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Best PDF readers for Windows of 2019

Latest Tech News - 5 hours 23 min ago

Having emerged in the 1990s, PDFs are not only one of the most prevalent file types, but they’re also one of the oldest. These venerable documents remain immensely popular because they combine text formatting and images into a single file type that can work universally across different operating systems, hardware and applications. 

Whether it’s a bank statement, invoice or letter, many of the documents you receive through email are likely sent as PDF files. They’re also common in the workplace, with the PDF specification enabling encryption, digital signatures, and more…

Although virtually all email services, web browsers, applications and operating systems will let you view PDF documents, they’re not specifically designed to handle these files. For instance, if you preview and try to print out a PDF document, the paper copy may look slightly misconfigured.

That’s where PDF readers come into the mix. These applications often contain built-in, specialized features that allow you to do much more than merely view PDF files – you can also use these apps to edit, convert and manage PDFs without any issues or fuss. In this article, we’ve picked out five of the best readers for Windows devices.

  • Want your company or services to be added to this buyer’s guide? Please email your request to desire.athow@futurenet.com with the URL of the buying guide in the subject line. 

Image Credit: Adobe

Software giant Adobe not only pioneered the PDF, but it has also created a highly popular and comprehensive application that lets you manage such documents effectively. Acrobat DC provides you with the tools to download, convert and edit PDF files across computers, tablets and smartphones.

With the software, you can use your smartphone camera to capture and turn any document into a high-quality PDF. There’s also a new file comparison tool, which quickly and accurately analyzes two PDF files to find any differences. That could be handy if you’re looking to compare different drafts of the same piece of work.

What’s more, when you create a PDF document using Acrobat, you’re sent a smart file that you can edit, sign, share and search. You can even use the built-in preview feature to see what the document will look like on different screen sizes and resolutions. And if you’re writing a letter or have been sent an important form, you can add your signature by using the Acrobat app on a touchscreen-enabled device.

If you’re interested in purchasing Acrobat, there are two offerings to pick from. Acrobat Standard DC costs $12.99 a month, letting you create, edit and sign PDF documents. However, it only works on Windows devices. Meanwhile, Acrobat Pro DC gives you access to all the listed features for $14.99 a month – plus it’s also compatible with Mac devices.

Image Credit: Foxit

Foxit has developed a sophisticated PDF management app, with PhantomPDF being pushed as a tool that goes well beyond PDF viewing, providing a range of cloud-based tools that allow you to create and customize documents at scale.

Described by the company as a ‘transformative’ PDF application, the software lets you create and modify PDFs while providing a plethora of sophisticated management, security and collaboration features. For instance, you can manage who has access to documents, track who opens them, notify readers of document updates and send document requests to your colleagues.

This software also sports a whole suite of useful editing tools. You can change the layout of a document, rearrange paragraphs, columns and pages, or make your documents look more professional by including stamps, watermarks, headers, footers and so forth. You can also merge PDFs and split PDFs into new files.

In terms of price, the Standard edition will cost you $9 monthly or a one-time payment of $145. Should you be mulling a purchase, the good news is that there’s a free trial so you can test out the software first.

Image Credit: Nuance

Nuance is another notable firm that develops PDF management software for individuals and enterprises. Power PDF is an easy-to-use piece of software that lets you create, edit, annotate and share documents quickly. It’s used by large organizations including the likes of Airbus, PwC, Carillion and the Welsh government.

There are several versions of the software, all of which offer different features. For $129, the Standard edition lets you create, convert, combine and edit documents, fill in forms and share PDF files. It also lets you turn documents like invoices and receipts into PDFs through a scanning and OCR feature.

Meanwhile, the Power PDF Advanced package is priced at $179 and targeted at business users. While offering all the same features of the Standard edition, it comes with collaboration, security and redaction abilities. You can access documents anywhere and at any time through the cloud, too.

Enterprises can get a quote for volume licensing of the software as well. By going down this route, firms get one deployment package with a single license.

Image Credit: Soda

Lulu Software has developed a range of easy-to-use PDF management applications for both individual users and businesses under the Soda brand. PDF Anywhere is the firm’s enterprise offering, giving companies access to a full suite of cloud-based PDF tools.

With the software, you’re able to review, annotate, send and track documents from a single comprehensive user interface. You can also connect Soda PDF Anywhere to Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, Evernote and Box accounts, which makes it easier to download and distribute documents.

Another great thing about the application is that it comes with a batch processing feature, allowing you to create and convert multiple PDF files at the same time. There’s an e-sign function as well, which you can use to prepare and send PDF-based contracts to clients or partners. What’s more, you can track and get reminders on all the documents you distribute through the app.

Plus, if you use a range of devices within your company, the software works not just for Windows, but also Mac, Linux, iOS and Android devices. As for pricing, there are several plans available. The basic home package starts from $48 a year, though you can get a free PDF reader and individual functions (like e-sign) separately, though.

Image Credit:  SoftXpansion 

SoftXpansion has developed Perfect PDF Ultimate, which is described by the firm as an ‘all-in-one’ application for processing PDF files. Available to buy direct from the Microsoft Store, this user-friendly software is perfect for viewing, editing and creating PDF documents.

Features include the ability to edit page content, generate interactive forms, comment on existing documents, as well as being able to convert, combine and split files. You can also add e-signatures and encryption to important business files. You can buy Perfect PDF Ultimate for $29.99.

Other PDF readers and editors to consider

PDF Exchange is a free PDF editor that's rich with features. Aside from being able to view, create, and edit PDFs, there are additional options to OCR and digital sign documents. PDF-XChange Editor Plus is an upgraded version which allows for the creation and editing of PDF forms. While PDF Exchange Editor is freeware, you can pay $37 to get a version with support. PDF EXchange Editor Plus is available for $47.

Nitro PDF Reader is another free PDF reader that allows users to read, edit, and annotate PDF files. Nitro PDF offers a couple of key differences to a lot of other free PDF software, though. The first is that it allows for the creation and editing of PDF forms. The other is that it has a sleek and simple interace that uses tabbed menus, making it look like it took inspiration from Microsoft Word in presentation. Sharing and signing are also available.

STDU Viewer - aka, Scientific and Technical Document Utility Viewer - is a freeware viewer that works with multiple file formats. It aims to be an all-in-one viewer for most common file formats used in scientific documentation, such as PDF, TIFF, DjVu, XPS, JBIG2, WWF, FB2, TXT, TCR, PalmDoc(PDB), MOBI, AZW, EPub, DCX, as well as offers a range of supported image file types. It comes with a tabbed interface, multilingual support, and can also work with multi-layered text documents and convert them to single layer document file.

Adobe Reader DC is probably the most famous read-only viewer for PDF files, not least because it's free and has often been integrated with web browsers. The positives, apart from being free, include the stated aim of making PDFs viewable regardless of the operating system used. The negative, of course, is that you can't edit and annotate files in the free viewer and you will need one of the options above to do that.

Categories: Tech News

Baselworld 2019: 7 bits of smartwatch news you probably missed

Latest Tech News - 5 hours 29 min ago

We have to be honest with you, Baselworld 2019 has been a bit of a washout when it comes to smartwatches and other high-tech wearables.

In recent years this previously traditional watch and jewelry show has seen brands embrace technology, unveiling hybrid watches and even full-blown smartwatches alongside traditional timepieces.

2019 has been a lot more of the latter than the former, but there are still some smartwatch announcements you'll want to know about from Baselworld 2019. 

Below we talk through seven developments from Baselworld that you should care about, including new watches, new designs and updates from the world of smartwatches.

1. Fossil and Skagen have new hybrid designs 

Fossil unveiled new smartwatches at Baselworld 2018, but the company now seems to be focusing on IFA and CES for its core announcements in the Wear OS space. That didn't mean the company skipped Baselworld 2019 entirely though, as it unveiled new traditional watches alongside four new hybrids.

We say they're new, but these are really new watch designs (under the Fossil and Skagen brands) that feature Fossil's usual hybrid tech. That means all four of these watches come with step tracking, sleep monitoring, limited notification support and more.

The two new Fossil-branded watches are called the Cameron and the Jacqueline, and they offer new designs that are small, slim and unique-looking. 

Two new looks for the Skagen Holst (a watch designed by Fossil) can be seen above too. One features a metal chain link band in black, while the other has a Milanese loop band with a mother of pearl watch face.

You should be able to buy these from later in the year, but so far we don't have exact release date or pricing information for either.

2. BMW and Puma smartwatches aren't here... yet

Fossil Group has a variety of brands under its banner including Skagen, Michael Kors and Emporio Armani. Two of the newest brands to join the wearable group are Puma and BMW, and previously Fossil Group has confirmed that it's working on ideas for smartwatches for each brand.

