Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Eizo Foris FS2434

Eizo Foris FS2434

A top-notch 1080p monitor with lots of extras

Eizo is best known for making monitors aimed at graphic designers, publishers and other professional users. The Foris FS2434 monitor is therefore a surprise because it’s aimed squarely at everyday users. It’s more expensive than other 24in 1080p monitors, but it more than justifies this relatively high price.

The base rests on a rotating turntable, letting you easily swivel the screen to the desired angle, while the stand can be adjusted by anything up to 60mm. There’s even a built-in carry handle at the rear, which will come in handy should you ever need to relocate it. The incredibly narrow (6mm) borders edging the screen are ideal for a multiple-monitor setup. Put two or three of these monitors side-by-side and you’ll barely notice where one starts and another finishes.

LG Music Flow H3

LG Music Flow H3

A wireless speaker with minimalist looks and multi-room features

LG, best known for its range of TVs, is now branching out into speakers. The company’s Music Flow H3 is the kind of compact wireless speaker you can tuck neatly out of the way in cluttered or cramped spaces, such as your kitchen or a small bedroom.

It might be small, but the H3’s has an attractive, minimalist appearance that oozes class. Its controls are handily positioned on top and comprise a volume dial and a power button. The speaker’s cabinet has a metallic look, but is in fact plastic, it nonetheless feels tough and well made.

Asus Transformer Book Flip TP300LA

Asus Transformer Book Flip TP300LA

An inexpensive lightweight laptop with Intel's newest processor

Broadwell is the code name for Intel’s new fifth-generation Core processors. There are several versions from the energy-efficient (but comparatively slow) Core M range to the more powerful (and power-hungry) Core i7 models. The Transformer Book Flip is the first laptop we’ve tested that has a Broadwell Core 15, the 2.2GHz 5200U, which lies somewhere between these two extremes and should provide the perfect balance of battery life and performance.

Brother DCP-1610W

Brother DCP-1610W

A cheap, compact mono laser MFP

Brother’s DCP-1610W is a surprisingly small laser MFP capable of prints, scans and photocopies. It can only print and make copies in monochrome, although scans are, of course, in full colour. While it lacks a fax modem and an SD card slot - so you can’t print directly from a storage card - several people can connect to it over Wi-Fi.

Alienware Alpha

Alienware Alpha

Alienware is Dell’s brand name for gaming PCs and the Alpha is the latest model in the range. It has plenty to recommend it, even if you have no interest in gaming. For starters, it’s approximately the size of two paperback books.

Many gaming PCs go for an ostentatious look, but not the Alpha. The only frills on its plain black plastic casing are a lit-up Alienware logo (which doubles as the power button) and a small triangular LED on one corner (see image). You can change the colour of these lights, or turn them off, using a pre-installed program. It’s sold without a keyboard, mouse and monitor so you’ll have to supply your own.

How to manage your Microsoft account

Microsoft account

To log into Windows 8.1 for the first time, you’ll need a Microsoft account – here’s how to get one

You’ve bought a shiny new Windows 8.1 device. It’s unpacked, plugged in, and humming gently. So, what’s the first thing you should do? The answer is set up a Microsoft account. Don’t be disheartened by the word ‘account’, because a Microsoft account is the key to unlocking everything that’s great about Windows 8.1, as well as the wider suite of Microsoft products, tools and services.

Customise Windows Phone 8.1

Customise Windows Phone 8.1

It’s really easy to give your Windows Phone 8.1 interface a simple twist to suit your style

When you first switch on a new Windows 8.1 phone, the interface that greets you is a joy to behold. The simple layout and large, bright tiles make finding what you need really easy (and it’s also great for showing off in a public place).

However, if you want to stamp your own style on it, there are options for you to tailor the interface. From its colours and style to its basic functions, Windows Phone 8.1 is fully customisable to suit your preferences.

As well as tweaking the settings hidden within the interface, you can go even further with apps downloaded from the Windows Phone Store, which give you even greater control over the way your phone looks. So let’s get started making your Windows Phone, truly your own!

Repair Windows

fixwin 2.0

Use this simple tool to fix any Windows annoyances quickly and without any fuss

FixWin is a simple tool for troubleshooting your Windows installation. Using the tool you can fix more than fifty Windows problems and annoyances that might be caused by malicious malware. Anti-malware scanners can help you remove these harmful programs but that in itself will not always undo the changes to Windows caused by these nasty malware, such as hiding the context menu, or disabling the registry editor.

With FixWin, you can repair these unwanted modifications to Windows. The tool lists all its fixes and their symptoms across several categories. Every problem has a ‘Fix’ button that you can click to apply the suggested solution. Remember that FixWin isn't a diagnostic tool and doesn't actually look inside your PC and uncover problems. You have to know you have a problem, and then use this program to fix it. Let’s get started.

50 Essential Upgrades

Windows tweaks

See what Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 can do when it’s given your full attention! Ben Andrews and Nick Peers reveal 50 tweaks and apps to upgrade your operating system

Windows 8.1 and 7 is packed with features, many of them honed over years of development, so you could be forgiven for thinking Microsoft must now have covered every base and satisfied every need.

The reality is rather different, as anyone who’s had to spend extra on an additional antivirus package will appreciate. People tend to forget that essential virus protection, along with programs like Word and Excel, aren’t included with Windows, but are actually pricey upgrades.