Ben Patterson

Senior Writer

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.

Amazon unveils a raft of new devices, including a high-end Echo speaker, Alexa-packing earbuds, glasses, and a ring

Amazon unveils a raft of new devices, including a high-end Echo speaker, Alexa-packing earbuds, glasses, and a ring

Amazon went nuts with its fall hardware event, unleashing a bevy of products ranging from wireless Echo Buds, a smart ring, a smart oven, and even a dog tracker.

Acer Aspire 5 (A515-43-R19L) review: A budget AMD Ryzen 3 workhorse with middling battery life

Acer Aspire 5 (A515-43-R19L) review: A budget AMD Ryzen 3 workhorse with middling battery life

There’s a lot to like about this inexpensive Ryzen 3-powered Acer Aspire 5, but its middling battery life is tough to overlook.

Amazon to its competitors: Our voice assistants need to play nice together

Amazon to its competitors: Our voice assistants need to play nice together

More than 30 companies have committed to Amazon’s new Voice Interoperability Initiative, but Apple, Google, and Samsung are conspicuously absent from the list.

The Arlo Pro 3 security camera boasts 2K resolution, color night vision, and a 160-degree field of view

The Arlo Pro 3 security camera boasts 2K resolution, color night vision, and a 160-degree field of view

The Arlo Pro 3 features 2K HDR resolution and adds several features that were previously only available on the top-of-the-line Arlo Ultra, including a built-in alarm, spotlight, and color night vision.

Facebook reveals new Portal, Portal Mini, and Portal TV devices as it admits to collecting voice recordings

Facebook reveals new Portal, Portal Mini, and Portal TV devices as it admits to collecting voice recordings

Looks like Facebook decided to come clean about how it’s been handling—or mishandling—audio recordings from its Portal devices on the same day that it’s announcing an updated set of Portal gadgets.

HP S430c 43.4-inch Curved Ultrawide monitor: This eye-popping 4K display controls two PCs at once

HP S430c 43.4-inch Curved Ultrawide monitor: This eye-popping 4K display controls two PCs at once

The 43.4-inch HP S430c Curved Ultrawide monitor puts dual-monitor setups to shame, and its ability to control two devices with a single mouse and keyboard will make you the envy of the office.

HP’s Elite Dragonfly 2-in-1 packs enterprise-class features into a stylish, sliver-thin shell

HP’s Elite Dragonfly 2-in-1 packs enterprise-class features into a stylish, sliver-thin shell

The HP Elite Dragonfly is a 360-degree convertible laptop that fits the most important enterprise features into a sliver of a package, and it’s got a cool name to boot.

Amazon takes on Tidal, Deezer, and Qobuz with Amazon Music HD: a high-res music service

Amazon takes on Tidal, Deezer, and Qobuz with Amazon Music HD: a high-res music service

Available starting today, Amazon Music HD boasts more than 50 million songs with lossless CD-quality sound, plus “millions” more with better-than-CD “ultra HD” sonics.

The Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box lets you sync your Hue lights with your TV

The Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box lets you sync your Hue lights with your TV

Coming next month, the device will let you sync up to 10 Hue lights with your display, making it look like the TV’s colors are bleeding onto the wall.

Yamaha YAS-209 soundbar with Alexa review: DTS Virtual:X 3D surround effects aren’t worth the harsh sound

Yamaha YAS-209 soundbar with Alexa review: DTS Virtual:X 3D surround effects aren’t worth the harsh sound

While we like the standard surround-sound modes on this budget-priced soundbar, we aren’t fans of its harsh-sounding DTS Virtual:X implementation.

Broan’s upcoming SurfaceShield bathroom fan kills germs with bacteria-zapping LEDs

Broan’s upcoming SurfaceShield bathroom fan kills germs with bacteria-zapping LEDs

Broan-Nutone’s upcoming SurfaceShield ventilation fans boast LED illumination that's designed to destroy bacteria, fungi and mold.

Alexa Answers program goes public, allowing anyone to answer Alexa questions

Alexa Answers program goes public, allowing anyone to answer Alexa questions

Amazon just threw open the doors to a formerly invite-only program that allows users to answer Alexa queries that the digital assistant doesn’t yet know.

Bowers & Wilkins' Formation Flex speaker promises high-end wireless audio in a HomePod-style design

Bowers & Wilkins' Formation Flex speaker promises high-end wireless audio in a HomePod-style design

Due to arrive later this month, the latest mesh speaker in Bowers & Wilkins’s Formation line supports AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect, Roon, and Bluetooth.

Anker Soundcore Motion+ Bluetooth speaker review: Big sound in a rugged, compact package

Anker Soundcore Motion+ Bluetooth speaker review: Big sound in a rugged, compact package

This $100 Bluetooth speaker could do with a little more high-end detail, but its attention to mid-range audio pays dividends when it comes to delivering rich, robust sound.

Netgear sets a $700 price tag (ouch) for its upcoming  Orbi Wi-Fi 6 mesh network system

Netgear sets a $700 price tag (ouch) for its upcoming Orbi Wi-Fi 6 mesh network system

The future is now as far as Netgear’s latest Wi-Fi mesh network system is concerned, with the Wi-Fi 6 Orbi RBK852 slated to land in stores next month.

Meural’s revamped Canvas II wireless photo frame lets you decorate your wall with priceless works of art

Meural’s revamped Canvas II wireless photo frame lets you decorate your wall with priceless works of art

The revamped photo frame from Netgear-owned Meural promises better Wi-Fi, greater energy efficiency, and even an optional subscription service of digital masterpieces.

Lenovo doubles down on its Google Assistant-powered Smart Display line with a new 7-inch version

Lenovo doubles down on its Google Assistant-powered Smart Display line with a new 7-inch version

Slated to ship in October, the Smart Display 7 comes with slimmed-down bezels, stereo speakers, and an ambient light sensor.

Ears-on with the Sonos Move Bluetooth speaker: Portable Sonos sound with Alexa and Google Assistant onboard

Ears-on with the Sonos Move Bluetooth speaker: Portable Sonos sound with Alexa and Google Assistant onboard

The audio gurus at Sonos have finally jumped into the portable Bluetooth speaker arena, and from what we’ve seen—and heard—the Move should be worth the wait.

Hands-on with the Philips Hue Smart button, Smart plug, vintage-style filament bulbs, and more

Hands-on with the Philips Hue Smart button, Smart plug, vintage-style filament bulbs, and more

The $20 Smart button makes it easy to control your Philips Hue lights, and it arrives alongside the first Philips Hue Smart plug, vintage-style LED filament smart bulbs, and an updated Philips Hue Go portable light.

Bang & Olufsen’s first soundbar boasts Dolby Atmos and AirPlay 2 support

Bang & Olufsen’s first soundbar boasts Dolby Atmos and AirPlay 2 support

Slated to arrive this fall, Bang & Olufsen’s sleek soundbar comes with 11 powered drivers, Dolby Atmos, AirPlay 2, and built-in Chromecast support.

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