Pump up your PC’s storage with these killer deals on big and speedy internal drives

If you’ve been itching to upgrade your PC’s hard drive, we’ve got you covered today, whether you’re looking for more space or more speed. Newegg is selling a 4TB WD Blue 3.5-inch hard drive for $80 Remove non-product linkwhen you apply the $5 checkout code EMCTYVV23, bringing it down to the lowest price we’ve tracked. And Amazon is offering a speedy 1TB SanDisk SSD Plus for $100, which is a few bucks shy of its all-time low. 

Wester Digital uses a color coded system for its hard drives with Black being the top performer for PCs. Blue, meanwhile, is its all-around dependable drive. You won’t get amazing responsiveness out of it for gaming and other users compared to higher priced drives, but for storage of files and documents and budget gaming it’s a great choice. WD built a few interesting features into this driving including IntelliSeek, which is supposed to come up with the best seek speeds to keep power consumption, noise, and vibration low. Then there’s Data LifeGuard, which tries to keep your drive as healthy as possible, and you get a two-year warranty.

If you’re more interested in speed than a crazy amount of storage, Amazon is selling the 1TB SanDisk SSD Plus for $100Remove non-product link. That’s not the cheapest we’ve seen (it recently dipped to $96), but it’s been selling for around $120 lately, making this a nice deal for a great SSD. For other options, check out our full roundup of the best SSDs.

[Today’s deals: 4TB WD Blue HDD for $80Remove non-product link with checkout code EMCTYVV23 at Newegg and 1TB SanDisk SSD Plus for $100Remove non-product link at Amazon]

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iPad Pro 12.9 (2018) vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S4: what’s the best premium tablet available now?

Some people want a tablet as a cheap laptop-lite, but others are looking for a processing powerhouse with an impressive display and other cutting-edge features, and both Apple and Samsung have this corner of the market covered with the iPad Pro 12.9 (2018) and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4, two top-end tablets.

Both companies have designed devices that could easily trump many laptops in terms of specs and design, but they also sit at the top of the food chain in terms of price, and you’ll have a hard time spending more on a slate than you can on these two tablets.

But which premium tablet is the best you can buy right now, the Android or iOS powerhouse? We put the two head-to-head to figure it out.

Price

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S4. Image credit: Samsung

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4. Image credit: Samsung
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iPad Pro 12.9 (2018). Image credit: TechRadar

iPad Pro 12.9 (2018). Image credit: TechRadar

One massive difference between the iPad Pro 12.9 and Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 is the price. The Galaxy Tab S4 comes in two variants, one with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, which will set you back $650 / £509 / AU$979 for a Wi-Fi-only connection or $730 / £559 / AU$1,179 for LTE, and another with 256GB storage which costs $750 / AU$1,179 for Wi-Fi and AU$1,379 for LTE – this larger size isn’t available in the UK or with cell connection in the US.

You can buy the iPad Pro with four different amounts of memory – 64GB, 256GB, 512GB, and a massive 1TB model – and after that you can choose Wi-Fi-only or LTE, and on top of that the Apple Pencil ($129 / £119 / AU$199) and Smart Keyboard ($169 / £169 / AU$299) aren’t included, whereas the S Pen is for the Galaxy Tab S4, which will all add up quickly.

For a full breakdown of all the iPad Pro 12.9 prices check out the graph below, but just know you could be spending between $999 / £969 / AU$1529 and $2,197 / £2,157 / AU$3,367 depending on the size of the tablet and how many peripherals you include – that’s a considerable amount more than the Galaxy Tab S4.

The iPad Pro 12.9 (2018) image prices. Image credit: TechRadar

The iPad Pro 12.9 (2018) image prices. Image credit: TechRadar

Display

The iPad Pro 12.9 has a significantly bigger display than the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4, which at 10.5 inches is closer in size to the aging iPad Pro 10.5

The iPad Pro 12.9 has an LCD display with Apple’s ‘Liquid Retina’ LCD tech, which is nearly as sharp and colorful as a typical OLED display, and colors shown on it were bright and clear, although black wasn’t exactly as dark as it would be on an OLED screen.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S4. Image credit: TechRadar

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4. Image credit: TechRadar
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iPad Pro 12.9 (2018). Image credit: TechRadar

iPad Pro 12.9 (2018). Image credit: TechRadar

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 has an AMOLED display, which displays colors just that little bit better, and has a higher max brightness as well. 

