Brian Fagioli

Lexar launches NQ100 2.5-inch SATA SSD

M.2 NVMe solid state drives are much faster than 2.5-inch SATA versions -- the former is clearly the future. And yet, companies continue to manufacture new models of the latter. But why? It is quite simple -- many computers don't have M.2 ports, so those types of drives are of no use to people with older computers. Not to mention, SATA SSDs are still fast enough, making them great drop-in upgrades.

With all of that said, today, Lexar launches a new 2.5-inch SATA SSD. Called "NQ100," it is rather unremarkable, making it just another SATA drive on the market. However, its affordable $36.99 starting price should make it attractive for those on a budget -- especially consumers upgrading from a mechanical hard drive.

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TEAMGROUP DDR5 memory is coming

If you're like me, almost nothing is as exciting as building a new PC. Picking out the perfect components from stores like Amazon and Newegg can feel like being a kid in a candy shop. It is just so much fun to select a processor, motherboard, RAM, power supply, and more.

Over time, computer components get better and faster, and next year, we are apparently going to see a huge upgrade to RAM. You see, the PC memory market has been a bit stale, as we have been using DDR4 for quite a while now. Well, in 2021, company TEAMGROUP is promising to deliver next-generation DDR5 RAM sticks!

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YouTube TV loses Tennis Channel

YouTube TV is the best streaming TV service, but it is not perfect. For instance, over the years, prices have gone up significantly. While Google has added some great channels, the search giant has lost some too -- including some regional sports channels. As a Knicks fan, I am still waiting for MSG to be added, but since the team is so bad, I am OK missing those basketball games.

While I am not a fan of tennis, I know many people are. Sadly, I received an email from YouTube TV tonight that is sure to anger fans of that sport. You see, YouTube TV has lost the Tennis Channel.

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Nintendo Switch Fortnite Wildcat Bundle now available for Cyber Monday -- act fast!

Today is Cyber Monday! Woo hoo! It is one of the best shopping days of the year. There are deals to be had on many tech products, and like every year, video game consoles are in high demand. In 2020, Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5 are all the rage, but there is one big problem with those game systems -- they don't have Mario, Luigi, or other Nintendo mascots!

If you are a Nintendo fan like me, it doesn't matter that the Switch is less powerful than the newest Xbox or PlayStation consoles, as it has game titles you can't get anywhere else. If you need to buy a Nintendo Switch console for the holidays, I have some incredible news -- there is a new special-edition Fortnite version that is available starting today. This Nintendo Switch Fortnite Wildcat Bundle will be highly sought after, so you need to act fast.

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ASRock Mars 4000U Series mini PC is world's thinnest AMD desktop

As we start to approach the end of 2020, and we reflect on the year, AMD stands out as one of the biggest success stories. The company's desktop and laptop processors absolutely destroyed Intel, disrupting the CPU market entirely. It was once thought that Intel was unbeatable, but if 2020 taught us anything, it's that nothing (good or bad) is impossible.

For those of you that love both AMD processors and mini desktop computers, I have some very exciting news. You see, ASRock has launched a mini PC that it claims is the world's thinnest AMD desktop. Called "Mars 4000U Series," its chassis is less than a liter! It is a bare-bones system, meaning you need to add your own RAM and storage.

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LibreOffice 7.1 Beta 1 for Linux, Windows, and Mac is here -- get the FREE open-source Microsoft Office alternative now

Happy user

Is LibreOffice better than Microsoft Office? No, and it's not even close. Say what you want about Microsoft, but Office is in a league of its own -- the best productivity software on the market.

Why would anyone not use Microsoft Office? Well, for one, it costs money -- potentially hundreds of dollars. Secondly, it is not available on all operating systems. Linux users, for instance, simply can't use Microsoft Office (except the web version). Not to mention, Microsoft Office is closed-source software, and some folks only want to use open source options.

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TCL MOVEAUDIO S150 Bluetooth earbuds cost much less than Apple AirPods

TCL is on a come-up in a big way. The company's televisions are wildly popular thanks to their low prices and excellent features, and its smartphones are disrupting the industry. For instance, the wonderful TCL 10 5G UW can be had for a song -- a mere $120 when you sign up for a Verizon Unlimited plan. That's definitely the best early Black Friday deal I have seen.

TCL is not only about smartphones and televisions, however. For instance, the company makes tablets too. Today, it launches new wireless earbuds that rival Apple AirPods at a fraction of the price. Called "MOVEAUDIO S150," these Bluetooth 5.0 earbuds are chock-full of cool features -- they are waterproof, have touch controls, and the charging case uses USB-C.

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Giveaway: Win one of three Linux-friendly LABISTS Raspberry Pi 4 8GB RAM Starter Kits worth $129.99!

We here at BetaNews are huge fans of the Raspberry Pi line of computers. These little devices have many uses, such as tinkering, education, and more. Heck, you can even turn them into excellent media boxes or video game emulation systems.

