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Computing

There’s a massive sale on Alienware gaming laptops and PCs

Dell is currently hosting a sale featuring powerful gaming laptops and gaming PCs from its gaming-focused Alienware brand, which offers products that will let you avoid getting stressed out by frequent crashes and dropped frames. You can enjoy discounts of up to about $800 from the best Alienware deals that are still online, so you can stretch your budget as these machines don’t come cheap. You shouldn’t hesitate in taking advantage of an offer if one catches your eye though, as you may miss the chance at savings if you take too long to finalize your purchase.

Contents

  • Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 Gaming Desktop — $1,274, was $1,800
  • Alienware Aurora R12 Gaming Desktop — $1,372, was $2,130
  • Alienware x15 Gaming Laptop — $1,568, was $2,300
  • Alienware x17 Gaming Laptop — $2,107, was $2,900

Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 Gaming Desktop — $1,274, was $1,800

Dell’s gaming PC deals for its Alienware brand include this offer for the Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 gaming desktop. It’s powered by the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X processor and the Nvidia GeForce RTZ 2080 Super graphics card. The machine also features 16GB of RAM, which is the best place to start for gaming PCs, according to Digital Trends’ guide on how much RAM do you need. It also comes with a thermal design that includes quad 10mm copper heat pipes with integrated vapor chambers to maintain low temperatures, and 512GB SSD for storage with Windows 11 Home pre-installed so you can start installing games as soon as you set up the gaming PC with the necessary accessories.

Alienware Aurora R12 Gaming Desktop — $1,372, was $2,130

If you prefer Intel over AMD, you might want to go for the Alienware Aurora R12 gaming desktop, which is also part of Dell’s desktop computer deals. Inside are the 11th-generation Intl Core i7 processor, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card, and 16GB of RAM, with a 1TB SSD for storage that comes with Windows 11 Home pre-installed. These specifications are similar to what you’ll find with the best gaming desktops, so you’re sure that you won’t encounter issues when running the latest releases. The Alienware Aurora R12 features the same thermal design as that of the Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10, which means you shouldn’t have to worry about performance issues if you’re playing for several hours at a time.

Alienware x15 Gaming Laptop — $1,568, was $2,300

Alienware m15 gaming laptop on a desk.

For those who are looking for gaming laptop deals to be able to bring their video game machine anywhere they go, the Alienware x15 gaming laptop is currently on sale from Dell. It’s equipped with the 11th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card, and 16GB of RAM, with a 512GB SSD and Windows 11 Home pre-installed. You’ll love playing on the device’s 15.6-inch Full HD screen, which features Dell’s ComfortView Plus technology that maintains eye comfort by reducing harmful blue light emissions. The gaming laptop will keep itself cool with Alienware’s Cryo-Tech, which includes the brand’s exclusive Element 31 thermal interface material that pulls heat away from the CPU, four independently functioning cooling fans, and exhaust layouts that create maximum airflow.

Alienware x17 Gaming Laptop — $2,107, was $2,900

Intel announces Intel Arc dGPU for Alienware x17 laptop.

For performance that rivals the best gaming laptops, check out the Alienware x17 gaming laptop in Dell’s laptop deals. With the 11th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 graphics card, and 16GB of RAM, your gaming experience will be smooth and lag-free. The gaming laptop also features a larger display at 17.3 inches, with Full HD resolution and ComfortView Plus technology, in addition to support for Nvidia’s G-Sync to further reduce the chance of stuttering while you play. It’s also pre-installed with Windows 11 Home on its 512GB SSD, and protected from overheating by Alienware Cryo-Tech.

Editors’ Choice




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Computing

Acer Predator Orion 7000 review: Buy this gaming PC on sale

Acer Predator Orion 7000

MSRP $3,000.00

“The Acer Predator Orion 7000 would be among the better gaming desktops, if only it were a bit cheaper.”

Pros

  • Runs cool and quiet
  • Bright, vibrant RGB lighting
  • Excellent 4K gaming performance
  • Great connectivity options
  • Hot-swappable SSD bay

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Upgrades could be frustrating
  • Loads of bloatware

Acer’s Predator Orion 7000 was one of the first Intel Alder Lake desktops announced last year, but it arrives at a time when most gaming desktops have already updated to Intel’s latest generation. We have the lay of the land, but the Predator Orion 7000 still manages to stand out among major PC vendors — despite its obscenely high price tag.

