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Webmail vs desktop email client: which should you choose?

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With the rapid development of the internet in the early 2000’s, emails changed forever. In the early days, the only way to read and send email was to use a dedicated email client but as the Internet became more widespread , users moved from dedicated email clients to webmail.

Despite the number of users moving to webmail services, many users still prefer using a dedicated email client on their PC. If you can’t choose between a dedicated email client and webmail, we’re going to compare the two and help you determine the best solution for you.

Webmail or desktop email client – which one to choose?

Email clients were a key component of every operating system since the creation of email services. Outlook Express was a default email application on older versions of Windows, therefore gaining extreme popularity with Windows users. Although Microsoft removed Outlook Express from Windows, many alternatives appeared soon after.

READ MORE: Top 5 Windows 10 TV box units to connect your Smart TV

Today, there are many Outlook Express alternatives but most of them don’t have the same simple user interface that many users are used to. The simplistic design of Outlook Express is what made it so unique and appealing to users — many webmail services and email clients lack that.

Webmail services rely heavily on JavaScript

Most webmail email clients rely heavily on JavaScript, and if you don’t have JavaScript enabled in your browser for some reason, you’ll have to enable it in order to check your email. On the other hand, desktop email clients don’t require JavaScript at all so you won’t have to go through the tedious process of enabling JavaScript every time if you want to read or send an email.

[irp posts=”26354″ name=”Best Windows 10 Email Clients and Apps to Use”]

Webmail services usually don’t support custom domains for free

Webmail lacks support for custom domains. If you own your own company and  use a custom domain, you won’t be able to use that domain with most webmail services unless you choose to upgrade to premium. Some webmail services such as Outlook don’t have support for custom domains at all, so you might want to think twice before choosing webmail over a desktop email client.

You can’t manage multiple email accounts from webmail

Desktop email clients are also a better choice if you use two or more email address. If you use both Gmail and Outlook, for example, you’ll have to log in to each of the two services in order to check your email. This isn’t a problem for most regular users but if you rely heavily on email for communication, checking two or more webmail services several times a day and responding to emails might become a tedious process.

You can’t access webmail without internet connection

Expert tip:

READ MORE: Top Windows 10 Optimizer Software for a snappier PC

Webmail comes with limited storage space

Many webmail services come with limited storage space. If you regularly send and receive attachments, you might run out of webmail storage sooner than you think. After you run out of space, you won’t be able to receive new emails until you delete some older messages or until you purchase a premium option that gives you more space.

The only limitation of doing this is your hard drive size. But on the flip side, with enough room you’ll never have to delete any email messages or attachments or worry about the remaining space for your emails. Some desktop email clients, such as OE Classic, use public domain SQLite/MBX database to store your emails, which means that you can easily export your emails and save them on a different computer for backup.

Desktop email clients require initial setup

Desktop email clients are great, offering more freedom to the user with less restrictions. They might require a little more setup, though, before you start receiving your emails. With webmail services, you only have to navigate to a specific website and all your emails will be there. Although desktop clients don’t require you to visit any website or to start your browser in order to check your email, they do require some initial configuration.

Before you can start reading your emails, you have to create your account, a process usually consisting of adding your email address and your password along with the address of the mail server. This process might seem a bit daunting to some users, which is why they choose webmail services instead. With webmail services, there’s no need to enter a web server’s address: everything you need is automatically configured with only an email and password needed to be created.

Webmail services are synced across all of your devices Webmail services don’t require third-party applications

Webmail services can also be useful if you aren’t allowed to install any third-party applications on the computer that you’re currently using. For example, if your company’s policy forbids installing third-party applications, webmail might be a better solution for you in this case.

What is the better option: webmail or email client? It all depends on your needs. If you can’t install third-party applications and you want your emails synced across all devices, then webmail is a better choice for you. In addition, webmail offers more simplicity and that’s something many users prefer.

Some email clients like OE Classic feature a simple design resembling Outlook Express, something many users are looking for. Many email clients work exceptionally well with webmail services, so if you can’t decide between a webmail and desktop email client, you can easily combine the two and have the best of both worlds.

