Friday, April 30, 2021

Trust GXT 881 Odyss

Two minute review

The Trust GXT 881 Odyss is a semi-mechanical gaming keyboard that – funnily enough – blends together aspects from both membrane and mechanical keyboards to create what promises to be the 'best of both worlds'. In actuality, this is a very affordable step into the usually expensive world of mechanical keyboards that would suit a new PC gamer on a budget.

At £34.99 (around $50, AU$60), you'd be hard-pressed to find something similar for such a low price, as most entry-level offerings from popular brands such as Roccat, HyperX and Razer are membrane only, with mechanical options easily exceeding $100+. This doesn't mean it's impossible to find a deal, such as with the G.Skill KM360 that retails for around £55 / $50 / AU$80, but the Trust GXT 881 Odyss certainly looks more 'gamer' than any cheap mechanical offering we found.

Most of the benefit to this hybrid style is tactile rather than actual performance, but if you're more bothered about how the keyboard sounds and feels vs how much of a boost you're likely to get in games then this could be a real selling point for you.

It immediately jumped out at us during testing that this is a great option for kids as a first mechanical keyboard before getting involved with the real deal, and the full RGB lighting makes this one of the more 'gamer-ey' choices on a budget. It's also a very capable keyboard for the price, so while it isn't any real match for more expensive luxury options like the Razer Huntsman Elite or the Corsair K70 it's a decent buy for the price.

The keys do seem to get a little squeaky with use and became a little fussy, with keys not registering after a few days unless you jiggled them around a little like an old phone charger, though this only happened twice in a week of testing. If you can deal with the uninspiring build quality to enjoy mechanical feeling keys then this is still a suitable choice, though we would recommend other options if you're a more experienced PC gamer.

Price and availability

The Trust GXT 881 Odyss is currently available in both the UK and Europe for £34.99 / €39.99, which would work out at around $50 / AU$80 – but the keyboard isn't on sale in those regions.

This makes it cheaper than even the most affordable membrane keyboards from brands like Roccat and Corsair, and none of those feature the mechanical-inspired keys.

Trust GXT 881 ODYSS

(Image credit: Future)


The style of the GXT 881 Odyss almost feels like a throwback to last decade when angry-looking peripherals with unnecessary edges were trendy – many of us remember the Mad Catz R.A.T gaming mouse – and we imagine this is going to be down to personal taste as to whether the design appeals to you.

We found it to be somewhat outdated, but the inclusion of LED lighting behind the keys and along the three lighting strips located on either side of the keyboard itself does help it blend in alongside other more modern-looking peripherals.

The light being emitted isn't especially bright, unfortunately, and in the six colors available the blue or green shades were barely detectable in a well-lit room. This is despite the adjustable brightness, but the lighting effects are best used in a darker environment.

This isn't an ergonomic keyboard either, so if you're expecting to get some heavy use out of it then you may have your wrist cramping. We tested the Odyss as a daily keyboard with between 8-11 hours of daily use and found it caused some discomfort after a few hours.

There are twelve well-labeled multi-media keys located at the top of the Odyss which proved useful for pausing music and changing volume, as well as the additional numerical pad on the right-hand side to make this a full-sized gaming keyboard.

The build of the keyboard is entirely plastic and not entirely robust, with the base flexing when pressure is applied. This is unlikely to result in any actual damage when using it, but it does make the quality of the product feel relatively cheap – bearing in mind that this is designed as an affordable gaming keyboard.

Trust GXT 881 ODYSS

(Image credit: Future)


The keyboard was mostly responsive outside of the issues mentioned above, and the feel of the keys is very satisfying when compared to squishy membrane alternatives. It's difficult to compare the sensation to real mechanical switches, though the Trust website states that it "sounds and feels like 'BLUE' mechanical switches".

This is a tad vague if you're not familiar with the world of key switches, but blue switches are usually identified as "clicky", almost like the clacking noise (and feel) of an old typewriter. these are also typically known as the loudest or most annoying, which makes them a very personal choice.

Blue is also an unusual choice as the standard for most gaming optimized keyboards are either red or brown, but having used real Cherry MX Blue switches before, the feeling is slightly different. The GXT 881 Odyss appears to use something metallic in the mechanism that results in a strange 'springy' grating noise on occasion when using too much force, but the overall sensation of typing is loud and tappy.

The Odyss also comes with anti-ghosting tech for up to 19 keys, so unless you accidentally drop something across the keyboard during an important game you're likely to be covered on that front. This isn't described as spill-proof, but we splashed a little water onto it for a test and it still worked fine with no complaints – certainly not something worth testing yourself but it should survive some everyday wear and tear.

Buy it if...

You want a budget mechanical keyboard
This isn't going to win any awards, but it nails the 'feel' of real mechanical key switches for significantly less than you'd normally have to pay.

You like an aggressive gamer look
There's really no denying that this is a gaming keyboard when looking at it, so if you love the 'over the top' look then this is sure to please. 

You're buying a first gaming keyboard
There are better options out there if you have more budget, but as an entry-level product this has some great features to walk a kid or newcomer to PC gaming through using one in place of a gamepad.

Trust GXT 881 ODYSS

(Image credit: Future)

Don't buy if...

You can afford the real deal
This isn't any match for a genuine mechanical keyboard, and you won't be able to swap out the fake switches if they're not to your taste.

You want a quiet keyboard
The tapping noises when typing are LOUD, and sure to be annoying if you're in a shared space. They can be very satisfying for the user, but remember to be considerate.

You like to sync your lighting
This is an LED keyboard rather than full RGB, so if you already use peripherals from other brands it may be best to keep it in the family if you want consistent lighting.

Odoo website builder

Odoo is a versatile service which offers hundreds of integrated business apps, covering areas including website building, e-commerce, sales, marketing, inventory, accounting, helpdesk and more. That's not as intimidating as it sounds. Individuals, as well as businesses, can sign up for just a handful of apps, and ignore everything else. In this review we're going to focus on Odoo's website builder and a small number of related features, including the Odoo blog. 


Need additional features? Add them to your site with another App (Image credit: Odoo)

Odoo's real strength though, is the way you can extend your initial app choice by integrating others as you need them. You might start with a website, for instance, then add the core e-commerce app, eBay, email marketing, whatever suits your requirements.


Odoo's pricing is a bit different than other website builders due to its focus on apps (Image credit: Odoo)

Plans and pricing

Odoo’s pricing is based on the number of users. If you want to add someone to your plan so they can help edit your website, it’s going to cost more. What’s unique about Odoo is how you can choose which apps and features you want to pay for - most web builders just list all the features that are included and you purchase everything together. Odoo is more personalized in this aspect. However, costs can add up fast. 

