What to Look For in a Desktop Computer

Are you looking to buy a desktop computer? Whether this is for work or personal use (or both), it is a major decision to make and inevitably will be a high cost to cover. As such an important piece of equipment for people in today’s day and age, you need to take the time to find the right device for your particular needs so that it will be a good fit and allow you to easily carry out whatever you need the machine for whether this is playing video games, working with specific software, watching TV and/or simply for internet browsing and creating documents. Read on to find out what you need to look for to find a high-quality desktop computer.

Processor

The processor is the chip that carries the core operations and calculations that drive everything in the computer, so this is essentially the “brain” of the computer and highly important. It is difficult to upgrade a processor once it is in place, so ideally, you will want to get this right the first time. If you plan on heavy use, such as playing video games, you will want to make sure that you have multi-core processors, which are multiple processors working in tandem.

Random Access Memory (RAM)

RAM is the computer’s short-term memory and directly impacts speed and efficiency. When you ask the computer to complete a task, such as opening a file, the task is loaded into RAM, and the higher the RAM, the better. It is measured in GB but does not confuse it with storage space. This can be relatively easy to upgrade, but it is still something that you need to consider when looking for a desktop PC.

Storage

The storage is the long-term memory and for keeping all of your files, programs, games, and anything else. You do not want to run out of storage, so think about the type of things that you will be storing on the computer and give yourself plenty of space if you play games and have large video files. You can also buy an external hard drive if you run out of space (and for backups), but this will be another expense.

Monitors and Hardware

In addition to the actual computer itself, you will also need to consider the monitor and hardware. A powerful desktop computer is not much good with a low-quality monitor, particularly for gaming or streaming. Hardware such as a mouse and keyboard are other important factors that will greatly impact the performance. You can buy all-in-one packages, or you could do your own research and find your own hardware but be sure that it is from a reliable brand and has good reviews.

These are the key areas that you need to focus on when buying a desktop computer. A desktop can bring many benefits over a laptop, especially for activities like gaming and using certain software, but it can also be daunting and a lot of money to spend, so hopefully, this post will help.

A Complete Guide To Buying A Laptop On A Budget (Under $1000)

Buying a laptop on a budget can present many challenges.  The computing industry is inundated with offerings from different brands and the technical jargon can often make it difficult to identify the best option for your requirements. 

When considering laptops, there are several factors that you will need to account for, particularly for those who are focusing their search on laptops that retail for $1000 or less. 

We have identified the technical specifications that you will need to consider along with a few other factors to make the process easier for you. 

What is the laptop being used for?

First, you will need to consider your intended use of the laptop. Do you require it for casual purposes, e.g browsing the web, watching Netflix, or checking your social media applications, or do you need it for work and study purposes? For the aforementioned, a Chromebook will likely suffice as they are affordable and perform well too. For the latter, you will need to select a laptop that copes well when subject to intense and prolonged use, for example, a Lenovo or Acer model. 

You must also be willing to make compromises. Approaching the market with high expectations when looking for a laptop on a budget can often lead to disappointment. The value of the laptop is often reflected in the quality and features. While a laptop may flourish in some areas e.g impressive performance speed, you will likely identify a flaw elsewhere. For that reason, it is important to assess what you need in a laptop rather than what you want. Doing so will allow you to make your selection accordingly. 

Technical Specifications

Understanding the technical specifications of different models can be daunting, particularly for those who do not have much knowledge in this area. However, considering these features will make it easier to find a laptop within budget.

The Operating System

One of the first things to consider is the operating system. The operating system is responsible for the memory, hardware, software, and processes of the computer. Chrome OS and Windows 10 are the two operating systems that are commonly found on budget-friendly laptops. Chrome OS is a lightweight system that is only available on Chromebooks. Offering a low-cost option, it will likely cater to those who require a laptop for basic uses. There are limitations to be aware of, the main ones being that Chrome OS only supports Google and Chrome Web Store Applications. 

Windows laptops utilize a Microsoft Windows 10 operating system. Another inexpensive option that offers power and productivity while allowing you to enjoy a selection of apps that are available on the Windows Store and desktop. There are some issues concerning the compatibility of this system with particular software and hardware. 

