Vive Corp.
     Sunday April 02, 2023
Services Products Support Downloads Contact Us About Us Site map

Software Development

Since 1991

  News Latest News         Our products:    
Get a top-rated AI image generator for 80% off for a limited time
Sun, 02 Apr 2023 08:00:00 +0000
Source: PCWorld
OpenAI’s Chat-GPT has garnered many headlines in recent months, and the impending GPT-4 stands to make the AI even buzzier and more remarkable. But with so much focus on Chat-GPT, you might have overlooked the incredible AI art generators supported by GPT, like DALL-E. DALL-E makes beautiful art accessible to anyone. With DALL-E, you can enter a prompt and get instant results, whether you’re an artist looking for inspiration, a content marketer, or you need help with website imagery. You can modify individual object attributes, simultaneously control multiple objects and their spatial relationships, and even adjust the perspective and 3D style of images. With the WordPress Plugin, you can create and add images to your site immediately, with no limits on your imagination. Make your wildest ideas real. For a limited time, you can get a lifetime license to the DALL-E AI Image Generator & WordPress Plugin for 80% off $299 at just $59.   DALL-E AI Image Generator & WordPress Plugin: Lifetime License – $59 See Deal Prices subject to change. Computer Accessories
Pay $40 for lifetime access to Microsoft Office
Sun, 02 Apr 2023 08:00:00 +0000
Source: PCWorld
Basically since its inception, Microsoft Office has been the best office suite money can buy. As such, it’s also one of the more expensive programs on the market, making it a stretch for many more casual users. During our Spring Digital Blowout, however, we’re offering lifetime licenses to Microsoft Office Pro 2021 for Windows or Microsoft Office Home & Business for Mac 2021 for just $39.99. This offer is only available between March 22 and April 3, so make sure to jump on it now. With the deal, you can get a Windows package that incudes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, OneNote, Publisher, Access, and Skype for Business. It’s everything you need to be more productive and scale your business from home. The Mac version includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, and OneNote. Take advantage of this limited-time deal and shore up all of your office software needs. Grab a lifetime license to Microsoft Office Pro 2021 for Windows or Microsoft Office Home & Business for Mac 2021 for 88% off $349 at just $39.99; hurry before this sale ends April 3rd.   Microsoft Office Pro 2021 for Windows: Lifetime License – $39.99 See Deal Prices subject to change. Computer Accessories
Learn to code on a budget during our Spring Digital Blowout
Sat, 01 Apr 2023 08:00:00 +0000
Source: PCWorld
We live in a tech-forward world, and learning to code can help you in just about any career or industry. However, if you’re not the most tech-savvy or you don’t know anything about coding, it can feel overwhelming to start trying to learn. But at least it won’t make a big impact on your budget. That’s because during our Spring Digital Blowout, you can get The 2023 Premium Learn to Code Certification Bundle for an extra $20 off at just $19.99. One of the most popular bundles in the PCWorld Shop, this collection includes 14 courses and nearly 250 hours of training from some of the web’s best instructors. With courses on Python, web development, app development, software engineer, and much more, you’ll build a comprehensive foundation in coding to help you climb the career ladder. Take advantage of this deal while you can. Now through 11:59 pm on 4/3, you can get The 2023 Premium Learn to Code Certification Bundle for just $19.99.   The 2023 Premium Learn to Code Certification Bundle – $19.99 See Deal Prices subject to change. Business
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate tip: Get 3 years of access for dirt cheap
Fri, 31 Mar 2023 23:16:28 +0000
Source: PCWorld
For almost four years, gamers have been able to access hundreds of titles across PC and Xbox via Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass Ultimate service—but you don’t have to pay full price. If you play your cards right, you can lock in a 63 percent discount on Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for up to three years. (Update March 2023: This conversion trick still works as of March 31, 2023, even after the death of the $1 Game Pass Ultimate trial. But its days are very likely numbered.) Back when the service first launched, early adopters discovered a surprising trick: Activating one month of Game Pass Ultimate on an account also converted existing Xbox Live Gold and standard Xbox Game Pass subscriptions to Ultimate (normally $15 per month) at a 1:1 rate. Any prepaid time up to the maximum of three years got the upgrade. And this generous conversion rate is still working to this day. So if you have three months of Xbox Live Gold or Xbox Game Pass (or a combination of the two) on your account, you’ll end up with three months for your Game Pass Ultimate subscription, plus the additional one month from purchasing Game Pass Ultimate. Equally, 36 months of prepaid time transforms into Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for a full three years. It doesn’t matter the cost of that one month of Game Pass Ultimate. Even after the demise of the $1 trial, this 1:1 conversion rate is still in effect (for now). Looking to load up on Xbox Live Gold at a discount? Keep an eye out for sales at Newegg. The retailer drops the cost of a 1-year subscription to $50 USD periodically. (You can set a deal alert for “xbox live” at for an email or push notification of future deals.) But even at the regular price of $60 USD per 12-month code, this hack is smoking. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate bundles together Microsoft’s Netflix-esque Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass for PC subscriptions with its Xbox Live Gold multiplayer service. It’s a sweet deal overall. Multiplatform gamers obviously benefit most, since Game Pass Ultimate bundles together Xbox Live Gold, Xbox Game Pass, and Xbox Game Pass for PC. You’ll get unlimited access to a full range of titles across platforms, including upcoming Halo, Gears of War, and other Microsoft first-party game releases on PC. But even gamers who play exclusively on PC benefit: Though Xbox Game Pass for PC only initially cost $5 per month, that price lasted only through the beta period, which ended September 16, 2020. Loading up an account with three years of Xbox Live Gold ($180) and then converting it to Game Pass Ultimate for an additional $15 essentially locks in that $5-per-month rate for three years, which outlives the beta period pricing by a long shot. (You should be able to do this conversion trick if you participated in the Xbox Game Pass for PC beta.) It’s the smart move, because converting Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass memberships to Game Pass Ultimate afterward happens at a pro-rated amount. Read on for a step-by-step guide of how to secure this deal, which includes tips on how to maximize your savings. Halo games will be included in Xbox Game Pass for PC (and by extension, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate). !- News alerts -! 3/26/2023: As reported by The Verge, Microsoft has killed its $1 Game Pass Ultimate trial. Previously, you could have used that trial to convert up to three years of Xbox Live Gold—which previous versions of this conversion trick even cheaper. For the moment, you can still do a 1:1 conversion by buying one month of Ultimate at full price ($15). 3/31/2022: Talk is swirling that Microsoft may eliminate Xbox Live Gold, which would kill this deal hack. A report from Brad Sams of claims that the company is seeking to make Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (and its $15-per-month rate) the base-level plan. You can hear the details from Sams himself in this YouTube video, in which he also suggests that the death of Gold could happen when Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard closes in 2023, if approved by U.S. regulators. Additionally, current energy prices are driving up costs for Microsoft’s cloud computing services, leading the company to hint that price increases on Xbox consoles and subscriptions (like Game Pass) could come to pass. Our best guess is that no changes would be likely during the brisk holiday sales period, but after the start of 2023 it’s anyone’s guess as to what will happen. How to convert Xbox Live Gold (or Xbox Game Pass) to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate The most basic description of what you’ll do is this: Buy Xbox Live GoldBuy 1 month of Xbox Game Pass UltimateAgree to a conversion of your Gold and/or standard Game Pass subscription(s) to Game Pass Ultimate However, you can run into a few pitfalls during this process—especially if you’re going for the maximum of three years. The detailed instructions below will help you avoid those mistakes. (Note: Previous versions of this guide, including the YouTube video below, refer to the now-dead $1 Game Pass Ultimate trial. The conversion trick isn’t dead, though—for the moment, you can still do a 1:1 conversion if you pay for a month of Ultimate at full price. You’ll save over 60 percent versus a standard Ultimate subscription versus 66 percent when the trial was alive.) Step 1 Decide how long you want Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. To make the most of the deal, get as close to three years of Xbox Live Gold (or Xbox Live Gold + standard Xbox Game Pass) as possible, which is the maximum amount of time you can prepay. Add months to an Xbox Live Gold subscription using digital subscription codes purchased from Microsoft or another retailer (Amazon, Newegg, Target, etc.). Increase the time on Xbox Live Gold, not standard Xbox Game Pass—Xbox Live Gold is the cheaper option. Note: Microsoft discontinued selling 12-month Xbox Live Gold subscriptions on its website during the summer of 2020, but third-party retailers (like Amazon, Newegg, Target, etc) still sell them for now. Amazon is one of the easiest places to purchase digital subscription codes for Xbox Live Gold, but you can sometimes find better prices at other retailers. Add time in the largest increments possible—a 12-month code for Gold works out much cheaper per month than the one-month, three-month, and six-month varieties. When purchasing codes, always remember that Microsoft’s servers won’t let you redeem a code for a duration that exceeds the 36-month cap. (Example: You’re at 34 months, but attempt to redeem a three-month code. The servers will not let you activate it.) Short multi-day trial codes for Xbox Live Gold won’t work for this promotion, like those for three days or two weeks. WARNING: If you buy three 1-year subscriptions, do not turn on recurring billing while redeeming the codes. Any extra freebie months you get for doing so will make it impossible to redeem the final code. Tips: Don’t forget that your purchased month of Game Pass Ultimate will stack on top of whatever amount of Xbox Live Gold or Xbox Game Pass subscription time you convert. You won’t get the full month if it puts you over the 36 month limit, though. When redeeming an Xbox Live Gold digital subscription code, agreeing to recurring billing will give you an additional one month for free. If you turn off recurring billing before redeeming your next code, you can usually continue to take advantage of this bonus. (Don’t do this if you are redeeming three 1-year codes—the system will refuse to let you redeem the final code because it’ll put you over the limit.)
To verify you’ve turned off recurring billing, head to the Services & Subscriptions section of your account info. Under “Xbox Game Pass Ultimate,” you’ll see an expiration date for your subscription, and the option to the right will say “Turn on recurring billing.”
Microsoft Reward members with balances over 30,000 points should also check to see if the 12-month option for Xbox Live Gold exists for them. Nothing’s sweeter than a free way to max out a deal.
Likewise, Microsoft Reward members can snag their 1 month of Game Pass Ultimate for free if they have enough points.
Buying discounted Xbox Live Gold codes will further your savings. Costco is the best for members who need a 12-month Xbox Live Gold code, while CDKeys offers a modest discount available to everyone and sells 1-, 3-, 6-, and 12-month codes. CDKeys also sells discounted 1 month Game Pass Ultimate codes.
