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Updated: 39 min 36 sec ago

Fluance Fi20 Bluetooth speaker review: Stylish good looks and rich sound unfortunately marred by boomy bass

Tue, 2019-04-09 06:00
The price is delightful, and it looks great, but those two pluses can't overcome this speaker's overblown low end.

Microsoft's Windows 10 May 2019 Update can be downloaded now: Here's how

Mon, 2019-04-08 15:08

If you want to be one of the first to experience Microsoft’s Windows 10 May 2019 Update, you can. The release is live now for Windows Insiders, a program you can easily join.

Normally, Windows Insiders test the beta builds of new Windows 10 features. But since Microsoft pushed build 18362.30 into the Release Preview ring last night, that means there’s a stable build of the next feature release waiting for you. 

Officially, the May 2019 Update (aka ‘19H1’) will be pushed to all PCs in late May—the idea being that Microsoft has prolonged its final beta period for a month. That’s why the term 'stable' has to be taken with a grain of salt: Microsoft thinks the May 2019 Update is feature complete and bug-free—but it also thought so with the October 2018 Update, and we all remember what happened then

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AMD's 2nd-gen Ryzen Pro mobile chips see some traction with HP, Lenovo design wins

Mon, 2019-04-08 14:31

One of the complaints surrounding AMD’s efforts to ship mobile Ryzen chips for notebook PCs was a fundamental one: Where were the notebooks? On Monday, AMD answered. The company announced the second-gen Ryzen Pro mobile processor for commercial notebook PCs, which will appear first in notebooks from HP and Lenovo.

There are three new Ryzen Pro chips: the 2.3GHz, 4-core/8-thread Ryzen 7 Pro 3700U; the 2.1GHz 4-core/8-thread Ryzen 5 Pro 3500U; and the 2.1GHz 4-core/4-thread Ryzen 3 Pro 3300U. All are 15W parts, meaning that they’re aimed at more mainstream and ultrathin notebooks. They all use the older 12-nm manufacturing process, but they boast the discrete-class integrated “Vega” GPU that other mobile Ryzen chips do as well.

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Microsoft releases alpha versions of its Microsoft Edge on Chromium browser for you to try

Mon, 2019-04-08 13:56

You can peek at Microsoft's big plan to move Edge to open-source Chromium code, if you're a developer or enthusiast. The company is making the first alpha builds available on Monday.

In December, Microsoft said it would begin migrating its Edge browser to Chromium, the underlying open-source platform used by Google Chrome, Vivaldi, and some other browsers. The result, Microsoft said then, should be greater compatibility with Chrome extensions.

Microsoft’s Edge on Chromium browser had previously leaked, with early builds available on file-sharing sites—though without Microsoft’s official endorsement, users downloaded at their own risk. Now, Microsoft has made the new browser available from its Edge Insider program, a version of its Windows Insider program specific to the Edge browser. 

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Cool your computer with EVGA's sleek controllable case fans for $6 instead of $20

Mon, 2019-04-08 11:04

Computers don’t like to be hot. Adding a fan or two to your PC can help tame wild temperatures and keep your precious (and pricey) components cooled. Everyone should have an intake and an exhaust at the very least! If you need to beef up your rig’s cooling capacity, today’s deal is one you don’t want to miss. Office Depot is selling EVGA’s 120mm FX12Remove non-product link and 140mm FX13Remove non-product link software-controllable case fans for a mere $6, down from a regular price around $20 each.

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IKEA just put a Sonos speaker in a table lamp

Mon, 2019-04-08 11:00
The Swedish furniture maker also partnered with Sonos to build a low-cost wireless bookshelf speaker.

Speed up your Wi-Fi with this $47 TP-Link smart router that listens to Amazon's Alexa

Mon, 2019-04-08 09:34

If you’re not happy with the Wi-Fi router your ISP gave you, there’s a great deal today on an affordable and highly rated router. The TP-Link Archer A7 AC1750 Smart WiFi router is $47 on Amazon when you clip the extra $10 off coupon on the product page, located just underneath the sales price.

