Trending March 2024 # Surface Connects To Wifi But No Internet # Suggested April 2024 # Top 5 Popular

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II your Surface device connects to WiFi but there is no internet then this will be able to help you. Surface tablets by Microsoft are sleek, light and all-in-one ultra-portable devices. These devices come with a built-in kickstand to make the tablet stand up and a keyboard that converts into a cover. Despite all these features, these devices can still run into bugs and errors. Recently, some users have been complaining that their Surface device connects to WiFi, but no internet connection is available.

Why is Wi-Fi not working on my Surface device?

Wi-Fi may not work on your Surface device if the WiFi adapter has somehow become disabled. However, outdated and corrupt network drivers, misconfigured Network Settings, Network Provider Server Issues, or Interference with Wi-Fi Signals can also cause this issue.

Fix Surface connects to WiFi but no internet

II your Surface device connects to WiFi but there is no internet then, restart your device and your router and see if that help. If that doesn’t help, try these methods to resolve the issue:

Run Network Adapter Troubleshooter

Disable and Enable Wi-Fi in Device Manager

Update Network Drivers

Run Network Commands

Reset Network Settings

Contact your Service Provider

Now let us see these in detail.

1] Run Network Adapter Troubleshooter

Before getting started with different troubleshooting methods to fix this issue, try running Microsoft’s Network Troubleshooters as a first step to diagnose and repair common Network issues. Here’s how:

Press the Windows key + I to open Settings.

2] Disable and Enable Wi-Fi in Device Manager

Wireless networks can stop working if they get disabled in the Device Manager. Check if Wi-Fi is enabled in the device manager or not. If it’s enabled, disable it and then enable it again and see if it helps. Here is how you can check for the same:

Type devmgmt.msc and hit Enter.

Scroll down and expand Network Adapters.

Related: Wireless Network works on other devices but not on Surface

3] Update Network Drivers

Outdated or corrupted drivers can also be responsible for why your Surface device connects to Wi-Fi but the internet still doesn’t work. Update your Network drivers and check if the issue gets fixed. Here’s how you can do it:

Under Driver Updates, a list of updates will be available, which you can choose to install if you are facing an issue manually

Read: Where to download Ethernet Drivers?

4] Run Network Commands

Running the network commands will reset the TCP/IP stack, renew the IP address, Reset Winsock and flush the DNS client resolver cache. Here’s how you can do it:

Press the Windows key, search for Command Prompt, and select Run as Administrator.

Type the following commands one by one and hit Enter.

netsh winsock reset netsh int IP reset ipconfig /release ipconfig /renew ipconfig /flushdns

Restart your device and see.

5] Reset Network Settings

Performing a network reset will remove and then reinstall all your network adaptors. It will also reset all related settings to their defaults. Here is how you can do it:

Press the Windows key + I to open Settings.

Related: Surface device finds available wireless network but won’t connect

6] Contact your Service Provider

If none of these methods able to help you, it’s possible the issue prevails because of your internet service provider. Check if your Wi-Fi connection has a valid plan. Nevertheless, if it does, contact your service provider and discuss the issue you are having.

All the best.

Read next: How to fix WiFi problems in Windows.

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Can You Have Wifi Without The Internet? (The Truth)

This is a question I’m frequently asked. Often, when I hear it, the person is really asking a different question. The questioner, in most cases, is getting his or her terms mixed up. There are so many when it comes to networking — WiFi, Bluetooth, T1, hotspot, router, web, internet — that it might be easy to get confused.

So, before we answer that question, let’s define terms.

First: WiFi. When we talk about wifi, we’re talking about the wireless signal you use to connect to a router. A router is basically just a walkie-talkie for your computer. It sends radio signals over wires that often go into the walls of your home or office, just like a phone line.

Sometimes, when people refer to wifi, they are actually referring to an Internet connection. They wonder why the web doesn’t work when they’re connected to a wifi signal. It’s important to remember that if you have a wifi signal, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have Internet access.

