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Razer Viper Mini review: At 61 grams, this is one of the lightest gaming mice ever made

Wed, 2020-03-18 06:30

When I picked up the box, I thought it was empty. That’s how light Razer’s Viper Mini is, the latest mouse to vie for the featherweight crown. Coming in at a mere 61 grams, or 2.1 ounces, it feels less like a mouse and more like a prototype, an empty plastic shell. It’s hard to believe there’s actual hardware under the hood—and yet it’s a proper gaming mouse. 

And in this case, small size is paired with a similarly small price tag. The Viper Mini can be yours for just $40. That had us asking, “What’s the catch?” Is there a catch? Read on to find out.

Note: This review is part of our roundup of best gaming mice. Go there for details on competing products and how we tested them. Tiny terror

Okay, caveat number one: It’s very small. Obviously that’s by design. It’s the Razer Viper Mini. I am not a small person though, and I find the Viper Mini too narrow for all-day use. The original Viper’s faux-ambidextrous (symmetrical, but not intended for left-hand use) chassis measured approximately 2.6 inches left-to-right. The Viper Mini is just over 2 inches across. It’s enough of a difference that I find not just my pinky but my entire ring finger dragging across the mousepad.

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15 movies cord-cutters can stream for free while waiting out the coronavirus

Wed, 2020-03-18 06:00
Great home entertainment doesn’t need to be expensive—if you don’t mind putting up with ads.

Angelcare Baby Breathing Monitor with Video review: An easy way to ensure your child's sleep safety

Wed, 2020-03-18 06:00
This video monitor also tracks the subtle movements of your child's respiration.

The best video baby monitors: Keep eyes—and ears—on your bundle of joy

Wed, 2020-03-18 06:00
Today's baby monitors are more capable—and more complex—than ever. Here's how to find the right one, so you and your baby can get some sleep.

Which Internet providers are lifting data caps during the coronavirus, and which aren't

Tue, 2020-03-17 14:38

As American businesses are forced to shut down because of COVID-19 (the novel coronavirus), customers are anxious about their bill for Internet access. Data caps, an annoyance in the best of times, suddenly can mean paying additional fees if a family sheltering in place goes over their limit.

Think of it: you're working from home, videoconferencing over Skype or Zoom, while your kids are playing games and chatting with friends. There's streamed movies to watch in the evenings. Disney+ and Netflix may be in constant rotation, adding to the bandwidth strain. That's a lot of data! 

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These 7 movies will be available online early to help ease your coronavirus anxiety

Tue, 2020-03-17 11:39
Emma, The Invisible Man, Birds of Prey, and more will be available to rent or buy from streaming services way ahead of schedule.

The Full Nerd ep. 129: Ryzen 4000 laptop CPUs in deep detail, Xbox Series X vs. gaming PCs

Tue, 2020-03-17 11:16

In this episode of The Full Nerd, Gordon Ung, Brad ChacosAlaina Yee, Adam Patrick Murray, and Willis Lai dive into the oh-so-exciting future of hardware, and today at least, it’s all powered by AMD.

AMD pulled back the curtain more fully on its Ryzen 4000 CPUs this week—the first laptop processors built using the cutting-edge 7nm process. And hot damn do they look good on paper. We explain how AMD optimized Zen 2 cores for laptops, why battery life shouldn’t be a problem for Ryzen 4000, and the monstrous new Ryzen 9 chips coming to challenge Intel’s most powerful notebook CPUs.

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The Silverstone Seta A1's futuristic looks belie its familiar features

Tue, 2020-03-17 11:00

Love it or hate it, Silverstone’s Seta A1 has a distinctive appearance: It sports a large, angular swath of aluminum across its front panel, spotlit by ARGB light strips along the edges.

The company touts the look as a “newer generation of chassis design language,” but outside of its futuristic accents, the Seta A1 largely mimics other mid-towers. As you’ll see in the video above, in which we pry apart the Seta and peek inside, the standout aspect of this case is again at its front—two 200mm fans, which come included along with a 120mm fan at the back. The removable drive cage is modular, allowing for partial deconstruction if you need more space for power supply cables.

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Sonos will release a brand-new operating system in June

Tue, 2020-03-17 09:00
Sonos S2 will support high-resolution audio, increased audio bandwidth, and more, but older components won't be compatible.

How to set up a VPN in Windows

Tue, 2020-03-17 08:54

VPN (virtual private network) technology lets a computer using a public internet connection join a private network by way of a secure “tunnel” between that machine and the network. This protects the data from being seen or tampered with by bad actors. The two most common use cases are consumer VPN services that allow individuals to surf privately from home or a public setting, and business-oriented solutions that allow employees to securely connect to a corporate network remotely.

