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5 laptops you should consider instead of the new MacBook Pro 13 – PCWorld

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When released, Apple’s updated MacBook Pro 13 will get the most powerful 10th-gen Intel Ice Lake CPU available. But otherwise Apple’s late to the game—again. We can think of a bunch of Windows laptops that already outstrip it in features, and we’ll tell you about them as we work through the MacBook Pro 13’s major improvements. 

First item for examination is the CPU. Intel originally launched its most advanced 10nm 10th-gen “Ice Lake” series of CPUs way back in August. PC laptops based on Ice Lake appeared by October, and it’s gradually made its way into dozens of laptops since then.

One chip that’s been conspicuously absent since the announcement is the higher-wattage Core i7-1068G7 chip. Well surprise: The MacBook Pro 13 will offer it as one of its CPU options

10th gen Intel

Most of Intel’s lineup has been available except the most powerful of them all: The Core i7-1068

The chip’s main difference isn’t more cores, more threads, or even more graphics EU’s; it’ll just be a higher TDP rating of 28 watts. That’s long been the TDP Apple prefers for its MacBook Pro 13. In this case, it’ll officially be the “most powerful” Ice Lake chip in town, but in reality, it may not be that much faster than some 10th-gen Ice Lake laptops, which can be configured to run up to 25 watts. While we don’t know how hard Apple will push its new MacBook Pro 13, we do know that on paper, 25 watts to 28 watts is no big deal.

Laptops to consider instead of the MacBook Pro 13

When you look at competing laptops from the PC platform, it’s clear the MacBook Pro 13 is just phoning it in. Sure, we applaud the return to Apple greatness with a new Magic keyboard that isn’t supposed to break down on you after a year like with the previous generation of MacBook Pro 13 (that’s not exactly a feature, folks). We believe the MacBook Pro 13’s display and SSD will be first-class, too. But there’s just not much risk-taking anywhere other than with the much-maligned Touch Bar.

msi prestige 14 3 Gordon Mah Ung

MSI’s Prestige 14 gets a bad rap for throttling performance on heavy loads. But it also has a 6-core CPU and GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q, while weighing as little as an XPS 13.

MSI’s Prestige 14, (currently about $1,547 on Amazon) for example, should get plaudits for featuring a 6-core Core i7-10710U and GeForce GTX 1650 while weighing about as little as an XPS 13. The laptop sheds performance as it heats up (which we document in our review). Considering it offers discrete graphics and higher CPU core count, along with a factory-calibrated 4K panel, while weighing just 1,270 grams versus the 1,400 of the MacBook Pro 13, the MSI Prestige 14 is still impressive.

If you want essentially the same Ice Lake CPU as the MacBook Pro 13 plus discrete GTX 1650 Ti graphics, the Razer Blade Stealth 13 (currently $1,800 at the Microsoft StoreRemove non-product link) is just 78 grams heavier, with a factory-calibrated 4K screen option available. Its Ice Lake CPU has a base TDP of 25 watts, and the Blade Stealth 13’s design is better at keeping the chip cool.

blade stealth late 2019 fhd render 15 Razer

The Razer Blade Stealth 13 features an Ice Lake Core i7 with a minimium TDP of 25 watts, plus a GeForce GTX 1650 Ti and enough cooling to run it all.

If you can really handle thinking different, the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (currently $1,450 at Best Buy) gives you amazing CPU performance thanks to its Ryzen 9 4900HS, and a real graphics card with its GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q chip. The 8 cores of performance out of the ROG Zephyrus G14 does more than put the newly announced MacBook Pro 13 to shame—it should easily dispatch the MacBook Pro 16, too.

The only real downfall to the ROG Zephyrus G14 for “Pro” user is the less-than-stellar panel, which is better for general use and gaming than imaging work. And while the 720p webcam in MacBook Pro 13 might be as bad as the one in the MacBook Air, that’s better than having none at all—we’re serious, the ROG Zephyrus G14 doesn’t include an integrated webcam. There’s also no Thunderbolt 3, but because you have a real GPU inside the laptop that may be less necessary. 

Of course, we’d probably point out that we’ve never understood what exactly is “pro” with the Pro beyond the four Thunderbolt 3 ports. If you’re willing to live with two Thunderbolt 3 ports, Dell’s XPS 13 (currently $1,620 on Dell.com) or its XPS 13 2-in-1 (currently $1,650 on Dell.com) can offer nearly the same performance, with beautiful Sharp IPS panels, too.

dell xps 13 2 in 1 flat Gordon Mah Ung

We suspect Dell’s XPS 13 2-in-1 would offer most of the performance of the new MacBook Pro 13, along with other mind-blowing features like pen and touch support.

