Tech News

Best gaming headset 2019: the best PS4 and Xbox One headsets this year

Latest Tech News - Tue, 05/07/2019 - 12:20

If you're looking for the best gaming headsets for PS4 and Xbox One, chances are you're feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the options out there, and it's easy to go wrong because there are a lot to choose from. Make the right choice however, and your gaming headset can be almost as good as a huge surround system and a floor-shaking subwoofer.

But do not fear, if you need something that won't wake the neighbors but also provides immersive, high fidelity audio, we're here to help. The best Xbox One and PS4 gaming headsets not only provide top-notch sound, they also let you communicate with others across a variety of multiplayer games (which is especially useful on consoles). Get a good headset and your gaming experience (and performance) will greatly improve.

When you're shopping for the best gaming headsets, be sure to check for premium sound for both listening and speaking: there's no point in barking instructions to your team members if no one can understand what you’re saying and it's always beneficial to here the footsteps of your enemies.

Also, it's worth bearing in mind, that while the PS4 comes with a headset included in the box (unlike the Xbox One), it's not one we'd recommend as the sound quality isn't up to the same standard as the one's included in this buyer's guide. Plus, if you've got a little extra cash to spare, you can opt for cool features like wireless operation and noise cancellation.

So, without further ado, here's our guide to the best gaming headsets for PS4 and Xbox One:

Best PS4/Xbox One gaming headset: what to look for

If you're looking for a new PS4 or Xbox One headset, there are a few factors to consider, with the most important being the type of games you typically play. 

If you're predominantly a fan of massively multiplayer online games, for example, then comfort should be your number one priority as you'll typically be wearing your headset for long periods. In this case, a wireless headset with a limited battery life, isn't so suitable.

If you’re a serious fast-twitch ninja with pro-gaming aspirations, you could gain an edge with a high-end headset that boasts surround sound

On the other hand, if you're a serious fast-twitch ninja with pro-gaming aspirations, you could gain an edge with a high-end, surround sound headset – which can do things like enhancing the noise made by the footsteps of approaching rival players.

It's also important to consider your gaming environment: if you want to remain aware of what's going around you while you're playing, opt for an open-backed gaming headset. If you like to play co-operatively in a noisy environment, though, then a headset with a noise-canceling microphone is a must.

To help you select the best gaming headset, we’ve compiled this guide spanning the very best wireless, wired, high-end and budget examples currently on sale. Since it focuses on console rather than PC games, we've presumed that you're more likely to use your headset for playing mainstream co-operative and competitive action games, rather than massively multiplayer games.

It's also worth bearing in mind that both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have design quirks which can complicate the process of setting up gaming headsets to work with them.

The Xbox One forces you to connect a gaming headset to its controller, and the older Xbox One controllers, annoyingly, don't have 3.5mm headphone jacks, forcing you to buy an extra Stereo Headset Adapter (which the headset manufacturers rarely bundle with their products) for your Xbox One headset.

On the other hand, PS4 headsets can initially sound quiet, as the headset output level is set to half its full amount by default, which necessitates delving around in its system settings.

Once you get any of the following gaming headsets set up to your satisfaction though, you'll find they're great pieces of kit which also make great headphones for listening to music on the go, or TV and movies when you don’t want to disturb other members of your household.

Image credit: TechRadar

Overall best PlayStation 4 gaming headset

HyperX has developed a sizeable following among the pro-gaming community over the years. Its newest headset, the Cloud Revolver S, adds Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound to the blueprint offered by the hugely popular Cloud Revolver, without requiring you to take out a second mortgage.

Quite simply, the Cloud Revolver S sounds astonishingly good, especially at the price. You will marvel in particular at the dynamics of its sound: deep, rumbling bass and crisp, never shrieky treble that lets you hear every sound effect and totally immerses you in the ambience created by in-game music.

It's pretty well made, comfortable and classily finished, and Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound is the cherry on top, allowing you to pinpoint incoming enemies in first-person shooters – particularly if you explore the preset equalisation modes into which pro-gamers had lots of input. A truly high-end-sounding headset at a mid-range price.

Read the full review: HyperX Cloud Revolver S

Overall best Xbox One gaming headset 

Turtle Beach is the longest established specialist gaming headset manufacturer, with a fanatical following among pro-gamers – and when you unbox its top-of-the-range Elite Pro, you can see why. It simply oozes no-expense-spared design, and sports all manner of neat touches born from decades of pro-gaming experience.

But more importantly than that, it sounds spectacular, with huge bass and crystal-clear treble adding up to a sound which will allow you to get deeply immersed into whatever game you're playing. Comfort-wise, it's exemplary, with big, thick earpads that eliminate all ambient noise, and can be easily adjusted to fit all head-sizes. A neat feature lets you add spacing to the earpads to accommodate a pair of glasses.

On an Xbox One, we'd recommend teaming it up with piece of kit called the Tactical Audio Adapter, which clips into the Xbox One controller and operates as an amplifier, adding some of the extra sound-control features which come in a separate graphic equaliser-style box called the Tactical Audio Controller (which is pricey but adds Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound). 

Those features include Turtle Beach’s Superhuman Hearing, which enhances the sound of incoming players' footsteps and is great for hardcore first-person shooter fans, and Dynamic Chat Boost, which keeps chat-levels audible even when background noise rises. Plus, it lets you independently adjust game and chat volumes.

Add tank-like build-quality to the equation and you have a headset which has become something of a status symbol for those who take their gaming seriously.

Read the full review: Turtle Beach Elite Pro Tournament Headset.

Best wireless Xbox One gaming headset

LucidSound is a newcomer to the world of gaming headsets, but it has certainly made a splash – that's thanks mainly to its LS40 headset, which has a specification to die for, and build-quality and audio fidelity to match. It looks great too: the LS40 is so well finished, with plenty of red stitching, that you would happily wear it in public.

Wireless headsets often suffer from sound-quality which is inferior to that of wired headsets, but the LS40 has no such problems, with a big, bold sound which should satisfy any gamer. Its wireless seems unburstable, too. What's more, it boasts DTS Headphone: X 7.1 surround-sound that offers startlingly precise pinpointing of incoming sounds – a big advantage if you’re a hardcore gamer.

Comfort-wise it's spot-on too, and a USB wireless dongle makes it as easy to set up as any wireless headset (inevitably a trickier process than for a wired headset). The 15-hour battery life is as good as you will find, though its chat and overall volume controls, hidden in each earcup, do take a bit of getting used to. As with all wireless headsets, you still have to attach one wire to your Xbox One controller, but we think the LucidSound LS40 is the headset that pretty much has it all.

Best PlayStation 4 gaming headset for audio quality

The SteelSeries Arctis Pro is one of the best-sounding headsets you can buy. As such, it's doubly worth considering if you use your PlayStation 4 to watch films and listen to music as well as play games. 

