About the Author

Jeff Benjamin


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

March 15

Recent smartphones like the iPhone X, Galaxy S8/S9 and Pixel 2 XL feature wider screens than their predecessors. In fact, this is an ongoing trend in the smartphone world, smaller bezels coupled with taller phones featuring wider screens.

Such a change has affected the way traditional 16:9 widescreen video is displayed on modern phones. The result is an image that doesn’t take up as much screen real estate as it could, leading to a more prominent pillarboxing effect.

In this hands-on video, we discuss why you should consider adopting 2:1 video to better take advantage of today’s modern smartphone displays, and how to go about doing so in Final Cut Pro X. expand full story

March 14

As Apple gets closer to its self-imposed spring 2018 deadline for officially adding external GPU support to macOS, each beta seems to increase the stability of external GPU connections. We recently put the fifth and latest version of the macOS 10.13.4 beta to the test. Using a Mantiz Venus external GPU box plus a Radeon RX Vega 64, we performed the usual round of benchmark tests and general usage to see how things are shaping up. expand full story

Sylvania HomeKit Light Strip

March 9

One popular saying in basketball is that you can’t teach height. Short players can work on fundamentals, but once they’ve finished growing, they can never grow taller.

However, basketball fundamentals can be improved and enhanced over time. Unlike height, fundamentals can be acquired through hard work.

The HomePod is similar in that a strong hardware foundation has been laid at the outset. You can’t go back and retrofit it with better internals, so Apple made sure that the HomePod had the hardware to sound superb out of the gate.

Likewise, Apple is betting on the fact that over time the hard work of its engineering team can help shore up the device’s most glaring deficiency — Siri… expand full story

Each month on our YouTube channel we give away Apple-related products, usually items that we’ve covered in the past on 9to5Mac. For example, in January we gave away the CalDigit AV Pro 2, and in February we gave away the Akitio Thunder3 Quad X. For March, we’ve upped the ante a bit and are giving away a massive box of Apple-related kit with spring cleaning in mind. Items include the Akitio Thunder 3 Quad Mini, LaMetric Time, Samsung Gear 360 (2017 version), Mantiz Venus eGPU enclosure, and much more. expand full story

March 8

The Olloclip Filmer’s Kit is an iPhone photography kit that includes a handheld passive stabilizer and five lenses. Designed for the iPhone 7/8/Plus models, this kit is worthy of your consideration if you’re looking to get more out of your iPhone’s camera. Have a look at our hands-on video walkthrough for more details. expand full story

March 1

From time to time I like to make certain folders on my macOS desktop stand out. For example, I use automation to move screenshots saved to my desktop directly to a special Screenshots folder. Since I’m always looking for the screenshots that I take, I decided to tint the folder purple to make it stand out amongst the other items on my desktop. Here’s how you can go about easily doing the same. expand full story

February 26

There has been no shortage of Thunderbolt 3-enabled accessories as of late, and companies like Akitio are leading the way with its efforts. The most recent accessory to don Thunderbolt 3 compatibility is the Thunder3 RAID Station, a hybrid dock/external RAID enclosure that comes with several noteworthy features. Is this the Thunderbolt 3 dock for you? expand full story

February 23

Akitio’s SK-2520 U3.1 is a portable diskless enclosure that can be populated with two SATA SSDs. It results in a relatively quick RAID-enabled drive that can be powered directly via USB-C. Should Mac users give it a look? Watch our brief hands-on video walkthrough for more details. expand full story

February 22

2017 App of the Year Affinity Photo for iPad has been updated with its third significant release since it originally launched back at WWDC 2017. The app, which brings desktop-class photo editing capability to the iPad, includes a number of significant enhancements in its 1.6.7 update. expand full story

February 21

I’ve used a Synology NAS to store Final Cut Pro X libraries in the past, but the process wasn’t very straightforward at the time, and performance was never good enough to convince me to use it over the long-term. This was especially true as I started to dabble more in 4K workflows.

As we all know, the iMac Pro features built in 10GbE connectivity, which opens up the possibilities when it comes to using a NAS as a Final Cut Pro X storage solution. Final Cut Pro X also received updates in the last year in order to better facilitate working from network attached storage.

