Singles’ Day: a $30 billion opportunity still missed by many

Established by Chinese University students in the early 90s as the anti-Valentine’s Day event, Singles’ Day has exploded to become the world’s largest retail event, with 2018 sales topping $30 billion over a 24-hour period.

Across Europe, early insights from Rakuten Marketing Display advertisers indicate a 93% increase in orders year-on-year for Singles’ Day 2018. In the UK specifically, advertisers saw a staggering 199% increase in orders, driven by key retail sectors including apparel and accessories.

It’s an astonishing opportunity for businesses around the world, not least those based in the UK. Pioneers such as Burberry have already realised huge growth in digital sales through the APAC region, with Chinese tourists contributing a significant lift in Hong Kong, Korea and Japan.

Despite all this, recent research indicates UK businesses are missing out almost entirely, with 74% of marketing professionals focused on the local market. Rather than focus on Singles’ Day, which draws the attention of one in ten marketers, brands instead choose to keep campaigns constant through the year at the expense of any major seasonal peaks.

  • Follow all the latest Black Friday deals here

The rise of ‘always on’ marketing

‘Always on’ marketing, where teams are working consistently around the calendar year to offer online promotions and in-store discounts, is built around local consumer behaviour and a growing trend in early holiday shopping. 

According to the report, Guess Who…Unwrapping the Global Holiday Gift Shopper, two of the most dominant shopper profiles in the UK are the ‘Early Bird Shopper’ (18%), planning up to a year ahead, and the ‘Sporadic Shopper’ (23%) who buys gifts throughout the year. 

However, this approach leaves some of the fastest growing, most lucrative opportunities untapped. In Britain alone, as many as 35% of transactions driven for Rakuten Marketing clients are now taking place overseas. Marketing teams must start focusing on these demographics and carrying out thorough research into local consumer behaviour and trends to inform campaigns.

The APAC opportunity

China is home to the world’s largest retail market, generating nearly $5 trillion in total retail sales in 2017, representing 53.1% of sales in Asia-Pacific (APAC). 

On top of this, marketers have an overwhelmingly positive outlook on the potential for growth in overseas markets. Nearly two-thirds of UK marketers believe their target customers outside of the UK are wealthier, younger and more digitally savvy.

This sentiment is highest among marketers targeting Asia-Pacific where 82% confirm they see their customer base in the region as ‘premium buyers’.

Why then, have so few businesses made the leap? Put simply, just one in ten businesses have local marketing teams in overseas markets able to carry the responsibility for the international roll-out of campaigns. 

Tapping the market

Tapping the APAC market certainly isn’t easy. There are plenty of nuances Western brands must get their heads around to launch products with any success. 

A great example is bulk buying; a phenomenon whereby an individual Chinese shopper will place multiple orders of the same products for friends who can’t get hold of a credit card – behaviour that could be misinterpreted as reseller activity.

To reach customers in the lucrative Chinese market, many businesses will use this time of year as an opportunity to trial promotions and offers to see what best works for the brand. 

Among retailers that have previously participated in Singles’ Day, one of the most valuable assets at their disposal is their data. All businesses in this position must be reviewing the performance of previous years’ campaigns to get a sense of what worked and what didn’t, and use this information as a means for shaping Singles’ Day strategy.

A large part of this involves working out the publishers and platforms most appropriate for the brand to use. Some UK marketers are increasingly using platforms such as the messaging app, WeChat: 36% have used the platform personally. Similarly, 30% have tried the microblogging website Weibo and 18% have tried the social network Renren. 

Similarly, concierge apps are among the most popular platforms used by consumers in China to make shopping from international sites simple. These apps make it easier for international retailers to engage and convert Chinese consumers by translating a brand’s website, working with third party logistic companies and allowing consumers to purchase with Alipay or WeChatPay.

