Epic Games announces cross-play developer tools for 2019

Epic Games is launching another endeavor.

Epic Games has found a lot of success lately in the free-to-play business. The company just announced the Epic Games Store and even managed to get a lot of developers with exclusive agreements. Now, it seems like the publisher wants to tackle cross-play with a unified system. Today, Epic Games announced its cross-platform online services roadmap.


Samsung announces the new Notebook 9 Pen 13 and 15 for 2019

Samsung gives a modern update to its Notebook 9 Pen lineup for the coming year.

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is still a few weeks out, but Samsung is getting the jump with the refreshed Notebook 9 Pen in both 13 and 15-inch editions. The laptops are not slated to hit until sometime in early 2019, but you can learn what’s new starting today.

The Notebook 9 Pen carries on Samsung’s existing PC design language – modest, sleek, and modern – with some refreshed hardware while also keeping system weight down.

As the name implies the Notebook 9 Pen ships with an improved Samsung S Pen, which is slotted in the device much like its Galaxy Note 9 phone (it’s even yellow). The company is also throwing in a three-month trial of the Myscript Nebo app from the Microsoft Store, which is an excellent inking program. Samsung claims that new S Pen has a reduced latency of up to 2x from the previous model.

The more significant changes with the Notebook 9 Pen for 2019 are (as you can guess) the processor. Samsung is opting for 8th generation Intel Core i7 ones although the exact models were not detailed (likely quad-core 15W “Whiskey Lake”).


On this week's podcast… Microsoft Edge, Surface Centaurus, ARM, and more

This week on the Windows Central Podcast: Microsoft Edge goes Chrome, another new Surface device, Windows on ARM, and more!

We’re back with another exciting episode of the Windows Central Podcast, and there’s massive news in the Microsoft Cinematic Universe this week, as Redmond confirms plans to rebuild Edge using the Chromium rendering engine. Daniel Rubino reports from the field from a Qualcomm product summit to speak with Zac Bowden about Qualcomm’s plans for 5G networking, along with new Snapdragon processors — including an 8-core processor capable of running Windows 10 and dual 4K displays.

We also hear more rumors about the Surface ‘Centaurus’ dual-screen device, and some details about Windows Lite.

This episode of the Windows Central Podcast was recorded on December 7 2018.


Belt out some Christmas carols with the Sonos Play:5 speaker for $459

Listen closely.

Amazon is offering the Sonos Play:5 Ultimate Wireless Smart Speaker for $459 right now. This almost always sells for $499, and we hardly ever see discounts like this one. For perspective, the last time this saw a steep price drop on this model was back in January. Currently open-box versions are the price of this new one.

This well-rated speaker is one of the best that Sonos makes. With six amplifiers and six dedicated drivers, this will provide impressive sound that fills even large rooms. It has wireless streaming capabilities, so your favorite apps like Spotify and Amazon Music will pair seamlessly. You can also use an external Alexa device to control it with your voice.


Clip a coupon, enter a code, and get this Yi 4K Action Camera for only $97

Do it for the ‘gram.

Right now at Amazon, you can get the Yi 4K Action and Sports Camera for $97.26. Just clip the 20% off coupon and enter code VE44AZLH during checkout to get in on this deal, which saves you significant money compared to the average $200 price.

This well-reviewed action cam comes with a waterproof case, so the elements won’t get in the way of your recording. The camera records in 4K at 30 frames per second, and there are a couple of other resolution options as well a 12MP raw image feature. The built-in video stabilization captures smooth footage, and there’s a long battery life with up to 120 minutes of recording capability on a single charge. You can preview videos and adjust settings on the fly using the touchscreen, and share your videos and photos instantly via Bluetooth.

Be sure to pick up a microSD card. This Samsung 64GB option is down to only $11.

See at Amazon


Comparing the Surface Pro 6 and iPad Pro isn't as simple as you think

The Surface Pro 6 is one of our most loved Windows tablets, but it’s not necessarily something to consider instead of an iPad Pro. Nor is an iPad Pro necessarily an alternative to the Surface Pro.

