Tech News

Why OPPO Reno2 is the most expected camera phone in the 2nd half year of 2019

Latest Tech News - Thu, 10/17/2019 - 05:00

Have you ever been travelling on a boat and wanted to take a video of a stunning sunset? Or perhaps you’re celebrating a dinner with friends at night on a restaurant terrace, and want to grab a quick photo to remember the occasion? In either of these cases, no  matter what you try to do with your phone, you struggle to capture the perfect photo. It’s either too dark, blurry, or out of focus, and that magical moment is now lost.

The upcoming Quadcam Expert OPPO Reno 2. Using the quad camera setup on the back, you’ll always be satisfied with the results – whether it’s for snapping a photo of your kids running around in the park, or a gorgeous nighttime photo of the Burj Khalifa.

For those moments when you’re trying to shoot a video and just can’t seem to keep your hands steady enough, the OPPO Reno 2’s HIS (hybrid image stabilization) helps to keep your videos steady and clear, no matter how much you’re shaking your phone. It’s an incredible feature that makes shooting videos with your phone so much easier – say goodbye to those dreaded ‘shaky cam’ videos that are far too embarrassing to post anywhere.

The Ultra Night (Dark) mode on the OPPO Reno 2 is also one of the phone’s best features. The phone can automatically turn on the AI night scene algorithm to improve the image quality, reduce noise, and optimize the exposure of the highlighted and shadowy parts. So no matter how low the lighting is, your photos will still come out clearer than you’ve ever seen them before.

Coupled with a 5X zoom, you can ensure that no matter what kind of lighting environment you’re in, the OPPO Reno 2 will produce perfect shots every time. You won’t have to spend time fiddling around with your camera settings or hoping that you’ve gotten the perfect shot. With the OPPO Reno 2 in your hand, you can guarantee that every photo you take will be a memory worth sharing with the world.

We can’t wait to see what OPPO has in store for us when it officially reveals the OPPO Reno 2 series in the UAE on October 23rd.

Categories: Tech News

AMD is paying $300 to customers who bought its Bulldozer and Piledriver processors

Latest Tech News - Thu, 10/17/2019 - 04:31

If you bought AMD’s Bulldozer or Piledriver processors while living in California, or you bought directly from the website, then you can now submit a claim to get $300 for each processor you bought.

This follows AMD agreeing in August to pay  $12.1 million to settle a long-running false advertising lawsuit concerning its claim that its FX Bulldozer was the “first native eight-core desktop processor” in adverts.

If you bought one of the following processors either in California or via, then you may be in line for a payout:

  • AMD FX-8120
  • AMD FX-8150
  • AMD FX-8320
  • AMD FX-8350
  • AMD FX-8370
  • AMD FX-9370
  • AMD FX-9590

These were sold between 2011 and 2013. If you meet the criteria, you should submit a claim via the AMD CPU Settlement website by January 3, 2020.

Will you actually get $300 per CPU?

So, if you have bought one or more of those CPUs and meet the requirements, how much money could you expect to get?

As The Verge explains, you likely won’t get the full $300 per chip, as the more people who submit a claim, the less money each person could receive. It’s also worth remembering that lawyers, plaintiffs and admin costs will all chip away at that $12.1 million.

Still, if you bought one of the processors in the right circumstances, it’s still worth putting in a claim. You do not need to have proof of purchase to make a claim unless you are claiming for more than five CPUs.

On February 20, 2020, the court will hold a final fairness hearing to decide the final terms of the payout.

Categories: Tech News

Google Pixel 4's key features are coming to the Pixel 3 and 3a too

Latest Tech News - Thu, 10/17/2019 - 04:30

When the Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL launched, there were many cutting-edge features touted to convince people to pick up the phones; however it seems most of these feature will actually be coming to older Pixel phones too.

Well, when we say 'older Pixel phones' we mean the Pixel 3 range, consisting of that handset, the Pixel 3 XL, the affordable Pixel 3a, and its larger sibling the Pixel 3a XL. Some of the features could come to Pixel handsets even older than the 3 range, but it's far from confirmed that they will.

Of course, some of the Pixel 4 features will remain exclusive, like Dual Exposure camera mode and Car Crash Detection, so if you're looking to buy the device, there's still a lot to love. But fans of the older Pixel phones may feel an upgrade is unnecessary.

What Pixel 4 features are backwards compatible?

One of the key camera features of the Google Pixel 4 is astrophotography, which lets you take a picture of the night sky (albeit with a long exposure time) to pick out stars, galaxies and planets.

However, Google confirmed in a tweet that this feature is coming to all the Pixel 3 handsets at some point, including the 3a, so clearly it doesn't use the computational power of the newer Pixel Visual Core.

Live Caption, which transcribes audio or videos into text, is also coming to Pixel 3 phones in December 2019 – Google confirmed as much to Android Police. Live Caption is actually a feature of Android 10, but many people thought it would be a Pixel 4 exclusive, which it turns out is not the case.

The redesigned Google Assistant for the Pixel 4 will also come to the Pixel 3 devices, and possibly other Google devices too. This redesign gives it a minimal look, and also makes it available without an internet connection, so it's possibly the biggest feature making its way to older Pixels.

There are a few more minor features shown off at the Pixel 4 launch that will make their way to older devices, like Small Burst video recording and the new Recorder app.

Bear in mind, these Pixel 4 features that will be available on the Pixel 3 devices are only those that are confirmed so far – more could come at a later date.

Via 9to5Google

Categories: Tech News

Olympus' new OM-D E-M5 Mark III offers flagship features for a lot less

Latest Tech News - Thu, 10/17/2019 - 04:02

We knew it was coming: back in August, Olympus executives confirmed that the camera company was working on refreshing the ageing OM-D E-M5 Mark II – they just didn't reveal when.

Now the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III is finally here – four years after the launch of the Mark II sibling – with features borrowed from the more powerful OM-D E-M1 range, giving the enthusiast-level E-M5 lineup a much-needed performance boost.

It's also smaller and lighter than the previous models, which are already rather compact. Olympus has managed to achieve this by shrinking some of the key components, particularly the image stabilizer.

Despite that, the new camera is capable of reducing shake by up to 5.5 stops by itself (much like the E-M1 Mark II). When used with a compatible stabilized lens, that would take it up a notch to an excellent 6.5 stops. That's half a stop better than the E-M5 Mark II.

Even the battery has been swapped for the more compact BLS-50 (used in the E-M10 range), which still offers the same battery life as the previously used BLS-1, which was CIPA-rated for 310 shots.

The E-M5 Mark III gets a deeper grip, both in the front and on the back for the thumb, and still manages to be about 55g lighter than the Mark II model. It's also got better weather sealing, and gets a new electronic viewfinder (EVF).

The EVF on the Mark II offered a decent 0.74x magnification, but was an LCD panel. The viewfinder on the Mark III is smaller, offering a magnification of just 0.68x, but boasts a 2.36 million-dot OLED panel that promises a better view of the scene.

