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.
When you think about it, there is an incredible diversity among laptops. There are a surprising number of options available for under $300, but you don’t have to look hard to find one priced at several thousand dollars. Why the huge price range? There are laptops and ultrabooks to meet virtually every need, preference and budget. That means an amazing variety. Choice is good, but it requires careful consideration when it comes time to choose a new portable PC, because all laptops are not created equal.
When it comes to a desktop PC, we tend to focus on high profile features like the display and the CPU. However, one of the things we take for granted—the lowly keyboard—can actually have just as much impact on how productive you are, or how much you enjoy using a computer. The good news is that the keyboard is one of the most easily (and inexpensively) replaced components of your PC, and there are plenty of options to choose from. Bluetooth, mechanical, backlit, full-sized, portable ... which computer keyboard is right for you? I’ll explain the options and help you choose.
on 04-13-201501:08 PM - last edited on 04-16-201501:13 PM by BBYMartin
USB-Type C is a new and exciting evolution of input for PCs, mobile devices, and peripherals. It is the latest iteration to the Universal Serial Bus (USB), which has been the standard for connecting to printers, scanners, external drives and flash drives, as well as for connecting to and charging most of our smartphones and tablets.
on 04-09-201501:13 PM - last edited on 04-09-201501:20 PM by BBYMartin
Working from home can be both liberating and lonely, no matter how much you do it. Productivity is always a factor when it comes to getting work done, and working the way you should. Take a good look around your home office and you’re likely to think of a few things that can make it better.
Tired of dragging your computer to the living room to play your home movies for visiting friends and family? Looking for "anywhere" access to your photos? Need a simple computer backup solution? It's time to look at adding Network-Attached Storage (NAS) to your home. But what is it, and which one is right for you?
When was the last time you got excited about a new printer? Colour laser printers, multi-function printers that also scan and fax, high quality inkjet photo printers and wireless connectivity are pretty much taken for granted these days. 3D printing is another story. This cool technology lets you print physical objects. 3D printers have been improving rapidly, moving from industrial and hobbyist status toward mainstream. Each generation gets more capable, more compact and more affordable. The third generation Cube 3D printer (from 3D Systems) will be arriving soon at Best Buy and I got to spend a few weeks putting a review unit through its paces.
It's time to upgrade from my old router to something new, but is the unique and spider-like D-Link AC3200 Ultra going to meet the needs of a harcore gamer in a household where everyone is connecting to the Internet and hogging the bandwidth?
If you are like me, you probably never thought of getting a large widescreen monitor, but having tried a couple out my entire perspective has changed. A widescreen monitor is like having two monitors in one, with the added benefit of being able to watch movies or play games with an entirely different experience. Sure, they are pricier than those standard format monitors that most of us have, but these widescreen monitors are a joy to use and can really improve your productivity. If you are in the market for one, here is a comparison of three very good candidates; and if you are not in the market for one you should be soon.
One of the more popular Windows Ultrabook options in recent years has been the ASUS Zenbook series. Thin and lightweight, with instant visual appeal, Zenbooks offer a premium portable computing experience at a reasonable price. ASUS sent me their latest, the Zenbook UX303LN—with its ultra high resolution 3200 x 1800 pixel display—and a powerful Core i7 CPU. This is one handsome Ultrabook with features and performance that ensure it stands out for more than just looks.
Best Buy—along with tech expert Marc Saltzman and representatives from Microsoft and Intel—held a Twitter party last week. The purpose of the #SpringTechChat Twitter session was to give people the opportunity to ask the questions that will help them make the best choice possible when they buy their next laptop. I sat in on the event and was blown away by the volume, scope and quality of questions that came firing in during the hour. For those of you who missed out, I’ve done my best to capture some of the themes I spotted among the conversations along with some of the more interesting topics
Benjamin Franklin was famously quoted as saying that “in this world nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.” Super uplifting and not at all depressing, right? Ugh. It’s the kind of sentiment that makes you want to bury your head in the sand isn’t it? Well don’t. As disturbingly accurate as this quote may be, I’m here to offer up some tips and tools that will help you make this year’s tax season as painless as possible. I’ve also included some advice from a finance pro that will come in handy this year and for many years to follow. So let’s dive in, shall we?
Yesterday I posted details about Dell’s award-winning XPS 13 Ultrabook. It’s a great little ultraportable with a beautiful display. What if you want a premium Windows notebook with that same Quad HD+ resolution, but a 13-inch display is just too small? No worries, Dell also released the XPS 15, a full-sized, premium laptop that boasts a fantastic 3200 x 1800 touchscreen display.
One of the hottest new laptops at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show was the Dell XPS 13. Even now, three months after CES, the XPS 13 is still in the spotlight, frequently referred to as one of the great laptops of 2015 and Dell’s MacBook Air killer. With the XPS 13 now available at Best Buy, it’s worth taking a deep dive to learn what all the fuss is about.
