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AdDuplex: Windows 10 version 20H2 is now on 8.8% of PCs, as 1909 bounces back
by João Carrasqueira
It's that time again, as AdDuplex has once again released its monthly chart showcasing the market share of the different versions of Windows 10 on the market. As usual, this data is collected from about 5,000 apps in the Microsoft Store, which are using the AdDuplex SDK v2 or higher, and the data refers to November 25. Nearly 100,000 PCs were surveyed in this period.
Getting right into it, the biggest growth of the month was naturally for the Windows 10 October 2020 Update, or version 20H2, which is now on 8.8% of PCs, up from 1.7% in October. This update was released in October, and as usual, it's steadily being installed on more PCs. Meanwhile, the May 2020 Update, version 2004, actually lost a decimal point this month, hovering around 37.6% usage share.
An interesting change this month is that version 1909, the November 2019 Update, has actually grown from 32.4% to 36.4%, despite being over one year already. This is because Microsoft began upgrading users on version 1903 to version 1909 automatically, rather than pushing them onto the latest release. As a result, version 1903 has also seen a major drop, from 22% usage share in October to just 10.2% this month.
Older versions of Windows 10, as well as the percentage of Windows Insiders, barely changed during this period. Some percentages are slightly up, but not by much.
Since Microsoft changed the way Windows Update works to no longer force install updates, new releases have taken longer to grow in market share, and the story is no different with version 20H2. The update will continue to roll out slowly, and we'll only see more sudden changes in the lead up to May 2021, when version 1909 loses support and users start to be upgraded automatically.
By Abhay V
Surface Pro 8 and Laptop 4 images leak, expected to be launched in January 2021
by Abhay Venkatesh
Surface Pro 7 Images of possible successors to the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 and Laptop 3 have been spotted passing through certification in Korea. The pictures, posted by Twitter user cozyplanes, suggest that the devices – likely to be called the Pro 8 and the Laptop 4 – will retain the design of its predecessors. The tweet also hints at the possible addition of an LTE version of the Pro 8.
Windows Central’s Zac Bowden adds that according to his sources, the company plans to release these devices with minor specification changes, packing Intel’s 11th-gen Tiger Lake processors. The Surface Laptop 4 is expected to also offer AMD variants, just like its predecessor, but it is not clear what chips the Redmond firm will be using. Bowden also corroborates the information about an LTE version of the Pro 8 on offer, adding that the launch will be one without much fanfare, owing to how minor the updates are.
In addition to launching the two models, Microsoft is also expected to launch the dual-screened Surface Duo in more markets. The company might also unveil a black colored variant of the Surface Go 2 tablet. There are reportedly no other major announcements expected to happen in early 2021.
Today’s news might come as a disappointment to those that have been expecting a major design refresh to the Surface Pro line, which has not seen a meaningful design upgrade since the Pro 4 in 2015. The design on these devices now looks dated, especially with the Surface Pro X featuring thin bezels and a modern design. It will be interesting to see what the firm has in store for the Pro line.
Source: cozyplanes (Twitter), WindowsCentral
By Rich Woods
Acer Enduro N3 review: Acer's first rugged laptop
by Rich Woods
Back in June at its next@acer event, Acer announced its new Enduro brand. For the first time, it was planning to compete in the rugged PC market, which is largely dominated by Panasonic. Along with a few tablets, the two laptops it introduced were the Enduro N3 and Enduro N7.
While the N7 is a fully rugged device, the Enduro N3 is more of a semi-rugged PC that's meant to be more thin and light. Of course, you wouldn't call it thin and light by any other standard. It weighs in at 4.37 pounds, and it's nearly an inch thick. But it'll sure take a beating.
It also has sealed ports for its IP53 water resistance rating. There are some key things that it doesn't have though, such as a hot-swappable battery and 4G LTE connectivity.
