PCWorld https://www.pcworld.com en-us Wed, 14 Nov 2018 19:30:09 -0800 Wed, 14 Nov 2018 19:30:09 -0800 Black Friday 2018: The best early deals Wed, 14 Nov 2018 12:18:00 -0800 Alaina Yee Alaina Yee

Black Friday is no longer just the day after Thanksgiving. Deals now roll out in a chaotic mass all throughout November.

Just a couple of years ago, most of those early discounts weren’t any good. But that’s changed.

While the deals that command headlines (those so-called “doorbusters”) are typically still available on only Thanksgiving or Black Friday, some worthwhile sales are already trickling out now. 

We’ve begun rounding up those here, so keep an eye peeled for further updates as the days tick by. We’ll add new deals as we spot them. And don’t forget: Holiday return windows have just expanded (many run into early January), so you can buy now and repent at leisure—assuming you can float the cash.

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Windows 10 preview build 18282 finally supports smarter Windows Updates, new light theme Wed, 14 Nov 2018 12:08:00 -0800 Mark Hachman Mark Hachman

The headline feature of Windows 10 Insider build 18282 is probably the “light theme” for your Windows desktop. But the most useful addition is the new, Intelligent Active Hours designed to present unwanted interruptions from Windows updates.

The preview build, leading up to the next big update to Windows 10 due early next year (code-named 19H1), doesn’t boast any truly new features. Rather, these enhancements to existing features are conveniences you may try if you choose. Here they are:

The “light theme”

You’re probably aware of the existing Windows “dark theme,” which uses darker colors and accents to soften the vast expanses of white within Explorer, Edge, and so on. And you probably thought that the existing light theme was an alternative to that. Well, not so much, apparently.

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Best home security camera: Keep an eye on the home front Wed, 14 Nov 2018 10:12:00 -0800 Michael Ansaldo Michael Ansaldo 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. https://www.techhive.com/article/2998898/security-cameras/best-home-security-camera.html#tk.rss_all Cameras Hubs and Controllers Connected Home Home Automation Security Home Tech Holiday Gift Guide Surveillance We're building a Fallout PC—and giving away its limited-edition case! Wed, 14 Nov 2018 09:32:00 -0800 Alaina Yee, Adam Patrick Murray Alaina Yee, Adam Patrick Murray

We’re back (at last!) with another live build, and November’s project is particularly special: It’s time to break free of our vault with a Fallout-themed gaming PC.

NZXT sent us one of their limited-edition H700 Nuka-Cola cases just in time for the release of Fallout 76, so we’re throwing together a machine where aesthetics reign supreme as our wallet cries in a corner.

Inside will be a Core i9-9900K paired with an Asus Maximus XI Hero, along with many RGB fans and some RGB RAM. Corsair’s RM750i and some custom braided cables will also make an appearance. Storage is still to be determined.

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Best DVR for cord cutters Wed, 14 Nov 2018 09:23:00 -0800 Jared Newman Jared Newman TiVo vs. Tablo vs. Channel Master vs. Plex: None are ideal, but one might work for you. https://www.techhive.com/article/3173175/streaming-hardware/best-dvr-for-cord-cutters.html#tk.rss_all Streaming Hardware Home Theater Consumer Electronics The Anker PowerPort 6 Lite 6-port USB hub is $12 today, a savings of $8 Wed, 14 Nov 2018 08:45:00 -0800 Alexandria Haslam Alexandria Haslam

You can never have too many USB ports, especially if you have a lot of devices in your orbit. Today you can add six with an on-sale Anker charger.

Normally $20, today the Anker PowerPort 6 Lite is listed at its lowest price of $16. If you click the coupon box you’ll save another $4, bringing it down to $12 on Amazon—a killer price for a lot of ports. 

