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LG one-ups OnePlus with the U.S. launch of the mid-range 5G Velvet

Tue, 2020-07-21 10:30

For the past few months U.S.-based LG fans have looked on with envy as the rest of the world was able to get their hands on the Velvet, a 5G-powered phone with a sleek design, high-end cameras, and a headphone jack. Today that changes.

LG has announced that AT&T subscribers will be able to purchase the Velvet in four colors: white, silver, red, and gray. The phone is also coming to Verizon and T-Mobile “later this summer,” the phone maker said.

The Velvet is something of a reboot for LG. With a renewed focus on design and price, the Velvet breaks from the flagship G phones that come packed with top-of-the-line parts. You won’t find a Snapdragon 865 or 12GB of RAM here. But you will get solid specs for a price that’s hundreds of dollars less than the premium crop of 5G Android phones:

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The AMD Ryzen 4000 G chips are for mainstream desktop PCs

Tue, 2020-07-21 09:00

Describing its newest line of Ryzen and Ryzen Pro chips with graphics cores as the “ultimate” desktop chips, on Tuesday AMD unleashed no fewer than 18 new processors. There’s a catch, though: They’ll be available only in pre-built systems from large PC makers.

Six of the new Ryzens, as well as three new Athlons, are aimed at consumers who would like leading multi-core performance and the ability to play games at 1080p resolution, the company said. Mirroring the nine new Ryzen and Athlons for consumers, AMD also introduced nine Pro models with enhanced security and manageability features.

”So if those enthusiasts are reading the news tomorrow and thinking ‘where my’s upgrade?!’ I promise it’s coming,” Hallock said.

The new chips are essentially desktop cousins of the company’s impressive Ryzen 4000 chips found in laptops, tuned for the higher thermal and power capabilities of a desktop. The new processors are built using a single-die design, with the x86 cores sitting alongside the Radeon graphics cores. 

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Extreme Makeover Phone Edition: How to customize your Android phone so it feels new again

Tue, 2020-07-21 07:52

Just because you aren’t buying a new phone this year doesn’t mean the one you’re using has to look as old as the day you bought it. We’re not talking about a new case or even a deep cleaning—we’re talking about a full digital makeover that makes your old phone look and feel like a brand-new one.

For an extreme makeover Download a new launcher IDG

Your Android phone comes with a launcher installed—Pixel, One UI Home, OnePlus, etc.—but the beauty of Android is you don’t have to keep it. You’ll find numerous launchers in the Play Store that open up your Android phone to nearly limitless opportunities with themes, icons, features, and optimizations that you won’t get out of the box.

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Jasco Enbrighten Zigbee In-Wall Smart Dimmer review: Wiring novice? Jasco’s idiot-proof switch has you covered

Tue, 2020-07-21 06:00
Wiring can be confusing, so Jasco offers a simplified workaround.

Extreme Makeover Phone Edition: How to customize your Android phone so it feels new again

Tue, 2020-07-21 06:00

Just because you aren’t buying a new phone this year doesn’t mean the one you’re using has to look as old as the day you bought it. We’re not talking about a new case or even a deep cleaning—we’re talking about a full digital makeover that makes your old phone look and feel like a brand-new one.

For an extreme makeover Download a new launcher IDG

Your Android phone comes with a launcher installed—Pixel, One UI Home, OnePlus, etc.—but the beauty of Android is you don’t have to keep it. You’ll find numerous launchers in the Play Store that open up your Android phone to nearly limitless opportunities with themes, icons, features, and optimizations that you won’t get out of the box.

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Best power banks 2020: The top portable chargers for your phone

Mon, 2020-07-20 18:44

Anyone who uses a smartphone knows the importance of carrying a backup battery pack. But given the large number of options on Amazon, you might feel overwhelmed, understandably. Besides the various charging specs, ports, and even cables you have to consider, there are a ton of competing brands. But how do you know which ones actually deliver on their promises? Is it worth saving a few bucks if a battery pack’s performance is lacking?

