Week in Tech: Star Wars going digital, YouTube going ad-free and the Apple Watch weighed

Week in Tech

As weeks go, this one's a doozy: Star Wars is going digital, YouTube's going ad-free, GTA V's finally coming to PC and researchers have invented a battery that charges in less than a minute. Not only that, but Google has come up with a plan to prevent spoilers, such as the knowledge that Darth Vader is really Luke Skywalker's BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP

Apple Watch: the verdict

Pre-orders for the Apple Watch begin this Friday, and a few early reviews are out. Their verdict? It's the best smartwatch ever made, a genuinely attractive bit of jewellery and a bit before its time. It's surprisingly unintuitive for an Apple product – getting it just-so takes a lot of faffing about – and utterly inessential, but we suspect that the people who like it will like it a lot.

Toshiba's two-day wonder

Intel's Broadwell processors promise improved battery life, and boy do they deliver: Toshiba's just unveiled a laptop that's good for two working days between charges. But that's not all. While tech firms are working on kit that squeezes ever more life from a single charge, researchers are working on batteries that charge much more quickly. Fancy a smartphone battery that goes from zero to hero in less than a minute? Researchers at Stanford have invented it. There's just one teeny-tiny little problem: the scientists haven't a clue how to make them powerful enough to be practical.

Attack of the acronyms: GTA V PC ETA

Get your markers out and circle April 14 on the calendar: GTA V is coming to PC this month, and it's going to be worth the wait. That's what Hugh Langley reckons, because he's played it and it's good. "This is the no-holds-barred, maxxed-out, stop-and-stare-at-the-puddles-because-you-can't-believe-how-good-they-look edition," Hugh says. "This is the definitive version of the biggest game Rockstar has ever made. It's playable in 4K. It supports a buttery smooth 60fps. It's customisable up to the eyeballs. Did we mention how good the puddles look?"

The best laptops for work and play

We know what you're thinking. GTA V on PC sounds great, but surely you'll need a great laptop to do it justice? By an amazing coincidence we've just published a guide to the very best gaming laptops of 2015. If you'd rather use your PC for more cerebral pursuits, we've rated the best laptops for students too.

Google's ad-apocalypse and Twitter takeover

Good news! Google's getting rid of those annoying YouTube ads! Bad news! You'll have to give Google money! Google's introducing a new way for YouTube creators to make money in the form of an ad-free subscription streaming service. Think of it as Netflix for Nyan Cats.

In other Google news, shares of Twitter rocketed this week after an analyst reported that Google was about to buy it. This story keeps popping up – we were writing about similar reports years ago – but it might be true this time. With Google+ headed for the glue factory, Google's social networking could do with a boost.

Facebook unveils Facebook without the Facebook

The slightly-more-popular-than-Google+ social network Facebook has a new website, a standalone Facebook Messenger web app that you can use to catch up with friends and family without having to wade through their memes and baby photos on Facebook proper. It isn't a replacement for Facebook, though, a spokesperson told us: "Messenger.com is meant to give people another option for messaging on the web." It's an optional extra, not an unwanted new way of doing things.

Feel the Force, again

We've got a mixed bag of news for Star Wars fans. The space opera sextet is coming to digital HD this week, but the films are the special edition ones that made Greedo shoot first. All together now: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Google's plan to spoil spoilers

You know the bit in Star Wars where Darth Vader ##### ##### ###? The bit in Breaking Bad when Walt #### #### ## ### ####? The moment in the Hulk Hogan sex tape when she ####### a #### right up his #### ####? Google wants to stop people telling you about them before you've seen them with your own eyes. As Ian Morris explains: "Google's plan is to monitor social networks and the like for any sign of spoilers, then blur them out, offering a way to see them if you choose… Of course, there's a powerful argument that everyone just keeps their damn mouths shut." And that's what we're going to do right now. See you next week.

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