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publié le 13 octobre 2018 Beauté › Général

There are bleeding-edge technologies that promise to one day free us from not only having to find a power outlet when we start panicking about a device’s dying battery, but cords and cables altogether. Ossia’s Cota technology, for example, can wirelessly deliver power to electronics the same way wifi delivers internet to your phone and computer. But a practical mass rollout of such a system is still years away.The reality is that cords, plugs, and physical power outlets will be with us for many decades to come, so even the smallest of improvements or innovations that make plugging in our gear less of a hassle are welcome. The surprisingly useful addition of a simple LED torch to its plug isn’t the only thing that makes Stella a worthwhile upgrade; Ten One Design’s execution is nearly-perfect.

The MacBook version of the Stella comes in two colour versions, while the PC version comes in two and three-prong options. (Photo: Andrew Liszewski/Gizmodo)The $35 (£27) cable, which is currently only available in the US, but fingers crossed it comes to the UK soon, is designed to replace the section of cord that connects your laptop’s power brick to a wall outlet, and is currently available in versions for both Apple and PC laptops—but a compatibility double-check may be a good plan if you’re buying the Stella for a non-MacBook device.I tested the Stella with an older MacBook Pro, and swapping out the brick’s standard power cord for Ten One Design’s upgrade was as simple. The Stella does look a little different than the power cord Apple includes with its MacBooks; trading a thick rubber sheathing for a braided nylon shell. But I much prefer how the Stella looks, and the braided cable is actually more flexible, so it’s easier to wind around the power brick when cable wrangling.

Despite the extra tech, the Stella’s plug is still small enough to easily squeeze into a crowded power bar. The business-end of the Stella—the part that actually plugs into an outlet—is only just slightly bulkier than Apple’s. But it can still easily squeeze into a crowded power bar, and Ten One Design has made the braided cord exit the plug at a 45-degree angle which the company claims will help reduce stress and damage at the connection point.It looks like a perfectly normal electrical plug, but inside the Stella is additional hardware similar to what you’d find inside a non-contact voltage tester, tools electricians use to detect the presence of a live wire without actually having to touch it by detecting the surrounding electrical field. The Stella incorporates a simplified version of this technology to automatically activate an LED when power is detected. It’s not quite as sensitive as the tool an electrician would use, but I found it was able to detect a power outlet from as far as a couple of inches.

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The Stella uses a non-replaceable battery to power its low-energy LED that Ten One Design claims will work for at least a decade—well past the life of any laptop. But while the LED is certainly bright enough to illuminate an outlet when it’s a couple of inches away, it’s in no way usable as a torch. You’ll want to treat it more as a last mile tool (or in this case, a last inches tool) that can save you from having to blindly try to jam a plug into an outlet in the dark, but you’ll need to know where that outlet is first.Is the Stella a must-have upgrade? If your laptop spends its entirely life sitting in one place, then the answer is no. But if your laptop never leaves your side, joining you on business trips and hotel stays where you’re constantly plugging and unplugging your computer into strange and different places, then there’s a strong case to be made for the upgrade. But I actually run into this problem far more often with my iPhone’s charging cable, so if Ten One Design ever manages to squeeze a smart LED into that tiny wall wart, I’ll be first in line with my credit card.

The Surface Go is a super portable 2-in-1 that's great as a second go-anywhere machine. Unfortunately, battery life isn't great and once you've added the accessories it's not cheap. But for a portable machine there's little else to take it on.
Few companies have produced affordable Windows devices that are firstly desirable and secondly portable. So Microsoft has decided it's time to step into the ring with the Surface Go: an entry-level 2-in-1 to the Surface range, sitting below the Surface Pro.The Go is a full Windows 10 laptop-tablet hybrid, albeit in Windows 10 S Mode. It's affordable, at £379 ($399), but if you want a full-fat experience then you'll need to buy the £100 Type Cover (backlit and available in black, platinum, burgundy or blue) and £100 Surface Pen stylus separately. That takes it to £579, which means it's potentially more expensive than an iPad with Apple Pencil and a Bluetooth keyboard (not iPad Pro).

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While the back of the Surface Go is attractive in that familiar Surface way with its integrated kickstand, there's a problem: the front bezels are massive. It's a shame because the 10-inch PixelSense display is better than many in this class, but it looks a bit out of date straight out of the gate.As a tablet, the Go weighs just 522g, making it highly portable. You'll find yourself placing it in a folder, sleeve or folio to carry it round as it's not hugely different in footprint to an A4 sheet of paper. It's around 8mm thick, enabling it to be slotted into small gaps in baggage with ease. It's portability that is the Go's main strength, as its name suggests.We've always been fans of the Surface kickstand, but like other 2-in-1s the Surface Go does present usability problems with its optional Type Cover keyboard attached. Firstly, train or airline tables offer limited, thus the keyboard is often stuck out from the table and isn't stable. Secondly, it just isn't that good to work with on your lap. In an ideal world nobody would be hunched over a computing device on their lap. But the real world isn't like that and if you regularly work at conferences or on public transport you'll probably be much better off with a laptop.

There are two Surface Go configurations, which differ in terms of the RAM (4GB vs 8GB) and storage (64GB vs 128GB). Whether that is enough for you to buy the pricier model (it's an extra £130) depends on what tasks you'll need the Surface Go to handle. This isn't a primary device in our opinion unless you're going to be doing browsing, typing and emailing.The processor inside the Surface Go has an interesting name – Pentium Gold. With Intel's prevalent Core i3, i5, i7 and i9 branding it's easy to forget that Intel still makes Pentium processors. The silly thing about the nomenclature is that modern Pentium processors bear no relation to their predecessors and is part of the Kaby Lake series of chips introduced at the start of 2017. They slot in between the super-basic Celeron line-up and the Core m3 (used in the Apple MacBook) and Core i3 series.

We weren't expecting the Surface Go to perform that well and in terms of pure grunt it doesn't have a lot. But Windows 10 is fairly easy going on most devices and the Surface Go is no exception. OK, so it was a little tardy installing some Windows Updates and a couple of apps but otherwise it was absolutely fine for everyday use including editing photos and running numerous apps simultaneously.Surface devices are supposed to offer the latest specs, although they have been weirdly slow to move to USB-C and dump proprietary adapters. The Go has a headphone jack and USB-C port but, alas, Microsoft has stuck with the proprietary Surface connector for charging. We'd expect this to change for a secondary USB-C in a later version, which would make all the difference in terms of connectivity. There is, however, a microSD card reader under the kickstand, which is potentially handy (although it does mean photographers wanting to use the Surface Go for simple photo edits will need to use a microSD card and adapter in their camera).

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