Other times, when people ask if you can have wifi without the internet, they’re wondering if you can get web access without paying an ISP, or Internet Service Provider.

Let’s take a look at the nitty-gritty. In this article, you’ll learn why and how of your wifi and internet connection.

A Network Without Internet

Let’s define terms again.

Wifi is the radio signal produced by a wireless router. That signal then connects to a network. The network gives you an Internet connection. When those three things — the wifi radio signal, the network, the internet — sync up, you’re in business.

You can look at websites with your web browser, use social media apps, shop online, communicate using email or video chat, and more.

Does a computer network require an Internet connection? No, it does not. A computer network and a WiFi network are two separate things.

Confused yet? Don’t be; it’ll be clear in a second.

First, some history. Before the internet was around, we had plenty of computer networks in offices or even at home. They didn’t connect to the world wide web. They simply allowed multiple computers, often in the same building, to talk to each other and share or transfer files. These networks may not have been wireless (or wifi); they were connected with wires in most cases.

A wifi or wireless network is almost the same as a wired network. The difference? A wired network needs cables to connect each device, while a wifi network connects via radio.

So, can a wifi network be set up without an internet connection? Yes. Internet service is not needed for a wifi network to operate; you can network multiple devices together with a wifi radio signal. However, you can’t connect to the web.

Why create a wifi network that doesn’t connect to the internet? There are several reasons. You can access intranet websites, which are web pages that may be contained in your network.

Many companies use intranet websites that their employees can connect to for information, including human resources, time cards, training, policies and procedures, and more.

You can also connect to other computers, share and transfer files, and link devices such as printers, disk drives, and scanners.

Internet Without an ISP

As we have described above, wifi is the method of connecting to a network wirelessly. It’s not the internet. So, when I hear, “Can I have wifi without the Internet,” sometimes that question has another meaning. What the questioner truly wants to know is, can you connect to the internet without an ISP or internet service provider?

Before we start, let’s define some more terms. An ISP is a company that you purchase your internet service from. The ISP provides your service over a medium such as a telephone line, cable, fiber, or even satellite. This service is then connected to your wifi network, which gives you the ability to access the internet.

So, can you access the internet without paying for your own service through an ISP?

The short answer is yes. Let’s take a look at how you can access the web without paying an internet service provider.

1. Public WiFi

This is the most popular way to get internet access without paying for it. You can find public wifi with internet access at many coffee shops, retail stores, restaurants, libraries, hotels, and numerous other businesses. For some of them, you will need to get a password to login to their network.

This internet access might be free to you, but the person who owns the business still pays for the service.

While these free networks can be a great benefit to many, you should be very cautious when using them. Since they are public, you never know who will be on them snooping around. You probably don’t want to do your online banking at the public library.

2. Unprotected Networks

The problem? You’re using someone else’s bandwidth. It is a service that they are paying for; you could be slowing down or affecting their service. In a sense, this may be considered stealing. I can tell you that I frequently monitor my own network to ensure there are no unknown users.

3. Borrowing WiFi

If you need a high-speed connection and don’t want to use a public one, you might also see if your neighbor is willing to let you connect to their network.

If you don’t have a neighbor that you know well enough to ask, maybe you have a friend or family member you can visit to use their connection. If you feel bad about using someone else’s service, you can always offer to pay them a small amount or do something nice for them.

4. Mobile Hotspot and Internet Sticks

Many mobile carriers offer mobile hotspot devices or internet sticks that you can purchase. With these, you will need to buy the device and pay for the service, but you can connect anywhere that your carrier provides service.

You may not get great signal strength depending on where you are, though, and your speed will be limited by the carrier.

5. Phone Tethering

Most service providers and phones allow you to tether your computer to your phone and use the data services that your cell phone company provides.

You are still paying for it through your phone service. If you’re stuck and need to get your computer connected, this is another way to do it. Your data speeds may be a little slower, but they are often good enough to surf the web and do most of the basics.

