Prime Movie & TV Manufacturing Corporations Are the Unsung Heroes of the Streaming Wars

Hyperactive production companies are the engine behind Hollywood’s current content feeding frenzy. Pixabay
Right now, nearly every major conglomerate with a toe in Hollywood is trying desperately to attract a large subscriber base to their streaming service in order to appease Wall Street. To do that, these companies need to build out their SVOD platforms with prodigious libraries of both exclusive original films and television series as well as pre-existing catalogues to keep those subscribers on the hook. As a result, Hollywood finds itself in a content consolidation craze as this feeding frenzy is spurring the merger and acquisition market.
This cascading feedback loop has elevated the value of production companies. Why? Because studios are hungry for the mass production framework and talent relations they bring to the table. For the most part, each major studio — Netflix, Disney, Warner Bros., Universal, etc. — has an in-house production arm. But there are still independents working the market and increasing their own value in the process.
Here are the top movie and television production companies in the United States in terms of their contributions to major SVOD platforms, according to Reelgood’s Q2 2021 SVOD Catalog and Viewing Insights report.
Top Movie Production Companies in the United States
Top 10 U.S. Production Companies by SVOD Movie Viewing Share Reelgood
Top 10 U.S. Production Companies by Movies Available via SVOD Reelgood
While studios are often the owners of high-profile intellectual property, production companies can also come complete with their own war chest of IP. Amazon dropped $8.45 billion on MGM primarily for a library that includes Rocky, Legally Blonde, and partial rights to the James Bond franchise. 
Looking at viewing shares among SVOD platforms in the United States during Q2 2021, Reelgood — a streaming aggregator that tracks every TV show and movie available online for its 2 million-plus users — determined which production companies’ libraries are generating the most attention among streaming audiences at the moment.
On the film side, Warner Bros.’ contributions to HBO Max are attracting the most views for the production company’s movies. That’s what happens when a studio releases its entire 2021 film slate day-and-date in theaters and on streaming. From Godzilla vs. Kong and Mortal Kombat through Space Jam: A New Legacy and The Suicide Squad, WB’s films have helped HBO Max recover from a rocky start. The streamer is on pace to add more than 11 million new subscribers in 2021.
Films from Walt Disney Pictures, the majority of which can be found on Disney+, dropped three places in the ranking compared to Q2 of last year. Universal Pictures and Columbia Pictures (Sony) went up in ranking, with the most views coming from Netflix even though most of both companies’ content are on Peacock Premium and STARZ, respectively. Sony is the only major studio without a premium SVOD platform, enabling them to sign lucrative licensing and content deals with the likes of Netflix, Disney, and Amazon. Paramount remained in second place, with Prime Video logging the most views for the company, although Paramount+ holds most of its catalog. ViacomCBS’s split content endeavors has put a ceiling on Paramount+, which likely could be performing better in the streaming arena.
Top TV Show Production Companies in the United States
Top 10 Prod Companies by TV Shows Available via SVOD as of June 30, 2021 Reelgood
Top 10 Prod Companies by SVOD TV Show Viewing Shares in Q2 2021 Reelgood
In terms of TV shows, Warner Bros. remains the most popular among streaming audiences. However, Netflix is the platform garnering the most eyeballs for the production company’s titles, as the streamer currently has the most series from Warner Bros. Television compared to other SVODs. These include saved originals such as Lucifer, licensed content such as Riverdale and Gotham, as well as day 1 originals such as The Kominsky Method.
Universal Television, whose small screen library is mostly are streaming on Peacock, and 20th Century Television rounded out the top three, buoyed by views from Hulu. Hulu’s licensed library remains one of the most in demand in the streaming field. The same is true for MGM and Paramount Television, though the latter’s catalog is mainly available through Paramount+.
Surprisingly, content from the British Broadcasting Corp. did not have enough viewing share to make the top ten, even though it currently has the most TV shows licensed by SVOD platforms, including its own BritBox streaming service, Prime Video, Hulu, and Netflix.

The way to use Dwell Textual content in MacOS Monterey

At WWDC in June 2021, Apple announced a neat new feature in MacOS Monterey called Live Text. This allows you to highlight text in any photo and use it in a huge number of ways. You can copy and paste the text, translate it, look it up, or search for it. If the text includes actionable info like an email address or a phone number, MacOS is smart enough to recognize it and suggest appropriate tasks to you, such as adding it to your contacts or starting a call.
As you can imagine, this is a pretty powerful addition to MacOS and opens up a lot of avenues for new workflows when you use your Mac. To help you get the most from Live Text, we’ve put together a guide on all the clever things it can do and the ways it can improve your Mac usage. Follow along to learn how to put Live Text to use in MacOS Monterey.
Highlight text, copy it, and more

Open an app like Photos or Safari and find a picture with text in it. Hover your mouse over the text, and the pointer will turn into a text cursor. Click and drag to highlight some text. Now, right-click the text, and you will get a set of options: Look up a definition of the word or phrase, translate it, search for it with your default search engine, copy it, share it, or use the Services menu to perform extra tasks with it.
Alternatively, you can copy the highlighted text by simply pressing Command + C. Then, just go to another app, such as a Pages document, and paste the text with Command + V.
Click and drag

If you prefer to move the highlighted text by clicking and dragging, you can do that, too. Highlight the text, then click and hold. You will be able to drag it onto another document or folder, where you can drop it in place.
While you are holding the text, press Command + Tab to switch to another app that is out of view, then drop it in place. This also works if you press the Mission Control button, which even lets you drop it onto a different desktop.
Add events to your calendar or reminders