Baselworld didn't see Fossil unveil its first attempts at smartwatches for either brand, but BMW has now debuted its first range of traditional watches, so it may be that the company is gearing up for a Wear OS makeover.

We may not hear anything about this for quite some time though, as Fossil was unable to give TechRadar any firm dates or information when we asked about smartwatch plans. 

3. Tag Heuer revamped its Wear OS watch so it's par for the course

The new Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45 Golf Edition is a reworking of the company's high-end Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45 smartwatch, and its designed specifically for you to wear on the green.

As well as Tag Heuer's normal mapping technology, it comes with a golf app to give you details on over 39,000 golf courses around the world. There are some slight design changes here too, but if you already own the Connected Modular 45 you probably won't want this.

The new golf app from Tag Heuer is available for its existing Connected Modular 45 models as well as the Apple Watch, so unless you're looking specifically for the look above you probably won't want to spend $1,850 / £1,600 / AU$2,650 on one.

4. New Alpina AlpinerX designs are here 

Alpina seems proud of its AlpinerX adventure watch, and rather than properly updating it for 2019 the company has instead brought out new designs and introduced an added feature.

The four new variants of the Alpina AlpinerX come with a heart rate tracker, as well as the new looks you can see above. Those new looks were the most popular combinations people made on Kickstarter last year, and each will be available for $995 (around £750, AU$1,400) later this year.

You can see the full collection in the gallery above, but all the same adventure features such as a UV monitor are still here on the latest versions of the watch.

5. Skagen Falster 2 will soon get bolder straps 

Image credit: TechRadar 

The Skagen Falster 2 Wear OS watch has been on sale for a while now, but the company wants to inject its look with some bold colors for anyone who likes that style.

Later this year, you'll be able to buy the Falster 2 with four new straps that come in yellow, red, green or blue. Exactly when you'll be able to buy these is unclear, but they'll certainly give your watch a different design to the more traditional straps Skagen normally uses.

6. Michael Kors Access Sofie Heart Rate is coming in April

Image credit: TechRadar

You may have heard about the Michael Kors Access Sofie 2.0 which was announced at CES earlier in the year. It isn’t on sale yet, but the watch is now confirmed for an April 2019 launch in a variety of markets around the world.

As well as it coming soon, we’ve now been told it will have a slightly different name. Instead of the name Access Sofie 2.0, you’ll be buying the Michael Kors Access Sofie Heart Rate.

That's a long, complicated name but at least it's clear what the main addition is.

7. Casio has a very limited edition Wear OS watch

Image credit: Casio

And finally, Casio has just unveiled a new version of the WSD-F30 Wear OS watch. It has all of the same tech as last year's smartwatch, but it sports a new unique design.

Casio only plans to make a thousand of these so they may be difficult to get your hands on, especially as the company has no plans to sell them in the US. Casio confirmed to TechRadar that the new model will be sold in Europe and Japan.

The design features rose gold buttons, a deep blue color bezel and a slightly smaller body than the original watch.

It's probably not one for you if you've already bought a WSD-F30, but if can spare 100,000 Japanese yen (around $900, £700 or AU$1275) then you may want to snap up this new look. If that's you, you can expect to be able to buy one in June this year.

Categories: Tech News

Are free VPNs worth downloading?

Latest Tech News - 5 hours 37 min ago

There’s a ton of free stuff out there on the internet, not just in terms of knowledge – and indeed misinformation – but there are literally millions of free services available. The latter includes software (more specifically freeware), smartphone apps, and websites – from the pedestrian plagiarism checker, to the more obscure, such as decoding World War II’s Enigma machine cipher.

With so much gratis content available online, it is easy to fall into the mind-set that everything should be free – but there are good reasons why that shouldn’t be the case. And this is certainly true of free VPN services, which are the subject of this article.

While free VPNs can be easily found online, they tend to be a lousy choice, and not worth the effort to download and use. Why? Let’s look at the main pitfalls and restrictions involved with free VPN providers.

Limited data

A major limitation of a free VPN is the generally paltry level of data allowance. While just about every paid VPN service provides unlimited data, this is not the case with a free VPN service.

You don’t get much monthly data allowance at all with TunnelBear’s free plan (Image Credit: TunnelBear)

For example, TunnelBear is a popular VPN service that is notable for its ease of use. While TunnelBear offers a free tier, it is more of a recurring free trial than a usable free VPN, being limited to a very low 500MB of data for each month.

Of course, every household’s broadband usage varies, but if we look at figures from cable provider Xfinity, the average subscriber (in the second half of 2018) consumed 174GB of median monthly data. With that average usage, which works out to approximately 5.8GB of daily data consumption over 30 days, TunnelBear’s monthly data allowance would not even cover a single day.

Therefore, this free tier is effectively provided as just a test to let the user decide if they want to commit to a full monthly plan. However, with such a limited data allowance, perhaps folks should not even bother, and simply find a VPN that offers a (more substantial) free trial before committing to a paid plan.

The slow lane

A crucial feature of a VPN is how much bandwidth it can offer the user. This applies to both the download and the upload side of the transmitted data, and becomes particularly important for users who plan to use their VPN to stream video. And remember, the latter is the most common VPN activity for both the US and globally, and VPNs are frequently used to avoid georestrictions imposed on streaming services.

Also recall that according to Netflix, for an HD quality stream, the user should have 5MB/s of download bandwidth, and for a 4K stream, this goes up to 25MB/s.

The speed you experience with a VPN is determined by the quality of its network, how many servers it has, and how close they are to you. The better paid VPN services tend to have a larger number of servers – often thousands of them – spread across the globe to make for a robust network, providing adequate bandwidth for all of their users. And remember that the more servers there are, the more likely there will be a good one near to you.

A free VPN simply does not have the sort of cash required to invest in such a network, and at least the more transparent free VPNs are upfront about this. Also, it is generally good business sense to give priority in terms of throughput to the paid subscribers. After all, they are paying the VPNs rent, and keeping the lights on, so it makes sense to prioritize their service over the non-paying folks, to keep them happy. This can translate into a restricted, more sluggish level of bandwidth, for the free VPN users.

ProtonVPN’s different subscription plans and free offering (Image Credit: ProtonVPN)

By way of example, take a look at ProtonVPN’s plans and prices in the image above. While the plans vary, for any of the paid tiers, there are servers in all countries, and the speed is designated as ‘high’ – but for the free plan, this isn’t the case. Indeed, for free users, there are servers in only three countries, and the speed is rated as ‘low’.

Let’s just say don’t try your Netflix streaming with such a bandwidth limited service unless you like waiting for your buffer to fill more than watching your film or TV show.

Device limit

Another differentiator with a VPN is the number of devices that can be connected. Better VPN plans often start at three devices, and can go up to as many as 10 devices. After all, there really is no point applying the protection of a VPN to your laptop, while leaving your smartphone and desktop PC unprotected and exposed.

Comparing Hotspot Shield’s paid and free services (Image Credit: Hotspot Shield)

We can look at yet another free VPN provider as an example: Hotspot Shield. Its premium plan allows the user to connect up to five devices. Once again – as with ProtonVPN above – the free plan leaves out the essential feature of allowing for the connection of multiple pieces of hardware, and free users can only use the VPN with a single device.

Malware – no extra charge

There have been plenty of reports about free VPNs not being secure. In fact, we doubt anyone would be shocked to know that these free VPNs utilize the user’s browsing data to perform targeted advertising for a revenue stream, and even sell this data to third-party affiliates for more additional revenue. This effectively makes the user the product.

What’s perhaps an even greater concern is that some of the dodgier free VPN offerings out there can be associated with malware. So you should certainly tread carefully, particularly when it comes to more obscure providers who seem to be offering you a free VPN lunch.

When you add all this up, in our opinion, the bottom line simply is: a free VPN is just not worth it!

  • Also check out the best VPN paid services
Categories: Tech News

The best Samsung Galaxy Note 8 deals in March 2019

Latest Tech News - 5 hours 44 min ago

The Galaxy Note 9 has been out for a while now and Samsung Galaxy S10 deals are readily available, which in theory should make the Note 8 old news. Right? Well that's what you would think. But the 2017 model is so incredible that it still performs just like a new model and not to mention it is so much cheaper than its successor. Samsung Galaxy Note 8 deals are definitely still well worth a look. And it's still getting cheaper!

When the Note 8 first came out, EE had deals locked down tight but now there is a pretty good spread across providers so no matter your preference you don't have to switch, Although EE still does have some of the very best deals on this device. Samsung Note 8 deals are now well under the £900-mark in total over the two-year contract and can go as low as £750.

