Best Gadgets for Kids

Using Internet to finish a school project, remained an unheard idea until very recently. Similarly, plugging on headphones to listen to the latest music, watch latest videos and surf Internet all at the same times, were activities out of a science fiction book. However, as technology has progressed over the years, it has pervaded to bare essentials of childhood as well. For instance, electronic gadgets such as laptops for school work and wii for indoor exercising has completely changed the lifestyle generation Y. So, if you are looking at some of the best electronic gadgets for kids, to empower your child for the needs of the future, then take a look at these reviews in absolute detail.

Best  Gadgets to Give Kids
These gifts might be expensive, but they surely are the ones that can impart lessons that go beyond textbooks. If these gadgets are used under parental guidance, children can derive maximum benefit from it. Many may argue, that these gadgets make work very easy for children, which reduces the importance of hard work. However, in recent times, time saved equals saving of great resources, which can be directed towards something more constructive.

Nintendo Wii
This gaming console from Nintendo is the best electronic gift for your kid if the rat race of extra curricular activities and school is keeping him away from playgrounds. Its user-friendly design makes it a quick favorite amongst kids. With a score of games designed for the console, children are provided a chance to learn their academic subjects through games. This affordable toy is the best way to teach them expensive sports such as golf too. Additionally, this not only helps in improving hand-eye coordination, but also entertains and educates your child. The best part about Wii is that it can be turned into a single player console and a multiplayer console at your whim.

iPod 4
There are many reasons why Apple’s latest invent, the iPod 4 makes up for the best gift for your child. If your child is just about to enter the teens, then the fourth generation iPod is an excellent choice. This gadget has everything except a phone. With various applications which are designed keeping in mind its utility for entertainment purposes, the gadget gives no scope for boredom. Besides being a music player, it gives the user a chance to shoot high-definition videos, shoot pictures, chat and video chat. This smart gadget will give your child an exposure into making short films, photography and using the Internet wisely at a young age.

Kindle
Reading has been completely revolutionized with Kindle, which is a wireless book reading device. So go wherever, all you need is this device in your pocket to finish the book in one go. This e-book reader has been designed by Amazon which helps the reader shop for, download, browse, and read e-books, newspapers, magazines, blogs and other forms of digital media. So, if you are looking for electronic gadgets for your child, here’s one that tops the list. It is the best way of encourage reading and giving them an exposure to various styles of reading.

Firelfly Mobile
In times when your security is a fictional concept, being in touch with your child can ease the worries of your day. However, giving your child an expensive cell phone not only can shoot up your telephones, but it can also lead to a misuse of cell phone in school. So, save yourself his trouble and give your child a simple Firefly Mobile, which has only five keys. These keys can be programmed to make only one call, which is to you.

Laptops
Nothing beats the utility factor of the laptops. These electronic gadgets will prove to be most useful for teenagers who have a lot of project work to do. Presentation skills, research, typing skills and other computer skills will be developed at an early age. If you are worried about your child the machine for unwarranted purposes, then you can get a lock on such sites.

Other than these, cameras, electric guitars, electronic musical instruments and video cameras are some suitable electronic gadgets for kids. While buying a gift think of how it is going to help your child learn new dimensions of his innate skills. The point is to empower your child, and not make him handicap at the behest of these gadgets.

Tips for Choosing the Right Smartphone

According to a survey conducted by Online Publishing Association, two-thirds of smartphone owners said that they cannot live without their device. The funny bit is that, apart from making calls, about 47% of surveyed people mainly use their phone to check the local weather!

As simple as it may seem, buying a smartphone that best suits your needs is not quite the cakewalk you may think it to be. In fact, with the plethora of smartphones that are available in the market today, choosing one can actually seem rather overwhelming, especially for first-time buyers. Major manufacturers like Samsung, Sony, HTC, LG, etc., have different smartphone models which have very similar hardware, with little to choose between them.

To add to the confusion, smartphone manufacturers go all out to advertize the features of their phones, often throwing numbers at you, which don’t necessarily tell you the whole story. So, just how do you decide on which smartphone to buy for yourself? Here are some things to consider while you go smartphone shopping.

Size: There is no ‘one size fits all’ for smartphones
This is probably the most important factor when choosing the perfect phone for you. Smartphones, these days, are available in two major size categories―up to 4.5 inches and 4.5 – 5.5 inches. Any larger, and we would be entering phablet territory. In fact, any phone larger than 5 inches is already pushing the boundaries of the ‘regular’ smartphone. For most regular users, a smartphone with a sub-4.5 inch screen would be perfect for one-handed use. Although the 4.5 – 5.5 inch segment is extremely popular these days, it isn’t quite something that can be handled by everyone. This is especially true if you have small hands. The larger screen estate is always welcome, but it also greatly hampers usability, especially over prolonged use.

Build: It is not just about how your phone looks in your hand but also how it handles a fall
When it comes to build quality, I must confess I’ve never been a fan of plastic-bodied phones, and just can’t stand the sight of most cheap phones that can easily pass for a Chinese knockoff. Having said that, I must also concede that there’s a good reason why most manufacturers have persisted with polycarbonate for their smartphones. Yes, the profit margin is undeniably high, but they also have an advantage over metal-clad beauties; they’re a lot lighter. Plastic phones also have a better grip and have a fantastic reception in comparison to metallic phones. Polycarbonate phones have greatly improved on their looks and feel, but they offer no competition to metallic phones in this matter. So, if looks are the most important factor for you, then you can’t go wrong with metallic phones,but if it is sense and sensibility that you’re after, you might want to stick with the lighter plastic phones.

