Ted Baker’s posh new iPhone cases teach you how to accessorize like a pro
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British luxury clothing brand Ted Baker’s new range of iPhone accessories will satisfy everyone who likes things to match, not only in terms of style and design, but with products working together in harmony. Cheekily called “Connected,” with the emphasis on the ‘Ted,” the lineup consists of an iPhone case, a battery pack, a wireless charger, an in-car mount, and a set of cables.
Ted Baker has worked with accessory brand Proporta on the new products, and the quality of both companies shines through. Each product has the Ted Baker name, and sensibly, they’re not making them seasonal, so the color and design won’t go out of style. It’s also refreshing to see a muted palette and subtle design from Ted Baker, rather than the bright floral designs many will associate with the brand’s iPhone accessories.
Let’s look at the battery pack, which is a good example of the range’s coherence. It’s covered in Italian leather and wrapped in a metal body shell, and comes in Ted Baker’s signature chocolate brown suede, or a gold and white leather combination. What makes it cool is the addition of wireless charging, a feature in iPhone models since the iPhone 8, removing the need to plug anything in, although the packs do support dual charging if you want to charge two devices at a time.
The 5,000mAh capacity cell has three charging coils along the top of the pack, providing a large contact area for charging. Here’s where it gets clever. Ted Baker’s 2018 bags — for women and men, including a laptop bag — will have special pockets made to hold the charger and your phone, keeping the battery topped up on the move. The triple-coil design makes sure the phone and charger stay in contact. The Connected iPhone cases share the same color scheme and work with wireless chargers. Your new iPhone gets a Ted Baker case, slips into a Ted Baker bag, where it charges up against the Ted Baker battery pack. Take everything out, and it all matches. Very cool.
Ted’s new range also includes a subtle desktop wireless charger, a series of reinforced nylon-covered cables, and in the near future, a car charging mount as well. We saw an early prototype and liked the compact dimensions, and the supportive, spring-loaded bar that holds your phone in landscape or portrait orientation. The new Connected Ted Baker cases all have panels inside that clamp onto magnets inside the holder, keeping everything secure. The cases are made for all modern and brand new iPhone models, including the new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR.
Set for release in November, the Ted Baker Connected range of products are available for pre-order very soon through Ted Baker’s website, Proporta’s website, and they will be out to buy in various retail stores too. Prices range from $55 (45 British pounds) for a case, up to $100 (80 pounds) for the wireless charging battery pack.
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Hideo Kojima confirms more main characters are coming for Death Stranding
Kojima’s first independent game is just as weird and mysterious as you thought it’d be.
If you don’t know who Hideo Kojima is, it’s time to pay attention. He’s the creator of the world-renowned Metal Gear franchise, known best for his works with the mainline series Metal Gear Solid.
Well, he left Konami, the company that controls the Metal Gear IP, and is now doing his own thing under independent label Kojima Productions. Their first work is Death Stranding, a forthcoming PlayStation 4 exclusive that not even Kojima himself can easily explain. Here’s everything we know about it so far.
What’s new with Death Stranding?
It’ll take us a while to fully decode the cryptic teasers Kojima is releasing for Death Stranding, but don’t worry. Every time we hear something new, we’ll be adding it to this space, so keep checking back for more!
October 1, 2018 — More main characters to be revealed
Main characters of DEATH STRANDING revealed at TGS last week. Yoji made this drawing for TGS based on the setting, the design, the gimmick, the outfit, and the casting as of today (minor change might be considered in future) BTW, there’s a few more main character will appear. pic.twitter.com/XV5hA2jv5U
— HIDEO_KOJIMA (@HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN) September 28, 2018
In a teaser-recap of the Tokyo Game Show, Hideo Kojima let loose word that there are a few main characters yet to be revealed. The company had recently teased many of the important figures in an artistic drawing that shows the setting, art style, outfits, and their casting decisions. They noted there might be minor changes in the future, especially since there are “a few more main characters” still to come.
Sony and Kojima are still playing their cards close to the chest with Death Stranding. While the recent TGS trailer finally offered more than just scenes of the main charactrering walking around with weird stuff attached to his persons, we still don’t have a solid clue regarding its plot or core gameplay.
