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Best 2 in 1 Laptops: Our Top Choices in the Market Today

person typing on one of the newest 2 In 1 Laptops today
Our Top Choice Of The Best 2 In 1 Laptops In The Market Today

For many years, if you need a legitimate portable computer, your best bet is to get a laptop. After which, mobile operating systems and processors have become more powerful, you now have another choice: a tablet.

A tablet sacrifices power and functionality in place of superior convenience and usability by removing the physical keyboard and adding a touchscreen interface. So, it didn’t take long for manufacturers to realize that all it takes is to remove the keyboard to turn one into the other.

Thus, 2 in 1 laptops came into the picture and it’s become its own product category.

Today, we’re going to list some of the best 2 in 1 laptops the market has to offer. But first, let’s define what makes a portable computer a 2 in 1 laptop.

What Exactly is a 2 in 1 Laptop?

person using tablet together with her laptop to search the internet

To put it simply, a 2 in 1 is either a detachable hybrid tablet or convertible hybrid laptop which is touch optimized. This portable device comes with both a touchscreen and a physical keyboard of some type.

The best thing about a 2 in 1 portable device is that you can switch between the two modes whenever you wish, usually in the most seamless manner. At one point, you can easily use the touchscreen mode for the best convenience and if you want to type faster, you can just snap the physical keyboard in its place.

Having said that, a 2 in 1 laptop is pretty much a PC with a full operating system, usually a Windows 10 or Chrome OS. There are reports that Apple is looking to tap into the market of hybrid laptops which could end up to be an interesting development.

The Best 2 in 1 Laptops for 2018

We did the research and tested the following units, so you don’t have to. Below are some of the best hybrid laptops that you can find in the market.


Lenovo Yoga 920 2-in-1 Ultrabook Laptop, 13.9in FHD IPS Touchscreen,...

Screen Size

13.9 inches

Display Resolution Maximum

1920 x 1080

Processor Speed

1.8 GHz

RAM Size

8 GB

Key Features

13.9" touch screen, 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-8550U mobile processor, 8GB system memory, 256GB solid state drive (SSD), Intel® UHD Graphics 620, Windows 10 Home operating system

The Lenovo Yoga 920 the ultimate 2 in 1 laptop if you’re looking for top-notch design and comfort.


The eight-generation Intel Core i7 CPU makes this machine a powerhouse when you’re doing productivity tasks. Whether you’re doing work in Photoshop or encoding videos in Handbrake, the Yoga 920 won’t disappoint. The 8 GB memory and 256 GB solid-state drive add more oomph to the laptop and they are both upgradeable.


Another area where the Yoga 920 excels is with typing. The keyboard and touchpad are the results of Lenovo’s craftsmanship. Both the keyboard and touchscreen work great. The touchpad is very intuitive and offers a good deal of palm rejection so you don’t accidentally move the cursor while you’re typing. The battery life is superb as well.


The Yoga 920 is exactly what you can expect from a premium hybrid laptop – superb build quality, excellent performance, and top-notch usability.


Google Pixelbook (i5, 8 GB RAM, 128GB) (GA00122-US)

Screen Size

12.3 inches

Display Resolution Maximum

2400 x 1600 (235 ppi)

Processor Speed

1.2 GHz

RAM Size

8 or 16 GB

Key Features

7th Gen Intel® Core™ i5 processor, 8GB RAM and 128GB for storage, 4-in-1 design, super thin and lightweight design, Pixelbook Pen, Corning® Gorilla® Glass

Not a fan of Windows 10? The Google Pixelbook might just be the unit for you since it’s loaded with Chrome OS. Many people are not exactly to Chromebooks but the Pixelbook is special.


The Pixelbook is a Chromebook that sports a great design and you can use a stylus. Since it’s a Chromebook, you will have native access to various Google apps and services, thanks to the full Android app integration. The laptop comes with a 7th Gen Intel Core i5 processor which is more than enough to handle the most basic computing tasks with ease.


As mentioned, it supports a stylus in the form of the Pixelbook Pen. In other versions of the product, you have to purchase the pen separately. However, we do recommend the pen as it does an excellent job of alleviating much of the difficulties that you can expect from using Android apps via a laptop. The only downside is that the pen doesn’t attach to the Pixelbook.


We’re not going to sugarcoat the fact that the Pixebook is an expensive Chromebook but it’s an incredibly powerful tool for students and general users.


Acer SP111-31N-C4UG Spin 1, 11.6' Full HD Touch, 2 in 1 Laptop,...

Screen Size

11.6 inches

Display Resolution Maximum

1920 x 1080

Processor Speed

2.4 GHz (Intel Celeron N3350 Dual-Core Processor)

RAM Size

4 GB

Key Features

Intel Celeron N3350 Dual-Core Processor, 11.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) Multi-touch widescreen LED-backlit IPS display, Windows 10 Home, 8-hours Battery Life

If you don’t have that much in terms of budget, the Acer Spin 1 is a good option for the budget-conscious folks.


For under three hundred, you get a 2 in 1 laptop with features that you will usually see from a thousand dollar model. The portable PC comes in an all-aluminum chassis which is quite durable. However, the true star here is the 11.6-inch screen that is capable of displaying a max resolution of 1920 x 1080. The display is quite colorful and vibrant and offers better viewing experience than units twice or thrice its price.


It also comes with an impressive stylus that supports up to 1,024 levels of pressure. As you would expect from a budget unit, the Spin 1 is only equipped with a Celeron processor and 32GB of storage. So it’s not as powerful as most models on this list but it makes for a great secondary device. The battery life leaves a lot to be desired as well.


The Acer Spin 1 offers great value if you just consider its features. However, we recommend that you get the 64GB version as opposed to the 32GB one.


Microsoft Surface Pro (5th Gen) (Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB)

Screen Size

12.3 inches

Display Resolution Maximum

2736 x 1824

Processor Speed

2.6 GHz Apple A4

RAM Size

4 GB

Key Features

7th generation Intel Core M Processor, 13.5 hours of video playback, Surface Pro Signature Type Cover, Improved Type Cover keyboard

You can’t really talk about the best 2 in 1 laptops without mentioning the unit that popularized the category, the Microsoft Surface Pro.


After dropping the number naming scheme, the Surface Pro is now better than ever. One of the first things you’ll notice about the Surface Pro is the design. The design adds a great deal of versatility to the laptop as you switch Laptop, Studio, and Tablet Mode. This is mobile productivity at its finest.


The Surface Pro's 12.3-inch PixelSense display is also worth praising as it remains one of the best LCD panels as far as 2 in 1 laptops are concerned. The 2736 x 1824 resolution looks stunning and sharp. The 3:2 aspect ratio gives a perfect balance of vertical and widescreen real estate. Whether you’re watching movies or trying to get things done, the Surface Pro's has got you covered.


The Surface Pro is available in many different versions and specifications. So regardless of your budget, there’s a Surface Pro that’s right for you.


Newest HP Spectre x360-13t Quad Core(8th Gen Intel i7-8550U, 16GB...

Screen Size

13.3 inches

Display Resolution Maximum

1920 x 1080

Processor Speed

Intel Core i7 1.8 GHz

RAM Size

16 GB

Key Features

8th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-8550U, 13.3" diagonal FHD IPS micro-edge WLED-backlit touch screen, Bang & Olufsen Quad speakers, Intel® UHD Graphics 620 (16 GB)

The competition among the 13-inch 360-degree convertible laptops is fierce but the HP Spectre​​ x360 puts up a good fight.


The Spectre x360 is a beautifully designed and lightweight portable unit. In fact, it’s lighter, faster, and cheaper than the 13-inch MacBook Pro. The Spectre x360 boasts a strikingly thin frame and only weighs about 2.78 pounds. However, despite its thin design, this 2 in 1 packs a lot in terms of performance.


We’ve run intensive programs like Lightroom Classic CC for editing images and I must say that the Spectre x360 has performed admirably with its smooth performance. The display is not the best out there but it’s sharp and bright which is great for daily tasks, web surfing, and watching movies. While it doesn’t feel that rugged, the unit is surprisingly quite tough and survived a couple of falls.


The Spectre x360 is a flexible machine with an impressive performance and battery life.


Asus ZenBook Flip 14 UX461UN-DS74T Notebook 14-in i7-8550U 16GB 512GB...