Don’t shy from the international stage

Withdrawal from seasonal marketing peaks doesn’t just mean missed APAC opportunities. Today, just 16% of UK businesses are focused on the international Western shopping peak that is Cyber Week – this is almost half of the proportion of businesses looking to leverage the peak in US.

Instead of shying from the international stage, it’s time for UK brands to invest in seasonal marketing campaigns and Singles’ Day is no exception. Our research also shows APAC shoppers are actually far more likely to visit the brand site itself as part of the online journey than their Western counterparts, allowing teams the opportunity to start small, measure and evolve their strategy. 

Anthony Capano is Managing Director EMEA, Rakuten Marketing 

  • Best e-commerce platform of 2018: get an online store now!

TechUK slammed over support for Brexit deal

Self-appointed voice of the UK tech industry techUK has been hit by a Twitter backlash from some of the country’s leading tech figures after calling for support for Theresa May’s Brexit deal.

The lobbying group, which says it speaks for nearly a thousand technology firms across the UK, has been widely criticsed following a tweet in which it claimed “the tech sector” supported the Withdrawal Agreement put by the Prime Minister to the government yesterday.

“The tech sector is calling on MPs to back Withdrawal Agreement,” the techUK Twitter account said, linking to a comment from the group’s CEO Julian David.

Brexit tech

David said that the terms were, “the only solution on the table that can deliver on the outcome of the 2016 referendum whilst also securing jobs and investment in UK tech.”

However techUK’s claim was quickly criticised by many Twitter users, with hundreds of comments on the original tweet.

This included responses from some of the UK’s leading technology figures criticising the call.

“For goodness sake – I find this astonishing,” wrote Baroness Martha Lane Fox

“Speak for yourself. To whatever extent I am a voice within the UK tech sector, I am calling on MPs to back a People’s Vote.  And I will campaign that we vote to reject this whole nonsense,” wrote Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.

Other responses were far blunter, with one echoing an apparently popular view that, “you don’t speak for me.”

TechRadar Pro has contacted techUK, which counts the likes of Amazon Web Services UK, BAE Systems and Google among its members, for comment.

  • The best VPN service in 2018

Apple iPad Pro (2018) series open for pre-booking in India

Apple’s iPad Pro (2018) is now open for pre-orders on sites of authorised Apple resellers like Maple and Unicorn. Sales for both variants of the new iPad Pro will begin from November 16.

The price for the iPad Pro 11-inch will start at Rs. 71,900, while the 12.9-inch variant will start at Rs. 89,900. Both models will be available in Space Grey and Silver colours, and will feature WiFi and Wi-Fi+Cellular variants as connectivity options.

iPad Pro Features

The iPad Pro features a Liquid Retina display, with screen resolution for the 12.9-inch model being 2732×2048 pixels, as opposed to 2388×1668 for the 11-inch one. They both have the same pixel density of 264 ppi.

The company has removed the round home button on the face of the device, which boasts a 7MP TrueDepth front camera, similar to the iPhone series, as well as a 12MP rear camera. Both iPad Pro variants feature a type-C USB port, which will support USB 3.1 Gen 2. There will be four storage options for the new iPad Pro- 64GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB.

The iPad Pro series is powered by a A12X Bionic chip, which is a 7nm chipset. The A12X Bionic is an octa-core processor, unlike the six-core A12 that powers the iPhone XS. A12X allows for advanced neural networking functions, which can support AR apps and AI-related functions. It has six cored for graphics. The iPad Pro features Face ID, Animoji, and Memoji too.

As accompaniments, there are also the new, 2nd-generation Apple Pencil for the iPad Pro (priced at Rs. 10,900) as well as the (also new) Smart Keyboard Folio. Available in space grey, it will cost Rs. 15,900 for the 11-inch model, and Rs. 17,900 for the 12.9-inch model.

Pricing and offers

The WiFi-only variant of the 11-inch model will cost Rs. 71,900 with 64GB storage, Rs. 85,900 with 256GB, Rs. 1,03,900 with 512GB, and Rs. 1,39,900 with 1TB of storage. 

