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Samsung’s Odyssey Neo G9 Is a Massive Gaming Monitor Packed with Next-Gen Tech

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How do you follow up an epic behemoth monitor like the Odyssey G9 Curved Gaming monitor? You pack it with next-gen tech found in high-end TVs. The Odyssey Neo G9 takes everything great about the original and amps it up with Mini LED, lighting effects, and a giant $2,500 price.

Read This Article on Review Geek ›

Source: https://www.reviewgeek.com/93289/samsungs-odyssey-neo-g9-is-a-massive-gaming-monitor-packed-with-next-gen-tech/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Josh Hendrickson

How to Add a Contact to the Home Screen on iPhone

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At the core, iPhones are communication devices. So it makes sense that you’d want to put the people you talk to the most front and center. We’ll show you how to create home screen shortcuts for your favorite contacts.

Read This Article on How-To Geek ›

Source: https://www.howtogeek.com/736926/how-to-add-a-contact-to-the-home-screen-on-iphone/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Joe Fedewa

You Can Now Pre-Order Playdate, the Handheld Console with a Crank

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Panic’s unique and experimental gaming console, Playdate, is finally available to pre-order. The crank-based console made its first appearance over two years ago and has left fans wondering whether or not the console would ever make it to production. And now, we have our answer!

Read This Article on Review Geek ›

Source: https://www.reviewgeek.com/93566/you-can-now-pre-order-playdate-the-handheld-console-with-a-crank/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Suzanne Humphries

Facebook’s next hardware product will be “smart” Ray-Ban glasses

A fashion influencer smiles while wearing a pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses.

Enlarge / Don’t get too excited about how well these Ray-Bans go with Gitta Banko’s outfit—we don’t know what Facebook’s new smart glasses will look like, only that they’re made in partnership with the brand and its parent company. (credit: Streetstyleshooters via Getty Images)

In an earnings conference call on Wednesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told investors that the company’s next hardware launch will be “smart glasses” made in partnership with classic sunglasses vendor Ray-Ban.

Zuckerberg segued into the Ray-Ban announcement following a lengthy discussion of Facebook’s plans for Oculus Quest, its all-in-one virtual reality (VR) platform. Zuckerberg says that social media is the real “killer app” for VR, backing that up with data from Oculus Quest: “The most popular apps on Quest are social, which fits our original thesis [that] virtual reality will be a social platform.”

Zuckerberg intends the as yet unnamed smart glasses to be a stepping stone, not an end goal. He remained cagey about their actual purpose, saying only that the glasses “have their iconic form factor, and [let] you do some pretty neat things,” with no concrete details about what those “neat things” might be.

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Source: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2021/07/facebooks-next-hardware-product-will-be-smart-ray-ban-glasses/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Jim Salter

Intel NUC 11 Extreme review: A tiny gaming desktop you may actually want

Who is a powerful miniature desktop for? That was the question running through my mind when I reviewed Intel’s NUC 9 Extreme last year. It was the company’s most powerful compact PC kit (NUC stands for “next unit of computing”) at the time. But it was so wildly expensive — especially since you need to add your own RAM, storage, GPU and OS — it didn’t make sense for anyone but mini-PC obsessives. The new NUC 11 Extreme, AKA “Beast Canyon,” is pretty much the same story. But it’s at least a bit cheaper and more flexible, thanks to its faster 11th-gen Intel CPU and support for full-sized GPUs.

I’ll get this out of the way up front: Yes, this NUC is dramatically larger than any previous units we’ve seen. The 5-liter NUC 9 Extreme already seemed to be pushing the limits of a compact PC, but at 8 liters, the NUC 11 Extreme is what you’d call a Big Boy. Sure, it beats making space for a mid-tower PC on your desk, but it’s still pretty substantial. You can’t blame Intel too much: Gamers wanted full-sized GPUs in a NUC, this is just the most efficient way to make that happen.

The NUC 11 Extreme screams “gamer” before you even turn it on. Its black metal case sports mesh air vents along the sides, giving you a peek at the GPU within and three large case fans up top. For a small box, it’s clearly meant to push a lot of air. Hit the power button and it springs to life with an LED skull along the front panel, as well as underside LED lighting. I’m not one for too much gamer bling, but Intel’s lighting comes is relatively subtle compared to many other PC makers.

