Categories
Tech News

This Qi-compatible 10W wireless charger is just $5.50

Charging a phone with cords is the worst. It’s not so much the tangled mess they can get into as that they’re unreliable. Cords slip, they look like they’re making contact to start charging, and then they don’t. Today, you can bypass all that for under $6 if you have a Qi-friendly phone. Amazon is selling the Aukey 10W Qi-compatible wireless fast charger for $5.50 with the checkout code 9D3A7ILS.

This charger can use a Quick Charge or Samsung Fast Charge wall charger to boost the charging speed of Android phones using the full 10W. Any iPhone that supports the Qi standard will also work with this wireless charger.

The charging base features a soft thermoplastic polyurethane surface, with a metallic edge. It’s a nice overall look that won’t look out of place on a nightstand or a desk. There’s also a built-in LED to show when the phone is charging.

The charger comes with a micro-USB cable, the charger, user manual, a 45-day money back guarantee, and a two-year warranty. You’ll have to supply your own wall charger, but that should have come with your phone.

Aukey says this charger will work with most cases that are less than 3mm (0.12 inch) thick.

[Today’s deal: Aukey 10W Qi wireless charger for $5.50 with checkout code 9D3A7ILS on Amazon.]

Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.

Ian is an independent writer based in Israel who has never met a tech subject he didn’t like. He primarily covers Windows, PC and gaming hardware, video and music streaming services, social networks, and browsers. When he’s not covering the news he’s working on how-to tips for PC users, or tuning his eGPU setup.

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Categories
Game

PlayStation VR: 5 Common Problems and How to Solve Them

There’s nothing better than pulling a PlayStation VR headset from its packaging, putting it on your head for the first time, and diving into the wonderful worlds that only virtual reality can deliver. Virtual reality is intense, surreal, and unlike anything we’ve seen in video games before.

At the same time, there’s nothing worse than plugging in your PSVR for the first time, only to discover that it isn’t working the way it’s supposed to. To help you iron out the kinks, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most common problems plaguing Sony’s newfangled headset, as well as the steps you can take to rectify them. Not all of these will affect every user — particularly those pertaining to motion sickness — and not every solution we put forth is guaranteed to fix your problem. For more serious issues, you’ll likely have to contact Sony directly.

Further reading:

How to get in touch with Sony

Phone: 1-800-345-7669

Unofficial VR Reddit

Helpful Articles

Twitter: @AskPlayStation

Your headset has tracking issues

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

If your PlayStation VR headset isn’t tracking your movement properly, you might see an “outside of area” message appear or notice that your in-game avatar is moving without your direct input.

Solutions:

The problem could be related to lighting, as the PlayStation Camera is primarily tracking your headset via a number of blue lights on its surface. Tracking issues can happen for a variety of reasons, however, so don’t lose hope if the first few solutions don’t work for you.

  • Make sure that no other light source is interfering with the PlayStation VR headset or camera. Sony has noted that the tracking issue can stem from light reflecting off a window or mirror, so if possible, cover these up. After you’ve adjusted any nearby light sources, you’ll need to adjust the PlayStation Camera. To do this, go to Settings, select Devices, and choose PlayStation Camera.
  • If your lights don’t appear to be the problem, make sure you’re within the designated play area and that the PlayStation Camera can see you clearly. If possible, position yourself about six feet away from the camera, with your headset clearly displayed in the picture.
  • If the aforementioned steps don’t work, wipe both PlayStation Camera lenses with a cloth. The problem could be caused by a dirty lens.
  • A variety of Bluetooth devices can interfere with your headset’s signal. Make sure that all controllers — including any PlayStation Move controllers — are tied to the same user account as your headset and controllers.
  • If none of these steps solve your problem, then your tracking issues are likely caused by a hardware problem. Thankfully, you can easily set up a repair using Sony’s Online Service Tool.

Headset won’t power on or turns off

Perhaps one of the issues you’re running into has to do with turning the headset on or off. There are several cables that must be plugged into your headset, processor box, and PlayStation 4 console in order for the system to work properly — including a USB cable, two HDMI cables, a power cable, and a cable running directly to the headset. Ensure these are correctly connected before you start troubleshooting your headset.

Solutions:

If your headset is plugged in correctly and won’t turn on, the problem could stem from either the PSVR system software or a piece of hardware.

