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Minut Smart Home Alarm review: This impressive, low-cost home security system emphasizes privacy

Thu, 2020-02-06 06:00
It’s non-invasive because it operates by detecting body heat instead of relying on cameras, and it’s inexpensive because it doesn’t depend on your deploying sensors all over the house.

Microsoft Surface Pro 7 review: Still the best Windows tablet you can buy

Thu, 2020-02-06 06:00

Microsoft’s Surface Pro 7, the latest in the company’s excellent Surface Pro series, continues the tradition of being a durable, dependable tablet for the ages. It’s measurably better this time around, too, with an internal upgrade to Intel’s 10th-gen, 10nm Ice Lake chip and a nod to the future, a USB-C port. There are many good reasons why the Surface Pro 7 won our Editor’s Choice award, as you’ll see in our review.

Granted, it’s a lot easier to be the best game in town when rival Windows tablets are few and far between. At this point, the field consists largely of Microsoft’s Surface Pro models, the Surface Pro X, Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Tablet, monstrous tablet workstations like the HP Zbook X2, and our longstanding favorite, the Lenovo IdeaPad Miix 520. There’s a definite gap between these and $300-ish Atom-powered tablets from names like RCA and iView, which we wouldn’t necessarily recommend. If you’re looking for a full-fledged computer that’s extremely portable and can even work as a tablet, the Surface Pro 7 is your best choice.

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Roku, Fox, and the threat of streaming blackouts

Thu, 2020-02-06 06:00
Roku has some explaining to do after temporarily dropping Fox apps.

PCWorld's February Digital Magazine: Windows 7 is dead

Wed, 2020-02-05 16:17

Stay on top of the latest tech with PCWorld’s Digital Magazine. Available as single copies or as a monthly subscription, it highlights the best content from PCWorld.com—the most important news, the key product reviews, and the most useful features and how-to stories—in a curated Digital Magazine for Android and iOS, as well for the desktop and other tablet readers.

In the February issue

Windows 7 is dead. In the February issue of PCWorld we tell you how to stay safe after the security updates stop. Check out our Android Frankenphone, which contains all the best features from the Android ecosystem. We’ve also got the 17 most anticipated games of 2020. 

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AMD's PC market share soars during the fourth quarter, thanks to Ryzen

Wed, 2020-02-05 14:11

If, like us, you’ve been impressed with AMD’s recent run of Ryzen products, you’re not alone: AMD’s market share has climbed to a point not seen since 2013.

According to AMD, the company’s market share in the desktop PC space climbed to 18.3 percent during the fourth quarter, up 2.4 percentage points from the same time a year ago. AMD’s mobile share for the same period now stands at 16.2 percent, an increase of 4 percentage points from a year ago, too. The numbers come from a report from Mercury Research, which confirmed AMD’s figures.

AMD

AMD’s summary of the Mercury Research data. 

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Microsoft combines Windows and Surface, potentially making it tougher on PC makers

Wed, 2020-02-05 12:58

Microsoft is combining its Windows client and Surface teams into a dedicated unit led by product chief Panos Panay, according to a report Wednesday, potentially aligning its operating system and PC hardware under the same roof.

According to ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, the combination will be named “Windows + Devices,” and will be led by Panay. Joe Belfiore, who leads the Windows Experience team, will move over to the Office side of the house later in the year. A source close to Microsoft confirmed the report, though Microsoft's not confirming it publicly for now.

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Windows 10's search is broken. Here are some workarounds

Wed, 2020-02-05 10:55

Nope, it’s not just you. Windows 10’s search bar is broken for many people, according to reports flooding in across social media. Mine’s broken too. It sucks.

Trying to use Windows 10’s native search tool results in an empty, unresponsive black box, rather than the expected list of results. Rebooting doesn’t help. It appears something’s broken on Microsoft’s end.

Tying into that theory, some users have reported that disabling Windows search’s native Bing integration fixes the issue. How To Geek has a step-by-step primer on how to do just that, and if you don’t find the Bing results useful in general, they’re worth disabling anyway.

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Graphics cards ranked, from fastest to slowest

Wed, 2020-02-05 10:09

When it comes to gaming PCs, nothing matters more than your graphics card. To push as many pixels as possible you’re going to want the fastest graphics card you can afford—but ever-shifting prices and product lineups make it difficult to keep track of what’s available.

In honor of keeping frame rates high, we decided to rank all the major available discrete GPUs from Nvidia GeForce and AMD Radeon, starting with the fastest graphics card available and working on down. This list focuses on each company’s most current GPU lineup, and doesn’t include older graphics cards. Price to performance is not a consideration here—just performance. (Concrete example: The original GeForce RTX 2080 is technically more powerful than the GeForce RTX 2070 Super, and hence higher on this list, but it’s awfully close and the GeForce option is significantly cheaper, making it a better buy.)

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Zigbee vulnerability lets hackers use Hue bulbs to hijack your network

Wed, 2020-02-05 09:57
A vulnerability in the wireless Zigbee protocol allows hackers to hijack your network using an older Hue smart bulb, but your Hue bridge has most likely been patched already.

Dash cam reviews: Catch the maniacs and meteors of daily driving

Wed, 2020-02-05 09:44

The dash cam market is changing fast, as vendors hop onto the 4K-resolution bandwagon. We just reviewed four of the first models out the door and can’t deny the allure of supercrisp 4K images. But there are caveats, which we’ll discuss below and in the individual reviews. Until we review a few more 4K models, our top picks remain 1080p dash cams, which you can find in the chart below. 

