Categories
Computing

SSDs could be as cheap as HDDs in time for Black Friday

Back in the heady days of late 2021, your average 1TB SATA SSD would cost you somewhere north of $400. Sure, you could grab a 6GB/s HDD with 1TB of space for around $50, but in the world of computing, you get what you pay for. Then came 2022 and suddenly SSD prices are dropping.

By how much are prices dropping, you ask? Well, you can grab a decent 2TB SSD for around $100 right now. The Teamgroup AX2 is a SATA-III SSD and is only $99 right now. Likewise with Level SSDs. Even Samsung’s excellent 870 EVO 1TB SSD is under $100. These are prices we have never seen for solid-state drives.

The cause of these price drops is a sluggish economy in the hard drive space. As TechRadar Pro reported last week, sales for SSDs and HDDs are down across the board. Also, the COVID-19 pandemic and all the ensuing supply chain issues since 2020 have obliterated manufacturers’ bottom lines. All of this is adding downward pressure on SSD prices.

“Due to slow destocking among distributors and a conservative stocking approach among clients, inventory problems have bubbled over upstream onto the supply side and sellers are under increased pressure to sell.” TrendForce, a market agency that uses AI to monitor markets around the world, said in a report back in July. “The decline in NAND Flash wafer pricing is estimated to expand to 15~20%.”

The message you should take from all of this is simple: buy your SSDs between now and Black Friday. The biggest sales event of the year is bound to keep the price pressure on SSDs, but that may not last. The past two months have seen a flurry of announcements from AMD, Intel, and Nvidia and all their new hardware will start hitting the market soon. You can expect to see prices start to climb back up after the holiday season as demand for new powerful computers rises.

2TB seems to be the perfect spot for SSD pricing right now, coming in at less than $200. This is the exact same price as high-end HDD storage. The key is timing, and now is the time to get it.

Editors’ Choice




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Categories
Game

‘Black Myth: Wukong’ gets two new trailers but not a release date

Every August for the past two years, Chinese developer Game Science Studio has released new gameplay footage from its upcoming action RPG Black Myth: Wukong. Not one to miss a beat, it has done the same this year. On Friday, the studio shared a new eight-minute gameplay trailer and six-minute in-game cutscene. Much like last year’s Unreal Engine 5 reveal, the former is partly a showcase for NVIDIA’s DLSS AI-powered upscaling tech, and you can see what a difference it – and a year of additional work – has meant for the game’s framerate. Compared to last year’s trailer, the action is smoother and there are fewer framerate drops.

We also see Game Science Studio iterate on From Software’s Souls formula in a few interesting ways. One of my favorites involves a plant the protagonist goes to pick up about a third of the way through the clip. When they go to pull it from the ground, the plant turns out to be an enemy that can root the player in place, leaving them vulnerable to its hard-hitting sweep attacks. It’s a fun twist on From Software’s mimic chests that should force you always to be on your toes. As for the cinematic trailer, it offers a fresh look at Wukong’s Journey to the West-inspired tale. It’s hard to say how the scene we see will fit into the broader story Game Science hopes to tell, but the studio obviously has a talent for animation.

Unfortunately, neither trailer ends with a release date for the game. Back in 2020, Game Science Studio said it was hoping to bring Black Myth: Wukong to PC and consoles by 2023.

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Categories
AI

Black Hat 2022 reveals enterprise security trends

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The blast radius of cyberattacks on an enterprise is projected to keep growing, extending several layers deep into software supply chains, devops and tech stacks. Black Hat 2022’s presentations and announcements for enterprise security provide a sobering look at how enterprises’ tech stacks are at risk of more complex, devastating cyberattacks. Held last week in Las Vegas and in its 25th consecutive year, Black Hat‘s reputation for investigative analysis and reporting large-scale security flaws, gaps and breaches are unparalleled in cybersecurity.

The more complex the tech stack and reliant on implicit trust, the more likely it is to get hacked. That’s one of several messages Chris Krebs, the former and founding director of the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), delivered in a keynote to the audience at the Black Hat 2022 conference last week. Krebs mentioned that weaknesses often start from building overly complex tech stacks that create more attack surfaces for cybercriminals to then attempt to exploit.

Krebs also emphasized how critical software supply chain security is, explaining that enterprises and global governments aren’t doing enough to stop another attack at the scale of SolarWinds.

“Companies that are shipping software products are shipping targets,” he told the keynote audience.

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Cybercriminals “understand the dependencies and the trust connections we have on our software services and technology providers, and they’re working up the ladder through the supply chain,” Krebs added.

Additionally, eliminating implicit trust is table stakes for reducing supply chain attacks, a point Krebs alluded to throughout his keynote. 

