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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

zenbooks

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

ASUS ZenBook 14 Ultra-Slim Laptop 14” FHD Nano-Edge Bezel, 8th-Gen...

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.

intel

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.

Sale
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.

ASUS ZenBook Pro 15 Thin & Light Ultrabook Laptop, 15.6” Full HD...

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.

You can expect to pay around $1,500 for this laptop – it’s creeping up into the upper-mid-range to high-end buying zone, but this model, in particular, has the specs to justify it. And while there are some slight variants among the other ZenBook pro models, most are value-based like this one.

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.

ASUS UX490UA-XS74-BL 14-Inch Zenbook 3 Deluxe Notebook Core i7, 16GB...

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.

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.

ASUS ZenBook Flip 14 UX461UN-DS74T Notebook (Windows 10 Home, Intel...

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.

Sale
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.

It comes it at around $750, which puts it solidly in the mid-range territory as far as price goes. 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.

ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH54 13.3-inch LCD Ultra-Slim Laptop (Core i5...

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?

Product

Details

Price

Asus ZenBook Pro

Processor
Intel® Core™ i7-8750H

Graphics
NVIDIA® GeForce® 1050Ti

Display
15.6" NanoEdge 4K UHD 16:9 touchscreen

Memory
16GB 2400MHz DDR4 onboard

Storage
512GB PCIe® SSD

ZenBook Deluxe

Processor
Intel® Core™ i7-8550U


Graphics
Integrated Intel® HD Graphics 620

Display
14” LED-backlit Full HD (1920 by 1080)

Memory
16GB 2133MHz LPDDR3 onboard

Storage
512GB PCIe® 3.0 x 4 SSD

256GB SATA3 SSD

Asus ZenBook Flip 2

Processor
Up to Intel® Core™ i7-8550U


Graphics
NVIDIA® GeForce® MX150

Display
14.0" LED-backlit FHD Touchscreen with WideView Technology

Memory
16GB 2133MHz LPDDR3 SDRAM onboard

Storage
512GB PCIe® SSD

Asus Zenbook UX330

Processor
Up to Intel® Core™ i5-7200U


Graphics
Intel HD Graphics 520

Display
13.3" LED-Lit FHD

Memory
8GB DDR3 RAM

Storage
256GB SSD

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 15t Premium Convertible 2-in-1 Laptop in Dark Ash...
  • 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8550U (1.8 GHz, up to 4 GHz, 8 MB cache, 4 cores) + NVIDIA GeForce MX150 Graphics (2 GB GDDR5 dedicated)
  • 15.6" diagonal 4K UHD UWVA eDP BrightView WLED-backlit (3840 x 2160) Touchscreen, HP Active Stylus Pen, No Internal ODD
  • 16GB DDR4 RAM, HP Wide Vision FHD IR Camera with Dual array digital microphone with 1Thunderbolt 3, Intel 802.11ac (2x2) Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 Combo

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


Sale
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 s 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


Sale
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

laptop

​Image Source: ​unsplash.com

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!

Best Laptop Docking Station: It’s Time to Cut the Cord for Good

Best Laptop Docking Station - Plugable USB 3.0 Universal Laptop Docking Station for Windows

Laptops are a convenient way to work. To boost your productivity even further, you might consider investing in the best laptop docking station that you can find.

Let’s face it: While laptops are a great option to work and communicate on the go, sometimes you need a workstation. Having a dedicated workstation is a boon to productivity because you always know where everything is, with the perfect set up to do whatever you need to do.

But workstations are not exactly mobile. While you can potentially switch between a desktop workstation and your laptop, it is not always convenient to switch between computers.

A docking station could help you solve this problem by essentially turning your laptop into a stationary workstation, whenever you need it.

Picking the Best Laptop Docking Station

laptop on white table

Image from Amazon

If you want to supercharge your laptop productivity, a laptop docking station may be a worthy investment.

So what is it anyway?

You may be wondering what a laptop docking station is. A docking station is a device that you can attach your laptop to that extends its capabilities, allowing you to connect extra devices to it easily.

Port replicators vs. docking station

Port replicators are peripheral devices that add additional ports for your laptop to use. For example, a port replicator may include extra USB ports, Ethernet ports, etc.

