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Microsoft Surface Headphones review: close but no cigar
Posted on Thursday December 13, 2018

Pricey Bluetooth headphones have excellent controls but only good, not great sound quality, noise cancelling and battery life

Surface Headphones are Microsoft’s high-price, premium noise-cancelling cans aimed squarely at toppling the current kings, Bose and Sony.

Headphones seem like an odd choice for the Xbox, Office and Windows maker, but the are being produced by Microsoft’s burgeoning consumer electronics arm responsible for its line of Surface computers and accessories.

You can pair them with up to 10 Bluetooth devices from any brand, but only connect to two at a time

A female voice announces battery life when you turn on the headphones

The text-to-speech sounds a little like a depressed robot and makes a right hash of some Bluetooth device names, pronouncing iPad as “eee-pad” for instance

It can take up to five minutes for the headphones to realise they’ve lost connection to a device

They come with an analogue 3.5mm cable with a mic built in, which turns the headphones on and off when plugged in

They don’t work any better with Windows 10 or a Surface Pro 6 than any other Bluetooth headphones

Pros: comfortable, well made, great controls, solid connectivity, USB-C, adjustable noise cancelling/ambient sound

Cons: no Cortana support in the UK, battery life, sound and noise cancelling not quite as good as rivals, fairly big, no support for AAC/apt

Hushed tones: six of the best noise-cancelling headphones

Bose QC35 wireless headphones (2016): simply unrivalled noise cancelling

Marshall Mid Bluetooth headphones review: sound that will rock you

Marshall Major III Bluetooth review: rocking wireless headphones

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The 20 best gadgets of 2018
Posted on Sunday December 09, 2018

From electric bikes and fold-up drones to combat robots and digital skipping ropes… the year’s most desirable technology

Instead of relying on heat, this innovative device employs the Coanda jet-flow effect (which helps keep planes airborne) to wrap and style hair. It requires relearning how to coax your locks, but you can say goodbye to heat damage and singed foreheads.

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Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2018 review: the new standard
Posted on Thursday December 06, 2018

Refined design, water resistance and good screen makes latest e-reader about as good as a single-use device gets

The new Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is thinner, lighter and now water resistant, setting a new standard for what an e-reader should be.

There’s only so far you can push a single-use device. Technically the Kindle Paperwhite is more than just an e-reader, as it now has Bluetooth for playing back audiobooks too. But it’s still a book reader, plain and simple.

Screen: 6in e-paper (300ppi)

Dimensions: 167 x 116 x 8.2 mm

Weight: 182g (4G version 191g)

Connectivity: Wi-Fi (3G optional), Bluetooth

Storage: 8 or 32GB

Battery life: rated for approximately 21 hours of reading

Amazon’s optional cases are excellent, but add bulk and weight and aren’t that easy to get on and off

The Paperwhite is the first Kindle with 4G, which I got noticeably better signal with when traveling but given ebooks are tiny in size they download in about the same time

There’s no USB-C, so you might need a dedicated micro-USB cable just for the Kindle

Pros: great screen, easy to use and buy books, X-ray, audiobooks, even backlight, good battery life, light and easy to handle, water resistance

Cons: microUSB, no page turn buttons, no automatic brightness adjustment, more or less locked into Amazon’s ecosystem

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

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Which electric bike should I get? And are they safe?
Posted on Saturday December 01, 2018

I’m thinking about giving it to my 80-year-old dad, but I’m not sure if he’ll cope with the extra speed

Every week a Guardian Money reader submits a question, and it’s up to you to help him or her out – a selection of the best answers will appear in next Saturday’s paper.

My cycling-mad father is 80 this year and considering getting an electric bike to allow him to stay in the saddle. Can anyone suggest a good one that isn’t £3,000? Will he be able to cope with the extra speed – any other octogenarians made the same move?

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Amazon Echo or Google Home: which should I buy?
Posted on Saturday November 24, 2018

I’m thinking of getting a smart speaker for a present, but wonder if the novelty will wear off

Every week a Guardian Money reader submits a question, and it’s up to you to help him or her out – a selection of the best answers will appear in next Saturday’s paper.

