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Samsung's 49-inch mini-LED gaming monitor will sell for $2,500...
1 week ago
How much would you spend for a no-compromise mini-LED gaming monitor? Samsung thinks it has an answer. The company will start taking pre-orders for its long-teased Odyssey Neo G9 display on July 29th for $2,500. Yes, you could buy a nice PC for less than the cost of this curved, 49-inch beast — although you might have good reasons to buy this over smaller, flatter Odyssey screens.As you might have guessed, the use of mini-LED delivers very high contrast ratios for an LCD monitor. Samsung claims a black level of just 0.0004. However, you're also getting extremely bright HDR thanks to a peak brightness of 2,000 nits that makes many TVs seem dim by comparison. Customizable lighting effects help add to the flash.You should also see the same 5,120 x 1,440 resolution, 240Hz refresh rate and 1ms pixel response time from last year's Odyssey G9, not to mention connectivity that includes two HDMI ports, DisplayPort and a pair of USB 3.0 connections.You're clearly getting features that are hard to match. However, it's also apparent that Samsung is targeting a fairly narrow audience — The Neo G9 is meant for well-heeled gamers who want the most immersive non-VR experience possible. It could easily hit the sweet spot if you're in that demographic, but creative pros (and anyone on a budget) will probably want to look elsewhere.......
This week's best deals: $100 off Apple's iPad Air and more...
1 week ago
A bunch of gadgets went on sale this week, from Apple products to streaming devices. The latest iPad Air is $100 off at Amazon, bringing it down to an all-time low of $500. Plus, you can still grab a pair of AirPods Pro for $190 and this year's Apple TV 4K with 64GB of storage of $180. If you're more of a Roku person, many of the company's streaming gadgets are on sale — including the Roku Streambar, which is down to $99. And those looking for a new TV can save hundreds on some of the latest OLED sets from LG, Sony and Samsung in Best Buy's Black Friday in July sale. Here are the best tech deals we found this week that you can still get today.iPad AirDana Wollman/EngadgetThe latest iPad Air is down to the best price we've seen it, just $500 for the base model. That's $100 off its normal price and a great deal on what we think is the best iPad for most people. We gave the slab a score of 90 for its fast performance, speedy WiFi, healthy battery life and support for the second-generation Apple Pencil. Buy iPad Air (64GB) at Amazon - $500Buy iPad Air (256GB) at Amazon - $639Buy iPad Air (64GB, cellular) at Amazon - $629Buy iPad Air (256GB, cellular) at Amazon - $780Best Buy Black Friday in July saleLGBest Buy's Black Friday in July sale runs through this weekend and, while there are a bunch of gadgets on sale, OLED TVs stand out with some of the best prices. The retailer knocked hundreds of dollars off the latest LG OLED sets and you can also save on Sony and Samsung TVs, too.Shop Black Friday in July saleAirPods ProBilly Steele / EngadgetThe AirPods Pro are back on sale for $190, or $60 off their normal price. While not a record low, it's still one of the best sale prices we've seen all year. The AirPods Pro earned a score of 87 for their improved audio quality, comfortable fit, solid ANC and IPX4 water resistance.Buy AirPods Pro at Amazon - $19010.2-inch iPadApple's 10.2-inch iPad is still on sale for $299, or $30 off its normal price. It's arguably the best iPad for new tablet owners and we liked its improved performance, familiar design and support for the first-generation Apple Pencil.Buy 10.2-inch iPad at Amazon - $299MacBook Air M1The latest MacBook Air M1 is down to $899 at Amazon, or $100 off its regular price. It's one of the best laptops for most people, and the M1 chipset only makes it a better buy. The Air M1 earned a score of 94 from us for its incredibly fast performance, excellent keyboard and trackpad, good battery life and lack of fan noise.Buy MacBook Air M1 at Amazon - $899Apple TV 4K (64GB)Devindra Hardawar/EngadgetThe 2021 Apple TV 4K with 64GB of storage is nearly $20 off right now, bringing it down to $180. This deal represents a new record-low price on the set-top box, and it lets you get the extra-storage model for the original price of the base model. We gave the Apple TV 4K a score of 90 for its excellent new Siri remote, improved performance, HomeKit integration and support for Dolby Vision and Atmos.Buy Apple TV 4K (64GB) at Amazon - $180Roku saleValentina Palladino / EngadgetA bunch of Roku devices are on sale at Amazon, including the Roku Streambar, which is down to a record low of $99. This compact soundbar is a convenient gadget to get if you want to upgrade your home theater system without spending a ton of money. We gave it a score of 86 for its space-saving design, Dolby Audio support and built-in 4K streaming technology. If you want to spend even less, a handful of Roku streamers have been discounted, including the Express ($25) and the Streaming Stick+ ($39).Buy Roku Streambar at Amazon - $99Buy Roku Express at Amazon - $25Buy Roku Express 4K+ at Amazon - $29Buy Roku Streaming Stick+ at Amazon - $39Instant Pot Duo CrispThe Instant Pot Duo Crisp multi-cooker and air fryer is down to $98 at Amazon, or more than $50 off its normal price. You're getting 11 cooking modes with this appliance, including