Newsletter Archives

  • Large or small? Old or new? Borrowed and blue?


    Ben Myers

    By Ben Myers

    Decade-long trends in computer hardware make for more expansive and perplexing choices.

    So you need to buy another computer, or two, or more? What do you buy — large or small, mainstream brand, traditional or custom, new or used?

    Running a cradle-to-grave computer business including the repair and resale of gently used computers, I originally expected to portray the various tradeoffs between buying new and buying used computers. Then I realized that the trends that have swept over the computer industry in the past decade can, and do, have great influence over what to buy. Trends first, new vs. used later.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.14.0, 2023-04-03).

  • Defibrillate your “dead” laptop


    Ben Myers

    By Ben Myers

    I confess: I do not have a defibrillator to use on a laptop.

    Beginning with Windows 7, a laptop in sleep mode can become unresponsive and completely inoperative. In the repair business, we call this “dead.” Ultimately, it’s about managing your laptop’s battery.

    On the average, a seemingly dead laptop lands in my hands every couple of months. That is not often enough to be classified as a major problem by Microsoft, but it is still very real.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.51.0, 2022-12-19).

  • “Which laptop should I buy?”


    Will Fastie

    By Will Fastie

    I thought I knew the answer to that question, but it’s changed.

    During idle chitchat at my podiatrist’s office recently, my involvement with computing came out and the nurse immediately asked me which laptop she should buy.

    Family, friends, and clients have asked me this question for decades. I thought I had a pat answer, but I found myself fumbling this time. Afterward, it occurred to me that my thinking had not completely evolved with the market. Here’s my new, updated answer.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.44.0, 2022-10-31).

  • Review: The best 13-inch laptops for Windows 10

    I put half a dozen laptops through months of real-world work. Here’s the result.

    Spoiler: The XPS-13 is a great choice, but not the only choice.