Enterprise security: Reducing the growing blast radius 

Infrastructure, devops, and enterprise software vulnerabilities discovered by researchers made the enterprise-specific sessions worth attending. In addition, improving identity access management (IAM) and privileged access management (PAM), stopping ransomware attacks, reducing Azure Active Directory (AD) and SAP HTTP server attacks, and making software supply chains more secure dominated the enterprise sessions. 

Continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines are software supply chains’ most dangerous attack surfaces. Despite many organizations’ best efforts to integrate cybersecurity as a core part of their devops processes, CI/CD software pipelines are still hackable.

Several presentations at the conference explored how cybercriminals can hack into software supply chains using remote code execution (RCE) and infected code repositories. One session in particular focused on how advanced hackers could use code-signing to be indistinguishable from a devops team member. 

Another illustrated how hackers quickly use source code management (SCM) systems to achieve lateral movement and privilege escalation across an enterprise, infecting repositories and gaining access to software supply chains at scale.

Tech stacks are also becoming a more accessible target as cybercriminals’ skills increase. One presentation on how Azure AD user accounts can be backdoored and hijacked by exploiting external identity links to bypass multifactor authentication (MFA) and conditional access policies showed just how an enterprise can lose control of a core part of their tech stack in only minutes. 

A separate session on SAP’s proprietary HTTP server explained how cybercriminals could leverage two memory corruption vulnerabilities found in SAP’s HTTP server using high-level protocol exploitation techniques. CVE-2022-22536 and CVE-2022-22532 are remotely exploitable and could be used by unauthenticated attackers to compromise any SAP installation globally.

Malware attacks continue to escalate across enterprises, capable of bypassing tech stacks that rely on implicit trust and disabling infrastructure and networks. Using machine learning (ML) to identify potential malware attacks and thwart them before they happen using advanced classification techniques is a fascinating area of research. Malware Classification with Machine Learning Enhanced by Windows Kernel Emulation presented by Dmitrijs Trizna, security software engineer at Microsoft, provided a hybrid ML architecture that simultaneously utilizes static and dynamic malware analysis methodologies. 

During an interview prior to his session, Trizna explained that  “AI [artificial intelligence] is not magic, it’s not the silver bullet that will solve all your (malware) problems or replace you. It’s a tool that you need to understand how it works and the power underneath. So don’t discard it completely; see it as a tool.”

Trizna makes ML code for the models he’s working on available on GitHub.  

Cybersecurity vendors double down on AI, API and supply chain security 

Over 300 cybersecurity vendors exhibited at Black Hat 2022, with most new product announcements concentrating on API security and how to secure software supply chains. In addition, CrowdStrike’s announcement of the first-ever AI-based indicators of attack (IOA) reflects how fast cybersecurity providers are maturing their platform strategies based on AI and ML advances. 

CrowdStrike’s announcement of AI-powered IOAs is an industry first

Their AI-based IOAs announced at Black Hat combine cloud-native ML and human expertise, a process invented by CrowdStrike more than a decade ago. As a result, IOAs have proven effective in identifying and stopping breaches based on actual adversary behavior, irrespective of the malware or exploit used in an attack.

AI-powered IOAs rely on cloud-native ML models trained using telemetry data from CrowdStrike Security Cloud, as well as expertise from the company’s threat-hunting teams. IOAs are analyzed at machine speed using AI and ML, providing the accuracy, speed and scale enterprises need to thwart breaches. 

“CrowdStrike leads the way in stopping the most sophisticated attacks with our industry-leading indicators of attack capability, which revolutionized how security teams prevent threats based on adversary behavior, not easily changed indicators,” said Amol Kulkarni, chief product and engineering officer at CrowdStrike. “Now, we are changing the game again with the addition of AI-powered indicators of attack, which enable organizations to harness the power of the CrowdStrike Security Cloud to examine adversary behavior at machine speed and scale to stop breaches in the most effective way possible.” 

AI-powered IOAs have identified over 20 never-before-seen adversary patterns, which experts have validated and enforced on the Falcon platform for automated detection and prevention. 

“Using CrowdStrike sets Cundall apart as one of the more advanced organizations in an industry that typically lags behind other sectors in I.T. and cybersecurity adoption,” said Lou Lwin, CIO at Cundall, a leading engineering consultancy. “Today, attacks are becoming more sophisticated, and if they are machine-based attacks, there is no way an operator can keep up. The threat landscape is ever-changing. So, you need machine-based defenses and a partner that understands security is not ‘one and done.’ It is evolving all the time.” 

CrowdStrike demonstrated AI-powered IOA use cases, including post-exploitation payload detections and PowerShell IOAs using AI to identify malicious behaviors and code.  

AI-generated IOA fortifies existing defenses using cloud-based ML and real-time threat intelligence to analyze events at runtime and dynamically issue IOAs to the sensor. The sensor then correlates the AI-generated IOAs (behavioral event data) with local events and file data to assess maliciousness. CrowdStrike says AI-powered IOAs operate asynchronously alongside existing layers of sensor defense, including sensor-based ML and IOAs. Image credit: CrowdStrike.