air fry, dehydrate, bake, broil and more, plus most of the accessories needed to try out all of the presets. While we have seen this model on sale for $79 around Black Friday, this is the best price we've seen on Amazon all year.Buy Instant Pot Duo Crisp at Amazon - $98ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4The Thermapen Mk4 has been discounts to $69 as ThermoWorks makes room for the new Thermapen One thermometer. The Mk4 is the best instant-read thermometer we've used so far —the backlit display makes it easy to read in almost any situation and the display rotates depending on how you're holding the pen. Plus, you never have to remember to turn it off because the pen automatically turns on when you pick it up and will shut off after some time of no use.Buy Thermapen Mk4 at ThermoWorks - $69Virgin Galactic sweepstakesIn Omaze's latest giveaway, you can win two seats on one of the first Virgin Galactic flights to space. In addition, you'll go on a tour of Spaceport America in New Mexico with Richard Branson. You don't have to pay to enter, but funds from all paid entries will support Space for Humanity, an organization that hopes to make space more accessible for all.Enter to win at OmazeGaming PC sweepstakesOmaze is giving away another $20,000 to build your ultimate gaming PC. This sweepstakes is free to enter, but funds donated with purchased entries will benefit Schools on Wheels, an organization that provides free tutoring and mentoring services to children experiencing homelessness across Southern California.Enter to win at OmazePricing and availability is subject to change. No donation or payment necessary to enter or win this sweepstakes.See official rules on Omaze.New tech dealsMirrorMirror's summer sale knocks $400 off its high-tech fitness system when using the code JULY400 at checkout. The discount breaks down to $150 off the mirror device itself, plus free delivery and installation. Just know that the sale is only on the product itself, not on the subscription needed to take the Mirror's fitness classes.Buy Mirror - $1,345Eufy SpaceView Pro baby monitorEufy's SpaceView Pro baby monitor kit is down to $130, or $40 off its normal price. It comes with one camera that's capable of shooting 720p video, and one video receiver that lets you see what your kid's up to at all times. In addition to the camera's 330-degree pan and 110-degree tilt capabilities, we also appreciate the display's 12-hour battery life when kept on.Buy SpaceView Pro at Amazon - $130Fitbit Charge 4Fitbit's Charge 4 tracker is back down to its record-low price of $100. If the smartwatch life isn't for you, this might be a good fit because it does a good job marrying fitness tracking with handy smart features. We gave it a score of 82 for its accurate built-in GPS, standard Fitbit Pay and multi-day battery life.Buy Charge 4 at Amazon - $100Arturia Destination: Sound saleArturia has knocks 50 percent off all of its individual software titles through August 8. That means you can get some of our favorite music software, including Pigments and Analog Labs, for $99 each. This is a good opportunity to add new synths and other software instruments to your collection for less.Shop Arturia saleBoard gamesA number of our favorite board games are on sale at Amazon, including Codenames for $11 and Star Wars: Outer Rim for $43. While you may be spending more time out of the house this summer, now's a good time to stock up on some new games to get you through the colder fall and winter months.Buy Codenames at Amazon - $11Buy Star Wars: Outer Rim at Amazon - $43NordVPNOne of our recommended VPNs is running a good sale on a two-year subscription. You can sign up for NordVPN for only $89 for the first two years, which comes out to $44.50 per year — and an additional summer promotion adds three free months on top of that. We like NordVPN for its speed, its no-logs policy, the thousands of servers it has to choose from and that one account supports up to six connected devices.Sign up for NordVPN (two years) - $89Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.......
Best Buy's 'Black Friday in July' sale knocks hundreds off OLED TVs from Sony, LG...
1 week ago
While it's a bit early to be thinking about the holidays, retailers jump on the opportunity to remind us that we're six months out from the festivities. Black Friday in July sales have been ongoing this month, but Best Buy's just began and will run through this weekend. A plethora of gadgets have been discounted across the site, but there are a number of sales on TVs that are worth highlighting. Best Buy slashed hundreds off TVs big and small, including some of the latest OLED sets from LG, Sony and Samsung. Amazon's matching many of the deals, too, so you have options when it comes to where you spend your money. Here are the best smart TV deals we found in Best Buy's Black Friday in July sale.55-inch LG A1 OLED 4K TVLGThe latest LG OLED lineup just became available a few months ago and now you can grab the 55-inch A1 model for $1,300. The A1 series is the most affordable of the bunch, making these sets good options for anyone looking to upgrade to OLED while on a tight budget.Buy 55-inch LG A1 OLED at Best Buy - $1,300Buy 55-inch LG A1 OLED at Amazon - $1,30055-inch LG C1 OLED 4K TVLGThe 55-inch, mid-tier LG C1 OLED TV is down to $1,500, or $300 off its normal price. It uses LG's a9 Gen4 AI