January 17, 2018

Beginner's Guide to Buying a Desktop Computer

Beginner's Guide to Buying a Desktop Computer
By Marika Betker 

People certainly aren't camping outside stores in the rain to get the latest and greatest desktop computer these days, but PCs are far from dead. Simply put, there are certain functions that mobile devices and laptops either can't do or can't do nearly as well as a desktop. Not to mention, there's no beating the price. A budget desktop is going to be miles ahead of a budget laptop. It's expensive to make things small. The small size is what appeals to some people when choosing a new computer, but these days big honking towers aren't your only choice.

Styles of desktop computers  There's a lot more variation and choice in the desktop form factor, which is great in some ways, but also makes the buying process that much more complicated. You can find computers in each of these categories at a variety of price points, so the most important thing to keep in mind is how you plan to use your desktop.

Tower  The classic desktop form factor, towers have stuck around for good reason. It's hard to fit a lot of power into smaller devices like a laptop or tablet for a reasonable price. The power to price ratio of tower computers is pretty much unbeatable. There's also a lot more flexibility with a tower. There's more room to upgrade and expand the system when newer technology comes out, whereas with smaller devices you may just have to buy a whole new system.

Towers do, however, take up quite a bit of space and if space is at a premium in your home, a tower could be out of the question. They also require a separate monitor, keyboard, and mouse. There are some cases where those accessories are included, or you can get a discount if you buy them at the same time as the computer, but plan for buying those when you're making up your budget.

All-in-One   All-in-one computers offer a simple and space-saving set up. These are, in essence, a cross between a desktop and a laptop. They feature a large monitor with all the necessary components built into the back or base. The small design gives you a lot more flexibility with placement and keeps your work area clutter free. Plus, because everything is all in one, set up usually just involves plugging it in. You do still need a separate keyboard and mouse however.

Because these computers are smaller, they aren't as powerful as a tower and you can't customize and expand them (although this also makes them much simpler). There's also the issue that if the monitor breaks, you need a whole new computer.