However, you’re getting 2.4 inches less of that high-quality display than the iPad Pro, and pixel density is similar, with the 1600 x 2560 Tab S4 coming in at 287 pixels per inch, while the iPad’s 2048 x 2732 screen is 265 pixels per inch, so it’s up to you which is better for content and work.

Design

With a bigger screen comes a bigger body, and fittingly the iPad Pro 12.9 is a much bigger tablet than the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4.

With a  280.6 x 214.9 x 5.9mm body, the iPad Pro 12.9 (2018) is very wide, although it’s actually thinner than the Galaxy Tab S4, which has dimensions of 249.3 x 164.3 x 7.1 mm, though 7.1mm is still thin as handheld devices go. There’s a big weight difference though – while the iPad Pro 12.9 weighs 631g for the Wi-Fi model and 633g for LTE, the Galaxy Tab S4 is much lighter at 482g and 483g respectively.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S4. Image credit: TechRadar

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4. Image credit: TechRadar
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iPad Pro 12.9 (2018). Image credit: TechRadar

iPad Pro 12.9 (2018). Image credit: TechRadar

In terms of overall appearance, though, the iPad Pro 12.9 (2018) and Galaxy Tab S4 are probably the most similar an iOS and Android tablet have looked – they both have button-less fronts with screens that go nearly to the edge, and they both have rears that are rather clean save for a camera (the Galaxy Tab S4 has one that’s central, whereas the iPad Pro’s is in a corner).

One difference that may make a difference to some is regarding headphone ports – the iPad Pro 12.9 (2018) doesn’t have one and you’d have to use an adaptor with its USB-C port if you want to use wired headphones, whereas the Galaxy Tab S4 comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack alongside its USB-C connector.

Peripherals

Both the iPad Pro 12.9 and Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 have a pen and keyboard peripheral to change how you use the tablet.

You can get the S Pen, the Galaxy Tab S4’s stylus, included with the tablet, however the Apple Pencil for the iPad Pro costs $129 / £119 / AU$199. We found the S Pen great for purpose – unlike the Apple Pencil it doesn’t require charging, has a holster on the keyboard, and has a protrusion on the side so it doesn’t roll away, so it’s probably the better tablet stylus.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S4. Image credit: TechRadar

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4. Image credit: TechRadar
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iPad Pro 12.9 (2018). Image credit: TechRadar

iPad Pro 12.9 (2018). Image credit: TechRadar

You have to buy both the Smart Keyboard ($169 / £169 / AU$299) for the iPad Pro and the Book Cover Keyboard ($150, roughly £115, AU$210) for the Galaxy Tab S4, but we found the latter too fiddly, with loads of unnecessary buttons, and it slowed down our workflow, so we can’t recommend it as a useful addition.

Battery life

The iPad Pro 12.9 has a 9,720mAh battery while the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4’s power pack is only 7,300mAh – on the surface it would seem that the former would last far longer, but that’s not necessarily the truth.

The iPad Pro 12.9 (2018) didn’t feel optimized for everyday use, and it lost charge rather quickly for its battery size, whereas the Galaxy Tab S4 seemed to last a lot longer in our experience.

When we put them both through our battery test, in which we play a 90-minute video at full brightness with Wi-Fi on and accounts syncing in the background, the iPad Pro lost 22% charge while the Galaxy Tab S4 only dropped 12% – that shows the latter is optimized a lot better for media use, and can play games or stream content for longer.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4. Image credit: TechRadar

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4. Image credit: TechRadar

Charging was quicker on the iPad Pro though, as it took two and a half hours to charge to full instead of three and a quarter. Neither supports wireless charging, which is a shame because of how convenient the feature is, but also understandable given the confusing logistics of balancing a tablet on a wireless charger.

Features

The biggest difference between the two tablets is that the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 runs the Android 9 operating system whereas the iPad Pro 12.9 runs on Apple’s iOS 12 – both have fans and people who dislike them, but ultimately they run rather similarly.

In terms of specs, the iPad Pro 12.9 (2018) knocks its competitor out of the water. While the Galaxy Tab S4 runs on a mid-to-high range Snapdragon 835 chipset, and has 4GB of RAM, the iPad Pro has the superior A12X Bionic processor with 4GB of RAM (unless you get the 1TB version with 6GB). This extra processing power gets you a faster framerate in games, quicker video rendering, and a whole other range of features.

iPad Pro 12.9 (2018). Image credit: TechRadar

iPad Pro 12.9 (2018). Image credit: TechRadar

Other than that, the tablets run in pretty similar ways – both support face recognition to unlock, both can support split-screen modes so you can run multiple apps at the same time, and both are just as useful as media players as they are work tools.

