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Honor 20 Pro review: it’s all about the camera
Posted on Friday August 16, 2019

The best camera in the mid-range market, backed by good performance and long battery life

The Honor 20 Pro is the new flagship phone for Huawei’s cheaper offshoot, offering some of what made the Chinese firm the camera master but at £550 it is a little overpriced.

The Honor 20 Pro is essentially the same phone as the £400 Honor 20 with a better camera on the back, a slightly larger battery and more storage. It was meant to be released alongside its cheaper sibling, but Donald Trump’s Huawei blockade caused it to be delayed.

Screen: 6.26in FHD+ LCD (412ppi)

Processor: octa-core Huawei Kirin 980

RAM: 8GB of RAM

Storage: 256GB

Operating system: Magic UI 2.1 based on Android 9 Pie

Camera: rear 48MP wide, 16MP ultra-wide, 8MP telephoto and 2MP macro, 32MP selfie

Connectivity: USB-C (2.0), LTE, wifi, NFC, Bluetooth 5 and GPS (dual-sim available in some regions)

Dimensions: 154.6 x 74 x 8.4 mm

Weight: 182g

The phone is pretty slippery so you’ll need a case to keep it from dropping out of shallow pockets when you sit down.

The vibration motor is not as good as rivals in 2019, feeling baggy and imprecise.

The frame of the phone traps hairs and fluff.

Call quality was good, but the speaker is fairly small and needs a bit of attention to get the correct alignment with your ear.

Pros: hole-punch notch, snappy performance, good battery life, cracking camera, good screen, dual-sim, fast fingerprint sensor.

Cons: Magic UI not to everyone’s taste, slow updates, Trump, no expandable storage, no water resistance, no wireless charging, no headphone socket, right-side fingerprint sensor not for left-handed.

Best smartphone 2019: iPhone, Samsung, OnePlus and Huawei compared and ranked

Honor 20 review: Huawei’s first new phone during Trump dispute

Honor View20 review: top phone at half the cost of an iPhone XS

OnePlus 7 review: competition-beating performance for less

Samsung Galaxy S10e review: the cheaper one

Pixel 3a XL review: the cheaper Google phone to buy

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 review: novel slider finally hits the UK

iPhone XR review: Apple’s cheaper battery king

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Sony WF-1000XM3 review: updated noise-cancelling earbuds sound great
Posted on Wednesday August 14, 2019

True wireless buds are Sony’s best yet, but where is the volume control?

Sony’s latest true wireless WF-1000XM3 earbuds offer both noise cancelling and top-end sound quality while undercutting premium rivals on price.

The replacement for the WF-1000X, which were some of the first noise cancelling true wireless earbuds available, the new “M3” portion of the model number denotes the company’s third generation of active noise cancelling technology and the QN1e chip, which is rivalled only by Bose.

The voice announcements (telling you what you’ve just changed) delay any mode changes until the full announcement has finished, which can be tediously slow. Turning off voice announcements solved the problem.

Google Assistant is built in, for reading notifications and more advanced functions, or you can simply use the standard Google Assistant or Siri functions on your phone.

An NFC spot on the case provides one-tap pairing.

It’s difficult to tell how much charge is left in the case.

Call quality was great, with minimal background noise, but became muffled and distant in louder environments.

Pros: Brilliant sound, effective noise cancelling, long battery life, solid connectivity, good customisation options, full EQ, attractive design, Google Assistant

Cons: Big earbuds, expensive, big case, problem with wind noise, no onboard volume control

Best true wireless earbuds 2019: AirPods, Samsung, Jabra and Anker compared and ranked

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Ikea Symfonisk speaker review: Sonos on the cheap
Posted on Monday August 12, 2019

At £99, Ikea’s wifi speaker provides a cheaper way to experience Sonos and sounds good too

There’s a new, cheaper way to buy a Sonos wifi speaker and it’s from Ikea.

