Steps to Finding the Best Laptop for You

Laptops are all but finished in a tech market filled with tablets and mobile devices. There are still functional advantages that laptops can provide that tablets simply can’t. For this reason, people are still shopping for laptops on a daily basis.

Finding the right laptop for you can be a tough decision to make. There are thousands to choose from which many different sizes, weights, features, and performance levels.

Step 1: Decide what you need it for
Performance –
If you are just looking for something to browse the internet, check email, and pass the time watching YouTube videos, you probably just need something very basic in the $200-$400 dollar price range. Most entry level processors can handle basic applications quite efficiently.

If you want to be able to run more demanding applications such as Photoshop, then you should look for at least something in the middle range. An Intel Core i5 or a good Core i3 with at least 8GB of ram should be plenty.

Gamers who want to be able to play games on high settings should consider a higher end Core i7 quad core with at least a Geforce 760M dedicated graphics card. Notebookcheck.com is a good resource for understanding performance differences between processors and graphics cards.

Step 2: The search – after you decide what you need, you can begin your search for the perfect laptop. You can start by simply browsing Amazon.com or checking a laptop filter/review site such as this one. It will quickly help filter out laptops which don’t meet your criteria.

Step 3: Compare - Once you have your choices narrowed down to at least 4 laptops, you can start weighing slight differences such as number of USB ports, weight, thickness, and most importantly, price.

Other considerations:

Features – Some …

Chromebook Sales beat out Macbook and Android tablets

Computing sales numbers from NDP group has Google Chromebook with 9.6% of computer sales from January to November of 2013. This figure beats Android tablet sales by 1% and demolishes Macbook sales by almost 9%. What does that tell us? For one, people seem to be interested in Chrome OS which is huge for Google. The most obvious factor in the success of the Chromebooks is the low price – consumers now have a sleek and portable option for a laptop starting at $199 from various brands such as Samsung, Acer, and HP.

[NPD Group]…

Xbox One Reviews are Making Rounds

xbox oneReviews of the Xbox One have started making their rounds. The general consensus seems to be that it’s set to be a great system after some patching and exclusive releases like Titan Fall hit the shelves in a few months. We have yet to get our hands on one for our own review, but we are looking forward to it this week.

Here are a few peaks to get an idea of how the initial reviews are going:

Mirror
“Microsoft’s monolithic black box won’t win any design awards but it’s a different story underneath that functional exterior. Much has been made of the company’s multimedia ambitions for the Xbox One, and while the lack of integration with Sky and Virgin Media is a blow, you can still plug your set top box into the back of the console and multi-task, watching live TV in a window on the side of the screen while playing video games at the same time.”

Time
“If it’s successful — and I’m not saying it will be; ask me again in four or five years — it has the potential to change everything about TV and streaming media and the living room as we’ve known it for decades.”

Boing Boing Score: 8/10
“If you need guidance, all I can suggest is to be patient. The Xbox One and the PS4 are similar, and both have unexciting launch titles. If you’re not sure which to get, wait a week or two; see what games get good buzz from players as well as critics. If you’re not sure whether to get either, there’s no harm waiting until there’s more to do with the next-gen consoles, period, before making a choice. And if you’re waiting for validation on a decision you’ve already made: go buy it already. The …

Are People Getting Finally Getting a Grip on Windows 8?

windows8-metroIt’s approximately been 1 year and 3 months since the release of Windows 8. Ever since that release it seems that the majority of people are still complaining about Windows 8. Just browsing PCs on amazon, I found many 1 star reviews on the devices themselves because of Windows 8 (please people, learn how to review a product).

It took me all of 15 minutes to get a grip on Windows 8. Basically hitting the Windows key or dragging down to the left corner brings you to the equivalent of the start screen. The only other trouble I had was quickly navigating to the control panel. Solution? Browse to control panel on metro screen or windows key + X to bring up a list of system options. It’s honestly not very difficult to transition over to Windows 8 from Windows 7.

I personally think that these are the same people that complained about Windows XP when it came out – and if it where up to them, they would still be stuck with Windows 98.

 …

ASUS ViVoBook S500CA-DS51T Review

ASUS-Viviobook

The ASUS ViVoBook S500CA-DS51T is one of ASUS’s latest 15 inch laptop offerings. It is a good mid range laptop that is designed for the everyday user.

Performance

The ASUS ViVoBook S500CA-DS51T is ran by a 1.7GHz Intel Core i5 CPU. This is a dual core CPU that handles windows 8 just fine. The laptop comes with 6GB of RAM. While this may be adequate for most users, some people may find that it is worth it to upgrade to 8 or 12GB since RAM is pretty inexpensive and easy to install. To install RAM, you simply take off the RAM cover located at the bottom of the laptop and slide the new RAM stick in. Some people may find this task easier than others.

You get 500GB of hard drive space. This is enough to store a lot of media and many people will not have any issues running out of space.

If you are a gamer, you will be able to play most games on medium settings. One user reported getting about 60 frames per second with medium settings on Counter Strike Source.

