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TouchSmart Review
August 17th, 2014  | Tags:

*Steve Makris is a technology expert who does a weekly Tech Talk segment during Edmonton’s Sunday Morning News. You can watch his segment above.

You know it’s back to school time when the flyers are inundated with dozens of laptops and tablets.

I get asked a lot about what laptop or tablet to buy. My advice on computer buying is good for year-round shopping, but let’s get this back to school thing out of the way first.

The Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Series offers a lot for its small size and price

The Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Series offers a lot for its small size and price

supplied

For post secondary education, the emphasis is on connectivity as most post secondary institutions, including the U of A, leave it up to students to decide their devices.

“Mobile, of course, is the largest piece of the puzzle. Like most post-secondaries, we’re seeing each student connecting concurrently via three to four devices, so that means we’re paying a lot of attention to wireless capacity. That, rather than flavour of access, is our major challenge,” said Mike MacGregor Vice Provost and Associate Vice President (Information Technology) and Professor at University of Alberta.

K-12 parents and students should check with the actual school they are attending, on what the suggested devices are. The Edmonton Public School Board for example uses the online Google Apps for Education. It has purchased more than 15,000 Google Internet based Chromebook laptops but any other laptop or tablet that goes online will have the same access to the online system.

“Students can bring any device they like, but that’s the starting point,” said EPSB’s Terry Korte. “We have Chromebooks available for anyone who cannot or chooses not to bring their own device.”

In contrast, the Edmonton Separate Catholic School Board uses Microsoft collaboration tools and Office 365, free to students and educators.

“We place high importance on a device’s battery life and tactile keyboard,” said IT director Dan Durand.

As for laptops, notebooks and MacBooks versus tablets and iPads, most educators agree the latter are better consuming devices compared to the much more efficient laptop with larger screen and dedicated keyboard. Sure, tablets and iPads are cool and some 10-inch models seem OK but they simply can’t cut it for creating school content.

Now for the real challenging part. How do you shop around for a PC or Apple laptop?

Apple MacBooks are a no brainer. The choices are simple from the ultralight MacBook Air to the heavier MacBook Pro. They cost more than the average Windows laptop because they do not compromise on how they are made, using the newest Intel processor and graphics chips (hint:  the giveaway is “Intel HD Graphics 5000 compared to the Windows side of Intel HD Graphics 4500, 4000 and and still some 3000, for less money). The Air starts at $999 while the heavier MacBook Pro starts at $1,199.

Windows laptops are a labyrinth of brands, styles and prices starting at $350 going all the way up to several thousand. Some in fact are better than their closest Apple counterparts like the sharper and lighter Dell XP 15. But buying an advertised $350 laptop is not a steal. You are buying older and slower technology, shorter battery time, heavier and hot running. But hey, it’s 350 bucks!

A word about AMD processors versus Intel processors. Intel makes faster processors with a larger marketing budget boasting impressive performance, sometimes almost twice as fast with similar AMD chips. But that speed gain is not noticed in school work running office and Internet tasks. It is if you are playing a graphics intensive game or are running an 85 MG 35,000 row Excel file, which students simply don’t. AMD equipped laptops will save you $100 and come with larger hard drives or memory to make up for the mostly un-noticeable slower performance.

What goes into incrementally better Windows laptop or notebooks? Stores will never tell you this, as long as you buy something, I have made it my life mission to explain the Windows PC pricing maze.

-Most sub $400 laptops run on older Intel Pentium chips, originally ment for desktop PCs. They are heavy to lug around, hot on your lap if you can stand the weight and the most inefficient in battery use, no more than several hours. Don’t be fooled by the 15-inch “HD” screen. It’s the lowest of resolutions, 1366×768 pixels. and unevenly lighted when viewed from one angle. Have you noticed how you need to adjust the screen angle on these cheaper laptops to see the edges of the screen better? Pricier laptops with the same resolution have better viewing angles. Compare them side by side in a store.

-$500 to $700 laptops offer more power with newer chips, longer battery life and more portability. They don’t offer better screen resolution still at 1366 x 768 pixels but better models offer IPS technology for wider viewing angles. The lower end of these laptops may not come with a touch screen, something you will start missing when using Windows 8 even if you don’t like the new OS.

-$900-$1,200 Windows laptops can equal or better Apple portables. They feature Full HD 1920 x 1080 pixel screens with IPS wide viewing technology. These laptops are lighter, faster and run longer. They use the newest Intel processors. Many are hybrid, with swing out or removable keyboards to become touch tablets in Windows Metro or enhanced mode. This is where you will find the ideal size 14-inch laptops with Full HD 1920×1080 resolution for clearer text and reading.