  • Update the PSVR system software before you try any other steps, which can be done in a similar manner to the PlayStation Camera. To do so, go to Settings and select Devices. Then, select PlayStation VR system software.
  • If your headset still isn’t working, check and make sure that the processor unit’s light is white. If it’s red, turn off your system, unplug the processor unit, plug it back in, and try to turn on both your console and headset. If this doesn’t work, you’ll need to contact PlayStation Support directly, which you can do using the following phone number: 1-800-345-7669.
  • If the light on the processor box is white and you still can’t see your PS4’s display through the headset, make sure that all HDMI and USB cables are plugged in correctly, as well as the headset’s connection cable. Then, try all other additional cables to make sure they aren’t causing the problem.
  • If changing cables doesn’t fix your issue, try cleaning the “attachment sensor” — located in the front of the headset — with a cloth.
  • If these steps don’t work, your headset likely needs to be repaired. To set up a repair, contact Sony using the following number: 1-800-345-7669.

On-screen image is blurry

PlayStation VR
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

One of the most common PSVR problems is a blurry picture, but this can often be solved by simply adjusting the device to better fit your eye orientation and unique head measurements.

Solutions:

You should be able to eradicate any blurry images in just a few minutes by checking a few settings and properly adjusting the PSVR to fit your head. This will likely have to be done again if a different player wears the headset.

  • Using the Quick Menu on your PS4 — which can be brought up by pressing the PlayStation button in the middle of your controller — select Adjust PlayStation VR and Adjust headset position. The “scope adjustment button” located at the bottom of your headset and the “headband release button” located on the back can both be used to give you an accurate, comfortable fit. After you put on the headset, use the rear dial to adjust the picture. This will likely fix any blur issues you might be experiencing.
  • If this doesn’t solve your problem, you may need to adjust the headset’s “eye-to-eye” distance. To do so, select Settings and choose Devices. Then, select PlayStation VR, choose eye-to-eye distance, and follow the on-screen instructions. The PlayStation Camera will then measure your face — just make sure you are about 70 centimeters away.
  • If these steps don’t clear up the blur issues, you’ll likely need to send in your PSVR for repairs. To set up a repair, contact Sony using the following number: 1-800-345-7669.

On-screen image is “drifting”

PlayStation VR
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

While using the PSVR headset, either in “cinematic” mode or when playing VR-enabled games, you may notice your picture drifting to one side of the display.

Solutions:

This is a common issue that, in many cases, can be fixed simply by adjusting the camera or quickly re-calibrating your headset.

  • If you’re playing a standard PS4 game or watching a movie using PSVR and the picture has drifted to one side, Sony recommends simply pressing and holding the “options” button on your controller. This will re-position the screen and should fix the issue.
  • For PSVR-enabled games, drifting is more than likely caused by the PlayStation Camera rather than the headset. Make sure you’re positioned directly in front of the camera, with about five or six feet between you and the device. Also, make sure the camera isn’t on a vibrating or moving surface. If it is, this could be because of its proximity to your PS4. Consider reorganizing your consoles and equipment if this is the case.
  • Some users have also reported success when switching from the new, cylindrical PlayStation Camera to the older design, which is more stable and resistant to vibrations.
  • If these steps don’t work, Sony suggests placing the headset on a stable, vibration-free location for 10 seconds.

PlayStation VR is making you sick

PlayStation VR
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

VR sickness is a very common occurrence, particularly with people who experience motion sickness while on roller coasters and in high-speed vehicles. The caveat of immersive virtual reality is that it can affect your equilibrium and balance, causing you to feel queasy when you are, in fact, completely motionless.

Solutions:

No single solution is going to alleviate everyone’s VR-induced nausea, but there are a few steps you’ll want to try — detailed by PlayStation VR users — in order to make your PSVR experience as pleasant and vomit-free as possible.

