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Surface Studio 2: what we want to see

Surface Studio 2: what we want to see

When the Surface Studio was revealed by Microsoft, the Windows 10-powered desktop PC shocked us all. Now, in 2018, we can’t wait to get our hands on the sequel.The original Surface Studio was lacking when it came to ports and hardware – so a Surface studio 2 with an 8th-generation Coffee Lake processor and a 5K display would be the perfect counterpart to Apple’s ever-evolving line of iMacs.However, we don’t actually know anything about the Surface Studio sequel apart from the fact that it’s in development – Microsoft has been pretty tight-lipped. This doesn’t stop us from speculating, though, so let’s dive into what the Surface Studio 2 might look like.
Cut to the chase
What is it? The would-be second Surface Studio desktopWhen is it out? Possibly between September and November 2018What will it cost? Likely as much as – if not more than – the current model
Surface Studio 2 release date
The original Surface Studio launched in late 2016, so Microsoft’s iMac competitor is due for a refresh given the firm’s general cadence for Surface products that aren’t the Surface Pro.However, we haven’t really heard anything about when the Surface Studio sequel is coming. All we have to go off of is a Windows Central report citing sources that said ‘Surface Studio 2 is a-go.’ As such, the outlet expects to see the device ‘in the fall.’That amounts to anytime between September and November for a possible Surface Studio 2 release. Until more concrete leaks and rumors arrive, this is the expectation we’ll have to hold onto.

Surface Studio 2 price
Sadly, there’s even less known regarding the Surface Studio 2’s possible pricing, i.e. absolutely nothing. So, all we can expect of the potential device’s price so far is for it to hold close to that of the previous model.Currently, the Surface Studio goes for anywhere between $2,999 (£2,999, AU$4,699) and $4,199 (£4,249, AU$6,599). For Microsoft to go any further above that price might be a shot in the foot, especially considering the pricing of its primary competition, the Apple iMac line.Conversely, it’s tough to expect Microsoft to drive the price much lower than it is now, either, as the original Surface Studio saw an impressive demand at its current price point during launch. Stay tuned to this space as more rumors and leaks come to light.

What we want to see in Surface Studio 2
For as impressed as we were – and still are – by the Surface Studio, plenty has progressed in the nearly two years since its release, and there’s always room for improvement. Here’s what we hope to see come to fruition in the Surface Studio 2:
More powerful componentsThis is low-hanging fruit, to be sure, but we could’ve made this wish list when the Surface Studio first released, for it already was a bit lacking in hardware. This time around, a desktop-grade processor is all but essential, as are up-to-date graphics – a Coffee Lake Intel CPU and Nvidia Turing series mobile graphics would certainly do the trick. Plus, a proper SSD would be seen as a boon to the creatives its targeted for.An even sharper screenThe current Surface Studio screen is absolutely gorgeous, sporting a massive 4,500 x 3,000-pixel resolution across the sRGB, DCI-P3 and Vivid color spaces. But, there’s no reason that it can’t go further. Seeing a 5K Surface Studio to directly rival the priciest iMac would be awfully exciting for content creators.Thunderbolt 3 connectivityFor as versatile as the Thunderbolt 2 DisplayPort is on the current Surface Studio, it’s time for Microsoft to collectively move onto Thunderbolt 3 via USB-C. Not only does the it offer more throughput for file transfers, it could also serve as a one plug hub for all displays and other peripherals you want to connect. If the Surface Studio 2 is to truly compete, it needs to respect this growing standard for its target audience’s sake.All accessories includedFor what it’s charging for the current – and will charge for the future – Surface Studio, Microsoft should be including all of the essential accessories in the box. Yes, that includes the awesome Surface Dial alongside the Surface Mouse and Keyboard. It’s only fair for a several-grand purchase.
These are the best computers we’ve tested to date

