Tech News

The best iPhone 7 deals in June 2019

Latest Tech News - Thu, 06/20/2019 - 07:17

iPhone 7 deals might now be the oldest option from mega company Apple you can still buy, but for the price you can now pay, they are our go to cheap iPhone.

Not to mention the price of iPhone 7 deals remain comforting amongst Apple's usual gut-wrenching prices we've come to expect.

So forget the likes of iPhone XR deals and the rest of Apple's newer range, iPhone 7 deals are here for the budget buyers of the world. When it comes to Apple, we can't imagine a better bargain than this. Of course if affordable pricing is less of an issue for you and specs is your core focus, then another iPhone deal would probably be better.

But despite its age the iPhone 7 still rocks many of the specs we have come to expect from Apple. A mid-size battery, strong processor and the much loved iOS features Apple has made famous.

When it comes to choosing the tariff for you there is still a surprisingly large range of iPhone 7 deals. Big data remains affordable and brilliant cheap contracts under £20 are readily available. We're now even starting to see offers as low as the £15 a month price.

On this page you'll find all of the best iPhone 7 deals you can get right now. Whether you're looking for unlimited data, a free phone or any other type of tariff, you can use our comparison chart below to choose the cheapest option out there. Scroll down to find the best deal for you.


See also: iPhone 8 deals | iPhone 7 Plus deals | iPhone 7 SIM-free | Samsung Galaxy S8 deals | Best mobile phone deals | iPhone deals 

Top 5 best iPhone 7 deals in the UK today

The Apple iPhone 7 might now have fallen behind, becoming one of Apple's older devices and yet, the specs till hold up. The battery might not be market leading but for the price you pay for iPhone 7 deals, the water resistance, impressive camera and strong processor are a perfect combination.

Read TechRadar's full iPhone 7 review


Categories: Tech News

Vivo Y12 with triple camera launched in India for Rs 12,490

Latest Tech News - Thu, 06/20/2019 - 07:13

Vivo launched the Vivo Y12 smartphone today. The company's newest device retails at Rs 12,490. It is available only through major offline stores across the country.

Specifications

The Y12 comes in a single configuration- with  4GB RAM + 32GB storage. It has a 6.35-inch HD+ (720x1544 pixels) Halo FullView LCD panel with 19.3:9 aspect ratio and  a waterdrop notch.  Under the hood is a MediaTek Helio P22 (MT6762) octa-core SoC. 

The Vivo Y12 features a triple rear camera setup- a 13MP primary sensor, 8MP secondary sensor, and a 2MP tertiary sensor, as well as  an LED flash. The camera supports a list of features, including Time-Lapse, Live Photos, HDR, Portrait Mode, Panorama, and Super Wide-Angle Camera among others. It also has PDAF support.

The selfie camera in front has an 8MP sensor with Portrait Bokeh and AI Face Beauty support.

Connectivity options include 4G LTE, dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v5.0, GPS/ A-GPS, FM radio, a micro-USB port with USB OTG support, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. There is a fingerprint sensor at the back of the phone. Other onboard sensors include an accelerometer, ambient light sensor, magnetometer, and a proximity sensor.

The Y12 packs a whopping 5000mAh battery, said to work with preloaded power-saving technologies to deliver an extended usage on a single charge. Useful, considering there's no fast-charging support. 

The Vivo Y12 comes in two colour variants: Burgundy Red and Aqua Blue.

Categories: Tech News

Dixons Carphone posts annual loss after mobile business write-down

Latest Tech News - Thu, 06/20/2019 - 06:58

Dixons Carphone has reported a pre-tax statutory loss of £259 million for the past 12 months, largely thanks to a write-down in the value of its mobile business last December.

Carphone Warehouse is the UK’s largest mobile phone retailer, but it has struggled to cope with changing consumer habits.

A saturated market and longer refresh cycles are lowering contract renewal rates, making SIM-Only tariffs and SIM-free handsets more popular, squeezing margins.

Dixons Carphone profits

CEO Alex Baldock is currently leading a transformation of the business, expressing a desire to “reset” Dixons Carphone’s relationship with operators so they are more sustainable and believes that combined with plans to improve its technology, train staff and offer credit services, the firm can revitalise its mobile business and drive online sales.

In addition, Dixons Carphone says it has identified £200 million worth of cost savings that can be achieved through efficiency measures, while 92 of its 700 stores are set to be closed.

UK and Ireland mobile revenues fell by a reported 11 per cent over the past 12 months, but there was good news in the electrical sector where it increased market share and revenues.

It’s also worth pointing out that once the write-down is taken out of account, pre-tax profits for the entire group are £298 million – although this is lower than the £382 million it posted last year.

Baldock told investors he as happy with the ongoing transformation but warned them to expect more pain in the coming months before the turnaround was complete.

“In UK mobile, the market is changing in the way we described in December, but doing so faster,” he said. “So, we’re moving faster to respond: we’ve renegotiated all our legacy network contracts, we’re developing our new customer offer, and are accelerating the integration of Mobile and Electricals into one business.

“This means taking more pain in the coming year, when Mobile will make a significant loss. But accelerating our transformation provides certainty that this year is the trough, as during next year the legacy contractual constraints on our Mobile business lift, and the integration cost benefits build. We expect Mobile will at least break even within two years, and beyond that, equipped with a stronger and unconstrained offer, we will of course aim to do better.

Categories: Tech News

A city in trouble: is ransomware here to stay?

Latest Tech News - Thu, 06/20/2019 - 04:30

Since the beginning of May, Baltimore has been crippled by a huge ransomware attack that has held many of the city’s IT systems hostage. The attack has ‘shut down’ thousands of government computers, causing everything from water bill payment disruptions to  real estate sales delays.

The hackers behind this have demanded 13 bitcoins — worth about $100,000 – in order to restore these critical IT systems. Baltimore City Mayor, Jack Young, has publicly stated that the city will not pay the ransom demand. But even though the FBI, Secret Service and a host of cybersecurity experts are working hard to restore things, new reports indicate the attack will ultimately cost the city more than $18 million.

A couple of weeks ago, a Krebs on Security post quoted a source who said “it’s not terribly likely” that the Eternal Blue exploit was used to propagate the Robbinhood ransomware, debunking earlier reports that linked the Baltimore ransomware attack to the hacking tool developed by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and leaked online a couple of years ago.

Local governments and state departments need to prepare for a surge in ransomware

According to the latest Verizon DBIR report, ransomware accounts for nearly 24 percent of all malware-related attacks across industries. Meanwhile, a 2019 Beazley Group breach insights report notes a staggering 105 percent spike in ransomware notifications from the first quarter of 2018 to the same period this year. Payment demands are also increasing. The Beazley report indicates that the average payment in the first quarter of 2019 – $224,871 – has already far-surpassed 2018’s total of $116,324.

As shown by the Baltimore attack, state and local governments seem to be particularly vulnerable to ransomware. Cybersecurity research firm Recorded Future recently published an interesting study on the surge in state and local government ransomware attacks targeting essential infrastructure and processes. It revealed that reported attacks on state and local government skyrocketed by 39 percent in the US in 2018, and that many of these attacks were opportunistic: in most cases, attackers “stumbled” upon public-sector entities when looking for vulnerable targets.

While this is a worrying trend across the pond, the UK isn’t faring much better. The most recent Cyber Security Breaches Survey released by the UK government showed that 27 percent of businesses and 18 percent of charities who were victims of an attack last year were hit by ransomware, making it a significant threat. And while other attack techniques such as phishing are increasingly popular amongst hackers, the damage ransomware can inflict on organisations is much more significant. Indeed, 58 percent of businesses and charities are more likely to report negative outcomes from ransomware than from any other type of attack.

Image credit: Shutterstock

How do we combat the ransomware threat?

While there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach for ransomware prevention, there are steps government agencies and enterprises alike can take to reduce the risk of malware (such as Robbinhood) from spreading and crippling systems.

1. Backup all critical data 

This may seem like a basic point, but it’s amazing how many organisations don’t do this on a regular basis. Prioritise data that is critical to your organisation and consistently back it up so that if files are locked and held for ransom, you can still keep (at least parts of) your business on the move.

