How to buy the right Apple computer for school

by Blogger ‎07-30-2014 01:04 PM - edited ‎07-30-2014 02:09 PM

Which Apple for school preview.jpgApple 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.  

Read more...

Best laptops as chosen by Best Buy’s customers

by Blogger on ‎07-29-2014 03:33 PM - last edited on ‎07-29-2014 05:07 PM by Editor in Chief

Preview.jpgLaptops 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.

Read more...

Best laptops for Back to School

by Blogger on ‎07-22-2014 04:50 PM - last edited on ‎07-23-2014 09:09 AM by Editor in Chief

best-laptops-feature.jpg
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.

Read more...

Asus Chromebox review: the “world’s smallest Chrome device” has big potential

by Blogger on ‎07-20-2014 08:41 AM - last edited on ‎07-21-2014 02:43 PM by Editor in Chief

Chromebox preview.jpgChromebooks —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.

Read more...

Asus 4K monitor review: PB287Q puts over 8 million pixels on your desktop

by Blogger on ‎07-19-2014 09:46 AM - last edited on ‎07-22-2014 02:01 PM by Editor in Chief

Asus preview.jpgIf 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.

 

Read more...

Alienware’s desktop gaming PCs: introducing the X51-R2 and the R4

by Blogger on ‎07-10-2014 04:32 PM - last edited on ‎07-11-2014 02:48 PM by Editor in Chief

alienware-duo.jpgAlienware 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.

Read more...

Review: Eurocom Shark 2

by Blogger ‎06-30-2014 02:20 AM - edited ‎06-29-2014 06:21 PM

Eurocom preview.jpgI 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.

Read more...

ZOTAC GeForce GTX Titan Z: The Ultimate High Performance Video Card

by Blogger on ‎06-23-2014 12:00 PM - last edited on ‎06-23-2014 01:44 PM by Editor in Chief

Zotac Preview.jpgThe 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.

Read more...

From Tablet to TV: Microsoft’s All-in-One Media Keyboard

by Blogger on ‎05-29-2014 11:28 AM - last edited on ‎05-29-2014 11:53 AM by Editor in Chief

microsoft all in one keyboard-lead.jpg

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.

Read more...

Intel NUC Review: Big Possibilities in a Tiny Package

by Blogger on ‎05-26-2014 08:20 AM - last edited on ‎05-26-2014 11:20 AM by Editor in Chief

ncu preview.jpgIntel 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.

Read more...

Review: Canon SELPHY CP910 printer is a lightweight, portable, wireless printer

by Blogger on ‎05-15-2014 11:12 AM - last edited on ‎05-20-2014 11:20 AM by Editor in Chief

SELPHY-CP910_Tweens-02.jpgLet 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.

Read more...

Eurocom M3 13.3-inch gaming laptop reviewed

by Blogger on ‎04-30-2014 03:28 PM - last edited on ‎05-06-2014 10:28 AM by Editor in Chief

M3 preview.jpgAs 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.

Read more...

How to set up your PC to work from home

by Blogger on ‎04-30-2014 10:39 AM - last edited on ‎05-26-2014 03:48 PM by Best Buy Best Buy

Home Office Preview.jpgWorking 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.

Read more...

Review: Acer Aspire S7 Ultrabook Professional Edition

by Blogger on ‎04-28-2014 09:16 PM - last edited on ‎04-29-2014 12:08 PM by Editor in Chief

Acer Aspire S7 Side.jpeg

 

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.

Read more...

Recycle your router and save at Best Buy

by Editor in Chief ‎04-28-2014 03:11 PM - edited ‎05-02-2014 01:41 PM

routers.jpgRecycling 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. 

Read more...

Spring cleaning your PC

by Blogger on ‎04-27-2014 01:47 PM - last edited on ‎04-29-2014 11:23 AM by Editor in Chief

PReview.jpgLike 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.

Read more...

Wireless ac versus wireless n: what gives with these Wi-Fi standards?

by Blogger on ‎04-18-2014 11:11 AM - last edited on ‎04-28-2014 05:08 PM by Editor in Chief

802.11ac preview.jpgWireless 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.

 

Read more...

Razer Blade laptop preview: the world’s thinnest gaming laptop

by Blogger on ‎04-14-2014 09:35 AM - last edited on ‎04-15-2014 11:31 AM by Editor in Chief

Preview.jpgRazer 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.

Read more...

Windows XP support ends: don’t panic, but do take action

by Blogger on ‎04-07-2014 11:47 AM - last edited on ‎04-16-2014 11:40 AM by Editor in Chief

 

Inspiron.jpgApril 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.

 

Read more...

Acer C720P Chromebook Review: Adding Touch to the Chromebook Experience

by Blogger on ‎03-31-2014 05:29 PM - last edited on ‎04-04-2014 03:36 PM by Editor in Chief

Acer PReview.jpgChromebooks 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.

Read more...

SSD vs. HDD: The Scoop on Storage

by Blogger on ‎03-30-2014 03:15 PM - last edited on ‎04-04-2014 03:17 PM by Editor in Chief

SSD vs HDD preview.jpgSSD 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.

Read more...

Top 5 photo printers

by Blogger on ‎03-27-2014 07:18 PM - last edited on ‎04-04-2014 02:24 PM by Editor in Chief

Photo Printers preview.jpgTwo 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.

Read more...

Chromebox overview

by Blogger on ‎03-24-2014 01:26 PM - last edited on ‎03-25-2014 04:56 PM by Editor in Chief

Chromebox Preview.jpgChances 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.

