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The 6 Best Laptops for Students in 2020

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Best Laptops for Students 2020

Education is important. It is important because you will gain knowledge and information that you need later down the road. If you want to become an engineer, for example, education can help you reach your dream.

That being said, while some schools would still want you to use a pen and paper to jot down notes, some people prefer using new technology and that is why I recommend that you get a laptop.

If you are interested to know the best, do read further to find out the best laptops for students in 2020.

What Do You Need in a Laptop?

Just like choosing your clothes, different people have different needs. For some, they want the best CPUs out there to help them with their projects, while others would need more storage space.

Below are just some of the things that you should consider before heading out to buy a laptop.

1.Weight

As a student, you might have to go to different classrooms for your next subject. While a laptop is indeed a portable device, not all of them are created equally. Some of them are hefty while some of them are ultralight.

What you need to remember is this: The more features a laptop has, the heavier it will always be. So, if you want an ultraportable device, you may have to cut down on features just to make it easier for transport.

2.Battery Life

Part of what makes a laptop reliable is its battery life. Since you are going to be out there and probably without a means of recharging the unit’s battery, you’d want to get one that has considerably good battery life.

Ideally, you want one that can last at least 7 hours or so, but again, that is really up to you.

3.Processing Power

Do you intend to use the laptop mainly for school or do you also want to play some games during your spare time? If you want to do the latter, you want a laptop that has some respectable specs that will allow you to play even the most demanding games.

The trade-off is that the beefier the specs are, the heavier the unit will be. Unless you don’t mind the extra heft, having one that has great specs across the board might be more suited for you.

4.Storage

This is pretty subjective, but if you were to ask me, my recommendation would be to get one with an SSD and an HDD for mass storage.

You see, a solid-state drive (SSD) is much faster when it comes to reading and writing data simply because it uses flash memory as opposed to spinning disks like in the HDD.

However, if you want an SSD that has a considerable storage space, you will need to spend a lot of money for that.

Running on an HDD nowadays is a huge no-no because they are significantly much slower than even the cheapest SSD out there, though it is great if you are thinking about storing a lot of files such as documents, photos, videos, and what have you.

Again, this is a matter of personal taste. Are you okay with just an SSD or you want more mass storage that also comes with an SSD for the operating system?

5.How About Chromebooks?

Chromebooks have become quite popular in recent years because they are low-powered laptops that run the Chrome operating system.

That being said, if your intention for using a laptop is strictly for schooling, a Chromebook would definitely suffice.

It is much cheaper than your regular laptop, though your use-case will be limited (for instance, you are not going to be able to play the games that you want with it).

However, a Chromebook can be quite appealing to people that want to save a lot of money.

Best Laptops for Students

While I would recommend budget laptops to students, some of them might want more because they want to play their favorite games in their free time.

If you want to know what our recommendations are, read ahead to find out.

1.Huawei Matebook 13

Huawei Matebook 13

Price: $899

The Huawei Matebook 13 is what I would consider being one of the best gaming laptops for students. That is because it marries both the price and performance really well.

Though you cannot expect high-end specs with this one, the Matebook 13 does have pretty respectable parts that students will love.

You get an 8th-gen Intel Core i7 processor, an Nvidia GeForce MX150 GPU, a beautiful 13.3-inch Hybrid IPS panel, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage.

Probably, the only downside is that the laptop only comes with a maximum of 8GB of RAM, but other than that, the specs are pretty good across the board.

The screen is actually really nice. It is a hybrid panel which means that it can also act as a touchscreen as well.

Since it has a 13-inch display, the laptop itself is lightweight so you can just bring it with you quickly and easily wherever you want to go.

Its battery life is also good at 7-8 hours depending on use. It is extremely affordable and I would definitely recommend this for students that want a really good laptop on a budget.

2.HP Envy (2019)

HP Envy (2019)

Price: $1,129

A really good-looking laptop, the HP Envy 2019 edition is also great for students. It has a 13-inch chassis, a 4K-capable screen, has really good specs, and it is lightweight at just 2.8 pounds.

First, let’s talk about the design. It has a predominantly metallic gray exterior and it also comes with built-in security features that put your mind at ease when you are using it.

What I was referring to is its included webcam kill switch and fingerprint sensor. The former is a toggle that you can use that will kill the webcam when it is not in use and the latter unlocks the device using your very own fingerprint.

Although you can also get a much cheaper version of this laptop, the one I am talking about here comes with the 8th-gen Intel Core i7 CPU and the Nvidia GeForce MX250 GPU. It also has 16GB of RAM and 1TB SSD storage.

You can also choose a version that only comes with a Full HD display, though for people that want to watch Netflix, for example, would really love the more vibrant 4K resolution.

Of course, battery life will depend on your usage. Keep in mind that if you opt for this model, its battery life is considerably lower (at 8-9 hours compared to 11+ hours on the FHD version).

Still, the HP Envy 2019 is a really good laptop and one that students would really love to bring with them in class.

3.Acer Predator Helios 300

Acer Predator Helios 300

Price: $1,199

While most students want a thin and ultraportable laptop, there are those that want a portable gaming machine and that is where the Acer Predator Helios 300 comes in.

This laptop has really amazing specs for the price. It comes with an Intel Core i7-9750H processor, coupled with Nvidia’s Geforce GTX 1660Ti GPU.

In addition, this particular model also comes with 16GB of RAM, 256GB SSD, and 1TB HDD as well.

Although I love the fact that they’ve included an SSD, it might not be a good idea to be installing your games on it since 256GB of storage nowadays is quite small (especially since AAA games have become storage hogs. I am looking at you, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019))

Gamers will also love the fact that the laptop has a 15.6-inch, high refresh rate screen. Its 144hz display translates to smoother games across the board. It also has Full HD resolution as well.

