Don't Miss A Thing

Follow Engadget

We already showed the Hubble Telescope some love back in the spring when it turned 25. However, since it's Space Week, we thought we'd revisit some of its amazing space imagery once more. Since it launched aboard the Space Shuttle discovery in 1995, Hubble has captured breathtaking views of planets, galaxies and more for us to enjoy. That being said, let's get started with the telescope's most recent work: a photo of spiral galaxy NGC 613.

Mattel wants to make virtual reality kid-friendly. The company's been trying to bring its toys into the digital age for the last year or so. Barbie received a speech-recognition makeover; a plush Smart Toy learned how to talk; and earlier this year, the toymaker announced it would leverage Google's Cardboard technology to revamp its iconic View-Master. The new iteration of the viewer was expected to offer an introductory virtual reality experience at an affordable price. Now as the viewer makes its way to shelves this month, the company has unveiled the 360-degree experiences that are designed to be a child's first brush with virtual reality.

You can't enjoy retro games without digging the music, and a YouTube video (below) shows exactly how those tunes evolved. As explained by the 8-Bit Guy and Obsolete Geek, early PCs and Apple machines used "beeper speakers" that were driven strictly by your computer's CPU. Those only produced crude sounds, because forcing the CPU to do more actually hurt gameplay. Computers and consoles eventually got dedicated sound chips, but each used a different number of "voices," producing the distinctive differences between, say, a Nintendo NES and a Commodore 64 system.

Must Reads

  • Twitter's curated Moments slows down the newsfeed for new users

    Twitter moves at the speed of human consciousness. With our attention span more and more resembling that of a gnat, that's pretty quick. That's partially the reason that the social network is finding it difficult for new users grasp. Breaking news on the service has a life cycle of about an hour or...

  • Soon you'll be able to remap your Xbox One controller's buttons

    Xbox One users will be able to transplant one button's function to another -- without having to stump up money for a fancy new Elite controller. While that controller costs $150 (with other reasons that might warrant a purchase), Mike Ybarra, Microsoft's Director of Program Management, replied to a...

If you haven't yet read our iPhone 6s and 6s Plus review (and why not?), the whole thing can be summed up in just one sentence: These are the best iPhones Apple has ever made. Kidding! We actually had quite a bit more to say than that. As on last year's models, there are some tradeoffs unique to both the 4.7- and 5.5-inch editions, with the smaller 6s being easier to hold, but the 6s Plus offering longer battery life and optical image stabilization. Other than that, the two have many of the same pros and cons, which ultimately explains why we elected to give each a score of 91 out of 100. In particular, both benefit from faster performance and a pressure-sensitive 3D Touch display (yay) but, on the down side, start with a meager 16GB of storage (boo). All told, we recommend both, but the question as to which you should buy boils down to how big a phone you're comfortable using. That's the gist, as recapped in our mini review video above, and if you have time to read up on on the finer points, you can find our full review here.

It's become commonplace for phone manufacturers to offer two sizes of their flagship phones: big and bigger. Microsoft is following suite with the new Lumia 950 and 950 XL, the latter of which is poised to compete directly with devices like the brand-new iPhone 6S Plus and the Nexus 6P. If you're looking for a flagship phone running your platform of choice, now's a great time to be in the market. The most notable difference about these devices is what operating system they run, but if you want to see how they stack up on a spec-by-spec basis, check out the table below.

Microsoft's Surface and Lumia event: by the numbers

The dust is settling on Microsoft's Windows 10 Devices event where the company showed off all the shiny devices that it's about to start selling. But if you weren't able to sit through our excellent liveblog, then perhaps you'd like to read this breakdown of the show based on the key numbers. It's like an extended highlights reel, but with a more statistical edge.

Get all the news from today's Microsoft event right here.

