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Hier — 26 septembre 2021Windows Central - News, Forums, Reviews, Help for Windows 10 and all things Microsoft.

The best Wi-Fi 6 mesh routers you can buy

The best mesh router is fast, reliable, and covers a wide area so that your internet connection is solid. Mesh routers shouldn't be fussy, they should do the job and give you the options to tweak your Wi-Fi in the way you need it. Everything from gaming, movie streaming, and simply browsing the internet must be handled as easily as a plain old router but with the benefit of being an entire network in your home or building. These are the best Wi-Fi 6 mesh routers that you can buy today.

Best overall

ASUS ZenWiFi XT8 mesh router

Staff pick

The ASUS ZenWiFi XT8 is simply the best mesh router option if you need a fast, lag-free Wi-Fi 6 connection, and the ability to have a network span up to 5,500 square feet.

$394 at Amazon

$450 at Best Buy

Best speeds

Netgear Orbi RBK852

If you're solely looking for the best speeds no matter the price, the Netgear Orbi RBK852 is the way to go. It's able to carry 500Mbps-plus speeds across great distances with little lag.

$652 at Amazon $700 at Best Buy

Best reliability

eero Pro 6 mesh router

The Wi-Fi 6 eero Pro 6 is nearly unparalleled when it comes to mesh network coverage. Its tri-band design give it the ability to cover 5,000 square feet with fast speeds.

$399 at Amazon $399 at Best Buy

Best value

TP-Link Deco X20 WiFi 6

The TP-Link Deco X20 is an incredible value with its Wi-Fi 6 capability, 5,800 square feet of coverage, and easy setup.

$220 at Amazon

Best coverage

TP-Link Deco X90 tri-band Wi-Fi 6 system

The TP-Link Deco X90 mesh covers a wide area with extremely fast speeds and has a simple setup process. Its 6,000-square-feet rating puts it right at the top.

$400 at Amazon

Best budget

Netgear Nighthawk MK62 whole home mesh

The Netgear Nighthawk MK62 offers great Wi-Fi 6 speeds and connection strength at almost half the price of its competitors, making it a great starter option.

$170 at Amazon $200 at Netgear

Best looking

Netgear Nighthawk MK63 whole home mesh

If you want a simple mesh system that looks discreet and performs well for all your devices, the Netgear Nighthawk MK63 is the pick. It's easy to set up and brings reliable speeds.

$210 at Walmart $300 at Best Buy

The best Wi-Fi 6 mesh router

The best mesh router is easily the one that is as invisible as possible during everyday use. For us, that's the ASUS ZenWiFi XT8. It offers the best speeds, lowest latency, and some of the best coverage compared to other mesh routers out there. It's exactly what you need when you want your best devices like the Dell XPS 17 9710 to run as smoothly as possible.

If you're looking for something cheaper, you can easily look at the eero Pro 6 or even the Netgear Nighthawk MK63. Both mesh routers offer strong connection speeds and simple setups, but the latter is a bit more discreet if you don't want to announce your networking solution to everyone in your home or building.

The 'Behemoth' map is now available in the Halo Infinite beta

Vehicles return to Arena with the arrival of Behemoth.

What you need to know

  • The second Halo Infinite technical preview is in full swing right now, focusing on the training academy and Arena game modes.
  • For the third (and final) day of the first week. 343 Industries has added a brand-new map to the Halo Infinite playlist.
  • The new 'Behemoth' map features the first vehicles we've seen in Halo Infinite's technical preview, but is still a 4v4 Arena map.
  • The new map returns vehicles to Arena for the first time in years, and is now available in Slayer and CTF game modes.

As we enter the third, and final, day of the second Halo Infinite beta's first week, 343 Industries is shaking things up by adding an all-new map to the mix. The Behemoth map was previously shown off by 343i, but is now officially available to play in Halo Infinite's technical preview. The map is still an Arena location, meaning it'll pit teams of four against each other, but it's notable in that it marks the return of vehicles to this smaller form factor.

Battle on Behemoth!

As of today, a brand-new map has entered the #HaloInfinite Multiplayer Tech Preview - Behemoth. Dive into Slayer, Capture the Flag, and Strongholds until 2PM PT.

— Halo (@Halo) September 26, 2021

Vehicles haven't really been seen in Arena game modes since the age of Halo 3, so it's interesting that 343i is returning them to smaller and more intimate maps as well as Big Team Battle (which is the feature of the second week of this technical preview). Behemoth is available in the Halo Infinite playlist in both Slayer and Capture the Flag game modes, and features several Halo Infinite vehicles like the classic Warthog and the Ghost.

Behemoth joins yesterday's additions of Capture the Flag and Strongholds game modes, which are also here to stay. As Big Team Battle is the focus of next week's round of testing, it's not clear if Behemoth will stick around, but the chances are good.

If you want to ensure you don't miss a beat with Halo Infinite's technical preview, we have the full schedule and matchmaking times to help you keep track. There are plenty of known issues and bugs to look out for, but that seemingly hasn't kept players from having a blast, as the community reception has been overwhelmingly positive.

In case you missed it, 343i is giving more players a chance to join the Halo Infinite technical preview next week, meaning you may still have a chance to play what could be one of this year's best Xbox games early, even if you missed out this weekend.

The next adventure in the saga

Halo Infinite

$60 at Microsoft $60 at Best Buy $60 at Steam

A new Great Journey awaits

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

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.

The Netgear Nighthawk AX8 Wi-Fi 6 router has dropped to $200 today only

The Netgear NIghthawk tri-band AX6200 Wi-Fi 6 router has dropped to $199.99 at Costco. This deal does require a Costco membership to even see the price, but it's worth it. The same router is $330 at Amazon and even more in other places. The price is only good through the end of the day today, Sept. 26.

Netgear Nighthawk Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6 router | $100 off

You will need to be a Costco member to get this deal, but it's a great deal. This is $100 off Costco's normal price, and that was already a pretty good price compared to other retailers.

$199.99 at Costco

We keep an eye on all the best WI-Fi 6 routers, and this one from Netgear is no slouch. It's a tri-band router with Wi-Fi 6, so it is extremely fast and consistent. Wi-Fi 6 is one of the fastest Wi-Fi protocols in a while. It allows for streaming and binge watching uninterupted. You'll be able to participate in video calls or play video games with no problems. The router is also designed to work with most internet service providers with plans up to 2 Gbps.

The back of the router includes four Ethernet ports. This is important if there are certain devices that need to be hardwired instead of wireless, like a computer or a gaming console. Wireless is great for moving around the house or using a smartphone, but a dedicated gaming session requires a dedicated internet connection. The router also has a USB 3.0 port so you can connect a storage device to your network.

The router's wireless signal can cover up to 2,500 square feet. It also supports up to 40 devices without losing strength. Use Netgear's Nighthawk app for super easy setup, network management, and more. You can monitor data usage, and the built-in Bitdefender-powered cybersecurity protects everyone on your network from unwanted stuff like viruses and malware.

Make your LG gram 17 even better with these top accessories

The LG gram 17 is one of the best Windows laptops with a 17-inch display that you can get. Despite its form factor, it manages to be relatively light, making it perfect for use on the go. It's truly excellent by itself, but once you own one, the next step is making your experience even better with some great accessories.

Top mouse

Logitech MX Master 3

Editor's pick

Logitech's MX Master 3 connects via Bluetooth or the included nano receiver, and supports up to three machines at once. Tracking is accurate, and thanks to its design, this is about the most comfortable mouse you can ever put your hands on, and it'll charge up over USB-C using the same cable as your smartphone.

$79 at Amazon

Bag of holding

Peak Design Everyday Backpack 20L V2

Even though the gram 17 is compact and light for its massive screen size, it's still in need of a bag large enough to accommodate it. This backpack will not only keep it safe, but it also looks amazing, is water-resistant and has incredibly clever internal storage to pack your laptop, tablet, camera, drone and a whole bunch of other devices.

$240 at Amazon

Thunderbolt 3 dock

CalDigit TS3 Plus

Thanks to the Thunderbolt ports on the gram 17, our top pick for a docking station can be hooked up to expand connectivity. The CalDigit TS3 Plus includes five USB-A 3.1, two USB-C 3.1, DisplayPort 1.2, Ethernet, two Thunderbolt 3, a UHS-II SD card reader, and 3.5mm audio in and out. It'll also charge your gram 17 with up to 85W of power when connected.

$316 at Amazon

$270 at B&H

Expanded storage

Samsung EVO Select 256GB memory card

Even with 1TB inside, you may still find yourself needing some additional storage. Samsung's EVO Select microSD cards boast fast read and write speeds of up to 100MB/s and 90MB/s, respectively, and can handle 4K video and hi-res photos with ease. You get a 10-year warranty, which is fantastic, and you can always pop it out and use it elsewhere when you need to.