Screen Size

14 inches

Display Resolution Maximum

1920 x 1080

Processor Speed

Intel Core i5 3.40 GHz

RAM Size

16 GB

Key Features

14-Inch wide-view Full-HD nano-edge bezel touch display, Intel® Core™ i5-8250U Quad core Processor, 256GB SATA SSD, built-in fingerprint reader

If you are looking for a 2 in 1 with a large screen, the ASUS ZenBook Flip 14 gets our highest recommendation.


The 14-inch screen supports up to 1920 x 1080 resolution and provides a wide range of viewing angles. The glossy surface of the screen can give annoying reflections and brightness is just about adequate. On the other hand, the colors of vibrant and accurate, with deep contrast and saturated hues.


For the touchscreen operations, the ZenBook Flip 14 manages to impress with its smooth and accurate controls. The unit also comes with a handy stylus but it’s baffling that it doesn’t have a place to store it in the laptop. The stylus is battery operated and responds to 1,024 levels of pressure. Palm rejection is good in general but there are cases where it faltered.


If you want to see some gaming action, the ZenBook Flip 14 is available in a more expensive unit that comes with Nvidia's MX150 which is good for light to moderate games.


Lenovo Miix 520, 12.2-Inch Windows Laptop, 2 in 1 Laptop, (Intel Core...

Screen Size

12 inches

Display Resolution Maximum

2880 x 1920

Processor Speed

Intel Core i7 2.7 GHz

RAM Size

8 GB

Key Features

Thunderbolt 3 USB-C port, 12-inch Detachable QHD+ Display, Front-facing, integrated IR camera, Lenovo Active Pen

The Lenovo Miix 720 will probably remind you of Microsoft's Surface Pro. However, there are key aspects that separate Lenovo’s 2 in 1 from Microsoft’s.


The Miix 720 is packed to the brim with features from the fold-out kickstand to the IR cameras. The Thunderbolt 3 USB-C support is another great feature for accommodating many different peripherals that support the interface. For added security, you can use the IR cameras for facial recognition. Neat!


The 12-inch IPS display supports up to 2880 x 1920 pixels and looks absolutely sharp and vibrant. It’s not the best display in this list but you won’t be disappointed. Touchscreen works like a dream and the palm rejection feature is working as intended with a few mishaps here and there.


The hardware gave a pretty good performance while doing business or school work. The unit works fine while photo editing and light HD video editing. Gamers will also be pleased to know that the Miix 720 has enough oomph to handle light, casual games. If there’s one thing that we’re really disappointed with the Miix 720 is the battery life.

The Miix 720 might just be the best alternative to the Surface line.

Found Your Hybrid Laptop Yet?

doctor typing in the newest edition of  2 in 1 laptop

And that concludes our list of the best 2 in 1 laptops that the market has to offer. Regardless of your choice, it’s hard to go wrong with these models.

We’ve tried to cover just about every price and range specs, so hopefully, we have helped you find a hybrid laptop that will help you get things done whether you’re at home, office or while on the go.

So what do you think of our list of the top-rated hybrid laptops? Do you have a favorite model that failed to make the list? Let us know what you think using the comments section below.

Wireless Mouse: Our Top Twelve Picks In The Market

advanced design of a wireless mouse

Are you a regular computer user? Whether it’s for school, work, or play, you need the right accessories for your computing needs. One of the must-haves when it comes to computer accessories is the mouse. There are countless options available in the market when choosing a wireless mouse. You have to narrow down your options to find something that works well for you.

In this new era of emerging technologies, wireless capabilities are one of the crucial aspects you might want to consider when choosing a wireless mouse for your computer. However, you still have to select one from the many wireless mouse  available in the market.

Comparison Table

stylish  black and green colored wireless mouses

This following material serves as a guide on the best wireless mouse for 2018. It will make it easier for you to choose a wireless mouse for your computer.

Logitech MX Master 2S Wireless Mouse – Use on Any Surface,...
  • CROSS-COMPUTER CONTROL - Game-changing capacity to navigate seamlessly on three computers, and copy-paste text, images, and files from one to the other using Logitech FLOW
  • DUAL CONNECTIVITY - Use with up to three Windows or Mac computers via included Unifying receiver or Bluetooth Smart wireless technology
  • ADVANCED ERGONOMIC DESIGN - Perfectly sculpted, hand-crafted shape supports your hand and wrist in a comfortable, natural position

This mouse is regarded as one of the best options available. It’s a sublime wireless mouse that comes with excellent accuracy, exceptional comfort, and great features. It’s a class leader when it comes to overall performance.


First, the mouse’s compatibility with the Logitech’s Flow Technology allows it to connect seamlessly with multiple devices. It also has dual connectivity, which means you can connect up to three computers via Bluetooth or through a unifying receiver.


The adjustability of the Logitech MX Master 2S is 50 DPI (dots-per-inch) steps, which starts from 200 up to 4,000. With a price tag of around eighty, this mouse comes with a 500mAh rechargeable battery that’s designed to last up to 70 days. That’s way over two months, which means you don’t have to worry about your mouse running out of charge any time soon. But that’s not all. The battery has fast recharging too. You only need a few minutes to recharge it.


What’s more, regardless of the grip style you prefer, holding this mouse will be very comfortable because of its ergonomics. The mouse is also equipped with a gesture button, whose function is to allow you to set up custom actions that you need your digital features to perform. Overall, the performance of this mouse is solid, with excellent ergonomics, portability, and functionality.

Logitech Wireless Marathon Mouse M705 with 3-Year Battery Life
  • Logitech Marathon Mouse M705 uses less than half the power of comparable wireless mice
  • The sculpted, right-hand shape guides your hand to a naturally comfortable positiojn
  • The tiny Logitech Unifying receiver stays in your notebook

This is by far one of the best wireless mice you can find in the markets. It’s an inexpensive mouse that costs about only around thirty dollars. This mouse feels comfortable in the hand. Its sensor can track on almost every surface except glass.


Connection to your computer is aided by a small wireless dongle that comes with the mouse when you buy it. The connection itself is fast as well as reliable, so you don’t have to worry about interference unless you or someone accidentally removes the dongle. This mouse also features eight programmable buttons. These buttons, together with an extra button, allow for both freewheel and ratcheted scrolling.


The Logitech Marathon M705 has a great battery life, saving you the hassle of having to change your battery frequently. The battery can last up to three years. Keep in mind that this mouse does not have Bluetooth connectivity.

Logitech M720 Triathlon Bluetooth Wireless Optical Mouse with Unifying...
  • Pair M720 Triathlon with up to 3 computers and seamlessly switch between them at the touch of a button thanks to Easy-Switch technology
  • Fly through documents and web pages using the hyper-fast scroll wheel, or shift to click-to-click scrolling when you need precision
  • A true athlete, M720 is designed to endure, with buttons built to withstand up to 10 million clicks

This is an excellent alternative to the Marathon M705. It costs about forty dollars, and one of the major differences with the M705 is that the M720 comes with Bluetooth connectivity. This mouse can not only pair with but also switch quickly between devices. This feature makes it more versatile than its Marathon counterpart.


The Logitech M720 Triathlon has a battery life of about two years. It comes with six programmable buttons. You can customize these buttons using the scroll wheel similar to M705 or via the right- and left-click buttons, which are swappable.


Overall, this mouse is more versatile than the Marathon, but not as affordable or even as comfortable.

VicTsing Wireless Mouse for Laptop, 2.4G Mobile Cordless Mouse with...
  • 【Strong compatibility:】smooth, precise and affordable mobile Optical Mouse with Nano receiver for laptop, desktop and netbook PCs.Well compatible with Windows XP, Windows, Windows Vista, Mac OS X, Windows 2000 Server.
  • 【Ergonomic hand-feeling:】slightly wider size and symmetric design make this USB mouse suit both of your hands, easier to control. Contoured shape and sweat-resistant surface provide extra comfort.
  • 【Efficient Transmission:】deliver a powerful, reliable 2.4GHz wireless mouse connection with high anti-interference performance with 32.8ft/10M transmission distance. A Mini USB receiver(stored in the battery slot) supports plug and play.

Are you on a budget? This mouse is the ideal option for you. With a price of about ten dollars, the VicTsing PC104A is highly affordable. It comes with a small wireless dongle or USB, which means all you have to do is plug and play, and you are good to go.


Three choices are available when it comes to the DPI: 1600, 1200, and 800. The USB receiver and the mouse itself can communicate up to a distance of 10 metres. Also, you have up to 12 months of battery, so you don’t have to worry.

