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Only 5% of internet users currently connect via satellite in the US. But that number could jump significantly when SpaceX’s service finally gets off the ground, according to a new survey.

By Eric Griffith

Chances are good that you hate your internet provider, even if your connection is fast. Now imagine your provider can barely give you reasonable speed for your distance-learning kids, your forced-to-work-from-home partner, or yourself for classes, video meetings, and streaming The Expanse. That’s the state of internet for far too many, especially in rural areas, and the only reasonable solution on the horizon is the promise of truly fast connections via satellite. That’s coming, thanks to Amazon’s eventual Project Kuiper (allegedly with speeds up to 400Mbps) and SpaceX’s Starlink. The latter is right around the corner from a real launch (we hope) in 2021. …


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The app has over 2 billion active users; here’s how to get chatting.

By Chandra Steele

If you know about WhatsApp, you know. There are over 2 billion monthly users of the messaging app and yet most of the United States isn’t on it. For the rest of the world, though, WhatsApp is among the primary means of communication, with people checking their texts, sending stickers, and gabbing in group chats. If that’s you, you’ll want to make the most of your time on the app, and we have some tips to help you do just that.

Dark Arts


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Photo via Mike Choi/YouTube

Mike Choi combined Nintendo’s Labo kit, Ring Fit peripheral, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe game into a challenging but fun exercise experience.

By Stephanie Mlot

Lockdown is the perfect time to experiment with at-home fitness, which is exactly what Mike Choi did when he built the Labo Fit Adventure Kart.

A self-proclaimed “hardware hacker,” Choi combined Nintendo’s Labo kit, Ring Fit peripheral, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe game into one challenging but fun, full-body exercise experience.

“This is a fully functional concept product that I developed myself,” the developer and designer wrote in a Thursday tweet, sharing a series of videos highlighting his new invention. The DIY “kit” requires a Nintendo Switch, Ring Fit Adventure peripheral, TAPBO robot, and an exercise bike. …


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The three Galaxy S21 phones are $200 to $400 less than the S20, feature cameras with up to 100x zoom, and connect to the new C-band 5G networks. The top model supports the S Pen, but otherwise, improvements are iterative.

By Sascha Segan

The Samsung Galaxy S21 series promises to make the “everyday epic.” But Samsung’s three new phones—the $799 S21, the $999 S21+, and the $1,199 S21 Ultra—are more everyday than epic, primarily fixing and refining the S20 line’s concepts rather than doing anything radical.

The three new phones are $200 to $400 less expensive than last year’s flagships, reflecting pandemic-straitened budgets. They double down on last year’s promise of 100x zoom, but insist that this year they’re getting it right. They bring the S Pen to Samsung’s non-Note phones. And they are the first Samsung phones certified for the upcoming C-band 5G networks, which future-proof them for the next few years. …


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This year’s all-digital CES might have been lower key than usual, but it still brought plenty of new products, concepts, and services worthy of our Technical Excellence Award. We took in scores of virtual product demos and press conferences to bring you the best of the show.

By PCMag Staff

CES 2021 gave PCMag editors their first chance to vet candidates for our new Technical Excellence Awards, aka TechX. The award is given to products, concepts, and services we think are going to be game changers in their respective markets. CES has always been a proving ground for new concepts, and even without a trade show floor this year, there were plenty of innovations to be found. …


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8K TVs were introduced in abundance at this year’s virtual CES, including models from traditionally budget-friendly manufacturer TCL—but that doesn’t mean you should ditch your 4K TV just yet.

By Will Greenwald

We saw lots of new 8K TVs at CES this week, with some coming from vendors known for making affordable models, like TCL. That means 2021 is likely to be the year we start seeing 8K TVs hit the market at prices that far more people can realistically consider-we’re talking under five digits! Don’t freak out about replacing your still-new 4K TV just yet, though. Yes, 8K TVs will soon start proliferating the market. …


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Sono Motors is close to finalizing the Sion and plans to produce the first cars next year, starting at just $26,400.

By Michael Kan

German startup Sono Motors is showing off a solar-electric vehicle that can recharge when driven in daylight.

The Sion looks like a minivan, but the black exterior is covered with 248 polymer solar panels that absorb energy from the sun. As a result, the panels can recharge the car when it’s parked outside or on the move. …


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MSI announced a host of updated gaming laptops bearing Nvidia’s latest GPUs, and gave us a video tour of three standouts, including the new top-end GE76 Raider.

By Matthew Buzzi

MSI has unveiled a stable of gaming laptops employing Nvidia’s new GeForce RTX 30-Series GPUs, following the chip maker’s CES 2021 announcement that its “Ampere”-based graphics processors will be arriving on laptops this month.

The RTX 30-Series graphics chips have been a hit on desktop PCs for their combination of top-end performance and value, so they arrive on laptops to great anticipation. …


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WhatsApp’s updated privacy policy covers messages between users and businesses, not chats with your friends, but the Facebook panic is real. If you’re spooked, give these encrypted messaging apps a try.

By Chandra Steele

Secure messaging apps are having a moment. While the average person used to be content with their phone’s standard-issue messaging app, turbulent times, changes to privacy policies, and endorsements from the likes of Elon Musk have brought attention to safer forms of sending texts, photos, and videos.

Just as the general public in the United States was getting used to WhatsApp, which has enjoyed popularity elsewhere in the world for years, the Facebook-owned app is facing scrutiny for changes to its privacy policy. …


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The Duraforce Ultra 5G for Verizon doubles as a worksite hotspot.

By Sascha Segan

Kyocera has introduced the first rugged smartphone with Verizon’s millimeter-wave UWB 5G in it, the Duraforce Ultra 5G. A super-tough Android phone with rubber bumpers, it’s most notable to me for potentially being a Wi-Fi hotspot on outdoor worksites.

Verizon’s UWB 5G system is super fast, but primarily works outdoors in urban areas. The average white-collar worker hasn’t been out in those places much over the past year, but the folks who build, fix, and construct things have been hard at work. …

PCMag

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