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Trusted Recommends: Gran Turismo 7 impresses, but MacBook Pro 2021 steals the show

It’s Friday, and that can only mean one thing: Trusted Recommends is back, so you can read or watch our full round-up of all the best tech that we’ve tried out this week.

We have reviewed a vast array of products over the past seven days, from smartphones to laptops, from video games to true wireless earbuds — and even a robot vacuum. Each one has been tested using lab test and real-world experience, to give you a deep and rounded insight into how they perform. Let’s dive straight in!

Shure SRH840A studio image

Shure SRH840A

This pair of wired headphones is a significant upgrade to a home studio staple, being some of the better-looking and affordable reference headphones around. The Shure SRH840A cans are tonally flat enough for monitoring, and the sound is good enough for casual or critical music listening, but the 3m cable holds them back from being a portable pair.

Trusted Score: 4/5

Sony LinkBuds ring driver design

Sony Linkbuds

This pair of true wireless headphones certainly break the mould as far as looks are concerned. The always-open design means that you can hear what’s going on around you, which might seem like heresy to audio enthusiasts, but maximises your awareness if you’re concerned about cutting off the outside world. The bass is surprisingly good for such a style, but overall the audio quality of the Sony Linkbuds lacks the heft you’ll get from Sony’s best headphones.

Trusted Score: 4/5

TP-Link RE505X hero

This well-priced Wi-Fi 6 range extender can work with any router (though is best with a OneMesh system), and while speeds aren’t the very best, the TP-Link RE505X does work well for eliminating dead spots, adding range to your network, and stopping drop-outs.

Trusted Score: 4/5

Acer Chromebook 514

This is a decent mid-range Chromebook which looks good, has a wide selection of ports, and offers beefier performance than most others of its type. The only real downside to the Acer Chromebook 514 is its sub-par battery life.

Trusted Score: 4/5

Dell XPS 15 01

Dell XPS 15 (2021)

If you’re searching for a stylish and slim work laptop, then the Dell XPS 15 (2021) could very well be exactly what you need. It packs plenty of processing power, a superb keyboard and a bold, crisp display. However, you’ll find better colour accuracy and longevity elsewhere.

Trusted Score: 4/5

Audiolab Omnia CD disc tray

Audiolab Omnia

The Audiolab Omnia stereo system offers wide-ranging functionality for digital and analogue sources, rock solid build quality, and a very accomplished sound. It won’t suit every pair of speakers and its own remote control could be better, but it’s still an outstanding choice.

Trusted Score: 4.5/5

Gran Turismo 7 Mazda RX-7 Spirit R Type A

Gran Turismo 7

You’d expect a top-class racing simulation like Gran Turismo 7 to have a wide range of features and customization, but this entry in the series also offers the accessibility that others have lacked. The visuals and sound are brilliant, while the response of the PS5 DualSense controllers adds another level to your immersion. There are a couple of minor niggles here, like the uncompetitive AI drivers, the outdated rolling starts, and the pay-to-win aspect of in-game credits, but overall it’s fair to say this game is near-guaranteed to make a virtual petrolhead out of you.

Trusted Score: 4.5/5

Planet Buddies Wireless Headphones earcup

Planet Buddies Wireless Headphones

These child-friendly headphones boast a selection of creative designs, sustainable packaging, and volume-limiting technology. Audiophiles might not be impressed by the sound quality, but the Planet Buddies Wireless Headphones will no doubt go down a treat with the kids.

Score: 4.5/5

Realme 9 Pro Plus

This mid-range all-rounder really distinguishes itself with an excellent main camera that is near to flagship level. On top of that it boasts fast-charging, decent performance, and a good screen too. If you’ve got a budget of £350 for your new phone, then you’d be very hard-pressed to find anything better than the Realme 9 Pro Plus.

Trusted Score: 4.5/5

AnkerWork B600 Video Bar hero

AnkerWork B600 Video Bar

With a high resolution camera and a built-in light, the AnkerWork B600 Video Bar will help you look your best in more or less any situation. AI tracking from the camera makes sure you’ll always be in focus, while the microphone array makes sure you’re heard. The only downside is the relatively large £219 pricetag.

Trusted Score: 4.5/5

iRobot J7+ hero

iRobot Roomba j7+

The iRobot Roomba j7+ vacuum cleaner is able to spot and avoid messes automatically, and its excellent app and powerful suction make it a great choice. Edge performance could be better, and it sure is pricey, but it’s still brilliant at what it does.

Trusted Score: 4.5/5

MacBook Pro M1 Pro 16-inch front with display on

Apple MacBook Pro 2021

The newest MacBook Pro sports a stunning Mini LED display that’s bright, sharp, and smooth, while the internals are impressively muscular, whichever of the Apple M1 chips you choose depending on your needs. However, it is the inclusion of vital ports — including HDMI 2.0, Thunderbolt 4, USB-C, MagSafe, and an SDXC card slot — that make this a truly complete laptop and one of the very best you can buy right now.

Trusted Score: 5/5

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