Tuesday, August 2, 2016
An open computer with wires boards being fixed.

Few computer problems are more vexing than when your computer won’t even start. Often there are hardly any clues and too many reasons why a computer won’t turn on. Add to that the fear that something expensive needs to be replaced and you may rightly feel stressed.

Most people fear that all of their data is gone forever when their computer won’t start. A piece of hardware may have failed or be causing a problem but that hardware isn’t usually with the hard drive, the part of your computer that stores your files. Your music, documents, emails and videos are more than likely safe, if unavailable at the moment.

There’s a good chance you can figure out what the problem is and get your computer up and running again. The following troubleshooting guide applies to all PC devices and may help you to fix a computer that won’t turn on.

Fixes for No Sign of Power

If your computer won’t turn on and shows no sign at all of receiving power, (fans, lights), it’s rarely a worst case scenario. Try these steps:

  • Make sure you’ve turned on every power switch and power button
  • Check for disconnected power cable connections
  • Plug your computer directly into the wall, removing any power strips, battery backups or other distribution devices between the computer and the wall outlet
  • Plug a lamp into the wall outlet you use for your computer to verify that the outlet is indeed working
  • If you’re using a desktop, check to see that the power supply voltage switch is set correctly. If the input voltage for the power supply unit doesn’t match the correct setting for your country, the computer may not power on at all
  • For a tablet or laptop, remove the main battery to see if it will run without it. If it does, you need to replace the battery
  • Check the power receptacle on the laptop or tablet for broken or bent pins and bits of debris that might be preventing it from getting power. You may need the services of a professional to fix anything more that’s wrong with the receptacle
  • Replace the computer’s power cable or AC adapter – a common reason why tablets and laptops won’t turn on. This isn’t a common problem with a desktop but it does happen
  • If your computer is more than a few years old, you may need to replace the Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) It’s a battery-powered chip that provides start up information like Hardware settings and costs very little to replace
  • The power button may not be properly connected to the motherboard
  • In most cases, related to a desktop that’s not receiving power, a faulty power supply is to blame. It will need to be tested and replaced, if necessary. However, an ozone smell or very high-pitched noise in combination with no power at all is a sure sign that the power supply is bad. Unplug the computer immediately.+50

Computer Turns on Then Shuts Off

If your computer is turning itself off before the operating system loads, it may be anything from an electrical short to a serious hardware issue. Try these steps:

  • Check to see that the power supply voltage switch is set correctly (see above)
  • Inspect the inside of your computer for issues that can cause shorting. It’s very important not to miss a simple electrical short or you might replace costly hardware unnecessarily
  • Test your power supply
  • If the power button on the front of your computer's case is shorting out or even just sticking, replace it
  • Reseat all internal data and power cable, memory modules and any expansion cards. (Reseating means to unplug or remove something and then plug it back in or reinstall it) Although the keyboard and mouse are rarely the problem, unplug and reattach them as well.
  • Start the computer with essential hardware only to see if it stays on. If it does, reinstall each piece of nonessential hardware, one component at a time and test to see if your computer comes on to see what hardware is causing the problem
  • If your computer continues to turn itself off with nothing but essential PC hardware installed, a POST (Power On Self-Test) card will help identify which piece of remaining hardware is to blame.

PC Comes on but Nothing Happens

If your PC comes on but you don’t see anything on the monitor, try these easy troubleshooting steps:

  • Make sure the monitor is turned on
  • Check for disconnected or loose monitor power or data cable connections
  • Make sure that your computer is coming on from a completely powered-off state
  • Turn the monitor’s brightness and contrast settings all the way up
  • If it still doesn’t work, get help!

The Blue Screen of Death

A STOP error is when your computer starts to load Windows but suddenly stops and displays a blue screen with information on it. It’s more commonly referred to as the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) and is a common reason why a computer won’t turn on.

