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Archive for April 2013

NEW YORK: TAIWANESE COMPUTER FIRM Acer unveiled what it claims is the first hybrid and convertible touchscreen ultrabook laptop at an event in New York on Friday, called the Acer Aspire P3.

Promoted by Acer as a hybrid and a convertible in one, the notebook can transform into a tablet via its “chiclet” keyboard, which allows the display to either fold back onto itself, or completely detach from the keyboard altogether.

Touting an 11.6in HD touchscreen display with in-plane switching (IPS) technology, the Acer Aspire P3 is ideal for movie playback, Acer boasted, due to the display’s wide 170-degree viewing angles.


Measuring 19.8mm thick and weighing 1.39kg, the Acer Aspire P3 is powered by either an Intel i3 or i5 Core processor and features a 60GB or 120GB SSD drive. Acer didn’t mention what size memory the Aspire P3 will have, but we do know it will run the Windows 8 operating system.

The chiclet keyboard built into the cover is full sized “so customers can comfortably use it for productivity tasks such as writing documents, and creating spreadsheet”, Acer said. It also comes with an optional stylus if touching the screen with your fingers seems a bit too alien.

Acer also said that the Aspire P3 features a “long battery life”, but failed to mention exactly how long this wil be. Let’s hope it’s beefier than the one in theAspire S7 ultrabook, which we reviewed to find that delivered three hours in general use.

The Aspire P3 will be available in the UK from today starting at £599.

At the New York event today, Acer also launched its Star Trek notebook, the Aspire R7, which has a full HD touchscreen display that can be flipped, rotated and twisted into different positions to offer four modes of use. Check back soon for our hands on review.

Acer continued to promote its “duality” tagline as part of the announcement, saying that users are looking to use both touch and type with hardware to optimise the computing experience.

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Windows 8′s Easy Reinstall

One of the best, but most underrated new features in Windows 8 is a mechanism that makes the reinstallation process relatively quick and completely painless.

There was a time when it seemed that almost every article about addressing problems in Windows suggested reinstalling Windows from scratch. Even today there are some problems that are easiest to fix by reinstalling Windows. The problem is that historically, reinstallation has been a time-consuming process. Depending on how the operating system is being reinstalled, there might also be a lot of work to do after the reinstallation, such as installing applications and rejoining the computer to a domain.

There are actually two different ways to reinstall Windows 8 (aside from applying a system image or breaking out the installation DVD and running Setup). You can perform a Refresh or a Reset. It is extremely important to understand the difference between the two operations before you attempt either one.

Resetting a PC is a way of removing the old operating system and starting completely from scratch. Resetting a PC functions similarly to formatting the hard disk. Everything is removed, including any personal data.

If you select a reset, you will see a warning message telling you that all of your personal files and apps will be removed and that Windows will be reset to its defaults. The thing that makes this process really interesting is the fact that after you click Next, Windows will ask you if you want to erase data quickly or thoroughly. Removing data thoroughly obviously takes longer, but it makes data much more difficult to recover.

The other option is to refresh the PC. When you refresh your PC, any apps from the Windows Store will be automatically reinstalled, but desktop apps will be removed. Windows will place a list of the apps that have been removed on the PCs desktop. The refresh process will not remove data that is stored on the PC.

As you can see, there are two good methods for reinstalling Windows 8. Sometimes though, you may not need to do anything quite that drastic. The vast majority of the Windows reinstallations that I have performed over the last few years were due to the fact that Internet Explorer had been damaged beyond repair by malware. However, Microsoft has given us a way to reset Internet Explorer without having to reinstall Windows.

In many cases, you will probably be able to return Windows to a functional state just by resetting Internet Explorer. When more drastic action is required, however, Microsoft provides some easy ways to reinstall the operating system. Obviously, this is not reason alone to migrate to Windows 8, but it is one of those small additions to an operating system that add up to make the decision to migrate an easier one.

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In the past 20 years, the Microsoft Windows operating system has accumulated old code libraries that brought it to the size it has today, 2.5 GB and about 50 million lines of code (Windows Vista). These old code libraries consume resources and are often the targets of security exploits. The best way to avoid such problems, is to start from scratch, which is close to what Microsoft plans to do with Windows Vienna. Windows Vienna will represent the start of a different generation of operating systems, bringing in new concepts and support for new types of hardware, along with a better security and a modular approach, which will allow future versions of Windows to be built more easily on Windows Vienna’s engine.

It is also likely that the future success of Microsoft’s products will be strongly decided by the success of the new generation operating system.

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