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VTech VM2251 Video Baby Monitor review: A best friend for new parents

Fri, 2018-03-30 12:30
The in-home baby camera includes a temperature monitor, automatic night vision, and a sound-activated screen.

This week in games: Red Faction Guerrilla gets 'Re-Mars-Stered,' de_dust2 appears in Far Cry 5

Fri, 2018-03-30 11:30

I’m pretty sure building de_dust2 in any map-editing tool is the equivalent of running Doom on every device with a screen. It’s mandatory. Mandatory. So it’s no surprise someone already did it with Far Cry 5’s spin-off Arcade mode.

A look at that, plus new trailers for Pillars of Eternity II and Jurassic World Evolution, details on a Red Faction: Guerrilla remaster and one for Mark of the Ninja too, and free copies of Spec Ops: The Line (for a limited time).

This is gaming news for March 26 to 30.

The discounts

Starting this week as always with everyone’s favorite: Free games. This week it’s Humble again giving away the goods, with “the goods” in this case being free copies of Spec Ops: The Line, everyone’s favorite slightly-deeper-than-your-average-shooter shooter. It probably isn’t as impactful in 2018 as it was in 2012—the shooter landscape’s changed a lot. Still, nobody else has even attempted something better yet so...yeah. Pick it up, and fast. The deal only runs until Saturday.

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Cover your home with Wi-Fi on the cheap with Amazon’s one-day TP-Link sale

Fri, 2018-03-30 10:54

A strong Wi-Fi system is the foundation of any connected home, and Amazon’s one-day TP-Link sale will help you blanket every room without hurting your wallet. With everything from routers to range extenders, this sale offers plenty of options for enabling or enhancing your Wi-Fi connection.

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AMD Ryzen 5 processors get killer Amazon deals with Zen+ CPUs looming

Fri, 2018-03-30 09:51

A fresh generation of AMD processors looms on the horizon, and its approach is creating wonderful ripple effects: You can find current-gen Ryzen processors going for wickedly good deals. AMD already dropped Ryzen prices in January, then pushed them down even further this month. Now costs have plunged yet again for two mainstream models if you’re willing to fill out rebate forms.

First up: The 6-core, 12-thread Ryzen 5 1600, which we recently used in a mini-ITX Ryzen gaming PC. Amazon’s selling it for $176, or $13 less than its newly reduced price. But a rebate slashes another $20 off, bringing the total down to just $156. That’s not quite as cheap as the low-water mark this sold for during Amazon’s recent one-day PC gaming sale, but that’s an astounding number of cores and threads for the price. This chip originally launched at $220 and was worth every penny even then; Intel’s rival Core i5-8400 costs $179, and its six cores lack multi-threading and can’t be overclocked.  

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Why Apple's new iPad is a better option for schools than a Chromebook tablet

Fri, 2018-03-30 07:00
Acer's new Chromebook tablet may be a dead ringer for the new iPad, but when it comes to schools, Apple has a key advantage when it comes to privacy.

Acer Predator Helios 300 review: A well-rounded gaming laptop at a great price

Fri, 2018-03-30 06:00

With the monstrous Predator 21 X and sleek Predator Triton 700, Acer staked a compelling claim on the high-end market, loading its notebooks with extravagant features and the most powerful portable gaming hardware available. The Acer Predator Helios 300 doesn’t concern itself with fanciful bells and whistles. It’s a straightforward, no-nonsense gaming laptop that delivers a refreshing amount of bang for your buck, starting at $1,100 on Amazon with a Core i7-7700HQ processor and a GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card.

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Tobii's eye-tracking tech is niche on PCs, but makes virtual reality feel like magic

Fri, 2018-03-30 06:00

When I got one of Tobii’s eye-tracking devices a few years ago, I didn’t know what to do with it. Tobii bills itself as “the world leader in eye tracking,” and as far as I could tell the claim rang true. The device certainly worked, and I could see it being very useful for people who (for any number of reasons) can’t use a keyboard and mouse.

But Tobii clearly wanted to broaden its ambitions and turn eye-tracking into a more mass-market solution, not an alternate means of interfacing with PCs but a primary means. I tried it. Ubisoft builds Tobii support into all its games, and I played Assassin’s Creed: Rogue with Tobii’s eye-tracker swinging the camera wherever I looked. “Cool tech,” I thought, and then promptly went back to using a mouse and keyboard.

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How to listen to live baseball games on an Amazon Echo

Thu, 2018-03-29 16:47
TuneIn Live and MLB At Bat can stream live baseball on the Amazon Echo and other Alexa devices—but not for free.

Microsoft executive shakeup signals big changes for Windows, Office and more

Thu, 2018-03-29 13:55

Microsoft handed the reins of its Windows and Devices team from Terry Myerson to Rajesh Jha on Thursday, part of a series of moves signalling that Microsoft wants to bring a “unifying product ethos” to Windows, Office, and third-party apps.

