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The best Dell Inspiron laptops: All the new models, features, pricing and more
Mon, 10 May 2021 04:19:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
The Dell Inspiron laptop line just got a huge refresh: five new models, spanning four display sizes (13-inch, 14-inch, 15-inch and 16-inch) and even including a 2-in-1 (360-degree convertible). Starting prices range from $550 to $950.How do you decide which is best for you? We haven’t reviewed any of these models yet (many haven’t actually shipped yet), but we can walk you through their specs and features, and make some recommendations. (Be sure to check our roundup of the best laptops for complete reviews and ratings of models from Dell, HP, Lenovo, Acer and more.)To read this article in full, please click here
Why don’t we have more sound card options? | Ask an expert
Mon, 10 May 2021 03:35:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Q: Why can’t sound cards be more like video cards?A: We assume that this question refers to the constant advances in graphics cards, where the release of new technology (like process shrinks and new microarchitectures) happens about every two years. Sound cards, on the other hand, tend to get released when they get released.Why? Well...the truth is, not enough people care enough about discrete audio cards to warrant the same level of attention as discrete graphics cards. Take a random assortment of PC gamers, and the odds favor a majority saying, “Wow, this game looks incredible” instead of “Wow, this game sounds incredible.” (Even if, as the old joke goes, the reason they’re praising the graphics is because of an improved soundscape.) Not everyone will say this, of course—let’s just make that clear before a couple PCWorld staff members protest violently. But enough gamers do, thus leading to a slow drip of sound card releases.To read this article in full, please click here
Wemo Stage Scene Controller review: Almost a HomeKit home run
Mon, 10 May 2021 03:00:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
One flaw prevents this remote from being great. Blame it on Apple.
Astell&Kern USB-C Dual DAC Cable review: A plug-n-play audio upgrade for everyone except iOS users
Mon, 10 May 2021 03:00:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Astell&Kern's USB-C Dual DAC Cable is a simple, modestly priced way to improve your computer or Android device's audio output, but iPhone users need not apply.
The best laptops: Premium laptops, budget laptops, 2-in-1s, and more
Fri, 07 May 2021 14:25:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
The spring shower of new laptop technologies—AMD’s Ryzen 5000 and Intel’s Tiger Lake CPUs, plus Nvidia’s RTX 30-series mobile GPUs—are bringing a welcome flowering of faster, better portable PCs, the latest of which we’ve just started reviewing. It’s still a tight market, as pandemic-fueled sales remain strong. But if you yearn for the latest and greatest, this is your time. Keep reading for the latest news and reviews. (Psst: We also have a list of all the laptops available with RTX 30-series.)To read this article in full, please click here
Ryzen 5000: Everything you should know
Fri, 07 May 2021 13:15:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Back in November, AMD fired a fresh shot across Intel’s bow with the launch of its Zen 3 processors—also known as Ryzen 5000. Not only did those powerful new desktop parts win a spot on our Best CPUs list, they were joined soon after by equally impressive mobile chips in January.Upgrading to either variant of Ryzen 5000 naturally brings up questions: Just how powerful is each line? Where can I get these right now? And whatever happened to Ryzen 4000 on desktop? We answer all these topics and more, which you’ll find in the handy list below. You can use this article as a cheat sheet for quickly getting up to speed on the latest, too.To read this article in full, please click here
Report: Microsoft has put Windows 10X on hold
Fri, 07 May 2021 09:58:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Microsoft has reportedly postponed and possibly cancelled Windows 10X, the simplified alternative to Windows that Microsoft had originally intended to compete with Chromebooks.An initial report from Petri.com claimed that Windows 10X is not shipping in 2021. Windows Central says it’s confirmed the report as well, stating that development work on Windows 10X has apparently ground to a halt. Neither report has been confirmed nor denied by Microsoft; a company representative said that Microsoft has “nothing to share.”To read this article in full, please click here
Fight Google's data cap with a simple change to Google Photos
Fri, 07 May 2021 09:49:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Until now, uploading photos on your Android phone has seemed like a perfectly good idea. But in just a few weeks beginning in June, 2021, that decision is going to hit you right in the wallet! At that time, Google will begin to enforce its new storage policy. Upload all the photos you want right now. Eventually, however, blocking photos from uploading to Google Photos, as weird as it sounds, will eventually save you money.Let us explain. If you take a photo on an Android phone, it automatically uploads itself to the Google cloud, where it’s stored in perpetuity. Today, those photos are stored in what Google calls “high resolution” by default—something close to the original resolution you shot. To read this article in full, please click here
How much is Hulu? Plans, prices, and deals for cord-cutters
Fri, 07 May 2021 07:30:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Which Hulu plan is best? We explain all of Hulu's pricing plans, including Hulu + Live TV, and add-ons for channels like ESPN+, Showtime, HBO Max and more.
