Tech Advisor May 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

4 min
microsoft’s surface sales soar to nearly $2 billion

Revenue from Microsoft’s Surface line-up topped nearly $2 billion for the firm’s fourth calendar quarter – and the tech giant believes so strongly in its success that it’s predicting another 20 percent growth on top of that for the current quarter. In fact, Surface sales are upending Windows’ traditional role at Microsoft – even though it’s likely Intel’s fault. For even as Surface rises, PC sales are suffering because of a lack of chips, Microsoft said in January. In all, sales of Microsoft Surface devices grew about 39 percent, “ahead of expectations”, to $1.86 billion, Microsoft chief financial officer Amy Hood said during an analyst call covering Microsoft’s second fiscal quarter of 2019. Overall, Microsoft made $8.4 billion on revenue of $32.5 billion, up 12 percent overall. There’s another trend: the revenue…

2 min
office 2019 dismissed as old in office 365 video

When Microsoft announced the standalone versions of Office last year, known as Office 2019, Microsoft’s attitude seemed decidedly lukewarm. We were wrong: now it’s downright hostile. Microsoft released three videos in February to try and demonstrate that the AI-powered, always-updated version of Office 365 trounces the standalone Office 2019 in tasks ranging from automatically filling in geographic data in an Excel spreadsheet to automatically adding relevant skills to a Word CV that can be then sent to a job agency. In each of the ‘showdowns’, Office 2019 forces the user to perform the tasks manually, while Office 365 either automatically performs the task or connects to the Internet to simplify it. According to Jared Spataro, corporate vice president for Microsoft 365, Office 2019 is “frozen in time”. “They [the Office 2019 apps]…

11 min
msi gs75 stealth

Price: £2,939 from The MSI GS75 Stealth challenges that old PC laptop proverb that says you can have high performance, and you can have a 17in screen, and you can have light weight, but you can only pick two. Sure, at 2.09kg the GS75 is hardly ‘light’. But along with its 17.3in display it packs an 8th-generation 6-core CPU and Nvidia’s brand-spanking new GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics inside. The MSI GS75 is one of the first laptops to debut with Nvidia’s RTX graphics for laptops, announced earlier in January at CES. This review focuses a bit more on graphics than usual as a result – and as you’ll see in our benchmarks, the MSI GS75 is a (relatively) lightweight laptop with a heavweight punch. As we test more laptops with…

10 min
dell xps 13 9380

Price: £1,629 from When the big news surrounding the latest version of the Dell XPS 13 is its camera position, that’s both good and bad. It’s good because the camera is one ‘feature’ that some customers (and competitors) have used to batter what has otherwise been the most trend-setting laptop of recent memory. If you recall, the original Dell XPS 13 9343 from 2014 crammed a 13.3in laptop into the space an 11in laptop would normally occupy. Dell relied on ‘InfinityEdge’ bezels to shrink the foot print of the XPS 13 to unbelievable levels. Just about every laptop maker now offers their own narrow bezel designs. But Dell’s implementation compromised convenience for slimness, moving the camera around the bottom bezel. No more. After years of mocking, it has thrown in the towel and…

9 min
asus rog phone

Price: £799 from Gaming-focused smartphones are becoming more of a thing. We’ve been waiting for the ROG Phone since it was announced in June 2018, and we weren’t disappointed. Design In many ways, smartphone design has become stagnant and boring, but that’s not the case here. The ROG Phone is, as you might expect, eccentric and unconventional. ROG does stand for ‘Republic of Gamers’ after all. Indeed, the phone has so many striking elements that it’s hard to know where to look first. There are unusual shapes everywhere, from the glass around the camera to the rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. Then there’s the large lump on the side, complete with exposed copper, which is matched on the front for the stereo speakers. And yes, the iconic ROG logo on the back lights up…

6 min
mobvoi ticwatch 2

Price: £145 from In a nutshell, there’s nothing about the Mobvoi TicWatch E2 that you haven’t seen before. It has a 1.4in AMOLED display and a bulky 13mm case. It’s water-resistant up to 50m so you can take it swimming, and it has a heart-rate sensor. It’s powered by the Snapdragon 2100, has a respectable 415mAh battery, and it runs the latest version of Wear OS. What’s impressive about the TicWatch E2 isn’t its specs or features. It’s not even anything it does. It’s that for £145 you can get a Wear OS device that has all of the latest software features, dutifully tracks your steps and exercise, lasts all day, and looks like a watch that costs a hundred pounds more. While we’ve been waiting for a Pixel Watch or…