The Symfonisk bookshelf speaker is the second of two new products born of a partnership between the Swedish furniture manufacturer Ikea and the American premium multiroom audio specialists Sonos.

There are rubber feet on the bottom and side, so you can place it in landscape or portrait orientation.

The fabric speaker grille can be entirely removed to expose the speaker cones and bass port.

Pros: easy setup, flexible mounting, sounds good, Sonos control, wide support for music services, can be paired up, lower cost, optional ethernet.

Cons: doesn’t sound as good as a Play:1, no Bluetooth or line in, no built-in smart speaker functionality.

Sonos Beam review: a great, compact, jack-of-all-trades upgrade for your TV

Sonos Play:5 review: one of the best wireless speakers money can buy

Sonos One review: the best smart speaker for audiophiles

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Amazon Kindle Oasis 2019 review: the most paper-like reader yet
Posted on Thursday August 08, 2019

Luxury model has colour-changing frontlight that gets warmer as the sun sets

Amazon’s most expensive, luxury e-reader, the Kindle Oasis, has taken a leaf out of the modern smartphone’s book for 2019 with a colour adjustable light that gets warmer as the sun sets.

It’s a small thing that makes quite a difference to the reading experience, which is just as well as the rest of the £230 Oasis is basically the same as it was two years ago.

Screen: 7in Paperwhite with colour adjustable frontlight (300ppi)

Dimensions: 159 x 141 x 8.4mm (3.4mm at thinnest point)

Weight: 188g

Connectivity: wifi, optional 4G, Bluetooth, microUSB

Storage: 8 or 32GB

Rated battery life: six weeks reading 30 minutes a day

Native format support: Kindle (AZW/AZW3), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC, Audible (AAX)

You can play audiobooks via Bluetooth headphones

I swapped the page turn buttons over so the top one went to the next page as my thumb naturally fell there

Turn the Oasis 180-degrees and the screen swaps orientation automatically, but you can also make the page display in landscape if you so wish.

You can set a passcode to protect your Kindle

The 4G is significantly faster and has better reception in the UK than 3G

Pros: long battery life, light, easy to hold, excellent screen, auto-brightness and colour frontlight, great page-turn buttons, luxurious feel, Audible integration, water resistant

Cons: expensive, cover not included, no magnetic covers, no support for third-party audiobooks, no headphones socket, microUSB

Kindle 2019 review: Amazon’s cheapest e-reader gets adjustable frontlight

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2018 review: the new standard

Amazon Kindle Oasis 2017 review: the Rolls-Royce of e-readers

Amazon Kindle Oasis 2016 review: the luxury e-reader really is something special

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Ikea Symfonisk review: table lamp is also a great-sounding Sonos wifi speaker
Posted on Wednesday August 07, 2019

Brilliant Sonos sound paired with attractive Ikea lamp makes for a surprisingly great wifi speaker

What if your simple Ikea lamp was actually a Sonos wifi speaker that could play music from any number of music sources and link up with others around your house? That’s exactly what the Ikea Symfonisk table lamp is.

The new musical lamp, priced at £150, is one of a pair of new products in an interesting partnership between the Swedish furniture manufacturer Ikea and multi-room audio specialists Sonos.

There’s a cute little fabric Ikea Sonos tag at the back of the lamp

There are four silicone feet under the lamp that prevent it vibrating the furniture it’s sat on

Pros: great sound, good looking, condenses two things into one, easy set up, Sonos control, wide support for music services, can be paired up, optional ethernet

Cons: design may not be to everyone’s taste, base is quite large, no smart speaker mics, no Bluetooth or line in, no bulb included, no dimmer switch

Sonos Beam review: a great, compact, jack-of-all-trades upgrade for your TV

Sonos Play:5 review: one of the best wireless speakers money can buy

Sonos One review: the best smart speaker for audiophiles

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Electric scooters aren't as eco-friendly as they seem, study finds
Posted on Saturday August 03, 2019

Materials used in manufacturing and companies’ efforts to collect and charge scooters create significant greenhouse gas emissions

At first glance, the assertion that dockless electric scooters are more environmentally friendly than other modes of transportation seems sound. They don’t emit greenhouse gases. They don’t add to vehicle congestion. “Cruise past traffic and cut back on CO2 emissions – one ride at a time,” touts Bird, one of the most popular scooter companies in the US.

