Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Author: Ken Scott
Intel New Processor

Intel has recently unveiled a new processor called the Core M or Broadwell that will let PC manufacturers build much thinner laptops and ultrabooks. Thanks to this iconic processor, computers will be able to run without fans. The fans, which are an integral part of a laptop, may soon become a part of history, if this advanced processor technology is successful. It was Intel's Vice-President of the platform-engineering group, Rani Borkar, who announced the launch of the chip to the media.

Tough competition among chip manufacturers

It is not just Intel, but many other major chip manufacturers are also trying their level best to release a processor that could give the big guns a run for their money. These companies are trying to achieve this by reducing the size of the chips even further. However, with the latest release, Intel has taken a giant stride towards outmaneuvering their competition which it has been doing so for a long time.

The Core M chip is just 14 nanometers long, which is a mind-boggling one-billionth of a meter. Thanks to its micro-mini size the computer manufacturers now can make their devices even smaller, lighter and more power efficient, which would no longer need the fan for cooling. Experts are estimating the thickness of the future ultra books to go down to less than nine mm. Removal of the fan is a key feature that would enable the laptops to become more like a tablet.

Launch of the chip to be delayed

The launch of this Core M chip has been delayed by several months because of some issues regarding the manufacture of this state-of-the-art technology. However, once these issues are sorted out, Intel will start making these Broadwell chips in large numbers as they are expecting a huge demand from all the PC manufacturers. The company believes that with time, they will be able to handle the huge demand for the 14 nm chip, just like they did with the 22 nm chip which was also a revolutionary chip during its launch. It is expected that the customers will be able to buy the Core M powered computers in the first half of next year.

When it comes to the processors for mobile devices, it is the ARM based chips that has a strong hold over the market and Intel are looking to compete with them with the launch of the Core M.

Thursday, September 4, 2014
Author: Ken Scott
Best Ultrabooks

It was Intel that introduced the category called ultrabook a few years back, but now so many such computers are being launched in the market that some of the new brands are giving established companies a run for their money. These ultrabooks are not very different from the traditional computers or laptops when it comes to the basic functions.

The major differences between ultrabooks and laptops are the low-voltage processors, extremely efficient batteries which are being used in it apart from the fact that they are extremely thin and have fast boot times. Intel has even launched ultrabooks with touch screens, making it more of a hybrid between a computer and tablet. Here, we are giving you a detailed account on the best ultrabooks available in the market right now.

Asus VivoBook S400CA-UH51

The Asus VivoBook is a decent ultrabook when it comes to its price. It boots up quickly and has all the basic functions required in an ultrabook. However, it lacks some features that you will find in other brands like a longer battery life and a back-lit keyboard. The 2.4 Ghz  wi-fi is also not very inspiring. The VivoBook though is the best Windows 8 ultrabook that you will get at $700.

Acer Aspire S7-392-6411

If your primary requirement is a lightweight and sleek ultrabook, then the Acer Aspire S7-392-6411 is the one for you. Apart from being thin and lightweight, this ultrabook is strongly built and is made of the highest quality material. It has an 8 GB memory and a 5 Ghz wi-fi support and an impressive battery life. It is at the pinnacle of ultrabooks right now and shows all the magnificence under Intel's increasingly rigorous standards for ultrabooks.

Lenovo ThinkPad X240

Lenovo ThinkPad X240 is one of the compelling laptop ideal for businessmen. It sports a fast solid-state drive, Core i5 CPU, and 12.5 inch IPS touch-screen. The ThinkPad has a battery life of more than 15 hours. However, the display is low-resolution and it is priced on the higher side.

Samsung ATIV Book

The Samsung ATIV Book is one of those elite ultrabooks that has everything you will need performance-wise. The best part is the premium design and quality as well as the high-resolution display.

You will find most of these ultrabooks available for rent at the various computer rentals.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Author: Ken Scott
Things to Consider While Choosing a VPN service for your PC

If you require your data to be protected, the most likely solution you would have been given is to install a VPN. The VPN is a virtual private network and works by providing a channel between the internet and your computer, which provides anonymity online and encryption of data. When you have a VPN, there’s a buffer which is a server that comes with an IP address.

If you are working on a PC or laptop that is not at home, and are using a lot of Wi-Fi at public places, there is just no way for you to know how secure the network is. You could be traveling a lot with a PC/laptop rented from a computer rentals company, and want your data safe. That is when you use the VPN service; there are several such  free services available, although the paid ones are faster.

Things to consider

Some of the VPNs block torrents so if you are planning to use the service for torrents, you should check that first. The VPN should be able to function on all your gadgets and not just the PC. Another aspect to consider is if the service has any limits on bandwidth.

