Category Archives: Internet

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is $30 off right now on Amazon Prime Day Eve

There’s been a significant Amazon Kindle Paperwhite price drop today, just hours before the Amazon Prime Day deals kick off for a 30-hour stretch.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is $30 off today only, which means you’re paying $79.99 for the most popular Amazon e-reader, as opposed to the usual $109.99.

Bear in mind that this is a Certified Refurbished Kindle Paperwhite e-reader, according to Amazon, which means it’s likely an open box scenario in which someone bought it and returned it within 30 days, not wanting it.

This is the best-selling Kindle, but you won’t be able to see today’s deal unless you’re a Prime member in the US or Prime Student subscriber.

More Amazon Prime Day news to come

Amazon Prime Day is now shaping up to be a massive sales day for the online retailer, on the scale of its Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.

Almost every Amazon device seems to be on sale, including Amazon Echo, and we expect the company to be hawking more of its goods.

Amazon Prime Day is technically tomorrow, starting at 6PM ET / 9PM PT, dipping into July 10. The official ‘Prime Day’ date is all day on July 11.

With deep discounts like this one for the Kindle Paperwhite 3rd Generation, we expect to see more refurbished items with price drops percentages in the double digits.

It’s a good sign. We’ll have more early deals, leaks and a rundown of the discounts at the link below.

      

Download of the day – Ryse: Son of Rome

GameSessions is a service that lets you try PC games free before deciding whether to buy them. Today, it launched GameSessions Giveaways – a new service that gives away games to download, play and keep for free.

The first freebie is third-person action adventure title Ryse: Son of Rome. The game is available to download for 30 days, and will be activated once you’ve played for about five minutes.

Are you not entertained?

Ryse follows the story of young Roman legionary Marius Titus, seeking refuge in the haunted, misty isles of Britannia after witnessing the slaughter of his family by barbarian marauders.

Once you’ve battled through the single-player campaign, Gladiator mode lets you team up with a friend to fights off waves of enemies and traps in the Colosseum. Are you ready to do your duty for Rome?

Download here: Ryse: Son of Rome

Download of the Day is our pick of the best free software around – whether it’s useful, fun, or just plain silly. If you have any recommendations, please send them to downloads@techradar.com.

      

Chromebooks are testing a touchscreen-friendly redesign

With more Chromebooks sporting touchscreens and even stylus support, like Samsung’s latest Chromebook Pro, it’s not surprising to see a touch-friendly launcher arrive for Chrome OS.

Note that this refreshed launcher is still in the experimental playing-around-with-it stage at this point and only present in the Canary channel (which is the test bed for new Chrome OS features).

As the YouTube video below shows, the launcher nestles at the bottom of the screen, showing just a small collection of suggested apps and a search bar. Users can swipe up to reveal the full bank of app icons. You also get the ability to trigger a voice search with a simple tap of the finger.

A touch early

Some of the commenting developers aren’t too impressed with the aesthetics of the launcher as it stands, but it’s still very early days – plus bear in mind that it will doubtless be pretty rough around the edges and glitch-filled, given that the feature is just making its debut in Canary.

Still, even if you’ve no intention of using it yet, it’s very definitely an interesting insight into the direction Google is heading here, and owners of touchscreen Chromebooks can only hope that progress down this particular avenue turns out to be swift.

Of course, Google is also busy implementing support for Android apps across Chromebooks, and all of the Chrome OS-toting laptops that launch this year will have this facility built in right out of the box.

Google has to keep its Chromebooks more competitive now that Microsoft has unleashed Windows 10 S, which aims to be a big hit in the education market – the cheap-and-cheerful territory where Google dominates.

Via: Engadget

      

Head back to school with $150 off the Microsoft Surface Book

Microsoft has made some major strides in education between Windows 10 S and its latest Surface Laptop, and now the company is kicking off its back to school sale.

A few notable items include a specially priced $899 Surface Pro 4 with a black type cover – one of the very few ways of getting Microsoft’s flagship tablet bundled with its essential keyboard. And in case you’re not a student, you can get the same package for $999.

