Microsoft, Windows

29 Tips and Tricks to Speed Up Windows 10 [Ultimate Guide]

PC hardware capabilities are ever increasing, the latest and greatest hardware demands powerful software to go with it. Microsoft Windows…

PC hardware capabilities are ever increasing, the latest and greatest hardware demands powerful software to go with it. Microsoft Windows 10 offers exactly that.

Windows 10 is the latest in Microsofts operating system line and it does not disappoint when it comes to powerful features. Unfortunately, some of the new, powerful and fancy looking features of Windows 10 demand more resources than previous offerings. This can lead to decreased responsiveness or perceived performance when you are using your PC or laptop!

With this Ultimate Guide, we try to offer a wide selection of options to improve the performance of your Windows 10 machine. Not all options directly relate to Windows 10 but they are all aimed at increasing your overall desktop performance.

Whether you are trying to get the last bit of performance out of an old PC/Laptop, or simply trying to make your shiny new desktop perform even faster, many of the tips and tricks here on in should improve your Windows 10 experience.

The vast majority of our tips and tricks are free, there will be some money conscious options provided towards the end which offer a significant speed boost to your Windows 10 experience.

1. Clean Hardware

Our first suggestion is not a setting on your PC! A large majority of PCs or Laptops have decreased performance due to excessive heat. When your PC or Laptop gets too hot, most modern hardware is designed to decrease its power output and therefore decrease its thermal output.

The drastically decreased hardware speeds have a direct impact on your Windows 10 performance. A processor running at half speed is going to struggle to operate Windows 10 efficiently with multiple applications open.

For laptops, our suggestions are as follows

  • Never put your laptop on a soft surface during use. This often results in air vents being covered which increase temperatures.
  • Turn off your laptop – Grab a can of compressed air and blow dust out of any visible ventilation holes. Make sure you do this outside or in a well-ventilated area as a surprising amount of dust can come out

For Desktop Users we have these suggestions

  • Turn off your desktop
  • Carefully open the side of your case
  • Grab a can of compressed air and direct it into the processor fan
  • Manually clean (with the compressed air) the dust from any intake or extraction fans in your case.
  • If your computer has a graphics card fan, give that a blast with the compressed air also.

By keeping your Windows 10 machines in a cleaner environment and performing some careful dusting every so often, you can ensure that your device is running at its full potential at all times with no thermal throttling.

2. Performance Mode

If your Windows 10 is seemingly slow, checking your computer’s performance mode is the first thing you should do. Windows 10 has a selection of power settings available from Power Saver for laptops through to high performance for plugged in/desktops.

Making sure you are in the appropriate setting (High performance for maximum speed!) is important to improving your Windows 10 experience.

To check your current power settings follow these steps

  • Windows Key or Start Button
  • Type “Choose a power plan”
  • Select “Choose a power plan” option
  • Select “High Performance” option
Power Options
Power Options

Your laptop/desktop will now run at full power at all times to increase responsiveness/overall performance in Windows 10.

If for some reason the “High Performance” option is not available to you, you can select the option to create a custom power plan and turn all options to maximum power.

On a laptop, you can change power plan easily from the system tray with the following steps

  • Click the battery icon
  • Select “Best Performance” on the slider
Power Options from System Tray
Power Options from System Tray

3. Windows Troubleshooter (Automatic Maintenance)

The first tool you should utilize if your Windows 10 desktop is misbehaving or performing slowly is the built-in Windows Troubleshooter / Automatic Maintenance tool.

This tool runs through a standard maintenance checklist to ensure that your Windows 10 speed is optimal.

Although the Automatic Maintenance tool should be enabled by default, you can check that it is running correctly through by following these steps

Windows Key or Start Button

  • Type “Settings”
  • Select “Settings” option
  • Type “Maintenance” in the search bar
  • Select “Security and Maintenance”
  • Click the downward arrow on the Maintenance heading
  • Select “Start Maintenance” and enter your password
  • The maintenance tool will now run

4. Windows Defender Security Center

The Windows Defender Security Center is Windows 10 built-in line of defense. This awesome suite has a bunch of tools and utilities to not only keep your Windows 10 device secure but also fast!

