Image Courtesy Western Digital
Hard drives used to be one of the easiest and most affordable ways to upgrade a desktop PC. With the downturn in the computer market, storage prices seem to be dropping as manufacturers hope to sell more to those looking up upgrade to make up for the loss from PC manufacturers Adding a new drive is still an easy way to upgrade a PC, especially if you are running out of storage space. So, if you are looking to add lots of capacity, performance or get the most for your money, check out my choices for the Best SATA Hard Drives.
If you do happen to be considering or have purchased an internal desktop hard drive for upgrading your computer, be sure to check out my tutorials on Installing a SATA Hard Drive.
One of the great uses for tablet is entertainment and specifically games. The problem is that most of these games are fairly casual and certainly not the same as what can be done with a traditional Windows based PC. Razer now has for sale their Edge which combines a 10-inch tablet design with the components necessary for running PC games on the diminutive mobile tablet at a price similar to Microsoft's Surface Pro. Is this really a new era for PC gaming or is this a much more niche product that lacks the performance for true mobile PC gaming? Find out in my review of the Razer Edge 10-inch Windows 8 tablet.
Every so often, a new idea in computing comes along and tries to make a new category of computer. Sometimes its a huge success such as with the current tablets or not so successful such as Microsoft's Windows 7 Slate initiative. Lenovo is testing the waters with something new in the Lenovo IdeaCentre Horizon with what they are calling a table PC. Now, touchscreen table computers aren't new with examples such as with Microsoft's original Surface now known as PixelSense, but the Horizon is much more affordable and designed as a home computer. The system looks like a traditional all-in-one computer with a touchscreen monitor with wireless mouse and keyboard but lay it back flat and it turns into something completely different. Unplug it and take it to your kitch tablet and it can be shared between the family for a variety of activities. With such a unique approach to a computer, does Lenovo's attempt succeed or does it require a bit more work? Find out in my review of the Lenovo IdeaCentre Horizon table PC.
Image Courtesy Apple
It is almost surprising that the tablet market has been so quiet of late in terms of new models but that could change next month when Apple's World Wide Developer Conference likely announces a few new products. Apple has a huge share in the tablet business because it was first but it has had a high price that is a barrier to entry. Now it is possible to get the Apple iPad Mini 16GB tablet for just $299 direct from Apple's refurbished store. Now, this is really a scaled down version of the iPad 2 but the Mini actually is much better than that tablet thanks to smaller size, better cameras and amazing running times. Now this is a refurbished product but Apple does a great job on making these just like new and providing the same warranty coverage as the standard versions. For more details on the tablet, check out my review of the iPad Mini from last November after it was released.
Disclaimer: All deals are those advertised by the retailer in question and may have rebates or other conditions of purchase for the products. Please be sure to read all disclaimers from the seller before purchasing.
Image Courtesy Dell
If you are buying a desktop PC system, then you also need a monitor to go with it. When shopping for a screen, you will probably come across terms like contrast ratios, response times and viewing angles. What do all these terms mean? Find out more in my technology buying guide about computer LCD monitors to help you get the right display for your PC.
Right now the laptop market is very much in a hold position as it waits for the next Intel processor release later this year. The market was flooded with new designs and updates last fall when Windows 8 was released but sales are way off what they have been. This has helped drive prices down making the more performance oriented mid-sized laptops much more affordable. If you happen to need a new laptop now before the release of the next generation based on Intel's Haswell, check out my list of best 14 to 16-inch laptops broken down by prices, uses and features.
Systemax is best known as being the parent company that owns TigerDirect and CompUSA. The company had sold their own branded desktop and laptop computers through the sites but they have discontinued this in favor of selling other brands. Customers who bought the systems in the past can still get some support for their products although it is likely it will eventually be phased out. If you happen to own a system and need help, find out what support they do offer in my profile of Systemax's PC support offerings.
Included in the profile I list the various avenues that users have for support, tips and advice. In addition, I'm posting a survey below and in the profile asking users for their opinion of Systemax. If you have used their support and would like to let others know of their experiences for better or worse, please feel free to share your experience.
How would you rate Systemax's support?
Six month ago I took a look at a very affordable 15-inch laptop from Toshiba. One of the big flaws for some was the lack of a dedicated graphics processor. Computer sales have not done well since the release of Windows 8 and prices have come crashing down. Now it is possible to get a very similar laptop that has dedicated graphics for a price close to what the model I looked at just six months ago was going for. Does this redeem the Toshiba laptop or did the price drops and feature gains for other brands cancel out Toshiba's revised model? Find out in my review of the Toshiba Satellite S855-S5188 laptop.
Sony has already announced some new Fit 15E and Fit 15 laptops to be available in the coming months to replace a number of laptop models. One of the ranges it is replacing is the Sony VAIO E which was meant to be a relatively affordable option for those wanting a full featured laptop. Many may look at the existing VAIO E laptops as a source for some bargain hunting as most companies and retailers will drop prices to reduce inventory on soon to be discontinued products. Is the 15-inch version of Sony's laptop a true bargain or does it not stack up with the existing competition even when pricing is taken into account? Find out in my review of the Sony VAIO SVE1513RCXB laptop.
Windows 8 hasn't seen much traction but much of that might be attributed to the fact that the new OS really benefits from have a touchscreen display. More and more laptops are starting to come to market that feature a touchscreen display. Samsung's latest Series 7 model features such a screen and also promises to offer some long running times and performance while still being under an inch thick. This seems like a lot to promise for a system that has a price tag of just $1200. Does Samsung deliver on all of their promised features? Find out in my review of the Samsung NP780Z5E-S01UB laptop.