2016 New computer and other stuff – Part 3

2015_hppavilionFinally, I have my new computer so welcome to my HP Pavilion 500-407a review!

The setup was pretty painless even avoiding the much forced entering your email address. I seriously can’t stand that requirement these days especially before any security updates are installed. After that the notification to update to Windows 10 came it wasn’t too long (2 days) before everything was ready to install. The upgrade process didn’t take too long and was error free and the result was worth the wait.

After installing Windows 10 all the software I installed including Adobe Elements 10, PhotoImpact , Windows Movie Maker, Microsoft Expression Web and even the niche Arcsoft TV tuner software worked perfectly. Since everything else runs from a browser I wasn’t missing    any functionality. You can also install Apps from Store you can download any other functionality your missing.

All HP computers cone with a variety of bloatware but on this PC I didn’t see anything beyond the usual, Snapfish, Accuweather, Evernote, trip advisor and register with HP etc.. there’s not too much to worry about.  The standard Windows 10 apps are also there and should be optional to download in my opinion.

As for performance the HP runs faster than any computer I’ve used including the latest ALL the Apple Macs. For example, start up time from complete turned off is about 5 seconds and shut down about 10 seconds. Everything works smoothly and even running multiple apps at the same time is flawless (so far). I’ve been taken in by the hype involving SSD rather than spinning hard drives claiming to be faster but honestly even the SSD equipped Surface Pro isn’t any faster.

Interesting characteristics: Noise the DVD drive noise it makes when turning on and variable fan speed when its working hard!

Conclusion: It’s a great computer and found at a great price. I can recommend it to anyone after a new Windows PC.


CPU: Intel Quad Core i7 (Haswell) 4790 3.6 GHz – turbo boost to 4.0 GHz
Memory: 8G DDR3
Graphics: Radeon R7 240 2G onboard and Intel HD Graphics 4600 GT2
Sound: Integrated IDT 92HD65C
Media: 1TB HD and DVD and memory card reader
Network: Bluetooth 4.0 and WiFi and LAN sockets
OS: Windows 8.1 free upgrade to Windows 10

Cygnett Chargeup Digital 6000 Portable Powerbank Review

cygnett_chargeup6000Over the holiday break I purchased a ‘Power bank’. So welcome to my first technology review for 2016 on theCygnett Chargeup Digital 6000 Portable Powerbank review.  I should start a series on useful tech gadgets to have…

The batteries on smartphones and tablets don’t last as long as we like them to so a spare battery is always a useful thing to have have around. Unfortunately not many phones these days have a battery you can replace so the solution is a ‘Power Bank’ you can carry around as a spare like the Cygnet Chargeup. The Cygnett version  like other power banks can charge phones, cameras, tablets, remote control toys, game controllers. It did work with any device I plugged into it. Power Banks in general are very handy when travelling especially when that USB port on the plane or train is faulty or waiting during travel delay even at events where you can’t really hang around a powerpoint when your device runs out of power.

There are so many Powerbank style devices to choose from and I liked most of them but the Cygnett ChargeUp Digital series appealed most as it had a digital battery level LED read out, 2 USB ports, a stylish design. The only missing on the ChargeUp Digital was maybe a touch but obviously the device I’m charging probably has bright screen anyway. The interesting feature is that the charging does not start until you press the power button. My version has a capacity of 6000 mha which I think is plenty for a 2 complete charges of my smartphone, currently a Samsung Galaxy Note 4.

The conclusion is that the Cygnett Chargeup Digital 6000 is a definite a good thing. It looks good, well made, works well and a handy size to carry around. Price for the ChargeUp 6000 version is under $70 AUD which is the average price for a power bank of this capacity but you can get discounts, you don’t need to look far for those.