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Hier — 24 juillet 2021Microsoft

The latest Windows 11 build brings the Teams Chat app, but will you use it?

The new Chat app brings Microsoft Teams for consumers right to the Taskbar, but will you actually use it?

Microsoft's latest build of Windows 11, build 22000.100, brings support for the new Chat experience powered by Teams. The feature allows people to quickly access Microsoft Teams for consumers from the Windows 11 Taskbar. We want to know if you'll use the new Chat app or leave it untouched in the Taskbar.

The Chat app replaces Skype as the default in-box chat app for Windows. It's yet to be seen if that means anything to the average user. Skype being the default in-box chat app for Windows to this point hasn't stopped anyone from using WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, or any other popular messaging service.

Will you use the Chat app in Windows 11?

Unlike the Microsoft Teams that many will be familiar with from school or business settings, the new Chat app is powered by the consumer version of Teams. This is aimed at everyday use for people communicating with friends and family. While its focus is different, it has many of the same features people have gotten used to on Teams, including messaging and video calls.

The Chat app is limited in its current phase of testing. For example, the "Meet Now" button doesn't work in the latest build of Windows 11. Right now, the Chat app is more of a glimpse at the overall user interface and a hint of things to come.

Back in March, our executive editor Daniel Rubino took a closer look at Teams for consumers. He said then, "My prediction, unfortunately, is that Microsoft Teams for personal use will fade into neglect." Perhaps Microsoft sensed the same thing, which led the company to integrate it into Windows 11.

Will you use the Chat app in Windows 11? Let us know in the poll above, and please share your reasoning in the comments below.

À partir d’avant-hierMicrosoft

Why is Activision-Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick cowering behind subordinates?

While Activision reels from lawsuit allegations, the company's CEO is nowhere to be found.

You'd think in this situation, Activision Blizzard's grossly overpaid CEO Bobby Kotick might have something to say.

This week, a round of fresh allegations hit the beleaguered publisher. A three-year investigation from California's department of employment and housing kicked off legal proceedings against Activision Blizzard, alleging a culture of sexist attitudes towards women, pay disparity, and harassment — which may have even contributed to an employee's suicide. Another report from Bloomberg detailed how Activision pressured Blizzard to cut corners on Warcraft III Reforged, creating an environment where depression and anxiety became rife.

You'd think in this situation, Activision Blizzard's grossly overpaid CEO Bobby Kotick might have something to say to reduce internal dismay, especially considering he landed $150 million dollars in awards recently. The same CEO has been at the helm for the exodus of key Blizzard founders, while creating a culture of job insecurity, where layoffs are becoming a near-annualized practice. Being blind to the issues being reported across the company is quite definitely the most egregious failing of the lot. Yet, despite the lawsuit, and the widespread outpouring of ex-Blizzard staffers sharing their stories on Twitter, Kotick is nowhere to be found.

Activision Blizzard is responsible for games like World of Warcraft, Overwatch, and Call of Duty, as well as the King suite of mobile games.

Instead of commenting himself, Kotick hid behind ex-Bush administration political advisor, Activision's Chief Compliance Officer Fran Townsend, to deliver a dehumanizing defense of the corporation, first shared by Bloomberg editor Jason Schreier.

"I wanted to reach out to you. I know this has been difficult for many of us. A recently filed lawsuit presented a distorted and untrue picture of our company, including factually incorrect, old, and out of context stories - some from more than a decade ago."

Townsend blasted the lawsuit in California, saying that it contains "out of context" scenarios while also talking about how great her own experiences within the company have been, without offering sympathy or acknowledgment to those potentially experiencing ongoing problems.

"The Activision companies of today, the Activision companies that I know, are great companies with good values. When I joined the executive leadership team, I was certain that I was joining a company where I would be valued, treated with respect, and provided opportunities equal to those afforded to the men of the company. For me, this has been true during my time. As a leader, I am committed to making sure that the experience I have is the same as the rest of the organization."

Blizzard head J. Allen Brack also issued an internal memo of his own, emphasizing a zero tolerance to the behavior detailed in the lawsuit. Brack added that he intends to meet with Blizzard staff to gather feedback on "how to move forward."

In talks with past and present Blizzard staff, it's quite apparent to me that the Activision Townsend knows, as she describes it, exists primarily in the fantasy land of the Activision boardroom. To be completely fair to Activision, some of the more loathsome attitudes at Blizzard seem to have existed before the 2008 merger, but the pressure to contribute to Activision's bottom line while forsaking quality, job security, and healthy working practices is firmly at the mega-publisher's doorstep. Either way, Activision leadership has a lot of soul searching to do right now, if indeed, it has a soul to search.

Ultimately, I have to ask — why is Kotick paid as much as he is, if he's nowhere to be found at Blizzard's darkest hour? For an ongoing calamity of reasons, I'd say the time for new leadership, new perspective, and a more progressive vision for one of gaming's most historic publishers is long overdue.

Here's everything you need to know about the Halo Infinite beta

Join the Halo Insider Program today, Spartan!

343 Industries and Microsoft are planning to launch Halo Infinite later in 2021, and based on what was said during the Xbox E3 2021 show, 343 Industries is planning to use the Halo Insider Program to roll out test flights before the game launches. These test flights help the developers identify and fix bugs that may have otherwise gone unnoticed (check out my spotlight of the Master Chief Collection's incredible 2020 journey to see just how effective Insider flighting has been for 343 Industries thus far), and they also give fans an opportunity to go hands-on with Halo projects before they release.

Considering the game in question is Halo Infinite, that's quite an exciting prospect. You'll need to sign up for the Halo Insider Program to have a chance at participating in Halo Infinite beta playtests, but thankfully the process to do so isn't difficult at all and will only take a few minutes. Here's a quick guide on how to sign up and become a Halo Insider.

Halo Infinite beta:

What to expect from a Halo Infinite beta

Players can expect Halo Infinite's beta tests to be centered around the game's action-packed and sandbox-driven multiplayer experience. Halo Infinite's multiplayer has been broken down by 343 Industries in a recent overview, with the developers explaining that the core focus of the game is to encourage players to use anything they can find on the map to skillfully and creatively take down other players. Aside from a wide arsenal of different weapons to use, players will also be able to find special equipment pickups on the map that allow them to perform feats like grappling from one place to the other or reflecting an overcharged plasma pistol bolt.

In terms of game modes, we expect that traditional Arena modes as well as the brand new Halo Infinite Big Team Battle with 24 players will be available for beta testing. It's also possible that campaign content will enter beta testing at some point, too, but right now there's no official word on this.

Early betas, otherwise known as technical previews, may be more focused on the overall experience and stability of Halo Infinite and its supporting systems, rather than specific gameplay elements.

What are Halo Infinite beta tests and 'flighting'?

Test flights are periods of time in which 343 Industries provides Halo Insiders with access to a test build of a game. These flights usually last about a week or two and are active 24 hours a day, but may be shorter or longer and may also have more specific start and end times. The content available in the flight can vary widely depending on what 343 Industries wants to test. For Halo Infinite, we expect that the flights will focus on the multiplayer primarily, but may include campaign content down the line.

Halo Infinite's flights will operate mostly the same way, with the Halo Infinite team planning to release different technical previews and betas for players to test, each with a different focus. The goal is for 343i to collect information they otherwise wouldn't be able to collect on their own, in order to "stress test" Halo Infinite ahead of a wider launch.

Halo Infinite beta start date

We still don't have an exact start date for Halo Infinite's beta tests or flights, but we know we're close. We already knew that the plan was to test Halo Infinite with players at some point in Summer 2021, but we now know more information about the first Halo Infinite technical preview, which may land in the hands of players as soon as the end of July, 2021. 343i's plans aren't entirely set in stone yet, but players may be able to play Halo Infinite themselves for the first time in just over a week.

The first flight

343i has finally confirmed details for the first Halo Infinite beta flight, and players are mere days away from being able to test it. Even without an exact release date, we know the first Halo Infinite flight will allow players to test several aspects of the game, including:

  • Arena maps. Three maps (Bazaar, Recharge, and Live Fire) from the Arena game mode will be introduced in the first Halo Infinite test, letting players explore the environments for themselves.
  • Gameplay vs. bots. On the three aforementioned maps, players will be able to square up against the newly introduced bots, which are positioned as a way for new players to become accustomed to the game through the new Halo Academy.
  • Weapon drills. Players will also be able to use an assortment of Halo Infinite weapons for the first time through the Halo Academy weapon drills. The weapons that will be featured include:
    • MA40 AR
    • BR75
    • MK50 Sidekick
    • CQS48 Bulldog
    • Needler
    • VK78 Commando
    • S7 Sniper
    • Plasma Pistol
    • Pulse Carbine
    • Ravager
    • Heatwave
    • Skewer
  • Battle Pass and menu UI. An important aspect of any game is the UI players use to navigate, and 343i is looking for feedback here. Players will be able to test the Halo Infinite menus, customization, and Battle Pass UI. Players will even be given a bit of Halo Infinite currency to help with the testing, although anything that is unlocked will not carry over to the main game.
  • New Halo Waypoint. Halo Waypoint is being rebuilt from the ground up for Halo Infinite, including a new mobile app. The first Halo Infinite technical preview will include the first tests for the new Waypoint experience on web, Android, and iOS.

How to sign up for Halo Infinite beta tests

The Halo Insider Program is 343 Industries' official system for testing upcoming Halo experiences, and it proved itself very effective with the Master Chief Collection. Both Xbox and PC players (through Steam and the Windows 10 Store) can sign up for the program, and since Halo Infinite will be released on both of those platforms, testing will likely be done on both platforms for the game.