Now, there are two major things to consider here. For one, this laptop is heavy. It weighs a hefty 5.1 pounds so its heft is really noticeable.

Second, its battery life (at least, when you are playing games), is just a mediocre at 4 hours screen on time. You do get a longer battery life if the majority of what you do is just productivity and school-related tasks, but you will definitely see that it doesn’t have the endurance when it comes to playing demanding titles.

Still, for a laptop that costs under $1,200, the Acer Predator Helios 300 is definitely tough to beat.

4.MacBook Air 2020

MacBook Air 2020

Price: Starts at $999

There are some students that do not like to use Windows 10. If you are comfortable using MacOS, then look no further than the newest MacBook Air.

The MacBook Air 2020 edition is Apple’s entry-level laptop and it is definitely amazing for students. What makes this don the ‘Air’ moniker is its thin and lightweight profile.

With dimensions of 30.41 x 21.24 x 1.61 cm, no wonder people recommend this to anyone that wants a laptop that they can easily bring with them.

The 2020 edition comes with the newest 10th-gen Intel processors and its keyboard is vastly improved over the previous versions.

While there is a lot to love here, it is also important that you know about its negatives as well.

First is that the battery life is okay. With moderate use, it should last up to 7 hours (though, it would have been better if it was improved).

Second, the screen colors are somewhat not vibrant as one would hope in a laptop that comes from a reputable brand. I am not saying that it is bad, but what I am saying is that I was surprised that it wasn’t as vibrant as their pro models at least.

Lastly, its webcam only supports a maximum of 720p resolution. But, despite its shortcomings, the MacBook Air 2020, with its thin and light chassis and svelte looks, makes it quite appealing to most consumers.

5.HP Spectre x360 (2019)

HP Spectre x360 (2019)

Price: $1,299

If you want a laptop with a hybrid design, the HP Spectre x360 is definitely worth looking into.

For those of you who do not know, a hybrid laptop is basically one where you can detach the screen and turn it into a tablet. Having such a design will definitely be great for students.

That being said, the Spectre x360 comes with Intel’s 10th-gen processors so you can expect really great performance for the price.

For $1,299, you are going to get a version that comes with the Intel Core i7-1065G7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a hefty 512GB SSD. Those that can squeeze an additional $200 will get an OLED display, as well as 16GB of RAM.

The laptop is svelte, is lightweight, and it also comes with a stylus which makes it so much easier for students to jot down notes.

If you opt for this version, you will get a 13.3-inch IPS panel that has a resolution of 1920 x 1080. The screen is so color-accurate that it scored more than 100% in the sRGB color gamut test.

Its battery life is also pretty good. It can last up to 15 hours and with my testing, it lasted 13 hours by doing mostly productivity tasks and some light gaming.

Despite its amazing performance and vivid display, the laptop does come with a lot of bloatware. Sure, you can uninstall them quickly and easily, but I just do not like the fact that you had to do that.

Furthermore, this 2-in-1 hybrid laptop does run a bit warm, though it is not a cause for alarm; just something to keep in mind.

6.Asus Chromebook Flip C434

Asus Chromebook Flip C434

Price: $550

As mentioned earlier, there are students that just want a handy laptop that they can bring with them to school and that is why some opt to get a Chromebook.

At the time of writing this article, the Asus Chromebook Flip C434 is touted as the best Chromebook that you can find on the market. It’s inexpensive and for its price, it comes with a bevy of features that students will love.

You can easily flip this laptop depending on whether you want to type on it or just read notes. Its display has amazingly small bezels and its 14-inch screen is vivid and provides a lot of screen real estate. And oh, did I mention that it is also a touchscreen as well?

Its thin and lightweight profile allows you to easily slip this laptop in your bag without any problems.

It has an Intel Core processor but keep in mind that it is only great for productivity tasks and not intended for gaming. So, its performance from an educational standpoint is amazing, though, for playing games, it is definitely not capable of such.

Still, if you want an inexpensive laptop for students, the Asus Chromebook Flip C434 is what I would recommend.

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Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router Review- The Gaming Router to Get in 2020

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Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Review

The gaming industry is one of the most popular niches now in that there are tons of products that you can buy that are great for gaming purposes.

The Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router is touted as a ‘gaming’ router, but does it have what it takes to help eliminate lag and provide a better overall experience than the other routers that you can find on the market?

Design

Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Review 2020

When you look at the Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router, you will probably think of a lost starship from the infamous Death Star from Star Wars as its design is quite similar to those ships.

It has two ‘wing’ antennas that actually house a total of four antennas on the inside. This will provide maximum performance and throughput and it also helps increase the router’s range as well.

Because this is a WiFi 6 router, you can enjoy all of the features that the new WiFi technology provides, most especially OFDMA for better reliability in terms of giving internet connectivity to multiple users at any time.

On the top and at the bottom sides of the router, you will find that this thing has plenty of air exhaust vents and they are quite useful, especially considering that this is one of the more power-hungry networking solutions on the market today.

At the back, you will find all of the ports that you need. What’s interesting here is that you will find that two of the four gigabit Ethernet ports can be combined (via the router’s software) for better throughput. This is what you’ll want to use on your gaming PC so that you can virtually eliminate lag while you play.

There are also two USB 3.2 ports so you can plug in your printer and other USB-powered devices, and you will also find a power button, as well as an LED on/off switch as well.

Performance

Netgear Nighthawk AX12

Since this is a ‘gaming’ router, how well does it perform in such scenarios? In my testing, I’ve used World of Warcraft, one of the best MMORPGs out there, and Overwatch as both of these games not only have a built-in latency indicator, but they are also quite challenging in terms of latency in some parts of the day.