Both provide budget-friendly options, although it is likely that you will find one to be better suited to your requirements in comparison to the other.

The Memory

The majority of budget laptops have either 256GB SSD and 512GB SSD, of memory pre-installed. In some instances, you may discover a laptop that fits your budget that has more memory. If you like to store data like photographs you will benefit from the use of a USB flash drive if the current memory of the laptop doesn’t satisfy your needs. 

The RAM

RAM is an abbreviation of Random Access Memory and is a crucial element of computing. It is the temporary data storage space that stores data and information that needs to be accessed quickly. 4GB is doable although 6GB to 8GB of RAM is recommended as this will support most basic computer programs.

The Processor

A computer processor, otherwise known as the CPU plays an integral role in the functioning of a laptop. Essentially, the processor provides the laptop with the instructions and power it requires to operate. A poor CPU can impact how well the laptop performs and handles tasks. The most common processors used in budget laptops are Intel Core I5,  AMD A6, Intel Pentium, and the AMD A9. The performance of the processor is influenced by the clock speed, cache speed, and the number of cores. Conducting a simple online search will provide you with information as to which processor is best. Most entry-level, budget-friendly processors are deemed to be mid performers. 

The Size

Considering the size of the laptop is also important. Do you require one that is smaller and more portable or one that is larger and more substantially built? The size of the laptop determines the screen size which in turn affects the resolution and image quality. While some have screens as small as 11.6″, others are bigger at 15.6″. Although laptops with a lower resolution can still provide a decent image, those with a higher resolution will display the image with more precision and detail. 

The Battery Life

The battery life will determine how long the laptop can be used on a singular charge.  This can vary from a couple of hours to a day and often depends on how the laptop is used. A laptop with a long battery life will allow you to use it for prolonged periods without needing to plug it into a power supply. Many budget laptops offer between 7 to 10 hours of use on a single charge. The specifications tend to exaggerate the longevity of the battery life so it is important to be cautious of this. 

Test a few before you pick

Conducting thorough research before selecting your laptop is fundamental in ensuring that all of your needs are met. While you can gather valuable information from browsing the web, you will likely benefit from visiting a selection of stores and looking at the selection that they offer. This will allow you to gain a feel for the laptop and assess whether it is a worthy investment. Analyze the trackpad, the keyboard, and the number of ports. You may even wish to invest in a 2-in-1 laptop that functions as both a laptop and tablet providing you with the best of both worlds.

Qualities to Look For in a Printer

Looking for a new printer? It can be overwhelming trying to decide on a printer due to the vast number of different models, styles, and features available. To make it easier for you, gathered here is a list of 7 key qualities you should consider when buying yourself a new printer.

1. Functionality

The first thing you may want to research is whether you want an all-in-one printer or a printer that quite literally just prints. All-in-one printers scan, fax, copy, and print. These kinds of printers have more functionality and purpose. Naturally, the more functionality a printer has, the more expensive it will be. So depending on what your priorities are, you can get a cheaper printer but you will be compromising on quality. 

2. Scanning Abilities

If you are someone who frequently uses a scanner, then you need to make sure you are getting a printer that has good quality scanning features. For instance, if you frequently scan documents that are irregular in shape, then you will want a model that has a flat-bed scanner. Some select models use capable automatic document feeders, such as Epson and Lexmark. What this means, is that you can load several pages at the same time in the printer’s tray, instead of having to slowly feed each page one by one. This feature is a real time-saver and one that is worth having!

3. Wireless Features

You have to bear in mind what device you will be printing from, as some devices will work better with other printers. There are many different printing options available out there for different devices as what is the best printer for one device may not work for another. For instance, a printer suited for Chromebook will not necessarily be the best printer for a Macbook. 

There are models available that feature Wifi connectivity that allows you to print documents even when you are not nearby the printer!

4. What Ink Does It Use?

This may seem trivial, however, the last thing you need is to purchase a printer that only works when using an obscure or expensive ink. The running costs of your printer will depend on your model, for example, an inkjet printer tends to be more expensive as replacing them doesn’t last as long. This is where the cost per page comes into play, as a laser printer has a more expensive cartridge typically, but lasts much longer. So, arguably, the laser printer is a more cost-effective option. Either way, before buying a model you should have a good idea of how much the replacement of ink will cost you. That way there are no nasty surprises down the line. 