In an email to employees, chief executive Satya Nadella explained that the future of Microsoft lay in "the intelligent cloud and the intelligent edge," Nadella’s new way of describing Microsoft’s mission. Familiar names will help Microsoft get there: Panos Panay, who helped bring the original Surface to market, is now Microsoft’s Chief Product Officer, and Joe Belfiore will continue leading Microsoft’s Windows experiences.

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Hades Canyon NUC review: Intel taps AMD's Radeon Vega graphics for a powerful mini-PC

Thu, 2018-03-29 13:03

Intel’s Hades Canyon is more than a simple successor to its Skull Canyon predecessor, an extreme version of Intel’s Next Unit of Computing (NUC). When Skull Canyon launched in 2016, it bucked the mini-PC trend of modest specs designed for general computing, instead boasting the absolute latest in hardware for its size: a 45W quad-core processor, integrated graphics capable of 1080p gaming, and a port that supported external graphics. At the time, that ultra-compact mini-PC was unrivaled.

The Hades Canyon NUC brings its own first: a single, Intel-produced chip (code-named Kaby Lake-G) that marries an Intel mobile CPU with an AMD Radeon RX Vega M mobile GPU. It’s silicon that can handle heavy-duty tasks without breaking much of a sweat.

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This lens cleaner keeps your camera spotless for under $5

Thu, 2018-03-29 10:47

Nothing’s more irritating than snapping the perfect picture only to discover dust and dirt blemishing the image. Wiping your phone or camera with your shirt can work in a pinch, but also leaves tiny fibers scattered across the lens. A cleaning pen can wipe your camera spotless in seconds, and LensPen’s silver UltraPro lens cleaner is on sale on Amazon and Best Buy right now for $4.89, or about 43 percent lower than usual.

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The Full Nerd episode 44: AMD Zen+ rumors, Dell's speedy XPS 13, and the future of graphics

Thu, 2018-03-29 10:11

In this episode of the Full Nerd, Gordon Mah UngBrad ChacosAdam Patrick Murray, and Mona talk about the future!

AMD’s next-generation “Zen+” Ryzen processors are due in April, and what appears to be an early leaked review by French computer magazine Canard PC has hit the web. The gang chats about the numbers—and about the white-hot deals you can find on Ryzen CPUs right now, as AMD clears house before the Zen+ launch.

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Protect five PCs with Norton Security Deluxe for $20 today

Thu, 2018-03-29 09:54

Today you can secure a deal to secure your PC at Newegg. The retailer is selling a one-year, five device license for Norton Security Deluxe for $20 with coupon code EMCPSRW25. The code works with digital download and boxed versions. Norton typically sells this version of its security suite for $45 per year for five devices.

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Apple’s original TV elephant in the room

Thu, 2018-03-29 06:00
Let's hope Apple's original TV shows aren't exclusive to Apple TV.

Netgear Orbi Outdoor Satellite review: Great range, but only so-so speed

Thu, 2018-03-29 06:00

Netgear has one of the best Wi-Fi mesh network systems on the market in the Orbi RBK50, and now it’s the only manufacturer to offer a weatherized mesh node that will extend your network deep into your yard.

The company says its Orbi Outdoor Satellite (Netgear model number RBS50Y) can add up to 2,500 square feet of Wi-Fi coverage, and I did see significant increases in throughput and range. I tested it with Netgear’s $370 RBK50 kit, which consists of an RBR50 router and one RBS50 indoor satellite. I updated all three devices to the latest firmware prior to benchmarking and recorded a substantial increase in indoor performance as well.

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The best second-screen apps for watching Major League Baseball

Wed, 2018-03-28 19:00
Geek up the grand old game with data feeds, social media, and other interactive enhancements.

Best high-resolution digital audio player: Which DAP reigns supreme?

Wed, 2018-03-28 16:09
We review hi-res audio players from Astell&Kern, Pioneer, Onkyo, and Questyle; one shines above all he others.

You can now stream music from Google Home to a Bluetooth speaker. Here's how

Wed, 2018-03-28 14:40

Google Home and Google Home Mini might be good at finding songs you want to hear, but they’re not the best at playing them. Compared to higher-priced speakers such as Google Home Max and Apple’s HomePod, Google’s diminutive devices sound exactly as you’d expect: small, tinny, and muddled.

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ASRock gets into graphics cards with Radeon-based Phantom Gaming GPUs

Wed, 2018-03-28 13:36

Soaring demand by cryptocurrency enthusiasts have made it impossible to find graphics cards at reasonable prices, but a new contender is throwing its hat in the ring nonetheless. Motherboard maker ASRock already offers boards with room for up to 13 GPUs, and now it’s looking to fill all those slots with its new Phantom Gaming graphics cards.

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How to watch Apple’s education event online

Wed, 2018-03-28 11:55
Watch Apple executives introduce the new iPad and other education-based products.