 Before buying any digital subscription codes, incorporate any of the above freebies or bonuses you can obtain into your calculations. Example: You need 17 months to max out. (You already have 16 months of Xbox Live Gold and 3 months of Xbox Game Pass active on your account.) As a Costco member who also has a surplus of Microsoft Reward points, you buy one 12-month code and then use the points to obtain a single 3-month code. You can then angle for at least one bonus month by choosing recurring billing when you redeem each Xbox Live Gold code. (YMMV, Microsoft has become inconsistent with this bonus offer.) If you get zero bonus months, add another month of Xbox Live Gold to the account. Then apply your 1 month of Game Pass Ultimate to convert everything to 36 months of Ultimate. Step 2 Activate your Xbox Live Gold codes. Again, as your final reminder, if you have three 1-year subscription codes for Xbox Live, do not agree to recurring billing in order to redeem your final code. If you are using a patchwork of different codes, triple-check your math to be sure you know how many times (if any) you need to agree to recurring billing. OOPS: Did you have three 1-year XBL Gold codes and accidentally make it impossible to redeem that final code? You can wait a month or two, then redeem code #3 and convert. Or you can wait to activate it after you upgrade to Game Pass Ultimate—you’ll be able to redeem it on a pro-rated basis to extend your Ultimate subscription. Step 3 Usually, the next screen that follows this one will request billing info for recurring billing. You should be able to decline. Activate your code for 1 month of Game Pass Ultimate. (You can also instead purchase it via the Xbox website or the Store on an Xbox console.) You will have two screens to pass through. The first, shown at right, explains how the conversion works if you already have an active Xbox Live Gold or Xbox Game Pass subscription. (Which you should, if you followed Step 2’s instructions.) Usually, the second that follows will ask for billing information for recurring billing. You should be able to decline. You should now see “Xbox Game Pass Ultimate” listed under Services and Subscriptions on your Microsoft account page. If you purchased your Ultimate code directly through the Xbox website or on an Xbox console, your Game Pass Ultimate subscription will likely be set to recurring billing as default. We suggest you turn this off, lest you be taken by surprise when your subscription expires (especially if that’s three years from now). You can do so by clicking on “Manage” just to the right of the billing information on the website. Outside of that, you’re set to go. Happy gaming! Editor’s note: This article originally published in August 2019 but has been since updated to keep it current. Recent updates includes minor edits in light of the now-dead $1 Ultimate trial. Previous updates included new info on discounted Gold codes, plus news about possible product and price changes related to Xbox Live Gold and Game Pass Ultimate. Our tutorial video was also added. Desktop PCs, Gaming, Technology Industry
Relive overclocking’s history with the legendary Charles ‘Fugger’ Wirth
Fri, 31 Mar 2023 18:06:53 +0000
Source: PCWorld
If you can’t remember when the first discrete graphics cards hit the market, overclocking might not seem like a big deal to you. Diminishing returns are a fact of life with modern hardware, but two or three decades ago, tweaks and overclocks might get you as much as a 50 percent performance boost. Just ask Charles Wirth. These days he’s a member of the team at UL Solutions, the publisher of the Futuremark suite of benchmarking software. But if you’re part of the overclocking community, you know him simply as the legendary “Fugger.” Charles took some time to talk with Gordon on the floor of the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, ostensibly to talk about the latest UL benchmarking software, but really to shoot the breeze about the glory days of PC overclocking. Check it out in the latest PCWorld YouTube video. Is there anything left for the layman overclocker in today’s PC market? Wirth thinks so. “There’s still more technology coming, there’s a lot of stuff with AI technology, and the integration of AI into the new processors. We’re actually trying to get ahead of that, and actually develop for the manufacturers to showcase those new features.” For more deep dives into the history of PC enthusiast hardware, be sure to subscribe to PCWorld on YouTube! Desktop PCs
Please don’t watch Xzibit promise to pimp your browser
Fri, 31 Mar 2023 16:41:11 +0000
Source: PCWorld
“Now, you can pimp your mother******* browser.” This is a real line from what might be the most polarizing software ad of 2023: Opera’s team-up with rap legend Xzibit to promote — er, pimp — Opera GX’s GX Mods, custom modifications to the Opera GX browser. What mods? According to Opera, unique looks (animated wallpapers and themes), sounds (keyboard and UI) and shaders (GPU-driven effects that render in real-time while browsing the web). In the words of my colleague Michael Crider, this looks like something you’d see 15 years ago. Well, to be fair, so does Xzibit. Opera GX debuted a few years ago, promising CPU and GPU optimizations for gamers, and later adding features like Discord to the GX browser as well. Over time, Opera began customizing it more and more for gamers. To this aging reporter, the whole thing sounds more than a little cringe, capitalizing on the nostalgia of the “Pimp My Ride” series, a three-year run that began *checks notes* 21 years ago on a channel that’s now known for catfishing, RuPaul, and whatever “Ridiculousness” is. That would be MTV, which *checks notes again* was once known to play music videos. But hey, Xzibit probably was paid about what the average journalist makes in a year just for posing and (hopefully) toking up while animated characters bounce around. Good for him. After all, if we made a series of videos where Gordon Mah Ung screams about the awesome power of the GeForce GTX 1080, can we really be too critical? Personal Software
Windows 11’s Search may let you download apps directly soon
Fri, 31 Mar 2023 16:35:58 +0000
Source: PCWorld
Yesterday, Microsoft previewed a brand spanking new Insider preview build of Windows 11 in the Canary channel. This channel, which is intended to be experimental, allows you to try out new features long before they become widely available on Windows 11. The new build (aka build 25330) gives you the option to install apps or games directly from Windows Search results. This is good news, as it cuts down the time it takes to install these things. In the screenshot below, which I nabbed from the Windows Insider blog, you’ll see how downloading an app directly from the search results actually works. Microsoft If you hover your cursor over a free app or game on the search results page, you’ll find the install button, which is highlighted in a red box in the screenshot above. This allows you to install the app or game without having to go to the product page itself. This feature is only available for free apps and games, though. Normally, you’d be sent to the Microsoft Store, where you’d then need to activate the install button to download the selected app or game. This new feature eliminates the extra step of opening the Store and going to the product page, resulting in faster installation. It’s just plain convenient. There are a few other improvements, too. First, Microsoft gave the purchase page for buying apps a bit of a facelift. According to the company, this updated look fits “better with Windows 11.” The company also refreshed the UI for rating apps, further meshing the look with Windows 11’s current style. The wheel page has also been redesigned, which has to do with devices like the Surface Dial, an artist-focused device that also lets you physically scroll through news articles without touching your mouse or keyboard. Microsoft These new features are no doubt exciting, especially if you love convenience as much as I do. The ability to quickly download free games and apps may boost downloads as well as improve workflow. For additional information, be sure to check out the aforementioned Windows Inside blog post, which goes over the various changes in the new build. Windows
5 badass games to play after watching John Wick: Chapter 4
Fri, 31 Mar 2023 16:23:39 +0000
Source: PCWorld
As a middle-aged dude who grew up watching anime, kung-fu films, and The Matrix, inject the John Wick series straight into my veins, please. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks re-watching the entire collection to get pumped for John Wick: Chapter 4 on the big screen and now that I’m caught up, I don’t want to hop off this vibe train. Fortunately, I also grew up playing a heaping helping of video games, and there are several kick-ass ones that are absolutely perfect to pick up and play to feel like the man, the myth, the devil himself. Boot these up and become an absolute badass. Better yet? They’re all pretty cheap! The Hong Kong Massacre John Wick: Chapter 4 includes an awe-inspiring top-down scene of Mr. Wick clearing out a French building with extreme, fiery prejudice. It almost felt like a video game—and that’s because it was inspired by a rad one. Director Chad Stahelski told SlashFilm the scene was directly inspired by The Hong Kong Massacre, a top-down shooter that released in 2019. “I had seen this video game and I’ll throw a shout-out — I think it was called “Hong Kong Massacre” — they did this top shot and we had been doing so much with the big muzzle flashes and it just kind of clicked like, ‘Well, if I’m above, we shoot like this and we shoot like this, and it draws these cool lines with the muzzle flash, and if I get the right flicker effect, it’s like Etch A Sketch. It looks really cool,’” Stahelski said. “And it was a different way to amp up the action and keep you in that video game mode that John Wick’s kind of known for, that first-person shooter kind of thing.” Superhot Speaking of first person shooters, the legendary Superhot (sorry, SUPERHOT. SUPER. HOT.) remains the best John Wick action simulator to date, especially if you’re able to play it in VR. Here’s an excerpt from our review: “It’s a first-person shooter, except time only moves full-speed when you move. Stand still and everything slows to a crawl. Bullets hang in the air, red trails stretching out behind. People are practically motionless, frozen mid-charge.Lucky for you, because the odds are overwhelming. You’re a one-man army, taking out anonymous red enemies en masse, watching bullets idly twirl past your skull, exchanging shots with statues. Pause. Running out of ammo and then throwing your gun at the nearest foe, putting him off guard just long enough for you to sneak in a punch. Pause. Grabbing his pistol out of the air as he falls. Pause. Spinning and shooting two more who’d snuck up behind. Pause. Dodging out of the way of two bullets arcing your direction. Pause.This start/stop rhythm is the core of Superhot—more puzzle game than first-person shooter, more The Matrix or Equilibrium than Call of Duty.” If you haven’t played Superhot, fix that mistake now. And if you’ve played Superhot, it’s time to play Superhot again. It’s always time to play Superhot. Hotline Miami But back to top-down, hyper-violent shooters with all the vibes. Before The Hong Kong Massacre, there was Hotline Miami, a retro-tinged masterpiece with possibly the most absolutely banging soundtrack of all time. Here’s how we described it once: “Hotline Miami is still one of the best arcade-style experiences I’ve ever had. It was basically a tight, well-crafted version of Hitman on cocaine—blasting music, brutal murders, and adrenaline. As you played, you’d feel yourself gradually lose yourself in the experience. You’d allow yourself to slip into “the flow,” a sort of Zen state of unfeeling efficiency where your murders became almost reflexive.It was crazy. It was disturbing. It was addictive as hell.” That’s John Wick af. Skip the sequel, though. Sifu More into fists than guns? You definitely want to check out Sifu, which calls itself “a realistic third-person brawler with tight Kung Fu combat mechanics and cinematic martial arts action embarking you on a path for revenge.” That’s true and Sifu absolutely slaps. It’s also John Wick af, just without all the shooty bangs. John Wick Hex Finally, the actual John Wick game has to make this list, of course. But John Wick Hex is very, very different from the movies and the other games highlighted here. It’s not an action game whatsoever. Instead, it’s “a satisfying strategy game that aptly captures the feel of the films in a way no true action game could,” as we said in our review. “A hybrid of real-time and turn-based, the timeline governs all in John Wick Hex. Every action takes a set amount of time. Walk one hex? Maybe a second. Pick up a gun? Two seconds. Bandage your wounds? Four.Your enemies are ruled by their own timelines, of course. And given the nature of the system, their actions aren’t necessarily in sync with yours. As I said, one enemy is simple. Wick tends to act slightly faster than his opponents, so you can almost always handle a single foe. When John Wick Hex throws more enemies at you though, it starts to play out almost like a dance. Almost like the films, really.”John Wick Hex stumbles to the finish line thanks to an insane difficulty spike and too-frequent deaths. But if you’re open to a new kind of experience—or simply want to step in the shoes of the genuine Mr. Wick rather playing through games that match his vibes—it’s well worth playing. “I wish more tie-in games were executed with this level of craft, and with premises this creative,” we said. “If they were, perhaps we’d see more of them—or at least more worth playing.” Happy hunting, Mr. Wick! Gaming
Best VPNs for gaming 2023: Four great options
Fri, 31 Mar 2023 16:00:00 +0000
Source: PCWorld
