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AMD's Radeon RX 6600 XT is an 'epic 1080p' graphics card with a not-nice price
Thu, 29 Jul 2021 20:30:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Nearly nine long months after the Radeon RX 6800 and 6800 XT GPUs launched, AMD’s radical new RDNA 2 architecture is finally coming to the midrange—though the midrange sure is a lot more expensive in the midst of a crippling graphics card shortage. At ChinaJoy on Thursday evening, AMD announced the long-awaited Radeon RX 6600 XT for “epic 1080p gaming” at high refresh rates, with a not-so-epic $379 price tag.To read this article in full, please click here
Best password managers: Reviews of the top products
Thu, 29 Jul 2021 16:01:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
We are terrible at passwords. We suck at creating them (the top two most popular remain “123456” and “password”), we share them way too freely, and we forget them all the time. Indeed, the very thing that can ensure our online security has become our biggest obstacle to it. This is what makes a good password manager essential.To read this article in full, please click here
How to get the Windows 11 beta
Thu, 29 Jul 2021 12:49:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Microsoft has released the first official builds of Windows 11. Here’s how to get Windows 11 and try it out for yourself.You’ll need two things: first, a PC that meets the minimum hardware specifications of Windows 11. Second, you’ll need to join the Windows Insider program so that your PC can receive the first beta or Windows Insider builds of Windows 11. While it’s possible that Microsoft will release a standalone .ISO file of Windows 11, those plans still haven't materialized, officially.To read this article in full, please click here
Amazon’s second-gen Fire TV Cube now lets you make Zoom calls
Thu, 29 Jul 2021 10:06:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Just add a compatible webcam, and the latest Fire TV Cube will let you make two-way video calls using the Zoom app for Fire TV.
Intel Beast Canyon NUC11BTMi9 review: A bigger footprint shrinks this gaming PC's appeal
Thu, 29 Jul 2021 06:00:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
The gaming variants of Intel’s Next Unit of Computing (NUC) mini-PCs have always been expensive. For the price, you got unique, compact, and ultimately turn-key options for a portable desktop PC. You might pay out the nose, but you couldn’t replicate the experience as a DIY builder. That’s what justified the cost.With the launch of Beast Canyon—officially known as the NUC11BTMi9 or NUC11BTMi7, depending on which version you get—the high cost is harder to justify.Admittedly, the audience for these gaming PCs wasn’t large to begin with. But Beast Canyon is a surprisingly harder sell than I expected.Design Once upon a time, Intel’s gaming NUCs were tiny. That’s not so with Beast Canyon, which is an eight-liter small-form-factor (SFF) PC—or roughly the size of an eGPU enclosure.To read this article in full, please click here
NordPass review: Streamlined password management
Thu, 29 Jul 2021 03:45:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
NordPass is a relative newcomer to the password manager space, having been launched less than two years ago. Offered by the virtual network provider NordVPN, NordPass can save, secure, and sync your passwords, notes, and credit cards. While it effectively streamlines the odious chore of remembering passwords, it currently lacks the more advanced features that make our top picks so essential for safely working and playing online.NordPass is available as a desktop app for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux, a mobile app for Android and iOS, and has extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Opera browsers. To get started, you have to first create an account on the NordPass site. Then you have to download one of the apps and/or browser extensions. I used the macOS app with the Firefox extension for my testing.To read this article in full, please click here
The best new TV shows are getting harder for cord-cutters to buy
Thu, 29 Jul 2021 03:00:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
To win over cord cutters, streaming exclusives are crowding out a la carte purchase options.
Wyze Night Light review: These affordable, groupable, motion-sensing lights have some issues
Thu, 29 Jul 2021 03:00:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
You can group up to 10 of Wyze’s inexpensive night lights, which boast motion and ambient light sensors. But we had trouble with the magnetic mounts, and battery life was disappointingly brief.
Bang & Olufsen launches Beoplay EQ true wireless headphones with active adaptive noise cancellation
Thu, 29 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
These true wireless earphones with adaptive active noise cancellation promise to eliminate surrounding noise and allow total immersion in B&O's signature sound.
