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EVGA GeForce RTX 2070 XC review: Cheaper and more feature-packed than Nvidia's Founders Edition

Tue, 2018-10-16 09:00

EVGA’s custom GeForce RTX 2070 XC graphics card is cooler, more customizable, and just as fast as Nvidia’s RTX 2070 Founders Edition. It’s packing dedicated hardware for real-time ray tracing and AI-enhanced graphics. And it’s $50 cheaper, too.

That shouldn’t be a big deal. Nvidia’s Founders Edition cards were designed to be premium priced halo(ish) models, right? But when the GeForce RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti released last month, third-party board makers like EVGA, Asus, and MSI treated the premium pricing of the Founders Edition models as the cost floor rather than a cost ceiling. As such, all those high-end graphics cards are selling for significantly more than Nvidia’s stated starting prices. It’s a major bummer.

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Reolink Argus Pro review: a completely wireless indoor/outdoor security camera for modest budgets

Tue, 2018-10-16 07:00
The slightly scaled-down version of the original Argus can be paired with a solar panel for continuous charging.

Microsoft Surface Pro 6 review: Microsoft adds quad-core power to its tried-and-true tablet

Tue, 2018-10-16 03:01

Our review of Microsoft's Surface Pro 6 focuses even more than usual on the differences between this new generation and its predecessor, the Surface Pro (2017), because they seem nearly identical—at least on the, er, surface. Visually, you'd be hard-pressed to differentiate the Surface Pro 6, the Surface Pro (2017), or the Surface Pro 4.

This time around, the major changes are inside: A bump up in the processor to an 8th-generation Core chip, some weird adjustments in pricing, and a new color— black—separate the new from the old. A downgrade of sorts in the GPU may be the deciding factor in upgrading from the Surface Pro (2017), though it's a clearer decision if you're coming from the Surface Pro 4. The Performance section of our review shows the clearest differences among the three generations.

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Follow along as we build a Twitch streaming PC!

Mon, 2018-10-15 19:20

You’ve seen us display the contents of our pockets, discuss our favorite adult beverages, and even use an installed CPU as a coaster during our live builds, but maybe that’s still not personal enough for you. If that’s the case, you’ll want to tune into our new vlog series.

For our first project—a PC that can simultaneously play games and stream to Twitch—we’re charting the entire process from start to finish. That includes everything from picking parts to configuring our choice of streaming software. Unlike our live builds, you’ll get to follow us along this whole journey toward Internet stardom.

(Or, more likely, a resounding lack thereof. But it’ll still be fun.)

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Apption Labs Meater review: This smart thermometer changed the way I grill

Mon, 2018-10-15 17:31
The Meater smart thermometer takes the guess work out of cooking meat and helps time cooks perfectly.

Save Hundreds On The Complete Learn To Code Masterclass Bundle ($39)

Mon, 2018-10-15 13:29

It's no secret that coding is one of today's most employable skills; yet, many of us are still reluctant to pick it up due to its technical nature. Contrary to popular belief, however, you don't need to be a computer science guru to kickstart a coding career. This Complete Learn to Code Masterclass Bundle contains beginner courses that can help you learn how to code for only $39, or 97% off.

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Add ports to your PC with these killer deals on Sabrent USB-C docking stations

Mon, 2018-10-15 12:46

We all know the pain of not having enough ports on our PC and the pleasure that a good docking station can bring, helping to connect all the peripherals while eliminating the need for dongles. Today, Amazon is selling several Sabrent docking stations for their lowest price everRemove non-product link, from a 5-port mini dock all the way up to a 10-port powerhouse.

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Google Pixel 3 XL review: Winning the game by rewriting the rules

Mon, 2018-10-15 12:00

After spending nearly a week with the Pixel 3 XL, my three first impressions of Google’s newest handset haven’t changed: It’s the fastest Android phone I’ve ever used. The cameras are awesome. The notch is an eyesore.