Look, the MacBook Pro 13 is a nice laptop. We’re glad to see Apple move up to 10th-gen Intel Core CPUs. All we’re saying is, pretty much everything that’s nice about the MacBook Pro 13 can already be found in a Windows laptop that’s been available for months.

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Judge tosses ex-basketball players' 'Fortnite' dance lawsuit – larongeNOW

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The judge said the key question is whether plaintiffs have a claim that is “qualitatively different” than the rights protected by the Copyright Act.

“And here Plaintiffs claim is based on Epic Games allegedly ‘capturing and digitally copying’ the Running Man dance to create the Fortnite emote that ‘allows the player’s avatars to execute the Running Man identically to Plaintiffs’ version.’” This is squarely within the rights protected by the Copyright Act,” he wrote.

Brantley, of Springfield, Mass., and Nickens, of Monmouth Junction, N.J., were seeking more than $5 million in damages.

Epic Games spokesman Nick Chester declined to comment Monday on the judge’s ruling.

Celebratory dances in Fortnite are called “emotes.” While the game itself is free to play, players can purchase the “emotes” and other character customizations.

Other artists, including Brooklyn-based rapper 2 Milly and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” star Alfonso Ribeiro, also have sued Epic Games over other dances depicted in the shooting game. Ribeiro dropped his lawsuit against Epic Games last year after the U.S. Copyright Office denied him a copyright for the “Carlton” dance that his character performed on the 1990s sitcom.

Nickens and Brantley appeared on DeGeneres’ talk show alongside two New Jersey high school students who were posting videos of the dance online before the two University of Maryland basketball players filmed their own version. Brantley told DeGeneres that Nickens first showed him the dance in a video on Instagram.

“We dance every day for our teammates in the locker room,” Brantley said. “We were like, ‘Hey, let’s make a video and make everybody laugh.’”

One of their dance videos has millions of views on Instagram, YouTube and Facebook, their lawsuit said.

The judge dismissed their lawsuit’s claims for invasion of privacy, unfair competition and unjust enrichment based on preemption under the Copyright Act. He also threw out their trademark claims and claims accusing the company of unfair competition and “false designation of origin” under the Lanham Act.

“Plaintiffs seek to place the same square peg into eight round holes in search of a cause of action against Epic Games for its use of the Running Man dance in its game Fortnite. But Plaintiffs’ claims that Epic Games copied the dance do not support any of their theories,” the judge wrote.

Plaintiffs’ attorney Richard Jaklitsch said his clients may not be able to afford the costs of appealing the judge’s ruling. He said it seems “un-American” for the company to “profit off the backs of” Nickens and Brantley.

“Epic can still step up and do the right thing. Epic can still step up and acknowledge what these kids did,” he said.

Nickens was playing professional basketball in Canada and Brantley was working as a sports agent when they sued last year, according to Jaklitsch.

Michael Kunzelman, The Associated Press

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Google Pixel 3 vs. 3 XL: They've been deeply discounted, so which should you buy? – CNET

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Other than price and size, Google’s flagship phones of 2018, the Pixel 3 and 3 XL, are essentially the same device. Currently priced at $397 and $499, respectively, the phones are much cheaper now that the Google Pixel 4 and 4 XL are available. But even though they’re two years old, they still have excellent cameras, receive prompt software updates from Google and are equipped with reliable Snapdragon 845 chipsets. So if you’re deciding between the two, read on to see which one is best for you.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Starting at $397, the Pixel 3 is the best route to go if you want to save the most money. Its 5.5-inch display also make it the more pocketable and comfortable phone to hold in your hand. Lastly, it doesn’t have an on-screen notch running at the top of the display, so you can view content on your screen without a distracting tab taking away your attention.

Read our Google Pixel 3 review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

At about $100 more, the Pixel 3 XL offers a bigger screen and a longer battery life. This is great if you see yourself watching a lot of videos or playing games, but keep in mind, the phone also has a big notch at the top. We don’t think it’s worth the extra $100 (for that money you can get multiple phone cases, a Google Home Mini or wireless earbuds), but if you have room in your budget, then go for it.

Read our Google Pixel 3 XL review.

