PCWorld March 2020

We review the Google Pixel 4a, plus what to expect if you’re switching from an iPhone SE. Find out if your Chromebook is expiring. Reviews of Note 20 Ultra, Norton 360 Deluxe, Mullvad vs. NordVPN, and much more!

United States
12 Issues

in this issue

6 min
galaxy s20 ultra hands-on: samsung’s pro phone is a monument to excess

The Galaxy S20 Ultra is the most phone I’ve ever held in my hand. I’m not just referring to the screen size—a hair under 7 inches—or even the weight, which tips the scales at 220 grams. It’s the whole package, which oozes luxury and excess in a way no Galaxy phone has ever before. At a quick glance, the S20 Ultra doesn’t seem all that different from the S20 or S20+: You get the same basic features in increasingly larger displays (6.2, 6.7, and 6.9 inches, respectively, as you step up the line). But as soon as you pick up the Ultra, you can feel the difference. It feels more substantial than any other I’ve ever used, including the iPhone 11 Pro Max. It’s hefty without being too heavy, and gigantic…

6 min
samsung galaxy s20 v s20+: how do the non-ultra phones stack up?

If you’ve got your eye on a new Galaxy S20, chances are the Ultra is just too much phone for you. It’s huge, powerful, and, most importantly, crazy-expensive, so most people are going to be choosing between the classics: S20 and S20+. But just because they don’t have Ultra branding, doesn’t mean you’re getting a subpar handset: DESIGN No matter which S20 you buy, you’re getting a gorgeous phone, with extremely slim bezels, a stunning screen, and a striking camera array. Samsung isn’t straying too far from its tried-and-true formula, but the S20 definitely has a character all its own. However, while anyone will be able to pick the S20 out of a lineup of S10’s, there isn’t too much of a size difference between the new phone and the old ones: S20: 151.7…

4 min
samsung galaxy z flip: 6 features and facts to know before buying

Samsung wasted little time in getting to the good stuff at its first Unpacked event of 2020. Right off the bat, it took the wraps off the Galaxy Z Flip, its second folding phone and the first one that’s actually kind of affordable. Seriously, it’s cheaper than the Galaxy S20 Ultra (which has a starting price of $1,400; see page 7). As far as the specs go, the Z Flip isn’t a midrange device like the Motorola razr. Along with the Flip’s 6.7-inch 1080p display, the Flip has a very speedy processor. I’m not sure exactly which chip it is, but the specs say it’s a 7nm, 64-bit Octa-Core Processor with a max speed of 2.95GHz, which is actually faster than the S20. It also boasts 256GB of storage and 8GB…

10 min
microsoft’s windows 10x: a dozen ways it’s cooler than just two screens

Before a recent developer event, all we really knew about Windows 10X was that it would be some flavor of Windows 10, optimized for dual-screen devices such as Microsoft’s own Surface Neo and an unknown number of third-party competitors by holiday 2020. Now we know much more, including what’s under the hood. At the event, the company made a Windows 10X emulator available—though you’ll need to assign a fairly powerful PC to the task, and dedicate it to the Windows Insider program. Microsoft revealed several intriguing characteristics of the new OS as well, including lightning-fast updates, a special way of handling Win32 apps, and no apparent need for anti-malware apps. Some have characterized Windows 10X as a new Windows 10 “experience,” in much the same way a movie might be re-released in…

7 min
threadripper 3990x review roundup: amd’s 64-core cpu can play crysis, but it’s not for everyone

AMD’s 64-core CPU has officially gone on sale, and early reviews of AMD’s flagship high-end desktop processor give the chip very high marks—assuming you can make use of it. And provided you can afford it! Newegg is selling the new Threadripper 3990X for $3,989.99, which is a penny below its MSRP of $3,990. Anything below MSRP on a new CPU launch is rare for Newegg. If you’d rather get that brick-and-mortar experience, Microcenter has it in stores and online at the chip’s $3,990 list price. Before you break out that roll of hunnert-dollar bills though, you should ask yourself: Is it worth it? Most reviewers are saying: “It depends.” Here are the highlights from major sites and some other interesting places that tested it. ANANDTECH SAYS THREADRIPPER 3990X IS A “NO BRAINER” (BUT…) Kicking off…

3 min
microsoft walks back plans to switch chrome search to bing for office 365 customers

In what seems like a broad case of overreaching, an upcoming version of Microsoft’s Office 365 for enterprises will automatically switch Google Chrome’s search engine to Bing. And Firefox is next on the list. Yes, Google Chrome. Yes, Bing. Microsoft says it’s doing so to enable Microsoft Search, which essentially evolves the Bing search engine into a way to delve through your corporate files and other information. But still, altering another company’s search engine to do so? (We reached out to Google for comment, but the company hadn’t responded by press time.) Microsoft laid out its plans in a support document that surfaced recently, in part due to a report by Thurrott.com. Specifically, the change will be made to Office 365 ProPlus, a version of Office specific to enterprises. The change will…