Peeking under the hood

This is where the lines between the new camera and the E-M1 Mark II blur a little, with both cameras sharing the same 20.1MP Micro Four Thirds sensor and the same 121-point phase-detect autofocus system (as opposed to the 81-point AF in the 16MP E-M5 Mark II). 

That AF system might not seem like much, with the likes of the three-year-old Sony Alpha 6500 offering a much more impressive 425 phase-detection and 169 contrast-detection points. However, the Micro Four Thirds sensor is much smaller than Sony's APS-C crop sensor and offers great depth of field irrespective of the aperture size, thus allowing MFT cameras to find focus quickly and accurately. 

There are a host of other improvements in the E-M5 Mark III over the previous models, including a High Resolution Shooting mode that can capture 50MP images (compared to 40MP from the Mark II). And where the older snapper was capable of Full HD 1080p video, there's now 4K recording at both 30fps and 24fps. 

The new camera can shoot bursts at 10fps with continuous autofocus, or can reach up to 30fps with focus and exposure locked at the first shot. It also gains additional Art Filters, an anti-flicker mode for when you're shooting indoors, and Bluetooth connectivity. 

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III will begin shipping in late November and will set you back $1,199 / £1,099.99 / AU$1,999 for the body alone. If you'd rather get a lens along with the camera, the addition of the M.Zuiko ED 14-150mm f/4.0-5.6 II lens to the kit will take the price to $1,799 / AU$2,499 (about £1,400, although we're yet to confirm the kit price in the UK).

Categories: Tech News

3D printers could make you healthier – here’s how

Latest Tech News - Thu, 10/17/2019 - 04:00

3D printing is being used to produce a new health supplement which can be personalized for your exact nutritional requirements (or at least that’s the idea).

Nourished is a 3D-printed vitamin and supplement combination consisting of seven active ingredients out of a possible 28, and is available now.

Which of the 28 possibilities are included is decided by going off the answers you give to a brief online questionnaire. The resulting ‘fruit gummy’ is made by a food-safe 3D printer and is chewable, as well as vegan.

Athletes will get a supplement to help boost their endurance levels and recovery times, whereas those who travel a lot can have an immune-boosting affair (flying is, of course, a notoriously good way to catch a cold or other illness) which also helps to combat jetlag.

To give you an idea of the scope, possible ingredients include Selenium, Iron, Lycopene, CoQ10, Zinc, Vitamin A, B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Milk Thistle Extract, Resveratrol, and a probiotic (plus there are 16 others).

Dragon’s Den

It’s a clever idea, for sure, and the brainchild of entrepreneur Melissa Snover, who first aired the concept on the TV show Dragon’s Den.

Those who order Nourished get the product delivered straight to their home, and 98% of the ingredients are from UK-based wholefood sources, the makers say. As a vegan gel supplement, the contents are better absorbed in the body than a traditional pill (and it is also easier to swallow, as Nourished comes in chewable form).

Melissa Snover, founder and CEO of Nourished, enthused: “We’re bringing a truly unique product to the UK market that will change the way consumers think about their nutrition, in much the same way wearable technology has disrupted the personal health market.

“It is the first product in the market to offer such a highly-personalized nutritional solution that everyone can benefit from and it’s our hope that Nourished will transform the way people think about wellness and take care of themselves from the inside out.”

As mentioned, Nourished is only available in the UK to begin with, but may well make its way overseas eventually (or similar ideas could pop up, too).

Categories: Tech News

Google Stadia controller only works wirelessly with Chromecast Ultra for now

Latest Tech News - Thu, 10/17/2019 - 03:35

The future of gaming may be streaming, but you know what sounds a lot like the past? Having to use wired control pads. And that may be the situation faced by some Google Stadia players at launch.

Revealed in the small print of a YouTube video, the Google Stadia controller will only work wirelessly when used with a Chromecast Ultra dongle at launch. It appears then that if you're hoping to play on a computer, tablet or phone, you're going to need to plug the controller in.

Not only that, but if you're using Stadia with the Chromecast, it'll be your only possible method of input, according to a Google community mananger post on Reddit, ruling out the potential for keyboard and mouse or third-party controller play. Keyboard and mouse play will be supported on computers, of course.

An unusual controller

These limitation are a frustration (though may be rectified after launch), but it must be noted that the Google Stadia controller is pulling off some neat tricks to make sure its streaming service plays as seamlessly as possible.

Rather than connecting to a console, the Stadia controller connects directly to Stadia's servers, minimising any potential lag between your input and the actions being accounted for in the cloud and returned to your screen.

Will this all work as seamlessly as promised? We won't have long to wait to find out: the service launches on November 19 the US, UK, Ireland, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland.

  • Stadia: everything you need to know about Google's game-streaming service
Categories: Tech News

O2's 5G network is now live, but it's currently limited to just six cities

Latest Tech News - Thu, 10/17/2019 - 03:13

O2 is the latest network to debut its 5G network, and if you've got the right phone (and data plan) you'll be able to access the service in six cities scattered over the UK from today.

Rather than whole cities, O2 is debuting its technology in particular locations. Those include Waterloo and Kings Cross in London, Haymarket in Edinburgh, Trinity Shopping Centre in Leeds and Belfast South city centre - while Cardiff and Slough have also had O2 5G switched on.

It's also available in The O2, Twickenham and the Emirates Stadium in London where there are often big events with heavy footfall.

It means the 5G coverage is currently very limited, but O2 has confirmed that it'll be available in over 20 locations by the end of 2019 with 30 more to follow by next summer.

Those 20 locations include Coventry, Nottingham, Blackpool, Derby, Leicester, Reading, Bournemouth, Lisburn, Slough, Bristol, Eton, Stoke, Cardiff, Guildford, Norwich and Windsor. You can find the full list of the other 30 locations on O2's website here.

O2 has debuted unlimited data plans for 5G coverage and these won't cost any more than the equivalent on 4G.

The cheapest 5G tariff comes in at £25 a month for 5GB of data with the most expensive costing £40 for unlimited data. That's excluding an actual phone though, so it's quite expensive to get that unlimited data package.

O2 is also offering contracts on four devices that are the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G, Samsung Galaxy A90 5G and the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G. The network will bring even more devices with 5G compatibility in the future.

Categories: Tech News

Ubuntu 19.10 delivers goodies for gamers and a slick new Gnome desktop

Latest Tech News - Thu, 10/17/2019 - 03:00

Ubuntu 19.10 ‘Eoan Ermine’ has been unleashed on the world, with Nvidia driver support built right in, and a new faster, more responsive Gnome desktop, with lots of major improvements for business users, too.

The good news for gamers is that Nvidia’s graphics driver is now embedded right in the ISO image, so it’s there from the get-go (as opposed to being offered up as a download during installation).

That’s nicely convenient, of course, because Nvidia’s official drivers are the only realistic way to go for gamers on Linux – while open source alternatives like Nouveau might be coming on, they still aren’t a patch (no pun intended) on Nvidia’s proprietary driver.

It’s also worth noting that this new version of Ubuntu is built on the Linux 5.3 kernel and that brings in support for AMD’s latest 7nm Navi graphics cards.