I’m thinking about buying one of those Amazon Echo or Google Home speakers as a gift for my partner at Christmas. My worry is that it might be fun at first but then you stop using it. How have other readers got on with them? And which is best, the Amazon or the Google one?

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Where to get the best UK Black Friday deals and offers
Posted on Friday November 23, 2018

Preparation is key to getting the best Black Friday deals, so try this handy guide to what’s on offer in the UK

Black Friday, Britain’s biggest shopping event, is nearly upon us, and with many high street retailers struggling, shoppers can expect to bag some good bargains.

It originated in the US, where stores mark the start of the festive shopping season the day after the Thanksgiving public holiday with big price cuts and promotions.

Related: Amazon and high street chains kick off Black Friday early

Related: Black Friday: stay out of the red with our smart shopping guide

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OnePlus 6T review: you'd have to spend double to get better than this
Posted on Friday November 02, 2018

With in-display fingerprint scanner and speedy performance, this is the smartphone that brings all-screen design up a notch

The OnePlus 6T proves that cutting-edge technology doesn’t have to cost the Earth, bringing an in-display fingerprint scanner and a tiny notch for just £500.

OnePlus has kept things simple for years, offering top specifications for budget prices. The price has slowly crept up to not-quite-so budget, but the level of refinement and technology has also improved.

Screen: 6.41in full HD AMOLED (402ppi)

Processor: octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845

RAM: 6 or 8GB of RAM

Storage: 128 or 256GB

Operating system: OxygenOS based on Android 9 Pie

Camera: 16MP + 20MP rear dual camera, 16MP front-facing camera

Connectivity: LTE, dual sim, Wi-Fiac, NFC, Bluetooth 5 and GPS

Dimensions: 157.5 x 74.8 x 8.2mm

Weight: 185g

When you use the fingerprint sensor the night mode for the display is disabled temporarily and then fades back in once you’ve unlocked the phone

The phone comes with a screen protector already on it

The single bottom-firing speaker is loud and has a relatively large amount of bass for the phone, but is easily blocked while playing a game

OnePlus’s alert slider switches between silent, vibrate and ring and is still brilliant

Pros: good battery life, great screen, excellent performance, dual-sim, good camera, Bluetooth 5, great software, tiny notch, in-screen fingerprint sensor, alert slider

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

Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: cutting-edge brilliance

Google Pixel 3 review: raising the bar for the Android experience

Google Pixel 3 XL review: big is still beautiful

Honor Play review: great all-round smartphone for under £300

Apple iPhone XS review: two steps forward, one step back

iPhone XS Max review: Apple’s supersized smartphone

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iPhone XR review: Apple's cheaper battery king
Posted on Wednesday October 31, 2018

With Face ID and a decent screen, this phone attempts a happy medium between quality and price – but £750 still isn’t a bargain

The iPhone XR looks to offer most of what made the iPhone XS a knockout for £250 less – but with a colourful body and a slightly larger screen is this the iPhone to buy?

With the iPhone XS and XS Max starting at £999 and £1,099 respectively, Apple has room to shoehorn a slightly lower cost, but still expensive, model in underneath.

Screen: 6.1in Liquid Retina HD (LCD) (326ppi)

Processor: Apple A12 Bionic

RAM: 3GB of RAM

Storage: 64, 128 or 256GB

Operating system: iOS 12

Camera: Dual 12MP rear cameras with OIS, 7MP front-facing camera

Connectivity: LTE, Wi-Fiac, NFC, Bluetooth 5, Lightning and GPS

Dimensions: 150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3 mm

Weight: 194g

Face ID is excellent, working just as well on the iPhone XR as it does on the iPhone XS

You need a USB-C to Lightning cable to fast charge the phone, but neither it nor a compatible charger are included in the box

The iPhone XR is water resistant to IP67 standards, which is the same as the iPhone X but worse than the iPhone XS

Wireless charging is great, but the iPhone heats up quite a lot while charging, more so than competitor phones

Pros: good camera, water resistant, wireless charging, Face ID, good battery life, good screen

