Monday, August 26, 2013
Author: Ken Scott
Best-Value Laptops for Students

Students are the main users of laptops. This group of consumers is primarily interested in good performance and feature-packed laptops at budget prices. The following factors should be considered when looking for the best laptop for your needs.

Price

Cost is always a factor for students when buying laptops. But you have to realize that spending the extra buck will ensure that your laptop lasts for a longer time. The device you buy will be used every day and so it is advisable to buy good laptops that won’t require frequent replacements and repairs.

Size and weight

Whatever device you buy, you have to keep in mind that you will be carrying it around with you more often than not. Weight and size will eventually determine how much you use the laptop outside your room. A small screen and a weight below 5 pounds is a good choice for you to make.

Battery and wireless

Battery life is also a crucial element when buying a laptop. Long battery life will help you lose the weight of a charger to be carried around with you.

Wi-Fi is especially bad in college campuses during peak hours. With a dual band Wi-Fi card, you will get the best Wi-Fi speed. Words like 5GHz or 802.11a should be looked at when buying a new laptop.

Software and durability

You can find important software like Office and Adobe for discounted rates from your college, and so you shouldn’t buy them firsthand from the vendor. Also, durability is a major factor to be considered when buying laptops to be used for school. You should buy durable laptops that can last you throughout your course.

Best laptops for students

Even though tablets are quickly gaining ground over PCs and laptops, the notebook industry has come up with sleek ultrabooks and other products that still make laptops an essential part of people’s needs. Given below is a list of some laptops worth looking at for back-to-school students.

Lenovo Essential G580

This is a budget laptop meant for daily use. The G580 comes with HD LED display, 750 GB of hard drive, and 2 GB of RAM. This device also comes with 1.3 GHz dual core processor from AMD and the battery is powered with 5 cells giving you sufficient backup. The G580 also incorporates Lenovo’s energy management feature which gives even more power backup. A range of apps can also be found here, which are suited for college needs.

Dell Inspiron 15 3521

The Inspiron 15 3521 from Dell is ideal for carrying around as it only weighs a little more than 2 Kgs. The slim and trim design can be carried around easily in your backpack. The Inspiron 15 3521 is powered with four cells and offers great features for its low price tag. Also, the processor is pretty fast with a highly efficient second generation Intel processor.

Acer Gateway NE56R

Gateway NE56R is the perfect notebook for you if you are looking for a compact and sleek model that is best for home use, and has a cheap price tag. The device is powered with a dual core Intel 2nd generation processor and comes with 6 cell Li-ion battery that delivers 6 hours of backup for heavy use. IT also includes 500 GB of hard disk space and 2 GB of RAM space. There is a 1.3 MP camera integrated in the device.

Lenovo Thinkpad E430

The E430 can be carried around very easily as it weighs only 2.15 Kg and has a compact design based on the 14 inch screen. It offers incomparable portability to users. Also, you can expect a 5 hour battery backup in this device, and this device offers great value for money.

Samsung NP300E5C AOCIN

The E5C AOCIN is suited for both personal and professional requirements. This model is quite a steal at its low price tag. It comes with Core i3 processors from Intel and features 500 GB of hard disk space and 2 GB of RAM. The anti-aging technology from Samsung, coupled with 6 cell battery, ensures you get sufficient power backup for your device.

Sony VAIO E14133

The E14133 is designed for heavy processing and multi-tasking by professionals. With core i3 processor, HD camera, and superior audio quality, you cannot go wrong with this device that’s also perfect for college requirements. You can expect 6 hours of battery life with this device.

HCL AE1V3282I

This is another notebook that offers great value for its price. You will find extended portability with the sleek design and light weight of this device. It also includes LED display and 6 hours of battery backup for your power backup needs.

These are some of the best laptops for students going to college. You can try any of these first by renting one from your local laptop and computer rental service provider.

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Friday, August 23, 2013
Author: Ken Scott
Acer’s Predator

Acer and Lenovo have recently released different series of desktops in the multimedia and business categories. Both the series have great specification and promise performance as well as power to users.