Mini and Stick PCs  These computers use mobile components to keep them small (like all-in-ones). As such, they're not very powerful, but they're extremely portable. Mini PCs are small enough to be hidden behind a monitor or TV set up and stick PCs are slightly larger than a thumb drive. Because of the small size, they're not very powerful and internal expansion is limited to impossible.
While you won't be able to do any advanced gaming or multimedia editing, they work great for day-to-day tasks, browsing the Internet, and watching media. Set up is extremely easy and they're quite versatile in that you can use it as a home office during the day, and then plug it into a TV for a home theater at night.
The different operating systems  The question of which operating system (OS) to go with isn't asked as often with desktops as it is with tablets and smartphones, but it's still something to consider.
Windows 10  This is definitely the most common desktop OS so you'll have a big selection of hardware as well as compatible third party software. It's designed around a touchscreen interface, though it still works great with the classic mouse and keyboard, so if you don't buy a touchscreen monitor you won't have any problems.
macOS Sierra  If you're in a family of Apple lovers, then Mac could be for you. Sierra is only found on Mac computers, so you're limited in your hardware, but these are well-made computers that historically have fewer problems with viruses. A Mac will also pair seamlessly with your other Apple devices and programs.
Chrome OS  If you're just looking for simple, no-frills computing the Chrome OS will be right up your ally. The OS runs custom apps and cloud-based programs as opposed to other operating systems that run software. It's not suited for demanding tasks like gaming, but it's great for email, file-sharing, and browsing. You will always need to be connected to the internet, but that's usually not an issue with desktops.
Types of desktop computers  Not everyone is going to use a desktop for the same reasons, and how you use it will influence the type of computer you buy. After all, you don't need a complex, high-powered machine just to check your email.
Business PCs  These PCs are stripped back, no-frills machines that don't allow for advanced computing, but are easy to service and upgrade. They also usually offer extra security, software and hardware certification programs, software support, and some even have on-site tech support.
Workstations  These are specialized PCs that feature multicore processors and intense graphics. They're perfect for scientific calculations, media creation, and other high-powered tasks that wouldn't be even remotely possible on a laptop.
Gaming PCs  These are (as the name suggests) made for gaming. They feature specialized graphics cards, extremely fast multicore processors, and many have flashy design elements although those generally cost more. Upgradability is a must as newer and more immersive games are released.
Learn the lingo  There's a lot of terminology you need to know before buying a PC so that you actually know what you're buying. This list from PCWorld goes into further detail, but here's a quick breakdown of the terms you should know and understand.
Processor (CPU)  This is the brain of your computer. Processor speed is measured in gigahertz (GHz) and generally, the higher the clock speed, the better the performance and the higher the price. The more cores a processor has the better the performance as well. Desktops either have an Intel or an AMD processor.
Memory   The random-access memory (RAM) determines how good your computer is at multitasking. The higher the RAM the better, especially for high-powered tasks like gaming. For simple tasks like email and web browsing 2GB is fine, but for anything more advanced than that, look for a computer with 4GB or more.
Internal Storage  The amount of storage your desktop has determines how much stuff you can keep on your computer. Desktops almost always have more storage than laptops and for a fraction of the cost. It's also easy to upgrade your hard drive for more storage, or upgrade to a solid-state drive.
Wait for the best price, but don't wait too long  Once you've figured out which computer you want (and have read plenty of reviews to ensure that it's actually up to snuff), it's time to buy. This can be tricky with a desktop because they can be pretty expensive and technology is always evolving. While it can be tempting to just buy the computer when you're ready, you might miss out on a great deal or the latest tech. Shop regularly for a stretch of time instead of spending an entire day looking around. You're more likely to catch a deal that way. Also check the release dates of new models. You'll most likely get a good deal on an older model, or you might just want the latest technology.
Waiting for a sale also means you can bump up your computers specs with the money you save, meaning your computer is a bit more "future-proof" than if you were to just go for the cheapest one you can find. However, this is a balancing act. If you spend too much time waiting around for the perfect deal or the latest model, you're never going to end up buying your desktop. So be patient and wait for sales, but once you find the model you want in an acceptable price range, go ahead and buy it.
About the Author:  With over 25 years of experience in the rent-to-own industry, National TV Sales & Rental has grown into one of the premier rent-to-own companies in the Midwest. Since opening its first store in Lebanon, MO in 1986, National TV Sales & Rental has expanded to 17 locations in the state of Missouri. With a focus on satisfying the wants and needs of its customers in a manner that improves their lives, National TV Sales & Rental has always made the customer its number one priority. By providing its customers with exceptional service and quality products at competitive prices, National TV Sales & Rental has solidified itself as a major competitor in the industry, and has positioned itself for continued growth.

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Marika_Betker/2211686

December 27, 2017

Good Content means, Good in Organization, Technical Accuracy and Expression

Good Content means, Good in Organization, Technical Accuracy and Expression

By Uzo Onukwugha 

Every piece of writing that is judged to be good must have these four cardinal factors; otherwise the writing will fall flat regardless of its intended purpose. Remember the intent of your writing should be to inform, instruct, entertain, solve a problem or show how to achieve a goal or objective. Always write for your target audience and not the internet or the search engines. When you connect to your audience, the rewards come back to you. The four factors are: Expression, Content, Organization and Mechanical Accuracy.

Expression: This is how you project your writing for the world to see, read and evaluate. Good writing is a craft. That's why writers are called wordsmiths. A picture may be more than a thousand words but it also takes words to create pictures in your reader's mind. This is the first factor that attracts audience to your writing just as bees are attracted to nectar. You may have heard that you must write to express and not to impress. Don't write for ego; write for your audience with clarity and simplicity--so that everybody can understand your perspective and subject matter. People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. Expression is an art form. You must use your words to connect and create vivid images in your reader's mind. 

People only apply what they understand. It all boils down to your choice of words, style, personality and overall thinking process. You must use powerful words and emotional triggers. Eliminate boring adverbs and dangling modifiers as much as you can. Use active verbs instead of helping verbs or adjectives. Active verbs make your writing to be more alive and dynamic. Realize that movement generates pleasure. Use active voice rather than passive voice. Thus expression is not just what you say but how you say it. However, what you say is also important.