  • Don’t play standing up. The vast majority of PSVR games are meant to be played sitting down. If you’re feeling nauseous and your sense of balance is already off, you risk not only exacerbating the sickness but also injuring yourself.
  • If you begin feeling nauseous, don’t ignore it—first, try closing your eyes and seeing if it goes away on its own.
  • Try natural remedies. Both peppermint and ginger have fantastic reputations for improving nausea, and it’s likely that you already have them mixed in your teas or spices. 
  • Dramamine is a common over-the-counter medication for nausea relief and is a good option if herbal remedies aren’t doing the trick. Initially designed for people prone to carsickness, seasickness, or airsickness, it is also extremely useful in the VR world. Keep in mind that this medicine can cause drowsiness, so we don’t suggest taking it if you’ll have to drive or use other heavy machinery soon. Kids under 12 shouldn’t use the adult dosage, but there’s a children’s formula available for occasional use. 
  • Select less-intense virtual reality games or experiences. Below is our selection of PSVR games that are notorious for making you sick and those that aren’t as bad. VR is supposed to be a fun experience, so if you’re feeling miserable while playing, it might not be for you. 
Most likely to induce nausea Least likely to induce nausea
Rigs: Mechanized Combat League Job Simulator
EVE: Valkyrie Hustle Kings
Star Wars: Battlefront – Rogue One: X-Wing VR Mission Wayward Sky
Here They Lie Batman: Arkham VR
DriveClub VR Moss
PlayStation VR Worlds — “Scavenger’s Odyssey” game Blood & Truth
Resident Evil 7 in VR mode Rez Infinite
Battlezone Thumper
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim in VR Déraciné
Gran Turismo Sport Vacation Simulator
Borderlands 2 Beat Saber
No Man’s Sky Tetris Effect
Superhot Astro Bot Rescue Mission

Editors’ Choice






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Categories
Tech News

Microsoft’s latest sustainability report comes with a free Minecraft map

Microsoft has released its annual sustainability report and it comes with a unique twist: a free Minecraft city from Mojang Studios. Called ‘Sustainability City,’ the map lets players explore aspects of the sustainability report in an interactive way. As well, teachers can download half a dozen new lessons that ‘give students a sense of stewardship for the planet,’ according to Mojang.

In addition to letting players explore some of the ‘goals and themes’ from Microsoft’s latest sustainability report, according to Mojang, students will get to participate in activities that teach them about vital practices and building a greener, more sustainable community. The six lessons are called:

– Outflow Order
– Sustainable Food Production
– Wasted to Wanted
– Dependable Forests
– Alternative Energy
– Sustainable Home

Sustainable City can be downloaded for free within Minecraft: Education Edition, as well as from the Minecraft Marketplace’s ‘Education Collection.’ Once installed, the map will let you explore a landfill and learn about what kind of materials can be recycled, tour a sustainably built home, learn about responsible forestry, and more.

As for Microsoft’s 2020 Environmental Sustainability Report, you can head over to the company’s website to view the document. Among other things, Microsoft aims to be zero waste, water positive, and carbon negative by 2030.

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Categories
Computing

The HP Spectre x360 14 gets a lush OLED display and more AI smarts

The HP Spectre x360 14 sounds like it’s barely any different than its 13-inch or 15-inch siblings, but there’s actually a world of difference because of the screens. Announced Thursday night and due to ship in October for a starting price of $1,200, the Spectre x360 14’s 13.5-inch screen has a 3:2 aspect ratio. The ‘3:2’ refers to the height and width proportions of the display. 

You can see the resulting taller, more square shape in the below image, comparing the Spectre x360 14 (center) to a Spectre x360 13 (left) and a Spectre x360 15 (right). The 3:2 aspect ratio of the Spectre x360 14’s screen offers the height of a 15.6-inch laptop, while maintaining a body about the width of a 13.3-inch Spectre x360.

13.3, ‘14,’ 15.6 inch laptop HP

A 13.3-inch, 16:9 Spectre x360 13 (left), a 13.5-inch, 3:2 Spectre x360 14 (middle), and a 15.6-inch Spectre x360 15 (right).

Even better, the Spectre x360 14’s panel is a gorgeous OLED with a resolution of 3000×2000. Because it’s OLED, which can essentially shut off each pixel for black content (a typical LCD can only try to block the light), it has a ridiculous contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1. That translates to deeper blacks and a crisper overall feel. It’s a touchscreen, of course, and its rated brightness is a fat 400 nits. It’s capable of hitting 100 percent of DCI-P3 color space

The laptop is powered by Intel’s new 11th gen Core i7-1165G7, which is impressively fast for most of the applications people use on a small laptop. Even better is the chip’s gaming performance, which you can read about in our preview.

hp spectre x360 14 usb c spectre HP

HP’s Spectre x360 14 supports two Thunderbolt 4 ports along and has a USB-A too.

