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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!

A Review of The Dell Inspiron 15 7000: The Ultimate Gaming Workhorse

Dell Inspiron 15 7000
A Review of The Dell Inspiron 15 7000 The Ultimate Gaming Workhorse

Laptops are definitely what they were a few years ago.

They have evolved at the speed of light from the simple word processors to the more specialized machines they are today.

And no type of laptop commands as much attention as a gaming laptop.

This is not just because of their rugged beauty.

It’s more a matter of the power they possess.

And without that power, they can’t serve their purpose as gaming laptops.

The downside of gaming laptops is one compromise every gamer will have to accept – higher prices.

If you are looking for a powerful entry-level gaming rig that won’t burn a hole in your pocket, then you are in luck – I’ve just the rig for you.

It’s the Dell Inspiron 15 7000.  

Let’s take a closer look at what you can expect from this awesome machine.

The Dell Inspiron 15 7000 – VR Gaming Rig 


Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7567 - 15.6" - i5-7300HQ - GTX 1050 - 8GB -...
  • Windows 10 HomeNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 4GB dedicated graphics; 7th Gen Intel Core i5 processor; 15.6" display; 8GB memory; 1TB + 8GB hybrid hard drive; Bluetooth; backlit keyboard; HDMI 2.0 output; DVD/CD drive not included
Inspiron 15 7000 star ratings

The Dell Inspiron 15 7000 is a VR capable gaming laptop that is heavy in power but light on your pocket.


Especially if you are looking for a budget gaming laptop, you have to turn your eyes on this particular laptop.


I know words alone can’t describe the capabilities of this excellent laptop, so I’ll let the specifications paint the picture for you.

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Specs

  • CPU: 2.5-GHz Intel Core i5-7300U CPU
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home
  • RAM: 8GB
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    RAM Upgradable to: 16GB
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    Hard Drive Size: 256GB
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    Hard Drive Type: SSD
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    Display Size: 15.6
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    Highest Available Resolution: 3840 x 2160
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    Native Resolution: 1920x1080
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    Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q / 6GB
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    Video Memory: 6GB
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    Wi-Fi: 802.11ac
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    Wi-Fi Model: Dual Band 2.4 & 5 GHz, 2x2
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    Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.2
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    Touchpad Size: 4.1 x 3.1 inches
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    Ports (excluding USB): Ethernet
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    Ports (excluding USB): HDMI
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    Ports (excluding USB): Headphone/Mic
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    Ports (excluding USB): Noble Lock
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    Ports (excluding USB): USB 3.0
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    Ports (excluding USB): Thunderbolt 3
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    USB Ports: 4
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    Card Slots: SD memory reader
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    Dimensions: 15.2 x 10.8 x 1 inches
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    Weight: 5.99 pounds
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    Warranty/Support: 1-year warranty

Wow!

Those are some great specs for an entry-level gaming laptop, especially considering that it costs less than a grand.

If you don’t really get what all those figures and acronyms mean, let me quickly break it down for you. Then you’ll understand just why many gamers are hyped over this gaming laptop.

The Dell Inspiron 15 7000 – Design and Build Quality

When it comes to gaming laptops, build quality matters a lot. The reason is simple – they go through more rigorous paces than any other laptops.

For many people, the term “budget gaming laptop” conjures up images of bulky laptops that weigh a ton and nostalgic feelings of aching shoulders after a short commute with one dangling on your shoulder.

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Series Gaming Edition 7567 15.6-Inch Full HD...
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Series Gaming Edition 7567 15.6-Inch Full HD...

Well, the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 (or the Gaming 7000 as it is affectionately called by its fans) is nothing at all like that – it’s actually the opposite.

Coming in at 6 pounds and measuring 15.2 x 10.8 x 1 inches, the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 may be heavier than its competitors like the Acer Predator Helios 300 (the lightest in the class) which comes in at 5.5 pounds, but it has a thinner profile by 0.5-inches.

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Series Gaming Edition 7567 15.6-Inch Full HD...
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Series Gaming Edition 7567 15.6-Inch Full HD...

Although this is twice the weight of some normal laptops, it is a pretty decent weight for a gaming laptop as gaming laptops tend to come with more hardware, especially in the form of cooling fans.