Processor 4K and supports HDMI 2.1, G-SYNC and FreeSync for gaming and voice commands using Alexa or the Google Assistant. Buy 55-inch LG C1 OLED at Best Buy - $1,500Buy 55-inch LG C1 OLED at Amazon - $1,50048-inch Sony Bravia A9S OLED 4K TVSonySony's 48-inch Bravia A9S OLED TV has been discounted by $300, bringing it down to $1,500. It runs on the company's Processor X1 Ultimate and supports HDR and Dolby Vision, Acoustic Surface Audio, X-Motion Clarity technology, AirPlay 2 and more.Buy 48-inch Sony Bravia A9S OLED at Best Buy - $1,500Buy 48-inch Sony Bravia A9S OLED at Amazon - $1,50055-inch LG GX OLED 4K TVLGLast year's flagship LG GX OLED TV is on sale for $1,500 for the 55-inch mode, or $500 off its normal price. While the latest G1 flagship is also on sale (see below), it'll set you back an additional $500. If you can deal with a slightly older processor and fewer bells and whistles, this remains a solid OLED set to invest in.Buy 55-inch LG GX OLED at Best Buy - $1,500Buy 55-inch LG GX OLED at Amazon - $1,50082-inch Samsung Q60T LED 4K TVSamsungThis massive 82-inch Samsung Q60T smart TV is on sale for $1,580, or $420 off its regular price. You're getting Quantum Dot technology here with HDR support, a refresh rate up to 60Hz, Game Enhancer for a better gaming experience and support for multiple voice assistants including Alexa and the Google Assistant.Buy 82-inch Samsung Q60T LED at Best Buy - $1,58055-inch Sony Bravia XR A80J OLED 4K TVSonyOne of Sony's premium OLED TVs, the 55-inch Bravia XR A80J set, is down to $1,800 in this sale, or $500 off its normal price. It packs most of Sony's best TV technology into one set, including the Cognitive Processor XR, HDMI 2.1 support, 4K upscaling, XR Motion Clarity and improved sound with Acoustic Surface Audio+ and built-in subwoofers. It also runs the Google TV operating system, so you can call upon the Assistant for all your entertainment needs.Buy 55-inch Sony Bravia XR A80J OLED at Best Buy - $1,800Buy 55-inch Sony Bravia XR A80J OLED at Amazon - $1,80065-inch Samsung The Frame LED 4K TVSamsungThe 65-inch The Frame set from Samsung is down to $1,700, or $300 less than normal. This is the TV to get if you'd prefer to look at something more interesting than a black box when not actually watching a TV show or movie. Its art mode lets you select art to display on the screen whenever you want, and it also supports 4K AI upscaling and truer colors using Quantum Dot technology.Buy 65-inch Samsung The Frame LED at Best Buy - $1,700Buy 65-inch Samsung The Frame LED at Amazon - $1,70055-inch LG G1 OLED evo 4K TVLGA 55-inch LG G1 OLED TV will set you back $2,000 if you grab it during this sale, saving you $200 off its normal price. It's part of the "gallery" series and it uses OLED evo panel technology, which provides better brightness and clearer whites than standard OLED displays. It also runs on LG's a9 Gen4 AI Processor 4K and supports features like G-SYNC, FreeSync, OLED Motion Pro and voice commands via Alexa and the Google Assistant.Buy 55-inch LG G1 OLED at Best Buy - $2,000Buy 55-inch LG G1 OLED at Amazon - $2,00075-inch Samsung Q900TS 8K TVSamsungIf you're keen on investing in an 8K TV, this 75-inch Samsung Q900T QLED 8K set is $1,500 off, bringing it down to $3,000. It includes Quantum HDR 32X, precisely controlled LED backlights and 8K AI upscaling. Just keep in mind that there isn't a ton of 8K content available just yet, so it may be a while before you experience the full benefits of this smart TV.Buy 75-inch Samsung Q900TS at Best Buy - $3,000Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.......
Peter Bart: Viewers Liberated From Their Home Screens Post-Lockdown, But What To Watch Next?...
1 week ago
As a small boy I remember the media cloud that suddenly descended on our household. My father was outraged: Everyone we knew was installing their new TVs and abandoning their radios. Jackie Gleason on the Dumont Network was instantly compulsory viewing. Gleason? Dumont? His outrage today is likely being replayed amid the post-pandemic confusion. The […]......
Verizon's Fios TV app comes to Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV this week...
1 week ago
Verizon (Engadget’s parent company) is expanding the availability of its Fios app. In an announcement spotted by 9to5Mac, the carrier said starting tomorrow, July 22nd, Fios customers can download the software to their Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV devices. In the former case, that includes both the 4K and HD models.You’ll still need a Fios TV One somewhere in your home before you can access the app on those devices, but it saves you the trouble of paying for additional hardware from the carrier if you want to use your TV bundle on more than one television."Parents can watch live sports events on the Fios box in the living room while kids watch cartoons and teens watch comedies on connected TVs in their bedrooms," said Verizon. "With Fios TV One enabling more flexibility, Fios TV users can more easily place TVs in the kitchen, on the back patio or other areas of the house."The one limitation is that you can only watch two simultaneous streams per Fios TV box, but a Fios TV One device is now included with all of Verizon’s Mix and Match TV plans. Those currently start at $56 per month before taxes and equipment fees.......
The 8 best cheap hotels in San Francisco that cost less than $200 a night...
