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DIY Computer Maintenance to Keep Your Device in Tip-Top Shape

Most people give little thought to computer maintenance until it’s too late and they’re staring at a blue screen or even worse, a dead computer.

Consider the story of our fictional friend Marcy.

It’s 3:00 a.m. and Marcy’s mid-term paper is due in about five hours. For over a month, Marcy’s put in hours of research including countless late nights to finish this project.

Now she only has to proof-read her paper, and she’s finished. But, just as she starts to read, her computer unexpectedly shuts down completely.

Fortunately, Marcy saved her information on the hard drive.

Unfortunately, her desktop will not turn back on. After years of neglect, Marcy’s desktop collected lots of dust and dirt, which eventually clogged her CPU fan.

Over time, the system became hotter and hotter, until her CPU finally called it quits.

Now Marcy has to figure out how to get her paper off her dormant hard drive and proof-read it before turning it into her professor.

A pretty tall order at 3:00 a.m.

Had Marcy taken the time to conduct proper computer maintenance, she could have been in bed counting sheep instead of waking up classmates for help.

Why Is Computer Maintenance so Important?

Computer maintenance, like most forms of maintenance, is something we easily take for granted.

It’s true:

We all lead busy lives, and computer maintenance, like many crucial routine maintenance tasks that we should do more often, gets lost in the shuffle.

Most of the time, our computers can give us a false sense of security. That’s because most PCs work well, most of the time, until the one day they don’t.

With proper computer maintenance, you can avoid expensive repair bills and prolong the need for buying a newer computer. You can also help safeguard your valuable information, which is much easier to lose than you think.

Signs You Need to Conduct Computer Maintenance

When it comes to your PC, there are several signs to look out for letting you know when immediate attention is in order.

Thankfully, your computer will typically give you some warning when something isn’t right.

There are a few warning signs letting you know it’s time to act.

Here’s what you need to know:

Turtle-like behavior

Is your computer running as slow as a turtle?

A reduction in productivity is one of the most common signs that you should do some computer maintenance. However, it’s also a problem that could have many potential root causes.

Here are just a few things that can slow down your system:

  • Malware such as viruses, spyware, and rootkits
  • Bad RAM
  • Overheating system
  • Bad graphics card
  • Faulty driver or drivers
  • Fragmented hard drive
  • Corrupted operating system file
  • Bad hard drive
  • Bloatware
  • Bad CPU

Running out of non-fragmented storage space

When your computer starts to slow down due to low non-fragmented space issues, it usually means that your HDD (hard disk drive) or SSD (solid state drive) is dangerously fragmented.

Fragmentation is more of a problem for older hard disk drives than for the more advanced solid-state drives.

That said, SSDs can still become fragmented, and in many cases stop working if they are not taken care of.

The file issue

Over time, all PCs accumulate temporary files. These files are necessary to help with tasks such as loading particular websites more quickly. At the same time, temporary files have the potential to eat away at your system’s overall performance once they accumulate past a certain point.

Once this happens, they can complicate how effectively your PC can look up and open files.

Your computer is behaving like a child trying to leave the house in the morning

It’s starting up really slowly, just like a toddler.

Startup problems are another sure sign that you need to conduct some computer maintenance A.S.A.P.

Just like a with a car that’s engine won’t turn over, a computer that won’t start or takes a long time to start, requires immediate maintenance.

As it turns out, startup issues are usually an escalation of the same issues that can cause slower performance. If you don’t fix startup problems fast, you may end up with a totally trashed operating system.

Also, if you’re like most people, you probably don’t have a recent backup of your operating system.

You want to throw it against the wall

Slow internet speeds will drive a person nuts.

Seriously.

If you’re online and find yourself rocking along sometimes at high speeds while at other times you feel teleported back to 1990’s dial-up, there’s a good chance you have a problem.

Many issues can cause your internet speeds to suffer; one of the most common causes are malware programs that infect your system.

However, bad hardware, such as a faulty network adapter, can also park your speeds in a virtual traffic jam.

Computer Maintenance: DIY Versus Hiring a Pro

Unless you have a tech-savvy person in your life who’ll fix your computer for free, it’s likely you’ll have two choices when it comes to computer maintenance. You can either do it yourself or pay someone else to do it.

The benefits of doing it yourself are apparent. However, some folks may have different reasons for not being able to do this themselves. In those cases, they would need to use a professional service.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1FFyHiOERI

If you decide to hire a professional, here are a few great questions to ask along with the right answers you should expect from the technician.

Question #1

How many billable hours could this take to fix?

Once you know how much you’re paying per hour, it’s a good idea to find out how long the tech thinks it might take to fix your problem.

Doing this will do two things:

First, it may give you an idea of the total amount the computer maintenance or repair might cost.

Equally important, it may signal to the tech that you are mindful of how long it should take, and they probably shouldn’t milk the clock.

The best answer to expect is something like this:

“I can’t be completely sure, of course, but this type of service usually takes about [X] hours.”

Question #2

Do you have a minimum charge?

Not all computer maintenance takes hours to complete. Some problems may only take a few minutes if someone knows what they’re doing. For this reason, you want to know how much you’ll need to pay if they finish inside an hour.

You should expect an answer such as:

“Yes, our minimum charge is one billable hour.”

Sometimes you may get a lower amount.

Question #3

Are there any possible additional charges outside of your hourly rate?

This is one question many less-than-honorable technicians hope you don’t bother to ask.

Some places may charge hidden fees for things like hardware replacement or additional software. Make sure they give you a list of possible charges in writing before allowing them to get to work.

Ideally, the answer you should expect to this question is “no.”

Question #4

Do you charge extra for out of store service?

Many times, especially when it comes to national chain computer maintenance services, there’s a noticeable difference in price between in-store and out-of-store services.

When you ask this question, you should expect an answer like this:

“Yes, we charge [an extra fee or slightly higher hourly rate] for out-of-store service.”

Question #5

Do you guarantee your work?

It’s important to make sure you get a guarantee of the technician or the company’s service both verbally and in writing before making a financial commitment.

The answer you should always expect from a reputable business is:

“Yes, for most issues, we guarantee our service for up to [30 to 90] days.”

The last thing you want to hear later on is “sorry, no refunds” or “we can give you another estimate for this issue.”

Question #6

Can you save my files?

It’s critical to make sure the technician will create a backup of your files (or entire system) should they have to re-install your operating system.

So the answer to this question should always be “yes.”

With that said, this is where you may discover an additional fee for saving your files.

Pro tip:

Quality Backup software, such as Easeus, and an external storage drive can save you hundreds on backup services offered by computer maintenance technicians.

Tools You’ll Need for Computer Maintenance

Computer maintenance doesn’t require an entire toolbox. However, there are a few tools that you should always have handy. Here’s a list of computer maintenance tools.
  • Canned air or air compressor (used at low setting)
  • Removable latex or vinyl gloves
  • Dust mask
  • External hard drive 500 Gigabytes to 6-Terabytes
  • Small dry unused paint brush
  • Static strap or wristband
  • Static mat
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Bootable operating system disk or USB
  • Wet disinfectant wipes
  • Q-tips
  • Key removal tool
  • Container or bag for screws

Basic Computer Maintenance

Conducting routine basic computer maintenance is much more straightforward than it sounds.

Here are a few tasks you can perform to keep your PC in tip-top shape.

Don’t forget your data

Perhaps one of the most critical computer maintenance tasks people fail to do is back up their data. There’s almost no worst feeling than losing years worth of data and not having a backup.

Many great third-party programs such as Easeus offer excellent user-friendly backup services. You can also opt for any number of outstanding cloud backup services that backs up your files over an internet connection into “the cloud.”

However, Windows 10 does offer users a free backup utility.

Here are some steps on how to back up your computer using the Windows 10 Utility. There are two types of backups available in Windows 10.

One backs up all your personal files but not your system settings and programs. The other makes a system image, which is a complete mirror copy of your system including all files, programs, and system settings.

Back up using Windows 10

To make a basic backup of your personal files only follow these steps.

  1. Go to the Windows search bar and type in “backup.”
  2. Click on “Backup Settings.”
  3. Select advanced options
  4. Next, you’ll arrive at the File History menu (which is also available from the Control Panel menu)
  5. Choose the option to “Go to Backup and Restore” option.
  6. Then, click “Set up backup.”
  7. Once started, you have to designate where you want to store your backup.
  8. You can elect the attached external hard drive or another location with enough storage space.
  9. Windows will ask you what you want to back up; you can either let the system decide or select them yourself.
  10. Once that’s done, Windows will start backing up your files to the destination drive.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2AcFQqYJqM

You can change the backup location and restore backups by clicking on the “Advanced Options” menu.

Under the “Advanced Settings” option you can schedule when you would like regular backups to take place.

Here’s another video showing a different method.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Q2MCfgvlg4

Create a system image

To create a system image, use the following steps:

  1. In the Windows search box type in “file history.”
  2. Press enter or click on the “File History” icon.
  3. Next click on the “System Image Backup” option located in the bottom left-hand corner of the menu.
  4. In the left pane click on “Create a system image.”
  5. Next, select which drive you want the system image to backup on.
  6. From there it will ask you to select the drive from which you would like to create a system image.
  7. Your primary boot drive will already be selected, but you can also select additional drives as well.
  8. The next screen will review all of your selections, and if everything looks right, then click “Start backup.”
  9. After that, Windows will begin creating a system image.

