Install Android on Your Windows 8 Tablet PC Instructions

Windows 8 tablets are becoming more widely used, but the operating system – at least in its Modern mode – is light on the ground with particular apps. One way around this is to install Android on your tablet.

Although installing Android on a desktop PC is reasonably straightforward, you might find that there are a couple of problems installing Google’s popular operating system on a Windows tablet: namely, that the tablet doesn’t have a CD/DVD drive.

acer-as07b41-notebook-battery

What this means is that things can get a bit messy, especially when you combine this shortcoming with the implications that Windows 8′s safe boot system has on installing an additional OS.

Although the process of installing Android on your Windows tablet – and by this I’m specifically referring to an Intel x86 device here rather than one equipped with an ARM processor – will differ from device to device, the general approach is the same.

Before proceeding, however, you should check the web for steps for your own tablet, just to ensure that you don’t take any missteps that could wipe your SSD or leave your computer unbootable.

I performed this installation on my Acer Iconia W700, a useful Windows 8 tablet that is more akin to an ultrabook. This meant that I had the advantage of a sort-of backup, having recently replaced the device’s original mSSD for a larger model. I had the old one to hand should anything have gone wrong.

What You’ll Need To Install Android On A Windows 8 Tablet

Preparation for this project is a little in-depth, especially if you’re new to Windows 8.

We’ll get the straightforward stuff out of the way first. You’ll need a USB flash drive with at least 512 MB of storage to hold the installation media; the stick should be formatted to FAT file system. Also, make sure you have a USB keyboard and a USB hub – I’d recommend a small, unpowered hub, since a Inspiron 1520 Battery powered hub may take some time to initialize – which means the keyboard won’t be connected by the time you need to press F12. So, unpowered USB hub it is.

Software is also required. Begin by downloading the Win 32 Disk Imager from Sourceforge – this is used to write the disk image to your USB stick.

Once this is downloaded, head to Intel’s Open Source Technology Center and select the Generic UEFI Installer image of the version of Android you wish to install. After download has completed, make sure you unzip the file.

Prepare The USB Stick

With Android downloaded, you’ll need to write it to the USB stick. Insert the device into your tablet or USB hub and unzip the Win 32 Disk Imager tool.

muo windows8tablet android disc image   How to Install Android on Your Windows 8 Tablet

Run Win32DiskImager.exe and browse to the unzipped Android installer, selecting Save to add it to the tool.

muo windows8tablet android disk imager   How to Install Android on Your Windows 8 Tablet

Next, ensure that the correct drive letter for your USB stick is selected under Device, and when you’re ready click Write to begin installation.

Following completion, Win 32 Disk Imager should inform you that writing the data has completed – you’re now ready to proceed.

Configuring Your Windows 8 Tablet For Android Installation

You can’t just install a second operating system on a device designed for Windows 8 without making a few adjustments to the system setup.

muo windows8tablet android uefi   How to Install Android on Your Windows 8 Tablet

First, you’ll need to ensure Secure Boot is disabled. Open Settings > Change PC Settings > Update and recovery > Recovery, and select Restart Now. From here use your arrow keys to select Troubleshoot then Advanced Options > UEFI Firmware Settings to open the BIOS.

muo windows8tablet android security   How to Install Android on Your Windows 8 Tablet

Here, find Security in the left-hand menu and set a Supervisor password. Once this has been added, open Boot, find the Secure Boot option and set it to Disabled.

muo windows8tablet android boot   How to Install Android on Your Windows 8 Tablet

With that done, hold down the Power to restart, then hold the Windows buttons as well until the screen comes back on. This enables a quick shortcut back into the BIOS screen where you should ensure UEFI Mode is selected.

Next, switch the tablet off, and connect the USB hub directly to the USB port (as opposed to any of the ports on any docking station you might have). With the keyboard and USB stick connected to the hub, boot up your tablet PC, pressing F12. In the boot menu, use arrow keys to select the USB device and follow the instructions to setup dual boot mode and allocate space for Android using your device’s volume keys.

Different versions of the Android installer have slightly different steps. For this installation, I selected:

Do you want to preserve Windows and dual boot? Y

Do you want to resize Windows to make more space? Y (This forces a repair cycle when you boot Windows 8.)

Enter new size in MiB for Windows: Enter for default option.

Install GummiBoot bootloader? Y

Enter boot menu timeout (0=no menu)(min=0, max=60, enter=5) 15

Once you have done this the installation will proceed. Upon completion you should see the message:

“Installation now configured. Press enter to continue”

If all goes according to plan, when you next come to boot up the tablet you should see a boot menu, where you can select between Android and Windows 8.

