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Apple's iPhone privacy billboard is a clever CES troll, but it's also inaccurate

Mac World - Mon, 2019-01-07 10:41

Even without a booth, Apple is looming large over CES. Literally. In a giant billboard that went up on the side of the Springhill Suites Marriott hotel near the Vegas strip late last week, Apple is touting the privacy features baked into the iPhone, telling people, “What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone.”

It’s a clever and effective ad that plays off the classic Vegas slogan. And it’s timely. In an age of regular data breaches and scary hacks, privacy and security have become a really big deal. Apple has made privacy a major component of its iPhone sales pitch for years, so while the ad might not mention Google, Samsung, or Amazon, it’s clearly aimed at trolling Apple’s biggest rivals and their somewhat laissez-faire approach to privacy.

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Grab a Corsair gaming keyboard, mouse, and mousepad for nearly $100 off at Amazon today

PC World - Mon, 2019-01-07 10:18

PC gamers looking to upgrade their setup can put together a nice little package today at Amazon. The online retailer has a trio of great deals on Corsair gaming devices, and you can grab a keyboard, mouse, and mousepad (all with RGB lighting of course) for less than $170.

First up is the Corsair Strafe RGB MK.2 mechanical keyboardRemove non-product link with Cherry MX Red switches for $100–down from a retail price of $140. We haven’t done an official review of this keyboard, but it does get honorable mention in the best budget keyboard category in our round-up of the best gaming keyboards. The Strafe MK.2 features USB passthrough, the ‘quiet’ version of the Cherry MX Red switches, onboard profile storage, and per-key RGB backlighting.

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Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Founders Edition review: Ray tracing and 1440p gaming get more affordable

PC World - Mon, 2019-01-07 09:00

After debuting in luxury-priced enthusiast graphics cards exclusively, Nvidia’s real-time ray tracing is finally coming to the masses with the GeForce RTX 2060—although this $350 graphics card, as powerful as it is, skirts the upper limits of what could be considered mainstream.

Yes, the GeForce RTX 2060 maintains the inflated pricing of other RTX options, which effectively bumps the cost of each performance tier up a notch. The $700 RTX 2080 costs as much as last generation’s GTX 1080 Ti; the $500 RTX 2070 mirrors the price of the GTX 1080; and while the last-gen GTX 1060 cost $260, this new RTX 2060 moves into the GTX 1070’s previous territory with a $90 price hike.

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Hands on: Huawei's Matebook 13 shrinks the Matebook X Pro into a 'Whiskey Lake'-powered laptop

PC World - Mon, 2019-01-07 09:00

Just a few cut corners diminished Huawei’s Matebook X Pro 14-inch flagship notebook. The smaller, less expensive Huawei Matebook 13 appears to have solved some of these flaws, while still keeping the best features of Huawei’s premium device, including a discrete GPU. It’s also one of the first notebooks out of the gate to include Intel’s “Whiskey Lake” Core chips.

We’ve been continually impressed with the ability of Chinese hardware makers to deliver premium hardware at affordable prices, and the Matebook 13 demonstrates this: Its high-end Core i7-8565U Whiskey Lake chip is paired with an Nvidia GeForce MX 150 (the same GPU as on the Matebook X Pro) for just $1,299. A Core i5-8265U model is also offered for $999, but with integrated graphics. Both are shipping to U.S. customers in early 2019.

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Nvidia reveals RTX laptop GPUs, FreeSync support for GeForce graphics cards

PC World - Mon, 2019-01-07 08:21

Nvidia didn’t pull any punches during its big CES 2019 keynote on Sunday night. The company doubled-down on its hybrid ray tracing push by introducing the GeForce RTX 2060 as well as laptop versions of its RTX graphics cards. And then hell froze over. In an unexpected move, Nvidia also announced that its GeForce GPUs will support some AMD FreeSync monitors.

The company said no fewer than 40 laptops are already lined up to feature laptop versions of the GeForce RTX 2080, the GeForce RTX 2070, and the GeForce RTX 2060. Energy-efficient Max-Q versions of each GPU were also announced.

The new GPUs are, for the most part, the equal of their desktop GPUs in core count and features, but have lower clockspeeds and power consumption. In fact, Nvidia officials say the RTX laptop GPUs are up to 40 percent more efficient than equal Pascal-based laptop GPUs.

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If macOS's Migration Assistant fails, here are other ways to move accounts

Mac World - Mon, 2019-01-07 07:00

This past Christmas, my kids received new Mac laptops. We managed to keep their previous computers working for seven years, but these new Macs will see my kids through to college and maybe beyond. New Macs meant that we had to move all their files from the older computers to the new ones.

The old machines both had macOS High Sierra installed, and the new ones have the current macOS, Mojave. Following Apple’s instructions, I started migration on both older systems to both newer ones. (It made for a lot of smiles and laughs as family members passed through the room with four Macs all chugging away at once.)

