As time moves ahead, you try to bring a change in our surroundings, whether it is the way you arrange your furniture or the sort of hairstyle you sport. It is obviously boring to work with the laptop which has the same look for years since you bought it. The purpose of laptop skin is to break this dull feeling by bringing a refreshing change to its looks such that it suits your personality and style.
You could create some laptop skins on your own to cut down the cost and to give it a personalized look. Let us look at 5 DIY laptop skin covers.
1. Use of wallpaper:
- A wallpaper with beautiful motifs or colourful designs
- A pair of scissors,
- Tracing paper
- A blunt plastic spatula
How to do it:
- First of all, keep the translucent tracing paper on the laptop cover and mark the area having the logo or name on it with the blunt spatula.
- Mark the edges of the laptop for the size of the cover. Bring it down from the laptop.
- Then, give the mark on the tracing sheet a stencil cut and keep it on the wallpaper to be used as skin
- Trace the outline of the laptop cover again after it is kept on the wallpaper.
- Trace on the logo. Remove the tracing paper.
- Cut the wallpaper along the edges without mistakes.
- Cut the logo using the edge of scissors or with a hand cutter such that the logo of the laptop cover is visible.
- Now peel the wallpaper from the backing paper and label it on the laptop cover such that no air bubbles are formed. Take the help of the blunt spatula for this purpose.
2. Use of decals:
A decal paper or a vinyl paper could be used as a skin using the same method mentioned earlier. But, the options available with decal paper are more regarding graphics and colours. You could even customize the skin colours and patterns with decals. The marble top, wood grain top, et al are ready decals available in the market. You could even purchase a blank vinyl sheet and print beautiful images using a printer or write exclusive stuff on your own.
3. Use of washi tapes:
These are available in a variety to suit your preference of colour and style. The good thing about washi tapes is that it is non-sticky when you have to remove it from the laptop cover for a new one. This is one hassle free method of creating laptop skin. These are rolled up similar to our masking tape. So, it is easier to roll it over the laptop either horizontally or vertically or whichever way you need it with the help of a cutter.
4. Use of bling:
There are a lot of bling fragrances available in the form of labels with non-sticky surfaces. You could go for sequin labels or several motif labels or scrapbook bling. You just have to remove them from the backing paper and stick it on the surface of your laptop cover. Done!
5. Use of iron-on transfer stickers used on clothes:
Buy cute designs of iron-on transfer stickers available in the market. Stick a double side sticking tape on your laptop cover and transfer the sticker image on to it.
Buying a new gaming laptop with all the desired functionality is a substantial investment. Below, we will discuss, few common mistakes made while buying laptops:
1. Disregarding the right size
Not buying the right size is indeed a big mistake! While a bigger display means a better view, it would hit portability. If you were most likely to use at home, a big 15.6”display would work.
However, a small display would often leave you annoyed and cramped while using keyboard and touchpad. If you were a frequent traveler who needs a laptop that is easy on your shoulder and occupies less space on your airplane table, then a display of less than 13” would work just fine.
2. Overlooking ports and compatibility
If it has been a while since you last purchased a laptop,it’s natural to expect your new model to have all the basic ports including multiple USB ports, a card reader, outlets for your headphone and microphone, Ethernet, and video output. Nevertheless, with the new laptops, several ports are going extinct. A new, regular 15.6” laptop may have all you expect whereas small laptops are starting to omit Ethernet and trim down USB to just two ports. If you have a few external hard drives and like to connect a mouse, you’ll have to take the number of ports into consideration.
3. Giving undue importance to RAM
It is common wisdom that higher the number, the better the storage of RAM. The fact is that very few gamers need higher than 8GB RAM. In order to sell more units of undesirable laptops with low performing processors and other parts, manufacturers offer a huge RAM (for example 32GB) to make the deal lucrative. Misguided by the size of RAM alone, the buyers ignore the other specifications of the laptop.
