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The HP Elite Folio is lightweight and stylish, with all-day battery life. Its performance still can’t compete with that of modern AMD Ryzen or Intel Core processors, and software compatibility issues persist. These shortcomings may still be hard to swallow considering the Elite Folio’s premium price tag.
The HP Elite Folio wraps vivid display options, 4G/5G connectivity options, and all-day battery life within a lightweight, stylish design. It clearly wins on mobility.
This review is part of our ongoing roundup of the best laptops. Go there for information on competing products and how we tested them.HP Elite Folio basic features
HP’s Elite Folio is available in either an 8GB RAM/16GB SSD fixed configuration on chúng tôi for $1,889Remove non-product link, or a configurable Elite Folio optionRemove non-product link that begins at $1,895.04. It’s worth noting that while the first option appears ready to ship, selecting the configurable option puts the ship date at October 7—with a big qualifier: “This platform has an extended build time. Component availability, and hence the ship date, may change.” A different configuration is $1,949.95 on AmazonRemove non-product link.
Mark Hachman / IDG
HP’s Elite Folio, in its more traditional desktop orientation.
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G
Display: 13.3-inch (1920×1280) IPS touch, 400 nits rated
Memory: 8GB/16GB LPDDR4x-4266 (16GB as tested)
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB PCIe NVMe SSD (512GB as tested)
Graphics: Adreno 690
Ports: 2 USB-C 5Gbps (DisplayPort 1.4, USB PD)
Security: Windows Hello
Camera: 720p (user-facing, Windows Hello)
Battery: 46Wh (rated); 47.6Wh (as tested)
Wireless: 8021.11ac (2×2 MIMO), Bluetooth 5, Snapdragon X20 LTE Cat 16
Operating system: Windows 10 Home/Pro (Windows 10 Home as tested)
Dimensions: 11.75 x 9.03 x 0.63 inches
Weight: 2.93 pounds, 3.57 with charger
While the Elite Folio looks like a clamshell laptop, it’s closer to a 2-in-1 Windows tablet. The keyboard does not detach, as it does with Microsoft’s Surface Pro X or Surface Pro 7+. Instead, it can rotate flat into a tablet mode. A “hybrid” mode allows it to pull forward, hiding the keyboard for streaming video and using the screen as a primary interface. HP also includes a pen, an additional cost with rival tablets.
The Elite Folio’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G is an Arm processor that mimics the customized Arm chip used inside the Surface Pro X and the Lenovo Flex 5G. Those tablets, however, used a slightly earlier version of the Snapdragon 8cx, the Gen 1.
Mark Hachman / IDG
“Vegan leather” wraps the outside surfaces of the HP Elite Folio.
These Arm chips come with trade-offs. Historically, they’ve run more slowly than an Intel Core or AMD Ryzen chip, in part because of the need to emulate traditional x86 instructions. That’s less of a concern now, as more applications can either run on native Arm code, or via the web. Just don’t expect to play games on the Elite Folio—it’s an optimized Office or web browsing machine first and foremost.
The Elite Folio may look a lot like the 2023 Spectre Folio. There’s one major external difference: Unlike the Spectre Folio’s real leather cladding, the Elite Folio is wrapped in “vegan leather,” which is just a fancy name for polyurethane. That material conveys a luxurious look while being animal-friendly. Inside, the keyboard deck returns to a more traditional, plasticky surface.
Mark Hachman / IDG
This unofficial “presentation” mode orientation shows how the Elite Folio straddles the definition of a detachable Windows tablet and a more traditional design.
The HP Elite Folio’s display is pleasing: bright, with vivid colors that cover 99 percent of the SRGB color gamut, though only 74 percent of AdobeRGB and 75 percent of sRGB, as measured by our colorimeter. You might not buy a laptop to work outside, but if you do, the Elite Folio’s ready with two bright display options: a base model with a maximum 400 nits of brightness, and a 1,000-nit higher-end option, which we didn’t review. Turning up the display brightness will run down the integrated 46Wh battery more quickly, of course.
Mark Hachman / IDG
A USB-C port lies on either side of the chassis.