If you elect to only get the the main package for a single user with no additional apps or integrations, it’ll cost you $28 (€22.00) per month (new customers currently get a $4 (€4) discount per user). Think of this as the base price. Be aware though that the website builder isn’t part of the main package and costs $24 (€16) per month on top. If you want additional features, you can add those specifically to your plan. Many cost between $12 (€8) and $20 (€16) per month. Some can go as high as $72 (€64).

If you’re interested in exploring what Oddo has to offer, a free 15-day trial gives you time to find out more.


Each time you open a new app, a little purple tab appears to teach you the basics (Image credit: Odoo)

Getting started

The interface is very organized and easy to use. Launch Odoo's free trial by registering an account with your name, email address, phone number, company name, and size. A company name is important as your account and its URL inside Odoo will be based around it (for instance, ‘Amazon Films’ can access that company’s features via ‘'). Odoo doesn't need any payment details for the trial, so once you've filled in the form, the company activates your account in seconds and kick-starts the setup process.

Make your theme selection and it opens in Odoo's web console. This is generally very simple and straightforward, but Odoo does its best to make your life even easier with a simple tutorial - just follow the purple marker as it guides you through your initial web design steps.


You can customise your blocks to your heart’s content (Image credit: Odoo)


Odoo initially opens and displays your website as an active preview, rather than in the editor, and that's probably a good choice. Instead of being immediately confronted with cluttered and widget-packed sidebars, the bulk of the screen is available for viewing your site, and you can click page links or switch between mobile and desktop views with a click.

Click on the Edit button, click in an area where you'd like to add content, and start typing. The sidebar on the right allows you to add content blocks. These start with basic page structures, including titles, banners, various arrangements of text columns and images, and more. But you also have additional specific and complex blocks at your disposal, such as Pricelist, and Call to Action.

Whichever blocks you choose can be dragged and dropped onto the page as required, then moved as necessary. You can only place them in approved areas of the page, but the editor highlights these as you drag the block, so it's easy to see what you can do.

Click on a block or an object within it to activate the sidebar’s Style tab. You’re given a vast amount of customisation options from this menu, as well as from the Option tab, which can help you turn a generic placeholder into something unique.


When it comes to media-handling, you have access to a stock image library, but you can also upload images to your own dedicated Odoo server-based library, or import pictures from URLs, enabling them to be easily reused on other pages.


You can only start to blog one you’ve installed the Blogging App (Image credit: Odoo)

Blogging and ecommerce

Odoo's blogging platform requires installing a separate app before it becomes available. Find and install the app and it adds a Blog page to your website. Clicking on New opens a page where you can create your first post. It's all very easy - just enter the title, subtitle and go to work. Odoo’s blog uses its regular website builder editor, which means you're able to include all the same widgets and content blocks as any other page.

Odoo doesn't give you any real control over the post, beyond entering the content. You can't organize posts into categories, for instance. There’s also no way to give a post a custom URL, or schedule it to be automatically posted at some future time. And when it’s online, there's no browser-based comments system. But on the plus side, it looks good, and is easy to use. 

Odoo's e-commerce app works in a very similar way. Installing it equips your website with a page called Shop, and the New button gains a 'New Product' option where you can create a page to describe whatever it is you're selling. 

Hidden Features

Some features are well hidden, like these e-commerce options, are in the Settings section (Image credit: Odoo)

At first it doesn't look like there's much else you can do, but that's only because Odoo hides most of its e-commerce power in the Settings dialog, and turns it off by default. Users who think to look there will find some very worthwhile tools, including the ability to create product variants (colour, size, etc), support customer wishlists, sell digital as well as physical content, configure tax and shipping rules, and more.

Final verdict

Odoo’s interface is good, and provides for a lot of customisability, but there are some odd interface decisions which have not changed in years. Its app approach to website building is interesting, but can get extremely pricey the more functionality you add to your site, functionality which can be much cheaper elsewhere.

You might also want to check out our other web hosting buying guides:

Sennheiser HD 250BT

One-minute review

It seems a little odd to find Sennheiser competing in this market – but the company hasn’t sacrificed any of its principles in bringing in the HD 250BT at such a startlingly low price. If sound quality is your be-all and end-all, these wireless on-ear headphones demand your attention.

The fact that the HD 250BT don’t look, or feel, any more costly than they are is more than compensated for by the sound they make. 

Yes, the headband is unpadded, but the soundstage is wide open and properly defined. Yes, they’re built from plastics that feel hard and quite cheap, but they give music real detail and nuance. No, there’s no noise-cancelling or voice control, but there’s more realism to the HD 250BT than $70 / £60 / AU$130 can buy anywhere else.

So it really depends on what your priorities are. If you want to be pampered by your wireless headphones, look away now. But if you want a taste of what a company like Sennheiser is capable of without the price tag Sennheiser is capable of attaching, you’re in luck. 

Sennheiser HD 250BT price and availability

  • Priced at around $70 / £60 / AU$130
  • Much cheaper than other Sennheiser headphones

The Sennheiser HD 250BT are on sale now, and in the US, they’re priced around $70, while UK and Australian customers can expect to pay around £60 / AU$130.

This makes them a) pretty affordable by the standard of wireless on-ear headphones in general, and b) staggeringly affordable by Sennheiser’s usual standards. In fact, if you add a ‘1’ to the front of the US and UK  prices, the HD 250BT would still be pretty close to Sennheiser’s entry level.

sennheiser hd 250bt

(Image credit: TechRadar)


  • Bluetooth 5.0 with aptX Low Latency
  • Up to 25 hours battery life
  • 125g

You don’t need to be any kind of deductive genius to work out where Sennheiser has found at least some cost-savings where the HD 250BT are concerned. If you’re looking for headphones that aren’t built from thin and unyielding plastic, that feature even a little padding underneath the headband, that don’t have any exposed wiring, or that don’t make an ostentatious clicking noise when you adjust the position of the earcups, well… look elsewhere.

But just because the Sennheisers are made from hard, inexpensive-feeling plastic, that doesn’t mean they’re in any way badly made. The padding of the earcups is soft and comfortable, and even those of us who have fallen victim to the curse of Male Pattern Baldness will find the unpadded headband isn’t quite the instrument of torture it may at first appear. Getting the HD 250BT secure and comfy isn’t difficult – and they’ll stay that way for hours on end. An all-in weight of just 125g doesn’t do any harm in this regard, either.

sennheiser hd 250bt

(Image credit: TechRadar)

And besides, it’s not as if Sennheiser has tried to cut any obvious corners where specification is concerned. The HD 250BT use Bluetooth 5 for wireless connectivity, which means they’ll cope with big hi-res digital audio files without problems. Codec support runs to SBC and AAC, naturally, with aptX Low Latency thrown in to guarantee synchronization between audio and video content. And once the audio stuff has been Bluetooth’d aboard, it’s served to your ears by a couple of 32mm dynamic transducers inside those closed-back earcups.  

