Best laptop sales in Australia: Cheap laptops to buy in February 2018

If you’re looking for a cheap laptop or a mammoth saving on a premium portable computer, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve scoured the web for savings – from the usual suspects to the niche deal sites – and rounded up all the genuine and worthwhile specials in one neat place. We’ve covered everything from budget browsing machines to high-performance powerhouses, so you’ll no doubt find something to match your needs.

  • Best laptops of 2018: our pick of the 15 best notebooks this year

Up the top, we’ve highlighted a selection of the latest deals that we’ve sniffed out, so you can reap the rewards of having your finger on the pulse. Below that we’ve covered some of the more popular laptops that often come up on special, and then included a quick list of the best prices on TechRadar’s pick of the latest best laptops.

If you’re from the US or the UK, check out our selections of the top laptop deals in the US or in the UK.

Best laptop deals this week

We’ll keep on updating the list of deals as and when we find them. Below, you’ll find up to date prices on five of TechRadar’s favourite laptop, so keep an eye out for those savings.

laptop deals

The best deals on our favourite laptops

Over the years we’ve reviewed plenty of laptops and, as a result, we’ve seen what to avoid and what to jump on when there’s savings to be had. We’ll keep track of the prices of some of the best we’ve seen so that you can snatch up a bargain when they do show up. Check out the prices below and see if anything has dropped enough to tickle your fancy.

Best laptops

Saying that we’re very happy with Dell’s XPS 13 is a huge understatement. The slim profile, revolutionary design and small frame bely its powerful performance and gorgeous 13-inch screen. Typically you’d have to weigh up portability and performance, but the XPS 13 has managed to strike a fine balance between the two. With Intel’s latest Skylake processors plus lighting, quick storage and memory, the XPS 13’s starting price is certainly an impressive one. We’re so chuffed with it that it’s taken the top slot as the best Ultrabook, the best Windows laptop and the best overall laptop.

Read the full review: Dell XPS 13

There are some seriously expensive gaming laptops out there, once you get involved in the optimisation and the latest GPUs, things start get pricey. But if you’re after a capable machine on a budget, try out the Dell Inspiron 15-inch gaming laptop.

Read the full review: Dell Inspiron 15-inch gaming laptop

cheap laptop deals

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A seriously sleek all-aluminium chassis, a higher resolution than the discontinued Asus ZenBook UX305, and an impressive swath of ports, including the latest USB-C interface, the latest UX310UA ZenBook is a serious contender for the MacBook Air and, if you’re a Windows person, is much better value.

Read the full review: Asus ZenBook UX310

Although the specs are modest, the forward-thinking design of Lenovo’s Yoga Book makes it a decent option for creative types and those that want a little more out of their laptops. Sacrificing a bit of raw power means you’ll get an innovative digital touchpad and drawing surface for a much more intuitive and precise approach to graphical art.

Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga Book

cheap surface pro deals

We know this is technically not a laptop, but it does come close to being a 2-in-1 (if you get the Type Case) and, most importantly, it has the power to get in the ring with some of its non-tablet competitors. Running the full-blown version of Windows 10 and having the option for a powerful Intel Core processor, this is by far the laptoppiest tablet available, and the price certainly isn’t that bad.

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Pro 4

If you’re after some more further info on the best laptops, check out some of our other dedicated articles:

  • 8 best laptops you can buy in 2017
  • Top 10 best gaming laptops 2017
  • Top 10 business laptops 2017
  • Top 10 2-in-1 laptops 2017

Watch the video below for the top 7 things to consider when buying a laptop. 

The best 13-inch laptop 2018: the top 13-inch laptops we’ve reviewed

These days, 13-inch laptops are a dime a dozen, and for good reason, too. For an everyday computer user, a 13-inch display is small enough that it’s not unwieldy and large enough for text to be legible. Ideally, the best 13-inch laptop will make for a half-decent companion to the colossal monitor of your choosing as well, for those interested in a dual-screen setup that doesn’t take up a lot of space. But you can’t buy just any ol’ 13-inch laptop and call it a day.

Instead, we suggest that you take a hard look at our lineup of recommendations, starting with the best 13-inch laptop you can purchase today. As we couldn’t unanimously name the best 13-inch laptop by itself without some much-deserved backlash, we’ve assembled a list of 10 clamshell computers you can choose from. Some are running Windows 10 while others champion macOS High Sierra, but they’re all equally worthy of your consideration.

Keep in mind though, that Intel is going to be releasing new Meltdown and Spectre-proof processors later this year, so it might be wise to hold off on buying a new laptop if you can afford to wait.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what kind of person you are or the type of work you need to perform with your laptop – the best 13-inch laptops will get you through whatever task lies ahead of you. With this list, we’ve listed the best 13-inch laptops that we have personally reviewed over the last year or so, and we even ranked them in order of awesomeness. 

