Razer Claims 'First' THX-Certified Laptop With Razer Blade Pro; Updated With Kaby Lake

Razer announced that its flagship 17” Razer Blade Pro has become the “first” notebook to be certified by THX. The company also updated the CPU to the latest 7th generation Intel Core i7 processor.

The Razer Blade Pro features an Intel Core i7-7820HK processor, replacing the previously available Skylake counterpart, the Core i7-6820HK. It still rocks the same memory capacity, graphics, and storage configuration options, which includes 32GB (2 x 16GB) of RAM, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080, and SSD RAID 0 configurations up to 2TB (two 1TB PCIe M.2 SSDs). However, the memory speed has been upgraded to DDR4-2,666 (2,667MHz), up from the previous version’s DDR4-2,133.

The 17.3” 4K (3840 x 2160) IGZO G-Sync display is also the same screen as the previous Razer Blade Pro, but Razer can now claim that it’s the first gaming laptop to earn THX Mobile Certification for its color resolution, color accuracy, and video playback performance. Furthermore, the audio jack on the Razer Blade Pro meets THX requirements for voltage output, frequency response, distortion, signal-to-noise ratio, and crosstalk.

Networking is provided by Killer Doubleshot, which consists of a Killer Wireless-AC 1535 module and a Killer E2500 gigabit Ethernet interface. The Razer Blade Pro also sports three USB 3.0 ports, a USB-C Thunderbolt port, and an SDXC card reader. The RGB LED backlit keyboard features low-profile mechanical switches and can be controlled using Razer’s Synapse software.

The new Razer Blade Pro will be available in April from the Razerzone online store with configurations starting at $4,000.


Razer Blade Pro (2017)


Intel Core i7-7820HK


32GB DDR4-2,666


Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 8GB GDDR5X


17.3” 3840 x 2160 IGZO Multi-Touch  w/Nvidia G-Sync (THX Certified)

Storage Options

– 512GB SSD RAID 0 (2x 256GB PCIe M.2 SSD)

– 1TB SSD RAID 0 (2x 512GB PCIe M.2 SSD)

– 2TB SSD RAID 0 (2x 1TB PCIe M.2 SSD)


– USB 3.1 Type-C (Thunderbolt 3)

– USB 3.0 x3

– HDMI 2.0

– SDXC Card Reader


– Killer Wireless-AC 1535

– Killer E2500 Gigabit Ethernet


16.7 x 11 x 0.88”


7.69 lbs.

Starting MSRP


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Passive Cooling: XFX RX 460 Heatsink Edition Vs. Palit GTX 1050 Ti KalmX

After hacking together our own passively-cooled card, we now compare off-the-shelf solutions based on AMD and Nvidia GPUs. Was our attempt amateurish or could there be a more general problem with passively cooling current-gen graphics processors?

Our German team has a bit of an obsession with passive cooling. In case you missed it, check out their Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Passive Cooling Mod. As we saw in that piece, at least some airflow was necessary to keep Nvidia’s 75W card working properly. Nowadays you can buy a couple of different retail products that sport passive cooling, without the need for our do-it-yourself effort. One is XFX’s Radeon RX 460 Heatsink Edition, and the other is Palit’s GeForce GTX 1050 Ti KalmX. Both sport 4GB of GDDR5 memory.

Does either card work the way it’s advertised? A specially designed cooler with optimized fin spacing is obviously on the right track, but we’re professionally skeptical and obligated to test in every way, shape, and form. You’ll see us benchmarking on an open-air chassis and in a closed case with single- (front/positive pressure) and dual-fan (front and back/negative pressure) configurations.

XFX and Palit apparently came up with different approaches for utilizing the airflow in your case, based on the way they have their fins positioned. At a glance, internal convection may be adequate to cool Palit’s card, while the XFX solution appears to need some additional help from a fan.

Based on their respective GPUs, Palit’s GTX 1050 Ti KalmX should obviously be the faster card. But that’s not our primary concern: the boards first have to work the way each company’s marketing department advertises before we even start thinking about gaming. Right now, cooling is everything!