The Note 8 is not by any means a budget device, however. It's a absolutely massive  smartphone, not just in size but also in raw power. It's got the screen size and specification smarts to be a competitor to the highly praised iPhone X or iPhone's new massive iPhone XS Max and neither of those come cheap. But there are now some excellent Note 8 deals floating around. Check out our comparison chart and handpicked favourite Note 8 deals below.

Now we know some of you may have fiery memories of the Galaxy Note 7 in your head when looking at this device but leave those worries behind. Both the Note 8 and 9 have massively improved their batteries and you won't be facing overheating problems anymore. The Note 8 truly is miles ahead of the 7 in every way.

Our top 5 best Galaxy Note 8 deals in the UK today: Should I get the Galaxy Note 8 SIM free?

Are you determined to get the very best price? Always looking to see how you can trim a few pounds off your new favourite gadget? As you probably know, you can now pick up cheap SIM only deals for as little as £4 a month, which could make it worth buying a SIM and handset separately or if you're willing to pay a bit more, how about Three's unlimited SIM deal for £20

The Galaxy Note 8's RRP has dropped massively recently to £649. That is much cheaper than it used to be but you will still be putting up a big chunk of money upfront. Even if you get the cheapest SIM card (usually around £4 a month for 500MB data), that would still cost near to £800 over the two years. You're probably better cranking up the upfront cost in our price comparison chart above, imposing a low maximum for monthlies and finding a cheaper deal in the long run.

To get the best price on your new SIM free Galaxy, you can head to our cheapest unlocked Note 8 deals page.

Wondering what all the fuss is about? Well the fervour for the Note 8 is probably doubled due to the fact that the Note 7 was pulled from shelves soon after release. But it doesn't take more than one look at the Note 8 to see that it justifies the hype.

The huge 6.3-inch ‘Infinity Display,’ is gorgeous to look at, the 6GB RAM innards go like a train and there are two best-in-class rear cameras. It's expensive, but we think the Note 8 is worth it. 

Read TechRadar's full Samsung Galaxy Note 8 review

Categories: Tech News

The best mouse of 2019: 10 top computer mice compared

Latest Tech News - 5 hours 46 min ago

The best mice are absolutely essential – even if some tablet and laptop manufacturers want you to think that a tap of your finger or a stylus is the best way to interact with your PC. There’s nothing quite like using an awesome mouse to get around your desktop. No matter whether you’re using a PC or a Mac, a trackpad or a touchscreen just isn’t as efficient. The best mice aren’t limited to a tiny space on your laptop chassis – not to mention the sheer precision. 

And, maybe you even have an old mouse lying around your house. But, we promise that our picks will make everything else seem mediocre by comparison. Before you pick the best mouse for your needs, though, you should consider what you need it for. Is your current mouse starting to die? Are you thinking about going for a wireless mouse? Or, are you just looking for one of the best gaming mice?

Regardless of what you’re looking for, the best mice can make your entire computing experience better. All the best mice on this list are packed with unique features that can only be found in high-end peripherals. So, let’s dive into the best mice 2019 has to offer.

Yeah, we know, you saw how much the Logitech MX Master 2S costs and just scoffed – just bear with us a second. The Logitech MX Master 2S is the best mouse 2019 has to offer, especially if you have work to do. While most mice in this price range appeal to gamers with ridiculous button setups and edgy designs, this mouse is created for productivity alone. Trust us, you might not think you need a high-end wireless mouse for your day to day office work, but once you get your hands on this one – you’ll never go back.

Read the full review: Logitech MX Master 2S  

Smaller than Logitech’s flagship, the MX Master, the Logitech MX Anywhere 2 is the ideal travel mouse. It can connect with up to three distinct devices with 2.4GHZ wireless technology or with Bluetooth, making it obvious why this mouse is renowned for having quick setup and surprisingly long battery life. Capable of extremely quick charging, in just 4 minutes the MX Anywhere 2 charges enough for an entire day. 

In an age when all of our peripherals are either being shoved full of extraneous lighting or morphed into odd shapes, the Microsoft Classic Intellimouse modernizes the classic design with an appealing white lighting effect. It also beefs up the sensor, allowing users to ramp up the DPI to 3,200. It’s not wireless, and it’s hardly made for gaming, but if you’re in the market for a mouse that will help you get all your work done, the Microsoft Classic Intellimouse might be the best mouse for you.

Read the full review: Microsoft Classic IntelliMouse 

Yeah, this mouse looks weird and its name kind of looks like some annoying tongue twister, but the Anker Vertical Ergonomic Optical mouse is only off putting until you get your hands on it. From the moment you start using this mouse, you’ll know it’s the one of the best mice around. While it’s built a little more cheaply than other ergonomic mice, it’s an affordable way to prevent RSI. 

When Apple isn’t occupying itself by building luxury smartphones that you can unlock with your face, it was hard at work crafting one of the strangest mice we’ve ever used. If you found yourself doing a double take when reading the specs, you saw right – the Magic Mouse 2 lacks buttons completely. However, it makes up for this apparent oversight with sheer aesthetic appeal. This mouse is completely controlled by gestures, giving it all the benefits of a trackpad as well as a mouse. 

If you’re looking for an extremely comfortable mouse that will make your work day a little less rigorous, you’ll need an ergonomic-focused mouse. Luckily, the Logitech MX Vertical is a great example of what these mice are capable of. As the name suggests, it’s a vertical mouse, but it feels a lot more natural in your hand and helps reduce the amount of stress you have to exert on your wrist and hand muscles. And, as an added bonus, there’s a handy little button at the top that lets you seamlessly swap between different computers – even further reducing the amount of movement you have to perform.

Read the full review: Logitech MX Vertical 

The third trackball mouse Logitech has put out since 2008, the MX Ergo Wireless is an anomaly in an industry that is otherwise crowded with optical laser mice. As such, it’s certain to charm those who haven’t quite moved on to the gesture-based desktop trackpads of the present. With the option to lay it flat or use it at a 20-degree angle, this mouse is uniquely satisfying.

Read the full review: Logitech MX Ergo Wireless

This is one of the best mice if you’re looking for something that’s seen and not heard. Because the Logitech M330 Silent Plus is so compact and silent, it’s the perfect mouse for using on an airplane tray next to a sleeping neighbor. Just slip it into your laptop bag when the flight touches down, and weighing less than a quarter of a pound, you won’t even notice the added bulk. 

Sure, the Microsoft Surface Precision Mouse that came out late last year is tempting, but sometimes you just need a cheap, reliable mouse that you can throw in your laptop bag without a care in the world. That’s where the Bluetooth Mobile Mouse 3600 comes in. This may be the best mouse for anyone looking for an inexpensive pointing device that won’t let them down – it’s one of the most reliable wireless mice you can buy today, and it’s from a brand you can trust. 

Razer products aren’t for everyone. Specifically, they appeal to an audience that enjoys the svelte industrial design of an Apple gadget, but with a gamer-centric slant. That’s especially the case with the DeathAdder Chroma, a mouse that comes with 16.8 million LED-backlit color options out of the box, along with a hyper-accurate 10,000 DPI sensor.

Read the full review: Razer DeathAdder Chroma

  • Image Credits: TechRadar

Gabe Carey and Bill Thomas has also contributed to this article

Categories: Tech News

The best monitor 2019: the top 10 monitors and displays we’ve reviewed

Latest Tech News - 5 hours 50 min ago

The best monitors aren’t going to speed up your computer, but they can make your computing so much better by making it easier on the eyes, improving productivity. And, if you ask us, the best monitors will be affordable, too, so anyone can find a cost-effective monitor that gets the job done. With high pixel counts, fast refresh rates, and so many different panel sizes, you can make your work easier on the eyes.

Whether you're looking for a gaming monitor to keep up with the gaming PCs, or if you just bought a MacBook Air and you need one of the best USB-C monitors, you’ve come to the right place. And, you can trust our picks – we’ve tested and reviewed them all ourselves.    

Now that the best PCs can handle 4K easier than ever before, the best 4K monitors are everywhere. That’s why BenQ launched the PD3200U, a massive 32-inch Ultra HD display, as part of its Designer Monitor range. Marketed to creatives and professionals, BenQ has crafted, seemingly by mistake, a panel that gamers can get behind, too – as long as they can find room on their desks. However, 3D designers especially will love this display, thanks to the factory-calibrated color accuracy and CAD/CAM mode. 

Read the full review: BenQ PD3200U

The AOC Agon AG352UCG6 Black Edition is marketed as a gaming monitor, but if you need an ultra-wide monitor, you really can’t do much better. With its sublime color support, strong contrast ratio and lightning-fast 120Hz refresh rate – everything you do on your PC is going to feel quick, snappy and it’ll look good while doing it. It’s kind of expensive, but this ultra-wide monitor can significantly boost productivity, so it’s totally worth it – it’s one of the best monitors you can buy today, as long as you have the hardware to drive it. 

