Microsoft Surface Book 3 13.5 review: A bold but ageing beauty

The Microsoft Surface Book 3.

Ian Knighton/CNET

Have you seen the original 13-inch 2015 Surface Book, or its 2018 followup? Then this new version is going to look and feel very familiar. In fact, you’re likely to be underwhelmed by the design. That’s not because it’s bad, but rather because it’s the same. It’s not unusual for Apple to release three samey-looking MacBook Pros in a row, or for Dell to do so with its XPS line, but those laptops come out every year. The Surface Book, Windows’ laptop-tablet hybrid, has retained the same design language since 2015.


  • Flexible and unique laptop-tablet-convertible design
  • Outstanding graphical power for a laptop of its size
  • Excellent keyboard and 3:2 display

Don’t Like

  • Design is becoming stale
  • Speakers are far too soft
  • No Thunderbolt 3 port

That jumped out, because this is an ambitious device that combines the full power of a laptop with the detachable portability of a tablet (oh and double batteries). It’s even one of the few detachable 2-in-1 Windows systems that makes more sense as a laptop. 

The Surface Book 3 is certainly luxurious — its terrific build quality is evident from the moment you

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Second stimulus check update: What we know about the ‘dramatic’ IRS payment for 2020

White House and congressional leaders may begin work on a second stimulus package in the coming weeks.

Angela Lang/CNET
For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

To evaluate whether the US economy needs a second round of stimulus checks, members of the White and Congress are expected to consider the effects of the first round of stimulus checks on ordinary people. A new study (PDF) by the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University advanced that without the stimulus money, America’s poverty level could have spiked from 12.5% before the pandemic to 16.3% today. 

The center predicted “if high unemployment rates persist beyond July 2020, additional income support will be needed” to keep poverty from soaring during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The study also notes the categories of people who aren’t eligible to receive the funds authorized by the CARES Act and that some eligible families are facing roadblocks receiving their benefits. The expanded unemployment benefits keeping some afloat are set to expire at the end of July.

President Donald Trump has expressed support for a second stimulus package.


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Apple iOS 14: A cheat sheet

Apple unveiled iOS 14 at its WWDC 2020 event. The latest version of iOS will bring many new features and enhancements to iPhone and iPod touch devices later this year.

Image: Apple, Inc.

During Apple’s virtual Worldwide Developer Conference 2020 (WWDC) on Monday, June 22, 2020, CEO Tim Cook and other Apple employees unveiled the company’s latest developer tools and platforms enhancements. One of the major announcements was the 14th iteration of Apple’s mobile operating system for iOS devices called iOS 14.

This iOS 14 cheat sheet details what developers and users need to know about the operating system and covers the redesigned Home Screen, App Clips, Car Play features, and more.

SEE: Mobile device security policy (TechRepublic Premium)

What is iOS 14, and will it work on my device?

iOS is Apple’s mobile operating system that runs on iPhone and iPod touch hardware. iOS 14 is the newest iteration of the operating system, and it is capable of running on most hardware that supported iOS 13, including the following Apple devices that are available at the time of this writing:

  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone
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