-$1,400 and up go overboard with cutting edge manufacturing, super thin, light and long running. They are a good investment as they are so well made, they will outlast cheaper next generation laptops. They feature QHD+ 3200 x 1800 like the Dell XPS 15 (15.6-inches) and Toshiba’s Satellite new P50t 15.6-inch Ultra HD LCD touchscreen display with an eye-popping 3840 x 2160 resolution. Ultra portable 13-inch models like Acer’s S7-392-9439 and Samsung’s ATIV Book 9 (2014 edition) are in this category with brilliant 13-inch screens, and arge SSD drives, but some folks prefer the larger working screen space 14-inch models have.

DEEPER TECH TIPS ON LAPTOPS

-14-inch laptops with an in-between 1600×900 resolution offer a good balanced price value. One annoying experience with higher than Full HD 1920×1080 resolution screens approaching QUAD resolution is how small icons and text looks, sharp yes, but tiny, requiring you to adjust your computers display settings, which vary by each application. Windows 8.1 handles text and icons in high resolution screens much better than Windows 8.

-The rule of thumb on acceptably sharp screen size is: 1366×768 for under 11-inch screens, 1600×900 for under 14 inch screens and Full HD 1920×1080 for 15-inch screens or higher.

-Intel fourth generation processors that have “4000” in their HD graphics specs, come in i3, i5 and i7 chip flavours. The best bang for your buck is the i5 processor which automatically boosts its clock speed when needed, minimizing battery use.

-Some models still come with Windows 8 while $50 pricier versions come with Windows 8.1. You can save and do the free upgrade yourself.

Here are examples of Windows laptop/notebooks offering good value for their features. You can use this as a base comparison when shopping for new Windows laptops of any brand.

-Acer Aspire V11, $429.99 11.6-inch touchscreen features a Celeron N2930, 4GB RAM, 500 GB drive, fanless whisper quiet design, Windows 8.1.

-Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Series 2-in-1, $499.99 features an 11.6-inch touchscreen HD 1366×768 wide angle IPS viewing 360 degree hinge screen, spill-resistant keyboard, Multi-Touchpad with integrated scrolling gestures, 4 GB RAM, 500GB spin drive and Windows 8.1 Exceptional screen view and compact. Although it has a Pentium Quad core it is one of the sweetest affordable under 12-inch laptops around.

-Samsung ATIV Book 9 $799.99 13.3 touchscreen HD 1368×768 screen, AMD A6 Quad Core, 128 GB SSD/4GB RAM at Best Buy with Windows 8.1 or $749.99  with Windows 8 requiring your own free upgrade to Windows 8.1.

-ASUS Transformer Book Flip T300 (TP300L) $799 with a 13.3 inch HD 1366×768 screen that swivels 360 degrees in an Intel iCore 3 or i5, Asus instant on, free 16 GB web storage, Windows 8.1. It’s an affordable model with a little bit of everything.

-HP ENVY Touchsmart 15, $899.99, features a 360 degree hinged 15.5 Full HD 1920×1080 screen, Intel Core i5 4210 U, 8GB RAM, 750 GB, full keyboard with numeric keypad, Beats Audio, unique HP Control Zone trackpad gesture zones, Windows 8.1. You pay for the hinge and larger screen.

The much improved Windows Surface Pro 3 is as good as any competitor and comes with Stylus

The much improved Windows Surface Pro 3 is as good as any competitor and comes with Stylus

supplied

-Windows Surface Pro 3, $849.99 (64 GB SSD) to $1,999.99 (512 GB SSD) with an optional but necessary $129.99 keyboard cover, 12-inch FullHD 1920×1024 screen, Intel Core i5, microSD memory upgrade slot, Windows 8.1. Bonus Stylus included which offers great value that makes up for the optional quality keyboard you need. Big improvements over previous models, like noticeably thinner, with a multi-angle back stand and a slightly raised keyboard angle. Microsoft knows they have a greatly designed model and charging accordingly.

-Acer S7-392-9439, $1,600, 13.3″ 2560 x 1440 WQHD IPS LED-backlit multi-touch display, – 64-bit Intel Core i7-4500U processor (1.8GHz/3.0GHz w/ Turbo Boost) – 8GB DDR3L RAM –256GB SSD, 10-point multi-touch control – triple display support – Intel HD Graphics 4400 – Dolby stereo, Acer ZoomPerfect touchpad, Windows 8.1 This is a top-tier laptop, light, fast and thin. You get what you pay for.

A DIFFERENT LAPTOP

-HP Chromebook, starting at $399, 11-inch or 14-inch HD display runs online with Google Chrome OS and access to Google apps, but can also function and play media when offline off its included relatively small storage of 16 or 32 GB. It looks like a laptop and is the choice of many educational institutions who use online services. This model charges off a micro USB cable like cellphones, making it even more portable. It’s about $150 cheaper than a traditional physical feature laptop but is popular with folks who live online with social, browsing and online apps. Half a dozen OEM brands are making Chromebooks.

© Shaw Media, 2014

Article source: http://globalnews.ca/news/1511689/back-to-school-tips-for-laptops-and-tablets/

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August 17th, 2014  | Tags:

Collecting product videos on a single page and adding product video testimonials to product detail pages and social media sites could lead to more sales for online retailers.