10 things PC gamers can’t give up: PC gaming’s essentials for the newcomer

10 things PC gamers can’t give up: PC gaming’s essentials for the newcomer

As PC gaming continues to grow into a full-fledged subculture, there are certain things that have become ubiquitous among PC gamers. From things like RGB lighting on, well, everything and keyboards that make a ton of noise, but feel amazing – we here at TechRadar have created a list of 10 things that PC gamers can’t give up. This list is for all PC gamers, whether you’re new to PC gaming, and you want to play the best PC games in style, or whether you’re a grizzled veteran, rocking one of the best gaming PCs and looking to check off your list. So, read on to either nod your head in agreement, or maybe even find that missing item to make your gaming setup complete.
TechRadar’s fourth annual PC Gaming Week is officially here, celebrating our passion with in-depth and exclusive coverage of PC gaming from every angle. Visit our PC Gaming Week 2018 page to see all of the coverage in one place.In 2018, it’s no longer enough to just have components that do their job well, they also have to light up your gaming rig and your desk like a technologically advanced Christmas Tree. Everything these days is decked out in RGB lighting from your keyboard to your USB hub – even your RAM. Sure, some settings can be a little obnoxious and distract you from your game, but thanks to manufacturers’ myriad custom software, you can tweak your lighting setup to be as loud or subtle as you please. You can even buy strips of RGB lights these days, so you can take your lighting to a level only matched by your imagination.
You can ask any PC gamer, and they’ll go on at length about the superiority of gaming keyboard and gaming mouse controls over traditional console-esque gamepads. However, you just can’t get around the fact that some games just play better with a controller. Whether you’re trying to play an intense action RPG like Dark Souls 3 or a high-octane racing game like Forza Motorsport 7, you’re going to want an Xbox One gamepad to reach your full potential.Luckily, the days of complicated and buggy controller integration are over, and to use an Xbox One controller, all you have to do is simply plug it into your computer and start playing. And, even if you prefer a PS4 controller, it’s a little more complicated, but you can still do it.
To the uninitiated, it might seem frivolous to demand to only play on a mechanical keyboard, but once you play on one of the best gaming keyboards, you won’t be able to go back. Sure, they’re loud and they might seem tough to type on at first, but once you boot up a game you’ll absolutely notice the difference. Not only do you not have to worry about accidental key presses, but thanks to anti-ghosting technology, you won’t have to worry about commands not registering because you hit several buttons at once – something that absolutely will happen in more high-octane titles. Plus, that clicking noise that Cherry MX switches – and other mechanical variants – make is one of the most strangely satisfying aspects of PC gaming. 
We don’t know about you, but when we sit down to play our favorite PC games, there are times when we’ll play for hours. And, nobody wants to sit in an uncomfortable chair for hours on end, only to have to look like Igor when when walk away. Luckily, there is a wide range of chairs that are tailor-made for PC gamers, and once you sit in one, your (gaming) life will change.Usually featuring comfortable, quality materials and multiple pillows for Lumbar and neck support, the best PC gaming chairs will make even the longest gaming marathon a pleasant, comfortable experience. Because, if you’re dominating your opposition, shouldn’t you be comfortable in your gaming throne?
Sure, you only need one gaming monitor to play a game, but what if you need a guide to get through that tough section? Or, maybe you just want to watch a YouTube video while you grind in the endgame of your favorite RPG. Even if you have the best screen, having a second (or even third) monitor is a life-changer when you’re gaming – and you won’t want to go back. There are ways around this, of course, especially if you have an ultra-wide monitor, but the concept is the same – sometimes you just need to multitask, and a second monitor is going to be cheaper than a laptop or tablet. Just make sure you have the RAM necessary to multitask.
While it isn’t the only way to communicate in multiplayer games, a headset is becoming more and more necessary in today’s PC gaming landscape. As programs like Discord gain ubiquity in every gaming community, you’re going to want one of the best PC gaming headsets to join in on the action. And, now that gaming headsets feature sick RGB lighting, amazing surround sound and a wide variety of quality-of-life features, you won’t want to play your games without one. Nothing takes you out of an immersive gaming experience like subpar sound.
While it’s faced its fair share of issues in recent years, you simply cannot talk about PC gaming in 2018 without Steam coming up in some fashion. Not only is it the most convenient place to buy and play your games, due to its all-encompassing library and community functionality – but it’s gained a sort of cult following over the years. PC gamers absolutely will not go elsewhere.And, while there has been some new competition in recent years by the likes of EA, Ubisoft and even Microsoft – when it comes to market share and population – nothing approaches Steam’s numbers. This is likely due to its seasonal sales, letting gamers fill up their gaming libraries on the cheap – which is by itself one of the biggest advantages PC gaming holds over consoles.
Unless you’re playing on one of the best gaming laptops, being able to troubleshoot and upgrade your PC is one of the core pillars of PC gaming – and you’ll want to be sure you have the tools to take care of it. You won’t need anything especially complicated, just a small magnetic screwdriver and maybe an anti-static wristband. But, trust us, you don’t want to find yourself scrambling for a screwdriver when you upgrade to one of the best gaming PCs. Also consider a magnetic parts tray and some spare case screws.
Dust is the eternal enemy of electronics, and your gaming PC is no different. There’s nothing worse than getting totally immersed in your favorite game, only to be pulled out instantly by having your PC’s performance suddenly tank due to thermal throttling. And, when that happens, you’re going to want some canned air handy, so you get back in the game as quickly as possible. Just keep in mind: it’s generally advised to clean out your PC every month. So, you should get used to picking up some canned air regularly to keep your rig at peak performance at all times. 
Have you ever found yourself watching gameplay for an upcoming game, only to turn your nose up when you find out it’s running on a PS4 or Xbox One? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. Especially when you’re fresh off of upgrading to a new graphics card, or even a new PC, it’s easy to gain a sense of superiority over people playing on consoles. But, just keep in mind that gaming is a widespread and inclusive medium and all forms should be celebrated.But, there’s nothing wrong with a little bit of bragging every once in a while. Just try not to go overboard. Maybe try to recruit some console gamers to the PC side of the aisle instead of scaring them away.