Port selection is sparse—two USB-C (not Thunderbolt) connections, one on either side of the chassis. Connecting to a Thunderbolt dock enabled work on a single external 4K display, which satisfied our productivity needs.Typing experience
Mark Hachman / IDG
The HP Elite Folio keyboard offers shallow, though spacious keys.
HP’s Elite Folio includes a 720p webcam, mounted at the top of the PC’s display bezel, which offers average graininess and color balance. You do have to wonder whether, after over a year working from home, HP at least considered a more premium 1080p webcam option.
Mark Hachman / IDG
The sliding webcam shutter is a nice feature, though it’s a bit difficult to distinguish, at a distance, whether the webcam is open or closed.
One of the showcase features of the Elite Folio is the two-button, 5.5-inch Wacom AES 2.0 pen, which nestles in a cubby very much like the one in the Microsoft Surface Pro X—another Arm-powered device. Microsoft’s Surface Pro X conceals the pen cubby, but the Elite Folio’s is exposed, tempting you to use it.
Mark Hachman / IDG
The Elite Folio Pen has a slightly recessed button at the end, and a more conventional button midway down.
Overall we prefer the inking experience in the Surface Pro X. The Surface Pen is a bit thicker and rounder, more comfortable to hold than the flattish Elite Folio pen. The Surface Pro X’s kickstand also offers more options for reclining the tablet. The HP pen’s end button is a bit too discreet: Because it sits flush with the end of the pen, it’s harder to depress. (There’s another button midway down the shaft.) There’s noticeable lag when inking with the pen. HP’s own configuration utility assigns both pen buttons optional functions.
On the plus side, the Folio’s pen offers built-in charging capabilities, which kick in when the pen is re-inserted in its cubby. Like the Surface Pro X, the magnetized cubby will automatically rotate the pen longitudinally to align the pen’s charging contacts with the cubby’s own. The pen’s charge lasted all day; it’s rated for 30 hours of use or ten days of standby, with a 30-minute recharge cycle. HP also uses the cubby to house the SIM tray.
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*A atualização para o Windows 11 será entregue a dispositivos qualificados do final de 2023 a 2023. O momento varia de acordo com o dispositivo. Determinados recursos requerem hardware específico (consulte aka.ms/windows11-spec )
O HP Presence exige o aplicativo myHP e o SO Windows.
Recurso opcional que deve ser configurado no momento da compra. Qualidade de 16 MP através de agrupamento de pixels.
É preciso ter o aplicativo myHP e o SO Windows.
O HP Dynamic Voice Leveling funciona a 3 metros do computador.
Vendido separadamente ou como um recurso opcional que deve ser configurado no momento da compra.
A tecnologia Multi-Core foi projetada para melhorar o desempenho de determinados softwares. Nem todos os clientes ou aplicativos serão necessariamente beneficiados pelo uso dessa tecnologia. O desempenho e a frequência do clock variam de acordo com a carga de trabalho dos aplicativos e com as configurações de hardware e software. A numeração da Intel não é uma medida de velocidade de clock.
A tecnologia Multi-Core foi projetada para melhorar o desempenho de determinados softwares. Nem todos os clientes ou aplicativos serão necessariamente beneficiados pelo uso dessa tecnologia. O desempenho e a frequência do clock variam de acordo com a carga de trabalho dos aplicativos e com as configurações de hardware e software. A numeração atribuída pela AMD não representa uma medida da velocidade de clock.
O conteúdo de VR exige uma placa gráfica NVIDIA®️ GeForce®️ RTX 3070 opcional.
O HP Wolf Security for Business requer Windows 10 ou posterior, inclui vários recursos de segurança da HP e está disponível em produtos HP Pro, Elite, Workstation e de pontos de venda de varejo. Consulte os detalhes do produto para obter informações sobre os recursos de segurança incluídos e os requisitos do sistema operacional.
O HP Sure Start Gen7 está disponível em alguns PCs HP e exige o Windows 10 ou superior.
Vendido separadamente ou como recurso opcional. Para poder configurar até 4, 7 ou 8 monitores, é necessária também uma opção de vídeo Flex I/O.
Com base em testes internos de produtos com e sem HP Extended Range Wireless LAN.
