Are You Really Taking Care of Your Laptop?

It takes more than being careful and travelling with a laptop case to keep your piece of personal technology running in tip-top shape. Along with the top 3 laptop computer maintenance tips that we recommend performing weekly, mobile professionals who wish to keep their laptops in pristine working condition should also be thinking more long term. This means dedicating a little time each month to some additional maintenance work. Monthly laptop maintenance ensures the smooth operation of your laptop and most importantly, keeps your personal data protected. The better you care for your laptop, the longer it will last, which not only saves you money but ensures that you will stay more productive with less downtime due to computer problems.

Keep your laptop in perfect working condition with these top five laptop maintenance guidelines.

1.Clean Your Hard Drive

Over the course of a month, it is easy for the mobile professional to accumulate a lot of unnecessary files on their laptop hard drive. Take the time once a month to go through your hard drive and examine the files there. As you look over those files, determine which should be saved elsewhere for future reference and which can be trashed. This is also a great opportunity to back up your files on an external drive (see step 4 for more details). Additionally, if you download programs on a regular basis to try new things or to have access to new programs for projects, properly ​uninstall those programs when they are no longer needed. A cleaner hard drive is a smoother running hard drive.

2.Defrag Your Hard Drive

To defrag your computer means to defragment, which is a process that rearranges fragmented data so that it is easier to read, allowing your computer to work more efficiently. Not surprisingly, defragging your hard drive is another maintenance task that ensures your laptop will run as efficiently as possible. There is no need to defrag more than once a month for your programs to run more quickly and make better use of the space on your hard drive. When you defrag your laptop hard drive regularly, you should notice fewer software crashes or freeze ups and programs will run better. Defragging can be as simple as using a defragmenter software. But note that if you have a solid-state drive (SSD) in your laptop, you do not need to defragment.

3.Keep Your Laptop Clean

This time we’re talking about keeping your laptop physically clean. Cleaning your laptop helps prevent overheating and those nasty dust bunnies from building up inside your laptop fans and exposed ports that can cause issues.  Cleaning the screen also means you’ll always view your data clearly, it’ll be much easier on the eyes. Keeping your case free of dust and dirt buildup will help your laptop by preventing that dirt from getting inside the laptop. If dust does make its way in, you can blast it free with a can of compressed air.

4.Full Back-Up

Full back-ups should be conducted on a monthly basis. There are a variety of software and hardware options available. You should choose the method that is easy and can be done without fuss. It may require trying different methods before you find the best backup system for your needs. Most importantly, you should have a secure, fire-proof location to store your back-up.

5.Software Updates

Just as you keep your anti-virus and firewall software up-to-date, you should also keep your all other software programs updated. For many programs, the updates address security issues which help keep your laptop and data protected while on the road. You can perform updates as they become available, but to avoid the disruption and use your time more efficiently, we suggest dedicating some time once a month to installing all new updates.

Laptops with the Longest Battery Life

No matter how stacked its specs are, a laptop is useless if it can’t hold a charge. Fortunately, there are plenty of notebooks that go the distance. Using our Laptop Mag Battery Test, which involves continuous Web surfing over Wi-Fi at 100 nits of brightness, we’ve identified the longest-lasting notebooks on the market. We’re talking more than 10 hours of endurance, which should more than suffice for that cross-country flight, a long day of meetings or multiple, back-to-back classes.

Lenovo ThinkPad T470 (17:25)

If you want a truly fantastic keyboard, durable chassis and strong performance, look no further than the ThinkPad T470. The T470 makes room for an optional extended battery that gives this 14-inch laptop over 17 hours of endurance (with its non-touch display). You can charge the laptop over a proprietary ThinkPad connector or via its Thunderbolt 3 port, which allows you to juice the laptop and output to multiple monitors over a single wire. A durable, MIL-SPEC-tested chassis helps this long-lasting business notebook stand up to the rigors of all-day business travel.

Lenovo ThinkPad X270 (13:51)

Weighing 3 pounds (3.4 with extended battery), the 12.5-inch ThinkPad X270 is light enough to carry anywhere and small enough to fit easily on most airplane tray tables. Its 12.5-inch display outputs a vibrant 88 percent of the sRGB color gamut while a snappy keyboard and accurate pointing stick make editing documents a pleasure. Unlike many Ultrabooks, the X270 has plenty of ports, including a USB Type-C connector, multiple USB 3.0 connectors, an SD card reader and an Ethernet connector.

With its extended battery on board, this powerful laptop lasts nearly 14 hours on a charge. If that’s not enough endurance for you, you can carry a spare battery and swap it in, without even turning off the computer.

Dell XPS 13 (13:49)

Our favorite laptop overall, the Dell XPS 13 uses a nearly-bezel-free Infinity display to pack a 13-inch panel into a chassis that might otherwise hold an 11-inch laptop. Despite its slim, 0.6-inch thick dimensions and 2.7-pound weight, Dell’s laptop offers nearly 14 hours of battery life with its standard, 1080p screen.  The touch version, which has a 3200 x 1800 display, lasts over 9 hours on a charge.