Running Android on a Windows 8 Tablet

Certainly in my case while preparing the installation for this tutorial, I discovered that things didn’t go quite as planned. Although the repair cycle took a while (and the Acer Iconia W700 doesn’t actually tell you it is doing a repair cycle), the computer eventually booted… into Windows 8.1. A couple of reboots later and there was still no sign of the boot menu.

Inconveniently, the only way to open Android at present is to hold F12 when booting to display the boot menu, something that may be tricky in some scenarios. I also found that Bluetooth didn’t work in Windows, but once I’d booted Android, opened Settings and toggled Bluetooth, the subsequent reboot into Windows had Bluetooth back up and running.

Posted in BattFast, Electronics News, How To | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Install Android on Your Windows 8 Tablet PC Instructions

Best apps for your iPad mini or new iPad Air

The wrapping paper has just been torn off that shiny new iPad Air or strikingly svelte iPad mini with Retina display that someone was kind enough to give you for the holidays. And believe me, between the stunning display and the way it feels in your hand, it’s going to take a long time for the shine to wear off that new iPad. And yet… it’s feeling a little empty, isn’t it? Like something’s missing.

Friend, you need to download some apps.

ipad new apps primary Image: Michael Homnick

Apple makes things easy on that front by keeping a well-stocked App Store. And nearly half of the million or so apps available for download are built specifically for that iPad you’re holding in your hands. Still, there is such a thing as having too many choices. After all, you don’t want your very first App Store download to turn out to be a clunker. And just to complicate things further, everyone uses their iPad for different reasons, and what’s a great app for one person might leave another staring at the Retina screen in uncomprehending horror. I can tell you that Infinity Blade III is a really great game that really makes the most of your new iPad’s processing HP hstnn-db42 battery power.

So I’ve surveyed my colleagues for the apps that they would install on a brand new iPad Air or iPad mini. And from that pool of contenders, I’ve picked the ones that are best for certain kinds of tasks. Whether you see your iPad as a productivity tool, a gaming device, or something you plan to share with the rest of your family, we’ve found the right app for you.

If you want to write

ipad editorial
Editorial puts a number of powerful text-editing tools right at your fingertips.

Let’s just dispense with that notion that the iPad is good for consuming content, and little else—this is a very powerful productivity tool, especially if you have the right apps. For power users who work with text, the choice is Editorial, which boasts a number of customization features that allow you to bend the interface and the extended keyboard to your will. The app also makes it simple for even non-programmers to assemble customized workflows to automate functions like converting text. And while its workflow support may be Editorial’s standout feature, the app offers writers plenty of other niceties like Markdown and HTML previews, powerful search features, and an integrated Web browser for those times you need to do research but don’t want to jump to another app. There’s a lot of power packed into Editorial, ready to help you get to work.

If you want to take notes

ipad notability
You wouldn’t know it from my feeble handwriting, but the note-taking features in Notability make it a potential replacement for pen and paper.

With its notebook-sized shape, the iPad seems the perfect size for sitting down and scribbling some notes, and indeed, a number of note-taking apps have sprung up over the years. Still, there’s a good reason why Notability perpetually lands among the top-selling iPad productivity apps. It lets you type or write out notes long-hand, giving you options for changing the color and style of your note-taking. A nifty recording feature lets you capture the audio of a meeting or lecture; when you play back that audio, tapping on a section of your notes takes you to that specific section of the recording. Notability offers great search tools for tracking down your notes, and you’ll never lose an important file thanks to the app’s ability to sync with cloud-based services including Dropbox and Google Drive. Some of us may still cling to pen and paper for our note-taking needs, but Notability is powerful enough to give those old-school tools a run for their money.

If you want to read comics

ipad comics
The sharper screens on the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display really come to life with Comics from Comixology.

Since its launch, the iPad has been an appealing device for people who enjoy comic books. The recent hardware changes have only improved matters. Artwork really pops on the iPad Air’s screen and now that the tablet is lighter and easier to hold, it really lends itself to extended reading sessions. As for the iPad mini with Retina display, the comic experience is vastly improved over the original mini, with crisper text and sharper art. So what comic reader should you choose? Try Comics from Comixology, which offers a smooth interface and an easy-to-navigate storefront for purchasing issues. (Perhaps too easy, if your monthly credit card statement will be any indication.)

If you’ve got small kids

ipad toca hair salon
Toca Hair Me lets you put your face on the chopping block for some wild hair-styling.