Our test system and methodology should already be familiar to you from How We Test Graphics Card. But if that story is new to you, we encourage you to check it out before digging in to this piece.

The following table provides a quick overview:

Test Systems And Environment
System Components Intel Core i7-5930K @ 4.2GHz
MSI X99S XPower Gaming Titanium
Corsair Vengeance DDR4-3200 @ 2400 MT/s
1x 1TB Toshiba OCZ RD400 (M.2, System SSD)
2x 960GB Toshiba OCZ TR150 (Storage, Images)
be quiet! Dark Power Pro 11, 850W power supply
Windows 10 Pro (with all updates)
Water Cooling Alphacool Eispumpe VPP755
Alphacool NexXxoS UT60 Full Copper 360mm
Alphacool Cape Corp Coolplex Pro 10 LT
5x be quiet! Silent Wings 3 PWM
Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut (for cooler changes)
PC Case Lian Li PC-T70 with Expansion Kit and Mods
Power Consumption Measurement Contact-free DC Measurement at PCIe Slot (Using a Riser Card)
Contact-free DC Measurement at External Auxiliary Power Supply Cable
Direct Voltage Measurement at Power Supply

2 x Rohde & Schwarz HMO 3054, 500MHz Digital Multi-Channel Oscilloscope with Storage Function
4 x Rohde & Schwarz HZO50 Current Probe (1mA – 30A, 100kHz, DC)
4 x Rohde & Schwarz HZ355 (10:1 Probes, 500MHz)
1 x Rohde & Schwarz HMC 8012 Digital Multimeter with Storage Function
Temperature Measurement Optris PI640 80Hz Infrared Camera + PI Connect
Real-Time Infrared Monitoring and Recording
Digital Sensors for Water and Air Temperatures in the Bench Table
Acoustics NTI Audio M2211 (with calibration file)
Steinberg UR12 (with phantom power for the microphones)
Creative X7, Smaart v.7
Our own anechoic [low-reflection] measuring chamber 3.5m x 1.8m x 2.2m (LxWxH)
Axial measurements, perpendicular to the center of the sound source (s), measuring distance 50cm
Noise levels in dB(A) (slow) as RTA measurement
Frequency spectrum as graphics

MORE: Best Graphics Cards

MORE: Desktop GPU Performance Hierarchy Table

MORE: All Graphics Content

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With View 28, Thermaltake Introduces Another Gull-Wing Case

Last summer, Thermaltake introduced the View 27, a mid-tower chassis whose gull-wing window wrapped around the side and top of the case. Well, Thermaltake has done it again with the inclusion of the View 28 RGB Mid-Tower Case, but what better way to spice things up than to add more RGB lighting?

The new View 28 is quite similar to the View 27 in most aspects. It has ample room for ATX motherboards and accommodates four dual slot graphics cards in traditional horizontal fashion, but it also supports up to two graphics cards vertically using optional PCIe riser cables. You can connect four 2.5” drives with the motherboard tray and two additional drives (either 3.5” or 2.5”) with the separate HDD tray. There’s also plenty of places to mount fans and/or radiators, with clearance for up to 360mm radiators on the front and 120mm radiators on the back. Finally, the wraparound window provides a view of your system’s components; couple this with RGB-lit fans, LED strips, liquid cooling fittings, and so on, and you’ll have yourself a view (pun intended) that’ll make your friends do a double-take (double-Thermaltake?) (pun definitely intended).

Unlike the View 27, The View 28 features an RGB LED controller on the top panel, which allows users to adjust the lighting effects of the RGB Matrix, a spiral-like lighting array on the View 28’s front panel. The lighting effects include spectrum cycling, single color lighting, RGB breathing, and single color breathing. If you own any Thermaltake Riing Plus 12 RGB fans, you can use the LED controller to adjust their lighting effects as well, although they don’t offer breathing effects.

Thermaltake also offers the View 28 RGB Riing Gull-Wing Mid-Tower case, which is basically the same chassis but with one of the aforementioned Riing Plus 12 RGB fans included on the rear fan mount.