Most 12th-gen desktops I’ve looked at struggle with thermals and noise, as Intel’s latest chips push power requirements even higher. The Predator Orion 7000 doesn’t struggle with those issues, but its price puts it in a class of premium boutique PCs where the Orion 7000 struggles to keep pace.

Design

Fans on the Acer Predator Orion 7000.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Acer makes a big deal about its FrostBlade fans and the cooling design of the Predator Orion 7000, and for good reason — it works. In a market where form rarely meets function (read our Asus ProArt PD5 review for an example of form over function), the Predator Orion 7000 shockingly manages both.

For looks, the Predator Orion 7000 takes no prisoners. Two bright ARGB fans occupy the extended front panel, the GPU is mounted vertically to show off the cooler design, and the case is adorned with transparent panels on the front and side so you can see every element of your PC. This is an in-your-face PC.

Noise isn’t an issue on the Predator Orion 7000.

Thankfully, it stays cool, too. Even the toasty Core i7-12700K stayed around 70 degrees Celsius in a Cinebench run under a 120mm all-in-one liquid cooler. And in a 4K run of Cyberpunk 2077, the GPU never went above 80 degrees. The front panel is doing a lot of work here, offering a large amount of airflow into the front of the case to keep things cool. There’s a vent right by the GPU, too, so the vertical mount doesn’t choke off airflow as it does in the Asus GA35DX.

Noise isn’t an issue, either. I don’t suspect the airflow channels Acer has carved out for the intake fans and GPU are doing much, but whatever is going on, it keeps the Predator Orion 7000 quiet. At most, it has a low, barely audible hum. That was true even in my most intense gaming tests, which speaks to the design of the Predator Orion 7000.

The machine looks great, and it stays cool and quiet. You rarely find both of those together. There’s plenty of gamer flair, too, with customizable RGBs on the CPU cooler, intake fans, and exhaust fan through Acer’s included software.

How-swappable hard drive on the Acer Predator Orion 7000.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Beyond the looks, the Predator Orion 7000 includes a hot-swappable 2.5-inch hard drive bay that you can populate with any SSD. It’s infuriating getting the microscopic screws out to actually install an SSD — it doesn’t come with one included — but I still love the option to swap a drive in without worrying about hooking up more cables.

Specs and pricing

CPU Intel Core i7-12700K
GPU RTX 3080
Motherboard Acer-branded Z690 motherboard
Case Predator Orion 7000 tower
Memory 32GB DDR5-4000
Storage 2TB mechanical hard drive, 1TB PCIe SSD
Power supply 800W unbranded power supply
USB ports 2x USB 2,0, 6x USB 3.2, 2x USB-C
Networking 2.5G Ethernet, Wi-Fi 6E

Acer offers two models of the Predator Orion 7000, which makes the spec and pricing discussion much easier. The model I reviewed clocks in at $3,000 for a Core i7-12700K processor, 10GB RTX 3080 graphics card, 32GB of DDR5 memory, and 3TB of storage split across an SSD and HDD (1TB and 2TB, respectively).

There’s no easy way to slice this; the Predator Orion 7000 is too expensive.

The Predator Orion 7000 isn’t aligned with where GPU prices are right now. The MSI Aegis RS 12, for example, is around $200 cheaper when paired with the more powerful RTX 3080 Ti and identical specs. Acer doesn’t include the 12GB RTX 3080, either, which would go a long way in justifying the price of the Predator Orion 7000.

Above that configuration, you have a $4,500 model that jumps up to a Core i9-12900K and RTX 3090 (with identical specs otherwise). That’s $300 more expensive than the Origin Neuron with identical specs, and Origin allows you to customize your build however you want.

Acer Predator Orion 7000 with the side panel removed.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

The inclusion of DDR5, which competing machines like the HP Omen 45L lack, helps Acer justify the price of the Predator Orion 7000 a bit. But there’s no other way to slice this; the Predator Orion 7000 is too expensive, especially considering machines from boutique builders can cost less with identical specs.

Where the Predator Orion 7000 mainly justifies its price is the case. It’s cool and quiet, as I covered in the first section, and comes with excellent connectivity. 2.5G Ethernet and Wi-Fi 6E lead with the latest networking options, and the case includes two USB-C ports — one on the top and one on the back.

Internals and upgradability

Graphics card in the Acer Predator Orion 7000.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

There’s nothing holding you back from upgrading the Predator Orion 7000, technically. It uses all standard-sized components, and it includes empty hard drive slots if you need them. There are a lot of other factors making upgrades difficult, however.

