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06/11/2021   PC World Latest News

You take all this care collecting gigs of your favorite music and movies, and then play it all through your laptop’s built-in speakers. Even the best ones can leave your audio sounding thin and lifeless. External PC speakers—along with a good set of headphones—are a must for getting the best fidelity from your media files.

A trip online or to your favorite electronics store will reveal a head-spinning variety of options to choose from, with some systems costing as much or more than you paid for your laptop. Luckily, you don’t need to take out a personal loan to upgrade your audio. Quality speakers can be found for even less than $100. And while there can be a degree of “you get what you pay for” at this price level, you can find satisfying sound on a budget if you’re willing to make a few compromises.

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06/11/2021   PC World Latest News

Windows 10's latest round of Patch Tuesday updates brings a minor upgrade to the desktop taskbar, as we reported in April. The News and Interests feature puts a curated news feed and local weather conditions onto your taskbar powered, by MSN and Microsoft News.

The News and Interests icon appears in Windows 10's taskbar as an icon showing the current weather, but hover over the weather, and you’ll be treated to news headlines, sports scores, and traffic updates. Click the link on a news story and you’ll be taken to the full article via Microsoft’s Edge browser.

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06/11/2021   PC World Latest News

So you’ve upgraded to a brand-new laptop at last—or perhaps you’re finally clearing out clutter—and now you’ve got an old laptop to deal with. What to do with it?

That depends on your circumstances, the age of your laptop, and the amount of time and space you have. But chances are, your old hardware can rise to the challenge of a second lease on life, even if it’s not with you. You can give it a new, single purpose; donate it to a worthy cause; sell it (even if it’s only for parts); or responsibly lay it to rest. To help you decide on your laptop’s next act, we’ve gathered up our top suggestions, with specific project ideas to try if you keep it.

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06/11/2021   PC World Latest News
If you want to try the HW-Q800A’s Q Symphony and SpaceFit features, you’ll need a Samsung TV.
06/11/2021   PC World Latest News

As I sprinted, dodged, slid forward and raised the scope of my trusty sniper rifle during a frantic Destiny 2 Nightfall, something felt off.

My timing was a mess. I was missing jumps, whiffing on easy Dreg kills, and fighting with my sniper’s reticle, which stubbornly bobbed and weaved while I attempted to line up head shots.

Something was wrong all right, and I had a name for my pain: latency, a common annoyance with (although by no means exclusive to) GeForce Now, Nvidia’s popular, reasonably priced, and—up to a point—miraculously effective cloud gaming service.

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06/10/2021   PC World Latest News
06/10/2021   PC World Latest News

The Epic Games Store’s appropriately named Epic Mega Sale continues to roll on, and today the Steam rival revealed a truly knockout freebie to lure you into virtual aisles. For the next week, you can claim Remedy’s phenomenal Control for the low, low price of free.

If you haven’t been fortunate enough to play Control yet, you won’t want to miss out on this spectacular giveaway. We crowned Remedy’s supernatural adventure as one of the best PC games of 2019, and it only narrowly missed out on being our pick for the best game of the year. It’s flat-out fantastic.

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06/10/2021   PC World Latest News

With graphics cards being extremely hot commodities lately, squeezing out more performance out of your existing GPU is more important than ever. Good news! Nvidia recently added an automatic performance tuning feature to its GeForce Experience software that can boost the speed of your GeForce RTX 20-series or 30-series graphics card (if you’re lucky enough to own one) with one click. This free tool lets you maximize the already-great performance of modern GeForce GPUs.

Manual overclocking has always been a niche for enthusiasts, and understandably not everyone wants to tinker with their expensive (even more so now!) graphics card in fear of potential ruin. Worry not with Nvidia’s solution—though if you’re an SLI multi-GPU afficionado, look elsewhere, as this solution only supports a single graphics card currently.

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06/10/2021   PC World Latest News

Bumping up your resolution or screen size is great, but one of the most important aspects of gaming visuals come down to an essential issue: frame rates. The more frames your graphics card can push out each second, and that your monitor can display without tearing or stuttering, the better the gaming experience. Faster monitors provide a smoother experience during standard desktop usage as well.

But did you know that high refresh rate monitors on Windows often don’t maximize their potential out of the box? Even if your in-game frame counter is showing over 100 frames per second, your display may actually be stuck at 60Hz, rather than the 144Hz-plus speeds you paid for. Higher frames coming from your GPU still offer visual improvements even at a regular monitor refresh rate, but that’s not why you bought that killer display.

