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Azio Retro Classic BT review: This vintage mechanical keyboard will delight serious typists

PC World - Mon, 2018-03-05 06:00

The Azio Retro Classic isn’t the cheapest vintage-style mechanical keyboard we’ve seen, but it’s certainly one of the most striking. From its deep, clicky keystrokes and wood or leather paneling to its LED-backlit keys and rechargeable battery, the Bluetooth-enabled Retro Classic (available for $220 from Azio at the time of this writing) will delight serious typists with old souls and money to burn. 

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Into the Breach review: Chess meets Starship Troopers in brilliant, bite-sized battles

PC World - Sat, 2018-03-03 10:24

The Rusting Hulks—not exactly the most inspiring name for humanity’s saviors. And yet that sad group of orange-colored mechs finally got the deed done. It was around 4 a.m. We’d battled our way across two islands full of giant bugs, entered their volcanic lair, and were on the verge of killing off the Vek leader, a moth probably fifty feet long. Doing so would secure the bomb we’d warped in here, saving the Earth.

I knew what I had to do. With my jet already on fire, I fired a missile at the Vek, enfolding it in smoke. Blinded, the Vek halted its attack and slowly succumbed to the dark cloud. The threat was over. Humanity was saved.

“Smoking kills,” I said, as the bomb detonated and brought the volcano down on the Vek swarm.

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Wires forever: Entangled in the wired headphone lifestyle

Mac World - Sat, 2018-03-03 07:00

The year is 2048. Roving gangs of mutant-killing cyborg sentinels deputized by President “Cash Me Outside” Girl enforce an uneasy peace. Aerial drones patrol public places, using lethal force to punish wearers of unlicensed Disney merchandise. The Fast and Furious franchise continues to churn out movies at an even faster and more furious pace than ever, adding five movies in as many days. Holo-TVs are in wide distribution, costing only 100,000 credits (10,000 credits for an “ads-only” version from Amazon).

And somewhere, someone is still putting out pieces complaining about the lack of a headphone jack in the iPhone LXI, even though it features a zero latency neural implant.

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This week in games: Battlefield returns to WWII, 3D Realms' retro shooter channels Duke Nukem

PC World - Fri, 2018-03-02 15:00

3D Realms is making a new game in the Duke 3D engine the same week Washington D.C. starts complaining about video game violence? It's like 1997 all over again up in here.

That news, plus rumors Battlefield will head back to World War II this year, David Lynch teaches you typing, the ESRB takes less-than-zero action on loot boxes, and a bevy of trailers for Battletech, Heaven's Vault, Vermintide II, and more. This is gaming news for February 26 to March 2.

Wild at Heart

Growing up I remember taking typing classes in school, and then continuing that learning at home with Mario Teaches Typing. I don’t think either helped much, and it wasn’t until the onset of AIM (rest in peace) that I started hitting my current 100-plus words per minute. Still, I’ve got a soft spot for those old educational typing tools, which means David Lynch Teaches Typing is the perfect blend of weird and nostalgia. The “Trial Version” is available for free on I recommend checking it out.

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Newegg's selling a 15.6-inch Asus laptop with a potent Core i5 processor for under $500

PC World - Fri, 2018-03-02 10:11

Let’s finish off the week with a deal on an affordable laptop that packs some punch. Newegg is selling a Core i5-equipped Asus VivoBook for just $480 today. The sale ends just before midnight on Friday Pacific time, and it’s a good $100 cheaper than you’ll find at Amazon and other competitors online.

This Windows 10 laptop revolves around some impressive specs for a budget notebook, with 2.5GHz Core i5-7200U processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 1TB hard drive. The 1366-by-768 display resolution is a bit low, but dropping below 1080p probably helped Asus keep the price down while still including such solid internal hardware.

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Far Cry 5 hands-on preview: Cultists, crossbows, and a trained bear named Cheeseburger

PC World - Fri, 2018-03-02 10:00

Far Cry 5 is not what I expected. Far Cry 5 is also exactly what I expected.

