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Microsoft's '12 Days of Faves' deals knock the Surface Laptop 2 price down to a fantastic $799

Thu, 2018-12-13 16:32

’Tis the season for major retailers to begin offering holiday discounts, and Microsoft has a few definitely worth checking out. The best in its 2018 “12 Days of Faves” knocks the price of the excellent Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 as low as $799, well below the $999 minimum price floor Microsoft established at launch.

Microsoft’s “12 Days of Faves” replaces its “12 Days of Deals” from 2017, where Microsoft ran a number of different deals over 12 days, with a different emphasis on each one. This year, Microsoft quietly posted a list of just a dozen discounted devices, concentrating mostly on its own hardware: $200 off the Surface Book 2Remove non-product link, $200 off the Surface Pro 6Remove non-product link, and $200 off the Dell Inspiron 15Remove non-product link ($499), among others. 

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GOG.com's winter sale kicks off with free copies of LucasArts classic Full Throttle

Thu, 2018-12-13 14:28

It’s beginning to feel a lot like winter, which means it’s time for all the various winter sales to start kicking off. GOG.com is first to usher in the holiday spirit, with “1900 deals up to 90% off.” But more important: GOG’s giving away free copies of the LucasArts classic adventure game Full Throttle.

The story of a man, a motorcycle, and a whole lot of butt-kicking, Full Throttle was lauded in 1995 for its cinematic style and sharp writing. Double Fine remastered the game last year and you know what? It’s still pretty great.

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Samsung upgrades its Notebook 9 Pen (2019) with Thunderbolt and a discrete Nvidia GPU

Thu, 2018-12-13 14:04

Samsung has disclosed that its Samsung Notebook 9 Pen for 2019 will boast a pair of moderately significant upgrades: Thunderbolt I/O ports, and a discrete Nvidia GPU on the larger model.

The 2018 version of Samsung’s Notebook 9 Pen was a study in contrasts: While the exterior felt relatively cheap and plasticky, Samsung’s choice of materials made it exceptionally light. Yet at $1,400, it felt overpriced. And while we applauded the inclusion of the pen—and a holster that was built right into the laptop itself!—the Samsung S Pen eventually got stuck and couldn’t be removed.

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The Full Nerd ep. 78: Intel's comeback plans, laptop GeForce RTX leaks, and fake RGB RAM

Thu, 2018-12-13 11:47

In this episode of the Full Nerd, Gordon Mah UngBrad Chacos, and Adam Patrick Murray talk about what’s next.

We kick things off by discussing Intel’s surprise 10nm “Sunny Cove” CPU architecture and its next-gen graphics cores, then dig deeper into the details behind Intel’s comeback plans. Chipzilla’s been roused and it feels like this is a whole new Intel. Watch out, world.

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Get 4K streaming for insanely cheap with all-time-low pricing on Amazon's Fire TV Stick

Thu, 2018-12-13 11:07

Media streamers open up a whole world of content for cord-cutters, and right now you can grab the one we’ve called “the media streamer to beat” at a steep discount. Amazon’s Fire TV 4K is on sale for $35, down from a list price of $50 and the lowest we’ve seen it. If you buy two, you can save even more, bringing the pair down to $60.

This plug-and-play streamer features 4K HDR streaming for some awesome visuals on supporting TVs. It also comes with the rare useful streaming remote, with control over volume, TV power, and even a mute button all in one place. For hands-free control, the Fire TV 4K is compatible with Amazon's Alexa digital assistant, and can respond to your voice using either the microphone built into the remote or via connection to an Echo. The voice control is a little limited, but it’s still a handy feature, and its ability to control things like volume amps up that convenience factor.

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Samsung Galaxy S10 renders show hole-punch camera, headphone jack, and no fingerprint sensor

Thu, 2018-12-13 09:28

Samsung is gearing up to reveal its new Galaxy S10 lineup in just a couple months, and case seller Mobile Fun has give us clues as to what the new phones will look like, courtesy of a first round of S10 cases from Olixar. And it's shaping up to be one heck of a release.

According to the images Mobile Fun received, the S10 will come in three size: 5.8 inches (Lite), 6.1 inches, and 6.4 inches (Plus). That matches up almost exactly with what Apple did with the iPhone XS and XR this year, but in the case of the S10, the cheapest Lite version will also be the smallest size.