To get started with your registration, follow the steps below.

  1. Visit the Halo Insider page on Halo Waypoint.
  2. Click Signup.
  3. Under "Sign in to your Xbox Live account," click Sign In.
  4. Sign in with your Microsoft Account credentials.

  5. Grant Halo Waypoint access to your Xbox Live information if requested.
  6. Confirm that you are 18 or older.
  7. Confirm that you agree to the Halo Insider Program Confidentiality Statement.
  8. Click Join the Program.

  9. In the provided fields, enter your preferred email, location, timezone, and experience with Halo games.
  10. Click Continue.
  11. If you're an Xbox player, click Yes when asked if you'd like to be considered for console flighting.
  12. FIll out your console ownership and setup details and then click Continue.

  13. If you're a PC player, click Yes when asked if you'd like to be considered for PC flighting.
  14. Follow the on-screen instructions to obtain and upload your PC specifications with Windows 10's DirectX Diagnostic.
  15. If you use Steam, click the Link Steam Account button and login with your Steam credentials.
  16. Click Continue.

  17. When asked about flight availability, select the days and times you are typically available for test sessions.
  18. Click Complete Signup.
  19. Open the Halo Insider email sent to your provided address.
  20. Click Verify my Email Address in the email.

You're done! Your Halo Insider profile will automatically pop up once you're finished, and your information can be edited at any time if something changes. Keep in mind that the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles haven't been listed as consoles you can say you use yet, so if you own one of these consoles, check back frequently and select the appropriate option when it's added. You'll also need to sign up for the Xbox Insider Program if you play on Xbox since you'll need access to the Xbox Insider Hub application.

Will there be Halo Infinite beta rewards?

It remains unclear where Halo Infinite testers will receive rewards for participation, although given examples from past tests, some cosmetics are assumed. In previous Halo beta tests and flights, players have received exclusive in-game bonuses, including cosmetic skins or nameplates. We believe similar rewards apply here, although likely to be announced at a later date.

You shouldn't assume that any rewards or progress you earn in a Halo Infinite test will carry over to the main game, however. Unless 343i specifies otherwise, it's likely any content you gain access to or unlock is simply part of the test flight and won't extend beyond that.

Will there be a Halo Infinite open beta?

While Insider test flighting is confirmed, many wonder if a traditional public beta will be held for the game. At the time of writing, this is unclear. Many believe that 343 Industries will hold a beta because, in a 2015 interview with Game Informer, Head of 343 Industries Bonnie Ross stated that all future Halo titles would have a beta following the disastrous launch of the Master Chief Collection.

"Going forward, you will never see a Halo game coming out without a beta. It (The Master Chief Collection) was obviously painful for our fans and for us," Ross said. "But it won't happen again."

However, it's also entirely possible that 343 Industries considers Insider test flighting to fit the definition of what a "beta" is. It's also important to keep in mind that Ross's comments were made years before the Halo Insider Program was created; the Insider Program may be a system that 343 Industries developed for long-term use to keep its word. Ultimately, only time will tell if Halo Infinite will have a traditional-style open beta.

What is the Halo Infinite release date?

Halo Infinite is expected to release in Holiday 2021 on the Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One consoles, and Windows 10 PCs. It's expected to cost $60 when it releases (the multiplayer is free-to-play) and it will hopefully end up being one of the best Xbox One games. In the meantime, we highly recommend the Master Chief Collection, which bundles all of the pre-Xbox One Halo shooters for an incredible price.

The next adventure in the saga

Halo Infinite

$60 at Best Buy See at Microsoft See at Steam

A new Great Journey awaits

Halo Infinite is sure to be an incredible game filled with wonder, adventure, and more. Based on what was seen at E3 2021, we can't wait to play it.

Finish the Fight

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

$40 at Microsoft (Xbox One) $40 at Microsoft (PC) $40 at Steam

Experience the entirety of Halo history

The Master Chief Collection is a collection of every Halo shooter from the pre-Xbox One era, offering incredible value at an incredible price.

Update July 23: Updated with news about Halo Infinite's first technical preview.

Try out the official Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 video game for free

Time to jump some hurdles.

What you need to know

  • The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 were postponed to 2021.
  • They're now underway.
  • In celebration, the official 2020 Olympics video game is having a free weekend.

Want to take a break from watching the actual Olympic Games to play a virtual recreation of them? Well, thanks to the fine folks over at Sega, you can this weekend without spending a penny. On Xbox One, Xbox Series X & S, and Steam, players can try out the official Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 video game for free.

You have until Sunday, July 25, 2021, to enjoy the trial. For those of you curious about just how much Olympic goodness is in the game, here's how Sega's Steam store listing describes it:

Prepare to unleash the competitor within as you create your athlete, customize their skills and pick the perfect costume. Why settle for standard sportswear when you can take centre stage as a pirate, astronaut or cowboy? Choose between 18 fun-fueled sporting events—from Tennis and Football to the 100m, Basketball and Boxing—there's always a record to beat and a score to settle.

Sega's not kidding about the costume thing, either. You can dress up as a giant mascot version of Sonic the Hedgehog and crush people in the 100-meter dash. It's nuts.

Xbox users will need an Xbox Live Gold or Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription to enjoy the Olympics game for free (so, in a sense, it's not really free), while Steam users can enjoy the trial for truly free, no subscriptions required.

Olympic excellence

Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 – The Official Video Game

$35.99 at Steam

Go for the gold

Want to partake in the Tokyo 2020 (2021) Olympics from the comfort of your couch? Sega has the game for you.

343i explains what to expect from Halo Infinite's technical preview

Check off what you should know ahead of the various flights.

What you need to know

  • The latest Inside Infinite blog post from 343 Industries focuses on the upcoming Halo Infinite technical preview flights.
  • 343 explains that stressing the various systems and gathering feedback is the main priority.
  • The first test could be as early as next weekend.

Halo Infinite developer 343 Industries has been giving monthly updates on different aspects of the upcoming game all year via a series of blog posts called Inside Infinite. In the July 2021 installment of Inside Infinite, 343 Industries explains just what players can actually expect from the Halo Infinite flighting tests that are set to begin in the coming weeks.

To start, while it's important that you properly register for a chance to take part, doing all the proper steps isn't a guarantee you'll be invited, especially for the first few flights, with 343 taking a "walk before we run" approach. It's also being referred to as a Technical Preview specifically because technical performance is the key metric 343 wants to measure, with stressing and testing the various gameplay and online systems being the primary goal.

Player feedback is welcome, with 343 specifically requesting feedback on the core gameplay, maps, modes, Academy Weapon Drills and finally, the UI for the main menu and Battle Pass. 343 also explains that while not every piece of feedback may be addressed during the various flights before launch, the team will be transparent about what is being addressed, giving clear reports on the various "Feedback Themes" ahead of the game's Holiday 2021 release date.

There's still no specific date for when the first flight will happen but 343 notes it could be as early as next weekend. Whenever it arrives, this first flight is focused on bot gameplay, allowing players to fight in Bot Slayer Mode on three maps: Bazaar, Recharge, and Live Fire. There'll also be a variety of weapon drills for players to test.

343 closes by noting there are four levels of difficulties to Bots: Recruit, Marine, ODST and Spartan, with ODST more than capable of giving experienced Halo players a challenge. Bot difficulty is scaled solely on intelligence however, there are no boosts to weapon damage, health or any other stat.

The next adventure in the saga

Halo Infinite

See at Microsoft $60 at Best Buy See at Steam

A new Great Journey awaits

Halo Infinite is the biggest Xbox game of the year by far, and based on what we saw at E3 2021, it looks like it's going to be fantastic.

Valve is targeting 30 FPS for the Steam Deck

While there'll be variation between games, 30 FPS is the target to keep in mind.

What you need to know

  • Valve shared more technical information on its Steam Deck handheld device.
  • Valve explained that the target for games is 800p 30 FPS.
  • There will be some variation based on the exact demands of different games.

Valve's upcoming Steam Deck handheld device is a simple pitch, one of allowing a player to take their Steam library with them on the go. When you look at the Steam Deck specs list, it packs some solid hardware considering the form factor, but players should know that Valve is targeting 30 FPS for the Steam Deck, at least for a large number of games. Speaking with IGN, Valve developer Pierre-Loup Griffais notes that the target for games is 30 FPS.

"If people are still valuing high frame rates and high resolutions on different platforms," he says, "I think that content will scale down to our 800p, 30Hz target really well."

This will depend on exactly what settings players choose when running games, which will also affect the battery life. Valve previously noted that if the framerate is set to 30 FPS, players going through Portal 2 will get around five hours of battery life. You'll be able to access most of the best PC games, but they aren't going to look as good or run as smoothly as they would on a massive dedicated gaming rig.

The Steam Deck is using similar AMD hardware like the most recent consoles, the Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and PS5, which engineer Yazan Aldehayyat notes will also aid in better-performing games for the Steam Deck.

"We're not the only people with this architecture," Aldehayyat explains, adding that "...any optimisation game developers make for this new architecture will carry forward to all system makers too. So I think we're in a great place."

The Steam Deck is currently set to begin shipping orders in December 2021, with some orders, especially those for higher-end models, slated for Q1 or Q2 2022.

An ultimate PC handheld

Steam Deck

From $399 at Steam

Play your Steam library anywhere

Wanted more places to play your Steam library? Now you'll be able to with the Steam Deck. This machine comes in three iterations, which each allowing you to play your games locally and portably.