Welcome to TechRadar’s PC Gaming Week 2018

Welcome to TechRadar’s PC Gaming Week 2018

Welcome to the fourth annual TechRadar PC Gaming Week, celebrating our love of all things PC gaming with a week of in-depth and exclusive coverage.Whether you’re new to the craze or have been a PC gamer since sound cards were still a thing, join us from today until June 15 for some deep dives into the world of PC gaming, looking at both the games we play and the machines we play them on. In preparation for what’s going to be a fun and full-on week we’ve been busy playing PC games and testing gaming hardware and peripherals, and talking to the individuals and the companies that make them.We’ll be bringing you a vast and varied selection of articles, including an interview with an esports player in which they talk about how to get into playing PC games professionally, a feature getting behind the design of one the best PC gaming mice ever made, and a look back at one of the PC games that sparked the modern phenomenon of worldwide online gaming.To make sure you don’t miss anything amid the constant stream of content that is TechRadar – E3 2018 is also happening this week – just keep coming back to this page, which we’ll be updating daily as new articles are published.So, without further ado, let TechRadar’s PC Gaming Week 2018 begin!

Tuesday
Corsair on getting serious about gaming miceCorsair takes TechRadar on a journey inside the design process for its last two mice, the Glaive RGB and Dark Core RGB.

Best gaming keyboard 2018: the best gaming keyboards we’ve testedAll of these keyboards are as beautiful as the components in your PC, tested by TechRadar editors and refreshed for PC Gaming Week.

Best gaming mouse pads 2018: the best mouse mats for gamersFrom the basic unicorn-laden mouse pads to ones with top tech, we’re helping gamers decide with a the guide to top gaming mouse mats.

Why (and how) Acer makes the most extreme PC gaming hardwareAcer tells us all about its philosophy for developing extreme hardware for the most hardcore PC gamers.

The 30 best indie games on PC and consolesThe best indie games don’t need loot boxes to succeed – here they are. And, surprise: the best place to find them is on PC.

Touring Maingear: the hypercar auto shop of gaming PC buildersWe’ve had the chance to tour Maingear’s New Jersey HQ office, though it’s more like an exotic auto shop.

Best hard drives 2018: the top HDD for desktops and laptopsFrom a little extra storage space to a beefy NAS, these are the best hard drives for the job, now with PCGW deals.

Steam vs GOG vs GreenManGaming: which is best for PC gamers?Buying PC games can be tough, so we compare Steam, GOG and GreenManGaming to see which is best.

Best gaming laptops 2018: the 10 top gaming laptops we’ve reviewedThe best gaming laptops you can buy, always up to date with the latest hardware configurations, now with PCGW deals.

10 things PC gamers hateGaming on PC is great, but it’s not without its frustrations. Here’s our list of what really grinds our gears.

The best RPGs to play on PC todayThe PC is the best place to play RPG games, so if you fancy a bit of role playing, check out our updated list.

How to turn a second hand PC into a gaming beastYou don’t need to spend a fortune to create a monster gaming PC, just a second-hand PC and some components.

The best gaming monitor 2018If you really want to make the most out of your PC games, then make sure you have one of our picks for best gaming monitor.

Monday
Hands-on Lenovo Legion Y730 reviewThe Lenovo Legion Y730 is a reinvention for Lenovo’s PC gaming line – an impressive one at that.

Why Corsair believes in the wireless future of PC gamingWe sit down with Corsair for the inside scoop on its first wireless keyboard and its outlook on wireless gaming.

Microsoft’s E3 2018 conference made me glad I’m a PC gamerMicrosoft’s E3 2018 show had a lot of games, but it also delivered no reasons for this PC gamer to move to Xbox.

The best PC games of 2018 (so far)What better way to kick off this year’s PC Gaming Week than with a rundown of the very best PC games of 2018?

The best gaming PCs of 2018If PC Gaming Week 2018 has got you in the mood for buying a new gaming PC, then check out our roundup of the best rigs.

Intel’s love affair with PC gamingIntel is one of the biggest names in PC hardware, and we talk to the chip maker about its passion for PC gaming.

Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ reviewThe Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ is an amazing gaming monitor that boasts 4K, HDR and Nvidia G-Sync tech. But it is expensive…

Satisfactory turns building games into an industry simulator

Satisfactory turns building games into an industry simulator

Satisfactory is the latest building adventure game from Coffee Stain Studios and from the looks of its first trailer, it’s almost like a first-person SimCity game.As with most games in the genre like Minecraft and Ark, you’ll start off collecting basic resources, but from there you can build enormous factory machines. From there players will just build-and-build to develop factories All about building huge self-sustaining factories that span for miles and miles.