$58 at Amazon

Bigger display

LG 34WN80C curved ultrawide monitor

If the 17-inch display isn't enough, LG has some incredible ultrawide monitors, such as this 34-inch, 21:9 QHD IPS goliath with a curved display and USB-C connectivity. It supports HDMI 2.0, boasts a 99% sRGB rating for color accuracy, supports HDR 10, and has a VESA mount if you want to attach it to a stand or a wall bracket.

$645 at Amazon

Portable storage

Samsung T7 Touch SSD

Samsung's T7 Touch is fast and tiny and the best way to add storage to your gram 17. It supports USB 3.2 over USB-C for fast data transfer. Not only this, but this palm-sized SSD supports 256-bit hardware encryption and comes with a three-year warranty, as well as a built-in fingerprint scanner to keep your data safe.

From $110 at Amazon

Desktop graphics

Razer Core X

The gram 17 only has integrated Intel graphics, which is fine for most purposes, but if you need a little more power then you'll want to look towards an eGPU. The Razer Core X is an enclosure for a desktop graphics card that hooks up to the laptop over Thunderbolt 3 and works in tandem with the processor in the laptop to deliver power for professional use or even gaming.

$400 at Amazon

Sleeved up

Arvok 17-inch laptop sleeve

A 17-inch laptop sleeve? Such a thing does exist and it's an affordable alternative to a new bag in order to keep your laptop safe when you're on the road. This one is water resistant, has a soft foam interior and an external pocket for your phone or tablet as well.

$12 at Amazon

Making a great laptop even better

The LG gram 17 is a really fantastic 17-inch laptop and is easily capable of being your only computer. It's well suited then to some great accessories, and while it has an excellent trackpad already, many still prefer to use a mouse. The Logitech MX Master 3 is probably the best wireless mouse you can get right now, carrying the legendary name proudly and remaining one of the most ergonomic mice on sale today.

You'll want to protect it, too, and even though it's tough, you can't go wrong by popping it inside a sleeve when you travel, even if it's going inside another bag. The affordable Arvok sleeve is water resistant and packed with soft foam to keep your gram 17 safe from the world when you leave home or the office.

It's also worth making use of Thunderbolt 3 since you have it, and a dock like the one from CalDigit can expand your laptop's capabilities greatly. Add a couple of external monitors and Ethernet to transform the gram 17 into a full desktop workstation.

Save $350 and grab the Surface Pro 7 at its lowest price for one day only

Microsoft just announced a whole slew of brand new Surface products including the Surface Pro 8. That means this is a great chance to find some good prices on the Surface Pro 7 before it disappears altogether. Best Buy has one version of the Surface Pro 7 on sale for just $499.99. This is a featured Deal of the Day so it's only good for a short amount of time, but that price is the lowest we have ever seen. Best Buy usually runs the best deals on Surface machines, so it's no surprise to see such a great sale today. This version normally goes for $750, and Best Buy's low price is even $250 better than Microsoft's currently discounted price.

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

This is an all-new low price even for Best Buy, which generally runs some of the best Surface deals around. The version on sale today includes an Intel Core i3 processor, 4GB RAM, and a 128GB solid state drive.

$499.99 at Best Buy

We gave the Surface Pro 7 5 out of 5 stars and said, "The Surface Pro 7, though, is almost everything I want in a portable PC. Performance is excellent, typing and audio are still the best of the bunch, and battery life gets me through the day." Daniel Rubino added, "That Type-C port brings so many new options to the table, drastically increasing the Pro's abilities."

The Surface Pro 7 12.3-inch display has a 2736 x 1824 pixel resolution with PixelSense touchscreen technology. The machine has facial recognition built in, too, which makes logging in super simple and secure. Other specifications include 4GB RAM, a 128GB solid state drive, and a 10th-generation Intel Core i3 processor.

There are cameras on the front and back. The rear camera 8 megapixels and the front camera has 5 megapixels and both record in 1080p resolutions. The battery can last for up to 10.5 hours. It has Bluetooth 5.0 technology and Wi-Fi built in. The connections and interfaces include USB-A, USB-C, DisplayPort, a headphone jack, and a microSDXC card reader.

The operating system is Windows 10 Home and you can get a free trial to Office 365. It is covered by a one-year warranty from Microsoft.

It's worth noting this deal doesn't include any accessories, including the type cover or a stylus. You'll need to buy those separately.

À partir d’avant-hierWindows Central - News, Forums, Reviews, Help for Windows 10 and all things Microsoft.

Call of Duty: Vanguard feels tired, handing Halo Infinite an opportunity

Laggy, dull maps, uninspired, and derivative. And that's the free CoD: Vanguard beta.

You'd think that Activision would have learned that the appetite for World War II-era shooters has waned after watching Call of Duty: WWII sink off the radar quicker than usual. Competing shooter Battlefield V didn't fare particularly well either, with updates to the game canceled earlier than previously planned. Regardless of this, Activision plowed ahead with yet another WW2 shooter, this time dubbed Call of Duty: Vanguard. If there was any evidence that Call of Duty's various teams are running out of ideas, this is surely it.

I've been playing Call of Duty: Vanguard's open beta for the past few days. I am technically the game's target audience, as an aging curmudgeon who fondly remembers the "glory days" of WW2-styled shooters. I'm also one of those rare gamers who consider Call of Duty: World at War to be their favorite Call of Duty of all time. Crazy, right?

It's with that in mind I'd hoped Call of Duty: Vanguard would bring me back into the CoD fold. There's something undeniably infectious about Call of Duty's brand of twitch shooting, after all. And regardless of what I or anyone else says, we all know it'll be among this year's best-selling games. As was the last one. And the one before that. And the one before that.

Increasingly, though, I wonder how long Activision's stable of Call of Duty-focused studios can get away with simply reskinning last year's entry over and over and over. Call of Duty: Vanguard is still in beta, several weeks away from release. There's something even duller than usual about this year's entry, though, and not something that can be simply smoothed over between now and launch. With games like Halo Infinite and Battlefield 2042 hot on Call of Duty's tail, the lack of quality in Vanguard presents competitors with a unique opportunity.

It's not just the bugs

I really, really wanted to like this one, but increasingly it feels like the Call of Duty titles that exist outside of the Treyarch/Infinity Ward paradigm are doomed to mediocrity.

Call of Duty: Vanguard takes place in an "alternative" WW2 setting, featuring weapons and gadgets that defy the technological knowledge of the era. I saw people spawning a mini tank "Goliath" that was basically a reskinned RC-XD remote-controlled bomb, which looked incredibly silly given the setting. World War shooters often tend to strike a darker, more somber tone out of respect for the carnage of the era, but Vanguard seems to just say "screw it," baking in reams of sci-fi stuff that don't make any sense in the time period. Laser dot sights and guided missiles abound.

The lack of inspiration is apparent in every corner of Vanguard's design.

The thing is, they only just slightly don't make sense. It might seem like an odd thing to complain about, but I feel like if you're going to toy around with the facts of history, go all-in. Go full-blown Wolfenstein. It's not like Call of Duty hasn't done this before with CoD: Zombies, with its tesla-inspired steampunk weaponry and demonic enemies. The half-measure in Vanguard just makes me feel like it's all shoehorned in haphazardly and thoughtlessly, with a mindset of, "What abilities can we reskin and reliably port?" as opposed to building something unique. There was certainly an opportunity here to do something fresh with the time period, alas, the lack of inspiration is apparent in every corner of Vanguard's design. If you want modern warfare, why not, I dunno, just make modern warfare?

The weapons available in the beta don't offer the punchy kind of feedback I generally expect of Call of Duty. From the sound effects to the visual cues, everything feels underdeveloped. Of course, it's a beta, and there might be time to rectify some of these aspects, although I doubt we're going to get improvements to the things like map design this late in the game.

For Call of Duty Vanguard, Sledgehammer and Raven are injecting 24 vs. 24 battles into maps that clearly weren't designed for it. More than once I spawned behind enemy lines, literally on top of enemies sometimes, and racked up massive kill streaks against enemies that hadn't fully loaded back into the game yet. And of course, I had it done to me too. There are also just mountains of bugs with the Xbox Series X|S versions. Visual glitches, shaders exploding, texture load-ins causing stuttering, and full-blown console crashes. Of course, this stuff will be polished over for launch — or at least you'd have to hope as much — but it doesn't shake the feeling that this game is coming in hot.

There's just a general lack of quality and thoughtfulness throughout, it feels like. When I obtained the nine-kills killstreak to spawn dogs, I couldn't help but audibly laugh as they literally popped magically out of thin air. I found myself getting killed by literally nothing at times too, only to learn later that it was "incendiary bullets," which burn you to death even if a player gets off a spray-and-pray bullet on you. There's nothing in-game to tell you that you died to incendiary bullets either. No visual feedback, and it's not even reflected in the kill log. You just slowly die, and there's no counter. I cannot for the life of me imagine why how they could possibly think this is good design.