Its changes are subtle, and yet the Dell XPS 13 is still the best 13-inch laptop you can buy. On the high end, it now offers a 4K display, for a sharper picture across the board. But even if you can’t afford higher tier configurations, the beautiful design, lengthy battery life and even the SD card slot are still there – plus you’ve got a quad-core processor no matter what poison you pick. Better yet, the 13.3-inch display of the XPS 13 has been squeezed into a smaller frame, which explains Dell’s marketing line: ‘the world’s smallest 13-inch laptop.’ Now stew on that, as you admire the Dell XPS 13’s gorgeous, albeit more expensive, Alpine White finish. 

Read the full review: Dell XPS 13

You wouldn’t expect a laptop made by one of the biggest names in PC gaming to be thinner and lighter than a MacBook Pro, and yet here we are. The Razer Blade Stealth – in its all-new gunmetal finish – boasts not only a gorgeous and practical aesthetic, what with its 400-nit display brightness and full-size USB 3.0 ports, but it also has a few tricks up its sleeves to make it perform faster. At long last, the 8th-generation Intel Kaby Lake Refresh have made it into the newly 13.3-inch version of the Razer Blade Stealth. Though it received a ding on the battery life, an Ultrabook this fast is worth a 16-minute shorter use time on a single charge.

Read the full review: Razer Blade Stealth

Best 13-inch laptop

There’s a new entry to Asus’s Zenbook lineup with the UX360, featuring a lot of the same specs as its predecessor but with the flexibility of a 2-in-1 laptop. While the ability to bend over backwards may diminish the build quality somewhat, it allows for new levels of functionality for computer consumers who want a laptop and tablet all in one. Thanks to an all-day battery, the Zenbook Flip UX360 really can go with you for everything you do. And, with a wide variety of internal customization, you can deck out the Zenbook Flip UX360 for your own personal needs, saving you some cash or boosting its performance. 

Read the full review: Asus Zenbook Flip UX360

  • This product is only available in the US at the time of this writing. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Dell XPS 13 

The HP Spectre x360 is the laptop that you show to your parents. It’s beautifully well-crafted, featuring a chrome design that makes it every bit as cutting-edge on the outside as on the inside. With the option between a 7th-generation i5 or i7 Ultrabook-class CPU and a 1080p or 4K Display, HP allows for plenty of room for customization. It’s not underpowered, nor does its battery life suffer from overcompensation. In fact, in our own movie test, the HP Spectre x360 lasted a surprising 8 hours and 45 minutes. The only real catch is that, like a lot of its competitors, the Spectre x360 also lacks an SD card slot, opting instead for a pair of USB Type-C ports. 

Read the full review: HP Spectre x360

Best 13-inch laptop

Samsung may not have made much of a dent in the laptop scene with much more than its Tab Pro S convertible, but Samsung’s follow-up to the 2012 Series 9 notebook doesn’t just feature impressive specs – it’s got a competitive price as well. Marketed as an Ultrabook, it’s certainly disheartening to know the battery life lasts only five hours, but given its sleek and sexy design, it almost doesn’t matter. What’s more, with the Samsung Notebook 9, you won’t have to deal with the bloatware that makes many other Microsoft the target of angry forum posts. 

Read the full review: Samsung Notebook 9

  • This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Dell XPS 13 

The Surface Laptop is Microsoft’s first stab at a ‘traditional’ laptop, if you can even call it that knowing full well that its PixelSense touchscreen and Alcantara keyboard are anything but conventional. Featuring a full stack of U-series 7th generation Intel Core i processors, the Surface Laptop beats out Apple’s 12-inch MacBook any day of the week, and for a lower starting price at that. Despite the ports and operating system being limited, the Surface Laptop is appealing for its laudable design, beautifully vivid screen and impressive performance.

 Read the full review: Surface Laptop

As 2-in-1 laptops have become more prevalent in recent years, their manufacturers have been improving them at a nigh-equal pace. This rings true for few laptop makers more than it does for Lenovo, however, who has taken the liberty of crafting drop-dead gorgeous convertibles with standout watch band-like hinges, much like that of the Yoga 920. This rendition of Lenovo’s increasingly popular brand of hybrids sees the integration of USB-C ports, a centered webcam and, perhaps more interestingly, an 8th-generation Intel quad-core processor regardless of which configuration you opt for. It does purr more loudly than expected, and tablet mode could use some work, but the Lenovo Yoga 920 is ultimately worth its price of admission.

Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga 920 

Best 13-inch laptop

In a market densely populated with slim-line laptops from a massive range of manufacturers, Apple’s MacBook Air fights on admirably – though it started showing its age on the outside a long time ago. It has Intel’s fifth-generation Core-series processors rather than the newest Skylake variants, but it’s still a capable machine; even more so since Apple made 8GB of RAM standard across the line.

Read the full review: 13-inch MacBook Air

best 13-inch laptop

The latest iteration of Apple’s seminal MacBook Pro series is here, and as you would expect it makes a number of notable improvements over last year’s offering. While it might not exactly feature the strongest battery life in the game (scoring under an hour less than last year’s offering), it does offer increased performance by way of a new CPU and faster RAM. Add that to Apple’s continued dedication to simplicity and beautiful design and you have a laptop that is sleek, portable and reliable.  