VicTsing MM057 2.4G Wireless Mouse Portable Mobile Optical Mouse with...
  • 【5 ADJUSTABLE CPI & 2 POLLING RAT】 800,1200,1600,2000,2400, easily change the cursor sensitivity depending on your activity. 2 polling rate: 125Hz and 250Hz. Comes with a Nano receiver (stored in the back of the mouse). No need any driver, and you can plug and play the wireless mouse directly.
  • 【STRONG DURABILITY & LONG WORKING DISTANCE】Passed 5,000,000 times keystroke test to guarantee extra durability. 2.4GHz wireless technology and professional chip (PAW3212) ensure longer working distance, reaching up to 33ft.
  • 【MAXIMUM HAND-FEELING】 Contoured shape, sweat-resistant and skin-friendly finish are for maximum comfort and support. The thoughtful ring and little finger rest provide extra comfort. The sturdy scroll wheel with rubber makes sure that your hand will not slip when scrolling.

This mouse uses technology that focuses on maximizing the battery life. With just a single AA battery, you have up to about 15 months of battery life. The mouse has an auto switch off function, which helps maximize battery life. This feature switches off the mouse when you turn off your computer or disconnect the receiver.


It’s also ideal for the budget-conscious because it costs just about ten dollars. This mouse has the ideal scroll speed with five adjustable CPIs. Its signal range is 50 feet, which is quite a long distance away from which you can operate your computer. The mouse feels comfortable in the hand even for long hours of use thanks to its contoured shape.


The advantages of this mouse are that it moves well and is light, so you won’t feel like it’s bulky in your hands. It’s also affordable and quite easy to set up. However, a few things you may want to know about the downsides of this mouse is that it does not have a silent click, and the back and forward buttons are on the left so it might take a while before you get used to it.

Logitech Wireless M570 Trackball Sculpted Shape to Provide Better...
  • Trackball comfort: Sculpted shape supports your hand and stays in one place-move the cursor without moving your arm
  • Work and play anywhere: Get smooth, precise cursor control wherever you use your trackball-your desk, couch, even your bed
  • Long battery life: Go for up to 18 months without changing the included AA battery* (*Battery life may vary based on user and computing conditions)

If comfort is your primary focus, this is the mouse for you. It has a sculpted shape that helps keep your hand in one place, providing ample support during use. The precision trackball of this mouse has a sensor that does not only allow you smooth and precise control of the cursor with your thumb but also carries all the workload weight. It has an excellent battery life that will last up to 18 months.


The 2.4 wireless connection of the Logitech M570 works on both Mac and Windows operating systems and can extend up to a maximum of 30 feet. The unique trackball design of this mouse enhances its comfort when it’s in use. Priced at about twenty five dollars, this is undoubtedly one of the best wireless mice to consider for your computing needs.


Perhaps one of the drawbacks of this mouse is that the scroll wheel can feel rough and is quite cheap. What’s more, the ball may fall out too easily too, so keep that in mind.

Logitech M510 Wireless Computer Mouse – Comfortable Shape with USB...
  • ERGONOMIC SHAPE - Ergonomically sculpted design and soft rubber grips conform to your right or left hand to be naturally comfortable, and the compact size makes it easy to take with you wherever you use your computer-at home, at work, or anywhere else
  • CONVENIENT CONTROLS - Back/forward buttons and side-to-side scrolling plus zoom let you do more, faster (requires free Logitech Options software)
  • LONG BATTERY LIFE- You might forget this mouse runs on batteries with 2 years of power from two AA batteries

Portability is vital when buying computer accessories. If you are looking for a wireless mouse that’s highly portable, the Logitech M510 is an excellent place to start. It’s equipped with a powerful USB receiver that can connect up to six devices. It also has a remarkable battery life that can keep its charge for up to two years.


One of the features that make this mouse ideal in terms of portability is its onboard laser that can work on almost every surface, making it easier to use when you don’t have your mouse pad.


When it comes to ergonomics, this mouse is well-designed. It has rubber grips on the sides for proper grasp. However, on the left side of the mouse, are two buttons that can limit its use to right-handed people only.


You can customize all the buttons on this mouse to perform a range of functions, including opening or minimizing windows, jumping to full screen, and switching applications.

Logitech MX Anywhere 2 Wireless Mobile Mouse – Track on Any Surface,...
  • Tracks virtually anywhere: The Darkfield High Precision sensor tracks flawlessly even on glass and high-gloss surfaces (4mm minimum thickness)
  • Compact, sculpted shape: Comfortable, portable control on the go
  • Dual wireless connectivity: Connect to Windows and Mac with tiny Pico Unifying receiver: USB Port,Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, Mac OS X 10.8 or later or Bluetooth Smart wireless technology: Bluetooth Smart Ready device, Windows 8 or later, Mac OS X 10.10 or later

This mouse is priced at around sixty dollars. It is a versatile option that comes with a range of features you will find rather useful. It has a 1600 DPI with Bluetooth connectivity as well as 2.4GHZ wireless technology. You can pair this mouse with up to 3 devices.


Set up is easy whether you decide to use Bluetooth or the wireless technology. The Logitech MX Anywhere Two is also equipped with other features, including a scrolling wheel, a unifying receiver, gesture function, and Logitech’s darkfield laser tracking.


It comes with a non-removable battery that’s long-lasting. The battery also supports quick charging, and within just about 4 minutes, the mouse will have enough charge for the entire day. Compared to the MX Master, Logitech’s flagship, the MX Anywhere 2 is more compact and portable.

Logitech G903 LIGHTSPEED Gaming Mouse with POWERPLAY Wireless Charging...
  • LIGHTSPEED WIRELESS: latency can be the difference between winning it all or losing. LIGHTSPEED wireless technology features a 1 ms report rate for competition-level twitch targeting
  • ADVANCED PMW3366 SENSOR: equipped with the PMW3366 optical sensor-zero smoothing, filtering, or acceleration across the entire DPI range (200-12,000DPI) at speeds over 400 IPS
  • ADVANCED MECHANICAL BUTTON TENSIONING: delivers an exceptionally clean and crisp button feel, response, and consistency. Battery Life: Default lighting: 24 hours, No lighting: 32 hours

Are you the avid gamer? Then this could be the mouse for you. While many people argue that wired mice are better for gaming because of better reliability and latency, this mouse would make them have a change of opinion. This Logitech flagship is designed with a high-accuracy sensor. It also features wireless charging and allows for customization of both the software and the hardware components.

The Logitech G903 can deliver up to 12,000 DPI. Its highly sensitive and accurate optical sensor is referred to as the Pixart PMW3366. The sensor has numerous features that make it ideal for gaming. They include zero smoothing, acceleration and filtering, and surface tuning support.  


The mouse weighs about 110 g. The wireless charging is aided by the mouse’s Power Core system that doubles as a wireless receiver too. The shelf life is rated at the upwards of about 50 million clicks.


While this mouse has unique features that make it an excellent mouse for gaming, you should be prepared to spend quite a lot of money buying it. That’s because it is priced at about a hundred, which may be quite a lot for some people. Keep that in mind before you buy this mouse.

Logitech G602 Lag-Free Wireless Gaming Mouse – 11 Programmable...
  • Up to 250 hours of battery life (Best with Polaroid AA Batteries)
  • Power-saving, high-accuracy Delta Zero sensor technology. Try tracking on a different surface
  • Lag-free gaming-grade wireless, Performance and Endurance modes maximize battery life

If you want a way cheaper alternative to the G903 Lightspeed, this would be an ideal choice to consider. It costs about forty, and one of its key features is its long battery life. You will enjoy about 250 hours of battery life with this mouse. The shelf life is rated at above 20 million clicks.


Logitech uses a sensor technology known as Delta Zero for this mouse. This technology has a high response rate of two milliseconds per click. The mouse is designed with a durable build to withstand a range of gaming experiences, including intense gaming.


What’s more, the mouse has 11 programmable buttons and can support both Mac and Windows operating systems. All these features make the Logitech G602 mouse a highly competitive option if you are looking for a gaming mouse.

Apple Magic Mouse 2 (Wireless, Rechargable) - Silver
  • Magic Mouse 2 is completely rechargeable, so you'll eliminate the use of traditional batteries.
  • It's lighter, has fewer moving parts thanks to its built-in battery and continuous bottom shell, and has an optimized foot design - all helping Magic Mouse 2 track easier and move with less resistance across your desk.
  • And the Multi-Touch surface allows you to perform simple gestures such as swiping between web pages and scrolling through documents.