We all know what VPNs are great for. They can help secure your internet traffic over public networks like at a café, airport, library, or other public place. VPNs can also get around geo-blocking in order to watch Netflix catalogs around the world, or access Disney Plus in a country that doesn’t have it yet. Gaming is another popular use case for VPNs: Besides the privacy factor for gamers who use peer-to-peer networks, a VPN can give you a more stable experience since VPN servers are monitored and maintained for reliability; it can also help get around an ISP that tends to throttle traffic to game servers. (For more on this, see our section below: Do you need a VPN for gaming?) Here’s what we suggest as the best VPNs for gaming. (Too see our VPN picks for all the various common use cases, check out our comprehensive best VPN roundup.) Updated 03/31/2023: We’ve updated the NordVPN summary to include info from our latest review. You can read more about this best pick below. 1. ExpressVPN – Best VPN for gaming Pros Consistently good speeds Easy-to-use desktop program Broad device support Cons Logs data transfer amounts More expensive than many competitors Price When Reviewed: $6.67 per month Best Prices Today: $6.67 at ExpressVPN ExpressVPN is our top choice for the best VPN overall, and what makes it a good choice as a general VPN also helps when it comes to gaming. First, its speeds are in the top five in our download tests. Upload speeds are a bit weaker, retaining around 67 percent of the base speed when the top performers are around 80 percent. Still, ExpressVPN’s upload speeds should be more than fast enough for gaming. This VPN also has more than 3,000 servers in 95 countries around the world, giving this service a sizeable network. You should have no trouble finding a server that isn’t too busy in most of the major countries. ExpressVPN costs about $100 per year, but if you want a VPN to make your gaming better it’s worth it to pay the premium. Plus, there are a number of other advantages you can get from Express, which you can read about in our review. Read our full ExpressVPN review 2. NordVPN Pros Great feature set Excellent speeds No-logs policy Attractive and intuitive interface Cons Expensive Price When Reviewed: $3.49 per month Best Prices Today: $3.49 at NordVPN A frequent choice as the top VPN from a number of critics, NordVPN is a very good choice for gaming. It has very fast download speeds and upload speeds (73 percent and 80 percent of base internet speeds, respectively), making it more than fast enough. NordVPN also has a wide range of servers with more than 5,000 total in over 60 country locations. NordVPN isn’t quite as easy to use as ExpressVPN, but it’s still easy enough to understand for both novice and expert users. It also offers split-tunneling, allowing you to route your web surfing traffic through the VPN while keeping your online gaming separate. This ensures you have the best of both worlds, privacy and speed. Read our full NordVPN review 3. Private Internet Access Pros Good number of extra features such as multi-hop and split tunneling Diskless servers Allows for up to 10 simultaneous connections Cons App panel locked to lower-right corner of screen New ownership may give some users pause Price When Reviewed: $9.95 per month Best Prices Today: $9.95 at Private Internet Access If you want servers, servers, and more servers then Private Internet Access is the choice for you. PIA has around 10,000 servers at the moment, and its speeds finished within the top 10 in our tests. Upload speeds were lower than NordVPN and ExpressVPN, but they are still stable enough for gaming. PIA doesn’t have a ton of extras, but it’s the best choice when you want a massive amount of server choices with good speeds. Read our full Private Internet Access review 4. ProtonVPN Pros Fantastic speeds Easy-to-use multi-hop feature Supports TOR over VPN connections Cons Expensive Price When Reviewed: $96 Best Prices Today: $96 at ProtonVPN AG ProtonVPN is our top finisher for upload speeds. So if that’s the main concern for you, this is your pick. It’s also the second-place finisher for download speeds. However, its server choices are quite a bit more modest than the other VPNs mentioned in this roundup, with just over 1,500, meaning there will be times when most of its servers are at or near capacity, especially in the United States. The country count is a bit lower at 63, but most of the major destinations you need are here. It’s also stable and quick to connect. ProtonVPN has several pricing tiers so be sure to pay attention to what each tier offers before buying. Read our full ProtonVPN review How we tested To test VPN speeds, we take the base download speed on three days, with each testing day having a minimum speed of 80 megabits per second (Mbps). Then we test the speeds three times each in five different countries on each testing day. These countries are often, but not always the U.S., the UK, Germany, Australia, and Japan. The daily speeds are averaged together to get a daily average speed. Then we take the average of each testing day to get an overall global average. That overall average is then expressed as a percentage of the base speed. That way the test results provide a sense of how much speed a VPN retains over multiple locations. We avoid hard numbers since speeds can vary so much based on factors such as your service provider, router, devices, and time of day. What to look for in a VPN for gaming For gaming there are a few essentials. The first is speed. If you don’t have good speeds, your online experience will be terrible in general whether gaming or not. So excellent VPN speeds are a must. The next big feature you need is stability, a VPN connection that gets online quickly and doesn’t drop or slow down. To obtain stability you need a reliable service, but it also has to have a good number of servers. VPNs can often slow down as their servers get saturated with users. A larger network won’t have that problem as much since it will automatically connect users to other servers that aren’t seeing such heavy use. If you have speed, stability, and a large server network to choose from then you’re good to go. The only other thing you need is unlimited bandwidth, which means you need a paid service. Free VPNs have daily or monthly allotments, making them more or less useless for gaming. FAQ 1. Do you need a VPN for gaming? We’ve seen what you need from a gaming VPN, but is this even something you need for your favorite online adventure or shoot ‘em up? The answer is, it all depends. One of the most common questions people have about VPNs and gaming is whether it will improve your ping times. That is, the speed, measured in milliseconds, that your PC can send data to the game’s servers. VPNs can’t really help here since it adds another connection point between you and your destination server. Instead of going from your PC to the game server and back, it goes from your PC to the VPN server to the game server and back. In most cases you will probably find that ping times either worsen or stay about the same. Either way, it’s a rare case where ping times are helped by a VPN. The one exception might be stability. In these instances, your bare internet connection isn’t stable enough due to a high amount of activity in your neighborhood, or heavy load on your home network. In those cases, a VPN might make things a little more stable since you connection runs through a VPN server that specializes in keeping things moving. That brings us to the next topic of potential ISP throttling. We’re not talking about the nefarious kind where your service provider might try to charge you extra for access to gaming servers. Instead, we’re talking about everyday traffic shaping, as well as penalizing bandwidth hogs (you) for taking up too much bandwidth at peak times. Again in those cases a VPN may help. It all depends on how closely your ISP is monitoring your activity. If it’s slowing down your connection to a specific server and prioritizing other traffic, then a VPN will most likely help. If, however, you’re getting penalized for being too much of a bandwidth hog, the ISP will still see larger amounts of bandwidth and penalize you on that basis. If your favorite time to play is 7PM at night, and that’s a high traffic time, a VPN might help. Another reason people love a VPN is for getting around geo-blocking restrictions. For the most part this is a bad idea or unnecessary for gaming. Many games already let you change regions freely, while others will only let you switch every few weeks. In those instances where you can’t switch regions, and you want to try getting around geographic restrictions, keep in mind that your gameplay experience may not be that great. On top of that, you may be violating the games terms of service, setting yourself up for a ban. That goes for playing games and trying to get access to games early, as well as accessing DLC that isn’t available where you are. It’s up to you, but keep in mind there are risks to getting around geo restrictions in games. Plus game networks like Steam don’t like this kind of activity, and the only thing worse than getting penalized by a game would be getting penalized by Steam. One final issue is if you are playing a game that uses a peer-to-peer network instead of a client-server setup. These games aren’t as common as they once were, but the fear here is that someone will find your IP address and try to kick you offline with a denial-of-service attack. A VPN would definitely help with that, and if you’re experiencing something you think might be a DDoS then you could try playing with a VPN to see if it helps. 2. How many servers should my VPN have? There is no set number of servers that make one VPN better than another. While VPN providers will often advertise the number of servers they have, this is largely a marketing gimmick and doesn’t really equate to the quality of the VPN service itself. Things such as server location spread and server quality are as important if not more so than the quantity of available servers. That being said, most of the major VPN providers offer between 3,000 to 5,000 or more servers. We recommend that you avoid any paid service under 1,000 servers as this may be an indication that the company is not yet well established, which could lead to reliability issues. 3. Will a VPN affect my internet speeds? In short, yes, a VPN can have an effect on your internet speeds. But nowadays it’s the exception rather than the norm. When you connect to a VPN, it re-routes your traffic through its own servers. Depending on where these servers are located, it can add extra distance for your traffic to travel to and from, leading to a higher ping. Also, VPNs encrypt your data, which can lead to slower download and upload speeds due to the time it takes to encrypt and decrypt your data—this can affect everything from page load times to video buffering speeds. Thankfully, advances in encryption technology and server optimization by modern VPN providers have lessened these impacts significantly. 4. Is it legal to use a VPN? Yes! In the United States, and in most countries, using a VPN is legal. Some websites might try to block VPN connections, but this is just due to their own terms of use and it doesn’t mean that you can’t try to use a VPN. Something to note, however: While using a VPN is legal, some of the activities done while using a VPN might be illegal. Activities such as downloading pirated copyrighted content or accessing dark web markets are both illegal with or without a VPN. You can use your VPN for a whole host of things other than gaming, check out some of our other best VPN roundups to learn more: Fastest VPN: Speedy performers rankedBest VPN for Amazon Fire StickBest VPN for streaming NetflixBest VPN for torrenting: Top picks tested and ranked VPN
Flash sale! Save up to 50% on Corsair keyboards, mice, and headsets today
Fri, 31 Mar 2023 14:50:50 +0000
Source: PCWorld
Gamers, I’ve assembled a bunch of delectable deals for you to munch on today. Hope you’re ready. Corsair’s currently throwing a pretty amazing flash sale on its popular keyboards, mice, and headsets. You can actually save up to 50 percent on these awesome accessories and peripherals until midnight tonight. My personal favorite is the K70 Pro mini wireless keyboard, which is $80 off of the original $179.99 price tag. It’s tiny (dare I say, adorable?), attractive, and it comes loaded with Cherry MX switches. And it’s on steep sale? Yes please! Over twenty Corsair products are discounted during the flash sale, but we’ve cherry-picked some especially enticing deals below. Keyboards K70 Pro mini wireless keyboard, $100 ($80 off)K70 RGB Pro mechanical gaming keyboard, $99.99 ($70 off)K55 RGB PRO XT gaming keyboard, $49.99 ($30 off) If you’re looking for a good all-around gaming keyboard, the K55 RGB Pro XT is worth considering. It features six macro keys, a spacious full-sized layout, and customizable lighting effects. It’s also spill and dust resistant. Mice M65 RGB Elite gaming mouse, $29.99 ($40 off)Sabre RGB Pro Champion Series gaming mouse, $29.99 ($30 off) The M65 RGB Elite is quite the looker with its grey and yellow color scheme and unique, flared out shape. Looks aside, this peripheral actually has some decent specs. It has a maximum DPI of 18,000, eight programmable buttons, and two zone RGB lighting. Headsets HS55 Stereo wired gaming headset, $29.99 ($30 off)HS80 RGB wired gaming headset, $59.99 ($40 off)Virtuoso RGB wireless gaming headset, $129.99 ($70 off) The HS55 Stereo deserves its own call-out because of its modern white color scheme and lightweight design. While I like a sharp-looking peripheral as much as the next person, it just looks really comfortable, which is a major factor for me. It weighs just over half a pound and the ear cups are made of memory foam and leatherette. Those may be our favorite deals, but there are even more juicy discounts available in Corsair’s flash sale—at least until it ends at midnight Pacific time Friday. Don’t miss out! Check out Corsair's flash sale right now Accessories
Microsoft tests adaptive brightness on more Windows 11 PCs – even desktops
Fri, 31 Mar 2023 14:30:32 +0000
Source: PCWorld
Adaptable screen brightness isn’t a new idea — it’s one of those little pieces of technology that runs in the background of your phone, for example, making it easier to use in bright sunlight or darkened rooms. And automatic brightness adjustment has been available on some high-end laptops for a long time. But if a peek at the latest Windows Insider build is any indication, you’ll be seeing it more often on Windows 11 laptops, and maybe even desktops, in the near future. The updated functionality is all about Content Adaptive Brightness Control, a Windows 11 feature that automatically adjusts your screen brightness not based on the ambient lighting around you, but on what’s actually displayed on the screen itself. So for example, if you go from moving some files around in Explorer with dark mode enabled, to an all-text web page with white background in Chrome, the display might ratchet down the brightness several notches to save some battery and give your eyeballs a break. Content Adaptive Brightness Control (CABC) was previously enabled on laptops only when running on battery, with obvious longevity savings. Starting with Windows 11 build 23424 (spotted by Bleeping Computer), CABC will be available on both laptops while plugged in, and even on desktop PCs. Note that, because the brightness is being adjusted based on what’s displayed on the screen and not the ambient light level of the environment, it should work even if your monitor doesn’t have a built-in light sensor. Microsoft In addition to reducing eye strain, Microsoft says that this will reduce power consumption even for devices that are plugged in. But obviously it’s going to need a little tweaking, which is why it’s getting tested out in Insider builds before going out to the general public. If you’re testing preview builds of Windows 11 and you’re annoyed by constantly shifting brightness levels, you can disable the CABC feature in the Settings menu under System>Display. The feature can be turned on, off, or only enabled when running on battery. Microsoft is asking for testers to leave it on and provide feedback on the feature’s tuning, however. “For most users, this change won’t be noticeable and should reduce energy consumption,” it says. Windows
Kingslim D6 dash cam review: Nice features at a good price
Fri, 31 Mar 2023 14:30:00 +0000
Source: PCWorld
