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Entertainment From The Editors Top 5

San Diego Comic-Con International 2018: Top 5 Exclusives

The on-going San Diego Comic-Con International (SDCC), better known simply as Comic-Con, kicked off on July 18 and is scheduled to last until July 22.

Needless to say, there’s a lot happening in and around the San Diego Convention Center, with so much to see, and do, and absorb – from cosplays, show floor, and panels to anime, athletes and whatever; not to forget all the cool exclusives that find their way into the SDCC booths for you to splurge on.

While the well-stocked booths at the convention have an eye on your hard-earned money, it’s definitely in your interest to buy all your collectibles from them rather than pay many times over for the same stuff on eBay.

Not that it’s going to be a walk in the park to get your hands on some of those hotly anticipated products making their debut at this year’s Con.

There’s always a mad race among potential buyers to grab their choice items as quickly as possible before they run out of stock.

So, competition is fierce but, again, it’s all part of the fun and festivities that are synonymous with an SDCC event – the biggest pop culture festival on the planet.

This year, however, certain conditions were put in place for high demand signings, exclusives, and booth access, in order to bring some method to the madness.

You were required to first enter a Comic-Con online lottery system, put up weeks ahead of the event, to win a ticket guaranteeing you access to a booth and the right to purchase an exclusive of your choice.

Those not selected are trying to console themselves at numerous other booths on the show floor, selling outrageously-priced stuff that are not-so-hot anymore; but, then, that’s the way the cookie crumbles, correct?

While there’s ever something new to do or see at a Comic-Con, checking out the exclusives is definitely one of the most enjoyable activities that a large majority of the event’s fans look forward to.

So, here are the top 5 exclusives from Comic-Con 2018 for you to check out.

Funko POP! Thirteenth Doctor

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How long will the Funko POP! craze last?

Is the Funko POP! bubble going to burst anytime soon?

These are questions best left to the toy intellectuals to debate over and find answers to, because fans of the vinyl toy line don’t, really, give a damn.

All they care about is getting their hands on some of the company’s latest Comic-Con offerings, including the toy lookalike of Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor, which is one of our favorites.

Here’s a video Funko posted on Twitter to give you a glimpse of the company’s Disney exclusives.

Doctor Who: Road to the Thirteenth Doctor: The Tenth Doctor #1

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The first full trailer for Jodie Whittaker’s first season of “Doctor Who” was one of this year’s most looked forward to Comic-Con events.

The debut issue of “Doctor Who: Road to the Thirteenth Doctor: The Tenth Doctor” is being sold at the Titan Comics booth with a convention-exclusive cover from well-known “Who” artist Kelly Yates.

“The Tenth Doctor has his work cut out when he encounters a lost spaceship…Whose crew is being absorbed by mysterious ghostly creatures! Everything is not how it seems, however, especially when disturbing facts about the crew come to light!” (TITAN comics)

Marvel Legends Defenders Rail Authority 5-Pack

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As we know, toys and board games company Hasbro unveils several Marvel Cinematic Universe-specific exclusives each year at the SDCC – Comic-Con 2018 was no different.

This year’s masterpiece is a five-pack based on Netflix’s “The Defenders,” featuring the blockbuster Netflix team-up of Luke Cage, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Colleen Wing and Danny Rand.

Star Wars: The Vintage Collection Doctor Aphra Comic Set

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There are several other Hasbro exclusives at the Con this year that demand attention, one of them being the Star Wars: Doctor Aphra Comic Set that brings you your favorite character, Chelli Lona Aphra – “the human female archaeologist recruited by Darth Vader after the Battle of Yavin.”

“Aphra, along with her assassin droid companions, 0-0-0 (Triple-Zero) and BT-1 (Beetee), fulfilled several missions for the Sith Lord before falling out of his favour.”

Now, we have her personal solo book.

Some of Hasbro’s other Marvel and Star Wars SDCC 2018 Exclusives.

  • Star Wars: The Black Series Centerpiece Rey & Kylo Ren Figure
  • Star Wars: Forces of Destiny Chewbacca and Porgs
  • Star Wars: The Black Series Han Solo and Mynock
  • Marvel Legends Red Skull & Electronics Tesseract

Planet of the Apes: Statue of Liberty Action Playset

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Super7 has returned to Booth # 4945 at the SDCC 2018 and is offering a plethora of amazing products from different licenses that are sure to earn them the unofficial Best in Show honor.

“Planet of the Apes: Statue of Liberty Action Playset” from their ReAction Figures line is one of the hottest items in the Super7 stall, with people going crazy to score one of these awesome sets costing $75 each

Here are some of Super7’s other selection of debuts and exclusives

  • Transformers – Super Cyborg Optimus Prime 12″ Figure with removable chest plate (Clear). SDCC Exclusive – $75 each
  • Alien – “Space Wars Headhammer” Tribute Xenomorph 3.75″ ReAction Figure with coin. SDCC Exclusive – $15 each
  • Misfits – Fiend Glow-In-The-Dark 3.75″ ReAction Figure. SDCC Exclusive – $15 each
  • Iron Maiden – Classic Union Jack 1.75″ MUSCLE Figures 3-Pack. SDCC Debut colorway and cardback art – $6.00 per pack
  • ReAction Figures – Carry Case with exclusive clear red Hellboy 3.75″ ReAction Figure. SDCC Exclusive – $45 each
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From The Editors Technology Top 5

Top Five Key Takeaways from Mark Zuckerberg’s Recode Interview

In a 90-minute interview with Recode’s Kara Swisher, Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg talked on multiple issues, ranging from Facebook-related issues to the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting; from political issues to Trump’s border policy, and more.
Five main takeaways

1. He spoke candidly about his views on the Sandy Hook School shooting and the Holocaust deniers.

Zuckerberg agrees that people who claim that the Sandy Hook shooting or the Holocaust never happened are without a doubt misinformed and totally wrong, but that does not mean they should be evicted from the platform.
“I agree that it is false,” he said.

“I also think that going to someone who is a victim of Sandy Hook and telling them, “Hey, no, you’re a liar” — that is harassment, and we actually will take that down. But overall, let’s take this whole closer to home,” he said.

He then gave the example of people who deny that the Holocaust ever happened, saying that being Jewish, he found it profoundly unpleasant but that did not mean they should be thrown out of the platform, because people can and do get things wrong, including himself.

“I find that deeply offensive. But at the end of the day, I don’t believe that our platform should take that down because I think there are things that different people get wrong. I don’t think that they’re intentionally getting it wrong,” Zuckerberg said.

“It’s hard to impugn intent and to understand the intent. I just think, as abhorrent as some of those examples are, I think the reality is also that I get things wrong when I speak publicly,” he said.

He continued: “I’m sure you do. I’m sure a lot of leaders and public figures we respect do too, and I just don’t think that it is the right thing to say, “We’re going to take someone off the platform if they get things wrong, even multiple times.”

He added: “What we will do is we’ll say, “Okay, you have your page, and if you’re not trying to organize harm against someone, or attacking someone, then you can put up that content on your page, even if people might disagree with it or find it offensive.” But that doesn’t mean that we have a responsibility to make it widely distributed in News Feed.”

2. He did not concur with the idea that there is no evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.

“Well, the evidence that we’ve seen is quite clear, that the Russians did try to interfere with the election,” said the CEO of Facebook.

He said that Facebook had informed the concerned government authorities before the elections that a group of Russian military intelligence hackers was trying to sabotage the elections by Phishing the accounts of members of the Republican and Democratic National Committees.

Here’s how he explained it.

