PC Magazine July 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

1 min
summer of gaming

Welcome to our July issue! This is normally the time of year that we’d be reporting on the fastest mobile networks in the US: Our testers would have finished driving all over the country, measuring carriers’ performance (and sampling local food and attractions along the way). That didn’t happen the way it usually does, for reasons you can probably guess. But we’ve figured out a way to make the testing happen after all, so look for that story within the coming months. Meanwhile, a lot of us are still spending a lot of time at home. So we decided to default to fun and highlight the best free PC games out there. Oh, and free games don’t mean inferior games! The developers might try to sell you some game items or…

3 min
intel’s lakefield chips will unlock new laptop designs, including foldable pcs

In June, Intel finally launched its “Lakefield” system on a chip (SoC) family, which features a tiny silicon footprint and opens the door for new PC designs. Lakefield represents the company’s smallest processors with Intel Core performance to power Windows 10 devices. According to Intel, the chips will feature a package that measures approximately 12mm square. It can reduce the overall motherboard inside a laptop by up to 47 percent, versus what’s required for an 8th-generation Intel Core chip. The Lakefield chips will first appear inside Samsung’s Galaxy Book S, a 2-pound laptop that’s approximately half an inch thick. So far, no pricing has been cited for that device. But for some perspective, last year’s model of the Galaxy Book S started at $999 and featured a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip. Consumers will also…

5 min
bell launches 5g in canada: exclusive details

It seems that where one Canadian carrier zigs, another zags. Bell Canada has announced the country’s second 5G network in five metro areas, setting up a challenge between its approach and that of Rogers Wireless, which we will see play out in our Fastest Mobile Networks Canada tests later this year. Both Bell and Rogers are using mid-band spectrum for 5G, but they’re using different forms of mid-band. Bell’s approach, the company says, is letting it cover more of Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver than Rogers. HOW BELL’S 5G WORKS Bell Vice President of Wireless Technology Bruce Rodin explained that the new 5G network uses a 10x10MHz channel of band n66, also known as AWS-3, which the company obtained in a 2017 auction. Band n66, at 1700MHz, has been used for…

1 min
electric car battery good for over a million miles is ‘ready to produce’

If concerns over battery lifespan are holding you back from buying an electric car, that worry may soon disappear, thanks to Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. (CATL). The Chinese battery manufacturer says it has a million-mile battery ready for vehicles. As Bloomberg reported, the claim of a million-mile battery comes directly from CATL chairman Zeng Yuqun, who says the battery his company developed has a lifespan of 16 years and will power a vehicle for 1.24 million miles before it needs replacing. As for cost, it’s only 10 percent more expensive than the batteries being used in electric vehicles today. Why haven’t we seen a car manufacturer boasting about a new electric vehicle with a 1.24-million-mile battery? Because nobody has placed an order with CATL yet. But according to Zeng, “If someone…

3 min
google’s android 11 beta is live: here’s what’s new

After postponing Android 11’s beta twice, Google released the software in June so developers could begin tinkering with it. The release was supposed to occur on June 3 during a live-streamed launch event, but Google decided to postpone the proceedings, citing the George Floyd protests. Then the company opted to cancel the original event entirely. “Instead, we are releasing the Android 11 Beta today in a much different form, via short-form videos and web pages that you can consume at your own pace when the time is right for you,” the company wrote in a blog post. Those with a Google Pixel 2, 3, 3a, or 4 phone can enroll to download the beta release. The company’s dedicated website for Android 11 also features detailed talks about the software and the…

7 min
dna tests expose more than we think

On my shelf, I have two heavy, red volumes titled The Eddy Family In America. They are part of an (incomplete) set of books that traces my entire lineage back to a boat called the Handmaid, which landed in Plymouth Harbor on October 29, 1630. In fact, they go back even further, to England, 1558 or thereabouts. The book was painstakingly researched and published in 1930, and it’s periodically updated. It was the work of decades, but a DNA test combined with new investigatory techniques could have done it in a fraction of the time. The question is, should we worry about the privacy costs associated with this powerful technology, or is it too late to protect our genetic data? DNA PRIVACY While my paternal family is very well documented, that’s not…