Laptops & Netbooks

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    How to Reinstall Windows on a Laptop If I Replace the Hard Drive

    Installing Windows 8 to a new hard disk drive isn't a complicated process -- just follow the instructions in the setup wizard and the installer will do all of the hard work for you. Figuring out how to replace or upgrade the HDD itself without losing all of your files and settings, on the other hand, is a different matter.

    How to Compare Privacy Filters for a Laptop

    While it may sound like innovative software, a laptop privacy filter is actually a physical filter that attaches to your laptop screen to prevent others from seeing what you're doing. As long as you're looking straight at the laptop screen, the filter appears transparent and doesn't interfere with normal operation. However, those individuals positioned at different angles will see only a shaded screen, effectively obscuring all laptop activity. Privacy filters can be particularly valuable when working in airports, cafes, libraries and other public places. Purchasing the right privacy filter for your laptop requires comparing a few important factors.

    Buying an Air Card for a Laptop

    Wi-Fi does not allow you to access the Internet in places where there is no wireless router or hotspot. Consequently, if you want Internet access in areas without a Wi-Fi signal, you need to rely on the 3G and 4G wireless networks used by mobile phone carriers. AirCard is the brand name used by Sierra Wireless for its USB and Express Card wireless modems. However, many users use the term "air card" generically to describe wireless modems from other manufacturers as well. Regardless of what you call the device, purchasing an air card for your laptop will provide you with email and Internet access almost anywhere you go.

    How to Track Stolen Laptops With a MAC or IP Address

    Laptops are small, convenient, portable and highly valuable, making them primary targets for thieves. It is amazing how many people will simply leave their laptop out at a coffee shop or restaurant while they go to the bathroom and expect it to still be there when they get back. With proper forethought and planning, it's possible to identify your laptop via its MAC address and track its location by triangulation on its IP address if it's connected to the Internet. This is somewhat easier to do on a Macintosh than a PC, but it is doable for both.

    Laptops & Magnetic Dangers

    Since the early days of floppy disks, magnetic interference has been feared for the possibility of erasing data. In fact, a simple store-bought magnet can completely wipe out a floppy disk with ease. This fear has transferred into modern technology such as your laptop. Considering that many laptop accessories have magnets built into them, magnets pose less of a threat to your laptop than ever before.

    How Fast Are Netbooks?

    There is a Russian adage that dates back to World War II: "'Better than' is the enemy of 'good enough.'" When it comes to laptops, that adage led to the netbook, where cheaper processors and stripped-down operating systems could make something that was "good enough" for many conventional uses: word processing, checking email and visiting websites. The trade-off is that netbooks have never had a reputation for blazing speed, but there are ways to make them faster.

    How to Connect a Laptop to Sony Bravia VGA

    Playing a movie on your laptop is convenient, but at home you probably prefer the large, cinematic screen of your Sony Bravia. Connecting your laptop to the Sony Bravia's VGA port enables you to play laptop movies on the TV. However, VGA cables do not include an audio channel, so to play the movie's sound through the Bravia, you need an additional audio connection.

    Difference Between Laptop Stands and Docks

    A laptop stand and docking station are two distinct devices for your laptop computer. The stand helps cool your machine by allowing air flow around the laptop and holds it where you want it to stay. A docking station provides more ports for you to connect to external devices such as an external monitor or a keyboard. Most stands are compatible with any appropriately sized laptop, while docks may only support certain brands or models.

    Qualities Students Need in a Laptop

    Having a laptop for school allows you to go from the classroom to a study group to working on a project in your room. Buying a laptop is an investment in your educational success. Before deciding on a specific laptop, you need to understand certain requirements from your school, your budget and your personal preferences.

    How to Connect a PS3 to a Laptop

    There was a time when a video game system was a machine you could put a game in and play it -- and other than that, it was useless. Those days are gone. Today’s systems, such as the PlayStation 3, are advanced computers capable of handling all of your family’s multimedia needs. Connect a PS3 to your computer and you’ll be able to stream videos from your hard drive, view images and listen to music. If your laptop has a video-capture card installed, you can even use it to view your PS3’s output and make videos. You've got a few options for connections depending on your home networking equipment.

    About Wireless Internet Cards for Laptops

    There are two kinds of wireless Internet connection in wide use. The most common kind is Wi-Fi, and is usually integrated onto the laptop's motherboard. The less common variety is the cellular data wireless Internet card; these cards -- usually USB plug-ins with an antenna for laptops -- allow your laptop to connect to a 2G, 3G or 4G cellular data network. These devices typically come with the drivers built into the USB stick. They are compatible with Windows and Macintosh computers, and quite a few work with Linux.

    Differences Between Chrome and IE

    For several years, Microsoft's Internet Explorer enjoyed a largely unchallenged position of dominance in the Web browser market. Mozilla's Firefox browser had its adherents as well, but IE wasn't seriously challenged until Google introduced its Chrome browser in 2008. By focusing on performance and security, two areas where IE had been stagnant, Chrome quickly gained fans and marketshare. Today the two browsers are close rivals, with Chrome rivaling IE's market presence and IE offering similar performance.

