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Preview: Today @ PC World

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Published: Wed, 23 Aug 2017 09:08:35 -0700

Last Build Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2017 09:08:35 -0700

 



Why the Galaxy Note8 will make you fall back in love with the S Pen

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 08:10:00 -0700

Here’s the thing that bummed me out the most about last year’s Galaxy Note7 debacle: Not only was the smartphone effectively banished forever, but so was its accompanying S Pen. Granted, a larger version of the S Pen was launched with the Galaxy Tab S3, but having a pen fit into your device is a different experience altogether.

The S Pen is a unique accessory. It’s not just a stylus—it’s a pressure-sensitive productivity tool that unlocks a wide array of software features you won’t see on other mobile devices. It’s one of the reasons people pick the Galaxy Note series over all other smartphones available. Though the Galaxy Note8 mostly adopts the same S Pen enhancements of its predecessor, it’s worth revisiting what makes the pen so involving in the first place.

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This is Samsung Galaxy Note 8's dual-camera, Live Focus advantage

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 08:05:00 -0700

Samsung’s Galaxy Note8 has finally been revealed, and if you have any interest in photography at all, you’ll be focused on the phone’s new dual-camera system. This is a first for Samsung, which has previously stuck with a single camera while its competitors—Apple and LG, to name just two—have gone the dual route.

While LG uses a second camera for wide-angle photos, Samsung is using its second sensor for a depth-of-field mode it’s dubbed Live Focus. I got some hands-on time with the Note8 during a pre-briefing, and I’m convinced this is a huge upgrade for Samsung’s photography fans.

(image) Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

The Galaxy Note8 houses two 12 megapixel cameras almost flush with the glass back.

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Galaxy Note8 hands-on: This is how Samsung will make you forget Note7 forever

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 08:00:00 -0700

Ahhh. I see what you did there, Samsung. By releasing a Galaxy Note8 that looks and feels remarkably like the Galaxy S8+ (a phone most Android enthusiasts would love to have in their pockets), you stand to dissolve all the bad mojo associated with the Galaxy Note7 (a phone most Android enthusiasts would consign to a fireproof safe).

Seriously, with a 6.3-inch, curved-glass display and remarkably slim bezels, the Note8 is an S8+ doppelganger. It’s got the same 2:1 aspect ratio—which delivers copious screen real estate, without all the bulk—and only a 0.1-inch increase in display size, a second rear camera, and the addition of an S Pen really differentiate the Note8 visually from its less productivity-focused stablemate.

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Meet Samsung Galaxy Note8: A bigger and better Galaxy S8+

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 08:00:00 -0700


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65% off Etekcity 2 Pack Portable Collapsible LED Camping Lantern - Deal Alert

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 06:26:00 -0700

The Etekcity collapsible LED Lantern provides up to 12 hours of bright omnidirectional lighting for your surroundings. It’s lighter, brighter, and more portable than most flashlights while still featuring the rugged durability to withstand the outdoors. The military-grade exterior is water resistant for more practical use in a high range of environments. Save time, energy, and luggage weight with its simple design and practicality. The fold-out collapsible handles make the lantern portable and easy to hang. Keep it on a table or hanging on a branch to illuminate your environment, and the lantern will take care of the rest. Right now a 2-pack of lanterns, with batteries included, is discounted 65% to just $13.99. See this deal on Amazon.

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Ring Video Doorbell 2 review: Better features, new frustrations

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 04:00:00 -0700

Despite a frustrating install, Ring Video Doorbell 2 is still a welcome, improved version of the original doorbell-slash-security camera.


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Speed up Windows 10: Tips for a faster PC

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 03:30:00 -0700

Your computer is slow. Annoyingly slow. You can add RAM, or buy a faster SSD, but that costs money. No, the first thing you should do is try to make Windows faster. Thus we present nine ways to speed up your Windows 10 PC without spending a dime.

Be warned: There’s always a trade-off. More speed may mean less battery life, or even giving up a beloved program. You’ll have to decide what sacrifices you’re willing to make in order to increase Windows’ speed.

