Brian Fagioli

Linux Mint 20.3 coming Christmas 2021

Windows 11 is rumored to be released in October, and since it is already in the Beta Channel, that rumor seems plausible. So, yeah, Microsoft is sure to dominate headlines in the final quarter of the year.

While a new version of Windows is surely exciting, that won't be the only operating system getting a new version later in the year. You see, the Linux Mint developers have shared some exciting news about when version 20.3 of the Ubuntu-based distro will be available for download.

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Just say no to Windows 11 by taking Linux back to school with Kubuntu Focus XE laptop

While everyone is enjoying the beautiful summer weather, there is something quite terrifying for children on the horizon -- school. Yeah, summer vacation will be over before they know it, and it is already time to do back-to-school shopping. While buying pencils and three-ring binders is boring, shopping for a new laptop for school can be a lot of fun.

Thankfully, students in 2021 don't have to use an old-school Windows notebook like their dad or grandad. Instead, kids can use Linux to optimize their education. After all, Linux is more hip and cool than Windows 11 can ever be. To paraphrase now-deceased First Lady Nancy Reagan, children should "just say no" to waiting for a laptop running the upcoming Windows 11.

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Microsoft Windows 11 reaches Beta milestone

Last week, we told you that Microsoft had released Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22000.100. Was that exciting news? Meh, not really. I mean, look, Microsoft releases a lot of pre-release versions of Windows to its Insiders (aka unpaid testers) so it isn't exactly thrilling anymore. With that said, some people are very enthusiastic about the upcoming Windows 11, so I suppose any news about the operating system is significant right now.

Of course, Windows 11 reaching a major milestone is undoubtedly worth celebrating, and today, that is exactly what has happened. You see, the next version of Windows has officially achieved Beta status! No, it is isn't an entirely new build. Actually, the aforementioned Preview Build 22000.100 has simply been released to the Beta channel.

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Ubuntu-based Linux Lite 5.6 RC1 is here to replace Microsoft Windows 11 on your PC

Windows 10 is not a terrible operating systems. In fact, other than the extreme telemetry (spying), it is pretty good. With that said, the upcoming Windows 11 is very polarizing, featuring radical changes to the user interface. Not to mention, the system requirements will leave many still-capable computers unable to upgrade. These unfortunate computer owners will have to decide whether to continue using Windows 10 or buy a new Windows 11-compatible PC.

Thankfully, there is an arguably better option -- just switch to Linux! Yes, modern Linux-based operating systems are very well-supported and most will run great on aging hardware (unlike Windows 11). Linux Lite, which uses the Xfce desktop environment, is one of the best Linux distributions for Windows-switchers, as it is lightweight, modern, and familiar.

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Monoprice Dark Matter 42892 is a 27-inch QHD gaming monitor with 180Hz refresh

Monoprice is a brand that in-the-know shoppers have come to love and respect. The company offers quality products at very affordable prices, including things like cables, headphones, mice, and more. If you are shopping while on a budget, you definitely need to check out the company's offerings -- including for PC gaming.

Today, Monoprice launches its latest computer monitor under its Dark Matter gaming brand. Model number 42892, as it is unimaginatively named, is a 27-inch QHD display with 180Hz refresh and a Sharp-made IGZO panel.

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Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 curved gaming monitor uses Mini LED display technology

There are two curved displays in my home -- a computer monitor in my office and a television in my living room. Both look stylish, but truth be told, the curve doesn't make any difference when watching TV. Since I sit far back from the television, the curve doesn't add any benefit. On the computer monitor where I sit much closer, however, the curvature lends to a more immersive experience. I can't recommend curved computer monitors enough -- for both gaming and productivity.

Today, Samsung announces its latest monitor, and it is very special. Called "Odyssey Neo G9," the 49-inch display is significant for being the first-ever curved gaming monitor to use Mini LED technology.

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Logitech launches LINE FRIENDS Bluetooth Mouse and Keyboard Combo

The Logitech K380 Keyboard and M350 Mouse Combo is a very simple and elegant solution for controlling multiple devices. The keyboard can be paired to a Windows PC, Mac, and iPhone, for example, and then you can easily switch between them by pressing buttons -- no need to pair again every time. It is particularly great for those that dual boot on a single machine, such as with Linux and Windows.

The keyboard and mouse are quite cute already -- they have rounded keys and can be had in either pink or white colors. But now, Logitech is making them even cuter. You see, today, the company launches LINE FRIENDS variants, featuring the BROWN and CONY mascots form the popular LINE messaging app. If you aren't familiar with the bear and bunny rabbit, don't feel bad -- they are apparently far bigger in Asia than America.

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Western Digital launches Battlefield 2042 edition WD_Black SN750 SE NVMe SSD

Battlefield 2042 is one of the most highly anticipated video games, and it is due out later this year. It is currently scheduled for an October 22 release, but as we all know, these dates can be pushed back due to unforeseen issues. With that said, I am pretty confident Electronic Arts will meet this deadline, and Battlefield 2042 will prove to be one of the hottest Christmas gifts this year.

If you want to ensure you get your copy of Battlefield 2042 and that your PC's storage can load it quickly, Western Digital has a special bundle you must check out. You see, the company has launched a special Battlefield 2042 variant of its WD_Black SN750 SE NVMe SSD. Not only does it comes with a redeemable download code for the game, but it is emblazoned with really cool Battlefield 2042 branding.