How we tested


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Pixel 3 vs. Pixel 3 XL: What’s different

Dimensions and weight: The Pixel 3 XL is bigger and heavier than the Pixel 3, measuring 6.2 by 3 inches to the Pixel 3’s 5.7 by 2.7-inch body. The two phones have the same 0.3-inch (8.2mm) depth. Because of the Pixel 3 XL’s larger size, it’s heavier at 6.5 ounces (184 grams). The Pixel 3 weighs 5.2 ounces (148 grams).

Display: The Pixel 3 features an OLED display with 443 pixels-per-inch density, while the Pixel 3 XL is higher definition, with a pixel density of 522 ppi. Unlike the new Pixel 4 phones, they do not have a 90Hz display.

Battery: The last big difference between the two phones is the battery. The Pixel 3 uses a 2,915-mAh battery, while the Pixel 3 XL has a 3,430-mAh battery. Lab results for continuous video playback on airplane mode yielded an average of 15 hours for the Pixel 3 and 16 hours, 49 minutes for the Pixel 3 XL.

Pixel 3 vs. Pixel 3 XL specs

Google Pixel 3 Google Pixel 3 XL
Display size, resolution 5.5-inch “flexible” OLED; 2,280×1,080 pixels 6.3-inch “flexible” OLED; 2,960×1,440 pixels
Pixel density 443ppi 522 ppi
Dimensions (inches) 5.7×2.7×0.3 in. 6.2x3x0.03 in.
Dimensions (millimeters) 145.6×68.2×7.9 mm 158×76.7×7.9 mm
Weight (ounces, grams) 5.2oz.; 148g 6.5 oz.; 184g
Mobile software Android 9 Pie (upgradeable to Android 10) Android 9 Pie (upgradeable to Android 10)
Camera 12.2-megapixel 12.2-megapixel
Front-facing camera Dual 8-megapixel Dual 8-megapixel
Video capture 4K 4K
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 (2.5GHz + 1.6GHz octa-core) Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 (2.5GHz octa-core)
Storage 64GB, 128GB 64GB, 128GB
RAM 4GB 4GB
Expandable storage None None
Battery 2,915 mAh 3,430 mAh
Fingerprint sensor Back cover Back cover
Connector USB-C USB-C
Headphone jack No No
Special features Water resistant (IPX8), wireless charging support, Pixel Buds USB-C headphones in the box Water resistant (IPX8), wireless charging support, Pixel Buds USB-C headphones in the box

CNET editor Patrick Holland contributed to this report.

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9 major details we know — and 4 that we still don't — about the PlayStation 5 – Business Insider – Business Insider

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The PlayStation 5 is almost here.

Sony’s next-generation PlayStation game console is scheduled to arrive this holiday season, but we already know plenty of details about it right now: how powerful it is, its main features, and we’ve even gotten a good look at its new gamepad. 

We’re also still in the dark about some of the most important details, from pricing to what the console itself looks like.

Here’s everything we know — and don’t know — about the PlayStation 5 so far:

First: What we do know! 1. Games will look better than ever.

PlayStation 5 gameplay (Unreal Engine 5)

A demo of the game creation software Unreal Engine 5 running on PlayStation 5.

Epic Games/Sony


Unlike the PlayStation 4 Pro and the Xbox One X — half-step consoles that offered more power in the same console generation — the PlayStation 5 “allows for fundamental changes in what a game can be,” Mark Cerny, Sony’s lead system architect, told Wired in April 2019.

Core to that mission is the new console’s processing chips: a new central processing unit and a graphics processing unit from AMD. The former is based on AMD’s Ryzen line, while the latter is part of Radeon’s Navi GPU line.

What that means for you: The PlayStation 5 is built with bleeding edge hardware.

2. Games will load much faster.

spider man ps4



Marvel’s Spider-Man


When you think of flashy new video game consoles, you probably don’t think too much about hard drives — the thing you store games and game saves on. 

But Cerny told Wired that the next PlayStation’s hard drive is “a true game changer.” Why’s that? Because, for the first time ever, the next PlayStation will come with a solid state drive. 

What’s different about that? It’s much, much faster than a traditional hard disc drive. In a demonstration of the new drive, 2018’s “Marvel’s Spider-Man” was loaded up on an early development kit for the next PlayStation — it demonstrated a reduction in load times from 15 seconds to less than a single second.

That indeed could be a game-changer. Just imagine all the time you’ve wasted waiting for games to load — now, imagine that being erased permanently.

