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Published: Mon, 11 Dec 2017 14:20:46 -0800

Last Build Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2017 14:20:46 -0800

 



Uplay is giving Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag away for free this week

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 11:43:00 -0800

When publishers give away games, it often feels like the digital equivalent of a box marked “Free!” on the side of the road—inevitably you open it up to find a VHS copy of Captain Ron, a pair of ripped sweatpants, and some scratched-up Neil Diamond records. Case in point: Last week Deep Silver gave away copies of Homefront and like...why?

But occasionally a freebie comes along that’s actually worth nabbing. Cue Ubisoft, which this week is giving out free copies of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag—either the best of the Assassin’s Creeds or, if you’ve been in this a long time, maybe the second-best (after ACII). Okay, some people really love this year’s Assassin's Creed: Origins and might say third best.

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Lowe's is selling a two-port Anker power bank for $17

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 11:09:00 -0800

Lowe's has a nice deal today on an Anker Power Bank charger. For $17, you can get a 10,400 mAH Anker portable charger from the big-box store. This is about $11 cheaper than the price you can find on Amazon, and $10 off Lowe's usual price.

This charger comes with two USB ports, and supports high-speed charging via Anker's PowerIQ and VoltageBoost technologies. Anker claims this Power Bank can charge the iPhone 6 up to four times, the Samsung Galaxy S6 up to three times, or the iPad Air once. Each port pumps out a maximum of 2.4 amps each. The Power Bank only comes in black, and it has indicator lights on the side to show how much power the device has left.

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Best home security camera: Keep an eye on the home front

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 09:35:00 -0800

A boom in wireless security cameras is inspiring a movement in DIY home surveillance. Follow our buying guide and read our reviews to find the best option for you.


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HP patches hundreds of laptops to remove hidden keylogger

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 06:44:00 -0800

If you bought an HP laptop anytime in the last five years, it could be tracking your every keystroke. Over the weekend HP revealed that nearly 500 of its notebooks dating as far back as 2012 shipped with a secret keylogger installed. Alongside the announcement, HP released driver updates to eradicate the software on affected laptops.

Security researcher Michael Myng discovered the keylogger when probing the Synaptics touchpad software on an HP laptop. HP’s security bulletin says the “potential security vulnerability” affects all laptops with “certain versions of Synaptics touchpad drivers”—not necessarily just HP models.

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Cambridge Audio CXUHD 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player review: A classy chassis with Dolby Vision

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 04:45:00 -0800

This handsome device is a top-notch disc player that's great for digital audio systems, but it doesn't off any type of analog output.


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Eaton Halo RL56 review: Upgrade your existing canisters to smart and efficient LED lighting

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 04:45:00 -0800

If you have recessed lighting, this is a superior solution to replacing the bulbs.


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The best free video editing software: Great tools for YouTube stardom and more

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 03:30:00 -0800

The best free video editing software can be surprisingly good. The choices vary widely and include include scaled-down, trial versions of professional suites, open-source alternatives with a plethora of features, and simple applications aimed at home video creators. Our top picks will be functional for many users, across many use cases.

If you’re willing to spend a little money, check out our reviews of paid consumer video editing software. Typically, those are easier to use than the free ones here thanks to great support and tutorial libraries and more refined interfaces, but they don’t necessarily have more features.

To read this article in full, please click here


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MSI Trident V3 Arctic review: Looks like a console, runs like a high-end desktop

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 03:00:00 -0800

Smaller form-factor PCs typically go one of two ways: First, you can prioritize the small part of the equation. This leaves you with something beautifully tiny, but at the cost of future upgrades—space-saving comes with the caveat of proprietary and non-replaceable parts. (See: Alienware Alpha.) Or you can prioritize future upgrades, which typically means a larger and less aesthetically pleasing machine.

The MSI Trident V3 is the rare machine that can do both—at least to some extent.

MSI Trident V3 vs. consoles

It really is tiny. Scale can be tough to judge in photographs, but at 13.6 by 9.2 by 2.8 inches, the Trident is so small it’s hard to believe there’s a full-size PC inside. It’s smaller than my launch-version Xbox One for instance, and quite nearly smaller than the new Xbox One X. (It's smaller depth, but the Trident is about an inch longer and maybe half an inch taller.) The Trident sits comfortably in “console-sized” territory, in any case.