According to Mobile Fun, the images came directly from Olixar's offices in China and they are "extremely confident" that the S10 cases shown here represent final versions of the production models. We regularly speak with other case manufacturers, and Samsung (unlike Google and Apple) does share specs and dimensions with popular case makers so they can have cases ready at the time of the phones' launch.

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Nvidia has slashed $30 off the Shield TV through Christmas Eve so get one while you still can

Thu, 2018-12-13 09:17

The Nvidia Shield TV is two devices in one: an awesome high-end Android TV streaming box and an excellent gaming machine. And to put this wondrous box under more trees this year, Nvidia has dropped the price off the MSRP by $30 for both the gaming edition and the regular version through December 24Remove non-product link. To sweeten the deal, the sale coincides with Nvidia’s latest 7.2 software update for the Shield TV, which brings support for Amazon Music in the U.S.

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AMD's Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 update is packed with performance-boosting features

Thu, 2018-12-13 09:00

Coming into December, I was hard-pressed to think of how AMD could improve Radeon Software after years of rock-solid annual feature updates. But somehow, they’ve done it. On Thursday, the company announced Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition, a sweeping upgrade that builds on past successes introduced in Catalyst OmegaCrimsonReLive, ReLive 17.7.2, and last year’s own Adrenalin.

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Best photo book printing service: Cherish your memories in a DIY project

Thu, 2018-12-13 06:30

Online photo printing has disrupted the photography business, and now you can create your own custom photo book that will look at home on any coffee table. Before, you’d have to bring your film or SD card to a studio to turn your photos into a professional-looking photo book. But now you can upload photos to a website, design the book yourself, and receive a beautiful product in a week or even days later.

Photo book services offer DIY customizations, and you can spend hours putting together and decorating your book to create a truly unique product—whether it’s for your own home or as a gift for a friend.

Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

The first batch of five photo books we reviewed.

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The sudden revival of PlayStation Vue

Thu, 2018-12-13 06:00
Maybe PlayStation Vue isn't ill-fated after all.

Best offbeat Christmas movies to stream in 2018

Thu, 2018-12-13 06:00
When you've had your fill of traditional feel-good Christmas fare, these 12 offbeat movies add an interesting twist to the holidays.

Picaboo photo book review: Decent overall, but photo reproduction is inconsistent

Thu, 2018-12-13 05:30

Picaboo is certainly a contender among the many services that let you create and order a custom photo book online. The company is mostly focused on photo books, but also offers journals, notebooks, calendars, and even mouse pad printing services.

We found its web editor better than Shutterfly’s thanks to a variety of charming options and features. That said, because of occasional crashing and general sluggishness, the Picaboo editor wasn’t as smooth as Mixbook’s. What’s more, the Picaboo book itself suffered some photo consistency issues, and the final printed product wasn’t as striking as we hoped for.

Picaboo has an array of book formats to choose from: Classic (starting at $19.99), the ultra-portable Minibook (starting at $19.99), the Seamless Layflat (starting at $64.99), the leather-wrapped Madison (starting at $199.99), and the double-thick, leather-bound Flush Mount (starting at $399.99). There are seven different sizes in total and two options for each type of book, except for landscape which only has an 11x9-inch option.

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AdoramaPix photo book review: A great tool that creates beautiful, hard-bound books

Thu, 2018-12-13 05:15

If you live in New York City, you might be familiar with the professional photography shop Adorama in lower Manhattan. The company has taken its photo printing to the web with AdoramaPix, where you can order prints and create various products, including photo books.

Whatever Adorama learned running its photo emporium has worked. AdoramaPix wowed us with its polished and snappy editor, original-looking photo prints, and high-quality photo book.

AdoramaPix offers photo books oriented as square (starting at $32.99), portrait (starting at $31.99), and landscape (starting at $36.99), with 14 different sizes total. You can further customize your book with nine different paper types and a hard, soft, fabric, or even leather cover. All of the hardcover, fabric, and leather books have pages that lay flat.

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PrestoPhoto photo book review: Affordable but seriously flawed

Thu, 2018-12-13 05:05

PrestoPhoto isn’t just a photo book service. It’s also an online marketplace for selling your creations—though there’s no obligation to put your work up for sale. It’s a great idea, but sadly PrestoPhoto just doesn’t deliver. The book creation editor is slow, dated-looking and lacks essential features, and the final book it produces doesn’t match the quality of competitors, despite relatively decent (if a bit dark) image reproduction.