  • If you just made a change to the computer, such as installing a new program, there’s a good chance that this change caused the BSOD
  • Undo the change using Last Known Good Configuration or System Restore, or Roll Back the device drive to a version prior to the update
  • Scan for viruses
  • Ask a techy friend for help
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
New Computer System With Six Computers

When you’re a non-techy, buying a new computer with a new operating system is only exciting up to the point where you have to start using it. A computer’s job is to simplify your life, not complicate it and an operating system change shouldn’t be the equivalent of a mid-life crisis. Still, most of us “regular” folks do tend to get a bit flustered and frustrated when dealing with such changes.

If it was up to this writer, all computers would have the same operating system for eternity. As this will never be the case, here are 5 simple steps for adapting to a new computer and/or operating system.

Read all About It

You’ll actually have to start using a new operating system to become really familiar with it, but you should also read about it. Simply using a new operating system, like Windows 8, won’t teach you everything you need to know about it and all the hidden gestures and shortcuts. Even with a more intuitive OS like Apple’s iOS, you will learn more tricks by reading about it than you would otherwise.

Familiarity Breeds Content

There’s no substitute for actually using a new operating system. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the screens and User Interface layout on your new computer. Before you can start making the best use of the new OS, it’s important to learn about new or different features. If you need to, make notes as you go along.

Big electronic brick and mortar stores are great places to go to ask questions about the latest hardware and to play around with it. These stores will have a variety of different devices for you to try out that will be running everything from Windows 8 to MacBook. You could also visit an Apple or Microsoft Store to try out the hardware and ask questions of the knowledgeable salespeople.

Transfer Your Files

If you haven’t already done so, back up the files from your old computer and transfer them to the new computer. If you’ve never backed up your files before (shame on you!) there are a few different ways to do it.

 

  • Bootable Backup – This type of backup is sometimes called a "clone." It’s like a spare tire for your car. If the primary drive on your computer dies, you can hook up the clone and reboot the computer from it. The downside is your computer will run slower when booted from an external drive.
  • External hard drive – An external hard drive works by creating an archive of your changed and deleted files and keeps you backed up as you work, provided you remember to plug it in to a port regularly.
  • Cloud Backups – This type of backup is the easiest to create and maintain. After the initial setup the software will automatically keep your computer backed up any time it is turned on and connected to the Internet.

Save Your Bookmarks, etc.

If you use Chrome on the old computer, sign in to your account and save your bookmarks, apps and extensions. When you sign in to the same browser on the new computer, your settings will show up automatically. Any changes made to your settings will be synced across all your devices. However, if you use another browser, you’ll have to sync your bookmarks manually by searching the folders were they are stored.

Update the Antivirus Program

Almost all new Windows computers now come with an antimalware program preinstalled but it probably won’t be updated and it won’t be the best there is, so you’ll need to update it and check the features it has. A good antimalware program should include the following:

  • On-demand malware scan
  • On-access malware scan
  • Website rating
  • Malicious URL blocking
  • Phishing protection
  • Behaviour-based detection

These days, antivirus services handle Trojans, rootkits, spyware, adware, ransomware and more. If you’re not happy with the program that came with the computer, uninstall it install one of your own choosing. PC Magazine rates some of the antimalware programs available, as well as some of the free antivirus tools available.

For the uninitiated, here’s a glossary of some of the terms:

  • Malware – is software intended to damage or disable computers and computer systems
  • Trojans – are often disguised as legitimate software and can be used by cyber-thieves and hackers trying to gain access to your system
  • Phishing – is the attempt to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by posing as a trustworthy individual or business
  • Rootkits – are a collection of computer software, usually malicious, designed to enable access to a computer or areas of its software that would not otherwise be allowed
  • Spyware – a type of malware that is installed on a computer without your knowledge in order to collect your private information
  • Adware – is software that automatically displays or downloads unwanted advertising material when you’re online
  • Ransomware – a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
How to Buy a Computer

The choice of computer types and styles has exploded in recent years, making buying a new computer a completely different experience than it was even ten years ago. There are many things to consider as you research computers to find one you want at a reasonable price.