Cons: no headphone socket, no fingerprint scanner, glass will break if dropped, expensive, no fast charger or USB-C cable in the box, no headphones adapter in the box

Apple iPhone XS review: two steps forward, one step back

iPhone XS Max review: Apple’s supersized smartphone

Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: cutting-edge brilliance

Google Pixel 3 review: raising the bar for the Android experience

Google Pixel 3 XL review: big is still beautiful

Samsung Galaxy S9+ review: the best big-screen smartphone by miles

OnePlus 6 review: top-end smartphone for half cost of iPhone X

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OnePlus 6T: cut-price flagship launches with in-screen fingerprint sensor
Posted on Monday October 29, 2018

Updated Android smartphone shrinks screen notch, offering cutting-edge technology for less

OnePlus is putting a stake in the ground with its latest smartphone, saying cutting-edge technology doesn’t need to cost the best part of £1,000.

The new OnePlus 6T, which starts at £499, has an all-screen design and large 6.41in FHD+ OLED display, but this time shrinks the notch at the top to a more bearable tiny teardrop shape, slims the chin at the bottom of the screen and fits a fingerprint scanner directly into the screen.

OnePlus 6 review: top-end smartphone for half cost of iPhone X

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Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: cutting-edge brilliance
Posted on Monday October 29, 2018

With in-display fingerprint and 3D face scanning, triple camera and long battery life, Huawei has pulled off something special

Huawei has made really good phones for years, but the Mate 20 Pro is the Chinese firm’s first truly cutting-edge device with a triple camera, 3D face unlock and an in-screen fingerprint sensor.

The Mate series of phones has always delivered one thing above all else – battery life. This year Huawei has gone out of its way to deliver even more.

Screen: 6.39in QHD+ OLED (538ppi)

Processor: octa-core Huawei Kirin 980

RAM: 6 or 8GB of RAM

Storage: 128 or 256GB plus nano memory card

Operating system: EMUI 9 based on Android 9 Pie

Camera: Triple rear camera 40MP, 20MP ultra-wide angle, 8MP telephoto, 24MP front-facing camera + 3D depth sensing camera

Connectivity: LTE, Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth 5 and GPS (dual-sim available in some regions)

Water resistance: IP68

Dimensions: 157.8 x 72.3 x 8.6 mm

Weight: 189g

Bluetooth connectivity to a set of wireless earbuds was excellent

4G performance was far better than some rivals, holding onto usable signal in more places without draining the battery

The twilight colour does not have the hyper optical pattern on the glass back

The phone supports new nano memory cards, not microSD cards, which might prove difficult to buy

Huawei’s haptics are greatly improved, although not quite on a par with Apple’s

It is not available to buy in the US following Huawei’s effective ban by the Trump administration

Pros: long battery life, 3D face recognition, in-display fingerprint scanner, wireless charging, reverse wireless charging, brilliant camera, fantastic screen, good processor

Cons: EMUI not to everyone’s taste, nano memory not microSD, expensive, no headphone socket, Master AI can be overbearing at times

Google Pixel 3 XL review: big is still beautiful

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 review: the do-everything phone

iPhone XS Max review: Apple’s supersized smartphone

Apple iPhone XS review: two steps forward, one step back

Huawei P20 Pro review – the three-camera iPhone killer

OnePlus 6 review: top-end smartphone for half cost of iPhone X

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Surface Laptop 2 review: Microsoft's sleeker answer to the MacBook Air
Posted on Tuesday October 23, 2018

This slim, powerful machine is the finest example of what a Windows laptop should be. If only it came with USB-C

The Surface Laptop 2 is Microsoft’s ultimate vision of what a Windows 10 laptop should be – simple, sleek and sophisticated, but still a little different.

The look, feel and operation hasn’t changed since last year, save for a slick new black paint job, which joins the default Microsoft silver, burgundy and blue.

