Android Tablet Comparison

The best Android tablet at any given time is often made by Samsung, as not many other companies are making premium Android slates. As such, this list has a few different Samsung tablets in it, with the iPad Pro 2020-rivaling Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus sitting at the top.

There are some options if you’re not into Samsung’s slates though. Amazon also makes excellent Android tablets, albeit usually ones that sit at the cheaper end of the market. These include the likes of the Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus.

And every now and again another company will produce an excellent Android tablet too, such as Huawei with the MatePad Pro. So one way or another there are quite a few to choose from.

We’ve laid out all the best Android tablet options below, in order of preference, along with a specs list and overview of each, so you can quickly work out which is right for you.

  1. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus
  2. Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite
  3. Samsung Galaxy Tab S6
  4. Huawei MatePad Pro
  5. Samsung Galaxy Tab S4
  6. Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus
  7. Amazon Fire HD 10 (2019)
  8. Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020)

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus is the best tablet Samsung has ever made, and a serious rival to the iPad Pro range.

Weght: 575g

Dimensions: 285 x 185 x 5.7 mm

OS: Android 10

Screen size: OLED 12.4-inch

Resolution: 1752 x 2800 pixels

CPU: Snapdragon 865 Plus

Storage: 128GB/256GB

microSD slot: Yes

Battery: 10,090mAh

Rear camera: 13MP + 5MP

Front camera: 8MP

In fact, its screen arguably has those slates beat, as it’s a 12.4-inch Super AMOLED one with a 2800 x 1752 resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. The iPad Pro range can match much of that, but those slates have LCD screens, which aren’t quite as good.

You also of course get a whole lot of power from the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus’s Snapdragon 865 Plus chipset, and a premium metal build that’s incredibly slim at 5.7mm thick.

There’s also a 5G model for speedy mobile data, and Samsung’s S Pen stylus comes bundled with the slate. Chuck in a keyboard (sold separately) and this is a serious productivity machine. But even without that this is a top-end slate and great for media.

Price $1,599

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

Happy to sacrifice a few of the features of the Galaxy Tab S6 in trade for a cheaper tablet? If yes, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is the product you want to consider.

Weight: 476g

Dimensions: 244.5 x 159.5 x 5.7 mm

OS: Android 10

Screen size: 10.4-inch

Resolution: 1200 x 2000 pixels

CPU: Exynos 9610

Storage: 64GB/128GB

microSD slot: Yes

Battery: 7,040mAh

Rear camera: 8MP

Front camera: 5MP

The chipset isn’t as powerful as its sibling, the cameras aren’t as impressive, and the screen isn’t as beautiful… but it’s around half the price, and all of its specs are still quite impressive for a slate at this price.

It’s a remarkably good product considering how much you’re spending on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite. It isn’t particularly smaller than the Galaxy Tab S6 – and ironically, it’s actually heavier too – but if you don’t want to spend top-dollar you may love this.

Price $529

3. Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

While it’s not the newest model, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is still a great Android tablet, with a plethora of brilliant features.

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight: 420g

Dimensions: 244.5 x 154.3 x 7 mm

OS: Android 9 (upgrade to Android 10)

Screen size: 10.5-inch

Resolution: 1600 x 2560 pixels

CPU: Snapdragon 855

Storage: 128GB/256GB

microSD slot: Yes

Battery: 7,040mAh

Rear camera: 13MP + 5MP

Front camera: 8MP

It comes with an S Pen stylus in the box that you can use to take notes, draw and much more on the tablet’s display. You can also buy a smart keyboard to make it an experience that is close to a laptop.

The 10.5-inch AMOLED display on the Galaxy Tab S6 is one of the highlights with an impressive resolution of 1600 x 2560. This tablet also comes with two cameras on the rear too, so you can get better photography than on many other slates.

It’s not the perfect device – there isn’t a 3.5mm headphone jack and the user interface has its own quirks – but it’s still a top Android slate.

Price $720

4. Huawei MatePad Pro

The Huawei MatePad Pro is Huawei’s attempt at taking on the iPad Pro range, and in a lot of ways it’s a very strong rival, from its high-quality 10.8-inch screen, to its top-end power and its long-lasting battery.

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight: 460g

Dimensions: 246 x 159 x 7.2mm

OS: Android 10

Screen size: 10.8-inch

Resolution: 1600 x 2560

CPU: Kirin 990

RAM: 6GB/8GB

Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB

Battery: 7,250mAh

Rear camera: 13MP

Front camera: 8MP

The Huawei MatePad Pro is Huawei’s attempt at taking on the iPad Pro range, and in a lot of ways it’s a very strong rival, from its high-quality 10.8-inch screen, to its top-end power and its long-lasting battery.

The Huawei MatePad Pro also has a stylish, slim, and lightweight design, plus an optional stylus and keyboard, so it’s premium and built for productivity. However, in our tests we found that those accessories were simply okay, and the big problem faced by the MatePad Pro is its lack of Google services – meaning no access to the Google Play app store, and no Google apps, such as Maps.

That’s going to be a major issue for a lot of people, but if you can live without that then this comes closer than most Android slates to matching the iPad Pro experience.

Price $799

5. Samsung Galaxy Tab S4

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 was once our best Android tablet, but now it has been bumped down by the Galaxy Tab S6, among other things. It’s not exactly cheap – although its price has dropped significantly in recent months – but it comes packing a whole host of features to ensure you’re getting plenty of bang for your buck.

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight: 482g

Dimensions: 249.3 x 164.3 x 7.1mm

OS: Android 9

Screen size: 10.5-inch

Resolution: 1600 x 2560

CPU: Snapdragon 835

RAM: 6GB

Storage: 64/256GB

Battery: 7,300mAh

Rear camera: 13MP

Front camera: 8MP

Unlike Apple’s iPad Pro range, the Galaxy Tab S4 comes with Samsung’s S Pen stylus included in the box, while under the hood you get the powerful Snapdragon 835 chipset alongside 6GB of RAM ensuring Android runs super-smoothly on screen.

That’s only half the story though. Pair the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 with a keyboard and mouse and it’ll transfer from Android into a desktop-like experience as it attempts to replace your laptop as well as your tablet.

The desktop aspect of the tablet is limited, but still useful. In short, the Galaxy Tab S4 is one of the most versatile Android tablets around.

Price $1,245

6. Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus

The Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus (2020) is the best of Amazon’s 8-inch slates. It’s no premium tablet – far from it in fact, so you’re not getting top-end performance, but with 3GB of RAM you do get a boost on the standard Fire HD 8 (2020).

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight: 355g

Dimensions: 202 x 137 x 9.7mm

OS: Fire OS

Screen size: 8-inch

Resolution: 880 x 1280

CPU: quad-core

Storage: 32GB/64GB

Battery: up to 12 hours

Rear camera: 2MP

Front camera: 2MP

Arguably the real highlight of this Plus model though is its support for wireless charging and the optional dock you can therefore get that turns it into a smart display like the Echo Show.

Beyond that it’s a fairly basic tablet, but with all the basics covered, a respectable amount of storage, and the same compact build as the non-Plus model.

Price $199

7. Amazon Fire HD 10 (2019)

The Amazon Fire HD 10 (2019) is essentially built for Amazon Prime members, since its big 10.1-inch 1200 x 1920 screen is a great way to consume the films, TV shows and even ebooks it gives you access to.

And the Amazon-centric interface used – which won’t appeal to everyone – ensure you’re never far from Amazon Prime content.

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight: 504g

Dimensions: 262 x 159 x 9.8mm

OS: Fire OS

Screen size: 10.1-inch

Resolution: 1920 x 1200

CPU: octa-core

Storage: 32GB/64GB

Battery: up to 12 hours

Rear camera: 2MP

Front camera: 2MP

That’s not to say you shouldn’t buy the Amazon Fire HD 10 (2019) if you’re not an Amazon Prime member. This is a durable, affordable slate with reasonable specs for the money, so it’s also a strong choice for anyone on a tight budget. But some of the options above in this list will likely be a better fit if money is no object.

Price $230

8. Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020)

The Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020) is – along with the Fire HD 8 Plus – the latest version of Amazon’s 8-inch tablet, and by opting for this rather than the Plus model you get slightly less RAM and no wireless charging, but an otherwise near identical slate at a lower price.

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight: 355g

Dimensions: 202 x 137 x 9.7mm

OS: Fire OS

Screen size: 8-inch

Resolution: 880 x 1280

CPU: quad-core

Storage: 32GB/64GB

Battery: up to 12 hours

Rear camera: 2MP

Front camera: 2MP

It’s an upgrade on its predecessor thanks to 30% more power, improved battery life, double the storage, and the presence of a USB-C (rather than micro USB) port, but that aside this is familiar territory if you’ve used an Amazon slate before.

You’re locked in to Amazon’s ecosystem, which isn’t quite as rich as full-fat Android, but if you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber then much of your content will be front and center, and you’re paying a lot less than you would for most comparable Android tablets.

Price $179

There are tablets available on places such as Ebay starting at around $60.00. These are usually unbranded but will work OK. The quality will be less than the known brands but they will let you surf the internet and check email. They also won’t have the latest version of the Android operating system, but if that doesn’t bother you they will do the basic job.

iPad Comparisons

Article courtesy of PC Mag Australia.