At first glance, the Gaming 7000 will great you with the matte black-and-red design that most gaming laptops favor. It also sports a soft-touch lid bearing Dell's logo in an eye-popping red.

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Series Gaming Edition 7567 15.6-Inch Full HD...
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Series Gaming Edition 7567 15.6-Inch Full HD...

Dell could have done a better job with the rear as it features an unimaginative series of vents that come in straight, gray plastic lines. Nothing sporty or fancy as you would find in other aggressively designed gaming rigs.

In fact, the previous model was better looking in this respect.

Upon lifting the lid, the interior maintains the same motif with a nice black soft-touch deck, an island-style keyboard with red lettering and backlighting, and a touchpad surrounded by a nice crimson border. The power button in the upper left-hand corner doubles as a fingerprint reader.

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Series Gaming Edition 7567 15.6-Inch Full HD...
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Series Gaming Edition 7567 15.6-Inch Full HD...

One thing you’ll definitely appreciate about the way the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 is built is that it has just about every port you'll need for your peripherals and monitors. The left side features a Noble lock slot, Ethernet jack, a USB 3.0 port and an SD card slot. On the right side, you’ll find a headphone jack, a pair of USB 3.0 ports, a Thunderbolt 3 port, and an HDMI output.

Dell deserves a decent 4/5 for the way they designed and built the Inspiron 15 7000.

The Dell Inspiron 15 7000 – Game Enough to Take on Anything

If there’s one thing every gamer expects from their gaming rig, it’s exceptional performance. After all, most modern games are “heavy” and taxing on the average processor and GPU, and in some instances even unplayable.

How does the Dell fare when it comes to performance?

Pretty decent if I may say, but before we get to gaming performance, let’s first take a look at the display.

Display

Dell’s first Inspiron 15 7000 had one major flaw – the display. Thankfully, Dell listened to the lamentations of their customer and did something about it.

The newer Dell Inspiron 15 7000 comes with a better 15.6-inch IPS, 1080p screen.

It definitely isn’t the best screen around, but it’s decent enough considering the price of the laptop.

The biggest difference you will notice with the switch to an IPS screen is that it affords wider viewing angles and more accurate colors.

When tested, the Dell Inspiron 15 7000’s screen was found to cover 70 percent of the sRGB color gamut, not bad for a budget laptop, but still less than the mainstream average of 102 percent. Although it was poorer than the Acer Predator’s 81 percent score, the Dell performed better than the Lenovo Legion Y520’s 68 percent.

On the light meter, the Dell Inspiron's screen measured an average of 233 nits, sadly, dimmer than the average 253 nits but this time out-performing the Acer Predator’s 226 nits and trumping the Lenovo Legion’s 220 nits.

Overall, whether you are watching a movie or playing your favorite game, the new display is more pleasant to the eye than the previous model.


Acer Predator 17 X Gaming Laptop, 17.3” Full HD, NVIDIA G-SYNC, Core...
  • Intel Core i7-6820HK Processor 2.7GHz (Up to 3.6GHz)
  • 17.3" Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS Screen with NVIDIA G-SYNC technology
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 with 8GB GDDR5 VRAM

Lenovo Legion Y720 Gaming Laptop, 15.6" Full HD, Intel Core i7-7700HQ...
  • The Legion Y720 was built for gaming with 7th Generation Intel Core i7 processors, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics and hybrid storage.
  • The Legion Y720 is the world's first Dolby Atmos PC, delivering next generation audio that flows around you. WiFi and bluetooth- Lenovo AC wireless (2x2) + bluetooth 4.1 and LAN: 10/100/1000M gigabit
  • With integrated Xbox One Wireless Controller Support and an optional multi-color backlight programmable keyboard you can choose to play your way.

Audio

When it comes to budget laptops, one of the casualties to cost cuts is the audio system.

Fortunately, with the Dell Inspiron 15 7000, this is not the case.

The Dell Inspiron 15 7000 is one budget laptop that actually gets the job done when it comes to giving you the sound that you need in order to enjoy your gaming experience.  The sound comes out with impressive clarity, with the bass doing a great job of making gunshots and explosions sound closer to the real thing and not a popping balloon.

And if all you want to use them for is listening to your favorite track as you work, they will still manage to feel the room with your sweet melodies (or hard beats, whichever sounds you go for).  

