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     Monday February 18, 2019
 
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Best cheap laptops: We rate the best-sellers on Amazon and Best Buy
Sun, 17 Feb 2019 22:01:00 -0800
Source: PCWorld
When you’re looking for a good, cheap laptop, knowledge is power. Every budget machine (which we’re defining as Windows laptops costing $500 or less) is the product of compromise—corners carefully cut here and there to hit a price point.Your job is to find the one that checks off the most boxes for your needs. We’ll show you what to look for by highlighting which budget laptops among the best-sellers currently listed at Amazon and Best Buy are worth buying. We haven’t necessarily tested these specific machines (we’ll let you know if we have), but we’ve seen enough similar ones to have a good idea of the pros and cons. We’re also focusing on 14-inch and larger laptops, because part of the great deal should be getting a decent-sized display.To read this article in full, please click here
This week in games: Hollow Knight gets a sequel, Neill Blomkamp makes a live-action Anthem trailer
Fri, 15 Feb 2019 12:09:00 -0800
Source: PCWorld
What did I miss? Sorry, I’ve been locked in a room for the last week or so, finishing up our reviews of Metro Exodus, Far Cry New Dawn, and Crackdown 3. Was there news this week? Does anything exist, outside those three games?Apparently so. There’s a Hollow Knight sequel in the works, EA’s got Neill Blomkamp to make a spiffy live-action Anthem trailer, and Harmonix has a new VR game, plus some brief notes about this week’s ugly Activision layoffs to wrap it up.To read this article in full, please click here
Best smart lock for a keyless home
Fri, 15 Feb 2019 11:54:00 -0800
Source: PCWorld
Keys are yesterday’s tech, your smart home needs a smart door lock.
Buy this $45 Netgear modem and stop paying your Internet provider's sky-high monthly rental fees
Fri, 15 Feb 2019 08:18:00 -0800
Source: PCWorld
Paying your internet service provider to rent a modem gets pretty expensive as the months roll on—but it doesn’t have to. Using your own modem lets you kick those fees to the curb. Today, a discount-coupon combo brings Netgear’s CM500 modem down to $45 on Amazon from a list price of $63. With many ISPs charging around $10 per month for modem rentals, this deal will pay for itself in no time.Netgear’s modem works with all major ISPs, so compatibility with your current service shouldn’t be a problem. It’s also compatible with any Wi-Fi router, so you won’t have to buy all-new connectivity gear unless the modem supplied by your Internet provider doubles as your router. A simple set-up process makes it easy for even the tech-uninitiated to get connected, while 16x4 channel bonding helps speeds even at peak usage times.To read this article in full, please click here
Solid-state drive prices get even more ridiculous: This 240GB SSD is just $30!
Fri, 15 Feb 2019 06:59:00 -0800
Source: PCWorld
Sweet holy moly the prices of SSDs just keep on dropping! Right now, Amazon is selling a Kingston A400 240GB 2.5-inch SSD drive for $30. This deal has been around for a few weeks now, but we still love it simply for its ultra cheap price. It’s the nearly the same price as a 120GB Kingston A400 we spotted for $28 in July—a price we called ludicrous at the time. (That drive is $20 now. Ludicrous.)240GB isn’t great for capacity, but it’s an awesome option as a boot drive on a desktop PC, or as a hard drive replacement on a secondary laptop that doesn’t require much storage space. We haven’t reviewed this particular SSD, but it seems to be well reviewed on Amazon—and for $30 how can you go wrong, really?To read this article in full, please click here
The ultra-thin Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e has an OLED screen, Android Pie and no S Pen for $400
Fri, 15 Feb 2019 06:48:00 -0800
Source: PCWorld
Forget folding phones, Samsung might have finally made an Android tablet you want to buy. Instead of updating last year’s Galaxy Tab S4 with a Snapdragon 845 processor and slimmer bezels and calling it a day, Samsung took a different path with the Galaxy Tab S5e, adding an “e” to its name to emphasize its lower price tag.Just like its rumored Galaxy S10e phone, the Galaxy Tab S5e is Samsung’s version of affordable premium, bringing high-end parts and features for just $400, or $250 less than the Tab S4. And on paper, the Tab S5e doesn’t give up too much to its higher-priced sibling:To read this article in full, please click here
Steam's iron grip on PC gaming is probably over even if the Epic Games Store fails
Fri, 15 Feb 2019 03:30:00 -0800
Source: PCWorld
At the end of January, Deep Silver pulled Metro Exodus from Steam and moved it to the Epic Games Store. It was the latest in a series of high-profile defections, made perhaps more noteworthy because it came just two weeks before Metro’s February 15 release date. Some portion of the internet was, undoubtedly, happy about the move—or at least indifferent. Another, much louder portion of the internet was very, very mad.As happened with Origin once upon a time, with GOG.com, with Humble, and with Bethesda.net, a significant subset of PC gamers looked at Epic and said “Nay, this will not stand.” They pledged to boycott Metro, to boycott the Epic Games Store, to ignore any game that didn’t grace Steam’s wizened storefront.To read this article in full, please click here
Ever president: A cord-cutters guide to the best President's Day movies available for streaming
Fri, 15 Feb 2019 03:00:00 -0800
Source: PCWorld
Presenting 12 great movies with presidents both fictional and real, both flawed and revered.