Normally, I would get 120ms on World of Warcraft and about 100ms on Overwatch for most of the day using my usual router, but the Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router performs really well as I am able to get 100ms on WoW and a little over 70ms on Overwatch.

It is worth noting that I’ve used the combined port (which should be indicated on the back of the unit) for better performance, though using the other ports yielded only a slight performance penalty of roughly 10-15ms.

Being a WiFi 6 router, it is also important to test its capabilities on this front. So, I’ve connected multiple devices at one time and each of them is connected to Youtube for continuous streaming.

All of them do not have any buffer issues at all and they all got consistent speeds. But, this was done within a 10-meter radius near the router.

So, to test its mettle in terms of how far the WiFi signals can go, I went to the second floor (the router is on the first floor) and I was still able to get about 70% of my network speed (my internet connection is 120mbps, so in this instance, I was able to get roughly 84mbps).

I went a step further and went inside my room (which is also on the second floor), albeit this time, I did it with the door closed. Although the speed dropped a bit, I was still able to get 68-75mbps for the most part which is pretty good overall.

How about the speed of the USB ports in terms of file sharing? The performance is quite impressive as well. This is so much so that I can say that you can use it as a NAS drive because it is that good.

Software

Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Gaming Router

I am surprised that the Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router doesn’t use the DumaOS that can be found in the company’s other ‘Nighthawk’ line of networking equipment, but I am still pleased with the router’s GUI overall.

The menus are outlined neatly and you can get to the specific settings that you want quickly and easily. The GUI is so intuitive that a layperson could easily navigate through the different settings without any problems.

You get your usual options such as the ability to prioritize different applications via QoS, setting up your router’s username and password (to access the GUI and for the SSID), and you can even do some port forwarding for your other applications as well, among many others.

It is interesting to me that there is no option for packet prioritization which can be found in Netgear’s other routers, but this is usually not something that people would touch anyway, so I am okay with that.

Just a reminder: Once you fire up this thing for the first time, it is generally a good idea to update the router’s firmware. This is to ensure that you will get all of the latest improvements, as well as some security patches.

Verdict

The Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router is a pretty good WiFi 6 router. Its performance is quite consistent across the board and you will have no issues when it comes to its WiFi connectivity.

It is one of the most power-hungry routers on the market, though, but the good thing is that it has plenty of air vents to exhaust hot air effectively.

This gaming router costs $400 and although it is quite steep, getting a high-quality product is a worthwhile investment anyway, so I would still recommend this thing for people that want to get a pretty competitive WiFi AX router.

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Intel Core i5-10600K Review- The Best Mainstream Gaming CPU in 2020

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Intel Core i5-10600K Review

Ever since the launch of the Ryzen 3000 CPUs, more and more people are recommending the R5 3600 for people that want to build a budget gaming PC. It is pretty sad that Intel chips are not getting recognition, but that is going to change with the release of the Intel Core i5-10600K.

Today, I am going to review the said chip. Find out why I think it is the best mainstream gaming CPU in 2020 by reading the rest of the article.

Comet Lake Architecture

Intel Core i5-10600K Review 2020

The 10th generation Intel Processors is part of the ‘Comet Lake’ family that uses a much-improved architecture than Skylake (where it’s derived from).

While the i9-10900K is definitely a beast of a chip, the Intel Core i5-10600K is surely something that most people are going to want to look at.

Competition is very important, especially to us consumers. When AMD released their Ryzen line of processors, Intel had to respond in kind to stay in the game. 

Back then, you normally wouldn’t find i5 chips to have hyperthreading, which is essentially the same as the SMT or simultaneous multi-threading feature that is present in AMD’s CPUs. But now, the 10600K not only has one, but the core frequency is clocked higher as well.

Here is a rundown of the Intel Core i5-10600K’s specs:

  • Cores: 6
  • Threads: 12
  • Lithography: 14nm
  • Base clock: 4.1GHz
  • Peak Turbo (single-core): 4.8GHz
  • Peak Turbo (all-core): 4.5GHz
  • L3 Cache: 12MB
  • TDP: 125W
  • PCIe Lanes: 16

As you can see, thanks to hyperthreading being enabled, you get to have two times more threads than an i5 chip of yesteryears. This means that you get considerably better performance across the board, especially for multi-core/multi-threaded workloads.

But, where the 10600K really shines is through its gaming performance and I will talk about this in the next section.

Performance

Intel Core i5-10600K

When you ask people what CPU you want to compare the 10600K to, it would be the AMD Ryzen R5 3600. That is because they have the same core and thread counts but there is a huge difference when it comes to their clock frequencies.

You see, the R5 3600 has a base frequency of 3.6GHz and a boost (all-core) frequency of only 4.2GHz. The 10600K, on the other hand, has a base frequency of 4.1GHz with an all-core boost of 4.6GHz.

Because Intel has added a new boost algorithm wherein the best core inside the CPU boosts higher than others, you get a clock frequency of 4.8GHz maximum on the said core, giving you even more performance.

Now, how does this translate into the real world? Well, in most multi-core benchmarks, the Intel Core i5-10600K performs so much better than the chip that it is compared to. Seriously, I would recommend this Intel chip for anyone who engages in productivity workloads on the side.

When it comes to gaming performance, there is no question that the 10600K beats the R5 3600 by a lot. That is due to the combination of the architecture, as well as the higher core frequencies of each core of the said chip.

Overclocking

Intel Core i5-10600K Box

What makes Intel chips appealing to the overclocking community than AMD Ryzen processors is the fact that you can eke out even more performance by setting the clock frequency of the cores higher than their rated specs. This is possible if you have a ‘K’ series chip (which the Intel Core i5-10600K is) and a compatible Z490 motherboard as well.

