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The best Kindle: Reviews and buying advice‎

The Kindle is the reigning leader among e-readers. But Amazon makes several models—knowing which Kindle to buy depends on your budget and your reading preferences. That’s where this guide comes in. With our help, you’ll find just the right Kindle for you or your lucky loved one. Amazon’s E Ink slabs were first introduced to the world in 2007, and currently there are four models with different feature sets—plus a variant designed for kids. A few scrappy competitors may nip at the Kindle’s heels, but none can hold a candle to the sheer volume of books, comics, and periodicals available for easy download and consumption on a Kindle. Purchasing one of Amazon’s less expensive Kindles could mean missing out on features that could make your reading time more pleasurable. But that doesn’t mean the most expensive Kindle is the always right choice—don’t pay for features you won’t use. Let’s break it down. The current Kindle lineup.Amazon Latest news July 2022: With Amazon Prime Day right around the corner, we anticipate sizable price drops on all Kindle models. You may want to hold out until the deals begin before buying.Should you choose the ‘Ad-Supported’ discount? With all models, you can buy an ‘Ad-Supported’ model, which has advertisements that appear on the Kindle’s lock screen, or pay an additional $15 to $20 for a version ‘Without Ads,’ which should be self-explanatory. We show the price for the ‘Ad-Supported’ model in our reviews. Click the Without Ads button on any Kindle’s product page to get the version free of marketing campaigns. If you’ve already chosen Ad-Supported and now have regrets, you can still ditch the ads. You just have to pay the fee you would’ve at checkout for an ad-free Kindle. Our guide to removing ads from your Kindle explains how to do it. The best Kindle for most readers Kindle Paperwhite (2021) Read our review Best Prices Today: $139.99 at Amazon Though the price of the Kindle Paperwhite drifted upward with its 2021 refresh, its upgraded features justify the extra cost. With its bigger screen, improved front light, higher resolution, and waterproofing, it’s an easy pick over the basic Kindle. Read our full review. The best waterproof Kindle Kindle Paperwhite (2021) Read our review Best Prices Today: $139.99 at Amazon If you enjoy reading by the pool, in the bathtub, or lead a lifestyle that places your expensive electronic devices in liquid peril on a regular basis, you’ll be happy to know that the best waterproof Kindle is also our pick for the best Kindle for most people: The Kindle Paperwhite. With its IPX8 rating, it can survive in two meters of fresh water for up to an hour at a time. Want to read in the bathtub or by the pool? Not a problem, especially since the Kindle Paperwhite also allows you to disable taps as touch input, in order to avoid the touchscreen mistaking a splash of water for user input. Read our full review. The luxury Kindle All-new Kindle Oasis Read our review Best Prices Today: $249.99 at Amazon The very name of Amazon’s “All-new Kindle Oasis” would seem to herald a radical overhaul. But the changes to Amazon’s top-shelf e-reader are far less dramatic. Beyond the introduction of a new color-adjustable front light that can warm or cool the screen’s illumination, the All-new Kindle Oasis remains strikingly similar to its predecessor. And that’s good news. It’s still the best e-reading experience you can buy—and your only option if you want a Kindle with cellular connectivity included. Read our full review. All our latest Kindle reviews Kindle Paperwhite (2021) Pros Larger screen (6.8-inch) Long battery life (up to 10 weeks+) Front lighting is more even and supports cool and warm tones USB-C charging port Waterproof (IPX8 rating) Automatic screen brightness & wireless charging support (Signature Edition) Cons Higher price Noticeably heavier than previous model Limited navigation options Best Prices Today: $139.99 at Amazon Read our full Kindle Paperwhite (2021) review All-new Kindle Oasis Pros New color-adjustable front light lets you cool or warm the lighting Waterproof Light weight and sharp text makes it comfortable to read for hours Cons Can only play audiobooks from Audible Expensive Best Prices Today: $249.99 at Amazon Read our full All-new Kindle Oasis review All-new Kindle (10th generation, 2019), Ad-Supported Pros Frontlighting for comfortable reading in all environments Can play audiobooks over Bluetooth speaker Improved E-Ink and touchscreen technology Cons Audiobooks will deplete 4GB of storage quickly Read our full All-new Kindle (10th generation, 2019), Ad-Supported review Amazon.com, Consumer Electronics, E-readers, Holidays, Kindle

19:10
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PCWorld

Intel’s latest CPUs can break your browser‎

When you buy the latest technology you generally expect it to work without a hitch. That’s probably why some users who have the latest 12th-gen Intel processors are pissed, as their Chrome and Edge browsing sessions freeze up on brand new machines. Intel has acknowledged the problem and which specific Alder Lake CPUs are being affected, and offered up a few potential solutions. Chromium-based browsers (Chrome, Edge, Opera, Vivaldi, et cetera) are seeing frustrating hang-ups and freezes when loading multiple tabs on machines with both 12th-gen Intel Core CPUs and the lower-power integrated graphics chip, UHD Graphics 770. That includes 18 desktop and laptop CPU models from late 2021 and early 2022, across i5, i7, and i9 lines. Some of these are very popular models, including members of the powerful i7-12700 and i9-12900 series. Intel notes that the problem is especially bad when using an old-fashioned hard drive or using many tabs at once. The support page was spotted by a Twitter user and TechRadar. To fix the problem, Intel recommends the usual steps: update your browser, update Windows, update your graphics driver with a clean install. You might also try disabling hardware acceleration in your browser. Installing a discrete graphics card would also bypass Intel’s integrated graphics, preventing this issue. A fix from Intel itself is presumably in the works, but it might be a while before it gets here. CPUs and Processors

