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The Bard's Tale IV review impressions: An enthralling adventure hobbled by PC performance issues

PC World - Tue, 2018-09-18 12:00

The fate of the world is at stake, and I haven't even made it out of the starting city. The Bard's Tale IV seems long, to say the least—I'm ten hours in as I write this, and I feel like I just finished the prologue. Suffice it to say, we're not slapping a score on this one yet.

And perhaps that's a good thing, because The Bard's Tale IV ($35 on Humble) is a fascinating game that desperately needs polishing up.

A looming high-resolution shadow

Let's just deal with performance first, because it really is abysmal. Listen, I'm running a PC with an overclocked i7-5820K and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. It is absolute overkill for even the most cutting-edge games, and The Bard's Tale IV isn't one of them. Art direction is strong, but you wouldn't look at it and go "Wow, what a technical feat." Indeed, the recommended specs on the Steam page are a fairly reasonable i5-4590 and a GTX 970.

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Newegg is selling an 8GB AMD Radeon RX 580 for less than $200—and you get 3 games free

PC World - Tue, 2018-09-18 10:14

You know it’s a great day when you can get a solid entry-level graphics card and three free games for under $200. That day is today. Newegg has an 8GB MSI Radeon RX 580 for $190Remove non-product link after a $30 mail-in rebate, and this card is eligible for AMD’s Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey free game bundle.

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iPhone XS, XS Max review roundup: Beautiful and ‘the best yet,’ but maybe wait for the XR

Mac World - Tue, 2018-09-18 10:03

With the iPhone XS and XS Max set to hit shelves on Friday, the first round of reviews from those Apple deemed worthy to get one early has arrived. And of you haven’t already pre-ordered, you might want to continue waiting.

That’s pretty much what we expected when Apple unveiled its new iPhones last week. As you can tell by their names, the XS and XS Max are visually indistinguishable from last year’s iPhone X, save for the larger screen on the Max. Other than those extra pixels (which will cost you an extra hundred bucks) and a new gold color, the improvements over the iPhone X are all on the inside, and that might make it a tricky upgrade, especially for people who bought an iPhone X last year.

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Vizio Home Theater Sound System with Dolby Atmos review: This speaker covers all the bases

Mac World - Tue, 2018-09-18 08:00
This soundbar features immersive audio for movies, Chromecast for multi-room audio, and Google Assistant support for voice control.

Vizio Home Theater Sound System with Dolby Atmos review: This speaker covers all the bases

PC World - Tue, 2018-09-18 08:00
This soundbar features immersive audio for movies, Chromecast for multi-room audio, and Google Assistant support for voice control.

A total letup: The Apple Watch Series 4

Mac World - Tue, 2018-09-18 07:00

It’s almost a full week after Apple’s event and the Macalope still hasn’t dug out from the pile of goofball predictions made before it.

Writing for Inverse, Mike Brown said the “Apple Watch Series 4 Leaks Indicate That a Messy Letdown Is in Store.” (Tip o’ the antlers 5cat.)

Yeah that whole freaking electrocardiogram in a smartwatch was such a letdown, wasn’t it?

What was it that tipped Brown off to the letdownening that most certainly happened?

…a leaked product shot has already indicated that Apple still isn’t sure what to do when giving a user extra screen space on their wrist.

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World of Warships dives deep for new players, adding submarines to popular naval combat game

PC World - Tue, 2018-09-18 07:00

Free-to-play naval combat game World of Warships will make a drastic and controversial U-turn and add submarines to the mix next year, Wargaming officials announced Tuesday morning.

Gamers can get a taste of the silent service October 31. The company will let players sample submarines for the first time as part of a temporary Halloween gag, where ships and subs take on spooky themes.

Submarines, however, aren't just a short-term gag. Wargaming officials said submersibles will be added as the permanent 5th class of vessels alongside World War II-era battleships, cruisers, destroyers, and aircraft carriers. World of Warships is known for its meticulously modelling of ships such as the H.M.S. Hood, Bismarck, and U.S.S. Missouri.