The GPU is a good example. The airflow channel limits the size of the GPU you can use, and Acer only includes vertical mounting brackets. Similarly, there are empty hard drive bays, but you can’t attach another SATA power cable to the power supply to use them. It’s a good thing the Predator Orion 7000 includes a hot-swappable drive bay because that’s the only way to upgrade your storage without buying a new power supply.

Performing upgrades isn’t great either due to the haphazard cable management. It’s a similar level of cable management as the Dell XPS Desktop 8950 —  a PC that has a completely opaque side panel. Combined with the exposed chips on the RAM sticks and Wi-Fi module, the Predator Orion 7000 doesn’t look great if you stare at it for too long.

Performance

CPU block on the Acer Predator Orion 7000.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

For non-gaming performance, there’s nothing too surprising for the Predator Orion 7000. The Core i7-12700K holds up in CPU tests like Cinebench and GeekBench, reaffirming that Intel’s 12th-gen CPUs are among the best processors you can buy. The Ryzen 9 5900X still competes in multi-core performance, though it’s falling behind in single-core performance while we wait for Ryzen 7000.

Acer Predator Orion 7000 (Core i7-12700K) MSI Aegis RS 12 (Core i7-12700KF) Maingear Vybe (Ryzen 9 5900X)
Cinebench R23 multi-core 20,110 20,445 20,802
Cinebench R23 single-core 1,934 1,890 1,597
Geekbench 5 multi-core 14,382 15,362 12,724
Geekbench 5 single-core 1,677 1,886 1,718
PugetBench for Premiere Pro 929 920 956
Blender Monster 2,382 N/A 2,630
Blender Junkshop 1,355 N/A 1,283
Blender Classroom 1,194 N/A 1,476

Processor performance is great, but the inclusion of DDR5 memory doesn’t do much for the Predator Orion 7000 in practice. There isn’t a gain in PugetBench for Premiere Pro where I’d expect it most, for example. Even with DDR4 in the Maingear Vybe, it managed to outperform the MSI Aegis RS 12 and Predator Orion 7000 (both equipped with DDR5).

Gaming performance

Gaming performance on the Acer Predator Orion 7000.

You can see an overview of 4K gaming performance on the Predator Orion 7000 above (click the image to see a large version). Although the RTX 3080 may struggle in the most demanding games at 4K, it still reaches above 60 fps in most titles. And if you want even more performance, you can opt for the RTX 3090 configuration that will push your 4K frame rates even further.

The graphics card is one part of the equation, but the Core i7-12700K is doing a lot of work, too. As you can read in our Core i9-12900K review, Intel’s 12th-gen architecture is excellent for gaming. These processors run hot, but I never had any issues with thermal throttling or fan noise with the i7 while I was playing games.

I would’ve liked to see an option with AMD’s latest Ryzen 7 5800X3D, though. As you can read our Ryzen 7 5800X3D review, it’s the best processor for gaming right now. The Falcon Northwest Tiki includes this processor, so although the RTX 3080 Ti on that machine is offering some additional performance, AMD’s gaming-focused processor is, as well.

Synthetic gaming performance for the Acer Predator Orion 7000.

That advantage is even clearer in synthetic benchmarks, where the Ryzen 7 5800X3D and more powerful GPU push ahead by 4% and 26% in 3DMark Time Spy and Fire Strike, respectively. You can configure the Falcon Northwest Tiki with a Ryzen 7 5800X3D for around the same price, too, and Falcon Northwest is one of the most expensive PC vendors around.

Although the Predator Orion 7000 is a monster of a gaming PC, it’s important to keep the price in mind. You can purchase similar machines for less, and you only have to spend a little more to get something as premium as a machine from Falcon Northwest.

Software

Bloatware reigns supreme on the Acer Predator Orion 7000. Norton is by the far the most annoying, popping up with pleas to run a scan or renew the subscription several times while I was testing the machine. Acer bundles in several other pieces of adware, too, including Dropbox and ExpressVPN.

Outside of the bloat, Acer includes PredatorSense and PredatorArc, both of which are utilities focused on the gaming side of the PC. PredatorArc is specifically for Acer peripherals, though, so its inclusion is a bit strange. PredatorSense opens up lighting and basic CPU overclocking options, but it’s far from an in-depth utility.