Battery life is as much as 25 hours from a single charge, as long as you’re a) not caning the volume and b) listening to bog-standard SBC content. Recharging is via the USB-C socket at the bottom of the right earcup, which is also where you’ll find the extremely brief selection of physical controls. Arranged in the classic three-button strip, they cover ‘power on/off/pairing’, ‘play/pause’, ‘skip forwards/backwards’ and ‘answer/end/reject call’. The single telephony mic is here too.

The HD 250BT are compatible with Sennheiser’s splendid Smart Control app, which is free for iOS and Android. Admittedly functionality in this instance is restricted to updates and EQ adjustment, but nevertheless it’s a step up from what you might have been expecting $70 / £60 / AU130 to buy.

sennheiser hd 250bt

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Audio performance

  • Detailed, explicit sound
  • Spacious and well-defined 
  • Bass favors speed and definition over depth

Every review needs a headline, and here’s one for the Sennheiser HD 250BT: they sound way more accomplished than seems credible at the price.

Given the best stuff to work with – and in this instance that means an MQA-powered Tidal Master file of King by Lilith Czar – the HD 250BT impress in pretty much every respect. Most immediately notable are the sheer levels of detail the Sennheiser HD 250BT manage to extract – nothing is too remote or too transient to escape their notice. 

And the 250BT manage to pay attention to the minutiae without a) sound prissy about it or b) ignoring the bigger picture. They simply identify and reveal any fine detail lurking at the back or the edges of a recording, and then hand it over in proper context.

The highest frequencies are crisp, and attacking with a level of drive that’s just the right side of relentless. The midrange, always so crucial in making any pair of headphones sound realistic and convincing, is open and properly focused – so voices sound poised, naturalistic and character-packed. At the bottom end, Sennheiser has made an executive decision to prioritize momentum over out-and-out depth – which isn’t to say they’re lacking weight, but rather that they never drag at tempos. As a consequence, rhythmic expression is strong.

sennheiser hd250 bt

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Dynamically, the Sennheiser HD 250BT are rather understated – those who like the sonic fireworks of a ‘quiet/loud/REALLY VERY LOUD’ recording may find the 250BT can squash this expression just a little. The harmonic dynamics that differentiate one guitar strum, say, from another are made perfectly obvious, mind you.

There’s more than enough space on their soundstage for every element of a recording to happily coexist – Townes van Zandt’s Pancho and Lefty sounds as wide-open as its subject-matter. This sensation of spacious doesn’t affect integration, though – so there’s a very agreeable unity to the HD 250BT presentation, and impressive stereo focus to go along with this separation.  

Should I buy the Sennheiser HD 250BT?

sennheiser hd 250bt

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Buy them if...

You want as much fidelity as $70 / £60 / AU$130 will buy
You’ll get a greater sensation of ‘excitement’ from some alternatives, but none are as faithful to a recording as these Sennheiser.

You spend time away from home
A battery life of 25 hours from a single charge is not to be sniffed at.

You don’t want to draw attention to yourself
No shouty colors or mad design flourishes for the HD 250BT.

Don't buy them if...

You like proper low-frequency impact
The Sennheiser HD 250BT aren’t short of bass, but they’re not about to bludgeon you with it.

You enjoy the sound of your own voice
Control here is strictly via physical buttons or your music player.

Comfort is key
They not actively uncomfortable, but there’s a certain austerity to the way the Sennheiser HD 250BT are constructed.

Dragon Professional revie

The best speech-to-text software makes it easy for you to speed up the time it takes to produce reports, documents, or even compose daily emails. The aim of the software is to make written tasks quicker so you can concentrate on other tasks, and in our Dragon Professional review, we’ll be examining an industry leader. 

With Dragon Professional, the clue’s in the name. It’s a powerful voice-to-text tool aimed at experienced professional users. The technology goes beyond simple dictation tasks and enables users to edit documents, explore the internet, and more using just their voice. Read on to learn whether investing in Dragon Professional could benefit your business. 

Dragon Professional: Plans and pricing

There are two download options for the latest version of Dragon Professional—Dragon Professional Individual, v15. Existing users will be able to make the most of any new features added since their original purchase, while new users will gain access to the full suite of features available in the software. 

The first option is an upgrade for customers who are currently using an old version of the software. The v15 Upgrade package costs $150 and enables users of Dragon Professional editions v12 and beyond and Dragon Professional Individual v14 to access the latest version of the software. 

If you are a new user, you’ll need to purchase the full-software package Dragon Professional Individual, v15, at a cost of $300. There are no other tiers. After payment, you can download the software directly. 

screenshot of the dragon website

Dragon Professional is an expensive dictation software. (Image credit: Nuance)

 Dragon Professional: Features 

Dragon Professional is the best-known and most feature-rich dictation technology available.

One of Dragon Professional’s standout features is its adaptive voice technology, Deep Learning. Dragon adapts its technology to suit your voice or environmental situation. For example, it will alter the sensitivity of speakers in a more noisy setting. 

The software learns certain phrases and individual words that you use regularly to ensure corrections are kept to a minimum. Using what it calls Smart Format Rules, Dragon learns how you want to lay out phrases like dates, phone numbers, and abbreviations. 

Dragon Professional's speech recognition capabilities don’t stop at dictation. They help with voice-activated commands too. The software enables you to create documents and toggle through tasks just using your voice.

You can even use your voice to apply formatting to text. For example, it’s possible to make certain phrases bold or underlined.  

Customization on Dragon Profesional makes the software more user-friendly and individualized. This advanced personalization ensures that users can include industry-specific and other unusual terms and that the software won’t make mistakes along the way. 

This is a particularly useful feature for business users who work in professions that require complex language. Your word lists can be exported, and it’s possible to create custom voice commands, too. 

It’s possible to dictate text on separate devices and then upload it to Dragon Professional while on the go. You can use any technology that can create an audio file in the following formats: .mp3, .aif, .aiff, .wav, .mp4, .m4a, or .m4v. 

screenshot of the dragon website

(Image credit: Nuance)

Dragon Professional: Interface and in use 

Dragon Professional is currently only available for Windows. The setup process is very straightforward. After downloading the software, go through the standard Windows installation process. Once it’s installed, you’ll be guided through a helpful, interactive tutorial that we found refreshingly clear and very useful. 

The Dragon Professional interface is extremely bare-bones. The entire system is located at the top of the screen, although you are free to move it, and consists of a handful of functions and a very obvious, red recording button. 

We found operating the system easy and quick to understand, thanks in no small part to the particularly useful tutorial that we completed at the start of the installation process. 

One major downside is that there is no mobile app. Instead, you have to purchase another product, Dragon Anywhere, so you can utilize Dragon’s dictation software from a mobile device. 

screenshot of dragon on windows desktop

Dragon Professional has a very simple interface. (Image credit: Nuance)

Dragon Professional: Support

You can access dedicated support for Dragon Professional through an online support site. There are a wide range of cheat sheets, user guides, and additional resources such as admin guides, data sheets and whitepapers. 