In 2020, Apple has four different iPad lines with five different screen sizes, ranging in price from $329 to $799 (baseline models; the 12.9-inch iPad Pro with cellular connectivity and 1TB of storage will set you back $1,649). Of these, Apple has recently updated the iPad and iPad Air in the fall of 2020, and refreshed the iPad Pro back in March. With all of these models, it can get pretty complicated if you’re shopping for a new tablet.

To help you figure out what you’re getting with each iPad, let’s look at all the differences between the various models, including what’s changed with the latest versions. But let’s start with the similarities, and what you can expect from any Apple tablet you buy today.

Across the Board: Software, Wireless Connectivity, Apple Pencil, and Magic Trackpad

For years, the iPad ran the same operating system as the iPhone: iOS. It was Apple’s standard mobile operating system for over a decade, running through 12 separate iterations. That changed with the release of iPadOS, formally splitting the iPad’s operating system off from the now-iPhone-only iOS. The tablet-specific operating system focuses on streamlining and expanding multitasking to improve the usefulness of iPads as workplace devices, with pinnable widgets and cross-app workflow features like split screen and rapidly sliding between screens.

Wireless connectivity is also almost universally strong across the iPad models. Every version has at least Bluetooth 4.2, dual-band 2.4/5GHz Wi-Fi with MIMO, and optional LTE cellular connectivity. As for future-proofing, none of the iPads support 5G yet; Apple hasn’t even announced its first 5G iPhone, so we’ll be waiting a while for a 5G iPad.

Every iPad also supports the Apple Pencil. This doesn’t mean every Apple Pencil is the same; the $99 first-generation Apple Pencil works with the iPad and iPad mini, while the $129 second-generation Apple Pencil works with the iPad Air and iPad Pro.

All iPads can work with Bluetooth keyboards, but the iPad, iPad Air, and iPad Pro all also feature Smart Connectors that make them compatible with Apple’s Smart Keyboard, and the iPad Air and iPad Pro also work with Apple’s higher-end Magic Keyboard and Smart Keyboard Folio. The most recent iPadOS update also adds support for the Apple Magic Trackpad 2, letting any iPad work with Apple’s touchpad accessory.

 

 

Apple iPad: Budget Baseline

For a time, the iPad and iPad Air were synonymous as Apple’s midrange tablet. The iPad Air simply replaced the iPad in 2015, and the iPad replaced the iPad Air 2 in 2017. Now Apple is offering current models of both the iPad and the iPad Air, and they’re very different from each other. Instead of sitting nestled between the iPad mini and iPad Pro in price and features, the standard iPad is Apple’s budget tablet, by far the least expensive at $329. It was the least powerful, but as of the most recent version it’s now as impressive as the pricier iPad mini.

The 2020 iPad is a marked upgrade over the 2019 version, mostly because of the processor. Apple replaced the aging A10 CPU with the A12, the same processor found in the iPad mini and the iPhone XR. It’s a good step up in performance, but otherwise the new iPad is untouched from the 2019 version.

Storage is limited, with only 32GB and 128GB models available, while the other iPad models start at 64GB and go up to 256GB for the iPad mini and Air, and up to 1TB for the iPad Pro. Since none of the iPads have microSD card slots for expanding storage, 32GB of space is pretty limited.

The screen is also the least advanced of the current models. It’s a Retina LCD just like the iPad Air and iPad mini, with a 2,160-by-1,620-pixel resolution for 264 pixels per inch. That’s actually a higher resolution than the iPad mini, but the mini’s smaller screen size makes for higher pixel density. It also lacks the lamination and anti-reflective coating of the more expensive models, and doesn’t feature Wide Color up to the DCI-P3 colour space or Apple’s True Tone setting.

The other lagging factor of the standard iPad is the selfie camera. While it shares the same 8MP rear-facing camera as the other non-Pro iPads, its front-facing camera is a meager 1.2MP. That’s a fraction of the resolution of the 7MP selfie cameras on the iPad mini and iPad Air, and iy means your FaceTime calls will look a lot less pleasant to whomever you’re talking with.

The big appeal of the regular iPad is the value it offers for the price. At $329, you’re getting a big, bright screen and lots of functionality that outshines any budget Amazon Fire or Lenovo Android tablet in build quality and polish, and still costs far less than Samsung’s Galaxy Tabs. If you want a versatile entertainment device for watching videos, reading books and comics, browsing the web, communicating with your friends, and even doing light text-crunching and presentations, it’s an excellent choice.

 

 

Apple iPad mini: Small but Fierce

This is obviously the smallest iPad. It has a 7.9-inch screen, weighs 0.66 pounds, and measures less than a quarter of an inch thick. It’s small enough to fit easily in a bag or even a large jacket pocket, and that has its own appeal if the larger, pound-plus iPads are too bulky for you. It’s the only iPad that doesn’t support Apple’s Smart Keyboard, however.

The iPad mini doesn’t make many compromises for its size. Its Retina display features the lowest resolution of the bunch, at 2,048 by 1,536, but the smaller screen means a much denser 326 pixels per inch. If you’re looking at crispness instead of the sheer number of pixels, it’s sharper than even the iPad Pro. It doesn’t have the ProMotion technology of the Liquid Retina display on the Pro, but it features the same P3 Wide Color and TrueTone modes, and fully laminated panel with anti-reflective coating.

It’s also a relative powerhouse for its size, with the same A12 Bionic processor found in the iPad and the iPhone XR. It was the least expensive A12-powered iPad you could buy, but as of the recent iPad launch, it comes in second place; you’re spending more for a very similar but more compact package, with a better screen.

Apple iPad Air: More Than iPad, Not Quite Pro

The iPad Air takes up a compelling position between the more budget-friendly iPad and iPad mini, and the more powerful iPad Pro. The newest iPad Air is drastically redesigned, making it physically much more similar to the iPad Pro, providing that premium feel and aesthetic for a much lower price (but still much higher than the iPad and iPad mini).

The new iPad Air does away with the curved edges of the previous model in favor of flatter edges to match the iPad Pro. The screen also takes up nearly the entire front of the tablet, moving the fingerprint sensor to the top edge. The Liquid Retina Display measures 10.9 inches with a 2,360-by-1,640 resolution, for the same 264ppi as both the iPad and iPad Pro. It doesn’t have the ProMotion technology the iPad Pro has for smooth scrolling, but it features the same fully laminated design, anti-reflective coating, and P3 Wide Color support with Apple’s TrueTone mode.

It features Apple’s newest A14 Bionic processor, which Apple says features a 40-percent faster 6-core CPU, a 30-percent faster 4-core GPU, and a 70-percent faster machine learning Neural Engine compared with the A12 on the previous iPad Air. That means you can edit 4K video on the tablet itself, an impressive feat for a non-iPad Pro. Of course, we’ll have to get the new iPad Air in ourselves and put it through its paces to really determine just how much faster the A14 processor is in real-life situations.

The redesigned body and faster processor mean the new iPad Air is a bit more expensive than before. While the previous iPad Air started at $499, the 2020 iPad Air starts at $599, which puts its price directly between the iPad mini ($399) and the iPad Pro ($799).

Apple iPad Pro: Professional Powerhouse

The Pro in the name makes it clear: The 11-inch and 12-inch iPad Pros are professional tablets, designed to offer the processing power and screen quality that artists, musicians, designers, and editors demand for their work. That distinction is important because it needs to justify the much higher $799 and $999 baseline price tags the Pro models command over the other versions.

Besides their sizes, the 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models are effectively identical. They both use Apple’s A12Z Bionic chip, more powerful than the A12 of the iPad Air and iPad mini, and even the A12X in the previous iPad Pros. These are simply some of the most powerful tablets available. And with storage capacities of up to 1TB, you can even get as much space as a professional notebook.

The Liquid Retina displays on both iPad Pro models have the same 264 pixels per inch as the iPad and iPad Air, to complement their higher-resolution screens. The 11-inch screen is 2,388 by 1,688, while the 12.9-inch screen is 2,732 by 2,048. The displays are also fully laminated with anti-reflective coating and support P3 Wide Color and Apple TrueTone, as well as Apple’s ProMotion for up to a 120Hz refresh rate.

The cameras on the iPad Pro models are also significant upgrades over the other iPads. The updated iPad Pro now packs two rear-facing cameras, a 12MP wide-angle lens, and a 10MP ultra-wide lens that can capture double the field of view. Apple also added a new LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) scanner to the camera cluster, letting the iPad measure distance and time-of-flight at up to five meters away. The cameras can also record 4K video at up to 60 frames per second, while the other iPads can only capture 1080p. The front-facing TrueDepth camera is the same 7MP resolution as the cameras on the iPad Air and iPad mini, but adds an augmented reality-friendly depth sensor that supports Apple’s Animoji and Memoji features and improved portrait modes.

Users looking to accessorize get many more options with the new iPad Pro. Besides the Apple Pencil and Magic Trackpad support, Apple introduced a new Smart Keyboard Folio with a magnetically attaching Magic Keyboard. The new keyboard offers full-size, backlit keys and scissor switches, and USB-C pass-through charging so you can chain together other peripherals through it.

 

Which iPad Should You Get?

