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The best Usenet providers of 2017

You might think, given that most ISPs no longer provide direct access to it and the majority of the free providers online have disappeared, that the venerable Usenet service has died a death. But that’s not entirely true; there are still many active discussion areas in the bigger groups.

But let’s be realistic: the real reason to lean towards Usenet in the current age is for file sharing – the groups below alt.binaries.* are very active, carrying many downloadable files of all kinds. But to gain access to the large amount of Usenet bandwidth you’ll need in order to collect these files, you’ll have to pay.

The key if you’re looking at binary newsgroups is, due to Usenet’s distributed server architecture, in finding a provider whose servers are fast, and who retains copies of binary files uploaded to Usenet for as long as possible. So with that – and many other – considerations in mind, here’s our breakdown of the best Usenet providers.

  • Also check out our

    If you want a strong all-rounder of a Usenet service, then look no further than this provider. Newshosting sports ample retention, and runs its own server farms in the US and Europe, offering more than a hundred thousand newsgroups.

    You also get some high quality client software not just for Windows and Mac, but Linux as well. You can add Newshosting’s VPN offering to your package, for extra privacy and security online beyond the basic SSL encryption which you get by default.

    In terms of performance, this Usenet provider impressed us with fast download speeds. It also passed our tests in retrieving old binaries with flying colors, as well. Are there any negatives at all here? There’s very little to complain about, save for the VPN client being a little basic, but that doesn’t actually reflect on the core Usenet service anyway.

    Newshosting is competitively priced, particularly with the deal in place at the time of writing, and you can try it out for yourself before committing with a 14-day free trial.

    Eweka is an impressive operation indeed, running its own data centre in Amsterdam, and the firm has its own trans-Atlantic backbone, too (although no US servers as yet).

    There’s a lengthy 3,356 days of retention offered here, which is among the strongest Usenet offerings in that respect, and while you only get up to 20 connections maximum, which is less than many rivals, we found performance to be very speedy in our tests. And really, that’s what counts.

    There’s plenty more to like with Eweka besides, including the fact that the service performed well when it came to our retention testing (grabbing old files). There’s also an unrestricted seven-day trial to give the service a whirl, and this doesn’t require you to enter any payment details, either. Considering what you get here, the service is reasonably priced, too.

    Supernews is a veteran Usenet provider having been in operation since the mid-90s, and it has servers across the US and Europe. You get 2,357 days of binary retention and 5,021 days of text retention, and access to over 110,000 newsgroups.

    What’s more, Supernews keeps multiple copies of articles across its network, and the firm claims that this helps to ensure a 100% completion rate. And on the performance front, you get unlimited speed, with the provider guaranteeing that your connection won’t be throttled in any way, shape or form.

    Supernews keeps things pleasingly simple when it comes to plan choices, as well, because there’s only one: a straightforward unlimited plan with a monthly fee. It’s not the cheapest subscription around, but this is a quality service, and you get a three-day trial to test it out first. Also note that with the TechRadar Pro offer in place at the time of writing, you get your first month at half price.

    Newsgroupdirect offers an impressive retention level of 3,370 days, and maintains its own network. As with the previous provider, it makes a big promise on the completion rate front, guaranteeing users 100% completion. And furthermore, 100% uptime is also promised.

    You get a plentiful 50 connections even with the most basic plan, along with SSL encryption, and access to the Ghost Path VPN service for extra security and privacy on top. Again, the VPN comes bundled with all plans, which is good to see. Customer support is another strong suit here, as well.

    While there is no free trial, Newsgroupdirect does offer a seven-day money-back guarantee, so if you’re not satisfied in the first week, you don’t lose anything – although note that you must not have used more than 15GB of bandwidth.

    Subscription plans are competitively priced, although it’s slightly disappointing that you don’t get much better value for signing up to the annual plan compared to the six-month option.

    Easynews is a slick operator that differentiates itself by offering the ability to access Usenet directly from within your web browser. That’s obviously a commendably hassle-free way to do things, and the web interface is well crafted, plus it also means you can access the service across all your devices (with no software installation necessary).

