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

Yesterday

AAPL: 156.25

0.27

Hands-on: Nomad case options for iPhone 8 Plus [Video]

With each new iPhone release you can always be sure that the Leather-centric folks over at Nomad are soon to follow with updated case options. Nomad sent over several new cases for the iPhone X and the iPhone 8 Plus, but since the X isn’t yet in hand, this post and video will focus on the iPhone 8 Plus.

October 18

AAPL: 159.76

-0.71

Industry players, such as Microsoft, have arrived in Hong Kong this week for Qualcomm’s 4G/5G Summit, an annual event to strategize and discuss trends and technology developments.

One of the topics of surefire interest revolves around Microsoft’s upcoming ARM-powered Windows 10 laptop. In a glimpse into its battery life potential, Microsoft’s Principal Group Program Manager for Connectivity Partners, Pete Bernard, told Trusted Reviews that he only needs to “charge it every couple of days or so.”

Having multi-day battery life on a real, full-featured laptop would indeed, as Bernard puts it, be a game-changing innovation. Yet, when you consider how much better Apple’s custom-designed silicon is compared to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips, the possibilities for an ARM-powered Mac become all the more desirable. expand full story

October 17

AAPL: 160.47

0.59

If you’re a Mac user who needs quick and fast access to a Windows installation, then in many cases it’s a good idea to go with a Virtual Machine. Parallels is one of the most popular virtualization options for Mac users wishing to run Windows, and the latest version, Parallels 13, makes it ridiculously easy to get up and running.

Via what essentially amounts to an unattended installation of Windows 10, Parallels 13 can have you up and running, from download to usage, in just a few minutes. Watch our brief video walkthrough for a demonstration. expand full story

The iPhone has long been well-regarded for its photographic capabilities, but as of late it’s becoming quite the outstanding tool for videographers as well. For example, with the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X, Apple has stepped up the device’s video feature set, adding both 24 and 60 frames per second options for 4K video capture.

But when it comes to capturing rich and dynamic video content, the iPhone hardware is only half of the equation. Apple devices, and smartphones in general, are benefited by a wide variety of add-on hardware, such as lenses, tripod mounts, filters and more. These tools can help iPhone videographers take their productions to the next level.

With this in mind, Seattle, WA-based Rhino Camera Gear, creators of the popular Rhino Slider for DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, have built the ROV — a compact slider specifically with the iPhone in mind. Slider movement produces a cinematic feel in videos, and now that same feeling can be easily captured by iPhone videographers.

Like it’s done for previous products that it has brought to market, Rhino is introducing the ROV Camera Slider via a Kickstarter campaign that officially launches today. expand full story

October 16

AAPL: 159.88

2.89

Apple ushered in the third iOS 11.1 beta earlier today, and we’ve taken some time to discuss some of the new features and changes found in this latest developer beta release. Watch our video walkthrough for a brief look at a few of the noticeable differences between iOS 11.1 beta 2 and iOS 11.1 beta 3. expand full story

Apple’s Lightning Dock is a handy iPhone accessory in a post headphone jack world. The Lightning Dock, which incorporates its own 3.5mm port, is designed to allow you to charge your iPhone and listen to music via headphones simultaneously.

The latest-generation Lightning Dock is a not a new product, but the new gold color option is. Supplanting the previous yellow gold and rose gold colors, the updated metallic hue is specifically matched against the refined gold color of the iPhone 8. Watch our brief hands-on video to see how the new color looks. expand full story

October 12

AAPL: 156.00

-0.55

With the launch of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, for the very first time, Apple’s flagship smartphones now supports Qi wireless charging. Apple sells a couple of Qi chargers in its store, including Belkin’s Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad, and Mophie’s Wireless Charging Base, but we also purchased several cheaper Qi-certified chargers from Amazon to compare.

Which wireless charger might be right for you? Watch our hands-on video walkthrough for more details. expand full story

October 11

AAPL: 156.55

0.65

With the release of the iPhone 8, Apple made some changes to the methods used to force restart its flagship device. These changes come just a year after Apple made similar changes to the iPhone 7 — the first iOS device to don a solid state Home button.

These changes not only affect force restarts, but also alter the process for entering recovery-mode and DFU mode. Have a look at our brief video walkthrough inside for a look at the changes in action. expand full story

October 9

AAPL: 155.84

0.54

The initial watchOS 4.1 beta brought some notable changes and features to the Apple Watch. A brand new Radio app appeared for the first time, allowing Beats 1 and other radio stations to be streamed right from your wrist. Most notably, however, was a fundamental change to the Music app, allowing for streaming of the entire Apple Music library on the Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE.

Apple has just released the second developer beta for watchOS 4.1, and although it isn’t a big as the initial release, there are a few noteworthy changes to be documented. Watch our hands-on walkthrough for more details. expand full story

iOS 11.1 beta 2 was released earlier today, and we’ve taken some time to talk about the new features and changes found in the beta release. The biggest new feature, one alluded to ahead of time by Apple, is the inclusion of new Unicode 10 emoji characters. Have a look at our hands-on video walkthrough for the details. expand full story

October 7

AAPL: 155.30

-0.09

The Apple Watch Series 3 launched alongside the new iPhones two weeks ago, and it’s arguably a more exciting hardware update than the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. With the release of the Series 3, Apple removed the Series 2 from the lineup, leaving customers with a choice between the Apple Watch Series 1 and the Apple Watch Series 3.

