Computers Reviews

Don’t be fooled: Windows Mixed Reality headsets are just VR headsets

On October 17 Microsoft released the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. It adds a ton of new features, but the most important may be Windows Mixed Reality. Timed alongside the Fall Creators Update release is the first slate of Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality headsets, sourced from third-party manufacturers like Acer, Lenovo, HP, Dell, and more. Now you might be thinking, “I’ve heard of Virtual Reality (VR) and I’ve even heard of Augmented Reality (AR), but what is Mixed Reality (MR)?”…

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Avast Premier review: An attractive antivirus suite with limited install options

Avast is one of the more popular free, third-party antivirus programs. For anyone willing to pay for more advanced features, however, Avast’s premium products also have a lot to offer. At the top of the company’s line-up is Avast Premier for $80, which comes filled with features. Though it only offers two additional extras compared to Avast’s $60 Internet Security product, those particular features are potentially useful for those who want them. The first is Data Shredder, which deletes files by…

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AVG Internet Security Review: A premium antivirus suite that you can put on all your household PCs

AVG has a big advantage in the free antivirus space since it owns both Avast (acquired in 2016) and its homegrown product, AVG Free. The hope is that you’ll love the free stuff so much that you’ll eventually upgrade to one of its paid products. In the case of AVG, most people go with its Internet Security program. Priced at $70, it’s one step down from the company’s flagship product, AVG Ultimate, and lacks a number of Ultimate’s less crucial…

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Windows Defender review: Basic protection at the right price

In 2006, Microsoft added built-in security software to Windows for the first time. Since then, it’s appeared under various names, but currently it’s known as Windows Defender Security Center (WDSC). What started out as a basic antivirus detection feature has slowly grown into something that resembles a security suite. It doesn’t have anything close to the features you’d see in a third-party suite, but it does a fair job at antivirus and malware scanning. Note: This review is part of…

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Comodo Internet Security Pro 10 Review: It works well, but read every install screen closely

When we previously looked at Comodo’s Internet Security Pro, the company had a habit of bundling software with its security suite—and that trend hasn’t changed with Internet Security Pro 10. Underneath the hassle of warding off extra installs, however, is a security suite that does a good job of detecting threats. Note: This review is part of our best antivirus of 2017 roundup. Go there for details about competing products and how we tested them. Ian Paul/IDG Comodo wants to change your default…

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The Best Cheap Desktop Computers of 2017

Budget Isn’t a Dirty Word Budget desktop PCs used to have a bad reputation: You would have to resign yourself to buying a new one in a year or at most three. Thankfully, today’s inexpensive systems will last at least twice that if your needs are as modest as your bottom line. These PCs are certainly able to surf the web, stream videos to a TV, or work on Office documents and other everyday productivity tasks. Heck, you can even…

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How to build the best free PC security software suite

If you have a PC, you’re a target. You need security software.  That’s as true today as it was a decade ago, despite significant security improvements to Windows over the years. But you have a choice: You can continue paying a security software vendor an annual fee for protection or take matters into your own hands. If you choose the latter you’ll need to put together a custom security suite using various free products.  The pros and cons of free AV …

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Dell XPS Tower Special Edition (8930) Review & Rating

With the arrival of Intel’s new Coffee Lake processors, PC manufacturers have good reason to update their lines. Dell’s XPS Tower Special Edition (8930) (starts at $999; $1,524.99 as tested) is the latest take on one of our favorite general-purpose desktops, and the first Coffee Lake PC to come through our labs. This time around, The XPS Tower Special Edition packs an Intel Core i7-8700 processor, and the added speed is nothing to sneeze at. It also maintains what we…

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Oculus Santa Cruz hands-on: Truly standalone wireless VR

Going into my hands-on demo with Oculus’ Project Santa Cruz headset, think I forgot how it felt to be surprised by virtual reality. We’re coming up on three years since the last major advance in VR, which I’m going to peg as the first time I tried the HTC Vive’s room-scale experience. Since then we’ve seen a few refinements—Oculus Rift’s built-in headphones and lighter form factor, the remarkably comfortable and intuitive Oculus Touch controllers—but the fundamental tech has stayed pretty…

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Polywell B250G-i7 Review & Rating

The Polywell B250G-i7 (starts at $600; $799 as tested) is an eminently customizable and affordable small form factor (SFF) desktop PC, which makes it an excellent choice for small businesses and consumers who don’t need enterprise IT features but want a lot of power in a small package. There are a few disadvantages, such as an external power brick and a case that requires a screwdriver to open, but overall, the B250G is a capable machine and our new Editors’…

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Oculus Rift + Touch bundle price slashed to $400

