Best gaming keyboard

gaming keyboard hub primary imageCredit: Rob Schultz
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Choosing a gaming keyboard is a matter of personal taste. The best for one person could be Cherry Browns and white backlighting. For another, it could be Razer Greens and a rippling RGB glow. Gigantic wrist pads, compact shapes, numeric keypads, macro keys, volume controls—a ton of keyboards exist because everyone wants a different mix of features.

To help you sort through the piles of options, we’ve sifted through the latest and greatest to come up with our top recommendations. All of these focus on mechanical keyboards, and for good reason—they’re simply more comfortable to use over the long haul. But we’re open-minded, so if we encounter an alternative that works well, you may see it appear on this list. We’ll keep updating it periodically as we test new keyboards.

In this round of evaluations, we had a few surprises. For instance, the G.Skill KM780 is one of the best RGB-enabled mechanical keyboards we’ve seen to date. Turns out you can still improve on a device that’s (at its core, at least) older than PCs themselves.

Best budget keyboard

Not too long ago, the CM Storm QuickFire TK was the go-to recommendation for a sub-$100 mechanical keyboard. For good reason, too: Classic black-rectangle design, no number pad for those who hate them, and fully backlit (with the color varying based on the switch you choose). Plus, it uses genuine Cherry MX switches.

The budget-friendly mechanical keyboard market has expanded quite a bit in recent years, though. These days, I’d go with Razer’s new BlackWidow X Tournament Edition—so long as backlighting isn’t a must-have.

It lists for only $70, has the same trendy exposed-metal-backplate design of the larger BlackWidow X, and sports a discreet typeface on its keys. Oh, and unlike Razer’s other keyboards, you can get this one with Cherry MX Blues.

Runner-up

If you’re willing to go right up to $100, the HyperX Alloy FPS offers some nice perks. It comes with backlighting, features Cherry MX keys, and is the slimmest keyboard on the market. I also like that the Mini USB cable is detachable—you won’t have to RMA the board if only the cable busts.

That said, the low end of the market is a free-for-all. The Cougar Attack X3, the Razer BlackWidow Ultimate, G.Skill’s Ripjaws KM570, the Corsair Strafe—these are all fine sub-$100 keyboards that feature (or at least can feature) genuine Cherry MX switches and per-key backlighting. The biggest difference is design, which is a personal preference. I happen to like the HyperX Alloy’s minimalist look, but someone else could prefer a bulkier look like that of the Strafe.

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The best iPhone 6 & iPhone 6s cases

  • RRP: £39.99, €39.95

How to move to SD card on Android

We explain how to move apps to an SD card, and how to store files and photos on a memory card in an Android phone or tablet.

Move files, apps, photos & media to a microSD card


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We explain how to move apps to a microSD card in your Android phone or tablet. as well as how to store files and photos on a microSD card to free up internal storage. There are also other ways to get more storage in Android.

Many cheap Android phones come with a paltry 4- or 8GB of storage, while even 16GB isn’t really enough for lots of apps, high-resolution photos and videos, plus a music library. Fortunately, the vast majority of Android phones have a memory card slot, into which you can slot an inexpensive microSD card.

What you need to know about microSD cards

Before you buy one, check what capacity your phone will support. Flagship phones tend to accommodate 128GB or higher, but many cheap Androids accept only 32GB. To be fair, 32GB will be enough for most people. We’ve tested and rated all the best microSD cards

Once you’ve got the microSD card, it’s easy to set things up so that it becomes the default place for new apps, photos, videos, music and more. You can switch the storage location within your camera settings or Google Play Music settings, for example. But what about the stuff already clogging up your phone’s internal storage?

How to move apps to SD

First, let’s clear up something important: not all apps can be moved to microSD, and some phones won’t let you move apps to SD at all. This means phones with just 4- or 8GB of internal storage can still run into problems even with a microSD card if you download and use a lot of apps.

Whether or not an app can be moved to microSD is down to the app developer and, sometimes, the phone manufacturer. 

