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Best Gaming Laptops Under $1500

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Pretty much everyone in this day and age owns a laptop. Maybe, they’ve just gone into university and need it for course work. Or possibly they’re of the older generation and need to keep up with online banking. Regardless of what your individual needs are, there is likely a laptop for the job. Including gamers.

As the demand for laptops rises, so does the market. With the number of companies competing for business, the cost of owning a laptop has dramatically dropped. For gaming-specific laptops, it used to be pricey to get one with decent specs. Nowadays, you can get a basic but functioning model for under $1000. Laptops of this price can run most games without noticeable lagging issues. If you’ve got $1500 to spend on your gaming laptop, then you can get something decent quality, with additional features on top of the basic model.

There is a lot to consider when purchasing a laptop, especially one for gaming. You want to make sure the processor can keep up. Also, it should have a high performing graphics card that runs the game at its highest intended potential. You need ample storage to store all your game data, and you’ll want a screen that has high-resolution.

It might sound like a lot, but with a $1500 budget, you can tick all your boxes. Let’s dive deeper into all these features and break down exactly what you should look out for when choosing a gaming laptop.

Reliable Gaming Laptop

Asus ROG Strix GL531GT

Asus ROG Strix GL531GT

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The Absolute Best Gaming Laptop

Alienware m17 17″

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Best Smallest Gaming Laptop

Razer Blade 15″

Razer Blade 15″

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1. Razer Blade 15″

Razer Blade 15″

Best Smallest Gaming Laptop

“Razer holds the claim to the world’s smallest gaming laptop with its Razer Blade 15″.”

Razer holds the claim to the world’s smallest gaming laptop with its Razer Blade 15″. Razer is a well-known and trusted brand in the gaming community and produce lightweight and slick gaming laptops. This one is the lightest, with the chassis weighing in under 4.5lbs! If it’s so thin, then where can you plug in external devices? Well, it doesn’t lose any of its connection options with a full range of ports on the body, including multiple USBs and even a full-size HDMI port.

It’s got the latest 8th generation processor and top of line GeForce graphics card from Nvidia. It’s the newest and highest performing GPU on the market. When you look at the laptop size, it’s incredible that it even fits in there. The screen is small, but still gives you more than enough to see what you’re doing while keeping it compact. Sound quality isn’t bad either with its dual speakers, rounding off the experience.

This gaming laptop is ticking every single box in terms of specs and comes in just under the $1500 mark. For that reason, it tops our list.

Specifications

  • CPU: Intel i7-8750H 2.2 GHz Hexa Core Processor
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Max GPU
  • Screen: 15.6″ full HD with sRGB coverage
  • Storage: 1TB HDD + 128GB SSD
  • Battery: 6hrs


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2. HP OMEN 15″

Good High End Gaming Laptop

“The OMEN is HPs first significant start in the high-end gaming world.”

We bring you another 15″ gaming laptop option, this time from HP. HP is another household name in laptops for all different purposes. They’ve got a large mid-range selection of gaming laptops and have now introduced the OMEN, which is their highest end.

The OMEN has the latest 8th generation processor, which delivers superior power regulation and an RTX GPU for graphics, which couples with its full HD IPS display.

It echoes the storage capacity of the Razer, with 1TB of HDD and 128GB of SSD. It weighs in a tad bit more at 5.2lbs, still decently lightweight. Where it differs, though, is in the price.

The OMEN is HPs first significant start in the high-end gaming world. Therefore, it comes at a lower cost than the previous and can save you two hundred dollars to spend on some cool accessories to complement its slick backlit keyboard.

Specifications

  • CPU: Intel i7-8750H 2.2 GHz 8th Generation Processor
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 2070 8GB
  • Screen: 15.6″ Full HD
  • Storage: 1TB 7200RPM HDD + 128GB SSD
  • Battery: 5hrs


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3. MSI GL73 9SDK-219 17″

Best Compact Gaming Laptop

“The last two gaming laptops on our list have been compact and lightweight.”

Let’s head to the other side of the spectrum. The last two gaming laptops on our list have been compact and lightweight, Maybe, you don’t care about that, and you want something that makes a statement. For just under $1500, you can get yourself the MSI GL73 9SDK-219.

