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Published: Wed, 20 Sep 2017 11:49:35 -0700

Last Build Date: Wed, 20 Sep 2017 11:49:35 -0700

 



Spoiler alert: Google's Pixel event will still be more exciting than Apple's iPhone X reveal

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 08:46:00 -0700

So much for the element of surprise. With two weeks to go until Google’s big end-of-year event on October 4, we already know everything that’s going to be announced. After months of rumors and speculation, especially about the Pixel 2 flagship phone, Droid-Life dropped a bomb yesterday and published images and prices for everything Google is about to release.

You might remember that the same thing happened right before the iPhone X event last week, reducing the presentation to a checklist rather than a show. Granted, Apple relies more on the wow factor than Google does, but yesterday’s massive leak must have rankled CEO Sundar Pichai just a little. We already had a pretty good idea about what was coming, but now there’s little reason to get excited. 

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ExpressVPN review: A good service with no public leadership

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 05:00:00 -0700

ExpressVPN in brief:

P2P allowed: Yes

Number of servers: 1,500+

Business location: British Virgin Islands

Number of country locations: 94*

Cost: $99.95 per year

Running a business is a public act. That’s why I don’t understand why some VPN providers go to such great lengths to keep the identities of their leaders private. Today’s review looks at one such company, ExpressVPN.

Business anonymity is an issue we’ll get into in more depth in the trust section. For now, let’s dive into the app.

ExpressVPN uses a very simple single-panel interface. It doesn’t have a map you can click on or anything like that. All you have is a simple on/off button that takes up the majority of the panel. Under that is a suggested VPN server to connect to and then two buttons: Smart Location and Choose Location. Click the former and ExpressVPN will choose a server for you based on your location.

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Xbox One X: Everything you need to know about this powerful gaming console

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 04:49:00 -0700

Xbox One X.

That’s the official name Microsoft has given to Project Scorpio, the upcoming 4K-ready cousin to the Xbox One. It will, in Microsoft’s words, be “the most powerful console ever.”

That was Microsoft’s main message during the console’s reveal at E3 2017, repeatedly emphasizing the Xbox One X’s advantages over the competing PlayStation 4 Pro (without ever mentioning its rival console by name, of course). And it sure is a powerful console. Read on for details on Xbox One X pricing, availability, specs, noteworthy features, and compatible games.

Editor’s note: This article is constantly updated as new info comes out. It was last updated September 20, 2017 with information about standard edition Xbox One X preorders and “enhanced” games.

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Ezviz Mini Trooper review: Weatherproof and wireless security

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 04:00:00 -0700

This indoor/outdoor camera offers strong security monitoring in an easy-to-install package.


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Lego Boost review: Yup, tablet-connected Lego robots are as cool as they sound

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 04:00:00 -0700

Build really cool Lego robots, and then control them with your tablet? Yes, please. Lego Boost ($160 on Amazon) is aimed at kids ages 7 to 12, so I was a little worried that it would be too hard to enjoy with my son—he’s 5 (and a half!) and just started kindergarten. But while I had to direct the complicated builds, controlling the finished robots and vehicles with the iPad app was well within his grasp—and so much fun for both of us.

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Best smart sprinkler controller

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 03:00:00 -0700

Whether you’re motivated by water conservation, saving money, a drive to render every aspect of your home smart, or all the above, a smart irrigation controller will scratch that itch.


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How to buy the perfect PC case

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 03:00:00 -0700

No matter whether you treat your computer as the centerpiece of your home office or just stuff it under your desk, buying the right PC case matters.

At a minimum, you want to pick a PC case that’s the right size for your needs and has room for all your hardware and USB devices. But some PC cases offer much, much more. Spacious innards, lower temperatures, muffled sound, extensive water-cooling support, and fancy-schmancy tempered glass panels or RGB lighting are just the tip of the iceberg.

Here’s a guide to buying a PC case that’s perfect for you. This is just the first step in your DIY journey; be sure to check out PCWorld’s guide to building a PC, too.

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The best fitness trackers at every price point

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 14:08:00 -0700

It's time to get serious about your health and fitness goals. These activity trackers can help.


