The technology I’ll use to accept the London Marathon

Therefore, we’re currently at time two within the 10 day countdown towards the London Marathon, and I’ve had a couple of individuals asking what sort of technology I’ll be making use of into the race – therefore I’ve assembled helpful tips to what I’ll be making use of.

But exactly what I’ll be running with will likely be useless to 1 individual, or unimportant to another – it’s what makes you’re feeling good. We don’t like running having phone strapped to my arm however people can’t do without it – which’s okay.

For some people, a GPS watch simply is an unnecessary distraction for their pure racing – these people are brilliant at monitoring their very own human anatomy and pace instinctively, and I’m insanely jealous of those. Give me personally a tiny wizard on my arm telling me to run faster or slower, please.

Then when we get to the London Marathon start line, panicking about lacking the right pacing strategy or wondering if going to the lavatory five times has been enough, here’s what will be strapped onto my own body to help me personally get through:

GPS watch

As I said above, there’s no way I’m going into competition with no watch strapped to my wrist. I love them. Actually, i enjoy testing them plenty that my buddy said she as soon as had a fantasy that I was chasing the girl within the London Marathon with 20 strapped every single arm, screaming at the lady to operate faster.

(She called it a nightmare. Simply seems motivational to me).

My favourite at the moment could be the Garmin Forerunner 735XT – I’m a fan of what Garmin does at the moment with sleek design, lots of data to consider as well as the capacity to really customise the display showing what i would like.

That’s important to me personally: being able to see exactly what I want when I need certainly to. The 735XT is costly, and I don’t ever make use of the swimming and biking functions (it’s a real triathlon view), but I prefer it to the running-only Forerunner 630 as it’s maybe not touchscreen.

When I start a competition, i enjoy press a real switch, not have to touch a display. Additionally, that watch additionally once removed a run under a damp sleeve, making me personally without any record of my 19 mile run.

We put it on everyday as well, as it functions completely as being a smartwatch. I get notifications, can control music and decrease telephone calls – plus I’ll nevertheless reach minimum four days’ battery pack life even with a regular run.

It’s also among the best fitness and rest trackers, plus the software is fully-featured too. The Forerunner 735XT actually beast.

But I’ve additionally tested these watches recently if you’re enthusiastic about various other options:

I’ll be operating with all the Apple Watch 2 trapped to my arm – but not for monitoring reasons. It’s a fairly competent product for monitoring your runs, but that’s all it can do as being a GPS view. It willn’t have actually training plans or tips to get stronger, and range of 3rd party apps that may do that continue to be pretty limited.

(Strava is currently a indigenous app on Apple Watch – meaning you are able to run without the need to be connected to a phone – but it’s basic at most useful).

I’ll be using it because it’s got brilliant battery life for smartwatch in a marathon (as you can see from my Chester Marathon report) while still pumping the tunes into my head. 

It’s a lightweight option to a phone in the supply for music, although sadly it doesn’t allow me to store Spotify songs on the website.
There ended up being an app called Spotty that was going to offer this functionality, however some legal issues with Spotify saw it halted. It’s coming, yet not over time for me.

So I’ll be taking out a one-month subscription to Apple musical – it is since fully-featured as Spotify and lets me personally keep offline songs. All we worry about is music getting to my head – this will do.

As for other watches I tried, the Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR is a chunky number that’s got a big display screen and decent battery pack life – nonetheless it’s pretty massive and does not provide much customisation. It can have one of the best wrist heartrate monitors I’ve ever tried however.

I’d urge any runner looking for a budget option to try the TomTom Spark 3 – it is a steal today and that can do this much – including playback music through wireless headphones. It’s a small on the simplistic part, nonetheless it’s always usually the one I recommend looking at if you’re hoping to get started in running watches.

We enjoyed my time aided by the Polar M400 – some on chunky part, nevertheless the Polar Flow app is great and contains smart features too. In addition provides some nice fitness tracking abilities for a discounted.

If you’re a new runner, pun intended NewBalance RunIQ watch. It’s a chunky Android Wear smartwatch that’s been made with Strava, but after that function (& most other operating watches now auto-upload towards the service) it is pretty mundane and hella costly.


Regarding music engaging in my brain during the competition, there’s just one option for me personally: Aftershokz Trekz Titanium.

You will find quite a few Zs within the name of those headphones, but they’re special for 2 reasons: they’re race appropriate and they enable you to hear the audience along with your music.

It works through bone tissue conduction, firing the noise throughout your head bone tissue into your ear canals. There’s part of me that just thinks they’re really loud headphones being pushed up against the bones before your ears, nonetheless they get the job done.

I’ll be carrying out a more in-depth piece on bone-conduction technology later on a few weeks, but also for now, simply trust me why these really are a great option for London – even when you’re allowed to make use of other headphones, generally in most events you can’t and there’s no chance i do want to miss any of the environment.

Heartrate monitor

Plenty of concerns I have remain heart rate monitors – simply because the average runner is getting up on benefits of heartrate training, but the majority don’t like the concept of using a band.

We used to be in that club, but since using the plunge I can’t perform a competition or decent run without one connected. They don’t need to be too tight, just snug enough not to move.

I’m not a fan of wrist-based heartbeat monitors, as they can be inaccurate too easily. For a lot of they can work nicely, and they’re a convenient option, but I can’t use them. There’s absolutely nothing worse that feeling like you are dying in a race and also you look right down to obtain a continue reading exactly how hard you are working only to see you’re apparently asleep.

I use the supplied heartrate strap using the Garmin 735XT, mostly as it packs an accelerometer to monitor things such as exactly how high you are bounding, which foot you favour and exactly how quickly you are tapping the bottom.