For further support you can contact the tech team directly, Monday to Friday, between 9 am and 8 pm EST/EDT. You can also access online support via a dedicated customer portal. 

screenshot of nuance support website

Dragon Professional has a number of support options. (Image credit: Nuance)

Dragon Professional: Security 

Dragon Professional's parent company, Nuance, has a comprehensive privacy policy that ensures the confidentiality of the data you create on its software. As well as adhering to common data protection laws such as the GDPR, the company commits to further, more niche regulations too.

Two of these are the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework and the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework, both of which regulate the collection, usage, and storage of personal data moving from the European Union, the United Kingdom and Switzerland to the United States.

screenshot of nuance privacy policy

Dragon Professional follows parent company Nuance’s privacy policy.  (Image credit: Nuance)

The competition 

Dragon Professional is the leading dictation software on the market, but there are alternatives. One of those is Lilly Speech. Although Lilly Speech doesn’t have the same advanced features as Dragon Profesional, it is far cheaper. A year's subscription costs just $29.00.

Other users may prefer Otter. This powerful, AI-driven software is a serious competitor to Dragon. Although cheaper than Dragon, with the Basic plan free forever and the premium plan costing $8.33 per month, it’s still expensive to access all the features available.

What makes Otter stand out is the fact that the package includes mobile apps and is compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. 

Final verdict 

Dragon Professional is an incredible product. Over the years it has expanded its offerings considerably and today is the leading product of its kind on the market. That said, it is very expensive, and there are other options that provide a similar service for far less initial cost. is best known as a domain registrar, but it also offers a small number of shared hosting products: basic website hosting, WordPress hosting, a website builder and a very simple one-page plan.

These products are a little limited, and prices are above average. The Startup plan supports a single website and comes with 10GB of disk space, 100GB bandwidth, 100 emails and a free Encryption Everywhere SSL certificate for $4.99 a month in year one, $6.99 afterwards. For comparison, fellow domain registrar Namecheap's Stellar plan includes 20GB storage, unmetered bandwidth, 30 email accounts and support for three domains, and is priced at $1.44 in year one, $2.88 on renewal.

Elsewhere, basic managed WordPress hosting (unlimited storage and bandwidth, free daily backups, 'theme and plugin support') starts at $2.50 a month paid annually, but getting just a single email address lifts the price to $4.16, and opting for 10 email addresses bumps it up to a bizarrely high $19.15. The WordPress Pro-Blogger & Business plans include 1-10 email accounts.


SSL certificates and emails aren't included with all of's plans but are now available (Image credit:

These plans previously didn't include SSL, with suggesting that if you need one, you would need to purchase a regular hosting account, instead. Now, however, SSL encryption is available for free with your purchase.

The only other mildly interesting option is a One-Page Website plan which enables setting up a simple single-page site, includes free SSL and a single forwarding email address, and costs only $4.99 a year.

Your site can only be a basic landing page, so you can't do a lot with it. But if that's essentially all you need, an online pointer to your real-world business, then it could be a quick, easy and cheap solution.

If you're looking for anything more powerful - cloud hosting, VPS, dedicated servers - then prepare for disappointment, because you won't find anything like that here.

Website Builder's website builder has templates for many business types (Image credit:

Getting started

Signing up with works much the same as any other web service you've ever used: choose a plan, click the Order button, enter your details to create an account, and pay via card, PayPal, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Diners Card, AliPay, and China UnionPay.

If anything, this is even simpler than you'll see with most providers, as has so few products that it can sum up its entire range on a single short page. recently added Cloud Hosting, Digital Ocean Basic Droplets. 

Hosting Management Console's hosting management console is quite basic (Image credit:

We purchased a starter web hosting panel, then headed off to's surprisingly basic hosting management panel. Around half the panel was white space, and the rest was restricted to some basic plan details (default domain, hosting server name and IP address, cPanel username) and DNS records for your domain. None of which will mean a lot to's target audience of first-time and novice users.

There is some help here, though poorly presented. Click the arrow to the right of the cPanel Login button and a drop-down menu includes shortcuts to some of the most important website management and creation functions: WordPress, Email Accounts, File Manager, FTP Accounts, Subdomains and more. If you only need to upload a static site, for instance, choose the file manager option and you can get the job done right away.

That's good news, but the panel should present these up-front so they're immediately visible, not hide them under a cPanel button, when the people who most need to see them might have no idea what cPanel is.


Create and manage your site with cPanel's powerful tools (Image credit:

If you are familiar with cPanel, though, or you just happen to click that button eventually, you'll find a regular cPanel installation with all the key site setup and management tools you need.


Softaculous can automatically install WordPress and hundreds of other apps (Image credit:

Softaculous is a powerful platform which automates the installation of WordPress and 450+ other apps, for instance.

The file and FTP account managers give you the ability to upload and work with a static site.

MySQL and phpMyAdmin enable creating and working with databases, domain tools can set up subdomains or redirects, and a pile of email features help you add and manage email accounts, forwarders, autoresponders and more.

Overall, we're happy to see both cPanel and Softaculous included with's shared hosting, and that's a definite plus point for the service. But the company hasn't made any significant effort to present these in a way which makes them easier to access or use.

Performance was one of the best performers in our uptime tests (Image credit:

Performance's hosting is aimed squarely at the beginner, and that means the company needs to provide the quality support its target audience requires.

The company's knowledgebase is decent enough. Menus and links point you to various topics, featured articles highlight common issues and there's a search box to help you track down what you need.

We tried a few test searches with limited success. The engine regularly reported finding large numbers of articles (148 for 'email'), but these cover all products, not just web hosting, so we had to scroll through various domain registration and email hosting articles to find what we needed.

The situation picked up once we located more relevant content. There's usually not a lot of detail, but most articles cover the core points, with screenshots to point you in the right direction, and some video tutorials if you prefer.

There's a support team to deal with more complex queries. They're available via telephone and live chat, only for a limited number of hours (7am to 10pm phone and 12pm to 3am Monday to Friday for phone, 2am to 8pm chat), but there's 24/7 ticket support if you need it.

We finished the review by using to check our review site's uptime and speed. The test accessed our site every five minutes over a period of a week, more than 2,000 data points, and found averaged an average response time of 220ms. With most shared hosting products averaging around 200-400ms, that's a great result, and puts amongst our top test performers.

Final verdict's shared hosting plans don't make any major mistakes, and our test site scored very well in our performance tests. If you can live with the various plan limits then the company might be a sensible choice, but you'll find more features for less money elsewhere.

Philips Essential Airfryer HD9252/91

Philips has been manufacturing air fryers for more than a decade, and the Essential Airfryer HD9252/91 certainly benefits from the brand’s years of experience. Its all-black design and orange LED display may not be the most stylish, but it turns out evenly browned fries and chicken wings every time. 

