PC Magazine May 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
taking on big tech

The technology industry as we know it today would have been hard to imagine say, forty years ago, before personal computers became household items; when nobody had a Facebook page, and the World Wide Web was still science-fiction territory. The rise of “Big Tech”—primarily, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, and (sometimes) Microsoft—within the past several decades has changed the world irrevocably, in both positive and negative ways. And it’s been allowed to do so pretty much unhindered by regulation, mostly because one key way these companies make money is a whole new business-model paradigm—the collection and sale of people’s personal data for advertising (and other) purposes. Quite frankly, many lawmakers seem to have trouble grasping even basic tech principles; certainly not well enough to create rules about them. (Remember Senator Ted Stevens…

12 min
are nvidia’s geforce rtx super laptop chips a big step up?

In April, Nvidia announced it would be shipping mobile versions of its GeForce RTX 2070 Super and RTX 2080 Super GPUs on laptops. We did some early first-hand testing to see how they stack up against existing GeForce laptop GPUs. We were able to get hold of and start testing two laptops that carried the GeForce RTX 2070 Super and the RTX 2080 Super (both of them in dialed-back Max-Q configurations). The former is in the Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED XB, while the latter is installed in the MSI GS66 Stealth—both part of a 2020 wave of gaming laptops that boast Nvidia GeForce RTX Super GPUs and Intel’s 10th Generation Core H-Series processors. We were able to do this testing with early versions of the soon-to-be available public drivers, and have only…

2 min
gamer builds his own nintendo switch for $199

With the Nintendo Switch in very short supply due to the coronavirus pandemic and resellers price-gouging on auction sites, one gamer decided to build his own Switch instead. As Input reported, Reddit user Sarbaaz explained his anger at the $450 to $600 some sellers were asking for a used Switch and instead set out to build a Switch from used parts. The build was a success, and it cost only $199, along with a lot of patience, to produce a working console. In a write-up on Imgur, Sarbaaz gives a full breakdown of the parts he used. All were relatively cheap to find, coming in mostly under $10 each, with one exception: A working OEM Nintendo Switch replacement logic board cost $95, which made up the bulk of the cost. As for…

1 min
match’s new video chat feature: find love in the time of covid-19

Is social distancing killing your online dating game? Miss the flirty, awkward, often uncomfortable feeling that comes with an in-person rendezvous? Match has your back with Vibe Check, a new live video feature that lets users chat right from the app. Once you’ve connected and started a conversation with someone, a video icon appears at the bottom of your messages; after agreeing to the terms and conditions, you can request a Vibe Check. The other person can join immediately or decline if they’re busy or just not feeling it. Remember to enable push notifications so you don’t miss a Vibe Check invite. The function is essentially just an in-app video platform, but it certainly lends a level of intimacy to the otherwise post-apocalyptic feeling of life in lockdown. Facebook’s New Product Experimentation…

4 min
the new iphone se is the ideal phone for the covid-19 year

Economies worldwide are crashing. Unemployment claims are at record highs. Retail sales are showing the “steepest drop on record,” according to The New York Times. Into this newly shaky economy comes the second-generation Apple iPhone SE, a $399 breath of fresh air bringing fast performance at a price that now-struggling Americans are more likely to be able to afford. While Apple’s top competitors are trumpeting their most expensive phones ever, Apple just dragged its price floor down by $50. This is luck—all of these products were planned far in advance—but it comes off looking like Apple has read the room. Apple isn’t being charitable. The business purpose of the iPhone SE (as analyst Carolina Milanesi of Techpinions gets) is to push lower-income owners of very old iPhones such as the iPhone 5…

4 min
working from home? don’t view porn on your corporate vpn

Are you working from home because of COVID-19? I sure am. As I write this, I am sitting in my palatial Manhattan estate, dog at my feet, partner across the room (also working from home), and several computers running Folding@Home because I need to do something to help save humanity. I am also accessing corporate systems and services with the VPN provided to me by my employer, but I won’t be using it for anything else. Especially not porn. DID YOU JUST SAY PORN? I did, in fact. Whatever you think about pornography, it is legal, and what people do with their personal time is up to them. It’s also a popular thing to look at when you’re stuck at home. I’m not here to judge. What I am here to do is…