Desktop Computing

By November 30, 2015 Read More →

Six Amazing Reasons Why Video Conferencing Belongs in the Classroom

Technological advances in the realm of education have presented both students and educators alike with a slew of new ways to approach learning. You may have already heard of providers like Blue Jeans, who make it possible for today’s video conferencing equipment to be used in increasingly creative ways, resulting in innovations in the classroom and beyond.

According to Statista, 80 percent of teenagers reported that they expected to use mobile apps at work in 2015. With the use of such apps–including mobile video conferencing– in the workplace, it’s no small wonder that their popularity would begin to grow in schools as well. As the Huffington Post recently noted, the prominence of video conferencing apps on smartphones and other devices is making it easier, and almost commonplace, to connect with others all over the globe with merely a finger to your touchscreen, which, as a result, is changing the landscape of work and education. On a related note, The Telegraph recently reported on the rise of “digital nomads”, or employees who choose to work remotely in relaxing destinations via completely digital means.

With the rise of digital power in the workforce, it’s no small wonder that teenagers and students alike would be accustomed to–and expecting–the use of mobile technology at work and school. The benefits of this technology in the classroom, then, is truly a great exposure to how video conferencing can change the approach to education. Read on for six reasons why this spread of video conferencing can really make a whole new world of difference for both students and teachers alike in the classroom.  


1.  Virtual Guests, Presentations, and Trips

By far, one of the most amazing powers of video conferencing is the ability to connect with anyone at any time, all over the world. With this ability, the creative possibilities you may experience in the classroom are endless. You can have a guest lecturer from another country, a virtual field trip through a foreign landmark or an expedition through a rainforest, or just connect with other students across the globe. By seeking out the myriad of opportunities to connect with other educational institutions, educators, and social and cultural institutions around the world, lectures and classes can be supplemented in ways you may have never thought possible.


2. Recordable Lessons

Another handy benefit of video conferencing is that you can record lessons for later access. Students can access the lessons again at any time, and thanks to the power of cloud computing, they can also access supplemental handouts and readings that are made available, even on their mobile devices.  


3. A Greater Course Selection

The use of video conferencing in the classroom allows the broadcasting of classes so that they are accessible online to remote students. Additionally, classes may be available at other facilities and schools, and video conferencing makes it easy to access additional classes as part of an extended or supplemental curriculum.   


4. Virtual Office Hours

Video conferencing allows greater opportunity for teacher-student interaction, even if in-person office hours aren’t on the schedule. Hosting virtual office hours allows you to meet at any time, and also promotes greater communication between student and teacher. As a teacher, it’s important to be available to your students, and having a more personal connection as opposed to email or phone can help facilitate a greater engagement in learning. As a student, it’s comforting and supportive to know that your teacher is invested in you and thus available to you when they may have been previously unreachable. 


5. Encourage Collaboration Between Students near and Far

By connecting with other educational institutions, you’ll find it’s possible for students in remote locations to collaborate with one another. In keeping with some of the benefits mentioned in point number one, collaboration across countries and time zones allows students to experience a whole new way of learning, as well as an exposure to new cultures and lines of thought. You can imagine how exciting it must be to connect with another classroom across the globe in order to learn a new language, take a guided tour of a cultural institution, or follow a current event in real time.


6. Hold a Class Online

Gone are the days when classes need to be missed just because you are sick– whether you’re the teacher or the student, there’s still a way for you to effectively connect. Teachers can also offer classes for institutions abroad, so that foreign students can dial in to your class and participate.

These are just a few of the benefits you may encounter in the classroom when video conferencing is involved. Many of these advantages were previously unfathomable, and as technology continues to evolve and educators get more and more creative, it’s likely that you’ll start seeing even more uses for video conferencing and other methods of digital education. Embracing the power of technology has truly opened up a whole new world of experience for students and teachers alike, and it’s likely that the future will only hold more and more of these unique features and benefits. By keeping abreast of advances in the realm of video conferencing, you’re sure to see even more amazing new things on the horizon.


