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Elgato Stream Deck Mini review: All your streaming actions and enhancements are a button push away

During Amazon's Prime Day sale you can find all sorts of deals on Elgato streaming hardware, including this Elgato Stream Deck Mini for just $60—a $40 savings off list price. 

Last year I called Elgato’s Stream Deck “a valuable tool in anyone’s streaming kit.” Long known for affordable capture equipment, Elgato had entered another important hardware niche and created an inexpensive video switcher—one that was only the size of a card deck. With multiple customizable buttons, you could manage all facets of your streaming process without every leaving your primary screen.

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Tuesday July 16, 2019

Elgato Stream Deck review: A streamer's best friend

During Amazon's Prime Day sale you can find all sorts of deals on Elgato streaming hardware, including this Elgato Stream Deck for just $100—a $50 savings off list price. 

Pro-grade equipment at a bargain price. That’s the reputation Elgato earned as first YouTube videos and then Twitch streaming took over video games. Straddling a line between hobbyist and professional-grade—a line that’s hard to walk competently, I might add—Elgato’s capture cards have become a mainstay of streamers at all levels.

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Tuesday July 16, 2019

Acer Predator Helios 300: We review the bestselling gaming laptop on Amazon

During Amazon's Prime Day sale you can score this very popular-for-a-reason laptop for less than $1,000—$200 off its list price. See our picks for other great Prime Day deals.

Acer’s Predator Helios 300 has achieved something we never thought a gaming laptop could do. It actually manages to be popular, powerful, and affordable. 

You’d think popularity would be the hardest thing to prove, but that’s what caught our eye first. A specific model of the Predator Helios 300 has maintained a steady position among the top ten bestselling laptops on Amazon for many, many weeks. It just won’t quit. 

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Tuesday July 16, 2019

Microsoft blocks Windows 10 May 2019 Update on the Surface Book 2

It’s not every day that Microsoft can’t work out a bug on its own hardware, but that’s what has happened with the Microsoft Surface Book 2: Microsoft has blocked the devices from updating to the Windows 10 May 2019 Update.

Microsoft says the root cause is issues with the discrete GPU inside the notebook. Two things may happen, Microsoft said in a support note: Either Nvidia’s discrete GPU may disappear from the Device Manager, or games that require the discrete GPU may simply refuse to open. A Surface Book 2 evaluation unit issued to PCWorld by Microsoft experienced that problem, refusing to play the game Broforce, as evidenced by the screenshot that accompanies this story.

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Tuesday July 16, 2019

Google Pixel 3 XL review: Winning the game by rewriting the rules


Monday July 15, 2019

Amazon Prime Day 2019: The best tech, electronics, PC, and mobile deals

For Amazon Prime Day 2019, the number of deals have increased dramatically. Amazon's competition has grown, too—but still, this annual summer sale has a long way to go before it rivals Black Friday.

Still, during our hours of poring over deals, we found respectable deals in multiple categories—you’ll find everything from chargers to TVs on the cheap. Tech enthusiasts can find a few diamonds in the rough, too. Overall, it'll pay off to check out both Amazon and rivals like Dell, Walmart, and Newegg, especially if you're shopping for a laptop.

Deals will roll out continually over the course of Prime Day (between July 15 12 a.m. PT and July 16 11:59 p.m. PT), so be sure to check this page regularly for updates. We'll update this article as new deals and new pricing information become available.

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Monday July 15, 2019

The Best Amazon Prime Day 2019 deals for cord-cutters

Amazon Prime Day is a great time to score big discounts on streaming devices, smart TVs, and other cord-cutting gear.
Monday July 15, 2019

AMD officially hires Alienware's Frank Azor as its new gaming chief

Frank Azor has made it official: The co-founder of Dell's Alienware business has now joined AMD as its chief architect of gaming.

AMD welcomed Azor to AMD via tweets from AMD chief executive Lisa Su and other AMD employees. Azor also announced the change in his Twitter bio, where he's known as chief architect of gaming solutions. "Thanks @LisaSu. This is a huge opportunity to grow the gaming industry! I'm really excited to be part of the @AMD family," Azor tweeted Monday.