With no release date in sight, we expect things to keep on at this trickling pace until the team feels confident enough to talk about the game in greater detail..
June 11, 2018 — New E3 trailer!
At E3 2018, Sony and Kojima debuted a new trailer for Death Stranding. The trailer didn’t do much to answer any of the lingering questions we have, but there was quite a bit to be learned.
The trailer also gave us our first bit of gameplay, but it was anticlimactic at best. It shows the main character Sam traversing a variety of different terrain types, as well as wading in water and scaling a mountain cliff. Some of the scenes show some sort of robots following him to wherever he’s going.
Later on in the trailer, we see Sam gearing up for a mission by activating his weird capsule baby and the mechanical arm. He can be seen sneaking past some ghostly, smokey figures, and whatever he has on him is apparently keeping them at bay. At the end, however, something goes wrong and Sam is pulled into the ground by a bunch of shadowy hands.
In a blog post on the PlayStation Blog, Kojima notes about Sam:
Some might have already picked up on this, but Sam is unlike any other hero you may have seen in games before. A typical hero is usually some sort of elite or someone with a military background. Sam is not. He is a working man of sorts — a hands-on professional. Someone with a skillset akin to a blue-collar worker.
We also see a couple of new characters, including Léa Seydoux from Blue is the Warmest Color, and Lindsay Wagner from The Bionic Woman. Two more unnamed characters have been confirmed, and we also now know that the music featured in the trailers to date was made by a group named Silent Poets. Still no release date, folks.
What is Death Stranding?
That’s a good question. The truth is we don’t know a whole lot about the type of game Death Stranding will be right now. Kojima has mentioned that there will be elements of action, adventure, RPG, stealth, and open world gameplay involved. That’s a pretty long list, but he contends it’s not right to try and fit the game into any of these categories as he instead opts to treat the game as its own genre.
While that sounds exciting on the surface, we won’t know what, exactly, he means until we see and learn more. Thanks to a few announcement and teaser trailers, however, the picture is starting to take shape, albeit ever-so-vaguely.
The story so far
It’s unclear what to expect from the story right now. In typical Kojima fashion, we’re left with nonsensical trailers which challenge the player to piece together their own conclusions about Sam (the main character) and what’s going on in the world around him. As attention-grabbing as these trailers are, they just don’t tell us much of anything. Hell, some scenes show naked babies trapped in capsules which are attached to characters via mechanical arms (or, worse yet, down Sam’s throat), and those babies are eventually sent floating up a river. It’s just plain weird and creepy.
Then there’s the Timefall rain mechanic, which seemingly both wears on the world and gives it accelerated growth, and it’ll also affect Sam one way or another. We don’t know how. We don’t know why. We just don’t know.
And it’s not because we aren’t trying to know, either. Even Kojima’s own team has mentioned that they are sometimes confused when he is explaining his vision for the game and the story. We reckon it’ll be one of those things we’ll just have to play through before we know what the hell is actually going on, but we’re still holding out hope that they’ll be a little less tight-lipped before the game’s launch.
The human connection
Interestingly enough, Kojima took a lot of inspiration from a Japanese novella called Rope for the premise of Death Stranding. In that written work, the concept of mankind’s earliest tools was boiled down to two simple things: sticks and ropes.
The thinking here is that the stick is the object you would use to keep unpleasant or violent things away from you. Think of it as your weapon, even if all you ever do with it is keep someone at arm’s length. That’s not to say you’ll be tasked with trying to cut through the apparent skeletal armies present in this game using nothing but a tree branch, but we know that the main character will heavily rely on one.
Then there’s the rope, which is the item you use when you want to keep things close to you like your beloved pet dog on a leash. This is the part where we get a tad confused, though early murmurings from Kojima suggest that the “rope” will shape the concept of “strands” in this game.
So what are strands? Good question – we’re not quite sure yet. (Getting tired of that theme yet?) We do know that it’ll be the basis of a core gameplay mechanic that keeps people in this mystery world connected. And considering co-op play has been confirmed for the title, we’re sure it’ll have a lot to do with the connections you make with both digital and real companions.
