Articles by Judie Lipsett Stanford

Fire Department Coffee Review: Smooth, Delightful Coffee That Supports a Great Cause

What do you get when you combine freshly roasted coffee beans grown worldwide on environmentally and socially responsible farms with a veteran-owned coffee company run by a dedicated team of firefighters, first responders, and coffee connoisseurs? You get Fire Department Coffee, a company that donates 10% of Its net proceeds to support ill and injured first responders; that’s what we’ll be taking a look at today.


Google Pixel 5a Review: The Best 5G Android Phone You Can Buy for Less Than $500, but There Are Some Caveats

As you may recall from my Google Pixel 5 review, I wasn’t a fan of not having an XL version option, and I didn’t care for the under-display ear speaker. The Google Pixel 5a addresses those complaints well with its 6.34″ display and a more conventional ear speaker; it also introduces IP67 water resistance to the budget-friendly a-series. If you don’t mind giving up wireless charging, the Google Pixel 5a has a lot to offer — including the largest battery found in any Pixel device yet.


Get the Gear You Need in Time for EA Games’ Battlefield 2042 Launch!

EA Games Battlefield 2042 will be released on November 19th, and if you’re a fan of the Battlefield franchise, you’re probably eagerly anticipating playing it. And what better way to get ready to game than to have some Battlefield 2042 themed gear on hand? Here’s a selection of products that will get you — and your favorite gaming device — ready for battle!


Affordable Xiaomi 11T Series Includes “Cinemagic” Cameras and Ultra-Fast Charging

If a large display with a fast refresh rate, a speedy processor, and a solid camera for content creation on the go is essential to you, then you’ll want to take a look at the two new Xiaomi 11T series devices launched today. Both the 11T and the 11T Pro offer what Xiaomi calls “Cinemagic” cameras; they say you can leave the expensive video and photography equipment at home (or better yet, not buy it in the first place), go out and explore and get your best shots. Best of all, both phones are affordable.


Call Screen Is Google Pixel’s Killer Feature, and It Will Completely Spoil You

There are plenty of good reasons people develop a fondness for a particular brand; maybe it’s because the company’s hardware is always top-notch, their pricing is reasonable, or they have excellent customer service when something goes wrong. But the singular feature that’s made it hard for me to consider using any smartphone other than a Google Pixel as my daily driver isn’t related to hardware, pricing, or customer service. As I mentioned in our Google Pixel 4, Pixel 4a, and Pixel 5 reviews, beyond Pixel’s excellent cameras and pure Android experience, their killer feature is Call Screen.


LG XBOOM 360 Combines Sound and Light in a Sleek Speaker That Will Look Great Everywhere

Need a classy-looking portable speaker that can also function as a light? Take a look at the LG XBOOM 360. Made to radiate sound in all directions for up to 10 hours when on battery power, the LG XBOOM 360 is one of the more sleek and stylish portable speakers we’ve seen. Inside the LG XBOOM 360’s conical-cylindrical body, there is a 5.25″ glass fiber woofer and a 1″ titanium horn tweeter; LG says that the reflector structure of the tweeter and woofer will deliver 360 sound with minimal distortion indoors and outside. Available in four colors, including Burgundy, Peacock…


Beyerdynamic PHONUM Wireless Bluetooth Speakerphone Review: Hands-Free Conference and Video Calls Perfected

Conference calls are a fact of life, whether you work in a cubicle, a corner office, a home office, or a camper van on the road. During calls, it is important to hear, be heard, and be able to interact naturally as the conversation flows. That’s not always possible on a phone or laptop, especially when you have multiple people on your end of the call. The Beyerdynamic PHONUM Wireless Bluetooth Speakerphone can help with that.


Upgrade Your TV Watching Experience Just in Time for Labor Day and Fall Football with Roku

Roku is America’s number one TV streaming platform and a favorite brand among Gear Diary staff because of its easy-to-navigate UI that’s found on multiple manufacturer’s smart TVs as well as Roku’s affordable smart speakers and stand-alone streaming hardware. With Labor Day coming up soon as well, along with the fall football season, we wanted to point out some of the ways you can upgrade your TV enjoyment without necessarily replacing your television — although there are excellent Roku deals to be had on smart TVs right now, too!


Realme GT Explorer Master Edition Review: Good Looks, Performance, and Value

The realme GT Explorer Master Edition has a solidly built glass slab design with an aluminum frame, as we’ve seen from just about every other brand’s flagship smartphone, or you can opt for something a bit different if you get it in the Voyager Gray option. As I catch myself admiring this smartphone’s expensive feel, brilliant display, and curved edges, I have to remind myself that with starting price of $499 for the 8GB RAM with 256GB user memory version, the GT Explorer Master Edition is a very decently priced flagship device. Who is realme? And why should you consider…


Caliper Swiftsticks Lemonade Flavored CBD Powder Review: Convenient, Fast Dissolving, and It Tastes Great

I’ve taken CBD supplements for a couple of years, and doing so has made it easier to manage aches and pains and daily stress. I’ve tried various CBD softgels and tinctures, but I’m not always fond of the way they taste. Caliper’s flavored CBD powder Swiftsticks are fast-acting CBD powder that’s clinically verified as THC-free; even better, it actually tastes great. For summer, they’ve released limited edition Caliper Swiftsticks Lemonade flavored CBD powder packets; they’re the perfect daily supplement that you’ll actually look forward to taking.


Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G and Galaxy Z Flip3 5G Will Have You Dancing in the Rain as You Unfold Your World

Today’s Galaxy Unpacked event introduced the latest Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G and Galaxy Z Flip3 5G. Samsung has made these third-generation foldables more durable — they are even water-resistant now. So if you’ve considered the previous generations of the Galaxy Z folding smartphones but weren’t quite compelled to buy one yet — whether because of their prohibitive prices, their perceived delicateness, or because you felt the technology was still too new — I suspect that you’ll be interested in today’s reveal.


The Xiaomi MIX 4 Flagship Looks Amazing; Too Bad It Won’t Be Easy to Get in the US!

If you want more proof that the smartphones we routinely see in the US aren’t quite as exciting as the smartphones other countries have to choose from, take a look at the brand new Xiaomi MIX 4. Not only does this phone have a durably elegant and lightweight ceramic unibody, but it also has a 6.67’’ AMOLED full-screen display with the latest CUP (Camera Under Panel) technology. That means there’s no blacked-out front-facing camera area when you’re looking at the display. But there is plenty more to be impressed by with this latest Xiaomi device.


Omnicharge Omni Mobile 25600 Review: Powerful, Portable, and Laptop Capable

Let’s say that you are going on a weekend trip, and you want to make are that you’ll be able to keep your laptop, phone, and tablet charged without bringing a bunch of extra cables and wall adapters. What if that trip happens to be somewhere remote without easy access to power from wall outlets. What would you pack? If you’re looking for the easiest, most powerful, and most portable power solution, my suggestion would be the Omnicharge Omni Mobile 25600.


Gear Diary’s 2021 Back to School Gift Guide and Giveaway

It’s that time of year again! As students of all ages head back to their schools and universities, whether they are attending down the block or across the country, we’ve prepared a list of back to school items that will help make the transition go more smoothly. After you peruse the list, be sure to enter our giveaway at the end — we have a Lenovo Legion Tower 7i valued at $2,439.99 you can win!


Sleep Number True Temp Bedding Review: 37.5 Technology Provides Temperature-Regulating Comfort

If you have trouble staying comfortable while you sleep — either because you aren’t cool enough or warm enough, this review will be of particular interest to you. In it, we’re taking a look at some of the items in the Sleep Number True Temp collection. These bedding items feature 37.5 Technology, which Sleep Number says will “continuously adapt to help keep your bed climate just right for sleeping using active particles [made from volcanic sand] to minimize humidity for ideal comfort.” If you haven’t heard about 37.5 Technology yet, that’s okay; I hadn’t either.


14″ Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 9i Laptop Review: Power, Portability, and Excellent Battery Life in a Stylish and Svelte Package

I thought I had found a near-perfect laptop in the Lenovo Yoga 9i, but that was before I met its even more compact sibling, the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 9i. Although choosing the IdeaPad Slim 9i over the Yoga 9i requires you to do without the 360º rotating screen with the Dolby soundbar hinge that makes the Yoga 9i a true 2-in-1, there’s an excellent trade-off. In return, you get an even slimmer, lighter, and less expensive laptop that is also gorgeous to look at, a pleasure to use, and that’s powerful enough to do just about everything.




Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders: Qualcomm and ASUS Debuting a Beast of a Smartphone!

In case you weren’t aware, in March, Qualcomm set up a program called Snapdragon Insiders. It all kicked off with a simple video done by Christiano R. Amon, the President and (at the time) CEO-Elect of Qualcomm. Amon promised access to Qualcomm experts, the latest updates from Snapdragon, and tech-reader collaborations. Months have passed; Amon is now the CEO of Qualcomm, and the Snapdragon Insiders program now has 1.6 million members. To celebrate, today they are announcing their first Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders that utilizes the best Snapdragon has to offer in a mobile experience.



Anker PowerHouse II 800 Review: Charges So Many Things When Needed!

I used to think that if we had a winter power outage lasting a week or more, Kev and I would be adequately prepared. We’d have plenty of drinking water on hand, piles of cut wood for the fireplace, our food would be safe (because, winter), and portable battery packs would power our electronics. Earlier this year, we got to find out just how unprepared we actually were when Texas got slammed with one winter storm after another, causing a massive power crisis. What would have made a huge difference for us during this disaster? The Anker PowerHouse II 800.