Trending November 2023 # Why The Surface Neo’s Keyboard Was The Best Thing At Microsoft’s Hardware Showcase # Suggested December 2023 # Top 14 Popular

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My Microsoft a-ha! moment came not with the surprise Surface Duo Android phone, nor with the two-screened Surface Neo, but when Microsoft unfolded the wraparound keyboard accessory that shipped with its dual-screen Neo prototype.

We’ve previously told you what microprocessor diversity means for Microsoft, as well as its chip partners Qualcomm, AMD, and Intel. What we thought then was that Qualcomm would enable all-day battery life (which emerged as the Surface Pro X), AMD would pump up the Surface’s graphics firepower (the 15-inch Surface Laptop 3), and Intel would power, well everything else. What we missed was Intel’s Lakefield, the compact, stacked-chip architecture which we already knew would be the foundation of dual-screen displays. That, of course, became the Surface Neo, Microsoft’s dual-screen device.


Use the Surface Neo however you want.

You don’t use chips, though. You use devices. What those four different chip platforms enable—and not just for Microsoft, but for every other PC maker too—is the ability to design in different computing modalities for different people, something we’ve seen Microsoft strive for in the past.

Modalities—the different ways in which users interact with Windows and other Microsoft services—is Microsoft’s stock in trade. Some people prefer a desktop. Others, a traditional clamshell laptop. Tablets appeal to others. Microsoft tried and failed to make Windows Phones a thing, but ultimately decided to use apps and services as a proxy to push users back within the Microsoft fold. 

But those are hardware. While the PC space has wrestled with form factor, Microsoft has quietly evolved Windows beyond a mouse-and-keyboard-driven interface into one that can be interacted with via voice, touch, ink, holograms, a game controller, and even your eyes. Microsoft designed some of these—eye tracking, for example—as “assistive” technologies for the disabled. But we all benefit. These different Windows modalities are Microsoft’s stock in trade. 


Why? Because people work in different ways. Microsoft provides a command line not just for coders, but for users who appreciate fine-grained control over their operating system. Why do people become so irritated with new Windows feature updates? Well, there are the inopportune update times, but once an update breaks the way in which a user goes about their day, it becomes a source of frustration. It breaks the “flow” that Microsoft’s chief Panos Panay so often talks about.

In the old days, when Apple first introduced the iPad, reporters who used it to take notes were offered the front rows in Apple’s small Infinite Loop auditorium. This was peak Apple: offering pride of place to those who saw the world (or were willing to) as they did. I remember happily sitting behind them, content to use a real keyboard. 


The Windows 10X Wonderbar in action.

The culmination of all of this is the Microsoft Surface Neo, which provoked a “whoa” from me when I saw the keyboard. What impressed me wasn’t just Microsoft’s willingness to bridge the gap between those who prefer a “real” keyboard and those who type on glass. It was the way in which Microsoft carefully integrated the keyboard into the device itself: accommodating the reduced screen real estate that the keyboard covered up, for example, by creating the Wonderbar. (I still wonder about what content will fit itself naturally into that space, however.)


Quite clearly, the launch of the Surface Pro X, Surface Laptop 3, Surface Pro 7, as well the Neo and Duo represented Microsoft’s best Surface launch ever. And it wasn’t just the products themselves, but what their variety represented: the culmination of everything Microsoft has tried to achieve with Surface. Will the Neo and Duo succeed? Not for everyone. And that’s the point.

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The Best Pc Hardware And Software Of 2023/2023

But that doesn’t mean PC vendors took their foot off the gas. We tested some truly impressive hardware in 2023, including blazing-fast next-gen SSDs and notebooks that run laps around yesteryear’s models. Are you into streaming video? Hardware that helps you look and sound as impressive as possible took major strides forward in 2023. And this year we’re expanding our list of top picks to include the best software available, as what you use all that computing power for is just as vital.

