Thursday, March 12, 2015
Author: Ken Scott
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.

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Thursday, March 5, 2015
Author: Ken Scott
Digital Storm Vanquish II

Gaming systems are expensive, be it desktops or laptops. It is difficult a find a gaming computer that is good and inexpensive. Digital Storm is a privately owned company in the United States that makes customized laptops and desktops specifically for gaming. The company released their latest custom-designed gaming PC, the Digital Storm Vanquish II, in 2014. It is a desktop computer that is solidly built, performs really well and can be bought for next to nothing. Take a look at the features and specs of this new gaming PC on the market.

What is good in the Digital Storm Vanquish II

Digital Storm is of the few boutique companies that makes and sells custom computers. The Vanquish II, their latest offering, does not disappoint. It looks pretty sharp with its gray body and blue lighting, and surprises you with its build quality.

  • Processor is the latest Intel 3.3GHz quad-core Haswell Refresh Core i5-4590.
  • The latest NVIDIA GTX770 or GTX780 graphics (depending on the level you choose), that gives high resolutions even at 1080p gaming and decently usable frame rates at even 2560x1600.
  • Spacious 8 GB memory, up to 1 TB Seagate storage, and a 120 GB SSD.

It is a very reasonably priced gaming computer that costs anywhere between $700 and $1300, depending on the level you choose to buy. It offers really good build quality for the price. The computer performs amazingly well while gaming even with a single GPU.

The system comes in four pre-tested models according to different gaming levels. Since they are ready pieces that are pre-customized and tested, they are shipped within hours of ordering, a big first for customized PCs. These computers come with an extended 3 year limited warranty period, another first. Most custom PC manufacturers offer just one or two year warranty periods in general.

What keeps the Digital Storm Vanquish II from being the best in its class

Although the Digital Storm Vanquish II is a well-built gaming computer, it does have a few drawbacks for its price point. The limited ports reduce expandability and performance enhancement options and the computer can feel quite bulky.

  • Micro ATX motherboard limits expansion capacity.
  • Limited ports not adequate for performance-enhanced gaming.
  • A bit bulky when it comes to the back plate.

If you are looking at value for money in a customized gaming computer that will be shipped right away and are not looking at updating your system very often, then the Digital Storm Vanquish II is the way to go. It is built really well, takes care of gaming needs beautifully up to 1080p, and is great value for money for the specs and features it has to offer.

Monday, March 2, 2015
Author: Ken Scott
Digital Storm Triton

Digital Storm Triton is a nice mid-range gaming machine with cool features and good performance. With an approximate price of $1700 it is a great value buy for gaming fans.

Features and design

Digital Storm Triton weighs about 5.8 pounds and has a height of 0.98 inches and width of 15 inches. Its design is so low-key that it looks more like a business laptop rather than a gaming laptop. But it has beveled corners and side venting which adds an edge to its simple design.

It has a comfortable back-lit keyboard with a numeric keypad. The keys are slightly curved in  which provides better grip to the user. There are two mouse buttons on the touch-pad, which offers functional ease during gaming. The screen measures 15.6 inches and offers a resolution of 1920 by 1080. This resolution is good enough for gaming enabling the makers to keep the price tag affordable.

The Triton comes with great connectivity options. You get an Ethernet port, one USB port (2.0), three USB ports (3.0), two DisplayPorts (mini) one HDMI port and also an SD card reader, Bluetooth (4.0) and other options for wireless connectivity. Storage is decent, but you get the optical drives only as an external option.

Performance

Digital Storm Triton has a great processor (Intel Core i7-4710HQ), a good graphics card and an 8 GB RAM, which can be upgraded to 32 GB. All these make Triton a great gaming laptop and offer gamers a perfect choice of machine at a good price. This holds Triton in good stead when compared with other gaming laptops with a higher price tag.

Battery life is good enough at about four and a half hours. This is better than other gaming laptops in the similar price ranges. But more than four hours is a good time for a few sessions of your favorite game and if you keep the power adapter nearby you don’t need to interrupt your gaming session. The sound can be better and you can’t hear much if there is a loud noise nearby. The speakers are not great so you would need headphones. The cooling fans are very noisy and you can hear its whirring when using the laptop.

Digital Storm Triton may not be the best gaming laptop available today. But it is the best gaming laptop thanks to its decent price range. It also comes with a warranty of three years, which is an added bonus when you buy the Digital Storm Triton. Feature-wise it only lacks a few, compared with pricier models. It offers everything you need for a satisfactory to good gaming experience and you can’t get better than this at the same cost.

