The best Walmart Black Friday deals 2017: Rollback prices listed

The best Walmart Black Friday deals 2017: Rollback prices listed

If you’re looking for the best Walmart Black Friday deals for 2017, you’ve come to the right place, but the No. 1 retailer in the US is already giving us major price drops today. 

Although Black Friday is November 24, no one waits these days, and that’s good news for you as a consumer looking to pay the lowest price on everything from 4KTVs, to laptops, to Xbox One, PS4 and Nintendo Switch. 

One of our big Walmart Black Friday predictions is that it’ll offer something to drive you to the website, so having either the SNES Classic or iPhone X in stock. Right now, both are nearly impossible to find in stores. 

The great thing about online shopping with Walmart is that is offers pretty much everything you’ve ever heard of, with every category covered. It’s nearly the ideal place to shop for Black Friday, besides Amazon.

Here’s the problem: With so many Black Friday deals to go through, you could easily miss out on great discounts. We’ll save you some clicks, whether it’s finding that Xbox One X or SNES Mini on a rollback price.

Walmart’s Black Friday ads were released weeks in advance, but the deals won’t start until 6PM on Thanksgiving. So, let’s get starts with what’s on sale right now.

Specific Walmart Black Friday deal categories

Early Walmart deals

Walmart is already teeming with deals, well before November 24, the actual date. Its excuse? Walmart has great deals everyday. 

We’ll keep this section updated with the latest deals from Walmart in the lead-up to Black Friday, so you can be sure you don’t miss out on any great discounts.

Here are some of the best pre-Black Friday Walmart deals available now:

50-inch Sceptre Full HD TV costs $279 (was $499) at Walmart and gives you a big-screen television with a 1080p resolution and three HDMI inputs for a rock-bottom price.

Flying quad-copter drone with HD camera is $39 (list price: $119) includes 4GB memory card to record your arial footage. At this price, you can buy three, crash two into each other and still have a drone left over.

Acer Aspire 15.6-inch laptop is $449 (was $599) and packs a 7th-gen Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive. This is plenty of computer performance at a good price.

Dell Inspiron 7000 15.6-inch laptop is $699 (was $899) with a powerful 6th-gen Core i7 quad-core processor, 16GB of RAM, a 1TB hard drive, and a GTX 960m graphics processor for gaming.

500GB Xbox One S comes with a load of freebies for $249. The console itself is the Ultimate Halo bundle, and customers can choose a free copy of Call of Duty World War II, NBA 2K18, Assassin’s Creed Origins or Forza 7, as well as a free controller and free 4K Blu-ray.

Walmart Black Friday ad leaks

Walmart’s Black Friday ads are here, releasing just over two weeks in advance of Black Friday itself, though Walmart’s deals actually start Thanksgiving evening. 

You can check out the full flyer of ads to find out the hundreds of items Walmart will have on sale, but we’ve picked out some highlight deals that are definitely worth checking out. We’ll include page numbers where you can find them in the ad flyer, so you’ll have an opportunity to ad them to your Black Friday shopping list

Sharp 55-inch 4K smart TV will be $298 on Black Friday. With 4K being the latest craze in TV technology, expect this deal to sell out quickly. Find this deal on Page 1.

HP Pavilion Power desktop computer will be $499 with a Core i5 7400 processor, 8GB of RAM, a 1TB hard drive and a powerful Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics processor for gaming and even VR. Find this deal on Page 5.

Apple iPad 5th Gen 32GB will be $249 (regularly $329). If you’re in the market for a new tablet, it can’t hurt to save $80 and get a high-quality device. Find this deal on Page 6.

1TB PlayStation 4 Slim will be $199 (regularly $299). Anyone trying to get into the latest generation of gaming for the winter can’t go wrong savin $100 on this console, especially with so many deals on games to go with it. See this deal on Page 7.

Apple iPhone 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X, as well as Galaxy S8, S8 Plus, and Note 8 will be $0 down and come wiith a $300 Walmart gift card when activated on a qualifying plan on AT&T or Verizon. Considering how expensive the Note 8 and iPhone X are, this deal has the potential to really lighten the strain on your wallet. See this deal on Page 11.

Expected Walmart Black Friday deals

Even though Walmart’s ads have leaked, showing off hundreds of items on discount, it’s a safe bet there will be even more deals that aren’t highlighted.

Here are the main deals and categories we expect Walmart to have discounts on:

Gaming Black Friday deals: This should surprise no one. Walmart already mentioned deals on the PS4 Slim and Xbox One S, but we expect bundles for the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X to be available as well.

4KTV Black Friday deals: Walmart is home to the big-ticket item discounts, and that usually means people fighting over insanely reduced price televisions in stores. Online shopping is much safer, and you can still walk away with a brand new TV while paying as little as half the original price. The ads already show some 4KTVs that will be on sale, but don’t expect the discounts to end there.

Walmart Black Friday laptop deals: You won’t find Apple MacBook deals at Walmart, but every Windows 10 brand will have some sort of sale for Black Friday 2017. HP, Dell and Lenovo will show up. Samsung, Acer and ASUS have Google Chromebooks that are even cheaper to buy.

Walmart drones deals for Black Friday 2017: Drones with HD camera will be just as popular this holiday season as they were last year, and we hope to see another DJI Phantom that was over $1,000 and went down to $447.

More Walmart Black Friday deals to come

This isn’t the end or even the beginning of Walmart sales in advance of Black Friday. We’ll continue to update this page as we spot new deals in the lead up to the big day.

Today’s deals are just a good indication of what will be on sale on November 24. Usually they’re the same products, just at even deeper discounts, which we’re all in favor of seeing. And if you don’t get them in time, you’ll have to wait for Cyber Monday.

Source: http://www.techradar.com/news/walmart-black-friday-deals-2017

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The best Australian tech deals for November 2017

The best Australian tech deals for November 2017

eBay’s Christmas Gifting Frenzy. is still on, with plenty of tech to choose from, but there’s always other bargains to be found, and we save you time and effort by scouring through the ‘net to find you the best products with the juiciest price tags.

There’s a Garmin running watch to be had for cheap, along with a JBL on-ear wireless headphones. And if you want to upgrade your TV to a 4K unit, have we got a bargain for you! 

Here are Friday’s deals:

New deals added Friday, November 10

Sony X8000E 49-inch 4K HDR TV ($1,198; down from $1,999): Looking for a 4K TV that won’t cost you an arm and a leg? Head to Sony Australia’s website where you can get yourself the 49-inch X8000E 4K HDR TV for just $1,198, saving you over $800. The telly features a Triluminos Display, promising excellent colour and, of course, every image showcased in 4K detail.

JBL E55 over-ear wireless headphones ($183.20; down from $229): With Harman’s signature sound and the promise of up to 20 hours of battery, the JBL E55BT cans allow you to seamlessly switch between devices and enjoy your favourite tunes the way you want to. The headphones retail for $229, but until November 12 you can save 20% by heading to The Good Guys website and applying the code HPHONE20 at checkout to snag a pair of the JBLE55s for just $183.20.

Garmin Forerunner 235 running watch ($249; down from $469): This GPS-enabled running watch made it into our best running watch round-up, and for good reason too. There’s GPS and activity tracking for up to 9 days straight before needing a charge, good heart-rate insights, you can monitor your VO2 levels and ensure you don’t go overboard with your training by using information like aerobic Training Effect. It usually carries a premium price tag of $469, but Harvey Norman can save you $220, giving you the opportunity to get fit with the Garmin Forerunner 235 for just $249.

More hand-picked deals from the Australian TechRadar team

If nothing from today’s selection tickled your fancy, check out these other TechRadar-recommended deals:

Previous days’ deals that are still available

Deals added Wednesday, November 8

Microsoft Surface Book Core i7 256GB 2-in-1 ($1,799; down from $2,804): Featuring a 13-inch PixelSense touchscreen display, a 6th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB RAM and 256GB of storage, this tablet/laptop hybrid has a detachable screen and carries enough of oomph factor to be premium. But here’s your chance to save big, thanks to a price drop on Microsoft’s eBay store, where this configuration of the Microsoft Surface Book is now available for $1,799, saving you well over $1,000 on the usual retail price of the device.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 ($1,199.20; down from $1,499): Perhaps the best phablet in the market today, the Galaxy Note 8 is a success story after the debacle that was the exploding Note 7. With a 6.3-inch Infinity Display, 6GB of RAM to keep the device performing smoothly and a brilliant camera system, the Note 8 is big in every way. If you’ve been waiting to lay your hands on this handset, head to eBay, apply the code PREZZY at checkout and you can snag 20% off the actual retail price and get yourself a brand-new Samsung Galaxy Note 8 for just $1,199.20, saving you nearly $300 in the bargain. This offer ends November 16.

Bose SoundLink Micro ($135.20; down from $169): Want big sound from an unobtrusive speaker? You might want to consider the Bose SoundLink Micro. It’s Bose’s smallest speaker, ever, able to fit into the palm of your hand, yet has a soundscape that’s remarkably deep. Perhaps size truly does not matter. Until November 16, you can save 20% on this little Bluetooth speaker by heading to eBay and applying the code PREZZY at checkout. The Bose SoundLink Mini can be yours for just over $135.