By November 26, 2015 Read More →

Brilliant 4K UHD display now in 23.8 inch size

acMMD, the leading technology company and brand license partner for Philips Monitors, announces a new display with brilliant 4K UHD resolution. At 23.8 inches, the 241P6VPJKEB display completes the UltraClear 4K UHD line-up with a new, smaller model. This latest member of the family still packs the same dazzling performance as its larger siblings, with UltraClear 4K UHD, 1.074 billion colours, 99% SRGB colour standard, plus integrated webcam and microphone.

Sharpest, most brilliant picture ever
Despite its modest dimensions, the new monitor brings a real sense of space to users’ desktops owing to the sharpness and clarity of the 4K resolution. UHD delivers four times the resolution of Full HD, with 3,840 x 2,160 pixels – for detail like never before. This is extra screen space that people can enjoy however they like (such as with videos or gaming after hours), or use to be more productive at work. Finance wizards, for instance, can view more rows and columns of their spreadsheets without losing the sense of clarity or fatiguing their eyes; creatives working on high-res content can see more detail per inch of screen, and can zoom in for detail or scroll out for an overview perspective, even have four designs side-by-side for comparison and still maintain the vital detail; and geophysicists viewing scientific images can investigate finest details with greater precision than ever.

Albert Ulfman, Product Manager Philips monitors EMEA at MMD says, “The new Philips 241P6VPJKEB is one of the first 23.8-inch 4K monitors to arrive on the market. It offers amazing viewing clarity for every content, and is an excellent fit for the resolution-scaling capabilities of Windows 10. It’s part of the commitment of MMD to giving users a more enjoyable and productive viewing experience with the equipment on their desks.”

Colours and panel technology with performance to match
With 4K UHD technology under the hood, the other components in the display have some tough performance standards to live up to. But like the other 4K UHD displays in the portfolio, the latest family member is engineered to unleash the power of the 4K UHD viewing experience. Take colour, for example: this 10-bit display delivers rich colour depth with 1.074 billion colours for smooth, natural reproduction without gradations and banding effects. And with over 99% sRGB support, users can be confident that any and all of the one billion colours they see on the display are vivid and true to life, and that colours remain precisely the same across different applications. The technology of the panels themselves also measures up: the expansive, wide-angle view and super-high contrast abilities of advanced AH-IPS perfectly complement the sense of space of 4K UHD. AH-IPS is also ideal for applications demanding colour accuracy and high brightness at all times, like photo retouching and graphic design.

Connectivity features that matter
Apart from the power of 4K UHD, the new display is designed with features that matter to users in today’s ultra-connected and always-on world. The display supports MultiView, so people can connect and view images from two separate sources – a PC and TV feed, for example – at the same time. With MHL technology on board, users can enjoy mobile content from smartphones or other devices on the big screen, or use the USB 3.0 hub to hook up devices and recharge them fast. There’s also an integrated webcam and microphone to connect and collaborate more effectively.

The new Philips 241P6VPJKEB/00 display, with an MSRP of £369, will be available from November 2015.

More information on Philips monitors:

By November 19, 2015 Read More →

AOC launches 23.6″ display with 4K resolution

aocDisplay specialist AOC presents a new high-end monitor that brings 4K into a more compact format to fit on any desk at home or in offices. The AOC U2477PWQ’s space-saving 23.6″ (59.9 cm) 4K display provides the user with an impressive UHD resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. Its PLS panel delivers the best colour uniformity at any viewing angle and exploits 100 % of the sRGB colour gamut. Ultra-fast HDMI 2.0 ensures a bandwidth up to 18 Gb/s, which allows a fluid playback of 4K videos, e.g. when connected to a 4K Blu-ray player, 4K camcorder or 4K gaming. The monitor comes in a premium timeless design: With its textured and transparent base, the monitor is an eye-catching companion for professional work and ambitious home users.  


