Category : Laptop

A Steal of a Deal- Latitude 13 7000 Series 2-in-1




At $599, this 2-in-1 combines a laptop and tablet in perfect harmony. Whether it be business needs, student work, or basic computing, a 2-in-1 is the ultimate solution. Be free to switch between typing on a keyboard, and writing with a tablet, without the need for multiple devices. Superior performance makes way for easy to navigate user-friendly features. And it’s a Dell, which means a 3 year hardware service warranty and onsite service with remote diagnostics.

The Latitude comes fully loaded with 4 GB of memory and a 128 GB Mobility solid state drive, sure to handle any and all computing needs with superior performance. The battery life isn’t too shabby either, with 10.5 of promised battery life to get you through your work or school day without having to travel with the charger. If you opt for a 2-in-1 device, most likely you are an avid multitasker with an eye for streamline technology. The Latitude is equipped with a powerful Intel Core M processor with the multitasker in mind. The 13.3 inch HD touchscreen display implements the 10 point  touch technology for pinpoint accuracy.

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This is not the average 2-in-1 device. No need to feel like you are working on half a machine, with the capabilities of a tablet but the lacking of laptop power. The Latitude is built with laptop standards in mind, so the ease of switching between tablet and laptop doesn’t feel like a compromise for efficiency.

Encryption protects you data across all endpoints, including external media and in public cloud storage, and if you have been keeping up with basically any tech news these days, this is huge. Advanced malware attacks are prevented with Dell Data Protection security tools.

Make sure to add the Dell Active Stylus to optimize the Latitude’s versatility.



$599 is a pretty good deal for all the benefits of a tablet and a laptop rolled into one vamped up device!







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Best 2-in-1 Laptops of 2016

These are some of our top picks for 2-in-1 laptops on the market. Ranging in price from $300 to $2,000, you can find a machine that is sure to fit your needs and your budget.

Lenovo Yoga 900

CPU: 2.5 GHz Intel Core i7-6500U Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520 RAM: 16GB Screen: 13.3 inch QHD+ 3,200 x 1,800 IPS display Storage: 256GB SSD

Full package for $1,000, powerful processor, larger battery, a little heavy, but superb design. lenovo-yoga-900-12

Microsoft Surface Book

CPU: 2.4 GHz Intel Core i5-65300U Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520 RAM: 8GB Screen: 13.5 inch 3,000 x 2,000 Pixel Sense display Storage: 128 GB PCle3.0

For $1350 out the door, you get amazing graphics, a 13.5 inch screen, and one of the thinnest and mos powerful combinations currently available. The battery life is not what it should be for a machine of this caliber, but other than that it is a great design.

HP Spectre x360

CPU: 2.2GHz Intel Core i5-5200 Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5500 RAM: 4GB Screen: 13.3 inch 1,920 x 1,080 FHD Radiance LED-backlit touchscreen Storage: 128GB SSD

This is one of the best buys on the list, with excellent 1080p screen, great performance, solid battery life, and affordable for $720. The wide trackpad is the top complaint for users. If you can get over the trackpad and the slightly heavy design, this is a great buy for performance.

Toshiba Satellite Radius 12

CPU: 2.3 GHz Intel Core i7-6200U Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520 RAM: 8GB Screen: 12.5 inch 1,920 x 1,080 TruBrite LED backlit touchscreen Storage: 256GB SSD

This machine was designed to support both tablet and laptop functions without a hitch. It is lightweight and easy to maneuver, with a sharp color display. The design is nice but the battery is weaker than most. At $680 this 2-in-1 is a steal!

HP Pavillion x2 

CPU: 1.44GHz Intel Atom x5-Z8300 | Graphics: Intel HD graphics | RAM: 2GB|Screen: 10.1-inch, 1,280 x 800 WXGA WLED IPS touchscreen display | Storage:32GB eMMC

This is the most affordable Windows 10 convertible selling for $300 from hp. Smaller in size with a 10 inch screen but with long battery life. Best for simple work, streaming and editing.


Dell Inspiron 13 7000 

CPU: 2.1GHz Intel Core i7-5500 | Graphics: Intel Core i3-5010U processor | RAM:4GB DDR3L (1,600MHz) | Screen: 13.3-inch HD (1366 x 768) Truelife LED-backlit touchscreen | Storage: 500GB HDD

Looks like a conventional laptop at a glance, but easily bends into a flexible tablet design. Steal for $429 !

