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10 Best Laptops To Buy This Year

10 Best Laptops To Buy This Year

Since laptops arrived on the home computing scene, we’ve witnessed huge leaps forward in what these powerful, compact machines can do. The most recent laptops deliver unbelievable graphics, powerful computing, as well as unmatched portability and style. To make your next tech purchase as painless as possible, we’ve collected the 10 very best laptops this year. From gaming powerhouses, to flexible, multi use devices, the following laptops showcase the very best of what is currently available.

Apple MacBook Air (13-inch)

$999 – $1,749

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    The current 13 inch MacBook Air makes little improvements on previous models, but boasts an incredible battery life. Able to run more than 12 hours while in use, this laptop is an excellent option for those needing portability and more power.

    Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 3 Pro

    $1,349 – $1,749

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      The original Lenovo ThinkPad was an effective laptop for professionals and students on the go. A highly reviewed laptop, this years version’s only major changes are a larger screen and body. This laptop still packs a 1 TB hard drive, as well as 8GB of RAM, making light gaming easy and straightforward. Not only that, the unique design allows users to position this laptop several different ways, and also functions as a tablet. This handy computer is an exceptional option for consumers looking for performance, as well as portability.

      Acer C720P Chromebook

      $249 – $349 

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        This impressively low priced laptop manages to still deliver on the main qualities that consumers look for in a budget computer. Running the new Chrome operating system, this computer runs apps online, freeing up your hard drive space for your own files. At such a low price, it’s a computer accessible to everyone.

        Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display (2013, 15-inch screen)

        $1,999 – $3,200

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          This mainstay in the high performance laptop market brought revolutionary display  features at it’s time of release. The current release added minor improvements to internal hardware, streamlining performance and multitasking capabilities. However, the biggest move forward is a notable price cut to both the 13 and 15 inch models.

          Gigabyte P25X v2

          $1,649

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            A strong alternative to Desktop gaming machines, this high definition laptop offers impressive gaming performance. With a full 1080p screen and powerful battery life, this laptop is an excellent option for consumers looking for a powerful laptop without a huge price tag. Though the laptop does get a bit hot and noisy while gaming, the impressive performance and stylish design still make this laptop a strong contender.

            Dell Latitude 12 Rugged Extreme

            $3,649 – $6,474

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              This superbly tough laptop delivers military grade durability, as well as strong performance. Most interestingly, this laptop includes a rotating display, as well as a touchscreen and spacious keyboard. Some consumers find the 12 inch notebook to be a little heavy for it’s size, but this laptop is nearly indestructible. Not only that, the rotating touchscreen makes this laptop function as a tablet, which may account for the bigger price tag.

              Lenovo Y50-70 Touch

              $1,499

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                Another more affordable laptop that doesn’t skimp on performance is the Lenovo Y50–70. The display allows users to utilize touchscreen technology, and brings mid range gaming performance as well. A worthy bundle for the price tag, however, this laptop does have below average battery life and runs a bit hot while gaming.

                Maingear Pulse 15

                $2,199 – $2,600

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                  This impressively slim laptop still manages to deliver outstanding graphics and performance. Not only that, the display is vibrant and bright, plus the keyboard is wide and comfortable. Another great option for those looking for functional laptop with some gaming capability, this lightweight notebook is a mobile and powerful one. On the other hand however, this laptop also has a shorter battery life and tends to get warm while gaming.

                  Microsoft Surface Pro 3

                  $797 – $1,999

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                    Though technically a tablet, the Surface Pro 3 is a functional, yet cost-effective option for mobile computing. Billed as a tablet that can replace your laptop, this multitasking device packs considerable power for its modest price tag. This laptop may not let users play graphics heavy games, but it easily performs basic computer functions needed for students or professionals. While not a complete replacement for high performance gaming or media computer, this tablet and included keyboard is an effective option for consumers who need a basic and affordable laptop.

                    HP Stream

                    $299

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                      Incredibly, this low-priced Chrome based laptop brings is not only lightweight and portable, it also includes some useful features. Users who purchase this laptop receive 25 GB of Dropbox storage for six months, as well as 100 GB of OneDrive storage for two years. Though this laptop does limit users to the Chrome OS, it packs a decenlty powerful 1.4 GHz CPU and nearly 8 hours of battery life. All of which are phenomenal specs for your average student or professional, especially at such an astoundingly low price.

                      Featured photo credit: Dan Taylor via flickr.com

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                      Published on September 20, 2018

                      11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

                      11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

                      In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

                      Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

                      In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

                      Minimizing Tabs

                      Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

                      Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

                      Incognito Mode

                      Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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                      1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
                      2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
                      3. Download extension New Incognito Window

                      This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

                      Save Webpages as PDF Files

                      Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

                      Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

                      Open Recently-closed Tabs

                      Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

                      One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

                      The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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                      Solve Mathematical Problems

                      Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

                      For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

                      Play Media Files

                      Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

                      In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

                      Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

                      With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

                      Stay Focus(e)d

                      Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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                      Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

                      With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

                      This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

                      Grammarly for Editing

                      Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

                      You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

                      Loom

                      There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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                      There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

                      With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

                      Chrome Calendar Extension

                      No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

                      Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

                      Final Thoughts

                      Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

                      Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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