PCWorld November 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

1 min
should you purchase a 5g laptop right now?

If you’re pining for a laptop with jaw-droppingly fast 5G download speeds, the future is now. The Lenovo Flex 5G is available right now through Verizon, and more 5G-capable laptops are on the way. But is now the right time to buy one? Sure, the idea of a 5G-enabled laptop is tempting. During my tests with the Flex 5G, I managed to get download speeds between 381Mbps and 476.7Mbps, with upload speeds in the 50Mbps range. That pretty much blows away the throughput on my home Wi-Fi network. Of course, you’ll only get those astounding 5G download speeds if you’re in a Verizon 5G coverage area, and as of now, they’re hard to come by. While AT&T and T-Mobile offer much broader 5G coverage, their slower but longer-range sub-6GHz 5G networks aren’t…

6 min
amd says the zen 3-based ryzen 9 is the ‘world’s best gaming cpu’

If you’re pining for a laptop with jaw-droppingly fast 5G download speeds, the future is now. The Lenovo Flex 5G is available right now through Verizon, and more 5G-capable laptops are on the way. But is now the right time to buy one? MD’s highly anticipated Zen 3 made its debut in early October, with four new Ryzen 5000 CPUs that aim to snatch the gaming crown from Intel. You won’t even have to wait that long, as AMD said the AM4-based CPUs will all go on sale on November 5. The four models released are: > Ryzen 9 5950X: 16 cores, 32 threads, 4.9GHz boost, 3.4GHz base, 105-watt TDP, $799 > Ryzen 9 5900X: 12 cores, 24 threads, 4.8GHz boost, 3.8GHz base, 105-watt TDP, $549 > Ryzen 7 5800X: 8 cores, 16 threads, 4.7GHz…

2 min
microsoft surface duo review roundup: a unique dual-screen phone with too many issues

Microsoft Surface Duo is officially on sale, but before you drop $1,400 on one, you might want to read a few of the reviews. Because the first impressions of the unique device aren’t great. The overall feeling is best summed up by Joanna Stern of the Wall Street Journal, who says the device isn’t ready unless “you want an Android device that repeatedly ignores your taps on its screens, randomly slows down, struggles to figure out its own up, down and sideways positioning, and abruptly rearranges parts of its own interface.” That’s pretty scathing, but unfortunately, Stern’s conclusions aren’t out of the ordinary. In addition to saying the “lovely, well-designed” Surface Duo “is absolutely not worth” its $1,400 price tag, Dieter Bohn at The Verge criticizes the device’s complicated multitasking, confusing navigation,…

2 min
google’s g suite becomes google workspace, with a new unified ui

Google is marking its transition to a more unified G Suite workspace by changing Google G Suite’s name…to Workspace. In July, Google announced a more unified look for G Suite, announcing that you’ll be able to collaborate in apps like Sheets, for example, while within an entirely different app. For now, this integrated experience is just available to paying customers of Google Workspace, Google said in a blog post. In the coming months, Google said, the company plans to migrate the new UI over to the consumer experience, too, “to help them do things like set up a neighborhood group, manage a family budget, or plan a celebration using integrated tools like Gmail, Chat, Meet, Docs, and Tasks,” the company said. What’s changed? Besides the name, and some new limits on cloud storage,…

2 min
google assistant app actions brings voice commands to android apps

Google Assistant can do a lot of things on our phones, but it’s not so great at interacting with our Android apps. Sure you can ask Spotify to play a song or send a text with Telegram, but for the most part, apps and Assistant are mutually exclusive. That’s no longer the case. As part of its Google Assistant Developer Day in October, Google announced that a handful of “your favorite Android apps” have begun working with Assistant voice commands, including Discord, Etsy, MyFitnessPal, Mint, Nike Adapt, Postmates, Snapchat, Spotify, Twitter, and Walmart. As long as the corresponding app is set up on your phone, all you need to do is summon Assistant and ask to do something within an app, like ordering pizza on Postmates or checking an order status…

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2 min
microsoft edge and bing add new price comparison feature

As Amazon Prime Day approached, Microsoft implemented a price-comparison tool within Microsoft Edge to help shoppers evaluate the best deal. The price-comparison tool is one of a number of new features coming to Edge, in conjunction with Microsoft’s Bing search engine. Those features include the formal launch of Bing Rebates, which offers Microsoft Rewards members site-wide discounts as they shop online. Unfortunately, Microsoft’s new price comparisons aren’t as easy as entering search terms in a search box. Instead, Microsoft has made them part of its Collections feature, which essentially bookmarks individual webpages inside a Collection. However, a Collection is more than a just a folder of bookmarks, as Microsoft’s Bing sniffs each webpage and pulls out the relevant data: price, availability, and so on. It’s this pricing data that Microsoft will extract…