With the OnePlus Buds Pro, we get a premium pair of wireless headphones from OnePlus, in an increasingly competitive market – and now we get our first look at what the company is planning for a follow-up.
More in 91mobiles (opens in new tab)there are some high-quality renders showing what the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 are supposed to be like (although, of course, we can’t know for sure until they’re actually released). From these images, it doesn’t look like much will change in terms of design.
New is an olive green color option, shown in these renders – the original OnePlus Buds Pro were available in matte black or gloss white. The design similarities extend to the charging case, which appears to be more or less the same.
What to expect
We don’t know much about what the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 will bring in terms of features and functionality, but this latest report suggests that Danish speaker manufacturer Dynaudio was involved in the production of the headphones.
The first OnePlus Buds Pro brought active noise cancellation, so it seems certain that the new pair will once again offer this feature. Battery life, which reached 24 hours with the OnePlus Buds Pro, could also be improved.
There hasn’t been any OnePlus Buds Pro 2 release date rumors we’ve come across, though considering the original pair were announced in July 2021, successors are overdue – and early 2023 looks like it could be a good bet for one. official release.
Analysis: lots and lots of options
There’s certainly no shortage of options when it comes to wireless headphones: that’s great for consumers, but it means it can be tricky for manufacturers to make their products stand out. OnePlus already has several versions of its wireless headphones on sale.
Then, of course, we have to mention Apple, who have the most common prices well covered with the AirPods Pro 2 ($249 / £249 / AU$399) and the AirPods 3 (starting at $169 / £179 / AU $279). These options are hard to ignore, especially for iPhone users.
Google has the premium Pixel Buds Pro ($199 / £179 / AU$299) and the cheaper Pixel Buds A-Series ($99 / £99.99 / AU$159), while Samsung offers the Galaxy Buds 2 ($149.99 / £139.99 / AU$219). and the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro ($229 / £219 / AU$349).
We’re thinking that, once again, OnePlus might use price as its biggest selling point: the original OnePlus Buds Pro sold for $149.99 / £139 when it launched, and somewhere around that mark, but its successors would be in a good place in terms of accessibility.
Twitter is in turmoil, with new CEO Elon Musk’s plan to charge $8 / £8 / AU$9 for blue ticks causing an exodus of users in search of the best Twitter alternatives.
The Mastodon has seen a rise in new users, for example, with many of the unhappy Twitterati deciding that it represents the closest fit in terms of form and function. But while there are similarities, there are also differences – as I discovered after spending the past week on this.
If you haven’t tried Mastodon yet, think of it like Twitter, but segregated into different communities, called servers, that you can participate in. However, you can still follow your friends even if they are on a different server in your timeline. This sounds simple enough, but in reality it’s a little more complicated.
Eugen Rocheko (opens in new tab)creator and developer of Mastodon, has already surprised himself with over a million new users joining the service in the last week, but if he wants to continue growing user numbers at this level, he needs to simplify the way one joins a server.
Signing up is currently a headache
I’ve been a mastodon user (opens in new tab) since 2017, but I’ve been using it more in the last month, as its simplicity in posting and reading content is certainly welcome, and being able to organize your timeline according to your interests, without trolls or irrelevant ads popping up, is certainly refreshing.
However, the only glaring issue I’ve encountered so far is that when you’re creating a new account, you’re overwhelmed with sometimes somewhat confusing choices, like a screen asking you to join different servers. If you already have an account, you need to find the server you created your account on, and finding new users is particularly difficult, as it is difficult to list available servers.
It’s a confusing subject – and it makes a bad first impression if you’re a casual user who just wants to try out the platform. Some people might feel confused about what a ‘server’ really means in this case.
I also only managed to access via the web – Mastodon’s android and iOS apps (opens in new tab), released in 2021, both refuse to recognize my correct credentials. To be fair, this could be due to the amount of new and existing users trying to do the same right now, but it’s still frustrating.
Whatever the case, we hope Rochko is looking into a solution to this, as well as considering apps for macOS and Windows in the future.
However, this is much early days for the platform – Facebook, Twitter and even MySpace all had growing pains in the beginning, and it was thanks to its users that these issues were resolved.
What I’ve seen so far is certainly encouraging, and it’s a foundation that could be the start of something special for people looking to leave Twitter.
However, at the moment it is simply too complicated at the application stage. If Rochko doesn’t redesign the integration process soon, Mastodon could be too big a leap for the casual user.
Not only has shouting across the room at an inanimate speaker become normal behavior, but it’s now possible to automate pretty much everything in our homes with smart speakers like those from Amazon and Google. From light bulbs to our home’s heating, it’s a whole new world of smart tech.
The best smart speakers with Alexa and Google Assistant on board have revolutionized how we manage our homes, as we can now automate even the most mundane tasks using just our voices.
However, because these voice assistants have become so popular over the last decade (according to market research firm Statista, by 2024, 8.4 billion devices with digital assistants built-in will be in use), there are more than ever to choose from. The two leading players are Alexa and Google Assistant, and each has carved out its own place in the market, with a range of speakers and some of the best smart displays on offer.
