Top Laptops of 2014

The range of laptops on the market grows larger every year. While it is great to have so many options it can be hard to find the best model for your needs. We have compiled a list of the best laptops of 2014 for five different categories.

Best Hybrid Laptop

Transformer Book T100

The Asus Transformer provides affordable and reliable flexibility with its hybrid form. Detached from the keyboard the tablet is great for browsing online media and video chats via Skype. Attached to the keyboard it makes for a versatile work laptop with responsive keys.

The base also includes an additional battery that will substantially extend the operating time of the device making it perfect for long journeys. A vibrant screen compensates for the smaller size of the tablet, preventing eye strain.

Asus Transformer Book

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Posted in Laptops

Top Desktops of 2014

As the end of the year approaches we have decided to take a look back at the best Desktop PCs of 2014. We picked the best PC from five different categories so whatever type of computer you are looking for we have you covered.

Best Small Business Desktop

Lenovo Thinkcentre M93p

This model from Lenovo provides a very slim form factor. You can hide it away on your desk leaving lots of space for paperclips and coffee cups. But just because it comes in a small box does not mean it is small on power.

3.3GHz of processing with 4GB of RAM gives you all the power you could need. Multiple monitor support provides for flexible workstation solutions. A 500GB hybrid hard drive means speedy storage.

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Posted in Computers

Ireland’s Top 5 Technology Blogs

Ireland is fast becoming the Silicon Valley of Europe with international software and hardware giants setting up European and even global headquarters here all while native start-ups expand alongside them.

This also means there is a lot of technology news pouring out of this little island and keeping on top of it all is no easy task. A number of brave tech lovers have taken it upon themselves to deliver up all of this data in “byte”-sized chunks to let us know about the latest developments.

Here’s our pick for the Top 5 Technology Blogs in Ireland today:

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Posted in Technology

10 Simple Tips for Protecting your Laptop from Viruses

Operating systems like Windows are getting better and better at providing built in virus protection. A very careful user can even get away without Anti-virus software, but only if they really know what they are doing. At the same time a greater diversity in platforms and operating systems gives hackers and fraudsters a broader range of opportunities for attack.

Virus Blaster

Hex dump of the Blaster worm, showing a message left for Microsoft CEO Bill Gates by the worm programmer

Virus Blaster” by admin – http://nuevovirus.info/virus-blaster/. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Here are ten helpful hints you should follow to keep your computer and your personal information safe:

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Posted in Security

Top 5 External Hard Drives 2014

An external hard drive is a very versatile piece of equipment and can be found in homes and offices everywhere. The type of external drive you might need depends on what you are using it for. Three of the primary uses you might have for an external hard drive are:

  • To expand storage, either on a desktop or laptop when the existing storage is full or to store large files that do not need to be accessed regularly.
  • As an external back-up that ensures important files are safe in the event of loss or destruction of your primary hard drive.
  • Providing shared storage for a household or an office where they can all be accessed from several different computers.

HDD and SSD

The two main types of external hard drive available are Hard Disk Drives (HDD) and Solid State Drives (SSD). HDD uses a physical disk that spins similar to a CD or DVD. This means it takes slightly longer to retrieve data than an SSD but it can hold substantially more information.

SSD are incredibly fast and lightweight. They also do not require as much power to operate and so are ideal for mobile use.

Let’s take a look at 2014’s top 5 hard drives for each of five different applications.

Hard Disk Drives

Desktop expansion – Western Digital My Book

Used as a media centre, storing music and movies in high quality formats the Western Digital My Book is ideal for expanding computer storage in the living room. Available in 3, 4 and 6TB versions the WD My Book features USB 3.0 connectivity for super speedy file transfer.

Western Digital My Book Mac

Laptop expansion – Western Digital Elements

For a more portable storage solution the Western Digital Elements external hard drive provides a small form for expanding laptop hard drives. Cramming an enormous 1.5TB into a 2.5” drive the WD Elements offers a great way to bring your media files with you on the road.

Western Digital Elements

Office/Group Storage – Western Digital My Book Duo

Smaller offices, work projects or even student accommodation may benefit from a larger external hard drive for shared storage rather than a standalone server. For sharing large amounts of data between small groups the Western Digital My Book Duo is an effective solution.

Western Digital Duo

Back Up – Seagate Backup Plus

Keeping a secure copy of important data is the best way to safeguard against data loss. The Seagate Backup Plus provides 4TB of back up storage to ensure critical data is kept safe. The Seagate Mobile Back Up App allows you to remotely back up files directly from your mobile device to the hard drive.

seagate

Solid State Drives

Portable Device Storage – Sony HD EG5S

For a lightweight hard drive that you can take with you and use for smart phones, mobile media devices and ultra light laptops a solid state hard drive provides optimal functionality. Sony’s HD EG5S is a slim and highly portable storage device. As a SSD it draws less power than a HDD, saving battery power on smaller devices. AES 256-bit encryption also prevents others from accessing the data.

