Tech Advisor February 2019

Every issue of Tech Advisor is packed with the latest news, reviews and features plus comprehensive and impartial buying advice as well as easy-to-understand tutorials and workshops to help you to get the most from your PC. Whether you want to buy the best value equipment or make the most out of equipment you already own, Tech Advisor delivers expert advice you can trust.

United Kingdom
IDG Communications - UK
12 Issues

in this issue

7 min
microsoft surface laptop 2

Price: £1,249 from Last year Microsoft introduced its first traditional own-brand clamshell laptop. Now it’s back with a refreshed model for 2018 with 8th-generation Intel and a new colour. Price Microsoft has sensibly kept the price of the Surface Laptop 2 the same as its predecessor. Various options are available, so you can get your hands on one without breaking the bank. We reviewed the £1,249 version. Here’s a list of the different models: £979: Core i5, 8/128GB £1,249: Core i5, 8/256GB £1,529: Core i7, 8/256GB £2,079: Core i7, 16/512GB £2,529: Core i7, 16GB/1TB Which one you’ll want depends on your personal needs, of course. However, we don’t think the average users will have to go beyond the Core i5 with 256GB of storage. It’s worth noting that Microsoft is still selling the original Surface Laptop for a…

12 min
apple macbook air

Price: £1,199 from Apple says the MacBook Air is “the most beloved notebook ever”, and it’s not wrong. The huge success of the original Air had ripple effects throughout the industry, but it has languished in recent years. For the past three years or so, Apple had kept up with neither technological nor design advances in its most important laptop. Now, the MacBook Air has finally been brought up to modern Mac laptop standards, skipping forward three generations of Intel processors, adding a Retina display and Thunderbolt 3 ports, and giving us three colour options, among other things. But it feels a bit like Apple threw out the baby with the bath water, jettisoning some features of the MacBook Air that make it so well-loved. In fact, it would be more accurate…

14 min
apple 12.9in ipad pro

Price: £1,869 from Can’t innovate any more, my ass. After thoroughly redesigning its iPhone and Apple Watch lines, Apple has now done the same for its iPads – removing Home buttons and Lightning ports, shrinking bezels, curving corners and generally making them look like they belong in 2018. In this review we take an in-depth look at the third-gen iPad Pro 12.9in. We benchmark its (absurdly fast) A12X Bionic processor, run battery and camera tests, and evaluate its radical new design, updated specs list and whopping prices. Price The latest 12.9in iPad Pro is available in a variety of configurations. Here’s the full price list. Note that as well as offering the most storage, the 1TB models come with an extra 2GB of RAM, although this isn’t officially disclosed in Apple’s tech specs,…

7 min
xiaomi redmi note 5

Price: £170 from If you’re looking for a sub-£200 Android phone with a decent-size screen, good battery life and usable all-round performance and features, this could be it. Very similar to the Mi Max 3, but with a smaller 5.99in display, the Redmi Note 5 is a worthy upgrade over the Note 4 with improved performance, photography and design. This is the Global version of the Redmi Note 5, which comes with all Google services preinstalled along with MIUI 9. It supports all 4G LTE bands used in the UK, too, which can be a problem with some Chinese handsets. Design There are some key design changes in the Redmi Note 5 over its predecessor, but also a return to the Redmi Note 3’s part plastic build – the antenna lines at…

3 min
acronis true image 2019

Price: £34.99 from Acronis True Image is quite arguably the fastest, most powerful backup solution available to consumers. It’s also, slowly but surely, working its way toward being truly user-friendly. It still has a ways to go in that regard, but the company is certainly trying. The real issue is whether you need all of True Image’s multifold capabilities. From imaging utility to backup suite True Image has long since morphed from a plain ‘imaging’ program into a backup suite. While it still creates sector-accurate images of your drives or partitions, it also features an online storage component in Acronis Cloud; offers archival and sync functionality; has a hidden restore-from partition (such as those often found with laptops) called Secure Zone; can clone disks; and offers ransomware protection. True Image 2019 also offers…

41 min
best budget laptops

Although we review many mid-range and high-end laptops, there are plenty of cheaper options. Here we review and rank them with the same care and attention, so you can find the best budget laptop for your needs under £500. If your needs are basic, then any of the laptops below will be perfectly good. They’ll all handle web browsing, office work, casual games and a bit of photo editing. Chances are you’re looking for a budget laptop for a specific task, whether that’s video editing, music production or even playing Minecraft and other games. There’s also a chance you’re looking for the best budget laptop with an SSD or with good battery life. Typically, it’s hard to get something which is capable of demanding tasks such as these examples (particularly games) within a…