But how to decide? We compared the two assistants based on factors such as music and video support, pricing, and even their general knowledge. Keep reading to see our exploration of Alexa vs. Google Assistant and our verdict on which would fit best into your home.
Best Amazon Echo and Google Nest deals
Read on to discover how these two voice assistants compare – or, if you’ve already decided which of the two you wish to buy, check out the best prices right now for smart speakers from both brands below:
Alexa vs Google Assistant: Voice recognition
Alexa vs Google Assistant: FAQ
What is a voice assistant? A voice assistant is a computer program (also known as a software agent) that can perform tasks and provide information in response to questions and commands you issue. A voice assistant can be accessed through your smartphone but is also built into smart speakers, smart displays, and even some TV streaming devices.
How do I use it? To give a voice assistant commands, you’ll first need to utter the ‘wake’ word or phrase, which makes them jump into action. Then you’ll be able to ask them a question or give them a command. After a few milliseconds, they’ll respond, and you can request further related questions or commands or end the conversation.
Do they require a subscription? You can use both Alexa and Google Assistant without a monthly subscription. Once you’ve purchased a smart speaker or smart display they are built into (or downloaded the free app for your smartphone), you can ask them questions or issue commands, and they’ll reply free of charge.
Both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant reliably recognized and responded to our voice when testing them with an Amazon Echo Dot (2020) and a Google Nest Mini 2. Within milliseconds of us uttering the wake word, the assistants sprang into life.
Speaking of the wake word, Alexa lets you change this phrase in the app. If you prefer, you can use Amazon, Echo, or the computer, but you’ll need to activate the change on every Alexa-enabled device in your home.
There’s no option to deviate from ‘Ok, Google’ or ‘Hey, Google,’ which are the wake words used with Google Nest smart speakers and displays, but consistency can actually be a real help when talking to a little piece of tech.
Both Alexa and Google Assistant can have continued conversations, so there’s no need to repeat the wake word if you follow up your initial command or request with another one after a few seconds. Amazon also says that in the future, Alexa will be able to converse with more than one person at a time. However, this feature is still not available at the time of writing.
On top of this, both Alexa and Google Assistant can recognize different voices in the household to provide personalized results, for example, when it comes to calendar entries or contacts to call. Called Voice Match (Google Assistant) and Voice Profiles (Alexa), both voice assistants can recognize up to six different people without a hitch, so that you can access more personal services.
Alexa vs Google Assistant: Price
Amazon and Google offer different smart speakers and smart displays with access to their relevant voice assistants across several different price ranges. The cheapest way to get Alexa or Google Assistant is to opt for the smallest smart speaker from both brands; the Amazon Echo Dot or Google Nest Mini.
There are currently three generations of the Echo Dot on sale, with the oldest model costing £39.99 / $39.99 / AUS$59 and the newest model for 2022 sitting at £54.99 / $49.99 / AUS$79. A version of the mini speaker with a clock is available for £64.99 / $59.99 / AUS$99, and the kids-only model will cost you £64.99 / $59.99 (it’s not currently available in Australia).
On Google’s side of things, the Nest Mini costs £49 / $49 / AUS$79, which is pricier than Alexa’s 3rd Gen speaker but cheaper than its latest model.
These smart speakers are often discounted during the year, too. For example, on Black Friday and Amazon Prime Day, we’ve seen them drop as low as $9.99 / £9.99 / AU$17.99.
Overall, Alexa has more choices and thus more variation in price. The flagship Echo (4th Gen) speaker costs £89.99 / $99.99 / AUS$149, while the music-focused Echo Studio will set you back £189.99 / $199.99 / AUS$329. Meanwhile, the Nest Audio is priced at £89.99 / £99.99 / AUS$149.
Google has just two smart displays – the Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max. These cost £89.99 / $99.99 / AUS$149 and £219 / £229 / AUS$349, respectively.
Alexa has the Echo Show 5 (£74.99 / $84.99 / AUS$119), the Echo Show 5 Kids (US only – $94.99), the Echo Show 8 (£119.99 / $129.99 / AUS$199), the Echo Show 10 (£239.99 / $249.99 / AUS$399), and the Echo Show 15 (£239.99 / $249.99 / AUS$399).
Alexa vs Google Assistant: Smart home devices
For the number of the best smart home devices supported, Alexa trumps Google Assistant here. From LIFX, Philips Hue, and TP-Link smart lights to Honeywell and Tado smart heating thermostats, a plethora of the best home security cameras and smart plugs, alongside Amazon-owned devices like Ring, which offers some of the best video doorbells on the market, there are plenty of smart home devices Alexa can control.
While Google Assistant may be lagging on quantity, support for new devices is being added regularly, and Google’s voice assistant does work with big names such as LIFX, Philips Hue, and Arlo, along with its own smart home devices such as the Google Nest Hello Video doorbell, and the Google Nest Learning thermostat.
Both voice assistants let you create automations (where several different smart home devices work simultaneously in a predefined pattern), either at a specific time or when something happens, for example, smart lights that switch on if your home security camera detects motion outside your home.
Routines, as both Alexa and Google Assistant call them, can be set up in the Alexa or Google Home app. However, Alexa offers more customization than Google Assistant when creating routines – for example, being able to link to services such as Audible and IFTTT (If This Then That), which expands the scope of the automation you can create.
