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    Alastair's tech reviews

    Catch up with Alastair as he reviews the set of products that are the best all rounders: the HP Envy Sleekbook touchscreen laptop, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 and a WD hard drive.

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    One month in...

    Right, my new laptop, the HP Envy Sleekbook: for once I’ve actually used it as the name suggests, a laptop, mobile computer-y thing unlike all my old laptops for good reason: I’ve always found touchpads incredibly fiddly and ended up trying to go to uni resources and instead ended up in the procrastination central that is Tumblr (if my parents are reading: I promise that was the reason, it had nothing to do with me personally *puts on best innocent face*) however the touch screen removes that issue and stops me needing to plug a mouse in. Now, one slight issue I’ve found is that it can be a bit unresponsive near the edge of the screens (making it difficult to switch between internet tabs), but that could well just be my fingers hitting the outside of the screen rather than the actual touch-sensitive bit, still, it can be a bit irritating and has had me resorting to the touch pad. Now this pad is a bit better than one’s I’ve previously had, moves much smoother, but that the buttons are built into it has occasionally had me messing up formatting by accidentally pressing into a different area of text than planned when on my way to highlight something.

    And it’s party piece? The handwriting option for the Maryland, which have used to write this small bit: As you can see it is fairly good, although, some dipterous only in (such as keyboard becoming Maryland & mistakes being read as dipterous, or Creep becoming only). Still, a cool feature that works far better than I’d expect or than most handwriting readers do. It’s added a great little way to make notes (as well as showing me what my handwriting is like).

    The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 has been just brilliant: as a science student I’ve been weighing up a New Scientist (and Scientific American – but their tablet feature is just for the iPad :() subscription for a while, and being able to get the issues delivered to it has been excellent: it’s pretty much become a mobile library for me: Installing a Kindle app has meant my trips to the book-shop have been limited, instead just assembling a library on there – Hurrah for free e-books! Despite me using it as an alternative to a book shelf and using it to read very regularly, I’ve had to charge it a grand total of 3 times over the past fortnight: an incredible battery life.

    The wireless hard drive? Well, that was really complicit in my unrivalled ability to be lazy: what with being a big music person (as to be expected, being head of music at a student radio station) I have a sizable collection – the last count puts the size at 24 days’ worth constant play (about 70GB in size), and also my movies and TV shows collection hitting ~20GB, it could have been quite a time consuming job to move everything from my old laptop to the HP Envy Touchsmart. Fiddling around with wired ext. hard drives etc. Or, I could do it from my bed without even moving: upload to the cloud device and then download onto here. Upload and download times were reasonable (I suspect down to my broadband package), and it took a grand total of 2 clicks. Fortunately I’ve not had reason to utilise it as a document recovery, but if this media transfer job is anything to go by, it’s got great ability to keep my important data for me.

    Check out each of the pages below to see the students' reviews and the products they received!

    Robin

    Robin

    English student at Glasgow reviews the collection best for design

    Adam

    Adam

    Biology student at Bolton reviews the collection best for connectivity

    Rachel

    Rachel

    Student at Warwick reviews the collection best for space saving

    John

    John

    Medicine student at QMUL reviews the collection best for style

    Helena

    Helena

    Student at Manchester reviews the collection best for versatility

    Alastair

    Alastair

    Student at Bradford reviews the collection for best all rounder

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