For many enterprises, API security is a strategic weakness 

Cybersecurity vendors see the opportunity to help enterprises solve this challenge, and several announced new solutions at Black Hat. Vendors introducing new API security solutions include Canonic Security, Checkmarx, Contrast Security, Cybersixgill, Traceable, and Veracode. Noteworthy among these new product announcements is Checkmarx’s API Security, which is a component of their well-known Checkmarx One platform. Checkmarx is known for its expertise in securing CI/CD process workflows

 API Security can identify zombie and unknown APIs, perform automatic API discovery and inventory and perform API-centric remediation. In addition, Traceable AI announced several improvements to their platform, including identifying and stopping malicious API bots, identifying and tracking API abuse, fraud and misuse, and anticipating potential API attacks throughout software supply chains.

Stopping supply chain attacks before they get started 

Of the more than 300 vendors at Black Hat, the majority with CI/CD, devops, or zero-trust solutions promoted potential solutions for stopping supply chain attacks. It was the most hyped vendor theme at Black Hat. Software supply chain risks have become so severe that the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is updating its standards, including NIST SP 1800-34, concentrating on systems and components integral to supply chain security. 

Cycode, a supply-chain security specialist, announced it has added application security testing (SAST) and container-scanning capabilities to its platform, as well as introducing software composition analysis (SCA). 

Veracode, known for its expertise in security testing solutions, introduced new enhancements to its Continuous Software Security Platform, including software bill of materials (SBOM) API, support for software composition analysis (SCA), and support for new frameworks including PHP Symfony, Rails 7.0, and Ruby 3.x. 

The Open Cybersecurity Schema Framework (OCSF) meets an enterprise security need  

CISOs’ most common complaint regarding endpoint detection and response (EDR), endpoint management, and security monitoring platforms is that there is no common standard for enabling alerts across platforms. Eighteen leading security vendors have collaborated to take on the challenge, creating the Open Cybersecurity Schema Framework (OCSF) project. The project includes an open specification that enables the normalization of security telemetry across a wide range of security products and services. Open-source tools are also available to support and accelerate OCSF schema adoption.

Leading security vendors AWS and Splunk are cofounders of the OCSF project, with support from CrowdStrike, Palo Alto Networks, IBM Security and others. The goal is to continually create new products and services that support the OCSF specifications, enabling standardization of alerts from cyber monitoring tools, network loggers, and other software, to simplify and speed up the interpretation of that data. 

“At CrowdStrike, our mission is to stop breaches and power productivity for organizations,” said Michael Sentonas, chief technology officer, CrowdStrike. “We believe strongly in the concept of a shared data schema, which enables organizations to understand and digest all data, streamline their security operations, and lower risk. As a member of the OCSF, CrowdStrike is committed to doing the hard work to deliver solutions that organizations need to stay ahead of adversaries.”

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Categories
Computing

What is IPS Black? LG’s new monitor technology, explained

Display technology continues to progress. OLED, QLED, and micro-LED have all dramatically improved the quality of both laptop and external displays. But the old standby, IPS, isn’t sitting still. Thanks to a new technology from LG, IPS displays have also taken a step forward.

A collaboration with Dell resulted in what’s dubbed IPS Black, which promises to significantly enhance the quality of IPS displays. In particular, IPS Black is intended to increase the technology’s contrast ratio and provide deeper and truer blacks.

What is IPS Black?

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

IPS, or in-plane switching, has several distinctions from other display technologies such as VA, or vertical alignment, and TN, or twisted nematic. All three are LCD (liquid crystal display) technologies, differing in how the liquid crystals are aligned to display an image. With TN panels, the liquid crystals twist at a 90-degree angle and block light, and then the liquid crystals untwist when electricity is applied and light is allowed to pass through. TN panels are the least expensive and provide the worst image quality while offering fast refresh rates and response times.

VA panels have vertically aligned liquid crystals that block light until tilted when electricity is applied. VA panels offer the highest contrast ratios (up to 3,000:1), fast refresh rates but slower response times, and are less expensive than IPS. IPS panels use liquid crystals that remain dark until rotated when electricity flows through them. The most costly of the three technologies, IPS offers the best colors and viewing angles and enjoys fast response times and refresh rates, but its contrast ratio is typically lower.

That’s where IPS Black comes in. LG has enhanced standard IPS technology by minimizing light leakage when changing crystals, and it improved the liquid crystal array. The result is 41% deeper black levels — at less than 0.1 nits for IPS Black versus 0.2 nits for conventional IPS displays — and a significantly higher contrast ratio at 2,000:1 or more compared to the typical IPS display at 1,000:1. IPS Black also provides 1.2 times better color accuracy, especially in displaying grays, where the Delta-E is 0.6 or less (anything under 1.0 is considered excellent). Finally, IPS Black also improves contrast and color shift at wider viewing angles, up to a 1.4x higher contrast ratio at a 45-degree viewing angle.