Best gaming laptops: Know what to look for and which models rate highest
Thu, 14 Feb 2019 16:33:00 -0800
Source: PCWorld
Picking a gaming laptop is a lot more fun today than it was five years ago, when a “real” gaming laptop meant 12 pounds of back-breaking hardware to haul around. Gaming laptop cheat sheet Our quick-hit recommendations:· Best 17-inch gaming laptop: MSI GS75 Stealth [MSI.com] Best 15-inch gaming laptop: Razer Blade 15 [amazon.com] Best budget gaming laptop: Dell G3 15 [dell.com] Best portable gaming laptop: MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RE  [amazon.com] Best price-is-no-object gaming laptop: Origin EON17-X [originpc.com] With major advances in laptop CPUs and graphics technologies, you can now get great gaming performance in sizes from slender to huge, and prices from budget to sky-high. That’s where this handy-dandy buyer’s guide come in. We’ll name the best gaming laptops currently available, and we’ll highlight what to look for when buying a gaming laptop. (Check back often, as we’ll update this list as new products arrive.)To read this article in full, please click here
Best true wireless earbuds: Free yourself from the tyranny of cords
Thu, 14 Feb 2019 15:38:00 -0800
Source: PCWorld
Truly wireless earbuds let you ditch all cables in our post-headphone jack world, but like with anything else, their quality varies. Our top picks offer great audio without sacrificing battery life or comfort.
Best USB car chargers for your phone
Thu, 14 Feb 2019 14:59:00 -0800
Source: PCWorld
There are plenty of options for keeping your phone or tablet charged while on the go. We’ve already taken a look at portable USB battery packs, as well as the USB-C variety. Now were ready to take a look at car chargers.These small devices don’t differ from each other all that much. Some have an indicator light, others have illuminated ports. Some feature Quick Charge for devices that support it, others don’t. One attribute they all share, however, is two USB ports—i.e., the days of the single-port car charger are long over. To read this article in full, please click here
How to enable HDR in your Ring security camera
Thu, 14 Feb 2019 14:07:00 -0800
Source: PCWorld
Ring is adding an HDR (high dynamic range) feature to its cameras, but it doesn't come switched on by default.
Microsoft skips way, way ahead in new Windows 10 build
Thu, 14 Feb 2019 12:40:00 -0800
Source: PCWorld
With Microsoft’s latest “19H1” feature release of Windows 10 nearing completion, the company has opted to “skip ahead” and release builds of subsequent feature releases to testers. What’s totally unexpected is that the “20H1” build—not due for another year—will be among those releases.Windows 10 Build 1836 (which will eventually be released under 20H1) doesn’t have any noteworthy features; it’s mainly a collection of bugfixes and tweaks to existing features, such as a “tamper protection” setting that prevents bad actors from messing with your security settings. Known issues, such as a “green screen of death” when launching games with anti-cheat software, means that this is really a developer-only build.To read this article in full, please click here
The iPhone SE is available on Apple’s online Clearance Products store (yet again!) [sold out]
Thu, 14 Feb 2019 11:06:00 -0800
Source: PCWorld
Apple’s 4-inch affordable iPhone is back, in a way. And you can buy one now.