2. Never stop patching

Consistently patching endpoints and servers will dramatically reduce the attack surface, making a compromise far less likely. If you haven’t already, stop what you’re doing and immediately disable the (very) outdated Microsoft SMB protocol version 1 or apply patch MS17-010. And take it one step further than that. Patch all vulnerable software regularly to help prevent ransomware infections – and make sure your antivirus, firewall and other perimeter protection tools are always up to date.

3. Beware of phishing 

According to the Verizon DBIR report, phishing is involved in 32 percent of today’s breaches and 78 percent of cyber-espionage incidents. Attackers often begin their malware attacks through targeted phishing campaigns. If you receive an unsolicited call, email, text message or chat, do not respond or click on any links – even if the person claims to be from a legitimate department – before confirming legitimacy.

4. Remove local admin privileges to contain and block attacks

While employee education around phishing is imperative, it cannot stop there. Removing local administrator rights is the foundation of effective endpoint security. By implementing a combination of least privilege and application control policies on endpoints and servers as part of a larger Zero Trust approach, you can mitigate the risk of malware like Robbinhood spreading from its initial infection point.

So, there we have it. Ransomware attacks are only set to increase, and the Baltimore example is a timely reminder of how damaging and widespread the fallout can be. There is too much at stake by government departments and businesses not taking the necessary measures to patch, back up sensitive data and educate employees as to the evolving threat.

Categories: Tech News

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 could have this next-gen sound tech

Latest Tech News - Thu, 06/20/2019 - 04:07

We're expecting the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 to come packed with cutting-edge premium features like four rear cameras and a 5G variant, and it looks like there's another feature the phone might come with too – Sound on Display (SoD) tech.

SoD means that instead of a front-facing speaker on the top of a handset, its whole screen vibrates like a diaphragm to create sound.

We've seen this tech in the LG G8 ThinQ and Huawei P30 Pro already, so the Galaxy Note 10 wouldn't be the first phone to use the feature, but it's still novel in the phones world.

The news of this potential feature comes from leaked photos of screen protectors for the Galaxy Note 10, which lack any upper notch or bezel. Reliable leaker @Universeice claims this is because the upcoming handsets will use SoD tech instead.

The rumor makes sense, because it allows Samsung to increase the screen-to-body ratio of the phone by eliminating this front-facing speaker, and judging by other leaks and the design of the Samsung Galaxy S10 this is the company's goal. As with all leaks though, it's not guaranteed, so don't get your hopes (too far) up.

It's worth bearing in mind that in previous phones, SoD was only used for phone calls and a few other specific tasks, but not music or other media – if the Galaxy Note 10 goes the same route, its only speaker for media will be the bottom-firing ones, meaning it could have worse audio quality that competitors.

We may find out more about the device on August 7, as that's when Samsung is tipped to launch the phone, so stay tuned to TechRadar for all the latest leaks and news until then.

Via GSMArena

Categories: Tech News

Apple Watch will allow you to delete default apps in watchOS 6

Latest Tech News - Thu, 06/20/2019 - 04:00

Although the Apple Watch doesn't come with an overwhelming amount of native apps, Apple will apparently allow you to delete its own services from the device when you upgrade it to watchOS 6.

This comes from TechCrunch, who have spoken to people familiar with the matter who claim all Apple services will soon be removable from the smartwatch.

That includes Alarm, Timer, Stopwatch, Remote, Camera Remote, Radio, ECG and Breathe. 

If that's the case, it's also likely upcoming Apple services for the watch will be removable too. That includes Noise, Cycle Tracking, Calculator, Apple Books and Voice Memos.

Previously Apple has only allowed you to remove third-party apps from the Apple Watch, and it's currently unclear how you'll be able to get the services back if you've deleted them.

This is expected to come in watchOS 6 alongside a new dedicated App Store, a menstrual cycle tracking app and a service that listens to ambient noise to help protect your hearing.

That software upgrade is coming to all versions of the Apple Watch, apart from the original generation so as long as you're using an Apple Watch Series 1 or above you'll be able to do this.

We're currently expecting to see watchOS 6 land in September this year alongside the rumored iPhone 11 and Apple Watch 5.

Via Wareable

Categories: Tech News

Australia vs Bangladesh live stream: how to watch today's Cricket World Cup 2019 from anywhere

Latest Tech News - Thu, 06/20/2019 - 03:21

Australia have won four of their five opening Cricket World Cup 2019 matches while still seemingly having an extra couple of gears to crank up. Bangladesh go into the match off the back of one of the most impressive performances from any team in the tournament so far. Today's showdown should be a fascinating clash and it's one you'll be able to watch no matter where you are in the world by using our Australia vs Bangladesh live stream guide below.

The Tigers somehow managed to chase down the West Indies’ 321 on Tuesday thanks to a dynamite batting display which saw them reach the target with 8.3 overs to spare, losing just three wickets in the process.

But the history books don't make pretty reading for Bangladesh, only winning one of the previous 19 completed matches between these two sides. There are also doubts surrounding the fitness of their skipper Mashrafe Mortaza who was forced to drop out of fielding duties against the Windies after suffering a hamstring problem.

Australia on the other hand may be able to call upon Marcus Stoinis who appears to be back to match fitness after overcoming a side strain. Assistant coach Brad Haddin has admitted the Aussie's are still to find their best eleven and will be hoping today's match may provide some answers as they look to seal their place in the semi-finals.

You’ll be able to watch all the action with ease from anywhere in the world if you follow our Australia vs Bangladesh live stream guide below.  

Watch a Cricket World Cup 2019 live stream from outside your country

If you're in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, US or India and looking to find out how to watch the match, we've got all the details about the broadcaster in your region below. 

If you're away from home country and looking to tune in you'll likely to find you won't be able to thanks to geo-blocking. Thankfully there's a way to alleviate that frustration. By using a VPN you'll be able to watch the game safely without having to take a chance on an illegal feed from a website that's likely infested with malware.

How to watch the Aussies today: live stream in Australia

How to watch the game in New Zealand live stream 

How to watch the cricket in Pakistan for FREE

How to stream Australia vs Bangladesh live in the UK 

How to stream 2019 Cricket World Cup online in India

How to watch Australia vs Bangladesh: US live stream 

Categories: Tech News

RHA's T20 Wireless headphones cuts the cord on audiophile buds

Latest Tech News - Thu, 06/20/2019 - 03:01

Remember those RHA T20 earphones that blew us away with their audiophile-quality sound? Well, now the audio brand has cut the cord on the popular buds to bring us the RHA T20 Wireless headphones, which boast 12 hours of battery life and fidelity aptX Bluetooth.

The new earphones are connected by a neckband, and use RHA's proprietary DualCoil drivers, which are designed to reproduce "refined, high-resolution audio," according to the company.

Like their wired predecessors, the T20 Wireless headphones include three different tuning filters, which adjust the sound signature of the buds to suit the genre of music you're listening to, and your personal tastes when it comes to audio. 

The Reference filter is designed for crisp, balanced listening, and will probably suit audiophiles best, while the Bass filter is made to highlight the lowest frequencies in rock and hip-hop tracks. 

Lastly, there's the Treble filter, which is designed to "highlight details in the upper frequencies – ideal for jazz, acoustic, or classical tracks".

Image credit: RHA

Hi-Res comes at a price

The RHA T20 Wireless headphones also come with an optional 3.5mm wired connection, which the company says can deliver Hi-Res Audio and a frequency range of 16Hz - 40,000Hz. 

Without the wired connection, the neckband offers 12 hours battery life, as well as a universal remote, which allows users to "switch between music, calls, and digital assistant functions at the touch of a button". 

The wireless earphones come with silicone and foam eartips, in a range of sizes to suit every ear. 

With an IPX4 rating, the RHA T20 Wireless headphones should be able to withstand sweaty workout sessions and spots of rain alike – and with sports and clothing clips included, you can use the headphones with a wired connection without the cable getting caught in your zipper as you run.

So what's the catch? Well, these wireless earphones come at a price – they're available to buy in the US and UK for $249.95 / £199.95, $40 / £40 more expensive than their wired counterparts.

That works out at around AU$360, however, the T20 Wireless headphones are not yet available to buy in Australia.