Add to that an Intel 7th Gen Core i3, i5 or i7 CPU, a speedy PCIe SSD and plenty of ports and you have the best consumer Ultrabook around. A Killer Wi-Fi card and Thunderbolt 3 charging round out this impressive package.

Dell Inspiron 11 3000 (13:39)

Starting at just $199, Dell’s lightweight laptop proves that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get truly epic battery life. This Celeron-powered, 11.6-inch laptop offers just enough performance for web surfing and light productivity. At just 2.4 pounds, the Inspiron 11 3000 is light enough to carry anywhere and, with over 13 hours of endurance, you can leave the plug at home.

The Inspiron 11 3000 is also one of our top choices for kids, because of its small size, low-price and attractive blue and red color options. For better multitasking, we recommended spending $50 over the base price to get a configuration with 4GB of RAM.

Microsoft Surface Book (12:29)

When coupled with its keyboard dock, Microsoft’s detachable notebook will last up to 12.5 hours, provided you buy it with integrated graphics. A 13.5-inch, 3000 x 2000-pixel display is gorgeous to look at and a magnetically attached stylus makes writing a pleasure. Starting at $1,499, the Surface Book is an expensive system, but worth every penny.

Google Pixel 2 News: Release Date, UK Price, New Features & Specs

The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have officially been outed as the new Google phones for 2017. Here’s everything you need to know about the new features, specifications, UK price and launch date.

Google has unveiled its Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones. The new Google phones are available to pre-order immediately and will go onsale on 19 October and 15 November respectively.

Read our hands-on reviews of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL for our first impressions.

When is the Google Pixel 2 release date?

The Pixel 2 is available to pre-order now (via Google or EE) and goes on sale on 19 October.

The Pixel 2 XL is also available to pre-order now (via Google or EE) and goes on sale on 15 November.

EE is the exclusive network partner at launch. It is now accepting preorders on the Pixel 2 in Just Black, Clearly White and Kinda Blue, and the Pixel 2 XL in Just Black or Black & White. Both come with either 64- or 128GB of storage.

Those who pre-order from Google or EE before 2 November for the Pixel 2, or 14 November for the Pixel 2 XL, will get a free Google Home Mini.

How much does the Google Pixel 2 cost in the UK?

The Pixel 2 costs £629 with 64GB of storage, and £729 with 128GB. The Google Pixel 2 XL costs £799 with 64GB storage, and £899 for 128GB.

If you’re buying it on an EE contract in the UK the Pixel 2 is £9.99 on a £47.99/month 4GEE Max plan, which offers unlimited minutes and texts, and 8GB data.

The same plan costs £57.99 per month for the Google Pixel 2 XL.

Google Pixel 2 features and specifications

Highlights in the gorgeous new Google phones are their vibrant OLED screens with always-on displays, with the larger Pixel 2 XL offering an 18:9 FullVision display. These screens are said to be twice the resolution and offer 10 times the contrast ratio of phones that use a standard LCD.

There’s also a squeezable active edge – on both models – that instantly calls up the Google Assistant for quick access to all your phone’s most commonly used features, and an improved camera that has the highest ever recorded score for a smartphone camera by DXOMark.

It can achieve the same things as a dual-camera but with a single lens, and the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are the first phones to build in Google Lens.

Google made a point of the fact you’ll get the same features in either phone, with nothing reserved for the larger, more expensive model. That means you’ll get the same hardware too.

The key difference between the two is the 5in full-HD (1920×1080) 16:9 screen on the Pixel 2, and the 6in Quad-HD (538ppi) 18:9 display on the Pixel 2 XL. They offer a wide colour gamut, and have been optimised for VR – both Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are Daydream-ready.

A new feature is the always-on display, seen previously in flagship phones from Google and LG. Google’s version, like those, offers an at-a-glance readout of the time and date, reminders and whether you have any emails or notifications. But they also include a Shazam-style feature that can recognise any song you’re listening to – without sending your data to Google’s servers – and when you tap on this the Google Assistant will pop up and offer to find it on a music-streaming service or the web.

They share the same premium design – now waterproof, with an IP67 rating – with an all aluminium body that has a refined glass visor that transitions seamlessly into the metal body. The fingerprint scanner is said to be the fastest you’ll find in any smartphone, and falls naturally under the finger on the back. Google has also added a splash of colour on the power button.

The new Google phones do away with the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack, but you do get a USB-C adaptor in the box. Or you can use a pair of wireless headphones (Google has also announced a version of its own that build in the Google Assistant) or use the stereo speakers.

The primary camera is a 12.2Mp f/1.8 model with 1.4um pixels and OIS. While the original Pixel scored 89 in DXOMark, this new camera acheives 98 – the highest ever recorded in a smartphone camera.

Although it’s a single-lens camera, Google’s Dual Pixel sensor is able to generate a true depth map that enables the phone to create bokeh-effect (blurred background) photos just as a dual-camera might. This portrait mode works on the 8Mp selfie camera too.

Other new features include AR stickers, with Star Wars versions reportedly coming soon, and Google Lens. We first heard about the latter back at Google I/O. It’s a smart feature that works a bit like Bixby Vision, giving you more information on whatever you’re looking at. It can read email addresses, phone numbers and more.

