Tech Advisor August 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
intel road map confirms 10nm ‘tiger lake’ chip with xe graphics

Intel extended its public microprocessor road map through 2020 recently, confirming the existence of Tiger Lake, a 10nm Core chip due in 2020 that features an entirely new microarchitecture and Intel’s forthcoming Xe graphics. Executives also began disclosing some of the performance improvements associated with its previously-announced chips, such as how fast Intel’s first 10nm chip, Ice Lake, will be compared with the previous generation. Intel also began talking a bit about the improvements in Lakefield, which stacks logic together to create a denser system-on-a-chip. Combine the new 10nm Ice Lake core – which executives said would ship in June – plus the redesigned Tiger Lake chip, as well as Intel’s other major announcement, 7nm chips by 2021, and Intel is at least talking more aggressively than it has in years. Ice…

2 min
microsoft revives powertoys with open-source tools

Microsoft’s new-found infatuation with open-source projects is spawning an unexpected love child that might just bring a tear to the eyes of PC veterans. PowerToys, a collection of power-user tools for enthusiasts from the Windows 95 through XP era, will return this summer in preview form with a pair of Windows 10 utilities. Many more projects being put forward for consideration. You’ll find the modern PowerToys suite hosted on GitHub The pair of projects kicking off the endeavour look very helpful. The first, called the ‘Maximize to new desktop widget’, takes advantage of the virtual desktops that remain one of Windows 10’s most helpful tools that you might not know about. It reveals a pop-up button when you hover over the Minimize button for an application. “Clicking it creates a new…

2 min
microsoft debuts new terminal app

Microsoft is preparing an updated Windows Terminal application, alongside an updated Windows Subsystem for Linux, for power users who enjoy diving into the guts of the OS. The Linux subsystem now includes a full virtualized Linux kernel. When Linux arrived on the Anniversary Edition three years ago, it was considered one of the more revolutionary aspects of Windows – a surprising embrace of the open-source operating system that Microsoft had once resisted. The firm unveiled both updates at Microsoft Build, its developer conference in Seattle. It said a preview of the Windows Terminal app is currently available, while the first WSL 2 preview will be available later this year. Though both interfaces are typically predicated upon the command line, the new Terminal app looks more like Windows and the Edge web browser. There…

3 min
6 android q features we can’t wait to try (after the dark theme)

To celebrate the 10th major release of Android, Google has a present for all of us: a dark theme. After several starts and stops and half-efforts, the tech firm is finally bringing full dark mode to all Android Q phones, and from what we’ve seen it’s glorious. But while dark mode will probably be the most popular feature of Android Q, it’s only a small part of what the next-generation operating system will deliver. From security and privacy to folding screens and 5G, Android Q is packed with features that will transform your phone. Here are the six features we’re most excited about (other than that sweet, sweet dark theme) after witnessing the Google I/O keynote. 1. Live Caption If you’ve ever been in a quiet room and needed to watch a video,…

4 min
google’s next-gen assistant blows siri away

Sayonara, Siri. During Google’s I/O keynote, the company revealed several jaw-dropping new features coming to Google Assistant, and the AI-enhanced software on Android phones appears ready to run laps around Apple’s still-too-simple rival. Google calls it “the next-generation Assistant”. The secret ingredient? Moving Google Assistant’s processing from the cloud to your device. CEO Sundar Pichai claims that the company managed to condense Assistant’s speech recognition models from 100GB in size all the way down to a mere 50MB, letting it run directly on your phone. “This breakthrough enabled us to create a next-generation Assistant that processes speech on-device at nearly zero latency, with transcription that happens in real time, even when you have no network connection,” Google revealed in its announcement post. Google says the shift allows Assistant to process your commands…

5 min
hands-on: google pixel 3a

As expected via the usual onslaught of Internet leaks, Google has announced some new mid-range smartphones. The firm’s own-brand Android range is now more affordable thanks to the addition of the Pixel 3a, and we were lucky enough to have an early look at it. Design A mid-range device, especially a version of a flagship phone, can often be a much poorer construct due to the price difference. Google has, however, kept things very similar with the 3a, and even side by side you’d struggle to tell it apart from the regular Pixel 3 (£739). The design is kept the same with all the little details found on flagship devices. That includes a two-tone finish on the back with a shiny glass section around the camera. The main difference is that the…