By Don Lindich
Week 40, 2022
Q. The only port in my 2007 PT Cruiser is an AUX input I use with my old iPod’s headphone jack. I need a USB charging port for my phone. How can I add one?
-D.M., San Jose, CA
A. Cigarette lighter/power port USB chargers are very common, but you can do much better than a mere charger. I suggest the Nulaxy Wireless In-Car Bluetooth FM Transmitter Radio Adapter, which will charge your phone, allow you to make hands-free calls and send music from your phone or a TF card to the radio. It sells for under $20 on Amazon and is a great addition to older cars lacking USB or Bluetooth.
TCL Breeva A5 Smart Air Purifier: I was intrigued by the TCL Breeva A5 when I first saw it at the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show. As anyone reading this column may guess, I have a lot of electronics in my house and they tend to be dust magnets. I also have a delightful dog with a soft and stylish coat that is also high maintenance, and I am frequently cleaning up fine hairs from his fur. It made me wonder about air cleanliness and for quite a while I had considered adding an air purifier to see if it made a difference. It was the combination of attractive, minimalist design, extensive feature set, good experience with other TCL products and affordable price that got me off the fence, and I am glad it did.
The Breeva A5 uses a 5-stage filtration system that uses a pre-filter for large particles, a HEPA H13 filter that removes at least 99.97% of harmful particles, an activated carbon filter for odors, an Anion chamber to settle fine particles missed by the other filters and UV-C light to kill bacteria and other microorganisms. With the Breeva A5 in my bedroom the air now has a completely different quality. Simply put, it is refreshingly clean and odor-free and I had not realized what I was missing without the purifier.
Though it is feature-rich, using the Breeva A5 is refreshingly simple (pun intended.) The cartridge filter is impressive in design and feel, and easy to change in and out. The purifier senses air quality and sets itself accordingly, and is extremely quiet. I was excited by the prospect of the smart features and app control but it works so well in set-and-forget mode that it was not as big of a deal as I anticipated. This news is likely to be welcomes by those who want cleaner household air, but are not technically adept. If I ever get additional Breevas for my living room and garage then app control will be more appreciated as I can monitor and control several units from my phone.
The TCL Breeva A5 Smart Air Purifier is suitable for medium and large rooms and sells for $159.99. There are other Breeva models available for smaller rooms, at correspondingly lower prices.
TCL 6-Series Roku Television: I had not planned on mentioning TCL twice this week, but seeing their new 6-Series Roku TV in action at a friend’s home a few days ago left me stunned. It is a phenomenal TV regardless of price, and considering price the cost/performance equation is off the charts and one of most incredible values I have ever seen in over 20 years writing this column. It can stand toe-to-toe with the most expensive TVs on the market, and starting prices are well under $1,000. Watch this space for more info about this absolutely stellar television.