Articles by Judie Lipsett Stanford


The MediaTek Dimensity 9000+ SoC Will Efficiently Power and Boost the Performance of this Fall’s Flagship Phone Elite

If you thought that the Dimensity 9000 system-on-chip (SoC) has impressive specs, you’ll want to pay attention to the upcoming MediaTek Dimensity 9000+ SoC. If you’ve been hoping for phones with an even more powerful and efficient chip than the Dimensity 9000, the new top-of-the-line Dimensity 9000+ will should fit the bill. And if the last thing you’ve ever thought about was whether or not a smartphone’s SoC sounded impressive, read on, and I’ll give you a few reasons to care.


Gear Diary’s 2022 Father’s Day Gift Guide and Giveaway

Father’s Day is June 19, and if you’re stumped about what to give one of the most influential men in your life, we’ve got an assortment of our favorite products for your consideration. Be sure to enter our giveaway at the end; we’ve got a Lenovo Thinkpad E14 Gen 2, a Lenovo Q 21i-1L Monitor, and a Lenovo Smart Clock Essential with Alexa Built-in to split between three lucky winners.



43mm Withings ScanWatch Horizon Review: A Dive Watch by Any Other Name Is Just a Dive Watch

There’s something so effortlessly fashionable about the chunky, utilitarian design of a traditional diving watch. But other than being able to withstand abyss-like pressures underwater, even the most expensive diving watches can’t do much more than tell the time and apprise the wearer of how long they’ve been underwater. The Withings ScanWatch Horizon, on the other hand, offers luxury dive watch design and features, but it is so much more than just a great-looking watch that is also water-resistant to 10ATMs.


Lumina Webcam Review: It’s Cute, Tiny, and Surprisingly Good

Before Covid, I rarely used webcams. Calls requiring my video presence weren’t part of my normal day-to-day, but that’s no longer the case. Video conference calls have become my new normal, and that’s why the Lumina webcam seemed like a perfect fit when I was offered a review unit. Lumina is a tiny, premium webcam that claims to provide adaptive color correction, a realistic depth of field effect, and AI features — including adjustable bokeh and cameraman effects — so you’ll always look your best. Intrigued? Read on.


Gear Diary’s 2022 Mother’s Day Gift Guide and Giveaway

Mother’s Day is May 8th, and we all know how holidays like this have a habit of sneaking up on you! With the items in our 2022 Mother’s Day Gift Guide, you can help mom work smarter, relax more comfortably, and ease some of her daily grind. Whether you’re on a budget or the sky is the limit, we’ve got you covered if you’re having trouble (or haven’t even started) figuring out what to give to the most influential women in your life! Be sure to check out the fantastic giveaways at the end, too!


Amazon Echo Show 15 Review: Much More Than a Beautiful Smart Digital Photo Frame

If you are using an Amazon Alexa smart speaker to control your home’s various connected features, adding an Alexa-enabled smart display to the mix seems like the obvious next step. Built with the user’s privacy in mind, the Amazon Echo Show 15 is a convergent device that functions not only as an elegant touchscreen smarthome hub but also as a convenient family communication center, a mesmerizing 15.6″ digital photo frame, a helpful cooking companion, a smart speaker, a movie and video entertainment center, a home security camera, and more!



Acer Aspire Vero Notebooks Help You Make Every Day Earth Day

April 22nd is Earth Day, which marks the 52nd anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement. If you’re of the “reduce, reuse, and recycle” mindset (as I hope you are), and you’re in the market for a new laptop, you might want to look at the Acer Aspire Vero notebook line. The Aspire Vero uses 30% post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastics in its chassis, 50% PCR plastics in its keyboard caps, comes in 100% recyclable packaging, and is held together with standard screws for easy disassembly when it’s time for repairs, upgrades, and eventual recycling.


Realme GT 2 Pro Review: Blazing Fast Performance, Excellent Display, and a Battery That Will Last All Day

Realme has built a loyal following by offering higher-end features not generally found on moderately priced smartphones, and with the realme GT 2 Pro, they’ve created a true flagship that won’t break the bank. Loaded with features, including the top-of-the-line Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 mobile platform, a large AMOLED display with an adaptive 1~120Hz refresh rate, a massive battery, and plenty of RAM, the GT 2 Pro is one of the best Android smartphone options available anywhere.