Alternatively, the Surface Book sees an $150 discount that drops the price of the base model with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 128GB SSD to $1,349.

Sadly, the latest Surface Pro or Surface Laptop isn’t included in this back to school sale, but the latter can be picked up with an $100 discount if you’re a student. Purchasing any Surface device during this sale comes with a free three-month trial of Groove’s streaming music service.

Users can pick up Intel’s $429 Software Starter Pack, which includes seven creativity-center programs, when purchasing an Dell XPS 15, Dell XPS 13, HP Spectre x360, and Lenovo Yoga 910. Although, there isn’t a free Xbox One like last year, Microsoft is selling Xbox One S bundles with a $20 discount.

      

10 best Android tablets of 2017: which should you buy?

Google Pixel C

Find the best Android tablet in the US has increasingly become a difficult buying decision, as they come in all shapes, sizes and prices. But there’s hope.

We’ve tested and sorted through the latest Android tablets in order to come up with a top 10 list, all ranked below. Our recommendations are a combination of performance for your dollar, design, features, build quality and value.

This comprehensive Android tablet list will be updated frequently throughout 2017, as Samsung, Google and many other companies continue to release new tablets and upgrade the Android software with Android Nougat and Android O.

Here are the best tablets you can buy this year.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is easily the best Android tablet to date, headlined by an HDR-ready display, four powerful speakers and an upgraded S Pen that’s included inside the box. The keyboard folio is a worthwhile extra.

It’s actually a bit too future-proofed in some ways. Its HDR screen looks great, but content from Netflix and Amazon isn’t here yet – at least not on tablets. But that shouldn’t stop you from considering Samsung’s latest and greatest if you want a top-tier Android tablet.

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Tab S3

Google Pixel C

The Asus ZenPad 3S 10 might look like an iPad in design, but given its roots in Android, it’s obviously a much different beast.

For your money, it’s a hard ask to find another Android tablet that puts classy design at the forefront like the ZenPad 3S 10. Paired with its gorgeous 2K display and strong audio chips, it makes quite the impression.

Our review points out that there are a few low points in the presentation, but issues aside, the amount of features and performance level you get here is well worth the rather low asking price.

Read the full review: Asus ZenPad 3S 10

Google Pixel C

Google’s first foray into crafting its very own tablets started couldn’t have gone much better. The Pixel C is the best Android tablet out there, and for a few reasons.

Its design borrows from the gorgeous Chromebook Pixel and builds upon it, with versatility to allow easy switching between a standalone tablet or a laptop. Android power users will also appreciate that it runs stock OS and thus, like Nexus and Pixel products, the Pixel C is now running the latest software, Android Nougat.

The Pixel C certainly isn’t cheap, but you won’t find another Android tablet packed with as much power, style, and the latest software updates for years to come.

Read the full review: Google Pixel C

Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro

Most tablets are very similar to one another, but not the Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro. It sits in its own sub-category of Android tablets that try and succeed at being weird, yet awesome.

This tablet has all of the usual amenities that one desires in a 2017 tablet, such as 2,560 x 1600 display and a huge 10,200mAh battery. But this tablet also houses a hidden projector that can splash the screen onto a wall for night-time viewing. Cool, right? It’s novel, but actually useful.

Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro

Nvidia Shield Tablet K1

One of the best things about the Huawei MediaPad M3 is its build quality. The slim, light aluminum frame looks and feels good in the hand.

The screen and speakers are great, too. These attributes make the MediaPad M3 a competent entertainment tablet. And despite a few instances of lousy gaming performance, the Kirin 950 does an admirable job of keeping things smooth.

You can find a cheaper tablet further down on the list, but you might be giving up a compact, premium design of the MediaPad M3.

Read the full review: Huawei MediaPad M3 8.0

The Amazon Fire HD 8 (2017) is among the best of the retail giant’s tablets, as while it’s in many ways lower end than the similar HD 10, the smaller screen is sharper as a result, and the price is lower.