Pricing and availability are yet to be revealed.

Product View 28 RGB Gull-Wing Mid-Tower Case
Dimensions 19.9 x 7.9 x 19.4 inches (WxDxH)
Weight 14.9 lbs
Material SPCC Steel
Drive Bays -2 x 3.5” or 2.5” (with HDD tray)
-4 x 2.5” (with the M/B tray)
Expansion Slots 8 + 2
Motherboards 6.7” x 6.7” (Mini ITX), 9.6” x 9.6” (Micro ATX), 12” x 9.6” (ATX)
I/O Port USB 3.0 x 2,USB 2.0 x 1, HD Audio x 1
Fan Support Front: 120mm x 3
Rear: 120mm
Power Cover: 120mm
Radiator Support Front: 360mm
Rear: 120mm
Clearance CPU cooler height limitation: 155mm
VGA length limitation: 410mm (Without Front Fan)

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How to download YouTube videos to iPhone or iPad

Now, head to a web browser and copy the URL of a YouTube video you want to download. The video will automatically appear in the YouTube Converter program (and YouTubeByClick also works in the same way). You can copy more URLs and build up a list of videos to transfer to your iPhone or iPad.

You then need to choose the quality for the videos. Although you can select 4K, it’s more sensible to choose 720p or 1080p as no iPhone or iPad yet has a 4K screen, and your chosen video may not even be 4K.

Click the Convert and Transfer to iPhone button and the videos will be downloaded and transferred to your iPhone’s Videos app. It can take a while, so do this well in advance of needing the videos.

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6 ways to maximize the Android phone dialer

Whether you’re trying to avoid telemarketers or you want to share a crazy voicemail you just received, the “stock” phone dialer on your Android phone has some pretty clever tricks up its sleeves.

Not only can the Android phone dialer warn you of spam callers and share a voicemail message via Gmail, Google Drive, or Dropbox, it can also suggest phone numbers based on your location, help you organize or delete shortcuts to “favorite” callers, let you customize your own “quick” text responses for declined callers, and more. 

Note: I tested these tips on a Nexus 5X running on Android 7.1.2, using Project Fi as my carrier. The calling features on your phone may vary depending on the make, model, and carrier of your device.

Rearrange your ‘frequent’ callers

As you make calls on your Android device, the Android phone dialer will add your most recent and frequent callers to your grid of “favorites” and “frequents.”

Rearrange your Ben Patterson

You can arrange your favorite and frequent contacts any way you want; just tap, hold, and drag.

That means you can take more of a hands-off approach when it comes to managing the contacts you’ve got on speed dial, but Android can be a little too eager to put a random but recently dialed contact on your Favorites list.

Luckily, there’s an easy way to take charge of your “favorites” and “frequents.” Just tap and hold a caller’s icon, then drag it anywhere you like. You can also delete the icon (just the icon, not the contact itself) by dragging it up to the Remove button near the top of the screen.

Create your own ‘quick response’ text messages

It’s an oldie-but-goodie: the ability to decline a call with a text message, a feature that Android phones have been able to do for years. (The iPhone eventually followed up with its own version of the feature.)

Create your own Ben Patterson

It’s easy to customize the SMS “quick responses” that you send to declined callers.

I became a much more avid user of the decline-with-a-text option once I customized my own “quick response” text messages, which you can do either on the fly or in advance in your Phone settings.

Exposed files on Microsoft's document-sharing site

Confidential documents, passwords and health data have been inadvertently shared by firms using Microsoft’s Office 365 service, say researchers.

The sensitive information was found via a publicly available search engine that is part of Office 365.

Security researchers said many firms mistakenly thought documents would only be shared with colleagues not globally.

Microsoft said it would “take steps” to change the service and remove the sensitive data.

Security researcher Kevin Beaumont discovered the sensitive information after using the search engine on Docs.com – a website that is part of the Office 365 online software service.

