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Updated: 28 min 46 sec ago

6 secret Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL power tips

Wed, 2017-12-06 06:30

With the Pixel phones, Google aims to make a compelling smartphone experience, even if that means making some changes to Android. That's why the version of Android 8.0 Oreo that ships on the Pixel 2 and 2 XL isn't quite what you'll find on other stock Android devices. Some of the coolest bonus features are hiding beneath the surface of Google's latest phones, but we'll tell you our favorites here. 

Wallpaper-based themes

Changing your wallpaper is something you probably do on a regular basis. Usually, that just gets you a new wallpaper as expected, but there's a neat extra on the Pixel 2. The theming of the home screen and some system elements changes based on the color of your wallpaper.

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Hands-on: Asus NovaGo's Snapdragon-based Windows PC manages expectations

Wed, 2017-12-06 06:00

The Asus NovaGo is a Windows laptop with something completely new: the Snapdragon 835 Mobile PC Platform, Qualcomm’s bid to use its smartphone chip to grab some Windows PC share in a category long dominated by Intel.

Spending a little time with the machine on Tuesday was an exercise in testing—and managing—expectations. Qualcomm executives have admitted that the Snapdragon platform will be a bit slower to launch apps, a bit slower to boot, a bit slower here and there. Our early impressions show the kind of performance that Qualcomm hopes will be "good-enough" for mainstream users with modest demands. 

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BrandPost: The Secret to a Perfect Elevator Pitch

Tue, 2017-12-05 14:38

Philip B. Crosby invented the concept of the 'elevator pitch' in the 80's, and it quickly became popular in the business world​​. Today it is commonly used as a strategic tool for initial meetings. It has become so popular in fact that business schools, such as Harvard, include how-to information in their course curriculum and on their website to help people create and evaluate elevator pitches.

Eureka

June 6, 2017

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Qualcomm invades Intel's turf with Snapdragon PCs that push battery life over performance

Tue, 2017-12-05 13:56

Qualcomm is invading Intel’s turf, announcing Windows PCs that use the same Snapdragon chips as your phone and can last well into a second day of use. 

On Tuesday at its Snapdragon Technology Forum, Qualcomm showed off its Snapdragon 835 Mobile PC Platform on a HP Envy x2 tablet and an Asus NovaGo ultrabook. Both run on the company’s Snapdragon 835—yes, the same processor (and cellular modem) inside popular phones like the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.

Qualcomm uses its success with smartphones to justify its foray into PCs. You demand all-day performance from your phone, while it’s constantly connected to the Internet. Why shouldn’t your PC deliver the same?

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BrandPost: Meditation: Helpful in Many Ways

Tue, 2017-12-05 13:19

Meditation is associated with mindfulness and the spiritual side of eastern religions. But the truth is that for a while now, it’s been growing in popularity throughout the world as a way of relaxing. Meditation is becoming a potential tool to fight against some of the bigger problems of modern society, like depression and stress.

The first historical data about this topic is from over 3,000 years ago. But it wasn’t until 100 years ago when scientists started to study the benefits of meditation on the human body and specifically, the changes it makes in the brain of the person who practices it.

Since the beginning of these more recent investigations, scientists have discovered several benefits from the practice of mindful meditation, like the reduction of physical pain. As first realized by the research of Dr. Fadel Zeidan, a neurobiologist and anatomy professor at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, and which was published in the Journal Neuroscience, people who practice meditation endure physical pain better than those who do not. This is important because it can be a good option for those patients who suffer from chronic pain.

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BrandPost: Digital Transformation: Steps to an Effective Strategy

Tue, 2017-12-05 12:50

Digital transformation (DT) is defined as the modification of business activities, procedures, capabilities and models to take advantage of the changes and opportunities presented by new digital technologies, as well as the impact they have on society, while always thinking about current and future trends. Why is this so important to businesses everywhere? Because DT is fundamentally changing the way we live, work and buy.

