In an alternative universe, Google is the Apple of Android. People are counting down the days until the Pixel 4 goes on sale, and forums are filled with debates over how much better the square camera bump looks in person. The question isn’t over whether the Pixel 4 is worth its price tag, but which color and how much storage to get. And the lack of earbuds in the box is courageous, not cheap.
In this reality, however, the Pixel 4’s price is just too damn high. Even though the rumors of a $100 price hike didn’t come to fruition, at $999 for the 128GB 6.3-inch XL model, it costs the same as the Galaxy S10+, and $250 more than the iPhone 11. And while it may stand up to both of those phones on the spec sheet, here's the reality: Google missed a golden opportunity to take a stand against outrageous phone pricing and position the Pixel 4 as an alternative to high-priced premium handsets, not just another option.
Acer’s Swift 3 (2019) should attract the type of savvy notebook PC buyer searching for a little more graphics oomph than the standard integrated GPU provides. Combining an 8th-gen “Whiskey Lake” chip plus a discrete Nvidia GeForce MX150 GPU opens up more opportunities for light gaming without breaking the bank.
Acer’s new Swift 3 clamshell is a generally solid midrange notebook, though it suffers in two key areas. First, the integrated audio isn’t much to write home about, even with headphones. We found the fingerprint reader lacking as well. But Acer’s Swift 3 also boasts excellent performance and a solid ten hours or so of battery life, with a comfortable keyboard and pleasing IPS display, too.
The Pixelbook Go is nothing less than a mea culpa from Google, making good on the Pixel Slate. Launched last year at the very same Made By Google event, the Pixel Slate was such a mess, it led Google to declare that it was out of the tablet-making business for good.
The Pixelbook Go is what the Pixel Slate should have been all along: an affordable version of the Pixelbook. Instead of trying to one-up the iPad Pro with a half-baked tablet interface and really bad keyboard, the Pixelbook Go carves its own path with a great form factor, fantastic specs, and a funky design. Oh, and it has one of the best keyboards I’ve ever used.
After months of leaks, I thought I had a pretty good idea of what the Pixel 4 would look like when I picked one up for the first time, but I was pleasantly surprised. Yes, the bezels are huge, the forehead and chin are terribly asymmetrical, and the camera square isn’t nearly as pleasing as the iPhone 11’s. But the design of the Pixel 4 isn’t quite the eyesore I expected it to be.
And, besides, the Pixel 4 isn’t trying to sell you on its looks. Not once during its hour-long presentation did Google talk about precision milling or diamond chamfering. Google wants you to choose to buy a Pixel 4 on the strength of its features, not its outward appearance.
Windows 7 support expires on January 14, 2020. And if you’re a Windows 7 Pro user, Microsoft is going to tell you that right on your PC screen via a popup notification.
In March, Microsoft warned that it would begin using popup reminders to let Windows 7 users know that it was time to upgrade, and began pushing some to Windows 7 users. In an update to Microsoft’s original blog post, Microsoft is now saying that it’s begun specifically extending notifications to non-domain-joined Windows 7 Pro users—consumers, in everyday language. (ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley reported this earlier today.)
There has been a murder. Last week a man was hanged behind the Whirling-In-Rags hostel (and cafeteria). I know who did it, but I need to confirm why they did it, so I head to the docks to ask some questions.
Or at least that was my intention. Instead I find myself embroiled in a spirited debate about the merits of communism, about how I’m destined to foment a worker’s uprising one overlong hug at a time—or maybe I’m not. Also, I’m having this philosophical debate with myself, or maybe it’s with my possibly sentient necktie.
My partner looks on in concern. Of course, he can’t know how bad things really are. He knows I’ve lost my badge and my gun, sure—but he doesn’t know I’ve lost my entire memory, can’t even remember my own name.
Google’s forthcoming Recorder app promises to both record and transcribe audio into text within the Google Pixel 4. But you don’t have to wait—you can check out Google’s underlying speech-to-text technology right now, right on your own Android phone, with Live Transcribe.