Some in the ecommerce industry believe that product videos can and do increase conversion rates and sales, perhaps, because in some cases and for some products or categories, video does a better job of explaining product use, benefits, and value than text and images.

As an example, last year Econsultancy offered up six specific cases of online retailers — including Ariat and Zappos — that had enjoyed better sales for items promoted on-site with product video.

Zappos, according to Econsultancy, enjoyed between a 6-percent and 30-percent increase in sales for items with product demonstration videos, and other retailers reported even greater conversion boosts.

Separately, Carla Marshall writing for ReelSEO, reported that nearly three quarters of consumers believed that video had influenced an online purchase and that some 96 percent of respondents to a survey said that videos were helpful for making online buying decisions.

Optimizing Product Videos for Sales Conversions

While the mere presence of a video on a product detail page seems to have a positive impact on ecommerce sales, there are certainly some product videos that perform better than others. Zappos, according to Econsultancy, saw differing increases in conversions with videos, and Ariat, which sells equestrian footwear, apparently saw a 160 percent increase conversions for some products, as reported by Econsultancy.

In an email conversation with Practical Ecommerce, Jon Spenceley, community marketing manager at video hosting and marketing platform maker Vidyard, had three suggestions for helping online retailers get the most out of their product videos.

Create a Video Section on Your Site

“Collecting all of your product videos in one central location means prospective customers don’t have to go digging for your content. You can still show them on individual ecommerce pages, but make sure there’s one distinct area that your videos can live,” Spenceley wrote.

Collections of product videos could appear in at least a couple places. As Spenceley suggests, online merchants could have a dedicated video section on site. Brick-and-click retailer Toys”R”Us has a video gallery that consolidates product videos.

ToysRUs has a video gallery to display product videos all in one place.

Toys”R”Us has a video gallery to display product videos all in one place.

Video collections might also be consolidated on sites like YouTube. At the time of writing, Williams-Sonoma had more than 20,000 subscribers to its YouTube Channel. This channel features that same product videos that are available on product detail pages on the Williams-Sonoma site. For example, the Margaritaville Bali Frozen Concoction Maker video shown below from YouTube is also available on the product’s detail page.

Include a Call-to-action in Videos

“Use calls-to-action during and after your video to prompt buyers to make a purchase,” Spenceley wrote. “If someone has just finished watching your product video, keep the momentum going and let them buy while you’re top of mind.”

Often when merchants produce product videos, there is an assumption that the video will be displayed in the product detail page context and, thus, the call-to-action is implied, but if an online retailer is consolidating videos in galleries, on YouTube, or in some similar way, the product videos will need to have a standalone call-to-action that encourages shoppers to make a purchase.

Calls-to-action could be included in a few ways. The video content might directly ask the customer to purchase, or an overlay might make the pitch. Below is an example video for a product called Poo-pourri toilet spray. At second 53, the video displays a “Buy it Now” message.

Another Poo-pourri video that explains in detail how the product works, includes an overlay with a link where shoppers can purchase the toilet spray.

Video might include a call-to-action directly in the video content or as an overlay.

Video might include a call-to-action directly in the video content or as an overlay.

Use Product and Service Testimonials

“Testimonial videos can go a long way to showing potential clients what your product can do for them. Try and get happy customers on camera to share their experience,” Spenceley wrote.

Honest testimonial videos are best kind of customer reviews because shoppers get to see a person, not the store, tell them how well a product works or how good their shopping experience was. As an example, look at the video on the Amazon product detail page for the HP Envy 17-j160nr 17.3-Inch TouchSmart Laptop. It includes several customer testimonials collected from the Expo video opinion community.

Video testimonials can encourage shoppers to buy.

Video testimonials can encourage shoppers to buy.

Retailers can try to collect testimonial videos from loyal customers, via requests on social media, or even from product manufacturers that may have testimonial videos they are willing to share.

Article source: http://www.practicalecommerce.com/articles/71808-3-Ways-to-Make-Ecommerce-Product-Videos-More-Effective

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August 16th, 2014  | Tags:



Buy this photo

Posted: Friday, August 15, 2014 5:29 pm

Crime of the Week

From the Herald

Plainview Herald

|
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Plainview/Hale County Crime Stoppers Committee will pay a reward of up to $350 to anyone with information that will lead to the arrest and indictment of the person or persons responsible for the following crimes:

•On Aug. 13, someone entered Ray Lee Equipment and took four Stihl chainsaws.

•On Aug. 12, someone entered several vehicles that were parked outside Courtyard Apartments. Taken were a Samsung Galaxy Note 3, golf club, Nikon camera, HTC smartphone and several miscellaneous items.

•On Aug. 5, someone entered 1611 Galveston and took a Hewlett Packard TouchSmart computer.

•On July 24, someone entered 1014 Ash and took several tools, a cutting torch and a 6-foot ladder.