Expand your games

SanDisk 256 GB SD Card

Store more games

The Steam Deck supports expandable storage through SD cards, meaning you can grab one and just slot it in to make room for more games, especially if you don't have a model with an SSD.

Lemon Duck malware isn't done harassing Windows and Linux

This is one duck you don't want to feed.

What you need to know

  • Lemon Duck has been causing headaches for PCs for years.
  • It's evolving to be even more malicious.
  • Microsoft is tracking its activities and has issued a report on the latest Lemon Duck developments.

Lemon Duck is causing more trouble than ever. Originally, it was primarily a cryptocurrency botnet that enabled mining on machines. It then began a transition into being a malware loader, which brings us to the latest update from Microsoft on the state of the malicious, citrus-infused digital duck.

"Today, beyond using resources for its traditional bot and mining activities, LemonDuck steals credentials, removes security controls, spreads via emails, moves laterally, and ultimately drops more tools for human-operated activity," Microsoft's security report reads, detailing the many ways Lemon Duck (now referred to as LemonDuck by Microsoft) can harm someone. Worse yet, it's not exclusive to one platform. It'll go after Windows as well as Linux, and is documented as spreading itself via phishing emails, USB devices, exploits, and more.

Arguably, the scariest part of LemonDuck is the fact that it's extremely good at covering its tracks. "[LemonDuck] continues to use older vulnerabilities, which benefit the attackers at times when focus shifts to patching a popular vulnerability rather than investigating compromise. Notably, LemonDuck removes other attackers from a compromised device by getting rid of competing malware and preventing any new infections by patching the same vulnerabilities it used to gain access."

Needless to say, Lemon Duck is among the more versatile threats out there. But wait, that's not all Microsoft has for us in the way of fruitily themed, animal-entitled cyber threats. There's also LemonCat, which is an entirely different infrastructure named after its usage of two domains that contain the word "cat." This lemony variant infrastructure is used for backdoor installations, malware delivery, and data and credential theft. It also tends to deliver the Ramnit malware.

If you want to learn more about the threat Lemon Duck (and Cat) pose to Windows 11, 10, and Linux systems, as well as how these systems are protected from said danger, check out Microsoft's post for all the technical details.

Oculus is killing off its proprietary PC VR APIs in favor of OpenXR

Moving the industry toward the accepted open standard.

What you need to know

  • Oculus is deprecating its proprietary Oculus PC APIs in favor of the OpenXR format starting August 31, 2021.
  • All support for these older APIs will end on August 31, 2022.
  • New Oculus features will be delivered via OpenXR plug-ins, meaning developers will need to move to these APIs to support future headsets and Oculus updates.

Facebook announced today on the Oculus developers blog that it's finally deprecating its old proprietary Oculus APIs in favor of using the OpenXR standard moving forward. This move has been building steam since the Oculus Quest began supporting the OpenXR platform last July and is now in line with Steam's move to the OpenXR platform last year.

To simplify what's happening, here's a breakdown of the process. An application programming interface, or API, is a piece of software that connects software and hardware together. In this case, Oculus APIs allow developers to create VR games and applications for Oculus-branded headsets, supporting the unique features that those headsets might have. Starting with Oculus software v31 — which launched this week — new Oculus features will be developed via OpenXR instead of Facebook's own Oculus language.

Going forward, this is very positive news for the industry, as a whole. A move from a proprietary platform to an open one is almost never a negative and it generally means that developers should have an easier time developing for all of the best VR headsets instead of having to target a specific one. The OpenXR standard was designed by the Khronos Group — the same non-profit group that's responsible for the Vulkan programming language that offers performance benefits for games like Valheim — and was meant to connect the dots between all the VR headsets and gaming engines that are on the market.

What's not known at this point is how older games and headsets will be affected by the move. Facebook is moving these proprietary APIs to "Compatibility Support" on August 31, 2021. Furthermore, Facebook is officially ending support for proprietary Oculus APIs just one year later — that's August 31, 2022. This likely means that developers will need to move their existing games to the OpenXR API over the course of the next year or face possible incompatibilities with new headsets, moving forward.

Motive Studios talks treating Dead Space remake with care and respect

Drawing on experience and new talent alike.

What you need to know

  • Motive Studios is the developer behind the upcoming Dead Space remake.
  • Motive previously worked on other Electronic Arts games like Star Wars: Squadrons.
  • The team shared more about how it's treating this remake the right way.

The Dead Space remake is being handled by Motive Studios, a team that's been a part of Electronic Arts ever since it was founded in 2015 by Ubisoft veteran and current Haven Studios head, Jade Raymond. The team shared more about how it's treating this remake with care and respect.

Motive is drawing on an experienced team used to working in Frostbite, having previously helped with support on Star Wars Battlefront 2, as well as developing the 2020 dogfighing game Star Wars: Squadrons. The team has also recruited heavily for this new project, ensuring that " everyone's voice" is heard no matter their role. There's also some developers with prior experience on the franchise involved, with Art Director Mike Yazijian actually having worked on Dead Space 2.

"I actually found my old notebooks from Dead Space 2!" Yazijian says. "So that really comes in handy, seeing all the notes from the sequel, everything the Visceral team had shared with us as we were making the game with them. We've got concept art, visual guidelines, source materials, notes on the conversations we had with them, the knowledge that they gained — it's all here. It's all going into this game."

We're excited for the Dead Space remake, but there's still a lot to prove, which is why Motive is also working directly with fans to ensure the project stays on the right path.

"We started sharing things with some of our biggest fans and asking for feedback just two months into working on the game," says Creative Director Roman Campos-Oriola. "We want to treat the franchise with great care and respect, so we want to make sure the things we're doing are hitting home with our community."

The Dead Space remake does not currently have a release date but is likely to arrive in 2022 at the earliest.

A catalog of games

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

From $1/month at Microsoft $45 at Amazon (3-month subscription) $15 at Amazon (1-month subscription)

All your gaming needs, in one subscription.

Is the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate the best value in all of gaming? It's possible. Ultimate bundles your Xbox Live Gold subscription, an Xbox Game Pass subscription for both Xbox consoles and Windows PCs, and Xbox Cloud Gaming for on-the-go. That means access to hundreds of games, with more added all the time, for a single monthly subscription cost.

All you need to know about AMD's Ryzen 5000 processors

We've rounded up everything AMD Ryzen 5000 right here, including information about the Ryzen 5000G APUs.

AMD announced the Ryzen 5000 series of processors based on the Zen 3 architecture October 2020. This new family of desktop-class CPUs is the successor to the previous 3000 series, offering additional performance with a core redesign and yet more efficiencies to really ramp up the pressure on Intel.

These processors are fast. Real fast. They're also incredibly efficient with the leading Ryzen 9 5950X rocking 16 cores and 32 threads only sporting a thermal design power (TDP) rating of just 105W. AMD is also now setting up for a retail launch of a couple of its Ryzen 5000G desktop APUs, with an expected release date of Aug. 5. Here's everything you need to know about these processors.

Meet the new AMD Ryzen 5000 processors

But which processor is right for you? We've rounded up the SKUs in this handy specifications table. Interestingly, AMD has decided not to include coolers with the 105W processors and instead only bundle one with the 65W Ryzen 5 5600X.

Category Ryzen 5 5600X Ryzen 7 5800X Ryzen 9 5900X Ryzen 9 5950X
Architecture Zen 3 Zen 3 Zen 3 Zen 3
Socket AM4 AM4 AM4 AM4
Cores 6 8 12 16
Threads 12 16 24 32
TDP 65W 105W 105W 105W
Base Speed 3.7GHz 3.8GHz 3.7GHz 3.4GHz
Boost Speed 4.6GHz 4.7GHz 4.8GHz 4.9GHz
Cache 32MB 32MB 32MB 32MB
Cooler Wraith
Stealth
- - -
Price $299 $449 $549 $799

The Ryzen 5000 series starts from just $299 for a six-core processor with 12 threads. It's clocked at 3.7GHz but can boost up to 4.6GHz, and 32MB of cache ensures you'll find it difficult to find issues with this budget-friendly CPU. There was a time when six-core processors were the best of the bunch and now it's an affordable entry for AMD Ryzen 5000.

Leading the pack is the behemoth Ryzen 9 5950X, which is in a class of its own. Threadrippers used to be where you needed to go for enthusiast performance, but now AMD offers similar levels of computing without requiring specific coolers and motherboard chipsets and sockets. This CPU houses 16 cores and 32 threads with a TDP of just 105W. Yes, it's as insane as it sounds. Our Ryzen 9 5950X review has all the details.

Be sure to have a look at our AMD Ryzen 7 5800X review as well for more information.

Meet the new AMD Ryzen 5000G APUs

AMD followed up its standard Ryzen 5000-series desktop CPUs with the launch of its 5000 G-series APUs in April 2021. These chips come complete with integrated graphics baked right in, allowing you to get the full PC experience without a discrete graphics card. They're built using the same 7nm process and Zen 3 architecture, with AMD's Radeon graphics. They're a successor to the previous 4000G chips.

While the 4000G CPUs didn't actually see a retail release — meaning they were available only in OEM systems — the 5000G CPUs are now expected to launch for everyone on Aug. 5 after enjoying a short run exclusively in OEM systems. While there were six 5000G CPUs initially launched, it appears that only two will be making the move to a retail release: the Ryzen 5 5600G and Ryzen 7 5700G.