MSI are veterans on the laptop scene. They’re known for being the big guys, and their gaming-specific design allows for the most immersive experience possible with a laptop. The large, full-HD screen is 17.3″ and refreshes at a 144Hz rate, so even fast-paced gaming will display seamlessly.

Inside, it has a whopping 16GB of memory and 512GB SSD and has the latest Nvidia GeForce graphics card. This laptop has a solid chassis with an aluminum and red color motif to match the brand. It also has a red backlight on the keyboard. It’s just a beast.

Specifications

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-9750H 2.6GHz Processor
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660Ti 6GB DDR5
  • Screen: 17.3″ Full HD
  • Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD
  • Battery: 5hrs


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4. Alienware m17 17″

The Absoulte Best Gaming Laptop

“If you want to stay ahead of the tech curve, then this is the best option.”

For another beast of a gaming laptop, we have the Alienware m17. This laptop is part of the gaming series from Dell and features the newest 9th generation technology. See, we told you you could get a 9th generation for under $1500. It comes in a few dollars over budget, but if you’re looking for a top of the line, then it’s worth the extra.

If you want to stay ahead of the tech curve, then this is the best option. Its CPU clocks in at 4.5GHz, and it’s got a ton of memory, making multitasking a breeze. It comes with 16GB of DDR4 RAM, which is more than enough. If you want more, it’s got the potential to upgrade to 32GB.

The storage also comes with upgrade options. It already features ample hybrid storage with 1TB of HDD and 256GB of SSD. If you want more than you can upgrade the storage drives.

Another thing to note is that while it already delivers good graphics, its Nvidia Geforce CPU is overclockable, which may be a huge draw for some.

So, with all these incredible features, where does it fall short? The only real issue is the size. Its screen size, coupled with its weight of almost 6lbs, means it’s not conveniently portable. It’s great if you plan to use it at home and keep it at your desk. If the intention is to travel with the laptop, then you may struggle.

Specifications

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-9750H 2.6 GHz
  • GPU: Nvidia Geforce RTX 2060 6GB DDR5
  • Screen: 17.3″ Full HD IPS
  • Storage: 1TB HDD + 256GB SSD
  • Battery: 6hrs


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5. Acer Predator Helios 300

Good Budget Gaming Laptop

“The Acer Predator Helios is one of the most inexpensive on our list.”

We know you have a $1500 budget, but it never hurts to save a few dollars. The Acer Predator Helios is one of the most inexpensive on our list, coming in just over $1000. It still delivering some amazing features.

The design itself is super cool with its bold blue accents and unique body shape. It looks futuristic, and it’s lightweight weighing in at 5lbs. The screen is on the smaller spectrum at 15.6″ and is a Full-HD IPS.

The only place this laptop has a struggle is with 4K. If you’re after a higher resolution than 1080p, then it may not live up to your expectations. Inside, its CPU is an Intel i7 2.6GHz and has the latest high-performance GPU. For RAM, it’s more than adequate with 16BG for juggling multiple programs simultaneously.

The cooling system is top-notch, with its super thin AeroBlade fans. With this addition of quad-exhaust, it provides efficient cooling yet is quiet.

Where it excels above others of similar spec, is with battery life. The battery can last up to 6 hours, which beats many others on the market.

Specifications

  • CPU: Intel i7-9750H 2.6 GHz Processor
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB DDR5 VRAM
  • Screen: 15.6″ Full HD
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Battery: 6hrs


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6. Asus TUF

Most Durable Gaming Laptop

“It finds a place on our list as the most durable and reliable gaming laptop.”

The name says it all; this gaming laptop is TUF. It finds a place on our list as the most durable and reliable gaming laptop you can get under $1500. The sophisticated red and black design makes it look like you spent a lot more on it than you did.

It’s the first one on our list without an Intel processor, as it’s fitted with an AMD Ryzen 7. There is not much difference in performance between the two processors. The AMD CPU runs at a lower price point. Some say that i7 will deliver better clock speeds, but AMD has a higher number of threads. Either way, the AMD Ryzen works just fine on the Asus TUF laptop.

