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Computing

Dell cuts workstation laptop and desktop prices in half

There are a lot of excellent desktop computers and laptops to pick from, but it’s often hard to argue against the immense range and versatility of Dell’s offerings, especially if you’re going for high-end work machines that can handle things like Maya or AutoCAD. That’s why we always look forward to Dell’s Precision workstation deals, like these two — one on a desktop and the other on a laptop — so let’s dive right in and see what’s available.

Precision 3650 Tower Workstation — $879, was $1,767

If you’re looking through some great desktop computer deals, the Precision 3560 not only has some great base specs, but it also has a lot of room for customization. For example, while the base model comes with an 11th-gen Intel i5-11600, a great mid-ranged CPU, you can upgrade it up to an Intel Xeon W-1390P, a high-end server-grade CPU that will blow pretty much any CPU task out the water. The same goes for the RAM, which comes as 8GB non-ECC with the base model, but can be upgraded to 128GB ECC. Similarly, while there’s no GPU in the base model, you can upgrade it with either single or double Nvidia or AMD GPUs if you want to go for a graphics- or video-editing powerhouse. All-in-all, you can build this workstation exactly as you need it.

Precision 3561 Workstation — $1,399, was $2,807

The Dell Precision 3561 Mobile Workstation, with a graphics app on the screen.

If you need something a bit more mobile, then we’d suggest this as one of the better laptop deals for the day. The Precision 3561 is a powerhouse in a small and portable form-factor, with an insane Nvidia Quadro T600, 4GB, which makes it perfect for design and GPU-intense work. It also comes with an 11th-gen Intel i5-11500H, a great mid-tier CPU, and combined with the 16GB of RAM, it should see you handling most software easily, although you can always upgrade the RAM up to 64GB if you’re doing something like AutoCAD. The base hard drive is a 512GB SSD, with the option to upgrade to a 2TB SSD as well as grab secondary storage of either up to 512GB SSD or 2TB HDD. You can also change the screen to be touch-enabled, although you do lose out on sRGB coverage, so if you’re a graphics designer, it’s probably not worth it, although we think a battery upgrade is.

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Computing

Dell Latitude laptop deal cuts over $500 off the price tag

Dell is one of the oldest and most-trusted brands when it comes to computers, and when it comes to laptops, the Dell Latitude does not disappoint. Today, Dell is offering an incredible deal on its Latitude 3520, which is the latest model in the Latitude line of laptops. Originally priced at $1,210, the Dell Latitude 3520 is on sale for $699, saving you $511, or 42% off the retail price. This is one of the best Dell laptop deals we’ve seen lately, so if you’ve been thinking about upgrading your laptop, definitely check it out.

The Dell Latitude 3520 laptop was designed to help you take your studies or your business to the next level. It was built using the 11th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, which means lots of power and even more speed. This processor, coupled with Intel Iris Xe Graphics and 8GB of RAM, makes for a laptop that can keep up with all of your projects.

Thinner, smaller, and lighter than ever, the Dell Latitude 3520 was designed to accompany you on the go, and the dark finish and sleek bezel give it a chic look. The machine features an upgraded edge-to-edge keyboard, keycaps, and a 10% larger touchpad, so typing is easier than ever, especially in the dark, thanks to the keyboard’s backlight. The Latitude’s 15.6-inch, Full HD display is brighter than ever with 250 nits. Most importantly, Dell is committed to sustainability, and all of its systems are EPEAT Gold Certified and Energy Star compliant, saving you money, reducing emissions, and making this purchase one that you can absolutely feel good about.

Whether you are headed back to the office on Monday morning or back to school this fall, Dell’s laptop deals are going to help you do just that. This Dell Latitude 3520 deal is one of the best student laptop deals we’ve seen lately, and you don’t want to miss it. Add your laptop to cart now to save $511 off the original retail price of $1,210 and bring it home for only $699 today.

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Computing

These 2-in-1 Chromebooks Got Big Price Cuts for Black Friday

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If you’re a student looking for the perfect Black Friday laptop deals to bring to school, then you should consider browsing through Black Friday Chromebook deals. They’re cost-effective options that perform great and can do all the basic everyday tasks you need from a school laptop. You can browse the web, edit documents, send e-mails, and even do some content consumption after you’re done with your homework, all without breaking the bank.