Quick Look is smart enough to recognize the type of text you are highlighting. If you highlight a date and right-click it, you will see options to Create Event and Create Reminder. Click the first one to add a new event for this date to your calendar. You can insert details like a name, location, and duration, then click Add to Calendar to finish.
The situation is similar if you click Create Reminder. This will add a task to Apple’s Reminders app, and you can add a name, time, choose which reminders list it’s added to, and more.
Finally, there is an option to Show This Date in Calendar in the right-click menu when you highlight a date. Clicking this simply opens the Calendar app on the date in question, where you can add an event if you like.
Contact people

As with calendar data, Live Text can recognize email addresses and phone numbers, then suggest appropriate actions based on them. For instance, if Live Text detects an email address, a dotted box appears around the address. Right-click it, or click the Drop-Down Arrow, and you get options to compose a new email to that address, add it to your contacts, or start a FaceTime or FaceTime Audio call.
A similar thing happens with phone numbers, with the information highlighted in a dotted box when you hover over it. Right-click for a range of options, including adding the number to your contacts, starting a call with FaceTime or your iPhone, or sending a message. There is also an option for Large Type. This displays the number in large letters on your screen, which is useful if you find the default text a little too small.
Live Text in Quick Look

Quick Look gives you a preview of files without having to open them, and it also works with Live Text. Locate a file containing text in Finder and click it once, then press the Space Bar to open a Quick Look preview. Here, you can highlight text and right-click it as in previous steps.

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Future MacBooks may substitute this integral element with a touchscreen

Some patent applications from Apple seem a bit on the crazy side and some are a little more grounded. Recently, Apple was granted a patent for a dual-screen MacBook that would replace the built-in keyboard with a virtual one like on the iPad. It would also gain the ability to wirelessly charge an iPhone.
Apple first submitted the patent for an “integrated interface system” three years ago, and we were skeptical that a dual-screen MacBook would even work. However, the company has finally been granted the patent, so we’ll have to see what it does with it.

The primary goal of the dual-screen is to provide the flexibility to change the interface as needed. For example, there could be multiple keyboard configurations to reflect different languages or region-specific layouts. The position and size of the keyboard could be changed depending on user preferences. It’s all very similar to what the current iPad virtual keyboard is capable of.
Apple doesn’t stop at keyboard configurations, though. One of the figures show the ability to interact with external objects such as a joystick for gaming or 3D modeling applications. Apple also envisions several biometric sensors such as Touch ID being integrated into the screen.
One feature that might perk up the ears of the Apple faithful is the inclusion of a wireless charging area for the iPhone or any other smartphone (assuming it’s using the Qi standard). This would make it much more convenient than purchasing a separate wireless charger, as well as reduce desk clutter.

Obviously, a dual-screened device is not a new concept. Lenovo in 2018 released the Yoga Book C930, which featured a unique e-ink screen. The company followed that up with the Thinkpad X1 Fold, a laptop with no physical keyboard at all, but with an actual folding screen. Of course, we can’t talk about dual-screen laptops without mentioning Microsoft’s delayed Surface Neo and Windows 10X.
There have been calls for Apple to put a touchscreen on Macs for a while, but probably more so once the company starting putting its own ARM silicon into its laptops and desktops. The M1 chip is able to run iOS apps natively on a Mac, so it makes sense to add touchscreen support. However, we’ve written before that Apple will probably never make a touchscreen Mac, and Steve Jobs was notoriously against the idea altogether because of the ergonomics.
This newly granted patent gets around this ergonomic problem by allowing Apple to simply modify the displays however it wants. According to the patent itself: “… transparent dielectric material may form a continuous or seamless input surface that may improve the look and feel of the device without having the drawbacks of some traditional device constructions.”
These “drawbacks” simply mean that Apple doesn’t have to physically alter the keyboard or create new MacBook designs in order to change the look and feel. Everything can simply be done through the software. This would save Apple a lot of time and money in hardware design and could be Apple’s ultimate vision of combining the Mac and iPad into one device.
Regardless of  which patent items ultimately get implemented, they hopefully won’t end up as unpopular as the Touch Bar.

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Tons of T-Cell subscribers simply received a free yr of Apple TV+