5. Size

This point is simple, what size do you want? That will depend on your priorities, whether you want something compact and portable, or whether you need something big and industrial to get high quantities of printing done. A smaller size does not equate to a poorer quality! It can be tempting to think the bigger the printer the better it must be, but it really does depend on the manufacturer, the features available, and its main purpose. There are a lot of choices when it comes to sizing, so you will not get stuck on finding something that fits your space. 

6. Printing Speed

This is very important depending on what you need and uses your printer for. So, if you need your printer to print high quantities at a fast pace, then you need to check how many pages per minute the model can produce. This is especially important in office environments when everyone is trying to access their documents. To give you a rough idea your standard level printer will print 20 to 30 pages per minute. However, if you are printing in color then this will take longer. 

7. Print Quality

The greater the print quality, unsurprisingly means the higher the price. Laser printers typically offer the most impressive quality but are certainly the more expensive option and they require more running costs. If you are printing at home on a more casual basis then an inkjet will provide you with good enough quality. When checking for printer quality, the key thing to check is the printer’s dots per inch (DPI) as this will tell you how well a printer can duplicate the pixels of the image/document you are printing. 

Hopefully buying a printer will not be too much of an ordeal for you now that you know what qualities to search for! Do your research, assess your priorities and you will find the perfect printer for your needs. 

5 Reasons why we should use a VPN on a Fire Stick

Amazon Fire TV stick has made TV watching a tad more enjoyable. On the platform, you can watch any kind of app, and this includes the popular ones like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime, etc. 

However, you must know that most of these apps do not have any content of their own. They just help you to stream different types of content that are pirated, and you may not be aware of it. 

Since streaming pirated content is a crime using a VPN is an easy alternative. To understand this better, here we share with you 5 reasons why we should use a VPN on Fire stick.

Security and Privacy

You must have heard the word “cord-cutting,” and it involves streaming and downloading content from different sources. Some of the content could be copyrighted, and if you play it, you could be penalized. 

Without using a VPN, all the viewing history of yours is for a display to your ISP, law enforcers, and copyright agencies. With VPN, you can enjoy with Fire stick tricks, and no one would ever get to know about it. 

Bypass Censorship

Some governments monitor the internet usage of their citizens. Such countries detest cord-cutting, and therefore, they even curtail the free streaming of channels. So if you travel to such a country, you may not be able to use your Fire stick. However, if you have a VPN hides your real IP address, and thus, the government has no control over your viewing pattern.

Unblock Geo-Restricted Services 

Content copyright means that content will be viewable only in specific locations. To meet the copyright restrictions, the service providers impose geo-restrictions. This means that when you travel to certain countries, you might miss your favorite program as the channel is restricted there. A quality VPN will also help you go through the restricted geo-locations.

Using Streaming Apps Freely

With a VPN, your internet history is hidden from others. You are not sure of where your sources are procuring the content they are sharing with you. Usage of VPN is just to remain on the safe side. On the VPNwelt.com website you can find a list of recommended VPNs for streaming.

Avoiding ISP Throttling

As soon as ISPs detect streaming activities, they tend to reduce the bandwidth. There could be multiple reasons why they resort to throttling, and if you are in the middle of something crucial reducing bandwidth can be a problem. If you are streaming, you can face buffering and lagging, something you would want to avoid.

Conclusion 

Using an Amazon fire stick is an absolute delight. However, there are dangers associated with it that can spoil your entire fun. To avoid that situation from arising, always use a VPN with the device. It would reduce your chances of the authorities getting to know in case you are watching any copyrighted content. 

Apart from that, the reasons mentioned above are also why people use a VPN with a fire stick. You would not want anything to come in the middle of an enthralling TV viewing experience, and for that, using a VPN is the best bet.

