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Giveaway: Win an Honor View 10!

Mon, 2018-10-08 09:00

When Honor announced the View 10 earlier this year we were very intrigued by it’s strong specs, AI processing, and affordable price point. Boasting some of the same internals as Huawei’s Mate 10 Pro, the V10 proved to hang with the midrange phones like the OnePlus 5T.

Months later and the View 10 is still a great phone—and Honor has provided us with one to give away to our loyal fans! This is the Midnight Black version featuring 128GB of internal storage and 6GB of RAM.

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TaoTronics 40-inch soundbar review: How low can you go?

Mon, 2018-10-08 08:30
A 40-inch soundbar for just $90? If your budget is tight and you can live with its quirks, TaoTronics offers a very inexpensive solution for improving your TV's sound.

Amazon Echo Show (2nd Gen) review: Better in every way, and better than every other smart display

Mon, 2018-10-08 08:00
It’s a major step up, but Amazon still doesn’t have the best smart speaker.

Omen Mindframe headset review: HP nails the cooling, but the basics need work

Mon, 2018-10-08 08:00

HP’s Omen Mindframe arrives as the war for your ears is heating up—or maybe cooling down. I never would’ve pegged “sweaty ears” as the next battleground for gaming headsets, but it’s the one more and more companies are choosing. Last month we looked at Razer’s Nari Ultimate, which (among other features) packed cooling gel into the earcups.

Now HP’s Omen Mindframe arrives with an even more high-tech solution: Active cooling, to keep your lobes frosty for hours at a time. No, seriously.

Ominous

First let’s talk design, though. This is HP’s first gaming headset, which is always interesting—especially when it comes from a brand, like HP, that isn’t traditionally associated with gaming.

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After the October Update fiasco, Microsoft needs to warn users about the risks of Windows 10 upgrades

Sat, 2018-10-06 15:00

“The newest Windows feature update is ready to install. We need you to kick it off. With new features and apps, this one could take a little longer than other updates.”

That’s how Windows 10 tells users that it’s about to upgrade to one of Microsoft’s twice-yearly milestone updates, like the Creators Update. Does it sound like you’re about to perform major surgery on your operating system, the sort of upgrade that could result in file deletion and system corruption if things go sideways? Because that’s what you’re doing when you upgrade to a new milestone version of Windows 10, and Microsoft needs to be more clear about it—a fact made startlingly obvious now that the company pulled back the Windows 10 October 2018 Update because of user reports about mass file deletion.

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Microsoft pulls Windows 10 October 2018 Update after reports of mass file deletion

Sat, 2018-10-06 09:04

Microsoft is slamming the brakes on the Windows 10 October 2018 Update’s rollout. The upgrade became available during the company’s Surface event on Tuesday, but in the days that followed, numerous users across the web reported that the transition deleted massive chunks of data. User profiles and entire folders full of files went missing in some cases and rolling back the upgrade didn’t restore them. Now Microsoft is temporarily halting the October 2018 Update’s distribution due to the issue.

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AMD's Dynamic Local Mode for Threadripper promises almost 50 percent more performance

Fri, 2018-10-05 20:26

If you're lucky enough to have one of AMD's high-end Ryzen Threadripper CPUs 2990WX (or the soon-to-come 2790WX) , AMD has just given you a cherry for the top of your sundae. A new piece of software called Dynamic Local Mode will boost performance on some tasks by rerouting loads in Windows. Robert Hallock of AMD introduced Dynamic Local Mode in a blog post on Friday.

Dynamic Local Mode was created to address a specific performance characteristic of Ryzen Threadripper. Instead of a single chip, AMD's massive 32-core and 24-core Threadripper CPUs are built by connecting four dies using a high-speed fabric interface. Two of the dies have their own memory controllers, and two are pure compute chips which must access memory through the adjacent die.

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AMD's 24-core and 12-core 2nd-gen Threadripper CPU are set to hit the streets soon

Fri, 2018-10-05 18:40

AMD’s 24-core and 12-core 2nd-generation Threadripper CPUs will officially hit the streets on October 29, the company said.

AMD announced a quartet of 2nd-gen Threadrippers, with only the 32-core and 16-core versions shipping so far. By the end of the month, the company said, the final two will arrive, putting all of AMD’s cards on the table for the year.

AMD

AMD’s last two Threadrippers will hit the streets on Oct. 29, the company said.

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Assassin's Creed Odyssey review in progress: This ancient adventure breathes new life into the series

Fri, 2018-10-05 14:06

I haven’t finished Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey ($60 on Humble), nor will I for a while. I’ve been playing it for days now, over 30 hours and counting. “Surely I must be closing in on the end,” I keep thinking. Then I check the map and find I’ve explored less than half of it. My quest log tallies at least 40 active missions at the moment. Everywhere I go, there’s more stuff.

It’s no wonder Odysseus was away from home for two decades.

The long journey home

This is Assassin’s Creed now, I guess. The “Return to Our Roots” direction of Unity and Syndicate is dead. Instead Ubisoft rebooted the reboot, with last year’s Origins hearkening back to the sprawling world of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. It traded stormy Caribbean seas for the dusty deserts and hidden oases of Ptolemaic Egypt, but the core loop felt similar.

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This week in games: Total War: Warhammer II adds undead pirates, Amazon's MMO leaks on Pornhub

Fri, 2018-10-05 13:00

Amazon’s MMO has gone from being a rumor to being a screenshot repository to showing off (leaked) footage in mere weeks. If only all games could be so speedy.

That news, plus Surviving Mars and Total War: Warhammer II unveil expansions, Mike Morhaime departs Blizzard after 27 years, Gameumentary puts out an hour-long documentary on Divinity developer Larian, and...yeah, more Telltale layoffs.