18:39
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PCWorld

Microsoft’s Game Pass streaming looks worse on Linux—unless you use Edge‎

The rise of game streaming is a godsend for PC gamers who prefer Linux to Windows, since the systems generally work just fine in any modern browser and don’t require custom development for the operating system. But gamers on Linux who enthusiastically embraced Xbox Game Pass and its streaming component aren’t satisfied with the image quality they’re getting. It’s now been verified that streaming Game Pass games to Linux results in poorer quality than Windows. The difference isn’t extreme, but it’s noticeable enough that it caught the attention of Reddit users on the XCloud sub. The Reddit user performed a few tests which Ars Technica verified by manually changing browser user agent strings to imitate running Linux on identical machines, and indeed, the resolution and sharpness for the “Linux” test was shown to be notably poorer. While this would be hard to spot during rapid motion, more subtle cutscenes and text will show a dramatic drop in quality. /u/SpiritualAd2806 Exactly what’s causing the dip in quality isn’t clear. It’s been speculated that Microsoft is assuming a Linux user agent string means someone’s using an Android device to stream Game Pass games, lowering the image quality because the change wouldn’t be noticeable on a smaller phone or tablet screen. Some are guessing that Microsoft is reserving the best quality for its Edge browser, where enabling the exclusive Clarity Boost feature cleans up the image even when reporting a Linux user agent. And of course, it’s always possible that the behavior is unintentional, caused by some sort of bug. Until a more general solution is created, Linux users can download Edge and make sure Clarity Boost is enabled to get the best image quality when streaming Game Pass games. Video Games

