Perhaps you’ve upgraded your Mac to Mountain Lion, but have you turned on all the best features? Make sure you’re not missing out on all the ways OS X 10.8 can interact with iOS devices, from iPads to the new iPhone 5.
Apple users, who may be thinking this week about getting ready for a new iPhone and mobile operating system, will do well to make sure their Macs are up to date. Assuming you’ve already installed Apple OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion ($19.99, 4.5 stars), there are a few features and options you’ll want to make sure you’ve enabled to fully take advantage of the operating system. You’ll get more out of your Mac when it’s set up to interact with your iPhone, iPad, and other Apple devices.
Turn On iCloud
To take advantage of how Mountain Lion syncs and interacts with your iPhone, iPad, or other Apple devices, you have to turn on iCloud.
iCloud has many uses, including backup, but for the purpose of this article, let’s look at using it for syncing. Part of what makes OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion special is that you can start something on your mobile device and finish it on your Mac, practically seamlessly. Previous versions of OS X do support iCloud, too, but with Mountain Lion, you’ll see even more features that leverage iCloud in some neat ways.
You’ll find iCloud on your Mac in Settings, the same place you can find it on your iPhone and iPad. The first step is to simply log in with your Apple ID. Make sure you turn on iCloud on all the devices where you want to use it.
Turn on the various apps that you want to sync. If you use the Contacts apps on your iPhone or iPad, I definitely recommend turning it on in Mountain Lion, as some of the other apps and services will leverage your Contacts list. I also recommend most users sync Safari bookmarks, Calendar, Reminders, and Notes, too. Plenty more apps and services sync, of course, so turn on the ones you prefer. And with iOS 6 (coming later in September), photos can be shared with your contacts automatically, if you’ve set up iCloud’s Photo Stream.
(Note: If you have Apple mobile devices but use a Windows computer, you can still use a lot of iCloud’s services and features, but not all of them. For some features, Apple gives you a Windows alternative; for example, you can sync bookmarks between Internet Explorer and iOS devices.)
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Set Up iMessage
iMessage is by far one of my favorite features in Mountain Lion, and it replaces the old iChat. iMessage is Apple’s messaging service that optimizes texting by bypassing SMS when it can. On an iPhone or an iPad, it’s part of the Messages app. What iMessage does is improve messaging between Apple devices. When you send messages between iPhones, iPod touches, and iPads running iOS 5 or later, iMessage prioritizes sending and receiving the messages via Wi-Fi when it’s available and through 3G when it’s not.
When you’re on your laptop or Mac computer running Mountain Lion, you can pick up your text conversations right where you left them—except for messages from non-Apple users that came in as SMS texts on your phone, unfortunately. You can also see new messages come in on your computer, which is better for productivity than moving away from the keyboard and screen to view incoming messages on a phone or tablet. Another reason I love iMessage is it supports AIM, Yahoo!, Google Talk, and Jabber, letting you merge Messages with systems you’re already using. Also would be nice if it tied in with FaceTime, since the old iChat did video.]
To set up iMessage, go to the app and log in with your Apple ID.
To get the most out of iMessage, you’ll want to use Contacts (Apple’s address book) to store phone numbers, handles, and email addresses of the people with whom you will likely swap messages, iMessage integrates cleanly with that data. Type a few letters of a person’s name, and within a few clicks, you can be text-chatting. However, you don’t have to use your Contacts list. You can also type a phone number of an iPhone into the “to” field and start a message. That’s something you couldn’t do with iChat, and it’s central to the whole concept of renaming the app Messages.
Turn On FaceTime
FaceTime is Apple’s video chat app. Once you have iCloud handling all your contacts, FaceTime becomes much more usable, so be sure to turn on iCloud and sync your contacts first to be sure you have everyone’s email addresses on hand.
Setting up FaceTime is a snap. When you launch the app, it will prompt you to log in with your Apple ID (or another email address if you prefer). From there, it’s just a matter of figuring out who else among your friends, family, and business associates uses the program. You can choose their names from the contact list that shows up in the app. It doesn’t matter if your friends are using FaceTime to make or receive video calls from their Macs, iPads, iPhones, or iPod touches, and when iOS 6 rolls out (September 19), mobile users will be able to access FaceTime over their cellular networks as well—not just over Wi-Fi as was previously the case.
Across Apple products, we’ve seen Twitter become more tightly integrated with the operating system itself rather than just apps. Mountain Lion is no exception. The idea is that you should be able to share various goodies, such as URLs and photos, to Twitter in just a click or two.
To set up Twitter, you can either turn it on in the Settings, or just log into Twitter from your machine, and Mountain Lion will suggest enabling it automatically.
Coming soon, according to Apple, we’ll see the same kind of integration with Facebook. Apple’s iPhoto software already integrates pretty neatly with Facebook, letting you not only share photos to the social networking in a snap, while also letting you keep an eye on the activity that happens around those images after you share them. iOS 6 will also tie Facebook into its basic sharing services, so do expect to see more information about this feature in the near future.