It also delivers surprisingly strong gaming performance, with a decent amount of power for the money. The speakers aren’t great and the cameras are awful, but tablets aren’t for taking photos and you can always use headphones.

What you do get is solid if not spectacular performance, and tight integration with Amazon’s other services through Fire OS, all at a price that’s well below most of the non-Amazon branded competition. You should also note that if you already own the 2016 version of this tablet, it won’t be worth upgrading to the 2017 version as the differences are very minimal.

Read the full review: Amazon Fire HD 8 (2017)

The Amazon Fire HD 10 is the company’s flagship tablet, but to call it a flagship is misleading, as while it’s top of the range it still sports middling specs at best, but that’s okay, because it’s also very affordable.

Its 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 screen doesn’t provide a very sharp picture, but audio fares much better thanks to loud and clear stereo speakers, and with up to 64GB of built in storage plus a microSD card slot there’s plenty of room for apps, games and other media.

Which is good, because this being an Amazon product you’re faced with things to buy, download, rent and stream at every turn.

Read the full review: Amazon Fire HD 10

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

Samsung is firing straight at the iPad’s greatest weakness with the Galaxy Tab S2: storage capacity. The latest from the popular smartphone and tablet maker offers 32GB of internal storage as the standard out of the box, with support for up to 128GB via the microSD slot.

It also stands out amongst the larger tablet competition with a stellar 2,048 x 1,536 Super AMOLED display and Samsung’s own zippy Exynos 7 5433 octa-core chipset, which consists of a 1.9GHz quad-core processor working in tandem with a 1.3GHz quad-core processor.

Given that the Tab S3 sits at the top of our list, the S2 is now an even better deal.

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

Tablets don’t get any cheaper than this – well, functional ones don’t anyway. The incredibly low price and sturdy design make the Amazon Fire a great choice to give to a kid – in fact, Amazon’s even built a (pricier) version specifically for children.

But even for a grown audience the Amazon Fire far exceeds expectations, with a fairly bright 7.0-inch screen, acceptable speakers, solid battery life and even reasonable performance, with a snappy interface and the ability to run most games.

Fire OS won’t suit everyone and this isn’t a tablet that impresses once you take the price out of the equation, but for what the Amazon Fire costs it would almost be rude not to buy it.

Read the full review: Amazon Fire 7 (2017)

Samsung Galaxy Tab S

There’s no shame in buying last-gen tech products. The best-case scenario sees you saving a bunch of cash, while still having access to fairly modern specifications. And with the Galaxy Tab S, that’s exactly what you’ll get, plus some.

The Galaxy Tab S3 is the latest and greatest in Samsung’s line of tablets. But the Tab S is still a respectable purchase, packing in impressive specs like a Super AMOLED display pushing 2560 x 1600.

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Tab S

      

Sky and TalkTalk broadband hit by massive ongoing outage

Sky broadband (and phone) users have been hit by a major outage in the Sussex area, and the problem may not be fixed for some folks until this evening, with TalkTalk subscribers also affected.

The cause? Apparently extensive damage was caused to fibre optic cables by digging works carried out by a third party, who apparently speared some key cables with a fence post.

Sky says there are seven separate breaks in fibre cables which need to be repaired.

At the time of writing, the most recent tweet from the firm notes that several exchanges are back online now, although ‘stability may be [an] issue’ with connections.

A previous tweet stated that service should be restored for everyone by this evening.

So that means some Sky subscribers could still have a fair bit of downtime on their hands, for both broadband and phone service.

According to Sky, the affected areas include the following:

Baldslow, Battle, Beckley, Bexhill, Brede, Brightling, Brookland, Castleham, Cooden, Crowhurst, Guestling, Hastings, Iden, Lydd, Ninfield, Northiam, New Romney, Peasmarsh, Rye, Sedlescombe, Staplecross, Wittersham, Eastbourne, Hampden Park, Alfriston, Newhaven, Peacehaven, Polegate, Pevensey Marina, Pevensey, Seaford, East Dean.

