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Nvidia's GeForce Now hits 1 million users after two weeks, pledges day-one Cyberpunk 2077 support

Fri, 2020-02-21 12:25

Nvidia’s cloud gaming service may have spent years incubating in beta, but it seems the wait was worth it. Mere weeks after GeForce Now’s formal launch, the company announced that over one million gamers have signed up to play their PC games anywhere, in stark contrast to Google Stadia’s disappointing user numbers. Nvidia also teased plans to bring even more games to the service, including Cyberpunk 2077, one of the hottest games of 2020.

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Galaxy S20: 10 tips and tidbits you need to know before you preorder

Fri, 2020-02-21 09:52

Update 2/21: The Galaxy S20 is now available for preorder. Check out the best deals here.

Samsung's new series of S20 phones go up for preorder this week, and if you plan on buying one, you already know all about the giant screens, eye-popping cameras, and gorgeous design. But with preorders set to begin tomorrow, there are a few features deep down on the list that you might not have noticed:

The S20 doesn't support mmWave 5G yet

Samsung is touting all of its S20 phones as 5G capable, and that’s true, with one exception. The smallest model only supports the sub-6GHz spectrum while the S20+ and S20 Ultra can switch between sub-6GHz and mmWave. That might not be an issue for T-Mobile subscribers, but Verizon buyers will basically have a 4G phone, as the carrier hasn’t yet switched on its sub-6 GHz network. Verizon says a mmWave version of the S20 will be launching in the second quarter, but we don’t know whether it will carry a higher price tag.

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How to preorder the Samsung Galaxy S20 without spending an arm and a leg

Fri, 2020-02-21 09:48

For those of you who have been counting the days until you could preorder a Galaxy S20, the wait is finally over. Starting today, you can get in line to own Samsung’s newest high-priced premium phone when they hit shelves on Friday, March 6.

But before we get into the new hotness, a quick PSA: Don’t sleep on 2019’s Galaxy S10. Samsung has slashed the price of all three models by $150 in its storeRemove non-product link, making it one of the best premium values you can find. It might not be the shiny new thing, but it’s an excellent phone with a great camera and a fantastic screen.

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Miracle-Gro Twelve Indoor Growing System review: A nearly foolproof means to fresh herbs and lettuce year 'round

Fri, 2020-02-21 06:00
This high-tech set up lets you grow delicious herbs and leafy greens indoors all year 'round.

Corsair K95 Platinum XT review: A lot of keyboard for a lot of money

Fri, 2020-02-21 06:00

In 2017 Corsair put out the most ostentatious keyboard I’d ever seen, the K95 RGB Platinum. I dubbed it “the luxury sedan of keyboards,” a nod to its desk-dominating size and captivating lighting—and its eye-watering $200 price tag. Three years later, it’s still the bar by which I measure other premium keyboards.

And yet Corsair’s raising the bar anyway. At CES 2020 we got our first glimpse of the K95 RGB Platinum XT, Corsair’s attempt to better its own best-in-class keyboard. Now after spending time with one at home I can say they succeeded, even if only slightly. It’s hard to build on near-perfection.

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Cooler Master's newest ARGB case is straightforward and affordable

Fri, 2020-02-21 06:00

Among the cases we saw at CES, Cooler Master’s MB311L was one of several that particularly caught our attention. The compact micro-ATX tower sports an airflow-oriented design, a tempered glass panel, and two 120mm ARGB fans for a surprising price of $60.

Cooler Master sent us a MB311L for a more thorough look, and as you’ll see in the video above, the company neatly balances the RGB aesthetics and affordable price with a practical layout. This case has a straightforward design that provides easy access to the back of the motherboard; plentiful mounting spots for drives, fans, and radiators; and flexibility for where you can install those parts. It even comes with a 3-way ARGB fan splitter and a controller—an unexpected bonus for a budget case.