Once you have iMessage turned on, you’ll want to make sure the app notifies you of incoming messages in the manner you want. To customize alerts from iMessage, as well as from other apps, you’ll need to hit up the Notifications section of the Settings.
You can turn on or off alerts for a number of different apps and services, as well as change where they appear on the screen and what (if any) sound they include. The “alerts” option (shown in the image above) will put you notifications in a collapsible right pane on the screen.
In my testing, I’ve found that the most useful alerts come from iMessage and Calendar, but you can also turn them on for incoming Mail, Twitter activity, Reminders app reminders, Game Center activity, Facetime calls, and more.
Get Ready for iOS 6
The single biggest change from OS X 10.7 Lion to OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion was just how much tighter the desktop operating system became with the mobile operating system. And with iOS 6, Apple users will see a few more improvements in terms of how their mobile devices work in collaboration with OS X—just one more reason to make sure you customize Mountain Lion to take advantage of all that the system offers.
HTC One X extended life battery boosted 10-20% with unofficial Tegra 3 power management fix
While putting the final touches on the HTC One X software, HTC’s developers managed to place an application in the wrong directory, causing some issues for the Tegra 3 power battery management software on the HTC Style Phone. The misplaced NvCPLSvc.apk file was discovered in the /system/bin folder by mike1986 while developing a custom ROM for the HTC One X. To correct HTC’s mistake, users can push the file to /system/app via ADB. Those who have already tried this fix are reporting a 10-20 percent improvement in battery performance on the HTC One X.
Over the past few days, we’ve heard rumors that HTC has been prepping an update for the HTC One X to enhance its Acer aspire 4720 battery performance. There’s no guarantee that HTC’s fix will address this specific issue, but we’d definitely understand if you don’t want to take fate into your own hands when an official fix may only be days away.
For detailed instructions on how to apply this battery fix on your own, check out the source link below. If you do give it a try, leave us a comment and let us know if your Acer aspire 9300 battery life on your HTC One X gets any better.
Why wait for Apple’s iOS fix? Here are ways to tackle your power problems
Apple’s concession Wednesday that an iOS 5 glitch is behind the battery problems experienced by some iOS devices is welcome news. Not only does it mean help is on the way—Apple promised it was working on a fix—but it also lets iOS device owners who’ve been experiencing battery drain know that they aren’t imagining things. As someone who’s had to troubleshoot a power-mad iPhone 4S, I’m happy to hear that I’m not crazy. Not about this, anyhow.
While the iPhone 4S has been the focus of many battery life complaints, it’s not the only device suffering from a loss of power. I’ve received anecdotal reports from Macworld staff members as well as from readers that these battery-sucking issues affect other devices running iOS 5. And that makes sense: With its iCloud integration, wireless syncing, and greater use of location services, iOS 5 is bound to pull more power from a device’s battery. The new mobile OS also makes it easier to push data (contacts, calendars, and email) from a variety of accounts (Gmail and Yahoo, for instance), and with push comes an increasingly taxed Dell vostro 1520 power laptop battery.
If you’ve been having battery-life problems with your iOS 5 devices, you could sit back and wait for Apple’s promised iOS update to fix the problem. But if you’re more inclined to take an active approach, there are some things you can do to track down—and maybe even tackle—the source of your power problems.
System Services: Go to Settings -> Location Services -> System Services. In the resulting screen you’ll see a series of entries (the number and kind you see depends on the device you’re using). By default, they’re all switched on. But regardless of whether any of these options are buggy or not, I see little use for many of them. For example, some people have suggested that the Setting Time Zone option can cause problems as the device constantly checks with a server to see if it’s changed time zones. Unless you’re the ultimate jet-setter, you don’t need to have this option enabled. If you don’t care about what’s on sale at the corner Chocklit Shoppe, switch off Location-Based iAds. If you don’t use Maps to check on traffic, turn off Traffic. And if you know north from south, switch off Compass Calibration. At the very least, switch on the Status Bar Icon option so you can see when your device is using some of these services.
Location Services: The ability for your iOS device to tell apps where you are is one of the greatest things about iOS 5, but if it’s killing your battery, it’s not nearly as helpful as it could be. You can switch location services off entirely by going to Settings -> Location Services and flicking the Location Services Switch to the Off position. But that’s an extreme action and one you can likely avoid. Instead, scan down the list of apps and take a gander at which of your apps are currently using those services (as denoted by a purple arrow). Do you really need those apps broadcasting your location? If not, switch them off.
With regard to locations, one app to keep a careful eye on is Reminders. You can have reminders appear when you’re near a particular location. This means that your device is routinely performing “Am I there yet?” operations, which affect your battery. It’s a very cool feature, but if your device can’t hold a charge, it’s a feature you may want to do without.