Latest Lenovo ThinkPads Made with Hybrid Workers’ Needs in Mind

If your laptop can’t handle everything that your job is throwing at you when you aren’t actually at the office, you’ll want to take a look at the latest Lenovo ThinkPads made with hybrid workers in mind. The latest generation of ThinkPad X13, X13 Yoga, L13, L13 Yoga, L14, and L15 models have been announced, and they’ll come with features like Dolby Voice, FHD (1080p) cameras, Wi-Fi 6E, 5G sub6, 4G LTE wireless WAN, and battery choices. We bet that among them, you’ll find just what you’ve been looking for!


Escort MAXcam 360c Review: Excellent All-in-One Radar Detector and Dashcam Hindered by the Tragically Buggy ‘Drive Smarter’ App

My first Escort radar detector was a boxy black contraption that had a volume dial, analog radar signal strength meter, highway/city toggle switch, and an alert light on its front … and that’s it. Thirty-six years later, I’ve got the Escort MAXcam 360c in for review. This current generation Escort may still be a bit of a boxy black contraption, but it offers useful features above and beyond simply detecting police radar that can help improve a driver’s situational awareness and safety, both on the road and in some cases, even when their vehicle is parked.



Gear Diary’s Best of MWC 2022

Another Mobile World Congress is in the books, and it was great to be able to attend in person for the first time since 2019! Seriously great. MWC is always heavy on new smartphone releases, and this year was no exception. Even so, there were plenty of other remarkable devices touting worthy upgrades or making their debuts. So with that, I give you Gear Diary’s Best of MWC 2022.


Lutron Serena Smart Architectural Honeycomb Shades Will Add Beauty and Convenience to Your Home

In 2018, I reviewed a custom set of Lutron Serena Smart Shades for my office. I opted for a traditional roller shade style, and I’m happy to report that they are still operating as perfectly as they did when first installed. Serena Smart architectural honeycomb shades have just been announced, and they look very sleek and elegant. If you’ve been thinking about adding smart window treatments to your home, and you’re particularly interested in something that looks refined and timeless, these might just be the shades that you’ve been looking for!



28″ LEVEL8 Luminous Trunk Review: This May Just Be the Perfect Checked Luggage

Heading to the airport after the Snapdragon Summit in December, a friend noticed that my 6-years-old (and very well-traveled) Rimowa trunk had a massive new crack just below the handle on its front side. Thankfully, the luggage and its contents made it home without self-destructing, but it will need to be sent in for repairs (assuming they are even possible). With many upcoming trips planned, I was thankful for the opportunity to review the  28″ LEVEL8 Luminous Trunk. How does it stack up against the more than twice as expensive Rimowa trunk? Read on to find out.


Hands-On with the Realme 9 Pro+ and Realme 9 Pro: Excellent Features Abound in Two Very Reasonably Priced Smartphones

Realme became its own brand, independent of OPPO in 2018; since then, the Chinese company has become a force in its own right. Currently listed as a top-5 smartphone vendor in 30 global markets and six regions, part of realme’s success has come from its firm commitment to make well-designed, aesthetically pleasing smartphones that have competitive features rarely found in similarly-priced devices. The latest models in their lineup are the just-announced realme 9 Pro+ and realme 9 Pro; realme has sent them in for us to check out, so here’s a hands-on look at both devices.


Samsung Galaxy S22 Line-Up Announced; Galaxy S22 Ultra Picks Up Where the Galaxy Note Left Off

This morning, Samsung held their Galaxy Unpacked event to introduce the Galaxy S22, S22+, and the new S22 Ultra. This latest Samsung S series flagship lineup boasts big batteries, excellent cameras, and fast processors. If you are a Galaxy Note fan, you’ll be relieved to find that the Note lives on in the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, which now sports a built-in S Pen. By meshing the Ultra’s large display, flagship specs, and pro-grade cameras with the Note S Pen’s siloed convenience and note-taking functionality, Samsung has created a smartphone that might just offer the best of both worlds.


Google Pixel 6 Case Round-Up: Protective Options from Incipio, Vena, and Gear4

Have you got a Google Pixel 6 series? If so, I’ll bet you love its flagship build, the pure Android experience, the Pixel exclusive features, and the excellent cameras. It may seem like a shame to cover up such a beautiful device, but a naked Pixel 6’s glass body is slick, slippery, and just waiting to be dropped. With that in mind, we’ve got five protective Pixel 6 case options for your consideration, including the Incipio Dual, the Vena vCommute, the Kate Spade New York Defensive Hardshell Case, the Gear4 Havana, and the Incipio Grip.