Jon L. Jacobi

Freelance contributor

Jon is a Juilliard-trained musician, former x86/6800 programmer, and long-time (late 70s) computer enthusiast living in the San Francisco bay area. jjacobi@pcworld.com

Braven BVR-XXL/2 Bluetooth speaker review: Gigantor lays down the beat

Braven BVR-XXL/2 Bluetooth speaker review: Gigantor lays down the beat

If you appreciate volume, thump, and durability in a speaker, the Braven BVR-XXL/2 should be at the top of your short list. It's IPX5 rated, sounds good for the weatherized category, and even features a magnetic bottle opener.

Marshall Tufton Bluetooth speaker review: Loud, thumpy, with a long-life battery, but pricey and lacking in amenities

Marshall Tufton Bluetooth speaker review: Loud, thumpy, with a long-life battery, but pricey and lacking in amenities

Marshall's Tufton Bluetooth speaker certainly invokes the brand name, as well as delivering decent sound with a lot of thump, but the price is a bit steep and there's a caveat concerning stereo.

TerraMaster TD2 review: Fast two-drive Thunderbolt 3 RAID

TerraMaster TD2 review: Fast two-drive Thunderbolt 3 RAID

The TD2 is a top-performing external RAID enclosure, but Thunderbolt might be expensive overkill compared to USB when using only two drives.

How to use any Thunderbolt device on any Thunderbolt Mac—and we mean any

How to use any Thunderbolt device on any Thunderbolt Mac—and we mean any

An Apple adapter and the proper Thunderbolt dock let your Mac to handle any generation Thunderbolt device, including bus-power-only peripherals.

Dash cam reviews: Catch the maniacs and meteors of daily driving
Updated

Dash cam reviews: Catch the maniacs and meteors of daily driving

We review the best 1080p and 4K dash cams. They record what's ahead (and sometimes what's behind), and ideally mark it with GPS, too. Exactly what you need on today's mean streets.

Garmin Dash Cam Tandem review: Dual cameras are twice as nice in design, features and more

Garmin Dash Cam Tandem review: Dual cameras are twice as nice in design, features and more

Garmin's first front/interior camera delivers everything driving pros need in a supersmall package. Ease of use and integrated GPS make up for merely average image quality.

Hisense R8F 4K UHD smart TV review: This Roku-powered TV delivers plenty of bang for the buck

Hisense R8F 4K UHD smart TV review: This Roku-powered TV delivers plenty of bang for the buck

You'll get very good picture, Dolby Vision, and the excellent Roku OS, but you can forget about bringing your own Bluetooth speakers to the party.

Vava 4K UHD Dash Cam review: Great design and features plus 4K video capture

Vava 4K UHD Dash Cam review: Great design and features plus 4K video capture

Vava's 4K UHD Dash Cam increases the capture resolution of what was already one of our favorite single-channel dash cams. 24-hour surveillance on battery is a major perk.

Samsung launches its 2020 QLED TV lineup

Samsung launches its 2020 QLED TV lineup

The new line includes two new 8K UHD series, with promised improvements in image and audio technology, and support for Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and the company's own Bixby digital assistant.

TV tech terms demystified, part one: Screen size, resolution, and speed
Updated

TV tech terms demystified, part one: Screen size, resolution, and speed

Don't be befuddled by the alphabet soup of acronyms, spec charts, and feature lists you'll encounter when shopping for a new TV. This guide series explains it all in plain language.

TV tech terms demystified, part two: Display types and technologies

TV tech terms demystified, part two: Display types and technologies

Don't be befuddled by the alphabet soup of acronyms, spec charts, and feature lists you'll encounter when shopping for a new TV. This guide series explains it all in plain language.

TV tech terms demystified, part three: Color standards and definitions
Updated

TV tech terms demystified, part three: Color standards and definitions

Don't be befuddled by the alphabet soup of acronyms, spec charts, and feature lists you'll encounter when shopping for a new TV. This guide series explains it all in plain language.

TV tech terms demystified, part four: LED backlighting
Updated

TV tech terms demystified, part four: LED backlighting

LED backlights enable thinner flat-panel TVs and save energy, but until just recently, the color has been poor compared to older technologies.

Owl Car Cam review: The easiest, classiest, most phone-centric dash cam on the market

Owl Car Cam review: The easiest, classiest, most phone-centric dash cam on the market

The Owlcam dash cam combines a clever design with instant video uploads via LTE. It's great for phone-centric users, but some features taken for granted with other dash cams are missing.

Owl Car Cam review: 24-hour surveillance redefines the dash cam
Updated

Owl Car Cam review: 24-hour surveillance redefines the dash cam

The Owl Car Cam combines a clever, ground-breaking design with instant video uploads via LTE for 24-hour car security. However, the Android app, HDR for low-light video, and GPS video watermarking are key features it lacks.

SanDisk Extreme Pro Portable SSD review: Fast, tough and reasonably priced

SanDisk Extreme Pro Portable SSD review: Fast, tough and reasonably priced

SanDisk's Extreme Pro Portable SSD is the fastest external USB Gen 2 drive we've tested to date. The IP55-rated design means it can fend off water and dust, too.

IP ratings explained: What those codes tell you about how well a device is protected from water and dust

IP ratings explained: What those codes tell you about how well a device is protected from water and dust

What separates a product with an IP67 rating from one rated IP66, IP68, or IPX6? Our simple guide tells you everything you need to know.

Viofo A129 Pro Duo review: Dual-channel 4K UHD goodness

Viofo A129 Pro Duo review: Dual-channel 4K UHD goodness

The Viofo A129 Pro Duo offers excellent 4K UHD front day captures, great 1080p rear video, and integrated GPS, setting the bar high among 4K dash cams.

Aukey DRS2 dual dash cam review: Excellent video in all directions, and infrared too

Aukey DRS2 dual dash cam review: Excellent video in all directions, and infrared too

The Aukey DRS2 is a versatile dual-channel system, with a detachable interior camera that can be mounted on the rear window.

Vantrue X4 Dash cam: Sharp 4K UHD captures come at a price

Vantrue X4 Dash cam: Sharp 4K UHD captures come at a price

VanTrue's X4 dash cam takes great 4K UHD video, but it's pricey, and the capacitor cuts off too quickly.

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