You would want a network that has no limits on bandwidth. Before you get a service, you should also check on their privacy policy; does the VPN retain records of usage? If they keep logs and you are uncomfortable, you should research well before opting for a service. Also, make sure where the servers of the VPN providers are located. If the physical/geographic distance between the server and your PC is huge, the downloads will be slower. It is ideal to choose a service provider closer to your region.

There are four well known VPNs, including point-to-point tunneling protocol (PPTP), layer 2 tunneling protocol and internet protocol security (L2TP and IPsec), secure sockets layer (SSL) and openVPN.

PPTP: Not a very secure VPN step, but it is a good step from where you can start your VPN exploration.

L2TP and IPsec: Safer than PPTP, but are more complicated when it comes to setting them up.

SSL: VPN method which is more trustworthy and dependable than PPTP, L2TP or IPsec

OpenVPN: An open source system that is secure, free, and has no connection troubles.

If you need a VPN system that is more dependable than all of the above, you could try a VPN router. If you are seeking VPN just to safeguard your internet activity while on a public Wi-Fi, you could subscribe to a VPN service provider. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014
Author: Ken Scott
Easy Guide to Backing Up Files on Your PC

The golden rule when you are using a laptop or a personal computer is to always make sure your files are backed up. Fortunately, that’s quite easy and all you have to do is use certain backup programs. You could back all the data from your PC to online services for storage that are available easily.

With a little research online, you can choose a service that supports most of your devices and download the app provided by the service so that you could have a mirror of the files you have on the local PC. Most of the cloud based file sharing and transfer services are free, but if you want some serious storage options, you could even buy extra space.

External storage

Another simple option when it comes to storing or backing up files is to use an external hard drive. You could pick hard drives that work on wireless or wired networks, depending on your needs. The USB is one of the common interfaces when it comes to storage; most gadgets from your laptop to your PC to practically every other communications device have USB ports to transfer data. The most basic of USB drives are inexpensive and ideal for backups.

You could choose a drive that doesn’t need power supply. Also, if you need more connectivity, you could use a hard drive that don’t just dish out files to your PC, but also to your TV, tablet and consoles. You could get yourself a network attached storage drive. Set-top boxes also double up as storage devices that are network connected, so you can stream videos and watch movies.

Wi-Fi storage device

Another option is to get yourself a Wi-Fi storage device which has a battery and radio, and can be linked up to your laptop. If you are using a laptop that you have rented from one of the computer rentals for a brief while, using storage devices or cloud service becomes all the more pertinent, because the computer is not yours. You could also use the inbuilt File Recovery toll or File History tool so as to create an image of the system and a recovery CD or a flash drive.

You could use the Backup option to save your important data on a weekly or fortnightly basis onto the hard drive. In general, to reduce risk of losing data, you could have three copies of your crucial data by using a combination of all the methods listed above, ie, if you are particularly paranoid.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Author: Ken Scott
Understanding Laptop Specifications

Getting yourself a laptop or renting one for specific needs can be quite a time-consuming decision, especially if you don’t know much about specifications. The CPU is at the core of any personal computer, so if you choose one with speed, it means you have programs that run fast, but it could also mean that the battery will have a lower life and that the laptop is expensive.

The hard drive is the laptop’s long-term memory and drive stores and retrieves digital data including photos, files and videos. The solid state drive (SSD) has a speedier performance and lower consumption of power. If you can choose between the two, SSDs offer up to thrice the speed of the mechanical drives.

If, for some reason, you can’t rent an SSD, you can opt for a hard drive of 7,200 rpm over a unit of 5,400 rpm. If you opt for a notebook, you can use a flash cache of 16 GB or 32 GB which, in combination with a hard drive, boosts performance.

The GPU or the graphics processing unit is not just about games, but important for all that you see on the screen. Any video app that you run will function smoothly and have an enhanced look. One of the most important considerations is the battery life. For a 15-inch notebook, the life of the battery should have at least four hours. Those who carry their notebooks for travel would need battery of over six hours, so look for a notebook that lasts you that long. The most durable laptops are ones that have a battery life of 10 to 20 hours.

Good memory

When it comes to RAM, make sure to get a system with a good RAM so any high-end application can run easily; also you can multi-task better with a higher RAM. Eventually, you should choose laptops depending on what you need it for; for instance, if you need a laptop for business, you should a laptop with a solid keyboard, sharp resolution of screen and good design. If you are a creative person, you might need a solid state drive with a HD display.

If you want your laptop to be portable, you may want to carry one with a screen size of 11 to 12 inches. However, if you want a screen that is large for gaming or creative activities, you should get one that is over 15 inches. No matter which laptop you want to rent from one of the computer rental services, consider all the specifications and make an informed choice.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Author: Ken Scott
Simple Tips to Make Your Laptop Battery Last Long

Right at the moment you need your laptop for an important meeting, the battery is depleting and you can’t find an adapter to power it. There are ways in which you can stretch your battery power in the short term. To do this, you will need to activate the battery saver mode of the laptop. This will make adjustments to the settings of your laptop and convert the components into low power consuming states so that the battery lasts just a little longer.