Os resultados dos testes do HP Total Test Process não constituem uma garantia de desempenho futuro sob estas condições de teste. Para obter cobertura contra danos acidentais, é necessário adquirir um HP Care Pack para Proteção Contra Danos Acidentais opcional.
O conjunto de teste MIL-STD 810 está pendente e não se destina a demonstrar adequação aos requisitos de contratos com o Departamento de Defesa dos EUA ou para utilização militar. Os resultados dos testes não constituem uma garantia de desempenho futuro sob essas condições de teste. Para obter cobertura contra danos acidentais, é necessário adquirir um HP Care Pack para Proteção Contra Danos Acidentais opcional.
O HP Sure Sense está disponível em determinados PCs HP e não está disponível com Windows10 Home.
Compartimento do alto-falante do PC feito com 5% de plástico que seria descartado no oceano.
Possibilitamos melhores resultados de aprendizagem ao apoiar a educação por meio do fornecimento de programas e soluções de aprendizagem e alfabetização digital.
Nossos programas visam acelerar a igualdade digital fornecendo acesso a pelo menos um dos seguintes: hardware, conectividade, conteúdo ou alfabetização digital.
As informações contidas neste documento estão sujeitas a alterações sem aviso prévio. As únicas garantias de produtos e serviços da HP são as estabelecidas nas declarações de garantia expressa que acompanham tais produtos e serviços. Nenhuma informação contida neste documento deve ser interpretada como uma garantia adicional. A HP não se responsabiliza por omissões, erros técnicos ou erros editoriais contidos neste documento.
VPNCity works well. It has a good number of country connections and servers, it works with Netflix, and the price is right at just $48 for a year. This service doesn’t have a lot to offer power users, but for a basic VPN connection at an affordable price, VPNCity is a good choice.VPNCity in brief:
P2P allowed: Yes.
Business location: Hong Kong
Number of servers: 3,000+
Number of country locations: 34
Cost: $48 (billed annually)
VPN protocol: OpenVPN (default)
Data encryption: AES-256-CBC
Data authentication: SHA-512
Handshake encryption: TLSv1.2
Sometimes all you need from a VPN is a selection of countries and the ability to use a good selection of streaming services like Netflix. That’s the niche VPNCity fits into right now. This relatively new service based in Hong Kong doesn’t have the added features that other services do, but there are still some good reasons to recommend it.
Note: This review is part of our
roundup. Go there for details about competing products and how we tested them.
VPNCity on Windows starts with a two-panel interface. The first panel has a connect button, and it displays the location the VPN is currently set to use. The second panel gives the app more of a desktop feel. Here it lists all the various country locations, as well as their respective ping times between you and the VPN servers.
VPNCity’s country locations.
In addition to listing the countries, there’s also a tab for using a variety of geo-restricted (or anti-VPN) streaming services. VPNCity supports Netflix in the UK, U.S., and Australia, as well as Disney Plus, HBO Now, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, and Australia’s ABC iView.
VPNCity’s app is pretty straightfoward and not that remarkable, but it doesn’t have to be. It has a good number of country connections at 34, more than 3,000 servers, and the ability to work with popular streaming services.
Dipping into the settings, VPNCity does the right thing and leaves almost all of its options turned off by default. It has options to start VPNCity at Windows startup, connect automatically when the app launches, and enable the internet kill switch. The latter shuts down all internet-connected apps if the VPN connection drops automatically. The idea is to protect online activity from potential snoops for those who want as little of their activity as possible seen outside the VPN.
The settings also house an ad blocker, also turned off by default, and VPNCity automatically enables IPv6 blocking.
There are also options for dedicated IP addresses that cost an extra $4 per month, and you can use VPNCity with the ShadowSocks Proxy—a tool largely used to circumvent Internet censorship.VPNCity: Privacy and trust
VPNCity is operated by Think Huge Ltd, which is based in Hong Kong, but the company team is based all over the world. Nick McDonald, the founder and director of Think Huge, is based in Australia, for example.
VPNCity accepts payments via credit card, PayPal, Alipay, and a variety of cryptocurrencies via Coingate. It costs $48 for a single year, $72 for two years, $36 for six months, or $10 for month-to-month subscriptions.Performance
In our tests, over three days at three different times of day, VPNCity maintained an average of 31 percent of the base speed. That puts it in the solidly reliable, but not terribly fast category. There were times and locations when the speeds were amazingly fast, but they were never consistently high.
