From Surface Go disappointment to exclusive reports about a handheld gaming PC from Lenovo, this week was packed with all sorts of news. We even got to share a story about Linux surpassing macOS when it comes to gaming on Steam. Whether it's Microsoft Loop coming to the Microsoft Store or another trending topic, you can stay in the loop here with our weekly news roundup.
Microsoft leaks hidden Windows 11 features
Microsoft engineers have access to a tool that allows them to enable hidden features on Windows. But this week that tool leaked, allowing Insiders to turn on features that are in limited testing or that are hidden. It's called "Staging Tool," and it was spotted in a bug bash quest through the Feedback Hub.
Staging Tool is a command line interface that lets people enable or disable features through the use of feature IDs. That means you have to know a feature ID to enable or disable a specific feature. Thankfully, there's a GitHub page to help out.
Microsoft Surface Go 4 with ARM postponed
Those with hope for picking up a Surface Go 4 with an ARM processor got some bad news this week. According to our Senior Editor Zac Bowden, Microsoft has postponed its plans to ship and ARM-powered Surface Go. The company was going to release a Surface Go powered by a Qualcomm 7c-based processor, but it decided to go in another direction.
Instead, the next-gen Surface Go will feature an Intel Processor N200 CPU. That chip is part of a new lineup that replaces Intel's entry-level mobile series processors.
It's not entirely clear why Microsoft shifted its plans, but there's a chance that it's related to the Surface Go being aimed at business and education customers. Users in those sectors are less likely to have their needs met by a Windows on ARM PC.
Lenovo Legion Go in the works
This year is the year of handheld gaming PCs. Valve's Steam Deck and ASUS' ROG Ally are doing well and AYANEO has an impressive portable gaming PC as well. Soon, we will have an entry from Lenovo to compete within the space. Our Managing Editor Jez Corden shared an exclusive report that Lenovo is working on the Legion Go.
The Legion Go will reportedly run on AMD's new Phoenix processors. Based on what Corden has heard, the Legion Go could feature an 8-inch screen, which is larger than the display of the Steam Deck and ROG Ally.
Of course, plans are always subject to change. We may never see the Legion Go ship to consumers, but if it does, we'll have another contender in the growing portable gaming PC market.
Steam Deck tops Mac
Sticking with mobile PC gaming, the rise in popularity of the Steam Deck has officially bumped macOS into third place when it comes to Steam gaming. The most recent Steam survey shows that Linux has taken the second spot when it comes to Steam users. Rather than 2023 being the fabled year of the Linux desktop, the shakeup in rankings is thanks to the Steam Deck.
Valve's Steam Deck runs Linux, and the handheld PC appears to be quite popular. SteamOS makes up 42% of the Linux market share of Steam users.
Microsoft Loop now in Microsoft Store
Microsoft Loop brings together components from across Microsoft 365 into shared workspaces. The aim is to facilitate collaboration while giving fine-tune controls over what is shared with specific people. For example, a shared workspace could have information from a Word document and financial data from an Excel spreadsheet, but only have that sensitive information shared with specific people.
Microsoft Loop shipped in preview to Android and iOS earlier this year. Now, it's available through the Microsoft Store on Windows 11.
Initially, Microsoft Loop only supported work accounts, but it now works with personal accounts as well.
Reviews & Editorials
One of the best parts of working at Windows Central is getting to play around with the latest and greatest tech. But we're not just here to have fun! Our team of experts runs laptops, monitors, and accessories through their paces to help you make an informed decision. Our gaming team also dives deep into the most popular titles to let you know if it's worth playing those games.
- Samsung's pre-order deals are SO good, I'm still tempted to upgrade to the Galaxy Z Fold5
- Xbox's biggest crisis right now isn't games. It's hardware.
