Notebook Computers Under $300

Computers have become an inseparable part of our lives. Right from paying your bills to communicating overseas, everything can be done using a computer. Now, more than desktop computers, laptop computers have become more popular. If you are looking for a computer which is lightweight and gives you good portability with basic features, then consider some cheap notebook computers. Here are some of the top notebook PCs under $300 which you can consider.

Notebook Computers Reviews

Asus Eee PC 1005HAB Netbook
This is a lightweight, good-looking mini notebook computer under 300 dollars. This computer has 1 GB RAM and comes with and Intel Atom N270 1.6 GHz processor, and 160 GB hard disk. It has 10.1 inch display screen and a camera embedded on top of the screen.

Acer Aspire One AOD255-2520
This netbook from Acer is one of the best notebook computers, and comes with a 10.1 inch display and is priced around $300. It comes along with 250 GB hard drive and 1 GB of DDR3 RAM. This model comes in various colors like black, red, brown, and aquamarine. It also comes with a webcam. Overall a good performing notebook computer under 300.

Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3 0647-2AU
This is good reliable brand when it comes to buying cheap laptop computers. This computer is integrated with Intel Atom N455 1.66 GHz processor, 1GB RAM, and 160 GB hard drive. It also comes with a 10.1 inches display screen, and Windows XP operating system. This is a durable basic model that comes for a price less than 300.

HP Mini 210-1084NR
This is cute looking laptop, which has 1.66 GHz Intel Atom Processor N450, 1 GB DDR RAM, and 160 GB hard disk capacity. This laptop model has very good battery life of 9 hours and a screen of 10.1 inches.

Finding Cheaper Laptops

If you are looking for a new model $300, then given above were some choices. Configurations like 1 GB RAM, 10 inch screen, and 160 GB RAM are basic configurations you will find in notebook computers under 300 bucks. However, if you want better features then consider cheap laptops for sale under 300 or refurbished laptops under 300. Sometimes, you can find a laptop or notebook computer model which is in good condition and under $300. Here are some tips to find such computers.

You can check online for different shopping sites and check out some refurbished laptops. Try to find laptops belonging to users which are in the same city, so that you can take a look at the laptop before you buy it.
Another place to find second hand cheap laptops is to visit refurbished laptop stores. Look online for a list of second hand laptop dealers, and then go personally check out the notebooks. In stores you can easily find cheap laptops for sale under 300.
You can also find cheaper notebook computers in gray market or flea market, and there you can bargain further for discount.
Also, keep an eye on seasonal offers, as you might get massive discount on some laptops.

So, either buy a brand new model of notebook computer from the above mentioned choices, or use these tips to find a great features included laptop computer for under $300.

Best Computer for Video Editing

While selecting a machine for NLE (non-linear editing), there are certain configurations that are a must. Before we start discussing them, let us discuss what’s the best PC for editing videos. Is it a Laptop or Desktop? The greatest advantage of laptop computers over desktops is portability and the less space they occupy. But, trust me if you wish to do some serious editing, then having a setup fixed in a room works the best. Why?

Because, while editing you would like some quiet and peace, and put the setup in a room where your little brother/sister or pet doesn’t disturb it. Also, while rendering videos (which can take hours or even a night) takes time, it is best that you have a setup in a room which doesn’t get disturbed.

Laptop Vs. Desktop
» The biggest advantage of having a desktop computer for video editing is that you can buy a powerful machine for a price which is half or one-third less of a laptop, yet loaded with the same features.

» Another advantage of a desktop PC over laptop is that you can keep updating the hardware in a desktop, while updating laptop hardware is expensive and has certain limitations.

» Also, with a laptop you will get a smaller screen, but with a desktop you can get a large screen, that will make the job of editing videos easy as you will be able to view the videos minutely.

» So, yes, a desktop PC is the best machine when it comes to video editing. But, if you still wish to go for a laptop (maybe, because portability matters more to you), then there are two laptop models mentioned in the last section of this Buzzle article, which you can consider.

Why go for a Powerful Machine and not a Budget One?
So, why should you invest a bit more and go for the best powerful machine you can afford and not a budget one? There are many reasons why –

★ Because, you want to reduce time spend on rendering videos and increase time spend on actual editing.

★ Because, a powerful machine will not get outdated easily.

★ Because, you don’t have to spend money buying upgrades.

★ Because, you don’t have to be worried about the machine slowing down, if you have to store a lot of videos or install heavy software.