For this list, we asked PCWorld’s tech experts to share their favorite picks in their areas of expertise. Without further ado, this is the best PC hardware and software of 2023 and 2023. Yes, we’re looking forward to next year, because until even newer products begin launching in 2023, many of the wins on this list will remain very relevant, especially with no end to the chip shortage in sight.

Editor’s note: This article originally published on November 3, 2023, but was updated November 15 after the launch of Intel’s 12th-gen “Alder Lake” processors.

Best desktop CPU: Intel 12th-gen “Alder Lake” processors

Intel Core i5-12600K

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But the real star in Intel’s 12th-gen lineup is the Core i5-12600K, which inflicts so much pain on AMD’s Ryzen 5 5600X that a timeout was called while the Ryzen 5 was carried off the field on a stretcher. What 2023 holds isn’t known, but for 2023, there is one dominant pick when it comes to CPUs: Intel’s 12th-gen Alder Lake processors. —Gordon Mah Ung

Best thin-and-light laptop: HP Spectre x360 14

HP Spectre x360 14 1Q881AV

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PC laptop buyers have an embarrassment of riches to pick from, but for most people, a 360-convertible is the apex machine. Convertibles are basically indistinguishable from traditional clamshell notebooks, but give you all the flexibility of a tablet as well. That means you get touch and even pen support on top of the usual touchpad/keyboard combo.

Our pick for the best thin-and-light laptop easily goes to HP’s wonderful Spectre x360 14, built on Intel’s latest 11th-gen Tiger Lake CPU with Xe graphics. It offers screen options ranging from 1920×1080 IPS to a 3000×2000 OLED display, and with its 66 watt hour battery, you can expect all-day battery performance. Its stylish diamond-cut exterior also tells the world that you actually think differently, too. —Gordon Mah Ung

Best gaming laptop: MSI GE76 Raider

MSI GE76 Raider

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$2,599 base price, $3,399 as configured

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You know MSI’s GE76 Raider is something special when you have none other than Apple tapping it for comparisons to the hyped-up MacBook Pro with its M1 Max to the GE76. Even better, Apple actually admits that its very best M1 Max MacBook Pro 16 is slower than the Raider in the comparison.

While we don’t think the two laptops are in the same category to even merit the comparison, we’re not surprised Apple focused on MSI’s killer gaming laptop. With its 8-core Intel 11th-gen Core i9-11980HK “Tiger Lake H” processor, Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3080 GPU pushing a smoking 165 watt TGP rating, and a buttery smooth 360Hz gaming panel, this hefty 6.6 pound laptop packs some serious gaming and productivity firepower. Did we mention all the RGB, too? —Gordon Mah Ung 

Best SSD: Corsair MP600 Pro XT

MP600 Pro XT

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Corsair’s MP600 Pro XT passed our portals rather late in the year, but we’re glad it showed up. It matches the blazingly fast Seagate FireCuda 530‘s performance, but is slightly less expensive, and more importantly, Corsair’s ultra-fast drive is generally available in both 1TB and 2TB capacities. Seagate’s barn-burner is often in short supply, tipping the scales towards Corsair’s offering in the battle for the best SSD. —Jon Jacobi

Best antivirus: Norton 360 Deluxe

Norton 360 Deluxe

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$49.99 for the first year

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It may not be the most exciting choice, but Norton’s long-lived security solution remains our top pick for the best antivirus for Windows. The price is right, at just over $100 for a year of Norton 360 Deluxe covering five devices. The suite offers a good amount of features, and the protection is top-notch. Norton also has a wide variety of products to choose from, including Norton 360 for Gamers, which focuses on gamer-centric features like a game optimizer and a VPN to protect against DDoS attacks, which are sometimes deployed by hackers in certain games. Above all, Norton is one of the more quiet antivirus solutions. It just goes about its business and doesn’t bother you with too many pop-ups and notifications. Norton simply works and does a fantastic job of protecting you. —Ian Paul

