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4
Dec

AMD’s upcoming Ryzen refresh won’t require a new motherboard, company confirms


James Prior, a senior product manager at AMD, recently addressed a question in an interview regarding Ryzen 2 and the possible need for yet another motherboard upgrade. AMD-based system builders currently wanting to jump on the Ryzen desktop processor bandwagon are required to upgrade their motherboard because the chips rely on a different “seat,” or socket, called AM4. Naturally, customers want to know if they will be forced to swap out motherboards again when the next-generation chips arrive in the future.

Naturally, Prior can’t really comment on unannounced products. But he did reiterate a comment publicly announced by AMD that it will support the AM4 motherboard socket through 2020. He also talked about the “Zen” processor development, which started four years ago and eventually required two teams.

“If you look back to when we first started talking about the Zen core, before we even unveiled the Ryzen name, we were saying that when we were creating the Zen architecture, the core team came together some four years ago, they started building the design, they started creating this awesomeness,” he said  “And after they got the fundamentals worked out, they peeled off part of it, started them working on the next-generation micro-architecture.”

In other words, once Zen development reached a specific point, one team continued to work on the design that now resides in the Ryzen and Ryzen Threadripper processors while another began working on what will essentially be Ryzen refresh. And now that the Ryzen and Threadripper chips are on the market, the first team has moved on to Ryzen 2. All the while, AMD will continue in its tick-tock manufacturing schedule.

“Zen, a brand new architecture, came on Globalfoundries 14 nanometer process, a brand new process at the same time,” he added. “We’re going to do an optimization. We’ve got a new process from Globalfoundries — they already announced it — we started talking about that as well. We’re going to come in, but it won’t be the next-gen micro-architecture, but it will be an improvement of what we’ve got today. That’s what’s going to happen next, so we’re getting ready for that now.”

He added that the move from Ryzen to Ryzen refresh is why AMD plans to support the AM4 motherboard socket through 2020: Because both rely on the same infrastructure. Customers will be able to remove their Ryzen chip and simply drop in a Ryzen Refresh model along with a simple BIOS flash supporting the newer CPU.

Given Ryzen arrived in 2017, and Ryzen refresh will likely land in 2018 based on 7nm FinFET process technology, AMD’s release of Ryzen 2 could very well take place in 2019, falling within the AM4 socket umbrella. That is speculation, however, because Prior didn’t say when Ryzen Refresh would hit the market, nor did he confirm the Ryzen 2 product.

Of course, by the time Ryzen 2 arrives, you will want to upgrade the motherboard anyway given new technologies the processor and accompanying chipsets will bring. The whole motherboard-swap-out debate really only applies to the Ryzen refresh chips.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • AMD lands prestigious award for its beastly Ryzen Threadripper 1950X
  • The best motherboards for gaming on your PC
  • AMD is more than the Threadripper. Here are the best AMD CPUs on any budget
  • AMD CEO shows off first laptop packing a Ryzen-branded chip at Best Buy
  • Time to upgrade your gaming PC? These are the best processors to choose from




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4
Dec

First flash sale for crowdsourced Eve V Windows 10 tablet sells out in 3 hours


The Eve V is one of the more interesting Windows 10 detachable tablets on the market today. It’s the result of a crowdsourcing process where the hundreds-strong Eve Community voted on various features and components and thus essentially “built” the machine according to user preferences. Eve Technology kicked off its first day of sales on Monday, with the first flash sale selling out in three hours.

We reviewed the Eve V and found it to be a solidly built machine with good battery life, an excellent display, and some whimsical design details. It’s slower than its primary competition, the Microsoft Surface Pro, due to low-power seventh-generation Intel Core processors. The detachable keyboard has Bluetooth support and multicolored backlighting but without the Microsoft Type Cover’s superior typing experience.