“We’ve tried to cooperate with the government and the different investigations that are going on — they obviously have much more context than this. But what we saw, before the election, was this Russian hacking group, part of Russian military intelligence, that I guess our government calls APT28. They were trying to do more traditional methods of hacking: Phishing people’s accounts, just getting access to people’s accounts that way.

“We, around the time of the election, had given this context to the FBI. They’ve clearly gone much further now, at this point, in terms of putting the whole story together. You could see that in the indictments that Mueller just issued over the last week or so. That’s the part that I actually think we got and were on top of.”

3. Zuckerberg accepted full blame for the Cambridge Analytica data breach and said that if anyone should be fired for the fiasco, it has to be him.

Earlier this year Facebook witnessed a sharp dip in its share value in the wake of the massive “data breach” scandal involving British political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica.

The company is believed to have misused information inappropriately gained from 50 million Facebook users to manipulate its client Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

When asked in the Recode interview if someone deserved to be fired for the Cambridge Analytica breach, he said:

“Well, I think it’s a big issue. But look, I designed the platform, so if someone’s going to get fired for this, it should be me. And I think that the important thing going forward is to make sure that we get this right. In this case, the most important steps, in terms of, to prevent this from happening again, we’d already taken in 2014 when we had changed dramatically the way that the platform worked.

“But overall, I mean, this is an important situation, and I think again it’s … This to me is an example of, you get judged by how you deal with an issue when it comes up. And I think on this one, we’ve done the right things, and many of them I think we’d actually done years ago to prevent this kind of situation from happening again.”

4. Zuckerberg was critical of China’s policies concerning social media, with specific reference to Facebook.

“They do not share the values that we have,” he said.

“You can bet that if the government hears word that it’s election interference or terrorism, I don’t think Chinese companies are going to wanna cooperate as much and try to aid the national interest there.”

Asked about his situation in China now, he said:

“I mean, we’re blocked. Over the long term. I think it’s hard to have a mission of wanting to bring the whole world closer together and leave out the biggest country.”

5. He thinks that Trump’s stand on immigration that has seen children getting separated from their parents at the U.S. border is “terrible.”

“It was terrible,” he said.

“Terrible,” he repeated for effect and to, probably, emphasize how abhorrent the whole situation was.

When asked if he did anything more in that regard than just donate money, he said:

“Yeah, well I mean, the good news here is because we’ve been working on FWD for so long, it has established a lot of the infrastructure that now … When a crisis comes up, you can’t just spin this stuff up immediately. So they’re in there and they’re able to help out.

“But I mean, talking about social utility, one of the really proud moments recently of working at this company was the fact that a couple of people could start a fundraiser to raise $1500, enough to bail one person out, and they ended up raising more than $20 million.

“And this thing just went viral, and I think it’s a great example of when you give people a voice what positive things can happen, both substantively in terms of the fundraiser and just the widespread show of support, I think, is also really meaningful. And I think a combination of that and a number of other things like that may have been what led the administration to backtrack on the policy there.”

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From The Editors Technology Top 5

Top Five Best Drones to Buy in 2018

DJI Spark ($399)

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Next on our list of top five best drones is the DJI Spark – a truly value-for-money machine with a compact and portable form factor, impressive footage quality and some other cool features that we’ll cover as we go along.\

From a design viewpoint, the Spark is endowed with a lightweight, compact and super portable body that comes with four rotors/propellers, a detachable battery, a micro USB port, one micro SD and a 12-megapixel camera, capable of recording stabilized footages at 1080 pixels.

The Spark is available in five attractive colors, including Alpine White, Meadow Green, Sunrise Yellow, Sky Blue, and Lava Red; however, what’s important to note is that each of the color options is slightly different from the others in terms of price.

When the Spark is flying in its Sports Mode, it is quite capable of holding its own in winds as fast as 31 miles per hour – thanks to the Spark’s design engineering.

The Spark’s 2-axis mechanical gimbal provides the machine the stability you need when shooting footages of those awesome locations you choose to bring your drone to.

Again, using the DJI GO 4 app instead of the included controller is what we would recommend, simply because it offers you so much more, including plenty of filters, editing templates, and modes; moreover, it allows you to instantly share your footage on social media.

Here’s a quick insight into some of the modes that you can take advantage of in the DHI GO app

Tap Fly Mode: This mode allows the drone to follow you, based on your taps on your smartphone.

Palm Control Mode: This mode lets you control the drone’s movements with palm gestures.

Active Track Mode: You can activate this mode when you want the drone to track the objects that you’re looking to capture footages, or stills, of.

The battery on the Spark is good to keep you airborne for 16 minutes on a full charge, which is not bad for that price point.

If you must have a high-quality drone full of features, yet not looking to invest too much in it, then look not beyond the DJI Spark.

Xiaomi Mi ($460)

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The Xiaomi Mi is a good-looking 4K drone that oozes class, right from its camera and its battery to its negligible charging time and its 6-axis Gyro stabilization system and more.

The Mi’s attractive white body is equipped with the usual four propellers/rotors at the end of each arm and a rounded 4K camera attached to the front underside of the drone.

There are four LED lights under the propellers, including two white lights to indicate the front of the drone, while the other two (green and red) are navigation lights, all of which are particularly useful when flying at night.

Even in unfavorable weather conditions, the Xiaomi Mi’s brushless motor ensures a steady performance, regardless of the speed at which you’re flying this quadcopter.

The MI is available in two variants, a professional model with a 12.4-megapixel 4K camera setup and a standard version with a 1080p shooter.

As with most drones today, using the drone app is a better option than using the included controller as your central control point, especially if you are a feature fanatic.

To give you a couple of examples, the app allows you to set up your drone to follow you or the route you want it to and it can even be set up to circle your desired subject, in addition to the usual stuff that drones are supposed to do, like take-off, land, return, and so forth.

The app is intuitive enough to make even beginners feel at home with the controls, doing stuff that you’d expect from a typical drone geek.

While twenty minutes of battery life might not sound too impressive, the fact that it takes only three and a half minutes to fully load up the battery certainly does, if the manufacturer’s claim is anything to go by.

Well, if shooting 4K videos is what you’re looking to promote yourself to, then the Xiaomi Mi should find its way on your final list of three before you decide on a winner.

Parrot Bebop 2 Power ($550)

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The Parrot Bebop 2 Power is one of the best options on the market, this year if you’re looking for a drone that combines an affordable price with dozens of cool features that are sure to give you a great flying experience.

Design-wise, the Bebop 2 Power features a lightweight plastic body offering three color options to choose from – red, black, and white.

Each of the four rotors attached to the main body come equipped with rubberized dampeners that help minimize vibrations as much as possible to maintain the quality of footage you shoot.

On the front of the drone, you have a 14-megapixel camera with fisheye lens, while the rear of the drone houses the battery pack with a blue LED light that notifies you of the battery’s condition.

While you can easily operate the Bebop 2 Power using the included controller over a USB cable, you’ll be better off using the Parrot Freeflight Pro app because it offers you plenty of fun options that are free and some that you ’ll need to pay for in order to unlock them.

The Bebop 2 Power comes with an FPV headset that lets you feel the imagery you are recording in depth while flying over land, which is a really neat feature to have.

The FHD 1080p camera performs exceptionally well and even in bright sunshine, the quality of the visuals doesn’t get affected much.

The 3-axis digital stabilization on this drone ensures consistent footage quality regardless of how you maneuver your Bebop 2 in the sky.

The Bebop 2’s visual recognition and GPS tracking technology allow the drone to track and follow you wherever you go once you have paired it with your smartphone.

