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Everything You Wanted to Know About Hard Disk Drives

What does a hard drive do?
Information storage is the hard drive’s main responsibility. Think the electronic version of the old office filing cabinet. Everything you keep on your computer is on a hard drive. Not just documents, emails, contacts, favorites pictures, music and videos. Your programs, your preferences, your printers, your settings, even your operating system—they’re all stored on your computer’s hard drive.

If your hard drive is damaged or fails, you can lose it all. This is the sad truth and unfortunately we still see this 10+ times per week. Which is why most smart people have a backup system. They get another hard drive and copy all their important files onto that.

 

How big of a hard drive do you need?
Everything that can be saved on a hard drive is measured in terms of its size. Text is very small, pictures are larger, music is even bigger, and video is the biggest of them all.

A hard drive is like a scale. It doesn’t know the difference between things that are on it; it only knows their size. But instead of kilograms, a hard drive measures things in terms of megabytes (MB), gigabytes (GB) and terabytes (TB.)

Roughly speaking, a megabyte is 1 million bytes, a gigabyte is 1 billion bytes, and a terabyte is 1 trillion bytes.

What does this mean for you?

If you need to transfer files between computers or a drive to back up just some of your files, you can get by with a smaller drive (such as a 500GB External Hard Drive).

If you want to back up your entire computer, or even several computers, or if you store a lot of video and audio files, you’ll want a larger drive (such as a 1TB or larger Network Attached Storeage System - NAS for short).

 

Will your drive work with a PC or a Mac?
Most Hard Drives PC Pitstop sell works with either a PC or a Mac. Some drives are already formatted to work with one or the other. But any drive can be reformatted to work with either type of computer.

IMPORTANT: If you reformat a drive, every single file on that drive is erased. So make sure you copy your files somewhere safe before you reformat.

It’s more difficult to use the same drive on both a PC and a Mac. The short answer is, they’re not really compatible. The more detailed answer is that, in a few specific circumstances, you can do a few specific things. 

What are the different types of hard drive connections?
There are four basic ways to connect your hard drive to your computer:

USB
This is the most common connection type. There’s no set-up at all. Just plug it in. The computer recognises the drive, and you’re able to read and save files almost instantly.

FireWire
Plug-and-play like USB, Firewire 800 is significantly faster, making it popular with those transferring video files.

SATA
This is the standard connection for internal hard drives. Offers the highest file transfer speeds of any format.

eSATA
A less common, high-performance connection most commonly found in PCs. An eSATA connection performs at speeds that most closely resemble an internal drive.

 

How important is hard drive speed?
When you start your computer, open a file, listen to a song, or do just about anything else, you use your hard drive. The discs inside the drive spin. The faster they spin, the more quickly your computer can find the file you want.

So a drive rated at 7,200 rpm will be faster than one rated at 5,400 rpm. What that means for your day-to-day use will vary. With external drives, you’ll hardly notice a difference. With internal drives, the difference will be slight with smaller files and applications, but will be obvious with larger files and applications - and all of this adds up.

Should you choose internal or external?
An internal drive provides built-in storage at top speeds. An external drive gives you greater flexibility and expanded storage whenever you need it.

Each choice has its benefits and drawbacks.

Internal drives have to be physically installed and configured by a PC Pitstop Trained Technician opening up your computer. But your files and programs are stored directly on your computer; they’re always there whenever you need them.

External drives are connected to your computer via plug-in cables. This lets you take files with you, transfer them to other computers, or instantly add storage to your computer or network without too many technical hurdles.

 

How much can I store?

Here are some averages to give an idea of what you can store on which size drive.

  Digital Music (MP3) Digital Photo's (JPG) Digital Video's (MP4)
500Gb 25,000 Songs 160,000 Photo's 500 Hours
1000Gb (1Tb) 50,000 Songs 320,000 Photo's 1000 Hours
2000Gb (2Tb) 100,000 Songs 640,000 Photo's 2000 Hours

 

 

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Your laptop battery charges whenever your computer is plugged into external power through an AC Adapter, an optional power adapter, or an optional docking device. The battery charges whether the computer is off or in use, but it charges faster when the computer is off. However, charging may take longer if a battery is new, has been unused for 2 weeks or more, or is much warmer or cooler than room temperature.

