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Updated: 56 min 49 sec ago

New Marvel's Avengers gameplay tease shows Thor hammering robots, supervillian MODOK

Wed, 2020-06-24 14:39

When Crystal Dynamics's Avengers game got delayed, it left a pretty large hole in the spring release schedule. I can't say I was surprised though. Last year's reveal didn't go quite as smoothly as Square Enix (and Marvel) presumably hoped. The loudest detractors merely complained that the titular Avengers didn't look like their film-screen counterparts, but concerns about level design and repetitive combat abounded as well.

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Opera integrates Twitter into new Opera 69 browser

Wed, 2020-06-24 13:17

The Opera browser already includes a sidebar with links to several messaging apps. Now the company has added Twitter support, too, as part of Opera 69.

Twitter, like Instagram, Telegram, Facebook Messenger and other messaging apps, will reside in the Opera sidebar, which lives on the left rail by default. Sidebars have increasingly become ways in which some browsers, such as Firefox and Vivaldi, have integrated additional functionality.

With Opera 69, Twitter can be embedded in the sidebar, though you’ll have to enable it. To do so, click the three-dot icon at the bottom of the sidebar, then click Twitter in the Messengers section. (That will probably require you to click a small Show more link as well to expand the Messenger section.) Twitter’s main feed, the search function, as well as direct messaging are all enabled—the sidebar version is essentially a web widget, with even Twitter’s new tweet scheduling function enabled.

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Watch Party Royale: Fortnite will stream 3 Christopher Nolan movies in-game this Friday

Wed, 2020-06-24 12:01
Inception, Batman Begins, and The Prestige will be streaming at Fortnite's Party Royale social space for free.

What Apple could learn from Microsoft's mistakes with Windows on ARM

Wed, 2020-06-24 06:30

If there’s any lesson that Apple should learn about supporting apps that run on both X86 and ARM, it’s this one: Tell users which apps support which processor, and actively guide them toward the best experience.

It sounds obvious. But as Apple navigates its transition from Intel X86 Macs to Macs designed around its own ARM silicon, I can’t help but think of the things I wish Microsoft and Qualcomm had worked on to help facilitate the Windows on ARM experience. 

It starts with communication. When Asus launched its NovaGo laptop with a Qualcomm processor inside, we explained the pros and cons of the architecture, especially what it could or couldn’t do. Two years later, that article still feels necessary. Here’s how Microsoft stumbled along the way, and where Apple could go wrong too, unless it learns from those mistakes. 

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Eufy Security Smart Lock Touch review: Eufy’s first smart lock is a little too rough around the edges

Wed, 2020-06-24 06:00
A buggy fingerprint reader spoils Eufy’s biggest selling point.

Acer Predator Triton 500 review: A truly portable gaming powerhouse with 300Hz G-Sync

Wed, 2020-06-24 06:00

I’ve tested a lot of gaming laptops over the years, but the newly refreshed Acer Predator Triton 500 is the best one I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing on.

For many years, you could only coax enthusiast-class performance out of mammoth gaming laptops that threatened to throw out your back while you carried them around in your bag. The introduction of Nvidia’s energy-efficient Max-Q technology resulted in more portable play-worthy notebooks, but the truly totable ones usually topped out with graphics options below the upper echelon of performance. Gaming on the go always required some sort of compromise.

No more. The Acer Predator Triton 500 brings it all, pairing a 6-core, 12-thread Intel Core i7-10750H processor with Nvidia’s potent new GeForce RTX 2080 Super graphics chip. All that power somehow squeezes into a sublime 4.6-pound aluminum chassis with a lightning-fast 300Hz G-Sync display that offers drop-dead gorgeous contrast ratios. Is it perfect? Not quite. But hot damn, I love it.

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The best smart lock for a keyless home

Wed, 2020-06-24 06:00
Keys are yesterday’s tech, your smart home needs a smart door lock.

