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Twelve South HiRise Duet and Belkin Valet Charge Dock review: Which iPhone and Apple Watch charging dock is better?

Mac World - Tue, 2018-04-03 07:00

The more electronic devices you bring into your life, the more things you’ll have to charge to make sure that they’re ready when you need them—and that’s especially true with smartphones and smartwatches. For the average user, both the iPhone and Apple Watch need to be charged daily to ensure that they can last through another frame.

Adding an Apple Watch to your daily ensemble means another thing to manage, and another thing to make sure ends up on a charger at night. That was one of the big reasons why I fell out of an everyday routine with the Watch: I’d forget to charge it, find it sapped of battery life the next time I wanted to wear it, and then I’d stop using it for a while. If you have a bad habit of moving around your Apple Watch charger, or just don’t want to have a bunch of cables on your bedside table, there are a couple of docks that can elegantly handle both devices at once.

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No good deed: Punishing Apple’s Battery Health indicator

Mac World - Tue, 2018-04-03 06:00

After tables were flipped over Apple slowing down older phones with failing batteries instead of letting them shut down, Apple offered an apology and a fix. Well, we can’t have that, now, can we?

Writing for Mashable, Damon Beres says “The iPhone’s new ‘battery health’ feature is a little hit of anxiety.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Chris, Peter and Nick.)

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Intel's debut 6-core Core i9 CPUs could push gaming laptops past 5GHz speeds

PC World - Tue, 2018-04-03 03:01

For years, PC gamers have needed to pick a poison: Buy a desktop with the most powerful components available, or sacrifice some performance for a laptop they could take on the road. Intel’s new six-core mobile Core i9 chip, its fastest notebook CPU ever, paves the way for 5GHz gaming laptops, making that decision even tougher.

Using new “thermal velocity boost” technology to propel the new Core i9-8950HK from a base clock rate of 2.9GHz to a whopping 4.8GHz, the new unlocked 8th-generation Core i9 sits atop five new Core i5 and Core i7 high-performance mobile H-series chips, plus four more U-series Core chips aimed at lower-power systems. (All are “Coffee Lake” 14nm chips.) Intel also launched a new lineup of desktop Core processors, plus a new branding logo (Core i7+) to indicate the presence of hard drive-boosting Optane memory inside notebook PCs.

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Hands-on: The MSI GS65 is a gaming laptop that blends into business settings

PC World - Tue, 2018-04-03 03:01

The only thing better than a gaming laptop is the one you make your boss pay for.

That's the scenario MSI is apparently trying to tackle with its GS65, announced Tuesday. An update from the excellent GS63VR we reviewed, MSI said the GS65 is designed to be a little more sedate-looking, the better to blend into your business meeting. Although it still has MSI's dragon it, the word "gaming" has been removed, for instance. The keyboard sacrifices translucent key skirts for enclosed ones, to make the per-key lighting less obvious. 

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Gigabyte's Aero 15 gaming laptops boost the core count but keep the battery life

PC World - Tue, 2018-04-03 03:01

The new Gigabyte Aero 15 reminds us of that line from the Godfather: “Boost the core count, keep the battery life.”

OK, we made that up, but one of our favorite gaming laptops from last year just got a whole lot faster without giving up the one thing that mattered: Battery life. Gigabyte’s Aero 15 series now features Intel's new 8th-gen, Core i7 CPU inside. That means six cores of blistering Coffee Lake IPC in the same 45-watt footprint.

The Aero 15 remains mostly the same externally, but there are a few key differences:

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Intel's new 'Coffee Lake' Core desktop CPUs and chipsets swipe a trick from smart speakers

PC World - Tue, 2018-04-03 03:01

Lest desktop PC users think that they were being neglected, on Tuesday Intel launched a number of eighth-gen Core desktop processors, plus four new desktop chipsets that mimic the always-listening “modern standby” experience of a smart speaker.

While Intel’s powerful 6-core mobile Core i9 chip—and, to a lesser extent, the “Core i7+” and related brands that signal the presence of Optane within notebooks—were the major announcements, Intel also announced three new “standard power” Core desktop chips, as well as six low-power T-series chips. All of the new Coffee Lake 8th-gen chips are priced at $213 or less, save one.

