December 11, 2017 CuttingEdgeTech

If you haven’t remodeled in recent years, you might be surprised to find that new canister-style lights no longer include the traditional recessed receptacle that accepts a screw-in bulb. Rather, the light fixture itself is static, including a ring of LEDs inside a sealed module. When the LEDs eventually die (after 10 years or so), you just replace the whole thing rather than removing and screwing in a new light bulb.What’s wrong with the old way? These new designs are considerably smaller than old canisters, are easier to install, and generally look better. (It also keeps homeowners or renters from…

December 11, 2017 CuttingEdgeTech

The best free video editing software can be surprisingly good. The choices vary widely and include include scaled-down, trial versions of professional suites, open-source alternatives with a plethora of features, and simple applications aimed at home video creators. Our top picks will be functional for many users, across many use cases.If you’re willing to spend a little money, check out our reviews of paid consumer video editing software. Typically, those are easier to use than the free ones here thanks to great support and tutorial libraries and more refined interfaces, but they don’t necessarily have more features.To read this article…

December 11, 2017 CuttingEdgeTech

Smaller form-factor PCs typically go one of two ways: First, you can prioritize the small part of the equation. This leaves you with something beautifully tiny, but at the cost of future upgrades—space-saving comes with the caveat of proprietary and non-replaceable parts. (See: Alienware Alpha.) Or you can prioritize future upgrades, which typically means a larger and less aesthetically pleasing machine.The MSI Trident V3 is the rare machine that can do both—at least to some extent.MSI Trident V3 vs. consoles It really is tiny. Scale can be tough to judge in photographs, but at 13.6 by 9.2 by 2.8 inches,…

December 11, 2017 CuttingEdgeTech

VSDC has a lot of features you won’t find in other free video editors, like picture-in-picture, video stabilization, and the ability to upload multiple YouTube videos at once. If you can deal with its quirks, it’s one of the most powerful options available. But its interface isn’t very user-friendly, it has some major limitations, and the free version essentially throttles the speed at which you can process your videos.The interface is powerful, but it’s not for the uninitiated. A great deal of information is displayed at any given time–enough to overwhelm newbies. That said, VSDC does come with a drag-and-drop,…

December 11, 2017 CuttingEdgeTech

Hitfilm Express takes aim at indie filmmakers with great tutorials and powerful features. Its unconventional interface could turn off true amateurs who just want to make a home movie, and it has an unappealing download procedure, but it’s still a great choice if you want to start making fun videos that mirror the sorts of effects and techniques you see in professional films and web series.The user interface is stylish and pleasant to use, but it does diverge from the standard consumer video editing software workflow in a couple of areas. If you’re not already accustomed to other software, this…

December 11, 2017 CuttingEdgeTech

Lightworks has an unusual history for free video editing software—it was born out of high-end, professional film editing software that was used to edit such Hollywood classics as Pulp Fiction. Today, it’s just as good with digital media, and it’s offered in both a paid and free version. The free version is strikingly powerful in terms of features, but its export options are very limited.Lightworks guides you through the process of setting up your first project with simple tooltips, but they’re a far cry for the powerful tutorials and wizards available in some other software. While it supports all the…

December 11, 2017 CuttingEdgeTech

Shotcut is an open-source, free video editing program that has been around for more than a decade. It’s not the most intuitive or professionally presented, but beneath its rough presentation lies a remarkably powerful program.When you first start Shotcut, you might be surprised at what you don’t see—very little of its interface is exposed in the beginning. But click on the buttons in the top bar, and you’ll find numerous views and UI elements that prove to be much more robust than you’d guess at first glance. They’re resizable and undockable, making this one of the most heavily customizable free…

December 11, 2017 CuttingEdgeTech

If you thought Sphero’s original BB-8 app-enabled robot was a blast back in 2015, just wait ‘til you see their take on Star Wars’ most beloved droid: R2-D2.The Sphero R2-D2 ($179.95 MSRP; same price on Amazon and the Apple store) is here in advance of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which continues the sci-fi saga’s main storyline, and it’s just as immediately impressive as BB-8. It’ll cruise around your home with ease using the iPhone/iPad companion app, the head rotates and reacts just like the real droid in the movie, and it even has movie-perfect sound effects and little animation routines.To…

December 9, 2017 CuttingEdgeTech

Microsoft’s 12 Days of Deals continues on today with a number of discounts across various Dell laptops and desktops. Two caught our eye: the highly-reviewed Dell XPS 13 9360 ultrabook on sale for $999, and the best budget gaming laptop, the Dell Inspiron 15, on sale for $599.Dell XPS 9360: why it’s a good deal Here’s why we like the $999 Dell XPS 13 9360 deal. For one thing, Dell’s XPS 13 ultrabooks consistently perform at or near the top of our tests: we rated the 2017 Dell XPS 13 4.5 out of 5 stars, and the 2016 Dell XPS 13 equally…