Life and death
Kojima’s theme for Death Stranding thus far seems to surround the cycle of life and death. In most games, death typically means either game over or you’re zipped back to a checkpoint to try again.
But death will take on a whole new meaning in Death Stranding, with the player instead being taken to some sort of purgatory realm whenever they die. It’s not yet clear what you can do in this realm, but we do know you’ll be free to explore it and return to your living form anytime you wish.
Kojima says their desire for changing the role of death in video games stems from the industry’s long misuse of the mechanic. He noted that death checkpoints were designed for arcade machines to keep people popping quarters into the slot, but the gaming industry has largely failed to move on from the mechanic even as arcade machines have become a dying breed. While it’s just as vague and cryptic as Kojima wants it, it still leaves us wondering what, exactly, death will mean in this title.
Though we don’t know a whole lot about the game, story, and characters at large, Kojima has been particularly chatty when it comes to the technology behind it. He revealed that his team met with over 30 studios to find the perfect engine for Death Stranding.
They eventually landed with the engine Guerilla Games created for Horizon Zero Dawn. Their choice was based on a number of factors, including an engine with great graphical capabilities and one that supports open-world development. Many engines fit that bill by default, but Guerilla’s won the ticket due to their willingness to collaborate with Kojima on further developing the engine. In fact, the two have even gone so far as to co-brand the engine with the name ‘Decima.’ The specifics of what and how they’ve changed it aren’t really important, just as long as you know it’ll look good (there’s PS4 Pro 4K + HDR support) and play great.
An all-star cast
Not one to shy away from cinematics, Kojima is pulling top talent to help drive the narrative in Death Stranding. The main character, Sam, seems to be portrayed by Norman Reedus. You may know him as the actor for the character Daryl on AMC’s The Walking Dead. We also know Mads Mikkelson and Guillermo del Toro will be along for the ride.
When can you play it?
If there’s one thing you should know about Kojima, it’s that he’s not going to rush his art (so long as he has no pesky publishers forcing him to, which he doesn’t). To that end, the only expectation we have for Death Stranding’s release date is by the year 2020. That seems like light years away from now, but knowing the ambition Kojima has we’re sure it’ll be well worth the wait.
The company skipped E3 in 2017 as they opted to continue working on the game before showing anything, but it’s possible we may see more at E3 2018 which kicks off June 12th. As for platform availability, the PlayStation 4 is the only safe bet right now, though eventual releases on other platforms such as PC and Xbox have not yet been ruled out.
Updated October 2018: Stay tuned for information about new main characters!
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Do you want IR blasters to return to smartphones?
A fun, forgotten technology.
As technology evolves, it’s only natural for features to come and go. One such feature that was popular a few years back that has since been phased out on smartphones is an IR blaster.
IR (infrared) blasters could be configured with your television, sound system, thermostat, and more to essentially turn your smartphone into a universal remote. It was a genuinely useful piece of tech, but as replacements for infrared solutions popped up, these blasters were steadily removed from just about every phone out there.
Our AC forum members recently shared their thoughts on this topic, and this is what they had to say.
10-01-2018 07:51 PM
It’s just a general trend. Take away features, make incremental spec upgrades, wrap it in a fragile paper thin glass body, and charge more for it. The LG V20 is one of, if not the last flagship I’m aware of that had the IR Blaster.
10-02-2018 10:55 AM
I would gladly trade an extra millimeter of thickness for an IR blaster.
And for God’s sake Samsung, don’t take away my headphone jack just to save me the extra millimeter!
10-02-2018 04:32 PM
As much fun as an IR blaster may be for some and useful for others it just doesn’t appear to be a feature that is desired by the masses. I owned two devices that had an IR blaster but that was simply coincidence.
I don’t know anyone outside of this forum that wants one so I can understand it being cut from the list of common features.
10-02-2018 05:57 PM
I love it, sure I change the channels or turn off the TV but it’s useful when I’m at GoodLife working out and don’t exactly wanna watch HGTV (Home & Garden) while I’m relaxing on the massage chair.
Some days or night I can’t stay home to watch NFL so I have to schedule it when I hit the gym.
It wouldn’t be a problem if they gave us access to the remote.