Our take

The Acer Predator Orion 7000 is a fantastic gaming PC that’s only soured by its high price. It costs about as much as custom builds from Maingear and Origin without offering the same level of customization. It’s a better option than most of the gaming desktops you’ll find in your local Best Buy due to its low noise and excellent thermals. But you’ll find a better value with a custom-built PC if you take the time to configure one.

Are there any alternatives?

Yes, several:

  • HP Omen 45L: Cheaper than the Predator Orion 7000 and equipped with Intel 12th-gen processors, but it doesn’t support DDR5.
  • MSI Aegis RS 12: Much cheaper than the Predator Orion 7000, but the case isn’t great, and the machine is prone to noise and heat issues.

How long will it last?

The Predator Orion 7000 is powerful enough to last you several years, so you won’t have to worry about upgrading for quite some time. In the future, you can upgrade the components because the Predator Orion 7000 uses all standard-sized parts.

Should you buy it?

Yes, but only if you can’t be bothered to configure a PC with a system integrator. You’ll get a much better desktop with Maingear, Falcon Northwest, or Origin, and you might even save some money depending on your configuration.

Editors’ Choice




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Game

Amazon’s 3-for-2 sale includes ‘Elden Ring,’ ‘Nintendo Switch Sports’ and more

Every once in a while, Amazon will bring around a new 3-for-2 sale that makes it cheaper to stock up on books, video games, movies, toys and more. The latest sale includes Elden Ring and a number of other popular PS5, Xbox and Nintendo Switch titles, so you can pick up a handful of games that have been on your wishlist for a while without spending too much money. Just go to the overall sale page here and filter by video games on the left sidebar to see all of the included titles.

Shop Amazon 3-for-2 sale

If you somehow haven’t picked up Elden Ring yet, you can do so now — and not only is it included in this 3-for-2 sale, but both the PS5 and Xbox versions are $10 off their usual price, bringing them both down to $50. There’s a similar deal for Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga: both the PS5 and Xbox games are included in the sale and they are both $15 off, so you can get them for $45 each. Sifu: Vengeance Edition for PS5 is also eligible for this sale, but you’ll find it at its standard price of $50.

As far as Nintendo games go, you can pick up Nintendo Switch Sports for $48 in this sale, along with Kirby and the Forgotten Land, Triangle Strategy, Ori: The Collection and others. Some titles, like Triangle Strategy, have been discounted from their normal price, but you should expect to pay full price for most games — especially new ones. Regardless, it’s rare that you’re able to pick up three popular titles for the price of two, so if you’ve got a long-haul flight coming up soon or a roadtrip during which you’ll need plenty of distractions, now’s the time to stock up on games for your Switch.

Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.

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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Computing

Best Buy is having a massive gaming PC flash sale this weekend

If you’ve wanted to pick up a gaming PC for a while now but are waiting for a sale, you’re in luck. Best Buy has a massive flash sale on gaming PCs, so it’s the perfect time to look at everything on offer from the link below. We’ve also collected some excellent deals for you to look to help with your choice.

MSI Aegis ZS Gaming Desktop — $1,200, was $1,500

While being more well known for motherboards and GPUs, MSI still makes a pretty good pre-built PC, and we don’t often see them on sale, which makes this especially interesting. The first thing you’ll likely want to know is what GPU’s in the box, and we’re happy to say that it’s the RX 6700 XT, one of the top AMD GPUs, and about roughly equivalent to an Nvidia RTX 3070 if you’re more familiar with that. Given the powerful GPU, you can easily run games at 2K and a 144Hz refresh rate using something you can find among one of our gaming monitor deals. As for the CPU, it’s a mid- to high-end Ryzen 5 5600X, so it should easily handle CPU-intensive tasks like simulation and strategy games. You also get 16GB of RAM, which is what we’d expect in a higher-end gaming PC, and 500GB of SSD storage, which is a bit on the smaller side but not too bad with good management.

iBUYPOWER Trace MR Gaming Desktop — $1,300, was $1,500

iBUYPOWER Trace MR gaming Desktop next to keyboard and mouse.

Next up is iBUYPOWER, a company that focuses completely on custom pre-built gaming PCs, which is pretty nice if you have an idea of what specs you want. Of course, this one comes with an already established spec build, in the form of the RTX 2060 GPU and an 11th-gen Intel Intel i7-11700F, a great combo that should manage most games fine, albeit in slightly lower graphical settings. It also comes with 16GB of RAM, which is great, and a total storage of 1.48TB through a combination of a 1TB HDD and a 480GB SSD, meaning you aren’t likely to be running out of space any time soon.

