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Hardware still matters

By Jean-Claude Elias - Oct 16,2014 - Last updated at Oct 16,2014

Internet bandwidth, working and storing in the cloud, hip smartphones, social networking, data safety, of course this is what counts these days. Great computer hardware, however, still matters. After all what can you do without powerful equipment? Despite IDC’s (International Data Corporation) reporting that global sales of computers have been down by 1.7 per cent in the third quarter this year compared to last year, the market still is very healthy and brings us attractive devices and accessories. Innovation continues unabated. 

If you thought Samsung was just a leading mobile phone manufacturer, checking out on the incredible 830 Pro Series SSD disk drive will definitely surprise you. The new solid state drive is silent and works faster than you can click the “save” icon on your application.

The giant Korean company has produced a true champion here. It features a total capacity of 256GB can read or save 750MB, the equivalent of an entire CD drive, in one second and a half. As for opening or saving regular files, however large they may be, this will be done so quickly that you won’t even notice it happened. Those who usually process high definition photos, videos and music files will appreciate.

Another misconception about IT manufacturers. If you have been looking so far at Asus as a maker of inexpensive laptops, their new Zenbook NX500 will make you change your mind. Apart from sheer processing speed, a bounty of ports and connectivity and stellar Sony speakers for the ultimate laptop sound, the $2,700 Zenbook comes with a cutting-edge 4K definition 15.6-inch screen that is so sharp and vivid that you may enjoy watching photos on it more than looking at their real-life equivalent.

Just when everything indicates that people are printing less, that every document now is created, kept and shared electronically, Epson comes with a new printing technology, against all expectations. The company’s new office-oriented WorkForce inkjet printers models promise printing that is better and faster than lasers, price tags still in the ink-jet range and last but not least inks that are affordable. It’s all thanks to a technology Epson presents as PrecisionCore Printheads.

Indeed, the cost of ink has always been a deterrent for those who wanted to invest in a quality printer. In the typical case, the cost of ink replacement exceeds that of the printer after 6 to 12 months of usage. With the WorkForce printers Epson say that the cost per colour page printed will vary from 2 to 3 cents, depending on the exact printer model.

The last item on today’s menu is a ridiculously simple, small and inexpensive but so useful cable. It is strange that is often ignored by users and that many do not know it exists at all. It is called OTG (On-the-go) USB cable. It connects to the micro-USB port of your smartphone on one end and provides a female, standard-size USB entry port on the other.

The latter works just like the regular USB ports on your laptop, ready to connect to a myriad of devices, from hard external disk drives to printers, keyboards, flash drives, mice, high quality USB microphones, etc., thus opening a horizon of virtually limitless possibilities to your smartphone. At about $5 per unit it is and by far the most cost-effective accessory you can add to your smartphone, turning it this way into a real computer.

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