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The best SSDs of 2019: Drastic price cuts shake up the ranks

Wed, 2019-11-20 16:15

Switching to a solid-state drive is the best upgrade you can make for your PC. These wondrous devices obliterate long boot times, speed up how fast your programs and games load, and generally makes your computer feel fast. But not all solid-state drives are created equal. The best SSDs offer solid performance at affordable prices—or, if price is no object, face-meltingly fast read and write speeds.

Many SSDs come in a 2.5-inch form factor and communicate with PCs via the same SATA ports used by traditional hard drives. But out on the bleeding-edge of NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) drives, you’ll find tiny “gumstick” SSDs that fit in M.2 connections on modern motherboards, SSDs that sit on a PCIe adapter and slot into your motherboard like a graphics card or sound card, futuristic 3D Xpoint drives, and more. Picking the perfect SSD isn’t as simple as it used to be.

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Roboform Everywhere review: Solid password security

Wed, 2019-11-20 14:35

One of the earliest password managers, Roboform Everywhere doesn’t quite have the cachet that its longevity would suggest. Despite its age, it lacks much of the polish and sophistication of products like LastPass and Keeper. But its relative simplicity makes it good option for newbies or user who want get a better handle on their passwords without too much complexity.

Note: This review is part of our best password managers roundup. Go there for details about competing products and how we tested them. Setup and interface

Roboform Everywhere works on Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. The download page recognizes what platform you’re on and supplies the appropriate installation file.

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Laplink makes PCMover Express free for the Windows 7 transition, if you have Intel inside

Wed, 2019-11-20 14:20

Support for Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system ends in just under two months! To help users transition to a new Windows 10 PC, Laplink is offering a free copy of its PCmover software to help you get started—though there are a couple of catches. 

With Laplink—a piece of software that’s been around seemingly forever—you don’t need to worry too much about configuration; Laplink promises to do it for you. With PCmover Express, the software will move your files, settings, and profiles from a Windows 7 PC to a new Windows 10 PC.

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PCMover makes Laplink Express free for the Windows 7 transition, if you have Intel inside

Wed, 2019-11-20 14:20

Support for Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system ends in just under two months! To help users transition to a new Windows 10 PC, Laplink is offering a free copy of its PCmover software to help you get started—though there are a couple of catches. 

With Laplink—a piece of software that’s been around seemingly forever—you don’t need to worry too much about configuration; Laplink promises to do it for you. With Laplink Express, the software will move your files, settings, and profiles from a Windows 7 PC to a new Windows 10 PC.

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Leeo Smart Alert Nightlight review: $100 is cheap if it saves your house from burning down

Wed, 2019-11-20 11:19
It plugs into an AC outlet, alerts you to smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and contacts you via an app with a recording of the sound. A few false alarms aside, this security device is a smart buy for any home.

Jedi: Fallen Order review: The Star Wars game you're looking for

Wed, 2019-11-20 10:58

It’s always so mundane before I arrive. That’s my favorite part of Jedi: Fallen Order, the calm before the storm-that-is-me. Two Stormtroopers, sunlight glinting off their pristine white armor, silhouetted against the infinite greenery of Kashyyk, stand making small talk. Sometimes it’s about the local fauna. Other times, it’s the ongoing war. Most often, it’s about me.

Then like the devil himself I appear, a whirlwind of light from the shadows. The chatter gives way to alarm, frantic orders and shouts of “He’s here!” I am unstoppable, deflecting blaster bolts and cutting down one, two, three Stormtroopers, then flinging reinforcements off a nearby cliff.

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Apple is finally building a TV app for Windows because it still doesn't care about PCs

Wed, 2019-11-20 09:54
A new LinkedIn job listing suggests that Apple is working on UWP versions of its Apple Music and Apple TV apps for Windows.

8 tips to help you get started with Paint.net

Wed, 2019-11-20 06:49

DotPDN's Paint.net is a free photo-editing software program with a lot to offer, especially for the zero price tag. I know it’s not Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, Corel Painter, or Affinity, which have so many hundreds of features, it takes years to learn them all. But it does have the basic skill set to edit your photographs, it’s intuitive, and it’s easy to use.

Note: be sure to click the link to getpaint.net provided here and above. Searching for Paint.net online could lead you to sketchy downloads that might have bloatware or worse hitchhiking on the file. 

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Braven BRV-XL Bluetooth speaker review: Meaty, beaty, big and bouncy—and with a built-in bottle opener, too!

Wed, 2019-11-20 06:00
Zagg says this large weatherproof Bluetooth speaker is "Rocky Mountain Tested."

Tested: Galax's GeForce RTX 2070 Super WTF is a gloriously psychedelic graphics card you can't buy

Wed, 2019-11-20 06:00

Here’s what you need to know about the Galax GeForce RTX 2070 Super Work The Frames (WTF) graphics card: It’s fast, capable of churning out frames at blistering rates that can feed even high-refresh rate 1440p monitors, or 4K displays if you don’t mind bumping visual settings down slightly. Yes, it handles real-time ray tracing’s futuristic lighting effects too. And Galax’s outstanding space-inspired aesthetic design is downright groovy.

Seriously: This is the first graphics card I’ve ever tested that inspired me to run and grab my non-techie wife, drag her into my office, point, and exclaim, “Just look at this.”