Content: This is the factor that separates the mediocre from the masters. "Either you write something worth reading or you do something worth writing," said Benjamin Franklin. Content is the substance and the essence of your writing. In short, content is the heart-beat of any great writing. It is the value you brought to the marketplace. People are value and quality shoppers. They want the best for the least amount of money. You have heard it said that in the internet, content is king. The story is the same everywhere. Content is the quality of the material you put out. This has to do with the key benefits the readers will extract from your writing to solve their problems or achieve their goals.

As a writer, you must always ask yourself: "how can my writing solve problems or change lives?" A good writing that sells itself is writing with great content. Search engines love content. Therefore, put out good content that people love and seek. Then the search engines will locate you naturally and people will seek your offers. Let your content be fresh and original instead of recycled materials that flood the internet. Content is what search (and research) is all about. Having said that, you must also know how to arrange and organize your content so that the information is readable and digestible.

Organization: One of the most difficult things about writing is how to organize and arrange your thoughts. "Most writings are a few good thoughts drifting about in a sea of words," said Jamie Buckingham. Organization is a product of coherence and consistency. How does your thoughts flow logically as in a flower? One idea must lead and link to the next. To be consistent, you need style manual as a guide. Therefore, try to plan your writing. Outline the key points or bare bone essentials you may want to develop before you put the flesh as you go. Let each paragraph contain a theme or one main idea. The flesh can be the description, examples or anecdotes to buttress your points. Organization is a process. It comes with practice, experience and writing intuition. You get better as you keep on writing. Formatting is a very important part of your organization. Arrange information in chunks.
That's how the human brain process information. That's why it's called bites and bytes. Formatting is about headings, paragraphing, bullets, lists, typography, lines and spacing to create visual appeal for your readers. You don't need to be a graphic artist to develop a good sense of organization. Did you notice that majority of HTML tags are formatting tags? Any good content and expression can fall flat without good formatting--it is a key part of your organization. The best way to learn this art is to glean from other good writings. After trial and success, it comes together with practice. Either you keep writing or you become a write-off. My watch word is: "Persistent practice prevents poor performance." The more you write the better you grow as a writer. Practice does not make perfect; practice makes improvements and improvements make perfect.

Mechanical (Technical) Accuracy: This is fancy way of saying that your writings should be free of errors. Mechanical Accuracy is the Achilles tendon of most writers. They worry too much about the difference between colon and semi colon--causing paralysis analysis. This is the key reason why many people dread writing. Mechanical accuracy has to do with your typographical errors, spelling, punctuation and syntax. This is why you must have your writing tools: spell checkers, dictionary, encyclopedia and other reference materials. Remember that no writing is readable until it is free of errors. It is also a smart idea to give your writing to someone else to proofread and edit because of human factors. Overall most good writers are made in rewriting. The key lies in the principle of the 3Rs: revise, review and rewrite.

Your writing process is like preparing a good meal. All four ingredients must be present in your recipe before you create a balanced food for thought.

Uzo Onukwugha is a business philosopher and strategist. He believes that a life of inspiration and business success are organically linked. Without entrepreneurial spirit, any business will fall flat. Dr. Uzo operates a website on web copywriting tips [http://www.weblinkcopywriting.com]

September 12, 2017

Choosing a Tablet Just Got Easier

Tablet Buying Guide: Choosing a Tablet Just Got Easier

The world is more mobile than ever, and the best tablets allow you to balance business, personal and entertainment functions, right in the palm of your hand. So how do you sort through all the features when choosing a tablet? Here’s everything you need to know. 

Why a tablet might be right for your business  Tablets provide many of the features your computer does, just in an ultra-portable format. Create and modify documents with Microsoft® Office apps. Add a wireless keyboard accessory for easier memos or note taking at conferences. Wi-Fi and 4G network access let you videoconference and deliver presentations using programs like WebEx.