Alexa can also proactively control your smart home gadgets based on your previous requests and behavior through Alexa Hunches.
Alexa vs Google Assistant: Music and video
As both voice assistants are built-into smart speakers and smart displays, it’ll come as no surprise that Alexa and Google Assistant can play music from streaming services for you.
Alexa can play Amazon Music (unsurprisingly), along with Apple Music, Deezer, Spotify, Pandora, Tidal, and Vevo. At the same time, Google Assistant supports all of these except Tidal and Amazon Music and adds support for YouTube Music.
In our eyes, they’re evenly matched here, as, during testing using Spotify, both Alexa and Google Assistant offered up relevant radio stations when we asked for ‘00’s RnB’ and ‘Michael Buble’ as well as being able to play the album Rumours by Fleetwood Mac, and Rob Beckett’s Lockdown Parenting Hell podcast when we asked for it.
If you have more than one compatible smart speaker or smart display in your home, both Alexa and Google Assistant can create multi-room audio systems that can play music at the same time on all of the speakers. Google Assistant can even transfer music between the different smart speakers and displays for you as you move about the house, whereas Alexa doesn’t have this availability yet.
On top of that, both voice assistants can also control the playback of streaming services such as Prime Video and Google Play when being watched on a compatible TV streaming device – that’s an Amazon Fire TV for Alexa and a Google Chromecast (or a TV with Chromecast built-in) for Google Assistant.
Alexa vs Google Assistant: Staying in touch
As well as controlling your smart home and playing music and video for you, Alexa and Google Assistant can also make hands-free calls so that you can save on your phone bill.
Alexa can make free audio calls to cell numbers and landlines from any Amazon Echo smart speaker or display. On top of this, Amazon’s voice assistant can also make free audio calls to other Amazon Echo speakers and free video calls between Amazon Echo smart displays, even if they’re not in your home – you can even make group calls on Amazon’s smart displays.
In the US, Alexa can also make Zoom video calls on the Amazon Echo Show 8 and Amazon Echo Show 10 smart displays.
Google Assistant also offers a hands-free calling function – in the US, this is called Google Home Calling and can be used to call mobiles and landlines (but not 911 or 1-900 numbers) at no extra charge from any Google Nest smart speaker or display.
In the UK and Australia, you can use a Google Nest speaker or smart display to call phone numbers free of charge using Google Duo. However, there’s no way of contacting other Google Nest speakers and smart displays.
When it comes to video calls, if you have a Google Nest Hub Max, you can use Google Duo or Zoom to make two-way video calls, while using the Google Nest Hub (2nd generation) or Google Home Hub means you’ll be able to see the recipient on the video call. Still, they can’t see you as these smart displays don’t have built-in cameras.
Alexa vs Google Assistant: General knowledge
We asked both Alexa and Google some basic general knowledge questions, including ‘what’s the tallest mountain in the world, ‘when was Back to the Future released’ and ‘why is the Earth round.’
Both voice assistants responded with the correct answers in just a few seconds, although Alexa trumped Google Assistant here by providing some context. For example, when asked about the tallest mountain, Alexa gave details about Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world, but also told us about Mauna Kea, which is technically the tallest mountain; however, much of it is underwater. Google Assistant just listed some of the highest mountains across Earth.
We also asked both assistants to convert inches into cm and complete some challenging mathematics (272 x 596), which they easily managed.
Alexa vs Google Assistant: Cooking and food
Alexa and Google Assistant can also offer a helping hand in the kitchen. During testing, both voice assistants could find recipes successfully and read them aloud while displaying them on-screen if you’re using a smart display. Alexa and Google Assistant can also repeat steps or ingredient lists if you need a quick reminder during cooking.
When you’re cooking, a voice assistant can set timers for you, so you don’t have to get your smartphone or kitchen timer (if you still use one) dirty. Alexa excels here as, while like Google Assistant, Amazon’s voice assistant can set multiple timers and name them for you, it lets you check and stop these timers from other smart speakers or smart displays in the house, which isn’t something Google Assistant can do.
If you don’t fancy cooking, it’s also possible to get Alexa and Google Assistant to order dinner in the US, UK, and Australia. However, Google’s food ordering is restricted to the US at present.
Alexa vs Google Assistant: Directions
Want to know how long it’ll take you to get to work? Your voice assistant can help with that too. We found Google Assistant excelled here, offering a direct route to local shops and restaurants, along with traffic and public transport information.
Alexa, however, struggled to provide public transport information, so Google is the clear favorite here if you want your smart device to help you move around.
Alexa vs Google Assistant: Privacy
As voice assistants are always listening for their wake word or phrase, and they record your request once you’ve used that word or phrase so it can be processed and correctly responded to, it will inevitably lead would-be users to privacy concerns.
For some, these could be the reasons not to use a voice assistant. However, Amazon and Google state they take privacy seriously by allowing you to delete these recordings from their companion app or by asking the voice assistant.
If you’re using them on a smart speaker or display, you can also mute them simply by asking or pressing a button on the device itself.