If you’re a T-Mobile subscriber on one of the company’s Magenta or Magenta Max unlimited data plans, you’re going to be getting access to Apple TV+ for free, for a whole year, starting August 25. Unlike some other bonus offers, this one isn’t just being used as a way to lure new subscribers to T-Mobile (though clearly, it could do that as well).
T-Mobile customers on the company’s Magenta 55+, Magenta Military, Magenta First Responders, Sprint Unlimited Plus, Sprint Premium, and T-Mobile for Small Business Customers plans all get in on the free Apple TV+ action. Better yet, it doesn’t matter if you’re currently on a free trial for Apple TV+ or if you’re already paying for the streaming video service. Those in the midst of a free trial will see their trial period extended by 12 months, while paid plans will be put on a payment holiday for the duration of the free year.
It’s not the first time T-Mobile has provided special offers on streaming services for its customers. Previous and ongoing programs include Netflix on Us, plus discounts on YouTube TV and Philo.
What’s curious about the Apple TV+ freebie for T-Mobile is that it’s not tied to Apple hardware. In the past, Apple itself has given away a year’s worth of Apple TV+ to anyone who purchases a new Apple device, although these trial periods have been getting shorter recently. That has always made sense: Apple TV+ doesn’t have the catalog size to compete with Netflix, Disney+, or Amazon Prime Video, so using it as a small perk when you buy an Apple product kills two birds with one stone — you sell some hardware and you give people an easy and free way to check out what Apple TV+ has to offer.
But the T-Mobile offer isn’t tied to hardware sales, which could mean that Apple is looking for additional ways to ramp up its subscriber base. The company doesn’t share how many subscribers Apple TV+ has (it gets lumped into Apple’s total universe of services subscribers, which was recently pegged at more than 700 million), but a report released at the beginning of 2021 suggests that a majority of those folks (62%) are on some kind of unpaid trial. The report also said that 29% of those free-trial members had no plans to start paying when their trial period had ended.
This suggests that it’s now a numbers game. The more free trials Apple can give away, the more folks will stick around and start paying the current $5 per month subscription for Apple TV+. Apple’s service may never overcome the massive lead held by the big players, but it has a unique — if relatively small — lineup of movies and shows. If titles like Ted Lasso, The Morning Show, and For All Mankind are going to become must-see shows (and thus a reason to subscribe). Apple is going to need more folks telling their friends and family members how good they are. Giving millions of T-Mobile customers free access to the service seems like a pretty good way to make that happen.

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‘Ted Lasso’ Star Phil Dunster Thinks Fairly a Lot About Being a Douchebag

Phil Dunster stars as Jamie Tartt in Apple TV+’s Ted Lasso. Apple TV+
Phil Dunster is proud to own a Vespa, wearing the self-described “douchebag” label that apparently comes with it as a badge of honor. His dream is to get into a camper van and go off-grid with his partner around the north coast of Scotland and forget about civilization for awhile. If he could have dinner with any fictional characters, he’d choose Mr. Bean and Mr. Blobby, a 6-foot-5 pink and yellow globule that can only say its own name.
If Ted Lasso’s Jamie Tartt was defined early on by his arrogant and detached sense of cool masking deeper insecurities, the actor charged with bringing him to life is remarkably comfortable with his own unique brand of self. Jamie performs to cover up his own truths; Phil’s identity is refreshingly overflowing with them. It’s one reason why Jamie Tartt has arguably become the central vehicle for Ted Lasso’s major themes in Season 2.
“It was Carl Jung who said that we all have an emotional shadow that makes up our personality,” Dunster told Observer.
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In many ways, Ted Lasso is about finding and embracing the best version of yourself and Jamie’s evolution from villain to sympathetic figure has been a key arc in that effort. His selfish antics in Season 1 offered a never-ending string of self-sabotage. His reign of diva-like terror distracted him from his central issues and enduring the growing pains of, well, actual growth. It’s easier to stay the same. But in Season 2, he’s making strides to become a humbler person and someone open to constructive criticism and change. Yet as we all know from painful firsthand experience, self-betterment is far from an open-goal shot attempt.
You know, I keep getting cast as douchebags. I might speak to my therapist about that.
“It’s quite dissatisfying for audiences if everything suddenly went right with the world and he was all of a sudden just a nice guy,” Dunster said. “I don’t think it’s that straightforward. I think that continued conflict is really exciting. We want to see the Death Star blowing up for each of the characters in the arc for people to sort out their final form.”
Dunster, who comes across as a jovial and self-aware fellow millennial in our conversation (even referencing the growing contingent of online fans shipping Roy and Jamie as a romantic item), revels in playing up the darker elements of his character. As an actor, he’s drawn to “the sort of things that make us crap.” No wonder he’s such a fan of European cinema.
“You know, I keep getting cast as douchebags. I might speak to my therapist about that,” he says with a laugh. Yet that’s what makes his character’s turn toward the light, no matter how staggered it may be, worth a cast of the eye. We all want to believe we can improve. Fiction can provide that spark, if nothing else.
Phil Dunster as Jamie Tartt in Apple TV+’s Ted Lasso. Apple
Ted Lasso is built on collaboration (Jamie’s ear-worm theme song, “Jamie Tartt DOO DOO DOO DOO DOO DOO,” is the brainchild of Dunster’s and co-creator Joe Kelly) and the idea of unrelenting optimism and kindness. The series arrived last summer when the entire world was in lockdown, dealing with the terrifying uncertainty of COVID that impacted every level of our everyday lives. The entire world needed an emotional pick-me-up, frankly, and Ted Lasso managed to fill that niche and become a phenomenon as a result. Yet Season 2 arrived in slightly better circumstances with the world a bit more open (at least for now) without losing any momentum.
It’s not just that Ted Lasso is a sitcom that supplies warm and gooey feel-good catharsis. (Its central conceit—“what if a man was nice”—feels like science-fiction these days.) It’s that the show’s specific brand of thematic humor feels no-brow in the most embraceable way possible.
We want to see the Death Star blowing up for each of the characters in the arc for people to sort out their final form.
“It looks at really important things we’ve had a problem with for a long time,” Dunster said. “To use an overused phrase: toxic masculinity. It looks at it, readdresses it, and tries to show another way. It’s about vulnerability and leadership.”
We often feel the need to reposition art as the only catalyst for progress in society. No, a sitcom on Apple TV+, the smallest of the major streaming services, is not going to change the world. But if Ted Lasso can inspire one person—and Dunster says the owner of his go-to coffee shop revealed that they ask themselves “What would Ted Lasso do?’”in their own life—isn’t that an achievement that entertainment all too rarely misses out on?
“I think a lot of comedy is about making fun of people at the expense of somebody. Ted Lasso is still funny and it still points fingers and holds truth to power. But it does it in a way that feels like it’s a net gain rather than somebody losing out.”

