When we’re thinking about choosing a new laptop, most of us look at balancing price and performance. However, it’s important not to forget that software can have a great overall effect on both of these, once you actually start using your new PC.
Depending on what you plan to do with it, you will need different software, and perhaps you’ll need to invest in some premium tools to get the job done, but there are some amazing free options out there for all your basic work and entertainment needs. Here are some of the best free software choices available in 2016.
For an all-round player that can open most playable media files, including almost all common audio and video formats, VLC is an excellent, lightweight option. Its interface is basic and never really gets an update, but by stripping away any unnecessary styling features, you’re left with a very fast and reliable player that we recommend using as a default on most PCs.
Apple’s software rarely runs perfectly on a Windows PC, but iTunes has gone through so many iterations now that its performance has finally been improved enough to make it run fairly seamlessly on mid-high end PCs. It’s the most intuitive music library software, in our opinion, plus since many of us use iPhones or iPods you can easily sync your music to those devices.
All PC users, whether advanced or beginner, need to sort out their antivirus and security software as a matter of urgency. Browsing online leads to malware attacks quite quickly if you leave yourself vulnerable, and you can’t use the excuse of software being expensive, because all these free options are excellent choices that cost nothing at all to download and install.
A sturdy firewall is your first defence against viruses and malware attacks on your PC. A firewall is essential, but paying for one is far from it. pfSense is our favourite free option because its open-source, lightweight coding makes it highly efficient. It’s flexible and suitable for pretty much everyone.
Most VPN software involves having some form of paid subscription to protect your identity and security when browsing online, as well as accessing content that’s only available in certain countries. CyberGhost is a rare example of a free service that’s actually effective and straightforward, so for most intermediate users we would recommend trying it.
If you’re a MacBook owner, regardless of whether you go for the entry level model or the highest spec MacBook Pro, your laptop will almost certainly set you back a fair amount of money. Apple’s current range offers some great value for money options, but they’re all at the higher end of the market so as a MacBook user you really need to make sure you’re getting all the value you can out of your device. That’s where the accessories come in, since there are plenty of amazingly useful products on the market that can make your MacBook user experience even better. Here are some of our favourites for 2016.
Even the best trackpads equipped with new technologies like Force Touch can be limiting to users when it comes to certain tasks. Apple’s own Magic Mouse 2 is an excellent substitute for the built-in trackpad on any MacBook, featuring a seamless multi-touch surface that allows you to click, tap, scroll and swipe through your tasks with ease. It charges quickly so you can use it wirelessly for hours at a time.
This super-compact and lightweight scanner can be tucked out of sight on your desk or carried around as you work in different places. It’s the ultimate portable scanning device for documents, receipts and cards, images of which are captured and stored on a MicroSD card, plus you can send them straight to your MacBook over Wi-Fi.
For the majority of PC users, most laptops on the market right now are massively overpowered. The cutting edge features and high-performance components included in many mid-range and high-end laptops are simply overkill for what the average user wants, and although we appreciate most of the more advanced models and understand their purpose, you just don’t need them for day-to-day browsing and working.
It’s possible to pick up an absolute bargain if you’re looking for a simple, family-friendly laptop that gets the job done without a fuss, you just need to know which models offer the best value. Not every cheap laptop is up to scratch, and you might find some of them surprisingly lacklustre, but we know for a fact there are plenty of models on the market right now that offer superb value for money at a rock bottom price point.
For example, Lenovo’s Yoga 300 2-in-1 is currently available for about £200, an absolute bargain that kills two birds with one stone by functioning as both a laptop and a touchscreen tablet. It features an impressive five-hour battery life, over 11 inches of screen space and plenty of processor power and RAM to cope with everyday media use like streaming HD films. For an entry level model this one really offers great value, as the higher end Yoga models are a little on the pricey side. Another offering from Lenovo is the G50 15.6-inch Notebook, which comes in just under £300. This one is great if you’re keen on a traditional laptop design and want your device to handle a slightly more demanding workload than the Yoga 300 is comfortable with.
The market for laptops has arguably reached something of a saturation point, and innovation in the field is becoming more subtle. This actually isn’t a bad thing by any means. For too long, new models with fancy and futuristic features struggled to actually meet the needs of users, sacrificing slick overall performance and solid reliability in favour of half-baked gimmicks and new solutions for problems that nobody ever really had in the first place. In recent years, the best laptops have focused on doing what we always needed laptops to do, but better. For example, last year the highly popular Dell XPS 13 showed everyone how to make an excellent laptop that does exactly what it’s designed to do.
It is strange that in today’s modern world that there is still a stigma attached to buying refurbished laptops. Why is this? Many individuals turn their noses up at them, simply because they are not new, but we need to get past this.
Refurbished laptops need to be embraced and accepted within the technological world, as they are cheaper and have a purpose to serve.