3. It’s capable of producing 8K visuals.

Samsung 8K TV

Probably not your home TV just yet.

VCG/VCG via Getty Images


8K? Yes, 8K — as in “the next step for television resolutions after 4K.” And yes, you probably just got a 4K television. (Even more likely: You still don’t have a 4K television!)

That’s fine. Though the PlayStation 5 will apparently be capable of producing 8K visuals, we don’t expect that any games will take advantage of that for some time. After all, there are barely any 8K sets available for sale, let alone a large audience of people waiting for 8K content. And that doesn’t even get into the absurd price tags on the 8K TVs that do exist.

This capability seems more like a measure of future-proofing against what will come next rather than a new standard for visual fidelity.

4. It can produce a new type of visuals, called “Ray Tracing.”

Ray Tracing "Backstage" demo, Luminous Productions / Square Enix

A demo for Ray Tracing created by Square Enix, the Japanese game company behind “Final Fantasy.”

Luminous Productions / Square Enix


Forget about 8K: What’s this “ray tracing” business? 

The long and short is it’s a jargon term for what is essentially “more detailed, accurate lighting.” A core component of video game visuals — like all other visual mediums — is how lighting is applied.

To that end, the PlayStation 5 will support the emerging form of virtual lighting.

Read moreSony’s next-generation PlayStation will come with ‘ray tracing’ — here’s what that looks like in action

5. It plays PlayStation 4 games as well as PlayStation 5 games.

The Last of Us: Part II



Sony


Backwards compatibility is a hugely important feature of any game console, and it’s one that the PlayStation 4 completely whiffed. Sony is correcting that with the PlayStation 5 — your PS4 games will run on the PS5.

There’s one caveat: When the new console arrives this holiday, it won’t be able to play the vast majority of those games. Somewhere in the realm of 2.5% of those 4,000-plus games will work.

“We recently took a look at the top 100 PlayStation 4 titles, as ranked by playtime, and we’re expecting almost all of them to be playable at launch on PlayStation 5,” the console’s lead architect, Mark Cerny, said in a video Sony published in mid March.

The company committed to further expanding out compatibility “over time” in a separate blog post. “We believe that the overwhelming majority of the 4,000+ PS4 titles will be playable on PS5,” the post said. “We have already tested hundreds of titles and are preparing to test thousands more as we move toward launch.”

6. It works with PlayStation VR.

PlayStation VR



AP Photo / Eugene Hoshiko


There will almost certainly be a new, higher-fidelity version of Sony’s virtual reality headset, PlayStation VR, for the PlayStation 5. When asked about a new headset, Cerny told Wired, “VR is very important to us,” but wouldn’t elaborate. He did confirm, however, that the existing PlayStation VR headset for PS4 will work on the PlayStation 5.

Sony has yet to confirm this, but it stands to reason that the PlayStation 5 also supports PlayStation Move controllers and the PlayStation Camera — crucial components of the PlayStation VR system.

7. It has a new controller with improved feedback and battery life, and it’s called the “DualSense.”

PlayStaton 5 gamepad (DualSense)

The new PlayStation 5 “DualSense” gamepad.

Sony


In an October 2019 blog post, Jim Ryan, Sony Interactive Entertainment’s president and CEO, shared the first new information about the PlayStation 5’s controller.

The new controller uses haptic feedback instead of traditional “rumble,” allowing developers to program more sensitive responses.

This is meant for players to feel different vibrations in their controller when they fire a gun or hold the wheel of a car. The PlayStation 5 controller also has adaptive triggers that can be programmed to have a different level of tension depending on the action, the post said.

Then, in April, Sony unveiled the controller itself with an array of images showing off its new design, as well as one additional feature: an array of built-in microphones that enable voice chat without a headset.

More than anything else, the “DualSense” controller is a physical departure from Sony’s beloved line of DualShock PlayStation gamepads.

Sony has stuck with the same general gamepad design for years, starting with the PlayStation 1 and going all the way through to the PlayStation 4. It’s an iconic shape that’s known the world over.

But with the PlayStation 5, the design is taking a major turn.

“We went through several concepts and hundreds of mockups over the last few years before we settled on this final design,” the blog post says.

8. Sony says it will release the PlayStation 5 during the 2020 holiday season.

PlayStation 5 gamepad (DualSense)



Sony


There isn’t a set release date for the PlayStation 5 yet, but Sony plans to launch it during the 2020 holiday season. Sony has already sent development models out to game designers so they can start building games for the console’s launch later this year.