Air fryers use hot air to crisp foods placed in the frying basket more quickly compared to traditional methods. The Philips HD9252/91 uses a starfish design on the bottom of the frying basket, which, according to Philips, ensures hot air circulates more easily. This means that, like all air fryers, it uses considerably less oil when crisping food – Philips claims you’ll require 90% less oil with its air fryer – and so offering a healthier way to enjoy foods that would usually be deep-fried, without compromising on the taste.

More compact than most of the air fryers we’ve tested, the Philips Essential Airfryer HD9252/91 has a 5-quart / 4.8-liter capacity, which Philips says is sufficient for three servings. And, as well as air-frying, the appliance can also roast, bake and reheat.

There are seven presets for everything from fries and frozen food to chicken and cake that offer default lengths and temperatures, although you can adjust these defaults as you see fit using the touch controls on the 6-inch / 15.4cm display.

Philips Essential Airfryer HD9252/91 price and availability

  •   List price $179.95 / £149.99 / (around AU$270) 

The Philips Essential Airfryer HD9252/91 is priced at $179.95 / £149.99 (around AU$270), and is available through Philip’s website in the UK, and at retailers such as Crate & Barrel in the US. 

This air fryer is Philips mid-range offering, with the more stylish Premium range of air fryers with a larger capacity costing as much as $449.95 / £300 / (around AU$530)

Philips Essential Airfryer HD9252/91

(Image credit: TechRadar)


  • 5-quart / 4.8-liter capacity
  • Frying basket and plastic holder are dishwasher-safe
  • Seven presets covering fries, chicken and frozen food

The Philips Essential Airfryer HD9252/91 is a compact unit, measuring 14.17 x 10.39 x 11.61 inches / 36 x 26.4 x 29.5cm (d x w x h), although at 5-quart / 4.8 liter it offers a lesser capacity than many other air fryers on the market. However, like many of the best air fryers we’ve tested, it can roast, bake, and reheat as well as air fry, which makes it a versatile appliance.

The design of the frying basket is similar to that we’ve seen with other air fryers including the Proscenic T21, where the basket sits in a plastic holder, and the two sections must be clipped together before being inserted into the air fryer. 

A button at the top of the basket’s handle lets you separate the holder and basket for easy serving. Both sections are dishwasher-safe, while the black plastic exterior can simply be wiped down with a damp cloth to remove any splashes or smudges. 

As we’ve already mentioned, alongside the ability to air-fry, the Philips Essential Airfryer HD9252/91 can bake, grill and roast. The LED display offers touch controls to adjust the temperature and time, and includes seven presets for cooking everything from fries and frozen foods to cake and chicken. A keep-warm function maintains the temperature of food for up to 30 minutes, with the air fryer able to cook for up to one hour at a time. It reaches a maximum temperature of 392F / 200C.

The Essential Airfryer doesn’t come with a recipe booklet. Instead, you’ll need to download the NutriU app to your smartphone or tablet for inspiration, where you’ll discover a wide range of recipes alongside tips and tricks about what to cook in an air fryer. The paper instructions for the kitchen appliance are scant, with little available through the app – we’d have liked more detail.

Philips Essential Airfryer HD9252/91

(Image credit: TechRadar)


  • Crisp results for both fries and chicken wings
  • Keep-warm function
  • Quietest air fryer we’ve tested to date 

In our tests, the Philips Essential Airfryer HD9252/91 excelled at cooking fries. Using the time and temperature from the potato program on the air fryer, and following the preparation steps from the NutriU app – 1Tbsp of oil for a 1.1lb / 500g batch – the cooked fries presented crisp exteriors that offered a satisfying crunch, with fluffy, soft potato inside. Similarly, the chicken wings had crisp skin and remained succulent on the inside – although we did find that five wings was the maximum quantity the frying basket could hold, which may not be sufficient for two servings of this particular dish. In our experience, there wasn’t a need to tweak the time or temperature – the results were just right.  

It’s worth noting that you will need to use oil when cooking many foods in the Philips Essential Airfryer, even items such as chicken wings, which can be cooked in rival air fryers such as the Instant Vortex Plus without any oil. There’s no denying that the addition resulted in crunchy, crisp skin on the wings and a satisfying crunch to fries – and, while the design of the frying basket does mean that some fat drains away, it does slightly reduce the healthiness of the meal you’re cooking. 

We also cooked 1.1lb / 500g of frozen steak-cut fries in the air fryer, using the dedicated frozen food program. While the majority of the fries were cooked, the smaller capacity of the Philips Essential Airfryer meant those nestling in the center of the frying basket required more cooking. The level of browning, too, wasn’t even across the full quantity of fries.

The Essential Airfryer does offer an audible and visual alert on the completion of cooking, but we were disappointed by the lack of a reminder to turn or shake the food part way through cooking (this ensures items are evenly browned). However, it proved the quietest air fryer we’ve tested to date, registering 52db on our meter, which is the equivalent to the gentle hum of a refrigerator. In addition, the exterior casing remained cool to the touch throughout cooking. 

Philips Essential Airfryer HD9252/91

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Should I buy the Philips Essential Airfryer HD9252/91?

Buy it if..

You want a compact air fryer
Tight on countertop space? This air fryer is one of the more compact models on the market, so if you’re after an appliance that won’t take up too much space, this is a good choice.

You’re cooking for one or two people
With a 5-quart / 4.8-liter capacity, the Philips Essential Airfryer HD9252/91 is ideal if you’re cooking for one, or two people at the most.  

You want a quiet air fryer
This is the quietest air fryer we’ve tested to date, registering just 52db, which is around 10db quieter than other air fryers on the market. If you prefer as little noise as possible when cooking, this is the one for you.  

Don't buy it if...

You want to use as little oil as possible
Almost everything that can be cooked in the Philips Essential Airfryer HD9252/91 is recommended to be cooked with oil. It may only be a tablespoon here and there, which is considerably less than deep-frying, but if you want to use as little oil as possible then consider rival air fryers such as the Instant Vortex or Instant Vortex Plus. They require 2tsp of oil for a 1.1lb / 500g batch of fries and no oil whatsoever when cooking chicken wings.  

You’re on a budget
This is one of the most expensive air fryers on the market. While it gives crisp, succulent results and is extremely versatile, if your budget is limited then opt for an air fryer from GoWise in the US or Tower in the UK, which are more affordable.

You need a reminder to turn food
Shaking or turning food part way through cooking is important when air-frying since it ensures all of the food in the basket can be browned evenly. If you feel a reminder would be useful, then look elsewhere – the Philips Essential Airfryer HD9252/91 doesn’t offer this handy feature. 