Co-op will also be a big piece of the game as you can employ your friends to help build out your sprawling industries.On the PC Gaming Show stage, Coffee Stain Studios announced the first closed alpha in the coming months and users will be able to sign up for updates on the Satisfactory website.
TechRadar’s fourth annual PC Gaming Week is officially here, celebrating our passion with in-depth and exclusive coverage of PC gaming from every angle. Visit our PC Gaming Week 2018 page to see all of the coverage in one place. 

The 5 best laptops of Computex 2018

The 5 best laptops of Computex 2018

When some of the biggest names in computing get together in Taipei, Taiwan for the biggest show of the year, announcements are plentiful. Computex 2018 is no different, with the event recently kicking off and a slew of announcements following shortly after. From laptops and desktops to gaming accessories and peripherals, there’s almost too much to keep track of. Luckily, that’s why we’re here. Even Intel joined in on the fun with a bold claim that it found a way to increase laptop battery life up to 28 hours with the help of some new display tech. Until that dream becomes a reality, let’s take a look at five of the best laptops to come out of Computex 2018. 
These are the best gaming laptops we’ve tested this past yearThe Asus ZenBook S (UX391) is a 13-inch Ultrabook with a crazy-looking hinge. The ErgoLift hinge lifts the display up by nearly an inch, pitches the keyboard at a 5.5-degree slope and helps with cooling and improves audio performance — or so Asus claims.Outside of a unique hinge, Asus claims the ZenBook S has a battery life of 13 hours. The 13-inch display has nearly no bezels, and looks stunning.Starting at $1,199 (about £900, AU$1,570) the ZenBook S will be available with up to an Intel Core i7-8550U processor, 16GB of DDR3 memory and a whopping 1TB of PCIe SSD storage.You won’t have to wait long before the ZenBook begins showing up on store shelves, with release in the US set for June 11.
Asus heard you like touch screens, so it put a touchscreen where the touchpad should be on the ZenBook Pro (UX580). The ScreenPad, as Asus calls it, is a Full HD 5.5-inch screen. It’s designed for use as a normal touchpad, ready to handle all the gestures, taps and swipes you can throw at it. However, the ScreenPad doubles as a second display where users can place app shortcuts or program specific tools for ScreenPad-optimized apps.Fancy ScreenPad aside, the ZenBook Pro will be available in two models. A 15-inch model starts at $2,299 (about £1,710, AU$3,000) in July, but release specifics about the 14-inch model aren’t available quite yet. For those who really want to be at the bleeding edge of mobile computing, the ZenBook Pro will be available with an Intel Core i9-8950HK processor – just saying. 
MSI is known for its gaming hardware, but with the PS42 Prestige the company is sure to attract some business users. The Prestige won’t make its official appearance until later this year, but our first glimpse left us impressed. The PS42 will feature the latest Intel Core i7 processor and an Nvidia GeForce MX150 GPU in a housing that’s only 0.62 inches (15.9mm) thick. There are two questionable design choices with the Prestige, with the webcam sitting below the display, and a fingerprint reader embedded into the top-left corner of the touchpad. That said, we will withhold judgement until we are able to fully test the PS42 Prestige.
Huawei’s latest MateBook D looks nice, and has the specs that make it even more appealing. A 14-inch Full HD display, AMD Ryzen 5 2500U processor, and Radeon Vega 8 mobile graphics are tucked into a laptop that weighs a comfortable 3.19 pounds (1.45kg). Charging the MateBook D is done via a USB-C port –  always a welcome addition to any modern laptop. Charging via USB-C not only adds convenience in sharing the same type of charger most Android phones use now, but it makes things like quick charging possible as well. Another notable feature of the forthcoming MateBook D is its quad-speaker setup with split-frequency. Unfortunately, we have no idea what the new MateBook D will cost or when it will be available.
What’s better than one screen? Two screens, of course. Intel’s Tiger Rapids prototype is part laptop, part notebook. On one side of the Moleskin-like notebook is a 7.9-inch Full HD LCD where Windows 10 takes the main stage. PCWorld has a thorough writeup and interview with an Intel executive about Tiger Rapids that’s worth a read.On the opposite side is an electronic paper display (EPD) that’s main purpose is for users to write and draw notes on. Due to EPD technology, the display draws very little power. The EPD portion of the Tiger Rapids prototype isn’t relegated to being a digital piece of paper, however. It doubles as a software keyboard, or a second display for longer webpages or Excel spreadsheets. We will likely never see Intel release the Tiger Rapids to the public. Instead, the company is using the prototype to inspire its hardware partners to create something similar.