Still, VPNCity should offer enough performance for most use cases.Conclusion
Editor’s note: Because online services are often iterative, gaining new features and performance improvements over time, this review is subject to change in order to accurately reflect the current state of the service. Any changes to text or our final review verdict will be noted at the top of this article.
At £999 without a monitor, the Mesh Elite Skylake PCA is one of the most expensive PCs in our group test, but its features and build quality most certainly earn that price tag. Its feels like a higher-quality system and the high-end internal components deliver useful additional capabilities and bags of upgrade potential.
It may not resemble a gaming PC at first glance, but the Mesh Elite Skylake PCA exudes quality. Its tower case comes with a matt black finished that’s soft to the touch, giving it an expensive feel, while at the top an illuminated display shows the current CPU temperature in a variety of colours which can be altered at the push of a button. Also see: Best gaming PCs 2023/2023.
Unlike most of the gaming PCs we review, the case has no transparent side panel. It’s a real shame in this case, because the Mesh Skylake PCA is by far the most impressive-looking inside. The case is spacious, with plenty of available drive bays and the Gigabyte GA-Z170X-Gaming 3 motherboard features attractive red and black details. Most impressive though is the Raijintek Triton 250mm high performance all-in-one CPU cooler, its two transparent pipes fat and filled with striking blue coolant. There’s also a blue downlight which illuminates the desk surface from the bottom of the case. We’d say the build quality of this case is considerably higher than most, certainly a tier above those from Cyberpower and Chillblast.
Under that fancy cooler lurks an Intel Core-i5 6600K Skylake processor, overclocked from 3.5GHz to 4.4GHz. This yields a decent boost in performance without pushing components to the absolute limit. It’s coupled with 16GB of 2400MHz DDR4 RAM – a little faster than the base 2133MHz stuff found in lower-end systems and comes with a 250GB Samsung SSD backed by a 1TB Seagate hard drive. Although the SSD uses one of the two M.2 ports on the motherboard, it’s using the SATA interface, rather than PCI-E so it can’t match the raw performance of the Samsung 128GB SM951 used by Chillblast. However it does perform very well and its extra capacity may well prove more beneficial than extra speed. See all PC reviews.
Mesh has opted for the ever-popular Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 graphics card in the Elite Skylake PCA, and in this case it’s a Palit-branded model running at standard clock speeds, rather than the boosted speeds found in some competitors’ systems.
Mesh’s chosen motherboard doesn’t just look good, it’s also designed specifically for gaming and comes with a selection of features not found on lesser models. Not only does it support USB 3.1, but it also supports USB 3.1 Gen 2 which allows for speeds of up to 10Gb/s and up to a claimed 16 Gb/s using Intel’s USB 3.1 controller. It also supports both USB Type-C and Type-A connectors.
Audio quality has also been boosted, claiming 115dB signal to noise ratio and featuring support for the Sound Blaster X-Fi MB3 audio suite. The OP-Amp chips have also been made user-upgradable, so if you want the very best sound quality, you can swap them out for higher-fidelity alternatives of your choice. See all gaming PC reviews.
If you prefer to use an external USB audio device, you can use Gigabytes, “DAC-UP” USB ports which feature isolated power supplies to ensure there’s no interference from other components.
The board also includes a high-performance “Killer Ethernet” network interface, designed to reduce latency and improve overall system performance and is one of the few reviewed here to offer 2-way Nvidia SLI certification, allowing the addition of an extra GTX 970 as a future upgrade. The supplied 750W power supply also provides plenty of upgrade potential.
The Mesh Elite Skylake PCA is a great performer, but not the fastest overall. Chillblast’s Fusion Krypton, for example, beats is in the application performance tests, probably due to its faster SSD, and also beats it by a few fps in gaming, thanks to its factory overclocked card. The Mesh system does come with double the amount of SSD storage however, which means more games can be installed on it for much faster loading times.
