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Updated: 23 min 46 sec ago

Night Sight fight: The iPhone 11 kinda destroys the Pixel 4 with low light camera shots

9 hours 54 min ago
The first sample pics of the Pixel 4 Night Sight versus the iPhone 11 Night mode are surprisingly one-sided.

The Pixel 4 has the same problem as the Pixel 3: It's too expensive

14 hours 39 min ago

In an alternative universe, Google is the Apple of Android. People are counting down the days until the Pixel 4 goes on sale, and forums are filled with debates over how much better the square camera bump looks in person. The question isn’t over whether the Pixel 4 is worth its price tag, but which color and how much storage to get. And the lack of earbuds in the box is courageous, not cheap.

In this reality, however, the Pixel 4’s price is just too damn high. Even though the rumors of a $100 price hike didn’t come to fruition, at $999 for the 128GB 6.3-inch XL model, it costs the same as the Galaxy S10+, and $250 more than the iPhone 11. And while it may stand up to both of those phones on the spec sheet, here's the reality: Google missed a golden opportunity to take a stand against outrageous phone pricing and position the Pixel 4 as an alternative to high-priced premium handsets, not just another option.

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Acer Swift 3 (2019) review: This midrange notebook PC hides Nvidia graphics power

14 hours 39 min ago

Acer’s Swift 3 (2019) should attract the type of savvy notebook PC buyer searching for a little more graphics oomph than the standard integrated GPU provides. Combining an 8th-gen “Whiskey Lake” chip plus a discrete Nvidia GeForce MX150 GPU opens up more opportunities for light gaming without breaking the bank.

Acer’s new Swift 3 clamshell is a generally solid midrange notebook, though it suffers in two key areas. First, the integrated audio isn’t much to write home about, even with headphones. We found the fingerprint reader lacking as well. But Acer’s Swift 3 also boasts excellent performance and a solid ten hours or so of battery life, with a comfortable keyboard and pleasing IPS display, too.

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Google PixelBook Go hands-on: Come for the low price, stay for the keyboard

14 hours 54 min ago

The Pixelbook Go is nothing less than a mea culpa from Google, making good on the Pixel Slate. Launched last year at the very same Made By Google event, the Pixel Slate was such a mess, it led Google to declare that it was out of the tablet-making business for good.

The PixelBook Go is what the Pixel Slate should have been all along: an affordable version of the Pixelbook. Instead of trying to one-up the iPad Pro with a half-baked tablet interface and really bad keyboard, the Pixelbook Go carves its own path with a great form factor, fantastic specs, and a funky design. Oh, and it has one of the best keyboards I’ve ever used.

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SimpliSafe Smart Lock review: The ultra-simple alarm system gets its own companion smart lock

15 hours 24 min ago
This inexpensive but barebones smart lock merits a look by the SimpliSafe set.

Innr Smart White A19 bulb review: This inexpensive smart bulb seamlessly connects with a Philips Hue Bridge

15 hours 24 min ago
If you’re already invested in the Hue lighting ecosystem, these budget Zigbee bulbs can fill in your smart bulb gaps without breaking the bank.

Google Pixel 4 hands-on: Once again, it's about features, not design

Tue, 2019-10-15 17:05

After months of leaks, I thought I had a pretty good idea of what the Pixel 4 would look like when I picked one up for the first time, but I was pleasantly surprised. Yes, the bezels are huge, the forehead and chin are terribly asymmetrical, and the camera square isn’t nearly as pleasing as the iPhone 11’s. But the design of the Pixel 4 isn’t quite the eyesore I expected it to be.

And, besides, the Pixel 4 isn’t trying to sell you on its looks. Not once during its hour-long presentation did Google talk about precision milling or diamond chamfering. Google wants you to choose to buy a Pixel 4 on the strength of its features, not its outward appearance.

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They're back: Windows 7 popup warnings to update to Windows 10 will soon reappear

Tue, 2019-10-15 15:20

Windows 7 support expires on January 14, 2020. And if you’re a Windows 7 Pro user, Microsoft is going to tell you that right on your PC screen via a popup notification.

In March, Microsoft warned that it would begin using popup reminders to let Windows 7 users know that it was time to upgrade, and began pushing some to Windows 7 users. In an update to Microsoft’s original blog post, Microsoft is now saying that it’s begun specifically extending notifications to non-domain-joined Windows 7 Pro users—consumers, in everyday language. (ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley reported this earlier today.)

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Disco Elysium review-in-progress: This deep detective RPG bends itself around your choices

Tue, 2019-10-15 15:00

There has been a murder. Last week a man was hanged behind the Whirling-In-Rags hostel (and cafeteria). I know who did it, but I need to confirm why they did it, so I head to the docks to ask some questions.

Or at least that was my intention. Instead I find myself embroiled in a spirited debate about the merits of communism, about how I’m destined to foment a worker’s uprising one overlong hug at a time—or maybe I’m not. Also, I’m having this philosophical debate with myself, or maybe it’s with my possibly sentient necktie.

My partner looks on in concern. Of course, he can’t know how bad things really are. He knows I’ve lost my badge and my gun, sure—but he doesn’t know I’ve lost my entire memory, can’t even remember my own name.

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Try out the Google Pixel 4's Recorder transcription tech now, on your own phone

Tue, 2019-10-15 13:18

Google’s forthcoming Recorder app promises to both record and transcribe audio into text within the Google Pixel 4. But you don’t have to wait—you can check out Google’s underlying speech-to-text technology right now, right on your own Android phone, with Live Transcribe.

