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Amazon's one-day PC gear blowout offers deep discounts on gaming rigs, laptops, SSDs, and more

Tue, 2019-05-28 09:23

Memorial Day 2019 may be over, but Amazon still has a blowout sale hangover it’s sharing with everyone. On Tuesday, the retailer is running a massive PC products and accessories saleRemove non-product link with some mouth-watering deals on SSDs, hard drives, desktops, laptops, SD cards, and more. Here are our top three picks from the sale.

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Xiaomi Mi Smart Plug WiFi review: A commodity add-on outlet with more flaws than features

Tue, 2019-05-28 06:01
Don’t be enticed by the low price: This smart plug is a me-too wannabe.

Hands-on: Dell's XPS 13 2-in-1 gets thinner and 2.5x faster with Intel's 10th Core i7

Tue, 2019-05-28 03:01

Let’s be honest, Dell’s XPS 13 2-in-1 has been the Jan Brady of the famed XPS family. Not anymore. The new Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 7390 finally steps out into the limelight with Intel’s newest 10th-generation, 10nm-based Core i7 CPU, Iris graphics, much faster memory, and a fabulous 4K panel.

Adam Patrick Murray The redesigned XPS 13 2-in-1 still features a milled aluminum lid.

The darling of the new XPS 13 2-in-1 is Intel’s 10th-gen Core i7-1065 G7 processor. Cynical nerds will want to yawn at a quad-core in an ultra-thin laptop, but the XPS 13 2-in-1 platform has always been built around low power, 5 watt dual-cores CPUs such as the Core i7-8500Y. The Core i7-1065 G7 boasts Intel’s new Sunny Cove cores with improved IPC and a smarter boost capability that improves performance despite running at lower clock speeds than the previous 8th-gen Whiskey Lake CPUs.

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Who should buy Intel's 10th-gen CPU in a laptop: Five reasons for and against

Tue, 2019-05-28 03:00

With Intel’s 10th-generation Ice Lake CPU finally here, you may be wondering whether to wait for laptops to come out with the new CPU, rather than buy an existing model with an 8th-gen CPU (Note: Intel’s 8th generation offers a full range of mobile CPUs, while the 9th generation offers only high-end ‘H’ mobile parts). We’ll walk you through the reasons why you’d want to wait for a 10th-gen laptop, and five reasons why you don’t have to.

Five reasons you should wait for Intel’s 10th-gen Ice Lake CPU in your next laptop

We know, you want shiny new things. And you know what? The shiny new thing in laptops are Intel’s new 10th gen-chips. Here are five reasons why it would be worth it to wait. 

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Intel's 'Ice Lake' 10th-gen Core CPUs boost graphics and Wi-Fi, tap AI to offset slower turbo speeds

Tue, 2019-05-28 02:00

Intel’s upcoming 10nm “Ice Lake” processor won’t deliver any more cores and threads than its current 8th-gen parts, and at slower turbo clock speeds. But what Intel is calling its 10th-gen Core chip here at Computex offers numerous improvements across the board: performance boosts across CPU, graphics, and AI tasks, plus platform-level enhancements like “Wi-Fi 6 Gig+” that offers more bandwidth than your wired router.

The Ice Lake-based 10th-gen processors will be Intel’s first widely available 10nm Core chips and the company’s first major chip redesign since 2015’s Skylake architecture. They're now shipping, Intel's Gregory Bryant, senior vice president and general manager of the Client Computing Group, is expected to say in his Computex address.

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Here's what's inside Intel's boundary-pushing 'Project Athena' laptops—and why

Tue, 2019-05-28 02:00

After unveiling its grand vision for the future of mobile computing at CES in January, Intel finally provided more detail on what exactly will be inside the “Project Athena” notebooks that will begin shipping later this year, showcasing how the company thinks the laptop market should evolve. 

Intel sees the “Project Athena” notebooks as essentially the next generation of ultrabooks, but they’re also a showcase for Intel’s strengths. There’s less emphasis, for example, on the 5G technologies that rival chipmaker Qualcomm deems essential. Though the company isn’t defining exactly how an Athena notebook should be made, the company does have compliance and qualification programs in place. Most importantly, Intel has also listed requirements for specific types of components that should be included in a Project Athena laptop, such as a precision touchpad and Thunderbolt 3.

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How the Intel Ice Lake processor's new AI powers will improve your PC

Tue, 2019-05-28 02:00

Those who buy an Intel notebook with Ice Lake this fall may start to see increased instances of something special: a sprinkling of AI magic, first here and there, and then more and more.

This isn’t to say that AI capabilities are exclusive to Ice Lake, or that without it you won’t see drastic improvements in desktop software. But some of the “whoa” moments that app developers are working on require artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, which Intel is building into its new 10th-gen Core chip.

Some of those you already see today. Microsoft’s Photos app, for example, uses AI image analysis to come up with its own assessment of what it’s “seeing,” such as a beach scene, for example, or snow. Microsoft Photos and Google Photos already identify and group the subjects of your photos, recognizing who’s in them.

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AMD's Lisa Su at Computex, on the record: Threadripper, Huawei, ray tracing and more

Tue, 2019-05-28 00:52

After AMD chief executive Lisa Su wowed a Computex audience with her announcement of a cost-effective Ryzen 9 3900X, we were still left with some questions: Where was Threadripper, for example? In a question-and-answer session following her speech, Su took the time to address this and many other topics, from ray tracing to Huawei and more.

We summarized some of Su’s post-keynote remarks earlier, but to dig down into the details—and to argue over the nuances of what was said and unsaid, you need the transcript, which we’ve published below. 

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Corsair's MP600 SSD will feature PCIe 4.0 to support 5GBps transfers

Mon, 2019-05-27 10:06

AMD bragged that its new Ryzen, Radeon and X570 enable the first PCIe 4.0 PCs, and now you can add a PCIe 4.0 SSD to that mix too. Corsair on Monday unveiled its beefy Force Series MP600 M.2 SSD with support for PCIe 4.0.

Corsair officials said the MP600 will hit 4,950MBps sequential read speeds as well as sequential write speeds of 4,250MBps. The drive is built on 3D TLC NAND and features a Psison PS5016-E16 controller.

The transfer rate of the MP600 is impressive, but it’s not busting the limit yet. In theory, a PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 drive could move data just under 8GBps, which is about double that of a PCIe 3.0 x4 device.

The limitation, though, appears to be the Psison PS5016-E16 controller, which Psison’s website says will hit 5GBps reads and 4.4GBps writes. It’s probably nothing to be concerned about, however, as we’re in the early days of PCIe 4.0.

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Asus tells other dual-screen laptop makers to hold its beer, revealing the dazzling ZenBook Pro

Mon, 2019-05-27 09:50

In the race to make dual screens a must-have laptop feature, Asus just did the equivalent of asking the competition to hold its beer. Because, damn, if you want an impressive dual-screen laptop, how do you beat the ZenBook Pro Duo? This engineering marvel somehow manages to jam a 15.6-inch screen and a 14-inch screen into a 5.5 lbs laptop.

Yes, we’ll say that again: The ZenBook Pro Duo features two screens, including one that’s 14 inches diagonal and occupies the entire space above the keyboard. 

Asus

With its 14-inch touch-enabled secondary screen, the Asus ZenBook Pro laughs at laptops with puny 6-inch auxilary screens.

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