CPU Intel Core i5‐10210U processor GPU Intel UHD Graphics Body 351x247x24.85mm, 1.985kg Display 14 inches, 1920x1080 TFT IPS, Acer ComfyView RAM 8GB DDR4 SDRAM Storage 256GB SSD Ports (2) USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A
(1) USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C
Connectivity Intel Wireless Wi-Fi 6 AX201 Audio Two built-in stero speakers
Built-in digital microphone OS Windows 10 Pro Price $1,099.99
Like I said, you wouldn't call the Acer Enduro N3 thin and light by any other standard, except the rugged market. Indeed, when it comes to semi-rugged PCs, this is about as thin and light as it gets. To be clear, semi-rugged doesn't just mean MIL-STD-810G tested, because all of Lenovo's ThinkPads pass over a dozen of those tests, and they can be much thinner and lighter.
But this thing can take more of a beating. It can also go underwater with its IP53 water resistance rating. All of the ports are sealed, in fact. You have to flip open a lid to gain access to the ports. This is a common method of water-proofing a device.
The color is black, and frankly, there's nothing sexy about the device. It's not like the Enduro N7 that looks more like a Panasonic Toughbook. Even the Acer branding on the textured lid is just a dull silver. If you're looking for something flashy, this really isn't that kind of device.
You'll notice that there are gray accents on the sides, such as the flaps the labels on the flaps that cover the ports. There are also gray bumpers on the corners of the PC, which help to protect it from drops.
As you can see, it has plenty of ports, as a device like this should. It supports wired Ethernet, HDMI, and has three USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports for 5Gbps speeds. Two of them are Type-A and one is Type-C. By the way, I got those specs from an Amazon listing, since Acer actually didn't provide much in the way of specs for this machine.
Note that while there's a barrel charging port and it comes with a barrel charger, you can charge via USB Type-C. It also charges a lot faster than most PCs, from my experience, and the battery life is pretty great, but we'll get to more of that later.
The design of this PC is purely functional, as there really isn't anything that's meant to make it pretty. It's meant to handle harsh conditions with its bumpers on the corners and closed-off ports. Unfortunately, there's no hot swappable battery, something that would definitely come in handy in the field.
Display and audio
The Acer Enduro N3 has a 14-inch FHD display that does not support touch, and this is another area where I feel like it falls behind Panasonic. Sure, touch is terrible if you're trying to use this thing in a sandstorm. No one wants false touches. But what could have been done here is Acer could have built software to turn the touchscreen on or off. I guess I'm just used to rugged PCs being made for a broader range of use cases.
The display isn't particularly bright, a surprise for something where users might be using it outdoors. Acer says that it's aimed at architects, project inspectors, event managers, scientists, adventure sport lovers, and outdoor activists, so that's a pretty broad range of groups right there. You'd think they'd want a brighter screen, and I'm sure a hot swappable battery would help too. The screen is fine for regular indoor use though.
One thing you'll also notice about the screen is that it really has large bezels. That's no surprise given the form factor, but they really feel like they stand out. Every part of this machine seems to be function over form, which is a good thing.
Audio quality is no different. Listening to music or watching movies doesn't sound particularly great, but it does get loud enough. In other words, if you're using it for calls, especially if you've got a loud background wherever you are, this gets the job done.
Keyboard and trackpad
The keyboard is backlit, and it's pretty standard. There's nothing about it that really stands out, and it feels good to type on. It's comfortable, and it's accurate. I'm using it to type this review right now.
The trackpad is not clickable, something that I'm not personally a fan of but I understand why it's like that. It has two physical buttons instead, which are placed below it. I'm a big fan of physical buttons with trackpads. It just makes dragging and dropping easier. Unfortunately, it also means that we get a smaller trackpad.
There's also a fingerprint sensor next to the trackpad, and it's the only method of biometric authentication that you're getting here. There's no IR camera for Windows Hello, but that's fine. At least there's something.
Performance and battery life
The Enduro N3 that Acer sent me comes with an Intel Core i5-10210U, 8GB RAM, and a 256GB SSD. There are, of course, a ton of configuration options. You can get it with a Core i7-10510U, which is still quad-core, 16GB RAM, a 1TB SSD, a secondary HDD that's up to 2TB, dedicated Nvidia GeForce MX230 graphics, and more. I believe that the model sent to me is the base model.