Acer Predator AG3-605

Acer’s Predator AG3-605 series laptops are multimedia monsters that have amazing performance, power and audio for movies, games, and much more. These desktops are packed with features such as EAX, Sound Blaster Cinema, Intel Haswell processors, two bays for driver and hardware, two PCIe slots, and GeForce GTX 660 graphics card, among many others. The series starts at $999.

According to the company, the new series offers different models to suit a particular budget and power requirements of users looking for a system coupled with multimedia and gaming needs. With features such as outstanding audio technology and the Haswell processors from Intel, the new Predator series provides gamers and multimedia enthusiasts with a robust computer for experiencing the latest games, movies, and music.

There are a total of five models in this series. The prices of the models range from $999 to $1499. The AG3-605-UR20 is the highest model in this series, and comes with Core i7-4770 Intel quad-core processors, with a speed of 3.4 GHz. Other features include DDR3 RAM of 32 GB, 1.5 GB of GeForce GPU, Blu-ray writer, Ethernet and wireless networking, 3TB of hard disk space, and Windows 8 operating system. There are several ports including HDMI, 2 USB 3.0 ports, 4 USB 2.0 ports, and the standard audio jacks, among others.

The UR21, which is the lowest of the series, is not as meaty as the UR20. The device comes with Core i5-4430 Intel quad-core processors, speed of 3 GHz, GeForce GTX 660, 2TB of hard disk space, Ethernet and wireless capability, DVD burner, and Windows 8 operating system. The ports are similar to that of the UR20, and both models come with additional SD card and Bluetooth slot.

The Predator series also includes the UR22, which is priced at $1199; the UR23 priced at $1299; and the UR24 priced at $999. The UR 24, in spite of a cheaper price tag, comes with core i7 processors, the same as the premium UR20. The UR24 comes with GeForce 640 GPU, speed at 3.4 GHZ, DDR3 RAM of 12 GB, 2 B of hard disk space, wireless networking, DVD burner, and lots more. The specifications are almost the same as UR 21, except for the CPU, GPU, and the power supply.

Selected models may be fitted with SD card storage of up to 120 GB, and an additional hard drive. The devices are also EAX compliant, have embedded high-definition audio with5.1 surround sound channel, and include Sound Blaster Cinema. Also included is an exclusive headphone cradle which enables music, movie, and game lovers to hang the headset onto the machine directly. This is very neat and frees a lot of space. The AG3-605 models are available with a warranty of one year.

Lenovo ThinkCentre

Lenovo ThinkCentre

Lenovo is putting a lot of faith in the concept of smaller enterprise and business PCs, with the launch of four models in its new ThinkCentre series.

The four new desktops are powered with the latest Haswell fourth generation processors from Intel. The new models include the All-in-One ThinkCentre M93z, extra small ThinkCentre M93p, and the E93 tower desktop as well as ThinkCentre M83. The M93p has a lot of power in its small frame. The M93p Tiny doesn’t look larger than a normal optical drive, and still boasts of Core i7 processors from Intel, apart from a 64 GB SSD storage that also comes with an optional SSHD for even more storage.

The compact chassis of the M93p is also packed with VESA mount, which lets users mount the device easily to a wall. This model also includes the Smart Power On feature from Lenovo, which lets the device power up through a wireless or wired keyboard, and comes with ready Citrix. The other model, M93 Small Form Factor Pro, has also been released and offers dual graphics as well as HDD support, minus all the heaviness of having a mini-tower. Both Small Form Factor Pro and Tiny are priced at $719 for the basic version.

Another model is the M93z AIO or All-in-One PC, which comes with 23” HD display. The device also includes an optional 10 point multitouch. The M93AIO comes with Core i7 processors and is primarily built for the business industry. It also includes Intel vPro Technology for security and management from a remote location, Windows 8 certification, and in-built TPM. The M9z starts at $799. The final model is the M83 and E93 Enterprise PCs, available in both SFF and mini-tower. These business desktops include 64 GB SSD, and more SSHD as optional storage. The E93 and the M8 will be priced at $499 and $529 respectively. You can try other desktops from Acer and Lenovo by renting one from a local computer rental agency.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Author: Ken Scott
Desktops and Laptops in Today’s World

The desktop computer is all set to be replaced in the next few years by tablets and other smaller devices. By the summer of 2014, the sales of tablets will comfortably overtake those of desktops and laptops. The latest figures from Strategy Analytics of this year’s second quarter confirm the growing sales of tablets, with almost 52 million units sold in the quarter compared with 36 million units sold in the same period last year. Android is currently leading the pack in tablet sales, closely followed by Apple.