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Debian 11 'Bullseye' Linux-based operating system release date officially revealed

Debian 11 is a long time coming now, with users of the Linux-based operating system anxiously awaiting the upcoming release. Code-named "Bullseye," it has been suspected to have 2021 availability, but as of today, we now know the specific date.

You see, the Debian developers are planning to release version 11 on August 14 of this year. In other words, it is less than a month away! This year, you can celebrate the August 14 birthdays of celebrities Mila Kunis, Steve Martin, and Magic Johnson by downloading and installing the wildly popular Linux distribution.

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OWC Envoy Pro SX is a rugged Thunderbolt 4 SSD for Windows and Mac

When disasters happen, such as a flood, it can be devastating to lose belongings -- especially expensive computers. While laptops and desktops can be replaced, the data housed on them often cannot. That's why it can be smart to back up your data to both the cloud and a rugged external drive. Redundancy is key to protecting your cherished photos, videos, and more.

Speaking of rugged external storage, today, OWC launches a very durable new portable solid state drive. Called "Envoy Pro SX," the Thunderbolt 4 SSD is insanely fast and is compatible with both Windows and Mac. More importantly, it is is built like a tank -- OWC says the drive is certified to not only be water resistant, but dustproof and drop-proof too. Nice!

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Satechi launches trio of USB-C GaN chargers

USB Type-C is amazing. This reversible USB connector is not just used for data connections, but power too. For instance, there are many laptops, tablets, and smartphones that charge using USB-C. When all of your devices use USB-C, it makes your life much easier -- there are fewer wires and chargers to deal with. Even better, you can potentially travel lighter by packing less. Hopefully Apple will eventually bring USB-C to the iPhone fully -- the company already has with some iPad models.

Today, Satechi launches a trio of USB-C chargers, and since they are of the GaN variety, they are very compact. While all three are similar, they are also quite distinct. All three have foldable prongs which makes them ideal for travel, but the number of ports and wattage varies. The 66W and 108W models both have three ports, but the 100W variant has only one.

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ADATA XPG XENIA 14 is a wonderful back-to-school Windows 10 laptop

Long gone are the days where Apple was the sole manufacturer of elegant laptops. Quite frankly, Apple has become a bit stagnant with its designs. Truth be told, makers of Windows laptops (such as Samsung, HP, and Dynabook) have met or exceeded Apple's MacBook looks. Best of all, these Windows notebooks are often much more affordable than Apple's offerings too, making them great for students.

ADATA isn't a company that you usually think of for actual PCs, but the manufacturer does in fact offer both desktops and laptops under its XPG gaming brand. Today, ADATA launches its latest Windows 10 notebook, and despite the XPG branding, it focuses more on general use than gaming. Called "XPG XENIA 14," this 14-inch ultrabook is both thin and light. Make no mistake, however, it is an impressively powerful machine. For instance, it is powered by 11th-gen Core processors, uses 3200MHz DDR4 RAM, and has a PCIe gen 4 SSD.

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ZOTAC MEK HERO gaming desktops are Windows 11 ready and made in the USA

What an exciting time to be a PC gamer! There are so many great games to play and the underlying hardware is more powerful than ever. It is amazing to see what game developers are putting out these days. Thanks to the upcoming Steam Deck, these hardcore PC games can be easily taken on the go too.

If you are in the market for a pre-built gaming PC, I have some exciting news. Manufacturer ZOTAC has unveiled gaming desktops that are both Windows 11 ready and assembled in the USA. Called "MEK HERO," there are two models (G1 A5636 and G1 A5837) from which to choose, and they are both powered by high-end AMD CPUs and hardcore NVIDIA GPUs. And yes, they have RGB lighting and glass side-panels. The higher-end MEK HERO G1 A5837 model features CPU liquid-cooling.

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DuckDuckGo launches privacy-focused @duck.com email forwarding

DuckDuckGo is a pretty cool company that focuses heavily on privacy. Its claim to fame is its search engine that aims to compete with the likes of Google and Bing, but without tracking you. Believe it or not, its search results are pretty good comparatively, although Google still edges it out.

Over time, DuckDuckGo has launched its own web browser and browser extensions, constantly trying to keep humans safe from the eyes of "Big Tech." And now the company announces its latest creation -- @duck.com email accounts.

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TEAMGROUP unveils MP34Q M.2 NVMe SSD

Solid state storage technology is constantly improving. The truth, however, is while PCIe Gen 4 SSDs are now available, they are total overkill for most consumers. Heck, most people would be absolutely fine with a SATA drive. With that said, the previous-generation PCIe Gen 3 SSDs are now much more affordable (and quite fast) making them a smart buy whether you truly need the extra speed or not. In other words, a SATA SSD should be avoided nowadays unless your PC simply isn't compatible with anything else.

Today, TEAMGROUP announces its latest NVMe PCIe M.2 solid state drive, and it is offered in capacities up to 8TB. Called "MP34Q," the PCIe Gen 3 SSD it is quite fast with read speeds up to 3,400 MB/s and write speeds up to 3,000 MB/s.

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