RHA do offer more budget-friendly wireless earphones though; the RHA MA390 Wireless headphones cost $70 / £60 and still sound great. 

Categories: Tech News

Best smartwatch: the top smartwatches you can buy in 2019 in the UAE

Latest Tech News - Thu, 06/20/2019 - 01:17

Update: It's not strictly a sequel to the Samsung Galaxy Watch, but we've just placed the Galaxy Watch Active in our list below. It's a sportier version of our best smartwatch without the rotatable bezel, plus the price is lower too.

A smartwatch is the ultimate phone accessory. It can tell the time, of course, but it can also beam important notifications straight to your wrist, track your fitness stats and pay for your morning coffee.

Today's best smartwatch models can perform a ton of tricks, such as enabling you to search the internet with your voice, track your location with GPS or even monitor your heart rate to protect your overall health – with our without pairing to one of the best smartphones on the market.

Oh, and some of them look absolutely stunning too. If you're thinking that a smartwatch is a pointlessly geeky accessory... think again. The choices we've ranked below are well-made, powerful and can genuinely make you fitter through some smart nudges.

We've tested the vast majority of the top-end wearables you can buy right now from the Apple Watch to Fitbits, Garmin trackers to Tizen-sporting Samsung smartwatches. There's also Wear OS (you may have known that in its previous incarnation called Android Wear) which is Google's own wearable operating system in the vein of Apple's watchOS.

During our review process, we take into account the design, features, battery life, spec, price and more for each smartwatch, rank it against the competition and enter it into the list you'll find below.

Smartwatches come and go from the ranking depending on the rest of the competition at the time, and bear in mind we may see products like the Honor Watch Magic appear in the list after we've tested them properly.

It looks like 2019 is set to be a big year in the wearables space too, so expect lots of change in this list if we hear official announcements for products like the Google Pixel Watch and the Apple Watch 5.

The Apple Watch Series 4 is our favorite smartwatch you can buy right now. This is the first time Apple has updated the design of its smartwatch line, and it looks all the better for it.

You get a much bigger screen with the choice of 40mm or 44mm watch sizes, there's a wider display (which is still bright and clear) as well as all the rest of the tech we've come to expect from the Apple Watch.

The speaker on this watch is louder than before, the design is still lightweight (yet it feels premium) and you can use all your existing Apple Watch straps with this latest generation too.

The most exciting tech is the fact there's an ECG feature within the heart rate tracker. It can test your heart to see if you're at a high risk of atrial fibrillation, which will allow you to seek help earlier if your health is in danger.

This tech isn't present at launch, and right now we only know it'll be available in the US. I's not an upgrade relevant to everyone, but for some people this could be some life changing tech.

There are still tons of fitness features and the latest watchOS 5 apps onboard so you'll likely love this smartwatch. The Apple Watch 4 is our favorite watch you can use with an iPhone (this won't work with Android devices), but it's just been pipped to the title of best overall smartwatch.

Read our full Apple Watch 4 review

One of the best smartwatches you can buy right now is the Samsung Galaxy Watch. Following on from the Gear S3 series and the Gear Sport in 2017, the Galaxy Watch is much improved.

We've tested out the larger 46mm version of the watch and it comes with a phenomenal four day battery life even when you're using it extensively. That's impressive considering a lot of other watches on this list last a day or so from a single charge.

The rotating bezel remains a highlight of navigating around the Tizen OS on the watch, and the interface is one of the easiest to pick up that we've seen on a smartwatch.

Apps available on the watch are more limited than Wear OS or watchOS 4 - two rival smartwatch operating systems - but it still offers the core basics and Samsung had provided a watch that's good at fitness as well as sporting a great design and lots more functionality too.

Read the full Samsung Galaxy Watch review

Fitbit is one of the biggest names in fitness tracking tech, but until late in 2017 the company hadn't gone anywhere near smartwatches. 

The company has now released two smartwatches, and both feature on this list but first we're starting with our favorite that was announced in March 2018 and will be ready to buy in mid-April.

That favorite from Fitbit is the Versa that is a touch smaller than the other one (that's the Ionic) but it comes with Fitbit Pay for contactless payments, 2.5GB of storage for music and battery life that'll last around three days.

It doesn't have GPS for tracking your runs and the design doesn't feel as premium as some of the other watches on this list, but we really like the Fitbit Versa and it's one of the more affordable choices on this list.

Read the full Fitbit Versa review

The Apple Watch 3 (or Apple Watch Series 3, if you're picky) was the best smartwatch but has recently been bumped off the top spot by the launch of Samsung Galaxy Watch and Apple Watch 4. 

The LTE connection is the headline event, although that's not really as useful as some might hope - plus it costs a lot more to use, and drains the battery.

What we like is the non-LTE version, which is a lot cheaper, and offers all the smarts of the Watch 2 but with a longer battery life and faster speeds when flicking through apps. This is the right kind of upgrade on the best smartwatch in the world.

It's still water-resistant so you can swim with it and you won't have to worry about getting it wet in the rain when you're out for a jog. There's GPS onboard to make running that little bit easier plus it comes running the latest watchOS 4 software and will be updated to watchOS 5 later in the year.

Read the full Apple Watch 3 review

What's next? The Apple Watch 4 was announced on September 12 sporting two new sizes, a larger screen than the Watch 3 and new internal tech. It's also the first watch that can carry out an ECG, too. Be sure to read our hands on Apple Watch 4 review, and expect to hear whether it places in this list in the next few weeks.

You've already heard all about the Samsung Galaxy Watch, but what if you just don't want a large version of its wearable? Samsung has shrunk down most of the tech available in the Galaxy Watch into this more sport appropriate package that's slimmer, lighter and, arguably, more comfortable.

The Galaxy Watch Active features a 1.1-inch 360 x 360 display that while being bright and beautiful allows for a smaller watch to be strapped around your wrist than a lot of the other devices in this list.

It still comes sporting all of the top-end fitness features you'd expect from Samsung's Tizen watch range, but it lacks the rotating bezel or an LTE option that you'd get from the top-end product.

The best part is how the price has shrunk to match its size. It's certainly not a cheap smartwatch, but when compared to the original RRP of the Galaxy Watch you may prefer to opt for this version that's remarkably similar.

Read the full Samsung Galaxy Watch Active review

Categories: Tech News

YouTube and Universal Music are teaming up to remaster 1,000 classic music videos

Latest Tech News - Wed, 06/19/2019 - 22:37

We all love revisiting classic music videos from time to time, but it's safe to say that many older clips don't hold up quite as well as they should – largely due to being made for TV viewing in the standard definition era.

YouTube and Universal Music Group (UMG) apparently feel the same way, with the two companies having today announced a plan to give 1,000 iconic videos the full remastering treatment by the year 2020.

The restoration endeavor has already resulted in 100 videos receiving the HD treatment – Spike Jonze's outstanding music video for the Beastie Boys' 'Sabotage' can now be viewed in glorious 1080p, while the timeless Beats by Dre product placements of Lady Gaga's more recent 'Bad Romance' video have also been brought into the world of high definition. 

The restoration game

"Starting today, exclusively on YouTube, you’ll find more than 100 music videos in the highest available video and audio quality, including titles from Billy Idol, Beastie Boys, Boyz II Men, George Strait, Janet Jackson, Kiss, Lady Antebellum, Lady Gaga, Lionel Richie, Maroon 5, Meat Loaf, No Doubt/Gwen Stefani, Smokey Robinson, The Killers, Tom Petty and more," read YouTube's announcement.

While YouTube's official blog states that its efforts with UMG involve "painstakingly remastering some of the most important works in the history of the format to the highest possible standards," the post does not offer any other technical details on how the restoration is being done. 

Based on the videos released so far we'd wager that, at least in some cases, they've simply been upscaled, rather than receiving a full restoration from the original masters – check out the soft-looking video for Tom Petty's 'Free Fallin'' below to see what we mean.

Of course, there's only so much that can be done with a music video that's now 30 years old. 

Nevertheless, we can't wait to see which other Universal artists are brought into high definition next –  some of Queen's music videos, perhaps? Blind Melon's 'No Rain'? The list is practically endless...