To prolong battery life and optimize the accuracy of battery charge displays, follow these recommendations:

o   If you are charging a new battery, charge it for a full 12 hours before turning on the computer.

o   Charge the battery until the battery light turns off

o   Allow the battery to discharge below 5 percent of a full charge through normal use before charging it. This is referred to as ‘exercising the battery.’

o             DO NOT drop, open, short circuit, burn or allow the battery to get wet. 

Plus, try these:

  • Dim your screen
  • Shut off unneeded hardware
  • Avoid multitasking
  • Avoid multimedia
  • Know when to sleep and when to hibernate


If unfortunately your battery has completly died we have a solution for that too. Bring your laptop instore and we can fit a Universal Power Supply at the correct voltage and correct fit for most modern laptops for $85 in about 10mins!

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Our Services

RETAIL

Business-to-Consumer

o        Repairs & Maintenance

o        Tuneup/Cleanup

o        At your Premises Repairs and Support

o        Virus Removal

o        Data Transfer or Recovery

o        New Computer Setup & Transfer

o        Hardware Upgrades

o        Custom Built Desktop Sales

o        Dedicated Gaming Systems

o        Ex-Lease Laptops & Desktops

o        Wide Range of Parts & Peripherals

o        iPhone/iPad/iPod/Samsung Repairs

o        Smart Device Repairs

IT MANAGEMENT

Business-to-Business

o        Ad Hoc Support

o        Systems Management

o        Remote Assistance

o        Field Support

o        Pro Active Maintenance

o        IT Hardware Deployment

o        Network and Cloud Backup Solutions

o        Uninterruptible Power Supply Systems


Your Winning Team

We work hard to hone our skills for you – THE CUSTOMER – and we’ve been rewarded for it!

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for ways to keep providing feedbackof the services you receive at PC Pitstop.
We hear you – and it keeps us WINNING FOR YOU!

  • Employer of Choice
  • Young Entrepreneur 18-35yrs
  • Excellence in Small Business
  • Best Employer for Training & Support
  • Embracing Technology
  • Environmentally Sustainable

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PC Pitstop Advantage Service

Great Service, Even Better Value

PC Pitstop’s Mission Statement
PC Pitstop aim to be the most trusted, reliable, innovative and sustainable computer sales, service and repair company across Australia and online through honest advice, fast turnaround, friendly support and responsible actions. Immersing ourselves into the heart of the community, and embracing technology to improve the community and empower the people will guide us to achieve this and much more. We strive toward this mission every day.

With PC Pitstop Service Advantage you’re always in safe hands knowing your computer will be serviced by PC Pitstop Trained Technicians who know your computer inside out and use the most advanced diagnostic equipment and quality parts.

1onsite

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Posted by on in In the Community

Do you love PC Pitstop?

NSW Fair Trading’s popular I love my local business competition is back for 2014. 

In its work to promote a fair marketplace, Fair Trading recognises that the vast majority of local businesses do the right thing and play a critical role in the local community. That is why NSW consumers are being encouraged to nominate their favourite local business by telling Fair Trading, in 60 words or less, what they love about them and why. There are six prizes of $250 to be won!

Consumers can nominate a local business which goes out of their way to do the right thing by their customers. It might be because of their excellent customer service, or the fact they proudly sponsor charitable and community causes; it might simply be that they are really good on the tools or have the funkiest retail shop in town!

All shortlisted entries will be promoted on Fair Tradings Facebook page, which has close to 40,000 followers. Shortlisted and winning entries may attract local media interest.

We have also created some resources for businesses to use to help them promote the competition to their customers, including a downloadable poster, web images and more. Go to the I love my local business page on the Fair Trading website to find out more. 

The competition runs from Monday 13 October – Sunday 9 November 2014.

For more information and to enter go to Fair Trading’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FairTradingNSW

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Exercising your Laptop Battery and Charger

 

Your laptop battery charges whenever your computer is plugged into external power through an AC Adapter, an optional power adapter, or an optional docking device. The battery charges whether the computer is off or in use, but it charges faster when the computer is off. However, charging may take longer if a battery is new, has been unused for 2 weeks or more, or is much warmer or cooler than room temperature.

