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Dell XPS 13 Vs MacBook Pro – What are the Pros and Cons of Each

dell xps 13 vs macbook pro
Dell XPS 13 Vs MacBook Pro – What Are the Pros and Cons of Each

Many customers compare the pros and cons of different laptops when trying to decide which one to purchase.

This technique can provide a more objective basis for purchasing, as both the benefits and drawbacks of the laptop are emphasized.

Additionally, this method helps customers get a sense for how one product matches up with another similar product.  This is important since many laptops are so similar to each other when taking basic specifications into account, yet so different when they are actually used.

In this article, we juxtapose two laptop models, specifically the Dell XPS 13 and the Apple MacBook Pro. First, we offer an overview of each laptop. Then, we compare the features of each laptop. At the end, we offer our final thoughts on the Dell XPS 13 vs MacBook Pro.

An Overview of the Dell XPS 13


Dell XPS 13 9360 13.3" Laptop 7th Gen Intel Core I3-7100U, 4GB RAM,...
  • Intel Core i3-7100U Dual-Core Processor (3M Cache, 2.40 GHz)
  • 4GB lpddr3-1866mhz included
  • 128GB SSD storage; No Optical Drive included

The Dell XPS 13 laptop has a 13.3-inch touchscreen and can be transformed into a tablet.

This laptop starts at $799.99 and is available in a silver color.

That price reflects the XPS 13 model that uses a 7th generation Intel i3 processor, has 4GB of RAM memory, and has a 128GB hard drive. However, the Dell XPS 13 laptop is also available up to the 8th generation of the Intel i7 processor.


Additionally, this Dell laptop runs the Windows 10 Home operating system.

An Overview of the MacBook Pro


Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch, Touch Bar, 2.9GHz Intel Core i7 Quad Core,...
  • 2.9GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
  • 16GB 2133MHz LPDDR3 memory
  • 512GB SSD storage

The MacBook Pro from Apple is available in either a 13-inch or 15-inch variety. These models range in price from $1299 to $1999 depending on the screen size, the processor, and the features of the laptop.

The MacBook Pro allows customers to purchase it with a Touch Bar, which is a recent technology Apple has introduced into its computers.

The MacBook Pro is available in either space grey or silver colors. The 13-inch models have some form of Intel’s i5 processor while the 15-inch models have some form of Intel’s i7 processor.

Screen – The Dell XPS 13 Vs MacBook Pro

When considering the Dell XPS 13 vs MacBook Pro from Apple, perhaps the most important element is the screen that customers will be using.

The Pros of the Dell XPS 13 Touchscreen

Dell XPS 13
  • The touchscreen element of the Dell XPS 13 makes it one of the most versatile laptops available. This advanced technology allows users to use their fingers to navigate the laptop’s screen, whether the computer is in tablet or laptop mode.
  • The touchscreen of the Dell XPS 13 is perhaps the most distinguishing factor when considering the Dell XPS 13 vs MacBook Pro. This touchscreen makes the computer easy to use, making it perfect for children.
  • This means that the Dell XPS 13 could be purchased by a parent for more professional usage while simultaneously functioning as an entertaining tablet. Since the touch technology is so seamless, kids of all ages will fall in love with the Dell XPS 13, and there are many games that dovetail perfectly with the touchscreen.
  • The MacBook Pro lacks this touchscreen technology, which limits its accessibility. The MacBook Pro is not the kind of computer you would give to your screaming 7-year old to distract him on a long car ride. Even though MacBook Pro s are durable, they are ultimately designed for an older generation and more professional usage.
  • Even though the Dell XPS 13 is often used by older users as well, it’s also ideal for a student or any younger child. Since the tablet can be accessed so easily using the hinge system, parents don’t have to worry that their child will accidentally break the device. Ultimately, Dell designed this laptop with all ages in mind.

The Pros of the MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar

MacBook Pro
  • The Touch Bar on the MacBook pro is not technically part of the screen, though it isn’t quite part of the keyboard either. Yes, its positioned just above the keyboard, but it’s also customizable and doesn’t feature any traditional buttons.
  • This Touch Bar is an important factor when considering the Dell XPS 13 vs MacBook Pro. Many customers are not quite ready to embrace the hybrid laptop’s design, preferring a traditional laptop over one with multi-functionality as a tablet. However, just because these customers don’t want a tablet doesn’t mean they don’t want some touch screen capability.
  • Check Circle
    In this sense, customers can ease their way into the touch screen technology using Apple’s MacBook Pro, specifically the model with a Touch Bar.
  • The Touch Bar can display not only characters but colors and various images. In a sense, it’s a kind of bridge between the keyboard and the screen.
  • It’s unclear if this technology will become a permanent part of future laptops or if this trend will simply vanish. Regardless, if you’re hesitant to buy a hybrid laptop, the MacBook Pro has many unique features to entertain you.
  • Dell also offers customers the choice of purchasing their XPS 13 laptop without a touchscreen, though this might be too extreme for certain customers. Ultimately, some users don’t want to completely abandon the technology but don’t want to completely accept it either. For these sensitive users, the MacBook Pro is ideal.

The Cons of the MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar

  • While this Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro might appeal to some users, other users claim that its awkward and has a high learning curve. In this sense, users who adopt this Touch Bar technology based on their hesitance to use a touch screen computer might be dissatisfied.
  • Ultimately, it might take them a while to truly master the Touch Bar, as this is a new piece of technology that most customers have likely not encountered.
  • Thus, the Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro could be considered a drawback of the device, teasing users with the functionality of a touchscreen while simultaneously remaining on the surface of the keyboard.
  • Many customers expect Apple to lead the market when it comes to hybrid laptops, so it’s unusual that they have not made a foray into this industry. Instead, their tablets and their laptops are offered separately.

The Pros of the Dell XPS 13’s Bezel

  • When considering the Dell XPS 13 vs MacBook Pro, the dimensions of the screen should also be discussed. In particular, the Dell XPS 13 features a screen with minimal bezel, calling it the InfinityEdge Display.
  • Dell advertises the XPS 13 as the smallest 13-inch laptop available, and this is due to this thin bezel. The bezel refers to the area that surrounds the screen, acting as a supportive structure. Some customers think that a thinner bezel makes the laptops screen look larger and more futuristic. Ultimately, this design is very popular within the smart phone industry, as many recent smart phones feature screens that occupy the space of the entire device.
  • This thin bezel can make the experience of using the device more immersive, which is what you want as a user. Ultimately, you want your technology to closely simulate the natural word in order to feel as naturalistic as possible. Yet, the natural world is not framed by constant borders, boxed in by supportive structures.
  • While a bezel-less display is almost impossible, it’s still a huge benefit that Dell has placed such an importance on minimizing bezel.

Design of the Dell XPS 13 vs. MacBook Pro

Of course, design is completely subjective. One person may love a particular design, while another will hate it. However, if you try to look it at objectively, both of these laptops are at the top of the design game. 

The MacBook design has truly become iconic over the years. Of course, it's been improved, but the original design is ultimately the design -- an aluminum unibody. People tend not to complain about the MacBook design.

On the flip side, the Dell XPS 13 is nowhere near the MacBook when it comes to design. It has its own style and its 2019 version is ultimately the best, as it has new color options and a bright, white interior. They have moved the webcam to the top, but the design has ultimately stayed the same. 

The XPS 13 is most definitely a trimmer laptop, and what really sets it apart are the color scheme options or the black carbon-fiber texture on the palm rests.  

The Weight of the Dell XPS 13 Vs MacBook Pro

The Dell XPS 13 is an overall lighter computer when compared with the 13-inch and 15-inch models of the MacBook Pro.

These models of the MacBook Pro weigh 3 and 4 pounds respectively.

The XPS 13, on the other hand, only comes in a 13.3-inch screen variety, and the weight of these laptops vary based on whether this is a touchscreen or non-touchscreen.

Both laptops are considered extremely light and portable, and most customers will not notice the difference of a pound. This weight difference might be more noticeable when considering the tablet functionality, though this is only available on the Dell XPS 13.

