February 15, 2018 CuttingEdgeTech

Samsung’s Notebook 7 Spin is not the fastest quad-core convertible to harness Intel’s game-changing 8th-generation CPU, but the midrange laptop proves that speed isn’t everything. Boasting a gorgeous 13-inch touch display, solid quad-core performance and—best of all—impressive battery life, the Spin should please budget-conscious laptop shoppers who value stamina over sheer speed.Price and specifications The latest version of the Notebook 7 Spin is—at launch, anyway—a one-size-fits-all affair. For a list price of $900, you get a 13.3-inch, 2-in-1 convertible with an 8th-generation quad-core Intel Core i5-8250U processor, a 256GB solid-state drive, and 8GB of DDR3 RAM. (Samsung says a version…

February 15, 2018 CuttingEdgeTech

A virtual private network (VPN) service is a good way to secure your web traffic and keep it private from snoops like a nosy internet service provider or passive government surveillance. One problem with VPN services, however, is that you have to implicitly trust that your VPN provider isn’t doing something shady such as monitoring the sites you visit.[Further reading: The best VPN services of 2018]That’s why for the extra privacy-conscious a third-party VPN won’t do. The alternative then is to create your own VPN on a private virtual server that you control using a project such as Algo from…

February 14, 2018 CuttingEdgeTech

The 2018 Winter Olympics are in full swing, but watching online via NBC can be more pain than its worth. Fortunately, there are other ways of watching your favorite sports: You can use a VPN to view streams from Canada, Australia, and (for some), the United Kingdom, as long as you don’t mind coverage not focused on American competitors.Many VPNs will likely work with the Australian and Canadian streams, but if you don’t already have a provider, here’s a rundown of three VPNs that will work—including a free option. We’ve also got details on connecting with BBC’s iPlayer, because that…

February 14, 2018 CuttingEdgeTech

EA’s “On the House” program has given away some great free games over the past few years, but almost felt like it took a hiatus during 2017. It didn’t, but after starting strong with Mass Effect 2 last January the rest of the year featured giveaways of more niche games (Syberia II), downright awful games (Dead in Bermuda), a few repeats (Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault and Plants vs. Zombies for the hundredth time) and one lone standout, Steamworld Dig.On the House is starting semi-strong for 2018 though, with 2008’s sci-fi horror classic Dead Space up for grabs. Okay, technically this…

February 14, 2018 CuttingEdgeTech

Long hours at work and the demographics of an aging population mean small businesses in Japan face extra pressures over and above the common pain points of cutting costs, increasing revenue and retaining high quality staff, even though the country is enjoying its longest period of economic growth since the 1990s.That growth looks set to continue with exports, consumer spending and business confidence all rising – making this a good time to make sure your business is in the best position to handle challenges, and take advantage of new opportunities.But the on-going Work-Style Reform means you must plan for changes…

February 14, 2018 CuttingEdgeTech

The way we work is being transformed by people, process and technology. Business is no longer about sitting in the office, tied to the desktop PC and the phone, but about working where you need to, when you need to, and using the right device for the job.Cloud and mobile technologies are empowering a new, more flexible approach, where we have the tools and information to be effective whenever, wherever. Put that together with data-driven business intelligence, and we’re seeing waves of innovation opening up new products and services, which in turn are opportunities for businesses of all sizes to…

February 14, 2018 CuttingEdgeTech

Using a processor’s built-in graphics to play games has always required tedious tinkering. Integrated graphics aren’t anywhere near as powerful as standalone graphics cards, so you need to tweak your resolution and visual settings to coax many games into even running. But Intel’s latest drivers make it easier than ever for gamers on integrated graphics to start playing by adding in an automatic game optimization tool similar to what’s available in Nvidia and AMD’s software.The Intel Graphics Driver for Windows version 15.65 adds in the new capabilities to the company’s Graphics Control Panel software, Tom’s Hardware points out, along with…

February 14, 2018 CuttingEdgeTech

The Samsung 860 EVO has convinced us: It is now safe to equate TLC (Triple-Level-Cell) SSDs with top-notch SATA performance. TLC-NAND SSDs used to be more about affordability, but the 860 EVO is the third TLC-NAND drive we’ve tested that doesn’t bog down on long sustained transfers. (The other drives are the identical-except-for-the-label WD Blue 3D and Sandisk Ultra 3D.)We even quadrupled our normal 20GB copies, and the 860 EVO easily maintained the pace. In fact, despite being quite a bit cheaper, the 860 EVO’s performance compares more than favorably with that of its 860 Pro cousin. You can check out…