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How to Record Your iPhone or iPad Screen in iOS 11

iOS 11 comes with a handy new Control Center function that allows you to record what you’re doing on your screen. It’s great if you want to capture gameplay, walk someone through a tutorial in an app, demonstrate a bug, and more, and it’s available on iPhones and iPads running iOS 11.

Enabling Screen Recording

If you don’t have the screen recording icon in Control Center, you can add it in the Settings app.

Open the Settings app.
Choose Control Center.
Select “Customize Controls.”
Tap the + button next to “Screen Recording” to add it to the “Include” section.

Starting a Recording

Bring up the Control Center.
Tap the icon for screen recording. It’s two nested circles.
Your iPhone or iPad will start recording video of your screen automatically following a three second countdown.
While screen recording is turned on, a red bar is plastered across the top of the display so it’s clear when you’re recording and when you’re not.

Ending a Recording

Open Control Center again.
Tap the screen recording icon.or
Tap the red bar at the top of the screen.
Confirm that you want to end recording.The video you made is then saved to the Photos app.

Accessing Screen Recording Options

There are a few options that are available when making a screen recording, which can be accessed directly in the Control Center. To bring up these options, simply 3D Touch on the screen recording icon.

From this menu, you can start a screen recording and toggle microphone audio on or off. These are the only options that are available for the feature — it’s fairly basic.

Related Roundup: iOS 11
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PSA: Snapchat Still Notifies You When Someone Screen Records Privately Messaged Snaps on iOS 11

One new feature in iOS 11 lets you easily record the screen of your iPhone as you navigate around the user interface, which can be useful when trying to help someone remotely troubleshoot an iOS problem or when making videos to share online. Since iOS 11 officially launched to the public yesterday, many users on Twitter and other sites have begun to worry that people will be able to screen record their Snapchats and Instagram Direct messages without notifications warning them of such activities taking place.

While it appears that such is the case for Instagram Direct, Snapchat will still let you know when someone is screen recording your privately messaged snaps. Thanks to a tipster who emailed us this morning, we decided to test out sending both still images and videos through the two previously mentioned apps, and discovered that Snapchat treats iOS 11’s screen recording feature just as it does for taking a screenshot.

After using screen recording, the sender (left) is shown in-app screenshot icons and the receiver (right) gets notified
If your iPhone is locked, you’ll get a push notification saying someone “took a screenshot!” of either your photo or video, and if you’re within the app then Snapchat will still display the double-crossed arrows and let you know that the receiver took a “screenshot just now.” So, while Snapchat isn’t able to directly tell you that it’s a screen recording on iOS 11, you’ll still know that your DMs are being saved. Stories, on the other hand, appear to be less abiding to the screen recording/screenshot notification system, at least for now.

Instagram Direct doesn’t yet appear to have such a feature for iOS 11 screen recording warnings. Similar to Snapchat, Instagram Direct lets you send disappearing photos and videos to other users, and includes a screenshot notification whenever the recipient captures the content you sent privately.

In tests on iOS 11, neither photos nor videos captured via screen recording in Instagram Direct told the sender that such an action had taken place. If screen recording becomes a bigger issue for these private messaging apps, and others like them, it’s likely that developers will begin to implement more direct warning systems for users to look out for.

Take a look at our guide for iOS 11 screen recording to learn more about the new feature, and then check out our complete iOS 11 Roundup for all of the major — and minor — additions that were introduced in the new software update.

Thanks, Joshua!

Tags: Instagram, Snapchat
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Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Aren’t Fully Disabled When Toggled Off in Control Center on iOS 11

Apple has confirmed that Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are not fully disabled when toggled off in Control Center on iOS 11.

Even when toggled off in Control Center on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 11 and later, a new support document says Bluetooth and Wi-Fi will continue to be available for AirDrop, AirPlay, Apple Pencil, Apple Watch, Location Services, and Continuity features like Handoff and Instant Hotspot.

Toggling off Bluetooth or Wi-Fi in Control Center only disconnects accessories now, rather than disabling connectivity entirely.