It’s no surprise then if you’re confused about what to look for in a new computer and you’re certainly not alone. Many of us are in that self-same boat. Let’s face it, technology changes so fast, it’s hard to keep up. What’s state-of-the-art today becomes old news so quickly it can be frustratingly hard to keep up.

In the end, all you really need to know is - will the computer you pick do everything you need it to do? Here’s a simple plan to help you choose a computer that fits your needs

Learning Computer Speak

In order to help you understand what you read or hear from a computer sales person, here’s a glossary of terms you’re likely to encounter when shopping for a new computer. It’s the same whether you’re buying a PC or a Mac.

Computer Router
  • A Router is a small box that allows several computers to join the same network.  Besides wired connections, most modern routers offer wireless connectivity as well.
  • The Processor is the brain of a computer, also referred to as the CPU. Processor speed is measured in gigahertz (GHZ.) The larger the number of GHZ, the faster the computer will be.
  • The RAM or Random Access Memory, is what your computer uses to store information.  Again, the higher the number, the more memory your computer will have.
  • The Optical Drive is the device that can read and write CDs and DVDs.
Wireless Network Card
  • A Wireless Network Card is able to access the Internet without the computer being physically connected to a router. They are rated by their speed. A computer store expert can advise you on the speed you’ll need for your purposes.
  • An Ethernet Port is standard on all computers. It allows your computer to connect to the Internet by physically plugging it into your router.
  • The Operating System is the software that makes your computer go.
  • The Hard Drive is where all files, whether music, movies or word documents, will be stored. Hard drives are rated by size and speed. A computer salesperson can help you decide how much storage you should have for your needs.
  • A Video Card enables you to see what you’re doing on your monitor. Different video cards allow you to do different things, such as use multiple monitors or watch HD movies on your computer.

New or Used

Whether you want a new or a refurbished computer depends a lot on your price range. You can save a lot of money by buying something that’s a year or so old. Naturally, a brand-new computer with a warranty will cost more.

Features You Need

Decide what features and abilities are most important to you. Things to think about include:

  • Do you want a laptop or desktop model?
  • What software do you need the computer to run?
  • Are there peripherals, such as a modem or printer you need to be able to connect to the computer?
  • Compatibility with software or hardware you already have.
  • Your budget.

Portable Vs. Powerful

You will need to decide whether you want a desktop or a laptop. You can also get a hybrid PC.

Today’s laptops are small, lightweight and portable and offer a variety of characteristics that will suit almost any need. Many laptops now feature detachable, convertible screens that can double as tablets.

For a more powerful system, a typical desktop is designed with more core processors and hard drives and lets you add extra devices, if needed. You can connect a desktop computer to one or more large screens, which offers greater flexibility for looking at data, files and videos.

Standard laptops and desktop machines, which are a lot cheaper than they used to be, are also still available. But these, too, start to get expensive if you opt for advanced features like touchscreens, built-in cameras, fingerprint readers and even facial recognition login software. Some of these extra features may be unnecessary. For example, a touchscreen isn’t very useful on a desktop monitor.

Bottom Line

These days it’s not unusual for homes to contain more than one computer or types of computers. Laptops are convenient devices for students and executives who are always on the move. A desktop computer is often chosen to play games or pay bills on.

A reputable computer retailer will take the time to help you understand the features and functions of each of the different computers you’re considering so you can make the best choice for your particular needs.

Monday, April 18, 2016
6th Generation Intel Core i7

Launched in August 2015, the 6th Generation Intel Core series serves as the “tock” in manufacturer Intel’s Tick-Tock manufacturing strategy, where they first release a smaller version of an existing microarchitecture, dubbed the “tick,” followed later by the “tock” – which is a new microarchitecture with substantial changes and improvements. The Skylake is notable for being released mere months after Intel’s Broadwell, which was already successful in its own right, and with Skylake using the same 14nm microarchitecture, it’s a “tock” that seems largely unnecessary at first glance.