Categories: Tech News

Virtual Vikings: how volumetric capture is making VR feel real

Latest Tech News - Wed, 06/19/2019 - 19:01

There's never been a better time to be a VR enthusiast. With the increased presence of standalone, wireless headsets, plus the advanced motion tracking and screen resolutions to make VR experiences vaguely in sync with our body’s own senses, we’re now reaching a point where VR simulations are starting to feel, if not real, certainly more realistic than they used to be.

We’re still far from the Matrix, however. Developers are still trying to get around basic physical issues like motion sickness and eye strain, while the kinds of human character models generated for VR game engines – or any game engine, for that matter – are anything but lifelike.

With volumetric capture, though, that might start to change.

I made a visit to Dimension, a VR production studio working with the new video capture technology, to find out how a simulation of a Viking battle ship could signal the future of interactive VR experiences. 

What is volumetric capture?

When you're capturing that much detail, you need good lighting (Image Credit: TechRadar)

Volumetric capture is a relatively new video capture technology for recreating people and objects in virtual reality. Patented by Microsoft, with only two studios currently licensing the technology worldwide – Dimension being one of them – it has the potential to change the level of immersion and emotional engagement we get from VR.

Instead of using a 360-degree camera that snaps real-life footage in all directions, or recreating an entire scene in a computer physics engine, volumetric capture uses a vast array of cameras in a dedicated capture studio – recording from multiple angles to capture an incredible amount of detail, when is then scanned into a CGI environment.

Dimension’s capture stage has 106 individual cameras (53 RGB, 53 infra-red) as well as eight directional microphones to capture audio in real-time, instead of adding in separately in post-production. The full array is able to capture over 10GB of detail per second, at 30 frames per second – or 20GB/s at 60 frames per second.

106 cameras capture the actors from all angles (Image Credit: TechRadar)

Steve Jelly, managing director of Hammerhead (which owns and operates Dimension), ran me through how the process works:

“Half of [the cameras] are shooting visible light, and the other half are shooting infra-red light, which is lit by these lasers here… and that helps our algorithms figure out form as well as color. 

“We take those images, and then we run them through a massive computer farm over the road, which basically computes every position of every single pixel in space, creates a mesh, and wraps the video footage over the top of it.”

The precision of the mapping method, which uses “thousands of tiny dots” to capture 3D objects, means that the cameras can even recreate details as small as the folds in your clothes – far more detail than you’d get with traditional motion capture methods, which rely on recreating gesture and movement within a computer-generated ‘puppet’.

“That’s the problem [with motion capture],” said Jelley. “You can make it look fantastic, if you got a lot of money, and you’re outputting a 2D frame, but you always lose something in translation.”

What do Vikings have to do with anything?

A Viking vessel at sunset (Image Credit: Dimension)

We arrived at Dimension’s studio to try out a preview of Virtual Viking: The Ambush. A collaboration between Ridley Scott’s production studio RSA Films and the interaction entertainment center The Viking Planet in Olso, it’s one of the latest examples of how immersive the VR experiences of tomorrow could be.

The Ambush is a historically-accurate recreation of a Viking battle ship in VR, using expertise from a host of era-appropriate museums – “wherever there are Viking boats”, we were told – and research texts such as Kim Hjardar’s Vikings at War. Produced for The Viking Planet center in Olso, Norway, the demo is set to be part of a wider exhibition of the lives of Norse seafarers, using a number of VR headsets to bring budding historians onto a Viking ship in the heat of battle.

Given the involvement of Microsoft, it’s unsurprising that The Ambush runs on a Windows Mixed Reality headset: the HP Reverb

The Reverb does, however, have one of the sharpest displays on the market, with 2,160 x 2,160 resolution per-eye panels, delivering twice the display resolution of the HTC Vive Pro and Samsung Odyssey+. Not to mention six degrees of freedom for fluid movement in 360 degrees.

The HP Reverb features a crisp 2,160 x 2,160 resolution per eye (Image Credit: TechRadar)

We’re told the end experience will have full haptic feedback for the seats you’re in too, recreating the gentle rock of the boat to minimise motion sickness – another recurring obstacle for seamless VR.

Making the virtual feel real

We’ve been to a lot of VR demos – everything from 8K batman helmets to nausea-inducing paragliding – but The Ambush felt incredibly fresh.

Starting out at a dozy campfire and ending up under siege from flaming arrows on an ancient Viking boat, Dimension has pieced together a simple narrative along Norway's west coast, with the historically-accurate recreations of boats, weapons and Vikings to lend the scene some weight.

The closest comparison I can think of is sitting onstage in a theatre, with the actors only a few feet away from you. I could see the Vikings in front of me heaving their chests as they rowed their ship down the river at night, squinting their eyes to see better in the dark, knuckles tensing around their CGI oars, and flinching as projectiles began to rain down on their allies.

A Viking battle scene (Image Credit: Dimension)

While many of the objects – and the ship itself – was generated in Unreal engine, it was the actors that really made the virtual space feel peopled, and made the resulting destruction of the ship’s crew all the more affecting.

It’s those small details, in a look, a tightening grip on an oar, or the twitch of a facial muscle, that make a person feel real – without the ‘uncanny valley’ effect with digital characters that simply aren’t as expressive as a human face.

The challenge with capturing human performances, though, is that you can’t blame the technology for bad acting. Lisa Joseph, producer at RSA Films, started her career in the theatre, and is only too aware of how important this aspect is.

“You’re taking real people, and putting them into a computer generated world,” says Joseph. “So they really need to be able to act.”

Dimension had to run “rigorous casting” over several days, to make sure the result was worth the trouble of the new capture method. What made the process easier was by adding NPCs (non-player characters) into the background, only utilizing actual people for those in close proximity to the viewer, where the difference in detail would really count.

Arrows had to be added through CGI after the images were captured, so viewers could see them flying out of the bow (Image Credit: Dimension)

There are certainly big applications in VR games: imagining an open-world Fallout or Skyrim with complex, human expressions instead of rote facial animations could completely transform how engaging our interactions in games can be. 

Those at Dimension won’t be baited on the topic, but their use of Unreal Engine – which powers titles ranging from Fortnite and Gears of War to the Final Fantasy VII remake – gives us hope that it isn’t too long before volumetric capture catches on in the wider industry. We have a lot more VR demos ahead of us, and we want them to feel a lot more like this.

Categories: Tech News

Best note-taking apps for Android in 2019

Latest Tech News - Wed, 06/19/2019 - 16:32

Smartphones provide incredible flexibility for the home consumer or business user, not least with the profusion of apps available to use. It doesn't matter whether you're just looking to write a shopping list, make creative notes, or take business minutes and reminders, there are a lot of options available.

This is not least with Android being the most widely-used operating system for smartphones, with over 85% market share which makes it an especially important platform to have the tools you need and want to use. 

Whether you're just typing text, writing with a stylus, or scribbling with your finger, there are a lot of different note-taking apps for Android out there. Some are focused more on just taking simple notes, while others come with more features and functionality that can turn your smartphone into a digital notebook, or workbook.

We'll therefore take a look at what we think are the best in note-taking apps for Android, according to a range of different features and use options.

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

Image Credit: Google

For decades, Microsoft has dominated the software scene, and things haven’t changed today. Offered as part of the Office family of productivity apps, OneNote is one of the most popular and capable note-taking apps you can get. This app is capable of a great deal, whether you want to capture information from emails or embed Excel tables.

This app is a multi-platform affair which is hooked up to the cloud, meaning that if you’ve written some notes on your laptop, you can pull these up in a meeting via your smartphone. OneNote works across Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices.

The Android app is easy to use and works as a flexible canvas, letting you type, handwrite, draw and clip things you find on the web. What’s more, you can even scan notes made on paper and make them searchable through OneNote. To organize your notes, you can create tags, labels, to-do lists and follow-up items. It’s also possible to categorize notes based on their importance.

OneNote allows for collaboration, letting you share your virtual notebooks with anyone. People can leave comments and follow-up questions on your notes as well. The best thing about OneNote, though, is that it’s completely free to download while offering a plethora of premium capabilities.