Another notable improvement is the inclusion of the Gnome 3.34 desktop, with plenty of tweaking on the performance front to make for a much smoother experience (even if you haven’t got a particularly fast PC, as it consumes less CPU resources).

The new version of Gnome also benefits from a load of bug fixes, as you might expect, and organizing your apps is made easier with the ability to drag-and-drop icons and group them in folders.

There’s a lot to like here, then, and on top of this, Ubuntu 19.10 brings in support for the latest Raspberry Pi 4 Model B.

Ermine means business

On the business front, the latest version of this popular Linux distro introduces enhanced edge computing functionality, implementing strict confinement for MicroK8s, meaning a “tightly secured production-grade” Kubernetes environment in an equally tight footprint for edge gateways.

It’s also now possible to deploy MicroK8s add-ons securely at the edge via a single command. Note that with support now in place for the Raspberry Pi 4, devs have an affordable hardware option to deploy at the edge with MicroK8s.

Furthermore, Kubeflow has been made available as an add-on to MicroK8s in the cause of boosting machine learning chops. Developers benefit from speedy setup, testing and scaling to production needs. Canonical notes that Kubeflow and GPU acceleration work straight out of the box with MicroK8s.

The move with embedding Nvidia drivers we mentioned at the outset will also help those involved in the machine learning or AI arena using hardware from that GPU maker, as obviously everything will be already there for them right off the bat.

Ubuntu 19.10 will also witness the introduction of support for Zhaoxin x86 CPUs for workstations.

Finally, the newest version of Ubuntu comes with the Train release of Charmed OpenStack, delivering live migration extensions to benefit telecoms companies in infrastructure operations.

Canonical notes: “Live migration allows users to move their machines from one hypervisor to another without shutting down the operating system of the machine. It is now also possible in telco-specific environments with NUMA topology, pinned CPUs, SR-IOV ports attached and huge pages configured.”

If you need no more persuading and fancy grabbing Ubuntu 19.10, head over here.

Categories: Tech News

Analogue Pocket will make all your retro Game Boy carts playable again in 2020

Latest Tech News - Wed, 10/16/2019 - 22:17

With Nintendo seemingly sitting on its hands when it comes to a possible Game Boy Classic release (the device's 30th anniversary has already come and gone), retro-gaming hardware maker Analogue has seized the opportunity to develop its own throwback handheld, announcing the Analogue Pocket for launch in 2020.

According to Analogue, the device purports to play pretty much every cartridge-based portable game ever released on its high resolution (1,600 x 1,440-pixel) backlit LCD screen – without emulation.

The Pocket will be "compatible with the 2,780+ Game Boy, Game Boy Color & Game Boy Advance game cartridge library" right out of the box, and you'll be able to play titles from Game Gear, Neo Geo Pocket Color, Atari Lynx and other systems via cartridge adapters.

Along with the ability to run classic handheld games, Analogue says the device is also a "digital audio workstation with a built-in synthesizer and sequencer." The program, called Nanoloop, lets you "shape, stretch and morph sounds" and is "designed for music creation and live performance." You can check out a video of Nanoloop in action below.

Presumably, users will be able to save and load music via the Pocket's built-in microSD card slot, and while the ability to load ROMs is not officially listed as a feature on Analogue's website, that functionality seems likely – it was quite easy to do this on the Analogue NT Mini retro console via an unofficial jailbroken firmware.

Additionally, the Analogue Pocket will have its own Nintendo Switch-like dock, which will allow you to connect the handheld to a television via HDMI. The dock will also sync up with any wireless 8BitDo Bluetooth controller, and you'll also be able to connect wired controllers to the unit via USB.

The Pocket will start shipping in 2020 at a price of $199 (around £155 / AU$293). The handheld will reportedly be available in limited quantities, so if you're keen you may want to enter your email address on Analogue's website to be notified the moment it becomes available.

[via Gizmodo]

Categories: Tech News

An Apple Watch for your finger? New patent for smart ring says it's possible

Latest Tech News - Wed, 10/16/2019 - 20:24

Amazon has gotten quite ambitious with its wearables, recently announcing two at its 2019 product event, including the Echo Loop – a smart ring which puts Alexa on your finger.

Now it seems that Apple doesn't plan to be left behind, with the Cupertino firm being granted a patent for a "wearable electronic ring computing device". The patent outlines design options and functionality for a device that would wirelessly interact with your iPhone or MacBook.

The proposed Apple Ring (for the lack of a better name) would feature a touchscreen and microphone, house a computer processor, a wireless transceiver and various sensors, and also have its own rechargeable power source. 

As an Apple product, it will have Siri built in and, according to the patent, work with hand gestures. So that more or less describes the Apple Watch, just in ring form.

The so-called Apple Ring with display and buttons

Amongst the sensors housed within the Apple Ring would be haptic actuators to provide force feedback to the user. There will also be motion sensors that will be capable of identifying "a writing motion" (so you could potentially be able to respond to messages without reaching for your phone), for page turning (flicking) and a swiping motion for navigating the menu system.

The wearable described will also have biometric sensors for fitness tracking and device security. The wireless transmitter could also unlock another device – like an iPhone – depending on proximity – while also syncing wearer information to the phone. 

The patent also describes the proposed smart ring as a device capable of controlling an external device – like an Apple TV or iPad – by drawing directly onto the wearable's small display, although this kind of technology hasn't yet been realised.

Different design ideas for the Apple Ring

No timeline for the Apple Ring has been provided – it's still just a patent, one of many that Apple files each year, with most of them remaining just that: ideas on paper. In fact, Apple filed a similar patent for ring-like device back in 2015, a year before Microsoft filed one for its own ring-like device.

Amazon, though, has left the starting block already, with the Echo Loop shipping to select paying customers later this year.

Categories: Tech News

2,500 free DOS games added to Internet Archive's web player

Latest Tech News - Wed, 10/16/2019 - 20:21

It’s the Internet Archive’s mission to preserve as much of the internet as possible in a monolithic digital library in order for both researchers and the general public to have free access to the wealth of knowledge and other miscellany found online.

One neat byproduct of this is the preservation of MS-DOS based games, with the current collection weighing in at just under 7,000 titles, thanks to the recent addition of another 2,500 games. And who doesn't love free games?

Thousands of games

As is the case with all other material found on the Internet Archive, these titles are free to access and play due to the legal nature of the not-for-profit archiving organization. 

Of the fresh 2,500 titles, we’ve listed some of the more popular games below, which join the likes of Pac-Man, Prince of Persia, Oregon Trail, and SimCity.

  • Street Fighter II 
  • WipEout 
  • The Secret of Monkey Island 
  • Night Trap 
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator 
  • Loom 
  • The Elder Scrolls - Daggerfall 
  • The Need for Speed 
  • Descent 
  • Ultima Underworld 1 & 2

You can browse the titles by searching for them directly in the Internet Archive's Software Library or sort them by the date they were archived, their title, name of the creator, or number of views each game has. 

Although you can't download the games themselves, they can be run in-browser via the provided DOSBOX emulator, either scaling to fit your browser window or expanding to full screen, and can be played with or without sound.