The rest of the laptop specs include a hefty 16GB of RAM and Wi-Fi 6. For storage, HP offers an Optane hybrid drive that pairs 32GB of Intel’s spiffy Optane memory with a 1TB SSD. In actual use, the Optane memory drives are quite impressive,  though it doesn’t yet take advantage of the faster PCIe Gen 4 interface that Intel’s new 11th-gen Tiger Lake supports.

For ports HP includes two Thunderbolt 4, a 10Gbps USB-A, and analog audio. The laptop features a combination microSD reader that can also double as a Nano-SIM holder. If you’re wondering why a laptop that doesn’t list 4G or 5G support has the capability to support a Nano-SIM, so are we. HP didn’t comment on the spec, but it’s obvious that either this Spectre x360 14 or a future version will be able to support a cellular wide area network. Hmm.

Because it’s a convertible and can double as a tablet, HP includes pen support using Microsoft Pen Protocol 2.0. This is supposed to help solve some of the problems of someone wanting to, say, use a Microsoft Surface’s active stylus to write on an HP laptop. HP even includes one in the box that can recharge via USB-C, along with a sleeve to accommodate both laptop and pen.

hp spectre x360 14 nightfallblack nonodd nonfpr coreset leftrightprofile HP

Elsewhere, the laptop features a 65-watt-hour battery which the company said can run the laptop for 12 hours for video or give you up 10.5 hours for “mixed use.” Full biometric support means you can use Windows 10 Hello to authenticate with your face, or use your finger. If you’re the kind of person who worries about webcam spies, the Spectre x360 14 features a mechanical shutter that electronically slides in front of the camera lens at the push of a button.

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Categories
Tech News

Get nearly $800-worth of beginner-friendly AI dev training for just $35

If necessity is the mother of invention, then right now could be the beginning of a golden era for AI development. That’s because there’s an immense demand for new ways to remain productive while keeping physically distant — And, to that end, AI offers us great potential. So, if this is an area you’ve always wanted to explore, there may never be a more opportune time.

Enter The Ultimate Artificial Intelligence Scientist Certification Bundle. It’s a web-based training program that’s designed to introduce students to the world of AI and equip them with some of the most basic skills they’d need to thrive as a developer. They’ll learn the fundamental concepts behind machine learning as well as deep learning, plus they’ll discover how to develop AI software using popular coding platforms like Python.

Experts have long believed that the development of AI technologies would jump by leaps and bounds in the next couple of decades. Due to the pandemic, however, that advancement may occur much more quickly. And it’ll create opportunities in a wide range of industries from health care to finance to commerce, so chances are good you can carve out a future for yourself even with just a beginner’s level understanding of the subject matter.

If you want to be a part of that future, you have to start training now. And, the ultra-affordable Ultimate Artificial Intelligence Scientist Certification Bundle is a solid way to get in fast. Get it now for just $34.96

Do you have your stay-at-home essentialsHere are some you may have missed.

Prices are subject to change.

Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.

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Categories
AI

Avaya expands its alliance with Google for AI for contact centers

Avaya has extended the capabilities of its contact center platforms to include an enhanced version of Google Cloud Dialogflow CX that can be employed to create virtual agents infused with AI capabilities that can verbally interact with customers.

Residing on the Contact Center AI (CCAI) cloud service provided by Google, the conversational AI capabilities being provided by Avaya are enabled using an instance of the service dubbed Avaya AI Virtual Agent Enhanced. In collaboration with Google, the company has optimized that offering for its enterprise customers to provide, for example, barge-in and live agent handoff capabilities, said Eric Rossman, vice president of technology partners and alliance for Avaya.

Earlier this week, Google also announced the general availability of its Dialogflow service within the Google CCAI platform.

While Avaya has a long-standing alliance with Google, the CCAI service is only one of several AI platforms that Avaya has integrated into its contact center platforms, said Rossman. In some cases, those services are complementary to each other. In other cases, the end customer has decided it prefers one AI service over another, noted Rossman. But, he added, in all cases, organizations are trying to move beyond the simple bots that are now widely employed across web sites.

