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You can get these $260 headphones for only $67 today

Wed, 2019-05-29 14:19

Normally, you'd be hard-pressed to find a pair of headphones that sound great, feel amazing, and don't burn a hole in your wallet. But, this Memorial Day, you can get your hands on the TREBLAB Z2 Wireless Noise-Cancelling Headphones for only $67—a mere fraction of their $260 retail price—when you use the WEEKEND15 coupon code at checkout.

These headphones offer virtually everything that you’d expect to find in an elite pair of headphones, but they cost far less than other models with similar specs. They look great, fit comfortably, and they offer a sound that’ll take your listening enjoyment to the next level.

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Amazon’s Echo Show 5 could kneecap the Google Nest Hub

Wed, 2019-05-29 12:20
Its 5.5-inch display is slightly smaller, but it has a camera and is priced at just $90.

The Jaybird X4, our favorite wireless earphones, are down to an all-time-low on Amazon today

Wed, 2019-05-29 11:44

As more and more phones remove the headphone jack, wireless headphones that cost a bundle are becoming the norm. Today you can get an awesome pair for an all-time-low price: The Jaybird X4 wireless sports headphones in the storm metallic/glacier color are $104.64 todayRemove non-product link, down from a list price of $130.

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Intel's 2nd-gen Optane Memory M15 upgrades storage performance speeds

Wed, 2019-05-29 11:40

Buried among 10th-gen Core laptop CPU news, Intel unexpectedly dropped an update to its Optane Memory platform that ups storage performance, but doesn’t increase capacity.

Intel describes Optane Memory M15 as a 2nd-generation version of the original Optane Memory M10 released last year. Optane Memory exists mostly as a caching-style technology that helps speed up the responsiveness of your most commonly accessed files on larger hard drives and SSDs. It’s not intended for use as a primary drive.

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How to pay for NYC subway and bus fares using your Apple, Android, Fitbit, or Samsung device

Wed, 2019-05-29 10:45

As the saying goes, if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. Starting Friday, contactless payments are set to expand in a big way as New York City MTA riders will be able to pass through the turnstiles with just a flick of their wrist or a wave of their phone—as long as they’re wearing an NFC-enabled Apple Watch, Fitbit, Samsung, or Android device.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s One Metro New York is launching a new tap-and-pay program on several transit lines, including all Staten Island buses, and all stops on the 4, 5, and 6 subway lines between Grand Central and Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center. The MTA plans to expand the OMNY program to the entire NYC public transportation system by 2021.

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Intel teases 'Performance Maximizer' one-click overclocking tool, with insurance to back it up

Wed, 2019-05-29 10:21

In June, Intel will debut the Performance Maximizer, a one-click software tool that will automatically overclock your high-end PC processor. Also due to return is Intel’s “insurance for overclockers,” the Performance Tuning Protection Plan.

Intel’s Performance Maximizer is designed for newcomers to overclocking, or for people who don’t want to fiddle with manually tweaking voltages and memory timings. The tool, which will live at Intel’s Performance Maximizer page, will only be available for a few processors: the Core i5-9600K, the Core i7-9700K, and the Core i9-9900K. (It will be available for the graphics-less “F-series” versions of those chips as well.)

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Intel dreams of the PC's future: 'Ambient PCs,' fancy fabrics, and a monster dual-display gaming rig

Wed, 2019-05-29 09:33

Intel showed off its dual-screen “Tiger Rapids” concept PC last year at Computex. This year, dual-screen laptops became reality. Now, it’s on to the next innovation: the Ambient PC, based around an “edge display” that will allow you to interact with your laptop without even opening it.

That’s not to say that Intel doesn’t continue to innovate in dual-screen PCs. Its “Honeycomb Glacier” concept PC puts an additional rectangular screen above the keyboard—then lifts it and the conventional display on an upward hinge. Intel also continued the trend set by HP’s leather-bound and wood PCs by showing off some fabric-clad, dual-screen displays with “Twin Rivers”.

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Lenovo's Ryzen-powered Flex 14 convertible laptop with an Active Pen is just $529 right now

Wed, 2019-05-29 08:46

Amazon’s one-day PC sale is over, but the great laptop deals aren’t. The Lenovo Flex 14 convertible laptop is currently $529, for example. It’s been at this price for a few days, but before that it was sitting much higher, at around $590. It’s not clear when the price might go back up again.

