Latest Articles in Product Reviews

Withings Home camera, CES

8 Smart Home Innovations We're Excited to See at CES 2015

The behemoth that is the International CES trade show gets under way on January 6, and the buzz around the Las Vegas Convention Center is that 2015 could be the year that smart home technology tips into the mainstream. There is a concerted effort to build "ecosystems" that will help us manage multiple devices from the same platform. Belkin announced an expansion of its WeMo line of connected-home products, for instance, while Nest has added 15 companies to its Works With Nest program, which seeks to make its smart thermostat the eyes and ears of the connected home of the not-too-distant future. Here are eight smart-home innovations that we're looking forward to seeing at this year's CES.
January 5, 2015
hem white hai

Hem: Minimalist Dream Furniture at a Price You Can (Almost) Afford

So you've graduated from Ikea, have a little coin to spend on furniture, but don't want to break the bank? Enter Hem, a European retailer of minimalist pieces designed for people who like clean lines and the flexibility of flat-pack pieces but loathe assembling things with an allen wrench. The price points are a bit higher than your Billy's and Karlstad's, but in return you won't have the same bookshelf and sofa as 90 percent of recent college grads. We've picked a few standouts from the line's inaugural collection, which debuted at Maison et Objet in Paris this fall.
December 17, 2014
Troy Hilt high-powered leaf blower.

Piles of Fallen Leaves Got You Down? This Leaf Blower Will Change All That

While effective, leaf blowers generally and deservedly draw ire from neighbors for being loud and polluting. The EPA has cracked down on emissions and noise laws, so new blowers are built with effective mufflers and there are now electric models available. For efficient yard-clearing, however, a high-powered gas blower like the Jet by Troy-Bilt is ideal.
December 3, 2014
WeMo Coffee app for smartphone.

Stay in Bed a Little Longer and Brew Your Coffee from Your Smartphone

While the modern kitchen grows smarter and smarter, the technology behind the coffee maker remains fairly rudimentary. A collaboration between Belkin and Mr. Coffee is aiming to change that. Together they've engineered a technology that allows users to control the brewing process remotely from their smartphones, using the WeMo app. The WeMo-enabled coffee maker is available now for $150.
November 14, 2014
quirky and ge smart home technology products uniq

Quirky and GE Unveil Products That Will Make Your Home Smarter

Tech startup Quirky and GE, who officially announced their partnership in April of 2013, launched seven new products that seek to reinvent home security, outlets, switches, and sensors. With the fleet, the companies believe they have the potential to make smart home technology accessible. "Through partnerships, products, and our platform, we believe we'll finally connect the home," Ben Kaufman, Quirky's founder and CEO, stated at a press briefing.
November 11, 2014
machine shopping appliances

6 Kitchen Appliances to Invest In Now

Brew the perfect cup of joe, add counter appeal, and discover a growing trend in cooking methods with the new appliances in our roundup.
November 10, 2014
Wally Moisture Minder gateway.

Smart Detection System Prevents Home Water Damage

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth continue to spread to every household item, with safety monitoring systems getting particular attention. Wally is among the first devices to use that connectivity for moisture monitoring, which means it can help prevent potentially catastrophic water damage. It’s sensitive enough to even notice creeping mold. Available now for $300
November 7, 2014

Inexpensive and Durable Material We Love: Laminates

With materials, one must often make tradeoffs among looks, maintenance, price, and functionality (we’re talking about you, marble). Laminates, on the other hand, are a highly durable solution at a lower price point. Moreover, each of the manufacturers shown here offers a Greenguard-certified product.
November 6, 2014
copper toned

Kitchen and Bath Trend to Watch: Warm Metals

Warm metals have hit peak popularity in furniture and lighting—and now the kitchen and bath industry.
November 5, 2014