The Target Market for Skylake

One thing to keep in mind about Intel’s past few generations of processors is that they have already beaten the competitor in all aspects save for the pricing category and in the SoC (system on a chip) market, which has been cornered by AMD based on the viability of APUs that deliver performance that beats Intel’s on-chip GPUs as well as some entry-level videocards.

Overclock-Friendly

Skylake marks a change in Intel’s treatment of the enthusiast market, particularly overclockers. As opposed to launching locked processors before releasing unlocked “-K” iterations, the first entry in the 6th generation of i7 processors is the unlocked Core i7-6700K, clearly signifying that Intel had overclockers in mind this time around.

If the K prefix isn’t obvious enough that this Skylake i7 is meant to be pushed to its limits, the retail packaging is noticeably thinner since the processor is shipped without an Intel stock cooler, requiring users to purchase a third party cooler. It may seem like a strange choice at first, but it makes sense when you consider the target market. Overclockers rarely have a use for the stock coolers Intel provides, as it’s not adequate when pushing the processor to its limits. The good thing is that the hole mounting for the new socket LGA1151 is similar to the previous generation’s, so existing heatsinks will be usable.

Massive Performance Improvements

Intel has released internal comparisons between the new Skylake i7 and several high end i7s from the Haswell, Broadwell, and Ivy Bridge microarchitectures and the performance improvements are significant enough to warrant an upgrade. According to the comparisons, the top end Skylake i7 is roughly 10 percent faster than the i7-470K, 20 percent faster than the i7-4770K, and around 30 percent faster than an i7-3770K. The older CPUs are still viable and can handle anything that’s out on the market, but the improvements are significant enough that Skylake can be a worthwhile upgrade. It becomes a must for people who are just getting their first PCs or those upgrading from a low-end model.

Not a Simple Upgrade

Unfortunately, the massive improvements provided by the 6th Generation Intel Core i7 comes with a catch. A 6th Gen Intel Core i7 is not the simplest of upgrades, even if you count the fact that you can reuse your old Core I cooler. In fact, the cooler is the simplest part.

For starters, you may need a new motherboard. The new LGA 1151 socket is incompatible with the LGA 1150 motherboards used by Haswell and Broadwell. Why did Intel require a change in motherboard? It’s because of another part that may need replacing: the RAM. Skylake supports DDR4 and requires a very different power delivery as opposed to its predecessors.

If you’re one of the lucky ones who upgraded to the high end Haswell-E platform in 2014, you may already have DDR4 memory on hand. If not, you’ll have to buy new ones. Skylake supports DDR3, but chances are it’s not the one you have right now. The DDR3 dimms that Skylake uses are called DDR3L, and they differ from the old ones because they are a lower voltage variant. These types of memory are rarely used that many motherboard vendors don’t even support them for their desktop boards.

Is the Upgrade Worth It?

There is a reason why Intel is targeting enthusiasts and gamers for the 6th generation of the Intel Core i7 processor: both of those market segments are known for focusing on performance and features above all else, and that’s what the Skylake processors offer.  It’s basically the usual recommendation of finding out what your needs are and just how much you are willing to spend to get it. Skylake costs a premium, but you will be getting your money’s worth and then some.

In a way, Intel is currently a victim of their past success. The previous generations of their high end processors are such great performers that Skylake isn’t really a cost-efficient or even practical upgrade, regardless of the improvements. However, if you don’t have a high end PC yet or just want the best performance and efficiency that money can buy, it would be foolish not to go for the Skylake.

Monday, March 28, 2016
Lenovo IdeaPad K1

Part of running a successful company is having the right tools to maintain success.  Knowing the latest in technology developments helps those in business stay on the cutting edge of success.  Many companies choose to rent or lease technology products, gaining the benefit of useful technology without the liability, expense, and maintenance of ownership.