This is an AMD-based Lenovo Flex 2-in-1, featuring a 2.1GHz, quad-core Ryzen 5 3500U processor with Radeon Vega 8 graphics, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB NVMe SSD. That’s not a lot of storage for a Windows machine, but an NVMe drive paired with that processor means the performance on this thing will be zippy.

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Microsoft OS exec puts Windows 10 Home Ultra rumors to rest

Wed, 2019-05-29 08:33

A top Microsoft executive says that there is no Windows 10 Home Ultra, putting to rest rumors that were accidentally fueled by a listing in a Dell press release.

Following the Microsoft keynote at Computex Wednesday afternoon, I asked Roanne Sones, corporate vice president of OS platforms, whether the reports of a “Windows 10 Home Ultra” version were in fact true. 

“That’s created some confusion,” she said, waiting to cross to the convention center in Taipei. “There’s no special Ultra [edition], or anything different. It doesn’t exist.”

Sones said that the early reports of the Ultra version of Windows 10 had prompted texts from HP and other PC vendors, wondering what was going on.

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Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E6 review: B&O's signature sound in an in-ear monitor

Wed, 2019-05-29 06:00
The Beoplay E6 is a wireless in-ear-headphone in a sweat- and dust-resistant package that's just the ticket for active lifestyles.

Dell brings fancy features to the Inspiron 15 7000 and Inspiron 13 5000

Tue, 2019-05-28 17:45

Dell’s Inspiron 13 5000 and Inspiron 15 7000 laptops prove consumer doesn’t have to be boring. Announced Monday at Computex in Taipei, these mainstream laptops are thin and light, though they still offer all the ports you need, from USB-A to HDMI. Optional features include high-end processors and storage aplenty. 

The Inspiron 13 5000 starts at $580. It’s a good sight more affordable than the high-end XPS 13 laptop it resembles, yet it offers many similar perks: thin display bezels, a slender 14.9mm-thin chassis, and a starting weight of just 2.59 pounds. When it ships in late May or early June, it will offer CPU options up to Intel’s 8th-gen Core i7, up to 8GB of LDDR3 RAM, and up to 512GB of PCIe SSD storage. You even get a discrete graphics option in Nvidia’s GeForce MX250. 

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The HP Envy Wood Series puts real walnut or birch in five stylish laptops

Tue, 2019-05-28 16:40

With the HP Envy Wood Series laptops, HP is making another daring commitment to natural materials. It started with the all-leather-clad Spectre Folio, and now we have real walnut or birch inlay on four Envy laptops.

Each Envy Wood Series laptop features authentic wood inlay in the keyboard deck, including the touchpad surface. The rest of the laptop is clad in metal.

Now don’t worry, you can still get an all-metal Envy laptop if you wish. With the Wood Series, HP is offering a trendy option that gives you a warm, natural finish and a truly unique look, as each wood inlay is different from the next. 

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Nvidia's G-Sync Compatible validation flunks over 94% of FreeSync monitors. Here's why

Tue, 2019-05-28 14:50

There’s good news for gamers hoping to pair their favorite FreeSync monitor with a GeForce graphics card: 28 panels now meet Nvidia’s G-Sync Compatible validation requirements, unlocking the silky-smooth gaming benefits of adaptive sync technology without any headache, hassle, or extra work. 

The bad news? Nvidia says that 475 of the 503 adaptive sync panels it examined as part of of "phase 1" of its G-Sync Compatible testing failed. That’s essentially like having 5 percent a class pass the test and graduate. Ouch.

Nvidia's G-Sync Compatible initiative supplements the company's first-party G-Sync displays. G-Sync Compatible monitors are non-G-Sync displays that support the adaptive sync standard for variable refresh rates while gaming—AMD FreeSync monitors, essentially. Only models that meet Nvidia's stringent standards achieve the label, and have variable refresh rates automatically unlocked on GeForce GPUs.  

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Valve Index impressions: An eye-opening headset that pushes enthusiast VR further

Tue, 2019-05-28 13:00

Until about six months ago, I would’ve said the HTC Vive was Valve’s virtual reality headset. It wasn’t, of course—merely the product of a mutually beneficial partnership. But with the VR market seemingly divided between Oculus on one side and Valve on the other, the Vive naturally became the face of SteamVR and everything “Not Oculus.”