Best GPU: Ryzen 5000 APUs

Ryzen 7 5700G

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Usually, this category is called “Best graphics card,” casting a spotlight on the best discrete desktop video card released over the past 12 months. And sure, several new graphics cards were released in 2023, from 1080p-focused offerings like the Radeon RX 6600 and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 to heavy-hitting 4K behemoths like the $1,200 GeForce RTX 3080 Ti. But the chip shortage’s effects were felt most acutely in the graphics space, exacerbated by incredible demand from crypto-currency miners who use their graphics cards to mint virtual coins for real-world profits. Understandably—though disappointingly—every new graphics card launched this year hit store shelves with staggering price tags, though they also sold out instantly only to appear on second-hand retailers like Ebay and Craiglist at up to twice the price of those already-inflated MSRPs. Gross.

So, this year we’re switching gears. The best gaming option for most people with modest budgets isn’t a graphics card at all, but the GPU cores integrated into AMD’s game-ready Ryzen 5000G APUs, which remain in stock in both DIY form and inside numerous prebuilt systems. “You can build a Ryzen 5 5700G machine today and get outstanding CPU performance along with OK gaming performance,” we said in our review. Yes, you’ll need to dial down some graphics options for the best performance, but you’ll be able to play esports games and even triple-A titles at a decent clip at 720p or 1080p resolution. At $259 for the Ryzen 5 5600G and $369 for the Ryzen 7 5700G, they aren’t exactly cheap, especially since you’ll also need a motherboard to plop them into. But remember that you’re getting both a CPU and a doable GPU stand-in for the price. And, hey, they’re actually in stock. —Brad Chacos

Best Thunderbolt Dock: Plugable’s Plugable TBT3-UDZ

Plugable TBT3-UDZ

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The catch? It’s extremely hard to find. While this model is clearly the best Thunderbolt dock, the Plugable TBT3-UDC3 is smaller, cheaper, and slightly more available. If you find one, buy it. Now. —Mark Hachman

Best USB microphone for streaming: NZXT Capsule


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Arguably the most important piece of streaming hardware is a great microphone. This year, PC component maker NZXT brought the company’s first microphone to market with the $130 NZXT Capsule, which is dead simple to use and sounds fantastic. The Capsule is packed with killer specs, sports a fairly large condenser capsule, and is plug-and-play over an included USB-C cable. The sound profile is on the warmer side, with plenty of deep vocal reproduction for booming voices, and clean and even highs for clarity. One of the best features of this mic is the included detachable stand. It’s large, heavy, super solid, and something I could actually recommend someone using (which isn’t always the case with these type of desktop mics). To top it off, the design is uniquely NZXT, with trademark grided holes on the back and a two-toned white version that makes it very stylish despite its larger size. —Adam Patrick Murray

Best password manager: LastPass 


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There is simply no excuse for being lazy about passwords—not when a password manager makes using best practices so easy. LastPass is the gold standard when it comes to this essential role. Install the browser plugin, and LastPass serves as a combination password generator, password vault, and form filler, saving you the trouble of memorizing and manually entering any of your often-used credentials or personal information. A Secure Notes feature lets you store sensitive information, like bank account numbers, associated with the various sites you visit. 

The free version is limited to one device type—PC or mobile. The Premium tier ($3 a month) supports unlimited devices and offers dark-web monitoring for vulnerabilities and emergency access to your account. See our full review of LastPass, as well as our roundup of all password managers. —Katherine Stevenson

Best laptop CPUs

It’s been a banner year for laptop buyers shopping for powerful CPUs thanks to intense—and we mean intense—competition between AMD and Intel. We first saw the year kick off with AMD’s Ryzen 5000 H-class gaming processors arriving to smash a folding chair on Intel’s elderly 10th-gen H-class CPUs. AMD then followed up with its Ryzen 5000 U-class or low-power consumption chips, which battled Intel’s 11th-gen “Tiger Lake U chips” to a stand still.

Intel’s 11th-gen Core chips hold the high-ground on lightly threaded tasks and performance while on battery, with Ryzen 5000 U beating Intel’s processors in multi-threaded tasks. 