If you are an Apple fanatic who fancies everything the company churns out, this is the mouse you need. It costs about eighty. Since Apple always thinks different, this mouse is dissimilar from all the mice mentioned above on a range of aspects. For instance, Apple skips on the scroll wheels and buttons typical of most computer mice in the markets.


Instead, Apple designs the Magic Mouse 2 with a multi-touch surface. A simple brush of a finger on the surface of the mouse is all you need to scroll through documents or swipe between Web pages. The base of the mouse has a foot design that ensures minimal desk or surface resistance when using the mouse.


It has a built-in battery that will last about a month. The mouse comes with a Lightning-to-USB cable for charging the battery. It takes about nine hours to recharge the battery fully. It connects via Bluetooth and has a 1300 DPI. The multi-touch no-button feature of this mouse is perhaps the reason why it’s quite expensive.

Logitech M330 Silent Plus Wireless Mouse – Enjoy Same Click Feel...
  • ULTRA-QUIET MOUSE - 90% reduced click sound and same click feel eliminates noise and distractions for you and others around you
  • QUIET MARK CERTIFICATION - Logitech is the first mouse company in the world to receive the Quiet Mark certification from the UK Noise Abatement Society that internationally recognizes technology designed to reduce noise
  • ERGONOMIC SHAPE - Designed with contoured grips made of soft rubber for total comfort

The Logitech M330 SilentPlus  reduces the sounds made by most mice up to an exceptional 90%. While you will experience the same click feel as most mice, you won’t hear the click sound itself when operating your mouse. It costs about ten to twenty dollars, depending on where you are buying it.


It has a 1000 DPI with wireless connectivity of 2.4 GHz that works over a 10-meter range. It’s also compact with a battery life of about 24 months. However, this mouse is right-handed. What’s more, it doesn’t support Bluetooth connectivity. Make sure to keep its accompanying USB dongle safe.

Final Word

laptop and wireless mouse on top of a computer table

Ultimately, the best wireless mouse is the one that best matches your specific requirements and budget. You should be able to find something that suits you from the items listed in this review.

Asus Transformer Reviews And Specifications – Best Value 2-In-1 Laptop

asus transformer laptop

There is no greater time to live in than in our days.

Most of the technological advancements that are shaping and transforming the world are taking place right before our eyes.

In the world of portable computers, those advancements are taking place faster than most people can keep up.

To understand what I mean, you just have to look at the way laptops are becoming smaller, and yet their computing power getting much more powerful.

One such laptop comes from one of the most versatile laptop brands of our day – Asus.

And this time they bring to the market the Asus Transformer line of detachable 2-in-1 laptops.

Rise of the 2-in-1 Laptop

person using tablet together with her laptop to search the internet

Image from Lifewire

One of the fastest growing segments in the laptop market is the 2-in-1 segment. 2-in-1 laptops are devices that can easily transform from notebook mode to tablet mode. There are two ways in which this transformation can take place. The first way is by means of the laptop keyboard flipping all the way to the back of the screen. This type of 2-in-1’s are called convertibles.

The second way is by the keyboard of the device being detachable from the display, leaving you with a tablet. This type of 2-in-1 is called a detachable (for obvious reasons).

A great example is our subject for the day – the Asus Transformer.

Let’s jump into our Asus Transformer reviews and take a look at the reasons this nifty little laptop is making headlines in the world of portable computers. We’ll look at 3 models in this line of 2-in-1 computers, perhaps you’ll find one that will transform your digital life.

ASUS Transformer Book T100HA-C4-GR 10.1-Inch 2 in 1 Touchscreen Laptop...
  • 2-in-1 ultraportable notebook with a 10" IPS WXGA (1280x800), detachable tablet
  • Touchscreen, smooth multitasking with 4GB memory, 64GB eMMC with Windows 10 pre-installed
  • Intel Quad-Core Cherry Trail x5-Z8500 1.44GHz (Turbo up to 2.24GHz)

If you are looking for a great 2-in-1 laptop that gives you amazing functionality without breaking the bank, the Asus Transformer Book T100HA is the perfect detachable 2-in-1 for you.

With the Asus Transformer Book T100HA, you can expect an array of excellent features, superb performance, a sharp display, and incredibly good battery life. And all that comes at a very affordable price.

Let’s take a closer look at what this tiny titan can do.

But first, a look at the spec sheet.

Asus Transformer Book T100HA Spec Sheet

General

  • check
    Operating System: Windows 10
  • Dimensions (with keyboard): 0.9 by 10.3 by 6.7
  • Dimensions (with keyboard): 0.9 by 10.3 by 6.7
  • Weight: 1.7 pounds

Processor / Chipset

  • Processor: 1.4 GHz Atom Z8500

RAM

  • RAM: 4 GB DDR3
  • Memory Speed: 1600 MHz

Storage

  • Hard Drive: 64 GB Flash Memory Solid State

Display

  • Screen Size: 10.1 inches
  • Max Screen Resolution: 1280 x 800 pixels

Video

  • Graphics Coprocessor: Intel HD

Connectivity

  • Wireless Type: 54g
  • check
    Card Description: integrated

Battery

  • Average Battery Life: 8 hours

Pretty basic looking specs I know, but the performance will shock you. Before we get to that though, let’s look at the design and display first.

Design and Display

ASUS Transformer Book T100HA-C4-GR 10.1-Inch 2 in 1 Touchscreen Laptop...

The Asus Transformer Book T100HA is clad in aluminum (and is available in a number of colors), measures 0.4 x 10.3 x 6.7 inches, and weighs 1.2 pounds as a tablet. Add the keyboard dock and the weight is bumped up to 2.2 pounds and the thickness to 0.9 inches.


The Transformer Book locks into the keyboard dock at 3 connection points, 2 of which are metal clips while the third one is a proprietary port. Although a magnet keeps it in place, the connection is sturdy and the screen doesn't move around when you tap or tilt the system.


Because the laptop is a bit on the heavier side, tilting the display too far can cause the system to lean back slightly.


The Asus Transformer Book T100HA comes with a 10.3-inch touchscreen that offers a brilliant 1,280-by-800 resolution. And because the display uses In-Plane Switching (IPS) technology, you will enjoy sharper images and wider viewing angles.

Ports and Connectivity

The Asus Transformer Book may be small in stature, but it’s certainly big on connectivity.


On the right side of the tablet portion, the Asus Transformer Book features a micro HDMI port, a micro-USB port for charging the system, a headphone jack, and a microSD card slot. The left flank sports a volume rocker and a USB-C port (something you don’t often find on a laptop in this class). The keyboard dock also has a USB 2.0 port.

As for wireless connectivity, the Asus Transformer Book comes with Bluetooth 4.0 and dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi.


You certainly won’t be at a loss when it comes to connecting your peripheral devices. The only drawback here is that the Asus Transformer Book doesn’t come with a USB 3.0 port, but that can easily be solved by using an adapter via the USB-C port.

Performance and Power

ASUS Transformer Book T100HA-C4-GR 10.1-Inch 2 in 1 Touchscreen Laptop...

The Asus Transformer Book T100HA has a 1.4GHz Intel Atom quad-core processor, 4GB of memory, integrated Intel graphics, and runs on a 64-bit system. Because the Asus Transformer runs on a 64-bit Windows 10 OS system coupled to a 64-bit CPU, it has a big advantage over other systems in its class that run on 32-bit systems. The 64-bit system allows the laptop to make use of more memory and so have faster performance.


This will be a big advantage if you do a lot of video editing and 3D rendering.


As for battery life, the Asus Transformer Book T100HA has one of the best batteries amongst the 2-in-1 laptops in its class – and a few more expensive than it. When put to the test, the battery lasted a good 10 hours 32 minutes.


Overall, this is one little laptop that won’t disappoint you – in size and performance.


But if you want to up your power levels, Asus has a more powerful 2-in-1 laptop that packs quite a powerful punch despite its diminutive size.

The Asus Transformer Pro (T304UA)B06Y2Z14CK

ASUS Transformer Pro T304UA-DS71T, 2-in-1 Touchscreen 12.6” Laptop,...
  • Versatile Windows 10 device with illuminated keyboard, dongle, and pen included, 2-in- 1 functionality: use as both laptop and tablet
  • Latest 7 th generation Intel Core i7 processor with 256GB SSD 8GB RAM for fast and efficient performance with a battery life rated up to 8 hours
  • Lightweight body weighs less than 1.9 lbs with keyboard attached and only .3 inches

If you have a little more money to splurge on a very portable device, the Asus Transformer Pro is a very versatile and powerful 2-in-1 laptop that you’ll definitely enjoy.