Creating a system image or a file backup could take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours based on the amount of data you’re backing up.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSmR6vdgKp8

When was the last time you used that old thing?

Most users will only use a computer for three years. During that time, they install a lot of programs which over time slow down performance.

These programs can continue to run on your system even if you don’t open them, as they become “background processes.” By going in and cleaning out old unused programs, you’re getting rid of resource-draining leaches.

Here are some step-by-step instructions on uninstalling unused programs on Windows 10.

  1. First, go to the Windows search bar and type in “add or remove programs.”
  2. Press enter or click on the “add or remove programs” icon.
  3. This should bring you to the “Apps & Features” menu.
  4. Once the program list pulls up, you’ll need to look over each program carefully.
  5. Before you uninstall a program, you should be safe and find out what it does if it’s unfamiliar to you.
  6. To do this, you just need to do a quick search to make sure it’s not something you need.
  7. We recommend using services like “shouldiremoveit.com” to see if a program is needed or you can uninstall it.
  8. Some good examples of programs you should not delete are Java 8 and Microsoft Visual C++.
  9. Once you’ve found a program to uninstall, it’s a good idea to create a restore point just in case it harms your system.
  10. Goto the Windows search bar and type in “create restore point.”
  11. Press enter or click on the “Create restore point” icon.
  12. Then click on the “create” button near the bottom of the menu.
  13. Next, type in the name you want to give the restore point, you can name it something like “Pre-uninstall (program name).”
  14. After your restore point is complete, go back to the “Apps & Features” menu and uninstall the program.

Uninstall via Control Panel

Another way to uninstall programs is by using the “Programs and Features” in the Control Panel. This menu gives you a bit more information than the “Apps & Features” menu.

  1. First, go to the Windows search bar and type in “control panel.”
  2. Press enter or click on the “Control Panel” icon.
  3. Next, click on the “Programs and Features” icon.
  4. Once in “Programs and Features,” you’ll be able to see programs and sort them by Name, Publisher, Installed On, Size, and Version.
  5. The two most useful sorting fields are “Size” and “Install On.”
  6. If you want to free up disk space, click on “Size” to find the biggest programs taking up space.
  7. Or, you can sort by “Install On” to find the oldest programs.
  8. Be sure to follow the same steps to create a restore point and search for unfamiliar programs before uninstalling.
  9. To uninstall, right click on the program and click “Uninstall.”

Note:

There are some programs that may show up in the “Apps & Features” menu that may not show up in the “Programs and Features menu.” With that in mind, it’s a good idea to use both menus to make sure you catch everything.

Repeat this process two to three times a year for the best results.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sZHZCPBiU4

You don’t need any temporary stuff in your life

As discussed earlier, having too many old and unused temporary files can weigh your system down causing decreased performance.

To delete temporary files in Windows 10, follow these instructions:

  1. In the Windows search bar type in “run.”
  2. Press enter or click on the “run” icon.
  3. In the “Run” menu type in “%temp%” then press “OK.”
  4. When the temporary folder comes up, move your cursor to the “View” tab near the upper left-hand corner and click it.
  5. An extended menu should open up, click next to “Hidden Items” to leave a check mark.
  6. Now select all items by pressing Ctrl+A and press delete.
  7. Some items will not be deleted if they are in use. Press the “Skip” button if the “Folder in use” menu pops up.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfCc5gnUSe4

Here are step-by-step instructions for removing temporary files on the three most commonly used browsers.

Chrome

  1. Open up a Chrome browser.
  2. Go to the upper right-hand corner of the browser and click on the three dots.
  3. Place your mouse on “History” and move your cursor to the right and click on “History.”
  4. On the left-hand side of the screen click on “Clear browsing data.”
  5. Once the menu pops up, you’ll have three choices.
  6. If you want to clear your browsing history, click a check mark into the first box.
  7. Click a checkmark into the second box if you want to clear out data such as saved passwords and other information collected on individual sites.
  8. The last box will clear cached images and files (temporary files) that are used to make loading specific pages faster.
  9. Once you’ve made your selection click on the “Clear data” button in the lower right-hand corner of the menu.
  10. Note, that some webpages may load a little slower when you do this, but they will create new temporary files to make things faster for your next visit.

Internet Explorer

  1. Open up an Internet Explorer browser.
  2. Click on tools located near the upper-left hand corner.
  3. Click on Internet options at the bottom of the menu.
  4. Under the “Browsing history” section click on “Delete,” and this will bring you to the “Delete Browsing History” menu.
  5. From here you put a check mark next to the “Temporary Internet Files and website files” option.
  6. Click “Delete” at the bottom of the menu.

In the “Delete Browsing History” menu you can also select options to:

  • Preserve Favorites website data: This keeps all your cookies, temporary internet files, and other preferences
  • Cookies and website data: This option deletes files or databases stored on your computer by websites
  • History: This removes a list of sites you visited during your session
  • Download History: This eliminates the list of files you downloaded
  • Form Data: This deletes saved information that you typed into forms
  • Passwords: This deletes saved passwords that automatically populate when you sign onto websites you’ve previously visited
  • Tracking Protection, ActiveX Filtering and Do Not Track: This option deletes a list of sites usually excluded from filtering

FireFox

  1. Open a Firefox browser.
  2. Click on the three dashes located near the upper right-hand corner.
  3. Choose “Options.”
  4. Then, click on “Privacy & Security” located on the left panel.
  5. Under “Cookies and Site Data” click on “Clear Data…” button.
  6. When the “Clear Data” menu appears put a check mark next to “Cached Web Content.”
  7. Uncheck the box next to “Cookies and Site Data” unless you want to also sign out of websites you were automatically logged into.

Find those bad boys and kill them!

This step involves using a third-party program that scans for and deletes viruses and spyware.

When searching for a good security program, you’re best served to find one that covers as many different forms of malware as possible.

Malware is a term that refers to unwanted, hostile, and damaging programs that invade your system. A lot of people are confused by the name and think that malware is different than a virus. Actually, malware is an umbrella term that includes viruses, spyware, rootkits, adware, ransomware, and other types of malicious code.

Windows 10 has built-in software called Windows Defender. It offers fundamental protection as well as strong firewall protection against hackers.

Recommended malware programs

Here’s a list of the six most recommended malware programs.

  • Bitdefender Total Security
  • McAfee Total Protection
  • Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus
  • Bitdefender Antivirus Plus
  • Kaspersky Internet Security
  • Malwarebytes

Many of these programs will allow you to schedule when your computer will run them.

It’s best to schedule them to run during a time when you won’t be using the computer so that it doesn’t slow you down. You should try to run your anti-malware software at least once or twice a week, but there’s no harm in running it once a day either.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PiMUmixw_NU

We know it’s annoying, but you have to do it

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-Ak18JwOW0

This is perhaps the most hassle-free computer maintenance task you can perform. That’s because Windows will generally do it for you.

Keeping your Windows 10 operating system up-to-date will ensure that your system is protected against new threats and keep your system files and drivers current.

If you’d rather not have Windows update automatically, you can also elect to do it manually.

To toggle back and forth between these options, follow these steps:

  1. In the Windows search box type in “update.”
  2. Press enter or click on “Check for updates.”
  3. To manually check for updates press the “Check for updates” button.
  4. To change the automatic toggle updates, click on “Advanced options.”
  5. In “Advanced options” select “Automatically download updates, even over metered data connections (charges may apply).

In “Advanced options,” you’ll also have the following choices:

  • Give me updates for other Microsoft products when I update Windows
  • We’ll show a reminder when we’re going to restart. If you want to see more notifications about restarting, turn this on

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-Ak18JwOW0

Is that coffee cake under your fingers?

This chore is perhaps the most challenging computer maintenance task. Thankfully, you would only need to do it once or twice a year.

For this task, you’ll need a few of the tools mentioned above, except for the bootable operating system disk or USB.

Let’s start with your keyboard.

  1. First, power down your system.
  2. Next, unplug your keyboard.
  3. Using your key removal tool start taking out all of your keys.
  4. You want to make sure you line them up to make them easier to put back in later.
  5. Now, take a wet disinfectant cloth and thoroughly wipe down each key, returning them outside the keyboard in the right order.
  6. Take some canned air and blow out any debris in your de-buttoned keyboard.
  7. Next, take your wet disinfectant cloth and thoroughly wipe down the exposed areas between the keys.
  8. After that, take a Q-tip and wet it with a wet disinfectant cloth.
  9. Take the Q-tip and scrub between the keys thoroughly.
  10. Now you can put the keys back into place (If you kept them in order this should be easy).
  11. You can now re-plug in your keyboard unless you are about to clean out the inside of the computer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tbNZTzVwa8

Spring cleaning isn’t just for your house

Once you’ve finished with your keyboard, the next thing you need to clean is the inside and outside of your desktop.
  1. First, make sure you’ve powered down the desktop.
  2. Next, unplug the power cable.
  3. Then unplug all other connected cables and devices from the desktop.
  4. Once everything is unplugged, you’ll need to take your PC to an area to clean it (we recommend an outside area or garage).
  5. Put on your gloves and a dust mask.
  6. You are going to open now the case (this step may depend on your case).
  7. If your case is sealed with screws, use a Phillips head to unscrew the three screws on the back of the computer.
  8. If there are six screws don’t worry, you can unscrew both sides if you’re unsure what side opens up to the components.
  9. Once you’ve removed the screws, place them in a container so that you don’t lose any of them.
  10. Remove the panel or panels.
  11. Now your system’s inner components should be exposed.
  12. Take your canned air and begin to gently blow dust, directing it out of the case (hold the can upright)
  13. Also, make sure to fire the air can in short bursts to help prevent freezing.
  14. It also doesn’t hurt to have one or two air cans handy in case one does freeze up.
  15. If you’re using an air compressor, make sure you have it at a low setting.
  16. Focus on the corners or wherever you see the biggest bunches of dust bunnies.
  17. Be sure to focus on vents and fans that may have a lot of dust.
  18. Hold the fan over the CPU down to keep it from spinning when you use the canned air.
  19. Be extra careful when blowing air around components such as the motherboard and RAM, don’t let too much ice form on these parts.
  20. Use a small dry unused paintbrush to remove any remaining dust around components that the canned air couldn’t get.
  21. Once your system is cleaned out to your satisfaction, put the panels back on and screw them in.
  22. Take a wet disinfectant cloth and wipe down the outside of your case.
  23. Return your computer back to your desk and replug in all necessary cables and devices.
  24. Your system is now clean and ready to go.