We don’t need any one of that information, although easily had been leaning too much kept or appropriate it might offer me a great insight on why i may be getting random accidents.

If you’re buying good fundamental heart rate monitor, I’d recommend the Wahoo Tickr. It’ll utilize most smartphones and watches, and fits nicely. You can invest a bit more money and acquire the Tickr X, but that will fundamentally just provide you with the capacity to record workouts without having a phone… the bottom model is okay.

There’s a lot of material occurring in ear-based heartbeat monitors right now too – your skin within the ear is actually thin and is near the bloodstream flowing on mind, so it’s supposed to be hyper accurate.

Unfortunately I’ve got really crap ears, as they’re a lot more like vast expanses of aural wasteland than snug area to slide and earbud into, meaning many heart rate monitors battle to work correctly. However, I’ve found several that work pretty much:

The Jabra Elite Sport buds are only phenomenal. They’re Apple’s wireless AirPods on steroids, offering certainly cordless music, training programs and heartbeat monitoring. But they’re mega-expensive… but worth a appearance if you’re after an all-round recreations option.

Bose’ SoundSport Pulse are really a pair I’ve simply finished evaluation, and while they’re another touch expensive, the sound quality is immense, the fit interestingly strong despite experiencing loose as well as the heartbeat monitor accurate as a result.

If you’d like to make more of a fashion statement, then the Moov HR is just a enjoyable option. Using the ‘thin skin close to the mind’ idea to your Nth degree, here is a headband by having an inbuilt heart-rate monitor.

It will set with running watches (with more just around the corner) but I’ve perhaps not had the best time with all the accuracy since utilizing it – but seems more reliable for running than it will high intensity exercises.

One last thing

I’ve possessed a good question from people of #teamcardio group I’m section of included in the Cardiomyopathy charity operating group on marathon, particularly around whether carrying water and candies may be beneficial… and how to complete it.

I’m not a fan of holding water in races up to half marathon distance since it’s feasible to get in totally hydrated sufficient if you’re running for 90 mins or less.

However, review that and you’ll need to consider benefiting from fluid in you.

In competition I’ll be slurping from bottles along the way, as they’re mega-regular on course, so I would say you don’t must be concerned about holding your own personal beverages during the competition.

However, i take advantage of the Nathan Trail Mix 4 hydration gear for my training as it’s got two neat pockets for water bottles plus handy pouch for energy chews or ties in – and may be a good clear idea for the marathon without the fluid containers.

It’s a bit late become thinking about incorporating in brand new kit this near to the marathon, however, if you are looking for one (and guarantee to try it out several times prior to the big day…) that’s a great option.

Sorry the brag

I wanted to place this in today’s diary entry but felt bad placing it excessive: I WAS THE VERY FIRST FINISHER IN PARKRUN TODAY! 

(For those that have no idea, Parkrun is a free 5k competition every Saturday at hundreds of areas around the world – and I love it).

It was a huge accomplishment for me personally since it was a strong battle with an accomplished runner for the whole run across an undulating program – and I actually had a need to dig in by the end, my heart rate pumping at a close-to-max 182 beats each minute up the final hill.

It’s a big deal this near to the battle because it shows working out is coming together also it was tough today – and I’m going to need that psychological fortitude to possess any chance in competition a few weeks. 

I really couldn’t find a decent picture of me personally today. Enjoy particularly this one from ages ago.

Being strong mentally is something I’ve struggled with hard previously, being able to silence the internal voice that informs me I’m not adequate enough, unable to run only at that speed, maybe not going to be capable finish…. So to concern the dark vocals today and keep maintaining work feels huge.

I Like this estimate from cyclist Greg LeMond whenever describing the improvements training brings: “It doesn’t get any easier, you simply have faster.” So in spite of how fast you’re thinking about operating the London Marathon, or other competition, work may be the big leveller.

I simply desire to get across that line and know We forced towards the restriction – there’s nothing more I am able to do from then on.

If you have any technology questions in front of the big day – or perhaps about running as a whole – please feel free getting in contact using the links below, and/or email within my author bio! It’d be great to answer some direct questions from runners on the next few days.

Star Wars Battlefront 2 launch date, news and rumors

Things are pretty great for Star Wars fans at the moment: not just are new movies coming regarding the regular, based on EA’s Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen there are likely to be a few games from various studios too.

The following exciting title into the celebrity Wars franchise is, definitely, EA Dice’s Battlefront 2, the sequel towards the franchise reboot very first released in 2015.

With regards to was initially released, celebrity Wars Battlefront received a blended reception with a few praising how it grabbed the celebrity Wars environment perfectly along with its exemplary cinematic visuals although some bemoaned its repeated combat and limited depth and content.

Notwithstanding criticisms, the overall game still offered over 14 million copies and counting. With a sequel in route, though, EA has the chance to learn from the first release and produce one thing larger and better. 

If these terms from EA CFO Blake Jorgensen are such a thing to put into practice, that’s just what we’re likely to get: “If there is critique, they just desired more. So we’re using that criticism to heart even as we develop the following game and trying to deal with the conditions that that they had.”

And approach it they will have. 

Cut on chase

  • The facts? The sequel towards multiplayer-focused shooter Star Wars Battlefront
  • When may I play it? November 17 2017
  • So what can I play it on? PS4, Xbox One and Computer

Trailers and screenshots

The celebrity Wars Battlefront 2 trailer is a huge tale in and of itself. First we saw released version ahead of the trailer was initially set to launch before it absolutely was drawn down much to your chagrin. But that changed on April 15 when we got the state trailer during a panel at celebrity Wars Celebration in Orlando.