    Retention rates vary, but with the top-end plan you get 2,950 days retention via the web interface (3,364 days retention via NNTP), although considerably less on some of the more basic plans. That Big Gig Plan also gives you a bundled VPN service (albeit with a rather basic client).

    There’s also good news when it comes to Easynews’ privacy policy, which is very concise and makes it crystal clear what data is kept by the provider. Performance is good too, although the range of plans is somewhat confusing, and the basic subscriptions are more suited to those with light downloading needs.

    Also handy is a 14-day free trial which lets you experience the service before you pay for a subscription (note that there is a 10GB bandwidth limit). However, this provider isn’t cheap, particularly if you want unlimited data, and in that case things get pretty expensive.

    Resellers are quite common in the Usenet world, and for good reason: by purchasing a large amount of bandwidth from a major service provider, they can negotiate better terms and sell on that access to you for a vastly discounted rate. One of the biggest providers to resellers is HighWinds, which counts nearly 30 clients operating from its vast server backbone.

    HighWinds reseller NewsDemon is our pick of the bunch, offering 50 simultaneous connections and unlimited SSL-secured transfers from European and US servers for a more-than-reasonable £3.60 ($4.70) per month – or perhaps less, we’ve seen different prices listed during different visits. There are also block accounts available.

    There’s the bonus of a VPN connection if you’re willing to spend a bit more, or transfer-capped block accounts for a little less. If you’re employed in education, charitable work, or certain media outlets NewsDemon will even offer you free access – though in the interests of disclosure we should be clear that we’ve not taken advantage of this offer.

    GigaNews is amongst the most expensive Usenet providers, but its price reflects the sum of its parts. Alongside access to newsgroups – naturally – a $24.99 (£19) per month Diamond subscription gets you the use of GigaNews’ own Mimo Usenet browser and search engine, SSL access to its servers, and the pro version of Golden Frog’s multi-faceted VyprVPN service.

    Whatever you’re using it for – and even if you’re doing something else online entirely – the extra layer of privacy offered by a quality VPN has to be reassuring.

    GigaNews’ server availability is another plus, with multiple redundancy on US and EU servers owned and run by the company itself. The real question, however, is whether you plan to use all of the features GigaNews offers. If you’re looking to Usenet access for the conversations this is absolutely overkill, and for binary downloads it’s still rather expensive, but if quality is your top priority, then it’s a good choice.

    Astraweb is another of Usenet’s big mainstays, having run since 1998. Sign up and you’re actually gaining access to two distinct services – its download servers in the US and the Netherlands are run as separate companies, and one server may contain files that the other does not. Essentially Astraweb gives you a main server and a backup server for the price of one.

    Users have reported that its quality has declined over the years. Whether or not you believe this is up to you, but Astraweb’s longevity in the market does earn it some brownie points, and it does not resell its services meaning you should see a consistent download rate from its servers.

    Retention is one of the highest we’ve seen at over 3,000 days, with a claimed 99% availability. Seeing as the 1% that’s missing could be the one critical part of a binary you need, Astraweb – even with its dual servers – is probably best used with a block account on hand.

    This is a European Usenet provider which offers solid core features, and it’s a fairly priced service to boot. One interesting point to note is that there is a VPN bundled here, although it only comes with the most expensive plan.

    We found performance to be impressive with Tweaknews with fast download speeds, and it was also good to see that the included VPN (which is Highwinds-based) managed a commendable turn of speed. In fact, it was comparable to a good specialist VPN provider.

    On the downside here, retention isn’t great, and when we encountered an issue with the service, we found that tech support was on the sluggish side.

    In terms of cost, there’s plenty of flexibility, and if you sign up for annual billing, there are some good value deals to be had – and you can benefit from block subscriptions, too, if that’s the route you prefer to take. There’s also a free trial which gives you 10GB of data to play with (but it has a limit of eight connections).