Join us at Best Buy Canada this Wednesday March 25th from 8pm to 9pm (EDT).We’ll be joined by "Tech-sperts” fromMicrosoft,Intel Canada and special guest Marc Saltzman who will share their tech insights and best buy recommendations for the perfect 2-in-1s, tablets and PC accessories. They are primed and ready so bring your questions and let’s have a conversation.
PC Gaming is arguably the most popular it's been in almost 2 decades. Boasting features you can't get on consoles (including more powerful components) has there been a better time to make your next gaming choice a PC?
My home office is what I consider to be a pretty good computer room. It has everything I need, including the computer, an ergonomic chair, stereo, colour laser printer and a LEGO General Grievous perched on the desk (not everything in a computer room needs to be functional). It’s a pretty good setup. But it’s not the ultimate computer room. To get to that stage, you have to plan well and invest in some top notch gear. If you happen to be planning your version of the ultimate computer room, I’ve put together a list of things that I’d consider must-haves.
When buying any PC, memory and storage are important. With a laptop, even more so, since upgrading after the fact may not be an option. You want to get it right, but there are lot of acronyms, numbers and technical terms in play. In this piece I’ll cover off what you should know about memory and storage when buying a laptop, including RAM, VRAM, ROM, SSDs and cloud storage.
Microsoft set the standard for convertible laptop PCs when it released the Surface Pro 3. But the success of the latest Surface also opened the door for competition from other PC makers. The HP Envy x2 is a great example of how this class of ultra-portables just keeps getting better. With features like an even bigger 13.3-inch display, dual BeatsAudio speakers and a backlit keyboard, the HP Envy X2 is worth a look for anyone considering a Windows 8.1 convertible PC.
on 02-24-201509:01 PM - last edited on 03-24-201504:52 PM by BBYMartin
Being a laptop user for years, I haven’t had much need for a monitor or so I thought until I recently tried out the LG 34UC97. It made me realize how much utility that a laptop user can get out of a monitor, especially an extra wide screen that allows you use the display in many ways. I also recently tested out the new Dell U3415W Monitor, and discovered how it makes the computing experience much better, while providing a lot of flexibility. Here’s why I really liked it.
There are some beautiful and powerful laptops out there, especially if you have an unlimited budget. Trying to keep things more reasonable—under $1,200 for example—it can be pretty tough to get both performance and looks in one package. The Dell Inspiron 7000 Series 15.6-inch touchscreen laptop is one of those rare PC notebooks that offers both specs and looks, without breaking the bank.
The display is one of the most important features to consider when choosing a new laptop. The display is the way you’ll be interacting with that laptop, so getting it right is critical. Resolution, size, aspect ratio, glossy or matte, touchscreen support, viewing angles, brightness, colour accuracy, response times—there are a lot of factors to consider. Pick a laptop with the wrong display and you’ll quickly dread using it. But at the same time, if you want a portable PC for casual use, you also don’t need to pay extra for a professional grade display. Buying a laptop? Here’s what you should know about displays.
on 02-13-201502:00 PM - last edited on 03-24-201504:53 PM by BBYMartin
As a dedicated laptop user I am not used to using a separate monitor, but I got a chance to test out LG’s new 34” LCD monitor. This wide-body monitor was so impressive I felt like I have been missing something for years. So much so, it made me definitely want to add this display to my laptop, which already has a very decent built-in retina display. The LG made my laptop dance in a way it never danced before, while making its small display feel very amateurish.
When buying a laptop, there are some features that get all the attention: the display, for example and the CPU. Something that doesn’t always get the focus it deserves is connectivity. Ignoring this can have serious ramifications when it comes to actually using a new laptop—connectivity is not something that should be taken for granted. So when it comes time to buy your next laptop, here are the connection options you should consider.
One of the most confusing aspects of buying a laptop is the processor, or CPU. It’s not difficult to figure out which CPU a laptop has—in fact, processor specs are one of a laptop’s primary bragging points. But what does it all mean? Is AMD better than Intel? What’s a core and what’s the difference between having two (dual-core) four (quad-core) or six (hexa-core)? How can one Intel Core i5 CPU be so much faster than another Intel Core i5 CPU? The answers to these vexing questions and more as I outline what laptop buyers should know about processors.
Given the amount of money we spend on things like smartphones, tablets and PCs it’s understandable that physical protection—cases, covers, screen protectors and laptop bags—are big business. What’s on these devices is often overlooked, though. If your basement floods and your PC is submerged you can buy a new PC. If you haven’t backed up the data on that computer’s drive, you have a much bigger problem and files like your digital photos, school work and music could be gone for good. Don’t let that happen. Here’s how to protect your data like a pro.
There will come a time when a new PC is in your future. Maybe it’s your first, or maybe you’re moving on from an older computer that just didn’t make sense to upgrade. Making the decision to buy a new PC is one thing, but picking the right one? That’s a lot tougher, especially when you begin to wade through all the specs and promotional material. Don’t make your choice based on who has the best marketing department. I’ll help you to choose your next PC like a pro, so you end up with a computer you’re happy with.
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