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Published: Tue, 24 Apr 2018 10:23:08 -0700

Last Build Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2018 10:23:08 -0700

 



The best Windows backup software

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 10:19:00 -0700

We need backup software on our PCs because we don’t live in a perfect world. If only Microsoft provided Windows users with something like Apple’s Time Machine: an effective, set-it-and-forget-it, total system recovery and backup solution that requires little interaction or thought on the part of the user. 

Instead, Microsoft offers a mishmash of restore points, recovery discs, file backup, and even the un-retired System Backup (Windows 7), which was probably originally put out to pasture for its propensity to choke on dissimilar hardware. Online backup services are another option, but desktop clients tend to offer far more flexibility. 

To read this article in full, please click here


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How to check your Google Assistant history

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 08:23:00 -0700

Google lets you see everything Assistant heard and delete your history.


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Anker's water-resistant SoundCore 2 is just $30, the lowest price yet for this Bluetooth speaker

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 07:50:00 -0700


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Switching between Windows 10 S, Home, and Pro may get more flexible

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 07:14:00 -0700

As Microsoft’s annual Build developer conference nears, a new report suggests that the relationship between Microsoft Windows 10 S and Windows 10 may be more flexible than before.

Microsoft said in March that Microsoft will deploy Windows 10 S as a mode of Windows 10. In a blog post at the time, Windows chief Joe Belfiore said that users would be able to buy a new “Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro PC with S mode enabled.” Now, Windows users may be getting a clearer look at what options they have with the Windows 10 operating system installed on new computers.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Samsung 970 Pro SSD review: The fastest M.2 NVMe drive yet

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 07:00:00 -0700

Uneasy can be the head that wears a crown, and recently that’s been Samsung’s pate when it comes to fastest M.2 NVMe SSD on the planet. The company barely held onto its headgear after a challenge from the far-cheaper WD Black NVMe. A response was required.

The retort is the Samsung 970 Pro, which is indeed the fastest M.2 NVMe SSD we’ve ever tested. But while Samsung may rest bit easier, total relaxation isn’t in the cards; the margin of victory over the WD Black NVMe was hardly overwhelming. And, considering that the 970 Pro costs quite a bit more... 

Still, the best never costs less, and the Samsung 970 Pro is what you want if you want the best.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Samsung 970 EVO review: Strong competition for the best budget NVMe SSD

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 07:00:00 -0700

Samsung’s EVO series has owned the title of fastest TLC-based M.2 NVMe SSD since there has been such a thing. But unfortunately for the company, that distinction went the way of the dodo with the release of the WD’s game-changing Black NVMe earlier this month.

Samsung’s response? The brand new 970 EVO. However, it’s a case of darn close, but no cigar—the Samsung 970 EVO outperforms the WD in several tests, but falls short in sustained write performance with larger amounts of data. That said, the shortfall is liable to affect few users.

Specifications, price and warranty

The Samsung 970 EVO is your standard M.2, 2280 (22 millimeters wide, 80 mm long), NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) PCIe x4 solid state drive. That x4 means it can utilize four PCIe lanes for roughly 4GBps of available bandwidth, assuming a PCIe 3.0 connection.

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Adobe Photoshop Elements 2018 for PC and Mac gets a rare 40 percent discount

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 06:37:00 -0700


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BattleTech review-in-progress: A fantastic tactics game saddled with lingering performance issues

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 06:11:00 -0700

As a mercenary, I’ve learned to hate complications. “Developing situations” might be the technical term.

It could be anything. Maybe you send down your Lance, your team of four mechs, for a simple mission only for enemy reinforcements to emerge from the forest. Maybe you finish up a hard-fought battle, return to base, and your employer turns and fires a few shots into your back. Maybe the “lightly defended” outpost is hiding a mech twice your size.

The circumstances don’t matter, because the outcome is the same. Complications get you killed, or at least put you out of commission so long you might as well be dead. When money is the lifeblood of a mercenary company, the two are basically synonymous.