He said that regardless of the AI platform selected, Avaya is dedicating engineering resources to both optimizing those platforms and building its own AI models to automate a wide range of processes. Avaya machine learning algorithms, for example, can be applied to Google Cloud CCAI to determine the next best action for an agent. Google Cloud Insights, combined with Avaya AI, uses natural language to identify call patterns as well as generate sentiment analysis.

Avaya AI Virtual Agent Enhanced is being embedded within the Avaya OneCloud CCaaS and OneCloud CPaaS offerings. The latter is a platform-as-service (PaaS) environment for building applications on top of the core contact center-as-a-service (CCaaS). Those offerings can be deployed on a public cloud, a private cloud, or across a hybrid cloud as IT organizations best see fit. Overall, Avaya claims more than 16 million agents currently access contact center platforms.

Interest in virtual agents enabled by AI that could be employed to augment customer service spiked in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rossman said. With more people working from home to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of service and support calls made to organizations increased dramatically, he added. At the same time, most customer service representatives were working from home. Virtual agents enabled by AI provide a means to offload many of those calls. “The supply of agents was limited,” said Rossman.

Of course, the use cases where a virtual agent that has speech capabilities need to be carefully considered, said Rossman. One of the things that distinguishes Avaya is that it makes available a professional services team to work with the end customers on where and how to employ virtual agents, he said.

As AI continues to evolve, organizations will need to make a classic “build versus buy” decision. Google, along with IBM, Microsoft, and Amazon Web Services (AWS), are all making available AI services that can be consumed via an application programming interface (API). Alternatively, some organizations will decide to invest in building their own AI models to automate a specific task. In the case of virtual agents, Avaya is trying to strike a balance between both approaches, depending on the use case.

Naturally, not every end customer will want to engage with a virtual agent any more than they did an interactive voice response system (IVR). However, for every customer that prefers to speak to a human, there is another that would just as soon have their issue resolved without having to wait for a customer service representative to be actually available. In many cases, the interaction with virtual agents may lead to an engagement with a human representative that has been informed of the issue at hand by the virtual agent. The younger the customer, the more willing they tend to be to rely on a virtual agent, but as always, there are never any absolutes when it comes to customer service.

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Categories
Computing

The Best Cheap Desktop Computer Deals for February 2021

Whether you’re settling in for a day of work or you’re unwinding afterwards with some gaming, nothing beats the comfort and versatility of a desktop PC. Mobile tech is great, but if you can live without that portability, then the best desktop computers will always outclass laptops thanks to their plus-sized displays (or multiple displays), easy upgradability and customization, and dedicated accessories like mechanical keyboards and headsets.

You can build a PC, but that’s a hassle for the uninitiated and won’t save you that much (or any) money — and that’s without mentioning that there are always cheap desktop computer deals waiting to be found by savvy shoppers. To help you grab yours at a discount, we’ve got all the best desktop PC deals right here, but if you’re still keeping your options open, be sure to check out these laptop deals, MacBook deals, and gaming laptop deals as well.

Today’s best cheap desktop computer deals

  • HP Slim Desktop PC$360, was $450
  • HP ProDesk 600 G4 Mini PC$500, was $600
  • HP Pavilion GTX 1650  Gaming Desktop PC$620, was $700
  • Apple Mac Mini (M1 CPU, Latest Model)$649, was $699
  • Lenovo IdeaCentre All-in-One Desktop PC$674
  • ABS Challenger GTX 1660 Super Gaming Desktop PC$900, was $1,000

HP Slim Desktop PC — $360, was $450

You don’t have to pay out the nose for a desktop PC that can handle your daily workloads. If you’re looking for a cheap one, this HP Slim desktop is your best bet for around 400 bucks: An AMD Ryzen 3 CPU and 8GB of RAM are fairly basic but nonetheless offer enough juice for everyday use, while the 256GB solid-state system drive paired with a 1TB 7,200rpm HDD (faster than the 5,400rpm drives of years past) might be the perfect combo of speed and storage space.

A wired mouse and keyboard are included, as well. A $90 savings means you can score this cheap desktop computer deal for a super affordable $360 at the moment. If you’re willing to pay more for boosted specs, however, then be sure to check out our other picks.