Although it gets a lot of flak for being a Microsoft Surface Pro imitation, it does a great job of it, and actually outdoes the Surface Pro in some areas.


Let’s take a closer look at this Transformer and see exactly what it has to offer. But first, the spec sheet.

The Asus Transformer Pro Spec Sheet

General

  • check
    Operating System: Windows 10 Home
  • Size: 11.77 x 8.30 x 0.34 inches
  • Weight: 1.82 pounds

Processor / Chipset

  • CPU: Intel Core i7 7500U

RAM

  • RAM: 8GB

Storage

  • Hard Drive Type: M.2 SATA SSD

Display

  • Display Size: 12.5-inches
  • Native Resolution: 2160 x 1440
  • Highest Available Resolution:  2160 x 1440

Hard Disk

  • Hard Drive Size: 256GB SSD

Video

  • Graphics Card: Intel HD 620

Input

  • Keyboard
  • check
    Touchpad Size: 4.1 x 2.3 inches

Connectivity

  • Wi-Fi: 802.11ac
  • check
    Bluetooth
  • check
    Mobile Broadband

Ports

  • Ports (excluding USB): HDMI
  • check
    Ports (excluding USB):   Headphone
  • check
    Ports (excluding USB): microSD card slot
  • check
    Ports (excluding USB): USB 3.0
  • check
    Ports (excluding USB): USB 3.1 with Type-C
  • check
    USB Ports: 2

It’s obvious from the spec sheet that this is one powerful little laptop that will enable you to perform all your tasks – whether on the go or just at home.

Design and Display

ASUS Transformer Pro T304UA-DS71T, 2-in-1 Touchscreen 12.6” Laptop,...

The Asus Transformer Pro has design features that resemble the Surface Pro – strongly.


Featuring a sleek metallic-matte chassis with a glossy Asus logo, the Asus Transformer pro is both beautiful to behold and nice to touch.


As a tablet, the Asus Transformer Pro measures a slender 11.77 x 8.30 x 0.34 inches and weighs a mere 1.82 pounds. Not the thinnest or lightest 2-in-1 on the market, especially when compared to its main competitors.


Microsoft’s Surface Pro and HP’s Spectre x2 both weigh 1.7 pounds with the Surface Pro being 0.33-inches thin while the HP Spectre has a 0.31-inch profile.


With the keyboard cover attached, the Asus Transformer Pro weighs 2.4 pounds and has a 0.53-inch profile. The Microsoft Surface Pro comes in at 2.4 pounds and 0.54 inches while the HP Spectre x2 weighs in at 2.5 pounds and measures 0.54 inches.


The Asus Transformer Pro may not be the lightest and thinnest tablet but it certainly is one of the smallest and lightest 2-in-1s around.


One aspect of the Asus Transformer Pro you’ll definitely appreciate is that it is well equipped when it comes to ports.


Looking on the right side of the Asus Transformer Pro, you’ll find a USB 3.0 port, an HDMI connector, a USB-C 3.1 port, and the DC charging jack. On the left side, there’s a microSD card slot, a volume rocker, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.


The Asus Transformer Pro has an edge over its 2 main competitors in this regard as the Surface Pro doesn’t have a USB-C port while the Spectre x2 is missing a USB 3.0 connection (although it has 2 USB-C ports).


As for the display, the Asus Transformer Pro has a very colorful 12.5-inch display with a sharp 2160 x 1440-pixel resolution. For, movie buffs, this 2-in-1 will certainly give your eyes a pleasant experience even for those prolonged times you are focused on the screen.


Put to the color test, the Asus Transformer Pro's screen reproduced 133.7 percent of the color gamut, a better result than the HP Spectre x2’s 123 percent but slightly behind the Surface Pro’s 140 percent. As for brightness, the Transformer Pro managed to reach 233.6 nits, not the best score in its class but bright enough to give you a good user experience.


One aspect of 2-in-1 laptops that can be tricky for manufactures is the keyboard and trackpad but Asus did quite a pretty good job with theirs.

Featuring a slightly recessed keyboard with 1.5mm of key travel and requiring 71 grams of actuation, the Asus Transformer Pro gives such a good typing experience you might be tempted to think you are typing on a full-sized keyboard.


The glass-covered touchpad sits at the center of the keyboard deck and measures an impressive 4.1 x 2.3 inches, making it larger than the Surface Pro's trackpad. Besides its impressive dimensions, the trackpad on the Transformer Pro is also very responsive and supports all of Window’s multi-gestures without any issues at all.


And to add to these already awesome input devices, the Asus Transformer Pro also comes with a pen that is undoubtedly one of the best in its class.

Performance

ASUS Transformer Pro T304UA-DS71T, 2-in-1 Touchscreen 12.6” Laptop,...

Powered by a 7th-Gen i7 7500U CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB M.2 SSD, the Asus Transformer Pro is quite a powerful performer that will allow you to multitask with great ease. You can easily work on multiple documents with the dual Harman Kardon speakers belting out your favorite tunes and multiple tabs open in Chrome – all that without any signs of slowing down.


Put to the Open Office test, the Asus Transformer Pro matched 20 000 names and addresses in 3 minutes and 42 seconds and manages file transfer speeds of 142 megabytes per second, which is fair for a laptop its size.


Coming with an integrated HD 620 GPU, The Asus Transformer Pro is powerful enough for casual gaming, certainly not the modern games that are becoming more demanding.


Performance wise, the Asus Transformer Pro is a versatile workhorse that is capable of giving you an exceptional user experience, all while looking good too.

Asus Transformer 2-In-1 Laptops – Versatility on the Move

With the Asus Transformer line of laptops, you can take your office work and entertainment wherever you go. Not only do they offer you portability, power, and performance, but they offer a bit of personality too. So go ahead, pick a Transformer – any Transformer in any color.

You’ll definitely be glad you did.

Kindle Paperwhite Comprehensive Review

Kindle Paperwhite
Kindle Paperwhite And Its Specifications

There have been a few iterations of the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite over the years, but its looks haven’t changed much. That’s been reserved for the more expensive Kindle Oasis, which now comes in a stylish leather case.

Instead of focusing on looks, the latest Paperwhite takes a leaf from its predecessor (the Kindle Voyage), prioritizing sharpness of display and user-friendliness over design. Quite incredibly, the Kindle Paperwhite has managed to deliver the same sharp display as its forerunner while maintaining a pocket-friendly price.

But is there more to the Kindle Paperwhite, or is it just another cheap addition to the Amazon E-Book reader collection? Read on to find out.

PRODUCT

EASE OF USE

ASSEMBLY TIME

BUILD QUALITY

WARRANTY

Kindle Paperwhite E-reader (Previous Generation - 7th) - Black, 6'...

4.5 Stars

4.5 Stars

4 Stars

5 Stars

Barnes & Noble Nook GlowLight Plus eReader - Waterproof & Dustproof...

4 Stars

4 Stars

4.5 Stars

4 Stars

Kobo Glo HD 6' Digital eBook Reader with Touchscreen - Black

4 Stars

4.5 Stars

4.5 Stars

4.5 Stars

What is the Kindle Paperwhite and How Does it Work?

Kindle Paperwhite E-reader (Previous Generation - 7th) - Black, 6"...
  • Now available in black or white
  • Higher resolution display (300 ppi) - with twice as many pixels
  • Built-in adjustable light - read day and night

The Kindle Paperwhite is part of Amazon’s collection of e-readers. This device allows you to browse, download, buy and read newspapers, e-books, magazines and other forms of digital media through a wireless connection to the Kindle Store.

While it strikingly resembles a tablet, it can’t perform tasks that ordinary tabs do. For instance, you cannot use the Kindle Paperwhite to play games or watch videos. However, you can play simple word games online using this e-reader.

So, wouldn’t you be better off with a tablet? Not if you are a serial reader. First, tablets cost almost as twice as e-readers. Secondly, the Kindle Paperwhite offers a better reading experience than tablets.

Instead of the backlight that is common in LCD tablets, this electronic reader utilizes a transparent light guide to direct light emitted by four edge-mounted Light-Emitting Diodes to the display. This results in a display that allows you to read for a long time without straining your eyes.