Design

As far as looks are concerned, the ASUS ViVoBook S500CA-DS51T highly resembles Apple’s MacBooks. The shell is silver aluminum and the frame surrounding the display is a glossy black. Many laptops out there have a plasticy cheap feel, this one does not. It is made up of high quality materials and the laptop feels like it is durable and built with quality in mind.

If you do a lot of data entry and accounting, you will be pleased to know that this laptop does have a number pad. Asus did a really good job fitting the number pad in next to the keyboard while maintainging a more compact size.

The ultra thin profile and …

Samsung UN55F8000 Review

UN55F8000-2The Samsung UN55F8000 is one of Samsung’s latest LED TVs. It is a 55-inch LED 240Hz 3D smart TV with a sleek design that is different than what we have seen with previous Samsung releases.

Picture Quality

Out of the box, the picture quality is already superb with the Samsung UN55F8000. You can tell they they have done a better job with the factory settings on this model. While some tewaking may still be necessary, many users will be happy as it is out of the box.

One of our favorite aspects of this unit is the micro dimming technology. The micro dimming technology allows the TV to fine tune the black levels which enhanced detail greatly. Micro dimming can individually alter one of thousands of mini LEDs on the screen. It can darken or lighten the LEDs, or even complete shut them off in order to produce the deepest blacks possible.

Many people will be happy to hear that there is no light bleed around the edges as this is not an edge lit LED. This is a full backlit LED that is definitely a notable improvement over the edge lit displays.

Te refresh rate is 240Hz to eliminate motion blur. This is great for action movies, sports, or video games.

Pros

  • Outstanding Design
  • Micro Dimming
  • Superb Picture quality
  • Built in Camera
  • No edge bleeding

Cons

  • The stand may be to wide for some TV stands.

All in all, the picture quality is remarkable.

Features

It is safe to say that the Samsung UN55F8000 has all of the bells and whistles that you can expect with a top of the line Samsung TV. The built in WiFi gives you access to the Smart Hub. There, you will be able to download all of your streaming apps and other useful …

Acer Aspire V5-571PG-9814 Review

Acer Aspire V5-571PG-9814If you are looking for an affordable Windows 8 touch screen laptop, there is a good chance you have come across the Acer Aspire V5-571PG-9814. This laptop was designed for the typical user looking to run non-graphics intensive programs efficiently. For a 15.6 inch laptop, it has surprisingly good portability with its light weight (5.5lbs) and a battery life of up to 5 hours. Once you can get past some initial quirks that may come with this laptop, there is very little to complain about.

Performance

The performance is perfectly suitable for a student, office worker, and everyday user. The Intel Core i7-3537U processor allows you to run many programs at the same. It also comes with 8GB of ram so there is no need for any ram upgrades. 8GB of ram on Windows 8 goes a long way.

The graphics card is a NVIDIA GeForce GT 710M which may seem like a gaming card, but it’s not. If you are looking for a gaming laptop you will probably need to shop 1 or 2 price tiers higher to get anything that can run the latest games smoothly. This graphics card can handle HD videos and probably some older/lower graphics intensive games which is expected for the price.

Many manufacturers seem to overestimate the battery life in their specs. However, the battery life does in fact last up to about 5 hours with continuous usage.

The one issue some people are having with this laptop is WiFi connectivity issues, but it can be fixed very quickly and easily with the most updated drivers from Acer. Just make sure you uninstall the atheros driver in the network adapter settings, reboot, and install the new drivers.

Acer Aspire V5-571PG-9814-content

Design

The Acer Aspire V5-571PG-9814 meets the “sleek and slim” standard that most new laptops …

VIZIO E401i-A2 Review

If you are looking for an affordable smart TV, there’s a good chance you came across the VIZIO E401i-A2 40 inch LED Smart TV. At under $500, it may come as no suprise that this is one of the more popular VIZIO Smart TVs. In this VIZIO E401i-A2 review, we will go over the features, the design, and some of the ups and downs of this TV.

Smart TV Features

One of the most notable features for the VIZIO E401i-A2 is the built-in WiFi and Internet apps. More and more people are cancelling their cable service due to the availability of streaming shows and movies from apps like Netflix and Hulu. Other popular apps include Pandora, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. The Vizio app interface gives you easy access to all of these services. One improvement we think Vizio can make is the speed of the apps. We are so use to having things load instantly on our smart phones or TVs, that it is easy to notice the slightest delays in the app interface. Smart TV capababilities is still somewhat new in our Televisions and there is no doubt that there is room for improvement in just about any SmartTV. Given the price of the VIZIO E401i-A2, this is not that big of a concern.

Design

The VIZIO E401i-A2 features the E-Series slim frame design.The thin frame surrounding the TV is a nice improvement over previous models. This leaves less room for distraction and greatly improves the overall viewing experience.

The profile view is also thin to add to the sleekness of the design.

Pros

  • E-Series Thin Frame Design
  • 120Hz Refresh Rate
  • Affordability
  • Built in WiFi and Apps

Cons

  • Slight delays in the App Interface

Display

The 1080p high definition resolution combined with a 120Hz refresh rate results in a sharp image. …