The trailer offers fans a glimpse regarding the game’s single-player campaign which it appears will revolve around an “untold soldier’s story” into the Empire. Including this single-player campaign that are emerge the period after the Empire’s defeat at Endor, there’ll also be a multiplayer mode of the game that will span “across all eras.”

This implies we are going to see areas and figures from the series’ original trilogy plus the prequels and brand new movies. The trailer provides a glance at figures like Rey, Kylo Ren, Yoda and Darth Maul across a number of areas. In addition seems like there will certainly be exciting space battles included. 

Release date

Ends up, November and December will be great months for celebrity Wars fans. Star Wars Battlefront 2 will dsicover a worldwide launch on November 17 2017, followed soon by the theatrical launch of Celebrity Wars Episode 8 The Past Jedi 30 days later on December 15. 

This means that the game would be out somewhat ahead of the movie – and thus gets the possible to provide united states a quick consider brand new places and brand new ships from future film. Having said that, those that pre-order the game need use of two brand new skins – Episode 8 variants of Kylo Ren and Rey – and two brand new ships – the Episode 8 variation of the Millennium Falcon and a yet undisclosed ship through the brand new movie. 

What we know we’ll see

As a result of the Star Wars Celebration panel, we now have expert insight into what we can expect as soon as the game happens. There are two crucial new additions right here: an account mode and room battles. 

Let us begin first by looking at the game’s new single-player mode. 

In it, you’ll play as Iden Versio, an associate regarding the Imperial Forces elite ops product called Inferno Squad, a combination of expert Tie Pilots and covert commandos. During the trailer the game we watch Iden witness the destruction for the second Death celebrity over the moon of Endor. Without direct missions through the now-deceased Emperor, Iden leads the lady squad on a mission of revenge in an attempt to quell the Rebellion. 

Compared to that end, Battlefront II will occupy enough time between your sixth film of this franchise, Return associated with the Jedi,  additionally the 7th movie, The Force Awakens.

Following the battle on Endor, players will happen to be Iden’s homeworld, a planet that is under Imperial control the entirety of her life. In the place of an martial law-loving Imperial city we’ve seen in the past, however, Ida’s homeworld has come to embrace and love the Empire. This love strikes house the theme your single-player campaign goes for, which is that yes, the Rebellion had heroes, but so did the kingdom. 

Taking into consideration the Motive development team was brought in to exert effort regarding the single-player particularly, there’s small chance of it feeling just like a tacked on afterthought and we’re excited to see how this can play down.

This is certainly interesting – the first DICE name restricted players to figures in the series’ original trilogy but from that which we can easily see from leaked trailer the sequel will probably start even more and explore figures, areas and activities from the brand new films and prequel trilogy too. 

That means that in addition to figures like Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Han Solo and Boba Fett, players can get to manage characters such as Rey, Kyrlo Ren, Yoda and Darth Maul.

Others interesting addition inside iteration will be space battles. These will be developed by Criterion and certainly will allow players to take part in epic dogfights over some of the most iconic battlefields within the celebrity Wars universe. 

Will there be VR?

It’s been revealed that Rogue One: X-Wing VR Mission developer Criterion is active in the development of Battlefront 2 which tips on proven fact that there’ll possibly be some VR content associated with the overall game, or about the addition of some epic space battle missions. 

it is perfectly possible we could see optional VR side content like that released previously but we would also prefer to believe that Criterion is helping focus on some epic space dog fights utilizing the expertise gained through the X-Wing Mission development process. 

There is room combat in the first game but from that which we can easily see through the leaked trailer it appears like this feature happens to be expanded to be more impressive and open.  

What we’d always see

Diversity in game modes

It’s not there had been a dearth of modes in the first Battlefront game, but after a while each of them started initially to feel very similar. One thing we’d like to see in Battlefront 2 is either more game modes that feel only a little various or at the least exactly the same wide range of game modes, just with tweaks to make them feel a tad bit more distinct in one another. 

Some free or cheaper content

The first Battlefront has free content which’s great nevertheless the content it costs for felt slightly too expensive, especially alongside the employment of  micro-transactions. So, so what can the sequel do in order to change that?

Well, to begin with, eliminating paid DLC would be a good first faltering step – and, through the sounds of it, that is precisely whatshould happen. In accordance with IGN, celebrity Wars Battlefront II will not give you a season pass this time around, and therefore DLC will likely be supplied 100% free.

The DLC the first game was pretty pricey taking into consideration the price of the first game however for many players it became an essential purchase to carry on enjoying the game as older maps lost their popularity therefore became difficult discover good matches with them. 

Split-screen co-op

Our last demand is for split-screen co-op. This is a significant feature of first two games created by Pandemic, yet wasn’t included in the show’ return.

Enabling two players to make use of the exact same display screen (that which we refer to endearingly as settee co-op) harkens back into the overall game’s original design philosophy and can clearly make long-time fans associated with the series delighted. And really, do not all of us want to be delighted?

Facebook gets better at spotting fake records and spammers

While you’re busy looking at pictures from your own buddies and liking their opinionated governmental rantings, Facebook engineers are busy trying to weed away fake accounts and remark spam, and evidently they are making progress.

First Facebook announced it is making progress in “protecting the integrity of activity” on the myspace and facebook: essentially busting fake reports which are not attached to genuine individuals and stopping people from exchanging likes or other kinds of engagement.

Facebook claims its algorithms are getting better at spotting fake accounts automatically, and that tens of thousands of dodgy pages were recently eliminated in France alone. However, Facebook admits it is an “ongoing challenge” to help keep on top of the issue.