But scooters are not as eco-friendly as they may seem, according to a study published on Friday.

Related: Stolen, burned, tossed in the lake: e-scooters face vandals' wrath

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Five of the best kids’ gadgets for summer holidays
Posted on Friday August 02, 2019

From tablets to robot toys, here’s some tech ideas to keep the little ones occupied in the long break

With the summer holidays in full swing you might need a bit of a hand keeping the kids entertained. From tablets and cameras to robot toys and updated old-school favourites, here is a collection of kid-aimed tech to keep the little ones occupied.

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Dyson fan flies off the shelves after being spotted in royal photo
Posted on Friday July 26, 2019

Sales rush for gadget after it appears in photo of the Queen meeting Boris Johnson

It is the kind of influencer power that money can’t buy: after being photographed in the Queen’s private apartment, Dyson’s upmarket fans are selling out.

The £500 gadget inserted itself into history on Wednesday when its space age design stood out among the ornate furnishings in the audience room at Buckingham Palace, as the monarch was pictured meeting the new prime minister, Boris Johnson.

Related: Is this James Dyson's second luxury property in Singapore?

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Amazon Echo Show 5 review: smaller, cheaper Alexa display
Posted on Wednesday July 24, 2019

Camera shutter, tap gesture, better speakers and 5.5in screen make for an appealing smart alarm clock

Amazon’s latest Echo Show 5 Alexa smart display is smaller, cheaper and has improved privacy, but is a £79.99 5.5in screen with a camera ready to replace your alarm clock in the bedroom?

The Show 5 isn’t the first Alexa smart display aimed at being your bedside clock. The Echo Spot, with its pleasingly round screen and ball-like shape, was released in 2018 and is still available for £120.

If you don’t quite manage to swipe upwards on the display far enough to dismiss an alarm you end up snoozing it, which is really irritating.

The quick access panel is responsive, but there’s a noticeable delay when you tap into one of the sections.

Swipe down from the top to access brightness control, activate the “do not disturb” mode, get to the settings app, go to the home screen or view the currently playing music.

You can choose from a few wakewords, including non-gendered ones such as “Echo”, but the voice is always female, which is a shame.

Pros: relatively compact, sounds good, Alexa, good smart home control, 3.5mm output, extra clock and alarm features, relatively low cost

Cons: too small to watch long videos, fairly big on your bedside table, large bezels around screen, screen isn’t HD, can’t stand vertically

Amazon Echo Show (2nd gen) review: Alexa’s bigger, brighter smart display

Amazon Echo Spot review: cute smart speaker with a screen

Google Home Hub review: the smart display to buy

Amazon Echo second-generation review: smaller, cheaper and better

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Six of the best: wireless headphones under £100
Posted on Sunday July 21, 2019

You don’t have to spend a fortune on headphones to get noise cancellation, decent bass and fine detail at high volume

While you can pay hundreds of pounds for a pair of audiophile or status headphones, if you’re mainly going to be wearing them in the gym, listening to a podcast or leaving them on the bus then you’re probably wasting your money. Moreover, the price of technologies like Bluetooth and noise cancellation is falling and you can pick up a pair featuring both of these useful features for mid-range prices. Here’s our review of some popular models…

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Kindle 2019 review: Amazon's cheapest e-reader gets adjustable frontlight
Posted on Thursday July 18, 2019

Amazon’s basic Kindle lights up with a better screen to close the gap with the Paperwhite

Amazon’s cheapest, most basic Kindle now has a light and a better screen, which makes it very nearly the new default ebook reader. The new Kindle 9 – which is, confusingly, one of the new 10th generation of Kindles alongside the fourth-generation Paperwhite and third-generation Oasis – looks very similar to the previous version.