Siri: If you’ve got an iPhone 4S—remember, Siri is only available on that phone—go to Settings -> General -> Siri and disable the Raise to Speak option. This is a convenient feature that invokes Siri whenever you lift the phone to your face, but I’ve seen reports that this can cause an undue battery drain. With this option off, all you have to do to awaken Siri is press and hold the Home button.
I’d resist disabling Siri altogether. When you do, the information Siri has gleaned from you is wiped from Apple’s servers. When you switch it back on, Siri is not terribly responsive out of the gate, plus it then resyncs that data with the cloud, thus burning up power.
Disable Siri’s Raise to Speak option to save power
Push: It’s always been true that when you push data to your iOS device, you’ll put more strain on the battery. To preserve your Toshiba PA3534U-1BAS Extended Battery charge, turn push off by going to Settings -> Mail, Contacts, Calendar -> Fetch New Data and flip the Push switch off. Your device will now fetch data with a setting of your choosing—every 15 minutes, every 30 minutes, every hour, or manually. Choosing Manually saves the most power as data will be delivered to your device only when you use an app that requests it—when you open Mail, for example.
You can also pick and choose which accounts push (if supported) and fetch. To do that, scroll to the bottom of the Fetch New Data screen and tap Advanced. You’ll find that you can adjust settings for each account you use—iCloud, Gmail, and Yahoo, for example.
Auto-Lock: A fellow Macworld editor discovered that when she updated her iPhone to iOS 5, her Auto-Lock settings changed. Before updating to iOS 5, she had the phone configured to auto-lock after one minute (thus turning off the display and saving power). After she upgraded, it was set to Never, which will burn up your battery in a hurry. The Auto-Lock setting is found here: Settings -> General.
iCloud offers a wealth of battery-draining options
iCloud: The ability to automatically move data between your iOS device and the cloud is fabulous, but it can also deplete your battery in short order. Go to Settings -> iCloud and take a stern look at the options you find there. If you don’t routinely create contacts, events, reminders, bookmarks, and notes on your device and you’re willing to forego automatically receiving updates to these items when they’re created on other devices, consider switching some or all of these options off. (You can choose to keep existing items on the device, and they’ll remain viewable.) Photo Stream is another option to carefully consider, because when it’s switched on every picture you take with your iOS device is uploaded to the cloud. (Images taken with other devices associated with your Apple ID are also downloaded to your device.) This is yet another drain on your battery. Likewise, if you have Documents & Data switched on, more data is sent to the cloud.
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Storage & Backup and iTunes Wi-Fi Sync shouldn’t concern you, as they’re designed to work only when the device is attached to a powered connection.
Notifications: Those visual and audio alerts require power. Go to Settings -> Notifications and switch off those you can do without.
Brightness: Your device was not designed, by default, to be a flashlight. If you increase the iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad’s brightness setting, understand that you’re doing so at the cost of a shorter battery charge.
AirPlay: I can’t even begin to image how quickly you’d deplete a battery charge by streaming a Harry Potter flick from an iOS device to your Apple TV. If you don’t want to find out, plug your device into a power source when you’re using AirPlay. Similarly, if you stream content to your device in the form of movie trailers, Netflix content, or a music subscription service, you can expect your battery to go south in a hurry if your device isn’t externally powered.
Taking all the fun out of it
If you were to disable every option listed here you’d have an awfully dull device. And if you’d wanted that, you would have purchased something that lacked the Apple logo. The forthcoming iOS 5 update should take care of the worst battery abuses that can be attributed to bugs and runaway processes. But it’s also likely that the extra power and flexibility we’ve demanded from our iOS devices come at a price: a device that asks more of a battery. However, given that many people are having no battery issues, it’s entirely possible that with only slight tweaks here and there, the most power-frugal among us can have our cake and eat it too.
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If you’re looking for information on how to repair a hard drive, How to Clean PC, How to Design Website or any other questions, you’ll find it in my picks for the best how to sites on the Web. These are some of the best websites and laptop battery shop which will really help you alot.
1. CNET Online Courses – Free online how to classes and tutorials on everything from car technology to digital photography.
2. eHow – eHow is a treasure trove of how to information, anything from arts and entertainment to sports and fitness.
3. wikiHow – wikiHow is a giant how to manual, but since it’s a wiki, anyone can add or edit the information you find here.
4. Instructables – Share what you like to make and how others can do the same at Instructables, a community driven how to site.
5. HowStuffWorks – HowStuffWorks gives you great how to explanations and tutorials – you can find how to guides on a wide variety of subjects here.
6. Make – Make magazine is a fascinating site full of how to guides, many extremely eclectic.
7. Wired How To Wiki – The Wired How To Wiki is a site full of technology tutorials that help you figure out how to do it yourself.
