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Urbanears Rålis Bluetooth speaker review: Rich, smooth sound emanates from this big, heavy speaker

Fri, 2019-08-30 06:00
This portable Bluetooth speaker consistently sounds good from any direction.

Tritton Kunai Pro review: Superior sound, substandard build

Fri, 2019-08-30 05:59

The budget-friendly end of the headset market must be a bloodbath these days. First HyperX tried making inroads with the $50 Cloud Stinger, then Astro dipped in with the Astro A10. With all these mainstream companies vying for entry-level dominance, it's harder than ever to stand out.

Tritton tries to do just that with the $50 Kunai Pro headset though. It's certainly cheap enough—but does it have the features to stand toe-to-toe with Astro? We went hands-on to find out.

This review is part of our ongoing roundup of the best gaming headsets. Go there for information on competing products and how we tested them. 

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New Windows 10 build merges tablet, desktop experience

Thu, 2019-08-29 18:59

Microsoft’s trying out a new “tablet” experience for two-in-ones that...looks a lot like today’s desktop interface.

As part of Windows 10 Insider build 18970 (20H1), Microsoft is testing out a new layout for undocked two-in-ones (and presumably tablets, too). The layout provides greater spacing between the various taskbar icons, and it collapses the search bar. A keyboard icon has also been added to the taskbar, to make it easier to enter text. The keyboard will activate automatically when you tap a text field, Microsoft said in a blog post.

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If you're interested in a Microsoft Surface, now's the time to buy

Thu, 2019-08-29 18:51

Set Amazon’s one-day PC sale aside for a moment, and consider: If you’re looking to cash in on a current-generation Surface before the next-gen hardware is announced, now’s the time to buy.

Microsoft has scheduled a “Microsoft event” in New York City on October 2, the traditional time and place for new Surface hardware. It’s been a year since Microsoft launched the Surface Pro 6 and Surface Laptop 2, and a bit longer for the Surface Go. That’s always a good sign that retailers will be trying to clear their shelves of older hardware, and that’s the case today: All three are 20 to 30 percent off today on Amazon. Similar discounts are available on the two-year-old Surface Book 2, too.

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A new 32-core AMD Threadripper appears on benchmark site

Thu, 2019-08-29 18:21

What appears to be a new 32-core AMD Threadripper has appeared on the Geekbench benchmark database, giving ammunition to the belief that yes, we may be seeing a new Threadripper chip “soon,” in the words of AMD chief executive Lisa Su.

The Geekbench browser lists a 32-core “100-000000011-11” chip, with 32 cores and 64 threads. But the chip is also identified as an “AuthenticAMD Family 23 Model 49 Stepping 0,” code-named Sharkstooth, a member of the AMD Ryzen family. The CPU northbridge is also identified as a Ryzen part. The chip itself has a base clock of 2.2GHz, and a maximum frequency of 4.17GHz.

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Samsung reportedly tees up Galaxy Home Mini beta test in South Korea

Thu, 2019-08-29 10:34
There’s still no solid word on the fate of Samsung’s long-awaited Galaxy Home, but it appears Samsung is moving ahead with a smaller version of the Bixby-powered smart speaker.

Apple is finally sending ‘genuine’ parts to independent repair shops to fix broken iPhones

Thu, 2019-08-29 10:22
Apple has announced a new independent repair provider program that will send genuine parts, tools, training, repair manuals and diagnostics to independent iPhone repair shops.

Lenovo's C340 and S340 Chromebooks bring Core i3 substance and plenty of style

Thu, 2019-08-29 09:40

Lenovo's C340 and S340 Chromebooks are built for consumers who want a little more style or substance in their browser-based laptop. Of course, Lenovo's been selling rather dowdy, education-oriented Chromebooks for years. The company's first foray into retail has clearly graduated and is ready to break out of that mold, offering some better materials and features, plus some eye-opening color. 

Lenovo Chromebook C340-11 pricing and features Lenovo

Lenovo's Chromebook C340-11 offers a 360-degree for convertible versatility. 

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5G on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ delivers dizzying highs and frustrating lows

Thu, 2019-08-29 06:27

I can sum up my first experience in 5G like this: 1.21 gigabits. That’s the first speed I hit when I started walking around Providence, Rhode Island, on Wednesday with the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G.

That wasn’t the top speed I hit either. Later in the day, I touched 1.48Gbps and 1.63Gbps. Nor did it represent an average speed, which was closer to 450Mbps. But my first impression of real-world 5G Ultra Wideband—made possible during a Verizon press event, but using already-deployed 5G infrastructure nodes—kind of blew me away.

Here are some real-world stats to help you wrap your brain around the promise of gig-plus download speeds:

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Disney+ device streaming limits could be big problem

Thu, 2019-08-29 06:00
Disney+ device streaming limits could become a new annoyance for cord-cutters.

Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition review: This chatty, Alexa-powered playmate keeps tykes entertained and engaged

Thu, 2019-08-29 06:00
If you’re looking for an alternative to unleashing your kids on an iPad when you need a break, the Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition makes for an attentive and engaging companion.

AMD settles Bulldozer class-action suit that could pay out up to $35 per chip

Wed, 2019-08-28 15:04

If you bought an AMD “Bulldozer” CPU and didn’t quite agree with AMD that it was an actual 8-core chip, congratulations: A judge has agreed with you, and you may be eligible for a small bit of compensation as a result.

