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Updated: 40 min 49 sec ago

AMD's new Ryzen 9 laptop CPUs aim to topple Intel's most powerful Core i9 chips

Mon, 2020-03-16 09:00

There’s bad news, and there’s real bad news for Intel if you believe AMD’s tests.

First, the bad news: AMD’s upcoming Ryzen 7 4000-series CPUs can outperform Intel’s Core i9 in multi-threaded tasks. The real bad news? AMD is also announcing two, even more potent Ryzen 9 4000 CPUs today: 

  • The 8-core, 16-thread Ryzen 9 4900HS is rated for a 35-watt TDP, with 12MB of cache. It will feature a base clock of 3GHz and a 4.3GHz boost clock, while its eight 7nm Radeon Vega graphics compute units will run at 1,750MHz.
  • AMD’s fastest mobile chip to date, the 8-core, 16-thread Ryzen 9 4900H will feature a 3.3GHz base clock and a 4.4GHz boost clock at a rated 45 watt TDP. It’s otherwise identical to the HS version of the chip.

That brings AMD’s stable of full-power H-series chips and lower-power HS-series chips to a total of six for the Ryzen 4000 lineup, which you can see below.

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Battery life won't be a problem for AMD's Ryzen 4000 notebooks

Mon, 2020-03-16 09:00

AMD’s upcoming Ryzen 4000 mobile CPUs are expected to leave Intel’s laptop processors in about 7nm of dust when they’re released. But what hasn’t been confirmed is just how well AMD’s new Ryzen 4000 CPUs will compete on the most important number for many laptop users: battery life. It’s worth digging into, as battery life has been an Achilles heel for Ryzen in notebooks thus far.

On Monday, AMD finally unveiled battery numbers that it claims make it competitive with Intel’s best and brightest in unplugged run time—and advocated for a new way to look at testing.

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SimCam 1S security camera review: Superb AI features are the highlight of this affordable camera

Mon, 2020-03-16 06:00
This security camera's person, animal, and vehicle detection, plus facial recognition, keep you on top of happenings in and around your home.

Best DVR for cord cutters

Mon, 2020-03-16 06:00
TiVo vs. Tablo vs. Channel Master vs. Plex: None are ideal, but one might work for you.

Bill Gates steps down from Microsoft's board to pursue charity work

Fri, 2020-03-13 17:40

Bill Gates has stepped down from Microsoft’s board to pursue his philanthropic activities, although he will remain as an adviser to executives there.

Gates co-founded Microsoft, and he’s since become synonymous with the company. But today, Microsoft said in a statement that Gates left the board to “dedicate more time to his philanthropic priorities including global health, development, education, and his increasing engagement in tackling climate change.” 

Gates will still remain as Technology Advisor to Satya Nadella and other leaders at the company, Microsoft said, leaving him a role to play at the company he co-founded. Gates transitioned out of day-to-day work at Microsoft to head the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in June 2008. He served as Microsoft’s chairman, leaving that post on Feb. 4, 2014.

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How the Linux kernel will work in Windows 10's next big update

Fri, 2020-03-13 15:15

Microsoft confirmed Friday that it will ship Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 in the upcoming Windows 10 20H1 (2004) release, though updates will be handled though Windows Update, and not the app.

As we noted in our review of Windows 10 20H1, Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL2) is an optional feature that you can add to Windows, or ignore entirely. Basically, it’s a text-based version of Linux that now runs on top of its own Linux kernel, one of the key upgrades over WSL1. Performance should increase as a result.

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Apple to hold WWDC 2020 online due to coronavirus pandemic

Fri, 2020-03-13 13:03
The conference—which will likely introduce iOS and iPadOS 14—will still be held in June on unspecified dates.

How to create an insane multiple monitor setup with three, four, or more displays

Fri, 2020-03-13 10:47

By now, a dual-monitor setup has become commonplace. Multitasking on a single screen is just way too confining. But why stop at two displays?  I can speak from experience: Having multiple monitors (and I’m talking three, four, five, or even six) is just…awesome, and something you totally need in your life.

Right now, my main PC has a triple-monitor setup: my main 27-inch central monitor, with a 24-inch monitor on either side. I use my extra monitors for a number of things, such as comparing spreadsheets side-by-side, writing articles while also doing research, keeping tabs on my social media feeds, and, of course, watching Netflix.

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Best Raspberry Pi kits: 11 options for beginners and experienced makers

Fri, 2020-03-13 08:43

The Raspberry Pi is an incredibly flexible little computer. These days even more so thanks to the introduction of the Raspberry Pi 4 with its multiple RAM options. You can use this miniature PC for a wide range of projects, from the pragmatic to the innovative to the nostalgic—the same hardware can power a retro gaming setup as readily as an ad-blocking server. But if you’ve never handled a circuit board in your life, getting started with a Raspberry Pi may seem intimidating.

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Leviton Decora Smart Wi-Fi 4-Speed Fan Controller review: No hub required

Fri, 2020-03-13 06:00
The logical (if not best) choice of fan control if you’ve settled on the Decora Smart Wi-Fi platform for smart home control.

How to delete your Alexa and Google Assistant voice recordings automatically

Fri, 2020-03-13 06:00
Sure, you can manually delete events from your Alexa and Google Assistant voice histories, but it’s easier to let Alexa and Assistant do it for you.