Verdict

The biggest thing to decide if you’re split between an iPad Pro 12.9 (2018) or a Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 is the price – the cheapest iPad Pro model costs quite a bit more than the Galaxy Tab S4, and the most expensive model costs a lot more.

Whether the extra price will provide extra value depends on what you’re looking for in a tablet – the extra screen space, better specs and access to iOS (which, if we’re being honest, is a little better suited to tablets) is a blessing, but if you just want a ‘big phone’ you don’t need to shell out that much.

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UK government adds 12,000 snippets of info to Alexa and Google Assistant

The more precise Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant can be, the more useful they are – and with that in mind the UK government has added a hefty 12,000 pieces of information to the digital assistants.

That means not only can you ask your smart speaker how the weather forecast is looking or how tall the Tower of London is, you can also ask when the next bank holiday is scheduled for or what the current minimum wage is.

The data also covers questions like “what age can I retire?” and “how do I apply for a passport?” – all the sort of stuff you might search a government website for (the Gov.uk sites are the primary source for the new data).

“This is all about making life easier for people who need to access information about government services,” Minister for Implementation Oliver Dowden said in a press statement. “And with millions now using smart speakers, I want government to keep up and work smarter too.”

More on the way

The new information data dump is the result of six months of testing, planning and preparation, and should be live now on devices enabled with Alexa or Google Assistant – there’s no need to run a manual update.

Government agencies say more information is on the way too, and smart speakers could soon be able to give you details of how to get married and how to renew your car tax.

It’s more evidence of the growing intelligence of these smart assistants, which to begin with could run basic web searches for data and that was about it.

Nowadays they’re far more nuanced and comprehensive – but the most accurate and useful results come when information is specifically organised and added, as is the case with the UK government here.

Via Android Police

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Realme 3 Pro vs Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro

Celebrating its first anniversary, Realme Mobiles unveiled their top-of-the-line Realme 3 Pro that is going to take on the Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro in India. In just a short span of one year, the company has managed to take the fight to mid-range champions. Realme 3, which was launched just last month, has sold more than 600,000 units and has garnered a positive response. 

On the other side, we have Xiaomi’s crown jewel in the mid-range market, the Redmi Note 7 Pro which is the best phone one can get under Rs 15,000 in India. 

So, does the Realme 3 Pro manage to do one better than the Redmi Note 7 Pro? We find out in our specifications based comparison of both the phones.

Price and availability

Realme 3 Pro and Redmi Note 7 Pro are priced at the same mark- Rs 13,999 with 4GB RAM and Rs 16,999 with 6GB RAM. 

While the Redmi Note 7 Pro is selling like hot cakes both offline and online, Realme 3 Pro is set to go on its first sale on April 29 on Flipkart and Realme India Store.

Design and Display

Built out of polycarbonate, the Realme 3 Pro is 8.3 mm thick while the Redmi Note 7 Pro beats it at 8.1 mm even after having a glass built. There’s a layer of Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back of the Note 7 Pro, while the Realme 3 Pro has it on the display.

The Redmi Note 7 Pro comes in three gradient color options- red, blue and black while the Realme 3 Pro will be available in grey, blue and purple hues.

Both the phones have a 6.3-inch IPS display with Full HD+ (2340 x 1080 pixels) resolution, topped with Gorilla Glass 5. The two phones implement a similar u-shaped notch design, giving the screen a 19.5:9 aspect ratio.

Given the asking price, the display on the Redmi Note 7 Pro is just good, as we noted in our review.

Camera

Realme 3 Pro brings the Sony IMX519 sensor with its dual camera setup. There’s a primary 16MP camera with an f/1.7 aperture which is assisted by a 5MP depth sensor.

Redmi Note 7 Pro has a dual camera setup on the rear which consists of a primary 48MP sensor and a 5MP secondary camera for depth-sensing.

On the front, the Realme 3 Pro sports a 25MP snapper whereas the Note 7 Pro has a 13MP selfie camera.

The phones pack in really advanced photography hardware and we really impressed by the Redmi Note 7 Pro during our time with it. As for the Realme 3 Pro, we will be using its camera for some more time to have a verdict.

Performance and battery

Powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 710, the Realme 3 Pro has an octa-core CPU and Adreno 616 as its graphics processor. The Snapdragon 710 is usually found on phones priced upwards of Rs 20,000 but the Realme 3 Pro brings it down to the mid-range segment.