Deals added Monday, November 6

Dell XPS 13 9360 Signature Edition laptop (from $1,199, down from $1,599): The Dell XPS 13 is an outstanding laptop, in fact you can see exactly how great we think it is in our XPS 13 review. This Signature Edition features a 13-inch QHD+ touchscreen display, 8GB of RAM, and upwards of 256GB of storage, and for a limited time you can save $400 on the mid-tier option, netting you an Intel Core i7-7500U upgrade, so grab the XPS 13 for only $1,199 while it lasts.

Xbox One S 1TB with CoD: WWI, Assassin’s Creed Origins, and two free games ($369): If you’re wanting to score a new console but have been hanging out for the latest entries in the blockbuster Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed titles, then this deal is perfect. Along with 1TB Xbox One S model, you’ll score yourself the brand new Call of Duty WWII and Assassin’s Creed: Origins games, along with Rainbow Six Siege and a choice of game from a small selection. Head over to the Microsoft Store and grab yourself this awesome Xbox One S bundle for only $369.

Lenovo Yoga 370 2-in-1 ($1,299, down from $1,899): Ideal for people after both power and portability, the Yoga 370 exists in the perfect middle-ground between a tablet and notebook without skimping on power. The base model comes with 128GB SSD, 8GB RAM, and an Intel Core i5-7200U processor, but for a few extra dollars you can bump up all of these specs. If you buy it from Lenovo’s own store, you can get the Yoga 370 starting from $1,299, down from $1,899.

Deals added Friday, November 3

HTC U11 128GB (from $703, down from $999): Although the edge-sense “squeezeable” smartphone is somewhat of a novelty, the HTC U11 performs exceptionally well and has some serious power beneath the glossy, premium hood. This handset is already below the $999 store price tag on this eBay store, and with an extra 20% off using the code PIXELS, you’ll be able to grab the stellar HTC U11 in silver for only $703 or in blue for $719. Offer ends November 6.

Olympus E-M10 Mk II Single Lens Kit ($639, down from $799): With a compact and stylish body and coming kitted out with a 14-42mm lens, this interchangeable lens mirrorless camera in Olympus’ OM-D range is an excellent choice for prosumer photographers. You can read our E-M10 MK II review to find out just why we like it so much. For a limited time, you can grab this nifty Olympus Mirrorless kit for 20% off at the Good Guy’s eBay store, just use the code PAYOFF at checkout to bring the price down to $639. Hurry though, the offer expires November 6.

Google Home Mini ($63, down from $79): Considering how new the latest compact assistant-speaker from Google is, to be nabbing it a discount is quite rare. The perfect way to start your smart home collection, this little speaker will feed you nifty information when you ask it, and integrate with the rest of your smart devices. You can get the Home Mini in Charcoal or in Chalk for only $63 when you use the discount code PAYOFF at checkout. This offer will end November 6, so get in quick!

Dyson V6 Slim Handstick Vacuum ($237, down from $297): This is an excellent vacuum for people who want to get at those hard to reach places but don’t want to be lugging around a giant machine. Dyson is known for its attention to design and, as a result, will typically go for a pretty penny. Grab a bargain and save 20% on a Dyson V6 Slim by using the code PAYOFF at checkout, bringing the cost down to $237. Offer ends November 6.

Deals added Wednesday, November 1

Google Home smart speaker ($168.30; down from $199): Get help with planning your day or with the little things that need doing around the house, like switching off your smart lighting system. Google Home is here to help. Usually retailing at $199 apiece, you can score 15% off when shopping on Officeworks’ eBay store by applying the code PRESSIE at checkout, bringing the price of the Google Home down to $168.30. Time to start shopping for Christmas, but hurry as the sale ends November 2.

Bose QuietComfort QC35 II noise-cancelling headphones ($380; down from $499): The second iteration of the ever-popular QC35 noise-cancelling cans from Bose is an improvement on near perfection. With Google Assistant now integrated into the headphones, these will be the only cans you need to shut the world out. Grab a pair of the QC 35 II from eBay with the code PIXELS at checkout until November 6 for just $380. They’re available in both black and silver.

Bose SoundLink Revolve+ Bluetooth speaker ($373.15; down from $439): Fill the room with sound, or take your tunes with you wherever you go with Bose’s signature sound and up to 16 hours of battery life. Plus there’s 15% off on Myer’s eBay store, as long you use the code PRESSIE at checkout. So grab a premium Bose SoundLink Revolve+ Bluetooth speaker in black for just over $373. You will need to get a wriggle on as the offer is only available until November 2.

Dyson Pure Hot + Cool Link Purifier fan heater ($679.15; down from $799): It’s the one fan to rule the seasons – keeping you cool when it’s hot and warming you up when it’s cold. It will even purify the air around you to keep you safe from allergens. There’s a two-year warranty from the manufacturer and it’s on sale on Dyson’s eBay store. Get the Dyson Pure Hot + Cool Link Purifier fan for just over $679, saving yourself nearly $120 in the bargain by using the code PRESSIE at checkout. Offer ends November 2.

Deals added Monday, October 30

Lenovo ThinkPad E570 15-inch laptop (from $899): Designed for work and portability, Lenovo promises that this 15.6-inch laptop will meet every business need in terms of storage, memory, graphics and your budget. There’s 8GB of memory and a cool 256GB of storage available. The cheaper model is powered by Intel Core i5 processor and comes with a saving of $530 – meaning you can get the i5 ThinkPad E570 for just $899. If you’re after a bit more grunt under the hood, the i7 model is now $1,149, down from $1,779, and features the same storage and memory configurations in addition to a 2GB Nvidia GeForce GTX950M graphics card. This sale ends November 2.

Asus ROG G752VY 17-inch gaming laptop ($1,999; down from $3,599): With 16GB RAM, a 1TB HDD and a 256GB SSD for a heck of a lot of storage, and an Intel Core i7 CPU alongside Nvidia GeForce GTX graphics, this 17-inch gaming laptop promises to give you the edge you need. What makes this device pack a bigger punch is the $1,600 savings. Right now, the Asus Rog G752VY gaming laptop is available for just $1,999 on Asus’ website, down from $3,599.

Canon EOS M3 24MP mirrorless camera + 18-55mm lens ($500 after cashback): Featuring a 24Mp APS-C format sensor and an excellent user interface the Canon EOS M3 promises plenty of happy snapping, especially when you can save $150 thanks to a cashback offer from Canon. Purchase the Canon EOS M3 kit which includes an 18-55mm lens for $600 from Digital Camera Warehouse, then head over to Canon’s website to redeem the offer – meaning the camera kit is yours for $500.

Source: http://www.techradar.com/news/the-best-australian-tech-deals

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The Fans Made Louis C.K.—Now They Might Undo Him

The Fans Made Louis C.K.—Now They Might Undo Him

For a while there, Louis C.K. was Your Dude: A profane, relatably semi-pudgy real-talker who understood the way your kids drove you nuts, who called out the joylessness of our digital era, and who was baffled by everything from modern love to modern drugs. The 50-year-old comedian-writer-director got you, and a lot of your friends too; as a result, for the last decade or so, he enjoyed one of the most remarkably sustained sprints through the pop-culture mainstream (or what remains of it). There were Emmy wins and adoring cover stories, film roles and SNL stints. Yet throughout it all, he was still your dude—a lot richer, perhaps, and a bit more polished, but still as recognizably messy as the millions of people who’d bought his $5 stand-up show or watched this spring’s Netflix special the minute it went up.

And now, C.K. is the subject of a just-published New York Times story, documenting a 2002 incident in which he allegedly masturbated in front of two female peers. The story also alleges other encounters that point to a long-running pattern of cruel, harmful behavior on C.K.’s part, and includes first-person accounts from colleagues who were fearful of the repercussions they’d likely encounter for speaking out.

The C.K. revelations are the latest to surface since the Times issued its detailed Harvey Weinstein report last month. But for fans of the comedian, the accusations—which have been discussed online for a while now—likely carry a distinctly personal sting. The other high-profile men who have been named in instances of sexual assault and/or harassment existed, for the most part, completely out of view from the casual culture lover: Amazon’s Roy Price was a behind-the-scenes studio exec; Harvey Weinstein had long ago lost his ’90s-era indie-wizard notoriety; and James Toback was so obscure, he reportedly carried around DVD copies of his movies, so that he could use them as part of his pick-up con. Only Kevin Spacey maintained brand-name awareness, yet he was always one of Hollywood’s least knowable stars, partly because of his strategic coyness with the press, partly because he played so many aloof creeps and schemers. His charisma was always a byproduct of his on-screen chilliness.

But Louis C.K.? He seemed so warm-blooded, so on-the-level, partly because his career had been bolstered by a deep connection with his fans. In 2011, he self-released his Live at the Beacon Theater special for just $5 on his website, making a million dollars in less than two weeks (much of the money, C.K. noted, wound up going to staffers and charities). The Beacon special wound up winning an Emmy, but more importantly, it earned C.K. a reputation as an accidental, self-employed mini-mogul, one who wanted you to feel like a part of his small empire.