Ultimately, the best iPad depends on your needs. You shouldn’t drop over $1,000 if you just want a tablet to watch Netflix and read comics, but you also shouldn’t expect professional power and features in a $329 entry-level model. Thankfully, the iPad mini and iPad Air mean that Apple’s tablet selection is no longer a question of just those extremes.

We’ve really liked the $329 iPad for its functionality and value, and its processor upgrade makes it even more appealing. The iPad mini now seems a bit overpriced, considering it has mostly the same specs as the iPad for $70 more. If you just want an Apple tablet for entertainment and personal use, the iPad is still an excellent value, while the iPad Pro could be a worthwhile investment for professional users. The iPad Air looks appealing, with its new design and faster processor, but we’ll have to get it into the lab to reach a full verdict and determine where it sits in the iPad hierarchy, so check back soon for our results.

Apps Explained

Apps are a significant part of the technology-driven world we live in and can enhance a person’s life, enjoyment and productivity. Apps are also regularly used by companies both large and small to streamline production and increase ease of work.

What is an app?

An app, which is short for application, is a type of software that can be installed and run on a computer, tablet, smartphone or other electronic devices. An app most frequently refers to a mobile application or a piece of software that is installed and used on a computer. Most apps have a specific and narrow function. For example, a food delivery app might only be designed for users to get food from local restaurants delivered and can’t be used for anything else, such as grocery shopping or making restaurant reservations. There are currently millions of apps available in various categories like business, productivity, shopping and scheduling.

 

Apps can be especially important to business owners and businesses for a number of reasons, including that they:

  • Can help business owners quickly deploy software that helps the company run more efficiently
  • Are more cost-effective than other forms of software
  • Can extend the reach of a business
  • Can increase the productivity of a company
  • Enable employees to perform business functions outside of the office
  • Provide a number of services for businesses, including accounting, inventory management and CRM software

Types of apps

There are a few different types of apps available for download by businesses and individuals alike. The following are the most commonly recognized apps in use today:

Web-based app

A web-based app is an application that requires internet access for complete use. These types of apps are coded in JavaScript, HTML5 or CSS. A web-based app typically requires a much smaller amount of memory space in a user’s device because the databases are stored on the Internet server. Examples of web-based apps include Netflix, Google Docs and Dropbox.

Native app

Apps that are created for a certain mobile platform are known as native applications. For example, an app that is made for an Apple iPhone will only be usable on Apple devices and would not work on other types of mobile phones, such as Android. These types of apps are primarily used to provide the highest performance on a particular mobile operating system. An example of a native app is the calculator application on the iPhone.

Hybrid app

A hybrid app is an app that is made to support both native and web-based technologies and is a combination of both web-based and native applications. These apps are easier and quicker to create and only use a single code base that can be integrated across various platforms. However, it’s important to note that hybrid apps often have a lower performance rate than native or web-based apps.

How to get apps

There are several different ways to get an app depending on where you wish to download it. For smartphones, users can download apps directly from the app store that corresponds with the type of mobile device they have. For example, if you have an Apple iPhone, you can download apps directly from the App Store that is located in the phone. For Android devices, users can download mobile apps from the Google Play Store and Amazon’s Amazon Appstore.

The following are additional locations that mobile apps may be purchased and downloaded:

  • Microsoft Store
  • BlackBerry World
  • Windows Phone Store
  • Opera Mobile Store
  • Samsung Apps
  • To download apps onto a computer desktop, users can access applications in both official and unofficial capacities. For example, a desktop user could download apps from an unofficial source like FileHippo.com or Softpedia. Desktop apps are typically more widely available through unofficial sources. However, there are a few official app sources that are specific to the type of desktop a person has. For example, individuals who own an Apple Mac computer can download desktop apps from the Mac App store.
  • Additionally, web applications can also be used on both mobile devices and desktops. These types of apps typically don’t need to be downloaded. However, some search engines have their own application stores, such as apps that only run on Google Chrome.

Some Apps can be hosted on a server and downloaded via a QR Code. You will have to allow the app to install through permissions. on your device.

 

What’s the difference between a program and an app?

  • computer program is a set of instructions that can be executed on a computer.
  • An application is software that directly helps a user perform tasks.
  • The two intersect, but are not synonymous. A program with a user-interface is an application, but many programs are not applications.

 

How much does an app cost?

(Feb 2020) A quality mobile app built in Australia will cost between $50,000-$250,000+. A start-up looking to develop an app with a basic feature set for an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is likely to cost between $50,000-$100,000.

Easy Mobile Apps have made App creation more affordable and can produce a basic app for around $1,200 AUD

www.easymobileapps.com.au

CPU’S Explained

If you’re just learning about the world of computers and electronics, the terminology used to refer to different parts can be confusing. One component term you may have encountered is “CPU,” which is an acronym for central processing unit. In short, CPUs reside in almost all devices you own, whether it’s a smartwatch, a computer, or a thermostat. They are responsible for processing and executing instructions — the brains of your devices.

What makes a CPU a CPU?

The CPU is the core component of what defines a computing device, but it isn’t the sole component — again, it’s just the brains. It’s a chip that sits in a special seat (socket) located on the main circuit board (motherboard or mainboard) inside the device. It’s distinctly separate from the memory, which is where it temporarily stores information. It’s also separate from the graphics card or graphics chip, which renders all video and 3D graphics displayed on your screen.

CPUs are built by placing billions of microscopic transistors onto a single computer chip. Those transistors allow it to make the calculations it needs to run programs that are stored on your system’s memory. They’re effectively minute gates that switch on or off, thereby conveying the ones or zeros that translate into everything you do with the device, be it watching videos, or writing an email.

One of the most common advancements of CPU technology is in making those transistors smaller and smaller. That’s resulted in the improvement to CPU speed over the decades, often referred to as Moore’s Law.

In the context of modern devices, a desktop or laptop has a dedicated CPU that performs many processing functions for the system. Mobile devices and some tablets instead utilize a System on Chip (SoC) which is a chip that contains its CPU alongside other components. Intel and AMD both offer CPUs with graphics chips and memory stored on them too, meaning they can do more than just standard CPU functions.

What does a CPU actually do?

At its core, a CPU takes instructions from a program or application and performs a calculation. This process breaks down into three key stages: Fetch, decode, and execute. A CPU fetches the instruction from RAM, decodes what the instruction actually is, and then executes the instruction using relevant parts of the CPU. The executed instruction, or calculation, can involve basic arithmetic, comparing certain numbers together, or moving them around in memory. Since everything in a computing device is represented by numbers, those simple tasks equate to what a CPU does. It’s what facilitates everything from starting up Windows, to watching a YouTube video.

In modern systems, the CPU doesn’t do everything, but it still must feed to specialized hardware the numbers they need to function. It needs to tell the graphics card to show an explosion because you clicked on a fuel barrel (whoops), or tell the hard drive to transfer an Office document to the system’s RAM for quicker access.

Cores, clocks, and costs

Originally, CPUs had a single processing core. Today’s modern CPU consists of multiple cores that allow it to perform multiple instructions at once, effectively cramming several CPUs on a single chip. Almost all CPUs sold today are at least dual-core. Four cores are currently considered “mainstream,” while there are more expensive chips ranging from six to a massive 32 cores.

Some processors also employ a technology called multithreading. Imagine a single physical CPU core that can perform two lines of execution (threads) at once, thereby appearing as two “logical” cores on the operating system end.  These virtual cores aren’t as powerful as physical cores, but they do share the same resources. Overall, they can help improve the CPU’s multitasking performance when running compatible software.

Clock speed is another number that’s highly advertised with CPUs — the “gigahertz” (GHz) figure quoted on product listings. It effectively denotes how many instructions a CPU can handle per second, but that’s not the whole picture regarding performance. Clock speed mostly comes into play when comparing CPUs from the same product family or generation. When all else is the same, a faster clock speed means a faster processor, but a 3GHz processor from 2010 isn’t going to be as fast as a 2GHz processor from 2018.

So, how much should you pay for a CPU? For a general outline unless you’re a hardcore gamer or someone looking to edit photos or videos, you don’t need to spend more than around $350. Stick to a recent generation of CPU.

For Intel CPUs that means eighth, ninth, or 10th-generation chips. You can determine their generation by the product name. For instance, the Core i7-6820HK is an older sixth-generation chip while the Core i5-10210U is a newer tenth-generation chip.

AMD does something similar with its Ryzen CPUs: The Ryzen 5 2500X is a second-generation chip based on its new “Zen” core design while the Ryzen 9 3950X is a third-generation CPU. We made the indicating numbers bold so you can see for future reference.

How important is the CPU?

Although the CPU isn’t as important for overall system performance as it once was, it still plays a major role in running a device. Since it is solely responsible for executing commands within programs, the faster your CPU, the faster many applications run.

That said, a fast CPU isn’t everything. A processor, no matter how powerful, can’t easily render the latest 3D games, nor can it store information. That’s where other components, like graphics cards and memory, come into play.

In short, the CPU isn’t everything, but it’s highly important. In general, a faster CPU will mean that your system or device will run faster. At the very least it won’t be a bottleneck in its own right. Multiple cores and threads can help you do more things at once.

Types of CPU’s

1. Single-core CPU

It is the oldest type of CPU which is available and employed in most of the personal and official computers. The single-core CPU can execute only one command at a time and its not efficient in multi-tasking. It signifies that there is a markable declination in performance if more than a single application is executed. If one operation is started, the second process should wait until the first one is finished. But if it is fed with multiple operations, the performance of the computer is drastically reduced. The performance of a single-core CPU is based on its clock speed by measuring its power.