Staying current on the latest products and developments in technology ensures that your business is equipped to compete in today’s market.  One of the main tools companies are using to succeed in all industries is the Android powered tablet.

Tablets are portable and convenient alternatives to the PC or laptop computer.  They are essential for the CEO on the go, and have highly recommended uses for trade shows and conventions.  They are typically lightweight, easily transported, and have a sleek and professional appearance.

There are several Android powered tablets that are recommended for corporate use.  One of the popular choices among professionals is the Samsung Galaxy Tab.  While similar to the Samsung Galaxy note series, the Tab series does not use the S-Pen stylus.  The Samsung Tab series was originally introduced in 2010, and has since released several models of varying size.

The latest in the series was just recently released on the Samsung website in Germany, and is called the Galaxy Tab A.  The newest model claims to be more powerful than previous model.  The design is also more attractive than the older models.  The newer tablet is lighter and thin, with a metal frame, and is available in black or white.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab A has a quad core processor, and a 7 inch display screen with LCD technology.  Previous versions of the Galaxy Tab are available in 8 and 9.7 inch screen sizes.  If your business requires or can benefit from your taking quality photos, the 5 megapixel rear camera and 2 megapixel front camera will be ideal for your needs.  With 8 GB of storage, and expansion options for additional storage, you can handle large amounts of data and photo content.

The software used for the Galaxy Tab A is Android 5.1 Lollipop.  Lollipop is a version of Android OS which was developed by Google.  Its interface is built around Material design, and includes improvements to notifications and internal improvements, including improvements to the life and usage of battery.  The new Samsung Tab’s battery has a long life, and can handle long term heavy duty usage throughout the day without going dead.

Another popular pick for the modern business person is the Motorola Xoom.  The Xoom is an Android-based tablet computer by Motorola.  The system running the Motorola Xoom is the Android 3.0 Honeycomb, which is a mobile OS designed for tablets from Google.  The Motorola Xoom is frequently used for companies that utilize a lot of media and files.  The internal makeup of the Xoom is ideal for running multiple projects or tabs at one time, and for working on complicated projects, as you would on a desktop or laptop.

Another popular and affordable tablet is the Acer Iconia.  The most recent model is the Iconia Tab 10, which is known for being durable and easily transported.  The Iconia has a sensitive touch screen that allows easy writing and sketching, but the glass is durable and tough to prevent shattering or cracking.  The tablet is specifically designed for easy sharing, making it perfect for trade shows and conventions, especially if you are using a big screen display.

The final product on our list of recommended tablets for professional users is the Lenovo IdeaPad Tablet K1.  This tablet is unique in its web optimization, and comes with the latest in Flash content support.  For professionals who need large amounts of storage, advanced graphics or video quality access, the Lenovo IdeaPad Tablet K1 provides the advanced and superior technology to handle your needs.  The IdeaPad also has sharing capabilities to use for multiple users and interactions, as well as presentations.  Advanced technology like this comes at a price, and the Lenovo IdeaPad K1 can be around $499.00 to purchase.

Finding a quality tablet can be pricey, and if you are looking to provide tablets for your company or to use at a trade show or convention, the cost can be significant.  To reduce this cost, rental programs are available.  Renting rather than buying has many benefits.  For one, it’s less expensive. In addition to cost, you have working equipment that can be regularly repaired and updated by the rental company.

This is a benefit for both long term and short-term rentals.  One of the largest benefits is that you will always keep your business on the cutting edge of technology.  Rental companies constantly update their inventory, and can recommend the product that works best for your company and needs.

Tags:
Friday, October 30, 2015

Azure is a cloud computing platform and infrastructure from Microsoft you can use for building, deploying and managing applications and services through a worldwide network of Microsoft-managed and Microsoft partner-hosted datacenters.