Screen: 13.5in LCD 2256 x 1504 (201 PPI)

Processor: Intel Core i5 or i7 (8th generation)

RAM: 8 or 16GB

Storage: 128, 256, 512GB or 1TB

Graphics: Intel UHD 620

Operating system: Windows 10 Home

Camera: 720P front-facing, Windows Hello

Connectivity: Wifi ac, Bluetooth 4.1, USB 3.0, mini DisplayPort, headphones, TPM

Dimensions: 308.1 x 223.3 x 14.5mm

Weight: 1,252 or 1,283g

The Fn key can lock to either media or F keys with a little LED to show when active

Due to the angle of the side of the machine it can be difficult to plug the magnetic power cable in without lifting the side up for more leverage

The speakers are hidden beneath the deck of the keys and sound pretty good for a laptop

Pros: great keyboard, good trackpad, Alcantara, sleek design, USB-A port, great screen, great battery life, Windows Hello, powerful processor

Cons: no USB-C, no SD card reader, no fingerprint scanner, limited configuration options, Windows 10 Home not Pro, only Intel UHD 620

Huawei MateBook X Pro review: the slim, do-it-all MacBook Pro rival

Microsoft Surface Book 2 review: a powerful yet pricey laptop-tablet combo

Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Tablet review: as good as Surface Pro but with USB-C

Microsoft Surface Pro review: very nearly almost the future of Windows PCs

Microsoft Surface Go review: tablet that’s better for work than play

Apple 13in MacBook Pro (2017) review: battery life to get through a working day

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Google Home Hub review: the smart display to buy
Posted on Monday October 22, 2018

This gadget is your Google Assistant, smart-home dashboard and digital photo frame in one – and it’s good for cooking, too

The Home Hub is Google’s first own-brand smart display, combining Google Assistant, advanced smart-home control and a digital photo frame into a neat and tidy package.

Google isn’t the first to market with smart displays. Amazon’s Echo Show put the company’s Alexa on a screen a year ago, while Google Assistant smart displays made by Harman, Lenovo and LG were released a few months ago.

The screen can be set to turn off or go very dim in darkness

Swipe from the left edge to go back one screen

Some answers are accompanied by sound effects, such as birds tweeting for sunny weather predictions

Manual tweaking of brightness, low-light mode and display settings are buried in a menu on the Google Home app

There’s a night mode you can schedule to reduce the volume of responses and block notifications apart from alarms and timers

You can use it as a Bluetooth speaker

The Home Hub can show you the video from any linked smart cameras

Pros: great touchscreen, minimalist design, Bluetooth, Google Assistant, can hear you well, excellent smart home control, great recipes, cheaper than the competition

Cons: no 3.5mm socket, fabric could get dirty in a kitchen, need to dig into the Google Home app to change almost any setting, only Google services

Google Home review: the smart speaker that answers almost any question

Google Home Mini review: a brilliant little voice assistant speaker

Google Home Max review: bigger and smarter sound

Amazon Echo Show review: smart speaker with a screen has great potential

Amazon Echo Spot review: cute smart speaker with a screen

Apple HomePod review: Siri lets down best sounding smart speaker

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Huawei Mate 20 Pro launches with in-screen fingerprint sensor
Posted on Tuesday October 16, 2018

Feature-packed Android phone is first widely available with scanner embedded in screen alongside 3D face unlocking

Huawei’s new Mate 20 Pro has a massive screen, three cameras on the back and a fingerprint scanner embedded in the display.

The new top-end phone from the Chinese firm aims to secure its place at the top of the market alongside Samsung, having recently beaten Apple to become the second-largest smartphone manufacturer in August.

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Amazon launches water-resistant Kindle Paperwhite
Posted on Tuesday October 16, 2018

Update of popular e-reader introduces thinner and lighter design, Bluetooth compatibility and audiobook support

Amazon has launched a new version of its popular Kindle Paperwhite e-reader, which is thinner, lighter and now finally water resistant.

The new 2018 Kindle Paperwhite is the second Amazon e-ink device to be given the water resistance treatment following the launch of the Rolls Royce of e-readers, the £230 Oasis, in 2017.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2015 review: the sharpest and best yet

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

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Facebook Portal smart screen to launch amid concerns over privacy
Posted on Monday October 08, 2018

Company reveals details about voice-controlled device, which was delayed after data breach

Facebook wants to be invited into your living room. The company has revealed details about its Amazon Echo competitor, a voice-controlled, webcam-equipped smart screen named Portal.