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VSDC review: This free video editor holds back too much

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 02:45:00 -0800

VSDC has a lot of features you won’t find in other free video editors, like picture-in-picture, video stabilization, and the ability to upload multiple YouTube videos at once. If you can deal with its quirks, it’s one of the most powerful options available. But its interface isn’t very user-friendly, it has some major limitations, and the free version essentially throttles the speed at which you can process your videos.

The interface is powerful, but it’s not for the uninitiated. A great deal of information is displayed at any given time--enough to overwhelm newbies. That said, VSDC does come with a drag-and-drop, step-by-step wizard mode that will get very basic videos made even if you aren’t sure what you’re doing. It’s just too bad that the software’s most powerful features are so user-unfriendly.

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Hitfilm Express 2017 review: Powerful features lie behind a quirky interface

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 02:00:00 -0800

Hitfilm Express takes aim at indie filmmakers with great tutorials and powerful features. Its unconventional interface could turn off true amateurs who just want to make a home movie, and it has an unappealing download procedure, but it’s still a great choice if you want to start making fun videos that mirror the sorts of effects and techniques you see in professional films and web series.

The user interface is stylish and pleasant to use, but it does diverge from the standard consumer video editing software workflow in a couple of areas. If you’re not already accustomed to other software, this won’t bother you a bit, but it could be an adjustment for some.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Lightworks for Windows review: The free version falls short in export options

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 01:27:00 -0800

Lightworks has an unusual history for free video editing software—it was born out of high-end, professional film editing software that was used to edit such Hollywood classics as Pulp Fiction. Today, it’s just as good with digital media, and it’s offered in both a paid and free version. The free version is strikingly powerful in terms of features, but its export options are very limited.

Lightworks guides you through the process of setting up your first project with simple tooltips, but they’re a far cry for the powerful tutorials and wizards available in some other software. While it supports all the import formats that the paid version does, it can be tricky getting everything to import easily for the uninitiated—you have to define project settings like resolution, framerate, and so on before you import your files. If you set anything different from your video, you’ll have to dive into settings and tweak them until you get it right.

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Shotcut review: This open-source video editor is impressive

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 01:06:00 -0800

Shotcut is an open-source, free video editing program that has been around for more than a decade. It’s not the most intuitive or professionally presented, but beneath its rough presentation lies a remarkably powerful program.

When you first start Shotcut, you might be surprised at what you don't see—very little of its interface is exposed in the beginning. But click on the buttons in the top bar, and you’ll find numerous views and UI elements that prove to be much more robust than you’d guess at first glance. They’re resizable and undockable, making this one of the most heavily customizable free video editing programs out there.

Most tasks are simple and effective if you know where to find them. Trimming videos is very easy. Exporting is also efficient; this program isn’t beautiful, but there is little fault in its functionality. We do wish there were more and better transitions and effects, though.

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Play with—and program—Star Wars droids with Sphero's new R2-D2 and BB-9E

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 00:01:00 -0800

If you thought Sphero’s original BB-8 app-enabled robot was a blast back in 2015, just wait ‘til you see their take on Star Wars’ most beloved droid: R2-D2.

The Sphero R2-D2 ($179.95 MSRP; same price on Amazon and the Apple store) is here in advance of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which continues the sci-fi saga’s main storyline, and it’s just as immediately impressive as BB-8. It’ll cruise around your home with ease using the iPhone/iPad companion app, the head rotates and reacts just like the real droid in the movie, and it even has movie-perfect sound effects and little animation routines.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Microsoft is selling the excellent Dell XPS 13 and Dell Inspiron 15 for hundreds off

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 13:40:00 -0800


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Best Buy is selling a Philips Hue–Google Home Bundle for $199 today

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 12:07:00 -0800

Now is a good time to get started on smart home plans for yourself or someone on your gift list: Today, Best Buy is selling a Philips Hue smart bulb-Google Home bundle for $199.

Usually that price would cover the Philips Hue bulb package alone. The bundle includes four Philips Hue white and color ambiance bulbs, a Philips Hue Bridge, and a Google Home smart speaker.

Philips Hue is a popular choice for smart light bulbs, and when we last looked at them in late 2016—Philips has released a new generation since then—we found them to be the "best-looking bulbs on the market."

To read this article in full, please click here


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This week in games: New Portal (sort of), new Tomb Raider (sort of), Mega Man 11 (for real)

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 12:00:00 -0800

Most of this week’s news came from The Game Awards, and so we’ve spun all those trailers off into their own article. Head over there if you want footage of Metro: Exodus, Death Stranding, and the director of A Way Out mocking his own publisher EA.