Read the full review: AOC Agon AG352UCG6 Black Edition 

If you’ve been on the market for a high-end monitor for a while, and you’re ready to just throw your hands up in frustration, buying an expensive monitor with ever feature under the sun, you’re in luck. The Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ combines so many high-end features that it seems like something out of a science fiction novel. It doesn’t just include an Ultra-HD 4K display at 144 Hz, but it also packs HDR and Nvidia G-Sync tech. This is simply the best monitor on the market, as long as you have the cash. If you’re playing games, doing photo or video editing work, or even just general desktop work, you really can’t go wrong here. 

Read the full review: Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ 

When you start to grow weary of the same old 16:9 aspect ratio, nothing hits the spot like a cinematic 21:9 display. It’s probably not the best for watching Netflix or YouTube, but the Acer Predator X34 is a great example of what an ultra-wide monitor can do. Boasting an attractive aluminum bezel and polygonal stand that resembles a bird’s foot, this massive 34-inch monitor is a wonder to look at. More importantly, armed with Nvidia’s G-Sync tech, you won’t need V-Sync stressing out your graphics card. The Acer Predator X34 does all the heavy lifting for you. This is about as immersive as a gaming monitor gets. 

Read the full review: Acer Predator X34

We don’t often run into technology that’s so far ahead of the curve that we’re left dumbfounded. The Dell UltraSharp UP3218K is the most recent example. Finding a monitor that can reach the raw beauty this one does should be impossible. It’s not just the resolution, either – Dell went a long way to make sure that the build quality and color reproduction are the best in the business, and well, it is. The Dell UltraSharp UP3218K is aimed at professionals, obviously, so if that sounds like it’s up your alley, it’s probably the best monitor for you. 

Read the full review: Dell UltraSharp UP3218K 

  • This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the BenQ PD3200U 

If you’re looking for a great 1440p monitor with HDR for multimedia and gaming, the BenQ EX3203R might be the best monitor for you. This monitor is notable because it manages to bring in a ton of high-end features into a monitor that is extremely affordable. And, while 32 inches might sound like a bit much for a monitor, the 1800R curvature on this BenQ panel means that it’s easy to use, both for productivity and for immersion in your games and media. 

Read the full review: BenQ EX203R 

  • This product is only available in the US at the time of writing. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Acer S277HK  

Depending on your budget, it might break the bank – like any Alienware product – but Dell’s 25-inch gaming monitor will all but eliminate screen tearing. Whether you have an AMD Radeon VII or an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080, there’s a configuration for you. With G-Sync or FreeSync taking away some of the heavy lifting from the GPU that would otherwise be spent on VSync, the Alienware 25’s 120Hz refresh rate may actually be viable. And, the 1ms response time is just the gravy on top.  

Read the full review: Alienware 25 

You might not believe it at first glance, but the BenQ Zowie XL2540 is every bit the gaming monitor that the Asus Predator X34 is. And though it may not seem it from the outside looking in, it does its job remarkably well too, sacrificing dazzling lighting effects for a zippy 240Hz refresh rate and nigh-instantaneous 1ms response time. There’s no G-Sync or FreeSync, as this monitor assumes you already have a rig that’s plenty capable of eliminating screen tears on its own. Instead, this monitor keeps it simple by supplying you with lots of visual presets, an “S Switch” control pod for managing those presets and even a pair of adjustable light screens.

Read the full review: BenQ Zowie XL2540

If you’re running games using a weaker GPU and you’re looking to get into ultra-wide displays without spending a fortune, you might want to check the LG 34UC79G-B out. This monitor, measuring in at 34-inches diagonally, is equipped with AMD FreeSync for screen tear elimination and a 21:9 aspect ratio best suited for games and cinema. Despite its resolution being lower than other ultrawide displays out there, this LG monitor pulls off a crisp image nonetheless – and with stunning color accuracy at that. Plus, you can change the height, which is more than can be said for even some of the more expensive 4K monitors out there. 

Read the full review: LG 34UC79G-B

If you’re planning on picking up a new Nvidia Turing graphics card on launch (we can’t blame you), you’re going to want a monitor that can take advantage of that powerful graphics card. The HP Omen X 35, then, might just be the best gaming monitor for you. Rocking a WQHD panel with 98.7% sRGB coverage, the best PC games are going to just pop on this display. And, it’s G-sync enabled, so you don’t even need to worry about screen tearing or artifacting. 

Read the full review: HP Omen X 35 

Gabe Carey and Bill Thomas have also contributed to this article

  • Get one of the best monitors on sale this Black Friday
  • Image Credits: TechRadar
Categories: Tech News

Best webcams 2019: the top webcams for your PC

Latest Tech News - 5 hours 53 min ago

While it’s true that it’s hard to find a laptop or all-in-one PC without an HD webcam built in, many desktop PC users need an external solution. Luckily, there are so many webcams out there to choose from. These days, you can pick up one of the best webcams yourself for a similar – or even better – experience. 

So, what should you look for in the best webcams? Well, like most things, it’ll boil down to how you use it. Are you looking to become the next Twitch celebrity? Or, do you just want to have some friendly video calls every now and then?

No matter what you are looking for, we can help you find the best webcam for your needs. From high quality webcams with gorgeous aesthetics and high resolution, to affordable webcams that still get the job done, we’ve found the best webcams on the market. So sit back, relax and get ready to find the best webcams you can buy today.

Image Credit: Logitech

Logitech's newest webcam, the Logitech G922 Pro Stream features the same classy design as the C920 before it, but it’s especially interesting for gamers this time around. The C922 still boasts excellent 1080p video quality when it comes to hosting video calls, and its automatic low-light correction makes it a great cam for streaming with the lights off. It also supports background removal, making it ideal for budding YouTubers.

Image Credit: Razer

The Razer Kiyo looks weird, that’s for sure, but it’s still one of the best webcams out there for streaming – something that’s unbelievably popular right now. But, with the Razer Kiyo, Razer has stripped away a lot of the bells and whistles that more premium webcams offer, focusing instead on what matters to game streamers – good image quality and lighting through a “Light Ring”. This ensures you don’t need to spend a ton of time configuring the stream – just plug in the Razer Kiyo and get to work. 

Image Credit: Microsoft

If you’re looking for a webcam that prioritizes value above all else, or even if you just need it for video calls, the Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 is for you. You won’t get 1080p video at this price point, but you do get automatic color correction, a noise-cancelling unidirectional microphone and a stand to fit laptops and desktops alike. It’s an affordable solution to any PC without a camera, or even a camera that isn’t very good. 

Image Credit: Mevo

If you’re trying to do some live streaming, or you’re trying to capture the magic of the real world, Mevo might be right up your alley. If you’re an aspiring journalist, you’re going to want to keep an eye on the Mevo or the Mevo Plus, as either of these webcams will let you capture footage live, no matter where you are in the world – as long as you can connect to a mobile network. As an bonus, Mevo is small and inconspicuous enough to not distract your subject in the middle of an interview.

Image Credit: Microsoft

Aimed at pro users with large displays, the LifeCam Studio features a familiar combination of 1080p recording and 720p live video calling. It rotates 360 degrees, and can be mounted on a tripod with autofocus. The wideband mic delivers crystal clear sound and Microsoft’s TrueColor system will shift the exposure dynamically to keep you well lit. It’s a great choice for business conferencing and presentations. 

Read the full review: Microsoft LifeCam Studio

Image Credit: Logitech

Have you ever looked at webcam in disgust because it doesn’t push the same amount of pixels as your smartphone? Well, you’ll love the Logitech Brio Webcam. With a 4K UHD resolution and HDR, the Logitech Brio has brought high fidelity to the world of the best webcams. And, if that wasn’t enough, it also features Windows Hello functionality and an easy to use stand which will let you position it wherever you need.

Image Credit: Creative

Creative may not be the first company you think of when you’re looking for the best webcams, but after the Creative Labs Senz3D, that will change. This space-age webcam has more features than you can shake a stick at, and the high-tech 3D scanner and facial tracking tech promises to lead to some intriguing things in both AR functionality and even gaming. It isn’t cheap, but you’re getting all the bells and whistles with this Creative webcam

Image Credit: Logitech

The C930e claims to be Logitech's most advanced HD webcam and it's also one of the most expensive ones on the market. But, unlike traditional webcams, which rely on the PC to do the heavy lifting, this unit does the video encoding itself, which should in turn result in better video quality. The wide, 90-degree field of view means it’s well-suited to business videoconferencing and presentations, and of course it’s Skype-certified for PC and Mac.