The 12.9-inch variant (WiFi only) will be priced at Rs. 89,900 with 64GB, Rs. 1,03,900 with 256GB, Rs. 1,21,900 with 512GB, and Rs. 1,57,900 with 1TB of storage.

For the WiFi+Cellular variant, the 11-inch iPad Pro with 64GB will start at Rs. 85,900; the 256GB version will cost Rs. 99,900; the 512GB version will be Rs. 1,17,900; and the 1TB version will cost Rs. 1,53,900.

The most expensive of the iPad Pro line will be the 12.9-inch display iPad pro with 1TB of storage and WiFi+Cellular connectivity: a whopping Rs. 1,71,900. The 512GB version will be priced at Rs. 1,35,900, the 256GB version at Rs. 1,17,900, and the 64GB variant at Rs. 1,03,900.

Depending on your bank, EMI options for the iPad Pro series will start at Rs. 3183 per month. Both Unicorn and Maple are offering a 5 percent cashback option on EMI for Citibank Credit Cards and Axis Bank cardholders. No-Cost EMI is also being offered on Bajaj Finserv.

The MacBook Air 2018 is also listed for pre-orders on both Maple and Unicorn, but no news on an actual release date yet.

If you’re looking for a portable device which will last a good long while, an iPad is always a good idea. The high price (which can be paid over time with EMI) is more than justified when you consider that it can perform most tasks with ease, whether business-related, entertainment (hello, display and graphics), or even academic work (as long as you buy a keyboard, which is also a good idea); moreover, the iPad Pro combines both an attractive display and impressive specs with a tradition of sturdiness and longevity. 

In short, beauty and brains.

  • Snapdragon 8150 benchmark suggests 2019 Androids could outpower iPhone XS

Addressing what’s next in the on-demand economy

Growing customer expectations are fuelling an on-demand economy and the need for compelling experiences. In response to this trend, Zebra Technologies has decided to change the way it talks to its customers.

TechRadar Pro sat down with the company’s global CMO Jeff Schmitz to better understand its new approach and learn why it has decided to focus on the ‘human’ element of its work.

Jeff Schmitz, Global CMO at Zebra Technologies

  • We’ve also highlighted the best task management apps

Save £300 and get the lowest Pixelbook price ever with this early Black Friday deal

The Black Friday deals have landed extra early this year, not that we’re complaining as we’ve been waiting for an offer like this all year. The Google Pixelbook has just been reduced to its lowest-ever price in the UK, saving you an unprecedented £300 off the RRP with a promotional £699 price tag at John Lewis – plus it comes with a two-year guarantee. 

If you have an Argos gift card burning a hole in your pocket, you can get it for a similar £699.99 there, although there’s no two-year warranty.

The Google Pixelbook is an incredibly accomplished Chromebook, but it’s been incredibly expensive since launch, with retailers sticking relentlessly to that £999 price. The lowest price we’ve seen previously was £799.99 at Very.co.uk in June, and the next-best price today is £879 at Amazon. Not that we’ve been stalking the price of the Google Pixelbook or anything – well maybe a little.

The 2-in-1 Pixelbook uses Google’s Chrome operating system instead of Windows, and thousands of paid and free apps are available on the Play Store for both work and play. This is a seriously responsive machine, and we’ve found it incredibly liberating not being tied down to Windows’ cumbersome OS.

If £699 is too expensive for what you need though, be sure to check out our cheap laptop deals. And there will loads more deals to come in the next week or so from both of these retailers, and we’ll be highlighting the best deals on our Argos Black Friday deals and John Lewis Black Friday deals pages.

Best noise-cancelling headphones 2018

Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones Buying Guide: Welcome to TechRadar’s round-up of the best noise-cancelling headphones you can buy in 2018.

Everyone knows that commuting generally sucks, not least because of how noisy in can be – whether you’re on a plane, train, bus, or even walking down a busy street, white noise, crying babies, and noisy conversations can leave you feeling drained by the time you arrive at your destination.