Image Credit: Google

Evernote is a well-respected and powerful productivity app. It’s described as an organization and planning app that lets you take both typed and handwritten notes, create to-do lists, scan documents using your camera, and collaborate on content with others.

The great thing about Evernote is that it makes use of a variety of media. For instance, you can create notes in text form, or as sketches, photos, audio, video, PDFs or web clippings.

Just like Microsoft’s OneNote, this app is underpinned by cloud technology. That means you can sync content across all your devices from computers through to tablets and phones. In other words, if you start a task on one device, you can complete it on another.

With Evernote, you can create, share and discuss content with your colleagues as well. The app is currently free to download, but the business package – which gives you most of the collaborative tools – costs $14.99 per user per month.

Image Credit: Google

Material Notes is a streamlined app that allows you to create notes, to-do lists and reminders. These are all color-coded and stored within a card-style interface to keep things better organised, and to make it easy to find relevant information. You also get the ability to mark important notes with stars, and these are saved within a category based on the urgency of projects.

To ensure you never misplace an important note or list, you can easily locate anything by making use of the app’s search function. Plus you can create and place widgets on your home screen, which give you quick access to your notes.

In terms of security, you can create a four-digit pin for all your notes, ensuring that sensitive information doesn’t get into the wrong hands. And the app allows you to easily and swiftly import content stored on other devices. Material Notes is free to download, with premium plans costing up to $9.29 (£6.70). You can access these as in-app purchases.

Image Credit: Google

Google offers a highly capable note-taking app in the form of Keep, which allows you to create as many notes and lists as you want. And you don’t need to stick to mere text – you can also add images and audio to your notes.

In fact, there’s even the ability to record memos for the app to automatically transcribe. That’s particularly handy if you’ve had a light bulb moment and want to get it noted down somewhere quickly. Similarly to OneNote, you can scan handwritten notes, receipts, invoices and other documents through your camera.

Google Keep is a pretty decent productivity app for teams, too. You can easily share notes and collaborate with others. Other features include color-coded labels, reminders and the benefit of multi-platform support. The app is free to download from the Play Store.

Image Credit: Google

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when an app is weighed down with tons of features, many of which you might never use. Simplenote is designed for people who just want a quick, easy-to-use piece of software to jot down spontaneous ideas.

Just open up the app, and right away you can create notes and lists. As you continue to use the software and amass more notes, you’re able to organize them with tags and pins. Every time you create a new note, it’s stored in the cloud and can be accessed through other devices. The app is completely free to download and use.

Image credit: Keep My Notes

Keep My Notes is a note-taking app for Android that comes with a number of neat features. For starters, you can create handwritten notes using a finger or stylus, plus there's also the option to create notes using a built-in text-to-speech feature.

There are also various formatting options available to bold, underline, or italicize - among other things - plus the ability to add audio to your notes. Even better, for added security, you can password protect notes.

Notes can be set up like sticky notes on your home screen, and notes can even shared with other apps.

There are different light or dark themes available, and the display can be changed to portrait for phones and landscape for tablets. 

Additionally, you can also change the text size and color when inputting text for your notes in the first place, which can be very handy.

Altogether, Keep My Notes is a handy little package that backs up to the cloud. You can run the app for free with ads, but there are in-app purchases, not least to run ad-free. 

Other note-taking apps for Android to consider

The above are only a small selection of the number of note-taking apps available for Google's Android operating system. There are plenty more available at the Google Play store and we'll cover some of the most popular alternatives below:  
  
Notepad is a simple but colorful way of working with taking and presenting different notes. It doesn't run like a notepad, more like a notice board where you can organize your notes, such as checklists, shopping lists, writing notes, or business comments. You can organize notes according to color, label, or category, which makes it really easy to use. It's also free, but includes ads.

Samsung Notes is Samsung's replacement for S Notes and Memo, and is a general notepad for organizing text, images, and audio. Where it differs from others are the extra features for scribbling or sketching, with various color editor options that make it as much as an all-purpose sketchbook as a notepad, depending on what you want to get from it.

Notes is another general notepad app which allows you to organize text, images, and audio. It has a simple but clean look that makes it easy to work with. Notes also allows for password-protected areas, and is free to use when running ads, which can be switched-off using an in-app purchase of about two dollars.

Classic Notes is one of the simplest apps listed, and this is probably one of its selling points. While it allows for taking basic notes, it doesn't do much more, so people not so use to smartphones and apps should be able to get a lot of use from it without becoming so confused by features and options present in other apps. It's free to use, but contains ads.  

Categories: Tech News

Best laptops under $500: the best cheap laptops around

Latest Tech News - Wed, 06/19/2019 - 15:46

We know that times are hard for almost everyone out there, and that doesn’t make replacing your aging laptop hardware any easier. Luckily, the list of the best laptops under $500 is slowly growing with truly quality devices that are worth the plastic and silicon they were printed on.

While it’s still a small gathering of worthy laptops under $500, we’ve rounded up the most impressive that we’ve reviewed within the past year. Our list includes both forms of 2-in-1 laptops and incredibly affordable Chromebooks that will get the job done for minimal impact to your bottom line.

Each of the products below scored at least four stars in one of our in-depth reviews, making them worthy of inclusion in a TechRadar buying guide. With that, you can buy one of these laptops with confidence that it has been thoroughly tested and critiqued by our expert editors.

An affordable Surface device has been in demand since the first Surface Pro, but the wait has ended at last. Microsoft's Surface Go is not only the best Windows tablet for ultra-mobility, but the best cheap laptop around. Thin, feathery, mobile and elegant, but without the high cost, Microsoft has packed in everything they could in a Surface for under 500 bucks. If you’re a student, or just looking to spend less than a grand on a laptop, the Microsoft Surface Go is a winner for both work and play.

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Go

The Microsoft Surface Book 2 is plenty pricey, but the Acer Switch 3 is a fine alternative for far less cash. This tablet is designed around largely the same idea as the Surface Book 2, but it's clearly less capable, thanks to lower-power components. However, for most tasks it's a plucky little computer. What this 2-in-1 laptop holds over Microsoft's 'Pro' and 'Go' models is that it comes with the keyboard included. Of course, the Acer Switch 3 comes in several configurations, with USB-C, 8GB of memory, an IPS touchscreen and an Intel Core i3 7100U processor coming with the pricier option.

Read the full review: Acer Switch 3 


The top Chromebook is an affordable product that anyone can approach. And, in that vein, it's easy to see how the Dell Inspiron Chromebook 11 2-in-1 cuts the mustard. This isn’t the strongest Chromebook out there – rather, it's exactly what people need it to be: budget-friendly, easy to use and able to take a beating. The Dell Inspiron 11 2-in-1 is ready to handle all your web browsing and document editing, and for that it's one of the best cheap laptops, as it won’t shatter from a simple stumble.

Read the full review: Dell Inspiron Chromebook 11 2-in-1

With a shiny chassis that rivals the most recent MacBook, it’s easier to forgive the fact that the Acer Chromebook 15 is the only straight-laced laptop on this list. Every other laptop on this list is fully convertible, leaving the Acer Chromebook 15 having to prove itself with more than stylish looks. This gorgeous, 15-inch Chromebook makes an amazing impression with its battery life, too, lasting nearly 17 hours in our battery test. That's crazy for a 15-inch laptop – Chromebook or not.

Read the full review: Acer Chromebook 15

Categories: Tech News

Best Mac 2019: the best Macs to buy this year

Latest Tech News - Wed, 06/19/2019 - 15:43

With the Mac Pro 2019, macOS Catalina and possibly a new Macbook coming later in 2019, not to mention Apple just rolling out a 15-inch MacBook Pro refresh so that it’s now officially supporting Intel's latest 9th-generation Core processors (CPUs), the best Macs are only getting better and better.

Though if you want to get your hands on one of the best Macs now, there’s already quite a few to choose from. Just keep in mind that specs, performance and design mean way more in how they interact with the OS itself than any of them separately. That’s why it’s not really productive to compare a Mac to a Windows 10 machine.

The best Macs are incredibly diverse. We don’t know what’s in the cards for future Macs, at least beyond the new Mac Pro, but we’re sure there’s still plenty of life in Apple’s computers. That means that if you don’t have to budget to purchase the latest Macs, the older models will more than suffice and also save you some cash.