TalkTalk downdown

As mentioned, this issue has also affected TalkTalk broadband, phone and TV services, with the ISP stating that customers connected to the Seaford, Newhaven, Herstmonceux, Ninfield and Polegate exchanges have been hit by downtime.

On its service status dashboard, TalkTalk says that Openreach currently has a team of engineers repairing the cables, and the situation is the same as with Sky when it comes to an estimated timeframe for resolution.

TalkTalk noted: “We have been advised that repairs are due to be completed early evening, and continue to keep in contact with Openreach for further updates.”

Via: Trusted Reviews

      

Download of the day: Splashy

Splashy, created by Tomislav Čukelj, is a brilliant little tool for Windows, Mac and Linux that automatically using beautiful pictures from Unsplash – our favorite public domain stock photography site.

Unsplash is a cut above most public domain stock image sites, and all the pictures in its archive have been released into the public domain by skilled photographers with a real passion for their craft.

Splashy lets you take your pick from the site’s various carefully curated categories, and change how often the photo changes.

It’s a simple idea neatly executed, and brings a touch of the unexpected to your day. The download is tiny too, so there’s no reason not to try it.

Download here: Splashy

Download of the Day is our pick of the best free software around – whether it’s useful, fun, or just plain silly. If you have any recommendations, please send them to downloads@techradar.com.

      

Banish the glue blues with iFixit’s new MacBook Pro repair kit

iFixit has long complained about the MacBook Pro being difficult to repair, and in an interesting move the teardown experts have decided to take action, producing a purpose-built kit to replace the laptop’s battery.

The battery is one of the trickiest components to switch out when it gives up the ghost, thanks to Apple’s excessive use of glue to secure the power pack in modern MacBook Pros.

So the new kit, which comes in different flavors targeted at Retina MacBook Pro models from 2012 through to 2015, uses a specially concocted solution – a safe blend of household chemicals, apparently – to dissolve the adhesive and free the battery from the gluey grasp of the notebook’s chassis.

Of course, it’s not just a simple matter of applying some solution and you’re done. The kit comes with a number of other tools you’ll need such as tweezers and the appropriate screwdrivers (Torx, Pentalobe etc), along with a full guide to making the repair (plus you get a replacement battery, naturally).

Also note that easing the existing battery out requires “a lot of caution and patience” to quote iFixit.

DIY ETA

The exact difficulty level and time it’ll take varies depending on the precise model of MacBook Pro – and doubtless the tech DIY skills of the person making the repair, too – but iFixit’s estimated times for the process range from 20 minutes up to two hours.

But still, it’ll be time well spent considering the kits cost from $90 to $110 (£70 to £85, or AU$120 to AU$145), and Apple charges $199 (£155, AU$260) to replace the MacBook Pro’s battery.

Apple isn’t the only company to come under fire for manufacturing non-upgradable and difficult to repair laptops, with Microsoft also copping flak for its Surface hybrids. Indeed, at the end of last month, Greenpeace blasted both MacBooks and Surface devices for being an environmental nightmare.

Maybe we’ll see more of these sort of kits from iFixit in the future, perhaps also aimed at the likes of the Surface Book or Surface Laptop. Because not only is it cheaper to make your own repairs like so, but it’s also satisfying to be self-sufficient enough in tech terms to do some DIY repairs at home.

Via: Apple Insider

      

Broadband deal of the week: Plusnet 76Mb superfast broadband for less than £30pm

It’s been a big week for fibre broadband. First came Virgin Media’s announcement that it was introducing a new, cheaper superfast broadband tariff called VIVID 50. And now Plusnet has just removed the activation fee from its rapid 76Mb Unlimited Fibre Extra broadband.

That may not sound like a big deal, but when you consider that the monthly tariff is a shade less than £30 you’ve got the recipe for a fantastic deal. And you’ve only got until midnight next Tuesday to grab it…

When you compare it to the competition, you can really see what a cracking internet deal this is from the BT-owned Plusnet. Take BT’s own Infinity 1 fibre broadband for example. The monthly tariff is exactly the same at £29.95, but you have to pay a £59.99 upfront fee for delivery of the router and set-up. it is currently throwing in a £125 pre-paid Mastercard to soften the blow, but the 52Mb speeds are almost a third less than Plusnet Extra.