Samsung’s Galaxy S7 is among the phones that do allow you to move apps to SD, but you should note that those apps won’t be available when you remove the SD card. We’ve written a separate guide to help if you see Android’s “insufficient storage available” message.

If an app can be moved to the microSD card, you’ll find the option to do so within the Settings, Apps menu. Not all Android phones have the same settings app, but there will be an Apps menu somewhere.

On the first tab of this screen you’ll see all apps downloaded to your phone. Swipe in from the right to see which are stored on your SD card – this screen should be blank unless you did it before and simply forgot how to do it.

To move an app, return to the Downloaded tab and tap on an app to select it. Here we’ve selected AnTuTu, which was not preinstalled on the phone (preinstalled apps often cannot be moved).

You’ll see an option to ‘Move to SD card’: tap this. The button will first show ‘Moving’, then when the action is complete it will switch to ‘Move to phone’. You’ll now find the app listed under the On SD Card tab.

Move app to SD

Move app to SD

Sometimes the option to Move to SD card will be greyed out, as is the case with the Amazon Music app that is preinstalled on the EE Harrier Mini we’re using here to take screenshots. These apps cannot be moved to microSD.

Can't move to SD

Can't move to SD

It’s worth pointing out that many free apps are available that offer to automate this process for you. If you’re concerned about storage then adding yet another app probably isn’t the best idea, but you can always uninstall it once it has done its job.

How to move photos, video, music and files to SD

The first thing to do is browse to Settings, Storage on your Android phone or tablet, then look for an option to ‘Transfer data to SD card’. Not all Android devices have this option, and if yours doesn’t you’ll need to manually move the files. 

The second easiest way to quickly move photos, video, music and other files to a microSD card is to do so using a PC or Mac. Hook up the phone to your computer via a USB cable, then open a new window to browse its contents.

You should be able to see the phone’s internal storage and SD card as two separate storage devices. We’re using Android File Transfer on a Mac, which shows the Internal storage and SD card on separate tabs. 

To move files from Internal storage to SD card simply drag-and-drop files to copy them from the internal storage to the Mac desktop and back to the phone’s SD card, then delete them from the phone’s internal storage. Just don’t try to move any Android system files.

SD on Mac

SD on Mac

File manager app

Another option is to use a File manager app. Many Android phones come with such an app preinstalled, but it is not a standard part of Android. We’ve downloaded the free File Manager app from Topnet999, but ES File Explorer is one of the most popular apps, too.

Tap on the Storage tab at the top of the app to see the various storage available on the phone. Here sdcard0 was our phone’s internal storage, while sdcard1 was the microSD card. Let’s start with photos.

First open sdcard0 and browse to DCIM, Camera. Here you’ll find any shots taken by your camera. Tap the three dots at the bottom right of the screen and choose Multi-select. Tap on each item you want to move to SD; when selected the white text becomes yellow. Now choose Move, browse to the microSD card and choose Move here. 

Repeat the process for any music and other files stored on your device.

If you’re phone’s due for an upgrade, check out the best new phones coming in 2017

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Best media streaming device

streaming hardware product hub imageCredit: Rob Schultz/TechHive
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Whether you’ve just gotten rid of cable or want to supplement your TV package with online video, now’s an excellent time to buy a media streaming device. Compared to the typical smart TV, standalone streamers such as the Roku Streaming Stick and Amazon Fire TV tend to have bigger app selections, faster performance, and more features. And with so much competition between device makers, the hardware is becoming faster, more capable, and more affordable.

We constantly test all the latest devices, including Roku players, Fire TV devices, Android TV devices, Apple TV, and Chromecast. We review each new generation of hardware and constantly revisit the software and app selection so we can help you determine which platform is right for you. Here are our picks for the best streaming boxes and sticks, along with all of our most current product reviews. Our recommendations will change over time as new products come to market.