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Microsoft releases a Forza Motorsport 7 demo for Windows 10

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 13:20:00 -0700


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Pixel 2: Everything we know about Google’s next flagship phone

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 12:35:00 -0700

Google flipped the script last year when it retired the Nexus line in favor of its own branded handsets. Now all eyes are on the Pixel 2. With improved specs and even better cameras, the new phones are poised to propel Google back to the head of the class with a pure Android O experience.

Since the Pixel and Pixel XL landed, the LG G6 and Galaxy S8 have upped the ante for premium phones with their slim bezels and 16:9 screens. So, like last year, we’ll be watching to see whether the next version of Google’s handset can chip away at Samsung’s dominance. Details are already starting to leak about the Pixel 2 phones, so stay tuned to this article for the very latest information.

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GoG's giving away Abe's Oddysee right now as part of its Big Deal Sale

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 11:53:00 -0700

GoG's Big Deal Sale is happening right now, and as part of the ongoings, you can get a free copy of Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee. First rolled out in 1997, this game might be old, but it's a fun platformer that can still entertain. The offer lasts until 5 AM Pacific on September 21.

Once you've grabbed your free game, GoG has a bunch of other games on sale you should check out. The popular Kerbal Space Program is $24 instead of the usual $40. Obduction, which we found to be thoroughly enjoyable, is $18 instead of $30.

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Amazon's updated Fire HD 10 is a fast, powerful iPad competitor for $150

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 07:33:00 -0700

In the world of consumer-level 10-inch tablets, there are basically two to buy: At the high end, there’s Apple’s 9.7-inch iPad, and at the lower end, Amazon’s Fire HD 10. But Amazon’s newest tablet aims to blur that line as much as possible.

Amazon’s fresh 10-inch Fire HD tablet ($150 and up on Amazon) is a huge improvement over the prior generation in nearly every way. It starts with the screen, which is now 1080p Full HD (1900x1200 resolution) rather than 720p (1200x800). It also has a 30 percent faster 1.8GHz quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM, which is double the amount the previous model. There’s more storage too—32GB in the base model instead of the paltry 16GB—and battery life has been upped from 8 hours to 10 hours.

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Fitbit Ionic review: A great fitness tracker, a mediocre smartwatch

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 06:00:00 -0700

Fitbit's new Ionic smartwatch outpaces Apple and Android Wear watches when it comes to fitness tracking, but it falls short as a smartwatch.


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Rexing V1 dash cam review: A good basic model, but grab the GPS add-on

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 03:30:00 -0700

Rexing’s $100 V1 dash cam takes very good day video, decent night video, and is easy to set up and use. We like it. But it’s bare-bones: Adding GPS, which we recommend, costs an additional $30. If you have room in your budget, for $170 you could step up to Rexing’s dual-channel, dual-camera V1LG with integrated GPS, or go to our full list of up on dash cam reviews for more options.

Design and features: On the spare side

The Rexing V1 is a little on the large size. Not large enough to interfere with anything if it’s mounted in the correct location (behind the mirror is good), but if you’re looking for tiny—this isn't it.

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iOS 11 review: Apple’s most ambitious and impressive upgrade in years

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 03:00:00 -0700

iOS 11 is a must-have for any iPad user—it'll increase your productivity. It's great for iPhone users, too.


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Dishonored: Death of the Outsider review: A fine follow-up to a stealth masterwork

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 03:00:00 -0700

The biggest flaw with Dishonored: Death of the Outsider is that it released after Dishonored 2. Memories of Dishonored 2’s busted PC launch are still all-too-easily conjured up in my mind, but there’s another aspect we don’t talk about as often: Its level design. Here’s an excerpt from my review last year:

Dishonored 2 takes first-person stealth to new heights...As far as this type of Thief-style steal-everything-that-isn’t-nailed-down stealth game goes, Dishonored 2 is a masterwork.”

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PayPal is offering a free one-year ShopRunner membership right now

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 11:45:00 -0700

Successful holiday shopping is all about preparation, and right now you can start getting ready with a free one-year membership for ShopRunner. The only requirement is that you have a PayPal account, and sign-up for your ShopRunner membership using the same email address you use on PayPal.

This is a pretty good deal, as ShopRunner memberships usually costs $79.95 per year, though there are other ways you can get a free account. American Express and select Mastercard cardholders, for example, get complimentary access to ShopRunner as part of their credit card accounts.