Getting killed by spray and pray fire bullets is the epitome of fun.

Across the board, I couldn't shake the sense of been there, done that about Vanguard. Fans of the modern Call of Duty games will lament the loss of scorestreaks, which grants access to those powerful on-use abilities as a reward for completing game objectives rather than kills. I am generally a fan of killstreaks, but the fact that the ones on offer are identical to past games again, smacks of unthoughtful, rushed planning. If they decided to take a step backward to killstreaks, why not offer something new in the process? Vanguard has some destructible walls scattered around, and the ability to blind fire around corners is new, although I'm not sure exactly how useful either of them is right now.

It's things like the above that contribute to the sense of fatigue, not only as a player but on the developer side too.

I wish they'd kill the annualized Call of Duty

I know this will never happen, as long as people keep buying the game year in, year out. The annualized Call of Duty game has become something of a ritual at this point, with fans lining up to accept whatever lackluster product Activision puts out. And hey, I'm not blaming anyone for it. For all its flaws, Call of Duty still offers a unique feel that even its closest competitors apparently can't emulate. But do we really need the annualized Call of Duty anymore?

Activision shareholders would emphatically say "yes!" but in the era of Call of Duty: Warzone, Call of Duty: Mobile, and on-going updates, I'm increasingly curious whether or not it wouldn't be better for literally everyone, players and devs included, to move Call of Duty to a two-year cadence. Not only would it give the developers time to make something truly fresh and unique, and polished. Activision could continue to harvest infinite amounts of cash from its freemium offerings, and who knows, maybe upping the quality of the mainline games would make them more popular, not less.

Not many people know this, but dogs in the 1940s had the ability to appear out of thin air.

I realize what I'm saying is futile, though. I also realize I'm in the minority. Nobody really cares that Call of Duty's servers are laggy, with players experiencing completely different things between the client side and host side. Nobody seems too bothered about the lack of originality, or the unstable client. Or the fact that mixing PC and console players kills competitive balance. Nobody seems bothered that they're charging $10 for literally nothing to get the PS5 and Xbox Series X versions of the game.

Year in, year out. Call of Duty has an audience, and there's nothing wrong with that, even though the franchise is clearly tired and far past its prime. We may be the minority, but there are a growing number of gamers who are desperate for something — anything — new.

Halo Infinite and Battlefield 2042 could capitalize

Call of Duty: Vanguard will go head to head against Battlefield 2042 and Halo Infinite later this year. When you factor in how utterly meh Call of Duty: Vanguard is, I'd say there's a perfect storm of opportunity for competitors to get eyeballs on their offering this year to CoD's detriment. This is all without mentioning the unprecedented lawsuit Activision is facing with the U.S. government into its toxic workplace culture practices. If I ever felt slimy about supporting Activision games before, you can quite firmly bank on the fact that I do now.

Halo and Battlefield generally offer more stable servers, with Halo Infinite covering the intimate arena-style gameplay, and Battlefield 2042 encompassing the huge-scale epic battle end of the spectrum. Can either of them realistically dethrone the behemoth that is Call of Duty? Probably not, but after getting some hands-on time with Vanguard, it's hard to overlook the fact that there's rarely been a better opportunity. The upcoming Halo Infinite beta and Battlefield 2042 beta could help prove that.

Call of Duty: Vanguard is targeting a Nov. 5, 2021, launch date on PC, PS4, PS5, and on the best Xbox consoles, Xbox One, Series S, and Series X.

Call of Duty: Vanguard

From $60 at Microsoft From $60 at Walmart

Call of Duty: Vanguard is shaping up to be, well, another Call of Duty. If you're not tired with the franchise, the latest installment drops on Nov. 5, 2021, on practically every platform.

The Halo Infinite beta added two new game modes today

Halo Infinite's Arena gains two new game modes today.

What you need to know

  • Halo Infinite is currently hosting its second technical preview, with players enjoying Arena Slayer right now.
  • For day two, 343i has opened the doors on two additional game modes that players can try out on Arena maps.
  • Capture the Flag can be played on the Bazaar map, while the Strongholds mode can be played on Live Fire and Recharge.
  • It's not clear if these game modes will stick around for the rest of the technical preview, but it seems likely.

Halo Infinite is on day two of its second technical preview event, which is allowing players to enjoy the upcoming first-person shooter in all its chaotic and action-packed glory. Of course, 343 Industries is adding something to the mix on day two, with two brand-new game modes now available to play alongside Arena Slayer. Starting right now and (presumably) continuing into the second play session later today, at least, players can enjoy Capture the Flag and Strongholds in Halo Infinite.

Prepare for battle! Today's first #HaloInfinite Multiplayer Tech Preview play session is now live until 2PM PT.

Slayer, Capture the Flag, and Strongholds have officially opened their doors.

— Halo (@Halo) September 25, 2021

Both of the new game modes are still under the Arena category, meaning they're classic 4 versus 4 Halo action on the three maps that were already included in the technical preview. The Capture the Flag game mode is only playable on the Bazaar map, while Strongholds can be played both on Live Fire and Recharge. At the moment, classic Slayer and the two new game modes are lumped into the same playlist, so you can't pick and choose which you'd like to play.

While the game modes are at least available for today, it's not clear yet if they'll stick around for the rest of the second technical preview. While it seems likely that 343i wouldn't take away the game modes after only one day of testing, it's best to get in and see what all the fuss is about today, just in case.

To ensure you don't miss any of the action, keep track of the full Halo Infinite beta schedule. This time around, 343i is sticking to four-hour windows for online matchmaking, to, hopefully, force a greater number of players into the game at the same time. Despite the prevalent known issues in the Halo Infinite beta, the community reception has been almost overwhelmingly positive so far, highlighting how Halo Infinite definitely could be one of this year's best Xbox games.

If you weren't able to get into Halo Infinite's technical preview this time, all hope isn't lost. It's been announced that additional players will be allowed to join the Halo Infinite technical preview during week two.

The next adventure in the saga

Halo Infinite

$60 at Microsoft $60 at Best Buy $60 at Steam

A new Great Journey awaits

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

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.

Here are the best resin options for your SLA/DLP 3D printer

Resin printing is a little more complex than standard filament printing. Not only do you need a few must-have 3D printing accessories, but you also need to pick the right resin. When faced with multiple colors and multiple types, it's also easy to get turned around when choosing the right 3D printing resin. You want it to print quickly but stay strong without becoming brittle. We've used as many as possible to bring you some of the best you can buy, but our favorite is Siraya Tech Fast, which prints smoothly and quickly.

Best overall: Siraya Tech Fast

I have been using Siraya Tech Fast for ages now, and it's consistently the best resin I've used. Every print I have made with it so far has printed perfectly, and the resin seems to help smooth out layer lines that may appear. It's perfect to create hollow prints since the resin maintains the part's strength without being brittle.

It's called "fast" resin for a good reason, too. Most resin prints with an exposure time of around nine to 11 seconds, with a first layer exposure in 60-70 seconds. The Siraya Tech can give you the same quality print at just six to eight seconds and the first layer in 40-45 seconds. Now I know those numbers don't sound all that different, but when you print a model with 1,800 layers, shaving off a few seconds per layer makes a big difference.

Siraya Tech is a great company too. It works hard to make sure you are satisfied and are always happy to participate in community events. I would mention that the only issue is to be careful when you cure the white resin; it can yellow off if you cure it too much.


  • No bad smell
  • Prints smoothly
  • Prints extremely quickly


  • The white can discolor if over-cured

Best overall

Siraya Tech Fast

$37 from Amazon

Fast and smooth

I love the fast resin from Siraya Tech. It makes printing models stress free, and the models print quickly without being brittle.

Best bulk buy: Anycubic UV Sensitive Resin

When I first got my Photon DLP 3D printer, it came with a 500ml bottle of Anycubic resin, and I loved it straight away. The transparent, almost glass-like quality was mesmerizing, but the bottle had only a 500ml capacity, and I wasted a lot of it learning how to use the printer. Anycubic sells its resins in 1-liter bottles, too, though, so I snagged one to keep me going. If you have a little extra money, it pays to buy in bulk.

If you are going to buy in bulk, make sure you have a cool, dry place to put all the resin bottles and make sure they are away from kids and animals. Resin is dangerous and should be treated like bleach or other toxic chemicals.


  • Low price for a lot of resin
  • Beautiful clarity
  • Easy to print with


  • Can appear cloudy if you don't cure correctly

Best bulk buy

Anycubic UV Sensitive Resin

$35 at Amazon

The more, the merrier!

Not only does Anycubic make excellent 3D printers, but they also produce high-quality resin. It's pricey but worth it for 1,000ml.

Great all-rounder: eSUN General-Purpose Resin

eSUN general-purpose resin is, as the name implies, a general-purpose material for 3D printing using an SLA/DLP printer. It can be used to print cosmetic models — D&D miniatures look fantastic in it — or used to make more mechanical prints, like replacement parts or prototypes.