Alexa vs Google Assistant: Languages
Google Assistant is available on smart speakers in Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish. However, not all languages are available in all territories, and some are only available when using Google Assistant through a smart speaker but not a smart display.
Google Assistant can also understand two languages simultaneously, although you can’t switch between the two in a single query. On top of that, Google Assistant also has an interpreter mode that can effectively translate phrases into different languages.
Alexa is available in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish and does offer a dual language mode in some territories. So, for example, in the US, you can use the voice assistant in English and Spanish. It can also translate for you, although it wasn’t as smooth or well-versed as Google Assistant in our tests.
Alexa vs Google Assistant: Verdict
Alexa and Google Assistant are both very good voice assistants, but they excel in different areas. If you’re looking for a digital assistant to control your smart home devices and automate your home, Alexa offers a broader variety of functions than Google’s voice offering.
However, it’s also worth considering the devices you already own, the music and video services you subscribe to, and how you plan to use the voice assistant, as Google Assistant may be a better fit – especially if you’re regularly using an Android smartphone.
There have been tons of rumors and conjectures around the existence of an Nvidia RTX 4090 Ti in development. But now it looks like the tech rumor may have new information about the alleged GPU, as well as the 16GB RTX 4080 version.
According to new leaks reported by neowin, we may have some early benchmark scores for the RTX 4090 Ti. In the Blender 3.3 test, there is a mysterious ‘Nvidia Graphics Device’ listed along with the 4080 and other GPUs. The unnamed card scored 12,906.07 points, which puts it 6.6% higher than the RTX 4090 and lends to the rumor that this could be the 4090 Ti. Meanwhile, the 4080 scored 9,478.64 points, which is about 22.5% lower than the 4090’s score of 12,107.64.
For the Geekbench 5 benchmark, there were leaked scores for the 4080 OpenCL, CUDA and Vulkan tests for the RTX 4080. The GPU scored 258,372, 300,728 and 148,838 respectively. Compared to the scores of the 3080, which was also tested, the score increases are quite high.
Finally, there’s the 3DMark Time Spy benchmark, in which the 4080 scored 28,599 points in the 1440p test and 14,178 points in the 4K test. Those are significant gains compared to the RTX 3080, AMD RX 6950 XT, and AMD RX 6900 XT.
Putting these benchmark scores into perspective
The alleged existence of the RTX 4090 Ti is quite interesting, as the rumors seem to fluctuate wildly between the Nvidia RTX 4090 Ti supposedly being canned due to sky-high energy consumption and almost definitely something that will be released eventually. In fact, the source of the old rumor, Moore’s Law is Dead, explained that the 4090 Ti could be a new RTX Titan Ada. Titans are extremely expensive graphics cards aimed more at creative professionals.
But judging by this most recent leaked benchmark, it looks like the performance matches a 4090 Ti better than a super professional GPU.
Meanwhile, leaked benchmarks for the RTX 4080 16GB are pretty impressive, showing significant gains over older GPU models from Nvidia and AMD. This is a huge improvement over the old one. RTX 4080 12GB version, which had to be officially ‘cancelled’ by Nvidia due to its lackluster specs.
So far, it looks like these next-gen cards could really be a huge leap forward from their predecessors, although the prices are still a little too high to be affordable for all but the most hardcore gamers.
Ahead of the official PC Gaming Show 2023, Future and Intel announced a preview event called PC Gaming Show: 2023 Preview, which will take place in late November.
The PC Gaming Show: 2023 Preview event is the second time the larger show has been previewed, and the new preview will take place on Thursday, November 17 at 10:00 AM PT / 1:00 PM ET / 6:00 PM BT until Muscular contraction🇧🇷 youtubeand Steam🇧🇷 It will also showcase a mix of trailers and gameplay from upcoming global titles currently in development.
Some of the games to be announced during the event include Kerbal Space Program 2, a new game from the League of Geeks (the creators of Armello and the recently announced reboot of Solium Infernum), Shadows of Doubt, and The Great War: Western Front. 🇧🇷 There will also be a ‘Top 5 Most Wanted Games of 2023’ which will be selected by PC Gamer.
The preview event will be hosted by Frankie Ward, who has been at the PC Gaming Show since 2018. Along with Intel, the show is also supported by Starry Studio, Team Miaozi, Plaion, Ravenage, Fireshine Games, Frontier, SEGA, tinyBuild , Fatshark, Hashbane, Wired Productions, Top Hat Studios and Avalanche Studios Group.
As Chromebooks become more mainstream for work, school and even just at home, a VPN is an essential piece of software that you’ll want at your disposal. With Chromebooks running almost all applications and accessing files completely from the cloud, we explain below how to get a Google Chromebook VPN installed on your device and our picks for the top providers to go for below.
For the unaware, a VPN (or, virtual private network) channels your traffic through an encrypted server and masks your actual IP address, giving you better online anonymity. This means users benefit from stronger security and privacy online. You’ll also gain the ability to unblock content, no matter where in the world you are, including watching options like Hulu when outside the US, or BBC iPlayer when abroad from the UK.