To prolong battery life and optimize the accuracy of battery charge displays, follow these recommendations:

 

  1. If you are charging a new battery, charge it for a full 12 hours before turning on the computer.
  2. Charge the battery until the battery light turns off
  3. Allow the battery to discharge below 5 percent of a full charge through normal use before charging it. This is referred to as ‘exercising the battery.’
  4. DO NOT drop, open, short circuit, burn or allow the battery to get wet.

 

Need a new laptop charger?
UNIVERSAL POWER SUPPLIES
BUY ONLINE:www.pcpitstop.net.au

 

ü  Multi voltage select

ü  Multi connector

ü  Suits most laptops

 

Laptop Optional Accessories

Laptop Riser/Cooler
Protect your hard drive and components from over-heating and destroying your data. Over-heating is one of the most dangerous things your laptop can do! It also tilts your laptop so you don’t have to tilt.

Mouse
Wired or wireless, feel more in control with a USB mouse.

Protective Bag/Case
Polyurethane or leather. Not just for travellers. Laptop bags protect your investment and keep all your accessories in the one place.

 

USB Hub
4+ ports. Increase your USB ports to connect more devices and never have a lack of USB inputs.

Norton Internet Security
Stay safe with the very best anti-virus software. Do you bank online? Then you need Norton Internet Security!

Backing Up
Invest in back up hard drives and automated backing up software, to avoid the trauma of losing precious photos and data.

 

 

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Take advantage of the instant asset tax write-off

computer-present

(Written by David Markus for SMART COMPANY)

We have until January 1 to install new PCs, printers, storage systems and servers, update a firewall or invest in a large TV for displaying charts on the office wall.

If your business is turning over less than $2 million you can claim an instant asset tax write-off on goods up to the value of $6500 in one year. After January 1 this will only apply to goods up to $1000 in value.

With Windows XP going end of life in April 2014 you would have to have rocks in your head not to replace every Windows XP PC in your business before New Year’s Eve. Note the device needs to be installed by then so don’t wait for the last minute. There are some fantastic new devices on the market that offer the full power of a PC in a tiny form factor and it is a great time to invest in a new device. If you are in a design industry there will not be a better time to upgrade any out-of-date workstations with high speed, high end systems.

Let’s just look across an SME doing under $2 million in turnover and consider some of the bits of technology or infrastructure you are likely to have that do cost over $1000 and could be replaced if they are going to require that soon in any case.

Let’s start at the front door and work our way through the office:

  • Signage
  • Security system
  • Electronic door locks
  • CCTV for video surveillance
  • Phone system
  • Servers
  • Routers and switches
  • Firewall
  • PCs (especially those with windows XP)
  • Printers
  • TVs or digital displays
  • Office furniture
  • Carpet or other floor covering
  • Lighting
  • Kitchen whitegoods like a new fridge or coffee machine

Of course you can argue that many of these things will cost under $1000 each and so there is no rush to run out and spend money. That is fair enough but if you need some larger ticket items, now is a great time to be buying things up to the threshold to get the immediate benefit of the depreciation this year. How many items can you think of that I left off the list?

Now this is not purely technology advice, but it will apply to plenty of things in your office. Do expect some delays in delivery and some job queues with companies getting busy finishing off projects or closing of production runs in the factory by the end of December, so don’t wait for the last minute to order whatever it is that you need.

This is a great opportunity for businesses of all sizes to take advantage of and PC Pitstop can help you seize it! CALL TO ARRANGE A QUOTE FOR YOUR NEEDS TODAY :: 65 841 551

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embracetch

PC Pitstop are simply the best in the business.  We stand behind our customers and our name...
...and this is YOUR PC Pitstop 5½ Point Guarantee to prove it....

 

1.    Unbelievable Service – You will be informed about your computer the same business day.  If you don’t hear from us on the same day, your service or repair is FREE and you will receive quarterly Tune-up services for FREE for the next 12 months.
2.    Virus Protection – If we cannot successfully remove a virus on your computer the first time, you will receive FREE Norton Internet Security software for a further 12 months AND you will receive quarterly Tune-up services for FREE for the next 12 months.
3.    Fix it or Double it – If you are informed that PC Pitstop can fix your computer and we can’t, you will receive a credit for DOUBLE the price we quoted, PLUS we will pay for a competitor of your choice to fix it.
4.    Risk Free Recovery – If you are informed your data can be recovered, and it isn’t, you will receive a credit for DOUBLE the price we quoted, PLUS a FREE 500GB External Hard Drive for your backup.
5.    Time is Your Biggest Asset – If PC Pitstop does not have your computer ready for you by the time we agreed, your service charge will be waived, your computer will be delivered to your home or office at no charge, AND you will receive quarterly tune ups for FREE for the next 12 months.
5 ½  Raving Referral – If PC Pitstop receives a referral from you and we don’t follow it up by the next business day, you will receive FREE quarterly Tune-up services for the next 12 months!