You can also interact with customers and clients in a more engaging manner. After your sales pitch, close the deal with a mobile credit card reader. Collect instant feedback with a survey app, or have customers add their contact information for your mailing list. They may not completely replace your computer, but tablets are indispensable for many businesses.

Choosing an operating system Each tablet operating system has its own strengths, depending on what you need. Here are three of the biggest players:

  • ·        Apple® iOS The iPad® features the same operating system as iPhones and iPods, so they work together seamlessly. Sync videos, contacts, photos and apps across your Apple devices with little effort. The clean interface starts up instantly and is highly intuitive, making the iPad perfect for both heavy tablet users and novices alike. The Apple iTunes app store has almost a billion free and paid apps, with more than a third of these customized for the iPad, so you can manage everything from bookkeeping to home security to travel from just about anywhere.
  • ·         Android™  Google’s operating system powers devices from several manufacturers, including Samsung® and Amazon’s Kindle. Most Android tablets sync with Google’s tools and services, so you can sign in with your Google™ account and your photos, emails, contacts, bookmarks and Google Play™ purchases are ready to go. Android also allows easy multi-tasking and features a customizable home screen, rich notifications, resizable widgets and deep interactivity. Another plus? Android offers support for multiple user logins, so you can share your tablet with a friend or family member without worrying about giving them access to your private information. Just keep in mind that Android isn’t the same everywhere. It’s open source software, so manufacturers can create different versions of Android for different devices, some with more features than others. For example, Fire OS Mojito, the exclusive version used only on the Amazon Kindle Fire, is so highly customized for Amazon that it’s barely recognizable as Android (it’s not even compatible with apps found in the Google Play store).·         Windows
  • Microsoft® positions its tablets as mini PCs. In fact, some Microsoft Surface tablets run full-fledged versions of Windows 10. These Windows-running tablets are known as “convertibles,” since they function almost as well as laptops as they do tablets. Users can easily switch back and forth between using the Surface as a laptop and a tablet when a keyboard accessory is attached. Throw in bigger screens, laptop-grade processors and docking stations, and you have some pretty robust machines. Windows 10’s crisp, tiled touch interface makes using apps and socializing easy. The Windows App Store offers thousands of apps, and Microsoft's cloud services let you access your files from anywhere. (For the more cost-conscious who don’t need all the bells and whistles, Windows RT is a more limited version of the same operating system.)
Tablets are made for mobile  All tablet models come with built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, so they’re ideal for going wherever you do. They’ll work just fine in Wi-Fi hotspots, like your home or office. But if you’ll be on the go a lot and need to access the Internet in places where Wi-Fi networks aren’t available, try choosing a tablet with built-in cellular functionality, just like your cell phone. These devices are more expensive, not including the monthly cell service charge, but if you're a power user or frequent traveler, it’s worth the upgrade.

The importance of screen size Screens typically start at a modest 7” display and go up to about 12” (measured diagonally). The weight is generally less than 1.5 pounds. That means carrying a tablet around is about as easy as carrying a folder filled with important documents would be.
While smaller devices offer amazing portability, consider how you’ll use your tablet before making a decision: Larger displays are better for browsing the Internet, conducting video calls or working on documents. And watching HD movies is always better on a bigger screen.

How’s it look? Tablet manufacturers often brag about impressive screen resolution. But that’s not the whole story. Tablets feature LCD screens, which use a light source placed behind the image. So when you look at a tablet screen, you’re essentially looking directly into the source of light. That’s great if you read in the dark or in an area with low light, but it's not so good if you’re sitting in bright sunlight. If you’re planning to use your tablet for say, reading the latest business best seller at the beach, you may want an eReader that’s not backlit.

