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google pixel 2 xl review: it doesn't get any more google than this review

prosimpressive camera battery life ip67 rating performanceconsactive edge is frustrating at times portrait mode needs some worklast year, google set the tone for its smartphone ambitions. the company was going to use manufacturing partners but control the entire product experience. the first pixel smartphones took impressive photos -- something googles' phones were never known for -- had a new software experience, and laid the groundwork for future devices.this year, google's second generation pixel devices, which begin shipping october 19, expand on the company's new approach.last week google sent me a pixel 2 and a pixel 2 xl. these two devices are essentially identical, save for size. i've primarily used the pixel 2 xl, as i think it better compares to flagship phones from samsung and apple, google's two biggest competitors. that and it's priced at $850 or $950, depending on storage amount.design jason cipriani/zdnet with the pixel 2 xl, google partnered with lg for manufacturing. unlike previous google devices that featured some very obvious design cues from manufacturing partners, the pixel 2 xl stands apart when compared to the lg v30. a 6-inch qhd+ (2880 x 1440) display takes up the majority of the front, with minimal bezels surrounding the screen. instead of taking the same approach as samsung did with this year's crop of phones, the pixel 2 xl still has a small bezel above and below the screen. the benefit of how google handled it not only ...





netgear orbi pro, first take: business-friendly mesh networking review

mesh networking has been a big trend in recent months, with all the major networking players getting in on the act, as well as big names such as google and asus. netgear's eye-catching orbi was one of the first mesh systems to arrive last year but, like most of its rivals, the orbi was primarily designed for home users who simply wanted to get a better wi-fi signal for their home network.when netgear approached business customers, it found there was some resistance to the original orbi, so it has now extended the range with the business-focused orbi pro. according to netgear, the orbi pro is specifically designed for small businesses who may not have dedicated teams of it staff, but who nonetheless need to set up a versatile network infrastructure that can be used internally by employees, while also providing wi-fi and internet access for byod devices, visitors to their offices, or customers in locations such as showrooms, hotels or restaurants.making a meshthe orbi pro takes the same approach as most mesh systems, using two routers that can be placed in separate rooms or locations in order to provide wider and more reliable wi-fi coverage than a single conventional router. the two devices are virtually identical, but one is designated as the 'primary' router for your internet connection, while the second is referred to as a 'satellite' and can be placed in any convenient location. the orbi pro comes in primary (left) and satellite (right) versions. the former uses one o...





dell xps 15 9560 (2017) uhd review: compact, solid and configurable review

prostough, resilient build uhd screen option quad-core processor and discrete nvidia graphics packs a 15.6-inch screen into relatively compact chassisconsawkwardly positioned webcam moderate battery life from uhd versionthe latest incarnation of the dell xps 15 updates the model we reviewed early in 2016. it's the bigger sibling of the xps 13 that we rated very highly. there are some common elements such as the high-quality build and near edge-to-edge display that allows the 15.6-inch screen to be packed into a relatively compact chassis. in fact, dell says this is the smallest 15.6-inch laptop around. the availability of uhd (3,840 x 2,160 pixels) screen resolution in some models may entice some buyers, and this was the model i was sent to review.anyone looking for a tough, solidly built laptop with a 15-inch screen should put the aluminium-bodied dell xps 15 into the mix. the lid is a little thicker than on some other laptops, but i was only able to bend it very slightly in my hands. there is a little bit of give in the outside centre of the lid, but pressing quite hard did not have any effect on the display itself. this laptop would probably survive in a bag without a protective case. that said, there's every likelihood that the silver aluminium lid and base could get scratched by other bag contents, so aesthetics may demand a case. there's no give in the carbon-fibre palm rest. the hatched finish to this -- and indeed the entire keyboard surround -- looks a...