Performance in our tests was as follows: PCMark 8 2.0 Home: 5316; PCMark8 2.0 Work: 5748; PCMark8 2.0 Creative: 7282; PCMark8 2.0 Storage: 4996; Alien vs Predator 1080/720: 89.6/169.6fps; Sniper Elite V2 Ultra/Medium/Low: 47.6/203.2/444.7fps; Final Fantasy XIV Creation Benchmark Maximum: 130.4fps; 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra/Fire StrikeExtreme/Fire Strike/Sky Diver/Cloud Gate/Ice Storm Unlimited/Ice Storm Extreme/Ice Storm: 2,588/4,919/9,494/24,308/23,574/207,151/183,687/194,602; max CPU temp under load: 51ºC; power consumption idle/load: 63/251W
Read next: Learn more about Intel Skylake and Windows 10.Specs Mesh Elite Skylake PCA: Specs
3.5GHz Intel Core i5-6600K @ 4.4GHz
Raijintek Triton 240mm High Performance AIO Water Cooling Solution – BLUE Coolant
16GB DDR4 2400MHz
250GB Samsung M.2, 1 TB Seagate SATA 3 HDD
750W FSP Quiet Power Supply – Silver 80 PLUS
GIGABYTE GA-Z170X-Gaming 3
Windows 10 Home
Palit Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 4GB 1051/1178MHz Core, 7000MHz RAM
Killer Lan 2200 Gigabit ethernet
3x USB 3, 2x USB 2, 1x USB 3.1 Type-A, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C
1 x D-Sub, 1 x DVI-D, 1 x HDMI
24x DVD Writer (read/write CD & DVD)
Aero Cool DS 200
ROCCAT ISKU Keyboard (ROC-12-722), ROCCAT Lua Mouse (ROC-11-310)
Gold Warranty (Lifetime Labour, 2 Year Parts, 1 Year Free Collect & Return)
Wyze Labs, the company behind the Video Doorbell Pro, was started in Seattle, in 2023 by three former Amazon employees. The trio decided to start building smart gadgets after spotting two problems with the smart gadgets already on the market: firstly, they were too expensive; and secondly, they weren’t that smart.
The three Wyze men set out to remedy that by, in their words, making “great technology accessible to everyone”. They began with the Wyze Cam, which they sold in the US for $19.99 (approx. £15) and went on to create a full range of home products, featuring everything from smart light bulbs and vacuum cleaners to smart thermostats and bathroom scales, and this smart video doorbell.
Before we get into the specifics of the Wyze Video Doorbell Pro, I have a confession to make: I fail to see a genuine need for most smart devices, especially when they’re white goods. Call me a Luddite but I don’t accept that the addition of an internet connection necessarily makes any device more useful, least of all a doorbell. And the last thing I need is one that sends me notifications, followed by a video, every time next door’s cat strolls by. All of which is to say that the Wyze Video Doorbell Pro is going to have its work cut out winning me over.
That said, I have, on occasion, come home to find Amazon packages left by my front door, in full view of anyone who happens to be passing by. And while it’s not the end of the world when it’s a few quids’ worth of used books, it’s another matter altogether when it’s hundreds of pounds of brand-new computer or audio equipment.
So, let’s see if the folks that used to work for Amazon have made a device that solves the problem their former employer is largely responsible for creating.Set-up and installation
Set-up is easy and takes minutes (if you opt for the wi-fi installation – it may take a little longer if you want to wire the doorbell into your home’s electricity system). Pretty much everything you need is supplied in the box. except for one key item: a three-pin UK plug. Specifically, one that’s also an adapter for a two-pin US plug.
You need one of these to plug in the Wyze Chime Pro, which acts as a wi-fi extender and the internal chime for the doorbell. The Chime Pro needs to be paired to the doorbell and your home wi-fi system, and plugged in somewhere within nine metres (30 feet) of the doorbell.
Besides that, the only other things you need to do are download the Wyze app (from either Apple’s App Store or Google Play), create an account (which you can do for free), and then sync the doorbell and chime to your phone.
The app is simple enough to navigate and although it does initially appear to insist that you set up a subscription (albeit one with a free trial period), you can override the suggestion to run the basic, fully free, option.
If you don’t like the idea of drilling into your doorframes to hang the doorbell, double-sided adhesive strips are supplied so you can stick it on instead. Beyond that the only other point worth mentioning concerns recharging the doorbell’s battery.
