PC Magazine October 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
living your best tech life

When you work for a tech publication, word gets around. My family and friends ask me everything from “Should I upgrade my iPhone?” and “How do I keep my data from being stolen?” to “What on earth is 5G?” They know that even if I’m not sure of the answer, I’ll know someone who is. That’s because I’ve been at PCMag for most of the past 21 years. In fact, I’m starting to think I have a geeky aura of some sort. At a bus stop the other day, an older woman without her phone saw me looking at mine and asked, “What time does your app say the number 10 will get here?” How did she know?! We spent the bus ride talking about various useful apps; she took some…

3 min
violence and culture

When I was young, every murder committed by a teen or young adult was blamed on Dungeons & Dragons. Now it is video games. There was no proof D&D was a cause of violence, nor are video games today. The same violent games are being played worldwide, and only in this country, where getting military-grade weaponry is easier than buying a car, does this happen. When you are being paid by the NRA to support the sales of guns, will you make up excuses to keep the cash rolling in? Now that the NRA is near-bankrupt, maybe things will change.—Thomas Kolakowski In my teens, I played many FPS [games], starting with Wolfenstein, Doom, and Rise of the Triad (ROTT). I remember playing ROTT for hours. I immersed myself into ROTT [to…

8 min
the best of ifa 2019

Each September brings a new IFA trade show in Berlin, where we get our annual taste of consumer tech coming to Europe and other parts of the world in the near (well, sometimes distant) future. We may not have seen the most innovative new products this year, but there’s nothing wrong with a bit of fine-tuning. And it certainly didn’t stop us from walking away from many booths on the show floor impressed. If the products we saw at this year’s show share a common theme, it’s one of refinement. Samsung’s big announcement, the Galaxy Fold, is actually its second attempt to launch the phone after a botched rollout earlier this year. Similarly, LG’s foldable G8X ThinQ can be seen as a more polished take on the V50 Dual Screen. The…

Best of IFA 2019 opener-ipad
3 min
hands on: ea’s project atlas cloud gaming service

The most intense video games usually require expensive hardware to run smoothly—an Xbox One, PlayStation 4, or PC with a powerful graphics card. But I recently played Madden NFL 20 and several other high-profile titles on, of all things, an Amazon Fire tablet. And the gameplay was console-smooth, processed in a remote Amazon Web Services data center, and streamed to the tablet via Wi-Fi. All that was required was the EA app on the Android tablet. That’s the promise of EA’s upcoming cloud-gaming service: You can game on any device, as long as you have a stable internet connection. About a year ago, the company teased the service as part of Project Atlas, an ambitious effort to offer cloud and AI technologies to power the game industry. EA remained relatively quiet…

5 min
hands on: hp’s elite dragonfly is an absurdly light laptop for high-fliers

Sales of convertible and detachable PCs are expected to grow by 5 percent over the next four years, even as overall PC sales are expected to decline, according to research firm IDC. And judging by the parade of both budget and high-end convertible laptops that marches through PC Labs every month, we’re all spoiled for choice. The HP Elite Dragonfly is different from nearly every one of these choices. Scheduled to go on sale on October 25, this head-turning laptop makes the fewest compromises of any 2-in-1 convertible we’ve seen to date. Start with its 2.2-pound weight, the impossibly thin borders around its 13.3-inch display, and its claimed 24-hour battery life. Move on to its gigabit LTE modem, its magnesium alloy construction, and its special “noise-canceling” keyboard. Finish with its Intel…

7 min
terms of service: one of the largest lies in tech

The internet is a complex organism. Most people don’t know how to manipulate YouTube keywords, so children are tricked into watching violent content and adults are sent down a path of radicalization. Most don’t know exactly how much their data is worth and what data Big Tech is gathering about them—terms of service changes are agreed to without a second thought. Services exist to solve these problems: Jumbo lets users take back control of privacy settings; DoNotPay translates legal language and provides burner payment cards so you don’t have to hand over real credit card data to get a free trial; and Terms of Service; Didn’t Read (ToS;DR) explains the terms and conditions of some of the biggest websites on the internet. That’s nice, but consumers should not have to rely on…