VPNFilter router virus more dangerous and widespread than initially thought

VPNFilter router virus more dangerous and widespread than initially thought

Ongoing analysis of the sophisticated VPNFilter router malware, revealed by networking firm Cisco two weeks ago and thought to have infected up to 500,000 devices, has found the virus is potentially more dangerous to users than previously thought, and affects a much broader range of devices. The modular virus targets networking equipment such as home and small-business routers, NAS boxes and network switches, and has now been discovered on devices from ASUS, D-Link, Huawei, Ubiquiti, UPVEL, and ZTE. Originally, researchers had found VPNFilter residing on devices from Linksys, Netgear, QNAP and TP-Link. Huawei’s name in the list is likely to get the most attention as the vendor is a popular original device manufacturer for big internet service providers such as UK-based TalkTalk. The initial infection was deemed dangerous enough that, shortly after Cisco revealed its existence, the FBI took action to seize a domain that the virus was using as a command-and-control server. The US law agency also issued a global warning to owners of potentially-infected devices, asking them to reboot their equipment — a step that would erase the more dangerous parts of the malware and help prevent it from being able to cause any further damage. 
Related: New internet of things security code aims to stamp out Mirai and other threatsNew capabilities uncovered
Initially thought to be a fairly standard botnet, which would use infected gear to wage cyber attacks on other targets, Cisco’s Talos Intelligence Group has since uncovered new capabilities in the malware – ones which could put owners of infected routers at greater risk.  In particular, a module called ‘ssler’ seems specifically designed to compromise internet traffic being sent to and from an infected router. The module uses a ‘man in the middle’ style attack that attempts to downgrade secure HTTPS web traffic so that data is sent over HTTP as unencrypted plaintext, which makes sensitive information such as logins and passwords much easier to intercept and capture. Cisco has not revealed a total number for how many additional devices it now believes could be infected, but has said that despite earlier warnings that users should reboot at-threat devices, the malware still persists in the wild and that the threat “continues to grow”. Cisco provided an updated list of devices that could be affected, so if you own one of the below, you’re strongly advised to reboot it: 
Asus RT-AC66U (new)Asus RT-N10 (new)Asus RT-N10E (new)Asus RT-N10U (new)Asus RT-N56U (new)Asus RT-N66U (new)D-Link DES-1210-08P (new)D-Link DIR-300 (new)D-Link DIR-300A (new)D-Link DSR-250N (new)D-Link DSR-500N (new)D-Link DSR-1000 (new)D-Link DSR-1000N (new)Huawei HG8245 (new)Linksys E1200Linksys E2500Linksys E3000 (new)Linksys E3200 (new)Linksys E4200 (new)Linksys RV082 (new)Linksys WRVS4400NMikrotik CCR1009 (new)Mikrotik CCR1016Mikrotik CCR1036Mikrotik CCR1072Mikrotik CRS109 (new)Mikrotik CRS112 (new)Mikrotik CRS125 (new)Mikrotik RB411 (new)Mikrotik RB450 (new)Mikrotik RB750 (new)Mikrotik RB911 (new)Mikrotik RB921 (new)Mikrotik RB941 (new)Mikrotik RB951 (new)Mikrotik RB952 (new)Mikrotik RB960 (new)Mikrotik RB962 (new)Mikrotik RB1100 (new)Mikrotik RB1200 (new)Mikrotik RB2011 (new)Mikrotik RB3011 (new)Mikrotik RB Groove (new)Mikrotik RB Omnitik (new)Mikrotik STX5 (new)Netgear DG834 (new)Netgear DGN1000 (new)Netgear DGN2200Netgear DGN3500 (new)Netgear FVS318N (new)Netgear MBRN3000 (new)Netgear R6400Netgear R7000Netgear R8000Netgear WNR1000Netgear WNR2000Netgear WNR2200 (new)Netgear WNR4000 (new)Netgear WNDR3700 (new)Netgear WNDR4000 (new)Netgear WNDR4300 (new)Netgear WNDR4300-TN (new)Netgear UTM50 (new)QNAP TS251QNAP TS439 ProQNAP NAS devices running QTS softwareTP-Link R600VPNTP-Link TL-WR741ND (new)TP-Link TL-WR841N (new)Ubiquiti NSM2 (new)Ubiquiti PBE M5 (new)Upvel: Unknown Models (new)ZTE ZXHN H108N (new)If your router’s on that list, it might be time to consider an upgrade. These are TechRadar’s recommendations for the best routers of 2018.