Cheat sheet: Best power banks 2020
  • Mophie Powerstation XXL: Best overall [mophie.com]
  • Xiaomi 10,000mAh Mi Power Bank: Most portable [amazon.com]
  • Sherpa 100AC Portable Power Bank: Best for road warriors [goalzero.com]
  • Anker Powercore+ 26800 PD: Best USB-C pack with Power Delivery [amazon.com]
  • RockPals 300W Power Station: Best portable power station [amazon.com]

We decided to do the legwork for you, acquiring a wide range of power banks from different manufacturers, some offering unique features. We then spent weeks testing the packs (read about our testing process in detail below).

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Reports: Windows 10X will remove Win32 support as focus shifts to a 'Cloud PC'

Mon, 2020-07-20 14:40

According to reports, Microsoft is even more explicitly pushing its upcoming Windows 10X as a competitor for Chromebooks and Chrome OS, retooling it to eliminate support for legacy code. Microsoft also plans a “Cloud PC” running apps from the cloud, they say. All this will have significant effects on Windows 10, which may slow its development cycle even more. 

Reports from ZDNet on the Windows roadmap rescheduling and the cloud efforts, as well as Windows Central’s own reporting on both efforts, seem to support the conclusion we reached when the Surface Neo was delayed and dual-screen devices were pushed out to 2021: that Windows 10X essentially is the new Windows 10 S.

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Why it's an awful time to buy a graphics card

Mon, 2020-07-20 11:58

If you follow PCWorld’s The Full Nerd podcast, you might know that my general rule of thumb is that you should upgrade your PC’s components when they’re no longer performing as well as you need. Waiting for new hardware tends to be a fool’s game because in the technology world, faster and better things come out at relatively breakneck speed.

If you’re sniffing around for a new high-end graphics card, however, consider holding off on the purchase for a few months. It’s an awful time to buy one right now.

Don’t get me wrong: Current enthusiast-class GPUs like the GeForce RTX 2080 Super and 2080 Ti kick all kinds of ass. But while AMD and Nvidia haven’t announced any new consumer graphics cards just yet, there’s every reason to believe we’ll see new high-end hardware from each over the next few months. Splurging on a $500 graphics card now runs a high risk of leaving you with a severe case of buyer’s remorse in mere weeks.

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The five 'power devices' mostly likely to arrive at Samsung's Galaxy Note 20 event

Mon, 2020-07-20 10:44

As Samsung prepares for its first Unpacked event of this stay-at-home era, rumors are swirling over what will be released. They’re about to get swirlier. Samsung mobile president TM Roh announced in a blog post that five, count em, five new “power devices” will be unveiled at the event. 

Update 3 pm ET: Added additional details about the Galaxy Note 20.

The Galaxy Note 20 is a slam dunk—being that it’s an August event and basically everything about the phone has already leaked. In fact, recent rumors point to two Note 20 devices, with a cheaper model joining the high-end Ultra much like the S20—but what are the other four “power devices that will arrive on August 5? Here are our best guesses:

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Samsung confirms 5 ‘power devices’ for its Galaxy Note 20 event—what are the other 4?

Mon, 2020-07-20 10:44

As Samsung prepares for its first Unpacked event of this stay-at-home era, rumors are swirling over what will be released. They’re about to get swirlier. Samsung mobile president TM Roh announced in a blog post that five, count em, five new “power devices” will be unveiled at the event. 

The Galaxy Note 20 is a slam dunk—being that it’s an August event and basically everything about the phone has already leaked—but what are the other four “power devices that will arrive on August 5? Here are our best guesses:

Galaxy Fold 2

It’s been more than a year since Samsung unveiled its first foldable phone, but after numerous production issues, it didn’t actually land on shelves until September 6, 2019. Almost exactly 11 months later, Samsung is expected to unveil its predecessor.

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Silverstone's sprawling LD03 gets a slight facelift in its revamped 2020 version

Mon, 2020-07-20 10:35

Last year, Silverstone released the Lucid LD03, a slender micro tower swathed in dark tempered glass. Like its inspiration—the company’s popular FT03, which came out in 2011—this mini-ITX case both rotates the motherboard by 90 degrees and vents air out the top.