By making use of its 3 main components you go a long way to making sure that your Windows 10 pc or laptop is safe online, virus free and up to date!

Virus Scan

Running the Virus scan application on a regular basis will make sure that no nasty virus or malware applications have made it on to your system. The virus scan app comes with built-in real-time protection to ensure that you can’t easily install something bad on your Windows 10 device.

Windows Update

Keeping your Windows 10 installation up-to-date is vital to maintaining its speed. By having the latest and greatest security updates, as well as device driver updates, you can be sure that you are a step closer to a fast Windows 10 experience.

Firewall

The built-in Windows Defender Firewall is a solid line of defense against potential cyber attacks. In an ever increasingly connected world, making sure your device is safe from attacks is a great way to maintain excellent Windows 10 speed.

To access the Windows Defender Suite follow these steps

  • Windows Key or Start Button
  • Type “Windows Defender”
  • Select “Windows Defender Security Center”
  • Select “Open Windows Defender Security Center”
  • Alternatively, you can select the Windows Defender Security Center from your system tray.
Windows Defender System Tray
Windows Defender System Tray

Hopefully, the overview screen shows you all green check marks. If not you can run any of the utilities by clicking on the relevant screen.

Windows Defender Overview
Windows Defender Overview

5. Update Drivers

A quick and easy tip to try and grab some extra speed for your Windows 10 device is to make sure your device drivers are up to date.

A driver is a small piece of software that allows your hardware to interact with software/Windows 10. Hardware manufacturers are constantly releasing new and better optimized drivers for the hardware to increase speeds.

The vast majority of your device driver updates will be covered within the windows update section above. However, some devices, such as graphics cards, have larger device driver suites that offer extra tools/speed.

If you go to the manufacturer’s website to grab a device driver suite, be careful not to install any extraneous bits of software or services that will negate any performance gain!

6. Error check drives

Through day to day activity, it is possible that your Windows 10 hard drive may become corrupted or damaged. Unfortunately, this is simply the nature of computer hardware!

These corrupt parts of your hard drive can cause your Windows 10 installation to slow down, hang up or even crash completely.

To check if your hard drive has any corruption you can use Windows 10 built-in tool for disk checking.

Follow these steps

  • Windows Key or Start Button
  • Type “This PC”
  • Select “This PC”
  • Right-click your Windows hard drive
  • Select “Properties”
  • Select “Tools”
  • Select “Check” Under the Error Checking heading
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to completion

With some luck, any corrupt sections of your hard drive will be recovered.

Disk Check
Disk Check
Disk Check
Disk Check

7. Remove Old or Unused applications

Over time your Windows 10 installation will gather a whole bunch of rarely used or extraneous applications.

Although they will have fairly low impact on your Windows 10 performance when not running, it is still possible for extra software to be taking up resources through background services or other update programs.

It is also possible that if you have Windows 10 installed on a small partition or hard drive/SSD that any extra programs will make your disk space critical.

To uninstall any unused or old applications follow these steps

  • Windows Key or Start Button
  • Type “Remove”
  • Select “Add or Remove Programs”
  • Under the “Apps & Features” heading, select any program you wish to uninstall
  • Select “Uninstall”
  • Follow on-screen instructions until program is removed
Add or Remove Program
Add or Remove Program
Add or Remove Program
Add or Remove Program

8. Disable Start Up Applications

Along the same lines as old and unused applications, your Windows 10 installation will gather extra unneeded startup applications over time.

These small programs are assigned to open up when your Windows 10 is loading. Although on their own they will likely have a small impact, cumulatively they can slow down your Windows 10 loading speed and therefore affect overall performance.

To disable some startup applications follow these steps

  • Windows Key or Start Button
  • Type “Task Manager”
  • Select “Task Manager”
  • Select “Start-up”
  • Right-click an application to disable
  • Select “Disable” from the context menu
Disable Start up applications
Disable Start up applications

As you will be able to see, the task manager offers some insight into the startup time impact of each individual application. Prioritise disabling any extra startup applications, which you aren’t planning to use, that have a high or medium impact first.

9. Disable Animations

Windows 10 has a vast selection of flashy effects and animations built in. These are pleasing to the eye and improve the visual impact of Windows 10, unfortunately, they do take up system resources unnecessarily.