Sometimes all you want to do is tune the world out and listen to your own music, movies and audiobooks without any distractions. We don’t blame you! It’s a noisy world out there, and sometimes you’ve got to be able to zone out.

Thankfully, that’s why there’s noise-cancelling headphones. These wonders of the modern era totally tune out unwanted audio – allowing you to reach aural nirvana … even if it’s only for the duration of a flight or a train journey. 

They’re vital for any adventure you’re about to embark upon – whether it’s a multi-hour flight or a train ride that’s part of your every day commute – so to help you pick out a pair of headphones that deliver all of the above in spades, we’ve put together a list of the top 10 noise-cancelling headphones, listed below and ranked by their price-to-performance ratio.

[Update: If you’re thinking of buying some new noise cancelling headphones, it’s worth waiting until Black Friday on November 23. Keep up to date with all the latest discounts and news on our Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals page, as well as our top tips on all the different retailers holding huge sales this year.]

Can’t decide which headphones to buy? Check out our guide video below:

What are the best noise-cancelling headphones?

Despite coming out in 2017, the Sony WH-1000XM2 are still the best noise-cancelling headphones around: They sound great, deftly wield noise cancellation technology and cost just as much as a pair of Bose QC35s. They might have a slightly shorter battery life than Bose’s flagship over-ear headphones, but Sony’s WH-1000XM2 outclass the QC35 in terms of performance and feature-set.  

You’d want to pick these Sony headphones over the Bose because not only do they provide the same level of awesome noise-cancellation, but they have three neat tricks that Bose just doesn’t have on its headphones: One is an ambient noise mode that only lets in mid-to-high frequency tones (announcements over a loudspeaker, for instance) and another being Quick Attention mode that allows you to let in all outside noise without taking off the headphones. (The latter is perfect when giving a drink order on a plane or speaking to a coworker for a brief moment before diving back into your work.) The last trick Sony has up its sleeve is the LDAC codec. Alongside the widely adopted aptX HD standard, LDAC enables Hi-Res Audio playback using the 1000XM2.

Great-sounding, feature-packed and just as affordable as the competition? The Sony WH-1000XM2 are our all-around pick for best noise-cancelling cans.

Read the full review: Sony WH-1000XM2

[Update: Want to know more about the latest version of the Sony WH-100XMs? Read our Sony WH-100XM3 review.]

Coming in at the number two spot is the Bose QuietComfort 35 II – a nearly identical product to the already-excellent Bose QuietComfort 35 but updated for 2018 with Google Assistant. This means you still get the class-leading noise cancellation Bose is known for, good sound quality and incredible comfort, plus a convenient assistant to answer any inquiries you might have while traveling.  

Taken as a whole, the Bose QC35 II NC is an excellent headphone for travelers and commuters. Bose has found a good balance of features that will satisfy most mainstream listeners. While we don’t love them as much as the better-sounding Sony WH-1000XM2, they’re still top of the class for noise cancellation.

Read the full review: Bose QuietComfort 35 II

The PXC 550’s greatest strength is their sound. Other wireless noise-cancelling headphones might offer a better user interface or better noise-cancellation technology, but ultimately none of the above match up to the sound quality of these Sennheisers. 

However, that said, there are a couple of irritations that prevent us from being able to fully and unreservedly recommend them, such as unresponsive touch controls. These annoyances aren’t quite deal-breakers, but there are definitely other noise-cancelling headphones out there that don’t suffer from the same issues.

Read the full review: Sennheiser PXC 550

If the Sony WH-1000XM2 never existed, the Sony WH-1000XM3 would be the best noise-cancelling headphones on the market, full stop. Yes, yhey make some subtle tweaks to the WH-1000XM2’s design by making it lighter than ever and swapping out the microUSB port for USB Type-C, but the changes are so minor that you might be better off saving the money and opting for Sony’s second iteration of the headphones instead.