1 week ago
Summary List Placement Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky San Francisco is home to a world-famous skyline, the Golden Gate Bridge, stunning parks, an exciting food and arts scene, and is a major seat of tech. It also happens to be one of the most expensive cities in America. As such, San Francisco is also, unsurprisingly, home to many expensive hotels. Though don't let that deter you from visiting. There is an enticing array of cheap properties too. You just need to know where to look. Some of our top hotel picks in the city effortlessly merge convenience with comfort, clever design details, high-tech touches, and affordable prices. The best affordable San Francisco hotels were selected based on the following criteria: As a former resident of San Francisco, I'm personally familiar with many hotels on this list. Hotels are located throughout the city of San Francisco, with a focus on districts appealing to business or leisure travelers. Each has a Trip Advisor rating of "Very Good" or above with a substantial number of reviews and is highly rated on other trusted traveler platforms like Booking.com. All hotels on our list begin under $200 for off-peak dates. Several are closer to $100, providing excellent value. However, these are subject to be higher at busy times of the year. In addition to location, we selected properties with standout amenities like design, pools, restaurants, and other features attractive to travelers. Each hotel promotes rigorous COVID-19 policies and protocols to reassure and protect guests. Browse all the best cheap hotels below, or jump directly to a specific area here: The best affordable hotels in San Francisco FAQ: Cheap San Francisco hotels More of the best hotels in California These are the best cheap hotels in San Francisco, sorted by price from low to high.Yotel San Francisco Book Yotel San Francisco Category: Budget Neighborhood: Mid-Market Typical starting/peak prices: $88/$273 Best for: Groups of friends, solo travelers, remote workers On-site Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, flexible meeting space, Komyuniti social space Pros: Yotel is built on the cool, modern concept of self-service and convenient, modern, and airy rooms. The location is super walkable. Cons: With accommodations starting small and sparse, this kind of hotel won't feel right for everyone, so assess your needs and preferences before booking (and note the room types). Yotel has 203 rooms known as "cabins" with a substantial range of options to suit various budgets. Located on Market Street, the location is fantastic to explore the city. Located within San Francisco's famous Grant Building (which survived both the 1906 and 1989 earthquakes), the hotel design takes its cues from air travel, with the idea to keep everything close and convenient, such as airline-style self-service check-in kiosks. All cabins (the guest rooms) have smart TVs so you can connect your own devices and stream content, plus there is ample place for charging devices. We like the ability to customize rooms as guests can create their personal vibe through tailored mood lighting and adjustable memory foam beds. The rainfall showers are also a luxe touch. The hotel is also home to Yotel's signature Komyuniti Lounge concept, designed with spaces to co-work and socialize. COVID-19 procedures are available here. Cow Hollow Inn and Suites Book Cow Hollow Inn and Suites Category: Budget Neighborhood: Marina District Typical starting/peak prices: $108/$189 Best for: Couples, solo travelers, business travelers On-site Amenities: Serta iComfort beds, in-room work areas, Wi-Fi Pros: Rooms are comfortable, clean, and large, and reviewers love this hotel's central location. Cons: Rooms are basic and charming, but not luxurious or modern feeling. Cow Hollow Inn and Suites is a centrally located hotel near San Francisco's quaint Cow Hollow district, which is just over a mile to Fisherman's Wharf and only slightly farther to Pier 39. Comfortable and clean, rooms have a well-lit seating and work area with free internet, both wired and wireless. Covered parking is also complimentary, which is a rarity for this city and packs significant added value. Travelers love the well-maintained and noticeably large (even surprisingly so) rooms here, with coffee and tea-making facilities and large TVs. The location is also a prime one. Walk to the Palace of Fine Arts in 15 minutes, and easily reach many bars, restaurants, and other tourist-friendly attractions in a short walk. COVID-19 procedures are available here. The Inn at Union Square The Inn at Union Square Category: Boutique Neighborhood: Union Square Typical starting/peak prices: $111/$177 Best for: Business travelers, families, couples, groups of friends, solo travelers On-site amenities: Business center, mini fridges, contactless check-in, robes, high-speed Wi-Fi Pros: Location, location, location. Explore the city on foot from this Union Square location, where rooms are elegant and value-priced. Cons: The hotel is small, from the rooms to the common spaces. The front desk is not hosted around the clock. These boutique features won't appeal to travelers seeking a grander space and amenities. This boutique hotel is located in the heart of Union Square, situated perfectly for sightseeing and business travel alike, with a highly walkable location. All stays are contactless, with a virtual check-in process and a keyless entry system. The Inn at Union Square San Francisco has 30 hotel rooms and suites, all with high-quality bedding, comfortable pillow-top mattresses, and dark wood furnishings. The decor is sophisticated, with framed wall hangings and elegantly striped wallpaper. Here, you'll also get high-speed wireless internet, flat screen TVs, and spa-like robes. COVID-19 procedures are available here. Hotel Zeppelin Book Hotel Zeppelin Category: Boutique Neighborhood: Union Square Typical starting/peak prices: $128/$298 Best for: Groups of friends, couples, solo travelers On-site Amenities: Rambler restaurant