The screen is 15.6″ Full HD, and with its Nvidia GeForce GPU, it has excellent visual performance. The memory and storage offer everything you need with 16GB of RAM, 1TB of HDD and 256GB SSD.

For the price, you get a long-lasting and well-performing gaming laptop. The only issues it seems to have it can sometimes run hot and you can hear the fans working to keep up.

Specifications

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3750H Processor
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660Ti
  • Screen: 15.6″ Full HD Widescreen LED IPS
  • Storage: 1TB 5400RPM HDD + 256GB PCIe SSD
  • Battery: 6hrs


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7. MSI GL65 9SEK-065

Best Lightweight Gaming Laptop

“If you’re a fan of the MSI features but want something smaller and more lightweight than this 15″ laptop may tick all your boxes.”

The little brother to the MSI GL73 9SDK-219, this gaming laptop from delivers the same trusted performance, in a smaller package. If you’re a fan of the MSI features but want something smaller and more lightweight than this 15″ laptop may tick all your boxes.

Typically, the larger-bodied computers can support higher performing components, but this one keeps up with some larger models. The 15.6″ screen is 144Hz, which provides smooth and defined graphics. Its Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 GPU produces the graphics.

Battery life is about standard for the size and can last around 5 hours on a full charge. It only weighs 5lbs, so it’s easy to carry around with you for gaming on the go. Where it falls behind is in storage, with only a 512GB SSD.

Specifications

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-9750H Hexa Core 2.6 GHz Processor
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 6GB DDR6
  • Screen: 15.6-Inch Full HD 144Hz 3ms Display with 72% NTSC (100% sRGB) Color Gamut
  • Storage: 512GB Solid State Drive
  • Battery: 5hrs


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8. Lenovo Legion Y540

Lenovo Legion Y540

Best Designer Gaming Laptop

“Its metallic build is super sleek, with the statement logo making it look like the designer bag of gaming laptops.”

Gaming experience and functionality are important, but some people are all about the looks. If that sounds like you, then for under $1500 you can score yourself a snazzy Lenovo Legion Y540. Its metallic build is super sleek, with the statement logo making it look like the designer bag of gaming laptops.

Luckily, it doesn’t come with the designer price tag and is about $1400. It also features a backlit keyboard for some extra flair.

But how does it function? The good news is that it doesn’t just boast good looks. It stacks up to others in terms of performance with the latest i7, 9th generation processor. It’s got 16GB of RAM and decent storage, delivering some good speed ratings. In the graphics department, it’s top of the line for the cost. All this in a 15.6″ package that weighs just over 5lbs.

Specifications

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-9750H 2.6 GHz 9th Gen
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060
  • Screen: 15.6″ Full HD
  • Storage: 1TB HDD + 512GB PCIe SSD
  • Battery: 5hrs


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9. Asus ROG Strix Hero II

Asus ROG Strix Hero II

Beautiful Design Gaming Laptop

“The ASUS ROG Strix Hero II is built with a mesmerizing design, keeping the needs of gamers in mind.”

The ASUS ROG Strix Hero II is built with a mesmerizing design, keeping the needs of gamers in mind.

It has decent hardware specs for its size and price. It has a 15.6″ full HD screen but weighs more than others of its size. The CPU is the 8th generation, which clocks up to 4.1GHz and has 16GB of RAM preloaded. It’s got decent storage with 512GB SSD, but you may want to upgrade at some point if you’re a hardcore gamer. The graphics card, however, is top of the line.

For features, its black chassis has a backlit keyboard that can is lit with the full spectrum of colors. It also has some additional gamer specific features like its extra-wide space bar and four other hotkeys. It comes in at the top end of the $1500 budget.

Specifications

  • CPU: Intel i7-8750H 2.2 GHz Hexa-Core Coffee Lake Processor
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 6GB DDR5
  • Screen: 15.6-Inch Full HD 144Hz 3ms refresh-rate IPS Display
  • Storage: 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • Battery: 5hrs


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10. Asus ROG Strix GL531GT

Asus ROG Strix GL531GT

Reliable Gaming Laptop

“Many commend the series for reliability, and this model fits that description.”