Clarity and audio balance are much better than most of the other sets here. Both the Arctic Pro Wireless and GameDAC versions will work with a PlayStation 4 console, but the vanilla wired version is just for PC – so make sure you pick the right set before buying.

The GameDAC model has an outboard box with top quality Hi-Res audio converters. It needs to be wired-in though, so this may not be the best choice if you play a few meters away from your PS4. The wireless version may be a better choice.

All versions have LEDs around the cups. It may be made for audio perfectionists, but it's still a gamer headset.

Read the full review: SteelSeries Arctis Pro review.

Best wireless PlayStation 4 gaming headset

It might not look like much, but the PlayStation Platinum Wireless is a really solid headset with an exceptional level of audio quality. 

As well as being ludicrously simple to set up, the headset sounds great and is comfortable to wear to boot. 

The sound quality is balanced, offering a decent mix of low and high frequencies, and people on the other end of the line reported that its microphone delivered a decent level of audio quality. 

Our one reservation is regarding the headset's "3D Audio", which fell down slightly compared to what's offered by the competition; but this is made up for the headset's very reasonable price tag. 

Read the full review: PlayStation Platinum Wireless headset

Best budget PlayStation 4 gaming headset

Being strapped for cash doesn’t necessarily mean having to settle for an inferior gaming headset, and Turtle Beach’s EarForce PX24 does a pretty decent job of embarrassing plenty of its more expensive rivals. Sure, it makes more extensive use of plastic than headsets which are twice the price, but it still looks and feels sufficiently robust, and its overall lightness renders it pretty comfortable for prolonged use.

And in the areas that really matter – sound and configurability – the Ear Force PX24 is way better than it has any right to be at the price. While it doesn’t have the bass extension you'll find in a more premium headset, and its treble is a bit dry in comparison with other options at this price level, it still sounds remarkably good – and thanks to an amplifier which clips between the headset and the PS4 controller, you can boost the bass, engage Superhuman Hearing mode for first-person shooters, and even fiddle around with a virtual surround sound effect.

Finding such features, and very decent sound indeed, is a revelation for such a cheap headset. You could quibble about the EarForce PX24's slightly plasticky overall finish, but in our opinion, that's a small price to pay for a great headset at a decent cost.

Best budget Xbox One gaming headset

The old stereotype about gamers being geeky, style-blind types is hopelessly outdated now that gaming has fully entered the mainstream, and LucidSound’s LS20 gaming headset is squarely aimed at the style-conscious. It looks fabulous, with a sleek design reminiscent of Beats headphones (although with much better sound at a fraction of the price), and has also been designed for use as a general on-the-go headphone – it comes with a rubber cover for the boom mic-socket.

Sound-wise, it's great for the price, with clear, well-balanced characteristics across the frequency spectrum, and a bass-boost should you require it. The reason why it punches above its weight in terms of sound-quality is that it contains an amplifier of its own – the downside of that is that even though it’s a wired headset, you still have to charge it, and (unsurprisingly given the price) it doesn’t come with a charging cradle. But battery life is an impressive 20 hours, and it still works (albeit with inferior sonic characteristics) when the battery runs out.

If you’re a keen gamer without any pro-gaming aspirations, and seek a gaming headset which will also function as an excellent iPod or phone set of headphones, LucidSound’s LS20 will do the trick with aplomb.

Categories: Tech News

Best monitor for photo editing in 2019: top screens for photographers

Latest Tech News - Tue, 05/07/2019 - 12:18

Welcome to our list of the best monitors for photo editing in 2019. If you're a professional photographer, or just a keen hobbyist, then finding the best monitor for photo editing is essential.

In this guide, we'll look at the top professional photo editing monitors that offer great color reproduction and vibrant, bright displays.

This will, of course, depend on the panel tech – newer ‘IPS’ LCD panels will have better color reproduction than their older ‘TN’ counterparts, so this is worth looking out for in the specifications. All the panels here will be IPS LED-backlit monitors.

IPS displays will feature better viewing angles, too, so if you ever sit at your computer and show someone else photos, they’re a must. Screen size is important, too – make sure your display is physically big enough for the work you want to do (we recommend 24-inches as a minimum).

Also, the best monitors for photo editing will be height-adjustable, but not all displays will have the same capability to be fine-tuned. And, finally, when you’re buying a high-end display, it’s important to make sure your computer’s graphics hardware is up to the task of displaying the high-resolutions some monitors can reproduce.

While some of the best professional monitors for photo editing can be costly devices, we've also included some more affordable options as well, which still offer excellent color reproduction and image quality.

The 31-inch ColorEdge CG318-4K is our current pick for the best monitor for photo editing. This is mainly down to its color accuracy, which is essential for professional photographers who edit their photos. It features full sRGB coverage, 99% of the Adobe RGB spectrum and 98% DCI-P3. It fully supports 10-bit colour, taken from a 16-bit look-up table.

The CG318-4K has a 4096 x 2160 resolution, compared with the 3840 x 2160 resolution used in other 4K computer displays. 

All of these features come together to produce a jaw-dropping image, making your photos really stand out. There's also a built-in calibration tool to constantly keep the colors as accurate as possible.

Dell's top-end 31.5-inch 4K display packs in a lot of professional-grade features for superb color accuracy. It is a pricey monitor, however, but then this is a large 4K screen, so you should expect to pay a bit more. It comes with support for the DCI-P3 color spectrum. It has a specification that almost rivals Eizo's monster CG318-4K, as it hits 99% Adobe RGB coverage and 87% DCI-P3, delivering great picture quality.

BenQ has added the PD3200U, which features a massive 32-inch Ultra HD display, to its Designer Monitor range. The PD3200U is best suited for creators. 3D designers, for instance, will be grateful for the inclusion of a CAD/CAM mode, while photographers and photo editors will love in the factory-calibrated color accuracy and Rec. 709 adherence. 

BenQ offers the most affordable full HD monitor with an HDMI connector and it doesn't look that bad. The company embraced the Bauhaus "less is more" philosophy to deliver "a celebration of minimalist" lifestyle. Those are their words, not ours. It has some standout features though; one that reduces flicker (PWM technology) and a low blue light mode which may help with headaches and sleeping disorders. With 'just' a 1080p resolution, this isn't as fancy as other monitors on this list, but it allows you to edit your photos without having to spend loads on a new screen.

The Dell UltraSharp UP3218K is an absolutely amazing monitor for photo editing. It features a huge 32-inch screen and 8K resolution makes it perfect for photographers and video editors, and the amount of screen real estate that high resolution offers makes it an excellent productivity tool. The screen is professionally calibrated so it looks amazing out of the box, but be warned: this is a very expensive monitor. Depending on your needs, this will either be a brilliant buy, or an expensive folly.

