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Fluance AB40 Soundbase review: This speaker delivers a bona fide theater experience in any room

PC World - Mon, 2019-07-08 06:00
This $250 soundbase has a big footprint that delivers equally big sound.

Fluance AB40 Soundbase review: This speaker delivers a bona fide theater experience in any room

Mac World - Mon, 2019-07-08 06:00
This $250 soundbase has a big footprint that delivers equally big sound.

AMD Radeon RX 5700 and 5700 XT review: Blazing new trails

PC World - Sun, 2019-07-07 09:00

The Radeon RX 5700 and Radeon RX 5700 XT graphics cards represent a fresh start and a bright future for AMD, brimming with technologies that have never been seen in GPUs before.

The Radeon RX 5700 series are the first mainstream GPUs built using the bleeding-edge 7nm manufacturing process (hence their July 7 launch). They’re the first graphics cards packing the ultra-fast PCIe 4.0 interface. They’re the first graphics cards crafted with AMD’s all-new “RDNA” architecture, which delivers a massive power efficiency boost that Radeon’s been needing for years. They’re packing fresh display technologies to enable 4K, 144Hz monitors without the need for messy chroma subsampling. They’ve upgraded to GDDR6 memory. Heck, AMD even managed to tame their blower-style cooler design, learning from the mistakes of the frankly unpleasant-to-be-around Vega 64.

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Watch us unbox the Ryzen 7 3700X and Ryzen 9 3900X

PC World - Sun, 2019-07-07 09:00

They’ve finally arrived: The long-anticipated, much-rumored 3rd-generation Ryzen CPUs. AMD sent us the Ryzen 7 3700X and Ryzen 9 3900X to test, and with them came some dream machine hardware: Wraith coolers. High-end motherboards from MSI and Asus ROG. RAM in gleaming metal shrouds, including a polishing cloth. 

Watch us unpack this box full of goodies, and see our review for all the details. 

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Ryzen 3000 Review: AMD's 12-core Ryzen 9 3900X conquers all

PC World - Sun, 2019-07-07 09:00

Our review of AMD’s 12-core Ryzen 9 3900X CPU, in five words:

Damn, this CPU is fast.

But keep reading, because the Ryzen 9 3900X is likely as significant, and likely as game-changing, as AMD’s original K7 Athlon-series of CPUs that crossed the 1GHz line first, or its Athlon 64 CPU that ushered in 64-bit computing in a desktop PC.

You’d think the Ryzen 9 3900X would have a hard time achieving the same greatness. It's true that it doesn't quite shake all the gaming-performance bugaboos of past generations. But we think when the dust settles, the CPU series will easily be a first-ballot, CPU hall of fame entry.

AMD

AMD said it has improved its floating point performance by 2X on its Ryzen 3000 series of CPUs.

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AMD cuts Radeon RX 5700 and 5700 XT prices ahead of July 7 launch

PC World - Fri, 2019-07-05 17:00

AMD’s cutting-edge new graphics cards are receiving a price cut before they even hit the streets. On Friday, AMD announced that the $380 Radeon RX 5700 and $450 Radeon RX 5700 XT will now cost less than that when they launch on July 7.

Here are the new price points for AMD’s Radeon RX 5700 series:

  • 50th Anniversary Edition AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT graphics card—$449
  • AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT graphics card—$399
  • AMD Radeon RX 5700 graphics card—$349

At the E3 2019 reveal of the new cards in early June, AMD showcased benchmarks that put the Radeon RX 5700 ahead of the $350 GeForce RTX 2060 and the Radeon RX 5700 XT beating the $500 GeForce RTX 2070 Founders Edition. Just last week, Nvidia surprise launched new GeForce RTX 2060 and 2070 “Super” graphics cards that effectively shifted performance up a tier. The RTX 2060 Super performs on par with an RTX 2070, while the new RTX 2070 Super comes close to matching the frame rates of the $700 RTX 2080. Team Red took notice.

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Best soundbars to improve your TV's audio

PC World - Fri, 2019-07-05 15:36
Find the best soundbar for music and movies and that's the perfect fit for your budget.

Best soundbars to improve your TV's audio

Mac World - Fri, 2019-07-05 15:36
Find the best soundbar for music and movies and that's the perfect fit for your budget.

LG SL8YG soundbar review: Generally excellent sound quality, though only in certain circumstances

PC World - Fri, 2019-07-05 11:00
This soundbar has some significant limitations, especially for such a high price.

LG SL8YG soundbar review: Generally excellent sound quality, though only in certain circumstances

Mac World - Fri, 2019-07-05 11:00
This soundbar has some significant limitations, especially for such a high price.

Jony Ive is gone, but he won’t take Apple with him

Mac World - Fri, 2019-07-05 07:00

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Here we are, once again debating whether or not the departure of a single prominent Apple employee signals doom for the company. This time it’s designer extraordinaire Jony Ive who’s leaving the company, though the reception to his exit is decidedly mixed. Some feel Ive is the embodiment of an Apple that’s placed too high a value on form over function; others worry that the company won’t be able to keep delivering world-class design without him. Neither of these is precisely true—and they’re definitely not both true.

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Your Time Capsule has died. How can you wipe its data?

Mac World - Fri, 2019-07-05 06:00

A few days ago, I explained how to extract data from a Time Capsule networked drive and Wi-Fi router if you received a warning that you couldn’t back up to it as a destination. That was a “logical” solution, offering advice on archiving and reformatting.

But as Time Capsule age, they’re more likely to fail: the drive dies, the circuit board goes wonky, or the power supply poops out. If you can’t get the Time Capsule to power up or respond, how do you deal with the physical element of its drive? With a dead Time Capsule, you can’t easily extract the hard disk, either to recover it or erase it if you want to pass the unit on—or to destroy it to render the data unrecoverable.