Best Free Streaming Apps to Watch Live TV on a Firestick

The entertainment world is taking a new revolution from the standard cable TV to live to stream. The digital exodus is initiated by new technologies such as TV Firestick devices. The device provides an excellent experience to the user. Today you can watch TV channels from anywhere worldwide—a privilege by the Firestick product.  The internet has also developed apps that help you watch live TV on Firestick without any restrictions.

However, Firestick offers the best at a price. Users have to subscribe to the live streams. It’s challenging and consumes a lot of income. To enjoy the services for free, technology offers loopholes in the Firestick creation. The idea of jailbreaking the Firestick might work best for your device.  The process requires one to implement safety measures. You can improvise the best VPN software in the tech market.

What is a Firestick?

Firestick is a unique digital streaming device connected to the cable TV to stream content through the internet.   The device is shaped like a standard USB flash device. It’s easy to handle and contains thousands of online channels such as Netflix, Hulu, and more. Firesticks are designed to stream videos where you watch movies and TV shows. You can also stream music games and other online content.

However, the channels have a subscription fee, which you pay bi-monthly or annually. There are apps implemented for free use.  The device is Android-based but doesn’t support Google play services. The Firestick works with Android OS.  Technology also has several apps that help connect IOS devices though not fully implemented.

How to watch live TV on Firestick

To watch the live channels without paying any penny, you must add privacy software such as VPN. This enhances your security and hides your identity. A quality VPN will help you go through the restricted geo-locations.  Any wrong move like tempering with copyrighted items will land you in trouble with the government and ISP.

Best free apps to watch live TV on Firestick

1. Mobdro

Mobdro is an exclusive live streaming app for movies, TV shows, and live online content. It’s compatible with all devices. The app operates on Android devices, but recently, IOS users can also benefit from the app.  Technology is providing ways to have Mobdro for iPhone though the installation process is not generated.  Users can utilize third-party platforms to download and install Mobdro apk on your iPhone.

Mobdro has different channel categories from news, sports, Music, Gaming, Kids, spiritual and more.  From the list, users can select various channels according to preference. There are channels such as AMC, History, WWE network, ESPN, sky sport, Fox, etc.  You can also stream favorite shows using the Mobdro app.

2. Live Net TV

The Live Net TV is open to many Android devices and Firestick devices.  Users can access more than 700 TV channels. The app organizes the channels based on the country and categories. This makes it easy to access your favorite channel.  The software offers quality services for free to all users.  The Live Net TV apps also provide users with VOD services on different movies.  The app allows users to choose a video player for live TV channels from the external video players.

3. Swift Streamz

This is a fantastic app for watching live TV on your Firestick.  You can access 700+ channels for free and without any restrictions. For easy access, the app classifies the media based on countries and categories. Example USA TV, UK TV, sports TV, movies, religious and more.  Every category has different channels which you can choose and watch freely.  Swift streamz provides quality video, and content is available in 1080p and 720p.

4. TV Catchup

The TV catchup app is also a free platform developed for UK channels. The app has 120 UK TV channels, which are free and have no restrictions.  You can select channels such as BBC, ITV, horror channels, Film4, and others. However, the apps allow ads, and most of the media also have ads.  The TV catchup is only available for UK users. To benefit from the app, you need to implement a quality VPN and break the geo-restrictions.

5. Kodi

Kodi is an open-source media player that is compatible with all devices.  However, for Kodi to work, one requires third-party software. These are called Kodi addons. They all have different features and channels. The user should choose the best addons before installing them on the Kodi device.  Kodi is legal software that is best for the Firestick and other platforms.  You can watch live TV using Kodi on your Firestick.

The Kodi app is legal, but most of the addons bias regulation and policies of some channels. This provides a risk to the user. Once you start streaming live with Kodi addons, you’re exposed to government and ISP, and third-party authorities. They can survey everything and information streaming on your device. To cater to the issue, search and improvise the best VPNs in the tech market. This will hide your identity and stop government surveillance. You can also go beyond the geo-restrictions of some channels.

In conclusion, it’s best to get legitimate streaming apps that won’t lead to legal problems. The above are some of the top best streaming apps to help watch live TV in Firestick.