Gaming, Graphics, and VR

Since you are looking for a gaming laptop, you’re probably wondering what kind of gaming experience you will get from the Dell Inspiron 15 7000.

Pretty good actually.

In terms of gaming power, the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 comes equipped with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 with Max-Q design and 6GB of VRAM.

If you are unfamiliar with Max-Q, it is quite an innovative technology that enables gaming laptops to run quieter, cooler, and shed a few pounds.

But the best part about Max-Q technology is that it allows gaming laptops to run more powerful processors without running the risk of overheating the system.

For a budget gaming laptop, that is pretty impressive.

In fact, that configuration is well able to provide you with plenty of power to play games at high settings. But if you want to get the best frame rates, you'll have to lower some games' settings.

With all the rave going on about VR gaming, you’ll be glad to know that for $950.00, you can also get in on the action – with the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 that is.

Although it won’t give you the best VR experience, connecting your HTC Vive or Oculus Rift will certainly give you a taste of the wonderful world of VR gaming. This is something many budget gaming laptops can’t offer you.

When put to the SteamVR Performance test, the Dell Inspiron earned an admirable (for a budget gaming rig) 5.9, falling below the mainstream average of 6.1.

But when you use the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 for VR gaming, be prepared for increased fan activity (and noise).

This is one budget gaming laptop that will really give you exceptional gaming performance that will exceed your expectations – and the money you pay for it.

Every Day Use

If you want your gaming rig to double as a daily workhorse, the Inspiron can easily handle your daily tasks. Equipped with a 2.5-GHz Intel Core i5-7300U CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 can easily multitask as well as any other performance laptop with the same configuration.

Opening as many as 30 tabs and streaming in HD won’t even slow down the system.

In a test, the Dell 7000 gaming took 15 seconds to copy 4.97GB of files at a rate of 339 MBps. This is an impressive speed that is faster than the mainstream average of 262 MBps.

It also outperformed its competitors (who had more powerful i7 processors) the Asus ROG Strix 503 (32.2 MBps), and Acer’s Predator (188.5MBps).

On the Open Office spreadsheet macro, the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 managed to pair 20,000 names and addresses in 3:38. Although this is faster than the 4:20 average, it’s slower than Lenovo’s Legion (3:19), Asus’s Strix (3:20), and Acer’s Predator (3:22).

If you want to upgrade to an i7 processor with 16GB RAM, and 1TB hard drive, you can visit Best Buy for a sweet $1,199.00 deal.

Overall, the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 is a versatile laptop that won’t just satisfy your gaming needs but will also help you complete your tasks quickly and efficiently.

Battery Life

One of the major weaknesses of gaming laptops is that they trade-off battery life for performance. The Dell Inspiron 15 7000 is cut from a different cloth.

The 7000 gaming has a battery that lasts an amazing 7 hours and 5 minutes with continuous web browsing. This is better than the mainstream average of 6:27 (which include less powerful laptops without discrete GPUs). In its class, only the Predator comes close with a battery life of 6:48. The ROG Strix and the Legion barely last half as long with battery lives of 3:32 and 3:39 respectively.


ASUS ROG STRIX Thin and Light Gaming Laptop, 15” Full HD, Intel Core...
  • 7th-generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ quad-core 2.8GHz (Turbo to 3.8GHz) with discrete NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 4GB graphics. Dual-fan thermal design
  • Slim 0.9" profile and lightweight 5.6 lbs body with 15.6" Full HD Wideview Panel, 72% NTSC. Built-in smart amplifier technology delivers louder in-game audio up to 200% higher volume and minimizes distortion to ensure smooth operation
  • 256GB SATA SSD + 1TB HDD for ideal balance of fast OS-drive speeds and large storage space

Heat

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Series Gaming Edition 7567 15.6-Inch Full HD...

If there’s one plague gaming laptops seem to be eternally cursed with, its heat.

But because of the Max-Q, the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 manages to fight off this scourge pretty well as it can stay nice and cool under normal usage.

For example, 15 minutes of streaming HD videos only raises the temperature at the bottom to 82 degrees Fahrenheit, 84 degrees Fahrenheit at the center of the keyboard, and just 77 degrees Fahrenheit on the touchpad.