The success of the Beacon special didn’t convince C.K. to abandon the studio system altogether—by then, he had a hit cable show (Louie), and was earning supporting roles in studio films like Blue Jasmine and American Hustle—yet it did seem to liberate him from standard showbiz protocol. He used his website to put out more comedy specials, a long-abandoned feature (Tomorrow Night), and Horace and Pete, a self-financed, secretly produced TV series that won him Emmy nominations. All of these releases were heralded with earnest, self-mocking emails from Louis himself (“Hi again from Louis C.K.”, “An oops from Louis C.K.”), and, while promoting them, C.K. would sometimes agonize, albeit half-jokingly, about how much money he’d spent on them. He was doing this all for you; how could you not love him for it?

That performative fumbling had also long been a part of C.K.’s comedy. Louie, his 2010 breakout hit, presented itself as a kinda-true-life travelogue, one that followed C.K. as he inexpertly navigated the dumb, deflating worlds of parenting, friendship, and sex (many of the early episodes could best be synopsized as follows: “Louie tries to do something semi-good, but then semi-fucks it up, and it mostly turns out okay.”) And while he’d recently upgraded from t-shirts to suits for his stand-up specials, much of the comedy that marked his mid-’00s rise found him taking workaday experiences (being married, being a dad, being a slob) and digging into all the profound disappointments and stupid joys they could yield. He could articulate ideas you’d come this close to coming up with yourself—only in a way that was funnier and smarter, even if he was just talking about being an overweight slob.

So, when the first waves of rumors began to circulate about C.K.’s backstage behavior, a lot of fans didn’t want to believe them: That’s not the dude I know. Because if those rumors were true, it meant the honesty that had seemingly been a benchmark of C.K.’s life and work had been its own lie. The I’m-such-a-mess confessions? The self-flagellating screeds? If those rumors were true, it would mean C.K.’s career was one long-running, multimedia misdirect—a way to dupe us all into believing we knew the real Louis C.K., while also giving him a kind of shining-knight cover that allowed him to do whatever he wanted. It’s a similar strategy to the one employed by Weinstein, who allowed, and even encouraged, tales of his verbally abusive behavior to circulate within the press—knowing that they would feed the rumor mill, satiate some of his critics, and discourage us all from looking for deeper trouble.

It’s an effective ploy, and C.K. got away with it for years—until now. The alleged incidents in the Times piece don’t constitute some minor oops from C.K.; they’re deliberate acts of harassment and disempowerment, enabled by those with a vested interest in his profitability. Yet unlike, say, Weinstein or Spacey—the latter of whom is so noxious, he’s literally being deleted from his next movie—the comedian doesn’t need the machinations of major studios or booking agents in order to continue working.

There will be outcries and severed relationships, to be sure, and his next writing-directing effort, I Love You, Daddy, will likely exist as little more than a distasteful curio (if it even gets released at all; the movie’s New York City premiere was canceled on Thursday). Still, C.K. spent years building up a database of fans who were eager to support him directly—and there’s always a chance some of them could embrace him again, in spite of the behavior he’s exhibited. Ultimately, it will be up to his supporters to determine C.K.’s fate: They can, of course, give their dude another chance, and make him some sort of misbegotten Patreon saint. Or they can turn their back on him altogether, leaving him to pleasure nobody but himself.

Source: https://www.wired.com/story/louis-ck-allegations-fans/

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iPhone X owners can now create 360-degree ‘selfie scenes’ with Apple Clips app

iPhone X owners can now create 360-degree ‘selfie scenes’ with Apple Clips app

Image credit: Apple

Along with the fix for that annoying iOS 11 keyboard bug that’s been going around, Apple today released a patch for its Clips app that allows iPhone X users to make so-called “Selfie Scenes.”

The new feature takes advantage of the TrueDepth sensor array that’s used for Face ID in order to let iPhone X users add 12 backgrounds to their selfies, as the sensors involved easily remove everything from the background and keep the subject – you – in the spotlight.

But it’s not just made for photos. Think of Selfie Scenes as your own personal greenscreen. The feature goes beyond merely changing the background as it lets you move around that virtual “background” in 360 degrees, all while adding both sound effects and music that fit the setting. 

It also stylizes your own image to fit the background, allowing you to, say, look like one of the light-blue holograms from Star Wars while you hang around in the Millennium Falcon.

It’s a neat way of swapping out humdrum backgrounds for more interesting ones if you’re keen to make a video. It’s quite cool: so cool, in fact, that it’s almost a given that apps like Snapchat and Instagram will soon follow up with their own takes on the technology.

Face the facts

You shouldn’t expect perfection, though, as the TrueDepth’s sensor is primarily meant to capture images of your face. As MacStories points out, that sometimes leads to Selfie Scenes “frequently cutting off parts of [your] head.” It also apparently doesn’t like certain hairstyles or accessories.

The new patch for Clips brings other changes as well, such as a redesigned interface that simplifies the formerly steep learning curve needed to use the app, along with effects that can make your video or photo selfie look as though it’s a pencil sketch or a watercolor painting. You’ll also get to plaster your selfies with stickers from Disney and Star Wars if that’s your thing. Clips also now boasts iCloud support, which means you’ll also be able to start a project on one iOS device and finish it on another.

You can use a lot of the latter features if you own a more recent iPhone than the 5S or a younger iPad than the iPad mini 2, but you’ll only be able to use the Selfie Scenes if you’re on the iPhone X. Even some of the stylistic elements are limited to the iPhone 7 and above owing to the beefy processor power they require. Still interested, though? You can download the Clips here.

(And last but not least, who wants to bet we’re going to see a legal tussle over the app’s name now that Google’s GoPro-like smart camera will soon be out?)

Source: http://www.techradar.com/news/iphone-x-owners-can-now-create-360-degree-selfie-scenes-with-apples-clips-app

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SteamVR comes to Windows Mixed Reality devices next week

SteamVR comes to Windows Mixed Reality devices next week

We first heard that users of Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality headsets would eventually be able to play SteamVR games back in August, and now, as Rolling Stone reports, that day is almost here.

The feature goes live on November 15, and it will make Microsoft’s own entry into the crowded (and still largely unpopular) virtual reality arena more appealing by letting its users play standout VR titles like EVE: Valkyrie.

The newish Windows Mixed Reality headsets like the Samsung HMD Odyssey have been a fairly unappetizing option until now largely because of their scarcity of content. As of right now, there are only a few dozen apps available for Windows Mixed Reality on the Windows Store.

Split reality

The appeal of Microsoft’s program lies in the way it embraces both virtual reality and augmented reality, although virtual reality remains the focus of most apps made by the platform by far. 

Thanks to the emergence of technology such as Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore, much of augmented reality development in particular is shifting to mobile devices rather than clunky headsets.

Keep in mind that the project essentially remains a beta, which means that you’ll still find a few bugs lurking while Microsoft and other developers iron out the kinks. If you have a compatible headset, you’ll also need to have Windows 10 installed to access the SteamVR library.

  • Here’s our best laptop list (because you know you need a new one)

Source: http://www.techradar.com/news/steamvr-comes-to-windows-mixed-reality-devices-next-week

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LTE Advanced from T-Mobile is the next step to 5G connectivity

LTE Advanced from T-Mobile is the next step to 5G connectivity

T-Mobile is pushing forward with the rollout of next-generation connectivity, called Gigabit Class LTE, by rolling out LTE Advanced capabilities to more than 920 markets in the US. 

In 430 of those markets, carrier aggregation, 4 x 4 MIMO – i.e. multiple data input and output streams at once – and 256 QAM tech have also been activated to deliver even greater speed boosts. T-Mobile claims it now has more LTE Advanced markets than any other carrier.

Teaming up with chipmaker Qualcomm, T-Mobile announced the rollout at an event in San Jose, California earlier today. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Gigabit LTE modems in smartphones allow for LTE Advanced connectivity.

According to T-Mobile, LTE Advanced allows for double download speeds. Add in the three speed-boosting technologies listed above, and those speeds are doubled once more. 

In several live demonstrations, the technology lived up to T-Mobile’s claims, showcasing faster download speeds, quicker movie download times and snappier data transfers. The demonstrations pitted older smartphones against newer models, like the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Samsung Galaxy Note 8, which house Qualcomm’s Gigabit LTE modems.

A phone with Gigabit Class LTE (right) receives a notable download speed boost

Another demonstration shows how more devices with Gigabit Class LTE on a network actually took up less network space than older devices without the modems, thus allowing the overall network to perform better.

Gigabit Class LTE’s impact on virtual reality was also demonstrated; Google Daydream View headsets with Gigabit LTE phones ran demos at 50 mbps. A Qualcomm representative told us these speeds might not be possible on older devices that lack the modems, and a user may experience stuttering or otherwise degraded visuals. 

Notably, only Android devices with the Snapdragon 835 chipset are capable of connecting to T-Mobile’s LTE Advanced network. 

And while the demonstrations showed a marked speed boost thanks to Gigabit LTE, it’s important to note that the demos were carried out on an in-house network inside a convention center. While a live environment, the network wasn’t congested to the same level one would see in a real-world setting. Still, the boosts were impressive, and illustrated the promise of LTE Advanced and, eventually, 5G.

T-Mobile has been rolling out LTE Advanced technology since 2014, and undertook a greater push last year when it doubled its LTE Advanced footprint.

Not 5G … yet

T-Mobile’s Mark McDiarmid was quick to point out that LTE Advanced is not 5G, and the carrier isn’t going to refer to the network capacity as 5G. This comment garnered claps from the audience, as 5G is often misnomered. 