If you’re interested in jumping on the next flash sale, which starts at  9 a.m. ET on Tuesday, December 5, then keep in mind the following prices:

  • Intel Core m3-7100U, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD: $800
  • Intel Core i5-7Y54, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD: $1,200
  • Intel Core i5-7Y54, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD: $1,500
  • Intel Core i7-7Y75, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD: $1,600
  • Intel Core i7-7Y75, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD: $2,000

Your investment will net you the Eve V tablet, the detachable keyboard, and an active pen with 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity. Those latter two accessories are not included with the Surface Pro, adding $160 for the Signature Type Cover and $100 for the Surface Pen. While the Eve V isn’t exactly a budget tablet, it’s hundreds of dollars less expensive than the equivalent Surface Pro. Complete specifications are as follows:

Screen size:
12.3 inches
Screen resolution:
2,736 x 1,824
Display type:
Samsung IGZO LCD
Processor:
Intel 7th-gen low-power Core m3/i5/i7
Graphics:
Intel HD Graphics 620
System memory:
Up to 16GB
Storage:
Up to 1TB SSD
Audio:
Quad speaker at 1 watt each
Connectivity:
2×2 801.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Ports:
1 × Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C, 1 × USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C, 2 × USB 3.1 Gen 1 USB-A, 1 × 3.5mm audio, 1 × MicroSDXC reader.
Keyboard:
Pogo-Pin and Wireless keyboard with backlight
Camera:
2MP front, 5MP rear
Battery:
48 watt-hour lithium-ion polymer battery
Dimensions (inches):
295.9 x 205.3 x 8.9 mm
Weight:
925 g Tablet & 410 g Keyboard
Materials:
Aluminum
Starting price:
$800
Availability:
Now via flash sale

We do not know how many units Eve Technology is selling with each flash sale, and so the best bet is to get in as early as possible if you want to place an order. As of publication, more than 75,000 people are subscribed to the flash sale feed, and so there is plenty of competition for Eve V purchases.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Eve Technology Eve V review
  • Is Google’s Pixelbook a worthy competitor to the Surface Pro?
  • Google Pixelbook vs Dell XPS 13: Can this Chromebook take on the laptop champ?
  • Spin it or flip it? HP Spectre x360 vs. Microsoft Surface Laptop
  • Battle of the 15-inch 2-in-1s: HP Spectre x360 vs. Microsoft Surface Book 2




4
Dec

Watch what you want on premium Chromebooks with Google’s free Netflix deal


Google is now offering six months of free-Netflix subscription for anyone buying a premium Chromebook before the end of the year. Compatible with the Google Pixelbook, Samsung Chromebook Plus, and Chromebook Pro, the deal gives you full access to the streaming service for up to two simultaneous devices.

What started as an affordable alternative to Windows-powered laptops, Google’s Chromebooks have now expanded into a varied range of hardware options. Although most remain portable and relatively low-cost, there are much more expensive alternatives as well. Google’s Pixelbook, for example, comes in at a weighty $1,000 for the base version, but it has the hardware to match, so when choosing which Chromebook to opt for, there are a lot of options out there.

Perhaps to try and ease you into spending so much on a machine without access to Windows applications, Google has a number of attractive tie-in offers for anyone buying Chromebooks. Existing offerings give you free access to Google Play Music, Google Drive, and a voucher for $20 to the Google Play Store with certain Chromebook purchases. Now it’s sweetening the offer even more with the Netflix deal.

The Google Pixelbook is a top-of-the-line Chromebook and it has a hefty price tag to match, but this Netflix offer helps cut into that a little bit at least. It’s giving you access to the $11-a-month plan, so the six-month deal can save you around $66. In comparison, the Samsung Chromebook Pro is a little more affordable, so the savings will go that much further.

In fact, the Chromebook Plus and Pro are the only two Chromebooks compatible with the $20 Google Play Store offer that’s also running, so you can get yourself the most savings (with Google offers at least) by buying one of those.

Whatever you’re most interested in though, if you buy one you have until December 31 to redeem the offer via Google’s promotional website. You’ll then be given a code which can be redeemed via Netflix itself.

If special offers, deals, and promotions don’t interest you, though, and you just want to get your hands on the best Chromebook (or laptop) for you, check out some of our guides. We’ll talk you through all of the most important features to find a notebook that’s perfect for what you want to do.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • The best Chromebooks you can buy right now
  • How to install Android apps on a Chromebook
  • Google Pixelbook Review
  • Google Pixelbook vs Dell XPS 13: Can this Chromebook take on the laptop champ?
  • Is Google’s Pixelbook a worthy competitor to the Surface Pro?




4
Dec

Parents can safeguard their preteens’s Facebook usage with Messenger Kids


In an effort to make the internet a safer space, Facebook is rolling out a new app that gives parents more control over who their kids are connecting with. Currently available on iOS, Messenger Kids allows children under the age of 13 to communicate through text, video chat, and more, with friends and family.