The sides of the reader feel as though they have been softened slightly. It has been made 2mm narrower and 0.4mm thinner but 13g heavier than the previous version. The Kindle 9 is easy to hold for extended periods and feels fairly robust.

Screen: 6in e-paper (167ppi)

Dimensions: 160 x 113 x 8.7 mm

Weight: 174g

Connectivity: wifi, Bluetooth, microUSB

Storage: 4GB

Battery life: rated for approximately 14 hours of reading

The textured plastic back is fairly easy to mark, but hides those marks relatively well.

It’s still hard to list books by the author’s order, such as Ian Rankin’s numerous Rebus detective novels by chronology, as you might on a bookshelf.

A single button on the bottom turns the screen on and off, but you can set a pin to protect it.

The Kindle 9 is not water-resistant, and there’s a seam around the sides of the device in which dust can get stuck.

Pros: higher contrast screen, easy to use and buy books, X-Ray, audiobooks, frontlight, good battery life, light and easy to handle

Cons: microUSB, no page-turn buttons, no automatic brightness adjustment, not water-resistant, only 4GB storage, no 4G option, more or less locked into Amazon’s ecosystem

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2018 review: the new standard

Amazon Kindle Oasis 2017 review: the Rolls-Royce of e-readers

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Bose Frames review: smart audio sunglasses are a blast
Posted on Monday July 08, 2019

Music without earbuds looks and sounds surprisingly good, making these smart glasses the antithesis of Google Glass

The Bose Frames are the answer to the question: what if your sunglasses were also a set of smart, hidden headphones with no earbuds or no bone-conduction system, just a set of personal speakers?

As a wearer of true wireless earbuds, that’s not a question I ever thought I would ask. But the Bose Frames are delightful and leaving your ears free of buds or headphones has a clear and obvious case.

The USB cable comes in a small microfibre bag lose in the case with the Frames, which makes getting them out a bit clumsy

There’s no microfibre bag for the Frames included, which would make using them and keeping them clean while out and about a bit easier

Apple’s Face ID works through both the black and mirrored silver polarised lenses

Google Assistant/Siri is really good through the Frames

Polarised lenses have an odd tendency to distort the pavement, making it look less flat than it really is

Pros: music without blocking your ears or making a racket for others, look good, choice of lenses and frames, comfortable, sound good, solid Bluetooth connection, excellent call quality

Cons: no battery in the case and only 3.5 hours between charges, will never be your only set of earphones, can’t protect from noise of the outside world, AR potential unrealised

Best true wireless earbuds 2019: AirPods, Samsung, Jabra and Anker compared and ranked

Five of the best noise-cancelling headphones

SubPack S2 review: portable mega-club experience, without the hearing loss

Google Glass review: useful – but overpriced and socially awkward

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The best travel tech for a stress-free holiday
Posted on Friday July 05, 2019

How to keep your mobile, tablet, Kindle and headphones charged and connected abroad

It’s July, the sun’s out and the summer break is almost upon us, which can mean only one thing: it’s holiday time.

But holidays no longer mean leaving all your worldly possessions behind. Your phone, your tablet, your e-reader, headphones and even your smartwatch come along for the ride, which means you need to keep them charged, organised and connected.

