I spend the majority of most working days researching and writing. But I also have frequent periods where I have the opportunity to put some of the latest high tech gear through its paces. That is one of those “cool” aspects of my job. What people don’t always realize, though, is that this gear usually has to go back, and that can cause severe withdrawal symptoms. Not so cool. Case in point, I just had the opportunity to review a new Philips 40-inch widescreen 4K Ultra HD monitor. This is a beautiful piece of equipment and something that would be a real benefit to me. But it had to go back. While I ponder whether my office budget could be tweaked to support an upgrade like this, here are my thoughts on this behemoth of a computer monitor.
Summer is the favourite season for many people, but in parts of Canada summer also means thunder, lightning and severe weather. That can be bad news for delicate electronics like computers, TVs and game consoles. Summer is also a peak demand time for electricity and that can lead to power brownouts and blackouts. Throw construction in the mix—another source of summer power outages—and it makes sense to take measures that ensure your gear isn’t damaged or offline when you really need it. Here’s how to protect your tech during thunderstorm season.
on 06-24-201504:59 PM - last edited on 06-25-201504:05 PM by BBYMartin
Cleaning your PC both physically and digitally can be as essential to keeping everything running well as dusting your home or checking the oil in your car. A little routine maintenance can go a very long way indeed yet it is something many people neglect. With just a little routine TLC your computer can be kept running like new for many years and it doesn't even have to be much work if you have the right tools for the job
Should you bring a laptop with you on your holidays? Many people would argue against it, saying that technology has no place on a vacation, especially one where you’re spending time outdoors or where there are kids involved. I’m sorry, but the genie is out of the bottle in terms of technology intruding on trips and kids are smack in the middle of it all, whether it’s a smartphone, tablet or handheld game console they’re clutching. My suggestion is to embrace technology and bring your laptop. With a few tweaks, it can become your mobile vacation entertainment hub, perfect for keeping your sanity during those inevitable downtimes.
byGadjo06-15-201507:40 PM - edited 06-16-201507:14 AM
Apple doesn’t just make computers and mobile devices, they create entire ecosystems for getting work done, creating projects as well as enjoying audio and video entertainment. Here are some Apple products that can help make the most of the summer.
Laptops are the ideal travelling devices. They make it possible for us to stay connected, be productive, and keep entertained. Here are some tips for travelling with a laptop and making the most out of your investment.
byLeo_Bond06-09-201505:23 AM - edited 06-20-201509:01 PM
If you're curious about the effectiveness of the Guardzilla Wireless All-In-One Video Security System, read on for all of the details. Inside I discuss features, specifications, and just how well this low cost security system performs. You'll hear about a few bugs, but you'll also hear about a system that has the potential to be the answer to your home security needs!
For the past few weeks, I’ve been exploring the ever shrinking PC. From the Ultrabook to the mini PC, computers have gotten smaller with every generation. However, in this final series post, I’ll look at PCs that have resisted the trend and seem unlikely to get the mini treatment any time soon.
My wife was away at a conference last week and as she FaceTimed us to show the kids the view from her hotel room and then each evening to check in on their day at school, it really hit home how much we can make use of technology to keep in touch with our distant loved ones. And it’s not just when travelling or special occasions. When I think about it, the computers in our home have become the hub of interaction with distant relatives and friends. This connection has gone far beyond what a telephone ever offered, and by taking advantage of those capabilities a PC can help to make long distance relationships feel like personally interacting with someone on a daily basis.
Setting up an office in a compact space used to be a lot more challenging than it is now. For one thing, there were a lot more wires and cables to deal with in those pre Wi-Fi days, but space was also a major issue. PCs were bigger, but so were the peripherals essential to a home office. Keyboards were massive, external hard drives were in enclosures that dwarf those of today and a laser printer practically needed a desk to itself. Thanks to advances in miniaturizing components, some of these devices are even available as portable units now. In this latest installation on the evolution of the PC from room-sized appliance to today’s mini computers, I explore shrinking PC peripherals.