And just when it looked easy to declare AMD’s Ryzen 5000 H-class the winner, Intel hit back with 11th-gen “Tiger Lake H” CPUs that just slightly edge the Ryzen 5000 H chips.

Rob Shultz/IDG

So what’s the winner? There are really two classes of laptops today—really thin and light, and really fast.

For the really thin and light category, we’d be torn between Ryzen and Core i7, but the 11th-gen Core came out last year. That leaves AMD’s impressive Ryzen 5000 chips as the best CPU for thin and light laptops in 2023. It’s an easy one to argue since you’re getting an unheard-of eight cores of performance in laptops weighing less than 3 lbs. 

In the need-for-speed category, it’s a very close race, but we give the nod to Intel’s 11th-gen Tiger Lake H for two reasons. First, it has the slight edge in performance, giving you a full x16 lanes of PCIe Gen 4, plus support for PCIe Gen 4 SSDs. It’s simply a richer, fuller feature set than AMD’s Ryzen H-class chips. The other reason is the elephant in the room: You don’t buy a laptop CPU without the rest of laptop around it, and Intel’s Tiger Lake H is simply paired with more laptops with faster hardware than their AMD counterparts. —Gordon Mah Ung

Best Windows backup software: Acronis True Image 

Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office

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There’s a reason Acronis True Image (recently renamed Cyber Protect Home Office) has remained our top pick for Windows backup software for years now. It offers all the functionality you would expect: full, incremental, and differential backup options—not just from your PC, but also your phone and any remote shared networks—to just about any destination of your choosing, including removable media. Acronis essentially has it all. Backups in our tests were performed quickly and without incident, making this the kind of comprehensive, easy-to-use, worry-free experience you want from a backup program.  

As the program’s new name suggests, it offers more than just backups. Acronis throws in malware and ransomware protection, too. And if you opt for the Advanced or Premium tiers, you can expect bundled cloud storage and blockchain certification of files as part of the mix, respectively. Read our full review. —Katherine Stevenson

Best USB-C dongle: Anker PowerExpand+ 7-in-1 USB C Hub Adapter

PowerExpand+ 7-in-1 USB C Hub Adapter

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Ordering a USB-C hub is a little bit like order from an a la carte menu: These slow-speed cousins of Thunderbolt docks are far cheaper and far more ubiquitous, but offer a ton of expansion ports for laptops. Anker’s $35 7-in-1 hub offers everything but Ethernet connectivity, but the upgraded 8-in-1 model with Ethernet costs $90, which seems extreme. Go with the $35 model instead. -Mark Hachman

Best dash cam: Garmin Dash Cam 57 or Nextbase 422GW

Garmin Dash Cam 57

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This year’s best dash cam is a pick’em between Garmin’s compact, low-profile, set-it-and-forget-it Dash Cam 57 and the ultra-versatile Nextbase 422GW. The Garmin is our choice for most people simply because it’s easy to use, has all the features that folks typically need, and hides nicely behind your rearview mirror. We also love the clever magnetic mount.

On the other hand, the 422GW is dual-channel cam, offering a modular interior view, a rear window view, and—uniquely—telephoto rearview secondary cameras. Both come in at around $230, but the 422GW’s modules cost extra. Quite a bit extra, at $100 apiece. So what kind of dash cam do you need? This year, both picks will have you covered. —Jon Jacobi

Best VPN: Mullvad


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$6.88 per month

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Choosing the best VPN is a tough job. Do you prioritize privacy and anonymity, or do you pick something that comes loaded with features? For our money, privacy is still the top consideration when it comes to VPNs, which is why we highly recommend Mullvad. Its speeds are within our top 10, and of all the no-logs VPNs out there, Mullvad has the best approach by far, saving as little information about its customers as possible. Pricing is also good, and the app is easy to use. If features are your main concern, however, then we’d recommend either NordVPN or ExpressVPN. Both have top notch speeds like Mullvad, and both support Netflix overseas viewing. Privacy is good with these services, but it simply isn’t up to the standard of Mullvad. —Ian Paul

Best webcam for streaming: Elgato Facecam

Elgato FaceCam

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Top streamers use mirrorless cameras connected to their PCs, but those setups can be both expensive and finicky. Enter streaming hardware specialist Elgato, which released its first webcam in 2023, seeking to bring top-of-the-line camera specs and deep controls down to affordable webcam prices. It succeeded.