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Intel ushers responsive Optane memory into laptops with Core i5+, i7+, and i9+ brands

PC World - Tue, 2018-04-03 03:01

As Intel migrates its Optane memory technology into the notebook space, a new “Core i7+” brand will answer the question: how will consumers know it’s there? 

For years, notebook and desktop buyers alike have instinctively been able to buy Intel’s “good, better, best” hierarchy of Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 chips. Last year, Intel added a premium brand, Core i9. With Optane, Intel has complicated its branding a bit more. New “Core i5+,” “Corei7+” and “Core i9+” stickers will adorn notebooks, and possibly desktops, that ship with Optane accelerator technology inside.

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The best Kindle: Reviews and buying advice

PC World - Mon, 2018-04-02 19:18

When someone says they want an e-reader, they most likely mean they want an Amazon Kindle. Knowing which Kindle to buy is the next question, and it depends on your budget and your reading preferences. With this guide and our in-depth reviews, we’ll help you find just the right Kindle for you or your lucky loved one.

In the decade since Amazon’s E-Ink slabs were first introduced to the world, the Kindles’ popularity has elevated its brand recognition to the same heights as Q-Tips and Kleenex—with good reason. Available in five models with varying feature sets, Amazon ensures there’s a Kindle to meet every bookworm’s needs and budget.

While Amazon’s competitors might offer more technologically advanced or less expensive hardware, not a one of them can hold a candle to the sheer volume of books, comics, and periodicals available to download and consume on a Kindle.

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April Fools' Day gags you may have missed

Mac World - Mon, 2018-04-02 14:51

Sunday was April 1, aka April Fools' Day. It was also Easter. And, Sunday tends to be a slow day on the internet, since people are doing other things. With all those factors in mind, there’s a chance you missed out on the April Fools' gags on the web this year.

But not to worry! We've scoured the web for some of the best April Fools' gags that made the rounds on last weekend. If you want to get your Monday started with a good laugh (or at least a feeling of slight amusement, considering the lameness of some of these gags), check out the list below.

Google Maps: Where’s Waldo

Waldo (known as Wally in the U.K.), the main character of the popular Where’s Waldo children’s books, found his way into Google Maps. You can try to find Waldo-as well as his buddies Wenda, Wizard Whitebeard, Odlaw, and Woof (just his tail)-in the Google Maps iOS app or on the Google Maps website.

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April Fools' Day gags you may have missed

PC World - Mon, 2018-04-02 14:51
The joke’s on you online.

Report: Apple to use its own chips in Macs starting in 2020

Mac World - Mon, 2018-04-02 14:50

A (very brief) report from Ian King and Mark Gurman at Bloomberg states that Apple will begin using its own chips in Macs, replacing processors from Intel, beginning in 2020. The report only cites "people familiar with the plans," but Gurman has a very good track record for Apple rumors.

Of course, predicting the moves of any major tech company two years out is sketchy at best; even if you're accurate at the time, plans can and do change.

The report is very brief and developing, but it says the initiative is code-named Kalamata and is part of a larger effort to get iOS devices and macOS devices to work together better. The plan has been approved by company executives, and the transition away from Intel chips will probably happen in multiple steps.

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How well does the new 9.7-inch iPad handle games? Apple Arcade episode 4

Mac World - Mon, 2018-04-02 14:30

Apple’s cozy chats about the new 9.7-inch iPad making its way into classrooms focus heavily on affordability, privacy, and quizzing software. But let’s admit it: Many students are going to be spending a lot more time in class playing Fortnite than scribbling out notes with their fancy new Apple Pencils.

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iOS 11.4: First beta released to developers with Messages in iCloud and AirPlay 2

Mac World - Mon, 2018-04-02 14:09

iOS 11.3 was released on March 29 after more than two months of beta testing. It added several new features, including battery health and performance settings, four new Animojis, Business Chat and Health Records betas, and a bit upgrade to ARKit.

Two big features we've been waiting on since the release of iOS 11 last year were notably absent: AirPlay 2 and Messages in iCloud. Both features were included in beta, but were cut from the final release. Those features are unlikely to get pushed back to iOS 12 (due for release this fall), which means iOS 11 will have yet another point release.