That said, the coronavirus pandemic could push release plans back — if that is indeed the case, Sony isn’t saying just yet. In its latest reveal, for the DualSense gamepad, Sony reaffirmed a holiday release window.

“To the PlayStation community, I truly want to thank you for sharing this exciting journey with us as we head toward PS5’s launch in Holiday 2020,” Sony Interactive Entertainment head Jim Ryan said.

Moreover, in a recent interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Ryan once again reaffirmed Sony’s commitment to a global PS5 launch this holiday season.

9. This is what games could look like on the PlayStation 5, care of a new tech demo:

Now, what we don’t know. 1. How much it will cost.

PlayStation 4

The PlayStation 4 cost $400 when it launched in late 2013.

AP Photo / Nam Y. Huh


With all this fancy new technology and graphics prowess, it stands to reason that the PlayStation 5 isn’t intended as a budget console.

In fact, it sounds like the PlayStation 5 could be a more expensive console at launch than usual: Consumers could be looking at a price in the $500 to $550 range, according to a Bloomberg report

That unusually high price — $100 more than the launch price of the PlayStation 4 — is reportedly due to the console’s “ambitious specs,” which are driving Sony’s decision to price the console higher than in its previous generation.

Sony, however, has yet to say anything officially about the console’s price tag. 

“I believe that we will be able to release it at an SRP [suggested retail price] that will be appealing to gamers in light of its advanced feature set,” Cerny told Wired.

When pushed on what that meant, Cerny demurred. “That’s about all I can say about it,” he said.

2. What the console looks like.

PlayStation 5 Devkit ps5

Two PlayStation 5 development kits — a version of the console intended for use by game makers — can be seen above. It is very unlikely that the retail console will look like this.


Alcoholikaust/Twitter



In December 2019, in a surprise reveal at the annual video game industry awards show, Microsoft debuted its next-generation game console: The Xbox Series X

Xbox leader Phil Spencer was on hand to talk through a bit of Microsoft’s plan with its next-gen console, and the company has been persistent in messaging in the months since. 

Over half a year later, and we’ve still yet to see what Sony’s PlayStation 5 console looks like. We’ve seen its logo, and its new gamepad, and we’ve even seen a tech demo of what games could potentially look like, but we’ve still yet to see what the console itself looks like. 

It’s a seemingly trivial matter — after all, we’re talking about a box that you rarely interact with — but it’s a critically important aspect of marketing and messaging that consumers latch onto. The PlayStation 4 looks cool, and that certainly didn’t hurt Sony in selling over 100 million PlayStation 4 consoles.

Most of all, since the Xbox Series X is the only next-gen console anyone has seen thus far, images of it represent “next-gen” consoles in media coverage.

3. What games are coming to the PlayStation 5 from Sony’s legendary first-party development studios.

God of War (2018)

2018’s “God of War” is one of many examples of huge, excellent first-party games on Sony’s PlayStation 4 console.

Sony


When it comes to the so-called “console wars,” one massive advantage Sony has over Microsoft — that it has always had over Microsoft — is its vast library of excellent first-party game franchises created by Sony’s legendary first-party game creation studios around the world.

From “God of War” to “Gran Turismo” to “The Last of Us” and “Uncharted,” Sony’s stable of first-party, exclusive game franchises is second to only Nintendo. 

Moreover, some major sequels are expected to be in the works: a second “Marvel’s Spider-Man” game, and a sequel to 2017’s “Horizon Zero Dawn.” Whether any of those major sequels are expected for the launch of the PlayStation 5 this holiday season remains to be seen — we’ve yet to hear about any first-party games coming to Sony’s next-gen console.

4. How the console works, nor how the ecosystem works.

PlayStation Network (PlayStation 4)



Sony


If you own a PlayStation 4, there’s a good chance you own at least a few games digitally — no disc, just a downloaded game tied to your PlayStation Network account. If you get a PlayStation 5, do those games come with you? How about the save data from those games?

And what new features does the console have? Is the “suspend” function for games, which allows you to pause wherever you are in a game and come back later, return? Is it changing in any way? 

How about game streaming — will that still be built-in to the console, like it is on the PS4? 

These details, among many others, are still unknown. We’ve yet to see the console in operation, and these type of everyday details have yet to be detailed by Sony.

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