    How to Fix a Sony Vaio After Spilling Liquid

    Although some Sony Vaio laptops offer a spill-resistant keyboard, not all models are so equipped. Liquids spilling into the laptop through the keyboard or other entry points in the case are potential device killers, causing short circuits. Even if immediate damage does not occur, long-term corrosion or rusting of internal components eventually takes its toll. Should you spill liquids of any type on your Vaio laptop, immediate action may save the unit.

    How to Run a Laptop Off the AT&T iPhone Wi-Fi

    AT&T's Personal Mobile Hotspot feature allows users of the iPhone 3GS or higher to share the phone's broadband connection with other devices for Internet access. In order to use Personal Mobile Hotspot, you must enable the feature on your iPhone and enroll in a data plan with tethering capabilities, such as AT&T's "DataPro 5GB for Smartphone Mobile Hotspot" (see Resources).

    Information About Laptops

    Although most laptops share the same core elements, there are certain features that may make one more compelling than another. Extra hard drive space, operating system, larger screens and enhanced network connectivity are all things that can influence your buying decision. Additionally, ensuring your new device has enough USB ports to support your cameras and music devices is critical, especially on vacation or extended business trips. Understanding laptop features and their impact on day-to-day computing can help you choose the right laptop without paying too much.

    Are Refurbished Laptops OK & Safe?

    Overall, refurbished laptops are safe and okay to use. The key is to purchase them from trusted retailers, such as the manufacturer or well-known technology retailers, who thoroughly test the laptops before selling them. In many cases, outlet laptops are refurbished models, which may also be called manufacturer-reconditioned. These laptops are cheaper than new counterparts, making them popular alternatives to buying new. Essentially, refurbished means flaws have been repaired and the unit is once again ready to use.

    Laptops for Beginners

    When it comes to choosing a first laptop for yourself, a student or child, the number of choices may seem dizzying at first, especially if you're looking at Windows-based laptops. Mac computers are all produced by one company: Apple. Windows laptops, on the other hand, are produced by many manufacturers at a wide variety of prices. Before buying a laptop based on price alone, it's important to keep in mind what a beginner may need in a laptop and what she may not need. Quality components and rich features are just the start. Portability and unnecessary options should also be considered.

    How To Choose a College Notebook Laptop

    There isn't a college student around who doesn't need a computer. Notebook laptops offer increased portability teamed with high amounts of storage and speed, while ideally maintaining low weight and high reliability. Although it's important to check with the school first, many colleges even offer specialized purchasing plans for laptops configured to meet the school's specific requirements. Be sure you have the right hardware on day one, ready for classes and fitting within your school's network architecture.

    How to Reset a Toshiba Laptop

    If your Toshiba laptop is crashing frequently and your antivirus software can't discover or remove a dangerous virus, you can reset the laptop. Resetting the Toshiba laptop to factory settings removes current data, so make sure you back up your data. The factory software recovery image is stored in a hidden area of the hard disk drive on most Toshiba laptops, so you can use the image to restore the device to factory defaults.

    10 Ways to Convince Your Boss to Buy You an iPad

    Persuading your boss to buy you anything can be a challenge, especially if that something is a device well known for all the time-wasting games available for it. However, business owners are starting to realize the iPad offers numerous benefits in a business environment. Presenting the iPad in a professional light will convince your boss the device is a necessary and worthwhile investment that will increase your productivity.

    Differences Between Portable Computers & Tablets

    Although it was Microsoft's Tablet PC version of Windows that first brought tablet computers to the general market in 2002, it wasn't until the release of Apple's iPad in 2010 that touch-screen tablets gained widespread acceptance. As consumers continue to buy fewer desktop computers, laptops have shrunk, with extremely lightweight notebooks offering full-size keyboards and netbooks with fast wireless access but limited memory or storage. When you consider your options for an on-the-go device, the form factor and model you choose should fit your work or lifestyle.

    How to Use the HP Laptop Webcam

    Your HP laptop comes with a webcam and microphone located in the top of the bezel around the screen. The webcam uses a piece of software to run it. HP webcams may use one of the following programs: Cyberlink YouCam, MediaSmart Webcam or TouchSmart Webcam. One of these programs must be present to run your webcam.

    How to Troubleshoot a Touchpad Not Working in a Laptop

    Unique to laptop computers, touchpads replace many standalone mouse functions, allowing you to scroll your cursor around the screen and select and highlight onscreen content. If your touchpad is acting erratically or is completely inoperable, using a few quick troubleshooting techniques can resolve the issue in most circumstances.

    The Differences of Netbooks From Laptop Computers

    When desktop and tower systems were the primary consumer computers, deciding which one to buy usually came down to a compromise between features and price. With portable computers, power and portability also become factors. Both are unquestionably desirable, but making a portable computer more powerful usually increases its size and weight, and can shorten battery life. Size, weight and power are usually how laptop and netbook computers are differentiated.