If you’re a parent, I’ve got some sobering news for you: That iPad Air or iPad mini is not going to remain your sole property for very long. Your kids are going to want to use it too, and, unless you’re made of sterner stuff than I am, you’re going to acquiesce. You might as well make sure there’s a few apps on your tablet that your kids can enjoy. As a parent of a preschooler, I can’t say enough nice things about the apps that Toca Boca produces. They’re more like digital playsets than apps, encouraging your children to use their imagination. Almost all of the Toca Boca offerings would be fine additions to your iPad, but I’ll single out Toca Hair Salon 2, in which you’ve got an array of scissors, curling irons, and other beauty parlor tools to help you give assorted cartoon characters unique coiffures. If you’re having a bad hair day of your own, Toca Hair Salon Me lets you snap a photo with the iPad’s camera, before you start styling and profiling.

If you’ve got kids in grade school

ipad barefoot atlas
An animated, interactive globe in Barefoot World Atlas lets you learn about the world around you.

Kids who’ve reached the upper grades of elementary school might have outgrown what Toca Boca has to offer, but they’ll enjoy the colorful look of Barefoot World Atlas. This digital version of the book of the same name takes full advantage of your iPad’s touch interface, with a spinnable, interactive globe. Tap on any country or one of the animated points of interest to learn a little bit more about it. And this app has up-to-the-minute information, including the current temperature of a country as well as how far away it is from your current location. I first took Barefoot World Atlas out for a spin more than a year ago, and I’m impressed by how the app continues to grow, with the latest addition being downloadable packs that deliver enhanced data and puzzles for a modest in-app purchase fee. Not many apps can put the whole world in your hands; Barefoot World Atlas does so with a distinctive and pleasing look.

If you want to see the stars

ipad star walk
Tilt your iPad to the heavens and Star Walk HD shows you what stars and planets are blinking down above you.

If you sometimes gaze up at the night sky and wonder what’s blinking back at you—star, planet, or satellite?—you should equip yourself with Star Walk HD, a beautifully designed astronomy app. Star Walk takes advantage of both your iPad’s accelerometer and its location awareness to help you identify the heavenly bodies immediately above you. Just tilt your iPad to the heavens, and Star Walk displays planets, stars, and constellations based on their relative orientation to you. This app has been around the App Store for a while, but it receives regular updates, so it should be a constant companion if you’re idea of star-gazing runs more toward Ursa Major and Corona Borealis than any of the Kardashians.

If you’re an animal lover

There’s a reason WWF Together gets showered with awards—a 2013 Apple Design Award here, runner-up honors for the App Store’s Editors’ Choice picks there. It’s a beautifully designed interactive app that contains a wealth of information assembled by the World Wildlife Fund. You’ll find detailed stories of 16 endangered species, each one with an interactive element to engage the reader. A spinning globe lets you find endangered species around the world and learn a little bit more about them. WWF Together is a remarkably detailed app and a great way to showcase your new tablet’s interactivity.

If you want to cook a meal

I can’t say definitively that How To Cook Everything—a digitized version of Mark Bittman’s reference book for home cooks—does, in fact, tell you how to cook every conceivable foodstuff. But it certainly tells you a lot. More to the point, it instructs you on techniques and basics with illustrations that really pop on your iPad’s screen. It’s easy to jump around the app, from recipes to techniques to kitchen basics. I’m a big fan of tabs within the ingredients themselves that let you look at variations on a recipe, related content such as how to use relevant kitchen tools, and a notes window where you can jot down your own notations on a particular meal. Other nice features, like the ability to print out recipes so you won’t have to touch your new iPad with your food-stained hands, make this a must-have for home cooks with dreams of four-star meals.

If you want to play a game

Sometimes you just want to have some fun, and your iPad can certainly cooperate with any one of a number of games. For a fun diversion that still manages to stimulate the ol’ brain, try The Room Two, a sequel to last year’s very well-regarded puzzle game. The same spooky ambience returns in this latest version, as do the puzzles that use pinching, zooming, and other touch gestures to great effect. There’s hours worth of mysteries to unravel here, and a lot of atmospheric graphics and sound effects to capture your imagination.

If you want to drive really fast

If you don’t mind the micropayment approach, the racing action in Real Racing 3 is superlative.

A built-in accelerometer has made the iPad a great platform for racing games—just tilt your tablet to steer and you can make like Mario Andretti. The Real Racing franchise has generally been in the winner’s circle for much of its time on the iOS platform, and Real Racing 3 continues the tradition of a delivering racing thrills to your iPad. The game’s payment model—it’s free to download, but you have to make a series of micropayments to speed up your progress—is not without its critics, and that’s a shame because the actual gameplay in Real Racing 3 is terrific. My advice: Download the free version and give it a spin.