2. Dual-core CPU

It is a single CPU that comprises of two strong cores and functions like dual CPU acting like one. Unlike the CPU with a single core, the processor must switch back and forth within a variable array of data streams and if or more thread is executed, the dual-core CPU manages the multitasking effectively. To utilize the dual-core CPU effectively, the running programs and operating system should have a unique code called simultaneous multi-threading technology embedded in it. Dual-core CPU is rapid than a single core but it is not robust as quad-core CPU

3. Quad-core CPU

The quad-core CPU is a refined model of multiple core CPU features and design with four cores on a single CPU. Similar to dual-core CPU, that divides the workload in between the cores, and quad-core enables for effective multitasking. It doesn’t signify any single operation which is four times faster rapid than others. Unless the applications and program executed on it by SMT code will fasten the speed and becomes unnoticeable. Such types of CPU are used in people who need to execute multiple different programs at the same time as gamers, series of supreme commander that is optimized in multiple core CPU.

4. Hexa Core processors

It is another multiple core processor which is available with six cores and can execute the task which works rapidly than the quad-core and dual-core processors. For users of the personal computer, the processors of Hexacore is simple and now the Intel is launched with Inter core i7 in 2010 with Hexa core processor. But here the users of smartphones use only quad-core and dual-core processors. Nowadays, smartphones are available with hexacore processors.

5. Octa-core processors

The dual-core is built with two cores, four cores are built-in quad-core, Hexa comes with six cores where the octa processors are developed with eight independent cores to execute an effective task that is efficient and even acts rapidly than quad-core processors. Trending octa-core processors comprises of a dual set of quad-core processors that divides different activities between the various types. Many times, the minimum powered core sets are employed to produce advanced tasks. If there is any emergency or requirement, the rapid four sets of cores will be kicked in. In precise, the octa-core is perfectly defined with dual-code core and adjust it accordingly to give the effective performance.

6. Deca-core processor

The processor with double core comprises two cores, 4 cores are available with quad cores, six cores are available in hexacore processors. Deca-core is available with ten independent systems that are deployed to execute and manage the task that is successful than other processors that are developed until now. Owning a PC, or any device made with a deca-core processor is the best option. It is faster than other processors and very successful in multi-tasking. Deca-core processors are trending with its advanced features. Most of the smartphones are now available with Deca core processors with low-cost and never become outdated. Surely, most gadgets in the market are updated with new processors to give more useful purposes to people.

Who makes CPU’s?

There are two major manufacturers of computer processors, Intel® and AMD®. For both manufacturers, there are six general lines of processors. In all cases, a computer’s CPU must be compatible with the motherboard, memory, power supply, and any graphics cards.

Qualcomm, Exynos and ARM Cortex  makes CPU’s for Android phones & tablets.

Apple Cyclone CPU’s are used in most iPads & iPhones

 

Mobile Apps

What is a mobile app?

A mobile application, most commonly referred to as an app, is a type of application software designed to run on a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet computer. Mobile applications frequently serve to provide users with similar services to those accessed on PCs. Apps are generally small, individual software units with limited function. This use of app software was originally popularized by Apple Inc. and its App Store, which offers thousands of applications for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. A mobile application also may be known as an app, web app, online app, iPhone app or smartphone app.

If you think that mobile apps are solely for big name brands like McDonalds  and Westpac, you are wrong. More and more small and midsize businesses are following the mobile trend, understanding that an effective mobile strategy involves more than just a mobile-friendly website. In fact, these days you’ll notice that many small businesses you interact with in your everyday life have their own dedicated mobile app — be it the corner coffee shop or the beauty spa downtown. These companies are ahead of the game when it comes to taking their marketing to the next level.

In case you are still not sure why anyone would want to build their own mobile platform, here are the top seven benefits of going down this path sooner rather than later.

  1. Be Visible to Customers at All Times

Statistics show that the average person spends more than two hours a day (!) on his or her mobile device. While probably only a handful of applications make up the bulk of this total usage, it doesn’t change the fact that each user has to unlock, scroll, and scan their device for the apps they’re looking for. Being “in the way” can be an advantage to your company, as our mind unconsciously does record every image and text (or well-designed app icon!) it comes across — even if it happens unnoticed.

2. Create a Direct Marketing Channel

Apps serve many functions: they can provide general info, prices, booking forms, search features, user accounts, messengers, news feeds, and much more. One of the biggest benefits of having a mobile app is that all the information you’d like to provide to your customers – including special sales and promotions – is right at their fingertips. Through push notifications you’re getting even closer to a direct interaction, and can easily remind customers about your products and services whenever it makes sense.

What are push notifications?

A push notification is a message that pops up on a mobile device. App publishers can send them at any time; users don’t have to be in the app or using their devices to receive them. They can do a lot of things; for example, they can show the latest sports scores, get a user to take an action, such as downloading a coupon, or let a user know about an event, such as a flash sale. Push notifications look like SMS text messages and mobile alerts, but they only reach users who have installed your app. Each mobile platform has support for push notifications — iOS, Android, Fire OS, Windows

Why are push notifications used?

Push notifications provide convenience and value to app users. For example, users can receive:

  • Sports scores and news right on their lock screen
  • Utility messages like traffic, weather and ski snow reports
  • Flight check in, change, and connection information

For app publishers, push notifications are a way to speak directly to a user. They don’t get caught in spam filters, or forgotten in an inbox — click-through rates can be twice as high as email. They can also remind users to use an app, whether the app is open or not. They can also be used to drive actions, such as:

  • Promoting products or offers to increase sales
  • Improving customer experience
  • Converting unknown app users to known customers
  • Sending transactional receipts right away
  • Driving users to other marketing channels, such as social networks

3. Provide Value to Your Customers

Talking about on-hand information, how about digitalizing that loyalty program you have in place? Instead of sticking to the old point-collection card, make it possible for your customers to collect their rewards via your mobile app. The result? More downloads and more return customers. (Check out PunchMe, a service that lets you create smartphone-based loyalty programs.)

4. Build Brand and Recognition

A mobile app for your business can greatly contribute to your brand awareness. I’d like to break this topic down into two aspects, the combination of which will make your app a true winner:

  • Brand. A mobile app is like a blank billboard sign. You can do what you want with it; you can make it stylish, hip, functional, shocking, or informative. But what you really want to do is create an app that has features your customers will love, while at the same time is well branded and beautifully designed.
  • Recognition. The more often you can get customers involved with your app, the sooner they will be inclined to buy your product and/or service. In advertising this is called the “effective frequency”: as a rule of thumb, hearing and/or seeing your brand approximately 20 times is what will get you truly noticed.

5. Improve Customer Engagement

No matter whether you are selling flowers or spa services, your customers need a way to reach you. Having a messaging (or help desk) feature within your app can really make a difference in the way you communicate with your customers. Think about it: OpenTable, for example, built its entire business model around this principle. Instead of calling a restaurant for a table, you can book it with less than five clicks on their platform. Now think about it: How many customers would prefer to communicate with you via text than via phone?

6. Stand Out From the Competition

These days mobile apps at the small business level are still rare, and this is where you can take a big leap ahead of your competitors. Be the first in your neighbourhood to offer a mobile app to your customers. They’ll be astonished by your forward-thinking approach!

7. Cultivate Customer Loyalty

Last, but not least, the most important reason why you should consider building your own mobile app is customer loyalty. With all the noise out there — roadside banners, billboards, flashing signs, newspaper ads, flyers, coupons, websites, website banners, Facebook ads, and email marketing — we slowly lose our impact on customers because of the immense amount of advertising surrounding us all. It’s time to go back to making a true and sincere connection with your customers, and making them a loyal lover of your product and/or service. I am not saying a mobile app is going to save your business, but it can be a way of staying closer to your customers, and being just a “fingertip” away at all times.

Now that you have gotten a taste of the numerous benefits of your own business mobile app, where are you going to start?

Give us a call on 1300 136679 or visit www.easymobileapps.com.au for more information.

Either way you go, a mobile app is going to be a standard component of any business in the future. The choice you make today is going set the foundation for the future of your business. It’s on you to decide whether you’d like to be one of the first.

 

What is a File History Drive?

What is a file history drive?

File History takes snapshots of your files as you go and stores them on an external hard drive either connected over USB or your home network. Over time, File History builds up a library of past versions of your documents that you can recover if need be.

 

  • You’ll see this message if your File History drive has been disconnected for too long. If you’re backing up to an external drive (like a USB drive), make sure it’s connected to your PC. If you’re backing up to a network location, go to SettingsUpdate & security  > Backup and reselect the network.
  • After you’re reconnected, wait for the next scheduled backup or start a backup manually by selecting SettingsUpdate & security  > Backup > More options > Back up now.

The error: File History drive is disconnected

Always keeping your data backed up and updated is a crucial routine. Thanks to File History, you can easily create backups for your files in Windows 8/8.1/10. Sometimes, you may find that your File History drive is disconnected. The specific error message may vary:

✦ “Reconnect your drive. Your File History drive was disconnected for too long. Reconnect it and then tap or click to keep saving copies of your files.”