While tablets have been consistently increasing their market, PC shipments are seeing a free fall. According to the latest figures from Gartner, only 76 million PC devices were shipped during the past three months. If the growing trend of the tablet and the falling shipments of PCs continue, then tablets will most likely replace personal computers in the next couple of years.

Some experts are of the opinion that customers are inclined towards tablets more and more simply because of the reduced financial constraints that these devices offer, while some other suggest Windows 8’s polarizing effect to be the cause behind this migration.

This doesn’t explain how Apple has still managed to hold its PC sales, even though it sells most of the devices at premium prices. The customers have been using personal computers mainly for connecting to the internet and playing video or audio files, which is done exceptionally well in tablets as well. As such, notebooks and PCs are getting sidelined for tablets and smartphones.

A report by the NPD Group in February this year found that almost one-third of all US customers had left PC devices for tablets and smartphones to browse the web through gaming and social media. A third of the tablet owners confessed to using PCs less and less, especially for browsing.

Another report from Moffet Research suggests that only 20% of tablets sold are specified as 3G or 4GLTE, mobile broadband connection. Out of this, only half of the devices have necessary data plans. Along with this only half this number renews their internet connection after the initial plan gets over. Overall, the report suggests that only 5% of the tablet owners have active internet connections. This indicates that tablets are used not just for browsing alone .

PC vs. Tablets

With the longest decline of PC sales in history going on now, this industry doesn’t have much to brag about. But the PC is far from becoming obsolete. There are many sections of consumers whose particular needs are only catered by the larger and customizable PC and notebook devices. One such section is the college community, which still relies on these bigger and more powerful devices for their various needs.

Personal computers and smartphones are ranked as the top two electronic devices used by college students, with 82% and 80% of students owning these devices respectively. Tablets, however, see ownership among only a fifth of the overall student population.

There are many reasons why college students prefer PCs over tablets. For one, you can’t expect someone to write a 10 page research with his or her tablet. It is just too much work. Students are generally looking for discounted products while shopping for back-to-school items. Notebooks and PCs offer a range of discounts and offers, which make them more attractive to the usually broke college crowd – the students.

Laptops and PC discounts are very common during the summer time, when students are gearing back for their colleges. Companies such as Dell and HP slash the prices of their products by up to $150 during this time. Other devices, such as those from Apple, have slashed the prices by over $200. But this type of education discount is only available for PCs and notebooks and isn’t given on tablets.

Parents, on an average, dole out about $1000 for back-to-school items every year. This spending is higher for college students, which is quite true considering that many of the students are looking for a PC or an ungraded smartphone.

With smartphones and PCs leading the pack as favorites among college students, convenience is another issue which puts tablets behind in the competition. Laptops and PCs can be used to multitask, such as taking notes, listening to music, playing games. Smartphones provide usability in the form of social media updates, apart from communication. These two devices are more than enough for the needs of college students.

Overall, however, tablets will overtake the sale of PCs by next summer. The primary factor for tablet growth has been the emerging markets, where the inexpensive tablets are preferred as first computers, and PC purchase is usually deferred. But for the time being, college communities can prove to be the salvation of personal computers and notebooks. You can rent any PC from your nearest computer rental service.

Monday, August 19, 2013
Author: Ken Scott

Microsoft, with its OEM partners, have taken the approach of designing a product which they can successfully dump on the market and still make money out of it. Android laptops offer a compromise in this regard. They can be easily made and will essentially be low-cost devices.

Recently, Samsung had released the ATIV Q. This device is a hybrid that runs on both Windows 8 and Android. Though Android can be a monochronistic, touch-based operating system, it can still be fixed into something more fitting for a bigger device like a laptop. Currently, Intel is working on Android-IA, or Android on Intel Architecture, and an Android x86 project is also taking shape.

