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…

December 6, 2017 CuttingEdgeTech

While prices aren’t quite as good as they were during Black Friday, you can still find some decent graphics card deals right now. Case in point: Newegg is selling the EVGA GTX 1080 SC Gaming ACX 3.0 graphics card for $520 after a $20 rebate. This offer also comes with a free copy of Destiny 2.Not counting the game, that’s about $40 cheaper than Amazon’s price for this card—provided you file the rebate. Newegg’s offer ends at 11:59 PM Pacific on Friday, December 7.In our graphics card roundup, we liked the GTX 1080 as a solid enthusiast-level graphics card for…

December 6, 2017 CuttingEdgeTech

“What graphics card within my budget gives me the best bang for my buck?”That simple question cuts to the core of what people hunting for a new graphics card look for: the most oomph they can afford. Sure, the technological leaps behind each new GPU can be interesting on their own, but most everyone just wants to crank up the detail settings on Far Cry and get right to playing. Last updated 12/6/2017 to add information to the best budget graphics card section about AMD quietly releasing a lower-powered version of the Radeon RX 560 with the same name. Pricing was…

December 6, 2017 CuttingEdgeTech

With the Pixel phones, Google aims to make a compelling smartphone experience, even if that means making some changes to Android. That’s why the version of Android 8.0 Oreo that ships on the Pixel 2 and 2 XL isn’t quite what you’ll find on other stock Android devices. Some of the coolest bonus features are hiding beneath the surface of Google’s latest phones, but we’ll tell you our favorites here. Wallpaper-based themes Changing your wallpaper is something you probably do on a regular basis. Usually, that just gets you a new wallpaper as expected, but there’s a neat extra on the…