    If you want a dependable Usenet offering with a good core service, then look no further than this affordable provider – although be warned, it isn’t for newsgroup novices.

    UsenetServer gives you plenty of retention at 3,363 days, a promised 99% completion rate, and no restrictions such as data limits or throttling of your download speeds. A slight weak point is that you can only have a maximum of 20 connections, which is less than many services, but that said, in testing we found UsenetServer to offer good performance levels anyway, so this likely won’t matter.

    What may matter for beginners is that UsenetServer is rather shaky when it comes to help and tech support, and while it does offer a bundled VPN for extra security, the Windows client for the latter is a poor piece of work. But if you’re an experienced user who knows what they’re doing, all this is likely moot, because you’ll find your own way around the service just fine anyway.

    The other strength here is that this is a relatively wallet-friendly provider, particularly when you consider that with the annual plan, the VPN service is bundled in. There’s also a free 14-day trial (with a 10GB data transfer limit).


The first laptop with a Ryzen processor has gone on sale in the UK

AMD revealed its Ryzen mobile CPUs a few weeks back, and now the first laptop that has one of these processors has gone on sale in the UK.

The HP Envy x360 (model number: 15-bq100na) is powered by the Ryzen 5 2500U and is on sale at both Amazon and Very, although the bad news is that it seems to be out of stock at both retailers as of the time of writing. Hopefully that situation will change very soon, though.

The other not-so-great news is that this laptop doesn’t come cheap, and it will set you back £930 at both retailers.

Cushty convertible

So what do you get for the money? A convertible 15.6-inch notebook with the aforementioned Ryzen 5 2500U quad-core (eight-thread) processor with a base clock of 2GHz and boost to 3.6GHz, along with integrated Radeon Vega M graphics.

The display has a Full HD resolution, and you get 8GB of system RAM and a 128GB SSD plus 1TB hard drive for storage. Battery life is claimed at up to 10 hours.

So this should be a pretty nippy laptop, particularly given that the benchmarks we’ve seen for Ryzen mobile CPUs show them outpacing Intel’s latest 8th-gen processors for notebooks.

  • You can buy the HP Envy x360 with Ryzen CPU at Amazon or Very

The Ryzen-toting HP Envy x360 went on sale in the US at the start of the week (at Best Buy), so it’s good to see the UK is not far behind – that isn’t always the case when it comes to hardware winging its way across the Atlantic.


Get 40% off Lightworks Pro – exclusively for TechRadar readers

We’ve teamed up with EditShare, the creator of the brilliant Lightworks video editing suite, to offer TechRadar readers 40% off a monthly license to Lightworks Pro using the discount code TECHRADAR_LW_PRO_MONTH_2017.

Rather than the usual price of US$24.99/£17.99 (about AU$35), you’ll pay just US$14.99/£10.79 (about AU$20).

To use your discount code, register for a Lightworks account, sign in and visit the Lightworks shop. Paste the code TECHRADAR_LW_PRO_MONTH_2017 into the input field above the shopping card and click ‘Submit’. The field will only be visible if you’re signed in.

Professional video editing for everyone

Lightworks has been used to create films including The King’s Speed and Road to Perdition, and EditShare has just won a 2017 Emmy for Technology and Engineering for its work in pioneering post-processing.

The offer applies to a monthly license, not a subscription or recurring payment, and the code is valid until January 31 2018.


Get 15% off Adobe Creative Cloud – exclusively for TechRadar readers

TechRadar and Adobe have teamed up to offer you a special 15% discount on Creative Cloud membership.

Join Creative Cloud today and pay just $42.46/£42.46 each month for the first year – down from the usual price of $49.94/£49.94.

The offer is valid from November 17-27, and includes Adobe’s full suite of premium creative software for PC and Mac.

Access all apps

As a subscriber, you’ll have access to over 20 premium creative apps, including:

  • Photoshop for still and motion graphics
  • Photoshop Lightroom for processing and organising photos
  • Illustrator for vector graphics
  • InDesign for publishing design
  • Premiere Pro for timeline-based video editing
  • After Effects for video post production
  • Audition for audio recording and editing
  • Dreamweaver for web design and development
  • Acrobat Pro for creating, editing and signing PDFs

All these programs are fully integrated with the Creative Cloud, letting you move your work between them seamlessly.

