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Apple's new Mac Pro might be the monster Mac professionals have been asking for

Tue, 2019-06-04 06:00

With the debut of the new Mac Pro on June 3, we can finally say, “welcome back to the professional market that you unceremoniously dumped overboard a few years ago, Apple.” (Sure, true believers will say Apple never left, but uhh, trashcan amirite?)

The good news is Apple returns to the pro game as only Apple can: with high-end specs, even higher prices, and one actually bad-ass looking Mac. And no, we don’t mean the actual looks, because, well, the looks are in the eyes of the beholder. Yes, if you have nothing kind to say about cheese graters, don’t say it. What’s more impressive, what’s more important to a crowd who cares only about performance, is what’s inside.

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How to disable your laptop touchpad

Mon, 2019-06-03 19:44

The touchpad has been the standard laptop pointing device for years. Since touchpads are built into a laptop, they work well when you don’t want to carry around another pointing device. Even when a mouse or another pointing device is available, some users prefer the feel of a touchpad above anything else. But whether you love touchpads or just tolerate them, they still get in the way sometimes. When you’re typing on a laptop’s keyboard, it’s common to brush against the touchpad and inadvertently send the cursor flying across the screen. You don’t need to put up with that, however—here’s how to turn it off.

The easiest way to disable a touchpad depends on the hardware. The good news is that manufacturers of modern laptops have tried to address the issue up front. On some notebooks, you’ll find a physical switch to disable and enable the touchpad; look around the laptop’s edge for it. The PC might also offer a keyboard shortcut (such as pressing Fn and F7 simultaneously) to disable the touchpad, or perhaps pressing a certain area of the touchpad itself will turn it off. Check your laptop’s documentation for specific methods.

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What to do when your ethernet won't connect

Mon, 2019-06-03 18:58

If you’ve got working Wi-Fi but your wired ethernet connection is not working, the first thing to do is turn off the Wi-Fi. Believe it or not, this might tell you that the ethernet is working. If Windows has access to both, it will give top priority to ethernet, but display the Wi-Fi icon in the notification area. Right-click on the icon, go to Open Network and Internet Settings, then the Wi-Fi tab, and toggle off. 

Even if that doesn’t solve your problem, it will make the tests below easier to run. You’ll see immediately if ethernet is working, which is exactly what you need to know.

If Wi-Fi is disabled and you’re still not getting a network connection, make sure that ethernet is enabled in the same Network and Internet Settings section. 

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Best PDF editors: Reviewed and rated

Mon, 2019-06-03 17:58

Though it’s nearly 25 years old, the PDF may be more useful than ever in our increasingly multi-device, cross-platform world. Much of the time you can get by with a free PDF reader to review and comment on these files. But inevitably, particularly in a business setting, you’ll need to edit a PDF file and that usually requires upgrading to a premium PDF editor.

Best PDF editors 2019
  • Adobe Acrobat Pro DC: Best overall [adobe.com]
  • Nitro Pro 12: Runner up [gonitro.com]
  • PDF Architect 6 Professional: Best budget option [pdfforge.org]

Historically, Adobe Acrobat has been the best option, but it has also been the most expensive, often putting it out of reach of individuals and small businesses. That has given rise to a wealth of alternatives with varying features and costs. We looked at several top PDF editors to see what they offer and how they stack up against each other. See below for why we choose our top picks, and scroll to the bottom to see all of our PDF reviews.

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iOS 13 and iPadOS 13: The 5 things you need to know

Mon, 2019-06-03 15:32
With over a billion users, iOS is one of the biggest consumer operating systems in the world. Here's how it's going to change your iPhone and iPad this fall.

KEF LSX review: These small but mighty wireless speakers deliver sound quality way above their size class

Mon, 2019-06-03 14:52
They're expensive, but you get what you pay for; in this case, exquisite sound in a compact package. And now they support AirPlay 2 as well.

Meet WatchOS 6: Six ways Apple is turning its watch into a mini iPhone

Mon, 2019-06-03 14:48
Apple has unveiled watchOS 6, and it makes the Apple Watch more independent than ever.

Microsoft is reportedly prepping a dual-screen Surface tablet

Mon, 2019-06-03 13:50

Microsoft reportedly has shown off a dual-screen version of a Surface device, in what sounds like a smaller version of the ”Twin Rivers” concept Intel showed off at Computex in late May.

According to The Verge, Microsoft’s devices group held an all-hands meeting last week, where a “sizzle reel” of the new devices was shown. The site reported that it’s internally code-named “Centaurus.” It’s not clear whether it’s designed to be a foldable, pocketable tablet, or something a bit larger.

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AMD and Samsung partner up to bring Radeon graphics to mobile devices

Mon, 2019-06-03 12:04

A mere week after AMD unveiled its new Radeon “RDNA” graphics architecture at Computex, rebranding the GPU cores formerly code-named “Navi,” it’s already expanding beyond graphics cards. On Monday, AMD and Samsung announced a partnership to bring Radeon graphics to mobile devices. Surprise!

Samsung will pay AMD to use Radeon RDNA graphics in its mobile devices, including smartphones, but presumably manufacture the chips itself in the company’s cutting-edge foundries. “This strategic partnership will extend the reach of our high-performance Radeon graphics into the mobile market, significantly expanding the Radeon user base and development ecosystem,” AMD CEO Lisa Su said in the press release.