How to Know Which Type of 3D Printer to Buy

For many years, metallic and plastic objects were often cut from larger stock pieces of material or molded. Throughout the 20thCentury, however, the idea that something could be constructed from zero by simply adding more material started to develop. This, in time, became known as 3D printing. Fast forward to the modern-day and suddenly 3D printers are available on the market for everyone. The problem then becomes, how do you know which type of 3D printer to buy? With such new technology, it can be really hard to know what you are looking for. In this article, we will discuss some of the most important things you need to know when choosing a 3D printer. 

Types of 3D Printing Technology

There are no less than 9 different technologies developed for 3D printing. Printing Atom’s review on the best printers has all types of 3D printing technology listed, however, we are just going to briefly explain the most common 3 types. These are:

FDM – Fused Deposition Modeling

Fused deposition modelling (FDM) is very commonly used in private homes for 3D printing with plastic. It is sometimes known as fused filament fabrication (FFF) due to the way the process works. This kind of 3D printer works by pushing a plastic filament layer-by-layer onto a build platform. This means it is very quick and cheap but can result in rough finishes and products that are not very strong.

SLA – Stereolithography

Stereolithography(SLA) is the original 3D printing process. It uses a laser beam controlled by a computer to draw layers of a designed part, usually creating the support structures first, before moving on to the part itself. The laser beam interacts with a liquid thermoset resin to create each layer of your design. Once one layer is complete, the platform shifts down a level and moves to apply the next layer of resin, repeating each layer until the full design is complete. It creates very detailed, strong, and smooth-surfaced finishes.

SLS – Selective Laser Sintering

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) printers work slightly differently. By melting together two nylon-based powders into a solid plastic as they print, they create durable finishes. They fall somewhere in between SLA and FDM printers as far as finish goes as they create rougher finishes. But, what they may lack in finish, they make up for in durability and strength. These are great for prototyping designs and testing parts.

What Do You Want To Print?

So, now that you’ve understood a little about the three main types of desktop 3D printer, it’s time to figure out which suits you. The first and most important question is; do you know what you want to print? As you can see, there are positives and negatives to each. FDM is much faster but produces rougher and less durable products, while SLS and SLA take longer but increase in durability and finish. So, if you plan on printing models or other non-functional parts, maybe FDM is the correct printing process for you. If you are planning on designing parts with more functional purposes, you’d have to consider a more robust 3D printing technology. If you are simply a hobbyist, we recommend you stick to FDM for starters. Knowing what you want to print will inform most of your decision regarding 3D printers.

Open or Closed Frame?

As you may have guessed, 3D printers come in both open and enclosed designs. There are pros and cons to both which can have a big influence on what type you go for. Firstly, let’s discuss enclosed/closed frame printers. One big decider for home printers may be style, and many argue that enclosed printers look much neater than their open counterparts. They can also be much quieter and also produce slightly neater products due to the enclosure keeping drafts or dust out of the printing nozzle. On the flip side, many people prefer an open printer for a few reasons. Firstly, as it is open, you will be able to clearly see the printer’s progress and keep tabs on how your design is coming along. It is also arguably easier to keep clean and work on the printer as it is in action, as well as easier to perform maintenance and upgrades.

Price

It is also worth considering the price. FDM printers can start at a much cheaper value than SLA and SLS, with SLS occupying the highest price point on the scale. FDM and SLA both start quite affordable, so are generally considered good starter printers. Again, it truly depends on what you’d like to print, and how often.

You should now be armed with all the knowledge you need to decide which 3D printer to buy. It’s an enjoyable experience designing in 3D and watching your products come to life. We hope you find a printer you love.

Where to Sell Video Games in 2021

As an avid video game player, you have probably amassed an extensive collection of games over the years. The good news for collectors is that their stash of old video games doesn’t have to stay stored at home and collect dust. Several fantastic opportunities can help you get rid of your games without throwing them away, and you can make some money out of it. If you’re a gamer and want to give away some of the games that you don’t play anymore, read on to know where you can sell them in 2021.