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Windows 10 October 2018 Update review: Many small improvements make a better experience Wed, 14 Nov 2018 08:20:00 -0800 Mark Hachman Mark Hachman

Microsoft’s Windows 10 October 2018 Update, officially re-released on Nov. 13, doesn’t offer the standout, marquee features you might have come to expect from earlier releases. But as our review demonstrates, a few new features highlight a longer list of under-the-hood, day-to-day improvements.

Our review is based on the final Windows 10 Insider Builds, which led up to the official October 2018 Update. Microsoft doesn’t appear to have added anything with the final build, but we’ll check and update this story to reflect any last-minute changes. (Microsoft placed the original launch of the Oct. 2018 Update, also known as version 1809, on hold after some users suffered data loss.) 

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RTX on! Battlefield V becomes the first game to support DXR real-time ray tracing Wed, 14 Nov 2018 07:40:00 -0800 Brad Chacos Brad Chacos

EA’s Battlefield V doesn’t technically hit the streets until November 20, but it’s already the first game to support real-time ray tracing using Microsoft’s new DirectX Raytracing API. Nvidia’s radical new GeForce RTX 2070 and RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti graphics cards include dedicated hardware devoted to improving ray tracing performance.

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Upgrade to a 27-inch, 1080p FreeSync monitor for $200 or less Wed, 14 Nov 2018 06:49:00 -0800 Ian Paul Ian Paul

Yesterday, we showed you how to get the cornerstones of an awesome AMD budget rig on the cheap. Today, we’re making that combo even better with your choice of two 27-inch, 1080p FreeSync monitors. Walmart is selling the Dell SE2717HR for $119, while Newegg has the curved, 144Hz Acer ED273 for $199 with the checkout code EMCEEES35. The Dell monitor has an MSRP of $200, while the Acer’s MSRP is $300.

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Amazon Fire TV Recast review: This over-the-air DVR is frustratingly close to great Wed, 14 Nov 2018 06:00:00 -0800 Jared Newman Jared Newman Amazon's over-the-air DVR nails the little details, but it has some major limitations. https://www.techhive.com/article/3321002/streaming-hardware/amazon-fire-tv-recast-review.html#tk.rss_all Streaming Hardware Home Theater Consumer Electronics Plex Systems Windows 10: The best tricks, tips, and tweaks Wed, 14 Nov 2018 05:44:00 -0800 Brad Chacos Brad Chacos
Digging deep into Windows 10
windows 10 surface laptop

Image by Dan Masaoka/IDG

Windows 10’s constantly evolving nature means fresh features arrive twice per year, and with all the new goodies come a legion of new tweaks and tricks—some of which unlock powerful functionality hidden to everyday users. Others simply let you mold the Windows 10 experience into the shape you see fit. Here are some of the most useful tweaks, tricks, and tips we’ve found, starting with some of the highlights from the Windows 10 October 2018 Update (which includes more nifty everyday conveniences than we can include here).

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]]> http://www.envirotrips.in/?id=article/2875600/windows/windows-10-the-best-tips-tricks-and-tweaks.html#tk.rss_all Windows Withings takes aim at Fitbit with the Pulse HR, a simple fitness band with 20-day battery life Wed, 14 Nov 2018 04:43:00 -0800 Michael Simon Michael Simon Withings launches a new Pulse HR fitness tracker with three week battery life and continuous heart-rate monitoring. https://www.macworld.com/article/3321336/software-health/withings-pulse-hr-fitness-tracker.html#tk.rss_all Health and Fitness Software Consumer Electronics Wearables HighPoint 7101A PCIe NVMe RAID card: The world isn't ready for its amazing 11GBps throughput Wed, 14 Nov 2018 03:34:00 -0800 Jon L. Jacobi Jon L. Jacobi

If there’s any review I’ve been anxiously awaiting to write, it’s this one. Having seen demos at vendor showcases, I knew NVMe SSD setups could go far faster than what’s possible with the single M.2 slot most PCs offer.

To see HighPoint’s 7101A 4-slot, x16 PCIe NVMe RAID card reading at 11GBps reading and writing at nearly 10GBps on PCWorld’s own testbed was a major hoot. Alas, that’s using a synthetic benchmark, and in our real-world copy tests, performance was only slightly faster than with a single fast NVMe SSD.