There are also tons of touchscreen Chromebooks, giving you plenty of flexibility when watching videos or reading books for school. There’s a big sale on these 2-in-1 Chromebooks happening right now as part of the Best Buy Black Friday deals lineup. For an entry-level option, you can check out the HP 14-inch Intel Celeron Chromebook for $320, a $90 savings on the original price. If you need a bit more power, consider the HP 14-inch Intel Pentium Chromebook for $360, which is also $90 off. There’s also the Asus 15.6-inch 2-in-1 Chromebook with an Intel Core i3. You can pick it up for just $400, down by a massive $170 from its original price.

HP 14-inch 2-in-1 Intel Celeron Chromebook — $320, was $410

While it’s certainly not one of the best Chromebooks for 2021, the HP 14-inch 2-in-1 Touchscreen Chromebook is a shockingly good device considering the price point. It’s equipped with 32GB eMMC storage, 4GB memory, and an Intel Celeron processor. While these components certainly aren’t going to run any competitive video games or edit 4K video, it’s more than enough to do the essentials for school and work. While Chrome OS doesn’t offer much in terms of granular control, it gives you access to all the most critical web services, such as e-mail, documents, and online collaboration tools. You’ll be able to edit documents via Google Docs, video chat with friends and family on Google Meet, and read up for classes with the 14-inch HD touchscreen display. There’s also a 360-hinge that allows it to turn into a media-consumption device in an instant coupled with a surprisingly great pair of custom-tuned HP speakers, so you can stream videos to your heart’s content. Best of all, you can pick up this device at a rock-bottom price right now at Best Buy. The HP 14-inch Intel Celeron Chromebook is on sale for just $320, a hefty $90 discount from the regular price of $410.

HP 14-inch 2-in-1 Intel Pentium Chromebook — $360, was $450

HP 14-inch 2-in-1 Pentium Chromebook.

If you’re looking for slightly more power than the Celeron model, then you’re in luck. This HP 14-inch 2-in-1 that’s also on sale is quite similar to the previous unit but with upgraded specs, including an Intel Pentium Silver processor and 64GB of eMMC memory. This means that pages will load faster, you’ll experience fewer slowdowns, and you can store more documents locally on your laptop. It’s also a 2-in-1 touchscreen laptop, so you can easily watch Youtube videos on the micro-edge HD touch display. As a bonus, Best Buy also includes three months of Youtube Premium so you can watch videos without ad interruptions. The efficient processor also gives it great battery life, easily lasting the entire length of a school day. It also has excellent connectivity, with a Wi-Fi 5 WLAN adapter and Bluetooth 5.0, so you can easily connect external devices and get access to fast internet connections. Right now, you can pick up this upgraded HP 14-inch touchscreen laptop for just $360, which is a big $90 discount on the original price of $450.

Asus 15.6-inch 2-in-1 Chromebook — $400, was $570

Asus 15-inch Touchscreen Chromebook

Do you need a few extra inches of display on your Chromebook? Then look no further than the Asus 15.6-inch touchscreen Chromebook, equipped with an impressive 1080p Full HD touchscreen. It’s also easily the most powerful device of the group, with an Intel Core i3 processor, 128GB of SSD storage, and 8GB of RAM. If you’re a power-user, this laptop will have no problem with multiple tabs simultaneously, opening large files, and editing long documents — especially with the simplified interface of Google Chrome OS. The 15.6-inch 1080p screen is also a perfect match with the 360-degree flip design, so you can easily show presentations, read books, or watch videos on the massive display. It’s equipped with Wi-Fi 6, which gives it access to lightning-fast internet speeds, so you can easily view HD content, like the best movies on Netflix. There’s also a built-in SD card reader so you can easily view or backup photos from your phone or camera. Right now, the Asus 15.6-inch Chromebook is available for $400, which is a huge $170 off the original price of $570. Get this deal as soon as possible since we expect it to sell out very fast.

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

Sony reportedly cuts PS5 production again as chip shortages and shipment issues bite

Sony’s PlayStation 5 may not be able to beat the PS4’s first year sales record due to an ongoing component shortage, according to Bloomberg. The company has reportedly cut its previous production forecast of 16 million down to 15 million, putting its target of 14.8 million PS5 sales by March in jeopardy, if the report is accurate. It also makes a bad situation worse in terms of consumers being able to pick up a PS5 over the holidays. 