Recently, five major new features have been added to Microsoft Azure, including some expansions to existing features. These new features and additions are sure to be of interest to a wide range of users.

Azure to Integrate with Akamai CDN

Although Microsoft has always enjoyed a close relationship with Akamai, early in 2016, Azure users will be able to deploy content into the Akamai content delivery network and buy Akamai offerings through their Azure self-service portal. This will allow users to reach a broader audience, particularly in Latin America and Asia.

PowerShell Almost Ready

The preview release of Azure Powershell 1.0 arrived earlier this month. With it, you can manage Azure resources and services from the command line instead of through a graphical user interface (GUI.) However, it’s a huge change that it is not compatible with previous versions.

Azure App Service Supports Go

Support for Google’s Go with Web apps was added to Azure earlier this month. Currently, only Go 1.4.2 and Go 1.5.1 are supported in their 64-bit forms and the whole package is experimental at present. Azure will configure the web.config file if needed for the app, but you can supply your own if your implementation requires custom settings. Eventually, Go support on Azure with offer full support status.

Azure Backup Improved

Azure Backup has grown to provide backup support for Microsoft SQL Server, SharePoint Server, Microsoft Exchange, and Windows Clients. The cost of backups is two-fold. There’s one charge for the size of the instance itself ($5 and up) and a charge for the storage used by the backup. The range of products covered by Azure Backup will likely continue to expand.

Azure File Storage Has SMB

Azure File Storage performs conventional Windows file shares via the SMB 3.0 protocol in the cloud. The idea is to support existing applications as they are moved to the cloud, some of which might depend of Server Message Block share operations. These shares can be mounted anywhere, allowing cloud and on-premises applications to share storage and data in a recognizable way.

It should be noted that clients connecting to an Azure File Storage share will be limited by their level of SMB support. SMB 2.1 for Windows 7 lacks support for encryption; Windows 8 and up, as well as Windows Server 2012 and up supports SMB 3.0, but most recent Linux distributions support SMB 3.0.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015
MSI GT 80 Titan SLI

Hard core gamers have longed for the comfort and rigidity of a mechanical keyboard since a long time. But not anymore! MSI has started a new era of first gaming beasts with a lesser-known feature for gaming laptops like mechanical keyboard. Pack it with a powerful Intel Core i7 processor and two NVidia GeForce GPUs in SLI and the much-needed ability to upgrade your hardware later, and you’ve built yourself a perfect replacement to desktop that you always deserved.

The great features

With amazing gaming performance, upgradable chassis and fantastic mechanical keyboard, this is surely a tough opponent for every gaming rig out there. Here is what MSI GT Titan SLI has to offer:

Design

MSI understands that an imposing but graceful design is perfect for such a gaming beast. This explains the extremely elegant black aluminum lid, brushed lightly. The red MSI Gaming Series emblem at the back along with the MSI logo simply adds class to the package.

It greets you with an amazing red back lit keyboard. Buttons for power and fan speed are placed above the track pad, to the right of the keyboard. Its carriage (rear and under) is made of black aluminum alloy, and the whole system design gives you the feeling of handling a muscle machine.

Keyboard

Keyboards with mechanical switches are far more durable than the ones with membrane switches and the Titan SLI keyboard has been tested to last 50 million keystrokes. It also provides a much stronger feedback than other gaming laptops in the market.

Display

The MSI GT 80 Titan SLI sports a 18.4-inch screen which is vivid, with crisp detail and expansive viewing angles. While a 4K display would have been truly awesome, the laptop's 1920 x 1080 panel is efficient enough to deal with anything you throw at it.

MSI GT 80 Titan SLI

Graphics and gaming

MSI has equipped their new gaming beast with not one but two Nvidia GeForce GTX 890 GPUs that deliver face-melting performance. You can run nearly any game on 'Ultra' graphics settings and it'll never make you feel a single glitch.