HighPoint said that with the right software, i.e., something that does its own I/O such as synthetic benchmarks, you will get the same dramatic performance boost. We’ll have to take the company at its word, as the 7101A also served to illustrate a number of shortcomings of current PCs and software when it comes to state-of-the-art storage. 

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Sony XBR X900F 4K UHD TV review: Great image processing, but restrained color Wed, 14 Nov 2018 03:00:00 -0800 Jon L. Jacobi Jon L. Jacobi Sony's XBR X900F can handle just about any kind of material with aplomb, including HDR. But its color palette is subdued and light bleed on black backgrounds is noticeable with the Xtended Dynamic Range function engaged. https://www.techhive.com/article/3311818/smart-tv/sony-xbr-x900f-review.html#tk.rss_all TVs Home Theater Consumer Electronics Entertainment Sony Logitech G560 gaming speakers review: The first truly useful RGB peripheral, but it'll cost you Wed, 14 Nov 2018 03:00:00 -0800 Hayden Dingman Hayden Dingman

RGB is the buzzword in peripherals these days, but few have found any real use for them. It’s all well and good to have an RGB-enabled mouse or headset or keyboard, but aside from a few gimmicks like “imitating the sirens in Grand Theft Auto,” it’s still more about aesthetics than functionality.

Logitech’s G560 changes that, using RGB LEDs in a way that feels transformative. If only the effect were paired with slightly better speakers.

IllumiRoom Redux

Way back in 2013 Microsoft showed off footage of a prototype for the Xbox One, the “IllumiRoom.” Emerging from Microsoft Research, IllumiRoom promised to make gaming more immersive by literally immersing you in it. Using a projector synced to your actual TV, the goal was to extend the picture off the screen and onto the surrounding walls.

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Awesome tech gifts that cost $50 or less Tue, 13 Nov 2018 16:07:00 -0800 PCWorld Staff PCWorld Staff
Give like you give a damn
under 50 slide

Image by Rob Schultz/IDG

When it comes to finding gifts that are cool, useful, and affordable, technology can check all those boxes. And contrary to what you might think, the audience for cool tech gifts is quite broad, with options for virtually everyone on your holiday shopping list.

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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. 

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Best gaming laptops: Know what to look for and which models rate highest Tue, 13 Nov 2018 13:42:00 -0800 Gordon Mah Ung Gordon Mah Ung

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.

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.)

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The best laptops: Premium laptops, cheap laptops, 2-in-1s, and more Tue, 13 Nov 2018 12:23:00 -0800 Gordon Mah Ung, Melissa Riofrio, Alaina Yee Gordon Mah Ung, Melissa Riofrio, Alaina Yee

Today’s best laptops bask in the glow of Intel’s 8th-gen Core CPUs, which at last bring quad-core performance to mainstream machines. The only thing missing is Oprah shouting, “And you get an 8th-gen quad-core laptop!”

There’s plenty of good news with this new generation. Our favorite convertible laptop, HP’s Spectre x360 13, sports a quad-core 8th-gen chip while maintaining its diminutive size. It’s really the total package. 

But let’s be honest: You probably don’t need a quad-core powerhouse, especially if the hottest application you run is Microsoft Excel. Check out our budget favorites, like the Acer Aspire E 15 and Asus ZenBook Flip, whose dual-core CPUs do just fine with mainstream fare. Or read about the Asus Chromebook Flip, a well-priced and versatile laptop for living on the web—or delving into the wide, wide world of Android apps. 

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Save Up To 70% On Private Internet Access VPN Subscriptions (From $34) Tue, 13 Nov 2018 12:11:00 -0800 DealPost Team DealPost Team

Statistics show that a third of all internet users have suffered a security breach. Indeed, the web can be a dangerous place and, unless you take precautions, it’s probably just a matter of time before you become a victim too. That’s the bad news. The good news is that it’s relatively easy to protect yourself with Private Internet Access VPN. Get a three-year subscription for just $77.33, marked down by 69% from the regular price of $250.20 right now.