Read the full review: Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2017)

Joe Osborne and Gabe Carey have also contributed to this article

Best 55-inch 4K TVs 2018: the best medium-sized screens for any budget

If you’re looking for a way to completely revolutionize your home theater set-up, or if your TV is starting to show its age, it might be time to take a look at the best 55-inch TVs. One of the awesome things about the best 55-inch 4K TVs is that, because of its gargantuan popularity, every TV manufacturer around is packing all the latest and greatest technologies and features into the newest 55-inch TVs. And as an added bonus, the best 55-inch 4K TVs are launching at a lightning pace, so if you’re looking to pump a little bit of life in your living room, you could do a lot worse than the best 55-inch 4K TVs. 

The best thing to come out of this heightened popularity is that no matter what kind of TV you’re looking for, whichever type of HDR tech or Smart TV system you need, you’ll be able to find the best 55-inch 4K TV for your needs. This is because every TV manufacturer on the block is busy packing all the latest and greatest display technologies into the best 55-inch 4K TVs – from LCD to LED, OLED, or samsung’s own QLED tech, you’re likely to find a TV that has all the features you’re looking for. And if you consume most of your media through streaming, you’re in luck, as the best 55-inch 4K TVs will come strapped with the best smart technology out of the box.

Now, without any further ado, if you’re thinking about buying one of the best 55-inch 4K TVs, our recommendations in this list are a great place to start, as every TV on this list has been rigorously tested and has earned our seal of approval.

Best 55-inch TV

There is a clear winner in the 55-inch 4K TV game, and it’s the LG OLED C7 – available in a 55-inch version as well as a 65-inch. By offering significantly better brightness and light control over last year’s C6, it gains this spot by becoming a high dynamic range performer that doesn’t sacrifice OLED’s class-leading standard dynamic range capabilities. These new lovely display capabilities are delivered with a price tag that finally makes OLED a financially viable alternative to high-end LCD TVs cementing it as one of 2017’s best 55-inch TVs.

While there are other OLEDs worth considering in 2017 (see: Sony’s A1E OLED or LG’s B7 and W7), when you think about just how well LG’s OLED C7 performs, particularly at this price point, there’s just no TV this year that can really beat it out.

Read the full review: LG OLED55C7

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Best 55-inch TV

It’s surprising, but Sony’s X900E’s HDR and black level performance comes within reaching distance of their OLED rivals, without costing near as much.

Sony is able to achieve this performance because of the set’s direct LED backlight, which allows it to reach a level of brightness uniformity that edge-lit displays just can’t reach.

And with the exceptional detail and motion handling, the Sony BRAVIA XBR-55X900E (called the KD-55XE90 in the UK) achieves a great balance between price and performance for mid-range 4K TVs and is certainly worth your consideration … even if its Android TV interface can feel a little slow, and its remote a little flimsy. 

Read the full review of the 65-inch version: Sony BRAVIA XBR-65X900E

  • This product is only available in the US at the time of this writing. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the LG OLED55B7 

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best 50 and 55 inch TVs

For as long as we can remember, TV manufacturers have been trying tirelessly to find a way to bring a great performing Television at an affordable price, and so far they’ve been unsuccessful. Until now. 

TCL’s P-Series 55P607 does just that – it packs amazing technology under the hood, including support for Dolby Vision and WCG, in an affordable package and the price will only continue to drop once the seasonal sales start in November.

If you like your TVs bright, colorful and well-stocked with the latest display technologies, the TCL P-Series 55P607 should be at the top of your list.

Read the full review: TCL P-Series (55P607)

  • This product is only available in the US at the time of this writing. UK and Australian readers check out a fine alternative in the LG OLED55B7 

Philips 55PUT6400

It might seem ludicrously expensive, but Sony’s 55A1E – and the A1E OLED series in general – are phenomenal devices in just every way imaginable. Their ‘picture only’ design has been gorgeously brought to life, somehow managing to be simultaneously subtle and dramatic. This set even delivers on sound performance through their unique screen vibration technology.  

Where the A1E really shines, though, is its ability to deliver pictures that are beautifully colorful, rich in contrast and exquisitely detailed. These prove once and for all what we’ve long suspected: More manufacturers incorporating OLED technology can only be a good thing. 

Read the full review: Sony Bravia OLED A1E

Panasonic TX-50CX802B

Samsung was the first brand to introduce an HDR-compatible screen way back in 2015, but it’s not been resting on its haunches ever since. 

It’s latest flagship, the QN55Q9F (QE55Q9FAM in the UK), is a perfect example of this. It ups the brightness to 1500 nits, 50% higher than the level required for UHD Premium certification, making it one of the brightest TV we’ve ever tested. 

Outside of an impressive-sounding number this brightness has a real impact on the set’s image quality. Detail is preserved in even the brightest areas of the image, and colors are exceptionally vivid and bright. That means even non-HDR content looks fantastic thanks to Samsung’s SDR upscaling technology. 

No TV is perfect, and the Q9F can occasionally suffer from some backlight clouding around bright objects and some settings cause color striping in HDR colors, but in all other respects this is the best television around at the moment. 

