PCWorld April 2020

We review the Google Pixel 4a, plus what to expect if you’re switching from an iPhone SE. Find out if your Chromebook is expiring. Reviews of Note 20 Ultra, Norton 360 Deluxe, Mullvad vs. NordVPN, and much more!

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12 Numéros

dans ce numéro

8 min
amd talks pc gpu ray tracing as it looks to the future of ryzen and radeon

AMD confirmed recently that its next-generation RDNA 2 graphics architecture will be its first to include hardware ray tracing, and that it will advance performance-per-watt improvements by an additional 50 percent over its current designs. The company also plans to add a compute-specific version of its GPUs, dubbed “CDNA.” AMD has traditionally used its financial analyst meetings to provide insight into its future strategy in the CPU and GPU markets, especially with regard to the PC, mobile, and server spaces. It’s the latter market in which AMD is driving hard, as enterprise and scientific markets are willing to pay top dollar for a high-margin Epyc processor—the sort of boon financial analysts like to hear about. AMD habitually offers more insight into its server road maps as a way of building credibility with…

6 min
lg v60 thinq 5g with dual screen: an awfully long name for a phone short on innovation

You don’t actually need to see the LG V60 ThinQ 5G with Dual Screen to know what it is. Based on our experiences during a recent briefing and hands-on opportunity in New York, the V60 clearly looks like LG’s V50, V40, G8, and G7. It has a few gimmicks and some unnecessary carrier compromises. And it has a headphone jack. In short, it’s an LG phone. It’s not entirely clear whether it will be the only flagship of 2020 from LG, but if there is a G9 in the works, my guess is that the only difference will be screen size. For better or worse, LG has a formula, and it’s sticking to it. I’m not really sure what, if anything, the ThinQ surname even means at this point, but you…

4 min
tcl bursts onto the android scene with folding and rollable screens you’ll flip over

TCL isn’t exactly a household name when it comes to smartphones, but the BlackBerry and Palm phone maker is looking to change that in 2020. Ahead of the launch of its own phones later this year, TCL is piquing our curiosity with a couple of wild concept phones that make the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip and Motorola razr look like old news. To be clear, these are concepts in every sense of the word. They have no names, no specs, and no chance of being sold anytime soon. The models we saw were basically movie props with few working parts, but they’re certainly intriguing. And if they’re an indication of what TCL has in store for future phones, it won’t be an unknown name for very long. While we’re somewhat accustomed to…

2 min
microsoft begins blocking ‘unwanted applications’ like adware, using edge

Beginning with the current version of Microsoft Edge, Microsoft will start blocking adware, Bitcoin miners, and other unwanted apps that sometimes accompany apps that users download from the web. Microsoft Edge version 80 contains a new Settings menu with the option to Block Potentially Unwanted Apps, which works in conjunction with Windows’ Microsoft Defender SmartScreen to detect and warn against what Microsoft calls PUAs, or Potentially Unwanted Apps. (Microsoft has listed what it considers to be common PUAs here: go.pcworld.com/puas.) If turned on, Edge will block these apps by default, though you’ll have the option to override Microsoft’s decision and allow the app to download and install. The new option takes Windows’ own built-in protection in a different direction. To date, Microsoft’s efforts have been focused primarily on malware. The company’s answer to…

3 min
windows 10’s first powertoys app allows custom snap resizing and looks amazing

If you’re a fan of Windows 10’s Snap feature, you’ve been waiting and hoping for Windows to allow you to design your own custom Snap layouts. Now you can! One of the first Windows 10 PowerToys apps, FancyZones, does just that—and it looks incredible. If you don’t know what Snap does, head to a PC and open any window there—this story will do. Then press the Windows key and one of the directional arrows. If you hit Windows + the left arrow, for example, Snap snaps a window as a column attached to the left side of the screen. If you drag it toward any corner, the window will snap to that corner, allowing you to create a 4-window tiled effect. But if those windows are a little smaller than what you…

2 min
this insightful intel video explains how cpus are made, in words you can actually understand

Yes, computer processors work. But have you ever wondered how they work? Recently, Intel published a fascinating animated video outlining “key concepts and their roles in chip manufacturing.” The chatty “Chip” spokesprocessor that walks you through the video brings up memories of the cringeworthy Clippy introduced by Microsoft in Office 97 (and killed in 2014), nevertheless, it’s well worth spending five minutes to watch it if you’ve ever been interested in how the brain of your computer comes to life. PC enthusiasts often toss around terms like transistors, silicon wafers, photolithography masks, interconnects, and substrates. Intel’s video provides a great high-level overview of what all that really means. Better yet, it does it in a friendly, approachable manner that you can actually wrap your mind around even if you don’t have…