With the Series 1 starting at just $249 (or less), it’s an attractive offer that many will consider, but after going hands-on with Series 3 ($329+) over the last few weeks, I think that would be a mistake.

In the past, this was a more nuanced decision, as the Apple Watch Series 1 and the Apple Watch Series 2 were basically the same device, minus a few differences with things like water resistance, GPS, and the like. With the Series 1 vs Series 3, however, there’s a significantly larger gap between these two devices from both a price and feature perspective.

For those in the market for a new Apple Watch, which model should you consider? Have a look at our hands-on video walkthrough for the details. expand full story

October 2

AAPL: 153.81

-0.31

Update: Separate tests by software engineer Dan Loewenherz show that a 10w charger is the sweet-spot if you’re looking to balance charging time against cost and portability. 

The iPhone 8 and the upcoming iPhone X both support fast charging via Apple’s 29W USB-C adapter and USB-C to Lightning Cable. Apple says that by using fast charging, your iPhone can charge up to 50% in as little as 30 minutes.

Unfortunately, the official first party charging accessories — its 29W USB-C Power Adapter ($49), and its 1-meter USB-C to Lightning Cable ($25) — cost nearly $75 combined. That’s a lot of money to spend on a fast charging solution, especially for one that isn’t exceedingly faster than Apple’s own 12W adapter + a regular USB to Lightning cable.

The good news is that earlier this week Apple noted that third-party power adapters that meet the proper USB Power Delivery (USB-PD) spec would work as well. That means that acceptable third-party power adapters, like Anker’s 30W PowerPort or Aukey’s 29W Amp Duo USB Wall Charger can save you money. In fact, you can buy two of these adapters for less than the price of a single Apple 29W USB-C Power Adapter.

But how do these third-party chargers really stack up to Apple’s own solution? Is it worth going-third party to save $25 or so? The answer, after many hours of testing, is yes. Watch our hands-on video walkthrough for more details. expand full story

September 29

AAPL: 154.12

0.84

My hands-on look at the Apple Watch Series 3 is still forthcoming, but I have to say that I’ve been extremely impressed by the potential and speed of this device. The Series 3 is, in my opinion, what the original Apple Watch aspired to be. The hardware has not only increased in efficiency and speed, but the connectivity — with LTE finally in tow — provides it with a measure of independence that seemed like science fiction just a few years ago.

The addition of watchOS 4, an operating system update that brings several fundamental changes and enhancements to the Apple Watch as a whole, is just icing on the cake. In this week’s Friday 5 we take a look at several apps that work great on the Apple Watch Series 3. One such app even works solely on LTE, independent of a paired iPhone or Wi-Fi. expand full story

September 28

AAPL: 153.28

-0.95

Apple Pay Cash, Apple’s upcoming person-to-person payment product that debuted at its WWDC developer conference this past June, is scheduled to be released in late October. This according to a footnote at the bottom of its Apple Watch Series 1 website. expand full story

September 27

AAPL: 154.23

1.09

Earlier today, Apple released the first developer beta for iOS 11.1. Unlike the watchOS 4.1 beta for the Apple Watch, there aren’t any huge user-facing new features included in this release. However, there are quite a few subtle changes. Have a look at our hands-on video walkthrough for more details. expand full story

As we reported earlier, Apple has just released watchOS 4.1 beta 1 to developers, which brings the promised LTE music streaming to the Series 3 Apple Watch with LTE.

WatchOS 4.1 contains three notable features: First and foremost, the updated Music app allows access to your entire iCloud Music Library. This means that you’ll no longer have to sync songs in order to play them directly on your Apple Watch. It also means that you can use Siri to directly request playback of any song from Apple’s vast collection of 40 million tracks. Have a look at our hands-on video as we take Apple Watch music streaming for a test drive. expand full story

September 25

AAPL: 150.58

-1.31

The iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus are officially on sale, and we were able to score both new smartphones early last Friday morning (read Jordan’s full review).

This launch felt a little different from past iPhone launches, simply because the highly-anticipated iPhone X looms large on the horizon. I’ve asked lots of people, and many of them have stated that they are waiting for Apple’s OLED-enabled, diminished-bezel flagship model.

But just because the iPhone X is coming later this year doesn’t automatically mean that you should ignore the iPhone 8. Apple’s brand new flagship smartphone shares a lot of the same design characteristics as the iPhone 6, 6s, and 7, but it also shares some of the same technical power that’s found inside the iPhone X. In this hands-on video unboxing and walkthrough, we consider some of the iPhone 8’s best new features. expand full story

September 21

AAPL: 153.39

-2.68

It’s happening. If you were early enough to get in on day-one delivery for the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE, and the Apple TV 4K, then you’ve probably begun receiving shipment notifications from Apple. expand full story

September 13

AAPL: 159.65

-1.21

When the iPhone X launches later this year, the usual silicone and leather cases will launch alongside it. But a new type of case, one that Apple is calling the iPhone X Leather Folio, provides an interesting new way to protect your iPhone. expand full story

September 12

AAPL: 160.86

-0.64

Like we do with every major Apple event, we’ve condensed the keynote to an easily digestible format that allows you to view all of the important announcements in quick fashion. Watch the less-than-12-minute condensed version of the iPhone X keynote inside. expand full story

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