In most cases, people can set the frequency to 4.8GHz all-core with the single-core frequency (the best one) set to 5.1-5.3 GHz depending on the silicon of your particular chip. This provides even better performance across the board which is pretty nice.

I do have to caution you to not overclock the processor until you get one of the best CPU coolers on the market.

Because of the higher core frequency and because of the fact that you add more voltage to the chip just to make it stable, overclocking will result in higher heat production than usual. You will need a very competent cooler to keep things at relatively good temperatures.

Verdict

The Intel Core i5-10600K is way better than its predecessors- both in terms of architecture and performance.

Its rival, the Ryzen 5 3600, doesn’t come close to its performance thanks to the Intel chip’s higher clock frequency and better boost algorithms.

This is not to say that the AMD CPU is bad because there are some cases where it is more warranted than the 10600K.

For instance, if you are really on a tight budget, the Ryzen 5 3600 makes sense because it already comes with a cooler out of the box and its performance is still quite good for the price (currently at $160 compared to the i5-10600K’s $280 price tag).

The money that you can save by getting the Ryzen chip could be budgeted towards a better graphics card or faster storage, so there is still value that can be had when you go this route.

However, if you are okay with spending $280 and if you want a processor that can comfortably last at least 3 years competitively, then the Intel Core i5-10600K is indeed a much better option.

All in all, the Intel Core i5-10600K is definitely what I would consider to be the best mainstream gaming CPU in 2020.

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Razer Blackshark V2 Review- A Comfortable and Great-Sounding Headset for $100

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Razer Blackshark V2 Review

Back then, I never would recommend any of Razer’s gaming headsets because they often sound muddy due to the obvious preference towards the lower frequencies, but the company has changed its stance ever since.

The Razer Blackshark V2 is shaping up to be one of the best gaming headsets that are priced competitively in the market. Should you get one of these or look for something else? Read on to find out.

Design

Razer Blackshark V2 Review 2020

The ‘Blackshark’ line of headsets is nothing new because there is one that was released so many years ago. However, the Razer Blackshark V2 is a pretty polished iteration that I think would warrant the people’s attention.

Its design is quite similar to its predecessor, albeit there is a noticeable volume control dial located on the left ear cup.

Usually, Razer would put leatherette ear cups on its gaming headsets, but the Blackshark V2 actually comes with mesh foam ear cups instead.

In terms of comfort, I would prefer these over leather ear cups any day, but some people would want the feel of the leatherette material. So, to each his own.

The headset itself is quite simple-looking, although the aviation-style aesthetic might not appeal to some. I especially do not like the green wire that is exposed on each ear cup as you could potentially damage it if you are not careful.

Also situated on the left ear cup is the port for the removable boom microphone. I like the fact that you can completely remove it as it will not impede your vision when you are not using it.

Now, I’ve heard of some reports that the clamping force of the Razer Blackshark V2 makes this headset uncomfortable, but I beg to disagree.

If anything, the Razer Blackshark V2 is one of the most comfortable gaming headsets that you can find on the market.

I do have to point out that, being a large person myself, its clamping force is a bit on the stronger side, but it is still relatively comfortable for me to wear even during prolonged gaming sessions.

The Razer Blackshark V2 connects to your game console or PC either via 3.5mm headphone jack or with the use of its included USB soundcard (the latter is only usable on the PC, however).

Audio Performance

Razer Blackshark V2 Gaming Headset

The company has come a really long way when it comes to audio quality. Gone are the days where the soundstage gets muddied by the lower frequencies as everything sounds pretty balanced right from the get-go.

Razer has partnered with THX to provide you with a better surround sound gaming experience and if you use the included USB soundcard, its 7.1 surround sound implementation is so much better than what the company used to offer.

Once you plug this thing in using the said USB connector, its drivers will get installed on your PC and you can use it to your heart’s content.

You can use the Razer Synapse 3 software to tweak the EQ settings or choose from a variety of different presets.

Personally, the default sound quality is already pretty good as it is quite balanced overall. Of course, you could add more kick to the bass by tinkering with the necessary settings, but I find that the default soundstage is already good for most use-cases.

Whether you are playing MMORPGs, fast-paced games like Overwatch and CS:GO, or even just listening to your favorite tunes, I am blown away by the sound quality that the Razer Blackshark V2 provides.

It is worth noting, however, that because of the mesh foam material of the ear cups that you will experience some sound leakage as a result. This is important to keep in mind, especially if you want to play games as you do not want to disturb the people around you.

Microphone

Razer Blackshark V2 Gaming Headset Microphone

While I am impressed by the audio quality of the Razer Blackshark V2, I am disappointed with the boom microphone.

It just doesn’t sound well. My voice is tinny, it is not full-bodied, and for the most part, the volume could definitely be improved.

Even when using the USB soundcard, nothing changes for the betterment of the said gaming headset. You should be using its 3.5mm connector instead as I find it to be considerably better.

Because it is a cardioid microphone, it should be able to get your voice really nicely, right? Well, that is talking from a theoretical standpoint, but in reality, it can still pick up unwanted background noise so I am really disappointed with the microphone of the Blackshark V2.

Verdict

So, what do I think about the Razer Blackshark V2? If we are talking purely from an audio standpoint, the Razer Blackshark V2 is one of the best out there. This is especially true if you are going to use the included USB soundcard and wire this to your PC.

However, I am really disappointed with the microphone quality. The output is not full-bodied at all and you are better off using a third-party standalone microphone instead.

Do I recommend the Razer Blackshark V2? Well, as I’ve said, if you are okay with its mediocre microphone quality, then this product is definitely one of the best out there. However, if you are looking for a complete package, you are better off finding something else.

The Razer Blackshark V2 costs $100.