Pro tip:

Never try to vacuum the inside of your computer; this can cause static discharge that can destroy your PC’s vital components.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9T6WGFmam0

Computer Maintenance Software A.K.A “The Easy Button”

Many of the tasks shown above, except for physically cleaning out your computer and keyboard, can be done using computer maintenance software tools.

These tools usually have a bit of anti-malware protection as well, although it’s best to stick with dedicated anti-malware software for security.

You can use these tools to perform tasks like cleaning temporary files, defragmenting a disk drive, and more. You can even schedule the best time for your computer to conquer these tasks, just like with anti-malware software.

Here’s a list of some of the best computer maintenance programs:

  • System Mechanic Pro
  • Advanced SystemCare
  • WiseCare 365 Professional
  • Glary Utilities Pro
  • WinOptimizer Pro
  • Piriform CCleaner

Advantages of Computer Maintenance

Let’s face it, folks:

Computer maintenance isn’t likely to be the highlight of your day.

Nevertheless, it is something that your system needs to run at its best performance. It’s also much less expensive than having to buy a new computer.

We hope you’ve found information on how to perform basic computer maintenance fun and informative.

Remember, backing up and cleaning your PC on a routine basis always pays off.

Do you do regular computer maintenance on your machine? If so, tell us some of your tips and tricks in the comment section.

Razer DeathAdder Elite Gaming Mouse Review – An In-Depth Look

Razer Death Adder Mouse

Regardless of what sphere you're in, you need the best equipment. In most cases, it means the difference between winning or losing. So when it comes to mouse hardware, you need to get a product that's going to give you the best output.

Not a lot has changed in the Razer universe of gaming mice over the last couple of years, and one thing has remained pretty much the same.

The main software suite included the Razer DeathAdder Elite and its predecessor, the DeathAdder Chroma, is called Synapse, and it is responsible for handling lighting profiles and performance customization. 

The program is mostly cloud-based, which is great because your settings come with you no matter what machine you are on.

Comparison Table

But it is also a rather robust application with a healthy array of performance options, DPI settings, custom button controls, macros, surface calibration, heatmaps, automatic profile switching, and data sheets about mouse power usage and overall performance. Plus, the software handles all devices from a single menu, including backlight color.

However, the mouse hardware itself is more than capable of outperforming the competition without the Synapse software, and you can choose not to install it, which is a very thoughtful option, indeed. In fact, the new Razer DeathAdder Elite is equipped with the new “16,000-DPI optical sensor,” which allows for surface tracking at a rate of 450-In/Second, which is pretty darn fast.

DeathAdder: It’s All in the Name

Razer DeathAdder Elite Gaming Mouse: 16,000 DPI Optical Sensor -...

The Death Adder (Acanthophis) is a member of Elapid snakes, which first proliferated on the very old continent of Australia around 12 million years ago. Though they may resemble vipers, they are actually more closely related to coral snakes, cobras, and mambas, which are known for their ability to strike so fast, it is sometimes difficult to see with the naked eye.

The Death Adder’s venom is entirely neurotoxic, without the mycotoxins and haemotoxins found in most snake venom. And, before the advent of antivenom, it was estimated that 50 percent of all people bitten by the Death Adder had died, hence the nickname.

The DeathAdder line was established in 2006, and the Razor DeathAdder Elite, though not as deadly, was introduced in 2016. The DeathAdder Elite’s fatalities happen mainly via 3D simulation, but nevertheless, it is quick, responsive, and ergonomically designed, with improved buttons and a new scroll wheel. Plus, the 16,000-DPI optical sensor results in a proclaimed resolution accuracy of 99.4%

Sale
Razer DeathAdder Elite Gaming Mouse: 16,000 DPI Optical Sensor -...
  • The #1 Best-Selling Gaming Peripherals Manufacturer in the US: Source - The NPD Group, Inc., U.S. Retail Tracking Service, Gaming Designed: Keyboards, Mice, PC Headsets, and PC Microphones, Based on dollar sales, Jan. 2017- June 2020 combined
  • High-Precision 16,000 DPI Optical Sensor: Offers on-the-fly sensitivity adjustment through dedicated DPI buttons (reprogrammable) for gaming and creative work
  • Immersive, Customizable Chroma RGB Lighting: Includes 16.8 million colors w/ included preset profiles; syncs with gameplay and Razer Chroma-enabled peripherals and Philips Hue products

Featuring the Razer Mechanical Mouse Switches (responsible for button clicking), this new technology was designed in partnership with Omron, which optimized the switches for fast response time and extended durability. The 2018 version is available at Amazon  and offers the following features at a glance:

  • 16,000-DPI optical sensor
  • 450 inches per second
  • 50g acceleration (control speed)
  • Razer Mechanical Mouse switches
  • Ergonomic design with textured rubber grips
  • Razer Chroma backlight with millions of customizable colors.

Razer DeathAdder Anatomy

Razer DeathAdder Elite Gaming Mouse: 16,000 DPI Optical Sensor -...

Despite all of the “new” technology, though, not much has changed physically since the DeathAdder Chroma, including the design, which is still a relatively small 5.00 x 2.76 x 1.73 inches, and the ergonomically contoured sides with textured grips.

The only real change that we can see is that the new Razer DeathAdder Elite sports seven buttons instead of five. On the mouse, you’ll find a standard left button, right button, and clickable scroll wheel, as well as dual thumb buttons and two buttons on the bottom of the scroll wheel.

The buttons at the bottom of the scroll wheel are usually reserved for Razer’s high-end gaming mice, like the Mamba TE, but they are a welcome addition to the DeathAdder, as you can alter the peripheral’s sensitivity on the fly.

Razer DeathAdder Elite Gaming Mouse: 16,000 DPI Optical Sensor -...

Though not changed significantly, the scroll wheel offers a few coarse ribs for a better grip and a more responsive feel, and, according to one review, it is one of the few "all-purpose" mice that is really an efficient multi-tasker, and handles Overwatch and The Witcher 3 as well as Marvel Heroes.

Much of this versatility is due to the Synapse 2.0 software, which runs a clean, intuitive interface that allows you to tweak the DeathAdder buttons, lighting, and sensitivity, among other things. The RGB lighting, though having nothing to do with play performance, is particularly cool, and handles yellows pinks, and purples with a brightness and warmth that you wouldn’t expect. The backlight is revealed through the scroll wheel and the Razer emblem on the back.

Is the 2018 DeathAdder New and Improved?

Razer DeathAdder Elite Gaming Mouse: 16,000 DPI Optical Sensor -...

While the addition of two extra buttons may not seem like much of a refresh, keep in mind that there was very little about the DeathAdder that demanded improvement. Competitors like the more expensive Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum or the Roccat Kova, don’t have the tools the DeathAdder does, and, what’s more, they aren’t multi-tasker like the Razer.

The world of gaming mice is vast and competitive, which lead to a lot of specialization. Part of the beauty of the Razer DeathAdder is in its ability to adapt to many different gaming environments. Sure stats DPI, lift off distance, sensor accuracy, and acceleration are great and all, but it is becoming more and more difficult to find a well-rounded generalist in a gaming mouse.

So, fans of the DeathAdder Chroma will be excited to hear that Razer has changed very little in their new DeathAdder Elite. Even the classy black matte finish is retained, to the joy and titillation of anti-spaceship-style mice haters everywhere.

Plus, the DeathAdder still comes with a seven-foot braided cable and gold-plated USB connector. The construction is not new, but it is classy, as many mice now go with a rubberized plastic cable, which is not as nice.

Finally, thanks to the improved mechanical switches, the mouse boasts an ultra-fast action time, with a low debounce (the time it takes for a button to become clickable again after being pressed). The adjustable DPI sensitivity is nice and can be varied depending on what game you are playing - from 100 to 16,000 DPI.

The Razer DeathAdder Philosophy

Razer DeathAdder Elite Gaming Mouse: 16,000 DPI Optical Sensor -...

The Razer DeathAdder has focused on incremental upgrades for more than a decade without augmenting what makes the mouse so popular in the first place. In fact, for its tenth anniversary, the introduction of the DeathAdder Elite maintained that classic ergonomic and comfortable design and the same black matte finish.