However, T-Mobile and Qualcomm consider LTE Advanced to be the “bedrock of 5G,” an important step on the path to the wider 5G rollout, which T-Mobile will start to rollout in 2019 and have available nationwide by 2020.

A demonstration shows that a phone with Gigabit Class LTE (right) allows for quicker photo transfers to Google Drive versus one without Gigabit Class LTE

What’s more, LTE Advanced will serve customers when they aren’t in a 5G network. Qualcomm’s Pete Lancia noted that 5G won’t roll out all at once, and LTE Advanced will take over when customers are no longer receiving 5G signals. 

T-Mobile also announced it will launch License Assisted Access to customers sometime this year. LAA uses unlicensed spectrum on small cell networks to deliver another level of LTE on a denser network.

  • These are the best phones today – hopefully they’ll work with LTE Advanced

Source: http://www.techradar.com/news/lte-advanced-from-t-mobile-is-the-next-step-to-5g-connectivity

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The best 13-inch laptop 2017: the top 13-inch laptops we’ve reviewed

The best 13-inch laptop 2017: the top 13-inch laptops we’ve reviewed

All of the best 13-inch laptops on the market strive to hit a perfect balance between high performance and high portability. And, you can be sure that the biggest laptop manufacturers are constantly hard at work trying to achieve this balance. This is great because all of this competition has made companies like Dell, Apple, Asus and more come out with some extremely innovative and beautiful devices – laptops that not only can handle whatever your workload may be, but also do it on the move.

Windows isn’t the default choice the way it once was either. Apple continues to make Microsoft sweat with macOS, and even Google is knocking at its door by continuously innovating and improving on its Chromebook line, even to the point where these ‘budget’ laptops are competing with top of the line Windows and macOS laptops.

So, no matter what you need your laptop to do, no matter what operating system you are attached to, you can be sure that at least one of the best 13-inch laptops will cater to your precise needs. What’s more, you can rest assured that every single product we’ve listed here has been reviewed (and scored highly) by TechRadar – meaning that they have been put through our gamut of laptop tests for battery life, performance and more. These truly are the best of the best.

  1. Dell XPS 13
  2. Asus Zenbook Flip UX360
  3. HP Spectre x360
  4. Samsung Notebook 9
  5. Acer Aspire S 13
  6. Lenovo Yoga 910
  7. 13-inch MacBook Air
  8. 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display

Best 13 inch laptop

1. Dell XPS 13

If it ain’t broke, make it handsome

CPU: Dual-core Intel Core i3 – Core i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 – Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 | RAM: 4GB – 8GB | Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – QHD (3,200 x 1,800) | Storage: 128GB – 256GB SSD

Faster than ever
Same long-lasting battery
Still poor webcam position
No Windows Hello

Dell has once again struck (rose) gold with the XPS 13, especially now that they feature 7th generation Intel Core CPUs. The beautiful design, lengthy battery life and even the SD card slot are still there, only now it’s souped up with improved internal components and a sleeker aesthetic reminiscent of the MacBook and HP Spectre lineups. What’s more, the full-size processor and 13.3-inch display are somehow packed (magic?) into an 11-inch frame made possible by Dell’s own nearly bezel-less InfinityEdge display technology.  

Read the full review: Dell XPS 13 

Best 13 inch laptop

2. Asus ZenBook Flip UX360

An affordable 2-in-1 laptop

CPU: Dual-core Intel Core M3 – Core i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515 – 620 | RAM: 4GB – 8GB | Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – QHD+ (3,200×1,800) | Storage: 128GB – 512GB SSD

Thin and light
All-day battery life
Lacking multitasking performance
Sacrifices to build quality

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

3. HP Spectre x360

HP’s flagship 2-in-1 goes ultra-thin with style

CPU: Dual-core Intel Core i3 – Core i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 – Nvidia GeForce 940MX 2GB | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch, FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – UHD (3,840 x 2,160) IPS UWVA LED-backlit multi-touch display | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD

Ultra-thin and light styling
Long-lasting and quick-charging battery
Lacks SD card reader
Especially thick bottom bezel

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

4. Samsung Notebook 9

Great performance on the cheap

CPU: Dual-core Intel Core i5 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 13.3-inch, FHD (1,920 x 1,080) LED anti-reflective display | Storage: 256GB SSD

Thin, smart styling
Competitively priced
Micro-sized video ports
Short battery life

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

5. Surface Laptop

Microsoft’s most direct shot at the MacBook yet

CPU: 7th generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 – Iris Plus Graphics 640 | RAM: 4GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.5-inch, 2,256 x 1,504 PixelSense display | Storage: 128GB – 512GB SSD

Gorgeous design
Well built
Windows 10 S is limited

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

6. Lenovo Yoga 910

Versatile with a generous helping of elegance

CPU: Dual-core Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.9-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – UHD (3,840 x 2,160) IPS multi-touch | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD

Substantially larger screen
Rocking speakers
Heats up (and gets loud) fast
Disappointing battery life

The Lenovo Yoga 910 is all about second chances. It throws away many of the signature design traits of the previous model, the Yoga 900, in favor of a more pristine outward appearance and a heavy duty Intel Core i7 processor as well as the option of a 4K display. Lenovo also managed to squeeze a larger, nearly 14-inch screen into the same 13-inch chassis of the Yoga 900 without compromise. Not to mention, even with the implementation of USB-C ports, the Lenovo Yoga 910 doesn’t completely neglect USB Type-A, dragging the precious connection standard of the past along with it.

Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga 910

Best 13 inch laptop

7. 13-inch MacBook Air

The best battery life in a 13-inch laptop

CPU: Dual-core Intel Core i5 – Core i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 6000 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 13.3-inch, LED HD (1,440 x 900) | Storage: 128GB – 512GB SSD

Fantastic battery life
802.11ac Wi-Fi
No Retina screen
Not easily upgradeable

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

8. 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

CPU: Dual-core Intel Core i5 – Core i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 – 650 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch IPS, 2,560 x 1,600 pixels | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD

Faster processor
Superb battery life
Force Touch underdeveloped
Unchanged design

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

Source: http://www.techradar.com/news/mobile-computing/laptops/best-13-inch-laptops-which-is-right-for-you-901574

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Best monitor 2017: the top 10 monitors and displays we’ve reviewed

Best monitor 2017: the top 10 monitors and displays we’ve reviewed

Even if you’re not the type to drop thousands of dollars just because the newest piece of tech came out, and you just have to have it, there are still plenty of reasons to pick up one of the best monitors. Out of all of the different components that go into a computer, the monitor is the only one you’re forced to look at all day. And it doesn’t matter if you’re working or just surfing the web, you shouldn’t have to subject yourself to a subpar display that makes you squint just to read your best friend’s Facebook post.

The best part is that you don’t necessarily have to have deep pockets to get your hands on one of the best monitors. You might not be able to pick up an ultra wide curved monitor for a couple hundred, but you can get high quality standard monitors that won’t hurt your bank account. A lot of them do sport high resolutions and refresh rates, though, and even the ones that don’t are so cheap they’re practically impulse buys.

But, we hear you. There are tons of monitors out there, from more manufacturers than you’d care to name. We get it. That’s why we’ve taken the time to compile a list of the 10 best monitors you can buy today. Each one of these has been rigorously tested and reviewed here in-house so you know that their inclusion on this list is earned. We’re not here to waste your time, we want to help you out.

1. BenQ PD3200U

Top for (some of) the gamers and pros

Screen size: 32-inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 | Brightness: 350 cd/m2 | Response time: 4ms | Viewing angle: 178/178 | Contrast ratio: 1,000:1 | Color support: sRGB 100% | Weight: 8.5kg

4K resolution
Large screen
Design may seem dull to some
Some features a bit niche

Now that computers are equipped with the encoding technologies that can natively display at the intended resolution, 4K monitors are in increasingly high demand. That explains why BenQ has added the PD3200U, a massive 32-inch Ultra HD display, to its Designer Monitor range. Intended for worker bees, the company has, seemingly by mistake, crafted a screen that gamers can enjoy wholeheartedly as well, so long as they can fit it on their desks. Then again, given the comparatively sluggish 4ms response time, the PD3200U is best suited for creators. 3D designers, for instance, will be grateful for the inclusion of a CAD/CAM mode, while everyone else will revel in the factory-calibrated color accuracy and Rec. 709 adherence. 

Read the full review: BenQ PD3200U

2. AOC Agon AG352UCG

A curvy ultrawide that even has G-Sync

Screen size: 35-inch | Aspect ratio: 21:9 | Resolution: 3,440 x 1,440 | Brightness: 300 cd/m2 | Response time: 4ms | Viewing angle: 172/178 | Contrast ratio: 2,000:1 | Color support: sRGB 100% | Weight: 26 pounds

Curved 21:9 screen
G-Sync compatibility
It really is very big

The Agon AG352UCG from AOC is proof that an ultrawide display doesn’t have to be limited in resolution or extended functionality. In fact, this 21:9 IPS panel prides itself on its stately 3,440 x 1,440 resolution and G-Sync capabilities. That’s right, when paired with an Nvidia graphics card, this monitor uses G-Sync to eliminate screen tearing without adding stress to your PC hardware. What’s more, you can expect better response times from the AOC Agon than with its closest competitors, meaning lower latency in games like Overwatch or Lawbreakers that rely on faster pacing. The only downside is that the AOC Agon is rather bulky. Weighing in at 26 pounds (11.8kg) total, you’ll want to be sure your desk can support it.