Both computers gave errors at the end of multi-hour migrations, though one pair of computers appeared to have fully transferred data. The other pair did not; it seemed to have transferred apps and system preferences, but left out the main user. This may have been due to that user having parental controls set, though Migration Assistant doesn’t warn of that being a problem, nor is there a mention in any support notes from Apple.

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Belkin takes the wraps off its Linksys Max Stream AC2200 Wi-Fi router

PC World - Mon, 2019-01-07 06:00

Belkin is bucking a design trend with its new Wi-Fi mesh router, the Linksys Max Stream AC2200. Most companies do everything they can to make Wi-Fi mesh routers look, well, like anything other than a router. They design their enclosures to resemble hockey pucks, or flower vases, or other innocuous objects. And they invariably hide the router’s antennas inside their enclosure, a practice one would assume must reduce the router’s range.

Not Belkin. The new addition to its Linksys Wi-Fi mesh lineup looks exactly like a conventional router—specifically, a router from its Linksys EA series of routers—with four blade-style antennas emerging from its flanks.

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New Year’s resolutions for iPhone users

Mac World - Mon, 2019-01-07 06:00

The turn of the year is when we take stock of our habits and strive to do better. Many people pledge to improve their health with diet and exercise. Others make a commitment to the environment, like composting. For some, this is the year they’ll finally quit smoking.

But kicking bad old habits and starting good new habits should extend to your digital life, too. Our iPhones are ever-present tools that we spend so much of our waking hours with, so it’s important to cast our self-improvement gaze on how we use them, too. Here are five New Year’s resolutions for iPhone users that will help you form lasting good technology habits.

Curb excessive use with Screen Time

Apple gave us quite a gift in iOS 12 with Screen Time. It’s more than parental controls: It’s a tool anyone can use for insight into how much they’re using—or over-using—their iPhone or its apps. If you didn’t turn on Screen Time when you first installed iOS 12, you should do so now. It doesn’t really make a difference in battery life, and it doesn’t do anything by default other than give you interesting information about how you use your iPhone.

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Wemo debuts redesigned (and cheaper) in-wall smart switches at CES

Mac World - Mon, 2019-01-07 06:00
Wemo unveils new single-pole and 3-way switches include native Apple HomeKit support at CES.

Acer's swivel-display Predator Triton 900 will include Nvidia's mobile RTX graphics

PC World - Mon, 2019-01-07 01:00

Acer first showed off the Predator Triton 900 at IFA 2018, but kept it under glass. Now the gaudy gaming laptop with a swiveling, hinged display is at CES 2019, and Acer has revealed a bit more: The Predator Triton 900 will begin shipping in March with Nvidia’s new mobile ray-tracing technology inside, and you can expect to pay $3,999 for a baseline system.


The Predator Triton 900’s screen can even be reversed—for that one time when you’ll want to deliver a presentation.

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Acer's Predator Triton 500 marries Nvidia's mobile RTX graphics with 144Hz G-Sync

PC World - Mon, 2019-01-07 01:00

You might call the Acer Predator Triton 500 the younger sibling of the mammoth Predator Triton 900. At $1,799, however, it’s far cheaper—and you still get one of Nvidia’s first mobile GeForce RTX 2080 ray-tracing GPUs inside of it.

Unlike the swiveling hinge that graces the Triton 900, the Triton 500 is a conventional gaming notebook, available this February in North America. The Triton 500 boasts a 15.6-inch 1080p display, with bezels that measure 6.3 mm on a side. But it’s a 144Hz, Nvidia G-Sync display, with 300 nits of brightness and 3ms refresh times, a solid setup for gaming. Acer showed off its new notebook at CES 2019, here in Las Vegas.

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No, really: Asus' crazy ROG Mothership is like a Surface Pro for gaming

PC World - Mon, 2019-01-07 01:00

There’s “think outside the box” and then there’s “nuke the box from orbit.” Asus choose the latter with its ROG Mothership GZ700, which is unlike any other gaming laptop—strike that—gaming device we’ve ever seen.

When closed and sitting on a desk, you would think it’s just another big and burly desktop replacement gaming laptop. But just wait until you deploy the Mothership: You turn the body so that it’s vertical and press it to the table, which causes a rear kickstand to pop out.


You know it’s for gaming because the Surface Pro-like keyboard has RGB in it.

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Ecovacs' new robot vacuum uses AI to recognize the stuff on your floor

PC World - Sun, 2019-01-06 20:00
Ecovacs debuts two new home robots: the Deebot Ozmo 960 vacuum and the Atmobot air purifier at CES in Las Vegas.

Apple will launch iTunes video app on Samsung Smart TVs this spring—and it’ll support Bixby

Mac World - Sun, 2019-01-06 14:22

Apple and Samsung are friends again. In an announcement ahead of this week’s CES, the two former rivals have announced that an iTunes Movies and TV Shows app will launch on Samsung Smart TVs. Samsung says the app will launch on 2019 Smart TVs in the spring and it will also be available via a firmware update to 2018 sets.