The general-purpose resin from eSUN is perfect for those who want to try different printing applications instead of drilling down into something specific. With its high tolerance to heat variances and seemingly magical ability to bring out details even when it's overexposed, it gives you a chance to experiment without every print failing spectacularly.

Unless you have a particular use case for your resin — metal casting, for example — then the general-purpose resin is an excellent choice for all your needs.


  • Great price
  • Even coloring
  • Prints smoothly
  • Bottle is airtight


  • Can be a little brittle
  • The edges can pale if over-cured

Great all-rounder

eSUN General-Purpose Photopolymer Resin

$21 from Amazon

Amazing prints

The eSUN general-purpose resin has made an almost perfect print every time we've used it. For 500ml, the price is excellent too.

Best budget resin: Elegoo 3D Rapid Resin

I've been using a lot of the Elegoo resin recently to reduce my outlays. It's super cheap and gives a great overall model. Some of the details may be lost, but you can tune it pretty well to provide you with an overall high-quality product. I particularly like the gray as it shows any print issues very clearly, allowing you to fix the print easily.

I would use the Elegoo for those large models without too many fine details, as you'll save quite a lot of cost. It's also for those prints you are thinking of post-processing — sanding and painting these prints works quite well.


  • Great value for money
  • Consistently good quality
  • Great for post-processing


  • Some definition can be lost
  • Very brittle

Best budget resin

Elegoo 3D Rapid Resin

$16 at Amazon

Cheap and cheerful

Elegoo is the cheapest resin out there, and the quality is pretty good. Buy this if you plan to post-process your models.

Best for toughness: Siraya Tech Tough (Blu)

There is a lot of reason to choose Siraya Tech (Blu) as your resin of choice. Firstly the blue is gorgeous — it looks like tropical water on a clear day — but more importantly, it's tough. Resin can be extremely brittle once it is cured, making it unsuitable for anything other than model making.

As 3D printing enthusiast Chris Russell shows in this picture, you can even make parts for other 3D printers using the Siraya Tech tough resin, and they will look beautiful and be strong as heck.

The Siraya (Blu) is extremely tough and can withstand impacts — even high falls and drops — much better than any resin I've used before it. This makes it useful for building cases and objects that are more useful than just pretty models to sit on a shelf.

Siraya Tech also recommends mixing a little Blu with its Fast resin as well. This is helpful because it lets you use the cheaper resin with just a splash of the more expensive but tougher Blu, saving you money without sacrificing rigidity.


  • Impact-resistant
  • So pretty!
  • Good for tough jobs


  • Expensive

Best for toughness

Siraya Tech Tough (Blu)

$50 from Amazon

Extra tough

The biggest issue with resin printing is the fragility of the finished product. This resin is extra sturdy and droppable!

Bottom line

The Siraya Tech Fast is the best resin out there right now. It's straightforward to use and very forgiving if you do mess up the settings. It lives up to its Fast name as well, allowing you to print what you need in a much shorter time limit.

I use the Siraya Tech every day, especially when reviewing printers like the Peopoly Phenom. If you want a resin that balances value for money and exceptional results, then this is the right resin for you.

If you are looking to print as many prints as possible, though, you may want to look at the Anycubic 1-liter options. They seem to offer the best deals on bulk buying, and if you are new to resin printing, you will need all the resin you can get!

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

James Bricknell has been in the 3D printing game for four years and has one claim to fame; He has met the 3D Printing Nerd. Find his ramblings on Twitter @keridel

Which new Surface devices would you like to buy?

Microsoft announced a total of eight new devices this week, and we want to know which ones you want to buy.

Microsoft expanded its Surface family with five new devices and three new accessories this week. Now that you've had a couple of days to digest all of the announcements, we want to know which device (or devices) you actually want to buy. There are plenty of innovative pieces of hardware that may impress you technically, but this poll focuses on the Surface devices you want to spend your hard-earned money on. Actions speak louder than words, after all.

We covered all of the Surface devices announced in a roundup and had a special edition of the Windows Central Podcast this week, but we'll also run through the new hardware here as well to get you up to speed.

Which Surface devices do you want to buy? (select all that apply)

The Surface Laptop Studio is the most powerful Surface ever, according to Microsoft. It also introduces a unique form factor with its screen. It could make our list of the best laptops, though we'll have to do a full review first to assess its merits. With a starting price of $1,600, it's also the most expensive of the new Surface devices.

The Surface Duo 2 drew the most interest leading up to the event. Buzz around the web and activity from commenters on our site suggest the excitement has increased since the device was officially announced. The Duo 2 has a faster chip, bigger screens, and better cameras than the original Surface Duo. It also supports 5G and NFC. Like the Surface Laptop Studio, it also has a high price tag ($1,500).

Microsoft revamped its Surface Pro line with the Surface Pro 8. It has a larger display and thinner bezels than its predecessor. It's also significantly faster than the Surface Pro 7. Microsoft rounded out the Surface Pro 8 with a 120Hz display, Dolby Vision, and Adaptive Color Technology.

The Surface Slim Pen 2 looks like it will make our list of the best Surface accessories. It has a haptic motor inside that provides feedback as you interact with supported PCs. It can replicate the feel of writing on paper and provide queues when navigating around Windows 11.

The Surface Go 3 was a more modest upgrade for its respective line than some of its Surface event siblings, but it's still much faster than the Surface Go 2. It also maintains its relative affordability with a starting price of $400.

Microsoft didn't refresh the Surface Pro X with a new design or new internals. The company did announce a lower starting price for the device thanks to a new model without support for LTE.

Lastly: You'll notice we mentioned eight total items were announced at the event, but only seven are in the poll. That's because one of them (the Ocean Plastic Mouse) doesn't have Surface in its name. Cue the sad trombone.

Which new Surface devices would you like to buy, if any? Let us know in the poll above and the comments below. While you do that, you can also check out which Surface devices the Windows Central team members want.

Xbox just gained four classic Castlevania games in this enhanced collection

A fresh batch of Castlevania games arrives on modern Xbox consoles.

What you need to know

  • The Castlevania franchise is one of the most legendary in existence, helping spawn a new genre of video games.
  • Today, Xbox players got a surprise release with the arrival of the Castlevania Advance Collection.
  • The collection includes four classic Castlevania games, releasing for the very first time on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S.
  • The games also include modern enhancements like an artwork gallery, music player, quick save, Xbox Achievements, and more.

Today, Xbox players are in for a surprise treat as Konami has suddenly dropped the new Castlevania Advance Collection. This new set includes four classic games from the legendary Castlevania series, all of which are releasing on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and Xbox One for the very first time. Complete with a release trailer, modern features and enhancements, and a tantalizing price tag, Xbox players can play these Castlevania games for the first time, or revisit old favorites, right now.

The Castlevania Advance Collection features four titles, including:

  • Castlevania: Circle of the Moon
  • Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance
  • Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow
  • Castlevania: Dracula X

Besides simply bringing these beloved classics to Xbox consoles for the first time, Konami also includes some modern enhancements and features, as well as perks for anyone who picks the collection up. Some of the highlights include:

  • Support for up to 4K resolution
  • Support for cloud saves and Xbox Achievements
  • Ways to play the American, European, and Japanese versions of each title
  • Addition of modern features like quick saving and a rewind function
  • An art gallery featuring never-before-seen artwork
  • A music player that lets you listen to every track from the original soundtracks

Castlevania Advance Collection is available now for Xbox consoles, and could very well already be among the best Xbox games for fans of the franchise.

New to Xbox

Castlevania Advance Collection

$20 at Microsoft

Kill the beasts

Explore four Castlevania classics on Xbox for the first time, complete with a host of modern enhancements and new features.

More Xbox and Steam users can play Halo Infinite on September 30

A chance to play, even for those that haven't signed up.

What you need to know

  • The second technical preview for Halo Infinite is ongoing.
  • Next weekend, the preview expands to test out Big Team Battle.
  • According to 343 Industries, more players will be able to join that weekend without going through the Halo Insider program.

The second Halo Infinite technical preview is currently underway, with several different times and dates to play Halo Infinite over the weekend for players who were previously invited to try out PvP in Arena against both other players and Halo Infinite's Bots. The next weekend's flight, which is set to run from Sep. 30 through Oct. 4, will feature Big Team Battle. According to 343 Industries, even more users will be able to join next weekend, though there will still be a cap.

Brian Jarrard, community director at 343 Industries, shared via Reddit that next weekend, "Steam and Xbox players will have an opportunity to participate without going through the Halo Insider process." Jarrard noted that to what extent this will extend is not yet certain and this isn't an open beta, there will still be a limited on the number of players allowed in.