A recharging cable is supplied but it has a micro USB jack on the doorbell end and a plain-old standard Micro-USB on the other end. Which is fine if you’ve got a computer with a spare USB socket, but if not, you’re going to need another three-pin plug – this time one with a USB socket to plug the doorbell and recharging cable into.
Wyze says the doorbell’s battery will last up to six months between charges and it does come already charged (to about 50 per cent if the model I had is anything to go by), so you at least have some time to make arrangements before it runs out and you’re back to relying on people actually knocking on your door (the horror).Design
The Video Doorbell Pro is sleek looking. It’s a nice chunky unit (approx. 140 x 45 x 30mm – although it will stand out a little prouder than 30mm with the mounting plate) that has friendly-looking round bevelled edges (think first-generation iPod but with less chrome).
The more you live with it, however, the more you notice its plasticy appearance. Which is all well and good if you’ve got a modern UPVC front door that’s white, but might clash somewhat if you’ve got a more traditionally styled, and coloured, timber door (especially so if your home has an older architectural style). Some alternative colours or options in terms of materials would be nice.
The Wyze app though is really user-friendly, almost to the point of being foolproof. Once you’ve paired your doorbell to your phone, it appears on the app’s home screen and tapping on it shows you live footage of what it’s seeing, as well as the option to scroll back through the clips it recorded earlier.Features
A blue light, around the bell button, comes on when the doorbell detects movement, letting visitors know where to push to alert you to their presence (and to give them fair warning that they’re on camera).
The camera’s ultra-wide-view lens does a good job of capturing most of the scene around your door, so even if you don’t get a chance to talk to any delivery people, provided they don’t drop the package at the foot of your door (or directly beneath the doorbell), you can generally see if one has been left. There’s also an angled back-plate to give the camera a better view of the area around your front door – useful if your door’s not dead centre or you live in a terrace and you want less of your neighbour’s entrance in view.
There is a little lag on the audio and video, but only enough to occasionally make for a little conversational awkwardness. And as far as I can tell, it takes only 10 seconds for a notification if a doorbell press to reach your phone (notifications of activity can take a few seconds longer).
The footage defaults to a square-view format but you have the option to make it full screen in a vertical orientation (although flip your phone to landscape and it switches to full screen automatically). You can also control the mic on the doorbell, take still images, change the volume and ‘ringtone’ of the chime, and generally fiddle around with the device to your heart’s content, quickly and easily, all from your phone.
There’s also a surprisingly clear night-vision mode that lets you see any visitors who may come calling after dark.
Stick with the free service model and the notifications you get are pretty basic: “Motion detected on front door at [time]” or “Hello, someone is calling you”, if the source of the motion actually presses the doorbell. Opt for a subscription package (starting at £2.99 per month or £17.99 per year) and you get more specific notifications that make use of the smart doorbell ability to recognise the source of the activity: “Package detected…” or “Person detected…” for example.Verdict
Wyse’s Video Doorbell Pro is pretty good. It does a decent job, it’s a doddle to use and it’s cheaper than its major rivals. Is it good enough to convince me to buy one? No. Which isn’t to say there’s anything particularly bad about it, just that I wasn’t in the market for a smart doorbell to begin with and this hasn’t changed my mind.
That said, the lack of a three-pin plug does leave me thinking this version of it is the one meant for the US market and making it available in the UK is more of a ‘let’s go for broke’ afterthought than a considered ‘what will we need to do this right’ strategy.
But the real question is, will it stop anyone walking off with your unattended deliveries when you’re not at home to receive them? If you can open the app quick enough and get through to the delivery person in time, maybe. But Amazon drivers are under pressure and typically in a hurry. From experience, they’re under so much pressure that I barely have time to get to the door and collect my parcels by hand when I am home.
A simpler, possibly more effective alternative (if you have the space) might be an old-fashioned lockable parcel safe, which you can pick up for about the same price as a smart doorbell. Also, you’ll never have to recharge a parcel safe, so it doesn’t matter what plugs and sockets you don’t have.Alternatives Wyze Cam Floodlight
If you’re more worried about nocturnal intruders than parcels being left unattended on your doorstep, then perhaps you should consider the Wyze Cam Floodlight. It has many similar features to the Video Doorbell Pro (motion-detector activation, HD video, night vision and two-way audio), but also includes a pair of 2,600-lumen LED lights and a 105dB siren so you can see whoever, or whatever, is prowling around your property after dark (and, if needs, be alert the entire neighbourhood to their presence.