Many firms use Microsoft’s well-known suite of office productivity programs by subscribing to Office 365 which also gives them access to online services including Skype as well as a document-sharing and storage system.

Removing search

In a series of tweets, Mr Beaumont revealed some of the sensitive information he had found via the Docs.com search engine.

“People clearly don’t understand how the service works. It defaults to publicly accessible, which is the problem,” he wrote.

Other security researchers followed up his discovery and unearthed confidential business papers including lists of passwords and access codes as well as social security and National Insurance numbers.

Many users complained to Microsoft via social media about documents being exposed publicly. The software giant initially reacted by removing the search box from the main Docs.com page.

However, security experts following developments found that this did not remove all the exposed documents from view.

“Files were still cached in Google’s search results, as well as Microsoft’s own search engine, Bing,” wrote Zack Whittaker from tech news site ZDNet.

Microsoft later took steps to block incoming searches from Google to stop information being found.

However, on 27 March, the search box returned to the homepage of Docs.com.

In a statement shared with several news organisations, Microsoft said: “As part of our commitment to protect customers, we’re taking steps to help those who may have inadvertently published documents with sensitive information.”

It added: “Customers can review and update their settings by logging into their account at www.docs.com.”

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Fitbit Alta HR review: The best fitness tracker for most people

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The best activity tracker is the one you’ll actually wear every day, otherwise there’s no point in buying one at all. Fitbit’s new $150 Alta HR is the one most people would wear not just every day, but all night—and that’s worth every penny.

At a glance, the Alta HR looks identical to its predecessor, last year’s original Alta. It’s a slim bracelet with an OLED screen that wakes to show the time when you raise your wrist and responds to firm taps when you want to see your daily activity stats—calories burned, how many steps you’ve taken, and how many miles you’ve walked, etc.

But inside is an optical heart rate sensor. This changes everything.

Workout insights

fitbit alta hr workoutCaitlin McGarry

The Fitbit uses the Alta HR’s optical heart rate sensor to chart your workout intensity.

Like the Alta (and a handful of other Fitbit devices), the Alta HR uses SmartTrack technology to automatically log your exercise. The new heart rate sensor makes that automatic tracking more powerful by recognizing and logging time spent in each heart rate zone (peak, cardio, or fat burn). You can see this in real-time on the display, but part of the appeal of the Alta HR is that you can just go about your day without ever looking at the device. Just sync the band with your phone at the end of each day or in the morning when you wake up and take a look at your dashboard in the Fitbit app.

With the heart rate sensor, the Alta HR is able to more accurately estimate calorie burn, although I use this information as a helpful guide more than a precise metric. I tracked the same workout simultaneously with the Alta HR and my Apple Watch Series 2, and while the average heart rate was about 10 beats per minute lower on the Alta HR than the Apple Watch, the Alta’s heart rate graph was more informative. The Apple Watch is more focused on plotting its GPS data than giving any heart rate insights. (There are third-party apps that do more with the watch’s heart rate data, but I’m comparing Fitbit’s app with the Apple Watch workout data shown in the Activity app on my iPhone.)

But with its limited battery life, the Apple Watch isn’t useful when it comes to tracking sleep. The Alta HR’s sleep insights take this fitness tracker to the next level.

Insomniacs, rejoice

I confess that I usually get 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. If I’m tired enough, I can fall asleep in a noisy room with all the lights on. I am not the target demographic for the sleep analysis that many fitness trackers and apps promise. But Fitbit’s new sleep-tracking features seem like the most useful and accurate I’ve tried so far.

Fitbit uses the Alta’s continuous heart rate-monitoring to track your sleep cycles, so it can tell when you’re awake and what stage of sleep you’re in—light, deep, or REM—based on your heart rate. When you sync that data to the Fitbit app in the morning, your sleep dashboard helpfully graphs your sleep stages and diagrams the percentages of each type of sleep you get per night. Even better, you’ll see insights about what those percentages mean. I thought the fact that nearly half of my sleep is light was kind of a bad thing, but according to Fitbit, that percentage is just fine. (Phew.)