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The Morning After: The best laptops for students going back to school

And the FIFA currency 'crypto farm'.

Dell XPS 13
Mat Smith
Mat Smith|@thatmatsmith|July 20, 2021 7:15 AM

It’s another strange and unusual year for students, but it’s time to start preparing for another one, and our team has been picking out the best PCs and other tech to make academic life a little easier. Our 2021 Back To School guide kicks off with our guide to the best laptops for students, as well as a guide to more humbly priced gadgets and things for under $50.

Three laptops against a bright colorful background.
Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

I don’t want to spoil everything, but we’ll cover budget TVs for college students, educational toys for younger learners and even the best student discounts we’ve found for 2021.

— Mat Smith

Warby Parker's vision test app can help renew your glasses prescription

You might not need to visit a clinic.

Warby Parker Virtual Vision Test app for iPhone
Warby Parker

Warby Parker is turning its Prescription Check app into the Virtual Vision Test, and it’ll offer a way to renew your glasses or contact lens prescription using only an iPhone and your existing eyewear. Prop up your phone, stand 10 feet away and you can walk through a familiar "can you read this" test that will gauge whether or not your glasses or contacts need updating. Continue reading.

PS4 'crypto farm' reportedly used bots to grind in-game FIFA currency

Instead of crypto, the consoles were mining FIFA Ultimate Team accounts for profit.

You might recall that crypto farm bust last week in the Ukraine, where thousands of PS4s were rigged to run on stolen electricity. Well, according to local news outlet Delo, it wasn’t crypto but FIFA the machines were churning through. PCs were running bots on the consoles to play FIFA and automatically earn in-game currency. Although buying or selling FIFA coins with real money is against EA policies, that hasn't stopped a thriving black market for the digital currency. One site offers PS4 FIFA 21 account with 5.1 million coins for $300.

Illegal third-party sellers aren’t the only ones making bank. Last year, EA made $1.62 billion from the Ultimate Team franchise, which accounted for 29 percent of its net revenue for the fiscal year. "A substantial portion" of that revenue came from FIFA games. Continue reading.

Apple launches iOS 14.7 with support for its new MagSafe Battery Pack

And you can merge two Apple Cards into a co-managed account.

iPhone 12 MagSafe Battery Pack

The latest version of iOS 14 adds a few useful but relatively minor features, such as support for the new MagSafe Battery Pack on iPhone 12. There's an option to merge two Apple Cards into a co-owned account with a combined credit limit.

There's also a new filter in the Podcasts library that allows you to see all shows or only the ones you follow. Oh, and did I mention you can subscribe to this very newsletter in its audio form right here? Continue reading.

CNN+ will offer live and on-demand content in early 2022

The new service will include original shows and movies.

CNN has unveiled its rumored streaming service and says it will offer a blend of live and on-demand shows that are "separate and distinct" from its existing TV coverage. It will debut sometime in the first quarter of 2022. While CNN hasn't narrowed down the price, lead executive Andrew Morse told Variety there wouldn't be an ad-supported tier at launch. Continue reading.

But wait, there’s more...

WhatsApp now lets you join in-progress group calls

Android TV gets new Google TV features

A robot collision sparked a fire at the UK's top online grocer

Tencent to buy British video game studio Sumo for $1.27 billion

NVIDIA shows 'Wolfenstein: Youngblood' with RTX ray-tracing on ARM

Engadget Deals: Apple's latest iPad Airs fall to all-time lows at Amazon

The Morning After: The best laptops for students going back to school