10 things to look for in a monitor for photo editing

  1. Screen size is measured diagonally in inches, while resolution measures the number of pixels that make up the display. But a bigger monitor doesn't necessarily mean greater resolution; the 24-inch Eizo has a higher resolution than the 27-inch NEC, for example.
  2. A more useful measure of the 'crispness' of a display is pixel density, measured in pixels per inch (ppi). The NEC is 82ppi, the Eizo 94ppi, while Samsung and Dell weigh in at 109ppi.
  3. Monitors increasingly offer more than just a simple display for your computer, with built-in speakers, USB hubs, card readers and multiple inputs, such as HDMI, for use with a variety of devices.
  4. While true-to-life colour reproduction is very important in image editing, you may need to compromise to get all the features you want within budget.
  5. LED backlighting allows thinner displays, while IPS (or Samsung's PLS) allows for greater viewing angles.
  6. We'd always recommend using a digital interface like DVI or HDMI, but it depends on what your computer has. Do you want to plug in multiple devices? Make sure your new monitor has the same input as your computer has output!
  7. Several of these displays enable you to swivel the monitor from side to side and turn the screen 90 degrees into portrait mode.
  8. Most monitors are now capable of Full HD resolution (1920x1080) but more and more can do higher resolutions - many here are capable of 2560x1440, for example.
  9. With so many devices plugged into our computers these days, a USB hub really is something you'll wonder how you lived without.
  10. So many monitors - including several of these - are just plain ugly. Also see what people are saying about the button controls and menu system. Ensure it is usable.
Categories: Tech News

Mother's Day flowers 2019: the best online delivery services

Latest Tech News - Tue, 05/07/2019 - 12:15

Mother's Day is only a couple days away (this Sunday to be exact) and if you're still searching for the perfect gift for mom, then placing an online order for flowers is always a fantastic last-minute option. You can order a gorgeous bouquet in minutes from a variety of online retailers such as Pro Flowers, 1-800-Flowers, Amazon and more.

Most online retailers are offering promotions on Mother's Day floral arrangements that are guaranteed to ship in time for Mother's Day weekend. Whether she likes roses, hydrangeas, tulips or wildflowers - all of the retailers we listed offer a wide selection of bouquets that meet all needs and budgets.

We've listed all of the delivery fees and schedules below, so you know the cut-off dates for the standard delivery fee. If you do decide to procrastinate, fear not. Some online flower delivery services offer same-day delivery but will charge a premium fee. If you don't mind an early delivery date, 1-800-Flowers is currently offering 25% off orders with a delivery window starting now through Thursday. We've listed all the current promotions below so you can find the best deal for mom.

Best online flowers (US) Best online flowers (India) More Mother's Day sales

If flowers aren't your thing, we've listed a wide selection of Mother's Day sales and gift ideas below from retailers such as Nordstrom, Amazon, Walmart and more. 

Categories: Tech News

Ericsson: Consumers will pay more for 5G and there are use cases

Latest Tech News - Tue, 05/07/2019 - 12:10

Ericsson claims a new report into 5G demonstrates tangible consumer demand to the potential for mobile operators to realise new commercial opportunities.

The Swedish network giant has much to gain from operators investing in new infrastructure and hoped the publication of the 5G Consumer Potential would dispel several industry “myths.” 

These include a lack of consumer demand, an unwillingness to pay a premium, and a lack of use cases.

Ericsson 5G myths

The report says the most immediate benefit that consumers expect from 5G is faster speeds and increased capacity – especially in urban areas – as well as the ability to replace home broadband services with Fixed Wireless Access (FWA)

In the longer-term, there is an appetite to experience new Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and smart home services. This will have a knock-on effect on data consumption that can’t be predicted by analysing 4G usage patterns, argues Ericsson.

This is because higher quality video and new experiences will encourage higher levels of use, as well applications that are still being developed. Ericsson believes one fifth of 5G users will consume as much as 200GB of data on a single device by 2025.

In terms of a premium, the report suggests 5G users would be willing to pay as much as 20 per cent more than what they currently spend, with early adopters would accept a 32 per cent increase. This, however, would be met with demands for faster speeds and enhanced security.

Consumers also expect greater innovations in terms of handsets. As many as 43 per cent believe future smartphones should include foldable designs, holographic projection capabilities and 360-degree cameras.

“Through our research, we have busted four myths about consumers’ views on 5G and answered questions such as whether 5G features will require new types of devices, or whether smartphones will be the silver bullet for 5G,” said Jasmeet Singh Sethi, Head of ConsumerLab, Ericsson Research. ”Consumers clearly state that they think smartphones are unlikely to be the sole solution for 5G.”

There are already 260,000 5G subscribers in South Korea, while commercial mobile services will go live in the US and Europe later this year. This includes the UK, where all four major operators plan to launch in 2019.

Categories: Tech News

Best laptop bag 2019: top bags and backpacks to carry your kit

Latest Tech News - Tue, 05/07/2019 - 12:08

Picking the best laptop bag to protect your laptop and other devices is essential, as you want to be able to carry your laptop around with you without worrying about it being damaged.

In this guide, we list the best laptop bags, backpacks and satchels which protect your laptop while also feeling comfortable to carry and look stylish as well.

No matter what sort of laptop you've got, choosing the best laptop bag should be your priority, and in this guide we'll look at a range of options for all price points.

So, in this guide we don't just look at exclusive laptop bags made of premium materials, but we also feature some brilliant budget bags that don't cost the earth, but crucially still keep your laptop safe and secure.

When putting together this list of the best laptop bags and backpacks, we've considered a number of important factors. For example, comfort is extremely important. You also need to consider the appearance of your laptop bag – not just how smart it looks, but also how tempting it might seem to would-be thieves.

So, here's our pick of the best laptop bags and backpacks for business users, students or just day-to-day use.

The tried and true JanSport is tough to go wrong with. A full-canvas bag with nylon mesh inside including a 15-inch laptop sleeve, this version of the JanSport comes in several colors for a variety of prices. Included in the price are also a media pocket lined in fleece as well as a removable storage pouch, making it an excellent business laptop backpack.

With a simple, yet stylish, design, the Out Of Office laptop backpack is ideal for business users that makes carrying around your laptop comfortable, while also protecting your device from the rigours of daily life. One of the best features about this backpack is its 30 year warranty, which means you shouldn't have to worry about getting another laptop backpack for a long, long time.

The distinctive design of the Mammut Xeron Courier 25, along with the name, suggests that this is a laptop bag that is designed for people who work or commute by bike. Even if that's not your usual mode of transport, this is a business laptop bag that's still worth considering thanks to its comfortable design that protects both you and the laptop when worn.

A laptop backpack that's named after Fort Knox - you know this is going to be a secure laptop bag that will keep your business laptop safe, with Tumi, the brand behind it, known for its quality and durability. This rugged backpack has a professional look that is ideal for business users who want to take their laptop out to meetings.

