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  • Best Laptops for College Freshmen

    Best laptops for college freshmenWith high school graduation just around the corner, many parents are thinking ahead to what their child may need to begin college this fall.  Laptop computers are a popular graduation gift that the child can use when they begin college in the fall.  But, which are the best laptops for college freshmen?

    We've rounded up suggestions and reviews from some of the top review sites.

    How to choose the best laptop for your college freshman

    Laptopmag (a division of Tom's Guide) has excellent advice in Laptop Buying Guide: 8 Essential Tips.  They outline several steps, including selecting a platform, choosing the right size and physical configuration, branding, specs, and battery life.  In an additional article, Laptop Buying Tips for Students, they suggest looking for a battery that will power your laptop for at least 6 hours.  You may also enjoy reading Extending the Life of your Laptop Battery.

    Best Laptops for College Freshmen: Reviews

    10 Best Laptops for Students 2016 from Techradar includes several models and brands starting at under $300.

    PCMag discusses the pros and cons of Chromebooks, as well as machines for gaming (not exactly what you may expect of your college freshman), hybrid laptops, and mainstream laptop models.  Their article, The 10 Best Laptops of 2016, is worth checking out.

    Finally, Laptopmag.com has another great article entitled, Best College Laptops 2016.  Their overall suggestion for the best laptop for college is the Apple MacBook Air 13-inch.  They also offer their recommendations for the best laptops for science students, computer science students, and business students; as well as engineering and art/design students.

    What About Refurbished Laptops?

    If you choose to purchase a refurbished laptop, be sure to replace the battery with a new one for the best performance.  PCAdvisor offers good advice with Should I Purchase a Refurbished Laptop?.  Consumer Reports also offers tips in Should You Buy Refurbished Electronics?

    With so many laptop options available, it pays to do your homework.  This suggestion applies when purchasing your college student a laptop as well as being good advice for your college freshman!

  • Motivational Quote: Words for Wednesday

    When nothing goes right, go left
  • Tips for Taking Great Graduation Pictures

    Graduation PhotosGraduations are an important life event for the participants and their families, and a cause for celebration.  This is not the day to experiment with photography techniques for the first time!  No matter what kind of camera you are using, be sure to have extra camera batteries on hand and a clear memory card before the big day arrives, so you won't miss any special moments.

    Don't simply look at a graduation as one or two stand-alone photos, but rather as an important event in your grad's life. Consider telling a story with your photos. Photos could include the actual ceremony, senior portraits, a picture or two next to the school's signage, football field or another important area from your child's school years, and maybe a few pictures by the school lockers. Continue reading

  • Electric Cars and the Super Battery

    Google the phrase “electric cars” and you will find results that include “Gas is in the past!” and “Top 10 US Cities for Electric Cars.” While electric cars are becoming more common, there is still the problem of powering them.

    In an interview with APM’s Marketplace, author Steve Levine discussed his new book “The Powerhouse: Inside the Invention of a Battery to Save the World.”

    electrician-lightning-bolt-standing_TRILevine writes of the international race to find the next super battery to run electric cars, cut emissions and reap the economic benefits. Many of the key players in the pursuit of this super battery include Japan, South Korea, China, and the United States.

    Most electric cars use lithium-ion batteries. The US Department of Energy reports that lithium-ion batteries are also used in most portable consumer electronics such as cell phones and laptops because of their high energy per unit mass relative to other electrical energy storage systems.

    According to Levine, while the U.S. seems to be trailing Japan and South Korea in the battery race, that doesn't mean they are out of the race.  The U.S. has a long legacy of battery innovation. In the midst of the energy crisis of the 1970s, drivers waited in line for hours to get gas. During this time, Stanley Whittingham invented the first rechargeable lithium-ion battery while working for Exxon. Professor Whittingham is still at the forefront of the movement to design the next generation of lithium-ion batteries. Continue reading

  • 2015: Less and More

    2015-Less and More

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