PCWorld November 2019

We review the Google Pixel 4a, plus what to expect if you’re switching from an iPhone SE. Find out if your Chromebook is expiring. Reviews of Note 20 Ultra, Norton 360 Deluxe, Mullvad vs. NordVPN, and much more!

United States
R 111,71
R 319,14
12 Issues

in this issue

6 min
hands on with microsoft surface pro x, a new direction for surface

Microsoft’s Surface Pro X adds a formerly missing piece to the Surface lineup: an always-on, always-connected device that enables productivity wherever you go. What it changes on the inside—especially the custom Snapdragon 8cx-based processor that Microsoft co-designed with Qualcomm—is reflected by dramatic changes on the outside: a pair of USB-C ports, a rechargeable pen tray…and the unfortunate removal of the headphone jack, USB-A, and the microSD slot. There’s also a SIM slot for connectivity, though it’s well hidden. The 14-inch Surface Pro X tablet is priced from $999 to $1,799 (from Microsoft.com) and will ship on November 5. That base price is a few hundred more than the cheapest $799 configuration of the Intel-based Surface Pro 7. As shown below, users will get to select from various memory and storage options, as…

9 min
microsoft surface pro x vs 12.9-inch ipad pro: which big-screened productivity tablet is best?

In the world of ultraportable 2-in-1 tablets that can work as hard as they play, there are but two options: the iPad Pro and the Surface Pro. And on October 2, Microsoft unveiled not just a refreshed Surface Pro 7, but the brand-new Surface Pro X (available from microsoft.com), an always-on, always-connected tablet that seems solely designed to take on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (available from apple.com). So let’s dive in and see how these two tablets stack up. DESIGN With either the Surface Pro X or the iPad Pro, you’re getting a modern tablet with a giant display surrounded by slim bezels, all packed in a thin, lightweight frame: Surface Pro X: 11.3 x 8.2 x 0.28 inches iPad Pro: 9.7 x 7 x. 0.23 inches While the Surface Pro X technically has slimmer…

4 min
hands on with the microsoft surface laptop 3: gorgeous reworking, inside and out

Even before you can start talking about the new 15-inch Surface Laptop 3, or AMD’s custom Ryzen inside of it, you simply have to admit: Microsoft’s new all-metal Surface Laptop 3’s are gorgeous. Full disclosure: I’m typing this on a Microsoft Surface Book 2, so there’s some justification for my love of shiny metal. And that’s where the Surface Laptop 3 starts: with metal options in Sandstone, plus Matte Black, Cobalt Blue and the traditional Platinum. Yes, the Alcantara fabric is still an option, but if you want a Surface Book–like option without the price, Microsoft has you covered. The Surface Laptop 3 ships in two options: the traditional 13-inch form factor, and the new 15-inch option. But while the original Surface Laptop may have been priced affordably for students, the Surface…

4 min
ears on with microsoft’s surface earbuds: tapping the cloud for transcription and more

Microsoft’s Surface Headphones probably hitched themselves too closely to Cortana, turning what was an intriguing product into a tchotchke that was handed out at a Surface fan event before Microsoft’s Surface launch started. With Microsoft’s Surface Earbuds, Microsoft seems determined not to make the same mistake. That’s not a slight against Microsoft. The Headphones offered powerful, selective noise-canceling technologies, but Microsoft positioned them as a Cortana accessory. When Cortana was de-emphasized, down went the Headphones. With the Earbuds, Cortana appears just once on the Earbuds’ one-page product sheet. Instead, the secret sauce is its cloud transcription capabilities, plus what Microsoft is touting as a superior audio solution for apps like Spotify. At $249, the Surface Earbuds are $50 more than the Apple AirPods—which will inevitably be seen as a competitor even if…

4 min
10 burning microsoft surface duo questions we need answered before it goes on sale

Look out Samsung Galaxy S11, iPhone 12, and Google Pixel 5: There’s a new kid in town—or at least there will be, by the time all of those phones launch in 2020. Microsoft recently gave us a sneak peek of the Surface Duo, its first phone since the ill-fated Windows Phone, and it’s unique. Something of a cross between a laptop and a Galaxy Fold, the Surface Duo is a device with more questions than answers. What we know for sure is that it runs Android and needs to be opened like a laptop to be used, but there are so many more things we need to know before it goes on sale late next year, like: 1. WHAT’S THE RESOLUTION OF THE SURFACE DUO DISPLAYS? The centerpiece of the Surface Duo is…

3 min
meet windows 10x, a ‘new expression’ designed for dualscreen devices

Nearly a decade after the fabled Microsoft Courier was strangled in its crib, PC makers desperately want dual-screen hardware to become a thing. Lenovo’s Yoga Book dropped all the way back in 2016, while Asus, HP, and even Intel itself have all teased dual-display devices of their own in recent months. Now all that hardware is getting some much-needed software backup: At its recent Surface event, Microsoft revealed Windows 10X (ten ten?), a version of the popular operating system designed specifically for Windows devices with multiple displays, and championed by a dual-screen Surface Neo. It’s “made to adapt to you in both form and function,” Microsoft hardware chief Panos Panay crowed during the Neo’s introduction. “Windows has always been about productivity, and now we take that to a new level on…