Android, in itself, is a normal operating system that allows people the freedom to do what they want. In case of Amazon devices, Google still retains the final say when it comes to selling the devices. As such, Google can easily say ‘no’ to anyone trying to build an Android laptop. This can be a limitation if Google doesn’t allow Android to be incorporated into laptops.

Devices such as the Chromebook offer a great opportunity to test the functionality of Android on laptop devices. This cheap device can be bought or rented from any computer rental agency in your area. The dual operating systems of Windows 8 and Android make it a special device that can potentially help integrate Android in the mainstream laptop market. Other such devices can be expected in the future.

Android in Laptops
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Friday, August 16, 2013
Author: Ken Scott
Where Is the Laptop Industry Heading Toward?

Laptops have seen a decline in growth in recent years, mainly due to the advent of smartphones and tablets. The smaller and almost equally functional devices are gaining market space, and this has spurred the laptop industry to come up with advancements in order to stay up to date.

Acer recently unveiled a floating touchscreen laptop that has been hailed as revolutionary. The Aspire R7 may even be the final frontier of laptops as we know them. Today, about 25% of Americans own tablets. China has recently recorded a 62.5% growth in sale of tablets. By the year 2016, one tenth of the world’s population is touted to own at least one tablet device.

But this isn’t the end for laptops. With newer advancements such as hybrid devices, laptops are trying to match the market trends. The new era is poised to see laptops that will have more functionality and better features to stay more relevant to the market.

With the R7, Acer has included a 1080p touchscreen with the convention keyboard. The 15.6 inch screen can act standalone as a tablet and delivers beautifully. Other manufacturers are also involving themselves in hybrid devices, which are hailed as the future of laptops.

The tablet market has expanded fiercely on the global scale, and there is no doubt about this fact. But the laptop industry is still here to stay. If you want to try out hybrid laptops, then you can rent one from your nearest computer rental service provider.

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Author: Ken Scott

The year 2013 has so far seen a lot of new laptop releases. With the amount of options available, it is obvious that you may feel apprehensive about buying one model. To make your choice easier, here is a list of the best laptops of the year so far.

MacBook Air: The 13-inch MacBook Air released this year continues with the solid performance and sleek aluminum body designs that Apple is known for. The device uses Haswell processors from Intel, which gives it s strong battery backup.

MacBook Air

Series 7 Ultra: Samsung’s new Series 7 Ultra is a 13.3 inch laptop that sports a compact body and stylish look. It also comes with its own dedicated graphics card that makes gaming a treat.

ThinkPad X1: Primarily a business laptop, the X1 from Lenovo is made from carbon fiber and is super light and super slim. At 14-inches, the X1 packs in a punch with a great keyboard, killer specs, and lots of processing power.

Series 7 Chronos: The Chronos is a Windows 8 powered laptop that uses the Ivy Bridge processors from Intel. The device has quick booting times, and can easily handle gaming. Though priced in the high-end range, this laptop still delivers in every aspect.

IdeaPad Yoga 13: This Windows 8 laptop is the perfect example of an ultrabook, with great performance, speed, and other excellent features.

There are lots of other laptops lined up for the year. If you want to try some previous models, then you can go to your nearest computer rental service and hire one for yourself.

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Monday, August 12, 2013
Author: Ken Scott

The personal computer sector looks to be in bad shape with phenomenal sales of ultrabooks, tablets, and smartphones, but it hasn’t stopped manufacturers from releasing new products to steer users away from smaller devices. Acer has recently revamped some of its desktop lines by including AMD processors in them.

The Aspire XC and the TC multimedia line of desktops will include the new processors. The Aspire XC105 will be Acer’s compact desktop device. This desktop will have the traditional tower feature and will combine graphics with one among the many CPUs offered on the device. All the models in this range will feature a choice between different processors like Intel Celeron G1610, AMD E1-1200, and Intel PDC G2010. These processors are in addition to the Intel processors, Core i3-2130, Core i3-3220, Corei5-3330, and Core i5-3300. The finishing will also be different with Acer opting for brushed metallic touch instead of the usual black matte finish seen in its other products.