With Raspberry Pi 4, however, the tiny computer became a viable desktop computer -- particularly the model with 8GB of RAM. You can install Ubuntu, for instance, and have a full desktop experience. Best of all, the 8GB variant can be had for just $75.

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Happy 25th Birthday, GIMP -- you make Linux a viable Windows 10 alternative

I'm a big fan of Linux-based operating systems, and I try to convert people whenever I can. No, Linux isn't right for everyone, and Windows 10 isn't a bad operating system, but many computer users are better served by a Linux distro such as Ubuntu. After all, many people live in the web browser these days, so they don't need the bloat of Windows. Not to mention, Linux is arguably more secure.

Of course, there are always people that fight me on the benefits of Linux, and two pieces of software often enter the conversation -- Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop. Thankfully, I have some great ammunition in those arguments -- LibreOffice and GNU Image Manipulation Program (aka GIMP). True, both of those programs are also available on Windows and not Linux-only, but still, they make Linux a viable Windows alternative for many.

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Google rewards stupid behavior by extending Windows 7 Chrome support

Windows 10 was not a surprise, nor was the fact that support was ending for Windows 7. Both home and Enterprise users were well informed of Windows 7's impending doom and given ample time to upgrade or buy new machines. Guess what happened? Smart people left Windows 7 before support ended while stupid people did not.

Look, I hate name-calling, but anyone still on Windows 7 is, in fact, stupid. OK, I suppose they could instead be lazy or indifferent, but ultimately, it is stupid behavior to run an unsupported operating system -- especially for a business. And that's why it is very disappointing to learn Google is extending Chrome support for Windows 7.

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Early Black Friday Deal: Get a great Verizon 5G smartphone for only $120

I am currently testing the TCL 10 5G UW smartphone, and it is absolutely unreal how great it is for only $400. Not only do you get a huge 6.53-inch FHD+ display, but a Snapdragon 765 processor, 6GB RAM, 128GB storage (plus microSD slot), and an impressive 4500 mAh battery.

The phone comes pre-loaded with Android 10, but TCL promises an upgrade to Android 11 too. Hell, it even has a 3.5mm headphone jack. And yes, the cameras take excellent photos. This is seriously a lot of value for such a paltry price -- especially since it is compatible with Verizon's super-fast 5G UW network.

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TEAMGROUP launches T-FORCE ZEUS DDR4 gaming RAM for laptops and desktops

In ancient Greek mythology, Zeus was the god of thunder. With that said, "Zeus" makes a really cool product name for PC gaming components, as gamers are sure to enjoy the rumble of bass coming from their speakers as they set off bombs and fire guns in their favorite games.

And so, TEAMGROUP has selected the aforementioned god's name to represent its new DDR4 gaming memory. Called "T-FORCE ZEUS," there are sticks of RAM available for both desktop and laptop computers. Not only should they perform well, but they are quite attractive too. Keep in mind, while the SO-DIMM sticks are technically designed for laptops, they will also work with mini computers, such as the Intel NUC.

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Apple M1 Mac mini already discounted for holiday shopping -- a great Christmas gift!

Apple's new Mac computers have changed everything. These machines are powered by the company's own ARM-based "Apple Silicon" processor called "M1" instead of Intel's chips. You know what? The M1 is delighting both consumers and professional reviewers thanks to the excellent battery life and impressive performance. It's really exciting stuff, folks.

There are two new Mac laptops that are powered by the Apple M1 processor -- the MacBook Air and the 13-inch MacBook Pro. The Mac mini is the only desktop powered by the M1, and thanks to its lack of a display, it is incredibly affordable. Just how much is the new Mac mini? Well, it starts at only $699.

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Google Plex reinvents banking for regular folks

mobile banking

Banking is great for the bankers, but not so much for their customers. For many people, dealing with a bank can be a nightmare -- full of overdraft fees, poor service, and terrible location hours. Quite frankly, even the customers with huge balances aren't making out too good these days, as interest rates are almost non-existent.

And so, Google is looking to reinvent banking with a focus on regular folks -- the ones that aren't wealthy. Called "Plex," it is a special mobile-focused bank account coming in 2021 that does away with the predatory fees that seem to target middle- and lower-class people. These fees are why many people in America don't even have a bank account -- a sad reality. No, Google isn't becoming a bank with Plex -- it is instead partnering with several financial institutions to offer these accounts.

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Logitech G PRO X SUPERLIGHT wireless gaming mouse is shockingly light

The weather is finally getting colder -- do you know what that means? We computer nerds and PC gamers don't have to feel bad about staying indoors while playing on our computers. During the spring and summer, you can sometimes feel bad about playing video games all day instead of enjoying the weather. In the fall and winter, however, it is totally justified!

You know what else is in the winter? Holidays like Christmas and Hanukkah. This means you can ask friends and family to buy you new PC hardware as gifts. It is the perfect time to ask mom or dad for a new keyboard or mouse, for instance.

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