On the positive side, PrestoPhoto has the widest selection of photo book types and sizes among the services PCWorld reviewed. There are six different styles, ranging from “landscape” to “tall portrait,” and a whopping 24 different sizes to choose from. Paper comes in either lustre, matte, silk, or velvet, and the book can be either hardcover or softcover. The pages can also lay flat when opened for an additional fee.

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Mixbook photo book review: Great online editor, stunning photo prints

Thu, 2018-12-13 05:00

In the wide world of online photo book services, Mixbook handily distinguishes itself as one of the best. One main reason is Mixbook’s smooth, easy-to-use web editor which makes it a pleasure to assemble your creation. The resulting photo book was also quite good. Colors popped, quality was consistent throughout, and the book looked and felt like a coffee table book you could buy in a museum gift shop.

Mixbook offers three basic photo book types: landscape (starting at $15.99), square (starting at $19.99), and portrait (starting at $24.99). There are seven sizes to choose from, which go from as small as 8x6-inches to as large as 14x11-inches. You can also select from four different covers: softcover, glossy, matte, and leather. And the book’s paper comes in various styles, including semi-gloss, pearl finish, and premium lay flat.

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Shutterfly photo book review: Great photos, not-so-great editor

Thu, 2018-12-13 04:45

Founded in 1999, Shutterfly has been in the online photo printing business the longest among all its DIY photo book competitors. It’s very popular, with millions of customers ordering photo books, prints, cards, and other photo products every year.

When it comes to photo books, Shutterfly offers a sometimes frustrating web editor for creating the book, but somewhat makes up for this with a nice selection of creative features. The photos came out looking good, but we received a book with some trim issues that sliced into text placed near the edge of a page.

Shutterfly has three options for creating your photo book: Make My Book, Custom Path, and Simple Path. The Make My Book service is where Shutterfly’s designers create your book for you. Custom Path has you make your book and arrange your photos. And Simple Path is where you make the book but the photos are automatically arranged for you.

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Careful! Windows 10's 'Check for updates' button may download beta code

Wed, 2018-12-12 17:05

Some users are adventurous, and seek to be the first to use new Windows 10 features via Microsoft’s Windows Insider program. Others aren’t, and just want a stable system to use on day-to-day basis.

If you’re one of the latter, don’t go clicking Windows Update’s “Check for updates” button willy-nilly, or you may unwittingly join the ranks of the Windows pioneers—even if you were simply hoping for a patch to fix a problem with your operating system.

In a blog post this week, Microsoft revealed that those users who click the “Check for updates” button (Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update) are opted in to testing new Windows features on a one-time basis, if they happen to click the button during the third and fourth week of the month. Microsoft calls those updates “C” and “D” releases, and issues them to those who are “seeking” them when they click the update button.

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A Microsoft 365 subscription for consumers wouldn't work without the Xbox

Wed, 2018-12-12 14:21

Microsoft is hiring a product manager to lead a new Microsoft 365 subscription service for consumers—and boy, that person will have their work cut out for them.

The job posting, unearthed by ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, pretty clearly specifies that Microsoft wants to orchestrate a consumer version of the Microsoft 365 subscription it has put in place for enterprises. The existing Microsoft 365 service for enterprises covers Windows 10, Office 365 and a bundle of enterprise services called EMS, mainly geared at device management.

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Watch The Full Nerd talk Intel news and RTX laptop rumors right now!

Wed, 2018-12-12 13:44

Join The Full Nerd gang as they talk about the latest PC hardware topics. In today's show we talk about Intel's big CPU plans for 2019 and beyond, rumors of Nvidia RTX in laptops, and Corsair's wild and fake RGB RAM. As always we will be answering your live questions so speak up in the chat.

If YouTube is not your thing uou can also watch us on Twitch, Facebook, and Twitter!

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Bose's SoundSport Free, the best truly wireless earbuds for exercising, are cheaper than ever

Wed, 2018-12-12 10:53

Wireless earbuds help you tune into your music on the move without the risk of getting tangled in cords, and today, one of our favorite pairs is on sale for the lowest price we’ve ever seen. The Bose SoundSport Free true wireless headphones, which we’ve named our favorite truly wireless workout earbuds, are on sale for $169 at Amazon today, down from a list price of $199 and an original price of $250.

Bose’s earbuds are designed for adventure, with playtime of up to five hours on a single charge, plus 10 more with their charging case, as well as water and sweat resistance. Their design is comfortable but secure so they’ll stay in place during even your most intense workouts. Although they’re a little bigger than similar headphones, they’re light enough to avoid weighing you down. They also have excellent reception and killer sound quality.

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