Best smartphone 2019: iPhone, Samsung, OnePlus and Huawei compared and ranked

Best true wireless earbuds 2019: AirPods, Samsung, Jabra and Anker compared and ranked

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What’s the best cheap tablet or e-reader for PDF files?
Posted on Thursday June 27, 2019

Thomas needs a device to read A4 PDFs of technical papers that is cheaper than a good laptop

I am looking for an e-reader for technical papers. These are usually only available in fixed, non-reflowable, PDF format and sized for printing on A4 paper. They cannot be read on a typical e-reader such as a Kindle because the text is too small. I don’t need the fancy note-taking capabilities of options such as the Remarkable PDF reader. Can you recommend something that doesn’t cost as much as a decent laptop? Thomas

The main attraction of Adobe’s Portable Document Format (PDF) is that people can read the files on almost any kind of device. The corollary is that almost any device will work as a PDF reader, including smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops running almost any operating system. Indeed, so many people need to read PDF files for business and educational research purposes, there are e-readers designed for the task.

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Sixteen of the world's greatest kitchen gadgets – chosen by chefs
Posted on Thursday June 27, 2019

From rice hacks to a 100-year-old rolling pin, cooks and food writers reveal the gizmos they could never do without

Given an unlimited budget, a keen cook could drop tens of thousands of pounds on the kitchen of their dreams. Yet often, even in the most smoothly finished set-up, it is tried-and-trusted, bashed-up equipment that we rely on the most. We asked some of our leading chefs and cookery writers to share which old gizmos and gadgets they cherish.

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The best gadgets under £30
Posted on Sunday June 16, 2019

Whether you’re making a call or a smoothie, our pick of gizmos at giveaway prices shows hi-tech needn’t mean high price

Gilobaby smart robot, £24
Feeling anxious about robots taking over the world? For 24 quid, allay your anxieties by barking simple commands at this gaudy plastic bot and experiencing triumph as it bends to your every command, from: “Go back” to: “Can you dance?”

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A side-by-side comparison of the Bondi-to-Manly hyperlapse – video
Posted on Thursday June 13, 2019

A side-by-side comparison of the first and final versions of Guardian Australia's Bondi-to-Manly hyperlapse shows the amount of stabilising, animating, blurring and colour correcting that was needed to convert raw 360º footage into a smooth final result

• Bondi-to-Many: experience Sydney's spectacular coastal walk 

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Bluetooth your bladder: the hi-tech way to beat incontinence
Posted on Sunday June 02, 2019

Urinary leakage affects millions of women, who have often suffered in silence. That may change with Elvie, a new way to strengthen the pelvic floor – involving an app

There are nappies in my wardrobe, but I have no children nor a sexual fetish. Instead, I have a problem shared by millions of women (and some men): I cannot always control my bladder as well as I want to, no matter how many toilet visits I have made beforehand. I have incontinence, and I am not alone: in the UK, up to 40% of women have incontinence at some point, either because they have given birth or are menopausal, because of genetics, or simply because of age. Up to 70% of expectant and new mothers experience incontinence, and a quarter of men over 40 – though, given how shameful it is thought to be, the figures are likely to be conservative. We mask, we hide, we cope.

The pelvic floor – a sling of muscles stretching from the tailbone to the pubic bone – supports the bladder, bowel and womb. These muscles are meant to contract to stopper any flow of urine. (The muscles are also sometimes referred to as a “trampoline” – a sour joke for women who know trampolining is a sure way to wet pants.)

Though it is less common than in women, men get incontinent, too – often later in life

Related: Five ways to strengthen your pelvic floor

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OnePlus 7 Pro review: an absolute beast in every way
Posted on Friday May 31, 2019

Fantastic screen, the fastest performance, a good camera and brilliant software in a massive phone that still undercuts the competition

The OnePlus 7 Pro is the firm’s largest, most expensive and most premium phone yet. While not that cheap, it still undercuts the competition by some margin, while offering sheer speed and a stunning notchless display that even its most expensive rivals can’t touch.

Starting at £649, the OnePlus 7 Pro is £150 more expensive than last year’s 6T or its 2019 refresh the 7 (non-Pro). It’s also significantly bigger.

