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Updated: 51 min 37 sec ago

WatchOS 6: Everything you need to know about the new feature, faces, and functions

2 hours 22 min ago
Apple has unveiled watchOS 6, and it makes the Apple Watch more independent than ever.

Creative Super X-Fi Air review: Surround-sound magic inside Bluetooth headphones

2 hours 52 min ago

Earlier this year we reviewed the new Super X-Fi Amp from Creative, and since then it’s continued to amaze me and the people I demo it for. Now Creative has taken the same amazing audio processing technology and jammed it into a pair of over-the-ear Bluetooth headphones called the Super X-Fi Air. Unfortunately the headphones themselves are not as amazing as the tech they contain, but they still offer some great features for the price.

Adam Patrick Murray/IDG Super X-Fi technology

To recap what Super X-Fi is, it’s audio software processing that simulates a surround-sound speaker setup, and accurately reflects that setup with just a pair of stereo headphones. It does this by taking scans of your ears and face and pairing it with positional audio algorithms—a special mixture that has not been done before in the consumer audio space.

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Ring Floodlight, Battery review: Not enough light and not enough smarts

3 hours 22 min ago
The Ring Floodlight, Battery is one of the company's new Smart Lighting devices, but it's a little too dim, and a little too simple.

Are Huawei laptops safe? Intel, Microsoft promise support, but the future remains uncertain

3 hours 22 min ago

As the U.S. Government’s ban on Huawei grinds on, the biggest questions consumers likely have are whether that Matebook laptop on Amazon is safe to buy, or whether the Huawei machine they’ve already bought is safe. After all, if Intel, AMD, Nvidia, Qualcomm and other U.S. tech companies can no longer sell chips to the Chinese tech company, isn’t the company basically dead to you?

The answer likely depends on whether you care about Huawei’s future as a PC maker, or if you only care about your particular future with a Huawei laptop.

What the U.S. ban on Huawei means

The ban on Huawei, enacted in May, essentially forbids U.S. companies from doing business with the tech giant. Obviously, if Huawei is unable to buy CPUs from Intel or AMD, or graphics chips from AMD or Nvidia, let alone memory and storage from other U.S.-based companies, it likely means any future Huawei PC laptops are in limbo.

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Coway Aquamega 200C review: Cleanse contaminants and track your drinking-water consumption

3 hours 22 min ago
This countertop water filter reduces nearly a dozen pollutants, but it's not worth the investment for everyone.

Microsoft's new Windows Terminal app is now live in preview

Sat, 2019-06-22 12:00

Microsoft said late Friday that a preview release of Windows Terminal is now officially live, allowing early access to the open-source terminal application which is scheduled for a version 1.0 release this winter.

While the preview version of the Terminal app can be downloaded from the Microsoft Store, Microsoft warned that it currently lacks many usability issues. For example, though the tabbed interface seemed to work, the tearaway windows didn’t seem to be quite functional yet. You’ll need Windows 10 version 18362.0 or higher as a prerequisite, the company said.

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This week in games: Bethesda ships Fallout 76's canvas bags and EA dubs loot boxes "surprise mechanics"

Fri, 2019-06-21 17:51

Everyone, take a deep breath and let it out. Congratulations, we survived another E3 and the news onslaught that entails. Your reward? The slow period, those merciful months of July and August where almost nothing happens and we can finally catch up on the backlog. Or, you know, buy more games in the Steam Sale next week.

There’s a bit of E3 mop-up happening this week though, so without further ado let’s discuss EA’s euphemistic description of loot boxes as “surprise mechanics,” the disappearance of Alpha Protocol, the arrival of The Outer Worlds E3 demo, and those damn Fallout 76 canvas bags.

This is gaming news for June 17 to 21.

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The U.S. blacklists five Chinese supercomputer firms, including AMD joint venture THATIC

Fri, 2019-06-21 14:31

The Trump Administration has taken further action against China, placing several of the country’s top supercomputing firms on the so-called “entity list” of companies with whom U.S. companies are forbidden to do business. Currently, that list’s most famous entrant is Huawei.

The New York Times noticed that five companies have been added to the entity list, including some with entrants among the world’s fastest supercomputers, known as the Top500 list. The new entrants on the entity list also include THATIC, a joint venture AMD had set up with the Chinese government in 2016 to license an x86 chip for use in China. 

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Planet Zoo was quietly one of the best demos at E3 2019

Fri, 2019-06-21 06:30

“We are working with live animals here. These are pretty much impossible to script.” And with that our tour begins, a slow pan across the milling crowds, past the education center—and then, giraffes. Three or four wander the first enclosure, heads peeking up past the walls. One splays its legs, pausing to take a drink from the pond. Nearby, a springbok does the same, with less leg-splaying.

It’s peaceful here, and I wish I could sit and watch—but we only have about 20 minutes for a breakneck demo of Planet Zoo. Alas.

One giant leap for zoo-kind

Video games advance so steadily, it’s often hard to notice the improvements except in retrospect. Measured year over year, nothing, but every five years? Or ten? Point being, a shooter in 2019 looks much the same as a shooter in 2018, but both look quite a bit better than one from 2012, and that’s the way of progress.

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Dell G7 15 7590 review: 9th-gen Core and RTX power in a low-key chassis

Fri, 2019-06-21 06:15

Dell’s second-generation G7 15 gaming laptop has arrived less than a year since the original debuted last summer (and we reviewed it in the fall). Designed for mainstream gamers who lack either the money or the moxie for Dell’s flashier Alienware gaming brand, the G7 15 (Model 7590, for you diehard fans) still offers some snazzy new options—like the 9th-generation Intel Core processor and Nvidia RTX graphics in our review unit.

