Dell doubles-down with Black Friday discounts: 15% off XPS, Inspiron and Alienware products

Fancy a bargain laptop or desktop PC from a top-tier manufacturer? The good news is that Dell is playing a particularly strong Black Friday hand this year, with the company knocking 15% off all its XPS, Inspiron and Alienware offerings.

Yes, that means every machine in these ranges costs 15% less, which is more than double the saving that Dell offered on Black Friday last year, when the vendor reduced products by 7%.

You can avail yourself of these Black Friday deals right now by simply using the discount code SAVE15 when purchasing. As mentioned, this applies to XPS, Inspiron and Alienware machines, although it doesn’t pertain to related accessories.

The other caveat is that you can only apply the discount to a maximum of five units (pieces of hardware) per order, and the offer is valid from today until the end of next Monday (November 27).

Deals of the Dells

Obviously there’s a huge swathe of products which are discounted here, so let’s highlight a few particularly smart devices that you might be tempted to buy, which the code applies to…

Still hankering for more bargains? Dell has some even bigger discounts on the boil for Black Friday:

      

The Samsung Chromebook 3 is just $149 for Black Friday

Chromebooks are known for giving you a lot of cloud-based computing power for not very much money, but right now you can get the Samsung Chromebook 3 for an astonishing value. Starting at $149, this 11-inch Chromebook comes with all the power you need to browse the web and work on office projects for hours and hours.

With only an Intel Celeron processor and a measly 16GB of storage, this Chromebook might seem like a lightweight compared to other notebooks, but it’s really all you need when half of Chrome OS lives on the web. And considering you’re getting a decent 11-inch HD screen with a keyboard and trackpad, this is still a fully packaged laptop for pittance.

      

Video traffic hampering mobile operators

Struggling with your mobile connection? Don’t blame the operators, it’s all the fault of Stranger Things and those hilarious You Tube videos.

According to research from Openwave Mobility, HD streaming has risen to 38% of mobile video traffic – way above mobile operators’ expectations.

This represents a staggering rise: just four years ago, HD video accounted for just 5.7% of mobile video traffic, it’s expected to reach 50% by the end of next year, claimed Openwave Mobility. Currently, more than 820 million people across the world watch YouTube and Netflix on mobile devices.

What is causing particular problems for the mobile operators is the level of encryption being used by over-the-top (OTT) video streaming providers, the likes of Netflix and You Tube. Openwave Mobility’s research found that 75% of all mobile traffic is now encrypted, a factor that’s hindering operators’ ability to maintain subscriber quality of experience (QoE). What makes this an issue is that the video providers’ encryption protocols prevent operators from optimizing data using conventional traffic management tools.

Other revenues hit

The growth in encryption is such that Openwave estimates that 90% of all mobile Internet traffic will be encrypted by this time next year. We’ve seen an especially high growth in UDP-based encryption, in particular, the use of Google’s QUIC protocol, usage has risen a whopping 284% in the past year.

Openwave’s research has revealed how video traffic has taken over the airwaves, wiping out revenue from other areas. John Giere, CEO of Openwave Mobility said: “OTTs have launched a land grab. In 3 years OTTs wiped out voice revenues. In 2.5 years they wiped out messaging revenues. Is mobile data next? You bet.”

He said that the problem was that customers had become used to HD quality at home and expected the same quality on their mobile devices. “That’s why QoE is a deal-breaker. For example, research shows that people only tolerate 6 seconds of video buffering before switching off in frustration. Facing an onslaught from OTT encrypted traffic, the challenge for operators is – how can you manage what you can’t see?”

      

BT Broadband’s brilliant Black Friday deals will end on Monday

BT has announced its Black Friday internet offers, and they’re fantastic. Sign up to BT broadband by midnight on Cyber Monday (November 27) and get a hefty Reward Card (worth up to £125), free activation and access to free BT Sport (via the app) for the duration of the 18-month contract. Lovely jubbly!