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Samsung's glorious CHG70 FreeSync 2 display shows the wonder (and wonkiness) of PC HDR

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 03:30:00 -0700

Sure, luscious high-dynamic-range visuals look impressive during demos, but does HDR really matter when you’re gaming? That was the primary question I wanted to answer when AMD sent me the Samsung CHG70. It’s one of the first gaming-centric monitors to carry VESA’s DisplayHDR 600 certification and AMD’s bleeding-edge FreeSync 2 technology. It’s also one of the best PC displays I’ve ever used.

Seven monitors currently crowd my office, offering various features and tech specs. None feels half as immersive as the Samsung CHG70 ($700 on Newegg and Samsung.com). This elegant monitor offers vivid, accurate colors at a sharp 2560x1440p resolution, augmented by FreeSync 2 technology that eliminates tearing and stuttering while simultaneously optimizing the video output while handling HDR content. Gaming on it feels like bliss. The bevy of features on offer combined with the CHG70’s massive, curved 32-inch panel makes other displays start to feel, well, a bit flat. It impresses even after migrating from a 4K G-Sync setup, though a few niggling flaws keep it from perfection.

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LIFX Beam review: Six feet of decorative lighting that ties into your smart home

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 03:00:00 -0700

This smart lighting kit will give your walls some dynamic visual flair.


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How to connect your Android phone or tablet to your HDTV

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 03:00:00 -0700

Everything you need to view your mobile device media on your big screen.


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AMD Combat Crates help gamers get Radeon GPUs by bundling them with Ryzen hardware

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 14:30:00 -0700

Think of AMD’s new Combat Crates as PC gaming supply crates dropped behind enemy lines during the zombie apocalypse. Yup, finding a graphics card to game with has gotten that bad that AMD has had to resort to bundling up Radeon GPUs with a motherboard and Ryzen CPUs to get hardware into the hands of gamers.

The first bundle spotted on Amazon includes a first-gen Ryzen 5 1600 with cooler, an MSI  B350 Tomahawk motherboard and most importantly—an MSI Radeon RX 580 Armor OC card. The entire bundle costs $599.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Boost your storage with these great deals on giant portable flash drives

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 07:34:00 -0700

Flash drives keep cramming more and more storage capacity into their pint-sized, portable packages, and right now there are a couple of deals to get you a ton of space for very low prices.

If your devices support USB Type-C, SanDisk’s Ultra Dual Drive is the deal for you. The one on offer packs a huge 256GB of capacity for $65, its lowest price ever on Amazon. It comes with two plugin ends; one is a USB Type-C connector and the other is a traditional USB, so you’ll be able to transfer files between different types of devices easily at speeds up to 159MB/s. It also gives you access to the SanDisk Memory Zone app, which helps you manage device memory in the cloud. And while we haven’t tried this particular flash drive, its 4.1 stars out of 5 with almost 600 Amazon user reviews shows that this is a winner.

To read this article in full, please click here


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13-inch MacBook Pro battery replacement program FAQ: What it is and how to use it

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 07:21:00 -0700

Apple has launched a battery replacement program for some non-Touch Bar model of the 13-inch MacBook Pro. Here's how to find out if your model is affected and how to get it replaced.


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The Full Nerd episode 48: 2nd-gen Ryzen review, AMD vs. Nvidia's GeForce Partner Program

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 06:36:00 -0700

In this episode of the Full Nerd, Gordon Mah UngBrad Chacos, Alaina Yee, and Adam Patrick Murray talk new AMD hardware, and newly named AMD hardware.

First up: Impressions from our 2nd-gen Ryzen processor review, which hit the streets Thursday. The small tweaks and upgrades add up to a much more well-rounded chip than first-gen Ryzen. And it goes blow-for-blow with Intel’s flagship Core i7-8700K too. As we said in our final verdict of the Ryzen 7 2700X, “Higher clock speeds and a massive multi-threading advantage push AMD’s CPU performance to new highs. The bundled Wraith Prism cooler and overall polish push it over the top. In the battle of Intel and AMD’s flagship processors, the clear winner today is the Ryzen 7 2700X.”