MyFirst Sketch Book Launched at Rs 7,500 — Unboxing & Features

Singapore-based MyFirst has launched a new drawing pad called Sketch Book. Unlike many other drawing pads available in the market, the MyFirst Sketch Book comes with a unique “Instant Digitisation” feature. With this feature, users can save their notes or drawings digitally on their smartphones. Along with the MyFirst Sketch Book, the company also provides […]

The post MyFirst Sketch Book Launched at Rs 7,500 — Unboxing & Features appeared first on PhoneRadar.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

500px cloud storage

There are plenty of options currently available for an online cloud storage service, and it is easy to end up with more than one. Some folks just want a service that focuses on backing up their photos for cloud storage. However, 500px does not focus on just backup, but goes in the direction of sharing photos- both for rising amateurs and professionals alike. In case you are wondering, this service is pronounced as “Five hundred p-x.”

500px was launched over a decade ago in 2009. It functions as a photo sharing site for photographers to discover and also be able to share photos. It also has photo contests, and even opportunities for licensing photos. It is based out of Ontario, Canada and has a global presence as well as millions of users.


500px has a free tier as well as two paid plans (Image credit: 500px)

Plans and pricing

500px offers a choice of tiered plans for users to use its service. We appreciate the free tier to allow the users to try the service, and of course upgrade as their needs change.

The free tier does limit uploads to seven each week, which restricts this tier to lower volume users. Users can still license their work, create a directory listing, create and share galleries. Support can be accessed, but the paid tiers get a higher priority. Users can still submit to quests, and join groups.

The lower paid tier gets designated as Awesome, and adds a number of useful features. For example, it becomes ad free, and the support is now priority level. Users can also create gallery slideshows, get a profile badge, and have access to their statistics. Perhaps the most valuable benefit is that the upload restriction gets lifted, and users can take advantage of unlimited uploads to stock their portfolio. There is also offline viewing, available on Android. The cost for this tier is $4.99 (GBP 4) monthly with an annual subscription, and is currently on sale for $3.99 (GBP 3) monthly which provides a significant discount, or a higher $6.49 (GBP 5) monthly without the commitment of an annual membership.

Moving up to the higher paid tier is Pro, which includes all the functions and features of the free, and Awesome tiers. The additional functions added include the ability to create a Portfolio website, to add resources to the resource hub, to customize your profile, and a priority directory listing. The cost for this top package is $7.99 (GBP 6) monthly with an annual subscription, or $12.99 (GBP 9) monthly without the contract. When we first logged onto 500px and created our account, we were given a time limited two week trial of the Pro tier, which is a nice way to test drive all the upgraded services.

Even at the higher tiers, there are no editing options at all included with these subscriptions which is a miss. However, there is an editing package, an additional option known as Luminar 4, which costs an additional $69 (GBP 50) on an annual basis.


500px also offers contents in the form of Quests (Image credit: 500px)


500px encourages its users to be on the quest of the perfect photo. As some photographers do their best work when given an assignment, 500px has its Quests feature. This allows the user to upload an entry organized around a theme. The entries are judged, and the winner gets not only some serious bragging rights, but also a cash prize, which currently range from $150 to $500 for the winner. The contests generally run for about a month. Current Quests include “Rainy Refresh,” “In Honor of Mothers,” and “Earthly Delights.” Users should be aware that the quality of the submissions tends to be quite high, which gives them an opportunity to hone their skills, but also means that a quick smartphone snap is unlikely to win any one of these.


The fact that uploads are limited to just JPEGs could be a turnoff for some users (Image credit: 500px)


A key aspect of 500px is the ability to upload an image. While the image can be up to 200 megapixels, the format is limited to .jpg only. Also, if you plan to license the image, it must be at least 3 megapixels, be free of watermarks, logos or borders, and also be free of NSFW content.

Uploaded Photo

You'll need to add keywords to your photos in addition to a title and a brief description (Image credit: 500px)

Uploading the image was a simple process, and there is an option to delete the image if you change your mind. Users get a choice if the image should be Public and available everywhere including the profile, Unlisted and available everywhere except the profile, or Limited Access which means it is only available to the user (unless added to the Gallery). The location of the image gets added automatically in the form of a street address. 

500px also automatically adds keywords, with an opportunity to add more by the user, or to remove incorrect ones. The keywords added were better than expected, although somehow the most obvious one, Duck, had to be put in manually. The user also has to put in a title for the image, and a brief description, along with designating a choice of category, with choices that range from Abstract, Fine Art and Landscape (for our image we selected Animals). 

Images can also be designated as NSFW, and there is an option to add a 500px watermark to protect the image. Finally, there is an option to add the image to a Gallery.


Statistics can give you insights into how well your photos are performing on 500px (Image credit: 500px)

With the image uploaded, a neat feature is to be able to see the Statistics for your images. This includes info on the image over the last 7 days, including the number of photo views, likes and new followers.

Final verdict

500px is a professional quality photo sharing service, more than pure cloud storage of images. The pluses include the choice of tiers, the Quests with cash prizes, and the ease of use. Misses include that the better features are reserved to the paid tiers, the add on required for even basic photo editing, and the significant upload restriction for the free tier. Overall, 500px is worth a look, realizing it is a niche product catering to professional (and aspiring amateurs) who want to share their images. 

Logitech MX Master 3 mouse review

Two-minute review

Logitech has done it again with the Logitech MX Master 3. Those familiar with this line know that it makes all the other non-gaming mice look like they’re just doing the bare minimum, and we’re glad to see its latest installment continue that tradition. 

This time around, however, necessary tweaks have been made. The Logitech MX Master 3 is sleeker, smaller and lighter; with even better scroll wheels and improved connectivity. It makes its predecessor, the Logitech MX Master 2s – a mouse that’s already impressive in its own right – seem like a clumsy hulking ogre. 

Logitech MX Master 3

(Image credit: Future)

Essentially, Logitech took everything that’s amazing about the Master 2s and stuffed them in a better package while making improvements along the way. That makes the Logitech MX Master 3 an even better mouse than its predecessor. Considering that the Master 2s received our much-desired 5-star rating, that’s saying a lot.

Those unwilling to spend more than $50 on a great mouse may want to seek alternatives. The MX Master line remains at its $99/£99 price point – unless you’re in Australia, in which case the Logitech MX Master 3 comes at AU$20 more than the Master 2 at AU$169. 

If you’re torn about the price, we get it. There’s a lot of capable mice out there for much less. In fact, many of our picks in the best mouse list are half the price of the Master 3. At the same time, none of them can really match its feature set, which on its own is already worth the price tag.

Logitech MX Master 3

(Image credit: Future)

That isn’t to say that those are the only noteworthy aspects of the Logitech MX Master 3. Its ergonomic design is also worthy of its time in the spotlight, with a nice bump at the palm rest for added support and all its buttons – all eight of them – within effortless reach of your fingers. The bump here isn’t as pronounced as that on the Master 2s, sadly, and that’s perhaps the result of Logitech attempting to make it sleeker. However, it still offers enough support to avoid fatigue, especially to palm grippers.