Sony is supposedly having trouble with not just parts supply but shipping logistics as well, according to Bloomberg‘s sources. The problems are due in part to uneven vaccine rollouts in nations where Sony builds chips, and shortages of essential parts like power chips.

The situation has affected other console makers like Nintendo and even affected the launch of an entirely new console, Valve’s Steam Deck — pushing the date back until some time in 2022. It’s got to the point that publishers are reportedly saying that sales are gradually shifting over to PC versions of games due to a lack of consoles.

March is still a long ways off, so Sony might still be able to pull off the sales record goal. But it’s rather ominous that this report is arriving just ahead of Christmas, so if you’re looking for a PS5 as a gift and see an opportunity to get one, better snap it up quick. 

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Computing

Lenovo’s Back-to-School Laptops Get Price Cuts at Staples

The new academic year is almost upon us, and whether students will continue remote learning or they’re going back to school, the importance of owning a reliable laptop can’t be ignored. Instead of just laptop deals, you should be looking specifically for student laptop deals to put a bigger priority on affordability without sacrificing performance, as schoolwork shouldn’t be bogged down by slowdowns and crashes.

If you’re planning to buy a new student laptop, you shouldn’t miss Staples’ offer for a pair of Lenovo laptops that are perfect for school. The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 is currently available from the retailer at $130 off, bringing the laptop’s price down to $670 from its original price of $800, while the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 may be purchased at $190 off, lowering the laptop’s price to $690 from its original price of $880.

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 — $670, was $800

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 — $690, was $880

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 — $670, was $800

Students will enjoy the speed of the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5, which is powered by a 2.4 GHz, quad-core Intel Core i5 processor and 12GB of RAM. Running several apps and multitasking between them will not cause any issues, which is important because schoolwork sometimes requires a busy workstation. The laptop also comes with a 512GB solid-state drive (which should be more than enough storage for a student’s files and software), Intel Iris Xe graphics for decent image quality when browsing the internet and working with pictures, and battery life that can last for most of the day on a single charge.

One of the most useful properties of the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 is that it’s a 2-in-1 device, which means that students can fold back the screen all the way to transform it into a tablet for purposes such as presentations. And the 14-inch touchscreen with full HD resolution will make sure that you can clearly see what’s on the display.

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 is a perfect companion for students because of its flexibility and top-notch components. With Staples’ discount that lowers its price by $130 to just $670 from its original price of $800, it’s an even more attractive option. If you want to take advantage of this offer before it disappears, you shouldn’t think twice. Click that Buy Now button as soon as you can.

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 — $690, was $880

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 laptop open

The Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 isn’t a 2-in-1 device, but as a traditional laptop, its thin and lightweight design makes it very easy to carry to classes and around the house. It’s powered by a 3.6 GHz, quad-core Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM, with the NVIDIA GeForce MX350 graphics card and a 512GB SSD for storage.

One of the major draws of the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 is its battery life, easily lasting through a whole day of classes even with several apps open and music streaming at the same time. The device is also equipped with a 14-inch display with full HD resolution, so you won’t be missing out on sharp images and realistic colors.

For a laptop that keeps things simple but with powerful performance under the hood, you should go for the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7. Staples is selling the laptop with a $190 discount, bringing its price down to just $690 from its original price of $880. If you’re already looking forward to all the schoolwork that you can accomplish with the laptop and all the hours of rest and recreation that it can also provide, you should click that Buy Now button as soon as you can.

More laptop deals

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 and Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 are ideal laptops for students and even better choices because of Staples’ discounts. However, there are other deals out there if you want to look at cheaper options or more powerful devices. To help you with your search, we’ve gathered some of the best laptop deals that are currently available from different retailers.