Best streaming box: Amazon Fire TV

A lot has changed since last year, when the Roku 3 was our default recommendation. That honor now goes to Amazon’s Fire TV, which has largely caught up on supporting the biggest streaming services—see our app comparison chart for more details—and has moved ahead in terms of app quality. Services like PlayStation Vue and HBO Go simply look and perform better on Fire TV than they do on Roku’s hardware.

Amazon also has a firm grasp on what a modern streaming device should be. The home screen emphasizes content over individual apps, so you’re less likely to be paralyzed about what to watch, and Amazon has become less fixated on pushing its own content to the exclusion of other sources. Recommendations from Netflix and HBO Go, for instance, are now available straight from the home screen.

On top of those strengths, Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant is icing. Using the Fire TV’s voice remote, you can search for videos, launch an app, ask for sports scores or news briefings, play music, control your smart home devices, and order stuff from Amazon.com. Those features help elevate the Fire TV from just a streaming box to the hub of your living room.

Best budget streaming device: Roku Streaming Stick

Amazon’s platform might be forward thinking, but its budget offering—the $40 Amazon Fire TV Stick—feels a little less adequate. That’s why we’re naming Roku’s Streaming Stick best budget streamer. Roku’s player feels less encumbered by loading times and interface sluggishness, and it packs some whiz-bang features, such as private listening through your smart phone, and an “instant replay” button that skips back in time and temporarily adds closed captions. It’s an ideal pick for your second or third television, or for someone else as a gift.

Best 4K HDR streaming device: Roku Premiere+

Early adopters of 4K HDR televisions will want a streaming device that plays 4K HDR content, and for that, Roku is still king. Compared to other 4K HDR streaming devices such as the Xiaomi Mi Box and Chromecast Ultra, the Roku Premiere+ ($100) supports more sources of 4K and 4K HDR content. Roku also makes that content easy to find with a “4K Spotlight” app that highlights supported apps and videos. If you’re willing to spend a little more, the $130 Roku Ultra adds voice search, USB storage, and a remote-finding feature, but it’s not a must-have upgrade.

Other options to consider

Apple TV is on the pricey side, but it’s an obvious choice for folks who’ve devoted themselves to the Apple ecosystem. It’s the only streaming box that supports iTunes videos, Apple Music, and AirPlay streaming, and it serves as a HomeKit hub for remote control of your smart home. The box is also screamingly fast, and the Siri remote has full support for TV volume and power.

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Six in 10 people believe their lives will improve with autonomous vehicles

Six in 10 people believe connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) will improve their quality of life, according to a new study by Strategy Consulting and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

The study, commissioned by the U.K.-based trade association Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, also found half of drivers age 17 to 24 would use a connected, autonomous vehicle (CAV) today.

Among all those surveyed, the biggest benefit from CAVs would be stress-free driving, with cars that brake and park themselves as top attributes.

autonomous vehicles Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders

The organizations surveyed more than 3,600 U.K. drivers from three categories: Drivers age 17 to 24; those 65 and older; and people with disabilities.

When asked “what factors are most important to you when selecting a mode of transportation,” the top five answers were the same among the three groups: Reduced stress; the ability to rest on longer journeys; fewer accidents; lower insurance costs and the ability to travel when they want.

Automatic braking and parking and the car’s ability to self-diagnose faults were cited as features most likely to reduce stress, which was the biggest attraction of owning a CAV among all groups. Freedom to travel spontaneously and socialize with friends and family were also seen as life-changing benefits, with 88% of people who believe CAVs will improve their social life saying a CAV would help them get out of the house more regularly.

autonomous vehicles Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders

Completely autonomous vehicles are not forecasted to emerge in UK production until around 2025, achieving approximately 25% penetration by 2030, according to the researchers.

Even while they’re more than a decade off, more than half of survey participants said they felt positively about CAVs (56%), with young people and those with disabilities being the groups most excited.

“A likely explanation for this positivity is a combination of this section among society having the greatest mobility needs, as well as the greater acceptance of young people of technology,” the report stated. “Seventy-five percent of these respondents said they trusted technology to some extent or to a great extent.”

