Making the jump to a new computer over the holidays? Maybe a new Windows 8.1 powered Ultrabook, or perhaps going all in on the tablet experience with a Surface Pro 2? That leaves the question of what to do with your existing PC. No worries there, we’ve got plenty of ideas on how to recycle your old computer
The festive holiday season is coming and that means for many of us, a lot more things added to our To-Do list. Shopping lists need to be made, the table needs to be set, family to be contacted, photos to be shared and so much more. Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium has a lot to offer not only to you but to your entire family and it all starts by saving you money. To help you be ahead this holiday season and to ease off the stress, use these five (5) helpful tips to make your holiday season a fun and memorable experience. All you need to get started is Office 365.
byBradMoon11-21-201307:09 AM - edited 11-21-201307:09 AM
Not everyone loves Microsoft’s touch-centric, tablet-friendly Windows 8 operating system, but regardless of how you feel about the new Windows, you have to admit that it’s led to some very interesting new products from PC manufacturers. Convertible laptops, tablets running Windows and various hybrids abound these days. The new Sony VAIO Tap 11 Tablet PC is one of those interesting devices made possible by Windows 8. The machine is basically Sony’s take on Microsoft’s own Surface Pro 2. It’s a tablet powered by an Intel Core i5-4210Y CPU, with a big and bright 11.6-inch display that wouldn’t look out of place on an Ultrabook. It runs Windows 8, it’s compatible with standard Windows PC software like Microsoft Office and packs a fast 128 GB SSD for storage. It has a keyboard —one that’s wireless instead of attached and doubles as a protective cover. In short, in the VAIO Tap 11 Sony has released a Windows 8 device that packs the power of a PC in a tablet form factor, that’s less than 1 cm thick. Read on to find out if it fulfills the promise of covering off both your tablet and portable PC needs.
byBradMoon11-15-201311:25 AM - edited 11-15-201311:25 AM
If you haven’t caught the 4K bug yet, take one look at an UltraHD TV and you will. Computer users aren’t left out of the spectacular view, either. Best Buy will be carrying 4K computer monitors and the first one is already in stock: the Asus PQ321Q. If you’re a digital media professional, just imagine what you could do with a single display that offers 3840 x 2160 resolution. That’s 8 million pixels, or the equivalent of four full HD displays all on a single screen. And I don’t have to tell PC gamers what this means. Finally, you can make full use of your monster graphic card and enjoy video games at a resolution that’s almost photo realistic.
There’s a challenge facing anyone completing their home computer set-up: what’s the difference between laser printers and inkjet printers, and which one is right for me? Both types of printers have their own strengths and weaknesses. Here are a few helpful tips to making that choice an easy one.
The wireless technology world has been buzzing about new 802.11ac hardware options. The benefits are compelling, new smartphones and tablets can connect to these super-fast access points and they’ve already made their entrance into both the consumer and business environment.
So what do you need to know about D-Link 802.11ac solutions, and how are they different from competitive hardware?
byBradMoon10-31-201304:07 PM - edited 11-05-201310:15 AM
There is a lot of terminology being thrown around these days when it comes to W-Fi. Descriptions like Gigabit Wi-Fi, 802.11ac, MIMO and Gigibit Wi-Fi were touted by manufacturers at January’s Consumer Electronics Show and some of the acronyms and numbers have already started showing up on products like wireless routers. The good news is that Wi-Fi continues to get faster and able to handle higher demand for bandwidth. That’s a big deal now that everyone is carrying around smartphones and tablets, watching streaming videos at home and battling for supremacy on Xbox Live. Heck, there’s a chance that even your thermostat now uses a Wi-Fi connection. A slow Wi-Fi network leads to frustrating experiencess like choppy video, interrupted Internet radio streams, slow loading web pages and lag in online video games. The downside to this faster Wi-Fi? There’s a lot of confusion over the terminology being used and what it actually means. The point of this post is to try to cut out the confusion and decipher the marketing speak so you can make an informed choice when it comes to planning for your next generation Wi-Fi needs.
byBradMoon10-30-201308:51 PM - edited 11-03-201311:48 AM
When you use a computer every day, a huge part of your experience is visual. Having a PC that’s not quite as powerful as the latest machines or an Internet connection that’s a bit slow can be annoying, but few things are worse than having to stare all day at a poor quality monitor. Of all a computer’s components, that monitor tends to stick around the longest, too. So if you find yourself in the position of buying a new computer display, do yourself a favour and upgrade to an IPS monitor. Looking at the two side by side, there’s no comparison between IPS vs LCD. Your viewing experience will be significantly better with IPS, particularly when it comes to viewing angles and colour reproduction. Invest in IPS and you won’t cringe at the thought of using that monitor on your next computer too.