Fugitives: Crime Stoppers will pay a reward of up to $250 for information that leads to the arrest of the following persons. Warrants have been issued for their arrest. Callers can contact the Hale County Sheriff’s Office Warrants Division at 296-2724 or contact the Crime Stoppers Hotline.

•Ray Velez, 23, Hispanic male. is wanted for burglary of a habitation.

•Silverio Delgado-Gutierrez, 65, Hispanic male, is wanted for arson.

•Ruben Castillo, 55, Hispanic male, is wanted for possession of controlled substance.

•Brian Martin Aguilar, 28, Hispanic male, is wanted for arson and assault.

•Ramon Esqueda Gonzales, 40, Hispanic male, is wanted for indecency with a child.

Anyone having information on the above crimes or any other crimes occurring in Plainview or Hale County can contact the Crime Stoppers Hotline at 293-8477 (293-TIPS). All calls will be confidential.

© 2014 MyPlainview.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

on

Friday, August 15, 2014 5:29 pm.

Article source: http://www.myplainview.com/news/police_report/article_aa6c5b72-24ca-11e4-a048-0019bb2963f4.html

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August 14th, 2014  | Tags:


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Il Satellite L50-B-166 è l’ultima proposta di Toshiba per l’intrattenimento domestico. Si tratta di un prodotto con schermo da 15,6 pollici, grafica dedicata e processore Core i7 che ha un prezzo di poco superiore a 700 euro. Come vedremo più avanti non è l’ideale per giocare, ma chi cerca una soluzione economica per un sistema tuttofare potrebbe trovarlo interessante.

La configurazione potente e il prezzo contenuto sono i due elementi su cui gioca Toshiba per attirare i consumatori verso il nuovo Satellite L50-B-166. Lo schermo grande con risoluzione Full HD e la grafica dedicata si propongono di garantire il supporto delle applicazioni multimediali anche impegnative, la cui elaborazione è affidata a un processore Core i7. ​

Considerato il prezzo e la dotazione i concorrenti con cui si va a scontrare questo modello sono parecchi: quasi tutti i produttori hanno ormai a listino soluzioni analoghe. Fra i prodotti che abbiamo provato ci sono per esempio l’HP Envy Touchsmart 15, il Pavilion 15 e l’Asus VivoBook S550 CB. Quest’ultimo nella versione che abbiamo provato aveva in dotazione un Core i5, ma in commercio ci sono diverse declinazioni con Core i7, basta cercare.

A parità di dimensioni dello schermo, il Satellite offre una risoluzione più elevata (e decisamente più gradita ai consumatori), un disco fisso più capiente del Pavilion e del VivoBook nelle versioni che abbiamo provato, alla pari con quello dell’Envy Touchsmart. Fra gli elementi più importanti di differenziazione ci sono poi la RAM, che è una via di mezzo fra i 4 GB del VivoBook e i 12 GB delle due soluzioni HP, e la grafica: questo Satellite ha in dotazione una soluzione AMD, contro quelle Nvidia dei concorrenti.

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I prezzi di tutti i prodotti finora provati sono compresi fra 700 e 900 euro, che è la quotazione attuale di mercato per i notebook di questa categoria. Se cercate online però non sarà difficile trovare delle offerte con qualche punto percentuale di sconto.

Anche se questi quattro modelli sono solo una piccola parte dell’offerta che è disponibile online e nei negozi, le prestazioni e le caratteristiche sono un esempio guida indicativo per l’intera offerta. 

 
Toshiba Satellite L50-B-166
HP Envy Touchsmart 15
Asus VivoBook S550CB
HP Pavilion 15
Caratteristiche fisiche
Dimensioni (HxWxD)
380 x 259,9 x 23,5 millimetri
37,95 x 25,07 x 2,99 centimetri
38,3 x 25,9 x 2,1 centimetri
38,56 x 25,8 x 2,26 centimetri
Peso
2,2 chilogrammi
2,56 chilogrammi
2,65 chilogrammi
2,3 chilogrammi
Hardware
Processore
Intel Core i7-4500U a 1.8 GHz
Intel Core i7-4700MQ a 2.4 GHz, in modalità Turbo 3.4 GHz
Intel Core i5-3317U a 1.7 GHz
Intel Core i7-4500U a 1.8 GHz
Memoria RAM
8 GB, massimo 16 GB
12 GB
4 GB
12 GB
Processore Grafico
AMD Radeon R7 M260 con 2 GB di memoria dedicata
Nvidia GeForce GT 740M con 2 GB di DDR3 dedicata
Nvidia GeForce GT 740M (2 GB VRAM dedicati)
Nvidia GeForce GT740M (2 GB di DDR3 dedicati)
Hard Disk
1 TB a 5400 RPM
SATA da 1 TB a 5400 RPM
500 GB + 24 GB SSD Cache
750 GB a 5400 RPM
Unità Ottica
Masterizzatore DVD
No
Masterizzatore DVD
Masterizzatore DVD
Batteria
Capacità
2594 mAh, 44104 mWh
6237 mAh, 62360 mWh
44604 mWh
2340 mAh, 39782 mWh
Alimentatore
Potenza
65 Watt
120 Watt
65 Watt
65 Watt
Peso
262 grammi
595 grammi
352 grammi
335 grammi
Dimensioni
9,8 x 2,8 x 4,1 centimetri
14,2 x 2,5 x 7,4 centimetri
7,5 x 3 x 7,5 centimetri
10,5 x 4,6 x 3,1 centimetri
Schermo
Dimensione
15,6 pollici
15,6 pollici
15,6 pollici
15,6 pollici
Tecnologia
LCD TFT lucido
LED IPS
LCD TFT
LCD TFT
Risoluzione
1920 x 1080 pixel
1920 x 1080 pixel
1366 x 768 pixel
1366 x 768 pixel
Touchscreen
No