If you've never heard of it, ShopRunner is a multi-retailer alternative to Amazon Prime. With ShopRunner you also get free, 2-day shipping, free return shipping, and members-only deals. ShopRunner service works with all kinds of retailers that include technology shops like Newegg, MacMall, and Staples.

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Prep to Ace 11 IT Certification Exams with This Cisco Training (90% Off)

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 10:30:00 -0700

Across the globe, we enjoy a state of constant connectivity, and we have Cisco Systems to credit for much of it. The world's leading designer, manufacturer, and provider of networking equipment, Cisco Systems plays a pivotal role in keeping today's networks up and running, which is why demand for Cisco-trained professionals is through the roof. Of course, before you can break into this booming field, you'll need some certifications to validate your knowledge. That's where the Cisco Associate Certification Training Bundle comes in, and it's on sale for over 90 percent off.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here


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Samsung Bixby Voice: How to set up and use the Galaxy S8 assistant

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 10:22:00 -0700

Update 9/18/17: Samsung will finally let users turn off the side button so it doesn't open Bixby Home when accidentally pressed. See our Bixby tips section for how to do it.

It’s been a long time coming, but Bixby has finally found its voice. Samsung has begun pushing out the final piece of its AI package, Bixby Voice, to all Galaxy S8 phones in more than 200 countries and territories. Before long, millions of people will be saying, “Hi Bixby” to summon the new assistant—though Bixby still only supports English and Korean despite the worldwide rollout.

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CCleaner hacked with malware: What you need to know

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 07:33:00 -0700

It seems that CCleaner, one of PCWorld’s recommendations for the best free software for new PCs, might not have been keeping your PC so clean after all. In an in-depth probe of the popular optimization and scrubbing software, Cisco Talos has discovered a malicious bit of code injected by hackers that could have affected more than 2 million users who downloaded the most recent update.

On Sept. 13, Cisco Talos found that the official download of the free versions of CCleaner 5.33 and CCleaner Cloud 1.07.3191 also contained “a malicious payload that featured a Domain Generation Algorithm as well as hardcoded Command and Control functionality.” What that means is that a hacker infiltrated Avast Piriform’s official build somewhere in the development process build to plant malware designed to steal users’ data.

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48% off Sycees Plug-in LED Night Light with Dusk to Dawn Sensor, 6-Pack - Deal Alert

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 06:29:00 -0700

These night lights turn themselves on & off from dusk to dawn, have offset prongs that won't block your second outlet, and feature long lasting LED bulbs that won't make any noticeable impact on your energy bill at only 2.2 Kwh per year. Their frosted white diffuser ring puts out just the right amount of soft light for you to find way in the dark without having to turn on any overhead lights. A pack of 6 is currently discounted 48% down to just $12.59. See this deal on Amazon.

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Crucial BX300 SSD review: One of the fastest MLC SATA SSDs we've tested

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 06:20:00 -0700

You may color us surprised any time we receive an SSD such as Crucial’s new BX300 that’s not based on 3D TLC NAND. Actually, you may color us delighted. MLC NAND, even 3D (aka stacked, layered, tiered, etc) like that used in the BX300, can consistently perform near the limit of SATA 6Gbps, where TLC generally can’t. Once you exceed the cache in a TLC drive, performance dips, sometimes drastically. With MLC, you get consistent straight-line performance, generally 450MBps or better.

Design and features

The BX300 is available in 120GB, 240GB, and 480GB flavors that we found on Amazon for $60 (50 cents per GB), $90 (37 cents per GB), and $150 (31 cents per GB) respectively. Competitive, though we’ve seen cheaper TLC drives. The 120GB and 240GB models have 256MB of DRAM cache, while the 480GB (the one we tested) has 512MB. There’s also 4GB of SLC NAND cache per 120GB of MLC.

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C by GE Sol review: GE has transplanted Alexa’s brain into a funky lamp

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 04:00:00 -0700

You might love or hate this smart lamp's design, but it's practically a must have if you use C by GE smart bulbs.


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The best video editing software: Reviews, buying advice, and more

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 03:00:00 -0700

Video editing software ranges from free versions that are pretty bare-bones to feature-packed prosumer versions. Indeed, they vary as much as the reasons why people take up video editing—whether to make home videos, to become YouTube stars, to create VR experiences, and more.