In this sense, it’s critical that the Dell XPS 13 be extremely light weight since tablets are often used so interactively by all age ranges. Traditional laptops, on the other hand, typically sit on your desk or another hard surface, which mitigates the burden of their weight.

The Operating System of the Dell XPS 13 Vs MacBook Pro

The operating system that powers the laptop is a big deal for many customers. This is a difficult factor to analyze considering how subjective your experience of an operating system is.

Since operating systems have been finetuned for the past 50 years, most modern operating systems are relatively similar when it comes to reliability and usability.

Of course, there are certain differences that distinguish operating systems. But, with the exception of certain models, if you purchase a modern laptop, you can expect to receive a device with an efficient operating system with many features.

The operating systems offered on the Dell XPS 13 and MacBook Pro do not stray from this truth. The Windows 10 Home operating system on the Dell XPS 13 and the High Sierra operating system on the MacBook are considered two of the most popular and usable operating systems on the market.

Some customers are loyal to Microsoft, the maker of the Windows 10 Home operating system, while other customers are loyal to Apple.

When considering the Dell XPS 13 vs the MacBook Pro, the main difference in terms of operating systems is that the MacBook Pro’s operating system was created by its manufacturer, Apple. The Dell XPS 13’s operating system, on the other hand, was made by Microsoft.

Many customers claim that this collaborative effort makes a difference when it comes to the user experience. Many customers claim that the Windows 10 Home Operating, while effective and easy to use, was clearly not built with the specific Dell XPS 13 laptop in mind. Some customers claim that Dell’s hardware and Microsoft’s software are slightly awkward when paired together, and this results in some inefficiencies when using the machine.

These customers cite Apple as the paragon of excellence in the industry when it comes to keeping as much of the manufacturing process in house as possible. Of course, most laptops feature chips and cards made by other companies.  Yet, it can be argued that software is much more sensitive to being made by third parties.

Thus, when considering the Dell XPS 13 vs the MacBook Pro, keep in mind that the MacBook Pro had its hardware and software designed and created by the same team, more or less. This approach means that all the features work seamlessly together, and that each experience with the device is stimulating and fully immersive.

The Log In Capability of the Dell XPS 13 Vs MacBook Pro

Both computers feature advanced ways that users can log in, which maximizes the security of the device. The MacBook Pro features its prominent Touch ID sensor on the upper right corner of the Touch Bar. Most users claim that this feature is relatively intuitive to use, though some errors can result.

The Dell XPS 13 outdoes the MacBook Pro when it comes to security measures, as the Dell laptops not only feature a fingerprint sensor but also facial recognition technology. This technology uses the webcam on the The Dell XPS 13 is an overall lighter computer when compared with the 13-inch and 15-inch models of the MacBook Pro.

Dell XPS 13 to sense the face of the user, allowing the user to unlock the computer.

While these features are certainly effective on both of these devices, this is still relatively new technology. Companies seem unclear how they want to allow customers to unlock their products. Simply offering more ways to unlock the product might not be ideal, as these options can be overwhelming and can take energy away from the larger experience.

The Battery Life on the Dell XPS 13 Vs MacBook Pro

Battery life estimates for laptop models are difficult to trust for two reasons.

First, they are usually calculated with one kind of usage in mind, yet the battery life varies depending on usage. Also, the efficiency of the battery inevitably decreases with time, no matter how well you treat the laptop.

While you can trust the estimates offered by computer companies, you should not rely on these.

When considering the battery life of the Dell XPS 13 vs MacBook Pro, keep in mind that Apple has advertised that the MacBook Pro provides users with 10 hours per charge. Dell, on the other hand, has advertised that the XPS 13 provides users with up to 19.75 hours per charge, though this number is dependent on users only using basic productivity applications like Microsoft Word or Excel.

Apple’s estimate for its MacBook Pro seems a little high if users stream lots of content. At the end of the day, both of the estimates offered for these two laptops indicate that these machines can be used for most of the day. If you plan on using applications that require a lot of processing power and RAM memory, then you can expect to experience a fraction of these estimates.

Our Final Thoughts on Dell XPS 13 vs MacBook Pro

Comparison Table

PRODUCT
FEATURES
PRICE
Dell XPS 13 9360 13.3' Laptop 7th Gen Intel Core I3-7100U, 4GB RAM,...
  • 13.3 inches 
  • check
    2.65 pounds
  • check
    Windows 10 Home
  • check
    Fingerprint Sensor, Facial Recognition Technology
  • check
    19.75 hours 
Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch, Touch Bar, 2.9GHz Intel Core i7 Quad Core,...
  • 13.3 inches 
  • check
    3 pounds
  • check
    High Sierra
  • check
    Touch ID
  • check
    10 hours

​​​When examining the Dell XPS 13 vs the MacBook Pro, we think these are both reliable machines that customers will appreciate.

Ultimately, we think if touchscreen technology appeals to you in any way, and you don’t already have a tablet, then the Dell XPS 13 might be ideal for you. Before you purchase this device, make sure you test it out in a store. Just because you enjoy using the touchscreen on your smartphone doesn’t mean you’ll enjoy the same ability on your laptop.

Of course, the Dell XPS 13 doesn’t have to be used as a tablet. In this sense, there isn’t much to lose when considering the Dell XPS 13.

We think the MacBook Pro appeals to users interested in a sleek, elegant, simple aesthetic. The MacBook Pro just feels different to some users, and that might have to do with its primarily metal body as opposed to the plastic that is featured in the Dell XPS 13.

Even beyond the materials that make up the body, many users express an ineffable love for all Apple products. If this applies to you, we suggest sticking with your gut and staying loyal to Apple, unless a certain feature on the Dell XPS 13 calls out to you.

If you want a hybrid laptop but want to stay loyal to Apple, the Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro might satisfy you, but it could also disappoint you depending on what laptop features you normally use. Your best option might be to buy a separate iPad tablet to complement your MacBook Pro.

The 12 Best Routers Under 100 Dollars

wifi router on top of wood table

The average household does not need the same speed and power in a router that a growing company needs. Often, users can spend $200 or more for speed and features they will never fully utilize. From that perspective, we undertook a review to identify the best router under 100 dollars. Based on your individual needs and preferences, we are confident our review will help you identify the best router under 100 for your unique situation.

Comparison Table

Product FAQ

wifi router with antenna

Image Source: Pixabay.com

1. What Is a Router?

2. What Is CPU?

3. What Is WPA?

4. What Is a DHCP Server?

5. What Is MIMO Technology?

How We Reviewed

a person plugging in the cable into the wifi router

Image Source: Pexels.com

We reviewed 12 routers in hopes of finding the best router under 100 dollars. We looked at each router's price and availability as well as the unique features of each.

Of course, Wi-Fi speed is a major factor in choosing the best router, but not every router tests at the same speeds that are theoretically possible. Others may reach fast speeds but suffer from interruptions and dead spots.

We also found interesting features other than speed, such as routers that served as a smart-home hub or a home security center. Other important variables included ease of use and what sort of controls and interfaces were available.

We purposely looked at 12 widely different routers to help you find the product that is just right for you.

Overall Price Range

We reviewed routers ranging from as low as around $25 to as high as $97 as we attempted to locate the best router under 100 dollars. Along the way, we noted a wide variety of prices among individual routers from their retail price to prices available online. For instance, one router had a retail price near $80, but we found multiple deals available under $60.

Even though routers "under $100" sound like they are all in a particular price category, the difference between $25 and $97 is significant for many shoppers. As you look through the routers we reviewed, consider whether different products justify the difference in price. One router may be better than another, but is it really $72 better? Only you can decide.