✦ “Your files will be temporarily copied to your hard drive until you reconnect your File History drive and run a backup.”

When a scheduled backup task is triggered, it will prompt with such an error. By default, File History will save copies of files every hour, so it may be quite annoying if you do not fix it, not to mention that your files are not protected.

Why is File History drive disconnected in Windows 10/8.1/8?

Following are some possible reasons for the File History drive disconnected error:

  • If your external hard drive is indeed disconnected, you can reconnect the drive. Or if you do not want to backup your files anymore, just turn off File History.
  • If you can open and view the File History drive in File Explorer in Windows 8/8.1/10, then the backup drive may be failing or file system is corrupted.
  • If you have made some changes to your drive after backing up files to it with File History, then it is likely that File History doesn’t recognize this drive.
  • If you have also connected this drive to another computer for backup, another user may have restricted your permission to access this drive.

 

Solutions to File History drive disconnected

Solution 1: Reconnect File History drive and restart backup

If your external hard drive used for File History backup has been disconnected for too long, you will be asked to reconnect your drive. You need to manually reconnect the drive and then start the backup as the following:

  1. Navigate to Settings Update &Security Backup.
  2. Reselect the external hard drive or network drive.

Tips: You can also set another drive to save File History backup. To do that, you can click More options in File History, scroll down to the Back up to a different drive section, and click the Stop using drive button. Then, you can select a new drive using Add a drive again.

Solution 2: Check and fix hard drive errors

If you doubt there might be some errors on your hard drive, then you can first check your hard drive for bad sectors.

1. In Windows 10, right-click on the Start menu and choose Command Prompt (Admin). In Windows 8/8.1, you can press Windows + R key and type in “CMD” in the Run window and press Enter.

2. In the Command Prompt window, type in chkdsk.exe /f H: and press Enter. You should replace the “H” with the drive letter of your backup disk.

  1. It will take some time to finish checking and fixing hard disk errors.
  • If the value of the bad sector is not 0, then the disk is probably damaged or inclines to fail. For your backup data’s security, you should clone the failing hard driveto a new one and use the cloned one as the backup drive.
  • If you see no bad sectors, then the problem is not with the backup disk. It might be the configuration files that cause this error. In this case, please refer to Solution 3.

 

Solution 3: Clean up File History configuration files

If you cannot simply connect the File History drive again to fix the error, you may delete the configuration files and then reconnect it.

 Note: This method will delete all the File History backups, so it is recommended to create another backup of your files before trying this method.

  1. Make sure you are able to view hidden files. You can open File Explorer and go to the “View” tab on File Explorer’s ribbon. Then, do following things:
  • Check the Hidden itemscheckbox in the Show/hide section.
  • Click the Options In the Folder Options window, click the Viewtab and UNCHECK Hide protected operating system files (Recommended) under Advanced settings.
  1. Navigate to the folder below and delete all the files in it:

C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\FileHistory\Configuration\

Tips: You can also type “%localappdata%\Microsoft\Windows\FileHistory\Configuration” in a Run window to open this folder directly.

  1. Go back to File History and connect the drive again.

Solution 4: Create a shared folder to save File History backup

If you only want a specific folder to save File History backup, you can create a shared folder on your external hard drive or internal drive and then use File History to backup to this folder. Some users struggle to let File History backup to the internal drive, and this workaround definitely works. To do that, just follow these steps:

  1. Create a new folder named File History Drive or whatever suits you.
  2. Right-click on the newly created folder and select Properties.
  3. Click on the “Sharing” tab and select Share…to create a shared folder. You need to add users you want to share with and set the Read/Write permission.

Windows 10 S Mode Explained

If you purchased a Windows computer or laptop recently, you might have noticed that you can’t install certain apps. This could happen if you have a computer running Windows 10 S. But what is Windows 10 S, and what does it do? Here’s everything you need to know about Windows 10 S mode and how to turn it off for free.

What is Windows 10 S Mode? 

Windows 10 S Mode is a configuration that is designed to give you faster boot times, longer battery life, and better security. However, with Windows 10 S, you can’t use certain web browsers or download any apps that are not in the Microsoft Store.

Why You Should Keep Windows 10 S Mode

According to Microsoft, Windows 10 S Mode “delivers predictable performance and quality.” Windows 10 S Mode offers several benefits, including faster boot times, improved performance, better security, and more.

  • Consistent performance:With Windows 10 S Mode, you don’t need to use as much memory or processing power. This means that your computer will run like new for longer.
  • Faster boot times:A computer running Windows 10 S should start up in under 15 seconds. According to tests, Windows 10 S computers booted 80% faster than computers running Windows 10 Pro.
  • Longer battery life:Since it’s a stripped-down version of Windows, S Mode consumes 15% less power, which will prolong your laptop’s battery life. According to Microsoft, a Surface laptop with S Mode enabled will last up to 14.5 hours on a single charge.

  • Automatically save files to the cloud:If your computer is running Windows 10 S, your files will be automatically saved on OneDrive. This means you can access anything on your computer with an internet-connected device.
  • Better security:You can only download apps from the Microsoft Store with Windows 10 S. This decreases the likelihood that you will accidentally download malicious software or bugs that could harm your computer. However, Microsoft still advises that you use the Windows Defender Security Center to protect your computer.
  • Lots of apps to choose from:When S Mode was first released, the Microsoft Store was a little barren. Now there are plenty of apps to choose from. Whether you’re looking for productivity apps or entertainment apps, the Microsoft Store has lots of free and premium apps you can download.

Why Turn Off Windows 10 S Mode?

Windows 10 S Mode has some disadvantages that might make you want to remove it. You will only be able to use the Edge browser and Bing as your search engine. Also, you can’t use any third-party apps or some peripherals and configuration tools.

  • You can only use Edge and Bing:When you’re in S Mode, you can only use the Edge browser with Bing as your search engine. That means you won’t be able to use Chrome or Firefox, and you’ll have to go to Google.com when you want to use the search engine.
  • No third-party apps:Windows 10 S only lets you download apps from the Microsoft Store. If you try to install an app that is not on the Microsoft Store, you will see a pop-up window that blocks you from using it.

  • Limited support for accessories:Windows 10 S only lets you use certain computer peripherals, such as printers, webcams, and wireless mice. To find out if your devices are compatible with Windows 10 S, check out Microsoft’s list below:

Printers and scanners

The following manufacturers provide webpages that discuss use of specific printers and scanners with Windows 10 in S mode. If your manufacturer is not listed, please contact them for compatibility information.

BROTHER INDUSTRIES, LTD.: English only

Canon

Dell

EPSON: English only

HP: English onlyAll Languages

KONICA MINOLTA, INC.: English only

Lexmark International, Inc.: English only

Toshiba: English only
Keyboards and mice

The following manufacturers provide webpages that discuss use of specific keyboards and mice with Windows 10 in S mode. If your manufacturer is not listed, please contact them for compatibility information.

Microsoft Keyboards and Mice

Webcams and cameras

The following manufacturers provide webpages that discuss use of specific accessories with Windows 10 in S mode. If your accessory manufacturer is not listed, please contact them for compatibility information.

Microsoft Webcams

Other peripherals

Most other hardware accessories will work as designed with a Microsoft provided inbox class driver. Some functionality provided by accompanying software may not be enabled. Please contact your hardware manufacturer for further information.

Microsoft Headsets

Microsoft Display Adapters

Elecom: Japanese only

I-O Data: Japanese only

Buffalo: Japanese only

 

  • No OS customization and configuration tools:With Windows 10 S, you won’t be able to access the Command Prompt, PowerShell, or the Windows Registry for system configuration and troubleshooting.

 

How to Check if You Have Windows 10 S Mode Enabled

To check if you have Windows 10 S Mode enabled, go to Start > Settings > System. Then scroll down the left sidebar and click About. Check the Windows specification section to see which Windows edition you have installed.

  1. Open the Windows Start Menu. You can do this by clicking the button with the Windows logo in the bottom-left corner of your screen. Or you can hit the button with the Windows logo on your keyboard.
  2. Then select Settings. This is the button with the gear icon.
  3. Next, click System.
  4. Then scroll down the left sidebar and click About.
  5. Check under Windows specifications to see if you have Windows 10 in S mode enabled. This will be to the right of Edition.

How to Turn Off Windows 10 S Mode

To turn off Windows 10 S Mode, click the Start button then go to Settings > Update & Security > Activation. Select Go to the Store and click Get under the Switch out of S Mode panel. Then click Install and wait for the process to finish.

Take note that switching out of S Mode is a one-way process. Once you’ve switched out, there’s no going back. So, make sure that you want to disable S Mode for good before you proceed.

  1. Open the Windows Start Menu.
  2. Then select Settings.
  3. Next, click Update & Security.
  4. Then select You can find this in the left sidebar of the Settings window.
  5. Next, click Go to the Store. You’ll see this next to a shopping bag icon with the Windows logo. Clicking on it will open up a new window in the Microsoft Store that says Switch out of S Mode.

  1. Then click GetThis will be a blue button located just below the description.
  2. Finally, click Install and wait for the process to finish. Once finished, you’ll see a pop-up box that says, “You’re all set! You have switched out of S mode and can now install apps from outside the Store.”