When it comes to innovative and flexible computing solutions, few companies do it better than Lenovo. The latest in its line of convertible touchscreen laptops is the aptly named Flex 15 —a device that combines a traditional notebook with the flexibility of a multitouch display that can pivot up to 300 degrees. The adjustable form factor takes full advantage of Windows 8’s multitouch interface and makes the Flex 15 a capable machine that handles a wide range of tasks from typical computing uses to presentations or viewing movies. This flexibility, its powerful 4th generation (Haswell) Core i5 processor, long battery life and big 15.6-inch display make the Flex 15 a solid choice for small business use, a home PC or for students. With its affordable price and ability to combine the functions of several devices into one, it makes an ideal gift too.
Good news for Mac and PC owners —both Microsoft and Apple have recently released free updates to their computer operating systems, Windows 8.1 and OSX 10.9 Mavericks, respectively. Millions of computer users will be rushing to download the latest and greatest OS versions, looking to take advantage of the new features and system enhancements. I’m particularly looking forward to OSX 10.9’s enhanced support for multi-monitor Mac setups. Before you click that INSTALL button, there are a few precautions you should take to ensure a painless experience. Both Microsoft and Apple have this upgrade thing pretty much down pat by now, but sometimes the unexpected can happen and being prepared can make all the difference between smooth sailing, a minor hiccup or a hair-pulling “throw the mouse at the wall” disaster.
If the WiFi in your home or office isn’t living up to expectations, look no further than D-Link for a solution. The world’s largest manufacturer of WiFi gear has the answer for pretty much any challenge you might face. WiFi dead zones, poor signal strength, lack of range, congestion, slow loading websites, stuttering video, online video game latency issues? Replacing or supplementing your existing WiFi networking equipment is a quick and easy solution that can remedy these common problems. Even better, with routers and adapters supporting the new 802.11AC standard, you can upgrade your existing network from solid to smoking fast. Here’s an overview of the latest offerings from D-Link, all of which are either available or coming soon to Best Buy.
on 09-06-201311:21 AM - last edited on 11-06-201309:54 AM by BBYLaura
One of the great things about this gig is the opportunity to test some really amazing technology. Not just cool new gadgets like the latest smartphone, tablet or Ultrabook, but cutting-edge new gear that really changes things up. The Leap Motion Controller is one of those devices. It’s a rather unassuming looking little thing, but plug it into your PC and suddenly your way of interacting with the computer has completely changed. Think Minority Report or Tony Stark manipulating the information on his displays using just hand gestures. If you think the analogy is far-fetched, Tesla’s Elon Musk uses Leap Motion Controllers as part of an ultramodern, Ironman-inspired 3D design studio for his SpaceX project. After having the opportunity to plug a Leap Motion Controller into my own computer and use a number of apps, it is easy to see how the technology is becoming the platform for these great advancements ... You’ll soon be able to buy the Leap at Best Buy and try it out for yourself.
byBradMoon08-31-201312:38 PM - edited 09-12-201311:03 AM
In the previous four segments in our series on building your own gaming PC, we covered off the basics, the reasons for building your own instead of a buying a rig, the video card and the processor and motherboard. We’re now winding down and discussing some of the more important supporting components: the hard drive, optical drive, RAM and the power supply.
Using a computer mouse is second nature to many of us –even in these days of touch-enabled computer displays and Windows 8— but many mice favour style or portability over ergonomics, resulting in wrist strain when mousing for extending periods of time.
The Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Mouse is designed to combat this problem. It’s a bit odd-looking (think a big ball with a thumb rest and scroll wheel), but it really is comfortable to use. It’s also wireless and includes a Windows button, for quick access to Windows 8’s Start screen. It’s obviously an accessory that’s designed with Windows in mind, but it worked fine on Macs running OSX 10.8 as well –at least once I figured out that the mouse does require use of the included USB dongle since it’s not a Bluetooth model.
byBradMoon08-30-201310:47 AM - edited 08-30-201310:48 AM
With kids of all ages heading back to school, the question of a laptop is on the minds of many parents. Do they need one? How powerful should it be? Does it need to be a Mac or a Windows PC? Would a tablet do instead? The technology can be overwhelming, there are seemingly endless choices to make and the wrong call can be expensive. I’ve put together a FAQ about back-to-school laptop shopping that covers off some of the most commonly asked questions. And if you have one that’s not in the FAQ, put it in the comments and I’ll do my best to help you out.
When Microsoft launched Windows 8 last fall, it knew it was running the risk of alienating some users. Windows 8 —with its tablet-inspired interface– was designed to bridge the gap between PC and mobile operating systems and this meant upsetting the status quo. If you’ve installed Windows 8 and found some of the features aren’t quite to your liking, or if you’ve been scared off of making the switch after reading about the confusion some users have experienced, take heart. Microsoft has been listening. The preview version of Windows 8.1 is available now (a free upgrade for Windows 8 users is schedule for an October release). The latest Windows version improves on some features, adds some brand new functionality and yes, Windows 8.1 features the long-awaited return of the Start button.
byhootie08-25-201310:41 PM - edited 08-26-201308:30 AM
Dorm rooms are very tight spaces so it is important to not only figure out the essentials of what to bring, but also find space-saving versions of those essentials. I am not qualified to talk about linens, clothes, furniture and the like, but I can give you some ideas on what electronics to be considering, and some pretty good choices.