What We Reviewed

  • TP-Link AC1750 Smart WiFi Router
  • TP-Link AC1900 Smart Wireless Router
  • NETGEAR WiFi Router (R6080)
  • ASUS Dual-Band 2x2 AC1300 Super-Fast Wifi
  • NETGEAR Nighthawk Smart WiFi Router (R6700)
  • Securifi Almond
  • Linksys Dual-Band WiFi Router for Home (AC1200 Fast Wireless Router)
  • Linksys AC1900 Wi-Fi Wireless Dual-Band+ Router
  • TP-Link N450 Wi-Fi Router - Wireless Internet Router
  • D-Link AC1200 Wifi Router – Smart Dual Band
  • Linksys WRT54GL Wi-Fi Wireless-G Broadband Router
  • UTT AC60 Dual Band WiFi Router

TP-Link AC1750 Smart WiFi Router


TP-Link AC1750 Smart WiFi Router - Dual Band Gigabit Wireless Internet...
  • Wireless internet router works with Alexa, compatible with all Wi Fi devices, 802. 11AC and older
  • Dual band router upgrades to 1750 Mbps high speed internet(450mbps for 2. 4GHz + 1300Mbps for 5GHz), reducing buffering and ideal for 4K streaming Comparable to the router NETGEAR R6700
  • 3 external antennas for long range Wi Fi

Features

The TP-Link AC1750 Smart WiFi Router utilizes a 720MHz central processing unit (CPU). On a 2.4 GHz band, it can perform at speeds of 450 Mbps, and on the 5 GHz band, it can reach 1,300Mbps.


The router has a number of options on the back, including four LAN ports, a Wan port, three antennas, and a pair of USB 2.0 ports. The power and reset buttons are also nearby on the rear. The front of the machine has corresponding LED indicators.


The console is a bit dated, and there can be a considerable lag when saving changes. However, this router offers a number of options, including the ability to make separate guest networks and custom access settings for other users. Else, you can make network-wide access settings.


The TP-Link AC1750 Smart WiFi Router also features advanced routing, VPN Pass-Through options, various firewall settings, port forwarding and triggering, and dual-band options.


In searching for the best router under 100 dollars, the TP-Link AC1750 Smart WiFi Router performs like a more expensive product and has the features of higher-end routers.

Where to Buy

TP-Link AC1900 Smart Wireless Router


TP-Link AC1900 Smart Wireless Router - Beamforming Dual Band Gigabit...
  • One of wireless routers for home which is compatible with all Wi Fi devices, 802.11ac and older
  • Gigabit router with 4 gigabit LAN ports, fast access to multiple connected wired devices, also ideal as gaming router
  • Long range coverage by 3 external antennas. FCC<30dBm

Features

The TP-Link AC1900 Archer C9 Smart Wireless Router must be included in a conversation about the best router under 100 dollars. It has impressive wireless speeds in close range and a responsive interface.


This router is very easy to use out of the box, and users consistently appreciate its consistent reliability. While you can easily pay more for faster routers, the TP-Link AC1900 Archer C9 Smart Wireless Router is a great value for its price. It reaches speeds of 1,900 Mbps through simultaneous 2.4GHz 600Mbps and 5GHz 1300Mbps connections.


It is compatible with most WiFi products with beamforming technology. A 1GHz dual-core processor can facilitate a combination of laptops, tablets, and other smart devices. A 3.0 and a 2.0 port allow you to share devices across your network.


Another great feature for a price tag under 100 dollars is the two-year warranty that is part of your purchase, along with technical support available all day, every day.
The product is tall and narrow. It is aesthetically pleasing enough to have in full view, but it cannot be mounted on walls or laid on its side.

Where to Buy

NETGEAR WiFi Router (R6080) 


NETGEAR WiFi Router (R6080) - AC1000 Dual Band Wireless Speed (up to...
  • FAST WiFi PERFORMANCE: Get up to 1000 sq ft wireless coverage with AC1000 speed (Dual band up to 300 + 700 Mbps).
  • RECOMMENDED FOR UP TO 15 DEVICES: Reliably stream videos, play games, surf the internet, and connect smart home devices.
  • WIRED ETHERNET PORTS: Plug in computers, game consoles, streaming players, and other nearby wired devices with 4 x 10/100 Fast Ethernet ports.

Features

Our search for the best router under 100 dollars has brought us way under 100. The NETGEAR WiFi Router (R6080) is available for as little as around $40, and it meets the basic needs of many customers.


The NETGEAR WiFi Router (R6080) covers up to 1,000 square feet through a pair of high-powered antennas. A dual-band processor helps reach speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps. This is enough for users who like to stream movies and enjoy gaming. Four Ethernet ports ensure the speedy delivery needed for your favorite activities.


The R6080 has manufactured intelligence to alternate between dual bands for maximum performance. This enables the product to support up to 15 devices. The Wi-Fi connections are secured with high-level password protection, firewalls, and the ability to create separate networks for guests.


Parental controls offer another important type of security. You have the ability to use web filtering and determine what sites are accessible to your children or others.

Where to Buy

​ASUS Dual-Band 2x2 AC1300 Super-Fast Wifi


ASUS Dual-Band 2x2 AC1300 Super-Fast Wifi 4-port Gigabit Router with...
  • Dual-band AC1300 with the latest 2x2 MU-MIMO technology for combined speeds of up to 1267 Mbps
  • Four external 5dBi antennas for improved Wi-Fi range and multi-device performance.Connected devices must be 802.11ac-compatible for best results
  • Monitor and manage your network with ease from your mobile device using the intuitive ASUS Router App

Features

The ASUS RT-ACRH13 is an affordable and effective router for everyday users. ASUS had previously built a reputation for high-end products geared at serious tech geeks and small businesses, so their RT-ACRH13 is a welcomed addition into the search for the best router under 100 dollars.


We believe ASUS knows that for many common users, numbers above 2,000 Mbps are unnecessary and serve no purpose when a 1,300 Mbps device will do just fine. However, ASUS kept many of its technological perks and aesthetic appearances of some of their existing products.


Unlike some of its more expensive relatives, the RT-ACRH13 is positioned flat to the surface where you put it and lacks any sort of stand or upright option. It does contain rubber feet that help it remain stable during use.


The casing includes ventilation areas that keep the unit cool, and LED lights keep you aware of power, WAN, Wi-Fi, and other interactive notifications. A 3.0 USB port is on the front of the device, and the rear features the power button, power cord input, LAN ports, BaseT RJ45 WAN ports, a WPS Wizard button, and a recessed reset button.

Where to Buy

​NETGEAR Nighthawk Smart WiFi Router (R6700)


NETGEAR Nighthawk Smart WiFi Router (R6700) - AC1750 Wireless Speed...
  • FAST WiFi PERFORMANCE: Get up to 1500 square feet wireless coverage with AC1750 speed (Dual band up to 450 + 1300 Mbps)
  • RECOMMENDED FOR UP TO 25 DEVICES: Reliably stream videos, play games, surf the internet, and connect smart home devices
  • WIRED ETHERNET PORTS: Plug in computers, game consoles, streaming players, and other nearby wired devices with 4 x 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports

Features

NETGEAR's R6700 features a 1Ghz dual-core processor that can service a large area with 1,300 Mbps on a 5Ghz band. It can support 450 Mbps on a 2.4 Ghz frequency band.


The router features one 3.0 USB port, a Wi-Fi power button, and a WPS button. Three antennas compliment beamforming technology and provide strong performance over a large service range. The antennas are removable and can be adjusted. NETGEAR R6700 encounters a few dead spots.


NETGEAR offers a Genie App that can help you manipulate your router without needing to boot your computer. Enjoy the ability to listen to music and stream videos through the app. You can also take advantage of parent controls to ensure your children's safety online.


Users have the ability to set up secondary networks for guests, but the Genie App only works on your network, meaning you have full control over all other network users. Simple setup and user-friendly operation give this NETGEAR a definite spot in the lineup as we search for the best router under 100 dollars.

Where to Buy

​Securifi Almond


Securifi Almond Wireless-N Router and Range Extender, 4SCF00000
  • The Securifi Almond Router with Boost Extender is a revolutionary touchscreen device
  • Multi Purpose: Use as primary Router or Range Extender or Wireless Bridge - no built in DSL modem.
  • In Range Extender (Booster) mode compatible with any existing router (ex: Netgear, Linksys, Belkin, etc..)

