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HP Envy 13 review: A slim, light, and inexpensive workhorse with discrete graphics

Wed, 2020-02-19 06:30

There’s a lot to like about the HP Envy 13, starting with its super-slim design, its bright 4K display, its comfy keypad and impressive quad-core performance. The Envy 13 also manages to pack in a discrete GPU and respectable battery life, all for a very reasonable price tag. That said, we did encounter some issues with the laptop's overly sensitive trackpad (which HP says it's investigating), resulting in a jittery cursor that regularly jumped around the screen and even highlighted and deleted our words by accident.

Configuration

For as little as $750 with discounts, you can snap up an HP Envy 13 with a 13-inch full-HD display, an 8th-generation Intel Core i7-8565U processor, 8GB of RAM, and an integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 core. On the other end of the spectrum is a 13-inch HP Envy with a 4K display, a 1TB SSD, a 10th-gen Intel Core i7-10510U CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a discrete Nvidia GeForce MX250 graphics card, all for a discounted $1,350 sticker price.

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The best free antivirus for 2020: Keep your PC safe without spending a dime

Wed, 2020-02-19 06:02

We spend a lot of time looking at the best paid antivirus suites on this site, but we don’t spend a lot of time talking about free antivirus solutions. Part of the reason is that the free versions are based on their paid counterparts.

If you see a paid version you like that offers a free version, you can safely assume the antivirus protection level is similar, save for any specific malware types the free version doesn’t cover.

To create this list of the top free AV programs we looked at the top mainstream antivirus suites for Windows 10  and selected the ones that offer a free version, as not all of them do. After that, we looked at how well these suites performed in third-party detection tests. We also made sure they weren’t resource hogs, because the last thing you want is a piece of free software slowing down your PC while running in the background.

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Populife Smart Deadbolt review: Ultra-cheap and attractive, but lacking in the operations department

Wed, 2020-02-19 06:00
Steer clear of this bare-bones smart lock.

Asus blames AMD guidelines for high ROG Strix Radeon RX 5700 temperatures, announces fix

Tue, 2020-02-18 12:01

The Asus ROG Strix Radeon RX 5700 XT is one of the most premium custom RX 5700 XT models around, pairing a top-end PCB with the company’s beastly bespoke cooler and a hefty overclock. But it’s been plagued by a worrisome issue: overheating. Numerous buyers have reported that the card runs hot, and after BIOS updates failed to fix the concern, Asus is now blaming AMD’s design guidelines for the issue. Fortunately, though, there’s (finally) a fix.

The ROG Strix Radeon RX 5700 XT’s woes were well-chronicled by Hardware Unboxed in the video below. In short, the screws mounting the cooler to the card weren’t turned tightly enough, leading to higher-than-expected temperatures, and since the Strix’s custom cooler is so heavy, gravity can potentially make the problem worse over time. Users found that tightening the screws or adding washers to increase pressure could improve thermal performance.

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You can't buy Nvidia's ultra-rare GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Cyberpunk 2077 Edition, but you can win it

Tue, 2020-02-18 10:48

Nvidia’s back with another drop-dead gorgeous themed graphics card, but unlike the Star Wars Titan Xp Collector’s Edition, the new one won’t cost an arm and a leg. That’s because you can’t even buy the ultra-rare GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Cyberpunk 2077 Edition.

Instead, you’ll need to share a specific Nvidia GeForce tweet, then reply to the original post with the name of an online buddy who would like one of the graphics cards, using the hashtag #RTXOn. If you win, both you and the person you tagged will receive one. Nvidia tells me that fewer than 200 units were produced, and 77 of those are part of this giveaway—a weird number if the company’s giving these away in pairs, but whatever.

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Ring beefs up its security with mandatory 2FA, suspends third-party trackers in mobile app

Tue, 2020-02-18 09:58
Ring flips on mandatory two-factor authentication in an effort to clean up its image.

Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon X60 5G modem has an audience of one: Apple

Tue, 2020-02-18 08:00
Qualcomm has unveiled the next generation of its .5G modem, the X60, and it's a thinly veiled bid to lock up the iPhone.

How to create and customize tables in Microsoft Word

Tue, 2020-02-18 06:30

Creating tables in Microsoft Word used to be so annoying that most people just did it in Excel, then imported it into Word. It's worth giving Word 2013's table tools a try, though, because the process is easier, and there are some new graphical options. 

Seven ways to create tables

Microsoft now provides five different methods for creating tables: the Graphic Grid, Insert Table, Draw Table, insert a new or existing Excel Spreadsheet table, and Quick Tables, plus an option for converting existing text into a table. To start, open a blank Word document from the Home/New page. Position your cursor in the document where you want the table inserted.

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MSI Prestige 14 review: Workhorse power in a thin-and-light shell

Tue, 2020-02-18 06:00

All laptops are a compromise in design and MSI’s Prestige 14 is no different. Even so, there’s a lot to love about what is likely the most powerful laptop in its class.

We’re not exaggerating. The Prestige 14 packs a 6-core Comet Lake Core i7-10710U along with a GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q discrete GPU, all while weighing 2.8 pounds. That’s basically the same weight as a Dell XPS 13 7390 or HP Spectre x360 13, which don’t have discrete GPUs. MSI does all this while also including a 4K screen and a reasonably sized 52-watt-hour battery.

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Anker Nebula Soundbar—Fire TV Edition review: Great Fire TV and Alexa functionality, but so-so sound

Tue, 2020-02-18 06:00
This 2.1-channel soundbar comes with Fire TV and Alexa onboard, but we weren’t impressed by its mediocre audio.

