Laptop Buying Guide

Buying a laptop can be a challenging task for many who don’t understand what different CPU models are, what graphics cards are useful for, how much RAM they need, and so on. This guide will offer an introduction to the different kinds of laptops you can buy so that you can make a choice that justifies your needs.

  1. The 2-in-1s and Ultrabooks

If your laptop use is confined to browsing the internet, consuming media, checking emails, and making presentations and reports, then you might be happy with a small, lightweight solution like a 2-in-1 or an ultrabook. These laptops are easy to carry, easy to use, and last for a very long time. They mostly come in 11 and 13-inch screen sizes and boast U series processors that are known for stable performance and low temperatures.

  1. The “Pro” Grade Ultrabooks

If you want better performance than a typical ultrabook, then you can opt for one that has a better processor and discrete graphics. Laptops like the Dell XPS 15 and the Razer Blade Pro are great for things like video editing while also being attractive and not so heavy.

  1. Gaming Laptops and Workstations

If you want the best performance possible, then you can either get a gaming laptop or a workstation, depending on your budget. A gaming laptop, as the name suggests, is best for gaming. But it can also be used for some heavy duty work like 3D design and rendering. It won’t be as good at these tasks as a workstation, but it’ll still work well.

A workstation is specifically designed to handle multi-core and multi-threaded work and has discreet graphics that specialize in these tasks. Mostly using NVIDIA’s Quadro line of cards, these laptops are the ultimate workhorses.

Both gaming laptops and workstations are heavy, big, and can get hot at times. They can also get quite expensive, so only go for these categories if you really need all that power.


Windows Now Also Has the Best HDR Editor

If you are a photographer and you like taking HDR photos, you know how important it is to have a great HDR editor at your disposal. There are many such editors one can use, each providing something different from the other. However, when Aurora HDR came on the scene in 2015, it was reserved for Mac OS only.

This year, Aurora HDR has finally been made available for Windows users too. This is great news as it is one of the best and easiest to use HDR editors available.

Packed Full of Features

When you visit Aurora HDR’s website, you will see all the new features the 2018 version of the editor brings. Other than its ever-excellent HDR processing prowess, the new version also adds lens correction settings, a new UI that is suitable for both beginners and professionals, more speed than before, and a number of new brushes and masks.

Windows users will finally be able to use this software for their HDR needs. Not only does Aurora HDR let you create true HDRs by combining multiple brackets but also has some great tone-mapping algorithms to turn individual photos into HDRs.

Cheaper than Many

Before Aurora HDR, many people used only Photoshop and Lightroom to make HDRs. However, both these programs are limited as compared to a true HDR editor, and ever since they have started charging a monthly fee to use them, they have become much more expensive than Aurora HDR’s $90 in the long run.

So if you have been waiting for a true HDR editor to use on your Windows computer but haven’t found one that suits your needs, Aurora HDR might be just what you need.

Should you be Interested in Windows 10 S?

If you’re even a little interested in Microsoft’s products and devices, chances are you have heard of Windows 10 S by now. It’s a new operating system (of sorts) that the company has developed for some of its devices. The recently released Surface Laptop, for example, runs Windows 10 S by default.

So what exactly is Windows 10 S, and should you even be interested in it? Let’s find out.

Safe, Secure, Store’

The idea of Windows 10 S is that it’s a safer version of Windows 10. It’s aimed not only at students and educators, but also at people who are interested in Google’s Chrome OS devices. That is because the devices coming installed with Windows 10 S are expected to be cheaper than those with full Windows, and will be targeting Chromebooks.

So how is Windows 10 S more secure than the full version? The answer is that Windows 10 S devices will allow you to install only those apps on your computers that are on the Windows Store. You will not be able to download any program from the internet, or use any other sort of setups to install them. This, however, does not mean that you won’t be able to run full Windows programs on your computer. You just won’t be able to run those that are not on the Store bundled as apps.

So should you be interested in Windows 10 S? If you are looking for a quick, secure, and hopefully cheap computer that doesn’t need to run too many programs not on the Store, then you might as well be.

Why A Compact Camera is still better than your Phone’s

Smartphone cameras have come a long way in recent years. The quality of photos that can be taken with a smartphone camera is sometimes too good to be true. Smartphones these days not only come with manual controls and wide apertures, but also boast optical zoom by using dual lenses for different focal lengths.

So you may wonder, why does one need a compact camera if smartphones have come so far?

For Larger Sensors

Smartphones may use wide apertures and good sensors, but the fact remains that a typical point and shoot compact camera still has a larger, often better, sensor than your smartphone. A larger sensor means better ISO performance, more detail captured, and overall potential to produce a better image.

For Optical Zoom

Yes, we just mentioned that smartphone cameras now have optical zoom, but it is very limited. Compact cameras, however, boast an impressive range of optical zoom. Most such cameras allow for 3x zoom, with some reaching over 30x zoom. This optical zoom is essential for many people who want to bring faraway subjects closer to their cameras without affecting quality.

For More Control

While some smartphones these days provide full manual control over your photos, not all of them are in the same camp. For complete creative control over your images, a compact camera will probably serve you much better than your smartphone. Especially in the case of long exposures and low light photos, you need this kind of control in your camera for taking an ideal shot.

So if you want a camera that allows you to go beyond what your smartphone can do, compact cameras are still very viable purchases. However, if you just take photos to post on social media or record some casual memories, you will probably be content with the one on your smartphone.

Some of the Best Tips to take Photos of Tech

Every time you visit an online store to buy some new tech, the pictures you see are the first impression that product has on you. A large number of people make online purchases based on the images they see. A picture can definitely be worth a thousand words; it shows the materials, the specifications, the condition, and the design of whatever product you’re looking to buy. Without a picture, you just cannot imagine how a product might turn out to be.

Now that we have established the importance of product photography, here are some of the things you should always keep in mind if you want your tech to look great in photos:

  1. Set your Backdrop

One of the most important things in product photography is the backdrop. You should try to use white backdrops for most of your tech products to showcase their own design and color. Any other color used in the backdrop is bound to make the actual product look different than it is.

  1. Pay Attention to Lighting

Lighting is key for taking photos of your tech. You should remember to use soft lighting so that strong shadows and contrast can be avoided. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to do so. There are many DIY solutions that you can use to create budget tech photography setups.

  1. Take it Outdoors

If you want your photos to stand out among the rest, try taking your tech outdoors. Place the product against a nice, natural backdrop and use the sun’s natural light to bring it to life. If needed, you can even try taking HDR photos of your tech. There are many easy to use software programs you can use for this purpose, like Aurora HDR 2017.

  1. Choose the Right Equipment

In order to take excellent photos of your tech products, you need to invest in the right kind of camera equipment. You don’t have to buy very expensive gear, but you do need to know what kind you should buy. For example, even a basic DSLR camera will do the job paired up with a decent prime lens and propped up on a tripod. Keep in mind that you should not use wide angle lenses for product photography as these tend to warp your subject.

  1. Shoot RAW

Last but not the least, always take your photos in RAW format. This will allow you to take them into a RAW editor later and adjust the brightness, contrast, color, noise, and much more without destroying the image quality.

Another thing you should always remember is to take your time with photography. Don’t rush things because then you’ll probably just have to do it again. Pay attention to your setup, adjust the lighting and the white balance of your camera, make sure your camera is not moving and the tripod is stable, and once you’re satisfied go ahead and shoot.