8. How To Do Things.com – Find articles from experienced contributors on how to do just about anything.
9. WonderHowTo – A human-edited collection of video tutorials from more than 1700 websites.
10. MindBites – Watch how-to videos or create your own to earn money.
11. VideoJug – How to videos for just about everything in life.
12. The Java Tutorials – A collection of Java tutorials from Sun on using various components.
13. the How-To Geek – A collection of computer tutorials covering everything from protecting your children online to using different wallpapers on dual monitors.
14. How to Make Your Own Web Mashup – A short tutorial outlining the steps necessary to build a mashup.
15. How to Podcast – A complete, free tutorial that teaches you how to set up your own podcast.
16. Tutorialized – A collection of tutorials and how-to guides on a variety of tech-related topics.
17. How to design a website – A comprehensive tutorial on how to design using HTML and CSS.
18. Tutorial Blog – A blog filled with how-to guides and tutorials on design topics.
19. Blog Tutorials – A blog offering how-to advice for blogging.
20. How to Start with GTD – A basic 10-step guide to starting out with GTD.
21. How To Be More Productive – A very complete guide to becoming more productive, covering everything from technology to dietary changes.
22. How To Write A Resume.org – A complete resource for writing resumes and cover letters.
23. How To Meditate – A complete online guide to teach you how to meditate in the Buddhist tradition.
24. How to Draw Manga – Manga University has a great collection of how-to articles on drawing different elements of manga characters.
25. Sushi Eating HOW TO – A complete guide outlining how to eat sushi and sushi bar etiquette.
26. How to Go Green – A collection of guides to green your life on topics ranging from investing and hybrid cars to workouts and weddings.
27. How to Clean Stuff – Tutorials for cleaning everything from old photos to ballet flats.
28. How to Photograph… – A series of tutorials on photographing a variety of situations and subjects from weddings to urban landscapes to zoos.
29. Expert Village – A collection of more than 130,000 video tutorials.
30. How To Do Things.com – Find articles from experienced contributors on how to do just about anything.
31. Video-Tutes.com – Free video tutorials for a variety of software programs including Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and MS Word.
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Tablet computers have actually been on the market for some time. However, it wasn’t until the iPad came out that the tablet format really took off. With the marketing arm of Apple behind it, along with the raging success of the iPhone, the iPad was a shoe-in for a mass-market mobile computing device. Despite all of the fanfare, when we come back to reality, the tablet computer still has a long way to go before it can replace the laptop or netbook for most people and here are 5 reasons why.
1. To type or not to type
Typing on any touchscreen device can be a tricky thing to get used to. On a smartphone it’s probably easier than on a tablet, at least at first. This is because you’re already used to letting your thumbs do the typing from using keypad mobile phones. But when it comes to a tablet, it’s a whole new ballgame.
Some tablets (the 7″ size is a great example) can still be used in this manner by placing the tablet in the portrait position. The keyboard usually fills the bottom of the display screen, and is still easily accessible by the thumbs of an average person.
On larger tablets, such as the iPad, it’s a bit difficult to make your thumbs stretch across the width of the device, even in portrait mode. This is probably the motivation behind Apple’s new split keyboard feature, which will be implemented in iOS 5.
Any size of tablet can also be used in the landscape position, which also gives you a much bigger keyboard. But is it really big enough? A lot of people find it uncomfortable to type on a tablet keyboard, simply because the keys are spaced together very tightly. If you’re accustomed to the tactile input of a traditional keyboard when typing, you might have trouble keeping your fingers in position.
Any way you look at it, typing on a tablet is a far cry from typing on a desktop, laptop, or netbook. There are solutions out there on the market to solve these problems, like bluetooth keyboards, tablet keyboard docks, and even specialized cases with keyboards built in. But you will pay extra for all of these accessories. Out of the box, the tablet’s keyboard and typing still leave much to be desired.
2. App compatibility
There has been a noticeable shift in the way software is distributed in the tablet world. With a Mac or PC you can purchase software offline and install it yourself, or you can sometimes download software after purchasing it online. Software companies catered to the majority of computer users by usually offering their product in versions that were compatible with Microsoft Windows and Apple’s Mac OS.
With the creation of the tablet came the mobile app and app store. While Apple probably has the biggest selection, there is stiff competition from Google and RIM as well. The thing that is different about tablet software, with the notable exception of Android apps, is that you can only get it through your manufacturer’s marketplace. This can be synced through your PC software or done directly on the tablet via wifi or 3G, but the physical aspect of software is long gone.
While tablet software is priced dramatically lower than its PC counterparts, there is a catch. Tablets are so new and their operating systems are changing at such a rapid pace, that the software developers are struggling to keep up. Frequent OS updates mean frequent app updates, leaving some users in the lurch when their apps no longer work as expected.
