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Acer C720P Chromebook goes official with a touchscreen on board

Acer took the wraps off a new member of its Chromebook lineup. Carrying the model number C720P, the newcomer puts an Intel Haswell Chip, an 11.6” 1366 x 768 touchscreen, and affordable price tag under the same roof.

The Acer C720P is only the second Chromebook to sport a touchscreen behind Google’s own Chromebook Pixel. With a $299.99 price tag however, Acer’s offering undercuts the Chromebook royalty by a cool $1,000.

Like its sibling announced earlier this month, the Acer C720P Chromebook features Intel’s Celeron 2955U Haswell CPU. The latter is good for 7.5 hours of battery life. There are two gigs of RAM on board, 32GB of built-in storage, and 100GB of free Google Drive for two years. Wi-Fi a/b/g/n handles the internet connectivity.

The rest of the Acer C720P specs include HD webcam, USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports, HDMI port, and stereo speakers. The notebook weighs 2.98 pounds (1.35kg) and sports a waistline of 0.78” (19.8mm).

The Acer C720P will be available in early December at BestBuy, Amazon, and directly from the manufacturer.

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PC & Laptop

Most promising 3D printing applications

From replacement kidneys to guns, cars, prosthetics and works of art, 3D printing is predicted to transform our lives in the coming decades as dramatically as the Internet did before it. "I have no doubt it is going to change the world," researcher Jam...
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PC & Laptop

6 ways to turn your USB pen drive into the ultimate powerhouse

Any external USB storage drive, be it a pen drive or a hard drive, is used primarily for that reason - storage. But then, you knew there was more to it than that, didn't you?So let's find out today what else can be done with these tiny and innocuous lo...
PC & Laptop

7 tips to get the most out of Google Drive

The Google Drive rumours had been floating around for many years. In fact, when Google introduced the service via a blog post in April this year, they titled it as ' Introducing Google Drive... yes, really. ' I don't think anyone didn't want the rumour...
PC & Laptop

8 things to help you get started with Windows 8

With the launch of Windows 8, buyers are about to discover a computing experience unlike anything they've seen before. Here's a guide to getting past some of the hurdles.

The main thing to know is that Windows 8 is designed especially for touch-screen computers, to make desktops and laptops work more like tablets. It is Microsoft's way of addressing the popularity of tablets, namely the iPad. But Windows 8 will work with mouse and keyboard shortcuts, too. It'll take some getting used to, though.

There are two versions of Windows 8, or more precisely, there's Windows 8 and there's Windows RT. They look the same, but they run on different processing chips. Windows 8 runs on standard chips from Intel and AMD and is the version you'd get if you're upgrading your home desktop or notebook PC. Windows RT is the version for light, small tablets and laptop-tablet hybrids.

Windows 8 will run programs written for older versions of Windows. Windows RT won't. It's limited to applications specifically written for it and available through Microsoft's store. (As a consolation, a version of Microsoft Office is included free on Windows RT devices).

Here are some tips on how to navigate the new Windows:

1) When you start a Windows 8 machine, you're greeted with a screen that shows the time and a pretty picture. To get past it with a touch-screen device, swipe upwards with your finger from the bottom edge of the screen. If you have a keyboard, hit any key.

2) Next, you'll see a mosaic of Live Tiles, each representing an application. Programs specifically written for Windows 8 will run in this new environment, which is unofficially nicknamed Metro. Each application fills the screen when you run it. Applications written for older Windows versions will open up in something that looks very much like the old Windows Desktop environment. You can switch back and forth between Metro and the new Desktop, though Microsoft wants people to eventually use only Metro.

3) The Desktop screen lacks a Start button, so it's hard to start programs from there. Microsoft's idea is that users should learn to go to the Metro tiles to start programs or access settings, even if many programs, including some Windows utilities, will open up in Desktop. To get back to the tiled Start screen with a mouse or touchpad, move the mouse cursor to the top right corner of the screen, then swipe it down to the "Start" icon that appears. If you have a touch screen, reveal the Start icon by swiping in from the right edge of the screen.

4) In the Desktop environment, you can glance at the Taskbar to see which Desktop programs are running. If you're a mouse or touchpad user in Metro and want to see what's running, you have to know this trick: Move the cursor into the top left corner of the screen, then drag it down along the left edge of the screen. If you have a touch screen, swipe in from the left edge, then quickly swipe back in.

5) Neither environment will show you programs that are running in the other environment, but if you have a touch screen, swiping in from the left side of the screen lets you jump between open applications. The "Alt-Tab" combination does the same thing with a keyboard, in case you aren't using a touch screen.

6) There are two versions of Internet Explorer, one for each environment. A Web page you open in one doesn't appear in the other, so if you're trying to find your way back to a page, it helps to remember which browser you were using.

7) When using Metro on a touch screen, you close a program by first swiping your finger down from the top edge of the screen. That shrinks the window. Then you swipe your finger down to the bottom edge of the screen. Don't stray to the right or left edges of the screen, or the app will end up "docked" in a column along that edge. You can perform the same action with a mouse cursor by clicking and dragging from the top edge of the screen, but using the old "Alt-F4" command is easier.

8) In the Desktop version of Internet Explorer, you can see at a glance which pages you have open in "tabs." In Metro, each Web page fills the screen, leaving no room for tabs.

To see which other pages are open on a touch-screen computer, you swipe your finger down from the top of the screen to reveal thumbnails of the other windows. Don't sweep too far, or you'll shrink the window instead.

If you're using a mouse in Metro, you right-click anywhere on the screen to reveal the tabs. Of course, this means right-clicking no longer does any of things it can be used for in previous versions of Windows, such as letting you open a link in a new tab.

 When Microsoft introduced Windows 95, some people thought it was amusing and counterintuitive that the procedure for shutting down the computer began with the "Start" button. In Windows 8, that incongruity is gone along with the Start button, but shutting down with a mouse or touchpad isn't obvious either. Move the cursor into the top right corner of the screen. A menu will pop out. Sweep down to the "Settings" button that appears, and click it. Then click "Power," then "Shut down." If you're on a touch screen, start by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, then tap "Settings."

PC & Laptop

Top 10 features in Microsoft Office 2013

Microsoft Corp. unveiled the customer preview of the new Microsoft Office that features an intuitive design that works with touch, stylus, mouse or keyboard across new Windows devices, including tablets. "We are taking bold steps at Microsoft," Steve B...