HP Elite x2 1012 G1 

CPU: 1.1GHz Intel Core m5-6Y54 (dual-core, 4MB cache, up to 2.7GHz with Turbo Boost) | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515 | RAM: 8GB LPDDR3-1866 SDRAM |Screen: 12-inch, 1,920 x 1,280 FHD UWVA eDP ultra-slim LED-backlit touchscreen | Storage: 256GB M.2 SATA TLC SSD

Great usability. Short battery life. Can endure drops, bumps, temperature shifts, making the $1,349 price tag at least durable.

HP Spectre x360 15 

CPU: 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-6200U | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 15.6-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 Full HD, IPS touchscreen | Storage: 256GB Flash SSD

Contrast rich screen and long battery life for it’s size. $1150 for great graphics and touchscreen.

Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi 

CPU: 1.2GHz Intel Core M 5Y71 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5300 | RAM: 4GB |Screen: 12.5-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 capacitive multi-touch IPS display | Storage:128GB SSD

Among the thinnest, at $570 this machine packs enough punch to to drive a 4k display. The battery life is a little short but the machine itself is a great combination of laptop and tablet.

The verdict is in…2-in-1 vs. tablet

Just the other day I tried relentlessly to convince my mother than a PC with tablet capabilities would significantly improve her work flow. She brought up the usual restrictions associated with tablet use, “does it have enough power to accomplish what I need?”. Most iPads and tablets just can’t compare to the power behind a PC or laptop. Doing research can be a pain, as it isn’t always easy to switch between applications on a tablet device. Multitasking for the work day is exponentially better on a machine that can allow multiple applications to be open and running so that the user can easily shift gears without creating a giant mess. However, tablets have their perks, the machine is much lighter and easier to carry and the hands on capabilities are great. The riddle here is finding a machine that can take from both a PC and a tablet and combine efforts to create a better machine.

Windows 2-in-1 systems combine power, ease, and the Windows operating system, to create better raw usability. Apple iOS and Android can’t compare to the usability of Microsoft Windows even with continuous improvement. With a 2-in-1 system you can run full applications, several of them, side-by-side, switching without problem. The Windows platform was designed for this. I love Apple products and I own quite a few myself, but I know needs and Apple products cannot match the needs of the consumer that wishes to work from a tablet. I know this from experience as I tried to brave my first year of college on only an iPad. I lost a lot of sleep that year.

A Windows 10 powered 2-in-1 PC is not only less expensive, but easier to use for ‘real’ work. Here are a few guidelines to help you make a 2-in-1 purchase.

Choose your Size – 2-in-1 devices range in size from 10 inch models that are ideal for those that are always on the go and need something light that travels well, to 11 and 13 inch models such as the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and the Lenovo Yoga 900. If you are simply not impressed with 13 inches, the HP 15 inch Spectre x360 should do the trick.

Detachable or Rotating Hinge? – Typically you can opt for bendable or detachable. If you prefer the touch-based experience similar to using a tablet but again with better power and management, choose a detachable model. The Microsoft Surface Pro 4, HP Spectre x2 and the Dell XPS 12 are all great detachable models with tablet bodies and magnetic keyboards. In comparison, if you write a significant amount for your job then a bendable 2-in-1 is a better match for you. The Lenovo Yoga 900 and HP Spectre x360 have hinges that bend 360 degrees, and also offer tent and presentation positions.

Processor Specs – The highest power systems will feature an Intel Core i7 or m7 chip. Midrange models will have Core i3, i5 and m5 CPUs, which will support productivity as a good middle range between price and performance. Those on a budget are going to find Intel Celeron and Atom CPUs in their hybrids. If you want a device for browsing the web, answering emails, and watching Netflix a lower budget spec should work just fine.

Storage– The standard for 2-in-1 machines is 4GB of RAM, but 8GB is better if you can afford the increase. I would not advise 16GB of RAM unless you are going to be answering some serious work demands. For most people the extra memory and performance is not needed, not to mention it is more expensive.

