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Tech Advisor

Tech Advisor October 2017

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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12 Utgaver

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3 min.
ms office sales soar, but windows phone fades

Remember when Microsoft touted Windows Mobile during earnings calls? Now, Microsoft’s Windows Phone business is ‘immaterial’, while Office, Azure, and other cloud and services products continue to propel the company to profitability. In a small note during its second-quarter earnings report, Microsoft said its phone business had declined $361 million in revenue from a year ago, leading to the claim that the phone business was ‘immaterial’, or not enough to report to investors. It wasn’t enough that the firm’s More Personal Computing segment reported a revenue decline of 2 percent to $8.8 billion: chief financial officer Amy Hood also noted that phones caused a four-percent decline – in other words, Microsoft blamed phones for the company’s loss. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s mantra of “mobile first, cloud first” has been officially discarded. Chief executive Satya…

4 min.
windows 10 may cut off devices with older cpus

No Windows 10 Creators Update for you, Microsoft says – at least, not if you happen to be the unlucky owner of certain older Atom-based Windows devices, and other aging models in the future. After stories arose of failed attempts to upgrade such hardware to the Creators Update, Microsoft confirmed recently that any hardware device that falls out of the manufacturer’s support cycle may be ineligible for future Windows 10 updates. In the case of the four ‘Clover Trail’ processors (part of the Cloverview platform) that have fallen into Intel’s End of Interactive Support phase, they will be ineligible for the Windows 10 Creators Update, Microsoft confirmed. Instead, they’ll simply be offered the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, plus security updates through January, 2023, the end of the original Windows 8.1 support…

2 min.
intel core i9 vs amd ryzen threadripper

When Intel’s next Core i9 CPU appears in a month or so, it may face some stiff competition in a battle people long thought was over: the Megahertz Wars. Although Intel hasn’t formally declared the clock speed of its upcoming 12-core Core i9-7920X, the company appears to have inadvertently disclosed it. A price list posted by the company in July shows the £910 Core i9-7920X with 16.5MB of cache, 12 cores, 24 threads, and a clock speed of 2.9GHz. Intel officials declined to comment to on the apparent slip. Intel’s price list typically lists the base clock or minimum clock speeds a CPU will run at under the heaviest workloads. In this case, the Core i9-7920X appears to guarantee an all-core clock speed that is 500MHz lower than AMD’s published specs. AMD…

5 min.
android o team hold reddit ama session

1. Dark mode isn’t coming, so stop asking Google teased us with dark mode on both the Android N and O developer previews, but it’s not making it into the full release anytime soon. The reason? “Reliable and consistent theming is hard.” Numerous questions about themes and dark mode stacked up on the Reddit board, and Android engineer Alan Viverette addressed it thusly: “There are technical and logistical issues with theming. The technical side is largely solved in O with Runtime Resource Overlay support (a Sony framework that allows the system to modify the look and feel of an app while it is running); however, we still don’t have stable APIs for describing what can be themed or adequate ways to verify that existing applications properly support theming.” Instead Viverette thinks it’s more…

10 min.
microsoft surface laptop

£1,249 inc VAT from fave.co/2tagfhF Our Surface Laptop review looks at Microsoft’s new notebook in two ways: as a stylish ultrabook, designed and priced to compete with Apple’s MacBook Air for university students’ favour. But it’s also a machine purpose-built for Windows 10 S, which restricts users to Windows Store apps but allows an upgrade to Windows 10 Pro. We’ve therefore reviewed the Surface Laptop using its native Windows 10 S. After using the Surface Laptop for several days as a Windows 10 S machine, though, we can already say it does a great job of addressing exactly what students need. For other users intrigued by it, though, we recommend looking a bit further afield, or at least bail out of Windows 10 S early on. An ultrabook with style The Surface Laptop follows…

9 min.
gigabyte aero 15

£1,899 inc VAT from fave.co/2gXJlPc Gigabyte’s Aero 15 is a powerhouse laptop that hits a lot of high notes. Quad-core Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU? Check. Dual M.2 SSD slots? Check. Up to 32GB of RAM? Check. Nice 15.6in screen? Check. Powerful Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU? Check. It’s this last point (well, and the garish colours) that will have many calling the Aero 15 a gaming-laptop rather than what it really is: a powerful, portable laptop that can do it all, and with decent battery life to boot. Even the weight’s bearable at 2.1kg. We have some objections to its design, but it’s still well worth a look. A splash of colour in a brushed-metal world The Gigabyte Aero 15 comes in three colours: a standard low-profile black, Hemi Orange and Lime Green. I…