The Morning After: Mario Kart Live and a Surface Laptop Go surprise

We know how Nintendo's AR racer will work, plus interesting new laptops from HP and Microsoft.

It has only been one month since Intel rebranded Project Athena as Intel Evo, and the list of certified ultrabooks just keeps growing. If you’ve forgotten the details, Devindra Hardawar explained that all laptops you see with the tag have been tested to meet a series of benchmarks: wake from sleep in less than a second, support fast charging and offer at least nine hours of real-world battery life with 1080p screens.

Spectre x360

Dell and Lenovo showed off their first Evo laptops earlier this week, and now HP announced several new machines that meet the mark, including this 14-inch Spectre x360.

While the XPS lineup has squeezed extra space into smaller frames by going bezel-less, this one adds extra screen area by using a 3:2 aspect ratio that should add 20 percent more vertical viewing space. The company claims you can get up to 17 hours of battery life, and if a 13-inch laptop feels a little cramped but 15-inch monsters are too heavy then this one might be just right when it goes on sale in November starting at $1,200.

— Richard

Microsoft's cute Surface Laptop Go has a 12.4-inch screen, starts at $549

For those that don’t want to spend $1,000 on a notebook.

Face retouching

Microsoft rolled out a sneak attack of laptops and accessories yesterday morning, and the most intriguing might be this laptop. The Surface Laptop Go is a sleeker (and cuter) notebook with a 12.4-inch screen. And similar to the Surface Go 2, it’s being positioned as a low-cost device, with a starting price of $549. But unlike the Go 2, a compact machine that quickly gets more expensive as you spec it up, Microsoft claims even the entry level Laptop Go should feel pretty snappy even at its cheapest price.

With 10th generation Intel Core i5 processors and up to 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage inside, the cute new PC has a full-sized keyboard and touchscreen. You can pre-order the Surface Laptop Go now, and it’ll be available in stores on October 13th.
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Nintendo reveals more details about ‘Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit’

It supports anywhere from one to four players, as long as everyone has their own Switch.

Mario Kart Live

In a couple of weeks, Mario Kart will mix things up with the real world in this new game that uses remote control cars you control via your Switch. We know that each camera-equipped car costs $99, and that players will design their own courses using cardboard gates similar to Nintendo Labo accessories. The company recommends open space of at least 10 x 12 feet to play the game, so tiny apartments might be squeezed out, but at least the karts can handle rugs. Kris Naudus has all the details, as well as a developer video, right here.
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The Pixel 5 is more expensive in the US than it needs to be

If your network doesn't support mmWave 5G, you're overpaying.

Pixel 5

The US is paying a $100 premium for the Pixel 5 compared to the rest of the world. Google built a less expensive Pixel 5 without mmWave support (that is apparently what you’re paying for), but you can’t get it in the US. So, even if you buy the phone unlocked here, you’re paying for the mmWave technology inside it, regardless of whether you’re going to use it.

Nathan Ingraham explains the differences — and why it might not be worth it.
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Google will make clearer when you've edited a selfie

And Snapchat is on board with the plan.

Face retouching

You've probably seen super edited, airbrushed-to-death pictures all over Instagram and wondered if you’ll ever attain that incredible level of perfection. Some smartphone cameras turn on some sort of filter or smoothing effect by default, and now, as part of its Digital Wellbeing initiative, Google has announced a design framework meant to provide more control and transparency around selfie filters. At least, for its phones.

This feature will start rolling out in the Pixel 4a, where face retouching is turned off by default, and an upcoming update will use more neutral language and symbols for these tools as opposed to words with value attached to them like “beautifying” or “perfecting.” One of these changes, for example, is going with the label “subtle” instead of “natural,” which might imply that a lightly edited picture is “natural.”

Also, if you decide to use a retouching tool, you’ll see more information about how each setting is applied.
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But wait, there’s more...

Google Maps' 'Live View' AR feature gets landmarks and improved accuracy

'Super Mario Bros. 35' review: Iconic platformer, so-so battle royale

New York and New Jersey launch COVID Alert apps for Android and iOS

Xfinity's new mesh networking pods are twice as fast as the old ones

Snapchat helped register a million voters ahead of 2020 election

Netflix will only stream in 4K to Macs that have a T2 security chip

WoW's 'Shadowlands' expansion is delayed until later this year

Amazon reveals 19,816 employees have had COVID-19

Corsair did its best, but I still dislike opto-mechanical keyboards

Twitter is working on a fix for its automated image cropping