Read the full review: AOC Agon AG352UCG

Display

3. Acer Predator X34

A gaming monitor with attitude

Screen size: 34-inch | Aspect ratio: 21:9 | Resolution: 3440 x 1440 Brightness: 300 cd/m2 | Response time: 4ms G2G (grey-to-grey) | Viewing angle: 178/178 | Contrast ratio: 100 million:1 | Colour support: SRGB 100% | Weight: 9.9kg

Aggressive design
Perfect color accuracy
Limited port selection
Underpowered speakers

When the classic 16:9 aspect ratio fails you, nothing does the trick like a cinematic, 21:9 display. Although it’s not ideal for streaming TV shows or playing one of myriad games that don’t support it, the Acer Predator X34 is a model example of what an ultra-wide screen should be. Flaunting an eye-catching aluminum bezel and a polygonal stand that resembles a crow’s foot, this massive 34-inch panel is a spectacle to behold. What’s more, armed with Nvidia’s G-Sync frame-smoothing tech, you don’t have to worry about enabling VSync and stressing out your graphics card. The Acer Predator X34 does all the heavy lifting for you. Save for the ho-hum speakers and missing ports, this is about as immersive as a gaming monitor gets.

Read the full review: Acer Predator X34

best monitor

4. Asus MG248Q

A reasonable price for 144Hz and Adaptive Sync

Screen size: 23.6-inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Brightness: 350 cd/m2 | Response time: 1ms | Viewing angle: 170/160 | Contrast ratio: 100000000:1 | Color support: SRGB 100%, Adobe RGB 72% | Weight: 16.98 pounds

144Hz refresh rate
1ms response time
Adaptive Sync for AMD, Intel only

If your PC can’t swing 1440p or 4K gaming, the Asus MG248Q is the next best thing. Despite exhibiting a mere 1080p twisted-nematic, or TN, panel rather than IPS, the Asus MG248Q makes up for any shortcomings with lightning fast response times and Adaptive Sync. The latter reduces screen tearing if you have an AMD graphics card, a clear demonstration that the MG248Q tailors to the budget gamer. On the other hand, even Nvidia fans can rejoice at the 144Hz refresh rate. But, without the right GPU equipped, you might be better off saving for the G-Sync equivalent Asus ROG Swift PG248Q. 

Read the full review: Asus MG248Q

Best monitor

5. Acer S277HK

A bezel-less beauty

Screen size: 27-inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Brightness: 300 cd/m2 | Response time: 4ms | Viewing angle: 178/178 | Contrast ratio: 100,000,000:1 | Colour support: SRGB 100% | Weight: 11.9 pounds

Bezel-less design
Refresh rate
No USB ports
Height not adjustable

You’ll normally shell out an arm and a leg for a 4K display, but that’s not the case with Acer’s S277HK. In terms of pricing, this bezel-less beauty hits the sweet spot. With a 1,000,000,000:1 contrast ratio, a color gamut of 1.07 billion and a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160, the Acer S277HK is better seen than heard about. Unfortunately, because of the way Acer designed it, there’s no way to mount it onto a wall for everyone to appreciate, nor is the height adjustable. But, and this is a huge but, if you prioritize high pixel density, reasonable cost and “zero frame” over malleability, this is a monitor to shoot for.

Read the full review: Acer S277HK

  • This product is only available in the US and UK as of this writing. Australian readers: check out an alternative in the similarly-specced BenQ EW2770QZ.

6. Alienware 25

A ubiquitous solution to screen tearing

Screen size: 24.5-inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | Brightness: 400 cd/m2 | Response time: 1ms | Viewing angle: 170/160 | Contrast ratio: 1,000:1 | Color support: sRGB 119% | Weight: 11.7kg

Great design
High refresh rate
Only 1080p

Depending on your budget, it might break the bank in classic Alienware fashion, but Dell’s 25-inch gaming monitor won’t let your screen tear. That’s because, whether you’re using an AMD or Nvidia graphics card, there’s a configuration designed with specifically you in mind. Taking away some of the heavy lifting away from the GPU that would otherwise be spent on VSync, a software technology that accomplishes a similar thwarting of screen tears, the Alienware 25’s 120Hz refresh rate might actually be viable. In that case, you can expect the screen to garner up to 120 frames-per-second, so long as your graphics card can handle it and it isn’t being bottlenecked by your CPU. The 1ms response time is merely a bonus.

Read the full review: Alienware 25 

7. BenQ Zowie XL2540

A monitor tailored to the needs of professional gamers

Screen size: 24-inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | Brightness: 400 cd/m2 | Response time: 1ms | Viewing angle: 170/160 | Contrast ratio: 1000:1 | Color support: NTSC 72% | Weight: 7.5kg

High refresh rates
Easy setup
Limited appeal beyond pro gamers

You might not believe it at first glance, but the BenQ Zowie XL2540 is every bit the gaming monitor that the Asus Predator X34 is. And though it may not seem it from the outside looking in, it does its job remarkably well too, sacrificing dazzling lighting effects for a zippy 240Hz refresh rate and nigh-instantaneous 1ms response time. There’s no G-Sync or FreeSync, as this monitor assumes you already have a rig that’s plenty capable of eliminating screen tears on its own. Instead, this monitor keeps it simple by supplying you with lots of visual presets, an “S Switch” control pod for managing those presets and even a pair of adjustable light screens.

Read the full review: BenQ Zowie XL2540

8. LG 34UC79G-B

A reasonable entryway to ultra wide and FreeSync

Screen size: 34-inch | Aspect ratio: 21:9 | Resolution: 2,560 x 1,080 | Brightness: 250 cd/m2 | Response time: 10.3ms | Viewing angle: 178/178 | Contrast ratio: 1000:1 | Color support: sRGB 92.1% | Weight: 8.6kg

Curved 21:9 screen design
AMD FreeSync
Lesser resolution than rivals 
Ineffective gaming modes

If you’re running games using AMD- or Intel-based graphics and want to get into ultra wide displays without spending a fortune, this is the monitor to look out for. At 34 inches diagonally, the LG 34UC79G-B is equipped with AMD FreeSync for screen tear elimination and a 21:9 aspect ratio best suited for games and cinema. Despite the resolution being lower than a lot of other widescreen displays on the market, there’s no denying that the LG 34UC79G-B pulls off a crisp image nonetheless – and with stunning color accuracy at that. Plus, you can change the height, which is more than can be said for even some of the pricier 4K monitors available today.

Read the full review: LG 34UC79G-B

Display

9. Asus ROG Swift PG248Q

Faster than you can say G-Sync

Screen size: 24-inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Brightness: 350 cd/m2 | Refresh rate: 180Hz | Response time: 1ms | Viewing angle: 170/160 | Contrast ratio: 1000:1 | Colour support: Adobe RGB 74% | Weight: 9.5kg

Cheapest G-Sync display on the market
Amazing 180Hz refresh rate
Just two display inputs
Only 24 inches

If you care more about frame rate more than graphics or resolution, this one’s for you. Because of its mind-blowing 180Hz refresh rate capabilities, the Asus ROG Swift PG248Q takes the 60fps gold standard for gaming and triples it – provided you’re equipped with a rig that can handle the extra stress. While you’re unlikely to enjoy Forza Horizon 3 at 180fps on Ultra settings given its high demand, a higher refresh rate is more than welcome in fast-paced, competitive games that don’t necessarily depend on a wealth of resources. Plus, as one of the most affordable G-Sync displays on the market, it helps that you can rely on the monitor to prevent screen tearing, too.

Read the full review: Asus ROG Swift PG248Q

10. Philips S-Line 243S7EHMB

Nothing fancy, but you’ll get your job done

Screen size: 23.8-inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 1920×1080 | Brightness: 250cd/m2 | Response time: 5ms | Viewing angle: 178/178 | Contrast ratio: 1000:1 | Color support: SRGB 96%, Adobe RGB 76% | Weight: 5kg

Affordable
Power efficient
Encourages VGA use
Contrast range could be better

Not exactly glamorous or high-end when it comes to both specs and appearances, gamers and graphics professionals will wince at the Philips S-Line 243S7EHMB just before realizing it’s not for them. That’s because this monitor was crafted specifically with business users in mind. That’s right, this panel is designed to replace that old clunker of a screen you have set up in your office right now. And, with both VGA and HDMI connections intact, you can expect it to be compatible with virtually any PC – whether it’s brand-new or collecting dust. Plus, although it’s not enabled by default, Philips’ LowBlue mode makes this monitor pretty easy on the eyes too.

Read the full review: Philips S-Line 243S7EHMB

  • This product is only available in the US and UK as of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Asus MG248Q.

Gabe Carey has also contributed to this article

Source: http://www.techradar.com/news/computing-components/peripherals/best-monitor-9-reviewed-and-rated-1058662

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The best gaming monitor 2017: the top 10 gaming screens of the year

The best gaming monitor 2017: the top 10 gaming screens of the year

PC gaming is wondrous and vast, with experiences that can truly take you out of this world, and when you add one of the best gaming monitors, it can be elevated to something that is truly sublime. It could even be argued that without one of these amazing screens, you can’t really experience PC games the way they were intended. Just keep in mind that some of these displays, especially when you start nearing high resolutions and refresh rates, you’ll need higher end PC hardware in order to power them.