If you don’t mind having a slightly less flashy interface for some faster Windows 10 performance then follow these steps

  • Windows Key or Start Button
  • Type “advanced system settings”
  • Select “View Advanced System Settings”
  • Enter your password if prompted
  • Select “Settings” under the performance heading
  • Select “Adjust for Best Performance”
  • Apply/OK
Disable Animations
Disable Animations

 

10. Disable Search Indexing

Search Indexing improves the speed at which your Windows 10 installation can return results from the search tool. It does this by processing all of the data on your pc or laptop to be searchable.

Although this has little impact on faster, newer devices, it can have a large impact on older Windows 10 machines.

To disable Search Indexing follow these steps

  • Windows Key or Start Button
  • Type “Services.msc”
  • Select “Services” application
  • Find “Windows Search” in the list of services
  • Right click “Windows Search”
  • Select “Properties” in the context menu
  • Change Startup Type to either disabled or manual
  • Apply/OK

Windows will no longer cache/index search results, freeing up a small number of resources to speed up Windows 10.

Disable Search Indexing
Disable Search Indexing

 

11. Clean up Disk

Following a similar train of thought to our removing old and unused application trick, the built-in Windows 10 disk clean up tool can free up vital disk space resources.

Over time your Windows 10 installation will accumulate extra temporary files for such things as windows updates or temporary browser related files.

These files, while small, take up precious resources on older machines that can be used to speed up Windows 10.

To run the disk clean up tool follow these steps

  • Windows Key or Start Button
  • Type “disk clean-up”
  • Select “Disk Clean-Up” Application
  • The tool will scan for relevant files to clean up
  • Select any files that you want to remove
  • Select “Clean up system files” and follow the on-screen instructions

12. Optimize your browser experience

The vast majority of perceived Windows 10 speed issues will begin with people browsing the internet. For most users, their browser is seen as an extension of their Windows installation.

Unfortunately, browsers can become bogged down through excessive extensions that hog large amounts of memory when in use.

By making sure you do not have too many extensions installed, or removing excessively high usage ones, you can speed up your Windows 10 perceived performance.

To disable extensions, follow these steps

For Chrome

  • Open a new chrome tab
  • Type “chrome://extensions/” and hit enter
  • Select “remove” on any unneeded extensions

For Firefox (Add-ons)

  • Click the Menu button
  • Select Add-ons
  • In the Add-ons Manager tab, select the Extensions or Themes panel.
  • Select the Add-on you wish to disable
  • Click the Disable button

It is recommended to restart your browser once you have disabled an extension/Add-on.

13. Defrag (not SSD)

Data fragmentation is still a problem for a large number of Windows 10 devices.

Having data scattered around is similar to a library having books thrown all over the floor. The information is all there, it is just increasingly difficult to locate!

The impact of fragmented data is not a huge one, but it is still worth using the built-in disk defragmentation tool on normal hard drives.

Do not run the defrag tool if you have an SSD in your desktop or laptop, see our section at the end of the article for the reasons why.

To run the Defrag tool follow these steps

  • Windows key or Start Button
  • Type “Defrag”
  • Select “Defragment and Optimize Drives”
  • Select “Analyze” on the hard drive
  • Once a drive has been analyzed, Select “Optimize”
  • Follow the on-screen instructions and wait.
Disk Defragment
Disk Defragment

14. Enable Hibernation

One way to speed up Windows 10 loading times is to not fully shut down your PC or Laptop after use.

By making use of the hibernation feature of Windows 10 you can resume your Windows 10 session from the state before your hibernated it.

To enable the hibernate option in your start menu follow these steps

  • Windows Key or Start Button
  • Type “Power”
  • Select “Choose a Power Plan”
  • Select “Choose what the Power Buttons do” in the left menu
  • Scroll down and check “Hibernate” to show it in the start menu.

Enable Hibernation

15. Enable Fast Startup

If you aren’t a fan of the hibernate option, or you simply like to shut your PC down fully after every use, Windows 10 has a built-in fast startup feature that you can make use of.

Follow the same steps as the hibernate tip above but instead make sure to select “Turn on fast startup” in the menu.

