Multi-core CPUs have been a mainstay in PCs (and mobile devices) for over a decade. The innovation of having multiple cores in a single processor —each able to run software in parallel— has led to significant performance boosts. Quad-Core used to be the high end in consumer PCs, but now Hexa-Core chips are making it into the mainstream through computers like HP’s new Pavilion x360 Convertible. Here’s why you might want a Hexa-Core processor in your next PC.
There was a while there where it seemed PC Gaming (with the exception of RTS games and MMOs) was starting to fall off the face of the earth. While some of my friends remained steadfast (most playing Civilization IV, and V World of Warcraft or both,) I ditched my PC for consoles almost exclusively since high school. I've started to go back a bit, and I'm seeing that the game has changed so much. I can't live without a mechanical keyboard now, and I'm sure my wife appreciates her gaming mouse too. Developers are coming back too. Read my thoughts on the matter.
on 08-27-201412:33 PM - last edited on 09-04-201404:49 PM by BBYMartin
With Back to School, we know that assignments and projects will soon be a part of our lives as well. Use WavePad Audio Editing Softwareto create a professional audio track to will take your presentation to the next level.
Life is too short to spend it staring at a frozen screen. Stop waiting for your download, get rid of all those pesky cables and boost your current WiFi system with the Asus WiFi line of fast routers and USB Wi-Fi adapters that can handle 3D video streaming and gaming.
When you think of data backup plans, you may think of work, business and office solutions. However, home data backup is more important than ever —think of all your digital photos, personal e-mails and music that could disappear if you don’t have them backed up. For students, backup is just as important, if not more so. A crashed hard drive has turned into the new “my dog ate it” when it comes to late assignments, so you don’t want to be faced with trying to convince a teacher or professor that your hard drive did crash and take your essay with it. The idea of a backup is to make recovery as fast and as painless as possible, should you lose your data in any way. Here’s my take on the perfect backup plan.
on 08-04-201402:57 PM - last edited on 09-04-201411:53 AM by BBYMartin
I've said it before, I'll say it again, I am a headphone convert. Gone are the days when I slap any old thing over my ears and call that a listening experience. For the person who games or consumes other media on their consoles or PC's, features like surround sound and wireless, quick access to a mic, or simply, a next level sound quality for whatever you're watching or listening to, can make a big difference.I took a look at three of Skullcandy's offerings in the Gaming Headphone market and the results were positive indeed.
Apple recently updated the MacBook Pro with Retina Display, moving to faster processors, doubling the RAM in base-model configurations and dropping the price of the top-of-the-line 15.4-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display. Sounds good, but what does it all mean? How much faster are the new models? What’s the difference between a MacBook Pro, a MacBook Pro with Retina Display and a MacBook Air? Which one should I choose? How do Retina displays compare to the labels I see on Windows laptops, like HD and FHD? I’ll answer all of these questions and more as we explore Apple’s MacBook line of OSX laptops.
Apple computers have played an important role in many people's education for many years. In recent years, that emphasis has grown to include digital offerings like iTunes U —complete university courses offered through an app— and iBook textbooks for the iPad. Despite the advances in providing educationally focused digital content, Apple’s computers remain at the heart of its offerings. With so many choices, how do you know which one is the right choice for you? Should you pick an iPad or a MacPro? I will walk you through the options to help you buy the right Apple computer for your needs this year.
Laptops are a hot product right now as high school, college and university students start preparing for back to school. Best Buy has hundreds to choose from and I’ve already dished on five of my favourites. Now it’s time to leverage the power of Best Buy’s website, through the customer ratings and comments left by people who have bought specific laptops. We’ve combed through the ratings and put together another list of five laptop computers, this time based on your feedback. Without further ado, here are five of the best laptops on the market, as chosen by Best Buy customers.
As we hit the halfway point of summer vacation (for kids), back to school is starting creep closer. For many parents, that’s going to mean a mad scramble to find a laptop for their university, college high school or even elementary school student. But which one to choose? Best Buy alone stocks hundreds... I can’t tell you the perfect laptop for your student —the best advice I can offer is to make certain you understand your student’s requirements, research the options and don’t leave your choice until the last minute when popular models might be in short supply. To help you get started, though, here are my picks as some of the best laptops of the year for back to school.
Chromebooks —inexpensive laptops running Google’s Chrome OS— have proven to be extremely popular. Chromeboxes arrived after the portable versions but they’re now beginning to gain traction too. One of the most eagerly anticipated Chromeboxes is now available at Best Buy. Read on to see what my experience using the Asus Chromebox PC was like and whether this Windows PC alternative might be a good fit for you.