That extra discount makes this price the all-time low for the Archer A7 on Amazon. If the coupon doesn’t show up for you, $57 is still a great price for this router, which usually sells for $65 to $70.

The Archer A7 features three external antennas promising a good signal of 802.11ac, dual-band Wi-Fi for up to 2,500 square feet. It’s also packed with bandwidth prioritization “quality of service” (QoS) technology to ensure intensive uses like online games and 4K Netflix streams get the best experience possible on your network. 

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The 5 things Google should kill next

Mon, 2019-04-08 06:30

Google is a stone-cold killer. A virtual Keanu Reeves/John Wick or Chow Yun-fat/Ah Jong of death-dealing, wiping out failing products left and right.

Just last week Google killed Inbox,, and Google+. Per Killed By Google’s count (yes, that’s a real website), Google has smothered no fewer than 158 of its own children, easily making it one of the most prolific and family-unfriendly assassins around. For all we know, sweet old Auntie Gmail will be next.

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HP Spectre Folio review: This lightweight leather laptop is different in a very good way

Mon, 2019-04-08 06:00

I can’t take my hands off the HP Spectre FolioRemove non-product link. Lightweight and fully sheathed in leather, it feels great in a way that a metal- or plastic-clad laptop never could. Thanks to its energy-sipping Intel Core Y processor, it generates scant heat, and its battery lasts a very long time.

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New Blu-ray and DVD releases: The latest, greatest movies to enjoy on disc

Mon, 2019-04-08 06:00
Streaming movies is fine and all, but high-quality Blu-ray discs packed with extra features make watching your favorite movies at home a special treat.

AKG Y500 Wireless headphone review: Ultra-compact on-ear headphones for audiophiles

Mon, 2019-04-08 06:00
These on-ear wireless headphones sport an ultra-compact, folding form factor and good wireless features, but their wired performance is where they really shine.

Apple’s ‘courage’ to remove the headphone jack has created a brave new world

Mon, 2019-04-08 06:00
It’s been over two years since Apple opted to axe the headphone jack from the iPhone and guess what? Things are pretty good.

Best smart lock for a keyless home

Fri, 2019-04-05 19:05
Keys are yesterday’s tech, your smart home needs a smart door lock.

Best gaming keyboards: Our picks for the top budget, mid-tier, and RGB boards

Fri, 2019-04-05 16:48

Choosing a gaming keyboard is a matter of personal taste. To that point, there are a plethora of options, with a dizzying mix of features. One person could be into Cherry Browns and white backlighting. Another might favor Razer Greens and a rippling RGB glow. Gigantic wrist pads, compact shapes, numeric keypads, macro keys, volume controls.... You get the picture

To help you sort through the many options, we’ve rounded up a large number of planks, putting them through their paces, to come up with our top recommendations. All of these are mechanical keyboards, and for good reason—they’re simply more comfortable to use over the long haul. But we’re open-minded, so if we encounter an alternative that works well, you may see it appear on this list. We’ll keep updating it periodically as we test new keyboards.

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This week in games: Borderlands 3 is an Epic exclusive, Obsidian shows off The Outer Worlds

Fri, 2019-04-05 16:33

Another week, another Epic exclusive—and this one, people are really mad about. That news, plus free copies of The Witness, 20 minutes of Outer Worlds footage, Rage 2 announces a wandering wizard who sells cheat codes, and Prince Harry says Fortnite should be banned.

This is gaming news for April 1 to 5.

Hip to be square

Let’s just pause for a moment and think about the fact we live in a time where a full-length game is given away for free every two weeks. Say what you want about the Epic Games Store, my teenage self is seething with envy right now. I would’ve killed for this. And the latest game is another good one: The Witness, the excellent 2016 puzzle game about an island full of grids. Grab it in the next two weeks, lest you find another freebie’s taken its place. (Supergiant’s Transistor is waiting in the wings.)

