HST News Blog

  • The perfect Christmas present

    It may only be November, but we can’t avoid the Christmas conversation any longer and the most organised amongst us will be boxing off their shopping in no time at all. At HST, we obviously think that the perfect Christmas present always revolves around some new kit. Whether that be for a gamer, a student or even just an avid online shopper. We all use technology all the time so having the best to suit your needs would always be a welcome present! Plus, it doesn’t have to cost as much as you think.

    So if you’re struggling with choosing the perfect Christmas present, here is some inspiration for your loved ones who might have something technical on their wish list. Take a look:

    For the beginner

    If you need to buy a gift for someone who is just starting out with their technology, we have plenty of suitable options. It could be for a tween starting secondary school or even a grandparent who wants to get connected to the outside world after being isolated for a long time. Whoever you are buying for, you won’t need to spend a fortune and buy them a machine capable of landing a man on the moon. Instead, a straightforward PC will be more than ample to handle whatever they need to use it for – browsing the net, emails, word processing and so on. This Dell OptiPlex 790 PC is perfect for all of this and at just £95, it’s a bargain too. It comes with an Intel i3 2nd generation processor and 4GB DDR3 so will handle everything quickly enough, but you can upgrade elements if you so desire.

    Dell OptiPlex 790 PC

    For the tech-lover

    If there is someone on the list who seems to have everything because they don’t do much other than spend time tinkering with tech, then it seems that the perfect Christmas present for them would be to buy something they would get a lot of use out of. Such as a high-performance machine like this HST Optimus Customisable PC which starts at £470. It has an Intel Core i5-9400 2.9GHz, 8GB 2400Mhz Adata Premier RAM and Adata 256GB Ultimate SU800 M.2 SSD. But more than that, it can be customised to suit their needs perfectly. Yes, you might have to do some digging, but it will be worth it!

    HST Optimus Customisable PC

    For the gamer

    Gamers are notoriously pedantic when it comes to the spec of their kit and with good reason – it can really affect the quality of the experience. That’s why at HST we make sure out gaming PCs are incredible, like this HST F3 Gaming PC with dual screen bundle. It gives everything the gamer would want including keyboard, mouse, headset and two monitors plus it comes in blue or red! It includes 500GB 3.5" SATA HDD, XUM 8GB DDR3 and Nvidia GT710 2GB graphics card so they will really feel part of whatever world they play in. It’s worth every penny at just £399.

    HST F3 Gaming PC with dual screen bundle

    For the socialiser

    If you know someone who (prior to lockdown, of course) always seemed to be out and about, then a laptop is most likely to be their preferred method of getting online. This HP EliteBook 840 G2 Ultrabook is incredible value for money at just £240 and is powerful enough to handle multiple applications. It has an Intel i5-5300U processor, 4GB DDR3L memory and 250GB HDD. But again, it can be customised to suit individual needs. It’s a great, portable size offering everything needed whilst on the go.

    HP EliteBook 840 G2 Ultrabook

    At HST, our machines are refurbished to the highest standard so you know you are getting excellent quality all tested and verified by qualified technicians. It means you get a great price, plus they all come with a 1-year warranty so neither you, nor the recipient, will need to worry. So why not treat your loved ones to the perfect Christmas present from HST and get your Christmas shopping sorted sooner rather than later?

  • All the gear for gaming marathons

    Now the second lockdown is well underway, it is possible you are in one of two positions. On the one hand, you might have learnt a lot from the last one or alternatively you are feeling stuck and bored once again. There are, of course, a multitude of ways to entertain yourself but if you’re into technology, one of the best ways (in our opinion) is to invest in some more kit. And do we have some new kit ready and waiting for you! We’ve recently added a range of gaming PCs to our site and we’re going to show you the pick of the bunch. When buying a PC from us, you will most likely be buying a refurbished machine that has been fully wiped, rebuilt then checked and verified by our team of experts. To give you extra peace of mind, they all come with a 1-year warranty as standard (which you can extend if preferred) too.

    So read on to find out more about our favourite additions to our collection of gaming PCs…

    HST F3 G Series

    Coming in at the lowest end of the price range, this HST F3 G Series is incredible value for money at just £269. Its superior specification means it is perfect for playing high quality games long into the night and the Nvidia GT710 2GB graphics card will ensure all the images look great too. It benefits from DDR3 SDRAM which has the ability to transfer data at twice the rate of its predecessor, the DDR2 SDRAM. It enables a higher bandwidth or peak data rates and has a quadrupled clock signal, conducting two transfers per cycle and this, coupled with the 64-bit wide DDR3 module, will enable a transfer rate of up to 64-times the memory clock speed. A range of other features make sure that this machine will do everything you should want it to, at a price you can afford - it's one of our best lower budget gaming PCs. But if you can stretch a little further and want to get more out of it, select a few of the optional upgrades and you’ll get even more storage, speed and power.