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The 6 Best Laptops for Students in 2020

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Best Laptops for Students 2020

Education is important. It is important because you will gain knowledge and information that you need later down the road. If you want to become an engineer, for example, education can help you reach your dream.

That being said, while some schools would still want you to use a pen and paper to jot down notes, some people prefer using new technology and that is why I recommend that you get a laptop.

If you are interested to know the best, do read further to find out the best laptops for students in 2020.

What Do You Need in a Laptop?

Just like choosing your clothes, different people have different needs. For some, they want the best CPUs out there to help them with their projects, while others would need more storage space.

Below are just some of the things that you should consider before heading out to buy a laptop.

1.Weight

As a student, you might have to go to different classrooms for your next subject. While a laptop is indeed a portable device, not all of them are created equally. Some of them are hefty while some of them are ultralight.

What you need to remember is this: The more features a laptop has, the heavier it will always be. So, if you want an ultraportable device, you may have to cut down on features just to make it easier for transport.

2.Battery Life

Part of what makes a laptop reliable is its battery life. Since you are going to be out there and probably without a means of recharging the unit’s battery, you’d want to get one that has considerably good battery life.

Ideally, you want one that can last at least 7 hours or so, but again, that is really up to you.

3.Processing Power

Do you intend to use the laptop mainly for school or do you also want to play some games during your spare time? If you want to do the latter, you want a laptop that has some respectable specs that will allow you to play even the most demanding games.

The trade-off is that the beefier the specs are, the heavier the unit will be. Unless you don’t mind the extra heft, having one that has great specs across the board might be more suited for you.

4.Storage

This is pretty subjective, but if you were to ask me, my recommendation would be to get one with an SSD and an HDD for mass storage.

You see, a solid-state drive (SSD) is much faster when it comes to reading and writing data simply because it uses flash memory as opposed to spinning disks like in the HDD.

However, if you want an SSD that has a considerable storage space, you will need to spend a lot of money for that.

Running on an HDD nowadays is a huge no-no because they are significantly much slower than even the cheapest SSD out there, though it is great if you are thinking about storing a lot of files such as documents, photos, videos, and what have you.

Again, this is a matter of personal taste. Are you okay with just an SSD or you want more mass storage that also comes with an SSD for the operating system?

5.How About Chromebooks?

Chromebooks have become quite popular in recent years because they are low-powered laptops that run the Chrome operating system.

That being said, if your intention for using a laptop is strictly for schooling, a Chromebook would definitely suffice.

It is much cheaper than your regular laptop, though your use-case will be limited (for instance, you are not going to be able to play the games that you want with it).

However, a Chromebook can be quite appealing to people that want to save a lot of money.

Best Laptops for Students

While I would recommend budget laptops to students, some of them might want more because they want to play their favorite games in their free time.

If you want to know what our recommendations are, read ahead to find out.

1.Huawei Matebook 13

Huawei Matebook 13

Price: $899

The Huawei Matebook 13 is what I would consider being one of the best gaming laptops for students. That is because it marries both the price and performance really well.

Though you cannot expect high-end specs with this one, the Matebook 13 does have pretty respectable parts that students will love.

You get an 8th-gen Intel Core i7 processor, an Nvidia GeForce MX150 GPU, a beautiful 13.3-inch Hybrid IPS panel, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage.

Probably, the only downside is that the laptop only comes with a maximum of 8GB of RAM, but other than that, the specs are pretty good across the board.

The screen is actually really nice. It is a hybrid panel which means that it can also act as a touchscreen as well.

Since it has a 13-inch display, the laptop itself is lightweight so you can just bring it with you quickly and easily wherever you want to go.

Its battery life is also good at 7-8 hours depending on use. It is extremely affordable and I would definitely recommend this for students that want a really good laptop on a budget.

2.HP Envy (2019)

HP Envy (2019)

Price: $1,129

A really good-looking laptop, the HP Envy 2019 edition is also great for students. It has a 13-inch chassis, a 4K-capable screen, has really good specs, and it is lightweight at just 2.8 pounds.

First, let’s talk about the design. It has a predominantly metallic gray exterior and it also comes with built-in security features that put your mind at ease when you are using it.

What I was referring to is its included webcam kill switch and fingerprint sensor. The former is a toggle that you can use that will kill the webcam when it is not in use and the latter unlocks the device using your very own fingerprint.

Although you can also get a much cheaper version of this laptop, the one I am talking about here comes with the 8th-gen Intel Core i7 CPU and the Nvidia GeForce MX250 GPU. It also has 16GB of RAM and 1TB SSD storage.

You can also choose a version that only comes with a Full HD display, though for people that want to watch Netflix, for example, would really love the more vibrant 4K resolution.

Of course, battery life will depend on your usage. Keep in mind that if you opt for this model, its battery life is considerably lower (at 8-9 hours compared to 11+ hours on the FHD version).

Still, the HP Envy 2019 is a really good laptop and one that students would really love to bring with them in class.

3.Acer Predator Helios 300

Acer Predator Helios 300

Price: $1,199

While most students want a thin and ultraportable laptop, there are those that want a portable gaming machine and that is where the Acer Predator Helios 300 comes in.

This laptop has really amazing specs for the price. It comes with an Intel Core i7-9750H processor, coupled with Nvidia’s Geforce GTX 1660Ti GPU.

In addition, this particular model also comes with 16GB of RAM, 256GB SSD, and 1TB HDD as well.

Although I love the fact that they’ve included an SSD, it might not be a good idea to be installing your games on it since 256GB of storage nowadays is quite small (especially since AAA games have become storage hogs. I am looking at you, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019))

Gamers will also love the fact that the laptop has a 15.6-inch, high refresh rate screen. Its 144hz display translates to smoother games across the board. It also has Full HD resolution as well.