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Microsoft tasks its Defender antimalware with securing corporate Android and iOS phones

Thu, 2020-02-20 13:33

While malware writers have attacked PCs because of their popularity and large attack surfaces, Android and iOS phones aren’t immune—and Microsoft, recognizing this, plans to offer Microsoft Defender for both platforms.

Though Microsoft apparently plans to release more details at the RSA Security conference next week, company executives revealed their plans to CNBC last week in an interview published today. Microsoft also announced Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection for Linux on Thursday, in a public preview announced via a blog post.

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How to use (and steady) 100X Space Zoom on Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Thu, 2020-02-20 11:00

You don't need to look too far to see the Galaxy S20 Ultra's most incredible new feature. It's literally printed on the back: 100X Space Zoom.

If you've decided to buy one for $1,400, you already know the drill. The Galaxy S20 Ultra can zoom up to 100 times (digitally, obviously) what you're seeing, which is 20 times further than the iPhone 11 Pro and more than twice as much as the S20+. It's quite a claim, so naturally, it's the first thing I wanted to try.

Using it is as easy as using the zoom feature on any other phone: Just pinch out. If you do it quickly enough, you'll get to 100X in about a half-second. Controlling it at that distance isn't so easy, so you'll want to pinch slowly to keep your target in range. Keeping your eye on the mini viewfinder helps immensely, but it's still tricky to keep something so far away centered in the window.

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Apple might finally let you pick Chrome over Safari in iOS 14

Thu, 2020-02-20 10:27
A new report from Bloomberg suggests that Apple may allow users to use third-party apps as defaults on iOS devices.

Zvox AV50 wireless noise-cancelling headphone review: There's a lot to like about this headphone

Thu, 2020-02-20 06:00
The sound quality is rich and clear, and the active noise cancelling is quite effective, although the vocal enhancer is very subtle.

Galaxy S20: 10 tips and tidbits you need to know about Samsung's new flagships

Thu, 2020-02-20 06:00

Samsung's new series of S20 phones go up for preorder this week, and if you plan on buying one, you already know all about the giant screens, eye-popping cameras, and gorgeous design. But there are a few features deep down on the list that you might not have noticed:

The S20 doesn't support mmWave 5G yet

Samsung is touting all of its S20 phones as 5G capable, and that’s true, with one exception. The smallest model only supports the sub-6GHz spectrum while the other models can switch between sub-6GHz and mmWave. That might not be an issue for T-Mobile subscribers, but Verizon buyers will basically have a 4G phone, as the carrier hasn’t yet switched on its sub-6 GHz network. Verizon says a mmWave version of the S20 will be launching in the second quarter, but we don’t know whether it will carry a higher price tag.

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OVPN 2020 review: An excellent VPN with a focus on privacy

Thu, 2020-02-20 06:00
OVPN in brief:
  • P2P allowed: Yes
  • Business location: Stockholm, Sweden
  • Number of servers: 83
  • Number of country locations: 14
  • Cost: $84 per year
  • VPN protocol: OpenVPN
  • Data encryption: AES-256-GCM (OpenVPN 2.4 and up)
  • Data authentication: DHE using RSA with 4096-bit key
  • Handshake: TLSv1.3

The first time we reviewed OVPN, it was a bit disappointing. The service got so many things right but performance just wasn’t up to snuff. More than a year and a half later we can report that OVPN is vastly improved.

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Best headphones: Our top picks for personal listening

Thu, 2020-02-20 06:00
Whether you're looking for an over-the-ear, on-ear, or in-ear model, we'll help you find the perfect pair.

The best graphics cards for PC gaming

Wed, 2020-02-19 14:56

“What graphics card within my budget gives me the best bang for my buck?”

That simple question cuts to the core of what people hunting for a new graphics card look for: the most oomph they can afford. Sure, the technological leaps behind each new GPU can be interesting on their own, but most everyone just wants to crank up the detail settings on Battlefield and get right to playing.

