Archive for category How To

Samsung Series 5 Ultrabook Battery Replacement

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Take a look at the back of most Ultrabooks and you’ll find nothing. By having sealed-in batteries the OEMS save money, weight and space. The owner, however, is left with the big unknown of battery lifetime and if you’ve ever owned a laptop you’ll know how totally useless they are when you have to drag the mains cable around with you everywhere. I recently had to order a new internal battery for a Samsung Series 5 NP530 that is under two years old and has zero battery capacity. On the other hand I’m typing this on a two-year old Ultrabook that still has 85% battery capacity. So how long will the average battery last?

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See Average Battery Life and Check for Connected Standby on Windows 8

 

connected-standby-permissions1What’s Connected Standby? It’s the hardware and software that turns a PC into a smart device. Always on, Always Connected! You can find more information here and I encourage you to read it and to consider this ‘seal of efficiency’ for your next laptop or mobile PC which, in 2013, can only be an Ultrabook or a Clovertrail or BayTrail based laptop, tablet, convertible or dockables.

Here’s a way to check for Connected Standby, battery capacity and to view historical battery life reports. Useful to use quickly in the PC store!


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10 hours Battery Life on an Ultrabook. Test and How-To

P1130862While Ultrabooks generally perform to similar efficiencies under load there’s quite a difference when it comes to near-idle operations and that can seriously impact the length of time you can use an Ultrabook as an offline word processor. As a blogger that’s a very important scenario for me and I suspect that if you’re offline and answering a bunch of emails or writing a presentation or report, this scenario is important to you too. If you choose the right Ultrabook you can get 10 hours of typing on one battery charge.

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What's the Difference Between Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge Ultrabooks and How to Tell Them Apart

If you’ve been following along the last few days, you saw us highlight plenty of Ultrabook deals for those looking to snag a machine on the cheap for Black Friday or Cyber Monday. The deals came in many shapes and sizes and often spanned the gap between first generation (Sandy Bride) and second generation (Ivy Bridge) Ultrabooks. If you haven’t been following the Ultrabook space closely, as we have, you might be confused about the difference. This article aims to clear that up and tell you how to identify one from the other.

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What’s the Difference Between Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge Ultrabooks and How to Tell Them Apart

If you’ve been following along the last few days, you saw us highlight plenty of Ultrabook deals for those looking to snag a machine on the cheap for Black Friday or Cyber Monday. The deals came in many shapes and sizes and often spanned the gap between first generation (Sandy Bride) and second generation (Ivy Bridge) Ultrabooks. If you haven’t been following the Ultrabook space closely, as we have, you might be confused about the difference. This article aims to clear that up and tell you how to identify one from the other.

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Toshiba Z830 Windows 8 Upgrade Report

2012-10-29-1001After spending a good two months with Windows 8 on the developer preview Touch Ultrabook I decided I was 100% happy with Windows 8 and that there was no reason not to upgrade the Toshiba Z830, a first generation Ultrabook. The upgrade was completed fairly smoothly although extra drivers, as always, are going to mean a bit of searching and a bit of luck with the installation order.

Toshiba Z830 full review here.

I chose to upgrade the Toshiba Z830 with a DVD drive and cabled Ethernet…

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Black Mesa is a Free Remake of Half-Life, Here's How to Optimize It for Your Ultrabook [video]

If you know about Black Mesa, congratulations — you’re a gamer. This obscure fan-lead remake of Valve’s famous 1998 title Half-Life has long been shrouded in mystery. Going on 8 years of development, with the only mention of a release date being “when it’s done”, most thought Black Mesa would never see the light of day. However, earlier this month the official website for the remake began buzzing with hints of activity. To the delight of fans worldwide, Black Mesa has finally launched and is ready to let players relive the opening chapter of the Half-Life saga. The remake, which has completely rebuilt from the ground up, runs on Valve’s ‘Source’ game engine. What’s more, because it is a modification of Source, it has been released for free. Fortunately for Ultrabook users the powerful HD3000 or HD4000 graphics inside are quite capable of handling modern Source games with the right settings. In this video I’ll show you how to optimize your settings to play Black Mesa and other Source games on your Ultrabook.

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How to Get the Most Battery Life out of Your Ultrabook

Intel’s Core processors dynamically adjust the speed of your Ultrabook’s CPU to give you power when you need it and battery savings when you don’t. The battery savings come when your Core processor intelligently clocks itself down to the minimum level during tasks that don’t require much power. For instance, as I write this and listen to a song in the background my processor is in ‘Energy Saver’ mode where unneeded cores are disabled to save power and active cores are clocked down. Ensuring that your Ultrabook is correctly downclocking and entering Energy Saver mode is vital to achieving maximum battery life. Inefficient programs or processes running in the background of your Ultrabook could be preventing you from getting the most from your battery; this guide will show you how to get rid of them.

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SSD Upgrade How-To: Toshiba Z830/Z835 Ultrabook

We’re happy with the Toshiba Z830 that Intel sent to us for a long-term loan. It’s a fast, lightweight and well-connected Ultrabook. We’ve already dropped in a 4GB RAM module to take it up to 6GB but there’s one more thing we can do to pimp it out – upgrade the SSD.

We contacted MyDigitalSSD with the plan and they kindly sent us a 256GB BulletProof mSATA SSD with SATA III interface. Not only are we going to see over double the usable space on our drive, we’re going to be upgrading to a drive that in theory can push 500GB/s through the bus.

 

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This article will show you how to upgrade an existing SSD but before you start, here’s your checklist.

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How To Update Your Ultrabook's Intel or Nvidia Graphics Drivers

If you’ve got an Ultrabook, it likely has either integrated Intel HD 3000 graphics or discrete Nvidia GeForce graphics. Recently we gave you 6 excellent game suggestions for your Ultrabook. Now we’ve got a suggestion to make sure your Ultrabook is running those games as well as possible. One of the best ways to keep the graphical capabilities of your Ultrabook performing at maximum capacity is to ensure that you’re using the latest driver for your graphics card. Intel and Nvidia regularly update their GPU drivers to address bugs and other problems. Sometimes there are game-specific fixes, and other times there are general performance-enhancing changes. In this article I’ll show you how to quickly and easily update your Ultrabook’s GPU drivers in order to maintain maximum graphics performance.  Note that this guide will also apply to Intel HD4000 graphics when Ivy Bridge Ultrabooks are released later this year.

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