The massive 2,700mAh battery on the back of the unit gives you up to 25 minutes in the air on a single full charge, after which, you need to detach the battery before you can juice it up again.

To sum it up, the Bebop Power 2 is a must-have for everyone who is looking for an affordable, yet powerful drone.

DJI Mavic Air ($799)

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At $799, the new Mavic Air is, basically, an improved version of DJI’s cheapest drone, Spark ($399) and incorporates features of the company’s most expensive unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) the Mavic Pro ($999).

Mavic Air can fold up like the Pro and, at 15 ounces, weighs just a little over half the Pro’s weight.

Folded up, it is smaller than the Spark and can easily fit into a jacket pocket, as was demonstrated by DJI executive Michael Perry during its announcement earlier this year.

With 4K video footage and 32-megapixel panoramas, the new “ultraportable” drone is a big improvement on the 1080p shooting and 12-megapixel still capabilities of the Spark.

With a flight time of 21 minutes, the Mavic Air is five minutes better than the Spark; however, it does fall way short of the Pro’s staying power of 30 minutes.

The Air has a top speed of 42.5 miles per hour, 11 mph faster than the Spark, and can hold its own in winds of up to 22 mph.

Plus, by virtue of a new antenna design, it has a visible-to-the-sight range of 2.5 miles.

An improved ventilation system will prevent the UAV from overheating, and the new 3-axis gimbal camera mount will ensure smoother footages, claims DJI.

A good obstacle avoidance system, including seven cameras and an array of sensors and improved software, offers relative safety for the $800-dollar drone.

AND, not only is the Mac Air foldable, it comes packed with a remote control that is also foldable and has detachable joysticks, as well.

DJI’s continuing innovation in terms of UAV size, weight, and portability, with no compromise on quality, specs or features and making these drones available at affordable prices, make it seem unlikely that there will be much competition any time soon.

Skydio R1 ($2,500)

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The Skydio R1 is a real drone in the true sense of the word because we somehow seem to miss the line between an actual drone and an RC (remote controlled) flying device.

While an RC quadcopter needs manual control, the drone is supposed to be a self-flying machine not dependent on any direct control, and that’s exactly what the Skydio R1 is – a fully autonomous drone.

The main purpose behind developing this drone was to provide consumers with a flying machine that was basically a flying camera, with the ability to fly unaided, while filming a subject that could be walking, running, or even cycling, for that matter, and it seems that the R1 has hit the bull’s eye with this one – well, almost.

To put it simply, computer vision is what the drone uses to achieve that autonomy, processing images from its thirteen cameras to track a given subject, rather than using wearable devices, or Lidar sensors for the purpose, as we have seen on a couple of autonomous drones in the past.

Out of those 13 onboard cameras, the one on the nose of the R1 is the subject-tracking camera. It is mounted on a three-axis gimbal, which not only allows it to move as it tracks its subject but also gives it the steadiness required for the perfect footage.

While drones like the Mavic Pro and the Phantom 4 also boast subject tracking capabilities, they are definitely not in the same league as the R1, largely due to the fact that it has a number of tracking modes, including a standard follow mode, tripod mode, side-tracking mode, orbit mode and lead mode.

Of course, all of this would not have been possible without the obstacle avoidance system supported by 12 cameras all around the R1.

There are two pairs on each flank, with two cameras on top of the drone and two underneath it, making it a total of 12 – the 13th being the gimbal camera just discussed.

All these cameras work in harmony to create a 3D mapping of the surroundings, providing the drone with the depth perception needed to avoid obstacles.

The Skydio R1 is, arguably, the best there is out there today when it comes to tracking and filming a subject with such versatility – producing breathtaking footages as a result.

The Skydio R1 comes with two batteries, with an advertised flight time of 16 minutes on a single charge; however, tests have shown that 12 to 14 minutes is what you actually get before you have to bring it back to terra firma for a recharge.

The app control for manual operation of the drone is pretty handy, designed for one-handed flight control.

At $2,500 it’s certainly not cheap, but not a bad buy either – if you can afford it.

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From The Editors Technology Top 5

Top Five Best Laptops: 2018 (So Far)

BEST ULTRAPORTABLE LAPTOP: Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN

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Picking a winner from all those fantastic ultraportable devices on the market, today is kind of tricky because all the big-name manufacturers, including Dell, Lenovo, Asus, HP and others offer super top-end laptop options.

While quite a few laptops come into consideration while deciding on the best in this category, it is the Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN that got our vote, based on specifications, features and overall performance.

What makes the ZenBook special is the fact that it runs a discrete NVIDIA GeForce MX150 chip in a very light and portable package, although it may not be the thinnest laptop around.

While the MX150 is not the most powerful GPU, it does push out pretty decent frame rates in games, allowing you to comfortably play any popular title, as long as you are okay with lower graphics quality – a bit.

The fans on this thing are completely silent and don’t even kick in unless you are working on some really intensive stuff, but even then they don’t get too loud. It’s when you are playing games that they tend to get quite noisy.

While keeping it relatively slim, Asus has given the laptop enough room to allow for a proper thermal solution because of the presence of a decent GPU inside.

For a device that’s priced at $1,000, you’d expect it to have a good build-quality, and the ZenBook does deliver on that count. The screen may have a little more flex compared to its predecessor, but apart from that, the build quality is excellent.

Another noteworthy feature is its trackpad – one of the better ones seen from the house of Asus. It’s made of glass with a fantastic, super smooth feel to it. It probably doesn’t get better than this on a Windows laptop.

The 13.3-inch screen is really bright at 300 nits, with impressive color accuracy and viewing angles, but the hinge leaves a bit to be desired; a stiffer hinge would have been ideal.

Asus Zenbook 13 UX331 series specs.

  • Price: $999
  • CPU: 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-8250U
  • Display size resolution: 13.3-inch, 1,920×1,080-pixel touch display
  • Memory: 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 2,133MHz
  • Graphics: 2GB NVIDIA GeForce MX150 Graphics
  • Networking: 802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 4.2
  • Operating system: Windows 10 Home (64-bit)
  • Storage: 256GB M.2 SATA III SSD

BEST CONVERTIBLE LAPTOP: Surface Book 2

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At $ 2,500, our final pick for the best convertible laptop is, probably, not the most affordable option for everyone, but the 13-inch Microsoft Surface Book 2 does offer some extremely convincing features.

It includes some of the best hardware you can get in a 13-inch form factor combined with a screen that detaches from the base when you need it as a portable tablet.

Our choice of the Core i-7 model includes Intel’s top-end 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-8650U quad-core processor, with 4.2GHz Max Turbo, together with an NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1050 discrete GPU, which is far more powerful than the MX-150 that is typical for these types of devices.

All that power does a great job of driving the magnificent high-resolution 3,000 x2,000 13.5-inch LCD, with a 3:2 aspect ratio, which is amazing for productivity apps.

For those who like to annotate and draw, the Surface Book 2’s active stylus, the Surface Pen, is definitely worth the extra $100 expense it entails.

The magnesium chassis is one of the best you can get on any laptop and it now includes USB-C, although there is no Thunderbolt3 support.

The battery life is also quite good for a laptop that’s so powerful.

Our choice of configuration for the SurfaceBook 2 would be the 13-inch model at $2,500, which comes with the Core i-7, GTX 1050, 16GB of RAM, and 512gb SSD.

There’s no doubt that the Surface Book 2 is a very expensive laptop, indeed, but there is also no doubt that you won’t find another one as powerful; as a matter of fact, the next best doesn’t even come close to it.

The Surface Book 2 is the laptop to buy if you want the best there is among convertible options.