That being said, unless you’re a style-savvy frequent traveler in need of the most comfortable and best-looking headphones or someone stuck in a crowded office who needs to make the occasional phone call, you should probably save some money by picking up the Sony WH-1000XM2 – they’re nearly as good and now even less than they were before thanks to a recent price drop. 

Read the full review: Sony WH-1000XM3

Philips Fidelio NC1

Philips presents a more elegant noise-cancelling solution with its NC1. These on-ear headphones aren’t wireless like our top pick, but that’s hardly a reason to knock them. Coming in at $299/£195, the NC1 are a compact set that’s high on comfort and battery life.

You get a lot for the money here. In the box comes the headphones, a hard case for storage and the headphones rock a rechargeable battery that provides noise cancellation for close to 30 hours. But best of all, the sound performance is extremely well balanced and warm.

(A quite note for our Australian readers: Philips sadly no longer sells the NC1’s down under, so you’ll need to import a pair if you’re keen.)

Read the full review: Philips Fidelio NC1

Bose QuietComfort 25

A few years ago, the Bose QuietComfort 25 are the best noise-cancelling headphones we’ve ever used. The lows, mids and highs came through clear as day, never stepping over each other. Music of all sorts sounded predictably incredible. With the noise-cancellation turned on, we never felt further immersed and concentrated than when we let the QC25 engulf our ears.

But that was a few years ago and time has moved on since. Bose has released not just one sequel to these headphones, but two: the QC35 and QC35 II with Google Assistant built in, both of which we’d recommend above the QC25.

But, it’s not all bad. If you don’t mind using the older, wired headphones, the QC25s are a finely-tuned set of cans that provide over 35 hours of very good noise-cancelling performance with one AAA battery. 

Read the full review: Bose QuietComfort 25

[Update: These headphones also come in a wireless version – check out our review of of the Bose QuietComfort 35.

Bowers and Wilkins are a little late to the noise-cancellation game, but their first foray impresses. 

The PX Wireless aren’t just a great sounding pair of headphones, they’ve also got a number of other interesting tricks up their sleeve. They’ll turn on and off automatically depending on whether you’re wearing them or not, and they also feature the future-proof USB-C charging standard. 

In our opinion their only downside is the sound quality, which we felt lacks the depth of the flagship headphones from Bose and Sony. 

That said, if you’ve been a fan of the look of B&W’s headphones in the past then the PX Wireless are certainly worth a listen. 

Read the full review: Bowers and Wilkins PX Wireless

If you prefer on-ear noise-cancellation, then the AKG N60NC Wireless are a great pair of headphones. 

At their mid-range price point the headphones offer fantastic value for money, with great sound quality and a level of noise-cancellation performance that’s on a level with the much more premium entries on this list. 

These are a fantastically compact pair of headphones, and offer a very complete package for the price. 

Read the full review: AKG N60NC Wireless

With noise-cancelling tech just as effective as that in headphones from rival Bose, and with a more musical sonic ability, the Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC are a definite contender for the noise-cancelling crown. More affordable and easy to travel with, these lightweight headphones are a great value all-rounder, whether for flights, commuter trains or busy offices. 

Design-wise, the Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNCs seem a more slimmed-down, lighter and more focused effort than the bulky and expensive alternatives from Bose and Sony; and crucially, the HD 4.50 BTNCs are just as good with audio, and almost as good on noise-canceling. Whether you’re after noise canceling for long-haul ravel, for the commute, or just to stay more productive in a noisy office, the Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNCs are worth considering. 

Read the full review: Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC

With the second generation Plantronics BackBeat Pro, Plantronics went back to the drawing board to fix many of the issues owners complained about the original. The BackBeat Pro 2, therefore, manage to keep all the great things about the original and improved upon its shortcomings, like its bulk and weight. 