At a glanceExpert's Rating ProsGood exterior 2160p detail and colorGood day and night interior capturesHandsome compact designAuxiliary power and GPS cableExceptional battery lifeConsDoesn’t automatically start recording at power onNo GPS when using alternate power sourceNight exterior recordings suffer headlight flareOur VerdictThe D6 is a stylish, workable unibody front/interior camera combo with decent captures. A nice step up from the previously reviewed D4, though still with some rough operational edges here and there. Price When Reviewed$169.99 Best Prices Today: Kingslim D6 dash cam Retailer Price $146.53 View Deal Kingslim $169.99 View Deal Price comparison from over 24,000 stores worldwide The Kingslim D6 offers better, more detailed captures than the company’s D4 (which we reviewed in January). There are still some of the rough edges you’d expect from a company new to the game, however in toto, it’s much more worthy of consideration than its D4 predecessor. Note: See our roundup of the best dash cams to learn about competing products, what to look for in a dash cam, and buying recommendations. Kingslim D6: Features and specs The D6 melds both a 4K UHD (2160p), 140-degree field-of-view front camera and a 120-degree FOV 1080p interior camera with infrared into a single unit. It makes for a minimal footprint on your windshield—i.e., it doesn’t block your view much. The interior camera doesn’t swivel but captures enough of the cabin regardless. The D6 is attractively styled in black with red highlights and sports a sharp, colorful 2-inch display. Four function buttons on the bottom correspond to the icons on the display and are used for navigating and selecting settings. The power adapter is an auxiliary port/Type-C cable with a GPS module inline. Our D6 shipped with a suction mount but the GPS adapter, which is meant to be mounted near the camera, uses semi-permanent adhesive. The D6 has all the goodies, but the Night Vision isn’t what it should be. One drawback to the GPS mounted inline on the power cord is that it’s not available when you use another power source such as a hardwire kit or OBDII power cord. My other power-related complaint is that the D6 defaults to not recording at power on. If you’re like me, you might not remember to turn this on every time. On the left side of the D6 are the micro SD card slot and the Type-C connector. Other than that, there’s just ventilation grating. Software features include parking mode and fatigue alerts. I do like that the screen saver doubles as a large, easy-to-read clock. You can also have the display simply turn off. Kingslim D6: Usage and app Using the D6 was easy enough outside of the pesky record issue. The buttons on the bottom are easy enough to reach, and the display is easy to read. The camera connects to your phone via Wi-Fi, so you’ll only have cellular internet while it’s in use. One oddity: When connected via Wi-Fi to the app, changing the network on the phone left the D6 still powered on even without the power cable connected. I only noticed this after about 15 minutes—a testament to the D6’s tremendous battery life (280mAh), but not a great behavior. The app features a live view, as well as access to some settings, saved videos, and the album where you can permanently store videos. Why Kingslim hasn’t implemented all the settings in the app, I can’t tell you, but things such as GPS can only be set on the camera. All in all, the D6 isn’t my favorite physical/app interface combo of all time, but it’s certainly workable. It’s nice that the D6’s interior camera actually captures in color during the day. Many interior cameras default to monochrome under all circumstances. Kingslim D6: Performance The D6’s captures are vastly improved from the previously reviewed D4. While they aren’t the sharpest 4K UHD (2160p, 3840×2160) captures I’ve seen, there’s enough detail to distinguish the characters on a license plate, which is the bar any dash cam needs to clear. Though hardly the sharpest captures we’ve seen, the D6’s are good enough for legal use and the color is rich and accurate. Night captures weren’t as good. But, while lacking detail in the surrounding areas, the D6 cleared the “readable license plate” bar. Alas, flare from headlights was not dealt with well (as shown below), blowing out the area around them and helping to kill detail in darker areas. At least we can make out the license plate numbers in this capture. We could not with the older D4. Headlight flare is an issue, however. It’s nice that the D6’s interior camera actually captures in color during the day. Many interior cameras default to monochrome under all circumstances. Detail is good, though the color is a bit cold in temperature (I don’t have yellow fever!). Overall, however, very nice interior day captures. Interior captures during the day were colorful and offered lots of detail. Yes, that’s a dog and I really drink Coca Cola. Night captures switch to monochrome, but still offer decent detail. Note that even the action out the rear window is captured in some detail. And yes, that’s me standing outside to avoid having my mug on display in every image. Interior night captures are roughy equivalent to those made during the days, sans color. I already marveled at the run time of the 280mAh battery, but that wasn’t while recording, which Kingslim claims can proceed for a full 10 minutes. I believe it, and that’s more than enough to capture most post-event action should power be interrupted due to the event. Overall, I’d rate the D6’s exterior captures as very good during the day but merely passable at night. Interior captures are very good in any lighting condition. Again, the captures are a vast improvement over the D4. Should you buy the Kingslim D6? Kingslim improved capture quality for the D6, so it’s worth considering. If you can live with the cons listed at the top of the article, you’ll get decent bang for the buck, especially if you can find it at a discount on Amazon. Dash Cams
Best monitor deals: Gaming monitors, 4K workstations, and more
Fri, 31 Mar 2023 13:21:31 +0000
Source: PCWorld
Picking the right monitor is hard work. Do you go with a smaller 24-inch monitor or a larger one? What about refresh rate and response time? If you’re feeling frazzled, don’t worry. Whether you’re in the market for a ridiculously fast gaming monitor or a crystal clear 4K workstation, we carefully curated the best deals available right now. We also made sure to hit various budgets as well as screen sizes, resolutions, response times, and other features. If you have any lingering questions, check out the helpful FAQ section at the end of this article. Everyday monitor deals Sometimes all you need is a simple monitor for everyday tasks like web surfing, writing email’s, and so on. The picks below are great options for both work or personal use. They’re also good sizes for a home office. Acer R240HY, 23.8-inch 1080p display/60Hz refresh rate/16:9 aspect ratio/4ms response time, $109.99 (27%/$40 off at Amazon)Sceptre E248W-1920, 24-inch 1080p display/75Hz refresh rate/5ms response time, $89.97 (38%/$56.47 off at Walmart)Lenovo L24i-30, 23.8-inch 1080p display/75Hz refresh rate/FreeSync, $119.99 (20%/$30 off at Amazon) MSI Modern MD241P, 23.8-inch 1080p display/75Hz refresh rate/5ms response time, $149.99 (11%/$20 off at Walmart) Fore more options, check out PCWorld’s best home office monitor roundup. Gaming monitor deals There’s nothing more annoying than playing a competitive game on a monitor that lags. When every second matters, you need something that can keep up with the flow. That’s where gaming monitors come in. Their high refresh rates are designed to make your game look as smooth as possible. Gigabyte M28U, 28-inch 2160p display/144Hz refresh rate/1ms response time/FreeSync, $529.99 (11%/$70 off at Best Buy)Samsung LC24F396FHNXZA, 23.5-inch curved 1080p display/60z refresh rate/4ms response time/FreeSync, $158 (17%/$31.99 off at Amazon)Dell S2721HS, 27-inch 1080p display/75Hz refresh rate/4ms response time/FreeSync, $187.90 (15%/$32.09 off at Amazon)Acer Nitro XFA243Y, 23.8-inch 1080p display/165Hz refresh rate/1ms response time/FreeSync, $119.99 (33%/$60 off at Amazon) For more options, check out PCWorld’s best gaming monitors roundup. 4K workstation monitor deals Are you a content creator? If so, you should consider picking up a 4K monitor. These monitors are perfect for video editing thanks to their high resolution displays. They’re also a good pick for movie buffs. There’s nothing quite like watching your favorite flick on a 4K display, where the details are ultra-sharp. T32p-20, 31.5-inch 2160p display/60Hz refresh rate/4ms response time, $419 (42%/$315 off at Lenovo)Dell UltraSharp U2723QE, 27-inch 2160p display/60Hz refresh rate/5ms response time, $624.99 (20%/$155 off at Dell)Dell USB-C Hub Monitor P2723QE, 27-inch 2160p display/60Hz refresh rate/8ms response time, $479.99 (20%/$120 off at Dell) MSI G321CU, 32-inch 2160p curved display/144Hz refresh rate/1ms response time/FreeSync, $449.99 (15%/$80 off at Newegg) For more options, check out PCWorld’s best 4K monitors roundup. FAQ 1. Which retailers offer good monitor deals? Online retailers like Best Buy and Walmart have good discounts, that’s for sure. However, we’d recommend widening your net and buying directly from the manufacturers. Lenovo, for example, is currently having a Cyber Week sale. You can pick up a monitor or laptop for up to 78% off, which is nothing to sneeze at. Dell’s offering a similar sale in which you can save up to 60% and get free shipping. 2. What should I look for in a good gaming monitor? When it comes to gaming monitors, refresh rate is important. The refresh rate is how fast a monitor can pull up an image on screen. The faster the fresh rate, the smoother your game will look. For competitive first-person shooters, where every second counts, we’d recommend 144Hz as the minimum rate. Anything higher is good enough for the eSports realm. Resolution is another important feature to consider. Much like the refresh rate, the higher the number, the better. The resolution has a direct impact on image and video quality. 1080p is the best resolution for 24 inch monitors. For 27 inch monitors, 1440p is ideal. Response time is a big one, too. Response time is how long it takes for a pixel to change color. A monitor with a 1ms (millisecond) response time, for example, is going to be faster than a monitor with a 5ms response time. This directly impacts how a monitor handles motion. What about the size? Well, it depends on the distance from the screen. 24 inches is a good option if you’re about three feet from the screen, as it’s small enough to see everything without having to move your head around. 27 inches is better if you’re further than three feet away from the screen. 3. What should I look for in a good workstation monitor? 4K monitors produce ultra-sharp sharp images and video, so bigger is better in this case. In order to see all those tiny details, we’d suggest springing for a 31 inch monitor (at the very least). You need room for all those delicious pixels. That’s why 4K monitors are perfect for photo or video editors. Watching movies on these monitors is a delightful experience as well. 4. What size monitor should I buy? In terms of monitor size, 27-inches is the most common. That’s a good size for a home office. For gaming monitors, 24 or 27 inches is best. You don’t want to be swinging your head around too much in the middle of a fast-paced match. Plus, a larger screen may cause eye strain if you’re sitting too close so it’s better to go smaller. For 4K monitors, go with a 31 inch. 4K resolution brings next-level visuals, so you definitely want to go bigger. Monitors
Best laptop deals: Top picks from budget to extreme
Fri, 31 Mar 2023 13:15:28 +0000
Source: PCWorld
Finding the right laptop for your lifestyle is hard work. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t sweat it. Whether you’re on the hunt for a ludicrously fast gaming rig or a featherlight 2-in-1, we put together a list of the best laptop deals available right now. In addition to covering various price points and features, we’ve also included a shopping advice section at the end of the article. Happy shopping! For more laptop options, check out our roundup of the best laptops. The best laptop deals in 2023 Asus Vivobook S 14 Flip From: Amazon Was: $799.99 Now: $679.99 ($120 off) Asus The Asus Vivobook S 14 Flip laptop is versatile, lightweight, and $120 off. This 2-in-1 device weighs just 3.3 pounds, making it the perfect travel companion. You can also swing the screen around 360 degrees and use it like a tablet. As for the specs, it’s packing an AMD Ryzen 7 5800H CPU, AMD Radeon Graphics, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB of SSD storage. It should be able to easily handle most day-to-day tasks like scrolling through social media feeds, scoping out the weather, and so on. The 14-inch touch display has a resolution of 1920×1200 and an aspect ratio of 16:10. The taller aspect ratio makes it easier to go through multiple documents at once. Overall, this is a solid deal. You’re getting a lot of good features for a reasonable price. See the Asus Vivobook S 14 Flip at Amazon Microsoft Surface Pro X From: Woot (Amazon’s store) Was: $1,499.99 Now: $619.99 ($880 off) Microsoft My jaw dropped to the floor when I first spotted this deal. Microsoft’s Surface Pro X tablet, which usually costs $1,499.99 at full price, is on sale for $549 at Woot’s Amazon store. Although this tablet weighs a featherlight 1.7 lbs, it’s still durable for such a portable device. Under the hood, you’ll find a QUalcomm-powered Microsoft SQ 2 processor, 16GB of RAM, and 256GB of SSD storage. It’s powerful enough for browsing the web, writing e-mail’s, and so on and so forth. It’s not the most powerful machine in the world, but that’s not what it was designed for and at a massive $940 off, that’s a suitable trade-off. The 13-inch PixelSense touchscreen features a resolution of 2880×1920, so visuals should be relatively crisp and vibrant. The only drawback is that it doesn’t come with a keyboard or pen. The keyboard alone will set you back $110.53, which is a bummer. That said, if you don’t mind spending extra on those accessories and can live mostly off of the web or apps in the Microsoft Store, then the Surface Pro X is a fantastic deal. See the Microsoft Surface Pro X at Amazon Acer Aspire 5 From: Amazon Was: $499 Now: $429 ($70 off) Acer Need a general use laptop with a ton of RAM? Well, the Acer Aspire 5 certainly aims to deliver. This thing is packing an Intel Core i3-1115G4 CPU, 20GB of RAM, and 512GB of NVMe SSD storage. With that amount of memory on board, you should be able to run multiple apps at once. The 15.6-inch display is quite roomy, too. It features a resolution of 1920×1080 and and an aspect ratio of 16:9. That’s perfectly suitable for day-to-day activities like browsing the web, writing e-mail’s, and so on. This is a good buy for anyone looking to save some moolah. See the Acer Aspire 5 at Amazon Samsung Chromebook Plus From: Amazon Was: $499 Now: $199.99 ($299.01 off) Samsung The Samsung Chromebook Plus is a good option for someone who needs a lightweight convertible. It has an Intel Celeron processor, 4GB of memory, and 32GB of eMMC storage. It’s a little light on storage and memory, but this shouldn’t be a problem if you store most of your stuff in the cloud. The 11-inch touchscreen display has a resolution of 1900×1200, and the Chromebook has two USB-C ports. It’s powerful enough for everyday browser tasks like checking e-mail, writing papers, listening to music, and so on. The 2-in-1 also weighs a little under three pounds, making it a capable travel companion. Plus, it comes with a stylus for doodling or note taking. See the Samsung Chromebook Plus at Amazon Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 From: Best Buy Was: $1,199.99 Now: $999.99 ($200 off) Microsoft The Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 is a nice laptop for productivity or everyday use. It has an AMD Ryzen 7 CPU, AMD Radeon RX Vega 11 graphics, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of SSD