The smaller of the new Lumias is quite the powerhouse on paper, but how does it stack up against the latest iOS and Android devices? At first glance, Microsoft's newest flagship, the Lumia 950, seems plenty powerful with its 1.8GHz hexa-core Snapdragon 808, 3GB of RAM and 5.2-inch Quad HD AMOLED display. However, we've got the face-off after the break with a side-by-side comparison between the Lumia 950, iPhone 6s and Nexus 5x so you can decide for yourself which one best suits your needs.

Surface Book vs. the competition: flagship laptops go head-to-head

And then there were three: with the introduction of the Surface Book, Microsoft has joined Apple and Google in offering a premium laptop that runs its own platform. But how does it stack up next to its rivals, the 13-inch MacBook Pro and the Chromebook Pixel? We've put the specs of each side by side to help you sort things out. As you'll soon see, the three only share a few things in common. They reflect the unique philosophies of their creators, whether it's Microsoft's fondness for tablets, Apple's preference for powerful (if conventional) laptops or Google's desire for lean-and-mean web machines.

It's been an up-and-down ride for Microsoft's line of Surface tablets -- but the company finally hit on a formula that worked with the Surface Pro 3. It's a device that has inspired a number of competitors, most recently from Microsoft's long-standing rivals Apple and Google. The newly-announced iPad Pro and Pixel C both take clear and obvious cues from the Surface lineup, but fortunately for Microsoft it now has a brand-new Surface Pro 4 to compete with these newcomers. While much of your interest in these devices will likely come from which operating system you prefer, we've lined up the specs below so you can get an idea as to how these tablets will all stack up when they hit stores later this year.

You could be forgiven for forgetting that Windows Phones were ever really a thing -- iOS and Android devices keep making headlines. After all, it's been ages since we got a high-end phone from Microsoft or one of its partners. It was... frustrating to say the least, especially if you were one of those people who fell under the spell of Microsoft's mega-marketing blitz. Now, though, we've got two new high-end Windows Phones -- the Lumia 950 and 950 XL -- ready to bring the best of Redmond's new vision of software straight into our pockets. I spent a little time here in New York City to futz around with both, and one thing seems clear: While the hardware doesn't feel like Microsoft's best, there are plenty of good ideas here.

As promised, VAIO (Sony's now spun-off PC brand) is returning to the US. To start, it's just a single model, the Z Canvas. The 12.3-inch convertible Windows 10 PC comes with a stylus capable of 1024 levels of sensitivity, a wireless keyboard and with pretty sharp WQXGA+ screen it's pitched to sketchers and photographers, and trying to appeal to the same crowd that's eyeing up that incoming iPad Pro. It's on sale now, online at VAIO and Microsoft's retail sites, with prices starting at $2,199 with 8GB of memory and a 256GB SSD. Those looking to do serious business can upgrade all the way up to a 1TB storage setup and 16GB of memory.


As great as Reddit can be for discovering interesting news, it's not always ideal for newcomers -- it takes time to navigate that sea of posts, and some communities aren't so friendly. Reddit thinks it can help, though. It's launching Upvoted, an experimental news website that includes both curated stories from Reddit as well as original content... but not Reddit's community or voting. While it'll still link back to Reddit, it's really meant as an introduction for readers (and, we'd add, advertisers) that might be spooked by the occasional hostile comment on the main site. It's also meant to keep more news within the Reddit ecosystem, rather than letting other sites write about it first.

The Surface Pro 4 is here and ... it's pretty much just like the Surface Pro 3. Microsoft basically refined its design from last year to create a hybrid tablet that's slightly thinner and 30 percent more powerful. It also included a slightly larger 12.3-inch screen in the Surface Pro 4 (0.3 inches bigger than the SP3) without making the case bigger. Instead, Microsoft just chipped away at the bezel around the screen. All that makes for a Surface Pro that feels exceedingly familiar, but also wonderfully refined. While the Surface Pro 3 was good enough to replace most laptops for me, the SP4's improvements should make that true for even more people.