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Samsung Galaxy S21 Vs Pixel 5: Which Should You Buy?

Adam Molina / Android Authority

Adam Molina / Android Authority

Samsung unveiled its first 2023 flagship earlier than usual, taking the wraps off of the Galaxy S21 series at an event in January. Once again, three devices make up the series. The Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21 Plus, and Galaxy S21 Ultra will be vying for your attention and dollars. Of course, the first question on many people’s minds is how the phones stack up against the best phones you can buy, which includes Google’s Pixel 5. Here’s a quick look at the Samsung Galaxy S21 vs Google Pixel 5!

Our verdict: Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review

Samsung Galaxy S21 vs Google Pixel 5

Specs

Features

Adam Molina / Android Authority

The Samsung Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus are quite similar. The major difference is the display’s size — 6.2-inch vs 6.7-inch — and the battery capacity. You get flat displays with a Full HD+ resolution with the two. Additionally, both have the same Snapdragon 888 processing package (Exynos 2100 in global markets), 8GB of RAM, up to 256GB of storage, and an identical camera setup.

The Galaxy S21 and Pixel 5 are comparable flagships, but Samsung’s phones smash Google’s for raw power.

All four phones feature high-end staples like an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance, fast charging, and wireless charging. You can also use them to charge other phones and peripherals, like smartwatches and wireless earbuds, with their reverse wireless charging feature.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus come with a 12MP wide-angle lens, a 12MP ultra-wide angle shooter, and a 64MP telephoto lens. In contrast, the Galaxy S21 Ultra bumps the primary telephoto to 108MP and tacks on a second 10MP telephoto as well. Unsurprisingly, the phones can shoot excellent photos and videos. The Galaxy S21 Ultra is the most versatile of the lot and its 108MP telephoto lens is truly impressive. The cameras run into usual issues with low-light photography, but overall, these are among the best camera phones around.

The Pixel 5 falls behind on the spec sheet in this regard as well, with “just” a dual rear camera setup, comprising a 12.2MP primary shooter and 16MP ultra-wide lens. However, Google relies on software to bolster camera performance, and it’s no surprise that the Pixel 5 is one of the best camera phones you can get.

Price

The Samsung Galaxy S21, Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus, and Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra start at $799.99, $999.99, and $1,199, respectively. In the UK and Europe, the series is priced at £769/€849, £949/€1,049, and £1,149/€1,249, respectively.

On the other hand, you can get the Pixel 5 for $699/£599/€629.

Google Pixel 5 (New)

Google’s first 5G smartphone

The Google Pixel 5 may not be the high-end Pixel we were expecting, but it’s a pretty compelling mid-range option. Google is going back to basics with the Pixel 5, ditching higher-end features like face recognition and the quirky Motion Sense gestures.

See price at Amazon

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$198.90

Samsung Galaxy S21 vs Pixel 5: Which one would you buy?

2598 votes

The Pixel 5 is slightly smaller, understated, comes with the promise of timely updates, and takes fantastic photos. The Google phone is one of the best in this price range the Galaxy S21 offers more bang for your buck. While far more expensive, if you want the most feature-packed of the lot, one of the best you can get is the Galaxy S21 Ultra.

Nvidia Geforce Rtx 3060 Vs. Intel Arc A770: Which Gpu Should You Buy?

We’re going to be comparing the best that Intel can offer, the Arc A770 Limited Edition 16GB, against Nvidia’s mainstream favorite, the popular GeForce RTX 3060 12GB. We will discuss performance, current price and availability, and other vitals such as driver stability. We’ll discuss some tidbits for content creators too, such as the AV1 encoding capabilities. 

Does Intel deserve a chance at your hard-earned cash to be the muscle inside your gaming PC? Let’s find out!