Features

A few unusual features help the Securifi Almond 3 set apart as the potential best router under 100 dollars. For instance, the Securifi Almond 3 has a smart-home hub. A smart-home hub allows you to establish an automated network used to control devices and allow them to communicate with each other.


The Almond hub uses Zigbee HA 1.2 radio to allow anything from tablets to washing machines to communicate within your smart home. You can also control your lights, temperature, door locks, and much more.


The Almond 3 also features a touchscreen that makes operation simple and straightforward. You can manipulate the device through a smartphone app or web interface.


Another unique feature is the Almond 3's siren system that can serve as a home security device when communicating with doors, lights, and other scenarios. The router's maximum bandwidth is just under 900 Mbps on 5 GHz and 300 Mbps on a 2.4 GHz frequency band. It has one WAN port and two LAN ports.

Where to Buy

​Linksys Dual-Band WiFi Router for Home (AC1200 Fast Wireless Router)


Linksys Dual-Band WiFi Router for Home (AC1200 Fast Wireless Router)
  • Provides up to 1,000 square feet of WiFi coverage for 10+ wireless devices
  • Works with existing modem, simple setup through Linksys App
  • Enjoy 4K HD streaming, gaming and more in high quality without buffering

Features

The Linksys Dual-Band WiFi Router for Home comes in a variety of choices. The AC1200 is the model available for under $100; other models include the AC1750, AC1900, AC2200, AC2200 Mesh, and the AC5400.


The AC1200 can service 1,000 square feet of Wi-Fi while servicing 10 or more wireless components. A Linksys app allows users of all skill levels to set up quickly and use the router. The dual bands can reach 300 Mbps on the 2.4 frequency band and just under 900 Mbps on the 5 GHz band for a total of about 1,200 Mbps.


The Gigabit Ethernet ports are up to 10 times faster than simple Ethernet. Two antennas are adjustable but not removable, and four LAN ports, a WAN port, and a USB 2.0 port are featured along with a power switch. There is also a reset button on the bottom of the unit.


A Smart Wi-Fi Web interface allows you to interact with widgets, control guest networks, exercise parental controls, view status and settings, and much more. You can also designate network priority for particular apps, games, or other devices.

Where to Buy

Linksys AC1900 Wi-Fi Wireless Dual-Band+Router 


Linksys AC1900 Wi-Fi Wireless Dual-Band+ Router with Gigabit & USB 3.0...
  • Up to N600 Mbps (2.4 GHz) + AC1300 Mbps (5.0 GHz) speeds with Simultaneous Dual Band
  • Platform Compatibility : Windows XP, Windows Vista 32/64, Windows 7 32/64, Windows 8 32/64, Mac 10.5.8 Leopard, Mac 10.6.1 Snow Leopard, Mac 10.7 Lion or later
  • Includes Linksys Smart Wi Fi providing easy CD free set up, remote network management, parental control and app enabled networking

Features

The Linksys AC1900 Wi-Fi Wireless Dual-Band+ Router is a dual-band Wi-Fi router with smart technology. It can stream data on its dual channels at 600 Mbps and 1,300 Mbps for speeds up to AC 1900. It also downloads in a flash with Gigabit Wi-Fi. Users have all they need to enjoy gaming, videos, and other online interests. Multiple friends and family can enjoy simultaneous online activities with little to no buffering.


The unit has three adjustable antennas to ensure long-range and proper distribution along with one USB 3.0 port and one USB 2.0 port. Beamforming technology helps ensure a consistent connection among multiple smart components. The router uses an 800 Mhz CPU for efficient processing.


The Smart Wi-Fi App lets you gain real-time information about your system, prioritize devices, and determine parental controls.

Where to Buy

​TP-Link N450 Wi-Fi Router - Wireless Internet Router


TP-Link N450 Wi-Fi Router - Wireless Internet Router for Home,...
  • Wireless N speed up to 450Mbps, ideal for bandwidth-intensive tasks like HD video streaming, VoIP, and online gaming. Not compatible with phoneline internet. 802.11n technology, 15x faster with 5x the range of 802.11g, Three antennas for increased coverage and stability, System Requirements - Microsoft Windows 98SE, NT, 2000, XP, Vista or Windows 7, Windows8/ 8.1/10, MAC OS, NetWare, UNIX or Linux
  • IP based bandwidth control allows you to determine how much bandwidth is allotted to each device, WPS button for one-touch wireless security encryption. Wireless Modes- Router Mode, Range Extender(for V5 and later), Access Point Mode (for V5 and later). Wireless Functions- Enable/Disable Wireless Radio, WDS Bridge, WMM, Wireless Statistics
  • Parental Controls to manage Internet access on children's or employees's computers, Industry-leading 2-year warranty and unlimited 24/7 technical support

Features

For a thrifty man's special entry in the search for the best router under 100 dollars, the TP-Link N450 Wi-Fi Router is available for around $25. It offers speeds limited to 450 Mbps. Three antennas help to distribute coverage and maintain stability.


Users have the ability to distribute a specific amount of bandwidth to correlating devices. A WPS button enables security encryption, and parental controls can manipulate internet access for children or guests.


Four LAN ports and a 10/100 Mbps WAN port are also featured on the product. Despite its modest price tag, the router still comes with a two-year warranty, and 24-7 access is provided.

Where to Buy

​D-Link AC1200 Wifi Router – Smart Dual Band


D-Link AC1200 Wifi Router - Smart Dual Band - Gigabit - MU-Mimo - High...
  • AC1200 high speed Router: Fast HD/3D streaming speeds (up to 300 Mbps on 2.4 gigahertz and 867 Mbps on 5 gigahertz)
  • Simultaneous dual band WiFi: browse the web on one band while streaming media on the other
  • High gain antennas: 4 high powered antennas and amplifiers provide wider coverage throughout your home

Features

The D-Link AC1200 Wifi Router has a dual-band processor for reliable Wi-Fi and a number of user options. The account manager can exercise parental controls, create and oversee guest networks, and designate the components that receive service priority.


The unit is just under 9x6 inches with a width of 1.25 inches. That small body still sports four external antennas, however, the antennas are not removable. Non-removable antennas eliminate the possibility of replacing and/or upgrading.


D-Link also found room for eight led lights that indicate the status of power, Internet, Wi-Fi, WPS, and various ports. The back of the device features four Gigabit LAN ports, one WAN port, and buttons for power and WPS.


The processor reaches maximum speeds of 300 Mpbs on the 2.4 GHz frequency band and almost 900 Mbps on the 5 GHz band. It also features a 660 MGz processor.


A web-based console is a hub for managing the device, while other users prefer the downloadable app available for iOS and Android devices. The home screen is simple and user-friendly, and a Setup Wizard helps users along the way. Control all your network and internet settings through the console or the app, including wireless settings, security settings, Wi-Fi channels, and secondary network settings.

Where to Buy

​Linksys WRT54GL Wi-Fi Wireless-G Broadband Router


Linksys WRT54GL Wi-Fi Wireless-G Broadband Router
  • Linux based Internet sharing Router with built in 4 port Switch and Wireless G Access Point
  • Shares a single Internet connection (10/100 WAN) with 4 Ethernet wired (10/100 switched LAN ;Compliant with the IEEE 802.11b/g protocol;LEDs: Power, DMZ, WLAN, Ethernet (1, 2, 3, 4), Internet
  • Max. Link Rate:54 Mbps; Has 2 External Antennas ; supports WPA2 standards for use of the available encryption regardless of client devices and features a built in SPI firewall to prevent potential attacks from the Internet

Features

Linksys WRT54GL Wi-Fi Wireless-G Broadband Router is another entry for the best router under 100 dollars that is on the lower end of the price spectrum at around $35. It features a browser configuration tool to manipulate your network and security settings as well as step-by-step instructions to make setup easy.