If Bluetooth is turned off, the iOS device can’t be connected to any Bluetooth accessories until one of these conditions is met:

You turn on Bluetooth in Control Center.
You connect to a Bluetooth accessory in Settings > Bluetooth.
It’s 5 a.m. local time.
You restart your device.

While Wi-Fi is disabled, auto-join for any nearby Wi-Fi networks will also be disabled until one of these conditions is met:

You turn on Wi-Fi in Control Center.
You connect to a Wi-Fi network in Settings > Wi-Fi.
You walk or drive to a new location.
It’s 5 a.m. local time.
You restart your device.

Apple made this change in the iOS 11 beta, and it gained more attention after the software was publicly released yesterday.

iOS 11 users can still completely disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for all networks and devices by toggling them off in the Settings app.

Apple says users should try to keep Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned on for the best experience on an iOS device.

(Thanks, FlunkedFlank!)

Related Roundup: iOS 11
Tags: Control Center, Bluetooth
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iOS 11 Installed on 10% of Devices 24 Hours After Launch

Apple’s newest operating system, iOS 11, is seeing slower adoption rates than iOS 10 saw during the same adoption period last year, according to data collected by analytics company Mixpanel. As of 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, 24 hours after iOS 11 was released, the OS is installed on 10.01 percent of devices.

24 hours after iOS 10 was released last year, it was installed on 14.45 percent of devices. iOS 9, after its release in 2015, was installed on 12.60 percent of devices 24 hours after launch, and iOS 8 saw similar adoption rates in 2014.

iOS 11 was not affected by installation issues or other problems like iOS 10 was, but past issues with new iOS releases may be keeping some users from upgrading right away. The iOS 11 update also disables all 32-bit apps, another factor that could be holding some users back.

Adoption rates often spike up a bit over the weekend when people have more free time to make major software updates to their devices, so iOS 11 could catch up to iOS 10 at that point.

As people begin adopting iOS 11, iOS 10 adoption is trending downward. iOS 10 is now installed on 84.55 percent of devices, while 5.44 percent of users continue to run an older version of iOS.

iOS 11 is a free download that’s available for download on the iPhone 5s and later, iPad mini 2 and later, and the 6th generation iPod touch. There are dozens of new features in iOS 11 and several overhauled interface elements, so it’s worth an upgrade if you haven’t already. For full details on what’s new iOS 11, make sure to check out our iOS 11 roundup.

Related Roundup: iOS 11
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Enjoy all of your new TV’s benefits with our LG C7 OLED setup and unboxing guide

These days, televisions are absolutely loaded with fun, unique features and useful accessories to make your viewing experience simpler and more enjoyable. That said, it’s not always a straightforward process when trying to properly set up a new TV. If you opted for the 4K HD LG C7 OLED TV, though — one of LG’s nicest models — you’re in luck. We’ve put together an LG C7 OLED setup and unboxing guide to ensure that your honeymoon phase (with the TV, that is) is full of love, not stress.

What’s in the box?

In addition to the TV, the C7 comes with:

  • Product literature
  • LG MagicMotion remote with batteries
  • A/V breakout cable
  • Pre-assembled base for the TV, plus the necessary attachement screws
  • Cover plate for the TV’s rear.
  • Cable management clip.

All of these accessories are neatly housed in a separate box from the television itself.

Several items are not included with the TV. You will need to buy HDMI cables to connect your TV to other devices. The easiest way to ensure you have HDMI cables is to buy the AmazonBasics High-Speed HDMI cables at the same time you buy your TV. If you do not buy the AmazonBasics HDMI cable, make sure that the HDMI cables are rated as “high speed” cables so they can accommodate the large amount of data 4K HDR content requires.

Additionally, the TV does not come with any wall mounting hardware. For information about wall mounting check out our wall mounting guide video.

