PCWorld June 2020

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

5 min
the $1,799 macbook pro 13 vs. the $650 acer swift 3: guess who wins?

Apple’s MacBook Pro 13 just came out, and it already has a tough adversary. That foe is not the usual high-end, high-priced Windows workhorse like the Dell XPS 13 we just tested, as great as it is. No, the reason Apple should worry is because based on our sister site Macworld’s preliminary performance tests, this $1,799 premium laptop could be lapped by the $650 Acer Swift 3. That’s not a typo. The Acer Swift 3 costs just six hundred fifty dollars. But this budget laptop has a secret weapon: AMD’s Ryzen 7 4700U. When we reviewed the Acer Swift 3 (see page 37), it surpassed all expectations by keeping pace with laptops far bigger and more expensive. And sorry to say, the MacBook Pro 13 is in the same pickle as…

9 min
microsoft launches surface book 3 and surface go 2, a new surface dock and surface headphones 2

Microsoft has launched a new generation of Surface devices that aims to offer something for everyone. Announced in early May, the devices include the new Surface Book 3, Surface Go 2, and Surface Dock 2. To help you stay focused, Microsoft will soon ship the Surface Earbuds, and—surprise!—the Surface Headphones 2. While the Surface Book 3, Surface Go 2, and Surface Dock 2 were not unexpected, the breadth of Microsoft’s Surface-related hardware comes as a bit of a shock. Virtually all of the new Surfaces can be classified as refreshes. The Surface Book 3 adds new 10th-gen Ice Lake Core processors, as well as Nvidia GTX and Quadro RTX ray-tracing GPU options. The Surface Go 2, meanwhile, boasts 8th-gen Intel Core m chips. Tying them to displays and other peripherals will be…

5 min
why microsoft needs an xbox gaming laptop

The first week of May was a big week for Microsoft. On May 6, the company introduced an army of enticing Surface updates (see page 11). On the 7th, it held an Xbox event to introduce the first batch of next-gen games coming to the Xbox Series X console launching this year. But what I want is something that straddles those two worlds and solidifies Microsoft’s position as a driving force in gaming—and yes, that includes PC gaming. I want an Xbox gaming laptop, built with the same attention to detail as the Surface lineup, but focused on highlighting the best of Microsoft’s gaming innovations and what’s possible on the PC. Diehard PC enthusiasts may scoff—it’s hard to look past the epic failure of Games for Windows Live—but hear me out. WHY…

2 min
google drive gains an important security feature on iphone, forgets android exists

If you’re an Apple user who uses the Google Drive app to share files, a cool security feature just landed on your iOS device. If you’re an Android user who uses the Google Drive app to share files, however, you’re out of luck. The new feature is called Privacy Screen, and it adds an extra layer of protection for the Google Drive app. Instead of instantly logging you in like before, you can opt to need to verify your identity via Face ID or Touch ID, depending on the device you’re using. When activated, Google Drive won’t open without proper authentication, so if someone borrows your phone they won’t be able to access what’s inside your drive without your permission. After updating the app to version 4.2020.18204, you can find the setting…

3 min
the lenovo ideapad chromebook duet is avant-garde, yet affordable

The Lenovo IdeaPad Chromebook Duet is bringing its message to the people. The message is about the versatility of a 2-in-1 Chromebook tablet with detachable keyboard, and it’s for the people because this avant-garde design is available for the affordable starting price of $279. The price point is important. Chromebook 2-in-1s already available, such as the Google Pixel Slate and the Asus Chromebook Flip, start well north of $400. The most popular Chromebooks continue to be traditional, small clamshells costing around $200. The IdeaPad Chromebook Duet splits the difference, and that could bring in budget buyers as well as Chromebook fans looking for something different. Announced on May 11 and available at launch, the IdeaPad Chromebook Duet consists of a 10.1-inch tablet with detachable kickstand and keyboard. In addition to the $279…

3 min
microsoft officially delays surface neo, dual-screen windows pcs

Microsoft has officially confirmed that it’s delaying its dual-screen Windows experiences, including the Surface Neo, until “the right moment” arrives. That announcement was part of a blog post in which Panos Panay, the new chief product officer of Windows and Devices, laid out his vision of what he sees for Microsoft’s Windows 10 and related hardware programs. In some sense, the blog post announcing the changes reads like a recap of what we already know: The Windows 10 May 2020 Update will begin shipping to the general public in May; Microsoft is turning its Build conference into a free, online-only event; and Microsoft is postponing its own dual-screen devices. Microsoft had only internally communicated the latter choice internally, according to a recent ZDNet report. That report said Panay had indicated that the…