Choose your encryption settings, DHCP settings, and firewall settings. The Linksys WRT54GL Wi-Fi Wireless-G Broadband Router has two specific firewall settings to choose from, including the Stateful Packet Inspection and the NAT firewall. The Stateful Packet Inspection helps ensure the legitimacy of your connections, and the NAT protects your computer behind the router.


This router also gives you the ability to block services or select one computer to place outside the firewall while continuing to protect other computers in your network. This feature is handy when certain members of your home want to enjoy gaming or streaming while keeping other users and computers protected.


The product also provides solid password protection. You can choose between WPA or WEP to ensure older machines can still enjoy password protection. The antennas are removable, so you can upgrade or replace them as needed.


A SpeedBooster is a unique perk that comes with the Linksys WRT54GL Wi-Fi Wireless-G Broadband Router. This proprietary speed enhancement is able to increase performance across your network.

Where to Buy

UTT AC60 Dual Band WiFi Router 


UTT AC60 Dual Band WiFi Router AC 1200 High Power | USB | Parental...
  • Super-fast dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi at up to 1200Mbps. 5 high-gain (7dBi) external antennas offer superior Wi-Fi coverage over an expansive area especially in multiple-story buildings
  • USB 2.0 port supports file sharing, easy to configure
  • Advanced settings to give every device or group of devices the bandwidth it needs with IP/MAC based QoS

Features

The UTT AC60 Dual Band WiFi Router is a product intended for households running on a 5GHz network. It features five fixed antennas for efficient Wi-Fi coverage that can be effective in homes with multiple levels. It also has a 2.0 USB port for printing, file sharing, and other tasks.


The dual-band processor can reach speeds of 1,200 Mbps by using MIMO technology to increase wireless speed.


Parental controls not only allow you to determine what children can and cannot access, it also lets you put time variables on when they access particular destinations. The user interface is straightforward, and users consistently find it easy to manipulate. A variety of password security options are available along with address filters, whitelist and blacklist options, and operating modes.

Where to Buy

The Verdict on the Best Router Under 100 Dollars

Selecting the best router under 100 dollars was no easy task, and we recognize that our choice may not be your choice. We gave our official nod of approval to the TP-Link AC1900 Smart Wireless Router. We love the impressive warranty on the product.

At the end of the day, 1,900 Mbps for under $100 is an incredible deal. The 1 GHz dual-core processor ensures a fast and uninterrupted connection as users stream audio and video, participate in gaming, or enjoy their favorite online activity. Users can even be busy at the same time on multiple devices.

For under $100, the TP-Link AC1900 Smart Wireless Router will service most users effectively and sufficiently, and we recommend it without reservation.

Featured Image Source: Pexels.com

The 10 Best Condenser Mics, Know Your Sound

Best Condenser Mic

The world is a noisy place. No matter whether you are out in nature or locked into the urban grid, you are surrounded by a cacophony of sounds that can be either pleasing or painful. When it comes to capturing the right sound and having it retain the tone you want, you will need one of the best condenser mic options on the market.

Even though they are an older design than dynamic mics, condenser mics are still the preferred method of studio recording. We will explore the reasons that this model remains so popular, and we will even list the top ten best condenser mics that we could find on the internet. In the end, we awarded one model our “best condenser mic” award as we found it to be one the best product for its price point.

We will share our winner and our runners up with you, but first, let us answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the best condenser mics around.

Product FAQ

Studio's Best Condenser Mics

Image by David Reed from Pixabay

1. What Is A Condenser Mic?

2. Are Condenser Mics The Same As Capacitor Mics?

3. Why Use One Of The Best Condenser Mics Over A Dynamic Mic?

​4. Are Condenser Mics Always Better Than Dynamic Mics?

5. Where Can You Buy The Best Condenser Mic?

​How We Reviewed

Studio's best condenser mics

Photo by Prince Abid on Unsplash

We evaluated many products in our search for the best condenser mic on the market. First, we narrowed down the nearly infinite list of mics available on the internet. Only the cream of the crop was ultimately scored. Once we had separated the wheat from the chaff, we came up with a shortlist of the ten best condenser mics around. Each of these competitors was then scored according to how it fared with the following questions:

  • ​How easy is this mic to use? 
  • ​How sensitive is this condenser mic? 
  • ​How easily does this mic connect to other gear? 
  • ​Does this product offer noise cancellation? 
  • ​How well does its noise cancellation work? 
  • ​What is the overall quality of sound recorded by this microphone?

The entries were then scored across our best condenser mic criteria so that a mathematical winner could be picked.

​Overall Price Range

Folded Dollar Bills

Image by NikolayFrolochkin from Pixabay

The best condenser mics really run the gamut when it comes to their price points. Some of the most viable options we found can be purchased for around a hundred dollars. More on this list tended to hover around the two hundred dollar mark, but some cost nearly a thousand dollars.

​What We Reviewed

  • ​Shure SM7B Cardioid Dynamic Microphone
  • ​Rode NTK Condenser Microphone
  • ​Rode NT1-A Condenser Microphone
  • ​Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Studio XLR Microphone
  • ​MXL V67G Large Capsule Condenser Microphone
  • ​M-Audio Nova Condenser Microphone
  • ​MXL Mics 770 Cardioid Condenser Microphone
  • ​Sterling Audio St55 Large Diaphragm Fet Condenser Microphone
  • ​Blue Yeti USB Microphone
  • ​Rode NT-USB Cardioid Condenser Microphone
Shure SM7B Cardioid Dynamic Microphone
  • Flat, wide-range frequency response for exceptionally clean and natural reproduction of both music and speech
  • Bass rolloff and mid-range emphasis (presence boost) controls with graphic display of response setting
  • Improved rejection of electromagnetic hum, optimized for shielding against broadband interference emitted by computer monitors

Features

Few of the best condenser mics are as storied as the Shure SM7B Cardioid Dynamic Microphone. This model was partially used to record Michael Jackon’s famous Thriller. This is a mid to high-end microphone in terms of price. The design is classic. While it can be used for any type of directional recording, it is widely considered to be one of the best condenser mic options for recording male vocals.

Pros ​

  • ​Picks up a flat, wide-range of frequencies for a clean sound
  • ​Comes with a pop-shield and a carrying case
  • ​Isolated from shocks by air suspension
  • ​Weighs only about two pounds

Cons ​

  • ​Quite directional
  • ​Low level output is subpar

Ease of Use

We found this to be among the easiest microphones to set up and use. Nothing threw us for a loop using this model.

Sensitivity

​Although the pickup was quite directional, it nonetheless was very sensitive to tiny changes in sound.

Connectivity

​The Shure SM7B Cardioid Dynamic Microphone is known for easily integrating into existing audio recording setups.

Noise Cancellation

This model does not have a noise cancellation feature per se. However, it does use an internal “air suspension” to virtually eliminate all mechanical noise transmission.

Sound Quality

​This is potentially the best condenser mic for picking up male vocals.

Rode NTK Premium Tube Cardioid Condenser Microphone
  • ENSURE YOU BUY GENUINE RØDE PRODUCTS! Products from sellers which say 'fulfilled by Amazon' under the price are NOT authorized resellers, and may not be selling genuine product.
  • Buy only from Amazon.com (labelled 'shipped and sold by Amazon.com')
  • A premium valve condenser microphone designed to provide incredible detail and warmth in the studio

Features

​The Rode NTK Condenser Microphone is a premium valve-type condenser microphone. It provides incredible detail and a great warmth of sound. Many users find it to be the best condenser mic for recording rich sound from vocals, acoustic instruments, drum overheads, guitar amps, and even pianos.

Pros ​

  • ​Excellently records a wide range of instruments
  • ​Great for studio use
  • ​Comes with audiophile-grade components

Cons ​

  • ​Not the cheapest mic on the market

Ease of Use

​This microphone comes with a lot of hand-selected features that are better for the professional than for the amateur.

Sensitivity

​The hand-selected twin-triode 6922 valve makes for nearly unparalleled sensitivity.

Connectivity

​This mic easily hooks up to existing systems. However, its more advanced features may make this step slightly more complicated than it is for other mics.

