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Why the MacBook Air might spell the end of configurable Macs

Mac World - Thu, 2018-11-15 06:00

There’s been a lot written about the potential merging together of the software that runs (and runs on) the Mac and the iPad. 2019 is shaping up to be a huge year, as Apple’s devices get closer together than they’ve ever been before.

But while the focus on Apple’s smooshing together of its platforms has been primarily about the software (iOS apps running on the Mac) and hardware (the potential of future Macs running Apple-designed ARM processors), the new MacBook Air got me thinking about another way Apple’s approach to iPads and iPhones may dramatically change how we shop for Macs in the future.

As long as it’s black

The new $1,199 base-model MacBook Air comes with a 1.6GHz dual-core Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz. If you max out all of its specs, on the other hand, you’ll walk away with a $2,600 computer… with the very same 1.6GHz processor. Apple will let you expand storage (to 1.5TB) and memory (to 16GB), but the processor you get is the processor you get.

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OnePlus 6T review: Android's rebel phone goes mainstream—with a punkish purple streak

PC World - Thu, 2018-11-15 03:00

OnePlus sure knows how to make an entrance. Arriving at the tail end of a jam-packed Android season that included nothing less than the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, LG V40 ThinQ, Google Pixel 3, and the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, the OnePlus 6T could have easily been a victim of flagship fatigue.

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The iPhone XR is now available for sale without a carrier

Mac World - Wed, 2018-11-14 17:18

When the iPhone XR originally went on sale on Apple’s website, you had to choose a carrier: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon. But now, if you buy an iPhone XR online, you now have the option to buy one without a carrier.

We’re not sure when this option became available; we noticed today. The Internet Archive’s last snapshot of the iPhone XR buy page is from November 8, which does not show the option to buy the phone sans carrier.

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Windows 10 preview build 18282 finally supports smarter Windows Updates, new light theme

PC World - Wed, 2018-11-14 15:08

The headline feature of Windows 10 Insider build 18282 is probably the “light theme” for your Windows desktop. But the most useful addition is the new, Intelligent Active Hours designed to present unwanted interruptions from Windows updates.

The preview build, leading up to the next big update to Windows 10 due early next year (code-named 19H1), doesn’t boast any truly new features. Rather, these enhancements to existing features are conveniences you may try if you choose. Here they are:

The “light theme”

You’re probably aware of the existing Windows “dark theme,” which uses darker colors and accents to soften the vast expanses of white within Explorer, Edge, and so on. And you probably thought that the existing light theme was an alternative to that. Well, not so much, apparently.

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MacBook Pro: Radeon Pro Vega graphics option for 15-inch model now available

Mac World - Wed, 2018-11-14 12:00

The MacBook Pro is Apple’s top-of-the-line laptop. It offers top-notch performance for demanding users who need processing power and are willing to spend top dollar for it.

The current version of the MacBook Pro was released in July 2018. The new laptops have the same design as the previous version, but the laptops feature new processors that provide a speed boost. Learn more about the MacBook Pro by reading about its main features below.

The latest news about the MacBook Pro: New graphics now available

Apple now has available for the $2,799 15-inch MacBook Pro two Vega graphics upgrade options you can choose from instead of the stock Radeon Pro 560X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory. For an additional $250, you can upgrade the graphics to a Radeon Pro Vega 16, or you can spend $350 for a Radeon Pro Vega 20. Both options come with 4GB of HBM2 video memory.

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The Anker PowerPort 6 Lite 6-port USB hub is $12 today, a savings of $8

PC World - Wed, 2018-11-14 11:45

You can never have too many USB ports, especially if you have a lot of devices in your orbit. Today you can add six with an on-sale Anker charger.

Normally $20, today the Anker PowerPort 6 Lite is listed at its lowest price of $16Remove non-product link. If you click the coupon box you’ll save another $4, bringing it down to $12 on Amazon—a killer price for a lot of ports. 

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The Anker PowerPort 6 Lite 6-port USB hub is $12 today, a savings of $8

Mac World - Wed, 2018-11-14 11:45

You can never have too many USB ports, especially if you have a lot of devices in your orbit. Today you can add six with an on-sale Anker charger.

Normally $20, today the Anker PowerPort 6 Lite is listed at its lowest price of $16Remove non-product link. If you click the coupon box you’ll save another $4, bringing it down to $12 on Amazon—a killer price for a lot of ports. 

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RTX on! Battlefield V becomes the first game to support DXR real-time ray tracing

PC World - Wed, 2018-11-14 10:40

EA’s Battlefield V doesn’t technically hit the streets until November 20, but it’s already the first game to support real-time ray tracing using Microsoft’s new DirectX Raytracing API. Nvidia’s radical new GeForce RTX 2070 and RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti graphics cards include dedicated hardware devoted to improving ray tracing performance.

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Upgrade to a 27-inch, 1080p FreeSync monitor for $200 or less

PC World - Wed, 2018-11-14 09:49

Yesterday, we showed you how to get the cornerstones of an awesome AMD budget rig on the cheap. Today, we’re making that combo even better with your choice of two 27-inch, 1080p FreeSync monitors. Walmart is selling the Dell SE2717HR for $119Remove non-product link, while Newegg has the curved, 144Hz Acer ED273 for $199Remove non-product link with the checkout code EMCEEES35. The Dell monitor has an MSRP of $200, while the Acer’s MSRP is $300.