A lot of what goes into picking the best gaming monitors is simply taste – the games you like to play. If you’re playing competitive shooters that require you to have lightning-fast reflexes, high refresh rates and low response times are going to be paramount. However if you enjoy single player experiences that really pack in a lot of environmental detail and beautiful graphics, a 4K ultra-HD gaming monitor might enhance those experiences exponentially.

And, that brings us to our list of the best monitors for gaming. Every single one of these displays has been tested, used and played on enough to know whether or not it truly deserves the title of ‘the best gaming monitor’. We’ve included every type of popular monitor, so whether you want an ultra-fast TN panel to hone your Counter-Strike skills, or if you want a gorgeous 4K IPS panel to suck in all the beautiful splendor of your favorite RPG, there will be something on this list for you. 

1. AOC Agon AG352UCG

A curvy ultrawide that even has G-Sync

Screen size: 35-inch | Aspect ratio: 21:9 | Resolution: 3,440 x 1,440 | Brightness: 300 cd/m2 | Response time: 4ms | Viewing angle: 172/178 | Contrast ratio: 2,000:1 | Color support: sRGB 100% | Weight: 26 pounds

Curved 21:9 screen
G-Sync compatibility
It really is very big

The Agon AG352UCG from AOC is a 21:9 AMVA panel that prides itself on its stately 3,440 x 1,440 resolution and G-Sync capabilities, making it our top choice for the best gaming monitor in 2017. This means when paired with an Nvidia graphics card, this monitor uses G-Sync to eliminate screen tearing without adding stress to your PC hardware. What’s more, you can expect better response times from the AOC Agon than with its closest competitors, meaning lower latency in games like Overwatch or Lawbreakers that rely on faster pacing. The only downsides are that the AOC Agon is rather bulky and quite pricey as well. Weighing in at 26 pounds (11.8kg) total, you’ll want to be sure your desk can support it.

Read the full review: AOC Agon AG352UCG

2. BenQ PD3200U

A large 4K screen for your desk

Screen Size: 32-inch | Aspect Ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 | Brightness: 350 cd/m2 | Response Time: 4ms | Viewing Angle: 178/178 | Contrast Ratio: 1,000:1 | Color Support: sRGB 100% | Weight: 19 lbs

4K UHD resolution
Large Screen
Inexpensive relatively
Design is a little bland
Professional tools are niche
Takes up a lot of space

The BenQ PD3200U might be primarily aimed at business and CAD professionals, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have anything to offer people who want one of the best gaming monitors. Because of its focus on graphic design and business, it’s able to offer simply phenomenal viewing angles, meaning that no matter where you’re sitting, or where your spectators are, you’ll be able to get immersed in the action. Plus, unlike many 4K monitors, you don’t have to mess around with the settings in order to get the best picture possible –
every single unit is individually calibrated and prepared by BenQ before it’s shipped. All of this culminates in the fact that at under 800 bucks for a 32-inch 4K monitor, it’s one of the most inexpensive ways to get into 4K gaming without sacrificing utility to a smaller 4K display.

Read the full review: BenQ PD3200U

best monitor

3. Asus MG248Q

A budget monitor with 144Hz and Adaptive Sync

Screen size: 23.6-inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | Brightness: 350 cd/m2 | Response time: 1ms | Viewing angle: 170/160 | Contrast ratio: 1 million:1 | Color support: SRGB 100%, Adobe RGB 72% | Weight: 16.98 pounds

144Hz refresh rate
1ms response time
Adaptive Sync for AMD, Intel only

If you’re looking for a budget gaming monitor, and don’t mind making a few compromises (it features a 1080p resolution and twisted-nematic, or TN, panel rather than IPS), then you’ll be very pleased with the Asus MG248Q. It makes up for any shortcomings with lightning fast response times and Adaptive Sync, making this the best budget gaming monitor in 2017. Adaptive Sync is of interest to gamers, as it reduces screen tearing if you have an AMD graphics card, a clear demonstration that the MG248Q tailors to the budget gamer. On the other hand, even Nvidia fans can rejoice at the 144Hz refresh rate. But, without the right GPU equipped, you might be better off saving for the G-Sync equivalent Asus ROG Swift PG248Q.

Read the full review: Asus MG248Q

4. BenQ Zowie XL2540

A monitor tailored to the needs of professional gamers

Screen size: 24-inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | Brightness: 400 cd/m2 | Response time: 1ms | Viewing angle: 170/160 | Contrast ratio: 1,000:1 | Color support: NTSC 72% | Weight: 7.5kg

High refresh rates
Easy setup
Limited appeal beyond pro gamers

You might not believe it at first glance, but the BenQ Zowie XL2540 is every bit the gaming monitor that the other monitors on this list are. And though it may not seem it from the outside looking in, it does its job remarkably well too, sacrificing dazzling lighting effects for a zippy 240Hz refresh rate and nigh-instantaneous 1ms response time. There’s no G-Sync or FreeSync, as this monitor assumes you already have a rig that’s plenty capable of eliminating screen tears on its own. Instead, this monitor keeps it simple by supplying you with lots of visual presets, an “S Switch” control pod for managing those presets and even a pair of adjustable light screens. If you’re a professional gamer, then this is the best gaming monitor for you.

Read the full review: BenQ Zowie XL2540

Display

5. Samsung CHG90 QLED

The widest ultra-wide

Screen Size: 49-inch | Aspect Ratio: 32:9 | Resolution: 3,840 x 1080 | Viewing Angle: 178/178 | Contrast Ratio: 3,000:1 | Color Support: N/A | Weight: 33 lbs

Flawless image quality
Impressive Color reproduction
Smooth 144Hz refresh rate
Only 1080p vertically

With this display, Samsung not only brings QLED to gaming monitors in a big way, but they also offer the widest ultra-wide monitor on the market today. Coming in at 49.5 inches, this behemoth will take up a lot of space, likely peeping over the sides of your desk, but with its impressive 3,840 x 1080 resolution and HDR, you’ll at least be blown away by the image. Even if you decide not to play in this resolution (it will require a beefy rig), you can still use all of the extra screen real estate to have a browser or a movie playing on the same screen. The only real drawback is the monstrous price tag. But for a display this premium, it may very well be worth it.

Read the full review: Samsung CHG90 QLED

6. Alienware 25

FreeSync, G-Sync and everything in between

Screen size: 24.5-inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | Brightness: 400 cd/m2 | Response time: 1ms | Viewing angle: 170/160 | Contrast ratio: 1000:1 | Color support: SRGB 119% | Weight: 11.7kg

Great design
High refresh rate
Only 1080p

The coolest thing you can say about the Alienware 25 gaming monitor is that it won’t discriminate against your PC. Although it’s often the case that gaming monitors support Nvidia G-Sync or AMD FreeSync, not both, to eliminate screen tearing, the Alienware 25 can be configured either way. That comes in handy, even if it’s more expensive for the Nvidia model. Still, the Alienware 25 isn’t entirely function over form. Instead, it boasts a strikingly exotic design, complete with the AlienFX RGB lighting we’ve all come to expect from the Dell subsidiary. And if that’s not enough to sell you on the Alienware 25, it wields a buttery smooth 240Hz refresh rate that will push any stout rig to its limits.

Read the full review: Alienware 25 

Display

7. Asus ROG Swift PG248Q

Faster than you can say G-Sync

Screen size: 24-inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | Brightness: 350 cd/m2 | Response time: 1ms | Viewing angle: 170/160 | Contrast ratio: 1,000:1 | Colour support: Adobe RGB 74% | Weight: 9.5kg

Cheapest G-Sync display on the market
Amazing 180Hz refresh rate
Just two display inputs
Only 24 inches

If you care more about frame rate than graphics or resolution, this one’s for you. Because of its very impressive 180Hz refresh rate, the Asus ROG Swift PG248Q takes the 60fps gold standard for gaming and triples it – provided you’re equipped with a rig that can handle the extra stress. While you’re unlikely to enjoy Forza Horizon 3 at 180fps on Ultra settings given its high demand, a higher refresh rate is more than welcome in fast-paced, competitive games that don’t necessarily depend on a wealth of resources. Plus, as one of the most affordable G-Sync displays on the market, it helps that you can rely on the monitor to prevent screen tearing, too.

Read the full review: Asus ROG Swift PG248Q

8. LG 34UC79G-B

A reasonable entryway to ultra wide and FreeSync

Screen size: 34-inch | Aspect ratio: 21:9 | Resolution: 2,560 x 1,080 | Brightness: 250 cd/m2 | Response time: 10.3ms | Viewing angle: 178/178 | Contrast ratio: 1,000:1 | Color support: sRGB 92.1% | Weight: 8.6kg

Curved 21:9 screen design
AMD FreeSync
Lesser resolution than rivals 
Ineffective gaming modes

If you’re running games using AMD- or Intel-based graphics and want to get into ultra wide displays without spending a fortune, this is the gaming monitor to look out for. At 34 inches diagonally, the LG 34UC79G-B is equipped with AMD FreeSync for screen tear elimination and a 21:9 aspect ratio best suited for games and cinema. Despite the resolution being lower than a lot of other widescreen displays on the market, there’s no denying that the LG 34UC79G-B pulls off a crisp image nonetheless – and with stunning color accuracy at that. Plus, you can change the height, which is more than can be said for even some of the pricier 4K monitors available today.