Kindle Paperwhite Review

woman journaling with Kindle Paperwhite next to her

Pricing

Display

Design

Key Specs

Battery Life

User Interface and Overall Reading Experience

How Does the Kindle Paperwhite Compare to Similar Products?

Kindle Paperwhite

The Kindle store remains at the top of the chain in the ebook space, and it doesn’t seem like this will change any soon. Therefore, Amazon devices such as the Kindle Paperwhite are still the best option as far as access to the best selection of e-books and value for money are concerned.

The Amazon Kindle Unlimited service is the equivalent of Netflix for Ebooks, and a monthly subscription grants you access to millions of titles.

Besides the proprietary AZW and AZW3 formats, the Kindle Paperwhite supports PDF, TXT, MOBI, HTML, PRC, JPEG, DOC, GIF, DOCX, BMP and PNG file formats. EPUB is notably absent here, and its absence limits your sharing options. This is one of the areas where Kobo and Barnes and Noble edge out Amazon.

However, you can still connect the Kindle Paperwhite to a PC or a Mac as a USB mass storage device. This means you can download reading material from other platforms with your PC or Mac and transfer them to the Kindle Paperwhite for easy reading.

As far as other E ink-based alternatives go, Kobo Glo HD comes closest to the Kindle Paperwhite. Like the Paperwhite, it offers sharp fonts with high resolution. But unlike Amazon’s Kindle, it’s water resistant. However, it’s priced higher than the Kindle Paperwhite and doesn’t have Amazon’s outstanding e-book Ecosystem.

Amazon’s Kindle Oasis is also a serious contender for the brand’s best e-reader. While it delivers the same resolution and a brighter screen, it simply doesn’t offer the same value for money as the Paperwhite.

Kindle Oasis E-reader with Leather Charging Cover - Black, 6"...
  • Our thinnest and lightest Kindle ever--read even more comfortably for hours
  • All-new ergonomic design with dedicated buttons to effortlessly turn the page
  • Longest Kindle battery life--the included leather charging cover can boost battery to months. Choose from a black, merlot, or walnut removable cover.

The table below contains comparative data on Kindle Paperwhite and two of its closest competitors.

Note: The prices above represent Amazon pricing in the US at the time of review. Prices may vary according to region and time.

As you can see, the standard Kindle Paperwhite edges its competitors in terms of sheer value. While it has the lowest price of the bunch, it stacks up nicely to its closest competitors, including the Nook Glowlight Plus, which was specifically designed to compete with the Kindle Paperwhite.

The only area where the two competing brands outperform the Kindle Paperwhite is the build quality, and that is only because they are waterproof and the Paperwhite is not.

Pros

  • It offers the best value for money compared to competing brands and products.
  • The latest Kindle Paperwhite has better performance and speed than its predecessor.
  • The interface is user-friendly.
  • The Kindle Paperwhite has a sharp, bright screen with a higher resolution than most e-readers. Amazon’s Kindle Oasis is the only e-reader with a brighter screen than the kindle paperwhite.
  • It allows you to access the Kindle store, the leading ebook store.

Cons

  • Unlike the Voyage, it doesn’t have an adaptive backlight.
  • It lacks water resistance capabilities, something that the Kobo Glo HD and the Nook GlowLight Plus have.
  • It lacks audiobook support.
  • It doesn’t support the EPUB file format, limiting your reading options.

The Final Verdict

Despite its limitations, the Kindle Paperwhite remains one of the best e-readers available in today’s market. At this point, the question on your mind should be what generation of Paperwhite you should be using, and not whether the e-reader is a worthwhile purchase. The bottom line is that you should consider sticking to the second generation unless the extra pixels of resolution is a big deal for you.

A product review isn’t complete without a rating. On the conventional 5-star rating system, this e-reader is worth a 4-star rating. But you can give this kindle your own rating by giving it a try and sharing what you think in the comments section.

Photoshop Doesn’t Suck, it’s You: The Guide to Effortless Mastery of Photoshop

screen of a laptop showing Adobe Photoshop icons and other program from the same brand

So, you're one of the countless folks who has decided that you, too want to master the world of Photoshop. No, it's not really you, this is pretty complex stuff for any beginner.

Is this possible for a total novice?

There are so many features that it overwhelms. Why, why, why are there so many tools and how is a newcomer supposed to figure out what they all do anyway?

Why doesn't anything seem to work?

If you are like many people, your first experience with Photoshop is incredibly frustrating.

Sure, you manage to open a file. You even manage to figure out what the little paintbrush does.

But then why can't you move a dang thing around?

Why do objects seem to get stuck? Why do you find yourself wanting to pull out your hair over what seemed a relatively simple project?

Where did your favorite tool go and how will you ever find it again?

This all begs the question:

Is learning Photoshop worth it, or even possible for someone who isn't necessarily a graphic designer?

Is Photoshop Worth It?

As anyone who uses Photoshop regularly knows:

The answer is a resounding – YES!

Here are just a few reasons:

  • Millions of designers use it globally because it works
  • Photoshop plays nice with other design programs
  • You can create clean feathered edges on selections with ease
  • Photoshop can save images in just about any format you need
  • If you can see it in your mind, you can make it on the screen
  • Adobe products continuously improve and add new features
  • Kick-ass filters, selection tools, layering options, and so much more
  • Options to add-on new customized brushes
  • Photoshop handles large graphics files with ease, as long as you are running the program on a system that can handle the memory and processing power
  • Learning the basics is easy, and you don't need to know it all
  • It beats the shame of telling somebody you made your image with PicMonkey
  • It's freaking fun and addictive
  • Learn Photoshop, and you have a head-start on learning other Adobe programs

Bow down to Adobe

adobe registered logo

Image: Public Domain, via Wikimedia

Now, most creative folks don't readily warm up to the idea of worshipping a corporation. However, when it comes to Adobe Inc., even the creatives tend to get at least luke-warm.

Here's why:

Adobe is like the great great great grandfather of digital marketing software companies.

The pioneer is best known today for Photoshop, Adobe Acrobat, the ubiquitous PDF file, and the famous Cloud.

This giant has been around for so long (since 1982), that they have had time to perfect their product over decades.

In a world of continually changing technology, they have remained on top, an industry standard. That in itself is praise-worthy.

You may not like the idea of it, but we must bow down to Adobe's creative genius.

Sure, they don't come cheap, but they are almost essential for millions of designers, marketers, and creative folks today.

If they didn't deliver on extremely high expectations, they would have evaporated years ago.

"THE WHOLE MARKET TODAY IS A LITTLE SCARY. I'M HAPPY WE RETAIN ANY VALUE," SAID JOHN WARNOCK, ADOBE CO-FOUNDER.

Seamless integration

If you use Photoshop, then chances are you are interested in using any number of the dozens of other Adobe programs available.

Consider just a few giants you'll encounter:

Adobe Illustrator Icon

Image: Public Domain, via Wikimedia

Adobe Illustrator, the industry standard for vector graphics

Adobe InDesign icon

Image: Public Domain, via Wikimedia

Adobe InDesign, the industry standard for page layouts

Adobe Lightroom icon

Image: Public Domain, via Wikimedia

Adobe Lightroom, a photographer's resource for editing, storing and sharing images

Adobe Premier Pro

Image: Public Domain, via Wikimedia

    Adobe Premiere Pro, one of the best for movie/video editing

Adobe Acrobat icon

Image: Public Domain, via Wikimedia

Adobe Acrobat, used to create the almost universally used file, a PDF

If you want to use any of these programs, then the fact that Photoshop integrates perfectly with them is a huge plus.

At the same time, learning Photoshop will make it slightly more intuitive to learn other Adobe programs.

Unleash the beast

There's nothing wrong with using one of the free image editing programs available to you. However, chances are you will eventually find yourself held back creatively.

Unlock digital doors:

Once you learn the basics, Photoshop opens creative doors.

Adobe Photoshop icon

Image: Public Domain, via Wikimedia

Of course, you also won't have any excuse if you end up with a pixelated mess because you have the same tools as the graphics masters.

You'll have the same power as just about any top designer or artist. The power!

Wait. Isn’t Photoshop Expensive?

You'll probably have a friend that tells you that you can somehow download Photoshop for free.

But that's shady:

We don't recommend illegal downloads. We're aspiring to art, not a life of crime!

Sure, you can use an online version that mimics Photoshop tools, but you might as well use GIMP or PicMonkey in that case.