Computers keep getting smaller, to the point where they can now fit in a hand. A mini PC is great for those of us who appreciate the extra desk space. But the one component every PC needs—the monitor—is showing no signs of getting smaller. In fact, PC displays keep getting larger. The average size of a PC monitor (worldwide) is expected to hit 21-inches this year, while the demand for super-sized displays of 27-inches and up is growing. When everything else about your PC is shrinking, why is display real estate booming?
Computers have been shrinking since the day they were first invented. Early computers filled entire rooms, so the release of the personal computer—the PC—was a major breakthrough. A computer that would fit on a desktop! We’re at the point now where a mini PC small enough to hold in one hand can run all your Windows software and even drive a 4K monitor. Here’s a look at the developments that have made the mini computer possible, along with new technology that will help your PC continue to downsize even as it gets more powerful.
byGadjo05-27-201506:17 PM - edited 05-29-201508:29 AM
Mobile devices have always been focused on personal communication. First, it was voice calling, then text messaging and then services like BBM (blackBerry Messenger) and chat using various apps. Now we're keeping in touch with video apps on tablets and smartphones.
The release of several ultra-portable PCs over the past few months has taken the laptop form factor to new extremes. The new Apple MacBook, Dell’s XPS 13 and Lenovo Yoga 3 are so svelte, they actually weigh less than the battery alone from a late 1980s vintage Macintosh Portable. I’ve put together a timeline showing some of the key advances in technology that have helped us move from a 10 kg PC in a suitcase to a device weighing 1 kg or less.
on 05-19-201507:38 AM - last edited on 06-23-201512:04 PM by BBYMartin
We post data online, or send it via our phone, yet this information is often just lost in space. In fact, some people say this generation will be one of lost memories. Nero is a solution to save memories and at the same time make more out of them. Read to learn more about how Nero can help you make the most of your digital memories.
on 05-11-201507:34 PM - last edited on 05-12-201510:00 AM by BBYMartin
Keyboard cases have been important accessories that can convert touch-focused tablets into decent subportable notebook replacements. Not only do they protect tablets, they also add QWERTY keyboard capability while freeing up displays for typing. Here are some outstanding keyboard case solutions.
Build 2015 was the developer conference where Microsoft showed off the progress it’s made on Windows 10. With Continuum, Windows 10 could well be the first truly universal operating system while Visual Studio is going to provide the power to compile iOS and Android apps for the Windows environment. HoloLens provided the “wow” factor and Microsoft Edge was unveiled as the official name of the Explorer web browser replacement. Microsoft says the company is focused on changing user expectations, moving from an era where people needed to use Windows, to an era where they want to use Windows.
on 05-01-201503:52 PM - last edited on 06-23-201512:09 PM by BBYMartin
Microsoft has been around for a very long time. There was a time when they were mainly known for their work in operating systems, and desktop software. Microsoft has expanded beyond those offerings to deliver exciting and innovative hardware too. I still remember the first Microsoft Mouse very fondly, and since then they’ve gone on to bring us game consoles, more PC accessories, the Surface, and more.
When it comes to tablets that convert to a laptop and back, ASUS was early to the game with its Transformer Book series. They combine a standalone tablet with a dock-able keyboard cover offering the best of both worlds. The first Transformer Books were Android only, but with the T100, the Transformer Book joined the Windows 8.1 camp. I recently spend a few weeks with one and came away convinced it’s not a bad little device for the price.
In a previous post I made the case for using a tablet as your sole device. Ted Kritsonis argued for going all in on a smartphone. This time around, I’m arguing on the side of a laptop. If you can carry one device and one device only, it’s tough to beat an old-school portable PC, especially if you need to be productive.
If you want to start a heated discussion among the IT crowd, what kind of computer is better for Internet security is one of the those flashpoint questions that’s guaranteed to get a reaction. There are some very strong opinions and preferences that are bound to come out. I’ve been part of many such conversations at the corporate, personal and research level, and the fact is that the hardware you choose can impact your online computer security. Here’s what you need to know.