Microsoft is getting rid of one version of Skype

Tue, 2020-06-23 15:45

If you see a version of Skype quietly disappear from Windows today, don’t be surprised: Microsoft’s finally taking action to clear Windows of some of its redundant software.

Microsoft is consolidating its Skype for Windows 10 and its Skype for Desktop into a single app, the company is disclosing in a support document. (Thurrott.com noted this earlier on Tuesday.) While the (formerly) two versions will now look a lot alike, Microsoft is also terminating a couple of features for right now until it can develop the new app further. It will still be known as Skype for Windows 10.

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Best gaming keyboards: Our picks for the top budget, mid-tier, and RGB boards

Tue, 2020-06-23 15:23

Choosing a gaming keyboard is a matter of personal taste. To that point, there are a plethora of options, with a dizzying mix of features. One person could be into Cherry Browns and white backlighting. Another might favor Razer Greens and a rippling RGB glow. Gigantic wrist pads, compact shapes, numeric keypads, macro keys, volume controls.... You get the picture

To help you sort through the many options, we’ve rounded up a large number of planks, putting them through their paces, to come up with our top recommendations. All of these are mechanical keyboards, and for good reason—they’re simply more comfortable to use over the long haul. But we’re open-minded, so if we encounter an alternative that works well, you may see it appear on this list. We’ll keep updating it periodically as we test new keyboards.

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The Chromebook Spin 713 is Acer's high-end model for work or home

Tue, 2020-06-23 14:06

The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 takes the company in a new direction. Acer has sold vast quantities of inexpensive, basic Chromebooks for school and home use—and it announced a new one on Tuesday, at the company’s next@acer virtual event: the $260 Chromebook Spin 311. In contrast the Chromebook Spin 713, also announced Tuesday, is a far fancier product that will have a starting price of $630 when it ships in the United States in July. An enterprise version will start at $1,100.  

If you stopped reading there, you embody the big question about high-end Chromebooks: Who’s going to buy these things? Chromebooks gobbled up a fair chunk of the PC market by being simpler and super-cheap alternatives to Windows-based models. Some people are clearly ready for something a little better—the HP Chromebook x360 12b is selling well, for instance, at $360 on Adorama.

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Sonos Arc bass bug fix arrives, and it seems to work

Tue, 2020-06-23 12:43
The bug fix for the Sonos Arc appears to have remedied the soundbar’s muddy, distorted bass.

Acer overhauls Predator gaming laptops with 10th-gen CPUs, RTX Super GPUs, and ultra-fast displays

Tue, 2020-06-23 09:45

Earlier this year, Acer debuted Intel and Nvidia’s latest and greatest parts in the fearsome, yet portable Predator Triton 500—a $2,600 laptop loaded with just about everything you could ask for. Now those improvements are rolling out through Acer’s entire Predator gaming notebook lineup.

At Tuesday’s next@acer event, the company revealed revamps of the Predator Triton 300, Predator Helios 700, and the incredibly popular Predator Helios 300, cramming each with Intel’s 10th-gen Core CPUs, Nvidia’s GeForce RTX Super graphics, and blazing-fast screens primed to melt your face in CS:GO.

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Hands-on with the Acer Nitro 7 with RTX graphics

Tue, 2020-06-23 09:45

Acer’s Nitro 7 has long been the middle child Jan Brady in the company’s gaming laptop family, sandwiched between the bulkier, but lower-cost Nitro 5 and the more luxurious Predator Triton 500-series. 

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Acer woos desktop gamers with 360Hz G-Sync and a gaming chair that rubs your neck

Tue, 2020-06-23 09:45

Acer’s Predator overhaul isn’t just for laptops. During the company’s next@acer event on Tuesday, the company unveiled a slew of desktop gaming products sure to entice DIY enthusiasts and folks who prefer the simplicity of prebuilt systems alike, spearheaded by a G-Sync display capable of hitting a ridonkulous 360Hz, and a gaming chair that can give you a massage while you frag.