As originally reported by The Register, AMD has agreed to pay up to $35 per chip for those who bought an FX-8120, FX-8150, FX-8320, FX-8350, FX-8370, FX-9370, or FX-9590, as a result of a settlement of a class-action suit brought in 2015. Unfortunately, the settlement hasn’t moved past the stage where both sides publish details of how to obtain compensation. (You can read our original AMD Bulldozer review, here.)

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The Full Nerd ep. 104: Ray tracing's new killer app, Radeon VII's life and death, when to buy PC parts

Wed, 2019-08-28 13:43

In this episode of The Full Nerd, Gordon Mah UngBrad ChacosAlaina Yee, and Adam Patrick Murray dive into hardware cycles.

We kick things off by talking about Remedy’s Control, an utterly outstanding game that serves as the new high-water mark for real-time ray tracing. RTX is on in no less than five different ways, and it’s stunning. After that, we dive into rumors of the Radeon VII’s demise, and remember how unlikely it was to even exist at all. Finally, we spend a long while dissecting the best time to buy new PC hardware before jumping into some Q&A with the Full Nerd community.

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Dark mode is coming to Office on the web, plus Outlook for iOS and Android

Wed, 2019-08-28 13:30

If you can’t stand an excess of photons blasting your retinas, rejoice: dark mode is coming to the mobile version of Outlook, as well as Office on the web.

Microsoft said Wednesday that it’s bringing dark mode today to both Outlook for iOS and Android, as well as—the version of Office that lives on the web, not on your PC. When Apple rolls out iOS 13, the company will add dark mode to the iOS versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, OneDrive, Planner, and To-Do on mobile.

“While some Dark Mode experiences can be neon or overly bright, people felt that Outlook mobile kept the kind of relaxed feeling you might want in a dimly lit living room or bedroom,” Jon Friedman, the chief designer for Office 365, wrote in a blog post on Medium. “They described the experience as comfortable, crisp, clear, and aesthetically pleasing, a nod to how Dark Mode can reduce eye strain.”

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Man of Medan review: Five friends, a haunted ship, and plenty of ways to die

Wed, 2019-08-28 10:08

“It’s all about decisions, isn’t it?” says the steely-eyed Curator. “Decisions made in a hurry, in a panic.”

He peers across the table, holding judgment over my own decisions. One mistake, even made in ignorance, can be the difference between surviving Man of Medan or leading your characters to a grisly end. Run or hide. Take the knife or leave it behind. Apologize or say something sarcastic. Open the coffin or—

Wait, why would you open the damn coffin? Have you never seen a horror film before?

Creepy crashes

Four years ago, Until Dawn adapted Telltale’s branching-story structure to the horror genre, to great success. The catch? It was a PlayStation 4 exclusive, one of the handful of games that convinced me to buy that console in fact.

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The best budget computer speakers: Surprisingly sound choices for $100 or less

Wed, 2019-08-28 09:09

Your laptop’s built-in speakers aren’t doing any favors for the gigs and gigs of music and movies on your hard drive. Even the best ones can leave your audio sounding thin and lifeless. External PC speakers—along with a good set of headphones—are a must for getting the best fidelity from your media files.

A trip online or to your favorite electronics store will reveal a head-spinning variety of options in this category, with some systems costing as much or more than you paid for your laptop. You don’t need to take out a personal loan to upgrade your audio, though. Quality speakers can be found even with a budget of around $100. And while there is a certain degree of “you get what you pay for” at this price level, you’ll be rewarded with satisfying sound if you’re willing to make a few compromises.

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Fitbit Versa 2 hands-on: Alexa, OLED, and an always-on display make a compelling upgrade

Wed, 2019-08-28 09:00
With on-board Amazon Alexa, an AMOLED display, and Fit Pay for the base model, the Versa 2 looks like it’s ready to go toe-to-toe with the Apple Watch.

JBL Link Bar review: A soundbar, Google Assistant, and Android TV rolled into one big compromise

Wed, 2019-08-28 06:00
The JBL Link Bar combines a soundbar with Google Assistant and Android TV, but not without major drawbacks.

Hands on with the next Microsoft Edge, Microsoft's revamped Chromium-based browser

Wed, 2019-08-28 06:00

Whatever you call the next Microsoft Edge—Microsoft Edgium? Microsoft Edge, built on Chromium? ChromEdge?—Microsoft’s fusion of the Chromium browser and the traditional Microsoft Edge is worth trying out, though the current beta version is a bit heavier than the traditional Edge.

Last week, Microsoft announced a stable beta channel for what it’s calling the next version of Microsoft Edge. Microsoft’s Edge browser will now be designed around Chromium, the open-source version of Google Chrome. Edgium—a convenient nickname, if one that Microsoft devs seem to hate—should feel familiar to both Edge and Chrome users, with a well-stocked larder of Microsoft-vetted extensions, as well as a gateway to the traditional Chrome store.

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Ring Smart Lighting Floodlight Wired review: A terrific supplement to the Ring Floodlight Cam

Wed, 2019-08-28 06:00
Ring smart lighting products aren't always the prettiest hardware you can deploy on and around your home, but they will enhance its security.