flagship smartphones: specs, benchmarks and prices for iphone, samsung, huawei and more

image: dragana991, getty images/istockphoto smartphones are the focus of most people's digital lives these days, and are likely to remain so until computing becomes truly 'ambient' -- probably involving some seamless combination of wearables (particularly augmented reality [ar] goggles), iot devices, cloud services and artificial intelligence (ai).as 2017 draws to a close, it's a good time to take stock of the current state of the smartphone market by examining the vital statistics of leading vendors' flagship handsets. apple's iphone 8, 8 plus and x, samsung's galaxy s8/s8+ and galaxy note 8, google's pixel 2 and 2 xl and now huawei's mate 10 and mate 10 pro, show the general direction in which top-end smartphones are heading: powerful, attractive (and expensive) handsets whose user experiences increasingly leverage ai and ar, integrated with an ecosystem of add-on devices and services in various sectors including gaming, ar and vr, smart home, healthcare, shopping and office productivity. following last year's well-publicised galaxy note 7 debacle and strong fourth-quarter performance from apple, samsung briefly ceded first place to its main rival in the q4 2016 smartphone market. however, the korean company swiftly returned to the number-one spot in 2017 (see chart). apple's new iphones face stiff competition from samsung, huawei and other top-five vendors, and from several manufacturers in the 'others' category -- including google, htc, lg, motorola,...





doogee s60 smartphone: tough enough for your active lifestyle review

proswaterproof, durable design useful set of toolbox features wireless chargingconsdifficult to insert sim heavy in the hand doogee the doogee s60 is a solid-looking beast of a phone. large, heavy, rugged, and sturdy, it looks like it will stand up to the toughest handling. it reminds me of something from a star wars movie. it costs under $340 but looks more expensive. the phone is 164 x 81mm and is 15.5 mm thick and it weighs 287g (10.1 ounces). it has an aluminium metal body with a hard polycarbonate bumper, held on by eight rivets around the phone to protect the edges. the metal back is held in place with four rivets and you need a screwdriver to undo the two screws and insert your sim or micro sd card. inserting the sim was really fiddly and would be hard to do if you have large hands.it is rated at ip68 which means that it is dust tight and can be immersed in up to 3 m deep (10 ft) water for up to 30 minutes.it has a 5.2 inch display with corning gorilla glass 5 and a resolution of 1920 x 1080. inside the phone, there is an octa-core helio p25 processor running at up to 2.5ghz, 6gb lpddr4x ram and 64gb of ram, and a mali t880 gpu. it has a large 5580mah battery which supports wireless charging.top zdnet reviewsdell latitude 11 50007.9apple iphone 7 plus9.3amazon echo9.0google pixel xl8.0its camera is impressive. there is a 21mp 16:9 camera at the rear and an 8mp front camera. the camera operates in burst mode if you press the soft camera button. i took 3...





lg v30 review: stunning hardware optimized for media creators and audio lovers review

proselegant design and superb feel in hand fun and creative video tools high quality dual rear cameras 3.5 mm headset jack with quad dac long battery life future proof on t-mobile with 600 mhz supportconsauto-brightness is wonky price is about $100 too high doesn't launch with android 8.0 oreo i've been using a lg v30 for a couple months, check out my first impressions, and last week a t-mobile retail version arrived while the v30 finally hit store shelves. if you use your phone for video creation and you still enjoy music through a standard 3.5mm audio jack then the v30 is the best available. the lg v30 is a gorgeous, well-made smartphone that keeps pulling my t-mobile sim back from the note 8, htc u11, and other smartphones. there are other phones out there with compelling features, but lg brings everything together in such an elegant package with the v30 that it is tough not to love this phone.cnet review:lg v30 sports a gorgeous oled screen with a camera to match the v30 is a bit of a departure from the v20 and v10, with it more closely matching the lg g6. it no longer has a removable battery that enterprise customers have come to appreciate on the v series, but does add wireless charging and the battery life will get you through a full day. in direct comparison to the non-final model i have been testing, battery life has improved and i have not seen a single slowdown or app failure on the retail unit.specificationsprocessor: qualcomm snapdragon 835...





asus vivobook s15 s510uq review: attractive price and core spec, but battery life is a worry review