Screen Resolution– Screen resolution is very important! A higher resolution screen makes a huge difference throughout the day. Affordable 2-in-1 models have 13366 x 768 pixel displays, but if you can you should look for a sharper 1920 x 1080 full-HD screen. Better image quality and side by side window viewing. The higher end resolutions are so beautiful it is hard not to pay the price for higher resolution. But these can suck up a lot of power, so be mindful of what is really important.

Budget – You can spend anywhere from $150 to $3,000 on a 2-in-1 device. Prices escalate as you increase size, specs, storage, and resolution. Look to our next post to find the perfect 2-in-1 for you!

Three Unbelievably Tiny Computers

The market for a device that can easily replace the standard PC has taken a new approach to size. Don’t be fooled, you may be surprised when you find out what is hiding inside these small machines.

Zotac Zbox Sphere

This computer not only breaks the mold in terms of size, but shape. The Zbox is in fact, not a box, but a sphere. Simply twist the circular top and feast your eyes on the interior powerhouse of the computer. The top half of this tiny PC houses an Intel Core i5-42WP 300U motherboard and 4GB of memory. The back panel provides six USB ports, as well as an HDMI and DisplayPort. In addition, the Zbox includes a 802.11ac WiFi module and a spot for an Ethernet cable if preferred. This almost bowling ball like computer packs a serious punch in terms of creativity and power. WP 4





Intel Compute Stick

This tiny PC resembles a USB thumb drive, and has stirred massive attention since its release in early 2015. The Intel Compute Stick plugs into any monitWP 5or’s HDMI port, an added bonus for anyone working in tight spaces. Concerned about over heating? Fear not, this tiny machine has a fittingly tiny fan inside, ensuring fast performance without
overheating. Unfortunately the stick does not have an internal battery and thWP 6erefore must run off micro USB power at all times in order to function. What the Intel Compute Stick lacks in battery capabilities it makes up for with a quad-core 1.3GHz processor and 2GB of RAM, with micro SD support for up to 128GB of storage. That’s a lot of power crammed into 4.5 inches.






Mouse Box

The tiniest computer of the three is cleverly disguised as a computer mouse. The Mouse Box device contains a quad-core 1.4GHz ARM processor, a 128GB solid-state drive, and built-in b/g/n WiFi. The wireless image transfer module allows for easy visual transmitting in addition to the convenient micro HDMI port. The coolest part? Sticking with the mouse motif, the Mouse Box doesn’t need to be plugged in. The inductive charging mat doubles as a mousepad. Although the Mouse Box is not up for public release quite yet, they most certainly have our attention.  WP 8

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Surface Book Owners Reporting GPU and Display-Related Issues

Although Microsoft’s Surface book has introduced plenty of new features and capabilities, a couple complaints have been made online. Here are a list of some of the reported problems:

  1. Dell 34” U-Wide cannot be used with the dock. Screen goes black every 2-3 minutes for 10 seconds or so
  2. Cannot boot with the dock. Monitor never comes on and my Kef X300 speakers just click over and over. Have to boot with the dock, then plug the dock in.
  3. Strangest problem with color temp changes on web pages as you scroll. Goes from a light white screen to a purple or yellow hue once you hit a certain point in the page, happens consistently on long pages and easy repeatable. Happens on both the external monitor and the laptop screen.
  4. Playing MPEG files on the laptop works fine, playing the connected to the dock will give an unable to decode error sometimes, program closes other times, and plays. After it errors out 2-3 times it refuses to play until reboot.
  5. Going to a web page where there are a lot of animations or movement causes a black screen, won’t come back until you undock /redock.
  6. Cannot detach dock, says I have to close SearchUI but its not a running service that I can find, have to reboot again.
  7. After using for a while cannot run any program getting a Run32DLL.


Videos regarding the temperature problem have been posted on youtube. Visually, you can see the hue change on the page as you scroll.  Other problems include driver issues, greenish hues, and battery drains when utilizing Connected Standby. Another problem reported is the electric grip mechanism, with one side gripping hard and the other releasing easily.

Most of these problems sound like issues that can be fixed in software.

Microsoft Releases its Own Hybrid Laptop, the Surface Book



microsoft-surface-bookMicrosoft has unveiled the first laptop it has ever released on its own, the Surface Book. Described by Microsoft’s Panos Panay as the “Ultimate laptop,” the Surface Book specs seem to live up to his words. The Surfaces Book is a 13.5-inch, magnesium alloy laptop with high powered internals that also has the ability to detach from its keyboard to become a surface tablet. The laptop is just .51-.90 inches thin and weighs 1.6 lbs.