Now, there are two major things to consider here. For one, this laptop is heavy. It weighs a hefty 5.1 pounds so its heft is really noticeable.

Second, its battery life (at least, when you are playing games), is just a mediocre at 4 hours screen on time. You do get a longer battery life if the majority of what you do is just productivity and school-related tasks, but you will definitely see that it doesn’t have the endurance when it comes to playing demanding titles.

Still, for a laptop that costs under $1,200, the Acer Predator Helios 300 is definitely tough to beat.

4.MacBook Air 2020

MacBook Air 2020

Price: Starts at $999

There are some students that do not like to use Windows 10. If you are comfortable using MacOS, then look no further than the newest MacBook Air.

The MacBook Air 2020 edition is Apple’s entry-level laptop and it is definitely amazing for students. What makes this don the ‘Air’ moniker is its thin and lightweight profile.

With dimensions of 30.41 x 21.24 x 1.61 cm, no wonder people recommend this to anyone that wants a laptop that they can easily bring with them.

The 2020 edition comes with the newest 10th-gen Intel processors and its keyboard is vastly improved over the previous versions.

While there is a lot to love here, it is also important that you know about its negatives as well.

First is that the battery life is okay. With moderate use, it should last up to 7 hours (though, it would have been better if it was improved).

Second, the screen colors are somewhat not vibrant as one would hope in a laptop that comes from a reputable brand. I am not saying that it is bad, but what I am saying is that I was surprised that it wasn’t as vibrant as their pro models at least.

Lastly, its webcam only supports a maximum of 720p resolution. But, despite its shortcomings, the MacBook Air 2020, with its thin and light chassis and svelte looks, makes it quite appealing to most consumers.

5.HP Spectre x360 (2019)

HP Spectre x360 (2019)

Price: $1,299

If you want a laptop with a hybrid design, the HP Spectre x360 is definitely worth looking into.

For those of you who do not know, a hybrid laptop is basically one where you can detach the screen and turn it into a tablet. Having such a design will definitely be great for students.

That being said, the Spectre x360 comes with Intel’s 10th-gen processors so you can expect really great performance for the price.

For $1,299, you are going to get a version that comes with the Intel Core i7-1065G7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a hefty 512GB SSD. Those that can squeeze an additional $200 will get an OLED display, as well as 16GB of RAM.

The laptop is svelte, is lightweight, and it also comes with a stylus which makes it so much easier for students to jot down notes.

If you opt for this version, you will get a 13.3-inch IPS panel that has a resolution of 1920 x 1080. The screen is so color-accurate that it scored more than 100% in the sRGB color gamut test.

Its battery life is also pretty good. It can last up to 15 hours and with my testing, it lasted 13 hours by doing mostly productivity tasks and some light gaming.

Despite its amazing performance and vivid display, the laptop does come with a lot of bloatware. Sure, you can uninstall them quickly and easily, but I just do not like the fact that you had to do that.

Furthermore, this 2-in-1 hybrid laptop does run a bit warm, though it is not a cause for alarm; just something to keep in mind.

6.Asus Chromebook Flip C434

Asus Chromebook Flip C434

Price: $550

As mentioned earlier, there are students that just want a handy laptop that they can bring with them to school and that is why some opt to get a Chromebook.

At the time of writing this article, the Asus Chromebook Flip C434 is touted as the best Chromebook that you can find on the market. It’s inexpensive and for its price, it comes with a bevy of features that students will love.

You can easily flip this laptop depending on whether you want to type on it or just read notes. Its display has amazingly small bezels and its 14-inch screen is vivid and provides a lot of screen real estate. And oh, did I mention that it is also a touchscreen as well?

Its thin and lightweight profile allows you to easily slip this laptop in your bag without any problems.

It has an Intel Core processor but keep in mind that it is only great for productivity tasks and not intended for gaming. So, its performance from an educational standpoint is amazing, though, for playing games, it is definitely not capable of such.

Still, if you want an inexpensive laptop for students, the Asus Chromebook Flip C434 is what I would recommend.

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Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router Review- The Gaming Router to Get in 2020

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Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Review

The gaming industry is one of the most popular niches now in that there are tons of products that you can buy that are great for gaming purposes.

The Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router is touted as a ‘gaming’ router, but does it have what it takes to help eliminate lag and provide a better overall experience than the other routers that you can find on the market?

Design

Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Review 2020

When you look at the Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router, you will probably think of a lost starship from the infamous Death Star from Star Wars as its design is quite similar to those ships.

It has two ‘wing’ antennas that actually house a total of four antennas on the inside. This will provide maximum performance and throughput and it also helps increase the router’s range as well.

Because this is a WiFi 6 router, you can enjoy all of the features that the new WiFi technology provides, most especially OFDMA for better reliability in terms of giving internet connectivity to multiple users at any time.

On the top and at the bottom sides of the router, you will find that this thing has plenty of air exhaust vents and they are quite useful, especially considering that this is one of the more power-hungry networking solutions on the market today.

At the back, you will find all of the ports that you need. What’s interesting here is that you will find that two of the four gigabit Ethernet ports can be combined (via the router’s software) for better throughput. This is what you’ll want to use on your gaming PC so that you can virtually eliminate lag while you play.

There are also two USB 3.2 ports so you can plug in your printer and other USB-powered devices, and you will also find a power button, as well as an LED on/off switch as well.

Performance

Netgear Nighthawk AX12

Since this is a ‘gaming’ router, how well does it perform in such scenarios? In my testing, I’ve used World of Warcraft, one of the best MMORPGs out there, and Overwatch as both of these games not only have a built-in latency indicator, but they are also quite challenging in terms of latency in some parts of the day.