Display: There is only so much that your eyes can see!
A lot of jargon is thrown around when manufacturers talk about their phone’s displays―AMOLEDs, SuperAMOLEDs, LCDs, SuperLCDs, OLEDs, etc. Although these are different display technologies with their own pros and cons, it can be safely said that most of these are, more or less, at par with the others. Then there are talks about the resolution of the screen. Although there’s a lot of hype about it, there’s very little discernible difference be

Processor: Faster is not always better
Now this is something that most manufacturers have gone all out to advertize and hype. Just how much processing power is good enough? Quad-core processors are passe now and even octa-core processors are soon gonna run out of favor with the manufacturers. So, does more processing power mean better performance? Not quite. Before the quad- and octa-core phones came along, our single-core phones did just fine with no hiccups whatsoever. You might want to keep in mind that the operating system of a phone is optimized to work with the hardware on the phone. So, a dual-core phone should work just fine for you, and you’ll probably not notice any difference in performance, unless you compare it with another phone. For a regular user who’s not really into high-end gaming, a dual-core phone with 1 GB of RAM should do just fine. Gamers who are looking to try out the latest games would need at least a quad-core processor with 2 GB of RAM. Do keep in mind that it is not always the numbers associated with the processor that matter but the brand as well that decides actual performance.

Camera: More pixels do not mean better images
The pixel wars are just hotting up and are now breaching some absolutely ridiculous heights. A lot of factors are involved when trying to get that perfect shot. Apart from the optics, staging and lighting also play a very important role when capturing an image. Unless you are an avid photographer, a 5 MP camera should be just fine to capture the occasional snap. An LED light is great for taking photographs in low-light conditions, but more often than not, the end result usually has a lot of noise. Higher-end cameras fare better in this regard, but they too are far from perfect. If you are an aspiring photographer and can’t carry your trusted SLR along wherever you go, you could find a worthy ally in an 8/12 MP camera on your smartphone. If you really want to get some great shots in low-light conditions, you would be well served by a camera that has OIS.

Memory: Need before greed!
I’ll be honest with you, when I set my eyes upon the LG G2 to be my daily driver, the first thought that crossed my mind was whether I should settle for 16 GB or 32 GB of internal storage (the phone doesn’t support Micro SD card expansion). Although I opted for the 32 GB variant, 6 months since, I’ve realized that I’ve barely used 8 GB (about 2 GB of multimedia files and 3 GB of HD games) of the total memory. If you want to play all the HD games in town and want to carry your entire music library along with you (and that of your friends as well!), 16 GB should be just fine for your needs. 32 GB is for more advanced users who carry all their data on their smartphone, and also those users who love to shoot hours and hours of HD videos with their smartphone camera. If you frequently exchange your phone’s data with your friends or if you aren’t really into gaming, look for a phone with an expandable memory.

OS: Let the apps do the talking
Now, this is something that purely boils down to personal preferences. The three main mobile OSs are Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. All three have their own share of highs and lows. We could have an endless discussion about how the features of one triumphs over the other, but I’d rather sum it up as best as I can. If you are looking for an open source OS (loads of free apps) and want a highly customizable interface, then Android has got to be your OS of choice. If you are looking for high quality apps, are familiar with the Apple ecosystem, and want a real fast OS, then you can’t go wrong with iOS. Windows Phone is ideal for you if you’re looking for a colorful and active interface, aren’t looking for an endless app library, and like a clutter-free UI. Whichever one of these you choose, ensure that your phone is running the latest version of the OS or has a planned upgrade lined up.

Battery: A phone is only as good as its battery
Perhaps, one of the most crucial elements of a smartphone is its battery life. At the end of the day, your phone might have the best hardware and fantastic software to go with it, but without enough juice to power it, would be little more than a shiny paperweight. Look for a phone that has a high capacity battery, or at least a battery that is removable. Do not get swayed by the numbers specified by the manufacturers as, more often than not, these are greatly exaggerated.

There you go. Armed with these tips, you should be able to get your perfect digital companion―your trusty smartphone. At the end of the day, remember, all these pointers aside, pick up a phone that feels best in your hands. Happy shopping then. Cheers.

Checklist Before Buying a Laptop

Purchasing a laptop, or for that matter, any electronic equipment is becoming quite difficult day by day, as many newer models with upgraded features are flooding the stores. However, the best method of deciding on the most suitable model of your choice is to prepare and consider a laptop buying checklist. This is a good way to compare what you need, what you can get, and at what price. No matter how many models and functionalities are available, you will certainly be able to decide on a suitable model.

Requirement Purpose

There are many categories of laptops classified according to the usability, such as desktop replacement, gaming, business notebook computers, ultra-portable, netbooks, budget computers, and student laptops. You need to choose a class that is most appropriate for you; such as for gaming, a gaming model would be suitable, and for portability, ultra-portable or student laptops would be better choices.

Type of Processor

The processor determines how fast the computer will carry out its functions. Here again, you need to consider what you are going to use the laptop for. You can choose from various types such as Intel (Pentium, Core 2 Duo, etc.) and AMD (Athlon, A-Series). With Intel, it would be better if you get a 4th generation Core. And if you are buying one specifically for gaming, make sure you get the latest Core i7 processor.

Speed

Please consider the speed of the processor. You can go in for one with a 1.8 GHz for home use, or you can opt for one with 3.2 GHz for hard-core gaming. Note that more powerful the processor, less will be the battery life of the laptop.

Hard Disk

This depends heavily on personal use. If all you are going to use your laptop for movies, music, and gaming, you would need at least around 320 to 500 GB space. If you just want it for college projects or home use, you can choose a model having 120 to 160 GB hard drive. You can always use an external hard drive if you want to extend the memory capacity. If you can afford it, go in for an SSD (Solid State Drive), which provides two times the read/write speed than the others.