storage. The 15-inch display has a resolution of 2496×1664 and is touch-enabled. According to Microsoft, this machine can last up to 17 hours on a single charge. That’s positively bananas. However, with the brightness turned up, that number might be different in real world use. This is a great deal and a good pick for a student or young professional. Happy shopping. See the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 at Best Buy LG Gram (2022) From: Amazon Was: $1,499.99 Now: $1,199 ($300.99 off) LG The LG Gram (2022) is the perfect laptop for frequent travelers, as it weighs just 2.54 lbs. Don’t let the lightweight form factor fool you, though. It’s packing a good amount of power in its thin frame. It has an Intel Core i7-1260P CPU, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of SSD storage. This laptop should be capable of whizzing through most tasks like checking e-mail, streaming video, spreadsheet work, and so on. The 15-inch display features super narrow bezels and a resolution of 1920×1080. Overall, this laptop is a steal, especially at $500 off. Get it now. See the LG Gram (2022) at Amazon Acer Aspire 5 A515 From: Amazon Was: $399.99 Now: $309.99 ($90 off) Acer If you’re on the hunt for a solid everyday laptop, you’ve come to the right place. The Acer Aspire 5 has a 15.6-inch 1080p display, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of onboard SSD storage. The processor is a Ryzen 3 3350U, which has four cores, four threads, and a maximum boost to 3.5GHz. It’s packed with modern features like Wi-Fi 6, a backlit keyboard, and a fingerprint reader for biometric logins. Acer starts this laptop off with Windows 11 in S mode, but there’s no reason not to do a one-way upgrade to full Windows 11. This is being sold by a third-party retailer, but Amazon is handling shipping, which means it falls under the company’s return policy. See the Acer Aspire 5 A515 at Amazon Microsoft Surface Pro 9 From: Best Buy Was: $1,599.99 Now: $$1,299.99 ($300 off) Microsoft If you’re a regular traveler, the Microsoft Surface Pro 9 makes a fantastic travel companion, as it weighs just two pounds. It comes equipped with an Intel Core i7-1255U CPU, 16GB of RAM, and 256GB of SSD storage. It’s designed with day-to-day tasks in mind, so it should have no problem handling activities like browsing the web and checking e-mail. The 13-inch display has a resolution of 2880×1920, which means you can expect a relatively vivid picture. The one downside is that it doesn’t come with a keyboard and pen. Those accessories cost extra, which sort of stinks. That said, if you’re fine with just using the tablet, then this is a good deal. See the Microsoft Surface Pro 9 at Best Buy Corsair Voyager From: Corsair Was: $1,999.99 Now: $1,599.99 ($400 off) Corsair Corsair is currently having an awesome sale on its gaming laptops. If you’re looking for a gaming laptop with a great keyboard and a fast 240Hz display, then the Corsair Voyager might be the one to pick. It sports an AMD Ryzen 7 6800HS CPU, an AMD Radeon 6800M GPU, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB of PCIe NVMe SSD storage. You should be able to play most games on the High or Ultra graphics preset. The 16-inch display is the real star, though. It has a resolution of 2560×1600, a refresh rate of 240Hz, a response time of 3ms, and an aspect ratio of 16:10. You can expect gorgeous, fluid visuals. The full-sized keyboard also has Cherry MX Ultra-Low Profile mechanical switches, which have a more tactile feel to them. See the Corsair Voyager at Corsair HP Victus 15 From: Amazon Was: $1,219.99 Now: $1,159.99 ($60 off) HP If you’re in the market for a good budget gaming laptop, the HP Victus 15 is worth considering. It features an Intel Core i7-12700H CPU, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB of SSD. You should be able to play most games on medium or high graphics. However, we’d recommend dialing things back on newer titles. The 15-inch display has a resolution of 1920×1080 and a refresh rate of 144Hz. That means you can expect smooth, lag-free visuals. This is a really good deal. If you’re on a tight budget, you should definitely scoop this one up. See the HP Victus 15 at Amazon Asus ROG Flow X13 2-in-1 From: Amazon Was: $1,359.99 Now: $1,106.72 ($253.27 off) Asus Rarely do we see 2-in-1 gaming machines, but that’s exactly what the Asus ROG Flow X13 is. This unique machine has a 360-degree hinge, which means you can rotate the screen all the way around. The device weighs a little under three pounds, which makes it a capable traveling companion. Despite the smaller size, it still manages to pack a punch. It has an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS CPU, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 GPU, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB of PCIe SSD storage. That’s plenty peppy for playing most games on low to medium graphics, but Asus also sells an external RTX 3080 GPU that can connect to the laptop if you need even more firepower when your stationary. The display measures 13.4-inches and has a resolution of 1920×1080. It’s not the biggest or most vibrant screen, but it’s perfectly fine for most games. This is a fantastic deal, especially if you’re looking for a gaming laptop you can travel with. See the Asus ROG Flow X13 at Amazon HP Omen 17 From: Microcenter Was: $1,999.99 Now: $1,199.99 ($800 off) HP If you want to save a ton of cash on a gaming laptop, the HP Omen 17 is a whopping $800 off at Microcenter. Inside you’ll find an Intel Core i7-12700H CPU, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti GPU, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of SSD storage. That’s a good amount of power, so this laptop should have no problem running most games on the High or Ultra graphics preset. The 17.3-inch display features a resolution of 2560×1440, a refresh rate of 165Hz, and a response time of 3ms. It’s not the brightest display in the world at 300 nits, but visuals should be sharp enough for most games. This is a banger of a deal. Get it now. See the HP Omen 17 at Microcenter Laptop deal buying tips If you’ve shopped online before for laptop deals you’re probably aware that there’s a vast range of laptop configurations available. A good place to start is with the processor. Buy laptops with Intel 11-series Core chips or higher, such as the Core i5-11510U, or the Core i7-12800H; or go with an AMD Ryzen processor (but not an AMD Athlon or A-series chip). Avoid laptops with Pentium or Celeron processors unless it’s a Chromebook (running Chrome OS). You’re going to need to pay attention with gaming laptops, too, as some GPUs, like the RTX 3050 Ti, don’t offer much boost over their RTX 2xxx-series cousins, and Nvidia has dropped the Max-Q designation on certain low-power options. Our laptop CPU and GPU cheat sheet can help you shop smart. Display resolution is a gotcha. If you see a laptop labeled as “HD” resolution that means 1366-by-768 and often isn’t worth your time for a laptop under 13 inches unless the deal is absolutely standout. What you want is “Full HD” or “FHD,” which means 1080p. Don’t buy laptops with under 4GB of RAM or 128GB of SSD storage—though on a Chromebook, this configuration is acceptable. We have more explanation in our laptops versus Chromebooks buying guide, as well as in our primer on how to buy a budget laptop without getting screwed. Also watch out for eMMC storage, which is something we don’t recommend for a Windows laptop but works fine for a Chromebook. Reviews can be helpful. Even if you can’t find a review of a specific configuration, try related models. They’ll often give you a good idea of the build quality and performance. Also buy from brands you trust. Amazon’s daily laptop deals right now are full of brands we’ve never tested or talked to (Broage, Teclast, DaySky, Jumper) and it’s just a good idea to be wary. Most older laptops will run Windows 10, and that’s fine—there’s no rush to upgrade. Windows 10 in S Mode, though annoying, can be switched out of easily if you find it on a budget laptop. If you want to buy a Windows 10 PC with the intent of upgrading it to Windows 11, we recommend you start here with a list of older laptops that are Windows 11-eligible. Updated on March 31 with new pricing and to remove expired deals. Laptops
This desk add-on fixed my shoulder pain. It might help yours, too
Fri, 31 Mar 2023 13:00:00 +0000
Source: PCWorld
For the better part of my career, I’ve had to pay attention to desk ergonomics. (Don’t naively work 14-hour days for months in your first job, folks.) Keyboards, mice, chairs—I’ve tried a lot. I took one key component in my setups for granted: the humble keyboard tray. Having one at the office kept my mouse and keyboard at the right height for relaxed shoulders and elbows with proper angles. When the pandemic hit, I gave up my office desk and its keyboard tray and instead engaged in awkward workarounds. (Keyboard in my lap? Sure, why not. Close enough.) But eventually I started leaving the keyboard on the desk rather than having it on my lap (it’s weird balancing a tented keyboard on one’s thighs) and it was the wrong height for my needs. I started developing periodic shoulder pain. Looking for a new keyboard? You should check out our roundup of the best wireless keyboards available today. I just lived with it. I couldn’t drill holes in my table, so a keyboard tray seemed out of the question. I did know that no-drill keyboard trays existed, but my recollection was of limited options. As I remembered them, they weren’t very sturdy, didn’t slide back under a desk, came in ugly brown woodtone colors, and—most damning—had low clearances. Designed for standard keyboards and mice, these cheap trays didn’t have enough room between the bottom of the desk and the tray for my tented Goldtouch keyboard. My mouse is even weirder Go!2 Wireless Ergonomic Mobile Keyboard Price When Reviewed: $139.99 Best Prices Today: $119.00 at Amazon | $139.99 at Goldtouch Well, it turns out that you shouldn’t impose your memory of the mid-to-late 00s on the current day, especially when it comes to the availability of useful overseas products on Amazon. A whole array of useful no-drill keyboard trays exist and they’re affordable. You all should have seen my face when I learned this—after finally getting a table compatible with a standard drill-mounted keyboard tray, I stumbled upon all the no-drill ones simply by typing “keyboard tray” into Amazon’s search box. (An excited if vehement set of curse words might have tumbled out of my mouth.) To my surprise, these models attach easily with clamps—some with big, sturdy ones—and include features like sliding, pivoting, and/or pitch adjustments. The only shortcoming of these no-drill trays is a lack of higher-end models with the ability to raise or lower the tray, as you’d find on the drilled side. And, as for aesthetics, black and white colors are both easily found. (Begone, ugly mid-90s vibe.) Just look at all the options for no-drill keyboard trays. (Even more pop up when you specifically search that term.) There’s even some for corner desks! The options were so good—for just $50 to $70 dollars, too—that I ended up buying a no-drill keyboard tray rather than one with a standard mount. The advantages were strong: I didn’t have to worry about (in)accuracy while drilling holes. I could reposition the tray if I ever changed my monitor configuration or swapped desks. And I could get the necessary clearance for my ergo keyboard without having to spend $100 or more for the kind of drilled-in tray I wanted. The model I bought was a $60 Japanese offering with a single clamp that allows 360-degree pivoting. Unlike other keyboard trays that use two smaller clamps and slide out, this one sits fully in front of the desk, guaranteeing I won’t have any height or depth conflicts with my tented keyboard and roller mouse combo. When I’m not using the tray, I just spin it around so everything’s tucked under the desk. And the shoulder issues I’d developed during the pandemic have calmed down and mostly disappeared. So, if you’ve been at your desk as often as I am and have been suffering from some ergonomic issues, this kind of keyboard tray can up your comfort considerably. It’s very low commitment with extremely fast set up, which leaves you more time to contemplate other ways of upgrading your work-from-home arrangement. Consumer Electronics
Best gaming laptops 2023: What to look for and highest-rated models
Fri, 31 Mar 2023 10:45:00 +0000
Source: PCWorld
Are you looking for a new gaming laptop to play all of your favorite triple-A titles on? If so, we’ve curated a list of our best picks. With all of the options available nowadays, it can be difficult to know which laptop gives you everything you need for your style of gaming. Do you play fast-paced e-sports titles? Then you’ll not only need solid performance, but also a high refresh-rate screen. Or are you more a fan of the beautiful scenery in epic fantasy titles? Then you’re in need of a top-of-the-line graphics card and powerful CPU. Either way, we’ve got you covered. From no-compromises hardware to displays with high refresh rates, these laptops can do pretty much everything a desktop PC can do. During our review process, we put every single one of these laptops through a battery of tests, so we’ve got the numbers to back up our recommendations. Whether you’re looking for the best 17-inch gaming laptop or the most portable machine, we’ve got you covered. Read on to learn more. Note: See our roundup of the best laptops for even more recommendations: premium laptops, ultraportables, Chromebooks, and more. Alienware x15 R2 – Best overall 15-inch gaming laptop Pros Ample power for gaming performance Smooth and gorgeous QHD display Stunning otherworldly design with RGB lighting Cons Rear-orientated ports can be hard-to-reach Middling battery life unplugged RAM comes soldered onto the motherboard Price When Reviewed: 3350 Best Prices Today: $3350 at Dell The Alienware x15 R2 packs much of the same premium hardware as the Blade 17, but in a smaller 15-inch screen form factor. Despite it’s smaller size, it can keep up with the best of them due to its 12th-gen Intel i7-12700H CPU and Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti GPU. It also has a beautiful QHD display and a futuristic Tron inspired lighting design. While it has a few quirks such as soldered RAM and hard-to-reach rear ports, these are ultimately dwarfed by other outstanding features. Just like all high-end gaming laptops though, it doesn’t come cheap. But for those who are able to afford the astronomical price tag, the Alienware x15 R2 will deliver an out-of-this-world experience. Read our full Alienware x15 R2 review Razer Blade 17 (2022) – Best overall 17-inch gaming laptop Pros Excellent gaming performance Great selection of ports including 2 x Thunderbolt 4 Sturdy robust design Cons Poor battery life unplugged Keyboard lacks a numpad Price When Reviewed: $3,999 Best Prices Today: $3729.99 at Best Buy$3999 at Micro Center$3999 at Razer Need some serious gaming power? The Razer Blade 17 (2022) will certainly deliver. Thanks to the Intel 12th-gen i7 CPU and a GeForce RTX 3080 Ti GPU, this laptop is a top performer. In addition to excellent graphics performance, it also has a stunning 240Hz panel and a diverse selection of ports. That said, this top-tier configuration costs thousands of dollars. If you’re willing to shell out the big bucks for the best of the best, then the Blade 17 is a phenomenal option. If you’re on a more strict budget, check out the Asus