Beats Powerbeats 4 review: Big upgrade over its predecessor but behind the times

The new Powerbeats cost $150.


David Carnoy/CNET

When Beats released the truly wireless Powerbeats Pro last year, it was a kind of dream product for Beats headphones fans. Except for the downside of its bulky charging case, the Powerbeats Pro were essentially AirPods on steroids, with richer, more dynamic sound and better battery life — and they stayed in your ears more securely, particularly during athletic activities. 

Like

  • Better built than Powerbeats3 Wireless, with better sound quality
  • Thicker, rounded cord between buds
  • Charge via Lightning (cable included)
  • Better battery life than Powerbeats Pro — up to 15 hours
  • Same features as the 2019 AirPods
  • Phone call quality is excellent

Don’t Like

  • Plenty of very good true wireless earbuds in this price range
  • May not fit some ears perfectly (tight seal is crucial to getting optimal sound)

Now Beats has gone retro on us and brought back the standard “wired/wireless” Powerbeats. (Yes, the name of the 2020 model is just “Powerbeats,” but nearly everyone is calling these fourth-generation models the “Powerbeats 4.”) These are basically the Powerbeats Pro, but there’s a cord between the buds, which are still wirelessly connected to the phone. At $150 (£130, AU$220), or $100 less than

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How to watch James Cordon’s star-filled Homefest special live on Monday


The Late Late Show
For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

Monday night, James Cordon will host a primetime special episode of The Late Late Show Starring James Corden, called Homefest. The special will feature musicians livestreaming from their own homes around the world in hopes of lifting fans’ spirits and encouraging them to do their part to help stop the spread of COVID-19

Corden will air the special from his garage, with guests including Billie Eilish, John Legend, Andrea Bocelli, BTS, Dua Lipa, Will Ferrell, David Blaine and Ben Platt. 

“Shooting from James’ garage may be far from perfect, but under the circumstances we hope it can help someone, somewhere, who needs some cheer right now,” The Late Late Show Executive Producers Ben Winston and Rob Crabbe said in a statement.

In addition to encouraging viewers to follow CDC guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the show will raise money for the nonprofit Feed the Children and The CDC Foundation.  Each dollar donated to Feed the Children will provide $7 worth of food and essentials to struggling children and families. The CDC Foundation is

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Apple iOS 13: A cheat sheet

iOS 13 ushers in new enhancements for iPhone and iPad, including dark mode, revamped built-in apps, and industry-changing privacy features.

Apple unveiled iOS 13 at its June 2019 Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC). Apple wasted no time getting into the nitty-gritty details of the new mobile operating system, and had quite a few surprises like splitting up support for iPad and iPhone into their own unique OSes with separate features for the first time since the iPad was released.

This cheat sheet is available as a download, Apple iOS 13: A cheat sheet (free PDF).

SEE: All of TechRepublic’s cheat sheets and smart person’s guides

What is iOS 13, and will it work on my device?

iOS 13 is the 13th major iteration of Apple’s mobile operating system called iOS. The OS can run on the following iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices that are available as of this writing. 

  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone Xr
  • iPhone Xs
  • iPhone Xs Max
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8 / 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7 / 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6s / 6s Plus
  • iPhone 6 / 6 Plus
  • iPhone SE
  • iPod touch (7th generation)
  • iPad Pro 4th Generation

For

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How to use an iPhone or Android device as the security key for your Google account

Your smartphone can act as your security key to authenticate your Google credentials on the web. Learn how to set that up on an Android device or an iPhone.

Image: Andy Wolber / TechRepublic

Google offers a variety of ways to add two-step verification to better protect and secure your account, but the simplest option may be to register your phone as your means of verification, which you can do on an Android or iPhone. While an Android device automatically includes the necessary functionality, an iPhone needs an extra app called Google Smart Lock; from there the process works the same on both types of devices.

Using your phone as your security key means you don’t need to deal with PINs or codes sent via text message or phone call to verify Google account sign-ins on a computer. Instead, you confirm the login by tapping Yes to a prompt on your phone. The only drawback is that this type of verification works only with Google logins via Chrome and not with other browsers, such as Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

SEE: Google Cloud Platform: An insider’s guide (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

How to set up an Android phone as your security key

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Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 review: AMD makes this 14-inch gaming laptop fly


Lori Grunin/CNET

The 14-inch  Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is one of the the thinnest, lightest gaming laptops we’ve tested. But it still manages to be one of the most powerful in its class, thanks to AMD’s new eight-core (16 logical processor) Ryzen 9 4900HS processor. It also has an Nvidia RTX 2060 Max-Q graphics chip for gaming. That’s a solid combo, but it does feel like the midlevel RTX 2060 isn’t enough of a match for the high-end Ryzen 9. The base model starts at $1,050 (about £850 or AU$1,710) but my review model costs $1,450. 

Like

  • Excellent CPU performance for its size
  • Comfortable keyboard with a surprising amount of travel

Don’t Like

  • No webcam
  • Power connector in the middle of the left side
  • White keyboard backlight doesn’t consistently shine through transparent keycap areas
  • No Thunderbolt 3 connection

Taking a leaf out of Intel’s Project Athena book, AMD recently introduced its HS Design Standard, though in AMD’s case, the target is thin-and-light laptops with discrete graphics for gaming. That’s in addition to offering good battery life for typical business use, in contrast to the more aggressively low-powered but business-focused Project Athena models. The G14 is the HSDS poster-child debut

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Coronavirus medicine: Vaccines, chloroquine and drugs to treat COVID-19

Everything you need to know about COVID-19 vaccines.


Tetra/Getty
For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

COVID-19, the potentially fatal respiratory illness first detected in December 2019, has spread across the globe with unseen speed and ferocity. It’s forced the cancellation of major events, postponed sports seasons, and sent the world into self-isolation in an attempt to curb the spread. Health authorities and governments are attempting to flatten the curve and mitigate extensive transmission in the community, while biotech firms and researchers turn their attention to the coronavirus causing the disease: SARS-CoV-2.

Since it was first discovered as the causative agent of the new disease, scientists have been racing to get a better understanding of the virus’ genetic makeup, how it infects cells and how to effectively treat it. There’s no cure, and medical specialists can only treat the symptoms of the disease. Many different treatment options have been proposed and some older drugs seem to be associated with positive outcomes — but much more work is required. However, the long-term strategy to combat COVID-19, which has spread to every continent on Earth besides Antarctica, is to develop a vaccine.

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