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2020 Porsche Macan GTS review: Emphasis on performance – Roadshow

The GTS looks great in Carmine Red. Steven Ewing/Roadshow At this point, GTS in Porsche parlance should just stand for Get This Spec. The company’s GTS-badged cars strike the best balance between outright performance and daily drivability, and that’s as true in this 2020 Macan as it is in any 718, 911, Cayenne or Panamera.…

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2020 Porsche Macan GTS review: Emphasis on performance     – Roadshow

The GTS looks great in Carmine Red.
Steven Ewing/Roadshow
At this point, GTS in Porsche parlance should just stand for Get This Spec. The company’s GTS-badged cars strike the best balance between outright performance and daily drivability, and that’s as true in this 2020 Macan as it is in any 718, 911, Cayenne or Panamera. I’ve driven the S and I’ve driven the Turbo, but the GTS is the Macan I’d park in my garage.

LikeOutstanding chassis balanceSports car-like steeringSonorous sport exhaustRobust infotainment tech

Don’t LikeTwin-turbo V6 lacks characterGets expensive in a hurry

The GTS uses a detuned version of the 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 from the Macan Turbo. Here, the engine produces 375 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque — noticeable reductions compared to the Turbo’s 434 hp and 405 lb-ft. But on the road, you’d have a hard time noticing the difference. This engine lacks visceral drama, though I think that’s less egregious when the associated output numbers are lower. The GTS at least makes up for this somewhat with a standard sport exhaust, which adds some sonority to the powertrain’s buttoned-up demeanor.Porsche says the GTS can accelerate to 60 mph in as little as 4.5 seconds with the optional Sport Chrono package, which is 0.4 seconds slower than the Macan Turbo. I genuinely don’t believe that less-than-half-a-second discrepancy is something anyone can feel during daily driving on public roads. And since the engine’s torque is fully available from just 1,750 rpm, there’s never a lack of urgency to the GTS’ acceleration, whether pulling away from a stoplight or just trying to shoot the gap between slower cars on the highway.

The seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox is always up for an impromptu downshift via the steering wheel-mounted paddles, and the Sport and Sport Plus modes — the latter is part of the $1,360 Sport Chrono package — alter the throttle and transmission programming just enough to liven up the Macan’s character. You could drive the GTS in Sport mode all day, every day without it ever feeling high-strung, while Sport Plus is best left for tighter sections of winding roads where you’ll want to take advantage of its tendency to hold gears up near the engine’s redline.The GTS’ powertrain is fine, but the chassis, steering and brakes really make this Macan feel special. Porsche’s adaptive air suspension comes standard and can lower the Macan by 10 millimeters in Sport and Sport Plus modes. Porsche’s Active Suspension Management (PASM) dampers are a perfect match to the air-ride system, delivering a smooth ride on broken pavement while keeping the GTS taut and composed on smooth stretches of canyon roads. Even with my tester’s upsized 21-inch wheels and staggered 265/40 front and 295/35 rear tires, the Macan never feels too stiff or too floaty for any given scenario. Honestly, the ride quality might be the GTS’ single best attribute.

These 21-inch wheels and low-profile ties don’t ruin the GTS’ ride.
Steven Ewing/Roadshow
Porsche always gets its cars’ steering right, and the Macan GTS is no exception. The weight and communication on offer are more akin to that of a 718 Cayman than any other compact SUV, with a right-sized steering wheel adorned with only a few redundant controls. My tester has Porsche’s Surface Coated Brakes (PSCB), which were kind of bad when they first launched on the Cayenne, but have since been reworked with new pads, better pedal feel and a more progressive stopping experience. Now, these brakes are quite good and reduce dust buildup on the wheels. Whether they’re worth the $3,490 upgrade over the perfectly fine standard steel brakes, though, is hard to say.