18:24
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PCWorld

Laptop ports explained: Every symbol and connector identified‎

Modern laptops come with a dizzying array of ports—or maybe only one. But how can you know what they all do, or what you might want in a new system? Below we explain every single laptop port, past and present, along with photos to help you identify their symbols. Usually located along the sides or back of a laptop, these ports help expand functionality and provide connection points for input devices, external drives, networking, and more. Understanding these ports, and knowing which of your peripherals will connect easily—and which will need adapters—will help you make better-informed decisions when looking for the perfect laptop to suit your needs. In our coverage of the best laptops you can buy today, we’re careful to note which ports are available. Audio jack The 3.5mm audio jack, also known as a headphone jack, is the most common audio port on modern laptops. Along with inputting and outputting audio, it also allows for connections to the majority of wired headphones and speakers. Some older laptops have two audio jacks that split mic and audio, but current models use the same port for both. Audio jack laptop port IDG Some laptop manufacturers have opted not to include the audio jack in recent models. If this is the case, you will need a USB wireless dongle to connect to your wireless headphones and speakers, or you’ll need to connect via Bluetooth if your audio gear supports that. Conversely, many wired headphones work via USB rather than analog 3.5mm jacks, and those could also be an option. If you only have wired 3.5mm headphones but no 3.5mm audio jack in your laptop, you’ll need to get either a USB or USB Type-C to 3.5mm adapter. DisplayPort/mini DisplayPort DisplayPort is a digital display connection used to output video and audio from your laptop to a video display, such as a monitor. While some TVs come with DisplayPort connections, it is more commonly found on PCs and PC monitors. Originally designed to replace VGA and DVI connections between computers and monitors, it has become the most advanced display connection available on laptops today, challenging HDMI for display interface supremacy. The latest iteration is DisplayPort 2.0 released in 2019, which has an increased bandwidth up to 77.37Gbps. Unlike other connections, DisplayPort allows multiple monitors to be run off of a single connection. Additionally, DisplayPort supports both AMD’s FreeSync and Nvidia’s G-Sync technology, allowing for so-called “tear-free gaming” (so long as your monitor supports these technologies as well). Each iteration of DisplayPort has seen improvements in data rate as well as higher resolution and higher refresh rates: DisplayPort 1.2: Supports up to 4K resolutions at 60HzDisplayPort 1.3: Supports up to 4K resolutions at 120Hz or 8K resolutions at 30HzDisplayPort 1.4: Supports up to 8K resolutions at 60Hz and supports HDRDisplayPort 2.0: Supports 16K resolutions (with HDR) at 60Hz and 10K resolutions (without HDR) at 80HzMost laptops nowadays use the smaller, mini DisplayPort connection or use USB Type-C ports to send out DisplayPort signals. Unlike regular DisplayPorts, mini DisplayPorts will need a multi-stream Transport (MST) hub to output to more than one display. DisplayPort mini laptop port IDG DVI DVI (Digital Visual Interface) is used to connect a video source, such as a laptop, to a display, such as an external monitor. It was developed in the late 90s with the aim of replacing analog VGA technology with lossless digital video. While not such a common port on modern laptops, it is still found on many external monitors with full-HD resolutions or lower. A single DVI connection can output up to UXGA 1920×1200 resolutions at 60Hz but needs a special dual-link DVI connection to output at higher resolutions. DVI laptop port IDG DVI is often your best option to output video from your laptop to external budget displays that lack more recent connections such as HDMI or DisplayPort. One thing to note, however: DVI connections only support video signals and do not output audio. If you have a laptop with no DVI port, but you want to connect to an external display using DVI, you will need an HDMI-to-DVI or DisplayPort-to-DVI cable. Ethernet Ethernet ports allow laptops to connect directly into wired networks. While Ethernet ports are becoming less common on laptops due to the proliferation of Wi-Fi, a wired connection via Ethernet is still the most reliable way to connect to high-speed internet. In areas where wireless signals may be weaker, Ethernet allows you to overcome this through a direct connection. Today’s Ethernet is also known as Gigabit Ethernet, meaning the connection speeds are rated at 1Gbps or higher. Ethernet connections are rated by Category (or Cat) type, and the latest Cat 8 standard connection allows for max speeds of up to 40Gbps while maintaining backward compatibility with older category types. Ethernet laptop port IDG Many newer and slimmer consumer laptop models no longer have Ethernet ports, but they can still be found in many business laptops. If your laptop doesn’t have an Ethernet port built in, you can purchase a USB-to-Ethernet adapter, or alternatively you can use a docking station. HDMI HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) is the most common way to connect your laptop to a video display or home entertainment device. Many TVs, external computer monitors, and projectors also have HDMI ports. HDMI connections can transfer both high-definition video and audio digitally from your laptop to an external display. Over the years, several versions of HDMI have been rolled out and despite their differences in capabilities, the physical ports themselves have remained the same between versions. The latest version, HDMI 2.1, released in 2017, allows for a 48Gbps transmission bit rate and supports 4K resolutions at 120Hz or 8K resolutions at 60Hz. HDMI 2.1 also offers backward compatibility meaning it can be used with HDMI ports on older devices without the new 2.1 features. HDMI laptop port IDG Due to HDMI’s widespread use, many inexpensive adapters are available to connect HDMI and other ports, such as DVI and USB Type-C. HDMI cannot output to dual displays from a single port, and some laptops are now being sold with mini HDMI ports, meaning you will need an adapter if you wish to use it with regular HDMI (pictured above). Kensington Lock Slot Also known as a K-lock or K-slot, the Kensington Lock Slots are small, reinforced holes commonly found on laptops that are used to attach a physical security lock to your device. It was implemented in consumer laptops beginning in the year 2000. Depending on the laptop model, this lock slot can be found either on the side or back of your laptop. While many laptops have a Kensington lock slot built-in, they seldom come with the cable locking mechanism itself. Using a compatible cable lock inserted into the lock slot, the other end of the cable can be attached to a secure location, thereby anchoring the laptop and preventing theft. The lock slot is often marked with a small lock icon next to the opening. Laptop lock slot IDG SD Card Reader The SD card reader slot is primarily used to read memory cards from digital cameras. SD Cards can be hot-plugged and hot-swapped, meaning you can insert and remove them without restarting your laptop. Data transfer speeds vary widely, and depend on what SD cards the reader supports. UHS-III SD Cards can theoretically transfer data at rates of up to 624Mbps, but if your SD reader only supports the earlier UHS-I version, you will only be able to transfer your data at the maximum UHS-I speed of 104MBps. SD Card Reader laptop port IDG SD card readers are not available in all laptops, and as modern laptops have become thinner, they are being phased out. However, you can still find new laptops built for photo and video editing with SD Card Reader slots installed. If your laptop does not have an SD card reader slot, you can easily buy an inexpensive USB adapter. MicroSD Card Reader MicroSD cards and card readers were introduced by SanDisk in 2005 to accommodate smaller memory cards in mobile phones. Similar to the larger SD card reader, the microSD card reader is meant to read smaller memory cards now most commonly used for external storage in smartphones. MicroSD cards are also hot-pluggable and hot-swappable just like the larger SD cards. microSD Card Reader laptop port IDG Laptops with limited onboard storage, such as some Chromebooks, sometimes utilize microSD cards for additional storage capacity. Every year the storage size of SD and microSD cards increases, with the current largest available consumer models sitting at 1TB. MicroSD cards are electrically compatible with large SD cards and with the help of a simple adapter, can be used in laptops that accept SD cards as well. If your laptop does not have a microSD card reader or an SD card reader, you can use a USB adapter. USB USB (Universal Serial Bus) is the most common expansion port on modern laptops and dates back to 1996. It typically has a rectangular shape and connects to a vast universe of peripherals, such as keyboards, mice, printers, and external hard drives. USB ports come in a variety of types and each has its own distinctive functionalities and characteristics. USB Type-A is the original 4-pin connector and is differentiated by its generations. Each subsequent generation saw an improvement in both power management and data transfer speeds. All newer generations are backward compatible with older generations. USB 2.0 is usually distinguished by black or gray port colors and offers data transfer speeds of up to 480 Mbps. USB 2.0 laptop port IDG USB 3.0 (now known as USB 3.1 Gen 1) usually sports blue or turquoise colored ports and can reach a theoretical maximum transfer rate of 5 Gbps, which is 10 times faster than USB 2.0. USB 3.0 laptop port IDG The latest standard of USB Type-A ports is USB 3.1 Gen 2. It looks the same as USB 3.1 Gen 1 but provides a significant increase in data transfer rates of up to 10 Gbps. Unlike Type-A, USB Type-B ports and connectors are square-shaped. They are not commonly found on laptops, but many printers, scanners, docking stations, and hubs use these as an input port. While adapters are available, most USB Type-B cables already come with a USB Type-B connector on one end and a USB Type-A on the other. USB Type-C USB Type-C is the newly adopted standard connector for most modern laptops and devices, and deserves its own distinct place on this list due to its unique functionality. Owing to its small and narrow footprint, the USB Type-C port can fit on most ultra-thin laptops being manufactured in today’s market. This, along with the fact that USB Type-C can accept Thunderbolt connections in the same port, gives it the edge over other USB types. The best USB-C hub overall Anker 7-in-1 USB-C Hub (A83460A2) Best Prices Today: $34.99 at Amazon USB Type-C ports can support a variety of different standards. Unlike the rectangular-shaped Type-A with a 4-pin connection, the USB Type-C comes with a 24-pin connector allowing it to handle higher currents and faster transfer speeds. The ability to handle higher currents allows for devices to charge in less time using a Type-C connection by providing up to 100W of power. Furthermore, Type-C devices can support USB 3.1 Gen 2 transfer rates of 10Gbps. If it doubles as a Thunderbolt port (recognized by the lightning bolt icon next to the port), Type-C connections can even produce lightning-fast speeds of up to 40Gbps. Furthermore, it can allow for video-out DisplayPort signals if equipped with alt-mode functionality. That versatility helps well-equipped USB-C docks and hubs serve as a backbone for laptops with few ports. USB Type-C laptop portIDG Adapters are readily available for connections between USB Type-C and other USB types. While these connections are backward compatible, they will reduce the functionality and transfer rates between USB types. Micro-USB You’re not likely to see the micro-USB port (and the slightly larger mini-USB port) in modern laptops, but they can still be found in many peripherals and accessories. In fact, not a single laptop in PCWorld’s vast inventory of machines has this port, so we’re using a photo of a micro-USB B cable instead. Amazon Micro-USB is generally used for legacy smartphones, low-power tablets such as Amazon Kindles, some external hard drives, and random electronic devices. They most often support USB 2.0 speeds of up to 480 Mbps, but occasionally support USB 3.0, and micro-USB connections can be used interchangeably in both supported ports. USB Type-A and Type-C to micro-USB adapters are available if you wish to connect your supported device to a laptop without a micro-USB port. Thunderbolt Thunderbolt is the fastest connection available in today’s market. It combines PCIe, DisplayPort, serial signals, and DC power altogether in one port. This allows the Thunderbolt connection to be deployed for a variety of purposes, ranging from peripheral connections to laptop power charging. Thunderbolt ports can often be identified by a small lightning bolt icon next to the port. Thunderbolt laptop port IDG The latest versions, Thunderbolt 3 and Thunderbolt 4, can transfer data at a blazingly fast rate of 40Gbps, which is four times faster than the USB 3.1 gen 2. Even legacy versions such as the original Thunderbolt have transfer rates as high as 10Gbps or Thunderbolt 2 at 20Gbps. A single Thunderbolt 3 or 4 connection is also capable of outputting to two 4K monitors at once thanks to its usage of dual DisplayPort signals. Some newer external graphics cards even come equipped with Thunderbolt ports, allowing for laptops to be connected for high-end gaming. the best budget thunderbolt dock IOgear Thunderbolt 3 Travel Dock (GTD300) From Thunderbolt 3 onward, the port uses USB Type-C connections and therefore can double as USB Type-C ports. Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 2 ports use mini DisplayPort connections, so you will need an adapter if you wish to attach legacy Thunderbolt devices to Thunderbolt 3 or higher. Given Thunderbolt’s abundant functionality, the port can also be used as the central hub for a lot of other connections. Our roundup of the best Thunderbolt docks can point you towards your best options. VGA VGA (Video Graphics Array) is a legacy analog video port dating back to 1987. It is the main interface between computers and older CRT monitors and even more modern projectors. Since it is analog, VGA is susceptible to signal degradation over longer cable distances and only has a maximum resolution of 640×480 with a 60Hz refresh rate. VGA laptop port IDG Due to the larger size of the 15-pin VGA port and the increase in the use of digital video, these ports are mostly being phased out. Laptop manufacturers are producing slimmer laptops nowadays and using HDMI or DisplayPort connections in place of VGA. While you cannot convert VGA to any other display standard (HDMI, DVI, DisplayPort), you can convert any of them to VGA (with a subsequent drop in quality) by using the proper cable or adapter. Editor’s note: This article was updated to add links to the best Thunderbolt and USB-C hubs, and a link to our DisplayPort vs. HDMI explainer. Input Devices