AMD's chip supply will remain tight through 2021
Wed, 28 Jul 2021 07:56:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
AMD’s chief executive said Tuesday that she expects the supply of AMD’s chips to be “tight” throughout the remainder of the year, but are expected to ease up in 2022.Dr. Lisa Su, speaking during AMD’s second-quarter earnings call, also said that AMD is working with its own supply chain partners—makers of semiconductor manufacturing equipment—to allow for AMD “to grow substantially” as the company moves into the second half of 2021. Su’s comments were timely, given that rival Intel has warned of ongoing chip shortages as it begins navigating through to a transition to new EUV equipment. Su did not say that AMD expected the same, though she did predict the PC market would cool off.To read this article in full, please click here
Why this $240 5G phone is worth checking out
Wed, 28 Jul 2021 03:30:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
The OnePlus Nord N200 5G surprised me. It costs just $240, yet I can’t believe how many great features it shares with the OnePlus 9 Pro that costs almost four times as much. If you want fast 5G speeds and a great Android OS experience on a budget, then the N200 is worth a look.  Adam Patrick Murray/IDG The design is classic OnePlus: Love it or hate it.To read this article in full, please click here
How to assign more than one voice command to a single Alexa routine
Wed, 28 Jul 2021 03:00:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Having trouble remembering the exact voice commands for your Alexa routines? Now you can add multiple phrases to a single routine.
The best movies to watch on Netflix today
Wed, 28 Jul 2021 03:00:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Netflix has tens of thousands of hours of content, but that doesn't mean it's all great entertainment. TechHive's film critic will help you stream the very best movies the service has to offer.
The best benchmarking software for your PC
Wed, 28 Jul 2021 02:41:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
You’ve spent months planning, researching, and painstakingly putting together every component in your beloved gaming rig. Now it’s time to see what it can do. Much like a virtuoso pianist will practice his scales to see how fast he can do them, you too can test your PC to see if it’s ready for Carnegie Hall-like levels of performance. Today we’ll show you the best software for benchmarking your PC.What is benchmarking? It involves using specific software to test the speed of each individual component inside your computer, such as your CPU, GPU, and SSD, or even how everything works together. Yep, it’s a lot of science and math. Don’t worry though! It’s usually free and very easy to do, as the benchmarking software will do all that science and math for you.To read this article in full, please click here
Vivaldi 4.1 browser debuts macros, accordion tabs
Wed, 28 Jul 2021 00:01:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Vivaldi 4.1 offers something that’s a rarity in the world of browsers: a new macro system that complements the niche browser’s implementation of new “accordion tabs,” too. Both features offer some intriguing new ways to surf the web.Vivaldi debuted a few years ago as the brainchild of some former developers of the Opera browser. Those developers have never been afraid to think outside the box, with inspired innovations such as a way to “pause” the browser. Other times, Opera follows competing browsers with features like integrated video games. Now, Vivaldi has returned to interesting ways to increase your productivity.To read this article in full, please click here
Microsoft says Surface, Windows sales were hurt by chip shortages
Tue, 27 Jul 2021 16:02:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Chip shortages have hit one of the world’s largest software companies, Microsoft, and its lineup of Surface PCs.Microsoft reported net income of $16.5 billion (up 47 percent from a year ago) on revenue of $46.2 billion, an increase of 21 percent over the same period. But two key businesses suffered as a result of ongoing supply issues.Microsoft said that Surface revenue dropped 20 percent, or by $348 million, to $1.376 billion. In a statement, Microsoft said the shortfall was driven by “supply chain constraints,” without specifying what those constraints were. Microsoft also said that Windows OEM revenue decreased 3 percent, “with continued PC demand impacted by supply chain constraints.” (Unfortunately, Microsoft executives didn't clarify what those supply-chain issues actually were during an earnings call.)To read this article in full, please click here
Flight Simulator's awesome performance update lands on PCs today
