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.
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.
byBradMoon04-23-201310:21 AM - edited 04-23-201310:21 AM
Microsoft’s Windows 8 is a thoroughly modern take on the PC operating system, employing a radically new user interface that makes the most of touchscreen gestures. It helps to bring the desktop (and portable) PC into a new era, while offering a high degree of UI continuity between tablets, smartphones and computers. Windows 8’s highly tablet-influenced approach of colourful, Live Tiles that greet users from the new Start screen won over a lot of doubters, but at the same time this radical new look confused some longtime users. Windows 95 this isn’t. It looks as though Microsoft is planning to extend an olive branch with reports that the “Start” button is set to make a comeback when Windows 8.1 is released.
byBradMoon03-20-201306:28 AM - edited 03-20-201311:00 AM
There’s been considerable excitement over Google’s move to bring its popular Chromebooks to Canada, including the announcement that Best Buy Canada will be carrying the Samsung Chromebook XE303C12. However, with the product line being so new to this country and Chromebooks in general just starting to take off in the market, there is some confusion about why someone would choose a Chromebook over other options like a regular PC laptop. This comparison between three of the primary classes of portable computers is intended to help you understand when a Chromebook might make a better choice than buying another laptop or an Ultrabook.
byBradMoon02-13-201301:16 PM - edited 02-14-201311:34 AM
Once you’ve had your new laptop for a few months, you’ve probably got it configured just the way you like it —everything looks great and does exactly what you want. However, after four or five months you may start to notice your computer’s not quite as peppy as it first seemed. There’s no need to panic, though —just as cars need an occasional tune-up, your laptop also benefits from a bit of basic maintenance. It takes very little time, effort or money, but you’ll be glad you did it when the zip is back.
Whether you’ve chosen a Windows PC, a Mac, a desktop system or a notebook, you should be taking advantage of the cloud. Think of all the files you have sitting on your computer, tablet or smartphone right now: movies, music, photos, documents, spreadsheets —you name it. There are probably thousands of them. The cloud isn’t just the easiest and cheapest way to back up all these files, it’s also the way to share them or access them from other computers.
The last time Microsoft released a new version of its ubiquitous Office suite was three years ago with Office 2010. With the recent release of Windows 8 —the new PC operating system that bridges the divide between traditional computers and the latest tablet user interfaces— Office was also due for a revision. Customer trial versions were released in July, 2012, leading up to the 2013 launch. I’ve had the opportunity to test the final version of Office 2013 (the exact same version that will be appearing on store shelves shortly) and there’s a lot to like about it. Close integration with SkyDrive (Microsoft’s cloud based file storage system), an optional touch-friendly interface, improved multimedia support and a simplified, “flatter” looking interface are among the upgrades to look forward to.
One of the greatest things about how quickly technology changes is how you really never run out of choices. And although choice is a great thing, it can be a bit overwhelming when it comes to purchasing a computer. With the Holidays on the way (and because you may have someone who’s asked Santa for a new laptop), there’s never been a better time to brush up on amazing Ultrabooks.
Ultrabooks share a few common characteristics, among them the fact that they’re razor-thin and ultra-light. As an example, the Samsung Series 9 Ultrabook measures a slight 0.6 inches thick and weighs just over 3 pounds. When you consider how often you have to take a computer with you when you’re on the go, having it barely weigh down your bag is seriously appealing.
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