PC Magazine February 2019

PC Magazine provides lab-tested reviews, detailed tips and how-tos, insightful feature stories, expert commentary, and the latest tech trends to help you at work, at home, and on the road. And for a limited time, we're offering a copy of Breakout: How Atari 8-Bit Computers Defined a Generation with new subscriptions. This brand-new book is all about what made Atari's computers great: excellent graphics and sound, flexible programming environment, and wide support.

United States
Ziff Davis
12 Issues

in this issue

1 min
better medicine through tech

In 2019, when a person (like myself) sets out to assign a story on healthcare and technology, she’s faced with an embarrassment of riches. The field is exploding right now, thanks to a multitude of new techniques and discoveries. We could have written about so many things: genome editing for diagnosis and treatment of various ailments, wearable devices with remarkable new sensor capabilities, new and dramatically improved prosthetics, and on and on. But what writer Michelle Z. Donahue found as she searched for the most fascinating and promising projects, and spoke with the scientists who are powering them, was that two technologies were showing up most frequently: artificial intelligence and 3D printing. Her story, “High-Tech Healthcare: Today’s Innovations Are Powering Tomorrow’s Medicine,” details how these technologies are playing their respective parts,…

3 min
the best way to game

Without the walled garden that is consoles and their exclusives, consoles wouldn’t even exist. Consoles are inferior to the PC in every single way except for exclusives. If Sony and Nintendo were to follow this guy’s advice, nobody would bother buying their new consoles. —Dale Stoddard Consoles may not keep up with the PC in terms of power and the price of games, but they do offer things that make up for those shortcomings: Ease of use, less maintenance, fewer hackers… you don’t need to learn how to build one, and your games just work 99.9 percent of the time. I’m not saying consoles are universally better, but they do provide advantages. Both ways to game offer pros and cons. The only right way to game is the way you prefer. —John117 Not everyone…

readers input_ipad opener
7 min
the best of ces 2019: the pc edition

CES is 52 years old and shows no signs of slowing down. The show has certainly changed over time, though. The major smartphone announcements we saw 10 years ago are all but gone, being held for Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next month. Instead, this year’s show brings us some of the most exciting PCs we’ve seen in years—and considering this is PCMag, that’s no small feat. Just like last year, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant seem to be everywhere, letting us control virtually everything with our voices. A much bigger surprise is that Apple’s AirPlay 2 streaming platform is coming to TVs from LG, Samsung, and Vizio. And as always, exciting, innovative products were not in short supply. At CES, you never know what’s actually going to make it to market,…

5 min
does windows 10’s security boost make antivirus obsolete?

Not so long ago, the venerable Windows Defender got a new name—Microsoft Windows Defender Security Center—and made a leap in functionality. In addition to antivirus, it manages Windows Firewall, SmartScreen Filter, and Microsoft’s parental control system, and it also helps with PC health and performance issues. That doesn’t mean it’s now a security suite, by any means. In fact, while its lab test scores have improved, it still doesn’t come close to challenging the best third-party solutions—even the free ones. RANSOMWARE PROTECTION That’s not to say the upgrades aren’t beneficial. Ransomware is a huge worry these days, and Microsoft has put a simple kind of ransomware protection right into Windows Defender. It’s not turned on by default, however, and it’s hard to find. Dig into the antivirus settings, find the setting called Controlled…

2 min
atari explains what ‘rollercoaster tycoon on blockchain’ means

When you think of Atari, you think of the classic video-game company. But when you think of blockchain, you think of the hyper-contemporary crypto technology of secure linked hashes—or you don’t think of anything at all, because you’re so confused. And we were confused, too, when news broke that Atari is partnering with Animoca Brands to publish versions of hit games, including RollerCoaster Tycoon Touch and Goon Squad, based on blockchain technology. So we chatted with Atari CEO Fred Chesnais to learn more. “I think blockchain is going to stay for a very long time,” said Chesnais. The goal for Atari, then, isn’t to prove the viability of the technology but to prove its wider creative uses beyond boring, obvious stuff like payment software. So these blockchain projects, while hopefully fun…

3 min
bmw’s vision inext car is a sci-fi living room on wheels

The most futuristic vehicle at CES (aside from the Hyundai Elevate and its robotic legs) was the trippy BMW Vision iNext concept car. The SUV-sized vehicle has a shimmering blue carpet, wooden floors, and a coffee table in the center console. The sleek electric vehicle includes an autonomous driving mode, voice assistant integration, and an array of screens and natural interfaces built into the interior. It inspires imagination about comfort, entertainment, and relaxation possibilities when humans don’t have to worry about driving. SUV OF THE FUTURE The car has the size and proportions of a modern BMW Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV). The doors open outward from the middle of the vehicle to reveal a cockpit for the driver and a laid-back lounge area for passenger BI-DIRECTIONAL ELECTRIC CHARGING The Vision iNext has an electric motor…