Read the full review: Samsung Q9F QLED TV

  •  This product is only available in the US at the time of this writing. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Sony BRAVIA A1E OLED 

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Hisense 50K321

LG’s ‘B’ line of OLEDs has consistently offered a great entry point into the display technology without compromising on what makes it so exciting. 

And the B7 series is no different. 

Contained within the TVs is exactly the same panel that’s powering the more expensive C7, E7 and yes even the W7 LG televisions, which means an exceptional bump over last year’s OLED panels at a much lower price. 

So where has LG saved the money? In a word, sound. The B7’s downward firing speakers are the worst all the company’s OLED TVs. Not only that, but the set is also currently unable to pass Dolby Atmos to an external sound system over HDMI (although a firmware update to fix this is on the way). 

If however, you’re content to put up with a standard surround sound experience, then the B7 is a fantastic entryway into a piece of TV tech that still feels futuristic in 2017. 

Read the full review: LG OLED55C7

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Best 50 and 55-inch TVs

AV enthusiasts living in the UK have it good. Not only do you have access to great OLEDs from Sony and LG, but Philips and Panasonic each have their own line of infinite contrast screens that are exclusive to your neck of the woods.

Of them, one of our favourites is the Philips 55POS901F: a gorgeous looking 55-inch TV built around an OLED panel. The screen makes a stunning first impression thanks to the radiance of its three-sided Ambilight system and the gleaming metallic purity of its bodywork. 

It’s much more than just a pretty face, though. 

By the time you’ve added to the 55POS901F’s heady 4K HDR picture mix OLED’s ability to be watched from wider angles than current LCD TVs without losing colour and contrast, you have on your hands one of the best TVs on the market, even in the especially competitive 55-inch screen space.

Read the full review: Philips 55POS901F

  • This product is only available in the UK as of this writing. US and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the LG OLED55B7

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Panasonic TX-50CS520

By introducing its exceptional X1 video processor further down its TV range than ever before and being brave enough to dial down the brightness a bit to deliver a more even, immersive backlight experience, Sony’s struck mid-range gold with the XBR-X850E (KD-55XE8596 in the UK). 

While it’s not the brightest or most colorful TV on the list, the simple fact is that few TVs we’ve seen in recent times have balanced price, contrast, brightness and color quite so all-round effectively as Sony’s mid-range hero.

All that said, US customers will have to upgrade to Sony’s 65-inch iteration of the X850E if they want the mid-range price break, while UK residents get to happily enjoy this one in the smaller 55-inch size.

Read the full review: Sony XBR-55X850E

  •  This product is only available in the US at the time of this writing. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the LG OLED55B7 
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A Mario movie from the makers of Minions is in the works

There’s an animated Mario movie on its way to your screens, and given who’s producing it, there’s every possibility it’s going to be good (or at least successful). 

The flick comes as Nintendo finalizes its deal with Illumination, the production house behind such animated hits as Despicable Me, The Secret Life of Pets, and Minions. Love them or hate them, the little yellow critters made a big splash, and now it looks like Illumination is turning its attention to everyone’s favorite plumber (yeah, we know, he’s technically not a plumber any more, but he always will be in our hearts).

Given that the deal’s only just been announced, the film is in the early stages of development, which in the world of animated films means it’s going to be years before the film actually hits the silver screen. 

Avoiding the banana peels

For those with long enough memories, the idea of a Mario film will bring back some very vivid images of Dennis Hopper with…um, interesting hair. Not only that, but Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo as the titular Mario and his brother Luigi (and for the eagle eyed, former TechRadar Editor-in-chief Patrick Goss).

The film was (to put it lightly) not as successful as the games that spawned it, but we’re hopeful that an animated film will be able to be a little more faithful to the source material. While films about games are generally pretty hit-and-miss, the success of Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph shows that you can make a successful animated film about games.

The news of the film came from a tweet from the Nintendo of America account:

Mario is currently riding high, with recent release Mario Odyssey being one of the big hits on the Nintendo Switch. It definitely makes more sense to make a film out of a pre-existing franchise like Mario than about, say, emojis. Fingers crossed.

  • Want more Mario news? Check out: Nintendo announces Mario Kart Tour will be its next mobile game

Via Variety

Apple may start iPhone 6s production in India in partnership with Wistron

With Apple eyeing to expand its focus on the Indian market, recent reports have revealed that the company will be starting iPhone 6s production in India in a partnership with Taiwan-based supplier Wistron. 

According to a new report by Reuters, Wistron is close to making a deal to start a new manufacturing unit in Bengaluru, and a part of the unit would be used to manufacture the iPhone 6s.

The report states that Wistron could be investing up to $157 million in the unit, and the deal could be closed in the coming weeks. Once the unit is up and running, Wistron is expected to set up an assembly line for the iPhone 6s.

Looking beyond China

This move from Apple to manufacture the iPhone 6s in India comes at a time when the company is looking to expand its manufacturing facilities outside China. 

In a trial run, Apple has been assembling the iPhone SE in India for a while now, and the move to start iPhone 6s assembly in the country is a logical extension of the same.

In the Reuters report, an unnamed source was quoted as saying, “(Apple is) likely to start assembling its iPhone 6s models in India via Wistron soon, as it looks to cut costs and diversify its production base beyond greater China.”