Spam busting

Facebook in addition has shared news of a six-month battle to stop a thorough spamming scam that flooded the social networking with fake likes and commentary, one which used higher level processes to hide the areas in which its posts were from, and to prevent Facebook from recognizing the scale for the procedure.

“The apparent intent of the campaign was to deceptively gain brand new friend connections by liking and interacting mainly with popular publisher Pages on our platform, thereafter point they might deliver spam,” states Twitter.

Facebook claims a large part of these spam interactions have already been removed, and its own detection tools should help it to to block such task as time goes on. Unfortunately, there is still absolutely nothing to stop your friends from uploading embarrassing photos of you…

10 forgotten gaming classics we’d want to see rebooted

First released in 1998, the first arcade case gave players the opportunity to invest around ten full minutes with Tony Gibson, a police officer in control of one thing called the ‘chase unique investigation division’, which sounds just like a police department trying to justify a budget surplus. 

With your partner Raymond Broady (a way more sexy name, let’s face it) you’re provided the task of burning away vast lengths of US highway, pursuing and eventually ramming some proper naughty sods off the road. 

Ralph, the Idaho slasher, thinks he’s untouchable in their White Lotus Esprit? Hope you prefer being rammed from behind, sir. The LA kidnapper thinks their kidnappees are safe in the miniscule boot of his Ferrari 288 GTO? Think again, buddy. They’re getting proper squished with my squad automobile. 

Five different perps in five different recreations cars, leathering it across desert, through tunnels and over wasteland, culminating in a breathless automotive struggle with the last baddie, an Eastern Bloc spy – though why stated spy thought a red Porsche 928 had been an inconspicuous option, we don’t know – the exciting part for anyone folks playing on house consoles, Spectrums and Amstrads ended up being the employment of digitised speech. The distorted, almost incomprehensible terse squawk of ‘let’s go, Mr. driver’ still gets the blood pumping to this very time. ‘let us get, Tony Gibson’ may possibly not have had equivalent impact. 

Nokia 9 and Nokia 8 sketches shows bezels being held to a minimum

We’ve maybe not heard much in regards to the upcoming Nokia 9 and Nokia 8 handsets thus far but a leaked set of sketches recommend the phones are likely to follow 2017 flagships from LG and Samsung by maintaining the front bezels right down to the absolute minimum, with only a sliver of a frame at the very top and bottom.

Schematics delivered by the anonymous tipster to NokiaPowerUser show both Nokia 8 together with Nokia 9 with huge displays dominating the front regarding the products. In the case of the Nokia 9 there is no room for home switch to the fingerprint sensor is relocated toward back.

The Nokia 9 additionally is apparently adopting the 18:9 aspect ratio we have seen on the LG G6 and the Samsung Galaxy S8 this season, while the Nokia 8 sticks with the more old-fashioned 16:9 approach. Unfortunately we don’t have any specs or other details to choose the images.

7, 8 and 9 are the secret figures

Now we ought to mention that there is not a way of verifying the credibility of those sketches as of this time – and so they cannot match several other drawings we’ve seen – nevertheless the images look like they could be the official designs. Simply take all of them with a pinch of sodium for the time being.

Early in the day rumors have recommended we could be evaluating an all-metal human body on a single or both these phones, while there is talk of a 22MP dual-lens Carl Zeiss digital camera regarding straight back associated with more premium Nokia 9. Oh, and a Nokia 7 may also be in the cards.

We’ve been impressed with all the new Nokia handsets from Finnish business HMD worldwide thus far but we will need to wait to discover whether its premium devices are as appealing as its mid-rangers. It will appear most likely that stock Android is likely to be on board once more, that is constantly a bonus inside our guide.


BBC broadcast 3 will soon be streaming The Proms in crisp lossless audio this year

Whenever you think about know-how your brain seldom jumps to radio, however for the start of the Proms in 2010, BBC broadcast 3 will dsicover a significant boost towards the quality of its sound streams. 

The very first time, broadcast 3 listeners should be able to experience the Proms streamed in FLAC lossless sound, rather than the present AAC-LC codec at 320kbs used for the station. 

The catch is the fact that to go through the CD-quality 16-bit/44.1kHz quality streams you’ll need to be streaming the air place through the BBC Proms site or BBC broadcast 3 website. 

Regrettably the higher quality streams will not be available during your radio (either internet or else), or through any internet radio apps including TuneIn. The trial is only going to be accessible through the desktop version of the website. 

A big step of progress

Following the jump from analogue to electronic, the entire world of radio has thought extremely fixed when it comes to its technology. Newer technologies like online Radio and DAB+ have appeared, however these have actually neglected to achieve mass use with customers. 

Actually, also DAB radio has failed to be used sufficient the British to change far from analogue radio totally. 

The key problem has been the circumstances under which people tune in to the radio. Most radio listening does occur in automobiles on the highway, and individuals are unlikely to prioritise radio technologies when buying a new automobile. 

Also, 3G coverage is still inadequate on roads to be able to have completely dependable mobile internet radio connection. 

The new trial from BBC is not likely to change this, but it should at least be described as a great benefit for anybody listening along with the Proms at home. 

Should you want to obtain a taste associated with higher quality streams then you’ll have the ability to do this regarding BBC Taster site. 

Alphabet’s life sciences branch made a sleek smartwatch for robust health tracking

In a case of “if perhaps we could buy this”, Google parent business Alphabet’s life sciences branch has detailed a stylish brand new smartwatch with robust wellness monitoring capabilities.

Called the Verily research Watch, the unit is made to track and gather the data of wearers who are involved in medical and observational studies. Verily is obvious on the watch’s intent in a blog post: “Study Watch is an investigational unit and it is not for sale.” 