Being a student today is about being plugged in to technology, but when it comes to connectivity, “plugged in” is out and wireless is in.
Many college and university dorms are offering WiFi to students and if you rent a townhouse or apartment with friends, a wireless router is often installed before a TV or stereo makes it into the new place.
But when your WiFi isn’t up to par, suffering from spotty coverage or slower than expected speeds, it can cut into your productivity and put a damper on your fun.
The good news is there’s an easy and inexpensive solution that will fix many of these common WiFi problems: a WiFi Booster.
Everyone assumes a hard drive crash will never happen to them or a laptop/tablet will never be stolen. Both happen more often than we realize. Whether you are using a laptop, desktop or tablet, backing up your data makes sense.
Protecting all those valuable summer memories takes only a few minutes.
A funny thing happened on our way to the paperless office. Not only did paper not go away, but it’s just as popular as it ever was.
What did shake things up was mobile, though. With smartphones, tablets and an increasingly connected world, being able to print from a mobile device no matter where you are is a big thing. You might receive a critical document on your smartphone while in a meeting, need to print out a contract from your laptop while in a coffee shop or want a hard copy of a product brochure you’re looking at on your tablet at home —being able to print wirelessly and easily makes things much more convenient. That’s why HP’s ePrint is such a big deal. It lets you wirelessly print on the go from your mobile device, sending your print job to HP network printers, ePrint-enabled printers and even thousands of HP public printer locations.
September is fast approaching and we all know what that means: back to school! While that used to entail hitting the office supply store for pencils, paper and erasers, today’s students are just as likely to be searching for a new PC. While there’s nothing wrong with a desktop system, a laptop computer is often the better choice for students. These systems are portable, compact, they give up little compared to many desktop PCs when it comes to performance and they have sharp LED displays. While Best Buy stocks dozens of laptops to cover off any requirements, here are a few of my picks as some of the best laptops for students.
byBradMoon07-30-201308:00 AM - edited 07-30-201308:00 AM
It’s been a few weeks since the last installment, but it’s time to get back to our series on building your own gaming PC. The most recent segment covered the video card, while the first two provided an overview of the basics involved and asked the question: Buy or build? This round, we’re covering two of the more critical components in any PC, the motherboard and the processor. While the video card is obviously critically important to any gaming rig —these PCs are typically being used for graphically intense purposes after all— the processor and motherboard also deserve careful consideration.
on 07-29-201306:19 PM - last edited on 11-01-201304:24 PM by BBYJorge
With the current emphasis on convertible laptops —devices that slide, twist, bend and otherwise transform between the usual laptop form factor and a touch-friendly tablet configuration— you’d think there wouldn’t be much room for yet another contender. However, the Acer Aspire R7 15.6-inch Touchscreen Laptop does its multiple configuration trick in a way that’s more useful than many other hybrids. Thanks to a large display, a very stable “Ezel” hinge and solid feeling aluminum construction, the Aspire R7 is a laptop that easily adjusts to virtually any work or viewing preference, while offering a pivoting touchscreen that makes it more comfortable to take advantage of Windows 8’s touch interface. An oddly placed trackpad is really the only thing that prevents this from being close to the perfect portable workstation.
Sony’s Vaio line of ultra-portable PCs has a long and stellar reputation for delivering cutting edge style, performance and a brilliant display —and packaging them up into the most compact form factor imaginable. The new Sony Vaio Pro 13 Ultrabook takes these principles to the extreme. The carbon fiber case makes this the world’s lightest 13-inch touchscreen Ultrabook, while the latest technology (from a full HD Triluminous IPS touchscreen display to fourth generation Intel Core i5 CPU and a 128 GB SSD) mean the machine has the power to perform, while conserving space and battery.
on 07-09-201302:30 PM - last edited on 07-17-201308:55 AM by BBYLaura
If you weren’t convinced that online security is something you should never take for granted, then the news over the past month about government monitoring of web activity and e-mail probably made you take notice. However, it’s not the government security agencies that most of us should be worrying about, it’s our day-to-day web use. We’re on PCs, tablets and smartphones doing everything from sending e-mail to updating Facebook, paying bills and buying stuff. The problem is, we’re often doing so through insecure networks, taking advantage of free Wi-Fi at a coffee shop, mall, hotel room or quickly plugging in at work. Doing so leaves us vulnerable to everything from credit card theft, to having accounts hacked and online history tracked. The good news is effective security for all your web browsing needs, on all your devices, is available by running SurfEasy’s VPN (the same company that offers the SurfEasy Private Browser USB Key).
One of the most highly anticipated app releases for iOS has finally happened. You can now access and edit Microsoft Office documents on your iPhone! There are catches, however. For one, although you can use Microsoft’s new Office Mobile app on an iPad, it isn’t optimized for the larger display —so you have a choice of magnifying it, or running it in the middle of the screen with a lot of empty space. And, although the app itself is free, it requires an Office 365 subscription to do anything. Still, for many people this will be worth it, eliminating the need for third-party apps that always had tradeoffs.
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