Tested: How fast Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G chip for PCs is
Fri, 07 May 2021 03:47:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
HP’s Elite Folio is the first laptop we’ve seen to be powered by Qualcomm’s latest Arm chip, the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2. Yes, the Gen 2—supposedly a faster, more powerful upgrade to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx. Is it? We tested the HP Elite Folio and the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 chip to find out just how fast it is.This isn’t a formal review. What we did was to take HP’s elegant, vegan-leather-wrapped tablet and run a few early tests on it, to draw some immediate comparisons to previous reviews. While we typically run benchmarks several times to determine the average performance, in this case we’ve run our benchmark suite just twice—enough to ensure our results are accurate, however.To read this article in full, please click here
Tested: Is Ryzen 5000 battery performance really that bad?
Fri, 07 May 2021 03:15:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Is the performance of AMD Ryzen mobile on battery really that bad? If you’re even asking that question, you’ve no doubt heard Intel’s claims that Ryzen 4000 CPU performance tanked when running on battery. Plugged-in performance was dandy, but in tests of multiple Ryzen 4000U-based laptops, performance dropped huge amounts on battery, depending on the task.While some reviewers checked AC and DC performance and found some nuggets of truth to Intel’s claims, the issue has mostly lain dormant for the last six months. Now that Ryzen 5000 is out, we decided to circle back and see if the claims still held. As you’ll see in our tests, what’s “good” or “bad” depends on whether you care more about performance or battery life. To read this article in full, please click here
Samsung QN90A 55-inch 4K UHD TV review: Mini-LED meets quantum dots
Fri, 07 May 2021 03:00:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Samsung's QN90A Neo QLED TV marries mini-LED backlighting and quantum dots to produce the company's most vivid 4K UHD image yet.
Sennheiser IE 300 in-ear headphone review: Stellar performance is the name of this game
Fri, 07 May 2021 03:00:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
This IEH delivers gorgeous sound with no drawbacks whatsoever—except maybe the price.
Tested: How Nvidia Reflex can make you a better esports gamer
Thu, 06 May 2021 13:14:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
“Frames win games,” Nvidia likes to say, but there’s more to esports domination than raw frame rates. How those frames get delivered matters too. Latency—the time it takes for an on-screen action to happen after you press a button—reigns supreme in the blink-and-you’re-dead competitive esports scene. If your game looks beautiful but feels sluggish, you’ll find yourself outgunned by rivals playing with crummy visual settings to increase responsiveness.Enter Nvidia Reflex, introduced alongside the GeForce RTX 3080 and RTX 3090. If you’ve heard of it before, you probably associate it with low-latency features being added to games like Call of Duty: Warzone, Valorant, and Fortnite. But Reflex is actually Nvidia’s overarching brand name for a wide range of new latency-obsessed tools. Yes, the Low Latency Mode being added to games is part of it, but on Tuesday, Nvidia and its partners are also rolling out blisteringly fast 360Hz G-Sync Esports monitors with Reflex Latency Analyzer built in. If you’ve invested in compatible accessories, Reflex Latency Analyzer keeps tabs on the entire pipeline from the millisecond you click your mouse to the millisecond the game renders your gun shooting, helping you identify which parts of your system are acting as a bottleneck.To read this article in full, please click here
Google Assistant’s Broadcast feature can now reach you from your phone
Thu, 06 May 2021 09:00:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Family members can now get broadcasts from Google Assistant even when they’re not near a Google smart speaker. Also: Family Bell gets a much-needed update.
Google will automatically enroll users in two-factor authentication soon
Thu, 06 May 2021 06:00:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Most security experts agree that two-factor authentication (2FA) is a critical part of securing your online accounts. Google agrees, but it’s taking an extra step: It’s going to sign up Google account holders up for two-factor accounts automatically.Google sees two-factor authentication as a replacement for passwords, which Mark Risher, Google’s director of product management for identity and user security, in a statement called “the single biggest threat to your online security.” Because they’re easy to steal and hard to remember, users will end up reusing passwords. If stolen, they can be used to unlock multiple user accounts, adding to the risk.To read this article in full, please click here
Roku loses YouTube TV: What's a cord-cutter to do?