In addition, the best Macs cover everything from thin and light notebooks like the 12-inch MacBook to professional workhorses like the iMac Pro. So, it can be tricky deciding on the perfect Mac for you. 

That’s why we decided to gather up all the best Macs we’ve used – iMacs, MacBooks and more – to help you answer that question. The only Macs that you won’t find here are the ones that we’ve either not been able to review, or just weren’t good enough. So, let’s dive in to all the best Macs you can buy right now.

When Apple refreshed the MacBook back in 2016, it wasn’t anything to write home about, despite being more attractive than ever before. And, while the controversy hasn’t been forgotten entirely, the 12-inch MacBook has found its niche as an ultraportable and lightweight laptop. It’s low on ports, but in a laptop this thin, that’s hardly a surprise. It can support basically everything under the sun with its Thunderbolt 3 port, anyway. It’s not as powerful as the MacBook Pro, but if you’re looking for a MacBook that’s easy to take with you wherever you go, look no further.

Read the full review: Apple MacBook (2017)

Mac Mini fans, rejoice! The Mac Mini has finally been refreshed with modern hardware, bringing Apple’s tiniest Mac into the modern age. This tiny thing is filled to the brim with 8th-generation desktop processors, a ton of RAM and some of the fastest SSDs we’ve seen – all while keeping the same beloved form factor. It’s a bit more expensive this time around, but with the raw speed on offer, we’d have to say it’s worth it.

Read the full review: Mac Mini 2018

If you’re looking for the most performance you can get in a MacBook, and you can afford it, you’ll want to look at the MacBook Pro 15-inch. Now with hexa-core 9th-generation processors and up to 32GB of RAM, you won’t be held back by anything you throw at this thing – especially now that you can get Radeon Pro Vega 20 graphics. With this kind of performance, the MacBook Pro effortlessly takes the top spot on our best Macs list. 

Read the full review: MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid-2018) 

The iMac has long been one of the most affordable ways to get into the macOS ecosystem, and that’s pretty much the same this time around – short of picking up a Mac mini. What’s different is that the iMac is packed with 8th- and 9th-generation desktop-class processors this time around, letting this elegant all-in-one PC reach that fabled 8-core performance. If you’re looking for an all-in-one Mac, the new 27-inch iMac is your best bet, at least if you’re not looking to spend five stacks on the iMac Pro. 

Read the full review: iMac (27-inch, 2019)

For much of the year, the biggest complaint with the MacBook Pro was that it was still using Kaby Lake processors, even though its competition had moved ahead. Luckily, the MacBook Pro 2018 changes everything, and is more powerful than ever before, with the 13-inch getting the 8th-gen Intel Core CPU in its souped up configuration. It still has the controversial Butterfly keyboard, but it’s been improved – with less noise and more reliability. It’s easy to recommend the 13-inch MacBook Pro 2018 for anyone looking for the best Mac. 

Read the full review: MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (13-inch, mid-2018) 

If you’re a professional or a creative, and you require something that will be able to tackle any workload you could possibly throw at it, you’re going to enjoy using the iMac Pro. Not only does it have a vivid 27-inch 5K display with a P3 wide color gamut, but it’s also packed with the most powerful hardware Apple could get its hands on. It’s extremely expensive however, and meant mostly for folks looking for unbridled power to get through professional workloads. If you’re one such consumer, then the iMac Pro is the best Mac for you. 

Read the full review: iMac Pro 

We’ve been waiting years for a new MacBook Air, and now that it’s here, we can say for sure it’s worth the wait. Now thinner, lighter and with a Retina display for the first time, it’s easily the best MacBook Air we’ve ever used. With 8th-generation processors, more RAM and faster SSDs, the MacBook Air is also more powerful than ever. The only thing that would make this better is if it were fitted with full-fat U-series quad core chips, rather than the Y-series dual-core fanless processors. Still, this means that you’re going to easily get all-day battery out of this thing, which makes it one of the best Macs for travel.

Read the full review: MacBook Air 2018 

Michelle Rae Uy, Bill Thomas and Gabe Carey have also contributed to this article 

Categories: Tech News

The best Ultrabooks 2019: top thin and light laptops reviewed

Latest Tech News - Wed, 06/19/2019 - 15:33

The best Ultrabooks aren’t just for getting work done; they’re also a status symbol of sorts. Just think about it: you’re sitting at a coffee shop, where everyone is either using a Chromebook or some big and bulky laptop relic. Then, you whip out an Ultrabook, and its thinner, lighter, faster and more attractive – not to mention, rocking the best processors and SSDs on the market.

These thin and light beauties are as much about portability as they are about sheer horsepower. The best Ultrabooks won’t freeze up on you when you’re trying to get an important project done, or run out of battery on a short flight. And, you can simply slide it in your backpack and carry it around with you without any effort.

We took the time to find the best Ultrabooks on the market for you, so you can enjoy the best of both worlds. From household names like Dell and HP, to brands you might not have heard of like Huawei, these thin and light beauties will get you through your work day in style. We tested and reviewed all these Ultrabooks ourselves, so you can be confident you’re getting your money’s worth.

For a few years now, Huawei has been lurking in the shadows, ready to take on the best Ultrabooks, and its time in the spotlight has finally arrived. Like the Huawei MateBook X Pro before it, the Huawei Matebook 13 packs in a ton of powerful hardware into an appealing shell, all while keeping the price low enough for anyone to afford. Plus, we have to mention those discrete graphics – it may be one of the smallest laptops out there to pack an MX150 GPU. It’s not hard to see why the Huawei Matebook 13 is the best Ultrabook right now.

Read the full review: Huawei MateBook 13

The Dell XPS 13 has been the best Ultrabook for years, but while it’s been dethroned by the Huawei MateBook 13, it remains one of the Ultrabooks to beat in 2019. This time around, Dell has moved the webcam from the bottom of the display to the top, fixing one of the biggest disappointments that plagued the XPS 13 for years. Add in the updated internals, and the Dell XPS 13 is still makes our best Ultrabooks list – even in the face of tough competition.

Read the full review: Dell XPS 13

Sometimes an Ultrabook comes along that completely changes the game. And, the 2018 model of the Huawei MateBook X Pro did just that. This beautiful Ultrabook brings high-end components into an elegantly designed package that puts even the MacBook Pro to shame. It really is one of the best Ultrabooks on the market. And, despite the disappointing 2019 model that admittedly touts an Intel Whiskey Lake processor, it’s still the 2018 model that’s captured our computing cores.

Read the full review: Huawei MateBook X Pro


If you’re looking for a powerful and stunning Ultrabook fitted with 2-in-1 functionality, it’s hard to find a better option than the HP Spectre x360. This svelte Ultrabook isn’t just packed with the latest Intel Whiskey Lake processors and plenty of RAM, but it also may just be the most beautiful laptop you can buy today. The HP Spectre x360 won’t just help you get your work done, but will look good while doing it – leaving no doubt that it’s one of the best ultrabooks 2019 has to offer.

Read the full review: HP Spectre x360

The original Surface Laptop launched nearly two years ago, and while it was a great Ultrabook, it was held back by relatively weak hardware and Windows 10 S. Thankfully, Microsoft rolled out the Surface Laptop 2 in late 2018, bringing quad-core processors and the full-fat version of Windows 10. Its through these core improvements that the Surface Laptop 2 is able to bring the purest Windows 10 experience on a laptop, at a price that won’t make you run in the opposite direction.  

Read the full review: Surface Laptop 2

The Lenovo Yoga C930 has most of the makings of the best ultrabook – from 14.5 hours of battery life and dual Thunderbolt-enabled USB-C ports to internal components that will let you breeze through those daily productivity tasks, let alone a 2-in-1 that offers form versatility so you can squeeze in some light gaming and movie-watching. It has a few cherries on top as well, namely the integrated self-charging stylus and the fab speaker system.

Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga C930

Razer has made a name for itself in the gaming world. Yet, with the Razer Blade Stealth, the green-themed manufacturer wants people to know that they’re more than just a company “for gamers, by gamers.” This Ultrabook will indeed change your mind by turning into a 13.3-inch, QHD+ beauty. You can no longer upgrade to 4K, but the performance this Ultrabook offers is more than worth that compromise – especially given how beautiful the chassis is.