Posted in BattFast, Electronics News | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Best apps for your iPad mini or new iPad Air

Power Bank Defines Modern Wireless Technology

All the electrical and electronic gadgets are designed with wires and cables till date, but with the advent of modern age technology, wireless connection has grabbed its foot in the market. Now-a-days, infrared bluetooth, and Wi-Fi hotspot have taken the place of wires and cables. Beside this, the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) has ultimately provided a great standard platform for wireless mobile devices that is also based on induction technology. You can gain access to this portable power bank charging station and make your device full support to bring up the battery back up.

toshiba-pa3534u-1bas-long-life-battery

The wireless charging station is comfortable to use and is also a convenient means to bring up gadget in full charge. One can carry the wireless charger while traveling without any hassle. The product is also excellently build to ensure that it covers most of the phones be it Android supportive or iOS device. The device is portable as well, which means that you can carry it any where and can access its charging point anytime. It also posses unlimited Asus a33-m50 battery power, which is also stored in it and allows you to maintain the full quota of charged device easily.

The product is designed with perfection and is also added up with all the latest features that make the gadget fit the technical output. Being one of the best portable power stations, it is also made available in different models and vostro 1510 battery capacities, which can be chosen as per one’s preference. One can get it either from from reliable stores or can order it from the online stores as well, which even is convenient. In both the cases, the customer needs to go for stringent research work and find out the most reliable and trustworthy firm from where you can purchase the required portable mobile phone charger at cost effective manner. In this concern, solar mobile charger is also designed by the engineers, which would let your mobile phone stay charged with the help of solar energy.

Posted in Batteries Tech Info, BattFast, Electronics News | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Power Bank Defines Modern Wireless Technology

Asus launch Three-in-One Ultraportable Transformer Book, Better Battery Life

ASUS announced the availability of the Transformer Book Trio, a new ultraportable device with a two-part dockable design that can be used as a laptop, as a separate tablet and desktop PC. It has the ability to switch between Windows 8 and Android at the press of a button. ASUS Transformer Book Trio is powered by a 4th generation Intel Core processor. The 11.6″ display detaches from the PC Station keyboard dock and can be used as a multi-touch Android tablet, powered by its own Intel Atom dual-core processor with up to 64 GB of solid-state storage.

With the display docked, Transformer Book Trio can switch between Windows 8 and Android 4.2 with the dedicated Trio key on the keyboard, and the data can be shared between the two operating systems through the tablet’s internal storage. With an external display connected via Mini DisplayPort or Micro-HDMI, the PC Station can then be used as a self-contained desktop PC with Windows 8, which means Transformer Book Trio can be used by two people, in two different places, at the same time.

ASUS Transformer Book Trio’s 11.6″ IPS display offers Full HD resolution with wide 178-degree viewing angles. The transformer Book Trio has a claimed Asus a32-f5 battery life of up to 13 hours in the Android mode and five hours in Windows 8 mode.

Posted in BattFast, Electronics News | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Panasonic Toughbook CF-C2 updated with longer notebook battery life

Panasonic has announced that it has updated one of its rugged convertible notebook computers. The machine is the Panasonic Toughbook CF-C2 semi-rugged convertible tablet PC. The machine has an attached keyboard and a screen that swivels to be used as a tablet.

Panasonic updated the PANASONIC EY9021 Battery giving the notebook about 14 hours of run time per charge. That is three more hours of run time than the original version of the CF-C2 that launched last year could muster. The notebook also gets updated to the latest version of Windows, Windows 8.1.

Toughbook-CF-C2-Clamshell-mode-503x500The machine can also be downgraded to Windows 7 Pro. The notebook gets a new Intel Core i5-4300U vPro processor running at up to 2.9GHz with Turbo Boost technology. Graphics for the updated notebook are handled via Intel HD 4400.

One of the most important updates is the multi-carrier LTE modem allowing for wireless broadband access on the go. The convertible tablet also gets a new 1.2MP webcam with integrated microphone and an optional 5MP rear camera. Storage options include 128GB and 256GB SSDs. The updated notebook is available now starting at $1999.

Posted in Batteries Tech Info, Electronics News | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Panasonic Toughbook CF-C2 updated with longer notebook battery life

Tablet PCs will rule 2014

Tablets will out ship almost all other PC form factors combined next year, forming nearly 50 percent of the total market, according to a report from analysts at Canalys.