Pair up your VPN with a Chromebook, a budget-friendly laptop that allows you to do everyday online tasks — like checking emails and streaming video content — and utilize a Chromebook VPNs IP-spoofing and encryption capabilities. One thing to keep in mind is you’ll need a VPN service that offers either a Chrome extension client, an Android VPN, or the ability to manually configure your VPN.
Luckily, we’ve done the legwork for you in finding the five best Google Chromebook VPN available.
Top 5 best Google Chromebook VPNs in 2022
Why you can trust Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
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The best all-round Chromebook VPN
Number of servers: 3,000+ | Server locations: 160 | Maximum devices supported: 5 | Chromebook installation: Chrome extension, Android app, manually
Works on most Chromebooks
Big network in lots of locations
Unblocks Netflix, Disney Plus, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video
More expensive than average prices
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Chromebooks thanks to consistently reliable speeds, fantastic security and legendary 24/7 customer service. It’s easy to set up on Chromebook with either L2TP or OpenVPN options for you, so it should work on whatever Chromebook you have. All that spans over 3,000 servers in more than 160 locations.
An enterprise level encryption, over OpenVPN UDP, combined with a kill switch and split tunneling make for superb security and anonymity wherever you go and whatever connection you’re using.
For those looking to stream, it’s also worth noting ExpressVPN gets ticks across the board. It’s one of the few VPN that just about manages to circumvent Netflix’s anti-VPN infrastructure, as well as providing access to Prime Video, Disney Plus, and BBC iPlayer.
Customer support is superb and works 24 hours a day, so you can log in and ask someone directly and get an answer right away. So, even setting up this VPN on your Chromebook can be a guided process if you need.
There is a limit of up to five devices using the service at once. So beyond your Chromebook you can also use things like Android devices, Mac, Windows, iOS and more. That’s fewer than most other major Chromebook VPNs provide.
ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try for free, and if you don’t like it you can cancel without spending a penny.
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Super secure Chromebook VPN
Number of servers: 5,400+ | Server locations: 60+ | Maximum devices supported: 6 | Chromebook installation: Chrome extension, Android app
Option of Android client or Chrome extension
Double encryption secure
Very fast performer
Unblocks Netflix, iPlayer, Prime Video, and Disney Plus
NordVPN is one of the top VPNs for security and speed thanks to its double encryption. That’s a mind-boggling 2048-bit encryption, over 5,400 servers spanning 60 countries. You also get super strong DNS leak protection, two kill switches and fast connection speeds – what more could you ask for?
The Android VPN app and Chrome extension offers two ways to get setup on Chromebook, but these will only work on newer machines. It’s also worth noting that the NordVPN Chrome extension will only encrypt traffic running through your browser, unlike the ExpressVPN extension, which works as more than just a proxy.
Still, NordVPN maintains its excellent performance track record, hitting peaks of 730-760Mbps. That partnered with its geo-unblocking capabilities, you can bypass blocks on foreign content on BBC iPlayer, Disney Plus, Prime Video. What’s more, it’s one of the best Netflix VPN services out there, outperforming even ExpressVPN with accessing country exclusives around the globe.
You get 24/7 customer support should you need help with setup or to get anything unblocked while online. There’s a zero logging policy, and you get a 7-day free trial too. The only area we now think NordVPN really needs to improve is the usability of its interface and apps.
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Excellent Chromebook VPN with free plan
Number of servers: 1,700+ | Server locations: 63 countries | Maximum devices supported: 10 | Chromebook installation: Android app
Free plan with unlimited bandwidth
Good speed performance
Unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney Plus, and Prime Video
Streaming locked to premium plans
No 24/7 live support yet
ProtonVPN offers a dedicated-Chromebook VPN app through its open-source Android client. It’s an excellent VPN and one that comes with a free VPN plan with unlimited bandwidth. While the likes of streaming are reserved for its paying customers, it offers the chance to give it a test drive before you commit – and you’ll certainly want to with its spectacular performance and fantastic features.
Better still, ProtonVPN will get you access to Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney Plus, and Amazon Prime Video — though you’ll have to upgrade to the Plus plan for streaming service unblocking. Partner that with its exceptional speed results, ProtonVPN has come along leaps and bounds, especially with its WireGuard performance. Boosted by its VPN Accelerator technology, we saw speeds range from 360-670Mbps.
It also boasts plenty of exciting features including its excellent kill switch, NetShield (its dedicated ad blocker), DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and so much more.
Offering amazing performance, great security features, and ticking all our streaming boxes, this is a fantastic choice of Chromebook VPN.
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An affordable but feature-packed Chromebook VPN
Number of servers: 3,200+ | Server locations: 65 countries | Maximum devices supported: Unlimited | Chromebook installation: Android app
Really affordable plans
Unblocks Netflix, iPlayer, Prime Video, Disney Plus
Quite simplified for some
Some kill switch issues
Surfshark offers the best of both worlds as a VPN — affordability while still be a sleek, powerful tool that delivers a whole roster of great features to boost security and privacy, terrific speeds, and a reliable track record for unblocking your favorite streaming services. With its Android client, you’ll be able to benefit from all this on your Chromebook, too.
Offering an easy-to-use and clean interface, Surfshark sets itself apart both as a cheap VPN, but also with its unlimited connections. This means you can secure all your devices and even share your subscription with your household.