An Adobe Creative Cloud subscription also gives you a generous 20GB cloud storage, making it easy to work across multiple devices and share files with others.

This special offer expires on November 27, so don’t miss out.

Join Adobe Creative Cloud today


Best laptops under Rs. 40000 in India for November 2017

The top laptops under Rs. 40000 now often feature a dedicated graphics cards for gaming on a budget. Laptops have become powerful enough in this range if you are looking for something that can let you game at moderate settings.

Still, finding the best laptops among the options available can be a little challenging. There are many configurations available, some with newer processors and some with older ones. Some of the previous generation laptops may also be better than newer ones when you consider the specs-to-price ratio.

As always, we’ve tried to make the job of selecting the best laptop under Rs. 40000 easier for you. It is worth noting that these prices and deals were available when this article was written.

An ideal laptop for those looking for a big display and a moderately new processor, the Lenovo Ideapad 110 is a good option. With a textured design, the Ideapad 110 is a decent looking laptop. It also comes with a full set of ports and an SD card reader, so you don’t have to worry about carrying connectors with you.

Another option under Rs. 40000 is the HP 15-AY513TX Notebook, featuring a 15.6-inch HD LED backlit display. HP’s offering also features a full set of connectivity options, with 1xHMDI, 1xUSB 3.0 and 2xUSB 2.0 ports, along with an SD card reader. It isn’t much of a looker, but the textured back should help you in gripping the laptop.

If you are looking for a more affordable option from Lenovo, the Ideapad 110-15ISK is also a good option. It comes with a textured black design and a 6th gen Intel Core i3 processor. The laptop features an integrated graphics card which should be enough for moderate gaming.

HP has several affordable options when it comes to laptops with an integrated graphics card. The HP 15-BE015TU features a 15.6-inch HD backlit LED display, along with the full set of connectivity options. Dual speakers, DTS audio sound and HP’s Truevision HD webcam round up the specs of the laptop.

The first Dell entrant in this list, the Inspiron 3567 comes with the latest generation of Intel’s Core i5 processor with integrated Intel HD graphics. It looks minimalist and comes with 6 hours of battery life, which is good compared to other options. The Inspiron 3567 also features a similar 15.6-inch HD display, but comes with half the RAM compared to its competitors at this price. You will have to decide whether you want the latest generation processor or more RAM.

Another option if you’re looking for a laptop with a 7th generation processor, the Acer E5-575 tries to bridge the gap between having the latest generation processor, adequate RAM and an affordable price. It comes with 2 USB 3.0 ports, 1 USB 3.1 Type-C port and an HDMI and USB 2.0 port as well, so in terms of connectivity options, it is much better than other alternatives.

Another good laptop from Acer is the Aspire E5-575G. It comes with a 6th gen Core i3 processor, but makes up for it with a dedicated 2GB NVIDIA GeForce 940MX graphics card. Compared to the E5-575, it is slightly more expensive but having a dedicated graphics card could be worth it if your main goal is to game comfortably.

Acer has another E5-575 laptop with a newer Core i5 7th generation processor with integrated Intel HD graphics. It also comes with 8GB DDR4 RAM and a full set of connectivity options. Considering its current price, the E5-575 Core i5 is a very good option that you can consider, compared to the Dell Inspiron 3567.

The Lenovo Ideapad 310 comes with a 6th gen Intel Core i5 processor and a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce N16V-GMR1 graphics card. A full set of ports for connectivity and a decent design make the Ideapad 310 another worthy contender. It also comes with decent battery life, making it a good all-round package under Rs. 40000.

