PCWorld November 2018

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
intel debuts 9th-generation core chips, including core i9 and x-series parts, with a few twists

Intel unveiled its 9th-generation Core desktop chips in early October with the notable omission of a key feature: Hyper-Threading, at least on all but the most exclusive Core i9-9900K for mainstream PCs. Hyper-Threading has also been reserved for a new iteration of Intel’s X-series processors, which includes up to 18 cores and 36 threads. In a livestream from its Fall Launch Event in New York, the company announced just a single Core i9 chip, the $488 Core i9-9900K. Later, the company privately revealed two others in the Core i7 and Core i5 families. Intel also announced a new series of X-class chips for gamers, ranging from 8 cores and 16 threads through 18 cores and 36 threads. Prices will range from $589 to $1,979. What this means for you: It’s certainly fair…

4 min
intel’s core i7-9700k abandons hyper-threading: what it could mean for performance

Core i7, the boss wants to talk to you. The good news: you got a promotion and a bump from six cores up to eight cores in Intel’s 9th-generation CPU lineup (see page 7). Woo-hoo! The bad news: Turn in your Hyper-Threading, because the cool feature that gave you virtualized CPU cores and about 30 percent more performance is gone. Yup. If you’re freaked out about the Core i7 losing a premier performance-boosting feature that it’s offered since, well, there was a Core i7, you may well be right to be concerned. But you may not be, too, depending on how you use your computer. Intel first introduced Hyper-Threading on consumer CPUs with the Northwood-based Pentium 4 in 2002. It works by splitting a single physical core into two logical cores. Since…

7 min
google pixel 3 xl hands on: a lot of phone, a lot of notch, and a lot of money

Let’s just get this out of the way: The Pixel 3 XL is not a pretty phone. It’s got a canyon for a notch, a valley for a chin, and thick bezels around its screen. Put it in a Pepsi challenge with any 2018 phone—and even some 2017 models—and nearly everyone will pick the other handset based on looks alone. The smaller Pixel 3 may look slightly less homely, with a smaller Pixel 2 XL aesthetic, but you can pretty much throw a rock and hit a better-looking Android phone. But while it might not be much to look at, the Pixel 3 XL is a joy to hold, with an incredible matte-glass back that feels like metal to the touch and won’t pick up nearly as many fingerprints as other…

6 min
google pixel 3 xl vs. galaxy note 9 vs. iphone xs max: which $1,000 phone is worth it?

The four-figure handsets just keep coming. While the Pixel 3 technically starts at $799, if you want the larger Pixel 3 XL (see page 15) with 128GB of storage, it’s going to set you back $999, $50 more than last year’s Pixel 2 XL with the same storage. That makes the Pixel the third phone so far to top a thousand bucks, following last year’s iPhone X and the Galaxy Note 9. And there will surely be more to come. But for now, let’s see how the three most expensive phones on the planet stack up. DIMENSIONS The Pixel 3 XL has a bigger screen than the Pixel 2 XL, but with a new design that trims the bezels, it’s practically identical in size to the model it succeeds: iPhone XS Max: 157.5…

5 min
google pixel slate hands-on: this is what the next generation of android tablets feels like

Three years after Google released its first Pixel-branded Android tablet, it’s back with another one. This time it’s called the Pixel Slate, but it doesn’t run Android 9 Pie. It runs Chrome OS. You wouldn’t know it looking at it. Lying on a table, the Pixel Slate looks just like the Pixel C or any other 4:3 Android tablet, with uniform black bezels all around, four pogo pins, and a USB-C port in the corner. It’s only upon closer inspection that you realize just how different the Pixel Slate really is. It starts with the color. Google is offering only one option on the Pixel Slate and it’s a good one: midnight blue. It’s very dark but not quite black, and has a shimmery quality to it that reflects light nicely. It’s…

4 min
hands-on with the microsoft surface laptop 2: a great laptop, now without windows 10 s

With Microsoft’s Surface Laptop, Microsoft used Windows 10 S as a tool to help enable the Laptop’s outstanding battery life. Now the Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 is here, complete with a higher-performing, 8th-generation Intel Core chip. But there’s one thing missing: Windows 10 S. Performance is the name of the game this time around, and Microsoft’s claiming that the Surface Laptop is up to 85 percent faster, in part because of the new 8th-generation Core processors powering it. Battery life is also impressive, at a rated 14.5 hours. Naturally, that’s a feature that we’re eager to test. Functionally, the Surface Laptop 2 appears to be exactly the same as its predecessor, in both dimensions and weight. As with the Surface Pro 6, Microsoft has separated business and consumer customers, but the difference…