The net result is an increase in detail in dark backgrounds thanks to improved grayscale expression and more accurate colors at every viewing angle. Colors are also richer and more accurate in general. The technology is aimed at designers, photographers, videographers, game developers, and others who will appreciate the increase in detail, the deeper blacks, and the more dynamic colors.

How does IPS Black perform?

Dell UltraSharp 32 4K USB-C Hub Monitor showing display quality.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

So far, IPS Black technology has been implemented in a few external Dell displays, specifically the U2723QE, the U3223QE, and the U3223QE. We reviewed the UltraSharp 32 4K USB-C Hub Monitor U3223QE with IPS Black and gave it high marks for its wide colors at 100% of sRGB, 89% of AdobeRGB, and 98% of DCI-P3 with excellent accuracy at DeltaE 0.92. The display’s contrast ratio was also significantly higher than the IPS average at 2,050:1, giving it deep blacks and providing exceptional detail in darker backgrounds.

In this display, at least, IPS Black lives up to its promise. The U3223QE is an expensive display, but it also incorporates a comprehensive USB-C hub that adds to its cost. Overall, it’s not that much more expensive than other high-end 4K 32-inch displays, but it offers significantly improved image quality.

Where does it go from here?

Dell and LG collaborated on some of the first products to use IPS Black, but the technology isn’t limited to just their displays. It will also be offered to other manufacturers, meaning that IPS displays should remain competitive even as other technologies are introduced.

Editors’ Choice




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Categories
AI

Facebook says its AI mislabeling a video of Black men as “primates” was “unacceptable”

Facebook is apologizing for an incident where its AI mislabeled a video of Black men with a “primates” label, calling it an “unacceptable error” that it was examining to prevent it from happening again. As reported by the New York Times, users who watched a June 27th video posted by the UK tabloid Daily Mail received an auto-prompt asking whether they wanted to “keep seeing videos about Primates.”

Facebook disabled the entire topic recommendation feature as soon as it realized what was happening, a spokesperson said in an email to The Verge on Saturday.

“This was clearly an unacceptable error,” the spokesperson said. The company is investigating the cause to prevent the behavior from happening again, the spokesperson added. “As we have said, while we have made improvements to our AI we know it’s not perfect and we have more progress to make. We apologize to anyone who may have seen these offensive recommendations.”

The incident is just the latest example of artificial intelligence tools showing gender or racial bias, with facial recognition tools shown to have a particular problem of misidentifying people of color. In 2015, Google apologized after its Photos app tagged photos of Black people as “gorillas.” Last year, Facebook said it was studying whether its algorithms trained using AI—including those of Instagram, which Facebook owns— were racially biased.

In April, the US Federal Trade Commission warned that AI tools that have demonstrated “troubling” racial and gender biases may be in violation of consumer protection laws if they’re used decision-making for credit, housing or employment. “Hold yourself accountable— or be ready for the FTC to do it for you,” FTC privacy attorney Elisa Jillson wrote in a post on the agency’s website.

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Categories
Game

Black Friday 2021: The best gaming deals you can get

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

When you’re a gamer, you’ve always got an eye out for good deals on your favorite titles. For hardware and accessories it’s a bit trickier though — they don’t go on sale as often, and it’s hard to tell what will serve your needs best. However, we’ve found a few intriguing picks worth checking out this Black Friday, either because you’re in the market to upgrade your battle station, or you just want to try something new but not spend a lot of money while doing so.

Razer Huntsman Mini

Razer Huntsman Mini in white

Engadget / Kris Naudus

60 percent keyboards are all the rage now, and the Huntsman Mini is one of the best. That’s all thanks to features like its super quick opto-mechanical keys, braided USB-C cord and brilliant RGB lighting. It’s great for people who don’t have a lot of space at their workstation, as well as anyone else who’d like to slim down their gaming space. Right now you can add this to your desk for only $80, so it won’t take up a lot of your space or money.

Buy Razer Huntsman Mini at Amazon – $80
Buy Razer Huntsman Mini at GameStop – $80

Corsair HS60 Haptic

Corsair's HS60 Haptic in arctic camo

Engadget / Kris Naudus

I wasn’t entirely sold on haptics at first, but the HS60 won me over. The vibration actually ended up being a big boon during the stress of the last year, and the large, comfortable cups meant I never needed to take it off. The only real drawback was that this is a wired set of cans — but for $90 it’s still a steal for a high-quality gaming headset.

Buy Corsair HS60 Haptic at Amazon – $90

Elgato Streamdeck

Elgato Stream Deck for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.

Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

If you or someone who know wants to break into the game-streaming world, Elgato’s Streamdeck is one of those gadgets that can make it much easier to do so. It’s a small desktop controller with 15 LCD keys that you can customize to manage programs like OBS, Twitch and others. It makes multitasking while on stream much easier and it’ll make your entire setup feel more professional, too. The Streamdeck is on sale right now for $100, or $50 off its normal price.

Buy Streamdeck at Amazon – $100

Razer Wolverine Ultimate

Razer Wolverine Ultimate

Razer

The controller that comes with your Xbox is pretty good, but sometimes you might need a little more features from your gamepad. The Wolverine Ultimate may be wired, but it also has interchangeable thumbtacks and d-pads, so you can actually tweak the controller’s layout according to the games you play and your own personal preferences. If you’re serious about your gaming it’s a good investment, made even easier by a price drop to $100.

Buy Razer Wolverine Ultimate at Amazon – $100
Buy Razer Wolverine Ultimate at GameStop – $100

Razer Kishi

Razer Kishi in black on table

Engadget / Nick Summers

Touchscreens are fine for casual games, but when you’re tackling something a little more hardcore like Fortnite the Kishi is just the thing you need. It adds d-pads and shoulder buttons to your gaming experience, and folds up nicely when not in use. Since it connects to your device directly via Lightning port or USB-C and not via Bluetooth you don’t have to worry about keeping it charged, though you do need to make sure you buy the right one for your device. Right now it’s an affordable $45, a 44 percent discount, while a bunch of other Razer peripherals are on sale, too.

Buy Razer Kishi at Amazon – $45

Oculus Quest 2 + $50 gift card

Oculus Quest 2 in white, played by Devindra Hardawar

Engadget / Devindra Hardawar

The high price of many headsets plus the need for a computer that can run the programs has kept VR out of a lot of people’s reach. The all-in-one Oculus Quest 2 only needs a phone to set up an account with, and can give you plenty of excellent VR experiences for only $299. This week it becomes a whole lot more tempting with the addition of a $50 gift card from Amazon, Best Buy and Target, which can be used toward any product you want, though we’d recommend the Oculus Link cable so you can connect your headset to a computer.

Buy Oculus Quest 2 at Amazon – $299
Buy Oculus Quest 2 at Best Buy – $299
Buy Oculus Quest 2 at Target – $299

Google Stadia

Google Stadia with phone

Engadget / Jessica Conditt

Google’s Stadia service has seen a lot of ups and downs since its launch, but it still has a lot of promise. Right now you can grab yourself a Stadia Premiere Edition for only $22 over at the Google Store. The first month of the service is free so it’s not a lot of cash to drop to try it out, and even if you decide it’s not your cup of tea you’re still the proud owner of a Chromecast Ultra (normally $20 on its own), as well as a comfortable gamepad that can be used for PC games as well.

Buy Stadia Premiere Edition at Google – $22

PlayStation Plus

PlayStation Plus

Engadget / Sony

If you like to play online multiplayer on your PS4 or PS5, a PlayStation Plus is non-negotiable, but even if you’d rather go solo a subscription can be a big bonus. You get cloud backup for your saves, discounts on games from the PlayStation store, built-in game assistance for select PS5 games. But the best part of all has to be the roster of free games doled out monthly — November has Knockout City, Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning and First Class Trouble, while previous months have seen AAA titles like Final Fantasy VII Remake and Mortal Kombat X. Usually a yearly subscription is $60, but right now you can sign up (or extend an existing plan) for only $40.

Buy PlayStation Plus (1 year) at Amazon – $40

Nintendo Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit

Nintendo

Toys that blend the real and virtual worlds are a dime a dozen lately, but this take on the legendary Mario Kart series is one that even adults can enjoy. You can build your own courses at home, and race against virtual opponents on the Switch. The normally high price point of $100 for a single cart has kept this out of a lot of gamers’ hands, but right now it’s a much friendlier $60 — so all you need to worry about having room for building your dream track.

Buy Home Circuit at Best Buy – $60
Buy Home Circuit at Target – $60

Nintendo Ring Fit Adventure

Nintendo Ring Fit Adventure

Devindra Hardawar / Engadget

If you want to feel a bit better about the amount of time you spend gaming, consider adding the Ring Fit Adventure to your repertoire. The game has you exercising in order to progress through the story while the Switch’s Joy-Cons, attached to the provided leg straps and ring, track your movements. You might be surprised by how quickly you break a sweat while fighting fantasy creatures and exploring the game’s world. The ring Fit Adventure sold out numerous times over the past year or so — likely thanks to many trying to make working out at home more fun — and it’s an even better buy at this $54 sale price.

Buy Ring Fit Adventure at Amazon – $54

Expired

Razer Blade 15 Advanced

The Razer Blade is one of our favorite gaming laptops thanks to its slick design, array of customization options and strong performance. Today only, you can grab the 2020 Razer Blade 15 Advanced for $1,400, or $1,200 off its normal price. This model has a Core i7 processor, RTX 2070 Super Max-Q graphics, 16GB of RAM, 512GB of storage and a 1080p 300Hz display.