 

*Click HERE for full Terms and Conditions

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cleaningyourcomputer1 Laptop overheating 3 dustydell5
Furry with dust - common desktop interior Pet hair build-up in drives A nice big ball of removed computer fuzz
pcpitstop moisture cure dustydell4 KMeager Rat Machine 5 640x427
Damp Rid - the coastal computers best friend Oh. More dust. Yep, this is why we all need a cleanup every 6-12mths! This one is interesting. Mouse poop inside a near new machine. But the worst part...the mouse pee shorted the motherboard. Ouch!

pcpitstop before after clean

 

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Batteries and Chargers

Your laptop battery charges whenever your computer is plugged into external power through an AC Adapter, an optional power adapter, or an optional docking device. The battery charges whether the computer is off or in use, but it charges faster when the computer is off. However, charging may take longer if a battery is new, has been unused for 2 weeks or more, or is much warmer or cooler than room temperature. 

pcpitstopaus-laptop-chargerTo prolong battery life and optimize the accuracy of battery charge displays, follow these recommendations:

  • If you are charging a new battery, charge it for a full 12 hours before turning on the computer.
  • Charge the battery until the battery light turns off
  • Allow the battery to discharge below 5 percent of a full charge through normal use before charging it.
    This is referred to as ‘exercising the battery.’
  • DO NOT drop, open, short circuit, burn or allow the battery to get wet. 

pcpitstopaus-exercise-your-battery 

Need a new laptop charger?
UNIVERSAL POWER SUPPLIES
BUY ONLINE:www.pcpitstop.net.au

 

Arrow-Right-icon Multi voltage select 

Arrow-Right-icon Multi connector

Arrow-Right-icon Suits most laptops

 

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The other day we gladly gave away an ex-lease laptop to a very special Port Macquarie family. Their story is a tear-jerker and their hearts are big. For people that ask for nothing...this was the least we could do.

pcpitstop port news jun13

A PORT Macquarie boy will make history as the first child with Hunter syndrome in Australia to have a bone marrow transplant.

This week marks the start of Jace Knowles’ treatment at Westmead Children’s Hospital.

The three-year-old will have his bone marrow harvested, and stored, followed by chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant containing cord blood, the richest source of enzymes and cells.

Hunter syndrome, a rare degenerative condition, is causing Jace’s organs to shut down.

Mick and Tara Knowles hope the transplant will help prevent further deterioration of their son’s bones, organs, brain and muscles.

Mrs Knowles will spend about five months in isolation with Jace followed by a stint living in a unit outside of the hospital when Jace will be monitored daily.

The community has embraced the Knowles family.

A computer package donation from Port Macquarie business PC Pitstop is the latest act of kindness.

 “It’s an absolute lifeline,” Mrs Knowles said about the computer.

“We were so shocked, it was unbelievable.”

The laptop will help Mrs Knowles keep in touch with her husband and children Tyla, 12, Elise, 10, and four-year-old Lacey, and will allow her to continue studying medical administration while in Sydney.

Jace can watch movies and play games on the computer when he is well enough.

Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams helped link the family with services and approached PC Pitstop to assist the family to stay in touch.

Mrs Williams said the Knowles family was one of many families with children who had additional needs.

“The whole community spirit is just so inspiring,” she said.

PC Pitstop owner Ben Waters said the family’s story played on their heartstrings.

“They never ask for anything and they are staying so bright, chirpy and positive,” he said.

A fundraising committee from Columba Cottage Early Learning Centre has collected $25,000 and aims to double that by the end of the year.

About six staff will help look after the girls at times so the family can have as normal a routine as possible.

Jenna Clapton from Columba Cottage Early Learning Centre said Jace was mature beyond his years with an infectious personality.