Thankfully, the first two qualities make up for the third. Mostly. If the Pixel 3 XL didn’t have such an ostentatious notch, it would still be an ugly phone, but after a couple days I wouldn’t have cared anymore. Six days later, the notch is still the first thing my eyes go to every time I unlock my phone. It would be one thing if there was some next-generation camera or sensor that demanded such a large notch. But as it stands, there appears to be a lot of unnecessary space around the twin cameras, ambient light sensor, and speaker that live inside it.

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The new Palm phone is basically a Verizon-exclusive smart pocket watch running Android Oreo

Mon, 2018-10-15 11:46

We've been reading about the specter of a Palm reboot for a while now, so Monday's release of a new handset with the company's iconic square logo on the back wasn't really news. But it still has its surprises:

  1. It doesn't have an actual name. It's just the "new Palm phone."
  2. It runs Android.
  3. It's Verizon exclusive.
  4. You need to have another Verizon mobile phone to activate it.
  5. It costs $350.

So the new Palm phone isn't really a Palm phone at all. Heck, it's not even really a phone. Sure, there's a 4G LTE chip in it, but it's no more a phone than the Apple Watch is. It relies on Verizon's NumberShare service to act like a phone when your actual phone isn't around.

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The awesome 1TB SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD just hit an all-time low of $200

Mon, 2018-10-15 09:36

A local external drive is a key component of any backup strategy, but it can be hard to find a good deal on a high-capacity drive that isn't tethered to your desk. Today, however, Amazon’s selling the 1TB SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD for $200Remove non-product link, the lowest price we've seen for this drive, which was sitting around $240 earlier this month.

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1More Triple Driver Over-Ear headphone review: A great value in personal audio

Mon, 2018-10-15 08:15
These cans continue the young company's tradition of delivering lots of sonic bang for the buck.

Caavo Control Center review: This universal remote unifies not just your devices but your streaming services, too

Mon, 2018-10-15 08:00
By dropping a new piece of hardware into your entertainment center, Caavo aims to truly unite the lot of it.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 review impressions: Come for battle royale, stay for battle royale

Sat, 2018-10-13 09:40

We got access to the PC version of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 ($60 on Humble) at the same time as the rest of the world, so I’ve been playing catch-up all day. Don’t ask me why Activision didn’t make it available ahead of release. I expected it to be truly broken given the circumstances but...nope. Everything seems fine, at least on a technical level.

Of course, reviewing Call of Duty is a lot easier this year given Black Ops 4 doesn’t have an actual singleplayer campaign, and the Blackout battle royale mode had a beta last month. I’ve spent some post-release time with Blackout though, plus a bit of time in traditional multiplayer and of course this year’s time-traveling Zombies stories.

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Android Confidential: Just how big is that notch on the Pixel 3 XL anyway?

Fri, 2018-10-12 17:00

The notch. By now it’s become a fairly commonplace feature on premium phones. Even some budget handsets are starting to get in on the act.

But the Pixel 3 XL reignites the notch frenzy. Why? Because it’s so damn big. Google didn’t just add a normal screen cutout to the top of its latest flagship phone, it added the biggest one I’ve ever seen. I generally don’t mind phone notches, but there’s something about the Pixel 3 XL’s that bothers me. Is it the shape? The depth? Just an optical illusion? A little of all three?

In the latest episode of Android Confidential, I figure out what makes the Pixel 3 XL’s notch so distracting compared to similar phones. I compared the Pixel 3 XL against the notchiest Android phones I could find to see if it’s really that much bigger. How does it stack up to the Essential Phone, LG G7, OnePlus 6, LG V40? Here’s what I found out.

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The Full Nerd ep. 71: Core i9-9900K, Intel benchmark controversy, farewell Hyper-Threading?

Fri, 2018-10-12 13:41

In this episode of the Full Nerd, Gordon Mah UngBrad ChacosAlaina Yee, and Adam Patrick Murray dig deep into the Core i9-9900K, Intel’s first 8-core mainstream processor, and all the other new 9th-gen chips announced this week.