To read this article in full, please click here


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Get a RavPower Qi wireless charger for $9 today, the cheapest we've seen it

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 06:03:00 -0700


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Best DVR for cord cutters

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 04:02:00 -0700

TiVo Roamio OTA vs. Tablo vs. Channel Master vs. Plex: None are ideal, but one might work for you.


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Lenovo Tab 4 8 Plus and Home Assistant Pack review: A middling tablet is a poor Alexa speaker

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 03:30:00 -0700

It's safe to say that Android tablets will never be a thing. It's safer to say the Lenovo Tab 4 8 Plus and the Home Assistant Pack will never replace anyone's Echo home speaker.

It's hard to figure out Lenovo's strategy here. While Apple has carved out a nice niche with the iPad, and Chromebook makers are beginning to experiment with keyboard-less models, Android-based tablets never really caught on with fans of the platform who were content with using their larger-screened phones to get things done.

But Lenovo has nonetheless plugged away with making tablets, most recently with the Tab 4 8 Plus. Breaking down the unwieldly name, this is the fourth-generation of Lenovo's Tab line, with an 8-inch 1920 x 1200 display. Otherwise the specs are decidedly less than plus-sized:

To read this article in full, please click here


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Cyberlink PowerDVD 18 Ultra review: Still the best, and now a little bit better

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 03:00:00 -0700

There is no higher-quality video player available for Windows. It's a bit pricey, but PowerDVD Ultra is also the only software that can play Ultra HD Blu-ray discs on your computer.


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CloudBerry Backup review: Back up anything to just about anywhere

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 03:00:00 -0700

CloudBerry Backup is uniquely versatile backup program that covers just about any mixed storage scenario. Have some data on OneDrive that you want to back up to Google Drive? CloudBerry can do that. Want to back up the data from your Documents folder to BackBlaze and your home NAS box? Easy-peasy. From your PC to an external hard drive as well as Google drive? No big deal. CloudBerry’s scope is truly dizzying.

Alas, the language, concepts, and sheer number of options can be dizzying for non-IT types, and you’ll need to spend at least $120 to acquire disaster recovery features. The good news? There’s a free version that takes care of the cloud and local backup basics.

To read this article in full, please click here


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The Elder Scrolls Online's Summerset expansion doesn't shy from the dark sides of elves

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 04:00:00 -0700

The first chap I meet in the Summerset Isles is an elf with a Sean Penn face who gripes about how he’s missing out on a wine tasting because some local Wood Elves “offed” the vintner, because of course. This, after all, is the closed beta for The Elder Scrolls Online’s Summerset expansion ($40 on Amazon), which whisks us off to the ancestral homes of the High Elves, a magical land crammed with haughty wizards, Neuschwanstein-like villas, and flora that likely would have been at home in Eden. Whatever. This dude just wants his wine, and I can appreciate that.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Ryzen 7 2700X review: AMD's 2nd-gen CPUs nail the sequel

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 17:12:00 -0700

Just over a year ago, AMD flipped the PC industry on its proverbial head with revolutionary Ryzen 7 processors that democratized CPU core counts in a way never seen before. 

While the 2nd-gen Ryzen 7 2700X officially unveiled today (don’t call it Ryzen 2—that’s coming later) doesn’t quite shake things up the way the original Ryzen chips did last year, it’s a solidly good sequel that, in many ways, is far better than what it replaces. And it puts the squeeze back on Intel’s 8th-gen “Coffee Lake” processors, which upped their own core count to counter Ryzen’s threat.

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Best Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ cases: Top picks in every style

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 15:35:00 -0700

The Galaxy S9 and S9+ might look a lot like the models they replace, but they're not exactly the same. Put them side by side and you'll see just enough of a difference in size and shape that old S8 cases won't fit. So that means you need a new one. Here are our favorites so far:

Update: Added the Tauri Fashion Glitter, i-Blason Luna, and Patchworks Mono Grip to best slip cases, and the Supcase Unicorn Beetle and OtterBox Pursuit to best rugged cases.