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

Dell XPS 13, Dell XPS 15 Get Huge Back-to-School Price Cuts

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There’s not long left to snap up a fantastic laptop deal from Dell. Right now, as part of its back-to-school offers, Dell has massively cut the prices of the Dell XPS 13 and the Dell XPS 15 — for a very limited time only. With $150 off the Dell XPS 13 and $350 off the Dell XPS 15, you’re guaranteed a bargain when it comes to buying one of the best laptops currently out there, but you’re going to need to be quick. As is customary for Dell sales, stock at this price is very limited, so once it’s gone, it’s gone, and you’ll miss out on the best deal we’ve seen in a while. Let’s take a look into why they’re so great. Alternatively, check out the other great Dell XPS deals going on or consult our look at the best laptop deals if you’re considering a different brand of laptop.

Dell XPS 13 — $800, was $950

Considered to be the laptop endgame in our Dell XPS 13 review, the Dell XPS 13 truly is one of the best Dell laptops out there right now. Everything about it oozes class and sophistication at a fantastic price. You get an 11th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of memory, and 256GB of solid-state drive storage. Utilizing a 13.3-inch full HD display, Dell has performed some magic and managed to squeeze it all into an 11-inch form factor, so you get all the benefits of a smaller laptop to carry around while still enjoying a larger and more practical screen. It looks great, too, thanks to its sleek design, and it weighs just 2.6 pounds. Like we said, it really is the laptop endgame right now, so you’ll want to snap it up immediately while stock still lasts.

Dell XPS 15 — $1,400, was $1,750

If extra screen space is everything for you, then the Dell XPS 15 is well worth checking out. We considered it to be the ultimate video-editing laptop in our Dell XPS 15 review partly thanks to its 15.6-inch 4K OLED display,which looks utterly gorgeous. It’s these kind of features that ensure Dell is one of the best laptop brands out there. As well as the great screen, you also get a 9th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of memory, 512GB of SSD storage, and a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card, which is ideal for video editing and some light gaming while on the move. That’s the beauty behind the Dell XPS 15. It’s good for mostly everything, and its weight starts at just 4 pounds despite that potentially heavier screen. For the most professional of experiences that will last you a long time, it’s a great option, even more so while it’s on a deep discount for a limited time only.

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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AI

Comcast’s AI-driven voice remote cuts through the glut of shows

All the sessions from Transform 2021 are available on-demand now. Watch now.


With the rise of on-demand TV shows and movies, viewers have a dizzying array of entertainment options to explore. Cable provider Comcast has been helping customers navigate this expansive content landscape using AI via its Xfinity voice remote.

The remote taps machine learning to help customers decide what to watch and when to watch it, providing users with a tailored at-home video experience, Comcast CTO Matthew Zelesko explained at VentureBeat’s virtual Transform 2021 conference.

“The content landscape has grown dramatically. And we realized that it was much harder for customers to determine even simple questions, like what to watch and where to watch it,” Zelesko said. “Navigating to the content you want is really so important. And we felt voice was just the most natural way to do that.”

Comcast invested in AI to find better ways to provide a personalized viewing experience, Zelesko said. Doing so required a deep understanding of content and how to provide it, and the voice remote helped streamline this process. Comcast released the first version of the remote as an app in 2015 to explore voice interfaces. The company said it received overwhelmingly positive feedback and shipped millions of remotes in the first year.

“More than 70% of our customers with a voice remote use voice commands at least once a week. And those who use the remote consistently spend more time watching more content than those who don’t,” Zelesko said. “So when we make it easy to discover what they want, customers use more of our services, and they use them longer.”

AI backed by data

Comcast attributes the remote’s success to the sheer amount of data it consolidates, which helps it understand users’ preferences. Understanding content metadata, like genre and cast, is critical to the customer’s content discovery experience. To organize its knowledge, Comcast uses CoMPASS, a cloud-based metadata platform to make informed decisions about consumer preferences and experiences.

A new feature called deep metadata utilizes computer vision to understand what is happening in scenes, which could allow customers to jump to the most important highlights in a recorded football game, for example. It uses the show’s closed captioning and computer vision of the video to pinpoint specific on-screen highlights to feature.

To ensure accurate labeling, the metadata classification relies on overlapping annotations — where a small percentage of images analyzed by computer vision are also annotated by two human analysts and assessed for discrepancies to refine the algorithm.

“Without that great organized metadata about all of the hundreds of thousands of pieces of content, no amount of AI or machine learning is going to get customers to what they want,” Zelesko said.