Read the full review: Razer Blade Stealth

Durability meets portability meets performance in this svelte laptop with a reasonable price tag. The Lenovo Yoga 730 isn’t the close-to-perfect machine many premium buyers might be looking for, with drawbacks like heavier weight, average battery life and weak speakers, but it will take you through your daily workload without protest. Lenovo tops that performance off with a reliable keyboard and trackpad, sturdy hinges to switch between tablet and laptop mode, and a thin-bezeled display.

Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga 730

Anyone familiar with Apple’s thinnest and lightest laptop would be wise to compare the Asus ZenBook 3 to the 12-inch MacBook. The similarities are startling, but one look at the specs and the differences stand out too. Fitted with the choice of a U-series Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, the ZenBook 3 is puts-many-to-shame powerful, and that’s considering that it’s less than half an inch thick and weighs two pounds. The port selection is sparse, but ultimately it’s well worth the sacrifice, and among the best Asus laptops around.

Read the full review: Asus ZenBook 3

  • This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing: Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Huawei MateBook X Pro

It’s no secret that Apple neglected the MacBook Air – at least until the MacBook Air 2018 launched – but, in some cases a Windows Ultrabook can be just as good. Take the Asus ZenBook UX310UA, for instance. With still-good 7th-generation Intel Kaby Lake processors, a 178-degree viewing-angle QHD+ display, a USB-C port and an aluminum build, it’s still one of the best Ultrabooks out there, even after all this time.

Read the full review: Asus ZenBook UX310


Bill Thomas and Gabe Carey have also contributed to this article

Image credit: TechRadar

  • Looking for back to school gear? We’ve picked out the best deals for you
Categories: Tech News

England vs Japan live stream: how to watch today's Women's World Cup 2019 match from anywhere

Latest Tech News - Wed, 06/19/2019 - 14:54

Two matches, two wins for the Lionesses so far after victories over Scotland and Argentina. That means Phil Neville’s side are already into the last 16 and will be hoping to maintain their 100% Women's World Cup 2019 record against second-in-the group Japan. Will they carry on their perfect start, or will Japan nab top spot in Group D? Find out below how you can catch an England vs Japan live stream from anywhere around the world with our instructions below.

Having lost to Japan in agonising fashion at the last World Cup, losing 2-1 in the semi-finals via an injury-time own goal, England will be out to make amends.

The Lionesses go into the game boosted by the news that Barcelona forward Toni Duggan is fit again after missing the opening two matches due to a thigh injury, but will coach Phil Neville feel tempted to rotate a side that appears to be gelling at just the right time?

On the evidence of their first two group matches, Japan's youthful squad don't look quite as capable as they were in the last Women's World Cup, but will likely provide a sterner test to England than Argentina and Scotland. They need a point to ensure they make it through to the next round.

Don't miss any of the action by following the instructions below and grabbing a live stream of England vs Japan wherever you are in the world.

Watch a FIFA Women's World Cup 2019 live stream from outside your country

If you're in UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, we've got your viewing options listed below. If you're out of the country for today's match, you may find that geo-blocking will prevent you from watching your regular domestic coverage from abroad. You don't have to risk watching the match on a dodgy stream, however.

With the option of using a VPN service, you can tune into the match no matter where you are in the world, and its super easy to set up.

How to stream today's England game in the UK 

How to watch England vs Japan: live stream in Australia

Live stream England vs Japan in the US

- Discover our pick of all the US's best sports streaming sites

As well as opening up your viewing options for the Women's World Cup, using a VPN allows you to watch all your domestic sports coverage from abroad.

How to watch a FIFA Women's World Cup live stream in Canada

How to watch an England vs Japan live stream in New Zealand

Categories: Tech News

Argentina vs Scotland live stream: how to watch today's Women's World Cup 2019 match from anywhere

Latest Tech News - Wed, 06/19/2019 - 14:45

Defeats against England and Japan have made Scotland's hopes of reaching the last 16 of the 2019 Women's World Cup slim, but a win today against Argentina could be enough for Shelley Kerr's side to qualify via a third-place finish. Will either team do enough to make the group stages? Find out below how you can watch an Argentina vs Scotland live stream from anywhere around the world with our instructions below.

Argentina have the edge in the group over Scotland, having managed to get a point on the board with their creditable draw against Japan. Their game plan of keeping things tight at the back wasn't quite as successful against England, and the need for a win may see them play a more open game today.

Scotland have finished strongly in both of their matches so far, and it's likely they'll need to call upon that resolve to break down a well-organised Argentina side who kept England at bay for over an hour.

Having only seen  24 per cent of the ball in that match, the big question is if Argentina coach Carlos Borrello maintains a cautious approach for this game. With a draw no good for his side either, the do-or-die nature of the clash could show us a side of the South Americans we've yet to see. 

Don't miss any of the action by following the instructions below and grabbing a live stream of Argentina vs Scotland wherever you are in the world.

Watch a FIFA Women's World Cup 2019 live stream from outside your country

If you're in UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, we've got your viewing options listed below. If you're out of the country for today's match, you may find that geo-blocking will prevent you from watching your regular domestic coverage from abroad. You don't have to risk watching the match on a dodgy stream, however.

With the option of using a VPN service, you can tune into the match no matter where you are in the world, and its super easy to set up.

How to stream today's Scotland game in the UK 

How to watch Argentina vs Scotland: live stream in Australia

Live stream Argentina vs Scotland in the US

- Discover our pick of all the US's best sports streaming sites

As well as opening up your viewing options for the Women's World Cup, using a VPN allows you to watch all your domestic sports coverage from abroad.

How to watch a FIFA Women's World Cup live stream in Canada

How to watch an Argentina vs Scotland live stream in New Zealand

Categories: Tech News

Best processors 2019: the best CPUs for your PC

Latest Tech News - Wed, 06/19/2019 - 14:30

If you’ve been looking for the best processor for your next build, you’ll be happy to know that the CPU market is filled to the brim with incredible silicon. Thanks to the vibrant competition by Intel and AMD, there has never been a better time to get a new processor. AMD has been ruling the market with its Ryzen 2nd generation processors, while Intel has responded with its 9th-generation Coffee Lake Refresh processors, headed by the Intel Core i9-9900K.

Of course, not to be outdone, AMD is slated to release its Ryzen 3rd generation CPUs to compete with the likes of Intel Core i9-9900K and Intel Core i9-9920X, looking destined to join the ranks of our best processors. These will roll out on July 7.

Until then, the market is still packed with a number of impressive processors. From budget big shots, like the AMD Ryzen 3 2200G, to HEDT heroes, like Intel’s Basin Falls Refresh lineup. Plus, there are plenty of mid-range megastars to round out our best processors list, like our current favorite, the AMD Ryzen 7 2700X.

You can hardly throw a stone without hitting an amazing processor right now, so finding the most ideal one for your rig is key. Luckily, even if the latest and greatest silicon is out of your reach, there are still plenty of great Coffee Lake and Ryzen Gen 1 chips on the market. 

Get ready to experience amazing PC performance, and great deals – as we’ve included our price comparison tool. Here are the best processors on the market in 2019.

Image Credit: AMD

For the longest time, AMD had fallen behind Intel. Luckily, the Santa Clara manufacturer has finally gotten over its slump, unleashing the likes of the Ryzen 2700X. This time around, AMD brings the first 12nm processors, and the performance to back it up, demolishing Intel when it comes to price-to-performance. If you’re looking for one of the best processors that’ll give you great performance without burning a hole in your pocket, you can’t do much better than the Ryzen 7 2700X.

Read the full review: AMD Ryzen 7 2700X 

Image Credit: Intel

Thanks to increased pressure from AMD, Intel’s offerings have been heating up like crazy (sometimes literally.) This growing competition has resulted in the Intel Core i9-9900K: an absolute beast of a processor that packs eight cores and 16 threads, more cores than any mainstream processor released by Intel. The performance shows that it’s worth it – it can go head to head with some of AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper chips. If raw performance is what you’re seeking, the Intel Core i9-9900K is easily one of the best processors you can go for. 