16. Disable Background Apps

Background Apps are similar to system services, they sit in the background as their name suggests so that they are ready for use at a moments notice.

The majority of background apps use very little resources so it is likely only worth disabling any you really don’t use.

If you are on a very old system it is probably worth turning background apps off completely to maximize your available resources.

To disable background apps (individually or entirely) follow these steps

  • Windows Key or Start Button
  • Type “Background”
  • Select “Choose which apps can run in the background”
  • Toggle individual applications in the list off, or toggle off background apps entirely

 

Disable Background Applications
Disable Background Applications

17. Optimize Virtual Memory (Pagefile)

If your Windows 10 desktop or laptop has a small amount of RAM, it is worth making modifications to the virtual memory (page file) allocation.

Virtual Memory is an assigned area of your hard drive that will act like RAM in a pinch. Although it is massively slower than real RAM, it is important to have an optimized allocation size so that you never get truly stuck.

The Virtual Memory allocation is automatically handled by Windows 10, however, making a manual adjustment can improve its performance.

To change your virtual memory allocation settings, follow these steps

  • Windows Key or Start Button
  • Type “Control Panel”
  • Open “Control Panel”
  • Select “System and Security”
  • Select “System”
  • Select “Advanced System Settings” in the left menu
  • Enter your password if prompted
  • Select “Settings” under the performance heading
  • Select “Advanced” at the top
  • Select “Change” under the virtual memory heading
  • Uncheck “Automatically manage paging file size for all drives”
  • Check the “Custom Size” radio button
  • Enter an amount that is double that of your system RAM (e.g. 4GB – 4000MB – would require you to enter 8000MB)
  • Select “Set”
  • OK
Increase Virtual Memory
Increase Virtual Memory

18. Disable Windows Tips

If you aren’t a complete novice to Windows options then you should be able to safely disregard and disable the Windows 10 tips option.

Tips are highlighted pieces of advice offered by Windows to help brand new users not accidentally modify/disable something they shouldn’t.

To disable Windows Tips follow these steps

  • Windows Key or Start Button
  • Type “Notifications & actions settings”
  • Select “Notifications & actions settings”
  • Toggle off “Get Tips, Tricks and Suggestions as you use Windows”
  • You can also disable other individual programs from notifying you with tips from this options screen.
Disable Windows Tips
Disable Windows Tips

19. Turn off Dynamic Color Adaption

A small resource gain can be made by disabling a fancy desktop feature offering from Windows 10.

Color adaption allows Windows to automatically take a color from your desktop and altering your Windows theme to go along with it.

To disable this option follow these steps

  • Windows Key or Start Button
  • Type “Color Settings”
  • Select “Color Settings”
  • Toggle “Automatically pick an accent color from my background” option off
Disable Dynamic Color Adaption
Disable Dynamic Color Adaption

20. Disable Background Services

Whenever you turn on your PC, Windows will automatically load a plethora of services in the background. Services are small programs that perform small tasks in the background.

Some services simply lie in wait until you need to run a piece of software, such as quickstart for Adobe or Office. Unfortunately, these services do use resources – So if you don’t use a piece of software that is running a background service often – it is worth disabling it.

Example services to disable would be jqs.exe – Java Quick Start, reader_sl.exe – Adobe Acrobat speed launcher and OSA.exe/soffice.exe for Microsoft and OpenOffice packages.

To disable a service follow these steps

  • Windows Key or Start Button
  • Type “services.msc”
  • Select “Services” application
  • Find the service you wish to disable
  • Double click the service
  • Change the Startup Type option to “Disabled” or “Manual”
  • Select Apply/OK
Disable Services
Disable Services

 

21. CCleaner

CCleaner is a free piece of software (with a paid pro version) that offers a number of features to increase the speed and security of your PC.

Although we previously used the disk clean up tool to get rid of lots of unused files on our machine, CCleaner goes an extra step to remove unnecessary data.