BEST PRODUCTIVITY LAPTOP: Dell XPS 15 9570

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If you’re looking for a more professional, portable, productivity-oriented device that’s not as expensive as a gaming laptop but still provides high-performance hardware, the Dell XPS 15 9570 checks all those boxes.

It is a fantastic combination of portability, performance, and affordability for $1,700.

The Dell XPS 15 9570 comes loaded with a 6-core Intel Core i-7 8750H CPU. 16GB of RAM, 512GB solid-state drive, and a 15.6-inch 1080p display with super slim bezels.

Also, it has the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti discrete GPU, plus a huge 97 watt-hour battery and Thunderbolt3 connectivity.

It may not be the cheapest laptop to include this sort of hardware, as there are plenty of gaming laptops out there for around $1,200 that will quench your hardware thirst, but there’s no match for the XPS 15’s portability and battery life.

The overall footprint of this Dell device is small – thanks to its super slim bezels – and it’s at least a kilogram lighter with a thickness of just 15mm.

While there are plenty of slim and light gaming laptops out there that provide the same CPUs and, maybe, faster GPUs, the Dell XPS 15 is still more portable and a few hundred dollars cheaper, with impressive productivity-oriented features.

Admitted that the discrete GPU is just a GTX 1050 Ti rather than a GTX 1060 like you get with a decent portable gaming laptop but it’s more than enough for tasks like video editing, simulations, and more.

However, if you’re looking to do more than just occasional games, a gaming laptop might be a better option for you, anyway.

BEST BUDGET LAPTOP: Acer Aspire E15

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If you’re looking for a value for money laptop in a reasonable price range, without compromising too much on features and performance, then, look no further than the Acer Aspire E15.

With a Quad Core 8-thread processor, a 15.6-inch 1080p in-plane switching (IPS) display, a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce graphics card, solid state boot drive and 8GB of expandable system RAM, the Acer Aspire E15 (E5-576G-5762) is, arguably, the best $600 laptop on the market today.

Okay, so, it’s not faultless and it doesn’t do everything, but for $600 it does more than enough, and whether or not it’s the right laptop for you, depends on the kind of work you need to do on it.

First up, let’s make it absolutely clear that this particular Acer Aspire laptop is by no stretch of the imagination meant for hardcore gaming or heavy-duty video rendering – nor is it meant for intense workloads.

It’s an amazing laptop for web and social media browsing, watching movies, working with MS Office and, to a certain extent, image editing and even 1080p video editing – with pretty satisfactory results, at that.

Main Specs

  • 6GHz Intel Quad Core, 8-thread i5-8250U Processor
  • 8GB DDR2 SDRAM 1,600MHz (upgradable to 16GB)
  • 256GB M.2 SSD with Open 2.5” Bay for Second Drive
  • NVidia GeForce MX 150 GPU 2GBVRAM
  • 15.6-inch Full HD – 1080p in-plane switching (IPS) display

In terms of heat and noise, the Acer Aspire E15 behaves just fine when, for example, you’re watching videos on YouTube, editing documents, working on PowerPoint presentations, editing images or doing other work in Windows. You can, actually, place it on your lap and work for hours at a time with no discernible heating or noise.

However, it’s a different story, altogether, when you’re gaming or performing a CPU- or GPU-intensive task.

Despite the low power graphics chip and a low power CPU, the E5 can get hotter and noisier than the far more powerful Acer Predator Helios 300.
Acer may claim a 12-hour battery life on this laptop but that’s not really the case.

Is it good for 6-7 hours then?

Yes, it is.

BEST GAMING LAPTOP: Gigabyte Aero 15X v8

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When it comes to gaming laptops, there are lots of different categories to choose from and we have chosen the Gigabyte Aero 15X v8, based purely on performance, with no consideration for affordability, we have to admit.

You may be familiar with last year’s Gigabyte Aero 15X, but the new generation Gigabyte Aero 15X v8 is now set to take over as the top-of-the-line 15-inch gaming laptop.

One of the most powerful in the category today, this super thin high-end laptop, with a notably small form factor, is the first to use Intel’s new 8th-generation Core i7 laptop processor.

The laptop boasts some very impressive specifications, such as a powerful Nvidia GTX GPU, a brand new Intel 6-core processor, Thunderbolt RGB backlit keyboard, a powerful battery and a super thin bezel on the monitor, and much more.

With no room at the top of the screen, owing to the super thin bezel on the 15.6-inch display on this machine, the high definition webcam is set below the display along with the integrated microphone.

The webcam-hiding trick is not much different from the one adopted by Huawei on its new MateBook Pro; it’s just that Huawei chose to hide the webcam in one of the function keys.

The ultra-thin bezel on the 1920 x 1080 pixel HD resolution monitor, along with the 144 Hertz refresh rate, makes the v8’s screen one of the best in gaming devices today, minimizing motion blur and giving enhanced responses to quick reactions.

As should be expected on a gaming laptop, Gigabyte gives you a full-blown Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 GPU inside the v8; however, the real thing here is Intel’s 8th generation Coffee Lake CPU – the i7-8750H six-core processor.

Main specs

  • CPU Intel 8th Gen. Core i7-8750HQ, 6 cores with HT, 2.2GHz base clock, All Core Boost 3.4GHz, Max Boost 4.0GHz, 45W TDP
  • Screen 15.6-inch, 1,920×1,080 resolution, 144Hz refresh IPS
  • Graphics Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
  • Memory 16GB G.Skill RipJaws DDR4-2666MHz
  • SSD 512GB Toshiba THNSN5512 M.2 NVMe
  • Storage 2x PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 slots
  • Audio 2x 2W speakers
  • Ethernet Realtek Gigabit
  • WiFi Intel AC 8265 Wireless

Battery: 94.24Wh 6200mAh, 215W adapter
Dimensions: 356mm x 250mm x 18mm
Weight 2.09kg plus 720g for power supply and mains cable

Categories
From The Editors Politics Top 5

Top Five Inflammatory Remarks Donald Trump Made in his Montana Speech

Donald Trump was at his scathing best on Thursday in his Make America Great Again rally speech in Great Falls, Montana, where he launched a vicious attack on Elizabeth Warren, repeatedly taking jibes at the Massachusetts Senator’s ancestry.

He also trained his guns on his favorite target – the “fake media”; lashed out at the Justice Department; ridiculed Hillary Clinton; mocked the #MeToo movement; and didn’t even spare his ailing fellow Republicans, John McCain, and George H.W. Bush.

We have compiled, here, the top five nastiest remarks he made at the rally, most of which have been called dangerous by CNN’s Chris Cillizza in his analysis of the man’s controversial Thursday address.

1. Trump launches a racist attack on Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, ridiculing and challenging her Indian heritage

Trump, who rarely misses out on a chance to hit out at Sen. Warren, a Democrat who has been at the receiving end of Trump’s multiple tirades against her Native American lineage, took it to a whole new level of nastiness, this time around.

While the president almost always refers to Warren as “Pocahontas” in a blatantly offensive, openly racist manner, on Thursday he also mocked people who had demanded an apology for his demeaning comment.

“I want to apologize. Pocahontas, I apologize to you. I apologize to you. To you I apologize,” he said with open sarcasm. “To the fake Pocahontas, I won’t apologize.”

He suggested that if Warren were to win the 2020 Democratic nomination, and if they were to debate, he would challenge her to take an ancestry test and would donate a million dollars to her pet charity if the test proved her Native American heritage.

“I’m going to get one of those little kits and in the middle of the debate when she proclaims she’s of Indian heritage because her mother said she has high cheekbones,” he said before a 6,500-strong crowd of cheering and jeering supporters.

