Ben PattersonSenior Writer, TechHive

Ben has been writing about technology and consumer electronics for more than 20 years. A PCWorld contributor since 2014, Ben joined TechHive in 2019, where he covers smart speakers, soundbars, and other smart and home-theater devices.


Black Friday Hulu deal: Get a full year of cord-cutting for $1.99 a month

Hulu is offering 67 percent off its ad-supported subscription plan for Black Friday.

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Apple HomePod mini review: Apple’s $99 smart speaker needs to be either better or cheaper

If the HomePod mini were $50 rather than $99, we’d really have something.

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Amazon unveils next-gen Echo Frames, but stops selling the Echo Loop smart ring

The updated Echo Frames will boast better sound and battery life, as well as new colors. At the same time, Amazon is ending production of the Alexa-enabled Echo Loop.

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'Wonder Woman 1984' will land on HBO Max and in theaters on Christmas Day

The latest Hollywood blockbuster to skip theaters in favor of streaming, 'Wonder Woman 1984' joins the likes of 'Soul,' ‘Mulan,’ ‘Bill & Ted Face the Music,’ 'Greyhound,' and more.

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Google smart displays get sticky notes for family members

Now you can ask Google Assistant to leave “Family Notes” on your Google display. Also: Google Assistant gets a “find my family” feature.

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Wyze Sprinkler controller coming soon to a lawn near you

At just $50, Wyze’s new sprinkler controller is among the least expensive we’ve seen.


HBO Max app finally arrives on Amazon Fire TV devices

Starting on Tuesday, Fire TV users will finally be able to watch Succession, Game of Thrones, Big Little Lies, and more using the HBO Max app.

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Nanoleaf’s Thread-enabled A19 and LED Lightstrip debut in Apple stores

The new Nanoleaf lights can connect to the soon-to-arrive HomePod Mini, which acts as a Thread border router.

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Wyze’s $199 robot vacuum will start cleaning carpets in 2021

Slated to ship in January, the Wyze Robot Vacuum boasts room mapping and the ability to create virtual walls, features we rarely see in vacuums this inexpensive.

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Slingbox brilliantly solved a problem that no longer exists

Once upon a time, Slingbox was pretty much the only way to stream live TV to your phone or PC.

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Comcast debuts its Self Protection plan: $10 per month for up to four Xfinity cameras

Comcast’s new, more affordable home security plan offers motion detection notifications and a week’s worth of video storage.

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Philips Hue Iris review: This gorgeous accent light supports both Zigbee and Bluetooth

Now compatible with Bluetooth, the revamped Philips Hue Iris is twice as bright as the original.

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Amazon Echo Dot (4th gen) with Clock review: The clock-equipped Echo Dot gets a spherical makeover

Aside from its new spherical design, the revamped Echo Dot with Clock doesn’t veer far from the original’s winning formula.

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Panasonic SoundSlayer review: This compact, gaming-focused soundbar packs a punch

Just 17 inches long and equipped with a built-in subwoofer, the Panasonic Soundslayer delivers surprisingly big sound in a small package.

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Polk Audio MagniFi 2 soundbar review: Virtual 3D audio and built-in Chromecast, but iffy bass

The 2.1-channel MagniFi 2 soundbar from Polk Audio does a solid job at delivering virtualized 3D audio, but gets tripped up by its mediocre bass response.