Thu, 06 May 2021 03:00:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Roku loses YouTube TV: Here are the alternatives for cord cutters
Best password managers: Reviews of the top products
Thu, 06 May 2021 03:00:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
We are terrible at passwords. We suck at creating them (the top two most popular remain “123456” and “password”), we share them way too freely, and we forget them all the time. Indeed, the very thing that can ensure our online security has become our biggest obstacle to it. This is what makes a good password manager essential.To read this article in full, please click here
How to create strong, secure passwords by learning how to crack them
Wed, 05 May 2021 15:39:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Create stronger, more secure passwords: We are nagged to do it all the time, but few of us actually make the effort. Meanwhile, passwords continue to be stolen, leaked, and cracked on a regular basis. So this time we’re hoping to get your attention by looking at it from the attacker’s side! We'll show you how passwords are cracked and even how to do it yourself, so you can see exactly why a strong password matters.As our brief foray with a cracking tool will show you, your only protection against a determined password-cracker is—you guessed it—a long, complex string of 10 or more characters. Anything shorter, let alone simpler, is too easy to crack. Know that, and suddenly using a password manager looks a lot easier than trying to create passwords all by yourself. We also have tips on how to pick a very strong password, too!To read this article in full, please click here
The Full Nerd ep. 175: Ryzen 5900X and leaked GeForce Ti GPUs inspire rare hope
Wed, 05 May 2021 08:52:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
In this episode of The Full Nerd, Gordon Ung, Brad Chacos, and Adam Patrick Murray dive deep into Ryzen machinations and rumors about “Ti” refreshes for not one, not two, but three of Nvidia’s GeForce RTX graphics cards.Gordon kicks things off by explaining how AMD’s impossible-to-find Ryzen 9 5900X somehow made Amazon’s top-selling list, and why that inspires hope for future availability—but you won’t be able to run it on an older X370 motherboard. Maybe that’s a good thing though!To read this article in full, please click here
How to make an old PC useful for someone else | Ask an expert
Wed, 05 May 2021 07:00:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Q: I need to set up an elderly relative with a computer for times when a smartphone doesn’t cut it—printing information from websites and documents, mainly. I’ve got an old machine from 2007 that still works, and it’ll have to do since I’ve been ordered not to spend “any money whatsoever” on this project. Got any tips on making this machine semi-pleasant to use? I’m willing to spend a little on hardware upgrades and lie about it later.A: You shouldn’t need to drop much cash on that machine to make it tolerable by modern standards. Despite the age of that dual-core processor and low-end discrete graphics card, the combo can handle web browsing (including streaming video) and printing just fine. You also have 4GB RAM, which is a sufficient amount for light computer tasks. The one hardware update I recommend is replacing the hard-disk drive with an SSD—a solid-state drive will make the computer feel much newer and snappier. These days, a name-brand 256GB SSD like the Samsung 870 EVO costs $40, which should be enough space for your relative’s needs. (You can find more recommendations in our list of the best SSDs.)To read this article in full, please click here
The best USB-C hubs for your laptop or tablet
Wed, 05 May 2021 06:00:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Laptops with USB-C ports are now almost ubiquitous, as the world moves away from slower, inflexible USB-A ports to this faster, more versatile connection standard. Some laptops only have USB-C connections—that means a USB-C hub is essential if you want to connect a wired USB-A mouse or keyboard, or an older wired printer. Of course, it’s also a handy way to add an HDMI connection, an SD card slot, or simply more USB ports for storage.Fortunately, there are so many USB-C hubs available with various combinations of legacy I/O that finding one to meet your particular needs is as easy as ordering off a menu. We’ve divided our picks into two categories: basic and full-featured, the latter denoting hubs that offer greater extensibility, including the ability to charge phones.To read this article in full, please click here
Windows 10's Clipboard History is the best little tool you're not using
Wed, 05 May 2021 03:38:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Sometimes the best software tools are built right into the operating system you’re already using.Case in point is Windows 10’s Clipboard History tool, which lets you store multiple items at a time for copying and pasting. While there’s no shortage of third-party clipboard managers for Windows—many of which cost money—Microsoft’s own option might be all you need. It’s especially handy if you’re often juggling a lot of text or images, and find yourself re-copying and pasting the same items repeatedly.Using the Windows 10 Clipboard History tool is easy: Press Win+V, and you’ll see a small pop-up prompting you to turn on the feature. From that point onward, you can press Win+V to view a running list of the last 25 text snippets or images that you’ve copied.To read this article in full, please click here
Do Philips Hue smart bulbs need a hub? No, but here's why they're better with one
Wed, 05 May 2021 03:00:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
You can control Philips Hue bulbs via Bluetooth rather than a hub, but here are the features you’ll be missing.