Features you Should Look for
There is a difference between configurations required for amateur video editing, and difference between configurations required for professional editing. If you are looking for basic editing, then you can use a basic configuration, but if you think you might need better and faster editing then look for these features in a machine. Remember, for HD editing you will need an even more powerful machine.

A good RAM is important, so that your machine doesn’t slow down when you are installing a heavy editing software. A good RAM will also keep editing and rendering videos faster and smoother. Get a 16GB or more RAM installed. Athlon and AMD processors used to be the best, till i7 was introduced, so opt for Intel Core i7 processor.

Hard Drive
You will be installing a video editing software, saving editing projects, rendering one project in couple of formats, storing raw videos, etc. For this purpose you need a good hard drive, most computers today come with a basic 320GB hard drive capacity, which is not good enough. So, go for minimum 500GB or 1TB hard drive. You can keep a separate partition on the drive to store all your projects.

Graphics Card and Sound Card
Two important features required for video editing are a graphics card and a sound card. You can go for a minimum of nVidia GTX670 graphics card or NVIDIA Quadro 4000/5000 if you can afford it.

Also, an ASUS motherboard, which is a preferred choice for CG work and editing is a must. You should also have a good sound card, because when you are video editing you will need to venture into some audio editing too. Another thing you need to keep in mind when using a computer for NLE always, I mean ‘always’ use the latest driver for your graphics card.

A large screen is essential, so that you can keep 2-3 windows open together. Also, the interface of an editing software is large. Having a large screen will allow you to edit and preview the video output, without scrolling the interface. Go for minimum 17” screen if you are investing in a laptop. However, for desktop screen the bigger the better. In fact, many professionals prefer two monitors so that they can keep multiple windows open while editing. This saves times minimizing a window to go to the next; which means you can dedicate more time to editing. It also keeps the layers always visible, which means you don’t lose track of what layer or frame you were working on.

These were the hardware specs required, now about the software. The best video editing software for beginners are Apple iMovie and Wax. If you are considering professional editing software, then the choices are Pinnacle Studio Ultimate Version 12, Final Cut Pro 7, Avid Symphony 6.5, and Adobe Premiere Pro. Also, Windows 7 64 bit, is the best choice of the operating system, because it is stable and runs most of these software smoothly. Windows 8 is fairly new, so I would say you wait for some more time before making the switch from 7 to 8.

Best Models of PCs and Laptops for NLE
As you must have noticed the above configurations are easier and affordable to get in a desktop, however, if you wish to do basic home video editing then a basic laptop will suffice. Here are some options.

Assembled Machine
This is the best option of desktop PC for video editing, you can buy the individual parts separately and install them yourself or by a professional. This way you can cut down on fancy looking parts, and buy powerful hardware. Just buy the above mentioned parts, and add other basic parts like a cabinet, mouse, and keyboard to assemble your machine.

Instead of buying a computer, assembling a powerful machine always pays in the long term. This is because you will be having the freedom to pump-up the computer with the powerful parts of the best brands available. Also, going for higher configurations than the necessary, will ensure that your computer remains a powerful machine for years. So, you don’t have to replace it every year with a new machine, which can get very expensive. You will have the freedom to update the individual parts whenever you feel the machine is not sustaining to heavy rendering or latest software. However, if you still feel that instead of building, buying the computer is better, then consider the below computer models.

HP Z820 Computer Workstation
It comes with a great sleek design and a large screen. This machine is efficient, and you can customize this machine with a graphics card of nVidia or ATI. It has large hard disk to store your projects, without having to worry about ‘running out of space’. All in all, a good computer for video editing. HP has also introduced all-in-one workstation, if you don’t want the tower then consider the all-in-one systems.

Many professionals say that iMac is the best machine out there for video editing. However, if you like working with a Mac interface or going to use an editing software which is compatible with Mac only, then go for a this desktop. You can select the i7 processor, 32GB RAM, 27” monitor, and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX graphics processor. If you want a laptop then go for 17” Mac Book Pro.

HP EliteBook 8760/8770w Mobile Workstation
This is a good solution to the HP’s desktop workstation, not the perfect replacement though. However, it is portable if that is what you are aiming for. It comes with many ports, a 17″ display, i7 Intel Core processor, Windows 7, and a decent laptop battery life.

Toshiba Qosmio X505-Q880
This is a great looking model that has a red and black color combination. It is a great laptop for HD editing, has good graphics card, powerful processing, and all this in a decent budget.