It’s been a surprisingly news-heavy week though. Aside from The Gaming Awards, we also got word of a new Tomb Raider, a new Portal (sort-of), a new Mega Man, a set of Devil May Cry remasters, and more. Oh, also somebody streamed a UFC pay-per-view match on Twitch while pretending to play UFC 3.

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Titan V and Nvidia's bleeding-edge Volta GPU: 5 things PC gamers need to know

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 09:35:00 -0800

Seven long months after the next-generation “Volta” graphics architecture debuted in the Tesla V100 for data centers, the Nvidia Titan V finally brings the bleeding-edge tech to PCs in traditional graphics card form. But make no mistake: This golden-clad monster targets data scientists, with a tensor core-laden hardware configuration designed to optimize deep learning tasks. You won’t want to buy this $3,000 GPU to play Destiny 2.

To read this article in full, please click here


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The Game Awards 2017: Every new game trailer

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 07:12:00 -0800

Ah, The Game Awards—like an E3 press conference that pulls double duty as an awards show. Now on its fourth year, Geoff Keighley and Co. descended on Los Angeles last night for another round of World Premiers, Exclusive Reveals, and even a couple of awards to hand out. Oh, also Josef Fares, director of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons flipped off the camera, yelled about the Oscars, then talked smack about his publisher EA. And, fair warning, swore a lot.

src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/XS-ojEEKrBA?ecver=1" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" data-mce-fragment="1">

So that was great. Probably the only video you really need to watch.

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35 great PC games for Linux

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 06:42:00 -0800


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Titan V revealed: Nvidia's monstrous Volta GPU finally comes to PCs

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 06:41:00 -0800

Nvidia’s cutting-edge Volta GPU architecture has finally come to desktops. Late Thursday night, Nvidia launched the monstrous, golden Titan V, a $3,000 graphics card with 12GB of HBM2 memory and over a thousand more CUDA cores than the game-slaying Titan Xp. But this beast isn’t made for gaming—though it’d no doubt be very good at it.

Instead, Nvidia says this card “transforms the PC into an AI supercomputer.” While the still-available Titan Xp was theoretically a compute card, but better suited as a best-in-class gaming card, the Titan V doubles down on data crunching. Nvidia is giving Titan V owners free access to AI, deep-learning, and high-performance computing software via the Nvidia GPU cloud. To boost the hardware’s machine learning capabilities, the card is equipped with the same “tensor cores” found in the Volta-packing Tesla V100 that launched in May.

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WyzeCam review: $20 home security camera is a real steal

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 04:30:00 -0800

This unassuming cube packs the most popular features of cameras 10 times its price.


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Alienware 15 review: It's built like a tank you can actually carry

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 03:30:00 -0800

How much does two inches matter? You wouldn’t think it’d be a huge factor, but when I reviewed the Alienware 17 I called it “staggeringly huge” and said it was “time to hit the gym” if you wanted to carry one around. Since then, I’ve spent a few weeks using the Alienware 15—a laptop with the potential to be just as powerful, but in a slightly lighter package.

And it turns out that’s good enough.

This one is just right

Don’t get me wrong: The Alienware 15 is still a massive laptop, especially if you put it up against competing 15-inchers. This isn’t a Razer Blade-style device, and portability suffers. Alienware could really use a lightweight line as an alternative—and maybe we’ll start seeing those soon, as the line between Alienware and Dell begins to blur.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Qualcomm invades Intel's turf with Snapdragon PCs that push battery life over performance

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 17:35:00 -0800

Updated at 5:32 PM PT on Dec. 7 with additional details of the processor emulation.

Qualcomm is invading Intel’s turf, announcing Windows PCs that use the same Snapdragon chips as your phone, with battery life that can last well into a second day of use. 

On Tuesday at its Snapdragon Technology Forum, Qualcomm showed off its Snapdragon 835 Mobile PC Platform on a HP Envy x2 tablet and an Asus NovaGo ultrabook. (A third PC, from Lenovo, will be announced at CES in Las Vegas.) Both run on the company’s Snapdragon 835—yes, the same processor (and cellular modem) inside popular phones like the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.

Qualcomm uses its success with smartphones to justify its foray into PCs. You demand all-day performance from your phone, while it’s constantly connected to the Internet. Why shouldn’t your PC deliver the same?

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Microsoft Surface Pro (2017): Everything you need to know

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 11:15:00 -0800

Updated Dec. 7: We've updated this story with the price of the Surface Pro (2017) with LTE. See "Price and release date" below for more details.

