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Updated: 35 min 29 sec ago

Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8cx for PCs aims to overcome the performance gap

Thu, 2018-12-06 16:00

Qualcomm’s efforts to put its Snapdragon chips into PCs have historically run into one major obstacle: The performance simply isn’t competitive with that of chips from Intel and AMD. Now Qualcomm is trying again, with what it’s calling an “extreme” version of the Snapdragon: the Snapdragon 8cx. 

Qualcomm’s promising that the 8cx will offer the equivalent performance of the competition’s 15-watt processor offerings—though it’s not saying which one. (Intel’s U-series Core chips consume 15 watts.) At the same time, Qualcomm is promising more of its traditional strength: an incredible 25 hours of battery life, plus support for niceties like LPDDR4X memory, NVMe SSDs, USB 3.1, and four PCI Express lanes. There’s Qualcomm QuickCharge, too.

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ECG for the Apple Watch Series 4 now available in watchOS 5.1.2 update. Here’s how to get it

Thu, 2018-12-06 13:00
The much-anticipated electrocardiogram feature that Apple highlighted during its Apple Watch 4 unveiling is now available.

Microsoft Edge embraces open-source Chromium code, plans move to Windows 7, 8, and Macs

Thu, 2018-12-06 12:58

Microsoft is overhauling its struggling Edge browser in pretty much every way over the next year. The proprietary EdgeHTML engine underpinning the browser will be abandoned in favor of the Chromium code used by Google’s Chrome and several other browsers. After the shift, Microsoft plans to end Edge’s Windows 10 desktop exclusivity by bringing it to Macs and older versions of Windows.

 “People using Microsoft Edge (and potentially other browsers) will experience improved compatibility with all websites, while getting the best-possible battery life and hardware integration on all kinds of Windows devices,” Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president of Windows, said in the blog post announcing the shift. He also touted compatibility benefits for web developers and corporate IT administrators.

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Amazon is selling Microsoft Office 365 and 2019 for insanely cheap today

Thu, 2018-12-06 12:05

As a longtime staple of work and personal computer use, Microsoft Office doesn’t often go on sale. So if you need a copy, today’s the day to grab it: Amazon is knocking up to $45 off a subscription to Microsoft Office 365 and taking $50 off a one-time purchaseRemove non-product link of the suite of apps, bringing them to rarely-seen lows.

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Download Malwarebytes Today and Protect Your Data for Free

Thu, 2018-12-06 11:56

Everyone lives on the internet, period. Whether you’re streaming a standup special on Netflix, answering emails from your boss, chatting on Tinder, or completing everyday errands like paying bills online, you’re likely spending most of your day tangled up in the world wide web.

Unfortunately, that makes you a high-risk candidate for a cyber attack at some point along the way, be it through malware, phishing, or hacking. Best-case scenario, it sucks up your time to fix (or your money by paying someone else to fix it). Worst case scenario, it puts you and your computer out of commission for days and damages your files beyond repair. Not to mention the sheer terror of knowing some hacker has complete and total access to virtually everything about you, including all of your banking and credit card information. Malwarebytes is a free program built to help you avoid the above scenarios altogether — and it makes traditional antivirus look old, tired, and played out (seriously it’s free, download it here).

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Watch the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855's best new features in action

Thu, 2018-12-06 11:29

Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 855 mobile processor offers a ton of new features that could be potentially enabled on next-generation smartphones—almost too many to list. But we managed to see some of the best in action.

After Qualcomm finished announcing the Snapdragon 855, the company opened a pair of demo rooms showing some of the 855’s flagship features. Through PCWorld’s video team didn’t make it to the event, I was able to record video demonstrating some of the new capabilities of the mobile chip, including improved battery life and gaming performance, intelligent audio filtering, and 4K recording with HDR. They all ran on prototype phones with the Snapdragon 855 chip inside.

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How Google can clean up its messaging mess after Allo's shutdown

Thu, 2018-12-06 10:47

Google would like us to think of its messaging strategy as a work in progress. What it’s progressing towards, I don’t know. Amongst all the changes, additions, mergers, and rebranding its series of messaging apps have gone through over the past few years, Google has done little to simplify or streamline its strategy. And with the latest moves, we may have fewer apps than ever but the message has never been more muddled.