 

TV Technologies explained

LED and LCD

Despite having a different acronym, an LED TV is just a specific type of LCD TV. The proper name would actually be “LED-lit LCD TV,” but that’s too much of a mouthful for everyday conversation, so people generally just refer to them as LED TVs. An LED TV uses a liquid crystal display (LCD) panel to control where light is displayed on your screen. These panels are typically composed of two sheets of polarizing material with a liquid crystal solution between them. When an electric current passes through the liquid, it causes the crystals to align so that light can (or can’t) pass through. Think of it like a shutter, either allowing light to pass through or blocking it out.

Since both LED and LCD TVs are based around LCD technology, you’re probably wondering what the difference is. Actually, it’s about what the difference was. Older LCD TVs used cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFLs) to provide lighting, whereas LED LCD TVs used an array of smaller, more efficient light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to illuminate the screen.

Since the technology is better, all LCD TVs now use LED lights and are colloquially considered LED TVs.

Backlighting

There are three basic forms of illumination that have been used in LCD TVs: CCFL backlighting, full-array LED backlighting and LED edge lighting. Each of these illumination technologies is different from one another in important ways.

CCFL Backlighting

CCFL backlighting is an older, now-abandoned form of display technology in which a series of CCFLs sit across the inside of the TV behind the LCD display. The lights illuminate the crystals fairly evenly, which means all regions of the picture will have similar brightness levels. This affects some aspects of picture quality, which we discuss in more detail below. Since CCFLs are larger than LED arrays, CCFL LCD TVs are thicker than LED-backlit LCD TVs.

Full-array backlighting

Full-array backlighting swaps the outdated CCFLs for an array of LEDs spanning the back of the LCD screen, comprising zones of LEDs that can be lit or dimmed in a process called local dimming. TVs using full-array LED backlighting make up a healthy chunk of the high-end LED

TV market, and with good reason — with more precise and even illumination, they can create better picture quality than CCFL LCD TVs were ever able to achieve, with higher efficiency to boot.

Edge lighting

Another form of LCD screen illumination is LED edge lighting. As the name implies, edge-lit TVs have LEDs along the edges of a screen. There are a few different such configurations, including LEDs along just the bottom, LEDs on the top and bottom, LEDs left and right, and LEDs along all four edges. These different configurations result in differences in picture quality, but the overall brightness capabilities still exceed what CCFL LCD TVs could achieve. While there are some drawbacks to edge lighting when compared to full-array or direct backlight displays, the upshot is edge lighting allows for manufacturers to make thinner TVs that cost less to manufacture.

To better close the local-dimming quality gap between edge-lit TVs and full-array back-lit TVs, manufacturers like Sony and Samsung developed their own advanced forms of edge lighting. Sony’s technology is known as “Slim Backlight Master Drive,” while Samsung has “Infinite Array” employed in its line of QLED TVs. These keep the slim form factor achievable through edge-lit design but with local dimming quality more on par with full-array backlighting.

What is local dimming?

Local dimming is a feature of LED LCD TVs wherein the LED light source behind the LCD is dimmed and illuminated to match what the picture demands. LCDs can’t completely prevent light from passing through, even during dark scenes, so dimming the light source itself aids in creating deeper blacks and more impressive contrast in the picture. This is accomplished by selectively dimming the LEDs when that particular part of the picture — or region — is intended to be dark.

Local dimming helps LED/LCD TVs more closely match the quality of older Plasma displays (RIP) and modern OLED displays, which feature better contrast levels by their nature — something CCFL LCD TVs couldn’t do. The quality of local dimming varies depending on which type of backlighting your LCD uses, how many individual zones of backlighting are employed, and the quality of the processing.

OLED vs. QLED

As if it wasn’t already confusing enough, once you begin exploring the world of modern display technology, new acronyms crop up. The two you’ll most commonly find are OLED and QLED. Despite the similar-sounding name, OLED (organic light-emitting diode) TVs are in a category all their own.

An OLED display uses a panel of pixel-sized organic compounds that respond to electricity. Since each tiny pixel (millions of which are present in modern displays) can be turned on or off individually, OLED displays are called “emissive” displays (meaning they require no backlight). They offer incredibly deep contrast ratios and better per-pixel accuracy than any other display type on the market.

Because they don’t require a separate light source, OLED displays are also amazingly thin — often just a few millimeters. OLED panels are often found on high-end TVs in place of LED/LCD technology, but that doesn’t mean that LED/LCDs aren’t without their own premium technology.

QLED is a premium tier of LED/LCD TVs from Samsung. Unlike OLED displays, QLED is not a so-called emissive display technology (QLED pixels are still illuminated by lights from behind). However QLED TVs feature an updated illumination technology over regular LED LCDs in the form of Quantum Dot material (hence the “Q” in QLED), which raises overall efficiency and brightness. This translates to better, brighter grayscale and color, and enhances HDR (High Dynamic Range) abilities.

Things will get even more confusing in the future, with Samsung currently working on tech that combines QLED and OLED to give folks the best of both worlds.

4K vs. UHD

The simplest way of defining the difference between 4K and UHD is this: 4K is a professional production and cinema standard, while UHD is a consumer display and broadcast standard. The term “4K” originally derives from the Digital Cinema Initiatives a consortium of motion picture studios that standardized a spec for the production and digital projection of 4K content. In this case, 4K is 4,096 by 2,160, and is exactly four times the previous standard for digital editing and projection (2K, or 2,048 by 1,080). 4K refers to the fact that the horizontal pixel count (4,096) is roughly four thousand.

The 4K standard is not just a resolution, either: It also defines how 4K content is encoded. Ultra High Definition, or UHD for short, is the next step up from what’s called full HD, the official name for the display resolution of 1,920 by 1,080. UHD quadruples that resolution to 3,840 by 2,160. It’s not the same as the 4K resolution made above — and yet almost every TV or monitor you see advertised as 4K is actually UHD. Sure, there are some panels out there that are 4,096 by 2,160, which adds up to an aspect ratio of 1.9:1. But the vast majority are 3,840 by 2,160, for a 1.78:1 aspect ratio.

4K or 8K

In a nutshell, 8K has a resolution that’s four times greater than 4K to deliver an even clearer picture. Your 4K TV at home will have a maximum resolution of 4096 x 2160 pixels. With 8K, that’ll increase to a massive 7680 x 4320 pixels.

More pixels mean more detail

That’s a lot of pixels, and it makes all the difference, with even more detail crammed into the screen. If you thought 4K detail was immense, just wait until you see 8K in the flesh. You won’t even need to get up close to see intricate details.

Nature documentaries will be a real treat – you’ll love how 8K displays lush greens and outdoor settings. And sport will look better than ever; you’ll really feel part of the action.

Every little detail appears to pop out from the screen like never before. Having seen a 4K picture alongside an 8K picture, we can confirm there is a real improvement. You’ll notice the difference, too.

More intelligent TVs

This is smart TV, but not as we know it. Samsung’s Q900R 8K QLED TV uses artificial intelligence to upscale pictures. That means it can transform lower quality images into glorious 8K.

But it’s how the TV does this that makes it so interesting. It uses a machine learning tool that analyses content from multiple sources, and applies that data to upgrade the picture as you watch. The TV just knows what to do, and how to make the picture better.

It reduces noise, smooths the edges, and removes all the rough bits. The result is a picture that’s smoother and more vibrant than anything you’ve seen before.

More colours

8K TVs will be able to display more colours, thanks to better HDR skills. Samsung’s new TV, for example, uses HDR10+, which means you’ll see a wider colour palette – no matter what you’re watching. The end result is a picture that looks more natural. An 8K TV won’t just give you a better picture, but better sound, too. While watching, you’ll feel like you’re in a cinema, at a gig, or at the ground of your favourite football team.

What do you need to run 8K?

Besides an 8K screen, 8K video requires high speed leading into that screen. Four times as many pixels, each of which might have more information than pixels typically do, means 8K video takes up a lot of bandwidth. That’s a concern whether you’re watching 8K content on an as-yet uninvented 8K optical disc that supports it or streaming it over a 5G internet connection. The short answer is that 8K requires (at least) HDMI 2.1. HDMI applies to cables and home theater devices. That ensures your cables and the source devices you use can handle the bandwidth requirements necessary to carry 8K content.

HDMI 2.1 is a relatively new standard intended for high- quality 4K and 8K content. It features a maximum bandwidth of 48Gbps—three times that of the HDMI 2.0 standard (18Gbps), which supports up to 4K60 video. The lower a bandwidth’s connection, the lower the resolution and video frame rate you can send over it, and the more compressed the video has to be, which hurts fine details. HDMI 2.1 can handle high-quality, uncompressed 8K video at up to 60 frames per second, and it can carry uncompressed 4K120 video as well.

So yes, that means you’ll probably have to buy new cables. Top-of-the-line certified HDMI Premium High-Speed cables are rated for only up to 18Gbps; to handle 8K’s requirements, you’ll need to wait until the HDMI Forum officially certifies some Ultra High-Speed HDMI cables, or otherwise look for cables that meet the criteria and have a maximum bandwidth of 48Gbps (Monoprice currently has two 8K HDMI cables out of its dozens of different versions). Your source device needs to support 8K video and have HDMI 2.1 compliance as well. HDMI 2.1 defines everything in the signal path from source to screen, including the ports on your media streamer, game system, or Blu-ray player. Even if your device can play 8K video, that won’t matter if it can’t actually get that video to your TV.

