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Planet Zoo was quietly one of the best demos at E3 2019

PC World - Fri, 2019-06-21 06:30

“We are working with live animals here. These are pretty much impossible to script.” And with that our tour begins, a slow pan across the milling crowds, past the education center—and then, giraffes. Three or four wander the first enclosure, heads peeking up past the walls. One splays its legs, pausing to take a drink from the pond. Nearby, a springbok does the same, with less leg-splaying.

It’s peaceful here, and I wish I could sit and watch—but we only have about 20 minutes for a breakneck demo of Planet Zoo. Alas.

One giant leap for zoo-kind

Video games advance so steadily, it’s often hard to notice the improvements except in retrospect. Measured year over year, nothing, but every five years? Or ten? Point being, a shooter in 2019 looks much the same as a shooter in 2018, but both look quite a bit better than one from 2012, and that’s the way of progress.

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Dell G7 15 7590 review: 9th-gen Core and RTX power in a low-key chassis

PC World - Fri, 2019-06-21 06:15

Dell’s second-generation G7 15 gaming laptop has arrived less than a year since the original debuted last summer (and we reviewed it in the fall). Designed for mainstream gamers who lack either the money or the moxie for Dell’s flashier Alienware gaming brand, the G7 15 (Model 7590, for you diehard fans) still offers some snazzy new options—like the 9th-generation Intel Core processor and Nvidia RTX graphics in our review unit.

In this case, however, buying the latest and greatest is an investment in the future. The brand-new CPU offers a modest performance uptick. Only a small (and slow-growing) number of games support the RTX GPU’s ray tracing talents, while earlier games see scant benefit.

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Sonos Amp review: This is the best Sonos music streamer by far (even if it’s not right for everyone)

PC World - Fri, 2019-06-21 06:00
The Sonos Amp is a great-sounding and supremely flexible amplifier that's a superb choice for your home theater or for critical listening. And it will drive just about any type of passive loudspeaker you'd care to use.

Judges named the best high-end TV at the Value Electronics TV Shootout during CE Week 2019

PC World - Fri, 2019-06-21 06:00
The 15th annual faceoff between flagship TVs from LG, Samsung, and Sony revealed that picture quality continues to improve while performance differences continue to dwindle.

Sonos Amp review: This is the best Sonos music streamer by far (even if it’s not right for everyone)

Mac World - Fri, 2019-06-21 06:00
The Sonos Amp is a great-sounding and supremely flexible amplifier that's a superb choice for your home theater or for critical listening. And it will drive just about any type of passive loudspeaker you'd care to use.

Judges named the best high-end TV at the Value Electronics TV Shootout during CE Week 2019

Mac World - Fri, 2019-06-21 06:00
The 15th annual faceoff between flagship TVs from LG, Samsung, and Sony revealed that picture quality continues to improve while performance differences continue to dwindle.

3 products that would be hits for Apple if the company made them

Mac World - Fri, 2019-06-21 06:00

Being a big business is all about making choices. Even the most successful, most profitable company can’t pursue all possible avenues. Decisions have to be made, even if they mean ignoring a segment of the market that might address some consumers.

Such is the reality with Apple. It can’t possibly make all of the products that its customers want—it just does’t have the time, money, or people. But some of the choices that Apple has made about products to not pursue have been surprising. Especially when it seems as though the market in question is desperately in need of a solution that would be right up Apple’s alley.

Earlier this month, during the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference keynote, I noticed a few places where it seemed as though Apple was missing out on an opportunity. Some of these might be cases where the company has decided it doesn’t want to be in a specific business, and some might merely be a case of a future product not being ready yet—from the outside, there’s really no way to tell. But here are three cases in which it seems like an Apple product or service might be a welcome alternative to what exists, if not something that fills a gap no one else seems to be addressing.

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Harry Potter: Wizards Unite won’t dethrone Pokémon Go, but it’s just as magical

Mac World - Thu, 2019-06-20 19:27

Pokémon Go thrived on the joys of simple discovery and exploration. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, as befits a game inspired by the goings-on at an imaginary elite school, requires learning so many extra features that it sometimes feels more like taking a class.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It does probably mean that its extra dose of complexity will keep developer Niantic’s game from achieving the same pinnacle of popularity as its 2016 blockbuster, but its appeal lies in offering the best bits of Pokémon Go’s experience for a different sort of crowd. After spending some time with Wizards Unite, I’m fairly certain I number among them.

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Google won't be making its own Android or Chrome OS tablets any more

PC World - Thu, 2019-06-20 15:17

If you’ve been waiting for a Pixel Slate 2 or Pixel C 2, we have some bad news: Google has confirmed that it won’t be making its own branded tablets any more—Android, Chrome, or otherwise.

Google confirmed a ComputerWorld report that stated the company was done making tablets. The publication said the decision was made public at an internal company meeting this week and included two smaller-sized projects that were in development.

A spokesperson from Google said: “Chrome OS has grown in popularity across a broad range of form factors and we’ll continue to work with our ecosystem of partners on laptops and tablets. For Google’s first-party hardware efforts, we’ll be focusing on Chrome OS laptops and will continue to support Pixel Slate.”

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Best wireless charger: Ditch the headache of cables with our top pick

PC World - Thu, 2019-06-20 14:56

As convenience goes, wireless charging can’t be beat. You simply drop your phone onto the charger and walk away. Gone is the headache of managing cables that inevitably break or get lost.