Now Silverstone has followed up with the LD03-AF, a second-generation version that sports a key update in response to feedback on the first model. As you’ll see in our video above, one of the case’s three tempered-glass panels has a cutout to improve air flow around the graphics card and address concerns about GPU temperature. In theory, this addition should help lower temperatures by allowing a graphics card’s fans to draw in cool air from outside the case.

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Crucial P5 SSD review: Excellent bang for the buck

Mon, 2020-07-20 06:30

Having reviewed both Crucial’s P1 and P2 bargin NVMe SSD’s, I expected more of the same middling performance from the new P5. I was wrong: The P5 was strictly upper-crust with normal workloads, and actually took home first prize in one test. It’s not the drive you want for extremely long writes, but otherwise—it hauls the freight. 

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

Design and Specs

The P5 is available in four capacities: 250GB ($63 on AmazonRemove non-product link), 500GB ($87 on AmazonRemove non-product link), the 1TB we tested ($180 on Amazon), and 2TB ($400 on AmazonRemove non-product link). Those prices are pretty much on track for a mid-range NVMe SSD. Note that the 250GB version is rated for half the write speed of the larger versions. This is common across the industry in that capacity. A single NAND chip, instead of the two or more with larger capacities, doesn’t have as many data lines.

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How to get rid of old files and clean up your PC with Windows' Storage settings

Mon, 2020-07-20 06:00

How to find and delete unwanted files on your PC is a chore everyone thinks is going to take hours, when in fact it takes just a minute or two. Just don’t use Windows 10’s File Explorer! The Windows Settings’ Storage menu was designed to eliminate digital file clutter. It’s the DIY kit to the more sophisticated WinDirStat tool (which we recommend if you want to dive deeper). 

The need is only growing: Laptops with 128GB and 256GB SSDs are still the norm, but photos and videos already hog a lot of space. If you’re a fan of reboots of classic games like Flight Simulator, you need to know that they can take up to 150GB of storage, just by their lonesome. Here’s how to take back some of that space. 

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EZVIZ C3X outdoor camera review: Great camera, buggy cloud subscription

Mon, 2020-07-20 06:00
Color night vision is the highlight of a clutch of AI-enabled security features included with this outdoor security camera. But an inability to access our video stored in EZVIZ's cloud was a surprising misfire.

Best NAS drive for media streaming and backup

Mon, 2020-07-20 06:00
If you rip and library your own media, there's no better tool for storing and streaming it than a NAS box. These versatile storage devices also serve as the perfect personal, secure cloud for backing up your PCs and other devices.

I tried switching from the 13-inch MacBook Pro to the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Here's why I failed

Sun, 2020-07-19 07:30
Here are the reasons why I just can’t switch from the Mac to the iPad Pro, even though I loved typing on the Magic Keyboard.

iPhone 6, 7, and SE owners: Here's how to get $25 from Apple

Sat, 2020-07-18 16:30
The Northern District of California court has launched a website for claims related to the iPhone throttling class-action lawsuit.

AMD inside: Lenovo's latest Legion gaming laptops, desktops deploy Ryzen CPUs

Fri, 2020-07-17 14:27

If you need yet more proof that AMD’s modern Ryzen processors are on a roll, consider Lenovo’s latest move. This week, the company added Ryzen options to five different Legion gaming systems, spanning laptops and desktops alike. That would’ve been unthinkable just a year or two ago, but AMD’s Ryzen current CPU lineup goes toe-to-toe with the best Intel chips on offer. Not all of them will be available in North America, alas.

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The Full Nerd ep. 145: Threadripper Pro and the best games we've played this year

Fri, 2020-07-17 10:43

In this episode of The Full Nerd, Gordon Ung, Brad Chacos, Adam Patrick Murray, and special guest Hayden Dingman wade into the best games we’ve played this year, and the best games on the horizon.

First, though, Gordon outlines what you get from AMD’s new Threadripper Pro chips. Basically, they’ve got the same clock speeds and core counts as the consumer versions, but pack in even more PCIe 4.0 lanes and 8-channel memory. These things are beasts—but you can only buy them in prebuilt workstations, alas.

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How to get Peacock on your Fire TV right now

Fri, 2020-07-17 08:30
How to sideload Peacock on Fire TV while Amazon and NBCUniversal fight over money.

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