At $200, the Elgato Facecam was made with streamers and experienced camera users in mind, delivering a unique webcam that rivals the best. Elgato focused on the basics with this device and augmented them will killer software that feels right at home for people who know camera lingo like ISO and color temperatures. While the 1080p 60FPS signal sounds generic on paper, the image is nothing but. The Facecam packs a high-end Sony sensor connected via an uncompressed signal for low latency and minimal artificing to whatever streaming program you use. It’s a premium webcam experience that isn’t quite perfect, but brings the right things to the table. The Elgato Facecam should push the industry further. —Adam Patrick Murray


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What’s The One Certain Thing About Bitcoin?

For a majority of the last 48 hours, Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency has traded just below the $60,000 price level, with the aforementioned level not too far from the crypto’s ATH. Ordinarily, such steady consolidation would be good news, right? Well, yes. But, everything needs to be put in context and expressed in relative terms.

Take a look down at the cryptos below BTC and you’ll find that the likes of ETH and XRP are surging. Contrary to the prevailing perception that the altcoin market follows Bitcoin, here you have two of the market’s most-prominent alts defying the general market trend to register hikes of their own.

What does this entail? Is the alt season finally here? Perhaps. Perhaps not. What is evident, however, is that both these cryptos have surged on the back of developments that are ecosystem-centric. The purpose of this article is to answer the following question – should anyone be concerned about Bitcoin’s ‘stagnant’ price movement of late?

Consider this – according to Santiment, Bitcoin isn’t in the “super overvalued territory” yet, with its 30d and 365d MVRVs well away from their local tops. In fact, these metrics suggest that there is still a lot of room for growth, with a lot of potential upside in price projected to come in. Historically, local tops in the same have been succeeded by price drops.

Since we are still away from these tops, BTC can be expected to climb some more despite recent consolidation, before correcting again.

Whether the said hike would be enough to breach its ATH, however, that will be difficult to ascertain.

Santiment’s report also looked at the cryptocurrency’s 3-year and 5-year Dormant Circulation, with the same observing that recently, a fair amount of very old coins were moved between addresses. According to the report, “This is a good sign, distribution keeps taking place.”

What’s more, other metrics such as Mean Coin Age seemed to suggest the network-wide accumulation trend is still going smoothly, despite the fact that there had been some degree of distribution back in the month of March.

Finally, the nature of whale behavior is also crucial to understand what to expect going forward. This is true especially since not only have there been cases where whales have dictated price movements, but whale sentiment is a good barometer of where BTC might end up in the near term.

Over the past year, the amount of daily whale transactions worth at least $1M has risen by over 740%, with the daily average climbing from 229 on 1 April 2023 to 1,930 on 1 April 2023.

In fact, despite brief hiccups and the fact that BTC hasn’t reciprocated or shared the bullish sentiment of alts such as ETH and XRP, its whale holders are refusing to panic, with the brief drop-off in supply looking to steady itself at the time of writing.

Consider Bitcoin’s funding rate, for instance. A few days ago, the same was recorded to be at +0.10%, very close to the 0.12% levels that were seen a few weeks ago. The latter coincided with the cryptocurrency recording its local top in March, with the same followed by a significant price drop.

This means that there isn’t a lot of room to move for the Funding Rate, with higher levels only playing into the probability of a short-term top being formed and a correction soon after.

There’s also the matter of sentiment. Whale sentiment is one thing, but what about retail sentiment? Well, Bitcoin’s weighted social sentiment at the moment is close to its one-year low. Here, it’s worth noting, however, that historically, there have been cases where similar findings have fueled the movement of Bitcoin in the opposite direction.