Sony External Hard Drive

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Posted in Hard Drives

How to Select the Right Printer for your Business

When choosing a printer for your business there are three main requirements that you will need to consider based on the particular needs of your business.

Volume

The amount of printing you will actually be doing is an important factor in the selection of a printer for your business. You should consider if you will be printing daily and if so how many print outs per day you will expect to carry out.

Print Volume

You also need to consider how that volume will be used. You may have only one or two people carrying out a large number of print jobs or you may have many people each carrying out one or two short print jobs. If the latter, it might make sense to purchase two smaller printers rather than one larger printer.

20-40 pages per minute(ppm) is an adequate print speed for most businesses. Rates higher than 40ppm are typically found in specialist machines that will be more expensive but if it meets your office demands, it is worth it.

Quality

If the majority of printing in your business is for internal memos then a standard monochrome printer will likely be more than satisfactory and also save on toner refills.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, graphic orientated businesses like design companies or architects firms will require bright, clear and accurate print outs. Colour laser printers have become a lot more affordable in recent years making them a reasonable option for even relatively small companies.

For businesses that require a lot of data charts and graphs to convey information to clients colour is important when it comes to print outs. A higher end colour inkjet provides enough quality to make even the most complex data easy to understand.

Flexibility

Why just get a printer when you can have a printer, copier, scanner and photo booth in one? Depending on your requirements you could have a multifunction printer carrying out numerous tasks in the office.

HP Officejet Pro X551dw

HP Officejet Pro X551dw – One of Our Bestsellers!

Most printer/scanner combos will offer direct photocopying capabilities but if your business will require large volume photocopying with collation capabilities then a printer with dedicated copying functionality and feed tray is the better option.

The type of paper a printer can accommodate should also be considered. Hi-gloss photo paper, for example, can make a big difference to the successful acceptance of a proposal.

Other printer features to consider

There are a number of specs and features that vary between printers that you should keep in mind when making your selection.

Processor

The speed of the processor determines how quickly the printer can receive and set up the print job.

Memory

The memory determines how many jobs or how large of a job a printer can queue up while it is printing other jobs. 64MB to 256MB is adequate for most business needs.

Connectivity

Wireless printers allow several computers to remotely connect to it allowing for versatility in the placement of the printer and preventing your office from becoming a spiders web of wires.

Looking for a printer? See our full range of printers here >>

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Review of Apple’s New iPhone 6

The new iPhone is here in the form of the iPhone 6. As usual, iPhone fans will adore it and iPhone haters will not. It is a reaction that has become as predictable as the changing of the seasons. But for everyone else deciding whether or not to buy one, it is helpful to know a little about the product first.

Here we take a look at some of the specs of the new iPhone 6, what they mean and if it is the right phone for you.

Apple iPhone 6The first thing to note is the change in form of the new phone. While it is substantially slimmer than the iPhone 5S (6.9mm compared to 7.6mm) the body is much larger, accommodating a 4.7” screen where the 5S had only a 4” screen. All of this is housed in a 138mm x 67mm case weighing 129g.

So while the screen is substantially larger the body itself is just 8.4mm wider than the 5S. This means that it should not be any more difficult to hold or use with one hand.

In terms of design the metal trim from the 5S has returned but this time the front and back edges are more rounded. Some might see this as making the new iPhone less distinct compared to its competitors where a rounded edge is an almost generic design feature. It does however make the larger form easier to hold .

Clearly Apple still understand their audience as the 8MP camera has been upgraded with a superior lens and faster autofocus. If Instagram shares or photography in general are important to you this could make a big difference. The front facing camera has also been improved resulting in better video calls as well as clearer “selfies”.

As ever, iPhone 6 owners will not need to worry about user experience. Apple design their software around their hardware and vice versa. This means that even if processors don’t match up to those found in higher end Samsung devices the end product operates just as smoothly and seamlessly as its rivals.

The iPhone 6 Plus finally brings an Apple offering for those of us who can never get enough screen in their lives. This larger variant is designed to compete against the likes of the Samsung Note. It has a pocket stretching 5.5” display with 1920×1080 resolution (the standard iPhone 6 resolution is 1334×750). The larger form (158.1mm x 77.8mm x 7.1mm) also allows for a larger battery giving the iPhone 6 Plus a longer charge than the standard iPhone 6 despite its larger screen.

Overall, Apple appear to have continued their tradition of producing high quality, efficient and desirable phones. The iPhone 6 is not a revolution in smart phones by any means and in many ways it follows the lead of other manufacturers. However, Apple’s approach has always been to take features that have been proven by other brands and apply their own special gloss. With the iPhone 6 they appear to have done this successfully once again.

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Posted in Mobile, News
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