Categories: Tech News

Best 4K TV 2019: Your definitive guide to the top Ultra-HD TVs

Latest Tech News - Wed, 10/16/2019 - 19:45

For over a decade, HD TVs ruled the market. Their 1080p (and often, lower) resolution felt like a huge jump from the CRT TVs we had been using. As hard as it is to believe, 4K TVs are a similar jump in technology you saw 10 years ago, promising four times the resolution and exceptional contrast.

So why should you ditch that 1080p TV? Not only do 4K TVs simply look better thanks to the increased pixel density and support for wide color gamut technology, but they're usually just as cheap as a 1080p TV - even if you buy them brand-new. In fact, buying a new 1080p TV is getting harder and harder as more manufacturers continue to phase them out of their product lineups. 

But with so many options out there, narrowing down a year's worth of high-caliber screens to just eight is a tough job. But that's where we come in. 

We've viewed the vast majority of the 4K TVs on the market, and have narrowed them down to a list of the top 4K TVs on the market for 2019 with screens from Samsung, Sony and LG leading the pack, and lower-cost options like Vizio, Hisense and TCL following just behind. 

If you recently bought something from another manufacturer that you love and you don't see it on this list, it doesn't mean we've intentionally snubbed it. Unfortunately best-of lists are tiny and we can only squeeze so many screens on here. That said, we're always adding more screens to this list, so be sure to check back this time next month.

Should I wait until Black Friday to buy a 4K TV?

Considering that it's already October, it's probably best to wait it out for Black Friday 2019 or, if you can't be bothered to fight it out in the crowd, Cyber Monday.

While TV manufacturers have yet to unveil which TVs will be on sale that day, chances are good that many of the TVs you see below will be on sale for at least $100-$200 off their regular price, with some getting more of a discount than others. 

The only precaution we'd tell you to take is to really look at the model number of any TV deals that seem too good to be true. If it's not exactly the same TV you see on this list (or on another trusted reviews website for that matter), it's probably not the same TV. We'd also recommend staying away from any bargain basement priced 4K TV, as these screens usually don't have good upscaling. 

If you can hold out a few weeks, stick with us and we'll hook you up with all the best Black Friday TV deals

What is 4K? Watch the video below to find out:

What are the best 4K TVs in 2019?

Samsung Q90R QLED TV (2019)

Last year, the Samsung Q9FN was the TV to beat. It won award-after-award for its features and image quality, not to mention its excellent, improved smart platform that came with Bixby support and Samsung SmartThings. However it wasn’t perfect and there were legitimate complaints about viewing angles and an over-aggressive local dimming system that crushed black detail. 

Samsung has clearly taken these criticisms to heart, and directly addressed them in the Q90. The new model has a visibly superior viewing angle that holds its own against OLED, and the local dimming delivers deep blacks without losing shadow detail. To that end, the new Ultra Black Elite filter is nothing short of a revelation, rejecting ambient light in a way that just staggers belief.  

The Q90 is able to deliver images that can directly compete with an OLED, with natural colors, bright highlights, deep blacks, and well defined shadows. It can also surpass any OLED when it comes to HDR, with images that are often breathtaking in their detail and dynamic range.

In fact our only real criticism would be that, unlike some of the competition, the Q90 doesn’t support Dolby Vision. However in all other respects the Samsung Q90 is an absolutely stellar TV that takes QLED to another level.

Read the full review: Samsung Q90R QLED TV


If smart features are the most important criteria for you when picking out a new 4K TV, then you can't do any better than the new LG C9 OLED. The 2nd generation Alpha9 processor, which uses AI enhancements to deliver stellar SDR and HDR images, helps make the upscaling and processing second-to-none with incredible levels of detail and image fidelity.

Add to that a robust smart platform and new AI sound options that analyze and improve sound quality in real time, and you have one of the smartest – and, in our opinion – one of the best 4K TVs on the market. Not to mention one of the best OLED TVs too.

Read the full review: LG C9 OLED (OLED55C9, OLED65C9, OLED77C9)

The Vizio P-Series Quantum X is a home run for Vizio. Sure, the SmartCast interface isn’t all the great, and the speakers are worth bypassing, but the TV is packed with awesome features and backed up by an excellent image quality. We’re looking forward to AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support, but even without those features the TV is still one of the best options in its price range. 

If you truly have deep pockets and want the best image quality out there, then it’s still worth going for LG's OLED or Samsung's QLED TVs - but in the absence of a six-figure salary, the $2,199 Vizio P-Series Quantum X PX-65G1 is clearly an excellent option for those that want quantum dot tech in a smart TV at Vizio-level prices. 

Read the full review: Vizio P-Series Quantum (PQ65-F1)

A direct replacement for last year's Sony A9F/AF9 OLED, the Sony A9G/AG9 Master Series OLED is the new flagship of Sony’s TV fleet. It embraces a characteristically minimalist design that disguises a host of cutting-edge features like Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support, plus Netflix Calibrated Mode (of interest to many), and IMAX Enhanced certification (of interest to few).

This is a screen that looks premium, and has a spec on the right side of righteous. The Android platform is easy to live with, that vibrating sound system entertaining and picture quality top notch. Offering Dolby Vision is a welcome refinement, but the caveat is a lack of support for HDR10+. That said, it does a fabulous job up-scaling HD/SDR so it's easy to overlook the lack of at least one HDR format. 

It's undoubtedly expensive but, all things considered, this glass is class.

Read the full review: Sony A9G Master Series OLED

LG E9 OLED Series (2019)

Overall, the LG E9 OLED offers a dazzling picture, with crisp detail and truly cinematic visuals. LG’s organic LED displays lack the brightness of competing models, but those after a proper movie night in won’t be disappointed.

The E9 differs mostly from other LG OLEDs in its shape and its size options – both the more premium W9 and cheaper C9 offer a larger 77-inch model – but we’d be surprised if the E9’s all-glass panel design didn’t impress you. With a unique look, and the multi-channel audio to elevate it above other OLED sets in the range, the E9 is a fantastic addition to any living room if you can afford one.

Read the full review: LG E9 OLED (OLED55E9, OLED65E9)

While it's not as impressive as this year's Vizio P-Series Quantum X, last year's Vizio P-Series Quantum still offers an incredible deal for those who can find one.

It’s a big, bold and affordable screen that supports most forms of HDR and has the ability to light up the room with its 2,000 nits of peak brightness. It might not be able to hit the inky black levels of OLED, and suffers from slow startup, but it is by far the best value quantum dot TV on the market.

That being said, if there’s anything substantial holding the Vizio P-Series Quantum back, it’s Vizio’s smart platform: In just a few words, SmartCast is one of the least robust platforms and one of the slowest, too. Startup from a complete shutdown takes a seriously long time, and navigating around the interface isn’t nearly as snappy as LG’s WebOS or Samsung’s Tizen platform.

Still, if you don't mind a slow OS, this is a great budget big-screen TV.

Read the full review: Vizio P-Series Quantum (PQ65-F1)

Samsung Q70R QLED TV (2019)

Samsung’s flagship Q90R QLED TV blew us away recently with its wider viewing angles, deeper blacks, and superior HDR images - sadly, however, not everyone can afford the flagship model. So what can Samsung offer for those wanting to experience QLED picture quality on a budget? 