and The Mantel Bar (both temporarily closed), fitness center, meeting and event space. Pros: Reviewers love the bohemian vibe and the convenience of staying in an extremely walkable location. Cons: Critics complain of spotty customer service, as well as concerns about noise. Hotel Zeppelin is a Union Square property that serves as a nod to the city's spirit of rebellion and counterculture and the whole place embraces an avant-garde look and feel. Starting at about 200 square feet, standard guest rooms have sleek black headboards, John Boos 36-inch work desks, blackout shades, luxurious bath amenities from ROIL, and complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi. Suites include vinyl on vintage turntables for an atmospheric touch. Dining and drinking options include Rambler restaurant, offering California fare made with locally sourced ingredients, which is located in the space formerly occupied by Wolfgang Puck's city institution, Postrio. The Mantel Bar is an intimate lounge near the lobby's fireplace, just right for gathering with groups or a date. An array of formal meeting spaces are also available, ranging up to 4,000 square feet. COVID-19 procedures are available here. Hotel Del Sol Book Hotel Del Sol Category: Boutique Neighborhood: Marina District Typical starting/peak prices: $139/$264 Best for: Solo travelers, couples, families On-site Amenities: Heated pool, grab-and-go continental breakfast box Pros: Hotel Del Sol is located in a generally expensive, desirable location and the affordable rates feel like a true secret. Service is excellent and guests may walk to Union Street and Chestnut Street shops in five minutes, or the Golden Gate Bridge running and bike path in 15 minutes. Cons: Critics note noise bleed through thin walls, and some dated details throughout the hotel as well. Hotel Del Sol is a member of Joie de Vivre, the boutique line from World of Hyatt. It's a charming, well-appointed stay from a trusted brand with the chance to earn loyalty points, too, and an easy walk to the buzzy bars, shops, and restaurants of the tourist-friendly Marina District. Once a midcentury modern motor lodge, this hotel has been transformed to offer boutique amenities and service. Guest rooms are spacious, bright, and airy with orange-painted walls that feel like a California beach house, plush beds, and cheerful decor. Indeed, we're a fan of the bright and whimsical, modern concept decor such as palm trees, hammocks, and the colorful lounge furnishings that dot the pool area in the courtyard. The affordable price point also includes Wi-Fi, daily breakfast, and fun guest perks such as milk and cookies that are served each afternoon in the lobby. COVID-19 procedures are available here. Stanford Court Book Stanford Court Category: Boutique Neighborhood: Nob Hill Typical starting/peak prices: $144/$282 Best for: Couples, families, groups of friends, solo travelers On-site Amenities: fitness center, morning coffee and tea, use of bikes and e-bikes, press reader, business center Pros: Travelers love Stanford Court's tech touches, spacious rooms, and the convenient location that makes for a prime base to explore the city on foot. Cons: When you're budgeting your trip, consider the resort fee here, which will add $30 to your stay per night. Valet parking is $60. The 400-room Stanford Court hotel is meant to meet the needs of the digital-age traveler in a city known for tech innovation. A recent multi-million dollar renovation revamped the lobby, cafe, bar, porte-cochere, and fitness center. Look for a new modern color scheme and cool graphics, with design nods to the building's history. There's a high-tech fitness center with Peloton bikes, Hydrow rowing machines, virtual personal training, and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the only intersection of San Francisco's famous cable car lines. Other amenities include a tech loaner program, digital art installations featuring artwork by local artists, a Nod Hill sleep menu, a lobby lending library stocked with books on California and San Francisco, and a music room with vinyl from local bands and artists. Entry-level rooms begin at 220 square feet and have 49-inch HD televisions with HDMI and USB Ports, USB outlets, and a mini-fridge. COVID-19 procedures are available here. Orchard Garden Book Orchard Garden Category: Budget Neighborhood: Downtown Typical starting/peak prices: $157/$329 Best for: Business travelers, families, couples, groups of friends, solo travelers On-site Amenities: Roots Restaurant, rooftop terrace, meeting space, complimentary Wi-Fi, business center, cardio studio Pros: Reviewers appreciate this hotel's consistently personal and attentive service, as well as the extremely convenient location in the heart of the city. Orchard Garden is LEED-certified. Cons: Rooms are basic rather than opulent, and this hotel offers value without all the frills of pricier options. The Orchard Garden Hotel is an eco-friendly hotel with LEED and Green Seal certifications for environmentally conscious — and budget-minded — travelers. Located near the Financial District, Union Square shops, and many museums and attractions, Orchard Garden is well-loved for its central location and reasonable pricing that includes breakfast with all room rates. Service feels personalized, offering friendly details such as flexible check-in times, pending availability. Standard rooms start around 230 square feet, and junior suites have about 374 square feet with a separate sofa. Roots Restaurant is open for breakfast daily, and also hosts meetings and events. Or hit the hotel's rooftop terrace for views of the famed San Francisco skyline. COVID-19 procedures are available here. Phoenix Hotel Book Phoenix Hotel Category: Boutique Neighborhood: Tenderloin Typical starting/peak prices: $189/$349 Best for: Couples, solo travelers, groups of friends On-site Amenities: Pool, restaurant, complimentary coffee and tea Pros: Phoenix Hotel is known for being a cool destination in San Francisco, and the fun pool