The rubberised finish of the palm and side grips are even more noticeable on this mouse for better gripping, though those who aren’t used to that might find it a bit odd to the touch in the beginning.

Logitech MX Master 3

(Image credit: Future)

What is nice to the touch here are the improved middle and side scroll wheels. Logitech has given them a refresh with a notched machined steel build that offers a much quieter, more premium-feeling tactile feedback. These wheels are so great, in fact, that they actually make those of the Master 2s feel cheap and inelegant.

Another design improvement we appreciate here is the placement of the side buttons. Where the Master 2s has them behind the side scroll wheel, with one button on top of the other, the Master 3 has them under the scroll wheel set side-by-side. This configuration makes them much more accessible and less confusing to use. 

Again, the Master 3 is slightly smaller, sleeker, and more lightweight than its predecessor. At 4.92 x 3.32 x 2.01 inches and 4.97 ounces, the difference might not seem big on paper. However, it is noticeable during use. We’ve gotten used to the Master 2s, as we’ve been using that as our main mouse for work for a few years now. However, we’d happily trade that in for this new model, as it’s much easier on the wrist and hand.

Logitech MX Master 3

(Image credit: Future)

A couple of nice little extras are its charging port and cable. While the Master 2s comes with the pesky micro-USB port and cable, this model has upgraded to USB-C, which means a faster charging time. It also means you have one less cable to deal with if you already have USB-C cables on hand for your other peripherals.

Both battery life and DPI on the Logitech MX Master 3 remain the same at up to 70 days and 4000 DPI respectively, but those are more than enough for mouse users and definitely better than what most non-gaming mice offer. It uses the same Darkfield high precision technology in its sensor, giving it the same high performance as the Master 2s, and has inherited the Smartshift technology, which lets it automatically shift between free spin mode and click-to-click mode by detecting the current application or window you have open. 

However, there are two things the MX Master 3 does better than its predecessor – scrolling and connectivity. According to Logitech, the new middle scroll wheel is 87% more precise and is capable of scrolling up to 1,000 lines in a second. It has proven to be a fraction of a second faster during our tests. With both mice’s respective scrolling speeds set to the maximum and the Smooth Scrolling setting enabled (done on the Logi Options app), it’s about 20% faster on average when on freespin. 

Logitech MX Master 3

(Image credit: Future)

In terms of connectivity, it’s a much more seamless experience. We’ve had problems with the MX Master 2s when assigning one of two Bluetooth connections to a new device if it’s been previously connected to a different device. Basically, we’ve had to either sever that connection or reset the mouse. Perhaps thanks to a firmware update, that issue has eventually resolved itself. But, the thing to note here is that this hasn’t been an issue with the MX Master 3 out of the box.

Meanwhile, the third connectivity option by way of an advanced 2.4 GHz USB dongle remains impeccable and long-ranged.

Finally, its button assignments and customizations are worth mentioning. They’re a boon to most folks who use most of their work tackling computer tasks, whether that means doing a lot of research, typing and having several browser tabs open at the same time or editing a stack of high-resolution images or videos. 

The Logi Options app will let you assign actions to all the buttons except the left and right ones, and makes those re-assignments app-specific. In Photoshop, for example, you can set the side buttons to toggle brush opacity or brush hardness while setting the side scroll wheel to zoom and the gesture button to save. This helps save you time and makes your photo editing workflow a lot more seamless, as well as reduces the strain on your wrist and shoulders as you’re moving them less.

What’s more, the list of apps supported is extensive, which means that it’s not just creative pros who can take advantage – though sadly, Lightroom is missing. With such apps as Microsoft Office, Excel, Google Chrome, Microsoft Outlook, and even Zoom and Microsoft Teams supported, even office cogs and students will get a lot of use out of this mouse.

Logitech MX Master 3

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if…

You want an incredibly streamlined workflow
Thanks to the Logitech MX Master 3’s app-specific customizations, you can use it to set shortcuts that will improve, shorten and smoothen your workflows, whether you’re video and photo editing or doing a lot of data and word processing.

You need a mouse that’s as versatile as it is reliable
Thanks to the extensive list of apps that support it, this mouse and its customizations have plenty of uses. It also offers three-device connectivity, which means you can use it on one device and then quickly switch to another with a press of a button.

You have the budget
Next to most non-gaming mice, this isn’t exactly cheap. Still, while it may cost a lot more than other alternatives, its feature set, ergonomics, and versatility are worth the price.

Logitech MX Master 3

(Image credit: Future)

Don’t buy it if…

You just need a point-and-click device
If the Logitech MX Master 3’s feature set isn’t something you can’t use to its full advantage, you’re probably better off getting a more basic alternative. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with getting a simple mouse if it’s all you really need.

You want something cheap
Budget consumers who can’t quite stretch their budget may be better off with something cheaper. There are a lot of quality mice out there that are less than half the price.

Scuf Impact

One-minute review

The Scuf Impact is an exemplary PS4 controller with just one issue: the price. Like all “pro” style controllers, it’s a significant investment - starting at £134.99 (roughly $188) - about as much as you might pay for a second-hand PS4 console. With a pad.

You probably wouldn’t buy a Scuf Impact on a whim, but we can’t help but like it. 

The “Impact” series is where Scuf strays a little further from the PS4 DualShock and Xbox pad blueprint. Its outline is larger than either, but makes the rear paddle controls feel so natural it’s as if gamepads have had paddles as standard since 2001. 

All the buttons are high-quality. The analog sticks don’t stick (in our experience), the triggers have a short clicky action for a faster response. And while the D-pad does not feel custom made for Street Fighter tournaments, Scuf sells a Control Disc accessory that should improve the feel of those rolling special move gestures. 

Unlike the controller itself, a Control Disc only costs a few dollars. 

There are no issues with latency, the number of Scuf Impact permutations is dizzying thanks to all the customization options when you buy. This is not an excessively modular pad, so you need to make those decisions pretty carefully. You can, however, remove and replace the analog stick caps using a little tool supplied in the box. 

The Scuf Impact is a brilliant third-party gamepad, one that offers quality at least on-par with a first-party pad, but enough changes to make it seem an evolution of the DualShock 4. One that makes sense too. 

We can’t go as far as to call the Scuf Impact a great deal, but that comes with the territory of an enthusiast gamepad.

DualShock 4, and then some more

Scuf Impact

(Image credit: Future)

Some high-end pads ask you to accept a tough reality, that you pay more for first-party and yet get fewer features. That is not the case here. 

The Scuf Impact mirrors virtually everything in a DualShock 4, and then adds some extras. There are dual vibration motors, the Touch Bar and the light bar on the back. The Scuf Impact has a built-in speaker, headset jack and motion controls. 

This is a wireless pad too, making it a controller that matches the first-party one at each point. 