Finest low-cost iPhone 12 offers for August 2021: iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Professional

Are you ready for a new phone? Summertime is a popular time to upgrade phones and cellular service plans. Are you looking for cheap smartphone deals for the latest iPhones? With four iPhone 12 models to choose from, you have more options than ever finding the right iPhone for your needs. Whether you’re after iPhone 12 deals, iPhone 12 Pro deals, or discounts on the pocket-sized iPhone Mini, we’ve got them all right here in one place. We’ve also gathered up the best refurbished iPhone deals. These iPhone deals can save you enough that you might want to consider checking out some discounted Apple Watches as well.
Today’s Best iPhone 12 Deals

Apple iPhone 7 Plus, US Version, 128GB, Gold – Unlocked (Renewed)
— $240, was $253

Apple iPhone 8 Plus, 64GB, Gold – For AT&T / T-Mobile (Renewed)
— $309, was $386

Apple iPhone XR, US Version, 128GB, White – Unlocked (Renewed)
— $409, was $600

(Refurbished) Apple iPhone 11, US Version, 64GB, Black – Unlocked
— $516, was $800

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (Verizon)
— Save up to $1200 when you switch and trade in your old or damaged phone.

Apple iPhone 12 Mini (Verizon)
— Save up to $1200 when you switch and trade in your old or damaged phone.

Apple iPhone 12
— Save up to $1200 when you switch and trade in your old or damaged phone

iPhone 12 vs. iPhone 12 Mini vs. iPhone 12 Pro
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
Apple changed up the game a bit with this year’s flagship releases, rolling out a total of four new devices: The iPhone 12, the pocket-sized iPhone Mini, the premium iPhone 12 Pro, and the beefy iPhone Pro Max. This release strategy marks the first time that Apple fans have four new iPhones to choose from and likely comes in response to users clamoring for cheaper and smaller phones in a market where flagships regularly launch with $1,000-plus price tags. All four devices run on Apple’s new A14 Bionic chip, the primary differences between each model being available storage, RAM, and camera modules.
The iPhone 12 is the standard flagship of the family and heir to the iPhone 11 and iPhone 8. It retails for $799 (although you can get it for much cheaper if you take advantage of ongoing iPhone 12 deals like those above) and offers excellent all-around hardware performance, a very nice dual-lens camera, 5G connectivity, and a great battery life. It sports a 6.1-inch OLED touch display, putting it in the “just right” size category. Owing to its well-rounded design and attractive price point, the iPhone 12 is the one we recommend for most people.
The iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max are Apple’s more premium flagship offerings, succeeding the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone XS models. The iPhone 12 Pro is the same size as the iPhone 12 with its 6.1-inch touchscreen, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max is the biggest of the lot, packing a whopping 6.7-inch display for those who like to live large. Prices for the iPhone 12 Pro start at $999. The up-sized iPhone 12 Pro Max will set you back at least $1,099 — but these devices, being the most expensive, also offer the biggest savings potential when shopping for iPhone 12 deals.
The iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max boast a few notable upgrades over the iPhone 12 and 12 Mini, namely increased storage options (up to 512GB), a boosted 6GB of RAM instead of 4GB, and an enhanced triple-lens camera module. Choosing between the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro will boil down to whether or not you feel those hardware and camera improvements are worth the $200-plus premium you’ll pay over the standard iPhone 12.
In an age where virtually every new smartphone has a screen larger than six inches, many users have been waxing nostalgic for the smaller devices of years gone by. Apple heeded this call with the 4.7-inch iPhone SE earlier this year and answered it yet again with the iPhone 12 Mini. This one features a 5.4-inch edge-to-edge OLED display, and since it lacks those “forehead and chin” bezels, it’s about the same overall size as the iPhone SE despite having a bigger screen. If you’re trying to decide between the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini, your choice can be determined simply by which size you prefer — under the hood, they’re virtually the same phone, although the Mini is a bit cheaper with an MSRP of $699.
We strive to help our readers find the best deals on quality products and services, and we choose what we cover carefully and independently. The prices, details, and availability of the products and deals in this post may be subject to change at anytime. Be sure to check that they are still in effect before making a purchase.Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.

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The appropriate Macbook options for 2021

The starting prices of the best MacBooks aren’t exactly cheap, but you’re paying for the premium experience of a top laptop brand. The devices are elegant and solidly designed. Still, what if you don’t want to use MacOS? What if the Mac doesn’t support your favorite software? That’s where this guide comes in.
The best alternative to a MacBook, and the best laptop overall, is Dell’s XPS 13. It may not be as sleek as the MacBook, but it delivers speed and performance while staying relatively lightweight. You’ll find other alternatives on our list as well from Asus, Lenovo, and Microsoft.
The best MacBook alternatives