Read more...

Introducing the amazingly fast router from Linksys, the WRT1900AC

by Blogger on ‎03-21-2014 06:07 AM - last edited on ‎04-14-2014 08:51 AM by Editor in Chief

Preview.jpgYou’ve heard the rumours: Linksys is a releasing monster new Wi-Fi router. The most powerful to hit the market yet, featuring four antennas, a dual-core 1.2GHz CPU, 256MB of DDR3 RAM, Wi-Fi speed of up to 1,900 Mbps, eSATA and USB 3.0 ports, plus support for Linux and open source firmware. The highly anticipated Linksys WRT1900ac is expected to launch on April 10 and you can get it first at Best Buy! You can beat the rush and pre-order the hottest home router ever starting today. To tide you over, here’s a quick preview of what you can expect from the iconic black and blue beast —look for a review here in April.

 

 

Read more...

The 411 on Shredders

by Blogger ‎03-20-2014 01:51 PM - edited ‎03-20-2014 03:21 PM

Fellowes PowerShred 10-Sheet Micro-Cut Shredder-2.jpgIdentify theft is a growing problem in Canada.  All thieves needs to steal your identity is one or two pieces of personal information -- information that is easily taken from your garbage from old bills, receipts, invoices and other mail.

 

Protect your identity and make your home and office secure by shredding all your important documents,

 

Here's the 911 on documents shredders.

Read more...

Business laptops: designed for getting work done

by Blogger ‎03-18-2014 10:54 AM - edited ‎03-18-2014 10:54 AM

Lenovo 530.jpgWhat makes a business laptop? What a business (or a professional user) needs in a laptop is going to vary depending on who you ask and the nature of the industry they’re in, but there are some characteristics most business laptops have in common. Generally speaking, a business laptop is powerful enough to take the place of a desktop PC with a display that’s good enough to take the place of an external monitor for hours at a time. It’s able to run software such as Microsoft Office, has the storage capacity for plenty of documents, it’s durable and it has a high quality keyboard. Other factors such as a full complement of ports and connectivity options, battery life and pre-installed software like Microsoft Windows 8 Pro may also come into play. Here's what else you need to know before deciding on a business laptop.

Read more...

A trio of Logitech computer accessories reviewed

by Blogger on ‎03-12-2014 05:28 PM - last edited on ‎03-13-2014 03:35 PM by Editor in Chief

Logitech Preview.jpgAs good as your PC or laptop might be, you can make it even better with accessories. A wireless keyboard, a touch-enabled mouse or a set of powerful external speakers will improve your experience without having to upgrade the computer itself. And few companies can match Logitech when it comes to computer accessories —in quality, design or sheer selection of products. I recently had the opportunity to try out a trio of Logitech’s latest: the Logitech Ultrathin Touch Mouse, TK 820 Wireless Keyboard and Z600 Bluetooth speakers. Here’s what I thought of them.

Read more...

Gaming laptops: it’s all about speed (and portability)

by Blogger on ‎03-10-2014 05:31 AM - last edited on ‎05-06-2014 05:26 PM by Editor in Chief

Gaming laptop preview.jpgWhy would you buy a gaming laptop? If your idea of playing games on your PC is Candy Crush, then you wouldn’t. But if your idea of fun is piloting a 24-foot tall Titan or taking on a Zerg swarm and you want to do it on the go (or in the smallest space possible), then you want a gaming laptop. These mobile PCs are small enough to serve as a compact all-in-one PC gaming rig, but also offer the advantage of portability. They will dramatically outperform a typical laptop or Ultrabook when it comes to video games because they are designed with one thing in mind: speed.

Read more...

An Introduction to Chromebooks

by Blogger ‎03-06-2014 11:24 AM - edited ‎03-06-2014 11:25 AM

Chromebook preview.jpgThere’s a lot to like about portable computers, but Google and its hardware partners like Samsung, Acer and HP found a way to offer a light weight, lower cost alternative to the traditional Windows laptop. Chromebooks are a hot category of portable computers that run Google’s Chrome OS instead of Windows or OSX. With Chrome’s lower hardware requirements and the ability to leverage Google’s cloud services, a Chromebook can offer a full-featured PC experience in a device that’s lighter and less expensive than traditional PCs, without the limitations of netbooks. They may not be ideal for everyone, but Chromebooks are designed to cover many scenarios and are particularly useful for students, road warriors, small business and those looking for light duty home PC.

 

Read more...

Review: Linksys AC1900 Smart Wi-Fi Wireless Router

by Blogger on ‎02-28-2014 04:57 PM - last edited on ‎02-28-2014 06:29 PM by Moderator

Lynksis Preview.jpgWireless routers are the unsung heroes of the home Wi-Fi experience. We tend to buy them, set them up, then forget about them. Yet the performance of that network isn’t just a matter of the speed you get from your ISP, it has everything to do with that wireless router. If you haven’t updated yours in a few years or you’re lucky enough to have devices using the new 802.11ac Wi-Fi spec, it may be time for an upgrade. And the Linksys AC1900 Smart Wi-Fi wireless router would be a solid choice. After replacing my own wireless router with the Linksys for a week, I came away impressed with its performance and network management tools —and I don’t even have anything that takes advantage of its 802.11ac capabilities.

Read more...

Announcements
Welcome to the Plug-in Blog!
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!
Bloggers
Top Kudoed Authors
User Kudos Count
3
Labels