This is gaming news for October 1 to 5.

Shining stars

This week I don’t have free games for you per se—although Shadow Warrior 2 is still available through Saturday morning. Humble’s also running its most appealing bundle in ages though, the “Humble Overwhelmingly Positive Bundle 2.” The $1 bundle is fine, with Wuppo, Simulacra, and Subsurface Circular. Beating the average is where it gets interesting though, adding Nuclear Throne, Momodora: Reverie Under Moonlight, Lisa, and Frictional’s fantastic Soma. And for $15? You’ll unlock Zachtronics’s excellent alchemy-themed puzzle game Opus Magnum as well. Pretty great deal.

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The $100 Oontz Angle 3 Ultra Bluetooth speaker is on sale for nearly 75% off today

Fri, 2018-10-05 12:06

Picking the right Bluetooth speaker can be an exercise in futility, but today Amazon is making it easy. The popular Oontz Angle 3 Ultra is on sale for $27Remove non-product link, the best price we've ever seen and nearly 75 percent off its $100 MSRP.

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The Full Nerd ep. 70: Microsoft Surface refresh analysis, inside the Windows 10 October Update

Fri, 2018-10-05 10:07

In this episode of the Full Nerd, Gordon Mah UngBrad ChacosAdam Patrick Murray, and PCWorld’s resident Microsoft expert Mark Hachman dive deep into the slew of Surface device updates and what to expect from the big (and boringly named) Windows 10 October 2018 Update.

We start by talking about Surface, as Microsoft refreshed most of its lineup earlier this week. Mark got hands-on time with the new Surface Pro 6, Surface Laptop 2, Surface Studio 2, and Surface Headphones in New York, and he shares his impressions of all the new gear. And, well, we mock the updated-but-still-outdated CPU and GPU inside the new Studio 2 all-in-one. (That luscious display though!)

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Bait and fix: Apple is basically forcing you to get AppleCare for your new MacBook Pro

Fri, 2018-10-05 09:50
Apple has implemented a new policy that will render your MacBook Pro 'inoperative' if you try to fix it at home or through an unauthorized repair shop.

Corsair's K70 MK.2 Special Edition keyboard is built for fast gaming and cheaper than ever at $50 off

Fri, 2018-10-05 09:19

One of the most beloved gaming keyboards is available at an all-time low price today. Amazon is selling a version of the Corsair K70 for $130, $50 off this particular model’s most recent price.

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LG V40 review: The V stands for Victory (and Very expensive)

Fri, 2018-10-05 06:34

LG's V40 comes at a time when LG desperately needs a break. After the V30, V35, and G7 all stumbled out the gate with unforgivable flaws and half-baked features, LG has gone back to the well with the V40. And wouldn't you know it, LG's finally got it right. With the changes to the screen, camera, and design, the V40 fixes early every problem I had with its predecessors.

Whether that translates into robust sales or any kind of sustained success remains to be seen, but the V40 is a phone that can stand up to the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, Pixel 3 XL, and even the iPhone XS Max. The penta-camera system you've heard about gives it a massive boost over the G7 without introducing too many gimmicks, and the OLED display is a giant leap over the V30's screen.

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Logitech K600 TV review: A keyboard for the couch

Fri, 2018-10-05 06:00
Logitech's keyboard-trackpad combo gets a hand from thumb-friendly navigation options.

iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max review: It’s time for older iPhone owners to jump on the X bandwagon

Fri, 2018-10-05 06:00
A faster processor, new Max size and camera improvements make the iPhone XS a compelling upgrade.

Logitech G305 and G603 wireless mice review: A lifesaver for traveling gamers

Fri, 2018-10-05 06:00

Nowhere do I see technology’s relentless progress more these days than in wireless mice. When I was in college, not all that long ago, I had a wireless mouse for traveling. It cost me $30, and it barely worked. As if its error-prone laser sensor wasn’t bad enough, it was always losing connection temporarily—and at the worst moments, of course.

It soured me on the whole idea, and for years I defaulted to carrying a wired mouse with me on trips. Usually that meant something by SteelSeries or Corsair, because whatever those companies lack in elegance they make up for in durability.

But for the past six months or so I’ve packed a pair of Logitech’s wireless mice on my trips, and honestly I feel like either one is a valuable investment for the travel-prone.

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Microsoft isn't offering the Surface Laptop 2 at the price it promised, sort of

Thu, 2018-10-04 18:21

At Microsoft’s Surface launch, Microsoft device chief Panos Panay put up a slide with minimum, “starting at” prices for the Surface Pro 6 and Surface Laptop 2: $899 and $999, respectively. 

What we didn’t notice, though, was that the key to the lower prices appears to be the color of the devices in question: if you want the lowest-cost Surface Pro 6 and Surface Laptop 2, you’ll have to be satisfied with the platinum color. But it's also not quite fair to say that the new black (and cobalt blue, and burgundy) devices are considered premium colors, and will cost $100 more -- because the most basic configuration isn't offered in either of those three colors.

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Microsoft isn't offering the Surface Pro 6 and Surface Laptop 2 prices it promised

Thu, 2018-10-04 18:21

At Microsoft’s Surface launch, Microsoft device chief Panos Panay put up a slide with minimum, “starting at” prices for the Surface Pro 6 and Surface Studio 2: $899 and $999, respectively. 

Unfortunately, Microsoft initially tied those lowest-cost models to "Essentials" bundles that force you to buy other items along with the device, resulting in a higher total price. Microsoft appears to have removed that restriction for the Surface Pro 6 as of this article's posting, but the $999 Surface Laptop remains trapped in a higher-cost bundle.

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