One thing that isn't an option is 4G LTE, which is really a shame. Again, when you start looking at the rugged category, a lot of outdoor use cases come into play. Along with the brighter screen and the hot-swappable battery, cellular connectivity could definitely be useful. These are Acer's first PCs in the rugged space though, of course.
Performance in general is just fine, and it's about what you'd expect from a Core i5 and 8GB of RAM. Unfortunately, based on the spec sheet that Acer sent me, there's no option for a vPro variant, such as the Core i5-10310U or the Core i7-10610U. All CPUs are from the Comet Lake family though, a decision that usually gets made because Comet Lake has a vPro variant, so it wouldn't surprise me if that gets released at some point.
Battery life is actually better than I expected. I was able to get a solid nine hours of real-world work out of it. Acer didn't tell me how big the battery is, but the battery report says it's 48WHr, which isn't particularly large. I guess with the FHD resolution and the somewhat dim display brightness, long battery life was doable. Whatever the cause, it's a great quality in a semi-rugged laptop.
For benchmarks, I used the usual PCMark 8 and PCMark 10.
PCMark 8: Home PCMark 8: Creative
PCMark 8: Work PCMark 10
None of the scores are surprising. It's a fairly standard configuration, which is a Core i5 and 8GB RAM.
Acer's Enduro N3 is a solid semi-rugged laptop, and it's an excellent first try from the company. Honestly, there really isn't anything that stands out about it, hence the relatively short review. I think I made my point best when I said it's function over form. It seems to have been designed with purpose, and that purpose is being semi-rugged while being thin and light, relative to the rugged market.
But I do think that the Enduro N3 is missing a few key features, considering the potential use cases. I'd like to have seen a brighter display for outdoor use, and of course, cellular connectivity. 4G LTE would open this up to first responders and more. I'd also like to have seen a hot-swappable battery, although I kind of understand why that gets taken out in favor of being thin and light. You'd need two batteries, easy access, and so on.
There's a lot of good here though. The display is a good one despite brightness issues in direct sunlight, and the overall package is pretty great. You get a lot of value for the starting price of $1,099. The IP53 water resistance rating means that it's dust-resistant and can handle jets of water. You can also drop it without worrying about it breaking, of course. In fact, I did that on video.
If you want to check it out, you can find it on Amazon here.
As an Amazon Associate, Neowin may earn commission from qualifying purchases.
By Rich Woods
2020 Holiday Gift Guide: Laptops
by Rich Woods
It's time for more holiday gift guides, and this one will be focusing on Windows 10 PCs. After all, many are working from home this year, so a new laptop might just be the perfect gift. Of course, when it comes to laptops, there are a lot to choose from. Here are some ideas.
HP Spectre x360
Convertible, pen support, ultrabook or more powerful form factors
HP's Spectre x360 is one of our favorite convertibles on the market. It has a stunning two-tone design, narrow bezels on all sides without compromising an IR camera, and B&O speakers. It comes with Intel's Ice Lake processors, Iris Plus Graphics, and an optional 4K OLED display.
The 13-inch model is great for the average user, but for someone that needs more power for editing photos and such, take a look at the 15-inch model that has a 45W processor and dedicated graphics. You can check out our review here.
Microsoft Surface Pro X
Tablet, ultra-portable, always-connected, battery life, pen support
The Surface Pro X is Microsoft's own Windows on ARM PC, using a custom SKU of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx. With its ARM chip, it's always connected with cellular connectivity, it gets better battery life, and it has instant-wake. It's also thinner with a fanless design, and it's quite stylish. It's a fantastic PC to take on the go.
It starts at $999, although there are some solid deals where you can get over $100 off. The base model comes with a Microsoft SQ1 processor, although the higher-end ones come with the newer SQ2 and have a Platinum color option, instead of just black. you can check out our review here.
Clamshell, premium, ultrabook to super-powerful
Dell's XPS lineup comes in 13-, 15-, and 17-inch sizes, and the amount of power you get from them is respective to the size. The 13-inch model comes with Intel's Tiger Lake processors, Iris Xe graphics, and Thunderbolt 4. Meanwhile, the XPS 17 has a 45W processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 graphics.
