Ben PattersonSenior Writer, TechHive

Ben has been writing about technology and consumer electronics for more than 20 years. A PCWorld contributor since 2014, Ben joined TechHive in 2019, where he covers smart speakers, soundbars, and other smart and home-theater devices.

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Yamaha MusicCast BAR 400 review: A $500 soundbar with multi-room audio, but no Dolby Atmos

While it packs DTS Virtual:X and high-resolution multi-room audio, Yamaha's BAR 400 lacks Dolby Atmos support and a center channel.

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Best cheap laptops: We rate the best-selling deals on Amazon

The best cheap laptops on Amazon give you a good set of features and few regrets. We sift through the bestselling models and pick the ones with best bang for buck.

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The Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box just got its own gradient LED lightstrip

The new lightstrip has separate LED segments that can glow in different colors at the same time. Signify is also re-introducing the Philips Hue Iris table lamp.

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lifx clean

LIFX’s latest smart bulb boasts germ-fighting LEDs

The $70 LIFX Clean antibacterial smart bulb can emit the same spectrum of HEV light used by hospitals and other “clean” environments, LIFX says.

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Lenovo’s pared-down Smart Clock Essential has an old-school LED display

The basic LED on the $50 Smart Clock Essential only tells you the time and temperature, but you can still ask Google Assistant to set an alarm.

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netflix bird box free streaming

Some of Netflix’s most popular movies and TV shows are streaming for free

"Bird Box", "Murder Mystery," "When They See Us" and more available for free now, along with the first episodes of hit TV shows such as "Stranger Things" and "Grace and Frankie."

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Soundbar shoppers: Consider these 10 essential features

From Dolby Atmos to eARC, weigh these key features when choosing a soundbar.

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A Google Nest Hub might join you for your next hotel stay

Google’s seven-inch Nest Hub smart display is about to double as a bellhop.

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Netgear’s new Meural WiFi Photo Frame focuses on family snapshots

The Wi-Fi-enabled frame from Netgear-owned Meural syncs with photo albums on your iPhone or Android phone.

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aura carver photo frame

Aura Carver review: This landscape-only photo frame automatically pairs portrait images

The Aura Carver picture frame uses AI to ensure you don’t see letterbox bars when the frame is displaying portrait images.

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Zoom will arrive on Amazon, Facebook, and Google smart displays this year

Zoom for Home will debut on Facebook Portal displays in September, followed by Amazon Echo Show and Google Nest displays before the year is out.

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Distance learning: 4 smart tech solutions for keeping kids on track

Get some badly needed school-from-home help from Alexa, Google Assistant, your smart lights, and more.

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Sony HT-G700 review: This Atmos- and DTS:X-enabled soundbar boasts a trifecta of virtual 3D modes, but no Wi-Fi

Its arsenal of virtual 3D modes is impressive, but without Wi-Fi, the HT-G700 is missing a bevy of key features given its price tag.

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philips hue lightstrip plus

Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus (2020) review: Hue’s versatile, delicate LED light strip gets Bluetooth control

The latest version of Philips Hue’s Lightstrip Plus is perfect for accent lighting and it doesn’t require a bridge, but we’re concerned about its durability.

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google assistant family bell

Google Assistant’s new Family Bell feature adds structure to endless summer days

Now you can ask Google to set daily reminder bells for the whole family, as well as set the mood for school and broadcast messages to a specific room.

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