That conflict is the core of my thoughts, after spending more than three hours of hands-on time with the game recently. Far Cry 5’s first trailer made it seem like a hard-hitting commentary on American society, on aspects of religion and gun control and politics and all sorts of other weighty topics. That game? Nowhere to be found in Far Cry 5 as it stands now. Thus, not what I expected.

And yet what’s left is very much Far Cry 5 ($60 preorder on Amazon), the sequel to Far Cry 4 and Far Cry 3 before that. The scenery’s changed to craggy Montana mountains, evergreen forests and elk, but otherwise this is another same-y iteration of a game I’ve played multiple iterations of. Exactly what I expected.

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These 20 deep, absorbing PC games will eat days of your life

PC World - Fri, 2018-03-02 08:39
Built to last

Image by Kingdom Come Deliverance

Far too many games these days are built to be played in small bursts: brief encounters, designed for a world with too few hours in the day and too many digital distractions. And that’s fine! Blasting through a few rounds of Call of Duty multiplayer, or playing a few run-throughs in Spelunky, is a wonderful way to spend a few minutes.

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How to find out who purchased a song from iTunes Store

Mac World - Fri, 2018-03-02 08:00

No one is an island, but Apple often thinks so: it treats nearly all its products except the Mac as if only one person might ever use them, from the iPhone to the Apple TV to the new HomePod. However, it is possible to share certain purchases using Family Sharing, or even to copy songs and other material across Macs and iOS devices.

In the latter case, however, you can wind up being routinely prompted for the password to an account at which an app, song, or other licensed material was purchased.

This happened to Macworld reader Ron, whose sister-in-law years ago sent him a song that he dropped into his library. Now he gets a daily prompts to log into her account on his iPhone! He wonders if there’s any way to find and delete that song.

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The best—and worst—Netflix original movies

PC World - Fri, 2018-03-02 07:30
Netflix has produced a considerable number of films. Our guide will help you decide which ones are worth watching, and which are to be avoided.

The best—and worst—Netflix original movies

Mac World - Fri, 2018-03-02 07:30
Netflix has produced a considerable number of films. Our guide will help you decide which ones are worth watching, and which are to be avoided.

iPhone Photos app: 8 cool features you should be using

Mac World - Fri, 2018-03-02 07:00

The Photos app in iOS looks like a simple thing: At first, you might even think it’s little more than a convenient dumping ground for sorting through your selfies and snaps.

But underneath that minimalist exterior is an app that allows for a surprisingly wide variety of options, ranging from the ability to apply Instagram-like filters or to automatically categorize photos according to “memories” based on when and where you took them.

These tricks are fairly intuitive to use, thanks to smartly placed options when you click the Edit button when looking at photos. Some of the most useful and interesting features, though, are a little trickier to find. We’ve compiled a few of our favorites here.

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Corsair MM1000 review: A wireless charging mousepad with strings attached

PC World - Fri, 2018-03-02 06:30

The day is finally here, and the challengers to Logitech’s revolutionary Powerplay wireless charging mousepad system have arrived. First up is Corsair’s MM1000 (currently $80 on Amazon), which actually was announced before Logitech showed off Powerplay last year. However, Logitech released its wireless charging mousepad suite last summer, while Corsair's MM1000 took until 2018.

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Apple Watch: What does the future hold?

Mac World - Fri, 2018-03-02 06:00

As the Apple Watch prepares to turn three, Apple’s preeminent wearable has hit an interesting inflection point. It’s neither the raw, “does everything and the kitchen sink” device that it was when the company first announced it, but neither is its path forward obvious. Apple’s added low-hanging fruit like GPS and LTE, and attempted to make the Watch more self-sufficient, but it’s hardly about to supplant an iPhone for most people. At best it’s a device you don’t mind carrying if you’re going some place that you can’t take your phone.