proscore i7 cpu and discrete gpu compact chassis for a 15.6-inch laptop competitive priceconsmoderate battery life too much keyboard flex only 256gb of internal storage vga webcamwhen a 15.6-inch laptop with a 7th-generation core i7 processor becomes available for well under £1,000, it catches the eye. when that laptop boasts a narrow screen bezel and brushed metal finish, it gets a second glance. however, it's unlikely that a laptop with these credentials can deliver across the board for £899 (inc. vat), so where has asus made its compromises with the vivobook s15 s510uq? according to asus, the vivobook s15 has the weight and compactness of an ultrabook. that's a bit of a stretch: at 1.5kg it's not the lightest of lightweights, and the 15.6-inch screen also makes for a rather large chassis, at 361mm wide by 245mm by deep by 17.9mm thick.to be fair, the screen is packed into a relatively small chassis thanks to its narrow left and right bezels. asus calls its minimal-bezel approach 'nanoedge'. at 7.8mm, the bezels are a fair bit wider than the 5.7mm found on dell's infinityedge xps 15 9560, for example -- although this is probably not the fairest comparison, as dell's xps 15 is in a different price/performance league.the 15.6-inch vivobook s15 has a full-hd (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) non-touch screen and weighs 1.7kg. images: asus one area where these two laptops differ in asus's favour is the positioning of the webcam. asus has decided to keep th...





post-truth, book review: the facts about 'alternative facts'

post-truth: how bullshit conquered the world • by james ball • biteback publishing • 306 pages • isbn: 978-1-785-90214-7 • £9.99the opposite of truth isn't lies; it's bullshit. liars are still invested in the difference between truth and fiction, whether their lying is a means to an end, a habit, or a pathology. bullshitters don't care what's true, and can therefore be far more damaging, as buzzfeed reporter james ball writes in post-truth: how bullshit conquered the world.ball prefers 'bullshit' to 'fake news' as a specific reference to princeton university professor harry frankfurt's well-known paper on bullshit (pdf), which sought to examine the theoretical underpinnings of the category and trace the history of the genre. the short version of ball's offering: there's a lot of it about, and while we all think we can recognise it, many factors come together to interfere -- but there's still hope.ball begins by discussing the impact of disinformation on the two examples currently foremost in everyone's mind: the election of donald trump to the us presidency, and the brexit vote. from there, he segues into the sources who are to blame. few escape, as he names politicians, old and new media, fake media, social media, and 'you'. in the third section of the book, ball talks about why bullshit works: psychology, cognitive biases, profit structures and incentives, and surrounding culture. finally, he closes with some thoughts about how to stem the flow.bef...





elephone s8 hands-on: a solid, no-nonsense phone for business use review

prostri bezel-less 6-inch display 3d curved glass back clearmotion video enhancementcons4gb ram lags behind other current phones heavy compared with slimline devicesi was unaware of the chinese hardware manufacturer elephone, but i hope that i get to see more of its devices. the sub-$240 elephone s8 phablet has impressed me right out of the box. it is a nice-looking, aluminium body phone with a large screen and a great look and feel. (image: elephone) the screen is a 6-inch 2560 x 1440p 2k corning gorilla glass display boasting a 92.4 percent of screen-to-body ratio. i like the look of the screen real estate. the back of the phone is beautiful. it has a 3d curved glass back, which fits nicely in the curves of my hand. even though this is a large phone, it does not feel unwieldy. read also:chuwi surbook hands-on: a high-performing surface clone | mgcool explorer 1s hands-on: a low-cost action camera with some great features | hands on with the destek v4 vr headset: great quality for an affordable priceits external dimensions are 158 x 80 x 8mm and it weighs 195g (5.47 ounces) -- slightly heavier than the meizu pro 6 plus with its 5.7-inch screen. (image: elephone) its curved back reflects the phone body colour so that it looks like the back is made of iridescent glass. elephone has thoughtfully included a clear soft plastic case so the luminosity of the back is not hidden by the cover. the 10 best smartphones of 2017 apple and google recently ...





griffin samsung galaxy note 8 cases and screen protector: drop protection for your expensive smartphone

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essential phone review: lovely titanium and ceramic with potential for greatness review

prostitanium and ceramic feel wonderful in the hand compact size for 5.71 inch display long battery life fast, stock android experience second camera is monochrome new $499 price is greatconsbasic camera software, no manual capability yet no headphone jack or wireless charging after two months on the market, the essential phone has dropped nearly 30 percent in price to just $499. android co-founder andy rubin announced the essential phone at the end of may. it finally started shipping in august, a couple months after the stated date, at a price of $699. i couldn't get a review unit from essential, but a twitter follower, casey sims, kindly reached out to me and offered to loan me his for testing. he sent along his black moon essential phone and the 360 camera attachment and i've been using it with my primary t-mobile sim for the past week. he was possibly interested in selling it if i wanted to buy it, but after yesterday's massive price cut to $499 i am going to buy my own in pure white (or possibly ocean depths if it launches in time).specificationsprocessor: qualcomm snapdragon 835 octa-coredisplay: 5.71 inch 2560x1312 pixels 19:10 resolution lcdoperating system: android 7.1.2 nougat with september security patchram: 4gbstorage: 128gb internalwater and dust resistance: ip54 ratingcameras: dual rear 13 megapixel f/1.85, cameras with one dual rgb + mono and the otehr true monochrome. front 8 megapixel f/2.2 camerabattery: 3,040 mah with fast charging tec...