Image Credit: Samsung

Samsung smart TV’s aren’t compatible with most of the best webcams. Luckily, though, Samsung has its own proprietary camera for its H, HU, JS and JU models. We wouldn’t recommend buying one for Skype, as the smart TV version of Skype is no longer supported, but if you want to use Samsung’s own gesture control features and its virtual mirror for fitness apps, then it’s your only real option.

  • This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Logitech C930e 

Image Credit: Ausdom

If you’re looking for a full HD webcam without the full HD webcam price, this little webcam is currently pretty cheap. Bolstering resolutions up to 1080p HD while supporting 12MP stills, a noise-cancelling microphone and low-light compensation, this camera is feature-packed yet frugal. There’s no autofocus and you don’t get a big bundle of software, but the low, low price more than makes up for any shortcomings. 

  • This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Microsoft LifeCam Studio 

Bill Thomas has also contributed to this article

Categories: Tech News

Best computer speakers 2019: the best audio systems for your PC

Latest Tech News - 5 hours 54 min ago

You’ve probably already heard plenty of people out there telling you that the best headphones are the only way to get fantastic sound when using a computer. But, what if you’re not comfortable wearing headphones day-in and day-out? For everyone else, the best computer speakers are a fantastic ideal. Still, like any piece of PC hardware, finding the best computer speakers isn’t quite as easy as you’d think.

Before you pick the best computer speakers for your setup, there are a few things you need to consider. How do they sound? Is the surround or stereo separation up to snuff? Do they start to grate on you after a couple minutes? Is the sound nice and balanced? These are all important questions to ask.

You should also think about what you're going to be doing with the best computer speakers. Are you going to play some of the best PC games, like Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, where immersion is all that matters? Are you going to watch Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse so you can cry? Or, do you just want to sit back and enjoy the new album by Karen O &  Danger Mouse? No matter what you’re doing, the best computer speakers can revolutionize the way you experience audio on your computer. 

Image Credit: Audioengine

Sure, the Audioengine A2+ launched four years ago, but they’re still the best computer speakers on the market. These aesthetically pleasing speakers will work with your PC’s USB port for uncompressed audio and beautiful audio quality with its built-in DAC. The Audioengine A2+ doesn’t come with a bass, but that’s not a problem unless you need really deep bass. Luckily, there is an RCA output, so it’s a breeze to connect an external woofer.

Image Credit: Logitech

While they may be more expensive than you’d expect to pay for the brand’s speakers, the Logitech Z623 is still very affordable when you consider just how powerful they are. The Z623 may look like your average pair of speakers, but its subwoofer produces a thundering sound that can easily dialed up or down depending on your preference. And, it offers a great soundstage – with great highs and mids – making for a more immersive gaming and movie experience. 

Image Credit: Logitech

Logitech is practically a household name in home entertainment and gaming, but never before has it combined the two so spectacularly. The first Logitech computer speakers designed for gaming, the Logitech G560 are the best computer speakers for gaming – no contest. Not only do they feature RGB lighting, but through Logitech’s software, the multi-colored illumination can adapt to any kind of content you consume – whether it’s your favorite game, or the latest music.

Image Credit: Razer

One of the first things you’ll notice about the Razer Nommo Pro speakers – beyond the weird name – is the immense price. We get it, it’s kind of hard to justify forking over 500 bucks on speakers. But, not only do you get a beefy down-firing subwoofer that’ll almost literally blow you away, but it also features Razer Chroma, so they’ll look just as good as they sound. Sure, there are cheaper options out there – but for speakers this good, the price is well worth it.  

  • This product is only available in the US as of this writing. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Audioengine A2+.  

Image Credit: Harman Kardon

If you look at the Harmon Kardon Soundsticks III long enough, they’ll start looking like some kind of jellyfish. These translucent computer speakers look more like a modern art installation, rather than a functional speaker system – but that all changes once you turn them on. This speaker and sub combo features booming bass thanks to its woofer, while still producing crisp highs. You’ll get excellent sound at a decent price, making it perfect for music fans with a mid-range budget.

  • This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Edifier E25 Luna Eclipse. 

Image Credit: Edifier

It might be a bit bassy for some people, but the Edifier E25 Luna Eclipse is a gorgeous speaker setup that not only looks good, but it also features amazing sound. The Luna, which comes in red, white and black, offers a powerful but controlled bass, fantastic balance with sharp mids and good stereo separation. It even includes a really nifty little remote control. The Luna Eclipse are some of the best computer speakers out there, especially if you like to pump up the volume with little to no distortion – and, who doesn’t?

Image Credit: Logitech

The Logitech MX Sound Speakers are simply the best wireless PC speakers you can buy today. They’re a thing of beauty, with their eccentric circular design and silver accents. And, for the price, they definitely deliver a little more than what you’d expect from the best laptop speakers. The bass may sometimes overpower the mids and highs, but it still delivers an excellent soundstage and powerful audio, which makes it great for gaming. It also features dual Bluetooth connectivity so you can connect two devices simultaneously. Finally, the backlit motion sensor controls are so sensitive, a light touch is all it needs. 

Read the full review: Logitech MX Sound 

Image Credit: Klipsch

The Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 speaker system brings enhanced sound for versatile use, so that whether you’re listening to music, watching movies, or playing games, you’re getting the best computer speaker experience. These THX-certified speakers boast power, a wide frequency range (31Hz to 20kHz), and a detailed audio quality with punch bass, maximum clarity and great balance. We’re not exaggerating when we say it’s powerful enough to replicate that home theater quality.

  • This product is only available in the US at the time of this writing. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Logitech Z623 

Image Credit: Dell

Dell’s AE715 may not be the most powerful speaker in the market. It produces a decent 360-degree sound that, while is fairly common in portable audio, is a rarity with computer speakers. For it's low, low price, this Bluetooth speaker is nothing amazing; not a lot of bass and there’s a bit of delay, but the audio quality good enough if your listening standards aren’t quite as demanding. 

However, what you’re getting in exchange are its wireless functionality, the USB charging port so you can charge the device, and the built-in mic so you can use it for conference calls. It’s definitely a great portable, wireless solution.

  • This product is only available in the US and UK as of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Jabra SPEAK 510.  

Image Credit: Mackie

Mackie CR4BT promises professional-grade performance, which is a lot more than what its competitors offer. The question is, does it really do that? Well, they sound good for a premium pair of speakers, but there are drawbacks including thinner mid range, and high bass cut off at 70 Hz, which means while there’s good bass presence, you might be missing the really low stuff.

The pros, however, include the acoustic foam pads to isolate the speakers from the surface it’s standing on, and the front auxiliary input. Overall, these aren’t your run-of-the-mill computer speakers. They are useful for multimedia creation and production as well.

  • This product is only available in the US and UK as of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Logitech MX Sound.     
Categories: Tech News

Disc-less Xbox One S: everything you need to know about the all digital console

Latest Tech News - 5 hours 55 min ago

As digital downloads and online streaming has changed how we consume film, TV, entertainment and games, it's no huge surprise that Microsoft will soon debut its first disc-less console. 

Thanks to plenty of rumors, we’ve known that a disc-less version of the Xbox One S has been in the works for a few weeks now – even though Microsoft is yet to publicly acknowledge the new console. 

Code-named Xbox ‘Maverick’, Windows Central has been sharing lots of information about when the new console might be landing – as well as what it could look like. What we know so far is based largely on rumors or documents that haven’t been officially verified, so as usual at this stage, take everything you read with a pinch of salt.

What we know so far is the new console, likely to be called the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition, probably isn’t going to compete with the brand’s higher-end consoles and current Blu-Ray, disc-based line-up, including the X Box One S and X Box One X. Instead, it’s going to be positioned within the X Box One range, meaning Microsoft isn’t ditching discs and Blu-Ray anytime soon. 

So when will we see the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition out in the wild? And which new features is it likely to offer? While we wait for more official answers, we’ve run through the top news, rumors and what we’d love to see from the new console below.

Disc-less Xbox One S: Cut to the chase
  • What is it? The latest console from Microsoft, which is likely to sit in the Xbox One range. The big draw of this new console is that it's disc-less. That means there's no Blu-ray drive, instead the gaming experience will be digital-only. 
  • When is it out? Rumours have suggested it's on the way this year and documents recently obtained by Windows Central suggest it might be revealed in April 2019 and available to buy in May 7, 2019.
  • How much will it cost? Details from Windows Central suggest that it's going to have the lowest price point of the current Xbox line-up, aimed firmly at newcomers to the Xbox ecosystem, but there's no official word on pricing just yet. 
New Disc-less Xbox One S: price and availability

It's been reported for some time that the new console is expected to land during 2019. Now, according to a report by Windows Central, the likely date for the disc-less Xbox One S All-Digital Edition launch could be May 7, 2019, after it's revealed at the Inside Xbox event. 