Contrary to commonly held beliefs, the survey found most drivers were not significantly concerned with privacy as vehicles connected to the internet, each other and surrounding infrastructure would transmit locations, driving habits and vehicle maintenance and repairs to automakers and other third parties.

autonomous vehicles Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders

When asked about the perceived challenges of CAVs, only 15% of people 65 and older stated loss of privacy as a concern, against 20% of 25 to 64 year olds and 22% of the youngest survey respondents.

The survey found young people are the most aware with regards to autonomous vehicle technology and the disabled are the most excited about the prospect of owning one.

That said, “our study revealed that there remains much to be done to improve CAV awareness and dispel current skepticism, as current understanding of the technology is limited to approximately only half of the population,” the researchers said.

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US says laptop ban may expand to more airports

The U.S. might add other airports to its ban restricting passengers from bringing laptops and other electronics into the cabin for certain flights from the Middle East.

“We may take measures in the not too distant future to expand the number of airports,” said Homeland Security secretary John Kelly on Wednesday during a congressional hearing.

Last month, the U.S. announced the ban, which affects ten airports, all of which are in Muslim-majority countries. Passengers flying to the U.S. are barred from bringing any electronic devices larger than a smartphone into a plane’s cabin, and must instead check them in as baggage.    

The U.S. declared the ban, citing terrorist threats. It has reportedly found that ISIS and other terrorist groups are developing ways to plant bombs in electronic devices that can bypass airport security.

On Wednesday, Kelly didn’t elaborate on the technical nature of the risk, but said the terrorist threat was “real.”

“There are dozens of cells that are talking about attacking aviation,” he said.

After the U.S. announced the restrictions, the U.K. followed with a similar ban. Canada is also studying whether to take action.

Critics have questioned why the ban only affects certain countries. However, security standards at airports can be inconsistent, said Jeffrey Price, a professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver, who studies aviation security.

LiquidSky's Version 2.0 Adds Ad-Supported Plan, Updated Performance Packages

LiquidSky is still in its early stages, but the company just released version 2.0 of the new gaming streaming service. The update includes support for Windows PCs as well as new and updated payment plans.

LiquidSky users pay for the service with a monthly or pay-as-you-go plan. The company discussed an ad-supported plan in January, and now it’s available for users in lieu of paying money for the service. With this free alternative, you can earn up to 600 SkyCredits (the currency used for game time) per month to use. In order to earn these SkyCredits, you “must engage with ad partners,” which means that you’ll have to watch some advertisements during your gameplay.

If you signed up for the free plan, you’ll be allowed into the LiquidSky beta in “boarding groups” or small batches of users. Access to the software is based on “beta server and early ad inventory availability,” but even then, the company said that “the ability to earn free SkyCredits [is] not guaranteed at this time.” You can take a look at the differences for all three payment plans below.

In addition to a payment plan, you also get to choose from three “performance packages,” some of which received an upgrade. The company said that its Gamer and Pro packages now have up to four times the performance increase. The base Gamer package, which allows you to play games in 1080p with at least 30fps, uses 2GB of video memory, three virtual CPU cores, and 8GB of RAM. The middle Pro option will let you play at 60fps on 1080p. It uses 4GB of video memory, six virtual CPU cores, and 16GB of memory.

Last month, the company announced a partnership with AMD, which would bring the Vega GPU architecture to LiquidSky’s machines. However, the new increase in performance is not because of the new GPUs, which have yet to roll out. We were told that the it’s the result of another partnership, this time with Nvidia, to use its server-based GPUs. Aside from the new plan and performance increase, other features in the new version include a reduction in latency as well as a new UI.

At the moment, LiquidSky works only on Windows PCs, although there are plans to support Android, Mac, and Linux devices in the future. The company will bring on additional features in the coming months. This will include support for DirectX 12, PC peripherals that support USB 2.0 and higher, implementation of a SkyLounge Community Hub, and the introduction of an Elite Performance Package that will provide framerates of up to 100fps.

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