Another source said, “The assembly of iPhone SE in India was a pilot to test waters and it is only logical the line would be expanded.”

With the hike in import duties on smartphones to 20%, the decision to manufacture more iPhones in India becomes that much more important for Apple. 

Earlier, the government had decided to increase the import duties to 15%, up from 10%, at which point Apple had to increase the prices of all its products by as much as 3.5%. At that time, the prices of only the made-in-India iPhone SE remained the same.

LG G7: what we want to see

Update: LG has seemingly confirmed that the G7 won’t arrive at MWC, saying it won’t hold a press conference at the show.

The LG G6 was unleashed onto the world in early 2017, so we’re ready for its successor, the LG G7.

What will it look like, what’ll be inside, and will LG finally cut it out with the region-specific features? Let’s get started.

Below, you’ll find the developing story of the G7 as we know it through rumors, leaks and confirmed news. And of course, we’ve added our own two cents as to how we hope this year’s flagship comes together.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? LG’s 2018 flagship smartphone
  • When is it out? Possibly March or April
  • How much will it cost? Like the G6, the G7 may be around $729 (about £568, AU$967)

LG G7 release date and price

If you were hoping to see the LG G7 at MWC 2018 you’re probably out of luck, as the firm has apparently confirmed to Tech Advisor that this won’t be happening, saying “we are not holding a press conference at MWC this year.”

This follows similar news reported by Gearburn, which claims an LG exec hinted that the G7 would be “a little bit late.”

This isn’t too surprising, as apparently the company recently started redesigning the phone from scratch. If true, we wouldn’t expect to see the phone for at least a few months.

We’ve heard from another source that it won’t be unveiled until March, or hit stores until April.

Whenever it lands it won’t be cheap. In line with other LG flagships, we expect it cost north of $700 at retail, around $729 (about £568, AU$967). It’s a lot of cash, but not as much as some others. The Samsung Galaxy S8, for example, started at around $750. 

LG news and rumors

There’s not much in the way of LG G7 rumors yet, but there has been some question as to the name, with one source suggesting it might be rebranded.

However, LG itself has used the G7 name both on its website and a now-removed app, so that’s still looking the most likely.

We have also heard reports that LG planned to switch to OLED screens in its flagships from late 2017. That panned out, with the LG V30 packing an OLED screen, so the LG G7 may well have one too and could benefit from the blacker blacks and vivid images that OLED is known for.

And the LG G7 could be very powerful too, with one source claiming LG is working with Qualcomm to ensure the G7 uses the Snapdragon 845 – which is likely to be the main flagship chipset of 2018.

That would make sense, since many criticized the G6 for its use of the dated Snapdragon 821, and LG won’t want to make the same mistake twice.

LG’s earnings for 2017 have shown that the LG G6 has been slow to sell, likely a result of launching in the midst of the competitive release season alongside the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus. 

However, its internals, which we mentioned as being slightly behind the times, could have been part of the issue. Knowing that phones with the Snapdragon 835 were coming put an obstacle in front of the G6 before its launch.

You can bet that LG will be gunning to have the most powerful phone around this year, or at least be on par with its competitors.

You won’t find the Snapdragon 835 in the G6

All that said, LG has apparently recently started from scratch on the LG G7, potentially ditching whatever progress had been made, so much of what we’ve heard previously may no longer be true.

There’s a lot about LG’s 2018 flagship that can probably be gleaned from the G6, though. Considering that it was the first major smartphone to release with small bezels and a 18:9 aspect ratio, signs point favorably to the next phone keeping in line with that general design philosophy: a large, tall screen inside of a compact build.

However, what it will look like piece-by-piece is, right now, a complete mystery. Today’s best practices in flagship smartphone manufacturing aren’t likely to change all that much going into 2018, so expect to see a fair share of curvature and metal dashed around the device, with more focus directed to the screen.

What do we want to see in the LG G7? We’re so glad that you asked.

A curved screen option

The LG G6 opts for business (flat) in the front and party (curved) in the back, but we’d like to see LG mix up the formula for the next iteration of its G series.

After seeing how well Samsung’s curved Edge experiment turned out —being that it has made the core S product even more refined— the LG G7 would be the perfect test bed for a brand new curved look, with the hope being that the learnings will feed into making future G phones even better looking.

Plus, who doesn’t love a bit of curved screen? It feels really good in the hand and looks futuristic. If LG can build in some utility, as we’ve seen from Samsung, all the better.

The latest Snapdragon chipset

The Snapdragon 821 inside of the LG G6 is no slouch. It’s perfect for everyday use, only slowing down under the immense pressure of Daydream VR in the Google Pixel (the G6 doesn’t support Daydream. We’ll get to that later.). But even with its performance pedigree, it’s old news.

When the G6 launched, one of its main highlights was that it used old technology – not the takeaway you’re aiming for in your brand spanking new flagship smartphone. Not just that, the S8 showed it up with the next-gen Snapdragon 835 shortly after its release. Not the best look. 

While LG’s latest appeals to those looking for a well-built smartphone with a ton of features, it’s going to have to work to get back the hardcore audience that cares about raw performance capability. Adopting the Snapdragon 845 would be a good way of doing just that.