That makes it run cooler than the 95-degree comfort threshold.

The Dell Inspiron 15 7000 – Budget gaming at its Best

Truth be told, the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 is not perfect.

But for the money, it’s probably the best gaming laptop you can buy.

From its improved display to its enhanced GPU, the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 is one gaming laptop that won’t bring any regrets as part of the package.

If you are looking for a gaming laptop for under $1000.00, this one comes highly recommended.

FHD vs UHD: A Battle of Display Resolution Performance

FHD and UHD TV
FHD vs UHD – A Battle of Display Resolution Performance

One of the major challenges that the average laptop buyer faces when it comes to making a purchase decision is choosing the right display for their new portable computer.

Different laptop models come with different displays, and it is important to decipher which display characteristics matter.  

Screen resolution isn’t always at the top of the priority list when you’re going over the specifications of a new laptop.

Yet, it impacts the quality of text and images that you see on your screen when you’re using your laptop. Having said that, it’s only right that you consider the resolution of your display.

If you’re contemplating picking between Full High Definition (FHD) and Ultra High Definition (UHD), continue reading on below to get the useful insight required to make the right choice.

How This Review Was Done

This review is based on a thorough investigation and analysis of the development of high definition (HD) resolutions.

Extensive research was carried out to collect empirical evidence from available literature (previously published material) in order to give a comprehensive review of the topic.  

The research process involved critically reading the material found in order to gain a deep understanding of the topic.

The main objective of the research was to identify and analyze established aspects of the topic and to use findings to conduct this review.

Evolution of Laptop HD Resolutions

Laptops are widely used throughout the world because they can deliver a myriad of benefits to users. The characteristics of laptops that have made them so popular around the world are versatility, speed, storage capacity, portability and many more.

Unfortunately, choosing the right laptop isn’t a matter of simply buying the first model available to you. It demands careful consideration of many things, including the type of screen resolution that the display of the machine comes with.

HD resolutions have come a long way, as illustrated below.

  • HD: resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels
  • Full HD: resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Ultra HD: resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels
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    True 4K: resolution of 4096 x 2160 pixels

What is FHD?

full high definition

Image from: IGN

FHD is short for Full High Definition and is the next upgrade to high definition (720p).  It is also called 1080p because it delivers a resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels. The total number of pixels found in FHD is roughly two million – 2073600 pixels to be exact.  

What Are the Pros and Cons of FHD?

Going full HD offers a range of amazing advantages to laptop users, but it also presents a number of challenges. Take a look at some of the notable benefits and limitations of FHD laptops compared to laptops with other HD resolutions.

The Good Side

Compared to its predecessor, that is, HD resolution, full HD resolution delivers better text and image clarity by increasing the number of total pixels on your computer screen. If you’ve ever used an HD laptop, you will notice that the text on your FHD screen will look crisper and will be easier to read, while the images displayed will be clearer, sharper, and more detailed.

This is vital to making lighter work of everyday tasks that need to be performed using a laptop. Screen real estate is the amount of workspace available to you on your display. If you’re looking to upgrade from a standard HD laptop, investing in a laptop with full HD resolution is a great way to increase the amount of space available for you to actively get work done.

The extra screen real estate will help make it easier for you to perform simple tasks like browsing the web, as well as more demanding tasks like photo and video editing. Your new laptop’s screen resolution will have an impact on battery performance. Higher res laptops tend to use up more power, thus hurting battery life.

Because FHD laptops don’t push as many pixels as their UHD counterparts, they don’t hurt battery life as much.

As a result, you can get more work done on a single charge. This benefit is essential if you need to use your laptop on the go, especially in places that may not have a power connection. Content availability is one area where FHD beats UHD. If you intend to use your laptop for both work and play, you’re going to love the freedom to choose from a wider selection of FHD media available on the entertainment market.

Whether you like streaming movies, series or TV shows, you shouldn’t pass up the chance to watch all your favorite 1080p video content on a compatible FHD screen – the improved viewing experience is simply amazing. Are you aware that higher resolutions can also hurt the lifespan of your laptop? One of the major reasons why FHD laptops generally outlast their UHD counterparts is because they deliver less resolution.

