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PC World Latest News
Jul 12, 2020

Ubisoft Forward shows off Far Cry 6, Watch Dogs Legion, Assassin's Creed Valhalla, and Hyper Scape
We are now more than a month past the point when E3 2020 would've ended. But Fake E3? That's eternal. It lives in your heart, in your soul, and on your television. (Or maybe your phone?)

Today we finally reached the "1PM Monday Afternoon" slot, a.k.a. Ubisoft. Much of what Ubisoft showed at its faux-press conference, we already knew about—Watch Dogs Legion, Assassin's Creed Valhalla, and the recently leaked Far Cry 6. But hey, they managed to keep Tom Clancy's Elite Squad under wraps (for what that's worth), and the Assassin's Creed footage looked pretty neat.

There weren't many announcements, but you'll find a full recap of all today's trailers below. And don't worry, we're almost out of the woods. Microsoft's event takes place on July 23 and I'm pretty sure that's the end of Fake E3—just in time for Fake Gamescom!

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PC World Latest News
Jul 12, 2020

Watch Dogs Legion hands-on preview: There's no other game like it
A construction worker, a private military contractor, and a graffiti artist walk into a bar. They drink a pint. They play darts. They look at their phones. And one by one, when nobody's paying attention, they dip through the door marked "Staff."

If there's a punchline, it's that all three are secretly resistance fighters. Turns out everyone in the UK has a latent talent for snapping necks and shooting pistols. All they need is a push in the right direction. A push I'm happy to provide, because at the rate I'm burning through operatives, DedSec is going to need a long list of recruits.

Holding out for a hero Two demos in, it's clear Watch Dogs Legion will live or die by its character system—and for good reason. It's new and shiny and full of potential. But before I dig into my latest thoughts on the whole play-as-any-character-in-the-game system (which really needs a catchy name we can all make fun of like "Drivatar") I want to take a minute and talk story.

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PC World Latest News
Jul 12, 2020

Assassin's Creed Valhalla hands-on preview: More natural, more serious, more vikings
We fight for ruins. East Anglia is a world of mud and collapse, of bleak forests and treacherous fens. It is empty. It is quiet. Quiet except for the sound of iron against iron, the splintering of wooden gates giving way, and everywhere the screams and the yelling. A raid, Vikings stealing ashore to ransack a village and kill everyone that gets in their way. And when all the screaming and yelling is over? The ravens.

The ravens are the only real winners in East Anglia.

A tale of Midgard Earlier this week I spent three hours with Assassin's Creed Valhalla. I'll say this up front: I'm very curious how people receive it, come release day.

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PC World Latest News
Jul 10, 2020

Best gaming laptops: Know what to look for and which models rate highest
The gaming laptop landscape is experiencing an earthquake-like shift. With the near-simultaneous launches of AMD's Ryzen 4000 and Intel's Comet Lake-H mobile CPUs, we have a real fight for the first time ever, focusing on Ryzen 4000's cores vs. Comet Lake-H's clock speeds. Meanwhile, Nvidia has unveiled a new generation of mobile graphics technologies. Check out our top picks immediately below, and keep reading to catch up on the latest news and reviews. 

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PC World Latest News
Jul 10, 2020

Best wireless earbuds: Free yourself from the tyranny of cords
We put popular Bluetooth wireless and true wireless earbud models through their paces to find the best in the bunch.

PC World Latest News
Jul 10, 2020

Microsoft's Surface devices are now receiving the Windows 10 May 2020 Update (Update: not yet)
Microsoft says it has patched a bug that may have prevented some of its most recent Surface devices from receiving the Windows 10 May 2020 Update. And as of July 1, our Surface devices in our review stable are saying that they can receive the May 2020 Update as a result.

That may be an anomaly, however. ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley reports on July 10 that even though Microsoft says that Surfaces can receive the update, they haven't been.

In its list of issues associated with the Windows 10 May 2020 Update, Microsoft notes that it recently deployed patch KB4557957, which addresses the "Errors or unexpected restarts for some devices using Always On, Always Connected." 

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PC World Latest News
Jul 10, 2020

Everything we know—and don't know—about Google's new smart speaker
Google is being awfully coy about its latest smart speaker. We've teased out some facts and made some educated guesses.

PC World Latest News
Jul 10, 2020

PC market surges as coronavirus forces working from home
As consumers sheltered in place during the second quarter, they bought PCs by the ton. Both Gartner and IDC research firms reported big positive swings in PC and Chromebook sales for the second quarter. Gartner reported a 2.8 percent year-over-year increase, while IDC reported a whopping 11.2-percent boost for the same period.

The two firms have long differed in methodology: IDC includes Chromebook sales, and Gartner does not. That's significant, as U.S. consumers bought PCs and Chromebooks as students and workers alike weathered the coronavirus. IDC reported unit sales of 21 million in United States, calling it a "double-digit" increase (the firm did not release the exact figure).

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PC World Latest News
Jul 10, 2020

The best PC games of 2020 (so far)
It's been one hell of a year, eh? Or one hellish year, whichever you'd prefer. 2020 was already on track to be a weird one for video games, with new consoles just over the horizon. The transition is always awkward, as publishers rush out their last few efforts before the door closes and everyone stops caring about the "old" consoles forever.

But obviously a world in flames has made the release schedule even more volatile than expected. Most of the spring's big games—Cyberpunk 2077, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2, Wasteland 3, Watch Dogs Legion—were pushed to the end of the year, leaving us to celebrate…Halo 2?

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PC World Latest News
Jul 10, 2020

Tribit XFree Go headphone review: Amazing sound, great price, and one glaring flaw
The Tribit XFree Go headphones punch far above their weight, sonically: sadly, the controls locked up after an hour or so of sustained use.

PC World Latest News
Jul 10, 2020

Adios, Wraith? Why AMD's XT chips signal doom for a key Ryzen selling point
With the launch of its slightly faster, slightly better, exactly-the-same-price Ryzen 3000 XT processors this week, AMD became just a bit more like Intel…and Nvidia. More importantly, I suspect these new CPUs may exist to set the stage for removing a key AMD value proposition from next-gen "Zen 3" Ryzen CPUs.

Whither goest thou, Wraith? Most Ryzen XT reviews landed, well, not with a thud necessarily, but at least a loud "meh"—though Gamers Nexus did say, "we think the sand could have been better put to use elsewhere," when promoting its Ryzen 7 3800XT review. But the general sentiment is that they're fine. Ryzen XT processors offer mild 100MHz to 200MHz clock speed increases over their non-XT namesakes, and a higher overall level of silicon quality, meaning they can hold those faster clocks for longer and overclock better. Cool stuff! Yet not cool enough generally to recommend, given their steep $80ish price premium over the standard X-series chips, which remain on the market.

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PC World Latest News
Jul 09, 2020

Harmony is offering a full refund to anyone who ever bought its $250 Alexa remote
Harmony is discontinuing its Alexa-powered Express remote this year, but it's offering a full refund or upgrader to anyone who ever bought one.