Arriving in the US in November, Facebook Portal is a $199 (£152) 10-inch screen, with two speakers and a high-quality webcam attached, which the company hopes users will put in their living rooms and kitchens and use to launch video chats with friends and loved ones.

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Google launches DIY smart Nest Thermostat E
Posted on Monday October 01, 2018

Heating controller cheaper than previous model and consumers will not require a boiler engineer to install it

Google’s latest smart-home product is a cheaper smart thermostat that anyone can install themselves without the need for a boiler engineer.

The new £199 Nest Thermostat E is a two-part system consisting of a battery-powered heating controller called the Heat Link E, which replaces an existing wired thermostat or heating controller, and a smart thermostat that can be placed somewhere else in your home.

Nest Learning Thermostat third-gen: the simple, effective heating gadget

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The modern kitchen: with the help of electricity – archive, 26 September 1922
Posted on Wednesday September 26, 2018

26 September 1922 Kitchens revolutionised by electrical appliances and labour-saving devices

The modern kitchen differs in almost every respect from the average kitchen of thirty years ago. Conditions of work have necessitated radical changes to equipment. In a present-day kitchen there is no room for anything that is not of practical everyday use. Elaborate copper moulds and fancy dishes and crocks have given place to the plainest designs in earthenware and fireproof china. White wood furniture is no longer regarded as a necessary evil and a sign of respectability. The kitchen table is covered with linoleum or oil-baize; cupboards and dressers are stained and wax-polished to render them dustproof, and open shelves and spaces are discouraged since they make unnecessary work. In every point modern devices must require only a reasonable amount of time and attention to keep them in good condition. The cooking stoves in use to-day are a tremendous advance on the old-fashioned coal-eating ranges. Modern ranges are planned and equipped so that the fuel is used with the utmost efficiency and the heat can be perfectly controlled. Gas and electric stoves are universally popular both for the ease with which they can be used and for the efficiency with which they perform their work.

Related: Would you live in a house without a kitchen? You might have to

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Nest Hello review: Google's smart facial-recognition video doorbell
Posted on Thursday September 20, 2018

Excellent smart device comes with optional 24/7 video recording with facial recognition – and works as a doorbell too

Google’s new Nest Hello is a video doorbell that aims to be smarter than the rest with constant recording, face and object recognition.

The Hello is a direct replacement for a wired doorbell, working with an existing chime and requiring constant power, making it one of the high-end options for smart doorbells.

The Nest app runs you through full installation instructions that you can’t skip, even if you’ve had an electrician install the doorbell for you. Tedious.

The hyperlapse effect of scrolling through a full day’s video is really beautiful, watching the sun streak across the sky

I received far too many notifications for people passing by without a Nest Aware subscription, meaning I had to turn them off

Shadows of people walking are identified as people, setting off the alert even if the person isn’t actually in your motion zone

The Hello is weather-proof, but the backplate doesn’t fit all that tightly to the wall, so water can get in behind it if it’s exposed to torrential rain or similar

You’ll need a strong wifi signal for the doorbell and an uncapped broadband connection for the Nest Aware video recording

You can silence the chime for 30 minutes to three hours, but can’t schedule it to be quiet overnight or similar – you can toggle it on or off in the app manually though

Pros: HDR video, good night vision, good and fast app, great as basic doorbell, attractive, smart add-on features, with Nest Aware it is excellent as home-security camera, recognises guests via facial recognition

Cons: stringent wiring/power requirements, additional subscription almost a necessity, mount sits proud of the wall, privacy concerns of having a camera on your door particularly with facial recognition

Ring Video Doorbell 2 review: deal with doorsteppers from your sofa

Samsung SmartThings Hub review: an Internet of Things to rule them all?