To use CCleaner follow these steps

  • Go to https://www.ccleaner.com/ccleaner and download either the free or pro version of CCleaner
  • Follow the installation instructions provided by CCleaner
  • Launch CCleaner from your start menu (Windows Key or Start Button – CCleaner)
  • Select the Cleaner Icon on the left
  • Select Analyze options
  • Select Run Cleaner to remove unused files

22. Clean up your Registry

The Windows registry is a database of low-level settings for both Windows and the applications installed on your PC.

Over time, as you add and remove software, the registry can end up with unnecessary or broken registry entries. To eliminate these from potentially causing performance issues on your PC you can use CCleaner again.

It is recommended to do a backup of your registry before modifying anything, fortunately, CCleaner offers this option during the registry clean up procedure.

To use CCLeaner to fix your registry follow these steps

  • Windows Key or Start Button
  • Type “CCLeaner”
  • Select “CCLeaner” application
  • Select the registry icon on the left
  • Select “Scan for issues”
  • Select “Fix Selected issues” after selecting the issues it highlights.

23. Disable Live Tile

Live tiles are a feature in the Windows 10 start menu. They are auto-updating “live” tiles that can offer many things such as Twitter and news updates. If, however, you aren’t making use of them or you are looking to free up resources, you can easily disable them.

To disable a live tile follow these steps

  • Windows Key or Start Button
  • Right-click the Live tile you wish to disable
  • Select “More” on the context menu
  • Select “Turn Live Tile off” from the context menu

The live tile is now disabled.

Disable Live Tile
Disable Live Tile

24. Disable Sync

One great feature of Windows 10 is its ability to sync a whole bunch of important things across devices such as passwords, system settings, browser settings.

Unfortunately, this syncing process can use up vital resources that you may want to use elsewhere!

To disable syncing follow these steps

  • Windows Key or Start Button
  • Type “Sync your settings”
  • Open “Sync your settings”
  • Turn Sync settings toggle to off.

Although this is likely to only give a tiny increase in performance, if you aren’t making use of the sync option then it is resources/bandwidth saved.

Disable Sync
Disable Sync

25. ReadyBoost USB 3.0 drive

A handy option if you have a spare USB 3.0 pen drive (or at least a chunk of space on one!).

Windows 10 offers users a feature that allows you to make use of space on a removable storage device as a supplement to your memory (RAM).

This option is only really of value if your removable storage device is faster than your hard drive, so if you have an SSD or lots of RAM already then it isn’t worth trying.

It is recommended to use only a USB 3.0 drive due to the increased speed.

If you want to try it out, follow these steps

  • Insert USB 3.0 removable storage device
  • Windows Key or Start Button
  • Type “This PC”
  • Open “This PC”
  • Right-click USB device
  • Select Properties
  • Select either “Use this Device” (and select a storage amount) or “Dedicate this device” if you do not plan on storing anything on the USB storage.
  • OK – Windows will now configure your USB device to use with ReadyBoost

26. Reset nuke it

Our final free option!

If your computer came pre-built/pre-installed then Windows 10 has a handy “reset/recover” option built in.

This is a final solution if your Windows 10 performance problems just don’t seem to be going away.

To access the recovery menu

  • Windows Key or Start Button
  • Type “Recovery”
  • Select “Recovery Options”
  • Select “Get Started” and follow the prompts.

Reset Options in Windows 10By choosing this option you will return your PC to the Windows state from when you purchased it. You will likely benefit from following the previously stated steps of removing bloatware and disabling some background processes after you have reset.

27. Install SSD

Although not a free option, installing an SSD into your desktop or laptop can offer massive speed increases. Startup times, application loading and all-around performance will be sped up by switching away from the much slower mechanical hard drive.

If you do install an SSD you can disregard the tip to defragment your hard drive as this isn’t required. In fact, it can harm your SSD by using program/erase cycles that are technically limited due to the way SSDs work.

28. Install More/Faster Memory (RAM)

Another paid option is to equip your laptop or desktop with faster/more RAM. By doing so you will be less reliant on the pagefile/virtual memory/Readyboost options.

Be careful to check what type of memory your computer takes along with the maximum capacity.

There are several free tools online to check this for you such as Crucials compatible memory advisor – http://www.crucial.com/usa/en/advisor

RAM is unfortunately fairly expensive as of the time of writing this article so this is one of the last options we would take!

