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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
Get alerted to all of our Software updates on Twitter at @NeowinSoftware
Samsung Galaxy S10 One UI 3 public beta program now live
by Rajesh Pandey
Samsung has started the One UI 3 and Android 11 beta program for the Galaxy S10 series (via SamMobile). The company has already been running the One UI 3.0 beta program for the Galaxy S20 and Note20 series for the last few weeks. It had also launched the beta program for the Galaxy Z Flip but had to pull the initial firmware due to high battery drain issues.
For now, Samsung has launched the One UI 3 beta program for the Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10, and Galaxy S10+ in India, South Korea, and the United Kingdom, though there's a possibility that the program is expanded to more regions within the next day or two.
You can check if the One UI 3 beta program for the Galaxy S10 series is available in your region or not and then join the program using the Samsung Members app.
Samsung has been aggressively rolling out One UI 3 beta firmware builds for the Galaxy S20 and Note20 series signaling that a stable rollout is around the corner. For the Galaxy S10 series, the One UI 3 update is expected to hit the stable channel by the end of this year or early next year.
One UI 3 is based on Android 11 and comes with a number of UI changes including a streamlined Settings menu, updated Phone app, revamped notification shade, and more. You can read more about One UI 3 features here.
By Jefferson Mangubat
Microsoft Office edit support comes to Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides for iOS
by Jefferson Mangubat
Google has rolled out native editing support for Microsoft Office files on Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides for iOS. The company announced the latest change today, available now for all users with both personal and enterprise accounts.
The new update allows you to edit, comment, and collaborate on Office files in Docs, Sheets, and Slides on your iPhone or iPad. Google says the feature "brings the collaborative and assistive features of Google Workspace to your Microsoft Office files” for iOS users. That means you no longer have to download and email file attachments like before. Prior to this change, you would need to convert an Office file into a format that's compatible with Docs, Sheets, or Slides in order to edit it on your iOS device, making that task cumbersome.
Office editing support was previously introduced to Docs, Sheets, and Slides for Android in September. The same functionality was rolled out on the web last year. Just like its Android release, today's update gives you access to new improvements to sharing options and controls. The new capability also replaces the previous Office Compatibility Mode (Quickoffice), which only had basic functions.
By Abhay V
Flight Simulator's second World Update brings visual updates to the U.S.
by Abhay Venkatesh
After delivering the first World Update in September that brought improvements to the scenery and airports in Japan, Microsoft’s second Flight Simulator content drop this time focuses on the U.S.A, just in time for the holidays. World Update II: USA is now rolling out as a free update to Xbox Game Pass for PC, Windows 10, and Steam users. The update also fixes a bunch of bugs and other known issues.
The update brings improved elevation maps for terrain, resolution improvements “up to one meter”, aerial texture enhancements for better appearance, and four new “hand-crafted airports”, says the firm. These airports include Atlanta (KATL), Dallas/Fort Worth (KDFW), Friday Harbor (KFHR), and New York Stewart (KSWF).
The firm has also improved the visuals of 48 other airports and has added 50 new “points of interest” – areas with enhanced visuals. Some of these include the White House, Washington Monument, Capitol, Hoover Dam, Las Vegas Strip, and more. You can head to the release notes here to view the entire list.
Additionally, the update also brings a new Bush Trip “across the Alaskan wilderness” and a Discovery Flight through iconic east coast locations. The firm notes that users will have to head to the Marketplace to claim the World Update after downloading the latest patch for the simulator.
As for the list of fixes, patch version 184.108.40.206 brings with it a bunch of fixes for airplanes such as remedies for the fuel consumption issue on the Boeing 747-8 and the A320neo. Other elements such as the UI, activity logs, input devices have also received improvements.
Here is the complete changelog:
Overall, the updates to performance and the improved visuals for the locations in the U.S. bring with it welcome additions right in time for the holiday weekend, especially with the pandemic forcing more people indoors.