Category Ryzen 5 5600G Ryzen 7 5700G
Architecture Zen 3 Zen 3
Socket AM4 AM4
Cores 6 8
Threads 12 16
Graphics Radeon Vega 7 Radeon Vega 8
TDP 65W 65W
Base clock 3.9GHz 3.8GHz
Boost clock 4.4GHz 4.6GHz
GPU clock 1.9GHz 2.0GHz
Cooler Wraith Stealth Wraith Stealth
Price $259 $359

The main differences between the 5000 and 5000G CPUs, aside from the integrated graphics, involve PCIe support and frequencies. The 5000G chips are capped at PCIe 3.0, whereas the standard 5000 CPUs offer PCIe 4.0 support. There's also a matter of the boost clocks being a bit lower in the 5000G chips.

While the Ryzen 5 5600G and Ryzen 5 5600X have the same 65W TDP, the Ryzen 7 5600G has a lower 65W TDP compared to the 105W TDP in the Ryzen 7 5800X. In any case, you're getting the same amount of cores and threads across CPUs.

If you're looking for AMD's laptop CPUs, have a look at our guide on how to pick the right AMD Ryzen 5000 Mobile processor.

Which motherboards work with AMD Ryzen 5000 processors?

Current X570 and B550 motherboards work fine with the new 5000 series Ryzen processors, so if you have either board from a vendor you'll be ready for the next generation of CPUs. All that's required in some cases is a BIOS update, which should be applied before installing the new processor.

Many older 400-series motherboards have also received support for the newer CPUs in the form of a BIOS update. Still, the best bet is to upgrade to a 500-series motherboard, allowing you full access to PCIe 4.0 and other notable improvements the latest chipsets offer. Have a look at our collection of the best motherboards for more details, and be sure to take a look at our guide on how to check if you have the latest motherboard BIOS for AMD Ryzen 5000 CPUs.

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X

$290 at Amazon

$290 at Newegg

This processor has six cores, 12 threads and hits a clock speed of 3.7GHz that boosts up to 4.6GHz.

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X

$398 at Amazon

$410 at Newegg

With a jump up to eight cores and 16 threads, this CPU offers even better performance. It hits clock speeds of 3.8GHz and can boost up to 4.7GHz.

AMD Ryzen 9 5900X

$570 at Amazon

$549 at Newegg

The 12 cores and 24 threads in this CPU deliver incredible power. This processor has a base clock speed of 3.7GHz and goes up to a boost speed of 4.8GHz.

AMD Ryzen 9 5950X

$849 at Amazon

$849 at Newegg

The pinnacle of the Ryzen 5000 series, this CPU offers enthusiast performance. It has 16 cores and 32 threads with a TDP of only 105W.

Microsoft Bing introduces Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 experience

Get all your Olympics news from a single search.

What you need to know

  • The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 was postponed to 2021.
  • The event is now in full swing.
  • Microsoft Bing has developed an experience to help you speedily stay on top of Olympics news with ease.

The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is officially happening in 2021 after it was postponed a year due to pandemic concerns (concerns which are still present even as the event takes place). As is typical with the Olympics, lots of events happen around the same time, and news pours out at a rapid pace, making it hard for some folks to stay abreast of the latest, most relevant developments. Bing's new experience wants to be a solution for that problem.

Microsoft Bing has implemented special Olympics-linked functionalities to searches surrounding the Tokyo 2020 Games, so when you look up news regarding the event, you receive a large block of information detailing everything from the various competing athletes and their medal counts to the schedules for what events are happening on what days. Want to know when the next round of men's beach volleyball is going down, or which Mongolian athlete has racked up the most medals? All that info and more can be yours just by typing anything Olympics-related in the Bing search bar.

The new Microsoft Bing experience won't end once the traditional Olympics wrap, either. It'll stick around for the entirety of those dates (July 23 to August 8) and continue for the duration of the Games for para-athletics from August 23 through September 5. This new functionality is available for both Bing on desktop as well as mobile. Microsoft encourages users to give feedback on whether they like the new Olympics-themed feature, so be sure to give the company your thoughts.

Four ways to connect to a Wi-Fi network on Windows 10

Windows 10 allows you to connect to a wireless network in multiple ways, and in this guide, we'll look at four of them.

A Wi-Fi adapter makes it convenient to connect your Windows 10 laptop or desktop to the network and internet without dealing with cables. However, it's only convenient as long as you know where to find the settings to connect.

Whether you're setting up a device for the first time, connecting in a new place, or if you're looking for an efficient method to connect multiple devices to the same network, Windows 10 offers various ways to connect to the internet using a Wi-Fi connection quickly.

In this Windows 10 guide, we walk you through the steps to connect to a Wi-Fi network using the network flyout in Taskbar, Settings, Control Panel and using command lines with Command Prompt.

How to connect to Wi-Fi network using Taskbar

To connect to a Wi-Fi network through the taskbar, use these steps:

  1. Click the Network icon in the bottom-right corner of the taskbar.

    Quick note: Alternatively, you can open Action Center (Windows key + A), and then click the Network button in the Quick actions section to access the network flyout. If you don't see the button, click the up arrow button on the left.

  2. Select the wireless network to connect.
  3. (Optional) Check the Connect automatically option.
  4. Click the Connect button.

    Quick tip: If you do not see any wireless access point in the list, click the Wi-Fi button to turn on the adapter.

  5. Confirm the network security key (password).

  6. Click the Next button.
  7. Confirm whether the device should be discoverable in the network by other PCs.

Once you complete the steps, the laptop will connect to the network using the Wi-Fi connection.

Reconnect automatically

In addition, Windows 10 also offers an option to reconnect the device automatically after disconnecting the adapter manually.

To set the Wi-Fi adapter to reconnect automatically on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Click the network icon in the system tray.
  2. Click the Wi-Fi button to turn off wireless connectivity.

  3. Use the drop-down menu and select when to re-connect automatically:

    • Manually.
    • In one hour.
    • In four hours.
    • In one day.

After you complete the steps, Windows 10 won't try to connect to a wireless connection until the time you selected. When using this functionality, the device will only connect automatically to the networks you have connected to in the past.

How to connect to Wi-Fi network using Settings

Using "Network & Security" settings, you can also add wireless connections manually, and then when the network is in range, the device will connect automatically.

To prevision a Wi-Fi connection on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Network & Security.
  3. Click on Wi-Fi.
  4. Click the Manage known networks option.

  5. Click the Add a new network button.

  6. Confirm the name of the network.
  7. Use the drop-down menu to select the Security type – For example, WPA2-Personal AES.
  8. Confirm the network security key (password).

  9. Check the Connect automatically option.
  10. Check the Connect even if this network is not broadcasting option (if required).
  11. Click the Save button.

Once you complete the steps, the device will connect automatically when the wireless network is in range.

How to connect to Wi-Fi network using Control Panel

To connect to a Wi-Fi network with Control Panel, use these steps:

  1. Open Control Panel.
  2. Click on Network and Internet.
  3. Click on Network and Sharing Center.
  4. Under the "Change your networking settings" section, click the Set up a new connection or network option.

  5. Select the Manually connect to a wireless network option.

  6. Click the Next button.
  7. Confirm the network name.
  8. Use the drop-down menu to select the Security type — for example, WPA2-Personal.
  9. Confirm the network security key (password).
  10. Check the Start this connection automatically option.
  11. (Optional) Check the Connect even if the network is not broadcasting option.

  12. Click the Next button.
  13. Click the Close button.

Once you complete the steps, the laptop, tablet, or desktop will automatically connect to the Wi-Fi network.

How to connect to Wi-Fi network using Command Prompt

Alternatively, you can also use the netsh command-line tool in Command Prompt to connect to a Wi-Fi network.

To connect to a Wi-Fi access point with commands, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.
  3. Type the following command to view the available network profiles and press Enter:

    netsh wlan show profile

  4. Confirm the Wi-Fi network profile with your preferred settings.
  5. Type the following command to connect to the wireless network on Windows 10 and press Enter:

    netsh wlan connect ssid=YOUR-WIFI-SSID name=PROFILE-NAME

    In the command, remember to specify the name (SSID) of the network and profile name with your network settings.

    For example, this command connects to the "tsunami" network using the "tsunami" profile:

    netsh wlan connect ssid=tsunami name=tsunami

    Quick Tip: On devices with more than one wireless adapter, you must also specify in the command which adapter you want to use. For example,: netsh wlan connect ssid=YOUR-WIFI-SSID name=PROFILE-NAME interface=Wi-Fi.

After you complete the steps, the device will connect to the wireless network.

New network connection

The netsh tool also lets you manage Wi-Fi adapters and networks. The only caveat is that you can only manage previously known networks since you cannot create new network profiles with this tool

When you need to use Command Prompt to connect one or multiple computers to the same wireless network, you can export the network profile created automatically during the first connection. Then you can import it using the netsh tool to connect using the command-line tool.

Export Wi-Fi profile

To export a Wi-Fi profile with commands, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.
  3. Type the following command to view the available network profiles and press Enter:

    netsh wlan show profile

  4. Type the following command to export a profile and press Enter:

    netsh wlan export profile PROFILE-NAME key=clear folder=PATH\TO\EXPORT\FOLDER

    For example, this command exports the tsunami profile to the "Documents" folder.

    netsh wlan export profile tsunami key=clear folder=C:\Users\m\Documents

Once you complete the steps, you can import the same XML file to connect other devices to the same network.

Import Wi-Fi profile

To import a Wi-Fi profile on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.
  3. Type the following command to determine the name of the network adapter and press Enter:

    netsh wlan show interfaces

  4. Confirm the name of the adapter that will connect to the network.
  5. Type the following command to import the network profile and press Enter:

    netsh wlan add profile filename="PATH\TO\PROFILE.XML" Interface="YOUR-WIFI-ADAPTER-NAME" user=current

    In the command, make sure to specify the location of the XML file and network interface name.