Is Now the Time to Jump to 8K?

Now is not the time—at least, not for the majority of buyers. You can buy 8K TVs right now. They’re just very, very expensive, and you can’t watch any native 8K consumer content on them. They’re early-adopter toys for people who can easily drop five digits on a TV almost purely for bragging rights.

All About Gmail

Gmail is one of the most popular webmail services out there. Gmail began in 2004 as what would turn out to be an extended 5-year beta and didn’t become open to the public until 2007.

Gmail was one of the first web-based email products to offer a gigabyte of initial storage, trumping many of the other popular webmail services at the time, who typically offered 2 to 4 megabytes. Over time, Google has continued to increase storage capacity and now offers 15 gigabytes of initial storage when you sign up for a new account!

Google also broke with tradition by offering an interface that organizes messages into threads, and while you can still break these threads into individual messages (we’ll talk about this later), it immediately made for a much cleaner inbox.

Also, Gmail tread new ground by completely doing away with old school folders. Instead, users could now apply “labels,” as many as they needed, and thus filter their messages without ever filing it away in a folder. While the labels appear to do the same thing as folders, they’re actually far more versatile.

Is Gmail the same as a Google account?

Yes! If you use Gmail, you already have a Google Account. With a Google Account, you have access to free Google products like Drive, Docs, Calendar, and more.

You need a Google Account to be able to download apps from the Play store. Similar to needing an Apple ID to download apps from the App store.

Why Should You Use Gmail?

Let’s talk a bit more about Gmail’s best features and why, if you’re not already using Gmail, you might consider starting.

Gmail Provides Plenty of Storage

Gmail provides over 15 GB of free storage, which allows you to save all your messages for future reference. NOTE: This 15 GB is shared with Google Drive and Google+ Photos.

Best of all, Google is always increasing your account’s storage capacity, so you don’t need to worry about running out of space, and if you do, you can always purchase more!

Conversations in Emails are Organized into Threads

Emails are automatically grouped according to subject line. When you receive a reply to a message, all previous related messages are displayed in a collapsible vertical thread, making it easy to see the entire conversation and review what has been discussed previously.

Thorough Malware and Virus-Checking Features

Gmail constantly updates its anti-malware and anti-virus scanners to give you the most up-to-date protection possible.

File attachments are saved on Google’s servers, but if malware or a virus makes it through in a message, Gmail displays a warning and immediately quarantines the offending message.

You cannot turn the virus filtering off, and it does prevent you from sending an executable (.exe) file as an attachment. If you really need to send anything like an .exe file, you will first need to place it in a container such as a .zip or .rar file.

Excellent Spam Filtering

Gmail has some pretty excellent spam filtering, stray messages do get through occasionally but for the most part, you’re unlikely to see messages you don’t want to see.

Gmail in a Browser

We want to begin by touring the Gmail interfaces you will encounter. We’ll start with the web browser, which most Gmail users will be immediately familiar with. You can access Gmail in any web browser

Quickly and Easily Find Messages Using the Search Box

You can quickly find email messages using the power of Google Search, which is tied into your Gmail allowing for instant results. Simply enter your search criteria in the search field and click the blue button or hit “enter.”

Advanced search operators are query words or symbols that help you refine your search. They perform special actions that allow you to quickly and easily track down what you’re looking for (see Google’s Advanced Search help page for a list of the most useful operators).

For more search options, click the arrow on the search box.

A dialog box drops down allowing you to search for email messages based on “From,”, “To,” “Subject,” message content, attachments, and more.

Access Other Gmail Features Using the Mail Menu

Click the “Mail” menu to access other Gmail features like Google Contacts and Google Tasks.

Perform Common Actions on Your Messages Using the Action Buttons

Action buttons let you take actions on your messages. For example, you can use the buttons to label, delete, or mark one or more messages as spam. The action buttons are located under the search box and above your messages.

Some buttons like “Archive,” “Report spam,” and “Labels” are only available if you’ve selected one or more messages or opened a message.

 

 

The “Select” button allows you to quickly and easily select all or none of your messages, all read or unread messages, or all starred or unstarred messages. Click the arrow on the “Select” button to access the various options for selecting your messages.

To quickly select all your messages, click the empty check box on the “Select” button. When the check box on the “Select” button has a check in it, all your messages are selected. Clicking the check box on the “Select” button when it contains a check mark, quickly de-selects all your messages.

 

The “Archive” button allows you to remove messages from your inbox, but keep them in your Gmail account, for later reference. You can think of archiving like moving an important file on your desk into your filing cabinet rather than into the trash can.

 

If you have received any messages that seem to be spam, use the “Report spam” button to report this to Google. While Gmail’s spam filters works very well, they’re not perfect and errant messages do get through every now and then. This feature helps them get better at filtering out annoying, unwanted messages. To report a message as spam, select the check box next to the message in your inbox or open the message, then click the “Report spam” button on the toolbar.

If you (or Google) has accidentally marked a message as spam, you can recover it. Simply, click the “Spam” label in the list of labels on the left. Select the message that is not spam and click the “Not spam” button on the toolbar.

Remember, the more spam messages you report, the better Google gets at filtering out these unwanted messages.

 

Use the “Delete” button to move messages to the “Trash.” Messages in the “Trash” are permanently deleted automatically after 30 days. Once a message has been permanently deleted from “Trash,” it cannot be recovered. To “undelete” a message, move the message, drag it to the “Inbox,” or another label. You can manually delete all the messages in the “Trash” by clicking the “Empty Trash now” link at the top of the list.

Gmail allows you to delete specific messages within a conversation thread.

 

The “Move to” button accesses a menu very similar to the “Labels” button discussed below. However, when you select one or more messages, click “Move to” and then select a label from the “Move to” menu. The selected message or messages are moved out of the “Inbox” into that label, like a folder.

 

The “Labels” button allows you to organize your messages into categories. They’re similar to folders, but they add an additional feature not available with folders: you can add more than one label to a message.

 

To add a label to a message, select the message, click the “Labels” button, and select a label from the list. The list does not close after you make a selection, so you can easily apply more than one label to a message. Only you can see labels you apply to messages. So, you can mark a message with whatever label you want, such as “Read later,” and the sender of the message will never know.

Take Action on All Messages or Quickly Check Email

If you have no message selected or open, there are only three Action buttons available: “Select,” “Refresh,” and “More.”

The “Select” button (with the empty check box) offers the same options that it does when one or more messages are selected or a message is open. Use the “Refresh” button (with the circular arrow) to check for new email. When no messages are selected or open, the “More” button only allows you to mark all messages as read.

Display Text on Buttons Rather than Pictures

If you prefer to have text instead of icons on the “Action” buttons, you can change a setting to accomplish this. Click the “Settings” gear button and select “Settings” from the drop-down menu. Scroll down to the “Button labels” section and select the “Text” option.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click “Save Changes.” All the “Action” buttons, except the “Select” button, change to display text instead of icons.

Quickly Move Through Your Messages Using the Newer and Older Buttons

If you have a lot of email messages in your inbox, you can use the “Newer” and “Older” buttons to move through your messages. These buttons are only active if you have a message open.

Communicate Internationally Using the Input Tools Button

Gmail provides many different virtual keyboards and IMEs (input method editors) you must turn on to use, allowing you to communicate in different languages using different keyboard layouts for improved international communication. IMEs allow you to use a Latin alphabet keyboard to convert your keystrokes to characters in another language. The Transliteration input tool allows you to type languages phonetically in English letters, and they’ll display in their correct alphabet.

A Handwriting input tool is available that allows you to write words using your mouse or trackpad. NOTE: Transliteration is different from translation. When using transliteration, you are only converting the sound of the words from one alphabet to the other, not the meaning. Click the keyboard button to turn the Input tools on or off. Note that you can also press “Ctrl + Shift + K” to do this.

Clicking the down arrow on the right side of the keyboard button displays the input options, such as selecting a different keyboard layout, enabling a personal dictionary, and accessing the “Input Tools Settings.”

Customize Gmail Using the Settings Button

Use the “Settings” gear button to define your display density setting (the space between messages and objects in Gmail), access other settings or themes, and get Gmail help.

Write and Send Emails Using the Compose Button

Use the Compose button in the upper, left corner of the main Gmail screen to write and send new emails. You can format your text, add images and links, and attach files.

Organize Your Inbox Using Default and Custom Labels

To the left of the Inbox is a list of labels. This list is similar to the list available from the “Labels” button, and just like the “Labels” button, it allows you to organize the messages in your inbox into categories. Gmail comes with several default labels and you can add custom labels. The number in parentheses next to a label indicates the number of unread messages associated or tagged, with that label. Click a label link to display all messages associated with that label.

When you drag a message to a label, it’s similar to using the “Move to” button. The message is moved to that label and is removed from the inbox. However, you can also drag a label from the list to a message to associate it with that label. This allows you to drag multiple labels to a single message, unlike folders.

The “All Mail” label is your archive. Use this label to help reduce clutter in your inbox. Move messages you’ve read (but don’t want to delete) in your inbox to the “All Mail” label to archive the message. Messages in the “All Mail” label are never deleted (unless you delete them) and are always available by clicking the “All Mail” label link. When you use the “Search” box to find messages, the messages in the “All Mail” label are included in the search.