Dell XPS 13 9310
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Dell’s latest XPS 13 model is based on 11th-generation Core i5 and i7 processors. Apple’s MacBook Pro 13, meanwhile, features Apple’s new in-house M1 processor on the lower price tiers and up to a 10th-generation Intel Core i7 processor on the higher price tiers. The MacBook Air now includes the M1 chip as well with no Intel-based configurations.
Design-wise, the latest XPS 13 measures 0.58 inches thick and weighs around 2.64 pounds. The 13-inch MacBook Pro is slightly thicker and heavier at 0.61 inches and 3.1 pounds, while the MacBook Air is 0.63 inches thick and weighs 2.8 pounds. These are all just numbers, however, as you won’t notice any significant differences when toting them from place to place.
Under the hood, the Dell XPS 13 offers up to 32GB of system memory and up to 2TB of storage. The 13-inch MacBook Pro offers the same amount of system memory but up to 4TB of storage, depending on the CPU. The MacBook Air can be configured up to 16GB of memory and 2TB of storage.
Of the three, the Dell XPS 13 provides more connectivity with two Thunderbolt 3 ports, a microSD card slot, and a 3.5mm audio jack. It even ships with a USB-C to USB-A adapter so you can connect an external keyboard or mouse.  Some configurations include touch-based screens with a UHD+ resolution as well.
If you want an alternative to Apple’s larger 16-inch MacBook Pro, Dell’s XPS 15 is a good match. Starting at $1,149, it features 10th-generation Intel core i5 and i7 processors, up to a GeForce GTX 1650 Ti discrete graphics chip, up to 32GB of system memory, and up to a 1TB on PCIe-based solid-state drive. Apple’s 16-inch MacBook Pro starts at $2,399.
Asus ZenBook 13 OLED UM325

If you’re looking for something with the premium design and build of a MacBook, the Asus ZenBook 13 OLED UM325 is the ultimate solution for you. It has a newly designed keyboard that is perfect to type on and a large trackpad reminiscent of the MacBook. Its display is technically lower resolution at 1080p, but as an OLED panel, colors pop, and everything looks beautiful on it.
The UM325 isn’t just about looks, though. It packs either a Ryzen 5 or 7 processor, neither of which slouch for heavy tasks. AMD’s latest processors are closer in performance to Apple’s M1 processor, making the ZenBook a better competitor performance-wise than Intel-based laptops. You can max out the memory at 16GB and get up to a 512GB SSD. Ports are decent, if a bit limited, with a USB Type-A, two USB-C ports, and an HDMI slot — more ports than a MacBook but without Thunderbolt support.
All of this adds up to an experience that is very similar to the MacBook, which makes the Asus UM325 a perfect alternative.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano

For a compact alternative that offers the same premium feel and performance as the MacBook, Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Nano is the way to go. It’s a 13-inch display, so it is on par with the MacBook Air’s thinness. It’s also very lightweight, coming in at 1.99 pounds compared to the MacBook Air’s 2.8 pounds. And with a 2160 x 1350 display that supports Dolby Vision, photos and videos look great.
Aside from that, it comes with the latest Tiger-Lake Intel Core i5/i7 processors, and it starts with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. It isn’t the greatest workstation, but it should provide solid performance for everyday or even prosumer users.
The big selling point of the ThinkPad X1 Nano is that it has the same keyboard as every other X1 product. Lenovo’s X1 series has been a constant leader in this category, so it’s exciting to see it in a thin and light design. It’s a deeper keyboard than Apple’s Magic Keyboard and provides a different feel that some typists prefer. That means this computer is ideal for writers, journalists, or anyone who sends a lot of emails. If typing is an important part of the experience for you, that’s all the reason you need to look at the X1 Nano.
Razer Book 13

Razer has been making quality gaming laptops for years, but even though their Stealth notebooks were quality products, they weren’t really productivity-focused alternatives to MacBooks. Now we have the Razer Book 13, a brand new laptop aimed to take on premium notebooks like the MacBook.
Unlike most of their products, the Razer Book forgoes having a discrete graphics card in favor of thinness and portability. The Razer Book comes packed with either an 11th-gen Intel Core i5 or i7, and it has up to 14 hours of battery life. That gives it all the performance and battery power of the latest MacBooks, but the Razer Book has Apple’s product beat when it comes to ports. The Razer Book comes with two Thunderbolt 4 ports, a USB-A port, an HDMI slot, as well as a headphone jack and a microSD card reader.
If you’re a fan of Razer but want something geared more towards productivity, the Razer Book 13 is a compelling option.
HP Spectre x360 14
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The HP Spectre x360 13 was one of the best laptops around, and this year’s Spectre x360 14 continues that tradition. This model has a larger 13.5-inch display and a taller 3:2 aspect ratio designed for productivity — a bit step up from the 13-inch model’s 16:9 panel. The base model comes with a 1920 x 1280 IPS display with an anti-reflection gloss, but that can be upgraded to a 3000 x 2000 OLED display for a more vivid image. Like the Spectre x360 13, the 14-inch version also comes with at least 8GB of memory and a 256GB SSD with 16GB of Intel Optane memory.
The Spectre x360 14 also looks beautiful, coming in a premium natural silver or a darker Nightfall Black. It’s a bit bigger than some competitors, but that adds the larger display and more room on the keyboard. The x360 14 also has a variety of modes depending on what you want to do with it, and it even beats out the XPS 13 in some performance tests.
The HP x360 14 looks and feels like a premium laptop, and it has the performance to back it up. That’s what makes it a great competitor to the MacBook.
HP Envy 15

