December 8, 2017 CuttingEdgeTech

How much does two inches matter? You wouldn’t think it’d be a huge factor, but when I reviewed the Alienware 17 I called it “staggeringly huge” and said it was “time to hit the gym” if you wanted to carry one around. Since then, I’ve spent a few weeks using the Alienware 15—a laptop with the potential to be just as powerful, but in a slightly lighter package.And it turns out that’s good enough.This one is just right Don’t get me wrong: The Alienware 15 is still a massive laptop, especially if you put it up against competing 15-inchers. This…

December 7, 2017 CuttingEdgeTech

Updated Dec. 7: We’ve updated this story with the price of the Surface Pro (2017) with LTE. See “Price and release date” below for more details.With the the Surface Pro (2017), Microsoft has rebooted its flagship Surface product, one of the leading 2-in-1s in the category. It’s also shedding the numerical designations of prior products. If you’ve owned a Surface Pro 4, however, you already have a good idea of what Microsoft has in store for you with the new Surface Pro. We’ve assembled everything we know about the new Surface Pro: the price and release date, the specs, and our…

December 7, 2017 CuttingEdgeTech

If you missed out on Best Buy’s Black Friday deal on the WD Easystore 8TB external hard drive, you’re in luck. Today it’s one of the big box retailer’s daily doorbusters, though its price tag of $140 isn’t quite as cheap.That’s still a very good deal, however. While this Easystore drive is part of Western Digital’s exclusive line for Best Buy, its equivalents at Amazon and other retailers are currently selling for about $45 more. This discount also undercuts last week’s sale price of $150.This drive comes with USB 3.0, which WD says allows transfer rates of up to 5 gigabits…

December 7, 2017 CuttingEdgeTech

The HP Envy x2 joins a growing cohort of Surface Pro clones, but with one big difference: Inside it is a Snapdragon 835, offering battery life of up to 20 hours. We spent a little time with it at the Qualcomm Technology Forum to see what a new chip would do in an established category.Externally, HP’s Envy x2 changes another key thing about HP’s line of Windows tablets: it removes the kickstand from the tablet itself and puts it inside the keyboard case. Normally, that’s a risky decision: Samsung’s Galaxy Book is an otherwise excellent Windows tablet, but its keyboard…

December 7, 2017 CuttingEdgeTech

It’s that time of year yet again, and what an amazing year it’s been for computer enthusiasts. In this episode of the Full Nerd, Gordon Mah Ung, Brad Chacos, Alaina Yee, and Adam Patrick Murray name the best PC hardware of 2017.These aren’t PCWorld’s formal picks—they’re the opinions of the Full Nerd podcast group alone. We didn’t hold staff-wide meetings or create elaborate Excel spreadsheets full of information about every gizmo reviewed in 2017. Instead, each member of the Full Nerd crew walked into the studio armed with their personal lists of the best hardware in each category, ready to cajole and convince…

December 6, 2017 CuttingEdgeTech

On Wednesday, Qualcomm revealed its first concrete details of the Snapdragon 845, the next-generation mobile chip that stands a good chance of being in your next smartphone. The 845 will ship in early 2018, and appear in phones sometime after that.Qualcomm calls the Snapdragon 845 a chip to improve both artificial intelligence and immersion, blending the future of smart devices with the past. At its heart lies the Kryo 385, the semi-custom, upgraded CPU. It’s still an eight-core device, with four performance cores running at 2.8GHz and four energy-efficient cores running at 1.8GHz. That represents a 25- to 30-percent improvement over the…

December 6, 2017 CuttingEdgeTech

If you thought this year’s Android flagship phones were fast, wait until next year. Qualcomm has unveiled its next-generation chip, the Snapdragon 845, and it’s more than just the next number in the evolution: It’s a ground-up redesign of the platform’s architecture. And it’s sure to have a profound affect on next year’s crop of premium Android handsets.While the 835 was mostly focused on performance and speed, the 845 brings a slew of enhancements to how phones will use the processor for AI, photos, and, of course, battery life. We’ll probably have to wait until the Galaxy S9 to see…

December 6, 2017 CuttingEdgeTech

Dash cams are already essential in many countries because of scam artists who try to create accidents so they can sue you. They’ve also proven useful for catching the occasional meteor, as happened in Thailand and in Russia a few years ago.But while auto cons aren’t as common here, recording your excursions is a reasonable precaution to take—especially if you’re driving professionally.December 6, 2017: Updated with our review of the Vava Dash Cam (currently $120 on Amazon), our new top pick for single-channel dash cams. It’s an impressive first-timer that checks off a lot of boxes. Read our full review. To read this…