Got a drawer full of USB sticks going to waste? Jonathan Parkyn shows you how to turn them into tools for fixing, securing and speeding up your PC
Tuesday, 13 October 2015
Sleek laptop with an orbiting touchscreen
In our last issue we reviewed the HP Envy x360, a full-size laptop that folds over to work as a tablet. Here’s another of that type. Their specifications are similar, and that includes the brushed metal finishes over a plastic chassis. But Toshiba has managed to pack everything into a slimmer, lighter case, and topped it off with a crisp Full HD screen.
A Windows 10 desktop PC… for how much?
If you want a really small, really cheap desktop computer, Google would like you to consider a Chromebox, such as the Asus M031U. For under £200, you get a compact system and a sprightly performer. The snag being it doesn’t have Windows. In fact, it barely has an operating system at all: Chrome OS is pretty much a glorified web browser. So you have to do almost everything online, and the range of programs available (assuming you’re generous enough to even call them programs) is very limited.
Fed up with rip-off phone contracts? A new service provides a free(ish) alternative
What is it?
A “free” mobile service that has just launched in the UK, after proving a success in the US. Once you pay £6.99 to join, you can make calls, send texts and browse the web for free.
A low-cost laptop that runs Linux
If you want a really cheap PC, every penny counts. The companies that make them are keenly aware of that. Although what they pay Microsoft to install Windows 10 is only a fraction of the £80-odd that it would cost you in a shop, it all adds up. One way to shave a bit more off the price is to install a free operating system (OS) instead.
A rare example of a home-grown smartphone
Settle down children and Grandad will tell you a story. Once upon a time, all over the United Kingdom there were these things called ‘factories’. Every day, British people would ‘clock in’ to them and operate machines that made things. Not things such as ‘financial services’ and ‘marketing communications’ but real things, that you could buy in shops, made of steel and glass and wood.
Like in China, Grandad? (Grandad sighs a faraway sigh.) Yes, my darling. Like in China.
2015 is already the most dangerous year in malware history – and 2016 will be worse. Jane Hoskyn explains why, and reveals what you must do to stay safe
The title ‘The Worst Malware Ever’ may sound like one of those late-night shock documentaries on Channel 5, like ‘The World’s Worst Serial Killers’ or ‘Most Horrible Shark Attacks Ever’. Oh, if only it were that simple.
Unlike serial killers, the worst malware ever hasn’t been sentenced to life in prison, and it’s definitely not dead. When hackers face a challenge, such as an antivirus (AV) that’s been updated to block their precious Trojan or to patch a vulnerability, they don’t give up – quite the opposite. Malware doesn’t go away, it goes back to the drawing board, then bounces back in a powerful new form.
A promising mini tablet at a low price
When Apple first launched the iPad in 2010, it was years ahead of the competition, and it’s managed to stay ahead of the pack not just at the high end, but at the low end of the price range too. Every year, a new crop of iPads arrive with hugely improved specifications, and still-capable older models are reduced to a budget price.
Cloudy upgrade to the perennial work suite
It’s a big year for Microsoft. Windows has hit double digits with version 10 – just don’t mention 9 – and now Office reaches sweet 16. It comprises Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote (for jotting down ideas and to-do lists), plus Outlook, Access and Publisher if you take out a subscription. This bundle of Windows apps is still the standard choice for business, but buying it isn’t the obvious choice it once was.