No
No
Connettori Video
VGA
Si
No
Si
No
DVI
No
No
No
No
HDMI




Display Port
No
No
No
No
Altri
Si
No
No
No
Connettività Dati
Wi-Fi
ac/a/b/g/n
b/g/n
b/g/n
b/g/n
Ethernet
Si
Si
Si
Si
Bluetooth
4.0 + LE
4.0
4.0
No
Connettori Dati
USB 2.0
1
 
2
1
USB 3.0
2, una con funzione Sleep-and-Charge
4
1
2
eSATA
No
No
No
No
Thunderbolt
No
No
No
No
Lettore di schede di memoria
SD Card fino a 2 GB, miniSD/microSD Card con adattatore fino a 2 GB, SDHC Card fino a 32 GB, SDXC Card fino a 64 GB e MultiMedia Card fino a 2 GB
SD
SD
SD
Express Card
No
No
No
 
Webcam
Risoluzione
HD
HD
HD
HD
Audio
Connettore Microfono
Presa jack da 3,5 millimetri combinata con le cuffie
Presa jack da 3,5 mm
Presa jack da 3,5 mm
Presa jack da 3,5 mm
Connettore Cuffia
Presa jack da 3,5 millimetri combinata con il microfono
Presa jack da 3,5 mm
Presa jack da 3,5 mm
Presa jack da 3,5 mm
Connettori altoparlanti
No
No
No
No
Sicurezza
Lettore impronte digitali
No
Si
No
No
TPM
No
No
No
No
Sistema Operativo
Windows
8.1 a 64 bit
8 a 64 bit
8.1 a 64 bit
8.1 a 64 bit
Garanzia
Durata
2 anni
1 anno
2 anni
2 anni
Tipologia assistenza
Carry In
Carry-In
Il primo anno inclusa l’assicurazione kasko
Carry-In
Servizi aggiuntivi
A pagamento
A pagamento
A pagamento
A pagamento
Prezzo
Prezzo
799 euro di listino, 722 euro online
1099 euro
914 euro
799 euro
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Article source: http://www.tomshw.it/cont/articolo/toshiba-satellite-l50-notebook-con-grafica-radeon-a-700-euro/58053/1.html

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August 13th, 2014  | Tags:

Campus bookstores are renowned for their price gouging, but it turns out textbooks aren’t the only items they sell at a premium. We looked at the online bookstores of six universities and found that laptops and tablets are also sold at higher-than-average prices. In some instances, we found devices that were up to 135% more than what you’d pay at a normal store.

To compare prices, we turned to U.S. News World Report’s college rankings for private and public universities. While our intent was to look at the computer stores of the top five private and top five public schools, we found that many private schools didn’t allow access to their online bookstores without a valid student email or ID. So our final list consists of the top five public schools and one private school.

For each campus store, we looked at its cheapest laptop, its most expensive laptop, and its cheapest tablet available. We then compared the colleges’ prices to recent deals we’ve posted on our site. For accuracy, we only compared items with similar configurations and hardware.


Campus Prices Are 35% Higher Than Back-to-School Deals

On average, we found that campus laptop prices were 35% more expensive than back-to-school deals for the same systems, purchased elsewhere. In addition, many campus stores suffered from a very limited selection of devices, oftentimes selling older laptop models or underpowered systems at higher-than-average prices.

The University of Virginia, for instance, is selling what appears to be the first-generation iPad mini 16GB Tablet for a whopping $469. We’ve seen this tablet for just $199 on more than one occasion this summer, which makes the University of Virginia’s price a 135% increase over this summer’s best deal. Even if the store is actually selling the newer Retina version, that price tag is still $70 more than what Apple charges directly.

Likewise, the University of California, Berkeley offers the HP Pavilion TouchSmart 10-e010nr AMD A4 10.1″ Touchscreen Laptop for $319 when we listed it for $229 mid-July. That’s a 39% increase over the best deal we could find for this exact system.

To be fair, not all campus devices we investigated were overpriced. Some devices, like the 2014 MacBook Air and HP 14″ Chromebook, were just as cheap on campus as they were in our deal archives. However, of the many deals we checked, 68% were cheaper when purchased outside of campus versus buying them on-site in college.