Hardware setup

To connect the base, angle the LG logo toward the front of the TV (with the panel face down on a flat surface — protect the screen with something soft!), and slide the vertical portion of the stand into the recess on the back of the TV. Insert and secure all four screws, then pop the cover plate over the recess and affix the cable clip to the cover plate.

The hardwired power cable is located on the left side of the TV’s rear panel, while most the ports and jacks are in a small alcove on the right side (the rest are next to the alcove, angled toward the edge of the TV). In total, there are four HDMI inputs (one ARC) and three USB inputs, along with a coaxial jack and ports for optical, ethernet, and the aforementioned breakout cable.

Features and design

The television itself is gorgeous, featuring a glossy black display with basically zero bezels to speak of. The base — trapezoidal, in brushed silver — is conveniently just 23 inches wide, meaning you can fit the TV on a smaller stand or entertainment center.

The Magic Remote, meanwhile, allows you to navigate using an on-screen cursor, much like the Nintendo Wii’s. It’s a cool feature that makes it much faster to find things you want to watch, and combined with the built-in voice control, it’s pretty powerful.

Software setup

Once everything is connected properly, go ahead and use the remote to power on the TV. It will walk you through a setup wizard that will help you connect to your Wi-Fi network. It’s a good idea to label the inputs manually, though that could prove frustrating if you constantly switch devices in and out. To do so, select “All Inputs,” then pick the input you want to name, and choose “edit icon.” It will give you a list of options to choose from.

We also recommend choosing the “Expert (bright room)” or “Expert (dark room)” picture presets, depending on the lighting in your TV area. Unless you are particularly picky about your screen settings, these are well-balanced choices that we think work great.


Best iOS app deals of the day! 6 paid iPhone apps for free for a limited time

Everyone likes Apple apps, but sometimes the best ones are a bit expensive. Now and then, developers put paid apps on sale for free for a limited time, but you have to snatch them up while you have the chance. Here are the latest and greatest iOS app deals available from the iOS App Store.

These apps normally cost money and this sale lasts for a limited time only. If you go to the App Store and it says the app costs money, that means the deal has expired and you will be charged. 


Yomiwa is a fast and complete offline Japanese dictionary, encompassing all the modern features. Yomiwa also comes with powerful character recognition technology (OCR) which lets you translate Japanese into many target languages with your camera.

Available on:



During the day, Thunderspace won’t let you focus on all the noise around you. And at night it will make you very sleepy. Do not use while operating a machine, vehicle, or star destroyer.

Available on:



Get the positivity flowing! Procrastination begone. We all need that little boost to get through our day. With Cheerleader, you will have your own cheerful miniature promoter.

Available on:


RadOnc Reference

This is the first comprehensive iPhone reference application for Radiation Oncologists. This project is intended to be a collaborative effort. Feedback and suggestions from the RadOnc community will directly inform new development efforts.

Available on:



Orderly is designed based on how the human mind visualizes to-do lists. It is an incredibly easy-to-use to-do list app that features a user-friendly interface, seamless cloud sync, and location-based reminders.

Available on:



InstaWeb is a powerful tool for iPhone and iPad to convert any website to PDF very quickly and easily. InstaWeb also features a clutter remover to create clean and ready-to-read PDFs.

Available on:



iPhone 8 vs. iPhone 7: Time for an upgrade?

Apple’s annual iPhone update always generates some excitement, but this year the iPhone X stole the show. It’s sure to be popular, but not everyone will want one. Maybe a $1,000 phone is a bit much, or you prefer the more manageable size of the iPhone 8. At first glance, the iPhone 8 doesn’t look any different than the iPhone 7, but if you dig in beneath the Retina display, you’ll find some important distinctions. If you already have the iPhone 7, however, the question remains: Is it worth upgrading? Let’s find out how the two devices measure up.