Arc A770 Limited Edition

Read our review

GeForce RTX 3060 XC Black Gaming

Read our review

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Nvidia RTX 3060 vs Intel Arc A770 LE: Price and availability

The stats: Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3060 carries an MSRP of $329, while the Arc A770 LE costs $349 at retail. (You can grab the 8GB version for $20 less, or the Arc A750 for $289 as well.) 

Can you really find these GPUs at these prices? Not really, not even with the current soft market for graphics cards. The RTX 3060 can be found easily from many retailers in stock, but you’ll still be likely paying slightly more than the $329 MSRP retail. 

My local Microcenter seemed to get roughly four or five units each of the A750 and A770, and that’s where I snapped up this Arc A770 16GB LE version for MSRP. Looking around as of today, they’ve fairly difficult to find in stock and seem to already have higher pricing on the secondhand marketplaces. 

The win most definitely goes to the RTX 3060 for price and availability this round, as they’re readily available.

Thiago Trevisan

Nvidia RTX 3060 vs Intel Arc A770 LE: Performance

This is what everyone has been waiting for – what can Intel do against the established competition? Sometimes, it’s fantastic, punching well above its weight. Other times, it is endlessly frustrating, with performance issues and instability causing major woes. The Arc A770 delivers very competitive results in many newer DirectX 12 and Vulkan games. On the flip side, if you want to play DX11 games—which most legacy games and non-triple-A games use—it’s better to skip Arc, for now.

Thiago Trevisan

Here’s the game everyone loves to talk about – Cyberpunk 2077. With ReBar on, you’ll have the A770 match the RTX 3060 in 1440p, but fall behind in 1080p. Clearly, Intel Arc seems to scale much better with higher resolution, so 1080p gamers will likely find the RTX 3060 a better performer.

Thiago Trevisan

Let’s look at Watch Dogs Legion. Here, the A770 pulls an impressive lead over the RTX 3060, even at 1080p. Keep in mind “ReBar on” is crucial to squeeze performance from Intel’s GPU. 

When Arc performs well, it certainly does so convincingly, especially if its with DX12 games. How about ray tracing performance? This has been a strong suit of Nvidia, and typically a challenge for AMD GPUs.

Thiago Trevisan

Ray tracing performance is impressive on the Arc when everything works in a stable fashion. They’ve been able to match or beat the RTX 3060 in many cases, such as in this Shadow of the Tomb Raider example. 

Nvidia has a trick up its sleeve, however, in the form of their DLSS upscaling technology. This allows many games to run ray tracing at a much lower performance penalty while keeping higher frames rates. High fidelity visuals stay in check, too. Intel offers a similar option in the way of XeSS – but with much more limited game support at present. 

Who wins the performance crown here? While Intel does pull an admittedly surprising lead in many titles when it does do well, even with ray tracing, the overall winner remains the RTX 3060 for one main reason: Consistency. 

Unless you plan to play a very specific game where Arc excels, you’ll be better served by the mature drivers that accompany Nvidia’s GPUs for now, such as the RTX 3060. You will have a more consistent experience across games using DX11 and DX12. When we consider new technologies thrown in such as DLSS and ray tracing, Nvidia also has a more mature setup.

When Intel matures its drivers for Arc with stability improvements, the hardware can certainly prove very capable.  

How about for content creators? GPU streaming has been an important performance facet to consider lately, and the Arc provides impressive AV1 encoders. Nvidia’s much more expensive RTX 40-series GPUs do so as well, but current-gen cards like the RTX 3060 lack those capabilities. For now, Arc is one of the best options for encoding. Some content creators, such as Linus Tech Tips, have even suggested to some it may be a good idea to run a second GPU in the form of an Intel Arc purely for this capability. While I don’t believe that’s a viable option for many, the increased encoding performance is certainly a point to keep an eye on for content creators.

Nvidia RTX 3060 vs Intel Arc A770 LE: Power and other things to know

The GeForce RTX 3060 is rated to pull 170 watts, which is meager compared to the numbers that most GPUs are putting out now. The Intel Arc A770 pulls a heftier 225 watts due to its larger GPU die, but that’s still reasonable to cool. Both are typically compact enough to fit in most cases, so this should not be an issue. 

