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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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                      Alicia Prince

                      A writer, filmmaker, and artist who shares about lifestyle tips and inspirations on Lifehack.

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                      Last Updated on February 15, 2019

                      7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                      7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                      Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

                      Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

                      Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

                      So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

                      Joe’s Goals

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                        Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

                        Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

                        Daytum

                          Daytum

                          is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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                          Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

                          Excel or Numbers

                            If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

                            What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

                            Evernote

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                              I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                              Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                              Access or Bento

                                If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                                Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                                You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                                Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                                All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                                Conclusion

                                I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                                What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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