4. Not paying the right price
Paying too much
Don’t let marketing fool you, and end up paying more than you can afford. Beware! Expensive gaming laptops offer more than what you actually need. It is very important that you stick to your needs rather than a brand. Before buying a new gaming laptop set a budget, like a gaming laptop under 1000 dollars. Then research all the must have laptops for gamers 2016 in your price range. Make a list of your needs and compare it against the features of the laptop by specs.
Buying the cheapest one
Cheap laptops may not have all the features you need. Moreover, buying the cheapest laptop available may be easy on your wallet at the time of purchase, but may cost a fortune in the long run. Cheap hardware wears out quickly and will fail to keep up with the increasing demands of new software.
5. Paying for Extended warranty
Extended warranty is more often than not a big waste of money! Most gaming laptops last longer, and failures occur long after the warranty expires. In addition, the cost of repairs turns out to be the same amount as the warranty. Consequently, the price and duration of the warranty is not justified.
Consumer Reports direct against extended warranties except in two cases:
- If you travel frequently, and the warranty covers theft or accidental damage.
- If you think you need extended tech support.
Are you like nomads who keep traveling from place to place with your laptop buddy either for personal fun or business gains?
Your travel time can be risky for your laptop in many ways. There are equal chances from simple damages to the loss of your equipment. How exactly are you going to protect your laptop and priceless data?
First, never put a hibernating laptop into your backpack. Make sure you switch off the equipment before you pack it. For the rest, let’s have a look at four most common travel threats to laptops and its protective remedies.
Cushioning from falls
There is every chance that while you maneuver your luggage during your travels, you end up knocking down your laptop by accident. If you are lucky enough, your laptop will survive with a few scratches, which will be rare.
It is due to the same reason that companies started manufacturing laptop cushions that can absorb slight to severe shocks from falls. Get good quality cover and be at peace. Else, get a laptop cushioned bag with adequate protection and pouches to transport accessories.
Whichever fall-proofing method you adopt, try to get something that does not have an obvious logo that calls out and tells strangers what you have inside so as to reduce possible theft.
Imagine a situation where you are sipping on your favorite drink near the beach, relaxing and going through holiday snaps on your laptop. And then it happens! You spilled your drink and that too on top of your laptop. Picnic over.
Well, that may not be the case if you spill-proof your laptop keyboard. Unless you have a laptop that does the function by default, you can give necessary protection from spills using commercially available silicon or plastic keypad covers.
These covers are designed to shield keyboard from possible liquid entry points such as grooves between keys. These guards just do their job without interfering into your typing efficiency. Look for a good quality shield if you are looking for complete spill protection.
While you are on the move, either your laptop stays with you or it will be locked inside the place you stay. Standardized hotel room safes cannot accommodate laptops. It is ideal to tie it to any secure heavy object in your room with a commercially available cable and lock.
In order to protect your information while you are in public, use a 3M Privacy filter that blocks the view for those viewing at an angle, but not for you who looks straight at it. These filters are available for Windows and Apple laptops.
There are ways available to secure your data even if your laptop goes missing or is robbed. There is online encryption software available that can be downloaded and used for encrypting all or part of your data.
Yet another alternative is to keep your most sensitive information on a flash drive and keep it in a secured place. They are available in various memory sizes from 2-32 gigabytes at varying prices.
Unlike a desktop computer, the laptop comes with rechargeable battery and that is the best part of it. It is hence indisputably a convenient way to work while on the move. But more often than not, when a laptop is used at our office or home, it is inadvertently plugged into a power source and kept there. In the quest to save battery power, we forget that continuous plugging in does more harm than good.
Let us see how:
- The battery of a laptop works efficiently when charged up to an optimum level. Charging it completely and keeping it charged at that level brings down its efficiency in the long run. The optimum level is considered to be around 80% according to the Battery University. Some manufacturers have included a feature in their products to cut off the power to the battery once it reaches the desired 80%. Even otherwise, it is advisable to remove the battery from the laptop when it is run on the AC power. Or, better still; unplug the system when the battery is sufficiently charged. This would enhance the battery life.
