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4K HDMI cables: How to cut through the marketing lingo and figure out what you actually need

Thu, 2018-12-27 06:00
You probably don’t need to buy a HDMI cable to go with your new TV, but here’s how to tell for sure.

Most GeForce GTX 1070 Ti GPUs cost more than $400, but this MSI model is $339 today

Wed, 2018-12-26 10:32

The holiday break week is upon us, and now it’s time to spend all that gift money from your stocking, under the tree, or those sweet, sweet cash refunds. If you’ve got money to burn, B&H Photo Video has you covered with a great deal on a new graphics card. The MSI GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Aero 8G is $339 todayRemove non-product link after a $20 rebate. That is a fantastic deal considering most GTX 1070 Ti cards are north of $400 right now.

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How to personalize your PC

Wed, 2018-12-26 06:32

What makes your house your home? Is it the furniture? The art? A few favorite collectibles arranged on the shelves? Your PC doesn’t have to be any different. If you’re new to Windows 10, we’ll show you how to personalize your PC to make it feel, well, yours.

From the moment you first power on your PC, you’ll be asked to choose how to manage your privacy and security. But once you complete that short process, the fun begins: you’ll be able to select backgrounds, configure your Start menu, and select apps and shortcuts. Think of this story as a complement to our previous tutorial on how to set up your new PC efficiently and effectively. This is the fun stuff.

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ESPN+ review: This sports channel offshoot could use some identity

Wed, 2018-12-26 06:00
ESPN's cable-free sports streaming service, ESPN+, would be better if it embraced its weirdness.

The best PC games of 2018

Wed, 2018-12-26 06:00

In 2017 we spent a lot of time talking about gaming’s so-called “Indiepocalypse.” People cited different contributing factors, but this hypothetical indie game implosion usually came down to some combination of bigger budgets, a more crowded market, and dwindling audience enthusiasm. And you know what? In 2017 it didn’t seem too impossible. Although an indie game (What Remains of Edith Finch) won our 2017 Game of the Year prize, it was one of the few to make the list.

And yet in 2018, our ten-game list has nine indie games. Only one big-budget game made the cut. In part that’s because 2018 was a year of high-profile flops, from Far Cry 5 to Fallout 76 and everything in between. But indies showed up in a big way for 2018, putting out creative and emotionally rich experiences that reminded us why the indie scene thrived in the first place.

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Best cheap laptops: We rate the best-sellers on Amazon and Best Buy

Tue, 2018-12-25 21:35

When you’re looking for a good, cheap laptop, knowledge is power. Every budget machine (which we’re defining as Windows laptops costing $500 or less) is the product of compromise—corners carefully cut here and there to hit a price point.

Your job is to find the one that checks off the most boxes for your needs. We’ll show you what to look for by highlighting which budget laptops among the best-sellers currently listed at Amazon and Best Buy are worth buying. We haven’t necessarily tested these specific machines (we’ll let you know if we have), but we’ve seen enough similar ones to have a good idea of the pros and cons. We're also focusing on 14-inch and larger laptops, because part of the great deal should be getting a decent-sized display.

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RCA WiFi Camera Security System review: This camera is too ordinary to impress

Tue, 2018-12-25 06:00
RCA's first wireless home security camera is too boring to impress, and too expensive to be a strong value.

Antennas Direct DB8e review: This large roof-mount TV antenna is great at finding weak signals

Tue, 2018-12-25 06:00
The Antennas Direct DB8e is a large outdoor antenna for reception of medium to very weak TV signals. In our tests it did a good job of pulling in distant stations with minimal interference.

Antennas Direct 91XG review: Another roof-mount TV antenna that delivers great reception

Tue, 2018-12-25 06:00
The Antennas Direct 91XG is a large antenna, designed for the reception of medium to very weak signals in the UHF broadcast band, a goal it accomplishes with aplomb.

B&H Photo Video has a 1TB Xbox One S for $185, an extra $15 off the $199 holiday special

Mon, 2018-12-24 10:03

It’s the night before Christmas, and if you’re still looking for an Xbox deal we found a sweet one for you–though you’ll have to put an IOU under the tree. B&H Photo Video has the 1TB Xbox One S NBA 2K19 for $185Remove non-product link after you click a $15 coupon on the product page.

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Anki Vector robot review: A magnetic personality covers a lack of smarts

Mon, 2018-12-24 06:00
Anki's Vector probably won't win you over as a traditional smart device, but its personality will melt your heart.

ConnectSense Smart Outlet 2 review: A solid smart plug gets marginally better

Mon, 2018-12-24 06:00
ConnectSense extends the appeal of its winning smart outlet, adding Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa in addition to HomeKit support.