Though it is billed as a gaming mouse, it can be used for a variety of office or home computer tasks, and the scooped body, oversized thumb buttons, and textured rubber pads lend themselves nicely to either a palm grip or a claw grip. Plus, as part of the ergonomics, the right and left click buttons offer subtle grooves for your fingers to rest in, which is not only comfort but helps to facilitate fast lateral movements.

Also, the Razer DeathAdder hope to remedy issues surrounding longevity by partnering with Omron in the making of their new Mechanical Mouse Switches (responsible for button clicking) for the Razer DeathAdder Elite. The former iteration of the DeathAdder, the Chroma, according to one reviewer, reportedly had issues with failing hardware.

And while the scroll wheel didn’t get as much attention as the switches (aside from some raised ridged that help with control), the two buttons below the wheel are a direct result of Razer listening to its gamer fan base and allowing users the tools to adjust DPI settings on the fly. Moreover, the bottom of mouse sports two oversized Teflon feet, making the peripheral effective on practically any surface.

Razer DeathAdder Elite Gaming Mouse: 16,000 DPI Optical Sensor -...

With seven buttons in all, you can program each to execute an additional command via the Synapse software interface in addition to its regular duties. However, Razer also made its accompanying cloud control software entirely optional, and the DeathAdder will perform just fine without it, leaving the power of choice firmly in the hands of the user.

Should the user decided to install Synapse, the UI is clean and intuitive, with a tab for macros and another one for clickable actions mapping, profiles management, mouse sensitivity, acceleration rate and polling rate. Plus, the user can configure the Chroma LED RGB lighting and actually calibrate the DeathAdder for use on a wide range of surfaces.

DeathAdder Online

Razer DeathAdder Elite Gaming Mouse: 16,000 DPI Optical Sensor -...

Another neat thing about the mouse is that, in a very Google-like move, Razer Synapse actually stores all of your settings in the cloud, so all you need to do is travel with your mouse and borrow a computer with an internet connection to access all of you gaming information.

A not-so-neat thing is that the DeathAdder forces the user to sign up for a Razer account regardless of whether he/she plans on using Synapse or not, and you can’t turn off software updates to your mouse, or you will risk losing functionality. That said, these annoyances don’t detract too much from everything the Razer DeathAdder does right, and, if we are completely honest, the sign in and updates probably go part and parcel with the online, internet age.

However, it is not the versatility of a cloud-connection that makes the Razor DeathAdder great in so many different uses. In fact, its contoured ergonomic design feels nice in the hand and offers gamers, home, and business users solid hardware and functionality under the hood.

While the DeathAdder Elite has chosen to build upon the past instead of revising and replacing for the sake of a massive upgrade, it’s quietly added modest and thoughtful changes. Users will find upgraded sensors, new switches, two new buttons, and, in total, these additions actually make the mouse better than it was, and there are few tech companies, in our opinion, that chose incremental updates over the glitz and glamor of a full-on revision.

Razer DeathAdder Wrap-Up

​Specifications

Optical Sensor

16,000 DPI

Acceleration

Up to 450 IPS / 50 g

Switches

Razer Mechanical Mouse

Design

Ergonomic right-handed design with textured rubber side grips

Scroll Wheel

Gaming-grade tactile

Buttons

7 independently programmable Hyperesponse buttons

Lights

Razer Chroma™ lighting with 16.8 million customizable color options

Razer Synapse

Enabled

Ultrapolling

1000 Hz

Sensitivity Adjustment

On-the-fly

Connectivity

Gold-plated USB connector

Seven-foot, lightweight, braided fiber cable

Approx. Size

5" x 2.76” x 1.73"

(LxWxH)

Approx. Weight

105 g / 0.23 lbs

Much like Woody on Cheers, the Razor DeathAdder Elite is that same easy to grasp, heavy-set multitasker that has been around since the line was first introduced in 2006. However, unlike Woody, the DeathAdder has incrementally changed over the year, and, with each iteration, it got a little bit better.

Synapse, too, gets a little more refined with each update, making an already powerful mouse even more robust with increased functionality. The upshot is that the Razer DeathAdder Elite is an affordable mid-range gaming mouse that is more than capable of filling in for high-end mice or carrying out day-to-day tasks like surfing the web or graphics editing.

With competitors like the Mionix Castor (similar ergonomics and price) and the Logitech G502 (featuring adjustable weights), the Razer DeathAdder faces a market packed tight with competitors. And, at 105 grams, you will also find it compared to the beefier (around 120 grams) and more expensive Corsair Scimitar, a gaming mouse that features more programmable buttons (12) but the same DPI as the DeathAdder.

The Castor, too, claims it has won over 400 awards for its ergonomic design and weighs less than the DeathAdder at only 99 grams, although it offers only a one year warranty, while the rest offer the standard two-year coverage.

But, when it comes down to it, the Razer DeathAdder is extremely well-built with special-made switches, an ergonomic design, and solid mechanics that will last for many years. It is weighted but not overly so, and it comes with a robust and powerful software which can transform it into a supreme multi-tasker.

All of this makes it one of the most dependable, high-performing, and versatile mid-range gaming mice on the planet. The bottom line is that Razer has been making this quality device since 2006, and this year it has managed to make some modest but important improvements without raising the price point.

We've gone into a lot of detail about this product so that you can get all the necessary information to make up your mind about it. We've highlighted how the product will benefit you and all the features that it boasts. We've also included ratings for the product. It's up to you to decide if this product suits your needs. It definitely has for many people. So, should you try it.

Let us know what you thought about the product after you used it. If you'd like to know anything that we haven't addressed, don't hesitate to get in touch. We'd love to hear your questions or concerns.

Asus ZenBook Review – What Does This Unique Model Offer?

ASUS ZenBook

Asus laptops are popular for a reason. The company has a popular name in the tech industry. From individual components like chipsets to a variety of computers, the company’s inventory is versatile. Isn't it time that you checked out their products to see what they're all about and how you can benefit from them? Since this brand is popular, it means that many people have discovered it and use it.

It’s a testament to how well Asus understands the way technology comes together. For example, their willingness to adapt to Intel’s industry-leading CPUs helped achieve a high-end interface that dominates the current market – a great long-term decision.

But they also understand the value in equipment trends. Their work with chipsets could be capitalizing on partnerships with other market leaders – but many of their leading laptops focus on combining features users look for.

This trend is present with other laptops on the market from competing brands. One popular formula for success goes like this – make it slimmer without making it slower. What is Asus all about and what do they aim to achieve? Well, we wanted to present everything about their ZenBook so that people would have all the necessary information to determine if this product is for them.

Slimmer, More Successful, Increasingly Useful

When we think of laptops, the entire purpose behind it as opposed to a PC is the size. It’s much easier to cart it around whether you’re taking it to the next room or to a work meeting tomorrow.

We all remember the dorm roommate who carried his PC tower inside and out all day – hey, you need some help with that?

But the options for space-efficient devices keep coming. And the trend now is they’re no longer expected to be hampered by their tight quarters. Smaller laptops are now faster and cooler – both in temperature and looks.

The sleek design has stopped being a limiting factor on the device’s potential output. Now it’s a stylistic opportunity and a pallet from which a great machine can be created. The ZenBook represents Asus’s attempt at it. And with a variety of models that offer good value with a little consideration to competition, it’s a line worth learning about.

In this review, we’ll take a look at the Asus ZenBook line of computers. We’ll examine the concept behind the line as a whole, discuss individual models, and finally make a comparison – including alongside other brands’ products.

The Concept Behind the Asus ZenBook

ZenBooks are advertised on Asus’s official website as a product targeted toward creators, connectors, builders, and disruptors.

This immediately catches the attention of users from numerous market demographics. The musicians or video editors of the world – who work diligently to put content on SoundCloud or YouTube. The streamers, graphic artists, gamers, or entrepreneurs who need varying levels of components to work and play respectively.

Sometimes the laptop should lean more toward intensive tasks – you need something that you can push with when you’re working on a project at the office or finishing up something at school.  But there are times when the need for an even slimmer and lighter design is necessary. The frequent traveler or floating worker may even prefer this model to the others.

Then there are those who love the way a laptop functions – but really love the way it looks. For them, style is more of a determining factor than anything else. And if they can get a solid build in addition to the sleek looks, it’s an added bonus.

And that's not all

We can’t forget that there are new trends emerging in the laptop game constantly. This is why we see the debate about laptops vs. tablets vs. tent devices finally cooling. With 2-1 and 3-1 devices, you can get the best of multiple worlds. Improve your workflow in laptop mode, flip the keyboard back for tablet-style viewing, or even use the keyboard itself as a makeshift stand, similar to tent cases for tablets.

Whatever a person is looking for, Asus attempts to offer them something in the ZenBook line. Think about how computers like the Chromebook or the Acer Convertible series – or even certain brands of Mac books. These are all computers that balance various degrees of style, workflow, and portability into their design. But how do the individual ZenBook offerings compare?

For the sake of versatility, we’ll examine each different category here then talk about how the products hold up to the competition – finally, we’ll delve into the product’s reputation for each category, and deliver a final verdict on whether the ZenBook line from Asus is worth checking out.

Making Waves: What Does the ZenBook Line Offer You?