17:36
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PCWorld

Prime Day dash cam deals 2022: What to expect and early deals‎

Are you looking for a second set of eyes to help you on the road? If so, now is a great time to buy a new dash cam. And since it’s almost Amazon Prime Day, that means you can score some great discounts on all kinds of dash cams. If you’re not sure what to look for, don’t worry. We’re here to help you with a roundup of the best dash cam deals leading up to, and during, Prime Day 2022. Amazon’s summer sales extravaganza is open to Prime members and will last for 48 hours, beginning on July 12th, 2022. Not a Prime member? Check out our guide for how to get Amazon Prime for free. In addition, you can plan for some great savings by snagging Prime Day lightning deals. We also have a comprehensive primer on absolutely everything you should know about Prime Day 2022. In recent years, other retailers have joined in on the fun and will also be offering their own deals. There are going to be a slew of dash cams for sale and it might seem overwhelming. But we have tested countless dash cams and we’ll help highlight the best deals for you. So if you’re shopping for the latest 4K ultra-high-def cam or just something to discreetly clip onto your rearview mirror, we’re here for you. Prime Day dash cam deals: What to expect Last year, we saw some excellent discounts on a lot of our favorite dash cams, including the stellar Nextbase 622 4K UHD. We expect to see similar deals this year with the likes of top brands such as Garmin and Cobra perennially knocking off 20 percent or more on their prices. Don’t just look to Amazon, though. Some other major retailers such as Walmart, BestBuy, and Adorama provide their own attractive Prime Day discounts on dash cams. As deals come and go, be sure to keep checking back here as we will continually update this list with what is currently available. Early Prime Day dash cam deals Vantrue N2 Pro 1 From: Amazon Was: $199.99 Now: $169.99 (15%) View Deal The Vantrue N2 Pro is a solid dash cam built especially for Uber or other rideshare drivers. It offers two cams in one – a front facing camera and an inside facing camera. Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2 2 From: Amazon Was: $129.99 Now: $109.99 (15%) View Deal This micro-sized dash cam from one of our favorite brands Garmin, is discreet enough to fit behind a rearview mirror. It has a wide 140-degree lens that records 1080p video. Cobra SC 400D 3 From: BestBuy Was: $399.99 Now: $349.99 (13%) View Deal This dual-view 4K front, 1080p rear dash cam is our favorite premium dash cam. It comes packed with built-in Alexa support, a 3-inch touchscreen display and voice control. Garmin Dash Cam 57 4 From: Amazon Was: $229.99 Now: $209.99 (9%) View Deal The Garmin 57 is an excellent dash cam that can record 1440p video with a 140-degree field of view. It has integrated GPS and solid phone connectivity – we included it in our best dash cam roundup for a reason. Nextbase 622GW Package 5 From: BestBuy Was: $519.97 Now: $469.98 (9%) View Deal The Nextbase 622GW made our list of best dash cams due to its 140-degree field of view and crystal clear 4K UHD captures both during the day and at night. If you’re in the market for a premium dash cam with a few added bonuses included, then this package Nextbase 622GW deal is worth it. Dash Cams