Apple iPhone 8

Apple iPhone 7

5.45 x 2.65 x 0.29 inches (138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm)
 5.44 × 2.64 × 0.28 inches (138.3 × 67.1 × 7.1 mm)
5.22 ounces (148 grams)
4.87 ounces (138 grams)
4.7-inch Retina HD IPS LCD
4.7-inch Retina HD LED-backlit widescreen
1,334 × 750 pixels
1,334 × 750 pixels
iOS 11
iOS 10 (Upgradable to iOS 11)
MicroSD Card Slot
NFC support
Yes (Apple Pay only)
Yes (Apple Pay only)
A11 Bionic chip with 64-bit architecture, M11 motion coprocessor
Apple A10 Fusion with 64-bit architecture, M10 motion coprocessor
4G LTE, GSM, CDMA, HSPA+, 802.11ac/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
4G LTE, GSM, CDMA, HSPA+, 802.11ac/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
12MP rear with OIS, 7MP front
12MP rear with OIS, 7MP front
4K at 60fps, 1080p at 240fps,
4K at 30fps, 1080p at 30 or 60fps, 720p at 240fps
Yes, version 5
Yes, version 4.2
Fingerprint sensor
Other sensors
Barometer, gyro, accelerometer, proximity sensor, compass, ambient light sensor
Barometer, 3-axis gyro, accelerometer, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor
Water Resistant
Yes, IP67
Yes, IP67
Quick Charging
Wireless Charging
Apple App Store
Apple App Store
Color offerings
Gold, Silver, Space Grey
Rose Gold, Gold, Silver, Black, Jet Black

AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile

AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile

DT Review
3.5 out of 5 stars

The biggest upgrade in the iPhone 8 is the new A11 Bionic chip. It offers a 30-percent efficiency boost and a 50-percent performance boost, at least when compared to the iPhone 7’s A10 chip according to Apple. That’s a significant upgrade, though we’re unsure how often you’ll feel the difference, because we’ve never found the iPhone 7 lacking in terms of processing power. It should be discernibly faster, but it may be a case of future-proofing for some of the more demanding apps and games to come (especially with augmented reality apps).

In terms of RAM, Apple rarely lists it as a spec, and we assume the two phones both pack 2GB, which is adequate for running iOS. There’s still a debate about how much RAM a smartphone needs, but it’s certainly not a differentiator here.

One welcome improvement for the base model of the iPhone 8 is the storage capacity. It comes in 64GB and 256GB configurations. The iPhone 7 comes with 32GB, 128GB, or 256GB.

Winner: iPhone 8

Design, display, and durability

You’re going to have to look very closely to see any differences in the design of these two phones. The most obvious change is that Apple has switched to a glass back for the iPhone 8. It is also 10 grams heavier and fractionally bigger in all directions, but the dimensions are close enough that iPhone 7 cases will still fit the iPhone 8.

At 4.7-inches, the displays in the iPhone 7 and 8 are among the smallest around, but we’re still a little disappointed that Apple has stuck with a 1,334 × 750-pixel resolution. Both phones support 3D Touch and a wide color gamut, the only change with the iPhone 8 is that it has a True Tone display, which will adjust to your environment for the ideal color tone.

When it comes to durability, both phones are IP67-rated, so they can take a dunk in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes and emerge unscathed. Apple says the glass backing on the iPhone 8 is durable, but we’d imagine it will still be more likely to break than the metal back found on the iPhone 7.

The classier look of the glass back and the slight display improvement are enough for the iPhone 8 to claim a slim win here.

Winner: iPhone 8

Battery life and charging

It’s just as well that the newest A11 chip is supposed to be 30-percent more power efficient than its predecessor, because Apple has reduced the battery size in the iPhone 8. It sports a 1,821mAh battery, compared to the 1,960mAh battery in the iPhone 7. Apple claims that it should last just about as long as the battery found in the iPhone 7, but we’ll have to test it to be sure.

There are a couple of notable improvement here, though. First, the iPhone 8 supports fast-charging, meaning you can charge the battery up 50 percent in just 30 minutes. That’s a major boost over the iPhone 7. The iPhone 8 also supports wireless charging and will work with any wireless charging pad that supports the Qi standard. This is the double benefit of having a glass back.

