Dell XPS 15 9500 review: The photo editor’s new friend

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Dell’s XPS 15 laptops continue to be crowd-pleasers. With its eye-catching, slim new design and photo-editing-friendly performance, display and feature set, the latest 15-inch model can hold its own as a less powerful — much cheaper — alternative to a 16-inch MacBook Pro ($2,399 at Apple). It’s well worth a look if that’s how you roll, though you might want to consider the new 17-inch XPS 17 instead for the bigger screen. Both are still premium-priced, and likely not worth the money if all you need is a pretty work clamshell, not a serious workhorse. 


  • Impressive control over color management for a consumer laptop
  • Two USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 connections
  • Good performance and battery life, all things considered

Don’t Like

  • Can run hot
  • Only USB-C connectors
  • Soft, rubberized keyboard deck feels fine but scratches easily

The configuration we tested runs about $2,255. If you don’t need color accuracy, want better battery life and can live without the slightly-better-than 4K UHD resolution, you can save almost $300 by going for the lower-resolution option. The base configuration costs about $1,300 and comes with an Intel Core i5-10300H, 8GB RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive and the 1,900×1,200-pixel display.

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macOS Big Sur: A cheat sheet

Hello World, from Apple’s macOS 11! This Big Sur guide covers everything you need to know, including features, requirements, and where to get the newest release in the macOS line.

Apple announced the long-rumored successor to its popular and stable OS X (see macOS 10.x) line of operating systems at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). The annual, week-long event aimed at developers around the world is usually held in California, but WWDC 2020 was the first time it was held exclusively online and also made available to the public.

The biggest announcement at WWDC 2020 for desktop users at least is macOS 11, with Apple finally making the leap from the venerable OS X/macOS 10.x code to the new 11.0 base. Bringing with it much more than a numerical change, the new version of macOS unveiled on June 22, 2020 brings many redesigns of iconic Apple features, a whole host of usability updates to existing applications, and a few surprises.

This guide for macOS Big Sur will be updated as new features and updates are released over the lifespan of the operating system to always bring you the latest information and keep you up-to-date on all things macOS 11.

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Missing or lost stimulus check? How to report it to the IRS

When’s the right time to report a missing stimulus check to the IRS? We’ll tell you.

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

You’ve been expecting your stimulus check since April, when the IRS first started making payments. After two months of waiting, you’re ready to find a phone number for the IRS so you can find out what’s going on. If that’s where you are, we’ve listed two IRS phone numbers below to help you reach an agent.

But before you do, we recommend taking a few minutes to run through our checklist below. You’ll want to confirm that your money is actually lost or misplaced, because the last thing you want to do is waste your time on hold or have an IRS representative tell you what you could’ve found out quicker on your own.

You also want to rule out legitimate reasons why your check could be delayed and gather the right information that’ll help you get useful answers when you do connect with an IRS representative. 

Read on for suggestions on what to do if your payment never arrives. Then brush up on both the

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Apple’s product engineering is unprecedented, says this former Windows exec

Commentary: Steven Sinofsky knows what it’s like to ship code at scale, which is why he’s perfect to call out Apple for “some of the most remarkable product engineering…in history.”

For most of us, we’ll just be grateful Adobe Lightroom works well on our new ARM-based Macs. But for Steven Sinofsky, who once ran Microsoft’s Windows business, the most impressive thing about Apple has nothing to do with anything that consumers will experience with the company’s products. Rather, it’s “some of the most remarkable product engineering…in history” that has gone into Apple’s steady drumbeat of delivering product updates, as he recently gushed.

If “gushed” seems derogatory, it’s not meant to be. Because Sinofsky, who knows a thing or two about shipping product, waxed eloquent in a long series of tweets on the topic. It’s worth reading his views on how unprecedented Apple’s execution has been.

SEE: 10 essential apps and utilities for your Mac (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

“Done more and executed better”

What is it about Apple that causes Sinofsky to declare, “Under the hood, [Apple product engineering] is a team that over time has done more and executed better than any I can name, ever”? That’s

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Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus review: Nice extras give it an edge over other cheap tablets

With models available in 7-, 8- and 10-inch screen sizes and priced as low as $50 before Prime Day discounts, Amazon’s line of Fire tablets have long been the go-to option for bargain gadget hunters. But with its 2020 refresh of the 8-inch Fire HD 8 tablet, long the Goldilocks of its line, Amazon is adding a twist that may leave you wondering which one to buy. There are now two 8-inch models to choose from: a baseline Fire HD 8 starting at $90 (£90), and the $110 (£110) Fire HD Plus, which adds wireless charging and slightly better performance. The tablet isn’t available in Australia but the starting price converts to about AU$160.


  • Faster processor
  • Wireless charging
  • Fast USB-C charging
  • Better front camera placement
  • 3GB of RAM (up from 1.5 GB)
  • Optional wireless charging dock turns the HD 8 Plus into an Echo Show
  • Hands-free Alexa voice-assistant
  • Improved battery life

Don’t Like

  • Display is HD but not 1080p (could be sharper)
  • Amazon app store is limited compared to Google Play and Apple app store
  • Amazon Prime membership is a must

The two models look identical on the outside. The HD 8 Plus is only available in a slate

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