Noise Cancellation

​This mic picks up very little unintended noise. It makes for a much more streamlined recording process.

Sound Quality

​The sound quality is so good, it will have you believing that a tiny Australian microphone company like Rode would quickly establish campuses in Los Angeles, New York, London, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and Seoul.

Rode NT1-A Anniversary Vocal Cardioid Condenser Microphone Package
  • ENSURE YOU BUY GENUINE RØDE PRODUCTS! Products from sellers which say 'fulfilled by Amazon' under the price are NOT authorized resellers, and may not be selling genuine product.
  • Buy only from Amazon.com (labelled 'shipped and sold by Amazon.com')
  • Delivers a warmth, extended dynamic range, and high SPL capability typical of more expensive offerings

Features

​This is another great product from Rode. It is one of the best condenser mics that you can buy for under two hundred and fifty dollars. This is the entire package. It comes with its own carrying bag and pop shield to further enhance the quality of its recordings.

Pros ​

  • ​Comes with all you need
  • ​Delivers a warm, dynamic range of sounds
  • ​Greatly cuts down on noise compared to other mics

Cons ​

  • ​Some users report a short life for this product

Ease of Use

​It works quite great at the beginning of its life. Some have issues getting that same quality as this product ages.

Sensitivity

​We were impressed with how sensitive this microphone was. Its sensitivity is more comparable to mics that are much more expensive.

Connectivity

​We experienced no problems connecting this mic to our existing recording setup.

Noise Cancellation

​Some noise does get through, but for the most part, this mic recorded just what we hoped it would.

Sound Quality

​The quality that is captured by this mic is more reminiscent of higher-end mics than of lower-end ones.

Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Studio XLR Microphone, Black
  • The price/performance standard in side address studio condenser microphone technology
  • Ideal for project/home studio applications; The noise level is 20 dB SPL
  • High SPL handling and wide dynamic range provide unmatched versatility

Features

​Many users consider the Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Studio XLR Microphone to be one of the best investments for sound recording. It does not jack up its price with bells and whistles, but it out-competes most mics that are in its price range. It’s great for recording sounds up close.

Pros ​

  • ​Affordable and well made
  • ​Produces excellent recordings of both instruments and vocals
  • ​Comes with a soft case
  • ​Can be purchased for under a hundred dollars

Cons ​

  • ​Unfortunately, it picks up a fair amount of noise
  • ​Not the highest quality microphone

Ease of Use

​This is one of the best condenser mics for beginners.

Sensitivity

​It captures sound well, but sometimes that sound comes with extra noise on the recording.

Connectivity

​We were able to hook this up with very little additional fanfare.

Noise Cancellation

​This is probably the weakest component of this mic. However, few mics that are this cheap work this well.

Sound Quality

​The sound quality is as good as you can get for under a hundred dollars.

MXL V67G Large Capsule Condenser Microphone
  • Large 32mm pressure gradient condenser capsule
  • Gold-sputtered, 6 micron density diaphragm
  • Solid state preamp balanced transformer output

Features

​One great feature of condenser mics is that they often look better than other types. In fact, the MXL V67G Large Capsule Condenser Microphone is one of the best condenser mics in terms of its aesthetics. It is handsomely green and gold-plated. It actually provides solid sound recording for seeming to put so much of its design effort into its looks. Some things can be both pretty and functional, like this mic.

Pros ​

  • ​Beautiful green and gold design
  • ​Weighs a measly ten ounces
  • ​Provides an “old school” mellow sound
  • ​Can be purchased for under a hundred ​One of the best condenser mics that can be bought for under sixty dollars

Cons ​

  • ​Sound quality is tailored to a specific vibe
  • ​Offers fewer features than its competition

Ease of Use

​We were never tripped up when using this microphone.

Sensitivity

​This is not the mic you want to isolate sounds from one another.

Connectivity

​It easily integrates into any existing sound recording setup.

Noise Cancellation

​You will probably pick up some unintended noise with this mic.

Sound Quality

​The quality is quite impressive for the price point that MXL asks.

M-Audio M-Track 2X2 Vocal Studio Pro | Complete Vocal Production...
  • Includes M-Track C-Series 2X2 USB/USB-C Audio Interface featuring 24-bit/192kHz resolution for professional recording / monitoring and all new Crystal Preamps that deliver pristine, transparent sound
  • Dedicated XLR+¼" TRS combo input and ¼" instrument High-Z input accommodates all common input types; Stereo ¼" outs; ¼" headphone out with independent level control for versatile monitoring options
  • Hi-Speed USB connection with USB/Direct balance knob for zero-latency monitoring; Includes both standard USB and USB-C connection cables

Features

​The M-Audio Nova uses a 1.1” diameter evaporated gold diaphragm to produce smooth and accurate sound. It picks up sound in a cardioid pattern so you can best isolate your recording from the noise in the room. Its look is solid if a bit uninspired.

Pros ​

  • ​Sound is both smooth and accurate
  • ​Can easily cut out noise from recordings
  • ​Comes with a hard mount, a soft case, and an XLR cable

Cons ​

  • ​Difficult to find in stock
  • ​Not one of the cheapest mics

Ease of Use

​If you’ve used a condenser mic before, this model will not throw you for a loop.

Sensitivity

​This mic picks up what you want to record while easily cutting out that which you do not want to record.

Connectivity

​We never ran into a problem connecting this mic.

Noise Cancellation

​This is one of the better mics when it comes to isolating your recording from the noise in the room.

Sound Quality

The sounds recorded by this mic are extremely lifelike.

MXL Mics 770 Cardioid Condenser Microphone
  • Multi-purpose condenser microphone
  • Excellent for vocals, pianos, stringed instruments, and percussion
  • Balanced bass response with high end clarity

Features

​This is one of the best condenser mics for the budding recording artist. It is one of the best options for its price. It is easy to set up and easy to use. However, it still delivers top of the line sound.

Pros ​

  • ​One of the most affordable options in this list
  • ​Records vocals and instruments with equal ease
  • ​Comes with its own hard case

Cons ​

  • ​Picks up more background noise than higher-end options

Ease of Use

​This is a competitor for the easiest microphone to use.

Sensitivity

​This mic is not as sensitive as more expensive microphones.

Connectivity

​Connection is a breeze. This factor aids its claim to be one of the easiest mics to set up.

Noise Cancellation

​This feature is quite subpar. However, it is also a cheap microphone by comparison.

Sound Quality

​The sound quality is quite impressive for how little money MXL aks for this mic.

Sterling Audio ST51 Large Diaphragm FET Condenser Microphone...
  • Custom-wound nickel core output transformer
  • Rugged vinyl zipper case included

Features

​This is a handsome mic. Looking beautiful in black and silver, it also does a great job recording just the right sounds of the studio. It comes with a rugged carrying case to keep this mic looking great for the long-haul.

Pros ​

  • ​Possibly the best condenser mic in terms of sensitivity
  • ​Sensitive to sound you want while still cutting out noise
  • ​Design is handsome
  • ​Comes with a hard carrying case

Cons ​

  • ​Can be difficult to find in stock

Ease of Use

​Everything hooks up easily. The on-mic controls are easy to understand and to use.

Sensitivity

​This is potentially the most sensitive mic on our list.

Connectivity

​We never lost connectivity when testing this as one of the best condenser mics on the market.

Noise Cancellation

​This microphone easily isolates sound from noise.

Sound Quality

​The sound quality is greatly aided by the disk resonator design that this model incorporates.

Blue Yeti USB Microphone - Silver
  • Tri-capsule array - 3 condenser capsules can record almost any situation.
  • Multiple pattern selection - cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional & stereo.
  • Gain control, mute button, zero-latency headphone output.

Features

​For a microphone that has a color in the title, the Blue Yeti USB Microphone actually comes in a wide variety of colors. You can choose between platinum, red, silver, Aztec copper, black, cool grey, lunar grey, midnight blue, prime red, satin red, slate, space grey, teal, and “whiteout” white. This may seem superficial, but today many people make money by recording video alongside their audio. If you are aiming to be a YouTube influencer, even your gear needs to look good.