As parents allow their kids to use tablets and smartphones more frequently, the stand-alone app serves to provide a safe and fun user experience. Parents still have control over how their children use the app, while kids can take advantage of the features available.

With Messenger Kids, parents are in charge of approving specific contacts to video chat with through the Kids Controls panel located in their Facebook app. Approved contacts will automatically show up on the home screen, which shows whether the contacts are online or not.

Kids can also send text messages, videos, and photos to older relatives and friends as long as those contacts are approved by parents as well. Adults are able to receive the message through their regular Messenger app.

While kids are unable to add anyone themselves through the app, they can block whomever they choose, which hides the child from the blocked person. Both parents and children are also able to report anything that makes them feel uncomfortable using the child’s Messenger Kids account. Facebook will then notify a parent through Messenger about the issue.

One difference between Messenger Kids and other third-party messaging apps is the approval process. For two children to connect, parents from both parties must approve it beforehand. That way, there is even more control over the contact list and who their child is interacting with.

Similar to the filters on Instagram and Snapchat, kids can decorate their conversations with masks, emojis, and sound effects. There is also a library of kid-friendly frames, stickers, GIFs, and drawing tools to choose from.

While parents can set up the app on their child’s iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, the device can only be authenticated via their own Facebook username and password. To finish the process, all that is needed is the child’s name and the account is all set up.

Messenger Kids doesn’t include any ads, and children’s information isn’t used for ad purposes either. While the preview is only available for download in the U.S., Facebook will be releasing it to the Amazon App Store and Google Play Store within the upcoming months.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Sorry kid, access denied: Our favorite, free parental control software
  • Best parental control apps for your kid’s smartphone
  • Here’s how to keep track of your child’s digital footprint with Google Family Link
  • The best video chat apps to help you stay in touch
  • 20 Android and iOS apps for kids to keep them entertained (and quiet)




4
Dec

The Bobine Flex charging dock is an all-in-one accessory you need to have


There are a ton of accessories out there for charging your phone, whether you’re just looking for a new cable, a charging dock for your desk, or a flexible mount for your car. But what if you could combine all three accessories into one? What would that look like?

It just might look like the Bobine Flex C the world’s most flexible Android charging dock. It’s a USB Type-C to USB-A connector cable that’s wrapped in a flexible-yet-rigid outer lair that will bend and flex however you like so your phone is both charging and accessible at all times.

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Since it’s got a USB Type-C connector, this accessory will work with most popular phones released in the past few years including the Google Pixels, Samsung Galaxy S8 and Note 8, and the LG V30 along with many many more. The kit also includes dashboard clips for your car, so you can plug the Bobine Flex into your car charger and then secure the flexible cable wherever you’d like it on your dash.

To buy a quality new charging cable, desktop dock, and car mount all individually you’d likely spend over $100, and usually, the Bobine Flex is sold for $30. But thanks to this great deal from Android Central Digital Offers, you can snag your own for just $19.99. It’s a great price for such a futuristic and handy accessory which can also be used as a tripod for taking photos or recording videos with your phone held in place wherever you choose to set it up.

It’s the ultimate charging accessory for your Android phone and it can be yours for just $19.99! Don’t delay — this deal won’t last for long!

See at Android Central Digital Offers

4
Dec

How to activate Reading Mode on the OnePlus 5T


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How do I enable Reading Mode on my OnePlus 5 or 5T?

Reading Mode is a great and relatively new feature to OxygenOS that adjusts the way your device displays color — in fact, it gets rid of color altogether, turning your display completely monochromatic and mimicking the look of a Kindle.

As the name suggests, this is best used for reading e-books, though the possibilities are really endless; you could just as easily use Reading Mode for scrolling through Twitter or writing an essay in Google Docs.

Note: This feature is available in OxygenOS version 4.5 and newer for the OnePlus 5 and 5T.

Why would you want to use Reading Mode?

Just like Night Mode, Reading Mode eliminates blue light, which is known to negatively impact sleep cycles and cause eye strain, making for an experience that’s easier on the eyes. It may not seem like much at first, but given how many hours most people spend staring at screens each day, it can really make a difference in your physical and mental health — not to mention it’s easier on your phone’s battery.

