

June 25

As we recently noted, the iOS 12 public beta has been released for those interested in trying iOS 12 before it officially launches later this fall. In other words, you don’t have to be a registered Apple developer in order to install iOS 12 prior to its public debut.

The public beta process is for anyone wishing to take the software for an early test drive. In this hands-on walkthrough, we’ll guide you through the iOS 12 public beta install process step-by-step for your eligible iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. expand full story

Despite its ongoing keyboard issues, the MacBook Pro is still one of the best laptops available, and with the right accessories, it can be especially handy for power users. Here’s a look at my top 5 power user-oriented accessories that I often pair with my MacBook Pro. expand full story

June 20

The second developer beta for iOS 12 was released yesterday for eligible iPhones and iPads, and we’ve gone hands-on to see what’s changed. Have a look at our video walkthrough inside for the details. expand full story

June 19

After appearing as a placeholder in the initial iOS 12 developer beta, Walkie-Talkie is now functional in iOS 12 beta 2. After testing it I was able to add new contacts, accept new contact requests, and both send and receive audio messages. Watch our hands-on walkthrough for a look at what to expect from this exciting new Apple Watch feature. expand full story

June 18

Creating a bootable macOS Mojave USB install drive is a great way to facilitate a clean install of macOS. This tutorial will work with the current developer beta and will also work once with the public beta and final version of macOS Mojave once released. Watch our step-by-step video for the details. expand full story

June 15

In a previous post we touched on 50 of the new changes and features found in watchOS 5. Many of the changes were subtle updates and enhancements, but a few of them stood out above all the rest. Watch this hands-on video as I talk about five of my favorite watchOS 5 features. expand full story

Powered by WordPress.com VIP