Pros ​

  • ​Can be switched between cardioid, stereo, omnidirectional, and bidirectional recording
  • ​Easily connects to either Macs or PCS
  • ​Many color options
  • ​Great for podcasting and streaming

Cons ​

  • ​Better for home recording than studio recording

Ease of Use

​We highly recommend this mic for beginners.

Sensitivity

​This is great for recording voice over and podcasts.

Connectivity

​USB connectivity means it works with any computer.

Noise Cancellation

​It is not the absolute best at cutting out unwanted sound. However, it is great for at-home projects.

Sound Quality

​The audio quality is great for a mic that costs less than two hundred dollars.

Rode NT-USB Versatile Studio-Quality USB Cardioid Condenser Microphone
  • ENSURE YOU BUY GENUINE RØDE PRODUCTS! Products from sellers which say 'fulfilled by Amazon' under the price are NOT authorized resellers, and may not be selling genuine product.
  • Buy only from Amazon.com (labelled 'shipped and sold by Amazon.com')
  • High quality studio microphone with the convenience of USB connectivity

Features

​This is Rode’s answer to the USB mic. The Rode NT-USB Cardioid Condenser Microphone provides studio-quality recording while being able to easily hook up to your Mac or PC through a USB cable. Rode goes the extra mile and provides you with a professional pop shield, a ring mount, a tripod desk stand, a storage pouch, and a USB cable.

Pros ​

  • ​Comes with both USB and 3.5mm connectivity
  • ​Package includes many extras like a storage pouch and a ring mount
  • ​Sound is nearly unparalleled for a USB mic

Cons ​

  • ​Only uses one polar pattern
  • ​Sometimes picks up desk and keypad noises

Ease of Use

​USB connectivity makes it extremely easy to use.

Sensitivity

​This mic is perhaps a bit too sensitive. Some users have problems with their mic picking up their controller presses or keypad clicks.

Connectivity

​Whether you use USB or 3.5mm, this is one of the best condenser mics in terms of connectivity.

Noise Cancel​lation

​It does not do a stellar job at keeping unwanted noise out of your recording.

Sound Quality

​The sound that it does pick up sounds quite good, if just a bit noisy.

​The Verdict: The Best Condenser Mic

Ultimately, which microphone is the best condenser mic for you will depend on your needs and your budget. Some users are able to spend up to a thousand dollars on their microphones and this may be necessary if you are attempting to record album quality sound. However, many people today are using microphones for audiences that need to hear but are not necessarily audiophiles.

Many people looking for new microphones want to enhance their Twitch stream or their YouTube news channel. For ventures like these, consistency is more important than producing the highest quality of studio sound. Some of these users value noise cancellation over sound quality, since audiences would rather not have to listen to annoying button presses while they watch a live stream. Many people make money off of playing video games in the public eye, and for them, being cheap is a much better feature than that all noise is cut out of their recording.

With these considerations in mind, we had to pick the Blue Yeti USB Microphone to receive our Best Condenser Mic designation. Not only does the microphone easily connect to your computer, but it also looks great whenever it is caught on camera. The sound it picks up is great and many people consider this mic to represent the gold standard for budget recording options. Perhaps the most advanced feature on this mic is that it can be easily switched between cardioid, stereo, omnidirectional, and bidirectional recording modes.

All these features are packed into an affordable bundle that makes the Blue Yeti USB Microphone our top pick for the best condenser mic on the market. We wish you the best in your recording adventures with one of the best condenser mics around.

LG Gram Laptop: An In-Depth Review Of Its Specification

person using an lg gram laptop

Back in 2016, LG released a line of ultra-light laptops which was brand as LG Gram. It’s hard not to be impressed when the company has managed to create premium 15-inch laptops that are no heavier than most 13 inchers.

However, this 2018, the market for ultralight premium laptops has tapered out. These days, people want portable computing devices that may not be as light but can offer more power and versatility at a lesser price.

This doesn’t stop LG from continuing the LG Gram lineup.

The LG Gram 15 is the latest iteration of the Gram series. Does it offer much in terms of performance and versatility? Or is it just another featherlight laptop with gutted features?

Let’s find out!

Before we discuss the key features of this laptop, let’s first take a look at its key specs:

LG gram Thin and Light Laptop - 15.6" Full HD IPS Display, Intel Core...
  • Light Weight Laptop - Weighs Under 2.5 Pounds
  • Long-Lasting 60Wh Battery , Speakers : Stereo Speaker (1.0W x 2).
  • 15.6 Inch Full HD IPS Display w/ Ultra-Slim Bezel

Ease Of Use

Assembly Time

Design Quality

Warranty

Technical Specifications

General
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home 64-bit Edition
  • Manufacturer: LG
Processor / Chipset
  • CPU: Intel Core i7 (8th Gen) 8550U / 1.8 GHz
  • Max Turbo Speed: 4 GHz
  • check
    Number of Cores: Dual-Core
  • check
    Cache: 8 MB
  • check
    64-bit Computing: Yes
Cache Memory
  • Installed Size: 8 MB
RAM
  • Installed Size: 8 MB
Storage
  • Interface: Serial ATA
Display
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080 (Full HD)
  • check
    Widescreen Display: Yes
  • check
    Type: LCD
  • check
    Touchscreen: Yes
  • check
    TFT Technology: IPS
Audio & Video
  • Graphics Processor: Intel HD Graphics 620
  • check
    Sound: Stereo speakers, microphone
Hard Drive
  • Type: SSD M.2
  • check
    Capacity: 512 GB
Input
  • Type: Keyboard, touchpad
  • check
    Features: Gesture function
Battery
  • Capacity: 72 Wh
  • check
    Cells: 4-cell
  • check
    Technology: Lithium polymer
  • check
    Run Time (Up To): 16.5 hours

Design

Audio and Video

Performance

Battery Life

Pricing

Similar Products

The Gram 15 is an excellent portable device but how does it compare with similar laptops in the same price range? Here are some of the related models that are worth a look.

The Dell XPS 15 Touch is a 15.6 inches laptop that features similar specs to the LG Gram 15. However, the XPS 15 Touch features a stellar 4K resolution which in some way or form better than the 1080p screen found in the Gram. Aside from the superior resolution, the juiced-up contrast ratio of the display is a nice feature to have.

The Dell XPS 15 Touch also comes with an Intel Kaby Lake Core i7-7700HQ Quad Core Processor which is a whole lot better than the CPU found in the Gram 15. This laptop also comes with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 with 4GB GDDR5 which should be more than enough to handle most modern games.

When comparing the specs, the Dell XPS 15 Touch and LG Gram 15 are fairly similar but it’s clear that the former is the powerhouse between the two. However, it’s worth noting that the XPS 15 Touch comes at a higher price tag. The most expensive model can cost you around more than two thousand.

The Dell XPS 15 Touch is clearly marketed towards the PC enthusiasts.

Ease Of Use

Assembly Time

Design Quality

Warranty

Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (Mid 2017), 15.4", Intel Core...
  • Renewed products look and work like new. These products have been inspected and tested by Amazon-qualified suppliers, which typically perform a full diagnostic test, replacement of any defective parts, and a thorough cleaning process. Packaging and accessories may be generic. This product is backed by a 1 year Woot Warranty
  • 15.4-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display with IPS technology; 2880-by-1800 resolution at 220 pixels per inch with support for millions of colors
  • 2.8GHz quad-core Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz) with 6MB shared L3 cache - 256GB PCI-E based flash memory storage, 16GB of 2133MHz LPDDR3 onboard memory

Another laptop that we have mentioned earlier in the article is Apple’s own offering, the MacBook Pro.

Again, the specs of the MacBook Pro and LG Gram 15 are very similar with key differences. For starters, all models of the current-gen MacBook Pro come with quad-core Intel Core i7 processor which is faster than the Gram’s Intel Core i7-8550U CPU.