The ZenBook line is promoted as one that helps you amplify your impact. That seems like a salesy way of saying you can do more with less. This means the line fits well among that target market that does a little of everything. Let’s take a look at each product category.

ZenBook Pro

ASUS ZenBook Pro 15 Thin & Light Ultrabook Laptop, 15.6” Full HD...
  • 15.6-Inch 178 degree wide angle view Full-HD Nano Edge touch display with Windows 10
  • Latest 7th generation Intel i7-7700HQ Quad Core 2.8 GHz Processor (Turbo to 3.8 GHz)
  • Fast storage and memory featuring PCIE NVMe 512GB SSD with 16GB DDR4 RAM with NVidia GTX 1050Ti 4GB

Even the title brings to mind Apple’s crowning line in the portable computer category. But what may look like a nod to the standard Mac-style laptop (which even companies like Acer and HP have tried to emulate) is actually a unique offering in its own way.

For starters, this line of computer is built around being light. That’s good, especially since many competitors have also been capitalizing on this trend. If we look at the UX550 in the ZenBook Pro category, we see it is a workhorse laptop from the beginning. And i7 processor means more cores and more perseverance during long hours of work and multitasking.

But what about on the video side? Graphics matter too, whether the user is playing a video game or playing a 3D animation they just created for their next project. This model comes with a GTX 1050 Ti, and that’s enough to make any computer soar into the mid-to-high-end range for productivity machines.

Whether it’s a gamer who needs to stream, an artist who needs to create, or an entrepreneur who needs to do everything, the UX550 is built for a productive workflow.

There are also other conveniences you would expect, like 16GB of memory and a 15.6” touchscreen display. It’s a machine built for speedy work in a slim frame. It even has USB ports from new and last gen, as well as a 512GB SSD.

And while there are some slight variants among the other ZenBook pro models, most are value-based like this one.

ZenBook Deluxe

ASUS UX490UA-XS74-BL 14-Inch Zenbook 3 Deluxe Notebook Core i7, 16GB...
  • Crafted from premium aerospace-grade aluminum to create a body that is less than half an inch thin weighs only 2.4 lbs
  • Latest 7th-Generation Kaby lake Intel Core i7-7500U Processor 2.7 GHz (Turbo to 3.5 GHz) cooled by copper-alloy heat pipe and liquid-crystal-polymer fan
  • 14-Inch Full HD display with 178° viewing angles encased in Corning Gorilla Glass 5. Ultra-slim bezel at only 7.46mm

This line has some overlap with some of the others – there are some models you’d find in both areas. But on Asus’s official website, this computer is listed in the flash category. No, not flash memory – it’s one of the laptops listed under the main ZenBook profile when it comes to style.

The model chosen for this category was the UX490. That means a great deal of care is given to both aspects – including the specifications that affect performance and the design that affects the style. The latter is due to careful crafting on a single sheet of aluminum material. The aerospace-grade metal goes through a 40-step process before it is ready.

This style is complemented by a solid array of components, many of the same you’d find in the UX550. The i7 is there, and this one adds an extra perk: it is the eighth-generation model, meaning you get superior architecture optimized to today’s tasks. There is also a great combination of memory and storage, 16GB and 512 (SSD) respectively.

If you’re the type of person who has their laptop out in class, at a work conference, at your local meeting with your project team, or any other group setting, this can be a great model to show off. There’s no shame in liking the good-looking variety of laptops just for yourself, either.

It’s like the old adage about a tree falling in the woods – even if there’s no one else around to see it, getting a looks-based laptop is always welcomed. And as we mentioned earlier, when it also brings real power in terms of specs, that’s a huge bonus.

ZenBook Flip

Sale
ASUS ZenBook Flip 14 UX461UN-DS74T Notebook (Windows 10 Home, Intel...
  • 14-Inch wide-view Full-HD nano-edge bezel touch display in 13.3” chassis with Stylus pen and Windows 10 Pre-installed
  • Latest 8th generation Intel Core i7-8550U Quad Core Processor 8M Cache, up to 4.00 GHz
  • Fast storage and memory featuring NVMe PCIe 512GB SSD with 16GB LPDDR3 2133MHz RAM and NVIDIA GeForce MX150 2GB GDDR5 discrete graphics

This line is Asus’s answer to Acer’s Convertible line and various other manufacturers’ hybrid laptops. When it comes to this line, the question isn’t just what specs or look does the computer have – it is whether or not these design choices are helpful in all of the product configurations.

For this line, the site lists the UX461. It’s a great mid-range model to get you started if you’ve never bought a laptop like this before. But it will also satisfy the design needs of buyers who like the convertible style and swear by it.

Let’s look at the UX461, one of the most popular flip-style ASUS ZenBook choices on the market.  Not only does it come with an eight-generation quad-core processor, but it has the familiar 512GB SSD and 16GB of RAM combination. This balance allows for more performance even in tough situations.

Whether you have the computer in tablet mode to watch a video, or in a standard laptop configuration for some gaming, the NVIDIA GeForce MX150 is up to the task. No matter how small or big your need is, this laptop has the right balance of specs to handle almost any mid-range need while still resulting in an athletic design.

As with most model lines in the ZenBook series, you can upgrade or downgrade specs to affect the price. For example, on the UX461, you’ll get the choice of an 8250U or an 8550U for your processor. For the storage, you can enjoy a choice between a 256GB or 512GB model – or, if you don’t mind settling for an HDD over an SSD, you can go down to a standard 1TB model. If you don’t plan on doing much editing and feel 16GB of RAM is excessive, you can go with half of that.

ZenBook

ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH54 13.3-inch LCD Ultra-Slim Laptop (Core i5...
  • Built-in fingerprint reader with one-touch login via Windows Hello feature
  • 13.3-Inch wide-view Full-HD LCD Display with Windows 10 Pre-installed
  • Latest 7th generation Intel i5-7200U 2.5 GHz Processor (Turbo to 3.1 GHz)

With its basic title when compared to some of the others, this category could be misconstrued as being the “low cost” line. While it does feature some of the lower prices on the ZenBook catalog, this is because of the products’ design – they’re built to be slimmer and lighter than standard laptops.

This goes for models both in and out of Asus’s lineup. The UX330 is the lower-level model advertised in this category on Asus’s website.

Yet that’s not the most curious figure associated with it – this would be the weight. At 2.6-pounds, the computer is one of the more lightweight models in Asus’s entire inventory.

The ZenBook line is targeted at creators, who are often also travelers, entrepreneurs, and workhorses in their own right. Having a lighter laptop can sometimes be helpful in these cases. With an i5 processor, 8GB of memory, and a 256GB SSD, the specs are solid throughout for the ZenBook UX330.

These are most of the prevalent categories in the ZenBook line. But how do they hold up to the competition?

What Does the ASUS ZenBook Offer That Competitors Don’t?

For many people, they have a preferred brand of laptop. This could be the result of a good experience, a product that lasted a long time and provided plenty of return on investment, or in some cases both.

This is why many laptop manufacturers are moving more toward a holistic approach to their inventory. Offering different types of laptops within the same line can attract new buyers, and even help encourage retention among existing buyers who like the brand but want a different type of computer altogether.

There’s no denying that anyone who is looking at a ZenBook Flip would likely compare to an Acer Convertible, a Chromebook 2-1 or 3-1, and so on. The same can be said about the Pro series, which could be compared to Mac laptops or some of the sleeker more high-end HPs. Asus offers the comfort of brand loyalty, meaning those who have had good experiences with the company before will likely prefer their products over the competition.

Our review has compared the different ZenBooks and the benefit they will offer. The other thing we did is compare the ZenBooks to the competition on the market. That will help you determine how this product is different from the rest. It enables you to compare it so that you can determine if suits your needs and budget. Asus ZenBooks compete with the best on the market and even outperform them in many ways.

Does this mean they’re worth it? If you’re in the market for a creativity-focused machine, ZenBook offers some great options no matter your preference. And if your preference is for ASUS, the ZenBook can help you meet any tech need while going with a brand you feel comfortable with.

Lenovo Ideapad 720s Review: Sparking Inspiration With Great Features and a Chic Design

office person using lenovo ideapad 720s

Are you looking for a powerful computer that you can use almost anywhere? Well, this Lenovo Ideapad 720s review might be just what you need.

The first computer took up the size of an entire room, and now we can take our computers on the go. As long as they're charged, we don't have to plug in our technological lifelines to use them.

Computers today are also more powerful than the massive computers of the past. Some laptops have tons of features and fast processors.

In this Lenovo Ideapad 720s review, we hope to determine how the computer stacks up against itself, its competitors, and a whole lot more.

What is the Lenovo Ideapad 720s?

:Lenovo Ideapad 720s 14" Laptop Computer (Intel 7th Gen Core i7-7500U...
  • WORK AND PLAY HARD: The 720S offers 7th Gen Intel Core i7 processing and a high-performance PCIe 512GB SSD storage. Download movies, store photos and videos, and more. And with 16GB of memory, you’ll be able to multi-task with ease and speed.
  • ADVANCED GRAPHICS: Equipped with an NVIDIA GeForce 940MX graphics card that relies on its own processor, so you’ll experience lightning-fast graphics and accelerated photo and video-editing performance.
  • TRULY IMMERSIVE AUDIO: Featuring JBL Premium Audio speakers, the IdeaPad 720S offers the revolutionary technology of Dolby Atmos, which creates a breathtaking 360-degree immersive audio experience in which sound flows from every direction.