PC World Latest News
Jul 09, 2020

Nvidia bundles Death Stranding for PC with GeForce RTX graphics cards
It's not the best time to buy a high-end graphics card, but if you don't want to wait any longer—perhaps to prepare for this fall's Cyberpunk 2077 release—then Nvidia's sweetening the pot for a few weeks. Through July 29, buying any GeForce RTX 20-series graphics card from a participating retailer will get you a free copy of Death Stranding, Nvidia announced on Thursday. GeForce RTX-powered gaming laptops and desktops are also eligible.

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PC World Latest News
Jul 09, 2020

Roku backtracks on combining over-the-air channel guide with streaming TV listings
Turns out some users didn't like over-the-air TV listings mixed with dozens of streaming TV channels.

PC World Latest News
Jul 09, 2020

Roku backtracks on putting over-the-air channels into its live TV programming guide
Turns out some users didn't like over-the-air TV listings mixed with dozens of streaming TV channels.

PC World Latest News
Jul 09, 2020

Cool it! We talk laptop thermals with an expert from Dell
That high-performance CPU or GPU you're eyeballing for your next laptop is nothing if it's not backed by an effective cooling system. Yet consumers tend to know very little about the cooling in a laptop.

We fortunately had time to catch up with Dell's Travis North, who works as a Thermal Engineering Technologist. North answers our burning questions on whether a heat pipe is better than a vapor chamber, whether you should re-paste a laptop, is 100 degrees too hot, and more.

In the first section, North talks about a Dell patent on laptop cooling. You can watch the interview below or on YouTube at this link.

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PC World Latest News
Jul 09, 2020

Nine great things that cord-cutting brought us
Still think cord-cutting is no better than cable? Here's a reality check.

PC World Latest News
Jul 08, 2020

Intel unveils the Thunderbolt 4 spec, which AMD believes it can use
Intel unveiled Thunderbolt 4 on Wednesday, tightening the existing I/O specification for docks, some displays, external storage and GPUs. Bandwidth remains unchanged from Thunderbolt 3, though executives said to expect new types of docks and longer cables. AMD, which has traditionally never associated Thunderbolt with its Ryzen platforms, pooh-poohed Thunderbolt demand but said it meets the spec's security restrictions.

Thunderbolt 4 will debut later this year as part of Intel's "Tiger Lake" CPU platform, as Intel originally announced during CES in January. We now know it will support 40Gbps throughput, but with tighter minimum specs. Thunderbolt 4 will guarantee that a pair of 4K displays will work with a Thunderbolt dock, and require Thunderbolt 4-equipped PCs to charge on at least one Thunderbolt port. Thunderbolt PCs will be able to connect to either "compact" or "full" docks with up to four Thunderbolt ports. Longer Thunderbolt cables will be possible, too.

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PC World Latest News
Jul 08, 2020

Microsoft Teams adds 'Together mode' in massive update
Microsoft today said that it's shaking up online Teams video meetings with a new "Together mode" that places participants in a virtual auditorium. It's all part of a redesigned Teams experience that capitalizes on some of the promises Microsoft has been making for years. There's even a pair of Teams smart displays.

On Wednesday, Microsoft said the company has spent much of the last few months rethinking the way in which video meetings were conducted. About 60 percent of those Microsoft surveyed said they felt less connected to their colleagues due to the coronavirus, so Microsoft's new Teams update tries to make nonverbal communication a priority.

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PC World Latest News
Jul 08, 2020

The Full Nerd ep. 144: Ryzen 3000 XT reviews, Gordon buys Windows 10 cheap, and a food fight
In this episode of The Full Nerd, Gordon Ung, Brad Chacos, and Adam Patrick Murray wade into new chips and cheap Windows before digging into a plate full of food questions.

We kick things off with a look at AMD's new Ryzen 3000 XT processors—the first Ryzen CPUs we can think of that landed with a collective "meh" from most reviewers. Gordon explains why, while Brad bemoans the lack of bundled coolers with the highest-end models. After that, Gordon explains why our Windows 10 Pro for $40 deal convinced him to join the "cheap Windows" squad, and how this offer's different from what you'll normally find on software resale sites.

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PC World Latest News
Jul 08, 2020

Amazon Fire TV adds Sling TV, YouTube TV and Hulu Live TV to its live programming guide
Sling TV and YouTube TV will appear in Amazon Fire TV's Live TV tab starting today, while Hulu Live TV is coming soon.

PC World Latest News
Jul 08, 2020

Powerful new Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus headed for gaming phones
The rumors were true: Qualcomm unveiled the Snapdragon 865 Plus 5G platform on Wednesday, offering faster CPU and GPU clock speeds, upgraded Wi-Fi, plus 5G modem support.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus 5G platform (also referred to as the Snapdragon 865 Plus, when speaking about the chip itself) is essentially an upgraded version of the Snapdragon 865 chip the company unveiled last December for premium smartphones. The Snapdragon 865 introduced a host of new features, including camera upgrades, AI, security, and gaming. The Snapdragon 865 was designed around Qualcomm's standalone X55 5G modem, and the Snapdragon 865 Plus is as well, though neither is integrated. Both the 865 and the 865 Plus are 7nm chips.

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PC World Latest News
Jul 08, 2020

Intel unveils the Thunderbolt 4 spec, debuting in PCs in the fall
Intel unveiled Thunderbolt 4 on Wednesday, the next iteration of the I/O specification that provides a high-speed peripheral bus to docks, displays, external storage and eGPUs for PCs. Rather than increase the available bandwidth, however, Thunderbolt 4 provides more clarity and helps create new categories of products.

Thunderbolt 4 will debut later this year as part of Intel's "Tiger Lake" CPU platform, as Intel originally announced during CES in January. We now know it will support 40Gbps throughput, but with tighter minimum specs. Thunderbolt 4 will guarantee that a pair of 4K displays will work with a Thunderbolt dock, and require Thunderbolt 4-equipped PCs to charge on at least one Thunderbolt port. Thunderbolt PCs will be able to connect to either "compact" or "full" docks with up to four Thunderbolt ports. Longer Thunderbolt cables will be possible, too.

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PC World Latest News
Jul 08, 2020

10 truly helpful Windows 10 tools you might not know about
So you've mastered Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts and Snap open windows like a boss. Now what?

Windows 10 offers many other power tools for enthusiasts—if you know where to find them. Some are older, yet still obscure. Others are relatively new, added during the twice-annual major upgrades Microsoft's been pushing out since Windows 10 launched over five long years ago (though most recent feature upgrades, like the May 2020 Update, tend to be minor). But all 10 of these little-used tricks and tools can help hardened PC users save time or eliminate headaches.

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PC World Latest News
Jul 08, 2020

Uninterruptible power supply buyers guide
A surge protector will save your equipment; a UPS will do that and save your work, too—or let you save your game during a blackout.

PC World Latest News
Jul 07, 2020

Best VPN services: Reviews and buying advice
Choosing the right virtual private network (VPN) service is no simple task. A VPN should keep your internet usage private and secure, but not every service handles your data in the same way. Just look at the critiques of notable computer security experts and online pundits to understand the challenge. Even supposed experts in the field can turn out to be frauds. 