Despite all the testing done by software developers and device manufacturers, many apps still have glitches on launch day. Perhaps they think it’s okay since apps don’t usually cost as much as traditional software. In reality, it’s just another problem created by a new platform and quickly changing operating systems. Sure, app updates are usually free (so far), but who wants to go through the hassle of waiting for a “fix” to an app you just purchased?
3. Printing is up in the air
With your desktop or laptop computer, you can quickly and easily set up a printer and print documents, whether it’s through a cable connected printer or over your home wifi system. Even with the latest tablet changes, this can still be a major challenge. Here’s why.
A tablet like the iPad isn’t connected to anything, unless you’re syncing or updating the OS. Of course, with the iOS 5 update on the way, you won’t even need to connect for that.
Apple made a step forward by including print support in one of its latest updates, but of course, without a USB port, only wifi-capable printers are supported, and only select models of those. If you’re printer is still attached to your computer via a USB cable, you won’t get any help from the Apple update. So despite being billed as something akin to a netbook or laptop, the tablet still is at a disadvantage when it comes to taking your hard work to the physical medium of paper.
4. Business not as usual
Why we use tablet computers may be easy to understand, but how we use them is another thing altogether. If it’s productivity you’re looking for, there is no tablet designed just for you. With the purchase of a few apps you may be able to wing it for a while and do some types of work from your tablet. Based on its size and weight, it should be a road warrior’s best friend, right?
Unfortunately, the apps that are available will only perform relatively basic tasks. Even Apple’s iWorks offerings on the iPad have limited functionality compared to their full version Mac counterparts. Any tablet available is going to leave the business person shorthanded if they want it to replace the full suite of productivity applications on their usual on-the-road workhorse laptop or netbook.
5. Limited multimedia
Well, at least you can surf the web and get your entertainment from a tablet, right? Not necessarily. The best selling tablet of them all, the iPad, doesn’t have support for Adobe Flash. Instead, Apple is placing its future bet on HTML5 to solve the problem of streaming video and multimedia content.
Android has taken a definitive step to support flash in the latest versions of the OS, the truth is that it’s far from the dependable experience that you’ve come to love from your Mac or PC system. Some websites may work, while others do not. Unfortunately, you’re at the mercy of the marketplace and Adobe for an official update to make the functionality better. With each device having its own tweaks to the Android OS, this also presents a challenge for flash developers to make their apps work on more than just one device.
As for Apple, Steve Jobs has made the statement in the past that he has no intention of supporting Flash at any time in the future for mobile devices. His argument stems from the fact that Adobe Flash apps and web features take up more processing power and reduce battery life. While this is true, other tablet makers are moving forward and finding ways to work around these limitations to the best of their ability. Why can’t Apple do the same? Â In the end, the only one who really suffers in this battle is you, the consumer.
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Solving Dell Laptop Battery Does Not Charge Problem
A laptop utilizes a battery for power when it is not plugged into an electrical outlet. Dell Inspiron laptops use rechargeable lithium ion batteries. The laptop battery has a life expectancy of 12 to 24 months, depending on several factors, such as care and battery usage tips. If the battery is not holding a charge, it may be damaged or dead and need to be replaced. Prior to replacing the battery, you should troubleshoot it, just to be sure.
Attempt to fully charge the battery. Plug the power adapter into the laptop and allow the battery to charge overnight.
Turn the Dell Insprion laptop off. Unplug the laptop from the laptop power adapter.
Flip the laptop upside down so the battery is visible. The HP 484170-001 battery is located on the underside of the laptop.
Slide the battery lock switch and hold it in place. Lift the battery upward for removal. Once removed, release the battery lock switch.
Examine the laptop computer battery. Look for signs of damage to the battery. If you notice any damage, the battery must be replaced.
Clean the battery contacts. Dip a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and clean the battery contacts and the contacts inside the battery bay to remove dust.
Check the battery charge. Press the “Status” button on the back side of the battery. It has five lights that will display how charged the Dell inspiron 1520 battery is. Five lit lights indicates a full charge, one lit light indicates a low charge and no lit lights indicates the battery has no charge. If the Dell vostro 1520 battery has no charge, it is dead and needs to be replaced. If the battery does indicate it is partially or fully charged, continue troubleshooting.
Recalibrate the battery. Place the battery back in the laptop. It will just pop into place. Turn the computer on and allow the computer to run on battery power until the battery dies. Once the battery dies, plug the power adapter into the computer and allow the battery to fully charge again. Remove the battery and check the battery charge. If it still has not fully charged, you need a new replacement laptop battery.
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Jelly has long been used to describe many things, including Santa’s belly around the holidays. But it has never been associated with batteries…at least until now. A new battery news posted in Physics touts findings that jelly could become a solution to make less expensive, but equally effective, batteries for small electronics.