Asus’s new ZenBook laptop swaps out the trackpad for a customizable touchscreen

Asus’s new ZenBook laptop swaps out the trackpad for a customizable touchscreen

The growing world of Windows 10 laptops just keeps making it harder and harder for the MacBook Pro to hold its ground, the latest example being the Asus ZenBook Pro 15 (UX580).Asus’ newest version of its 15-inch laptop for prosumers and creative types – not to mention light gamers – piles on the power in nearly every regard — from its impressive graphical capabilities to its incredible Pantone validated display.The laptop’s so-called ‘Deep Dive Blue’ aluminum unibody with rose gold edges measures a mere 18.9mm (0.74 inches) thin and weighs a measly 1.86kg (4.1 pounds) for its large screen size. Speaking of which, that screen is a professionally-calibrated 4K IPS touchscreen (a Full HD option is also available).

You’ve got the touch
Perhaps the most striking addition to Asus’ ZenBook Pro laptop range is the decision to go with a contextual touchscreen in place of a traditional trackpad. Dubbed the ScreenPad, the 5.5-inch color touchscreen offers a Full HD display and is said to provide new ways to interact with Windows apps as well as dedicated ScreenPad apps. Whether the ScreenPad will indeed be implemented in a useful way that allows it to rise above gimmick status remains to be seen. However, in terms of functionality, it seem like a more practical approach than what Apple has achieved with its MacBook Pro with Touch Bar.

You’ve got the power
Within, the new ZenBook Pro 15 can be configured with Intel 8th generation processors from Core i5 up to the latest Intel Core i9 with six cores. Backing that up is an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 graphics chip, 8GB to 16GB of DDR4 memory and an SSD up to 1TB in capacity.Asus is also touting a new, special cooling system that will keep that Core i9 processor and GTX 1050 in check within such a small chassis. All of this is promised to last up to 9.5 hours on a charge.Rounding out the laptop’s featureset is 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0 for advanced wireless connectivity, backed by two Thunderbolt 3 ports, two USB 3.1 ports, an HDMI port, a microSD card reader, a TRRS audio jack and a proprietary port for charging.The Asus ZenBook Pro 15 (UX580) is due to arrive mid-July 2018 with prices starting at $2,299 (AU$2,999 / around £1,710).
14-inch model ‘coming soon’
Though it has yet to be officially revealed, Asus has announced that a 14-inch ZenBook Pro 14 with ScreenPad (UX480) is slated to debut later in 2018, packing an 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Max-Q graphics card.Other ZenBook Pro 14 features include support for Intel Optane memory, a Full HD NanoEdge display, facial recognition via infrared camera and built-in support for Amazon Alexa voice-powered services.Whether the 14-inch ZenBook Pro  will be released across all territories has yet to be confirmed. Expect to hear more about it in the coming weeks.
Want to know more about the ZenBook Pro 15? Watch our hands-on video below:
These are the best laptops we’ve tested this year so far

Asus ZenBook S is an ultra-ergonomic Ultrabook

Asus ZenBook S is an ultra-ergonomic Ultrabook

During Computex 2018, Asus has announced an all-new type of Ultrabook laptop known as the Asus ZenBook S, or UX391. The laptop looks like a Surface Pro at first glance, thanks to a unique hinge design, but isn’t like that Windows 10 tablet at all.That interesting hinge is known as the ‘ErgoLift Hinge,’ and it raises the angle of the laptop base and therefore the keyboard when opening the laptop. This is because the hinge is positioned a bit above the edge of the laptop lid.The ErgoLift Hinge gives the keyboard an angle of 5.5-degrees, which Asus claims to have found during research promotes comfortable typing for longer periods of time. This solution also allows heat that the 0.51-inch thin laptop generates to be dissipated through the bottom of the base while (theoretically) escaping before it warms up your legs.Better yet, Asus promises that this angle also allows the bottom-firing speakers on the laptop to shine far better than competing, normal laptops. Plus, a smart amplifier adjusts the max volume, accounting for the acoustics created by the angle, to deliver the best battery life and quality.
Asus also announced the ZenBook Pro 2018 series which introduces the ScreenPad at Computex. Watch our hands-on to find out more:
Packed with power inside
Of course, being an Ultrabook, the ZenBook S is armed to the teeth with high-end parts. That includes a 13.3-inch touchscreen with ultra-thin, 5.9mm bezels and a resolution of either 1,920 x 1,080 or 3,840 x 2,160. Asus’s Tru2Life video technology enhances either screen’s contrast, sharpness and playback smoothness through pixel analysis.Powering that display is an Intel 8th generation Core processor – your pick of the Core i5-8250U or Core i7-8550U – with Intel HD Graphics 620. Backing up that chip is up to 16GB of DDR3 memory at 2,133MHz and as much as 1TB of PCIe SSD storage.Despite the thinness of the laptop, Asus managed to cram one USB-C 3.1 port, two USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports and an audio jack for plenty of expandability. A touchpad-embedded fingerprint sensor is also included, ensuring this laptop is packed with hardware.Asus promises up to 13 and a half hours of battery life from the ZenBook S when it launches on June 11 for $1,199 (about £899, AU$1,569) on Amazon and at B&H Photo in the US. 
Keep up with everything that happened at Computex 2018 so far