We kick things off with an overview of the mainstream 9th-gen CPUs, Intel’s refresh of the Core X high-end desktop chips, and the beastly unlocked, 28-core Xeon W-3175X, just to get everybody on the same page. If you want the speeds and feeds in black and white, be sure to hit the link above.

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This week in games: Walking Dead resurrected, Baldur's Gate 3 rumors, Into the Breach done quick

Fri, 2018-10-12 11:59

Microsoft’s looking to buy Obsidian? And there’s a Baldur’s Gate 3 in the works? 2003’s rumor mill is churning hard this week.

Those stories, plus Star Citizen shows off another flashy trailer, The Walking Dead will finish out its final season, Stories Untold studio No Code shows off its second project, and a speedrunner finishes Into the Breach faster than I could write this article.

This is gaming news for October 8 to 12.

Waiting on citizenship

Star Citizen continues down the long and winding road to (hopefully) becoming a real game people can play. CitizenCon took place this week in Texas, unveiling yet another trailer for the star-studded Squadron 42, the accompanying singleplayer campaign. It’s an impressive trailer, though there’s still no release date in sight.

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Kit out and charge up your laptop with Anker's 7-in-1 premium USB-C hub adapter for $20 off

Fri, 2018-10-12 10:48

If there's one thing every computer needs, it's more ports. Anker's 7-in-1 Premium USB-C hub adapter adds convenience and more connections to your setup all in one place, and today you can snag one from Amazon for $50, down from a list price of $70 and the lowest we've ever seen it.

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Samsung's decadent, ultra-fast CHG70 FreeSync 2 HDR monitor just hit its lowest price yet

Fri, 2018-10-12 09:12

We love Samsung’s CHG70 curved FreeSync 2 display despite the hefty $600 price tag for the 27-inch version and the even heftier $700 price for the 32-inch model. Today, you’ll love the 27-inch version even more since Amazon is selling this glorious HDR display for $426. Samsung’s monitor has been dropping in price lately—it was $490 just a few days ago—but still, $426 is the monitor’s all-time low, and the first time it’s hit this price.

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Razer Naga Trinity review: Three gaming mice in one

Fri, 2018-10-12 06:39

It’s always been hard for me to recommend Razer’s Naga line, not because they’re bad mice but because they’re not the mice for me. They’re specialty hardware, not Swiss Army knives. The original Naga and its telephone-style numpad was designed for MMO players who need a lot of shortcut keys. The Naga Hex was a compromise of sorts, with half as many buttons in a much more intuitive, ring-shaped layout. But both always seemed overly complicated to me, especially for day-to-day use.

What if you didn’t have to choose, though? What if you could get the 12-button, six-button, and a standard two-button layout from the same mouse? Enter the Naga Trinity.

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Lenovo Legion Y530 review: An affordable gaming laptop saddled with an iffy graphics card

Fri, 2018-10-12 06:06

The bargain-priced Lenovo Legion Y530 weighs less than five pounds and measures less than an inch thick—impressively portable for a gaming laptop. It packs impressive quad-core multitasking performance, a comfortable keyboard, a reasonably bright screen and solid battery life. Unfortunately, the Legion Y530’s middling graphics card struggles to deliver buttery visuals from today’s AAA games, and its performance will only go downhill as more demanding titles come down the pike.

Price and specifications

We reviewed the cheapest version of the Lenovo Legion Y530 (81FV0013US), which comes with a quad-core Intel Coffee Lake Core i5-8300H processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB solid-state drive. This CPU’s eight threads of processing power (thanks to Intel’s hyperthreading technology) promises plenty of multitasking, perfect for gamers who want to stream or create content while they play. Because it lacks a larger secondary drive, however, the Y530 doesn’t have enough storage for more than one or two top-tier games at a time.

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