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Windows 10's latest Insider preview gives Task Manager a simple, stellar storage enhancement

Wed, 2019-05-15 11:34

On Wednesday, Windows Insider preview build 18898 revealed a small but exciting Task Manager improvement coming to a future version of Windows 10: The Performance tab will tell you if a disk is a solid-state drive or a slower mechanical hard drive. 

The ability to distinguish between SSD and HDD “is particularly helpful in cases where you have multiple disks listed, so you can differentiate between them,” the announcement post says.

Indeed, that’s the very reason I’m so enthusiastic about the addition. Storage drives frequently outlive PC builds, so my DIY Franken-system is loaded with a variety of drive types from past machines. (And hey, storage-stuffed SSDs are only getting cheaper.) Currently, Task Manager only labels each with its assigned drive letter. Identifying the disk type as you see in the image below should make it much easier to keep track of which data belongs to which storage drive. Yes please!

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SanDisk's pint-sized, big capacity 400GB microSD card only costs $57 right now

Wed, 2019-05-15 11:14

Adding some extra space to your phone, camera, or tablet can save you from the annoyance of getting an “Out of space” notification, and today, you don’t have to break the bank supercharge your storage. You can grab a 400GB SanDisk Ultra microSDXC from Amazon for an all-time low of $57, down from a list price of $77.90.

This memory card packs a lot of space into a small package. Compatible with Android phones and tablets, as well as cameras, laptops, and even the Nintendo Switch, this microSDXC boasts transfer speeds up to 100MB/s. In addition, A1-rated performance makes this card perfect for loading apps, games, and even large videos quickly. And when it comes to managing all your data, SanDisk’s Memory Zone app can help Android users easily move and view files.

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Save $265 on a three-year subscription to GlassWire Elite

Wed, 2019-05-15 10:05

Few things are as frustrating as a malware infection. So keep your PC free from unwanted threats — and save over $265 at the same time — with a three-year subscription to GlassWire Elite.

GlassWire is a firewall and PC monitoring system that helps protect your computer from threats. It keeps the undesirables out while, at the same time, provides an overall picture of your PC’s health so you can fix problems before they get out of hand. It’s a must-have security feature, especially when you consider the sheer number of dangers that come up every single day.

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The ultra-fast WD Black NVMe SSD was already a fantastic bargain, and today it's even cheaper

Wed, 2019-05-15 10:01

We’ve said it for years: Switching from a hard drive to an SSD is the single best upgrade you can give an aging PC. For those with newer PCs, however, there’s a next-level option: upgrading from a standard SATA III SSD to a newer and much faster NVMe M.2 “gumstick” SSD. And today, Amazon’s offering an amazing deal with the 500GB WD Black SN750 SSD for $108.

This drive was on sale for just $104 a couple days ago, but at $108 it’s still an incredible value. We absolutely loved the WD Black SN750 when we reviewed it in February, calling it “just about the best combination of price and performance in an SSD”—and that was at its full cost. But it’s key to check that your motherboard is compatible with NVMe drives, as not all are, especially if you purchased a budget motherboard or your system is several years old.

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Intel: You don't need to disable Hyper-Threading to protect against the ZombieLoad CPU exploit

Wed, 2019-05-15 09:37

If you’re in a panic to figure out how to turn off Intel’s Hyper-Threading feature to prevent ZombieLoad, the latest Spectre-like CPU security exploit, then take a deep breath—Intel’s official guidance does not actually recommend that. The bad news? None of what we tell you is going to make you feel any better.

ZombieLoad is similar to previous “side channel” attacks, which trick Intel processors into coughing up potentially sensitive information that would otherwise would be kept private by the CPU. The exploit hits most Intel chips and can be used on Windows, MacOS, and Linux, the ZombieLoad researchers said. ARM-based and AMD-based CPUs aren’t impacted.

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Best DVR for cord cutters

Wed, 2019-05-15 06:01
TiVo vs. Tablo vs. Channel Master vs. Plex: None are ideal, but one might work for you.

Tablo Quad DVR review: The best gets bigger

Wed, 2019-05-15 06:00
Tablo's quad-tuner DVR maintains an edge over competitors with simple setup, reasonable prices, and some neat new features.