- Dangbei Neo Smart projector review: A refreshing cinematic experience for video games
- Alienware 34 Curved QD-OLED Gaming Monitor (AW3423DWF) review: Does it all with ease
- After Us Xbox review: Somber and emotional world, bland platforming
- HP OMEN 34c review: A curved ultrawide monitor that mostly shines in games at 165Hz with a 1ms response
- Alienware Tri-Mode Wireless Gaming Headset (AW920H) review: Active noise cancellation on a budget
Best laptop, PC, monitor, and gaming deals
With back-to-school season in full force, there are plenty of deals across the tech world. Even if you're not a student, you can save big on laptops, SSDS, monitors, and more. Here are the best deals from the last week that are still live.
Robo & Kala 2-in-1 Laptop |
was $799 now $699
This new hardware maker has knocked it out of the park with its first 2-in-1 device, which is powered by a top-of-the-line Snapdragon 8cx Gen3, 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD, all housed in a premium, thin aluminum chassis and topped off with a superb 12.6-inch OLED display.
SanDisk Extreme Portable 2TB SSD - Sky Blue | was
$225 now $120 at Best Buy
With its fun light blue coloring and complimentary yellow accent, this version of the compact and portable 2TB SSD gives off happy vibes. Use the included keychain loop to connect it to your backpack or keys. It's even more discounted than the other two color options.
SanDisk Extreme Portable 2TB SSD - Black | was
$225 now $125 at Best Buy
With its classic design and included keychain loop, this black 2TB portable SSD looks chic and won't take up a ton of room. Attach it to your keys or backpack, or simply slip it in your pocket to bring your external storage space with you.
SanDisk Extreme Portable 2TB SSD - Black | was
$225 now $125 at Best Buy
This gorgeous design with its deep blue coloring and green highlight puts me in mind of the sea. With 2TB of external storage space, this device really comes in handy at school and work or when following your personal computer-related hobbies.
Dell 32-inch USB Type-C Gaming Monitor (G3223D): was
$449.99 now $349.99 + free $150 Dell gift card
This midrange gaming monitor is perfectly suited for PC and console gaming, with a 1440p QHD, 165Hz IPS LCD display, a 1ms response time, DisplayHDR 400 support, and plenty of ports to keep you connected. It's a great value, even before it's heavily discounted and offered with a free gift card.
Price check: $349.99 at Amazon
Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i:
was $750 now $455 at Lenovo
This convertible laptop is an attractive choice for students, and I mean that in several ways. It has a sleek design and some color options that make it pop and it has a solid spec sheet for its price.
The 16-inch FHD display gives you plenty of space to work with. The IdeaPad Flex 5i runs on a 13th Gen Intel CPU, while the IdeaPad Flex 5 has an AMD Ryzen chip inside.
✅Pros: Low price, FHD display, support for a stylus, available in several colors
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Gen 10):
was $2,909 now $1,309 at Lenovo
This business laptop is one of the best on the market at any price, but you can get it now for $1,600 off. It has plenty of ports and a Communications Bar along the top that has a camera and four 360-degree microphones.
The ThinkPad X1 Carbon also has security features built-in, including an IR camera with support for Windows Hello and support for NowTile, which can locate your laptop if it's lost or stolen.
Price Check: $1,139 at Amazon
✅Pros: Thin and portable, four 360-degree microphones, security features for business, plenty of ports
was $1,420 now $1,100 at Lenovo
All work and no play make school dull, or something like that. This gaming laptop runs on an AMD Ryzen 7 7840HZ processor paired with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060. That's more than enough to handle the best PC games.
Despite its power and gaming prowess, the LOQ 16 has a design that would also look natural in the classroom. The current discount gets you a model with an RTX 4060 for the same price as the version with an RTX 4050 at other retailers. The laptop also comes with three months of Xbox Game Pass.
Price Check: $1,100 at Best Buy (RTX 4050 model)
✅Pros: Powerful CPU and GPU pairing, 144Hz refresh rate, conservative look that works for gaming or the classroom
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at email@example.com.