    Compare Wireless Internet Air-Card Plans

    An air card is a device that connects to a computer, and allows a user to access the Internet. Most air cards use a USB port, and can be connected to almost any laptop or netbook. The card contains a cellular radio, which enables the computer to communicate with cellular networks. Wireless air cards require a plan in order to function. The plan is purchased through a mobile-broadband Internet service provider, and can be prepaid or billed monthly on a contract.

    How to Shop for a Laptop

    Laptop or notebook computers come in a variety of configurations and price ranges. Before you begin to shop, first decide exactly what the laptop's use will be -- gaming, word processing, accounting, reading and writing email, social networking, surfing the Internet, building websites or a combination of these pursuits. Determine your budget and remember that you also need to add software to your purchase price.

    How to Boost the Wireless Signal on a Laptop

    There's little doubt that the flexibility afforded by Wi-Fi helps increase our entertainment possibilities and workflow. However, various things around the home prevent the best possible reception. Some issues regarding Wi-Fi include poor router placement, low signal power and competing signals. Getting these issues resolved helps you get back online with better signal strength than before.

    How to Turn on the Webcam on a Lenovo Laptop

    Many Lenovo laptops have a webcam built in. The webcam does not turn on automatically or run all the time. In order to turn it on, you must run a program that supports the use of a webcam. The most popular and common program for using the webcam on Lenovo laptops is Windows Movie Maker, which comes installed on the laptop. Videos made in this program can be used anywhere, including YouTube. The program also allows you to capture individual photos on your laptop.

    How to Set Up a Laptop for Wi-Fi

    Most modern laptops come with an integrated wireless adapter, so they are already set up for Wi-Fi. However, the wireless adapter is likely disabled by default to concern battery power, so you need to activate the laptop's wireless hot key or switch to turn it on. If your computer doesn't have a wireless adapter, you can easily add one through a USB wireless adapter, for which Windows 7 will automatically install the drivers.

    How to Use a Garmin With a Laptop

    Garmin's GPS system allows you to update maps and install firmware and software updates using your computer. By regularly updating your Garmin's firmware, you can overcome system bugs that the manufacturer fixes. Updated maps ensure your Garmin can lead you down the most current routes, even if the road is newer than others. Because you need a computer to keep your Garmin at its best, using a laptop allows you to update wherever you have wireless Internet access.

    How to Get a Better Connection Using a Wireless Laptop

    When you're trying to get a better connection using a wireless laptop, first check the wireless signal strength on the laptop. If you have low signal strength, you'll need to either reduce the distance between the computer and the router or increase the distance the wireless signal travels. If your signal strength is good, examine the frequency and wireless modes supported by your router and laptop and upgrade the device with the lower speed. If you don't mind potentially upgrading both devices, you may be able to get a wireless connection that's as fast as a wired connection.

    Things to Make Your Laptop Have Faster Internet

    For streaming videos, downloading entertainment, music or data, viewing multiple websites or playing online games, there is nothing quite like a fast Internet connection. If you are working wirelessly on your laptop, it can be quite frustrating to waste battery time waiting for a slow connection to load a page. Whether you log on at the local coffeeshop or from home, there are several steps you can take to speed up your connection.

    How to Connect a Laptop to a Wireless DSL Modem

    A wireless DSL modem allows you to enjoy high-speed Internet access in just about every room of your house. The modem and the wireless router are built into the same device, and setting it up takes only about 10 or 15 minutes. Most laptop computers come with a built-in wireless adapter, so connecting to a wireless signal, or Wi-Fi, should take only a few seconds.

    How to Set Up a Webcam on a Laptop

    In the early 1990s, when the Internet was just beginning to find its way into consumer's homes, email and text-based chat were the only real World Wide Web communication choices. With connection options limited to dial-up modems in most cases, streaming video chat was but a dream for the future. However, when telco companies began to roll out DSL in 1995, things changed. With connection speeds 50 times faster than dial-up, DSL finally provided the bandwidth needed to make video calling a reality. Modern broadband connections are even faster, and by using the webcam integrated in your laptop -- or attaching an external one -- you can engage in almost seamless cam-to-cam video chats with others all over the world.

    How to Add a Laptop to a Wireless Modem Router

    A wireless modem router combines a broadband-receiving modem and a networking router into one device to create a wireless network. Add your Wi-Fi enabled laptop to your router's network through Windows and configure it to automatically connect each time you are within range. However, if you have configured your modem router to conceal your network's service set identifier, or SSID, name you may have to delve into the connection's properties to enable automatic connection.

    How to Change the Time in the BIOS in a Sony Laptop

    Under normal conditions, you do not need to change your Sony laptop's system time because this information is continually updated and saved in the laptop's basic input/output system, or BIOS. Even if you format the Sony laptop and reinstall the operating system, the system time remains accurate. However, the laptop will not maintain the correct time if the CMOS motherboard battery is removed or depleted. Therefore, you may need to enter the Sony's BIOS to manually change the system time.

    How to Find Wireless Networks in Range on a Laptop

    If you're using your laptop to conduct business on the go, it's important to be able to find and connect to wireless networks in range in order to access the Internet from wherever you may be. You can connect to either public or secure networks, and also to hidden networks if you know their names and passwords. You don't need any third-party tools, and the process typically takes just a minute or two.