Disable what you don’t need

Another step you would need to take is to disable or turn off components you don’t need. Anything that you don’t need like a drive, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth should be turned off to save battery life. You can go to the Device Manager in the Control Panel to do so. Multi-tasking, running many programs simultaneously heaps extra burden on your laptop or PC processor and draws extra power, so try and use one application at a time when you are short on battery life and have no adapter to charge the system.

You should charge batteries only to 80 per cent and then allow them to drain till they reach 40 per cent to prolong battery life by as much as four times. This advice of course has been contradicted because modern-day lithium ion and lithium polymer batteries don’t need you to be as careful. However, you should avoid plugging in at all times with the battery inside because constant power actually eats into the life of your battery, and heat causes cell expansion as well as bubbling.

Other simple tips to keep your battery in a good condition include making sure your laptop has been updated and defragmenting the laptop. Another way to save battery is to use solid-state drive or SSD that uses flash memory rather than a disk that spins. Some really easy solutions are adding some RAM or getting a power pack which can plug into your system much like a charger.

Battery maintenance

Maintenance of your battery is really important, and if your laptop has a battery that can be removed, you should ensure that the battery contacts should not be damaged or get dirty. You would need to clean the battery contacts with some cotton dipped in alcohol. However, if your laptop has a battery that has been sealed, you won’t be able to do the same. If your laptop isn’t in a good condition and you need one for immediate use, you could depend on computer rentals for your needs.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Author: Ken Scott
Encrypting Data on Your Computer

Encryption of data has gained importance in the wake of data leaks in top firms and the insecure world we live in. Encryption is not necessarily useful only for companies, it is also beneficial for individuals considering the amount of information we store on the cloud.

If you are using a laptop from a computer rentals firm, encryption becomes all the more important, especially when you use thumb or USB hard drives or use the Internet to share important data related to your research, for instance. Encrypting data on your hard drive is fairly easy; there are some applications that you can enable if your computer has Windows 7 (Enterprise or Ultimate), Pro, Vista or Windows 8 Enterprise version.

Some other applications don’t need your PC to have these requirements; choose one that is ideal. A good open source application allows you to create a ‘disk’ on the computer that feels like a typical disk on the PC. The same applies to the USB or thumb drives too.

VPN is very important

The most important encryption could be when you need to protect incoming and outgoing Internet traffic. This is particularly true if you are using a Wi-Fi network in a public place such as an airport where a hacker can easily hack into data that leaves and enters you laptop. You need a virtual private network or VPN to encrypt your Internet data. The VPN helps create a tunnel that is secure and leads to a trusted server which is a third party one.

If you use a file sharing network, you should know that the service encrypts data you share for you. However, they have the power to decrypt your data as well, under certain circumstances. If you want another layer of protection for your files in the cloud, you could again use an encryption software that can be installed in your cloud service.

Outlook and Office files

Email on your Outlook can be encrypted as well; it is not based on passwords but on receiving digital certificates which decrypt or encrypt messages automatically. Users would need to share these certificates before sharing messages that are encrypted. If you want to send mails that nobody else but your recipient can receive and read, you can use a browser-based application for encryption.

If you Office 2010 or 2013, you can encrypt any document by going to File – Info – Protect Document. Then click on Encrypt with Password. This applies to Excel, PowerPoint or Word. You can use the same method to encrypt your PDFs as well.

Monday, July 28, 2014
Author: Ken Scott
Simple, Time-saving Computer Tricks

Looking for some information on a web page and using the downwards arrow that scrolls quite slowly? It is a frustrating experience, but you can avoid it by learning some easy tricks that save both time and energy. How about using the space bar key to scroll through the page faster? If you hold down the shift key with the spacebar, you can scroll up the whole screen with one press.

Search faster

If you need to constantly log into an account, try using a password manager, which completes the details for you. It is also secure and you save time spent trying to key in the username and password. If you searching for something online, and have to type in the search engine’s url each time, you could avoid that and just type the search phrase or term into the browser bar. You automatically get results.

Also, when you need to search for something specific you vaguely remember was published in a website/online news site, you add “site:” to the specific domain, for instance, site:nytimes.com MH17.

If there’s a particular word you need to search on a web page or a document, you need to hit Ctril+F to type the word and you will get the results highlighted. If you tend to work in many programs simultaneously, maximising and minimising windows can waste a lot of time. It also lowers your attention spans, so the solution is to get another monitor.

It instantaneously makes it easy for you to get through your tasks. If you looking for monitors or computers for a business conference, you could always rely on computer rentals for the same.