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The Full Nerd ep. 89: The state of VR and geeking out about PCs with The Foo Show's Will Smith

Fri, 2019-04-05 14:25

In this episode of The Full Nerd, Gordon Mah Ung and Adam Patrick Murray host Foo VR CEO and Maximum PC/Tested alum Will Smith, who stops by to talk about his latest company, whether VR is dead, and the state of the PC.

Also: If you like Linux, you don’t want to hear what Will says about VR gaming on Linux. Cover your ears.

You can witness it all in the video embedded above. You can also watch The Full Nerd episode 89 on YouTube (subscribe to the channel while you’re there!) or listen to it on Soundcloud if you prefer the audio alone.

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Embrace the convenience of wireless charging with this killer deal on a Qi-certified Anker pad

Fri, 2019-04-05 11:13

Wireless charging lets you simply plop your phone on a mat and walk away, free from the need to fumble with frustrating cables. It makes charging easy! If you haven’t adopted your own wireless setup—or if you’d like to add another—today’s the day, with an Amazon sale on the Anker PowerWave charging pad bringing its price to $16.79, down from a list price of $26 and the lowest we’ve seen it.

This charging pad’s round, flat design comes with an anti-slip surface to grip your device while charging, keeping it firmly in place. Its high-speed charging abilities will power your phone up quickly even through a case, with charging power at 5W as a standard charge, 7.5W for iPhones, and 10W for Samsung, LG, and Sony phones.

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Blanket your home in Wi-Fi with these excellent Netgear Orbi mesh router deals

Fri, 2019-04-05 09:46

It’s a great day to get a brand new or almost brand new Netgear Orbi mesh Wi-Fi system, depending on how much you want to spend. Amazon is selling the Orbi RBK23 mesh system for $250 after applying a $40 coupon just below the price on the product page. That discount makes this the lowest price the system’s hit in 2019. 

The Orbi RBK23 features three mesh units, including a router and two satellite extenders covering up to 6,000 square feet. Each unit also has two ethernet ports if you need a wired connection for more than just a desktop PC. 

The second Orbi system on sale today is a refurbished version of the Netgear RBK50-100NAR Orbi mesh Wi-Fi system for $180. Sold as new, it typically sells for $300. This package only has two units–a router and satellite extender–that cover up to 5,000 square feet, but it offers faster throughput speeds than the three-unit version. We reviewed this version of the Orbi system back in January 2017 and really liked it at the time. It offers strong Wi-Fi performance and a dedicated 4x4 radio backhaul, but it does have a larger footprint than many other mesh systems due to the size of the hardware.

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The best graphics cards for PC gaming

Fri, 2019-04-05 09:03

“What graphics card within my budget gives me the best bang for my buck?”

That simple question cuts to the core of what people hunting for a new graphics card look for: the most oomph they can afford. Sure, the technological leaps behind each new GPU can be interesting on their own, but most everyone just wants to crank up the detail settings on Battlefield and get right to playing.

Gaming GPU cheat sheet

Our quick-hit recommendations:

  • Best budget GPU: Radeon RX 570 []
  • Best 1080p GPU: GeForce GTX 1660 []
  • Best 1440p GPU: GeForce RTX 2060 []
  • Best $500 GPU: GeForce RTX 2070 []
  • Best 4K/60Hz GPU: GeForce RTX 2080 []
  • Best 4K/144Hz GPU: GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders EditionRemove non-product link []

Updated 4/4/19 with extensive revisions throughout.

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HyperX Alloy FPS RGB review: Rainbow lights and silver switches at an affordable price

Fri, 2019-04-05 06:06

When HyperX first entered the keyboard market in 2016, it did so in the most unassuming fashion. There was a single model, the HyperX Alloy FPS, with an ultra-minimalist design, single-color backlighting (red), and Cherry MX Blue switches. That was it! MX Brown and MX Red models followed in the spring, but even so, it was clear HyperX was just testing the waters. 

HyperX seems much more comfortable with keyboards these days though, releasing the tricked-out Alloy Elite model last year. And now the unassuming Alloy FPS has received an upgrade, finally getting the full RGB-backlight treatment and new switches. Let’s dig in.

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