29. Performance Monitor

Once you have followed the tips and tricks applicable to you – and maybe splashed out on some hardware upgrades – you can easily monitor your computer’s performance in Windows 10.

To access the performance monitor follow these steps

  • Right-click your taskbar
  • Select “Task Manager” from the context menu
  • Select “More Details” at the bottom left of the task manager
  • Select the Performance tab at the top of the task manager

You will now be greeted with an overview of performance for many aspects of your PC – CPU, Memory, Hard drive, Wifi, and Graphics card. These overviews will allow you to “keep an eye on things” in regards to your PCs performance.

Performance Monitor Overview
Performance Monitor Overview

Any irregularities such as hugely increased CPU or Memory usage should be easy to spot with the performance monitor allowing you to take action.

If something is hogging resources, you can find the culprit by selecting the processes tab and then the relevant subheading (CPU, Memory etc). This will order the currently running processes on your machine by their usage. If something is hogging way too many resources it should easily stand out!

Hopefully this guide has helped speed up Windows 10 on your PC/Laptop!

Please check out our other guides for more advice on keeping your computer safe and secure online.

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Microsoft

Microsoft’s Bing blocked in China

Microsoft-owned search engine Bing has been blocked in China. “We’ve confirmed that Bing is currently inaccessible in China and are engaged to determine next steps,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Mashable. The news was first reported by the Financial Times. Chinese state-owned telecommunications operator China Unicom told one of the FT’s “two sources familiar with the…


Microsoft-owned search engine Bing has been blocked in China.

“We’ve confirmed that Bing is currently inaccessible in China and are engaged to determine next steps,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Mashable.

The news was first reported by theFinancial Times. Chinese state-owned telecommunications operator China Unicom told one of the FT’s “two sources familiar with the matter” that Bing had been blocked after a government order.  

Chinese mainland users had reportedly posted on social media about their inability to access Bing’s cn.bing.com, while those outside the country could still access it (we could load the page in Australia and the U.S.). 

Bing's China homepage is not accessible within mainland China.

Bing’s China homepage is not accessible within mainland China.

Image: Mashable screenshot

According to the FT, attempts to access the site in China resulted in a “connection error,” in which Chinese nameservers could not retrieve the IP address of Bing’s China site.

“This form of nameserver corruption has been often used by the Chinese government to block platforms,” read the report.

The move would make Microsoft the latest U.S

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Microsoft

7 of the best laptop brands of 2019

To survive in today’s world, a laptop is almost a necessity. Whether you’re a contractor using a 2-in-1 to show off floor plans or a college student who needs a Chromebook for class, they make life that much easier.  But with all the name brands offering every laptop you could possibly imagine, how could you…


To survive in today’s world, a laptop is almost a necessity. Whether you’re a contractor using a 2-in-1 to show off floor plans or a college student who needs a Chromebook for class, they make life that much easier. 

But with all the name brands offering every laptop you could possibly imagine, how could you possibly know the best ones to shop from?

At first glance, that’s not an easy question to answer since there are laptops capable of doing everything you could possibly want or need. It can be even harder when trying to separate them by brand and trying to find out what advantages some companies offer over others.

Luckily, we’re here to help make that search a little easier. From reviews, body design, brand alternatives, and more, we’ve figured out the best laptop brands to shop from in 2019. 

Best reviewed

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Image: Lenovo
The Good

Excellent reviews across the board • Wide selection of laptops

The Bad

Poor customer support

The Bottom Line

With a huge selection of laptops, Lenovo is the brand to lean on for consistently positive reviews.

1. Lenovo

While you wouldn’t think it, Lenovo is the brand to check out if you’re looking for some of the best reviewed laptops out there.