    For example, this command imports the xml profile located in the "Documents" folder to the Wi-Fi adapter:

    netsh wlan add profile filename="C:\Users\m\Documents\wi-fi-tsunami.xml" Interface="WI-FI" user=current

  6. Type the following command to connect to the wireless network and press Enter:

    netsh wlan connect ssid=YOUR-WIFI-SSID name=PROFILE-NAME

    In the command, specify the SSID and profile name that corresponds to your network.

    For example, this command connects to an access point using the "tsunami" SSID and "tsunami" profile name:

    netsh wlan connect ssid=tsunami name=tsunami

    Quick tip: If you have multiple wireless interfaces, you must also specify in the command which adapter you want to use. For example, netsh wlan connect ssid=YOUR-WIFI-SSID name=PROFILE-NAME interface=Wi-Fi.

After you complete the steps, the computer should connect to the wireless network automatically.

More Windows resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10 and Windows 11, visit the following resources:

Newegg GPU purchase loophole discovered, quickly patched

You won't be able to replicate the trick, though.

What you need to know

  • Graphics cards are in extremely short supply worldwide.
  • One 11-year-old boy figured out a way to score GPUs with ease from Newegg.
  • The trick has since been made obsolete by Newegg.

In the event you've been on Newegg lately, you know the amount of struggle required to get one of the best graphics cards. Be it a top-tier AMD card or an NVIDIA GPU such as the RTX 3060 Ti, you're going to have to go through a lot of headaches to get the product you're after. But what if the shortages disappeared and you could buy what you wanted when you wanted?

That became the case for an 11-year-old boy recently. As reported by PCMag, the clever kid discovered that by using Newegg's app, he could buy a "hot item" from Newegg's PC builder service à la carte.

The trick went like this: Even if an item showed up as out of stock, when you tried to add it to your cart, there was a chance it would work on the app, allowing you to buy the product as though you'd grabbed it from a regular in-stock store listing.

This lends credence to the theory that Newegg is holding rare GPUs for its PC assembly service and associated operations.

PCMag tested the loophole firsthand and confirmed it to be possible as of the time of its report. However, shortly thereafter, the app-based trick was patched up, and now Newegg is back to its regularly scheduled drip-feeding of GPUs via its raffling events. With that in mind, if you like scouting for holes in website infrastructure, know that they're out there and ready to help you get GPUs. A boy found one and earned an EVGA RTX 3090 for his troubles.

Activision Blizzard execs have two very different responses to lawsuit

This comes after an explosive lawsuit filed earlier this week.

Update 2:50 p.m. ET: Added information about J. Allen Brack's mentions in the lawsuit to the article.

What you need to know

  • Two Activision Blizzard executives — J. Allen Brack and Frances Townsend — responded to a recent lawsuit in internal emails sent to employees.
  • Brack called the allegations "unacceptable" in one, while Townsend called them "untrue" in another.
  • The lawsuit was filed by California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing this week concerning many instances of sexist culture and harassment at the company.

It's no surprise that a lawsuit as explosive as the one filed by the California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) against Activision Blizzard would cause a stir internally. According to Bloomberg's Jason Schreier, two very different emails were sent out to Activision Blizzard employees this week — one by Blizzard president J. Allen Brack and another by Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs Frances Townsend.

In the first email, Brack called the allegations "extremely troubling" and said that he found the "behavior detailed in the allegations is completely unacceptable."

He promised later in the email that the leadership team will be meeting with employees to figure out how best to move forward.

"I feel angry, sad, and a host of other emotions, but I also feel grateful to work alongside a set of leaders and thousands of employees who join me in their commitment to continuous improvement."

Brack is specifically named in the lawsuit as having received complaints about the harassment and retailiation but as one of the defendants "failed to take effective remedial measures in response ot these complaints." He also allegedly had conversations with former senior creative director of World of Warcraft Alex Afrasiabi about the latter's behavior, which includes sexual harassment. It's said that Brack gave Afrasiabi a "slap on the wrist" in response.

Townsend, who joined the company in March, took a different tone with her email, saying that the lawsuit "presented a distorted and untrue picture of our company, including factually incorrect, old, and out of context stories — some from more than a decade ago." This mirrors the company's statement to the lawsuit sent to multiple media organizations, which also claimed the lawsuit included "distorted, and in many cases false, descriptions of Blizzard's past." She also called the lawsuit "meritless and irresponsible."

While Brack's email didn't present steps the company will be taking, Townsend iterated that Activision Blizzard will be "investing in" diversity and inclusion networks, introducing "inclusive hiring training," and requiring employees to take part in anti-harassment training, among other tasks.

Schreier said that Townsend's email has left some employees "fuming."

You can read the two emails below.

Blizzard president J. Allen Brack sent out an email to staff last night addressing the allegations from this week's explosive lawsuit, calling them "extremely troubling" and saying that he'd be "meeting with many of you to answer questions and discuss how we can move forward." pic.twitter.com/NsMV6CNdTE

— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) July 23, 2021

Activision Blizzard executive Fran Townsend, who was the Homeland Security Advisor to George W. Bush from 2004-2007 and joined Activision in March, sent out a very different kind of email that has some Blizzard employees fuming. pic.twitter.com/BxGeMTuRYF

— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) July 23, 2021

We've reached out to Activision Blizzard for comment and will update if we hear back.

Join us LIVE for the Windows Central Video Podcast today at 2:30PM ET

Join Daniel Rubino and Zac Bowden for a LIVE recording of the Windows Central Video Podcast!

Make sure you join us for the broadcast of this week's Windows Central Video Podcast, LIVE today at 2:30pm ET. For those in different time zones, here's when we'll be live: Convert your time zone here.

Head to our YouTube page to see the podcast or watch the embed above.

We'll be talking about this week's biggest Microsoft news. Make sure you're there! Be sure to be following us on Twitter as we'll be tweeting out when the show begins. Alternatively, bookmark this page and come back later, as the player embedded in this post will be where we stream to.

Learn more about 'Echoing Void' DLC in latest Minecraft Dungeons dev diary

The finale of Minecraft Dungeons' first story explores the void.

What you need to know

  • Minecraft Dungeons is an action RPG from the creators of Minecraft, Mojang Studios.
  • The game is gearing up to release its final DLC expansion for its current storyline, Echoing Void.
  • Echoing Void will include loads of new content, and be accompanied by a massive free update for all players.
  • Today, Mojang Studios has shared a new dev diary to discuss some of the details of Echoing Void.

Next week, Minecraft Dungeons will close the door on its first major chapter with the Echoing Void DLC, which finally concludes the story that began with the Arch-Illager and the terrifying Orb of Dominance. Today, Mojang Studios is giving players a sneak peek at what's to come in Echoing Void with the latest Minecraft Dungeons dev diary, which you can watch below.

The dev diary goes over all the biggest features to come in Echoing Void, which takes Minecraft Dungeons to The End, and it highlights exactly how this exciting finale intends to set itself apart from previous expansions. Echoing Void will be less linear than anything that has come before, with players being required to complete tasks in certain orders and discover the best ways to progress to the next area. There are three levels in Echoing Void, including Stronghold, End Wilds, and Broken Citadel.

We now know that The End is expanding into the Overworld, and it's up to players to discover why and put an end to the invasion. The entire time, players will be stalked by the most powerful opponent we've seen yet: the horrible Vengeful Heart of Ender, which makes a return in a seemingly new and even more frightening fashion.

Beyond The End, Minecraft Dungeons will benefit from a major free update launching alongside Echoing Void as well, which will provide new foes to face in Ancient Hunts and a brand-new secret level to discover known as Gauntlet of Gales. The Gauntlet will be filled with a variety of puzzles and obstacles, and can reward players with a myriad of gear and artifacts, including from the Howling Peaks DLC.

Echoing Void officially releases for Minecraft Dungeons on July 28, 2021, and will be available on every platform Minecraft Dungeons is on. You can gain access to Echoing Void either by purchasing the Minecraft Dungeons Season Pass, grabbing Echoing Void by itself, or playing with a friend who owns Echoing Void. Mojang will also release Minecraft Dungeons Ultimate Edition on July 28, which will include the base game and all current expansions for one affordable price.

All players will be able to access the free update when it releases alongside Echoing Void. Minecraft Dungeons is already one of the best Xbox games, and it keeps getting better with new content updates and features.

While Echoing Void does mark the end of an era, there's apparently much more to come for Minecraft Dungeons in the future.

The next era of Dungeons

Minecraft Dungeons Season Pass

$20 at Microsoft (Xbox) $20 at Microsoft (Windows) $20 at Amazon (Switch)

Explore new worlds in Minecraft Dungeons.

It's been a busy first year for Minecraft Dungeons, and now the ARPG dungeon-crawling Minecraft spin-off is looking ahead towards its future, with four new expansions planned. The first three expansions, Howling Peaks, Flames of the Nether, and Hidden Depths are now available, and players can pick up the Season Pass to gain access to Echoing Void as soon as it launches.

A catalog of games

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

From $1/month at Microsoft $45 at Amazon (3-month subscription) $15 at Amazon (1-month subscription)

All your gaming needs, in one subscription.

Is the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate the best value in all of gaming? It's possible. Ultimate bundles your Xbox Live Gold subscription, an Xbox Game Pass subscription for both Xbox consoles and Windows PCs, and Xbox Cloud Gaming for on-the-go. That means access to hundreds of games, with more added all the time, for a single monthly subscription cost.

Review: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano is super light, classic, and just a joy

While it may look just like a smaller X1 Carbon, the X1 Nano finds the perfect balance between being extraordinarily light and focused on productivity, making it a thrill to use.