area is a hip spot for visitors and locals alike to hang out. Cons: Don't expect to get around the city on foot much from here. You'll likely need to rely on rideshare. Or bring your car; uncommon in San Francisco, but parking is free (one car per room). Located in the Tenderloin District, the Phoenix is known for being a fun, lively destination especially popular among creatives. It's a 10 minutes walk from the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium and caters to a musical crowd with a distinctly rock-n-roll atmosphere. There are only 44 rooms so there is also a strong boutique feel with rooms exuding vintage details like retro phones, midcentury modern furniture, and vibrant graphic artworks. Updated modern conveniences also include 42-inch flat-screen TVs with DirecTV and film channels. Mostly, Phoenix Hotel is known for its pool scene (when San Francisco's notoriously chilly weather permits), which I've frequented many times with friends. There's even a mural from a local artist in the pool. Guests also receive complimentary passes to the Kabuki Springs & Spa on weekdays, which is a San Francisco institution and offers an additional boon in value on top of the already cheap price. COVID-19 procedures are available here. FAQ: Cheap San Francisco hotels Are hotels open in San Francisco? Yes, the state of California fully reopened on June 15, 2021. Where should I stay when visiting San Francisco? San Francisco is a seven-by-seven-mile region, so you'll never be too far from any attraction as the crow flies. Sightseers might want to stay around the Embarcadero, Union Square, or along Market Street, highly walkable locations where public transportation is also abundant and frequent. Areas like Hayes Valley and North Beach are popular for shops and dining. The Castro is especially desirable for LBGTQ travelers, with a historic, trend-setting, and lively gay community and event calendar. What should I avoid in San Francisco? San Francisco has a substantial homelessness problem; there are currently about 8,000 unhoused people living in the small geographic area. Some of the associated issues — drug addiction, and yes excrement on the streets — are well known to locals, but may surprise visitors to a city with so much wealth. Traffic is also a major problem throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and locals take pains to avoid rush-hour traffic patterns and event traffic such as related to ballgames and parades. How much does it cost to stay at a hotel in San Francisco? As the seat of much of the country's tech money, the San Francisco Bay Area and its environs are notoriously expensive across the board, from the cost of living to hotel stays. While there are many pricey hotels in the city — ranging upwards of $1,000 and more — there are plenty of appealing, budget-friendly options on our list in the range of $200 and under. When's the best time to visit San Francisco? Maybe you've heard the quote attributed to Mark Twain: "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco." That is to say, it's often cool and breezy in San Francisco at any time of year. Be prepared and always bring layers. It may surprise some visitors that the fall months offer some of the warmest temperatures in the city, and crowds are thinner, too. Is it safe to stay in a hotel? The CDC's current guidance advises that fully vaccinated people can safely travel domestically. Hotels by their very nature provide opportunities for face-to-face encounters with staff and other guests in common spaces like check-in desks, lobbies, and dining venues. Still, experts say guests who exercise proper precautions can stay safely in hotels. Of course, no travel is completely without risk and we recommend following CDC guidelines as well as all applicable local protocols. More of the best hotels in California The best hotels in Los Angeles The best cheap hotels in Los Angeles The best beach hotels in Los Angeles The best boutique hotels in Los Angeles The best hotels in Santa Barbara The best hotels near Disneyland The best hotels in San Diego The best hotels in Palm Springs The best beach hotels in California The best hotels in Lake Tahoe......
Sony's latest flagship soundbar offers Dolby Atmos and 360 Reality Audio...
1 week ago
At CES 2020, Sony demoed its 360 Reality Audio (360RA) technology on a home theater setup like you would put in your living room. The in-booth layout included a soundbar, subwoofer and two rear satellite speakers. Today, the company announced the first gear that will allow you to actually create something similar at home. The company's new HT-A7000 flagship soundbar offers Dolby Atmos in addition to 360RA and the option to tack on sub and/or extra speakers can accommodate any space. If you're not so much into soundbars but still want the sensation of immersive audio, Sony also introduced the HT-A9: a set of four speakers and a control box equipped with new 360 Spatial Sound Mapping tech. The HT-A7000 is a 7.1.2-channel soundbar packed with Sony's X-balanced speakers, side beam tweeters, up-firing drivers for Dolby Atmos and dual subwoofers. Thanks to a Virtual Surround Engine (overhead) and S-Force Pro Front Surround (horizontal), the A7000 can simulate immersive audio on its own so you can take advantage of DTS:X in addition to Atmos. The soundbar is equipped with Sound Field Optimization that uses built-in microphones to calibrate the speaker to a room by detecting the height and width of the space as well as the position of a wireless subwoofer and any rear speakers. When it comes to music, the A7000 accommodates High-Resolution Audio and 360 Reality Audio. In fact, this is the first Sony soundbar to support 360RA and just the third speaker from the company to do so. The A7000 also has Sony's DSEE Extreme technology that Sony has leveraged for its headphones. That feature restores some of the compression from streaming services in real time, giving you something akin to lossless audio without the massive file sizes or the need for a wired