    HST F3 G Series

    HST Seven i5 Quad Core

    The first thing you notice about one of these gaming PCs is its incredible look which puts it on a par with even the priciest of gaming machines. But at £389, it’s still an excellent price to pay for all the fun you can have with it. It’s got an Intel i5 2nd generation processor, 500GB 3.5" SATA hard disk drive and comes with XUM 8GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM. The Nvidia GT710 2GB graphics card has 3D Vision Technology which, when configured with Nvidia GPUs, NVIDIA 3D Vision active shutter glasses and display, delivers stereoscopic 3D images for gamers, film lovers and photo enthusiasts alike.

    HST Seven i5 Quad Core

    HST Radier i5 Quad Core

    Heading into the more elite gaming world is the HST Radier i5 Quad Core, which starts at £414 before upgrades are added. Its Intel Core i5 2nd Generation CPU has 4 cores and 4 threads operating at a frequency of 2.50 - 3.30Ghz. When it comes to the graphics, it benefits from the same cards as the previous two gaming PCs and it is worth mentioning that there are a few extra features including:

    PhysX – this conducts accurate physics simulations to ensure games feel filled with life and movement.

    Adaptive V-sync – this prevents the frame rate from stuttering and having the screen tearing as it is a smarter way to render frames.

    DirectX 12 – this is the graphics technology from Microsoft which powers most of today’s premium games. The latest version offers tessellation for film-like geometric detail.

    The CiT Raider case comes with its own benefits which you can read all about before speaking to one of our tech experts to make the right purchase for you. But rest assured, as gaming PCs go, it's one of the best and looks amazing too.

    If you’re in any doubt as to which of the gaming PCs is right for you, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to help. Passing the hours gaming on outstanding kit will certainly make lockdowns pass more quickly than many other activities so don’t delay!

     

  • The technological evolution

    In a comparatively short space of time, we have gone from having very little technology, and certainly very little in the home, to carrying a device in our pockets which is millions of times more powerful than the Apollo 11 guidance computers. Quite something when you think that the first mobile phone was only launched in 1973 and the first computer was finished in 1946. In less than 75 years, we have seen the world adapt to these new technologies beyond belief so much so that we now feel lost without it in our hand.

    Fundamentally, technology has evolved to become much more intuitive than before, faster and can assist so many different areas of our lives. Those who don’t wish to be fully seduced by technology might challenge this but think about it; shopping has changed forever. Now we order things online to be delivered the next day with just a quick swipe. Our food shop is stored in our accounts and can be replicated week in, week out. Emails arrive in our inbox when we are just about to run out of our grooming products and you get adverts to remind you of how close you were to that last purchase.

    And it’s not just shopping, it’s interacting and even socialising – particularly right now. Virtual, video ‘parties’ are commonplace. Our actions are no longer shared in conversations but in digital check ins and an abundance of photo uploads. Getting to destinations is a breeze and we can even see accurately how long it will take us thanks to the likes of Google Maps tracking the speed at which Android users are moving down the highways. We’re always on line and we need the tech to suit it.

    The humble PC

    Whilst we might have a smart phone capable of powering a rocket into space in our pocket, the PC is still one of the most widely used pieces of tech and with good reason. Still powerful enough to conduct the functions we need it to, the beauty of a PC in some ways is that it can be left behind when the time comes to step away from work and return to a family or social life. Allowing you to sit ergonomically at a desk so you don’t suffer health complaints, you can have a good set up with multiple monitors, keyboard and mouse to ensure you can accomplish all your tasks with ease for extended periods of time. Take a look at this HST Optimus+ Intel i5 9400, which will be powerful and fast enough for work and a little play too, if gaming is your thing to unwind.

    HST Optimus+ Intel i5 9400

    Laptops

    A laptop may spend more time on a desk or table than on your lap itself, but the beauty of it is that you CAN have it on your lap if needed and more importantly, that you can take it wherever you need to go. The early inventors of computers might never have predicted that computers would ever be this small but thank goodness they are! And now, batteries can last for hours and there can be significant processing power too, to ensure you can complete whatever you need to, wherever you need to. The Dell Latitude E7470 i5 is one of our favourite laptops thanks to its power, size and price.

    Dell Latitude E7470 i5

    Hybrids

    The advent of smart phone technology has of course forced us all into accepting touchscreens as part of our daily lives. And this is also now being more widely adopted across the more traditional tech too. You’ll find it in PCs but largely in laptops which can double as a tablet such as this HP EliteBook X360 2-in-1 convertible. Multi-functional, it’s the perfect accessory for the modern world to allow you to do whatever it is you need to whilst on the move.