The truth is that Photoshop, like all Adobe products, comes with a cost.

However, creative people generally appreciate the product so much, and they don't care in the end. They'll pay what they need to have access to the best.

To get the best price, there are some things to keep in mind:

  • Photoshop changes all the time. You will want the latest version.
  • You can probably make do with an older version or the trimmed-down Photoshop Elements.
  • The latest updates can be a big deal, fixing annoying bugs.
  • Because everything is on the Cloud today, you probably should be too.
  • College students and faculty get a discount. You can be a student if you take a class.

Best ways to download

As a person who has used Photoshop since the beginning, I used to buy the software on disc. Now, it's all about the Cloud, baby.

Sure, I was resistant to change, but once I made it to the Cloud, there was no turning back.

If it sounds too good to be true

It's worth a mention that if somebody tells you that you can get Photoshop for free, then they are probably not talking about a legal method.

Who wouldn't want it all for free?

Sure the word "free" has an irresistible ring to it, but it should also set off some alarm bells.

Keep in mind:

Owning Adobe programs generally means you will regularly update them with new features and fixes. You won't be able to do that if you don't have a fully legit version.

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud allows you to select a package of software of your choosing. Select just Photoshop and Lightroom, or branch out and get access to as many apps as you like.

Check out the prices, and you'll find that Photoshop isn't as expensive as you might have thought.

Other options

If you don't like the idea of monthly payments, and you can live with a simplified trimmed-down version of Photoshop, there is an alternative.

Adobe Photoshop Elements icon

Image: Public Domain via Wikimedia

A basic version of Photoshop without all the bells and whistles, Photoshop Elements may be right if you need the basics.

Take a look:

You can buy it and be done without having monthly payments.

"ADOBE PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS IS THE GO-TO APP FOR BUSY AMATEUR SHOOTERS DETERMINED TO MAKE FAMILY MEMORIES COME ALIVE IN A UNIQUE AND ARTISTIC WAY."
– JACKIE DOVE, TOM'S GUIDE

Some of what you can do with Elements:

  • Intelligent image editing
  • Step-by-step guidance
  • Color and light adjustments
  • Photo restoration (remove scratches)
  • Open closed eyes with Adobe Sensei
  • Make memes with text
  • Image selection to cut out areas you want
  • Slideshows and collages
  • Organize photos automatically
  • Share your creations easily

Watch a tutorial below:

It pays to be a student

As we mentioned before, you can save considerable amounts of cash if you are a student. That means K-12 or higher.

You may also qualify for a discount if you work at a school or university.

Check out the plans for Creative Cloud for Education and see how affordable Photoshop and other Adobe programs can be.

Netflix and chill or Photoshop and...?

an illustration composed of dots in different colors and the word "creativity" on top of it

Image: CC BY 2.0, by nnenn, via Flickr

Yes, if you are a student, you might pay less than you would for streaming movies to access the latest and greatest Photoshop program whenever you want on any device you want.

Remember:

Every user is a student.

And the big secret about Photoshop is that once you start using it, you will remain a student of the program.

Even experts learn new things all the time.

The Photoshop Backstory

You know a product is great when the name becomes a verb used to describe raster graphics editing in general.

And Photoshop is no exception:

The word "photoshopping" is universally and instantly recognized. It can have negative or positive connotations.

photo manipulation showing  a man walking on tracks which appears to be leading into the inside of the android phone

Image: by FunkyFocus, via Pixabay

It seems like everything from the 80s was just better and larger than life, and that's where the story began.

That's when brother, Thomas and John Knoll, from Ann Arbor, Michigan, were introduced to the first Mac computers available on the open market.

The Creators

Thomas Knoll was working on a Ph.D. on the "processing of digital images."

The only problem with that:

His brand new Apple Macintosh Plus couldn't display gray-scale levels in images.

Fortunately, he had help from someone from Industrial Light and Magic. You know, George Lucas' visual effects company.

Thomas' brother John worked for the now famous company.

So, as you might guess, they used the force to combine code from Unix, and a new computer called the Pixar to create their own program.

Or...something like that.

Listen to the brothers talk about how it happened below:

Without going into the area of computer code, we'll summarize that the brothers were able to refine their program into a version called "ImagePro," which soon got a new familiar name:

Photoshop.

When John Knoll presented their image editing program to Adobe in 1988, they got a licensing agreement and Photoshop 1.0 shipped in February 1990.

Sorry, Thomas:

"IT'S ONE OF THOSE POINTS IN TIME WHERE IF JOHN HADN'T COME IN THE DOOR AND IF JOHN HADN'T DECIDED TO SELL PHOTOSHOP, IT JUST WOULDN'T HAVE HAPPENED AT ALL," SAID RUSSELL BROWN, SENIOR CREATIVE DIRECTOR AT ADOBE.

Thomas never finished his doctoral program after all of his work with his brother on developing Photoshop.

It seems this program is just too time-consuming even for the creator.

John, however, went on to work as visual effects supervisor at ILM for such movies as "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace" (1999).

Watch the understated John Knoll talk about his earliest version of Photoshop below:

Learning How to Use Photoshop

In the early 90s, learning Photoshop meant you would either:

A) Have to know somebody who could show you, or

B) take a class at school and read really long complicated books on the subject. Sure, you could try to learn on your own, but the program isn't exactly intuitive. Learning was slow at best.

It's almost like they want it to be hard!

scrabble letters arranged in order to spell out "Take it easy"

Image: by Alexas_Fotos, via Pixabay

Today, however, things have changed.

The internet has developed along with Photoshop, and there are millions of ways to learn by watching videos, both from Adobe and users all over the world on YouTube.

YouTube is your friend

There is no problem at all learning how to use Photoshop if you just set aside the time and watch the videos.

Today there are even videos that pop-up inside the program to prompt users on how to use new-fangled tools that come out all the time.

Like an individual personality, voice, accent, or teaching style?

No problem. There is a perfect video waiting for you. Done.

Look:

Here is "Mr. Ninja Boy" on the basics for beginners:

Free lessons from friends (Don't even try it)

As everybody who knows Photoshop for any length of time can attest: People will come out of the woodwork to ask you for free lessons.

The absolute answer to that is: No thanks!

Do you realize how many years it takes to learn Photoshop?

For people who use the program for years, it can be insulting when friends, acquaintances, or even people they have never met ask them for free lessons.

Why?

Because we know it takes time -- lots of it.

It's not like someone is going to sit down and get you going with Photoshop in a few minutes. It's going to take hours and days before they can show you everything.

Don't ask a friend to do that unless you are willing to pay. Even then, they may ignore you.

Ask yourself:

Would you ask a concert pianist to teach you piano for free? Probably not.

One caveat:

If somebody offers to teach you Photoshop for free, consider that friend a unicorn and someone you must cherish every second for the rest of your life.

On the other hand, there are plenty of virtual friends on YouTube willing to teach you for free. Do that.

Along a similar line of thinking, don't ask the internet to Photoshop for you either. You may be surprised at what you get:

What Is Photoshop for Anyway?

We might have gotten a bit ahead of ourselves, but before you dive into Photoshop, you should really have a basic understanding of what it's used for.

It's not just for turning pictures into artificial paintings.

Raster images

First, know that Photoshop is one of the best tools out there for working with rasterized images, that is, images made up of pixels.

This amounts to all those pictures you take from cameras.

Each photograph is comprised of little dots, not to be confused with the dots used by a printer. They are rendered as pixels of light on a screen, not blobs of ink.

a wallpaper featuring pixel pattern

Image: by DavidZydd, via Pixabay

What it's not for

Now while Photoshop is perfect for pixels, it's not known for specializing in vector graphics. That being said, it can work with them.

What the heck are vectors, you ask?

"VECTOR GRAPHICS IS THE CREATION OF DIGITAL IMAGES THROUGH A SEQUENCE OF COMMANDS OR MATHEMATICAL STATEMENTS THAT PLACE LINES AND SHAPES IN A GIVEN TWO-DIMENSIONAL OR THREE-DIMENSIONAL SPACE." TECHTARGET

Math, not pixels.

Over the years, Photoshop has incorporated more of the abilities of another program:

Adobe Illustrator, which focuses on working with the clean, crisp lines of vector graphics.

They can scale from a thumbnail to the size of a billboard and never lose any resolution, unlike a raster image.

vector graphics of a rose

Image: by starchim01, via Pixabay

While you can now definitely work with vectors in Photoshop, it's kind of like a side gig, not the specialty of the program.