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PC World Latest News
Jul 07, 2020

Roku adds premium and over-the-air channels to its live TV programming guide
Live programming from HBO, Showtime, Starz and more now appear in Roku's linear programming grid, along with local over-the-air channel listings.

PC World Latest News
Jul 07, 2020

AMD Ryzen 3000 XT CPU review roundup: Slightly faster, slightly pricier, and a shoulder shrug
Reviews of AMD's newest "XT" line of Ryzen desktop chips are in and while the CPUs offer improved performance and the best silicon batch, it's overall a meh, hardware testers say.

AMD The lack of stock cooler and mostly competition with the "X" parts that will stick around has seemingly dented AMD's latest "XT" chips in the eyes of reviewers.

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PC World Latest News
Jul 07, 2020

10 surprisingly practical Raspberry Pi projects anybody can do
Practical Pi projectsImage by Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi single-board computer and all its variants have captured the imaginations of DIY enthusiasts and budding hobbyists alike. And now that the price of the 2GB Raspberry Pi 4 has been slashed to $35 and an 8GB model with as much RAM as a Mac Mini is here, interest in building with the board is sure to spike.

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PC World Latest News
Jul 07, 2020

VPNCity review: The basics at a good price
VPNCity in brief: P2P allowed: Yes.  Business location: Hong Kong Number of servers: 3,000 Number of country locations: 34 Cost: $48 (billed annually) VPN protocol: OpenVPN (default) Data encryption: AES-256-CBC Data authentication: SHA-512 Handshake encryption: TLSv1.2 Sometimes all you need from a VPN is a selection of countries and the ability to use a good selection of streaming services like Netflix. That's the niche VPNCity fits into right now. This relatively new service based in Hong Kong doesn't have the added features that other services do, but there are still some good reasons to recommend it.

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PC World Latest News
Jul 07, 2020

Eufy Security Indoor Cam 2K Pan and Tilt review: Full-room coverage with AI detection
This pan-and-tilt camera reduces blind spots and uses smart detection to deliver only the activity you want to know about.

PC World Latest News
Jul 06, 2020

Revealed: How home router manufacturers dropped the ball on security
Security vulnerabilities in your home router have been the story for years, with the responsibility being placed at the feet of users to keep their router firmware updated. But a damning report by Fraunhofer says that router manufacturers themselves have taken years to issue patches, with potentially dozens of critical vulnerabilities lurking within older routers.

The June report by Fraunhofer-Institut fur Kommunikation (FKIE) extracted firmware images from routers made by Asus, AVM, D-Link, Linksys, Netgear, TP-Link, and Zyxel—127 in all. The report (as noted by ZDNet) compared the firmware images to known vulnerabilities and exploit mitigation techniques, so that even if a vulnerability was exposed, the design of the router could mitigate it.

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PC World Latest News
Jul 06, 2020

PCWorld's July Digital Magazine: The $1,001 Question
Stay on top of the latest tech with PCWorld's Digital Magazine. Available as single copies or as a monthly subscription, it highlights the best content from PCWorld.com—the most important news, the key product reviews, and the most useful features and how-to stories—in a curated Digital Magazine for Android and iOS, as well for the desktop and other tablet readers.

In the July issue In the July issue of PCWorld find out the 12 things we learned moving from the Galaxy S20 to the iPhone SE. We have details on the new Dell XPS lineup. Plus, 11 classic games that could use a Final Fantasy 7-style remake.

Other highlights include:

News: AMD vs. Intel: Should you buy an Intel laptop right now?

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PC World Latest News
Jul 06, 2020

How to fix audio problems on your Windows PC
For all its positives, Windows sometimes acts in unexpected ways—like a sudden lack of audio. If your computer abruptly stops playing sound, try these easy steps to fix the issue:

No sound in one app First, reboot your computer. Confirm the program's volume isn't turned down or muted. In browsers like Chrome and Firefox, each tab can be muted individually—right-click a tab to see its status. (The option will say "Unmute tab" if currently silenced.) If you still can't hear anything in this program, try uninstalling and reinstalling it. Before doing so, first back up any data and/or write down how your settings are currently configured, as applicable.
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PC World Latest News
Jul 06, 2020

Dell XPS 15 9500 Review: Buy this laptop instead of a MacBook Pro 16
Timing is everything in the PC business, and the Dell XPS 15 9500, an overdue refresh to the company's high-end workhorse, arrives just in time for it to be truly considered the "MacBook Pro killer" it's always aspired to be.

Yes, we know "MacBook Pro killer" is overused Internet clickbait. But with Apple's decision to throw in the towel on x86-based laptops, anyone buying a Mac today is basically volunteering to stand on the deck of the Titanic and wave as the last lifeboats pull away.

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PC World Latest News
Jul 03, 2020

Townscaper impressions: Build picturesque fishing villages with no direction and no drama
In the beginning, there was an ocean. Vast and unbroken, it stretched from one end of the horizon to the other, the blue of the sky barely distinguished from the blue of the sea.

Then there was a pier, dredged up from the nothingness below the sea, a stone-and-sand bulwark battered by waves. The not-ocean grew, the pier becoming a harbor, then an island, and on that island grew houses—in white and red and purple and teal. Cottages and ranch homes, warehouses and monolithic apartment blocks, until ocean gave way to a town.

This is how the story goes in my head, at least. I've spent much of the last two days playing (or toying with) Townscaper, and so far I've learned I never needed the "Sim" part of SimCity after all.

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PC World Latest News
Jul 03, 2020

How to check your graphics card's GPU temperature
How hot is your PC's graphics card temperature? During normal operations, your GPU temperature shouldn't matter much—your graphics card should simply drive monitors and play games without overheating and shutting down. But if you have an older PC, or if you want to try your hand at graphics card overclocking, being able to monitor your GPU temperature is vital.

The good news? Checking your PC's graphics card temperature is dead simple, especially now that Windows finally includes a native way to keep tabs on temps. All sorts of free GPU monitoring tools are also available, and many of them can help you check your PC's CPU temperature, too.

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PC World Latest News
Jul 03, 2020

Cambridge Audio CXN (v2) network audio streamer review: This is a sweet-sounding, high-tech musical powerhouse
Support for every audio-streaming protocol and service you can think of, prodigious connectivity options, upgradeable firmware, and sweet sound make for a best-in-class audio component.

PC World Latest News
Jul 03, 2020

Xbox Game Pass for PC: 5 reasons it's the best deal in PC gaming
When I say an Xbox Game Pass for PC subscriptionRemove non-product link is the best deal in gaming today, that's no idle recommendation. I have a deep-seated hatred of today's subscription culture. Yes, many streaming and subscription services are worth every penny, but in general, I hate that everything from Microsoft Office to Adobe's Creative Cloud to freaking underwear tries to tie you up with monthly payments. So when I say Game Pass is worth it, I really mean it. Step aside, Humble Bundles.

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PC World Latest News
Jul 02, 2020

Leviton puts Alexa in a dimmer switch
Leviton is expanding its range of smart home switches and outlets with the Decora Voice Dimmer, a new Wi-Fi dimmer switch with Amazon Alexa built in.