Docking stations are similar to port replicators in that they add additional ports for your laptop. However, desk docking stations have more options, including charging capabilities, and may support more features, like multiple monitors.

Port replicators are typically cheaper than more full-featured docking stations.

What’s the advantage?

Laptops are great when you are on the go. They are super portable, easy to work with, and you can connect anywhere.

But let’s face it, even a sizeable 17-inch laptop can seem small when you’re working on it all the time. Laptops are not always the greatest choice for ergonomics, either.

Docking stations can help you set up a more versatile workstation environment when you need it, without sacrificing your laptop’s portability. The best laptop docking station will allow you to set up a more permanent workstation, with a good keyboard and monitor, at a desk.

When you do need to leave, all you need to do is unplug a cable, and you’re free! Plus, when you are back at your workstation, you can plug right back in and work in comfort once again.

So how does it work?

In the past, laptop docking stations tended to be proprietary, made specifically for each laptop model by the manufacturer. Though made for their compatible laptops, there was little variety, if any, in features for these docking stations.

While you can still find proprietary docks like the Surface Dock for Surface laptops, universal docks are now very popular. Universal docks are often compatible with both Mac and Windows operating systems. Some universal docks also support Chrome OS and Linux operating systems.

Consider this

Current universal docks have far more variety than their proprietary predecessors. However, this means that there is more to think about when you are buying a docking station.

When you’re looking for the best laptop docking station for your computer, you need to take your needs into consideration.

First, think about what you use your laptop for. If you mostly surf the web and use productivity applications, you are probably fine with a more basic docking station.

However, if you are a power user who uses their laptop to edit media, a more powerful docking station may be in order.

Similarly, consider how often you plan on using your laptop as a stationary workstation.

If you are a road warrior that only needs to sit down at a desk every so often, a port replicator or a more portable, slim docking station may be best for your needs.

Mind your ports

When you are looking for the best laptop docking station, you may be overwhelmed at the different port choices.

Here’s a small primer to help you better understand what you are looking at.

Thunderbolt 3 vs. USB-C

Many universal docking stations connect to laptops using either USB-C or Thunderbolt 3. Somewhat confusingly, USB C and Thunderbolt 3 both use the same USB-C connector.

However, USB-C has a data transfer rate of 10 Gigabytes per second (Gb/s) while Thunderbolt 3 is much faster at 40 Gb/s.

Video ports

Universal docking stations may have different video ports for you to choose from, including DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI, or VGA.

Before choosing the best laptop docking station for you, be sure that you choose one that supports your monitor of choice.

More connections

Most universal docking stations will come with USB ports, as well as audio out (headphones) and audio in (microphone).

Wattage

Before choosing a universal docking station, you need to ensure that the docking station has enough power to run your laptop as well as any powered peripherals you may have.

Finding the Best Laptop Docking Station: Our Method

To find our choices for the best laptop docking station we took a look at various universal USB-C docking stations.

From there, we looked at the different features each laptop dock had, including ports, wattage, and display support. Finally, we looked at what customer reviews had to say about each product. Prices are variable for laptop docking stations.

The CalDigit TS3 is a 15-port docking station. Among these connections, there are two Thunderbolt 3 ports, a DisplayPort, five USB ports (including USB-A and USB-C), and optical audio.

It provides up to 85 watts of power. This docking station can support either one 5K monitor or up to two 4K monitors via the DisplayPort and USB-C connections.

While the CalDigit TS3 is ideal for Mac-based laptops like the 2016+ MacBook pro, it is also compatible with Windows laptops running Windows 8 or Windows 10.

This docking station is available on Amazon and “Amazon’s Choice” pick.

Positive reviews like this dock for both Mac and Windows computers. The top positive review calls it the “best investment” they could have made.

However, there are critical reviews that assert that the dock did not work on their computers. One review says that it did not work well with their 2018 MacBook Pro. After numerous attempts with CalDigit’s help, they were able to get their issue resolved but still gave it a low rating due to the non-intuitive fix.