In terms of value, the BackBeat Pro 2 are basically a steal. With the BackBeat Pro 2, you’re getting a travel headphone with incredible battery life, supreme comfort, the ability to pair two device as once and, most importantly, good sound quality for the cost. If you don’t want to drop $350 (£290, AU$500) on the Bose QuietComfort 35 or $400 (£330 or AU$700) on Sony’s flagship MDR-1000X, the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 should be on the top of your shopping list. 

Read the full review: Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2

If you haven’t found something quite to your liking so far, we have one last option for you to look at – the all-new Nura Nuraphone over-ear/in-ear hybrid. Their form factor means you’ve not only got an earbud sitting at the entrance of your ear canal, but also an over-ear cushion sitting over your entire ear. This effectively means you’ve got two physical barriers meaning that the noise from the outside world can’t get to your ears. While more traditional over-ear headphones do a better job offering useful features at a reasonable price, the Nuraphone will appeal to the more experimental audio crowd looking to be on the bleeding-edge of the next big thing.

Read our full review: Nuraphone Headphones

  • We have exhaustive guides to the best headphones on the market buy today including the best on-ear headphones, the best in-ear headphones and the best over-ear headphones.
  • Want to go wire-free? Check out our guide to the best wireless headphones.
  • Looking for some headphones you can take in the pool or on a run? Check out our guide to the best swimming headphones and best running headphones.

Best video editing laptops 2018: top notebooks for home movies

If you want to edit video on the go, you’re going to need one of the best laptops for video editing. Luckily, that’s what we’re here for. With this guide, we’ve found all the best laptops for video editing, both in high definition and Ultra HD (4K) resolutions.

Finding the best laptop for video editing can be hard, though. This is mainly due to the fact that video editing is extremely tasking on your computer hardware, especially if you’re using a laptop. 

That’s why we created a list of the best laptops for video editing in 2018, as our expert advice means you can shop in confidence.

We’ve also went ahead and included our exclusive price comparison tool, so you can take advantage of all the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.

So, read on to find out what we think are the best video editing laptops in 2018…

  • Check out our list of best video editing software

MacBook Pro (2018)

The 15-inch 2018 MacBook Pro is hands-down the best Mac laptop ever designed for video editors. Apple has packed loads of upgrades into this version, offering you the latest generation of Intel Core i7 and i9 processors with six cores, and it now supports up to 32GB of RAM, making this a very adept laptop for video editing. Discrete graphics are provided by a choice of AMD Radeon Pro GPUs, making this the best laptop for video editing.

The innovative Touch Bar makes it easier for videographers to intuitively access commands, while the Retina display on the 15-inch model offers more than enough pixels should you want to edit at native resolution in Full HD on the move. However, if you are editing 4K, then you’ll be disappointed by the limited resolution.

While Huawei might not be the first company you think of when it comes to laptops, especially laptops you can use for video editing, that should change with the company’s phenomenal MateBook X Pro. It is a gorgeously-designed laptop with a stunning screen (albeit with a rather odd aspect ratio), and it comes packed with cutting edge components, and a battery life that runs rings around many of its rivals. It has plenty of horse power for editing videos, and it’s price is very competitive, making it a great alternative to the MacBook Pro if your budget doesn’t stretch that far.

Read the full review: Huawei MateBook X Pro

Dell XPS 15

The Dell XPS 15 is a brilliant laptop it its own right, and it really excels when it comes to video editing. It comes with a gorgeous 15-inch InfinityEdge screen, and the very top end version has a 4K color-accurate display which makes it perfect for video editing. It’s also got plenty of processing power as well, making it a dab hand at rendering video files, which is important when looking for a laptop for video editing.

Read the full review: Dell XPS 15

HP ZBook Studio G3

The HP ZBook Studio G3 laptop easily fits in the Ultrabook category with a weight of a tad under 2kg and a thickness of only 18mm, slightly heavier and a smidge thicker than the Precision 15 5000 but more portable and svelte than Lenovo’s laptop. Where HP manages to score highly is when it comes to sheer value for money when it comes to powerful components, with a high performance processor and gorgeous 4K screen, which makes it one of the best laptops for video editing.

