Help at Hand

     Print Edition: March 2012

Q: I have been meaning to buy a good computing machine and have determined what I would need it for. I want to buy an Intel Core i7 laptop with at least 4GB RAM and a good graphics card. My budget is ` 50,000-60,000. Please advise. - Dilip PMK, on email

G&G: For a good Core i7 laptop you might have to shell out a bit more. The Dell XPS 14Z on Core i7 might cost you around ` 70,000. The Core i7 option will be costlier, so make sure you actually need the extra processing power.Else settle for a Core i5 is more than enough for regular, even heavy duty, computing.

Q: My dad has given me me two options-either to buy a Sony PlayStation 3 or a Windows XP desktop with a Pentium II processor. Please suggest which one to buy and why? - Sayak Sarkar , on email

G&G: We think the choice if simple. Just buy the PC. You can play a wide range of games on a PC, but cannot open a word document on a PS3. But then if you are never going to open a word document, then don't bother about the PC. An XP on Pentium II these days is like buying an Ambassador car when you can buy a Nissan Micra. Actually, you will find it hard to buy a Windows XP with Pentium 2 now. Go for a new Windows 7 Home edition on a Core i3 processor, if you want to explore the lower end of the PC segment.

Q: I want to buy a laptop with the following specs: 2 GB graphics card, Intel Core i5 processor 1.9 Ghz, 4 GB RAM and, if possible, three USB ports. Can you suggest a desktop with the above mentioned specs within a price range of ` 40,000? Please also mention the other best desktops at this price point. -Rohit Vahule, on email

G&G:
Dell's Inspiron 620s desktop will be available with the specs for under ` 30,000, that is without the monitor and other accessories. You can go to the Dell India website and customise the CPU to your specifications. Online you will also get EMI options. HP's Pavillion series of desktops have lots of options, but exact prices will depend on the specific configuration you need.

Q: Should I buy the iPad2 or wait to see what Apple will come out with next? - Anubhuti

G&G: There are lot of rumours about the so-called iPad 3, but no one can predict what Apple will finally launch. Latest rumours suggest the new iPad will have Retina Display, like the iPhone 4S, and a more powerful A6 processor. If you can, wait for a few months to see if there will indeed be a new, better iPad. If not, just buy the iPad 2. Apple might also be looking at improving the camera.

Q: I have two questions. First, I wanted to know how to convert my wired Internet into a wireless one. I am really confused what to buy. Secondly, I want to buy a headphone which I can use while studying to reduce external noises. I don't care if they can be connected to an external device or not, but I do need pin-drop silence. - Parth Gujar, on email

G&G:
You have many plug-and-play Wi-Fi routers these days. All you have to do is buy one and connect your Internet connection wires to it. You will then be able to access the Net using any Wi-Fi enabled device. The best routers out there are from Linksys, Cisco and Belkin. Just buy one that suits your price and requirements.

Your best bet will be noise-cancelling headphones from Bose, Sennheiser or SkullCandy. All of them will kill the external noises when plugged on and you can enter a silent, private world. But they will all be expensive and cost at least Rs 2,500. But these are good enough to be used by jet pilots. Or look for cheaper headphones with ear cups that effectively kill external noises.

Q: Will Samsung announce the successor of the Samsung Galaxy SII at MWC 2012? How is it expected to be different? - Sambhavi, on email

G&G: If rumours are to be believed, Samsung will not announce the Galaxy SIII at the Mobile World Congress. They plan to announce it later at a company-hosted event, but that could be as late as June. There are reports that this will be the slimmest smartphone ever. Other reports claim that the Galaxy SIII will come with Android Ice-Cream Sandwich on a quad-core processor, HDMI port, LTE support and a 3D camera.

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