Impressive 4K resolution in a practical size
Many users have become accustomed to displays with high pixel densities, for example on their smartphones, so they do not want to forego this image quality on their monitor screens, too. However, most 4K displays pack the imposing 4K resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels into large monitor sizes which do not necessarily fit into smaller offices. The new AOC U2477PWQ offers a compact solution for everyone: With its display size of 23.6″ the monitor is an ideal option for users who look for a 4K solution but do not have a big office or desk. What is more, with the new Windows 10 operating system, detecting and setting up 4K resolutions has become far more intuitive, making the use of 4K much easier with monitors of all sizes and formats. The combination of a 4K resolution with a compact screen size entails an extra high pixel density, which leads to ultra-sharp images and a crystal clear reproduction of photos and 4K videos. Users do not have to scroll or down scale their images anymore to see the whole picture and at the same time enjoy the smallest details.

Professional panel power
The PLS panel delivers a vivid as well as very precise colour reproduction and comes with wide viewing angles of 178°/178° – horizontal and vertical. PLS panels have an extremely good colour uniformity at any viewing angle. The 8-bit colour support and sRGB colour gamut rounds off the high performance of this display. This way, the U2477PWQ offers the user vibrant pictures, making it ideal for professional users like graphic designers, photographers and movie makers who prefer a smaller display size. Also, ambitious home users find a convincing solution for private photo and video editing. And even if those tasks require long-time work, the display offers a helpful technology to prevent the user from eye fatigue: Flicker FREE helps to reduce imperceptible, but eye-affecting flickering.

Timeless design, fully equipped
The stylish design of the monitor makes it a true eye-catcher in every workplace. With its textured finish and transparent stand, the display combines timelessness and modern understatement. Various ergonomic options complete the performance: Users can adjust the height, and use the tilt or pivot function to find the ideal setting for a healthy posture. And the monitor is very well equipped with advanced connectors, too. In addition to the ultra-fast HDMI 2.0 input that increases the bandwidth significantly up to 18 Gb/s and allows for 60 fps 4K video playback MHL 3.0 and DisplayPort 1.2 are also on board. MHL allows users to display content from a smartphone or tablet while charging it at the same time.

The AOC U2477PWQ will be available in November 2015. The MSRP will be £289. As with all of its displays, AOC offers a 3-year warranty with on-site exchange service.

By October 7, 2015 Read More →

Inateck 4-Port USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Hub unboxing

CaptureThe Inateck 4-Port USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Hub has a lot to offer for a small desktop peripheral. Not only is it compatible with Stand Function for iPad, iPhone, Samsung and More, provide 4 connections to your PC, Macbook or Chromebook at rates of up to 5Gbps but you get a little lip at the front to act as a phone cradle. Don’t believe me? Watch the video.

You can pick one up on Amazon for £12.99:

4-port USB3.0 Desktop Hub 
With 4 USB3.0 ports, this Inateck desktop hub can connect 4 USB devices, like keyboard, mouse and USB flash drive at the same time, which needs no extra power. Free yourself from cable-chaos and put your desktop back in order Better work efficiency with nice mood.

With tablet/smartphone Stand
Want to save more space on your desktop while data transferring from your smartphone or tablet to your laptop? This handy USB3.0 hub with device stand could perfectly meet your needs. Four rubberized feet could keep your tablet or smartphone stable and secure. The streamline design slot allows your device lining on the hub while transferring. 

Four Super Speed ports 
VL812 chipset boost the transfer rates up to 5Gbps, set aside less time for syncing and more time for work.

Eco-friendly Material
This little compact handy gadget was built in PE materials, which makes it lightweight and Ultra-slim. What a great companion for your laptop with additional four ports.

LED Indicates Device Status
The Blue LED indicator on the hub shows the working status of USB data transfer. Lights off when connecting with some non-data-transfer devices, like USB fan or cooler.

In order to take full advantage of the stand function, please make sure the thickness of the devices do not exceed 11mm

USB Port Type: 4 USB 3.0 ports
Chipset: VL812
Size: 85*65*26 mm
Feature: Stand Function for Tablets and Smartphones

You can pick one up on Amazon for £12.99:

By October 6, 2015 Read More →

A gorgeous AOC IPS displays with asymmetric stand

aocDisplay specialist AOC extends the range of its Style line displays with two new models, which are a feast for the eye even when turned off: the nearly borderless design of the AOC I2481FXH (23.8″ / 60.5 cm) and AOC I2781FH (27″ / 68.6 cm) combined with a unique asymmetric metal stand make them stand out from the crowd. But they really come into their own when switched on: their IPS panels ensure highest-grade colour fidelity, sharp contrasts and stunning details for simply brilliant images.