Intel NUC 11 Extreme mini gaming desktop

Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

Our review unit featured Intel’s 11th-gen i9 Compute Element, a modular card with an eight-core 11900KB CPU. It can also be purchased separately as an upgrade for NUC 9 Extreme customers. That was always the dream for Intel’s NUC Extreme platform, which also includes Razer’s Tomahawk mini-PC. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just yank a card out in a few years to get a new CPU? There are some compromises, though. According to Intel, there’s no front panel audio support when using the new Compute Card on the NUC 9 Extreme, and there’s no guaranteed PCIe 4.0 either. The company also says compatibility with other boxes depends on how the their NUC base board was designed. (We’ve reached out to Razer to see if the Tomahawk can be upgraded.)

To help speed up our review process, Intel sent along a unit pre-configured with Windows 10 Pro, 16GB of RAM, a speedy 512GB NVMe SSD, and an ASUS RTX 3060 GPU. Remember, you’ll need to gather all of that gear too if you you a NUC kit for yourself (or just buy one pre-built from resellers like SimplyNUC).

While I’ve appreciated all of Intel’s previous performance-oriented NUCs, including 2018’s “Hades Canyon” model and 2016’s “Skull Canyon,” they’ve always been held back by their notebook processors. The NUC 11 Extreme, though, runs more powerful CPUs with a 65-watt TDP. That means it can tap into more power like a traditional desktop gaming chip. And based on our benchmarks, you can definitely see the benefits of that boost.

None

PCMark 10

3DMark (TimeSpy Extreme)

Geekbench 5

Intel NUC 11 Extreme (Intel Core i9-11900KB, NVIDIA RTX 3060)

7,167

4,143

1,684/9,345

Intel NUC 9 Extreme (Core i9-9980HK. NVIDIA RTX 2070)

6,469

4,057

1,312/7,464

ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition (AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX, AMD Radeon RX 6800M)

6,992

5,189

1,457/7,691

ASUS Zephyrus G15 (AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS, NVIDIA RTX 3080 Max-Q)

6,881

4,530

1,426/7,267

In PCMark 10, the NUC easily outpaced every Windows PC we’ve seen this year. It was slightly faster than ASUS’s ROG Strix G15, which was running AMD’s powerful Ryzen 9 5900HX. Admittedly, we haven’t looked at any gaming notebooks with 11th-gen Intel chips, but based on that AMD comparison I’d still expect the NUC 11 to come out ahead of those. We also haven’t tested comparable 11th-gen desktop CPUs yet, but I’d wager they’ll perform better since they can draw more power.

Apple’s M1 iMac was the only computer we’ve reviewed that beat the NUC when it came to single-core performance in Geekbench 5, but Intel’s machine still came out ahead in multithreading. The NUC 11 Extreme also impressed me when it came to transcoding a 4K video clip into 1080p. It managed to do that in 41 seconds, beating the speedy ROG Strix G15 by 6 seconds.

Intel NUC 11 Extreme mini gaming desktop

Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

I’m mainly focusing on CPU-bound benchmarks, because the NUC 11’s graphics scores will ultimately depend on the GPU you plug into it. But I couldn’t review a gaming PC without actually playing some games, could I? I’m happy to report that it reached 150 fps to 160 fps in Overwatch with epic graphics settings at my ultrawide monitor’s native resolution (3,440 by 1,440 pixels). I was even able to get Control running in 1440p between 60 and 70 fps with medium ray tracing settings and graphics set to high. (Thanks to a healthy DLSS assist, of course.)

Basically, the NUC 11 Extreme does everything I expect it an RTX 3060-equipped gaming desktop to do. And despite the tight quarters, temperatures didn’t suffer much either. The GPU never went above 75 celsius while gaming, and the CPU stayed under 80 celsius as well. The fans were noticeable under load, but they were never as whiny as the ones you’d find on some gaming laptops. (Larger fans can push more air without making as much noise, naturally.)

Intel NUC 11 Extreme mini gaming desktop

This being the ultimate DIY PC kit, I also had to tear it open to see just how modular it actually was. The side panels came off easily enough, but I had to spend a few minutes prodding the NUC to make its top panel flip over. That revealed its innards, but I still had to lift up the rear panel to remove the screws securing the Compute Element, its plastic blower, and the GPU. It took around 10 more minutes to fully disassemble the system.

The entire process felt easier than on the NUC 9 Extreme, simply because there was more room to work with. But it’s still not completely intuitive. I also accidentally tore apart the fan temperature sensors attached to the Compute Element, because a mere tug split them in half. If you’ve built PCs before, you should be able to intuit all of the cables and PCIe release levers you need to find. But I’d recommend taking some photos of all of the tiny wires connected to the Compute Element, because it’s easy to mistake where they go and genuinely tough to plug them back in.

