Welcome to the latest installment of Staff Picks. Each week, we’ll tell you about the tech we’re currently testing — everything from cameras to headphones, 2-in-1 laptops and home appliances — as well as the grail items we wish we could buy. For our last selections, click here.
DJI Mavic Pro
The DJI Mavic quadcopter has generated considerable buzz as the most capable compact drone on the market. I finally coughed up the cash for one (not without great trepidation). And as a product, it’s astounding. I’m sitting here holding this thing, all folded up, in the palm of my hand. It feels substantial and well made. It’s attractive; I’d gladly place it on my coffee table when not in use. It’s smartly and thoughtfully designed, with readily deployed rotor arms and protections for the compact gimbal and camera. I can unfold it and be flying in barely a minute or two. Its controller is equally compact, with retracting arms that snugly secure your smartphone and antennae that fold neatly in at the top. It all fits into a small bag that can go everywhere with you and do amazing things when you arrive, reliably, with high-quality results. It feels like DJI traveled a decade into the future and brought this back.
– Eric Adams, Contributing Tech Writer
Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H9 Headphones
I’ve been using these both in the office and when traveling, and they stand up to the abuse admirably. They are comfortable enough to wear all day, and the over-ear design, while not noise canceling, blocks out a good slug of ambient noise on long-haul flights. I used them with my Cambridge Audio DacMagic XS and without, and actually preferred them without — a rare occurrence and a testament to the H9’s quality.
– AJ Powell, Staff Writer
FABRIQ Alexa-Enabled Speaker
I’m not the biggest Alexa user. I have an Echo Dot and I ask it about the day’s weather most mornings. I tell it to play songs on Spotify and ask it when certain sporting events are, as well. But that’s about it. That said, Alexa-enabled devices are all the rage these days and this speaker is among the first. It’s small, affordable and works well inside and outside. The sound won’t blow you away, but for $50 you wouldn’t expect it too.
– Tucker Bowe, Tech Writer