Unique, premium stylish design
The 23.8″ (60.5 cm) AOC I2481FXH and the 27″ (68.6 cm) AOC I2781FH make a bold design statement with their asymmetric metal stands, a feature unique to these AOC monitors. To add to their good looks, both feature ultra slim, nearly borderless frames: the bezel of the 23.8″ AOC I2481FXH is a mere 7.5 mm wide, whereas the 27″ I2781FH model’s is just 9.9 mm slim. This way, they are an appealing addition to any style-conscious user’s desktop.

Brilliant images, wide viewing angles
The two monitors impress even more when turned on: thanks to their IPS panels with the Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, users enjoy not just wide viewing angles of 178° but also brilliant images with highest-grade colour fidelity, impressive contrast and stunning detail. AOC’s Flicker FREE Technology regulates brightness without flickering to ensure a zero-flickering viewing experience with reduced eye strain even during longer periods in front of the monitor.

Versatile and practical
Thanks to two HDMI connectors and one VGA socket, both monitors can easily be connected to various devices including DVD players, game consoles or whatever fits the user’s lifestyle best. For comfortable listening without disturbing others, users can plug in their earphones right into the display’s headphone jack.

The AOC I2481FXH will be available October 2015; the AOC I2781FH will follow in December. Their MSRPs will be £139 and £199 respectively. As with all of its displays, AOC offers a 3-year warranty with on-site exchange service.

By October 5, 2015 Read More →

Win a trip to BlizzCon with Gigabyte


Are you a gamer and into Heroes of the Storm? Gigabyte are currently running  a bit of a competition. Buy a particular 100 series motherboard and you could be entered into a draw to win some goodies and the BlizzCon 2015 Grand Prize, a trip to Anaheim, California to attend BlizzCon itself. A pretty tidy prize. Here is the press release below:


GIGABYTE,  a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards is proud to announce that the first round of winners has been chosen for its ongoing GIGABYTE Heroes of the Storm Sweepstakes.

On top of the thousands of instant winners of the Kerrigan Hero and Succubus Skin for Heroes of the Storm™, 10 lucky new GIGABYTE users registered their eligible 100 series motherboards at the event page and are now walking away with one of the following; a Z170X-Gaming 3 motherboard, a Aivia Krypton mouse or a Force H3 headset. The entire list of winners is available on our site. Congratulations to all!

“GIGABYTE is very excited to be this year’s official motherboard sponsor of BlizzCon 2015,” commented Henry Kao, Vice President of GIGABYTE Motherboard Business Unit. “We love gaming, and we will continue to provide new technologies and features to support the gaming community to make the gaming experience even more enjoyable.”

GIGABYTE would like to remind everyone that they still have a chance to join the GIGABYTE Heroes of the Storm Sweepstakes, to be eligible to win the grand prize that includes; one roundtrip flight to Anaheim, CA to attend BlizzCon® 2015, hotel accommodations for three nights and one exclusive BlizzCon® badge. Hurry up, you have only until October 4th 2015 to register, as the winner will be picked the next day!

How to participate

To get your chance at some great hardware, in-game skins and the Blizzcon® 2015 Grand Prize, you must buy a select GIGABYTE 100 series motherboard and register on our event page. It is as simple as that! All participants who register their eligible motherboard will be instantly notified if they win Heroes of the Storm™ Kerrigan Hero and Succubus skin and will be automatically entered into the monthly lucky draw, prizes include motherboards, mice, and headsets. Monthly Draws will be held on October 5th, November 5th, December 7th, 2015 and January 5th, 2016. Winners will be announced shortly after.

Good luck to all!

For more information about the GIGABYTE Heroes of the Storm Sweepstakes event, go to:

For more information about GIGABYTE, please visit:

By October 5, 2015 Read More →

EasyAcc USB desk fan Unboxing

CaptureEasyAcc have sent over a fan! It’s an old fashioned fan powered by USB and it’s really quire nice. There isn’t a lot to say about this one suffice to say if you are looking for a desk fan, have a free USB on the computer then EasyAcc’s offering is something to consider. I am using it a lot more than I thought I would.