The Dell Vostro 3468 with 7th Gen Intel Core i5 processor comes next in the list. The laptop comes with Window 10 operating system and has a plenty of ports including 1xUSB 2.0, 2xUSB 3.0, 1xHDMI port and 1xVGA port. Weighing 1.96kg, the laptop is lightweight which makes it highly portable for the users. So, apart from getting a good processor, you will have a number of connectivity options and that too under a reasonable price tag.

Falling next under 40k category is the Lenovo Ideapad 320s-14IKB. Priced at Rs 35,990, the laptop comes with in-built Harman speakers with Dolby Audio which ensure crystal clear sound to the users. Along with superior sound quality, the laptop also offers crisp display with up to full HD IPS resolution. The laptop is also available with i5 processor and in a variety of color variants as well. But, you can own these only if you can shed a few more money out of your pocket.

To compete with the above mentioned laptops, here comes the Dell Inspiron 15 5567. The laptop comes loaded with a good number of ports and Windows 10 Home operating system. Its anti-glare LED backlit display along with Waves MaxxAudio Pro will definitely enhance your viewing experience. In addition to this, the 1TB storage capacity will allow you to save a number of multimedia files in the system.

Weighing 1.69 kg, this light weight laptop comes with DOS operating system and offers a good amount of storage space to the users. The CPU with a clock speed of 2 GHz along with 2 GB AMD Radeon R5 M430 graphics card handles the gaming aspect of the laptop smoothly, thus leaving no space for glitches. It also provides a number of connectivity options and long working hours to the user.

The specs sheet of this laptop is somewhat similar to the laptop that we have mentioned above. But, there are some differentiating features as well. This includes 64-bit Windows 10 Home operating system, 8GB DDR4 RAM and the weight. Although the laptop will be heavy in weight but it will not be heavy on your pocket.

Last but not the least is the Dell Inspiron 5559. Powered by 6th Gen Intel core i3 processor with a clock speed of 2.3Ghz, the laptop comes with DOS operating system. The Waves MaxxAudio takes care of the audio of the laptop which provides you superior sound quality. The laptop also has a high end version with capacitive touch screen and windows 10 operating system but you have to spend more pennies for that.

If you are looking for the best convertible laptops, go check our list of the best 2-in-1 laptops in 2017.


Black Friday 2017 deals in India

Black Friday is one of the biggest technology sales events of the year, and we’ll be bringing you the best deals right here.

In the last couple of years, the influence of Black Friday has crossed the oceans and reached India, thanks to growing e-commerce platforms and a digitally native youth population.

Black Friday is still fairly new in India though, and unlike other big festive shopping periods such as Diwali, it’s very much restricted to e-commerce sales.

Each year we are seeing more and more discounts provided on Black Friday, especially by the e-commerce twins Flipkart and Amazon, and the sales are expected to start on November 24.

There’s no official announcement from the e-commerce giants like Flipkart and Amazon about their involvement in Black Friday 2017 in India just yet, but we’ll let you know right here as soon as their plans are announced.

When is Black Friday 2017 India sale?

This year, the Black Friday falls on November 24, and many of the retailers are already preparing for the day. Black Friday is always the Friday that immediately follows the Thanksgiving holiday in the US.

As we approach the date, we’ll bring you all the latest from the major retailers in India on when (and where) their discounts will be available.

How important is Black Friday for India?

As most of us know that Black Friday originated from the US but is slowly being brought in several nations. As already mentioned, Black Friday follows Thanksgiving holiday, which is not of any relevance in India but the term Black Friday is now becoming a global phenomenon.

While Indians get to see a Tsunami of festive offers around Diwali, it’s never enough when it comes to price cuts on gadgets. Even the online shopping culture has brought in the trend where shoppers slug it out to claim the best deal available during the period.

E-commerce giants like Flipkart and Amazon battle it out during such sale events and sell record number of products. These companies leave no chance to participate in sales, so we can expect them to turn up for the Black Friday sale in full glory this year. We can expect some amazing deals on electronics during this period.

Slowly but steadily, India is becoming a huge market for e-commerce players that is pretty evident with the kind of interest biggies like Amazon have in this market and the way homegrown ecommerce leader like Flipkart is competing with Amazon. It is great to see the demand and supply growing at such high pace. In the end, it benefits the consumer and that’s what they hunt for.