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Kuo: Scissor-switch keyboards to return in 2019 MacBook Air, 2020 MacBook Pro

Mac World - Thu, 2019-07-04 11:51

Few if any of Apple’s recent designs have been so vocally reviled as its butterfly keyboards for the MacBook. But according to a new report from respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (as reported by 9to5Mac), Apple may at last be reverting to the scissor-switch design for this year’s MacBook Air and 2020’s MacBook Pro.

This doesn’t mean that Apple is simply bringing back the beloved keyboard it used in older MacBooks. Instead, Kuo claims the new keyboards will have a fresh design that includes glass fiber for reinforcing the keys. Interestingly, Kuo suggests that such a scissor-switch design should cost Apple less to make, although I’ll caution that we’ll have to wait to see if that translates into savings at the consumer level.

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Best iPhone XR cases: Top picks in every style

Mac World - Thu, 2019-07-04 08:00

More than six months into its lifespan, the best iPhone to buy is still the most affordable of the bunch: the iPhone XR, starting at $749. The 6.1-inch phone has many of the premium features found in the more expensive iPhone XS and XS Max, and comes in six different colors. (See why we think the iPhone XR is a worthy upgrade to the iPhone X.) It might be the more affordable option, but it’s still a significant expense, so you’re going to want a case to protect it. Fortunately, there are some very nice case options to choose from. We rounded up our top picks to help you decide. We’ll add more to the list as new cases become available, so watch this space.

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Best Mac remote access apps

Mac World - Thu, 2019-07-04 06:00

Sometimes—maybe often—you need to access your Mac, but you’re not sitting in front of it. You might be an office away, across town, or on the other side of the world. For decades, the fix for this involves an ever-changing mix of remote-access software that can pierce network complexities, allowing you to remotely control or observe a computer. More modern flavors can pass along audio inputs and output, transfer files, and allow remote peripheral access.

In this round-up of remote-access software, I look at products that have the right mix of features and price to consider for personal, non-commercial use and for small business.

For multiple users who need to control a few computers

With LogMeIn Pro, remote access can be installed on one or two computers. But an unlimited number of different users can access those computers. It’s the right option for a small business that has software with a single-seat license or with massive files installed on a computer, and that wants multiple employees who aren’t on site to have access, or to have cross-platform access.

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TeamViewer review: Great remote-access system for personal use, but priced high for most business purposes

Mac World - Thu, 2019-07-04 05:40

TeamViewer is a powerful remote-access tool designed for large-scale use, and combining remote screen control, remote file access, and robust ability to share the observation or control of screens among users. It bundles in text, audio conferencing, and video conferencing, and a single-user license allows the remote control of unlimited computers.

It’s also the most generous company out there where personal use is concerned. TeamViewer allows unlimited use of the full version of its software for non-commercial purposes, which the company offers a clear definition of (no direct or indirect revenue or business support).

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Splashtop review: affordable remote access app with core remote access options

Mac World - Thu, 2019-07-04 05:20

With a focus on just providing solid remote-access tools, Splashtop is far less expensive than its closest competitors, which include features that many users may not need, such as file storage, password management, and full-blown conferencing tools.

That approach appears to allow Splashtop to offer pricing that makes sense to individual users as well as some categories of business user. Splashtop Business Solo at $5 a month (billed at $60 a year) lets a single user access two computers. It offers a range of expected remote-access features, including remote printing, playing remote audio locally through client software, and managing a system with multiple moderns.

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LogMeIn Pro review: The right remote access when you have many users that need to control a few computers

Mac World - Thu, 2019-07-04 05:00

LogMeIn provides straightforward remote access to a computer’s screen and files from a smartphone, tablet, or other computer. The company orients its approach around the number of computers available to control in a given account, rather than users.

With the LogMeIn Pro flavor of the service, remote access can be installed on one or two computers. But an unlimited number of different users can access those computers. It’s the right option for a small business that has software with a single-seat license or with massive files installed on a computer, and which wants multiple employees who aren’t on site to have access, or to have cross-platform access.

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Apple’s event calendar: When is the next Apple event?

Mac World - Wed, 2019-07-03 15:37

Updated 07/03/19: Now that WWDC is over, we don't expect another Apple event until September.

Apple doesn’t often participate in big industry-wide events like CES or E3. The most valuable company in the world holds its own events, thank you very much. Several times a year, Apple invites the press and industry professionals out to a theater to hear all about its latest products and services. Apple calls these “Special Events,” and streams them online to its millions of fans.

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New Windows 10 feature build improves notifications, eye tracking and Your Phone app

PC World - Wed, 2019-07-03 14:04

Microsoft said Wednesday that a new Insider build will improve the way eye tracking works, and allow users to tweak how they receive notifications within Windows. In the same vein, an updated Your Phone app will allow Windows users to interact with notifications they receive on Android phones.

Most users will see the greatest benefit from the updated Notifications, found within the Action Center within the lower right-hand corner of your Windows screen. Microsoft also overhauled the Eye Control UI, which uses eye tracking to help those who can’t use a mouse or a trackpad to navigate Windows.

Windows Insider build 18932 is part of what you might call Microsoft’s “feature release” of Windows 10, also known as 20H1. To test them out, your Windows 10 PC will need to be on the Fast Ring of the Windows Insider program, accessible from the Windows 10 Settings > Update & Security menu. Microsoft recently revealed plans for what might be called an ”improvement release” of Windows, also known as 19H2. Similar to a service pack, 19H2 can be tested out via the Slow Ring of the Insider program. 

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