Tech Advisor June 2021

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 期号


surface laptop 4 leaks suggest a mix of amd and intel cpus

We’re starting to see leaks about Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 4, which is rumoured to be launching in the spring. A new report says both the 13.5in and 15in Surface Laptop 4 versions will offer AMD’s Ryzen processors, though they may not be the chips you’re hoping for. A separate report also claims that Microsoft may release a standalone webcam in April, alongside the Surface Laptop 4. has reported that the probable CPUs inside the new Surface Laptop 4 will include ‘Surface Editions’ of the AMD Ryzen 5 4680U as well as the Ryzen 7 4980U. The mobile Ryzen 4000 series was the first of AMD’s Ryzen chips to yield a tremendous performance boost compared to Intel rivals. (In our review of the Surface Laptop 3, we found the opposite to be…

microsoft rolling out azure percept camera, mic and services

Microsoft may have given up on smart speakers for the consumer, but the company hasn’t given up on letting others build intelligent devices based on its own technologies and hardware. Microsoft has launched Azure Percept, a platform of hardware and services that’s built around Microsoft-designed hardware and Microsoft’s Azure AI platform. They’re part of what’s known as ‘edge computing’, intelligent devices that can process data on their own but are best when combined with the cloud. To get started, Microsoft unveiled Azure Percept Vision, a smart camera; plus Azure Percept Audio, an intelligent audio system at its virtual Microsoft Ignite conference. They can connect to the Azure IoT Hub. While these components could go into consumer-focused smart devices, Microsoft’s first example is vertical: the company said the Percept Vision camera could be…

google is working to solve the chromebook’s support problem

PCs have no expiration date. Chromebooks do. However, executives at Google recently revealed they’re working with Chromebook makers to ensure you won’t end up buying a Chromebook that will go out of support anytime soon. During a press briefing to mark the 10th anniversary of Chrome OS and Chromebooks, a reporter asked the Google executives on the call about a typical Chromebook experience: once a Chromebook’s support window expires, it won’t receive updates. If a website or service requires an up-to-date browser to access it, does that mean the unsupported computer is now worthless? One of the distinctions between a PC and a Chromebook is that support window. Microsoft stops supporting Windows versions at some point, but it doesn’t stop supporting the PC surrounding it. Assuming your PC isn’t ancient, you can…

new chromebooks will ship with google’s stadia pre-installed

Google is making a play to turn Chromebooks into gaming platforms. Going forward, new models will ship with the Google Stadia cloud gaming service pre-installed. “Did you know Chromebooks now come with @GoogleStadia already installed?” the official ‘Made by Google’ account tweeted recently. “Start playing games without waiting for downloads or updates. Click the Stadia icon in your app menu to get started.” Google news site 9to5Google reports that the Stadia link does not show up as an Android app, as has previously occurred. Instead, Google is installing Stadia as a Progressive Web App: an ‘app’ that’s essentially a self-contained web page, allowing you to play Stadia via a browser instead of an app. This also allows Google to quickly update the PWA with the most recent content and updates. Google’s Stadia service…

microsoft mesh: why you should be sceptical about this new vr platform

I am very sceptical about Microsoft Mesh, the company’s new virtual-reality platform, and you should be, too. Microsoft’s last attempt at virtual reality, the HoloLens headset, was introduced with a flourish before largely melting away. The signs so far for Mesh suggest a similarly concerning pattern. Beyond that, we have to ask, do meeting participants event want to mingle in virtual spaces? Microsoft Mesh was announced at the company’s recent Ignite conference – an event taking place via Microsoft Teams and YouTube because of the pandemic. Microsoft technical fellow Alex Kipman, the person most closely tied to Microsoft’s HoloLens efforts, announced that the entire Ignite conference is being hosted on Mesh. If you’d like, you can view it in virtual reality. There’s even a Mesh videoconferencing app in preview. Microsoft hopes Mesh…

review: microsoft surface pro 7+

Price: £1,629 (inc VAT) from By naming this Windows tablet the Surface Pro 7+, Microsoft mistakenly implies that it’s some sort of minor upgrade from the Surface Pro 7. Nothing could be further from the truth: we rarely see such massive upgrades in CPU and GPU horsepower, as well as battery life. It also offers an LTE option and an absolutely dead-silent, fanless chassis. Sure, a few decisions made us scratch our heads. Why do we have to choose between an integrated microSD slot or the LTE option? Thunderbolt still isn’t here, either. But even these flaws really can’t mar an exciting leap in performance. This is the best Surface Pro of several generations, and for the moment the best Windows tablet on the market, too. SPECS AND FEATURES As we look at…