One pricey campus deal did include an impressive 4-year warranty; but aside from that, we could find no justification for the price differences we saw. Shoppers can however inquire if campus computer purchases include add-ons, repairs, extended warranty, or similar extras.


Beware Apple’s Educational Discount

As a student, you may think Apple’s educational discount is the holy grail of Apple deals. However, we’ve found that Apple’s back-to-school deals can be easily beaten. Stores such as Best Buy are known for offering better deals than Apple, and while these authorized retailers may not trump Apple’s offerings by wide margins, we’ve found some outside deals that top Apple’s educational discounts by up to $50.

That said, many colleges participate in Apple’s back-to-school promo, and clicking through their online store redirects you to Apple’s storefront for students. At first glance, this may sound like an easy win, but at the very least we recommend searching for alternative deals before settling for Apple’s discounts.

The few colleges that didn’t link to Apple’s Education Store featured prices that were on average 44% costlier than outside back-to-school deals. So if you must buy from your college, at the very least ensure that they will match or offer you Apple’s student discount.

As a college student, you’re already paying a premium for your books, tuition, and housing, so any money you can save makes a difference. And with laptops being a near-essential part of a college education, there’s no reason why you should overpay for a system you can find significantly cheaper outside your campus quarters.

Louis Ramirez is a features writer for Dealnews.com, where this article first appeared: http://dealnews.com/features/Online-College-Stores-Charge-35-More-for-Laptops/1122607.html

Article source: http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2014/0812/Buying-a-laptop-for-college-Don-t-buy-it-on-campus.

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August 13th, 2014  | Tags:

省スペースPCPavilion Slimline 400-320jp/CTには23.5型ディスプレーが無料で付属

2014年08月13日 16時14分更新

文● 八尋/ASCII.jp編集部



CPUやメモリーのアップグレード、Office Personal 2013のカスタマイズどれか1つが500円でできる「ワンコインキャンペーンモデル」が値引きになるキャンペーンが実施中(写真は「Pavilion Slimline 400-320jp/CT 東京生産」

 日本ヒューレット・パッカードは直販サイト「HP Directplus」にて、デスクトップPC購入時にCPUやメモリーのアップグレード、Office Personal 2013のカスタマイズどれか1つが500円でできる「ワンコインキャンペーンモデル」が値引きになるキャンペーンを実施中だ。

 キャンペーン対象は、「Pavilion Slimline 400-320jp/CT 東京生産」、「Pavilion 22-h140jp/CT TouchSmart 東京生産」の2機種。

 省スペースPCのPavilion Slimline 400-320jp/CT 東京生産は、通常CPUがCore i3-4130、メモリーは4GB、ストレージは500GB HDDという構成だ。OSはWindows 8.1 Update(64bit)を採用する。価格は5000円引きで7万5384円。500円でアップグレード/カスタマイズ可能なのは以下の通り。

  • Core i7-4790へ(通常1万7000円)
  • 16GBメモリーへ(通常1万9000円)
  • Office Personal 2013のカスタマイズ(通常1万9000円)

また、フルHDに対応する23型ディスプレーが無料で付属。そのほか、「3年出張修理サービス付モデル」が7000円引きで8万4024円、3年出張修理サービス付モデル」が2000円引きで8万784円で購入できる。

 一体型PCのPavilion 22-h140jp/CT TouchSmart 東京生産は、通常Core i3-4139T、4GBメモリー、500GB HDDという構成だ。ディスプレーはタッチ対応の21.5型で、解像度は1920×1080ドット。Windows 8.1(64bit)を採用する。価格は8000円引きで8万6184円。500円でアップグレード/カスタマイズ可能なのは以下の通り。

  • Core i5-4590へ(通常1万円)
  • ワイヤレスTVチューナーのカスタマイズ(通常1万9000円)
  • Office Personal 2013のカスタマイズ(通常1万9000円)

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Article source: http://ascii.jp/elem/000/000/923/923622/

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August 12th, 2014  | Tags:

Campus bookstores are renowned for their price gouging, but it turns out textbooks aren’t the only items they sell at a premium. We looked at the online bookstores of six universities and found that laptops and tablets are also sold at higher-than-average prices. In some instances, we found devices that were up to 135% more than what you’d pay at a normal store.

To compare prices, we turned to U.S. News World Report’s college rankings for private and public universities. While our intent was to look at the computer stores of the top five private and top five public schools, we found that many private schools didn’t allow access to their online bookstores without a valid student email or ID. So our final list consists of the top five public schools and one private school.

For each campus store, we looked at its cheapest laptop, its most expensive laptop, and its cheapest tablet available. We then compared the colleges’ prices to recent deals we’ve posted on our site. For accuracy, we only compared items with similar configurations and hardware.


Campus Prices Are 35% Higher Than Back-to-School Deals

On average, we found that campus laptop prices were 35% more expensive than back-to-school deals for the same systems, purchased elsewhere. In addition, many campus stores suffered from a very limited selection of devices, oftentimes selling older laptop models or underpowered systems at higher-than-average prices.