Despite sitting lower down in the QLED line-up, the Q70R includes the same comprehensive smart platform, extensive connections, and cutting-edge features found further up the range. This isn’t the flashiest-looking TV that Samsung has ever made, but if your funds are limited the Q70 is a cracking QLED all-rounder that’s worth checking out. 

Read the full review: Samsung Q70R QLED TV

Sony Bravia X950G 4K TV

Sporting the upgraded X1 Ultimate processor, Netflix Calibrated Mode and the latest version of Android TV, Sony’s mid-range X950G has a lot going for it. 

Right out of the box, the best way to describe the image quality of the X950G is… well, natural. It’s not flashy. It’s not overly bright. Colors aren’t oversaturated. It’s just a really natural picture with subdued colors and great black levels perfect for HD/SDR content. That said, if you’re the kind of person that wants a bit more pop to your images all you need to do is turn on Live Color in the picture settings. This mode works on HD/SDR content to add a bit more color saturation to the image and helps to make the image ‘pop’ in a way that really grabs your attention.

It’s a shame that poor sound quality ruined such a great 4K/HDR TV, however, taken by itself, the Sony X950G is an immaculate screen with a ton of potential.

Read the full review: Sony BRAVIA X950G (XBR-65X950G)

TCL 6-Series 4K TV

If you have deep pockets and a checkbook filled with blank checks, we’d tell you to reach deep and shell out for only the best 4K TVs on the market – LG’s crazy-thin OLED W8 or Samsung’s ultra-bright Q9FN QLED. But that’s not always realistic: for the vast, vast majority of us, our budget to spend on a 4K UHD TV is limited to somewhere under $1,000 – and often it's even less than that. 

To that end, it’s absolutely fair to say that the TCL 6-Series is the best TV you can possibly get in this price range. Its performance per dollar is unmatched and its picture quality – despite a few minor flaws – will truly impress you.

Said simply, if there’s a better value 4K TV on the market, we’ve yet to see it.  

Read the full review: TCL 6-Series (R615, R617)

Hisense's H8 Series has long offered high quality at a very reasonable price, but these days it's getting harder and harder to make waves in the budget TV market - Samsung and LG now offer plenty of great 4K HDR TVs well under the $1,000 mark, while TCL has been making headlines with its $600 TCL 6-Series

But the H8F is a little different than previous-gen H8 series TVs. It's the company's best value TV yet and offers both Android TV and the company's proprietary ULED TV tech that it claims offers better contrast and performance than rival LED TVs.

Sure, it's not going to compete with LG's OLEDs or Samsung high-end QLED models, but this affordable 4K screen is one of the best in its price range, and the only sub-$500 model we feel comfortable recommending to our readers.

Read the full review: Hisense H8F (55H8F) review

Categories: Tech News

The $26 billion T-Mobile-Sprint merger has officially been approved by the FCC

Latest Tech News - Wed, 10/16/2019 - 19:05

It’s official: the FCC has approved the merger of telecom giants Sprint and T-Mobile, a move that evens the playfield against juggernauts Verizon and AT&T, but critics say reduces competition and opens the door to anti-consumer behavior.

Now all that stands in the way of both companies joining up is a bipartisan lawsuit brought by 13 state attorneys general and the District of Columbia, according to AppleInsider. Once that’s resolved, Sprint and T-Mobile can proceed with a long-planned merger that will shrink the major US telecom field from four down to three.

After the DOJ approved the merger back in July, the FCC vote was one of the last remaining obstacles. It was split down party lines: Chairman Ajit Pai joined two Republican commissioners in approving the $26.5 billion merger, while the two Democrat commissioners voted against.

One of the latter, commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, wrote in the Atlantic that reducing the number of telecoms “will hurt consumers, harm competition, and eliminate thousands of jobs.” The same happened when mergers in other industries saw shrunk the number of major players, including airlines (which added baggage fees and smaller seats) and pharmaceuticals (raised prices for essential medications), Rosenworcel argued.

After the merger, Rosenworcel continued, there’s very little to prevent the newly-merged company from raising wireless prices on consumers - except the mega-telecom’s word that it won’t (for three years, anyway). Even though conditions for the merger require the new T-Mobile to help Dish Mobile become a new “fourth telecom,” ostensibly to preserve some degree of competition, it has little incentive to do so.

The other Democratic commissioner, Geoffrey Starks, echoed Rosenworcel’s dissent that fewer options would lead to higher prices in a memo. Further, he criticized the FCC’s approving a merger that had “changed significantly from the one that was originally proposed - twice” without allowing for public comment.

US Senators had previously urged US regulators not to approve the merger back in early 2019. But assuming the state attorneys general goes through, we’ll see the US telecom industry fundamentally change.

The post-merger telecom landscape

Initially, here’s how the telecom landscape is set to change. As part of the merger, T-Mobile and Sprint will cede prepaid phone subsidiaries like Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile to Dish Mobile, along with some of Sprint’s 800MHz spectrum - a deal which will cost Dish $5 billion.

Dish will also have to build out a partial 5G network by June 2023 that must cover 70% of the US population - if not, it faces a $2.2 billion fine. Obviously, this requirement is intended to assure some degree of 5G competition.

That’s especially important given how much of a lead the new T-Mobile will have on 5G. With the old T-Mobile 5G’s high-frequency mmWave and low-frequency sub-6 networks it’s begun to activate in 2019, plus mid-range Sprint 5G active in nine cities by the end of the year, the combined mega-telecom’s 5G will have plenty of markets covered - and be poised to expand 5G into rural areas, which need longer-ranged lower-spectrum signals in the sub-6 frequencies to reach individuals outside cities.

We’ll have to see how the landscape actually changes, assuming the state attorneys general lawsuit gets resolved without shifting the mega-telecom’s plans.

Categories: Tech News

Cray's Archer 2 supercomputer will be powered by AMD

Latest Tech News - Wed, 10/16/2019 - 17:10

The UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Centre has announced that HPE's Cray has been awarded the contract to build the Archer 2 supercomputer.

The new supercomputer is expected to be 11 times more powerful than Archer, though since Archer 2 will be built in the same room as the previous model, there will be two to three months of downtime.

Archer 2 will feature 11,696 AMD Epyc Rome CPUs which will allow the device to deliver almost 1.5m processing threads to users.

Archer 2

Archer 2 will aid the UK's science and research community by delivering a significant boost in computing power.

According to pre-construction performance estimates, the new supercomputer already looks to be multiples ahead of the current Archer system and it should be able to deliver 8.7x in CP2K, 9.5x in OpenSBLI, 11.3x in CASTEP, 12.9x in GROMACS and 18.0x in HadGEM3. Archer 2's peak performance is estimated at 28PFLOP per second.

Cray's latest supercomputer will be located in Edinburgh and its internals will be fitted into 23 Shasta Mountain direct liquid cooled cabinets. The inside of Archer 2 will contain 5,848 compute nodes, each with dual AMD Rome 64C / 128T CPUs clocked at 2.2 GHz, along with 1.57PB of RAM.