The Lenovo Ideapad 720s is a sleek laptop that you can take with you anywhere. It has an aluminum finish and angled edges to make it look even thinner than it is.

The laptop has excellent battery life, and you can even use it to charge other devices.

If you want a fantastic laptop that works for you instead of against you, consider the details of our Lenovo Ideapad 720s review.

Computer specs

Like with any computer, there's more to the Lenovo Ideapad than meets the eye. So, we have to start this Lenovo Ideapad 720s review with a rundown of the computer specs.

Processor and operating system

The Lenovo Ideapad 720s has an 8th generation Intel Core i7-8550U processor (the brains of your laptop). This means that it runs all of your applications at 1.8GHz up to 4.0GHz. Like other Lenovo computers, the Lenovo Ideapad 720s runs on Windows 10.

The visuals

This laptop has Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 and a 1.0MP HD web camera and single array microphone. A computer's graphics card controls everything you see on screen, and the integrated graphics are built right into the center of your computer.

The web camera and microphone keep you connected with others through various video chat programs.

Memory and storage

This Lenovo laptop has 8GB of Random Access Memory (or RAM) to let the processor do its job at maximum efficiency. Think of RAM as the highway all of your programs drive on. The more RAM you have, the wider the road and the fewer traffic jams you'll have.

For saving information, the Lenovo Ideapad 720s has 1 Terabyte (or TB) of storage. If RAM is the highway, this is the parking garage, and 1TB is a pretty big parking garage.

On the go

You can get some incredible sound from such a thin laptop thanks to the JBL Speakers with Dolby Audio. And with up to nine hours of battery life, you don't have to worry about your computer dying in the middle of a day of work.

The 13.3-inch display is gorgeous, and at 2.2 pounds, you can take the laptop on the go.

Stay connected

When it comes to connectivity, you're covered. The Lenovo Ideapad uses Bluetooth 4.1, and it has multiple ports. You get 2 USB 3.0 ports, 1 Type-C Thunderbolt port, and 1 Type-C (always-on charging) port, and a microphone/headphone jack.

The USB 3.0 ports allow for connections through older cables, and the Type-C ports transfer data and information more quickly than older versions of USB.

Customer reviews

One customer loved the design of the laptop, and their only complaint was the lack of a touch screen. Another customer praised the quick startup and decent battery life.

A third customer loved the laptop's size and performance, but the battery life is too short. One customer stated in their Lenovo Ideapad 720s review that the laptop arrived broken, so she had to return it.

One customer said they loved the size of the Lenovo's precision trackpad, and the aluminum makes the laptop feel compact. A second customer complimented the value that you get with the Lenovo.

A third customer noted that you can't replace the battery yourself. Their battery died after a couple of months, so they had to send it back to Lenovo for a new battery. The customer also mentioned that the repair took longer than expected and that customer service wasn't very helpful.

Things to consider

A laptop can be an expensive purchase, so you should make sure to choose the best laptop for you. As you read our Lenovo Ideapad 720s review, consider these tips.

Cost

Cheap laptops are very appealing. Who wouldn't want a computer for a low price? But computers are one area where you get what you pay for.

On the other hand, it is possible to spend too much money on a computer. If you don't need a computer for anything more than email and browsing the web, then you don't need a high-tech laptop.

Think ahead

You might be tempted to buy the least expensive, base model because that's all you need right now. As we said, laptops aren't cheap. You should be able to use your next laptop for at least a few years.

Don't be afraid to get more storage than you think you need. Also, try to buy the newest model so that it won't be obsolete soon after you start to use it.

Ports and more ports

You should also consider what ports you need. While the Lenovo Ideapad 720s has quite a few ports, it doesn't have an SD card reader.

Therefore, if you work with SD cards a lot, you might want a computer that can accommodate them. Or you can look into an adapter.

Some laptops have even fewer ports than the Lenovo. Before you buy your next laptop, make sure that it has all of the ports that you need.

Give it a try

While computer companies make it very easy for you to buy a computer online, that doesn't mean you shouldn't test out the laptop. Look for a local store where you can test out the laptop in person.

All the specs in the world won't matter if you don't like using the computer. We hope to give you the best idea of the laptop, but our Lenovo Ideapad 720s review can't compete with your own opinion and experience.

If you can't test the laptop in person, buy online from a store that allows returns.

Big screen, better screen?

Size is another important thing to consider. The Lenovo Ideapad 720s has a 13.3-inch display, and it's pretty thin, too. That makes it great for taking on the go.

But laptops come in a variety of sizes. Some are smaller, and others are larger. Think about whether you prefer a larger screen or a portable laptop.

Think big picture

With all of the tech specs, avoid getting sucked into just one spec. A computer might have excellent RAM, but what if the battery life is awful?

Above all, make sure you look at each of the tech specs so you can choose the model that fits your needs and budget.

Laptops and tablets aren't the same

Tablets have come a long way in recent years. They're more powerful than ever, but that doesn't mean they're the same as laptops.

You might be able to get away with just a tablet, but laptops are still the better choice for work-intensive tasks.

How It Compares

laptop on meeting

Image via Pixabay

Our Lenovo Ideapad 720s review wouldn't be complete without comparing it to similar computers. More and more companies are releasing thin yet powerful laptops, so it can be hard to know which one is best.

And if you don't know what all of the specs mean, the comparison gets even more difficult.

How We Reviewed

We looked for laptops with similar specs and a similar price to the Lenovo. In our search, we stuck to laptops with similar average ratings to keep things fair and balanced. Also, we made sure to leave our personal opinions out of the comparison.

This Lenovo Ideapad 720s review is about helping you decide if the laptop is right for you

HP Spectre x360


HP Spectre x360 Laptop-2-in-1 (Intel i7-9750H 6-Core, 16GB RAM, 512GB...
  • Intel Core i7-9750H 2.60GHz Processor (9th Gen, upto 4.50 GHz, 12 MB SmartCache, 6-Cores) ; 16GB DDR4 SODIMM RAM
  • NVIDIA GTX 1650 [Max-Q] 4GB GDDR5 Graphics
  • 15.6" 4K UHD (3840x2160) Touch Display; Bluetooth 5.0, 1080p Full HD Webcam, Fingerprint, Backlit Keyboard, Active Pen, Dark Ash Silver Color

The HP Spectre x360 is a convertible 2-in-1 laptop. It has a dark ash silver color with gold detailing on the sides. This laptop has an 8th generation Intel Core i7-8550U processor and an NVIDIA GeForce MX150 Graphics card.

The 4K display is 15.6 inches, and it features a backlit touchscreen. You can use the included stylus with the touchscreen.

The HP Spectre x360 comes with 16GB of RAM, and it has 512GB of storage. You can video chat with the HP Wide Vision camera and Dual-array digital microphone.

The HP Spectre also comes with plenty of ports including 1 Thunderbolt 3, 1 Type-C, and 1 USB 3.1 as well as an HDMI port and a headphone/microphone jack. You can also stay connected with WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2.

This laptop comes with Windows 10 as its operating system.

Many customers love the look of the computer, but a common complaint is frequent lagging and freezing.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 2


Sale
Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 (Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD) -...
  • Clean, elegant design — thin and light, starting at just 2.76 pounds, Surface Laptop 2 fits easily in your bag.
  • Choose from rich tone-on-tone color combinations: Platinum, Burgundy, and Cobalt Blue.
  • Improved speed and performance to do what you want, with the latest 8th Generation Intel Core processor.

Microsoft's Surface Laptop 2 has many similar specs to the Lenovo and the HP. It has an Intel Core i7 processor, and it comes with Windows 10.

The laptop has 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. At 2.76 pounds, the 13.5-inch computer fits into your bag for work on the go. This laptop has up to 14.5 hours of battery life, and you can choose from burgundy, cobalt, and platinum for the color.

The touchscreen display is vibrant, and the invisible speakers give you excellent sound from all angles. This laptop uses Signature Alcantara material on the keyboard so you can type comfortably.

You can purchase extra accessories including a mouse and a stylus to up your game with the laptop.

One customer said the laptop is powerful enough for graphic design, coding, and more. Another customer said the laptop wouldn't boot up at all.

Samsung Notebook 9


Samsung Notebook 9 Pen 15"-Intel Core i7-16GB Memory-512GB SSD
  • S Pen - unleash your creativity with the included, ultra-precise s Pen which never needs charging. With three interchangeable tips, you can replicate the feeling of writing, sketching, or painting with different textures. You can also use the handwriting recognition function to convert notes to text, transform sketches into diagrams, and even take screen clips.
  • Convertible design - supporting a scratch-resistant metal design, An Ocean Blue color and a striking yellow Pen, The notebook 9 pen is as sleek, stylish, and versatile. Use it as a laptop or simply rotate it to tablet mode for convenient presentation Display, entertainment viewing, or browsing apps with the touchscreen.
  • Fast-charging Battery - with the power to last up to 15 hours, there's no stopping your productivity. When it's time to recharge you can power up quickly, so you're right back to what you were doing.

Did you think Samsung only made smartphones? Well, think again. The Samsung Notebook 9 is a surprisingly powerful laptop. It has an 8th generation Intel Core i7-8550U processor with a TurboBoost.