RAM

Random Access Memory (RAM) is where the presently processed data is temporarily stored. For a general-purpose laptop, a RAM of about 1 GB is more than sufficient. However, if you are considering the latest processor and a hard drive with substantial data storage capacity, it is suggested to get a laptop with the RAM capacity of 2 to 4 GB. Those who want to use their laptop for video editing, photography, or gaming use can even consider a RAM of 8 GB for best performance.

Screen Size

The screen size is directly related to the portability and the size of the laptop. Smaller the screen size, smaller will be the laptop size, and vice versa. You have a multitude of options in this regard, like 11-12 inches, 13-14 inches, 15 inches, and 17-18 inches. Those who are into photography or video editing can consider a bigger screen. A gamer would also love to play games on a widescreen of a bigger size. The standard screen size for home users is 14 to 16 inches. Just remember that for screen size, you will have to compromise on the portability.

Keyboard and Touchpad

Testing your purchase in this aspect is child’s play. Check all the keys for proper functionality and easy usage. Check if you can zoom in and out, is the touchpad smooth, etc.

Graphics and Sound Card

A graphics card is a small inbuilt chip that handles all the videos and high-definition gaming graphics. In most high-end laptops, it comes as a standard feature. To get the best gaming performance, you can use advanced graphic cards such as NVIDIA or ATI. You do have the feature of connecting two or more of such video resolution cards using the SLI configuration. In addition to the graphics card, you can even consider a laptop with an audio card, in case you are a music and gaming enthusiast.

Display

This is an important feature to consider, especially if you are a movie buff or a gaming enthusiast. The common resolution is something like 1366 X 768 pixels. However, you can go in for various other options like 1920 X 1080 or 1600 X 900. Always prefer the highest resolution for clarity and quality.

Battery Life

It would be best if you choose a laptop that has a long battery life. As mentioned before, a powerful processor would mean a lesser battery life, so make a sensible and compromised selection. Make sure to have at least 6 hours of battery life.

Other Accessories

For professionals who require heavy typing, a separate keyboard can be used as an accessory. For connectivity, you will have to make sure that your machine has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth functionalities. Also, attachments like inbuilt webcam, AGP slots, VGA output, hard drive and optical bays, card reader, etc., are important things to be considered.

After referring to this checklist, you might have narrowed down your choices from the wide range of laptop computer models available in the computer store.

to Download Music to an iPod

Owning an Apple iPod is not a big deal any more. So many of us have this oh-so-amazing gadget and carry it around with elan. It has almost attained the status of an extended body part for most of us. But remember the fidgeting and fiddling around with it for some days after you got it? You were so excited to listen to it, that even before you downloaded the songs, you turned it on! So for the benefit of those who have just got this prized possession for themselves, presenting to you the right way to download music!

How to Download Music to iPod Touch

Get a hold of your iPod kit and USB cord. You will obviously need a computer, and it’ll be great if you have a Wi-fi connection too. These are the things you will need to start off.

1. You cannot think of downloading anything resembling music on your iPod touch without iTunes. Therefore, you must first download iTunes. You can do that using the CD provided with your kit.

2. After you insert the CD, iTunes will be identified by the computer, and you will be asked if you want to import any files to the iTunes library. Add a file, folder, or playlist from your computer and import it to the newly installed iTunes library.

Step #3 ➜ Now, attach the USB to the iPod, and then the computer. ‘Your device has been connected, will immediately be displayed on your computer. You are ready to transfer music at this stage.

3. At this point, you are ready to sync your iPod and your PC through iTunes. After you sync the two, from the iTunes library choose the tracks one at a time, or several at one time, and then drag the selected files to the iPod folder. And Voila! You are ready to enjoy some rocking music.

As far as Wi-fi is concerned, when you are in a Wi-fi area, turn your iPod Touch on, and then check out the iTunes Store. After you locate and launch the iTunes Store, sign into it using your login details. Akin to the iTunes Store on the computer, here too, you can search for separate songs and albums to purchase and download. In case you want to download music for free, you can select a search filter that will display all the free songs and albums available.

Finally, regarding the transfer songs from an iPod to your laptop, you will have to remember to download the suitable versions of the iTunes Store that are compatible with Macintosh and Windows Operating Systems. That is it! Have a good time downloading and listening to music!

Guide to Buying Cheap Laptops for Students

The advancing technology has enabled automation of complex processes, mechanization of mundane tasks and made life a lot easier. Computers and the Internet are two of the greatest gifts of technology to mankind. They have redefined living and made the world a better place to live in. Thanks to the invention of laptops, computing is no longer limited to huge workstations and stationary desktops. It has taken a huge leap and has introduced to mankind, the concept of mobile computing. Following the advent of mobility in computing, the world realized its utility and notebook computers became popular for personal and professional use. Today, they are being used even by college-going students.

Youngsters make use of laptops for different purposes. They use notebook computers for both studies and recreation. Laptops are the means to connect to the world through the Internet; to socialize, to study, to gather information from the web and have access to the world at their fingertips. Computers are the need of today and even better if one can use them when mobile. Laptops satisfy this need. They enable mobile use of computer technology. But laptops don’t come cheap. Not everyone can afford big-budget laptops. The student crowd prefers to go for cheap ones, in order to balance their expenditure. As many students have to do with a restricted amount of pocket money, they cannot afford to go for expensive notebook computers. Most of them stay away from their families and have to manage their own expenses. This restricts them from splurging on costly laptops. What should they do? Do they have to be deprived of the bounties of technology? Is there no solution to their difficulty in buying an expensive laptop? Well, there is! There’s no need to worry; for there are multiple options for buying cheap laptops without having to compromise on anything.