So if you haven't managed to join the via Halo Insider Program, you'll have another chance to try and play starting on Sep. 30. We'll share more information as it becomes available. In the meantime, we're also tracking the list of maps, vehicles and weapons we know of so far in Halo Infinite.

Halo Infinite is currently scheduled to launch on Dec. 8, 2021 on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, PC and Xbox Cloud Gaming. The multiplayer is free-to-play and the campaign will be included in Xbox Game Pass.

Best of all worlds

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate 3 Month Subscription

Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold in one

Xbox Game Pass gives you access to over 200 games for one monthly fee. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate also adds Xbox Live Gold to the package so you can play online with your friends. You also get access to EA Play.

VR developers prove that Steam Deck isn't a mobile VR console just yet

Ever since the Steam Deck was announced, PC VR gamers everywhere have been wondering if it could power a VR headset. Valve initially shied away from talking about the machine's VR capabilities but did eventually note that it, in a technical sense, had everything needed to run a VR headset. Now that developers have gotten their first development kits in hand, we're finding out that VR on Steam Deck is proving to be a bit more difficult than initially hoped for.

Denny Unger, CEO of Cloudhead Games and developer of the immensely popular Pistol Whip spent the past few days exploring the VR capabilities of Steam Deck using a Valve Index headset. The takeaway is that Steam Deck, at least in its current dev kit form, doesn't seem to provide enough power to display an image in a headset. All of the other inputs, including the controllers and roomscale motion tracking, work just fine. Other folks on Twitter are seeing the same results.

Steamdeck update: Shock to no-one; this is a devkit. Second shock to no-one; Valve was clear that this was NOT for VR. Third shock to no-one: It will take time to understand what the capabilities are and how to optimize. This is about a potential future, not the right now.

— Denny Unger @CloudheadGames (@DennyCloudhead) September 24, 2021

That has led many to believe there's plenty of hope left, especially since development kits have only been available for about a week at this point. We've seen quite a bit of development with Steam Deck recently, including the development of Easy Anti Cheat for Linux, which paves the way for many online-enabled games to be playable on the handheld.

If all else fails, fans could always install Windows on Steam Deck, although the performance and compatibility are certainly a huge question at this time. Many VR gamers have been hoping for a viable alternative to Facebook's Oculus Quest 2, which requires a Facebook login to operate. Steam Deck has been seen as a possibility, although this news sheds a bit of doubt on that.

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 configurations, each allowing you to play your games locally and portably.

The semiconductor crisis is worsening and industries are clashing

Chip shortages breed contempt.

What you need to know

  • A global shortage of chips has hurt many industries, ranging from automobile makers to phone manufacturers.
  • Companies across these industries are trying to score each other's chip supplies, causing friction.
  • The U.S. government has been holding meetings with leaders in these sectors to see what the situation is and what, if any, amicable solutions are possible.

As the coronavirus' Delta variant rampages through Southeast Asia, causing chip factories in the Philippines, Vietnam, and Malaysia to delay production or intermittently shut down, companies across many industries are facing production pipeline problems.

According to The Washington Post, companies in entirely separate sectors are at each other's throats. Automakers want the chip supplies and resources that are currently going to smartphone companies, while smartphone companies argue that automakers can suffer for all they care and that it's not the smartphone industry's problem that automakers didn't plan accordingly for the coronavirus-stricken landscape.

"It's on industry to come up with the solutions here and to identify some of the path forward," said a Biden administration official about the situation, in the leadup to the Thursday (September 23, 2021) meeting between the White House and various industry leaders.

That's a general overview of the macro situation. On a micro level, the Kansas City Business Journal has an illustration of the immediate impacts of the chip shortage: Ford's and GM's Kansas-based auto assembly plants have seen sporadic shutdowns during 2021. Combined, these shutdowns affect nearly 10,000 employees directly as well as those at companies depending on Ford and GM.

That same report says the global automotive industry is primed to lose revenue to the tune of $210 billion in 2021 because of the shortage. The large figure is one example of how the chip shortage is affecting things beyond the availability of the best graphics cards, which are also being hurt by supply constraints.

Microsoft applies Internet-sized Band-Aid to stem Autodiscover leaks

It's a stopgap, not a fix.

What you need to know

  • Microsoft Exchange's Autodiscover protocol reportedly has a credential-leaking issue.
  • Microsoft acknowledged the situation but did not provide a clear outline of what it planned to do to solve the matter.
  • Now, a new report illustrates one method Microsoft is using to protect itself in the interim.

Microsoft has a lot of products and services, and with so much tech being released and maintained, bugs and vulnerabilities are bound to crop up. However, Microsoft Exchange, in particular, has had a suboptimal 2021, starting out with a large-scale Chinese hack and continuing through the year with a plethora of smaller issues. Much like Microsoft's PrintNightmare situation, Exchange woes don't seem to be going away anytime soon.

To summarize a long story, it was recently discovered that Exchange's Autodiscover protocol has been leaking Windows credentials due to improper implementation issues. These credentials are being shared with domains that should not have access to such information.

Now, it appears Microsoft is scrambling to register domains that could accidentally acquire leaked info, per a report by BleepingComputer. To be clear, this is not a solution for the implementation issue, but is something of a stopgap to stem the flow of the leaks and minimize the potential impact of the real problem.

At the time of BleepingComputer's report, Microsoft had registered a minimum of 68 domains to combat the Autodiscover problem. However, it's mentioned that Microsoft's likely registered far more than the immediately apparent 68. This method of leak prevention can be equated to taping up holes in a boat, in that it may prevent water intake to some degree but doesn't fix the root cause.

As always, we'll provide updates as the story develops, so keep checking Windows Central for the latest scoops on Autodiscover issues, PrintNightmare problems, and any other Microsoft products that succumb to Murphy's law.

Halo Infinite: These are the weapons you can use during the beta

These are the weapons you can use in the Halo Infinite multiplayer.

When players load into builds of the Halo Infinite beta, they're going to be picking up lots of weapons as they duke it out with other players in PvP matches. Halo Infinite features plenty of weapons from past games as well as brand new ones, and all of the weapons have a unique role within its sandbox. Here's an overview of every weapon that you can use in Halo Infinite, including an explanation about what they do and details on how you can maximize their effectiveness.

List of weapons in the Halo Infinite beta

For the first beta preview that runs from July 29 until August 1, there are a total of 12 different weapons available for players to try out and use in matches against bots as well as during weapon training drills.

MA40 Assault Rifle

The latest variation of Master Chief's iconic weapon, the MA40 Assault Rifle, is one of the best jack-of-all-trades options available to players in the Halo Infinite multiplayer. It does good, consistent damage at close and medium ranges thanks to its automatic firing, and it's a great weapon to soften foes up with before you finish them off with a quick melee strike. The Assault Rifle is generally weaker than precision weapons when outside of its optimal range, though, and up close, the shotgun will beat it as well.

BR75 Battle Rifle

The BR75 Battle Rifle is an excellent choice for dealing precision damage at range thanks to its stellar accuracy, and the damage is strong, too. Picking up one of these whenever you find them is recommended as precision weapons are the core of the Halo sandbox. Try to make sure you keep your foes at a distance while using the Battle Rifle, though, as it will struggle against close range weapons if you let them close the distance.

VK78 Commando

The VK78 Commando is an automatic precision weapon that's essentially a combination of the Assault Rifle and Battle Rifle that's effective in the roles both weapons fill, making it a great option if you want something solid in both close and long range combat. It loses to the Assault Rifle up close and to the Battle Rifle from afar, though. With the Commando, you're ultimately getting versatility instead of specialization.

Pulse Carbine

The Pulse Carbine is a unique burst-fire plasma weapon that's ideal for short and medium ranges and does excellent damage to shields, making it an awesome weapon to pair with something headshot-capable. It also does respectable damage to unshielded targets, but ballistic human weapons outperform it in this situation. If you fire it too much too quickly, the Pulse Carbine will overheat, so keep that in mind during use. It also has some light tracking properties that will help you land shots.

Plasma Pistol

The Plasma Pistol returns in Halo Infinite, and like in previous titles, it's incredible at stripping shields — especially if you overcharge by holding down the trigger. This will cause the weapon to discharge a massive plasma bolt that tracks enemies and knocks out their shields instantly, leaving them wide open for a headshot. This bolt can also EMP vehicles, which will be useful in Big Team Battle modes. It does abysmal damage to enemies once their shields are down, though.

MK50 Sidekick

With its ability to do good chunks of precision damage and its quick fire rate, the MK50 Sidekick is a great sidearm that's ideal for finishing weakened enemies off. It can also act as a respectable primary weapon, too, although it's less effective in that role compared to more specialized options.


The Disruptor is a fast-firing pistol style weapon that shoots small electric bolts. It's unclear what these do at the moment, though we anticipate they do high damage to shields but low damage to regular health enemies. It's also possible that the Disruptor will be capable of disabling enemy vehicles.