With the the Surface Pro (2017), Microsoft has rebooted its flagship Surface product, one of the leading 2-in-1s in the category. It’s also shedding the numerical designations of prior products. If you’ve owned a Surface Pro 4, however, you already have a good idea of what Microsoft has in store for you with the new Surface Pro. 

We’ve assembled everything we know about the new Surface Pro: the price and release date, the specs, and our official review. We’ve also answered some of the questions we think you’ll have about Microsoft’s new device.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Best Buy is selling an 8TB external hard drive for $140

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 11:02:00 -0800

If you missed out on Best Buy's Black Friday deal on the WD Easystore 8TB external hard drive, you're in luck. Today it's one of the big box retailer's daily doorbusters, though its price tag of $140 isn't quite as cheap.

That's still a very good deal, however. While this Easystore drive is part of Western Digital's exclusive line for Best Buy, its equivalents at Amazon and other retailers are currently selling for about $45 more. This discount also undercuts last week's sale price of $150.

This drive comes with USB 3.0, which WD says allows transfer rates of up to 5 gigabits per second. As with other WD drives, it comes with WD Backup (the company's automated backup software) to keep all the files on your PC in more than one place.

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Hands-on: HP's Envy x2 is a Surface clone boasting 20 hours of battery life

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 05:00:00 -0800

The HP Envy x2 joins a growing cohort of Surface Pro clones, but with one big difference: Inside it is a Snapdragon 835, offering battery life of up to 20 hours. We spent a little time with it at the Qualcomm Technology Forum to see what a new chip would do in an established category.

Externally, HP’s Envy x2 changes another key thing about HP’s line of Windows tablets: it removes the kickstand from the tablet itself and puts it inside the keyboard case. Normally, that’s a risky decision: Samsung’s Galaxy Book is an otherwise excellent Windows tablet, but its keyboard case doesn’t allow the flexibility of a true kickstand.

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The Full Nerd episode 36: The best PC hardware of 2017

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 03:30:00 -0800

It’s that time of year yet again, and what an amazing year it’s been for computer enthusiasts. In this episode of the Full Nerd, Gordon Mah UngBrad ChacosAlaina Yee, and Adam Patrick Murray name the best PC hardware of 2017.

These aren’t PCWorld’s formal picks—they’re the opinions of the Full Nerd podcast group alone. We didn’t hold staff-wide meetings or create elaborate Excel spreadsheets full of information about every gizmo reviewed in 2017. Instead, each member of the Full Nerd crew walked into the studio armed with their personal lists of the best hardware in each category, ready to cajole and convince the others to their cause. No one leaves until we’ve named every winner. And in the cases where we couldn’t break a deadlock, we turned to the live audience as the tiebreaker.  

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Why Amazon and Google just can't get along

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 03:00:00 -0800

Amazon Prime Video finally arrives on Apple TV, but don't hold your breath for Chromecast support.


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Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 will bring speed, security and smarts to high-end phones

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 15:56:00 -0800

On Wednesday, Qualcomm revealed its first concrete details of the Snapdragon 845, the next-generation mobile chip that stands a good chance of being in your next smartphone. The 845 will ship in early 2018, and appear in phones sometime after that.

Qualcomm calls the Snapdragon 845 a chip to improve both artificial intelligence and immersion, blending the future of smart devices with the past. At its heart lies the Kryo 385, the semi-custom, upgraded CPU. It’s still an eight-core device, with four performance cores running at 2.8GHz and four energy-efficient cores running at 1.8GHz. That represents a 25- to 30-percent improvement over the existing Snapdragon 835 in the performance cores, and a 15-percent improvement in the smaller, energy-efficient cores. 

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Five ways the Snapdragon 845 chip will impact 2018 Android flagship phones

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 14:29:00 -0800

If you thought this year's Android flagship phones were fast, wait until next year. Qualcomm has unveiled its next-generation chip, the Snapdragon 845, and it's more than just the next number in the evolution: It's a ground-up redesign of the platform's architecture. And it's sure to have a profound affect on next year's crop of premium Android handsets.

While the 835 was mostly focused on performance and speed, the 845 brings a slew of enhancements to how phones will use the processor for AI, photos, and, of course, battery life. We'll probably have to wait until the Galaxy S9 to see it in action—Samsung is once again the manufacturing partner—but once the new chip arrives, it will mean great things for mobile power users. Here are five ways the new chip will impact future Android flagship phones:

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