Conclusion

Can you have wifi without the internet? Yes.

But is that really the question you’re asking? Do you mean, can you have a wifi network without an Internet connection? Yes. Or do you mean, can you get the internet without an ISP? Yes.

Having a wifi network without the internet is possible. If you want the web without having your own wifi and internet service, you can have that. You’ll just have to sacrifice some of the convenience and security provided by a typical ISP.

Let us know any ideas you may have on wifi networks and internet connections. We would love to hear from you.

Ulefone Mix Review: Beauty But No Beast…

The Chinese manufacturer promotes this model as one of the most impressive dual camera/bezel less smartphones and has serious expectations from its performance in the mid-range market. So how does this affordable dual camera model fare at the end of the day? What are its best attributes and where could we see it… do a bit better?

Let’s have a look at this Ulefone Mix review.

Ulefone Mix – Technical specifications

Network: 2G: GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz – 3G: WCDMA 900/2100MHz – 4G: FDD-LTE 800/900/1800/2100/2600MHz

 Ulefone Mix review: Display, design, features

What I can say for sure, is that the phone, is really good looking, and quite impressive – especially its back side, that glows during daylight, and can easily become a smudge magnet unfortunately. The Ulefone Mix is available in 2 color variants which are mainly: Black and Blue and I ordered the Blue one, which basically looks much betters in terms of appearance according to my taste.

As its name confirms, one of its unique selling points is “bezel-less,” but in fact, there is a tiny bezel of 2mm around it. Surely the top bezel is very impressive and basically extends the display all the way to the top, leaving just a small gap for the speaker.

Ulefone MIX is a pocket-friendly smartphone if we look up to the size. Nonetheless, the device comes up with metal framing and Corning Gorilla Glass 3. So if by mistake your phone falls or bumps into something, the display won’t get damaged like other phones.

There’s also a front facing camera placed at the bottom bezel (a typical solution these days for Chinese manufacturers), along with a home button with an embedded fingerprint scanner. The fingerprint scanner is quite decent for what it’s worth.  It can unlock the phone in less than 0.1 second with almost 97% success rate. It can basically store up to 5 different fingerprints and can recognize them all from 360 degrees, something that’s a standard nowadays. 

Unfortunately the one button you will find placed below the display doesn’t function as a “Home button” by default, though it can be configured to perform actions like Go Back, go to Home, or launch Recent list with a single tap or press and hold. It doesn’t have any capacitive buttons beside the fingerprint sensor, so there is some wasted space at the bottom area. So, if you’re looking for the 3 Android soft-keys you will find them at the bottom of the display, inside the menus.

As you may have already learned by now, the selfie camera is placed just below the display and if you want to use it in an acceptable way you’ll have to turn the phone upside down when in Camera mode. The viewfinder menu will rotate and you will be able to shoot some decent selfie photos or snapchat videos.

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One of the main features of this Mix clone is – no doubt- its 5,5 inch display, with a typical resolution of 1280×720 pixels, anti-glare coating, offering quite vivid colors that will surely impress you. At the beginning the low resolution maybe quite noticeable, but after a couple of days you won’t have any issues using it. The colors of the display may be rather saturated, but the images are crisp enough, offering a “deep” black color, with good viewing angles and a fully responsive panel if I may add. All in all a decent display – especially for a smartphone on this price range. 

There’s a main camera located at the back side of the device, boasting two lenses – a setup pretty common in phones nowadays with the goal of helping you take better photos. There’s also a micro USB port placed at the bottom, along with speaker grilles and a 3.5mm audio jack on top.

Hardware & Performance

As far as power is concerned, this Ulefone Mix in the test comes loaded in all sections. On the one hand, we have one of the best MediaTek processors, an MTK6750T 64bit Octa Core running at 1.5GHz, paired with a Mali T860MP2 GPU, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage expandable up to 256GB. All this, accompanied by Android 7.0 Nougat. 