Trade-In Websites

A popular source where gamers can sell their old video games is a trade-in website. These are online platforms that accept old games, with thousands of different prices for people to choose from, make a shipment order, send it to the platform, and then get paid. In fact, The Old School Game Vault, one of the platforms, says that trade-in websites should have multiple payment methods to suit different clients’ needs, whether it’s money transfers, business checks, or eGift cards. Trade-in websites accommodate sellers that are close by and agree to meet up locally for sale. The platforms are reliable cash-for-video game businesses, and they have a section for buyers as well if they’re interested.  

E-Commerce Platforms

Another reliable source that gamers can use is e-commerce platforms, which are also websites, but it focuses on selling any product and not just video games. The trend of selling products online is popular, and gamers have numerous marketplaces to choose from. People can make accounts, list their items, wait for a buyer, and the platform takes care of the shipping and handling for you. It’s an easy, affordable, and flexible choice for people that want to sell their old games online.

Brick-And-Mortar Stores

The online methods aren’t for everyone, and some gamers prefer to physically go to stores and sell/trade their games instantly without the idle waiting time or possible shipment issues. People still love to shop in brick-and-mortar stores, and these establishments specialize in selling second-hand memorabilia, consoles, or video games. Even though technology and digital platforms are growing, traditional stores are still thriving, and they can be excellent sources for you to sell your unwanted games.

Social Media and Forums

Social media platforms and online forums can work for people that have time on their hands. If you’re willing to put in the effort, you can sell your games yourself by utilizing the marketplace feature in social media and forums. Write a good description, choose the price you want, and wait for someone to message you. This method is only good for local meet-ups or if people are willing to ship the games themselves.

When trying to sell your video games, the key is to find a reliable source that can buy your games and make it worth your while. People can even sell their stash themselves if they have the time for it, but they’ll need to put in the effort to get in touch with sellers and ship the games to them. Old video games you don’t need anymore can find new homes and be enjoyed by others, and they can help you make some extra cash along the way.

Are All PCs Good for 3D Modeling?

All tools that are used for 3D modeling are intensive, to say the least. Some examples of those tools are Maya, 3D Max, AutoCAD, and Revit. A good CPU is required when working with these programs. The reason is that these tools can make a significant workload on your RAM and CPU that needs to be brought to a minimum. It is also required for that very reason to have large storage and a high RAM. 

The best would be the computer that has a relatively large screen size and a higher resolution. Gaming laptops usually have great performance and graphics that will suit your 3D modeling needs. All that being said, the question arises, are all computers good for 3D modeling? If you were pondering over and seeking answers for such a puzzle, then this article is for you. 

PC Multiple-Core or CPU Highest Clock Speed?

3D modeling will require you to be in front of your computer and to sit patiently and manipulate the 3D software. The software you are interacting with uses the hardware that is running on differently. Meaning, the calculations processing of the PC is different than on the CPU core. 

To elaborate, the computer not being able to offload other cores, which leads to having a multiple-core PC will not improve the speed of processing. It would be wise not to focus on a PC or laptop that has multiple cores but to search the one with a CPU that possesses the highest clock speed. 

What is Needed for Faster Performance?

The CPU performance with the multiple cores does have the highest speed score, however, the heat limits and power consumption could affect the overall workload. The more cores the CPU has, the laptop or PC is more power-hungry as a result. 

More heat is produced, which could be affecting the efficiency as well. For that reason, it would be wise not to go overboard. Because the more cores the CPU has, the lower the clock speed is, while fewer of them make the process much faster. 

How to Choose a Machine for 3D Modeling?

There are two choices as far as building your workstation. The first would be to build your own PC. The second is to purchase a machine with all specs already built-in. No matter if you are looking for the best laptop for 3d modeling or the best PC, both options have their pros and cons. For instance, building your PC will let you customize the hardware while at the same time, the price might be a bit high. So if you have a budget, you could try out this option. In case you would like to save up some money, there are few things to focus on when looking for already built-in laptops or PCs. Look for appropriate RAM, CPU, and graphics card. 

Graphics Card

Graphic cards would process the visuals and the outputs of the monitor. While some CPUs do not have their graphics chip built-in, some do. The computer, which is good for 3D modeling, does not need an additional GPU attached to the monitor. In case your processor has graphics that are integrated, the output goes from the display adapter to the motherboard. 