Boasting features like Bypasser, CleanWeb, and its kill switch, Surfshark is also incredibly fast (it tops our fastest VPN list), hitting peaks of 720-790Mbps, figures which soar above average and are partnered well with its ability to unblock top streaming services. Expect a very reliable connection while watching TV shows and movies on Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video, and others.
Complete with a Surfshark free trial for Android users, Surfshark also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
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Great configurability on your Google Chromebook
Number of servers: 7,900+ | Server locations: 114 | Maximum devices supported: 7 | Chromebook installation: Android app, manual
Unblocks US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney Plus
No security audit
Restricted to 7 registered devices
CyberGhost is a great option for Google Chromebooks as it offers an L2TP/IPSec setup for true VPN protection on your machine. That means you can enjoy the huge 7,900+ network of servers across 91 countries, automatic HTTPS redirection and, on mobile, optional data compression.
The client is also excellent at unblocking content for the likes of US Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer, so you need not miss out even when abroad. Bolstered by its excellent speeds, our performance testing delivered results of 830-850Mbps, making it one of the fastest VPN.
If you want to go away from your Chromebook, then you’re covered with support for up to seven devices at the same time — get your mobile, tablet, TV streamer and more all covered on the same subscription. All that and you get a strict no-logging policy for security peace of mind too.
The only significant negative is that it has yet to carry out an independent security audit to see it meets all its privacy claims.
Chromebook VPN FAQ
What is the best VPN for a Chromebook?
ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) once again tops our list as the best Chromebook VPN. With an array of fully featured and easy-to-use clients, you have the choice of its Android app or its Chrome extension to protect your Chromebook. Once installed, you’ll benefit from its impressive Lightway protocol speeds, great unblocking track record, excellent support team, and selection of powerful features.
You can use a VPN on a Chromebook. However, the provider you choose will need to offer either an Android app or a Chrome extension. This is because a Chromebook runs the Chrome Operating System, meaning the usual Windows desktop client isn’t compatible.
With more and more apps downloadable on a Chromebook via the Google Play Store, many VPN offer the experience through their Android app. Chrome extensions can also be installed within the browser itself, too, though these sometimes simply offer a proxy as opposed to a fully-featured VPN, so be weary of what is and isn’t secured when it comes to using one of these.
Alternatively, you can manually configure a VPN onto your Chromebook, with plenty of support guides available to do this.
The main issue was figuring out how to bring vertical videos intended for smartphones to horizontal television screens.
How it works
The solution to this problem was to create a custom option that takes “the most [a] extra wide screen space.” The shorts will be displayed with an outline around them alluding to a smartphone screen. Behind the videos will be a “blurred background with color swatch” reflecting the content. YouTube saw it fit better than a simple pitch black background. Basic features like the Like and Dislike buttons are next to the video.
Shorts on TV can be found by scrolling down to its section on the YouTube smart TV app. Once you select a Short, the videos will play in an infinite loop until you exit. You can use the middle button on the remote to start or stop a Short, or use the play and pause buttons. according to an official video (opens in new tab)🇧🇷 Pressing the right button on the remote displays information about the video, such as the title of the video, who created it, and the sound used.
You can navigate between shorts using the up and down buttons on the remote. Work on the feature isn’t over yet, as there are plans to include more community features, such as the ability to subscribe to a creator while watching a short.
YouTube Shorts on TV launched today and will roll out to streaming devices and TV models manufactured after 2018 in the coming weeks. The company claims it might not work on older TVs, which means there could be some lucky ones where it does.
The feature is also coming to “latest game consoles”. Presumably that means the PS5 and other current-gen consoles. We asked Google for more clarification and what kind of community features are in the works. This story will be updated if we receive a response.
Given the popularity of Shorts, YouTube saw fit to make the style of video easier to create and more economically viable, particularly when it comes to competing with its rival TikTok. YouTube has the advantage of being present on many smart TVs, but it still needs that advantage to attract people.
In June, YouTube began rolling out the first round of ads to its Shorts content after receiving positive responses from multiple advertisers. Now content creators have an opportunity to earn money from their short content. The company has also revamped YouTube’s editing suite, allowing channels to create short films from their old content. Some of the tools include a timeline editor, filters and a text tool just to name a few.
If you’re interested in flexing your creative muscles and uploading YouTube Shorts, be sure to check them out. easy-to-follow guide🇧🇷 The initial process can be a little confusing for newcomers.
Despite making some of the best laptops money can buy, Dell is scheduled to meet in Federal Court with the Australian consumer watchdog ACCC, following allegations that the tech company’s Australian online store made “false representations or misleading about the price of monitors”.
On a declaration (opens in new tab), the ACCC alleges that between August 2019 and December 2021, Dell intended to lure consumers into adding monitors to a computer purchase “by displaying false or misleading discounts.” According to the Watchdog’s alleged findings, the prices of monitors as an add-on were often more expensive than if the monitor was purchased separately.
Dell’s online store in Australia has the usual PVP eliminated and, according to the ACCC, these strikethrough prices were often inflated to make consumers think the savings were bigger than the reality. Business markers such as ‘total savings’ and ‘discounted pricing’ are among those the consumer watchdog alleges Dell Australia used to trick its customers in an attempt to encourage them to add a monitor to their computer purchase.