Nest Learning Thermostat third-gen: the simple, effective heating gadget

Amazon Echo Show review: smart speaker with a screen has great potential

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Yuval Noah Harari: the myth of freedom
Posted on Friday September 14, 2018

Governments and corporations will soon know you better than you know yourself. Belief in the idea of ‘free will’ has become dangerous

Should scholars serve the truth, even at the cost of social harmony? Should you expose a fiction even if that fiction sustains the social order? In writing my latest book, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, I had to struggle with this dilemma with regard to liberalism.

On the one hand, I believe that the liberal story is flawed, that it does not tell the truth about humanity, and that in order to survive and flourish in the 21st century we need to go beyond it. On the other hand, at present the liberal story is still fundamental to the functioning of the global order. What’s more, liberalism is now attacked by religious and nationalist fanatics who believe in nostalgic fantasies that are far more dangerous and harmful.

The main challenge liberalism faces today comes not from fascism or communism but from the laboratories

If governments succeed in hacking the human animal, the easiest people to manipulate will be those who believe in free will

Related: Yuval Noah Harari extract: ‘Humans have always lived in the age of post-truth. We’re a post-truth species’

If we understood that our desires are not the outcome of free choice, we would hopefully be less preoccupied with them

Related: Are we about to witness the most unequal societies in history?

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Why you should read this article slowly
Posted on Friday September 14, 2018

Amid fears of shrinking attention spans, it’s time to stop skimming our screens and try slow reading – it is rich in rewards

Are we doomed to read distractedly in the digital age? Technology seems to deter slow, immersive reading. Scrolling down a web page with your thumb feels innately less attentive than turning over the pages of a book. Reading on a screen, particularly a phone screen, tires your eyes and makes it harder for you to keep your place. So online writing tends to be more skimmable and list-like than print. At the top of a web article, we are now often told how long it will detain us, forewarned that the words below are a “15-minute read”. The online reader’s put-down is TL;DR. Too long; didn’t read.

The cognitive neuroscientist Maryanne Wolf argued recently that this “new norm” of skim reading is producing “an invisible, game-changing transformation” in how readers process words. The neuronal circuit that underpins the brain’s capacity to read now favours the rapid ingestion of information, rather than skills fostered by deeper reading, like critical analysis and empathy.

The Kindle has not killed off the printed book any more than the car killed off the bicycle

The slow reader is like a swimmer who stops counting laps and just enjoys how their body feels and moves in water

Continue reading...

HP Chromebook x2 review: A better bet and bargain than the Google Pixel Slate
Posted on Wednesday December 19, 2018

When the detachable HP Chromebook x2 was announced in April, it was ahead of its time. Android app support was still a fledgling ambition, Chromebook tablets weren’t really a thing yet, and its $600 price tag seemed astronomical for a heaping portion of uncertainty.

hp chromebook x2 back2 Christopher Hebert/IDG

That’s a big HP logo on the back.

To read this article in full, please click here

Microsoft announces Windows Sandbox, a virtualized safe space for testing untrusted apps
Posted on Wednesday December 19, 2018

Windows Sandbox is here to protect your PC. A simple, virtualized Windows within Windows, it’s a place where an app can be safely run if you’re worried it might be malware. 

Microsoft announced Windows Sandbox Tuesday evening in a blog post, unearthed by ZDNet. Microsoft pre-announced that Windows Sandbox would first be tested within a future Windows 10 Insider build, beginning with build 18305 or newer. (At press time, Windows Insider build 18298 was the latest public release.) You’ll need a 64-bit processor with virtualization enabled in the BIOS and within Windows, and either Windows 10 Server or Windows 10 Pro. Windows 10 Home users won’t be able to use Windows Sandbox.

To read this article in full, please click here

The Full Nerd ep. 79: The best PC hardware of 2018
Posted on Wednesday December 19, 2018

It’s that time yet again, friends. In this episode of the Full Nerd, Gordon Mah UngBrad ChacosAlaina Yee, and Adam Patrick Murray crown the best PC hardware of 2018 after plenty of healthy debate, occasional audience tiebreakers, and a political deal (or two) to secure votes for chosen candidates.