It offers a rather decent user experience with minimal lags and good multi-tasking (thanks to 4GB of RAM of course), enabling users to keep several applications open in the background with no significant impact on its everyday performance. Oh and if you’re into checking benchmark results, the Ulefone Mix scored 42231 points in AntuTu which is a typical result for this type of chipset when paired with this hardware (RAM, GPU).

On the other hand, the battery life is great. On normal usage (reading emails, watching videos, surfing the Web, listening to music), you can easily get a day and a half (a whopping thirty-six hours) of usage for each charge. For streaming videos at full brightness and volume, it can last for eight hours. Depending on your usage, it will have no problem lasting for a full day.

Ulefone Mix review: Android software and UI performance

The Doogee Mix runs on Android 7.0 Nougat equipped with a custom Freeme OS launcher that’s practically pure Android, but with a few configurations added (which in case of not liking we can always get rid of them). In fact I did install Nova Launcher a couple of days later, as I prefer its settings and ease of use. In any case, the Android 7.0 gives you more control on the smartphone and also lets you customize the phone just like any other Nougat based device.

Thankfully there is no bloatware or other unnecessary apps inside, it supports all the classic Nougat features with only minimal Google Apps preinstalled. You can always install anything else you may like of course.

Other customization options include Float gesture, which is a floating ball that opens a radial view for you to quickly access various modes. I don’t find this useful, as it doesn’t allow me to customize the control items in the list. There is also the One Hand FloatView where you can swipe in from the bottom right corner to reveal a floating list. Once again, I don’t find this useful as it often takes a number of tries to bring up to the screen.

Dual camera/Selfie camera performance

If you’re interested in taking decent photos using a budget bezel less smartphone, then the Ulefone Mix could be your ideal choice. It comes with a dual 13MP + 5MP dual camera with F2.2 aperture, packing Sony IMX258 technology, a dual LED flash and 0.1sPDAF (Auto Focus Phase Detection).

The fact is it doesn’t translate to great photos but, quite decent ones. There is good depiction of details when the lighting is plenty, but things become dire at the end of the day, or in places with poor sunlight.

Note that one camera is used for creating the bokeh effect and other will capture the image with quite impressive portrait photos and decent performance in low light conditions.

give your best shot with the camera, it’s worth it (during the day)

Both cameras have independent vision processing unit, which enables background blurring in real time. It also allows you to choose where to focus (touch focus) and where to blur, with the ability to adjust the intensity of blurring, too. 

For all those Snapchat fans out there, the Ulefone Mix comes with an 8MP selfie camera with aperture F2.2 and wide angle of 88°. You can shoot typical selfie shots, but do stay outside if you want some detail in them. In clubs, or in places with poor lighting you won’t be that impressed.

Battery consumption

The Ulefone Mix is equipped with a 3300mAh battery that works great with the energy efficient processor from Mediatek and it performs well, providing more than a full day’s usage with no problems. Note that it works great in cooperation with the Android Nougat interface in order to block access to battery “hungry” apps, reduce energy consumption when possible and all those little things that make our lives easier when using a smartphone.

You will be satisfied with the battery performance of the Ulefone Mix, that’s for sure. If you’re a heavy duty user then you can safely expect a little over 7 hours of active screen, but depending the way you use it you can easily get up to 1,5 days of usage 🙂

Ulefone Mix – Main Features

Smart Fingerprint ID

Tri Bezel-less innovative all screen

Extra-narrow Metal Frame

Dazzling Lumia Effect

Vibrant 5.5-inches HD display

MT6750T Octa-core Chipset & 4GB of RAM

Dual Back Cameras

Long Lasting 3300mAH battery

Immersive HiFi Enjoyment

High-precision 6-axis Gyroscope

Pure Android 7.0 Nougat

Conclusion – So what about it?

A beauty but still no beast

I have to say that I was impressed by the looks of this device. It’s back plate is truly amazing to look at, its dimensions are “just right” for the average user, and it offers typical performance for a mid-range Chinese model.