Most video editing software for consumers and mainstream users is best used for one or another of these specific functions, but there are a few generalists out there, too. For this roundup we’ll first be looking at the middle ground: Paid consumer video editing programs that cost $80 or less.

Whatever your purpose, you should be able to find consumer software for less than $100 that can meet your needs. We’ll soon be updating this roundup with our top picks among free versions and prosumer versions, so stay tuned for more reviews.

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Nero Video 2017 review: As good as it gets for ripping, copying, and repackaging video

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 02:00:00 -0700

Nero Video Editor may not be as well known as Nero's DVD burning and copying software, but its video editing program walks the same path. It’s an affordable and reliable consumer video editor with a heavy emphasis on creating videos that you will export to physical media.

That means support for things like the Ultra HD standard for Blu-ray, and robust tools for building out DVD menus and functionality in addition to your standard video editing tools.

In terms of features, the editing process is quite standard. Nero Video 2017 has plenty of effects and transitions, and we were pleased to find that many of them support 4K. But the timeline-based editing doesn’t offer anything unusual over other applications. In fact, the user interface feels simultaneously simplistic and counter-intuitive. Buttons are large and clearly labeled, and most features are hidden behind a few menu clicks in both the advanced and express editing modes. However, that means you have to do some digging to learn how to do things, whereas some other apps do a better job of putting the most critical things up front.

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AVS Video Editor 8.0 review: Simplicity has its pros and cons

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 02:00:00 -0700

AVS Video Editor 8.0 bills itself as “easy video editing software,” and it nails the ease of use with great help resources and a very straightforward interface that almost works like a wizard guiding you from step to step. It’s just too bad it’s not more powerful for the price.

The interface, features, and controls cover all the basics, and are standard. If you’ve used another video editor before, you’ll learn AVS quickly. If you haven’t, an exceptional library of video tutorials makes learning very easy.

AVS helps you edit videos in a very traditional workflow, and its core functionality is good. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of special features like 360 video or automation, other than a fully-functional MIDI music editor and drum machine in its sister application. More concerning is the fact that AVS appears to support only one video track. This makes projects beyond the basic impossible.

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Corel VideoStudio Pro X10.5 review: A versatile and elegant video editor

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 02:00:00 -0700

Corel VideoStudio Pro X10.5 (formerly Ulead VideoStudio) combines an elegant and professional-feeling interface with high-end specialty features like 3D and 4K Ultra HD, making it one of the most satisfying and versatile consumer-level video editors on the market.

VideoStudio nails the basics with a great multi-track video editor, a big library of effects, and all the standard video editing features usually just a right-click away from the main view. The user interface is dark and slick, and it looks much more modern than many competing products that still rest on older Windows aesthetics. Better still, VideoStudio is highly customizable, allowing you to move interface elements around at your leisure. It’s not as robust in this regard as a professional suite, of course, but it doesn’t need to be.

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Pinnacle Studio 21 Ultimate review: Plenty of features and one problem

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 02:00:00 -0700

Pinnacle Studio 21 Ultimate offers more options compared to other consumer video editing software packages we've tested, making it very attractive for amateurs looking for a bigger-than-usual creative toolset. The quality isn’t always there, but the quantity of features is welcome.

Supported import and capture sources are broad, ranging from direct capture from your connected camera to DVDs and Blu-rays. You can, of course, import any video you want from your hard drive and work with that. But what really makes Pinnacle Studio 21 is its wide range of additional options. It supports stop-motion video capture from any connected camera, 3D, 360 video, and even multi-camera editing.

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VideoPad Video Editor review: A great starter kit for up-and-coming social media stars

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 02:00:00 -0700

VideoPad Video Editor is an affordable, entry-level video editing application that’s particularly powerful for creators who want to publish their videos to YouTube or Facebook. It’s easy to use, and it makes the workflow of social publishing much easier than it is in some other apps.

The social publishing features include, for example, the ability to easily fill out all the metadata (description, title, tags, and so on) for your YouTube video and upload it directly from the application, ready to go, without even touching YouTube’s web publishing tools.

Videopad has all the basic home editing features, though it doesn’t have the machine learning, facial recognition, and other cutting-edge technologies you see in some more expensive programs.

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