Our top pick is the super fast BT Infinity 1 fibre broadband deal. It costs £29.99 per month, but you get a whopping £100 pre-paid Mastercard, free access to BT Sport and the only thing you’ll pay at the outset is £9.99 to cover the delivery of your new router. You also get free calls to UK landlines at the weekend.

If that’s still a little pricey for you, or if you’re one of the unlucky folk that can’t get fibre broadband, then standard 17Mb ADSL costs a mere £23.99. You still get free set-up and BT Sport, but the Reward Card you get is worth £50 instead of £100.

BT Black Friday fibre broadband deals:

BT Black Friday ADSL broadband deals:

What is a BT Reward Card?

The Reward Card that BT sends out is a pre-paid credit card that you can use anywhere that accepts Mastercard. In short, that’s around a million shops, cafes and restaurants around the world, so you shouldn’t find it difficult to find places to spend, spend, spend.

It’s an old-fashioned chip and pin card, rather than contactless. But do make sure that you claim your Reward Card within three months of installation, otherwise you’ll lose out on all that cash.

Best broadband deals for Black Friday

BT isn’t the only internet provider to be offering some very tasty Black Friday promotional prices. You can head to our main broadband deals page to see who else has joined the savings party. They include fibre broadband from Vodafone for £20 per month and free upfront, while you can pay for a whole year’s worth of Origin broadband for just £139.99 – that works out as £11.67 a month!

      

Medion’s Black Friday deals offer great savings on laptops

Medion has announced some big savings on its laptops in the run up to – and including – Black Friday 2017.

While Medion may not be the most recognisable of brands, it has been carving out a solid reputation for affordable gaming laptops, which include powerful components for a fair bit less than its competitors.

With its Black Friday deals, Medion’s range of laptops are even more tempting, so if you don’t mind rather plain designs, and a less recognisable brand name, then you’ll likely really appreciate some of the Medion machines on offer.

And if you’re in the mood for more savings, we can help you discover more awesome Black Friday deals.

All of the above deals are live right now and expire on November 30. If you’re after more deals then check out our collection of the best Black Friday 2017 deals, including laptops, TVs and much more.

      

The best free cloud storage service 2017

Free cloud storage has really taken off thanks to fast, reliable internet connections. The appeal is understandable: you can store your files online and then access them from any device that’s connected to the internet, including desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

You can also back up important files to a remote location (essential in case your own hardware is damaged or stolen), and share files with friends, family and colleagues by simply sending them a link.

The only problem is choice. There are so many free cloud storage services to choose from, it can be hard to decide which is right for you.

Size isn’t everything, so as well as capacity, we’ve also considered the security offered by each service, multi-platform support, ease of use, and any limitations on file size or bandwidth. On with the evaluation.

1. Google Drive

Free storage allowance: 15GB (expandable)

If you’re a Google user, you already benefit from Google Drive integration, such as the ability to save email attachments from Gmail. However, everyone is free to sign up for the free cloud storage, even if they don’t use the rest of the company’s sprawling ecosystem.

With 15GB of space for new users, Google Drive is one of the more generous cloud offerings, and there are various ways to boost this space free of charge (by registering an Android phone, for example).

Mobile apps are available to allow for easy access for iOS and Android users, and the recently release Backup and Sync desktop app allows you to synchronize files from your computer to the cloud. Google Drive includes online office tools that can be collaborated on with others, and sharing files with others is effortless.

2. pCloud

Free storage allowance: 10GB (expandable)

You might not recognize the name, but if you’re looking for a decent chunk of cloud storage free of charge, pCloud could be just what you’re looking for. To kick things off, you’re given a fairly generous 10GB to play with, and there’s a bandwidth allowance of 50GB per month.

While we’re primarily interested in the free version of pCloud, you can upgrade to 500GB of space for a one-time payment of US$125/£110.99 (about AU$170) or 2TB for US$249.98/£220.99 (about AU$330) – great deals for lifetime storage.

