PC Magazine

PC Magazine

November 2020

PC Magazine provides lab-tested reviews, detailed tips and how-tos, insightful feature stories, expert commentary, and the latest tech trends to help you at work, at home, and on the road. And for a limited time, we're offering a copy of Breakout: How Atari 8-Bit Computers Defined a Generation with new subscriptions. This brand-new book is all about what made Atari's computers great: excellent graphics and sound, flexible programming environment, and wide support.

United States
Ziff Davis
12 期号


the future of computing

If you’re reading the PCMag Digital Edition, you’ve likely got a pretty good grasp on how computers work: bits, bytes, hardware, software, input, output. No big deal; we’ve been living with personal computers for decades now. Well, make that “classical” computers, because there’s a new tech in town: quantum computing. And it’s really different from the computing we’re so used to. We knew going in that researching and reporting on quantum computing wouldn’t be easy. The first roadblock: The technology is really difficult for most humans to understand. Google the term, and you’ll find no end of explainers. But after perusing a bunch of those, one gets the feeling a lot of the writers don’t understand the topic much better than their readers do. Our writer, PCMag senior hardware analyst Tom Brant,…

all about the new apple iphones

Apple refreshed its iPhone line in October with four new models: the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini ($699); the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 ($799) and 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro ($999); and the gigantic 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Max ($1,099). All four models have OLED displays and 5G networking, making them the first iPhones to support 5G. “Every decade there’s a new generation of technology that provides a step change in what we can do with our iPhones,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said at the event. “The next generation is here.” All the new iPhones have a new design with squarer edges, reminiscent of the iPhone 4, which helps them hold their millimeter-wave 5G antennas. Although their screen sizes are larger than last year’s iPhones, Apple says that the phones are physically the same size or…

3 ways amd’s ryzen 5000 cpus could dominate the desktop (and one way they won’t)

Back in May, we published an opinion piece that detailed the five different ways AMD is beating Intel in the desktop CPU market. You might think Intel would have worked to change that narrative with some aggressive pricing maneuvering—you can’t change up your chip designs on a dime, after all—but that hasn’t happened. And if AMD has anything to say about it, the chips will continue to stack ever higher against the silicon giant. On Oct. 8, AMD took to its virtual event stage to unveil its new line of “Zen 3” CPUs. By the looks of them, these chips not only could extend the company’s desktop domination for multi-core content-creation tasks (something its Zen 2-based chips have been doing handily for more than a year now), but they also finally…

snapdragon processors have a future in chromebooks

The brightest immediate future for Snapdragon-powered PCs isn’t 5G-capable flagships, such as the Lenovo Flex 5G. It’s Chromebooks. Microsoft and Qualcomm have spent years positioning Snapdragon-powered laptops, including the Flex 5G and Microsoft Surface Pro X, as superior to their Intel-powered counterparts, but with limited success. Windows software compatibility issues with Snapdragon’s ARM architecture make such laptops sluggish to use, a critical flaw given their often-astronomical price tags. So Qualcomm quietly shifted gears, moving Snapdragon laptops away from their original premium flagship focus and toward low-cost workhorses for schools and consumers who care more about price than performance. In late 2019, the company introduced two lower-cost Snapdragon processors, the 8c and 7c, to complement the 8cx intended for flagships such as the Yoga 5G. Initially, it appeared that shift wasn’t bearing fruit, with…

apple watch series 6: the best smartwatch you can buy

The Apple Watch has been our longstanding Editors’ Choice for its excellent performance, unparalleled app selection, and ample health- and fitness-tracking features. With the Series 6, Apple builds upon its flagship smartwatch with the addition of a blood oxygen saturation sensor that calculates your SpO2 level on demand and captures periodic background measurements when you’re sleeping and inactive. Putting this technology in a consumer wearable has never been more important given the global COVID-19 pandemic, as it indicates how well your circulatory and respiratory systems are delivering oxygenated blood to your body and can help you gauge whether a hospital visit is necessary. PROS: Measures blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) on demand. Always-on altimeter for real-time elevation tracking. Improved wrist-down screen brightness. WatchOS7 adds handwashing countdown timer and sleep tracking. Fast new…

lenovo thinkpad x13 (amd): a solid contender

The celebrated ThinkPad X1 Carbon isn’t the only compelling ultraportable in Lenovo’s business lineup. If that 14-inch premium laptop is a bit too rich for your blood, consider the ThinkPad X13, a 13.3-inch model available with either Intel or AMD CPU silicon under the hood. The AMD Ryzen-based system we tested starts at just $683 and is $1,004 in our specific test configuration—much more affordable than the Carbon, which is compensation for the X13 weighing more (2.8 versus 2.4 pounds) despite its slightly smaller screen. The X13’s six-core Ryzen 5 Pro 4650U processor gives it impressive performance, though we could wish for a couple more hours of battery life. And the X13’s keyboard and construction quality are up to ThinkPad standards—faultless. If your budget doesn’t stretch to the Carbon or…