Tech & Gaming
PC Pro

PC Pro May 2017

The UK’s biggest selling PC monthly magazine, and your source of professional IT news, reviews and tests. Combining in–depth industry comment and analysis with rigorous product testing.

United Kingdom
Dennis Publishing UK
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£4(Incl. tax)
£31.99(Incl. tax)
12 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
the wordis up: time to abandon old working habits

IN MY DEFENCE, I was tired, hungry and grumpy as I typed the message. “What on earth have you used that version for?” The keyboard bounced around my desk as I expressed my frustration through forceful fingertips. “That was last month’s document!!” The annoyance expressed by those two exclamation marks was clearly mirrored by Paul’s response. “No,” typed PC Pro’s art director, the “you idiot” he wanted to express being silent. “Look. Here’s the doc.” A screenshot swiftly followed, which did indeed show the old words, despite the document having the right month’s name. I uttered a few words that can’t be expressed in a family-friendly magazine such as this. I opened the Word document on Google Drive and all seemed fine. I was about to point out that he must be…

4 min.
windows10cloudto takeonchromebooks

MICROSOFT LOOKS SET TO release a fresh flavour of Windows aimed at low-cost machines in the shape of Windows 10 Cloud, providing direct competition for Google’s Chromebooks. The upcoming version of the operating system has yet to be confirmed by Microsoft, but screenshots have leaked online and reports from Microsoft watchers suggest that the rumoured variant could appear later this year. The operating system is something of an echo of Windows RT, and will again only allow consumers to install Universal apps available from the Windows Store. However, there are some key differences between Windows 10 Cloud and its ill-fated predecessor, which was effectively discontinued with the launch of Windows 10. “Where Windows RT was ARM only, Windows 10 Cloud will run on both Intel and ARM platforms,” said Microsoft specialist Paul Thurott,…

4 min.
androidwear2: justaboutkeepingtime

WE ALL KNOW smartwatches haven’t sold as well as many manufacturers hoped, with IDC figures showing that smartwatch sales crashed to 2.7 million units in the third quarter of 2016, decreasing a massive 51.6% from the 5.6 million units shipped in the same quarter a year earlier. Those low sales were in part due to the late arrival of the Android Wear 2 upgrade, but the refresh has left market watchers cold. “Google fixed some of the things that it should have got right in the first place,” said Carolina Milanesi, principal analyst at Creative Strategies.“Probably the most impactful addition is Android Pay,” she added. However, the new version of Wear does bring benefits to the platform, not least the ability to run native apps without the need for a smartphone nearby.…

6 min.
who’swatchingtheai decision-makers?

An insurance firm’s algorithm decides that you’re too much of a risk for health insurance; your credit limit is suddenly cut by a bank’s automated system; the judge refuses you bail because a computer decides you pose a serious flight risk. As artificial intelligence is increasingly used to replace human decision-making, an obvious question arises: who’s keeping an eye on the digital decision-makers? According to AI specialists, the answer is nobody. Developers are building systems that make potentially life-changing decisions, but have no external oversight or standardisation. “It’s not simply that AI algorithms can make mistakes, but that the whole ecosystem is a closed book, with little understanding of how decisions that have real-world impacts on people are actually made,” said Sandra Wachter, a data ethics specialist at London’s Alan Turing…

15 min.

PREMIUMLAPTOPS Dell XPS 13 (New) 13in ultraportable from £1,149 dell.co.uk Dell only needed to refine its brilliant XPS 13 design to keep top spot, and that’s -to-edge 13.3in display and supercompact in Rose Gold. REVIEW refi ne what it does: it’s slightly quicker and adds more options, but it’s the edge compact chassis that lift it above the opposition. Oh, and it’s now available Issue 270, p54 ALTERNATIVES Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga A dream laptop that turns into a 14in tablet with the swivel of a keyboard – yet it still weighs under 1.3kg. Simply beautiful design from Lenovo. From £1,670; lenovo.com/uk REVIEW Issue 263, p56 Apple MacBook Pro 13 (2016) The high price stops it from taking Dell’s top spot, but a nine-hour battery life, sleek design and – for a premium – the Touch Bar make this…

7 min.

Most companies are happy to have a product that speaker, potentially saving phone and tablet makers from having to find room for separate speakers in their already sardine-like chassis; it also provides dynamic haptic feedback on the screen, enabling developers to create virtual, tactile buttons on almost any type of surface. serves one need – the paradoxically named Redux has one product that meets two. Not only can its technology turn a display into a If it works as promised, Redux is sitting on a technology that could utterly transform mobile devices as well as industrial machinery – all those flat screen displays used on factory floors could suddenly provide haptic feedback, letting workers know they actually pressed a “button” even above the din of machinery. For the time being, however, the…