Latest StoriesQuick Look
    Show and Tell: ArtBones Articulated Action Figures

    Before heading to Comic-Con, we check out the highly-articulated posable figures from ArtBones and talk about the different kinds of articulation we look for in collectible figures. We're impressed by the dexterity of the ArtBones figures, which are 3D-printed and made to order by artists in Brooklyn.

    Show and Tell: Nike's Adapt BB Power-Lacing Shoes!

    We've been waiting so long for self-lacing shoes, and now's our chance to try on Nike's Adapt BB with power lacing! Friend of Tested Steve Lin brings in his rare pair of Nike MAG sneakers as well as the new Adapt BB in a Back to the Future-inspired colorway. Here's how well the power lacing works!

    The Wand Company's Fallout 76 Pip-Boy Kit Upgrades

    We meet up with The Wand Company at E3 this year to check out their new upgrade modules for their Pip-Boy 2000 kit. From an actual radio (with wasteland frequencies) to actual radiation sensor, we can't wait to incorporate these mods to our Pip-Boy. Plus, a look at their new die-cast Fallout 76 vehicles!

    DJI RoboMaster S1 Robot Hands-On and Build!

    We build and test drive the new DJI RoboMaster S1, an RC robot that has a powerful drive system, blaster capabilities, and robust programming potential. We found that it was really fun to assemble and were really impressed with its responsiveness and FPV control. There's a lot to unpack here!

    First Look: Prusa SL1 Resin 3D Printer!

    We meet up with Josef Prusa at Maker Faire 2019 to check out the Prusa SL1, Prusa Research's resin printer. We learn how this resin printer differentiates from laser-based SLA printers, get a close look at its intricate prints, and check out the new wash and cure station.

    Show and Tell: Synology DS1019+ NAS

    Norm and Tested producer Gunther sit down to talk about their use of NAS boxes for media serving, backup, and photo editing. We use Synology servers at the office for file management and collaboration, and the five bay DS1019+ at home works well as a Plex server with its hardware accelerated transcoding. What do you use as your media server and backup solution?

    Valve Index VR Headset In-Depth Impressions!

    The Valve Index is here! We spend a week testing the Valve Index virtual reality headset and share our extended hands-on impressions for the wider field of view, higher resolution, increased framerate, and speaker audio quality. Plus, how games so far are accommodating the new "knuckles" style Index controllers. Let us know what you'd like to see tested below!

    HP Reverb VR Headset Review!

    We test and review the HP Reverb, a Windows Mixed Reality headset that has the sharpest display we've seen so far in a consumer virtual reality headset. We compare its clarity to the displays of the original Rift and Rift S, in games like Rec Room, Space Pirate Trainer, and Elite Dangerous. This resolution bump is truly impressive, though the headset isn't without its faults.

    Oculus Rift S VR Headset Review

    We test and review the new Oculus Rift S virtual reality headset, which replaces the original Oculus Rift and Touch controllers. Here's how the new display looks, how well the inside-out tracking system works, and the range of motion for the new controllers. Plus, Jeremy makes a D-I-Y solution to adding quality headphones to the Rift S with a 3D printed mount.

    Oculus Quest VR Headset Review!

    We have the Oculus Quest! After a week of testing its inside-out tracking, graphical performance, and a selection of its launch games, we review the Oculus Quest standalone virtual reality headset. Let's go in-depth with how its passthrough camera system works, guardian setup, and the quality of experiences on this game-changer for VR.

    Tested: Dremel Digilab LC40 Laser Cutter

    We test and review Dremel's Digilab LC40 laser cutter, a 40 watt hobby laser designed for personal workshops and maker spaces. We go over its setup, safety features, and capabilities, including the differences between it and other glass tube lasers in its class. There's a lot to like here!

    Show and Tell: Laser-Cut Orrery Kit

    We're enamored with this elegant laser-cut wooden orrery kit by Induku Design. This hand-cranked mecahnical model of the solar system depicts the rotations of the Moon around the Earth, and also around the Sun. We put this automata together to show you how it works!

    Hands-On with the HP Reverb VR Headset!

    We visit HP to go hands-on with their new high-end virtual reality headset, the HP Reverb. This Windows Mixed Reality headset has one of the highest resolution panels we've used for VR, and the clarity is remarkable! Plus, our impressions of Asgard's Wrath and Shadowpoint, two Oculus games we played at GDC.