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Thursday, February 26, 2015
Author: Ken Scott
Dell XPS 13 Touch

For those looking for a premium ultrabook with good looks and solid performance Dell XPS 13 Touch is worth a buy. It is slim, light and comes with a powerful processor. At an approximate price of $1400 it is a high-end buy, but matches the cost with a solid performance.

Slim looks and other features

The chassis of the machine has a width of 12 inches, depth of eight inches and is 0.6 inches in height with a weight of around 2.75 pounds. This makes XPS 13 Touch lighter than the previous model. This puts it in the middle when it comes to weight of several other notebooks in the market, which are priced lower and some that cost way more. So with XPS 13 you get a lightweight and slim notebook with good looks in the decent price range.

It comes with a keyboard covered with carbon fiber, but the outer parts are made with machined aluminum. The screen comes with a resolution of 3,200 by 1,800, which is great for movies and videos. You can see the finer details and really enjoy the visual quality that XPS 13 offers. You might be a bit disappointed with port selection, but it is good enough with two USB ports (3.0) and one mini port and comes with an SD card reader. Don’t let the lack of ports stop you from buying it. You can easily add more with Dell’s USB adapter that you can buy for $60 and add HDMI, VGA, Ethernet and USB 2.0 port.

The XPS 13 Touch also comes with an 8 GB memory and 256 GB SSD.  Some might not find it adequate storage for all downloads, but it is good enough especially if you subscribe to streaming services.

Solid performance

The XPS 13 Touch is equipped with an Intel Core processor (fifth-generation, i5-5200U) and is enough to thoroughly impress any user. It also comes with a CPU with low voltage and HD graphics from Intel. It is also an ideal ultrabook for web developers and photographers as it has options for creating 2D content.

With such a premium notebook you might expect a great battery life. Sadly that is not the case here. It gives you almost 7.5 hours and there are many notebooks offering many more hours. But more than seven hours can be considered quite a good number if you don’t compare it with higher numbers of other machines.

The bottom line is that Dell XPS 13 Touch is worth a buy for its superior touch screen, slim looks, sturdy construction and its really good processor and hence performance. This is a good choice if you are looking for a slim, premium, high-performing windows ultrabook costing just a bit more than other notebooks.

Monday, February 23, 2015
Author: Ken Scott
Acer Aspire E (E5-771G-51T2)

It is good to see that in these times of compact machines you can still find a laptop with a big screen if you so desire. The Aspire E (E5-771G-51T2) is just once such offering from Acer. But it offers a whole more than just its large size. However, people are buying it mostly for its size and let other features be the bonuses that come along with it.

Massive screen and other features

Acer Aspire E is large in size, but it doesn’t weigh much at 6.5 pounds and isn’t very thick. So the large size doesn’t bog the look of the machine down. The screen measures 17 inches and has a resolution of 1,920 by 1,080. This feature makes Aspire E a good buy in the market with similar price tags.

The large size of Aspire E also accommodates a wide keyboard. It has a nice full-sized numeric pad, but the keys are not back-lit. But the key sizes are good so typing is comfortable and the overall keyboard layout is spacious. The touch-pad is also comfortable to use with its width of more than four inches. There is another advantage to its size as it comes with many connectivity options. It offers an HDMI port, four USB ports (both 2.0 and 3.0), a VGA port, and an Ethernet port.

Aspire E comes with an 8 GB memory and worked perfectly when you need to keep open many browser tabs. It also comes with a spacious hard drive (1TB). So you do have download space and speed.

Good performance

Acer Aspire E gives a decent performance with its Intel Core processor (1.7GHz, i5-4210U). It is also a good laptop for gaming. Another good point is its battery life, which gives up to 4.25 hours of steady use. This doesn’t matter much as first it is quite a decent time and gives you enough power to work unplugged for a few hours. And second, owing to its size, you are hardly going to be traveling with it over long distances. So, the power is good enough for home use. The battery however is sealed so it is not easy to replace if you need to after a few years but it’s just a minor issue.

Overall, Aspire E is a good choice if you are looking to buy a laptop as a desktop replacement and with a price tag of $799 approximately it really is a good choice. You can definitely buy laptops with better performance in similar or even lower price ranges. But if you want a laptop with a large screen that also gives good performance for most features, then Aspire E (E5-771G-51T2) is a good machine to buy.

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Monday, February 16, 2015
Author: Ken Scott
Acer TravelMate B

If you are a basic laptop user, many of the new laptops and computers can easily overwhelm you with their specifications, features and price. They may provide you with things that you know you do not need and will never use, but will still end up paying for it all. If this is a problem you have faced every time you need to change your laptop, here is some respite. If you are looking for a change, check out the new Acer TravelMate B.