Student’s Guide to Buying Cheap Laptops

Buy from a Power User
One way to buy an inexpensive laptop is to purchase it from a power user or gamer. People who use notebook computers for gaming purposes want cutting-edge technology. They tend to change laptops within short spans of time. Buying from them puts you in a win-win situation as you get a laptop with a good feature set and that too for less money. They sell off their laptops within a year or two after purchase, as their power-hungry applications and games need higher-end technology. These users often take good care of their laptops, so you have bright chances of getting a laptop which is in excellent condition. Ask around; great if you have power user friends. Visit gamer forums or local gaming communities online and go to their sales section. You might find posts from gamers wanting to sell their laptops. Go for them!

Refurbished Laptops for Students
Another economical means to buying a new inexpensive laptop, is purchasing a refurbished one. Inexpensive refurbished laptops should not be underestimated just because they are low-priced. In fact, reconditioned laptops offer the same features as those of brand new ones. It is a myth that they are in bad condition. In buying refurbished laptops, you can take advantage of their high depreciation value and get home just a few-years-old laptop at a considerably low price. Visit Craigslist and eBay; you may find good laptop deals there. Keep checking local bulletin boards, especially so, if you have software companies in the locality. Generally big firms put used computers for sale and you will find such offers quite frequently.

Older Technology
A good option for students is to go for slightly older technology. When you know that computer technology is advancing at an exceptionally fast rate, there is no point in spending big bucks on the latest. It’s sure to become old within the next few months. A better alternative is to go for older technology or settle on less features. Perhaps you can adjust with less RAM, a relatively lesser hard disk capacity, or a slightly lower-resolution screen, depending on your usage requirements. Stick to only what you need. Features like 3D, facial or fingerprint recognition can be skipped, thus saving you some money on the laptop. Get a video card only if you plan to use the laptop for gaming purposes. Get a DVD burner. You can save by not opting for a BD burner. Differentiate between need and luxury!

Student Discounts
Many laptop companies offer discount coupons and rebate schemes for students. Like corporate and military discounts, websites like usanotebook offer educational discounts on laptops. Avail of them. Even Apple offers educational discounts, which you can avail of, if you buy their product, say a Mac. If you are ready to spend something above $500, Macbook could be a good choice. But a Windows laptop is cheaper than a Mac. Computer manufacturers like Dell and HP offer good laptop deals throughout the year. Approaching the manufacturers directly lets you save on intermediate costs. Also, you can get the laptop customized to your requirements if bought from the manufacturer. Websites like gottadeal, dealtaker and slickdeals have attractive bargain schemes and discount coupons. Many laptop dealers come up with lucrative offers for laptop buyers in order to increase their sales. Don’t miss such opportunities.

When to Buy
During Thanksgiving, especially on the Black Friday, you will find several lucrative offers on literally everything. Be on the lookout for cheap laptop deals during this time of the year. The other good time to buy an inexpensive laptop is just before a new technology is to be released. All you need to do is keep your eyes open and keep track of the sales offer that suits you best.

Things to Remember

  • Before buying a laptop, check your school/college website. See if they recommend a specific operating system or certain specifications.
  • Once you decide whose (which manufacturer) laptop you are going to buy, search on the web with the name plus coupons and you might land on some good discount offers on the laptop of your choice.
  • Remember to compare different offers in terms of their cost-effectiveness. Participating in online forums related to laptop purchase and scanning through bulletin boards for laptop deals, can help you get the best bait.
  • Buy addons and computer accessories separately, instead of buying them with the laptop. That way they come cheap. Buy them online and well in advance instead of purchasing them from university bookstores. You will find them relatively inexpensive that way. Even with an external hard drive, consider buying it separately instead of buying it integrated with the laptop.
  • Security software, you will need to buy, but go for one like Microsoft Security Essentials which is downloadable and comes for free. Don’t spend on additional security and protection software.

Make sure you choose an authorized dealer for the laptop deal. It is advisable for students to seek guidance from someone with knowledge of computer buying. Weigh your usage requirements against the laptop’s features and price and get home that technological wonder you had been craving for since long – a laptop!

Buying a Laptop ? What to Look for in a Laptop

Laptops provide more convenience and give a personal touch to the whole computing experience. Also, significant progress in the information technology sector has helped increase usage and sales of laptop computers over the years. The high convenience a laptop provides is the main reason for people to choose one over the traditional desktop computer. Since buying a laptop involves a considerable investment, people are conscious as to what they buy, and often seek advice on which computer suits their work the best.

What to Look for in a Laptop for College
College studies are not the same anymore. The number of colleges which are successfully including information technology in their teaching methods is on the rise. Lots of colleges these days have professors asking students to type their assignments and certain institutes even offer online classes. Innovative methods adopted by college instructors in teaching students also involves using an electronic information processing system. All this has made it sort of mandatory for college students to look and purchase laptops, before going to

college.

While picking a laptop for college, students should ideally start by defining its use. Mostly, college students require laptops for basic purposes, like reading notes, research, writing papers and a little bit of entertainment, unless they are studying a course which requires them to use certain specific software. Students tend to buy high-end expensive laptops (mostly to show-off) which they do not require, and is a wastage of money. Unless necessary for studies, buying an expensive laptop should be avoided, as it can easily be bought when need arises.

Hard Drive

Storing music and movies is what takes up most of the space on a student’s hard drive. But buying laptops with a higher hard disk capacity and thereby spending more money is useless, as a portable external hard drive is always a cheaper option. A 320GB hard drive is a good option, considering it has enough space for storing necessary data and is not very expensive too.

Processor

The laptop processor goes a long way in determining the speed of operations on it. It is better not to compromise on this aspect and go for the most trusted brand in the market. The basic processors are not highly expensive and should be chosen over more advanced and costly ones.