The rules: Everybody brings a favorite pick or two for each category. Then the group argues until we reach an agreement on the best product. If we can’t determine a winner via majority vote, we ask the live viewing audience to help break the tie. It’s a ton of fun—even though tapping into the hivemind resulted in at least one ludicrous (but justifiable) champion. (The GeForce RTX 2080 Ti was robbed! —Brad)

To read this article in full, please click here

15 essential Google Assistant commands you'll find yourself using every day
Posted on Wednesday December 19, 2018

Google Assistant is everywhere, ranging from the Android smartphone in your pocket to the smart speakers and smart displays ensconced in your kitchen or living room. And that means you can control all your smart home devices without so much as turning your head.

All you need to say is “Hey Google!” What do you say after that? Well, almost anything, but here are 15 essential commands you should commit to memory.

Get a weather report

One of the simplest commands is probably also one of the most useful. As you’re getting ready to head out the door, say “Hey, Google. What’s the weather like?” You’ll get a succinct explanation of the current conditions and the forecasted conditions for later in the day.

To read this article in full, please click here

Sony SRS-XB501G smart speaker review: Now you can take Google Assistant to your next rave
Posted on Wednesday December 19, 2018

Sony's battery-powered outdoor speaker has it all: Google Assistant, Chromecast, Bluetooth, and multi-colored LED light bars.

This huge 58-inch 4K TV with Roku and HDR built-in is on sale for $350
Posted on Tuesday December 18, 2018

Get A Lifetime Of Kualto Money Management Software For Just $40 (80% Off)
Posted on Tuesday December 18, 2018

Sound financial planning doesn't come to us all naturally. With Kualto Money Management, however, anyone can maintain their finances and plan for future wealth. A lifetime subscription to this popular service would normally cost $239 but, right now, you can get it for just $39.99, so it’s a perfect time to jump on board.

You probably already know the basics of money management: the pluses should always exceed the minuses. The problem with this, though, is that it isn’t very realistic from month to month. We all get hit with large, unexpected bills from time to time, and we need to find a way to make those fit into the big picture. Most budgeting systems don’t address this. Kualto Money Management does.

To read this article in full, please click here

Ludicrous! This GeForce-equipped MSI gaming laptop is on sale for just $530
Posted on Tuesday December 18, 2018

Sometimes we find a gaming laptop deal we just can’t ignore. Right now, Newegg’s selling the 15.6-inch MSI GL63 for $530 after a $150 mail-in rebate and a $20 discount with the checkout code EMCEREX25. You’ll probably need to supply your email address to Newegg to use the checkout code, but even at $550 this is a pretty great deal. Game-ready laptops almost never sell this cheap.

To read this article in full, please click here

6 reasons to ditch your old PC and buy a modern laptop
Posted on Tuesday December 18, 2018

Intel, Microsoft, and others PC power players like to brag about how fast their computers are by drawing comparisons to “five-year-old PCs.” But does this obsession with performance miss a more important message? We think it does, and there are many more reasons to buy a modern PC than just raw speed.

Interactivity, convenient security, ease of use—these are critical features that don’t appear on spec lists. Even a modern PC’s sheer portability may not be immediately apparent.

If you have an old clunker of a PC and are considering a new one, here are six great reasons to open your wallet.

’Thin and light’ really means thin and light

Intel first developed the concept of a thin-and-light “ultrabook” in 2011, but it really wasn’t until five years ago that manufacturers really embraced it. Today, most premium consumer notebooks fall into the thin-and-light category, with products like Acer Swift 7 line emphasizing a thin, svelte form factor—just 0.35-inch thick and 2.54 pounds. Compare that to something like the Toshiba P845T-S4310 from several years ago: It’s over 4.5 pounds and an inch thick!

To read this article in full, please click here

Akitio Node Lite with Optane review: In-your-face Thunderbolt 3 performance
Posted on Tuesday December 18, 2018

The minute I saw the Akitio Node Lite with Optane (there’s a 960GB Intel 905P Optane NVMe SSD inside), I started humming Prince’s Little Red Corvette. It’s that red, and with the well-lit 905P inside, makes for an stirring show. The combination also makes for top-flight performance, with transfer rates on the high side of 2GBps.