If you are planning to do video rendering, graphic design on your computer or to conduct 3D rendering, machines with discrete GPU are the best. Have in mind that a discreet CPU is not integrated into the CPU and that it comes with its circuit board, which needs to be plugged into the motherboard of the PC express slot. 

Assembling a “Perfect” PC

In some cases, building up your own PC can be less expensive than buying an already pre-built system. Although rare, it is still possible. The advantage is that it will give you more freedom when it comes to the parts you want to get according to their performance and price. 

Assembling a PC can be quite an intimidating experience if you are doing it on your own, although there are many tutorials online that can help with such a task. Before deciding to build up your own PC, it would be wise to do the research first. Here are some of the components you might need in case you are considering to find everything on your own:

  • Computer case
  • Cooling
  • CPU 
  • Graphics card
  • Input devices like keyboard and mouse
  • Memory
  • Monitor
  • Motherboard
  • Operating system
  • OS
  • Power supply unit
  • PSU
  • RAM

Many PCs and laptops are at your disposal, and many of them can handle your 3D modeling experience. If you are searching for one, it would be wise to dwell on this information and according to it, make the best possible decision. After doing some educated research, you will surely be able to obtain the machine that will be able to sustain anything you throw at it. 

Buying Guide: What to Look for in a Laptop

Thanks to the continuous advancement in the world of digital technology, the market is now flowing with hundreds of laptop models, and the options are seemingly endless. Considering how many laptops there are, you’ll find it extremely difficult to make up your mind. Every laptop has its own unique features, so unless you know exactly what you’re going to use that laptop for, choosing the best one will pose a challenge. To overcome this, you can use the guide below to narrow down your options.

Choose an Operating System

One of the very first considerations to take into account as you purchase a new laptop is the operating system (OS). You may have already heard of the decade-old debate between macOS and Windows OS enthusiasts, but now you will find more competitors on the market, like Google Chrome’s OS for example. Windows is well known for its versatility and array of options, which is why many people gravitate toward it. So far, Windows has proven to be far more open-ended than any other operating system and is ideal for game development and business-related programs. MacOS is comparatively user-friendly and easy to grasp. Additionally, Apple provides a resourceful support network, which will help you with any minor technicalities. Google Chrome OS, which only powers Chromebooks, can only run google chrome-based programs, which makes it a great option for those who need a laptop only to read their emails and watch Netflix, for example.

Pay Attention to the Hardware

It’s crucial that you research the hardware of the laptop you’re about to buy, as this will determine what it is capable of doing. You should also take the brand into account, as this can determine the quality of the hardware. If you take a look at these top laptop brands, you’ll know how the brand can drastically affect the performance of the laptop, irrespective of its specs.

With that said, you must look for an adequate processor, something between Core i3 and i7 would be ideal if you’re getting an Intel core processor. Ryzen processors are also great, but they can be hard to find. Graphics cards will also vary in performance. Seeing as they can make a laptop quite expensive, look for one with a graphics card that will suffice your needs. NVIDIA and AMD are the main two vendors for Graphics cards, with RTX 20-series being the latest and the 30-series coming soon. The GTX 10-series is also capable of running demanding programs. The buying guides on laptop circle are a great resource.

Know What You’ll Use It for

Laptop prices can be as low as $600 to more than $1000. Assuming that you have a budget and certain usage in mind for your new laptop, you can make your choice fairly easily. Manufacturers produce great laptops that cost $600 or even less for those who’re looking for laptops only for word processing and internet browsing. Mainstream laptops can have higher specs and will have better hardware than their formers. However, if you want a high resolution and super-powered graphics card, you can try laptops that will cost $1000 or higher. Ultrabooks and business laptops are a great example of this, as they both have intriguing features even for the average user. You can buy a gaming laptop that practically packs in the best specs there are, like a high-performing graphics card, an excellent processor, and enough RAM to run taxing programs.

Look for Long Battery Life

If your laptop will remain stationary, you won’t have to worry about battery life. However, if you need a portable laptop, the battery life should be a concern to you, as you won’t always find an outlet outside to charge your laptop. Thus, an ideal battery life, in this case, must extend to 7 or 8 hours. To know how long battery life can extend to, make sure to check out online reviews.

