Like many Canadians, I’ve spent the past few weekends spring cleaning. Something about being largely stuck indoors through a particularly long and harsh winter (including nearly a week without wired Internet access when an ice storm took out cable service in my neighbourhood) makes the first warm day of April seem like it’s past time to get things done. We open the windows, break out the rakes and start cleaning, indoors and out. Cars are washed, windows wiped and carpets shampooed. Since I have the cleaning bug anyway, this is the perfect time to clean my PC –also, both “inside” and out. The result will be a computer that’s faster, cleaner, more energy efficient, less cluttered and a pleasure to use.
I was really looking forward to getting my hands on the new Linksys WRT 1900AC wireless router. It’s not just the buzz that’s built up since it wowed attendees at CES 2014 or the black and blue shout to the iconic Linksys WRT54G —the best-selling wireless router of all time. My own wireless network is at a crossroads. As high definition streaming video and a swarm of mobile devices combine with Wi-Fi dead zones to overpower what was once a pretty robust network, I was anxious to find out if the latest generation of Wi-Fi routers could provide the power to make things feel snappy once again. After swapping out my existing router for the Linksys WRT 1900AC review unit, I can say that thanks to the killer performance of this retro-styled rig, Wi-Fi Nirvana is once again within reach.
Wireless networking can be confusing. There are many numbers and letters being thrown around and with Gigabit Wi-Fi just starting to appear in mainstream devices, there’s more arcane info than ever to keep track of. Dual-band, 802.11, a,b,g,n,ac, 1300/1900, 600/900, 2.4GHz, 5GHz, beamforming … What does it all mean? In particular, what is the difference between the previous top performing Wi-Fi standard (802.11n wireless) and the new champ (802.11ac)? In this post, I’ll break it down to the basics.
Razer Blade. Two words guaranteed to grab the attention of anyone who takes PC gaming seriously. The gaming laptop series made waves in 2013, landing on a slew of “best of” lists. The 2014 edition manages to be even more over the top, earning titles like “world’s thinnest gaming laptop” while offering performance that has to be seen to be believed. You’ll soon find the all-new Razer Blade gaming laptops at Best Buy (you’ll be able to pre-order them this week), including the impossibly thin and light 14-inch model with its 5.76 million pixels —the world’s highest resolution 14-inch notebook display.
This fall, you can join “The Crew,” Ubisoft’s touted genre-defining title. Part racing, part adventure and part role-playing, The Crew will be an always online jaunt through a recreated United States. Featuring around 5000 Square Miles of terrain, the Crew will have you racing from Los Angeles to New York and back again in some pretty tight and tense situations. Featuring tons of licensed vehicles, this is a game so big that only the next gen consoles could fit them. Now, with the game coming this fall, Ubisoft offers a pre-order bonus with the Limited Edition that will give you a head start on the rest of the world. Click below to check it out.
Chromebooks are one of the fastest growing computing categories. Small, lightweight and inexpensive these Google Chrome OS-powered notebooks have proven ideal for many users including students and small business. They’re great for home too. But what if you want the touchscreen experience that’s become a standard feature on Windows 8 Ultrabooks? You were pretty much out of luck on the Chrome side. Acer has filled that gap quite nicely with the new C720P Chromebook, an 11.6-inch device that combines the advantages of Google’s Chrome OS with a multi-touch display. It’s available now at Best Buy, but if you want a preview of what it’s capable of, I’ve spent some time putting a C720P Chromebook through the paces for a review.
SSD and HDD: Two acronyms you’ll frequently see during discussions of computers and their specs. What’s the difference between the two, which one is better and why is SSD showing up more frequently these days? In this post, I’ll tackle those questions and provide the details you need to make an informed choice when it comes time to choose between the two computer storage options.
Two things have radically transformed photography in the past two decades. The first of course, is the rise of the digital camera with its ability to take limitless photos and instantly see results without having to wait for film to develop. The second is the growing popularity of photo printers. Thanks to the ability of these machines to produce high quality colour prints on demand, photo labs have all but disappeared. Photo printers have only gotten better, with higher resolution, faster printing and features on some like on-printer editing with built-in LCD displays, super-sized prints and wireless access. There are plenty of photo printers to choose from, but here are five of the best to consider if your printer needs are less about pages of text and more about high quality pictures.
Chances are you’ve heard of a Chromebook —the hot new category in affordable, mobile computing— but what the heck is a Chromebox? The cardboard box a Samsung Chromebook ships in? Does it have anything to do with Battlestar Galactica and Cylons? No to both. Chromebox is the natural extension of the Chromebook, taking Google’s Chrome operating system and using it to run a compact, portable and affordable alternative to a traditional desktop Windows PC. The Chromebox isn’t for everyone, but when it comes to a desktop PC that features near instant boot-up, built-in security, the ability to work on documents and spreadsheets using free (and offline-capable) apps plus a complete web experience, a Chromebox is an appealing option.