Although this is a tentative release date, and there's been no official confirmation the console even exists yet from Microsoft, it's looking likely the it'll be with us within the next three months – we're keeping everything crossed.

Without any solid details about features, it's difficult to make estimations about price. However, documents obtained by Windows Central suggest that the Disc-less Xbox One S will have the cheapest retail price of the current Xbox line-up. 

This means it'll likely be aimed at those new to the Xbox ecosystem, rather than anyone looking for a high-end device.

Photoshop mockup of the Xbox One S All-Digital edition. (Image credit: Windows Central)

New disc-less Xbox One S rumors: design and features

It's early days to discuss features coming to the new Disc-less Xbox One S, but obviously it's going to be minus a Blu-ray drive.

The Windows Central report that's fuelled a lot of what we know so far about the Disc-less Xbox One S suggests the console will come with a 1TB HDD and with some digital games already built-in, like Forza Horizon 3, Sea of Thieves, and Minecraft. There have also been rumors that it could come with certain games installed already, which means users might be able to pick and choose before they order their console.

Design-wise, rumors have been based on photos obtained by Windows Central , which the site replicated with design mock-ups in order to protect the origin of the images. First impressions suggest it looks the same as the Xbox One S without a disc drive or a, rather redundant, eject button.

Categories: Tech News

Apple's streaming service: everything we know so far

Latest Tech News - 5 hours 56 min ago

It looks like Apple is gearing up to take on Netflix with its own streaming service – but can it truly rival the world's most popular on-demand platform?

Apple is expected to launch its long-awaited streaming service on March 25 at its next major launch event, in a move that could create a serious rival for the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Disney's upcoming streaming service Disney+

The tech giant recently sent out invitations for the March 25 keynote with the suggestive title "It's show time", which further fueled rumors that the currently unnamed streaming service will launch next Monday. 

Cut to the chase
  • What is it? A rival streaming service that Apple will place its own content on among other titles.
  • When will it be released? It's expected to launch on March 25, although Variety reports that it won't be available to the public until later this year. 
  • How much will it cost? Nothing concrete as yet, but it could cost less than a Netflix subscription of $9 (£5.99 / AU$9.99).

Image credit: Apple

At this moment in time, nobody knows a huge amount about Apple's streaming service – but what we do know is that Netflix doesn't want anything to do with it, with its Chief Executive, Reed Hastings confirming that it Netflix has "chosen not to integrate with [Apple's] service."

Apple's streaming service is likely to rely heavily on Apple's original content, which hasn't exactly been a roaring success in the past

However, with budgets reportedly exceeding $1 billion, Apple's latest foray into the world of content creation appears to be more ambitious than ever before. 

We've known of Apple's original content push for a while now; in 2018, the New York Times  reported that Steven Spielberg is rebooting his 'Amazing Stories' anthology series from the 1980s, the producer behind 'Battlestar Galactica' is working on a new space drama, and the creator of Fox's 'Bob's Burgers' is making a new animated series.

Other big Hollywood names are here, too. If the reports prove accurate, Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon will star in a series about a fictional morning TV show,  while Academy Award-winner Octavia Spencer is set to star in drama 'Are You Sleeping?'

Apple CEO Tim Cook (Image credit: TechRadar)

Aside from original content, CNBC has reported that the new streaming service will also have a number of 'Channels.'

These Channels will include options to access subscriptions to other services, which so far include Starz, CBS and Viacom, according to CNBC’s sources. HBO is also rumored to be one of these Channels. 

However, CNBC reported that HBO is not as far along in partnership discussions as these aforementioned networks, and it's unclear whether that will impact its availability on Apple's service.

Will Apple's streaming service suffer without content from the likes of HBO and Netflix? Only time will tell, but Apple could have the edge if it creates a wider media offering and bundles in other formats like newspapers and magazines, which could be a very real possibility after the company's acquisition of Texture.

The subscription price of Apple's new video streaming service is one of the biggest mysteries surrounding the launch, but some reports do claim it'll be cheaper than Netflix. 

Apple streaming service: release date

Apple is expected to launch its long-awaited streaming service on March 25 at its next major launch event, having sent out invitations with the title "It's show time."

However, the new service may not be available to the public until later this year, according to a report by Variety, which says, "sources familiar with the plans say Apple’s video service will be targeted for a launch in summer or fall rather than the April timing that has been the subject of media speculation."

Variety also reports that we will see "show clips of [Apple's] original series" at the March 25 event, but that the shows themselves won't be released until later this year. 

The keynote promises to be a star-studded event, with Bloomberg saying that Apple has "invited Hollywood stars, including Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Garner and director JJ Abrams"  along – names that have been associated with upcoming original Apple content.

Image credit: TechRadar

Apple streaming service: price

Right now, nobody knows how much Apple's streaming service will cost. There are rumors that it will cost less than a Netflix subscription – but which tier of Netflix subscription isn't clear.

The cheapest Netflix subscription costs $9 (£5.99 / AU$9.99) per month, so an Apple streaming service subscription could cost less than that. 

Even if the rumors are true, we wouldn't expect Apple to significantly undercut Netflix, so we could be looking at a monthly cost of $8 (£4.99 / AU$8.99) for an Apple streaming service subscription at the very, very least - and more if it bundles in other services.

Image credit: Apple

Apple streaming service: what we want to see

4K streaming

It almost goes without saying that Apple's streaming service should have support for 4K playback, in line with other streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. 

With the arrival of the 4K-enabled Apple TV last year we'd be very surprised if Apple's streaming service didn't boast super-high resolution playback.

Tiered subscription 

4K streaming often goes hand in hand with a tiered subscription model; after all, if you don't have a 4K TV, you shouldn't have to pay for 4K content. 

We can envision the streaming service having multiple plans like Netflix does currently, which ranges from $9 (£5.99 / AU$9.99) per month for a Standard plan to $16 (£9.99 / AU$17.99) for its 4K Premium plan.

Perks for Apple TV owners

It would be great if those who have already bought into the Apple ecosystem with an Apple TV got the benefit of a free Apple streaming service subscription. 

While we don't think this scenario is particularly likely, it wouldn't be out of the realms of possibility if Apple included the streaming service within the Apple TV application that comes installed on every iOS and tvOS device.

Bundled multimedia content

Following Apple's acquisition of Texture, we are expecting to hear about an Apple News Magazines' on March 25. That service, previously dubbed 'the Netflix of magazines,' had bundled together magazines for one low monthly price.

If Apple could offer newspapers and magazines alongside its new streaming service included in the cost of subscription, it could prove a big problem for rival Netflix.

It would be impressive if Apple just offered all its services in one, like $20 (or £15 / AU$25) for everything including Apple Music, newspapers and magazines.

Categories: Tech News

Google Stadia will never need a console – 4K/60fps is heading your way at 30mbps

Latest Tech News - 7 hours 26 min ago

With Google Stadia, the internet giant is looking to spearhead a new way of thinking about gaming, with streaming at its heart. That means, in Google's eyes, the physical console is going the way of the dodo, at least when it comes to its Stadia service.

Google Stadia boss has stressed that, though Stadia will have a controller, it will never have a console. Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, Harrison stated that:

“We are absolutely firm that we are not, will not, and will never release a console. [Stadia is] a new generation platform, rather than a next generation platform. 

"I think that’s a really exciting moment for the industry. The whole world isn’t going to shift to that new model overnight, and it will take time for us to realize every aspect of the promise. But it’s a fundamental and, I passionately believe, an inevitable and one-way direction that the industry is moving.”

Minimum requirements

Without fixed hardware driving the experience, it'll all come down to your broadband connection to ensure gameplay is fun. Harrison has said that his team have made great advances in the streaming space to ensure that even the holy grail of gaming – play at a 4K resolution with a 60 frames per second refresh rate – is available on a relatively modest 30mbps connection.

“For our [Stadia] launch this year, we have made some very significant improvements in our streamer, our codecs, our hardware and software services, which means we can get to 4K 60fps at around 30mbps. 30mbps doesn’t exclude a huge segment of the population. We think we can reach a very significant part of the world with that kind of performance. It’s not a gigabyte downstream.”

What level of compression is needed to hit that target remains to be seen. But Google's confident talk around the service does point to a promising future.

Categories: Tech News

Netflix is carrying out trials for its mobile exclusive subscription plans in India

Latest Tech News - 7 hours 29 min ago

As the video streaming battle in India heats up, Netflix has reportedly started carrying out trials in India for its mobile-exclusive subscription plans. The said plan will only allow viewers to stream Netflix titles in standard definition (SD) 480p and costs Rs 250 for a month’s access. To put it in perspective, Netflix’s Basic plan is priced at Rs 500 and like the Mobile-only plan offers content only in 480p.