Port Macquarie City Lions Club and a Lions foundation provided $7500 towards a car lift, and Variety the Children’s Charity came on board too.

Mrs Knowles said she was amazed at the town’s support.

“We are just so appreciative and thankful for everything,” she said.

“Without them, this time would have been a lot harder for us.”

She thanked Mrs Williams, her senior advisor Terry Sara and PC Pitstop for their help with the computer donation and the community as well.

Thanks to the Port News for this story and image.
 

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Posted by on in Helpful Hints

Safely using your laptop will help ensure that your laptop works properly and you don't get injured. Improper use or not being aware of safety issues can cause your laptop irreparable damage. These safety tips should be added to your weekly laptop maintenance routine and will help you stay productive and safe no matter where you are working.

  •         Shut It Down - Unlike a desktop computer a laptop computer needs to be shut down when not in use to prevent overheating. Overheating is very dangerous to the internal systems. If the drive inside your computer gets too hot it is very possible to start losing data and very hard to get it all back.
  •         Checking the Fan - Overheating problems can also be caused by the laptop fan not working properly. Always check the laptop manufacturer's online support and your warranty information.
  •        Vent Maintenance - Part of your weekly routine should be to inspect and clean the air vents in your laptop. Forced air dusters can be used to keep the air vents clean and free from debris. It's important to know that you should never push anything into the air vents.
  •        Adjusting Power Settings - Adjusting your power options will help your laptop from heating up when not in use even if for short periods of time. You can set your hard drive and display to turn off after a set time period. Another option is to set the laptop to go into standby or hibernate mode.
  •        Invest in a Cooling Pad – Keep components cool with a 2 or 3 fan cooling pad that runs off the USB power on your laptop. Cooling pads are available for most sized laptops including iPads at PC Pitstop. Some even combine with a riser for better ergonomics too!
  •        Before You Pack It Up - Make sure that you before you put your laptop into its carrying bag that it is shut down. A notebook that has been left on can melt. When enclosed in a notebook bag there is no air circulation and the results can be worse than melting. Don't find out the hard way and just be sure to turn off your laptop.
  •        Soft Spots -It's a wise idea not to use any soft material as a buffer between you and your laptop. Always operate your laptop on a hard surface, preferably one that allows ventilation. Soft materials can block the airflow vents and cause it to overheat. If it is not possible to avoid using a soft surface, an optional heat sink base should be used to maintain cooling.
  •        Unplug Accessories - Whenever your laptop will not be in use, even for short periods of time remember to unplug any accessories. Not only do they use power but they could cause the laptop to overheat. It's especially important to unplug any accessories before packing your laptop in its carrying case. While you may believe it will make it quicker to use, it could damage your laptop, the accessory and/or your laptop bag.

    how laptop cooling pad works

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The Bit people blogged this handy guide after attending a Toshiba launch early this week. It's so damn handy we're re-blogging it for you:

   
      

Buying a laptop and tablet in 2013: handy 60-second breakdown of all the options

Buying a laptop and tablet in 2013: handy 60-second breakdown of all the options

Once upon a time, when you needed a portable computer you bought a laptop. Now….take a look at the slide in the photo.

We took this photo at a presentation by Toshiba this week at the launch of their 2013 laptop range. It's a handy little summary of the various options you now have that fall under the term "portable computer".

Ignore "TV" and ignore "AIO", which stands for all-in-one desktop computer, and take a look at what your options are when it comes to portable computing:

Notebook

The catch-all term for run-of-the-mill laptops (which we prefer to call them here at BIT). Quality, features and price vary drastically. Case in point: at the time of writing Dell was advertising a Vostro 2520, a 15.6-inch screen laptop with Core i5 chip, for $699. Near the other end of the spectrum, Apple's top of the line 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display also falls into this category and cost $3,199 at the time of writing. Examples: Dell XPS 15, Dell Inspiron 15R, Apple MacBook Air

Netbook

A tiny, light portable computer for only a few hundred dollars (less than $200 in some cases). These were the latest craze a few years ago, but less relevant now that tablets are popular and much faster laptops are available for not much more money. Running Intel Atom CPUs, they're not suitable for loading several complex applications at the same time. The screens are tiny.

