Best Buy posts Essential phone listing, hinting at an imminent release

Andy Rubin’s Essential phone—you know, the other upcoming handset with the camera notch at the top of the screen—is now more than 30 days past its original shipping deadline, but we still don’t have a solid release date. However, a Best Buy listing suggests it could turn up at any moment.

As first spotted by Android Police, Best Buy has posted four listings for the Essential phone (PH-1), two each for the Sprint version (black and white) and the unlocked version (black and white). Those are the same two color options available during pre-orders on the Essential site, with gray and a bluish “ocean depths” options coming later.

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This week in games: Twitch plays Battlegrounds, Overwatch’s summer games return

ARK: Survival Evolved is supposed to leave Early Access by the end of August, and fellow survival game The Long Dark finally released the first part of its story mode this week. Pretty soon we won’t be able to make fun of the perpetually-unfinished-survival-game genre anymore. Alas.

That news, plus a look at Pillars of Eternity II’s biggest urban area, Twitch goes for the chicken dinner in Battlegrounds, Creative Assembly gives away 30 gifts for its 30th birthday, the Overwatch summer games return, and more. This is gaming news for July 31 to August 4.

City of dreams

The more I see of Pillars of Eternity II, the more it starts to remind me of Baldur’s Gate II. Case in point: The massive city of Neketaka, which Obsidian showed off in a Kickstarter update this week. I don’t know how central Neketaka will be to Pillars II, nor how many quests are contained therein, but I’m definitely having Athkatla flashbacks.

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Microsoft’s Xbox controller wireless adapter for PCs isn’t gigantic anymore

Rejoice, all ye who yearn to use Microsoft’s Xbox One controller wirelessly with your PC. Two years after the release of the Xbox One controller wireless adapter, Microsoft has finally found a way to shrink the damn thing down to a normal size.

If you don’t know what I mean, then clearly you never bought the original Xbox One wireless adapter. The tech itself is fine, but there’s a caveat: It’s huge. Comically so.

It’s hard to convey here how ridiculous the original wireless adapter looks because, well, it’s just a USB stick. But stick it next to a normal USB drive or whatever and you quickly realize that Microsoft created the combination SUV/limousine of dongles.

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Newegg is selling the Surface 3 for less than $300 today

Microsoft stopped production of the Surface 3 in late 2016, but there are still some new units lying around at Newegg. The online retailer is selling the non-Pro version of the Surface 3 for $ 289 on Tuesday. Now while this deal isn’t quite as good as Newegg’s bundle earlier this month that included a type keyboard, it’s still a great price for the tablet on its own. Microsoft sells refurbished Surface 3 devices for $ 300. 

The Surface 3 features a 10.8-inch touchscreen with 1920-by-1080 resolution, a quad-core 1.6 GHz Atom x7-Z8700 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of onboard storage, and Windows 10. The device has a single USB 3.0 port, one mini DisplayPort, a microSD card reader, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0.

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Best Buy is currently selling the HDHomeRun Connect for $70

If you’ve been thinking about going the cord-cutter route, consider this a sign. Best Buy is selling the SiliconDust HDHomeRun Connect for $ 70 right now. This external TV tuner features two tuners, allowing you to watch over-the-air (OTA) broadcast TV on two sets or to record one show while watching the other.

The Connect’s specifications say it supports up to 1080p, but broadcast TV is usually 1080i. That’s still 1920-by-1080 resolution, however. The one extra thing you will need in addition to the tuner is a digital antenna.

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