Tech Advisor December 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
microsoft is readying a new surface pro x

Microsoft may announce support for emulating 64-bit Windows apps alongside a refresh of the Surface Pro X this autumn. Sources talking to Windows Central report that Microsoft plans a refreshed Surface Pro X using Microsoft’s SQ1 chip, a derivative of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G, itself the next iteration of the Snapdragon 8cx chip that powered notebooks like the Samsung Galaxy Book S. Microsoft’s version of the 8cx Gen 2 5G would reportedly be called the SQ2. The name for the new Surface Pro X is unknown, though ‘Surface Pro X 2’ is a possibility. Windows Central reports that the design will remain unchanged, but with a platinum colour option. Though the Surface Pro X was Microsoft’s attempt at modernizing the relatively fixed Surface Pro tablet design, it suffered from…

6 min
intel launches 11th-gen tiger lake cpus, with blazing-fast clock speeds

Intel promised ”dramatic” clock-speed increases in its 11th-gen ‘Tiger Lake’ Intel Core CPU. It delivered. In August, Intel surprised us by promising that its new SuperFIN transistor would push Tiger Lake to a greater-than-generational improvement in CPU performance. While that claim will have to wait for actual testing, the numbers help bolster its case: the base clock speed of the top four-core, eight-thread Core i7-1185G7 reaches 3GHz – far above that of Intel’s flagship 10th-gen Ice Lake chips – with single-core turbo speeds hitting 4.8GHz. All told, Intel is launching nine new Tiger Lake processors for notebooks, five of which include the new Xe integrated graphics core. More than 150 designs based on the new 11th-gen Intel Core processors are expected from partners including Acer, Asus, Dell, Dynabook, HP, Lenovo, LG, MSI,…

8 min
intel’s new evo brand will highlight premium ‘project athena’ notebook pcs

The new Intel Evo sticker you’ll see on laptops this autumn is Intel’s answer to the question, “So what this makes this laptop PC so special, anyway?” Ever since the company launched its Project Athena premium thin-and-light PC programme 18 months ago, Intel and its partners have struggled to communicate what makes their collaboratively designed notebooks better than the rest. Evo is its new signal. In what Intel is informally calling the “Project Athena Second Edition,” Intel told our colleagues at PCWorld how it is prioritizing its new Intel Evo brand as a badge to identify these premium ultrabooks, while redefining what they stand for: cloud-and browser-based work. Intel launched the new Evo brand alongside the formal, final unveiling of its 11th-gen Tiger Lake processors (see page 6). The second edition…

4 min
nvidia set to purchase arm for up to $40 billion

Nvidia agreed to purchase Arm for up to $40 billion in cash and stock, the companies announced in a statement last month. This mammoth deal in the chip industry is expected to bolster AI and GPU powerhouse Nvidia’s chip portfolio, even as it’s sure to attract antitrust attention in the smartphone market. Nvidia will pay Softbank, the company’s current owner, a total of $21.5 billion in Nvidia stock and $12 billion in cash, including $2 billion payable at signing. Nvidia will also issue $1.5 billion in equity to Arm employees. It may also pay Softbank up to $5 billion in cash or stock if Arm meets specific financial performance targets – bringing the final purchase price up to $40 billion, the largest chip deal ever. The deal has been approved by the…

1 min
microsoft buys bethesda, creator of doom, fallout, elder scrolls and quake

PlayStation fan boys like to say the Xbox doesn’t have enough exclusive games. Well, now the Xbox will have games. Last month, Microsoft announced that it was acquiring the parent company of Bethesda Softworks, the publisher behind iconic gaming franchises such as Doom, Fallout, Elder Scrolls, Quake, Wolfenstein, Dishonored, Prey, and more, for $7.5 billion. That’s a heck of a birthday present for the Xbox Series X, the next-gen console that lands on 10 November. Pre-orders for the Xbox Series X open tomorrow. It will probably put your PC to shame. While PlayStation enthusiasts should be worried about the future of those franchises on their console of choice, PC faithful shouldn’t sweat the acquisition. Microsoft has doubled down on PC support in recent years: bringing all its first-party games to the PC,…

28 min
intel 11th-gen core i7-1185g7 tiger lake

It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Intel’s 11th-gen Tiger Lake is perhaps the most important laptop CPU launch for the company. While previous generations suffered no real competition from AMD, Tiger Lake enters the ring facing a legitimate foe: Ryzen 4000. Today, however, is all about whether Intel’s new 11th-gen 10nm Tiger Lake chip and its SuperFin transistors and Iris Xe graphics have what it takes to keep AMD at bay. Intel gave us the opportunity to take an 11th-gen Tiger Lake reference laptop (a sample design, not a retail product) for a spin. Keep reading to see how it fares. A PREVIEW WITH CONDITIONS For this performance preview, Intel loaned us the laptop with a few strings attached. We say few, because there were a couple more for which we…