Now that so many people are thrust into working from home due to the coronoavirus pandemic, we’ve confirmed that this procedure is up-to-date and working as described. You may want to check out our guide on working from home as well, with tech tips and general setup considerations from our extensive personal experience in home offices.

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How to turn your iPhone or Android phone into the ultimate work from home device

Tue, 2020-03-17 06:30

If you’re a worker in the U.S., Europe, or basically anywhere right now, there’s a good chance that you’re going to be working from home for a while. The coronavirus has affected businesses and workers all over the world, and many people are suddenly forced to transition from their offices to their bedrooms and still get work done.

We know, it’s not easy. We already published a full guide to setting up your home workspace for optimum productivity, but there’s still the pesky business of that ultimate time killer: your phone. While it can be tucked away in your bag or a pocket during work hours, your phone can become the most pivotal piece of your workflow—if you take the right steps.

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Best headphones: Our top picks for personal listening

Tue, 2020-03-17 06:00
Whether you're looking for an over-the-ear, on-ear, or in-ear model, we'll help you find the perfect pair.

DALI IO-6 Wireless Hi-Fi headphone review: Wonderful, warm sound awaits buyers of these noise-cancelling cans

Tue, 2020-03-17 06:00
Exceptional sound quality and noise reduction combine with solid construction and enviable comfort in this top-notch headphone.

Best VPN services: Reviews and buying advice

Mon, 2020-03-16 19:41

Choosing the right virtual private network (VPN) service is no simple task. A VPN should keep your internet usage private and secure, but not every service handles your data in the same way. Just look at the critiques of notable computer security experts and online pundits to understand the challenge. Even supposed experts in the field can turn out to be frauds

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The backbone of the Xbox Series X's ultra-fast storage technology is coming to Windows

Mon, 2020-03-16 18:09

Microsoft’s reveal of the Xbox Series X already makes the console look like a top-of-the-line gaming PC in terms of its specifications. But Microsoft said Monday that at least part of its revolutionary new storage architecture, DirectStorage, will be coming to real PCs. 

DirectStorage is the Windows API that will be used to control what Microsoft calls the Xbox Velocity Architecture. It’s Microsoft’s approach to reducing the storage capacity that an Xbox Series X game will require, promising to load the game and its assets as quickly as possible.

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Microsoft finally hits its goal of 1 billion devices running Windows 10

Mon, 2020-03-16 12:47

When it launched Windows 10 in 2015, Microsoft said it hoped to put the OS on 1 billion devices within three years of its release. Now five years later, Microsoft says that goal has been reached.

Microsoft set out with big ambitions to make Windows 10 the operating system powering most of the planet’s PCs, but just a year following the OS’s release, Microsoft was already backing off its plans to hit the billion-device goal. It then provided sporadic updates on the adoption rate as Windows 10 uptake continued. Now, that billion-device milestone has been reached.

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Intel teaches its Loihi brain chip to smell

Mon, 2020-03-16 12:00

Intel said Monday that it had successfully trained its “Loihi” neuromorphic chip as a sort of artificial nose, identifying the scents of ten different hazardous chemicals.

In a paper scheduled to be published Monday in Nature Machine Intelligence, Intel will describe how it teamed up with Cornell University to train Loihi to interpret and distinguish smells associated with potentially hazardous chemicals. In the future, the electronic noses could be used to identify harmful substances, even diseases. Parkinson’s, for example, has been associated with a particular smell

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Microsoft's Xbox Series X probably puts your gaming PC to shame: Full specs revealed

Mon, 2020-03-16 11:13

Microsoft fully pulled back the curtain on the hardware powering the Xbox Series X on Monday, going deep in both an Xbox blog and an inside look provided to Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry. The disclosures didn’t divulge much beyond what we already knew or could discern but made one thing abundantly clear: Microsoft’s next-gen console will put most gaming PCs to shame.  

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Apple launches new Powerbeats with more battery life, water resistance, and a much lower price

Mon, 2020-03-16 10:23
Apple has launched a new version of the Beats Powerbeats earphones with a slew of enhancements and a lower $149 price tag.

Ryzen 4000 CPUs explained: How AMD optimized Zen 2 for laptops

Mon, 2020-03-16 09:00

AMD’s highly anticipated Ryzen 4000 mobile CPUs may be built on the same 7nm process as the company’s wildly successfully Ryzen 3000 chips, but this time around the company is pinning the chip’s success on a carefully balanced design.

AMD officials said they’ve actually been working on the design for Ryzen 4000 mobile (code-named ‘Renoir’) since 2017, which, they note, predates the introduction of the company’s first Ryzen desktop chips.

The goal for the mobile chip couldn’t be more different. “The challenge in doing a notebook processor is balance: How do we balance the attributes that make it a good notebook processor?” said Dan Bouvier, AMD’s client products chief architect.

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