What say you? Do you want IR blasters to return to smartphones?
Join the conversation in the forums!
The RHA TrueConnect wireless earbuds last for hours with water resistance
Great sound and style.
RHA has unveiled its newest earbuds, the truly wireless TrueConnect. These in-ear headphones connect to charge via USB-C, have a five hour battery life, and use a charging case that can hold another 20 hours. The fast charging on the case can charge your new earbuds to 50% in less than 15 minutes. They will use Bluetooth 5.0 for high-quality wireless streaming, and they are IPX5 rated for resistance to sweat, splashes, and weather. That battery life is nothing to sneeze at considering other highly-rated earbuds, like the Jabra Elite 65t, don’t last nearly as long.
The design includes a stem, similar to Apple’s AirPods, that sits flush with the ear where RHA has stuffed a larger antenna for improved calls and connectivity. That design also helps bring the mic closer to the user’s mouth. These are fully compatible with all operating systems and can even integrate with voice assistants like Siri or Google Assistant. The buttons on the earbuds provide music playback control and access to the aforementioned assistants.
These earbuds will come with a three-year warranty. You can pre-order them through RHA’s website for $169.95 right now, or wait for wider availability when they release October 18. If you’re in the market for earbuds like this right now, you should look at the Bose SoundSport Free for $199 or the $178 Sony WF-SP700N with active noise-cancelling.
See at RHA
How is the Google Pixel XL holding up two years on?
How has the Pixel XL held up two years on from its release?
It’s been two years since Google shifted away from the Nexus line, ushering in a new era of Android flagships with the Google Pixel and Pixel XL. With the latest iteration of the Pixel lineup soon to be revealed, let’s take a look at the handset that set the course for Google’s current hardware path.
I returned to using the Pixel XL as my daily driver on August 9, the day that Android Pie officially launched. Running on Android 9.0, I’ve fallen back in love with the OG Pixel XL in part because I just love the camera and physical design, but also because it continues to offer the streamlined Android experience I enjoy most.
Still going strong on Android Pie
Updating to a new version of Android is always exciting, but the 9.0 update felt like a big visual shift that gave the Pixel software a fresh coat of paint. From the rounded corners on nearly every menu to the colorful icons in the drop-down settings menu, those first few weeks running the Pixel XL on Android Pie made the phone feel brand new.
It takes some time to get used to the new gesture controls, but its certainly faster and easier to navigate between apps once you get the hang of it.
I’ll admit that it took some time to get used to the new look and feel of everything when I first updated the XL. One of the biggest changes was how Google redesigned the three-button navigation system down to two — the back button and the pill-shaped Home button. Gesture controls are a feature that you need to go into settings to turn on, but once you do it completely changes the way you navigate through apps on your phone, and mostly for the better. Having to swipe up twice to access the app drawer was a big adjustment, and the swipe right gesture control for switching between recently used apps is pretty ingenious once you get the hang of it.
Given the amount of time I spend on my phone, rewiring my thumb’s muscle memory for the gesture controls took some time, and for a while, it was genuinely frustrating. Once I got used to the new controls, however, it immediately becomes apparent how fluid and comfortable it can be, saving you a couple seconds every time you switch between which really adds up in the long run.
Beta testing the Digital Wellbeing feature
As a self-diagnosed screen addict, the Digital Wellbeing feature that Google unveiled at I/O 2018 was something I was eager to try and so it has been put to use on my Pixel XL.
I have a hard time putting my phone down at night when I should be sleeping, but I’d rather be watching YouTube or getting in one last round of Brawl Stars. I turned on the wind-down feature, which converts your phone to grayscale and turns off notifications during a set time (defaults to 11 pm to 7 am). I also used the app dashboard to set some timers on apps that are notorious for stealing my attention for hours at a time, and having those little notifications pop up telling me my daily allotted time with the app is coming to an end has proven to be a good tool for curbing my usage.
It’s probably going to take many more months of testing to check whether the wind-down feature and app timers will have a dramatic effect on curbing my smartphone addiction — and there have already been a couple instances where I’ve continued to watch grayscale YouTube or gone into settings to turn off app timers.