Impact shape and paddles

Scuf Impact

(Image credit: Future)

The shape and paddles are two primary reasons to buy a Scuf Impact instead of saving $100 and buying a DualShock 4. 

Scuf makes pads that emulate the style of the PS4 DualShock and the Xbox pad. These are the Infinity and Prestige lines. 

Impact broadens the width of the pad, and alters the angle of the grips a little. You could say it suits bigger hands, or that it’s made for a surer grip. Those are valid observations, but our takeaway is the shape was chosen with trigger use in mind. 

The Scuf Impact has four triggers on the back, doubling up the ways to ‘press’ the pad’s face buttons. These feel great, given enough room to allow the plastic paddles to curve outwards, rather than being crammed into a limited space between the grips’ own contours. 

The paddles are removable. They are simple pieces of plastic you can twist out after pushing them up from their locked position. But the roominess of the Impact pad design means we don’t feel we need to, even when using the face buttons instead.

A paddle press also requires a reasonable amount of pressure from, most likely, the side of your middle finger, so you don’t end up activating them accidentally. The paddles press into tiny micro buttons on the back of the Scuf Impact. 

After switching from a DualShock 4 our first two impressions were that a) the Scuf Impact’s paddles feel great and that b) your hands seem further apart. If you want a petite controller, you don’t want an Impact. 

Grip and customization

Scuf Impact

(Image credit: Future)

Scuf isn’t out to offer a small, dainty controller with the Impact. And you can make it a much grippier pad than the DualShock 4 or DualSense by choosing the “High Performance” grip when you buy. 

The Impact comes with a standard textured hard plastic surface on the back, but the High Performance option replaces this with a layer of embossed rubber. 

It’s probably a good add-on if you play a lot of competitive games.

There are a load of other tweaks too. Scuf lets you choose from 62 faceplates. The one seen here is called Energon. 

You can get concave or convex analog stick caps. There are short and long sticks, and they come in seven colors. Even the mounting rings around the sticks can be a completely different shade if you like. And the buttons come in 18 colors. 

We don’t think this Frankenstein’s monster stuff is as important as the quality of the Impact controller itself, of course, but what you see here is just one of the series’s many, many faces. 

Customizations that matter: EMR

Scuf Impact

(Image credit: Future)

There are two options you need to think a bit more about. The first is EMR. This lets you re-map the paddles to emulate different face buttons. 

You put the little EMR magnets in position on the back, hold down one of the triggers and press a face button. That includes D-Pad directions and the L3/R3 inputs you get by pressing down an analog stick. 

Our Scuf Impact doesn’t have EMR, so our triggers are locked to mimic the four standard buttons. 

Triggers and sticks

Trigger style is one of the other Impact elements to consider. Scuf offers three types. There’s a standard trigger setup, an adjustable hair trigger -which is probably the best all-around option - and what we have here, Scuf’s Digital Tap Trigger. 

These make your triggers and bumpers feel more like mouse clickers than traditional trigger buttons. The ‘clonk’ of a trigger is replaced by a much lighter ‘click’, and this is great for fast reaction FPS games as you can press the thing much more rapidly. 

After an hour or so we didn’t miss the darker feel of a normal trigger either. These things feel good, but are ultimately far more limited as there’s no graduated input. If you want to play a racing or flight sim game, where the trigger acts as a throttle, it’ll be at 0 or 100 — all of that fine-grain control is removed. 

Buy a digital trigger Impact controller and it becomes a pad best suited for FPS titles only. 

There are ‘short’ and ‘long’ analog sticks too. This is something you choose when you buy, as you don’t get two sets in the box. 

Buy a replacement set separately and it’s fairly easy to swap them around. A little bundled tool lets you remove the securing ring around the outside, after which you can pull the caps off. 

However, unlike the Trustmatser eSwap Pro this is not a truly modular system. You replace the caps, not the inner workings. 

We’re not sure how well the Scuf sticks will fare after a year of regular use, as their upper rubbery covering is quite gummy. This feels pretty good, offering plenty of resistance and a softer-than-most surface. But you can feel some slight movement in this gummy rubber during the heat of the action, suggesting it may wear more quickly than a DualShock 4 stick. This seems to be a reasonably common complaint. 

D-Pad and buttons

Scuf Impact

(Image credit: Future)

The Scuf Impact makes a great all-rounder and FPS game controller. But what about fighting games?

Its D-Pad uses the same style as a DualShock 4. The four buttons are separate islands in the pad surround. Their corners are rounded, making 180-degree gestures across them more comfortable than, say, they would be on an Xbox Series X pad. 

And perhaps our trusty DualShock 4 buttons have become a little slick over the years, but those same motions also feel smoother here than on a first-party pad. 

We’re not convinced this is a world-class D-pad, though. The actuation response of the ‘down’ button is greater than that of the ‘up’. Still, it’s one of the better non-specialized pads for one-on-one fighters we’ve used. And Scuf offers a Control Disc accessory that increases the area of the D-pad and turns its surface into a rubbery plate. 

That is the only criticism we have about the SCUF Impact’s button feel, though. The face buttons, the analog stick depress clickers and the triggers all feel great. 

Battery life and connections

Scuf Impact

(Image credit: Future)

The SCUF Impact is a wireless controller. Much like a DualShock 4, you can use it with phones and PCs as well as the PS4. And it has a microUSB port for wired use, one with a plastic perimeter wall around it to avoid socket damage. 

Its battery lasts around 7-8 hours off a charge in our experience, although that figure will drop if you play titles with a lot of rumble effects. 

Using the SCUF Impact in 2021 it feels like time for Scuf to make the jump to USB-C. But, hey, it’s a PS4 controller, not a PS5 one. 

We didn’t have a PS5 to test the pad with. However, it should also work with the newer console, albeit without the added features of a DualSense pad, therefore unsuitable for PS5-specific games. 

We also tried plugging it into an Xbox Series X and, unsurprisingly, it didn’t work. It’ll charge, but that’s it. 

Should I buy the Scuf Impact?

Buy it if...

You want a serious pad for FPS games
FPS players are probably the top SCUF Impact demographic. This pad has great paddle controls, the option of ultra-fast digital triggers, and we find the Impact’s shape comfortable longer sessions. 

You want to make a pad your own
Scuf offers stacks of customization options when you buy an Impact. These affect not just how it looks, but how the triggers and sticks feel. So we've only actually reviewed one of the many iterations of the Impact line. 

Don't buy if... 

You are a price-conscious
We’re not sure a Scuf Impact is the best buy if money is tight. The starting cost is high enough but add color, grips or advanced triggers and the price starts to rise even higher. Spending this much on a pad for a last-generation console is probably a bit of an ask for many. 

You want a pad for PS5
We don’t recommend buying a Scuf Impact for a PS5, rather than a PS4. While it will connect and work for PS4 games, you need a DualSense for PS5 games as it has a bunch of features not present in an Impact pad. 


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