The LG V20 has a removable back, so why not the G7?

A removable battery

LG is familiar with making phones that have removable batteries. Take the LG G4, LG G5, LG V10 and LG V20 as some recent examples. So, there’s little to no reason as to why its next flagship shouldn’t have this sought-after feature.

Of course, slimmer design requires sacrifice somewhere around the device, so while it’s understandable that LG removed the ability to swap batteries in its latest smartphone, it’s a real crowd-pleaser that’s worth keeping in mind for next year’s model.

After last year’s Samsung Galaxy Note 7 battery fiasco, the benefits of a removable battery explain themselves. Fortunately, LG’s reputation in the battery department is iron clad, but even so, power users love being able to keep the experience going with swappable batteries and we’re in the same boat.

Quad DAC and wireless charging in all regions

The LG G6 is the jack-of-all-trades, well, depending on where you live. If you’re in the US, you’re treated to wireless charging, but not the quad DAC hardware that makes your audio sing at audiophile-grade quality.

Those elsewhere in the world might have been treated to the quad DAC, but they were then missing wireless charging. As a result, there is no ideal version of the LG G6.

In the company’s quest to give each region what they clamor for, they’ve abandoned a piece of their audience that has likely moved onto a different phone this year as a result.

We spoke with an LG spokesperson about the challenges of making the “perfect” phone and thankfully, he stated that LG is always listening to consumer feedback. Given that said feedback for the LG G6’s regional split of hardware features, we’ll see if that’s true when the LG G7 arrives next year.

OLED for VR

Lastly, let’s touch on one of the G6’s more inexcusable omissions: an OLED screen. The company has been rather predictable with its IPS display technology, so the fact that the LG G6 continued the trend wasn’t a surprise, but that doesn’t make it any less disappointing.

Many of the smartphone competitors have moved onto OLED screens, which offer a greater contrast ratio and brightness capability than IPS LCD does. While it suffers in its limited viewing angles, it makes up for with a very vivid picture that makes LG’s technology look a little stale by comparison. To give you an idea of how behind LG is in this department, the best VR headset compatible with the G6 is Google Cardboard.

An OLED screen in LG’s next isn’t just to satisfy our desire for what the LG G6 doesn’t have, it’s a required component for Google Daydream support —something that LG’s latest phone obviously doesn’t have. Therefore, if virtual reality is your thing, you’ll have to get your kicks on a different phone instead. LG, we have seen your stunning OLED televisions. You can do this.

Samsung is making processors solely for cryptocurrency mining

Thanks to the cryptocurrency craze, the cost of graphics cards has inflated up to three-times their retail price whiles reducing inventories to all time lows month over month. But relief for PC gamers could be coming soon as Samsung aims to build new chips specifically for mining.

Samsung confirmed that its foundry business is ‘engaged the manufacturing of cryptocurrency mining chips’ with TechCrunch. Aside from the scant confirmation, a separate Korean news report from The Bell suggest that the company will produce application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC) designed for single computational tasks.

Among the many unknowns of Samsung’s new confirmed mining chips is how this form of ASIC will be able to readily chip at Ethereum, which has classically been ASIC-resistant. Ethereum isn’t necessarily invulnerable to ASIC, but it’s a problem that Samsung will need to solve.

The Korean electronics firm’s move into the cryptocurrency world might seem like a curious one, but the company is already deeply involved in mining. A majority of the graphics cards used in mining feature Samsung’s high-capacity memory chips. 

And, while Samsung is largely known for its smartphones and QLED 4K TVs, the company recently toppled Intel as the world’s largest chipmaker. So, this latest initiative could help solidify its position in the silicon arena.

Hopefully, Samsung’s move into ASIC chips can help take some of stress of the world’s stockpile of GPUs. But we can also easily see the company’s burgeoning focus in the mining world cut into the memory supply meant for graphics cards as well.

  • In the meantime, find the best motherboards for mining

Best gaming mouse 2018: the best gaming mice we’ve tested

If you’ve just built (or bought) one of the best gaming PCs, it might just be time to pair it with one of the best gaming mice on the market. It is perhaps understandable that you might want to scale back your spending after dropping a thousand bucks on a killer rig, but why would you settle for a mediocre pointing device? You should instead pick up a best gaming mouse so that everything attached to that marvelous PC is of comparable quality. And luckily, you’ve come to the right place, as we have put together a list of the best gaming mice that we’ve been lucky enough to get our hands on over the last year or so.

As with any PC component, especially any gaming peripherals, you’ll see a lot of people claiming that the most expensive equipment is always the best equipment. It’s just not true. When you are looking for the best gaming mice, you need be on the lookout for any mice that strike a balance between price and performance – not just the highest price tag on Newegg. And that’s the exact philosophy we approached this list of the best gaming mice with. The SteelSeries Sensei 310, for example, costs about as much as a new game, and it matches this price with great specs. You can improve your game in style – even on a budget.