- Being on continuous power supply heats up the system considerably. In such a scenario, the battery gets heated too and its performance is affected and in extreme cases, an irreversible damage occurs due to expansion and bubbling up. While the laptop is plugged in and not in use, the heat buildup can be eliminated if the lid is open and the laptop is kept in a cool environment with sufficient ventilation.
- If there be present any voltage fluctuations in the power supply, these directly affect the laptop components which are sensitive and cause them to fry. These sudden voltage fluctuations have an adverse effect on the battery of the laptop too.
- Every battery has a limited number of times it can be charged/discharged. These are called charge/discharge cycles. According to the Battery University, the discharge cycles are at a low 300-500 cycles when charged at 100% and a high 1200-2000 cycles when the charge is maintained between 70% and 80%. Hence, to improve the longevity of the battery life, it is prudent to plug in the system only till the battery charge reaches around this level and charge it again before it falls too low.
- Ever considered how much power the laptop sucks in when plugged continuously? Even though it has reached a level where the battery is completely charged, it continues to take in more to power the laptop directly, while not benefitting the charged up battery at all. Even when the laptop is in sleep mode it uses power. Power saving has taken up much precedence due to the global warming looming large over us.
Leaving the laptop continuously plugged in may not see any short term damage to the laptop and its battery, but a year is shortened from the life of the battery and the system and its components face a slow and heated degradation.
Bill considers touchscreen laptops as the natural evolution of laptops; however, Steve believes it as the dumbest idea ever. So who’s correct? No one! As with deciding on other computer features – RAM, display size, processor – choosing to have a touchscreen or not is a matter of personal preference and needs.Let’s take a close look at the pros and cons of touchscreen laptops.
Why do you need a touchscreen laptop?
- More intuitive and natural. Swiping a touchscreen to interact with your laptop is easier, faster and may be more fun than using a touchpad or a mouse. While keyboard shortcuts are hard to remember, using a touchscreen is more intuitive, and feels natural.
- Compatible with certain applications. There are certain programs and games that can be used more efficiently with a touchscreen rather than a mouse. Touchscreen is very useful for Adobe Photoshop and the like extensively.
Why do you NOT need a touchscreen laptop?
- More sweat and smear on your screen: Greasy and sweaty smears are the curses of touchscreen laptops. Although this isn’t a deal-breaker, cleaning the screen constantly with a microfiber cloth is a hassle.
- The Gorilla arm: One of the major drawbacks of touchscreens is the gorilla arm – the tired arms after reaching out and touching a screen for a long time. In order to avoid gorilla arms, the touchscreens can be detached, held closer, and positioned at comfortable angles. You may also not hold your arm against the screen for a perpetual amount of time, and may switch back and forth to the keyboard and mouse.
- Added thickness: With a touchscreen laptop, there comes an added thickness on the screen especially if it has a pen. This, in turn, adds to the weight of the laptop by 0.2 to 0.4 pounds.
- Poor battery life: Touch screens consume higher power in order to support the display even when you’re not using the functionality. If you’re a frequent traveler who needs the battery to last longer before you charge next, then it is safe to stay away from touchscreen laptops.
- Increased Cost: Touchscreen laptops always cost more than their standard counterparts, as the materials used to build touchscreen displays are expensive. You can expect to shell out an extra of $100 to $200 on them. It’s best to spend that money on additional features like a faster processor or more internal storage.
- A single, convertible touchscreen laptop cannot replace laptop and tablet. The touchscreen laptops most likely convert into tablets by either folding the display over the keyboard or detaching the display from a keyboard. It is not recommended to buy touchscreen laptop just because you think it’s cheaper to own a two-in-one instead of two devices – a laptop and a tablet. In most cases, touchscreen laptops don’t serve the best of both worlds.Tiny, inexpensive touchscreens do not make good laptops or great tablets. Expensive touchscreens are large and heavy and do not serve as well as tablets. Eventually, you will see yourself in a position buying new devices and spending more.