Ultrabook

You'll see the "Ultrabook" sticker stuck on various high-end laptops. It's a brand name Intel came up with to help market laptops with certain features - generally, they feature thin and light design (no DVD drive) with decent levels of CPU performance (a few years back, thin and light laptops were often too slow). You'll find features like SSD for storage instead of hard disks - helping the laptop to "wake" up faster from sleep mode (in less than 7 seconds, in theory). Many Ultrabooks are built to a somewhat minimalist design aesthetic involving a sleek metallic look, rather than garish plastics and stickers (not dissimilar in approach to the Apple MacBook design, in our opinion). Examples: Toshiba Kira, Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon, Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook, Dell XPS 14 Ultrabook, Samsung Series 9.

Hybrids

 

The new kid on the block. These are laptops that convert into tablets. It's an interesting idea - why buy a separate tablet and laptop, when you can have them both in one computer? In reality, they've got some drawbacks. The tablet part is generally heavier than an iPad. As a laptop, they vary quite a bit in price and appeal - as with Windows laptops in general. Sometimes the mechanism which allows the laptop to turn into a tablet introduces some drawbacks - like the Toshiba Portege Z10t, which we like the look of, but noticed yesterday that it's not possible to push the screen right back, meaning the screen doesn't angle upwards enough for our height. Examples: Dell XPS 12, Asus Taichi 21, Lenovo ThinkPad Twist, Toshiba Portege Z10t, Lenovo ThinkPad HelixRead this article to see if a hybrid is right for you.

Windows 8 tablets

Another relatively new kid on the block. Not only are there Windows 8 tablets from the major players like Dell, ASUS, Lenovo and HP, but there are also Windows 8 tablets from Microsoft. And there are two types of Windows tablets - those that run Windows RT (which can't run your desktop Windows 7 programs) and the ones that run Windows 8 Pro (which can). Examples: Dell Latitude 10, Microsoft Surface Pro, Windows Surface RTLenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2.

Android Tablets

We know various people who have Android tablets, including one person who takes one with him on overseas holidays where he uses it to pay his staff. On the upside, they're generally a lot cheaper than Windows tablets. For example, at the time of writing, the Nexus 7 Wi-Fi model was advertised for $269 on the Dick Smith web site. There's no "desktop" mode for things like Excel like you get with a Windows 8 tablet, nor is there the option of a powerful Intel Core processor (which is the point - these tablets are not meant for running heavy workloads). Of course, you'll be using a different app store to the one available for the iPad or Windows tablets. Less suitable as a business workhorse than a Windows tablet, we would argue, but then again we would argue a laptop is the correct choice for that purpose. Screen sizes vary from smaller than an iPad, all the way up to 10.1-inch tablets. Examples: Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, Nexus 10.

Tablet + keyboard

Instead of buying a hybrid, you could get a tablet and buy a separate keyboard for it. It can be a lot cheaper this way, although the keyboards we've seen for hybrid laptops are generally the ones we'd prefer. Examples: Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover, Belkin YourType FOLIO+KEYBOARD, Kensington KeyFolio Expert for iPad. Here is our review of 5 keyboards for tablets.

Phablets

Really, really, really big phones. Or to put it another way, tablets that you can also use to make phone calls. Examples: ASUS Fonepad.

Chromebooks

 

Cheap (less than $300 for the Acer Chromebook at the time of writing), the Chromebook is designed to be simple to use. The idea is your files are stored online and you use Google's online apps (like Google Drive) to get things done. You can't install business-type applications designed for Windows. Simplicity is the selling point. No large screen sizes available (a 14-inch HP Chromebook is the biggest we've seen). Examples: Acer Chromebook, Samsung Chromebook, HP Chromebook.

And then there's Apple, with the iPad and Macbook

We've also pulled out Apple under its own subheading - you have a choice of various iPads running iOS, or the various MacBooks running OSX. We could write an entire separate article about the pros and cons of buying a Mac, but in a nutshell, the design is arguably second-to-none and the interface is slick and "intuitive", as they like to say in the industry. In our experience they wake from a sleep state much more quickly and reliably than just about every single Windows laptop we've ever used. The touchpad is better than on any Windows laptop we've used. Above all, there's hardly any of them, compared to the dozens of Windows laptops to choose from. Windows means many more combinations of features, styles and prices to choose, but this includes cheap and nasty as well as top quality. Apple doesn't tend to do "cheap and nasty", in our opinion.