Do you need a 4K UHD dash cam?

As 4K UHD (2160p) dash cams have entered the market, we know it’d be easy to fall victim to the specsmanship of a higher-res image. From what we’ve seen so far the gain in detail can vary, but the storage investment is consistently heavy: four times the storage of 1080p, or around 1GB for every three minutes of video. For most purposes,1080p is the more frugal everyday choice. Don’t avoid 4K UHD, but read the reviews first so you know whether the cost is justified.

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Samsung Portable SSD T7 Touch review: Faster, and now with fingerprint security

Wed, 2020-02-05 06:00

Samsung’s Portable SSD T7 Touch is a very nice upgrade to the older T5 (which will still be available). It’s thinner, a significantly faster reader, and it also sports a fingerprint scanner that you can employ, or not—your choice. Sure, you could get an official FIPS-certified secure drive, but those cost far more than the T7, which gives you this extra bit of security while remaining within the price range (currently $130 on Amazon) of a normal USB SSD. That makes it a sweet deal for the average user who still wants effective data protection. (Corporations generally require FIPS, and secure government use always does.)

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How to stream 26 movies nominated for the 2020 Oscars

Wed, 2020-02-05 06:00
Cord-cutters can watch many of this year’s Academy Award nominees in the comfort of their own homes.

TCL 5-Series 4K TV review: This 43-inch smart TV delivers a good picture for minimal moola

Wed, 2020-02-05 06:00
This bargain-priced smart TV features surprisingly good color, Dolby Vision, and the Roku interface.

Best TVs: Our top picks, plus plain-language explanations of the most important specs and features

Wed, 2020-02-05 06:00
There are plenty of great smart TVs. Our guide cuts through the alphabet soup to tell everything you need to know to buy the one that's right for you.

Viofo A129 Pro Duo review: Dual-channel 4K UHD goodness

Tue, 2020-02-04 19:39

Viofo's A129 Pro Duo must be performing some level of optical and video processing voodoo, because this front/rear dash cam combo ($250 on Amazon) captures are nearly perfect. As the 4K UHD upgrade from the Viofo A129 Duo (currently $169.90 on Amazon), the front video shows enough detail to make me think that the extra storage space 4K UHD requires (four times 1080p) might actually be worth it. The rear video is some of the best 1080p I’ve seen. Throw in integrated GPS, and this is quite likely the best pure front/rear dash cam combo we’ve tested yet. Compare to the Nextbase 422GW or its more price-competitive 322GW sibling, which offer largely the same feature set. The main A129 Pro camera is also available separately (currently $179.90 on Amazon)Remove non-product link.

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Aukey DRS2 dual dash cam review: Excellent video in all directions, and infrared too

Tue, 2020-02-04 19:37

The most distinguishing feature of the Aukey DRS2 ($150 on Amazon) is its interior camera, which can be detached from the main body for use as a rear camera. Nice, but its best trick is taking excellent video, both exterior and interior, day and night. It could use integrated GPS (an $20 external option that’s $20 on AmazonRemove non-product link) and a larger capacitor, but beyond that, it’s all good. 

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Vantrue X4 Dash cam: Sharp 4K UHD captures come at a price

Tue, 2020-02-04 19:36

The VanTrue X4 is one of the first 4K UHD dash cams available, but you should definitely expect more to follow--it's the thing with vendors right now. This bleeding-edge model shows some of the challenges of said high-res trend: It’s a bit pricey and while there's a noticeable increase in detail in its 2160p captures, it might not be worth the four-fold increase in storage requirements. Beyond that, Vantrue still does a whole lot right.

This review is part of our ongoing roundup of the best dash cams. Go there for information on competing products and how we test them.

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Rexing V360 dash cam review: 360-degree coverage at last!

Tue, 2020-02-04 18:38

The dual-channel Rexing V360 ($170 on Amazon) has a fantastic touch display and interface. The unique 360-degree front camera also captures more interior and exterior action than any other camera I’ve tested—at least during the day. For some reason Rexing omitted infrared, making interior captures at night unusable. Dang.

This review is part of our ongoing roundup of the best dash cams. Go there for information on competing products and how we test them.

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23andMe Health + Ancestry review: The complete DNA testing package

Tue, 2020-02-04 15:11

Editor’s note: This review was updated in January 2020 to include new information about how 23andMe uses its customer data. See the Privacy section below for details.

The base 23andMe Ancestry kit ($99) stands above the competition as our pick for the best DNA testing kits for ancestry, delivering a large array of detailed ancestry results presented within a clean and compelling interface. However, 23andMe’s DNA testing service can provide more than just insights into your lineage.

For $100 more, the 23andMe Health + Ancestry kit ($199) bundles in a wide array of health information pulled from the very same DNA sample, providing details about your genetic predisposition to certain ailments, how your DNA might shape your lifestyle and your body’s reactions, and even genetics-based guesses at some seriously out-there traits—such as your ability to match a musical pitch.

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23andMe review: It lives up to the hype of DNA testing

Tue, 2020-02-04 14:51

Editor's note: This review was updated in January 2020 to include new information about how 23andMe uses its customer data. See the Privacy section below for details.

Of all the companies that offer DNA testing, 23andMe is one of the most famous. According to the International Society of Genetic Genealogy, 23andMe has tested the DNA of more than 5 million people, making it the second-most popular test after AncestryDNA.

This popularity provides an advantage over DNA tests from smaller services: The more people in the system, the more accurate the ethnicity estimates. 23andMe also regularly releases new reports evaluating your DNA.

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