I was also about to say that the Node Lite with Optane costs as much as a Corvette, but that wouldn’t be a fair comparison unless I specified a collectible such as a ‘63. Granted, $1,500 (available on Amazon) is hefty sum for a storage box, though the majority of that is the high-end 960GB Intel drive. A plain Akitio Node Lite without an SSD is $220 on Amazon (as of this writing), which is still a bit pricey. 

To read this article in full, please click here

AKG N700NC Wireless headphone review: Finally, noise-cancelling headphones an audiophile can love
Posted on Tuesday December 18, 2018

These AKG headphones prioritize music reproduction over noise cancellation.

Smart Alert for Mail (SAM) review: How to check your mailbox without leaving the house
Posted on Tuesday December 18, 2018

Tired of trudging out to your mailbox only to find that your mail hasn't arrived yet? SAM will notify you the moment it arrives—as long as your box isn't too far from your house.

Best VPN services of 2018: Reviews and buying advice
Posted on Monday December 17, 2018

Sign Up for HelloSign and Get Your First Three eSignatures Free
Posted on Monday December 17, 2018

When’s the last time you signed a contract on an actual piece of paper? Likely not lately, and likely not any time soon. Printing and manually signing pieces of paper is not only a logistical nightmare, it’s bad business in 2018. HelloSign is one of the leading companies allowing businesses and individuals to collectlegally binding e-signatures quickly and securely, and it’s making the case for eSignatures pretty darn clear.

If you find change daunting, you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you navigate HelloSign’s crisp, clear user interface. It won’t frustrate you, and more importantly, it won’t frustrate your customers or employees. Right now, you can try out your first three signatures for free — no strings attached.

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Microsoft's Surface Pro 6 bundle delivers $330 in savings (but for one day only)
Posted on Monday December 17, 2018

Watch The Full Nerd give awards to the best PC hardware right now!
Posted on Monday December 17, 2018

Join The Full Nerd gang as they talk about the latest PC hardware topics. In today's show we talk about Intel's big CPU plans for 2019 and beyond, rumors of Nvidia RTX in laptops, and Corsair's wild and fake RGB RAM. As always we will be answering your live questions so speak up in the chat.

If YouTube is not your thing uou can also watch us on Twitch, Facebook, and Twitter!

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Fitbit rolls out OS 3.0 for Versa and Ionic with new apps, more stats, and an eye on the future
Posted on Monday December 17, 2018

Fitbit OS 3.0 is rolling out to Ionic and Versa watches bringing new apps, enhanced dashboard features, and powerful APIs.

Upgrade to a kitted-out Acer Swift 3 laptop with a Core i5 and 8GB of RAM for $400 today
Posted on Monday December 17, 2018

Buy a Ring Video Doorbell 2 on sale and get a free Echo Dot
Posted on Monday December 17, 2018

Lenovo gives its affordable ThinkPad L390 notebooks a boost with Intel Whiskey Lake chips
Posted on Monday December 17, 2018

Lenovo has unveiled refreshed 13.3-inch ThinkPad L390 and L390 Yoga notebooks for business customers, now sporting Intel’s latest Whiskey Lake processors while maintaining two conveniences from their predecessors, the ThinkPad L380 and L380 Yoga.

Lenovo’s ThinkPad L-series notebooks represent the value class of Lenovo’s ThinkPad business lineup, appealing to professionals as well as consumers who want a more serious-minded notebook solution. They’ll be priced starting at $659 for the L390, and $889 for the L390 Yoga, and available in December in either black or silver.

The new L390 Yoga maintains two handy features that were also offered in the L380 Yoga: the hinge-mounted “world camera” that can be used for workers or students in the field, and the refreshing trend of “garaging” the Lenovo Active Pen within the L390 Yoga’s chassis. The latter feature helps to avoid losing the Active Pen within a briefcase or backpack, a convenience that few of its competitors—with the exception of the Samsung Notebook 9 Pen, perhaps—offer. Both laptops are also MIL-SPEC tested, for increased durability.

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