  • Popular line:ThinkPad
  • Chromebooks available:No
  • 2-in-1s available:Yes
  • Available at:Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy
$1,759 from Amazon
A laptop could look like the best thing ever on paper, but if it’s poorly reviewed, that could be the kiss of death. Positive reviews, especially when it comes to laptops, are still the best barometer to go by when looking for a new device. And for 2019, no brand has been as well reviewed as Lenovo.
At first glance, you may find it surprising that Lenovo is the best reviewed laptop brand, especially when put up against other names like Apple or HP. While these aren’t poorly reviewed, it’s simply the fact that, laptop to laptop, Lenovo keeps a level of consistency across its products that contribute to those positive reviews.
The ThinkPad line is Lenovo’s go-to line of laptops for anyone looking for an excellent, well-rounded laptop like the T470. The biggest reasons for this is a sturdy design and build quality, fast performance under the hood, and an excellent battery life. The X1 Carbon reviewed extremely well across the board, too, from the likes of CNET, PCMag, and LaptopMag. Common praises went to the Carbon’s thin design and battery life, among other features.
Those are just two examples of the positive reviews Lenovo laptops have received in 2018. On the whole, Lenovo has kept a level consistency that has been reflected in those positive reviews, and if that matters in finding your perfect laptop in 2019, Lenovo is a go to choice.

Best customer support

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Image: apple
The Good

Excellent customer service • macOS offers smooth performance

The Bad

No major changes to hardware • Limited choice

The Bottom Line

Customer support can make or break someone’s experience, and no one does it better with laptops than Apple.

2. Apple

Apple doesn’t just offer premium laptops, but premium customer service as well to ensure those MacBooks keep going.

  • Popular line:MacBook
  • Chromebooks available:No
  • 2-in-1s available:No
  • Available at:Amazon, Best Buy
$2,799 from Amazon
As great as modern technology is, we still haven’t reached a point where everything works 100% of the time (and we probably never will). That’s why it’s important to have good customer support to keep the user base happy. And no company does that better right now than Apple.
In a way, it’s almost a necessity for Apple to invest in its customer support given the quality of their products. That doesn’t mean the 2018 MacBook is low quality, it’s the opposite. Because Apple products are of a certain quality, it only makes sense customers would expect the same of its customer support.
Thankfully, Apple consistently lives up to its user’ expectations. Agents respond quickly to questions about functions or possible difficulties, whether it be on the Apple website or social media. If you need to get your MacBook serviced, you can take it to the closest Apple store to get it  checked out. That kind of boots on the ground support is practically unrivaled in this space.
And if you have AppleCare+, accidental damage is covered for those drops and cracks. There will be repair fees, but it’s still better than dropping another $2,800 on a new MacBook Pro.
Customer support can make or break most people’s experiences with a company, though it’s true you tend to hear more about negative experiences than positive ones. Thankfully, Apple has been able to stay on the opposite side of that, so if you need your MacBook checked out, you’ll be in good hands.

Best for gaming

Uploads%252fcard%252fimage%252f845910%252ff2b46ea8 42e4 49c2 9f41 c67fae85dd03.jpg%252f480x0.jpg?signature=u9juv1jhpobko7jvkvnvncmb6cq=&source=https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws

Image: razer
The Good

High-end gaming on the go • Surprisingly thin design

The Bad

Extremely limited choice

The Bottom Line

Razer offers desktop power in a thin, laptop body for any gamers on the go.

3. Razer

When it comes to PC gaming, Razer is a premiere name offering premium laptops.

  • Popular line:Blade
  • Chromebooks available:No
  • 2-in-1s available:No
  • Available at:Amazon, Best Buy
$1,499 from Amazon
When it comes to PC gaming, the right name does make a difference. Sure, companies like Asus might offer their own gaming laptops, but in this space, there might be no better name than Razer.
Started in 2005, Razer broke into PC gaming with the Boomslang mouse and it was off to the races. Today, Razer peripherals are among the best products you can get to fill out a gaming setup. Whether it’s a mouse with high DPI for movement, a mechanical keyboard with mechanical switches for faster input, or a THX-infused surround sound headset, you can find some of the best accessories on the market from this company.
In the last few years, Razer also expanded into gaming laptops with the Razer Blade line. As opposed to other gaming laptops that lean on the bulkier side, Razer has been able to pack plenty of power into extremely slim bodies. 
The model that captures this best is the 4K version of Razer Blade Pro 17. Packing a GeForce GTX 1080 and Intel Core i7 processor, it isn’t lacking for power in any way. And since it’s VR ready, you’ll finally be able to get yourself an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. There’s also the Razer Blade Stealth for anyone who doesn’t have the dime to drop on the Blade Pro 17. Just keep in mind, af

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Microsoft

Fine, we want the Windows Ugly Sweater

I hate that I love it. In a pun-filled tweet, the Windows Twitter account announced that it’s giving away a select amount of “ugly sweaters” adorned with the blocky Windows 95 logo.  SEE ALSO: No, you don’t need an iPhone X scarf but it 100% exists It’s chunky. It’s knit. It’s filled with primary colors.…


I hate that I love it.