What is really important to note is that refurbished and ‘used’ are two totally different things. ‘Used’ means that the laptop will have been used for a considerable length of time. Refurbished however means that for one reason or another, the laptop was returned to the seller and can no longer be sold as ‘new.
Below we will list the many advantages of buying refurbished laptops and why everyone should consider doing so.
A wider choice
Refurbished laptops are widely available from a variety of different sources. The likes of Amazon, and technology websites such as ITC Sales (a registered Dell Premier partner) have a range of factory refurbished laptops for sale. Therefore there is a wide variety of makes and models to choose from, at a price to suit everyone.
Refurbished laptops are practically new and cheaper.
As already stated refurbished laptops are not old or used, in fact in most cases they are practically new. Therefore you get a practically new laptop at a much discounted price. In most cases you can save up to 30 percent of the equivelent new price tag. This is simply because it cannot be sold as a ‘new’ product.
PC gaming is several miles off their console counterparts, in the variety and depth of games and the high end graphics which computers can push. Just like desktops, laptops are capable of offering a world class gaming experience, with some laptop models having the capability to push some games to an incredible 4K resolution. There are several kinds of gaming laptops that can guarantee you a high level of convenience and portability. Here are six best laptops for gaming.
This is a high resolution gaming laptop that’s hard to beat. It offers pleasant surprises with its GDDR5 video RAM and a 6GB graphics card packing. The 14 inch laptop allows you play your entire range of games to full resolution with half the memory. This means that graphic heavy games can never be a problem for you.
This is a fantastic gaming laptop, a head turner that packs massive desktop capabilities in a 15.6 inch laptop. It’s smaller, but offers a fantastic performance when compared to other hardcore gaming-rigs. The extra CPU power is a great addition for users who want to do processor intensive tasks. Regardless of the game that you are running, the super fast performance will come handy.
Are you are confused by the procedure of purchasing a laptop? Are you wondering what to look for when buying a laptop? The information below will guide you on the key aspects to look for when purchasing a laptop.
To begin figure the purpose for which you will be using the laptop and the recurrence of utilization. If you will be using your laptop regularly, then it is vital that you purchase one that gives you the outmost ease and solace in usage. Essential ergonomics would let you know that the laptop disregards the rule which states that the keyboard and the screen ought to be isolated to counteract inconvenience and pain in the wrist and the neck area
Go for solace other than the color and the outline when looking for a laptop. It is ideal to use a different mouse than to rely on upon the tracking knob or pointer that comes with many laptops as a substitute for a mouse. This way you have more space and room to move your hands when typing or clicking on objects on the screen.
The capacity to connect with other devices through your laptop is something else to look when purchasing a laptop. Connectivity is an issue on the grounds that connection updates for a laptop is not a simple deed because laptops are made with a basic outline as compared with desktops. The thing to check for is the accessibility of wireless networking capabilities.
When it comes to taking care of a laptop, there is more than just dusting the keyboard and cleaning the screen. Taking care of your laptop can be a difficult task. Here are some important tips to help your laptop enjoy a healthier and happier lifestyle:
· Play it Cool. Just like other electronics, a laptop also generates a lot of heat, particularly when it’s running the up-to-date high-power software. You risk damaging your laptop’s internal circuitry if you allow it to generate too much heat. To prevent this damage, ensure you keep your computer in a cool and well-ventilated environment. Also, remember not to block the fan grills on the back, side, or the bottom of the laptop at any time.
· Handle the Screen Cautiously. Avoid playing with or touching the LCD screen of your laptop. Yes, sometimes it might be fun to see the waves being produced when you touch the LCD screen. However, the LCD screen is a fragile screen that should be cared for no matter what it entails. When cleaning the screen do not use any cleaning material that is approved. When you are cleaning the keyboard, use an old clean toothbrush. You do not want to spend money on repairing the screen, or even worse buying a new laptop entirely.
Ever since the launch of laptops, their sizes have been viewed as a noteworthy issue in deciding target clients. Presently, laptops are being offered in distinctive sizes that are meant for different purposes and clients. The laptop market today is loaded with devices measuring 2.5 pounds to 10 pounds or considerably more. When you sign on to any online laptop store or you visit a retail store, a variety of laptops as far as their sizes and outline may astound you.
Many people wonder of laptop size- does it matter?
Size is the main consideration for most clients, particularly because of portability. Obviously there are other things that ought to be considered when you are considering acquiring one. The other things that you have to look include the weight, the battery, specifications, connectivity and support.
Size and weight is essential when looking for a laptop. As they are utilized basically by individuals who are moving around they should be suitable. Something light is the best choice for any individual who moves around with their laptop a lot.
To what extent the battery lasts ought to additionally looked at when you are looking a laptop. A long life battery is great as laptops are normally utilized in different places. Some laptops have been made in a manner that you have the capacity to add on an extra battery for more life. This would be useful for those individuals who work on their laptops in places without a power supply.