European scientists have invented a new type of polymer gel that can be utilized to manufacture less expensive lithium batteries without compromising performance for laptops, digital cameras, phones, and more. The jelly-like polymer could potentially replace the liquid electrolytes used in rechargeable battery cells. It looks like a solid film, but is actually about 70 percent liquid, and is made using the same principles as making jelly. Essentially you add a lot of hot water to a gelatin, which in this instance is a polymer and electrolyte mix, and as it cools it sets to form a solid yet flexible shape.
Since it is flexible, it can be molded into various shapes and sizes to suit the device it is intended for, according to head researcher Professor Ian Ward.
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The battery technology has been licensed to American company Polystor Energy Corp., which is now conducting trials to determine the true potential for the future. Benefits initially cited include the new technology being safer, cheaper, and lighter. And since the jelly-cells are “sealed” through the manufacturing process, there is no excess flammable solvent or liquid electrolyte, which could eliminate any flammable concerns.
Don’t be looking for gelatin Toshiba pa3672u-1brs battery anytime soon, but the technology does seem likely for the future. In the meantime, you may not ever look at the jelly for your toast in quite the same way!
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While laptop battery life diminishes over time from excessive use, there are others factors that can expend the Acer aspire 6935g battery. Loading software, watching videos, listening to music, interacting with media-rich websites, and dealing with viruses can slow down any computer. The performance of all of these processes can lead to the shortened lifespan of a laptop regardless of its Acer as07a72 battery’s freshness. In addition to performing regular maintenance on a laptop with virus scans and removing unused programs, there is another task often overlooked by the average PC user: disk defragmentation. Degragmenting the hard disk can improve the performance of a laptop as well as a desktop PC.
With laptops, it is very important that defragmentation is done regularly to lengthen the life of the system, to make programs run at optimum speed, and to save power while on the go. Going without disk defragmentation for long periods of time can decrease the computer’s efficiency and, therefore, the battery lifetime as well.By design, disk defragmentation rearranges frequently used files. This allows the computer to find the files more easily. Many of these files are used by the system to run programs. The more programs are executed, the longer it takes for the program or file to run. People who regularly use desktop PCs may be familiar with defragmentation. Users who prefer to use a laptop for their PC needs and have not used disk defragmentation before can run the tool on a Windows-based system.
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Windows includes this tool with their operating system, but there are third-party options available as well. Disk Defragmentation in Windows 7The tool can be accessed by going to the Control Panel’s Administrative Tools menu and selecting Defragment Hard Drive. To see if a defragmentation is needed, click Analyze Disk to run a quick scan on the drive. If so, click Defragment Disk to execute. Depending on the size of the drive, the number of files, and the overall performance of the laptop, it can take from 45 minutes to 2 hours to complete.After the operation is complete, programs should load and operate significantly faster than before.
This increase in efficiency means the computer consumes less power, and, thus, spares the Acer as07a32 battery. To perform regular defragmentation on a drive, select the scheduling tool and run it at a specific time as often as needed.Defragmentation in Vista and Windows XP. In Windows Vista, the defragmenter can be located in Laptop Accessories under System Tools. In Windows XP, the tool can be found by visiting the My Computer folder and right-clicking the hard drive. The scheduling tool is only available in Vista and Windows 7, and not in Windows XP.Using the defragmenter regularly lets the user get more done and extends the life of the laptop battery. For heavy PC users that deal with a lot of files, the tool should be run once every week; casual users should run it every month, or according to their usage.
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Lithium Titanate Batteries Face Testing
A Portland-based battery developer is rolling out a new battery technology and letting power customers kick the tires. EnerSol Energy Systems Solutions’ push to find early adapters to put lithium titanate batteries to the test is part of an increased focus on grid storage and electric vehicles.
The three-man company focuses on consulting and product development in batteries and energy systems for electric vehicles, grid storage, and portable devices. It posts annual revenues of less than $500,000 and has partnerships among battery suppliers and manufacturers worldwide.
Now reaching out to energy companies, utilities, hospitals, cellular phone companies, IT server rooms and fire stations, EnerSol is looking for partners interested in developing and testing lithium titanate batteries as a back-up power supply for use in large scale energy storage applications or for use in semi trucks and other larger, commercial scale vehicles that can accommodate its size.
The company has a particular interest in testing the technology as a backup to renewable energy generators like wind and solar farms. Batteries can store excess power while generation is high and demand low. They can also help mitigate the stress of mass consumer power use during peak hours and give operators greater flexibility in power sales.
EnerSol’s product comes forward as observers predict the market for grid storage is poised to balloon. The market was pegged at $5.6 billion in 2010 in a report from GTM Research, and the company speculated the market would grow to $9.6 billion by 2015.
Positioning for market-share in grid storage is a key objective for EnerSol and other battery makers.
Batteries are just one of the technologies being eyed for large-scale grid storage, along with fly wheels, compressed air, hydrogen, pumped water, thermal and superconducting magnetic energy systems.
In a game where costs and lifespan limit solutions, the objective is on to find affordable technologies that will last. Among battery makers, there is stiff competition to prove out the best technology.