— Santiment (@santimentfeed) April 2, 2023

Ergo, uncertainty is the best projection one can give about Bitcoin’s short-term fortunes. While a longer case of consolidation is likely to be the case, price action in either direction on the charts cannot be ruled out.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Review: The Anti

Microsoft Surface Laptop Review: The anti-MacBook Pro

Microsoft knows how to make sleek hardware. If the Surface Book is handsome but bulky, and the Surface Pro is more minimalistic but suffers a less-compelling keyboard, then the Surface Laptop falls happily in-between. You don’t get a fancy detachable display, no, or even a 360-degree hinge. Instead, it’s a neatly finished, beguiling traditional laptop form-factor with some eminently pleasing material decisions.

Most noticeable, of course, is the Alcantara. If you’ve been inside a sports-leaning car in recent years you’ll probably have seen the fabric before. It’s often used on steering wheels and seats, where it’s more grippy than traditional materials like leather. In the case of the Surface Laptop it makes for a soft place to rest your wrists.

Alcantara is surprisingly resilient for what feels much like delicate suede, though that’s not to say it’s impervious to casual treatment. I suspect that, in a few years time – or less – there’ll be some greasy palm-rests and staining in-between the keys, for instance. Unfortunately, though Microsoft offers several colors of Surface Laptop, the Alcantara itself isn’t user-replaceable.

There’s a port spectrum right now on modern laptops, and it’s turned something as typically mundane as connectivity into a fairly controversial topic. At the one extreme you have Apple, with its wholehearted embrace of USB-C and Thunderbolt 3. In the middle, you have a whole host of Windows 10 notebook-makers, who have hedged their bets with a mixture of the new USB-C and older, legacy ports for data and video.

Then you have Microsoft. While the Surface Laptop may be cutting edge in many ways, when it comes to connectivity it’s oddly reticent to update. You get a regular USB 3.0 Type-A port, a Mini DisplayPort, a headphone jack, and Microsoft’s magnetic Surface Connector for charging. The power brick itself has a useful USB port for charging a second device at the same time. Sadly there’s no SD card slot, which seems a shame given there’s plenty of space along the sides of this 2.75 pound notebook for one.

If you’re doing a like-for-like upgrade from one PC to another, Microsoft’s decision will probably make life fairly straightforward: your existing accessories will plug right in. All the same, I do wonder whether Microsoft has needlessly committed owners to a headache somewhere down the line. While the rest of the computing world may not have envisaged the USB-C ecosystem taking hold quite so aggressively as the MacBook Pro does, that’s nonetheless definitely the way things are moving. One day, and probably not one day all that far away, the Surface Laptop will look passé.

Perversely, the Surface Laptop’s most compelling feature is also its most frustrating. Out of the box it runs Windows 10 S, a version of Windows that Microsoft says is intended primarily for students and teachers. It avoids the so-called “burden of PC hygiene” by effectively preventing you from downloading apps from outside of the Windows Store. Try to download from a website, and you’ll get a pop-up message saying you can’t, and directing you to Microsoft’s store instead.

There, so the theory goes, Microsoft will signpost its Windows Store equivalent app instead. Unsurprisingly that works best when there’s an official version of the same download: then, you simply access it through the Windows Store and benefit from its malware checks and such. I had mixed results when Microsoft tried to suggest similar alternatives, however. Sometimes the suggestions are okay: not great, no, but okay. Other times, like not being allowed to install Chrome because Windows 10 S only allow Microsoft Edge, I was less enamored.

Happily – though a little confusingly – that’s eminently possible. Switching from Windows 10 S to 10 Pro takes about five or ten minutes, sees all files, customizations, and apps preserved, and can even be done from the “This app won’t install” popup”. Eventually, Microsoft says, it’ll cost $49 too, but for now it’s free. What you can’t then do is go back: this is a one way trip.