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Monday July 15, 2019

Roku Streaming Stick and Stick+ review: A new remote makes a big difference

Roku's Sticks get even better with TV controls, voice commands, and 4K HDR video at the high end.
Monday July 15, 2019

Best media streaming devices

Roku Streaming Stick vs. Amazon Fire Stick vs. Chromecast vs. Apple TV, and more. Which streaming device is best for cord cutters? Our buying guide will help you pick the right accessories for your TV.
Monday July 15, 2019

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K review: This is the media streamer to beat

Amazon's new Fire TV Stick sheds past mistakes and streams 4K HDR video at an unbeatable price.
Monday July 15, 2019

Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 Plus might make the Galaxy Note 10 and Google Pixel 4 even faster

If there’s one constant in the world of Android phones, it’s that the top phones all use Qualcomm’s best Snapdragon processor. This year, that’s the Snapdragon 855, a powerful system-on-chip that we’ve already seen in the Galaxy S10, One Plus 7 Pro, LG G8 ThinQ, and a few others.

Naturally, we assumed that the premium handsets coming in the second half of the year, namely the Galaxy Note 10 and Pixel 4, would use the same processor. But that might not be the case. Qualcomm has announced a mid-year refresh to the Snapdragon 855 that it’s calling the 855 Plus. Because, you know, everything that’s better has a plus in its name these days.

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Monday July 15, 2019

Warning: Watch out for Prime Day graphics card 'deals' that aren't worth your money

Be wary if you’re browsing Amazon Prime Day or Newegg’s Fantastech sale with an eye toward upgrading your gaming PC. Many of the “sales” we’re seeing on graphics cards and desktops aren’t really deals at all, and if you’re not careful, you could wind up spending much more money than you should to get the performance you want.

That’s because the new Radeon RX 5700 series and GeForce RTX Super graphics cards released last week drastically realigned the value proposition for all high-end graphics cards. You can get a lot more for your money with high-end GPUs than you could a scant few days ago. The $400 GeForce RTX 2060 Super delivers performance on par with the original $500 RTX 2070, while the $500 RTX 2070 Super is almost as fast as the original $700 RTX 2080. The Radeon GPUs, meanwhile, outpunch Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2060 duo at the same price point.

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Monday July 15, 2019

Best external drives for backup, storage, and portability


Monday July 15, 2019

The best laptops: Premium laptops, cheap laptops, 2-in-1s, and more

During Amazon's Prime Day sale you can save on your laptop purchase, with deals on a range of different models, including our pick for best budget laptop, the Acer Aspire E15 E5-576-392H, which is a low $280, a whopping $90 off its list price.

The laptop world is a-changing. New CPUs and GPUs—yes, mobile discrete GPUs—are bringing forth laptops that are thinner, lighter, and faster than ever, even gaming laptops. And the advances keep coming: After a busy round of CES announcements in January, Intel and Nvidia have welcomed spring with yet another round of products: the 9th generation of Core mobile processors, and mobile GeForce GTX 1650 and 1660 Ti graphics. Acer, Asus, Dell, Razer, and more companies are jumping on this bandwagon, so stay tuned for new models we bring in for review. 

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Monday July 15, 2019

Acer Aspire E15 E5-576-392H review: A bargain-priced laptop with plenty of productivity power

During Amazon's Prime Day sale even more on this already affordably priced laptop—it's now a low $280, a whopping $90 off its list price.

The Acer Aspire E15 (E5-576-392H) is a bargain laptop that delivers solid productivity performance. Given its low price, mainstream users may be willing to overlook the laptop’s extra weight, so-so display and lack of keyboard backlighting. But if you have any high-demand applications (or a bit of a gaming bug), it would be better to consider one of its pricier cousins. 

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Monday July 15, 2019

Intel connects 64 Loihi 'brain chips' together and hands them off to researchers

Intel said Monday that its “Pohoiki Beach” neuromorphic system, consisting of 64 of its Loihi chips connected together to simulate 8 million neurons, is being made available to the broader research community. A 100 million-neuron system, known as Pohoiki Springs, is on track to debut later this year, as originally planned

In 2017, Intel began defining Loihi, the first of its neuromorphic “brain chips” that simulate how the human brain works, in terms of the synapses that connected them. Now, the company has returned to just talking about simulated neurons.

