PCWorld October 2021

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!

United States
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12 Numéros

dans ce numéro

2 min
windows 11 to launch on october 5

It’s official: Windows 11 will be released on October 5. “On this day, the free upgrade to Windows 11 will begin rolling out to eligible Windows 10 PCs and PCs that come pre-loaded with Windows 11 will start to become available for purchase,” Microsoft said at the end of August. That’s an interesting twist, as Microsoft previously said that Windows 11 upgrades for Windows 10 PCs wouldn’t happen until 2022. Will those eligible PCs start seeing the Windows 11 upgrade prompt immediately, or will most people need to wait until later for the offer? We’ll have to see—and that’s not even getting into the Windows 11 hardware compatibility fiasco for desktop users, which started off confusing and just keeps getting more confusing. Microsoft says new devices will get offered it first,…

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10 min
intel’s radical new alder lake cpus were built for windows 11

Intel’s next PC microprocessor, Alder Lake, marks a radical change for Intel. Its first mainstream Core hybrid processor mixes performance and efficiency engines to deliver either performance or longer battery life when your PC needs it most. According to Intel, Alder Lake is due “later this fall,” most likely as a 12th-gen Core chip. Intel will manufacture three versions of Alder Lake—one for the desktop, and two more for laptops—with up to 16 cores and 24 threads. Alder Lake will also mark Intel’s introduction of PCI Express 5 and DDR5 memory, executives said at its Intel Architecture Day Thursday. Interestingly, Intel has co-designed with Microsoft a special thread scheduler, destined for Windows 11, that will optimize performance. Desktop and laptop PCs with Alder Lake inside them should mix and match higher performance…

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2 min
unpatched office attack reminds us: don’t click on risky docs

Microsoft is warning of a new Office vulnerability that is probably avoidable with smart Internet practices—namely, don’t open untrusted documents. Researcher EXPMON reported a new vulnerability for Microsoft Office, the company said. Microsoft confirmed the vulnerability in a security update. Microsoft has yet to issue a patch for it, although the company said it would “take the appropriate action to help protect our customers.” The vulnerability takes advantage of the MSHTML rendering engine used by Internet Explorer, a browser that Microsoft has deprecated. (IE will still run within Edge, but inside the browser’s sandbox, which protects your PC.) So instead the attackers are targeting the IE engine running within Microsoft 365 or Office documents. If a malicious Office document is sent you via email, and you click on it or enable it,…

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3 min
how windows 11 will speed up your slow pc

Windows 11 sure looks different, but under-the-hood performance improvements may make it feel different, too—specifically in how the operating system handles multiple apps, as well as how your PC resumes from sleep. Microsoft detailed the changes in a video, where Steve Dispensa, vice president of enterprise management at Microsoft, explained how Windows 11 will deliver more performance in three different scenarios. RUNNING MULTIPLE APPS ON AN OVERLOADED PC Take a PC with multiple applications running: email in the background, instant messaging, browsers with multiple tabs, and so on. A PC without much memory or CPU cycles available will run slowly, probably causing you to close an app or two to improve performance. In Windows 11, Microsoft promises that the way in which those apps are prioritized, called foreground prioritization, will make your…

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4 min
your big-screen laptop may be smaller than you think

In the world we live in, bigger is better. That, unfortunately, is how we got to a point where a 17.3-inch laptop screen isn’t necessarily bigger than a 17-inch laptop screen. And no, this isn’t a fraction problem like the one that caused A&W to stop selling its one-third–pound burger because people thought it was less than a quarter-pounder. Consumers legitimately expect a 17.3-inch laptop screen to be larger than a 17-inch one because 17.3 is bigger than 17. It’s reasonable! But the key problem here is the differing aspect ratio of laptops. The vast majority of 17.3-inch laptops feature screens with an aspect ratio—the proportion between the length and the height of the panel—of 16:9, similar to what you see in HDTVs. The Dell XPS 17’s panel is 16:10 (see page…

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6 min
8 new windows 11 features we didn’t expect

Windows 11 is almost here, complete with a new look, a new location for your taskbar icons, and a new (and stringent) list of hardware requirements. But a fresh coat of paint is essentially mandatory with a new version of Windows. What we didn’t anticipate was the laundry list of features coming with the new operating system, many of them surprising. From Android apps to automatic HDR in games to the glorious return of widgets, here are 7 new Windows 11 features we didn’t expect. You’ll be able to try them out for yourself when the operating system launches on October 5 (see page 7). 1. ANDROID APPS ON YOUR WINDOWS 11 PC Microsoft chief product officer Panos Panay said that he was “pumped” to bring Android apps to the PC, and why…

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