The original Archer supercomputer will end operation on February 18, 2020 and Archer 2 will become operational just a few months later on May 6, 2020 according to the official UKRI supercomputer site. Those looking to get some hands-on time with Archer 2 will need to wait an additional month for access as the system will be stress tested for 30 days.

Via Hexus

Categories: Tech News

Luigi's Mansion 3: release date, news, and features

Latest Tech News - Wed, 10/16/2019 - 15:26

It’s been six long years since Nintendo last released a game in the Luigi’s Mansion series, and with fans beginning to give up hope of another, the announcement that a sequel will hit Nintendo Switch in 2019 is very welcome news indeed.

Announced with a trailer during a Nintendo Direct on September 13, 2018 the tentatively named Luigi’s Mansion 3, is set to be released on Switch this Halloween - very spooky indeed.

During Nintendo Direct at E3 2019, we got a bunch of new details about what we can expect from the next game in the spooky series. Here's everything we know so far about Luigi's Mansion 3.

[Update: There's some brand new gameplay footage from Luigi's Mansion 3 to feast your eyes on. Check it out below!]

Cut to the chase
  • What is it? The third entry in Nintendo's spooky series
  • When can I play it? October 31st, 2019
  • What can I play it on? Nintendo Switch

Image credit: Nintendo

Luigi's Mansion 3 release date

Luigi's Mansion 3 will launch for Nintendo Switch on October 31st, 2019 (AKA Halloween!). It's a very fitting release date for such a spooky title.

Luigi’s Mansion 3 trailers

A lengthy new Overview Trailer has been released for Luigi's Mansion 3 and it's chock full of new gameplay footage and a look at some new boss fights. The trailer commentary is in Japanese but if you're not a fluent speaker, what you're seeing will pretty much speak for itself. 

Gamescom 2019 brought us our longest look at Luigi's Mansion 3 yet. 30 whole minutes of gameplay showing both single-player and co-op in a brand new garden-themed level. Watch it for yourself below.

Nintendo dropped a more in-depth gameplay trailer for Luigi's Mansion 3 during E3 2019. Check it out below:

Although the first trailer doesn’t give away much, it does give us a sneak peek at the high quality graphics and gameplay. Check it out below:

Luigi's Mansion 3 news and rumors

Post-launch DLC and expanded multiplayer content

Nintendo quietly updated the official website for Luigi's Mansion 3 to reveal that after its Halloween launch, “Paid DLC will come to Luigi's Mansion 3 in the future, adding new content to the ScareScraper and ScreamPark multiplayer modes.” Scarescraper is a co-op multiplayer mode while ScreamPark is a competitive multiplayer so while we can't be certain of which forms the content will take in the paid DLC, nor how much it will cost, we can surmise that it'll be at least as diverse as the two modes.

There are plenty of puzzles in the haunted hotel to keep you occupied (as well as a few hidden secrets). It'll take a combination of Luigi's Poltergust, plungers and Gooigi to solve them.

Gamescom 2019
We got a short amount of time with Luigi's Mansion 3 at Gamescom. Check out our hands on: Luigi's Mansion 3 review. If you want a further in-depth look at the game, don't forget to check out the brand new 30 minutes of footage released during Gamescom above. It gives a look at single-player and co-op in a brand new level of the game. 

Releasing this Halloween
Nintendo has confirmed Luigi's Mansion 3 will launch on October 31st, 2019 (AKA Halloween).

ScareScaper mode
This co-op and competitive mode sees you clearing rooms, taking on ghosts and completing challenges to collect coins. Can be played online or couch co-op.

Lots of rooms in the hotel
Including a greenhouse, film studio, and theatre stage.

Luigi can now summon a flubber-like version of himself that can slip through bars and walk over spikes. Even better, a friend can control Gooigi and you can co-op.

Image credit: Nintendo

New functions
Including Slam (which slams ghosts on the ground), Suction Shot (which attaches the plunger to an item before pulling it away, destorying it), and Burst (an air pressure group attack).

Luigi's Mansion 3 sees Luig being invited to stay in a hotel alongside his friends Mario, Peach and co. But unfortunately the hotel isn't quite what it seems and things take a dark turn when he arrives. There are some ghost guests who refuse to check out and they're not exactly friendly.

Poltergust G-00
Luigi's got a brand new vacuum, in the form of the Poltergust G-00. This new super sucker can fire plungers, use jet propulsion to increase jumping, and use the Strobulb.

Categories: Tech News

Mozilla will launch a beta version of its new VPN

Latest Tech News - Wed, 10/16/2019 - 15:26

Mozilla has announced that it will launch a beta version of its upcoming VPN service in the coming weeks ahead of its general release.

The Firefox-maker launched the Firefox Private Network extension this month and it added a browser proxy to the company's web browser. However, it is currently only available for users in the US and resembles the VPN feature Opera added to its Android browser earlier this year.

Firefox Private Network helps protect user's data online by encrypting it and masking the IP address of a user's connection. Mozilla decided to choose Cloudflare as its partner for the service and Firefox users are connected to the nearest Cloudflare data center when they turn on Private Network in their browser.

The initial release lacked several key features such as the option to select different regions or servers and no information about the connection was displayed in the extension. 

Firefox Private Network

Now Mozilla has released new details about Firefox Private Network in an announcement. According to the company, a version of Private Network will remain free and beta testers will get 12 hours to use the service in the form of four three-hour passes. 

It is worth noting however that these passes run non-stop for three hours at a time without the option to split the time between different periods.

Additionally, Mozilla also plans to offer a paid device-wide solution that will not be tied to its Firefox browser.

Interested users in the US can visit the Firefox Private Network page and sign up to participate in the service's beta themselves.

  • We've also highlighted the best VPN services of 2019

Via GHacks

Categories: Tech News

Best MacBook Pro accessories: the top peripherals for Apple's flagship laptop

Latest Tech News - Wed, 10/16/2019 - 14:58

The best MacBook Pro accessories could increase productivity and make your work flow all the more seamless.

The best MacBook Pro accessories aren’t just for frills. Apple is making the move towards thinner and lighter MacBooks, and while it’s producing laptops that are more powerful than ever in a slimmer and more compact form factor, they’re also now lacking in ports or a reliable, comfortable keyboard.

It’s wise, therefore, to invest in a few peripherals that help to improve your everyday computing experience with the MacBook Pro. We’re not just talking about aesthetically pleasing cases and fancy sound systems here. We’re talking about the best MacBook Pro accessories that should actually help increase productivity and make your work flow all the more seamless, as well as offer a more comfortable experience.

We haven’t had a chance to test all of these products ourselves, but don’t worry – we here at TechRadar are both MacBook and accessory experts, and we’ve used our tech expertise to find the best MacBook Pro accessories on the market right now. 

The Cable Matters Aluminum Thunderbolt 3 Dock gives you access to all the essential ports is kind of a lifesaver.