HP OMEN 30L Gaming Desktop — $1,400, was $1,700

HP Omen 30L Gaming PC sits next to a mouse and keyboard.

Another great deal is on an HP OMEN 30L Gaming Desktop, one of the company’s mainstays along with its HP Pavilion lineup. This one in with an RTX 3060, a reasonably good GPU that should handle most AAA games well, especially if you’re using a 2K, 144Hz  monitor or lower. The CPU is an AMD Ryzen 7 5800X, which is a bit more powerful than the GPU, meaning it’s great for doing productivity or editing work that requires a lot of CPU resources. As for RAM, you get 16GB, and storage is a reasonable 1TB SSD, making this a great gaming PC deal overall.

Editors’ Choice




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Security

Get Mcafee Total Protection For Up to $100 off During Sale

These days, even just a small lapse in judgment online can result in some serious repercussions. From having your accounts hacked or money stolen to your total identity taken over by nefarious actors, there’s a lot that could happen and so much to manage. You need a reliable tool that can help protect all of these facets of your digital life, but also one that’s not going to empty your wallet so soon after the holidays. And so we come to an excellent solution, McAfee’s Total Protection suite. It includes a premium antivirus, identity protection service, and a secure VPN for browsing the web safely and anonymously.

Want to know the best part? McAfee is offering up to $100 off Total Protection right now, and it’s the perfect time to bolster your cybersecurity. We’ll dig into how it all works in more detail below, but you should also know that comes with multi-device compatibility and protection for your family — a year’s subscription offers coverage for up to 10 devices, or an unlimited number of devices for a premium, it’s your choice.

What does “total protection” mean? Simply put, you’ll get complete protection for your personal info, privacy, and digital presence. With an active subscription to McAfee Total Protection, you’re given access to three major tools, or components, which cover pretty much everything you’d ever need. The antivirus protects your devices from viruses and nasty code. The VPN offers a secure connection while browsing, from any device, to keep your data and activities safe and private, including shopping. Finally, McAfee’s tailored identity protection and restoration assistance can monitor up to 10 email addresses for suspicious activity and help you ‘actively’ protect your accounts and data by offering you a personalized protection score.

Brothers bonding looking at phone safely thanks to MTP.

McAfee’s identity protection service will monitor your personal accounts and send out notifications if something is awry, up to 10 months ahead of any other comparable services. That gives you plenty of time to take action, secure your accounts, protect your identity and financials, and keep everything safe. It will keep tabs on over 60 types of personal info, and the support team will provide assistance whenever needed, guiding you to a more secure and private identity. You also get peace of mind thanks to up to $1 million in ID theft coverage.

If it’s just you, there are coverage options that fit your needs, including support for each of your devices. If you need protection for your family, that’s an option, as well. McAfee’s Total Protection will keep laptops, tablets, smartphones, and a host of devices secure, especially thanks to the VPN and secure connection. If you’re not familiar with a VPN, or virtual private network, it masks your IP address and secures your connection while browsing online.

Normally $130 for McAfee Total Protection 10 Device, you can get up to $100 off the first year — for new customers — thanks to the current promotion. That’s the best value option, and it will protect up to 10 devices. You can also choose Plus, which offers multi-device protection, and Individual which will secure one device. Whatever you do, don’t sleep on this offer, it won’t be around for long, it’s an amazing discount, but more importantly, it’s one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family while online.

Editors’ Choice




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Game

Respawn pulls Titanfall from sale with vague promises for the future

Respawn Entertainment today announced that it has delisted Titanfall, effectively removing it from sale. Titanfall was the first game Respawn Entertainment made as a new studio back in 2014, and now it seems the title is being retired. It isn’t all bad news, though, as those who own the game will still be able to play it even after it disappears from storefronts.

Respawn/Electronic Arts

Respawn pulls the game that started it all

Respawn announced its decision to pull Titanfall in a statement published to Twitter today. “We’ve made the decision to discontinue new sales of the original Titanfall game starting today and we’ll be removing the game from subscription services on March 1, 2022,” Respawn said. “We will, however, be keeping servers live for the dedicated fanbase still playing and those who own the game and are looking to drop into a match.”