A fan, for £10.99 and it’s great. You can purchase one here


By September 10, 2015 Read More →

Lenovo – Making the heart go boom

P1020076For many a year Lenovo has had been a go to brand for a robust business solution with this Thinkpad line of laptops and desktops. A serious name that lead to serious solutions. This year we are getting a whole new Lenovo, whilst possessing the straight and serious edge that gained a prestigious reputation over the year we have been shown a lighter, fresher and altogether more cuddle side.

Entering from stage let is the new Lenovo, a Lenovo with a quickly design concept, a grasp on the modern tropes and an aim to please. Wearing a new badge that many will find hard to recognise Lenovo are engaging the public with an attitude to propel themselves into the heart of their customers to pull them back for more.

They are listening to what people want and making massive efforts to provide almost every desire coupled with an alternative, without pushing the customer to pay over the odds. This change is happening across the board, not just a simple flip over to pushing out a few more phones.


Take the Y Series brand. Taking care to pay attention to the hardcore gamers in the world Lenovo have developed a line of gaming rigs called the Ideacentre that will appeal to both the customer and the system builder. Kitted out with the latest hardware Lenovo have taken the extra step to keep the machine accessible for the inevitable upgrade and or replacement with with their desktop case. There will be two tiers a Y900 and Y700, the main difference being the Y900’s ability to take dual graphics cards.

Lenovo have recognised that gaming on the PC has a massive consumer base and are trying to make the most flexible gaming system, out of the box, that a hardware manufacturer can provide.


Pushing the focus to portable gaming the same attitude has been worked into the Y-Series gaming laptops. The IdealPad Y700 is designed to appeal to a gamer and added extras to make things a little more suited like backlit keys, QHD display and a Realsense 3D camera and a range of gaming accessories to not only keep things colour coordinated but push the best quality for the money.

Whilst still retaining the Thinkpad business approach Lenovo have made some solid updates to their gaming end and there is a lot to like in these machines. Expect to see the IdeaCentre Y900 in November should cost around £1,039 and Y700 £649. The IdeaPad Y700 will land in October at £617.

By September 2, 2015 Read More →

New ThinkPad and Lenovo PCs Extend Small Business Choice

lenovo-laptops-thinkpad-brandLenovo has announced its latest portfolio of laptops and desktops specifically designed for the small and medium business. Loaded with the latest technology and stylish designs, the portfolio includes the ThinkPad E Series, the updated Lenovo M, B and E line of laptops and S series desktops including elegant all-in-ones. 

ThinkPad E series

The trustworthy and reliable ThinkPad E-Series, available with 14-inch and 15.6-inch anti-glare displays, offers remarkable performance, exceptional mobility and outstanding features for small business users seeking leading edge technology that addresses their needs and offers incredible value.

  • Optional fingerprint security to protect from external threats and facilitate PC access by allowing users to create more complex and secure passwords linked to their fingerprint.
  • Up to nine hours of battery life for virtually all day performance out of the office.
  • The latest generation Intel and AMD processors offering up to ten percent raw performance increase and up to thirty four percent for integrated graphics.
  • Power users will welcome the optional inclusion of discrete graphics, up to 16 GB of memory and solid state storage for increased muscle and efficiency.
  • Flexible ports including three USB3, one HDMI and a Gigabit Ethernet for easier remote access and management in the office.
  • The ThinkPad E560 features an optional Intel RealSense Technology 3D camera. With an ever increasing number of 3D applications to support design and creativity, collaboration and facial recognition security, the possibilities are practically endless.
  • ThinkPad E series is also kinder to the environment with Energy Star 6 and GreenGuard compliance and EPEAT Gold worldwide certification.

Finally, Lenovo offers a wide selection of warranty upgrades, services and enhanced support options to protect customer investment, manage total cost of ownership and reduce those IT headaches.

Design and budget conscious essential computing

The latest Lenovo desktops and laptops are packed with features and stylish designs for businesses looking for excellent value with business-class features to ensure a secure and efficient working environment.