PC World Latest News
Jul 02, 2020

Google retires the affordable Pixel 3a as Pixel 4a rumors swirl
It's the end of the line for our favorite bang-for-buck Android phone. Google's superb Pixel 3A and 3A XL are now discontinued, as rumors of an imminent Pixel 4a launch swirl.

"Google Store has sold through its inventory and completed sales of Pixel 3a," a Google spokesperson told Android Police, after the site noticed the phone switched to "Unavailable" status on Wednesday. "For people who are still interested in buying Pixel 3a, the product is available from some partners while supplies last."

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PC World Latest News
Jul 02, 2020

Microsoft Word reads to you: How to use the Speak and Read Aloud commands
Can Microsoft Word read to me? Yes, it can. The Speak feature was incorporated into Microsoft Office (Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, etc.) back in version 2003. It was called Text to Speech (TTS) then, and it functioned much the same as it does now. Fortunately, it's a very simple procedure to set up and use, so you can get started immediately.

Add the Speak button to the Quick Access Toolbar 1. Click the Customize arrow on the Quick Access Toolbar.

2. From the dropdown menu, select More Commands.

3. On the Word Options screen Customize the Quick Access Toolbar, locate the Choose Commands From box and scroll down to the Speak command.

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PC World Latest News
Jul 02, 2020

Best Galaxy S20, S20 and S20 Ultra cases: Top picks in every style
We're just gonna say it—you're crazy to take your Galaxy S20 out in public without something to protect it. With prices starting at $1,000 and going all the way up to $1,600, it's one of the most expensive phones ever made. It's also the biggest, with the S20 Ultra tipping the scales at a whopping (and eminently droppable) 6.9 inches. So check out these picks and stop playing chicken with your phone.

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PC World Latest News
Jul 01, 2020

Best antivirus: Keep your Windows PC safe from spyware, Trojans, malware, and more
Antivirus software is nearly as crucial as a PC's operating system. Even if you're well aware of potential threats and practice extreme caution, some threats just can't be prevented without the extra help of an AV program—or a full antivirus suite. 

You could, for example, visit a website that unintentionally displays malicious ads. Or accidentally click on a phishing email (it happens!). Or get stung by a zero-day threat, where an undisclosed bug in Windows, your browser, or an installed program gives hackers entry to your system.

We're not suggesting that PC security software is fool-proof. Antivirus software often can't do much to stop zero-day exploits, for example. But it can detect when the undisclosed vulnerability is used to install other nasty bits, like ransomware, on your machine. Anyone who actively uses email, clicks on links, and downloads programs will benefit from an antivirus suite.

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PC World Latest News
Jul 01, 2020

New Windows test build makes major changes to Start, Taskbar, and Alt Tab
Microsoft released a major new Windows 10 Insider test build on Wednesday afternoon, offering dramatically different versions of the Start Menu and Taskbar, and even a revamped Alt Tab experience with Microsoft Edge.

Microsoft released the new updates as part of Windows 10 Insider Build 20161, part of the new Dev Channel. Essentially, the Dev Channel is the new Insider Fast Channel—code that Microsoft is not tying to any future Windows 10 feature release. These are experiments, and Microsoft is making these features available to just a subset of the Dev Channel, too.

The experimental UI changes are fairly profound. The Start menu now includes the Fluent Design icons that Microsoft began rolling out earlier, and does away with some of the colored backgrounds that have made up the traditional Start menu. The Taskbar, too, has been redesigned in a purpose-built manner, optimized more for an individual user's needs. Finally, the Alt Tab experience now includes individual Edge tabs, and not just the app as a whole.

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PC World Latest News
Jul 01, 2020

Data caps on Comcast, T-Mobile return on July 1
Major Internet service providers are scheduled to end their quarantine benefits soon, once again subjecting Americans to data caps and removing protections if they are unable to pay their bills. On July 1, data caps returned to some major ISPs.

The FCC's Keep Americans Connected Pledge also expired on June 30. Companies initially agreed to the pledge and rushed to add benefits. ISPs like CenturyLink, T-Mobile, Verizon, and many others said they would not discontinue service or charge late fees for those unable to pay because of the coronavirus. They also agreed to open their Wi-Fi access points for free. So far, the FCC has not publicly said that it would extend the pledge.

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PC World Latest News
Jul 01, 2020

OneDrive simplifies document sharing by making it even more complex
Microsoft said Wednesday that it's making OneDrive file sharing more manageable, adding a convenient way to share folders and files with friends, while giving business users more control over a file as it moves through an organization.

"Sharing" a file or folder seems simple, but it's really not—not when you (or your company) needs to decide who has access, and what happens when things move locations. Negotiating all of those requirements is the foundation for the OneDrive changes Microsoft announced Wednesday.

New OneDrive consumer controls Microsoft already allows you to right-click a file within OneDrive for the web and share it with specific contacts, with permissions that include edit controls, passwords, and the like. What Microsoft calls "family and group sharing" will arrive on OneDrive for the web later this month, with general availability coming in July. Essentially, Microsoft seems to think that configuring each folder or file is too time-consuming, so it's allowing you to predefine a "family" group or circle of friends beforehand.

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PC World Latest News
Jul 01, 2020

Microsoft's Surface devices are now receiving the Windows 10 May 2020 Update
Microsoft says it has patched a bug that may have prevented some of its most recent Surface devices from receiving the Windows 10 May 2020 Update. And as of July 1, our Surface devices in our review stable are receiving the May 2020 Update as a result.

In its list of issues associated with the Windows 10 May 2020 Update, Microsoft notes that it recently deployed patch KB4557957, which addresses the "Errors or unexpected restarts for some devices using Always On, Always Connected." 

To read this article in full, please click here



PC World Latest News
Jul 01, 2020

Windows 10's Xbox Game Bar adds a widget store and much-needed transparency controls
Microsoft began offering more customization for Windows 10's Xbox Game Bar on Wednesday, including a new "widget store" complete with a dedicated Destiny 2 widget that tracks your game progress. Microsoft also added some long-wanted transparency controls to help reduce the Game Bar screen clutter while you're gaming.

When it was first added, Microsoft's Game Bar (which can be triggered with Win G, even when a game isn't running) gave gamers on-screen shortcuts to take screenshots, record video, and the like. Over time, Microsoft has continued to add functionality, including performance monitors and specific widgets for streaming controls and other functions.

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PC World Latest News
Jul 01, 2020

'Significant and fundamental' Windows tweak sets the stage for GPU innovation
Over the past week, both Nvidia and AMD released fresh graphics cards drivers that unlocked "hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling," a new feature introduced in the Windows 10 May 2020 Update. Now, Microsoft has revealed what that setting does, and it turns out that the innocuous-sounding, opt-in feature actually represents a fundamental redesign in how the Windows Display Driver Model works. You probably won't see any significant performance changes from activating it now, however.