The last gaming laptop on our list is another part of the Asus ROG Strix series, but with a few differences. Many commend the series for reliability, and this model fits that description. However, while many of the laptops in the series have attractive looks and high-performance specs, this model is more basic. It delivers function over style.

The reason this model enters our list is for the price. Since the features are more muted, it comes in at a better price point. It’s just over $1000, so you’ve got $500 still in your pocket.

The screen is 15.6″ and full HD IPS, but the refresh rate is lower than the other laptops in the series. It will still be able to run most games at reasonable frame rates with its Nvidia Geforce GTX 1650 GPU. Although, it doesn’t have ray tracing. Where storage is concerned, there’s enough to satisfy most gamers with 1TB of SSD.

Specifications

  • CPU: Intel i7-9750H 2.6 GHz (12MB Cache) Coffee Lake Processor
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 4GB DDR5 VRAM
  • Screen: 15.6″ Full HD IPS Display
  • Storage: 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • Battery: 5hrs


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CPU/Processor

Where processors are concerned, you will want something with at least a 7th generation, Kaby Lake CPU. They are an older model, so you could save some money in this department. Ideally, the CPU will be the newest 8th generation or Coffee Lake. It’s got more power than the 7th and delivers a higher level of performance all around. You don’t need the 8th generation, but it’s a good idea to get the latest model.

With the advance in technology, the 9th generation processors are already entering the market. Since it’s still new, we recommend a cautionary approach when purchasing a laptop with a 9th gen chip to make sure it hasn’t had any technical issues. If it has good reviews and is within your budget, then definitely purchase. You will find out information about individual laptop speeds in our reviews down below.

Graphics Card

Some may say that the graphics card is the most crucial part of your gaming laptop. For gaming on a PC, they can upgrade individual components within the body of their computers. They will purchase a computer with stock components. Then they can upgrade each part individually to the one of their choosing, making the whole build customizable. With laptops, you rarely have that luxury, so you will have to choose one with the GPU you want already installed.

If you’re looking at the specs, any laptop with Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti, 1080, 1070, 1060, or 1050 graphics cards is the older of the models. Though they still perform pretty well. If you want the most up to date and current graphics card, then keep an eye for the GeForce RTX. These cards come at a higher cost but have additional features compared to the older ones, and you can find them within the $1500 budget.

Laptop Screen

Laptop screens have gotten much better quality over the last few years, hitting full-HD resolutions at 1920×1080. The main things you want to keep an eye for are higher contrast ratio, more extensive color range, and IPS panels, which provide a more comprehensive range of view that maintains quality at all angles.

Many laptops will try to sell you on 300cd screen brightness, but it’s unnecessary. What’s more important is the contrast ratio. Another buzz phrase companies will use is ‘resolution that is better than high def.’ While this sounds great, most graphics cards can’t keep up the extreme resolution anyway and will result in low frame rates. You’re better off with a standard high-resolution screen that still provides fantastic quality and detailing with seamless frame rates.

Screens with glare can be frustrating while you’re playing games. Always moving your screen, so it doesn’t reflect light gets old quick. Luckily, it’s becoming a lot easier and more affordable to find anti-glare screens on the market, so keep an eye for that.

If you can find a screen with a high refresh rate, then go for it, as it will offer you a slicker overall visual experience.

Storage

While a decent storage drive won’t make your games operate any faster, it can shorten the loading time between levels. Storage will improve your overall experience for booting up, opening/saving files, and launching programs. We advise a solid-state hard drive, and it never hurts to have a new spacious hard drive just for gaming. Games can take up a ton of space on your drive, so the more storage, the better.

The two components that contribute to high performance are RAM and HDD or SSD storage. Where RAM is concerned, you’ll want to find a computer that has at least 8GBs of RAM minimum. SSD storage is your best bet, but a hybrid SSD / HDD is also a decent option.

Audio

As a laptop gamer, you may play all your games wearing headsets or at least headphones. This trend began to block out the noisy sound of the laptop running sound. Now that technology has improved, and laptops are quiet, you might get some use out of the laptop’s speakers. It will not be as good as an external speaker, but the quality is improving.

