Acer’s Swift 3 thin-and-light consumer laptop could be called a crowd-pleaser, if only because you can currently buy models ranging in price from $650 and up, with abundant in RAM and storage, as well as both AMD and Intel CPUs. With the upgraded unit unveiled Wednesday at Acer’s next@acer event in New York, the company’s raising the bar in all respects: a cooler look—and a higher price ceiling.
The Swift 3 we saw costs—are you sitting down?—$1,798. But don't panic: Acer will continue to offer a long list of configuration options that should help you get this laptop down to a range that fits your budget. Whatever the features inside, you'll enjoy an all-metal chassis with a brushed finish, and colors including gold, silver, blue, and rose.
Intel's 8th-generation CPUs are mighty tempting, but their prices can seem daunting at the high-end. Not all hope is lost, however, if you want to go Team Blue and stick to a budget. We found a way to build an 8th generation Intel-based gaming machine with discrete graphics for $360—and we'll assemble it live on YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook next week.
The first step of any build is always choosing the parts. Our components may raise a few eyebrows (and even a little controversy), but they're affordable:
Age of Wonders needed a hook, and I think Triumph finally found it.
Writing about Age of Wonders III back in 2014, one of my biggest complaints was that it felt somewhat unnecessary. The fantasy 4X genre is nothing if not crowded these days, and despite Age of Wonders lifting as much influence from Heroes of Might and Magic as it does from Civilization, it still didn’t offer much reason to persist through its cumbersome systems and slog of a story setup.
But science fiction 4X? That genre’s considerably more open, especially when it comes to land-based science fiction. In recent years, that category consists of Civilization: Beyond Earth and...not much else.
After a year of excessive hype, false starts, and empty promises, these may very well be the last words I will ever need to write about the Essential Phone. Quite frankly, I’ve already written too many.
Last May, Android founder Andy Rubin unveiled his post-Google company along with a beautifully rendered website and lots of assertive language. Among the marketing copy that peppered the page were promises to “change how successful technology companies are built forever,” testimonials about why the phone’s use of titanium and ceramic were superior to aluminim and glass, and an explanation of its use of “computational photography” to capture “dramatically better pictures for our users, no matter how much experience they have as photographers.”
You don't need to be a coding guru to create your own digital animations. Animatron Studio Pro is giving users the means to make mobile-friendly, entertaining animations, regardless of their experience levels, in an intuitive browser environment. Lifetime subscriptions are on sale today for $49.99, more than 90 percent off the usual price.
Used by industry heavyweights like Google, Dell, Facebook, and Amazon, Animatron Studio Pro lets you design your animations visually with a WYSIWYG editor. You can choose from thousands of free, pre-animated characters, backgrounds and props and hit the ground running creating explainer videos, banners, presentations, and more. Plus, Animatron Studio Pro lets you share project links, so you can collaborate with others on your work.
Valve’s in-home streaming tech is proving to be its most forward-thinking development. First it helped kill off the company’s own short-lived Steam Machines, with the $50 Steam Link perfectly capable of putting PC gaming in your living room without the need for another high-end PC. And now it’s putting PC gaming...well, anywhere you’d like.
Just last month we were singing about the wonders of laptop price drops to make room for the latest generation of Intel Core chips. Now the price on one of our favorite laptops from that roundup is even lower.
You knew it was coming eventually: A wireless HyperX headset. I’m surprised it took so long. I’ve seen probably half a dozen different HyperX headset models cross my desk in the last few years—the original Cloud and its USB-enabled Cloud II follow-up, the floating headband Revolver and Revolver S models, the budget-friendly Stinger, the dual-chamber Cloud Alpha—but all wired, until now.
The Acer Predator Helios 500 is a gaming laptop designed for extreme gamers. Not infinitely wealthy ones, such as the lucky 300 who bought a limited-edition $8,000 Predator 21 X, but reasonably well-financed ones who could instead “settle” for a model that offers an overclockable GPU and a few overclockable CPU options as well.That’s just the beginning. We saw the Predator Helios 500 on Wednesday, when it was announced at Acer’s next@acer event in New York. Up close, you can see this beast checks off a lot of boxes. Features and specs for serious gaming
CPU options for the Acer Predator Helios 500 span Intel Core i5-8300H to Core i9+ 8950HK.To read this article in full, please click here
Whether you love them or hate them, it's hard to ignore the number of PC components with RGB lights. Multi-colored PC lighting has crept into almost every category out there—even sound cards and power supplies.
What's less clear is just how easy it is to build a system entirely of RGB parts and then simultaneously control all of the lighting. So to put it to the test, we're building a PC that houses as many RGB components as possible.
When choosing the parts for this build—which we've affectionately dubbed our "Viva Las Vegas" machine—it became clear that even four years into this RGB fad, you can't throw together whichever components you want and expect to control them through a single interface. You have to commit to an ecosystem.
The Acer Chromebook Spin 13 is giving high-end Chromebooks for business another chance. God knows others have tried—RIP the Dell Chromebook 13 and the HP Chromebook 13. So far, most people seem to be happy with one of the inexpensive, modestly powered, plasticky clamshells that made Chromebooks an easy buy for entry-level users and the huge education market.
Valve’s vaunted Steam sales whip PC gamers into a buying frenzy, but the “Spring Cleaning” event that kicked off today has the opposite goal: coaxing people into playing games that they already own, but rarely play.
The Spring Cleaning event runs through May 28 and uses Steam’s meta-game-esque badge system to encourage backlog clearing. Playing games that you haven’t touched in a while—or at all—completes daily tasks or one-time projects that unlock a special Spring Cleaning badge, which can then be leveled up by dipping further into your library.