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PC World Latest News
Jul 01, 2020

Who needs Windows 10 Pro: 5 reasons to upgrade
Windows 10 Professional isn't just for cubicle dwellers who have no choice in the matter. While users who own a "professional" PC like the Surface Book 2Remove non-product link will automatically be upgraded to this higher-end version of the OS, smaller businesses and PC enthusiasts may also weigh the benefits of the Pro version vs. Windows 10 Home. PCWorld also has a cheap update deal going on which eliminates many of the cost concerns.

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PC World Latest News
Jul 01, 2020

The best SSDs of 2020: Supersized 8TB SSDs are here, and they're amazing
Switching to a solid-state drive is the best upgrade you can make for your PC. These wondrous devices obliterate long boot times, speed up how fast your programs and games load, and generally makes your computer feel fast. But not all solid-state drives are created equal. The best SSDs offer solid performance at affordable prices—or, if price is no object, face-meltingly fast read and write speeds.

Many SSDs come in a 2.5-inch form factor and communicate with PCs via the same SATA ports used by traditional hard drives. But out on the bleeding-edge of NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) drives, you'll find tiny "gumstick" SSDs that fit in M.2 connections on modern motherboards, SSDs that sit on a PCIe adapter and slot into your motherboard like a graphics card or sound card, futuristic 3D Xpoint drives, and more. Picking the perfect SSD isn't as simple as it used to be.

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PC World Latest News
Jul 01, 2020

Spotify unveils $13-a-month Premium Duo plan for two people
The new Premium Duo plan sits between Spotify's existing individual and six-person family plans.

PC World Latest News
Jul 01, 2020

Avira Prime review: Value, value, value
We've been reviewing Avira Antivirus Pro for a few years now and wondering why it was worth purchasing when the free version of Avira offered so much. At the time, Avira's top-level offering, Prime, was just too expensive. Those days are over, however, and Avira Prime is now available at a competitive price.


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PC World Latest News
Jul 01, 2020

Microsoft's Xbox Series S (code name Lockhart): What we know, what we expect
Microsoft is expected to announce a second, cheaper console to complement its Xbox Series X. Could this "Lockhart" console be called the Xbox Series S? Here's what we know about it so far.

PC World Latest News
Jul 01, 2020

Lockly Vision review: A smart lock and a video doorbell in one well-made device
This monolithic smart lock successfully brings two worlds together.

PC World Latest News
Jun 30, 2020

Data caps on AT&T, Comcast, T-Mobile will return after June 30
Major Internet service providers are scheduled to end their quarantine benefits soon, once again subjecting Americans to data caps and removing protections if they are unable to pay their bills. They're scheduled to expire at the end of June, meaning that July 1 will see the return of data caps to some major ISPs.

The FCC's Keep Americans Connected Pledge is set to expire on June 30. Companies initially agreed to the pledge and rushed to add benefits. ISPs like CenturyLink, T-Mobile, Verizon, and many others said they would not discontinue service or charge late fees for those unable to pay because of the coronavirus. They also agreed to open their Wi-Fi access points for free. So far, the FCC has not publicly said that it would extend the pledge.

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PC World Latest News
Jun 30, 2020

How to manage Windows 10 updates to prevent them from ruining your life
How can I stop Windows 10 updates? Whether it's preventing Windows 10 from kicking off a critical update during a presentation, or deferring Microsoft's Windows 10 feature update because of worries about data loss, it's a question we've all asked. You shouldn't block all Windows 10 updates. But you can manage them.

Windows 10 feature updates and security updates provide a valuable service: they not only patch Windows, its apps and components, but provide new features and capabilities twice a year. Windows Update can also automatically provide updated drivers for hardware connected to your PC, such as a USB-attached printer. 

It's not an academic issue. Microsoft wrestled with the fallout from the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, which apparently deleted user data in an undisclosed number of cases and was put on hold, then resumed. Would you want to buy a car if it had even a 0.001 percent chance of exploding? Probably not—which is why it's good to know how to manage Windows 10 updates, now and in the future.

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PC World Latest News
Jun 30, 2020

Samsung SSD 870 QVO review: Stupendous 8TB capacity in a SATA SSD
The Samsung 870 QVO (‘Q' as in in 4-bit QLC), is our first look at a drive that will eventually ship with a whopping 8TB of NAND on board. Announced Tuesday, this is the new top capacity available, superseding a still-new flock of 4TB models. Samsung sent us the 2TB version for testing. It's a great everyday performer; however, when you run out of cache (which shouldn't be often), write pace falls off drastically.

Specs and pricing A standard 2.5-inch SATA 6Gbps SSD, the 870 QVO is currently available in $130/1TB, $250/2TB (tested), and $500/4TB flavors. The 8TB model will be available in August for $900. That's considerably cheaper than the high-capacity 4TB OWC Aura P12 and 8TB Sabrent Rocket Q NVMe drives we recently covered, and a far greater savings delta than we normally see between NVMe and SATA. 

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PC World Latest News
Jun 30, 2020

Amazon Prime Video rolls out watch parties with 100 friends (and several caveats)
Now you can jump into an Amazon Prime Video watch party with up to 100 friends, provided they're all Prime subscribers.

PC World Latest News
Jun 30, 2020

Vizio's first OLED TVs are coming this fall, and they're priced to move
Vizio also revealed pricing and availability for its largest LCD TV to date, along with the rest of its new TVs for 2020.

PC World Latest News
Jun 30, 2020

Chromebooks versus Windows laptops: Which should you buy?
Should I buy a Chromebook or a Windows laptop? Whether you're seeking out the best computer for your child or just weighing which inexpensive computer would make a great gift, we can help you choose the right one. 

Who should buy a Windows PC? A notebook PC powered by Microsoft Windows offers several advantages. Windows offers the most flexibility to run just about any app, as well as your choice of any browser. You can tweak and configure your PC as you choose.

That convenience demands more computing horsepower, and often a higher price compared to most Chromebooks. Prices can soar into the thousands of dollars, and if you need a powerful PC for gaming or video editing, Chromebooks really don't offer that much competition. But you'll find some great deals among our more affordably priced, top Windows picks.

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PC World Latest News
Jun 30, 2020

Sinopé Zigbee dimmer switch review: Smart lighting from the Great White North
Sinopé pivots from their proprietary smart home protocol in favor of the Zigbee standard.

PC World Latest News
Jun 29, 2020

Windows File Recovery is Windows' new tool for finding lost files
Accidentally deleting a file can be a nightmare. A new Windows 10 recovery tool, Windows File Recovery, can help—though it's geared towards those who don't mind using a command-line interface. 

Windows File Recovery, a free Microsoft app now on the Windows Store, offers a way to restore files that have become accidentally deleted. It does require Windows 10 build 19041 or higher, however, and also doesn't work on a file that's been stored to the cloud. You'll also need two separate drives, which can be as simple as a USB drive if you're trying to recover a file from the boot disk.

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PC World Latest News
Jun 29, 2020

11 quick ways to clear space on an overstuffed Android phone
Updated June 29, 2020 to reflect the latest Android tools.