The J5create is a USB 3.0 mini-docking station. This aluminum-bodied dock includes two USB 3.0 ports, an Ethernet port, a micro-USB type-B port for charging, and HDMI/VGA ports.

It is a universal docking station that is compatible with Windows and Mac operating systems.You can find it online at Best Buy and Amazon.

Calling it a “no frills, bargain winner.” While the reviewer admitted that the dock lacked some higher functionality, they noted that it makes for an “excellent temporary workstation” for their Windows-based laptop.

Another review mentioned that they used their dock to extend their laptop onto two 25-inch monitors. This reviewer reported that the solution, “works great” and is more economical than other solutions that they had tried.

Critical reviews varied on their reasons for disliking the product. One reviewer said that the overall product was good but still did not work for their unique computer situation. Another user reported that it did not work with Mac 10.13.5 and did not receive a resolution from J5 when they contacted support.

Plugable universal docking stations

The computer company Plugable makes several highly rated docking stations, available on Amazon.

The Plugable UD-CA1A is a universal docking station, compatible with Windows, Mac, and Chromebook. This docking station includes an HDMI/VGA port that supports many types of video. It connects to the laptop via a USB-C connector.

It is also the PC Magazine Editor’s Choice for USB-C laptop docks.

Positive reviews like this dock for its versatility as well as its support. Citing that it was able to work with both Mac and Windows computers.

Critical reviews that were less than pleased with the dock cited it did not work with their operating system.

For example, one customer using Ubuntu 18.04 noted that there was a significant delay when typing and mousing. Another customer found that the dock did not work with newer versions of Chrome OS.

The Plugable UD-ULTCDL is another top-rated docking station. It's a USB-C system and makes use of Thunderbolt 3 technology for faster data transfer rates.

It supports up to three displays with two HDMI outputs and a DVI output. Additionally, this docking station has an Ethernet port and supports three USB 3.0 peripherals, as well as a microphone and speakers.

Overall, the Plugable UD-ULTCDL gets good reviews online. Positive reviews say that the dock “worked like a charm” for their needs. Those that liked the dock gave it glowing reviews, saying that it helped to boost their productivity with the extra display space.

The UD-ULTCDL does have some drawbacks. This dock is made more for web browsing and productivity applications. It is not recommended for hardware intensive applications like gaming or HD video.

While this dock is compatible with older versions of Mac OS, it is not compatible with Mac OS 10.13.4 and above. Additionally, not all versions of Chromebook support this dock.

One customer had a particularly bad experience with this dock, ending with the dock destroying his laptop. However, the customer did appreciate that the company reached out to compensate them for the defective product and the damage it caused.

The WAVLINK WL-UG69PD2 is a docking station that works with USB-C connectors and provides up to 60 watts of charging power. It includes two DisplayPort connections, two HDMI ports, four USB 3.0 ports, two USB-C ports, an Ethernet port, and audio in and out ports.

It supports resolutions up to 5K on a single monitor via DisplayPort and resolutions up to 4K on dual monitors on both HDMI and DisplayPort.

The WAVLINK WL-UG69PD2 is compatible with Windows, Mac OS 10.6 to 10.13.3, and Chrome OS 2015 and onward.

Customer reviews are overwhelmingly positive for the dock, with 71 percent of customers. Positive reviews note that the dock works well and is easy to use. One reviewer stated that they were able to use the dock easily between different laptops.

It began having trouble recognizing monitors. This review also indicated that it was not a good dock for playing games.

So Which One Is Really the Best?

Whether you are a student that wants a more comfortable solution to write long term papers or a video editor that wants to use multiple monitors to edit their next masterpiece on their laptop, the best laptop docking station is out there, ready to help.

A universal docking station can help boost your productivity by letting you customize a workstation that exactly meets your needs.

Laptop docking stations come with different ports and capabilities, so you are sure to find the best laptop docking station for your particular needs!

In your opinion, what is the best laptop docking station on the market today? Tell us all about it below!

Featured Image from Amazon

How To Clean A Laptop Keyboard And Keep It Clean

person typing on laptop

As you go through the day, do you think ever think about how to clean a laptop keyboard? That may seem like an odd question. But humans are a tactile species. We touch to interact with our world. As we go through our daily lives, our hands touch a lot of things that aren't so clean.

