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726216 microsoft windows 8.1 upgradUpgrading to Windows 8.1

Published in Laptops/PCs/Apple by paul_smart on Oct 21, 2013
For anyone not using touch I feel that Windows 7 is where you should be. However as most new machines now come with Windows 8 I gave up a night’s sleep to go through the long and torturous process of upgrading from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1.
A silvery bronze colour is a good start as it looks far better than a shiny black offering. This notebook is rapid in response and if you do want Windows 8 then it must surely be with ‘Touch’ so this could be exactly what is required.
If one is upgrading from an older 4 x 3 monitor, or even a smaller wide screen display, it pays to consider the current generation of LED backlit larger screen units which will provide an improved user experience. With its 1920 x 1080 (HD) resolution the 23 inch AOC i2360 fits the bill both in size and performance.
Gigibyte are best known for making motherboards for both desktop and notebook computers. They also make rather good notebooks as the motherboard is itself perhaps the single most important component in the notebook.

710715 Archos 97 Titanium 9 .7 inch HD TableArchos 97b Titanium

Published in Laptops/PCs/Apple by paul_smart on Sep 23, 2013
This is an Android device the screen size you might guess from the title is 9.7 inches. The colour is creamy white rather like those of another manufacturer whose name is taken from a popular fruit.
This is a rather nice book reader however it can be far more as it is Android based, so you can surf the WWW and collect your emails however for some reason not quite all the content of the Android Play Store is currently available.
This is a large 1920x1080 panel. In fact the 27inch size is larger than most TVs were not that long ago, however the newer LED technology means that’s displays stay crisper and blacks stay clearer whatever the display size.
This is a thin and light Windows 8 notebook that boots very quickly and for me anyway cures the problem of fingermarks around the screen by making the whole thing in silver grey rather than the standard shiny black finish.
Now that virtually all of us have either a smartphone or a tablet computer – or possibly both – we are increasing finding that our fingers are really too large when it comes to accurately keying in all types of text. The STM Tracer DeLuxe Stylus + Pen, provides a useful all round tool for paper as well as those devices which use capacitive sensor technology for input.

704890 acer aspire XA Mini Desktop

Published in Laptops/PCs/Apple by mfereday on Aug 29, 2013
It almost crossed my mind that I had been forgotten by Acer with regards to review products when an offer arrived to check out an Aspire model. I was reasonably impressed.

707018 HP Pavilion 14 c002sa ChromebooHP Chromebook

Published in Laptops/PCs/Apple by paul_smart on Aug 26, 2013
Earlier this year I had a look at a Chromebook from Samsung, here what at first glance looks a fairly similar offering from HP. Could a Chromebook be a real alternative to using a notebook with the Microsoft Windows operating system?

704516 Acer Aspire V5 571G Core i5 Windows 8 LaptoAcer Touch Notebook

Published in Laptops/PCs/Apple by paul_smart on Aug 12, 2013
Finally manufacturers seem to be releasing a good range of touch notebooks. As far as my tests are concerned this is the only real reason to ‘upgrade’ to Windows 8. While I have reviewed large panels with touch why would you sit so close as to be able to use it.
The PCTV T2 290e Nanostick supports both ordinary Freeview and Freeview HD. Connected via a USB2 port it is a convenient way of adding TV and PVR facilities to a PC. Being both small and light it is ideal for those with limited space who would like their PC to double up as a TV and as a PVR.
Kingston are a large supplier of memory, here I am looking at a large capacity micro SD card, but first a card reader for a range of cards. A lot of people do not know that certain versions of Windows will not read USB3 card devices.

697210 hp envy ts23 all in one touch screen desktop PHP Envy TS 23

Published in Laptops/PCs/Apple by paul_smart on Jul 15, 2013
The most recent notebook I reviewed had Windows 8 – sadly without touch – it also had a Gigabyte motherboard. This is an All in One PC from HP with Windows 8, touch and it has a Gigabyte motherboard and even a TV tuner.
Duplicating a drive is something that can normally only be done by specialist software and certainly not from within Windows. Here a piece of hardware that can duplicate two bare drives or a single bare drive and one connected via eSATA or USB2.
My first flat panel was 1600x1200 and had a 4:3 display. When I moved to 1920x1080 and 16:9 – where I have been since it initially looked strange – now Philips have a 16:10 and at 1920x1080 this is weird but install the software and view at 1920x1200 its good.

692075 Gigabyte Ultrab U2442Gigabyte Notebook

Published in Laptops/PCs/Apple by paul_smart on June 19, 2013
A name I know for powerful PCs, here a notebook running Windows 8, it does however not have ‘touch’. So is it a desirable thing to have a fast powerful notebook that runs an operating system that uses a front end that restricts it?
While I saw a prototype unit a couple of years ago at Google, earlier versions of Chromebooks have passed me by. Rather different to a PC notebook and also different from a Google Tablet a Chromebook is a category of its own.

691337 AOC I2369VM 23 inch IPS LED MonitoAOC 23inch Panel i2369Vm

Published in Laptops/PCs/Apple by paul_smart on May 27, 2013
This is another quality panel from a company in Holland who produce excellent panels but as they do not sell them under a well-known name you the user get the benefit without the added price that a known name carries in a premium.

690040 Trendnet TPL308E2K 200 Mbps Mini Powerline Ethernet AdapteTrendnet or Devolo

Published in Laptops/PCs/Apple by paul_smart on May 19, 2013
Two companies offering devices to let you extend the range of your router by using Ethernet over your ring main, this means that if you have dodgy conectivity in part of your property it can be solved by using a plug in adapter.