Few things in life are as annoying as finding that your Android handset refuses to install any more app updates because it's run out of storage. Unlike many of life's little annoyances, though, this one's easy to fix. You can't do anything about your system files, but you can quickly clear out precious gigs by sweeping up stale downloads, rooting out offline maps and documents, clearing caches, and wiping unneeded music and video files. And if these tips don't do the trick, check out our picks for the best Android phones for every need and budget. 

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PC World Latest News
Jun 29, 2020

Apple removing the iPhone 12 power adapter wouldn't be courageous. It's just mean
A new iPhone rumor made the rounds this weekend, and it wasn't about the notch or the flat edges, or the size of the displays. This one's about what's in the box. Or rather, what's not in it.

Respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has seemingly confirmed an earlier report by Barclays that Apple won't be supplying a charger in the iPhone 12 box. Like none at all. Not even the lame 5W adapter that takes more than an hour to provide a decent charge.

Not since Apple removed the headphone jack from the iPhone 7 has there been a rumor with more (as Apple might describe it) "courage." It's unclear whether Kuo is talking about the whole iPhone lineup or just the entry-level models, but his sources expect Apple to ship some iPhone 12 models without a charger.

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PC World Latest News
Jun 29, 2020

10 quick ways to clear space on an overstuffed Android device
Updated June 29, 2020 to reflect the latest Android tools.

Few things in life are as annoying as finding that your Android handset refuses to install any more app updates because it's run out of storage. Unlike many of life's little annoyances, though, this one's easy to fix. You can't do anything about your system files, but you can quickly clear out precious gigs by sweeping up stale downloads, rooting out offline maps and documents, clearing caches, and wiping unneeded music and video files. And if these tips don't do the trick, check out our picks for the best Android phones for every need and budget. 

To read this article in full, please click here



PC World Latest News
Jun 29, 2020

The Belkin Thunderbolt Dock Core is the first dual-powered Thunderbolt dock
On Monday Belkin launched the Thunderbolt Dock Core, which the company claims is the first Thunderbolt-certified dual-powered Thunderbolt 3 dock.

The $170 Thunderbolt Dock Core accepts your laptop's power supply (assuming it charges via USB-C), which can plug into the USB-C (PD) port on the side of Belkin's dock. The port then supplies up to 60W to the laptop, which is typically enough to power an ultralight laptop or similar model. Because the device is dual-powered, the opposite is true: also The dock can pull its own power directly from the laptop's Thunderbolt cable if needed.

What's the difference between a USB-C hub and a Thunderbolt dock? They use the same physical interface—a Thunderbolt port can sometimes be indicated by a small lightning bolt, though your laptop's manual is sometimes the best indicator. Data throughput is the difference, along with the ability to connect multiple high-definition displays at once. 

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PC World Latest News
Jun 29, 2020

Lenovo Chromebook Duet review: Redefining the small and cheap tablet
The Lenovo Chromebook Duet is one of the only Chromebooks I've ever used that knows what it is. Much like Apple's iPad or Microsoft's Surface, the Duet's identity is in its detachable versatility. It embraces its role wholeheartedly, with a lightweight design, bright WUXGA display, and funky magnetic keyboard case that combine into an impressively portable and stylish package.

It's as easy on the wallet as it is on the eyes. The Duet costs just $299 at Best Buy for 128GB of storage—and that's with a detachable keyboard. But you don't need to be in the market for a cheap Chromebook to want one. The Duet's quirky personality more than makes up for its pokey processor, so while it might not stand up to even a middling Chromebook like the Pixelbook Go in speed tests, the Duet will absolutely stand out in the crowd.

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PC World Latest News
Jun 29, 2020

JBL Link Music Smart speaker review: Pretty good things in a pretty small package
JBL delivers respectable performance and a decent set of features at a very affordable price.

PC World Latest News
Jun 29, 2020

Arm Macs and AMD rising: How Intel's endless 10nm struggles cost it so much
Intel's endless 10nm nightmare has cost it so, so much.

It all started on September 5, 2014. That's the day Intel introduced 5th-gen Core M chips based on "Broadwell," the company's first processors built using the 14-nanometer manufacturing process. Despite some manufacturing woes that pushed Broadwell back from its expected 2013 release, Intel's offering served as the vanguard of processor technology. AMD remained stuck on the 28nm process with its abysmal Bulldozer architecture. A mere month later, the Apple iPad Air 2 launched with a custom A8X chip that couldn't quite hang with Intel's older Haswell CPUs in Geekbench—but it was getting close.

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PC World Latest News
Jun 26, 2020

Closing Microsoft Stores means more support and buying headaches for Windows users
Apple Macs "just work" (for now at least). PCs are hobbyist machines. Both are stereotypes, sure, but they might offer some explanation why Apple Stores are thriving and Microsoft just decided to close all of theirs.

Microsoft spun the closure into a "new approach to retail," one that would be driven through its website and online sales channels, rather than through a network of physical stores. (Amazon must be chuckling at this.) But the writing was on the wall: in 2019, Microsoft shuttered virtually all of its retail kiosks at malls and other shopping centers, leaving the larger Microsoft Stores on uncertain ground.

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PC World Latest News
Jun 26, 2020

The Full Nerd ep. 143: Macs ditch Intel, GeForce RTX 2080 Super laptops, Batmen ranked
In this episode of The Full Nerd, Gordon Ung, Brad Chacos, Alaina Yee, and Adam Patrick Murray dive into a new world where Apple ditched Intel and Nvidia's potent GeForce RTX 2080 Super GPUs slip into svelte sub-5 lb. laptops.

Of course, the big news of the week is Apple ditching Intel and transitioning Macs to in-house Arm chips. We dive into the implications for Mac users and the PC ecosystem alike, leaning on what we know from Microsoft's struggles to make Windows Arm laptops a thing worth caring about. This is a defining moment for computers, and we each feel passionately about the shift, so there's a lot of wide-ranging, interesting discussion. Regardless, history proves you shouldn't buy an Intel Mac now.

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PC World Latest News
Jun 26, 2020

Going to the movies in Fortnite: I did it for science
Inception, Batman Begins, and The Prestige are streaming for free in Fortnite today. Here's what it's like to see a movie in the world's most popular game.

PC World Latest News
Jun 26, 2020

Microsoft permanently closes all of its retail stores
Microsoft's retail stores mimick the look and feel of Apple's iconic sales fronts, from the glass walls to the wood tables to the very design of the Surface hardware on display. But as anyone who ever wandered through a mall can tell you, Microsoft's stores lack one crucial aspect: customers. Crowds never flocked to Microsoft stores the way they do Apple stores, and on Friday, Microsoft announced that it's closing all but four of its brick and mortar locations.

"As we look forward, we start a new chapter for Microsoft Store," Microsoft Store corporate vice president Brad Porter wrote on LinkedIn. "As part of our business plan, we announced a strategic change in our retail operations, including closing Microsoft Store physical locations. Our retail team members will continue to serve customers working from Microsoft corporate facilities or remotely and we will continue to develop our diverse team in support of the overall company mission and objectives."

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PC World Latest News
Jun 26, 2020

Data caps on AT&T, Comcast, T-Mobile will return June 30
Major Internet service providers are scheduled to end their quarantine benefits soon, once again subjecting Americans to data caps and removing protections if they are unable to pay their bills. 