Managing documents, programs, tabs

If you constantly use the same kind of documents, for instance invoices, you can save a document as a template, (for example, invoice template.docx) and reuse the part you want quickly, even as you save the original. If not, you tend to open a previous file of that kind (the invoice, for instance), edit what you want and then save it with a fresh name. But the trouble is you may accidentally retain details of the previous file in that.

Always make full use of the task bar. It is much easier to start a program that has been pinned to the task bar rather than look for it on the desktop or the start menu. If you have as many as ten tabs in your browser and you only need to focus on one thing at a time, all you need to do is click on the specific tab and drag it. It will get converted into a window of its own.

Thursday, July 24, 2014
Author: Ken Scott
How to Deal with an Infected Computer?

People these days do most of their work on laptops and desktops, saving important content and managing tasks. The presence of malicious bugs on your system can be quite strenuous, especially due to the concern of all the valuable information that is stored in the drives.

Things to do when your computer becomes infected

  • As soon as your computer detects malicious content, viruses or spy-ware on your system, the first thing that you need to do is to check if it is really the case. A lot of people end up deleting important files as the safety scanner has erroneously called it malware.
  • When trying to deal with the infection on your own, make sure that you are working in the ‘safe mode’. This is because; you will need the help of Internet to deal with the problem.
  • Have some sort of back-up for all the important files and content that you do not want to lose. This is because; sometimes the system needs to be formatted after the cleaning process is done.
  • Run the anti-virus software that you have installed on your system and get rid of the virus as quickly as possible.
  • However, if you are not sure about the removal of the virus or you feel that the damage has spread, the best thing to do is take your system to a professional computer repair shop.
  • The professionals will be able to heal your computer faster and with more precision. They will help you retrieve the files that have been damaged if possible and protect the rest of the content that has not been damaged by the malicious bugs.
  • Do not share any kind of content from your computer with other computers. Viruses and other malicious bugs are intelligent and have the psychology of real life viruses, and attack other devices as well.

You may feel out-of-depth if you have to send your computer to the repair shop for a few days. Things can come to a standstill, especially if you do not have an extra device to work on. This is where computer rentals can come to your rescue. All you have to do is let the providers know about the kind and type of computer you would like to rent. They also usually offer computers on rent for a single day as well as for  months, depending on your requirement.

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Monday, July 21, 2014
Author: Ken Scott
Yoga - The Revolutionary Laptop from Lenovo

Find flexibility, a 1080p touchscreen, and fully rotating hinges in an excellent Ultrabook with Lenovo’s latest release in Yoga 2. Make the best of Windows 8.1 with this 13 inch laptop that acts as a tablet as well. Priced at $900, Yoga 2 Ultrabook by Lenovo is a wonderful hybrid option.

Great flexibility

Launched with innovative flexible hinges, the screen on this nifty device can rotate 360 degrees. Flip fold the screen back, or form a tent when using it as a tablet, on video chat, watching movies or playing games.

Technical features

With higher resolution than its 2013 predecessor, the 13 inch Yoga 2 holds a 1,920x1,080 pixel touchscreen. Built with a fourth generation Intel processor, 4GB DDR3 SDRAM which runs at 1600 MHz, at 500GB storage capacity at 5,400 rpm and 16GB SSHD, the 13 inch Yoga 2 also sports a 1.6GHz Intel Core i5 4200U processor, QHD 3,200x1,800 resolution screen with 1792MB shared Intel HD 4400 Graphics card.

Fitted with 802.11n WiFi router, this laptop tablet holds 1 USB 3.0 and 1 USB 2.0 port respectively. Additional features include an SD card reader, stereo speakers, and Micro HDMI port. User friendly short keys to power shut down, volume rocker, and rotating screen lock enable better functioning in tablet mode.

Handy and portable

Around 0.7 inches thick, the body weighs in at 3.7 pounds or 1.7 kg, and is easily portable. An exceptional device for general use, this handy laptop when used as a tablet makes editing pictures, video clips, and playing games relatively easy and undemanding. The keyboard is backlit with an option to switch it on or off, while the touchpad supports multifinger gestures, and aids ease of swishing between windows and applications.

Battery life runs for about eight hours with basic online or general use and gives you around 7 hours and 15 minutes on video playback. Normal everyday use will get you around 6-7 hours of continued usage.

With top scores on mutlimedia multitasking tests, the 13 inch and 11 inch Yoga 2 models by Lenovo work brilliantly with media applications like music and image processors. The innovative option to avoid the keyboard heightens experience when watching movies or listening to music.

The integrated tablet is a great alternative for everyday use or even when traveling, an easy switch from laptop to tablet mode lets you continue working or keep engaged with applications when on the move. If you’re looking for a laptop rental, the Yoga 2 from Lenovo is a great option.