Laptop computers are an essential part of our daily lives. We work on them, and we play on them. There’s a good chance that you’re reading this on a laptop right now. But our laptops are not the only things we touch. We touch door handles, countertops, and refrigerators. We sneeze into our hands, wipe our noses, and pick up our food.

While doing all this, we inevitably transfer bacteria and other microorganisms from one surface to another. That can make our laptops one of the single dirtiest items in our possession. The chances are good that you probably don’t think about how to clean a laptop keyboard too often.

But the truth is: you should.

The Dirty Truth


According to scientists, toilet seats have around 50 bacteria per square inch. Your average computer keyboard can harbor up to 400 times that amount. Yes. Your keyboard is nastier than your toilet seat.

As if the number of bacteria wasn’t bad enough, sometimes that bacteria can be pretty deadly. Strains of drug-resistant bacteria including vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VRE) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) can live on your keyboard.

The Staphylococcus bacteria can cause minor irritations like boils but can also cause life-threatening diseases like septicemia or toxic shock syndrome.

How To Clean A Laptop Keyboard: Before You Start


To give your laptop keyboard a thorough cleaning, first, you need to check what type of laptop keyboard you have.

Once you know what kind of keyboard you have, you then need to assemble your cleaning supplies.

What kind of keyboard?


laptop on white table

image source: Pexels

As laptops come in various sizes and profiles, laptop keyboards vary between models. However, there are several main types of keyboards that you can expect to find on your average laptop.

Chiclet

Chiclet, or island style, keyboards are the most common type of keyboard for laptops. This type of keyboard has flat keys, that pop up from the laptop’s surface, separate from each other.

This style is called chiclet style because the keys resemble a type of gum known as a chiclet.

Good news: chiclet keyboards are the easiest type of keyboard to clean!

Traditional

Older laptops have traditional keyboards. These keyboards use larger keys with sloping sides that are placed closer together.

These types of keyboards can be more challenging to clean because of how close the keys are. There is also space beneath the keys that can trap debris.

Other

While chiclet keyboards dominate contemporary laptop computers, followed by traditional keyboards, there are a few other types out there.

These types are much harder to find. We include them here for reference, but you will probably be fine sticking with the instructions on how to clean a laptop keyboard for either chiclet or traditional.

Mechanical switch keyboards have a switch that audibly clicks beneath the key. They are louder but more durable. Mechanical keyboards are more common on desktops, but some specialized gaming laptops use them.

Touch and haptic keyboards are keyboards that do not require a physical press. Think of these keyboards almost like touch screens, just with keys. Some have haptic feedback which vibrates to let you know you have pressed a key.

Cleaning solution


laptop keyboard

image source: Pexels

Always use a cleaning solution that is safe for use on electronics. You can purchase a ready-made electronics cleaning solution.

You can make a DIY electronics cleaning solution using equal parts distilled water and rubbing alcohol. Alternatively, you can use only rubbing alcohol but do so sparingly.

Cleaning cloth

Use a soft cloth to clean larger areas on your laptop keyboard. Microfiber is ideal for this job as it will not scratch your laptop finish and it will not leave lint.

If you do not have microfiber, you can use a lint-free cotton cloth. Try to avoid paper towels or other alternative cleaning cloths as these may leave behind lint.

Cotton swabs

Cotton swabs are good for cleaning smaller surfaces of your laptop keyboard like in between the keys as well as the keys themselves.

Can of air

To clean your laptop keyboard, you will need to remove any loose dust that may have accumulated.

A can of air is an affordable solution that you can use on just about any laptop or computer.

Vacuum

If you have a traditional or mechanical keyboard, you will have space under your laptop keyboard that is more difficult to clean.

To avoid taking apart your laptop to clean it, consider investing in an electronics vacuum cleaner. These allow you to get into the crevices that may be more difficult for a can of air to clear.

How To Clean A Laptop 
Keyboard: Here’s What You Need To Do


laptop

image source: Pexels

Now that we have the tools that we need, here is each step for you to thoroughly clean your laptop keyboard. Be sure to budget at least 15 minutes to do a thorough job of this.

