Tech Advisor October 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
acer predator helios 300

Price: £1,049 from Acer’s Predator Helios 300 has achieved something we never thought a gaming laptop could do. It manages to be popular, powerful, and affordable. We reviewed the original Helios 300 and called it a “great notebook”. Months later, we tested a model updated with Intel’s 8th-gen Core i7, and clad in an eye-catching white-and-gold chassis. With a markup in price of several hundred pounds, our opinion was far more muted. This is basically that same updated laptop, but without the marked-up price to go with that white exterior. That’s why we decided to bring in this laptop to get a closer look at what it offers – and why it’s managed to hit such a sweet spot. Looking into the specs, we can see why it’s powerful (relatively, anyway): with…

8 min
dell g7 15 7590

Price: £1,449 from Dell’s second-generation G7 15 gaming laptop has arrived less than a year since the original debuted last summer (and we reviewed it in the autumn). Designed for mainstream gamers who lack either the money or the confidence for Dell’s flashier Alienware gaming brand, the G7 15 (Model 7590, for you diehard fans) still offers some snazzy new options – such as the 9th-generation Intel Core processor and Nvidia RTX graphics in our review unit. In this case, however, buying the latest and greatest is an investment in the future. The brand-new CPU offers a modest performance uptick. Only a small (and slow-growing) number of games support the RTX GPU’s ray tracing talents, while earlier games see scant benefit. Don’t get us wrong – the G7 15 has a…

11 min
sony xperia 1

Price: £849 from Just when we thought Sony had settled into a naming pattern for its flagship phones it changes track again. The grandly named Xperia 1 goes for broke on the latest Sony smartphone philosophy: do what we do best, and unapologetically so. This means the Xperia 1 is a tall, thin purple 4K smartphone with pretty great cameras. It’s an odd, expensive mix of a lot of good things, with some things missing. It’s not for everyone, but for once, Sony is comfortable that it isn’t – and the phone is all the better for it. Display The screen is the place to start with the Xperia 1. After 2017’s Xperia XZ Premium boasted the world’s first smartphone with a 4K HD LCD display, the Xperia 1 brings you the first…

4 min
new bittboy v3

Price: £39 from The New BittBoy V3 is a handheld retro gaming emulation device that looks like Nintendo’s classic Game Boy – but has hardware powerful enough to play NES, Genesis, and even PlayStation 1 games. For £39, including an 8GB microSD card, it offers great battery life, a nice screen, and consistent emulation. At the time of writing we’re also seeing some great summer discounts. It’s a relatively easy option for those who like to take some favourite video games on the road, as long as you’re willing to deal with a few drawbacks. Hardware The BittBoy takes some design cues from the Game Boy. It has a similar textured-plastic feel and button placement, though it’s considerably smaller and lighter. In my large hands I find myself having to readjust often…

46 min
best laptops 2019

If you’re looking to buy a laptop, we can help. Here at Tech Advisor, we’ve tried and tested a huge range of laptops to determine which are the best on the market. Here, you’ll find our pick of the top models you can buy right now, and offer a verdict on each. How to choose the best laptop for you Sometimes you just can’t beat a bigger screen, a keyboard and Windows for getting stuff done, and then your only choice is a laptop. There are many different kinds, including hybrids that can be either laptop or tablet, high-end gaming laptops, cheap and cheerful budget models, and even those running macOS rather than Windows 10. How much should you spend on a laptop? Sometimes the best does come at a steep price, but equally…

3 min
new windows 10 build improvements revealed

Microsoft has revealed that a new Insider build will improve the way eye tracking works, and let users tweak how they receive notifications within Windows. In the same vein, an updated Your Phone app will allow Windows users to interact with notifications they receive on Android phones. Most users will see the greatest benefit from the updated Notifications, found within the Action Centre within the lower right-hand corner of your Windows screen. Microsoft also overhauled the Eye Control UI, which uses eye tracking to help those who can’t use a mouse or a trackpad to navigate Windows. Windows Insider build 18932 is part of what you might call Microsoft’s “feature release” of Windows 10, also known as 20H1. To test them out, your Windows 10 PC will need to be on the…