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Windows 10 review: April 2018 update on the way

Windows 10 blue logo background
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £120
inc VAT

Microsoft has listened. Windows 10 banishes the demons of Windows 8 – April 2018 update launches soon


  • Performance
  • Start menu
  • Windows 10 Continuum


  • Price

Windows 10 review: What does it get wrong?

It’s not all so brilliant of course. With a few issues that need to be addressed, although the key one isn’t entirely Microsoft’s fault. Put simply, app support for Windows 8 and, now, Windows 10 still isn’t great. There’s a good selection of apps from the big players (Facebook, Netflix, Twitter, Kindle and so on), but more local content is a little thin on the ground. Meanwhile, games that should be in the Windows Store simply aren’t there, including the popular Hearthstone.

Windows Store

There’s a good reason for this: why would a publisher push their Windows apps through the store and pay a percentage on everything it earns through Microsoft, when it can simply make desktop apps and reap any rewards directly? This changes slightly with mobile and touchscreen devices, where people are used to app stores and want a touch-friendly version of an app, but developers need to be convinced to stock the store so that Microsoft can compete with iOS, macOS and Android.

There are also a couple of rough edges. For example, the user accounts screen still looks a little like it did in previous versions and could do with an update. The new Edge browser also looks a bit sluggish in all the usual browser benchmarks (see Microsoft Edge vs Internet Explorer vs Chrome), although such synthetic tests aren’t the best way to replicate real-world results and we’ve been using it without a problem. And, of course, there are always other browsers to install if you should wish.

There are a few things you might miss from previous versions of Windows, but nothing that can’t be easily replaced. See our guide on how to replace the six features missing from Windows 10.

Windows 10 review: Performance

Although Windows 10 has the same system requirements as Windows 8 and Windows 7, we decided to see how modern hardware could cope with it, so we ran our 4K benchmarks on a Windows 8.1 system, re-running the tests after we’d upgraded to Windows 10.

We’re pleased to say that Windows 10 has no performance impact. In our tests, our PC scored 110 running Windows 8.1 and 111 running Windows 10. An increase of one point in our tests is not statistically valid, showing that the performance is identical. In other words, if your computer’s happy running Windows 7 or Windows 8 it will be happy running Windows 10.

The integration of DirectX 12 is also welcome by gamers. New games that are developed on the newer platform have seen a boost in performance. It’s still early days for DX12, but with it being integrated within Windows 10, gamers will be at ease knowing they can achieve a better gaming experience.

Windows 10 review: Verdict

With Microsoft starting to get to grips with a mobile-friendly operating system, it makes sense to compare it more and more with the competition’s mobile offerings. While Apple has kept macOS and iOS clearly separate, Microsoft is providing a single operating system that runs across a wide range of devices, both with and without touchscreens.

In that respect, Windows 10 is a big step forward over its muddled predecessor. It succeeds in providing a mobile experience that can only improve with time, with better hardware and more apps almost a certainty with such a huge userbase. Microsoft has done this while maintaining the highly productive and easy-to-grasp desktop operating system that been around for decades. It improves here too, but not in ways that will frustrate or annoy anyone.

In short, go for it. If your PC passes the minimum specs, then you should be more than happy with the upgrade. It looks better, it works better and it does more. Despite Windows 10 now costing money to upgrade over Windows 7 and 8, it’s still a worthy update. It’s not one we’d jump the gun for, but if you’re purchasing a new device, we advise you to get one running Windows 10, especially if it’s a laptop or 2-in-1 device.

If you want to know even more about Windows 10 and how to use it then check out all the best Windows 10 features and how to use them. And if you want a business angle on the new OS, then our colleagues at Alphr (Windows 10 review) and IT Pro (Windows 10 review) also have their takes online.

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System requirements
Minimum CPU1GHz or faster
Minimum GPUDirecX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
Minimum RAM1GB (32-bit), 2GB (64-bit)
Hard disk space16GB (32-bit), 20GB (64-bit)

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