When Lenovo announced the ThinkPad X1 Nano, it was a bit difficult to get excited about it. After all, it looked just like a 14-inch ThinkPad X1 Carbon … but reduced. As it turns out, size does matter, and while it is true that ThinkPad X1 Nano is smaller thanks to that 13-inch display, it is also one of the most enjoyably Ultrabooks I have used in 2021.

So, why do I think the X1 Nano is so good? It's the sum of its parts. A superb display, optional carbon fiber lid, and 4G/5G, all in a laptop that weighs just 962g (2.12lbs)? There's a lot to like here for the right audience.

Read on for my full review.

So darn light

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano

Bottom line: The ThinkPad X1 Nano highlights all the best features of Lenovo's premium ThinkPad of laptops, but with a focus on portability. Its featherlight chassis, excellent 2K display, and legendary keyboard make it a great productivity laptop for the frequent traveler.

Pros

  • Extremely light and portable design
  • Brilliant keyboard and trackpad
  • Outstanding 16:10 2K display
  • Optional 4G/5G
  • Zero Touch login/User presence detection

Cons

  • 720p webcam is weak for 2021
  • Antiquated exhaust system
  • Small sacrifice on battery life

From $1,056 at Lenovo $1,799 at Amazon $1,919 at Best Buy

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano: Price, availability, and specs

The ThinkPad X1 Nano starts at around $1,056 on the Lenovo website. Users can customize just about every aspect of the laptop, including the OS, processor, RAM, storage, display type, and connectivity options like 4G or 5G.

Processors range from the latest Intel 11th Gen Core i5-1130G7 up to the i7-1180G7 (for this review, I used the Core i7-1160G7).

The storage and RAM peak at 1TB PCIe SSD and 16GB on the X1 Nano, respectively. There are only two display types, both 16:10 2160x1350 aka "2K." The differences are one is anti-glare, non-touch while for an extra $89, you can go with anti-reflective with touch. Both hit 450 nits of brightness with support for Dolby Vision (increases contrast for video and media).

Category Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano
OS Windows 10 Pro or Linux
Display 13-inch touch or non-touch 2K (2160x1350) with 100% sRGB
Dolby Vision
450nit
Processor Up to 11th Gen Intel Core i7
Graphics Intel Iris Xe Graphics
Memory Up to 16GB LPDDR4X
Storage Up to 1TB PCIe SSD
Security Match-on-chip fingerprint
IR camera with human presence detection
ThinkShutter camera cover
Kensington lock slot
dTPM 2.0 chip
Ports 2x Thunderbolt 4
1x Audio (headphone/mic)
Wireless WWAN 5G/LTE/4G Capable
WLAN 802.11 AX
LTE CAT 20
Bluetooth 5.0
Audio Dolby Atmos speaker system
3x 360-degree mics
Battery Up to 17.3hrs
48Wh
Up to Type-C 65W
Weight 1.98 to 2.17 pounds (898 to 984 grams)
Dimensions 11.5 x 8.15 x 0.55 inches
292.8mm x 208mm x 13.87mm

Best Buy and Amazon also sell the ThinkPad X1 Nano as pre-configured machines with a more limited selection and configurations that are more likely to be sold. However, if users want 4G or 5G, they will need to order direct through Lenovo (who run frequent sales).

Classic but tiny

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano: Design and features

Classic black lid (bottom) vs. carbon fiber weave lid (top) on the X1 Nano.

At its core, the ThinkPad X1 Nano feels like a smaller ThinkPad X1 Carbon. You lose a few ports dropping down to just two Thunderbolt 4 Type-C (not unlike the Dell XPS 13), making this a simple Ultrabook.

Branding is very minimal with the traditional use of "ThinkPad" in various places, and some text for X1 Nano and Dolby Atomos placed throughout. Lenovo plays it cool, however, by making all that text slightly contrast black giving it all a very stealthy look. Lenovo rightly still uses a small red LED for the "i" in ThinkPad on the lid.

Lenovo made the ThinkPad X1 Nano for a particular demographic: road warriors. It is ideal for those who fly frequently and have limited space with those dropdown tray tables. Throw in some 4G or 5G, and you have a thin and light laptop, that works anywhere and is easy to carry. And at just 962g (2.12 pounds) and 13.87mm thick, it certainly fits the bill. (I weighed both non-touch and touch X1 Nanos, and the weight ranged from 1.98lbs to 2.17lbs (898 grams to 984 grams).

When it was first introduced, the ThinkPad X1 Nano had a regular "classic black" lid, but there is now an option for a fancier carbon fiber top cover. The classic black is cheaper, starting at $1,275 (after a coupon) but is currently out of stock. The carbon fiber lid has the benefit of not only looking nicer but adding a bit more support as well, in addition to being better at hiding fingerprints.

Opening the ThinkPad X1 Nano lid and you are greeted with Lenovo's familiar "smile" keyboard design, TrackPoint red nub, and a generously sized Microsoft Precision touchpad. As expected, the keyboard is top-notch, and the trackpad is one of my favorites by Lenovo thus far, with a very satisfying click when pressed. Despite the smaller laptop chassis, the full-sized keyboard never felt cramped or limited — it felt completely normal.

Lenovo includes both Windows Hello infrared (IR) facial recognition and a fingerprint reader built into the deck for security. A fingerprint reader makes sense as users may leave the physical camera shutter, preventing Windows Hello IR from working. Both worked without a hitch.

One of the best features is Lenovo's "Intelligent Security," aka human presence detection, something I see more of in recent Intel-based laptops. The X1 Nano can detect when you are in front of it using an array of sensors. When you walk away from the computer, it auto-locks, and when you return, it detects your presence, turns on the display, and can log you in with Windows Hello IR — what Lenovo calls "zero-touch login" as you never make contact with the laptop. The system worked flawlessly, and Lenovo lets users customize the sensitivity of the feature under its Commercial Vantage software (user can also disable it). Besides added security, the feature also helps preserve battery life.

The 720p front-facing web camera is decent enough and gets the job done. Lenovo rates higher here than some other competing brands, but it would be nice to see the company embrace full HD (1080p) in all its ThinkPad laptops from now on. Lenovo is good, however, at making sure your image is bright at least.

When it comes to audio, Lenovo falls below Microsoft, HP, and Dell, but the company is lately getting much better. The ThinkPad X1 Nano thankfully includes two top-firing speakers (near the display) and two on the bottom front edge. These are tuned with Dolby (Dolby Atmos), and while it lacks powerful bass and presence, the volume is excellent, and there is some solid spatial separation. The audio here is best suited for voice instead of music, making some sense on a business laptop. Users can tweak audio via the Dolby Access app with preselects for dynamic, game, movie, music, or custom by using the built-in 10-band equalizer (I preferred "movie" set to "warm" for my overall usage).

Ideal screens

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano: Display

Lenovo made some wise choices for the screens on the ThinkPad X1 Nano, making it a strong point of this laptop. The resolution for both is 2160x1350 — higher than full HD, but not as battery-thirsty (and overkill) as 4K UHD. This "2K" range is the sweet spot for a 13.0 display, letting you enjoy videos, movies, and photo editing without any jaggedness.

Lenovo also went with a taller 16:10 display, something it has been doing across its ThinkPad X1 lineup in the last year. You get a more viewable screen compared to 16:9 and thin, symmetrical bezels. It works perfectly for this device, and there's no question about it.

I tested both displays — a matte, anti-glare non-touch, and the slightly more expensive anti-reflective touch option. Both are very good, with the matte choice being better for the person who wants to lessen eye strain or spends hours word processing.

For color gamut, the matte, anti-glare screen earned a 98% sRGB, 76% AdobeRGB, and 78% DCI-P3 — all decent and respectable for this PC class. The touch-enabled version with an anti-reflective layer scored slightly higher with 100% sRGB, 76% AdobeRGB, and 80% DCI-P3.

The ThinkPad X1 Nano may be the perfect compact laptop of 2021 for frequent travelers.

Lenovo claims 450 nits of brightness, and, for once, a laptop maker nails it. Our anti-glare display was exactly 450 nits, while the anti-reflective was a smidge higher at 457. Both displays can go as low as four nits at 0% brightness, making this perfect for working in the dark without being too bright for late-night work.

Lenovo also works with Dolby ensuring these screens support Dolby Vision. The included Dolby Access app lets users choose bright, dark, or vivid settings to optimize imagery using Dolby Vision and looks great, but is not exceptional.

No complaints

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano: Performance and battery

Performance with the Core i7-1160G7 in our review unit is respectable but somewhat restrained due to the smaller chassis with limited thermal headspace. All the 11th Gen Intel processors I have tested constantly do well overall, and the i7 here is no different.

While it doesn't set any benchmark records, the i7 results in a very responsive and zippy system, thanks to the SSD, which averaged around 2,500MB/s for sequential read and 1,800MB/s for sequential write. The inclusion of Intel Iris Xe graphics also enhances photo editing and light tasks that require a boost to video performance.

Battery life in a controlled battery rundown test (PCMark 10 Modern Office), which loops through web browsing, word processing, video calls, photo editing, and more, lasted an impressive 13 hours and 1 minute at 150 nits of brightness. That's likely thanks to the X1 Nano being Intel Evo certified. Of course, pushing the Core i7 much harder for sustained tasks or pushing the display up to that peak of 450 nits will drain the X1 Nano much more quickly.

Real-world usage for the X1 Nano using the Windows battery report, reflecting actual discharge rates over weeks of usage, suggests 7 hours but up to 10 hours on lighter tasks. Near max brightness and using that i7 will likely result in around five to six hours of longevity.

