Smart plugs aren't the sexiest tech in the smart home, but they pull a lot of weight when it comes to automating dumb devices. In fact, if you use a lot of lamps, fans or small appliances, smart plugs can be the secret to a smart home that feels seamless and synchronized. Nearly any device you'd plug into a standard wall outlet can be smartened up with a Wi-Fi connected plug.Smart plugs with power monitoring, away modes and extra charging ports expand the capabilities of your smart home even further, all at a relatively low cost.Disclosure: CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of products featured on this page. Now playing: Watch this: Turns out size does matter for smart plugs 1:26 How it works The majority of smart plugs work with a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi connection and don't need a hub. That makes them easy to install and quick to connect. Smart plugs typically come with a companion app where you'll create an account and set preferences, schedules and names for the … [Read more...] about These smart plugs are the secret to a seamless smart home
How to setup dual monitors
If you're thinking of smartening up the lights in your home, then Philips Hue is one of the first names you should consider. Among all of today's smart lighting platforms, it's the most well-established, the most well-developed and the most well-connected, too. It doesn't matter if you're an Alexa user, an Apple HomeKit fan, an IFTTT nerd, a Razer gamer, a Google Home devotee, a Logitech Harmony connoisseur, a Nest aficionado, or about a bajillion other examples -- Philips Hue's lights work with all of it.If you barely understand what any of that last sentence means, don't worry: Philips Hue is a great pick for smart lighting newbies, too. And hey, maybe that's why you're here. You want to know more about the platform before you buy in -- especially because a lot of these lights don't come cheap. Well, we're here to help, with everything you need to know about Philips Hue in one place: What it is, how it works, how to put it to use in your home, which bulbs to buy first -- and … [Read more...] about How to get started with Philips Hue: A complete guide
The CLA-Class launched in 2013 as the smallest, least-expensive Mercedes-Benz you could buy in the United States. The small four-door with a sloping, coupe-like roofline was fairly popular, even though it wasn't super good. So following the launch of the new A-Class sedan last year, we're getting a new CLA in time for the 2020 model year, and this one's a whole lot better than its predecessor.The CLA will join the A-Class and GLE-Class SUV in offering Mercedes' new MBUX infotainment system. This next-generation system promises to be a huge leap over the COMAND interface we've been working with for a while. An improved voice control setup recognizes the phrase "Hey Mercedes," and can reply to complicated questions. Mercedes-Benz gave the example, "Hey Mercedes, which child-friendly Asian restaurants are nearby that are neither Chinese or Japanese?" I haven't sampled the system yet so I can't vouch for its reply, in our previous experiences, we've found it to be … [Read more...] about 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA is just like the A-Class, only swoopier
For years, dual monitors were all the rage among tech geeks trying to build the most tricked-out battlestation. But ultrawide monitors have become a compelling alternative: instead of two monitors side-by-side, you get one, super wide monitor that gives you extra screen real estate without the ugly bezels. If you have a multi-monitor setup, you’ve probably been tempted by the sleek, clean look of an ultrawide display, but can ultrawides really replace two monitors? As always, it depends on how you use them. Dual Monitors: Ideal for Seeing Lots of Open Windows at Once Let’s start by talking about what makes multiple monitors great: screen real estate. While one 16:9 widescreen monitor provides more than enough space for one window, it starts feeling cramped as soon as you want to look at multiple windows at a time. Writing a document on the right and need to refer to one on the left? It can be done, but you’ll be squeezing both down to fit everything. Want to watch a … [Read more...] about Can an Ultrawide Replace Your Dual Monitors?
How I Work The How I Work series asks heroes, experts, and flat-out productive people to share their shortcuts, workspaces, routines, and more. Have someone you want to see featured, or questions you think we should ask? [Email Nick](mailto:[email protected]). If you’ve ever listened to a podcast, you’ve heard of Mailchimp. (“Mail...kimp?”) We talked to Ben Chestnut, CEO and co-founder of the email newsletter company and marketing platform that grew to half a billion dollars in revenue without ever taking any venture capital. Ben reveals the email habit that ran his early hiring policy. Location: Atlanta, GACurrent Gig: CEO & co-founder of MailchimpCurrent mobile device: iPhone XCurrent computer: Macbook AirOne word that best describes how you work: “Why.” I’m always asking why, and making sure people understand the why behind decisions and strategies. First of all, tell us a little about your background and how you got to … [Read more...] about I’m Mailchimp Co-founder Ben Chestnut, and This Is How I Work