Under the hood, Redmi Note 7 Pro is powered by Snapdragon 675 chipset with an octa-core CPU and Adreno 612.

Both the phones are offered in two variants- 4GB RAM with 64GB storage and 6GB of RAM with 128GB onboard storage.

Realme 3 Pro has a 4,045mAh battery which supports fast charging via VOOC 3.0 charging solution. The VOOC 3.0 20W adapter is provided in-the-box and can charge the battery upto 50% in around 30 minutes.

The Note 7 Pro is fitted with a 4,000mAh battery and supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 4 but the fast charging adapted isn’t provided in-the-box and has to be purchased as a separate accessory.

We’ll be using the Realme 3 Pro and will update this comparison with our overall experience soon.

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Best HR outsourcing

Best HR outsourcing

Handling employee paperwork can be a nightmare maze of tax and legal compliance issues. It’s time consuming work that offers little obvious reward, and takes your attention from simply growing your business.

For small business owners, it can be an welcome headache to tackle it directly, but even with larger businesses this means having to invest in HR managers and software which may not necessarily seem cost-effective, especially in the short-term.

Luckily, there are a number of HR outsourcing options available. Some are full service providers, and cover everything from recruitment to payroll, to tax deductions and legal compliance. This can be especially beneficial for businesses that lack HR expertise or might find it expensive to build and accommodate their own HR team. Outsourcing allows another company to deal with all those complexities and liabilities for you.

Others providers allow you to pick and choose which HR service you’d like to outsource. This is especially the case where a business may want to provide extra support for its existing HR department. After all, HR isn’t all about tax and insurance, but also about employee recruitment and providing training provision. Third parties may be able offer these services to add another layer of expertise without having to introducing an administrative burden on your business.

Some HR outsourcing companies are certified by the IRS or accredited by the Employer Services Assurance Corporation (ESAC), which can provide guarantees to the level of service, not least for avoiding double-taxation penalties. This can be especially important for large businesses. However, smaller HR outsourcing companies may not come with either credentials, but that doesn’t mean they may be any less capable, especially when dealing with less complex small business needs.

To help you choose between HR outsourcing providers, we’ve featured the five best below.

  • Want your company or services to be added to this buyer’s guide? Please email your request to desire.athow@futurenet.com with the URL of the buying guide in the subject line.   

Image Credit: ADP

(Image: © Image Credit: ADP)

1. ADP Comprehensive Services

The big provider for business

Nationwide service
For small or large businesses
IRS certified

ADP Comprehensive Services is designed for larger businesses that want to focus more on strategy, or else could benefit companies undergoing a merger or acquisition. The Comprehensive Services package allows a business to outsource either all of its HR services to ADP, or just selected HR services.

The services available include employee recruitment, retention, and engagement, with performance management and compensation benchmarking. ADP can also handle all aspects of benefits administration, from carrier connections and eligibility reporting, to open enrollment administration, as well as new hire and life event enrollments, and all administrated under COBRA guidelines. ADP can also ensure compliance with legal frameworks, not least ACA and FMLA.

Of course, ADP can also take on board payroll administration to reduce compliance risk, not least in dealing with managing time and attendance, but also with regards to federal and state tax changes, as well as offering proactive guidance on best practices.

Overall, ADP is one of the biggest names in HR outsourcing, yet the Comprehensive Services package for HR outsourcing is designed for businesses with anywhere between 1-1000+ employees.

Image Credit: G&A Partners

(Image: © Image Credit: G&A Partners)

2. G&A Partners

Packaged or individual HR solutions

Nationwide service
Packaged or individual services
IRS certified

G&A Partners’ Full-Service HR Solution provides an outsourced alternative for businesses to manage and administrate HR services, payroll, and employee benefits. They run this using their own HR technology platform, Worksight, which offers SaaS (Software as a Service) that works with SSO (Single Sign On) technology. 

Using Worksight, G&A are able to cover all aspects of recruitment, onboarding, time and attendance, performance management, benefits enrollment, and performance management. For recruitment, G&A use an applicant tracking system (ATS) which allows them to search online applicant databases in order to create job descriptions and compensation packages suitable to the post. G&A can screen applicants, and allow them to communicate through the recruitment process.

The Worksight platform allows all employment forms to be signed and stored directly in the system, and provides real-time updates on the employee onboarding process. The time and attendance system allows for employees to clock in digitally, and also manage all aspects of creating and managing schedules, as well as vacations and sickness. 