Screen: 6.67in 90Hz QHD+ AMOLED (516ppi)

Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855

RAM: 6, 8 or 12GB of RAM

Storage: 128 or 256GB (UFS 3.0)

Operating system: Oxygen OS 9.5 based on Android 9 Pie

Camera: triple rear camera 48MP, 16MP ultra-wide angle, 8MP telephoto, 16MP front-facing camera

Connectivity: LTE, dual sim, wifiac, NFC, Bluetooth 5 and GPS

Dimensions: 162.6 x 75.9 x 8.8mm

Weight: 206g

It looks really good in blue, but even better in the limited edition almond

There’s a sharp edge in the bottom corners of the phone where the glass meets the metal

Auto-brightness often went too dim in normal indoor lighting requiring manual correction

It was too easy to invoke the pin code entry screen when shooting photos while the phone was locked

The new motion wallpapers are gorgeous

OnePlus’s alert slider, toggling between silent, vibrate and ring, continues to be excellent

The stereo speakers are some of the best

There’s a 5G version available too

Pros: stunning screen, super-fast performance, fast in-screen fingerprint reader, good battery life, dual-sim, really good camera, great software, alert slider

Cons: glass back but no wireless charging, no IP water resistance rating, no expandable storage, no headphone socket, too big

Best smartphone 2019: iPhone, Samsung, Huawei and Google compared and ranked

Huawei P30 Pro review: game-changing camera, stellar battery life

Samsung Galaxy S10+ review: a simply stunning screen

iPhone XS Max review: Apple’s supersized smartphone

Google Pixel 3 XL review: big is still beautiful

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Five of the best wireless earbuds: a guide for all budgets
Posted on Saturday May 11, 2019

Our pick of the Bluetooth earbuds out there, from Apple Airpods to Samsung Galaxy Buds and more

Earbuds are great for some personal listening in the office, on the commute or at the gym, but wires are a pain, and headphone sockets are disappearing from our smartphones.

Bluetooth earbuds have long been available with a wire between them that runs round the back of your neck, but that can be frustrating as it often gets caught on clothing. The next generation of truly wireless earbuds solves the problem by getting rid of the wires entirely.

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New Windows 10 build adds GPU temp monitoring, desktop renaming, and Settings updates
Posted on Friday August 16, 2019

Users have been waiting for the first significant builds of the upcoming Windows 10 20H1 feature release to drop, and build 18963 is just that. It offers improvements to the Task Manager, Settings, Windows Search, and even your account picture. 

None of the new features should be considered barn-burners, but we haven’t seen this breadth of variety very often with the upcoming 20H1 release. (While the 20H1 release, due in the spring of 2020, is the “feature release,” Microsoft has said before that the 19H2 release due this fall will be built around optimizations and bug fixes.)

Here’s a list of what’s new, starting off with a feature designed for PC enthusiasts:

To read this article in full, please click here

Best gaming mice: Find your perfect match
Posted on Friday August 16, 2019

The mouse is a simple tool: point and click. That’s it. But if you’re a PC gamer, you know that pushing virtual paper around on your desktop isn’t the same as fragging bots and shooting zombies. (Not even remotely.) 

What’s more, picking the right gaming mouse is an intensely personal decision. Every little detail—its overall shape and size, the shape and placement its buttons, its cable (or lack thereof), its weight, its materials—can change how you feel about it. More than any other peripheral, a mouse is the hardest to recommend, because there is no objectively perfect mouse. Everyone’s hands are different.

That said, we can guide you on your search. Below are our recommendations for gaming mice, built on years of experience first and foremost as gamers, and second as writers here at PCWorld. 

To read this article in full, please click here

Best home security camera: Keep an eye on the home front
Posted on Friday August 16, 2019

A boom in wireless security cameras is inspiring a movement in DIY home surveillance. Follow our buying guide and read our reviews to find the best option for you.

Swiftpoint Z review: Would you spend $230 on a mouse?
Posted on Friday August 16, 2019

Would you spend $200 on a mouse? Should you spend $200 on a mouse? Always a fan of gloriously pricey peripherals, I recently took the Swiftpoint Z for a spin to find out. At $230 list, I’m pretty sure it’s the most expensive mouse I’ve ever used—and it certainly tries to justify that price with a laundry list of experimental features. (Note: As of this writing, Amazon is selling the Swiftpoint Z for $150.)