Why the Acer TravelMate B?

The Acer TravelMate B is made keeping in mind the basic laptop user. It is simple, basic and has no frills attached. It is easy-to-use and help you work just about anywhere, be it browsing the internet, writing or editing documents or doing other simple jobs like photo editing. It can be used for both home and office work, as well as for studying. If you are someone who flies frequently and works on flights, this laptop is perfect with its compact size and weight.

A few specifications of the Acer TravelMate:

  • It has a 11.6 inch LCD touchscreen display with a resolution of 1366 x 768
  • It comes with an Intel Celeron N2940 processor
  • It has an in-built 500 GB HDD storage capacity
  • It comes with an Intel HD Graphics card
  • It weighs just under 3 lbs
  • It has Ethernet and wi-fi connectivity
  • It has a classy matte black finish
  • Ultra-portable with all the basic ports in place

The specifications are basic, nothing very grand, but will meet all your everyday needs.

Pros and cons of the Acer TravelMate B

Here is a look at what is great and not so good about this laptop. There is not much you can say when it comes to the cons, since it is something very user-specific and is mostly about what you are more comfortable with.

Pros:

  • Very light and easy to carry around
  • Over 7 hours of battery life with mixed use
  • 10 point touch screen display for under $400
  • Matte texture both on the outside and for the keypad makes it easy to use
  • Great value for money
  • Two year warranty

Cons:

  • All ports on the back panel, may be difficult to use at times
  • Good only for basic photo editing work
  • Cost slightly higher than competitors, due to a 10-point touch screen

As you can see, the pros of this laptop are many and makes it a great piece of technology to own if you are not looking at playing games with heavy files or doing heavy photo editing work. For all other daily use, be it at home, work or for studies, this ultra-portable laptop works really well.

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Thursday, February 12, 2015
Author: Ken Scott
Dell Inspiron 14

If you have had a desktop all this time at home or work and are looking at getting a replacement without compromising on the advantages of a desktop, consider buying Dell. Dell has of late come out with a range of laptops that is giving stiff competition to the best desktops out there for regular home or office use. One such laptop is the Dell Inspiron 14 5447. If you are looking for a change, you have to take a look at this laptop.

What is so great about Inspiron 14?

The Dell Inspiron series is known for its sturdiness, great looks, sleek design and amazing functionality at unbelievably low prices. It can compete with the best home and work desktops out there and give them a run for their money. Here are a few of the specifications of the Dell Inspiron 14 to give you some idea about how good it is.

  • It has a 14-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels
  • It has an Intel Core i5 – 4210U processor with a speed of 1.7gHz
  • It weighs just over 2 kilos
  • It comes with  a 1TB HDD storage capacity
  • It has an in-built graphics card
  • It has a 3-cell battery that lasts for about 5-6 hours with mixed usage
  • It also has a back-lit keyboard

With these specifications, it can easily replace your home, study or work desktop without you having to adjust much in terms of usage or functionality.

Advantages of switching to the Dell Inspiron 14 5447

Dell has a number of advantages over your desktop. Here are a few pros of switching to this laptop:

  • Light, sleek design helps you save space at home or work
  • Unlike desktops, you can carry the laptop around with you wherever you go, making it more convenient and accessible for everyday use
  • You can watch movies in HD as well as use simple photo editing tools without issues on this powerful system
  • You get a better, classier and more refined look to your home or office without you having to spend a large amount of money
  • You can carry the laptop to the library if you need to refer books and make notes
  • You can also take it with you for meals if you are in the middle of a great movie and do not want to break the continuity when ordering food

If you are looking at a great buy and good value for money, you should definitely consider going for the Dell Inspiron 114 5447 laptop. You can rent it out from computer rental services in case you do not want to directly invest in buying one for yourself.

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Thursday, January 22, 2015
Author: Ken Scott

Every year, the CES witnesses a number of interesting product launches, including improved laptops and ultra slim notebooks from the top computer and laptop manufacturers. This year has not been any different. Visitors and tech enthusiasts at the CES 2015 had the chance to checkout some impressive laptops and ultra books that will be launched in 2015. As expected, the laptops continue to get smaller, thinner, lighter and faster. Here is a look at the laptop releases that you should look forward to this year.