What Study Watch provides nonetheless is perhaps just what whoever’s ever used a smartwatch has dreamed about, and it is great to see these features made available to better perceive human wellness.

Key top features of learn Watch include sensors for picking right on up electrocardiogram readings, heartbeat, electrodermal task and inertial movements. Verily notes the analysis Watch has “large internal storage space and information compression,” which allows the wearable host data gathered over a length of weeks, not times.

The view’s battery pack can endure around one week, which sets other smartwatches available on the market to shame. Research Watch can run algorithms in real-time because of its processor, and all sorts of data on the unit is encrypted for privacy. 

Also to help provide it that sleek look without draining battery pack life, the analysis Watch display is for the low power, high res variety. It’s always on, but is only going to show the full time and certain directions, without other information given back to the user.

The watch is already destined for a number of studies, such as the multi-year Personalized Parkinson’s Project, plus the Baseline research, which will monitor 10,000 participants over five years to know transitions between health and disease.

While research Watch is not for consumers, the possibility its features alongside learnings to ultimately make it to mainstream products is definitely there. A few of the tech and tracking systems Verily and its lovers develop for research Watch could feed into Google’s Android os Wear smartwatches one day, providing users more robust wellness readings than they are currently receiving. 

Maybe Google and its own hardware partners could have a web page from Verily’s design book, too? Simply sayin’.

Top Xbox One discounts in April 2017

There are lots of excellent Xbox One deals and packages around this week. It appears like Microsoft is pretty keen to put stress on its competitors while the Xbox One is currently the cheapest of the current generation of gaming consoles. We are very happy to let the discounts roll in too as you can get a fresh Xbox One S with a few games at under £220 nowadays.

Retailers are stocking some super low priced Xbox One deals as standalone acquisitions and value-packed bundles with additional games. Some packages frequently cost less compared to standalone systems too, so be sure to have a look at our hand-picked set of the greatest Xbox One offers underneath the contrast maps. We have also included the most effective Xbox One Elite controller rates and inexpensive Xbox Live Gold membership discounts.

Looking to buy in america? it is additionally vital to at once over to our United States page then.

cheap xbox one s discounts

Xbox One S deals

The slimmed-down design regarding the Xbox One S looks much better than the original chunky package and the energy stone is now anything associated with the past. The primary draw though is 4K artistic support meaning you’ll be able to view specialised Blu-Ray and Netflix content in 4K on your own new 4K TV.

Original Xbox One discounts

The purchase price contrast chart below is the old, initial model of the Xbox One. As things stay you are able to regularly get cheaper rates because of the more recent Xbox One S, so we’d urge you to definitely have a look above before splashing the cash regarding initial Xbox One.

The best Xbox One deal associated with the week

Xbox One S | Battlefield 1 | £209.85 @ Amazon
Battlefield 1 might have been away since late last year, but it’s still close to full-price by itself, therefore any discounted bundle is well worth a try to find among the best shooters of final couple of years. Oh, therefore comes with an Xbox One S! But yes, this is a super low priced price the console alone, therefore act fast should you want to log off that fence.

Understand This Xbox One deal: Xbox One S with Battlefield 1 £209.85 @ Amazon

The best Xbox One bundle deals this week

Xbox One S | Forza Horizon 3 | Halo 5 | Now TV sub | £219.99 @ Game
Get your brand-new Xbox One console with Forza Horizon 3, Halo 5 plus three-month Now television entertainment pass and you’re all set for months of fun just for £219.99.

Regard This Xbox One deal: Xbox One S, Forza Horizon 3, Halo 5, Now television £219.99 @ Game

Xbox One S | FIFA 17 | Forza 5 | Now television | £219.99 @ Game
If you’ll need a little bit of footy in your bundle, then this is the most useful one around. not only can you get FIFA 17, however you additionally get yourself a copy of Forza 5  and a three-month Now TV entertainment pass. Once again, just £219.99 from Game.

Treat This Xbox One deal: Xbox One S, FIFA 17, Forza 5 Now television £219.99 @ Game

Xbox One S | FIFA 17 | Forza Horizon 3 | Rare Replay | Killer Instinct £219.99 @ Microsoft
Microsoft is weighing into the battle for the money recently too and also this is a superb handle four quality games for your brand new Xbox One S.

Regard This Xbox One deal: Xbox One S with 4 games £219.99 @ Microsoft

Xbox One S Minecraft bundle | £179.99 @ SimplyGames
If you’re not bothered about extras and just desire the absolutely cheapest deal for brand new Xbox One S, this is it. SimplyGames is celebrating the week-end early and saying pish to profit margins with this particular superbly cheap Xbox One deal. You’re additionally getting Minecraft: Favourites Edition tossed set for absolutely nothing.

View this Xbox One deal: Xbox One S Minecraft bundle £179.99 @ SimplyGames

1TB Xbox One S | FIFA 17 | additional FREE game | £269.99 @ Microsoft
The 1TB variations of the Xbox One will always worth a look for easier memory management and this one saves you a tidy sum because of Microsoft tossing in a totally free game from the selection of Gears 4, Halo Wars 2 or Forza Horizon 3 as well as the down load rule for FIFA 17. click on the 1TB choice as soon as you click on through below and choose your free game from the next display screen. 

Treat This Xbox One deal: Xbox One S, FIFA 17 and further game £269.99 @ Microsoft 

1TB Xbox One S | Halo Wars 2 and Season Pass | additional COMPLIMENTARY game | £269.99 @ Microsoft
In addition up to a 1TB Xbox One S you’re also getting Halo Wars 2 and the season pass. Microsoft has greatly enhanced this Xbox One deal by adding Gears 4 at no cost too (option seems after including system to container).