One option worth adding is Porsche’s brake-based torque-vectoring tech, for $1,500. This ability to modulate power from side to side at the rear axle improves the Macan’s cornering reflexes, making this already-sharp little crossover even more entertaining. You’ll never feel it working, but you’ll find it easier to keep up with smaller, more powerful sports cars on mountain roads.Going for the GTS gets you the Sport Design exterior treatment, with black-painted exterior accents, LED headlights and a darker tint to the rear taillight bar. Inside, you get sport seats wrapped in leather, though you can have the whole cabin done up in Alcantara suede with Carmine Red stitching as part of the $4,790 GTS Interior Package. Like all Macans, the GTS is plenty comfortable for driver and passenger up front, but the rear seats are awfully small, even by compact SUV measurements.The PCM infotainment tech is new but the rest of the interior is showing its age.
Steven Ewing/Roadshow
The Macan got a welcome tech upgrade as part of a refresh in 2018 and now runs Porsche’s Communication Management infotainment software on a 10.9-inch touchscreen. PCM continues to impress with its quick responses to inputs, online search tools, bright graphics and reconfigurable home screen. A Wi-Fi hotspot and Apple CarPlay are standard, but Android Auto is still a no-go. Too bad.Look below the touchscreen, though, and you’ll find a sea of controls on the console — a reminder that the Macan is a bit older than Porsche’s other models. Sure, the rows of buttons are clearly labeled and easy to use, they just look outdated, especially compared to the flush, backlit designs of Porsche’s newer products.I’d love to tell you about all of the Macan’s standard driver-assistance features, but as is the case with every Porsche, all the good stuff costs extra and is available a la carte. A surround-view camera is $1,200. You can buy lane-change assist and lane-keeping assist for $700 apiece, or just spend $1,380 and get them as part of a bundle. Adaptive cruise control comes in for an additional $1,170, and if you want freaking keyless entry, that’s an extra $800, too. Sheesh.The Macan is hands-down the best-driving compact luxury SUV.
Steven Ewing/Roadshow
There are myriad options available for the Macan GTS, so its $73,450 starting price (including $1,350 for destination) is just that: the start. My Carmine Red tester is a German-spec model that Porsche flew over for testing, so I don’t have an exact price for the SUV you see here. Playing around to the best of my ability on Porsche’s configurator, I’m going to guesstimate an as-tested price of $94,000 out the door, give or take a few Benjamins.If you compare price tags, the Macan GTS is sort of a hard sell against competitors like the BMW X3 M40i or Mercedes-AMG GLC43, both of which can be nicely equipped for less than the Porsche’s starting MSRP. But the Macan — especially the GTS — is the best-driving, best-balanced SUV of the bunch and handily punches above its weight. If performance is a priority, you definitely get what you pay for. 

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Computers

Microsoft Is Bringing a Skype Meet Now Button to Your Windows 10 Taskbar for Quick Video Calls

Microsoft is bringing a “Meet Now” icon to the taskbar of the latest Windows 10 version to let users quickly set up a video call and invite their friends and colleagues to discuss things virtually. The new development comes over six months after the Redmond company introduced the Meet Now feature on Skype to let…

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Microsoft Is Bringing a Skype Meet Now Button to Your Windows 10 Taskbar for Quick Video Calls

Microsoft is bringing a “Meet Now” icon to the taskbar of the latest Windows 10 version to let users quickly set up a video call and invite their friends and colleagues to discuss things virtually. The new development comes over six months after the Redmond company introduced the Meet Now feature on Skype to let people start a virtual group conversation without requiring any app or sign up. Emerging players including Zoom have seen a significant increase in their adoption during the pandemic. However, Skype hasn’t received any major growth. Microsoft’s latest move is, thus, a strategy to boost Skype usage.Initially, Microsoft is providing Meet Now on the taskbar of the Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 19042.608 (KB4580364). The new Windows 10 release is also available in the Beta channel for initial testing. Nevertheless, if everything works well, Microsoft seems to be in plans to bring the new experience to all Windows 10 users in the coming future.“In the coming weeks, you will be able to easily set up a video call and reach friends and family in an instant by clicking the Meet Now icon in the taskbar notification area,” Microsoft’s Senior Program Manager Brandon LeBlanc wrote in a blog post announcing the new Windows 10 update.Last month, Microsoft rolled out the Meet Now button to Windows Insiders on the Dev channel. That testing has supposedly helped the Windows maker to now bring the same experience to beta testers.As per a support page on the Microsoft site, the Meet Now icon on the taskbar is already available on Windows 10 versions 1903 and 1909 through the KB4580386 release. Users on the latest Windows 10 version are, however, yet to receive the new feature.Skype received the Meet Now feature in April to let users quickly make a video call and invite their contacts directly through a link — without requiring any specific app or sign up. The experience is similar to how you invite someone for a virtual meeting on Zoom. The recipients of the invites can join a call through their Web browser using Skype for Web or can even disallow their microphone and camera and just hear or see the video on their systems.Alongside making way for the Meet Now icon, Microsoft has provided an enormous number of fixes and improvements through the latest Windows 10 build that is available for the Insiders who are on 20H2 or Windows 10 October 2020 Update.The Windows 10 update fixes issues using Group Policy Preferences to configure the homepage in Internet Explorer. It also addresses the problem with untrusted URL navigation from Internet Explorer by opening them in Microsoft Defender Application Guard using Microsoft Edge. Similarly, the update fixes the issue that was affecting developer tools in Microsoft Edge for remote debugging on a Windows 10 machine.Microsoft has also given admins the ability to use a Group Policy to enable Save Target As for users in Microsoft Edge IE Mode. The update also includes fixes for displaying incorrect CPU frequency and DDE apps. Further, there is a fix for the issue with starting Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL2) on ARM64 devices. A deadlock in the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCPIP) driver that limits the performance of the operating system has also been fixed.Is Mi Notebook 14 series the best affordable laptop range for India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