If you're not looking to pay huge amounts of cash for a laptop backpack, then this is a great budget choice. Made and sold by Amazon through its Basics program, this all-black backpack has a laptop sleeve for machines up to 15 inches, and several types of pockets, for but a pittance compared to most.

If you like the sound of a budget - yet dependable - laptop bag, but you don't want a backpack, then Amazon also does a laptop bag. This can be carried over your shoulder and can fit larger laptops as well. It's not as fancy as some of the other bags on this page, but it does the job well, and for a low price.

Categories: Tech News

EA Access is finally coming to PS4 this July

Latest Tech News - Tue, 05/07/2019 - 11:57

Electronic Arts has announced it is finally bringing its unlimited gaming subscription service, EA Access, to the PlayStation 4 this July. 

Previously the service was exclusively available on the Xbox One, where it launched five years ago.

EA Access grants subscribers grants unlimited access to all the titles in EA's 'Vault', with games including Anthem, The Sims 4 and Battlefield V, while also offering early trials of the latest EA titles and a 10% on EA digital purchases (full games, season passes, DLC and Ultimate Team content). 

Check out the announcement trailer below: 

How much will EA Access on PS4 cost?

An EA Access subscription on the PS4 will cost the same as on Xbox One: $4.99 per month (£3.99 or AU$4.99) or $29.99 (£19.99 or AU$4.99) annually. 

However, you cannot carry an existing account over from the Xbox One. If you already have an EA Access account on Xbox One, you will have to sign up for a separate subscription on the PlayStation 4.

EA has not announced which games will be made available for the PS4 but it is worth noting that while EA Access on Xbox One includes Xbox 360 titles via the Xbox One's backward compatibility feature, the collection of games available for the PS4 will be more limited due to the console not having backwards compatibility with PS3. 

However, with the PS5 promising backwards compatibility, the number of games in EA's Vault could grow in the future - providing the service is available on Sony's next generation console...

If you want to keep up to date with when exactly EA Access will launch on the PS4, you can sign up to the newsletter on the official website.

Categories: Tech News

IGN owner J2 Global snaps up major VPN brands

Latest Tech News - Tue, 05/07/2019 - 11:08

Online digital firm J2 Global has acquired VPN and privacy IP assets from infrastructure provider Stackpath

The deal was confirmed by an editor's note on news site PC Mag (published by J2-owned Ziff Davis) within VPN-related content as a disclaimer to allay fears of potential conflict of interest.

The note states that IPVanish and StrongVPN are owned by J2 Global, which also owns some of the most popular tech brands worldwide thanks to an aggressive acquisition strategy.

J2Global, now a major VPN player

IPVanish is a well-known award-winning VPN service that now sits alongside StrongVPN and a slew of other smaller brands such as Overplay.net, Unblock-us.com and Encrypt.me (formerly known as Cloak).

The acquisition also brings a lesser known brand WLVPN.com which is a white label VPN service for other VPN providers such as VPNhub, the VPN service of Pornhub, and Namecheap VPN.

With a market capitalisation approaching $4.3 billion, a number of cloud services (Campaigner, keepitsafe, eFax, Vipre) and an online portfolio of specialist websites (Askmen, IGN, PCMag, Speedtest) that reaches hundreds of millions every month, J2 Global is well placed to reap significant financial benefits from the current digital transformation journey undertaken by thousands of SMBs worldwide.

The purchase of VPN and privacy related assets only reasserts its growing ambitions to become a major global SaaS (software-as-a-service) player for consumers and small and medium businesses.

Categories: Tech News

The Kindle Paperwhite is down to its lowest price ever at Amazon

Latest Tech News - Tue, 05/07/2019 - 11:07

Just in time for Mother's Day, Amazon has slashed the price on its best-selling Kindle Paperwhite. For a limited time, you can get the waterproof Kindle on sale for $89.99. That's a $40 discount and the lowest price we've seen for the popular e-reader.

The 2018 Kindle Paperwhite is thinner and lighter than ever before and packs twice the storage of previous generations. The 6-inch e-reader features a 300 ppi glare-free display so it reads like a newspaper even outdoors in the bright sun. The Paperwhite also now works with Audible so you can pair Bluetooth headphones or a speaker and listen to your favorite audio books. Perhaps the coolest new feature of the Kindle is its water-resistant protection. You can read at the beach, by the pool or in the bath and not worry about it getting splashed.

The Kindle would not only make an excellent gift for mom, but at its lowest price ever, a fantastic deal to snag for yourself. We don't know how long Amazon will have the e-reader on sale, so you should take advantage of this stellar sale while you can.

Amazon also has the all-new Kindle on sale for $69.99. The 2019 Kindle features a glare-free 6-inch display and an adjustable front light so you can read comfortably for hours indoors and outdoors, day and night. While it doesn't include all of the features of the Paperwhite, it's still a great option if you're looking for a basic and affordable e-reader.

If you're interested in other Amazon E-reader and tablet deals, check out our roundup of the best Kindle sale prices and deals, and our best cheap Amazon Fire deals.

Looking for more Mother's Day gift ideas? Shop deals on Mother's Day flowers and save up to 45% at Mixbook on photo books and more.

Learn more about Prime Day with our guide on Amazon Prime Day 2019: everything you need to know for the July deals event.

Categories: Tech News

Fortnite Battle Royale update news, patch notes and more

Latest Tech News - Tue, 05/07/2019 - 10:45

In such a short space of time, Fortnite Battle Royale has become certified gaming phenomenon. Pitting 100 players against each other on a single map, it melds fun, cartoonish gameplay with a fierce competitive streak, and has attracted millions of players across the globe across all ages and demographics. 

We're nearing the end of Season 8, but what's new in the battle royale?

Well, it looks like Fortnite Season 9 will have a sci-fi inspired futuristic look - if Epic Games' latest teaser tweet is anything to go by. 

To help you keep on top of what's new and what's coming up in Fortnite, we've put together this handy page which will be updated with all the latest announcements. So to get you ready for blast off, here's everything you need to know about Fortnite.

What is Fortnite?

There's been a lot of hype surrounding Fortnite since its release in July 2017. But what exactly is it? 

Fortnite is a battle royale game which sees you thrown onto an island with no weapons or armor and it's up to you to scavenge for supplies and fight for your life to be the last man or squad standing at the end of the game – with the added pressure of a shrinking map that closes in as the match progresses, forcing players into tighter skirmishes. 

The game is available for free on PC, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, iOS, and Android, with in-game purchases limited to purely cosmetic options.

Fortnite update news and Fortnite patch notes
  • What's new? Fortnite Season 9 kicks off on May 9

According to a teaser tweet by Epic Games, it seems Fortnite Season 9 will have a futuristic sci-fi theme and will kick off on May 9. 

