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Roku adds low-cost Premiere 4K players to its line up

PC World - Mon, 2018-09-24 09:00
Roku is expanding its streaming video player lineup with a 4K player that is half the price of its current 4K offering. The Roku Premiere will launch ahead of the year-end shopping season when 4K TVs are likely to be big sellers.

New Microsoft Search, Ideas tap AI to add smart features to Microsoft's Office 365

PC World - Mon, 2018-09-24 09:00

Smarter searches don’t necessarily need to live in a search engine. This week, Microsoft will debut two tools that will live in Office: Microsoft Search and Ideas, designed to assist workers trying to dig out the document that they need, now.

Microsoft hosts its Microsoft Ignite conference this week, and the company promises literally dozens of announcements—most pertaining to its Azure cloud and related services. But Microsoft also plans a few key developments at the user level, including final rollouts of features the company has announced previously, such as the ability to blur backgrounds within Microsoft Teams video chats and transcribe meetings.

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Microsoft plans to make you pay more to rotate the Surface Hub 2, just to drive you crazy

PC World - Mon, 2018-09-24 09:00

Microsoft is refining its plans for its next-gen Surface Hub 2 collaborative display, separating the product into two distinct “experiences” that will require users to install an upgraded hardware module to enable. But here’s something that may rile some businesses: certain basic features like rotating the display will be reserved for the new, upgraded Surface Hub 2X model due in 2020.

The two new models—the basic Surface Hub 2S, and the upgraded Surface Hub 2X —  will share the same common hardware, according to Microsoft. To upgrade to the 2X experience, administrators won’t buy a separate device. Instead, they’ll be asked to buy a dedicated swappable “processor cartridge” that also contains the operating system for the second 2X experience. But there’s a catch: The 2X experience will support dynamic screen rotation, multi-user authentication, and other features that will not be permitted within the 2S.

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Ecovacs Deebot 901 review: an affordable floor-mapping robot vacuum

Mac World - Mon, 2018-09-24 06:00
This competent cleaner boasts laser navigation and Google Home and Amazon Alexa integration at a fraction of premium-model prices.

iPhone XS networking performance gets a big boost

Mac World - Mon, 2018-09-24 06:00

The performance improvements in the A12 Bionic chip used in the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max certainly sound impressive. Apple says the CPU is up to 15 percent faster, the GPU is up to 50 percent quicker, and the Neural Engine (used in machine learning and augmented reality) is around nine times as fast!

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Ecovacs Deebot 901 review: an affordable floor-mapping robot vacuum

PC World - Mon, 2018-09-24 06:00
This competent cleaner boasts laser navigation and Google Home and Amazon Alexa integration at a fraction of premium-model prices.

FreeOffice 2018 review: Microsoft Office alternative gets some welcome upgrades

PC World - Mon, 2018-09-24 06:00

FreeOffice is the no-cost version of SoftMaker Office, a full-featured Office alternative to Microsoft Office. It included its own takes on Microsoft’s trio of productivity apps: TextMaker (Word), PlanMaker (Excel), and Presentations (PowerPoint). FreeOffice includes many of the features of the paid product, but omits some key ones you can only get by upgrading to SoftMaker’s Office program, which starts at $39.95 per year. It’s available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. An Android tablet version is available for $20.

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10 years ago we met the world's first Android phone, and it didn't have a headphone jack

PC World - Sun, 2018-09-23 06:00

It all started with a slide-out keyboard. Long before camera notches, wireless charging, and confectionery-themed code names, Android was a humble operating system that ran on a single phone: the Google-HTC T-Mobile G1, later known as the HTC Dream. And we got our first look at 10 years ago today.

Released on September 23, 2008, the world’s first Android phone had one mission: to challenge the iPhone. And in that goal, it succeeded. It was chunky (17mm), had a low-resolution display (320x480), and didn’t have a virtual keyboard, thus forcing users to bang away on the tiny pop-out keyboard. It also utilized a quirky trackball and physical buttons for navigation. Still, T-Mobile sold more than a million G1s in its first six months of availability.

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Destiny 2: Forsaken review: There's a reason to play Destiny every day again

PC World - Sat, 2018-09-22 11:53

There are numerous ways to judge a Destiny 2 expansion, but I’ve found it’s easiest to count the days I kept playing. After Curse of Osiris, I stuck around for about two weeks. After Warmind, it was about two days. But Forsaken? It’s been the better part of a month now, and I don’t see myself quitting anytime soon.

I doubted it was possible, but Bungie’s turned Destiny 2 into the hobbyist game people wanted. Does that mean you owe it another shot? Absolutely not. But if you’ve been looking for a reason to revisit the Tower, Forsaken’s a compelling one.

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Hiding in plain sight: Apple’s iPhone strategy

Mac World - Sat, 2018-09-22 07:00

The Macalope brings you this breaking news about Apple: Apple products cost too much. More updates on this late-breaking news as they come in.

Writing for the very nice people and editors and middle managers and a surprising number of luchadores over at Business Insider, Troy Wolverton says “Apple's $1,000 iPhones are turning it into a luxury brand — and it could lose a whole generation of customers.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Nick, Alex and Mickey.)

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Garmin Dash Cam 45 review: Compact, clever and Wi-Fi-enabled, but average video at best

PC World - Fri, 2018-09-21 22:35

Garmin’s Dash Cam 45 shares all the advanced features found in its Dash Cam 55 and Dash Cam 65W siblings, such as driver alerts, Wi-Fi offloading via an app, integrated GPS, and red light camera tracking. It also sports the same compact design and a clever magnetic mount. 

But its night captures aren’t as good as they are on the other two models, and in our tests, the video stabilization doesn’t deal well with large bumps or stiff suspensions. 