You can also assign different colours to your labels to quickly find messages at a glance in your inbox. Clicking the arrow to the right of a label allows you to access options for that label, such as changing the colour. Use this menu to show or hide the label in the labels list or in the message list, to edit or remove a label, or add a sub-label to the label.

Read and Organize Your Messages in Your Inbox

Your inbox displays all email messages you’ve received and haven’t yet moved to a label or archived. By default, unread messages in your inbox have a white background and display in bold lettering while read messages have a grey background and normal type.

Everyone has their own distinct way of viewing and dealing with email. Gmail allows you to change your inbox style. Simply, click the arrow to the right of the Inbox label and select a different style from the drop-down menu. The currently selected style is indicated with a check mark. Each style is described to the right of the menu as you move your mouse over the options.

Switching from one style to another does not affect the messages in your inbox, it only changes the order in which the messages are listed.

Indicate Important Messages Using Stars

Use stars in your inbox to mark certain messages as “Important.” For example, you can star messages that you need to reply to later. To star a message, simply click the star to the left of the sender’s name.

If you already have the message open, you can click the “More” button and select “Add star.”

You can add other types of stars, such as an exclamation point or a check mark by modifying the preference in settings.

Easily Spot Messages with Attachments or Calendar Invitations

Gmail informs you visually when a message contains an attachment or an invitation with an icon to the right of the subject line.

In the image below, we have an invitation to lunch (calendar icon) in one message, and an attachment (paperclip icon) on another.

Stay Connected with Hangouts

Google Hangouts allows you to send messages, photos, and make video calls with your friends and family. It’s available in Gmail below the list of labels on the left.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All About Email Protocols

The email protocol is the process by which an email desktop/mobile client accesses the information (From and To) contained in an email account (your email address). Each of these protocols which are governed by universal standards (at the core level) have a specific set of capabilities in terms of how data is handled at the server level and stored at the local level.

What protocols are supported by a given email desktop/mobile client depends solely on the developers of the given client. It has nothing to do with what is or is not supported at the server level. For example, Thunderbird cannot support Outlook.com using the EAS protocol and it can’t access a Microsoft Exchange account natively without an addin. Thunderbird could access an Exchange account via either the Imap or POP protocols but that is different then accessing the server using the native Exchange protocol.

By the same token, not every email service provider supports every emai protocol. With the exception of Outlook.com and hosted Exchange accounts, generally, only POP3 and IMAP are supported by a given provider.

In terms of contact/calendar data, neither the POP3 or IMAP protocol supports these data items. In Outlook (desktop), 3rd party addins are required to access such things as Google or iCloud based contact/calendar items. In the case of Google, this would required the Google App Sync addin (provided by Google with paid Google accounts). Apple provides an Outlook addin to connect to iCloud data. There are also 3rd party programs available that provide a wide-range of extended features such as Sync2 from 4Team or CompanionLink for Outlook from the CompanionLink folks.

The email clients on some devices are able to directly connect to contact/calendar info from various providers such as Google, Yahoo etc. This is done via extensions to the email client no different then installing an Outlook addin to accomplish the same thing when using Outlook (desktop).

What is POP3?

Post Office Protocol version 3 (POP3) is a standard mail protocol used to receive emails from a remote server to a local email client. POP3 allows you to download email messages on your local computer and read them even when you are offline.

POP is the most common Internet standard for receiving email. When a POP email client retrieves messages, the messages are downloaded from Comcast’s secure mail server in the cloud onto your computer. The messages are normally deleted from the cloud, although you can configure your email client to not delete downloaded messages for a short period — for example, a few days.

POP is best used when you are only using one computer or device to access your email. If you plan to also use webmail and/or receive email on a mobile device, POP may not be the best option for you. POP is only used for receiving email and is commonly used in combination with the SMTP email protocol to allow email clients to both send and receive messages.

POP is an e-mail only protocol. Items such as contacts, appointments or tasks cannot be managed or accessed using POP.

If you’re using POP to receive Comcast Business email, Comcast’s Business Security Assurance Team recommends configuring your email client’s incoming server port number to 995 using an SSL-encrypted connection.

 

 What is IMAP?

The Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) is a mail protocol used for accessing email on a remote web server from a local client. IMAP and POP3 are the two most commonly used Internet mail protocols for retrieving emails. Both protocols are supported by all modern email clients and web servers.

IMAP is another common Internet standard for retrieving email. When an IMAP email client retrieves messages, it downloads a copy of messages from the cloud to your computer but leaves a copy in the cloud as well. The email client periodically synchronizes your mailbox between the cloud and the email client. When a message is deleted from the mailbox on the email client, it will be deleted from the cloud the next time the two are synchronized.

By keeping a copy of each message on the server, IMAP facilitates access to your email from more than one computer or email client — for example, Outlook on an office computer and via webmail from a home computer. IMAP is only used for receiving email and is commonly used in combination with the SMTP email protocol to provide both send and receive capabilities to email clients.

IMAP is an email only protocol. Items such as contacts, appointments and tasks cannot be managed or accessed using IMAP.

If you are using IMAP to receive Comcast Business email, Comcast’s Business Security Assurance Team recommends configuring your email client’s incoming server port number to 993 using an SSL encrypted connection.

 What is SMTP?

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) is the standard protocol for sending emails across the Internet. SMTP uses TCP port 25 or 2525 and sometimes you can have problems sending your messages in case your ISP has closed port 25 (How to check if port 25 is open?). To determine the SMTP server for a given domain name, the MX (Mail eXchange) DNS record is used.

SMTP is the most common internet standard for sending email. When using SMTP, email is sent from your email client through Comcast’s secure mail servers to the recipient. SMTP is only used for sending email and is commonly used in combination with either POP or IMAP to provide both send and receive capabilities to email clients.

Comcast’s Business Security Assurance Team recommends configuring your email client’s outgoing mail server to secured port 587. You must have a Comcast email address for authentication purposes if you are using the Comcast SMTP server to send email.

What is MAPI?

MAPI stands for Messaging Application Programming Interface. MAPI is a proprietary Microsoft protocol that allows the Microsoft Outlook email client to fully utilize all of the features of an Exchange server including email, shared address books, calendars and public folders. When Outlook is configured as a MAPI client, also known as an Exchange client, email is stored in the cloud on Comcast’s secure mail server with a copy on your computer. Messages retained in the cloud are accesible via webmail from any internet connected computer.

With MAPI, you can move messages from the cloud into a local file on your computer called a .PST file, a process through which copies of messages are deleted from the cloud and stored on your computer. This can allow for valuable storage space and help you create backups of your business-critical emails.

Outlook 2010 allows up to 13 MAPI/Exchange email accounts at a time. As an alternative, you can instead use the POP or IMAP protocol to retreive email.

What is an exchange server?

It is a world of gadgets and internet out there. Carrying a heavy desktop or laptop just to check an email does not make any sense these days. With advancement in technology, things are getting easier gradually, but rapidly.

Just imagine walking down a busy street and suddenly your boss calls up to respond to his email. Doesn’t it sound annoying?

If your answer is yes, then you must have figured out a solution – Smart Phone!

But how does it work? An email that can be viewed on a system, is now accessible via mobile. If you give it a thought and get into its depth, you would come to know about the role of ‘exchange server‘.

Yes, the technology working behind emails and their synchronization with mobiles is a ‘mail exchange server‘. Let us talk in more detail.

 

 

 What is the main difference between POP3, IMAP & MAPI?

The POP3 protocol assumes that there is only one client connected to the mailbox. In contrast, the IMAP protocol allows simultaneous access by multiple clients. IMAP is suitable for you if your mailbox is about to be managed by multiple users.

POP3 is also a standard protocol but unlike IMAP4, it downloads the emails into the local computer. MAPI is a proprietary technology from Microsoft which uses RPC-based communication to communicate with a MAPI-based mail server like Exchange. IMAP4 is advance than POP3. An MAPI account provides almost the same functionality of a IMAP account, but it also have a live connection to the server.

MAPI is a messaging system that is used by Microsoft Outlook and Exchange for email, contacts, appointments, tasks, sticky notes, etc. It is based on a proprietary technology from Microsoft which uses RPC-based communication to communicate with a MAPI-based mail server like Exchange.

It comprises of a standard set of C language functions that are stored in a program library which is known as a dynamic link library. It also provides the synchronization feature by which one can sync and view sub folders, custom folders, calendar, etc. on different devices and computers. It defines the following three services –

  • Address book – a database which contains addressing information.
  • Transport – assists in interaction between different devices.
  • Message store – stores messages that consists folders and sub-folders.

In Short: Which Do I Use to Set Up My Email?

Depending on your personal style of communicating your email provider, you can pretty quickly narrow down how you should use your email.

  • If you use check your email from a lot of devices, phones, or computers, use a webmail service or set up your email clients to use IMAP.
  • If you use mostly webmail and want your phone or iPad to sync with your webmail, use IMAP, as well.
  • If you’re using one email client on one dedicated machine (say, in your office), you might be fine with POP3, but we’d still recommend IMAP.
  • If you have a huge history of email and you’re using an old mail provider without a lot of drive space, you may want to use POP3 to keep from running out of space on the remote email server.
  • If you use company email, and your company uses an Exchange server, you’ll have to use Exchange.