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Logitech Crayon review: An Apple Pencil alternative that can take a punch

Mac World - Tue, 2018-09-18 06:00

Crayon, if you don’t know, happens to be the French word for “pencil.” It’s a fitting name for Logitech Crayon, which takes the concept of the Apple Pencil and approaches it from a different angle, specifically one centered on the rough-and-tumble playfulness we associate with “crayon” in English.

When it was originally announced, sales of Crayon were to be only to schools using the 2018 9.7-inch iPad. But on September 12, Apple and Logitech opted to let the rest of the public in the party, and it’s a useful tool for the right kind of iPad user. It’s a little more pragmatic than the Apple Pencil. It’s certainly tougher. But most importantly, it only costs $69.99—nice, considering that the Apple Pencil costs a full $30 more.

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Garmin Dash Cam 65W review: State-of-the-art features in a compact design

PC World - Tue, 2018-09-18 06:00

Garmin’s Dash Cam 65W has all the latest fancy features, such as voice command, red light camera warnings, bad driver alerts, GPS, and Wi-Fi connectivity. It also packages them in a nice compact design that sports a very clever magnetic mount. 

The $250 65W is basically the same camera as the Garmin Dash Cam 55 that I gave four stars to over a year ago, except that it sports a wider-angle 180 degree lens. It’s also “limited” to 1080p (which is fine) rather than 1440p video. Note that the wider lens, while capturing a larger swath of action, does impart a noticeable fish-eye effect. Regardless, a very nice dash cam on the whole.

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Withings is back with the Steel HR Sport, a connected GPS hybrid watch that lasts 25 days

Mac World - Tue, 2018-09-18 03:01

Withings couldn’t have picked a more opportune time to make its return. With the Apple Watch Series 4 set to release in just a few days, interest in wrist wearables couldn’t be higher, and to celebrate its re-arrival, Withings is launching a new Sport version of its popular Steel HR wearable. 

Apple fans are intimately familiar with the French maker of high-end devices such as scales, baby monitors, and sleep trackers, but for the past two years the company has been languishing under the Nokia Health umbrella with no new product to speak of. Now that the company is independent again, it’s putting a renewed focus on design and intelligence, and the Steel HR Sport is the first fruits of the company’s new direction. A hybrid watch with a classic style and swappable bands, the Steel HR gives you the benefits of a smartwatch without any of the drawbacks: It has 25-day battery life, an analog display, heart-rate monitor 50M of water resistance, and connected GPS, a first for the line. 

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Withings is back with the Steel HR Sport, a connected GPS hybrid watch that lasts 25 days

PC World - Tue, 2018-09-18 03:01

Withings couldn’t have picked a more opportune time to make its return. With the Apple Watch Series 4 set to release in just a few days, interest in wrist wearables couldn’t be higher, and to celebrate its re-arrival, Withings is launching a new Sport version of its popular Steel HR wearable. 

Apple fans are intimately familiar with the French maker of high-end devices such as scales, baby monitors, and sleep trackers, but for the past two years the company has been languishing under the Nokia Health umbrella with no new product to speak of. Now that the company is independent again, it’s putting a renewed focus on design and intelligence, and the Steel HR Sport is the first fruits of the company’s new direction. A hybrid watch with a classic style and swappable bands, the Steel HR gives you the benefits of a smartwatch without any of the drawbacks: It has 25-day battery life, an analog display, heart-rate monitor 50M of water resistance, and connected GPS, a first for the line. 

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The Shortcuts app for iOS 12 is now available—make sure you grab it!

Mac World - Mon, 2018-09-17 13:30

One of iOS 12’s greatest new features is Siri Shortcuts: the ability for apps to tie into Siri by letting you make custom Siri phrases to perform in-app actions. Siri may still have a long way to go on answering general questions, but this sort of customizable deep tie-in with apps makes it a lot more useful.