Last spring, I bought a Lenovo Ideapad Miix 310 as a second, smaller PC. I found it so slow it was painful. I used that machine for researching this article. The Miix still isn’t fast, but it’s a lot faster.

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AKG N60NC Wireless noise-cancelling headphones review: They cut the noise, not the music

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 03:00:00 -0700

Clear sound, good noise cancellation, and a compact footprint make these travel headphone exceptional.


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Thinkware Dash Cam F800 review: Super night vision and app control

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 03:00:00 -0700

Thinkware’s $300 Dash Cam F800 is the company’s latest high-end, dual-channel dash cam offering, and offers easily the best night video we’ve seen. If the author of a recent email to us on the importance of after-dark captures is reading—this is your camera.

Like the F770 we previously reviewed, the F800 relies on a Wi-Fi connection with your cell phone for visuals and settings. If you’re accustomed to having a display, this can take some getting used to, but it’s certainly a less distracting arrangement while driving. Voice feedback and alert sounds fill the gap.

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Microsoft's fascinating GigJam service will close in September

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 15:13:00 -0700

This story was updated on August 22, 2017, to note that the service will close in September.

Microsoft will close and end the preview of its new GigJam productivity service, which was aimed at helping teams of people collaborate in real time over the Internet, the company said Tuesday

“After careful consideration, we’ve decided to retire the GigJam Preview on September 22, 2017,” Microsoft said. As of that day, any remaining “gigs” will automatically expire.

GigJam combines data from a variety of services including Microsoft’s own Office 365, Trello, Dropbox, and Salesforce. Users can then bring that information into a shared workspace, or “gig,” allowing them to quickly work together.

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Intel's 8th-gen Core CPUs could boost laptop performance by 40 percent

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 12:32:00 -0700

08/22/2017: Updated to add details of the rumored black Surface Book based on the 8th-generation Core chips, as well as Intel’s desktop processors.

For the first time, Intel’s upcoming 8th-generation Core CPUs will feature quad-core processors aimed at ultrabooks, offering performance as much as 40 percent faster than in the previous generation, the company said.

Intel hasn’t disclosed the prices of its four new 15-watt 8th-gen Core U-series chips, though the company revealed Monday how fast they’ll run: The slowest Core i5-8250U will run at 1.6GHz, with a boost clock of 3.4GHz; the fastest Core i7-8650U will run at 1.9GHz, boosting up to 4.2GHz.

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Cord cutter deal alert: Get a free three-month trial of Plex Pass

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 11:45:00 -0700

If you're still sore about the recent privacy policy backlash for Plex, the home media server software, the company has a message for you: ByteMyBits. No, the company's not bitter about the situation. That's a promo code for a free three-month trial of Plex Pass (the service's paid subscription) for new subscribers.

This deal was actually announced a few days before Plex's privacy policy changes as a promotion with YouTube tech channel Byte My Bits. To take advantage of this deal, you'll need a free Plex account, and you'll have to supply a credit card so that Plex can charge you $5 a month after the trial period ends. However, you can cancel any time before the end of your trial to avoid recurring payments.

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


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Every AMD Radeon RX graphics card you can buy for PC gaming

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 08:04:00 -0700

Radeon roundup
(image)

Image by Brad Chacos/IDG

Not all graphics cards are created equal. Both AMD and Nvidia offer a wide range of graphics cards designed for tasks as varied as adding basic video support to a home theater PC to playing gorgeous video games at crushingly high frame rates and resolutions.

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


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Amazon Temporarily Discounts Echo from $179 to $100 - Deal Alert

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 06:42:00 -0700

By now I'm sure you're familiar with Amazon's Echo device. Amazon Echo comes in both white and black, and is a hands-free speaker you control with your voice. Echo connects to the Alexa Voice Service to play music, make calls, send and receive messages, provide information, news, sports scores, weather, and more. One works well, or string them around your house for Alexa in every room. Multiple Echo devices work together seamlessly. It may be one of those devices that actually does what it promises to do. Echo is discounted fairly regularly, but usually not by this much. If you've been thinking about picking one up, now may be a good time. Its list price has been reduced from $179 to $99.99 for a limited time. See the deal on Amazon.