The tweet also shows what we can assume is one of the new skins players will be able to unlock.

Check out Epic Games' teaser tweet below:

Much like with the previous Fortnite Seasons, we expect Season 9 will bring about a lot of new content and changes to the battle royale. 

We're expecting the map will get some futuristic, sci-fi-themed changes alongside new themed skins, pickaxes, gliders, emotes and much more. However, Epic Games hasn't specified exactly what these changes will be or if the theme will, in fact, be sci-fi. 

But if you're wanting to grab any of Season 8's pirate-themed gear then make sure you do before Season 9 starts....

Can I play Fortnite on mobile?

Yes you can! Well, maybe. After months of waiting, Fortnite is finally on both iOS and Android, though you'll need a phone that can actually run the game.

iOS users can download straight from the App Store. As long as you're using iOS 11 on iPhone 6S/SE, iPad Mini 4, iPad Air 2, iPad 2017, iPad Pro devices or later you'll be fine. Oh, and you'll need an internet connection, naturally.

Fortnite also hit Android phones this summer, and finally came out of beta in October. You can see the full list of phones – and how to find the Fortnite Installer – on our Fortnite on Android page.

Is it the full game?

It is the full Fortnite game. There are some small differences: it’s not quite as visually impressive as it is on more powerful devices, the controls are touchscreen, and a lot of audio cues have been made visual so you can play comfortably in public without the need for headphones. But you won’t be missing out on any key features.  

What's the deal with cross-play?

A sweet deal is what it is. While previously Xbox One and PS4 owners couldn't play the game together, Sony's U-turn on the matter means that now everyone across Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, iOS, and Android can all take part in the crossfire.

So if you've got friends that prefer PC, others that prefer console and you're off on holiday with your mobile, that's no reason for the fun to stop.

There's also cross-progression. So, if you're logged into your Fortnite account on mobile and you later log into your console to play there, everything you did on mobile later that day is carried over.  

Sounds great, how do I get it?

We have a guide on how to get Fortnite on mobile on TechRadar and we're constantly updating it with the latest rollout news. If your device isn't there yet, keep checking back and one day it probably will be.

What's a Fortnite Battle Pass?

The Battle Pass is a purchasable item in Fortnite that gives you access to exclusive in-game rewards. 

As players complete daily challenges and level up their rank, they earn Battle Stars which can then be used to unlock Tiers in their Battle Pass. Each new Tier you unlock will bring both Free and Premium rewards. The Tiers vary from season to season but in season three you get around 100 items in each Battle Pass which can take anywhere between 75 and 150 hours of play to unlock. 

Everyone that has a Battle Pass will get the Free reward they unlock, but only Premium Pass holders will get the Premium reward. Battle Pass Premium can only be purchased with in-game V bucks and not with real money.

You can purchase a Battle Pass for around £7/$10 in the Battle Pass tab of the game’s menu. 

Twitch Prime benefits

Those who use Twitch Prime and play Fortnite will be glad to know that they have access to free loot right now. Those with a Prime account can claim the Fortnite Twitch Prime Pack  and the Fortnite Twitch Prime Pack 2 which include a host of cosmetic items and are available across all platforms.

The first pack includes two exclusive gliders and outfits: the Havoc Outfit and Back Bling, plus the Sub Commander Outfit and Slipstream Glider.  The second pack contains three exclusive items for Fortnite’s Battle Royale mode including the camouflage-heavy Trailblazer Outfit, the True North Back Bling, and the Tenderizer Pickaxe. There’s also a brand new dance emote for those that like the dance floor as much as the battleground. 

The packs can only be claimed on a single platform, but they can be shared across PC/console and mobile as long as you use the same Epic account across these platforms. You can’t however, share your loot across PS4 and Xbox One even if you are using the same Epic account. 

(Image credits: Epic Games)

Categories: Tech News

Marshall's new portable audio range includes its smallest speaker ever

Latest Tech News - Tue, 05/07/2019 - 10:39

Heritage rock brand Marshall has launched two new speakers, the Stockwell II and the Tufton, to join the popular Marshall Kilburn II in its portable speaker range.

Designed for life on the road, all three speakers boast a 20-hour battery life and a Bluetooth range of 30 feet, as well as Marshall's signature "microphone-inspired grille, a guitar-inspired carry strap, and the iconic Marshall script logo".

Like the Kilburn II, the new Tufton and Stockwell II speakers feature rugged corner caps, and come with an IPX2 rating, which means they are resistant to dripping water  – but you definitely shouldn't take them in the shower.

A size for every situation

All three speakers come with adjustable audio thanks to the inclusion of bass and treble control knobs on the top of each model, and support multi-host functionality, so you can easily switch between two different Bluetooth devices. 

The difference between the three speakers is largely down to the size; the Stockwell II is Marshall's smallest portable speaker yet, with the handbag-sized device coming in at just over 3lbs for super easy transportation.

Marshall says the mini speaker also comes with a power bank feature, so you can  "charge your devices on the road", as well as quick charging capabilities, which means you can get six hours of playtime from a 20-minute charge. 

It's also the cheapest Marshall speaker currently on offer, coming in at $249 / £220 / AU$430.

The Marshall Tufton (Image credit: Marshall)

Next up is the mid-sized Kilburn II, which now comes in a new gray color scheme, but is otherwise unchanged since we reviewed it last year; it's still available to buy for $299 / £269 / AU$500.

The Tufton is the largest of the new lineup, and comes with a three-way driver design for multidirectional sound – so, it should sound fantastic no matter where you are in relation to the speaker. 

Inside the rectangular cabinet you'll find one 40W Class D amplifier, two 15W Class D amplifier, and one 10W Class D amplifier, which means this portable speaker promises to pack a powerful audio punch.

For the biggest speaker of the three, you'll need to shell out $399 / £350 / AU$700 – not an insubstantial amount of money for a portable speaker, when you consider our current favorite, the UE Boom 3 costs just $129.99 / £129.99 / AU$199.95. 

Still, if you're into the iconic rock aesthetic that Marshall offers, you may find its new portable range to be worth the cost.

Categories: Tech News

Detective Pikachu is coming to Pokémon Go for a limited time only

Latest Tech News - Tue, 05/07/2019 - 10:29

To celebrate the upcoming release of the Detective Pikachu film, The Pokémon Company International, in collaboration with Niantic, Inc., Warner Bros. Pictures, and Legendary Pictures, has announced a bunch of movie-inspired in-game activities and content coming to Pokémon Go for a limited time.

From May 7 until May 17, Pokémon Go players will have access to special Detective Pikachu content, including a chance to catch a deerstalker-wearing Pikachu and an increased chance of encountering the Pokémon featured in the film (that means more Jigglypuffs, Bulbasaurs, Cubones, Eevees and much more). 

Check out the announcement trailer below:

What Detective Pikachu content is available and when?

