Ah, Monday, we meet again. As you prep yourself for another week, why not take some time to catch up on the news, features and reviews from the last seven days with TechRadar's editor-curated round up of last week's must-read articles?
In the lineup this week is TechRadar's Record Store Day 2020 features that ran over the weekend, plus the start of PC Gaming Week that begins today. On the reviews front, we've got the Remarkable Tablet 2, DJI OM 4 gimble and a hands-on with the all-new TCL 6-Series QLED TV with MiniLED.
On the news side, don't miss the latest on Amazon's brand-new wearable, Amazon Halo, that made a surprise appearance last week, and the way to pre-pre-order the PS5. (No that's not a typo, you literally need to register with Sony for a chance to pre-order the next console.)
It was a big week last week, but you can leave it to us to distill the best stories for your perusing pleasure.
Want to massage your ears with tech talk? Scroll down to the end of this article to find the latest episode of the TechRadar Noise Cancelling Podcast for straight-to-your-ears chat about the latest and greatest in tech.
If you love spinning discs and analog audio, don't miss TechRadar's Record Store Day 2020 coverage that ran over the weekend. Saturday we ran a feature on the history of the turntable as well as a guide on how to set up a turntable for the first time, plus an explainer piece on how turntables work.
If you're sold on the idea of analog audio, we've also got a guide to the best turntables in 2020 that's definitely worth looking at, too.
Starting Monday, we're diving into PC games with our annual PC gaming week event.
Here's a brief excerpt:
"This year we’re highlighting not just the games themselves, but the teams and players from around the world that make PC gaming such a wonderful, inventive and diverse hobby.
Throughout the week we’ll be talking to teams behind the PC games you know and love, while highlighting the best PC games from creators of all different races, nationalities, sexualities and gender identities."
Gerald Lynch wrote up our review of the ReMarkable Tablet 2 last week, saying that "While its multimedia potential is severely limited, there’s simply no better portable tablet out there for those that like to sketch than the ReMarkable 2. It has some issues, but the feel of writing on its e-ink screen is second to none."
Moreover, "The ReMarkable 2 is the best digital handwriting and sketching experience you can get this side of a paper pad and pencil, without a doubt. It improves upon its ReMarkable Tablet predecessor in almost every way, leading to a premium tablet experience that excels in its key purpose – letting you sketch and take notes without distractions."
Here's the complete ReMarkable Tablet 2 review.
If you're a smartphone videographer, you should read our DJI OM 4 review.
According to our reviewer Matt Swider, "The DJI OM 4 offers a way to capture smooth cinematic video without holding your smartphone completely hostage. Magnets attach your phone to the gimbal arm, which features upgraded 3-axis motors and a neat, though gimmicky Dolly Zoom mode. It's a connivence upgrade over the Osmo Mobile 3 with only a slight price bump."
"New trick shots via the DJI Mimi app let you play director in unique ways: Dolly Zoom mode allows you to tap into your innermost Alfred Hitchcock, and a 'Clone Me' panorama mode allows you to hog the spotlight – multiple times. But these software perks alone shouldn't be the reason you upgrade: they're coming to the Omso Mobile 3, too, via the DJI Mimo app."
We're still working our way through the review, but our Senior Editor of Home Entertainment, Nick Pino, has gone hands-on with the new TCL 6-Series 2020.
So far, it appears to be everything you could possibly expect from a $650 4K TV, and we're pretty impressed with the budget-conscious TV:
"The 6-Series is brighter, more colorful and doesn’t have a single hint of haloing or light bleed. It’s designed in a new way to hide your cables and it’s the first TV to come with THX Certified Game Mode for 1440p/120Hz gaming."
Expect a full review from us later this week.
Amazon took us by surprise last week with the announcement of the Amazon Halo, a new fitness tracker that collects your health data so you can analyze and track patterns. Specifically that data includes in-depth sleep tracking, sedentary time warnings, and activity tracking, plus body composition, body fat percentage and tone - i.e. it can apparently track 'energy and positivity'.
Does it seem creepy that Amazon is listening to everything you say? Well, yes, but apparently you have the ability to turn off the Halo's microphone at any time - and Amazon states that voice samples are deleted once they've been analyzed, so there's no record of your exact words.
We break it all down in our Amazon Halo price, release date and what you need to know about the fitness tracker guide.
PS5 pre-orders are going to be very limited, that much is clear. Last week, Sony opened up a new page on the PlayStation official website that lets players register for a chance to pre-order a PS5. The twist is, Sony says that it only has a "limited quantity", and that it's only taking orders from people with an existing PSN ID.
Note: you're not actually pre-ordering a PS5 here – you're just entering into a registration system with the possibility of getting an invitation to buy one when the time comes.
Interestingly, though, this isn't an entirely random lottery. Sony says that its "selection is based on previous interests and PlayStation activities," based on the FAQs. If you're a PS4 power user, it's possible you'll be closer to the top of the pile, though Sony doesn't say anything more about its criteria.
Here's the relevant link to the US PlayStation website.
Keep your eyes peeled for new information on Nvidia's upcoming RTX 3080 and 3090 GPUs. Over the weekend images of the cards leaked plus we got the purported final specs of the graphics cards, too.
Here's the highlights from our news story:
"As for those specs, the RTX 3090 is loaded up with 5,248 CUDA cores (as was previously rumored), with a massive 24GB of GDDR6X video memory (ditto) featuring a speed of 19.5Gbps, with power consumption pegged at 350W (again as rumored before).
With the RTX 3080, you’re looking at 4,352 CUDA cores, 10GB of GDDR6X VRAM (at 19Gbps) and 320W on the power front (a version with more video memory may be launched further down the line).
The leaks reveal that Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3090 will supposedly benefit from NVLink SLI, meaning you can pair up two of these GPUs for monster performance (although the cost of two cards will doubtless reach a truly astronomical level)."
Quick PSA on a potentially destructive Windows 10 update from author Joel Khalili:
"An upcoming Windows 10 update is expected to resolve a bug affecting the Optimize Drives tool that could be damaging the longevity of solid state drives (SSDs). Issues first arose with Windows 10 version 2004, pushed live in May, after which users began to report that the optimization tool was failing to record the last time a drive had been defragged.
When a drive is defragmented, its contents is essentially reorganized in a way that allows data to be accessed more quickly. Defragging a heavily fragmented drive can result in stark performance gains, but the optimization process is also taxing for the drive itself.
Traditionally, Windows 10 should record the last time a drive has been optimized to ensure it is not subjected to unnecessary wear and tear. However, as a result of the Windows 10 2004 bug, the Optimize Drives tool is defragging drives every time the connected device is rebooted. In effect, this means many SSDs are being defragged circa 30x more frequently than is optimal."
Yikes. Save the SSDs!
The show is presented by Gareth Beavis, Global Editor in Chief of TechRadar, and features Sherri L. Smith, Editor in Chief of Laptop Mag.
This week the crew talks about the new Batman movie, Gotham Knights game, Tenet reviews and the LG Wing. Don't miss it!