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06/10/2021   PC World Latest News

Shopping for a laptop is about to get a lot more interesting. Computex 2021 (virtual) brought a heavy rain of news from AMD, Intel, and Nvidia, everything from new CPUs to technologies that enhance gaming performance. The laptop market is still tight, as pandemic-fueled sales remain strong. But if you yearn for the latest and greatest, this is your time. Keep reading for the latest news and reviews. 

Our top picks from currently available laptops are below: 

Latest laptop news and reviews

Here are the latest stories:

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06/10/2021   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft has plans to bring Xbox and Xbox Game Pass to more screens in a variety of ways, and is counting on its cloud, communities and commerce to advance its gaming business further.
06/10/2021   PC World Latest News
The Devolo Magic series of home networking products is based on the ITU G.hn standard widely embraced in Europe.
06/10/2021   PC World Latest News
Microsoft is continuing its push into Xbox Game Pass cloud gaming by announcing new low-cost Xbox streaming consoles and plans to push Xbox cloud gaming into smart TVs alongside Netflix.
06/10/2021   PC World Latest News

Q: I know that buying a used graphics card comes with risk. What makes the gamble acceptable?

A: The answer depends. While this purchasing strategy can save a lot of money, we generally advise against used desktop graphics cards. That’s especially so during times like these, when the risk of getting a GPU battered by crypto-mining use is much higher. As my colleague Brad Chacos, our resident GPU guru, likes to point out, discrete graphics cards have a lot of moving parts, and they’re easy to overclock. Those two things combined make them a much more dangerous wager to stake cold hard cash on—put enough stress on a GPU, and it’ll have a higher likelihood of succumbing to an earlier-than-expected death. Add on the brutality of regular mining workloads, and that card could go toes-up even faster. You don’t want to be the one stuck with it then.

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06/09/2021   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft is making a new, web-based, basic Visio app available to Microsoft 365 and Office 365 business customers starting in July.
06/09/2021   PC World Latest News

Whether you’ve got to put together some lessons for a piece of software or you’re working on capturing a highlight reel to show off to your Discord community, you’re wondering how to video record your screen and doing so has never been easier. The Xbox Game Bar for Windows 10 is here to help.

What is the Xbox Game Bar?

The Xbox Game Bar is primarily a gaming overlay that allows you to access screen capture and recording tools as well as Xbox social tools without having to tab or close out of your games or applications. It’s typically included in most Windows 10 installations, but if you don’t have it setup on your computer, you can find it on the Microsoft app store.

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06/09/2021   PC World Latest News

Nvidia’s $600 GeForce RTX 3070 Ti is a good graphics card for what it does. But if we weren’t in the middle of a crippling GPU shortage, it’d be hard to recommend.

While the ferocious RTX 3080 Ti we reviewed last week bears more resemblance to Nvidia’s flagship 3090 than the graphics card that shares its name, the spec sheet shows that the new RTX 3070 Ti wields only a slightly more powerful GPU than the vanilla 3070. That modest uplift proved true across our gaming benchmarks even after Nvidia grafted much faster GDDR6X memory to it. Considering that our roundup of the best GPUs recommends that most PC gamers should opt for the $400 GeForce RTX 3060 Ti over the $500 RTX 3070 for 1440p gaming, spending another $100 on a barely faster RTX 3070 Ti is a hard sell at that resolution. (Or at least it would be in normal times.) Conversely, spending $700 on a GeForce RTX 3080 would get you significantly faster 4K and 1440p performance.

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06/09/2021   PC World Latest News

Garmin announced Wednesday that one of PCWorld’s favorite line of dash cams has been upgraded with phone and cloud connectivity. The new dash cams, which are available immediately via garmin.com, include the 1080p Dash Cam Mini 2, the 1080p Dash Cam 47, the 1440p Dash Cam 57, and the 1440p, wide-field-of-view 67W.

All except the appropriately named, key-fob-sized Mini 2 feature GPS and a two-inch color display. The Mini 2 is priced at $130, and the top-end 67W at $260.

Due to the newfound connectivity, there’s now a parking mode (wake on disturbances to capture video), plus a live view on your phone courtesy of the Garmin Drive app. The app may also be used to offload and view captures, as well as configure settings.