Monolith by Monoprice Portable Headphone Amp and DAC with THX AAA Technology review: High value, minor flaws

Wed, 2019-05-15 06:00
This affordable and portable headphone amp will bring out the best in your headphones; but the unit's size, weight, and smudge-prone surface keep it from earning our highest mark.

Acer Predator Triton 500 Review: This thin and light laptop even has GeForce RTX

Wed, 2019-05-15 06:00

Acer’s Predator Triton 500 is a gaming laptop we’d actually want to carry around. Sure, we may look hungrily at a monster gaming laptop that’s nearly as fast as a desktop gaming PC. But if you have to take it with you, the era of thin, light and powerful gaming laptops is a godsend.

This review is part of our ongoing roundup of the best gaming laptops. Go there for information on competing laptops and how we tested them, and up-to-date buying advice. 

Adam Patrick Murray

The Acer Predator Triton 500 features an 8th gen Core i7-8750H and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 GPU, along with 16GB of dual-channel RAM and a 512GB NVMe M.2 SSD.

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The best budget computer speakers: Surprisingly sound choices for $100 or less

Tue, 2019-05-14 22:18

Your laptop’s built-in speakers aren’t doing any favors for the gigs and gigs of music and movies on your hard drive. Even the best ones can leave your audio sounding thin and lifeless. External PC speakers—along with a good set of headphones—are a must for getting the best fidelity from your media files.

A trip online or to your favorite electronics store will reveal a head-spinning variety of options in this category, with some systems costing as much or more than you paid for your laptop. You don’t need to take out a personal loan to upgrade your audio, though. Quality speakers can be found even with a budget of around $100. And while there is a certain degree of “you get what you pay for” at this price level, you’ll be rewarded with satisfying sound if you’re willing to make a few compromises.

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Microsoft issues a rare Windows XP patch to combat a virulent WannaCry-like exploit in older OS versions

Tue, 2019-05-14 16:34

Windows XP may be dead, but Microsoft refuses to leave it to the worms.

Today, the company warned users to apply a critical patch for a remote code execution vulnerability that could open older versions of Windows to attack. Common-sense caution isn’t enough, because the exploit can trigger even with no action taken by the user. “In other words, the vulnerability is ‘wormable’, meaning that any future malware that exploits this vulnerability could propagate from vulnerable computer to vulnerable computer in a similar way as the WannaCry malware spread across the globe in 2017,” Microsoft’s Simon Pope warns.

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AmazonBasics Computer Speakers, USB Powered review: These budget speakers are a sound savings

Tue, 2019-05-14 15:00

How low can you go in price and still get a quality set of computer speakers? That’s the question Amazon effectively poses with each set of its AmazonBasics speakers. We may have found the answer with these USB-powered 2.0 computers speakers, currently one of the company’s best sellers.

Of all the AmazonBasics speaker I’ve reviewed to date, these are the first built as I’d expect for a budget set. Each speaker driver is encased in boxy, plastic enclosure with a mesh covering. The individual units measure 2.8 x 3.5 x 5.3 inches and weigh less than 1.5 pounds.

One speaker, which we’ll call the control unit, has a power/volume knob and blue LED on its front. A 3.5mm headphone jack sits to the right of these. The speakers are hardwired together, and a second luxuriously long cable attached to the control unit splits into USB and 3.5mm audio inputs. Both cables are thicker than you often find on low-priced speakers, so there’s little worry that they’ll get pinched or torn.

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AmazonBasics USB-Powered Computer Speakers with Dynamic Sound review: Balanced sound for a budget price

Tue, 2019-05-14 15:00

PC speakers typically prove the maxim “you get what you pay for.” The trade-off for saving a few sawbucks is often shoddy construction, generic design, and subpar sound. AmazonBasics USB-Powered Computer Speakers with Dynamic Sound dispel that idea. Combining great audio, a sturdy build, and a contemporary look, this system is a steal.


The speakers are hardwired together and feature a plug-and-play setup.