8Bitdo Sn30 Pro+

8Bitdo has a reputation for making comfortable, affordable game controllers, and we thought the Sn30 Pro+ was its best yet for the Nintendo Switch when it first came out. The wireless accessory has a design based on the iconic SNES controller with a plethora of buttons and handles that rival the comfort provided by Nintendo’s own Switch Pro controller. On top of that, it comes with a removable battery pack and it supports AA batteries as well. Today only, you can pick up the Sn30 Pro+ for only $40, or 20 percent off its normal price and a new record-low.

Blue Yeti microphone

Having a good microphone is essential if you’re going to live stream, and Blue’s Yeti is one of the best values out there. It’s a USB mic, so you can simply plug it into your setup and start using it. It also has a special setting that’s ideal for streaming. The mic’s on sale for $90, or only a couple dollars shy of its all-time low, and the Blue Yeti Nano is also on sale for $80.

Get the latest Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers by visiting our deals homepage and following @EngadgetDeals on Twitter.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.



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Categories
Computing

3 Touchscreen Laptop Black Friday Deals Worth It from $149

If you’ve been paying attention, there are a lot of items on sale right now, which means there’s almost too much to sift through, especially if you’re looking for touchscreen laptop Black Friday deals, specifically. Some of the best Black Friday deals and Black Friday laptop deals include workstations, gaming laptops, Chromebooks, and so much more, but we’ve noticed there are very few touchscreen laptops in there. To make things a little easier, and to help you find the best deals, we’ve compiled some excellent touchscreen Black Friday laptop deals below! Keep reading to check those out, and more!

Today’s best touchscreen laptop Black Friday deals

Acer Chromebook Spin 311 — $149, was $300

Why buy:

  • Use it as a traditional laptop or a tablet, you decide
  • Damage-resistant antimicrobial Corning Gorilla Glass touchscreen
  • Super lightweight at just 2.2-pounds
  • Offers up to 15 hours of battery life on a single charge

Also featured in the best Black Friday Chromebook deals, this hefty discount on the Acer Chromebook Spin 311 is shockingly good! Chromebooks are excellent for students, creatives, and writers. They’re also fantastic for browsing the web, social media, doing light productivity tasks, and more. The Spin has a convertible-style hinge which means you can fold the keyboard back and use it as a tablet, or stand it up to watch videos. You can also use it as a regular laptop, of course. Boot times are super fast thanks to the Chrome OS, not to mention you don’t need much internal storage thanks to Google’s services like Drive. This laptop does have 32GB of eMMC storage!

Normally $300, Walmart is offering an awesome deal on the Acer Chromebook Spin 311, at $149 with free shipping! Act soon, this deal won’t be live for long.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4  — $700, was $900

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 on a white background.

Why buy:

  • Same Microsoft Surface, traditional laptop design
  • Powered by AMD Ryzen 5 and AMD Radeon graphics
  • Windows 10 Home with a free upgrade to Windows 11
  • 128GB solid-state drive offers plenty of local storage

We can’t mention touchscreen laptops without including the Surface Laptop 4 Black Friday offer! While it borrows the traditional laptop design — unlike its Surface tablet brethren — the Surface Laptop 4 includes similar aesthetics overall. It’s also super sleek and lightweight, perfect for portability, yet still packs a lot of power inside the chassis. This particular model is powered by the AMD Ryzen 5, AMD Radeon graphics, 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB solid-state drive. The 13.5-inch touchscreen display supports a native resolution of 2256 x 1504. You’ll also get up to 19 hours of battery life on a single charge, depending on what you’re doing.

Best Buy has knocked $200 off the normal price of the Surface Laptop 4 — normally $900 — so it’s yours for $700 with free shipping. Don’t forget, you can also finance your purchase with payments as low as $39 per month. Either way, don’t sleep on this deal!

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 Laptop — $1,000, was $1,520

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 laptop demonstrating tablet functionality.

Why buy:

  • A 2-in-1 made of premium materials
  • Windows 11 Home already installed
  • 11th Gen Intel Core i5, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and 512GB solid-state drive
  • Beautiful FHD+ 13.4-inch touchscreen display

You can have the best of both worlds with this Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 Black Friday deal. Thanks to convertible hinges, it swaps effortlessly between a traditional laptop, with a keyboard, and a tablet-style device. Employing the same gorgeous and premium design as Dell’s other XPS model laptops, this durable yet lightweight system can take almost anything you throw at it. Inside is an 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processor running at clock speeds up to 4.2GHz, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and Intel Iris Xe graphics. The 512GB solid-state drive offers double the storage of comparable models, so you won’t run out of space anytime soon. Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650 and Bluetooth 5.1 are also onboard.