The MacBook Pro is also loaded with Intel Iris Pro Graphics which is by far the better integrated graphics than the Gram’s Intel UHD Graphics 620, and that’s just the base model. The two most expensive MacBook Pro models come with Radeon Pro graphics card.

However, the MacBook Pros don’t have touchscreen capability, just the Touch Bar and Touch ID. So those who are looking for a touchscreen will have to get the Gram 15.

In terms of pricing, the Gram is still the more affordable option. The base MacBook Pro model comes with a two thousand dollar price while the most expensive version will cost you almost three grand.

Ease Of Use

Assembly Time

Design Quality

Warranty

Pros and Cons

Below is the summary of the Gram 15’s strengths and weaknesses.

Pros

  • Amazing lightweight design
  • Excellent battery life
  • Impressive performance
  • Solid gaming performance
  • The 1080p touch display is both  beautiful and functional
  • Decent webcam
  • A good set of speakers

Cons

  • Looks aren’t that premium
  • Numeric keypad layout is a bit odd
  • The laptop can feel flimsy at times

Conclusion

young woman using a laptop while relaxing at home

So there you have it, our review of the LG Gram 15. So, would we recommend this featherlight notebook? Absolutely!

In terms of design and weight alone, the Gram is an easy buy. It is honestly one of the most portable notebooks that we have reviewed and it’s made even more impressive that it’s a 15-inch laptop. It’s by far not the most powerful laptop in the market considering the price, but it managed to impress us with its performance and functionality. The long battery life is also a great benefit if you’re a mobile user.

What LG did here is made an already existing good product and made it a lot better. We rate the LG Gram 15 a 4.5 star out of 5 rating. We highly recommend this featherlight but beefy laptop.

Kindle Paperwhite E-Reader Review

Kindle Paperwhite E-reader

Image from Amazon

There have been a few iterations of the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite over the years, but its looks haven’t changed much. That’s been reserved for the more expensive Kindle Oasis, which now comes in a stylish leather case.

Kindle E-reader

Image from Amazon

Instead of focusing on looks, the latest Paperwhite takes a leaf from its predecessor (the Kindle Voyage), prioritizing sharpness of display and user-friendliness over design. Quite incredibly, the Kindle Paperwhite has managed to deliver the same sharp display as its forerunner while maintaining a pocket-friendly price.

But is there more to the Kindle Paperwhite, or is it just another cheap addition to the Amazon E-Book reader collection? Read on to find out.

What is the Kindle Paperwhite and How Does it Work?

Paperwhite E-reader

Image from Amazon

The Kindle Paperwhite is part of Amazon’s collection of e-readers. This device allows you to browse, download, buy and read newspapers, e-books, magazines and other forms of digital media through a wireless connection to the Kindle Store.

While it strikingly resembles a tablet, it can’t perform tasks that ordinary tabs do. For instance, you cannot use the Kindle Paperwhite to play games or watch videos. However, you can play simple word games online using this e-reader.

So, wouldn’t you be better off with a tablet? Not if you are a serial reader. First, tablets cost almost as twice as e-readers. Secondly, the Kindle Paperwhite offers a better reading experience than tablets.

Instead of the backlight that is common in LCD tablets, this electronic reader utilizes a transparent light guide to direct light emitted by four edge-mounted Light-Emitting Diodes to the display. This results in a display that allows you to read for a long time without straining your eyes.

Specifications

Kindle Paperwhite E-reader (Previous Generation - 7th) - Black, 6"...
  • Now available in black or white
  • Higher resolution display (300 ppi) - with twice as many pixels
  • Built-in adjustable light - read day and night

Image from Amazon

Dimensions

6.7"x 4.6” x 0.36” (169 mm x 117 mm x 9.1 mm)

Screen Size

6" glare-free

Audible

Yes – when paired with Bluetooth-enabled speakers or headphones

Storage

4 GB; holds thousands of books.

Resolution

167 ppi

Battery Life

Weeks

Connectivity

Supports public and private Wi-Fi networks or hotspots that use the 802.11b, 802.11g, or 802.11n standard with support for WEP, WPA and WPA2 security using password authentication or Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS).

Content Formats Supported

Kindle Format 8 (AZW3), Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; HTML DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, PMP through conversion.

Kindle Paperwhite Review

kindle paperwhite

Image from Amazon

1. Pricing

2. Display

3. Design

4. Key Specs

5. Battery Life

6. User Interface and Overall Reading Experience

How Does the Kindle Paperwhite Compare to Similar Products?

paperwhite

Image from Amazon

The Kindle store remains at the top of the chain in the ebook space, and it doesn’t seem like this will change any soon. Therefore, Amazon devices such as the Kindle Paperwhite are still the best option as far as access to the best selection of e-books and value for money are concerned.

The Amazon Kindle Unlimited service is the equivalent of Netflix for Ebooks, and a monthly subscription of 9.99 dollars grants you access to millions of titles.

Besides the proprietary AZW and AZW3 formats, the Kindle Paperwhite supports PDF, TXT, MOBI, HTML, PRC, JPEG, DOC, GIF, DOCX, BMP and PNG file formats. EPUB is notably absent here, and its absence limits your sharing options. This is one of the areas where Kobo and Barnes and Noble edge out Amazon.

However, you can still connect the Kindle Paperwhite to a PC or a Mac as a USB mass storage device. This means you can download reading material from other platforms with your PC or Mac and transfer them to the Kindle Paperwhite for easy reading.

Kobo Glo HD

Image from Amazon

As far as other E ink-based alternatives go, Kobo Glo HD comes closest to the Kindle Paperwhite. Like the Paperwhite, it offers sharp fonts with high resolution. But unlike Amazon’s Kindle, it’s water resistant. However, it’s priced higher than the Kindle Paperwhite and doesn’t have Amazon’s outstanding e-book Ecosystem.

Amazon’s Kindle Oasis is also a serious contender for the brand’s best e-reader. While it delivers the same resolution and a brighter screen, it simply doesn’t offer the same value for money as the Paperwhite.

The table below contains comparative data on Kindle Paperwhite and two of its closest competitors.

kindle oasis

Image from Amazon

Kobo Glo HD

Ease of use

Assembly time

Build Quality

Warranty

Note: The prices above represent Amazon pricing in the US at the time of review. Prices may vary according to region and time.

As you can see, the standard Kindle Paperwhite edges its competitors in terms of sheer value. While it has the lowest price of the bunch, it stacks up nicely to its closest competitors, including the Nook Glowlight Plus, which was specifically designed to compete with the Kindle Paperwhite.

Nook GlowLight Plus

Image from Amazon

The only area where the two competing brands outperform the Kindle Paperwhite is the build quality, and that is only because they are waterproof and the Paperwhite is not.

PROS 

  • It offers the best value for money compared to competing brands and products.
  • The latest Kindle Paperwhite has better performance and speed than its predecessor.
  • The interface is user-friendly.
  • The Kindle Paperwhite has a sharp, bright screen with a higher resolution than most e-readers. Amazon’s Kindle Oasis is the only e-reader with a brighter screen than the kindle paperwhite.
  • The kindle paperwhite comes with cloud storage, allowing you to back up your reading material for future use.
  • It allows you to access the Kindle store, the leading ebook store.

CONS 

  • Unlike the Voyage, it doesn’t have an adaptive backlight.
  • It lacks water resistance capabilities, something that the Kobo Glo HD and the Nook GlowLight Plus have.
  • It lacks audiobook support.
  • It doesn’t support the EPUB file format, limiting your reading options.

The Final Verdict

Despite its limitations, the Kindle Paperwhite remains one of the best e-readers available in today’s market. At this point, the question on your mind should be what generation of Paperwhite you should be using, and not whether the e-reader is a worthwhile purchase. The bottom line is that you should consider sticking to the second generation unless the extra pixels of resolution is a big deal for you.

A product review isn’t complete without a rating. On the conventional 5-star rating system, this e-reader is worth a 4.5-star rating. But you can give this kindle your own rating by giving it a try and sharing what you think in the comments section.