“Cases involving claims of ‘era/now’ misleading pricing by major consumer goods retailers are a priority for the ACCC,” said watchdog commissioner Liz Carver. “Companies must be well aware of their legal requirements and must have effective compliance programs in place to prevent this type of consumer harm.”
The ACCC also added that alleged consumer deception occurring during periods of Covid lockdowns was of particular concern as parents of school-aged children forced to study at home increasingly sought out PCs and PC-related technology out of necessity and, therefore more vulnerable to being deceived.
“While the total number of consumers cheated is unknown, we believe that many thousands of consumers received an additional monitor advertised as representing an inflated discount,” added Carver.
Will other countries catch up with Australia’s crackdown on consumer rights?
Dell’s Australian store may be the latest retailer to run afoul of the Australian consumer watchdog as a result of allegedly misleading consumers, but it’s hardly the first. In August, Google found itself in trouble when it was ordered by the Australian Federal Court to pay AU$60 million in fines after allegations (opens in new tab) to “make misleading representations to consumers about the collection and use of their personal location data on Android phones between January 2017 and December 2018”.
Google’s significant payout followed a similar finding against Samsung Australia in June, which was ordered to pay A$14 million after the South Korean tech giant admitted to misleading consumers about the water resistance of some of its products. Samsung Galaxy smartphones.
And of course, in late October, Google-owned smartwatch maker Fitbit was the only one to run afoul of the Australian watchdog after allegations it was misleading consumers about its refund and replacement rights for products. Fitbit.
The ACCC’s willingness to act on behalf of consumer rights and draw a line on attempts to deceive Australians is a welcome service, especially now that the cost of living continues to rise and shopping erodes everyone’s budgets.
ACCC’s actions also serve as useful examples for countries such as the US and UK, where the powers of relevant consumer watchdogs are notoriously (opens in new tab) less effective and not encouraged to act with commensurate force as a result of various bureaucratic barriers. As an example, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the US at the end of october (opens in new tab) announced plans to consider tougher crackdown on retailers who post false or misleading reviews or suppress negative consumer reviews. Engaging in the practice of posting fake reviews and suppressing negative reviews is already illegal in the US, but it didn’t quite work out. FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection Director Samuel Levine said, “We are exploring whether a rule that would trigger strict civil penalties for violators would make the market fairer for honest consumers and businesses.”
In our opinion, the inference to be drawn is that some retailers are openly willing to flout existing regulations and laws in an attempt to mislead consumers and seemingly without fear of facing real consequences. Lessons learned from Australia’s newfound crackdowns are expected to begin to trickle down abroad.
For retailers, the importance of transparency and fair practice when dealing with consumers is invaluable to consumers at best, but becomes even more imperative in times of financial crisis like now.
Airbnb will finally start showing the full price of a rental listing in an effort to be more transparent.
The travel service upgrade comes at the height of the holiday travel season as the company aims to make it easier to buy cheaper deals. Sadly, Thanksgiving travelers will be missing out as the update won’t be released until next month. To better explain the new feature, Company CEO Brian Chesky took to Twitter (opens in new tab) and broke everything.
Total price display
Users will soon see a location’s total price in search results, on the map, in price filters, and on the listing page. However, it will not show the taxes you will have to pay. To see the taxes, the official announcement (opens in new tab) states, customers will have to go to the final step before booking to see “a full price breakdown”, which includes discounts and service fees. The feature will not be set by default as you will have to toggle “Display full price” (opens in new tab) to see the full price.
When asked why Airbnb didn’t make this a default setup, a company representative told us they want to make it easy for people who were used to the old way and give them a choice between the two.
A Twitter user also asked Chesky why taxes are not included (opens in new tab) in the price from the start, to which he replied that it is because of “convention”. He stated that prices in the United States are normally shown before taxes are applied. Chesky then asked users if the price should include tax. Several people in the thread said they would like to see this, so a post-tax update could come later.
In 2021, the company acknowledged that its platform has a pricing issue. (opens in new tab) after years of customers complaining about hidden fees. Back in June, Nerdwallet analyzed 1,000 Airbnb ads (opens in new tab) and found that more than a third had a cleaning fee that represented between 20% and 29% of the price of the place. Eight percent have fees that represent 40 percent or more of the original price. Add that to extra taxes or fees and suddenly that quick weekend getaway has become a financial sinkhole.
Airbnb hopes these changes can help people find accommodations that better fit their budgets.
In addition to the full price display, Airbnb will make three other changes, two of which are aimed at educating Hosts. The company will adjust its search algorithm to prioritize a list’s total price over nightly price. High-quality locations with the best price “will rank higher in search results,” according to the company.
Starting early next year, Hosts will receive new “pricing and discount tools” to teach them how to set more competitive prices. Airbnb says it wants to “help them understand the final price guests pay.” There will also be new guidance for Hosts who have checkout requests. The company wants to ensure these orders are “reasonable and displayed to guests” before booking. Not much is known beyond this announcement, but Airbnb said it will share more information at a later date.