Since the hardware doesn’t have to work as hard to keep up with the need for higher image resolution, they tend to last longer. This benefit can also reduce the need for laptop repair throughout the lifespan of the machine. Because full HD technology precedes ultra HD, laptops makers have had more time to adopt FHD technology.

Thus, FHD laptops are generally more widely available compared to their 2160p counterparts. Another advantage of FHD laptops is that they generally cost less when compared to their UHD counterparts. If you’re looking for a budget laptop, it makes great sense to settle for a 1080p laptop.

The Negative Side

When it comes to delivering impressive image quality, full HD res laptops can’t outperform their UHD counterparts. If you’re interested in getting a better screen resolution, you’ll need to consider the next level up – UHD resolution. Although full HD laptops have become more affordable nowadays, they still cost more than their lower-res counterparts because of the extra pixels they deliver.


Pros

  • Deliver superior image quality compared to lowly HD resolutions
  • Provide additional screen real estate
  • Deliver longer battery life than their UHD counterparts
  • Lots of FHD content available for you to consume
  • Tend to outlast UHD machines
  • Generally cheaper than UHD laptops

Cons

  • Deliver less visual clarity compared to UHD
  • Come with higher price tags compared to lower-res laptops

What’s UHD?

UHD is the short name for Ultra High Definition. It means that your laptop has a resolution of 3840 by 2160 pixels. UHD is also called 4K resolution because it quadruples the number of pixels found in a 1080p display – the total number of pixels found in UHD is approximately eight million). Hence, UHD offers a superior image resolution compared to FHD.

What Are the Pros and Cons of UHD?

The Good Side

If you love the text and image quality on a full HD screen, you’re going to love the enhanced viewing experience on a UHD screen even more.

The extra pixels delivered by UHD resolution displays ensures laptop users see what’s on their screen with a greater level of detail. A higher UHD res means that more information or detail will be displayed on the screen at a particular time. This can make browsing the web or streaming a movie easier to do. If you are a serious gamer, you can take your gaming to the next level by playing 4K games on your UHD laptop. Sure, you might need to purchase some extra hardware to get started, but you will be rewarded with an enthralling gaming experience.

If you need to do 4K photo and video-editing on your laptop, a UHD laptop can be a handy tool. You can add the finer details to your photos and videos on your 4K screen. If you are looking to impress people with your new laptop, having a UHD machine is a nice way to hype things up. Because they are a level up the ladder of HD resolutions, UHD machines generally have greater public appeal.

The Negative Side

If you’re a laptop user who frequently needs to use their laptop on the go without being plugged in to a power outlet, battery performance is a big issue with UHD laptops. Compared to FHD laptops, laptops with UHD resolution generally require more power to push more pixels and deliver superior image quality. This results in a considerable reduction in battery life. UHD resolution only enhances the picture quality if used to watch native 4k content. Unfortunately, there is a painful lack of UHD media today.

If you plan to stream movies, TV shows, video games and other media in UHD, you’ll be disappointed to learn that there are limited options available for you to consume. Because UHD technology hasn’t yet been universally adopted by laptop manufacturers, the availability of UHD screen laptops remains considerably limited.

Another big disadvantage of UHD laptops is their higher price tag when compared to full HD laptops. Yes, the higher number of pixels does come at a higher price, which may not be affordable to everyone.

Pros

  • Improved on-screen clarity
  • More information displayed at a time
  • Enhanced gaming experience
  • Ideal for photo and video-editing

Cons

  • Faster battery drain
  • A significant lack of 4k content
  • Limited availability
  • More expensive than FHD laptops

Top 6 Additional Factors Impacting the Clarity of Laptop HD Res Screens

While screen resolution impacts the quality of text and images displayed on your laptop screen, there are other factors that will also affect how items appear on your screen. Take a look at 6 other factors that can determine the clarity of your laptop display.

 Vaio laptops

1. Display Size

2. Maximum Brightness

3. Contrast

4. Color Depth

5. Viewing angle

6. Reflectance

Why is it Essential to Pick the Right HD Screen for Your Laptop?

grass & laptop

Here’s a look at top 5 reasons to ensure you choose the correct HD screen:

1. Productivity

2. Value for Money

3. Health Benefits

4. More Refined Entertainment

A Quick Recap of Key Points

When you’re shopping for a new laptop, there are many things to consider. The bottom line is that you’ll probably want a reasonably priced machine that can get the job done quickly and efficiently. In order to strike the right balance between performance and affordability, you’ll need to meticulously assess the features of the various laptop brands and models available to you.