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Steam Machines disappear from Steam's hardware tab, but their legacy lives on

PC World - Mon, 2018-04-02 11:45

Steam Machines no longer grace Steam’s dedicated hardware tabe, as GamingOnLinux noticed. You probably didn’t. Steam Machines carried thrilling potential but wound up doomed from the start, a catastrophic flop with consumers. The best concepts from the failed endeavor continue onward, though. 

Valve envisioned Steam Machines and SteamOS—a proprietary Linux fork intertwined with Steam’s Big Picture mode—during the Windows 8 era, while Microsoft was trying to turn PCs into tablets and lock apps down in the Windows Store. Cue the heroic reveal. Tiny, powerful Steam Machines by a legion of PC hardware makers were supposed to counter the threat of Windows becoming a walled garden while simultaneously dragging PC gaming into the living room.

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Give your outlets a dose of AI with these great deals on smart plugs

Mac World - Mon, 2018-04-02 11:00

There may be new smart version of use about every device we use, but most of the lights and small appliances we already have in our homes are still too “dumb” to connect to our smart systems. To bring them up to speed, smart plugs can add convenience and control to any Wi-Fi connected home.

The Wemo mini smart plug is on sale for $24.99 on Amazon, the lowest price since Black Friday. In our four-star review, we especially liked this plug for its connectivity and simple, compact design. Once connected to Wi-Fi, you’ll be able to control your Wemo smart plug via voice or by using the Belkin app, and you'll be able to schedule at time for it to turn off or choose a “randomize” option to make it look like you’re home when you’re out of the house.

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Give your outlets a dose of AI with these great deals on smart plugs

PC World - Mon, 2018-04-02 11:00

There may be new smart version of use about every device we use, but most of the lights and small appliances we already have in our homes are still too “dumb” to connect to our smart systems. To bring them up to speed, smart plugs can add convenience and control to any Wi-Fi connected home.

The Wemo mini smart plug is on sale for $24.99 on Amazon, the lowest price since Black Friday. In our four-star review, we especially liked this plug for its connectivity and simple, compact design. Once connected to Wi-Fi, you’ll be able to control your Wemo smart plug via voice or by using the Belkin app, and you'll be able to schedule at time for it to turn off or choose a “randomize” option to make it look like you’re home when you’re out of the house.

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Corsair's Crystal 570X, one of our favorite PC cases, comes with a free liquid CPU cooler today

PC World - Mon, 2018-04-02 10:15

One of our favorite PC cases is an even sweeter buy for today only. If you buy the Corsair Crystal 570X RGB ATX mid-tower case for its standard $180 price, Newegg will toss in a Corsair Hydro Series H60 liquid CPU cooler for free. The deal expires just before midnight Pacific time.

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Get an Apple Watch Series 1 for a ridiculously low $149 at Walmart today

Mac World - Mon, 2018-04-02 09:36

If you’ve been watching for good deals on Apple Watch, you’ll be hard-pressed to beat Walmart’s current offer. You can get the 38mm Apple Watch Series 1 for a mere $149 while supplies last, which might not be that long. Apple normally sells the device for $249, which means today’s deal knocks off a full $100. The same $100 discount applies to the larger 42mm Apple Watch Series 1, which brings the price down from $279 to $179.

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Get an Apple Watch Series 1 for a ridiculously low $149 at Walmart today

PC World - Mon, 2018-04-02 09:36

If you’ve been watching for good deals on Apple Watch, you’ll be hard-pressed to beat Walmart’s current offer. You can get the 38mm Apple Watch Series 1 for a mere $149 while supplies last, which might not be that long. Apple normally sells the device for $249, which means today’s deal knocks off a full $100. The same $100 discount applies to the larger 42mm Apple Watch Series 1, which brings the price down from $279 to $179.

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Wrap your iPhone X in an Apple Leather Case for 30 percent less today

Mac World - Mon, 2018-04-02 08:31

Apple’s leather cases are among the best ways to protect your iPhone, but they can also be among the most expensive. You can get one for cheap today for your iPhone X—but you'll need to act fast.

Amazon is selling several of Apple’s leather iPhone X case for up to 30 percent off. Normally priced at $49, the models that have discounts are:

The saddle brown and (Product)Red cases are the best prices we’ve seen for these colors, while the charcoal gray color is just $1 off the all-time low.

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