panasonic toughpad fz-q2, first take: a semi-rugged 2-in-1 for white-collar field workers review

earlier this year panasonic launched the semi-rugged 2-in-1 detachable toughpad fz-q2, and it's quite a beast. a 12.5-inch windows 10 tablet sits in a sizeable, rigid chassis, while the keyboard section has an extremely solid connector and is itself chunky and robust.these aren't criticisms, merely observations. the whole point of the toughpad fz-q2 is to meet the needs of businesses requiring 2-in-1 functionality in a system that can handle a range of demanding situations.the 'semi-rugged' 12.5-inch toughpad fz-q2 comprises a 1.09kg tablet and a detachable 840g keyboard. it's powered by a core m5 vpro processor with 4gb of ram, integrated graphics and 128gb of ssd storage. images: panasonic the tablet is designed to handle drops from up to 76cm (2.5 feet) and has a magnesium alloy chassis plus a tough rubberised band around its edges. panasonic's spec sheet mentions 'pending' mil-std 810g certification and an ip5x rating. the latter signifies dust protection (5) but no waterproofing (x), although the keyboard is described as 'spill-proof'.there's a relatively generous screen bezel, and the whole thing is quite large for a 12.5-inch tablet, measuring 340mm wide by 220mm deep by 19mm thick. the tablet alone weighs 1.09kg, rising to 1.93kg and 43mm thick with the keyboard attached.the specifications aren't exactly leading edge, but should handle a range of mainstream and vertical-market workloads.the cpu is an 6th generation intel core m5-6y57 with vpro and ...





rha ma650 wireless earbuds hands-on: 12 hour battery and sweatproof aluminum design

bluetooth headphones work with your smartphone whether you have a 3.5mm headphone jack or not. the sound quality usually suffers a bit, but you can find some models with aptx support and other features so that you have a decent audio experience.what's hot on zdnet i've spent a couple of weeks with the rha ma650 wireless earbuds and have been very impressed. one benefit of having an around-the-neck design is that you can provide a larger capacity battery than you can with completely wireless earbuds. another benefit over traditional wired headphones is that you avoid tangling cables. the rha ma650 retail package includes eight pairs of eartips for the earbuds, including comply foam, silicone, and tri-level silicone in different sizes to fit your ear. the housing for each earbud is constructed of aluminum with rha's aerophonic design and a custom model 380.1 driver. the aluminum material is 6063 for durability and comfort. specifications of the rha ma650 include:codecs: aac, aptx, sbcfrequency range: 16-22,000 hzwireless: bluetooth and nfcwater resistance: ipx4 ratingbattery life: 12 hoursweight: 33 gramswarranty: 3 years the ma650 is an over-the-neck design with a flexible cable connecting two large ends that house the battery and wireless radios. the earbuds are at the end of a cable, about six inches long, coming out of each end. the cables do not retract, but there is a magnet between the two earbuds so they connect when you are not wearing them and keep things from tang...





doogee bl5000 smartphone hands-on: a low-cost workhorse with curves review

proscurved edges long battery life gesture motion featuresconspoor english text in ui launcher few extra featuresi was looking forward to testing the doogee bl5000. i looked at the bl7000 earlier this month, and i wanted to compare and contrast its features. the 10 best smartphones of 2017 apple and google recently announced new 2017 phones, but even these phones can't surpass samsung's latest galaxy note 8.read morethe phone is curved on the front and the back of the device. it feels very smooth and sleek compared with the rugged doogee s60 i reviewed recently. inside the box there is the phone, a clear plastic phone case, a usb charger and a micro usb cable. there is also a hard screen film in the box. the phone comes in three colours: blue, black and gold. the back of the phone looks similar to the elephone s8, although not quite as pretty. at under $190, it is an affordable phone for consumers. like the bl7000, the phone has a good-sized 5,050mah battery. doogee says that this will give 10 hours of game playing, or 15 hours watching films. the battery also supports quick charging technology. inside the phone there is an octa-core-a54 mt6750 cpu chip running at 1.5ghz, 4gb of ram, and 64gb storage. top zdnet reviewsdell latitude 11 50007.9apple iphone 7 plus9.3amazon echo9.0google pixel xl8.0read also:chuwi surbook hands-on: a high-performing surface clone | mgcool explorer 1s hands-on: a low-cost action camera with some great features | hands on with t...