Treat This Xbox One deal: 1TB Xbox One S, Gears 4, Halo Wars 2 and Season Pass – £269.99 @ Microsoft

1TB Xbox One S | Gears of War 4 | Dead Rising 4 | £269.99 @ Zavvi
Like the deal above but swapping down out fast vehicles and sunshine for zombies and and discomfort! And like we keep on saying, 1TB hard disks will be the way forwards as a result of increasingly large install file sizes.

Regard This Xbox One deal: Xbox One S, Gears 4 and Dead Rising 4 £269.99 @ Zavvi

1TB Xbox One S | FIFA 17 | £199.99 @ Smyths
Wow, Smyths has smashed £30 off its already large cost last week! If you are a typical gamer, we would recommend choosing one of many larger 1TB Xbox One deals where possible. Get the 1TB Xbox One S system and FIFA 17 for £199.99.

Regard This Xbox One deal: 1TB Xbox One S with FIFA 17 £199.99 @ Smyths

xbox one s packages

1TB Xbox One S | Gears of War 4 | £219.99 @ SimplyGames
Gears of War 4 ought to be on top of the must-buy set of any new Xbox One S owner. Which means this is definitely an perfect bundle, particularly if youare going to acquire a fair couple of games whilst the 1TB hard disk drive is much more workable compared to 500GB console. This can be a great cost for a 1TB Xbox One, therefore the bundled game simply sweetens the offer.

View this Xbox One deal: 1TB Xbox One S with Gears of War 4 £219.99 @ SimplyGames

Cheap Xbox Live discounts

Xbox Live Gold: need certainly to top your Xbox Live Gold membership? Cannot pay the standard automated £40 renewal price. Check out our selection of Xbox Live Gold deals below to save lots of some cash.

Xbox One Elite controller deals

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Surface Pro 5 release date, news and rumors

Historically, Surface pricing has sparsely fluctuated year after year. For that reason, we expect to see the Surface Pro 5 start at $899 (£749, AU$1,349) and escalate from there depending on specially configured hardware and bundled accessories.

That said, while it wouldn’t be ideal for Microsoft’s loyal following if the company deviated too far from the norm, ambitious upgrades may necessitate that it does. For the price of the next Surface Pro to differ from its predecessors, it would have to offer some serious advantages over its last-gen sibling – not just a run-of-the-mill spec boost. 

Regardless, the ball is in Microsoft's court here, and if pricier new additives are implemented into the baseline model, it's not unprecedented for PC makers to issue a price hike (see: the latest MacBook Pro).

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The would-be fifth Surface Pro tablet
  • When is it out? As early as spring 2017
  • What will it cost? Likely as much as – if not more than – the current model

Surface Pro 5 release date

The Surface Pro 5 was originally speculated to launch alongside the Windows 10 Creators Update. Well, considering the Creators Update commenced rollout on April 11, it’s safe to say that’s no longer Microsoft’s plan.

Instead, it appears as though the next bit of news will erupt from the #MicrosoftEDU event slated for May 2. Though it’s all but confirmed at this point (kudos to Mary Jo Foley over at ZDNet) that the New York-based press event will center around a stripped-down Windows 10 Cloud, it’s still possible we could see a range of hardware there.

With the Surface Book 2 ostensibly delayed behind the scenes, however, the fate of the Surface Pro 5 is similarly shrouded. As such, only Microsoft knows when we’ll see a release date. It could be as imminent as May or as far off as to launch in conjunction with the second major Windows 10 update of 2017.

Surface Pro 5

We doubt the Surface Pro 5 will look terribly different from the previous

Surface Pro 5 price

Historically, Surface pricing has sparsely fluctuated year after year. For that reason, we expect to see the Surface Pro 5 start at $899 (£749, AU$1,349) and escalate from there depending on specially configured hardware and bundled accessories.

That said, while it wouldn’t be ideal for Microsoft’s loyal following if the company deviated too far from the norm, ambitious upgrades may necessitate that it does. For the price of the next Surface Pro to differ from its predecessors, it would have to offer some serious advantages over its last-gen sibling – not just a run-of-the-mill spec boost. 

Regardless, the ball is in Microsoft's court here, and if pricier new additives are implemented into the baseline model, it's not unprecedented for PC makers to issue a price hike (see: the latest MacBook Pro).

Surface Pro 5 specs

In terms of specs, what little we know is based on tweets from Microsoft informant Paul Thurrott whose sources have told him that the Surface Pro 5 will indeed use a 7th-generation Kaby Lake processor. This is unsurprising given the year of release, though he also made it a point to liken the upcoming convertible tablet to a “Surface Pro 4.5” of sorts. 

Another interesting tidbit from Thurrott suggests that the Surface Connect proprietary charger is here to stay, meaning the Surface Pro 5 may not use USB-C to restore the battery as most 2-in-1 devices tend to do now. As of this writing, it’s not clear whether Surface Pro 5 will add USB-C ports for data transfers and peripherals much less what type of Kaby Lake processor it uses. 

Surface Pro 5

Image Credit: Patently Mobile

Surface Pro 5 stylus and Dial

One piece of the puzzle regarding every new Surface is how Microsoft will upgrade its Surface Pen stylus accessory that comes bundled with each tablet. Back in January 2016, it was uncovered that Microsoft had filed for a rechargeable stylus.

Another interesting patent filed by Microsoft describes a renewed Surface Pen loop, designed to latch the Surface Pen onto your Surface devices via a USB connection. Not only would it hold the Surface Pen into position when needed, but it would simultaneously charge the accessory for prolonged continuous use. 