The software is also smart enough to understand when Reading Mode isn’t useful. As soon as you launch an app like the camera or gallery, color automatically begins to fill the display, turning back to grayscale after you hit the home button or switch back to a different app.

OxygenOS: Top 10 features you need to know

How to enable Reading Mode

If you have a OnePlus 5 or 5T with OxygenOS 4.5 or newer, enabling Reading Mode is simple.

Open the Settings app.
Scroll down and tap the Display submenu.
Tap Reading Mode.
Under Activate manually, slide the Turn on Reading Mode toggle.

oxygen-os-reading-mode.jpg?itok=v6mbYfdc

Just like that, you’ll notice the color fade out of your display as it shifts to grayscale. Having no color at all can be a bit jarring though, so you might just want to enable Reading Mode within certain apps — luckily that’s just a few taps away while you’re still in the Reading Mode settings.

How to turn on Reading Mode automatically within certain apps

Within the Reading Mode settings, tap Add apps for Reading Mode.
Scroll through your list of apps and tap the apps you want to enable.

oxygen-os-reading-mode-app-list.jpg?itok

That’s it! From there you can just hit the back button and the apps you selected will begin to open in grayscale moving forward. Your battery and your eyes will thank you.

Questions? Comments?

Have any burning questions about Reading Mode, or just want to share how you’ve been using it? Sound off in the comments below!

OnePlus 5T and OnePlus 5

  • OnePlus 5T review: Come for the value, not the excitement
  • OnePlus 5T specs
  • Should you upgrade from the OnePlus 3T?
  • OnePlus 5T vs. Galaxy S8: Beast mode
  • All of the latest OnePlus 5T news
  • Join the discussion in the forums

OnePlus
Amazon

4
Dec

Marc’s Favorite Things of 2017


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Marc’s Favorite Things of 2017

2017 was a great year — I got to test out a bunch of great gear and play some outstanding games with friends. With the holiday shopping season fast approaching (I do most of mine on Christmas Eve), you might still be trying to figure out what to get for that tech lover on your list — or looking for a sweet gift to give yourself. I’m here to help with my favorite things of 2017.

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Samsung Galaxy S8

The Google Pixel was my favorite phone of 2016 and I was pretty sure I was over Samsung phones. I wasn’t overly impressed with the Samsung Galaxy S8 unveiling, and yet the very first moment I held one in my hand it was like “WOW”. The Galaxy S8 set the smartphone trends for 2017 — small bezels and that gorgeous curved-corner display — while still managing to squeeze a headphone jack in there. Hallelujah!

With the sexiest screen you ever done seen and top-end specs to enjoy all your streaming and gaming desires, the Galaxy S8 is an easy phone to recommend heading into 2018 and beyond. PROTIP: Snag a RhinoShield Bumper Guard for just $25 and keep your phone well protected without covering up that sweet design.

From $633 Buy Now

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EcoFlow River

The EcoFlow River is a mobile power pack that over-delivers with its specs and is easily the coolest tech accessory I tested in 2017. Featuring 11 different ports that include two AC outlets on the back and an array of USB ports on the front (two standard USB, two Quick Charge USB, and two USB-C), you’ll be able to keep all your devices charged no matter where you are in the world. Keep all your friends’ phones charged at your music festival campsite or play your own tunes on an electric guitar in the middle of a forest — the EcoFlow River opens up a whole new world of possibilities.

$599 Buy Now

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Cuphead

Cuphead straight up stole my heart in 2017. In a gaming industry dominated by first-person shooters and gorgeous action-adventure games, along comes a game like Cuphead that combines tough-as-nails platforming action with the most gorgeous, hand-drawn animation so that it literally feels like you’re playing a 1930’s cartoon complete with an incredible jazz soundtrack. There was so much hype surrounding this game and it managed to totally live up to it all and then some. Available on Steam and Xbox One/Windows 10 for just $20, it’s my must-own game of 2017.

$20 Buy Now

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Anker SoundCore 2

There’s a ton of options out there for portable Bluetooth speakers, but the Anker SoundCore 2 is the one I’ve been recommending to all my friends and family. It’s got a massive battery that’ll power your tunes for up to 24 hours, and the sound quality is quite impressive for its compact size. It’s water resistant and pairs quick and easy with any phone. At just $32, it’s a great gift for any music lover on your list.