Battery and Bluetooth are better with Pie
If there are two things that drive me crazy the most with smartphones its low-battery anxiety and issues using Bluetooth.
I can’t say for certain whether my Pixel XL’s battery life has improved or worsened since upgrading to 9.0, but the new update has vastly improved my ability to monitor my remaining battery life. The battery settings page now gives me a mostly accurate prediction of when my phone will run out of juice based on my average daily usage, which, for context, typically involves a ton of screen time, YouTube binging, Bluetooth pairing, and audio streaming.
Instead of trying to guess how long I’ll get out of 30% battery remaining, my phone will now tell me when I should expect my phone to die, which is especially important when using a two-year-old device. You also got to love the Adaptive Battery feature, working in the background to optimize CPU and battery performance.
Android Pie has brought subtle improvements to both battery usage and Bluetooth connections for the Pixel XL.
Bluetooth is another area that’s been subtly improved. In an average day, there are 3 to 4 different Bluetooth speakers, receivers, or headphones that I’ll regularly switch between — from the speaker in my shower to the FM transmitter in my car to my favorite pair of Bluetooth headphones to the speaker I use for pumping tunes at dodgeball. If I wasn’t having trouble connecting to a particular device, I was tearing my hair out trying to switch from one device to another. Switching from a Samsung
Since updating to Android Pie, I’ve noticed that Bluetooth has vastly improved, to the point where I can turn it on and the phone will instantly pair to whichever active Bluetooth device is closest. Get in the car, turn on Bluetooth, and it connects to my car’s Bluetooth dongle without having to fuss about in settings. These are the little improvements that are easy to overlook but actually make a huge difference in cutting out those little frustrating moments.
Official software support ends this month
Android Pie may be the end of the road for the OG Pixel XL — Google says guaranteed software support for the Pixel and Pixel XL ends October 2018, with guaranteed security updates ending October 2019.
It’s a bit of a shame because the phone itself is still great to use late into 2018, and I reckon I’ll still be using the Pixel XL into 2019. It still feels great in my hand, is still fully capable of running all the games and apps I enjoy, and has hardware features I appreciate like the well-placed fingerprint sensor, superb camera, and a freaking headphone jack that I still get good use out of.
Android 9 Pie
- Android 9 Pie review: Greater than the sum of its slices
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- Will my phone get Android Pie?
- How to get Android 9 Pie on your Pixel right now
- Join the Discussion
LG Watch W7 hands-on: Weirdly practical, weirdly pricey
LG is once again innovating in the smartwatch space.
I have a lot of respect for the wearable division at LG. Throughout its history, this team has pushed the envelope and tried new things more times than any other smartwatch manufacturer in the history of Wear OS. LG was one of the launch partners of Android Wear, one of the first to make a fully round watch, and the first to make a cellular Android Wear watch. It’s a rich, if brief, history of innovation and creative problem solving, which I have appreciated quite a bit.
At its V40 ThinQ launch, LG broke the mold again and made a smartwatch with something no other company has. The LG Watch W7 has mechanical watch hands attached to an actual, real watch movement, but it also has a fully circular touch display with an excitingly custom version of Wear OS onboard.
And after spending a little time with one, my finger is hovering painfully over the pre-order button.
As smartwatches go, the LG Watch W7 looks fairly standard on the outside. The stainless steel body and rubbery sport strap look and feel extremely familiar if you’ve used an LG smartwatch in the last couple of years. The rotating crown on the right side of the body is flanked by a pair of buttons, giving the whole body a very traditional watch look and feel.
The mechanical hands are immediately noticeable. LG is one of several smartwatch manufacturers over the years that have used animation tricks to create that real watch illusion on several watch faces, but the polished metallic surface of these hands is something no flat display can replicate. And at first glance, these mechanical hands almost seem like an obstacle to using a smartwatch. These physical pieces of hardware exist in between you and the display, which means they can partially obscure notifications or complications on a watch face. But LG recognized this could be an obstacle and dedicate the top physical button the watch to solving it. When you hold it down, the mechanical hands get out of the way so you can see what you couldn’t before. Granted, this is a solution to a problem LG created with this design, but the solution is fairly elegant in its execution.