EnerSol president Doug Morris said the company’s recent demonstration project is designed to show customers what lithium titanate can do.
A modified lithium-ion laptop battery — lithium ion batteries are used in cell phones, laptops and most consumer and portable electronic products — the battery uses an electrochemical version of lithium ion, lithium titanate, instead of carbon, making for fast recharging and high currents.
The battery itself is supplied by suppliers Toshiba and PHET and developed for grid and vehicle uses by EnerSol.
Morris said the result is a battery that charges 5 to 10 times faster than lithium-ion batteries and lasts beyond 25,000 charging cycles, or about 10 to 20 times longer than lithium iron phosphate batteries (used in power tools and cars).
Though lithium ion batteries are cheapest to build, at 60 cents or less per watt-hour, their short life cycle means they would need constant replacement if assembled for grid storage. That makes lithium titanate competitive at $1.15 per watt-hour, Morris said, given its long life span.
Spying opportunity, EnerSol has developed three table-top, 20 amp-hour, 12 volt demonstration batteries valued at $30,000 to lure beta trials.
“What we’re really hoping for is to get enough interest in the demo so that people can test the technology,” said Morris. “It’s great to tell people about a new technology, but when you can actually give them one to test and try they say, ‘Oh, I get it,’ and can talk about what they want to do with it.”
The demo is a piece of where the EnerSol vision could lead. The batteries can be built small, like the tabletop unit, or assembled in packs that fill multiple trailers, storing multiple kilowatts per trailer. They are controlled by a simple, menu-driven software and control module developed by Denmark-based vehicle-battery developer Lithium Balance, for which Morris is involved in developing a U.S.-based headquarters. The package is a slimmed-down version of Lithium Balance’s robust system that’s used in its electric vehicle batteries to balance the charge and temperatures across cells in a battery pack through a system that interfaces with a PC computer.
Morris, whose career stretches 30 years in the battery world, much of it developing technology for Motorola, said battery development was previously focused elsewhere, fine-tuning different chemistries for particular functions. Lithium ion batteries, for example, were established as a best fit for portable devices like cell phones and computers for their long-lasting charge, he said. And lithium phosphate batteries were deemed most suitable for electric vehicles for their safety performance.
“Now, with storage… people are trying to figure out what the best chemistry is,” Morris said.
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What’s the best Android tablet for 2011?
If you’re looking for a tablet and don’t fancy an iPad, then Android is the way to go.
There are other options out there; Windows 7 tablets are available, the BlackBerry PlayBook is on sale now and the HP TouchPad has come and gone in a flurry of £99 panic-buying. But Android 3.0 is currently the main OS rival to the iPad, and the products are creeping onto the shelves one by one.
We’ve gone from zero Android tablets to stacks of the things in a very short space of time, and inevitably some are better than others.
Some have ten-inch screens, others seven, and there are big differences in battery life, processing power and on-board RAM. So while we wait for the likes of the Asus Eee Pad Slider, Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 and Amazon Kindle Fire, let’s see what the current best tablets are…
1. Asus Eee Pad Transformer
Best Android tablet PC for: replacing your netbook
We love the Asus Eee Pad Transformer. It’s been around for a while now, but in our opinion, it’s still the most compelling Android tablet available. Not only is it powerful and well featured, it’s designed to work with a keyboard dock which turns it into a fully-fledged Android-powered netbook. The fact is that Android as an OS is still lagging behind iOS in terms of tablet usability, so products need a USP.And on that score, this is the tablet that changed the game. Look out also for the Asus Eee Pad Slider which comes packing a slide-out keyboard – it’s coming soon and promises great things!
2. Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
Best Android tablet for: the out-and-out tablet experience
While the Transformer offers something a little different at an unbeatable price, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 offers a direct alternative to Apple‘s iPad 2. Sporting the Tegra 2 dual-core CPU, it’s both marginally thinner and lighter than the iPad 2. This is some achievement, especially when you consider the fuss Apple made about how thin and light the iPad 2 was on launch. If you want an iPad-like tablet that’s not an iPad, this is the one. The prices are the same as the iPad 2, so it’s a straight shoot-out on features…
3. Sony Tablet S
Best Android tablet for: PlayStation gaming
As a veritable mega-giant in the consumer tech universe, Sony’s landing on Planet Tablet was always going to be interesting. Blasting off alongside the fold-in-half Tablet P, the Tablet S has a unique wedge-shaped design and top-end specs. It’s a very decent and refined tablet, and has the unique feature of having access to original PlayStation games. The only issue is that it’s not as tidy as the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and not as versatile as the Transformer. Apart from that, it’s one of the best Android tablets out there.
4. Motorola Xoom
Best Android tablet for: sleek good looks and solid performance
The Motorola Xoom was the first Honeycomb tablet to hit the shelves. Current prices are starting at about £330, which is great value for a 10-inch tablet of this calibre and it’s thus worthy of your attention. Solid build quality, decent HP 484170-001 laptop battery life, good performance.