Read the full review: Intel Core i9-9900K

Image Credit: AMD

If you’re looking to invest in one of the best processors for content creation, but are on a tight budget, then the AMD Ryzen 5 2600X might just be the best processor for you. With 6 cores, 12 threads and a base clock of 3.6GHz, you’re getting way better performance than the pricier Intel Core i5-8600K – and you get a gorgeous RGB CPU cooler included as well. Sure, the gaming performance over the blue team is marginal at best, but when you start multi-tasking – and who doesn’t always end up with 100 chrome tabs open by lunchtime – the value starts to show itself.

Read the full review: AMD Ryzen 5 2600X 

Image Credit: AMD

Putting together a gaming PC on the tightest budget? Well, the AMD Ryzen 3 2200G is your new best friend. While it doesn’t feature the hyperthreading capability of its predecessor, the Ryzen 3 1200, the introduction of integrated graphics makes this APU one of the cheapest ways to experience casual PC gaming, which is why this makes our best processors list. We were even able to play Overwatch at 4K Ultra-HD resolution at ‘Epic’ settings.

Read the full review: AMD Ryzen 3 2200G 

Image Credit: Intel

When you don’t really care about creating content or streaming, and you just you’re focusing on building one of the best gaming PCs, then the Intel Core i5-8600K may be the best processor for you. It might not have as many cores as its AMD Ryzen counterparts, but that doesn’t matter, gaming is mostly about that single-threaded performance. With this processor, you’ll be able to run all the latest games without having to worry about bottlenecking your GPU. Just don’t be surprised when rendering and encoding video takes longer.

Image Credit: AMD

Initially the primary competition for the Intel Core i7-7700K, the AMD Ryzen 7 1800X still holds its own today, despite being succeeded by the Ryzen 7 2800X. Its high core count, when compared to the intel Core i7 7700K, means that it's better suited for VR workloads. And now that it’s dropped significantly in price, it’s more affordable than ever before. If you’re building a VR rig, do yourself a favor: save some cash without giving up on too much performance with the Ryzen 7 1800X. 

Read the full review: AMD Ryzen 7 1800X

Image Credit: Intel

The naming convention is confusing, given that the Intel Core i7-7820X is part of Intel’s “Skylake-X” series rather than the X-class chips built on the 14nm Kaby Lake node, but semantics matter very little when you get to go hands-on with an Intel CPU boasting this many cores. The fact that you’ll need a new motherboard to use this octa-core monster might be enough to scare some users off to Ryzen. However, Intel loyalists shan’t mind the upgrade.

Image Credit: Intel

Are you the kind of user that demands world-class performance, and couldn’t care less about cost? The Intel Core i9-9980XE is the best processor for you. With 18-cores and 36-threads, it absolutely destroys everything else on the market right now, if only just barely. Multi-threaded applications and workstation-class projects are going to breeze by with this chip. However, if that price tag makes you do a double take, then it might not be for you.

Read the full review: Intel Core i9-9980XE

Image Credit: Intel

If you opt for the Intel Pentium G4560 over a Core i3 chip, you won’t even notice the slight loss of performance – you’ll be too busy counting all the money you saved. As the first Pentium processor in a long time to feature hyper-threading, the G4560 shows us what low-end CPUs have been missing for so long. And, in benchmarks it proves that it’s easily adjacent to the more expensive Intel Core i3-7100.

Image Credit: AMD

One of the only things that was missing when AMD’s Ryzen processors blew up was its integrated graphics support. But then, the Ryzen 5 2400G hit the streets and changed everything for mainstream PC users. With impressive AMD Vega graphics, it’s a fantastic APU that will be perfect for anyone looking to build a home theater PC. And, now that AMD has slashed the price you can get your 4K action on cheaper than ever.

Read the full review: AMD Ryzen 5 2400G 

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Categories: Tech News

The new, cheaper 15-inch Surface Book 2 model comes with a catch

Latest Tech News - Wed, 06/19/2019 - 13:14

As previously rumored, Microsoft is now offering a new baseline 15-inch Surface Book 2 with an Intel Core i5 processor (CPU) at a lower price. You can see the new configuration here.

Microsoft's Surface Book 2 is one of the best 2-in-1 laptops you can get, but the 15-inch model has always come at a steep price. That was because of the beefed-up internals, in part.

Previously, the base Surface Book 2 configuration with a 15-inch display was an 8th-Generation Intel Core i7 with dedicated Nvidia graphics, 16GB of memory (RAM), and several options for solid-state storage (SSD) capacity. The new configuration fits a 7th-Generation Intel Core i5 with integrated graphics, 16GB of RAM and a single option for 256GB of SSD.

This new configuration sees the 15-inch model come to its lowest starting price yet at $1,999 (about £1,570, AU$2,890). But, there's a lot going on here that raises questions about what Microsoft is actually offering and what point there is in choosing this model.

There's a lot that doesn't make sense

Microsoft offering a lower-spec version of the 15-inch Surface Book 2 makes plenty of sense. It provides a more affordable option for people who want the extra screen space but don't need the more powerful Intel Core i7 CPU or dedicated graphics. But, that's where the sense seems to end.

At $1,999, the new model costs almost double the 13.5-inch base model at its currently discounted price of $1,049. An increase of $950 is a lot to just get a little extra screen space, 8GB of extra RAM, and 128GB of extra storage.

But, there are also some curious aspects about the actual specs of the new model. For one, the configuration says it comes with a 7th-Gen Intel Core i5, but the order summary section on Microsoft's site says it's an 8th-Gen Intel Core i5. Best Buy's listing says it's an Intel Core i5-8350U, which is indeed from the 8th Generation, but it also says there's only 8GB of RAM.

Then, there's the now-discounted price of the higher-spec model. At the moment, Microsoft is selling an 8th-Gen Intel Core i7 model with 16GB of RAM, 256GB of storage and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 graphics (a huge upgrade from Intel integrated graphics) for just $2,199. At just $200 over the new low-spec model, there should be almost no reason for someone with a $2,000 computer budget not to spent an extra $200 for a model that will better stand the test of time.

Via Windows Central

Categories: Tech News

Why cloud can be the boost your business needs

Latest Tech News - Wed, 06/19/2019 - 12:51

McAfee has released a special edition of its Cloud and Risk Adoption Report revealing that 87 percent of companies experience business acceleration from the use of cloud services.

The cybersecurity firm surveyed 1,000 enterprise organizations worldwide to compile the report and the company combined these results with insights from billions of anonymized cloud events observed every month by its cloud access security broker (CASB), MVISION Cloud.

The results of McAfee's report demonstrate that a wide range of organizations have accelerated their business from the use of cloud services. However, a striking divide exists between organizations who have addressed their shared responsibility for protecting data in the cloud and those who have not.

The report found that organizations that proactively addressed the security of their data in the cloud through the use of a CSAB were over 35 percent more likely to launch new products, speed time to market and expand into new markets.

Benefits of cloud adoption

McAfee's Cloud and Adoption risk report also revealed that 65 percent of enterprise data lives in collaboration and business software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications, 25 percent lives in infrastructure-as-a-service and only 10 percent resides in Shadow IT which is unknown to the IT department. IT teams are subscribing to these cloud applications themselves, thus eliminating employee needs that were previously unmet or were met through the use of Shadow IT.

Of those surveyed, only 36 percent of organizations said they could enforce data loss prevention in the cloud and only 33 percent said they control the collaboration settings that determine how data is shared. When it came to IaaS, only 26 percent said they could audit configuration settings which widens the gap between risky and secure cloud adoption.

Despite benefits such as the likelihood of launching new products, spending time to market and expanding in to new markets, only one in three companies are currently using a CASB.

Senior vice president of cloud security at McAfee, Rajiv Gupta provided further insight on the report's findings, saying:

“This research shines a light on organizations who are leading the charge in cloud adoption, prioritizing the security of their data as they roll out new cloud services and winning in the market because of the actions they are taking. Organizations often tell us how much faster their business moves when security is addressed in the cloud and it is exciting for us now to quantify this experience and share our data and recommendations with the rest of the market.” 

Categories: Tech News

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