HP’s Envy series has always been a competitor to Dell and Apple’s top-of-the-line products, but they are usually a bit more affordable. The same is true of the HP Envy 15. It’s a slick-looking device that has a ton of power under the hood, so users save money without sacrificing quality or performance.
You can also add in a GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q graphics card at a starting price of $1,600, which will really boost power for creatives. It’s a better experience than just relying on the processor, and it still comes in cheaper than the XPS 15.
The Envy 15 is also a bit chunkier than the competition, but that comes with improved connectivity. The Envy 15 packs an HDMI port, two USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports, and two USB-A plugs, as well as a microSD card reader.
All that being said, you’re getting a lot more for a significant discount with the HP Envy 15.
LG Gram 16
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

If you’re more accustomed to laptops with larger displays, you will be looking for an alternative to the MacBook Pro 16. For that, we recommend the LG Gram 16. It’s a large and powerful laptop that still maintains an ultra-thin profile.
In fact, the LG Gram is the lightest 16-inch notebook computer in the world at just 2.62 pounds. It maintains that thinness while still having great battery life and delivering solid performance from its Intel Tiger Lake Core i7. It doesn’t have a discrete graphics option, which is uncommon in this form factor and price bracket, but it is still a competent work device.
As the MacBook Pro 16 gets older and less desirable, the LG Gram 16 is all the more attractive thanks to its lightweight design and modern components.
HP Elite Dragonfly Max

The original HP Elite Dragonfly was our favorite business computer in 2020, thanks in large part to its luxurious design and LTE connectivity. This year, HP has upped the ante by releasing two Dragonfly models: The Dragonfly G2 and Dragonfly Max.
Of the two, we like the Dragonfly Max more. You’re already spending quite a bit of money on either, and the Max has the better features. The Dragonfly Max comes with the expected upgrade from 10th- to 11th-gen Intel processors and Thunderbolt 4, but it also boosts the memory put to 32GB. The first Dragonfly had an LTE connection, but the Dragonfly Max and G2 now include 5G.
The Max also has some features the G2 doesn’t, such as a more robust internal mic setup, a better 5MP webcam, and a lovely new Sparkling Black color.
The HP Dragonfly Max gives us all of this while delivering the same gorgeous screen, incredible performance, and awesome battery life of the original. It’s a great option for business users looking for a MacBook alternative with a 5G option.

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Greatest low cost Mac Mini offers for August 2021

Even in an age of laptops and mobile devices, desktop computers will always have a place. However, you don’t have to settle for a big, bulky tower PC if you’re looking to avoid workspace clutter. Enter the Mac Mini: This pint-sized workstation is a great alternative to traditional towers if you want the comfort and utility of a desktop PC but don’t want it hogging up your desktop’s space. Even better is the fact that the Mac Mini is by far the cheapest entry-point in to the MacOS software ecosystem, and we can save you even more. Piqued your interest? Read on to see all of this month’s best Mac Mini deals.
If you’re keeping your options open, then also check out these iMac deals and MacBook deals as well.
Today’s best Mac Mini deals

Mac Mini 2014 (Core i5 CPU, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, Amazon Renewed) — $159
Mac Mini 2014 (Core i5 CPU, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, Amazon Renewed) — $274
Mac Mini 2018 (Core i3 CPU, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Amazon Renewed) — $434
Mac Mini 2020 (Core i3 CPU, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD) — $549, was $799
Mac Mini 2020 (M1 Chip, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Latest Model) — $649, was $699
Mac Mini 2020 (M1 Chip, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD, Latest Model) — $799, was $899
Mac Mini 2020 (M1 Chip, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Latest Model) — $849, was $899
Mac Mini 2020 (M1 Chip, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, Latest Model) — $1,029, was $1,099
Mac Mini 2020 (M1 CPU, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD) — $1,199, was $1,299

How to choose a Mac Mini
The aptly named Mac Mini is Apple’s pint-sized desktop computer. Small PCs such as this have been around for a while, but as an Apple device, the Mac Mini runs on MacOS rather than Windows — if you like the idea of a desktop computer but you want something with a small footprint, the Mac Mini is your best option if you favor Apple software.
Unlike the MacBook or the iMac, there is essentially only one model of the Mac Mini, although it is available in several different hardware configurations. Apple has kept this small desktop computer updated nicely over the years as well, so you also have some different model years to choose from (meaning that opting for a last-generation unit is often an easy way to save some cash if you aren’t picky about having the latest hardware).
The Mac Mini saw its most recent refresh last year; before that, it was updated in 2018, so these two model years are the ones you’ll see the most and the ones we recommend you spring for — any older than that and the hardware might feel a bit long in the tooth in 2020 for anything other than basic computing needs.
Despite its pared-down case, the Mac Mini boasts the same modern computer hardware as full-sized desktop towers as well as the same MacOS software that you get with iMacs and MacBooks. It also features very good thermal performance that keeps it running surprisingly cool under load (something that can be a problem with smaller computers). Note that Apple has added its awesome new M1 CPU to the 2020 Mac Mini lineup, which is well worth the upgrade in our opinion unless you’re on the tightest of budgets.
The most appealing feature of the Mac Mini for many buyers is its price. This tiny computer is far and away the cheapest entry point into the world of MacOS computing, with the latest entry-level 2020 models starting at a retail price of around $800 — Mac Mini deals like the ones above often let you score one for even less, and if you’re willing to opt for slightly older hardware, then the 2019 Mac Mini can be had for cheaper still.
The catch here is that the Mac Mini obviously doesn’t include a display or peripherals (namely a keyboard, a mouse, and speakers), unlike the iMac and MacBook. These add-ons will cost extra, but if you already have peripherals you can use — perhaps you’re just upgrading an old desktop tower — then the Mac Mini offers a lot of value and power in a small footprint. If not, however, then you might want to consider an iMac instead, as it could be a better bargain depending on your needs.
We strive to help our readers find the best deals on quality products and services, and we choose what we cover carefully and independently. The prices, details, and availability of the products and deals in this post may be subject to change at anytime. Be sure to check that they are still in effect before making a purchase.Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.