The worldwide client PC market grew 18 percent in the third quarter of this year, despite desktop and notebook shipments continuing to decline.

However, tablet shipment accounted for 40 percent of PC shipments, less than half a million units behind global notebook shipments.

Canalys predicts this trend to continue and has forecast 285 million units to ship in 2014, growing to 396 million units in 2017.

tablets

Apple, Samsung fight for lead

Apple and Samsung are expected to keep ahead of their competitors in the near term. But both vendors could face challenges as the market heats up.

Apple has maintained its top vendor position throughout 2013, while Canalys predicts the launch of the iPad Air and new iPad mini to strengthen that position in in the final quarter of this year.

Its desktop and notebook business has remained stable while other vendors have seen their shipments deteriorate. Apple’s prioritization of protecting gross margins will see its PC market share continue to decline.

Canalys analyst Tim Coulling said Apple’s decline in PC market share was unavoidable when considering its business model.

Microsoft’s a player, analyst says

Canalys forecasts that Microsoft will take 5 percent of the tablet PC market in 2014, up from just 2 percent in 2012.
ttoshiba-pa3285u-1bas-long-life-laptop-batteryCanlys analyst Pin Chen Tang said 2014 will bring another major shift for the company as the Nokia acquisition brings it a step closer to being a fully-fledged smart mobile device vendor.

“As a vendor Microsoft needs to prove to channel partners and consumers that it is in this market for the long haul,” he said. “Balancing the competition with its vendor partners and embracing a ‘challenger’ rather than an incumbent mentality is essential. To improve its position it must drive app development and better utilize other relevant parts of its business to round out its mobile device ecosystem.”

Android-derived operating systems will be responsible for driving growth in the market and are forecast to take a 65 percent share in 2014 with 185 million units.

Samsung continues to lead with strong year-on-year growth coming from its broad tablet portfolio, and in the third quarter of 2013 it had a 27 percent share of Android tablet shipments.

But with hundreds of small-to-micro brand vendors in established and high-growth markets and international players such as Acer, Asus, Lenovo and HP, analysts say this market share statistic will also start to decline.

Posted in BattFast, Electronics News | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Best Black Friday 2013 deals on Mobile tech

A handful of retailers have already started to post their Black Friday deals, and ads for other stores have been leaked online.

Best Buy Black Friday

Best Buy

We’ll update this list as the day approaches, so keep checking back. But here are some of the best Black Friday deals we’ve found so far on Mobile tech.

Amazon 

  • New Black Friday Deals Week bargains up to every 10 minutes throughout the week
  • Asus VivoBook X200CA 11.6″ touchscreen notebook for $199 – 12/02 only

Barnes & Noble 

  • NOOK Simple Touch for $39
  • NOOK HD for $79
  • 30% off any one item (coupon: BFRIDAY30)
  • 50% off select books, DVDs and Blu-rays

Best Buy 

  • Apple iPod touch (5th gen) w/32GB for $250
  • Apple iPad 2 w/16GB for $300
  • Apple iPad Air for $450
  • $150 off all Apple MacBook Air laptops
  • $100 iTunes gift card for $85
  • Amazon Kindle for $50
  • Amazon Kindle Fire HD (1st gen) for $100
  • HP Split 13 2-in-1 tablet for $500
  • HP Pavilion Chromebook 14 (1st gen)+ $30 Google Play credit for $229
  • Google Chromecast for $30
  • Microsoft Surface RT (1st gen) for $200
  • PNY 32GB flash drive for $12, 64GB for $25, or 128GB for $50
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 for $150
  • Targus laptop backpack for $10
  • Toshiba 16GB USB flash drive for $6

CostCo

  • Buy a PC for $600 or more, get a Dell Venue 8 Android tablet for $99
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 for $280

Dell

  • Dell Inspiron 11 3000 series Touch laptop for $300 w/coupon: 92?7TP8XR9$XMC
  • Dell Venue 8 Android tablet for $130
  • Dell Venue 8 Pro Windows 8 tablet for $300

Fry’s 

  • Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 for $170
  • Apple TV for $80
  • Lenovo Yoga 10.1 Android tablet for $349
  • Microsoft Surface RT 32GB w/Touch cover for $229

Geekbuying

  • Tronsmart Prometheus Android TV box for $49
  • Tronsmart MK908 II Android TV box w/RK3188 quad-core for $60