So this November, expect all the major retailers like Amazon, Flipkart, Paytm, Shop Clues, and more to be running deals across every range of products. Black Friday is traditionally the home of deals on electricals, clothing and shoes, but you can also expect hot promotions on other major categories.


The best deals on laptops in India

If you are looking for the best deals on laptops in India, you’ve come to the right place. We have scoured through Amazon India and Flipkart for the best deals and offers possible on laptops in India. Notebooks remain in demand throughout the year more now than ever. Companies like HP, Dell, Lenovo among others upgrade their lineup each year with top-of-the-line processors to remain at par with each other.

Currently the laptop market is filled with devices that seem similar to each other when it comes to specification sheet. Hence, we have made a list of the popular laptops with the best available deals and offers.

Apple MacBook Air MQD32HN/A at Rs 55,499 @ Amazon (save Rs 21,701)

The Apple MacBook Air MQD32HN/A comes with a 13.3-inch screen, Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD and runs on MacOS Sierra operating system. It is currently being offered at Rs. 55,499, after a discount of Rs. 21,710.

HP 15-BE002TX at Rs. 44,990 @ Amazon (save Rs. 8,301)

The HP 15-BE002TX features a 15.6-inch display, sixth generation Core i5 processor, AMD Radeon R5 M430 2GB Graphics, 8GB RAM, 1TB internal storage and runs on Windows 10 Home. It is available for Rs. 44,990 after a discount of Rs. 8,301.

Dell Vostro 3468 at Rs. 29,580 @ Amazon (save Rs. 3,910)

The Dell Vostro 3468 comes with a 14-inch screen, a seventh generation Intel Core i3 processor, Intel HD graphics, 4GB RAM, 1TB SATA hard drive and runs on Ubuntu 14.04. It is currently being sold at Rs. 29,580 after a discount of Rs. 3,910.

Lenovo Ideapad 320E 80XH01FHIN at Amazon @ Rs. 31,990 (save Rs. 2,000)

The Lenovo Ideapad 320E 80XH01FHIN features a 15.6-inch screen, a sixth generation Core i3 processor, Intel HD graphics, 4GB RAM, 1TB SATA hard drive and runs on Windows 10. You can buy it for Rs. 31,990 after a discount of Rs. 2,000.

HP 15-BU004TU at Rs. 27,990 @ Amazon (save Rs. 3,847)

The HP 15-BU004TU comes with a 15.6-inch screen, a sixth generation Core i3 processor, Intel HD graphics, 4GB RAM, 1TB SATA hard drive and runs on FreeDOS. It is available for Rs. 27,990 after a discount of Rs. 3,847.

HP 15-BU008TX at Rs. 31,990 @ Amazon (save Rs. 4,204)

The HP 15-BU008TX comes with a 15.6-inch screen, a sixth generation Core i3 processor, Intel HD graphics, 4GB RAM, 1TB SATA hard drive and runs on FreeDOS. It is available for Rs. 31,990 after a discount of Rs. 4,204.

HP 14-BU006TU at Rs. 30,990 @ Amazon (save Rs. 2,511)

The HP 14-BU006TU comes with a 14-inch screen, a sixth generation Core i3 processor, Intel HD Graphics, 4GB RAM, 1TB SATA hard drive and runs on Windows 10. You can get the HP 14-BU006TU for Rs. 30,990 after a discount of Rs. 2,511.

Lenovo Ideapad 320E 80XH01GKIN at Rs. 26,990 @ Amazon (save Rs. 500)

The Lenovo Ideapad 320E 80XH01GKIN comes with a 15.6-inch display, a sixth generation Intel Core i3 processor, Intel HD Graphics, 4GB RAM, 1TB SATA hard drive and runs on FreeDOS. It is available for Rs. 26,990 after a discount of Rs. 500.