The FCC's Keep Americans Connected Pledge is set to expire on June 30. Companies initially agreed to the pledge and rushed to add benefits. ISPs like CenturyLink, T-Mobile, Verizon, and many others said they would not discontinue service or charge late fees for those unable to pay because of the coronavirus. They also agreed to open their Wi-Fi access points for free. So far, the FCC has not publicly said that it would extend the pledge.

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PC World Latest News
Jun 26, 2020

Accell Power Dot surge protector review: A clever idea, but also a pricey one
You can plop your smart speaker in the middle of Accell Power Dot surge protector and have three outlets and four USB ports to power other devices.

PC World Latest News
Jun 26, 2020

Hands-on with the world's first miniLED laptop: MSI's Creator 17
With the MSI Creator 17, we have seen the light. As the name implies, the laptop features a 17.3-inch, 16:9 screen with a UHD 4K resolution panel. But it's not the size, nor the resolution, that matters here. As the first laptop in the world with a miniLED screen, it's crisper and brighter (can you say 1,000 nits?!) than anything we've seen before. 

Typical laptops use standard LEDs that are larger and limit the density in a laptop screen. A typical display LED might be 2mm in size.

A miniLED could be a tenth the size of that conventional LED. Being able to pack LEDs closer together inside of a display means the potential for more zones, which gives you blacker blacks, and increased contrast, too.

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PC World Latest News
Jun 25, 2020

Google Meet for G Suite adds custom backgrounds, larger gallery view
After watching Zoom take hold with educators during the ongoing pandemic, Google said Thursday that its G Suite for Education is gearing up for the fall with features for Google Meet that include up to 49 participants, custom backgrounds, a "raise hand" feature, and better attendee controls and diagnostics.

Google says that 140 million educators and students are now using G Suite for Education. The new Meet features will be launching later this year, presumably before classes return in the fall. Meet already scored points with an amazing new de-noiser capability, though the new features are more practical.

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PC World Latest News
Jun 25, 2020

Cyberpunk 2077 goes all-in on ray tracing and Nvidia's DLSS 2.0
The first time we saw Cyberpunk 2077, we were convinced there was no way it would be a current-gen game, despite CD Projekt's claims. Apparently we were wrong, but there's no question the level of fidelity and sheer density of the game will make your graphics card sweat—especially because it'll be a ray-tracing flagship.

On that note, while today's hotly anticipated Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay reveal felt pretty underwhelming after the stunning previews, Nvidia sent out more details on the ray tracing tech integrated into the game. It's enough to stoke our excitement yet again.

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PC World Latest News
Jun 25, 2020

The best laptops: Premium laptops, budget laptops, 2-in-1s, and more
The best laptops of 2020 are experiencing a seismic shift. With the near-simultaneous launches of AMD's Ryzen 4000 and Intel's Comet Lake-H mobile CPUs, we have a real fight for the first time ever: Ryzen 4000's cores vs. Intel's clock speeds. At the same time, a lot of mainstream users stand to get good deals on laptops for home or work-from-home use, with existing processors that already have solid performance and great battery life.

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PC World Latest News
Jun 25, 2020

The Steam Summer Sale starts with deals on Borderlands 3, Assassin's Creed and more
Is it...is it summer already? I locked the door to my apartment in March when it was cold and blustery outside and...well, it's June in San Francisco, so it's probably cold and blustery outside. But the point is that I'm reduced to marking time by the various Steam sales, and that means today it's summer.

Yes, the Steam Summer Sale kicks off Thursday, and runs through July 9 at 10AM Pacific. Like the last few sales, there's a points-driven meta layer that rewards you for purchasing games and such. "Rewards" is a bit strong of a term maybe, given it's all profile backgrounds and chat effects and the like, but hey, it's a "souvenir" of the sale, as Valve puts it. 

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PC World Latest News
Jun 25, 2020

Latest Cyberpunk 2077 footage shows off a 'braindance' and more of the prologue
Cyberpunk 2077 has been a highlight of the last two E3s, so of course we couldn't have this year's Fake E3 without it. Today CD Projekt ran its debut Night City Wire stream, where we got probably our best look at Cyberpunk 2077. Less guided and less constrained than the previous demos, I feel like this is the first time Cyberpunk 2077 felt like...well, a video game. A very good-looking game, but a game nevertheless.

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PC World Latest News
Jun 25, 2020

The Oculus Go is dead, and virtual reality is better for it
Oculus stopped selling its entry-level virtual reality headset on Tuesday, the Oculus Go. Usually this kind of announcement would be met with nostalgic retrospectives and beers poured on the floor. Much lamenting, and all that. Even the worst products usually get a rose-colored sendoff. 

But virtual reality is better off without Go around, and so is Oculus. 

[Further reading: The best VR headsets ]

The Gear VR era You'll get no eulogy from me. Not a fond one, anyway. Oculus Go was a play for the mass market that completely misunderstood the mass market. Staring down the barrel of the $600 Oculus Rift, the goal was to get people into virtual reality as cheaply as possible. Break down the barriers. Build the ecosystem. 

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PC World Latest News
Jun 25, 2020

AMD's Ryzen exceeds its '25x20' power efficiency challenge
AMD said Thursday that the company has met and even exceeded the "25x20" goal that it set in 2014, in which it challenged itself to improve the energy efficiency of its processors by 25X by 2020.

AMD said the actual proportion was 31.7 times the energy efficiency of its 2014 processor, the AMD "Kaveri" FX-7600P, which was rated at 35 watts TDP. (Thermal design power, or TDP, typically refers to the "worst-case" scenario for thermal power.) AMD compared it to the Ryzen 7 4800H, a 45W part that can be configured down to 35W. 

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PC World Latest News
Jun 25, 2020

Lenovo Yoga C640 review: The battery life blows us away
At first glance, it's easy to dismiss this particular model of Lenovo's Yoga C640, a Best Buy exclusive with a relatively anemic dual-core i3 Comet Lake CPU, a puny 128GB SSD, and a $600 price tag. That said, this sleek convertible (officially the Yoga C640-13IML) has an ace up its sleeve: a beefy battery that just goes, and goes, and goes.

While this made-for-Best Buy system isn't a great pick for users looking to process 4K videos or crunch big numbers (there are other Yoga C640 configurations better suited for such CPU-intensive tasks), it could be a great fit for users looking for a versatile 2-in-1 that can go all day long without an AC cord.

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PC World Latest News
Jun 25, 2020

House of Marley Redemption ANC review: Environmentally conscious wireless earbuds with mediocre noise cancelling
Will you be redeemed by wearing the Redemption ANC buds from the House of Marley? Likely not, but if you're concerned about the usual Earth-unfriendly methods of making devices like this, you'll probably at least walk away with a load off your conscience.

They're not biodegradable, but they are made from recycled silicone, and House of Marley even found a way to work sustainable materials like bamboo and wood into the design. Along with their sound quality and general stylishness, that's a good reason to be happy about these buds, but it may not take long before you start worrying about the shortcomings of some of the active noise cancelling and other features.