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Kensington Pro Fit Ergo Wireless Keyboard review: Mastering this split-style keyboard takes patience

Tue, 2019-11-19 12:56

The Pro Fit Ergo Wireless Keyboard joins standing desks and ergonomic chairs as another means of defense against the beating our bodies take at the office. Its “ergonomist-approved design” (quirkily shaped, as you’d expect) presumably provides relief for those who have repetitive stress injures, and an ounce of prevention for those who don’t yet.

Measuring 19 x 10 x 1.5 inches and weighing 2.18 pounds, the Pro Fit is clearly built for comfort rather than space savings or portability. All that real estate accommodates six rows of keys including a dozen function keys, shortcut keys, and a full number pad.

The keyboard has a “split and sloped” design with an adjustable reversible tilt—courtesy of three flip-down feet—that positions your hands, wrists and arms in optimal alignment. A thick cushion running along the bottom of the keyboard provides added support for your wrists.

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Kindle vs. Kindle Paperwhite vs. Kindle Oasis: Which is best

Tue, 2019-11-19 06:30

When it comes to the Kindle e-reader, the decision often isn’t whether to buy one, but which one to buy. Amazon currently offers three models: the All-new Kindle, All-new Kindle Paperwhiteand All-new Kindle Oasis. As their names make clear, they’ve all been recently updated with new and improved features.

In some ways, they are more similar than ever. Thanks to the addition of a front-lit display to the entry-level Kindle, all three of Amazon’s e-readers can be read comfortably in any light. All three can be used with a Kindle Unlimited or Audible subscription.

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Philips Hue Smart Button review: Drop a switch for your Hue lights just about anywhere

Tue, 2019-11-19 06:00
This toggle button is surprisingly capable, but it can’t control other smart lighting systems.

Samsung Q60R 4K UHD smart TV review: The QLED color experience for less

Tue, 2019-11-19 06:00
The Q60R delivers Samsung's full quantum dot color experience and lux QLED features at an affordable price point. But there are trade-offs

Upgrading to a 5G phone: When's the right time?

Tue, 2019-11-19 06:00

If you’ve even glanced at a tech blog this year, you’ve surely seen the term 5G. Hailed as the next big advancement in mobility, 5G will be an enormous breakthrough for smartphones and other connected devices, letting us download movies in a blink of an eye, while eliminating frustrating slowdowns once and for all.

But just because you can buy a 5G phone right now doesn’t mean you should. Like all new tech, the earliest 5G phones are expensive and underwhelming, with soon-to-be-outdated parts and a vague promise of future-proofing.

But all that’s going to change very soon. 

In 2020, the 5G vision will begin to take shape in a real way, and if you’re interested in getting on board, you’ll want to make sure you upgrade to the right handset at the right time. Here’s what to look for, so don’t pull the trigger too early...

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

Tue, 2019-11-19 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.

Should you wait for Black Friday to upgrade your PC?

Mon, 2019-11-18 22:00

Ask the internet if you should wait until Black Friday to upgrade your PC, and you’ll get a stream of comments dismissing it as a time for good deals.

They’re not wrong, but they’re not exactly right, either. Even in 2019, which is an odd duck compared to other years because Thanksgiving falls so late in the month.

If you’ve got your eye on a very specific part, your chances of a deep discount are generally a toss-up. For most components, it's as likely you’ll get a better price at another time of the year as you will during Black Friday. The more niche it is, the rougher your odds.

On the other end of the spectrum, if all you care about is price and not so much specific models for your components, you can chain together Black Friday deals for ultimate savings. (In fact, you can go the full distance and build an entire budget PC for stupid cheap.)

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Logitech's Adaptive Gaming Kit makes playing more affordable for gamers with disabilities

Mon, 2019-11-18 15:19

Not all gamers can use gamepads. Microsoft’s monumental Xbox Adaptive Controller Kit broke down walls, making it much easier for people with disabilities to play games. On Monday, Logitech pushed the cause forward yet again with a $100 Adaptive Gaming KitRemove non-product link that comes with a wide range of controls that can be configured to fit your needs.

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Disney+ 'hack' panic stresses why you need to use unique passwords

Mon, 2019-11-18 12:12

The scary headlines started popping up almost immediately. “Thousands of hacked Disney+ accounts are already for sale on hacking forums,” ZDNet proclaimed last week. This morning, the BBC followed up with “Disney+ fans without answers after thousands hacked.” Well, I’ve got an answer for you, and it’s one you’ve probably heard before. Stop reusing passwords across multiple services and websites.

Both sites found “thousands” of Disney+ logins available on the Dark Web—just over 4,000, in the BBC’s case. When the publications reached out to affected customers, some admitted that they reused existing passwords for Disney+, while some denied it. But given the low number of so-called “hacks”—a few thousand confirmed for a service that already boasts over 10 million users is a drop in a pool, as RockPaperShotgun cofounder John Walker points out—it seems likely that bad password behavior is more to blame than a breach on Disney’s part.

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Google Stadia review: A glimpse of a future some other company will probably perfect

Mon, 2019-11-18 12:00

With Stadia, there are no easy answers. Every compliment I want to pay Google’s game streaming service—and there are quite a few actually—is shackled to a caveat, a complication, or a complaint. Sometimes all three.

That’s a problem. The biggest problem, really. Google intended Stadia to simplify the way people consume games. No hardware! Play your games anywhere, at any time! And yet the reality, at least for now, is a labyrinth of potential pitfalls. Does Google Stadia work? Sure, under the right circumstances and with the right game. Will it work for you, though? That’s a harder question, or rather a hundred questions, any one of which could prove fatal to Stadia’s chances.

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