17:11
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PCWorld

Bandai gave legendary Elden Ring player ‘Let Me Solo Her’ a real sword‎

The community that grows up around From Software games is something to behold, and there’s no better example than legendary Elden Ring player Let Me Solo Her. This semi-anonymous giant slayer has killed rage-inducing boss Malenia, Blade of Miquella for other players over 1000 times, wielding their distinctive twin katanas, pot helmet, and loincloth. Publisher Bandai Namco decided to recognize their achievements in a uniquely tangible way: by giving them a real sword. KleinTsuboi The player, who goes by @TsuboiKlein on Twitter, showed off the bit of custom swag for the world to see. The European-style sword came in a one-of-a-kind presentation box, complete with a display stand, world map, a woodcut of the Malenia boss, and an inscription of “Rise, Tarnished” on the blade. Presumably they’ll use their new weapon to dodge-roll around some kind of impossible challenge in the real world, like inescapable climate change or the forces of universal entropy. went on to enjoy the game, because this community is one of the most passionate and dedicated people I've ever seen in a game, and I'm proud to be a part of it. Many people shaped me to who I am today, including Vaati, Fighter .Pl, IronPineapple, ChasetheBro, Zullie, (2/3) pic.twitter.com/87kHboHFIr— KleinTsuboi (@TsuboiKlein) July 6, 2022Let Me Solo Her has been immortalized in the fan community in the brief time since Elden Ring was released, with a truly incredible amount of mildly NSFW fanart and cosplay of the helpful boss-killer appearing on the web. Modders have even made AI duplicates of Let Me Solo Her, if you haven’t been lucky enough to encounter them in the game itself. Video Games