Battery Life

If you’re using a gaming laptop in place of a PC, then battery life may not be a huge concern for you. Likely you will have it stationary on your desk, and it can be plugged in at all times. However, if you use this as a portable gaming center, then battery life is essential. A laptop’s standard battery life with drain much quicker when you’re running high-def gaming software. However, many of the laptops on our list have shown some incredible battery life potential.

Do You Need to Spend $1500?

The more budget you have, the more features you can get on your gaming laptop. You can get a basic model that will run perfectly well for under $1000. But a pricier model will deliver a higher performance graphics system and overall faster speeds. If you plan to use any additional large applications, like video editing programs, then you will need the highest rate possible. It will probably set you back closer to $1500.

With $1500 you can get yourself a top-tier gaming laptop. For that price, it will fulfill your requirements for the most immersive gaming experience possible on a laptop. But $1500 is still a lot of cash to throw around on any old gaming laptop. You want to make sure you’re investing in one that is the best your money can buy.

That’s where we come in. We’ve done our research, so you don’t have to, and chosen the top 10 best gaming laptops you can get for under $1500. We’ve reviewed them all so you can decide for yourself which one is worth purchasing.

Conclusion

As a gamer in the market for a laptop, you want the best you can get within your $1500 budget. You now know what specs and features to look for and have ten laptop options to get you started.

With prices getting more affordable, it’s an exciting time for the gaming community. With $1500 you can get a high-quality laptop that will deliver an immersive and more enjoyable gaming experience.

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Globalization Partners to create 160 new jobs at Galway EMEA office

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Recruitment tech company Globalization Partners is doubling its staff headcount in Galway to 320 in 2022 to aid its continuing growth.

Recruitment technology company Globalization Partners has announced plans to create 160 new jobs at its Irish base in Galway. The jobs boost will see the company double its Galway staff headcount to 320 in 2022. Jobs will be available across the board at the company’s Galway office, which serves as its EMEA centre of excellence.

The announcement comes following a major funding injection for the international firm. Globalization Partners recently raised $200m in funding from Vista Credit Partners, an organisation focused on the enterprise software, data and technology markets. The investment now values Globalization Partners at $4.2bn.

While its Galway facility will benefit from a major jobs boost, the company plans to continue to expand its share in the global remote working market. As well as the Galway growth, the company will also be expanding its teams in other locations.

Click here to check out the top sci-tech employers hiring right now.

Globalization Partners provides tech to other remote-first teams all over the world. Its platform simplifies and automates entity access, payroll, time and expense management, benefits, data and reporting, performance management, employee status changes and locally compliant contract generation. Its customer base includes CoinDesk, TaylorMade and Chime. The company’s new customer acquisition increased two-and-a-half fold from 2020 to 2021.

“Globalization Partners is uniquely positioned to capitalise on the massive opportunity we see ahead of us,” said Nicole Sahin, the company’s CEO and founder.

Sahin said her company’s combination of tech with its global team of HR, legal and customer service experts “who understand the local customs, regulatory and legal requirements in each geography we serve” were key to its success.

David Flannery, president of Vista Credit Partners said that the company’s role “in transforming the remote work industry has been truly remarkable.”

Flannery said that as a customer of Globalization Partners, his organisation had “witnessed first-hand” the company’s “best-in-class legal compliance, the quality of the user experience, and the deep expertise and support they provide,”

He added that the two companies would work to “further capitalise” on the “untapped” global remote working market, expanding their platform to new customers in new markets.

“Over the past decade, we have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in our business, building our global presence and technology platform to support the evolving and complex talent needs of growing companies,” said Bob Cahill, president of Globalization Partners. “With Vista as our investment partner, we will be able to drive further growth and continue building innovative products to meet the increasing needs of our customers at scale.”

Don’t miss out on the knowledge you need to succeed. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of need-to-know sci-tech news.

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How to speed up your broadband internet | Wifi

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Do a speed check

Find out the speed you are getting using a computer connected to your router via an ethernet network cable. Many routers and other devices come with one, or they cost about £5 separately.