CQS48 Bulldog

The CQS48 Bulldog shotgun is one of the few close range power weapons in the Halo Infinite beta, and it's a powerful one. Between its high close range damage, tight bullet spread, and fast firing rate, the Bulldog solidifies itself as the most powerful close-quarters combat weapon in the game — though that may change when the Energy Sword is available to use.

S7 Sniper

The S7 Sniper is the ultimate long range power weapon, giving players the ability to two-shot enemies by hitting them in the body or one-shot them with headshots. It's clunky in close range situations, but if you're able to put lots of distance between you and your targets, the sniper rifle will excel. Just make sure to aim carefully before firing, as both ammo and magazine size is limited.


The Hydra has returned after its initial appearance in Halo 5: Guardians, and it appears to have a similar function. Players can use it to shoot moderately-damaging explosive shells at enemies, which will likely throw off their aim and soften them up for precision headshots (or just kill them outright). Zooming in with the Hydra may also give its explosive rounds tracking like it did in Halo 5, though we aren't sure if this is the case or not yet.


Fear the pink mist! Halo's wackiest weapon is back in Halo Infinite, and like previous iterations, it's a great medium range tool for taking down fast-moving targets thanks to its aggressive tracking and speedy fire rate. Once you sink seven needles into another player, the needles will "supercombine" and explode, killing them instantly while also dealing some damage to anyone around them.


The Mangler is a slow-firing precision weapon used by the Banished. It does strong damage, but its slow fire rate means that hitting your shots is crucial when going up against more forgiving weapons. It's a great alternative to the Sidekick if you'd prefer raw damage output over the ability to fire several rounds quickly.


Even though the Banished Spiker resembles the Spiker from Halo 3 and Halo: Reach, the weapon performs more like the Brute Shot and Concussion Rifle that the Covenant used in previous Halo titles. The Ravager allows players to blanket an area with area-of-effect damage by shooting small explosive plasma projectiles, which is useful for softening enemies up or knocking them out of position. If you get an opportunity to hit multiple players at once with the Ravager, there's a good chance you'll get a multikill on all of them by following up with a headshot weapon.


The Cindershot is a Banished grenade launcher type weapon that shooters slower than the Ravager, but also creates larger explosions. The plasma grenades it shoots can also be bounced around corners and off of surfaces, giving the weapon creative playmaking potential.

Shock Rifle

The Shock Rifle is a Banished weapon intended for mid-to-long range usage. It deals moderate damage and can be used to pick players off if you score headshots, but it also has the capability to arc off of players or map objects into other players. This allows you to damage multiple enemies at once if they're bunched up.

Stalker Rifle

The Stalker Rifle is a Banished weapon that we haven't seen in-game yet, although the weapon's shape suggests that it's the Banished's dedicated sniper weapon. It's likely that it will do less damage than the S7 Sniper overall, but will offer some unique utility.

Gravity Hammer

The Gravity Hammer has returned in Halo Infinite, and like its previous versions, its an excellent weapon if you like to get up close and personal with your foes. It delivers one-hit kills in a small area-of-effect around you when you swing it, but the range of the swing itself is small. Therefore, it's best used as an ambush tool against groups of enemy players.

Energy Sword

The classic Halo melee weapon is back in Halo Infinite, and like its previous iterations, it delivers one-hit kills and allows players to lunge at enemies from a short distance by attacking when their reticule is red.


The Heatwave is a Forerunner weapon that players can use to bounce deadly energy projectiles off of surfaces, which is a useful way to deal indirect damage around corners. You can also shoot it at players directly if necessary. Notably, players can switch the trajectory of the projectiles between a vertical and horizontal mode to control the weapon more precisely.

Sentinel Beam

The Sentinel Beam returns in Halo Infinite, and like its previous iterations, you damage enemies with it by holding the trigger down and firing an energy beam. The damage is effective, but the weapon as high recoil so be prepared to control it.


Last but not least is the Skewer, which is one of Halo Infinite's most effective anti-vehicle weapons. It shoots an extremely deadly projectile at high velocity, tearing through any armored vehicle that it hits. It also sends lighter vehicles flying, which will help disable vehicles that it doesn't destroy outright. The Skewer also one-shots other players if they're not in a vehicle, making it a deadly anti-infantry power weapon when in skilled hands. It's slow and awkward up close, though, so switch to something better suited for that range if needed.

Your thoughts

What do you think of the weapons featured in the Halo Infinite beta? Let me know. Personally, I think they're all interesting and fun to use, and hopefully the weapons that 343 Industries adds in the future will be as well. For more on the Halo Infinite beta, don't miss our list of all the maps and modes in the Halo Infinite beta. Also, make sure to check out our guide on how to play the Halo Infinite beta for info on how you can participate in the tests yourself. Hopefully, these beta tests help 343 Industries shape Halo Infinite into one of the best Xbox games ever.

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 the beta and what was seen at E3 2021, we can't wait for the full release.

Xbox Chaturdays 41: Outside help on Perfect Dark with Shinobi602

Join the conversation live!

For episode 41 of Xbox Chaturdays we'll be joined by the iconic Brand Manager of Untold Tales and host of The Joy of Gaming Shinobi602 (Nate Najda). We'll be discussing Crystal Dynamics assisting with development for Perfect Dark, Master Chief for Smash, Halo Infinite flights, and so much more. If you're excited to catch up on all the biggest gaming news of the week, tune in to Xbox Chaturdays live every Saturday at 12 p.m. ET!

What is Xbox Chaturdays?

Xbox Chaturdays is our weekly Windows Central Gaming podcast. Every Saturday, we sit down with various Xbox developers, enthusiasts, and industry figures to chat about all things Xbox. We designed our show to provide exciting and engaging content for Xbox and PC players, highlighting what we love about gaming. From the best games on Xbox Game Pass to the titles we can't wait to play, there's always something fun to chat about.

With Xbox Chaturdays, we've built up a pretty incredible audience of live viewers that consistently keep the show fresh and exciting with their questions. Our show promotes community interaction, and we strive to immerse our viewers in the experience. If you haven't caught an episode before, head on over to the Windows Central Gaming YouTube channel to watch past episodes.

The best deal in gaming

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

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

So many games.

It's hard to ignore the value of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. With over 100 awesome games and extra perks, this is hands-down the best deal in gaming right now.

Here's all the armor in Halo Infinite, and how to obtain them

Halo Infinite gives players a near-infinite number of ways to customize their Spartan.

With Halo Infinite, 343 Industries and Xbox Game Studios are placing a lot of emphasis on Spartan customization, a facet of Halo that has grown increasingly important since the series' debut (especially after the arrival of Halo: Reach). In Halo Infinite, players are going to have more control than ever before, with potentially thousands of possibilities for armor, weapon, and vehicle customization. Of course, at the center of every Halo are the Spartans, so players will especially have a ton of options when personalizing their Spartan.

343i is going to include innumerable armor pieces in Halo Infinite, with more being added over time. In our ultimate guide to every piece of armor in Halo Infinite, we'll keep track of it all. Here's the complete list of armor in Halo Infinite.

Endless fun

Halo Infinite

$60 at Amazon $60 at Best Buy

The next Great Journey awaits

Halo Infinite represents the next chapter of Halo's storied journey, and everything we've seen from 343 Industries recently shows that Halo Infinite has what it takes to be an incredible game filled with wonder, adventure, and more.

An overview of armor and customization in Halo Infinite

In Halo Infinite multiplayer, players will take control of a Spartan, an augmented human with increased speed, strength, and combat abilities. Spartans are infamous for the imposing figures they strike in their armor, and it's that armor that provides players with the greatest amount of customization in Halo Infinite. 343i and Xbox Game Studios clearly want to let players be whoever they want in Halo Infinite, and that means customization is getting more in-depth than ever before.

Firstly, Halo Infinite features a new coatings system, a way for 343i to quickly release detailed and diverse "skins" for Halo Infinite's armor. Coatings can feature all kinds of colors, textures, and patterns, and can drastically alter how your Spartan looks. And, thanks to changes to Halo Infinite's multiplayer, where players are now outlined in team colors instead of being forced to adapt to blue or red fully, your choice of color will now remain in all Halo Infinite multiplayer matches. Halo Infinite's coatings system has the potential to be positively massive, so we've compiled a complete list of every Halo Infinite armor coating.

Halo Infinite will also let players customize every weapon in Halo Infinite with Halo Infinite weapon coatings, and the same applies to vehicles as well! Of course, Halo Infinite's armor still retains its edge in customization with a number of other options.

Besides coatings, Halo Infinite will also let players customize multiple aspects of their Spartan's armor, ranging from the base it's built upon (the armor core) to the color of the visor, and many pieces including the helmet, supplemental chest pieces, hip attachments, and much more. There's truly a ridiculous amount of variety here, and the potential for additional armor cores, including special themed ones (like the Samurai-inspired armor we've seen in trailers), and armor kits (collections of armor pieces), raises the stakes even more.