He made it a point to trivialize the #MeToo movement, too, as he continued his verbal assault on the Democrat.

“We will take that little kit and say — and we have to do it gently because we’re in the Me Too generation, so we have to be very gentle — and we will very gently take that kit and we will slowly toss it, hoping it doesn’t hit her and injure her arm even though it probably only weighs two ounces. And we will say, ‘I will give you a million dollars to your favorite charity paid for by Trump if you take the test, and it shows you’re an Indian,” he said.

“I have a feeling she will say no,” he added.

Warren responded to his comments with a tweet, suggesting that he would be better off fixing the lives he’s destroying and while he remained fixated on her ancestry, his team was busy “conducting DNA tests on little kids because you ripped them from their mamas & you are too incompetent to reunite them in time to meet a court order.”

“This was supposed to be an event to honor heroes, people who put it all on the line for our country, who, because of their incredible work, saved the lives of countless Americans and our allies,” Warren told MSNBC during an interview with the news channel.

“It is deeply unfortunate that the president of the United States cannot even make it through a ceremony honoring these heroes without having to throw out a racial slur,” the senator added.

2. Trump slams Montana Senator Jon Tester for voting against his party’s health care plan and other Republican initiatives

Trump took Tester to the cleaners, well, at least in his own opinion and that of his supporters, accusing the Democrat senator of double standards.

“Jon Tester says one thing when he is in Montana, but I will tell you he does the exact opposite when he goes to Washington,” said the president.

“You deserve a senator who doesn’t just talk like he is from Montana, you deserve a senator who actually votes like he is from Montana,” he added.

He said it was time to take him out of the picture because “a vote for Jon Tester is a vote for Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and the new leader of the Democrat Party Maxine Waters.”

He also rebuked the man for voting against the Republican move to repeal the Affordable Care Act; for not supporting a major tax cuts bill; for opposing Trump’s inhumane immigration policies; and for not backing Neil Gorusch – Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court.

“You wouldn’t think he’d play very well out here. How did he get elected?” Trump asked, rhetorically. “You can right your wrong in November.”

3. Trump was his usual vitriolic self in attacking the media

The fact that a gunman mowed down five journalists at a Maryland newspaper office, just a week ago, made no difference to Trump, as he renewed his derision of the media with comments like “fake news,” “bad people” and “so damn dishonest.”

“They’re fake,” he said, pointing at the press area. “These are really bad people.”

He accused the media of attributing fake news to unnamed sources, indicating that it was a regular ploy by the press to justify made-up news.

“They’re fake. They’re fake. They quote sources — ‘A source within the Trump organization said’ — a source. They don’t have a source,” he mocked.

4. Trump questions the intelligence of Maxine Waters’, calling her a “low IQ individual”

“Democrats want anarchy. They really do. And they don’t know who they are playing with, folks,” Trump said.

“I said it the other day, yes, she is a low IQ individual, Maxine Waters. I said it the other day. I mean, honestly, she is somewhere in the mid-60s. I believe that” Trump said about the elected representative of the United States House of Representatives for California’s 29th congressional district.

His attack on the Waters’ intelligence, which is, of course, being looked at as racially motivated, is the not the first of its kind, though.

Trump had taken a shot at the African American congresswoman’s intelligence as recently as earlier this month, at the Gridiron Club dinner, where he said she should take an IQ test.

Waters’ had called it a racist comment while speaking to Joy Ann Reid on MSNBC’s “AM Joy.”

“I certainly expected him to come out with some racist remarks about me,” she said.

“So he did exactly what I expected him to do. And, by the way, I’m told he wasn’t funny at all,” she quipped.

Speaking to CNN in October last year, Waters had said she didn’t think Trump was worthy of the high office he held and that she wanted to impeach the man.

“Everybody knows that I’m on the front lines not talking about harming anybody but I am talking about impeachment,” she told CNN.

“I don’t think this President should be representing our country … he creates controversy, he cannot get along with our members of Congress, and I’m going to continue my efforts to impeach him.”

5. Trump undermines Hillary Clinton and the Justice Department

CNN’s Cillizza has correctly noted that Trump’s constant criticism of the Justice Department can set a dangerous precedent in so far as people’s perception of the agency is concerned.

“When the President of the United States insists the Justice Department is biased and can’t be trusted, it erodes one of the long-standing pillars of civil society,” Cillizza wrote.

Amid chants of “lock her up” from a, rather prejudiced gathering, Trump said, “She gets special treatment under the Justice Department. … Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. She gets special treatment under the Justice Department,” obviously, referring to none other than Hillary Clinton – one of many the president loves to hate.

Categories
From The Editors Technology Top 5

Top 5 Gaming Keyboards Released in 2018

Basically, there are two main categories of keyboards that gamers can choose from – the membrane keyboard and the mechanical keyboard.

A membrane board’s keys are not individual moving parts but are, rather, pressure pads, with outlines and symbols printed on a flat, flexible surface that respond to pressure.

A mechanical keyboard, on the other hand, has actual physical switches underneath the keys that use spring and metal contacts to complete a circuit; so, when the user pushes a key, a signal is sent to the PC, letting it know that a particular key has been pressed.

When it comes to gamer preference, it’s the mechanical keyboard that invariably wins, simply because the switches on these boards are more durable and tactile and much faster to actuate.

Apart from switches, there are other factors that are taken into consideration when it comes to choosing the right keyboard for your gaming needs; factors like size and additional features, to name a couple.
2018 has been an exceptional year, so far, in terms of gaming keyboard releases.

So, out of all the different boards available on the market, today, we have selected five keyboards and compiled them into a comprehensive comparison, keeping in mind the gaming needs, preferences and budgetary constraints of different gamers.

Razer Cynosa Chroma

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Let’s begin our quest with a pocket-friendly option, and that too from a top-notch manufacturer like Razer Inc. because you seldom see entry-level keyboard releases from the upper echelons of the gaming hardware-manufacturing society, these days.

The Razer Cynosa Chroma is as basic a keyboard as you can get – a membrane keyboard with hardly anything in the way of additional features, other than the fact that it is backed with the full power of the Razer Synapse.

Razer Synapse is the company’s “configuration software that allows you to rebind controls or assign macros to any of your Razer peripherals and saves all your settings automatically to the cloud.”

Despite being its cheapest keyboard, Razer has given the Cynosa Chroma full per-key RGN illumination.

While it may not have much to offer in terms of extras, it is a great option for gamers who don’t want to invest too much on a keyboard and yet care about having a plethora of lighting options.

There are two variants of this Razer keyboard available on the market – the $60 Cynosa Chroma and the Cynosa Chroma Pro, which will cost you an additional $20 for, basically, the same board but with an under-glow below the keys.

Wooting One

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The Wooting One is a pretty cool keyboard, considering that it’s the first gaming hardware from what is essentially a start-up company trying to make incisive forays into the world of gaming peripherals.

The company’s obsession with brand recognition is evident from the fact that it calls its software driver Wootility.

So, the Wooting One is a tenkeyless (TKL) form factor keyboard built like a tank, and while it doesn’t offer much in the way of superficiality, its unique selling point is its analog switches that pair with the Wootility software to give you great typing and gaming flexibility, by allowing you to actively set your actuation point.

With the Wooting One, you can actually set up multiple profiles with actuation points ranging from 1.5 to 3.6mm.

If, for example, you like speed for gaming situations but realize that it leads to typo errors during regular work, you can simply set up two different profiles, each with a different actuation to suit your gaming and typing requirements.

The Wootility software allows full per-key control of the RGB lighting, which is pretty impressive-looking on the Wooting One because each of the analog switches on this board has a distinct stem.