For a limited time, Pokémon Go will feature a host of Detective Pikachu content. 

During this time, you have the chance to be photobombed by (and catch) a Detective Hat Pikachu. To be in with the chance of finding the world's cutest detective, you need to use Pokémon Go Snapshot, hope Detective Pikachu photobombs you, then you'll have a chance to catch him. 

Pokémon Go players will also have more Encounters with Pokémon that appear in the Detective Pikachu movie as well as opportunities to catch Shiny Aipom. 

In addition, you'll be able to participate in Raid Battles that challenge Pokémon with starring roles in the film (such as Psyduck), as well as film-inspired Field Research. We're hoping this means Mew Two will reappear as a Raid boss.

If that isn't enough, you'll be able to customize their in-game avatars with movie-themed items, including a detective hat with Pikachu ears. Adorable.


Image credit: Niantic/The Pokémon Company

This special content will only be available from May 7 at 1pm PDT / 9pm GMT / 4pm EDT (or May 8 at 6am AEDT) until May 17 at 1pm PDT / 9pm GMT / 4pm EDT (or May 18 at 6am AEDT).

Happy hunting!

Categories: Tech News

Decode and play your damaged and region locked DVDs with WinX DVD Ripper Platinum

Latest Tech News - Tue, 05/07/2019 - 09:59

A DVD collection serves an important purpose, to keep your favourite video content to be watched whenever you want, without the need for an internet connection. But some DVDs just won't play and that can be more than frustrating. So, well done for getting to this article in an attempt to fix the issue rather than destroying your player in a rage. The good news is there's a solution to your problem and it's called WinX DVD Ripper Platinum.

Whatever the reason your DVD won't play, you stand much more of a chance at getting access by using Digiarty’s DVD ripper which has one of the widest disc support platforms in existence. For instance get access to DVDs that are old or newly released, homemade, Hollywood, Disney kids, TV drama, workout DVDs, and more. 

This is all thanks to its powerful DVD analysis kernel and title check mechanism. The great thing about this software is its ability to back-up your hard copies by ripping the DVD to a computer drive, or cloud storage, while sidestepping encryptions. Yup, if your DVD isn't playing because of a geo restriction then you may be able to get around that by ripping it to a computer. But if the disc is scratched or corrupted then this software can help save the video content here too. This not only gives you access and backs up to your DVDs but also means you can play them on more devices like a smartphone when out and about.

How can WinX DVD Ripper Platinum let me play location restricted DVDs?

Even streaming services like Netflix restrict content based on your location so it's little wonder that DVDs do the same. If you've bought something abroad, or want to watch it on holiday, you might struggle. This can be a big problem when DVD won’t playback on Windows 10 which may have given you the warning message that the content has a "digital copy protection" in place. But you've paid for that DVD so you deserve to watch it, right? 

WinX DVD Ripper Platinum will work around these issues to extract all the important files so you end up with a perfect copy of the video, only in a digital format that you can access whenever you need. Geo restrictions will no longer apply to that video so you can enjoy it on your phone, a tablet, a computer and beyond. The software is able to decrypt lots of common barriers such as bypassing common DVD region code, CSS encryption and new UOP, Sony ARccOS and Disney X-project that cannot be dealt with other DVD ripping tool in the market.

Since this software can also copy a DVD to an ISO file losslessly, you can easily burn a new copy - minus the geo restrictions. So even if you want to stick to the hardcopy viewing option, using your DVD player system, then that's now possible using your new copy.

Check out the WinX video below to see just how easy it can be.

Can WinX DVD Ripper Platinum help me watch damaged DVDs?

Taken that DVD out of the case to find a new selection of scratches? No need to worry as WinX DVD Ripper Platinum may be able to help here too. Since the software intelligently extracts data and rebuilds it in digital form, it is able to fix scratched DVDs which a DVD player may not be able to overcome.

There are other software options that claim to do this too but often the old saying "you get what you pay for" applies here. You can end up with missing chunks of video, faulty sound or glitchy imagery on lesser software options. So be warned, if you want to watch a damaged DVD without losing quality then WinX DVD Ripper Platinum is your best bet. Thanks to a high-quality engine and top deinterlacing smarts you end up with the best lossless output without any frame drops, audio sync issues or aspect ratio errors.

Again the ISO copy option is here so that you can burn a new DVD with the same content only it will work in your DVD player now, scratch-free.

How do I decrypt any DVD using WinX DVD Ripper Platinum?

The process of using WinX DVD Ripper Platinum to decrypt a DVD is super simple but there are also more complex options for those that want to be a bit more hands-on.

Pop the DVD in your computer drive and open WinX DVD Ripper Platinum to select "DVD Disc". Then you can select the output you want to make, be it a straight ISO copy to burn a new disc, MP4 for smartphones, or MKV for a full backup including subtitles. You also have MOV, FLV and MP3 output options if you need them. You can then click edit to crop and trim if you want or just carry right on to the final stage of selecting "Run". Then sit back and let the software do the work.

The great thing here is that you won't have to sit around for long as WinX DVD Ripper Platinum is super speedy. You can even push things faster using your computer's graphics card if you want. The end result can be a ripped DVD in as little as 5 minutes. On top of that it’s unique Level-3 hardware acceleration tech contributes a lot to boost the DVD processing speed.

Get WinX DVD Ripper Platinum for free

With giveaways going on all the time it's worth popping over to WinXDVD to see if you could nab yourself a free copy of $67.95 (£52.52) value DVD decoder right now.

What’s better, you can also take advantage of this TechRadar exclusive special offer and upgrade from giveaway version to lifetime version. The advanced version always updates to unlock any new protections and DRM, and supports any new video and audio codec and profiles released in the future. 

Categories: Tech News

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A9 adds Google Assistant to satellite speaker design

Latest Tech News - Tue, 05/07/2019 - 09:52

It's one of the most instantly recognisable speakers out there, and it's all set for a thorough refresh – Bang and Olufsen's Beoplay A9 speaker is getting re-released, and it's bringing with it some new connected smarts, too.

First launched in 2012, the speaker drew lustful stares for its mad satellite dish-like design, at home either on a three-pronged stand, or hung from a wall.

Relaunching at the 2019 Venice art Bienalle, the new version will come equipped with Google Assistant voice control, unlocking smart home commands directly from the speaker. It'll also feature a new streaming system that makes the speaker compatible with Google Cast and Apple Airplay 2, giving modern audio streaming options to the veteran design.

Moon tunes

Not that it's all about connectivity – a few tweaks have been made to the audio drivers and external design of the moon-shaped speaker.

Two new full range drivers have been added to the rear of the Beoplay A9, for a total of seven drivers. This should lead to a richer and wider soundstage, with a new active room compensation system tuning the speaker's output based on its surroundings.