The Surface Book 2 (13.5-inch) is one of the most powerful 2-in-1 laptops in the world. While 2-in-1 laptops may not be the first choice for video editors, the Surface Book 2 has some powerful enough components to handle video editing if you go for a model with a dedicated graphics card. Brilliant build quality and excellent battery life makes this a wonderful device for using as either a laptop, or as a powerful Windows 10 tablet. The tablet mode is convenient if you want to shoot footage and edit it while out and about.

Apple’s laptops are great choices for video editing, and if you want to save a bit of cash, then last year’s MacBook remains a brilliant option, that’s a fair bit cheaper than this year’s MacBook Pro. You get an Intel 7th-generation Kaby Lake CPU, which brings improved performance and longer battery life while keeping the body thin and light. The Mac App Store has a large number of video editing programs that play to the MacBook’s strengths, and you should be able to get a decent deal now that it’s been out for a while.

Read the full review: Apple MacBook

Lenovo’s ThinkPad P70 was one of the first notebooks featuring Intel’s Skylake processor, which should give it a boost in performance compared to Broadwell or Haswell chips.  Equipped with ample storage and plenty of RAM, an excellent keyboard and a wide selection of ports for connectivity, Lenovo is positioning the ThinkPad P70 as the ultimate workstation that you can take on the go without missing your desktop. Also worth mentioning is the X-Rite Pantone calibration tool, available as an option, which is great to keep your screen accurate for production work, as well as the Quadro GPU that comes with all the P70 SKUs. 

OK, so the MSI GS65 Stealth is primarily a high-end gaming laptop – with a price tag to match – but it also doubles as an absolutely brilliant laptop for video editing. This is because it comes with an excellent array of cutting edge components, which includes an 8th-generation Intel Core i7-8750H CPU and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 GPU. This means multi tasking and video editing is handled with aplomb – and if you also want to do a bit of gaming on the side, then it’s a no-brainer.

Watch the video below for the top 7 things to consider when buying a laptop. 

The best portable printers 2018

When you’re on the run, and you just need to quickly print some photos, you’re going to want to look at the best portable printers. You can forget about printers being big, bulky and beige devices that need 20 different wires.

Modern printers are more flexible than they’ve ever been. Many have wireless connectivity, allowing you to print from almost any device without having to worry about trailing cables everywhere.

There’s also a class of portable printers that are battery-powered, allowing you to easily take them with you wherever you want to go. With this guide, we’ll show you all the best portable printers you can buy today, and or very own price comparison tool will help you take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals to find the best price.

This handy portable printer allows you to print full page A4 documents while on the go, and is small enough to easily fit in a briefcase or shoulder bag. It supports the MFI Bluetooth protocol, so it’s a great choice for printing wirelessly from your smartphone or Apple iOS device. There’s also USB 2.0 support for hooking up to your PC, and you can buy an additional rechargeable high-capacity battery, which gives you around 600 pages from a single charge.

HP Sprocket Photo Printer

The HP Sprocket Photo Printer is a small, hand-sized, photo printer which isn’t for printing out professional-quality photos, but is a quick, easy and fun way to instantly print out your digital snaps – essentially turning any digital camera into a Polaroid-esque instant printer. It doesn’t use ink, so you don’t have to worry about buying replacement cartridges – instead it uses heat to transform a pre-dyed sheet of paper into your photos. It runs on batteries and has a stylish design as well.

If you’re looking for a portable printer that offers very good print quality – some times better than standard inkjet printers – while also being fast when it comes to producing printouts, then the HP OfficeJet 200 Mobile Printer is a great choice. Weighing less than HP’s previous mobile printers, the HP OfficeJet 200 Mobile Printer is a brilliant little portable printer that can hook up to devices via Wi-Fi. It offers plenty of connectivity options, though Bluetooth isn’t included. A lack of an included USB cable also feels a bit mean.