setup. In terms of connectivity, the A7000 has HDMI 2.1 with eARC and both 8K and 4K/120fps passthrough — plus Dolby Vision support. The soundbar works with Chromecast, AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect, so you have options when it comes to streaming music from your phone or another device. When used with compatible Bravia TVs, the A7000 works with Sony's Acoustic Center Sync that allows you to employ your television's speakers as additional center audio for things like speech clarity. The new soundbar can be controlled by a Google Assistant device at launch and Sony plans to add Alexa compatibility in a future update. Lastly, the company says optional wireless subwoofers and rear speakers will connect automatically to the A7000 when you power them on. Unlike the HT-ST5000 that it's replacing, the HT-A7000 soundbar doesn't come with a subwoofer. Sony says it unbundled the pairing based on customer feedback. Some people wanted the company's top-of-the-line soundbar, but they weren't necessarily interested in the sub. It's a beast in terms of both size and sound, so it's not ideal for apartments on any room where space is limited. Instead, Sony is offering two subwoofer options — the SA-SW5 and SA-SW3 — along with a pair of rear satellite speakers (SA-RS3S) as separate purchases. All of the add-ons connect to the HT-A7000 wirelessly, with the SW5 offering 300 watts of low-end tone via a 7-inch driver and the SW3 packing 200 watts of bass with a 6-inch speaker. With the A9 "home theater system," four cylindrical speakers offer what Sony describes as a "flexible layout" option that's meant to blend in with your living room decor. Thanks to Sound Field Optimization and built-in mics, the A9 can calibrate itself to any space — just like the tech does for the A7000. A key difference here is that the A9 is also equipped with Sony's new 360 Spatial Sound Mapping Technology. This feature not only lets you place the four units as you see fit, but it also offers a broad soundstage the company says is more immersive than "traditional" soundbars. Sony explains that the A9 gives users the sensation that the audio is "coming from beyond their walls" by creating up to 12 "phantom" speakers with just the four units. Of course, this is something we'll have to put the test to double-check the claim. Each speaker houses X-balanced front and up-firing speakers along with a tweeter and bass duct. The four devices connect wirelessly to a control box that has HDMI in/out (eARC output) with 8K and 4K/120 passthrough alongside Dolby Vision. The A9 is compatible with immersive formats like Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, 360 Reality Audio and High-Resolution Audio. It also works with Chromecast, AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect and you can leverage voice control by pairing the set of speakers with a Google Assistant (at launch) or Alexa (via future update) device. If you need a boost in the center channel, you can use the A9 with compatible Bravia TVs and Sony's Acoustic Center Sync to employ the speakers from the display. Lastly, both of Sony's new subwoofers can be paired with the A9 speakers for fuller sound.All of Sony's new home theater gear is set to arrive in "September/October," according to the company. The HT-A7000 soundbar is $1,300 while the HT-A9 speaker set is $1,800. The SA-SW5 and SA-SW3 subwoofers are $700 and $400 respectively, while the SA-RS3S satellite speakers are $350. That means if you're expecting to grab a complete setup with the A7000, a soundbar and rear speakers, you'll need to hand over at least $2,050.......
The best budget TVs and streaming gadgets for students...
1 week ago
Dear students, you can do better than watching movies on your laptop in bed. If you want to truly be immersed in a film (or game, or TV show), nothing beats a large TV. And it turns out, you don't have to invest thousands to get started with a decent dorm entertainment system. LCD sets and streaming devices are cheaper than ever. So save that notebook for schoolwork — consider these inexpensive ways to upgrade your movie watching experience.TVs for smaller spaces43-inch TCL 4 Series Roku TVWill Lipman Photography / TCLA Roku TV is one of the easiest ways to just start streaming movies and TV, making them ideal for most students. This 4-series TCL model sports a 4K screen (with upscaling from lower-res sources) and HDR, for better dynamic range. But best of all, you can usually find it for around $300. It's not the most feature-packed TCL Roku TV (the 5-series is around $100 more and adds Dolby Vision), but it's one of the best options around for its price. And at 43-inches, it's small enough to fit in most dorm rooms, while also offering enough screen space to immerse you in a film.Buy 42-inch TCL 4 Series Roku TV at Amazon - $34832-inch Vizio D-SeriesWill Lipman Photography / VizioThe “D” in Vizio's D-series sets might as well stand for "dirt cheap." But this 32-inch model is still pretty impressive for the price. It has full-array LED backlighting, Vizio's streaming channels, and it supports Google Chromecast and Apple AirPlay. Plus, judging from the reviews, it doesn't look too bad either, even if it is limited to a 1,366 by 768 resolution. It's a solid option for very small spaces.Buy 32-inch Vizio D-series smart TV at Best Buy - $219Bigger and better TVs50-inch Vizio M-Series QuantumWill Lipman Photography / VizioIf you want a 50-inch screen that looks fantastic, but doesn't break the bank, it's hard to do better than Vizio's M-Series Quantum sets. They're infused with quantum dots, for more robust color reproduction; they offer full-array backlighting, for better contrast and black levels; and they're equipped with AMD's FreeSync technology to smooth out gameplay. The M-series also features Dolby Vision HDR and support for Chromecast and AirPlay 2, so you can cast video from most smartphones. With slim bezels along three sides, the M-series also looks far more premium than other cheap TVs.Buy 50-inch Vizio