The Wooting one has a $150 price tag attached to it.

Thermaltake X1 RGB

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This year, Thermaltake released its all-new X1 RGB Cherry MX Silver Speed/Blue Switch Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, which looks, well, embarrassingly similar to the Corsair K70.

However, to be fair to Thermaltake, if there ever was a keyboard that you would want to emulate, it would most certainly be the Corsair Gaming Keyboard.

That said, the X1 RGB offers a plethora of features and extras, including an illuminated logo; a set of metallic ABS keycaps; five pre-configured lighting zones, including FPS1, FPS2, RTS, MMO, and MOBA; n-key rollover; and full anti-ghosting.

Additionally, you have a full set of dedicated media keys with volume scroll wheel; a detachable plastic wrist rest; on-the-fly macro recording; and USB and audio pass-through, offering maximum customization to suit the individual needs of most gamers, if not all.

The X1 RGB also involves a smartphone-enabled Companion app that allows you to create and manage profiles, use voice commands, and even use your phone as a virtual controller.

Priced around $120 on Amazon, the Thermaltake X1 RGB is certainly not a bad buy.

Logitech G5 13

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Although the Logitech G5 13 is an updated version of the of the G4 13, it doesn’t really add much in terms of design elements; however, it is still a beautiful-looking keyboard, available in either carbon or silver-brushed aluminum finish.

While it is not oozing a whole lot of extras like some of the other brands out there, it does promise what gamers would consider to be the absolutely necessary stuff.

It is a high-performance RGB keyboard with customizable full spectrum color lighting per key, with LIGHTSYNC game-driven lighting colors and effects.

It comes with a robust set of angled keycaps, USB pass-through on the back, and a decent enough Memory Foam wrist rest – probably the best there is on gaming keyboards, today.

However, the most exciting feature of the G5 13 is its advanced Romer G Tactile Mechanical key switches which are 25 percent faster in responsiveness and actuation feedback.

The G5 13 is available for a $150.

HyperX Alloy Elite RGB

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That brings us to the final gaming keyboard on our list of top five – the HyperX Alloy Elite RGB.

This keyboard features a set of dedicated media keys with volume scroll wheel; a set of diamond plate keycaps, which are actually ABS plastic; and six dynamic lighting effects with a signature integrated 18 LED light bar.

Furthermore, it comes with a detachable plastic wrist rest that is certainly not the best you’ve ever seen; there’s your USB pass-through on the back of the board; and it has a rock solid build quality, thanks to its solid steel frame.

The Alloy Elite RGB comes in red, blue or brown Cherry MX switches and will make you $170 poorer, should you decide to go for it, which would not be a bad choice by any stretch of the imagination.

Categories
From The Editors Top 5

Top 5 Entry-Level DSLR Cameras

If you are looking to move beyond the limitations of smartphone photography and upgrade to a camera offering better image and video quality, then an entry-level digital SLR, or DSLR, is the way to go because not only will it take care of your image quality needs, the learning curve is also much quicker than you might, probably, imagine.

So, irrespective of whether you’re a casual shooter or an aspiring filmmaker, you will find something in our selection of five to pique your interest.

Canon EOS Rebel T6

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The Canon EOS Rebel T6 is, probably, the best entry-level camera you can hope to get in that price range.

As for the image quality, you’ll never regret spending the $449 it is going to set you back by.

The Rebel T6 supports all Canon lenses, giving you a plethora of lens options for the camera.

The Canon EF-S 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 IS II lens, which comes bundled with the camera, captures images at a modest wide-angle and zooms-in to short telephoto field of view.

If you are a stickler for aesthetics, you must know that T6’s design is not its strong point, appearing to be somewhat dated, with most of the controls on the rear, including the LCD panel, which is an upgrade from its predecessor and now boasts a more advanced 920,000-dot resolution.

The Rebel T6 comes equipped with onboard Wi-Fi and works with the Canon Camera Connect app to take care of your connectivity needs.

The app, by the way, is a free download for both Android and iOS devices – to upload photos and videos to your smartphone.

Canon EOS Rebel SL2

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The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 is the smallest and lightest DSLR in the company’s entry-level line-up.

It boasts some really attractive features for the casual photographer, which include a touch LCD screen, a guided interface as well as Wi-Fi, which is pretty much a given these days.

The SL2 comes with a Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/4-5.6 IS STM zoom and the fact that Canon has provided for a microphone input, should go down well with video bloggers, or vloggers, as they are more commonly known.

The SL2’s guided interface shows you the functionality and purpose of different camera settings with the help of some great graphics.

The SL2 also boasts integrated wireless connectivity, as it uses Bluetooth and NFC (Near-field communication) to connect to your Android or iOS device and uses Wi-Fi for file transfer and remote control.

The camera also supports input for a 3.5mm microphone, remote control, HDMI and USB connections.

The battery inside this camera is the same as the one inside the Rebel T7i as well as the newer Canon mirrorless models.

It takes a mere 0.6 seconds for the SL2 to start, focus and shoot.

The SL2 comes with the same 24MP Advanced Photo System type-C (APS-C) image sensor that Canon is now using on all its interchangeable lens cameras.

It is capable of shooting video at 1080p at 24, 30, or 60 frames per second, with 30 and 60 megabytes per second IPB compression options for great footage quality.

Nikon D3400

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The Nikon D3400 is the newest addition to the company’s entry-level DSLR line-up.

Built around an impressive 24MP image sensor, with an 11-point auto-focus system capable of tracking subjects at 5.1 fps, the D3400 is a strong and consistent performer.

This Nikon DSLR comes bundled with the company’s AF-P DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR, capable of delivering a pretty decent performance for a starter lens.

Having a camera that supports different lens types makes little sense if you don’t really have any plans to try out an additional lens or two, like a tele zoom, or a wide-aperture prime, or macro lens, for example, all of which will do wonders for your D3400, in terms of versatility.

The rear LCD is a cool 920,000-dot 3-inch panel, bright enough even in daylight.

The camera allows wireless file transfer to Android and iOS phones using the Nikon SnapBridge camera app.

It also supports Bluetooth – a handy option when it comes to transferring photos and videos to your phone, especially when you’re not in Wi-Fi range; it saves you from having to change the Wi-Fi settings.

The Nikon D3400 is a pretty responsive device that can start, focus and shoot in just about 0.7 seconds – pretty decent for an entry-level DSLR.

The D3400 uses the Nikon entry-level standard 11-point auto-focus system, with support for the company’s 3D tracking system to lock-in moving targets.

The camera records video at up to 1080/60p quality at 24, 25, 30 or 50 frames per second.

So, if you are the type of person who likes to tell your story of life through pictures and videos, the D3400 is, perhaps, the best pick, its price making it even better.

Canon EOS Rebel T7i

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Canon’s newest camera in its T series, the EOS Rebel T7i carries forward its predecessors’ 24MP resolution but with a different sensor, using the company’s Dual Pixel Autofocus (DPAF) system for smooth auto-focus in recording video or shooting stills in Live View mode.

With the exception of a slight change to the rear control setting, everything else about the T7i’s design features is identical to the T6i.

The T7i uses a Pentamirror optical viewfinder – standard on entry-level DSLRs – and also boasts a new Guide Mode that makes the life of novices so much simpler.

Another addition to the T7i is the brand new Scene Mode that uses face detection to determine depth.

The standard built-in Wi-Fi gives you the flexibility to copy images to your smartphone or tablet; alternatively, you can use your Android or iOS device as a remote control via the Canon Camera Connect app.

The start, focus, and shoot time of the T7i is pretty impressive at 0.4 seconds, allowing you to capture some candid moments.

