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Start stashing stocking stuffers early with these awesome Amazon Echo Dot deals

PC World - Mon, 2018-11-05 11:07

Black Friday is just around the corner, but you don’t have to wait until then to grab great deals on stocking stuffers. Today, the 2nd-generation Echo Dot is $30, down from a list price of $40, or you can save $60 when you buy four, bringing them down to just $25 each. And if you’re looking for a child-friendly version, the Echo Dot Kids Edition is on sale for $60, knocking $10 off the usual price. Alternatively, buying two brings them down to $55 each.

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You can grab the 1TB WD Blue SSD from Newegg for a new low price of $130

PC World - Mon, 2018-11-05 10:21

It seems like we’re spotlighting a new low for one of our favorite SSDs every week, and we’re already off to a good start this week. The 1TB WD Blue SSD is $130 at Newegg today with the checkout code EMCEEPU26Remove non-product link. That’s the best price we’ve ever seen for the M.2 “gumstick” version of the drive.

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12.9-inch iPad Pro review roundup: The most powerful iPad ever is still just an iPad

Mac World - Mon, 2018-11-05 09:50

It’s a big week for Apple, with the Mac mini, MacBook Air, and iPad Pro all landing on Friday. It’s unlikely you’ll be buying all three—unless you have a few thousand dollars lying around—so you may be trying to decide whether the new iPad Pro is good enough to be your primary device. If the early reviews are any indication, it’s probably not.

But it is the best iPad ever. Reviewers were unanimous in praising the design and new flexibility of Apple’s latest tablet thanks to USB-C, but peripheral support and iOS is still light years away from MacOS. Here’s what they had to say:

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How to use Time Machine to restore photos you’ve deleted from the Mac Photos app

Mac World - Mon, 2018-11-05 08:00

The Mac’s Photos app can take up a lot of storage space—actually, it’s not the app itself that uses up space, but its database of images that you have imported into Photos. So naturally, when you need to free up storage space, one way to do that is to delete photos from the Photos app.

Say you deleted some photos in Photos, but now you need to get those photos back. And what if, after deleting those photos, you added some new ones. So now you want to restore the deleted photos, while at the same time, preserve the just added ones. Can it be done?

Yes, but it requires a little finesse. You will also need an external drive with enough storage to restore your entire Photos Library.

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Avast Premier 2019 review: High prices and good design are the mainstays of this suite

PC World - Mon, 2018-11-05 06:31

There are few mainstream antivirus suites that are as expensive as Avast Premier. Current pricing for this suite is $70 for a single PC for a year. For five PCs, that price jumps to $135. It’s crazy expensive compared to Norton or McAfee, both of which cover 10 devices for about $30 less. On the other hand, you do get a solid suite for Avast's price, with a good number of extra tools and utilities. 

For 2019, Avast Premier isn’t changing too much visually, but under the hood its bumping up the anti-phishing technology, offering an improved and renamed game mode that isn’t just for games, and a better smart scan.

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Coral One review: This 2-in-1 robot vacuum promises more complete cleaning

Mac World - Mon, 2018-11-05 06:00
Combining a self-propelled vacuum with a handheld unit yields a tool that can clean more than your floors.

iPhone XR benchmarks: Every bit as fast as the iPhone XS, with longer battery life

Mac World - Mon, 2018-11-05 06:00

When we took a look at the iPhone XS and XS Max performance in September, we confirmed what we expected: They are not only the fastest iPhones ever made, but the fastest phones, period. Apple’s A12 Bionic just crushes every other phone processor.

Now that the iPhone XR is available, with the same A12 Bionic processor running at the same speeds, we expect it to deliver similar performance in a package that costs $250 less. And because it’s a big phone with a big (for Apple) battery, and a much lower-resolution 1792x828 pixel LCD display, it should deliver battery life that outpaces every other iPhone on the market.