New users are given 10GB of space free, which you can double by referring friends, and pCloud offers well designed desktop and mobile apps that supplement the website.

With no limit on file sizes, and simple sharing options, pCloud is a great way to send large files to friends and colleague – it’s even possible to share with people who aren’t using the service themselves. Add decent streaming options and a neat online interface, and pCloud is well worth a look.

3. Microsoft OneDrive

Free storage allowance: 5GB

Coming from Microsoft – a company with plenty of money to throw at the cloud – it’s a little disappointing to find that OneDrive doesn’t include more space free of charge. Free users get a mere 5GB of space, although it’s relatively inexpensive to increase this to 50GB.

If you have Office 365, you’ll automatically get boosted to 1TB of storage, but not everyone wants an Office subscription.

Like Google Drive’s appeal to Google users, OneDrive will appeal more to anyone who is committed to using Microsoft’s services. There’s neat integration with Outlook.com, for instance. OneDrive also ties in nicely with Windows 10, and there is a selection of reasonable mobile apps to facilitate access on the move.

It’s possible to share files with other people even if they aren’t OneDrive users (complete with customizable permissions), and the ability to edit files online without downloading them is a welcome touch.

4. Dropbox

Free storage allowance: 2GB (expandable)

Dropbox is a stalwart of the free cloud storage world. Its web interface underwent a makeover recently, but little has changed under the hood.

Despite its popularity, DropBox actually has one of the least generous free packages for new users (just 2GB), but there are various ways to boost this space without paying, including inviting friends to join (500MB per referral), completing the Getting Started guide (250MB) and contributing to the Dropbox forum (500MB per ‘Mighty Answer‘).

DropBox really comes into its own when you start delving into its extra features. There’s a great collaborative working tool called DropBox Paper, you can restore files you’ve deleted, and – if you install the desktop app – you can back up photos automatically.

There are desktop apps for Windows, Mac and Linux. This gives DropBox broad appeal, as does the support for third-party apps and services.

The web version of DropBox lets you edit files without the need to download them, and really the only thing that counts against the free cloud storage service is that most alternatives offer more space.

5. MediaFire

Free storage allowance: 10GB (expandable)

MediaFire has in fact been around for about a decade, and those years of experience really show. You’re given 10GB of free space initially, but you can boost this by an extra 40GB through activities like referring friends and following MediaFire’s social media accounts. Few people would disagree that 50GB of free cloud storage is impressive. Free accounts carry ads, but this is a small sacrifice.

There’s support for very large apps, and the sharing options are very impressive, even allowing sharing with non-users.

The web-based interface is excellent too, and MediaFire offers mobile apps for convenient uploading and downloading via iOS and Android. These make it easy to access files you’re storing in the cloud, and include convenient features such as automatic photo syncing.

      

Amazon now delivers SIM cards at your doorstep

E-commerce portal Amazon India continues to expand its operations in India. After partnering with several smartphone companies to sell their devices as Amazon exclusive in India, the e-commerce giant has now partnered with telecom operators in the country.

Amazon India has partnered with three telecom operators- While Airtel and Vodafone will provide postpaid SIM cards, users will be able to get international SIM cards from Lycamobile. Airtel and Vodafone are offering various tariff plans for users to choose from. Lycamobile on the other hand, is offering country based plans.

Airtel and Vodafone plans

India’s largest telecom operator, Airtel is offering four postpaid plans with monthly tariff of Rs. 499, Rs. 799, Rs. 1,199 and Rs. 1,599. Vodafone is offering plans with monthly tariff of Rs. 499, Rs. 699, Rs. 999, Rs. 1,699, Rs. 1,999 and Rs. 2,999. To purchase an Airtel postpaid SIM, you will have to pay a security deposit of Rs. 200 and for Vodafone, the deposit is of Rs. 15 only.