Tue, 27 Jul 2021 10:12:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Microsoft released its groundbreaking Flight Simulator for its Xbox Series X and S on Tuesday, but PC gamers have a real treat as well: The significant performance upgrade Microsoft and Asobo Studios teased is now live. In early July, Asobo said that it had rewritten the game’s code to double the frame rate and significantly reduce the memory requirements, making Flight Simulator accessible to even more gaming PCs. In a video, the game ran at about 60 frames per second on a Core i7-9700K and GeForce RTX 2060.To read this article in full, please click here
Oculus recalls Quest 2 over foam irritation, will add a 128GB option
Tue, 27 Jul 2021 09:44:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Facebook’s Oculus division said Tuesday that it’s pausing sales of the company’s Oculus Quest 2 headset, after reports that its foam facial interface irritated the skin of some customers.When the device returns in a few weeks, however, Oculus said that the Quest 2 would also feature a larger storage option, a 128GB headset on sale for the same price of $299. The larger Quest 2 will become the “standard” Quest 2 offering, the company said. Once the larger Quest 2 debuts, the Oculus Quest 2 will be available in two capacity points: 128GB and 256GB. The 64GB model will be retired.In December, Oculus said that it had begun receiving reports that its Quest 2’s foam interface was irritating customers’ skin. (The foam interface is also sold separately as part of the Oculus Fit Pack.) The headset is actually being voluntarily recalled as part of an action with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Health Canada. Facebook also posted a small, somewhat useless FAQ that provides some more detail. To read this article in full, please click here
T-Mobile's 5G home internet service: Hands-on report
Tue, 27 Jul 2021 07:30:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
The T-Mobile High Speed Internet Gateway (5G21-12W-A) offers a $50/mo alternative to cable broadband, and delivers performance good enough for a small household that likes to stream video.
Windows 11 superguide: News, tips, reviews and more
Tue, 27 Jul 2021 06:20:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Windows 11 is real, and it’s drawing closer. Microsoft has announced the next generation of its operating system, and we’ve already received a look at some of its next-generation features.Microsoft has already unwittingly provided us with an early look at Windows 11. It’s noteworthy for its streamlined Start menu and simplified taskbar, layered on top of what looks a lot like Windows 10.As Microsoft rolls out Windows 11, bookmark this page to keep up with the latest news, tips, and reviews of Windows 11. Scroll down for our hands-on and video walkthrough of Windows 11, too, as well as the unexpected new features and major hardware requirements of Windows 11, too. We’ll have hands-on and tips as well.To read this article in full, please click here
Windows 11 FAQ: Answers to your most burning Windows 11 questions
Tue, 27 Jul 2021 06:01:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Windows 11 is nearly here. Microsoft has formally announced Windows 11, and we’ve already seen it as a leaked build. Every new operating system brings many questions. We’re starting here with the answers we know, and we’ll update this list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) as we learn more. To find everything we know about Windows, check out our Windows 11 comprehensive guide, with news, tips, reviews, and more.What is Windows 11? Windows 11 is the name of the next major revision to Windows 10, different enough that it justified a new brand name and not just another feature update.  Microsoft launched Windows 11 on June 24. To read this article in full, please click here
How to check your laptop's battery health
Tue, 27 Jul 2021 03:30:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Battery life is an often vague and nebulous concept. In theory, it can be represented by a single number but, in practice, literally hundreds of factors can shorten or lengthen endurance. That’s frustrating if you’re trying to gauge the battery life and health of your notebook, especially if you’re trying to determine if it’s time to buy a new laptop.Windows has a secret feature called Battery Report that can help. It’s what we use while testing notebook endurance at PCWorld. Here’s how to access Battery Report and understand what it reveals you about your laptop.To read this article in full, please click here
Why do upgradeable laptops fail? Because we fail them
Tue, 27 Jul 2021 02:49:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Whose fault is it that the PC industry has never, ever seen an upgradeable laptop design succeed? Ours. Yes, each of us bears the blame for never, ever seeing the laptop blossom into a mobile version of the desktop, with infinite upgrade capabilities that run until the end of time. But this isn’t about finger-pointing. For all our good intentions, there are some very good reasons why we’re not acting on our ideals. For the sake of argument, let’s agree that Framework’s new laptop, which you can upgrade or change, is a good thing. But how many of us actually agree? I know people who actually think it’s fine to take a five-year-old laptop back to the company to have it “recycled” and then buy a newer one. To read this article in full, please click here