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Save a whopping $560 on a last-gen 12.9-inch iPad Pro with LTE if you buy it today

Mon, 2019-06-03 11:13
B&H Photo Video is selling the 12.9-inch 2017 iPad Pro with LTE for $719, but for today only.

Belkin's fully loaded power strips are stupidly cheap in Amazon's today-only sale

Mon, 2019-06-03 09:56

Today is the day for power. Amazon is throwing a one-day sale on Belkin power strips and surge protectorsRemove non-product link until midnight tonight. If you need to improve your power situation with more outlets, now is the time. We’ve sifted through all 14 deals to find some especially enticing options.

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Seagate FireCuda 510 NVMe SSD review: Very fast almost all the time

Mon, 2019-06-03 09:00

Seagate ran some pretty impressive performance numbers by me before I had an actual chance to test the company’s new FireCuda 510 NVMe SSD. I’m happy to report that the drive lived up to the hype and then some—except for one test that has us scratching our heads.

Features and specs

The FireCuda 510 is a 2280 (22 mm wide, 80 mm long) M.2 NVMe SSD that can make full use of the x4 PCIe generation 3 (8Gbps). The next generation of 16Gbs PCIe 4.0 products were announced at Computex, which may alter the equation a bit for early adopters and other bleeding-edge NVMe SSD purchasers. Look for an article on that soon.

Seagate

The back of the FireCuda 510. Note the chips on both sides.

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

Mon, 2019-06-03 06:01
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.

C by GE Tunable White and Full Color smart bulb reviews: Pretty lights hampered by incomplete software

Mon, 2019-06-03 06:00
GE intended these bulbs to be easy to use, but they're just the opposite.

Dragon Touch Babycare Video Monitor review: A high-definition video baby monitor for keeping tabs on your tot

Mon, 2019-06-03 06:00
High-quality video, sound detection, temperature monitoring, and activity alerts make this baby monitor one of the better choices for new parents.

Lenovo ThinkPad X390 review: A sharp business laptop with caveats

Mon, 2019-06-03 06:00

The Lenovo ThinkPad X390 gets some things right. It’s thin and light—especially for a business laptop—and plenty powerful, while maintaining the hefty keyboard for which ThinkPads are known.

Before long, though, the ThinkPad X390’s trade-offs become clear. The matte display’s washed-out tones are tiresome on the eyes, and the keyboard and touchpad—both signature features on most ThinkPads—feel too stiff. While the ThinkPad X390 performs well in benchmarks, fiddling with the power settings causes speed to suffer. Given the price, we expected fewer drawbacks. 

ThinkPad X390: Specs and features

The ThinkPad X390’s price can vary greatly by configuration. It’s possible to spend as little as $899 on this laptop, for which you’ll get a good dollop of RAM (8GB) and a competent Intel Core i5-8265U processor; however, the low-resolution 1366x768 display and meager 128GB SSD are compromises. 

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Samsung's Notebook 7 and Notebook 7 Force are premium, performance-oriented laptops

Mon, 2019-06-03 03:35

Samsung’s Notebook 7 and Notebook 7 Force are laptops designed for a growing audience of PC users who want a premium experience—and enough hardware to get them through work and play without a hiccup. Both laptops offer a sleek, polished aesthetic. In addition, the Notebook 7 Force offers powerful CPU and GPU options for graphics-intensive applications—and maybe some gaming on the side. Announced Sunday night and due to ship July 26, the Notebook 7 will start at $1,000, while the Notebook 7 Force will start at $1,500.

Let’s talk about the design first, as the era of tolerating boring-looking laptops is clearly going away. The Samsung Notebook 7 and Notebook 7 Force will have these premium elements: 

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Ecobee’s fifth-generation SmartThermostat with voice control is available now

Mon, 2019-06-03 00:00
The company says its combination thermostat/Alexa smart speaker will have a more powerful processor and speaker, plus dual-band Wi-Fi.

This week in games: Iron Maiden sues 3D Realms, Larian teases Baldur's Gate III

Fri, 2019-05-31 18:50

It’s not often I get excited about Roman numerals, but Larian hooked me this week. Is it Baldur’s Gate III? Even though they said it wasn’t? That it couldn’t be? We’ll find out soon, I’m sure.

That news, plus Iron Maiden sues Ion Maiden, Halo: Reach shows off mouse-and-keyboard shooting, a whole bunch of E3 leaks, and more. This is gaming news for May 27 to 31.

Freebies

There are two noteworthy game giveaways this weekend. Near and dear to my heart is Obduction, Cyan’s 2016 spiritual successor to Myst. That one’s a hurry-up-and-get-it offering, with GOG giving away copies only through Saturday (June 1) as part of its summer sale. Scroll down and look for the big green “Get it FREE” button.

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PDF Reader Pro - View, Annotate, Form Filler review: A lightweight Windows app for basic editing needs

Fri, 2019-05-31 16:07

PDF Reader Pro - View, Annotate, Form Filler tells you everything you need to know  about it right there in its name. This free, lightweight Windows app provides a basic set of tools for working with Adobe Acrobat documents in an unintimidating interface.

This review is part of our best PDF editors roundup. Go there to learn about our testing and how all the competitors performed. 

PDF Reader Pro eschews the Office-style interface you see in a lot of PDF editors. Instead, a row of icons above the document pane provides access to editing functions. Another set down the left side lets you view the current document as thumbnails, change the display, or print.

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