How-to: ‘MakeUseOf’ Guide – Buying Laptop Computers 2012

MakeUseOf Guide - Buying Laptop Computers 2012MakeUseOf Guide – Buying Laptop Computers 2012
By Matt Smith, http://smidgenpc.com/
Edited by Justin Pot

I was going to write the second part of the article started last month when I discovered the folks at technology site MakeUseOf.com  had done the job I was going to do:

“This 2012 update is debuting half-way through the year, but there’s reason for that. We’ve timed this release to co-ordinate with Intel’s Ivy Bridge release. Though it is not a complete re-design, it will change what you can expect from a new laptop.”

This is less about telling you what to buy and more about giving you the tools to make an informed choice.

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How-to: Laptop Buying Guide Part One

Laptop buying guide part oneHere we are, almost a year on from the last article on the subject. Perhaps, like me, you have the tag “knowledgeable friend” when it comes to technology? Constantly giving out free technical advice on what kit your friends and family need to buy? To help out, here’s another post on choosing the best laptop or netbook.

The value in this list lies in asking just what kind of machine you’re looking for based on the computing needs of the person it’s for; no point buying a high-end games machine for your granny who only emails and Facebook’s twice a week. You get the picture.

When choosing your ideal laptop, there are a few things to really consider: Continue reading

Opinion: Where Next Chromebook?

Acer ChromebookI’m promoting a conversation with Chromebook Enthusiast from a previous post in order to look further at the implications of the Chromebook Price cut.

“The Chromebook is a great concept as a thin client… for education, in the classroom, with Internet access, and access to my VDI infrastructure, it’s a very compelling solution. The total cost of ownership is really nice. They’re also not throwing in the towel just because the price is dropping. They’re actively developing new products, enhancing the operating system and management systems.” [Chromebook Enthusiast]

CE: granted the concept is sound, particularly where the infrastructure is in place to support the Chromebook with reliable, always-on Internet connectivity. You may be right in that the education market may save it. But only if it achieves momentum through market penetration. It has to reach into education, business and consumer markets in order to continue. I recall from my education we had the RM Nimbus and the BBC Micro, neither of which could resist the home and business market domination of the IBM PC clone. Perhaps it’s a bad comparison, but one sector by itself will not guarantee continued sales. Continue reading

How-to: Travel in Safety with Technology

Laptop beach picture Creative Commons Photo by Giorgio Montersino on FlickrI find business trips bring on a whole Obsessive Compulsive Disorder that I don’t suffer at any other time. Stressful enough as train stations and airports are, what with trying to get somewhere on time, I develop a whole set of nervous ticks and anxieties; checking bags and pockets twice a minute, searching for ‘free wi-fi’ signs, mains electricity sockets, looking over the shoulder to see who’s eyeballing my phone or laptop. Neurotic? Probably. But so far I haven’t been hacked or suffered loss or theft whilst travelling so I must be doing something right. Right?

Holidays are just as bad, when you relax and switch off from your normal routine, you forget the potential hi-tech dangers that travelling and connecting online present. These are the things I recommend for staying safe as a hi-tech traveller. Continue reading

Chromium-OS on Dell Mini-10

The good news is that there is a new build of Google’s Chrome OS for the Dell Mini 9 and 10, courtesy of Dell themselves. The better news is that the wireless connectivity now works on the live USB and Dell gives the plaudits to Broadcom for providing drivers.

I tried the old live USB release a while ago and determined to have another go now that the official Chrome-book laptops have been announced. If you go to the Dell site you can find an updated build from May 13th.

The verdict? It’s a Chrome web-browser…

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The Mighty Atoms

Netbooks (mini notebooks) have been on the market for a few years now. As ultra-portable budget PC’s you can’t go wrong.

Almost all netbooks are powered by an Intel Atom processor of some sort; a few VIA chip-sets are still around, their numbers declining as the performance couldn’t match the first and second generation Atom.

The common Atom models are the N270 and N450 both single-core processors using a similar core and instruction set…

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