Best Shell Cases for Galaxy S9 and S9+

Even if you're just looking for a simple case that adds a little protection and grippability to your Galaxy S9, you'll still want something with style. These case offer simple, sturdy protection for your S9 but still bring some flair.

To read this article in full, please click here


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I don't care if Google's 'chat' for Android is an inferior version of Apple iMessage, I want it now

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 14:30:00 -0700

Update 5:25 p.m.: This article has been updated with more details about 'chat.'

Ever since I became a phone reviewer, my messages have been a mess. When I switch from an iPhone to an Android one, I need to remember to turn off iMessage on all of my devices lest I miss a blue bubble that sneaks through. And any conversations I was having on my iPhone are effectively over when I switch, since nothing carries over between operating systems.

It’s not much better when switching between Android phones. Android Messages doesn’t sync or restore your texts between phones, no one uses Allo, and third-party apps can be wonky. I’ve taken to using Pulse to keep my conversations synced across numerous phones and devices, but I still need to be careful when I switch SIMs since it’s not technically designed for multiple handsets. On more than one occasion, I’ve blown up my conversation history and needed to start over.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Microsoft nudges Xbox One towards PC monitors with 120Hz display support

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 14:12:00 -0700

Microsoft continued its gradual push toward making the Xbox One more like PCs by announcing it will soon support compatible 120Hz displays for its game console platform.

The new additions will be added within the coming weeks, Microsoft said in a blog post on Friday. Microsoft also added a number of UI improvements, including the ability to group games. They’ll all be rolled out first to members of the Xbox Insiders program, then to the general public at a later date.

Friday’s announcement complements its March update, when Microsoft announced a number of improvements designed to enhance the Xbox One experience when playing on PC-caliber displays and TVs.

To read this article in full, please click here


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This week in games: Call of Duty and Battlefield bound for battle royale, Shenmue comes to PC

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 09:12:00 -0700

We are well and truly in the grips of the battle royale era at this point, with rumors this week pegging a PUBG-style mode coming to both Call of Duty and Battlefield in the fall. At this point the question’s not whether we see a new battle royale game at E3, it’s how many we see.

That news, plus a trailer for an IKEA-builder game, a first glimpse of the next Cities: Skylines expansion, Shenmue’s long-awaited arrival on PC, a Serious Sam 4 tease, and Amazon’s robot-lady acting as your “personal Call of Duty coach.”

This is gaming news for April 16 to 20.

Cyberpunk 2015

Humble’s habitually giving away games nearly every weekend it seems, and the trend continues this week with Satellite Reign. A blend of real-time tactics game and open-world adventure, it was intended as a successor to Syndicatethe original isometric one from the ‘90s, not the 2012 reboot.

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Try out Alexa's new custom skills with this great deal on an Echo Dot

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 08:44:00 -0700


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Water-cooling specialist EKWB starts selling complete custom gaming PCs

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 08:21:00 -0700

People often turn to boutique PC builders like Maingear, Digital Storm, Falcon Northwest, and Origin PC when they want a badass, over-the-top, liquid-cooled beast of a system, but don’t want to worry about cutting tubes and tightening fittings themselves. The newest entrant in the custom desktop landscape practically wrote the book on extreme cooling. EK Water Blocks, the creator of custom liquid-cooling hardware beloved by enthusiasts around the globe, announced on Friday that it’s now selling full PCs dubbed EK Fluid Gaming Systems.

The timing’s no coincidence. Every EK Fluid Gaming System relies on the potent AMD 2nd-gen Ryzen CPUs released yesterday—either the Ryzen 5 2600 or Ryzen 7 2700X, more specifically. No Intel chips are on offer.

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Get 65 Hours of Salesforce Training For $29.99

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 07:46:00 -0700

Whether you're an administrator, sales professional, developer, or marketer, you too can become a mover and shaker—especially if you learn your skills from Salesforce. And right now there's a terrific collection of courses on sale—and then some—in the Salesforce Trailblazer Bundle. Until now, if you bought each course separately, you'd pay about $910, but for a limited time, when you purchase all eight courses in the bundle, the price is a mere $29.99. That's 96% off retail.

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