All of them are known for their slim bezels and stylish designs. Even with the InfinityEdge displays, they still maintain the webcam and IR camera on top. You can check out our reviews for the XPS 13, XPS 15, and XPS 17. You can check out the products here, here, and here, respectively.
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7
Clamshell, mainstream, balance of power and portability
Lenovo's IdeaPad Slim 7 is more for the mainstream category than the premium devices above, but it packs a punch. It has AMD's Ryzen 7 4800U processor, which not only has eight cores and 16 threads, but the TDP has been jacked up to 25W for some of the best performance that you'll find in a thin and light ultrabook. It's a nice combination between power and portability.
You can check out our review here. This laptop actually isn't available anymore, but the product link is here. I asked PR if it's coming back and it seems to be a possibility, so in other words, I'm leaving it on the list because the product is so good that if you can find it, you should definitely grab it.
HP Envy x360
Convertible, mainstream, pen support
At $799.99, HP's Envy x360 13 is a great high-end PC that doesn't break the bank. It's got AMD's Ryzen 4000 processors, a 13.3-inch FHD display, 8GB RAM, and 256GB SSD. It comes in a stylish Nightfall Black color, and frankly, has an excellent keyboard.
We gave it a 9.5 in our review, and you can check it out here.
Microsoft Surface Laptop Go
Clamshell, budget, thin and light
Microsoft's Surface Laptop Go is the newest PC from the Redmond firm, and it starts at just $549. It comes in colors like Sandstone, Ice Blue, and Platinum, and unlike the Surface Go 2, the Surface Laptop Go has a full Core i5 processor. It has a fingerprint sensor instead of an IR camera and is missing a backlit keyboard, but it definitely looks and feels premium.
You can check out the review here and the product here.
HP Pavilion x360 14
Convertible, budget, always-connected
HP's Pavilion x360 14 made some weird compromises, such as not offering any Windows Hello, having a dim display, and not having a backlit keyboard, but it also offered some solid value propositions. Along with solid performance and excellent value, this $699 PC offers 4G LTE. It's probably the most inexpensive Intel-powered PC to have cellular connectivity.
You can check out the review here, and the product here.
Lenovo Legion 7i
Gaming laptop, high-end, powerful
Lenovo's Legion laptops offer a subtle design that makes them stylish for work, but powerful enough for play. The Legion 7i is the premium one that has more powerful configurations and RGB lighting, although for more of a budget gaming laptop, check out the Legion 5 or Legion 5i. I like to think of it like the Legion 5 series is more about a work PC that can play games, and the Legion 7 series is about being a gaming PC that's also great at productivity.
You can check out our reviews of the Legion 7i, Legion 5i, and Legion 5, you can find the products here, here, and here, respectively.
Sysinternals Suite 2020.11.25
by Razvan Serea
The Sysinternals Troubleshooting Utilities have been rolled up into a single Suite of tools. This file contains the individual troubleshooting tools and help files. It does not contain non-troubleshooting tools like the BSOD Screen Saver or NotMyFault. The Sysinternals Suite is a bundle of several Sysinternals Utilies like AccessChk, Autologon, Ctrl2Cap, DiskView, Disk Usage (DU), LogonSessions, PageDefrag, ProcessExplorer, PsLogList, PsPasswd, RegMon, RootkitRevealer, TCPView, VMMap, ZoomIt.
Sysinternals Suite 2020.11.25 changelog:
Sysmon v12.03 - This version of Sysmon fixes reporting and a possible crash condition for PipeEvent and RegistryEvent rules. SDelete v2.04 - This update to SDelete, a command line utility for secure file deletion, provides a new switch, -f, to to avoid file/directory versus drive ambiguity. WinObj v2.23 - This update to WinObj, a utility to explore the Windows NT Object Manager's namespace, brings bug fixes and is now available for x64 and ARM64. ARM64 ports - New ARM64 releases for ADRestore v1.2, LogonSessions v1.41 and WinObj v2.23. Download all ARM64 tools in a single download with the Sysinternals Suite for ARM64. Download: Sysinternals Suite 2020.11.25 | 37.6 MB (Freeware)
Link: Sysinternals Suite Home Page
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