The University of Virginia, for instance, is selling what appears to be the first-generation iPad mini 16GB Tablet for a whopping $469. We’ve seen this tablet for just $199 on more than one occasion this summer, which makes the University of Virginia’s price a 135% increase over this summer’s best deal. Even if the store is actually selling the newer Retina version, that price tag is still $70 more than what Apple charges directly.

Likewise, the University of California, Berkeley offers the HP Pavilion TouchSmart 10-e010nr AMD A4 10.1″ Touchscreen Laptop for $319 when we listed it for $229 mid-July. That’s a 39% increase over the best deal we could find for this exact system.

To be fair, not all campus devices we investigated were overpriced. Some devices, like the 2014 MacBook Air and HP 14″ Chromebook, were just as cheap on campus as they were in our deal archives. However, of the many deals we checked, 68% were cheaper when purchased outside of campus versus buying them on-site in college.

One pricey campus deal did include an impressive 4-year warranty; but aside from that, we could find no justification for the price differences we saw. Shoppers can however inquire if campus computer purchases include add-ons, repairs, extended warranty, or similar extras.


Beware Apple’s Educational Discount

As a student, you may think Apple’s educational discount is the holy grail of Apple deals. However, we’ve found that Apple’s back-to-school deals can be easily beaten. Stores such as Best Buy are known for offering better deals than Apple, and while these authorized retailers may not trump Apple’s offerings by wide margins, we’ve found some outside deals that top Apple’s educational discounts by up to $50.

That said, many colleges participate in Apple’s back-to-school promo, and clicking through their online store redirects you to Apple’s storefront for students. At first glance, this may sound like an easy win, but at the very least we recommend searching for alternative deals before settling for Apple’s discounts.

The few colleges that didn’t link to Apple’s Education Store featured prices that were on average 44% costlier than outside back-to-school deals. So if you must buy from your college, at the very least ensure that they will match or offer you Apple’s student discount.

As a college student, you’re already paying a premium for your books, tuition, and housing, so any money you can save makes a difference. And with laptops being a near-essential part of a college education, there’s no reason why you should overpay for a system you can find significantly cheaper outside your campus quarters.

Louis Ramirez is a features writer for Dealnews.com, where this article first appeared: http://dealnews.com/features/Online-College-Stores-Charge-35-More-for-Laptops/1122607.html

Article source: http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2014/0812/Buying-a-laptop-for-college-Never-ever-buy-it-on-campus.

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August 10th, 2014  | Tags:

MacMall Back to School Deals This Week - Select iMacs, MacBook Pros Selling at Lower PricesIt seems that Apple has accidentally spilled the beans on a new mid-2014 model year refresh, though one can possibly argue that the leak was done “accidentally on purpose,” an Easter egg of sorts for consumers. A few days ago, Apple posted a 27-inch iMac mid-2014 refresh on a support page for its all-in-one desktop line, and while Apple quickly removed the item from the page, a few tech blogs were able to spot the listing, thus adding fuel to the fire and teasing what could be a refresh for Apple’s larger iMac option.

Two months ago, Apple introduced a new entry-level trim for the 21.5-inch iMac that turned out to be quite underwhelming, so hopes are quite high that Apple will at least offer some good bang for the buck with this purported refresh for the 27-incher.

Aside from “settling” for the entry-level 21.5-inch iMac for 2014, there are other ways to save on a new all-in-one from Apple. These include heading over to MacMall, where the retailer has a higher-end config for the 21.5-inch iMac selling at a shade over a thousand dollars. Let’s take a look at that particular deal, as well as some other interesting back-to-school specials on MacMall.

The aforementioned 21.5-inch iMac config is powered by a 2.9 GHz Intel Core i5 quad-core processor mated to 8 GB RAM, and also comes with 1 TB storage underneath. That setup would normally cost $1,499, but MacMall now has it selling for $1,039.99, which represents a sizable $459 discount off full retail pricing. It is, however, far from being the only hardware product selling for less on MacMall.

For instance, the retailer has a 15.4-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display config, with a quad-core Intel Core i7 chipset clocked at 2 GHz, 8 GB RAM, and a 256 GB flash drive. Pricing on this Retina MacBook trim is usually $1,999, but you can now purchase it from MacMall for only $1,699.99, or $299 off.

It’s not just hardware devices that can be purchased for considerably less as part of MacMall’s back-to-school offers. The Swissgear Sherpa DX 16-inch laptop backpack is one such “unusual” item you can now purchase at a heavily discounted price. Originally $69.99, the backpack is now available for just $19.99, or $50 off.

Peripherals such as the HP Smart Buy LV1911 18.5-inch LCD monitor are also available – this item usually costs $95, but MacMall has reduced its price by $35, knocking it down to $59.99. Also, the Skech BluePulse Bluetooth wireless headphones with microphone can be purchased for $11.99 – believe it or not, that’s $68 less than the list price of $79.99.

