Enhance your computer user experience

Enhance your computer user experience
(Photo: Pixabay)
What do you do, what to you add to make your computer experience better, in these days where the machines and the network are vital to most every task we take on, all the time, every day?اضافة اعلان

With technical specifications that sometimes rival those of server computers models made merely five to ten years ago, today’s high-end laptops are the equivalent of formula one racing cars in the realm of computing.

Did you know, for instance, that you can have a laptop with an Intel Xeon processor? Yes, the same class of processors that are usually found on servers. The price tag is also comparable to that of entry-level servers and starts at JD1,500, and goes up, up…

But processors are mainly about speed, and speed is no longer the main concern of users. Back to the time-honoured computers/cars comparison, who needs a car that can go at 250km/h when the speed limit is 110km/h on most highways, not to mention the traffic jams everywhere in town and that drastically limit your speed anyway?

Now computer users are looking for comfort and ease of use, before anything else, and ultra-fast processors are not necessarily their first worry. Though, of course, it would not hurt to have one of them!

Perhaps the most sought-after item is a dual screen setup. The way we all work, opening several windows at one time and running multiple tasks simultaneously, having two screens brings more comfort and increases efficiency. Some people go for even three screens or more, but these remain very special, limited cases.

With only one display available and several files or applications open, you must constantly shift between the various windows, with tedious and lengthy mouse clicks and action to view what you need. This is not only time-consuming but is also nerve-wracking. And it won’t show you but one screen at a time anyway in the end.

Setting up two real, physical screens is easy, even with a basic laptop. Start by buying the second unit of course. The average price in Amman for a good 24-inch monitor is about JD150. Use one of the available USB ports of the laptop and a simple, inexpensive USB-to-HDMI adapter (about JD20), and you get an output to your second screen. All operating systems, including MS-Windows, have provision for handling two monitors seamlessly.

There is more than one way to set up a dual-screen system, making full use of both the computer’s HDMI and USB ports. The first screen could be the laptop’s and the second the additional large, external screen. Or you can choose not to use the laptops screen at all (keeping the lid of the computer closed) and get two large, external monitors. This last solution is recommended for this way you would have two monitors of the same size, nicely placed side-by-side – the ultimate convenience.

A smooth and pleasant user experience also includes quality audio-video. Unless yours is one of these expensive laptops called “gaming computers” and that cost an arm and a leg (starting price JD2,000), the quality of the built-in microphone, camera, and speakers usually varies from poor to average.

This often results in online meetings and video calls that do not let you properly convey the message. You do need good sound and image to communicate with the other party. Nothing is more frustrating that not seeing or hearing your correspondent clearly — and of course, the same applies to the other party’s experience. It is two-way communication after all.

Here again, adding a high-definition camera, perhaps with automatic voice and face tracking, as well as a quality microphone and good speakers will make a huge difference. Naturally, this entails spending a little more money. But think of all that virtual meetings and remote video calls are making you save in transportation cost.

Money spent on enhancing your computer experience is money well spent.

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