Memory

Apart from the processor, the other crucial determinant of the operating speed on the laptop is the memory. A 2GB RAM (Random Access Memory) card is advisable against one’s with more capacity, as this should be more than enough to perform all important tasks required by a college student quickly.

Size
Choosing the right size can be a little tricky. This is because a college student would ideally prefer to have a lightweight and slim laptop for convenience in carrying it around in college. But these are precisely the ones, which are more expensive compared to the big ones. Screen size is another point of consideration, though a 14″ or a 15″ screen should be sufficient. Instead of spending more on buying a stylish looking laptop, get something which doesn’t burn a huge hole in the pocket.

Operating System
Different laptops in the market come with different operating systems. The various choices available are- Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Linux, and Macintosh. Check for software compatibility and consult senior college students or the faculty on the operating system, which suits best to the course content.

Networking for Students
Internet is a great storehouse of information and can be used for research purpose. Laptops for college students need to be Internet compatible and well fortified with a reliable anti-virus software. Hardware enabling Wi-Fi connectivity is a must.

Battery-Life

For a college student, this aspect holds most importance. A good laptop battery life is surely an asset, as it can be used for longer duration without charging. Students may not always be able to charge their laptops frequently and ones with longer-lasting batteries are therefore preferred.

Wait! Before you go hopping to the nearest dealer, Check out with your college authorities whether the college provides it to the students. These machines come preloaded with the software useful for students and most of the time, they are free of cost. After the student graduates, he doesn’t have to give it back to the college, but rather, is allowed to keep it.

Gaming Laptops
Tremendous advancement in graphics used for rendering computer games along with networking innovations which allow multi-player games, has given rise to a new species. The gamers. These gamers are addicts (to say the least), when it comes to playing games and therefore, constantly require to be in touch with games they expertise in. If a gamer were to buy a normal laptop like the one for a college student, he would be grossly disappointed. This is because playing games on a basic laptop ain’t the same experience as playing it on a more advanced one. This has led to laptop manufacturing companies producing laptops specifically for gamers. It is advisable to buy these for gaming purposes, as they have all the necessary features inbuilt for an unbelievable and unparalleled gaming experience.

Hard Drive
Games need a lot of space on the hard disk, and this is primarily the reason for a gaming laptop to have a huge hard drive capacity. A 750GB hard drive should be sufficient, considering there may be other things which need to be stored on the laptop.

Processor
The fastest and the most powerful processor is recommended as games have a host of graphics which need to run. This is why it is better to get the fastest possible laptop processor installed to play high-end games without any problems.

RAM
To keep it simple and devoid of technicalities, more the RAM, the better. A 4GB RAM should be the minimum for a gaming laptop to perform to its potential. Certain games require a higher RAM to run, so it is better to check and confirm (Bigger the faster).

Additional Cards
For a gaming laptop, there are few additional cards which need to be attached to its motherboard for an optimum performance. Sound cards, video cards and graphic cards that are tailor-made for gaming purposes will always enhance the gaming experience. A few motherboards have inbuilt cards, but these are not adequate and hence, require additional cards anyhow.

Screen Size

For a gamer, a large laptop screen is must. A 17″ is recommended, but it is inconvenient to carry around. Playing good games on a smaller screen spoils the fun to a certain extent and therefore, it is better to make adjustments in the convenience factor than the size element.

Networking

Gamers want their laptops to be network compatible to enable them to play competitive games whenever they wish to. Provisions for LAN cables, network cables, USB attachments and Wi-Fi connectivity, along with few other networking options need to be looked at when buying a laptop for gaming purposes.

Laptop for a Graphic Designer
A graphic designer will be looking for a laptop which has graphically advanced games to play on the laptop to create superior graphics. A graphic designer also has to constantly work with software which require high memory and visual features.
Creations by the graphic designer are often heavy in size and therefore a large hard disk (750GB) is recommended.

RAM is most important to ensure decent and uninterrupted performance while working on the laptop. Minimum 4GB RAM is advisable. Various graphic, sound and video enhancement cards, are also necessary to a graphic designer’s work. Screen size needs to be at least 15″, as bigger laptops can be tough to carry around at times. Processor should be the fastest and the best. Apart from this, a good battery-life, DVD compatible drive and an operating system supporting all necessary software is a must.

Remember to buy a laptop which suits the requirements perfectly. No point in overspending on unnecessary features. A lot of popular brands manufacture products specific to its use. Look for these. A highly competitive market ensures no dearth of options for buyers and therefore, a thoughtful choice needs to be made.

Tips to Put Music on an iPod

Assuming that you are a newbie to the Apple universe, this Buzzle article explains, in a simple method, how to put music on your newly purchased iPod, from scratch. Many believe that adding songs to iDevices is a little cumbersome, given that an individual has spent a decent amount of time simply Ctrl + Cing and Ctrl + Ving media on their storage devices. However, today, we explain to you a different, yet an easy procedure of flooding your iPod with content. You see, all Apple devices use iTunes as their base software to sync content, and so, before we learn the process of adding music to an iPod, we shall first learn how to sync music in your PC/Mac to iTunes, so that later on, it becomes a cake-walk for you to put songs in your iPod. Take a look at the following section to know about iTunes.

Syncing Music from Mac/PC to iTunes

1. The first step after unwrapping your newly bought iPod is to download the latest version of iTunes (10.5.3) from Apple’s official website.

2. After you are done downloading and installing iTunes, open it, go to the File menu, and click on Add file/folder to Library. You could also drag files to the iTunes library. This will also add content to your iTunes’ music library.

Note that, if you wish to import music from a CD, stay connected to the Internet as iTunes will automatically look up information in the CD, and will offer you to import its content into your iTunes library. Click Yes to add all content, or click No to manually add content by checking the checkbox next to the songs.