You may also need a USB ethernet adapter (about £10) if your computer does not have a port built-in.

If you can’t connect via ethernet, use a modern phone, laptop or tablet on wifi as close to your router as possible with a clear line of sight.

Ookla’s Speedtest.net and Netflix’s Fast.com are reliable speed-testing services.

Some more advanced routers have speed testing services built into them, too. They are typically accessible via a router’s settings pages in your browser or a companion app, if they have one.

Woman setting up home office connection
Connecting your device to the router with an ethernet cable can improve speeds. Photograph: Tetra Images/Getty Images/Tetra images RF

If your broadband is slow at the router, it might be time to switch providers. Some fixed-line ISPs offer speeds in excess of 200Mbps in certain areas, while 4G/5G home broadband is an alternative.

If you are not getting near the speed your ISP advertises, you may be able to get a discount, or switch to a plan with higher speeds.

Work out what you need

When it comes to broadband the faster the better, particularly with multiple people and devices using the internet at once. However, the minimum speed needed for most online activities is fairly slow.

Video calling services, such as Zoom, typically need up to 4Mbps upload and download.

Online gaming services, such as Xbox Live, need at least 3Mbps down and 0.5Mbps up, while game streaming services need a minimum of 10Mbps down.

Video streaming, such as Netflix, needs at least 5Mbps for HD or 25Mbps for 4K content.

The median broadband speed in the UK is 50.4Mbps down and 9.8Mbps up, according to data from Ofcom in March 2021. That means that the majority of connections should be able to handle most popular services.

But bear in mind that with more than one device, or person, using your connection simultaneously, including updates and downloads when idle, slower broadband packages can quickly get choked.

Reposition your router

If your broadband connection is fast enough but your wifi is weak, there are things you can do. If possible, move the router closer to the centre of the house, or towards the rooms in which you need the strongest signal. Keep it in the open, not in a cabinet, and away from solid and metallic objects.

And try to position it away from dense walls, particularly those made out of concrete blockwork or with pipes and wires running through them.

Check your settings

Most modern routers will automatically select the best settings for your home, but you can manually check using the web interface of your router accessed through a browser on a computer. Consult the help pages for your ISP’s router for how to do so.

Wifi operating at 2.4GHz uses a range of frequency “channels”, only some of which do not overlap with each other. To reduce interference from your neighbours’ wifi, switch to channel 1, 6 or 11, which do not overlap, and therefore are less likely to cause or suffer interference.

If you have a connection under 200Mbps, enabling prioritisation or “quality of service” for your key devices, might help. This stops other things from sucking up all the available bandwidth – it will prevent a game download on an Xbox cutting off a video call on your laptop, for instance.

Set a strong wifi password using at least WPA2 security, not the lowest WEP option. This will make sure no wifi thieves can log on to your network and steal your bandwidth.

Check your devices

An internet slowdown may be down to your devices rather than your router. For older computers, upgrading the wifi adapter may help. USB wifi 5 adapters cost under £15, while the latest wifi 6 models cost about £50, but you will need a compatible router to take advantage of the extra speed.

For a non-portable device, such as a media streamer or a console, use an ethernet cable if it is close to the router, as this will be faster and more reliable than wifi.

If you have about 40 devices connected at once, consider disconnecting unnecessary ones to help provide more bandwidth for those you need most.

Weaker routers struggle with lots of devices connected at once.

Extend the wifi reach

If your wifi can’t reach parts of your house you can extend the signal of your current router with add-on gadgets.

Powerline networking devices use your home’s power cables to transmit data. They typically cost between £20 and £70. They plug into standard electrical sockets with one connected to the router via an ethernet cable, and others placed about the home providing ethernet ports and/or wifi for your devices. The speed you get through them is dependent on the condition of your electrical wiring.

Wifi extenders (£25-70) do a similar thing, but simply connect to your router via wifi, then rebroadcast it for other devices.

A network switch (under £20) can add more ethernet ports to your router if you need to connect more devices.