Every single mouse on this list hits this golden value balance. We’ve reviewed or tested and ranked every mouse on this list, and each has earned our coveted seal of approval – you should be confident that no matter which of these mice you choose, you’ll be satisfied with it. No matter what kind of games you want to play, after going through this list, we believe you’ll get your hands on one of the best gaming mice.

SteelSeries is experiencing a sort of renaissance in 2018, and there is no greater evidence of that than the SteelSeries Rival 600. Featuring customizable weight, the perfect amount of side buttons, and true RGB spectrum lighting the Rival 600 will be the centerpiece of your desk. But, even beyond the aesthetics, the Rival 600 performs far better than a mouse in its price range has any right to. Not only does it feature a 12,000 DPI sensor and satisfying mechanical switches, but the Rival 600 goes above and beyond and features a depth sensor that will all but eliminate cursor sway when you lift your mouse off of the mouse pad. This is truly the best gaming mouse you can buy today.

Read the full review: SteelSeries Rival 600 

The SteelSeries Sensei 310 is a gaming mouse unlike any other, in terms of both price and performance. The low entry fee keeps it on the same level as what you’d pay for a new game, while its amazing TrueMove 3 optical sensor, produced through an exclusive partnership with mouse sensor titans Pixart, makes it almost infeasible to compete with. This mouse, with no preference when it comes to dexterity, features frankly unparalleled real-world sensitivity. 

Read the full review: SteelSeries Sensei 310 

Undeterred by years of ridicule for their comparatively higher latency, the Logitech G900 of yesteryear proved once and for all that wireless gaming mice don’t have to suck. Though it’s merely a subtle iteration on that model, the Logitech G903 only reassures us of that conviction. Gracing a slightly altered G900 design with Logitech’s own PowerPlay mouse pad that doubles as a wireless charger, the Logitech G903 is an expensive, yet rewarding investment. On one hand, the cost might deter someone who wasn’t likely to buy it anyway, but on the other, you’re getting a high-DPI wireless gaming mouse that contends with even Razer’s best.

Read the full review: Logitech G903

Flashy and desirable, there’s no confusion as to why the Asus ROG Gladius II is a bit pricier than other gaming mice in its class. Boasting swappable buttons, a clickable scroll wheel and a sensitivity toggle, this mouse has all the bits gamers crave. There’s even top-to-bottom RGB lighting for an extension of its already-handy customization. Although it doesn’t feature the swappable weights that many others in its price range do, everything else feels comfortable and up to snuff. Better suited for first-person shooters than MMOs, the high DPI rating and 50g acceleration make the Asus ROG Gladius a feat to behold despite lacking features in areas where cheaper mice have conquered.

Read the full review: Asus ROG Gladius II

It’s obvious from the moment you look at the price tag that the Corsair Glaive RGB mouse was designed to go head to head with the Razer DeathAdder Elite. And while Corsair has had a ton of luck with its PC cases, keyboards, RAM, power supplies and cooling systems, a Corsair mouse is automatically a tough sell due to a lack of history alone. Luckily, the company’s latest gaming mouse effort is built for comfort, featuring a coating of soft touch paint and interchangeable thumb grips that augment ergonomics even further. At that point, the nearly perfect three-zone backlighting system and high-DPI Pixart sensor (not to mention the niftily included DPI status lights) are a mere bonus.

Read the full review: Corsair Glaive RGB

It’s not everyday that we see a company known for its sound cards try to take on companies as renowned as Razer and Logitech with a competent gaming mouse of its own. Creative’s Sound BlasterX M04 is exactly that, however, and it’s actually fairly impressive. The 12,000 DPI rating means you won’t need to use pointer acceleration to use the mouse successfully. The RGB lighting scheme, which is controlled using Creative’s own Sound Blaster Connect software, is displayed across a subtle accent at the base of the mouse. Clearly, the Sound BlasterX Siege M04 is a winner in both function and style.

Read the full review: Creative Sound BlasterX Siege M04

You can ask any serious gamer if they prefer wired or wireless mice, and more than likely they’re going to side with the former – the low latency is just too good to pass up. However, there are probably plenty of people out there who want the freedom of movement that a wireless mouse affords. Luckily, the Thermaltake Tt Sports Level 10M combines the best of both worlds, allowing users to switch between wired and wireless modes at will, so nobody has to settle for one or the other. Plus, it’s a great performer, and it feels really good in the hand, even if the metal prong at the front of the mouse (for switching between the two modes) can get in the way from time to time.

Read the full review: Thermaltake Tt Sports Level M 

You know what you’re getting with a Razer DeathAdder mouse, and this year’s Elite model adds a new eSports-grade sensor and features the same right-handed ergonomic design as its predecessor that moulds into your hand, all while adding two new buttons beneath the mouse’s scroll wheel to change DPI (or dots-per-inch) on-the-fly. While the DeathAdder Elite misses out on more advanced features such as the free-spinning scroll wheel that you’ll find on Logitech’s Proteus Core, the Razer’s pretty RGB lighting (customizable lighting with 16.8 million color options through Razer’s synapse software), big and accessible left-mounted buttons and grippable scroll wheel make it the best mice available in the price tier below.