HP ProDesk 600 G4 Mini PC — $500, was $600

HP ProDesk 600 G4 Desktop Mini PC

Moving down in size a bit (but not up in price) from standard desktop towers, the HP ProDesk 600 G4 mini PC is a great cheap desktop computer with a small footprint. It packs an Intel Core i5-8600T CPU with 8GB of RAM — the minimum specs we typically recommend if you’re spending more than $400 — along with a fast 256GB SSD and built-in Wi-Fi connectivity.

Unlike many mini PCs that don’t come with a keyboard and mouse, this one comes with both. A welcome discount means you can grab this cheap desktop for a highly affordable $500 right now.

HP Pavilion GTX 1650  Gaming Desktop PC — $620, was $700

HP Pavilion Gaming PC with Mouse and Keyboard

While gaming laptops have narrowed the gap in recent years, affordable desktop PCs like this HP Pavilion are still the best way to enjoy some impressive gaming capabilities on a budget. This desktop tower packs a Core i5-10400F CPU, 8GB of RAM, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card, and a 256GB SSD, which is the perfect sweet spot in power for a cheap 1080p/60fps PC gaming machine at this price point.

The hardware alone is pretty solid, but to sweeten this cheap desktop deal even further, the computer also comes with a wired keyboard and optical mouse (all you need is a monitor and audio output and you’re ready to rock). This solid gaming PC is an unbeatable value at is current sale price of just $620.

Apple Mac Mini (M1 CPU, Latest Model) — $649, was $699

Apple Mac Mini 2018
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Desktop computers aren’t exactly known for their small footprints (relative to laptops, anyway), but the pint-sized Mac Mini from Apple can free up some desk space a bit. This one packs Apple’s amazing new M1 CPU plus 8GB of DDR4 RAM — very nice specs for work, browsing, and streaming — and you also get a snappy 256GB SSD for storage. That’s not quite as large as a traditional hard drive, but much faster than those HDDs of yesteryear (and you can upgrade this at extra cost, of course).

What sells the new late 2020 Apple Mac Mini desktop computer is not just its small size, but its value: It’s on sale for $649 right now (that’s already the best price we’ve seen for it), making it far and away one of the cheapest brand new MacOS computers you can find at the moment. Just plug in your peripherals and you’re ready to roll.

Lenovo IdeaCentre All-in-One Desktop PC — $674

Lenovo IdeaCentre All-in-One 24-Inch Desktop PC

Along with a PC tower, you typically need a minimum of three peripherals to complete your desktop computer setup: a monitor, a keyboard, and a mouse. These are additional costs, but if you want everything in a single package – and one that won’t take up much space on your desk – then an all-in-one system like this Lenovo IdeaCentre 24-inch desktop is a great option for a super-sleek workstation fit for the 2020s.

The Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO comes equipped with an AMD Ryzen 5 CPU with Radeon Vega graphics plus 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD — all of which sits right inside the 24-inch 1080p monitor housing (that means there’s no PC tower to fuss with). That design, including a mouse and keyboard, can be yours for a great price of just $674 right now. A tower with similar specs would cost you about that much by itself, so this is a great value considering that it has everything you need right out of the box with hardware that will last you for years to come.

ABS Challenger GTX 1660 Super Gaming Desktop PC — $900, was $1,000

ABS Challenger Gaming PC

Tip-toeing closer to our budget limit brings us to this beefy ABS Challenger gaming tower, which has pretty much everything we want in a desktop at this price. It boasts an Intel Core i5-10400F processor, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super GPU with 6GB of VRAM (one of our favorite mid-range graphics cards), and 16GB of DDR4 RAM, which all work together to deliver excellent gaming performance for playing the latest titles at high settings with a suitable gaming monitor.

On top of that, you’ve got a 512GB solid-state system drive that offers plenty of storage, along with an included keyboard and mouse (although with a PC at this price point, you may want to consider upgrading these at some point to enjoy the best gaming experience). This solid gaming desktop comes to just $900 after a $100 price cut.