Dell has shed $520 off the normal price of the XPS 13 2-in-1, which would otherwise be $1,520. For Black Friday, it is marked down by over one-third to just $1,000 including free shipping, and that’s express delivery so it should get here within the next week or so —  until it’s all sold out, anyway!

Should you shop these touchscreen laptop Black Friday deals or wait until Cyber Monday?

Depending on which model you choose, and which retailer is offering the deal, you’re not going to have long before the deal is over, or the touchscreen laptop is out of stock! The microchip shortage, additional supply chain issues, and high demand are having quite an impact on the market this year. If you see a deal you’re interested in, or you’ve been waiting for great prices, now’s the time! Don’t wait, because these will be over before you know it.

Not to mention, if you’re worried about buying too early, and then coming across a cheaper deal later, don’t be! Retailers like Best Buy, Amazon, Walmart, and more, have extended the holiday returns window so you have plenty of time to return your purchase. You can always return and re-buy, or get a refund for the price difference if these prices do go even lower later, but that’s not likely!

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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Game

Xbox Series S Black Friday Deal 2021: Cheapest Price Today

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It was starting to look like there weren’t going to be any Xbox Series S Black Friday deal opportunities this year. Despite some of the amazing Black Friday deals, or the latest Black Friday gaming deals, there aren’t many discounts on the consoles, themselves. At least, that was true until today. Dell is offering an Xbox Series S Bundle that includes an extra wireless controller — two total — for $350 with free shipping. Normally $360, you’re saving $10 on this deal, and while it isn’t a huge discount, it’s better than buying the bundle outright. You can check out that deal, and more about the Xbox Series S bundle, below.

Today’s best Xbox Series S Black Friday deal

Dell just dropped a surprising, and awesome deal on the Xbox Series S, that’s only available for a limited time — when all bundles are claimed it’s gone for good! You can get a bundle that includes the Xbox Series S console and an additional wireless controller for $350 with free shipping. Normally $360, you’re saving just $10 but that’s much better than buying the bundle outright! A deal is a deal!

This next-gen console packs all of its power and performance into a sleek frame, and it’s actually one of the smallest Xbox consoles ever. It comes with a single wireless controller, but because you’re getting the bundle, you’ll get two to start. You can use the extra controller as a spare during long play sessions, or you can add a second player in multiplayer-friendly games. The console employs 3D spatial sound to deliver a truly immersive experience in audio, as well as video. It creates a true home theater surround experience unlike ever before.

Play the latest games like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Marvel’s Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and many more. Don’t like any of those games? No problem, there are plenty available, and with an Xbox Game Pass subscription you’ll get free games every month, and more. Be sure to check out additional accessories like a gaming headset, controller chargers, and other gear! There is a lot on sale right now.

But the highlight here is Dell’s Xbox Series S bundle with an extra wireless controller for $350 with free shipping. Even just $10 off is better than paying full price! Act soon though, the deal is running out fast!

Should you shop this Xbox Series S Black Friday deal or wait until Cyber Monday?

Shop it now if you want one. That’s what we highly recommend, anyway. With the microchip shortages, additional supply chain issues, super low console inventories, and potential shipping delays, there’s a lot going against the market right now. This is a limited-time offer and it won’t be available long. What’s more, availability is limited for the Xbox Series S and the deal is currently running out as you read this. More than half of the available items have already been claimed and purchased.

If you’re worried about shopping too early and missing out on excellent deals later, don’t be. Retailers have extended holiday returns windows or expanded support to accommodate this tumultuous shopping season. You can always return and re-buy or get a refund for the price difference if there’s a better deal later.

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.

Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.

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Computing

27-inch Monitor Black Friday Deal 2021: Best Offer Today

If upgrading the display of your desktop PC is on your to-do list, Dell has the best 27-inch monitor Black Friday deal you can buy right now. This Black Friday deal knocks the price of the Dell 27-inch monitor down to just $175, saving you 75 bucks. The best Black Friday deals are in full swing, so there’s no time to waste if your workstation could use an upgrade, and of all the Black Friday monitor deals on tap today, this 27-inch Dell SE2722H might be our favorite.

Today’s best 27-inch monitor Black Friday deal

Why buy:

  • No-frills display with immense value for money
  • Slim bezels reduce distractions
  • Built-in power supply saves space
  • Functions well for both work and play

Everybody knows Dell for its workhorse Windows PCs, but this brand also makes some of the best monitors on the market in 2021. The Dell SE2722H is a solid, no-frills display that offers a lot of value (especially at this price). Its 27-inch 1080p panel is a nice size if you want something larger than standard 21- to 24-inch monitors but one of the best ultra-wide monitors would be too much for your workspace — and too much for your wallet!

