The Volkswagen Golf Alltrack: What the critics say
Volkswagen has a cute new wagon for the U.S. market, but “is it enough to make things right?” A year after revelations of emissions cheating torched the auto maker’s reputation, the Golf Alltrack looks poised to steer a few buyers away from Subaru’s popular Outback, and “that’s a start.” Essentially a Golf Sportwagen with all-wheel drive and enhanced off-road capabilities, the Alltrack “feels like it’s more expensive than it really is.” In fact, it may be “the fun, Subaru-fighting apology wagon America needs.”
Mechanically, the Alltrack doesn’t differ much from a Sportwagen. It’s “more rough and tumble,” though, with added underbody protection and an off-road driving mode that optimizes traction and eases descents down steep hills. The Alltrack won’t hold as much gear as the longer, higher-sitting Outback, but it’s the superior daily driver, with crisper steering and more punch in its engine. Its seats, meanwhile, are “easily best in class.”
On dirt or gravel roads, the Alltrack is “an absolute blast,” and here’s “even better news”: It can be equipped with a manual transmission—if you’re willing to accept a $1,100 price break. Versatility is this car’s hallmark. In town, it’s “mild mannered and nimble”; out in the country, it’s “a feisty, dynamic playmate.”
The best of...wireless headphones
Jabra Move Wireless
Apple ditched the headphone jack on the iPhone 7, “but don’t despair.” There are quality wireless options out there. In the $100 range, Jabra’s cans offer the best sound quality, and the memory foam– lined cups are “like pillows for your ears.” $100, jabra.com Source:Time.com
Sennheiser Momentum Wireless
No other wireless headphones can top the “truly exceptional” sound quality provided by these handsome leather Sennheisers. They have an internal microphone to support phone calls, and they fold down to about half their size. $500, sennheiser.com Source:Gizmodo.com
These were the first truly wireless earbuds, without even a connecting band. Bragi has a simpler, cheaper model available for pre-order now that Apple and others are catching up. The Dash is waterproof, though, and monitors the wearer’s biometrics. $299, bragi.com Source:Wareable.com
In a comparison test of 85 sport-specific wireless earbuds, this durable lightweight option—with buds that stay put in most ears— finished on top. If you don’t like the JLab ear hooks, check out the Jaybird X2, the testers’ runner-up. $100, jlabaudio.com Source:TheWirecutter.com
Bose QuietComfort 35
For those who need a noise-canceling feature, these headphones are “the best around.” A hard-shell carrying case and 20-hour battery life make them perfect for frequent fiyers, and they’ll wrap your ears in “divine comfort.” $350, bose.com Source:TheVerge.com THE WEEK
Tip of the week...
How to choose a healthy bread
■ Avoid ‘white’ and ‘wheat’. There are healthy options among the packaged breads at your supermarket, but plain white and wheat bread aren’t among them. “Wheat bread” is made of wheat flour— another term for refined white flour, or flour that’s been stripped of its fiber-dense bran and nutrient-rich germ.
■ Look for ‘whole’ grains. Any bread made from whole, unprocessed kernels, including “whole wheat” bread, is better for you. Don’t confuse “whole grain” with “multigrain.” The various grains in a “multigrain” loaf often have all been processed.
■ Check the stamp. A loaf labeled “whole grain” isn’t necessarily free of refined flour. To get the most nutrition, look for the “100%” whole grain stamp.
■ Compare nutrition labels. A healthy supermarket bread should contain at least 3 g fiber, and less than 2 g sugar and 200 mg sodium. Source: Real Simple
And for those who have everything...
Yes, this is “another product in a long list of smart devices that consumers really didn’t ask for.” But the LuDela smart candle is a candle with a live flame that you ignite with a smartphone—which means you can light every room in your house with LuDelas before even entering. The phone app lets you extinguish the candles, too, and built-in sensors kill the flame if the candle gets knocked over or any object gets too close. A natural wax shell hides the internal gadgetry; 30-hour refill cartridges cost $6 to $8. $99 per candle (preorder only), ludela.com Source:Gizmodo.com
Your phone and laptop...
A quick privacy tune-up
■ Turn on automatic updates. Hackers are always seeking vulnerabilities in the software you use. Updates patch those holes in the code, so use auto-updates on all devices to get the most out of the security pros’ efforts.
■ Lock everything. Every mobile device you own should have a password or PIN at least six characters long. If you lose one unlocked device, thieves can access your accounts and change the passwords.
■ Check your status. Worried that your data has been compromised? Visit haveibeen pwned.com and check if your usernames appear on lists from known breaches.
■ Add encryption. Download “HTTPS Everywhere,” a browser extension that encrypts all data flowing between your device and the websites you visit.
■ Block your webcam. FBI Director James Comey puts tape over his laptop camera to keep hackers from spying; you should, too. Source: Consumer Reports