Oculus Rift + Touch bundle price slashed to $400 Virtual reality flirts with the masses. Thank you Your message has been sent. Sorry There was an error emailing this page. By Brad Chacos Senior Editor, PCWorld | Oct 11, 2017 11:10 AM PT Oculus “);});try{$(“div.lazyload_blox_ad”).lazyLoadAd({threshold:0,forceLoad:false,onLoad:false,onComplete:false,timeout:1500,debug:false,xray:false});}catch(exception){console.log(“error loading lazyload_ad “+exception);}}); PC-based virtual reality keeps getting more and more affordable. Earlier this year, picking up the Oculus Rift with its (then) optional Oculus Touch controllers cost a staggering $800. Over the summer, Facebook…

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Oculus Go is a standalone $199 VR headset that doesn’t need a PC, a phone, or wires

“The sweet spot.” It sounds like that’s going to be VR’s new focus, as we head into Oculus Connect’s fourth annual iteration. And what is that sweet spot, exactly? Not mobile VR, not PC-based VR, but a blend of both. No wires, but the same high-fidelity experience people get from the Oculus Rift. That’s still probably a ways off, but Oculus took its first steps in that direction at Connect, announcing its new $199 Oculus Go headset, plus giving us…

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EVGA’s 1080 Ti FTW3 graphics card is $700 today

If you’ve been waiting for a deal on a 4K graphics card, you’re in luck: Newegg’s got a great deal on an EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 DT graphics card. Today you can get it for $700 (about $80 off the regular price) after using a combination of rebates and coupon codes. The sale also includes a free copy of Middle-earth: Shadow of War. To get the deal, use the coupon code EMCXBRBR2 and be sure to apply for…

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The best PC hardware you can buy today

Segue! If you’re going to drop big bucks on a take-no-prisoners graphics card, you’re going to want a high-end display to go with it. We don’t officially review monitors, so these picks are a mix of personal experience, user reviews, spec sheet parsing, and guidance from the display geeks at MonitorNerds.com. Monitors come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. We prefer the wide viewing angles and bright colors of IPS displays to the very slightly faster response times…

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HP Omen 17 (2017) review: You get a lot of gaming laptop for the money

When we reviewed HP’s 17-inch Omen gaming laptop last year, we found it to be a little boring, but packed with a ton of powerful hardware at a very attractive price. HP’s back this year with a new Omen design, but that general description still holds true. This is not the fanciest high-end gaming laptop we’ve seen. Nor is it the absolute fastest. Nonetheless, other brands charge hundreds more for the same basic specs, often with little or no performance advantage.…

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The Best All-in-One Computers of 2017

Save Some Space So the 15-inch display on your laptop is starting to feel cramped, and you work mainly in one location. Yes, you could attach an additional screen to your notebook, or opt for a desktop tower with a separate monitor, but another option is an all-in-one (AIO) desktop. For about the same amount you would spend on a midrange-to-high-end laptop with a 17-inch screen (or more likely less), you can get an AIO desktop PC with a 23-inch-or-larger…

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Core i7-8700K Review: Intel’s response to Ryzen is faster and cheaper than ever

Intel’s 6-core 8th generation Core i7-8700K CPU is the reality check to high-performance, high-priced CPUs like the $2,000 Core i9 and $1,000 AMD Ryzen Threadripper. The real battle for the desktop and consumer’s wallets is with this amazingly affordable (for Intel anyway) $359 CPU, code-named Coffee Lake. In fact, the Core i7-8700K is Intel’s first real response to AMD’s breakthrough series of Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 CPUs, and a viable alternative to the Zen-based CPUs. But just how fast…

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HP Spectre x360 13: price, features, specs

The HP Spectre x360 13 is already one of the most popular 360-degree convertible laptops, and it’s about to get faster and cooler, thanks in part to Intel’s latest 8th-generation Core CPUs. Announced Wednesday, the refreshed Spectre x360 13 also offers greatly improved thermals and other nice tweaks.  HP Spectre x360 prices, features and specs The Spectre x360 13 will ship on October 29 with a starting price of $1,150, including a color-matched pen. Best Buy will begin taking pre-orders…

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Everything Google revealed: Pixel 2, Pixelbook, Google Home Max, and more

This came out of left field. Google Clips is a tiny, hands-free camera that taps into Google’s machine learning smarts to know when to automatically take a picture. “Clips looks for stable, clear shots of people you know,” Google says. “You can help the camera learn who is important to you so when grandma comes in town, you’ll capture the grand entrance.” The pictures and short videos captured by Google Clips syncs wirelessly with a Google Clips app on your…

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