I suspect it’s a trip most people will take, unless their school is providing the Surface Laptop as a managed machine and they’re not allowed to shed Windows 10 S’ shackles. I was a little disappointed that, once you upgrade, there’s no real help for regular users to set up S-style limits for your kids’ user accounts, for instance. What I wanted was the ability to say “yes, the admin can install whatever they please, but everyone else is still locked down” but, while those sort of granular polices are available, you’re left to your own devices to configure them.

That, though, is par for the course with any Windows notebook. What makes the Surface Laptop so charming in a sea of Windows 10 machines is the little details: the extra mile that Microsoft goes, often unnoticeable in and of itself, but which makes its presence felt in everyday usability. The perky Windows Hello face recognition that, by powering up the camera as soon as the hinge starts to move, means you’re often at the desktop by the time the screen is all the way open. Microsoft’s obsessional power and thermal management, which means the fan is most often silent.

Performance from this $1,299 Core i5 Surface Laptop, with 8 GB of RAM, 256 GB of flash storage, and Intel HD Graphics 620, has been fine for everyday purposes. There’s a cheaper, $999 version with half the RAM and half the storage, but I suspect you’ll quickly resent those compromises. If you plan on doing video editing, or even thinking about gaming, the Core i7 model – which starts at $1,599 – has better Iris Plus Graphics 640 to go with its faster processor. No, it’s not going to replace your gaming rig, but integrated graphics have come a long way.

Microsoft claims you’ll get as much as 14 hours use from the Surface Laptop, though that’s based on nothing more arduous than playing locally-stored videos on a loop. In a typical day I saw more like eight hours, which is still reasonable given the size. I don’t think it would be too tricky to coax an hour or so more from it, either, were I cautious.

Ever since Microsoft started making Surface computers, people have been asking for a regular notebook. It’s taken some time to arrive, but you can’t fault Microsoft from giving people exactly what they requested. The Surface Laptop may come dressed in an unusual Alcantara suit, but the reality is that beneath the fabric this is the everyday “Nexus of Windows notebooks”: the solid experience today that average buyers want, without having to worry about next-gen ports or unusual form-factors.

How that buying decision will feel two years down the line I’m not so sure about, and I do think most people are better off bypassing Windows 10 S from the get-go for the full version. Nonetheless, Microsoft has delivered just what was asked of it. The Surface Laptop is the go-to, gimmick-free notebook that puts Windows 10 front and center.

Surface Laptop 3 Vs Surface Laptop 4: Is It Worth The Upgrade?

Surface Laptop 3 vs Surface Laptop 4: is it worth the upgrade?




The Surface Laptop 4 is pretty much official, and it comes in two versions: AMD and Intel.

We went ahead and decided to do a preview roundup on how it would compare with the current model.

We’re also expecting Microsoft to unveil the Surface Headphones 2 and other accessories at an upcoming event as soon as next week.

Yes, it’s already confirmed – the Surface Laptop 4 is a reality and it could be launched as early as next week. WinFuture was first to discover an official support page on Microsoft’s sites where you can allegedly already download AMD and Intel drivers for the upcoming device.

However, we went ahead and tried to download the actual drivers, but in the end got only an empty Notepad file. So yes, somebody in the Redmond building made a small mistake and confirmed what was already pretty much known.

Surface Laptop 4 comes with AMD and Intel versions

As it was previously rumored, the new Laptop from the Surface family will be released in two versions: sporting either AMD or Intel versions. The same WinFuture hints that the device could feature the following specs:

How does it fare against the Surface Laptop 3?

Naturally, the first ones to think of buying the Surface Laptop 4 will probably include also current owners of the Surface Laptop 3.

According to Winfuture, here’s a complete table featuring all of the Surface Laptop 4’s specs:

AMD version or custom chips?

As you probably know, the Surface Laptop 3 features the 3000-series chips; and you’d think that the next logical step is the 4000 series. However, of course you want the latest and greatest – and that’s AMD’s brand new Ryzen 5000 mobile processors. 

