PC & Tech Authority

October 2018

PC & Tech Authority is Australia's premier computer magazine and the ultimate monthly technology buyer’s guide. Every issue is packed with the latest products, reviewed by an expert team of technical writers and guarantees more Aussie exclusives and first looks than any other Australian PC magazine. Delivering expert reviews, group tests and in-depth features we cut through the hype so you know that you’re getting the best tech for your money.

Future Publishing Ltd
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in this issue

3 min
going to 11

I‘m a marketing degree short of ever understanding how a company names a new product in an established line. Having just returned from the Samsung Note 9 launch event, I was just having a pointless but interesting conversation with my colleagues about what the next Note will be called. Will it be the Note ‘X’? Or has Apple already staked claim to X and would Samsung be then accused of playing copycat? And, what will Apple’s next iPhone be called, for that matter? Can it be called the 11, at the risk of confusing the people on that island that has never had human contact, that what they’re seeing is actually the iPhone II – because, hey, when plain old numbers are passe you always go Roman, right? Everyone knows you don’t…

2 min
google loses way with maps price hike

In a move widely criticised in web development forums, Google reduced how much sites could use the Maps API without payment, and massively bumped up the price for 1,000 map loads from 50 cents to $7. The move has seen rafts of websites abandon Google’s offering in favour of rival providers such as Apple Maps, Mapbox and TomTom, causing significant pain for web developers. “Google decided to make Maps its next billion dollar business by raising prices 14 times and decreasing the free usage limit almost 30 times, all with minimal notice period,” explained Tomasz Nawrocki in a blog post from the German pharmacy-finder service In der Apotheke. According to the pharmacy locator, the changes would have seen its costs for mapping leap from $0 to $5,000 per month, a figure that dwarfed…

2 min
dell won’t tell if it’s been hacked

Dell is refusing to say whether it was hacked, despite an ongoing scam that appears to rely on data only the PC company would hold. The scam is effectively a technical support call racket, where criminals phone customers posing as Dell representatives. Whereas the common Microsoft scam is speculative, the fake Dell staffer is equipped with enough personal details to make it convincing. “I am so getting tired of scammers calling me saying they are from Dell and want to look at some alerts on my PC,” reads a typical tweet from Charles Waddell. “Dell what are you doing about my data that was stolen from you?” Call recipients claim the scammer know their PC serial numbers as well as the names, phone numbers and email addresses given at the time of purchase. The…

3 min
small is beautiful: the rise of the pocket gaming pc

I have a secret vice. Handheld gaming. As much as it shames me, I played Terraria to endgame not on PC, but on the PS Vita. I mastered Binding of Isaac on PS Vita. I finished Cat Quest on the Switch. I’ve only ever played Stardew Valley and Oxenfree on the Switch. These handhelds give me something, the only thing, the PC can’t: the ability to curl up with a game in the same way I curl up with a book. Yes, I know these handhelds are hopelessly – even deliberately – underpowered. But after eight hours of working in front of the machine, the last thing I want to do is flick over to Steam and boot up a game that demands 100 hours of my time just to get…

3 min
chip news

CPU 9TH GEN K WILL SOLDER ON Intel’s 9th generation Core product line-up (Coffee Lake S) is almost upon us. Word is that Intel will launch its new products on October 1st, and we finally have some specifications to salivate over! As you can see, Intel will only be launching the unlocked K variants. The rest of the 9th gen line-up will come out early next year. This marks the first time that a core i9 product will appear on the mainstream platform. The i7-9700K also marks the first i7 product to strangely not support hyper-threading. One final piece of information is the fact that these will finally have soldered on integrated heat spreaders (IHS). Up until now Intel have been applying a thermal paste underneath the IHS, robbing cooling solutions of up to 20°C…

5 min
most wanted

LOFREE DIGIT MECHANICAL CALCULATOR Mechanical keyboards took PC gamers by storm a few years ago, and are now de rigueur for anyone serious about their PC. Superior travel and resistance! Awesome clicking noises! Enhanced durability, maybe? And many other benefits like… uh… But in all this excitement about mechanical keyboards, we forgot something. The humble calculator. MOST WANTED: Don’t you wish your calculator, that you totally use every day and is a super important and essential tool for whatever it is you do, had mechanical keys like your keyboard? LoFree heard you, and built this. The Digit is indeed a calculator with a mechanical keypad. It uses Gateron mechanical switches and, according to Digit, is “all you need to compute all your basic calculations.” NOT WANTED: Yes it’s a $30 calculator with considerably…