Winner: iPhone 8


On paper, there’s little difference between the cameras on the iPhone 8 and the cameras on the iPhone 7. We’re still talking about a 12-megapixel main shooter, and a 7-megapixel front-facing camera. The main cameras here are overshadowed by the dual-lens offerings in the 7 Plus, 8 Plus, and iPhone X.

Apple says the iPhone 8 camera is slightly better than the iPhone 7 camera, given it sports a larger and faster sensor, one that’s capable of capturing more light. The iPhone 8 is also able to shoot 4K video at 60 frames per second, while the iPhone 7 is limited to 30 fps. It wins in slow-motion as well, as you can now capture video at 240 fps in crisp 1080p.

Winner: iPhone 8


The iPhone 8 ships with iOS 11, but iPhone 7 owners can upgrade to Apple’s latest platform and receive all the same benefits. There isn’t really anything to divide these two phones in the software department. Check out our iOS 11 tips and tricks to find out what it can do.

Winner: Tie

Price and availability

The 64GB version of the iPhone 8 costs $700, and the 256GB model will run you $850. You can also currently buy it on-contract through each of the major carriers in the U.S. — check out our iPhone 8 buying guide for all the details.

Apple always drops the price of older iPhones when a new one comes along, and such is the case with the introduction of the iPhone 8. The 32GB version of the iPhone 7 now starts at $550, and you can get the 128GB version for $650. Once again, it’s available through all the major U.S. carriers on contract deals. You can also buy both phones from Apple SIM-free and unlocked.

If you’re looking to save a few bucks, the iPhone 7 looks like a good deal and even the 128GB version, which touts double the storage capacity, is cheaper than the base model of the iPhone 8.

Winner: iPhone 7

Overall winner: iPhone 8

We know that all you iPhone 7 owners don’t want to hear this, but the iPhone 8 really isn’t enough of a jump to make it a worthwhile upgrade. The most notable improvement is the processor, but, honestly, we think it will be a while before you’ll feel the benefit of that. The rest of the improvements are simply too minor to merit the extra expense.

If you’re currently shopping for a new iPhone and it boils down to these two, then we would certainly pick the iPhone 8, partly to future-proof and partly to get the speedier charging and support for wireless charging. If you want to experience the best Apple can do, however, you should be looking at the iPhone X or the iPhone 8 Plus.


Spin it or flip it? HP Spectre x360 vs. Microsoft Surface Laptop

When you’re in the market for a new thin and light notebook, one of your most basic decisions will be whether you want a traditional clamshell machine or one of the myriad 2-in-1 devices that can also morph into a tablet. We took a look at the HP Spectre x360 vs. Microsoft Surface Laptop to see which modern incarnation of these two form factors is better worth your hard earned dollars. Along the way, you might just learn a few things to help decide if a clamshell or a 2-in-1 is right for you.

Specifications compared

Surface Laptop

HP Spectre x360 13

 12.13 × 8.79 × 0.57 (in)
12.07 × 8.58 × 0.55 (in)
 2.76 pounds Core m3, i5; 2.83 pounds Core i7
2.89 pounds
7th-generation Intel Core i5 or i7
7th-geneation Intel Core i5 or i7
 4, 8, or 16GB RAM
4, 8 or 16GB RAM
 13.5-inch IPS PixelSense display
13.3-inch IPS display
 2,256 × 1,504
Full HD (1,920 x 1,080)
QHD+ (3,200 x 1,800)
 128GB, 256GB, 512GB SSD, 1TB (coming)
256GB, 512GB, 1TB SSD
10-point touch display
10-point touch display optional
 USB Type-A 3.0, mini-DisplayPort, SurfaceConnect, 3.5mm headset
1x USB 3.0 Type-A, 2x USB 3.1 Type C with Thunderbolt 3, 3.5mm headset
 720p HD with infrared camera for Windows Hello support
720p HD
Operating System
Windows 10 S (upgradable to Windows 10 Pro)
Windows 10 Home or Pro
 47 watt-hours
57.8 watt-hours
3 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars


The HP Spectre x360 has long been one of our favorite 2-in-1s thanks to its no-compromise design, which minimizes display bezels to fit into a smaller chassis, while making smart choices like keeping the webcam above the display where it belongs. The Spectre X360 13 is 0.55 inches thin and weighs 2.89 pounds, and it sports an all-metal design with a hinge that works fluidly throughout its 360-degree range, but still manages to remain firmly in place notebook mode. HP has two color schemes available, Natural Silver and Ash Silver with copper accents, that can accommodate both conservative and more flamboyant tastes.