The Cam Floodlight does more than just pick up movement and illuminate it, though; its camera records the activity and sends the footage directly to your smartphone so you can see what’s going on, without having to scrabble around for your slippers.
Wyze Cam v3
If it’s the inside of your home, rather than the outside, that you want to keep an eye on (whether it’s a baby sleeping in another room or a pet left home alone), the Wyze Cam v3 is up to the job.
Install it anywhere in your home, pair it to your phone or tablet and when it detects any sort of movement, the Cam v3 will let you know and show you what’s happening.
It also has two-way audio so if you need to sing a crying baby to sleep but can’t leave the pots on the cooker unattended, you’re in luck. Colour night vision and weather-resistant casing means the Cam v3 can also work outdoors as a security camera.
Rhinos are massive, gorgeous, creatures with very few natural predators. Despite this, these beauties are critically endangered and are tough to find outside of wildlife parks and reserves. This is mostly due to an increase in poaching. But according to a recent study, protection could come from an unlikely source: The small but mighty oxpecker.
Rhinos are nearly blind as a bat and tend to fly solo, which makes detecting an unfriendly hunter or defending themselves from one a tricky task. But a winged, vampire-like frenemy could be the difference between a rhino roaming scot-free and being surrounded by danger.
The relationship between rhinos and oxpeckers goes way back. In fact, the Swahili word for the bird is quite literally “the rhino’s guard.” In a seemingly mutualistic relationship, the oxpeckers ride around on the backs of rhinos, picking ticks off their backs and giving out a warning hiss when predators including humans ventured too close.
But the benefits of this relationship had never been demonstrated scientifically, until this past week. A new study in Current Biology shows that when a rhino has an oxpecker riding around on its rump, the animal has a much better chance of avoiding people altogether.
The authors of the study spent over a year in South Africa following around the massive beasts. They initially tagged around a dozen rhinos to keep track of their location. Then they went back out to find whatever rhinos they could. Of the rhinos they found in their second search, the ones that were already tagged, and they were able to find their location ahead of time and essentially “stalk them”, had a 56 percent chance of roaming around with a bodyguard on board.Further, the ones that were untagged (meaning they hadn’t found them before and tagged them) were much less likely to have an oxpecker on their backs.
‘‘There’s a whole heap of [untagged rhinos] avoiding us because they have oxpeckers on their back,” said South Africa-native Roan Plotz, an author of the study and an environmental science lecturer at Victoria University in Australia.
Next, they practiced sneaking up exclusively on the tagged rhinos that they could more easily hunt down and recorded whether or not they had a bird riding along or not.
However, the relationship between bird and beast is more complicated than it seems. Plotz also found that the birds, who rely on the rhinos for sustenance, were more likely to target open bleeding lesions on the rhinos for a meal than tick-heavy spots, meaning the birds prefer to pick and snack on a rhino’s painful scabs than it’s bothersome ticks. That’s about as lovely for the rhinos as it sounds.
“Feeding on lesions or blood is a parasitic behavior,” says Plotz.
And it’s not just rhino sores that sound delectable to an oxpecker. Other African wildlife, like African buffalo, get lesions but roll around or shake their horns to shoo away the parasitic birds every time one comes near them. Rhinos, on the other hand, tolerate the icky behavior.
“There has been a widespread belief that the mammal-oxpecker interaction is a mutualism, i.e., that both species receive benefits from it,” says Judith Bronstein, an evolutionary biologist at Arizona University not involved in the study. “The authors know better, which I really like.”
But for the rhinos, the benefit of having a bodyguard outweighs the fact that the bodyguard is low key eating their flesh. After all, relationships always come with some kind of cost-benefit analysis, whether it’s between a hungry bird or an annoying roommate. As long as the benefit is in our favor, sometimes it’s worth it to put up with a little bit of bad behavior, Plotz says.
“In any relationship, I suppose we all do that.”
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