17:11
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PCWorld

Best laptop deals: Top picks from budget to extreme‎

Whether you’re looking for a laptop for gaming or programming, you’ve come to the right place. We’re combing the web daily to find the best laptop deals. However, not all advertised laptop deals are actual deals, so we’re only including the ones we consider true bargains—and we’ll explain why. Right now, we’re seeing strong discounts on gaming laptops, Microsoft Surface devices, Chromebooks, and more. We’ve also got some handy laptop shopping tips at the end of this post. Read on to learn more. The best laptop deals in 2022 Acer Chromebook 315 (Refurbished) From: Newegg Was: $134.99 Now: $119.99 ($15 off) Acer The Acer Chromebook 315 is a great option for a student, especially with back-to-school season lurking around the corner (yikes). This machine is affordable, durable, and largely virus-free. It’s rocking an Intel Celeron processor, Intel UHD graphics, 4GB of memory, and a 15.6-inch 1080p touch-enabled display. It’s designed to handle most lightweight tasks like writing papers, researching topics, checking e-mail, and so on. If you’re looking for a basic productivity machine for your little one, then this Chromebook is a solid choice—especially with its ludicrously low $120 price tag. See the Acer Chromebook 315 (Refurbished) at Newegg Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 From: Best Buy Was: $1,649.99 Now: $1,499.99 ($150 off) Asus The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is both lightweight and powerful. That’s a rare combination in the gaming laptop world. It weighs about three and a half pounds, which really ups the portability factor. Most gaming rigs tip the scales at five or six pounds. This specific model is packing an AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS CPU, an AMD Radeon RX 6700S GPU, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB of PCIe 4.0 SSD storage. The 14-inch display has a resolution of 2560×1600, a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz, and it tops out at 500 nits. Overall, this is fantastic machine that promises zippy gaming performance in a tiny package. See the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 at Best Buy Lenovo Flex 5 From: Amazon Was: $849.99 Now: $621.70 (27% off) Lenovo The Lenovo Flex 5 is a great option for a student on a tight budget. It has an AMD Ryzen 5 5500U CPU, 16GB of RAM, 256GB of SSD storage, and integrated Radeon graphics. It’s the perfect machine for everyday tasks like browsing the web, checking e-mail, watching YouTube, writing papers, and working on presentations. The 14-inch LCD display has a resolution of 1920×1080 and is touch-enabled. The Flex is also a convertible, which really ramps up the versatility. This means you can prop it up like a tent or rotate the screen all the way around and use it like a tablet. It’s a little heavy at five pounds, but that’s really the only knock we have against this machine. This is a solid system going for a very good discount price. See the Lenovo Flex 5 at Amazon Alienware x14 From: Best Buy Was: $1,899.99 Now: $1,749.99 ($150 off) Dell If you’ve been jonesing for a proper gaming machine, the Alienware x14 will surely fit the bill. The biggest selling point is that it’s shockingly thin and portable for a gaming rig, weighing a little over four pounds. Most gaming laptops tip the scales at five or six pounds, or even higher. As for the internals, it’s packing a very capable amount of power. It features an Intel Core i7-12700H CPU, an RTX 3060 GPU, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of SSD storage. The 14-inch display has a resolution of 1920×1080 and a maximum refresh rate of 144Hz. When we reviewed a higher tier version of this laptop in June, we gave it three and a half stars. While we liked the reliable performance and lightweight form factor, we weren’t huge fans of the near-constant fan noise and the cramped keyboard. That said, fan noise is common with gaming laptops. You can also plug into an external keyboard for a more spacious layout. Nitpicks aside, we really dig this rig. If you’re looking for solid gaming performance and portability, the Alienware x14 is a great pick. See the Alienware x14 at Best Buy Acer Swift 3 Acer From: Newegg Was: $529.99 Now: $459.99 ($70 off) If you’re looking for a nice productivity laptop, the Acer Swift 3 is a solid buy. It has a 13.5-inch 2256×1504 resolution display with a 3:2 aspect ratio. That’s more square resolution than the typical 16:9, which adds more height to the display and is nice when working on documents. It also has an Intel Core i5-1135G7 with four cores, eight threads, and a boost to 4.2GHz. RAM is 8GB and onboard storage is a 512GB NVMe SSD. Overall, this is a good laptop, especially for general use tasks like video streaming and web browsing. See the Acer Swift 3 at Newegg Acer Aspire A5 (Intel) Acer From: Amazon Was: $321.29 Now: $289.99 ($31.30 off) We already have a similar model from the same series available in this roundup, but this one is a little cheaper and swaps a Ryzen 3 APU for an Intel Core i3 processor. This version of the Acer Aspire A5 still has a 15.6-inch 1080p display, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of onboard NVMe storage. It’s also rocking Windows 11 Home in S Mode. You can do a one-way switch to regular Windows 11 Home if you prefer, but you may not want to given the CPU. The big difference is the processor. This model has the Intel “Tiger Lake” Core i3-1115G4, which has two cores, four threads, and a boost to 4.1GHz. That’s good enough for casual uses like web browsing, video streaming, and so on. It would likely struggle as a productivity laptop, but for someone with light computing requirements, it offers a nice size screen at a solid price. See the Acer Aspire A5-515-56-36UT at Amazon Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15 Lenovo From: Lenovo via eBay Was: $769.99 Now: $499.99 ($270 off) The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15 is a solid productivity and casual computing laptop. This laptop features a Ryzen 5 5625U with six cores, twelve threads, and a boost to 4.3GHz. It has a whopping 16GB of RAM and 512GB of onboard storage. The display is also 15.6 inches with 1080p resolution. Lenovo’s bundled three free months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate with this laptop. That’s an odd choice, especially because this machine only has integrated graphics and no discrete GPU. Still, if you have a console or want to play some older games that won’t tax the integrated GPU, it’ll work out nicely. See the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15 at eBay Lenovo Chromebook 3 Lenovo From: Best Buy Was: $139 Now: $99 ($40 off) Sometimes deal hunting means making compromises to take advantage of those incredible prices. This is one of those. The Lenovo Chromebook 3 features an 11.6-inch display with a 1366-by-768 resolution. We try not to recommend anything below 1080p, but given the screen size and the fact that it’s well under $100, this is fair value for that resolution. It also has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage. That’s plenty for a Chromebook. The processor is Intel’s Celeron N4020, another good choice for the