Creating space in between the touch panel and the display for mechanical hands, and the movement to drive those hands, means the watch is a little on the chunky side. It’s not quite as tall as a TicWatch Pro or the larger Samsung Galaxy Watch, but this is not a small watch by any means. But those watches have things this does not, like NFC and a heart rate monitor for fitness tracking. And because it’s packing a much older Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor, we already know it’s not going to blow us away when it comes to performance and battery life. The compromises with this design are quite clear and quickly become difficult to swallow when matched with a $450 price tag.
That having been said, the unique things the LG Watch W7 can do are cool as hell. There’s a whole suite of what LG calls “Master Tools” which use the mechanical hands to spectacular effect. The compass app uses the hands to point North no matter where you are standing. The stopwatch and timer apps use the hands to physically count up or down. These may seem like small things, but out in direct sunlight where literally every smartwatch struggles to display something, you have access to this whole mess of apps that will always be super functional because the mechanical hands are so visible. And that’s pretty important for people who want their smartwatch to be a watch first and a smart accessory second. For the folks who see things the other way around, however, there’s a good chance you’re going to want to wait for the second generation of this idea.
LG V40 ThinQ review: Five cameras aimed straight at Samsung
Google Wear OS
- The best Wear OS smartwatches
- Discuss Android Wear in the forums!
UK Daily Deals: USB flash drives, Casper mattresses, 4K TVs and more
Whether you’re looking for new tech gear or household items, we’ve got you covered.
We found plenty of great deals today on Kingston USB flash drives, Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, Casper mattresses, Philips 4K UHD TVs, multi-device keyboards and much more!
View the rest of the deals
Each day, the Thrifter UK team scouts out and shares amazing deals on products you know and love, helping you find the best prices on the ‘net.
For more UK deals coverage, be sure to keep an eye on Thrifter UK and follow the team on Twitter for the most up-to-the-minute coverage.
Best alternatives to Amazon Music Unlimited
It’s written right in my bio: if you see me without headphones, run. Through years of heavy usage of music apps and services of all kind, I’ve taken stock of the streaming music services available today. Amazon Music Unlimited is quite the capable music subscription, but if you find yourself wanting something more — or if you’re an Amazon subscriber looking for a replacement for the music locker Amazon is retiring — here are the streaming music subscriptions to look to instead.
Google Play Music
Want to subscribe to a streaming music service without leaving your carefully cultivated personal library behind? Google Play Music lets you mix subscription music with purchased music from Google Play and up to 50,000 uploaded songs as you wish in a single, unified library. Google Play Music also comes with YouTube Music, meaning you get two music apps for the price of one!
$10/month at Google Play Music
Drawing on YouTube’s jaw-dropping selection, Google’s newest music app lets you mix official albums and music videos with fan covers, concert performances, remixes, and so much more. Your Mixtape leverages Google’s AI prowess to keep you rocking out all day and all night. There are still a few bugs being worked out, but it’s a worthwhile part of YouTube Premium.
$12/month at YouTube Premium
Algorithms, bundles & coolness
Spotify’s student bundle is the best in media streaming today, and it’s hard to break away from the siren song of Spotify’s shuffles once that discount ends. Between its many exclusives, famous algorithms, the simple magic of Spotify Connect, and a recently upgraded offline policy, Spotify is a music service with a lot to love.
$10/month at Spotify
Availability matters and Deezer is available in more countries than any music subscription service in the world. Between a music catalog that’s 53 million songs and counting and a robust podcast and audiobook selection, Deezer keeps the music flowing in almost 200 countries.
$10/month at Deezer
Fidelity to high-fidelity music
When it comes to quality music in a quality experience, Tidal offers 1411 kbps FLAC files on its HiFi plans, and a slick Android app to match. Tidal’s HiFi plans are more expensive than normal subscriptions, but its large selection of discounts — including a military discount — help soften the blow.