This is a hell-freezes-over level of news. Apple has been notoriously guarded with access to iTunes movies and TV shows, even limiting authorizations to five computers and 10 total devices. It’s never allowed third-party home entertainment devices to stream movies or shows directly through iTunes before. With this partnership, however, Apple is allowing iTunes purchases and rentals to be made and viewed on a Samsung product with virtually no restrictions.

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The HP Chromebook 14 puts AMD power under the hood for the first time

PC World - Sun, 2019-01-06 12:00

HP’s Chromebook 14 is one of the first Google laptops to feature AMD processors. While the A4 chip in question isn’t exactly Ryzen-class, it’s a step up from the low-end, no-name processors that crowd the Chromebook space. It also features a welcome boost from Radeon graphics. These AMD APUs help bring some much-needed performance competition to the category.

Announced at CES in Las Vegas and due to ship in January with a starting price of $269, HP said to expect performance at about the level of Intel’s Celeron processors—at very affordable prices. (Note: An AMD A6 version of the Chromebook 14 was also announced, but it won’t be available in the United States at launch, and its future availability here is not certain, an HP spokesperson confirmed.)

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AMD announces new mobile Ryzen chips and finally gets into Chromebooks

PC World - Sun, 2019-01-06 12:00

AMD’s Cinderella story started with desktops and workstations in 2018, but for 2019 the chip company is extending its reach into laptops with new Ryzen with Radeon Vega processors. And Windows laptops aren’t the only beneficiaries of AMD development. Surprise! AMD is also releasing Chromebook parts, which we discuss at the end of this story.

The Ryzen lineup will include a pair of Ryzen 7 quad-cores, a pair of Ryzen 5 quad-cores, and a pair of Ryzen 3 chips. The Ryzen 7s and Ryzen 5s all feature symmetrical multi-threading (SMT) to double execution threads to eight.

The Ryzen 3 3300 gives you quad-cores, but switches off SMT. The lowest-end Ryzen 3 3200U gives you SMT, but is only a dual-core. For more budget-focused laptops, AMD is also introducing a new Athlon 300U that features two cores with SMT.

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Acer's Chromebook 315 pairs an AMD processor with a 15.6-inch display for as low as $279.99

PC World - Sun, 2019-01-06 12:00

Acer’s Chromebook 315 continues the company’s tradition of affordable, intriguing Chromebooks, with several points of interest. It’s Acer’s first Chromebook with an AMD CPU and integrated Radeon graphics. It's also a relatively mammoth Chromebook, with a 15.6-inch display (most have displays ranging from 11 to 14 inches). But the price is worth noting, too: as low as $279.99, the company said at CES 2019 in Las Vegas.

The Acer Chromebook 14 (CB3-431-C5FM) and the Chromebook Spin 11 have both shot well under the $500 price point, but the Chromebook 315 aims even lower. Acer hasn’t revealed all of the minimum specs of what it’s calling the CB315-2HT, but we know that there’s a non-touchscreen option, the CB315-2H. There’s also “up to” 8GB of RAM and 32GB of eMMC storage.

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Acer's new Swift 7 ultra-thin PC is even smaller, but adds Thunderbolt, Amber Lake and a clickpad

PC World - Sun, 2019-01-06 12:00

Acer’s Swift 7 has become synonymous with ultra-thin, ultra-light laptops. But Acer’s Swift 7 model for 2019 (known as the SF714-52T) does something incredible: It chops about a third of a pound more off the current Swift 7’s package, along with reducing bezels to create a fuller, more attractive display. 

Launching at CES 2019, the Swift 7 (2019) essentially takes the existing Swift 7, upgrades it to the latest 8th-gen “Amber Lake” Intel Core processor, adds in Thunderbolt support and a physically clickable trackpad, and packs everything inside a sleeker, lighter form factor. The new 2019 Swift 7 SF714-52T will be priced about the same as its predecessor with a $1,699 MSRP when shipments begin in May in North America.

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Palo Alto Innovation says its Node-ify Axon can transform almost anything into a smart device

PC World - Sun, 2019-01-06 09:00
This universal sensor can measure temperature, sound, motion, light, weight, and even the water level in your pet’s bowl.

D-Link partners with McAfee on new line of Exo 802.11ac Wi-Fi mesh routers

PC World - Fri, 2019-01-04 15:00

D-Link will unveil a new lineup of mesh Wi-Fi routers and mesh access points at CES next week, featuring built-in network security courtesy of McAfee. Each of the routers in the D-Link Exo product line will be based on the 802.11ac standard and will ship with five years of IoT protection for smart home devices, and two years of cloud-based McAfee antivirus for any laptop, computer, or mobile device that connects to the home network.

The routers will also have built-in parental controls that allow the home network admin to create custom user profiles for each member of the family and the devices they use, so that adults and older children won’t be limited to the lowest common denominator of access that gets assigned to the youngest. Parents will be able to choose from present content filters sorted by age, and they can create usage schedules to limit the amount of time children spend on the web.

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