T7i records videos at 1080p at 24, 30 or 60 frames per second.

Nikon D5600

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This sturdy traditional Nikon camera model with an optical viewfinder and an attractive price offers fantastic value for your hard-earned money and more.

What’s great about this camera is that you can have it bundled with an amazing lens kit at an outrageously affordable price.

The 3.2 inches LCD on the rear is big and crisp with 1,037,000 dots – its touchscreen feature allowing you to tap to set focus when working on Live View; touch-navigate the menus and swipe through images when viewing

The D5600 provides good physical connectivity options, including a flash mount; a 3.5mm microphone input, a micro USB port for data, a wired remote port, and a mini HDMI port.

Plus, it has a single memory card slot for SD, SDHC and SDXC cards, in a dedicated compartment on the right-hand side.

The camera uses Bluetooth for seamless background file transfers to an Android or iOS device and Wi-Fi for remote control and Live View.

Start, focus, and shoot happens in a quick 0.7 seconds for the D5600.

The D5600 shoots strong and crisp footages at a healthy 1080p at up to 60 frames per second.

A great buy for vloggers.

Categories
Entertainment From The Editors Top 5

Top 5 Trailers of Upcoming 2018 Films

Ant-Man And The Wasp

(Releasing July 6, 2018)

The story of Marvel Studios’ upcoming film, Ant-Man And The Wasp, takes place between the events of “Captain America: Civil War” and “Avengers: Infinity Wars.”

Scott Lang is under house arrest, trying to balance his personal life as a father and his responsibilities as the superhero – Ant-Man.

He is approached by Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym with a new mission, and Scott Lang must once again don the suit of Ant-Man and partner with Hope van Dyne, or the Wasp in this epic battle against a powerful new enemy.

Genre: Superhero

Written by: Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Andrew Barrer, and Gabriel Ferrari

Produced by: Kevin Feige

Directed by: Peyton Reed – best known for directing the comedy films Down with Love, Yes Man, Bring It On, and The Break-Up, as well as the superhero films Ant-Man and its 2018 sequel.

Starring: Paul Rudd as Scott Lang | Ant-Man; Evangeline Lilly as Hope van Dyne / Wasp; Michael Peña as Luis; Walton Goggins as Sonny Burch; Bobby Cannavale as Paxton; Judy Greer as Maggie; David Dastmalchian as Kurt; and others

The Nun

(Releasing September 7, 2018)

Conjuring films fans are in for a treat in this prequel that takes place between the events of “Annabelle” and “The Conjuring.”

Sister Irene – played by Taissa Farmiga, younger sister of “The Conjuring” star Vera Farmiga – has to travel from the Vatican to a remote monastery in Romania to investigate the bizarre suicide of a nun, only to find that things are pretty much amiss at the abbey.

If the other films in the series are anything to go by, then you can expect some serious demon activity in the “The Nun.”

The trailer is pretty intense and does manage to scare, without really giving anything away.

Genre: Gothic supernatural horror

Story by: James Wan and Gary Dauberman

Produced by: Peter Safran and James Wan

Directed by: Corin Hardy – English film director, who made his directorial debut with the 2015 horror film The Hallow, which he also co-wrote

Starring: Demián Bichir as Father Burke; Taissa Farmiga as Sister Irene; Jonas Bloquet as Frenchie; Charlotte Hope as Sister Victoria; Ingrid Bisu as Sister Oana; Bonnie Aarons as Valak / Demon Nun; Jonny Coyne as Gregoro; Mark Steger as The Duke; Sandra Teles as Sister Ruth; Manuela Ciucur as Sister Christian, Ani Sava as Sister Jessica; and others

The House with a Clock in its Walls

(Releasing September 21, 2018)

Set in a fantasy world, “The House with a Clock in its Walls” follows the story of a ten-year-old orphan, Lewis Barnavelt, who helps his uncle Jonathan Barnavelt and a witch called Mrs. Zimmerman locate a clock in the walls that possesses the power to bring about the world’s end.
Genre: Gothic fantasy horror

Produced by: Brad Fischer, James Vanderbilt, and Eric Kripke

Written by: Eric Kripke

Directed by: Eli Roth –  He is most closely associated with the horror genre, first coming to prominence by directing the 2005 film Hostel and its 2007 sequel, Hostel: Part II

Starring: Jack Black as Jonathan Barnavelt; Cate Blanchett as Mrs.
Zimmerman; Owen Vaccaro as Lewis Barnavelt; Kyle MacLachlan as Isaac Izard; Renée Elise Goldsberry as Selena Izard; Sunny Suljic as Tarby Corrigan; Colleen Camp as Mrs. Hanchett; Vanessa Anne Williams as Rose Rita Pottinger; Lorenza Izzo as Mrs. Barnavelt; and others

Night School

(Releasing September 28, 2018)

“A group of troublemakers who are forced to attend night school in hopes that they’ll pass the GED exam to finish high school.” (Wikipedia)
Genre: Comedy

Written by: Kevin Hart, Harry Ratchford, Joey Wells, Matt Kellard, Nicholas Stoller, and John Hamburg

Produced by: Will Packer and Kevin Hart

Directed by: Malcolm D Lee – known for directing films like Undercover Brother, The Best Man, Roll Bounce, Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins, Soul Men and Girls Trip

Starring: Kevin Hart as Teddy Walker; Gerald’s son and Lisa’s Fiancé; Tiffany Haddish[5] as Carrie; Yvonne Orji as Maya; Rob Riggle as one of Teddy’s classmates; Mary Lynn Rajskub as Theresa; Ben Schwartz as Teddy’s best friend; Megalyn Echikunwoke as Lisa; Taran Killam as Stewart; and others

First Man

(Releasing October 12, 2018)

Directed by Damien Chazelle, “First Man” is based on James R Hansen’s book “First Man: The Life of Neil Armstrong,” which is the official biography of astronaut Neil Armstrong – the first who walked on the moon on July 20, 1969.

It is the “riveting story of NASA’s mission to land a man on the moon, focusing on Neil Armstrong and the years 1961-1969. A visceral, first-person account, based on the book by James R. Hansen, the movie will explore the sacrifices and the cost—on Armstrong and on the nation—of one of the most dangerous missions in history.”

Genre: Biographical drama adventure

Based on: First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong by James R. Hansen
Produced by: Wyck Godfrey, Marty Bowen, and Damien Chazelle
Directed by: Damien Chazelle

Starring: Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong; Claire Foy as Janet Shearon; Corey Stoll as Buzz Aldrin; Kyle Chandler as Deke Slayton; Jason Clarke as Ed White; Shea Whigham as Gus Grissom; Christopher Abbott as David Scott; Brian d’Arcy James as Joseph A. Walker; Pablo Schreiber as Jim Lovell; Patrick Fugit as Elliot See; Cory Michael Smith as Roger B. Chaffee; and others

Categories
Entertainment From The Editors Top 5

Nintendo’s Top Five E3 2018 Switch Announcements

Nintendo hosted its Switch-centric E3 2018 Nintendo Direct on June 12 and, as always, the Kyoto-based video game company didn’t disappoint, not by any stretch of the imagination, despite the company’s overwhelming focus on one particular title – the ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.’

So, if you happen to be a fan of Super Smash Bros. games, you have a lot to look forward to; and even if you’re not, there’s still enough here to make it worth your while to read on, as Nintendo did manage to squeeze in a few other exciting announcements – its obsession with SSB Ultimate notwithstanding.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

During the, rather, long 25-minute presentation, Nintendo walked us through the different facets of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

The Ultimate brings together every single Smash Bros. fighter in the series’ history, including Pichu, Snake, and Ice Climbers, in addition to brand new fighters like Metroid’s Ridley; Splatoon’s Inklings; Super Mario’s Daisy; as well as female versions of Pikachu and Pokémon trainers.