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Coral One review: This 2-in-1 robot vacuum promises more complete cleaning

PC World - Mon, 2018-11-05 06:00
Combining a self-propelled vacuum with a handheld unit yields a tool that can clean more than your floors.

Should you wait for Black Friday to upgrade your PC?

PC World - Mon, 2018-11-05 06:00

Ask Reddit if you should wait until Black Friday to upgrade your PC, and you’ll get a stream of comments dismissing it as a time for good deals.

They’re not wrong, but they’re not exactly right, either.

If you’ve got your eye on a very specific part, your chances of a deep discount are generally a toss-up. For most components, it's as likely you’ll get a better price at another time of the year as you will during Black Friday. The more niche it is, the rougher your odds.

On the other end of the spectrum, if all you care about is price and not so much specific models for your components, you can chain together Black Friday deals for ultimate savings. (In fact, you can go the full distance and build an entire budget PC for stupid cheap.)

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10 killer PC upgrades that are shockingly cheap

PC World - Mon, 2018-11-05 04:45
No need to break the bank

Sure, swanky new Surface Pros and $1,200 graphics cards may capture all the headlines, but on a practical level, the real story is that PCs aren’t cheap. As a working father with two kids and a mortgage to pay, I understand that all too well. But if your computer’s starting to feel pokey, there’s fortunately no reason to rush out a spend hundreds on a new one.

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Abode home security starter kit (2018) review: This entry-level smart home hub continues to evolve

PC World - Sun, 2018-11-04 10:49
With Cue, Abode takes another step toward broadening the appeal of its security-focused smart home system.

Abode home security starter kit (2018) review: This entry-level smart home hub continues to evolve

Mac World - Sun, 2018-11-04 10:49
With Cue, Abode takes another step toward broadening the appeal of its security-focused smart home system.

Fallout 76 B.E.T.A. impressions: Hell is other people

PC World - Sat, 2018-11-03 10:07

It’s a familiar ritual, creating my latest Fallout character. Under the harsh glare of Vault 76’s fluorescent lights I poke and prod, sculpting the face of a man who I imagine entered this glorified bunker as a young man and emerges into the bombed out remnants of West Virginia much older, covered in wrinkles, hair gone white, eyes still kind. For a moment I feel the familiar swell, the “Oh wow I’m about to play a Fallout game” sensation of limitless potential.

And then a microphone cuts in. “Yeah, no, I’m still in character creation. What’s it do?” Who the hell is that?

Another voice says “Hello?” and after a few seconds repeats that same cautious greeting.

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Call of Cthulhu review: Inglorious resurrection

PC World - Sat, 2018-11-03 07:00

Deep under the island of Darkwater, something stirs. Leviathan. I’m not sure what that word entails yet, but I’ve seen the signs—the dead whales, the greenish pall on the town, the nightmares. I know Leviathan is nothing good. Now if only I could figure out why, pry up the secrets hidden under these rotting floorboards and in crumbling mansions.

Who is Sarah Hawkins, and how did she die? Or did she die? And what of her husband, Charles Hawkins? Where is he? And uh...why don’t people’s mouths move when they’re talking to me? Is that part of the horror? I can’t tell.

Elementary

Call of Cthulhu ($60 on Humble) is a game I should love. Hell, at points I did love it. Based to some extent on the Call of Cthulhu tabletop game, this video game adaptation takes cues directly from its analog counterpart. You play as Edward Pierce, a detective sent to Darkwater to investigate the death (or disappearance) of Sarah Hawkins, a painter known for her terrifying portraits of otherworldly monsters.

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Here's how much slower (and faster?) Apple's new MacBook Air is than Dell's XPS 13

PC World - Fri, 2018-11-02 18:50

If you've been wondering just how much performance Apple left on the table when it chose a dual-core, low-power CPU for its 2018 update to the MacBook Air, wonder no more. 

In an apparent goof, someone ran the new MacBook Air on Geekbench 4.3 and then submitted the results to Geekbench's official browser database.