In video the Pixel 2 supports both OIS and EIS, thanks to new ‘fuse video stabilisation’, and Pixel 2 owners will be pleased to learn Google is extending its offer of free Google Photos storage of all their full-resolution photos and video.

In terms of core hardware you get a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of RAM and either 64- or 128GB of storage. There’s also Bluetooth 5.0 and the latest wireless connectivity.

A fast-charging battery (2700mAh in the Pixel 2 and 3520mAh in the Pixel 2 XL) can last all day, but offers up to 7 hours of use from a 15-minute charge.

Despite the larger screen and bigger battery, Pixel 2 XL is only slightly wider and taller than the Pixel 2. It measures 3x6x0.3in, while the Pixel 2 is 2.7×5.7×0.3in.

The software is obviously Android 8.0 Oreo, and the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL will be the first to get any OS updates. Google has moved the Google bar to the bottom of the home screen where it finds it a better fit. You can also squeeze the edge of the handset to bring up the Google Assistant.


Certain smartphones these days offer the useful function of wireless charging. For some people, this feature is essential, others think it’s pointless. One question remains unanswered though: how is it possible to transfer energy without a cable?

Fast charging and electromagnetic induction

To fully understand how wireless charging works, you need to understand the concept of an electromagnetic field and, more generally, electromagnetic induction, which you may already be familiar with if you have an induction cooker in your kitchen. What is the link between an induction cooker and a smartphone, you ask? Electromagnetic induction is an energy transfer system, meaning that it can be stored (as in the case of the smartphone) or used.

So how does this energy get transferred? Well it’s a question of forces. Imagine two people holding opposite ends of a rope: if one person decides to make waves with the rope, the other person will receive the waves as they travel down the rope. This is a very generalized way of explaining electromagnetic induction: a force sends energy from one point to another. The base unit (powered by electricity) transmits energy to the smartphone via electromagnetic fields. The sensors on the smartphone recover the energy and channel it to the battery for storage.

How is the charging speed calculated?

Again, it’s all about the forces. As the energy is transmitted through electromagnetic fields, the speed depends on these fields. The bigger they are, the faster it will be. The problem is the fields are pretty small because the smartphone (because of the material (metal etc.) it’s made from) leads to limitations.

Your smartphone therefore has a limited transfer speed for which the manufacturer specifies the voltage. The charger also emits energy at a regulated speed, as shown below.

What’s Qi?

Qi is the most popular wireless charging technology. It is not restricted to a particular manufacturer, in theory all manufacturers can use it on their devices. Samsung and Apple are probably the most well-known brands that use it. Qi seeks to standardize wireless charging technology, which involves several safety rules that must be respected. These rules include power of the devices, which obviously plays a role in the charging speed.

Thanks to Qi, wireless charging technology has made considerable progress. Charging speed has increased considerably, and electricity no longer causes the unit to heat up significantly. Qi does not only use electromagnetic induction charging technology but also magnetic resonance technology.

Is my device compatible with induction charging?

Perhaps you’ve given it some thought and you want to give up on cable charging and opt for wireless charging instead. A question arises: is your device compatible with this technology? If you have a high-end Samsung smartphones, from the Galaxy S or Note series, then your device is probably compatible and Samsung has its own charger. The new iPhone 8 is also compatible with wireless charging, though if you have a less recent iPhone you can also use wireless charging but you’ll have to buy a receiver such as the QInside Qi2001 first. Some Lumia, Motorola, Xperia and HTC smartphones are also compatible with Qi technology, as well as several Nexus phones (Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 7, Galaxy Nexus).

High Quality VGP-AC19V56 Adapter for Sony Vaio VPCL2 24inch PCG-21612T All In One PC Series 19.5V 9.2A 180W

Does the iPhone 8 have a battery problem?

It hasn’t even been two weeks after the release of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus and new owners are reporting to be what looks like a serious battery malfunction.

Two reports claim that the iPhone 8 Plus, which was made available to the public on 22 September, began to split at the sides when charging.

According to Taiwanese media, a woman purchased a £799 64GB rose gold iPhone 8 Plus and had used it for five days before it had unexpectedly cracked open. Ms. Wu was charging her device with an Apple-issued charger; however, after approximately three minutes charging, the front panel swelled up and completely lifted from the device.

The phone was allegedly collected by the carrier and shipped to Apple, who according to the The Independent was investigating the two reports. Apple declined to comment further on the incident.

Another Japanese consumer reported having received his iPhone 8 Plus in a similar state, as it arrived in delivery with a partially detached screen.

If you’ve already purchased an iPhone 8 Plus or are interested in purchasing one, don’t feel the need to rethink your decision. The reports of faulty devices are mixed across Taiwanese and Chinese media. It’s likely that the two malfunctions are unique to their owners particular devices and not indicative of a trend for the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus also had reports of exploding devices, yet millions of units were sold, functioning without issue – well, an exploding battery issue.

There are, however, ways to avoid and prevent failures, explosions or fires of any electronic device you may own, such as using the correct charger and avoiding direct sunlight, among others.