The TC 100/105 from Acer is relatively smaller in size and follows the micro-tower features. The devices will have ports in the front part. Users can opt to boost graphics by going for dedicated graphics cards. The models of both the TC and XC categories will have 16GB RAM, which gives them a significant performance boost. USB 3.0 ports are also included to give better speed to file transfers. You can check out other models from Acer by going to your nearest computer rental service and renting one product.

Acer to Revamp XC and TC devices
Friday, August 9, 2013
Author: Ken Scott
Lenovo to Concentrate Less on PCs and More on Smartphones

As Lenovo closes in on the position as the largest PC maker in the world, it has to brace the severe decline in PC sales around the world. Currently, its biggest challenge is looking for more revenue sources through its smartphone business. But Apple is a clear leader in this category and hasn’t given room to its competitors to become market leaders in this segment.

Lenovo presently gets above 80% of revenue from its PC sales. A recent research by IDC has suggested that the PC shipments worldwide will continue their fall and is touted to decrease by almost 8% in 2013 alone, with another 1% decline in the next year. As such, Lenovo has so far maintained good sales, but this scenario may not continue in the future, considering the present developments.

Lenovo has another couple of years to see growth in the PC segment, but after that it will have to diversify its offerings a lot. For its part, Lenovo will try to emulate the successful formula for PCs into smartphones. Currently, it is the second largest seller of smartphones in China, and the company will try to replicate this result in other markets also.

Lenovo is taking a similar manufacturing stand for smartphones as it has done for PCs in the past. Its excellent in-house manufacturing capabilities have made it stand out in the PC industry. You can try the PCs from Lenovo by renting one from any computer rental service in your region.

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Author: Ken Scott

Acer is planning to recognize Packard Bell and Gateway brands which will be used for the entry-level and mid-range product categories. According to JT Wang, the company chairman, another brand, eMachines, will get eliminated. Wang noted that Acer’s shipments in the past were about 80-90% in the entry-level category, and it only had a small number of high-end and mid-range products. Acer is currently planning to bring up its proportion in the high-end segment to more than 10%, and the mid-range products to above 30%, while it will limit entry-level products to about 60% in the coming years.

Packard Bell is mainly projected for the European market. Gateway will get launched in all other markets. Wang also told that the company will get new opportunities with convertible notebooks, and expected that this segment along with tablets will account for about half of Acer’s shipments in coming times. Acer has forecasted a 0-5% growth in the lower margins for shipments of PCs in this quarter, and the company’s ratio of shipments in the two quarters is predicted to reach 45:55. You can rent any of Acer’s products by renting one from a local computer rental service in your area.

In the smartphone category, Acer will be concentrating more on releasing flagship products than releasing a lot of products in short intervals of time. It is also exercising caution in partnering with telecom carriers. According to Wang, smartphone sales of the company had previously hovered around 400,000 units but with flagship models, it is hoping to sell a million units or more.

Acer to Recognize Packard Bell and Gateway Sub-brands
Monday, August 5, 2013
Author: Ken Scott
Acer Announces Smallest Windows 8 Tablet

Acer has launched the Iconia W3, which is the first 8.1” tablet running on Windows 8. The device, priced at about $380, will be the first small screen Windows 8 tablet that can fit in your hand, in the market.

This device is powered by Atom Z2760 processor from Intel and includes a 1.8 GHz dual core chipset. The screen supports LED backlit display and can show resolutions of up to 1280 x 800 pixels. There are two cameras: 2 MP cameras at the front as well as rear end of the device. Also included are the standard connectivity options like Wi-Fi, Micro-HDMI, Micro-USB, and Bluetooth 4.0. Missing here are the USB 3.0 port and Thunderbolt port found in the earlier Windows tablets released by Acer.

Weighing at about 540 grams and with a thickness of 11.35mm, the Iconia is quite compact for a tablet. The device has a battery life of 8 hours, which is pretty good for tablets of this size. This tablet comes with pre-included Microsoft Office Student and Home editions. The Iconia will be available in both 32 GB and 64 GB variants. An external slot from micro-SD cards can let users expand the external memory by up to 32 GB.

Acer has included an optional keyboard with Iconia that can be bought for about $90. The functionality and look of the device's keyboard is similar to what is seen on the Ultrabook lineup of Acer. You can check out other tablets such as the iPad by renting one from a local iPad rental service agency in your area.

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