    HP EliteBook X360 2-in-1 convertible

    But what about the future? It’s hard to think where tech might lead us in the years to come, having had so many advances so far. But its use will be even more prevalent. We’re already seeing it helping to overcome the challenges posed by the current global pandemic from online ordering in bars and restaurants to limit human contact, to notifying us of when we have been exposed to a potentially lethal virus. Artificial intelligence is likely to be the next big focus and who knows where that may take us? But regardless of what’s next, it will no doubt be exciting and enhance our lives even further.

  • Beat the boredom

    Changing rules every day mean many of us are struggling to know where we are up to and what we can and can’t do. There isn’t an immediate end in sight so the best thing to do is to stay at home as much as you can to keep yourself and others safe. But if staying at home fill you with a sense of horror at just how dull it will be, we are here to tell you how to beat the boredom!

    Maybe it’s time to try something new with your tech to mix it up and give yourself a new challenge. If you’re already an avid gamer, perhaps you could try getting into coding for a change. Or if you use your tech for standard web browsing, social media and work, maybe it’s time you saw what all the gaming fuss is about?

    Enter a whole new world

    It’s very easy to dismiss gaming as something that’s not for you, for kids only and maybe that it’s not cool enough in your opinion. But how much do you really know about it? Yes, there are niche games out there which will most certainly not suit all tastes but are you aware of everything that’s available? Unless you’ve had more than a passing interest in gaming, the chances are you don’t really. You might think they are all fantasy worlds with dragons and warlocks, none of which holds any interest for you. But the reality is you can play a whole variety of games that can even exercise your grey matter. Military strategy, sporting pursuits, beat ‘em up, racing and even casual crime – the options are endless. And let’s not forget about the MMORP games. Massively multiplayer online role-playing games are a new-ish way of gaming that allows you to enter a world with others meaning you are not playing alone which is something that has no doubt been valuable during these strange times of isolation.

    The right kit for gaming

    Given we don’t know what the immediate future holds, if you are considering trying a bit of gaming to stave off any potential boredom, you’ll need a machine that can handle it. You might think your PC is pretty fast as it can process whatever work things you throw at it. But just wait until you try one of today’s game on it. The superiority of the graphics alone demands a high enough quality card. Take a look at these machines which will look after your gaming needs but will also be able to do what you need in your professional life too:

    HST Optimus Ryzen 5 3400G 8GB Home/Office Customisable PC

    This impressive machine has a range of key features including a Ryzen CPU that is well-suited to gaming thanks to its 3.7GHz speed, a stock cooler will ensure it doesn’t overheat too. It has 8GB of Adata Premier RAM as standard and an M.2 SSD 256GB Ultimate SU800 M.2 SSD from Adata too. The motherboard is Asrock A320M-HDV with multiple outputs (VGA, HDMI, DVI-D). And most importantly it has a Radeon RX Vega 11 graphics card with an Asus DRW-24D5MT x24 optical drive. You can also customise this machine to increase its specification if you want even more from it. But this will be more than enough for a first-time gamer!

    HST Optimus Ryzen 5 3400G 8GB

    HST Black Steel A10 9700 Quad Core Multimedia Customisable PC Bundle

    This will look stylish wherever you house it and benefits from a great range of features such as an AMD A10 9700 CPU that has 3.5GHz. It also has 8GB of DDR4 RAM running at 2.400MHz and the same motherboard as the previous machine; an Asrock A320M-HDV. The graphics are provided by an on-board Radeon R7 card and the optical drive ASUS DVD R/W. This machine can also be upgraded but another key benefit is that it comes as part of a bundle so you won’t need to purchase anything else with it. Unless you want to of course!

    HST Black Steel A10 9700 Quad Core Multimedia Customisable PC Bundle

    Gaming might have a certain reputation but the intelligence and design that goes into them is nothing short of impressive, whether you want to play them or not. If you’ve always considered, why not take the plunge now and occupy your time at home with a new hobby?

  • Customising your technology

    At HST, we offer a huge range of computers. From laptops to workstations, desktops to all-in-ones. We even supply a range of bundles which provide all your needs in a single transaction with monitors, keyboards and mice already included. We specialise in computers of all kinds that are refurbished too which gives you incredible value for money. The key benefits of refurbished machines are:

    • Almost new – quite often they have been barely used or might even be ex-display so really don’t need much refurbishment at all!
    • Fully-functional – there is no need to worry about the functionality of the tech because all our refurbished machines are fully checked and tested to ensure there our working just as they should
    • Great value for money – as these are technically not brand new, just ‘new to you’, they are less expensive meaning you can get a better quality machine for your budget
    • Under warranty – we provide a year’s warranty for all our refurbished computers so you have the peace of mind that if something goes wrong, you are protected

    Even though there are plenty of options available, how do you know you are getting the exact one for your needs? Well thanks to the fact that we rebuild, test and certify these machines just before sending them out to you we ensure the components within it suit your needs. That’s right, you can upgrade the hardware within your computer to make sure it will handle everything you want it to. Let’s take a closer look at what you can include:

    HDD

    The standard Hard Disk Drive we include in our tech is 250GB-per-disk densities which can deliver quick enough performance and has enough capacity to handle many standard applications. However, if you will be placing more demands on it, you can upgrade to as much as a 2TB drive. All the HDDs in the refurbished machines have been fully wiped and tested before being put into the next one.