When it comes to choosing the screen resolution of your display, a higher resolution is generally desirable. The higher the number of pixels found in each square inch, the better the image quality.

However, you shouldn’t let your decision be influenced by screen resolution alone. There are other factors that will affect the actual quality of text and graphics that appear on your screen. Knowing which screen resolution to choose is only a good starting point when it comes to deciphering the technical stuff.

The best way to pick the most appropriate screen for your laptop is to sit behind the display and see if you like the viewing experience.  

The Final Verdict

Should you choose full HD or ultra HD res for your laptop screen? The answer to this question depends on your particular situation and requirements.

If you are looking for a budget laptop that you can use to perform basic everyday tasks like browsing the web, reading e-books, producing office documents and more, and also watch full HD content, an FHD laptop would be an ideal choice.

But if you are looking to get enhanced graphics for your gaming, photography or video editing, spending extra on an ultra HD res laptop would make perfect sense. However, you should be ready to sacrifice things like battery life and storage capacity to get superior image clarity.

If you have already decided on the size of your display, you should generally consider choosing a device that offers a higher resolution. Think of resolution as the vitally important display feature that determines image quality. At higher resolutions, the content on your screen will look clearer, sharper and more defined.

Having said that, the final decision is yours to make.

Lenovo Y700 Review: An In-Depth Look of the Unit Itself and Its Features

lenovo y700

On the hunt for a good gaming laptop?

Then the Lenovo Y700 could be the gaming rig you need.


Lenovo Y700 - 15.6 FHD Gaming Laptop (Intel Quad Core i7-6700HQ, 16 GB...
  • 15.6" Full HD Display With 1920x1080p Resolution
  • Intel Core i7 6th Gen 6700HQ Quad Core (2.60GHz Processor to 3.5GHz with Turbo Boost), Graphics Card GeForce GTX 960M With 4GB dedicated video memory
  • Storage 1TB HDD + 256GB SSD, 16 GB DDR4 RAM
Y700 star ratings

Especially if you are on a budget and looking for an entry-level gaming laptop that not only looks cool but offers you great value for money too.


Let’s face it.


Gaming laptops can be expensive.


And the struggling economy is not helping either.


But Lenovo is.


And that’s why they created the Lenovo Y700.

Let’s take a closer look at this awesome gaming laptop and see why it is your best fit.

The Lenovo Y700 – Best Value for Money

The Lenovo Y700 is a great gaming laptop that comes in different configurations to help you break into gaming at the price point you are most comfortable with. As expected, the better the configuration, the more taxing the laptop will be on your pocket.

Configurations

If you want to start with the base model, around $980 will get you a decent gaming laptop with a 2.3-GHz Intel Core i5-6300HQ CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 500GB, 5,400-rpm hard drive. To power it up for gaming, it comes equipped with an Intel HD Graphics 530 GPU and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M GPU with 2GB of VRAM.

Although this is basic for a gaming laptop, it still gets the job done.

If you want to take your gaming a notch higher, you can opt for the one that comes with a 2.6-GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor with 16GB of RAM and a 1TB 5,400-rpm hard drive coupled with a 128GB SSD. On the graphics side, you get an Intel HD Graphics 530 GPU and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M GPU with 4GB of VRAM.

This configuration gives you a great balance between a multimedia machine and a great gaming rig.

But if you’ve got more cash to spend on a gaming rig, then you may want to consider the almost $1,600 version.

For this much, you get a gaming rig that comes with a 2.6-GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB 5,400-rpm hard drive coupled with a 512GB SSD. Like the $1,000 to $1,200 model, it also comes with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M GPU with 4GB of VRAM.

With this configuration, the Lenovo edged past the Dell Inspiron but sits at par with the HP’s Pavilion 15 gaming laptop.


HP Pavilion 15-inch Laptop, Intel Core i5-8250U Processor, 8 GB RAM,...
  • Processor: 8th Generation Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-8250U Processor, Quad-Core, 1.6GHz up to 3.4GHz.
  • Display: 15.6-inch diagonal HD SVA BrightView micro-edge WLED-backlit touchscreen (1366 x 768).
  • Memory: 8 GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM (not upgradable).