Intel NUC 11 Extreme mini gaming desktop

Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

The Compute Element card was similar to the one I held last year, except now there’s a bigger fan and a beefier heatsink. Given the small workable space, I was also interested in seeing how more powerful GPUs would fit into the NUC 11. NVIDIA’s massive RTX 3070 Ti and 3080 had no trouble fitting, and the Radeon RX 6800 dropped in just fine too. The bulkier RX 6800 XT was a no-go, unfortunately. Its heat sink was just a bit too large to fit in properly. Intel says the NUC 11 Extreme should fit GPUs up to 12 inches long, but be wary if you’re planning to use anything with a bulky heatsink.

I’ll admit, I was surprised that this NUC could actually fit some of the fastest graphics cards on the market. That makes it far more useful than the last model, which was limited to shorter 8-inch long GPUs. Now, you can have a NUC that could genuinely offer most of the speed you’d get with a full-sized desktop. Or maybe you just want a secondary computer to power your game streaming. Based on what I’ve seen, the NUC 11 Extreme can handle most anything.

But, it’s still very expensive. Intel expects the Core i7 and i9 models to be priced between $1,150 and $1,350. (It’s nixed plans for an i5 model.) You can also get the Compute Elements separately between $780 and $980 — a lot to pay for a card that’s essential a cradle for CPUs that cost half the price. And, once again, you’ll also have to shell out for all of the additional hardware and software you need for a Windows PC. All told, you can expect to pay at least another $1,000 if you want 16GB of RAM, 1TB of NVMe SSD storage and a decent GPU. 

Intel NUC 11 Extreme mini gaming desktop

Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

That may sound ridiculous, but keep in mind the Core i9 NUC 9 Extreme kit started at $1,639 last year. I couldn’t fathom why anyone would pay out the nose for a compromised desktop that couldn’t fit a full-sized GPU. But the NUC 11 Extreme fixes those issues, and it includes a far faster CPU. 

Intel’s vision for a world where desktop computers can be both powerful and tiny is slowly coming into focus. Now, with the NUC 11 Extreme, Intel finally has a beefy miniature PC that I could actually recommend (assuming you’ve got deep pockets). 

Source: https://www.engadget.com/intel-nuc-11-extreme-review-practical-tiny-gaming-desktop-pc-130041721.html?src=rss
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Devindra Hardawar

Here’s a lightsaber that looks, sounds, and fights almost like the real thing for under $125

If you’ve ever wanted a lightsaber like a real Jedi, then you’ve pretty much had two choices. You could buy one of those cheap-o plastic Hasbro toys from Target. Or you could lay out serious green for one of those ultra-precious replicas that cost as much as a house payment. — Read the rest

Source: https://boingboing.net/2021/07/29/heres-a-lightsaber-that-looks-sounds-and-fights-almost-like-the-real-thing-for-under-125.html?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=heres-a-lightsaber-that-looks-sounds-and-fights-almost-like-the-real-thing-for-under-125
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LG improves its wearable air purifier with a built-in mic and speaker

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With face coverings still the norm, tech companies want you to up your mask game. Last year, LG unveiled the PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier featuring three fans and a pair of HEPA-style filters. Ten months later, it’s finally revealed an initial release date for the device, an improved version of which arrives in Thailand in August. There’s still no word on the price, however.

The latest iteration features a smaller, lighter motor and a built-in mic, speaker and voice amplifier. LG says its “VoiceOn” tech automatically recognizes when you’re talking and boosts the sound so others can hear you through the mask. Unfortunately, it can’t make you sound like Darth Vader.

LG has also bumped up the battery from 820mAh to 1,000 mAh, though the stated 8 hour running time is still the same. It’s also touting a two hour recharge time using the included USB cable. The wearable purifier should roll out to more regions upon receiving approval from regulators, the company said. 

For now, LG is promoting the mask with the help of the Thai Olympics team, who wore it en route to the summer games in Tokyo. Clearly, the Korean company is pitching it as a go-to for those who train outdoors. But, LG’s device has its rivals: We’ve previously seen tech-infused masks from Razer and, um, Will.i.Am.