In this case, however, buying the latest and greatest is an investment in the future. The brand-new CPU offers a modest performance uptick. Only a small (and slow-growing) number of games support the RTX GPU’s ray tracing talents, while earlier games see scant benefit.

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Sonos Amp review: This is the best Sonos music streamer by far (even if it’s not right for everyone)

Fri, 2019-06-21 06:00
The Sonos Amp is a great-sounding and supremely flexible amplifier that's a superb choice for your home theater or for critical listening. And it will drive just about any type of passive loudspeaker you'd care to use.

Judges named the best high-end TV at the Value Electronics TV Shootout during CE Week 2019

Fri, 2019-06-21 06:00
The 15th annual faceoff between flagship TVs from LG, Samsung, and Sony revealed that picture quality continues to improve while performance differences continue to dwindle.

Google won't be making its own Android or Chrome OS tablets any more

Thu, 2019-06-20 15:17

If you’ve been waiting for a Pixel Slate 2 or Pixel C 2, we have some bad news: Google has confirmed that it won’t be making its own branded tablets any more—Android, Chrome, or otherwise.

Google confirmed a ComputerWorld report that stated the company was done making tablets. The publication said the decision was made public at an internal company meeting this week and included two smaller-sized projects that were in development.

A spokesperson from Google said: “Chrome OS has grown in popularity across a broad range of form factors and we’ll continue to work with our ecosystem of partners on laptops and tablets. For Google’s first-party hardware efforts, we’ll be focusing on Chrome OS laptops and will continue to support Pixel Slate.”

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Best wireless charger: Ditch the headache of cables with our top pick

Thu, 2019-06-20 14:56

As convenience goes, wireless charging can’t be beat. You simply drop your phone onto the charger and walk away. Gone is the headache of managing cables that inevitably break or get lost.

Until recently, the main drawback to wireless chargers has been slow adoption and slow charging. This style of charging is still not ubiquitous, but you can now find Samsung, LG, Sony, and Moto phones that support it on the Android side, and Apple has adopted it for its iPhone lineup as well. And the technology itself is finally reaching a point where its speed is easier to live with, too.

Now that it’s a good time to go out and grab a stand or pad, we’ve tested some of the most popular models out there for both Android and iPhone, and discovered our favorites among the bunch. Read on for our findings, and check back periodically for our latest updates.

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Trump tariffs on Chinese goods could cost you $120 more for notebook PCs, say Dell, HP and CTA

Thu, 2019-06-20 14:28

Dell, HP, Intel, and Microsoft warned that Trump Administration tariffs levied on Chinese imports would raise laptop prices by as much as 19 percent or $120, no matter which manufacturer made them. 

In a public comment attached to the proposed action filed Wednesday, the four companies cited a Consumer Technology Association report issued this week that said the tariffs would add about $120 to the average price of a laptop, beginning in the popular back-to-school and holiday seasons. Laptops purchased from Chinese manufacturers like Lenovo would cost 21 percent more, the CTA found. 

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Best VPN services: Reviews and buying advice

Thu, 2019-06-20 13:50

Choosing the right virtual private network (VPN) service is no simple task. A VPN should keep your internet usage private and secure, but not every service handles your data in the same way. Just look at the critiques of notable computer security experts and online pundits to understand the challenge.

Even supposed experts in the field can turn out to be frauds, as was recently reported about site TheBestVPN.com. The site’s creator appears to not actually be a cypber-security expert, as he once claimed, but might not actually be a real person, casting serious doubt on any of the site’s VPN reviews and research.

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Apple issues voluntary recall of 15-inch MacBook Pro

Thu, 2019-06-20 13:11
Laptops sold between September 2015 and February 2017 are affected.

Newegg has cut the price of this 27-inch 1440p Acer FreeSync monitor to an all-time low

Thu, 2019-06-20 12:55

Whether you play games or watch movies, a great monitor is essential for maximum entertainment. Today, though, you can save $200 on the 27-inch 1440p Acer FreeSync monitor (XG270HU) at NeweggRemove non-product link. You’ll need to use the code EMCTBVT34 and enter your email address to get the lowest price.

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Amazon's one-day Logitech sale offers all-time low prices on keyboards, mice, and more

Thu, 2019-06-20 09:27

It’s time to stock up on accessories, PC fans. Amazon has a one-day sale on today with many Logitech peripherals for gaming and productivityRemove non-product link at or close to their all-time lows. The sale has a lot of mice, but there are also deals on headsets, keyboards, webcams, and other assorted peripherals. Here are our top three picks from the sale:

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iOttie iTap 2 Wireless review: A car mount and wireless charger in one

Thu, 2019-06-20 06:30

We’ve already looked at an iOttie wireless charging stand, and found it to be well designed and fast. The same can almost be said for the iTap 2, a smartphone mount that doubles as a wireless charging pad designed to attach to an air vent in your car.

The air vent mount is actually just one of three configurations the iTap 2 comes in: It’s also available as a mount that uses your old CD slot in your car’s stereo or as a dash mount. All three are priced at $55 and are capable of wirelessly charging your Qi-enabled smartphone.

Note: This review is part of our roundup of wireless charging pads. Go there for details on competing products and our testing methods for both Android phones and iPhones.

Included with the iTap 2 is the charging pad, a microUSB cable, a 12V adapter that itself sports an additional USB port that can be used to charge another device in your car. There’s also the mounting hardware required to hold your phone in place.

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