Google’s Live Transcribe wound up a native feature in the Google Pixel 3 when it rolled out earlier this year, but it’s also downloadable as a separate Live Transcribe app, requiring just Android 5.0 to work. As the screenshot indicates, Live Transcribe is the basic version of Google’s Recorder app, with a shortcoming or two that we’ll discuss below. One difference is that Live Transcribe requires an Internet connection to perform transcription in the cloud; Recorder will not.
It’s been a long three years since Google introduced its Google Wifi mesh router. After a messy reorganization in which Nest lost its semi-autonomy to become Google’s smart home brand, the company introduced the new Nest Wifi at its Made by Google event in New York on Tuesday.
Google Nest VP and general manager Rishi Chandra didn’t specifically describe the Nest Wifi as a mesh router, but he did say the system would consist of a router that plugs into your broadband modem or gateway, and a satellite he called Point. According to Chandra, a Nest Wifi router and a single Point should be sufficient to cover 85 percent of households. According to this page on the Google Store, the Nest Wi follows the IEEE 802.11s standard for mesh networking, so I presume it's an 802.11ac router.
Google finally unveiled the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL at its Made By Google event in New York City today, and frankly, there weren’t many surprises left after months of leaks and teases, many by Google itself.
A lack of surprises doesn’t mean a lack of excitement, though, as the Pixel 4 packs enough punch to catapult it to the top tier of Android devices yet again—propelled by a new generation of impressive software tricks, as well as a camera setup that’s been both upgraded and downgraded simultaneously.
Here are five things you need to know about the new Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL.
Dual camera lenses, at last
The Pixel 4 is taking a page from the iPhone 11’s design with a rotund backside hump that's home to not one, but two camera lenses. Finally. Google leans heavily on software tricks to power the Pixel’s amazing photography, but the lineup lingered on a single camera lens for far too long now.
Google’s new Pixelbook Go answers the question of whether its next Chromebook would be a budget or premium device: It’s both. Priced at a somewhat moderate $649Remove non-product link, this clamshell Chromebook offers a 13.3-inch display up to 4K, with processor options all the way up to a Core i7. It maxes out at $1,399.
Google’s Pixel Buds, first released in 2017, just couldn’t compete with better offerings from dedicated bud manufacturers, and stacked up even more poorly against Apple AirPods. Today, though, Google announced a Pixel Buds update slated for Spring 2020, and if its Made By Google presentation is any indication, the company is intent on making the new version a major technological make-good.
The original Pixel Buds delivered access to Google Assistant, but the implementation was clumsy, requiring tap prompts. The new Buds, though, promise hands-free access to Assistant, letting you ask for walking directions, control your music playback and translate languages in real-time (among other tasks) with just a verbal “Hey Google” prompt. Google says the new Buds will include “on-device machine learning chips,” suggesting Assistant tricks should improve over time.
Although the chip is still under fairly tight wraps, PCWorld had a chance to chat with AMD officials about its big splash with the 15-inch Surface Laptop 3, as well as the future of AMD in Microsoft products.
And yes, it was a big splash for AMD, which has seen huge success on desktop with Ryzen, but a more muted response on laptops thus far. AMD’s main problem has been resistance against going into expensive laptops.
It’s October, and you know what that means: pumpkins, parties, and Pixels. In just about 24 hours, Google will show us its latest creation at an event in New York City, and from the looks of it, it’s going to be a trademark Pixel phone: loaded with A.I. tech and packing a powerful camera.
And we know this even before we get into the rumors. In uncharacteristic fashion, some of the biggest leaks about the next Pixel have come from Google itself. But rest assured, there’s a whole lot more Google hasn’t told us about it’s next handset. So here’s everything we’ve heard about the Pixel, officially and otherwise.
If you want your pink, Razer’s got your game. On Monday, the company announced new versions of the Razer Blade 15Remove non-product link clad in Quartz hues, along with an optical keyboard that promises lower latency while gaming.
Microsoft has apparently fixed an issue with its Surface Book 2’s discrete GPU that prevented it from receiving the Windows 10 May 2019 Update, supplying new firmware to solve the problem.