Use your TV as a computer monitor: Everything you need to know

Mon, 2020-02-17 09:01

You’re not the first person who’s wondered what it would be like to have a giant desktop monitor. Think of all the multi-tasking and immersive gaming you could manage if you had a 50- or 60-inch monitor instead of a standard 24-inch monitor! But you’ve probably noticed that as monitors get bigger, they also tend to get prohibitively expensive.

You’ve probably already got a big screen in your house, though—a TV. At the end of the day, isn’t an HDTV just a giant, living-room-oriented computer monitor?

Not exactly. While you can use a TV as a computer monitor in most cases, that doesn’t mean it’s the best option. In fact, it’s likely less attractive, convenient, and usable than you think (not to mention, probably not that cheap). There’s a reason dirt-cheap 32-inch HDTVs aren’t flying off the shelves to be used as budget-friendly jumbo screens.

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Maximus Answer DualCam Video Doorbell review: That second camera is for keeping an eye on parcels

Mon, 2020-02-17 06:00
This is a good video doorbell, but you’ll need a subscription to get the most value from it.

If the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X live up to the hype, $500 is a steal

Sat, 2020-02-15 14:49

Sony caused quite a stir this week, as reports emerged (originating with Bloomberg Tech) about the cost of the PlayStation 5. Not the price consumers will pay, but the price Sony is paying, which is reportedly $450 per machine. Consoles are typically loss leaders—meaning the manufacturers take a hit on hardware and make it up by taking a 30 percent cut of software sales—but even so, it’s hard to imagine the PlayStation 5 coming in at less than $500. Hell, it’s hard to imagine it costing less than $600.

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Report: Microsoft Surface Book 3, Surface Go 2 could debut this spring

Fri, 2020-02-14 15:16

Microsoft has scheduled a long-overdue refresh of the Surface Book and Surface Go lineup for this spring, according to a report, which also claims the Surface Book 3 and Surface Go 2 won’t deviate much from their current designs.

According to Petri, the Surface Book 3’s focus, however, will migrate from “creators” to those who are working with artificial intelligence. Instead of offering Nvidia GeForce RTX designs with ray tracing, the 2-in-1’s internals will include Nvida Quadro cards, based on the Nvidia GTX 16xx series GPUs rather than the more advanced, and future-proofed, RTX GPUs. The Surface Book 3, then, will apparently embrace its roots as a mobile workstation.

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How to buy the perfect PC case

Fri, 2020-02-14 10:12

No matter whether you treat your computer as the centerpiece of your home office or just stuff it under your desk, buying the right PC case matters.

At a minimum, you want to pick a PC case that’s the right size for your needs and has room for all your hardware and USB devices. But some PC cases offer much, much more. Spacious innards, lower temperatures, muffled sound, extensive water-cooling support, and fancy-schmancy tempered glass panels or RGB lighting are just the tip of the iceberg.

Here’s a guide to buying a PC case that’s perfect for you. This is just the first step in your DIY journey; be sure to check out PCWorld’s guide to building a PC, too.

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If the Galaxy S20 phones are too expensive for you, blame the Samsung Tax

Fri, 2020-02-14 06:33

If you'd told me two years ago that Samsung would be selling a phone that starts at $1,400, I wouldn’t have believed you. At the time, you could get a Galaxy S9 with the latest Snapdragon processor, a Quad HD OLED screen, and a headphone jack for as low as $720, while Apple charged a then-outrageous $1,000 for the iPhone X. Samsung was selling affordable luxury, while Apple was pushing the most expensive phone ever made.

Then last year, Samsung bested the iPhone XR’s aggressive price tag with its own Galaxy S10e. It featured an OLED display instead of an LCD one, twice as many cameras, and double the storage for the same $750. So naturally, when Apple went ahead and trimmed the iPhone 11’s price of admission to $699, I assumed a cheaper Samsung Galaxy S20 was on the way as well. I imagined it would challenge our expectations of affordable premium phones, with 5G, a 120Hz screen, and a triple camera in the usual beautiful package.

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Best robot vacuums: We name the most effective cleaners

Fri, 2020-02-14 06:00
Vacuuming is one of the most hated household chores. Here are your best choices for outsourcing it to some automated help.

The Criterion Channel review: The movie-streaming service for discerning cord-cutters

Fri, 2020-02-14 06:00
It will never displace Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime, but the films—mostly classics, international fare, and cult-faves—rotating through this service are not to missed.

Yeedi K600 robot vacuum review: Excellent cleaning without complexity

Fri, 2020-02-14 06:00
This no-frills robot vacuum is a great option for first-timers.

Broadcom ships the first Wi-Fi 6E chip for mobile devices, paving the way for new 6GHz networks

Thu, 2020-02-13 16:48

Broadcom has announced what it’s calling the first Wi-Fi 6E chip for mobile devices, supporting 160MHz-wide channels in the 6GHz wireless spectrum that the FCC could soon open up for use in the United States.

The dedicated bandwidth will add a third frequency band to the traditional Wi-Fi spectrum. Most Wi-Fi networks and client devices today utilize the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency bands. The new standard will take advantage of contiguous blocks within the unlicensed frequency spectrum of 5.925- to 7.125GHz. Essentially, Wi-Fi 6E is simply Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) with lots more bandwidth.

Why is this important? Because Wi-Fi shoulders quite a lot of the load of global internet traffic, with only a limited amount of bandwidth to handle it: There’s just 70MHz of spectrum in the 2.4GHz band, and 500MHz of spectrum in the 5GHz band. The 6GHz band offers up to 1,200MHz of additional bandwidth—enough to support 14 new 80MHz-wide channels, and seven new 160MHz-wide channels.

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