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Upgrade to a 27-inch, 1080p FreeSync monitor for $200 or less

Mac World - Wed, 2018-11-14 09:49

Yesterday, we showed you how to get the cornerstones of an awesome AMD budget rig on the cheap. Today, we’re making that combo even better with your choice of two 27-inch, 1080p FreeSync monitors. Walmart is selling the Dell SE2717HR for $119Remove non-product link, while Newegg has the curved, 144Hz Acer ED273 for $199Remove non-product link with the checkout code EMCEEES35. The Dell monitor has an MSRP of $200, while the Acer’s MSRP is $300.

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Amazon Fire TV Recast review: This over-the-air DVR is frustratingly close to great

PC World - Wed, 2018-11-14 09:00
Amazon's over-the-air DVR nails the little details, but it has some major limitations.

Amazon Fire TV Recast review: This over-the-air DVR is frustratingly close to great

Mac World - Wed, 2018-11-14 09:00
Amazon's over-the-air DVR nails the little details, but it has some major limitations.

How to use Migration Assistant to move a user account to another Mac

Mac World - Wed, 2018-11-14 08:00

Apple makes it relatively painless to migrate data on one Mac to another. But you can also selectively migrate and split up multiple users on a single Mac into users across multiple Macs. You would do this if, for example, you have kids on a shared computer who now own their own, or if you’re leaving a job and want (and are allowed) to take your home directory with you.

Migration Assistant is the app you use to perform a user migration. It’s found in the Applications folder’s Utilities folder. This flexible software can work in a variety of ways to transfer all or part of the applications, user files, and other settings on one Mac to another. You can start from Time Machine backup, another Mac, or a Mac drive configured as a macOS startup volume—including a disk image backup.

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Withings takes aim at Fitbit with the Pulse HR, a simple fitness band with 20-day battery life

PC World - Wed, 2018-11-14 07:43
Withings launches a new Pulse HR fitness tracker with three week battery life and continuous heart-rate monitoring.

Withings takes aim at Fitbit with the Pulse HR, a simple fitness band with 20-day battery life

Mac World - Wed, 2018-11-14 07:43

Now that Withings is back in the hands of its founder, it’s returning to its roots. Fans of the French health company will remember the original Pulse as a fun and funky pedometer that doubled as a fitness band, and now Withings is bringing it back—with a new design and an eye on Fitbit’s fitness band dominance with the Alta and Charge 3.

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HighPoint 7101A PCIe NVMe RAID card: The world isn't ready for its amazing 11GBps throughput

PC World - Wed, 2018-11-14 06:34

If there’s any review I’ve been anxiously awaiting to write, it’s this one. Having seen demos at vendor showcases, I knew NVMe SSD setups could go far faster than what’s possible with the single M.2 slot most PCs offer.

To see HighPoint’s 7101A 4-slot, x16 PCIe NVMe RAID card reading at 11GBps reading and writing at nearly 10GBps on PCWorld’s own testbed was a major hoot. Alas, that’s using a synthetic benchmark, and in our real-world copy tests, performance was only slightly faster than with a single fast NVMe SSD.

HighPoint said that with the right software, i.e., something that does its own I/O such as synthetic benchmarks, you will get the same dramatic performance boost. We’ll have to take the company at its word, as the 7101A also served to illustrate a number of shortcomings of current PCs and software when it comes to state-of-the-art storage. 

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Sony XBR X900F 4K UHD TV review: Great image processing, but restrained color

Mac World - Wed, 2018-11-14 06:00
Sony's XBR X900F can handle just about any kind of material with aplomb, including HDR. But its color palette is subdued and light bleed on black backgrounds is noticeable with the Xtended Dynamic Range function engaged.

Sony XBR X900F 4K UHD TV review: Great image processing, but restrained color

PC World - Wed, 2018-11-14 06:00
Sony's XBR X900F can handle just about any kind of material with aplomb, including HDR. But its color palette is subdued and light bleed on black backgrounds is noticeable with the Xtended Dynamic Range function engaged.

Logitech G560 review: The first truly useful RGB peripheral, but it'll cost you

PC World - Wed, 2018-11-14 06:00

RGB is the buzzword in peripherals these days, but few have found any real use for them. It's all well and good to have an RGB-enabled mouse or headset or keyboard, but aside from a few gimmicks like "imitating the sirens in Grand Theft Auto," it's still more about aesthetics than functionality.

Logitech's G560 changes that, using RGB LEDs in a way that feels transformative. If only the effect were paired with slightly better speakers.

IllumiRoom Redux

Way back in 2013 Microsoft showed off footage of a prototype for the Xbox One, the "IllumiRoom." Emerging from Microsoft Research, IllumiRoom promised to make gaming more immersive by literally immersing you in it. Using a projector synced to your actual TV, the goal was to extend the picture off the screen and onto the surrounding walls.

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Which Watch? How to pick the Apple Watch that’s right for you

Mac World - Wed, 2018-11-14 03:00

Picking an Apple Watch used to be a little complicated, with various different case materials, bands, and style. Now, Apple has become more focused with the Apple Watch, which means that the selection process is a lot easier than before. Now, the case materials, bands, and style are characteristics of the models Apple offers.

Apple offers four different Apple Watch models, but three of the models—Apple Watch Series 4, Apple Watch Nike+, and Apple Watch Hermès—have the same insides, so they’re basically the same watch. For the purposes of this guide, whenever we refer to the Apple Watch Series 4, that reference also applies to the Apple Watch Nike+ and Apple Watch Hermès.

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