Gaming GPU cheat sheet

Our quick-hit recommendations:

  • Best budget GPU: GeForce GTX 1650 Super [amazon.com]
  • Best 1080p GPU: GeForce GTX 1660 Super [newegg.com]
  • Best 1440p GPU: Radeon RX 5700 [amazon.com]
  • Best 4K/60Hz GPU: GeForce RTX 2080 Super [GeForce.com]
  • Best 4K/144Hz GPU: GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders EditionRemove non-product link [BestBuy.com]

Updated February 19, 2020 to update the news section with the latest graphics card information.

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This insightful Intel video explains how CPUs are made, in words you can actually understand

Wed, 2020-02-19 14:29

Yes, computer processors work. But have you ever wondered how they work? Today, Intel published a fascinating animated video outlining “key concepts and their roles in chip manufacturing.” The chatty “Chip” spokesprocessor that walks you through the video brings up memories of the cringeworthy Clippy introduced by Microsoft in Office 97 (and killed in 2014), nevertheless, it’s well worth spending five minutes to watch it if you’ve ever been interested in how the brain of your computer comes to life.

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Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 screens are cracking, some users say

Wed, 2020-02-19 14:10

An unknown number of Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 notebooks have developed cracks in their screens that the owners say spontaneously occurred.

A collection of links compiled to enthusiast Barb Bowman point to complaints across social media and other online forums, including Microsoft’s own support sites. In it, users report cracks spontaneously appearing, although Microsoft representatives were initially skeptical. In her post Bowman adds, “it appears that these devices are all the non Alcantara variety and are Aluminum only.” A quick scan of the posts she references, however, suggests that at least one or two might be different models. 

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First Alert Onelink Safe & Sound review: Alexa in a smoke detector? It's an inspired, if expensive, idea

Wed, 2020-02-19 12:19
Here's a clever way to get a smart speaker into every room without cluttering up every room with a smart speaker.

The Full Nerd ep. 126: Nvidia's unbuyable Cyberpunk GPU, Asus blames AMD, why eGPU?

Wed, 2020-02-19 11:50

In this episode of The Full Nerd, Brad ChacosAlaina Yee, and Adam Patrick Murray dive deep into the latest graphics cards news.

First, we dig into Nvidia’s just-revealed Cyberpunk 2077­-themed GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, which you can win, but can’t buy. Under 200 of this ultra-rare graphics card were produced in total. Then we dig into AMD’s rough week for Navi. It started with several reports about lingering Radeon Software bugs and ended with Asus saying its ROG Strix RX 5700 suffers from higher temperatures because it followed AMD design guidelines. (Curiously, no other custom graphics cards were affected.) Finally, Adam’s on the hunt for a solid external graphics card setup for his new apartment, which sparks a fun conversation about eGPUs in general.

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Hands on: Microsoft's Office app for Android is tuned for the smartphone generation

Wed, 2020-02-19 11:00

Microsoft’s mobile version of Office for Android and iOS is distinctly unlike the company’s Office app for Windows 10. While the latter seems little more than a gateway to your recently-used documents, our hands-on time with the mobile app shows an intelligent use of the smartphone’s capabilities. Its roadmap of upcoming features is even more promising.

Microsoft’s Office app was announced last November at its Ignite conference, and has lived in public preview since then. Google accidentally published the Office app early over the President’s Day holiday. It’s now live for both Android and iOS.

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We build a capable $300 gaming PC. Believe it!

Wed, 2020-02-19 10:00

The glamour in PC gaming surrounds headliners like AMD’s 3950X, Intel’s 9900K, and Nvidia’s RTX 2080 Ti, but many people live on the opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to their budgets. So if you don’t have much to spend on a PC, AMD’s $50 Athlon 3000G can be just as exciting. 

The 2-core, 4-thread 3000G APU launched in mid November 2019 and comes with Vega 3 graphics—so when paired with a budget motherboard, RAM, and storage, you can roll a modest gaming PC for just $300. (It’s possible to do it for even less, if you really need to cut your budget closer to the bone.) And now that GeForce Now has launched, you can combine the game streaming service with a low-end PC to play today’s biggest games (a few of them with ray-tracing!), something that previously required the highest-end hardware. 

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