Interestingly, Steam scans your backlog and user profile to create custom objectives for each user. Selecting today’s “Spin Cycle” daily task, for instance, picks four random games from your library to play. The “Trusted Friend” project, on the other hand, scans your backlog to suggest games you own that your friends have recommended on the platform. Other one-time projects have you playing a game you’ve spent more than two hours in, but not in a while, and the first title you ever added to your account.
Pornhub, one of the most-trafficked adult video sites on the Internet, is launching a virtual private network (VPN) with free, unlimited bandwidth to help keep prying eyes away from your browsing activity. Seriously. It’s called VPNhub and apps are already available for iOS and Android, with Windows and MacOS apps for premium subscribers.
VPNs exist to avoid ISP-level website blocking or tracking and keep your browsing activity private, even on public Wi-Fi connections, by encrypting your data. Launching a VPN service makes sense for Pornhub in an era when some governments are leaning towards regulating adult content online, including the United Kingdom. The unlimited bandwidth—while highly unusual for free VPNs—does as well given that Pornhub’s existence revolves around streaming videos. But VPNhub isn’t intended as a secure Pornhub portal alone; you can browse other sites on the web too.
The Acer Predator Helios 300 Special Edition didn’t need to impress us. We already liked the Predator Helios 300 we reviewed in March—that was the entry-level version, which offered serious bang for buck.
We got our hands on the Special Edition at Acer’s next@acer event in New York CIty on Wednesday, and it improves upon its more modest sibling in a number of ways. What we still don’t know is how the price compares (we expect it to be higher than the base model’s $1,100 cost), or when it’ll ship (we expect within the next few months).
The biggest change, as you can plainly see, is the chassis color scheme: white. White! With gold accents, no less! This throws down a shining gauntlet before the legions of black-and-whatever gaming laptops that have come before. This Special Edition is not afraid to stand apart. Acer’s even issued matching headset, mouse, and backpack accessories for a fully coordinated look.
High-end phones are a major investment, and a good case helps you protect that investment. If you’re looking to guard your phone from the wear and tear of daily abuse, you’re in luck—a ton of Caseology cases are on sale for up to 30% off on Amazon today.
Anyone who spends even a few hours a week PC gaming needs a comfortable chair. While console gamers usually sprawl out on a couch, we the gamers of the PC are often stuck with office chairs unless we’re willing to shell out hundreds of dollars. Today, Amazon’s got a deal that will let you game like a pro without paying like a sucker.
Instead of alternative online programming, and in order to save money, an increasing number of people are cutting their conventional cable TV cable. An on-demand service, you get as many as 300,000+ TV episodes (250,000 free) and 200,000 movies (10,000 free), plus unlimited video on demand from any of your devices—a complete one-year subscription for $19, or 36% off retail.
In addition, the SelectTV by FreeCast: One-Year Subscription has included the two following bonuses:
If you just did a spit-take of Diet Coke, know that the PG27UQ will feature:
27-inch diagonal width
1,000 nits of brightness in HDR mode (300 nits in standard mode)
384 zones of brightness
Quantum Dot filters for a wider color gamut
144Hz refresh rate
97 percent of DCI-P3 color gamut
1.07 billion colors
Asus said the ROG PG27UQ is the first gaming monitor to receive VESA’s new DisplayHDR 1000 certification as well. Three levels of the new open spec are available, and the PG27UQ hits the top one, Asus said.
If your laptop’s performance has you down, don’t simply accept it as a way of life. It’s quite possible that by upgrading your laptop's RAM you can give your portable PC a boost. (For another great upgrade, see our article on how to add an SSD to your laptop.)
Does your particular laptop support a RAM upgrade? That depends. Laptop designs vary, including which components are accessible and upgradable. Because not every laptop is built the same, there’s no way to say with complete certainty what you can or can’t upgrade.
What we can say, however, is that most budget laptops tend to be far more serviceable than ultra-thin, premium models. Microsoft’s Surface devices, for example, are sealed shut, while Apple favors proprietary parts, with everything soldered to the motherboard.
In April, Google launched its first major Gmail redesign since 2013, and in a sense it was an acknowledgement of all the ways Google had fallen behind.
With 1.4 billion users logging into Gmail at least once per month, the service has become resistant to change. This in turn has been a boon to the email software business, allowing third-party apps like Mailbox, Spark, Astro, and Newton to invent new features on a more regular basis. Several of Gmail’s most notable new features come straight from these apps, and from the broader software world in general. And while some have previously appeared in Google’s more forward-thinking Inbox app, others are new to Gmail entirely.
Two months’ worth of leaks ruined most of the surprise, but as promised EA and DICE officially revealed Battlefield V today. As expected, the series is returning to World War II, coming full circle to where Battlefield 1942 started over 15 years ago.
I suspect this homecoming would feel more groundbreaking were it not for Call of Duty: WWII last year. That said, I’ve been anticipating Battlefield’s take on World War II, seeing what Frostbite could do with it—and now we’ve seen a bit.
Take a look at the initial reveal trailer:
Due for release on October 19, Battlefield V is bringing back one of my favorite parts of its predecessor, the “War Stories” campaign structure. Rather than one unwieldy, overarching campaign, War Stories breaks out into a series of short one- or two-hour vignettes. In Battlefield 1 that included a take on Lawrence of Arabia, a crawl through the muddy trenches of France, and a fight atop a crashing zeppelin. I’m hoping for some equally memorable moments here, and a larger selection of them.
Amazon’s Kindles are among the best ways to read without lugging around physical copies of all your favorite books and magazines, and if you’re looking to try one for yourself, today's your lucky day— our favorite e-reader, the Kindle Paperwhite, is on sale now for $90, its lowest price since Black Friday and down 25 percent from its $120 list price.