VivoBook Pro 15 OLED blurb below. It’s our best budget gaming laptop pick. Read our full Razer Blade 17 (2022) review Acer Nitro 5 AN517 – Best midrange gaming laptop Pros Strong CPU/GPU pairing for the price Roomy 1TB SSD with room to add second drive Decent battery life Quiet operation Cons Plastic chassis is bulky and hefty Dim display So-so keyboard and tiny touchpad Terrible webcam Price When Reviewed: $1,199.99 Best Prices Today: $999.99 at Microcenter$1,239.00 at Amazon From zippy performance to stellar battery life, the Acer Nitro 5 has a lot to offer. This midrange 17-inch rig houses a massive 96 watt-hour battery, which lasted eight hours on a single charge. That’s impressive for a gaming laptop, especially one with a larger screen, as most tend to die at the five or six hour mark. It also runs quiet, which is another surprising aspect to this laptop. Most gaming laptops sound like a rocket ship revving up for liftoff. That’s because the fans are working hard to keep things nice and cool. The Nitro 5 is a solid performer, too. It comes equipped with AMD Ryzen 7 6800H CPU, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB of PCIe NVMe SSD storage. When we put it through 3DMark’s Time Spy and Port Royal benchmarks, this particular configuration finished first among the RTX 3060 machines we compared it against. That said, the plastic chassis is on the thicker and the keyboard is rather lackluster. However, if you’re on the hunt for a reasonably priced midrange gaming laptop, the Nitro 5 is a great option. Read our full Acer Nitro 5 AN517 review HP Victus 15 – Best budget gaming laptop Pros Excellent price Good keyboard and touchpad Respectable processor performance Can handle most games at 30 FPS Cons Generic design Disappointing build quality Unattractive 144Hz display 60 FPS is often out of reach Price When Reviewed: $549.99 Best Prices Today: $629.00 at Amazon$799.99 at Best Buy$799.99 at HP The HP Victus 15 may not be the most powerful gaming laptop we’ve ever seen, but it’s affordable and one of the cheapest options we’ve seen that still offers a discrete graphics card (even though it’s an older GTX 1650). Under the hood, you’ll find an Intel Core i5-12450H CPU, an  Nvidia GTX 1650 GPU, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB of SSD storage. You can play most titles at 30 frames-per-second, but we’d recommend lowering the graphics setting. Although the low price is the main draw here, this laptop still has a good keyboard and touchpad. Processor performance is reliable, too. If you’re seriously strapped for cash but need the additional oomph from a discrete graphics card, then the HP Victus 15 is the one to pick. Read our full HP Victus 15 review Lenovo Legion 5 Pro (2022) – Best connectivity features Pros Attractive, durable design  Pleasant keyboard and touchpad Plenty of wired and wireless connectivity  Excellent game performance Competitive pricing Cons Processor performance is midpack  Display is bright, but lacking in color performance Speakers can sound muddy Price When Reviewed: $1,999 Best Prices Today: $1999 at Walmart Lenovo’s Legion 5 Pro is not only packed with ports, but it also delivers impressive game performance. It sports a 12th-gen Intel processor and somehow manages to fit an RTX 3070 Ti GPU into its slim design. But where this laptop really shines is its incredible array of ports. It has a Thunderbolt 4/USB-C 4 port, two USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 ports, two USB-A ports, an HDMI 2.1 port, and an ethernet port—oh, and it also somehow finds room for a 3.5mm audio jack, too. The only complaint we had was that the display can lack vividness and contrast mainly due to its lackluster color profile. However, as far as connectivity and price-to-performance, there aren’t many better options than the Legion 5 Pro. Read our full Lenovo Legion 5 Pro (2022) review MSI Sword 15 A12UE – Unique design Pros Attractive, simple design Lighter than most budget gaming laptops RTX 3060 can handle most modern games Competitive pricing Cons Mediocre keyboard and small touchpad Dim display with narrow color gamut CPU and GPU performance slightly behind competitors Webcam and connectivity don’t impress Price When Reviewed: $1,299.99 Best Prices Today: $999.99 at Best Buy$1299.00 at Amazon The MSI Sword 15 A12UE looks more expensive than it really is, which is what initially drew me to it. The bone-white color scheme is modern and sleek as heck. However, it’s definitely more than just a pretty face. The RTX 3060 GPU can handle most games and the pricing is competitive. Inside, you’ll find an Intel Core i7-12650H CPU, an Nvidia RTX 3060 GPU, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB of PCIe SSD storage. The 15.6-inch 1080p display also has a refresh rate of 144Hz, which means you can expect relatively smooth visuals. As of this writing, it’s currently $350 off at Best Buy, which drops the price down to $999. That’s not too shabby, given the specs. Read our full MSI Sword 15 A12UE review Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 – Best dual-screen gaming laptop Pros This laptop has enough high-end CPU and GPU power to run AAA games and creative programs smoothly. The primary display renders images in rich and vivid color and with deep blacks. A new dual screen design provides better visual continuity between the displays. Cons The trackpad is small, and its right-handed positioning still feels a bit awkward. There’s no space to rest your hands on the laptop’s chassis when you’re not using the keyboard. This laptop doesn’t come cheap. Price When Reviewed: $3,825 Best Prices Today: $3499.00 at Amazon$3584.99 at CDW$3999.99 at Asus A dual-screen laptop might still not be mainstream, but for enthusiasts who know how to take advantage of one—whether placing a handy map on the second screen, or being able to quickly look down to reference your discord chat—it’s an excellent choice. And right now there is no dual-screen laptop we like more for gaming than the Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 16. It packs a Ryzen 9 CPU, RTX 3080 Ti GPU, 32GB of RAM, and a 1TB PCIe 4.0 SSD. That’s a ton of firepower in a laptop. Asus even managed to squeeze all of this and a second screen into a chassis no bigger than most single-display gaming laptops. Did we mention that it also comes with a 2560×1600 165Hz Mini-LED primary display? The secondary display has also been redesigned from previous versions to tilt up at a 13-degree angle, allowing for simultaneous viewing of both panels. The main issue with a laptop such as this Zephyrus Duo 16 is the price. At the time of writing, this model will set you back close to $4,000—that’s a lot for any kind of laptop. You have to be an enthusiast and completely sold on a dual display for this to seem like an excellent value. However, the Asus Zephyrus Duo 16 was so good that it made a dual-screen convert out of our reviewer. Read our full Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 review MSI Titan GT77 HX 13V – Best high-end gaming laptop Pros Excellent mechanical keyboard Class-leading Mini-LED display Incredible CPU and GPU performance 2TB of solid state storage with PCIe Gen5 support Cons Uninspired design  Short battery life Price When Reviewed: $5,299 Best Prices Today: $5299 at B&H$5299 at Newegg$5299 at XoticPC If you’re on the hunt for the best gaming experience, the MSI Titan GT77 HX 13V is a phenomenally powerful machine. It’s packing an Intel Core i9-13980HX CPU, an Nvidia RTX 4090 GPU, 64GB of RAM, and 2TB of PCIe SSD storage. You can pretty much play any game on the Ultra graphics preset. In our testing, the Titan handled Cyberpunk 2077, one of the most technically demanding games out there right now, like a champ. The laptop also has a mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX switches, which is a major plus for gamers. While performance is no doubt fantastic, the Titan has some tradeoffs you should be aware of: It’s loud, heavy, and astronomically expensive. That said, if you’ve got the budget for it, this thing is an absolute beast. Read our full MSI Titan GT77 HX 13V review How we test gaming laptops The PCWorld team puts each and every Windows laptop through a series of benchmarks that test GPU and CPU performance, battery life, and so on. The idea is to push the laptop to its limits and then compare it against others we’ve tested. Below, you’ll find a breakdown of each test and the reasons why we run them: PCMark 10: PCMark 10 is how we determine how well the laptop handles lighter tasks like web browsing, word processing, spreadsheets, and so on.HandBrake: HandBrake is more intensive than PCMark 10. It basically measures how long a laptop’s CPU takes to encode a beefy 30GB file. Cinebench: Cinebench is a brief stress test of the CPU cores. It does this by rendering a 2D scene over a short period of time.3DMark: 3DMark checks if 3D performance remains consistent over time by running graphic-intensive clips. Gaming tests: We benchmark each gaming laptop using several titles.Video rundown test: To gauge battery life, we loop a 4K video using Windows 10’s Movies & TV app until the laptop dies. How to pick the perfect gaming laptop The MSI GS63VR features a 4K resolution panel but not enough GPU to really drive it for today’s games. What’s the ‘best’ screen for a gaming laptop? When you buy a gaming laptop, one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make regards the screen. After all, what you get on day one is what you’re stuck with until you junk the device. You could run an external monitor but then, what’s the point of a laptop? Screen size The size of the screen dictates the size of the laptop itself, and thus weight. You can’t, for example, get a 17-inch gaming laptop that’s four pounds (although MSI’s excellent GS75 gets awfully damned close at five), so think long and hard about whether you’re willing to take the weight penalty in exchange for the screen real estate. If the laptop is going to be your only gaming machine, having a 17-inch screen might be ideal. We should also add that a 17.3-inch screen is easier on weaker eyes than a 15.5-inch screen. This is very much a matter of personal preference. Screen resolution The buzzword today is “4K.” That high resolution delivers sharper photo viewing and more space for video editing, but that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. Anything not using the panel’s native resolution of 3840×2180, such as games running at lower-than-4K resolution, won’t look quite as sharp unless you exponentially increase the graphics power of the laptop. If you’re running at 1920×1080 resolution because your GPU can’t hit 60 fps at 4K, that feature is moot. For many gamers, 1920×1080 (1080p) or 2560×1440 (1440p) is more optimal. IPS vs. TN vs. OLED The panel technology is also a key feature. IPS (in-plane switching) generally produces much greater color accuracy and superior off-axis viewing, but tends to lag in response times, which can lead to blurring. TN (twisted nematic) panels can offer far higher refresh rates and usually better response times than IPS, but can look washed out or just blah. A middle-ground technology that’s appearing more often is VA (vertical alignment). VA is sometimes alternately referred to as “wide viewing angle” technology. (Many assume this to spec to be IPS, but it’s not). In our experience, we’ve found VA panels to run the gamut from being worthy competitors to IPS to being worse than the better TN panels. Generally, if color accuracy is important, go IPS (a trademark of Sharp), and if you want the fastest response times go for a gaming-oriented TN panel. With the variability of VA, we recommend you check feedback from reviewers and users of a particular model. The wildcard in all this is OLED. OLED-based panels have been used in phones for years but have recently migrated to larger screens in laptops. IPS, TN, and VA all use LEDs behind the screen or along the edges. “Black” is produced by a shutter-like mechanism that blocks light from coming through. As you can imagine, there’s usually some light leakage, which means the black tends to be gray. OLED panels don’t rely on edge- or backlighting. Instead, each pixel generates its own light. To produce black, it just switches off the light. This amounts to truly stunning contrast ratios and vibrant colors. OLEDs also boast fantastic response times. The negatives include smaller screen sizes (we haven’t seen anything larger than 15.6 inches yet), higher cost, and lack of support for variable refresh rate. OLED panels can also use more power than conventional methods if the image is on a white background. G-Sync or FreeSync support? Okay, we called this section G-Sync and FreeSync, but the reality is, when it comes to beefy gaming laptops, it’s a GeForce GPU world. And that means it’s a G-Sync world. In a nutshell, Nvidia and AMD’s respective variable-refresh-rate technologies help synchronize the monitor and the GPU to greatly reduce screen tearing. Variable refresh rates can make gaming at 40 fps far smoother to your eyes than a screen without it. The first variable-refresh-rate panels for laptops maxed out at 75Hz, only marginally better than the standard 60Hz. More recently, we’ve begun to see laptop panels that can push 120Hz, 144Hz and even 240Hz. This generally means smoother and sharper gaming to your eyes. It even helps smooth out everyday tasks such as scrolling a browser page or Word document. The downside of high-refresh rate panels is the technology it’s available on: TN. As we said earlier, TN generally looks less vibrant and less accurate than IPS. The off-axis view is generally inferior, too. You’ll also need a far more powerful GPU to feed that high-refresh rate monitor at its native resolution. One last very important note: G-Sync screens have to be connected directly to the laptop’s discrete GPU, which means a large hit in battery life. In most laptops without G-Sync, the Intel integrated graphics is connected directly to the screen, so the GPU can be turned off when not being used. So while G-Sync is beautiful to behold, the cost in battery life is huge. Which is right for you? If it’s primarily a gaming laptop—go for a high refresh rate and G-Sync (or FreeSync, if you can find a laptop that supports it with a Radeon GPU). If you tend to also push pixels in Photoshop or do any color-critical work, skip variable refresh for an IPS panel. What to look for in a keyboard and trackpad A new trend in gaming laptops is the offset trackpad, which is more conducive to gaming than a dead-center trackpad. The concept is sound, but anyone who actually cares about PC gaming will just plug in a mouse. The worst thing about that offset trackpad is when you try to use it for non-gaming purposes. As far as keyboards go, the most important gaming feature is n-key rollover. This means the keyboard physically scans each key separately. If you wanted to, you could press 20 keys simultaneously and they’d all register, as each is independently wired. That probably sounds excessive, but keyboards that lack this feature can suffer missed keystrokes, which both ruins gameplay and hurts in everyday tasks. Anyone who’s used an Adobe product that might require a left-Alt, left-Shift, left-Ctrl plus two more keys to do something may have run into the limitations of non-n-key keyboards. Other keyboard considerations include LED backlighting (which adds ambiance but does nothing for gameplay) and mechanical keys vs. membrane. Mechanical keys are excellent—but are available on only a handful of laptops that usually weigh a ton. We have seen a few designs with low-profile mechanical keyboards, but even we admit they can be an acquired taste. With the massive size of today’s games, make sure the SSD in your laptop is large enough. What kind of storage is best for a gaming laptop? Having your games load from an SSD instead of a hard drive significantly cuts down on load times. But beyond that, we haven’t found it to matter that much whether it’s a super-fast NVMe PCIe drive or a slower SATA SSD. What does matter more today is the size of the SSD rather than the interface it uses. With games now topping 50GB and some touching 100GBs, a once-spacious 256GB SSD will feel too small with just four games installed. So when spec’ing out that gaming laptop, be mindful of just how much total storage you have. If you go for laptop with a small SSD and large hard drive combo, expect to install your games to the hard drive. If the laptop will have an SSD only, choose an absolute minimum of 512GB, with 1TB preferred. How much RAM do you need in a gaming laptop? When laptop makers spec out gaming laptops, one of the levers they use to try to convince you to buy their product is upping the amount of RAM. It’s not hard to find gaming laptops with “upgraded” configurations that go from 16GB of DDR4 to 32GB. While having an adequate amount of RAM is important for gaming, today’s games typically top out at 16GB of RAM, and sometimes can run fine with just 8GB of RAM. Anything more than 16GB (our standard recommendation) is usually a waste of money. You might want to blame laptop and PC makers for cynically using an erroneous spec to manipulate the public, but the blame actually lies with the average buyer. PC makers have told us for years they only over-spec RAM because the public thinks more is better. Dual-channel or single-channel RAM? Besides the amount of memory, a couple of other important, but not critical, questions to ask is what clock speed and what mode. Modern CPUs let you run RAM in sets to increase the memory bandwidth.  