Going hand-in-hand with that feature is a new app from Apple called Shortcuts. If you’re familiar with Automator on the Mac, this is essentially the iOS equivalent of that. You use the app to create step-by-step series of automated actions, tying together multiple phone features and various inputs into a single script you can summon with a custom Siri phrase.

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iOS 12, tvOS 12, and watchOS 5 are now available

Mac World - Mon, 2018-09-17 13:16

Following months of beta testing, Apple has released its latest operating systems for mobile, TV, and Apple Watch to the general public. Get ready for an afternoon of downloading and device restarts as you update your gear to iOS 12, tvOS 12, and watchOS 5.

The latest Mac operating system, macOS Mojave, is scheduled for release on Monday, September 24.

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BrandPost: Say Goodbye to Password Anxiety, Free Password Manager Simplifies and Organizes Your Online Life

PC World - Mon, 2018-09-17 12:33

Every computer user has a password problem. The meteoric rise in the number of websites visited on a daily basis, combined with our ‘there’s an app for that’ mentality, have created the need to remember – or write down – literally hundreds of login and password combinations for everything from Amazon to Zappos.

Until now, users could either create easily-remembered passwords, or write them on sticky notes taped to their monitors – not a great strategy if password strength is your objective. In a world where cybercriminals are eager to gain access to every user’s logins, how can you be safe – without having to remember arcane, unique passwords for every site and application and on every computer and browser used at home or on the job?

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Power up everything for just $17 with this deal on Sabrent's 10-port desktop USB charger

Mac World - Mon, 2018-09-17 11:32

Finding an open outlet to charge multiple devices can be a pain, even in your own house. That's where multi-port USB chargers can save the day, and today you can get one big enough to charge everything in your house for cheap: Amazon is selling Sabrent's 10-port desktop USB charger for just $17Remove non-product link, down from a list price of $45 and just pennies off an all-time low.

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Power up everything for just $17 with this deal on Sabrent's 10-port desktop USB charger

PC World - Mon, 2018-09-17 11:32

Finding an open outlet to charge multiple devices can be a pain, even in your own house. That's where multi-port USB chargers can save the day, and today you can get one big enough to charge everything in your house for cheap: Amazon is selling Sabrent's 10-port desktop USB charger for just $17Remove non-product link, down from a list price of $45 and just pennies off an all-time low.

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Charge everything for $17 with this deal on Sabrent's 10-port desktop USB fast charger

Mac World - Mon, 2018-09-17 11:32

Finding an open outlet to charge multiple devices can be a pain, even in your own house. That's where multi-port USB chargers can save the day, and today you can get one big enough to charge everything in your house for cheap: Amazon is selling Sabrent's 10-port desktop USB charger for just $17Remove non-product link, down from a list price of $45 and just pennies off an all-time low.

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The Full Nerd ep. 67: Inside Nvidia's futuristic Turing GPU, GeForce RTX overclocking made easy

PC World - Mon, 2018-09-17 10:23

In this episode of the Full Nerd, Gordon Mah UngBrad ChacosAlaina Yee, and Adam Patrick Murray dig deep into the beast at the heart of the GeForce RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti.

We kick things off with more details about Nvidia’s radical new Turing architecture, pulling the most pertinent details from Brad’s massive Turing GPU deep-dive. (And we do mean massive.) What makes it faster in traditional games? How can it handle ray tracing? What the heck are tensor cores? We explain it all.

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How low can our favorite SSD for most people, Samsung's 860 Evo, go? 256GB for $58

PC World - Mon, 2018-09-17 10:16

Sometimes prices on Amazon get a little on the ridiculous side. If you're looking for a new SSD, today is one of those days. The 250GB Samsung 860 Evo is just $58Remove non-product link while the 1TB version is $170Remove non-product link. The 1TB version is also available for the same price in the M.2 form factorRemove non-product link. Those are all the lowest prices we've ever seen for these drives.

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JBL Link 300 review: This Google Assistant-powered speaker delivers multi-room sound and smart home skills

Mac World - Mon, 2018-09-17 08:30
Shake your money maker with the middle of JBL’s Link series of smart speakers.

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