Putting Music on iPod

1. Now that you have all the music in your iTunes library that you wish to add to your iDevice, the next step is to connect your iPod to the computer via the USB cable. Also, launch iTunes, and wait for it to recognize your device.

2. Register your iPod by naming it, and check Automatically update songs on iPod, so that you don’t have to manually update it every time.

3. Towards the left in the iTunes window, you will see all categories of music that is available in the iTunes store, along with your iPod’s name under Music Store. Click on it to select your device.

4. To add music to the iPod, click on Library at the top left corner, which will display all the songs you added to your iTunes library. Drag and drop all the songs onto your iPod’s name displayed in the panel on the left of your iTunes window. Note that, every music file has a checkbox alongside its name so that you can uncheck songs you don’t want to put into your iPod.

5. It might take a while to sync all songs to the iPod, and so, be a little patient. After iTunes is done putting songs into your iPod, disconnect it from the PC, and start enjoying music on your music player.

Transfer Music From iPod Touch to a Computer

You have got the best mp3 files from all over the world in your Apple iPod touch. You are extremely proud of your collection, but wait, you have not yet created a backup file in your computer! Or you have recently formatted your computer and have lost your proud collection. And the only option left to retrieve your files is through transfer of music from your iPod touch to your PC.

Transferring Music With iTunes
The first solution to transferring music from iPod to computer is by using iTunes. You need to update your iTunes with the latest available software update and then connect your iPod touch to your computer. You will see your iTunes start-up and you need to make sure auto sync on iTunes is turned off, or else all your songs on iPod will get deleted. If you cannot find auto sync, just press cancel when you see the ‘Erase and Sync’ tab.

You should now use iTunes to recover all the music that you have purchased on your iPod. All you need to do is go to the ‘Authorized Computer’ tab you will find in the ‘Store Menu’ button. Then, you need to enter the iTunes Apple ID and password that you have used to buy your music files. Now, click on the ‘File’ menu and select ‘Transfer Purchases from your iPod’s name’. When you do this, you will get a new pop up window that will contain all the files that you have purchased. These mp3 files will now be transferred to your PC and iTunes library.

Transferring Music With Software
You can connect your iPod to the computer and launch iTunes. You need to go to iPod management screen and scroll down to Options. Here, select ‘Enable disk use’. You will get a warning from iTunes, and you have to select OK. After this step, your iPod shows up as a drive on the desktop. You need to download a software called Houdini on your computer. This program helps you view the music folder in iPod that is automatically hidden. You need to launch Houdini and click on ‘Folders’. Then, select ‘Reveal’ and locate iPod. Open ‘iPod_controls’ and highlight ‘Music’. Select ‘Choose’.

When you are in iPod folder, you need to open iPod_Controls > Music. You can highlight all the folders and drag them into the folder on you computers hard drive. You can now transfer the music to your iTunes or other media players after the transfer to your computer hard drive is complete.

Transferring Music Without Software
For this, you will need to manually transfer the files to your computer. You need to click on the iPod icon and on the left you will find an icon that says ‘Enable Disk Use’ and click on it. Then, go to ‘My Computer’ and search for ‘Devices with Removable Storage’, that is, your iPod. You will need to double-click the iPod icon and find a list of folders displayed. You need to look for a folder that says, ‘iPod_control’ and if it is not visible, you need to click on ‘Tools’. Here, you need to click on ‘Folder Options’ and click ‘View’. You need to locate the tab that says, ‘Show Hidden Files and Folders’. You will find your ‘iPod_control’ folder visible now.

In this folder, you need to go to the ‘Music’ folder and just drag the files you want to save on your computer. You can even copy the entire folder using iTunes. Then, you need to go to ‘File’ and ‘Add Folder to Library’. However, this will not be able to save your playlist, ratings, last played details, etc., correctly. In order to transfer your playlist as it is, you need to use a third-party software.

Transferring Music Without iTunes
There are a number of software available that help in transfer of music from iPod touch to computer. You can try software’s that can be bought, like PhotoTrans, CopyTrans, iGadget, iPod.iTunes, Music Rescue, iPodRip, etc. You can also use free software’s like iDump, YamiPod, SharePod, SenUti, etc. You need to download the software and install it on your computer. Then launch the program and connect your iPod to your computer. You need to cancel the iTunes syncing process, if it starts. Then, launch the third-party program and search for ‘iPod_control/Music’ or ‘iTunes_control/Music’ folder. You can then, select ‘Save Folder In’ or ‘Backup Folder’ and save it to the folder you want to save it on. Once the files have been successfully transferred to your computer, you can close the iPod music transfer software.

iTunes automatically starts syncing the iPod files and saves it in its library on the computer. You can try the free software’s available on the Internet and transfer not only your music files, but also your videos, photographs, etc. to your computer. Hope this has helped give you some basic idea that has helped you understand how to transfer or copy music from iPod to computer. So, say goodbye to all your worries regarding losing your irreplaceable music collection!

Samsung Gear 2 Review

Smartphones are now passe, with innovation having made way for evolution. Nothing quite seems to be exciting about the new plastic-brick phones in the market today, with almost all packing some real impressive hardware and features. The emerging market now seems to be that of smartwatches. The Pebble was probably the first watch to pave the way for an entire fleet of smartwatches from almost all the big players in the mobile arena.

The biggest player in the market, Samsung, was amongst the first to take the plunge into this highly-lucrative segment. The company launched the Samsung Galaxy Gear, a smartwatch that even 007 would be proud to own. To call the Galaxy Gear a feature-rich device would be an understatement. In fact, the device was so overloaded with features that it seemed more like a geekwatch rather than a smartwatch. Needless to say, the Galaxy Gear didn’t sell too well, in spite of some aggressive campaigning by the Korean giant.