The first step to a complete transformation is to develop a clear strategy. According to The Digital Business Transformation Playbook For 2017only 27% of today’s businesses have a coherent digital strategy that sets out how the firm will create customer value as a digital business.

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AMD quietly made some Radeon RX 560 graphics cards worse

Tue, 2017-12-05 10:55

Buying a budget graphics card just got trickier. AMD and its partners quietly began selling Radeon RX 560 cards with fewer compute units and stream processors than originally advertised, without changing the name or otherwise identifying the lesser-powered model in any way. But here’s the kicker: The Radeon RX 560s you can find in stores are a mix of the full-fat version and the cut-down version.

Ick.

When the Radeon RX 560 launched in April it was the only RX 500-series card with a meaningful under-the-hood tech boost compared to the RX 400-series. The graphics processor in the older RX 460 cards packed 14 compute units and 896 stream processors; the upgraded Radeon RX 560 bumped that to 16 CUs and 1,024 SPs. Now, some—but not all—of the Radeon RX 560s you’ll find online have specs that match the older 460 cards, and sometimes run at lower clock speeds to boot.

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The Honor 7X is the $199 successor to one of the best budget smartphones

Tue, 2017-12-05 10:00

The Honor 6X was one of 2017’s best budget handsets, and now the Huawei subsidiary is looking to build on that success with the Honor 7X. The U.S.-bound budget handset has a bigger screen, a better camera, and best of all, a lower price: just $199. Honor also took the wraps off a new flagship phone, the 6-inch Honor V10.

The U.S. version of the Honor 7X mimics the China release that launched a few short weeks ago, with a slim-bezel design and an impressive set of specs:

  • Display: 5.93-inch LCD, 18:9, 2160p x 1080p FHD+, 407ppi
  • Dimensions: 156.5mm x 75.3mm x 7.6mm
  • Weight: 165g
  • OS: Huawei EMUI 5.1 (Nougat 7.1)
  • Chip: Kirin 659, Octa-Core
  • Battery: 3,340mAh
  • RAM: 3GB/4GB
  • Storage: 32GB/64GB
  • Camera: 16MP + 2MP, wide aperture range, phase detection auto focus
Michael Simon/IDG

The Honor 7X has a dual camera setup just like last year.

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Best USB car chargers for your phone

Tue, 2017-12-05 06:30

There are plenty of options for keeping your phone or tablet charged while on the go. We’ve already taken a look at portable USB battery packs, as well as the USB-C variety. Now were ready to take a look at car chargers.

These small devices don’t differ from each other all that much. Some have an indicator light, others have illuminated ports. Some feature Quick Charge for devices that support it, others don’t. One attribute they all share, however, is two USB ports—ie, the days of the single-port car charger are long over. 

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Amazon Echo Plus review: Not plus enough

Tue, 2017-12-05 06:00
Amazon’s mid-range smart speaker comes up just a little short.

Astro A10 review: The perfect budget headset as long as you don't care about looks

Tue, 2017-12-05 06:00

Time has caught up to Astro. For years, it was one of the few companies focused on gaming headsets—and as a result, it got away with charging a premium. The $300 Astro A50 is still a great headset, but that price looks increasingly ridiculous when companies like Logitech (which now owns Astro) and HyperX offer as-good-or-better sound fidelity in devices that cost half as much.

So it was only a matter of time really before we got the Astro A10. At $60 on Amazon, it’s Astro’s attempt at an entry-level headset for the mass market. Hell, it’s even cheaper than our longtime HyperX Cloud recommendation. We went hands-on to see if you get your money’s worth. Check out our gaming headset roundup for all of our reviews and comprehensive buying advice. 

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RAVPower 24W Dual USB car charger review: An inexpensive and compact option

Tue, 2017-12-05 06:00

There’s something to be said about a minimal design, especially when it comes to car chargers. Device makers have to safely cram components into a tight space, without taking up more room than is needed. That’s what RAVPower did with the 24W Dual USB car charger ($9 on Amazon).