Or gimmicks, if you’re feeling less generous.

Let’s get into it though. If nothing else, the Swiftpoint Z is at least the most interesting mouse I’ve ever laid hands on. Get ready to rethink every assumption you’ve ever had about how a mouse should function.

To read this article in full, please click here

Deep Sentinel Home Security review: More than just cameras that document crime, this system actively deters it
Posted on Friday August 16, 2019

Real people monitor these security cameras on your behalf, and they'll let any potential intruder know they're being watched.

Why lower clock speeds on Intel 10th-gen Ice Lake CPUs aren't a disaster
Posted on Friday August 16, 2019

Despite what’s been said for years about CPUs, megahertz still matters. So just how much should you be freaked out at the lower clock frequencies of Intel’s new 10th-gen Ice Lake CPUs? The answer goes beyond simple numbers.

The issue, of course, is the lackadaisical top clock speed of Intel’s fastest 10th-gen Ice Lake Core i7-1065G7 CPU: 3.9GHz. Compared to the 8th-gen Core i7-8565U’s 4.6GHz, the Ice Lake part is nearly 15 percent slower. It gives up a full 900MHz over the less common 8th gen Core i7-8665U, too. 

Although many things contribute to a CPU’s performance, including its micro-architecture as well as thermal and power constraints, overall press previews (including our own early benchmarks)  were generally favorable considering—wait for it—Ice Lake’s lower clock speed. Still, the response from many has been along the lines of, “is that all you got?” 

To read this article in full, please click here

Best antivirus for Mac: Protect yourself from malicious software
Posted on Thursday August 15, 2019

We name the top free and paid Mac antivirus products to root out malicious software and prevent infections.

Best cheap laptops: We rate the best-sellers on Amazon and Best Buy
Posted on Thursday August 15, 2019

When you’re looking for a good, cheap laptop, knowledge is power. Every budget machine (which we’re defining as Windows laptops costing $500 or less) is the product of compromise—corners carefully cut here and there to hit a price point.

Your job is to find the one that checks off the most boxes for your needs. We’ll show you what to look for by highlighting which budget laptops among the best-sellers currently listed at Amazon and Best Buy are worth buying. We haven’t necessarily tested these specific machines (we’ll let you know if we have), but we’ve seen enough similar ones to have a good idea of the pros and cons. We’re also focusing on 14-inch and larger laptops, because part of the great deal should be getting a decent-sized display.

To read this article in full, please click here

Microsoft's privacy policy admits contractors listen to Cortana, Skype recordings
Posted on Thursday August 15, 2019

Microsoft’s updated privacy policy acknowledges that the company is allowing humans to listen to recordings made by Cortana and other speech services, and the company has not yet allowed customers to opt out.

Microsoft’s privacy issues follow similar problems with Google’s Assistant as well as Apple, where contractors revealed that humans are allowed access to snippets of recorded conversations to improve the performance of the respective devices. Vice’s Motherboard also revealed similar practices going on at Microsoft, specifically with regards to Skype and Cortana. 

To read this article in full, please click here

Pre-binned Ryzen 3000 CPU listings reveal the limits of AMD overclocking potential
Posted on Thursday August 15, 2019

AMD designed its Ryzen 3000 processors to milk out every possible ounce of performance, leaving very little room for enthusiasts to push the pedal even closer to the metal. That’s the key takeaway from Case King and Silicon Lottery listings for pre-binned chips with guaranteed all-core overclocking headroom.

Both sites validate their chips in-house and then sell them at a premium for their guaranteed minimum overclocking potential, so the faster the chip, the more you pay. The Case King offerings are tested by renowned overclocker Roman “der8auer” Hartung, as Anandtech points out. Most of the available chips have already been gobbled up, but the listings themselves provide deeper insight into AMD’s strategy.

