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Updated: 42 min 53 sec ago

Playing Madden 19 on PC feels so damned good

Thu, 2018-08-02 06:30

Madden 19 fills a hole in my heart.

Forsaking consoles after five(!) Xbox 360s died from a mixture of red rings of death and disc reader errors revealed a weakness to exclusively embracing PC gaming: The lack of big-budget sports games. Sure, you’ll find the established NBA franchises, but proper baseball or golf games are limited to quirky indies. And football? Fuhgeddaboutit. EA’s Madden series holds exclusive NFL rights, and the last entry to grace PCs was Madden NFL 08, which actually released in 2007 with Vince Young (remember him?) on the cover. The drought is real.

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D-Link HD Wi-Fi Camera (model DCS-8010LH) review: An entry-level camera with a steep learning curve

Thu, 2018-08-02 06:00
Beginners may have a tough time navigating this otherwise solid camera's complex app.

Thinkware F800 Pro dash cam review: A great product with unwieldy cloud features

Thu, 2018-08-02 02:13

Thinkware’s $329 dual-channel Dash Cam F800 Pro is a somewhat mild improvement over the F800 we reviewed last year, offering enhancements such as better power management for hard-wired installations and a different color scheme, while retaining the best-in-the-business night captures.

The new feature that truly differentiates the F800 Pro from the older version is Thinkware Cloud, which allows you to share videos uploaded to your phone with other devices via Thinkware’s web portal. However, the Cloud feature is unwieldy and too phone-reliant for professional use, making it more of a perk than a game-changer.

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Artifact, Valve's first new PC game in 5 years, gets a price and release date

Wed, 2018-08-01 16:27

Valve’s first new video game in over five years finally has a release date. Artifact, a Dota-themed digital card game in the same vein as Magic: The Gathering or Hearthstone, is slated to release on Steam for every major PC platform—yes, even Linux and Macs—on November 28 for $20, with a mobile version scheduled to launch in 2019.

Artifact is Valve’s first full release since 2013’s Dota 2, and its first premium game since 2012’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. It fits right into Valve’s modern focus on games that can be played over years, rather than shorter single-player experiences like Portal or Half-Life. The game was even announced during last year’s massive annual Dota 2 tournament, The International. Richard Garfield, the creator of Magic: The Gathering, collaborated with Valve to design Artifact, and an early hands-on preview by Rock Paper Shotgun shows that the game sticks to the three-lane theme central to Dota 2 and other MOBAs.

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Oops! MSI confirms 9th-gen Core processors that Intel hasn't announced yet

Wed, 2018-08-01 14:49

MSI confirmed in a news post on Wednesday that several of its Z370 motherboards are receiving updates to support Intel’s 9000-series processors. But here’s the thing: Intel hasn’t announced any 9000-series processors.

Awkward.

Rumors of a 6-core Core i5-9600K, an 8-core Core i7-9700K, and an 8-core Core i9-9900K chip with hyperthreading enabled have run rampant over the past month, and MSI’s slip-up substantiates that something is on the way, though the announcement doesn’t include core counts for Intel’s chips.

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Samsung's Galaxy Tab S4 is a work-first tablet built to take on the iPad Pro and Surface Laptop

Wed, 2018-08-01 13:51

While we’re all waiting for the big unveiling of the Galaxy Note 9 next week, Samsung surprised us today with an update to its other productivity device, the Galaxy Tab S4. And this time around Samsung isn’t just taking aim at the iPad Pro, it’s also looking to challenge the Surface Laptop.

Whether that strategy works remains to be seen, but Samsung is clearly switching gears with the Tab S4. Rather than promoting its “play” features, Samsung is calling its tablet a 2-in-1 device for its ability to switch between a traditional Android interface and Samsung’s PC-like DeX mode. Samsung debuted DeX with the Galaxy S9 last year, and it has since evolved from a dock to a mat and now to a single HDMI cable. You can also use the DeX interface on the tablet screen itself by attaching a compatible keyboard and mouse.

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Get the Entire Essential Salesforce Certification Training Bundle for Under $40

Wed, 2018-08-01 13:21

The Essential Salesforce Certification Training Bundle is a set of three highly specialized courses designed to help you master sales techniques by consolidating and validating your skills as a Salesforce administrator. The three courses consist of 30 hours of content delivered in 162 lessons with access for a full year, all for a humongous discount of $1,158—$39, or 96% off retail.

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Get a Ryzen laptop with Radeon Vega graphics for $280 at Staples

Wed, 2018-08-01 10:35

AMD Ryzen laptops are still a rare breed, but right now, you can pick one up for less than $300. The Acer Aspire 3 is $280 at StaplesRemove non-product link, down from a list price of $460—a whopping $180 discount.

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The 500GB WD Blue SSD, one of our favorite SSDs, is on sale for its lowest price yet

Wed, 2018-08-01 09:13

One of our favorite SSDs is on sale at Amazon right now for its lowest price ever. The 500GB WD Blue 3D NAND is $90 today, which is about $17 cheaper than what it’s been in recent weeks and $30 off its listing price. It’s the cheapest this drive has ever sold for.

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Origin PC's new EON15-S crams Core i9 into a 3.4-pound gaming laptop

Wed, 2018-08-01 09:00

The laptops we’ve seen with Intel’s debut Core i9 mobile processor so far lean toward extremes. On one hand, you’ve got big, beefy notebooks like the Alienware 17 R5 with cooling galore to let the 6-core CPU scream long and hard. Then, you’ve got the slim, svelte MacBook Pro and all the throttling issues that come with restricting a monster chip in such a small package. Now, Origin PC’s splitting the difference by housing the Core i9 inside its EON15-S and all-new EVO17-S gaming laptops. Both measure in at just under an inch thin.