On top of that, there will be Assist Trophies like BomberMan, for example, and a bunch of new Pokémon and Midna.

The best part is that all of the above is being brought to you with enhanced mobility, improved gameplay, and better graphics, with more spectacular and destructive one-on-one combats.

There’s more; you’ll be able to play the game in different settings, as stages from earlier titles are making a comeback, including Spirit Train, Princess Peach’s Castle, the Green Hill Zone, and a brand new stage called the Great Plateau Tower, which appears to be based on the action-adventure game, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is not only compatible with Nintendo Switch Pro Controllers and Smash Bros Amibos, but also supports GameCube controllers; of course, this will only be possible in the console’s docked mode as the GameCube controllers cannot work without a GameCube adaptor.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is releasing on December 7, 2018.

Super Mario Party

Super Mario Party is finally coming to Switch, with the game being the Franchise’s first entry into the world of consoles, and it looks fantastic.

The game is a blend of familiar boardgame elements, synonymous with the series, and a slew of new characters – plus, mini-games that will not only test your reflexes but your patience, as well.

Furthermore, because SMP is a Switch game, players can play with a single joy-con; however, some mini-games will require motion controllers.

Also, you can combine consoles for four-player game modes to create a unified playing field, allowing characters to move across the screens of consoles involved.

Super Mario Party is out October 5, 2018, for the Nintendo Switch.

Fortnite

The fact that the hugely popular title is coming to Switch is no surprise for anybody, thanks to an earlier leak.

So, Nintendo’s announcement of the game at E3 Direct was a mere formality – an official confirmation, if you like.

While the Switch variant of Fortnite has all the frenzied building, crazy dancing, and fierce action that the game is known for, apparently, there isn’t any Nintendo-themed content like you get to see in ports of other popular titles; plus there’s no PS4 compatibility for cross-play.

The great news is that the game is available on Nintendo eShop, absolutely free.

Fortnite fans, what are you waiting for?

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Having announced the game for Switch as far back as January, last year, Nintendo finally gave us a look at the promised full-fledged Fire Emblem title – Fire Emblem: Three Houses – through a full-length reveal trailer at the E3 Direct.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses is the first console Fire Emblem game in more than a decade – the last was 2007’s Radiant Dawn.

The game will release for Nintendo Switch sometime in 2019.

Daemon X Machina

Japanese developer Marvelous Entertainment’s wild new game Daemon X Machina features a whole lot of mechs battling it out in ways that are unique, somewhat like the old Armored Core games.

In fact, Nintendo opened its presentation with Daemon X Machina, setting the tone for all the other great announcements that followed.

The game has some amazing talent behind it, including the likes of:

  • Shōji Kawamori – Legendary Japanese anime creator and producer, screenwriter, visual artist, and mecha designer
  • Yūsuke Kozaki – Manga artist and character designer– the man responsible for designing No More Heroes character Travis Touchdown
  • Rio Hamamoto – Known for his work on the Pecan series
  • Kenichiro Tsukuda – Producer of Armored Core 2 and 3
  • Junichi Nakatsuru – Composer of Soulcalibur
Categories
Entertainment From The Editors Top 5

Top 5 Ubisoft Games Announced at the Publisher’s E3 2018 Press Event

French video game publisher Ubisoft kicked off its E3 2018 campaign in Los Angeles, California, with a press conference on Monday (June 11).

The Montreuil-based company’s keynote showcased a slew of teasers and trailers for upcoming games, including cinematic trailers for BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL 2 and SKULL AND BONES; an official gameplay trailer for THE DIVISION 2; a gameplay walkthrough for ASSASSIN’S CREED ODYSSEY, as well as an announcement trailer for TRIALS RISING.

So, here’s a quick look at all of the above in case you missed out on the live event.

BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL 2

The cinematic trailer for Beyond Good and Evil 2 – a prequel to the original – didn’t reveal much in terms of how the game is going to play out, other than what Ubisoft tells us about it; that “you are your own space pirate captain who is free to choose your own path in this vast open universe.”

However, the trailer did reveal at the end that the game’s star, Jade, is making a comeback, but in what capacity, remains a matter of conjecture, although the developers did say that she has a major part to play in BG&E 2.

Following the cinematic trailer, a brief pre-alpha gameplay footage was shown on stage, with two BG&E2 team members coming onstage to talk about the Space Monkey program announced last year.

The program proposes to allow enthusiasts from all over the world to constructively participate in the BG&E 2 scheme of things by contributing their art and creations to be featured in the game.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt then came on stage to talk about how his company HitRECord and the BG&E 2 team are partnering in the Space Monkey endeavor.

SKULL AND BONES

Cinematic Trailer

Gameplay Trailer

Following the cinematic trailer, which was pretty neat to start with, the developers treated the audience to an exciting gameplay video.

Skull and Bones is a multiplayer online game – somewhat along the lines of Rare’s Sea of Thieves – in which players from across the globe can form teams to fight other world players and teams.

“Enter the multiplayer open world of Skull and Bones’ Hunting Grounds. Choose a ship, plan your attack, and prey on the lucrative trade routes of the Indian Ocean,” says Ubisoft.

THE DIVISION 2

Having already revealed the launch date (March 15, 2019) and Washington, DC setting for the follow-up to the 2016 game – The Division – at the Microsoft press event on Sunday, Ubisoft unveiled some more details about the upcoming sequel, The Division 2, at its own E3 presser the following day.

We now know that within a year of the game’s launch in 2019, the game will get three expansions, featuring new areas, new stories, and new missions, absolutely free for all players – a clear deviation from the paid expansions policy Ubisoft adopted for the original game.

ASSASSIN’S CREED ODYSSEY

Assassin’s Creed is back with a brand new game called Odyssey, which will feature more role-playing elements than what we saw in last year’s Assassin’s Creed Origin.

While Origin was played in an ancient Egypt setting, Odyssey takes place centuries before, in an even more ancient Greece, during the Peloponnesian War fought by the Athenian Delian League against the Spartan Peloponnesian League.

Despite the obvious commonalities between the two games, Odyssey features some additional features that are pretty cool, one has to say.

Here’s what the publisher has to say about Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.

“Visit the beautiful Mykonos City in Ancient Greece where our Spartan hero Kassandra prepares for her next adventure. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey will feature dialogue options, weapons and combat ability customization, naval ship battles, and a world rich with myths and legends!”

TRIALS RISING

Developed by Helsinki, Finland-based Red Lynx and Ubisoft Kiev, the high-speed motocross racing game, Trials, is making a comeback in February, next year, as Trials Rising, with more tracks than ever before, including “tracks set in famous real-world locations with creative twists,” says Ubisoft.

The game will feature a local multiplayer mode called Tandem Bike, where two players will work in tandem to navigate a dirtbike through some interesting tracks.

Players will be allowed to customize their bikes and riders and even share their designs with the Trials Rising community for a chance to earn rewards if other players find their creations good enough to adopt.

The game will also feature a competition mode where riders will vie against other players for a place on the leaderboards, and even “take on contract challenges from in-game sponsors to rise through the ranks on their way to Trials glory,” says Ubisoft.

“A Gold Edition of the game will also be available that includes both the base game and the expansion pass with two major DLCs and in-game items. All pre-orders of Trials Rising include the Jungle Rider and Wild West Rider packs.” (Ubisoft)