Due to the small chassis and single fan, the cooling of the X1 Nano results in some audible noise under load. Lenovo is still using an older thermal design where the fan is on the bottom, off-centered, and a single exhaust port on the right-hand side. Modern laptops tend to hide the vents in the rear of the display, giving a more appealing look. Because of this, if you use a mouse, you can feel some warm air blowing on your hand when using the X1 Nano. The laptop can get warm during a Windows update, but you won't notice any extreme temperatures on the underside most of the time.

Lots to choose from

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano: Competition

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga 5G.

The 13-inch space for Windows Ultrabooks is easily one of the most crowded, resulting in plenty of options. However, Lenovo is reaching here for the super light, very compact business market where laptops weigh in the 2-pound range, which is more limited.

Samsung has the new Galaxy Book Pro, which is just a hair heavier at 2.29 pounds (1.04kg) but is thinner by almost 2mm. You do get a Super AMOLED display, but only at full HD and with a more traditional 16:9 aspect. It does, however, have a larger 63WHr battery and should outlast the X1 Nano.

There's not a ton of competition when you get this light in a laptop.

Likewise, the new HP Elite Dragonfly and Dragonfly MAX come in at just 2.2 pounds (<1kg) and 2.49 pounds (1.13kg). They both have larger batteries, around 56WHr, and the MAX features an impressive 5MP full HD webcam making it much better suited for those who spend all day in video meetings. While thicker laptops, you do get a USB-A port, two Thunderbolts, and even an HDMI 1.4b, making it a more robust travel companion without the need for dongles. There are also 4G, 5G, and HP's popular Sure View Reflect technology to prevent onlookers from seeing your display. It's a perfect alternative if you prefer HP.

While not a business laptop per se, Dell's XPS 13 feels similar to the X1 Nano with a 13.4-inch display, same port selection/tradeoffs, and goals. However, it weighs much more hitting 2.64 pounds to 2.8 pounds (1.2kg to 1.27kg).

Finally, for those who want super light but want to lean more into the touch and tablet side with support for inking, Lenovo's own ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga is the obvious choice. You get similar processor options, 4G/5G, super-thin chassis at 11.5mm, and it weighs just 2.54 pounds (1.15kg). It's an impressive piece of kit that serves as a nice counterpoint to the X1 Nano.

You can get more ideas from our best business laptops and best 13-inch laptop recommendations.

Lenovo's linage is strong

Should you buy the ThinkPad X1 Nano?

Who it's for

  • Frequent travelers who need a light, security-focused PC
  • Those who adore Lenovo's keyboards, TrackPoint, looks, and history
  • People who want the option for 4G or 5G on a laptop
  • Smart people who know that 16:10 is the proper display aspect

Who it isn't for

  • People who want a convertible PC
  • Those who need longer battery life
  • If you hate dongles and need more ports

At the beginning of this review, I remarked, the X1 Nano is, in many ways, just a slightly smaller X1 Carbon. But that small size change makes all the difference. With the 16:10 2K display, excellent keyboard, trackpad, and decent audio, the X1 Nano is a joy to carry around, thanks to that ridiculous low weight.

I didn't think I'd enjoy the X1 Nano as much as I did, but I kept reaching for it every time I needed to go out or even work on the couch. The "classic" X1 ThinkPad design, the clean labeling, the typing, and the easy-on-my-eyes display kept me very happy.

The only downsides are the obvious ones like having to use a dongle for a Type-A port, the slightly more whiney single fan, and the good (but not exceptional) battery life when you push the display brightness higher. But these are also the apparent tradeoffs with just having a tiny, super-light PC. If you find any of these restrictions offensive, get the X1 Carbon, which solves all of them with aplomb.

Lenovo also needs to move the power button from the right side to the top of the keyboard deck, which is the current (and preferred) trend in modern laptops right now.

The X1 Nano is tiny and light, but it doesn't compromise on comfort, typing, or that display — it's perfectly balanced.

I should also mention that the touchscreen review unit did have a slight issue with the backlit keyboard where the LED was not aligned, causing it to be visible in use (and quite bright). While it's a single quality-control issue, I have had some minor quibble from Lenovo in the past when I've ordered my own ThinkPad X1 Carbon and Yoga. It's something to watch for, though also likely an isolated incident.

As to which model you should get, most people would be fine with the Core i5 as you still get Iris Xe graphics. Get the Core i7 only if you push Excel or need some frequent photo editing. The display choices are a wash — they're both fantastic. Note that the touchscreen model is slightly heavier (2.17 pounds vs. 1.98), but not noticeably so. While you can save some money with the classic lid, the carbon fiber weave adds a bit of modest flair and looks better but is primarily personal taste. For connectivity, the optional 4G adds $224 to the overall cost, whereas Sub-6 5G (Qualcomm X55) is a ridiculous $462, so give a think on how vital 5G is to your daily flow.

4.5 out of 5

Overall, Lenovo strikes a realistic and welcomed balance with the X1 Nano delivering a compact laptop that still offers the "best" of its X1 ThinkPad line. If its mission is to satisfy those who need a solid, well-built, ultralight Ultrabook, then Lenovo has a winner here.

So darn light

ThinkPad X1 Nano

Light as a feather, but few compromises

The ThinkPad X1 Nano highlights all the best features of Lenovo's premium ThinkPad of laptops, focusing on portability. Its featherlight chassis, excellent 2K display, and legendary keyboard make it a superb productivity laptop for the frequent traveler.

From $1,056 at Lenovo $1,799 at Amazon $1,919 at Best Buy

These are the best internal hard drives for your PC

When it comes to storing files and games, it's hard to beat the value proposition of the classic hard disk drive (HDD). Sure, it's old technology at this point, but with the best SSDs still costing significantly more in some cases, it's no wonder that HDDs have stuck around. Seagate's FireCuda is still one of the best ones you can buy right now. Its flash-accelerated disk means that load times should be faster than traditional hard drives, and it goes up to a 2TB capacity. It also comes in either a 3.5-inch or a compact 2.5-inch size, meaning it'll fit nicely in your case or enclosure.

Best overall: Seagate FireCuda

Not quite a hard drive, not quite an SSD, the Seagate FireCuda blends both storage types into one unit, an SSHD, if you will. It features an embedded 8GB NAND along with up to 2TB of traditional storage to create an enhanced drive. The flash unit speeds up read/write speeds. With SATA 6Gb/s support onboard, Seagate promises a 140MB/s read speed. At 5400 RPM, the drive itself is quieter and generates less heat.

The benefits of the 8GB NAND aren't always readily apparent since the drive effectively learns your most used applications and loads them faster. For games, it might help with initial load times after you've launched the game a few times. It's easy to get excited about the possibilities with this drive, but even a SATA SSD will still outpace it by a considerable margin.

The whole point of the FireCuda is to enhance the traditional mechanical hard drive. You can still get higher capacities without breaking the bank, all while experiencing improved performance that is noticeably better than even a 7200 RPM HDD.

Pros:

  • Great value
  • Faster than traditional HDDs
  • Five-year warranty

Cons:

  • Still outclassed by SSDs
  • Flash-acceleration results don't always appear immediately
  • Not as many storage options

Best overall

Seagate FireCuda

Faster than an HDD

The FireCuda is the perfect option if you want an inexpensive storage option that blends HDD and SSD technology into one package.

Runner-up: Western Digital Black

Western Digital's cream of the crop, the Black line, represents some of the best the company has to offer with traditional mechanical hard drives. While not the fastest performer, outdone by both the FireCuda and WD VelociRaptor, the Black drives are trustworthy and reliable. They're great for game storage, especially for titles that don't need to load super quick like single-player games.

In a world where the FireCuda SSHD doesn't exist, the WD Black would be my top choice, not only for its performance and reliability but also for its price. More expensive than its Blue cousin — which we'll get to in a bit — the Black still represents a tremendous performance-to-value ratio.

Thankfully, Western Digital dropped the "Caviar" moniker, opting for just naming its HDD lines by their respective colors. You can start at as little as 500GB or get up to 6TB, depending on your budget. These are the drives I run in my rig, and I've never had a problem. If you're worried, WD throws in a five-year warranty.

Pros:

  • Great value
  • Reliable
  • Five-year warranty

Cons:

  • Can get loud
  • Outpaced by the FireCuda

Runner-up

WD Black

From $62 at Amazon

A solid performer

Western Digital's flagship HDD line, the Black, is an excellent drive for storing games and other media.

Best storage: Seagate BarraCuda Pro

In a similar vein to the WD Black, we have the Seagate BarraCuda Pro series of mechanical hard drives. Sporting Seagate's most robust reliability claims and a higher warranty than the regular BarraCuda — again, we'll get to that shortly — the Pro series aims to last for years to come.

The BarraCuda Pro features a 300TB/year workload maximum, so like the WD Black, it's best left for things like games where you're not going to be moving them back and forth. It's a 7200 RPM drive that supports SATA 6Gb/s for that fast transfer speed.

Where the BarraCuda Pro outclasses the WD Black is the storage options available. You start at 2TB and can climb up to a ludicrous 14TB. You'll pay a pretty penny for that much space, though.

Pros:

  • Excellent performance
  • Plenty of storage options
  • Five-year warranty

Cons:

  • Not as good of a value as the WD Black or FireCuda
  • Beaten by the FireCuda for speed

Best storage

Seagate BarraCuda Pro

From $46 at Amazon

Another great HDD

Seagate's BarraCuda Pro features more storage options than the WD Black but comes in at a higher price.