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Western Digital My Passport SSD Refresh With Storage Capacities Up to 2TB Launched in India

Western Digital has introduced the latest version of its compact portable solid state drive – the My Passport SSD – with read speeds up to 1050MBps. The latest product by Western Digital has a durable metal design and is powered by Nvme technology. My Passport SSD is available in capacities up to 2TB, and is…

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Western Digital My Passport SSD Refresh With Storage Capacities Up to 2TB Launched in India

Western Digital has introduced the latest version of its compact portable solid state drive – the My Passport SSD – with read speeds up to 1050MBps. The latest product by Western Digital has a durable metal design and is powered by Nvme technology. My Passport SSD is available in capacities up to 2TB, and is aimed at everyday creators looking to enhance their productivity. It is shock and vibration resistant, has a password enabled 256-bit AES hardware encryption, and is compatible with Mac and PCs.Western Digital My Passport SSD price, availabilityThe new My Passport SSD by Western Digital is available in 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacities. The product is offered in a range of colours including Grey, Blue, and Gold. It is currently available for purchase on Amazon, and is being offered at a lower price as part of the on-going Amazon Great India Festival. During this period, the My Passport SSD is priced at Rs. 6,999 for the 500GB base variant, Rs. 12,999 for the 1TB variant, and at Rs. 24,999 for the 2TB variant, till October 30.Starting November 13, the My Passport SSD will be available in retail shops as well. The 500GB variant will be priced at Rs. 8,999, the 1TB variant at Rs. 15,999, and the 2TB variant at Rs. 28,999. The My Passport SSD has a five-year limited warranty.Western Digital My Passport SSD specificationsWestern Digital’s new My Passport SSD delivers sequential read speeds of up to 1050MBps and sequential write speeds of up to 1000MBps. It has a password enabled 256-bit AES hardware encryption which can help protect content. As per Western Digital, it is the fastest My Passport drive to date.It has a USB 3.2 Gen-2 technology, with a USB Type-C cable and USB Type-A adapter. The new Passport SSD is ready to use out of the box and is compatible with both macOS (v10.13 and above) and Windows (v8.1 and above). It has a durable metal design and is portable. As per the company, creators will be able to move and edit content nearly twice as fast with this product, as compared to the previous version.Flipkart, Amazon have excellent iPhone 11, Galaxy S20+ sale offers, but will they have enough stock? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.Affiliate links may be automatically generated – see our ethics statement for details.

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Yamaha SR-C20A soundbar review: A sound fit for small spaces – CNET

When I used to review more TVs than I used to now, readers would ask me “Which TV should I get to fit inside my media cabinet?” I was reminded of this question by the tiny Yamaha SR-C20A ($180 at Amazon). If your main criteria for choosing a soundbar is its ability to shoehorn inside a…

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Yamaha SR-C20A soundbar review: A sound fit for small spaces     – CNET

When I used to review more TVs than I used to now, readers would ask me “Which TV should I get to fit inside my media cabinet?” I was reminded of this question by the tiny Yamaha SR-C20A ($180 at Amazon). If your main criteria for choosing a soundbar is its ability to shoehorn inside a particular space, then this compact speaker could be for you.

LikeEasy to set up and useSound great with movies and musicPlenty of connection options

Don’t LikeNo ability to add a subwoofer or rearsNo DTS playback limits DVD watching optionsVizio V21 beats it for home theater use

The C20 is the smallest soundbar I’ve seen from Yamaha at just 23 inches wide. Its sonic chops are still decent, however, and it sounds better than the even-smaller Roku Streambar ($130 at Amazon) ($130) with more prominent bass and a smoother high end. While it lacks the Roku’s streaming capability, the Yamaha does offer more connection options.The problem is that the Yamaha C20 is just too expensive for what you get. If you’re not constrained by size then there are plenty of great-sounding options available for the same money, starting with the Vizio V21 ($180 at Best Buy). The C20 needs a price drop to become recommendable to a larger group of people.