smarthalo review: minimalist smartphone-connected device protects, motivates, and informs bike riders

bike mounts for your smartphone help you navigate, communicate, and track your fitness. bike lights illuminate the path ahead and make you visible to others. chains and cables secure your bike from theft.what's hot on zdnet all of these take up valuable space on your bike and can cost quite a bit. the new smarthalo offers all of this in a single device that sits right at the center of your handlebars. while i enjoy running as one form of exercise, cycling is more fun and gets me further at a faster speed. my 1993 bridgestone xo-4 continues to help me knock out 32 mile regular commutes and the smarthalo adds 2017 tech to a 24-year-old bike.installation and pairing the first step to use smarthalo is to download and install the app on your iphone or android device. the app will then walk you through the step-by-step process to secure smarthalo to your bike and get started riding with the smarthalo features. there are several steps because you will be securing the smarthalo in a manner that it cannot be removed by anyone as it provides an advanced security system. it took me about 15 minutes to get the smarthalo mount installed on my bike. my bike required use of the provide spacers on the handlebars to ensure a secure fit. it is important to pay particular attention to the graphics on the setup screens since the parts will fit on either side of the center handlebar connection, but they are designed for only one side. there are templates to help you confirm your arrangement and ...





huawei mate 10 pro review: a feature-packed flagship with extra ai review

proslarge 6-inch oled screen good battery life 6gb of ram and 128gb of internal storage kirin 970 chip's ai features boost usability android 8 ip67 dust/water-proofingconsno 3.5mm headset jack (usb-c headset and 3.5mm adapter provided) no microsd card slot too large for some hands/pockets shiny, slippery chassis design huawei has established a trend of releasing standard and 'pro' versions of its flagship mate handsets, and the latest models continue that trend. in fact, there are three versions of the huawei mate 10. in addition to the mate 10 and mate 10 pro, there's an even more expensive porsche design version too. i was sent the large-format (6-inch) mate 10 pro to review. it's bursting with top-end features, including android 8 (oreo), the kirin 970 processor with integrated ai (which affects many aspects of the phone, including photography and energy efficiency), a leica-branded dual-lens rear camera and dual 4g lte sim support.the kirin 970-powered mate 10 pro comes in midnight blue, titanium gray and mocha brown, with a pink gold version also available in china. it has a 6-inch minimal-bezel oled screen and weighs 178g. image: huawei the huawei mate 10 pro is a large handset, although given its 6-inch screen it's not oversized. that's because of the almost absent bezel on the handset's long edges and minimal top and bottom bezels. huawei calls this arrangement fullview -- well, every edge-to-edge screen design needs a name. not...





moto x4 review: an affordable rock solid dual-camera, water resistant, mid-ranger review

prossnappy performance with pure android os experience best standby screen of all androids productive multi-function home button/fingerprint scanner 3.5 mm headset jack ip68 dust and water resistance handy moto actions support alexa and google assistant hands-free supportconsbattery life is average wide-angle lens has some edge distortion depth effects struggle to look good four years ago, my primary device was the fantastic moto x in navy blue with orange highlights. four years later, we have the moto x4 that doesn't have the same unique look and feel, but offers a lot of value at a third to a half the price of the flagship options.cnet: moto x4 has dual cameras, amazon alexa and extra smarts i've spent the last week with a moto x4 with sim cards from project fi and t-mobile. it's an appealing phone that is being offered direct from motorola or from project fi as an android one phone. understand that there are indeed differences between the motorola and android one variants, explained below, and that this review is for the motorala model that is sim unlocked.specificationsprocessor: qualcomm snapdragon 630 2.2 ghz octa-coredisplay: 5.2 inch 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution ips, 424 ppioperating system: android 7.1 nougatram: 3gbstorage: 32gb internal with microsd expansion card slotcameras: dual 12 megapixel rear f/2.0 and 8 megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide angle cameras with depth editing software. front 16 megapixel f/2.0 camera. water resistance: ip68 ra...