Microsoft reportedly acquires GitHub, the world’s largest source code platform

Microsoft reportedly acquires GitHub, the world’s largest source code platform

Growing rumors that Microsoft will acquire collaborative coding startup GitHub have been further substantiated by a report from Bloomberg, which claims that the software giant has agreed to the acquisition.Last valued at $2 billion (in 2015), GitHub is responsible for hosting the single largest collection of code in one place, acting as the repository for projects ranging in scope from small developer teams to the likes of Google.GitHub has been hunting for a new CEO for the last nine months, after co-founder Chris Wanstrath announced his intentions to step down. The full details of the acquisition are yet to be revealed but Bloomberg suggests they are very imminent.The coding company was allegedly impressed by the active approach Microsoft’s current CEO, Satya Nadella, has taken with supporting developers and other coding initiatives since he took on the role in 2014.
Repercussions
So what does it mean for the world’s biggest crowd-sourced code repository to be bought by the world’s biggest software company? For one, it potentially gives Microsoft access to over 26 million software developers and their code.While this may result in some more exciting and creative software being developed by Microsoft, the details on the degree of ownership and control it would have over the code stored on GitHub are yet to be made clear, and users are cautious. A Twitter poll from Bryan Lunduke showed that 68% of existing GitHub users would move to another service if the acquisition went ahead, and only 25% of Twitter users asked by Tom Warren of The Verge thought that it was good news.How this story will pan out is yet to be determined, so stay tuned for the full announcement of the alleged acquisition and what the two companies have to say about its affect on their respective users.
The best online collaboration tools of 2018[via Bloomberg]

Computex 2018: what to expect from the world’s biggest computer show

Computex 2018: what to expect from the world’s biggest computer show

Computex 2018 is rapidly approaching, with the year’s biggest computing show kicking off in Taipei, Taiwan from June 5 until June 9. The biggest names in computing will be there, including AMD, Intel, Nvidia and Asus, and of course we’ll also be there, reporting on the latest news from the show floor.We’ll also be bringing you hands-on reviews of the top technology that’s on show, including cutting-edge laptops, stunning monitors and more peripherals than you can shake a joystick at.As we’re getting ever closer to the start of the event we’re picking up more clues over what we can expect to see, from leaks and announcements to our own educated guesses, so read on to find out what you can expect from Computex 2018.
Cut to the chase
What is it? A huge global technology show that focuses on computingWhen is it? June 5 – June 9What’s on show? The very latest laptops, PCs, monitors, peripherals and moreWhat to expect at Computex 2018
Here’s everything we know so far about what is likely to be shown at Computex 2018 by the biggest brands in the world.

Acer
Acer always has a big presence at Computex, and not just because it takes place in its home town of Taipei. At Computex 2017, Acer impressed us with a new line of Acer Spin laptops, and this year we expect to see some more innovative laptops that push the boundaries of the form factor.So, a closer look at the recently-announced updated Nitro 5 gaming laptop with the latest 8th generation Intel Core i7 and Core i7+ processors and Nvidia 1050 Ti would be nice.The slimline all-in-one Aspire S24 PC may also be there, and we’d like to see more innovations when it comes to Acer’s 2-in-1 laptops and Chromebooks.

AMD
AMD has been on a roll lately, with its Ryzen processors bringing in very strong sales, and its Ryzen 2nd Generation processors, like the AMD Ryzen 5 2600X and the AMD Ryzen 7 2700X getting rave reviews. Not to mention companies like Acer populating their high-end gaming laptops with AMD hardware. With the fantastic year AMD is having, we’re expecting a victory lap from the hardware maker at this year’s show.So, we can expect to hear about what’s next for AMD’s Ryzen processors, and maybe even see some laptops that have the second generation installed – Acer for one has already announced new Ryzen- and Vega-powered gaming laptops ahead of the show. Even more likely, we may see the announcement of Ryzen Threadripper 2nd Generation at the show.We’ll also get some news about AMD’s Radeon graphics cards as well, which have also been doing pretty well of late.

Asus
Asus is always a very popular draw at Computex, and we don’t expect it to be any different this year. Asus has a lot of fingers in a lot of pies, so expect new gaming laptops, as well as components and peripherals to boot.Asus was also early to hype up its Computex 2018 appearance by releasing a video that appears to tease the announcement of a new ZenBook laptop. Asus’ range of ZenBooks are gorgeously designed and slimline ultrabooks, so we’re really looking forward to seeing what it has in store.The video, which features Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot, is titled ‘Unleash your creative power’, so we’re convinced this will be a laptop that comes with enough processing and graphical chops for image and video editing. It could very well be a Kaby Lake-G powered Ultrabook going by everything we know.We may also get a glimpse of the recently-announced ZenPhone Max Pro (M1) smartphone as well.