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

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 06:34:00 -0700

Update 8/22/17: Bixby Voice is now available worldwide.

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.

While we might not need another AI assistant on our phones, Bixby is actually a pretty good companion to Google Assistant. It’s a little slow on the trigger at times, but I was impressed with how well it was able to understand me. And Bixby isn’t a clone of Google Assistant or Sir eitheri. Samsung’s AI is more servant than smartie pants, carrying out phone tasks that would normally require numerous steps. Here's everything you need to know to get started:

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Just $9.99 Right Now For a 3-Pack of 6-foot Lightning/Micro USB Combo Cables - Deal Alert

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 06:28:00 -0700


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Samsung Connect Home: This router/smart-home hub combo isn’t a star in either role

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 04:00:00 -0700

A smart-home system has components distributed all over the house, controlled by a hub that’s connected to the internet via a router. That arrangement enables you to control the system from anywhere you have broadband access. So Samsung’s decision to meld a smart home hub with a mesh Wi-Fi router is a no brainer. But melding is always tricky. You might get something delicious, like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. Or you might end up with a disappointment, like the 1962 Amphicar, a car/boat that didn’t excel as either. The Connect Home isn’t a bad product, but it’s much closer to the floating car than the sweet confection.

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5 awesome YouTube app features you probably aren't using

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 03:30:00 -0700

It can be easy to take the YouTube app for granted. It’s been there for years, opening videos when you click on a link, and receding into the background when you’re done. However, the YouTube app can do more than serve video links, and you’re probably not coming anywhere close to taking full advantage of the app’s capabilities. Let’s see what we can do about that.

Double-tap to skip ahead

It can be difficult to get to just the right spot in a video with the inherent inaccuracy of a touchscreen, but YouTube has a little-known feature that can help you get there. All you have to do is double-tap on the video to automatically skip forward 10 seconds. If you find that’s not working well for you, head to the settings and change the skip time.

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The timing is perfect for a new Chromebook Pixel

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 03:00:00 -0700

One thing is certain about Google’s fall event: A Pixel will steal the show. It just might not be the one that fits in your pocket.

A rumor published by Android Police says Google is working on a follow-up to its discontinued 2nd-generation Chromebook Pixel, which hasn’t been available for purchase since mid-2016. A new model would be a pleasant surprise for fans of the Google laptop, which was hailed at the time as the best Chromebook ever made. The third model could be the charm that brings premium Chrome devices mainstream.

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Age of Empires IV is officially in the works, from Company of Heroes and Homeworld developer Relic

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 16:16:00 -0700

During E3’s annual PC Gaming Show this year Microsoft announced Age of Empires: Definitive Edition and that was pretty cool. But an Age of Empires IV? I didn’t dare to dream.

It’s happening, though. Shock of all shocks, Microsoft announced the news Monday during Gamescom and even dropped a short teaser:

“But wait,” you say, “I thought Microsoft all-but-shut-down Age of Empires developer Ensemble.” And you’d be right. Taking over development duties for Age of Empires IV is none other than Company of Heroes and Homeworld developer Relic. Relic’s track record has been spotty as of late (Dawn of War III was a bit of a mess earlier this year) but it’s a talented studio. Seems like a solid choice.

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Android 8 Oreo is here: What's new, what's changed, and what's awesome

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 11:52:00 -0700

Get your phones ready because Android Oreo is finally here. (That’s right, it’s called Oreo, not Orangina.) After months of betas, an eclipse-themed countdown, and the usual rampant naming speculation, Google has lifted the veil of secrecy from Android O’s full name, and we can start looking ahead to what confectionery Android P will adopt. (My money’s on Petit Four.)

But its name isn’t the only thing that’s sweet about Android 8. While it might not be as jam-packed with features as other Android releases, Android Oreo has plenty of features that make it a must-download, from picture-in-picture to notification changes that will help you keep annoying alerts at bay. So bring your sweet tooth because there’s a lot to chew on.