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PC World Latest News
Jun 25, 2020

How iOS 14 stole features from Android—and made them so much better
On Monday Apple unveiled iOS 14—and if you're an Android user, the "new" OS might have looked a little familiar.

The latest upgrade to the iPhone operating system, due to release this fall, promises improvements including a new home screen, smarter navigation, faster apps, and a fresh coat of paint on everything. And it's clear that many of the best features are inspired, influenced, or just plain swiped from Android, from the new default email and browser apps to the picture-in-picture for videos. You can plainly see the influence on the new compact view for Siri and incoming calls, cycling directions in Maps, even the new home screen widgets.

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PC World Latest News
Jun 25, 2020

Anker Soundcore Rave Neo review: Fat, punchy bass for the dance floor
This oversized Bluetooth speaker not only pumps the volume and the bass, it delivers a light show and syncs with other Soundcore speakers, too.

PC World Latest News
Jun 25, 2020

The ad hater's guide to cord-cutting
A guide to ad-free options for cord-cutters.

PC World Latest News
Jun 24, 2020

Nvidia GeForce RTX graphics cards are now the first DirectX 12 Ultimate GPUs
Nvidia rolled out its latest Game Ready drivers for GeForce graphics cards on Tuesday. We don't normally cover the hot-and-heavy world of graphics drivers releases (just keep them updated, okay?), but this one features a notable milestone: Game Ready driver 451.48 is fully DirectX 12 Ultimate compliant, meaning Nvidia's GeForce RTX 20-series graphics cards are the first hardware to support Microsoft's next-gen graphics API.

While it's notable, it's no surprise. DirectX 12 Ultimate unifies graphics support across PCs and the forthcoming Xbox Series X, rolling in features like an updated version of Microsoft's DXR ray tracing API, variable rate shading tier 2, mesh shaders, and sampler feedback. Most of those technologies appeared first in Nvidia's "Turing" graphics cards—the RTX 20-series and GTX 16-series—but haven't been seen often in games, as they've been limited to Nvidia hardware.

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PC World Latest News
Jun 24, 2020

Why this Acer Aspire 5 is usually the bestselling laptop on Amazon
The AMD Ryzen 3-powered Acer Aspire 5 has been a bestseller on Amazon for months on end. What is it about this particular model of the Aspire 5 that makes it so popular?

For starters, this Windows 10 laptop has an eye-catching full-HD 15.6-inch display, not to mention a slim-and-trim chassis, and solid performance when it comes to day-to-day computing duties.

Most of all, however, this Aspire 5 model (A515-43-R19L) is way cheap. With a list price of $350, this Ryzen 3-powered laptop usually sells for closer to $310 on Amazon—not bad for a full-on Windows 10 laptop with a roomy display and a sleek design.

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PC World Latest News
Jun 24, 2020

New Marvel's Avengers gameplay tease shows Thor hammering robots, supervillian MODOK
When Crystal Dynamics's Avengers game got delayed, it left a pretty large hole in the spring release schedule. I can't say I was surprised though. Last year's reveal didn't go quite as smoothly as Square Enix (and Marvel) presumably hoped. The loudest detractors merely complained that the titular Avengers didn't look like their film-screen counterparts, but concerns about level design and repetitive combat abounded as well.

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PC World Latest News
Jun 24, 2020

Opera integrates Twitter into new Opera 69 browser
The Opera browser already includes a sidebar with links to several messaging apps. Now the company has added Twitter support, too, as part of Opera 69.

Twitter, like Instagram, Telegram, Facebook Messenger and other messaging apps, will reside in the Opera sidebar, which lives on the left rail by default. Sidebars have increasingly become ways in which some browsers, such as Firefox and Vivaldi, have integrated additional functionality.

With Opera 69, Twitter can be embedded in the sidebar, though you'll have to enable it. To do so, click the three-dot icon at the bottom of the sidebar, then click Twitter in the Messengers section. (That will probably require you to click a small Show more link as well to expand the Messenger section.) Twitter's main feed, the search function, as well as direct messaging are all enabled—the sidebar version is essentially a web widget, with even Twitter's new tweet scheduling function enabled.

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PC World Latest News
Jun 24, 2020

Watch Party Royale: Fortnite will stream 3 Christopher Nolan movies in-game this Friday
Inception, Batman Begins, and The Prestige will be streaming at Fortnite's Party Royale social space for free.

PC World Latest News
Jun 24, 2020

What Apple could learn from Microsoft's mistakes with Windows on ARM
If there's any lesson that Apple should learn about supporting apps that run on both X86 and ARM, it's this one: Tell users which apps support which processor, and actively guide them toward the best experience.

It sounds obvious. But as Apple navigates its transition from Intel X86 Macs to Macs designed around its own ARM silicon, I can't help but think of the things I wish Microsoft and Qualcomm had worked on to help facilitate the Windows on ARM experience. 

It starts with communication. When Asus launched its NovaGo laptop with a Qualcomm processor inside, we explained the pros and cons of the architecture, especially what it could or couldn't do. Two years later, that article still feels necessary. Here's how Microsoft stumbled along the way, and where Apple could go wrong too, unless it learns from those mistakes. 

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PC World Latest News
Jun 24, 2020

The best smart lock for a keyless home
Keys are yesterday's tech, your smart home needs a smart door lock.

PC World Latest News
Jun 24, 2020

Acer Predator Triton 500 review: A truly portable gaming powerhouse with 300Hz G-Sync
I've tested a lot of gaming laptops over the years, but the newly refreshed Acer Predator Triton 500 is the best one I've ever had the pleasure of playing on.

For many years, you could only coax enthusiast-class performance out of mammoth gaming laptops that threatened to throw out your back while you carried them around in your bag. The introduction of Nvidia's energy-efficient Max-Q technology resulted in more portable play-worthy notebooks, but the truly totable ones usually topped out with graphics options below the upper echelon of performance. Gaming on the go always required some sort of compromise.

No more. The Acer Predator Triton 500 brings it all, pairing a 6-core, 12-thread Intel Core i7-10750H processor with Nvidia's potent new GeForce RTX 2080 Super graphics chip. All that power somehow squeezes into a sublime 4.6-pound aluminum chassis with a lightning-fast 300Hz G-Sync display that offers drop-dead gorgeous contrast ratios. Is it perfect? Not quite. But hot damn, I love it.

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PC World Latest News
Jun 24, 2020

Eufy Security Smart Lock Touch review: Eufy's first smart lock is a little too rough around the edges
A buggy fingerprint reader spoils Eufy's biggest selling point.

PC World Latest News
Jun 23, 2020

Microsoft is getting rid of one version of Skype
If you see a version of Skype quietly disappear from Windows today, don't be surprised: Microsoft's finally taking action to clear Windows of some of its redundant software.

Microsoft is consolidating its Skype for Windows 10 and its Skype for Desktop into a single app, the company is disclosing in a support document. (Thurrott.com noted this earlier on Tuesday.) While the (formerly) two versions will now look a lot alike, Microsoft is also terminating a couple of features for right now until it can develop the new app further. It will still be known as Skype for Windows 10.

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