Google Play Store

  • Buy a Google Nexus 7, get $25 Play Store credit

HTC

  • HTC One for $30 (w/new Sprint or Verizon contract) – 11/29 and 11/30 only

Micro Center

  • Apple iPad Air for $460 and up
  • Apple iPad mini for $260 and up
  • Dell Venue 8 Pro Windows 8.1 tablet for $228
  • Dell XPS 12 convertible tablet w/Haswell for $800
  • Google Nexus 7 (2012) w/32GB for $150
  • Google Nexus 7 (2013) w/16GB for $200
  • Google Nexus 7 (2013) w/32GB for $230
  • Microsoft Surfac RT 32GB + Touch Cover for $180
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 with prices starting at $140

Microsoft Store

  • Asus Transformer Book T100 2-in-1 tablet for $299 (11/28 – 12/02)
  • Microsoft Surface RT w/32GB for $199
  • Microsoft Surface RT w/64GB for $379
  • Buy a Nokia Lumia 925, 1020 or 1520 and get a Nokia Lumia 2520 tablet for $200
  • Discounts on Xbox 360, games, headphones, speakers, and more

Motorola

  • $150 off any off-contract Moto X smartphone on Cyber Monday (12/02)

OfficeMax

  • Dell Inspiron 11 3137 laptop w/Celeron 2955U with inspiron 1545 battery for $300
  • PNY 128GB USB flash drive for $44

Rakuten

  • Asus MeMO Pad HD 7 for $100
  • Apple iPad mini for $250
  • Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch for $250

Sprint

  • $100 off any phone when you switch from another carrier
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 for $50 w/new data plan

Staples

  • Amazon Kindle Fire for $79
  • Google Nexus 7 w/16GB for $199
  • HP Pavilion Chromebook (1st gen) for $180
  • Dell Venue 8 Pro Windows 8.1 tablet for $280
  • Toshiba Encore Windows 8.1 tablet for $300
  • SanDisk 32GB USB flash drive for $10
  • SanDisk 16GB USB flas drive for $7

Target

  • B&N NOOK HD 7 for $79
  • Buy an iPad Air for $479, get a $100 gift card
  • Buy an iPad mini at normal price, get a $75 gift card
  • Buy an iPod Touch at normal price, get a $50 gift card
  • Buy an iPhone for $20 off, get a $30 gift card

Toys R Us

  • Refurb Archos Arnova 7 Android tablet for $40
  • Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 for $180
  • Acer Gateay 10″ touchscreen Windows notebook w/Celeron for $280
  • $20 gift card when you buy a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7, 8, or 10 inch tablet for $160 to $300

Walmart

  • Buy an iPad mini for $300, get a $100 gift card
  • HP Mesquite 7 Android tablet with Intel CPU for $89
  • Roku for $39

Verizon

  • Verizon Ellipsis 7″ Android tablet for free w/new 2-year activation
  • $150 off any Samsung 10″ tablet
  • Jawbone Jambox Bluetooth speaker for $100
Posted in Batteries Tech Info, BattFast, Electronics News | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Best Black Friday 2013 deals on Mobile tech

How to find the right laptop computer

Notebook buying guide 2013: How to select the right laptop for you

Anyone in the market for a new laptop this year has a lot to consider before parting with some cold hard cash. You still have to weigh the usual choices—display type, CPU, memory, graphics, hard disk, battery life and weight/footprint. But entirely new form factors give you even more to choose from. New mobile CPUs from Intel and AMD have upped the ante, too—not only in terms of processor speed, but with graphics performance and battery life as well.

Most of the innovation this year appears in the thin-and-light notebook market, and one of the most exciting trends is the blurring of the lines between tablet and notebook. Some new laptops offer touchscreen displays that swivel, pivot, or detach from their keyboards to transform into tablets. Dell’s XPS 12 Ultrabook Convertible, Lenovo’s Yoga 11S, and Sony’s VAIO Tap 11 are three of the most interesting examples of this new form factor.

Mainstream notebook prices, meanwhile, always seem to start at about $400 and rise to $1500-plus as they become thinner and lighter, or as their displays get bigger. And the sky’s the limit with mobile workstations and high-end gaming PCs. Still, for your 2013 budget, you can walk away with a computer that’s lighter, thinner, and more powerful than anything you could have bought last year. In the 2013 edition of our laptop buying guide, we’ll look at form factors first, and then do a deeper dive into specs.

Types of notebooks

Mini notebooks: If your computational needs aren’t too demanding, you’ll find convertible notebooks with smallish screens like the Asus Transformer T100 for as little as $400. This model’s 10.1-inch display detaches from its keyboard, just like the more expensive Sony Tap 11, but the Asus is powered by an Intel Atom processor that’s much less powerful than the Core i5 CPU in the Sony. Don’t mistake this class of PC for the pitifully weak netbooks of yesteryear, though: These are real computers.