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06/09/2021   PC World Latest News
Alas, erratic performance mars a security camera that aims for the top shelf.
06/09/2021   PC World Latest News
There’s enough good television entertainment on this streaming service to justify subscribing for at least a few months.
06/08/2021   PC World Latest News

In this episode of The Full Nerd, Gordon Ung, Brad Chacos, Alaina Yee, and Adam Patrick Murray blitz through all the news out of Computex, including AMD’s announcement of Zen 3 APUs and a launch date for FidelityFX Super Resolution; Nvidia’s reveal of the RTX 3080 Ti and RTX 3070 Ti; Intel’s surprise unveiling of a new gaming mini-PC (kinda); and more.

First up is AMD, which dished out much for gamers to look forward to during its 40 minute presentation. The reveals came and furious: the launch of Radeon RX 6000 series mobile GPUs and new, finely tuned high-end all-AMD laptops; confirmation of two Ryzen 5000 APUs becoming available to DIY builders; FidelityFX Super Resolution’s launch date, expected frame rate boosts, and supported graphics cards; and the company’s 3D V-Cache technology, which increases performance in its upcoming CPUs by up to 25 percent. The info that we sort through is jam-packed with hardware and features sure to please PC fans across the board, including those that still use older Nvidia graphics cards. Yep, you read that right.

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06/08/2021   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft is starting to roll out new meeting-scheduling and dictation features enabled by Cortana, its digital-assistant productivity technology, for Microsoft 365 and Outlook on iOS users.
06/08/2021   PC World Latest News

Late last year, Cooler Master released the MasterLiquid ML360 Sub-Zero, a unique version of its liquid coolers featuring thermoelectric cooling. Created in partnership with Intel, this AIO targets high-performance builders looking to squeeze the most out of single or low core-count overclocking. Cooler Master touted it as an alternative to solutions such as liquid nitrogen—a turn-key option that you didn’t need to fuss over.

A sample crossed our desk earlier in the year, but only recently were we able to finally go hands-on with it. As you’ll see in our video above, the cooler isn’t nearly as massive as the box lead us to believe. It installs in a straightforward manner too, though the water block and pump are separate and will require a bit more contemplation for how you’ll lay out your build.

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06/07/2021   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft is broadening the charter of its Windows Desktop Virtualization service and simultaneously changing the name of this Azure-based service to 'Azure Virtual Desktop.'
06/02/2021   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft is expected to show off its 'new' Windows variant at a public virtual event on June 24.
06/02/2021   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft is buying firmware security-analysis vendor ReFirm Labs, marking its second recent IoT security acquisition.
05/25/2021   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft is filling out and repositioning some of its key Azure services, including its Azure Application Services, Azure Applied AI Services and Azure Communication Services.
05/25/2021   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft is adding more tools to its Teams developer arsenal , plus more interfaces for programmers to use in connecting to the Microsoft Graph API.
05/25/2021   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft is launching a preview of is Azure Confidential Ledger service, its new Blockchain-based secure ledger.
05/25/2021   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft's Build 2021 event doesn't have a whole lot of Windows-specific news, but there are some tidbits of potential interest to Windows developers, especially those wanting to run Linux apps on Windows.
05/25/2021   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft's integration of the OpenAI GPT-3 technology into Power Apps is the first time GPT-3 will be available commercially in one of its own products.
05/25/2021   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft's annual developer conference will be a virtual event again.
05/21/2021   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft is touting its Teams Rooms services and certified hardware as the best way to enable hybrid workplace meetings, moving forward.
05/20/2021   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft is combining its Worldwide Commercial business with Global Sales and Marketing into a single entity headed by Executive VP Judson Althoff.
05/19/2021   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft is taking another big step toward getting rid of Internet Explorer next year, but not every Windows variant still will be IE-free by 2022.
05/18/2021   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft officials have admitted what leaked a week-plus ago: Its Chrome-OS competitor, Windows 10X, isn't coming. Instead, some of the 10X technologies will be integrated into other Windows versions.
05/18/2021   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft is starting to roll out its Windows 10 21H1 feature update. Here's how and where you can get it.
05/17/2021   ZDNet Microsoft
Microsoft is moving a number of features from preview to general availability for consumer users of Teams and is adding 'Together Mode' backgrounds for personal use, as well.
05/12/2021   ZDNet Microsoft
Six years after its initial launch, Microsoft's Azure Blockchain as a Service is going to be shut down this September.