Wow. Microsoft finally did it. After years of rumors and speculation the company finally unveiled its very own laptop. Not a tablet that could replace a laptop (although there's that too), but a bona fide laptop, with an attached keyboard. Well, almost. The Surface Book, at first glance, looks like a traditional clamshell notebook with a touchscreen. In fact, though, it's more like a lovechild between the Surface and Lenovo's Yoga line. Which is to say, it has a removable display that supports pen input but, when attached, it can also flip back 360 degrees into tablet mode. Oh, and on the inside, it has enough horsepower to take on the MacBook Pro.

At the big Windows 10 devices event today, Microsoft's Panos Panay said that 53 percent of Surface Pro 3 owners use the device's stylus. So, when it came to building the improved Surface Pro 4, it made sense to upgrade the writing and doodling experience, too. Most importantly, the new "Surface Pen" has 1,024 degrees of pressure sensitivity, four times that of the Surface Pro 3, and an "all-year" battery life, which is something of a double-edged sword since you can't actually recharge it. The Surface Pen also has a tail eraser for manual undoing, and a selection of interchangeable tips for different tasks that change how the Pen feels and responds.

Microsoft's docking station

Microsoft isn't just unveiling a phone dock today -- it has a dock for your computers, too. The tech giant's new docking station gives the Surface Pro 3, Pro 4 and Surface Book the kind of connectivity you'd expect from a desktop. There are two 4K-capable DisplayPort outputs, four USB 3.0 ports and an Ethernet jack for your wired internet link. Microsoft's Surface Dock is available for pre-order now (with an expected release date of October 26th) at $200, which should be inexpensive enough that you can forget about buying a second PC.

Get all the news from today's Microsoft event right here.

And then Microsoft dropped a bombshell on stage. "What if you wanted a Surface -- but you wanted a laptop Surface, something with a bigger screen, something with the perfect typing experience of a laptop?" Microsoft's Panos Panay asked at the company's Windows 10 devices event. "We made the ultimate laptop; we made Surface Book." That's right, it's Microsoft's first in-house laptop -- with a 267 ppi, 13.5-inch display, a sixth-generation Intel Core processor, up to 16GB GDDR5 RAM and a claimed 12-hour battery life. Microsoft is calling it the "ultimate" laptop ...but just like every other Surface in the product line, it's still a detachable, convertible PC.

Microsoft has completely remade its Surface 4 Pro Type Cover, adding better type feel, a fingerprint sensor, a larger trackpad and more. For starters, the company gave its Surface Pro 3 users some love by making the new keyboard compatible with the older model. It's also the thinnest and lightest yet, and since the Surface Pro 4 itself shrunk from 9.1 to 8.4mm, the whole package is much smaller. The keys are also quieter, have more space between them and a better feel, which may finally make it a viable option for folks who couldn't handle the Surface Pro 3's slightly mushy keyboard.

In the span of a few years, Microsoft's Surface has gone from a genuine surprise, to a big disappointment, to a solid hybrid tablet (thanks to the Surface Pro 3, and to a lesser extent the Surface 3). Now, we have the Surface Pro 4, which comes just in time to go toe to toe with plenty of other Surface-like competitors, including Apple's new iPad Pro, Lenovo's Miix 700 and Dell's rumored new XPS 12. It looks pretty similar to last year's model, but it's thinner at 8.4 mm and sports a larger 12.3-inch display. However, the revamped specs and the fact that it was built specifically for Windows 10 might make it a much bigger draw than past Surfaces.

Microsoft's Display Dock in action

When Microsoft talked about Windows 10's universal apps enabling experiences you couldn't get on other platforms, it wasn't joking around. The company has revealed a Display Dock that turns Windows 10 phones into makeshift computers -- shades of Motorola Atrix, anyone? The add-on lets you plug in a conventional 1080p monitor (DisplayPort or HDMI) and up to three USB peripherals to run universal apps at desktop sizes, alongside a desktop-like taskbar and task switching. There's no mention of pricing just yet, but it's bound to cost a lot less than the Lumia 950 and other compatible phones.

Get all the news from today's Microsoft event right here.