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Monday July 15, 2019

Best gaming keyboards: Our picks for the top budget, mid-tier, and RGB boards

Note: During Amazon's Prime Day sale you can find deals on many of the top mechanical gaming keyboards, including the Corsair K95 RGB—our pick for best ultra premium keyboard—which is now $110, a $90 savings off the list price.

Choosing a gaming keyboard is a matter of personal taste. To that point, there are a plethora of options, with a dizzying mix of features. One person could be into Cherry Browns and white backlighting. Another might favor Razer Greens and a rippling RGB glow. Gigantic wrist pads, compact shapes, numeric keypads, macro keys, volume controls.... You get the picture

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Monday July 15, 2019

Google Keep Notes: 10 tips and tricks to become a master

Google Keep Notes might be the most underrated of Google’s services. It’s more than just a place to jot down your thoughts—it’s also the missing link to bring Docs, Calendar, Photos, and the rest of Google’s services together. Here are 10 tips and tricks to unlock the full potential of Google Keep Notes:

Take a voice memo

While most people use Google Keep Notes to type quick notes to themselves, you can actually get your thoughts down even quicker by using your voice. In the bottom menu on the main screen, you can tap the microphone icon to speak your note to Google Keep. It’ll both record and transcribe everything you say, so even if Google’s dictation engine misses a word, you’ll still have a record of it.

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Monday July 15, 2019

Roborock S6 review: This premium robot vac/mop combo features Increased suction, carpet recognition, and more

It also improves the navigation and mopping function of its predecessor.
Monday July 15, 2019

Best robot vacuums: We name the most effective cleaners

Vacuuming is one of the most hated household chores. Here are your best choices for outsourcing it to some automated help.
Monday July 15, 2019

Acer Swift 7 (July 2019) review: The ultimate thin-and-light laptop's flaw is still performance

Acer’s Swift 7 (July 2019) 14-inch laptop still represents the pinnacle of the thin-and-light PC movement. Amazingly, this breathtakingly slim notebook PC is significantly lighter than its predecessor, while solving many of the usability issues which detracted from Acer’s previous Swift 7.

That laptop was frankly unpleasant to work on, with an average keyboard, a touchpad without click capabilities, and an absence of Thunderbolt ports—though the latter is admittedly still more of a spec we expect rather than one many peripherals take advantage of. Our updated Swift 7 (July 2019) review reflects how Acer solved those problems, though others remain: a poor webcam, mediocre performance, and a somewhat worrying amount of heat. That won’t altogether dull the sheer gasp of amazement that occurs when you first lift this sliver of a laptop out of its box.

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Monday July 15, 2019

Microsoft is shutting down its online versions of Hearts, Spades, Checkers and more

Chances are that you’re either obsessed with Microsoft’s Internet versions of Hearts, Backgammon, Checkers and more—or completely oblivious that such games exist. Unfortunately for the fans, Microsoft's online card games are going away entirely.

In a Community post, Microsoft has announced that its versions of Internet Backgammon, Checkers, Spades, Hearts, Reversi and MSN Go are indeed going away—if you’re still running Windows XP, they’ll vanish at the end of July. Support for the games on Windows 7 will end on January 22, 2020, the same day that support for Windows 7 officially ends.

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Monday July 15, 2019

Best Amazon Kindle and Fire tablet deals for Prime Day 2019

Amazon Prime Day isn’t just a day—it’s essentially a 60-hour event that starts right now with deals on Amazon’s own devices, including Fire tablets and Kindle e-readers. Bottom line: If you’ve been considering one of these devices, now is the time to buy, as we’re seeing discounts of up to 50 percent. (You’ll need to be an Amazon Prime member to score these deals, and if you aren’t already, you can sign up here.)

Of all the deals listed below, we're partial to the all-new Kindle, which is the best budget Amazon e-reader you can buy, and now $10 less than its all-time low price. Compared to the previous model, it upgrades from E Ink Pearl to E Ink Carta for sharper text. It also adds a capacitive touchscreen to minimize errant swipes. 