How to choose a cheap desktop computer

After setting your budget, it’s time to decide what exactly you’re looking for in a good cheap desktop computer. First, is this PC going to be primarily for work and general daily use, primarily for gaming, or a fairly even split between these? This will naturally determine what sort of specs you’re looking at — such as, for instance, whether you need a discrete graphics card or not — but the good news is that in the sub-$1,000 category, you can find many good desktop PCs packing solid up-to-date hardware that won’t be outdated within two years.

Another important consideration is peripherals. What monitor (or monitors) is your desktop computer going to be connected to? Do you already have a mouse and keyboard; if not, do you want a desktop PC that comes with these included, or do you plan to buy nicer ones separately? Bear in mind that while many desktop towers come with accessories, you’ll still need to decide how much you’re budgeting for things like a monitor, a keyboard, a mouse, mouse pad, speakers, and other peripherals you might need.

The bottom line is this: Don’t merely look at the price and basic hardware specs when shopping for a cheap desktop computer. Set your budget, know exactly what features you want (write this down if you need to) and then work from there.

What makes a good cheap desktop computer?

When shopping for any sort of cheap computer, be it a laptop or desktop PC, the biggest risk you’ll face is ending up with something that is running on outdated hardware (or hardware that will be outdated very soon). This is what happens when you consider only the price and don’t familiarize yourself with the current state of computer hardware. Thankfully, there’s not too much to remember.

More Laptop Deals

First, when looking at CPUs, it’s best to stick with ninth- and 10th-generation Intel Core processors and AMD Ryzen (also known as “Zen”) processors, as these are more recent and will keep your system – even a relatively basic one – reasonably “future-proof.” We also suggest a minimum of 8GB of RAM unless you’re sailing into sub-$300 waters and 16GB is even more strongly recommended for something like a gaming desktop. Finally, solid-state drives (now common even on cheap computers) are generally preferable to traditional hard drives. These SSDs are generally more reliable and considerably faster than old-school HDDs, although they offer less storage space per dollar.

Are cheap desktop computers good for gaming?

Any PC packing an up-to-date CPU, GPU, and SSD (or at least a 7,200rpm HDD) should be good to go for gaming, and there are plenty of good cheap desktop computers that fit this bill nicely. Along with the processors we mentioned, modern graphics card generations include Nvidia’s 16- and 20-series cards, although you’ll be sticking with the GTX 16-series GPUs in the sub-$1,000 price bracket. These replaced Nvidia’s 10-series cards as entry- and mid-level GPUs, and while there are still PCs with those older cards floating around, we don’t recommend them in 2020.

AMD’s Radeon family of budget- and mid-tier graphics card includes the RX 500 series, with GPUs like the RX 570, 580, and 590 offering good performance capabilities for 1080p gaming. You’re not likely to achieve 4K or even 1440p gaming with most cheap desktop computers, but that is a sacrifice you make for keeping costs down. Also, remember that an SSD will load games (and everything else) noticeably faster than an HDD.

Looking for more great stuff? Find tech discounts and much more on our curated deals page.

We strive to help our readers find the best deals on quality products and services, and we choose what we cover carefully and independently. The prices, details, and availability of the products and deals in this post may be subject to change at anytime. Be sure to check that they are still in effect before making a purchase.

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Editors’ Choice




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Game

Another Monster Hunter Nintendo Switch – this one’s tricked out in black, gray, and gold

Today we’re taking a peek at the newest Nintendo Switch with Monster Hunter special edition fittings. This is not the first time this console was released as a special edition for the Monster Hunter game series. The first version was released with special decorations for the game Monster Hunter XX, the first Monster Hunter game on Nintendo Switch. This new version was made for Monster Hunter Rise!

The new Monster Hunter Rise Nintendo Switch is decorated with markings in several colors – black, light gray, and gold! This version of the machine not only covers the front of the dock, but the controllers, and the backs of the controllers, and the back of the display, too.

Some special edition consoles emblazon said console with a single emblem, a tiny icon, or a simple re-coloring of elements. This one is wild. This one’s more like a tricked-out low-jacked classic vehicle with pinstripes and flames (so you know it’s going fast!) Now, if only they were allowed to go the extra mile, like Microsoft did with the Gears of War 4 Xbox One S! THAT was a custom console worthy of its name!