$20/month (HiFi) at Tidal
If you used Amazon’s music locker, Google Play Music is ready to welcome you with open arms. Mixing subscription, purchased, and uploaded music in one library, you can listen to just about anything on Google Play Music. If you can’t find it there, you’ll probably find it on its eventual successor, YouTube Music, which is included with Google Play Music and YouTube Premium subscriptions. Device-hoppers, give Spotify a look; Spotify Connect lets you bounce your current queue from phone to computer to Chromecast and beyond without losing your spot or throwing off your groove.
Has the NVIDIA Shield TV PRO been discontinued?
Best answer: According to the latest info straight from NVIDIA support, the NVIDIA Shield TV Pro is indeed discontinued, but still available for sale from some U.S. retailers, including Amazon, until stock is depleted.
Amazon: NVIDIA Shield TV Pro ($299)
The NVIDIA Shield TV Pro is no longer in production
The rumors regarding the NVIDIA Shield TV Pro being discontinued can be traced back to the NVIDIA GeForce forums and had been discussed since the early months of 2018. We did not receive official word from NVIDIA one way or the other until late August when the topic was put to bed with a link to an NVIDIA support document, which stated that the Shield TV Pro (2017) had been discontinued, alongside the remote and vertical stand for the 2015 model.
The same document states that all Shield products will continue to be supported with regular software updates and full customer support.
NVIDIA is doubling down on the 16GB model
This news was somewhat surprising given there was no new Shield TV hardware announced by NVIDIA at CES 2018, and the Shield TV Pro had been marketed as the latest and greatest hardware release. But it would seem that the higher asking price of the NVIDIA Shield TV Pro turned off potential customers, given that NVIDIA has doubled down on the 16GB Shield TV by offering bundles that include a SmartThings Link dongle ($220) or a gaming controller ($195).
One issue that might have contributed to the death of the Shield TV Pro was some of the new features added when the NVIDIA Shield software was updated to Android 8.0 — in particular, the addition of proper support for external storage. With the new update, you’re able to connect and mitigate content from the internal storage to an external storage source such as a USB flash drive or external hard drive. This was a major sticking point for folks who were hoping to run a Plex Media Server on the 16GB Shield TV, and one of the main draws for spending more on the NVIDIA Shield TV Pro.
NVIDIA Shield TV Pro is still worth getting of internal storage is an important factor
Having said that, not everyone is going to want to deal with external storage. You’re limited to a 256GB flash drive, which is half the storage size offered by the Shield TV Pro, and anybody who’s relied on an external hard drive knows that they, too, can lead to slower read speeds and other issues.
Given that NVIDIA still intends to support the Shield TV Pro with software updates and customer support even though they’ve stopped production, the only question is whether that extra internal storage is worth paying an extra $100.
NVIDIA Shield TV Pro
$299 at Amazon
Get it while you still can!
If you know you’ll get good use out of that 500GB of internal storage and don’t want to muck about with an external USB storage device, the NVIDIA Shield TV Pro is still a great product and worth buying… while you still can.
An alternative arrangement
NVIDIA Shield TV
$179 at Amazon
Always in stock
With the Android 8.0 update, the 16GB NVIDIA Shield TV is now capable of offering full support for external storage for the purposes of setting up a Plex Media Server. You can save some money by buying the 16GB model and make up the storage space with a high-capacity USB flash drive.
Best value for extra storage
Sandisk Ultra Fit 128GB USB 3.0
$31 at Amazon
More space for media
This USB flash drive is insanely small — perfect for plugging into the back of your Shield without interfering with other USB accessories you might use — and a great value for a 128GB drive.
Switch between sitting and standing with Halter’s $120 elevating desktop
Take a stand or sit down.
Amazon has the popular Halter adjustable sit/stand elevating desk on sale for $119.99 today, a savings of $50 from its regular price. With just the squeeze of its handle, the gas spring can quickly and easily switch it between the two positions in just seconds. It comes pre-assembled, so all you have to do is take it out of the box and put it on your desk and start using it.
The sturdy riser can hold both a laptop and monitor, and the shelf under it is designed to hold your keyboard, mouse, and more. It’s backed by a full one-year warranty. You’ll want to consider grabbing this discounted anti-fatigue mat as well to relieve some pressure while standing for long periods of time. This is the lowest price it’s ever sold for, so be sure to grab one before it’s too late.
See at Amazon