Even though Titanfall has disappeared from storefronts and will vanish from streaming services next year, the servers are going to stay live so those who already own the title can continue playing it. While we’re sure most people who wanted to play Titanfall have already purchased the game, those who missed the chance to buy the digital version always have used disc copies they can pick up.

It’s a little bit strange to see Respawn pull Titanfall from storefronts while keeping the servers up and running. Still, if the game has a decent number of players routinely dropping into multiplayer, Respawn probably didn’t want to risk losing consumer goodwill by turning the servers off.

What’s next for the Titanfall series?

After announcing that Titanfall will be delisted, Respawn went on to assure fans that the game won’t be forgotten. “Rest assured, Titanfall is core to Respawn’s DNA and this incredible universe will continue,” the studio said. “Today in Titanfall 2 and Apex Legends, and in the future.”

That part is particularly interesting because it suggests there’s more Titanfall to come. Though the original Titanfall and its sequel have garnered a sizable fanbase, these days, Respawn’s attention is on Apex Legends – a free-to-play battle royale title set in the Titanfall universe that is fairly distinct from a gameplay perspective.

The success of Apex Legends (and the rise of the battle royale genre as an alternative to traditional FPS games) has prompted some Titanfall fans to assume the series is largely over and that we won’t see another Titanfall game in the future. Respawn’s statement today possibly suggests otherwise, though it’s too vague to say for sure.

Still, it’s always possible that Respawn is removing Titanfall from sale because it has something new with the franchise in the works. Until we get confirmation of any such plans, it’s probably safe to assume the company is simply removing the game to focus on Apex Legends. We’ll let you know if Respawn announces anything major in the future, so stay tuned for more.



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Game

7 rock-solid PC gaming deals in the Steam Autumn Sale

The Steam Autumn Sale has returned, serving up a ton of PC gaming deals for Thanksgiving weekend. The Autumn Sale is a flash in the pan compared to the longer Summer and Winter Sales, lasting only one week instead of two. While the Autumn Sale may not stick around as long, it still has plenty of good PC gaming deals to take advantage of, and we’ll go through some of the best we’ve seen here.

Mass Effect Legendary Edition

Ever since Mass Effect Legendary Edition launched back in May, we’re guessing there have been many waiting for a significant discount on it. With the Autumn Sale, those patient gamers now have an opportunity to strike. Mass Effect Legendary Edition is 42% off in the sale, bringing its price from $60 down to $34.79. Since Mass Effect Legendary Edition packs remasters of the three titles in the original Mass Effect Trilogy into one compilation, there’s a lot of value here, and most RPG/sci-fi fans should consider picking it up at this price.

Tetris Effect: Connected

Most of us have played Tetris before, but if you haven’t played Tetris Effect yet, you’ve missed out on what is quite possibly the best version of the classic puzzle game. With beautiful visuals, excellent music, and gameplay that can go from chill to intense in an instant, Tetris Effect is a wonderful experience. This release, Tetris Effect: Connected adds co-op and competitive multiplayer, improving on the original game even more. At its sale price of $26.79 (33% off), it’s a no-brainer for anyone even vaguely interested in Tetris.

Element TD 2

Occasionally, I’ll recommend tower defense games in these lists because I love tower defense as a genre. It’s a genre that never gets old for me, and I find that many tower defense games are infinitely replayable. This time around, the tower defense game in question is Element TD 2, a fully-fledged sequel to the tower defense game that started as a custom map for Warcraft III.

Element TD 2 isn’t getting a huge discount in the Steam Autumn Sale, as it’s on sale for $12.49 (15% off), but even at full price, it still feels like a steal thanks to its campaign and multiplayer modes. If you have some friends interested in tower defense, this is an easy buy, as those late-night cooperative sessions are a ton of fun.

Rivals of Aether

After years of seeing it as a side event at various Super Smash Bros. tournaments, I finally pulled the trigger and picked up Rivals of Aether a little while ago. While I’ve really only scratched the surface of this game so far, I can already tell that the game is a stellar alternative to Super Smash Bros. for those playing on PC. At 50% off, bringing its price down to $14.99, it’s a good buy for anyone in the mood for a platform fighter.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

While a lot of PC gamers might be occupied with the free-to-play Halo Infinite at the moment, this is a good time to remind folks that Halo: The Master Chief Collection is on PC as well. It’s a particularly good time because the entire compilation, which features ports of the original Halo trilogy, Halo 3: ODST, Halo: Reach, and Halo 4, is on sale for $19.99 (50% off). Even if Halo Infinite is your new multiplayer squeeze, being able to play through all of the classic Halo campaigns is well worth the $20 you’ll spend on The Master Chief Collection.

