PC Magazine March 2020

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

2 min
land of the freeware

Occasionally, the PCMag Digital Edition ranges beyond the realm of personal computing. Take, for example, February’s cover story, “The Quantified Employee: How Companies Use Tech to Track Their Workers.” And last September, our cover story—“Is Cyber War Inevitable?”—explored how technology has made virtual conflict possible (even probable) and ways we could at least attempt to circumvent it. This is all useful information and important to be aware of, but it’s not about just you and your computer. Well, this month, we’re sticking closer to home. The software we rely on shapes our entire computing experience. But we’re here to tell you that many of the best offerings don’t have to cost you a cent! Our analysts test a virtual ton of software, and they’ve winnowed down the top free offerings for…

3 min
ask an analyst

HELP FOR APP PASSWORDS Neil, I’m a fan of your password manager reviews and advice. I’m looking for a more secure way to manage my work passwords on my corporate-managed laptop for systems that aren’t web based, like our SAP ERP system and expense reporting system. Form filling for them would be nice but is secondary to finding a better storage method than using Excel or a notepad. I just tried to set up Myki, but according to my chat with their support folks, it won’t work: “In that case, you wouldn’t be able to since the browser extension relies upon detecting login fields on sites.” I use Dashlane for my personal passwords, and I’m looking for a solution for work. Also, since I’m working off of a managed PC with limited ability…

2 min
rip essential phone: android founder andy rubin’s startup shuts down

Android founder Andy Rubin is closing down his smartphone startup Essential, despite teasing a new product only a few months ago. In February, his company published a vague blog post that said Essential has “no clear path” to deliver its next planned product. Last October, Rubin had tweeted out images of “Project Gem,” an unusually tall smartphone that resembled a remote control. In its post, Essential said it had spent the past few years quietly developing the product that it hoped would “more seamlessly” integrate with people’s lives than traditional smartphones. But “despite our best efforts, we’ve now taken Gem as far as we can and regrettably have no clear path to deliver it to customers. Given this, we have made the difficult decision to cease operations and shut down Essential.” Rubin is…

5 min
how fast is wi-fi 6?

In the world of wireless networking, after using numbers and initials for years—802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, 802.11ac—we’re suddenly using a simple, single digit: Wi-Fi 6. Yes, the new generation of wireless networking is still part of the Ethernet-compatible IEEE 802.11 protocol, so it’s also known as 802.11ax, but its more consumer-friendly name is just one of its benefits. That’s why it’s showing up not only in the latest routers but also in the newest notebook PCs. And at PC Labs, you know what that means: It’s time to put the technology to the test and see what kind of performance boost you can expect from the revised standard. To do so, we secured a Wi-Fi 6-capable laptop, the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1, which is equipped with a Killer AX1650s network adapter, and…

4 min
lenovo’s dilip bhatia: here’s what my customers really care about

Dilip Bhatia is the vice president of global marketing and user customer experience at Lenovo. A Lenovo veteran, Bhatia’s been leading product development at the company by putting customer experience first. PCMag Editor-in-Chief Dan Costa spoke with him at CES 2020. Dan Costa: CES is known for being a big TV [trade] show, but there are actually a lot of announcements not just about PCs but also about PC-related devices, like those Lenovo has brought to the show. Can you talk a little bit about the diversity of devices? Dilip Bhatia: Increasingly at Lenovo, we don’t look at computing as just PCs. We look at the computers truly around us. And so my team looks at clearly innovating not only in the PC space but really a lot of adjacencies. So, think…

3 min
the iowa caucus app failure was inevitable

Democratic presidential candidates have spent the past three years driving around Iowa, shaking hands and kissing babies, with the hope that supporters would show up for the Iowa Caucus. But midday on the following day, we had no idea who won. The culprit was a new app designed to make it easier and faster to report results. In retrospect, it’s easy to see that this app would fail. Caucusing is low-tech by design. Many caucuses take place in high school gyms with attendees standing in a specific corner to support a particular candidate. Undecided voters are herded to the middle and courted by groups on all sides. A candidate’s success is decided by the size of their crowd at the end of the night. All the app needed to do was…