Tech Advisor November 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

4 min
the microsoft surface duo arriving september

The bad news is it’s US-only for now. MICHAEL SIMON reports A recent Microsoft blog post (see brought both good and bad news for those waiting for its dual-screen smartphone – the Surface Duo. The good news is that it will ship September 10. The bad news is that initially it will only be available to buy in the US, with a UK release thought to be some way off. It’s also very expensive. Microsoft will be charging $1,399 (around £1,050) for the base configuration of its dual-screen Duo with 128GB of storage (add $100 for 256GB). You’re not getting much for your money other than the pleasure of being first. It has last year’s top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, just 6GB of RAM, a relatively small 3577mAh battery and a…

1 min
a new blackberry phone is coming with 5g, android a physical keyboard

Just when you thought BlackBerry phones were gone for good, a brand-new start-up is claiming that a new one is on the way. And in case you’re wondering, yes it will have a physical keyboard. In a press release (see, Texas-based Onward Mobility announced that is has entered into an agreement with BlackBerry and FIH Mobile Limited to deliver a new 5G BlackBerry Android smartphone with physical keyboard in the first half of 2021. Little else is known about the phone except that it will, according to the report, be “secure”, “feature-rich” and “enable productivity, without sacrificing the user experience”. The company’s CEO also told the Register that the phone will be an “everyday device” that’s “the most secure and productive” with things like “a top-notch camera, and the other specs…

2 min
intel’s alder lake chip pushes performance, then battery life, for laptops

Intel’s Alder Lake chip will build upon its predecessor, the first hybrid core known as Lakefield, by prioritizing performance over battery life for thin-and-light laptops, small-form-factor PCs, and other compact designs. Announced last month as part of Intel Architecture Day, the chip will be available in 2021. Alder Lake’s performance focus fills an unmet need in the prior generation, Lakefield, which Intel unveiled about a year ago. At the time, the company talked about using its Foveros technology to stack a ‘compute’ die on top of a ‘base’ die, saving space for small-form-factor PCs. But Lakefield also steals a page from rival Arm processors, combining four low-power ‘Tremont’ Atom cores for low-intensity tasks, with a single ‘Sunny Cove’ Core CPU for heavier burdens. Lakefield quietly debuted in a version of Samsung’s…

1 min
windows 95 turns 25: with relive this the nostalgic glory days app

If you have about 200MB of bandwidth to spare and a taste for the nostalgic, why not take a moment and download Windows 95 as an app? Felix Rieseberg constructed one of Microsoft’s iconic operating systems as an Electron app, which is downloadable from GitHub ( for Windows, Mac or Linux. It’s unknown whether Rieseberg received any help from Microsoft itself, or whether or not what he constructed is technically legal. At this point, really, who cares? ‘Windows 95 v1.0’, as it’s referred to, isn’t totally functional. Apps like Notepad and Solitaire work, though Internet Explorer can’t break out of the virtual machine and access the Internet. That’s a shame, of course, because there’s an AOL executable just waiting to be used. (We can confirm that Windows 95 v1.0 runs just…

2 min
microsoft flight simulator could spur billions in pc hardware sales

Microsoft’s beautiful and punishing Flight Simulator 2020 reboot will spur a staggering $2.6 billion in PC hardware sales, Jon Peddie Research (JPR) estimates. Flight Simulator formally launched August 17. Previews of Flight Simulator largely agree it’s one of the most sophisticated flight sims, if not games, to release on the PC. You can read our thoughts on page 101. Jon Peddie Research believes this will cause PC players to buy new CPUs, GPUs and monitors. Don’t forget the accessories. JPR also expects strong sales in flight sticks, throttles, rudder pedals and even simulation seats, frames, and VR gear. “Flight simulators are incredibly demanding on processing capability and reward high resolution, large displays, and VR use. When new flight simulators are released, the hardware to run them at max settings and performance does not…

13 min
review: samsung galaxy note20 ultra

Price: £1,179 (inc VAT) from Our Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra review found three clear reasons to make the jump to this new flagship phone: Mystic Bronze, laser autofocus and the S Pen’s new 8ms latency. And if you’re looking for any reasons not to, well, there are plenty of those in this review too – namely, it’s gigantic, expensive and not a huge upgrade over the S20 Ultra. But if you’re a Note fan, you know exactly what you’re getting and you know you want it: the biggest, fastest and most powerful Android phone you can buy. For everyone else, it’s not so simple. Samsung’s flagships have become so good that reviews of them are all basically the same: yes they have the best specs, but they’re also the most expensive (although…