More memory bandwidth immediately helps laptops that are running integrated graphics, but the conventional wisdom has long been that discrete GPUs in laptops don’t benefit as much because they have their own dedicated, much faster GDDR5 RAM to use. That’s typically the case, but the performance of today’s GPUs and CPUs can make this conventional wisdom wrong.  Gaming performance is often about a balance between the CPU and the GPU, and how graphically intensive a game is. With games that are graphically intensive, the GPU is the primary bottleneck on performance. Play a game that isn’t graphically intense, though, and the CPU can rapidly become the bottleneck on performance. With the power of today’s GPUs, a lot of games, especially at a sedate resolution of 1920×1080, have shifted more performance to the CPU. The reason we’re talking about this now is if you rob the CPU of memory bandwidth, even a decently fast one, you can take a sizable hit in gaming performance. The basic lesson is you should opt for dual-channel memory bandwidth configurations when possible. On a laptop spec sheet, you typically would see this expressed as “dual-channel” or “2 x 8” to indicate that two 8GB memory modules were used in a laptop. Some laptop makers will express memory in clock speed, so you’ll see “DDR4/2,133 or DDR4/2,400.” While a higher memory clock does increase memory bandwidth, the impact isn’t quite as great as going from dual-channel to single-channel mode. How many CPU cores do you really need? How many cores do you need in a gaming laptop? For most people on a budget, a 4-core CPU with Hyper-Threading will function just fine in most games, especially when combined with a lower-cost and lower performance GPU. Still, if you have the extra cash, a 6-core CPU with Hyper-Threading is likely the sweet spot for today and tomorrow. If you plan to stream your gaming live or edit it, investing in a 6-core is recommended. Intel and AMD’s top-end 8-core CPUs will deliver the greatest benefit to those who might do other graphics-intensive tasks, such as 3D animation or video editing. If you also plan to record and stream video, the 8-core will offer a performance benefit there, too. If you’re thinking, great, let me buy a 4-core Core i5 or Ryzen 5 CPU with a luxury laptop to save money, you usually can’t, because PC makers typically only offer budget CPUs with other budget parts. Why? Well, most budget shoppers can’t afford any luxury items, and most PC makers like to add in the extras to increase the profit. How to pick a GPU for a gaming laptop The single most important piece of hardware in a gaming laptop is undoubtedly the GPU. For AMD fans, the situation is as sad as it is in CPUs: It’s an Nvidia GeForce world. As with CPUs though, the good news is that the dominating products are top-notch. The hardest part will be deciding just how much GPU you need. Our general guidance is to buy as fast a GPU as you can afford and are willing to heft. Generally, the faster the GPU (or GPUs), the larger and heavier the laptop. If you’re talking about playing on a higher-resolution panel of 2560×1440 at high-refresh rates, then keep increasing the amount of money spent on the GPU. External graphics support? The last category you should think about is the burgeoning support for external graphics in gaming laptops. Customers of Alienware have long enjoyed this with its relatively inexpensive (and proprietary) Graphics Amplifier technology, but many new laptops support external graphics cabinets using Thunderbolt 3. These cabinets let you plug your laptop into a more powerful discrete GPU. The Akitio Node (which you can find on Amazon for $300) is one such Thunderbolt 3 cabinet that’s helped usher in lower prices. Although external graphics are primarily desired by users who run on integrated graphics, a gaming laptop with Thunderbolt 3 support could come in handy when the GPU inside gets too old to play the latest games. Battery life The last topic we’ll cover is battery life. The best way to understand battery life on a gaming laptop is to accept that it’ll be horrible for all things gaming. The minute you crank up a GPU on a gaming laptop to play a game, you’re basically limiting yourself to an hour or an hour and a half of battery runtime. Period. And in some cases, far less than that. The only reason to consider battery life on a gaming laptop is if you want to use your laptop unplugged for non-gaming purposes. In that respect, you’ll find a lot of variance, with some—such as Gigabyte’s Aero 15—offering decent battery life, albeit with a trade-off in gaming performance. Consumer Electronics, Gaming, Laptops, Technology Industry
Corsair Xeneon Flex monitor review: The ultimate in gaming immersion
Fri, 31 Mar 2023 10:30:00 +0000
Source: PCWorld
At a glanceExpert's Rating ProsIncredibly immersive gaming experienceHuge 45-inch ultrawide OLED panel can be adjusted from flat to 800R curve to suit your setupExceptional image quality, contrast, color performance, and HDRElite motion clarity on a 240Hz panelAbundant connectivity with USB-C hub and power delivery optionsIt made four people who walked into my office stop and say “WHOA” like Keanu ReevesConsPoor text clarity and general sharpness for productivity workVery expensiveNo swivel or tilt options, stand can’t be replacedBending mechanism feels clunky and mildly terrifying at firstEnabling HDR mutes desktop contrast and vibrancyOur VerdictCorsair’s Xeneon Flex is a huge, bendable OLED ultrawide monitor with blistering speeds, impeccable image quality, and elite motion clarity. It offers an immersive gaming experience like no other, though productivity workers should consider other options. Price When Reviewed$2,000 Best Prices Today: Xeneon Flex Retailer Price $1,799.99 View Deal $1799.99 View Deal Corsair $2000 View Deal $2000 View Deal Price comparison from over 24,000 stores worldwide There are lots of fancy numbers and specs you can use to describe Corsair’s radical Xeneon Flex 45WQHD240 monitor. Roughly 5 million individually lit pixels, each capable of flipping off at a moments notice to deliver the deep, inky blacks OLED is famous for, paired with HDR capabilities. An immersive 3440×1440 ultrawide resolution, stretched across an even more immersive 45 diagonal inches—this is a big display. Blazing-fast 240Hz refresh rates, bolstered by near-instantaneous pixel response times for the ultimate in motion clarity. And did I mention this is the world’s first bendable display, allowing you to fine-tune the perfect curve for your individual setup (or no curve whatsoever)? All of that matters, and the Xeneon Flex wouldn’t be the Xeneon Flex without it. But the second I booted up Forza Horizon 5 and witnessed lush Mexican hills stretched out before me, exotic supercars roaring past in perfect motion as the vibrant sun slowly settled into a pitch black night, none of those numbers and specs mattered. What mattered was my monkey brain shutting off and whispering: Whoa. What mattered was the experience. The Corsair Xeneon Flex delivers a vivid, truly immersive gaming experience unlike any I’ve had before—and I play a lot of games on a lot of monitors. A couple of those spec choices prevent this beast from being a truly do-it-all display—discerning spreadsheet warriors will want to look elsewhere—but if you’re willing to spend $2,000 for jaw-dropping immersion and image quality, the Xeneon Flex will leave you grinning from ear to ear. Just be sure to wipe the drool off your chin when you shut down Steam. Further reading: See our roundup of the best ultrawide gaming monitors to learn about competing products. What are the Corsair Xeneon Flex specs? Okay, fine, we really should talk about the numbers. They’re damned impressive. Virtually any gaming-related spec you could ask for is supported (and often maxed out): Display size: 45-inch ultrawideNative resolution: 3,440 x 1,440 (21:9 aspect ratio)Panel type: Bendable LG OLED with matte coatingRefresh rate: 240HzAdaptive-Sync: AMD FreeSync Premium, Nvidia G-Sync CompatibleHDR: Yes, HDR10, rated for up to 1000 nitsPorts: 2x HDMI 2.1, 1x DisplayPort 1.4, 1x USB Type-C with DP Alt-Mode, 2x USB-A, USB Type-C with upstream (for powering USB ports) on rear | 2x USB-A and 3.5mm audio on frontStand adjustment: Tilt onlyVESA mount: NoSpeakers: NoPrice: $2,000 MSRP This is a big, badass panel—almost staggeringly so. You’re going to need a hefty desk to house it. (In fact, it’s so big that I couldn’t easily take pictures of the display in my tiny office, so I’ve had to use Corsair-supplied pictures throughout this review.) It measures about 42 inches wide and 22 inches tall when flattened, or a bit less when curved, with a thick, sturdy stand that houses much of the display’s electronics and comes with a substantial footprint—both wide and deep—of its own. Brace thyself. Corsair One of the Xeneon Flex’s highlights has to be its namesake flexibility. In a radical move, Corsair designed its OLED stunner to bend to fit your needs. It ships flat, but you can pull a pair of plastic handles out from the sides, adjust the screen up to an aggressive 800R curve, then slide the handles back into place to lock in your chosen form factor. It’s a bit of a terrifying prospect—doubly so because you need to apply some force to wrestle it into place, while the handles feel cheap and wobbly, and did I mention this monitor is $2,000?—but it works well in practice. Corsair rates the Xeneon Flex for 10,000 to 15,000 bends. Even if you adjust the panel a few times a day, that means it should last years without issue (in theory). The bendable display is an exceptional feature, however. The Xeneon Flex’s wobbly plastic handles pop out, let you bend the panel to your desired curve, then slide back into place to lock the position.Corsair I work on my monitor all day and game on it all night. When I’m working in Office, editing photos, or have multiple windows open for general productivity work, I prefer a flat display, as curved monitors produce some distortion. That’s especially true with the Xeneon Flex. Its curve isn’t quite uniform, seemingly from the mechanisms needed to support bending the display—it’s flatter in the middle and curves more aggressively towards the edges. It doesn’t bother me, but I could see it annoying some folks—and it reinforces my desire to handle my work with the screen flat. But when it comes to gaming, nothing beats the immersion a curved ultrawide monitor can provide—and that goes doubly so with the huge, all-encompassing OLED panel on the Corsair Xeneon Flex. I felt like David Bowman in 2001: A Space Odyssey the first time I gamed on this thing, with OLED’s inky blacks and HDR’s vibrant lights only adding to the effect. I quickly found myself flattening the panel during working hours, then bending it to my ideal ratio (about 75 percent of the possible curve) and flipping on HDR to game and watch movies and TV shows by night. (Activating HDR mutes normal Windows desktop colors on most machines, so I prefer to leave it off when I’m slinging spreadsheets.) It’s a wondrous capability, and one that lets you find the perfect curvature for you—even if it’s none whatsoever. Corsair Corsair also loaded the Xeneon Flex with connectivity. The rear inputs include dual HDMI 2.1 connections (perfect for connecting modern consoles), DisplayPort 1.4, a USB Type-C connection with 30W of power delivery DisplayPort Alt Mode support for use with USB-C monitors, and a USB-C input/upstream port for sending USB signals to and from your computer. That upstream port powers two USB-A cables on the rear and two more in the front of the stand, for a total of four. You’ll also find a handy-dandy 3.5mm audio jack up front, alongside the power button and other monitor controls. Further reading: Best USB-C monitors 2023: These displays have a hidden talent Having the controls integrated in the front of the hefty stand is a nice ergonomic touch that prevents you from needing to reach around the back of the monitor to make adjustments, like you do with most displays—an endeavor that could be tricky with the big, wide Xeneon Flex. Corsair Packing so much functionality into the monitor’s stand somewhat limits its adaptability, however. You can’t adjust the height or swivel, and can only tilt the monitor by 22 degrees. You also can’t remove the stand and mount the Xeneon Flex to a VESA monitor arm. This is best used as a singular primary display. Fortunately, the default height should feel comfortable for most people, though plopping a webcam atop the massive monitor results in an oddly high (but pretty good!) viewing angle. Folks of average height will need to slightly crane their necks to look directly into a top-mounted webcam, which can prove fatiguing during especially long videoconferencing calls. But who cares about Zoom meetings? This is a gaming monitor through and through, and it rocks for that. Corsair Xeneon Flex: A truly next-gen gaming and multimedia monitor Corsair All those fancy numbers and specs align in a truly special way once you start gaming on the Corsair Xeneon Flex. This luxurious display offers image-quality and immersion excellence. The Corsair Xeneon Flex immerses you in ways that tangibly elevate the PC gaming experience. I’ve never played on a monitor that made me feel truly inside game worlds the way this one does. It starts with the form factor, of course. Having a 45-inch ultrawide panel engulf your field of view is a truly engrossing experience. Of all the monitors I’ve ever tested, this is the only one that ever prompted friends