This computer has 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. The Samsung computer also NVIDIA graphics and a 15-inch HD display. You can open the (non-touch) display up to 180 degrees.

The laptop has a webcam and a backlit keyboard along with multiple ports. You get 1 USB Type-C, 2 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0, a 3-in-1 SD card reader, and a fingerprint reader. The Samsung Notebook 9 also has an HDMI port along with WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity.

Unfortunately, there are no Amazon customer reviews. One customer said it's almost too easy to turn the computer off, but it's fantastic otherwise.

LG Gram Thin and Light Laptop


LG gram Thin and Light Laptop - 17" (2560 x 1600) IPS Display, Intel...
  • 17 Inch WQXGA (2560 x 1600) resolution 16: 10 IPS display
  • Intel 8th Generation Intel Core i7 8565u Processor
  • Windows home 10

The LG Gram Thin and Light Laptop is yet another computer worth comparing to the Lenovo Ideapad 720s. This computer has a larger display than some others at 17 inches. It has an 8th generation Intel Core i7-8565U processor, and the operating system is Windows 10.

The laptop may be large, but it has an outstanding 19.5-hour battery life. Its IPS display is gorgeous, and the laptop is thin enough to take on the go. The LG clocks in at just under three pounds.

You can log into your computer with the fingerprint sensor, and the backlit keyboard lets you work in darker environments. The touchpad lets you use a variety of multi-touch gestures, and you can use the webcam for video chats. Also, the laptop has great speakers.

The LG laptop has a Type-C port, 3 USB 3.0 ports, a microSD card reader, an HDMI port, and a headphone jack.

Customers say it's very portable despite the large screen size.

​Pros and Cons

No Lenovo Ideapad 720s review is complete without listing the pros and cons. The Lenovo has multiple competing products, but we can't ignore the Lenovo itself. Like most products, there are both pros and cons to this laptop.

We also have to mention that your pros and cons might differ from someone else's.

Pros

The Lenovo has many excellent features. We had to include these pros in our Lenovo Ideapad 720s review.

Visuals

It's a great size. The Lenovo Ideapad 720s has a 13.3-inch display, and it's extremely thin. That makes it perfect for around the house and on the go. You don't have to feel weighed down by the laptop.


The Lenovo Ideapad 720s has an aluminum finish. Lenovo uses a similar finishing process as for diamonds, giving it a sleek design. The sharp edges make the laptop look even thinner than it really is.


It has a full screen. Watching videos on the Lenovo is terrific because the screen has thin borders. The screen almost feels like a home theater.

Interior

It has excellent battery life. The Lenovo Ideapad 720s has up to 10 hours of battery life. You can also use the laptop to charge other devices, like your smartphone. The laptop doesn't even need to be on.


It has great performance. The 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor helps the Lenovo run very fast. You can run multiple programs, and the computer won't lag on you.


It has tons of storage. If you want to use your computer for years, you need enough storage. Luckily, the Lenovo has 1TB of SSD (solid state drive) storage.


It has amazing audio. If you like to listen to music, you don't have to use external speakers to get a good sound. The JBL Dolby Audio gives you a range of clear sounds at every volume.

Connect

It has Cortana. Cortana is the Windows digital assistant. It can answer questions, open apps, and set reminders. If you have multiple Windows 10 devices, you can use Cortana on all of them.


It uses a fingerprint reader. If you can't remember your password, don't worry. You can log onto the Lenovo with just a swipe of your finger. The fingerprint reader also works with certain apps like Dropbox.


It has multiple ports. The world is slowly moving to Type-C ports, and the Lenovo is no exception. This laptop has a Thunderbolt 3 (Type-C) port so you can stay up to date on connectivity.

Cons

Just like with the pros, we had to include cons in our Lenovo Ideapad 720s review.

Food for thought

It has some competition. Just look at the computers we compared. All of them are amazing in their own ways. Of course, the Lenovo has some fantastic features. But don't they all?


It's pricey. While the Lenovo Ideapad isn't the most expensive computer on the market, it's definitely not the cheapest. If you want a more affordable computer, it might not be the one for you.


It has a few bad reviews. One or two bad reviews shouldn't turn you away from a product, but they're worth looking into. Some of the negative reviews focus on a defective model. That's not what you want in a computer.

Tech specs

It lacks a few ports. If you use SD cards or HDMI output, you won't find those ports on the Lenovo. Photographers and presenters need those ports to do their jobs.


It uses Windows 10 Home. This might be a pro if you just need a simple computer. However, if you want a powerhouse, you might prefer a computer with Windows 10 Pro.


It doesn't have a touchscreen. So many laptops have this option these days. If you want a touchscreen laptop, you probably want to look at other computers.

Consider this

It isn't customizable. If you decide you want more RAM, you can't upgrade it. The baseline 8GB should be enough for most people, but gamers and professionals might want more.


It lacks an optical drive. According to PCWorld, an optical drive is what lets you play and burn DVDs. The Lenovo Ideapad doesn't have that capacity. So if that's important to you, you'll probably be disappointed.


It has an internal battery. One complaint from customers is the location of the battery. If your battery dies, you have to send it to Lenovo for a replacement.


It only has one color option. This may be a bit vain, but who doesn't want some choice in their computer's color? The aluminum does look great, but it might be nice to have at least one other color.

​Lenovo Ideapad 720s Review

The Lenovo Ideapad 720s is a fantastic computer with tons of features. It has a fast processor, and the graphics are excellent. You get tons of storage, and it's thin enough to stick in any bag.

But there are other computers with similar features. What makes Lenovo different?

In our Lenovo Ideapad 720s review, we found that while there are many similar computers, the Lenovo still stands out.

One impressive feature you won't find on other laptops is a full 1TB worth of storage. If you want to store a lot of files on your computer, the Lenovo won't let you down.

However, there are some drawbacks to it. For one, the Lenovo Ideapad doesn't have a touchscreen. While that's probably not a dealbreaker, it is worth noting.

The Lenovo looks and feels small, but it's still very powerful. You get an 8th generation Intel processor, and furthermore, the 8GB RAM means you can work quickly and efficiently.

If you're handy with tools, you might not like that you can't replace the battery on your own. Wait, isn't that an Apple thing? Not anymore. You will have to take the computer to Lenovo if you need a new battery.

At the end of the day, you can't let one or two features (or lack of features) keep you from deciding on a new computer.

As you can see from our Lenovo Ideapad 720s review, it's not a perfect laptop. However, very few people need all of the top-of-the-line features.

If you need a computer with a fast processor that's also a great value, the Lenovo Ideapad is an excellent choice. But you should also consider the Lenovo if you plan to use the laptop as your primary computer.

On the other hand, if you only need a laptop for browsing the web and checking email, you probably don't need all of the power. You can get away with a lower priced computer with fewer features.

Whatever you decide, make sure you don't rush into a decision. Like it or not, computers are part of our daily lives. You want to choose a computer that you enjoy using day in and day out.

Featured Image via Pixabay

Channel Your Inner IT Talent To Build A Laptop For Business Or Pleasure

black laptop

If you would like to build a laptop for business or pleasure, then there are a lot of excellent options out there to make it happen.

Since IBM launched the first commercial laptop in 1988, consumers have called for more powerful, sleeker, but less power-consuming designs.

In fact, every year laptops seem to get so much thinner that pretty soon they’ll include paper cut warnings (just kidding).

However, there’s been a persistent question asked year after year by curious PC builders.

Many builders would like to know if it’s possible to build a laptop the same way they self-build PCs.

As it turns out:

The answer is “sort of.”

How To Build A Laptop: DIY Versus Custom Built

When it comes to options as to how you can build a laptop, there are two choices.

You can buy a barebones laptop kit and install some components yourself, or you can order a custom-made laptop.

Both approaches can have their own unique appeal, depending on what you’re looking to gain.

​​The challenges associated with building a laptop from scratch

Laptop on a wooden table

​Image Source: flickr.com

When you build a laptop from scratch, it’s important to keep in mind that the definition of “building from scratch” is different with laptops as compared to PCs.

For example:

When you build a PC from scratch, you are literally buying everything that goes into it separately and assembling the machine piece by piece.

Components such as the mouse, keyboard, monitor, motherboard, case, and power supply are all separate parts that you must buy.

However, with a laptop, that’s not going to be the case. There are specific components that you just can’t buy separately.

Lack of standardized components

black laptop

​Image Source: pixabay.com

Perhaps the biggest hurdle when you build a laptop from scratch is the fact that unlike desktop PCs, there’s no standardization of parts for laptop components.

You see:

Laptop components such as the motherboard are typically designed only to fit and work with a brand’s specific model.

In other words:

Almost every commercially sold laptop is like an iPhone. There are parts in each machine that will not work in others.

With desktops, you can take the motherboard out of one case, and fit it in another case so long as it’s the right size.

In the beginning, when laptops weighed as much as a kindergartner, they also had more of a uniform design that may have made it possible for greater customization.

However, with today’s laptops, the motherboards are physically designed to only fit and work in a specially designed laptop case, which you can not buy separately.

There are many reasons for this, such as:

Cooling
black housing processor fan

​Image Source: pixabay.com

Laptops all have very uniquely tailored cooling designs that require components that are cut for that specific model’s case and motherboard.

If you open up a laptop, you’ll likely find a thin cooling plate of some sort that touches most of the major components.