Buy or build conundrum

Comcast licenses much of the technology it builds internally, like the voice remote, to other cable providers in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Zelesko said Comcast reviewed available commercial products before developing the remote and realizing nothing on the market met its need for accurate and easy-to-use natural language processing. No other company was indexing the quantity and complexity of metadata, so “no off-the-shelf platform was going to work,” Zelesko said.

“We still buy where it makes sense, and where there’s a great solution that meets our needs in the market. But given our scale, and also really the unique nature of the problems that we’re solving, we find that we get the best results when we build to meet our customers’ needs,” he said.

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Game

No Man’s Sky Expeditions update introduces a new way to play, cuts the grind

No Man’s Sky received a new update today that changes the game in several big ways. The first hint at what’s new comes in the title of the update: Expeditions. Expeditions in No Man’s Sky will serve as a new game mode that players can embark on together, starting from a fixed point and completing milestones on the way to finishing the expedition as a whole. There are also some big changes to resource collecting and usage that intend to cut down on the grind in the game, which is exciting news for No Man’s Sky newcomers and veterans alike.

Hello Games says that expeditions will be split up into phases, which are themselves split up into milestones. Each milestone in a phase centers around some component of No Man’s Sky – for instance, in the example image Hello Games shared today, some of the milestones listed include lifting off from the starting planet and discovering 20 different creatures. Each milestone you complete will give you a reward, while each phase you complete will grant a unique reward. Of course, you also get something for completing an entire expedition, but those rewards are being kept secret for now.

Aside from introducing expeditions, this update also changes how we’ll complete missions. While mission objectives used to be identified by waypoints on your visor, now you’ll need to sweep the environment to home in on the objective. The idea, it seems, is to make the process of finding mission objectives more exploratory in nature, rather than just directing players from waypoint to waypoint.

We’re also getting visual enhancements to Explorer-class starships, rendezvous points that will appear along expedition routes, and sentinel combat enhancements. Hello Games has also changed the way we collect resources, reducing and rebalancing recipe costs and increasing resource deposit yields to cut back on the grind. Anyone who has made it more than few hours into No Man’s Sky can attest that the game gets pretty grindy at points, so this change is definitely a big one. We’re also getting cross-play discoveries and bases, so any discovery you make or base you upload will be seen by players on all platforms.

We’ve detailed many of the high points of today’s update, but to learn about everything included in the Expeditions update, check out Hello Games’ full patch notes. The update is live today on all platforms – PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PC, Oculus, and PlayStation VR – so be sure to download it and take it for a spin.

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Tech News

Google cuts fees for digital goods and services

Google revealed a new initiative this week to boost the growth power of the everyday average app developer. Starting on July 1, 2021, Google’s cutting service fees for Google Play. The Google Play fees for sales of digital goods or services will be cut to 15% for the first $1M (USD) of revenue every developer earns each year. That change will take effect starting on July 1, 2021.

Per Google’s Sameer Samat, VP, Product Management, this change will deliver a 50% reduction in fees for 99% of developers globally that sell digital goods and services with Google Play. This reduction in fees will be available to every Google Play developer “regardless of size.” No matter the dev size, the first $1M of total revenue earned each year will have its service fee set at 15%.

Given the changes in the latest Android update, previewed in the Android 12 Developer Preview, the future of android app development should be marginally better through the future. That, and the recent fervor on app store fees for app stores like Google Play and the Apple App Store should prove significant for developers of all sorts in the coming years.

It’ll be interesting to see if this change has any affect on the way Apple, Epic Games, and other app stores and developers do business. Given the rise of streaming platforms for games, will it become common business for each developer to run with whatever platform gives them the best app fee cut? Will streaming platforms allow any device to run any app, making app stores obsolete?

Take a peek at the timeline below to learn more about the recent app store wars and the way in which our collective future will unfold. Gather your strength, developers, the future will be even more strange than the past!

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Tech News

Opal cuts off your apps’ internet access to help you stop doomscrolling

The coronavirus pandemic has had us spend more time on our phones. Last year gave birth to doomscrolling and it was hard to take your eyes off the screen.

Now a new app called Opal has a novel approach to disconnecting your apps from the internet to help you save some time from mindless hours of browsing. The iOS app uses a custom VPN to manage all these connections. So, once you start a session on Opal, you’d be able to open the app, but you won’t be able to refresh your feed.