The touchpad and numpad combo

Pressing an illuminated Num button on the top-left nook of the touchpad changes it into a digital numpad. The two discrete mouse buttons provide powerful feedback, with a pleasant audible click that absolutely complements the mechanical keyboard.

The not-so-great features

  • Even though the laptop's 1920 x 1080 panel is amazing and crisp, a 4k display would have just made this a perfect gaming masterpiece
  • The laptop has a poor battery performance, even for a gaming laptop.
  • While the pair of Dynaudio speakers does sound fine, MSI could have used more bass to power the speaker.

The verdict

MSI's GT 80 Titan SLI has it all. It delivers amazingly fast performance every time you turn it on. All this, and it also sports a mechanical keyboard that delivers both superior precision and outstanding feedback.

GT 80 Titan SLI – Starting price: $3,399

Tags:
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Gtel

Gtel, the Zimbabwean company, has become known for its mobile phones and customized Original Design Manufacturer (ODM) hardware. The company has now ventured into tablets with its first one called the T9000 tab. They have chosen to go with a Windows OS for their first tablet, moving away from the trend of Android tabs that have been flooding the market. How does this tablet fare and is it worth buying?

Features and specs in the Gtel T9000 Windows Tab

The Gtel T9000 Windows Tab features a roomy 8.9 inch screen that works really well for watching videos, although the in-built speakers are not that great unless you are in a very quiet place. Windows has made its OS free for devices that are smaller than 9 inches, which is helping Gtel price their tab much lower than would have been otherwise possible for a Windows OS tablet.

Some basic specs of the Gtel T9000 Windows Tab:

  • 8.9’ 1920x1200 multi touch touchscreen display that works at 254ppi for the tab
  • Intel Atom z3735F Quad Core 1.83GHz processor
  • 2GB DDR3 RAM
  • 32GB TF cards storage
  • 5 megapixel primary back and 2 megapixel secondary front camera
  • 8000mAh battery
  • Windows 8.1 OS, but also optimized for Android KitKat Intel HD Graphics card

Gtel provides a wireless keyboard as part of the package for this tab, which is very convenient especially if you intend to use it for extended periods for typing and writing.

The body has a glass front and back with an aluminium finish in gray and black, making the tab look and feel very premium. However, the body plus the TF card storage make the tablet quite heavy and bulky. The bulkiness makes it less portable, so if that is something you are looking at, then consider your options carefully.

Being a Windows tab automatically reduces the choice of apps on this tablet. However, most apps that can be used for a Windows desktop can be used on this tab. Some of these apps are not optimized for tablets and touchscreens, so using the keyboard more often might be a good idea.

Pros

  • Comes with a wireless keyboard
  • Software updates directly by Microsoft
  • Battery good for daily use, lasts up to a day with a single charge
  • Wireless keyboard shipped with tablet

Cons

  • Heavy bodyweight
  • Camera gives poor quality photos and does not have an in-built flash
  • Files cannot be directly copied from PC to tablet
  • No choice between Windows and Android, although box mentions it to be so

Overall the tablet seems to be built sturdily, performs well for most day to day activities and has a good battery backup. Downside is its heavy body, a not-so-great camera and the fact that it is only usable with Windows 8.1.

Tags:
Thursday, April 30, 2015
Acer C910 Chromebook

The release of the Broadwell microarchitecture in September 2014 raised expectations of laptops and desktops getting the new fifth generation Intel i5 processors that claims to be the best silicone chip till date. Acer has not yet released any laptops with this new processor, but it has revamped an older model, the Acer C910 Chromebook with the Intel i5 Broadwell CPU. This beefed Chromebook is slated to be released in April 2015.

Has Broadwell made a big difference to performance of the Acer Chromebook?