Microsoft’s Surface Laptop is also a well-built notebook that exudes a premium feel, with an all-metal chassis that’s thin at .57 inches, light at 2.83 pounds, and quite sturdy throughout. But it’s not boring — Microsoft incorporated its favorite Alcantara fabric on the keyboard deck to add both a splash of color and a pleasant, rather soothing surface for the wrists to rest on while typing. You can choose from four colors, Platinum, Graphite Gold, Burgundy, and Cobalt Blue.

The HP’s ability to swing the display around and choose from notebook, tent, multimedia, and tablet modes adds some real flexibility, and ironically Microsoft — which created the modern 2-in-1 phase — loses points here with its clamshell notebook. You can’t go wrong with either machine, but the Spectre X360 wins out because you can do more with it.

Winner: HP Spectre x360


Both HP and Microsoft offer seventh-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, up to 16GB of RAM, and up to 1TB solid-state drives (SSDs).

There are some differences, however, that are worth noting. First, Microsoft’s processor options top out at the Core i7-7660U with Intel Iris Plus 640 graphics, whereas the Spectre x360 goes up to the Core i7-7500U, meaning that the Surface Laptop will provide just a little extra oomph in both high-end productivity tasks and casual gaming.

Second, the Spectre x360 utilizes fast PCIe SSDs, whereas Microsoft opted for slightly slower PCIe drives, and so the HP will do better with more demanding tasks related to accessing and saving files.

In the end, we think that a faster CPU and GPU matter more than slightly slower — but still fast compared to a spinning hard disk drive — storage.

Winner: Microsoft Surface Laptop

Keyboard, mouse, and pen

As a 360-degree convertible, the HP Spectre x360 is naturally jam-packed with input options. There’s the obligatory touch display, which we found responsive, and an active pen that provides solid Windows 10 Ink support.

In addition, the keyboard is very good, with more than sufficient travel and a snappy response that makes for comfortable long-term typing sessions. We were even more impressed with the ultra-wide touchpad, which provided for sensitive multi-touch gestures. Finally, Windows Hello password-less login is provided by an infrared camera and facial recognition.

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Although it’s a traditional notebook, the Surface Laptop is equally well-equipped when it comes to input options. There’s a touch screen that supports the excellent Surface Pen, although it’s hard to use with the Laptop. The keyboard has excellent travel and a precise feel, making it an equally good option for typing copious amounts of information, and the large touchpad is great with the always-reliable Microsoft Precision gesture support. Windows Hello is also provided by a reliable infrared facial scanner.

In short, both the Spectre x360 and Surface Laptop offer different ways to get information into your PC efficiently and comfortably. The Spectre x360 again gets the nod, though, for being a 360-degree convertible. Even if it’s not the thinnest or lightest tablet when the display is folded around, it’s still a far more pleasant experience than using a pen on a clamshell notebook display.

Winner: HP Spectre x360


HP made an effort to ensure that you can not only connect to your legacy peripherals, but also plug into tomorrow’s external devices, as well. The Spectre x360 sports two of the newer and increasingly ubiquitous USB Type-C connections, both of which support Thunderbolt 3 for things like connecting to external GPUs. There’s also a USB Type-A port, and a headset jack.

Unfortunately, HP left out an SD card reader, so that’s one dongle that’ll be needed if you want to easily transfer images and video from a camera, for example.