Until recently, the main drawback to wireless chargers has been slow adoption and slow charging. This style of charging is still not ubiquitous, but you can now find Samsung, LG, Sony, and Moto phones that support it on the Android side, and Apple has adopted it for its iPhone lineup as well. And the technology itself is finally reaching a point where its speed is easier to live with, too.

Now that it’s a good time to go out and grab a stand or pad, we’ve tested some of the most popular models out there for both Android and iPhone, and discovered our favorites among the bunch. Read on for our findings, and check back periodically for our latest updates.

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Trump tariffs on Chinese goods could cost you $120 more for notebook PCs, say Dell, HP and CTA

PC World - Thu, 2019-06-20 14:28

Dell, HP, Intel, and Microsoft warned that Trump Administration tariffs levied on Chinese imports would raise laptop prices by as much as 19 percent or $120, no matter which manufacturer made them. 

In a public comment attached to the proposed action filed Wednesday, the four companies cited a Consumer Technology Association report issued this week that said the tariffs would add about $120 to the average price of a laptop, beginning in the popular back-to-school and holiday seasons. Laptops purchased from Chinese manufacturers like Lenovo would cost 21 percent more, the CTA found. 

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Best VPN services: Reviews and buying advice

Mac World - Thu, 2019-06-20 13:50
Surfing the web through a virtual private network (VPN) can keep your identity and data safe and secure online. We show you what to look for in a VPN and help you pick the best one for your needs.

Best VPN services: Reviews and buying advice

PC World - Thu, 2019-06-20 13:50

Choosing the right virtual private network (VPN) service is no simple task. A VPN should keep your internet usage private and secure, but not every service handles your data in the same way. Just look at the critiques of notable computer security experts and online pundits to understand the challenge.

Even supposed experts in the field can turn out to be frauds, as was recently reported about site TheBestVPN.com. The site’s creator appears to not actually be a cypber-security expert, as he once claimed, but might not actually be a real person, casting serious doubt on any of the site’s VPN reviews and research.

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Apple issues voluntary recall of 15-inch MacBook Pro

PC World - Thu, 2019-06-20 13:11
Laptops sold between September 2015 and February 2017 are affected.

Apple issues voluntary recall of 15-inch MacBook Pro

Mac World - Thu, 2019-06-20 13:11

Apple on Thursday announced a voluntary recall for owners of the 15-inch MacBook Pro. If you bought such a laptop between September 2015 and February 2017, it could have a battery that is at risk of overheating. Apple will replace the battery in these laptops for free.

To see if your laptop is part of the recall, click on the Apple () menu and select About This Mac. In the overview section of the About This Mac window that appears, you should see the operating system as the main header. Just underneath that is the listing for your Mac. If it says, “MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015),” take note of the serial number. Then go to Apple’s website and submit the serial number to see if your 15-inch MacBook Pro is part of the recall.

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Newegg has cut the price of this 27-inch 1440p Acer FreeSync monitor to an all-time low

PC World - Thu, 2019-06-20 12:55

Whether you play games or watch movies, a great monitor is essential for maximum entertainment. Today, though, you can save $200 on the 27-inch 1440p Acer FreeSync monitor (XG270HU) at NeweggRemove non-product link. You’ll need to use the code EMCTBVT34 and enter your email address to get the lowest price.

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Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is now available in the U.S. and U.K.

Mac World - Thu, 2019-06-20 12:45

After weeks of beta testing in Australia and New Zealand, the next big “walk around in the real world, collecting and battling things” game from the makers of Pokémon Go finally got an official release date earlier this week. That date? June 21 in the U.S. and U.K., with additional countries to follow.

Surprise! Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is available now, a day early, in the App Store. It’s free with in-app purchases ranging from $0.99 to $99.99, because of course it is. You’ll need at least an iPhone 5s or later and iOS 10 or later to play.

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The new AirPods just had their first price drop at Amazon

Mac World - Thu, 2019-06-20 12:19

If you’ve been wanting to save a few bucks on the second-generation AirPods, today’s your lucky day (particularly if you’re not a Costco member). Today, Amazon is selling Apple’s beloved true wireless earbuds with a wireless charging caseRemove non-product link for $179.99, down from the normal retail price of $199. It’s the first time we’ve seen a discount for this model at Amazon.

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Amazon's one-day Logitech sale offers all-time low prices on keyboards, mice, and more

PC World - Thu, 2019-06-20 09:27

It’s time to stock up on accessories, PC fans. Amazon has a one-day sale on today with many Logitech peripherals for gaming and productivityRemove non-product link at or close to their all-time lows. The sale has a lot of mice, but there are also deals on headsets, keyboards, webcams, and other assorted peripherals. Here are our top three picks from the sale:

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Adobe Lightroom now available through Apple’s Mac App Store

Mac World - Thu, 2019-06-20 09:00

Apple on Thursday announced that Adobe Lightroom is now available in the Mac App Store. An app for creative professionals who work in photography, Lightroom comes with a full set of tools for managing thousands upon thousands of photos, as well as editing tools for retouching and fine-tuning.

There’s no difference between the MAS version of Lightroom and Adobe’s version that you get directly from the company; the features are the same. Like the Adobe-sold version, the MAS version is sold as subscription-based software; it’s $9.99 per month, which puts you in Adobe’s Lightroom plan that includes 1TB of Creative Cloud file storage and access to the mobile and web versions of Lightroom.

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