M-series at Best Buy - $42950-inch Samsung Class CrystalSamsungAnother solid option for a larger set, Samsung's Class Crystal TVs feature the company's Crystal 4K processor, which is focused on delivering solid image quality at a budget price. It doesn't have Dolby Vision or quantum dots, so in general we'd recommend the Vizio M-series over this model. But, Samsung's hardware does look a bit nicer, so it may be a better option if you value aesthetics over function.Buy 50-inch Samsung Class Crystal TV at Best Buy - $479Must-have streaming accessoriesChromecast with Google TVWill Lipman Photography for EngadgetIf you're a heavy Google user, there's no better streaming device than the Chromecast with Google TV. Unlike previous versions of Google's puck, it has an interface of its own, along with a suite of streaming apps to choose from. And yes, you can still cast video from Android devices or the Chrome browser. The Chromecast is a great option if you're buying a cheaper TV, though be sure to check if your set already has Chromecast streaming built-in.Buy Chromecast with Google TV at Best Buy - $50Roku Streaming Stick+Will Lipman Photography for EngadgetIf you already have an older TV, or you just want something a bit zippier than your set's onboard apps, Roku's Streaming Stick+ is worth snapping up. It's just $50 (and often less), supports 4K/HDR, and it gives you access to Roku's entire app library. Best of all, though, it's so tiny you can easily bring it along when you're traveling. The Streaming Stick+ also supports Apple AirPlay, giving you a way to cast video from iOS devices and Macs. Roku's bundled voice remote also makes it easy to search for things to watch without pecking away at a keyboard.Buy Roku Streaming Stick+ at Amazon - $50Roku StreambarWill Lipman Photography for EngadgetThe Streambar is an unusual device. It's both a decent soundbar and a media streaming box. That's just so Roku. Honestly, if you're picking up a TV, you should really consider a soundbar of some kind (we have a whole guide dedicated to that). But we're recommending the Streambar here because it's a relatively simple and inexpensive solution that solves two common pain points: Getting streaming apps and better sound. It's also a nice thing to have around to play a bit of music when you're not watching anything. (For even bigger sound, consider the slightly more expensive Streambar Pro.)Buy Roku Streambar at Amazon - $129......
The Morning After: The best laptops for students going back to school...
1 week ago
It’s another strange and unusual year for students, but it’s time to start preparing for another one, and our team has been picking out the best PCs and other tech to make academic life a little easier. Our 2021 Back To School guide kicks off with our guide to the best laptops for students, as well as a guide to more humbly priced gadgets and things for under $50.Will Lipman Photography for EngadgetI don’t want to spoil everything, but we’ll cover budget TVs for college students, educational toys for younger learners and even the best student discounts we’ve found for 2021.— Mat SmithWarby Parker's vision test app can help renew your glasses prescriptionYou might not need to visit a clinic.Warby ParkerWarby Parker is turning its Prescription Check app into the Virtual Vision Test, and it’ll offer a way to renew your glasses or contact lens prescription using only an iPhone and your existing eyewear. Prop up your phone, stand 10 feet away and you can walk through a familiar "can you read this" test that will gauge whether or not your glasses or contacts need updating. Continue reading.PS4 'crypto farm' reportedly used bots to grind in-game FIFA currencyInstead of crypto, the consoles were mining FIFA Ultimate Team accounts for profit.You might recall that crypto farm bust last week in the Ukraine, where thousands of PS4s were rigged to run on stolen electricity. Well, according to local news outlet Delo, it wasn’t crypto but FIFA the machines were churning through. PCs were running bots on the consoles to play FIFA and automatically earn in-game currency. Although buying or selling FIFA coins with real money is against EA policies, that hasn't stopped a thriving black market for the digital currency. One site offers PS4 FIFA 21 account with 5.1 million coins for $300.Illegal third-party sellers aren’t the only ones making bank. Last year, EA made $1.62 billion from the Ultimate Team franchise, which accounted for 29 percent of its net revenue for the fiscal year. "A substantial portion" of that revenue came from FIFA games. Continue reading.Apple launches iOS 14.7 with support for its new MagSafe Battery PackAnd you can merge two Apple Cards into a co-managed account.AppleThe latest version of iOS 14 adds a few useful but relatively minor features, such as support for the new MagSafe Battery Pack on iPhone 12. There's an option to merge two Apple Cards into a co-owned account with a combined credit limit.There's also a new filter in the Podcasts library that allows you to see all shows or only the ones you follow. Oh, and did I mention you can subscribe to this very newsletter in its audio form right here? Continue reading.CNN+ will offer live and on-demand content in early 2022The new service will include original shows and movies.CNN has unveiled its rumored streaming service and says it will offer a blend of live and on-demand shows that are "separate and distinct" from its existing TV coverage. It will debut sometime in the first quarter of 2022. While CNN hasn't narrowed down the price, lead executive Andrew Morse told Variety there wouldn't be an ad-supported tier at launch. Continue reading.But wait, there’s more...WhatsApp now lets you join in-progress group callsAndroid TV gets new Google TV featuresA robot collision sparked a fire at the UK's top online grocerTencent to buy British video game studio Sumo for $1.27 billionNVIDIA shows 'Wolfenstein: Youngblood' with RTX ray-tracing on ARMEngadget Deals: Apple's latest iPad Airs fall to all-time lows at Amazon......