Now Valve has its own headset though: the $999 Valve Index. Why Valve struck out on its own, we may never know, but either way the Index is now ipso facto the new face of SteamVR—and it finally ushers Valve's infamous “Knuckles” controllers to market after years of rough-looking prototypes.

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This Asus Vivobook gaming laptop dropped to $499 for a 29% price reduction on Amazon

Tue, 2019-05-28 12:30

Gaming laptops are essential for... well, PC gaming. But they usually don't come cheap. Today, though, you can snag the Asus Vivobook K570ZDRemove non-product link casual gaming laptop for $499. This 29 percent off its list price of $700, and significantly less expensive than most laptops in its category.

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HP's Elite x2 G4 and EliteBook x360 1040 G6 dazzle with 1,000-nit displays and 24-hour battery

Tue, 2019-05-28 12:12

The HP Elite x2 G4 convertible is not the safe, plodding corporate machine you might expect. With a maximum display brightness of 1,000 nits, you read that right, a thousand nits, it literally outshines the Surface Pro 6's mere 500 nits. And there's another, the HP EliteBook x360 1040 G6, that blazes just as bright.

The Elite x2 G4 convertible comes with a choice of 12.3-inch or 13-inch panels. It features Intel's 8th gen Core i7-8665U CPU with 16GB of RAM and up to 2TB of storage.

Now about that panel. HP actually offers three, including a 12.3-inch with 1920x1280 resolution, and a 13-inch with 3,000x2,000 resolution. A third 13-inch display, with 1,920x1,280 resolution, is the one that can hit up to 1,000 nits for use in broad daylight.

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Microsoft's Pro Intellimouse for gaming puts a sassy taillight on an otherwise sober design

Tue, 2019-05-28 11:59

Microsoft has extended its Intellimouse reboot with the Microsoft Pro Intellimouse, increasing the sensor report rate to a gaming-quality 1,000 reports per second.

Though Microsoft launched the original Intellimouse in 2003, last year it brought back the $40 Classic Intellimouse, with many of the same components as in the original. This year's Pro Intellimouse is slightly more expensive ($59.99 at the Microsoft Store). 

Both mice maintain the corded connection, though Microsoft's spec page puzzlingly says that the wired connection to the Pro Intellimouse is "USB 2.0 full speed compatible." That's odd, given that today's USB peripherals are often USB 3.0- or USB 3.1-compatible. "Full Speed" USB 2.0 is actually a misnomer, too: That name was given to USB 1.0's signaling rate of 12 Mbps. One would think that even a throwback mouse would migrate to USB 3.0, at least.

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Kill ATX? The radical Asus Prime Utopia looks like a PC plucked from an alternate timeline

Tue, 2019-05-28 11:20

What piece of technology are you still using from 1995? Your computer case. Yes, if you run a desktop tower, it’s likely built on the Intel ATX specification first introduced in 1995—almost 25 years ago. But Asus’s radical Prime Utopia prototype re-imagines what could be with an out-of-this-world concept PC.

Definitely watch the video above to see this beast in action. Asus decided to relocate the graphics card from its standard PCIe slot to the back of the computer. It’s mounted vertically along the motherboard for added stability when shipping or moving the system.

With the GPU moved to the back, Asus uses the freed-up front space to mount four M.2 solid-state drives and a 7-inch touch OLED. The screen comes with Wi-Fi enabled, so you can detach it and put it on your desk as well.

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Layers of Fear 2 review: A brilliant psychological horror game that's better without expectations

Tue, 2019-05-28 10:31

Layers of Fear 2 is brilliant, and unfortunately it probably won’t be recognized as such because it defies genre definitions. In 2016, writing about the original Layers of Fear, I asked “Can a horror game be successful if it never manages to scare?” and the same question dogs this sequel. Make no mistake: It’s rarely frightening at all. In fact, when Layers of Fear 2 does fall back on jump scares or clumsy chase sequences, those are its worst moments.

So how do you set expectations?

It’s tempting at times to segment these games off into their own genre, to try and preempt pigeonholing. I’ve seen film circles struggle with the same questions of late, throwing around the term “post-horror” when discussing Get Out, Us, Haunting of Hill House, Hereditary, and more. Myself, I wrote that Layers of Fear's follow-up Observer “wasn’t a horror game” when it released in 2017.

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Apple's surprise iPod touch refresh has a faster processor, more storage, same everything else

Tue, 2019-05-28 09:30
Apple has unveiled the seventh-generation iPod touch with an A10 processor and a new 256GB storage option.