Intel changes its manufacturing language as it moves to angstroms
Mon, 26 Jul 2021 16:34:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Intel said Monday it is completely changing the way in which generations of its microprocessors have been defined, discussed, and evaluated, paving the way for chips to be measured in angstroms, not nanometers.Specifically, Intel is rewriting the terminology associated with its process technology, it said at an “Intel Accelerated” presentation. Going forward, Intel’s 10nm “enhanced SuperFIN” technology will now be called “Intel 7,” mentally placing it on the same tier as the same 7nm process technology AMD uses for its Ryzen chips. Intel began signaling this shift in March, but today it’s official.To read this article in full, please click here
How to set up and use Teams Chat in Windows 11
Mon, 26 Jul 2021 15:48:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Microsoft has begun rolling out the integrated Teams Chat function to a small subset of Windows Insiders testing out Windows 11, Microsoft said this week. Here’s how to use Teams Chat (formally called Chat from Microsoft Teams) within Windows 11.For now, if you don’t have Teams Chat in your preview build of Windows 11, don’t worry. Microsoft said that it will be rolling out the new functionality to a wider group of users over the next few weeks, and months, and adding new features as well.  In fact, Windows 11 Insider Build 22000.100 adds Teams Chat to all (or least the majority) of Insiders in the Dev Channel.To read this article in full, please click here
Intel warns of impending CPU shortages, but says it won't raise prices
Mon, 26 Jul 2021 11:35:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Intel executives say that the company will be unable to supply enough processors to meet PC demand, as the factors driving ongoing chip shortages affect it, too. But surprisingly there’s some good news as well. Intel said it will probably eat the resulting increase in prices, at least where PC companies are concerned.“We remain in a highly constrained environment where we are unable to fully supply customer demand,” said George Davis, Intel’s chief financial officer, as part of a SeekingAlpha transcript of Intel’s second quarter earnings call. In that call, the company admitted that it can’t get materials—specifically substrate—to make enough chips to keep pace.To read this article in full, please click here
The best processors for laptops 2021: Intel vs. AMD
Mon, 26 Jul 2021 06:12:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
What’s the best CPU for your next laptop? That was an easy answer just a few years ago, when Intel’s product line was far and away the strongest. But with multiple generations of AMD’s game-changing Ryzen chips finally giving Intel some real competition, you have more to think about.We’re here to help you navigate this wider landscape, but without thousands of words and stacks of charts. We’ll start with a quick primer on the strengths and weaknesses of each chip, then we’ll discuss how to pick the right one for you. To keep this from getting too overwhelming, we’ll stick only to the mainstream CPUs that typically go into three-pound, thin-and-light laptops, rather than get into the high-performance chips that go into thicker and heavier gaming laptops.To read this article in full, please click here
3 hacks for scoring the best deals on tech
Mon, 26 Jul 2021 03:30:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Electronic gear improves our lives, but it doesn’t often come cheap. Not for the big ticket items, anyway—laptops, TVs, desktop PCs, and smartphones still cost hundreds of dollars. But you can save money on them if you know how to shop smart.Using these three strategies, you’ll be able to find deals before they become widely known. Our tips also help when you’re hunting for discounts on less popular items that don’t go on sale as often. Plus, they apply year ‘round, with an increased chance for major wins during big sale periods like Black Friday and Amazon Prime Day.To read this article in full, please click here
Vilo's $20-per-node mesh network: A hands-on report
Mon, 26 Jul 2021 03:00:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
Vilo's $20-per-node mesh router promises to upend traditional mesh router pricing. Does it deliver, performance-wise? Yeah, pretty much.
Leviton Decora Mini Plug-in Switch and Dimmer (2nd Gen) review: Still top in their class
Mon, 26 Jul 2021 03:00:00 -0700
Source: PCWorld
But Leviton’s new HomeKit implementation wasn’t seamless in our testing.
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