Upgrade to a better router

Mesh wifi systems
Mesh wifi systems come in various shapes and sizes, spreading your broadband all over your home using a series of wirelessly interconnected satellite units. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Replacing your existing router is often the most effective way to improve your wifi, but is also the most costly. Before committing to a third-party router, speak to your ISP as it may be able to provide you with a more modern one for free. Virgin and other ISPs are currently rolling out more powerful wifi 6-capable routers.

Otherwise, there are broadly two options: a beefy single router with much more powerful wifi broadcasting ability than the cheap one provided by your ISP, or a mesh system, which uses a series of satellites dotted about your home to blanket it in wifi.

Both typically use your existing router as a modem and then broadcast their own more robust wifi network.

Single unit wifi 6 routers start at about £60 but can reach the hundreds for powerful gaming-orientated devices. They connect to your old ISP box via ethernet cable, which means they are often easier to place in a more central area of your home. Running a long ethernet cable under floorboards, carpets, behind skirting boards or picture rails, or just under furniture can help keep things neat.

Good wifi 5 mesh systems start at under £100 for a triple pack of satellites, which should be enough for most homes with connections under 200Mbps. For those with faster broadband, good tri-band wifi 6 models cost about £300.

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IBM finally finds someone willing to buy Watson • The Register

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In-brief IBM has offloaded healthcare data and analytics assets from its Watson Health business, with private equity firm Francisco Partners hand over around $1bn for the privilege.

The takeover “is a clear next step as IBM becomes even more focused on our platform-based hybrid cloud and AI strategy,” Tom Rosamilia, senior vice president, IBM Software, told newswire Bloomberg. “IBM remains committed to Watson, our broader AI business, and to the clients and partners we support in healthcare IT.”

Launched in 2015, IBM Watson Health hasn’t been able to turn a profit despite the company spending $4bn in acquisitions to grow the business and its capabilities.

IBM has tried to whittle down its Watson Health division for a while, after struggling to sign hospitals as clients.

Algorithms are improving poker players’ skills but are they ruining the game?

Professional poker players are increasingly consulting specialized poker software programs to boost their chances of winning, but some believe it has made the game less fun and encourages cheating online.

PioSOLVER, available for purchase starting from $249, allows players to recreate game scenarios and calculates the optimal strategy that should be played given the cards available. Some professional poker players, described by the New York Times, use the software to replay their games to see if they played their cards correctly, others boot up PioSOLVER to learn and memorize new strategies.

Poker is seen as a mostly-solved problem in computer science. Libratus, an AI model, beat the top players in a no limit heads-up no-limit Texas competition in 2017. At the time, Tuomas Sandholm, one of Libratus’ creators, said it was unlikely people could run the complex software to cheat. But some claim that PioSOLVER is now helping mediocre poker players to rack up wins.

It’s unclear if PioSOLVER relies on similar machine learning techniques as Libratus, as little information is available about the algorithms it employs.

Doug Polk, a notable semi-retired poker player, said: “I feel like it kind of killed the soul of the game.” The game has turned from “who can be the most creative problem-solver to who can memorize the most stuff and apply it.”

PioSOLVER’s creator, Piotrek Lopusiewicz, however, said similar poker-solving programs have been available for a while and that his software is merely the latest advance in the field.

Rent a robot for less than the cost of human labour

There’s a robot that presses metal to make things like hinges or locks, and it’s cheaper to hire than human workers.

Built a company named Formic, the machine is pretty much one long mechanical arm. Its job is to pick up bits of metal and put them into a press for shaping. It can work without any breaks for its employer, Polar Hardware Manufacturing, and costs about $8 per hour – less than the minimum wage of $15 in Chicago, Wired first reported.

Companies like Formic help industrial factories recruit robot workers without having to pay for the whole machine. Customers can, instead, rent the company’s metal arms to perform simple, repetitive tasks whenever they want. Its cheaper, and they don’t have to faff around with things like software or maintenance.

“Anything that can help reduce labor count or the need for labor is obviously a plus at this particular time,” said Steve Chmura, chief operating officer at Georgia Nut, a confectionery company in Illinois that also rents robots from Formic. Chmura has been able to staff up with robot workers during the pandemic; these machines can take over if human employees quit or get sick. ®

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