These are pretty good specs for an entry level rig and great value for your money too.


You may not be able to play all the latest titles on the highest settings, but you’ll still get a good gaming experience with these configurations.

One thing Lenovo did better than its competitors was to include SSD drives in the Lenovo Y700.


Let’s take a closer look at what the Lenovo Y700 brings to the gaming table, shall we? I know by the end of it all, you’ll understand why many people have fallen in love with this gaming rig.

The Lenovo Y700 looks like a battleship ready to go to war.

From the jet black aluminum casing accented by red highlights to the aggressive outline, the Y700 definitely looks the part of a modern gaming laptop. Add to that the angular exhaust ports and you’ve got one mean looking rig that will inspire your gaming mojo.

And because Lenovo understands that you can spend a long time at your gaming rig, they designed the Y700’s with that in mind. The Chiclet-style, backlit keyboard and the palm rests are covered in a rubber that's soft to give you adequate comfort and isn't cold at those first touches in the morning.

One thing Lenovo got right on their Ideapad line of laptops is the smile-like shape of the keys that has won over a number of fans. On the Lenovo Y700, the W, A, S, and D keys (the main gaming keys), are lined in a much brighter red than the other keys, making them easier to find.

Above the keyboard, you get the nice red and black honeycomb accents that give the laptop a supercar kind of feel and look that are a signature of modern gaming laptops.

As for the screen, it has a substantial bezel, but that is probably due to the fact that the Lenovo Y700 sports a touchscreen, although I doubt you’ll ever use the touch function for gaming. This is not much of a big deal though as the black frame was designed to be seamless with the screen, making it look like one unit.

The major design flaw that comes with the Y700 is the fact that its center of gravity is precariously close to the hinge. This ultimately means that when using the laptop on your laps you’ll feel like it is just about to topple over with any shift you make. But this isn’t noticeable when you put the laptop on a desk or workstation, so this may not be that much of an issue if you mainly use it in such a setup.

Although this may not be a major flaw, you may find it awkward (like most people do) that the power cable is shaped like a USB. This may be confusing at times as the power port is right next to a USB port.

Overall, the Lenovo Y700 is a well-designed gaming laptop. And even though it may be more on the bulkier side, measuring 8.9 x 28.3 x 1.7 inches and weighing 5.72 pounds, it’s still not the biggest and heaviest in its class.


Lenovo Y700 - 17.3 Inch Full HD Gaming Laptop with Extra Storage...
  • POWERHOUSE GAMING LAPTOP: This portable notebook computer, built with Advanced 6th Generation Intel Quad Core i7 CPUs and Windows 10, packs all the firepower you need to defeat your enemy
  • HIGH PERFORMANCE MEMORY AND STORAGE: 1 TB HDD + 256 GB SSD hard drive and 16 GB DDR4 RAM keep your laptop humming while the battle intensifies
  • POWERFUL GRAPHICS CARD: Discrete NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M graphics give you crisp visuals to sharp shoot your way to victory
Y700 17 star ratings

The Lenovo Y700 – Top Performance on a Budget

When it comes to gaming laptops, performance is critical if you are to have a good gaming experience.

And the Lenovo Y700 doesn’t disappoint.

One of the biggest advantages that the Lenovo Y700 has over its rivals (like Dell and HP) is its SSD flash memory. This gives it superior speeds in booting up, but, the unfortunate part is it’s not big enough to accommodate the operating system and games. You’ll eventually be forced to play some of your games from the hard disk drive.

This doesn’t necessarily make your games unplayable, it just means they’ll load a bit slower as compared to the ones that load from the SSD. And once loaded (which doesn’t take that long), playing will prove to be no problem at all.

Display

Because gaming involves spending prolonged times staring at the screen, the quality of a screen on a gaming laptop is a very important factor.

In this aspect, Lenovo has taken great leaps in improving the display on their Y Series of notebooks that were previously plagued with lackluster displays. The Lenovo Y700 sports one of these improved displays, a 15-inch 1920 x 1080 panel that averages 263 nits on the light meter. This beats the 244-nit mainstream average. Although it falls short of the Alienware 15’s 311 nits, it’s way better than the Dell Inspiron 15-7000’s 222 nits.


Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7567 - 15.6" - i5-7300HQ - GTX 1050 - 8GB -...
  • Windows 10 HomeNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 4GB dedicated graphics; 7th Gen Intel Core i5 processor; 15.6" display; 8GB memory; 1TB + 8GB hybrid hard drive; Bluetooth; backlit keyboard; HDMI 2.0 output; DVD/CD drive not included

As for color accuracy, the Lenovo Y700 also performed well on the Delta-E test, scoring an impressive 0.7, where the ideal score is 0. In this test, it actually trounced the Alienware 15’s 1.3 score and the Dell’s dismal 4.1.


Unfortunately, the Y700 only managed to reproduce a mere 60.8 percent on the sRGB color test, bringing it behind the Dell whose score was 70 percent.


Although you may not get to use the touchscreen, you’ll find it very responsive to swipes and taps, making it a versatile display for other tasks that are not gaming related.

Audio

The Lenovo Y700 comes with an exceptional audio system, thanks to the partnership with renowned audio specialists JBL.

Lenovo equipped the Y700 with a pair of JBL speakers and a bottom-mounted subwoofer, enabling it to produce loud well-balanced sounds. And with the Dolby software that comes pre-installed, you have access to 5 audio settings, namely: Dynamic, Music, Movie, Gaming, and Voice.

The Lenovo Y700 will definitely give you a great audio experience during gameplay as the JBL speakers do an excellent job of picking even the slightest of sounds in your favorite games.

And now for the most important reason you are getting a gaming laptop

Gaming

As already mentioned, the Lenovo Y700 is powered by Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 960 GPU with 4GB of VRAM, making it a very capable gaming machine.

This GPU is not the most powerful, in fact, it is a mid-range GPU. Although it allows you play most of the latest games with ease, you just can’t play them on maximum settings.

When tested using one of the most rigorous games - Metro: Last Light, the Lenovo Y700 really proved its mettle. On Low at 1080p, it delivered an impressive 76 fps (beating the mainstream average of 68 fps), a score the Alienware 15 is envious of, as it scored 64 fps. The Lenovo Y700’s closest contender, the Dell Inspiron 15-7000 scored 58 fps.

This is truly a gaming laptop that will definitely live up to its purpose.

And when you are done gaming, the Lenovo Y700 switches over to the integrated Intel HD Graphics 530 GPU.


Alienware 15 ANW15-5350SLV 15.6" Gaming Laptop - Intel Core i7-4710HQ...
  • Intel Core i7-4710HQ Processor (6M Cache, 2.5 GHz)
  • 16 GB DDR3 RAM
  • 1 TB 5400 rpm Hard Drive, 128 GB Solid-State Drive

Heat

One of the biggest challenges gaming laptops face is overheating. This is mainly due to the powerful processors and rigorous use during gaming.

This is an issue that also plagues the Lenovo Y700.

When playing power intensive games, it only takes 15 minutes for you to start feeling the changes in temperature on the touchpad and the undercarriage.

The undercarriage is known to reach temperatures as high as 103-degrees, 8-degrees above the mainstream average of 95 degrees.

Although the vents and fans do a good job of dissipating the heat from the system, it’s advisable to place your gaming rig in a well-ventilated area.

Battery Life

Battery life is a very important factor when it comes to laptops, and gaming laptops are no different, despite the fact that they are mainly used close to a power source.

This is an area the Lenovo Y700 could have been improved on as the battery only lasts an average of 4-hours, falling short of the mainstream average of 5 hours 40 minutes.

The Lenovo Y700 – Built to Give You a Great Gaming Experience

Would I recommend the Lenovo Y700 as a good gaming laptop?

In all honesty, the Lenovo Y700 has its flaws (show me a gaming laptop that doesn’t), but overall it is a great laptop that you can rely on to give you an above average gaming experience.

Especially if you are on a tight budget, I’d definitely encourage you to consider it. It is definitely one gaming rig that will give you great value for your hard-earned money.

And if you are considering gifting it to a loved one, it definitely will convey your love well.

So whatever your reason for getting a gaming laptop, the Lenovo Y700 will certainly serve the purpose.