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Greatest low-cost iPhone 11 offers for August 2021

Are you looking for a great deal on a new iPhone? Ever since Apple’s iPhone 12 series dropped last October, that meant all this year is a great time to look for cheap iPhone 11 deals. If you’re shopping for cheap iPhone 11 deals, we’ve got ’em all right here. The smartphone deals below specifically feature some juicy discounts on the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max; you can snag an insane refurbished iPhone deal too; if you want to see what else is on tap, check out our full iPhone deals roundup as well.
Today’s Best iPhone 11 Deals

Apple iPhone 11 64GB (Unlocked, Renewed)
— $486, was $519

Apple iPhone 11, 128GB, Green – Fully Unlocked (Renewed)
— $596, was $760

Apple iPhone 11 Pro, 64GB, Space Gray – Fully Unlocked (Renewed)
— $617, was $632

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max, 64GB, Space Gray – Fully Unlocked (Renewed)
— $710, was $716

Apple iPhone 11 64GB (Verizon)
— Free with new line, was $600

Apple iPhone 11 64GB (Cricket Wireless)
— $24.96 a month for 24 months, was $699

iPhone 11 vs. iPhone 12

The iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max represent Apple’s 2019 flagship lineup. In keeping with its recent release strategy, Apple rolled out three devices: The 6.1-inch iPhone 11 is the standard and most budget-friendly flagship, the 5.8-inch iPhone 11 Pro is the premium (and slightly smaller) model, and the 6.5-inch iPhone 11 Pro Max is the up-sized version of the Pro and the most expensive of the bunch. All three phones run on the A13 Bionic chip, with the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max featuring an upgraded camera module, better displays, and extra storage options.
In 2020, Apple shook things up a bit by dropping four new devices: The iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max. The biggest difference between this release and the previous one was the addition of the pocket-sized 5.4-inch iPhone 12 Mini, no doubt spurred on by the warm reception that the 4.7-inch second-gen 2020 iPhone SE received among people who have been clamoring for smaller phones (despite having a larger display, the iPhone 12 Mini is about the same size overall as the iPhone SE thanks to its slimmed-down bezels).
All iPhone 12 models pack Apple’s latest A14 Bionic chip, and like the iPhone 11 lineup, the differences between models boil down to size, cameras, displays, and storage capacity (with the more expensive Pro models boasting some upgrades over the standard 12 and 12 Mini). Along with a faster processor, the iPhone 12 lineup features higher resolution touchscreens and improved camera modules over the iPhone 11 models. The iPhone 12 is slightly smaller and lighter than the iPhone 11 overall, but owing to its trimmer bezels, it sports the same 6.1-inch screen size. The iPhone 12’s superior OLED display has a higher resolution, however, at 2,532 x 1,170 pixels (460 pixels per inch) in contrast to the iPhone 11 LCD display’s 1,792 x 828 resolution (326 pixels per inch).
The iPhone 12 also improves upon the iPhone 11’s camera module with a new ultrawide lens but retails for $799 whereas the iPhone 11 launched with an MSRP of $699. If you’re struggling to choose between the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 and their variants then you’ll have to decide if those upgrades are worth the premium you’ll pay. There are naturally going to be more (and better) iPhone 11 deals out there right now given that it’s a last-gen device and the iPhone 12 only recently hit the market. If cost is your primary concern, you want a premium flagship on a budget, and you aren’t picky about the latest and greatest features, the iPhone 11 is an easy choice.
The waters get a little murkier if you’re deciding between the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro, as the 11 Pro and Pro Max are still fairly expensive in 2020 — and if you’re paying extra because you want the high-end model, it might be worth it to splurge on one of the new and improved devices (or even the standard iPhone 12). On the other hand, the performance gap between the iPhone 11 Pro and 12 Pro isn’t as large as that of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 11: Both are about the same overall size and weight and both feature Super Retina OLED displays, although thinner bezels mean that the iPhone 12 Pro’s 2,532 x 1,170 460 ppi screen sits at 6.1 inches in contrast to the iPhone 11 Pro’s 2,436 x 1,125 pixels 458ppi display which measures 5.8 inches.
Both the iPhone 11 Pro and 12 Pro also come loaded with the same amount of RAM, the same storage options, and very similar camera modules, the primary difference under the hood being the new A14 Bionic chip versus the last-gen A13 Bionic processor. Both are highly capable phones with launch prices of $999; in our opinion, the best choice for you will boil down to which one is the better bargain. The plethora of iPhone 11 deals up for grabs right now tips the needle in the direction of the 2019 flagship.
We strive to help our readers find the best deals on quality products and services, and we choose what we cover carefully and independently. The prices, details, and availability of the products and deals in this post may be subject to change at anytime. Be sure to check that they are still in effect before making a purchase.Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.