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A 500GB Samsung 850 Evo is $150 today

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 10:59:00 -0700

Amazon has a deal today on one of our longtime favorite solid-state drives: The 500GB Samsung 850 Evo is available for $150. While that’s definitely not the lowest price we’ve seen—during the 2016 holiday season, you could get one for about $135—it’s the best price we’ve seen in awhile. SSD prices are still inflated right now.

Samsung’s 850 Evo has been around for close to three years, but we’re still big fans of this SSD. In our 2014 review, we gave it a high rating when 3D NAND technology at the consumer level was still a new idea. It also has great performance and longevity, as well as being backed by a solid five-year warranty. The 850’s pricing was also competitive when it came out, and it’s slowly becoming better as Samsung introduces newer storage (like its 960 Evo M.2 drives).

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HyperX Pulsefire FPS mouse review: Popular design meets popular sensor

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 10:41:00 -0700


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Intel 8th-gen packaging confirms 6-core desktop processors, new motherboard requirement

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 07:41:00 -0700

Monday morning, in the shadow of the Great American Eclipse, Intel revealed its 8th-gen Core processors. Well, some of them anyway. The initial announcement is limited to low-power laptop CPUs driven by a refreshed version of Intel’s 7th-gen “Kaby Lake” architecture, and the company declined to offer more specifics about 8th-gen desktop processors. But Intel’s updated imagery on its Core i5 and Core i7 pages shined a light on the juiciest 8th-gen rumors anyway.

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26% off Qwerkywriter BlueTooth Mechanical Keyboard with Integrated Tablet Stand - Deal Alert

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 06:49:00 -0700

Qwerkywriter connects wirelessly to any phone or tablet with BlueTooth. It features vintage inspired round typewriter keycaps and industrial strength mechanical switches that provide a unique clicky tactile feel, similar to the old vintage clacky typewriters. A mechanical keyboard promotes a more accurate typing experience and the clicky feedback is very satisfying. The Qwerkywriter is made of metal from top to bottom, the type of quality you don't get from a modern keyboard. The Qwerkywriter's list price has been reduced 26% to $259. See this deal on Amazon.

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HTC Vive price cut by $200 to battle Oculus Rift's recent deductions

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 06:37:00 -0700


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$150 Price Drop on Pico Pro Craft Beer Brewing Appliance - Deal Alert

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 06:34:00 -0700

Pico Pro is an automated craft brewery that brews fresh craft beer using recipes from award-winning breweries. Brew any style of beer you desire – from IPAs to session ales to stouts to porters – starting with just the press of a button. Your beer will be fermented, carbonated, and ready to enjoy in a little over a week. Built-in steam cleaning and dishwasher-safe components make for a simpler cleanup. The list price has been reduced by $150, so if you've been interested in a super compact and automated homebrew setup, you may want to consider the current pricepoint. See this deal on Amazon.

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Jurassic World Evolution theme park sim revealed by Planet Coaster's developer

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 05:00:00 -0700

After wowing us with Planet Coaster last year—a theme-park builder so good it made our favorite PC games of 2016—Frontier announced during Gamescom that it’s scored an amusement park license of a different breed. Namely, dinosaurs. Cue the Jurassic Park theme.

No, really. It’s Jurassic Park. Or Jurassic World, technically. Titled Jurassic World Evolution, Frontier’s creating a build-your-own-dinosaur-theme-park game that looks quite a bit like Planet Coaster crossed with prehistoric Zoo Tycoon. A similar game was released in 2003 called Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis, though unfortunately it appears impossible to find (legally) nowadays.

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Geeni Surge review: This smart surge protector falls short on automation and documentation

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 03:00:00 -0700

While it has four individually switchable outlets, the Surge works best only as a manual on/off switch.


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

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 13:40:00 -0700

Updated August 20, 2017: We’ve added information on pre-orders (as well as other updates from Gamescom) for the Xbox One X.

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.”

(image) Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

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 pricing, availability, specs, noteworthy features, and compatible games.

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