How to work from home during the coronavirus: Pro tips from PCWorld's editors

Fri, 2020-03-13 06:00

Every day more and more Americans are being asked to work from home, to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus. We can’t tell you where to buy hand sanitizer or toilet paper, but we can give you all the tech tips we’ve learned from years of working from home ourselves.

Sure, nailing down the tech is a large part of it. But we realize, too, that there’s a “softer” side: what hours you keep, how to stay in contact with coworkers and friends, and even what to wear. 

Define your workspace

First things first: As we’re learning, there’s no “normal” with the coronavirus. But that also applies to where you live. “Home workers” now include apartment dwellers, Millennials who share a house, Midwesterners with basements, suburbanites in McMansions, and more. You’ll have to figure out what works for you, within your own unique environment. Still, some rules apply to just about everyone.

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PCWorld's March Digital Magazine: Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Thu, 2020-03-12 19:28

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—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 March issue

In the March issue of PCWorld read our hands-on with the Galaxy S20 Ultra: the most lavish smartphone ever. See how the iPhone stacks up against Android phones. Will VR break through in 2020? The hardware is cheap, the games are promising, and virtual reality could finally be ready for the mainstream.

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The best laptops: Premium laptops, budget laptops, 2-in-1s, and more

Thu, 2020-03-12 15:30

2020 looks like it’s going to be a great year for laptops. We have AMD and Intel battling it out on the CPU front, new mobile discrete GPUs enabling thinner, lighter, and faster gaming laptops, and battery life that won’t quit. Check out the latest reviews below. 

Latest laptop news and reviews

Our latest reviews include our new top pick for best budget convertible, and a gorgeous laptop from Samsung that has just one problem. 

  • The Lenovo Yoga C740 2-in-1 (currently $790 on is one of the most impressive 2-in-1 laptops we've seen in its price range. Weighing in at just three pounds and jammed with nifty features, it packs in plenty of productivity pep, and it can last the whole day without its AC adapter. That's why it's our new pick for best budget convertible. Read our full review.
  • If your budget is more generous, Lenovo's made another great convertible in the C940 14 ($1,430 from the Microsoft Store, or $1,300 at Best BuyRemove non-product link. It has a good-sized 14-inch display, yet it still stays just under the 3-pound mark. It doesn’t sacrifice keyboard travel in pursuit of thinness, and its speakers aren’t godawful. As a convertible that makes no major sacrifices, the C940 Yoga 14 is well worth considering. Read our full review. Ben Patterson/IDG

    The Lenovo Yoga C740 2-in-1 is a budget convertible that's peppy, well-featured and affordable.

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

Thu, 2020-03-12 14:38

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.

Say, did you buy an Owl Car Cam? The company shut down abruptly, leaving users stuck with expensive dash cams and no support. Read more about the untimely death of Owl Cameras, Inc.

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I was a webcam zombie! How to look alive and professional in videoconferences and web meetings

Thu, 2020-03-12 13:37

We all know webcam zombies—people who may look normal walking down the street, but who, when they sit in front of a webcam for a videoconference, look ghastly. This issue is coming up more frequently as more people work from home or work remotely, and haven't thought about how they look onscreen.

The problem could be the lighting. It could be their sloppy clothing choices. It could be the junk piled in the background that you’d just as soon not see. In any case, they look like someone you’d rather avoid than engage in a web chat.

I didn’t know I was one, until a colleague sent me a screenshot of how I looked online (see above). Yeah, pretty horrifying. I knew I couldn’t keep that look and also keep my clients.

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How to set up two monitors for double the screen real estate

Thu, 2020-03-12 11:50

Even a generous 24-inch monitor can feel cramped when you’ve got multiple windows open on your desktop (and who doesn’t?). It’s much worse if you’re confined to a laptop screen. Fortunately, it’s simple enough to add a second monitor to your PC setup and spread out. 

Any modern desktop or laptop PC has the graphics capability to run dual displays. All that’s required is a second monitor. You can get a very nice second screen for around $100, such as a  HP’s 21.5-inch, 1920x1080 Pavilon IPS monitor for $99 on Amazon or Acer’s 21.5-inch, 1920x1080 G226HQL for $90 on Amazon. Both feature fairly thin bezels, an important feature if you want to minimize the interruption between your two screens. 

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Use your TV as a computer monitor: Everything you need to know

Thu, 2020-03-12 11:45

You’re not the first person who’s wondered what it would be like to have a giant desktop monitor. Think of all the multi-tasking and immersive gaming you could manage if you had a 50- or 60-inch monitor instead of a standard 24-inch monitor! But you’ve probably noticed that as monitors get bigger, they also tend to get prohibitively expensive.

You’ve probably already got a big screen in your house, though—a TV. At the end of the day, isn’t an HDTV just a giant, living-room-oriented computer monitor?

Not exactly. While you can use a TV as a computer monitor in most cases, that doesn’t mean it’s the best option. In fact, it’s likely less attractive, convenient, and usable than you think (not to mention, probably not that cheap). There’s a reason dirt-cheap 32-inch HDTVs aren’t flying off the shelves to be used as budget-friendly jumbo screens.

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If you want a new MacBook, you should probably wait

Thu, 2020-03-12 10:21
Apple whisperer Ming-Chi Kuo has chimed in about Apple's MacBook roadmap, and big changes could be in store over the next 12 months.