Don’t get me wrong, i’s a decent dual camera phone, with acceptable photos in daylight conditions, average photos in low light conditions and… average (shaky) videos. It offers however very goof battery consumption, good performance for an avid Android user and decent build quality.

Perfect Backup Review: Perfect? No, But Darn Close

Pros

Familiar and easy interface

Friendlier data selection than Windows File History

Backs up to local media, network locations, and online services

Logging, notifications, FTP support, and lots of other options

Cons

No image backups

Must be loaded for scheduled backups

Our Verdict

If you’re looking for easier and more versatile backup than Windows File History, Perfect Backup provides it. Fast and competent, it’s also free—for any use.

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Though Windows provides its own file backup facilities in Windows File Backup, the OS has continually made them less obvious and less intuitive to use. Why, is anyone’s guess. There are plenty of alternatives, but they can be hard to find and/or just as difficult to use. Enter Perfect Backup.

It’s free and, while just shy of “perfect,” Perfect Backup does grab the brass ring for being the most straightforward and user-friendly interface. Add to that stable performance and a cornucopia of options, as well as network, FTP, and online services support, and you’ve got a winner.

Note: This review is part of our ongoing roundup of the best backup software for Windows. Go there to learn more about competing products, what to look for in backup software, and buying recommendations.

Perfect Backup: Features

Perfect Backup is file backup—i.e., it doesn’t image entire partitions like our favorite R-Drive Image does. Instead it merely copies files and folder to a new location. Truth be known, with Windows so easy to install and restore these days, that’s all most users need.

But there are options. A host of them, as a matter of fact. You can specify the number of versions to keep, the number of incremental backups that will transpire before a new full backup is created, and even compress the files to standard Zip format.

Perfect Backup starts with a wizard that will walk you through the process of creating a backup job. Or restoring.

There’s also very granular scheduling, logging of results, reporting via email, throttling (CPU usage), and just about everything else you’d expect from a modern backup program.

My favorite feature, however, is the ability to back up to popular online services: Google Drive, One Drive, Dropbox, and Box to be specific. Now if the program only supported multiple destinations for the same job, I’d be ecstatic. You can of course duplicate a job and change the destination, but that’s always seemed like a lot of bother to me.

Perfect Backup offers numerous retention options and they’re presented in an easy-to-understand fashion.

Perfect Backup

Perfect Backup will also back up to network locations, and even FTP sites. You can also back up from network locations, but only if they’re mapped as local drives under Windows.

Currently, you need to have Perfect Backup start with Windows for it to perform scheduled jobs. More elegant would be using the the Windows Task Scheduler so the program isn’t always in the background using resources. That said, with modern computing power, this isn’t nearly the issue it once was.

Perfect Backup: Interface

What I really enjoy about the Perfect Backup interface is not so much its logical layout or hand-holding wizard, which are both excellent, but the labels and language. Where so many interfaces are terse, or assume knowledge of terminology, Perfect Backup labels and explains things as normal humans think of them.

Mostly. I wasn’t in love with calling the destination directory for the restore function the “output” directory. You might feel differently.

Perfect Backup offers just about every option you’ll find in any backup program.

Generally, however, the interface’s language helps new users feel less intimidated and more sure of their actions. They won’t have to waste so much time sussing out concepts and metaphors.

One other thing I did not like was the user’s guide being HTML online without a downloadable PDF version. Maybe I’m just old-school, but I prefer local documentation. I might be backing up a machine offline when a question pops into my head.

Perfect Backup: Performance

Perfect Backup performed, well, perfectly during my tests. At least on a normal PC. I did have some network-related issues under Parallels/Windows 11 on the Mac, but that’s not unusual and not many users will be employing that combo.

Perfect Backup also backs up to online services. Very few backup programs, paid or not, will do this.

I tried both Zipped and plain file backups, and the former didn’t seem to significantly throttle what turned out to be very performance. Restores were also quick and easy, though again, I’d prefer the term destination rather than output directory. Both are correct, the former is more common.