Source: https://www.engadget.com/lg-wearable-air-purifier-mic-114651832.html?src=rss
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Saqib Shah

The best educational toys for kids

It’s tempting to get your kid every shiny new toy they ask for. But some toys are better than others when it comes to actually stimulating your child’s brain while also keeping them entertained. The parents on the Engadget staff know this well, and we’ve tried out a bunch of educational toys with our kids, with various results. These are some of the ones that have had staying power with our children — and even we adults have to admit we found them pretty fun, too.

Smart Lab: Smart Circuits

Smart Lab: Smart Circuits for Engadget's 2021 Back to School guide.

Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

When it comes to introducing kids to electronics there are a ton of options, but I personally like the Smart Circuits kit. It can take a kid from simple blinking lights to complex motion-controlled games. The snap-together baseboard can lie flat on a table like a regular breadboard, but it can also be folded into a cube or the pieces can be attached at a 90-degree angle. This gives kids an extra element to play with when they graduate to designing their own circuits.

The kit itself only has a few pieces, but they’re quite flexible. And they’re all housed in large colorful plastic that should be easy for a kid to handle. There’s the usual electronics kid fare, like LEDs, a speaker, a potentiometer and two buttons. But there’s also a tilt switch, a light sensor and a microprocessor capable of handling some relatively robust tasks. The kit comes with instructions for 50 projects, but with the parts available a creative child could build quite a few more.

My one critique is that the jumper wires can be tough to insert and might require a bit of patience — something we know not every eight-year-old has an abundance of.  Terrence O’Brien, Managing Editor

Buy Smart Circuits at Amazon – $50

Playskool Shape Sorter

Playskool Shape Sorter for Engadget's 2021 Back to School guide.

Playskool

A shape sorter is an awesome toy for younger kids because it encourages hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, problem-solving and even vocabulary (by identifying the names of shapes and colors). My kids have a few of them, but the one I like most is this Playskool model and here’s why. The lid latches, which means they can’t just dump the shapes out easily; they have to learn how to work the mechanics of the lid as well. Also, the multi-colored shapes have tactile patterns on them that match the area of the box they’re supposed to fit into, and that gives me another teaching opportunity. The whole thing is durable, too — my son likes to chew on the shapes and my daughter likes to stand on the box, but despite that abuse, there’s not so much as a dent or a scratch on it. And because it’s only $9, it makes a great gift if you’re buying for someone else’s kiddo. — Amber Bouman, Associate Editor, Parenting

Buy Shape Sorter at Amazon – $10

Yoto Player

Yoto Player for Engadget's 2021 Back to School guide.

Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

The Yoto Player is the perfect toy for a young child who wants to play their own tunes and stories, but who isn’t ready for an iPad or smart speaker of their own. Yoto’s cute design and blocky, pixel-like display looks distinctly retro. It’s detailed enough for kids to make out images, but it’s insufficient for video, which should actually be good news for parents worried about too much screen time. Yoto calls the player a “carefully connected” speaker: You bring it online during the initial setup, but from there kids can access safe songs and other content through physical cards. — Devindra Hardawar, Senior Editor

Buy Yoto Player starter pack at Amazon – $110

Amazon Fire 7 Kids Pro

Amazon Fire 7 Kids Pro for Engadget's 2021 Back to School guide.

Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

While Amazon’s Fire tablets may not always be the best option for adults, the company’s kid-friendly models are a safe bet. Thanks to the included case, the Fire Kids Pro lineup is built to withstand frequent tumbles. The company offers adequate parental controls so you can keep tabs on content and includes one year of Amazon Kids+ for free. The Kids+ service offers access to over 20,000 apps, games, books, videos, songs and audiobooks from National Geographic, LEGO and more. You also get access to a digital store where you can install additional apps as you see fit. — Billy Steele, Senior News Editor

Buy Fire Kids Pro at Amazon – $100

Kiwi Crates subscription

Kiwi Crate for Engadget's 2021 Back to School guide.

Kiwi Crate

I am, admittedly, a sucker for a good subscription box. But Kiwi Crate is the only one that doesn’t feel like an indulgence. Each month my three-year-old gets a collection of simple DIY toys, crafts and games built around a theme. For instance, a recent box was all about bioluminescent animals. Inside was a plush lightning bug that we had to stuff ourselves and shape using hair ties; a mushroom that had us painting a Slurpee lid and then dotting it with glow-in-the-dark stickers; and a dancing, glowing jellyfish as well as several window clings of sea creates for him to create scenes with.

Past kits have covered farm life, dinosaurs and simple machines like ramps. The stuff inside the box is usually pretty simple (think: cardboard, felt and wood). It’s definitely not built to last, but my kid has gotten plenty of use out of each piece.