The RTX 3060 will have much better compatibility with the older hardware that a gamer may use to accompany such a GPU. With Intel’s Arc, you need ReBar or Smart Access Memory, which is only available on newer platforms. You’ll need this for a good experience, or Arc performance will suffer considerably.

Thiago Trevisan

Verdict: Should you consider Intel’s Arc, or stick with the Nvidia option?

It may be late, but Intel finally has entered as a competitor in the GPU space. Unfortunately, it comes with several serious issues that make it tough to recommend at this point. 

First, let’s point to the positives. The Arc A770 pulls off some stunning surprise victories over Nvidia’s RTX 3060 (and even higher GeForce models) sometimes, in newer DX12 and Vulkan games. Even with ray-traced games, it impresses. 

Secondly, Arc does try to do all the right extra things you want from a modern GPU – XESS upscaling, ray tracing, content creator perks, etc. It’s also nicely designed, in a package that shows care and GPU design with some attention to detail and build quality. 

Here’s the bad news: Even if you wanted one, you’re going to have a tough time finding one for sale. It seems to have been quickly bought up by enthusiasts looking to tinker with it, and not gamers building their gaming PCs. Even with tough GPU markets, it seems to be a very limited release thus far. 

The winner: Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3060.

Thiago Trevisan

Sure, we’ve heard this story the last two years, but this time it’s different. The retail shelves are fully loaded with Nvidia GPUs such as the RTX 3060 close to MSRP. Some very worth competitors such as the AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT are also knockin’ on the door with newly reduced prices. These are readily available, and in most cases, offer more consistent performance. 

Availability aside, driver woes are still a major issue for these debut Arc graphics cards. Will first-gen Arc age like “Fine Wine,” as often was said of AMD drivers? It’s too early to tell, but as of right now, gamers will undoubtedly face more stability issues across the gaming spectrum compared to more mature drivers from Nvidia. Problems range from stuttering issues, to crashes, and flat out not working. 

As an enthusiast, I picked an Arc A770 up purely to tinker with it, and test it out. It’s not something that could be recommended to someone who just wants a GPU to game without issues. There are little sprinkles of potential here, however—and if Intel stays on the path of creating a great gaming GPU, one day it could very well give us the entire package. For now, you’re better off picking up a tried-and-true GeForce RTX 3060.

GeForce RTX 3060 XC Black Gaming

Read our review

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Should You Choose A Generalist Or Specialist Marketing Agency?

When you decide to hire an outside marketing agency – either because you want to outsource your marketing entirely or supplement your existing in-house team – you’ll have a lot of decisions to make.

And one of the biggest will be whether to hire a generalist or specialist agency.

Let’s start by defining our terms: a generalist marketing agency is one that handles all kinds of marketing. These may include (but not be limited to):

Content creation and strategy

Social media management

SEO

SEM

Email marketing

Analytics

Media buying

Affiliate marketing.

A specialist agency, in contrast, will focus on only one of those channels. So they will do only SEO or only email marketing, for example.

So which should you choose?

There’s no wrong or right answer.

But as you might have guessed, each choice has its pros and cons.

Perhaps this is why some businesses end up switching from one to the other and then back again. They’re never entirely happy because they’re never entirely clear on what they need.

For example, we just lost a client because they wanted to transition to a generalist agency. Ironically, we actually took on this client five years ago because they wanted to transition from a generalist to a specialist agency!

By taking a closer look at the pros and cons – and by answering a few questions – you can hopefully make a decision that you can stick with for the longer term.

Let’s walk through some of them.

Q1: Do You Need All Marketing Channels Offered? Or Only One or Two Predominantly?

Does your organization need all of the marketing channels listed above? Probably not. Affiliate marketing isn’t a great fit for B2B companies, for example.

If they decide to put more emphasis on a different marketing channel in the future, then they might want to hire a second agency that specializes in that area.

You might assume that with a big agency your account team will be made up of specialists who are experts in your preferred marketing channels.

Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case.