Image Credit: TechRadar India

We were able to access the mobile-only plan details through Netflix India sign-up process. Like all its other plans, Netflix is offering its services for free till a month after which users will have to pay Rs 250 for continued access to films and TV shows on Netflix. 

The new Mobile-only plan comes after CEO Reed Hastings had claimed during his visit to India that the next 100 million subscribers will originate from India. At the time, he had also referred to the 300 million massive mobile phone user base in India and the mobile-only plan seems to be a part of that expansion plan. With the Internet being easily accessible in India at affordable rates, video consumption has seen exponential growth. As per a 2018 report by KPMG India, the analysts concluded that at its current rate of growth, India would be second in terms of global video consumption and would boast of 500 million viewership by 2020.

Even after the Mobile-only plan, Netflix remains the video streaming platform with the highest subscription prices in India. With players like Hotstar and Amazon Prime Video already offering their services for Rs 199 and Rs 129 per month respectively without any restrictions, will Netflix’s mobile-only plan appeal to Indian viewers? We’ll know when the company officially launches the plan in India.

According to a report, Netflix released a statement confirming the ongoing trials. "We will be testing different options in select countries where members can watch Netflix on their mobile device for a lower price and subscribe in shorter increments of time. Not everyone will see these options and we may never roll out these specific plans beyond the tests," the statement reads.

Categories: Tech News

Smartphones are the future of gaming, according to Epic Games CEO

Latest Tech News - 7 hours 38 min ago

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney thinks that mobile games are becoming competitive with console games, and companies throughout the industry are not taking advantage of the potential of handsets.

Speaking to Business Insider, Sweeney maligned the distinction between ‘console’ games and ‘mobile’ games, suggesting that publishers of mobile titles viewed them as “a different game that [is a] dumbed down mobile experience”.  

He described the games market as being divided, with action games like Fortnite on consoles and mobile gaming dominated by slower puzzle games.

Indeed, among the highest-grossing mobile games are puzzle games like Candy Crush Saga and Angry Birds 2, but Sweeney is convinced “the genre thing is overrated, and the platform decisions are overrated”.

Is Fortnite blazing the trail?

At GDC 2019 Epic released the Epic Online Service, a kit which lets developers add cross-play functionality to their games (as well as other features). This kit was inspired by the company’s success with Fortnite Mobile, which allows crossplay between Android and iOS devices as well as consoles.

“Fortnite has paved the path for a lot of things. I think the cross-platform experience, companies throughout the industry are not taking advantage of that yet.” said Sweeney .

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, a close competitor of Fortnite, currently allows play between Android and iOS devices, but not between mobile and console.

Fortnite on Android (Image credit: Epic Games)

While Sweeney is taking aim at the games industry for not jumping on the trend of mobile gaming fast enough, there’s another problem he doesn’t address – namely that mobile hardware is still not in a prime place for competitive gaming.

The fastest mobile chipsets, like the Snapdragon 855, still don’t hold a candle to the internal tech within a console or high-end PC. 

Furthermore, playing a game using a mouse and keyboard or console controller is very different compared to using a phone or tablet, where your fingers can easily get in the way and battery life prohibits extended gaming periods.

Despite companies releasing phones that are designed to be great for gaming, like the Razer Phone 2 or the Asus ROG, handset manufacturers still have a way to go before they develop hardware that competes with other gaming devices.

So, Sweeney might have to wait a little longer before mobile gaming becomes as competitive with console gaming as he’d like. 

Categories: Tech News

The best home printer 2019: the top printers for home use

Latest Tech News - 7 hours 41 min ago

If you're looking for the best home printer, then you've come to the right place. Having a decent home printer means you can easily print off documents, photos, homework and more without leaving the house.

The best home printers can rival the print quality, speed and features of almost any printer you'd find in an office or classroom, and getting the best one for your needs can prove to be an excellent investment.

From printing out holiday snaps, to forms and documents and even your kid's homework, the best home printer can help you with all those tasks.offers you some top choices.

When you're looking for the best home printer for your needs there are a number of things you need to take into account. First of all, there's size. Unlike business printers, you don't want a big, bulky, printer taking up huge amounts of room. For example, there are all-in-one printers that are geared towards the home, and they are a good choice if you need a photo copier and a scanner as well as a printer in your house, without taking up loads of space.

Here you'll find the very best home printers, no matter what size of household and family demands you have. In this guide you'll find one that's perfect for you, and our price comparison tool makes sure you get the best deals on the printer of your choice as well.

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Image Credit: Canon

It’s rather large, but if you can fit this multifunction device in your home office, your printing, scanning and faxing needs will be well taken care of. Between its two paper trays, the MB2750 can accommodate a whole 500-sheet ream of A4 paper and churn out duplex pages at a remarkable rate, for an inkjet. Mono and colour documents look consistently clean and crisp. The 50-sheet automatic document feed is great for large photocopying jobs and we found it fairly easy to access the many features via the logical touchscreen interface.

Read the full review: Canon Maxify MB2750 

Image Credit: TechRadar

Assuming you don’t need a fax facility, this compact 3-in-1 strikes the perfect balance between performance and functionality on a budget. It feels well made and though it prints quite slowly, our sample turned out crisp mono pages and vivid colour documents with reassuring consistency. The interface is intuitive and for mobile printing the Brother iOS/Android app is particularly helpful.

Read the full review: Brother DCP-J774DW

Image Credit: Kyocera

This stout laser printer takes up relatively little space, given its high capacity for paper and toner. It means you can keep printing quickly and efficiently and with lower running costs than an equivalent inkjet. The display is rather fiddly, but in all other respects, this colour printer is easy to use and can be relied upon for immaculate mono and colour documents time after time.  

Read the full review: Kyocera Ecosys P5026cdw

Image Credit: Canon

Canon’s compact 4-in-one looks good enough to sit astride your desk at home, while offering all of the features that a small business might need. In addition, the five-ink system gives great photo quality prints and the large touchscreen makes it especially easy to use. The print speed is perhaps a little slow, even for an inkjet, but it is well featured with both Bluetooth and Wi-fi connectivity and there’s a handy SD-Card slot at the front.

Read the full review: Canon Pixma TR8550

Image Credit: Ricoh

If you need to churn out pages of text from your home office, then a mono laser printer is the practical and economic answer. This relatively small and affordable model from Ricoh requires little room and it can be relied on to deliver consistently polished monochrome pages while going easy on the consumables. It’s a solid low-profile machine with simple top-mounted controls for easy operation.  

Image Credit: Samsung

Samsung’s smart-looking laser printer is equipped with both Wi-Fi and NFC for easy mobile printing and is supported by a sophisticated mobile app. It’s an easy size to accommodate at home, but you can fit a useful amount of paper and toner inside, making it good for a monthly cycle of 40,000 pages. It won’t automatically print both sides of the page, but it does have a manual duplex mode.

Image Credit: TechRadar

When we tested it, this was the smallest laser printer around and likely to remain so. Being as small and inexpensive as an inkjet, yet with all the speed, economy and consistency of a laser, the LaserJet Pro M15w is in many ways the ideal home printer. It manages to hold one hundred sheets of paper and print on them at the respectable rate of 19ppm. There’s no duplex mode, sadly, and no display, but at this price it’s hard to argue.  

Read the full review: HP LaserJet Pro M15w

Image Credit: TechRadar

This big Brother blurs the line between home and office printer by combining the fast print speed and high capacity of a laser machine with the superior photo finish of an inkjet. We would recommend it for both applications because although it is smaller than the laser equivalent MFC-L8690CDW, the inkjet MFC-J5945DW can handle A3 paper. There’s really nothing that this fully featured 4-in-1 can’t do and it carries out all tasks satisfactorily.   

Read the full review: Brother MFC-J5945DW

Image Credit: HP

This humble all-in-one can scan and copy, but its real strength is in printing photos. Frustratingly, there’s no Ethernet port, nor a USB port for printing from a flash drive and it churns very slowly, but the results are surprisingly good for such an affordable inkjet. The supplied starter cartridges are rather light on ink, but if you replace them with high-capacity carts, then the running cost is competitive too.

Image Credit: Epson

Printers aimed at the home office that can handle A3 paper are not common, but ones that can automatically print on both sides of an A3 page are downright rare. The WorkForce WF-7210DTW is one such beast and it does so quite successfully. Print quality is impressive, be that monochrome text, or a glossy photo. The long list of features includes both Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity and the two paper trays can hold 500 sheets combined.  

Read the full review: Epson WorkForce WF-7210DTW

Categories: Tech News

Huawei Watch GT Active leaked by Huawei itself

Latest Tech News - 7 hours 42 min ago

Not long ago we heard a rumor that Huawei was working on a new wearable dubbed the Huawei Watch GT Active, and now the company has accidentally confirmed as much, having posted an image of the watch (labeled ‘Huawei Watch GT Active Edition’) on its website.