The laptop’s unique ability to become a tablet is possible because the battery and the Intel Core processor are built into the screen half of the laptop, while the GPU is in the keyboard base.  The concept is to use the device in laptop mode for heavier tasks such as typing, playing games, or editing vSurface-Book-image-1-e1444134958401ideos and detaching from the powerful GPU base for lighter tasks.

In laptop mode, the Surface Book’s keyboard has a back-lit chiclet-style keyboard and a multi-touch glass track pad. Microsoft says that the battery life will last up to 12 hours in laptop mode and 3 hours in tablet mode; however, it all depends on your usage.

Microsoft’s Pinay boasts that it is the “thinnest and most powerful PC ever created.” Topping out at 1TB storage and 16GB of RAM, the Surface Book will cost you.  128GB of storage and 8GB of RAM starts at $1,500, while the fully loaded laptop will costs over $3,000.

New Small Business PC Lineup Released by HP

New all-in-ones, desktops, and laptops will be launching soon from HP’s small business lineup. The HP ProOne 400 G2 is a slim, 20 inch PC that includes a new adaptable easel stand that is height adjustable. It bears a 10-point capacitive touch panel and can be configured with the 6th Generation Intel Core processors. The all-in-one also encompasses BIOS-level security features, allowing automatic detection and recovery from BIOS corruption or attacks.  The ProOne 400 G2 will be available in October starting at $649.

As for desktop space, the new ProDesk 400 series was unveiled, featuring desktops of assorted sizes including the 400 G2 Mini, the 400 G3 Small Form Factor (SFF), and the 400 G2 Microtower, all of which can also be configured with the 6th Generation Intel Core processors and DDR4 RAM. They will all feature BIOS-level security too as well as a new standard serial port, a VGA port, and DisplayPort. The ProDesk 400 Mini and Microtower will be available in October starting at $479. The SFF will be released later in 2015 starting at $549.

Lastly, the Probook 400 G3 series of business laptops focus on an airy design with 13-, 14-, 15-, and 17- inch laptops that are thinner and lighter than the previous generation.  Configuration options range from the Intel Corimagese i3 to Intel i7 processors, up to 16 GB of memory, and as much as 1 TB of storage space.  No pricing information has been released thus far, but the Probook 430 G3, 440 G3, 450 G3, and the 455 G3 are expected to launch this month. Premium features include touch displays, an aluminum reinforced, spill resistant keyboard, and soft touch Gravity Black Finish.

Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro Laptop

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 9.11.43 AMBVA looks at several notebooks and Ultrabooks in the technology market and there is a new one that I felt we should take note of.  The Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro Laptop is light weight, comes in different colors, and come with many different options of resources and disk space.  All come with the 4th generation Intel chip with I5 and I7 as options.  All come with Microsoft Windows 8.1 with a 13 inch display and solid state drives from 256GB to 512GB.


Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 9.11.34 AM Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 9.11.20 AM



Laptop or Tablet? Both?

Toshiba Satellite U925T-S2300 Ultrabook™ Convertible

A client recently asked me for a laptop that was light weight, easy to travel with, and fast. She also asked if an iPad could replace the work she did on a laptop. My answer to this question is generally no. There are just some things iPads can’t do, get over it and move on. I consider what she wanted to do and with the introduction of Windows 8 and touch screen laptops, I found what I thought was the perfect solution for her.

The Toshiba Satellite U925T-S2300 Ultrabook™ Convertible. This is 12.5″ laptop, that converts into a tablet. It has an i5 processor, 128GB SSD, and 4gb of RAM. The machine is quite fast. The touchscreen is ultra responsive, and my client loves it!!! She’s able to do the presentations she wants, she can carry it on the go, and much more. I wasn’t worried about the screen size as she generally hooks up to the 24″ external monitor to work on anyway so she was good to go!.

Computer “Deal of the Week”

If you’re looking for a great deal on a laptop, we here at bva have found one for you! If you use the coupon code located near the bottom of the picture on the left and go to this website you can save $300. The Dell Inspiron has some great reviews if you’re looking to compare some items for your next purchase.