Perfect Backup being so useful and well-realized prompted me to reach out to the company to ask why it’s free. They informed that that it will remain that way for at least two years, and those who use it now can keep using it for free beyond that. The idea is to get free publicity for the program and eventually garner income from licensing. Fine by me.

Final thoughts

Perfect Backup exceeded my expectations. It’s stable and easier than most of the file backup programs out there, and there’s no arguing the price. If it created images for disaster recovery, it would be vying for top dog. As it is, it’s highly useful and worthy of recommendation.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus Review – So Close, But No Cigar

Pokemon Legends: Arceus is a strange one, I won’t lie. Its modern sensibilities seem at odds with its past.

The world of Pokemon is this vast, awe-inspiring utopia, where people and Pokemon work, play and live together. You might have them as a pet or for work, or even in most cases for sport. These critters are your life companions, with a majority of the franchise’s ‘Gotta Catch ’em All!’ motto regularly failing to account for the fact that a large majority of them are wildly dangerous beasts, ranging from dream eating Hypnos to gargantuan time-traveling monsters like Dialga.

The only piece of media that still keeps within this is the manga, but it’s so wildly off-brand, I’m positive the people at the Pokemon Company have just given up trying to reign it in.

Strange Detours

Pokemon Legends: Arceus then is something of a detour from our usual stops in the release schedule. Every now and then, Pokemon tries to do something new, either by bringing in different genres like in Conquest, which was a strategy game.

Or they lean hard into the cute weirdness bestowed upon it many years ago with an entire game dedicated to watching TV with Pikachu. As it turns out, Pokemon Channel was actually a front for just earning a singular Pokemon for Ruby and Sapphire back in 2003.

No, Arceus mainly seems to come from the cloth of something like Colesseum or Gale of Darkness, aiming to use the core mechanics found in the mainline games and do something new with them.

While Colesseum was a confident game about exorcising the man-made devil out of Pokemon (seriously), which knew its limits and worked within them, Legends is a miasma of a step forwards and gripping onto the past out of fright.

Hand holding

Falling straight out of the sky and into the world of Hisui, your little fellow finds themselves not only in a place they don’t recognise but in a different era of time itself. You meet the professor of the game, learn to catch Pokémon and eventually find yourself at the lowest rank of the Survey Corps., tasked with helping complete the Pokédex.

While the game tries to have its ‘Breath of the Wild’ moment with you, showing you the expanse you can run around in as you step over a crest of land, it doesn’t do this within the first five minutes, instead, leading you on for nearly a good half hour before allowing you to even get a whiff of it.

This is where a major issue arises with Pokemon Legends: Arceus, as the clear desire to let the player loose within this world is there and eventually does come to fruition, it consistently hinders this potential by dragging you back into its plodding story, filled with just about every Pokémon cliche you can think of.

Seen it all before

Here we have everything from a late-stage heel turn and subsequent change of heart post-battle, to world-ending calamities and another young trainer you’ll have to do battle with at certain intervals.

It took me about two hours before I was allowed to be free to do what I want to do and when it does? It’s great! In fact, I enjoy walking around the various areas despite their meager substance and genuine ugliness that graces every aspect of them. It’s maybe the first Pokémon game in a long time that actively encourages you to find yourself in situations you just couldn’t possibly outmatch at certain points.

Pokémon Spelunking

Exploring consists of being dumped into a segment of the overall world (Monster Hunter style, which, will come up in a bit) and you’re given carte-blanc to go gather materials for crafting, throwing Pokéballs at the different Pokémon that populate the world, and doing battle to build up data for the Pokédex.

This whole removing the modern niceties of every single game in the series with actual effort needing to be put into the game is fascinating to me. The actual urgency of needing a particular Pokémon to go into the ball to just tick off that last requirement to earn the points to rank up can get quite intoxicating.