minimal requirements of a Chromebook. This laptop will also run Linux apps as well as Android apps from Google Play. This Chromebook will also continue to get updates until June 2027. See the Lenovo Chromebook 3 11 at Best Buy LG Lenovo Legion 5i Lenovo From: Walmart Was: $1,029.99 Now: $749 ($280.99 off) This is a nice gaming laptop at a solid price. It’s packing the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050, a 1080p graphics card. With this you should be able to play most games on medium to high with a jump to ultra on older games. The processor is the Intel “Comet Lake” Core i5-10500H, which has six cores, twelve threads, and a boost to 4.5GHz. It’s an older processor, but still fast enough for gaming. As for RAM, it’s 8GB and onboard storage is 256GB. This is still considered a budget gaming rig, but for $100 extra you get an upgraded GPU. See the LG Lenovo Legion 5i at Walmart Acer Aspire 3 Acer From: Walmart Was: $549 Now: $479 ($70 off) You don’t often find a laptop deal with an Intel Alder Lake CPU, which is why we decided to highlight this specific sale. The Acer Aspire 3 features Intel’s Core i5-1235U with eight efficiency cores and two performance cores with HyperThreading for a total of 12 threads and a maximum boost to 4.4GHz. It also has 8GB of RAM, a 15.6-inch display with 1080p resolution, 256GB of onboard storage, Intel Iris Xe graphics, and it’s running Windows 11 Home. See the Acer Aspire 3 at Walmart Gigabyte A5 K1-AUS1150SB Gigabyte From: Best Buy Was: $1,199 Now: $949 ($250 off) Best Buy is back with another version of a Gigabyte gaming laptop. This one features a 15.6-inch display with 1080p resolution, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB of onboard SSD storage. The processor is a Ryzen 5 5600H, a step down from the Ryzen 7 in the last laptop (though this one is $100 cheaper). The GPU is the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060, which offers no compromises 1080p gaming–meaning it will meet or exceed 60 frames-per-second in most games. This is an excellent price for a very good 1080p gaming machine. See the Gigabyte A5 K1 at Best Buy Lenovo IdeaPad 3i Lenovo From: Walmart Was: $699 Now: $399 ($300 off) We’ve already got an IdeaPad 3i in the round-up, but this model is different enough that it’s worth a look on its own. The somewhat older Core i5-10210U has four cores, eight threads, and a boost to 4.2GHz. Still, it’s a solid processor for an everyday work machine. It’s also packing 8GB of RAM and a 512GB NVMe SSD. That’s a big difference compared to the other 3i, which has a hard drive. This model has a slightly smaller screen at 14-inches, but the resolution is 1080p, which is all well and good. It’s also running Windows 11 Home. See the Lenovo IdeaPad 3i at Walmart Acer Aspire 5 A515 Acer From: Amazon Was: $399.99 Now: $349.99 (13% off) If you’re looking for a solid everyday laptop, you’ve come to the right place. The Acer Aspire 5 features a 15.6-inch 1080p display, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of onboard SSD storage. The processor is a Ryzen 3 3350U, which has four cores, four threads, and a maximum boost to 3.5GHz. It’s packed with modern features like Wi-Fi 6, a backlit keyboard, and a fingerprint reader for biometric logins. Acer starts this laptop off with Windows 11 in S mode, but there’s no reason not to do a one-way upgrade to full Windows 11. This is being sold by a third-party retailer, but Amazon is handling shipping, which means it falls under the company’s return policy. See the Acer Aspire 5 A515 at Amazon Asus Vivobook Pro 14 K3400 Asus From: Walmart Was: $749 Now: $599 If you’re into creative work, the Asus Vivobook Pro 14 is a fantastic option. This laptop has a 14-inch 2880-by-1800 OLED display with a 16:10 aspect ratio. OLED screens are great, so you can expect a sharper image. The Vivobook is also packing a Core i5-1330H, a Tiger Lake CPU with four cores, eight threads, and a boost to 4.4GHz. There’s even 8GB of RAM, which is a good amount for some video editing. Onboard storage is a 256GB NVMe SSD, and you’re getting Thunderbolt 4, Wi-Fi 6, and Bluetooth 5.0. This is a nice laptop with a very good display, but for storage you’ll likely have to rely mostly on the cloud. Speaking of which, you also get a free, three month subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud as part of the package. See the Asus Vivobook Pro 14 K3400 at Walmart Microsoft Surface Pro 7+ Mark Hachman/IDG From: Walmart Was: $929.99 Now: $599 ($330.99 off) If you’re looking for a well designed Windows tablet, there’s no beating Microsoft’s Surface line and this Walmart’s sale offers an excellent bargain. This version of the Surface Pro 7+ comes with a Core i3 processor, 128GB of onboard storage, 8GB of RAM, and a black Type Cover. We reviewed the Surface Pro 7+ in early 2021, giving it 4.5 out of 5 stars and an Editors’ Choice Award. We called it “the most potent upgrade Microsoft’s Surface Pro line has offered in years.” See the Surface Pro 7+ at Walmart Laptop deal buying tips If you’ve shopped online before for laptop deals you’re probably aware that there’s a vast range of laptop configurations available. A good place to start is with the processor. Buy laptops with Intel 10-series Core chips or higher, such as the Core i5-10510U, or the Core i7-11800H (for even more details see our Intel 10th-gen mobile CPU buying guide); or go with an AMD Ryzen processor (but not an AMD Athlon or A-series chip). Avoid laptops with Pentium or Celeron processors unless it’s a Chromebook (running Chrome OS). You’re going to need to pay attention with gaming laptops, too, as some GPUs, like the RTX 3050 Ti, don’t offer much boost over their RTX 2xxx-series cousins, and Nvidia has dropped the Max-Q designation on certain low-power options. Our laptop CPU and GPU cheat sheet can help you shop smart. Display resolution is a gotcha. If you see a laptop labeled as “HD” resolution that means 1366-by-768 and often isn’t worth your time for a laptop under 13 inches unless the deal is absolutely standout. What you want is “Full HD” or “FHD,” which means 1080p. Don’t buy laptops with under 4GB of RAM or 128GB of SSD storage—though on a Chromebook, this configuration is acceptable. We have more explanation in our laptops versus Chromebooks buying guide, as well as in our primer on how to buy a budget laptop without getting screwed. Also watch out for eMMC storage, which is something we don’t recommend for a Windows laptop but works fine for a Chromebook. Reviews can be helpful. Even if you can’t find a review of a specific configuration, try related models. They’ll often give you a good idea of the build quality and performance. Also buy from brands you trust. Amazon’s daily laptop deals right now are full of brands we’ve never tested or talked to (Broage, Teclast, DaySky, Jumper) and it’s just a good idea to be wary. Most older laptops will run Windows 10, and that’s fine—there’s no rush to upgrade. Windows 10 in S Mode, though annoying, can be switched out of easily if you find it on a budget laptop. If you want to buy a Windows 10 PC with the intent of upgrading it to Windows 11, we recommend you start here with a list of older laptops that are Windows 11-eligible. Updated on July 7 with additional deals, and to remove expired deals. Laptops

