PCWorld August 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!

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15 Números

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3 min.
how to fix audio problems on your windows pc

For all its positives, Windows sometimes acts in unexpected ways—like a sudden lack of audio. If your PC abruptly stops playing sound, try these easy steps to fix the issue: NO SOUND IN ONE APP 1. First, reboot your computer. 2. Confirm the program’s volume isn’t turned down or muted. In browsers like Chrome and Firefox, each tab can be muted individually—right-click a tab to see its status. (The option will say Unmute Tab if a tab is currently silenced.) 3. If you still can’t hear anything in this program, try uninstalling and reinstalling it. Before doing so, first back up any data and/or write down how your settings are currently configured, as applicable. Note: For paid software, your license for the program may be tied to a specific version—if that’s the case, you may…

5 min.
best galaxy s20, s20+ and s20 ultra cases: top picks in every style

We’re just gonna say it—you’re crazy to take your Galaxy S20 out in public without something to protect it. With prices starting at $1,000 and going all the way up to $1,600, it’s one of the most expensive phones ever made. It’s also the biggest, with the S20 Ultra tipping the scales at a whopping (and eminently droppable) 6.9 inches. So check out these picks and stop playing chicken with your phone. SMARTISH WALLET SLAYER VOL. 1 Price: $20 Colors: Black, various Why we love it: The Smartish Wallet Slayer doesn’t just have a cool name, it lives up to it. The case has enough room for three credit cards on the back, but its soft material keeps it from getting too bulky. The texturized sides are nice to grip, and the buttons are…

6 min.
the oculus go is dead, and virtual reality is better for it

Oculus stopped selling its entry-level virtual reality headset, the Oculus Go, in June. Usually this kind of announcement would be met with nostalgic retrospectives and beers poured on the floor. Much lamenting, and all that. Even the worst products usually get a rose-colored sendoff. But virtual reality is better off without Go around, and so is Oculus. THE GEAR VR ERA You’ll get no eulogy from me. Not a fond one, anyway. The Oculus Go was a play for the mass market that completely misunderstood the mass market. Staring down the barrel of the $600 Oculus Rift, the goal was to get people into virtual reality as cheaply as possible. Break down the barriers. Build the ecosystem. That process began with the Samsung Gear VR. Using an existing Samsung phone to power a VR…

9 min.
arm macs and amd rising: how intel’s endless 10nm struggles cost it so much

Intel’s endless 10nm nightmare has cost it so, so much. It all started on September 5, 2014. That’s the day Intel introduced 5th-gen Core M chips based on “Broadwell”, the company’s first processors built using the 14-nanometer manufacturing process. Despite some manufacturing woes that pushed Broadwell back from its expected 2013 release, Intel’s offering served as the vanguard of processor technology. AMD remained stuck on the 28nm process with its abysmal Bulldozer architecture. A mere month later, the Apple iPad Air 2 launched with a custom A8X chip that couldn’t quite hang with Intel’s older Haswell CPUs in Geekbench—but it was getting close. Nearly six years later, the tables have turned. Intel’s 10th-gen Core processors remain on an (upgraded) 14nm process. AMD’s Ryzen chips have snatched the computing crown, and Apple’s doing…

7 min.
avira prime: value, value, value

We’ve been reviewing Avira Antivirus Pro for a few years now and wondering why it was worth purchasing when the free version of Avira offered so much. At the time, Avira’s top-level offering, Prime, was just too expensive. Those days are over, however, and Avira Prime is now available at a competitive price. Prime is the company’s one-stop shop for antivirus, web protection, ad blocking, privacy protection, and system maintenance. It includes access to Phantom Pro, the company’s VPN, as well as system tune-up options, a secure file shredder, and more. Avira also recently overhauled its interface, offering a much nicer look, and a vast improvement on Avira’s previous design. FEATURES AND SERVICES Avira Prime starts with a very simple dashboard with three icons: Security, Privacy, and Performance. There’s also a left rail with…

4 min.
word reads to you: how to use the speak and read aloud commands

Can Microsoft Word read to me? Yes, it can. There are three ways to accomplish this task: The Speak and Read Aloud features in Word, or the Narrator feature in Windows. The Speak feature was incorporated into Microsoft Office (Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, etc.) back in version 2003. It was called Text To Speech (TTS) then, and it functioned much the same as it does now. Fortunately, it’s a very simple procedure to set up and use, so you can get started immediately. ADD THE SPEAK BUTTON TO THE QUICK ACCESS TOOLBAR 1. Click the Customize arrow on the Quick Access Toolbar. 2. From the drop-down menu, select More Commands. 3. Go to Word Options > Customize The Quick Access Toolbar and locate the Choose Commands From box. Scroll down to the Speak command. 4. Select the…