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Dash cam reviews: Catch the maniacs and meteors of daily driving Tue, 13 Nov 2018 12:09:00 -0800 Jon L. Jacobi Jon L. Jacobi

Dash cams are already essential in many countries because of scam artists who try to create accidents so they can sue you. They’ve also proven useful for catching cars flying into buildings, or the occasional meteor, as happened in Thailand and in Russia a few years ago.

But while auto con artists aren’t as common here, recording your excursions is a reasonable precaution to take—especially if you’re driving professionally. And even if you’re not, you may unexpectedly appreciate using it to chronicle your vacation travels—or tap into your smart home, as we’ve just tested an Alexa-enabled dash cam, the Garmin Speak Plus.

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Microsoft re-releases the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, admitting its testing needs to improve Tue, 13 Nov 2018 10:00:00 -0800 Mark Hachman Mark Hachman

Microsoft said Tuesday that it’s begun slowly releasing the postponed Windows 10 October 2018 Update once again to the general public, having put in place additional “signals” that will allow users to flag instances where data loss might occur.

Not everyone will receive the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, a minor release which was scheduled to begin shipping October 2. Since then, 5.9 million people have downloaded it, according to Microsoft. Microsoft will roll out the update, also known as version 1809, very slowly to its remaining customers. Users will first have to request the update and meet the hardware requirements and check for application compatibility. Even then, only about one percent of users will initially receive it, Microsoft said. The remaining PCs will be updated over the following weeks and months.

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Get 90% Off Your First Year of RemotePC, Up To 50 Computers for $6.95 Tue, 13 Nov 2018 09:46:00 -0800 DealPost Team DealPost Team

iDrive has activated a significant discount on their Remote access software RemotePC in these days leading into Black Friday. RemotePC by iDrive is a full-featured remote access solution that lets you connect to your work, home or office computer securely from anywhere, and from any iOS or Android device. Right now, their 50 computer package is 90% off or just $6.95 for your 1st year. If you've been thinking about remote access solutions, now is a good time to consider RemotePC. Learn more about it here.

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Microsoft adds LTE options to the Surface Go, making it the always-connected PC it should be Tue, 13 Nov 2018 09:02:00 -0800 Mark Hachman Mark Hachman

Microsoft said Monday that it has added an LTE option to its Surface Go for an additional $130 over the basic Surface Go, bringing always-on connectivity to Microsoft’s cheapest 2-in-1 tablet.

When PCWorld originally reviewed Microsoft’s Surface Go tablet, the absence of an LTE option was noticeable—this was the Surface Go, after all. On Monday, Microsoft announced an 8GB RAM/128GB storage version of what it calls the Surface Go with LTE Advanced for $679, with support for AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon. (T-Mobile is also validated to work with T-Mobile SIM cards, a Microsoft representative said, though it wasn’t originally listed as a carrier.) You can preorder today, with shipments arriving in the U.S. and Canada on Nov. 20.

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Best gaming keyboards: Our picks for the top budget, mid-tier, and RGB boards Tue, 13 Nov 2018 09:02:00 -0800 Hayden Dingman Hayden Dingman

Choosing a gaming keyboard is a matter of personal taste. To that point, there are a plethora of options, with a dizzying mix of features. One person could be into Cherry Browns and white backlighting. Another might favor Razer Greens and a rippling RGB glow. Gigantic wrist pads, compact shapes, numeric keypads, macro keys, volume controls.... You get the picture

Gaming keyboard cheat sheet
Our quick-hit recommendations:
    1. BlackWidowX Tournament Edition View
    2. Cougar Attack X3 RGB (2018) View
    3. Fnatic Streak RGB View
    4. Corsair K63 View
    5. Gaming K95 RGB Platinum View
 

To help you sort through the many options, we’ve rounded up a large number of planks, putting them through their paces, to come up with our top recommendations. All of these are mechanical keyboards, and for good reason—they’re simply more comfortable to use over the long haul. But we’re open-minded, so if we encounter an alternative that works well, you may see it appear on this list. We’ll keep updating it periodically as we test new keyboards.

