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 05-19-201512:07 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.
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.
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.
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!