The Dell SE2722H 27-inch monitor sports a nice, slim-bezel design with even LED edge-lighting. Its slim housing also has a built-in power supply, so you don’t have any power brick to deal with like you with many other displays. The panel can be adjusted up or down on its stand, and you can tilt it between -5 degrees to +21 degrees to dial in the perfect viewing angle. It’s also compatible with VESA mounts if you have another mounting setup you prefer to use.

The Dell SE2722H isn’t one of the best gaming monitors by any stretch, but with a 75Hz refresh rate via HDMI and AMD FreeSync technology, it’s not a bad pick for a work monitor that you can also use for some light, casual gaming. FreeSync reduces annoyances such as stuttering and screen-tearing (a problem where the picture loses horizontal sync, making it look “torn”) during fast-paced action scenes — a nice feature to see on a budget monitor like this.

That means the Dell SE2722H display, while built for work, can also handle some entertainment when you’re off the clock and ready to kick back for a while. Dell’s built-in ComfortView feature also reduces harsh blue and white light in the evening hours, reducing eye strain and helping you wind down for the day. All in all, this is a great all-around desktop display and the best 27-inch monitor Black Friday deal up for grabs today at a very affordable $175.

When does this 27-inch monitor Black Friday deal end?

While Dell doesn’t provide an exact end date for this 27-inch monitor Black Friday deal, we’ve learned a few things from prior years that might give you an idea. First, since this is Black Friday deal, there’s a good chance it won’t continue into the weekend. On top of that, Dell probably has a limited number of these monitors in stock for this particular deal, so the longer you wait, the likelier it is that these deals will be sold out. With so many people buying PCs or computer parts over the holiday season, you can expect high-quality monitors like this one to be in high-demand as well. That’s why we think this deal will only last until the end of the day, or possibly even earlier.

If this 27-inch monitor Black Friday deal is precisely the upgrade you’ve been looking for, then we strongly suggest buying it right now. This deal could be gone at any time during the day, either because Dell decides to pull the plug or they’ve run out of monitors to sell. If you manage to find a better deal on a 27-inch monitor later today, you can always cancel your order since it probably won’t be processed yet. Go to Dell’s website right now and start getting more productive with this fantastic 27-inch monitor Black Friday deal.

Should you shop this 27-inch monitor Black Friday deal or wait until Cyber Monday?

There’s a chance that the price of the Dell SE2722H will go lower on Cyber Monday, but it’s highly recommended that you take advantage of this Black Friday deal from Dell if you want to purchase the 27-inch monitor. That’s because what usually happens is that Black Friday deals are rebranded as Cyber Monday deals, depending on what is still available. Waiting for bigger discounts on Cyber Monday opens you up to the risk of missing out on the offers for the Dell SE2722H due to depleted stocks.

What you should do is to purchase the 27-inch Dell monitor on Black Friday to secure it, but keep an eye out for any new offers that may appear on Cyber Monday. If you don’t see any better deals, then at least you’re sure that the Dell SE2722H is on its way to you. If there’s a lower price, you can cancel your purchase from Black Friday to take advantage of the new deal.

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.

Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.

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Game

Razer Black Friday deals include huge discounts for Kishi phone controllers

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A ton of Razer accessories for Black Friday, including mice, headsets, keyboards and a gaming chair. There are all-time lows on a bunch of products too. One of the better deals is for the wireless mouse. The price has dropped to $90, which is $60 off the regular price. The Viper Wireless is available in both and . It’s an ambidextrous mouse that has Razer’s optical switches, a 20K DPI optical sensor and low-latency HyperSpeed wireless tech.

Buy Viper Ultimate (Black) at Amazon – $90
Buy Viper Ultimate (White) at Amazon – $90

Another wireless mouse worth checking out in the sale is the . It too has a 20K DPI Optical Sensor and optical switches. You’ll get up to 120 hours of battery life over Bluetooth or 70 hours via HyperSpeed, according to Razer. It’s available for at the moment, which is the lowest price we’ve seen to date. The mouse typically costs $130.

Buy DeathAdder v2 Pro at Amazon – $70

Also hitting all-time-low prices are the iOS and Android versions of the Kishi controller. It’s a gamepad that you can clip your phone into. Along with playing native mobile games, you can use it with the likes of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, Google Stadia, Amazon Luna and GeForce Now for cloud gaming, as well as games streamed from your console or PC. The Android version of the controller is ($35 off) and the iPhone model is currently (down $40).

Buy Razer Kishi (Android) at Amazon – $45
Buy Razer Kishi (iPhone) at Amazon – $60

Elsewhere, the Kraken X Ultralight wired gaming headset is worthy of attention. It has a bendable, noise-canceling mic and is compatible with PC and all consoles. The classic black verison of the headset, which is typically $50, currently costs , another all-time low.

Buy Razer Kraken X Ultralight at Amazon – $30

Get the latest Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers by visiting our deals homepage and following @EngadgetDeals on Twitter.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.



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