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The Canary View indoor camera is a great way to monitor your home and it's half-off today Tue, 13 Nov 2018 08:31:00 -0800 Alexandria Haslam Alexandria Haslam

Keeping an eye on your home when you're away is essential for strong security, but indoor cameras can get pricey. Today, Amazon is offering one of our favorites, the Canary View, for just $50, half off its list price and one of the lowest prices we've ever seen.

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Samsung Galaxy S10 rumors: It won't have a notch but it might have... a hole? Tue, 13 Nov 2018 08:30:00 -0800 Michael Simon Michael Simon

While everyone is buzzing about Samsung’s folding phone—which might cost as much as $1,700 when it launches next spring—it won’t be the only Galaxy phone the releases next year. Also on tap are Samsung usual flagships, the Galaxy S10 and S10+, and they’re shaping up to be quite a bit different this year.

Here’s everything we (think we) know so far:

Galaxy S10: Design and display

After the Galaxy S9 stuck with the same “Infinity Display” design that was introduced with the S8, the S10 will represent a major change for the Galaxy S line. And it could be unlike anything we’ve ever seen.

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HP Offering $330 off Pavilion 15z 15.6" Touchscreen Laptop Right Now ($370) Tue, 13 Nov 2018 07:28:00 -0800 DealPost Team DealPost Team

You don't have to wait for Black Friday. Deals have started to drop early, but you have to know where to look. HP has activated a whopping $330 discount on its Pavilion 15z 15.6" Touchscreen Laptop, which puts it at just $369.99 with Free Shipping, but the deal ends Wednesday 11/14. This laptop comes with Windows 10 Home 64, the AMD Ryzen™ 3 processor, AMD Radeon™ Vega 3 Graphics, 8 GB memory, 1 TB HDD storage, and a 15.6" diagonal HD touch display. See the full spec, customize, and/or buy it here while the deal is active. If you haven't seen it yet, HP has posted a Black Friday deals page right here that includes a few other early deals you may be interested in.

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Upgrade to an 8-core, all-AMD gaming PC for cheap with these killer Newegg CPU and GPU deals Tue, 13 Nov 2018 07:01:00 -0800 Ian Paul Ian Paul

If you’ve been waiting for just the right time to overhaul your PC, Newegg’s offering some mighty enticing discounts on an AMD Ryzen CPU and Radeon GPU that would make solid cornerstones for a powerful gaming and productivity rig. The AMD Ryzen 7 1700X processor is $150, and the MSI Radeon RX 580 Armor OC is $190, each after a $20 mail-in rebate. The CPU is $50 off Amazon’s current price and about $30 under the historical low. It’s a similar story for the RX 580, which is $35 cheaper than it was just a few weeks ago.

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Avira Antivirus Pro 2019 review: Solid performance, better prices Tue, 13 Nov 2018 03:51:00 -0800 Ian Paul Ian Paul

Avira Antivirus Pro is back with an updated version for 2019 that promises to take up a smaller chunk of your hard drive, as well as improve overall PC performance with fewer virus defintion files (VDFs) plugging up memory. The interface hasn’t really changed, however, and it’s still largely a no-nonsense suite with few extras.

Antivirus Pro is well priced at $36 for a single device for new users—the standard price is about $48. For five devices you’ll pay $57 (for new users), with $72 being the standard price. That’s okay, but you can get far more value with premium suites like McAfee and Norton that charge around $100 to cover 10 devices. 

If extras are what you’re looking for in a premium A/V suite then Avira’s all-inclusive Avira Prime subscription is the product you’re looking for. It includes Antivirus Pro, identity protection, a system optimizer, third-party software updates, a password manager, and a VPN. 

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