Similarly, Photoshop can work with video, animations, websites, and 3-D objects. However, other Adobe programs are the pros for those tasks.

Photoshop sort of dabbles in these areas, which might be just fine for what you need to do.

Start with the basics

Even people who have used Photoshop for decades don't know every single way to use the program.

That's part of the beauty because there is always more to learn.

Fortunately, you don't have to know how to do it all. You can use just a few tools to accomplish your task. You may not even click on some of the tools -- ever.

Don't be intimidated.

Remember:

You can't mess anything up if you don't save over a file. Instead, always keep the original and save your new file with a different name.

Think: File > Save As > (Enter your new file name.)

Play around first

Although we mentioned that Photoshop is not intuitive in many ways, you can learn quite a lot from just playing around with it.

Purely pixel play.

By playing with things like brushes, filters, layers, shapes, and masks, you will learn where to find useful tools.

That may come in handy for future projects in unforeseen ways. By playing, you'll develop your go-to selection of tools and commands.

You'll rely on these functions again and again, possibly FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.

Yes, it's that addictive.

Earn your black belt in Photoshop (not really)

Nobody likes a know-it-all.

Yet many people seem to think that if they don't know all the features of Photoshop inside-and-out, then they aren't grasping the program.

Don't worry about becoming a Black Belt in Photoshop.

It would take years of regular use before it all sank in anyways. Just develop your own way of working and let go of the idea that you have to be a know-it-all.

Of course, if you want to be a master, there are ways to do that too. We'll look at that later.

Start With This

Assuming you are a beginner who hasn't used the program before, there are some easy projects to consider trying first.

Open Sesame

One of the first tasks you'll want to do it merely opening a file.

This is the moment that will make or break some people. It can be very frustrating when things don't seem to make sense.

But it doesn't have to be:

Watch this straightforward video to see some concepts that most advanced users take entirely for granted.

The narrator uses the Move tool to move images after unlocking the "padlock" on the layers panel.

Understanding the basics like this means you are well on your way to wanting more Photoshop, not less.

Get to know vectors

As we noted before, Photoshop can work with vectors. However, it specializes in pixels. It helps to be familiar with these vector tools, but don't worry if these seem quite confusing at first.

You may not need to use vectors anyway.

In that case:

You should still know what they are to avoid clicking on them.

One of the primary vector tools is the pen tool, which is also the mainstay of Adobe Illustrator. It works by forming points with each click on the screen.

Get to know Smart objects

One of the ways that Photoshop can work with vector objects is by converting them to so-called Smart objects.

Here's what that means:

The Smart object links to the original vector file so that when you edit the image, the original content is preserved.

Even if you don't use vector graphics, it's handy to learn about how and why to use Smart objects, which can link to vector and raster images.

More on smart objects, a somewhat complicated topic simplified below:

Finally filters!

Of all of Photoshop's many features, it's the filters that probably get the most attention.

When they were first introduced, it was endlessly fascinating to see how the filter could transform an image in a million ways.

Today, many of these filter styles seem cliché:

Think of an 80s music video, and you get the same idea -- over the top flashy transformations can be a bit much. Nevertheless, they remain one of the most entertaining features of Photoshop.

Just don't get too carried away.

On the other hand, playing with Photoshop's Filter Gallery and many image distortions is something that everybody must try.

Just get it out of your system already.

See more about filter effects below:

Of course, if you can't get enough filters, how about unlimited filters instead?

One million brushes

Now that you have found a way to waste months at a time looking at crazy Photoshop filters how about looking at brushes?

Oh yes, they are just as much fun, if not more.

Take a look:

Paint with a brush that looks like just about anything, from eyelashes to a shimmering field of stars. You can download new brushes and load them into the program to your heart's content.

Learn the basics of using Photoshop brushes below. It seems boring but trust us, it will really help:

One of the brush masters who has now incorporated his tools into new releases of the program, Kyle T. Webster, talks about some of his brushes below:

Taking It to the Next Level

Once you have become comfortable navigating and using Photoshop, you will no doubt want to continue to learn more about other Adobe programs.

Even if you don't have an art or graphic design degree, you can do a great deal with the powers of Photoshop on your belt.

What will you do with all of those skills?

It's time to show off

If you have become so enthralled with the program that you start churning out the images, videos, or animations, then it's high time you think about how to display your work.

Here are the basics:

Make a portfolio.

Don't just save all your pictures on your hard drive and forget about them. Show off your work with an online portfolio. You'll be amazed at the responses you get from friends and others.

With a Creative Cloud subscription, you may be able to do it with the included program, Adobe Portfolio.

There are a million other ways to do it, from online do-it-yourself web design sites to posting on social media yourself.

The idea is to share your creations. You'll inspire others and get inspiration and feedback in return.

Keep in mind that anything you post online can easily be stolen. You might want to save your images at low resolution and relatively small size, and/or put your watermark on your designs.

See more about Adobe Portfolio from Adobe Evangelist, Terry White below:

Advancing your skills

Even Photoshop Black Belts are still learning things every day. That's partly because the program seems to update every time you turn around.

For some, learning new things is a welcome thing.

For others, they want to work with the tools they are familiar with. That's cool, but in all cases, your skills will advance the more you work, just as with any trade.

If you want to reach the pinnacle of Photoshop mastery, there is always the option of certification.

For example:

Adobe offers a certification program with rigorous testing that will allow you to show off to potential employers or customers.

If they can do it, so can you!

More on Adobe Certified World Championship below:

YouTube is still your friend

No matter how advanced you get, you can always fall back on good ole' YouTube for ideas and inspiration. Chances are, there is a video that will answer most questions you have.

It's a real life-saver again and again and again.

Similarly, no matter how much you have used Photoshop, don't forget to enjoy what you're doing and play around.

That's what gets the creativity flowing.

Start making money

Once you become confident in your abilities with Photoshop, it opens up creative doors, and possibly doors to new careers.

laptop, android phone, notebooks and more on top of a working desk

Image: by Caio Resende, via Pexels

Here's how to start:

One of the easiest ways to start making cash is to approach local businesses like art galleries, frame shops, and print shops.

Simply ask if they have a need for such routine requests such as photo restoration and editing. Very often, these skills are in high demand, but will they pay you?

If you can scan in a customer's photograph, then you can become a "photo doctor," removing unwanted imperfections or altering the photo.

You might even get requests to remove entire people from pictures or generic things like eliminating red-eye.

There are many ways to use your Photoshop skills to earn money, but you have to be smart and creative about it.

See more about streams of passive income from T-shirt designs below:

Diving Into More

Once you learn the basics of Photoshop, you will have a head start on learning other Adobe programs like Illustrator.

There are enough similarities that learning a new program will be relatively easy.

But on the other hand:

There are also enough differences to make it challenging.

For example, the overall concept of how to find features, tools, and workspaces is familiar with Illustrator.

However, you'll notice that tools, like the pen tool, work differently. There are brand new concepts to learn and master.

Why can't they all get along?

It sure seems like it would be easier if everything were located in one program sometimes. That would be too convenient, right?

However, once you learn what each program does, you'll realize there is just too much going on to have it all in one place.

Everybody has a purpose.

As you progress to new Adobe programs, you'll realize their strengths and weaknesses. You'll appreciate how they work together to help you achieve just about any design goal you may have.

For more on the differences between Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, watch the video below:

It Never Ends

If you've come this far and you are still set on learning Photoshop, be aware that no matter how long you use it, you'll learn more all the time.

The neverending story.

Fortunately, working with Photoshop usually feels more like playing than working.

You probably won't mind taking a few minutes to sort out how to tackle a new design problem. Solving those problems can be fun.

Think of it as Photoshop muscle memory:

As you encounter design problems in the future, you'll have a sense of Déjà vu. You'll realize this is something you came across years ago, only this time; you'll know what to do from experience.

That's when it hits you:

You are officially a Photoshop nerd.

Yes, it takes years and countless work with the program to become a semi-relative expert.

a man comparing a printed photo and digital copies from his desktop computer

Image: by rawpixel.com, via Pexels

Your friends will be impressed.

They might even ask you to teach them how to work with Photoshop, and you will cringe, knowing that learning takes hard work, lots of time, and exploring all on your own.

The best part is you will enjoy exploring with Photoshop for years to come.

Do you have any tips or tricks fo learning Photoshop? Tell us about it in the comments!