With Apple updating its MacBook Pro line’s design to only feature Thunderbolt 3 ports, many MacBook Pro users who have upgraded to the latest models have found themselves lacking a variety of ports. Not having an SD card reader is one thing; not having easy access to even one USB 3.0 port is a bit of a disaster, especially since many MacBook Pro users are still relying heavily on those to connect their tools to their main computers.

A dock, therefore, that gives you access to all the essential ports is kind of a life- (not to mention, time- and space-) saver. And for that, Cable Matters’s Aluminum Thunderbolt 3 Dock gets our vote. Highly rated on Amazon, this 60W single cable docking solution gives you a host of ports that include five USB 3.0 ports (one of which boasts charging and syncing capabilities), a UHS-I card reader, an Ethernet port, an HDMI port and two additional Thunderbolt 3 ports. 

Plus, it lets you charge your laptop so you don’t have to have that additional charging cable cluttering your workspace, and it also supports dual 4K displays at 60Hz. This is an all-in-one accessory you won’t regret spending the large sum of cash on.

Logitech MX Master 2S is truly built to make your creative work flows as seamless as they can possibly be.

This writer is a big fan of what could be one of Logitech’s best productivity tools. Proving that a computer mouse can be more than just a pointing device to drag and click, Logitech MX Master 2S is truly built to make your creative work flows as seamless as they can possibly be. This is one of the best mice you’ll ever get your hands on, featuring six buttons and two wheels, all of which are highly configurable to make your computing needs easier – whether you need to open a lot of browser tabs or you have a few devices you’re using at the same time.

But, that’s not all. This mouse is wireless, forgoing the need for cables that only get in the way, and also boasts a battery life that seems to last a lifetime on a single charge (or 70 days, to be exact). Additionally, it’s solidly built, boasts advanced ergonomics and works on any surface. It’s no surprise that this makes our best MacBook Pro accessories list. When purchasing this, consider pairing it with the Logitech Craft Keyboard with Creative Input Dial, which we’re also fans of.

The LaCie Rugged USB-C HDD is rain-resistant, drop-resistant up to 4 feet and pressure resistant up to 1 ton.

It’s no big secret that Apple tends to charge a hefty sum when you try and upgrade your storage drive. They charge so much for so little, in fact, that it’s almost like highway robbery. And, with MacBook Pros already costing you an arm and a leg, it’s not sensible to do the upgrade. You’re better off getting an external hard or solid-state drive instead, which either won’t cost as much or give you more for the same price.

We like our LaCie Rugged USB-C External Hard Drive, which is one of the best MacBook Pro accessories for creative professionals who also travel a lot. In fact, you’ve probably already caught a glimpse of its hard-to-forget orange look being used by content creators at cafes. This rugged HDD, which can also be connected through USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports, is rain-resistant, drop-resistant up to 4 feet and pressure resistant up to 1 ton. It’s also light and compact, which makes it easy to store and lug around when you’re on the go.

But, here’s the best part: for less than what it would cost you to upgrade to a 1TB on your MacBook Pro, you’re getting quintuple the storage space with this external hard drive.

Omni Charge, the world’s first smart power bank, can pretty much charge any device.

These days, working remotely is pretty much part of the deal, whether it’s an occasional perk that your company offers or you’re a freelancer free to work anywhere in the world anytime you want. If you’ve ever worked out of the office, you might know the pain of MacBook Pros not really lasting an entire workday on a single charge. And, sometimes, carrying your charger isn’t enough – you might have to scour the area for a decent spot where you can charge in peace. 

That’s where a power bank capable of charging a laptop comes in. Omni Charge, the self-proclaimed world’s first smart power bank, can pretty much charge any device. And, by any device, we mean from the usual smartphones and tablets to actual laptops, like the MacBook Pro. It has AC/DC charging capabilities on top of its two rapid-charging USB ports, so that you can simultaneously charge everything all at once. It’s capable of charging a MacBook Air once completely, without taking up too much space in your backpack.

Working on the idea that any space can be your workspace, this device is one of the best MacBook Pro accessories designed specifically for the mobile lifestyle.

The Stand Steady SideTrak Monitor will save you a lot of time and make your work flow more efficient.

Admittedly, there’s still a few kinks to be worked out. However, considering that the light and thin SideTrak Monitor is Stand Steady’s first attempt at a secondary monitor, it’s actually very impressive. If you’ve got anything like this writer’s daily workload, this monitor will save you a lot of time and make your work flow more efficient. If not, then you’ve got a screen to put Netflix on so you won’t have to compromise on your work area, which will help with productivity.

Granted, Apple is just about ready to release macOS Catalina, which should allow iPad users to utilize their tablets as a secondary screen to their MacBooks. Still, SideTrak’s got that feature beat when it comes to a few things. To start, this 1080p resolution IPS display is designed to be mounted on the back of your laptop screen, which means it’s actually naturally situated right next to your main display, making your experience all the more seamless. It also rotates 270-degrees so that it may be utilized for intimate group presentations and collaborations. 

If you’re looking for the best MacBook Pro accessories to increase productivity and cut down the amount of time you work on tasks, the SideTrak Monitor is one of them.

Categories: Tech News

UK government abandons its porn block plans

Latest Tech News - Wed, 10/16/2019 - 14:37

The UK government has announced that its controversial plans for a porn block to prevent children from viewing adult content online have been dropped.

The porn block was first announced in 2015 and was slated to come into effect last year but it was repeatedly delayed as the government continually ran into problems regarding its implementation.

Under the policy, all adult internet users that wished to view pornographic content online in the UK would have had to prove that they were over 18 by providing some form of identification. Websites that refused to implement the age checks faced being blocked by UK ISPs or having access to payment services withdrawn.

The porn block however ran into legal, practical and technical difficulties. Privacy groups protested that it would be possible to connect an individual's online browsing habits to their identity and this data could potentially be obtained by hackers, despite reassurances from age-verification sites.

The UK government was also forced to exempt large social media sites from the porn block over fears that sites such as Twitter and Reddit could be blocked for allowing users to access adult content.

Porn block

Back in June, the implementation of the porn block was delayed for an additional six months as the government had failed to inform the EU of its proposals.

In a written statement, the new digital secretary Nicky Morgan explained that although the porn block is no more, the government's proposed online harms regulation will continue to protect children online, saying:

“The government has concluded that this objective of coherence will be best achieved through our wider online harms proposals. As a consequence, will not be commencing Part 3 of the Digital Economy Act 2017 concerning age verification for online pornography. The Digital Economy Act objectives will, therefore, be delivered through our proposed online harms regulatory regime. This course of action will give the regulator discretion on the most effective means for companies to meet their duty of care.”

While a nice idea to protect children from being exposed to adult content online, the porn block was overly complicated and had the potential to open the private online activities of adults up to hackers.

  • Browse the internet without restrictions with the best VPN services of 2019

Via The Independent

Categories: Tech News

Best MacBook Air cases: the top shells and sleeves for MacBook Air

Latest Tech News - Wed, 10/16/2019 - 14:20

If you've got a MacBook Air, you'd be smart to make sure it's protected. The aluminum chassis on the laptop helps keep it stable and light, but the MacBook Air won't look nearly as nice if that metal gets scratched or dented. That's where a MacBook Air case, skin or sleeve can come in.