Acer Aspire 3 NX.GNTSI.004 15.6-inch Laptop at Rs 21,698 @ Amazon (save Rs 4,301)

The Acer Aspire 3 NX.GNTSI.004 laptop features a 15.6-inch display, Intel Pentium N4200 processor, 4GB DDR3 RAM, Intel HD 505 graphics card, 500GB hard drive and runs on Linux operating system. Amazon is retailing the laptop at Rs 21,698 after a discount of Rs 4,301.

Acer A315-21G NX.GNPSI.002 15.6-inch Laptop at Rs 26,990 @ Amazon (save Rs 1,009)

The laptop comes with 15.6-inch screen, Intel Core i3-6006U processor, 4GB DDR4 RAM, 500GB storage memory and Intel HD 520 graphics. It runs on Linux operating system and is available at Rs 26,990 on Amazon.


The best business laptops in India

The best business laptops combine cutting edge productivity features with slimline designs and long battery life that provides mobility and productivity – essential functions for the modern workplace.

Having the best business laptop that suits your needs is essential, and thanks to modern advancements in hardware, especially on the mobile side of things, business laptops are now thinner and lighter than ever before. This means you no longer have to sacrifice power for portability.

It also means that that when it comes to brilliant laptops for business, you’ve got no shortage of options when looking for the best business laptop.

However, to make buying your next business laptop as easy as possible, we’ve gathered together the very best business laptops currently on the market for this article.

While compiling this list of the best business laptops, we’ve taken into consideration a number of key factors including power, battery life, feature set and sheer value for money.

This means that we’ve selected a wider range of laptops to suit most if not all budgets and hopefully all tastes; there’s a mix of cutting-edge products and old favourites here.

Almost all of them come with the professional version of Microsoft Windows to enhance their business credentials.

If you’re looking for a bit more power, then check out our list of the best mobile workstations, as well as our pick for the best business desktop PC.

Previous versions of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon have been the absolute best-in-class when it comes to business laptops, and this year’s model is no exception, with Lenovo delivering a thinner and smaller design with practically no trade-offs. Despite its small size, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon comes with pretty much every feature you need in a productivity machine, making it the best business laptop money can buy. Thanks to a battery life of up to 15.5 hours, and a rapid charging feature that brings the battery back up to 80% capacity in only an hours, the X1 Carbon is an ultrabook that lets you keep on working while you’re on the move.

TODO alt text

Believe it or not, Dell classifies the XPS 13 as a business laptop, albeit one that is geared towards a home office environment but businessmen (and women) will love the design. This ultraportable laptop – as Dell puts it – punches above its weight with Windows 10 Pro across the entire range as well as rather attractive pricing.

This award winning laptop (it won best laptop of the year from us and many others) manages to pack a 13.3-inch display into the chassis of an average 11.6-inch model.

The laptop can be upgraded to 16GB of RAM and a 1TB M2 SSD drive. Battery life is exceptional as well with almost 22 hours of continual use when using productivity applications.

Thinkpad X

Lenovo took an existing form factor and refined it to deliver the new 2016-2017 ThinkPad E470. Powered by the 7th generation Intel Core processors, this particular SKU has a 14-inch FHD anti-glare display, powered by a discrete Nvidia Geforce 940MX 2GB GPU.

Equipped with a spill resistant keyboard, a TrackPoint and a 3+2 buttons click pad, the E470 has more than enough ports and expansion capabilities to keep the average user happy. Shame that it doesn’t do DisplayPort, so no 4K output.


HP was the only one of the three big laptop vendors who didn’t have a flagship thin-and-light laptop: Dell has the XPS 13 and Lenovo, the Yoga 900.

That is now no longer the case with the introduction of the HP Spectre Pro 13 G1. This is a device that not only oozes luxury with a combination of colours and a clever design but also one that packs some incredible components.

Despite being just over 10mm thick and weighing just over 1.16Kg, it manages to pack a proper Core i7 CPU with a full HD 13.3-inch display, a massive 4-cell 38Whr battery and three USB Type C connectors.