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Amazon’s Alexa Guard adds new security features to Amazon Echo smart speakers

Tue, 2019-05-14 14:05
Alexa Guard can operate on its own or in conjunction with full security systems from Ring and ADT.

Amazon is selling the Fire 7 Kids Edition Kindle tablet for an all-time low price of $60

Tue, 2019-05-14 13:04

Amazon's Fire Kids Edition tablets are a popular pick for parents with good reason: they're solid tablets with great warrantees at a great price. And today, Amazon has slashed the price of the Fire 7 Kids Edition to an all-time low of $60Remove non-product link, down from a list price of $100.

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The $669 OnePlus 7 Pro makes the $1,000 iPhones and Galaxies look overpriced

Tue, 2019-05-14 12:00

In case you couldn’t tell by the specs, OnePlus has given its new phone a surname to drive home just how much different it is. From the design and display to the camera, the OnePlus 7 Pro brings a whole lot more than the usual processor refresh to keep pace with the highest-end Android flagships.

To emphasize the point even further, OnePlus isn’t releasing a non-pro version of the 7. As such, OnePlus will continue to sell two variants of the 6T “for users looking for a premium flagship experience” at a $30 cut, bringing the 128GB model down to $549 and the 256GB version to $599. 

The OnePlus 7 Pro with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage starts at $669. Yes, that’s $120 more than the entry-level OnePlus 6T (after today’s $30 price cut) and within shouting distance of the $740 iPhone XR and Galaxy S10e. But it’s difficult to find much fault with this much phone at less than $700.

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Rage 2 PC impressions: Fun guns with keyboard controls you'll want to remap immediately

Tue, 2019-05-14 10:49

I’m not very far into Rage 2 yet, and thus don’t plan to spend much time dissecting it here. Perhaps we’ll get around to doing a proper review. Perhaps we won’t.

Perhaps that ambivalence is all the verdict you need. So far, what I’ve played has been underwhelming, to say the least. Rage 2 is a far blander experience than I expected, both based on our hands-on time last year and the game’s own over-the-top marketing. I was promised zany. I was promised the type of game where it’d make sense for the NBA Jam announcer to shoutcast your kills.

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StackSkills Unlimited gives you a lifetime of professional training for one low price

Tue, 2019-05-14 10:05

Training for a career is never easy. There are schedules to stick to, deadlines to contend with, and for this privilege, you’ll be expected to pay thousands. But that’s not the case with StackSkills Unlimited. They offer access to hundreds of cutting edge tech courses that are beginner friendly, flexible, and cost far less than the alternative.

No matter your technical aspirations, you’ll find courses at StackSkills Unlimited that’ll prepare you for success. There are courses that’ll teach you how to code using a myriad of languages. You could also discover how to design and execute a winning marketing plan. Or you could even become a blockchain expert. With a growing library of over 500 courses, you’ll be certain to find at least a few that’ll pique your interest.

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Build an awesome all-AMD gaming PC for cheap with Newegg's killer deals

Tue, 2019-05-14 09:50

Newegg is making it easy to build an awesome all-AMD gaming PC, with a fancy monitor to boot. Right now, the retailer has a great deal on a Ryzen 5 2600 processor and X470 motherboard combo, as well as two 27-inch 1440p FreeSync HDR displays. And you can pick up a killer Radeon graphics card for cheap, too. 

Today, you can pick up a Ryzen 5 2600 processor and MSI’s Performance X470 Gaming Plus motherboardRemove non-product link bundled together for $250. The Ryzen 5 2600 usually sells for about $160 and the motherboard is around $130, which gives you a savings of just over $40. The Ryzen 5 2600 is a 6-core, 12-thread processor that can shred through heavy productivity tasks and gaming chores alike. Bonus: It comes with a CPU cooler in the box, and MSI’s motherboard supports overclocking the Ryzen chip if you feel like getting your hands dirty to achieve even more performance.

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Sonos is rolling out Google Assistant support to its Sonos One and Sonos Beam smart speakers

Tue, 2019-05-14 09:00
The development effort consumed more than a year, but Sonos is now the first smart speaker manufacturer to support both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant on the same system.