This point came home to us recently when we were interviewing to fill a position on my team.

The candidate was working for a generalist agency. We asked her specific questions about PPC management (an area she supported) and her answers revealed a lack of deep understanding.

Concerned, we asked if she had a Google Ads expert on her team she could go to if she had questions. She did not. Instead, she would have to call the Google helpline for assistance.

Given our recent poor experiences with the Google helpline, this was also not encouraging.

What’s more, she noted that her agency had moved into digital about five years ago and was working to get caught up. Gulp!

Thankfully, this isn’t always the case. Some generalist agencies are good about hiring and assigning real channel experts to account teams.

Even so, we still get a fair number of clients coming to us from generalist agencies with complaints about a lack of knowledge in the marketing channels they needed the most.

So when you’re considering hiring a generalist agency, ask questions to find out who will be on your account team.

What is their background and experience in your preferred marketing channels?

How much turnover can you expect?

And if they say the Google helpline, run!

Q2: How Big Is Your Budget?

Say you’re a small manufacturing company, and you create a specific product for a specific type of audience.

Your total monthly marketing budget is $1,000 per month, which leaves a small monthly budget of about $300 for your Google Ads program.

It’s unlikely that a specialist PPC agency will be willing to take on that account. It’s simply too small.

However, you might find a generalist agency (or marketing person) that will be willing to manage it for you.

Q3: Are You New to the Game?

If you’re a startup, it’s often best to hire a generalist first.

You want someone who’s solid, trustworthy, and can figure out just about anything.

Then, as you grow, you can start hiring specialists, either in-house or as agencies.

The original generalist will continue to run the department as you grow. And they’ll do it well because everything will have already passed through their hands.

Q4: Do You Prioritize Performance or Convenience?

In some cases, convenience is the number one consideration.

You don’t have time to meet with your SEO consultant, then your social media consultant and then your content marketer. If that’s the case, then a generalist is the way to go.

However, in many cases, performance is the priority. And is well worth the time it takes to manage multiple specialists.

Q5: Do You Already Have an in House Team, but You’re Lacking in One Area?

Maybe you already have a solid in-house team, but you can’t seem to nail down the right specialist in one particular area.

I get it! Sometimes, it’s really hard to find the perfect fit.

In those cases, an option is to keep your in house team but then bring in a specialist agency to manage that one marketing stream for you.

We have done this for companies before. Sometimes it’s for a short term (while they’re trying to hire the right in house person) and sometimes it’s for a longer term (they give up on hiring the right person and keep us on).

Whatever You Do, Ask Questions

As you can see, the decision as to whether to go with a generalist or specialist will depend on your situation.

But regardless of the decision you make, don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. Who will be working on your account? What are their specialties? Who can they go to for support?

And if you’re not happy with the answers, keep on looking.

More Resources:

Image Credits

Android Tablet Vs. Fire Tablet: Which One’s For You?

If you’re in the market for a brand new tablet, you’ve undoubtedly come across two of the many options available: the Android tablet and Fire tablet. Amazon actually has both Fire and Kindle tablets now, both of which have different purposes and feature sets. With the Android tablet and Fire tablet looking similar and appearing to do the same things, this article examines which is most worth your time and money.

The Main Difference – Operating Systems

The main difference between Android tablets and Fire tablets is the operating system. First, Android tablets use the Android operating system, just like most Android smartphones. The Google Play Store is used as well when it comes to accessing and managing apps.

Amazon Fire tablets are exclusive to Amazon and feature the Fire OS. It’s the same operating system used on most Amazon smart products, like the Echo and Fire TV. It’s actually based on Android and works similarly. However, you’ll use the Amazon App Store versus Google Play Store. Since it is an Amazon creation, Amazon’s own apps are pushed heavily, and the interface looks a little different to make it more about content consumption, such as using Prime Reading or Prime Video.

More Choices with Android Tablets

Similar to Windows computers, numerous brands make Android tablets. This gives you a much larger variety of options to choose from than you’d have with Fire tablets. However, if you look at lists of popular Android tablets, one or more Fire tablet varieties are usually listed.

