Tech Advisor March 2020

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

15 min
microsoft surface pro x

Price: £999 from Microsoft’s Surface Pro X was supposed to signal a new chapter for Qualcomm’s foray into Windows PCs and tablets, one where battery life was no longer the sole selling point. To its credit, the new, semi-custom Microsoft SQ1 chip (based on the Snapdragon 8cx) delivers improvements in graphics and performance. We also appreciate the appearance of USB-C and a marvellously-engineered pen cubby. But in a baffling turn of events, the Surface Pro X falls short in battery life. Meanwhile, the app compatibility issues and bugs that are an unfortunate staple of Snapdragon-powered PCs remain. Maybe it can be tolerated in a system like the Samsung Galaxy Book 2, which delivers 18 hours of battery life. But not the Surface Pro X, with a mere eight- to 10 hours.…

12 min
apple macbook pro (16in)

Price: £3,069 from With the 16in MacBook Pro, the company set out to create a laptop that would satisfy user demand – and that’s a little different way of doing things for Apple. Most users are used to Apple setting the tone and direction, and expecting users to just go with the flow. But it finally got to breaking point, and users started to loudly complain about the things they didn’t like about the MacBook Pro. So, Apple corrected course. With the prior 15in model, there was always a “Yeah, but…” With the 16in MacBook Pro that replaces it, there are fewer chances for users to say, “Yeah, but….” The new laptop is a great combination of usability and performance, and it fixes the biggest issues with its predecessor. Bye-bye butterfly, hello…

7 min
review: windows security

Price: Part of Windows 10 For years, the attitude towards Windows 10’s built-in security was that it’s a nice idea, but you really shouldn’t rely on it. That stared changing in 2019, with the major testing houses giving Windows Security top marks. Could it be true? Can you really ditch your annual antivirus subscription and rely on Microsoft’s native solution instead? Here’s our opinion. Windows Security is a very basic utility. In a way, it doesn’t need to be fancy, since it’s part of Windows itself. If you need extras like backups or hard drive cleaning, you can find that in other parts of the operating system. Windows Security is accessible via the Start menu or an icon in the system tray. It has seven sections: Virus & threat protection, Account protection, Firewall…

19 min
best antivirus software for your windows pc

Antivirus software is nearly as crucial as a PC’s operating system. Even if you’re well aware of potential threats and practice extreme caution, some threats just can’t be prevented without the extra help of an AV program – or a full antivirus suite. You could, for example, visit a website that unintentionally displays malicious ads. Or accidentally click on a phishing email (it happens). Or get stung by a zero-day threat, where an undisclosed bug in Windows, your browser, or an installed program gives hackers entry to your system. We’re not suggesting that PC security software is fool-proof. Antivirus software often can’t do much to stop zero-day exploits, for example. But it can detect when the undisclosed vulnerability is used to install other nasty bits, like ransomware, on your machine. Anyone who…

8 min
best password managers

We are terrible at passwords. We suck at creating them (the top two most popular remain ‘123456’ and ‘password’), we share them way too freely, and we forget them all the time. Indeed, the very thing that can ensure our online security has become our biggest obstacle to it. This is what makes a good password manager essential. A password manager relieves the burden of thinking up and memorizing unique, complex logins – the hallmark of a secure password. It allows you to safely share those logins with others when necessary. And because these tools encrypt your login info in a virtual vault – either locally or in the cloud – and lock it with a single master password, they protect the passwords themselves. If you’re looking to up your security…

9 min
how to: remove malware from a pc

Beware the signs of a PC plagued by malware: slower-than-usual performance, a sudden spate of pop-ups, and other anomalous issues. Yes, out-of-the-ordinary behaviour is sometimes the result of hardware conflicts, but your first action should be to rule out the possibility of infection by a virus, spyware, or other nefarious entity – even if you have an antivirus program installed. Follow this step-by-step guide for instructions on how to get rid of malware. Step 1: Enter Safe Mode Before you do anything, you need to disconnect your PC from the Internet, and don’t use it until you’re ready to clean your PC. This can help prevent the malware from spreading and/or leaking your private data. If you think your PC may have a malware infection, boot your PC into Microsoft’s Safe Mode. In this…