Featuring the latest Intel or AMD processors, these updated models include solid state drives and discrete graphics in selected models and WiFi and Bluetooth for easy connection to wireless networks and peripherals, perfect for open office or reception environments and retail premises.

The desktops offer a variety of display sizes and configurations and include powerful security features such as Smart USB protection and Lenovo Bluetooth Lock:

  • Lenovo S series all-in-one desktops offer sleek and stylish designs with versatile performance and affordable value. Available in a selection of screen sizes, including 19.5-inch and 21.5-inch or 23-inch full HD displays with optional touchscreen to take best advantage of Windows 10.
  • Lenovo S200 tower desktop and S500 small form factor are ideal solutions for customers looking for classic desktops with large storage options and upgrade flexibility. The compact small form factor S500 is versatile and twenty six percent smaller than typical small factor desktops.

The laptops vary from feature packed and budget friendly to thin and light with high performance:

  • The latest Lenovo M41 laptop is ideal for business traveller seeking power in a thin and light package. Weighing just over four pounds, it comes with a 14-inch full HD IPS antiglare display. Featuring up to the latest Intel Core i7 processor, discrete AMD Radeon R7 graphics, 16GB memory and solid state storage, it offers uncompromising performance for up to nine hours on the move.
  • Ideal for the business traveller wanting enhanced security, the powerful Lenovo E41 and E51 laptops offer a 14inch and 15.6 inch display respectively up to full HD, includes optional fingerprint security and an extensive suite of productivity applications.
  • Lenovo B41 and B51 offer incredible value for money for day to day business needs. Surprisingly affordable and available in a wide range of configurations, these laptops can be set up to suit whatever the customers’ requirements.

“Small business users want to be mobile and secure and seek reliable high performance computing to work on their terms. Laptops for total mobile flexibility with excellent battery life or stylish desktops to meet the rigorous tasks of today’s office and retail environments,” said Dilip Bhatia, vice president PC Design and Marketing, Lenovo. “Our latest range of products designed for small businesses deliver on all fronts and offer customers peace of mind with class-leading security features, renowned reliability and performance options giving them the freedom to work how they want.”

Pricing and availability

ThinkPad E460 will be available in EMEA from December with a starting price of €569 (excluding VAT).

ThinkPad E560 and E565 will be available in EMEA from December with a starting price of €609 and €539 (excluding VAT) respectively.

Lenovo S200z, S400z, S405z and S500z all-in-one desktops will be available in selected markets from Q4 2015. Please note that local pricing and availability is pending confirmation.

Lenovo S200 Tower and S500 small form factor will be available in selected markets from Q4 2015. Please note that local pricing and availability is pending confirmation.

Lenovo M41, E41, E51, B41 and B51 laptops will be available in selected markets from Q4 2015. Please note that local pricing and availability is pending confirmation.


By August 27, 2015 Read More →

YouTube Gaming gets an app

downloadYouTube Gaming has finally shifted to live, directly competing against Amazon’s Twitch. Sure enough the platform has now become completely accessible as well as launching an official application for YouTube Gaming is now available for download.

For those of you not familiar with YouTube Gaming, this is Google’s take on the live game streaming industry. While the focus is primarily on live streaming of gameplay, recorded content will also be available which includes past broadcasts, recorded gameplay, and Video on Demand. In fact all gaming related content  currently on YouTube will also available from within YouTube Gaming.

The idea is to make it as easy  as possible to stream gameplay on YouTube Gaming, so that anyone who wants to do it can easily pick it up and go for it. For content creators, and most YouTube accounts, the button to Go Live should be up in the top right when signed into your account. The layout for the application is pretty much identical to the YouTube Gaming portal in browsers as well. Flipping between the two should be pretty easy once you’ve learned where everything is.

One step Youtube Gaming may have over Twitch is that anyone with access to the streaming dashboard and monetize their stream, allowing the gamer to earn some money from their gaming experience. Twitch requires a certain amount of viewership before you can be partnered with Twitch, once down ads are used to generate revenue. With YouTune Gaming, as long as you can access the streaming dashboard, you can monetize your stream as well as enable Fan Funding cards.

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