Valheim

Even alongside Mass Effect, Tetris Effect, and Halo, Valheim might just be the most popular game on this list (at least judging by the sheer number of Steam reviews this game has managed to rack up). Chances are many who wanted to play Valheim have already taken the plunge, but if you haven’t yet, your patience will save you a few bucks. Valheim was already a safe buy at $20, but at $15.99 (20% off) during the Autumn Sale, it’s worth picking up for anyone who likes open-world survival games.

Loop Hero

Loop Hero is one of the best indie games to come out this year, and even those who might be growing weary of roguelikes should check it out if they haven’t already. Tasked with rebuilding a world thrown into an eternally dark, timeless loop, players will find the central concept of Loot Hero easy to grasp — and then they’ll discover there’s a lot of complexity to the game. At $8.99 (40% off) during the Autumn Sale, it’s priced well within impulse territory and should be on the radar for every roguelike fan.

Wrap-Up

While the Steam Autumn Sale might be shorter than the Winter and Summer Sales, there’s definitely no lack of deals. These discounts will be available for the entire duration of the Autumn Sale, which runs until Wednesday, December 1, 2021, at 10 AM PST/1 PM EST.

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Game

Epic Games Store Black Friday sale live: The best deals on games to seek

Black Friday is just a couple of days away, so of course, we’re seeing many digital storefronts kick off their Black Friday sales this week. One such store is the Epic Games Store, which launched its Black Friday sale just a short time ago. Epic is getting the jump on Steam here, launching its Black Friday sale just a few hours before Valve is expected to kick off the Steam Autumn Sale later today.

Big games on sale, but not for long

These Black Friday sales can be seen as something of a precursor to the more extensive winter sales we’re bound to see toward the end of December. For instance, Epic’s Black Friday sale only lasts from today until November 30th, meaning it’ll be live for less than a week. By comparison, the winter sale will probably last a couple of weeks at a minimum to close out 2021 and usher in 2022.

We can probably expect the same from Steam, so these Black Friday sales are really just a primer for sales to come. With that said, if you see a good deal on a game you want during this Black Friday sale, it’s probably a good idea to jump on it now instead of waiting for the larger winter sale to roll around next month. After all, there’s no guarantee that the game will get a similar discount during the next sale, likely though it may seem.

Recommended deals to check out

There are a surprising number of recently released, big-name titles getting discounts in Epic’s Black Friday sale. Some of the highlights include Far Cry 6 for $49.79 (17% off), Back 4 Blood for $41.99 (30% off), and the Crysis Remastered Trilogy for $39.99 (20% off). Epic says this is the first time any of those games have been discounted, and given that they can still be considered new to some extent, we believe it.

Other discounts that stick out to us include Sega’s 4x strategy game Humankind for $39.99 (20% off) and Darkest Dungeon II – a game that only recently launched in early access – with a 10% discount that knocks its price down to $26.99. In addition, Borderlands 3 and Grand Theft Auto V Premium Edition are both down to $14.99, while Horizon Zero Dawn: Complete Edition is half off at $24.99.

The list containing all of the deals stretches on for 12 pages, so there are a ton of deals to sift through. The Epic Games Black Friday sale runs until November 30th, so check out the deals for yourself and see if anything strikes your fancy.

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Computing

Amazon is Having a FLASH SALE on Microsoft Office Today

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Microsoft Office: You know it, you use it, you need it. The world’s most ubiquitous software for getting stuff done is available at a discounted price during this Flash Sale going on at Amazon today. Some of the best Black Friday deals are already kicking off, and as expected Amazon is leading the retail industry with major markdowns happening now. Right now, you can get a 12-month subscription to Microsoft 365 Personal for $59, a one-time download of Microsoft Office Home and Student for just $125, or the deluxe Microsoft Office Home and Business 2021 for $220. Whether you’re using Word to write your novel, Excel to track your small business earnings, or Teams and Outlook to manage your employees, the Microsoft Office suite of programs is essential to everything you want to do. Check out these Amazon Black Friday deals for more savings on the tech you need.