Protect yourself!

Whenever you do any work on your computer, even if it’s just a quick clean, it’s always a good idea to back up your computer. It may seem like overkill, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Once you have your data all backed up, turn off your laptop and unplug it. To be extra safe, make sure your computer is off for at least 10 seconds before continuing onto the next steps.

Dust bunnies must die!

You first need to deal with the general dust before you can get to the business of cleaning your keys.

Attach the long, thin straw that comes with the can of air to get in between the crevices of the keys. For best results, use short bursts of air to move out dust and debris away from your keys effectively.

Suck it up!

If you have a traditional or mechanical keyboard, first use an electronics vacuum with a crevice attachment to help you get into the crevices between and underneath your keys.

You can then blow out any remaining debris with your can of air.

Cleaning up the alphabet

Depending on the style of keyboard you have, cleaning and disinfecting the keys can take the longest amount of time.

Once you have blown off or vacuumed off all of the dust from your keyboard, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty: cleaning your keys.

So how do we do that?

To start, moisten the tip of a cotton swab in some electronics cleaning solution or rubbing alcohol.

Remember: you do not want this swab to be dripping wet, just moistened.

Pick a point on your keyboard to start at and then begin cleaning. Starting at the “Escape” key and then working your way left to right is a pattern that will allow you to keep track of what you have cleaned easily.

Don't forget the rest of it...

After you have cleaned your keys, it is time to clean and disinfect the surface of your laptop, i.e., everything else.

If you have a chiclet keyboard, use a cotton swab dampened with either electronics cleaner or rubbing alcohol to get in between the keys.

To clean the larger surfaces, spray a microfiber cloth with your electronics cleaner or rubbing alcohol. Wipe down the surface of your keyboard in a back and forth motion.

Whatever you do, do NOT spray cleaner directly onto the surface of your laptop. That can cause excess moisture to get into your laptop which may ruin it.

Your laptop keyboard should now be clean and ready to use again!

How To Clean A Laptop Keyboard: After You Clean


laptop on the office desk

image source: Pexels

Once you have cleaned your laptop keyboard, it is essential to keep it clean.

Cover it up

An easy way to keep your keyboard clean is to use a keyboard cover. Sometimes called a keyboard skin, these are silicone covers that cover the entirety of your keyboard to keep out dust and other debris.

You won't even have to learn how to clean a laptop keyboard!

So what’s the catch?

Keyboard covers are not available for all laptops. Plus, they are best for chiclet laptop keyboards.

But there is a bright side! If you have a popular laptop with a chiclet type keyboard, like an Apple MacBook, chances are you can find a bunch of different keyboard covers that will suit your needs and personality.

Go scrub. A lot

Washing your hands regularly is the best way to prevent the spread of disease. According to the CDC, we often touch things without realizing it and end up transferring pathogens from one surface to another.

By washing your hands regularly with soap and running water, you get rid of germs or anything else that can transfer onto your computer.

Watch what you’re doing

We’ve all been there.

You’re busy working (or watching something) on your laptop. Suddenly, you realize you are hungry.

It’s easy to grab something to eat and drink while you continue to work on your laptop.

Unfortunately, I have bad news: This is the one habit you want to stop if you're going to learn how to clean a laptop keyboard and keep it clean.

Eating while you’re using your laptop can make crumbs that fall onto your computer.

Crumbs can be easy to brush away on a chiclet keyboard. But on a traditional keyboard, they can get in between the keys and cause a real mess.

Watch out if you’re eating something sticky. There is a good chance that you can gum up your keys too.

Drinking while using your laptop is also pretty risky as well. Spilling water can do some severe damage to your laptop keyboard and the components inside.

Liquids like soda or coffee can make a sticky, hard to clean mess if you spill them on your laptop.

Keeping It Clean


Your laptop is an essential part of your daily life. As part of your daily life, it is necessary to keep it clean.

Now that you have learned how to clean a laptop keyboard, be sure to clean it at regular intervals. By cleaning it regularly, you ensure that your laptop keyboard stays as germ-free as possible.

Do you have any tips or tricks for cleaning your keyboard? Share them with us in the comments!