    Hobby RC: Building and Flying a Super-Detailed Micro RC Plane

    Most RC aviators enjoy adding accents to make their scale models appear more realistic. We'd love for them to be as detailed and precise as static plastic models. Yet, the weight and structural constraints of a flying replica often dictate that we have to settle for "good enough." Smaller models typically demand more concessions than larger ones…but not always. I recently discovered a series of tiny airplanes that use innovative materials and techniques to achieve incredible realism.

    Microaces is a small, UK-based company that produces a line of ultra-micro RC models replicating WWI-era aircraft. At first glance, these airplanes actually look like well-detailed static models (close to 1/24-scale). Closer inspection reveals the functional control surfaces and electric motor that make them airworthy.

    Like many ultra-micro RC aircraft, Microaces kits are constructed primarily of foam. The truly unique aspect of these kits, and a key component to their realism, is that the foam is factory-printed with realistic color schemes. All of the details such as stitching, panel lines, insignia, unit markings, and weathering are all there when you open the box.

    The Microaces SE5a kit is built from foam and plastic parts that are factory-printed with a historically-accurate color scheme.

    Microaces offers kits for several different WWI aircraft. Most of them are available in multiple historically-accurate trim schemes. I chose to build the "Heavy Weather" SE5a that depicts the fighting steed of British ace, Arthur Rhys-Davids. With a wingspan of only 14.5" (368mm), this model could be completed as a static desktop display. But there was never any doubt that my example would be built to take to the sky!

    Hands-On with the Oculus Rift S Virtual Reality Headset!

    We go hands-on with the Rift S, the new desktop VR headset that replaces the Oculus Rift and uses inside-out tracking cameras and a higher-resolution display. Plus, a conversation with Oculus Head of VR Product Nate Mitchell about the design decisions behind the Rift S, Insight tracking, and the new Passthrough+ system.

    Tested: Insta360 EVO Convertible VR180 Camera

    We test the new Insta360 EVO, a camera that can switch between shooting in 360 video and 180-degree stereoscopic video for virtual reality headsets. Here's a quick primer on why 180-degree VR video is compelling, and how compact cameras like the Insta360 EVO will let you capture great-looking VR video without complicated post-processing.

    Show and Tell: Laser-Cut Miniature Wargaming Terrain Kits!

    We recently discovered the awesome world of custom wargaming terrain, like these laser-cut kits from BlackSiteStudio. We've put together a few of them now, including an intricate modular fallout shelter. This kit we're assembling today is even more impressive, making excellent use of the laser-cut aesthetic for post-apocalyptic architecture!

    Hobby RC: A Transformable Quadcopter

    In my last article, I explained how I used a mini-quadcopter as the basis for a DIY hovercraft. My inspiration for that project was the Tiny Whoov, a hovercraft built around the Blade Inductrix. Blade sells their own hovercraft adaptation, called the Inductrix Switch. Just recently, Blade released yet another new vehicle based on the Inductrix frame, the Inductrix Switch Air.

    The Inductrix Switch Air introduces a set of wings to the quadcopter frame. A few simple transformation steps allow you to fly this machine as a pure quad or as an airplane/quad hybrid. Furthermore, the quadcopter components can be snapped into the hovercraft hull of the Switch. This makes the Inductrix Switch Air a sort of 3-in-1 flying machine.

    The Inductrix Switch Air comes with quadrotor and flying wing setups. It can also be a hovercraft.

    About the Inductrix Switch Air

    First things first: "Inductrix Switch Air" is a mouthful. So I'll just call it the "Air" in this article. Blade offers the Air in two variants. The Ready-to-Fly (RTF) model ($60) includes everything needed to get this machine in the sky. If you already own a compatible Spektrum transmitter, you can save a ten bucks by going with the Bind-N-Fly (BNF) version ($50).

    I have the RTF model. The included 2.4GHz transmitter is considerably smaller than a standard RC transmitter, but it is still large enough for my adult hands to hold and use comfortably. The package also includes four AA-size alkaline batteries to power the radio.

    The RTF package includes all the components needed to fly the Inductrix as a pure quadcopter or a flying wing.

    There are features within the transmitter that belie its outward minimalist appearance. The quad's onboard flight controller (FC) has separate flight modes for each form of the vehicle (quad/wing/hovercraft). These modes define how the vehicle responds to control inputs. They are selected by moving the control sticks to specific positions before arming the motors. A multi-colored LED on the FC indicates which mode is selected. Additional options within each flight mode are chosen by pressing inward (axially) on the right control stick. An inward push on the left control stick toggles motor arming.