The Acer C910 Chromebook is the only laptop with chrome OS, other than the Google Chromebook, to feature Broadwell microarchitecture as of now. This is a step up for the laptop from the earlier Core i3 and Celeron processor options that it was initially introduced with. This new processor is capable of speeds up to 2.2GHz, which is quite a jump from the earlier processors featured on this mode which clocked at about 1.6GHz. This automatically makes this laptop work faster and more seamlessly than its predecessors and, with the large display, is a sure winner.

What new to expect in the new Chromebook

The Acer C910 Chromebook is the only 15.6 inch Chromebook in the market today. And this upgrade surely makes it more desirable. Many Chromebook users were complaining that the larger size and heavier body makes it less mobile than earlier Chromebooks, but that is something that does not really affect real usage, since most use these systems only at home or office, simply moving around within the space. 

Some amazing features of this laptop that you should know about:

  • Intel i5 5200U processor
  • First Chromebook with a 15.6 Inch full HD IPS display
  • 4GB RAM
  • 32GB SSD storage
  • Body can withstand up to 132 pounds/60 kilos of force and 18 inches of drop without damage
  • Largest touchpad in any Chromebook
  • Up to 8 hours of battery life in a single charge

One big drawback of this laptop, though, is it weight. At close to 5lbs, it is not build for being carried out, if that is what you are looking for in your next laptop. 

Given the sturdy build quality, this laptop is perfect to be used in public spaces and in schools, where there is every chance of it being dropped or handled roughly on a regular basis. Acer believes that this laptop can withstand more impact than almost any other laptop in the market today.

If you are looking at a laptop to be carried around, then this is might not be your top choice. But if that is not a priority, then this Chromebook might surprise you with its speed and performance, and let you enjoy the large screen and great sound while you watch your favorite videos and movies.

Tags:
Thursday, March 12, 2015
Asus ROG G751JY-DH72X

There are not many laptops in the market that are optimized for gaming. Even the few that are usually do not live up to expectations. Gamers have to stick to gaming consoles or PCs for heavy gaming. Asus released a few laptops that are especially meant for gaming. One laptop that really stands out in their range of gaming systems is the ROG G751JY-DH72X. This laptop was released in the latter half of 2014 and has been garnering some pretty good reviews since. Let’s take a look at what this gaming laptop has to offer.

Laptop specs that are perfect for gaming

What should a good gaming laptop ideally be like? It needs to have a really good memory and storage, a good keyboard for playing, fans that keep the system cool even with hours of intensive gaming and most importantly, a good wide screen with a great display that lets you really immerse yourself in the world of gaming.

  • A 17.3 inch IPS (In-plane Switching) matte finish display with a high definition screen. It has a 1,080 by 1,920 resolution, and is very bright. It is a perfect display for mobile gaming.
  • 1 TB hard disk drive that gives it a huge storage space, along with a 32 GB memory.
  • The latest 4th generation Core i7 processors from Intel coupled with the best GeForce GTX graphics that NVIDIA has to offer.
  • Dual fans to keep the machine cool even at the peak of gaming and battles.
  • Special buttons to share gaming stats and scores with your friends on social media.
  • Red backlit keyboard is well spaced with a full numeric keypad, all of which is optimized for better gaming comfort.

Do not compare it with prices of gaming consoles, because you will definitely be disappointed. But if you consider its pricing of just under $3000, it is actually very affordable for a gaming laptop considering all the specs it offers. Other good gaming laptops and desktops are easily at least four to five times the price of this Asus.

A few red flags for the ROG G751JY-DH72X

  • Screen not big enough. You will need to invest in a separate wide screen for your gaming.
  • Battery life could be better. It is moderately good, not that great.
  • No touch screen, so you have make do with the keyboard for controls and gaming.

Overall, if you have been looking for a good gaming laptop and have just a few thousand dollars to spare, the Asus ROG G751JY-DH72X is a good deal for the specs and features it offers. It is a perfect laptop for mobile gaming with amazing features and specs that gives you a very satisfying gaming experience.

Tags:

Pages