Microsoft 365 Personal 12-Month Subscription — $59 per year

If you’re looking for the Microsoft Office Suite for yourself, then this budget-friendly version is perfect. Available through Amazon, this is a download that comes with a 12-month subscription to all of the Microsoft apps you need for your home, education, and business needs. For just $59, you’ll get access to Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and more. This subscription will auto-renew, so you don’t have to worry about losing access to your documents during a lapse. Built-in security features help protect your data and information. Use your Microsoft apps across your devices, including your phone, iPad, laptop, and others.

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Microsoft Office Home and Student 2021 — $125, was $150

Microsoft Office home and student apps and options.

Got more to do than the average user? You’ll want to check out the next tier up for Office users. Right now, you can get the one-time download of Microsoft Office Home and Student 2021 for just $125, marked down $25 from its regular price of $150. This download includes a download to one PC or Mac computer and provides the user access to all of Microsoft’s best products for small businesses, homeowners, and students alike. If you fall into more than one of those categories, even better. There’s nothing like having all of the tools you need together in one place and compatible with each other. Whether you’re accessing your apps from your smartphone, laptop, or tablet, you’ll be able to create documents, spreadsheets, and more to manage everything in your life.

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Microsoft Office Home and Business 2021 — $220, was $250

Microsoft office home and business 2021 cover and options.

If your business is growing, you know that you need the right tools to stay on top of things and keep succeeding. Microsoft Office for Home and Business is one of the best software programs out there to help you keep everything organized and flowing smoothly. On sale right now at Amazon for just $219, you’ll save $30 off the regular price of $250 when you get it today. This is a one-time download for a single PC or Mac, so you’ll need to purchase multiple copies if you plan on installing them on multiple machines. You’ll get access to all of the essential apps for managing your home and business, including the 2021 versions of PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, and Word. Use the Microsoft Office Suite to plan your monthly budget and weekly meals, track your business earnings, create invoices and documents, prepare presentations, and more.

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More Microsoft Office deals

Looking for something a little different? There are even more great Microsoft Office deals going on today. We’ve rounded up some of the best ones for you below.


Have a busy family, or just need several copies of Microsoft 365 for your office? This 365 package gets you digital keys for up to 6 people for 12 months. Works with both PC and Mac.

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Lifetime activation key for Microsoft Office Home & Business 2021 for Windows 10. Includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.

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Pair your Microsoft 365 with virus and VPN protection while saving some cash with this Nortion 360 bundle deal.

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If you want a basic Microsoft Office 2021 suite, this is the best price going right now on the latest version of core Office apps including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

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Packed with all the classic apps for professionals, the Microsoft Office Professional 2019 also comes with access to Outlook, Publisher, and Access for one PC.

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This Microsoft 365 Family bundle doesn’t just give you Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and more, it also keeps you covered from viruses and malware with AVG Internet Security 2021.

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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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Categories
Game

When does the Steam Halloween Sale begin?

If you have your eye on a particular game that’s available through Steam, you might want to hold off on buying for the time being. Halloween is just a few days away, and usually, Valve likes to host a short Halloween Sale for the occasion. Now, we know when the Halloween Sale will kick-off and when the rest of the major Steam sales for 2021 will be happening.

While we usually have to rely on third-party websites like SteamDB to reveal or predict the dates for upcoming sales, this time around, the confirmation comes from Valve itself. On the Steamworks Documentation website (as reported by Eurogamer), Valve confirms that the Steam Halloween Sale will kick off on Thursday, October 28th, and run through Monday, November 1st.

The database doesn’t list start and end times, but given that the Steam store refreshes at 10 AM PT/1 AM ET each day, that will almost certainly be the start time on the 28th and the end time on the 1st. The Halloween Sale is smaller-scale than many of Valve’s other Steam sales throughout the year, and it will likely be limited in scope to horror and other spooky games given the theme.

This Steam Documentation entry gives us more dates for upcoming sales between the Halloween one as well. For example, the Steam Autumn Sale will run from November 24th to the 30th, and then at the end of December, we’ll get the big Winter Sale. Not only will the Winter Sale last longer than the Halloween and Autumn Sales – Valve says it begins on December 22nd and ends on January 5th – but much of Steam’s catalog will be discounted during it.

Expect nominations for the annual Steam Awards to open during the Autumn Sale, with voting to take place during the Winter Sale. In the more immediate future, we’ve got the Halloween Sale kicking off tomorrow, so it’s probably a good idea to wait on making any new purchases until the sale is live just in case the game you’re looking to buy gets discounted.

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