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As AMD and Nvidia start releasing their latest graphics cards, there’s one thing that’s clear as day: AMD is moving to re-establish itself as the market leader when it comes to affordability, and I couldn’t be happier.
I’ve had the privilege of playing many of the best PC games of the last few years using the best graphics card on the market, as well as many of the best cheap graphics cards at any given time, and a number of things are coming into focus in ways they might not have. been visible before the RTX era.
First, we all know that graphics cards are getting more expensive, especially high-end cards, and in the Ampere-e-Big-Navi era, there has been a closing of the gap between the two major card makers in terms of price (excluding the RTX 3090 and RTX 3090 Ti, which had no competing AMD Radeon RX card to compare).
Additionally, we can recognize that simply using these cards is becoming much more expensive, both in terms of the additional hardware required and your actual electricity bill. In fact, I wrote a hard-hitting opinion piece on this topic not too long ago.
Now that AMD has released its Ryzen 7000 series chips, and especially after it has announced its Radeon RX 7000 series graphics cards, I realize that I may have been too hasty to lump AMD together with the worst offenders in this regard.
When good enough is good enough
One of the things chasing high-end graphics cards is that you really get to the point where you have way more power than you really need, and the RTX 4090 is a perfect example.
It’s unquestionably the most powerful consumer graphics card on the planet, but unless you’re a creative pro who needs that level of raw performance, it’s absolute overkill for everything else.
Yes, it can play Cyberpunk 2077 in 4K with all settings maxed out and go above 40fps natively, but what’s the point? You can do much better with an RTX 3080 using DLSS set to performance. And honestly, it looks so good, especially if you’re not comparing the two side by side.
And that’s considering that Cyberpunk 2077 is one of the most demanding games on the market. Most PC games don’t go that far.
Meanwhile, the RX 7900 XTX seems to be somewhere between the RTX 3090 and RTX 4090 in terms of performance, which is pretty much all you’ll ever really need for gaming.
Beyond that point, you’re just paying the extra $600/£600 for the bragging rights. Even the Nvidia RTX 4080, which has yet to go on sale, has a significantly higher MSRP. So even if you compare the Radeon RX 7900 XTX to its declared competitor, it comes out ahead.
Ultimately, if the RX 7900 XT and RX 7900 XTX come close to their promised performance, it’s going to be pretty hard to recommend anything else to anyone other than the super-enthusiastic set.
About those power cables…
There’s also the issue of the 12VHPWR power cable that Nvidia adopted from the RTX 3000 series.
This cable, which takes four standard 8-pin connectors that come with all recent power supplies and converts them into a single 16-pin power connector, has been in the news lately. RTX 4090 customers have reportedly seen their very expensive graphics cards burned by failing power adapters and, in at least some cases, native 12VHPWR cables from ATX 3.0 power supplies.
We didn’t see anything wrong with the power cord on our RTX 4090 test unit and without the results of an official investigation by Nvidia and its partners or any independent tests that might verify the issue, it’s best to treat them as possibly isolated incidents involving these individual cables rather than a more systemic problem (for now).
but you know what It is a systemic problem? Creating a proprietary power adapter that requires additional investment from consumers who have already invested a lot of money in a graphics card. Sure, it does come with an adapter, but there’s something to be said for a graphics card that only uses the same 8-pin connectors that everyone else uses, which is the path AMD chose to go with the RX 7900 XTX. Point, AMD.
And those power requirements…
There’s a new benchmark that indicates the RTX 4090 Ti is on the way, and while the RTX 4090 Ti looks impressive by the numbers, the RTX 4090 already has a power requirement of 450W, which can be overclocked well north of half a-damn. kW level. What will an RTX 4090 Ti look like? Do we want to know right now?
There is advertising campaigns running now (opens in new tab) to get those in the UK to avoid the expected high energy costs this winter by taking a 30-day trip to Europe because it’s cheaper than heating their homes. Is it exaggerated? I have no idea, but the resigned shrugs I’m seeing from some UK colleagues over the prospect of higher energy bills tell me it’s at least a capital T true, if not fact.
Climate change and the many problems inherent in this nightmare aside, Nvidia and Intel seem to have decided that the way to stay on top is to force your way into dominance by pushing as much power as possible through your transistors, the which is an increasingly expensive proposition.
Even in the US, power bills are higher than they used to be, and running an obscenely high-powered graphics card or processor or both for the pleasure of 30-40 fps over the 90+ fps you’d get with a lower-powered card is simply not a worthwhile trade-off for the vast majority of people.
It was probably the biggest complaint in my opinion piece mentioned above, and it seems to be one that AMD is at least making progress. Keeping the RX 7900 XTX’s board power to just 335W is incredibly squeezing the kind of performance it claims with relatively little power consumption, I’m convinced.
Add to that, the AMD Ryzen 7000 series isn’t the most powerful on the market, and it’s not exactly low-power, but it is ahead of Intel’s dogged approach to throwing more power at the problem for better performance.
We have yet to see how the RX 7900 XTX and RX 7900 XT perform, so only time will tell, but at this point, I’m already selling AMD in this generation, and I can’t imagine I’ll be the only 1.