Rival 700

SteelSeries has ventured where few gaming mice have dared by adding a black-and-white OLED display to its Rival 700. Of course, you can’t just add a screen to something without implementing some sort of functionality. That’s why, in Dota 2, Counter Strike: Global Offensive and Minecraft, this rampant rodent can be used as a customizable tool to enhance your play sessions. In its less utilitarian form, it can also be used to display animated GIFs. Better yet, the Rival 700 hardware is modular, too, giving users the autonomy to snap covers on and off and even swap between a three- and six-foot USB cable. There are even tactile alerts in place, set to trigger vibrations when in-game resources are replenished. Overall, a distinct piece of tech.

Best gaming mice

In recent years, wireless gaming mice have cultivated a rather adverse reputation, mainly in response to their perceptible lag. With the G900 Chaos Spectrum, however, Logitech seeks to change your mind. Using some form of wizardry, the company somehow managed to get its polling rate down to 1 millisecond on a 2.4GHz connection. Accompanied by accelerated coverage of the entire DPI range, zero smoothing and filtering, this gaming mouse is prepared for everything from your next game of Hearthstone to tournament level Heroes of the Storm. That goes without mentioning an ambidextrous design ideal for left-handed players in addition to a modular button layout.

 How to choose the best gaming mice 2017 

 

Although you’re bound to determine the best gaming mouse for you based on our rankings, doing so is no effortless task. There are a lot of complicated technical specifications that go into gaming mice, including fancy jargon such as polling rates and DPI ratings. You’ll want a higher number of both, but there’s a stark difference between these two nonsensical, yet crucial terms.

For newcomers to the world of PC gaming, that DPI is shorthand for ‘dots per inch.’ The higher the number, the wider the range wherein you can specify your how sensitive your mouse is. If you don’t have a lot of desk space available and you want accuracy and precision, then opt for a gaming mouse featuring a higher DPI rating. Of course, you can always toggle a lower DPI too.

Meanwhile, a high polling rate gives you faster response times. The polling rate is measured in hertz, so it usually ranges from around 125 to 1,000Hz. The latter means that your mouse’s position is reported to your computer 1,000 times per second. Other key gaming mouse factors you’ll want to consider are ergonomics – particularly if you’re left-handed – and RGB lighting.

  • Be sure to also check out our list of the best PC cases!

Gabe Carey has also contributed to this article

Alexa can now send text messages – but there’s a catch

Amazon has introduced a new feature: SMS messaging. If you’re currently the proud owner of an Echo device you’ll know that you can send messages between Echo devices, but this new feature allows you to send more traditional text messages using only your voice.

You’ll need to live in the US and have an Android phone linked up to your Alexa account in order to take advantage of this feature. There’s no word yet on whether this feature is going to be coming to iOS devices or other regions.

We’d be surprised if it stayed as a US exclusive feature, but given that Apple is due to release its own smart speaker (the HomePod) to the market in the coming weeks, it’s possible that the feature won’t come to iOS, as Apple may offer an iMessage alternative.

Alexa, text Wife I’m losing my voice

What’s quite cool about this new feature is that although you won’t be able to send MMS messages (or group messages, or message 911), it looks like you’ll be sent not only the text message but also a link so you can listen to the message. 

This new feature looks like it’s not the only change that Amazon in making to Alexa. In a Superbowl teaser commercial, Alexa loses ‘her’ voice, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos lines up replacements. This could mean that on Sunday we get a host of new voices in Echo devices. 

The YouTube video lines up a number of videos on Autoplay of celebrities opening Amazon boxes with headsets, including rapper Cardi B, actor Anthony Hopkins, chef Gordon Ramsey, and comedian Leslie Jones. It’s not clear yet if these are going to be permanent voices or just a marketing stunt. We’ll keep you posted. For now, you can watch the teaser below: 

  • Want to see Alexa’s best skills? Check out: The best Amazon Echo Alexa skills and commands: The best uses for your Echo

Via Engadget

Samsung provides more evidence the foldable Galaxy X could arrive this year

Samsung has been quite open about its plans to launch a foldable phone as soon as possible, and some rumors even point to a launch by the end of 2018. That might sound optimistic, but even Samsung’s latest financial results suggest that’s not out of the question.

At the very least, production of the phone – currently known as the Samsung Galaxy X – might well start this year, as in its Q4 2017 earnings statement Samsung has mentioned that in 2018 its display panel business will “reinforce its competencies in new applications such as foldable [displays].”

That doesn’t necessarily mean the handset will be ready to launch this year, but it’s possible, and it sounds like it would be by 2019 at the very least.

A foldable future

In fact, in the same statement Samsung notes that “as for the Mobile business, Samsung will continue its efforts to differentiate its smartphones by adopting cutting-edge technologies, such as foldable OLED displays.” Though the time frame for that is less clear.

Of course, any plans Samsung has could be held up by issues with the technology, indeed in his latest comment on a folding phone, Samsung’s mobile chief Koh Dong-jin said that “there are still durability issues that we need to address.”

But it’s really starting to sound like the wait for the Samsung Galaxy X might almost be over.

  • Before the Galaxy X we’ll see the Samsung Galaxy S9

Via SamMobile