In a blog post Wednesday night, Google confirmed rumors that classic Hangouts and Allo are going away, which comes as no surprise. Google already announced that Hangouts would be splitting into two new apps, Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet, and Allo has been “on pause” since April as Google re-evaluated the purpose of the two-year-old app. Eight months later, we have a new Allo-less strategy that’s no clearer than it was when the app launched in 2016.

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Microsoft's 1TB Xbox One X, the most powerful gaming console, is $100 off

Thu, 2018-12-06 09:53

There’s a great deal right now on the most powerful gaming console available. The Xbox One X 1TB is $400 at Amazon and other retailers. The price dropped from $500 a few days ago and will likely hang around at this price for a good chunk of the holiday season. That’s just a guess, however, so don't delay if you're hankering for a super-charged version of Microsoft's Xbox.

The Xbox One X is a fantastic gaming console that’s about equal to an AMD Radeon RX 580 or the Nvidia GeForce 1060–two great, no compromises 1080p gaming cards. The Xbox One X also includes a 4K Blu-ray player, and supports high dynamic range (HDR) visuals. That's a whole lot of enticing living room tech for a mighty enticing price. While you can play games in 4K with the Xbox One X, we found in our review of the console that a better option was to play upscaled 1080p on ultra with a rock steady 60 frames per second on most games.

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5 ways the Snapdragon 855 will change Android phones in 2019 (other than making them faster)

Thu, 2018-12-06 06:30

Qualcomm has given Android users an early Christmas present in the form of a sneak peek at the Snapdragon 855 processor, the chip that will power 2019’s flagship phones. We already know it’s going to be faster and more power efficient than the 845, but what really matters is how it’s going to change your next phone beyond the speed and battery boosts. Here are five things to look forward to.

Download speeds will be way faster

You’re going to hear a lot about 5G in 2019, and Qualcomm will be leading the revolution with its X50 modem. However, the 855 will have some serious speed improvements of its own, thanks to a directly integrated 2Gbps LTE modem. The 855 is also 802.11ax ready for up to 14 Gbits/s WiFi, nearly five times the 3Gbits/s that’s offered now.

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Roku tips: How to make the most of your streamer

Thu, 2018-12-06 06:00
These Roku how-to tips will help you navigate faster, find free content, and master your playback controls.

Sony PSZ-HC1T USB 3.1 Gen 1 hard drive: A stylish and rugged portable storage workhorse

Thu, 2018-12-06 06:00

The Sony PSZ-HC1T quickly became one of my favorite external hard drives to use around the lab. Why? Because it’s rugged and has a captive USB cable. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve held my breath after accidentally banging a drive, or every second I’ve wasted hunting down a cable, I’d be a rich man. 

Speaking of everyone’s relative financial status, those perks do cost you a bit—at around $110, the PSZ-HC1T sells for $50 more than most 1TB external USB 3.1 drives. Still, if you’re prone to being rough on your equipment, consider that it’s still cheaper than replacing a less sturdy unit.

This review is part of our ongoing roundup of the best external drives. Go there for information about other competing products and how we tested them, plus our top picks. 

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Meet Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855: AI boosts, a smarter camera, mobile gaming—and bye-bye, JPEG

Wed, 2018-12-05 17:14

A year ago, Qualcomm unveiled the Snapdragon 845, the brains behind flagship smartphones like the Google Pixel 3, the U.S. version of the Samsung Galaxy S9, OnePlus phones, and others. Now, Qualcomm’s next-generation Snapdragon 855 promises those platforms even more enhancements: dedicated logic blocks for digital assistants, revamped camera logic for computer vision, specific gaming boosts. It also gives the traditional JPEG file format the boot.

According to Qualcomm executives, the goal for the Snapdragon 855 is to “unlock” AI and XR (mixed reality), with the new 5G capabilities leading the way. The company claims that it’s offering the first commercial mobile platform to support this trifecta.

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The best video baby monitors: Keep eyes—and ears—on your bundle of joy

Wed, 2018-12-05 17:07
Today's baby monitors are more capable—and more complex—than ever. Here's how to find the right one, so you and your baby can get some sleep.

