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Tech Advisor

Tech Advisor April 2018

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.

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United Kingdom
IDG Communications - UK
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8 min.
meltdown and spectre troubleshooting guide

Massive security vulnerabilities in modern CPUs are forcing a redesign of the kernel software at the heart of all major operating systems. Since the issues – dubbed Meltdown and Spectre – exist in the CPU hardware itself, Windows, Linux, Android, macOS, iOS, Chromebooks, and other operating systems all need to protect against it. And worse, plugging the hole can negatively affect your PC’s performance. Everyday home users shouldn’t panic too much though. Just apply all available updates and keep your antivirus software vigilant, as ever. Here’s a high-level look at what you need to know about Meltdown and Spectre, in plain language. If you like diving deep into technical details read Google’s post on the CPU vulnerabilities – fave.co/2DoKeKV. What’s the issue? Again, the CPU exploits in play here are extremely technical, but…

7 min.
best new products

C ES 2018 is over, and we have a chance to pause and reflect on what we saw that was actually great. Products that advanced their category, or broke new ground. Things that leaped ahead of the competition, Or maybe they just looked cool. It’s easy to hit saturation at CES, but these are the products we’re still talking about when everything else has blurred together. We start with the product that was so innovative, two of us raved about it. 1. Creative Super X-Fi headphone holography Hands down, this was the best demo at CES – and it’s the product I’m most looking forward to reviewing this year. Creative’s DSP chip and software analyses how your ears perceive sound, based on photos of each of your ears and your face. It then…

9 min.
biggest launches for pc enthusiasts

An ominous Spectre hung over CES 2018’s PC announcements, as the industry grapples with how to protect against devastating CPU exploits that melt down security on almost every computer on the planet (see page 4). But put all that aside for now: 2017 was one of the best years for PC hardware ever, and at CES 2018, the PC kept the pedal firmly planted to the metal. Intel and AMD joined forces on a powerful chip. Nvidia pushed gaming displays way past the limits of what we’ve seen so far. Next-generation routers, while Asus used an optical illusion to make multi-monitor set-ups even more immersive. Let’s dig into the big CES reveals that PC enthusiasts need to know about, starting with a big one. 1. Intel As we touched upon earlier, Intel and…

4 min.
android announcements you may have missed

C ES may be all about consumer electronics, but sadly that doesn’t really include phones. Most companies hold off until the spring to unveil their newest handsets, and there hasn’t been a big Android splash at CES since Google unveiled the Nexus One back in 2010. But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t any Android news coming out of Las Vegas in January. While the Intel-AMD love affair and Google Assistant-powered speakers might have snagged most of the headlines, Android fans still found enough cool things on the show floor to entertain them. Here’s a look at seven things you might have missed: 1. Moto Mods Moto Mods were all the rage a year ago, but the fad isn’t completely over. During its keynote, Lenovo showed off two new magnetic Moto Mods for…

5 min.
project linda turns razer phone into a laptop

Another CES, another Razer prototype. Unlike last year’s three-screened laptop Project Valerie, Razer’s Project Linda is something that might actually make it to market. Project Linda is a dock for your Razer Phone in the form of a laptop. Razer’s approach might have taken inspiration from the clamshell-like Lap Dock (originally called the Mobile Extender) that shipped as an option for HP’s Elite x3 Windows phone. That phone is dead, though, so Razer has an opportunity to reincarnate the idea on a more successful phone platform. I’m optimistic: Project Linda is only a prototype, but it’s the best I’ve seen from Razer. Hybrid hardware Because it uses the processing power of the Razer Phone, there isn’t much inside Project Linda. The form factor mimics the Razer Blade Stealth with a 13.3in screen, CNC…

4 min.
nvidia unveils giant 65in gaming display

Technically, Nvidia did not announce any smart TVs at CES. Instead, the company announced a set of 65in monitors that it’s calling Big Format Gaming Displays (BFGD). Built by Acer, Asus, and HP – but all using the same 4K HDR panel – they’re supposed to bring high-end PC gaming into the lounge. But if you look past the gaming elements, Nvidia’s BFGDs could become the best smart TVs that money can buy when they arrive in the second half of this year. Their display quality rivals some of the best televisions from companies like Samsung, they use a fancy variable refresh rate technology that no other television has yet, and they have the guts of an Nvidia Shield TV – arguably the best media streamer on the market today –…