Marshall’s Kilburn II is a ruggedly handsome bluetooth speaker

Marshall hasn’t been been shy about capitalizing on its legacy. The legendary English amplifier company has plastered its name on cans of beer and a line of refrigerators. It’s not the most crass branding we’ve seen, but it’s pretty damn silly.

At first glance, the same can be said for its line of bluetooth speakers and headphones, save for one important thing: they’re actually quite good. It’s been several years since the company branched out into consumer electronics, and along the way, it’s been remarkably consistent with the products that bear its iconic cursive logo.

Announced this summer at IFA, the Kilburn II doesn’t stray far from the familiar Marshall amplifier style. In fact, you’d be forgiven if you mistook the thing for a practice amp. Instead, it’s just a solidly built bluetooth speaker with a rubberized faux leather design that can take some serious bumps. It’s further ruggedized by way of a chainlink metallic grille up front.

The speaker is water resistant, so you can take it outside without much concern. That said, if you need a true all-weather speaker, I’d recommend looking at something from JBL. The Kilburn isn’t going to go swimming with you, but it’ll withstand a little spilt whiskey.

The sound quality is decent for speaker of this size. It’s not the best sound I’ve heard out of a bluetooth speaker, but if you’re looking for something portable to fill up a small room, it’s a pretty solid choice, and the treble and bass knobs up top will help you find find the perfect medium.

Unlike most bluetooth speakers, the Kilburn requires a proprietary plug for charging. That means no microUSB/USB-C. That’s understandable though, given the massive on-board battery, which should give more than 20 hours of life on a charge, watching the series of red bars creep down in the meantime.

At $299, it’s not a cheap bluetooth speaker, but it’s solid as far as the price point goes. It’s not going to replace your audiophile sound system any time soon, but at least it will look nice sitting next to your vinyl collection.

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Data-deletion bug forces Microsoft to suspend rollout of Windows 10 update

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Earlier this week, Microsoft started distributing the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, version 1809, to Windows users who manually checked for updates. The company has now halted that rollout after many reports that installing the update is causing serious data loss: specifically, deleting the Documents, and perhaps Pictures, folders. Microsoft is also advising anyone who has downloaded the update but not yet installed it to not install it at all.

The exact circumstances causing data loss aren’t clear; the handful of reports on Microsoft’s forums and Reddit don’t have any obvious commonalities, and people report seeing only one affected system among many when upgraded. There will need to be some amount of investigation before a fix can be developed.

This will be too late for anyone that’s suffered data loss; although file recovery/undelete tools might be able to salvage the deleted files, the only reliable way of recovering them is to restore from a backup.

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This is the Google Pixel Slate

Maybe there will be some surprises at next week’s Google event. At this rate, however, we’re not entirely optimistic at the prospect. Just as the Pixel 3 got the full hands-on treatment in Hong Kong, a new contender has emerged. Like a number of recent leaks, these new renders of the Pixel Slate come courtesy of My Smart Home Hub.

As previous leaks have suggested, the device appears to be a tablet companion piece to the company’s well-designed Pixel Book. That is to say, it’s a premium take on the Chrome OS hardware market.

While the Pixel Book is a convertible via a swiveling keyboard, the Slate does dual-duty by way of a detachable keyboard case. The case features round, typewriter-style keys, which look to be a bit more substantial than those found on other detachables at first glance.

There’s also a built-in trackpad, which puts it ahead of Samsung’s most recent Galaxy Tab offering. The top also appears to have a crease for folding, suggesting that it will prop the slate up when in laptop mode. The system appears to work with the Pixel Book Pen, as well. Not much more in the way of information here, though there does appear to be front- and rear-facing cameras, front-facing speakers and a USB-C port (take that, Microsoft Surface).

More information will no doubt arrive the morning of October 9. Patience, friends.

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