You might think that there is not much more you could do to improve the capabilities of computer keyboards and mice. And really, what much more do you need to type and point, right? I have been reviewing input devices since the days of Windows 3.1. Sure, there have been many technological improvements, as we might expect over the last 25 years since Windows 3.1 was launched. But what’s amazing that in just the last year alone advancements in keyboard and mouse technology tweak what I thought was already the best. Say Hello to the Mouse Master For example, just about two years ago I praised Logitech’s MX Master mouse [link] for its various, robust features that extend mouse calisthenics beyond just navigating and clicking. Back then I thought this was about as far as a pointing device could reach. But now Logitech has indeed upped its game with the MX Master2 [link]. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
When I mentioned to a friend that I just purchased a new Windows 10 Pro laptop, he asked how much memory did it have. I replied that it had 16GB RAM. When he retorted in shock that 16GB RAM was an awfully small hard drive, it quickly became clear that like a lot of folks he was confused between the different types of memory – the “live” Random-Access-Memory which allows data to be read or written versus the direct-access data storage such as hard disks, CDs and USB flash drives. I thought it would be a good idea to set the memory matter straight, so I wrote this backgrounder to explain the different types of memory, their use, and some of the built-in Windows features created for each of them. Unless otherwise noted, all details explained apply to all versions of Windows from Windows 7 through Windows 10. Remembering memory types won’t make you a certified geek but hopefully it will clear up the confusion of the legion of different memory types and it will help you understand the pile of sales jargon thrown at you when purchasing a new computer. Random access memory (RAM) is the workhorse of a computer, allowing … Read More
As more and more Internet connected gadgets are introduced, our need for ever-stronger Wi-Fi connections becomes essential. Whether it is for our mobile phones and computers, the latest in smart HDTVs, networked set-top boxes, Blu-ray players, or voice-activated digital assistants like Amazon’s Echo, wired connections are so yesterday. Yet there are situations where a Ethernet cabled connection is still the best choice to achieve the fastest, uninterruptible bandwidth . So here are some new devices that show off the best of wired and wireless service. Zyxel’s PLA5236 Extends Wi-Fi Both Wired and Wirelessly My new Sony Smart HDTV was occasionally dropping its Wi-Fi signal – usually at the most suspenseful moment in the movie I was watching on Netflix. But Zyxel Communications hybrid Powerline and AC900 Wireless Extender solved not only the TV connection issues but spread my router’s wireless signal to all parts of the house and even beyond. Powered by the Home Plug AV2 and 802.11ac technologies, the geeky-named PLA5236 [site] extends powerful Internet connections by using the electrical wiring in your house as if it were actual Ethernet cabling. But unlike the other, similar powerline extenders, this devices also has a built-in Wi-Fi extender that operates separately … Read More
“I hate printers, but I love what they can do!” That’s the mantra recited by just about anyone who has a printer attached to their computer. Of all the peripherals that connect to our PCs printers seem to be the number one troublemaker. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Paper jams, overpriced ink, print spooler logjams, wasted paper – these are just a few of the hassles whose remedies will be addressed here. If your love/hate relationship with your printer is more hate than love, read on as maybe, just maybe, we can switch that around with these eight printer tips and tricks. How to Print With an ‘Empty’ Inkjet Cartridge When my six page document stopped printing after page three, the reason was an empty blue ink cartridge. I was surprised since I hardly ever print in color and in fact generally print in draft mode with black ink only. So why the hell did the blue ink disappear? The answer is relatively simple and applies to almost all brands of inkjet printers. You are probably well aware of the mechanical noise the printer makes each time you turn it on or right before it processes a print … Read More
Whether you are rooted to your home office, using your kitchen table as home base, or doing your job while on the road, keeping your computer and mobile devices fully powered is like oxygen — necessary for life. And in our increasing reliance on multiple digital devices, having multiple power outlets has become essential. Here are a couple of indispensable solutions. iClever’s BoostStrip Takes on 12 Devices At Once – Wow! With its six 3-prong electrical outlets and six USB ports, iClever’s BoostStrip Series IC-BS03 provides more than enough juice to handle our various power and charging needs. Built-in surge protection for both computers, appliances, and mobile devices makes the $26 price tag a bargain compared to other power strips on the market. But this power maven has other capabilities that make it stand out for me. Compared with ordinary power strips – you know, the kind you can get for a few bucks at Home Depot, Target, and hardware stores – this one eases the concerns of anyone who’s worried about electrical fires. It has a 1875 watts maximum load, and it’s made with fire proof materials which can handle temperatures up to over 1300 degrees Fahrenheit. This article is part … Read More
Whether you’re looking for that last-minute tech gift or you just want faster PC accessories for the new year, this quartet of power-savvy devices will meet your needs handily.
The sundry gadgets, gizmos, and PC accessories reviewed below make up my personal technology wish list; but they should also appeal to almost any PC aficionado. From a high-end but lightweight notebook, to a device that adds touchscreen capabilities, to USB-C hubs and docks, these products will enhance your computing productivity. They make great gifts for friends and family — and for you.
One-trick devices are so old school; new and versatile keyboards and mice work with both PCs and mobile devices, nearly simultaneously. And why settle for dull, utilitarian devices, when even routers are dressed in digital haute couture — while tripling Wi-Fi coverage.
Ink-jet printer manufacturers know that the single, most common complaint about their products is the high cost of ink. They’re finally starting to address the problem with higher-capacity ink tanks and other tricks. The new Brother MFC-J985DW-XL multifunction printer is one example of this trend.
HP’s new Spectre hybrid might be a knockoff of Microsoft’s Surface 3 and 4 ultralights, but it stands out on one front: it includes the latest USB standard, previously available only on Macs.