PCWorld September 2021

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

4 min
samsung just can’t quit foldable phones: meet the galaxy z fold3 and z flip3

Samsung has a fever, and the only prescription is—more foldable phones. The biggest name in Android phones has announced the third generation of its foldable Galaxy smartphones: the Galaxy Z Fold3, a flagship model that opens like a book, and the smaller Z Flip3, a less expensive model that opens vertically and hearkens back to the flip phones of the early 2000s. Both phones include new features to improve durability, which may help mitigate public perception that foldable phones just can’t withstand the rigors of, well…repeated, incessant folding. And you’re going to want a sturdier phone, given Samsung’s price tags: $1,800 for the Galaxy Z Fold3 and $1,000 for the Galaxy Z Flip3. Preorders run through August 26, and if you do take the plunge before then, you can get $200…

4 min
why california isn’t banning gaming pcs (yet)

Have you heard? California just banned gaming PCs! Yes, they took your job, and now they’re taking your gaming PC too!!! (The abundance of exclamation marks indicates the sense of outrage.) Well, that’s what you’d think if you read a headline that screamed: “Several US States Are Banning Gaming PCs” or “High-End Gaming PCs Banned in Six US States after California Energy Bill Limits Sales on High Performance PCs”. This all kicked off when Alienware put notices on its website of certain model desktop PCs that cannot be sold in California, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Hawai‘i, and Vermont, due to “power consumption regulations adopted by those states. Any orders placed that are bound for those states will be cancelled.” THIS HAS BEEN COMING FOR A LONG TIME While we’re surprised Alienware had to take this…

4 min
why this $240 5g phone is worth checking out

The OnePlus Nord N200 5G took me by surprise. It costs just $240, yet I can’t believe how many great features it shares with the OnePlus 9 Pro, which costs almost four times as much. If you want fast 5G speeds and a great Android OS experience on a budget, then the N200 is worth a look. You can see the OnePlus Nord N200’s budget bones in the specifications below. Don’t be expecting the highest-end processor, gobs of RAM, or a luscious AMOLED display, such as the one you’ll find on the OnePlus 9 Pro. However, the N200 is still well sized, fairly thin and light, and adequately equipped. Price: $240 or $9/month (for 24 months) at T-Mobile and other carriers Size: 163.1x74.9x8.3 mm Weight: 189g Screen: 6.49-inch, 1080x2400 IPS 90Hz LCD Operating system (OS): Android…

New 01
2 min
fix windows 11’s start menu with stardock’s simple new app

If you’re not happy with the look and feel of Windows 11’s overhauled Start menu, a fix is coming—not from Microsoft, but from Stardock’s new Start11 app. This isn’t the first time Stardock has come to the rescue. The studio makes a living off improving the look and feel of Microsoft’s operating systems with tools like Groupy and Fences. Start8 gave Windows 8 a Start menu, and Start10 updated Windows 10 with a Windows 7–themed Start menu, too. Now Stardock has set out to polish the Windows 11 Start menu and its search capabilities. Our hands-on with the official Windows 11 beta shows how Microsoft has shaken up not only how the Start menu looks, but also its location. Currently, there’s a utilitarian matrix of icons in the Windows 11 Start…

Intro New
2 min
windows 10 will soon aggressively block dubious downloads

Windows 10 will begin blocking “potentially unwanted applications”—bundled apps that you probably don’t want—by default, Microsoft says. The new practice commenced in early August. Microsoft announced the change in a support document noted by Windows Latest. If you download a lot of third-party utilities, you may already have run into a potentially unwanted application (PUA), also called a potentially unwanted program (PUP). The terms most often describe a bundled piece of adware, or—worse—a small additional application that slowly mines cryptocurrency in the background. You might not even know where the PUA comes from. Sometimes it might be the developer itself that added the PUA for additional revenue, or a site that aggregates the utilities and provides them for download. Either way, the PUA is an app you never asked for and probably…

2 min
pirate gamers, beware: this malware targets you

In 2021, crime doesn’t pay if you can’t be found on Google. That’s apparently what the creators of the new MosaicLoader family of malware discovered. PC security company Bitdefender recently published a whitepaper detailing the new malicious software that lures users to download it via paid ads…for pirated games. Bitdefender says MosaicLoader is delivered through downloaders that victims “seemingly” find when searching for pirated software such as games and other applications. It’s no secret that malware creators often target people downloading cracked software, but what’s interesting about MosaicLoader is how hard it works to avoid detection and how problematic it can be. “We named it MosaicLoader because of the intricate internal structure that aims to confuse malware analysts and prevent reverse-engineering,” Bitdefender said in a blog post. MosaicLoader does a number of…