The five coolest tech products that should have arrived in 2018 but didn't

Mon, 2018-12-24 06:00

The last 12 months were filled with ground-breaking products. We saw in-display fingerprint sensors break into the mainstream, the world’s first foldable displays in action, and crazy leaps in cameras and computational photography, all on devices small enough to fit in a bag (or a pocket). But among all the great things we got, there were a few things that didn’t make it—products and features that were promised in 2018 but won’t be arriving until 2019 (if at all):

Apple AirPower Apple

At this point AirPower is the stuff of legend. Announced alongside the iPhone X in 2017, it was supposed to be the first pad capable of charging three devices at once (namely an iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods). Except it never arrived. Then Apple scrubbed all mention of it from its site and didn’t mention it at all during the September iPhone event. In fact, the only indication that Apple is even working on it was an accidental mention in the quick start guide inside the iPhone box this year. So what we’re trying to say is, your guess is as good as ours.

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How to track Santa Claus on Christmas Eve: NORAD Santa Tracker, Google Santa Tracker

Mon, 2018-12-24 00:17

The presents are wrapped, the tree is up, and the stockings will soon be hung by the chimney with care. There’s only one thing left to do: track Santa’s annual Christmas Eve voyage around the world from your PC, smartphone, or tablet.

This year Santa’s departure time depends on which version of the Santa-tracking fun you’re following. Check out our explanations below for all the details.

NORAD Tracks Santa

It’s been 63 years since a misprinted telephone number in a newspaper ad led children in the Colorado Springs area to call NORAD predecessor CONAD, looking for Santa.

As usual, the fun begins with NORAD Tracks Santa, at NoradSanta.org. NORAD’s pulled out the stops for 2018, with a redesigned website, an active social media presence, and a call center for kiddies who want a live update. Here are all the details:

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If you've ever wanted to buy a Google Home Hub, this Target deal is too insane to pass up

Sun, 2018-12-23 08:59

The Google Home Hub is already a great deal at $149. While it’s not quite as full-featured as the second-generation of Amazon’s Echo Show, it’s still one of the best smart displays you can buy, with excellent smart home support, a compact design, and support for YouTube streaming. But today Target is making it more desirable than ever: The retailer has slashed the price of the Google Home Hub to $99, but that’s not all—you’ll also get two Google Home Minis for freeRemove non-product link. Some quick math reveals that this deal will save your whopping $149 on the full retail price of all three.

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If you've ever wanted to buy Google Home Hub, this Target deal is too insane to pass up

Sun, 2018-12-23 08:59

The Google Home Hub is already a great deal at $149. While it’s not quite as full-featured as the second-generation of Amazon’s Echo Show, it’s still one of the best smart displays you can buy, with excellent smart home support, a compact design, and support for YouTube streaming. But today Target is making it more desirable than ever: The retailer has slashed the price of the Google Home Hub to $99, but that’s not all—you’ll also get two Google Home Minis for freeRemove non-product link. Some quick math reveals that this deal will save your whopping $149 on the full retail price of all three.

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You can save up to $300 on a Pixelbook with Google’s incredible last-minute holiday deal

Sat, 2018-12-22 08:19

Even with the launch of the Pixel Slate, Google’s Pixelbook is still our favorite Chromebook. The only problem is, with a starting price of $999, it’s not cheap. But if you’ve had your eye on one, today’s the day to pull the trigger on a purchase: For a limited time, Google is selling the entry-level Core i5 Pixelbook for $749Remove non-product link—and you might get an extra $50 to spend on accessories too.

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How to set up your new computer

Fri, 2018-12-21 15:39

So you’ve got a new computer. Awesome! That humble metal box is the key to a wide world of potential. It can help you with everything from juggling your finances to keeping in touch with your family to blowing off some steam on, uh, Steam.

But a new PC isn’t like a new car; you can’t just turn a key and put the pedal to the metal. Okay, maybe you can—but you shouldn’t. Performing just a few simple activities when you first fire it up can help it be safer, faster, and better poised for the future. Here’s how to set up a new laptop or desktop computer the right way, step by step.

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The Full Nerd ep. 80: 2019 PC predictions and literally eating our words

Fri, 2018-12-21 13:06

Now that the gang’s picks for the best PC hardware of 2018 are out of the way, it’s time to gaze into the crystal ball. In this episode of the Full Nerd, Gordon Mah UngBrad ChacosAlaina Yee, and Adam Patrick Murray make bold predictions about what to expect from the world of computing in 2019.

But first, the day of reckoning is here. We kick off the show by revisiting our PC predictions for 2018, which we made all the way back in December of last year—before real-time ray tracing, before Intel’s first-ever 8-core mainstream processor, and before SSDs got cheap again. We got a lot right! But predictions aren’t any fun without consequences. For the ones we got wrong, we literally eat the paper our words are written on. Spoiler alert: Some of us ate a lot more than the others. But fiber’s good for you, right?

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Apple's Powerbeats3 wireless earphones are cheaper than ever and arrive by Christmas

Fri, 2018-12-21 11:13

If you’ve waited until the last minute to buy your holiday gifts, it’s not too late to grab something cool for your loved ones—and even at this late date, you won’t have to break the bank. You can get a pair of Powerbeats3 wireless earphones for $90Remove non-product link, a steep discount from their list price of $200, and their lowest price to date. And Amazon says they should arrive in time for Christmas if you order today.

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