Halo Infinite's armor can be unlocked via the Halo Infinite Battle Pass, bought from the store, or possibly unlocked via in-game challenges and events. We're keeping track of everything we see, including through the Halo Infinite beta, which is ongoing right now with set matchmaking times.

Customization is one small part of a complete multiplayer experience, but Halo Infinite looks to deliver in more ways than one. With everything we've seen from 343i and Halo Infinite's in-depth armor customization, Halo Infinite has a chance of becoming one of the best Xbox games you can play. Be sure to keep up to date with every Halo with our ultimate guide to Halo Infinite.

What is the complete list of armor in Halo Infinite?

Besides color coatings, which we covered above, Halo Infinite provides a staggering 10 different ways to customize your Spartan's armor in multiplayer matches, with an 11th method to connect your Spartan to the wider Halo universe in new ways or let you apply a complete set of customizations in one fell swoop. That means there's a lot to cover here, and the list will only grow as Halo Infinite nears release and, after release, begins to drop new content updates and Seasons with additional customization options.

Without further ado, here is the complete list of armor and its customization options in Halo Infinite, and how to obtain them.

You can select the images next to armor and armor pieces to view the image in greater detail.

Armor cores

Armor cores, as the name implies, sit at the center of your Spartan's armor and are the foundation upon which everything else is built. Your chosen armor core dictates the overall look of your Spartan, and can be pulled from the wider Halo universe, or even be non-canonical and expand beyond Halo's reach (like the Samurai-inspired armor we've seen in trailers).

By default, Spartans will be equipped with the modern Mark VII armor core, but additional variants will undoubtedly be available to players. Here is every armor core we know of in Halo Infinite.

Name Information Unlock requirements
Mark VII

Description: The latest generation of powered assault armor by Materials Group

○ Rare rarity
Default: First armor core for Halo Infinite


Second only to armor cores, the helmet is one of the most immediately recognizable and prominent aspects of your Spartan's armor. Spartan helmets can be military-grade hardware specifically designed from combat, or third-party solutions that provide unique perks and benefits to the Spartans that adapted them. Either way, they're a great way to set your Spartan apart from others immediately.

Spartan helmets can support Helmet Attachments, which adds an additional way to customize. Here is every helmet we know of in Halo Infinite.

Name Information Unlock requirements

Description: Cavallino expands Emerson Tactical Systems' offerings with Mjolnir-platform helmets, tailored for the needs of fireteam leaders, trainers, and combat observers

○ Common rarity
○ Helmet attachments supported
Default: Helmet for Mark VII armor core

Description: The Enigma by Imbrium Machine Complex was intended for use by Army tank crews, but the Spartans have acquired most of these helmets, as its state-of-the-art vehicle cyberlink is an invaluable resource

○ Rare rarity
○ Helmet attachments supported
Store: Available during Season 0

Description: The Aviator helmet by Hannibal Weapon Systems is tailored for use by cybernetically augmented aerospace pilots. Among its many special features is a high-bandwidth machine interlink configured to operate seamlessly with next-gen neural interfaces

○ Rare rarity
○ Helmet attachments available
Battle Pass: Tier 1 of Season 0

Description: Trailblazer by Imbrium Machine Complex builds on the many successes of Mjolnir (R) to pioneer integration of the latest forward observation and reconnaissance VISR systems into a single Spartan-friendly package

○ Epic rarity
○ Helmet attachments available
Battle Pass: Tier 25 of Season 0

Description: The ZVESDA faceplate by RKD Group incorporates a programmable phased array antenna grid, though leveraging its full capabilities has proven to be a challenge for software developers

○ Epic rarity
○ Helmet attachments available


Apart from helmet-specific attachments, you can also accessorize your Spartan's helmet with a new visor. New visors can change the color and texture of your helmet's visor, and are a great way to color match a theme or complete an overall look. In a way, visor changes are almost like coatings of their own, since they typically don't physically change from the default helmet visor.

Here is every visor we know of in Halo Infinite.

Name Information Unlock requirements

Description: By Lethbridge Industrial, even Spartans have to start somewhere

○ Common rarity
Default: Visor for Mark VII armor core

Description: By Lethbridge Industrial, tricksters are wise to hide their eyes

○ Rare rarity
Battle Pass: Tier 9 of Season 0

Description: With shield and spear, vigilant, by Lethbridge Industrial

○ Rare rarity
Battle Pass: Tier 14 of Season 0

Description: By Lethbridge Industrial, an open space means open minds if you don't spot the snipers

○ Epic rarity
Battle Pass: Tier 19 of Season 0

Description: The color of despair and madness, by Lethbridge Industrial

○ Epic rarity
Battle Pass: Tier 3 of Season 0

Description: Light the bonfire of freedom, by Lethbridge Industrial

○ Rare rarity

Description: A favorite of skyborne lancers, by Lethbridge Industrial

○ Epic rarity
Battle Pass: Tier 27 of Season 0


Chest armor pieces are supplemental upgrades (read: optional) that provide extra personality to your Spartan and can feature a wide range of visual upgrades from grenade belts, packs and storage, technology upgrades, and more. Chest upgrades are one of the biggest single customizable aspects of your Spartan's armor, and vary wildly in appearance and canonical purpose.

Here is every chest we know of in Halo Infinite.

Name Information Unlock requirements
Util / ENAV Beacon

Description: Emerson Tactical Systems delivers emergency navigational transponders, compatible with all civil and military networks

○ Common rarity
Battle Pass: Tier 23 of Season 0
UA / M55OD Halfplate

Description: Up-armor set, specced for minimal impact on Spartan mobility, by Beweglichrüstungsysteme

○ Rare rarity
Battle Pass: Tier 30 of Season 0
UA / M557 Jackplate

Description: Up-armor module for Spartans tasked with breaching and urban warfare, by Beweglichrüstungsysteme

○ Rare rarity
Battle Pass: Tier 13 of Season 0
Util / KHILPK Cooling

Description: Chiller and radiator that extends operational time in high-temperature environments, by Imbrium Machine Complex

○ Rare rarity
UA / Relikt Cuirass

Description: Armor reinforcement set made to the specific requirements of Spartan containment teams, by Vakara GMBH

○ Epic rarity
Battle Pass: Tier 8 of Season 0

Left shoulders

Shoulder pads are another important part of a Spartan's armor, but Halo Infinite is making those shoulder pads supplemental, or optional, for the first time in a Halo game. That means you can customize your shoulder pads for each shoulder, including not having any shoulder pads at all.

Here is every left shoulder that we know of in Halo Infinite.

Name Information Unlock requirements
UA / Vitus

Description: Supplemental deltoid and shoulder armor by Chalybs Defense Solutions

○ Common rarity
Default: Left shoulder for Mark VII armor core
UA / Alair

Description: Supplemental deltoid and shoulder armor by Chalybs Defense Solutions

○ Common rarity
Battle Pass: Tier 18 of Season 0
UA / Agathius

Description: Supplemental deltoid and shoulder armor by Chalybs Defense Solutions

○ Epic rarity
Battle Pass: Tier 5 of Season 0
UA / Viator

Description: Supplemental deltoid and shoulder armor by Chalybs Defense Solutions

○ Epic rarity

Right shoulders

Shoulder pads are another important part of a Spartan's armor, but Halo Infinite is making those shoulder pads supplemental, or optional, for the first time in a Halo game. That means you can customize your shoulder pads for each shoulder, including not having any shoulder pads at all.

Here is every right shoulder that we know of in Halo Infinite.

Name Information Unlock requirements
UA / Vitus

Description: Supplemental deltoid and shoulder armor by Chalybs Defense Solutions

○ Common rarity
Default: Right shoulder for Mark VII armor core
UA / Alair

Description: Supplemental deltoid and shoulder armor by Chalybs Defense Solutions

○ Common rarity
Battle Pass: Tier 17 of Season 0
UA / Agathius

Description: Supplemental deltoid and shoulder armor by Chalybs Defense Solutions

○ Epic rarity
Battle Pass: Tier 4 of Season 0
UA / Viator

Description: Supplemental deltoid and shoulder armor by Chalybs Defense Solutions

○ Epic rarity


Players may not think about the gloves their Spartan wears very often, but it's those gloves that will appear on screen most often when picking up guns or equipment, dishing out melee attacks, or interacting with the environment. In Halo Infinite, you'll be able to customize your Spartan even down to the gloves they wear.

Here is every pair of gloves we know of in Halo Infinite.

Name Information Unlock requirements

Description: By Beweglichrüstungsysteme, Mjolnir gloves provide a great deal of protection, but nothing that can't be augmented with a simple up-armor plate

○ Common rarity
Default: Gloves for Mark VII armor core


Halo Infinite wrists upgrades may bring to mind some of Halo Infinite's equipment, like the repulsor or grappling hook, but Halo Infinite also lets you apply cosmetic armor pieces to your Spartan's wrist, which presumably provide a number of in-universe benefits you won't see in the game.