G&A Partners also provides expert guidance on a range of other issues, not least safety at work compliance, healthcare reform, and benefits administration tailored to weighting these to the most needed positions as required.

Overall, G&A Partners provides a wide range of services, which can be packages together as a single solution or worked with individually depending on which actual HR services you need.

Image Credit: Insperity

(Image: © Image Credit: Insperity)

3. Insperity

Full service HR plans

Nationwide service
Different plan levels
IRS certified

Insperity offers HR outsourcing solutions according to two main plans: the first being 5-149 employees, and the second for 150-5000 employees. Both cover all the HR basics, not least HR admin and payroll, risk-management and compliance, benefits, as well as employee training and management. The main difference between the programs is a case of where the put the focus of the service, and of course the price.

The first plan for small businesses is a full-service solution focused on providing a strong, stable, and supported HR management plan in the first place, while being able to offer insurance benefits normally expected with a Fortune 500 company. Insperity also uses its own software platform to manage all aspects of payroll, accounting, and cost administration, not to mention tax filing. As expected, they also provide support and advice for compliance and liability issues, as well as performance management.

The second plan for medium to large businesses provides the same services while putting the focus on productivity and profitability, not least to work to prevent IT sprawl and inefficiencies that necessarily plague business systems the larger they get. The aim is to provide detailed cost inventory and manage them to ensure budget certainty. This is especially relevant where a business may be involved in a merger or acquisition and needs to integrate employees from different payroll systems into one.

In all, Insperity provide a wide-ranging solution, and although two different plans have been mentioned, Insperity also provide individual HR services as required.

Image Credit: Paychex

(Image: © Image Credit: Paychex)

4. Paychex

Data-driven HR solutions

Different service levels available
Good suite of services
Accredited by IRS and ESAC

Paychex offers both human resources consulting as well as HR outsourcing and PEO services. This means you can look at different levels of service according to your business needs, from simply asking for guidance on how to better streamline your existing HR workflows, to completely outsourcing all of your HR and employment needs to Paychex.

As expected, Paychex provides all the expected services in terms of HR management, payroll and benefits administration, as well as compliance and legal services. Where Paychex differs from the competition is its focus on digital streamlining where possible, in order to ensure maximum efficiency and productivity in all aspects of human resources management. 

For example, with Paychex Flex you can easily manage your business health insurance, section 125 plans, 401(k) and other employee benefits from a single online platform. Changes can be made in real-time, and set up so that employees can easily access the information without having to ask for it.

The whole process means less time is spent on low-value administrative tasks, while streamlining existing procedures. Additionally, it’s also easier to search for actionable insights to improve efficiency, with analytics automated to work through the Paychex HR management system to reveal trends and provide custom reporting. 

Altogether, Paychex is another strong company with a strong suite of services, and even better in that you can easily select the right level of service for your business.

Image Credit: TriNet

(Image: © Image Credit: TriNet)

5. TriNet

The flexible provider with industry insights

Flexible service options
Industry experience and expertise
Accredited

TriNet offers a range of HR services, including HR consultancy, benefits management, payroll services, risk mitigation, all run through a single software platform. They can also provide mobile apps for employee expenses, time management, wages and benefits statements. These services can be taken packaged together, as individual outsourced services, or even a full-service PEO (Professional Employer Organization) as required. 

What makes TriNet standout a little more from its competition is that its advisers have specialist industry experience, not least in architecture & engineering, consulting, financial services, life sciences, manufacturing, marketing, retail, technology, and nonprofits. The aim is to make sure this expertise translates into actionable insights specific for your business, and therefore help improve some aspect of efficiency, workflows, or productivity.

Another advantage of TriNet is that it charges on a per-employee basis, rather than as a percent of payroll. This means your HR costs are predictable and consistent, which can be especially advantageous to small businesses who need to have a very clear idea of costs. TriNet is also able to work comfortable with businesses of different sizes, tailoring plans accordingly, though some services may require an employee minimum to make them financially worthwhile.

Overall, TriNet is a flexible provider that could offer industry insights while providing a comprehensive range of HR outsourcing services.

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Bowers & Wilkins announces its Formation Suite, a very high-end wireless multi-room audio system

Bowers & Wilkins has been relatively quiet since its acquisition by EVA Automation in May 2016, bringing just a few new products to market since then. That changes in a very big way today with B&W’s announcement of the Formation Wireless Music System, a robust multi-room audio system that targets Sonos where that company is most vulnerable: High-resolution audio (but certainly not on price).