Determined to make amends for its abysmal performance in the smartwatch arena, Samsung is back with a new-and-improved version of the Gear. This time around, it sheds the weight of the galaxy from its shoulders, and now sports a smaller name, the Samsung Gear 2. The smartwatch also brings in its sibling to play, the Samsung Gear 2 Neo. The Neo is identical to the Gear 2 but leaves out the camera and sheds a few grams too. So, do the new breed of smartwatches have what it takes to avenge the loss of their predecessor, or are these also soon gonna be lost into oblivion. Here’s taking a look.

Samsung Gear 2

Samsung Gear 2 Neo

Display
1.63″
Super AMOLED
CPU
1.0 GHz
Dual-core Processor
RAM
512 MB
Storage
4 GB
OS
Tizen-based wearable platform
Camera
2.0 MP (Gear 2)
Battery
300 mAh Li-ion

Design and Construction

Samsung Gear 2
Samsung Gear 2 NeoThe Gear 2 has dimensions of 36.9 x 58.4 x 10.0 mm, and weighs 68 g, whereas the Gear 2 Neo is just a bit lighter and a tad bigger with dimensions of 37.9 x 58.8 x 10.0 mm, and tipping the scale at just 55 g. As compared to the Galaxy Gear (36.8 x 56.6 x 11.1, 74 g), both smartwatches are a whole lot lighter and have a slightly broader face. The camera (Gear 2), the new infra red transmitter, and the mic are now integrated into the main body.The strap can now be replaced with a standard 22 mm strap. The screen is encased in a brushed-metal body, with the IrLED sensor and camera (Gear 2) at the top, and a new physical Home button sitting just below the screen. The sides are rather bare, other than the slot for the speaker and mic. At the back, toward the top, is the heart-rate sensor, just below which, are the pogo pins for the charging case. The watches are now a lot more resistant to the elements and come with a IP57 rating (dust and water resistant).

The heart-rate sensor on the Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo.

Built to weather the elements in style.We loved the industrial, yet classy design of the Galaxy Gear, and are pretty pleased to see them make another appearance on Samsung’s new smartwatches. We absolutely hated the camera-strap on the original Gear, and are extremely happy to see the replaceable straps on the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo. Overall, the smartwatches handle better, and thankfully, don’t scream out for attention.

Hardware and Storage

A powerful smartwatch for fitness enthusiasts.The Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo get a bumped up 1 Ghz dual-core processor as compared to the 800 MHz single-core processor on the Galaxy Gear. The 512 MB of RAM remains unchanged, and so does the 4 GB of non-expandable storage. The sensor at the back of the next-gen Gear constantly monitors your heartbeat. It can track the calories you burn, the steps you take, and it also tracks your sleeping pattern. The Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo have all the hardware to make them extremely handy fitness trackers.

No complaints here. The upgraded processor should ensure even faster transitions and should handle the basic tasks a lot better. The fitness tracking features on Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo are bound to be quite a hit with the masses.

Graphics and Display

Last-gen display.Although both smartwatches are slightly broader than the original Gear, they retain the same 1.63″ Super AMOLED screen of the latter. The 320 x 320 pixels screen is great to look at, although we wish the sunlight legibility were a little better. Nonetheless, the display looks nice and crisp, and is an absolute joy to play around with.

Our only complaint with the original gear was its poor sunlight legibility. It’s a pity that the company have retained the very same screen, and in turn, the same problem that plagued the first generation of the company’s smartwatch.

Camera and Optics

An above-average camera.We’ve never really been big fans of the camera feature on the Galaxy Gear. Well, for all those who asked for higher resolution ‘spy shots’, the company now packs the Gear 2 with a 2 MP auto-focus camera that captures full HD images. HD videos (720p@30fps) can be recorded and played back in 3GP or MP4 formats.

The camera performs just as well as most secondary cameras on smartphones, and is marginally better than the one found on the Galaxy Gear. Video recording is still limited to 10-second clips at a time, while you can capture as many images as the 4 GB memory on the device can handle.

Software and Customizations

Energy-efficient OS.This is the major change in the new series of smartwatches released by Samsung. The smartwatches now run on a Tizen-based wearable platform. The OS should be a lot faster than the original Android OS that powered the Galaxy Gear. It should also mean better battery management. You can now leave your smartphone back at home, and listen to your favorite tracks right from the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo using a Bluetooth headset. The smartwatches also bring a new WatchON remote which uses the IrLED sensor to control most of the electronic devices at home. Apart from these, the new smartwatches retain all the features of the original Gear, like Bluetooth calling, phone notifications, media controller, Smart Relay, S Voice, etc.

We’re not completely sold on the Tizen platform just yet, but were not too pleased with the cooked up Android version running on the Galaxy Gear. The new platform should be a lot less power hungry, and the company claims that it is a lot faster than the previous OS. The music player function is a pleasant addition and the WatchON Remote too can be pretty handy. Bluetooth calling was definitely not one of the strengths of the Galaxy Gear, but the better placement of the mic and speaker should help improve voice quality during calls.

Battery Life

Crawls through a day.The Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo now pack a Li-ion 300 mAh battery. The company claims that this should last you 2-3 days on moderate use. Normally, that should translate to at least one whole day of use on a single charge. The smartwatches can be charged using a proprietary charging case.

The battery life of the Galaxy Gear was disastrous, and we have alarm bells ringing at the thought of a smaller battery (Galaxy Gear had a 315 mAh battery) in the new smartwatches. We’re guessing that the new OS should manage power better, but we definitely were expecting to see a beefier battery on the new smartwatches. The thought of charging our watch every night does not really excite us, but at least, it is a lot better off than scrambling for the charger halfway through the day.