Two cameras are better than one Most tablets now come with back- and front-facing cameras, allowing you to take high-res photos and conduct video calls. Just remember that the back camera will have higher resolution (read: more megapixels) than the front camera, so pictures taken with the back camera will be sharper.
(Sources : https://www.staples.com/sbd/cre/marketing/technology-research-centers/tablets/tablet-buying-guide.html)

July 16, 2017

8 Best Tablets for Watching TV and Movies and Browsing

If you're looking for the very best tablet to buy, get Apple's 9.7-inch iPad Pro. It's the ultimate combination of premium design, specifications, paired with powerful software and an unrivaled ecosystem of accessories and apps.
The best thing about it, has to be the design but there's a lot more going for it including the powerful specs, decent battery life and versatility. The breadth of accessories (including the awesome Apple Pencil) is quite something, too.
If you don't want the iPad Pro, but don't worry - T3.com has you covered with a number of other brilliant tabs to suit your needs.
How to choose the best tablet for you
Let's face it, tablets aren't the most exciting devices in the world of tech right now, there's not that much innovation going on, and they're not exactly flying off the shelves.
But bear with us, because most households in the UK still own one (or more), and buying a tab should be a big decision, because, unlike smartphones, your tablet will stick around for longer than two years. So what should you look out for in a tablet?
A great screen is a start, as that's what you'll be staring at most of the time, great speakers are also important, as these are devices primarily used for consuming media.
Key features to look out for include water resistance (so you can watch Netflix in the bath), and a MicroSD slot to fill up with plenty of media. If you're planning on using the tab for work a physical keyboard or stylus could be useful.
Now, you may notice that our three top tablets are iPads, that's because we think iOS is much better suited to larger screens than Android, and the app ecosystem is much better. Of course, we have the best choices for Android users as well. 

Here are 8 of the best tablets you can buy today

1. Apple iPad Pro 9.7

Simply the best tablet around, don't even bother looking at the rest
Weight: 437g | Dimensions: 240x170x6.1mm | OS: iOS 9.3 | Screen size: 9.7 | Resolution: 2048x1536 | CPU: Apple A9X | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 32/128/256GB | Battery: 6470mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 5MP
No prizes for guessing the top spot. The iPad Pro 9.7 is the best tablet ever created - and that's not us getting excited over an Apple product for the sake of it (before you accuse us of being paid by Apple). Yes, it's expensive, but for that money you're getting one of the most versatile tablets available.
Read the full review: Apple iPad Air 2
The battery life is more than acceptable, the camera has been massively upgraded (although, obviously we don't recommend you use it), and the screen upgrades genuinely make viewing web pages or videos on the go a joy. The best thing about it, however, has to be the design, it's premium build quality, and the 4x3 size ratio makes it just feel 'right' in the hand. If the iPad Pro 9.7 is a little too pricey and over-specced for your needs, you can always go with the brilliant iPad Air 2.

2. Apple iPad Pro

The best large tablet
Weight: 713g | Dimensions: 306x220x6.9mm | OS: iOS 9 | Screen size: 12.9 | Resolution: 2048x2732 | CPU: Apple A9X | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32/128GB | Battery: 10307mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 1.2MP
This may seem like a blown up iPad Air 2, and that's what it essentially is. The iPad Pro is the largest tablet we've ever seen from Apple and it really is a monster. It has a 12.9-inch display that makes it a difficult to handle. So don't expect any one-handed action here (is anyone else hearing these innuendos?)
Read the full review: Apple iPad Pro
It does mean there's a big beautiful screen you can draw on with the Apple Pencil, and there's a huge 10,307mAh battery under the hood to keep this thing powered on for ages. Inside is an Apple A9X chip and 4GB of RAM. You can also get a huge 128GB of storage, but be warned it's going to cost you.

3. Apple iPad Mini 4

The best small tablet
Weight: 299g | Dimensions: 203x134x6.1mm | OS: iOS 9 | Screen size: 7.9 | Resolution: 1536x2048 | CPU: Apple A8 | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16/64/128GB | Battery: 5124mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 1.2MP
It's not a huge surprise that Apple's smaller tablet is still one of the best on the market. Interestingly, though, its high-end build quality causes it some problems, making it heavier than a lot of the plastic-bodied Android tablets out there.
Read the full review: iPad Mini 4
It's ideal travel companion as it's easy to hold and just the right size for a decent gaming experience. Some people knocked the iPad Mini for not adding many features with the last iteration, but we'd say it's difficult to improve upon perfection. If you're after a small tablet, this is your choice.