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This week in games: Telltale hit with major layoffs and THQ continues its buying spree

PC World - Fri, 2018-09-21 17:11

THQ Nordic bought up the rights to Alone in the Dark this week, so the betting's on. Which once-great-but-now-disgraced-or-discarded series will be next? Eternal Darkness? Fez? Alan Wake? Metal Gear Solid? Jade Empire? So many possibilities.

That news, plus Capcom's Tokyo Games Show presence, Return of the Obra Dinn gets a release date, Frostpunk's first expansion, Telltale closes and cancels Wolf Among Us 2, and LawBreakers goes to an early grave.

This is gaming news for September 17 to 21.

Weekend warrior

As per usual, kicking off the round-up with the games you could be playing this weekend—for free, of course. First up is Ghost Recon: Wildlands, which I wasn't too fond of last year but which is definitely big enough to keep you occupied for three days. Head here and log into your Uplay account to get temporary access.

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If you're upgrading to an iPhone XS, your old iPhone X case might cause more harm than good

Mac World - Fri, 2018-09-21 16:46

To the untrained eye, it seems as though the iPhone X and the iPhone XS are identical. They both have the same screen, the same dual camera, and the same dimensions, so it would stand to reason that any old iPhone X case would fit fine.

That's not the case. Although some case makers were originally simply rebranding their iPhone X cases as iPhone XS cases after the Gather Round event earlier this month, things have changed since the iPhone XS started shipping. Apparently, the camera bump is imperceptibly taller on the iPhone XS, which is causing issues with some stiffer cases.

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Unboxing of the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max

Mac World - Fri, 2018-09-21 15:31
We got the new iPhone and we took the wraps off during a video that was streamed live to Twitter. If you missed it, you can watch it here.(twitter.com)

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Get a Milanese loop band for your Apple Watch for less than 8 bucks

Mac World - Fri, 2018-09-21 13:58

Apple typically plays up the Milanese loop band for its higher-end Apple Watches, and it’s not hard to understand why. It’s as elegant as they come—a stainless steel mesh strap that wraps in around your wrist and stays in place with the help of a simple magnet. Normally you’ll pay $149 for this elegance on Apple’s own siteRemove non-product link. But today, by entering the code NPXMFVM6 at checkout on Tirnga’s listing on AmazonRemove non-product link, you get a Milanese loop band for your Apple Watch for as little as $7.49.

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Intel's 905P Optane reaches a tempting 1.5TB, but drive prices remain high

PC World - Fri, 2018-09-21 13:53

Intel just introduced its largest Optane-based SSDs yet, but the shocker may be that one comes in the rarely seen U.2 interface.

Intel on Thursday announced its Optane 905P drives with three flavors:

  • A 905P in PCIe add-in card, or if you’re into the nomenclature thing: HHHL (half height, half length) trim. It’ll come in capacities of 960GB and 1.5TB.
  • A 905P M.2 “gumstick” drive in capacities of up to 380GB.
  • A 905P in U.2 in capacities of 1.5TB, 960GB, and 480GB. 

The last drive is probably a surprise to those who don’t read Obscure SSD Quarterly, (Editor's note: not a real media outlet) because it’s only the third U.2 drive to be introduced. Ever. The previous two—the 900P and the 750—were also made by Intel, so it’s a very rare form factor.

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With iOS 12, the HomePod finally feels like a member of the household

Mac World - Fri, 2018-09-21 13:39

HomePod and I were going through a rough patch. It wasn’t a great relationship to begin with, admittedly, but in the beginning there was at least that thrill of attraction; that admiration for the way it could fill a room with ravishing sound. We didn’t do much else together, though, and so we drifted apart. She was kinda messy. For months, we didn’t even talk. But that was until iOS 12 came along and reignited the flame to burn brighter than it had before.

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Keep your phone powered up at home or on the go with Amazon's awesome Anker sale

PC World - Fri, 2018-09-21 12:24

Whether you're waiting for the FedEx truck to bring your shiny new iPhone XS Max or are just trying to get a squeeze more months out of your Galaxy S7, there's one thing you both have in common: the charger that comes in the box isn't good enough. So if you're looking for a better way to juice up your phone, Amazon has you covered today with some all-time lows on Anker's excellent line of high-speed charging accessoriesRemove non-product link.

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Keep your phone powered up at home or on the go with Amazon's awesome Anker sale

Mac World - Fri, 2018-09-21 12:24

Whether you're waiting for the FedEx truck to bring your shiny new iPhone XS Max or are just trying to get a squeeze more months out of your Galaxy S7, there's one thing you both have in common: the charger that comes in the box isn't good enough. So if you're looking for a better way to juice up your phone, Amazon has you covered today with some all-time lows on Anker's excellent line of high-speed charging accessoriesRemove non-product link.

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Lenovo Legion Y920 review: A hefty gaming laptop with buttery graphics and a mechanical keyboard

PC World - Fri, 2018-09-21 12:06

The Lenovo Legion Y920, with its full-on GTX 1070-calibre graphics, a bright 17-inch screen, and a mechanical keyboard, makes for a solid—and quite hefty—gaming laptop. Besides its premium mechanical keyboard, the Y920 boasts some enticing amenities that its competitors lack, such as a one-touch Turbo mode and Dolby Atmos sound.

It’s a good machine, but shop wisely. Gamers focused purely on the visuals may balk at the Y920’s hefty price tag, particularly given that a similarly configured version of the Alienware 17 R5Remove non-product link (not the maxed-out version we reviewed) currently costs many hundreds of dollars less. You’ll also see 17-inch gaming laptops with newer CPUs than its 7th-generation overclockable part. 

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