Dell XPS 13

According to the claims made by Dell, this is the world's smallest 13-inch laptop. Priced at a hefty $799, the Dell XPS 13 is a compact ultra slim notebook packed inside a body that is too compact to hold it. The company claims that a lot of research and engineering had gone into developing this slim laptop that comes with a beautiful screen, pre-installed Windows 8.

Lenovo LaVie Z

Lenovo has launched the lightest ever 13-inch laptop at the CES this year - the LaVie Z which comes with a price tag of $1299. While the MacBook Air from Apple weighs 2.96 lbs ( 1.3 kg), the LaVie Z clamshell laptop is just 1.72 lbs or 0.7 kgs. The hybrid version of the laptop is just 2.04 lbs or 0.9 kgs. This light-weight laptop from Lenovo comes after the Yoga 3 Pro which weighed 1.2 kg, launched at the CES last year.

Lenovo Yoga 2

Lenovo Yoga 2 and Flex 3

The new Yoga 2 with AnyPen is something that stylus fans can look forward to this year. The new version of the tab comes with AnyPen technology, which means it responds to any metal object for navigation as well as writing. You could try using a screwdriver, a knife or keys to navigate. Or you could opt for more comfortable choices like a pen or pencil too, for writing as well as smooth navigation.

The Flex 3 comes with a new design and swivels 360 degrees so that you can use it as a tablet, a laptop or a kiosk. It will be available in three screen sizes 11 inch, 14 inch and 15 inches.

Acer 17 Nitro

Joining the slim notebook manufacturers' bandwagon is Acer with its Nitro V17 which will be launched in 2015. The Acer Nitro 17 is one of the sharp-looking gaming laptops like the HP Omen and the Lenovo Y50. These three laptops are similar in terms of graphics cards and CPU, but the differentiating feature in the Nitro is RealSense 3D technology. The RealSense 3D technology camera from Intel is also seen in HP Sprout tablet and Dell Venue 8 7000 tablet.

CES Show 2016
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Author: Ken Scott
More Sense to Rent Computers Over Buying

It goes without saying that computers have now become an integral part of our daily lives. When the computer was first developed, some of the leading tech companies across the world, struggled to conceive of a time when every individual would have his/her own personal computer.

Today, an individual or a business who does not have access to a computer is severely disadvantaged in a society that is growing to be incredibly tech-savvy. In the corporate realm, access to technology is critical for businesses to stay competitive. However, with the rate at which computer and laptop technology is advancing, integrating technological infrastructure in the form of laptops and computers is no longer a one-time cost.

Businesses are always conducting extensive research into how they can drive down their operational expenditures, while boosting their networks and sales turnovers. As more and more individuals take to the internet, for pleasure, or work, there is a sustained need for programmers to develop applications and software that make transfer of information and communication more seamless and convenient. A business must take advantage of the latest software if it is to stay relevant in highly competitive marketplaces. However, this is easier said than done.

The life span of a computer or a laptop is becoming shorter every year. While in the past, a business could expect its computers to have shelf lives of over five years, now they need to adapt to new technology at least once in three years. In many cases, this represents a significant cost to companies, since they will have to replace their existing equipment with newer equipment that is compatible with the latest software and applications in the market.

More and more companies have come to realize that this practice of replacing tech is not financially sustainable. One of the alternatives that is growing in popularity is that of renting out computers to facilitate business. In this article, we take a look at some of the key benefits that renting computers has over purchasing them.

Amazing flexibility on contract terms

The computer rental option is particularly attractive to companies that are still in their infant stages. During these stages, operational costs need to be monitored and managed extremely carefully. A small company does not have luxury that larger companies have when it comes to experimenting with new marketing, sales or research techniques. They will have to stick to tried and tested techniques in order to stay relevant.

Moreover, many of these companies need to secure loans during their early stages. Renting computers represent the best chance that these companies have to compete within a grander marketplace. This is because this model provides the maximum flexibility possible. Computer rental companies today offer some of the most flexible contracts and plans. As such, a company is able to respond immediately to worsening financial situation by simply terminating a contract. Moreover, they will never be stuck with a fleet of obsolete equipment either.

Tax benefits

Another benefit that many companies do not really take into account when renting computers is that of the tax benefits they receive. It is certainly true that companies can claim a certain number of tax benefits by citing depreciation on their current purchased equipment every year. However, all computer rentals are also completely tax deductible. Many businesses have found that the tax benefits they receive from renting out computers are far greater than those experienced with depreciation.

Maintenance and set-up benefits

One of the most attractive features of the computer rental model relates to the set up of equipment. As a business that is conducting a workshop, trade show or promotional event, it is important not to lose focus of the most important aspects. The last thing that a company will want to worry about is whether their tech equipment is running efficiently.