Proscenic A9 air purifier review: Powerful air flow, questionable odor
Wed, 05 May 2021 03:00:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
An immature app isn’t the least appealing aspect of this smart air purifier
Dell security flaw from 2009 affects 'hundreds of millions' of PCs: How to fix it
Wed, 05 May 2021 02:58:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
First, the bad news: Security researchers recently discovered five high-severity flaws in Dell’s firmware update driver—and they’ve been pushed to customer computers ever since 2009. Now the good news: A fix is already (finally?) available for people who own Dell desktops, laptops, and tablets.You’ll want to take advantage if you’re affected, as the secretive code won’t stay a secret for long.“These multiple high severity vulnerabilities in Dell software could allow attackers to escalate privileges from a non-administrator user to kernel mode privileges,” writes Kasif Dekel, a security researcher at SentinelOne that sniffed out the vulnerability. That could let attackers bypass security software or assault the network of an organization that deploys Dell PCs. “Over the years, Dell has released BIOS update utilities which contain the vulnerable driver for hundreds of millions of computers (including desktops, laptops, notebooks, and tablets) worldwide.”To read this article in full, please click here
The best CPUs for gaming
Tue, 04 May 2021 10:10:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Buying a processor for a gaming rig isn’t as hard as it used to be. Now that Ryzen 5000-series and Intel’s 11th-gen Core CPUs come with more performance and cores than ever before, it’s hard to buy a stinker these days—especially because most games favor graphics firepower over CPU oomph. All that said, there are specific chips that stand out from the horde as the best gaming CPUs due to their price, performance, or nifty extras. Best CPU for gaming cheat sheet Our quick-hit recommendations:To read this article in full, please click here
Livedrive online backup review: Elegant, fast, and a bit pricey
Tue, 04 May 2021 08:00:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Quite often, reviewing a product is simply a matter of waiting for it to do something wrong. Sometimes, the wait is minimal. Or, as is the case with Livedrive, it’s seemingly interminable—the “something wrong” just hasn’t happened. The Livedrive client installed cleanly, functions smoothly, and was quite a bit faster than I expected for a service based across the Atlantic. Nice. See how well it compares to the competition in our big online backup roundup. Note: For more about data backup, see our best free backup software/services and the best Windows backup software roundups. Setup and features Livedrive is distinct in its attention to detail. For instance, installation dialog text can often appear so small and unreadable on my iMac’s 5K display, but Livedrive’s renderings were perfectly legible. Beyond that, the setup overall suffered nary a hiccup, and I was up and running in very short order. To read this article in full, please click here
Windows 10 shovels dirt on Flash's grave
Tue, 04 May 2021 07:33:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Adobe Flash finally died in 2020, and now Microsoft is helping to bury it.Windows 10’s currently optional “Update for Removal of Adobe Flash Player” will be pushed into the operating system’s monthly cumulative updates starting in July, an updated Microsoft blog post reveals (as spotted by The Verge). Windows Insiders will receive the Flash-killing update starting in June. And if you upgrade to the bigger(ish) Windows 10 May 2021 Update arriving imminently, Flash will be removed as well.  To read this article in full, please click here
No, you can't run Ryzen 5000 on your old AMD motherboard, but maybe that's a good thing
Tue, 04 May 2021 03:23:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
No Internet, you still cannot officially use AMD’s newest Ryzen 5000 desktop CPU in ancient motherboards—and now, you can’t seem to do it unofficially, either.Those who own original X370, B350, and A320 boards had already known this as stated fact for some time. But the latest dust-up, covered by WCCFtech’s Hassan Mujtaba, arose when ASRock customers were caught passing around beta BIOSes that actually allowed Ryzen 5000 to go into older boards. Once AMD got wind of the underground dealings, the company put the kibosh on them.To read this article in full, please click here
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