Of course, Microsoft also has the Surface Dial in its clasp. The designer-focused puck-like accessory was briefly mentioned in a slideshow presentation in December, with ZDNet having picked up the slides themselves for use in a news story. The company claims that peripherals such as the Dial, wearables, headsets and more are factors essential to what is perceived as the “modern PC.”

Also mentioned was the incorporation of “hero features” such as Cortana and Windows Hello, meaning a fingerprint scanner may not be too far off either. After all, the Dell XPS 13 did it with a $25 add-on configuration. Perhaps we could even see the day when a fingerprint reader is implemented in the Surface Pen itself. 

Surface Pro 5

Microsoft’s Panos Panay revealing the Surface Pro 3 in May 2014

What we want to see

Look, as much as we've been impressed by the Surface Pro 4 – firmware issues aside – there will always be room for improvement. (That would be the case even if it had earned our Editor's Choice award.) From the screen size and resolution to the hardware found inside, we have a few ideas for how Microsoft could craft an even better Windows 10 tablet.

Longer battery life

This is a bit of low-hanging fruit, but countless customers have lamented the Surface Pro 4's battery life, regardless of issues with its "Sleep" mode. We rated the device for 5 hours and 15 minutes of local video playback.

That's well below Microsoft's promise of 9 hours of video playback, but we all know that few, if any, laptops actually meet their promised battery life approximations. Our video playback figure is in line with the average laptop, though it's a far cry from what its nemesis, the MacBook, can hold on for.

Ideally, and realistically, we'd like to see at least 7 hours of battery life reliably from the next Surface Pro tablet. That would put it closer in line with the MacBooks as well as competing tablets, like the iPad Pro. Plus, if the reports via Yahoo News are true, a battery boost would come in handy for the eSIM card said to be inside the Surface Pro 5.

That goes without mentioning the recent implementation of Windows 10 “Game Mode”, which introduces proper GPU allocation, i.e. prioritizing foreground activities, while playing games. Surely, if you plan on knocking out your Steam backlog on the Surface Pro 5, you’ll need as many milliampere hours in that lithium-ion battery as you can get. On the other hand, if that’s too much to ask, USB fast-charging would be a welcome alternative.

Surface Pro 5

Can the screen get much sharper? Why yes, it can

An even sharper (and/or bigger) screen

With the Surface Pro 4, Microsoft managed to outrank countless rivals in both the laptop and tablet spaces when it comes to screen resolution. With a razor-sharp 267 ppi (pixels per inch) already at 2,736 x 1,824 pixels within a 12.3-inch screen, it's not as if the Surface Pro 5 needs to be much sharper.

However, if the next Surface Pro were equipped with, say, a 4K (3,840 pixels wide at the very least) screen, that would rip its productivity and entertainment capabilities wide open. Film and photo editors could work at the native resolution that's increasingly becoming the norm, while average Joe's (teehee) could finally watch Netflix in 4K on a tablet.

That said, the realm of super sharp resolutions might be reserved for the Surface Book range at this point. So, why not up its size a bit?

The Surface Pro 4 is big enough for almost all tasks, but it's still not the established default size for most laptops: 13.3 inches. Then again, doing so may cannibalize Microsoft's market by negating the need for its Surface Book.

On the other hand, maybe the iPad Pro is onto something with its 12.9-inch display. After all, we’re not asking for a gargantuan, monster-sized tablet – just a slight size boost. Assuming the resolution doesn't bump up too much alongside a size increase, the extra space could allow for a battery life boost.

Surface Pro 5

Now, imagine if the next Surface rocked USB-C

It might finally be time for USB-C

With the latest MacBook Pro and HP Spectre among the most famous devices to adopt the latest in USB interfaces, USB Type-C (or simply USB-C) is an overdue feature for the Surface Pro. 

A reversible, versatile port (or two?) may be just what the Surface Pro 5 needs to mitigate the product line's lacking input/output problem. A single USB 3.0 port and a proprietary charging port aren't going to cut it for much longer, and with the help of a specialized set of adapters, USB-C is infinitely more utilitarian.

At the same time, Microsoft may want to include a standard USB 3.0 port, too, in order to natively meet the system requirements for its own Windows 10 VR headsets. If the company wants to lead the pack in the business of affordable virtual reality solutions, it's a no-brainer to make the Surface Pro 5 compatible.

Word around the tech world says we're only a few months out from a release – plenty of time for the rumor mill to fire up. Stay tuned to this space in the coming months for the latest on everything Surface Pro 5.

Gabe Carey has also contributed to this article

Surface Book 2 release date, news and rumors

In October 2015, the Surface Book premiered as a hybrid device, one Microsoft called the “ultimate laptop.” Shipping with a detachable screen, stylus support and a dual-core Intel Skylake processor of your choosing, we had a hunch the company was right. 

Despite an appetizing list of hardware specs, the 2-in-1 arrived with a few hiccups. There were some complaints surrounding the “Dynamic Fulcrum Hinge,” including a gap that's formed when the laptop is closed. 

The “Clipboard” tablet portion of the device has a low battery life, though that’s been largely mitigated with the introduction of the Performance Base-enhanced i7 variant; but, on the high end, the pricing is rather steep, too.

So, you can tell that we're not the only ones clamoring for improvements to an already promising formula. Enter the highly anticipated Surface Book 2, a would-be hybrid notebook that’s presumably due for arrival later this year.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The sequel to Microsoft's first laptop
  • When is it out? Spring 2017 at the earliest
  • What will it cost? Reportedly starts at $1,000 (£1,299, AU$1,899)

Surface Book 2 release date

Although the original launched well over a year ago, there's been no official confirmation of a Surface Book 2. Instead, the Surface Book i7 debuted back in October, complete with a graphics-enhancing Performance Base and a handful of subtle design changes.