If you use a computer monitor, you know you can never have enough onscreen real estate. The bigger that display, the better. But you can also never have enough pixels, even if you aren’t gaming or editing digital photos. More pixels means more windows can be open and visible for greater productivity. The Asus PB287Q offers both of these advantages in a single, affordable unit: a 28-inch display and a 4K Ultra HD panel. That means a big screen and 4K resolution for a vast amount of space and information. And if you happen to be a gamer, the monitor has a 1ms response time, 60Hz refresh rate and a pushbutton “Game” mode. I just spent some quality time with the Asus PB287Q and after experiencing 4K computing at that scale, it’s tough to go back to the world of HD computing.
Alienware is a name synonymous with hardcore PC gaming. Whether you’re fighting off a Zerg swarm, adventuring your way to level 70 in Diablo 3 or freeing London of Nazi invaders in Wolfenstein: The New Order, the ultimate video game experience is on a PC and Alienware has long been a respected name among Windows gamers. And while gaming laptops offer a very good experience, to get the best, you need to go with a tower or desktop gaming PC. This is the form factor that has the space for the monster video card, the high performance CPU and all the other components that make a game look its best. Alienware has just released two new desktop gaming PCs that are available now at Best Buy: The Alienware X51-R2 and the awesome Alienware R4.
I see a lot of laptops come through my door and many of them try to impress with fancy sculpted cases and LED lighting effects. Granted, looking hot does get some points upfront, but after trying out my third Eurocom laptop in the past few years —this time the Shark 2— I’ve really come to appreciate this manufacturer’s approach. While the Shark 2 doesn’t look cheap, it is understated compared to many laptops aimed at the gaming and graphics professional crowd. It’s also a solid performer with a good display, high quality sound, a powerful Intel Haswell CPU and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M graphics card for gaming.
The video card is the single most important component for a PC that’s being used for video games, and offers a huge performance boost for many professional computers too. Replace a PC’s stock graphics card with a more powerful one and not only do games come to life, but the world of driving multiple monitors at higher resolutions is opened up and thanks to technology like CUDA (Computer Unified Device Architecture) other applications can take advantage of the added processing power. When it comes to raw power and performance, there’s nothing that can top the blistering ZOTAC GeForce GTX Titan Z, a single video card that harnesses the power of dual flagship Nvidia GeForce GTX graphics processors.
Today, a wireless keyboard is far more than just a computing peripheral. It can be used on-the-go with a tablet, for game-play and entertainment with a gaming console, and even as an integral part of the living room with a smart TV.
Intel doesn’t usually get involved in PC manufacturing. Components —especially the CPUs that power computers and mobile devices— are its bread and butter. But with the NUC (or Next Unit of Computing), Intel is going most of the way towards offering its own, intel-branded PC. I say most of the way because what you get out of an Intel NUC box isn’t a functioning PC, but a kit that provides much of what you need to build a capable computer, in a tiny package. Lacking essentials like storage, RAM, Wi-Fi card and an operating system, the Intel NUC is about as barebones as retail PCs get, yet its elegant design and powerful CPU make for a very capable little mini PC —once you assemble the pieces you need and install them.
Let your tween share all her fun moments with the SELPHY CP910 printer from Canon. This compact and portable printer is designed to print out all those selfies, instagram and smartphone photos using a wireless connection.
Get all those cherished photos out of the phone and into your photo albums or scrapbook . It’s the perfect gift for the tween girl in your life. Hand this over and you'll be the cool adult in her life.
As you no doubt know, when it comes to trying to pack the performance needed to undertake serious video gaming in a laptop, it comes down to a very tricky balance between speed and portability. Try to shove too much power in a gaming laptop and for all intents and purposes, it ceases to be a portable PC —heavy, bulky and with little battery life. Go too far in the other direction, though, and you end up with something that’s svelte but unable to play games on anything but the lowest settings. I just spent some quality time with a gaming laptop that manages to strike the perfect balance: the Eurocom M3. It’s a compact, lightweight laptop with the power to chew through pixels and polygons while keeping frame rates high. Eurocom says the M3 is the most powerful 13-inch notebook ever made and everything I’ve seen supports that claim.
on 04-30-201410:39 AM - last edited on 05-26-201403:48 PM by BBYLaura
Working from home is an increasingly popular trend. Doing so saves on office space, commute time and many of the expenses of having a team working in a centralized building. It can also be an attractive option for employees. I worked from home on a part-time basis for a decade and switched to full-time over five years ago —I can’t even picture going back to a traditional office. But if you’re going to make this work, you have to take it seriously (it’s not all coffee on the deck and hanging out with the dogs) and your PC is a central component. I’ve put together suggestions on how to set up your PC to work from home.
on 04-28-201409:16 PM - last edited on 04-29-201412:08 PM by BBYMartin
I recently got my hands on the Acer Aspire S7 Ultrabook and was impressed the moment I took it out of the box, and continued to feel that way as I ran it through its paces. It is a beautiful machine with a stunning display, very speedy performance, all in a very thin and light form factor. It is no wonder they call it the “professional edition” as the design of the S7 Ultrabook is very sophisticated. This machine is an able competitor that is worthy of very serious consideration for your next computer.