Read the full review: LG 34UC79G-B

9. BenQ EW3270ZL Eye-Care Monitor

Big, bright and easy on the eyes

Screen size: 32-inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 2,560 x 1,440 | Brightness: 300 cd/m2 | Response time: 12ms | Viewing angle: 178/178 | Contrast ratio: 3,000:1 | Color support: sRGB 100% | Weight: 8.5kg

Large screen
High resolution
Lack of extra features

Thanks to its large size, the BenQ EW3270ZL is a great choice of gaming monitor if you’re looking for the best way to immerse yourself in your games without paying for an ultra-wide gaming screen. Not only is it large, it has a great resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 and excellent color reproduction. It’s not solely a gaming monitor, so response time is high and you don’t get gaming-specific features such as G-Sync or FreeSync, but if you’re looking for a big, budget gaming monitor, this is one of the best.

Read the full review: BenQ EW3270ZL Eye-Care Monitor

10. Lenovo Y27G Curved Monitor

A lovely-designed curved monitor

Screen size: 27-inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | Brightness: 300 cd/m2 | Response time: 7ms | Viewing angle: 178/178 | Contrast ratio: 3,000:1 | Weight: 6.75kg

Large screen
High resolution
Lack of extra features

The Lenovo Y27G is a gaming monitor that includes a curved screen with its regular 16:9 aspect ratio, which gives you some added immersion while you’re playing. The 1080p resolution is a little on the low side, but it does mean there’s less strain on your graphics card, making this an excellent gaming monitor for people who don’t have the budget to buy the latest and greatest GPUs. It also means that, with the relatively low resolution, your GPU can concentrate on pushing high frame rates, with the Lenovo Y27G coming with a 144hz refresh rate and available with either Nvidia G-Sync or AMD FreeSync anti-screen tearing technology.

Read the full review: Lenovo Y27G Curved Monitor

 How to buy the best gaming monitor in 2017 

When you are shopping for the best gaming monitor 2017 has to offer, there are a few things that you should consider before you decide on what display should grace your desk.

By studying the following terms and specifications, you can make sure you pick the best gaming monitor for your needs – which also means you’re not paying extra for additional features that you don’t need.

Screen size: When shopping for the best gaming monitor, one of the most crucial things to think about is screen size. Larger display sizes can contribute to more immersive gaming experiences, as the game fills more of your field of vision, but you’ll need to make sure you have the room to feature a large monitor. It also goes without saying that larger monitors will usually mean a higher price.

Aspect ratio: The aspect ratio of a gaming monitor determines the width and height of the screen. Most widescreen monitors have an aspect ratio of 16:9, while older monitors had a more square 4:3, which will likely look pretty outdated in 2017. Ultra-wide monitors with aspect ratios of 21:9 are quickly gaining prevalence – they offer a wide view of your games, and many ultra wides have made our list of the best gaming monitor 2017.

Resolution: Another important factor when looking for the best gaming monitor for your needs is resolution. Here, the higher the numbers, the sharper the picture.. You will, however, need a more powerful graphics card for anything over full HD (1,920 x 1,080), even if many gaming monitors feature resolutions as high as 2,560 x 1,400 (WQHD) and 3,840 x 2,160 (4K).

Refresh rate: When you’re looking to primarily play Counter-Strike, or shooters like it, refresh rate is especially important. The higher the refresh rate, the more frames per second (fps) it can support, which lends to a smoother experience on high-refresh-rate displays. A 60Hz refresh rate is most common, with refresh rates rising to 144Hz and even 200Hz.

Response time: The best gaming monitors have low response times, which means the action remains fast and fluid, with little to no input lag. The lowest response time for TN monitors (we explain this in the next section) is 1 millisecond, whereas the newer IPS monitors usually have more delayed, 4ms response times. When you’re playing games competitively, it’s crucial to keep this number as low as possible in order to combat lag.

Panel type: This is where things get a little technical. The type of panel the gaming monitor uses will largely contribute to its response time and image clarity. TN panels (twisted nematic) have the lowest response times, and they are usually cheaper as well, but they generally don’t have great viewing angles. IPS panels (in-plane switching) have fantastic viewing angles and color reproduction, but usually  higher response times. Meanwhile VA panels (vertical alignment) sit between the two, though the slow response times makes these panels rare amid the best gaming monitors.

Viewing Angle: Most people play games while positioned in front of their gaming monitor, but this may not always be the case, particularly when you’re among spectators. A monitor’s viewing angles tell you what angle you can look at the monitor from and still clearly make out the image. The closer these numbers are are to 180, the better your viewing experience will be when standing further to either side of the monitor or looking at it from above or below.

G-Sync and FreeSync: You’ll likely notice that many of the best gaming monitors in 2017 come with either G-Sync or FreeSync technology – sometimes both. This helps keep frames per second (fps) smooth, combats screen tearing and diminishes input lag. G-Sync is developed by Nvidia, so you’ll need an Nvidia GPU, and the tech is built into the monitor, which can bump up their price tag. Meanwhile FreeSync was developed by AMD but, as it is free to use by manufacturers, the monitors usually cost less.

Gabe Carey and Bill Thomas have also contributed to this article

  • Looking for a more general monitor? Check out our list of the best monitors

Source: http://www.techradar.com/news/best-gaming-monitor

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The best turntables 2017: the best record players for any budget

The best turntables 2017: the best record players for any budget

Best Turntables Buying Guide: Welcome to TechRadar’s round-up of the best turntables (also known as record players) you can buy in 2017. 

If you’ve been living under anything but a rock, you probably know that the vinyl revival has become a true cultural zeitgeist, and it doesn’t show any signs of stopping anytime soon. Audio equipment manufacturers are well aware of this trend and have dedicated themselves to innovating and releasing the best turntables all over again. This has led to a bit of market saturation, though. With so many out there, it can be a little challenging to find the best turntable for your needs.

We here at TechRadar have taken care of everything though. In this guide, we’ll lead you through all the fine details that go into picking out the best turntable for your needs and budget. Belt drive? Direct drive? Should you get a phono preamp? Don’t worry, all of these questions will be answered in this guide, and you’ll be immersed in your favorite records in no time at all.

What’s the best turntable?

One of the great things about vinyl’s resurgence into the mainstream is that the best turntables can take full advantage of modern technology to come in all shapes and sizes, not to mention configurations. When you’re thinking about buying the best turntable, you should think about the motor configuration, the materials used in construction and other useful features, like USB recording.

One of the most important parts of searching for a turntable is how well damped it is. What is damping? Simply, it’s how manufacturers combat external or internal vibrations, through the use of motor configurations, and varying components used. Most of the time, belt driven turntables are seen as being quieter and thereby boasting higher fidelity but there are direct drive turntables (where motors are connected directly to the platter) that sound phenomenal as well. 

Your own personal needs are important too, though, so don’t forget about them. If you’re just starting out, you probably don’t need to be fooling around with a complex turntable with an adjustable vertical tracking angle, anti-skate and azimuth. Do you want to rip your vinyl to your digital library? If so, look for a turntable with a USB output and reliable software to get the job done.

Here are our picks for best turntables:

1. Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB
2. Audio-Technica AT-LP60
3. Denon DP-300F
4. Fluance RT81
5. Pro-Ject Debut Carbon
6. Rega Planar 1
7. Marantz TT-15S1
8. Clear Audio Concept
9. Sony PS-HX500

1. Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB

The best starter turntable with all the features you’ll ever need

Dimensions: 450.0 mm (17.72″) W x 352.0 mm (13.86″) D x 157.0 mm (6.1″) H | Motor: Direct drive | Platter: Die-cast aluminum | Phono preamp: Yes | USB: Yes | Speeds: 33 ⅓, 45, 78 rpm | Stylus: AT95E

Great sound quality for the price
Great for newbies and pros alike 
Plastic build
Mediocre USB output 

The Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB is the best introductory turntable for aspiring vinyl enthusiasts. Out of the box, it features the ability to play 33 ⅓, 45 and 78 RPM, this means there will never be an album you can’t play. There’s also a built-in phono preamp so you never have to worry about finding one on your own.

New record collectors will love the easy setup and features while more vetted users will love the option to dial in the vertical tracking angle, tracking force and easily replaceable headshell. Sure, it looks like a Technics SL-1200 ripoff but at a fraction of the price, it’s entirely worth it. 

The AT-LP120-USB also comes with a USB output that allows you to record your record collection if you want. To put it simply, this deck strikes the perfect balance of ease of use for beginners while still including some more advanced features for you to grow into.

2. Audio-Technica AT-LP60

Dummy-proof automatic turntable for beginners on a budget

Dimensions: 360.0 mm (14.17″) W x 97.5 mm (3.84″) H x 356.0 mm (14.02″) D | Motor: Belt drive | Platter: Die-cast aluminum | Phono preamp: Yes | USB: No | Speeds: 33 ⅓, 45 rpm | Stylus: ATN3600

Fully automatic
Excellent value
Can’t replace cartridge 
Passable sound

If you’re not looking to drop a fortune on the best turntable in the world and don’t necessarily care about squeezing every last drop of fidelity from your LPs, the Audio-Technica AT-LP60 is a perfect starting point. It’s portable, can play most vinyl and is by far the most inexpensive turntable we have on this list. It’s also totally automatic, meaning it’ll queue a record and return the arm to resting position without requiring a manual lever. 