Should a member of Apple’s award winning MacBook Pro family be included in a best business laptop shortlist? Certainly as it hits all the right notes especially as IBM has boosted Apple’s credentials as an enterprise player.

And Apple’s top of the range models are certainly not overly expensive compared to their Windows-based counterparts, especially if you buy them from trusted third-party websites.

The new generation introduces a Touch Bar and Touch ID functionality as well as a plethora of USB Type-C ports in lieu of more traditional ports.


Dell managed to deliver a magnificent piece of kit which it says is the most secure, most reliable and most manageable business-class laptop.

That Latitude 5480 does come at a hefty price though and compared to the competition, this notebook may feel underwhelming.

However, Dell’s forte lies in its services and aftersales. That particular model comes with a 7th generation Intel CPU, one that is an actual four-core CPU.

While it has a far higher TDP than most of its peers (45W vs 15W), it is likely to be more powerful than even a top of the range Core i7-7600U.


Businesses not aware of IoT issues

Companies are increasingly turning to IoT deployment despite the security concerns that leave many implementations vulnerable to attack.

Those are the findings of a new survey from Cradlepoint, which found that two out of five companies have serious concerns about security, even though 69% of those surveyed are already rolling out IoT. The findings are contained in the Cradlepoint Business Intelligence Report, which looks at how IoT technology is having an impact on various industries.

The most worrying trend that the survey found was that 71% of companies surveyed said they were using IoT to enhance security, that’s to say, using the technology for the same devices that would be vulnerable for an attack, like the Mirai botnet, that crippled so many systems in 2016.

Technology overhaul

The report explains that companies should be prepared to have a thorough overhaul of its infrastructure before deploying the technology. “An organization that hasn’t already prioritized modernizing its infrastructure and evaluating security solutions are even further behind on IoT than it may realize. Similarly, those IT teams currently undertaking infrastructure and security initiatives should plan with future IoT initiatives in mind; failure to do so could quickly render newly adopted infrastructure and security solutions obsolete.

The Cradlepoint report also points out that, to optimize IoT deployment, companies should involve all members of staff in decisions on the rollout. “Because ROI and security are the two most important factors driving IoT adoption—and the two biggest associated risks—it is crucial for leaders driving IoT adoption to convene all stakeholders, including IT staff, for an expectation-setting discussion.”


Lenovo’s bending over backwards with its Yoga price-cutting on Black Friday

In another dollop of Black Friday leakage, Lenovo’s advert for its big deals on the day has been published online, highlighting many of the bargains you’ll be able to scoop from the heavyweight Chinese PC manufacturer.

The US advertisement shows a number of reductions across Lenovo’s Yoga models, including the company’s flagship 2-in-1. One Yoga 910 spec that normally retails at $1,270 (around £965) will be slashed by a hefty $470 (£355) on Black Friday, with a promotional price of $800 (£605).

Another Yoga 910 spec also gets knocked down from $1,350 (£1,025) to $1,000 (£760), which is still an impressive saving of $350 (£265).

As mentioned, these discounts are for the US, but hopefully we’ll see them – or at least very similar offers – in the UK too.

The Yoga 720 – which already gets one of our ‘great value’ awards – will become even better value in the case of one model which will be reduced from $980 (£740) to $730 (£550), a saving of $250 (£190).

Gaming goodness

It’s not all about convertibles, of course, and Lenovo will also have major discounts on a couple of different variants of its gaming laptop, the Legion Y520. One model will be knocked down from $1,600 (£1,210) to $1,100 (£835), and a lesser spec will be reduced from $1,100 (£835) to a tempting $750 (£570). (Unfortunately, the ad doesn’t show any spec details of any of these machines).

Finally, for those after a lower-priced laptop, Lenovo’s IdeaPad 320 will be chopped from $450 (£340) to $380 (£290). And there are more deals than these besides – check out the full ad at BFAdsnet here – and doubtless we can expect further discounts on other hardware.

Via: BGR

  • One of Lenovo’s Yoga devices makes our best laptops list