Here is every wrist we know of in Halo Infinite.

Name Information Unlock requirements
UA / Type II-A1 Buckler

Description: Despite rumors to the contrary, this buckler does not have an energy shield generator, by Materials Group

○ Rare rarity
Battle Pass: Tier 10 of Season 0


Utility armor pieces in Halo Infinite, previously referred to as hips, will seemingly be quite diverse, including utility belts, hip accessories (we've even seen concept art of swords!), and possibly thigh and upper leg upgrades as well. In Halo Infinite's first technical preview, a few hip accessories were present but could not be unlocked or seen, but it wasn't until the second technical preview that we were able to see the first utility armor pieces in action. These are supplemental upgrades, and should add plenty of variety to armor customization.

Here is every utility we know of in Halo Infinite.

Name Information Unlock requirements
Medaux Unit / Type 1

Description: Medigel Applicator Unit, Single Pack, by Opticon. Allows for quick replenishment of the suit's internal reservoir

○ Common rarity
Battle Pass: Tier 17 of Season 0
Medaux Unit / Type II

Description: Medigel Applicator Unit, Double Pack, by Opticon. Medigel is as precious as diamondoid dust on extended patrols, or when bartering with colonials

○ Rare rarity
Battle Pass: Tier 24 of Season 0
MAT-2550 / Grenade Pack

Description: A spare tactical radio and grenades go a long way when you are in harm's way, by Emerson Tactical Systems

○ Epic rarity
Battle Pass: Tier 9 of Season 0

Knee pads

Finally, Halo Infinite lets you apply the final touch to your Spartan's armor with knee pad variants, which offer a small measure of personalization to your armor core's mostly untouched leg armor. While knee pads are described as "supplemental," it does seem you're required to have knee pads installed on your Spartan's armor.

Here is every knee pad we know of in Halo Infinite.

Name Information Unlock requirements
UA / Type SA

Description: Supplemental leg armor by Korolev Heavy Industries

○ Common rarity
Default: Knee pads for Mark VII armor core
UA / Type RG

Description: Supplemental leg armor by Korolev Heavy Industries

○ Common rarity
Battle Pass: Tier 22 of Season 0
UA / Type SP

Description: Supplemental leg armor by Korolev Heavy Industries

○ Epic rarity
Battle Pass: Tier 28 of Season 0

Armor kits

Out of all the extensive armor customizations in Halo Infinite, armor kits come with the most mystery and the most potential. Armor kits basically apply a predetermined set of customizations (be it coatings, pieces, or other) to your armor core, likely revolving around a theme. This means that players might be able to instantly become one of their favorite Halo Spartans like Jameson Locke, Sarah Palmer, and more, as long as they own the armor core that character uses. Since Halo Infinite's first Season is reportedly based on Halo: Reach, it stands to reason that armor kits for Spartans like Carter, Kat, Jun, Emile, and Jorge from Noble Team may make an appearance.

Armor kits may also feature other themes as well for seasonal events and more. Honestly, we still don't know exactly what armor kits will entail in Halo Infinite, and we've yet to see one in action. We'll update this section as we learn more about armor kits, and find out which ones will actually be available in the game.

Endless fun

Halo Infinite

$60 at Amazon $60 at Best Buy See at Xbox See at Steam

The next Great Journey awaits

Halo Infinite represents the next chapter of Halo's storied journey, and everything we've seen from 343 Industries recently shows that Halo Infinite has what it takes to be an incredible game filled with wonder, adventure, and more.

Infinite possibilities

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

From $1/month at Microsoft $40 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. Halo Infinite is coming to Xbox Game Pass, so be prepared for when the Master Chief arrives.

See what you can and cannot do with the Pro 8 when it comes to gaming

Best answer: Certain Surface Pro 8 models will be able to handle light gaming thanks to Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics. All models should also be able to handle cloud-based game streaming. But for a true gaming experience, you will want a PC with a dedicated graphics card (GPU), a more powerful processor (CPU), and better cooling capabilities.

Some Pro 8 models can handle lightweight or cloud-based gaming

The Surface Pro 8 will handle light gaming, but don't expect it to wow you.

The refreshed Surface Pro 8 is here, complete with 11th Gen Intel Core CPUs, larger display, upgraded inking experience, new ports, and better cameras. Compared to the Surface Pro 7, the Pro 8 is a big upgrade. But those new features don't exactly mean the Pro 8 is suddenly a monster PC that can handle anything. Like previous generations, the Pro lineup is focused more on professionals who want a slim 2-in-1 design that can keep up with other modern Ultrabooks.

Was the Surface Pro 7 good for gaming? No, not really; at least compared to the best gaming laptops on the market today. The same holds true for the Pro 8. Integrated Iris Xe graphics in the Core i5 and Core i7 Pro 8 models are a solid step up from Intel UHD and Iris Plus graphics available in the Pro 7, but you're still not going to get performance at the level of something discrete, like an NVIDIA RTX 3060. And the Core i3 Pro 8 model is significantly weaker with its Intel UHD graphics.

The Pro 8 will do well with light indie games, many of which can be found through Xbox Game Pass for PC. It will also handle older titles without as high of system requirements. The Pro 8's biggest issue will likely be keeping itself cool while under prolonged load, so maxing out the chips with modern AAA titles won't do it any favors.

xCloud on the Pro X.

With Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass Cloud Gaming program (aka xCloud) also now getting streaming through the PC Xbox app, it's easier than ever to stream games to your PC without having to tax its internal hardware. xCloud isn't the only player in the streaming game, with PlayStation Now making a strong case for itself.

The Pro 8 and its Wi-Fi 6 capabilities shouldn't have issues handling the network load, at least as long as it's paired up with a solid router. Check out our list of the best Wi-Fi 6 routers if you need an upgrade. And with 5G support expected in 2022, you'll be able to stream games to your Pro 8 in even more places.

Those of you who want a true gaming experience will still want to check out one of the best gaming laptops available today. These laptops have specially designed cooling systems to keep a more powerful CPU and dedicated GPU cool under prolonged load. They also generally offer more ports, a keyboard geared for gamers, and a screen to make your favorite titles look as good as possible.

Something like the HP OMEN 15 will be much better geared toward delivering a high-end gaming experience, and it's even in the same price range as the Pro 8.

Refreshed 2-in-1

Surface Pro 8

From $1,100 at Microsoft

The Surface Pro 8 finally adopts the modern design that Microsoft first introduced with Surface Pro X, now with two USB-C ports that are Thunderbolt 4 enabled, an upgraded 13-inch display with a high-refresh rate of 120Hz, and support for the Surface Pro X-style Type Covers with the Slim Pen charging cradle.

Unreal gaming value


The combination of near-perfect 4K display, high-end performance hardware, mature design, and good audio makes the HP OMEN 15 an easy buy for anyone who wants to maximize their spending. The keyboard could be better and it's not the thinnest or lightest gaming laptop out there, but these downsides are easy to justify in the face of all the refreshed OMEN lineup does right.

From $1,200 at HP

$1,500 at Best Buy

New Microsoft Edge on Xbox Series X|S lets you use Office

We don't know why you'd do it, but you can indeed use Microsoft Office on Xbox consoles through the new Edge browser.

What you need to know

  • Microsoft recently rolled out the Xbox September Update.
  • As part of the update, Xbox consoles received the new Microsoft Edge, which supports mouse and keyboard.
  • As a result, you can use Microsoft Office through the web with a mouse and keyboard on your console.

Some ask why you would want to use Microsoft Office on your Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S. We at Windows Central choose to ask why not? The Xbox September Update brings the new Microsoft Edge, which is based on Chromium. The browser has full mouse and keyboard support, opening the door to all kinds of shenanigans. If you have one of the best keyboards for the Xbox Series X or Series S, you can now type up documents on your console.

Within Microsoft Edge, you can browse through gaming how-to guides, media sites, and everything else the web has to offer. You can also go to Of course, you could access Office's web apps before this new version of Edge shipped to consoles, but you couldn't use a mouse and keyboard. You could have used your Xbox controller to navigate through your documents and a chatpad to write, but that seems a bit awkward, even compared to using your Xbox to do your homework.

With full mouse and keyboard support, you can use your Xbox console to do your homework, create a PowerPoint presentation, or even play around in Excel. Again, we're not sure how many people will use their browser like this, but isn't it fun to know that you can?

You can update your Xbox console with these steps:

  1. Press the Xbox button.
  2. Select Profile & system.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Select Updates.
  5. Select Console update available.

Razer Turret for Xbox

$250 at Amazon $250 at Microsoft $250 at Best Buy

This keyboard and mouse combination is fully compatible with the Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S. It has a lappable wireless design for gaming. You could also use it to write a Word document.