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This awesome surge protector with individually controlled outlets is 50% off today

Tue, 2018-07-31 12:00

In a home filled with PCs, monitors, and smart speakers, having enough outlets is key. But protecting those plugs is just as important, so if you're looking for a surge protector with lots of control, the Tripp Lite seven-outlet power strip provides individual outlet switches for that very purpose. And right now, it's cheaper than ever at $18, down from a list price of $34Remove non-product link.

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Google thankfully bans Android phones with three notches or other exotic configurations

Tue, 2018-07-31 11:41

In case you haven’t noticed, notches are having a moment. Ever since Apple validated the camera cutout with the iPhone X, Android phones great and small have been rushing to out their own spin on the dubious design tactic, with no less than 16 phones going all in on cutouts. Basically, it’s the new Coke of Android screens.

And it’s about to get Google’s official blessing. Aside from the rumors that the Pixel 3 XL will have a giant cutout for dual cameras at the top of the screen, the upcoming Android P update will usher in full notch support as well, so developers can ensure their apps won’t be truncated or otherwise diminished by varying degrees of blank space. But before Android manufacturers start getting into a razor blade-like war of oneupmanship—"You did two notches? We'll do three!"—Google is laying down some ground rules.

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AMD Ryzen motherboards explained: The crucial differences in every AM4 chipset

Tue, 2018-07-31 10:46

For AMD’s disruptive Ryzen processors, selecting the correct motherboard is both easier and more crucial than ever.

First, the good news: AMD’s doing away with the frightful hodgepodge of motherboard platforms to unite around the AM4 socket with Ryzen CPUs, Radeon-bolstered APUs, and all other chips released in the foreseeable future—including the 2nd-gen Ryzen processors. Huzzah! But there are a wide variety of chipsets available for AM4 motherboards, and each unlocks different capabilities in your PC, from USB support to overclocking to how many graphics cards you can install.

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Google takes on Apple, Windows with Chromebook attack ad as Amazon slashes Pixelbook prices

Tue, 2018-07-31 09:42

Google is tired of Chromebooks being ignored by laptop buyers. While the lightweight, low-cost convertibles have made serious inroads in schools, most people still see their laptop buying options limited to just two choices: Mac or PC. But Google is making it cheaper and more compelling than ever to consider a third.

In a new ad campaign, Google is positioning Chromebooks as full-scale PC alternatives with benefits many people might not realize. The 60-second ad shows various error and slowdown messages with the following words: If you want virus protection, all-day battery, automatic updates, less charging, more battery life, quicker starts, faster loading, less lag, a new kind of laptop, you Chromebook.

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Grab an Acer 2-in-1 laptop with an SSD and a modern Core i3 for $460 at Staples

Tue, 2018-07-31 09:28

Today’s a good day to freshen up that travel companion laptop. Staples is selling the Acer Spin 3 2-in-1 for $460Remove non-product link. The list price for this convertible is $650 on Staples’ site, and you can find an underpowered version on Amazon for $484.

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AMD brings overclocking to the masses with its Ryzen B450 chipset

Tue, 2018-07-31 09:00

It's not much of a secret anymore but AMD, on Tuesday, officially unwrapped its B450 chipset. Aimed at mainstream Ryzen customers, it might seem unexciting but actually brings a couple of premium features to low-cost motherboards.  

The B450 chipset is a direct replacement for the B350 chipset introduced with the first-generation Ryzen. For the most part, it's a small iteration over the previous B350 chipset. 

AMD

AMD's new B450 chipset is a small iteration over the previous chipset but now adds free support for SenseMI technology.

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16 simple, yet powerful Excel functions you need to know

Tue, 2018-07-31 06:05

Power users love to talk about how powerful and awesome Excel is, what with its Pivot Tables, nested formulas, and Boolean logic. But many of us barely know how to find the Autosum feature, let alone use Excel’s functions to create powerful formulas.

If you're part of the Excel 99 percent, here are 16 handy Excel functions that will get you well on your way to spreadsheet mastery.

=SUM()

The first function anyone should know tells Excel to carry out basic arithmetic. Let’s say you wanted the numbers in cell A2 and cell B2 to be added together in cell C2. All you’d do is enter =SUM(A2:B2) into C2, then hit Enter. In an instant you’d see sum of the two cells appear.

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Alexa Cast: What it is and how to use it

Tue, 2018-07-31 06:00
Alexa Cast is a new feature on Amazon products for streaming and control of media content. Similar to Google's Chromecast and Apple's AirPlay, it allows users to transfer the playback of media from a phone to a compatible device.

TASCAM 202MKVII dual cassette deck review: A high-quality, but pricey, tool for digitizing your tape collection

Tue, 2018-07-31 06:00
The Tascam 202 MK VII USB cassette deck is the best we've seen for digitizing audio cassettes (in good condition), but at $500, it's a very expensive option.

Laptop buyer's guide: What to get when everything's on sale

Mon, 2018-07-30 23:05

Laptop deals don’t just rain from the sky for the holidays. These days, we’re flooded with short bursts of sales all year round. Case in point: the many back-to-school and “Black Friday in July” discounts.

Retailers offer up a lot more chaff than wheat during these big blowouts, though, so we’ve put together this buyer’s guide. It'll help you sift through configuration options and find the true deals (if there are any) in the sub-$500 and sub-$750 price ranges. We’ve even included an examination of some current laptops to illustrate what we’d buy and what we’d avoid during these deluges of "bargains."

For a deeper dive, be sure to read our companion guides on the best laptop CPUs, and how to pick the best GPU for your laptop, though we touch on the basics here.

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