Menu Close

Category: Hardware (page 1 of 5)

AirPods Pro First Impressions From a Non-Audiophile

Here’s my super quick first take on the AirPods Pro:

Fit and Comfort

As you probably know, you can change the size of the tips. If the default tips pass the Fit Test, you will still want to try the other tips. Both the default tips and the smaller tips gave me a good seal and passed the Fit Test, so I went with the smaller ones as they were more comfortable. I must have a generic ear size, as the comfort of the AirPods Pro is about the same as my AirPods, and I can’t shake them out. I know some reviewers found that the AirPods Pro didn’t stay in as well as the AirPods, but that wasn’t my experience.

Audio quality

I hesitate to even mention audio quality, as I haven’t yet done a side by side test, so my impressions on audio quality are just quick first impressions. That said, the sound quality didn’t immediately blow me away as noticeably different from my first generation AirPods. Keep in mind that I’m not an audiophile, I haven’t done a side by side comparison, and I mostly listen to spoken word.


Latency is improved over the first generation AirPods. I have an AirFly Classic wireless audio transmitter hooked up to the TV by my treadmill, for when I’m watching sports or other shows on the TiVo instead of using the Apple TV. The latency with the first generation AirPods, when connected to the AirFly, was so severe as to be too distracting to use. In my limited use of the AirPods Pro, the lag is still there, but improved. I can live with it.

Noise Canceling

Assuming the noise canceling is similar on a plane (which other reviews suggest it is), it will be good enough for me to no longer have an interest in buying a high-end pair of headphones. I had a funny moment when I activated noise canceling while walking on the treadmill, nearly eliminating noise from the treadmill. I thought the treadmill had stopped until I realized my legs were still moving.



If I never flew, my first generation AirPods would be fine. But since I’ve been considering noise canceling headphones for flights, having a pair of jack-of-all-trades earbuds is a win.

ScanSnap Not Working with El Capitan? There’s Hope

If you own an older Fujitsu ScanSnap, you may have discovered that it’s no longer supported by El Capitan. My ScanSnap S300 falls into that category. The quickest way to check out the El Capitan compatibility of your ScanSnap is by heading over to the DocumentSnap website, which has summarized the El Cap compatibility of many ScanSnap scanners. If your scanner is no longer supported, don’t give up hope.

Read more

Give Your Gear Personality

A sign that you’re a true geek – you don’t name your car, but you name your computers. Someone shared a cartoon on Google+ recently of a guy naming his gear. I can no longer find that cartoon, but it did inspire me to name my computers and some other gear this weekend. On a Mac, this is in the Sharing section of System Preferences. On your iDevices, it is in the About section of the Settings app,

Somehow, gear seems to have more personality when you name it. My gear is named it after ski runs at Big Sky, Montana. My workhouse MacBook is no longer the bland “Evan’s MacBook,” but is now the hardworking “Iron Horse.” My old iMac is no longer the boring “Evan’s iMac,” but is the reliable and most senior “Papa Bear.” My media server is “Hollywood,” and so on.
Read more

Fujitsu Finally Makes Their Windows ScanSnap Scanners Work on Macs

Scansnap driver mac and windows

As a follow up to my recent post on the World’s Most Awesome Automated Filing System, I intended to write a post on how to get your Windows-only ScanSnap Scanner working on your Mac. This would have been important to those of you who switched from Windows to Mac, and wanted to use your old scanners. Until recently, Fujitsu, the maker of the ScanSnap, created an artificial distinction between their Mac and Windows scanners. The hardware was identical, which should have meant that as long as you had the correct driver for your system, either scanner should have worked on your machine. Unfortunately, Fujitsu built a check into their drivers, so that a Mac would see that you had the Windows-branded version of the ScanSnap, and not be able to use the scanner. This was an incompatibly cooked up out of thin air by Fujitsu. As much as I’m a huge fan of the ScanSnap line, this had the stench of an attempt to create more sales. Fortunately, those days appear to be over.

Read more

3D Printing Is Here! And So Are the Copyright Police


40Tech is pleased to present this guest post by Kyle from

3D printing at the moment is slowly becoming a more publicly available technology. In the not so distant past the technology was only really used by big companies in industries such as engineering to create prototypes, models, etc, but within the last few years there has been a big increase in public availability with a number of cheaper 3D printers appearing on the market.

Read more