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Greatest low cost iMac offers for August 2021

Want a desktop computer but don’t feel like dealing with the bulk and weight of a big PC tower? What you need is an all-in-one, and if you’re a Mac user, that means there’s only one game in town: the iMac. Apple’s sleek AIO computer has been around for decades now, offering a great alternative to old-school desktops with its gorgeous display, slick hardware, and sturdy build quality. It just got a nice update, too, with the addition of Apple’s awesome new M1 CPU, but whether you’re after one of these newer models or you’re looking for something a bit cheaper, our hand-picked list of the best cheap iMac deals has what you need.
If the iMac is just one component of your full Apple setup, then you should check out these other Apple deals on iPhones, Apple Watches, iPads, and more. Also take a look at these Mac Mini deals for more desktop PC options.
Best iMac deals

Apple iMac M1 4.5K 2021 (24-inch, M1 CPU w/7-core GPU, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD) — $1,250, was $1,299
Apple iMac M1 4.5K 2021 (24-inch, M1 CPU w/8-core GPU, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD) — $1,450, was $1,499
Apple iMac 4K 2015 (21.5-inch, Core i5 CPU, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, Amazon Renewed) — $389
Apple iMac 4K 2017 (21.5-inch, Core i5, 8GB RAM, 1TB Fusion Drive, Amazon Renewed) — $600
Apple iMac 4K 2019 (21.5-inch, Core i3, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, Amazon Renewed) — $675
Apple iMac 5K 2014 (27-inch, Core i5 CPU, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, Amazon Renewed) — $750
Apple iMac 4K 2019 (21.5-inch, Core i5, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, Amazon Renewed) — $885
Apple iMac 4K 2019 (21.5-inch, Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD) — $1,000, was $1,500
Apple iMac 2020 (21.5-inch, Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD) — $1,069
Apple iMac 4K 2020 (21.5-inch, Core i3, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD) — $1,199, was $1,299
Apple iMac 5K 2020 (27-inch, Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Radeon Pro 5300) — $1,699, was $1,799
Apple iMac 5K 2020 (27-inch, Core i5, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD, Radeon Pro 5300) — $1,879, was $1,999
Apple iMac 5K 2020 (27-inch, Core i7, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD, Radeon Pro 5500 XT) — $2,149, was $2,299

Dan Baker/Digital Trends
The first iMac was released more than two decades ago, representing Apple’s all-in-one desktop computing solution as a more compact and consumer-friendly alternative to larger (and more expensive) desktop towers. You might remember the original iMac G3 which sported a colored plastic bubble-shaped case that housed a CRT monitor, but the iMacs of today are much sleeker, sporting slim flat panel displays.
Modern iMacs are available in three sizes — 21.5 inches, 24 inches (for the newest M1 model), and 27 inches — and all recent models from 2019 on have crisp 4K Retina displays, which adds a lot of value to these all-in-one PCs when you consider how expensive Ultra HD monitors are. You’ll also find older 2017 iMacs still available; these feature 1080p displays, but are still a fine option in 2020 if you’re willing to save some money. Apple also released an updated version of the 27-inch iMac 2019 that sports a 5K Retina display similar to the one found on the iMac Pro.
The standard iMacs span a relatively wide range of hardware features and price points, and will be a better choice for most users with the 21.5-inch 2017 model starting at around $1,000 and the latest 27-inch units (which pack the latest Intel Core processors) ringing in at around $2,000 or a little more. Which one you pick will naturally come down to your needs and budget, but for work, light entertainment, and general everyday use, it’s hard to make a bad choice here. If your needs are a bit greater, though, then you may want to consider an iMac Pro instead.
iMac (M1)
At its spring event in April 2021, Apple threw back the curtains on its new iMac M1 refresh, giving these all-in-ones the much-needed addition of the hot new M1 CPU (which even the Mac Mini already got). This isn’t a simple upgrade, however, as was the case with the Mac Mini getting the M1 chip in 2020; Apple stated at the event that this new iMac has been rebuilt entirely around the M1 chip’s capabilities. Along with hardware upgrades under the hood, Apple’s all-in-one also sports better speakers (complete with built-in woofers) as well as an upgraded FaceTime camera.
The new redesigned iMac has also slimmed down overall (and it was already fairly slim to begin with), with trimmed-down bezels surrounding its 24-inch display — something we have been asking for for years — due to the M1 CPU’s more efficient thermal performance that allows for smaller fans and less airspace inside the computer chassis. The new iMac is also available in a bunch of new colors to spruce up your workspace, a clear throwback to the original bubble-shaped iMacs many of us remember which came in a variety of shades. Pricing starts at $1,299.
iMac Pro

The iMac Pro is the upgraded version of Apple’s all-in-one desktop and, as you may have surmised from its name, it is geared toward professional users with more demanding computing needs. Released in 2017, the iMac Pro comes standard with a gorgeous 27-inch Retina display that boasts a super-crisp 5K resolution (giving you plenty of screen real estate for multitasking) along with 8- and 10-core CPUs, enhanced graphics processing power, and boosted RAM to back it all up.
The iMac Pro’s starting MSRP of $4,999 will naturally cause sticker shock for average computer users, but that’s not who it’s aimed at. The iMac Pro is a serious machine built for serious work and packs the hardware necessary to easily slice through heavy workloads. This includes resource-heavy tasks like game design, 4K and 8K video rendering, and music production — jobs that the beefier processors and graphics power of the iMac Pro are well-suited to handle.
You’ll pay for it, but if you’re a professional who finds that most computers (including the standard iMac) tend to strain under load, the iMac Pro is worth the upgrade.
We strive to help our readers find the best deals on quality products and services, and we choose what we cover carefully and independently. The prices, details, and availability of the products and deals in this post may be subject to change at anytime. Be sure to check that they are still in effect before making a purchase.Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.

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