Unless a portable printer is explicitly designed for photo printing (such as the HP Sprocket), then they often fail to produce brilliant image quality. However, the Canon PIXMA iP110 bucks that trend, as it’s a portable printer that can handle documents as well as print out excellent photos. That makes it a great choice if you want a flexible portable printer that can handle a range of tasks. It’s not the fastest portable printer in the world, but for such good image quality, we don’t mind waiting a little bit longer.

The Fujifilm Instax Share SP-3 is another portable printer designed for photos. It essentially turns your smartphone into a retro instant camera, like a Polaroid, with the Fujifilm Instax Share SP-3 printing out photos on square printouts. Rather than using an instant camera, just send your photos from your via to the printer via a wireless connection and the Instax Share app. It’s small enough to be carried around easily and the rechargeable battery lasts a good while. Print media is costly, however, and it’s only good for printing retro-inspired photos. If you need a portable printer for documents as well, the Canon PIXMA iP110 (above) is a better choice.

  • Check out our pick of the best photo printers of 2018

Spotify makes its official debut on the Apple Watch

Spotify has been testing a beta version of its music streaming app for the Apple Watch for a few months now, but today a public version makes its official debut. However, like the beta, the first version of the Spotify app is rather bare bones.

In its present form, it’s essentially a remote on your wrist to control playback on iPhones or on Spotify Connect devices from the Apple Watch screen. Users will be able to select playlists, shuffle and skip songs or podcast episodes, access recently played items and favorite tracks.  

When using the app on the Watch, the traditional ‘Now Playing’ screen will be replaced by Spotify’s own interface, giving easy access to controls, including the ability to move forward or back by 15 seconds on podcasts.

Unfortunately, the app does not have the ability to stream music or podcasts directly to the Apple Watch either via an iPhone or an LTE connection. The ability to download tracks for offline listening is also currently unavailable.

Coming soon

The lack of offline listening will disappoint many, as it’s what allows Apple Watch users to pop on a set of wireless headphones and head out for a run or walk without their iPhones.

That said, Spotify has promised that “many exciting things” are coming to the app, including offline playback, although no timeline has been indicated, nor is there a list of other features that we could look forward to.

While the Spotify app for iOS has been updated with Apple Watch support in the App Store, the music streaming company says it will be rolling out the “new experience” this week. So if you find you can’t access the app on the Watch just yet, hold tight and you should be able to soon.

  • Spotify for Wear OS finally does all the things you’d want it to

[Main image courtesy Spotify]

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is finally coming to PS4 in December

UPDATE: Sony has officially announced that PUBG will be landing on the PS4 December 7, 2018.

When it left Xbox One’s Game Preview program back in September, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds arrived with all the bombast of a console-exclusive – there were console bundles, Xbox One Wireless Controllers and a new map. 

That pageantry has since died down some since the swelling popularity of other battle royale games like Fortnite, but that enthusiasm might be reignited if the game arrives on the PS4 next month.

This rumor of PUBG’s arrival on PS4 was first outed by the Korean Ratings Board in an accidental leak back in September. Now, a new post on videogame message forum ResetEra contains purported listing images from a PlayStation server of the game that will go live on PlayStation Network. 

While neither Sony nor PUBG Corp. have confirmed the news that the game will arrive on the PS4 next month, it would make sense that the game’s platform-exclusivity would end one year to the day it launched on Xbox One (that includes the time the game was in early access, obviously).

Should PUBG come to PlayStation consoles, that’d be a win for Sony and a small loss for Microsoft who hasn’t had the best track record with exclusive titles.

It’s not all bad for Xbox gamers, however. Microsoft teased on Twitter that it will have some big news around PUBG at its X018 keynote event in Mexico City on November 10 – potentially a new map or game mode.

Via Eurogamer

  • Can’t decide on a console? Let our PS4 Pro vs Xbox One X guide help you out