Best smart bulbs for your connected home

Wed, 2018-12-05 16:55
Today’s smart bulbs are brighter and easier to control than ever, but choosing the right one for your environment remains a challenge.

PCWorld's December Digital Magazine: Google Pixel 3 XL review

Wed, 2018-12-05 15:14

Stay on top of the latest tech with PCWorld’s Digital Magazine. Available as single copies or as a monthly subscription, it highlights the best content from—the most important news, the key product reviews, and the most useful features and how-to stories—in a curated Digital Magazine for Android and iOS, as well for the desktop and other tablet readers.

In the December issue

On the cover of the December issue is our review of the Google Pixel 3 XL, where Google is winning the game by rewriting the rules. If you value your privacy in the digital age, you can read about how free' Wi-Fi hotspots can track your location even when you aren't connected, and what you can do to prevent it.

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The Full Nerd ep. 77: Super X-Fi, old-school computers, and an unveiling

Wed, 2018-12-05 13:15

In this episode of the Full Nerd, Gordon Mah Ung and Adam Patrick Murray are joined by Creative Labs’ Ryan Schlieper to talk about Super X-Fi, old-school computers, and a sneak peek at the newest Sound Blaster!

First the crew discusses Creative’s breakthrough “holographic audio” dongle known as the Super X-Fi, which promises to pack a surround-sound system into your pocket. The Super X-Fi is so impressive, you won’t believe what Adam says about it.

And then in a surprise move, Ryan unveils Creative’s new Sound Blaster AE-9 with a break-out box and a 6-pin PCIe power plug.

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Amazon's one-day Logitech sale features 50% off keyboards, mice, and headphones

Wed, 2018-12-05 11:41

The right peripheral devices can make or break your entire PC experience, and today you can grab some awesome ones for super cheap. Amazon has a whole lineup of accessories available for half off or better today, from keyboards to headphones and everything in between.

First up is the MK545 Advanced Wireless Keyboard combo for $30, half off its $60 list priceRemove non-product link. This is the Amazon exclusive version of Logitech's awesome MK540—which we gave 4.5 stars out of 5 for its comfortable design and programmable and quiet keys—and comes with a few enhancements over the standard model, namely a textured palm rest and longer mouse battery life (24 month versus 18 months).

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Amazon and Newegg have slashed prices on some of our favorite graphics cards today

Wed, 2018-12-05 09:56

Amazon’s awesome 12 days of Christmas sale just keeps rolling along. Just two days after its latest gaming hardware sale, a new PC components and accessories sale has landed, and it might be even better for gamers. Our top three deals today are all graphics cards—with an extra special deal from Newegg thrown in, because, well, we can't resist.

First up, is a set of 4GB AMD Radeon RX 580 graphic cards. The plain old Gigabyte Radeon RX 580Remove non-product link and the Gigabyte Aorus Radeon RX 580Remove non-product link are both $185 today. These cards have dual-fans with Gigabyte’s Windforce 2x blade fan design, and they feature the company’s RGB fusion customizable lighting. The Aorus version has a slightly higher clock speed, but both will work fantastically well for no compromises 1080p gaming at 60 frames per second (fps).

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Roku TV Wireless Speakers review: A terrific sonic value for anyone rocking a Roku TV

Wed, 2018-12-05 09:30
Theser stereo speakers will tightly integrate with TVs based on Roku OS, and those are the only TVs they're compatible with.

This Impressively Powerful Mini PC Is A Great Gift For Under $160

Wed, 2018-12-05 09:21

Desktop computers are notorious for being bulky, towering machines that take up a ton of desk space and are no fun to transport. The Fusion C Mini PC, however, is looking to change that. You can get it on sale and save an extra 15% when you use the code MERRY15 at check out, lowering the final price to only $153.

The Fusion C is a fully realized personal computer that runs all your favorite productivity apps with ease but is small and lightweight enough that you can take it wherever you go. It’s perfect for students, business professionals on the go, and everyone in between. If you need portable computing power, the Fusion C is exactly what you’ve been searching for.

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