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Monday July 15, 2019

Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers review: Lighting the way for other MMORPGs

“Shadowbringers” is such a goth name, to the point that I wouldn’t be surprised if you entered Final Fantasy XIV’s latest expansion expecting to see, oh, broody anime antiheroes running a delivery service for vampires. But it’s so much more than that.

It’s a tale that reminds us that the world’s beauty depends on a balance of light and dark rather than a surfeit of one or the other, and that starry nights boast as much majesty as sunny afternoons. It’s an oddly timely tale that riffs off contemporary concerns about ignorant politics in the context of a sickened world, and its cutscenes command more interest than many series on television. It’s not only the best Final Fantasy XIV expansion so far (at least in terms of its launch state), but its story hits with such a force that there’s no longer any question that Square Enix’s MMORPG warrants inclusion in discussions of the best Final Fantasy games of all time.

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Saturday July 13, 2019

This week in games: Blizzard sics DeepMind on its StarCraft II players, Cuphead heads to Netflix

Steam’s Summer Sale is over, which means summer is well and truly underway. I hope you’re all having a good July, the only month of the year where games sort-of stop releasing for a bit. I know I am.

There’s still plenty of news thoughteases for Control and other August releases, plus Blizzard sics the AlphaStar AI on its StarCraft II players, The Bard’s Tale IV gets a director’s cut, Cuphead is getting a Netflix cartoon, Amazon announces a Lord of the Rings MMO, and Ion Maiden bows to Iron Maiden.

This is gaming news for July 8 to 12.

Free for the ages

Steam’s free games are usually free-to-try, not free-to-keep, but this week’s the rare exception. With Age of Wonders: Planetfall due out on August 6, Triumph’s made its previous game Age of Wonders III free to drum up excitement. You can grab it here from now through July 15.

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Saturday July 13, 2019

Google defends 'critical' language experts who listen to and transcribe your Assistant recordings

A report this week by VRT NWS seemingly outed Google employees for listening to users’ Assistant recordings. Now Google wants you to understand that they were just doing their job.

The Belgian broadcaster got ahold of the recordings after Dutch audio data was leaked by a Google employee. VRT says they received more than a thousand Google Assistant excerpts in the file dump, and they “could clearly hear addresses and other sensitive information.” The outlet then was able to match recordings to the people who made them.

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Friday July 12, 2019

GOG Galaxy 2.0 hands-on: The only game launcher you need? Not yet, but maybe someday

While Valve and Epic battle over storefront supremacy, there’s another battle quietly looming. As complaints mount against the proliferation of storefronts, there’s a chance for someone to make the ur-storefront. I’m talking of course about the launcher that will unify all the other launchers, the one launcher to rule them all and—in the darkness of your hard drive—bind them.

And GOG’s taken an early shot at it. Building off its Galaxy launcher, which was once a mere repository and auto-updater for your GOG library, it’s now begun rolling out “Galaxy 2.0” to a select few, including us. I’ve spent the last week or so testing its capabilities to see if I’m ready to condense my launcher loadout.

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Friday July 12, 2019

Graphics card massacre: 6 GPUs you absolutely should not buy right now

What a week it’s been for gaming nerds. Over the past seven days, AMD kicked off its next GPU generation with the $350 Radeon RX 5700 and $400 Radeon RX 5700 XT, while Nvidia countered its rival by launching a barrage of souped-up GeForce RTX “Super” graphics cards. The $400 GeForce RTX 2060 Super and $500 GeForce RTX 2070 launched on July 9, with a faster GeForce RTX 2080 Super scheduled to land on July 23.

The RTX Super cards effectively shift performance down a pricing tier. The GeForce RTX 2060 Super performs on a par with the original $500 RTX 2070, and the new RTX 2070 Super is almost as powerful as the original $700 RTX 2080. AMD’s Radeon duo, meanwhile, outpunches their direct GeForce competition in raw frame rates despite Nvidia’s attempted Super spoiler.

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Friday July 12, 2019

Aerosmith: Deuces Are Wild: A behind-the-scenes look at the advanced audio technology in a unique live show

An in-depth look at one of the first THX-certified concert venues that enables Aerosmith to deliver live, immersive rock-and-roll performances.
Friday July 12, 2019