Our advice?

Despite all the varying options, narrowing down the field is not that hard. There are a few simple rules to follow.

First, think about whether you'd appreciate a laptop that's nice and light to carry around. Second, how small a screen size are you willing to use? If 13-inch screen is as small as you'll go, then that cuts out a lot of the tablets and hybrids on the market. Next, what kind of programs do you want to run - Microsoft Office, apps, just email and web browsing, specific business programs that require a specific operating system?

If you're planning on doing anything more complicated than web browsing, emails, running apps or watching movies, then we'd argue the sensible choice is a variety of laptop - the screen size is generally better, the keyboards are generally better and they are generally more comfortable for spending hours typing or browsing the Web. We tend to recommend Ultrabooks (which are thin and light laptops with decent CPUs). Hybrids are an option if you really like the idea of switching between tablet and laptop, but they tend to have some handicaps (weight, design) that regular laptops don't have.

Finally, another rule of thumb - not everyone has a reasonable budget, but if you can afford it, we'd recommend spending more on a premium model. A well-designed, well-featured laptop will save you a lot of frustration, and think of the hours you'll spend using it.

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If your laptop looks anything like the one the on left...consider how it might look on the inside?! Signs of a CRUSTY computer include:

Arrow-Right-icon slow startup - enough time passes that you've made a cup of tea before anything comes to life?

Arrow-Right-icon slow or lagging navigation - you're on the edge of your seat leaning forward in an attempt to push the cursor along faster??

Arrow-Right-icon computer freezes or blue screens - typing away and then realise nothings happening on screen or suddenly the screen is bright blue??

Arrow-Right-icon computer reboots or turns itself off - you're left wondering what you clicked, what you did wrong??

Fun isn't it?!

Of course, there are plenty more symptoms of a sick machine but they all hint at (or scream) that they need some TLC.

Arrow-Right-icon If you're a business user we recommend you get a PC Pitstop Tune-up at least every quarter.

Arrow-Right-icon If you're a power user or gamer we recommend you get a PC Pitstop Tune-up at least every 6months.

Arrow-Right-icon If you're a home user we recommend you get a PC Pitstop Tune-up at least every 12mths.

pcpitstop before after clean

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Laptop Riser/Cooler

Protect your hard drive and components from over-heating and destroying your data. Over-heating is one of the most dangerous things your laptop can do! It also tilts your laptop so you don’t have to tilt.

Mouse

Wired or wireless, feel more in control with a USB mouse.

Protective Bag/Case

Polyurethane or leather. Not just for travellers. Laptop bags protect your investment and keep all your accessories in the one place.

USB Hub

4+ ports. Increase your USB ports to connect more devices and never have a lack of USB inputs.

Norton Internet Security

Stay safe with the very best anti-virus software. Do you bank online? Then you need Norton Internet Security!

Backing Up

Invest in back up hard drives and automated backing up software, to avoid the trauma of losing precious photos and data.

 

 

laptop essential wireless mouse  laptop essential bag   norton internet security 2013 laptop essential usb hub laptop essential 

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Your laptop battery charges whenever your computer is plugged into external power through an AC Adapter, an optional power adapter, or an optional docking device. The battery charges whether the computer is off or in use, but it charges faster when the computer is off. However, charging may take longer if a battery is new, has been unused for 2 weeks or more, or is much warmer or cooler than room temperature.


To prolong battery life and optimize the accuracy of battery charge displays, follow these recommendations:

  • If you are charging a new battery, charge it for a full 12 hours before turning on the computer.
  • Charge the battery until the battery light turns off (If the computer is on while the battery is charging, the battery meter in the notification area may show 100 percent charge before the battery is fully charged.)
  • Allow the battery to discharge below 5 percent of a full charge through normal use before charging it. This is called 'excercising' your battery.
  • If the battery has been unused for one month or more, calibrate the battery instead of simply charging it.
  • DO NOT drop, open, short circuit, burn or allow the battery to get wet.
battery  charger 

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All you need to know about Hybrid Laptops...without the 'click, click!'

What are they?

Who needs one?

What are the options?

 hybrid pcpitstop

 

 

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