The best part is the crates will grow with him. As he gets older the projects will get more complex (and the price will go up). Later boxes include everything from screen-printing tools, to trebuchet kits and even robots. — T.O.

Buy Kiwi Crates starting at $16 a month

Lego Duplo My First Number Train

Lego Duplo My First Number Train for Engadget's 2021 Back to School guide.

Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

Sorry, folks, but this isn’t an electronic gizmo-toy that you can plug in, connect to the internet and treat it as somehow educational. As something of a traditionalist, I’ve always preferred solid toys that offer kids some license to imagine what’s going on, and this offers that in spades. Duplo’s My First Number Train is a train, with the coaches made from double-height number blocks running from 0 – 9. The aim is for your rugrats to place each block in chronological order and get familiar (almost subconsciously) with the concept of a number line.

Then, as they get a little older, you can do any number of things with the set, including (as we did) tie a ribbon around the chimney and fashion it as a pull-along train. Both my son and daughter (we bought one for each) love racing through the hallway with their pull-along trains. And, now that my daughter is in school, the train’s number blocks come in handy to help with the basics of her maths homework. Plus, it never hurts to have a surplus of double-height Duplo bricks for all of the (completely inaccurate) Frozen castles you’ll be building on Saturday mornings. — Daniel Cooper, Senior Editor

Buy My First Number Train at LEGO – $20

Kano PC

Kano PC for Engadget's 2021 Back to School guide.

Kano

The Kano PC may look at first like a cheap Surface knock-off, but based on our testing, it’s also a perfect introduction to the computer world for young children. It’s partially DIY — the base unit is a Windows 10 tablet with a pre-installed CPU, memory and storage, but kids will have to plug in a colorful battery and speaker module to get it going. Kano encourages youngsters to take a close look at all of the PC’s clearly labeled hardware with the bundled magnifying glass. And once they get going, it’s still a decently capable Windows 10 PC, with a Celeron CPU, 4GB of RAM and a 1080p webcam. Heck, it even comes with a keyboard cover, something Microsoft still hasn’t bundled with the Surface tablets. — D.H.

Buy Kano PC at Best Buy – $200

Playtime Engineering: Blipblox

Playtime Engineering: Blipblox for Engadget's 2021 Back to School guide.

Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

The Blipblox may look like a simple noise-maker for kids, but this gadget is much more than just a toy. While the device is loaded with 300 melodies and a synchronized light show, it also packs a capable digital synthesizer engine. There’s an oscillator with the usual assortment of synth parameters along with an amp envelope, two LFOs, modulation envelope and a low-pass filter. The Blipblox also has a MIDI input for use with a keyboard or other accessories in addition to a ¼-inch output. Lastly, it runs on three AA batteries or plugged in via a USB cable. Blipblox can teach kids about music through a basic approach to instruments and synthesis, but its features are advanced enough to offer noise-making magic for parents, too. — B.S.

Buy Blipbox at Amazon – $189

Montessori Busy Board

Montessori Busy Board for Engadget's 2021 Back to School guide.

Will Lipman Photography / deMoca

My kids are currently fascinated with snaps, zippers and closures, which is fun because it means it’s easy to amuse them, but awkward, too, because they often decide to undo the closures on the shirt I’m wearing. A busy board capitalizes on this curiosity by offering several different clasps, snaps, zippers, buttons and openings for little ones to work their fingers on. It intrigues children by activating their senses and helps them develop their fine-motor skills and problem solving by using real-world obstacles. It also adheres to the Montessori philosophy of simple, wooden toys that help children explore the world around them through play. The deMoca busy board is one of my favorites because it has bright, eye-catching colors, and 10 sensory activities including a zipper, a buckle, a latch and Velcro. It’s easy to bring along on trips, and deMoca also makes a “Quiet Book” — a soft-cover, fabric version that’s washable. — A.B.

Buy busy board at Amazon – $60

Source: https://www.engadget.com/best-educational-toys-for-kids-123055311.html?src=rss
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Engadget

The Best Budget Android Phones in 2021: Upgrade for Cheap!

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Looking for a new Android phone for cheap? We’ve got your back! Whether you want an excellent camera, fantastic performance, a long-lasting battery, or a bit of everything, we’ve rounded up a list of the best budget Android phones we think you’ll love.

Read This Article on How-To Geek ›

Source: https://www.howtogeek.com/739300/best-budget-android-phones/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Max Buondonno

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