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PCWorld

Snatch up Razer’s beloved DeathAdder gaming mouse for just $19‎

If you’ve been looking around for a good-but-cheap gaming mouse, we’ve got a fabulous deal for you today. Amazon’s selling Razer’s DeathAdder Essential gaming mouse for $18.99. That would be a killer price even for a no-name gaming mouse, but for the iconic Razer DeathAdder? It’s a no-brainer. This budget edition of the famously comfortable Razer DeathAdder has 5 programmable buttons, mechanical switches, rubber side grips, and much more. As for sensitivity, this device has a 6,400 DPI optical sensor. It’s not the most sensitive gaming mouse in the world, but that’s not a bad thing. If your mouse is too sensitive, it’s going to be difficult to control until you get accustomed to it—and most people don’t play games anywhere near the ludicrous 16,000+ DPI ratings provided by far pricier gaming mice anyway. Honestly? This heavily discounted DeathAdder is perfect for all but the sweatiest esports gamers, and its ultra-comfortable versatility would be right at home doing standard office or creative work too. You really can’t beat the price, either. [Today’s deal: Razer DeathAdder Essential gaming mouse at Amazon] Mice

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PCWorld

Teamgroup Cardea A440 Pro SSD review: Scintillating PCIe 4.0 performance‎

At a glanceExpert’s Rating ProsAs fast as they comeLarge aluminum heat sink or graphene heat spreaderSustains performance during long writesConsA bit priceyOur VerdictThe Cardea A440 Pro is arguably the fastest NVMe SSD we’ve tested. It’s also priced as such. Best Prices Today: Teamgroup Cardea A440 Pro NVMe SSD (2TB) Retailer Price Delivery $135.99 Free View Price comparison from over 24,000 stores worldwide I’ll just cut to the chase: The Teamgroup Cardea A440 Pro (TM8FPR002) ripped though our test suite in fine fashion, besting such fast drives as Seagate’s FireCuda 530 and SK Hynix’s Platinum P41—our current pick for best NVMe PCIe 4.0. Let’s take a look at how it compares in all other respects. This review is part of our ongoing roundup of the best SSDs. Go there for information on competing products and how we tested them. Cardea A440 Pro: Price, design, specs Mentioned in this article SK Hynix Platinum P41 NVMe SSD Read our review Best Prices Today: $149.99 at Amazon There are two choices in heat dissipation available for the A440 Pro: the thin graphene type shown in the images, and a rather large aluminum heatsink. Most users will be fine with the graphene, and it’s obviously the choice for laptop upgrades, but gamers or pros putting continuous stress on the drive can keep the temps down and avoid thermal throttling by using the larger heatsink. The 1TB flavor of the A440 Pro costs $136—not bad for an SSD this fast. The 2TB is $280, and the 4TB is $790—again not bad for a pro-level SSD, but quite a bit more than than the entry-level competition. Adding the aluminum heatsink at purchase costs only $5 to $10, a bargain when it comes to such extras. The Teamgroup Cardea A440 Pro NVMe SSD with the graphene heat spreader option. An aluminum heatsink SKU is also available for modest $5 to $10 surcharge. Do the math on the price per terabyte, and unless you really need maximum capacity in a single slot, you’ll save money by buying four 1TB, or two 2TB A440 Pros. Not a lot of motherboards have four M.2 slots, but four-slot x16 PCIe adapters are available for under $50. If your computer supports PCIe bifurcation and RAID, there you go. The 22mm wide, 88mm long PCIe 4.0 x4 A440 Pro sports nothing but top-notch components, including: a Phison Phison PS5018-e18-41 controller, 1GB of DRAM per 1TB of capacity for primary caching duties, and 176-layer TLC NAND. Most PCIe 4.0 drives, especially those with DRAM, are among your pricier options. Teamgroup backs the Cardea A440 Pro with a five-year warranty and 700TBW (1TB model), 1,400TBW (2TB), and 3,000TBW (4TB) ratings. Those are average, not enterprise- or FireCuda 530-level TBW—i.e., terabytes the drive can write. Think of it like the mileage in a car warranty. When the time period or the TBW is exceeded, the warranty ceases to apply. Cardea A440 Pro: Performance Though it didn’t win every race, the Cardea A440 Pro won enough of them that we could arguably call it the fastest NVMe SSD we’ve tested. The first evidence of this is in the CrystalDiskMark 8 sequential throughput numbers shown below. Note that the Seagate 530’s numbers are new and may not match those in our previous review. The A440 Pro was only a couple of seconds off the all-time non-RAID record for our 48GB transfers. That means it’s real good in the real world. These results are all within the margin of statistical error for this test, but 21 and 22 seconds reading/writing our 48GB single file is still impressive. The test that the Cardea A440 Pro really aced was our long 450GB write. This was the 2TB version of the A440 Pro. You might not get quite as impressive a performance with the 1TB version due to less NAND for use as secondary cache. Overall, the Teamgroup Cardea A440 Pro is a very, very fast drive. Possibly the fastest thing out there. A nice debut in our labs for Teamgroup. Internal drive tests currently utilize Windows 11 64-bit running on an MSI MEG X570/AMD Ryzen 3700X combo with four 16GB Kingston 2666MHz DDR4 modules, a Zotac (Nvidia) GT 710 1GB x2 PCIe graphics card, and an Asmedia ASM3242 USB 3.2×2 card. Copy tests utilize an ImDisk RAM disk using 58GB of the 64GB total memory.Each test is performed on a newly formatted and TRIM’d drive so the results are optimal. Over time, as a drive fills up, performance will decrease due to less NAND for caching and other factors. The performance numbers shown apply only to the drive of the capacity tested. SSD performance can vary by capacity due to more or fewer chips to shotgun reads/writes across and the amount of NAND available for secondary caching. Bottom line The best generally costs more, and the Cardea A440 Pro is arguably that, so I’ll cut it some slack on the pricing. (I’d love to have this SSD in my system.) But prices change rapidly these days, and the drives we’ve compared it to are very fast. Check them out and shop carefully. Computer Storage Devices, Flash Storage

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PCWorld

Are your Facebook messages secure? Maybe. Here’s how to investigate‎

Feeling confident that your Facebook messages are safe from all prying eyes? Don’t be so sure. Locking down your Facebook account with a strong password and two-factor authentication is only the first step in protecting your conversations. Never sharing your devices with anyone and always logging out whenever you’re done chatting still won’t fully cover you, either. Even deleting message threads isn’t a guarantee that what you say will stay between you and the other party. For the most privacy possible in Messenger, you want end-to-end encrypted (E2EE) conversations. Starting at a device level (i.e., one end of the chat), the conversation is locked with a set of keys. Only you and whomever else is in your convo knows what they are. (More specifically, your devices do.) As the messages transmit back and forth between everyone, they remain locked down. On Facebook, end-to-end encryption is only available via Secret Conversations, which you have to start independently of any existing message threads or groups you’re already part of. If you’re part of a Secret Conversation, it’ll bear the label “End-to-end encrypted.” In your list of chats, Secret Conversations will be marked with a gray padlock icon and labeled as “End-to-end encrypted.”PCWorld If none of your chats have this label, it means all your communication is not encrypted. You’ll need to start a Secret Conversation to keep your messages private. Or at least—more private than standard. There’s a catch. In theory, no one else outside a Secret Conversation should be able to decipher what’s been said. But Facebook has the ability to review messages that are reported. Also, the other person[s] in your chat can still share or screenshot what you say. If that makes you uncomfortable, you can move to a different encrypted messaging app for more protection. Signal, for example, says it stays hands off with user data. Instead, you can block a harassing user, and for spammers, it waits for multiple users to flag a problematic account, and then issues a test to get “proof of humanity” before the account in question can send further messages. But currently, no app can protect you from someone on the other end getting screenshots and sharing what you’ve written. You still have to be careful about whom you trust. Internet

13:36
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