Curve ball

Throwing the Pokéball might be one of the biggest nuisances of the game. It doesn’t particularly arc as the animation depicts, but goes straight and then sort of curves out if it goes far enough. Not once in the 30-something hours I was in the game did I feel like I ever grasped the aiming, feeling as if the need for a Gears of War-style grenade guide would have been better suited than an overly large reticle.

Your biggest threat isn’t that your Pokémon will faint from battle, leaving you stranded, it’s now that teeny little Paras, the lowliest creature in prior games, spotting you in the grass and it, plus other six around it, swarming you with poison blasts. You can dodge all you like, but the Pokémon in this game are relentless and getting surrounded, then ‘blacking out’ and losing your chance at a rare Pokémon is as welcomed as a gut punch.

The fundamentals of the game actively go against the old and it’s a bitter rivalry that serves no one. This is especially true in the battles.

Anything new to show?

Pokemon Legends: Arceus still uses the classic turn-based battling system from previous games, with minor changes being that you can walk around them and the UI – namely the massive black bars that appear – obscures information like the opposing Pokémon’s health.

For a game that seems to be adamant about being a true step forward, clinging to this antiquated and sterile method of a Pokémon battle is bizarre. They even still do the static-like hops and slides across the world to do attacks, instead of every move featuring an animation. While I understand if they were to put all 900+ Pokémon in to take some shortcuts, the roster of creatures has been severely culled to ensure that catching every Pokémon is doable as asked by a glowing light at the start.

Where the game seems to break away from the classic battles and further highlight the one-foot in the past mentality, is that the larger fights against the Pokémon Lords, five Pokémon that need their rage quelled due to the world being torn apart at the seams.

Boss Battles!

These aren’t exactly the most complex boss fights in the world but offer a challenge lost in a majority of the battles. They require you to dodge, learn about the invincibility frames on the roll, and actually put your aim to the test as your health doesn’t regenerate after being hit.

While I wouldn’t want every battle to be like this – it’d get really tiring – things like the adding in control for the Pokémon directly could go a long way. My Steelix shouldn’t have to rely on the dice roll of the system as to whether it can or can’t faint, while my player character is fending for their life or being ignored entirely because a polite turn-based battle is happening.

It feels like all the work they’ve put into making these Pokémon feel a bit more dangerous than usual is scuppered when the random Machoke will wait its turn to swing.

Open-world-ish

Pokemon Legends: Arceus is not an open-world game. It’s actually a very good Monster Hunter clone in disguise, but instead of each quest you take on leading to a monstrous boss fight in your chosen biome, it instead sees fit to fill the game with a glut of dull fetch quests.

Plus, much like the story, these too are filled with the same brain smoothing dialogue as the rest.

Over the course of the game, you’ll unlock a few ‘exploration Pokémon’, which allow you to fly, climb, hunt for treasure, and speed across the world by land or water. These replace the traditional HMs with their unique moves for traversing the world and act as those abilities like climbing that Link had in Breath of the Wild.

However, whereas Breath of the Wild or Monster Hunter Rise gave you almost every tool out the gate to properly get around with some difficulty, but not preventing you from trying, Pokémon Legends feels closed off until the final three are unlocked and the time between getting these can be so long, that by the time you have acquired them, you might be ready to never play the game again.

You won’t be climbing without the Sneasler or even swimming with Pokémon you want without Basculegion, making initial exploration of the areas before these underwhelming.

Though, once you go through it again, you’ll realize it is just even more arid land with maybe a few extra Pokémon to pilfer.

No lessons learnt

What it has failed to take from Monster Hunter’s more recent entries is that no one particularly wants to run back and forth between characters to deliver quest items. Give me the option of turning things in at a centralized point, because ducking in and out of menus to set new waypoints to the various members of the village is tiresome at best.

The most egregious is that one questline is halted by unlocking various biomes, much like the exploration Pokémon you acquire, rendering one of the most useful items in the game – Ultra Balls – to be trapped behind a particular quest wall rather than being unlocked over time like in prior games.