Image source: Unsplash

Samsung and Lenovo are the two most popular Android tablet brands – though far from the only ones. In fact, Google is once again working on a tablet. Depending on the brand you choose, pricing can range from under $100 to well over $500. For instance, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 currently retails for around $700, while the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 retails for around $150. The entire Samsung Galaxy Tab line is considered comparable with Apple’s iPad line.

Android tablets sometimes have more onboard storage, such as 128 GB and 256 GB models. Most Fire tablets max out around 64 GB, though both Android and Fire tablets usually have expandable storage via microSD cards.

However, if you need less storage, a smaller screen, a specific type of camera, or any other feature, there’s likely an Android tablet to meet your needs. Of course, all these choices often make it harder to figure out which Android tablet is best for your needs.

Limited Choices with Fire Tablets

Fire tablets come in three types: Fire, Fire Kids, and Fire Kids Pro. The main Fire line features just five tablet options, which include 7″, 8″ HD, 8″ HD Plus, 10″ HD, and 10″ HD Plus models. These are the most like a standard Android tablet.

However, while there are some Android tablets made specifically for kids, the Fire tablet line for kids may be even easier to configure and use right out of the box. They also come complete with kid-proof cases, which is a major plus.

Image source: Amazon

The kid models come in 7″, 8″ HD, and 10″ HD versions. The main difference between the Fire Kids and Fire Kids Pro models is what kids can access and do without any additional configuration. Fire Kids is made for ages 3-7, while Fire Kids Pro is designed for ages 6-12.

The one area where Fire tablets really excel over their Android counterparts is price. They don’t typically have higher-end processors and max out at 64 GB of onboard storage, so they’re usually much cheaper. The Fire tablet ranges from $35 to $195, while the Fire Kids/Kids Pro ranges from $50 to $140.

Fire Tablets Aren’t Kindle E-Readers

Image source: Unsplash

If you want more apps, such as games or productivity, a Kindle e-reader isn’t the right choice. A Fire tablet would be a much better option, as it functions similarly to any standard Android tablet.

Choosing Your Apps

One final thing you need to consider is what you want to install on your tablet. The Google Play Store is typically a go-to for Android apps. While you can install apps from third-party sources, most users at least check the Google Play Store first. This is the default app store on Android tablets.

Image source: Google Play Store

The great thing about Google Play Store is apps are updated frequently, and app developers usually submit apps here and on Apple’s App Store before any other app stores. Since Android and iOS are the two biggest mobile operating systems, developers focus on those two systems first.

Image source:

Amazon

While Fire tablets are still Android-based, the default app store is the Amazon Appstore. You’ll find a more limited selection of apps, though most major apps, such as social media and popular games, are still available. Plus, apps aren’t updated quite as often, so you may not get an update to your favorite game until months after iOS and Android tablets are updated.

Before you choose between Android tablets and Fire tablets, take a look at the Google Play Store and Amazon Appstore to see if your favorite apps are available and when they were last updated.

The Choice Between Google and Amazon

A final consideration is which services do you use most: Google’s or Amazon’s? For instance, do you prefer Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa? While you can use both on either tablet, Google Assistant is built into Android tablets, while Amazon Alexa is built into Fire tablets.

Image source: Unsplash

If you tend to spend most of your time shopping on Amazon, reading Kindle books, watching Prime Video, and listening to Prime Music, a Fire tablet already has all those apps installed and ready to use. Of course, you can also install all of these apps on Android tablets.

Picking the Right Tablet

With all of this information, which tablet is really the best for your needs? Between Android tablets and Fire tablets, consider the following before buying:

Android Tablet Pros and Cons

Pros:

More variety of screen sizes and features

Larger onboard storage

Uses Google Play Store

Easy to customize for most any use (work, school, play, hobbies, etc.)