It is not at all uncommon to be reluctant to replace your gadgets. Reasons can range from budgetary concerns, comfort and familiarity with what you already know, or even sentimental value. We have a tendency to want to hold on to what we have for as long as we can. With gadgets this can most often extend to our peripherals. While people often understand the virtue or replacing a computer, for example, they will often do so while holding on to the same printer, scanner, monitor, keyboard and mouse for many years, through the lifecycle of several computers. Of course this isn’t always as easy as it sounds, and there can be some challenges in store for those wanting to continue using certain peripherals as they change to newer computers over the years. It can become difficult to see the advantages to upgrading to something new rather than holding on to what you already have as long as it’s working too. Let’s take a look at some common peripherals and some of the challenges involved with keeping the old, as well as some of the benefits of upgrading to something newer.
Most consumer tablets have displays in the 8-inch to 10-inch size range. Microsoft tapped the prosumer and professional market when it released the big-screen Surface Pro line of tablets that convert to a PC laptop form factor. HP—one of the world's largest PC manufacturers—offers its own take on that the 2-in-1 convertible laptop form factor. The Envy x2 13.3, a very big Windows tablet with features Surface fans will find familiar, namely a kickstand, digital pen support and a magnetically attached keyboard cover. The approach is familiar, but the Envy x2 is a different beast from the Surface Pro (and new Surface), as I found out during my review period.
The first gaming laptop my wife ever brought home must have taken up half of our coffee table and weighed about as much. The second she owned was a little thinner but almost as heavy. The HP Omen's size pales in comparison to those two monstrous laptops and that's a good thing. As thin as many of today's laptops and weighing less than 5 pounds, the HP Omen defies our conventional belief of what a gaming laptop should look and feel like. That's just the beginning. Come take a look.
byRajio04-18-201510:28 AM - edited 04-18-201501:09 PM
The beauty of the standard desktop PC is its open architecture. The idea is that people should be able to choose from interchangeable parts from a variety of manufacturers and swap them as they see fit. What this has meant for me is that not only have I been able to build myself desktop PCs myself, which is surprisingly easy to do by the way, but I have also been able to upgrade and augment my systems over the years to extend their lifespans. Desktop PCs may be the ideal situation for somebody looking to keep their tech relevant as they can focus their attention on upgrading the components they need and make little changes over the years rather than having to wait for obsolescence then investing in a net new machine.
As CyberLink prepared to launch the latest version of our best-selling PowerDVD software (PowerDVD 15) we noticed that the way people consume media was changing quite rapidly. Naturally we wanted to better understand the habits of our many tech savvy users so we can anticipate their needs and ensure we are always providing them with the very best software solutions.
byBradMoon04-17-201511:09 AM - edited 04-17-201505:34 PM
A new laptop is an investment. It costs you money and it costs you time—you have data to transfer, software to install and settings to get just right. So it makes sense to put a little effort into extending the life of an existing laptop, especially if it’s one you’ve grown fond of. The key is to know when to walk away and just buy a replacement instead of throwing good money after bad. That’s not always easy to do. I have a few examples of going to extremes to keep a laptop relevant that hopefully will help when it comes time to make that decision yourself.
Lately I’ve been on a bit of a kick with gaming laptops. They’ve really been coming in to their own as of late. There are so many great options and people’s interest in having enough PC muscle to game, in a laptop form factor is definitely increasing. For most people something like an Ultrabook or Chromebook is basic enough to get work done day to day, but when you want to do multimedia creation, or enjoy the latest PC games without having to sacrifice on graphics or performance, a gaming PC is tough to beat. If you can get the power of a gaming PC with the mobility of a laptop you’ll have something that has been the dream of many gamers for years. These days it’s not that farfetched and you have a few options. The latest model I’ve looked at is the Electra 3 from Eurocom. I’ve been a big fan of Eurocom’s laptops in the past so I was curious if this latest model would continue their winning streak.
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