5. Toshiba AT100 / Thrive
Best Android tablet for: anyone who wants a full-size HDMI port
There’s a predicament with the Toshiba AT100: it has a certain appeal for advanced users who’ll appreciate the slick performance, but the bulky size is a major problem. One brilliant move was to make the USB and HDMI ports full size. You can just unplug your Xbox and snap in the Toshiba AT100 when you want to watch on an HD TV. The tablet enables you to plug in a regular keyboard and mouse – this ease of adding peripherals is a win. Toshiba pa3399u-2bas battery life is another bonus. Yet, the hefty size and weight (plus the passable screen quality) is the main reason we prefer other recent tablets.
6. LG Optimus Pad
Best Android tablet for: Playing around with 3D
The consumer electronics giants are throwing everything at 3D, and LG has decided that its first Android tablet should play a role in its ‘3D is the best’ hearts and minds mission. The tablet has dual-5MP cameras which work together to shoot 3D images and record 3D footage. Cool, huh? The problem is that there’s no 3D screen, so if you want to watch your 3D movies you’ll need to either plug the tablet into a 3D TV or watch in anaglyph 3D on the tablet’s screen. If you’re crazy about 3D, this is your next Android tablet.
7. Acer Iconia Tab A500
Best Android tablet for: fans of brushed aluminium bodywork
Acer’s Android tablet is good looking and offers similar performance to the other Android 3.0 tablets on show here. We like it, but it’s missing a bit of sparkle and there’s not much on show here that we can cling on to. It’s not as stylish as the Galaxy Tab 10.1, and doesn’t offer anything different like the Transformer does with its keyboard.
8. Acer Iconia Tab A100
Best Android tablet for: budget 7-inch tablet performance
It’s hard to recommend the Acer Iconia Tab A100 in light of the 10-inch alternatives. Yet, for such as ebook fans and those who like smaller tabs, this is the best of the 7-inch lot. In some ways, the BlackBerry PlayBook is better in a technical sense – at least it does real multitasking – but it has too few apps. We like the A100 for an express purpose: greater mobility and book reading. For most tasks, a 10-inch tablet is a wiser bet. But for well under £300, this is not a bad product.
9. HTC Flyer
Best Android tablet for: Portability and fans of Sense UI
HTC has decided to release the tablet running on Android Gingerbread, which will upset some purists that believe these tablets should run on Honeycomb. However, the HTC Sense overlay deals with that, offering a new range of widgets and content to mask the fact it’s running older versions of the OS (although a Honeycomb update is imminent). The new tablet has a 7-inch LCD screen, and comes with an aluminium unibody shell that feels very nice in the hand. However, with a price of nearly £600, can this tablet compete?
10. Samsung Galaxy Tab
The original iPad rival – does the Galaxy Tab still have something to offer?
Samsung’s original 7-inch Galaxy Tab is looking a bit old and tired now, and we weren’t big fans of it when it was brand new anyway. However, with heavy discounts, this tablet is now available for under £300 and there are plenty of attractive 3G package deals available. There’s no Android 3.0 here though, which makes this Tab little more than a smartphone on steroids.
11. Viewsonic Viewpad 7
A decent Android 2.2 tablet but it’s already out of date
The Viewsonic Viewpad 7 is exactly the same, albeit slightly more expensive than the Linx Commtiva N700 – and confusingly, Viewsonic is marketing it as a smartphone. It’s a terrible smartphone but it’s a fairly competent 7-inch Android tablet: its 600MHz processor isn’t really fast enough for Flash though, not to mention recent Android releases. There’s no Android 3.0 on board here though, so this should only be considered if you can get it for a cut-down price.
12. Hannspree Hannspad
Another Android tablet bereft of the Android Market
This tablet has more in common with Samsung’s current tablet offering, the seven-inch Galaxy Tab, than the new boys when it comes to software. However, it’s a match for them when it comes to hardware grunt. The problem is that it’s let down by the absence of Android 3.0 and the Android Market, an unresponsive touchscreen, poor viewing angles and some shoddy optimisations.
And our pick of the hottest up-and-coming tablets is….
Amazon Kindle Fire
After months of speculation, the Amazon Kindle Fire has been officially announced at an event in New York, marking the first time the company has entered the tablet market proper. The successor to the Amazon Kindle is a 7-inch device that comes with Android, albeit a version that has been heavily altered by Amazon to make the best use of the company’s e-shopping spine. The screen is an IPS display that’s made from Gorilla Glass, it houses dual-core processor, and weighs in at 14.6 ounces. There is a tablet-optimised shopping app on board – this is said to comprise simplified and streamlined pages, so it is easier to buy stuff on than the actual Amazon website.
Come back for our full Amazon Kindle Fire review very soon!
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