Cons:

Most start around $100 and can cost over $500

Large variety makes it difficult to choose sometimes

Hard to find accessories (cases, screen protectors, etc.) for lesser-known brands

Fire Tablet Pros and Cons

Pros:

Generally much cheaper than Android, ranging from $35 to $195 (Amazon often runs sales and bundle deals for even cheaper tablets)

Fire Kids tablets come with protective cases

Fewer choices makes it easier to choose a model

Amazon services already installed (Kindle, Prime Video, Prime Music, Shopping, Alexa, etc.)

Cons:

Fewer app choices in Amazon Appstore

Less onboard storage

Less powerful processors, which can limit functionality for power users

The Winner Is …

Overall, Android tablets offer the most flexibility in features, apps, and use cases. However, if you want a simpler tablet just for playing a few games, reading Kindle ebooks, and browsing online, Fire tablets are cheaper and work extremely well. They’re also a great option for younger kids who don’t need higher-end features.

Frequently Asked Questions 1. Can I use Google Play Store on a Fire tablet?

Yes. However, you can’t just download it like any other app. You have to go through a lengthy process that mostly turns your Fire tablet into an Android tablet. The good news is that once complete, you’ll have a good Android tablet that costs less than a standard Android tablet. Also, you can revert any changes made if you want to go back to your Fire tablet’s original settings.

2. Are lesser known Android tablet brands worth buying?

It depends on your needs. Lesser known brands aren’t a bad thing, but they usually have low-end processors, less RAM, and less onboard storage. They also don’t receive system updates as frequently, so they can become outdated faster.

For general, everyday use, they’re usually fine and can last a few years. They’re perfect for younger kids who may not want or need more resource-intensive apps.

3. Do Amazon’s branded apps work better on Fire tablets? 4. Why do Kindles cost more than Fire tablets?

If you’ve looked at Kindles and Fire tablets, you might have noticed Kindles tend to cost more on average. This is because they include a variety of features to make reading on a screen a more pleasurable experience. This includes auto adjustments based on lighting and glare-free screens. Also, the charge can last for weeks since there isn’t much else going on. That alone may be worth the higher price for those who just want a tablet to read on.

With a few changes, you can actually use a Kindle as a lightweight tablet.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Crystal Crowder

Crystal Crowder has spent over 15 years working in the tech industry, first as an IT technician and then as a writer. She works to help teach others how to get the most from their devices, systems, and apps. She stays on top of the latest trends and is always finding solutions to common tech problems.

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Robot Vacuum Cleaners: What Are They And Which Should You Buy?

Kris Carlon / Android Authority

Vacuuming a home can be one of the most tedious cleaning jobs, but these days, there’s an incredible assortment of robot vacuums that remove the drudgery. Some require more maintenance than others — as a rule, though, they’re one of the best additions you can make to a smart home.

Here’s what you need to know about robot vacuums, and which ones you should buy.

Read also: Save big with these great robot vacuum deals

The limitations of robot vacuums

Before you start thinking robots are the key to a spotless home, we should address several limitations. Let’s say that robots won’t be fully replacing stand-up vacuums anytime soon.

First, robot vacuums don’t have the same cleaning power and maneuverability that you’ll find in the best upright units. They tend to leave some spots uncleaned, especially corners or under furniture they don’t fit. Neato’s vacuums are square-shaped to avoid the corner problem, but even they have restrictions.

Second, while robots have sensors to make sure they don’t smash into things or roll down the stairs, there isn’t much stopping them from sucking up small items. You’ll need to make sure objects like cables, shoelaces, and hairpins are off the floor before each cleaning session, as well as anything that might get caught in rollers, like tassels.

As hinted at earlier, most robot vacuums depend on small onboard compartments to hold debris, which can mean emptying a lot more frequently than you’re used to. You’ll want a robot with an auto-emptying dock if this bothers you, but be prepared to spend upwards of $800 for the privilege.

Roborock S7 Plus: Mopping up the competition

Roborock

The Roborock S7 Plus is costly, but you get what you pay for. Not only can it handle both vacuuming and mopping in the same cleaning session — lifting the mop when carpet is detected —  it comes with an auto-emptying dock, which Roborock claims is good enough for eight weeks of dirt.  

