Features

You already have a SteamOS Machine at home: here’s how

Don't bother going out and buying a several thousand-dollar Steam Machine, Valve says you already have one at home. Requirements for installing SteamOS on the computer you already have are relatively low - just so long as you've been upgrading over the past couple of years. Installing and customizing SteamOS will require that your computer be wiped out - but once you do that, you'll be ready to roll. In other words: the Steam Machine you have at home isn't going to be your main desktop - it'll need to be a machine you don't use that often.

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Bublcam Review : 360-degrees of spherical camera potential

The Bublcam does one thing very well: describe itself - in its name, in its industrial design, and in its product. While several 360-degree "spherical" cameras are already on the market, Bubl Technology have done the best job in creating a device that's simple to understand and use from start to finish - WITH high-quality results. This device has four cameras, each pointing in a different direction to create videos and photos that are spherical in shape, fully prepared for immersive viewing online and in the new virtual reality ecosystem.

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SmartThings 2.0 is here: First-impressions

SmartThings struck it big on Kickstarter, got snapped up by Samsung, and now has begun delivering its much-anticipated Hub 2.0. The SmartThings Home Monitoring Kit, the centerpiece of which is the second-generation hub, is in stores today, priced at $249. Best Buy and Sears will carry it on their shelves, while it'll also be available online.

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August’s new Access lock works, but trust may take longer

The smart home can't just be clever, it needs to be impeccably designed, but while August's expanded range satisfies both criteria it may be user trust that really needs an upgrade. I spent some time with the Smart Keypad, Doorbell Cam, and the HomeKit version of the Smart Lock today, as well as talking with August's exec team about whether even committed automation fans are ready to hand over the digital keys to the cable guy.

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Logi Circle Review – WiFi camera with a hit of hyperlapse

Logitech said it wanted its Logi brand to be more friendly than traditional computer peripherals, and the Circle home camera certainly fits the bill. A cutesy robot's eyeball of a WiFi-connected webcam, it aims to one-up Nest Camera courtesy of an onboard battery, with a secret weapon in the shape of instantly-curated hyperlapse clips for speedy consumption. Has Logi hit a home-run in the first inning with its baseball-like Circle?

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2016 Chevrolet Volt first drive

Not all electric cars are created equal and, as Chevrolet proved with the first-generation Volt, there's more than one way to wean drivers off gasoline. Fans of electric vehicles can debate pure-EV, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and any other combination all they like; at the end of the day I'm a pragmatist, and so for me it's the Volt's ability to boost fuel-efficiency without introducing range anxiety - and without being too pious in the process - that makes the second-gen 2016 car so appealing.

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Android Marshmallow update: every phone announced so far

Today we're having a peek at the Android 6.0 Marshmallow update list - every smartphone whose maker has given the thumbs up so far. This includes phones from Samsung, HTC, and Sony, as well a Google's own Nexus smartphones - and a few tablets, too. LG and Motorola are here as well. This bit of comprehensive Marshmallow update comes courtesy of our previous reports as well as updates released by manufacturers and/or wireless carriers (the former more than the latter) over the past week or two.

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Three everyday challenges that make us worry for Surface Book

Microsoft's Surface Book is under examination this month - rightly so - as it appears to be the company's first real-deal notebook. Today we're having a peek at five points that explore what this device will be like in real life. Will the device's many features be as positive as they appeared during the company's presentation, or will they fail the test of real-life usability? Today we start with the magnetic pen, then move on to the gap, and decide whether or not we'll need to flip the screen while we're standing up.

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Chromecast Review (2015): Utilitarian Smart TV Masterpiece

The 2015 version of the Chromecast is just nice enough to want to upgrade from the original and certainly worth the cash for new users. Chromecast is, at its core, a doorway for your smartphone to access your TV. Like its predecessor (also called Chromecast), this device acts as the courier for content from the internet to your living room, allowing your smartphone (or tablet, or laptop) to act as the controller and the explorer. This version of the Chromecast is faster than the original and a bit more versatile as it works with a cord now instead of just a dongle.

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Surface Book vs MacBook Pro: Microsoft calls out Apple

This morning as Microsoft prepared to reveal several new Surface devices, they couldn't help but call out their competitors first. "We have competitors, you may have noticed," said Microsoft's Panos Panay, referring to the Surface and other competitor tablets launched with keyboards, "they're chasing it, it's pretty cool." Panay went on to suggest that Microsoft's options were to "double down and bring the thunder" or to "reinvent the category again." Microsoft appeared to choose the former as they played Thunderstruck by AC/DC while presenting the new Surface Pro 4.

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Surface Pro 4 hands-on: bigger, yet smaller

Today the Surface Pro 4 has been revealed by Microsoft: a device with a larger display than the Surface 3, a thinner body, and a more powerful processor. This device appears not long after companies like Google and Apple have revealed their own "tablets with keyboards" devices that bear more than a passing resemblance to Microsoft's Surface lineup. As such, Microsoft is presenting this Surface Pro 4 as a sort of bumping up of the category they suggest they've created. This Surface Pro 4 is heavier than its predecessors, yet thinner than its predecessors. While its display is smaller than the Surface Book, it's larger than previous generations as well.

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