PC Magazine October 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
fastest mobile networks: we’re still on the road

We launched our annual Fastest Mobile Networks testing in 2010, but 2020 is the year we almost missed. In March, it quickly became clear that life was not going to be normal for a while, and our traditional testing wasn’t going to happen. In prior tests, we recruited drivers who were assigned routes that let them test network speeds in specific geographical areas: major cities and the non-urban reaches in between. This let us report on respective carrier coverage for a good part of the US. But this methodology didn’t make sense during a time when travel has been severely curtailed for safety reasons. Well, that was that—until our lead mobile analyst, Sascha Segan, put his large brain to work and figured out how we could make FMN 2020 work, despite the…

5 min
intel launches 11th generation core ‘tiger lake’ laptop processors

Intel’s next-generation Tiger Lake processors, unveiled this week, will bring refined artificial intelligence processing and dramatically improved graphics performance to new premium ultraportable laptops this fall. A total of nine Tiger Lake configurations will be available, ranging from a dual-core Core i3-1110G4 with a 1.8GHz base frequency, to a quad-core Core i7-1185G7 with a maximum boost speed of 4.9GHz and Intel’s brand-new on-CPU graphics processor, Intel’s Iris Xe. Intel expects these chips to show up in more than 150 new and existing laptop designs from companies such as Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, and Lenovo this fall. Some, including new Yoga models from Lenovo, have already been announced, and more manufacturers are expected to unveil new Tiger-Lake based designs this week during the IFA trade show in Berlin, traditionally fertile ground for new…

10 min
intel ‘iris xe’ is here: 5 ways intel’s powerful new integrated graphics will change laptops

In early September, Intel pulled back the curtain on its 11th generation of mobile processors, known by the code name “Tiger Lake.” The first chips will appear as members of the long-running U-series of processors, designed for mainstream and ultraportable laptops. In our early tests with a Tiger Lake Core i7 factory sample, we found the overall productivity and media performance to be a solid incremental improvement. But it’s the integrated graphics upgrade that particularly caught our attention. In short, it’s big. Core i5 and i7 Tiger Lake processors (the Core i5-1130G7 and the Core i7-1185G7, for example) will come with integrated Intel “Iris Xe” graphics, which Intel has touted as a significant improvement over the Intel UHD Graphics common in previous generations of laptop and desktop CPUs. It’s the first…

6 min
hands on with the lg wing: the most useful dual-screen phone?

Ergonomics isn’t everything, but it’s a lot. The swiveling LG Wing has the most standard “phone” form factor of this year’s crop of amazing, expanding phones, giving you a dual-screen experience without feeling too chunky, wide, or weird in your hand. The Wing is coming to all three major carriers later this year, but I got a few hours with a pre-release model; here’s what to look forward to. A TOTALLY NEW DESIGN The initially amazing thing about the Wing is how much it feels like a normal phone. It’s big, to be sure. The main body is 6.67 by 2.93 by 0.43 inches (HWD), and at 9.17 ounces, it’s noticeably heavier than most phones. Sitting on my desk next to a OnePlus 8 Pro in a case, it’s almost exactly the…

5 min
the lg wing makes the iphone 12 look boring

They fold. They flip. They swing. The weird phones are back, and I couldn’t be happier. After a decade of identical, featureless glass blocks, we’re seeing a slew of odd-looking, freshly formed smartphones popping onto the market. The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 2, Z Fold 2, Motorola Razr 5G, Microsoft Surface Duo and LG Wing all try to find ways to fit big screens into small hands, and they’re injecting a level of innovation and fun back into the smartphone world that I dearly missed. I started reviewing phones in the early 2000s, and for a long time, there was plenty of weird, fun stuff. The Nokia 3650, with its circular dial pad echoing an old rotary phone, was actually a bestseller. So was the sliding LG Chocolate, with its faux-iPod…

6 min
consoles, mobile, and pcs have merged: the gaming singularity is here

Nothing screams dystopia more than two massive corporations conscripting their massive audiences into a petty legal war. No viewer should care which studio controls which Marvel movie rights. No consumer should take a side in the ongoing war between Apple and Epic Games over Fortnite direct payments. And yet here we are, sighing while Epic adds Marvel characters to Fortnite to rub iOS players’ noses in what they are missing due to Apple’s stubbornness. #FreeFortnite. Despite its cynical strategy, Epic’s stance is closer to the honest future of gaming, at least philosophically. Apple is the champion of the closed platform. But as walls collapse and platforms blur together, the path forward becomes a path we all share. The gaming singularity has nearly arrived. TEAR DOWN THIS WALL Consider how Fortnite, battle royales, and…