Finally, the power cord has been given a fabric covering to match the front face. The unit will be available in white with oak legs styles, a black with black walnut legs version, and brass and bronze shade limited editions.

Expect to see the Beoplay A9 in stores from 14 May. It's priced at £2,250 / $3,000, which converts roughly to AU$4,200.

Categories: Tech News

Borderlands 3 devs want quality over quantity for its DLC

Latest Tech News - Tue, 05/07/2019 - 09:35

While we've come to expect DLC (downloadable content) to extend the lifespans of blockbuster games, it seems like Borderlands 3 is changing tack.

Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford replied to a fan on Twitter who asked about possible new classes coming to Borderlands 3 after launch, saying that "it might be better for us to put our time into expanding what the existing vault hunters can do".

The game isn't launching until late 2019, but the series has a reputation for colorful characters - even letting you play as an unhinged enemy Psycho in some of Borderlands 2's later DLC. 

While the 2012 entry expanded its original class list of four vault hunters, it looks like Borderlands 3's devs might try and flesh out the capabilities of the game's starting classes instead of asking players to start building new ones from the ground up.

Never enough

DLC is increasingly the norm when it comes to AAA games. At best, it can give dedicated players more mileage out of their favorite titles; at worst, it can feel like a game's best features have been kept back for those able to pay extra.

We know Borderlands 3 will feature micro-transactions, though only for cosmetic items like weapon and character skins. 

For full-on DLC, it sounds like the four base vault hunter classes could get new abilities and skill tree options, opening up new ways to play. After spending enough time with our character, we'll probably be happy to see them do something new, though we're hoping they save some of the good stuff for the base game too...

Via GamesRadar

Categories: Tech News

Google IO 2019 liveblog: everything from the expected Pixel 3a launch

Latest Tech News - Tue, 05/07/2019 - 09:32

Today's the day for Google IO 2019, with the event kicking off at 11AM PDT / 1PM EDT / 6PM BST - and our Google IO liveblog is your source for real-time keynote updates concerning the annual developers conference – straight from Mountain View, California.

It's the only place you'll need to come to find out everything that's happening from the latest news and updates from the site, flashed from our fingers right as they happen.

We're on the ground today, picked up our badge yesterday and waiting to deliver to you minute-by-minute updates about Android Q, Pixel 3a, and possible updates to Nest and the Google Home devices. 

And, of course, we'll also be the first to report on any other surprises. Sure, you can always check out the Google IO livestream video, but for people at work (supposedly working), this is where you need to stay locked for all the latest live updates.

Google IO liveblog: real-time updates

All times in Pacific Daylight Time

May 7, 1:09am: We've wrapped up our Google IO 2019 planning, and updating the liveblog one last time. Expect early morning updates soon.

Yesterday, 3pm PT: I have my Google IO badge. David Lumb and Nick Pino are also joining me to provide liveblog commentary. Only a few hours left before the keynote starts.

Image credit: TechRadar

10:30am PT: Why is it that the Google Maps estimate for ridesharing apps is always why off (especially for Lyft?). Maybe this is something the company can fix at Google IO (in addition to quick Android updates and Messaging).

Image credit: TechRadar

10am PT: We're 24 hours from Google IO and have successfully made it from New York City to Mountain View, California (with a flight to nearby San Fransisco).

You can really see the difference in weather here in the Bay Area:

Image credit: TechRadar

Refresh for more Google IO 2019 as the event begins at 10am PT.

Categories: Tech News

Microsoft has patented an Xbox One controller with braille

Latest Tech News - Tue, 05/07/2019 - 08:47

Microsoft has been driving to make gaming more accessible. Last year, the company launched the Xbox Adaptive Controller in an effort to help gamers with disabilities play Xbox. But it hasn't stopped there.

According to a new patent (spotted by Windows Latest and published by WIPO), Microsoft has filed a patent for a game controller with haptic braille chording capability. 

The patent details a gaming controller which includes "various adaptions that provide alternative input and outputs to facilitate game play by sight-impaired or blind users". 

You can check out the design image, included in the filing, below:

How would it work?

The haptic braille output for a game controller laid out in Microsoft's patent filing (Image credit: Microsoft/WIPO)

According to Microsoft's patent filing, the design of the controller would mean players can encode braille characters using "a number of paddles [on the] "game controller housing".

This would allow players to play a game using the controller or to enter text using braille. The patent details that the combination of the paddles (a removable panel accessory attached to the back of the controller) will provide haptic feedback to the player, allowing them to receive and input braille through contact with the paddles. 

In addition, the accessory would even be able to convert speech to braille, allowing users to input using sound as well as through contact with the paddles.

The patent goes on to explain that the improvement of graphics in modern games, and fast paced games such those in the fighting genre, have made play more difficult for the sight impaired and blind users who may be limited by a game's accompanied audible feedback or lag.

The game controller braille panel detailed in the patent (Image credit: Microsoft/WIPO)

"Although the gaming industry has made some progress towards improving a game's general accessibility, a need remains for improved game controllers and accessories that address the very specialized manner in which visually impaired or blind users interact with videogames," Microsoft writes. 

The patent also explains that the controller will be the size of the typical Xbox One controller, however Microsoft acknowledges this won't suit all users.

"It will be appreciated that different target audiences may be determines and specific controller sizes and/or shapes employed in a game controller design to accommodate a particular target audience," the patent states. 

How would this work? An example Microsoft lays out is that the controller could include controls on both the top and the bottom to allow for easier use. The company also states it's aware some users may have different needs in shape, size, texture and position of controls. 

Will it just work with Xbox One?

Xbox Adaptive Controller (Image Credit: TechRadar)

It doesn't appear so. The patent details the controller can be configured to translate output to computing devices such as laptops, game consoles, mobile phones and tablets. Whether these need to be Microsoft products however is not specified. 

The Xbox Adaptive Controller only works with Xbox One games or Windows devices that support the Xbox One Wireless Controller. Whether this will be the case for the braille controller hasn't been outlined. 

However, it looks like Microsoft is aiming to improve accessibility for gamers or various needs. We've contacted Microsoft for comment, but in the meantime let's just hope the new controller isn't as expensive as the Xbox Adaptive Controller...

Categories: Tech News

Microsoft is finally bringing full Linux to Windows 10

Latest Tech News - Tue, 05/07/2019 - 07:37

Linux could soon be coming to your desktop after Microsoft revealed plans to ship a full Linux kernel directly in Windows 10.

In great news for open-source fans, the computing giant has said it will look to push the launch of a Linux kernel in Windows 10 for the first time at its Microsoft Build conference.

The launch will dovetail with a distribution installed through the Windows Store, with a release expected later this year - although Windows Insider users will be able to get preview builds by the end of June.

Goodness

Microsoft says that the first release will be based on the latest stable Linux release (version 4.19), and updates will come alongside each stable release going forward.

