Tech Advisor October 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

2 min
latest windows beta connects with eye contact

Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 Insider build reanimates the often passed-over Surface app, adding a new capability: a way to use AI so that your eyes appear to meet the gaze of those you’re speaking to on video chats. Microsoft’s Windows 10 Insider build 20175 for the Dev Channel also takes the Alt+Tab functionality that it introduced at the beginning of July, and expands upon it. Now, in addition to the ability to cycle through various Microsoft Edge tabs using ALT+Tab, users can now pin active tabs to the taskbar, with improved preview features. Microsoft’s Dev Channel has been repurposed for testing new code of all types, not necessarily specific to an upcoming feature release. It’s not possible to say whether any of the new features being released will ever arrive in a…

4 min
this is what next year’s microsoft 365 office apps could look like

Microsoft has revealed what it’s thinking about for upcoming iterations of Microsoft 365 and its Office apps, combining a flexible ribbon and a more muted colour scheme with adaptive commands and a greater emphasis on artificial intelligence. In a recent blog post, the chief designer of Office 365, Jon Friedman, said that some of the changes were on the table, while others were simply exploratory. Friedman didn’t provide a timeline for the changes beyond a “year or two”, but it’s likely that this will be another wholesale update of the Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) suite. Microsoft has continually updated Office over time – and it’s had to, as it’s asking customers to spend about £59.99 per year just for a personal licence to what’s now called Microsoft 365. In 2018, the…

2 min
top intel exec leaves after company announces major reorganization

The fallout from Intel’s disastrous 7nm delay news was swift. Just three days after the announcement, the company revealed it is breaking up its Technology, Systems Architecture and Client Group and that top executive Murthy Renduchintala is headed out the door. His group will be broken up in five pieces, each reporting directly to Intel CEO Bob Swan. • Technology Development, led by Dr Ann Kelleher • Manufacturing and Operations, led by Keyvan Esfarjani • Design Engineering, led in the interim by Josh Walden • Architecture, Software and Graphics will continue to be led by Raja Koduri • Supply Chain will continue to be led by Dr Randhir Thakur “I look forward to working directly with these talented and experienced technology leaders, each of whom is committed to driving Intel forward during this period of critical…

3 min
powerful new qualcomm snapdragon 865 plus headed to gaming phones

The rumours were true: Qualcomm unveiled the Snapdragon 865 Plus 5G platform in July, offering faster CPU and GPU clock speeds, upgraded Wi-Fi, plus 5G modem support. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus 5G platform (also referred to as the Snapdragon 865 Plus, when speaking about the chip itself) is essentially an upgraded version of the Snapdragon 865 chip the company unveiled last December for premium smartphones. The Snapdragon 865 introduced a host of new features, including camera upgrades, AI, security, and gaming. The Snapdragon 865 was designed around Qualcomm’s standalone X55 5G modem, and the Snapdragon 865 Plus is as well, though neither is integrated. Both the 865 and the 865 Plus are 7nm chips. Almost all of the features on both the Snapdragon 865 and 865 Plus are common to both…

6 min
the oculus go is dead and vr is better for it

Oculus has stopped selling its entry-level virtual reality headset, the Oculus Go. Usually this kind of announcement would be met with nostalgic retrospectives and beers poured on the floor. Much lamenting, and all that. Even the worst products usually get a rose-tinted send-off. But virtual reality is better off without Go around, and so is Oculus. THE GEAR VR ERA You’ll get no eulogy from me. Not a fond one, anyway. Oculus Go was a play for the mass market that completely misunderstood the mass market. Staring down the barrel of the £499 Oculus Rift, the goal was to get people into virtual reality as cheaply as possible. Break down the barriers. Build the ecosystem. That process began with the Samsung Gear VR. Using an existing Samsung phone to power a VR experience seemed…

15 min
dell xps 15 9500

Price: £1,949 (inc VAT) from Timing is everything in the PC business, and the Dell XPS 15 9500, an overdue refresh to the company’s high-end workhorse, arrives just in time for it to be truly considered the ‘MacBook Pro killer’ it’s always aspired to be. Yes, we know ‘MacBook Pro killer’ is overused Internet clickbait. But with Apple’s decision to throw in the towel on x86-based laptops, anyone buying a Mac today is basically volunteering to stand on the deck of the Titanic and wave as the last lifeboats pull away. Some laptop refreshes can be fairly minor. For the XPS 15 9500, it’s a complete redesign of a laptop that’s changed little since 2015, when it first adopted its ‘InfinityEdge’ bezels On this model, gone is the 16:9 display aspect ratio…