As part of a new Surface firmware update released Friday, Microsoft apparently has fixed both a bug affecting the Surface Book 2’s discrete GPU as well as a separate issue that caused its CPU clock speed to slow to a crawl. Thurrott first reported the story.
Both G-Sync and FreeSync panels revolve around the same core variable refresh rate technology, also known as adaptive sync. Standard monitors refresh their image at a constant speed, such as 60Hz or 144Hz. Adaptive sync monitors synchronize your monitor's refresh rate to your graphics card’s output—hence their name. Doing so prevents ugly screen tearing and stuttering, giving you a delicious, buttery-smooth gaming experience.
With models from Lutron, Wemo, Leviton, iDevices, and others, it can be difficult to know which easy and inexpensive device is best for controlling the lamps and small appliances in your smart home. We’ll help you find the right one.
Start freeing up drive space. This week's news is all about Call of Duty and Red Dead and their massive install footprints, plus Blizzard's troubles with China, a new Surviving Mars spin-off, a Doom delay, a detective game that involves Picross, and more.
This is gaming news for October 7 to 11.
Survival is cheap
This week's Epic Games Store freebie comes with a side helping of news. Paradox is giving away Haemimont's space-age city builder Surviving Mars, along with last year's Space Race expansion. I haven't been back since the earliest days, but I've heard Space Race and the latter Green Planet expansions have put the game in a much better state than it was at launch. And hey, as always: It's free. No reason not to grab it.
And...it’s gone. Recent reports that Intel had confirmed ray tracing support in its Xe graphics cards are wrong, a company spokesman said Friday.
News broke earlier this week that a briefing given to analysts in Tokyo had confirmed hardware ray tracing support in Intel’s upcoming Xe consumer graphics cards. It turns out the presenter never confirmed ray tracing support, and in fact, never even mentioned ray tracing, an Intel spokesman said.
So how did multiple tech news sites come to believe it had been confirmed? Blame machine translation of a news story covering the Intel presentation. Intel officials said they believe computer-based translations of a Japanese language story on MyNavi.jp somehow conflated what was essentially a rehashed graphics presentation with the site’s speculation on upcoming graphics features in Tekken 7 into “ray tracing in Xe confirmed.” Intel says the presentation never mentioned ray tracing, nor did it “refer to the Xe graphics architecture found in Tiger Lake processors as ‘Gen 12’,” as some sites reported. Specific frame rate targets also weren’t formally announced.
It’s a killer time for PC memory enthusiasts. A pair of recent RAM releases should bring a smile to your face regardless of whether you’re into ultra-fast memory speeds or kits with massive capacity.
On Thursday, Corsair became the first memory vendor to commercially ship DDR4 RAM that can break the 5GHz barrier on Ryzen 3000-based systems. The company’s 16GB Vengeance LPX kit, a pair of 8GB modules, are based on Micron dies and can hit 5GHz with a CAS Latency timing of 18 at 1.5 volts.
If you’re shrugging because you’ve already seen people hit memory clock speeds over 5.7GHz, remember that most of memory overclocking records are performed with exotic cooling. Corsair’s announcement of a commercial product can be bought and essentially guaranteed to hit such sky-high clock and memory timings is another matter. That blistering performance doesn’t come cheap, though, as Corsair charges $1,225 for its 5GHz Vengeance LPX memory kitRemove non-product link.
Microsoft is finally launching two keyboards with new, dedicated shortcut keys for Office and Windows 10’s emoji menu.
Both the $59.99 Microsoft Ergonomic KeyboardRemove non-product link as well as the $49.99 Microsoft Bluetooth KeyboardRemove non-product link have shown up on Microsoft’s site, though they won’t be available for purchase until October 15. Microsoft already has a line of ”Surface” keyboards to go along with its Type Covers, as well as a similar Sculpt Comfort keyboard, too. The implicit point Microsoft seems to be making with its new keyboards are that these will be the mainstream keyboards most users should buy.