All-purpose notebooks: If you’re on a tight budget, but need a notebook with a larger display and keyboard, consider a mainstream notebook like the $580 Acer Aspire E1-572-6870. Machines in the all-purpose class have 14- to 16-inch displays with a typical resolution of 1366 by 768 pixels, 4GB of memory, mechanical hard drives, and mid-range CPUs. These portables don’t make great gaming machines, because they don’t have discrete GPUs, but they’re very good all-around laptops and they’re great for students. Expect to pay more for models with touchscreens.

Thin-and-lights: Frequent travelers who keep notebooks in their carry-on luggage seek out thin-and-light notebooks, weighing in at five pounds or less and with screens no larger than 14 inches. Thin-and-lights might not perform better than budget and all-purpose notebooks, but they usually cost more because vendors build them using more expensive parts—lightweight metals such as aluminum and magnesium versus bulky plastics. Sony’s $1400 VAIO Pro 13 represents this category well.

Discrete graphics are rare in thin-and-lights, but many of these laptops feature solid-state drives, which are extremely fast. These hard-drive alternatives are also expensive and comparatively small. Ultrabooks, an Intel trademark, are a popular subset of thin-and-light notebooks based on Intel’s low-voltage mobile CPUs.

Desktop replacements: Designed to replace a desktop machine, these laptops are big, heavy, and have nearly every feature you’d find on a tower PC. Desktop replacements boast a fast mobile CPU, a discrete graphics processor, lots of memory, oodles of storage, an optical drive, a large keyboard with an embedded numeric keypad, and lots and lots of I/O ports. The downside to all this power is the high price and the heavy weight. Toshiba’s Qosmio X75 A7298, for instance, costs $1900 and weighs 7.3 pounds.

Gaming notebooks: These machines have much in common with desktop replacements, but they’re designed specifically for playing games. They’re typically outfitted with the fastest available CPUs and discrete graphics processors, very large displays, and optical drives. This is the only class of notebook that pays almost no attention to power consumption. Prices can range from high to stratospheric: The $2250 Asus G750JH is considered moderately priced for its class.

What to look for

Now that we’ve looked at the various notebook classes, let’s examine the key components and features you should consider when shopping for a notebook.

CPU: Intel’s Core processor line, now in its fourth generation, has dominated the mobile chip landscape for several years now. Atom processors—Intel calls the current generation Bay Trail—are the least powerful, but they also consume the least amount of power and can be found in many of the latest Windows tablets. Intel’s Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processors are next in line. Fourth-generation Core processors, formerly codenamed Haswell, are the most desirable chips to buy. They’re identified by a 4000-series part number (the Intel Core i5-4200U, for example, with the U identifying this particular part as one of Intel’s ultra-low-power CPUs). Most of Intel’s processors are dual- and quad-cores.
dell-vostro-1520-long-life-laptop-batteryAMD hasn’t given up on the mobile market. AMD Elite A-Series Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) promise superior graphics performance thanks to integrated Radeon graphics technology. Chips in this family range from the high-end A10 down to the A4; there’s also an E-series for smaller, lower-end portables.

Memory: While nominally only 2GB of RAM is required to run Windows 8, 4GB is a more realistic minimum. Consider upgrading to extra memory when you buy, since adding memory later can be difficult (or even impossible, since many laptop makers are electing to produce sealed designs as chasses get smaller). DDR3/1600 memory is the most common spec.

Display: Expect resolution of at least 1366 by 768 pixels on budget laptops, and at least 1920 by 1080 resolution on higher-end models. A few high-end notebooks, such as the Toshiba Kirabook, deliver better resolution (the Kirabook’s display is 2560 by 1440), but you’ll pay dearly for the feature. Touchscreens are relatively common on 2013 models, and this trend is expected to continue as Windows 8 gains traction.

Keyboard: The only way to tell whether you’ll like a notebook keyboard is to use it. Size, shape, texture, key travel, and tactile feedback all play into the experience, and individual tastes in these attributes can vary widely. Larger notebooks usually have enough room to include a dedicated numeric keypad.

Trackpads: Look for multitouch support for Windows 8 gestures. Most trackpads have integrated right and left mouse buttons, but a few also offer separate buttons. Pointer sticks (think of the ThinkPad TrackPoint) are also going away, but some vendors—including Toshiba and Lenovo—continue to offer them on business-oriented models.