Normally, I would get 120ms on World of Warcraft and about 100ms on Overwatch for most of the day using my usual router, but the Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router performs really well as I am able to get 100ms on WoW and a little over 70ms on Overwatch.

It is worth noting that I’ve used the combined port (which should be indicated on the back of the unit) for better performance, though using the other ports yielded only a slight performance penalty of roughly 10-15ms.

Being a WiFi 6 router, it is also important to test its capabilities on this front. So, I’ve connected multiple devices at one time and each of them is connected to Youtube for continuous streaming.

All of them do not have any buffer issues at all and they all got consistent speeds. But, this was done within a 10-meter radius near the router.

So, to test its mettle in terms of how far the WiFi signals can go, I went to the second floor (the router is on the first floor) and I was still able to get about 70% of my network speed (my internet connection is 120mbps, so in this instance, I was able to get roughly 84mbps).

I went a step further and went inside my room (which is also on the second floor), albeit this time, I did it with the door closed. Although the speed dropped a bit, I was still able to get 68-75mbps for the most part which is pretty good overall.

How about the speed of the USB ports in terms of file sharing? The performance is quite impressive as well. This is so much so that I can say that you can use it as a NAS drive because it is that good.

Software

Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Gaming Router

I am surprised that the Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router doesn’t use the DumaOS that can be found in the company’s other ‘Nighthawk’ line of networking equipment, but I am still pleased with the router’s GUI overall.

The menus are outlined neatly and you can get to the specific settings that you want quickly and easily. The GUI is so intuitive that a layperson could easily navigate through the different settings without any problems.

You get your usual options such as the ability to prioritize different applications via QoS, setting up your router’s username and password (to access the GUI and for the SSID), and you can even do some port forwarding for your other applications as well, among many others.

It is interesting to me that there is no option for packet prioritization which can be found in Netgear’s other routers, but this is usually not something that people would touch anyway, so I am okay with that.

Just a reminder: Once you fire up this thing for the first time, it is generally a good idea to update the router’s firmware. This is to ensure that you will get all of the latest improvements, as well as some security patches.

Verdict

The Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router is a pretty good WiFi 6 router. Its performance is quite consistent across the board and you will have no issues when it comes to its WiFi connectivity.

It is one of the most power-hungry routers on the market, though, but the good thing is that it has plenty of air vents to exhaust hot air effectively.

This gaming router costs $400 and although it is quite steep, getting a high-quality product is a worthwhile investment anyway, so I would still recommend this thing for people that want to get a pretty competitive WiFi AX router.

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Intel Core i5-10600K Review- The Best Mainstream Gaming CPU in 2020

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Intel Core i5-10600K Review

Ever since the launch of the Ryzen 3000 CPUs, more and more people are recommending the R5 3600 for people that want to build a budget gaming PC. It is pretty sad that Intel chips are not getting recognition, but that is going to change with the release of the Intel Core i5-10600K.

Today, I am going to review the said chip. Find out why I think it is the best mainstream gaming CPU in 2020 by reading the rest of the article.

Comet Lake Architecture

Intel Core i5-10600K Review 2020

The 10th generation Intel Processors is part of the ‘Comet Lake’ family that uses a much-improved architecture than Skylake (where it’s derived from).

While the i9-10900K is definitely a beast of a chip, the Intel Core i5-10600K is surely something that most people are going to want to look at.

Competition is very important, especially to us consumers. When AMD released their Ryzen line of processors, Intel had to respond in kind to stay in the game. 

Back then, you normally wouldn’t find i5 chips to have hyperthreading, which is essentially the same as the SMT or simultaneous multi-threading feature that is present in AMD’s CPUs. But now, the 10600K not only has one, but the core frequency is clocked higher as well.

Here is a rundown of the Intel Core i5-10600K’s specs:

  • Cores: 6
  • Threads: 12
  • Lithography: 14nm
  • Base clock: 4.1GHz
  • Peak Turbo (single-core): 4.8GHz
  • Peak Turbo (all-core): 4.5GHz
  • L3 Cache: 12MB
  • TDP: 125W
  • PCIe Lanes: 16

As you can see, thanks to hyperthreading being enabled, you get to have two times more threads than an i5 chip of yesteryears. This means that you get considerably better performance across the board, especially for multi-core/multi-threaded workloads.

But, where the 10600K really shines is through its gaming performance and I will talk about this in the next section.

Performance

Intel Core i5-10600K

When you ask people what CPU you want to compare the 10600K to, it would be the AMD Ryzen R5 3600. That is because they have the same core and thread counts but there is a huge difference when it comes to their clock frequencies.

You see, the R5 3600 has a base frequency of 3.6GHz and a boost (all-core) frequency of only 4.2GHz. The 10600K, on the other hand, has a base frequency of 4.1GHz with an all-core boost of 4.6GHz.

Because Intel has added a new boost algorithm wherein the best core inside the CPU boosts higher than others, you get a clock frequency of 4.8GHz maximum on the said core, giving you even more performance.

Now, how does this translate into the real world? Well, in most multi-core benchmarks, the Intel Core i5-10600K performs so much better than the chip that it is compared to. Seriously, I would recommend this Intel chip for anyone who engages in productivity workloads on the side.

When it comes to gaming performance, there is no question that the 10600K beats the R5 3600 by a lot. That is due to the combination of the architecture, as well as the higher core frequencies of each core of the said chip.

Overclocking

Intel Core i5-10600K Box

What makes Intel chips appealing to the overclocking community than AMD Ryzen processors is the fact that you can eke out even more performance by setting the clock frequency of the cores higher than their rated specs. This is possible if you have a ‘K’ series chip (which the Intel Core i5-10600K is) and a compatible Z490 motherboard as well.