Virgin Media on the other hand can top Plusnet’s speeds, but will set you back more every month. Go for Virgin VIVID 100 broadband for a lightning-fast 100Mb cable connection, but be prepared to pay £32 a month on top of a £20 activation fee. Plus, you may struggle to get Virgin broadband – its UK coverage is currently at around 60%.

Deal of the week: Plusnet Unlimited Fibre Extra broadband

Plusnet Unlimited Fibre Extra | 12 months | Up to 76Mb | Line rental inc. | No TV | FREE activation | £29.99pm
If you’re hunting around for the best broadband deals on the market, you may scoff at paying almost £30 a month – there are certainly cheaper plans out there. But this one’s all about the speed. 76Mb is equivalent to around 9.5MB per second. Rapid! Total cost of 12 months £359.88

View this Plusnet broadband deal of the week

Do I need 76Mb superfast fibre broadband?

Not everybody will – if you’re not a heavy home internet user and just need it to keep on top of your emails and browse the web, then go for one of our cheap broadband deal picks instead.

But if you’re on anything less than 76Mb now and you’re constantly dogged by interrupted video streaming or slow downloads, then this Plusnet offer is the perfect opportunity to upgrade. We think it’s well worth considering 76Mb broadband or faster if you fall in to one or more of these categories:

  • More than 5 people in your household who all use the internet at once
  • You stream 4K Ultra HD content to your TV
  • You’re an avid online gamer who needs to avoid lagging
  • You download a lot of music and films and want them as fast as possible

Existing Plusnet customers

It’s worth noting that this deal is only open to new Plusnet customers. So if you’re already with the provider or have been before, you won’t be eligible for our deal of the week.

Luckily if you’re broadband contract is up for renewal, we’ve made it dead simple to find another great deal. Head to our best broadband deals page and use our price comparison chart to fish out the cheapest internet packages available right now.

      

Browser-based VR gains momentum as Apple devs join WebVR project

There’s some good news on the WebVR front, with developers from Apple having just joined the project, adding more weight to the initiative and pushing it forward (or at least that’s the hope, anyway).

Google’s Brandon Jones, a Chrome WebVR developer and one of the chairs of the WebVR community group, observed the Apple devs signing up and brought the matter to light in a tweet (spotted by Upload VR).

The idea of WebVR is to produce virtual reality experiences which work in a web browser and are hardware agnostic, so you can enjoy them with whatever headset you happen to own – from the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift down to Google Cardboard.

All you need is to be viewing the content in a browser which supports displaying WebVR, and as Jones observed in his tweet, Apple’s move means the spec now has every major browser vendor on board – Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and now Safari.

Of course, before we get too carried away, three Apple developers signing up to the community does not mean Tim Cook’s firm has suddenly decided that WebVR is going to be a big thing with its browser. It could potentially mean something along those lines – but equally it could mean nothing, and simply be a move born out of mere curiosity on the part of these folks.

Getting real

Still, the fact remains that it can’t be a bad sign, particularly as Apple is looking to push forward in a major way with virtual reality. We saw this clearly at last month’s WWDC, where a number of announcements were made including the firm’s Metal 2 graphics tech being optimized for VR development (with High Sierra) and Mac computers finally getting support for HTC Vive and SteamVR.

But the road ahead for WebVR is a long one, because even putting Safari aside (which of course doesn’t support the standard – yet), all the various headsets are only compatible with certain browsers as it stands (for example, Vive and Rift aren’t compatible with Edge).

And as we saw last year, there are still technical achievements and goals to be reached, including pushing web-based VR to a fully smooth 90 frames per second experience.

So, there’s still plenty of work to be done, but hopefully this is another step in the right direction towards the WebVR standard realizing its full potential.