The only caveat with a turntable this cheap is that it won’t grow with you as your vinyl collection expands. The built-in phono preamp means you’re stuck with it, however you can replace the needle once it wears out.

While there are cheaper, poorly engineered turntables on the market, it’s not worth it, as you risk damaging your precious records with poorly aligned and improperly weighted tonearms. Vinyl is expensive so we recommend the AT-LP60 for beginners just looking to get started. 

3. Denon DP-300F

A gorgeous, full automatic turntable that doesn’t break the bank

Dimensions: 17-3/32 x 4-51/64 x 15″ (434 x 122 x 381 mm); (WxHxD) | Motor: Belt drive | Platter: Die-cast aluminum | Phono preamp: Yes | USB: No | Speeds: 33 ⅓, 45 rpm | Stylus: DSN-85

Fully automatic
Great sound for the price
Plastic build
Buttons feel cheap

The Denon DP-300F is a gorgeous turntable that sounds just as good as it looks. The included DSN-85 cartridge isn’t the most accurate but it nevertheless manages to make your music sound airy and reasonably detailed, especially for it’s price.You’ll need  to spend a lot more cash to hear more detail.

While the DP-300F lacks the USB outputs of some of the turntables listed here, it’s still a great starting turntable for anyone who doesn’t want to manually queue their albums or have a habit of falling asleep while listening to music. The Denon’s automatic start/stop feature means your needle won’t be worn down at the end of the record as the arm immediately returns when an album is done. 

Build quality is decent for an all-plastic turntable, but its buttons feel cheap – a minor problem but shouldn’t be a deal-breaker for you. If the Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB doesn’t fit your aesthetic, consider the Denon DP-300F instead.

Read the full review: Denon DP-300F

4. Fluance RT81

An alternative to the AT-LP120-USB for those who don’t need USB

Dimensions: 16.5” x 5.5” x 13.75” | Motor: Belt drive | Platter: Aluminum | Phono preamp: Yes | USB: No | Speeds: 33 ⅓, 45 rpm | Stylus: ATN95E

Great sound for the price
Decent sounding phono preamp
Poor vibration damping
No auto returning tonearm

The Fluance RT81 is an excellent starter turntable for the enthusiast. It’s simple to set up and use for newbies but you can switch out the cartridge to squeeze out more performance later on. Newbies also won’t have to worry about getting a separate phono preamp, as one is built in. However, you can turn it off if you want to use a better external preamp. 

The only downside is that Fluance’s advertised “auto-off” feature simply turns off the platter, preventing excessive needle wear but you’ll still have to return the arm to its resting place yourself. You’ll also have to manually queue records, which isn’t a deal breaker by any means but is something to consider for those looking for a fully automatic turntable. The Denon DP-300F is a great choice for those looking for a fully automated record listening experience. 

5. Pro-Ject Debut Carbon

An excellent entry-level turntable for vinyl enthusiasts

Dimensions: 415 x 118 x 320mm (WxHxD) | Motor: Belt drive | Platter: Aluminum | Phono preamp: No | USB: No | Speeds: 33 ⅓, 45 rpm | Stylus: Ortofon 2M Red

Excellent value for a hi-fi turntable
Easy to setup
Manual speed change
Requires a phono preamp

From here on out things start to get a little bit more ‘real’: The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon is in the runnings to be the best entry-level hi-fi turntables you can buy. 

While vinyl newcomers may cringe at the price, the Debut Carbon is really an incredible bargain. For the money, you get an very well made deck that’s damped properly for fantastic sound quality. The carbon fiber tonearm is lightweight and stiff, and is usually reserved for turntables costing much more.

The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon is for the budding enthusiast that’s committed to the record collecting hobby and because of that commitment, it doesn’t feature niceties like an auto-returning tonearm, buttons for changing speed or an included phono preamp. Newbies may be turned off by the manual changing of the belt position to change speeds and the lack of an included preamp. However, if you want to extract more detail and resolution from your records than the cheaper options on this list, or if you want to get started on the path of being a true vinyl collector, the Debut Carbon is probably your best bet.

Read the full review: Pro-Ject Debut Carbon

6. Rega Planar 1

One of the best entry-level hi-fi turntables for tinkerers

Dimensions: 17.5″ (450mm) W by 4.5″ (115mm) H by 15″ (385mm) D | Motor: Belt drive | Platter: Phenolic resin | Phono preamp: No | USB: No | Speeds: 33 ⅓, 45 rpm | Stylus: Rega Carbon

Excellent sound quality
Easy to setup, even for newbies
Manual speed change
No phono preamp included

There’s a lot of debate whether the Rega Planar 1 or the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon is the best entry-level hi-fi turntable. It’s a close match and there are no clear winners, each providing an excellent starting place for audiophiles on a budget. 

While the Rega may lack the fancy carbon tone arm of the Pro-Ject, the Planar 1 still sounds excellent and is well damped with its phenolic resin platter. And for newbies, the Rega Planar 1 is still easy to setup, though you’ll have to provide your own phono preamp. 

Ultimately, the Rega Planar 1 just sounds so good that it’s hard to fault it too much. Vocals are revealing and you can hear the texture from instruments like the violin. The included Rega Carbon cartridge isn’t anything special but manages to be a great match for the turntable. It’s a tough choice between the Planar 1 and the Debut Carbon but you can’t go wrong with either.

7. Marantz TT-15S1

Go pro with this high-end turntable

Dimensions: 440mm x 350mm x 110mm; (W x D x H) | Motor: Belt drive | Platter: High-Density Acrylic | Phono preamp: No | USB: No | Speeds: 33 ⅓, 45 rpm | Stylus: Clearaudio Virtuoso

Gorgeous design
Excellent attention to detail 
Price is an investment

The Marantz TT-15S1 costs a serious bit of change, but you’re actually getting a killer bargain. The Clearaudio Virtuoso included with the turntable is $1000 when purchased separately. Additionally, you get a killer tonearm and gorgeous turntable at a price that’s definitely an investment, but not unreasonable. 

So what does the Marantz TT-15S1 get you over the competition? Attention to detail. Just about every part of the turntable has been poured over to be the best it can be for the price. The fit and finish are excellent and it’s a pleasure to handle the high-quality components. This is a turntable you’ll find yourself admiring its visual and audible qualities. 

Newbies should not get this turntable as it requires more knowledge to set up properly than the entry-level turntables on this list. But if you’re ready to take your record collecting and listening to the next level, the Marantz TT-15S1 is the perfect place to start.

Read the full review: Marantz TT-15S1

8. Clear Audio Concept

A stunningly beautiful mid-range hi-fi turntable

Dimensions: 16.54” x 13.78” x 4.92”; (W x D x H) | Motor: Belt drive | Platter: Polyoxymethylene | Phono preamp: No | USB: No | Speeds: 33 ⅓, 45, 78 rpm | Stylus: Clearaudio Concept MC

Excellent build quality 
Detailed, rich sound
Expensive (but still a bargain)

If the Clearaudio Concept and Marantz TT-15S1 seem familiar, that’s because the Marantz was built by Clearaudio to Marantz’s specifications. This means everything about the excellent build quality of the Marantz carries over to the Clearaudio Concept (i.e. this is a turntable that is as gorgeous as it sounds). 

One small but notable difference between the Marantz and the Clearaudio is the ability to play 78 rpm records. While most people will never come across 78s, it’s nice to know that the Clearaudio Concept is capable of playing them. The Concept also has a handy speed dial on the plinth, meaning you don’t have to swap the belt position manually.

As for negatives, the Clearaudio Concept has no notable flaws. Yes, it’s expensive but you’re still getting a bargain in this price range. The included Clearaudio Concept moving-coil cartridge costs $1,000 by itself. Yep! 

9. Sony PS-HX500

A well-rounded beginner turntable with some nagging flaws

Dimensions: 16.54” x 13.78” x 4.92”; (W x D x H) | Motor: Belt drive | Platter: Aluminum Diecast Alloy | Phono preamp: Yes | USB: Yes 44.1kHz / 48kHz / 96kHz / 192kHz (16bit / 24bit) | Speeds: 33 ⅓, 45 rpm | Stylus: Sony 9-885-210-05

Hi-Res audio USB recording
Good sound quality for the price
Plastic build feels cheap
Forgettable design

The Sony PS-HX500 is a great entry-level turntable for those just getting started with record collecting. Its standout feature is its ability to record Hi-Res audio from its USB output in 96kHz/24bit resolution. This is an excellent feature for those looking to digitize their records. 

In terms of sound quality, the Sony PS-HX500 sound spacious and provides good detail. However, the included needle sounds a bit harsh and sibilant at times and lacks the resolution of more expensive cartridges. 

While some may like the minimalist design of the Sony, it’s utterly forgettable and its plastic build leaves a lot to be desired. Handling the turntable on a daily basis leaves us wanting more premium materials that don’t rattle. 

  • Want to listen to digital music instead? Check out our list of the best MP3 players.

Source: http://www.techradar.com/news/best-turntables

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