and family to express sheer amazement at the panel—and four different people had such a reaction. Playing games like Forza Horizon 5 and Star Wars: Squadrons on the mammoth display feels truly immersive in ways you can’t get short of spending thousands upon thousands to build a dedicated sim station. And you can see so much of the map in XCOM 2. But it’s about more than raw size. This is an OLED monitor, with all the benefits that technology provides. The most striking benefit is the wonderful contrast and deep, inky blacks provided by OLED’s per-pixel light dimming. Dimming pixels individually rather than relying on backlighting results in virtually perfect black levels, with no “light bloom” halos appearing around bright objects on dark backgrounds, like you can witness on standard displays. It makes games like Cyberpunk 2077 and Ghostwire: Tokyo look more delicious than ever, while atmospheric titles like Metro: Exodus and Blair Witch absolutely dripped with deep, dark vibes. Cyberpunk’s neon lights dazzled as much as the darkness thanks to the Xeneon Flex’s exceptional color performance. The panel covers 100 percent of the sRGB color gamut, 97 percent of the DCI-P3 color gamut, and 92 percent of AdobeRGB, and comes pre-calibrated from the factory with certification paperwork (complete with performance graphs) in the box. It’s also a 10-bit display, so it can display a wider color range than typical 8-bit panels. But that’s not all. Thanks to the panel’s blistering 240Hz refresh rate (remember to manually change it in Windows!) and the virtually instantaneous gray-to-gray pixel response times OLED provides, the Corsair Xeneon Flex offers truly elite responsiveness and motion clarity. Even fast-paced games like Forza Horizon 5 look crystal clear on this beast, and fine text like character names looked impeccable in Dota 2 at high speeds. (MOBAs are a common trouble area for motion clarity, and often used by GPU vendors to showcase motion clarity improvements.) I set up a 120Hz ultrawide with an identical resolution next to the Flex and the difference was apparent. Corsair also equipped the monitor with AMD Free Sync Premium Pro and Nvidia G-Sync Compatible certification. Paired with the excellent motion clarity and wondrous responsiveness, gaming on the Xeneon Flex is as smooth and impressive as it gets. Corsair Corsair didn’t get a VESA DisplayHDR certification for the monitor but claims it supports up to 1,000 nits. In practice, the Xeneon Flex didn’t hit anywhere near that peak brightness, appearing a bit dim with the lights on in my room. Smaller areas of brightness do manage to hit vivid levels, especially with the lights off, but its HDR performance excels nonetheless thanks to OLED’s inky blacks and per-pixel dimming. The contrast in HDR movies, shows, and games looks absolutely amazing, though the limited brightness does hold it back slightly. The one area where the Xeneon Flex doesn’t quite nail image quality? Sharpness. By stretching the standard 3440×1440 ultrawide resolution out to a massive 45 inches, up from the usual 34 inches, sharpness takes a bit of a hit. It’s not something you’ll notice while gaming or watching videos in motion, especially if you’re running antialiasing (as most games should), but I noticed it a bit on far-away stairs in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2’s Embassy level. It’s a bigger problem when you’re working on the desktop, though. How is the Corsair Xeneon Flex for productivity? Corsair The Corsair Xeneon Flex isn’t a bad productivity monitor by any means—looking at a spreadsheet stretched out on this thing is awe-inspiring—but a couple of those specs and numbers that make it so majestic for gaming make it less appealing for people who work on their computer all day. The biggest issue is sharpness. The massive LG-made OLED panel sticks to the standard 3440×1440 ultrawide resolution despite its humongous size, giving it a paltry 82 pixels per inch. That’s roughly comparable to a 27-inch 1080p monitor, which don’t provide the crispest images. By comparison, Philips’ new 44.5-inch ultrawide bumps the resolution up to 5120×1440 for a tighter 119ppi, which is comparable to most high-end gaming monitors. It’s unfortunate for general-purpose tasks that LG (and thus the Xeneon Flex) didn’t follow suit, especially given the panel’s superb color accuracy. Those sharpness concerns are exacerbated by LG’s decision to opt for a RWBG subpixel layout rather than the standard RGB. As we’ve explained before, using non-standard pixel layouts causes Windows to freak out and harms text clarity. Fine text on the Xeneon Flex looks a bit spindly and pixelated, and you can often see some red or green “ghosting” around many characters, especially larger ones, as shown in the slideshow above. My eyes adjusted to it a bit after a couple weeks of daily use, but I still notice it. My standard dual 4K monitor setup provided a much crisper productivity experience, and the Xeneon Flex’s ultrawide resolution couldn’t scale across software quite as well, even using Windows Snap to segment different applications around the spacious screen. Further reading: Ultrawide vs. dual monitors: Which should you choose? Corsair also applied a matte anti-glare coating to the panel, and some people loathe matte displays. That said, it’s a fairly good application that looks great in bright rooms, without much diffusion or blur, but you can notice the grain if you look closely. It didn’t bother me at all. If you use the Xeneon Flex for productivity, activating the brightness stabilizer option in the monitor’s OSD menu can help prevent sudden changes in luminosity while you’re working on the desktop.Brad Chacos/IDG What did irk me was the aggressive way the Xeneon Flex handles luminance stability on the desktop. Moving or resizing light-colored windows results in drastic brightness fluctuations, which drove me absolutely mad while working. I wound up enabling a brightness stabilizer option in the monitor’s menu and it fixed the issue, albeit while also darkening the display. Enabling HDR also reduces the color gamut and contrast when you’re on the desktop. That’s a common problem with Windows and HDR displays, but these tweaks meant that each day before work I needed to disable HDR, enable the brightness stabilizer, and bend the monitor flat before work, then reverse the actions for an optimal gaming and video-watching experience at night. Pixel burn-in is also a concern for OLEDs, and it may give people who work more than play pause, since productivity programs and the Windows desktop hold much more static imagery than games and movies. Corsair imperceptibly shifts on-screen imagery and offers a three-year zero burn-in and zero dead-pixel guarantee to alleviate potential concerns, but between this and the overall sharpness and text-clarity issues, people who need to spend all day being productive should look elsewhere. Is the Coresair Xeneon Flex 45WQHD240 worth it? The Corsair Xeneon Flex 45WQHD240 immerses you in ways that tangibly elevate the PC gaming experience. I’ve never played on a monitor that made me feel truly inside game worlds the way this one does. Its delectable combination of blisteringly-fast speeds, elite motion clarity, sterling image quality, perfect blacks, and lush HDR will make your jaw drop, especially enveloped within the custom-tuned curvature of its uniquely bendable display. The connectivity is top-notch, too. Corsair Yes, its $2,000 price tag (currently discounted to $1,800) might make you clutch your chest. But if you’re already rocking a GeForce RTX 4090 and a Ryzen 9 7950X3D, the Xeneon Flex will be the ultimate cherry on top. Sticking to a standard 3440×1440 resolution means less powerful hardware can also put this drool-worthy panel to good use. A couple of design decisions from Corsair and panel-maker LG keep the Xeneon Flex from being the ultimate do-it-all display, though it comes so close. Below-average sharpness and text clarity prevent us from being able to recommend it for heavy productivity use, especially since you need to tinker with software settings to achieve acceptable brightness on the desktop. (As an office worker I can attest that it’s definitely fine enough for productivity, though.) The massive stand, steep price, and lack of VESA mounting options may serve as roadblocks to others, though I consider them minor. The mechanism (and handles) used to manipulate the bendable display could also feel sturdier and easier to use. Don’t let that dissuade you if you’re a deep-pocketed enthusiast who wants one of the pinnacle PC gaming experiences when you come home at night, though. When it comes to multimedia, this monitor oozes excellence. The Corsair Xeneon Flex is one of the very best gaming monitors we’ve ever seen, full stop. The idea of sending it back to Corsair is already making me sob. If any of those drawbacks—including the price—are dealbreakers for you, there are plenty of other superb ultrawide gaming monitors available today, including compelling OLED options like the $1,100 Alienware AW3423DWF. But don’t get it twisted: The Corsair Xeneon Flex’s blend of colossal size, elite speed, impeccable image quality, and customizable curvature are unmatched by any other display, though LG’s 45-inch UltraGear OLED (which uses the same panel) does everything but bend for $1,700. If you want to enjoy the best immersion possible in PC gaming, you’ll need to pay up for this fantastic bleeding-edge display. Monitors
Get 10TB of cloud storage for life for just $100
Fri, 31 Mar 2023 08:00:00 +0000
Source: PCWorld
When it comes to cloud storage, you have a lot of options. But not all of them are good ones. Still, in the digital age, we all need more space than what’s on our local hard drive, and cloud storage provides an elegant solution. And if you’re looking for the most bang for your buck, it doesn’t get much better than Degoo Cloud Storage. Degoo is an AI-based cloud storage solution that offers 10TB of 256-bit AES encrypted storage space. The user-friendly platform is designed for security and sharing, giving you easy ways to share files via email, link, or your favorite messaging app. You can upload all of your devices and enjoy extra peace of mind knowing that files are replicated during uploading, so you’ll never lose them. Enjoy a seamless cloud storage solution with more storage space than Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive combined. For a limited time, you can get a lifetime subscription to 10TB of Degoo Cloud Storage for just $99.99.   Degoo Premium: Lifetime 10TB Backup Plan – $99.99 See Deal Prices subject to change. Computer Accessories
Google Drive has a hidden limit on your files
Thu, 30 Mar 2023 19:31:49 +0000
Source: PCWorld
Turns out Google imposes a hard limit on the number of files you can upload to Google Drive, its cloud storage service—despite a lack of clear documentation that outlines the restrictions. That magic number? Five million. This hidden count only became apparent when users started running into it. As reported on Reddit and shared by CNET, users discovered this cap the hard way in February. In a post on Google’s IssueTracker, both individuals and businesses noted that uploads had stopped working on their accounts, but without a clear explanation for the failures, leaving users confused while scrambling to deal with broken automated integrations and backup systems. Upgrading the account to a higher amount of storage also did not fix the problem. In early March, Google’s customer service agents revealed the hard ceiling in individual replies to account holders, stating they could not exceed 5 million documents—even when the total storage used was under the plan’s limits. A Google Workspace spokesperson confirmed this policy in a statement to CNET, saying individual users were limited to 5 million total created items to “maintain strong performance and reliability.” However, the rollout of this limitation appears to be inconsistent, with others on the IssueTracker thread hitting the restriction at the 1 million mark. If you’ve encountered Error 403 (“The limit for the number of items, whether trashed or not, created by this account has been exceeded”), you may have tripped into this issue. Mention of this restriction on file count remains missing from Google’s documentation, too. At the time of this article, only a help page covering individual file limitations (with surprisingly fine detail) exists. Meanwhile, shared drive accounts have their file limits clearly listed as a maximum of 400,000, and competitor Dropbox has no limitations on the number of files uploaded; same for Box, which the company confirmed to CNET. Affected users now face a hard decision: Switch accounts (either to a rival service or within Google), or begin deleting files. Neither task will be simple for those part of wide organizations (one person described this limitation affecting “tens of thousands” affiliated with their org) and folks who had used their accounts for cloud backups. Backup software can create multiple small files as part of incremental backups, which can add up over time—as was the case for the Redditor who alerted r/Google to this issue. In response, other Redditors pointed out a temporary workaround—adding all documents to a few zip files. (Never change, Reddit.) Internet
Budget GPU battle: GeForce RTX 3050 vs Radeon RX 6650 XT vs Arc A770
Thu, 30 Mar 2023 18:00:00 +0000
Source: PCWorld
It’s the showdown you’ve been waiting for: All three players in the desktop GPU market, going head-to-head in the contentious affordable category. PCWorld contributor Keith May has gathered graphics cards from Nvidia, AMD, and Intel in the sub-$280 price range and placed them in a battle royale for your budget bucks. If you want to see them face off, check out the latest PCWorld video on our YouTube channel. This head-to-head fight is made possible because the 8GB Asrock Arc A770 recently hit a super-low price on sale, making Intel’s top-of-the-line card comparable with the GeForce RTX 3050 and Radeon RX 6650 XT from Nvidia and AMD, respectively. So while you might not be able to find these specific cards at a price below $280, there should be something in that price range that’s along the same lines whenever you’re deal-hunting. The exact cards Keith tested are as follows: Intel – Asrock Arc A770 Phantom Gaming D 8GB OC AMD – MSI Radeon RX 6650 XT MECH 2X 8G OC Nvidia – Zotac GAMING GeForce RTX 3050 Twin Edge OC 8GB As it happens, all three cards are at or below the $280 price at the links above, as of the time of publishing this article. The full video has breakdowns of the test rig and our benchmark games, which are: Cyberpunk 2077, Horizon Zero Dawn, Borderlands: Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, Forspoken, Returnal, Modern Warfare 2, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Rainbow Six Siege, Hitman 2, and Watch Dogs Legion. If you absolutely can’t spare ten minutes, here’s the general conclusion. All three cards performed shockingly well given the price points we’re looking at, but the AMD RX 6650 XT is the overall winner, even with weaker performance on VRAM-heavy titles. There’s nuance involved depending on the game and screen resolution, however, so watch the full video if you can. For more consumer-friendly dives into the graphics card market, be sure to subscribe to PCWorld on YouTube! Graphics Cards
      SqlPro SQL Editor

SQL Editor



Services | Products | Support | Downloads | Contact Us | About Us | Site Map
Copyright 1998-2018 Vive Corp. All rights reserved.