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Quick Charge 3.0 Aukey car charger review: Bigger than most, but it works

Tue, 2017-12-05 06:00

After I purchased my first Quick Charge 2.0-compatible device, I purchased the Quick Charge 2.0 version of the Aukey car charger. The company has since updated the same exact model ($15 on Amazon), adding QC3.0 to it without changing the design.

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Maxboost USB Car Charger review: Bulky but functional

Tue, 2017-12-05 06:00

The Maxboost USB car charger is only $10 on Amazon, and it shows. Unlike the similarly priced Spigen model we reviewed, this Maxboost design feels cheap.

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Belkin BoostUp 2-Port car charger review: High-quality, and well designed

Tue, 2017-12-05 06:00

Belkin’s BoostUp 2-Port car charger is the most expensive model we tested at $40, but it’s also the only one that comes with a USB-C cable in the box.

Note: This review is part of our roundup of USB car chargers. Go there for details on how we tested this device.

By including a USB-C cable and calling the device itself BoostUp, you might assume that it’s QC2.0/3.0 compatible. That’s not the case, however.

When testing with the Galaxy S8, the phone failed to fast charge as we expected. For both the S8 and the iPhone X, the Belkin BoostUp pumped out a still-respectable 5V/1.8A.

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Spigen Quick Charge 3.0 car charger review: Streamlined design with fast-charging capabilities

Tue, 2017-12-05 06:00

Spigen is mostly known for its line of thin cases for phones, but the company has a suite of phone accessories. One such product is the Spigen Quick Charge 3.0 car charger ($10 on Amazon).

Note: This review is part of our roundup of USB car chargers. Go there for details on how we tested this device.

The front of the unit has two ports. One has a green highlight to it, the other is white. The green port is QC3.0 compatible, while the white port is a standard 5V/2A port.

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Anker PowerDrive Speed 2 car charger review: Anker lights the way

Tue, 2017-12-05 06:00

Anker’s ever-expanding line of smartphone accessories and products is impressive. Case in point is the Anker PowerDrive Speed 2 car charger ($25 on Amazon).

Note: This review is part of our roundup of USB car chargers. Go there for details on how we tested this device.

The charger, which features an attractive carbon fiber pattern, fit snugly enough in our test car's power port that we had no worry about it coming loose on a bumpy ride.

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Doom VFR review: Ripping and tearing and stumbling over the small details

Mon, 2017-12-04 09:48

It’s been a sleepy fall for virtual reality, but we were promised one hell of a capstone: Not one but three Bethesda titles, reworked for the HTC Vive. First Doom VFR, then Fallout 4 VR, and then Skyrim VR sometime in 2018. (That last one is also available for PlayStation VR right this moment.)

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Need Stocking Stuffers? See Amazon's Highest Rated Tech Deals Under $25 - Deal Alert

Mon, 2017-12-04 09:34

This month, you'll probably need to buy stocking stuffers and cheap little gadgety things for co-workers, extended family members, or to fill in gaps last-minute when you find yourself asking, "Did I buy enough?".  Amazon has deals running every day, so we've filtered their list of active deals down to just the tech categories, and only the deals $25 or less with 4 or 5 star ratings.  Discounted USB cords, chargers, phone accessories, BlueTooth speakers, splitters, and other gadgets. Here it is: An impulse shopper's dream/nightmare

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Gigabyte Aero 15X Review: The GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q makes it hum

Mon, 2017-12-04 06:30

Gigabyte's new Aero 15X says conventional wisdom is wrong. That conventional wisdom says gaming laptops can't be good "laptops" because they're too big and eat too much battery. The Aero 15X proves otherwise, with great gaming performance and great battery life. 

If the Aero 15X looks familiar, that's because it's mostly just an upgraded copy of the Aero 15. We absolutely loved the Aero 15, which set the standard for performance and battery life, and the 15X adds to that success. 

Adam Patrick Murray

The Aero 15X is basically the Aero 15 with a faster GPU (that's a good thing).

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