With reports last year that this new Windows software would overlap with Microsoft’s introduction of new hardware, we originally surmised that the Surface Book 2 would touch down alongside the Windows 10 Creators Update, which commenced rollout on April 11.

Sources speaking with ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley suggest, however, that the Surface Book 2 won’t be ready for the spring. Our next bet would be that the Surface Book 2 arrives in the latter half of the year alongside the second major Windows 10 update of 2017

We should know for sure come May 2, the date in which Microsoft will hold its #MicrosoftEDU event. On the other hand, all signs point to Microsoft’s spring media event in NYC to be focused on Windows 10 Cloud, a lightweight, Windows RT-esque version of MIcrosoft’s desktop operating system.

Surface Book 2 price

Reports from DigiTimes lead us to believe that Microsoft may be revealing a more traditional clamshell laptop at its spring showing, resulting in a drastic reduction in price.

While the entry-level Surface Book of today would set users back a cool $1,299 (£1,449, AU$2,299), this type of device would reportedly come in at a more modest $1,000 (about £810, AU$1,300).

We can safely expect a proper Surface Book 2 hybrid – if one exists at all – would retain the same starting cost of the original, i.e., $1,499 or AU$2,299 (about £978).  At any rate, expect the Surface Book 2 to at least exceed the cost of the Surface Pro 4.

surface book 2

We’re about to see a clash of the chrome logos in coffee shops everywhere

What we want to see

For as much as we've been smitten by the Surface Book, firmware issues aside, there will always be room for improvement. (That would be the case even if it had earned top marks from us.)

From the screen size and resolution to the hardware inside, we have a few ideas for how Microsoft could craft an even better Windows 10 tablet.

An even better screen

Display-wise, the current model sports a 13.5-inch panel with a 3,000 x 2,000 (267 ppi) resolution that's backed by an integrated Intel HD Graphics 520 GPU. The new model may utilize the same size screen but offer a more conventional 4K resolution: 3,840 x 2,160. 

This rumor is aligned with public information we've seen about Intel's Kaby Lake architecture, which will supposedly include a better graphics chip that improves playback of 4K video and 3D graphics.

With a higher resolution should come a better way to actually detach the screen from the keyboard, assuming Microsoft doesn’t do away with that functionality altogether. After all, one of the most vocal complaints of the original Surface Book was its “muscle wire” locking mechanism.

That scheme not only required power to function, but users must press and hold down a key until the hinge lets go of the tablet. It's software-based, too, meaning the process could be hampered by an unforeseen glitch in the system.

Thus, if Microsoft opts to go the 2-in-1 route despite recent evident indicating the contrary, the Surface Book 2 needs a functional hinge that allows the keyboard to be detached whether the device is on or off.

surface book 2

The Surface Pen could use some updates, too

We need more power

Of course, with an increased screen resolution comes the need for more power. It would make sense, given the conjectured release frame, to refresh the Surface Book with Intel's newest Kaby Lake processors. 

The Kaby Lake architecture supports up to quad-core processors as the default configuration with a thermal envelope of up to 95 Watts (W), meaning it shouldn't be a battery hog even with increased performance. What’s more, Kaby Lake offers native support of the faster USB 3.1 Type-C and Thunderbolt 3 specifications in addition to CPU/GPU performance enhancements.

That said, the Surface Book 2 will need better battery support overall, as the original provides only 4 hours of activity in the Clipboard and only 8 hours of juice in the base (based on our tests). Customers eager to use the Clipboard on its own would no doubt be disappointed by the current battery’s inept sustenance while consuming 4K video.

An improved battery would also be needed to support a built-in recharge dock for the Surface Pen. If a patent filing from October is to be believed, Microsoft may have an improved Surface Pen loop in the works that would not only holster the Surface Pen itself, but simultaneously charge it via the USB port on supported Surface devices.

More power might also be needed for an updated, discrete GPU option, too. As previously stated, the current model has an option for a Nvidia GeForce graphics chip based on the Maxwell architecture, which has a thermal envelope of up to 75W.

If Microsoft were to offer, say, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 graphics chip, the power wattage requirements wouldn’t skyrocket and DirectX 12 support would assuredly be in the cards. This would fare well with gamers looking to take advantage of the latest API on their rotating laptop screen.

What would make the Surface Book 2 really shine is if it were to be VR-ready. It’s not too far-fetched, either, considering Microsoft has partnered with companies like Acer to produce budget-friendly, Windows 10-specific head-mounted displays that aim to work flawlessly on low- to mid-range hardware.

surface book 2

But we have no doubt that SB2 will be just as photogenic

A race to beat its new rivals?

Despite a good deal of talk about when the Surface Book 2 will be released and what it will contain, there were several reports (albeit with dodgy reliability) speculating that the device would be released last summer alongside the Anniversary Update.

Of course, said anniversary came like the wind, and a Surface Book 2 didn't arrive in time to beat Apple's late 2016 MacBook Pro to market. Again, given that the Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 were still in their youth at the time, releasing follow-up models that soon was unlikely.

That's it for now. There are probably a few easter eggs hiding in the Windows 10 Creators Update, but if they exist, no one has found them yet. As such, it may be a while before we see Microsoft’s next convertible laptop in the flesh.

While we may still see an April 2017 release for Surface Book 2, all bets are off on that being remotely certain. Instead, we would be more keen to bank on a late 2017 launch to correlate with whatever Redstone 3 turns out to be.

Joe Osborne and Gabe Carey have also contributed to this article