Q I have an old laptop that still works pretty
well. Exactly what advantages would a new
A Today’s computers are leaps and bounds
ahead of what came before them. However, if
your old laptop still works well, you don’t need to
get rid of it. Perhaps you can keep it as a secondary computer or as a backup, or hand it down to
an organization like a school that needs it.
As for what’s new, here’s what you can expect.
; Today’s Windows laptops are a lot more
versatile. Most have touch screens, so you can
use your fingertips instead of (or in addition
to) using the keyboard and trackpad. Some also
include a digital stylus pen, for those who want
to draw, sketch or write on the
screen. Many laptops
are “;-in-;s,” as they
can transform from
a laptop to a tablet by
either bending back the
screen on a ;;;-degree
hinge or detaching the
; Faster processors,
such as the ;th Generation
Intel Core processors, give
you not only blazing fast
speeds, but also smoother mul-titasking and much better battery life than previous laptops.
; Newer laptops are incredibly
thin and light, making them much
easier to carry around with you to
and from coffee shops, the office,
school, airplanes, etc. Laptops also benefit from
high-resolution screens—;;;;p and ;K—
displaying a lot more clarity and detail in photos,
videos and games.
; When it comes to storage, more and more
laptops have a solid-state drive (SSD) instead
of a hard disk drive (HDD), which makes these
laptops thinner, lighter, faster and more energy
efficient. Like the flash memory in your smartphone, SSDs are also less prone to damage
because there are no moving parts.
; Finally, as an operating system, Windows
;; is a home run. Offering multiple ways to
interface with your content (including using
your voice with the Cortana personal assistant),
Windows ;; is easy to use, reliable and secure,
and it supports many downloadable apps,
games and hardware accessories.
Marc Saltzman, a leading
high-tech reporter, contributes to more than three dozen
appears on radio and TV,
and is the author of more
than ;; books. He’s on
Twitter at @marc_saltzman
Saltzman will answer selected
questions in this column.
He regrets that unpublished
questions cannot be
Please include “Marc Saltzman
Q&A” in the subject line.
Q&A with Marc Saltzman
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Ideas on new laptops and better Wi-Fi
Costco features a complete
selection of home electronics
in the warehouses and on
Costco.com, including the latest in laptops. For your home
Wi-Fi system, you’ll ;nd the
latest routers, as well as mesh
a laptop to a tablet by
hinge or detaching the
titasking and much better bat-
Q We have a lot of new devices in our house,
including a Smart TV and tablets. Can my
wireless network handle all of this?
A What’s the one thing your smartphone, tablet, laptop, Smart TV, multi-room speakers,
smart thermostat and video game console have
in common? If you answer “Wi-Fi,” you’re right!
Your wireless network—handled through
your router—gives all your devices access to the
internet. But if you’re not getting the speed and
range you want, or if you notice an issue when
multiple devices are on your network simultaneously, take heed of the following suggestions.
; An emerging option for home Wi-Fi is
a “mesh network.” These easy-to-install
kits typically include a wireless router and
one or more “repeaters” to place
around the house, to deliver fast
and consistent speeds in every
room. These systems feature a
single high-speed network for
exceptional performance and
range throughout the home.
; If you’d prefer to stick
with your existing Wi-Fi
system, consider upgrading
your router. Newer routers operate on a protocol called ;;;.;;ac,
which replaces the older ;;;.;;n,
;;;.;;g and ;;;.;;a/b. Often a
number is associated with the
router, such as an AC;;;; router,
which is faster than an AC;;;;
; If you are a demanding internet user, look
for routers with powerful (“high gain”) antennas and dual-band or tri-band support, as well,
although they usually are more expensive.
; Place your router as close to the center of
the house as you can, ideally on the main or top
floor (as opposed to a basement). If you have a
larger home, consider buying an inexpensive
wireless extender (sometimes referred to as a
“repeater”) and place it in an area of your home
that can benefit from stronger Wi-Fi reception.
Whichever option you choose, make sure
you’re paying for true high-speed connectivity
through your internet service provider. There
may be a better modem you can buy or rent, and
a faster tier of service to sign up for.
Today, setting up or upgrading your home
Wi-Fi system is easier than ever. The devices
quickly lead you through the setup process and
include steps to make sure the system is secure.
An upgrade can help make sure all your devices
get the Wi-Fi signal to operate properly. C
OUR DIGITAL EDITIONS
Click here for more information on the latest
laptops. (See page 9 for details.)