Intel
Last year Intel took to the stage at Computex to talk about its amazingly-powerful Core i9 processors, and we expect the chipmaker to go large this year as well.AI (Artificial Intelligence) looks like it could be a major theme at Computex 2018, and Intel will be heavily invested, so we could see some announcements around that.We’re also expecting Intel to show off a number of laptops with its latest processors inside, including the H-series Intel Core CPUs. On the desktop front, there are rumors of a new i7-8086K, celebrating the 40th anniversary of Intel’s first CPU, the Intel 8086. We’ve also seen rumors of new chipsets, suggesting we might see the announcement or even launch of Cannon Lake and Kaby Lake-X processors. 

Nvidia
Nvidia is another huge company that will be at Computex 2018, and will also have a lot to say about AI.We might see some new laptops showing off Nvidia’s mobile GPUs (maybe even Turing-powered ones?), and also hear about how Nvidia’s components are powering the next generation of virtual reality games and experiences.Also, continuing from GTC 2018, Nvidia’s GPU Technology Conference, we’ll likely hear more about the company’s work on self-driving cars, smart cities, healthcare and high-performance computing. Hopefully, we’ll also see the announcement of the GTX 1180, reportedly powered by its Turing architecture. However, there have been some recent leaks that point to the next-generation mainstream graphics cards launching in August instead. 

Microsoft
Microsoft is also a reliable presence at Computex, and with the ever-evolving Windows 10 we may get a chance to see what’s coming up in Redstone 5.Last year Microsoft went into detail about its collaboration with Qualcomm, which saw the creation of Windows on Snapdragon laptops, that offer mobile-phone like battery lives and features. Could we see another innovative collaboration this year?We may also see some new headsets for its Mixed Reality platform as well.

Dell
We haven’t heard many rumors coming from Dell recently – likely because it’s hot off the release of the new XPS 15 2-in-1. However, that doesn’t mean we should count them out completely. There are still plenty of laptops they could announce, from Alienware to more budget-focused machines. Either way, we know Dell is going to be at the show. What it’s going to announce, however, we’ll just have to wait and see.

MSI
MSI is hot off of the release of the beautiful GS65 Stealth, so we haven’t heard many rumors about what it’s planning for Computex. But we know MSI is planning something. Last year, it showed off a wide swath of gaming peripherals, and while that’s not as exciting as a new gaming laptop, we think we’ll see some exciting laptops featuring 8th-generation Intel Coffee Lake processors.

Gigabyte and Aorus
There’s a lot that Gigabyte can do at Computex this year, and if a report from Tom’s Hardware is to be believed, we could see Gigabyte jump in on the SSD market with Aorus-branded SSDs.Beyond that, we could also see Gigabyte detail some Aorus laptops featuring Coffee Lake processors and Nvidia MaxQ graphics that may end up topping our list of the best gaming laptops. This wouldn’t be too far from what we saw last year, either.

HP
HP has had a busy week, announcing the new line of Envy laptops, an Envy all-in-one (which supports Alexa) and has announced that many of its upcoming PCs will be using Ryzen Pro processors. So, what could be left for Computex? Well, we could see them announcing the new line of Spectre laptops. Sure, the fantastic 2017 Spectre 13 launched in November, but we’ve seen crazier things. All we know is HP will be at the event. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

Qualcomm
Qualcomm might be known for its mobile processors and Computex might be a computing event – but we think Qualcomm could announce something huge. Last year Qualcomm and Microsoft teamed up to bring us Snapdragon-powered mobile PCs made by the likes of Asus, HP and Lenovo. That must have worked out, because Qualcomm is coming back this year. We don’t know what they’re going to show off, but maybe they have something to do with that rumored 10-inch Surface?

Samsung
We don’t know anything about what Samsung is planning for Computex 2018, we just know it’ll be there. We could see a new Chromebook, or maybe a Notebook that takes advantage of 8th-generation Coffee Lake processors? Again, we’ll just have to wait and see. Personally, we hope for a worldwide release of the Samsung Odyssey Z 15.

Lenovo
Lenovo is another laptop manufacturer that’s going to be at the show, and we’ve been hearing very specific rumors of an Intel Canon Lake-powered laptop as of late. The Lenovo IdeaPad 330 has been rumored to come sporting the first 10nm CPU, the Intel Core i3-8121U. The laptop seems to already have been listed in China, so that only increases the chances we’ll see it actually announced at the show.Otherwise, we’re expecting Lenovo to announce a wide range of notebooks. We’re not sure whether we’ll see a follow-up to the wildly popular Yoga 920, but we may see a new Yoga Book along with some ThinkPad laptops, which are popular with students.This is another manufacturer where we’ll just have to wait and see what they have to offer for Computex 2018.
Here’s everything that happened at last year’s ComputexBill Thomas has also contributed to this article