Pick the Right Size

No matter what specs you’re looking for, your laptop can come at a large size, which will defy the purpose of portability. While it is generally great for laptops to be small and compact, the display size must be at least of a moderate size if you’ll use design programs. Generally speaking, laptops display sizes will range between 11 and up to 18 inches. The 11 to 12 inches accompany the lightest systems, which will make them highly portable. Display sizes of 13 to 16 inches are quite common and still are moderately portable. 17 to 18 inches are designed for laptops that stay on desks all day. These laptops are created for demanding games and workstation-level productivity.

Choosing a laptop for your specific needs requires serious research and consideration. This means that you’ll have to check several online reviews, compare different models, and even try the laptop of your choice at the store. Lastly, be sure to buy your laptop during a sale season to get the best price. 

Making Your Ideas Come to Life: An Intro to 3D Printing

3D printing is an excellent technology that can be used by both hobbyists and industrial-scale companies. But it all starts with an idea, of course. You’re likely aware that 3D printing is very commonly used for creating action figurines, board game pieces, and miniature house models, but did you know it’s also used in the aerospace, automotive, and robotics industries?

You’re probably not trying to 3D print parts for a DIY rocket ship, and you should probably be aware there’s a ton of FAA licensing required to even attempt launching a rocket, but we all need to start somewhere. So whatever your idea is, whether it’s printing your own Batman figurines or more practical and cool 3D prints, we’re going to go over some of the basics of 3D printing and where to start.

How and why beginners should outsource 3D printing work

Before you fully commit to the world of 3D printing, it’s a good idea to outsource your early ideas first. This will give you a better idea of what 3D printers are capable of, and what they aren’t, as well as save you a significant chunk of money on the upfront investment of purchasing a 3D printer and the necessary materials.

This is because beginners will typically fall into two camps. The first camp will buy a budget 3D printer that is not capable of professional quality, and have bad results with their initial ideas. The second camp may spend too much on a high quality, 3D printer, then decide it’s not for them after all, and have wasted a lot of money.

By outsourcing your early 3D printing work, you’ll save a lot of money and can request work done on different types of AM systems, and then ask questions to the company about their process and get help deciding on which 3D printing technology is best for you.

Using a professional service such as 3D Hubs, which offers 3D printing in Nashville and Austin, you just need to upload a CAD model, get a free quote, and then you can receive your parts in as little as 2 days.

This also gives you the opportunity to speak with professionals on the different processes and materials used in 3D printing, depending on the job being done, which can help you ultimately decide what type of AM system you’ll buy down the road.

What are the different types of 3D printing processes?

There are many different types of 3D printing processes, but some are more commonly used than others depending on the type of job being done.

Hobbyist 3D printing such as model figurines and game board pieces would typically use SLS or DLP because of the high level of detail available, whereas large industrial parts would more commonly use FDM process.

Is this making your head hurt? Let’s briefly examine what each of the common 3D printing processes means.

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)

SLS is used for both prototyping and small-batch production of functional plastic parts with good mechanical properties.

In SLS, a laser selectively sinters polymer powder particles, fusing them together and building a part layer-by-layer.

MultiJet Fusion (MJF)

HP’s Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) can be used for both prototyping and small-batch-production of functional plastic parts.

In MJF, parts are built by jetting a binding agent onto thin layers of polymer powder particles (typically nylon) and then sintering them using an IR heat source.

Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS)

DMLS produces high performance, end-use metal 3D printed parts for industrial applications in the aerospace, automotive and medical industries.

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)

FDM is the most widely available 3D printing process, mainly used for low-cost prototyping and design verification with very fast turnaround times.

Stereolithography (SLA)

SLA is most suitable for visual applications where an injection mold-like, smooth surface finish, and a high level of feature detail are required.

Similar to SLS process, SLA uses a laser to trace out and build individual layers, but SLA uses a liquid resin instead of the powder used in SLS.

Conclusion

There’s truly a lot to understand about 3D printing, and that’s why we mainly recommend outsourcing your initial ideas first, and talking with the company about their recommended process for what you have in mind.