In most cases, people can set the frequency to 4.8GHz all-core with the single-core frequency (the best one) set to 5.1-5.3 GHz depending on the silicon of your particular chip. This provides even better performance across the board which is pretty nice.

I do have to caution you to not overclock the processor until you get one of the best CPU coolers on the market.

Because of the higher core frequency and because of the fact that you add more voltage to the chip just to make it stable, overclocking will result in higher heat production than usual. You will need a very competent cooler to keep things at relatively good temperatures.

Verdict

The Intel Core i5-10600K is way better than its predecessors- both in terms of architecture and performance.

Its rival, the Ryzen 5 3600, doesn’t come close to its performance thanks to the Intel chip’s higher clock frequency and better boost algorithms.

This is not to say that the AMD CPU is bad because there are some cases where it is more warranted than the 10600K.

For instance, if you are really on a tight budget, the Ryzen 5 3600 makes sense because it already comes with a cooler out of the box and its performance is still quite good for the price (currently at $160 compared to the i5-10600K’s $280 price tag).

The money that you can save by getting the Ryzen chip could be budgeted towards a better graphics card or faster storage, so there is still value that can be had when you go this route.

However, if you are okay with spending $280 and if you want a processor that can comfortably last at least 3 years competitively, then the Intel Core i5-10600K is indeed a much better option.

All in all, the Intel Core i5-10600K is definitely what I would consider to be the best mainstream gaming CPU in 2020.

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Razer Blackshark V2 Review- A Comfortable and Great-Sounding Headset for $100

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Razer Blackshark V2 Review

Back then, I never would recommend any of Razer’s gaming headsets because they often sound muddy due to the obvious preference towards the lower frequencies, but the company has changed its stance ever since.

The Razer Blackshark V2 is shaping up to be one of the best gaming headsets that are priced competitively in the market. Should you get one of these or look for something else? Read on to find out.

Design

Razer Blackshark V2 Review 2020

The ‘Blackshark’ line of headsets is nothing new because there is one that was released so many years ago. However, the Razer Blackshark V2 is a pretty polished iteration that I think would warrant the people’s attention.

Its design is quite similar to its predecessor, albeit there is a noticeable volume control dial located on the left ear cup.

Usually, Razer would put leatherette ear cups on its gaming headsets, but the Blackshark V2 actually comes with mesh foam ear cups instead.

In terms of comfort, I would prefer these over leather ear cups any day, but some people would want the feel of the leatherette material. So, to each his own.

The headset itself is quite simple-looking, although the aviation-style aesthetic might not appeal to some. I especially do not like the green wire that is exposed on each ear cup as you could potentially damage it if you are not careful.

Also situated on the left ear cup is the port for the removable boom microphone. I like the fact that you can completely remove it as it will not impede your vision when you are not using it.

Now, I’ve heard of some reports that the clamping force of the Razer Blackshark V2 makes this headset uncomfortable, but I beg to disagree.

If anything, the Razer Blackshark V2 is one of the most comfortable gaming headsets that you can find on the market.

I do have to point out that, being a large person myself, its clamping force is a bit on the stronger side, but it is still relatively comfortable for me to wear even during prolonged gaming sessions.

The Razer Blackshark V2 connects to your game console or PC either via 3.5mm headphone jack or with the use of its included USB soundcard (the latter is only usable on the PC, however).

Audio Performance

Razer Blackshark V2 Gaming Headset

The company has come a really long way when it comes to audio quality. Gone are the days where the soundstage gets muddied by the lower frequencies as everything sounds pretty balanced right from the get-go.

Razer has partnered with THX to provide you with a better surround sound gaming experience and if you use the included USB soundcard, its 7.1 surround sound implementation is so much better than what the company used to offer.

Once you plug this thing in using the said USB connector, its drivers will get installed on your PC and you can use it to your heart’s content.

You can use the Razer Synapse 3 software to tweak the EQ settings or choose from a variety of different presets.

Personally, the default sound quality is already pretty good as it is quite balanced overall. Of course, you could add more kick to the bass by tinkering with the necessary settings, but I find that the default soundstage is already good for most use-cases.

Whether you are playing MMORPGs, fast-paced games like Overwatch and CS:GO, or even just listening to your favorite tunes, I am blown away by the sound quality that the Razer Blackshark V2 provides.

It is worth noting, however, that because of the mesh foam material of the ear cups that you will experience some sound leakage as a result. This is important to keep in mind, especially if you want to play games as you do not want to disturb the people around you.

Microphone

Razer Blackshark V2 Gaming Headset Microphone

While I am impressed by the audio quality of the Razer Blackshark V2, I am disappointed with the boom microphone.

It just doesn’t sound well. My voice is tinny, it is not full-bodied, and for the most part, the volume could definitely be improved.

Even when using the USB soundcard, nothing changes for the betterment of the said gaming headset. You should be using its 3.5mm connector instead as I find it to be considerably better.

Because it is a cardioid microphone, it should be able to get your voice really nicely, right? Well, that is talking from a theoretical standpoint, but in reality, it can still pick up unwanted background noise so I am really disappointed with the microphone of the Blackshark V2.

Verdict

So, what do I think about the Razer Blackshark V2? If we are talking purely from an audio standpoint, the Razer Blackshark V2 is one of the best out there. This is especially true if you are going to use the included USB soundcard and wire this to your PC.

However, I am really disappointed with the microphone quality. The output is not full-bodied at all and you are better off using a third-party standalone microphone instead.

Do I recommend the Razer Blackshark V2? Well, as I’ve said, if you are okay with its mediocre microphone quality, then this product is definitely one of the best out there. However, if you are looking for a complete package, you are better off finding something else.

The Razer Blackshark V2 costs $100.

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