You can buy a computer from the above choices, but from my personal experience I would say, go for an assembled machine, because it has far more advantages. However, if you are going for particular model of PC or laptop then go to their site and select the best specifications possible, to customize a fast machine. Good luck!

Role of Computers in Education

Role of computers in educationComputers have changed the way we work, be it any profession. Therefore, it is only natural that the role of computers in education has been given a lot of importance in the recent years. Computers play a vital role in every field. They aid industrial processes, find applications in medicine; they are the reason why software industries developed and flourished and they play an important role in education. This is also why the education system has made computer education a part of school curriculum. Considering the use of computer technology is almost every sphere of life, it is important for everyone to have at least the basic knowledge of using computers. Let’s look at what role computer technology plays in the education sector.
Computers in Education
Computer technology has had a deep impact on the education sector. Thanks to computers, imparting education has become easier and much more interesting than before. Owing to memory capacities of computers, large chunks of data can be stored in them. They enable quick processing of data with very less or no chances of errors in processing. Networked computers aid quick communication and enable web access. Storing documents on computers in the form of soft copies instead of hard ones, helps save paper.
The advantages of computers in education primarily include:

Storage of information
Quick data processing
Audio-visual aids in teaching
Better presentation of information
Access to the Internet
Quick communication between students, teachers and parents

Computer teaching and interactive learning play a key role in education. Computer technology is integrated into the modern education system.
Computers – A Brilliant Aid in Teaching
Students find it easier to refer to the Internet than searching for information in fat books. The process of learning has gone beyond learning from prescribed textbooks. Internet is a much larger and easier-to-access storehouse of information. When it comes to storing retrieved information, it is easier done on computers than maintaining hand-written notes.
Computers Gave Impetus to Distance Education
Online education has revolutionized the education industry. Computer technology has made the dream of distance learning a reality. Education is no longer limited to classrooms. It has reached far and wide, thanks to computers. Physically distant locations have come closer due to Internet accessibility. So, even if students and teachers are not in the same premises, they can very well communicate with one another. There are many online educational courses, whereby students are not required to attend classes or be physically present for lectures. They can learn from the comfort of their homes and adjust timings as per their convenience.
Computers Improve Presentation of Information
Computers facilitate effective presentation of information. Presentation software like PowerPoint and animation software like Flash among others can be of great help to teachers while delivering lectures. Computers facilitate audio-visual representation of information, thus making the process of learning interactive and interesting. Computer-aided teaching adds a fun element to education. Teachers hardly use chalk and board today. They bring presentations on a flash drive, plug it in to a computer in the classroom, and the teaching begins. There’s color, there’s sound, there’s movement – the same old information comes forth in a different way and learning becomes fun. The otherwise not-so-interesting lessons become interesting due to audio-visual effects. Due to the visual aid, difficult subjects can be explained in better ways. Things become easier to follow, thanks to the use of computers in education.
Computers Enable Internet Access
Internet has information on literally everything and computer technology enables easy access to it. Internet can play an important role in education. As it is an enormous information base, it can be harnessed for retrieval of information on a variety of subjects. The Internet can be used to refer to information on different subjects. Both teachers and students benefit from it. Teachers can refer to it for additional information and references on the topics to be taught. Students can refer to web sources for additional information on subjects of their interest. The Internet helps teachers set test papers, frame questions for home assignments and decide project topics. And not just academics, teachers can use web sources for ideas on sports competitions, extracurricular activities, picnics, parties and more.
Computers Allow Efficient Data Storage
Computer hard drives and storage devices are an excellent way to store data. Computers enable storage of data in the electronic format, thereby saving paper. Memory capacities of computer storage devices are in gigabytes. This enables them to store huge chunks of data. Moreover, these devices are compact. They occupy very less space, yet store large amounts of data. Both teachers and students benefit from the use of computer technology. Presentations, notes and test papers can be stored and transferred easily over computer storage devices. Similarly, students can submit homework and assignments as soft copies. The process becomes paperless, thus saving paper. Plus, the electronic format makes data storage more durable. Electronically erasable memory devices can be used repeatedly. They offer robust storage of data and reliable data retrieval.
This was about the role of computers in education. But we know, it’s not just the education sector which computers have impacted. They are of great use in every field. Today, a life without computers is unimaginable. This underlines the importance of computer education. Knowledge of computers can propel one’s career in the right direction. Computers are a part of almost every industry today. They are no longer limited any specific field. They are used in networking, for information access and data storage and also in the processing and presentation of information. Computers should be introduced early in education. It won’t be an overstatement to say that computer education is as fundamental as learning English. Yes, it is.