The results are both as bad as you'd expect, and actually not quite as bad. Although "leaked" numbers are always suspect, this one looks pretty legit. The CPU Apple chose was Intel's new Amber Lake Core i5-8210Y with Intel HD 617 graphics. It's basically what was formerly known as "Core M," and it has a TDP of 7 watts with a base clock of 1.6GHz and boost clock of 3.6GHz.

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Microsoft's $399, 10-inch Surface Go rethinks the Windows tablet for consumers

PC World - Fri, 2018-11-02 16:51

Editor's Note: This story has been updated as of Nov. 2 to add details of a new 4GB RAM/128GB storage option.

For all of Microsoft’s claims about mobility, the Microsoft Surface lineup of Windows tablets really haven’t been all that portable. The smaller, cheaper, lighter Surface Go announced Tuesday morning hopes to change all that, with a new 10-inch spin on the traditional Surface tablet.

No, this isn’t the Surface Mini, or the rumored two-screen device, “Andromeda.” The Surface Go is most reminiscent of the Microsoft Surface 3, 2015’s quirky $499 Atom-powered tablet that provided a cheaper alternative to the pricey Surface line. The Surface Go dives even lower—prices start at just $399 for a bare-bones model with 4GB of memory and 64GB of storage when it ships on August 2. A keyboard will be sold separately, beginning at $99, and the optional Surface Pen will cost $99 as well.

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BlizzCon 2018: Warcraft III remastered, and Overwatch gets a new cowboy

PC World - Fri, 2018-11-02 16:32

BlizzCon 2018 is the end of an era. Just a few weeks ago, Blizzard announced that co-founder and longtime president Mike Morhaime would be stepping down, replaced with J. Allen Brack. Today's Opening Ceremony kicked off with Morhaime saying goodbye, and you know what? I'll miss him. He was a great presenter, not in the overly slick way I'm accustomed to seeing at these sorts of shows, but with a quietspoken passion for the company he'd helped guide for 20-plus years.

Blizzard lives on, though, and while 2019 won't be the most exciting year there's still quite a bit in store—including the long-awaited Warcraft III remaster. That news and more below.

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Spotify is finally testing an Apple Watch companion app

Mac World - Fri, 2018-11-02 15:21

Remember way back when Spotify announced it was working on an Apple Watch app? We don’t blame you if you don’t. It’s been more than a year and a half.

As users on Reddit discovered, though, the streaming giant has finally included a beta version of an Apple Watch companion app with its latest TestFlight release for iOS.

And, well, it’s minimal. At the moment it looks as though you can only control playback (and perform functions like shuffling songs in playlists) and you’ll need to keep your phone nearby for it to work.

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You can snag Destiny 2 on PC for free through November 18

PC World - Fri, 2018-11-02 14:00

The biggest announcement at BlizzCon 2018 might not involve Blizzard at all. Celebrating a year of Destiny 2 on Battle.net, Activision announced today that the PC version is free (as in, you own it) from now through November 18.

To clarify: It’s just the base game, meaning the original eight-hour campaign, four patrol zones, a level cap of 20, and a Light Level cap of 300. You’ll also have access to the multiplayer Crucible modes and maps, the co-op Strikes, and the original Leviathan raid. It’s a lot of game—you could easily spend 40 to 50 hours maxing out a single character and finishing the raid for the first time, and you can create up to three characters with different classes and subclasses.

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Today only, Amazon is selling the 12-inch MacBook for $400 off

Mac World - Fri, 2018-11-02 13:49

So here’s an interesting deal. Only a few days after the announcement of the new MacBook Air, Amazon’s Woot service is selling certified Apple-refurbished units of the 256GB 12-inch MacBook for just $899.99 as one of its Deals of the Day. That’s down $400 from their normal price of $1,299 and it’s also down $300 from the retail price of the new MacBook Air.

You can buy one in space gray, silver, gold, or rose gold.

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