That image has since been removed, but not before Wareable saved it, so you can see the picture below.

Other than confirming the name and existence of the watch there’s not really anything new to see here, as the original rumor also included an image which this matches up with. The design looks broadly similar to the standard Huawei Watch GT, but with some different colors.

Image Credit: Huawei / Wareable

What this inadvertent confirmation from Huawei also does is suggest it’s very likely that the Huawei Watch GT Active will be announced on March 26, as the company is holding an event to launch the Huawei P30 range on that date. We might also see the Huawei Watch GT Elegant there, as this has also previously been rumored.

We don’t know much about these wearables yet, but based on earlier leaks they’re likely to retain the same 1.39-inch OLED screen and Lite OS as the standard Huawei Watch GT.

However, they could be more expensive, with the Active rumored to be €249 (around $280 / £215 / AU$395) and the Elegant said to be €229 (roughly $255 / £200 / AU$365), while the standard Huawei Watch GT starts at $199 / £199 (around AU$230).

What you’ll get for your extra money remains to be seen. With the word ‘Active’ in its name there’s likely to be a focus on health and fitness tracking with that model, but the standard Watch GT already has a heart rate monitor, GPS and waterproofing. Still, we should find out before long.

Categories: Tech News

Three returns with the best unlimited data SIM only deal on the market

Latest Tech News - 7 hours 57 min ago

We were all sad to say goodbye to Three's unlimited data SIM only deal for £20 per month - one so good that we happily called it 'the best SIMO ever'. The price shot up for a while, but now the good times are back...in a way.

Three has brought back a great price on its unlimited data SIM and, coming in at £24 a month, it regains its status as the cheapest unlimited data SIMO out there. While it isn't quite what it used to be, Three's previous offer was so good we're not sure if anything will beat it for a while now.

So if you want to say goodbye to data caps, and grab the cheapest unlimited SIM only deal out there, scroll down to see all of the details below. Or if you want to compare this to what else is on the market, go to our best SIM only deals guide. 

Three's big data SIM only deal in full: What other SIM only deals are available?

in the world of unlimited data, nothing beats this Three SIM. But if the idea of a 12 month contract has you itchy under the collar, Smarty's 1 month AYCE SIM might be a better fit for you. It costs an extra quid over Three but if you just need a stop-over SIM or don't like being tied down, Smarty might be the way to go.

Or if you want a lot of data but hitting the unlimited point doesn't quite feel like a necessity to you, then Vodafone could be the way to go. Mobiles.co.uk is currently offering a Voda SIM with 100GB of data for an effective monthly price of £13. The price actually comes out at £20 but thanks to a cashback by redemption offer, the price gets cut by an extra £7 - an unbeatable price on big data.

Categories: Tech News

Major outage for O2 network affects voice calls

Latest Tech News - 8 hours 7 min ago

Network services for O2 are have been temporarily down, with problems reported for people trying to make voice calls across the UK.

Calls were down for a few hours early Friday morning, and although O2 has since announced the problem was solved shortly afterwards, customers are still reporting network problems.

  • If you're looking to switch providers (for some reason) we've got the very best mobile phone deals from all the networks rounded up for you.

Customers have taken to Twitter to point out that while O2's network tracker suggested problems were resolved, they still weren't able to make or receive calls – and also that the O2 community pages online were unavailable, although it's unknown at this time if the two issues are related.

Users across the UK were hit by the outage, with the majority of cases in London and Manchester but users everywhere else also hit by the problem. 

Dave Massey, head of corporate comms from O2 told us " Some of our customers were affected by an issue specifically with voice calls this morning but it has all since been fixed." – although it seems not all Twitter users agree.

This isn't great timing for the network giant, as the brand recently suffered a large outage in December last year - while this problem appears to be quickly on the way to being fixed, it's not something that's going to sit well with customers who are still disgruntled with what happened just a few months back.

Categories: Tech News

Giratina returns to Pokemon Go for a limited time – with a brand new form

Latest Tech News - 8 hours 12 min ago

Legendary Pokémon Giratina has returned to Pokémon Go for a limited time only – and it's ready to transform.

Giratina in its Altered Forme originally appeared in Pokémon Go in November 2018, but this time the Renegade Pokémon has reemerged from the Distortion World to "renew and transform". That means an extra form to battle against.

Starting March 28, Altered Forme Giratina will return to Pokémon raids until April 2, when it will transform into Origin Forme. You will then be able to battle Origin Forme Giratina until April 29.

Giratina is a Ghost- and Dragon-type Legendary Pokémon originally discovered in the Sinnoh region, 

You can check out Niantic's teaser tweet for Giratina below:

Giratina dates and times

Here's when Giratina will be available to battle:

Giratina (Altered Forme)

Thursday, March 28 at 1pm PDT (8pm GMT, 7am AEDT on March 29) to Tuesday, April 2 at 1pm PDT (8pm GMT, 7am AEDT on April 3).

Giratina (Origin Forme)

Tuesday, April 2 at 1pm PDT (8pm GMT, 7am AEDT on April 3) to Monday, April 29 at 1pm PDT (8pm GMT, 7am AEDT on April 30).

Categories: Tech News

Leaked benchmark for Intel’s Gen11 points to an integrated graphics powerhouse

Latest Tech News - 9 hours 5 min ago

If you were wondering just how good Intel’s incoming Gen11 integrated graphics will be, then this leaked game benchmark offers an indication of the potential power on tap.

This comes from that seemingly never-ending source of GPU leaks, TUM_APISAK, who revealed the (alleged) Ashes of the Singularity benchmark result on Twitter.

As you can see, on the low preset at 1080p resolution, Gen11 apparently notches up a score of 1,400, which is double that achieved by Intel’s UHD Graphics 620.

As Wccftech, which spotted the tweet, points out, this also puts it at roughly the same power level as Nvidia’s GeForce MX130 laptop GPU, which can comfortably cope with the likes of Overwatch on moderate graphics settings.

The thing to bear in mind here is that, assuming this benchmark isn’t a fabrication, it will be based on an early engineering sample as opposed to the finished product, and the drivers will be in a similarly pre-production state. So we can expect a speedier performance when processors with Gen11 GPUs on-board actually hit the market, and the hardware and software are fully tuned up.

This is a fairly exciting early indication of the potential behind Intel’s Gen11, although we should be very careful to temper our expectations, as ever with this sort of speculation.

Busting the teraflop barrier

What we do know for sure about Gen11, which was first revealed by Intel at the end of 2018, is that it breaks the 1 teraflop barrier, and bristles with 64 enhanced execution units (compared to 24 with Intel’s previous Gen9 graphics).

Gen11 will also usher in Intel’s Adaptive Sync, frame-rate smoothing tech in the same vein as AMD’s FreeSync or Nvidia’s G-Sync. All of which should bring a much improved gaming experience to laptops that rely on integrated graphics.

Also worth noting is that at GDC 2019 earlier this week, we caught an initial glimpse of Intel’s incoming discrete graphics card.

Categories: Tech News

Casio releasing an incredibly rare version of its Pro Trek WSD-F30 smartwatch

Latest Tech News - 9 hours 32 min ago

Like the idea of Casio's Pro Trek WSD-F30 adventure watch on your wrist, but don't think it's the right look for you? The brand is releasing a new design that you may like...but it's goingt to be difficult to find.

The Casio WSD-F30SC has just been announced at Baselworld 2019, and it features all of the same features of the original watch unveiled last year. 

Where it differs is the design: it has rose gold buttons and a deep blue bezel with a lined effect. It's also smaller than the original watch at 53.8 x 49.1mm compared to the standard watch's 57.7 x 52.9mm dimensions.

It also comes with a metal chain link band - that you can see in the photos below - as well as a stainless steel rear that sits on your wrist.

Trying to find this watch may be difficult when it launches in June this year. Considering the watch in the image at the top of this page says "Sunday June 30", it may be the company begins selling it toward the end of that month.

Casio told TechRadar the watch would be available in Japan and Europe, but it won't be on sale in the US.

Casio isn't even sure if the UK will be one of the markets it's on sale. Even if it is, it may be a bit of a scramble to find one as the company only plans to release a thousand of these limited edition watches.

It's more expensive than the original watch too, with the pricing we've been given coming in at 100,000 Japanese yen. A loose conversion of that means the watch is around $900, £700 or AU$1275.

That'll be quite a mark up considering the original watch is currently on sale around the world at $550 (£449, around AU$900). 

The Casio Pro Trek WSD-F30 offers GPS, a dual-layered display to improve battery life and Wear OS software to make it one of the more useful smartwatches around, although its original rugged nature made it more niche in appeal - let's see if a fancy redesign can inspire more desire.

Categories: Tech News