Small size, solid build
Ty Pendlebury/CNET
As I’ve found with past Yamaha products, from the spiffy-looking RX-V6 to its mini systems to its soundbars, the build quality of the C20A is solid. The speaker measures just 23.6 inches wide by 2.5 inches high and 3.75 inches deep, and it’s covered in an attractive fabric grille in keeping with the range’s bigger speakers. Yamaha made some usability improvements those larger models don’t have. For example the input display is now on the front of the unit facing you rather than facing upwards, making it easier to read. While on the top the controls include an input selector, volume and power.The C20 offers a pair of 1.8-inch cone drivers, a built-in 3-inch subwoofer: and two passive radiators. While I haven’t heard the B20 that speaker offers a larger cabinet with bigger drivers and dedicated tweeters. Plus it offers most of the features of the C20 while adding a subwoofer output. The B20 does lose the 3.5mm input, though.  

Ty Pendlebury/CNET
For such a compact sound bar it’s still well specified with an HDMI ARC port, two optical connections, 3.5mm analog and Bluetooth. This will enable you to connect a set-top box and even a turntable via a preamp if you like. When I spoke to Yamaha representatives they suggested you could hook the soundbar up your computer as well, as long as the bar’s 3.75 inch depth isn’t an issue.Like all Yamaha audio products since time immemorial the C20 comes with some excellent sound modes including Stereo, Game, Movie and Clear Voice. The C20 supports Dolby Digital but sadly not DTS which is weird as it include DTS Virtual:X surround sound emulation. 
Ty Pendlebury/CNET
Meanwhile, the chunky remote is pleasingly tactile and offers a great deal of control over the soundbar’s functions. Want to boost the intelligibility of the dialog? Press the Clear Voice button. All of the functions you could need are laid out clearly, without looking like a scientific calculator. How does it sound?The Yamaha may be small but it was able to offer a wide, involving sound which was especially suited to action movies and gaming. Meanwhile its ability to render dialog made it great for just watching the news as well. It may lack the physical side-firing speakers of the Roku Streambar but the Yamaha makes up the difference with ingenious software. DTS Virtual:X offers a huge soundstage and I was able to track sounds as they moved around the room and to the sides of my listening position.  When watching action movies the Yamaha had a clear advantage over the Roku. Both were excellent at pulling dialogue out of the background but the Yamaha bolstered the performance with better bass. The Roku delivers almost no bass (sans the optional sub) but the Yamaha offers just enough that you don’t really need one. When Max Rockatansky spins up his Charger’s engines at the start of Mad Max Fury Road, for example, it sounded like a real car over the Yamaha, while the Roku’s tiny cabinet lacked the oomph to sound believable.Compared to a bigger speaker like the Vizio V21 the C20 is not going to rock your next party, but at maximum volume the Yamaha was loud enough that my child asked me to turn it down from the next room (not an Elbow fan, obviously). But tunes sounded pleasant when streamed over Bluetooth and experimenting with the sound modes helped even further. For example, rock sounded best in stereo mode while the choral leanings of Dead Can Dance benefitted from the room-wide presentation of Music mode.When I compared the C20 to the V21 directly, the advantages of the Vizio’s larger cabinet and separate subwoofer were immediately apparent. In the default movie mode the Vizio sounded more natural and at ease during the Thanator Chase scene from Avatar. The jungle sounded more alive and less “hyped” than on the C20, and when the elephant-like animals are smashing up trees and trumpeting in disgust, there was simply no contest when it came to bass response. The Yamaha couldn’t compete with the Vizio’s visceral home theater thump. I noticed one Yamaha advantage on this scene, however: when I applied the Vizio’s voice mode it made dialog recede as though it were in a tunnel, while the Yamaha’s Clear Voice made it as crisp as you would expect.Should you buy it?While it’s easy to see the attraction in the adorable Roku Streambar – – it’s cheap, it offers advanced streaming capabilities and it sounds big – – the more expensive Yamaha is a tougher sell. The C20 performs better than the Roku, with richer bass and a more refined treble, but it’s not worth  50 dollars more. Unless you really are dictated to by size constraints, the larger Yamaha B20 or Vizio V21 with its separate subwoofer both make more sense at this price.

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