The only unfortunate part of this Nintendo Switch Monster Hunter package is the limited edition nature of its release. If you live in Japan or the UK, you might see this version of the Nintendo Switch in stores soon. The device will be cost approximately 38,400 yen in Japan, right around $370 USD (roughly), and you’ll get Monster Hunter Rise preinstalled on the console – with a code for extra downloadable content.

The old version had some light gray ink decorations for the first Monster Hunster XX. That Monster Hunter XX Nintendo Switch was released all the way back in June of the year 2017. Imagine being Nintendo, so well equipped to sell their devices that they’re able to release newly decorated versions year after year, while Microsoft and Sony aren’t able to keep store shelves stocked for more than a few minutes at a time.

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Tech News

TourBox Neo is the graphic design editing controller that finally gets it all right

TLDR: The TourBox Neo offers ultimate control with unprecedented speed over your digital media creative projects that puts a standard keyboard to shame.

Watching Eddie Van Halen’s fingers work magic as he plays Eruption is amazing. Seeing Tiger Woods wield a golf club like it’s an extension of himself is awe-inspiring. And believe it or not, elite craftsmen of every type perform equally impressive feats of creation all the time. 

For example, if you’ve ever watched a master editor cut video or brilliantly punch up a photo, then you know there’s an artistry and talent at work that few possess. But just like Van Halen needed his Frankenstein guitar or Tiger needs his TaylorMade clubs, a top-flight editor needs the right tools to properly express their genius.

For media creators, the TourBox Neo ($127.50 with code VDAY2021 from TNW Deals) could be that elite instrument, a virtual editing Excalibur that is primed to help good editors be great and great editors be their absolute best.

Rather than settling for a traditional mouse or even a keyboard, the TourBox Neo is a handheld controller that fully optimizes the editing process for any user of graphic media editing software.

This desktop controller features 14 different switches, knobs, dials and buttons, each with the ability to perform the editing task you need done the way you want to do it. The entire unit is programmable, so depending on your program, the knob can be used to control the size, flow, transparency and hardness of the brush in drawing software like Clip Studio Paint; or to control the speed of your footage for video editing with an app like Final Cut Pro.

Once users get familiar with a TourBox in their hand, the controller begins like second nature, precisely calibrated for ideal speed, accuracy, and acceleration, with an ergonomic hands-on layout that allows for quick access to all your most commonly used controls. Whether it’s digital painting, designing, photo editing, or video editing, shortcuts and multi-button combinations can make tasks less difficult, happen more quickly, and generally improve your overall creative experience.

TourBox is designed for use with a mouse or a tablet and syncs with more than a dozen of the most popular digital creation programs, including the Adobe Creative Suite. From image editing work in Lightroom and Photoshop to video projects in Premiere to graphic design and art pieces in Illustrator and InDesign, TourBox has a configuration to get the most out of the app — and yourself. TourBox also works with many other creative aid apps, including Final Cut Pro, Capture One, Clip Studio Paint, Comic Studio, DaVinci and more in both Windows and Mac OS systems.

Regularly $190, the TourBox Neo is now available at 15 percent off the already discounted price as part of TNW Deals’ Valentine’s Day sale. When you enter the code VDAY2021 during checkout, you can drop your final price down to just $127.50.

Prices are subject to change.

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Tech News

Get ready for iOS 14 with $500 off this brand-new unlocked iPhone XS Max

iOS 14 is on the way and we’ve got the perfect way to get ready: A brand-new iPhone for $500 off. Amazon’s Woot is selling the 512GB iPhone XS Max for $850 today, cheaper than Apple’s refurb price.

The iPhone XS Max has the same design as the iPhone 11 Pro Max, with a 6.5-inch Super Retina OLED display, Face ID for hands-free unlocking, and wireless charging. The main differences between it and its successor, the iPhone 11 Pro Max are the processor (A13 vs A12) and the camera (Dual 12MP Wide and Telephoto vs Triple 12MP Ultra Wide, Wide, and Telephoto), but otherwise they’re very similar. We loved it in our 4.5-star review and our opinion hasn’t changed a year later.

This phone is brand new with a 1-year Apple warranty. It is available in all three colors (silver, gold, and space gray) and is fully unlocked so it will work with every carrier. But as with all Woot sales, we don’t know how long it’s going to last, so if you want one, act fast.

[Today’s deal: 512GB iPhone XS Max for $850 at Woot]

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