Think about it:

On a desktop, you have a heatsink, which usually includes a fan, that covers the CPU. You can also go the water cooling route and add components such as a pump to your system.

Many cases also let you add a certain number of extra fans to increase airflow throughout the case.

On the other hand:

With laptops, you are limited to the design of the motherboard and the location of vital components on it that require cooling.

You’ll also have a limited number of fans that you can install, many of which are also customized to accommodate the laptop case and motherboard.

While airflow is important in a PC, it’s critical in laptops, which until very recently could not be liquid cooled.

Once again, each laptop will likely feature cooling systems that are slightly to significantly different from each other.

Space
apple macbook

​Image Source: pixabay.com

Since laptops are getting thinner and thinner, when you build one from scratch, you’ll likely have to live with a much bulkier and heavier design.

Today’s laptop manufacturers use specialized components that you can’t buy.

To make a point:

If you took a shell from an Apple MacBook Air and tried to fit a different motherboard in it, you’ll fail.

In many cases, even components from last years MacBook might not fit or work in this year’s laptop shell.

Since space is limited, the design variations, which can be small, make a huge difference.

​Determining and sourcing laptop parts

​Upgrading components

Upgrading GPUs and CPUs
motherboard gpu

​Image Source: pixabay.com

PC gamers know that newer games usually require more powerful hardware to run them on settings that bring out their full potential.

With a desktop, for example, you can usually upgrade your GPU to accommodate this need.

However, very few laptops offer the same option, as most GPUs are built into the motherboard, as is the case with most CPUs.

In other words:

If you want to upgrade your system, you’ll have to rebuild the whole thing from scratch.

That is assuming that the components you want for your system even exist outside of a commercially made laptop.

Consider this:

Imagine finding a new mobile GPU made by Nvidia that you’ve decided that you must have in your new laptop.

It’s likely that Nvidia specially designed that GPU to only work on specific boards for a limited number of laptop models.

This fact also holds true for most CPUs which are also likely to be soldered onto the motherboard.

You see:

Unlike desktop GPUs and CPUs, there’s no incentive for manufacturers such as Intel and Nvidia to make their laptop components stand-alone.

For one thing, a mounted GPU or CPU would require more space.

​Hassle

​Cost

​Warranty

Advantages of building a laptop from scratch

At this point, you’re probably wondering if there are any benefits to creating a laptop from scratch.


Actually, yes there are.


For those people who enjoy a great DIY challenge, building a laptop is right up there with the best of them. If you want to enjoy the bragging rights of building a functional laptop, then by all means, go for it. There’s nothing wrong with a little vanity project.


Another good reason to build a laptop from scratch will be if you’re looking to start making your own brand of laptops and selling them. Making one from scratch would be a great way to get design ideas, and make improvements on pre-existing models. Before you know it, your company could become the next Razer or Alienware.

Step By Step DIY Instructions For Building A Laptop

This is a very generalized step-by-step “how to” guide on how to build a laptop.

We should note that many of the components referred to in this guide may not have up-to-date models that are available for sale.

For example:

The barebones kit and components that would allow you to make a copy version of the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 15.6-inch gaming laptop probably doesn’t exist.

When making a self-built laptop, it’s best not to set your expectations too high in terms of performance.

Once again, you’ll likely need to source older parts that will work together.

Part 1: Locating the parts

computer parts

​Image Source: pixabay.com

First, you should determine what kind of machine you want to build. Is it going to be a gaming laptop or used for business?

This distinction can make a big difference. That’s because a laptop designed for business may have components that are much easier to find than one designed for gaming.

You’ll also need to consider factors such as battery life and screen size.

​Step 1: Choose your CPU

​Step 2: Choose a laptop shell

​Step 3: Find your RAM

​Step 4: Find a hard drive

​Step 5: Decide on a graphics card (optional)

​Step 6: Find an optical drive (optional)

​Step 7: Choose your battery

Part 2: Putting it all together

different kinds of tools

​Image Source: pixabay.com

Okay, now it’s time to get to work. You’ve got all your components, and now it’s just a matter of putting everything together.

​Step 1: Gather your tools

​Step 2: Stay grounded

​Step 3: Turn the shell over

​Step 4: Remove your first panel

​Step 5: Mount the drive

​Step 6: Slip the bracketed hard drive into the bay

​Step 7: Install the optical drive

​Step 8: Remove motherboard panel

​Step 9: Install your RAM

​Step 10: Install your CPU

​Step 11: Install the cooling fan

​Step 12: Closing up

Part 3: Starting up your laptop

​Now comes the moment of truth: Starting up your laptop for the first time.

​Step 1: The battery

​Step 2: Check your RAM

​Step 3: Installing the OS

​Step 4: Install your drivers

Letting Someone Else Build A Laptop For You

If you decide to allow a company to build a laptop for you, there are a few things you’ll need to consider.

laptop on a wooden table

​Image Source: pixabay.com

First, you’ll need to know how you plan to use the laptop, the same way you would if you build a laptop yourself.

If you’re building a gaming laptop, your priorities are going to be different (and more expensive) than a laptop made for business use.

Graphics designers also require laptop specs that are very similar to those used to build a laptop for gaming.

How to custom-build a laptop for business

laptop smartphone and apple in a table

​Image Source: pixabay.com

If you want to custom build a laptop for business, the cost may be more of a factor than it would be for gamers.

Business users are more likely to want to get something preassembled and not bother too much with details such as graphics cards and RAM speed.

With that in mind:

Here are some suggestions on what to expect from systems that fall under a certain price range.

Laptops $  and under

Laptops $ to $$

Laptops $$ to $$$

Laptops $$$ and beyond

​Choosing your OS

​Technically when you have someone custom build a laptop, you should have four choices for your OS which currently include:

  • ​Windows 10
  • ​Linux
  • ​Apple OS X
  • ​Chrome OS

However, very few retailers and builders sell machines with Linux Operating Systems. So realistically you’re looking at three choices.

Apple OS X
macbook pro

​Image Source: pixabay.com

Not so long ago, this wouldn’t have been a serious question for most laptop users. But with the rise of Apple products, users now have another option other than Windows.

Of course:

Apple laptops do tend to carry a much stiffer pricetag than Windows laptops.

Historically, Apple laptops are favored more among creative professionals because of their function keys, high screen quality, and ability to run high-powered programs such as AVid, Dreamweaver, and Maya.

In fact, many creative professionals still swear by Apple laptops.

In recent years, Apple has enjoyed enormous success with the launch of their much more affordable MacBook models such as the MacBook Pro.

These laptops feature less RAM than previous models and target more of a mass audience than traditional Apple laptops.

The biggest issue with using Apple products for business is that you may run into some problems with compatibility if your company uses software that only works on Windows machines

​Windows 10
white computer keyboard

​Image Source: pixabay.com

​While you can technically still buy a few systems with Windows 7, most machines available are going to offer Windows 10.

Windows is by far the most expensive OS, but also the most comprehensive. Plus, the latest version comes with a host of new features aimed at increasing productivity.

Features such as Cortana, Microsoft’s virtual assistant app, can perform all kinds of tasks, from checking the weather to scheduling appointments.

Then there’s Task View, which allows you to set up multiple virtual desktops for easier multitasking.







​Chrome OS

​The Chrome OS, made exclusively for Chromebooks, is designed to take advantage of the growing number of cloud-based services.

Chromebooks are perfect for users using cloud-based storage services instead of relying on a lot of physical storage space.

The OS also features support for such cloud-based programs as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Adobe Creative Cloud, and more.

​Best hardware for business users

How to custom-build a laptop for gaming

For gamers who wish to custom-build a laptop, price considerations may be less of a factor than for business users.

While you could go nuts and spend thousands of dollars for a gaming laptop, you can honestly get one that plays the latest games for between $700 and $1,500.

Here are a few hardware recommendations for the best gaming experience at bare-minimum cost.

  • ​CPU: Intel Core i5 2.3 GHz or higher
  • ​GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 or higher
  • ​Ram: 8GB to 16GB of DDR4 with at least 2133 MHz clock speed
  • ​SDD: you’ll probably need at least 1TB of space on your SDD drive or if you go lower, you’ll need to have a secondary internal or external storage solution
  • ​Network Adapter: the fastest 802.11 A/C adapter you can get
  • ​Screen: size is a matter of personal taste, but you’ll want a resolution of at least 1080p or higher
  • ​Sound: consider buying an external sound card for the best sound
  • ​Battery: this should honestly be a non-factor for most gamers since gaming eats lots of juice. Just plug in

 Our Best Recommendation For Building A Laptop

laptop and smartphone in a wooden table

​Image Source: pixabay.com

There are a few good reasons that you may want to build a laptop from scratch.

  • ​Learning: you want to learn or teach someone how to build a laptop or how they work
  • ​Challenge: you want to challenge yourself with a new DIY project just to say that you’ve done it
  • ​Research: maybe you want to start your own laptop business someday

However, if you’re looking for the most cost-effective and technologically advanced laptop, building one from scratch isn’t the way to go.

In that case:

You want to have someone custom build a laptop using components you pick out to ensure the best performance.

Custom laptops can be pricier than mass produced retail laptops but may offer better build quality in return.

We hope you’ve found this information on building a laptop helpful, and wish you the best of luck in your search.

Have you built a laptop? If so, share your experience in the comments!