The Surface Laptop, on the other hand, suffers from Microsoft’s reluctance to embrace the USB Type-C movement. Like other mobile Surface machines, this one is equipped with a single USB Type-A port, a mini-DisplayPort, a headset jack, and a SurfaceConnect port, the latter of which is used to power the machine. The Surface Laptop also doesn’t come equipped with an SD card reader.

Clearly, more ports are better, and the Spectre x360 wins this round handily.

Winner: HP Spectre x360

Display quality

HP has provided a difficult choice for Spectre x360 buyers — go with a sharp 13.3-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) display and save some money and battery life, or step up to an even sharper 4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160) display for the best possible Netflix experience. If you go with the latter, then you’ll enjoy a pin-sharp 331 PPI screen that makes for some excellent text and images. In our testing, the Spectre x360’s Full HD display was very good if not exceptional, and we expect the 4K option is at least as good.

The Microsoft Surface Laptop, like all Surface machines, has a simply superior display. It’s a little larger at 13.5 inches, with 2,256 x 1,504 (201 PPI) resolution, and it uses the 3:2 aspect ratio, which is taller. As a result, the Laptop shows more of your documents at once, but suffers letter-boxing when watching most video. Colors, contrast, and brightness are awesome, and in short, if you’re looking for the best notebook display, then it comes down to the Surface Laptop or a MacBook Pro.

Winner: Microsoft Surface Laptop

Portability and battery life

As we discussed earlier, the HP Spectre x360 is 0.55 inches thin and weighs 2.89 pounds, making it easy to toss into a backpack and carry around with you. The Microsoft Surface Laptop is equally thin and light at .57 inches and 2.83 pounds. Replace the Spectre x360 with the Surface Laptop, and you’re unlikely to tell the difference.

Battery life is a different story, where the Spectre x360 packs in a larger 57.8 watt-hour battery, compared to the Surface Laptop’s 47 watt-hour capacity. In our testing, the Spectre x360 with a Core i7-7500U and Full HD display managed just under five hours in our most aggressive Peacekeeper battery test, and it looped our test video for a strong ten hours and 43 minutes. The Surface Laptop running a Core i5-7200U lasted for six and a half hours in our Peacekeeper test, and played video for over twelve and a half hours.

The Spectre x360’s battery life is very good for a powerful 2-in-1 machine, that’s for sure. But in spite of having significantly more juice on hand, it couldn’t keep up with Microsoft’s almost magical Surface Laptop, which managed to squeeze some impressive battery life out of a relatively small battery, and in spite of its higher-resolution and slightly larger display.

Winner: Microsoft Surface Laptop

Availability and price

The HP Spectre x360 13 is a premium machine both in design and  in pricing. It starts out at $1,200 with a Core i5-7200U, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and a Full HD display. It currently tops out at $1,500 for a Core i7-7500U, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and a 4K UHD display (note that the 1TB version isn’t currently available). That’s neither the most more the least expensive machine in the premium 2-in-1 segment. Note that HP includes an active pen with the Spectre x360.

The Microsoft Surface Laptop is a Surface machine through and through, and it’s priced just like its siblings. It starts out at moderate $1,000 for a Core i5-7200U, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB SSD, and tops out at an astronomical $2,700 for a Core i7-7660U, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD. If you want to add the Surface Pen, then tack on another $100.

Clearly, while you can spend close to the same money on the low end for either machine, you get more for your money with the Spectre x360. And for the same Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512GB configuration, you’re going to spend at $2,200 for the Surface Laptop — that’s $700 more than the Spectre x360.

Winner: HP Spectre x360


We didn’t end up making your choice between traditional notebook and 2-in-1 any easier, maybe, but at least now you know how closely matched these two premium notebooks really are. Whether you select an HP Spectre x360 or a Surface Laptop, you’re going to be happy with the design, build quality, performance, and battery life.

We’re partial to 2-in-1s ourselves, and we think it’s better to have that flexibility and not need it than need it and not have it. For that reason, along with significantly more affordability, we’re giving the overall victory to the HP Spectre x360.