Storage: Serial ATA hard disks remain the mainstream standard. These mechanical drives typically run at 5400 or 7200 rpm (faster is better), and you should expect capacity of least 500GB. High-performance notebooks come with solid-state drives (SSD), which deliver significantly higher performance. The downside is that they’re more expensive than mechanical drives, so you usually get less capacity: 128GB to 256GB is typical. There is a third option: a mechanical drive with a small SSD cache that stores frequently used executables for faster performance.

USB ports: Look for at least two USB 3.0 ports out of three or (preferably) four USB ports total. USB 3.0 peripherals have become commonplace, and you’ll want to take advantage of their superior speed. Many vendors now also include at least one USB port that can charge a smartphone or other small device even when the notebook is powered down.

HDMI: This is the easiest way to connect your notebook to a consumer display or a big-screen TV (although an DisplayPort-to-HDMI will do the same thing).

DisplayPort: Many business laptops provide DisplayPort in place of or in addition to HDMI. DisplayPort 1.2 supports higher resolutions than HDMI, and it allows you to daisy-chain several monitors together.

Memory card reader: If you have a digital camera, you’ll appreciate having a memory card reader on your notebook. SD card slots are the most common.

Wireless ethernet: Integrated 802.11n Wi-Fi adapters are common these days, but dig deeper to find out if the adapter supports both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks. The 2.4GHz spectrum is exceedingly crowded, especially in urban areas and is very susceptible to interference from other wireless devices. You’ll get much better performance, albeit with less range, with 5GHz networks. Support for the 802.11ac standard has been slow in coming, and that’s a shame because this newer standard is absolutely great.

Webcam: The popularity of Skype and other video chat applications has turned webcams into a checklist item, but quality can vary widely. A good HD webcam will compensate for poor ambient lighting and offer face tracking. Look for resolution of at least 720p.

Audio: Very few notebooks have speakers that are worth listening to, but most people use headphones these days anyway. If audio is a feature you care about, see if the laptop maker has partnered with a company with audio expertise: Dolby, DTS, Harman/Kardon, and Beats are good examples.

Posted in BattFast, Electronics News, How To | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Microsoft New Surface Pro 2 firmware brings battery boost

Despite only going on sale in Australia late last month, the Surface Pro 2 has already received a firmware update that vastly improves its battery life.

The update was designed to reduce the amount of power drawn by the Wi-Fi modem, and it seems to have succeeded admirably.

Tests by AnandTech saw the tablet last for over eight hours when browsing the web over Wi-Fi, a large jump up from its initial time of 6.68 hours. Similarly, video playback over a wireless connection now runs for 7.75 hours, up from 6.65 hours.

That said, the Dell Latitude e5520 Battery life of the Pro 2 still lags behind competitor products, such as the iPad and Google’s Nexus 7.

Posted in Batteries Tech Info, BattFast, Electronics News | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Ways to keep MAKITA 1422 Cordless Drill Battery live a productive life

AussieBatt high capacity MAKITA 1422 Battery is a rechargeable, removable battery pack designed to work with the 1422. Buy high quality MAKITA 1422 Power Tool Battery with best price at AussieBatt.com, save your money and time!

Cheap MAKITA 1422 Power Tool Battery

Steps to keep MAKITA 1422 Power Tool Battery live longer life

1. Charge and discharge – For lithium ion batteries, you do not need to discharge them fully and recharge constantly. You need to do a full discharge only about every 30 charges. Do not charged to higher voltages than its threshold voltage.

2. Power Tool Battery Storage – Store your MAKITA 1422 Battery in a clean, dry, cool place away from heat and metal objects. The battery will self-discharge during storage; remember stored at about 40% state-of-charge.

3. Calibrate Battery – If your MAKITA 1422 Power Tool Battery’s 76% even less in work , you must fully charge, fully discharge, and then fully recharge the pack.

4. Exercise Battery – Do not leave your MAKITA 1420 Power Tool Battery dormant for long periods of time. We recommend using the battery at least once every two to three weeks. If a battery has not been used for a long period of time, perform the new battery break in procedure described above.

aussie-power-tool-battery-supplier

5. Do not short-circuit. A short-circuit may cause severe damage to the MAKITA 1422 Battery Pack.

6. Avoid propping your notebook on a pillow, blanket, or other soft surface that can heat up. Your MAKITA 1220 Power Tool Battery is a lot less efficient when not within its standard operating temperature range.

7. Consider removing the Makita cordless power tool battery when running on fixed power.

Posted in Batteries Tech Info, Batteries Usage Tips, BattFast, How To, Power Tool Battery Tech Tips | Tagged , , | 1 Comment