A Few Of My Favorite Things


On Gizmodo: The Best Cheap Laptop Under $250

Best $250 laptopBuying a cheap laptop can feel like a gamble. You might get lucky and find a machine with a good keyboard that isn’t slower than a tortoise-snail crossbreed… or you might get saddled with a cheap piece of crap that cries when you load a browser or try to open WordPerfect because Word is just too much. Yes, you get what you pay for. That doesn’t mean you have to settle for crap if your budget is small.

There are laptops in the sub-$250 price range that offer good value for your money and do well for users with basic needs. But which ones?


On xoJane: Five Things I Learned After Taking (Almost) 365 Feminist Selfies

Me and the Galaxy NX MiniLast year around this time Selfie was crowned the 2013 word of the year, and the collective groan that went up from the Haters was loud, long, and frankly whiny. No need to rehash that old argument. However, the backlash did inspire me to join the #365feministselfie crowd. Though I rarely took selfies before January 1st of last year, I jumped into the project happily and with high hopes that I might actually be able to keep up.

Spoiler Alert: I did not take a selfie every day, but some days I took several (especially when I was at a convention) and I think I’m pretty close to 365 total. I did manage to take a selfie every day for several months at a stretch. And I learned a few things about myself and about selfies along the way.


On Techlicious: The Best Chromebook

Best ChromebookA great Chromebook is inexpensive, lightweight and slim, well-built with a good display and comfortable keyboard, and fast enough to handle multitasking without freezing up or slowing to a crawl. At first glance, several contenders meet at least some of these criteria. Fancier models like the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11e Chromebook ($479) and the Google Chromebook Pixel ($1,299) include touchscreens, 360-degree hinges or other extras that may suit some high-end needs, but these features raise the price too high for a more general audience.

In the $200 to $400 range, three models rise to the top: the Dell Chromebook 11, the 13-inch Toshiba Chromebook 2 and the Acer Chromebook 13. Of these, my pick for the best is the Toshiba Chromebook 2, with the Dell in a very close second place.


on xoJane: All I Want For Christmas/Kwanza Is Tech

V-Moda XS HeadphonesI’m a tech journalist, so I spend every week of the year covering, reviewing, and writing about tons of awesome gadgets, devices, and accessories. Despite what you might think, I don’t get to keep most of the stuff I review. And even though a new thing is always on the horizon, there are some gadgets I would love to have for my very own. And since it’s holiday time that means it’s wish list time. Here are all the things I want to find under the tree if anyone’s asking.


On ChipChick: Motorola Droid Turbo Review: Verizon Welcomes Back an Old Friend

Motorola Droid TurboVerizon Wireless will never let us forget that, way back in the day, the first Droid is the smartphone that really captured the world’s attention and made Android the powerhouse it is today. Since then the carrier and Motorola have tried to keep that level of excitement with each new Droid release, even though the phones aren’t so different from the Moto brand all the other carriers get.templates

The newest entry into this vaunted and celebrated line is the Droid Turbo ($199 for 32GB, $249 for 64GB), a smartphone that isn’t particularly groundbreaking but does offer a nice upgrade from previous generations. The Turbo has four big things going for it: a rugged design, natural intelligence, super long battery life, and a high megapixel camera.


On Techlicious: The Best 8-inch Android Tablet

NVIDIA Shield TabletTo find the very best tablets, I looked for four key elements: a bright, vivid, pixel-dense display that looks great at any angle; a lightweight design that’s comfortable to hold in one hand for long stretches; a powerful CPU coupled with a good amount of RAM for smooth, speedy multitasking; and an interface that’s easy to understand and navigate even if you’re not tech-savvy. Price was also a consideration — a great small tablet shouldn’t break the bank.


On Techlicious: The Best Laptop Under $500 – Fall 2014

Acer Aspire E15A search for laptops under $500 turns up a wide range of choices, starting with smaller, netbook-like hybrids and moving up to full-size, mainstream PCs with a budget price tag. Assuming you want a full-featured PC, chances are that you’re looking for either a small, ultra-portable, low-power secondary machine or a full-sized computer that’s basic yet reliable. Since the criteria for each are different, a final choice comes down to one thing: Which laptop is the best value for my money?

To evaluate the best laptops under $500, I didn’t just look at price; I also considered performance, design, brand reliability and reviews from professionals and consumers. A handful of promising contenders emerged, including the Acer Aspire E15, the Lenovo Yoga 2 11, the Acer Aspire Switch 10 and the Asus Transformer Book T100.


On xoJane: Kat Von D is Treacherous And 5 Other Things I Learned When She Discontinued My Favorite Lipstick

Me with vampiraSeveral months ago I was hanging out with a friend when I pulled out my lipstick to re-apply it. “You shouldn’t wear that,” she said to me in a casual, off-hand way.

“Um, why not?”

“That shade is wrong for you. It contrasts with your skin tone too much. It’s too severe.”

At the time I rolled my eyes and ignored her because she’s the only person ever to say something negative about my shade.


On Techlicious: The Best 10-Inch Android Tablet – 2014

Samsung Tab S 10So what makes for an impressive tablet? We look for ones that have crisp screens with 1080p (or better) resolution, bright color palettes, interfaces that are pleasing to look at and easy to use, speedy and power-efficient quad-core CPUs, and designs that are thin and light—without feeling flimsy and cheap. The best of these tablets come at a premium, around $500. For that price, you want a device that offers extras—multi-tasking and kid-friendly modes and a wide array of content options—on top of all the basic criteria. Free stuff doesn’t hurt, either.