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Microsoft will host Intel's Spectre and Meltdown patches on its own site

PC World - Thu, 2018-03-01 18:22

If you've been worried about receiving Spectre and Meltdown BIOS patches for the PC you built yourself, there may be a solution: Microsoft has begun supplying them itself via an archive on its site.

Typically, patching Spectre and Meltdown mitigations have followed a traditional pattern: Microsoft patches Windows via Windows Update, antivirus companies like AVG have patched their antivirus software, and so on. Intel, too, authors patches, as it recently did for Haswell and Broadwell CPUs. But unlike Microsoft, Intel doesn't directly ship those patches to end users—it uses its network of PC makers and motherboard vendors to distribute them, after the appropriate testing by each vendor.

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Hands on: How one mouse can control multiple PCs with Microsoft's Mouse Without Borders app

PC World - Thu, 2018-03-01 16:38

Microsoft’s Mouse without Borders app is an unsung productivity tool whose ability to let a mouse and keyboard hop from one Windows device to the next is worth checking out. It unlocks a versatility similar to that of Logitech’s Flow, but for far, far cheaper—because it’s free to use with any Windows device.

Mouse without Borders originally launched in 2011, long before Logitech debuted Flow. The app resurfaced Wednesday as part of Microsoft’s inaugural Microsoft Garage Wall of Fame, a celebration of smaller apps developed within Microsoft. You should try it out.

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Walmart is offering the 10.5-inch 512GB iPad Pro for $233 off

Mac World - Thu, 2018-03-01 13:53

If you've had your eyes set on a 10.5-inch iPad Pro, Walmart's got a fantastic deal for you. As of right now, you can buy the more portable version of Apple's powerful tablet for just $765.83. Yes, that's an oddly unrounded price, but who cares when you're saving $233 off the $999 Apple itself wants for it?

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Best gaming laptops: Know what to look for and which models rate highest

PC World - Thu, 2018-03-01 13:42

Picking a gaming laptop today isn’t as easy as it was five years ago when a “real” gaming laptop meant 12 pounds of back-breaking hardware to haul around.

Gaming laptop cheat sheet

Our quick-hit recommendations:·

With major advances in laptop video cards and CPUs, you can now get great gaming performance from laptops ranging from light to super heavy and from super expensive to budget.

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Cyan reveals Firmament, a steampunk adventure by the creators of Myst and Obduction

PC World - Thu, 2018-03-01 13:00

I don’t often do trailer posts here, but it’s also not often a trailer post doubles as a “Studio I love announces a new game” post. Which is to say: Nearly two years after the release of Obduction (and uh...25 years after Myst, if you can believe it), Cyan is ready to show off its new game.

It’s called Firmament, and both a bare-bones website and a “teaser” trailer appeared overnight. It’s a pretty generous teaser though, as these things go, coming in over two minutes long. Check it out below:

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Early tests show the Galaxy S9 beating iPhone X where it counts: The screen and camera

PC World - Thu, 2018-03-01 10:38
DisplayMate and DxOMark have crowned the Galaxy S9 and S9+ the king of phones in their screen and camera tests, but speed is another story.

Early tests show the Galaxy S9 beating iPhone X where it counts: The screen and camera

Mac World - Thu, 2018-03-01 10:38

If the first round of test results is an indication, iPhone X’s reign as the best handset in the world could be coming to an end. DisplayMate and DxOMark, two of the most respected names in smartphone testing, have put the Galaxy S9's display and camera through a litany of paces, and the results might surprise some Apple fans.

On the display side, Raymond Soneira of DisplayMate concludes the the Galaxy S9 has “the most innovative and high performance smartphone display that we have ever lab tested.” Among the records it broke was absolute color accuracy, where it scored a mark “visually indistinguishable from perfect,” and peak brightness with 1,130 nits. DisplayMate says the Galaxy S9 is the first phone to receive Very Good to Excellent ratings in every category.

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