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Tech Advisor

Tech Advisor May 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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5 min.
biggest changes in windows 10 build 17093

Microsoft sees a future without passwords in Windows 10 Insider Build 17093, at least for Windows 10 S users. The firm has quietly worked to downplay passwords via PIN codes, fingerprint sensors, and even facial recognition. But actually killing them entirely within Windows 10 S is one of the key changes coming with what may be called the Spring Creators Update, code-named ‘Redstone 4,’ expected to launch in late March or early April. The build, which is available now, also includes new multi-GPU graphics settings, improved eye tracking, quicker connections using Bluetooth, and clutter-free printing, among others. Let’s take a look. Windows 10 S takes a pass on passwords Last October, one of the hidden features within the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update was a mechanism to eliminate passwords and replace them with…

5 min.
intel expects hard drives to disappear

Intel plans to hit the hard drive harder with its one-two punch of Optane and NAND solid-state drives (SSDs) this year: the goal is to knock local storage entirely out of the PC, and into the cloud. The firm certainly has plans for its SSD business, including adding 1TB and even 2TB capacity points to products like its 760P SSD. But so does everyone else. The more interesting question is what Intel will do with its nearly unique Optane technology, and how it will convince users that it’s worth the investment. Optane occupies a unique niche between a hard drive and DRAM, and originally served as a caching technology for hard drives or SSDs. The first Optane memory gave way to larger, bootable Optanepowered SSDs like the 900P SSD, at 280- and…

2 min.
microsoft’s antimalware targets scareware apps

Windows Defender, built into every Windows 10 PC, is considered the bare minimum for securing your PC from viruses and malware. Microsoft recently announced that Windows Defender has expanded its role into preventing ‘scareware’ apps that use the hard sell to warn you of dangers to your PC. The firm has always had an uneasy relationship with optimization programs, which purport to clean up your PC from unwanted junk, potential spyware, and more. “While Microsoft does not endorse the use of these tools with Windows, we do not view them as unwanted or malicious,” the company said in 2016. At the time, Microsoft began blocking optimizer or cleaner apps that didn’t spell out what they did, in part to prevent customers from paying for something that they didn’t understand. (Typically ‘cleaner’ apps…

7 min.
lg gram 15 (2018)

£2,279 inc VAT from fave.co/2BToJ4w The quest to create a thin and light laptop that delivers great performance goes on, and LG has updated its Ultrabook with an 8th-generation Intel chip, and more. Read on for our thoughts. Design It’s commonplace in the laptop market for new models to come with the same design as previous generations, with new internals, and that’s the case here. Overall there are only minor tweaks to the design so you’d have to be eagle-eyed to spot the differences. On the lid is a ‘gram’ logo instead of ‘LG’, the webcam has been moved and power key looks a bit different. The latter is because LG has added a fingerprint scanner and another way to long into Windows. Tweaks aside, the design of the LG gram 15 is once again…

6 min.
motorola g5s plus

£259 inc VAT from fave.co/2nh34ub Long has the Moto G line of budget smartphones been considered excellent. Not just at Tech Advisor but worldwide, we’ve come to expect a lot of phone for not a lot of money when the latest one comes out. There are only two real differences between the older G5 Plus and this newer G5S Plus – the larger screen and dual cameras. Thankfully, the G5S Plus continues the trend and is the best Moto has ever made. It costs a little more than you might expect, but the extra money is worth it for a phone that packs dual cameras, decent battery life with fast charging, a sleek design and offers superb performance. Design We prefer the design of the G5S Plus to the rest of the G5 family…

7 min.
htc u11+

£699 inc VAT from fave.co/2rJmXOY As expected, HTC is back with some new smartphones including a bigger and better version of the U11 flagship. It’s onwards and upwards for the firm following its deal with Google. Design As you’d expect from a ‘Plus’ version of any phone, the U11+ is a bigger version of the U11. It’s got a bigger screen, of course, but there are a few other design bits and pieces that are new. The device still has the same design language with HTC’s ‘Liquid Surface’ curved glass at the back. This time round there are two colours to choose from starting with Ceramic Black, which to our eyes in real life looks more like chrome/silver. A Translucent Black option, as teased ahead of the launch, is a little more interesting. It’s a…