The Acer Predator X25 enters the fray after Nvidia announced 360Hz monitors at CES 2020 earlier this year. This 24-inch, 1920x1080-resolution display would be plenty smooth on its own thanks to its preposterous 360Hz refresh rate, but Acer also includes the latest iteration of Nvidia’s G-Sync technology. Together, every game should feel impressively smooth if you’re using a GeForce GPU.

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Acer's $999 Swift 5 could be the first Tiger Lake ultralight laptop

Tue, 2020-06-23 09:45

Acer’s Swift 5 appears to be the first laptop containing Intel’s expected “Tiger Lake” microprocessors, which is in turn Intel’s first chip to bring its “Xe” graphics to PCs.

Acer didn’t formally identify the Swift 3’s microprocessor as “Tiger Lake,” though referring to it as being powered by the “next-gen Intel Core processors with powerful integrated graphics based on Intel’s new Xe architecture” is a tipoff—Intel announced Tiger Lake last year, in conjunction with the Xe graphics technology. 

Acer announced the new Swift 5 at its “next@acer” event Tuesday morning, which was livestreamed due to COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions. The company didn’t reveal many details about the new ultralight laptop, though it will be available in North America for $999.

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Ring Solar Steplight review: Bigger, better, brighter

Tue, 2020-06-23 06:00
An integrated solar panel keeps the battery in this smart lighting device perpetually topped off.

Sabrent Rocket Q NVMe SSD: 8TB is a beautiful thing

Mon, 2020-06-22 18:14

Sabrent's 8TB Rocket Q caps a few weeks of mind-blowing news for NVMe SSDs. It seems like only yesterday when 2TB was the largest-capacity NVMe SSD, or any SSD for that matter. Actually, when I started this article it was yesterday. Now we have the 4TB OWC Aura P12, and the 8TB Rocket Q.

If you just did a double-take, welcome to the club. While a bit dazed, I soldiered on and tested Sabrent's super-capacious beastie. Guess how it felt not having to worry about running out of space!

This review is part of PCWorld's ongoing roundup of the best SSDs. Go there for information on competing products and how we tested them. 

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Why Apple's move from Intel to ARM means we should stop buying Macs

Mon, 2020-06-22 17:19

Apple’s news on Monday that it will be dropping Intel’s x86 CPUs for its own ARM chips can mean only one thing to anyone who doesn’t want to be left behind: Don’t buy a Mac.

You may think this is another Internet-baiting hot take that will argue that x86 is better than ARM. Or you might think the math doesn’t add up that Apple—despite its near-infinite loop of resources and cash—can outwit AMD, Intel and Nvidia.

But there’s a practical, real reason why you shouldn’t drop $1,500 or $4,500 on a new Mac: You’ll be abandoned.

During the announcement, Tim Cook said Apple will continue to support Intel-based Macs for “years.” But as we know, that could mean two years or two hundred years.

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Apple details an impressive, aggressive transition to Macs with its own processors

Mon, 2020-06-22 16:30
Macs that use Apple's own processors are coming this year. Here's how the transition will work.

Microsoft ships expanded Microsoft Teams for consumers

Mon, 2020-06-22 16:23

Office 365 is dead. Long live Microsoft 365, the renamed version of Microsoft’s productivity suite that now includes an expanded version of Microsoft Teams designed expressly for consumers. That expanded version of Teams is now live in preview for iOS and Android, Microsoft said on June 22.

(Editor's Note: This story originally published on March 30. We're re-publishing it as the changes to the subscriptions have taken effect today, June 22.)

On April 21, Office 365 subscriptions for consumers will shift over to become Microsoft 365 subscriptions, Microsoft said, available at the current price of $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year for a shared group of up to 6 people. (Personal subscriptions are $6.99 per user per month, or $69.99 per year.) Those subscriptions will still include features like a terabyte of OneDrive cloud storage, access to Microsoft’s Office apps, and more.

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