Final Words
Samsung surely seem to have learned a lesson or two, since the Galaxy Gear debacle, and the latest variants of its smartwatches are definitely an improvement on the original smartwatch. Developing a fitness-centric device might turn out to be quite a masterstroke for the company, given the sudden surge in popularity of fitness tracking devices. Whether this translates into improved sales is a whole different matter. The Samsung Galaxy Gear was outrageously overpriced, and we won’t be surprised if the Gear 2 would come with a rather premium price tag. The Gear 2 Neo might come in just a little cheaper than the Gear 2, but might still cost you most part of a leg and an arm!

Rumors about Apple’s Smartwatch

Smartwatches have become quite the rage over the past year, and this is one wildfire that seems to have caught on with major players in the market. A humble Kickstarter project, Pebble, was probably the pioneer in this field, giving a fresh lease of life to something that we’ve all taken for granted over the years―the wrist watch. In fact, following the success of the Pebble, all mobile manufacturers set out to put a supercharged smartwatch on all the hands wielding out the cash. Samsung was the first to launch the Gear, its uber smart watch. Sony and LG too followed suit, although theirs were more of fitness bands than smartwatches. All the while, Apple has been a mute spectator.

Apple may well argue that the idea of a smartwatch was first floated by them way back in 2008, when the company’s co-founder, Steve Wozniak, in an interview with The Telegraph said, “Apple’s future could lie in an ‘iWatch’.” Rumors were further fueled by the company looking to trademark ‘iWatch’ in a lot of countries around the world. Of late, things have been a little too quite at the Cupertino-based company’s camp. As rumors suggest, this is merely the calm before the iStorm. Apple is believed to be working on its own iWatch, which will really put the smart in the smartwatch. Here’s all the news and rumors surrounding the imminent launch of Apple’s iWatch.

Check out the iCurves
The whole world seems to be obsessed with curved screens, so it is little wonder that Apple too intends to wow you with a curved display for its iWatch. There have been rumors about the company going in for a fully flexible plastic OLED screen, as reported by popular tech site, TechRadar. Nick Bilton from New York Times had earlier said, “Apple is experimenting with wristwatch-like devices made of curved glass.” Corning, which provides screen protection solutions for most iPhones, had announced at the start of 2014 that it could now manufacture curved glass products using 3D-forming technology. This could well find its way on to the iWatch. Going by Apple’s ‘Slap Bracelet’ patent in February 2013, the iWatch would probably go in for a wearable bracelet form factor rather than that of a standard watch.

An Apple is all you need to stay fit
Apple’s Senior Vice President of Design, Jonathan Ive, is believed to be at the helm of things for the iWatch. It is no secret that he is a big admirer of Nike, who came up with the very popular fitness band, FuelBand. According to watch designer Scott Wilson, who earlier worked with Nike, said that a few years back, Jony Ive along with his team had visited watch factories and even ordered for sports watches made by Nike. Whether they were looking for inspiration, or simply wanted to tell time better, well, we guess, we’ll find out soon enough. Speculations are rife about the iWatch making for a great fitness band. It is also believed to have a sleep tracker on board to register your sleeping pattern. The fact that the company recently hired Michael O’Reilly―an entrepreneur who’s company designed a pulse monitor to pair with the iPhone, Jay Blahnik―a fitness consultant who had helped with developing Nike’s FuelBand, and Nancy Dougherty―a researcher who came up with a patch that can analyze a blood sample without using a needle, further adds credence to a fitness-centric iWatch in the works.

Siriously good
According to popular tech site, The Verge, there’s credible information from ‘inside sources’ that state that Apple’s virtual personal assistant might find her home in the iWatch. This would make a lot of sense considering just how difficult it would be to fiddle with a tiny screen on the watch. The new improved Siri would be the ideal solution to this problem. This would also mean that the iWatch would run a custom version of iOS. This would be great news for app developers who would just need to modify their existing apps to make optimum use of the tiny screen real estate on the iWatch. The smart watch is expected to have Bluetooth and maybe even NFC, which it would use to connect to an iPhone or iPod to gather data.

Stepping up the battery
The iWatch would probably feature a curved battery, as suggested by the patent filed by the company for such a battery in 2013. “Apple will utilize LG Chem’s stepped battery since it offers better longevity than others and can be applied for different shapes,” a source said, declining to be identified. You might recall the great battery life on the LG G2 which used such a battery. This would mean that the iWatch would have a great battery life of at least 3 to 4 days on a single charge, unlike other smart watch ‘gear’ that barely make it through a day. According to a report by the New York Times, Apple is testing solar charging on its smartwatch that would help top up its battery through the day. The newspaper, however, was quick to point out that this technology is probably “years from becoming reality.” We might just see inductive charging find its way onto the iWatch, as this would be a sensible and practical approach to charging it. This would be a first for the company which hasn’t yet introduced wireless charging on to the iPhone.

The iWatch would probably let you control your iPhone’s music player and display notifications from it. It is highly unlikely though that it would let you place calls from it. Talking about display, Apple’s recent tie-up with sapphire glass manufacturer GT Advanced Technologies strongly suggest that the iWatch that is in the works might have sapphire glass to protect its display. Of course, there is no word on the pricing yet, but an anonymous analyst suggests that this would probably range between USD 149 to 229. Considering just how overpriced Apple products are, this seems just about right. Going by all the features and specifications of the iWatch, it is bound to be the game changer in this field and would probably be the first watch worthy of the ‘smart’ title. There’s a way to go before this highly-anticipated smartwatch makes its way onto the wrists of customers, and we can’t wait for it to get here already. In the meanwhile, we’ll keep you updated with all the news, leaks, and rumors about the iWatch. So, stay tuned. Cheers.