In a pun-filled tweet, the Windows Twitter account announced that it’s giving away a select amount of “ugly sweaters” adorned with the blocky Windows 95 logo. 

It’s chunky. It’s knit. It’s filled with primary colors. It’s positively hideous! Despite all this, Istillwant the Windows sweater. 

“Soft wear.” Get it?

Miss you, CD-ROMs.

Miss you, CD-ROMs.

Image: giphy

OK, Windows. I see you. I know what you’re doing. You, with your retro revival, and your manufactured “irreverence,” and your “social media buzz.” I GET IT. This stunt is meant to attract Millennial Me like the ’90s kid moth I am to your corporate nostalgia marketing flame.

It’s absolutely, entirely unclear how “lucky fans” will make themselves known as Fans to this brand Twitter account. People are still trying to show Microsoft they want to cop the sweater, anyway.

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Microsoft

11 speeches that got the internet fired up in 2018

It’s one of the oldest forms of communication in the book, but a powerful speech can seriously light a fire under the internet. Some speeches may be interrupted, like that of Prince Harry who had a stand-off with a bumblebee during a speech about his dad. But most made their mark. They moved, infuriated, devastated,…


It’s one of the oldest forms of communication in the book, but a powerful speech can seriously light a fire under the internet.

Some speeches may be interrupted, like that of Prince Harry who had a stand-off with a bumblebee during a speech about his dad. But most made their mark. They moved, infuriated, devastated, shocked, and inspired folks on social media, making us cry or air-punch right at our desks.

Here’s some of the unforgettable speeches that got the internet fired up this year. If you missed one, now’s the time to catch up.

Emma Gonzalez’s March For Our Lives speech 

Parkland activist Emma Gonzalez delivered an unforgettable and devastating address during the March For Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C. in March. Most memorably, she stood in silent remembrance for six minutes and 20 seconds — the time it took a gunman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to claim the lives of 17 of her fellow students.

Memorable quote:“In a little over six minutes, 17 of our friends were taken from us, 15 were injured, and everyone, absolutely everyone, was forever altered. Everyone who was there understands. Everyone who has been touched by the cold grip of gun violence understands.”

Natalie Portman’s stirring ‘Power of Women’ speech

There have been many empowering, applause-worthy speeches since the inception of Time’s Up, but Natalie Portman’s is worth noting. The Oscar-winning actress delivered one heck of a speech atVariety‘s “Power of Women” event in October, pulverising Harvey Weinstein before unpacking gender parity and diversity in the entertainment industry and other workforces.

Memorable quote: “Be embarrassed if everyone in your workplace looks like you.”

Donald Trump’s UN speech, which the world literally laughed at 

There was a day in September, when the world literally laughed out loud at Donald Trump. During the president’s address to the United Nations General Assembly, Trump boasted that “my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country.” Crowd guffawing ensued. But guys, Trump claimed hewantedeveryone to laugh. Nice try.

Memorable quote:I didn’t expect that reaction but it’s okay.”

Oprah’s powerful speech at the Golden Globes 

An early speech for 2018, but one that would prove hard to beat. Oprah’s acceptance speech for the esteemed Cecil B. DeMille award at the Golden Globes in January made us cry — and inspired us to take action. Her powerful speech is a moving moment for Oprah herself, who changed the Hollywood landscape for women and people of color, but it became a larger rallying cry for the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. Plus, it made folks champion a 2020 presidential run like crazy.

Memorable quote:“For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dare speak the truth to the power of those men. But their time is up.”

Mindy Kaling’s burn-after-burn commencement speech

Mindy Kaling delivered multiple burns to Donald Trump during her Dartmouth commencement speech in June, along with some sage advice to deal with “graduating into a world where it s

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