Winner: HP Spectre x360


Amazon Great Indian Festival is back — find the best deals right here


Amazon is back with another sale extravaganza.

Amazon’s Great Indian Festival is back. The four-day sale extravaganza kicks off in earnest tomorrow, but Amazon is rolling out deals early for Prime members. Highlighted deals include a ₹2,000 discount on the Moto G5 Plus, bringing the cost of the phone down to just ₹12,999. The OnePlus 3T is also seeing an enticing ₹5,000 drop, with the device now on sale for just ₹24,999.

Xiaomi is introducing a variant of the Mi Max 2 with 4GB of RAM and 32GB storage for ₹14,999, and the phone is now on sale for ₹12,999. Here’s a look at some of the deals currently live on the platform:


  • OnePlus 3T – ₹24,999 – ₹5,000 off
  • Xiaomi Mi Max 2 – ₹12,999 – ₹2,000 off
  • Moto G5 Plus (4GB RAM, 32GB storage) – ₹12,999 – ₹2,000 off
  • Lenovo K8 Note (4GB RAM, 64GB storage) – ₹12,999 – ₹1,000 off
  • Samsung On7 Pro – ₹7,590 – ₹1,500 off
  • Samsung On5 Pro – ₹6,490 – ₹1,000 off
  • Micromax Canvas Infinity – ₹9,998 – ₹1 off
  • Nubia Z11 (6GB RAM, 64GB storage) – ₹19,990 – ₹5,000 off
  • Sony Xperia XA Dual – ₹12,990 – ₹280 off


  • Amazon Fire TV Stick – ₹3,499 – ₹500 off (additional ₹499 cashback)
  • Ticwatch 2 Smartwatch – ₹17,999 – ₹4,000 off
  • Xiaomi Mi 10000mAh Power Bank 2 – ₹899 – ₹300 off
  • Xiaomi Mi 20000mAh Power Bank 2 – ₹1,799 – ₹400 off

That’s just a quick look at some of the deals available for Prime members. The sale will kick off for everyone tomorrow at 8 a.m., so stay tuned!

See at Amazon


Keep your lawn green without emptying your wallet with Rachio’s $146 smart sprinkler

Late last year I moved into a brand new home that came with an irrigation system, and in the first month, I managed to run up a $300 water bill from using the sprinklers. I knew nothing about how to set it up, or when to have it water the lawn, and I was pretty frustrated with it. I quickly reduced the frequency of the system, but the lawn still wasn’t looking great, and I was quickly getting annoyed. Then, I found Rachio.

My grass is now looking better than ever, and my wallet isn’t emptying every month, and yours can too! As part of its Gold Box deals of the day, Amazon is offering the 2nd-gen 8-zone Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller for $145.99. This is a savings of around $55 from its usual selling price of $200. We’ve seen a few deals in the past, but this is the best price so far.

  • Works with Alexa. Control watering with the power of your voice. Use more than 100 different voice commands to run zones, set rain skips and more.
  • Control from anywhere. Download the Rachio app to manage your sprinkler system on a smartphone, tablet or laptop.
  • Adapts to local weather. Rachio will automatically skip a scheduled watering cycle when rain is predicted and adjust watering times as the seasons change, saving you water and money.
  • Reduce your water bill. Save up to 50% on your outdoor watering bill with WaterSense certified technology. Check your local water provider for rebates (often up to 100% of retail value).
  • Customize to your yard. Stop guessing – input zone details like soil type, plant type and sun exposure to let Rachio automatically set up the best watering schedules for your lawn. Tailored schedules give your yard exactly the water needed to thrive, and not a drop more.

This price is only good for one day, so don’t miss out. After using it for a few months, you’ll quickly realize how valuable it is and how much it is saving you. You may also be able to take advantage of a local rebate after purchasing the system, so be sure to look into that!

See at Amazon

More from Thrifter:

  • Which Warehouse Shopping Club is Best for You?
  • Priority Pass Select Memberships can save you big at airports

For more great deals be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!

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