As you may have noticed, MacMall doesn’t exclusively sell Apple products in its stores. It even sells hardware products from other manufacturers, and these include our final item for this recap – the HP Envy TouchSmart laptop, which is powered by a 2.1 GHz AMD quad-core processor and 8 GB RAM, and comes with a 15.6-inch display and a 750 GB hard drive. Originally $649.99, this HP notebook is now priced at $409.99, good for a discount of 37 percent off, or $240 less than full-fat pricing.

Article source: http://gadgetinsiders.com/macmall-back-to-school-deals-this-week-select-imacs-macbook-pros-selling-at-lower-prices-18487/

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August 8th, 2014  | Tags:

Hewlett-Parckard sort dans l’hexagone son Envy TouchSmart 15-j140nf, un nouvel ordinateur portable polyvalent de 15.6 pouces à écran Full HD tactile multi-touch. Il embarque une belle quantité de mémoire vive, un processeur Core i7 Haswell de dernière génération, une carte graphique dédiée NVIDIA Maxwell récente, un clavier chiclet rétro éclairé, un disque dur de grande capacité et 4 USB 3.0. Il s’affiche à moins de 900 euros sous plateforme Intel Shark Bay et Windows 8.1.

HP Envy TouchSmart 15 j140nf 1 HP Envy TouchSmart 15 j140nf  899, 15.6 tactile Full HD : Core i7 Haswell, 12 Go, GeForce 840M, 1 To

Conçu en fibre de verre avec coque en aluminium, il arbore un design Argent naturel à la fois discret et élégant. Il dispose de la technologie CoolSense pour maintenir les températures à un niveau acceptable.

HP Envy TouchSmart 15-j140nf – Performances (Mars 2014)

Fiche technique

L’HP Envy TouchSmart 15-j140nf cible ceux qui souhaitent acquérir un ordinateur portable polyvalent de 15.6 pouces doté d’un écran tactile multi-touch.

Il se montre performant dans toutes les situations grâce à sa belle quantité de mémoire vive de 12 Go et son processeur Core i7-4700MQ Haswell de dernière génération, de quoi combler les utilisateurs exigeants et voir venir. Comparés à 4 Go DDR3 et un processeur Dual Core, ces composants garantissent des traitements bien plus rapides sous les logiciels exigeants en ressources RAM et CPU exploitant l’architecture multi-cœurs, ce qui est notamment le cas sous Adobe Photoshop ou Premiere.

Cet ordinateur doté d’un chipset Intel HM87 Lynx Point est également capable de prendre en charge de nombreux jeux du moment que l’on consent à des concessions sous les opus gourmands en ressources 3D, et ce grâce à sa carte graphique dédiée récente GeForce 840M Maxwell.

En matière de stockage, il se voit équipé d’un disque dur d’une grande capacité de 1000 Go appréciable, mais certains regretteront sans doute qu’il ne soit pas plus rapide.

Côté affichage, ce portable se distingue clairement avec son écran doté de la technologie tactile multi-touch pour interagir avec le système et les logiciels en apposant au moins un doigt sur la dalle, et ce via des pressions/gestes. L’écran profite par ailleurs d’une résolution Full HD idéale pour visionner du contenu Haute Définition et notamment des vidéos de par son format 16/9ème et son traitement brillant qui fait ressortir les couleurs mais se montre en contrepartie sensible aux reflets.

On apprécie par ailleurs la possibilité de rétro éclairer les touches du clavier chiclet afin de bien les distinguer lorsque la luminosité ambiante est faible, mais aussi de s’identifier via le lecteur d’empreintes intégré.

Enfin, on retrouve embarquée une bonne connectique comprenant des modules Bluetooth 4.0 et Wi-Fi n pour communiquer et se connecter à distance sans-fil, une sortie vidéo HDMI pratique pour relier facilement le PC à une TV ou un moniteur par exemple, des ports audio et Ethernet ou encore 4 USB 3.0 compatibles USB 2.0 offrant des transferts plus rapides qu’en USB 2.0 si l’on connecte dessus des périphériques USB 3.0. Doté de la technologie USB Boost, l’un des USB 3.0 peut être utilisé afin de recharger un petit appareil et ce même si le PC est en veille ou éteint.

HP Envy TouchSmart 15 j140nf 2 HP Envy TouchSmart 15 j140nf  899, 15.6 tactile Full HD : Core i7 Haswell, 12 Go, GeForce 840M, 1 To

L’HP Envy TouchSmart 15-j140nf est en ce moment commercialisé à 899 euros par la Fnac, HP France ou encore LDLC. Il se positionne comme l’un des portables les plus abordables de sa catégorie sur notre comparateur de prix.

[Source : LaptopSpirit]

Article source: http://www.laptopspirit.fr/149882/hp-envy-touchsmart-15-j140nf-a-799e-15-6-tactile-full-hd-core-i7-haswell-12-go-geforce-840m-1-to.html

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