B&W invited us to the company’s UK facilities last week for Formation’s press unveiling, where we had the opportunity to hear the first five components in the Formation suite: the Formation Duo, a pair of self-powered bookshelf speakers; the Formation Wedge, a single powered speaker that replaces the 2015 Zeppelin Air; the Formation Bar and Formation Bass, a soundbar and subwoofer respectively; and the Formation Audio, a wireless hub that enables you to add legacy audio components to a Formation system. B&W CEO Greg Lee hinted that we’ll see more products in this line soon.

Each Formation product boasts a contemporary industrial design that B&W says it hopes will attract a younger audience. And while Formation products will be manufactured mostly in China, the company says some of the parts for the Formation Wedge will be fabricated at the same factory in Worthing, Sussex that assembles B&W’s top-shelf loudspeakers.

Bowers & Wilkins CEO Greg Lee Dominik Tomaszewski / IDG

Bowers & Wilkins CEO Greg Lee introduced the Formation Suite at an April 2019 press event in London.

As Sonos did before it, B&W has developed a proprietary mesh networking technology dubbed, not surprisingly, Formation. And like Sonos, B&W is also embracing several other “lesser” wireless technologies (lesser in the sense that Formation supports higher digital audio resolutions and sampling rates: up to 24-bit resolution and sampling rates as high as 96kHz).

Formation components—with the exception of the Formation Bass subwoofer, which is designed to be paired with other Formation speakers—will also support Apple’s AirPlay 2 technology (16-bit/44.1kHz streams) and Bluetooth (including support for the aptX HD codec, which can handle up to 24-bit/48kHz streams). Sonos supports up to 16-bit/48kHz streams (stated here only for the sake of comparison—Formation won’t be compatible with Sonos). If you have the infrastructure to take advantage of it, each Foundation component also has an RJ45 port for hardwired ethernet.

Bowers and Wilkins Formation Duo Dominik Tomaszewski / IDG

The Formation Duo is a pair of high-end, self-powered, wireless bookshelf speakers that share components with B&W’s 700 Series and Series 800 Diamond loudspeakers.

The Formation suite is also compatible with Spotify Connect, and the components can operate as endpoints for a Roon server. You can control the system using B&W’s Android and iOS app, which the company says will make for an intuitive and friendly user experience, or with iTunes (for AirPlay 2) on a Mac or PC.

First impressions of B&W’s Formation Suite

We took full advantage of an opportunity to listen to each of the Foundation components in a domestic setting and came away with highly positive impressions of the designs, build quality, and audio performance.

Bowers & Wilkins factory tour Dominik Tomaszewski / IDG

Some elements of the Formation Wedge are fabricated in B&W’s factory in Sussex, England but it will surprise no one that most of the manufacturing is done in China.

Formation Bar and Formation Bass

First up was the Formation Bar, auditioned with a clip from a Hollywood action blockbuster. The 48.8-inch soundbar produced clear and refined higher frequencies from its three 1.0-inch double dome tweeters, but the bass response from its six 2.6-inch woven glass fiber bass/midrange drivers was just adequate (the Formation Bar’s frequency response is rated at 40Hz to 28kHz). The Formation Bar has six 40-watt amplifiers onboard, although B&W did not disclose if these are Class D or something else.

Don’t get fooled by scammers sending WhatsApp verification messages

The Telecommunications Authority of the UAE has issued an advisory on Twitter for WhatsApp users and warned that they should not reply to code verification messages unless it is triggered by the subscriber. Many WhatsApp accounts have been hacked through this method.

Nicolai Solling, Chief Technology Officer at security solutions provider Help AG Middle East, told TechRadar Middle East, that this is a widespread phenomenon and it is known as “social engineering”.

“Scammers have hacked many accounts globally and their main intention is to gain control over WhatsApp accounts. What the scammer does is that he or she sends you a code on WhatsApp and tells the user to reply by clicking a link to verify the phone number,” he said.

Normally, when you install WhatsApp on a device, WhatsApp sends a verification code to check if you are the owner of the phone number and it is done automatically. However, in this case, the scammer is sending you a WhatsApp code and a link.

“If you click the link, you are confirming that it is you on behalf of the scammer. By that way, the user can lose control of the WhatsApp messages and the scammer can read and send messages on your behalf.”

If a user hasn’t requested for a WhatsApp code, they should not click on any conformation links on WhatsApp.

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