4. Samsung Galaxy Tab S3

The best Android tablet you can get
Weight: 429g | Dimensions: 237.3 x 169 x 6mm | OS: Android 7.0 (Nougat) | Screen size: 9.7-inches | Resolution: 1536 x 2048 pixels | CPU: Snapdragon 820 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 6000mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 5MP
Samsung's latest attempt at a tablet is much better than any Android attempt we've ever seen before. Even though the design isn't all that inspiring (but really, how can you make a tablet inspiring?), it offers a lot of high-end spec under the hood, and a gorgeous 9.7-inch screen up front, and the brilliant S Pen for precise note-taking.
Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
This is the closest Android manufacturers have got to an iPad Pro competitor - which in our eyes is a massive compliment.

5. Google Pixel C

A pretty decent tablet form Google
Weight: 517g | Dimensions: 242 x 179 x 7mm | OS: Android 6.0 Marshmallow | Screen size: 10.2-inch | Resolution: 2560 x 1800 | CPU: Nvidia Tegra X1 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: N/A | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 2MP
Don't mistake the Google Pixel C for just another Nexus product. This is Google's chance to prove it can make incredible hardware without the help of another manufacturer. And it has done exactly that.
Read the full review: Google Pixel C
This is the best Android tablet you can buy right now. It's not exactly cheap at £399 and the keyboard costs an extra £119, but the whole experience is surprisingly great. It's got a very understated design that looks professional and stylish at the same time.

6. Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet

You can take Sony's amazing tablet into the bath with you
Weight: 389g | Dimensions: 254x167x6.1mm | OS: Android 5.0 | Screen size: 10.1 | Resolution: 2560x1600 | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 6000mAh | Rear camera: 8.1MP | Front camera: 5.1MP
Sony's Z4 is easily the company's best tablet to date. Like a lot of Sony's phones and tablets it can take a splash in water too, in fact, it can survive full submersion. Handy for tablets that are left around kids, or you want to use in wet places.
Read the full review: Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
Even more impressive is the fact that you can connect it to your PS4 and play games over your home network. That's a pretty impressive feat, and while it needs a really good quality network, it's an amazing feature you just don't get on other devices that makes the Sony stand out. Oh, and the screen is beautiful too.

7. Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Want Windows 10 instead? Well, if you must...
Weight: 766g | Dimensions: 292 x 201 x 8.5mm | OS: Windows 10 | Screen size: 12.3-inch | Resolution: 2736 x 1824 | CPU: Intel Core M3 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 128GB | Battery: N/A | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 5MP
Microsoft's Surface Pro 4 may look like the Surface Pro 3, but it's quite a different beast altogether. Once again it can transform between laptop and tablet with ease (there's a simple detachable keyboard), but this time, there are a lot of refinements to make the whole experience easier and more enjoyable.
Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Pro 4
The Surface Pro 4 won't come cheap and the type cover is sold separately - but this is more than a tablet. It's a laptop as well, so it's worth splashing out on it. It's two devices in one!

8. Google Nexus 9

Built by HTC and one of the nicest Nexus devices ever made
Weight: 425g | Dimensions: 228.2x153.7x8mm | OS: Android 5 | Screen size: 8.9 | Resolution: 2048x1536 | CPU: nVidia Tegra K1 | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16GB | Battery: 6700mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 1.2MP
HTC brings its considerable expertise to the table with the Nexus 9. This tablet is solidly built and offers all of the niceties of a "Nexus" branded product. Put simply, this is a pure Android experience. There is no extra customisation here, this tablet survives on the Google Android experience. It is therefore ideal for enthusiasts who don't want, or need, to be guided through the OS.
Read the full review: Google Nexus 9
The Nexus devices are also the first to get updated to the new versions of Android too, so there's none of that painful waiting to get new features.
Resources: http://www.t3.com/features/best-tablet