In many cases, businesses that have purchased equipment will have to hire a full-time technician to maintain and set up equipment for such events. Many companies offer a range of services that extend out from just providing laptops or desktops. These companies will send their own technicians to set up rented equipment for all kinds of events. All a company will have to do is pay a single one-time fee.

Integrating new software

Renting out computers also means that a business will have absolutely no trouble when it comes to employing updated software. Software and applications adapt to hardware and vice versa. As newer generations of computers and laptops come out, programmers develop far more complex software under the knowledge that the latest computers will be compatible with them.

This may prove to be a huge obstacle for companies that have purchased equipment. However, if a computer is looking to integrate the latest applications and software into its technological infrastructure, it can do so seamlessly by choosing the computer rental option.

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Monday, November 3, 2014
Author: Ken Scott

HP had some bad news for those hoping that the Chromebook would be up for sale in the market at an affordable price. The fact is that just like Stream 14, the Chromebook is an expensive laptop. But HP recently announced the launch of its new laptop in collaboration with Windows for $199. There was news earlier about how the company plans to expand its Stream line beyond just the 14 inch laptop device. However, the news doesn’t end at the latest pocket-friendly laptop with an 11.6 inch screen. There is also a 13.3 inch version which is available for $230. Alongside the lower-priced Stream, it boasts of an Intel Celeron processor as well as flash memory of 32 GB.

Along with these notebook launches, two new tablets are also being introduced by HP. They are called HP Stream 7 and 8.

In addition to this pair of notebooks, HP is also introducing two tablets: HP Stream 7 and 8. These tablets have slates measuring 7 and 8 inches respectively. While the HP Stream 7 comes at price of $99, the 8 is priced at $149.

Tablet Computer

HP decided not to share a lot of details regarding the specifications of the devices, but it is hoping to attract customers with its various schemes. These include offering some mobile data free of cost each month and also the opportunity to use Microsoft's Office 365  productivity suite. This would definitely be appreciated by customers.

The various devices announced by the company should be out for sale in the United States in early November. Till then, you can check out images of the products on the Internet and get an idea about their specifications and appearance.

A few important details

Here is some extra information that HP revealed with regards to the new notebooks. Firstly, they both come with 2GB of RAM, Intel High Definition Graphics and also a decent battery that can serve you for almost 8.5 hours.

The tablets on the other hand are equipped with an Intel Atom Z3735G quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 32GB memory and Bluetooth 4.0. Up till now, the specifications appear pretty good, especially if you take into consideration the comparatively budget pricing offered by HP with respect to these devices.

New range objective

HP’s latest range of notebooks and tablets is primarily designed to compete with Chromebooks with respect to price. The devices are able to offer the same level of performance as a laptop with a well backing operating system.

The latest Stream 11 and Stream 13 are equipped with Intel dual-core Celeron processors and are designed on the basis of the Bay Trail structure. As mentioned before, they will have 32 GB of on-board storage and a 2GB RAM. In addition to this, there will also be an optional touchscreen feature available in the Stream 13 as well as an optional 4G connection.

The price of the 14-inch Stream will be $299 or £183 while the 13.3-inch version will come at a cost of $229.99 or £141. The price of the laptop with the 11.6-inch screen will be $199.99 or £123.

The Stream 7 and the Stream 8 are the two tablets in the new range where the Stream 8 also comes with an optional 4G connection. The Stream 8 obviously has a bigger screen and costs more than the Stream 7 ($149.99). The tablets are equipped with powerful quad-core processors (Intel Atom) and also feature 1366X768 screens.

Services for customers

HP firmly believes that the latest Stream Notebook being offered in its range will be the next big thing in Windows computing. There are some free services and other benefits that HP is offering to its buyers in collaboration with Microsoft. The Stream Notebooks comes with a year-long subscription for the Office 365. In addition to this, customers also get cloud space of 1TB for a year under the OneDrive service of Microsoft. There is also a gift card worth $25 which can be utilized at a Windows Store.

Data Storage

Each month, users will have access to 200MB of data for their device and there is no requirement of a yearly contract to make use of the offer. However, it is vital for users to agree to the service terms put forth by T-Mobile.

The Stream series powered Intel processors will run a Windows operating system and will also have a similar annual subscription with regards to different Microsoft services. In addition to this, they will also get access to 60 minute Skype calls every month. The T-Mobile data scheme will be applicable to the Stream 8 tablet as well which comes alongside the 13.3 notebook.

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