Google’s Live Transcribe wound up a native feature in the Google Pixel 3 when it rolled out earlier this year, but it’s also downloadable as a separate Live Transcribe app, requiring just Android 5.0 to work. As the screenshot indicates, Live Transcribe is the basic version of Google’s Recorder app, with a shortcoming or two that we’ll discuss below. One difference is that Live Transcribe requires an Internet connection to perform transcription in the cloud; Recorder will not. 

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Nest Wifi's integrated smart speakers could give it an edge over Amazon Echo

Tue, 2019-10-15 11:54

It’s been a long three years since Google introduced its Google Wifi mesh router. After a messy reorganization in which Nest lost its semi-autonomy to become Google’s smart home brand, the company introduced the new Nest Wifi at its Made by Google event in New York on Tuesday.

Google Nest VP and general manager Rishi Chandra didn’t specifically describe the Nest Wifi as a mesh router, but he did say the system would consist of a router that plugs into your broadband modem or gateway, and a satellite he called Point. According to Chandra, a Nest Wifi router and a single Point should be sufficient to cover 85 percent of households. According to this page on the Google Store, the Nest Wi follows the IEEE 802.11s standard for mesh networking, so I presume it's an 802.11ac router.

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Google Pixel 4: The 5 things you really need to know

Tue, 2019-10-15 11:43

Google finally unveiled the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL at its Made By Google event in New York City today, and frankly, there weren’t many surprises left after months of leaks and teases, many by Google itself.

A lack of surprises doesn’t mean a lack of excitement, though, as the Pixel 4 packs enough punch to catapult it to the top tier of Android devices yet again—propelled by a new generation of impressive software tricks, as well as a camera setup that’s been both upgraded and downgraded simultaneously.

Here are five things you need to know about the new Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL.

Dual camera lenses, at last

The Pixel 4 is taking a page from the iPhone 11’s design with a rotund backside hump that's home to not one, but two camera lenses. Finally. Google leans heavily on software tricks to power the Pixel’s amazing photography, but the lineup lingered on a single camera lens for far too long now.

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Google Nest Mini arrives with same design as Home Mini, better sound, and a wall mount

Tue, 2019-10-15 11:40
The Google Nest Mini is basically the old Home Mini with bigger bass, a wall mount, and more under-the-hood processing power.

Google Pixelbook Go: the 5 major things you need to know

Tue, 2019-10-15 11:18

Google’s new Pixelbook Go answers the question of whether its next Chromebook would be a budget or premium device: It’s both. Priced at a somewhat moderate $649, this clamshell Chromebook offers a 13.3-inch display up to 4K, with processor options all the way up to a Core i7.  It maxes out at $1,399.

Recall that in 2017 Google launched the Google Pixelbook, a 360-degree notebook for nearly $1,000. A year later, it followed up with the Google Pixel Slate, a shift to a more traditional tablet merging Chrome OS and Android. Now the pendulum has swung back again to the Pixelbook Go, a definite return to the laptop form factor.

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Google takes a second stab at Pixel Buds with a true wireless design

Tue, 2019-10-15 10:45

Google’s Pixel Buds, first released in 2017, just couldn’t compete with better offerings from dedicated bud manufacturers, and stacked up even more poorly against Apple AirPods. Today, though, Google announced a Pixel Buds update slated for Spring 2020, and if its Made By Google presentation is any indication, the company is intent on making the new version a major technological make-good.

The original Pixel Buds delivered access to Google Assistant, but the implementation was clumsy, requiring tap prompts. The new Buds, though, promise hands-free access to Assistant, letting you ask for walking directions, control your music playback and translate languages in real-time (among other tasks) with just a verbal “Hey Google” prompt. Google says the new Buds will include “on-device machine learning” that will be refined as the Buds project develops.

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What makes the Ryzen 7 Surface Edition inside the Surface Laptop 3 so custom

Tue, 2019-10-15 06:45

Microsoft’s 15-inch Surface Laptop 3 running a “custom” AMD Ryzen CPU was one of the big surprises of Microsoft’s new Surface lineup, unveiled October 2.

Although the chip is still under fairly tight wraps, PCWorld had a chance to chat with AMD officials about its big splash with the 15-inch Surface Laptop 3, as well as the future of AMD in Microsoft products.

And yes, it was a big splash for AMD, which has seen huge success on desktop with Ryzen, but a more muted response on laptops thus far. AMD’s main problem has been resistance against going into expensive laptops.

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Astell&Kern T9iE in-ear monitor review: Spectular sound, with a price to match

Tue, 2019-10-15 06:00
Astell&Kern joined with high-end headphone builder Beyerdynamic to formulate the elegant, high-performance, but pricey T9iE in-ear monitors.

Wyze Bulb review: A tunable white light bulb with a rock-bottom price tag

Tue, 2019-10-15 06:00
This $8 smart bulb is tough to beat, unless you're looking for a smart home product with a broader ecosystem that includes full-spectrum color bulbs and other devices, akin to Philips Hue.

Razer's Blade 15 gaming laptop goes pink and adds optical keyboard switches

Mon, 2019-10-14 15:48

If you want your pink, Razer’s got your game. On Monday, the company announced new versions of the Razer Blade 15Remove non-product link clad in Quartz hues, along with an optical keyboard that promises lower latency while gaming.

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Surface Book 2 firmware fixes Nvidia GPU bug blocking Windows 10 upgrades

Mon, 2019-10-14 13:20

Microsoft has apparently fixed an issue with its Surface Book 2’s discrete GPU that prevented it from receiving the Windows 10 May 2019 Update, supplying new firmware to solve the problem.

As part of a new Surface firmware update released Friday, Microsoft apparently has fixed both a bug affecting the Surface Book 2’s discrete GPU as well as a separate issue that caused its CPU clock speed to slow to a crawl. Thurrott first reported the story. 

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