google pixelbook review: clean design with impressive performance you'll have to pay for review

prosclean design impressive display chrome os keeps getting betterconsexpensive still needs more appsgoogle's pixel line is no longer just an expensive chromebook, a seemingly forgotten tablet, or a smartphone lineup. the pixel namesake is google's line of premium devices, spanning multiple form factors.the pixelbook is one of the latest entries into the pixel line. the pixelbook runs chrome os, is powered by an intel core i5 (or i7) processor, and up to 16gb of memory, and up to 512gb of storage. on the spec sheet, at least, it's a full-fledged computer -- operating system not included.for the past two weeks or so, i've been using a pixelbook with an intel core i5, 8gb of memory and 256gb of storage. google also sent me a pixelbook pen, for jotting and drawing on the touchscreen.i've always been a fan of chrome os, but have stopped short of replacing my laptop or ipad pro with a chromebook. between predominantly low-end hardware, apple's tight integration across its entire product line, and my reluctance to relearn the quirks of an entire os, i never fully committed to the platform.but after my time with the pixelbook, i've found myself reconsidering. it's amazing what quality hardware and stellar performance can do.designgoogle pixelbook with pixelbook pen. jason cipriani/zdnet the design of the pixelbook is somewhat muted. a combination of metal, rubber, and glass combine for the makeup of materials. the silver and white color scheme is familiar, b...





dell latitude 5285 2-in-1 review: a business-class surface pro clone with a clever kickstand review

proslight and compact all-day battery life mobile broadband support clever kickstand mechanismconstravel keyboard and active pen are separate purchases keyboard is disappointingly flexible moderate screen resolutionthe dell latitude 5285 2-in-1 belongs to the growing army of surface pro clones, and is designed for business users who want a small, light two-piece windows 10 system that's very capable and will travel well.given that the 2-in-1 mode of working requires both the tablet and a keyboard, it's irritating that dell follows microsoft to the point of selling these items separately. we'd be interested to know how many buyers go for a tablet-only purchase. assuming you've bought both components, you'll find that the 12.3-inch latitude 5285 2-in-1 is neatly designed, with a robust docking system. the keyboard and tablet hitch together by magnets alone, but they're strong: at no time during the week-long test period did the two sections come apart unless i physically forced them to.the 12.3-inch tablet section weighs 860g, while the travel keyboard, which is a separate £175 (inc. vat) purchase, brings the system weight up to 1.19kg. image: sandra vogel/zdnet the keyboard section has a rough material backing that's visually distinctive and helps with grip when you're carrying the 2-in-1 system around. however, it could be prone to staining -- i managed to avoid spilling coffee on my desk during testing, but can imagine the mess such an acciden...





kano pixel kit review: this diy lightboard is a friendly and fun intro to coding

image: steve ranger/zdnet the kano pixel kit is a fun build-it-yourself, programme-it-yourself digital display, aimed at youngsters who are just getting interested in coding and playing with technology. the inspiration for the company apparently came from the six-year-old cousin of one of the founders who wanted to build his own computer -- and for it to be as simple and fun as lego. in december 2013, kano launched a kickstarter campaign aiming to raise $100,000 and ended up raising $1.5m: the company has now raised $15m in series a funding.kano already sells kits to build computers and hd screens, and the pixel kit is part of a new set of products that's also due to include diy digital camera and speaker kits.the pixel kit was first promoted on kickstarter with a $99 price tag with delivery expected in december last year, although a fire at the factory plus some issues with the wi-fi antenna meant that availability was pushed back until july this year. in the uk it will retail at £74.99.design is clearly a high priority for the kano team: the kit arrives looking like a high-tech bento box, but the aim is clearly to be hip and welcoming rather than off-puttingly chic. in this, it succeeds.according to kano, the pixel kit is aimed at anyone with an interest in coding, although the inclusion of three sets of stickers and the general look-and-feel suggest a relatively young target audience. the core demographic is kids around seven or eight with a taste for building a...