Still, there’s hearsay that Microsoft could be getting custom chips directly from AMD ( referred to a chip as a Ryzen 7 Microsoft Surface Edition). If that happens, then the laptop’s CPU could be a mix of the 4000-series and the 5000-series. And in that situation, yes, the upgrade makes more sense. 

Same looks, same storage choices

If you are looking to make the jump hoping for better looks, you’ll be disappointed: the specs and form-factor of the Surface Laptop 4 seem to be in line with previous models. Thus, if you were hoping for narrower bezels or perhaps a larger trackpad, then this isn’t the laptop you’re looking for. 

You’ll be able to choose between 13.5- and 15-inch models available, with a 3:2 aspect ratio. The same 32GB of RAM and 1TB of storage will be present in the newest model, as well.

Thunderbolt 4 connectivity is apparently also missing, but we’ll be able to know for sure once the product is officially presented. 


The Surface Laptop isn’t yet officially released, so we can’t yet compare the two laptops. But with so much information around, we decided to do a small roundup. When the official launch will take place, we will make sure to update with the actual specs.

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Why Python Is The Best Programming Language For Microservices?

Microservices is a service-oriented architecture pattern wherein applications are built as a collection of various smallest independent service units.

Python is a high-level programming language that offers active support for integration with various technologies. Python is commonly used for developing websites and software, task automation, data analysis, and data visualization. Since it’s relatively easy to learn, Python has been adopted by many non-programmers such as accountants and scientists, for a variety of everyday tasks, like organizing finances. Prototyping in Python is faster and easier when compared to other frameworks and programming languages. It includes powerful substitutes for heavy implementations like Django. Microservices Python ensures compatibility with legacy languages like ASP and PHP, which allow you to create web service front-ends to host Microservices.

With all these benefits, Microservices Python is considered to have an edge over other languages. Developers who implement Microservices Python use a RESTful API approach – a comprehensive way of utilizing web protocols & software to remotely manipulate objects. With this technology, it becomes easier to monitor the application since it is now broken into components. There is a broad range of Python microservices frameworks to choose from for your web application development. Some of them are as follows:

Flask – Most popular Python Micro framework based on Jinja2 and Werkzeug

Falcom – Create smart proxies, cloud APIs, and app back-ends

Bottle – Simple, lightweight, and fast WSGI micro framework

Nameko – Best among the Python Microservices frameworks that allow developers to concentrate on application logic

CherryPy – Mature, Python object-oriented web framework

What is microservice architecture?

It is a software development approach that is used to disintegrate mobile applications into smaller parts. Microservice architecture is rapidly replacing monolithic architecture that is used in heavier, complex applications.

The basic focus of the microservice architecture is to develop cloud-ready apps and simplify the deployment process. The architecture has several built-in programming languages and also uses different data storage techniques.

Avoid the potholes

Thinking of migrating to the microservice architecture? If so, you should look at this presentation about the potholes in the road from monolithic hell and read this series of blog posts about anti-patterns and ways to avoid them.

Assess your architecture

If you have built an application with the microservice architecture then take a look at the Microservices Assessment Platform. The platform assesses what you have built and identifies what needs to be improved. It reduces architectural and organizational risk and maximizes the benefits of microservice architecture.

The process to choose programming languages for microservices

Organizations need to understand that microservices can be implemented with a plethora of frameworks and tools. Hence, it is necessary to employ the best practices while choosing a programming language for microservices. Here are some of the criteria that will help in evaluating the best programming language for microservices.

The language must be independent of deployment and must be highly observable.

It must have a customer-centric approach and according to the changing trends, must support automation.

The structure of the language should be around the business domain.

It must have decentralization of components and must support continuous integration.

Python Microservice Monitoring With Interceptors

Once you have some microservices in the cloud, you want to have visibility into how they’re doing. Some things you want to monitor include:

How many requests each microservice is getting

How many requests result in an error, and what type of error they raise

The latency on each request

Exception logs so you can debug later

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