Microsoft Surface Pro 6

Laptop replacement

$799 at Microsoft


Stunning display
Great hardware
Built-in kickstand
Optional keyboard and pen
Runs a desktop OS

No USB-C or Thunderbolt 3
Keyboard is expensive
Not as good for media consumption
The Surface Pro is a very different kind of tablet compared to the iPad Pro. It’s less tablet and more laptop, and while you can use it for things like consuming media, it’s so much more than that.

Apple iPad Pro

Brilliant tablet

$799 at Apple


Replace your old bulbs with six AmazonBasics LED light bulbs for $11

Boy have I got a bright idea.

This 6-pack of AmazonBasics Daylight A19 LED light bulbs is down to $11.27 from a street price of $16. These bulbs even regularly jump as high as $19. You’d have to go all the way back to this time last year to see another deal as good as this, and even then the bulbs only dropped to about $13. The 2-pack is $8.41, so you’re paying $3 more dollars for four more bulbs.

The LEDs are equivalent to 60-watt incandescent bulbs but last over 13 years or as long as 15,000 hours. The lights have no warm up time and immediately shine 800 lumens with a correlated color temperature of 5000 Kelvin, which is similar to the brightness of daylight. The bulbs are also very energy efficient and will save you money on your electricity bill. Users give them 4.2 stars based on 1,683 reviews.

Other non-smart bulbs like these are on sale right now, too. These Philips light bulbs let you switch scenes with just the flick of a switch.


Updated Windows 10 Settings app surfaces with sleek header

Microsoft is testing a revised Windows 10 Settings app, featuring an all-new header.

Microsoft is testing a fresh take on Windows 10’s integrated Settings app, with a new header propagating among select Insiders. Surfacing across PCs running this week’s latest Fast Ring release, Build 18298, the menu brings a sleek at-a-glance display of key Windows information.

The new header highlights the user’s connected Microsoft account, alongside ties to Windows Update, and the Your Phone mobile companion. As reported by OnMSFT, a variant of this header is also circulating with a Microsoft Rewards shortcut, showcasing current total earnings. We’re yet to see the feature in action, though Windows Central reader, Kenneth, showed us what it offers.

Installed new build and settings looks like this now, I don’t recall seeing this in the blog post for todays build. I kinda like it @Daniel_Rubino pic.twitter.com/sKm7xgBEfa


Sony's $228 7.2-channel receiver supports 4K, HDR, Bluetooth, and more

Unite your theater under one receiver.

The Sony STR-DH790 7.2-channel 4K HDR Bluetooth receiver is down to $228 on Amazon. This receiver was selling as high as $380 at the beginning of November and only dropped as low as $250 for Black Friday. Today’s price is the lowest we have seen.

The receiver has 145 watts per channel with support for 7.2 channels. It supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X object-based surround sound, 4K, HDR, and Dolby Vision. The HDMI ports include four inputs and one output. There is built-in Bluetooth so you can stream through the system with your Bluetooth devices. It has several complex features like Advanced Auto Calibration, S-Force Pro front surround sound, and more. Users give it 4.2 stars based on 16 reviews.

The receiver works particularly well with other Sony devices. So if you’ve already got a Sony surround sound system, this receiver would be a great option for you. If you don’t, you might invest in something like Sony’s modular surround sound system that starts with the $118 Bookshelf Speakers. You can add floorstanding speakers, center channel speakers, subwoofers, and more as you want.


How Microsoft's Xbox One Play & Charge Kit stacks up against PowerA

After hours of charging and play, we’ve tried the best controller accessories out there for Xbox One owners.

Xbox One Play and Charge Kit

Full power

$25 at Microsoft


Great battery life
Superior battery technology
Refined design

Microsoft’s Xbox One Play & Charge kit is unrivaled for quick controller top-ups, with a refined design and top-tier battery quality. While pricier than its counterparts, its value still prevails for most.

PowerA Play & Charge Kit For Xbox One

Two for cheap

$15 at Amazon