Lycamobile international SIMs

Lycamobile is offering international SIM cards for countries such as USA, UK, Italy, Australia, Hong Kong, Europe, Belgium, Austria and Portugal for now. The plans begin from Rs. 1,000 and they go as high as Rs. 4,850.

How to order a SIM card

  • Go to Amazon.in and select the operator and plan you want.
  • You will receive the SIM card in 24 hours and the operator’s executive will collect all your documents.
  • After verification, your SIM card will be activated in 24 hours.
  • Amazon is offering 15% cashback up to Rs 300 on a minimum purchase or Rs 500.

      

Samsung could be readying a 2-in-1 Chromebook with a detachable screen

Apparently Samsung is preparing a 2-in-1 Chromebook, probably for release next year, at least according to word on the laptop grapevine.

The fact that a detachable Chromebook is in the works was actually spotted by Chrome Unboxed back in September, with the device, codenamed Nautilus, being referenced in the Chromium repository. Scant details turned up, though, and all that was revealed about the device is that it’s a detachable hybrid with a Kaby Lake processor.

However, now the tech site has found a name which is linked to the device in the repository: Jongpil Jung. Who just happens to be a senior engineer at Samsung, hence the speculation that this Nautilus hybrid is from Samsung.

Chrome Unboxed explains that: “Now, in most cases, a name wouldn’t be a common denominator for pinning down a manufacturer but Mr. Jung’s work has been solely isolated to Samsung’s devices up unto this point and I have no reason to believe that has changed.”

Pro plus

Jung previously worked on the Samsung Chromebook Pro – which we loved in our review – and that’s a convertible (pictured above) with a 360-degree hinge, so the screen can be folded right back to be used as a tablet.

But the alleged new device will be a detachable, meaning the display can be completely detached from the keyboard base, which offers one clear advantage: it’s a nice thin slate, as opposed to a thicker tablet with the keyboard folded underneath it.

All this is good news for those who might want to use their Chromebook for Android apps.

We probably won’t see this detachable Chromebook pop up anytime soon, of course, given that it’s still very much a work in progress, but it should be out at some point next year, hopefully. Fingers crossed that’s the case, because it will provide an even more flexible hybrid option for those who use Chromebooks.

Speaking of flexibility, just last week we heard about a new trick which is set to boost the powers of touchscreen Chromebooks when it comes to multitasking with apps in tablet mode.

      

Dell reveals its early Black Friday sale, with 15% savings on a range of products

Dell has revealed that it is slashing 15% off the price of a number of laptops in its early Black Friday sale, which is running now and ends just before midnight on November 22.

These deals are for a select number of products, and all you need to do is enter the code EARLYBIRD15 at the checkout for some impressive savings.

This is pretty exciting, as last year Dell was offering 7% off its products during Black Friday, so this early sale bodes well for what Dell has planned for the big day itself.

Early birds

As we mentioned above, all these deals expire just before midnight on November 22, so if you’re on the lookout for a new laptop, you could bag yourself a bargain before Black Friday even rolls around.

If you do miss out on these deals, don’t worry as we have a feeling Dell will be lining up some pretty amazing offers on the day itself, so keep an eye on our Black Friday 2017 deals page.

  • Make sure you check out our list of the best laptops as well, there’s a number of Dell devices included

      

Get up to 99% off Mailbird Pro this Black Friday

Mailbird Pro, our favorite premium email client, is available for as little as £0.39/$0.69 in a special deal for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Everyone will receive a discount of at least 50%, and you can ‘gamble’ for a better deal by sharing it on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn – up to a maximum of 99% off the usual price. You have four chances to spin the wheels and get a better random discount.

Click here to save up to 99% on Mailbird Pro

Not only does Mailbird Pro let you connect an unlimited number of accounts and collate your messages in a unified inbox, it also links to just about every social network and chat service you can name.

The offer applies to Mailbird Pro Lifetime only.

      

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