Can Excel track changes? How to add Track Changes to the Ribbon menu
Thu, 14 Feb 2019 10:30:00 -0800
Source: PCWorld
Can Excel track changes? Yes, and it’s easy to do. The process is similar to Track Changes in Word, except Excel highlights the altered cells as opposed to the altered words and sentences.Two notes before we begin:  Track Changes does not work in spreadsheets that contain tables. To use Track Changes on these workbooks, select the table, click the Design tab, then click Convert to Range. To solicit edits from others, be sure to post the workbook in a shared location. First, you may have to add the Track Changes buttons to your Ribbon menu, because some versions do not show this feature on the default Ribbon.To read this article in full, please click here
Ring Alarm is the best security-focused smart home system you can buy. Today it's cheaper than ever
Thu, 14 Feb 2019 08:30:00 -0800
Source: PCWorld
We all want to make sure our homes stay safe from intruders and other threats, and a smart security system can provide peace-of-mind and a watchful eye to your connected home. Today, you can get the excellent five-piece Ring Alarm system for $159 on Amazon, down from a list price of $199 and the lowest we’ve ever seen it.This DIY-style starter kit comes with five pieces to build out your own home security system. The base station provides connectivity between your system, Wi-Fi, and your mobile device, while the range extender makes sure that signal reaches all your system’s components. The keypad allows you to arm and disarm your system, as you’d expect. Finally, motion and contact sensors will warn you of movement and open doors or windows. You can also control your system from anywhere using the mobile app or use voice control when you connect to an Alexa-enabled device.To read this article in full, please click here
Back up every you own with this gigantic 10TB WD external hard drive for $130 off
Thu, 14 Feb 2019 07:04:00 -0800
Source: PCWorld
World Backup Day is just a few weeks away, and on March 31, every tech website on the planet will remind you to backup your data. Today, you can get a jump on the annual nag by picking up a desktop backup drive with a massive amount of storage for cheap.Best Buy is selling the WD Easystore 10TB USB 3.0 external hard drive for $170Remove non-product link, a $130 discount off the drive’s suggested selling price, but to get the deal you have to sign-up for Best Buy’s free online membership. If you have a spare email address where you don’t mind receiving marketing email from Best Buy then signing up for the extra discount is well worth it. Amazon has a similar drive available for $230, for example, and Best Buy is selling this to non-Best Buy members for a sale price of $200 right now.To read this article in full, please click here
Zoho Office Suite taps AI to provide a free, powerful alternative to Office 365
Thu, 14 Feb 2019 06:00:00 -0800
Source: PCWorld
If you don’t want to pay for Microsoft’s AI-powered Microsoft Office, there are alternatives—including Zoho’s free Zoho Office Suite. Zoho’s alternatives to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Google Keep launch today, complete with their own intelligent features that are arguably friendlier than Microsoft’s own.The updated, smarter Zoho Writer 5 word processor and Zoho Sheet 5 spreadsheet join Zoho Notebook, a new addition that intelligently transforms links into “cards” that pull data from the web. The suite also includes Zoho Show, a free alternative to PowerPoint. For this revision, the Zoho Office Suite includes Zia, an AI assistant that Zoho integrated into its CRM solution last year.To read this article in full, please click here
Crackdown 3 review: Why?
Thu, 14 Feb 2019 05:43:00 -0800
Source: PCWorld
In 2007, I played theCrackdowndemo more than probably any other Xbox 360 release that year. Thedemo, not the full game. It was probably a year or two before I bought a copy of the full game, but theCrackdowndemo had a generous one-hour timer on it, and in that one hour you could do whatever you wanted. Skill progression was accelerated as well, I think, so in that hour you could easily get to the point where you were jumping over buildings or tossing cars at enemies.It was amazing. Not only were open-world games relatively new and novel in 2007, but none were as willing to let you break the experience. Nothing was a legitimate threat inCrackdown. And how could it be? You could jump four stories into the air, carry an entire arsenal of explosives, power-lift cars, punch an enemy down an entire city block.To read this article in full, please click here
5 obscure Android features you need to start using
Thu, 14 Feb 2019 03:30:00 -0800
Source: PCWorld
If you’ve been using Android for more than a few generations, it can be easy to forget just how far we’ve come. Google has added a ton of useful features to Android, and some of the best don’t get as much attention as they deserve. But we can fix that. Here are the five most underappreciated features hiding in the latest versions of Android. Notification channels Notification overload is common when you have a bunch of noisy apps installed. But you don’t have to shut off all your notifications or uninstall any apps just to reduce the clamour. Android supports notification channels, allowing you to cut down on the noise while still getting the information you care about.To read this article in full, please click here
Qobuz review: A music streaming service on the verge of greatness
Thu, 14 Feb 2019 03:00:00 -0800
Source: PCWorld
The service finally comes to the U.S. after being exclusive to Europe for the last 10 years.