The vacuum also offers HEPA air filtration, and LIDAR-based navigation, including the ability to store multiple floors in memory. To match this the robot has a 180-minute battery, which should be enough to clean multiple floors in one day.

Control options include a mobile app, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant. If there’s any serious downside to the S7 Plus, it’s just that sticker shock, exacerbated by the need to buy more dust bags and mop cloths on a regular basis.

Check out our full review of the cheaper, original Roborock S7.

iRobot Roomba i3: A great mid-tier option

Amazon

It’s hard not to include vacuums from the pioneer that started it all. The Roomba i3 is our first pick from iRobot, and it’s a great way to jump in at $300 or less.

Like other models on this list, the i3 comes with a companion app. It also works with Alexa and Google Assistant, and it you’re ready to step up, it’s compatible with iRobot’s auto-emptying Clean Base.

The vacuum’s sensor package enables both mapping and the ability to identify areas that need more attention, even when on automatic mode. In terms of battery life the i3 is solid, sitting between 90 minutes and two hours. There’s no mopping feature, so if you want to stick with iRobot you might have to grab the Braava M6 for total cleaning.

Neato Botvac D8: A unique shape makes for great cleaning

Eschewing a standard circular design, the Neato Botvac D8 uses a “D” shape intended to clean corners far more thoroughly.

While that shape is probably its most appealing feature, the D8 also sports a solid 100-minute battery life, a 0.7-liter dirt bin, and LIDAR mapping technology. Unfortunately it doesn’t have a built-in mop, and Neato doesn’t sell any docks yet.

If corners are a priority the Neato Botvac D8 is an excellent option, especially given Alexa and Google Assistant integration. The lack of some key features could be a deterrent, but you can find it selling for $400 or less these days.

iRobot Roomba s9 Plus: Premium price, premium cleaning

Another high-end option is the Roomba s9 Plus. It offers floor mapping, powerful suction, and support for both Alexa and Google Assistant, but the star is the included Clean Base, which you’d have to spend extra on with the Roomba i3.

The s9 Plus used to cost a whopping $1,300, but it’s down to $999 on Amazon as of this writing. If you want mopping capabilities as well, you’ll need to invest a few hundred dollars more on the Braava M6 bundle.

Eufy Robovac G30 Hybrid: Affordable and effective

Eufy is where functionality meets affordability. Let’s be real: some of the vacuums on this list are too expensive for the average person. The Eufy G30 Hybrid manages to cost less while offering vacuum and mopping capabilities, 88 minutes of battery life, and 2,000Pa of suction. While none of this is industry-leading, considering the $200 pricetag, it’s pretty darn good.

Eufy’s product comes with smart detection strips so you can define preferred cleaning areas in the mobile app. You can even manually control the vacuum from your phone like a remote control car, although automation options like Alexa or Google Assistant are still preferable.

Honorable mentions

That’s it for our list of the best vacuums you can buy, but it’s only a fraction of what’s out there. We also want to give an honorable mention to the following products:

iRobot Roomba i7: The i7 provides great cleaning, and can be upgraded with iRobot’s auto-emptying dock. Still, it’s pricey for what you get.

Shark AI RV2001: Got pets that constantly shed mounds of hair? The AI RV2001 might be worth considering. It doesn’t have the best app on the market, but it does sport Shark’s impressive AI Laser Vision technology. Bear in mind that many other vacuums can handle pet hair, too.

ECOVACS Deebot X1 Omni: If money is no object, the $1,550 X1 Omni not only vacuums and mops but comes with the magnificent Omni Station, which empties the waste compartment, sucks out dirty water, refills cleaning solution, and even washes and dries the mopping attachments. You do however have to remove those attachments to go back to vacuuming, and the onboard Yiko voice assistant is useless.

Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra: The Ultra offers as much or more than the X1 Omni while costing less, but at $1,400, it’s still a luxury priced well beyond what most of us can justify.

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