Is a 10GbE NAS a viable storage solution for Final Cut Pro X users?

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February 15

If you’re an Apple Music subscriber who’s all in on the Apple ecosystem, then the HomePod is a compelling smart speaker. Not only does it sound excellent, but it has Siri built in, which can do things like control your music and control smart home accessories.

HomePod isn’t yet as “smart” as Google Home products with Google Assistant, or Amazon products with Alexa, but it has loads of potential, and already features many built in conveniences. Did you recently purchase a HomePod? In this hands-on video, we’ll walk through some of our top must-know tips for new HomePod users.

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February 14

Apple accessory maker Twelve South today launched a new SurfacePad cover for the iPhone X. More like a Smart Cover for the iPhone than a traditional case, it protects the front and rear of your iPhone X, while providing sleep/wake functionality by way of a magnetized front cover.

The iPhone X SurfacePad also provides two handy credit card slots, works as a stand for videos and FaceTime calls, and is comprised of full-grain leather instead of Napa leather like the previous version. As a result, users can expect the updated cover to have a longer lifespan and wear in better over time.

The $49.99 SurfacePad is available in three colors: Black, Cognac, and Deep Teal. Twelve South sent us samples of the latter two to examine. Watch our hands-on impressions for more details. expand full story

February 11

The highly anticipated $349 HomePod arrived on Friday afternoon, and I’ve been playing around with it for the last day or so. A few things, like the speaker’s build quality and design, are things that I can immediately appreciate upon unboxing. The one surefire conclusion that I can make after using the HomePod is that Apple has, as we know by now, prioritized sound quality over everything else. expand full story

February 10

The HomePod’s power cable is technically user-removable, as is demonstrated by our hands-on video. A very brave user on /r/apple took the plunge and forcefully removed the power cable from their space gray HomePod. We were able to do likewise with our white HomePod, and although it was a little scary and required an inordinate amount of force, it is indeed user-removable. expand full story

February 8

There is no shortage of Thunderbolt 3-enabled docks for the Mac; nearly every popular Mac peripheral maker has one, and they all seem to have various strengths and weaknesses.

Recently, CalDigit, who has produced a number of Thunderbolt-3 Mac-centric docks of its own, launched its latest hardware, the TS3 Plus (Pre-order at B&H). The TS3 Plus features a build quality and design that’s nearly identical to its previous dock, but comes with a lot more port options, and maintains its strong USB Power Delivery. Is this the best dock for Mac users? expand full story

February 6

In this week’s episode of Back to the Mac, I talk about ten of my favorite apps for macOS. It doesn’t matter if you’re using an iMac Pro or a MacBook Air, all of these apps may prove to be useful in your day-to-day workflow. expand full story

February 2

We recently talked about some of our favorite hardware accessories to pair with Apple’s new iMac Pro all-in-one desktop. Today, we’ll discuss some of our favorite apps that provide benefits to iMac Pro users in various ways. Watch our latest edition of our Friday 5 video series for more details. expand full story

February 1

Everyone gets excited about the iMac Pro’s multi-core functionality, and rightfully so. Having applications like Final Cut Pro X and Screen Flow 7, apps that take advantage of multiple cores to speed up work, can have major performance implications. Another speed-oriented iMac Pro feature can make a noticeable difference in certain workflows as well.

One of the more unheralded new additions to the iMac line is support for UHS-II SD Cards. It means that users may experience noticeably faster file transfer speeds when offloading photos and video footage to the iMac Pro from supported cards. expand full story

After a bit of a delay, the 18-core iMac Pro should be arriving to most customers sometime this month. Jonathan Morrison got his hands on the top of the line iMac Pro and put it through the obligatory benchmark tests to see how it stacked up. Right off the bat it’s evident that the 18-core iMac Pro is a multi-core performance monster, racking up a GeekBench 4 multi-core score of nearly 50,000. expand full story

January 30

The iMac Pro and its new space gray chassis gives us a good excuse to outfit the machine with color complimentary accessories. In this first edition of our new Back to the Mac video series, we discuss some of our favorite peripherals for the iMac Pro. expand full story

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