Best performance: Western Digital VelociRaptor

If you're looking for best-in-class HDD performance, then look no further than the WD VelociRaptor. Western Digital is a massive name in the hard drive market, best known for various product categories, including internal hard drives. There are several different WD options — Blue for budget, Red for NAS, Black for performance, Purple for surveillance — but the 10,000 RPM VelociRaptor is the king among hard disk drives.

However, this drive is pricy and comes in lower storage sizes, not to mention the SSDs still outclass it. The 2TB Kingston A400 SSD, for example, is roughly the same price and runs laps around this drive at double the space. There's no longer a place for a drive like this.

But, I suppose if you're set on sticking with HDDs, and don't want to go with an SSHD, then the VelociRaptor is the best you'll get in terms of performance. Western Digital also includes a five-year warranty in case anything goes wrong.

Pros

  • Fast 10,000 RPM
  • Five-year warranty
  • Highly reliable

Cons

  • Still outclassed by SSDs
  • Questionable value
  • Limited storage options

Best performance

WD VelociRaptor workstation hard drive

High-performance at a price

The fastest HDD available, the WD VelociRaptor, is neat, but it's a questionable value when you consider similarly priced SSDs.

Best value: Seagate BarraCuda

If you want to save money and get the best bang for your buck, then the Seagate BarraCuda is it. The value here is nothing to sneeze at. Undercutting its own Pro cousin, the regular BarraCuda packs in the same 7200 RPM rotational speed, SATA 6Gb/s, and generous storage options.

There isn't too much else to say here. Frankly, you can't beat the value of the BarraCuda, and word has it that the reliability of this drive has improved drastically in recent years. One of its most significant downsides from all reports is that it lacks robustness when it comes to random read/write speeds — arguably a better indication of real-world use.

The BarraCuda HDD starts at 1TB and goes up to 8TB, with the value proposition getting better and better at the higher capacities.

Pros:

  • Incredible value
  • Plenty of storage options
  • Two-year warranty
  • Generally, a quiet drive

Cons:

  • Sketchy reliability in the past
  • Lower random read/write speeds
  • Shorter warranty than the Pro

Best value

Seagate BarraCuda internal SATA hard drive

Best bang for your buck

If you need to add storage to your PC and want to keep the price down, the Seagate BarraCuda is the best option.

Most reliable: Western Digital Blue

Coming in hot behind the BarraCuda is the WD Blue, Western Digital's budget line of HDDs. They're essentially comparable to the BarraCuda but generally run for a few bucks more on average. Western Digital has typically had a better reputation for reliability.

The WD Blue is to the Black like the BarraCuda is to the Pro. Essentially, it's the same drive with a shorter warranty and a few performance tweaks left off to keep costs down. That's fine, but Western Digital needs to keep an eye out on Seagate and drop its prices a tad to stay competitive beyond simple brand loyalty.

Pros:

  • Great value
  • Several storage options
  • Two-year warranty

Cons:

  • Slightly more expensive than Seagate
  • Some trouble reported with the warranty
  • Shorter warranty than the Black

Most reliable

WD Blue

Runner-up

The WD Blue line is second only to the BarraCuda in terms of value.

Best for a NAS: Seagate IronWolf

What if you're not looking for game storage but rather something for all of your important files? That's where a NAS (network-attached storage) comes in. Whether you're building your own or buying one ready to go, you'll need some hard drives to keep everything backed up. And my pick for that is Seagate's IronWolf.

I run these personally in my own NAS, and they're great. NAS drives are a bit different than desktop-class HDDs because they're designed to run 24/7 while maintaining a higher level of performance. According to Seagate, the IronWolf comes in storage sizes ranging from 1TB up to 16TB with a three-year warranty. There's also the IronWolf Pro line, but that's aimed more at the business and otherwise professional level.

If you opt for the 3TB or above, you'll get Seagate's IronWolf Health Management, which works well with some NAS manufacturers to ensure that the drive is running at its best. Also, bear in mind that the 4TB drives and below run at 5,900 RPM rather than 7,200 RPM. The 1TB and 2TB models lack the vibration sensing features. The Pro line doesn't feature these disparities, but you pay a bit more of a premium to compensate.

Pros:

  • Excellent value
  • Multiple storage options
  • Three-year warranty
  • Solid reliability

Cons:

  • Lower capacity drives lack some features
  • Shorter warranty than the IronWolf Pro

Best for a NAS

Seagate IronWolf

Seagate IronWolf

From $60 at Amazon

Great NAS performance

If you're building a NAS or expanding your existing one's storage, the Seagate IronWolf is the best drive for the job.

Best enterprise HDD: Seagate Exos X

Once again, Seagate has come out with a drive that matches Western Digital's offering and beats it on price. Above the IronWolf, and even the IronWolf Pro, is the Exos X. These enterprise-grade HDDs are meant for servers and are a bit outside the scope of the consumer market unless you're a "prosumer" who's running a home lab or just want some of the best and most reliable performance you can get.

The Exos X ranges from 1TB to 16TB, with the top of the line X16 models sporting 14TB and 16TB capacities. It's much easier to find the X16, though the X10 model (a few steps down) and X14 are available, too. All told, the Exos X16 can handle 550TB of workload per year and has a Mean Time Before Failure (MTBF) of 2.5 million hours. That's pretty awesome. Seagate also includes a five-year warranty.

Whether you go with a Seagate or a Western Digital — or even HGST — enterprise drive depends on your brand loyalty and what's on sale when you're shopping; the performance is nearly identical between the brands. Keep in mind that these enterprise-grade drives come at quite a cost over NAS or desktop HDDs.

Pros:

  • Good performance
  • Five-year warranty
  • Power efficient

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • Lacks some of the IronWolf features
  • Fewer smaller storage options

Best enterprise HDD

Seagate Exos X

From $130 at Amazon

Enterprise grade

Seagate seemingly one-upped Western Digital again with the Exos X enterprise hard drives. These go all the way up to 16TB capacities, but they're a premium.

Bottom line

Long gone is the heyday of HDDs, but they're still a great option if you want the best GB-to-dollar ratio. Seagate and Western Digital remain the big players in this space. Yet, ultimately, our recommendation for the best HDD for your money isn't an HDD at all, but the SSHD FireCuda. It packs a great value with some extra performance, outpacing the next runner-up.

A SATA SSD will still outclass each of the drives mentioned on this list, even the FireCuda, and VelociRaptor. While you don't get quite the spacious storage options, you can pick up an SSD as a boot drive for pretty cheap these days. Assuming you want to just bulk up your storage for your games library without breaking the bank, then the Seagate FireCuda is the way to go.

And if you want to move beyond desktop-class drives for a NAS or home server rack, Seagate's got the IronWolf and Exos X drives to do what you need them to.

Destiny 2 Trials of Osiris map and rewards for July 23-27

Can you go Flawless?

What you need to know

  • Trials of Osiris is a competitive endgame PvP mode where two teams of three compete for quality loot drops.
  • This week, Trials is taking place on the map Convergence.
  • Rewards include the Shayura's Wrath, a Trials chest armor piece, The Messenger, an Adept Igneous Hammer.

The competitive Crucible PvP mode Trials of Osiris is live in Destiny 2 from July 23-27. In this weekend-exclusive mode, two teams of three players battle over multiple rounds. The team that defeats the other wins the round (there are no objectives on the map to worry about), and the team that wins the most rounds wins the match. The members of the winning team then have a win added to their Trials card. Getting three, five, and seven wins on your card nets you pieces of special Trials gear that are exclusive to the gamemode, and if you win seven games in a row on one Trials card, you'll achieve flawless status.

Going flawless allows you and your team to head to the Lighthouse, which is where you'll receive an Adept variant of a Trials weapon (notably, perk rolls are still randomized). Players can apply powerful Adept mods on these weapons, making them more valuable than non-Adept counterparts. However, getting three losses on your Trials card will reset it. Therefore, it's crucial to play smart and communicate with your teammates efficiently if you want to getall of the rewards that are on offer during each week of Trials.

The map that Trials matches take place on changes every week. This week, Trials is on Convergence, which is a map with a mix of medium and long sightlines. Have your snipers ready!

The gear that you get from playing well in Trials of Osiris is typically some of the best in the game. Here's what's on offer this week:

  • 3 Wins: Shayura's Wrath (SMG)
  • 5 Wins: Trials Chest (Armor)
  • 7 Wins: The Messenger (Pulse Rifle)
  • Flawless: Igenous Hammer (Adept) (Hand Cannon)

Are you a big Trials of Osiris fan, or are you new to the mode? Are you interested in trying it out, or do you think it's not the right type of PvP experience? Let us know in the comments.

The latest Destiny 2 expansion, Destiny 2: Beyond Light, is available now for $40 on Xbox, PlayStation, and PC. The base game is free, so if you're looking to try Destiny 2 out before investing any money, you can do so.

If you do decide to try the game, don't miss our beginner's guide on how to get into Destiny 2 in 2021. Also, for some builds that will improve your effectiveness in Trials, check out our guide to the best Destiny 2 builds, and how to make your own. Don't miss our roundup of the 10 best Destiny 2 weapons you need to farm in Season of the Splicer either, as several of them are very effective in PvP and can help you win in Trials.

Wield the Darkness

Destiny 2: Beyond Light

$40 at Microsoft $40 at GMG (Steam) Also on Xbox Game Pass

Europa awaits

Beyond Light is the next big expansion for Destiny 2, introducing a new element for Guardians to wield, a new area on the Jupiter moon Europa, a new story, and plenty of loot to go around.

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