Far Cry New Dawn review: A surprisingly satisfying refresh, with some lingering old problems
Thu, 14 Feb 2019 03:00:00 -0800
Source: PCWorld
Far Cry: New Dawn is something of a paradox. On the one hand it’s exactly what the series needed, a significant mechanical shakeup that’s breathed life into ideas that grew stale two or three entries back. There’s complexity, here. Friction, you might say. Much of what you’re doing is the same as it was in Far Cry 5, which itself isn’t all that far removed from Far Cry 4 or even 3. But New Dawn remixes features or adds layers on top that force the player to engage with the world more—and it mostly works.To read this article in full, please click here
Cut the cord, or else!
Thu, 14 Feb 2019 03:00:00 -0800
Source: PCWorld
As cord-cutting grows, folks who stick with cable and satellite are getting squeezed.
How to unblock blocked websites
Wed, 13 Feb 2019 10:25:00 -0800
Source: PCWorld
Some governments, schools, and businesses try to block websites in order to reduce distractions, conserve bandwidth, or censor content. If you want to circumvent such limitations—and you’re willing to assume any attendant risks—you can try to enlist the aid of a VPN, or virtual private network.How a VPN works A VPN creates a secure tunnel between your PC and a server in another location. When you connect to a VPN server, all of your communication travels through that tunnel, so third parties can’t monitor it. In this setup, your online identity—your IP address—becomes anonymized, and you can access blocked websites.  IDG Mullvad offers a variety of country and city locations from which to base your online acitivities.To read this article in full, please click here
Best smart bulbs for your connected home
Wed, 13 Feb 2019 09:30:00 -0800
Source: PCWorld
Today’s smart bulbs are brighter and easier to control than ever, but choosing the right one for your environment remains a challenge.
Amazon is taking $70 off the sleek new Beats Studio3 Wireless Headphones Skyline Collection today
Wed, 13 Feb 2019 07:42:00 -0800
Source: PCWorld
The Beats Studio3 Wireless headphones look great in the newest Crystal Blue, Desert Sand, Shadow Gray, and Midnight Black Skyline colors, but at $350 they're hardly an impulse buy. Today, though,you can save $70 on a pair of the popular over-ear headphones on AmazonRemove non-product link, bringing them down to a more-palatable $280.To read this article in full, please click here
Metro Exodus review: Finding humanity in a post-nuclear hellscape
Wed, 13 Feb 2019 07:00:00 -0800
Source: PCWorld
In Metro Exodus, you learn to appreciate silence. It’s unnerving, at first, the dead stillness of a post-nuclear hellscape. Soon you come around to it though, because silence means—for a brief moment, at least—nothing is trying to kill you. Nobody is yelling “He’s over there!” and no one is shooting at you. You’re not being mauled by mindless ghouls. Demons don’t circle above you, diving down to scratch at your face. You’re not drowning, or on fire, or choking on poisonous fumes, or bleeding out on the sand.Silence means safety. And in Metro Exodus safety is a rare blessing, punctuated by the beep of your makeshift motion detector picking up a new den of horrors.To read this article in full, please click here
Grab these deals on PC components today and get started on an awesome Ryzen gaming rig
Wed, 13 Feb 2019 06:56:00 -0800
Source: PCWorld
If you’re in the market for some components as you sketch out a new PC gaming rig, we've got some killer deals for you today on the three most important parts: the processor, GPU, and hard drive.First up, is the Ryzen 5 2600 with Wraith Stealth Cooler at Amazon for $150Remove non-product link, which includes a free copy of Tom Clancy’s The Division 2. This CPU offers six cores and twelve threads with a base clock of 3.4GHz and a boost clock of 3.9 GHz. It might not be as powerful as the 2600x—which brings the same core and thread count but has a slightly higher base and boost clock—but for the money it's hard to beat the 2600.To read this article in full, please click here
Samsung is offering a great deal on the Galaxy S10 before we even know how much it costs
Wed, 13 Feb 2019 06:38:00 -0800
Source: PCWorld
Samsung isn’t unveiling the Galaxy S10 for another week, but the company already wants you to buy one. Head over to Samsung.comRemove non-product link and you’ll see a giant banner promoting the Feb. 20 Galaxy S10 live stream with a new option to reserve one, save some money, and receive it by March 8.To read this article in full, please click here
Kaspersky Total Security vs. Norton Security Premium
Wed, 13 Feb 2019 03:30:00 -0800
Source: PCWorld
If there’s one antivirus suite that gets people excited it has to be Kaspersky. The popular suite from Russia-based company Kaspersky Labs is a favorite among tech types, and that’s despite the controversy from 2017 where the company was accused of being a tool of Russian intelligence.Then there’s Symantec’s Norton Premium Security, a go-to security solution for many years that’s still a great choice—and our current favorite antivirus suite.To read this article in full, please click here
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