MacBook Air cases will offer extra protection for your device, helping keep it safe in the event of falls, scrapes, dents and other mishaps. So, when the worst happens, the case can take the brunt of the accident instead of your expensive MacBook Air. Even if you got a great MacBook Air deal, it's worth it to protect it with a case.

We haven’t had a chance to test all of these cases ourselves, but don’t worry – we here at TechRadar are both Mac and accessory experts, and we’ve used our tech expertise to find the MacBook Air cases on the market right now. And, because we’ve included our exclusive price comparison tool, you can be confident that you’re getting the best MacBook Air case deal on the internet. 

Mosiso's MacBook Air case is an excellent option for the 13-inch laptop. It offers protection for the top, bottom and sides of the device. These cases even include screen protectors and keyboard covers. And, if simple protection isn't enough, the Mosiso MacBook Air cases come in a wide variety of styles, so you can change up the look of your laptop to whatever suits you. That style even extends to the keyboard cover in many cases. It's all the better when considering the case keeps all the ports available, has ventilation on the bottom, and includes rubber feet so your MacBook Air won't slide around too much.

If you want to protect your MacBook Air while upgrading its style, then dbrand is your best bet. dbrand's textured vinyl skins come in an incredible variety of styles, and you can decide whether you want to cover the top, bottom, palm rest, trackpad, or any combination of these. You can get the protection and look you want. From plain colors to skins that mimic materials like wood and stone, there's an option for you. The skins easily adhere to your device without leaving residue if you want to remove them later. 

If you don't want a case that lives on your MacBook Air permanently, then you can protect your device with a sleeve. And, the Dagne Dover sleeve has Apple's blessing, as it's sold directly on Apple's website. It offers the cushion that comes with neoprene as well as the water resistance. The sleeve includes a secondary pocket inside that can fit a notepad or iPad as well. And, an included strap attaches to the sleeve for easy carrying when you're on the go. Unlike most cases, if you upgrade to a similar-sized laptop later, you'll likely still be able to use the sleeve.

MoKo's faux leather sleeve for the MacBook Air offers a convenient and classy way to carry your laptop from place to place while keeping it safe. The sleeve shuts securely with a magnetic clasp, but it leaves a small gap so you can plug your charger in while the MacBook Air is inside. The suede-style, felt interior keeps your laptop safe from scuffing. And, an exterior pocket can store papers while an additional card holder can store your ID or a credit card. 

If you have an older 13-inch MacBook Air, you may need something a little different. That model from 2010 to 2017 had a different design from the newer models, but Speck has a form-fitting case that can keep it protect so you can get even more longevity out of the laptop. The Presidio Clear case shows through so you can see the original color of your laptop. Meanwhile, its dual-layer design ensures a snug fit while also offering drop protection for falls up to four feet. Showing even more consideration, the design has raised edges, so you can get a better grip of the device and avoid drops in the first place.

  • These are the best Macs with which to accessorize
Categories: Tech News

Best AMD Ryzen laptops: the top laptops with AMD processors inside

Latest Tech News - Wed, 10/16/2019 - 14:06

AMD is scoring some serious credit with its latest Ryzen 3000 series processors (CPUs) in desktop computers, but when it comes to mobile devices, Intel has still dominated. But, there are secretly plenty of great Ryzen laptops available running on AMD's hardware. 

More and more manufacturers are beginning to include AMD's CPUs in their machines, including higher-end devices. And, with AMD's push into efficient 7-nanometer architecture, it's likely we'll continue to see more AMD CPUs powering laptops in the future.

If you want to get your hands on a laptop running on a Ryzen CPU right now, there are some strong options. 

We haven’t had a chance to test all of these laptops ourselves, but don’t worry – we here at TechRadar are laptop experts, and we’ve used our tech expertise to find the best AMD Ryzen laptops on the market right now.

If you want a Ryzen laptop that can flip over backward to work in tablet mode as well, then the HP Envy x360 13 is a strong choice. It features mobile Ryzen 3000-series CPUs in a quality chassis that won't weight down your backpack or wallet.

For productivity, you'll get plenty of mileage from the Ryzen CPU inside, and the Vega graphics can give you a slight boost in certain tasks. The display is a Full HD touchscreen with Gorilla Glass protecting it, and it's decently bright. All of that comes in a metal body that's almost too slick for the price HP asks.

Read the full HP Envy x360 13 review

The ThinkPad is one of the most iconic laptops there is, and Lenovo has added Ryzen processors into the ThinkPad X395, a thin and light model. The laptop can feature up to a Ryzen 7 Pro 3700U quad-core CPU and 16GB of DDR4-2400 memory. It also uses a PCIe-based SSD for fast storage.

The ThinkPad X395 has a 13.3-inch anti-glare display available at up to Full HD with a 300-nit IPS panel. At just 16.9mm thick and 1.28kg (2.84 pounds), the X395 is thin and light, making it easy to take with you. And, thanks to a tough design and a spill-resistant keyboard, you can count on the ThinkPad X395 to withstand some abuse and the occasional mishap.

If you want to game on AMD's hardware, the Acer Nitro 5 has you covered. It comes at an affordable price while packing a Ryzen 7 3550H quad-core CPU and Radeon RX 560X GPU for the full AMD gaming experience. It comes with 8GB of memory (RAM) installed, but there are two memory slots, opening the door for upgrades.

That combination of hardware should be a decent amount of power to handle gaming on the 15.6-inch, Full HD display of this laptop. There are plenty of USB ports to connect peripherals like gaming headsets and mice. And, thanks to the narrow bezels on either side of the display in this new model, the Nitro 5 is as svelte as ever.

Lenovo's Flex 14 series of 2-in-1 laptops has received the Ryzen treament, with new models including up to the Ryzen 7 3700U CPU, though we like the value of the Ryzen 5 3500U model we've found with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. The laptop includes a 14-inch, Full HD display that fully supports the included active stylus, so you can get artsy with this laptop.

With the 360-degree hinge, you can flip the laptop over to use as a tablet. And, Lenovo's fast-charging can get your battery back up to 80% charge in just an hour. It also include both USB-C and USB-A ports for versatile connection options.

The Asus ZenBook 14 puts Ryzen CPUs into one of their most elegant homes. It's designed thin and light, weighing just 1.12kg and measuring just 16.9mm thick. That's achieved in part thanks to the super slim bezels, which measure just 2.9mm on the sides of the display.

Thanks to this design, Asus manages to fit a 14-inch display into a smaller form factor. And, that display has 100% coverage of the sRGB color space. Despite its thin design, the laptop still has two USB-A ports and a full HDMI port along with a 3.5mm headphone jack, USB-C and a microSD card reader.

Inside, it comes with up to a Ryzen 7 CPU with 16GB RAM and 1TB of PCIe SSD storage. All of that's packed into a rugged aluminum chassis. As a fun extra, the trackpad doubles as a number bad. You can see our review of the Asus ZenBook 14 Intel-model here. We're still waiting on availability of the Ryzen models.

Categories: Tech News