This should mean a major boost in performance when compared to the current emulator, with faster boot times and more efficient memory use also mentioned as new perks.

“Beginning with Windows Insiders builds this Summer, we will include an in-house custom-built Linux kernel to underpin the newest version of the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL),” Microsoft program manager Jack Hammons wrote in a blog post announcing the news.

"The kernel will be rebased at the designation of new long-term stable releases to ensure that the WSL kernel always has the latest Linux goodness.”

"This is the culmination of years of effort from the Linux Systems Group as well as multiple other teams across Microsoft. We are excited to be able to share the result and look forward to the new and interesting ways in which you will use WSL."

Microsoft also announced a new edition of its Windows Terminal command line app, giving a welcome makeover to one of its longest-running and most familiar-looking tools. 

The updated service sees new tabs and tear-away windows, with themes and extensions also available for the first time, as Microsoft looks to provide a central location to access the likes of Cmd and PowerShell as well as the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).

Categories: Tech News

Virgin Media makes more cable connections as mobile base shrinks

Latest Tech News - Tue, 05/07/2019 - 07:26

Virgin Media connected another 102,000 premises to its cable network during the first quarter of 2019 as the number of subscribers to its mobile service remained relatively static.

The company is currently in the middle of the single biggest network expansion in its history. The £3 billion ‘Project Lightning’ originally aimed to expand coverage to 17 million properties by the end of 2019.

According to these most recent figures, Virgin Medias footprint now stands at 14.51 million premises with the total number of customers reaching 5.534 million. An additional 59,000 broadband, landline or television services were taken out during the quarter, with Project Lightning cited as a direct cause.

Virgin Media results

"From an operating perspective, Virgin Media continued to deliver improved subscriber trends,” said Mike Fries, CEO of parent company Liberty Global. “During the first quarter, Virgin Media delivered nearly 60,000 RGU additions, a 32 per cent year-over-year improvement driven by 26,000 new customer relationships. On the innovation front, we are pushing the envelope in the U.K.”

However Virgin Media revenues were down 6.6 per cent to $1.66 billion, while the addition of 26,000 mobile subscribers was offset by a contraction of the lower-yielding pay-as-you-go customer basis. When this is taken into account, Virgin Media lost 7,000 mobile subscribers, leaving the total figure at 3.03 million.

“Our Q1 ARPU performance at Virgin Media was impacted by lower install and telephony usage revenue, the timing of certain PPV events and increased promotions in response to market dynamics,” added Fries. “However, our competitive position remains strong and we continue to extend our reach with Project Lightning, where we are building 400,000-500,000 new premises every year.”

Future direction

Virgin Media is growing in importance to Liberty Global, which is undergoing a significant restructure. It is in the process if divesting cable assets in Germany and Switzerland, while it has entered into a joint-venture with Vodafone in the Netherlands.

Virgin Media contributes significantly to the wider group’s total $2.87 billion revenues, but speculation is growing about the unit’s future with CEO Tom Mockridge set to step down in favour of COO Lutz Schuler later this year.

Schuler’s priority will be to oversee the completion of Project Lightning as well as the possible transformation into a wholesale communications provider. It had been reported that Liberty was considering a move into wholesale but there are no concrete plans to do so.

“Virgin Media now remains the crown jewels in Liberty Global’s portfolio, but also a problem child,” says Paolo Pescatore, an analyst with PP Foresight.

“Moves to divest other assets shows a desire to leave Europe by maximising the value of each asset. However, acquiring Virgin Media would not cheap for any party and would require significant long-term investment to compete with BT other smaller aggressive fibre broadband providers.

“Latest moves to strengthen Virgin Media’s portfolio suggests that Liberty Global is committed to the UK for the short to medium term. Given the renewed push towards convergence and importance of owning fixed and mobile assets (due to 5G and more), it is feasible that it might acquire or merge with a UK mobile operator.”

Categories: Tech News

First look at Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order gameplay is coming next month

Latest Tech News - Tue, 05/07/2019 - 07:16

For those hankering for some news on Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order news, developer Respawn Entertainment has dropped something rather tasty.

In a Tweet, it's been revealed that we'll be getting our first look at Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order gameplay at EA Play and E3 2019 next month.

So far we've only seen a reveal trailer for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Respawn Entertainment has been light on the details of how the gameplay will actually work.

Check out Respawn's tweet below: 

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a new single-player Star Wars game from Respawn Entertainment (aka, the creators of Titanfall). 

So far we know the game will focus on former Padawan Cal, who has gone into hiding following Order 66 which saw the Jedi ambushed and killed by their own supporting Clone Trooper soldiers.

This is arguably the first core Star Wars action-adventure game to release in 11 years, with Respawn Entertainment teasing Jedi: Fallen Order will require "thoughtful combat" and a lightsaber that grows with you. 

We don't know many more details about the actual gameplay, so we're hoping EA Play will shed some more light on what we can expect from the title and how the Force and melee blend together in combat. 

The game is due to release on November 15, 2019, just in time for Christmas and the long-awaited release of Star Wars Episode IX: Rise of Skywalker.

EA Play 2019

Image credit: Respawn Entertainment/EA

Respawn's tweet doesn't specify which date we can expect the announcement. 

While EA Play won't have a keynote this year, ticketed fans can join EA Play at the Hollywood Palladium on Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 9 (tickets available from next month).

The event will likely be livestreamed on EA's official Twitch channel for those who can't attend in person, although EA hasn't released the official schedule for the EA Play event yet. 

Make sure to keep an eye on our E3 2019 hub for all the latest news from gaming's biggest show.

Categories: Tech News

Save £200 on a SIM-free Huawei Mate 20 X deal from Amazon UK before midnight

Latest Tech News - Tue, 05/07/2019 - 06:51

The bigger the screen, the more costly the phone. That's the tough decision fans of phablet sized handsets have had to grapple with for a while now - is the extra screen space worth that rise in cost? Well until midnight tonight, that is a worry you can throw away thanks to a deal of the day offer from Amazon.co.uk.

Offering the Huawei Mate 20 X at a SIM-free price of £599.99, Amazon has undercut the nearest retailer by roughly £100 on this mega-sized device. While that is already a unbelievable price cut, it doesn't stop there. 

Amazon is also chucking in a free Huawei M-Pen with this offer, worth around £45 and an additional free smart flip case, adding to the already brilliant value of this offer. Pairing this device with a cheap SIM only deal could allow you to undercut the rest of the Huawei Phone deals out there.

Interested? We don't blame you, but you will have to act fast as there is a bit of a catch. This is part of Amazon's deal of the day and therefore will be coming to an end at 11.59pm tonight.

This bargain Mate 20 X deal in full:
  • Not sure this phone is for you? Don't worry, we've got you covered with our best mobile phone deals page
Want something smaller? Check out the Mate 20 Pro
Categories: Tech News

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