Recycling is always a good thing to do. It’s even better when you trade in old technology and get a rebate on new technology. Until May 1st, Best Buy is giving you a chance to do just that with router. Bring your old router to one of our stores and get $20 to apply to the purchase of one of the best new routers on the market.
Like many Canadians, I’ve spent the past few weekends spring cleaning. Something about being largely stuck indoors through a particularly long and harsh winter (including nearly a week without wired Internet access when an ice storm took out cable service in my neighbourhood) makes the first warm day of April seem like it’s past time to get things done. We open the windows, break out the rakes and start cleaning, indoors and out. Cars are washed, windows wiped and carpets shampooed. Since I have the cleaning bug anyway, this is the perfect time to clean my PC --also, both “inside” and out. The result will be a computer that’s faster, cleaner, more energy efficient, less cluttered and a pleasure to use.
Wireless networking can be confusing. There are many numbers and letters being thrown around and with Gigabit Wi-Fi just starting to appear in mainstream devices, there’s more arcane info than ever to keep track of. Dual-band, 802.11, a,b,g,n,ac, 1300/1900, 600/900, 2.4GHz, 5GHz, beamforming... What does it all mean? In particular, what is the difference between the previous top performing Wi-Fi standard (802.11n wireless) and the new champ (802.11ac)? In this post, I’ll break it down to the basics.
Razer Blade. Two words guaranteed to grab the attention of anyone who takes PC gaming seriously. The gaming laptop series made waves in 2013, landing on a slew of “best of” lists. The 2014 edition manages to be even more over the top, earning titles like “world’s thinnest gaming laptop” while offering performance that has to be seen to be believed. You’ll soon find the all-new Razer Blade gaming laptops at Best Buy (you’ll be able to pre-order them this week), including the impossibly thin and light 14-inch model with its 5.76 million pixels —the world’s highest resolution 14-inch notebook display.
April 8, 2013 marks the end of an era. Windows XP —the operating system Microsoft first released way back in 2001— will no longer be supported. Actually, mainstream support was wound down in 2009, but April 8 marks the official end of extended support. You can bet that a whole lot of cyber criminal types are eagerly counting down the minutes until Microsoft ceases to release Windows XP security updates. If you have a PC that’s still running XP, now is the time to take action. It may be bit of a hassle, but upgrading your machine to Windows 8.1 is going to save you a lot of potential effort and grief from an expected flood of malware targeting Windows XP machines. For many owners of older PCs, this event might even mark the point where it makes more sense to simply replace that aging computer with a new one and skip the OS upgrade routine altogether.
Chromebooks are one of the fastest growing computing categories. Small, lightweight and inexpensive these Google Chrome OS-powered notebooks have proven ideal for many users including students and small business. They’re great for home too. But what if you want the touchscreen experience that’s become a standard feature on Windows 8 Ultrabooks? You were pretty much out of luck on the Chrome side. Acer has filled that gap quite nicely with the new C720P Chromebook, an 11.6-inch device that combines the advantages of Google’s Chrome OS with a multi-touch display. It’s available now at Best Buy, but if you want a preview of what it’s capable of, I’ve spent some time putting a C720P Chromebook through the paces for a review.
SSD and HDD: Two acronyms you’ll frequently see during discussions of computers and their specs. What’s the difference between the two, which one is better and why is SSD showing up more frequently these days? In this post, I’ll tackle those questions and provide the details you need to make an informed choice when it comes time to choose between the two computer storage options.
Two things have radically transformed photography in the past two decades. The first of course, is the rise of the digital camera with its ability to take limitless photos and instantly see results without having to wait for film to develop. The second is the growing popularity of photo printers. Thanks to the ability of these machines to produce high quality colour prints on demand, photo labs have all but disappeared. Photo printers have only gotten better, with higher resolution, faster printing and features on some like on-printer editing with built-in LCD displays, super-sized prints and wireless access. There are plenty of photo printers to choose from, but here are five of the best to consider if your printer needs are less about pages of text and more about high quality pictures.
Chances are you’ve heard of a Chromebook —the hot new category in affordable, mobile computing— but what the heck is a Chromebox? The cardboard box a Samsung Chromebook ships in? Does it have anything to do with Battlestar Galactica and Cylons? No to both. Chromebox is the natural extension of the Chromebook, taking Google’s Chrome operating system and using it to run a compact, portable and affordable alternative to a traditional desktop Windows PC. The Chromebox isn’t for everyone, but when it comes to a desktop PC that features near instant boot-up, built-in security, the ability to work on documents and spreadsheets using free (and offline-capable) apps plus a complete web experience, a Chromebox is an appealing option.
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Get the latest news, reviews and how-to’s from tech enthusiasts across Canada and learn how technology can enhance your lifestyle. Looking to eliminate techno stress? You've come to the right place!