$32 Buy Now

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Eufy BodySense Smart Scale

I started focusing on my personal health more in 2017, and no piece of tech helped me get a better grasp on my overall health and wellness than the Eufy BodySense Smart Scale. It’s quick and easy to set up and instantly tracks your weight, body fat percentage, muscle mass and much more every time you step onto the scale in the morning. so you can review all your data and track your progress no matter your wellness goals.

$50 Buy Now

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Pandemic Legacy (Seasons 1 + 2)

We live in troubled times, so what better form of escapism than playing an epic tabletop board game where your goal is to prevent the world from slipping off the brink of annihilation? Pandemic Legacy has been responsible for some of the most incredible and intense moments I’ve ever experienced playing a board game. Season One was an absolute barnburner, and Season Two is shaping up to be just as twist-filled and suspenseful. It’s a great gift for any board game nerds on your shopping list this season.

$56 Buy Now

4
Dec

Select Chromebook owners can get six months of Netflix for free


If you’re picking up a Google Pixelbook, a Samsung Chromebook Plus or a Samsung Chromebook Pro this holiday season, Google wants to make your present (whether to yourself or someone else) even better. Through the end of the year, any of these devices comes with six months of Netflix for free. This appears to apply to recent purchases as well.

The deal is for the $10.99 per month plan, which includes streaming to two screens at a time (sorry 4K users). According to the terms, it appears as though if you are already a Netflix subscriber, you can apply the offer to your existing account, even if you have a different plan than the one stated above. Basically, Google is giving users $65.94 in Netflix credit, and you can use it any way you like, except as applied towards gift subscriptions.

To get your free Netflix, you can visit the Chromebook offer site and hit “Redeem” from the eligible machine. There are also some other interesting deals to take advantage of, including a $20 Google Play credit for Samsung Plus or Pro owners.

Via: The Verge

Source: Google

4
Dec

‘Altered Carbon,’ Netflix’s answer to ‘Blade Runner,’ debuts in February


Looking for something to sate your Blade Runner appetite until this year’s 2049 hits Blu-ray? Then take a look at the first trailer for Netflix’s upcoming sci-fi serial Altered Carbon. The quick look has it all: grimy retro-futuristic flying cars, lots of rain, at least one trench coat and a neon-drenched market scene. As far as actual story goes, the series is based on Richard K. Morgan’s books of the same name and follows protagonist Takeshi Kovacs as he investigates a murder. The twist? Human consciousness has been digitized and Kovacs was dead for a few centuries prior to being resurrected to take the case. Yeah.

This type of death and resurrection show isn’t cheap, and as such, only the well-heeled have access to it. When the deceased in question is the world’s richest man, the question of just what “mortality” means comes into play. Altered Carbon will debut February 2nd next year.

Source: Netflix (YouTube)

4
Dec

Apple Supplier Quanta Computer Teams Up With Lumus to Make Lenses for Augmented Reality Smart Glasses


Apple manufacturing partner Quanta Computer has teamed up with Israeli-based augmented reality company Lumus to manufacture lenses for smart glasses, reports Bloomberg.

Lumus designs displays for AR glasses and will use Quanta for manufacturing purposes. In an interview with Bloomberg, Lumus CEO Ari Grobman said Quanta, which led a $45 million investment in Lumus in 2016, will also be able to produce AR lenses for other tech companies.

Totem headset from VRvana, the virtual reality company Apple recently purchased
The partnership will result in more affordable lenses for wearable augmented reality products, lowering the overall cost for future products. “Quanta has suggested that full AR headsets would be priced for less than the cost of a high-end cell phone. That’s a big deal,” Grobman told Bloomberg.

It’s not clear if Quanta and Lumus are working with Apple on a future augmented reality headset or smart glasses, but it is a possibility as rumors suggest Apple has a wearable augmented reality product in the works.

The latest rumors indicate Apple is developing an AR headset with a dedicated display, a built-in processor, and a reality operating system called “rOS.” Apple is still in the prototyping phase and is exploring different input methods like touch panels, voice activation, head gestures, and more, and it is exploring the types of applications where such a product could be used.

Apple has an aggressive timeline for its augmented reality headset and is aiming to finish development by 2019 ahead of a 2020 release, but there could be delays and changes to the product as work continues.

Related Roundup: Apple VR Project
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