To read this article in full, please click here

Google Assistant can now remind other people to do things you don’t want to do
Posted on Thursday August 15, 2019

Setting a reminder is one of the most useful things you can do with Google Assistant on your phone or smart speaker, especially if you’re the forgetful type. But a new feature rolling out to Assistant will make reminders even more useful, so much so that you won’t have to do the remembering.

Instead of asking Google Assistant to set a reminder for you, you’ll now be able to set one for someone else in your family or household. So, instead of saying, “Hey Google, remind me to take out the trash on Sunday,” you’ll be able to say, “Hey Google, remind Susan to take out the track on Sunday.” Then, the notification will appear on their phone or smart speaker at the specified time.

To read this article in full, please click here

Amid privacy concerns, Google nixes the ability turn off the status light on active Nest cameras
Posted on Thursday August 15, 2019

Nest Cam, Dropcam, and Hello owners will no longer be allowed to completely turn off the status lights on their cameras, although they will be able to dim them.

Install Windows 10's August 2019 updates now to protect your PC from a nasty worm
Posted on Thursday August 15, 2019

Microsoft’s monthly Patch Tuesday updates rolled out earlier this week, and you should update Windows pronto. The updates include patches for four severe “wormable” security exploits that can let attackers spread malware without any user action, similar to WannaCry and the BlueKeep vulnerability that coerced Microsoft into releasing a rare post-death patch for Windows XP.

To read this article in full, please click here

The best bias lighting for TVs and computer monitors: An easy way to boost contrast and ease eyestrain
Posted on Thursday August 15, 2019

Read on for reviews of some of the best bias lighting kits we’ve tested, along with what to look for in bias lighting for a TV.

10 wishes for the new Nvidia Shield TV
Posted on Thursday August 15, 2019

Nvidia Shield TV: What I'd like to see next in the new version

Philips Hue Play review: This versatile bias lighting kit syncs with your PC
Posted on Thursday August 15, 2019

If you’ve already got a Philips Hue Bridge in your home, the Hue Play makes for a great way to add bias lighting to your home theater setup, or as a responsive bias light for your computer monitor.

Ask a PC expert: Is air cooling or liquid cooling better for your CPU?
Posted on Thursday August 15, 2019

Keeping your PC’s high-end processor cool used to require heavy metal: A CPU cooler with a massive heatsink smooshed between big fans. But closed-loop all-in-one cooling has come up fast in recent years, swapping out those huge metal towers for tubes full of liquid (and big metal reservoirs at the edge of your case). Which is the better CPU cooling method: air or liquid?

There’s no right or wrong answer, and viewpoints vary even among our tiny Full Nerd gang. PCWorld CPU guru voices his opinion in the video below, breaking down the advantages (and disadvantages) of each cooling method. We also dig into whether you should fear a liquid cooler potentially spraying your pricey PC parts, and if the generalization that you can achieve higher overclocks on liquid coolers is true or not. Knowing is half the battle, after all.

To read this article in full, please click here

Govee DreamColor for TV with Alexa review: This bias light uses a camera to sync with your TV screen
Posted on Thursday August 15, 2019

If you want more from your TV bias lights than a subtle glow that boosts contrast and eases eye strain, this responsive LED light strip from Govee is worth a try.

Luminoodle Color Bias Lighting review: A nice range of bias lighting colors for your TV, but no “true” white mode
Posted on Thursday August 15, 2019

If you’re looking for a moderately priced, multi-colored bias lighting strip for the back of your TV, the Luminoodle Color Bias Lighting strip makes for a solid choice.

The MediaLight bias TV lighting review: Subtle bias lighting designed for videophiles
Posted on Thursday August 15, 2019

The MediaLight bias lighting strips are designed for discriminating viewers who want to enhance their TV’s visuals while preserving the integrity of the original image.

 


 

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