Poké-kokey

I don’t mind that each location is its own thing, as this clearly is yet another Switch game designed around the behest of the hardware it is on and the game does run smoothly most of the time too. This game definitely feels like a better quality product than Sword and Shield, with the changes made to the formula in certain places making me forget the okay-ish Diamond and Pearl remakes.

But I can’t help but have this twinge of ‘what could have been’ and cynicism about this fresh brand of Pokémon games, where huge strides have been made to make things easier (like a Link Cable item to evolve trade-only Pokémon by yourself) and the overworld presenting a sense of danger without randomization. The thrill of catching something and filling a Pokédex is genuine fun throughout the entire time in the game.

All the pieces are there for something great and it so nearly makes it, but ultimately doesn’t ever reach the heights that may have been possible. There is still something in it that provides enough magical moments to push the score up, but it could and should have been much more.

An excessive story that does nothing to warrant its constant hounding, as well as a battle system I don’t think fits in with the rest of the experience, Pokémon Legends: Arceus is this constant battle of old and new, with the old now looking like an aging apple amongst the fresh fruit.

Review: Etauro’s Surface Pro 3 Dock Is Cheap, Fast, Fat But Flexible

eTauro’s Surface Pro 3 docking station isn’t much to look at, but it restores physical flexibility to your desk that Microsoft’s own dock currently can’t match, and for quite a lot less.

Why should you buy eTauro’s knockoff Surface Pro 3 docking station? Two reasons: price and physical flexibility. If you don’t mind connecting via Wi-Fi, that is.

The eTauro dock fits snugly, and allows the tablet to recline as you wish.

The entire point of a docking station is to add back the expansion capabilities that a tablet simply doesn’t have room for. Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 tablet offers just one USB 3.0 connector and a miniDisplayPort connector for expansion, together with a charging port that also offers I/O connectivity. Microsoft’s SP3 dock grasps the tablet on both sides, plugging into the SP3’s charging port. On the rear of the dock are three USB 3.0 ports and two USB 2.0 ports, plus a second miniDisplayPort connector and ethernet jack. Incidentally, that leaves the tablet’s miniDisplayPort and USB 3.0 connector free and available for you to use.

Like the Surface Pro 3, Microsoft’s docking station is a rather elegant piece of hardware engineering. But it has two flaws: first, it reclines the tablet at a fixed angle. And second, it places the expansion slots quite far away. 

Mark Hachman

Microsoft’s own Surface Pro 3 docking station is well built and provides a number of USB ports, but holds the tablet at a fixed angle.

A dock in name only

eTauro’s dock isn’t really a dock at all; instead, it’s a rather ungainly piece of white plastic that plugs into all three connectors on the side of the tablet. It offers only four ports, though they’re all USB 3.0. It also includes a miniDisplayPort connector.

What eTauro’s dock does do, however, is allow you to recline the Surface Pro 3 at any angle that the tablet’s kickstand allows. That’s rather useful. Personally, I keep the SP3 and its dock tucked inside my keyboard drawer, using an external monitor above it. For me, Microsoft’s dock orients the tablet just a bit too vertically to be comfortable. 

The downside, of course, is that you lose access to one miniDisplayPort and two USB ports, compared to what Microsoft’s dock allows. And if you like your desk nice and tidy, then a bunch of cables snaking out the side of your tablet might not be your cup of tea.

Mark Hachman

This look might not be for everyone.

There’s another wrinkle of note: eTauro’s solution inexplicably lacks the12V/5A 2.1mm charger it requires, so you’ll have to purchase your own for $15 on Amazon or elsewhere. Our review unit did come with a car charger, though, so there’s that.

The SP3’s kickstand seems to handle the eTauro’s 3-ounce weight without batting an eye. And there’s no question that the physical flexibility to adjust the viewing angle as you see fit is a key selling point. I did notice some occasional issues when connecting to an external monitor, however, and eTauro’s dock can get a bit touchy if you’re maneuvering your tablet back and forth.

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