    SSD

    If the machine you are after comes with an HDD, there is sometimes the option to upgrade it to an SSD. We offer SSDs such as the ADATA SU630, which is built with next-generation QLC 3D NAND Flash for exceptional performance at great value and includes LDPC (low-density parity check) ECC technology. This means it can detect and fix errors to maintain the integrity of the data to maximise its lifespan. It features dynamic SLC caching so the NAND Flash memory will boost your compute’s performance by operating in single-level cell mode and can reach read speeds up to 520MBps and write speeds of 450MBps.

    RAM

    Even our entry-level Dell PC (starting at just £95) has somewhat superior RAM in the form of a DDR3 SDRAM which transfers data at twice the rate of the DDR2. This means you can opt for higher bandwidth or data rates as you will see the benefit – it can achieve a transfer rate of up to 64 times the memory clock speed which is great for standard applications. If you will be using more processor heavy apps, you can upgrade the RAM in most of our computers to 8 or 16GB capacity to give you maximum performance.

    Dell OptiPlex 7010 PC Intel Core i5

    Graphics

    If you’re going to be using your machine for work and play, you might want a more capable graphics card. We offer upgrades on most machines so that the quality of your games will not be compromised. A GT710 2GB can be added from just £39.99, for example.

    Warranty

    We already include 1 year’s warranty on all refurbished machines but if you would like to extend your peace of mind for another year or two, we can add that into the initial cost of your purchase so you know you’ll stay covered.

    There are of course other add ons you can include too, such as monitors, keyboards, mice and even USB Wifi dongles if you want to have a separate internet source (this is handy for being out and about with a laptop in particular).

    We specialise largely in Dell, HP and Lenovo as far as brands go but we also have several HST machines available with AMD processors (such as this HST Optimus Ryzen 5) that are perfect for work and gaming too. So get in touch with us to see how we can adapt one of these machines to make it perfect for you.

  • The 3 Ps – Perfect Processing Power

    If you’re into your tech, you might love the process of buying a new piece of kit. You know your RAMs from your HDDs, your SSDs from your CPUs and can hook it all into your WiFi DIY-style with no need for a G&T at 10 o’clock in the morning.

    But if you’re slightly less well-versed in the intricacies of IT and all the confusing acronyms that abound, you might struggle to know what’s best for you. Firstly, that’s why you should always employ the services of a company you trust to give you the right advice. You don’t want to be sold a machine capable of powering a rocket into orbit if all you want to do is send a few emails, shop online and play solitaire with it.

    That’s why you should get to grips (at least a little bit) with what powers a computer so you know what you need and what you get. This is known as the Central Processing Unit, or CPU.

    About CPUs

    The CPU is responsible for the speed of the computer’s function when it executes the demands you place on it. For example, it determines how quickly a system will make a change you make within it. It will ensure you watch the video you click ‘play’ on. It will tell the graphics card to show the explosion that you just caused in the game you are playing.

    Larger, more complex systems/games/programs require much more power because there is more going on behind the scenes so your computer needs to do more things to execute the commands in full. This is where the type of processor you have becomes important.

    There are two factors which govern just how capable your CPU is – how many cores it has and its clock speed. The higher the number of cores, the more your computer can do at once without compromising its speed. The clock speed is to do with how many operations a processor can complete per second, measured in gigahertz (GHz) – the higher the number, the quicker the processor will be.

    So as with all computer components, there is a huge number of different CPUs available, made my different manufacturers. Perhaps the most well-known are those made by Intel with lesser well-known manufacturers being companies such as AMD.

    About AMD processors

    AMD have typically always produced affordable CPUs which were lagging behind Intel ones until the release of their Ryzen CPU in 2017. The AMD Ryzen processors have different versatility across a range of price points to make them accessible to more people. They go from the Ryzen 3 which would be a more entry level, affordable CPU, right up to the Threadripper which have a huge number of cores and is completely top-of-the-line and is probably only required for a high-end workstation that needs a lot of power. All the AMD Ryzen processors in the range feature what is known as multithreading – which basically means each core can handle two tasks at a time to improve their multitasking abilities.

    A Ryzen 5 is mid-range and is perfect for most computers that will be doing some level of gaming consistently. Here’s our favourite machine with AMD Ryzen 5 processor.

    HST Optimus Ryzen 5

    About Intel Processors

    Intel have been famous for different versions of their processors with Celeron and Pentium being household names. However, the Core range has taken over and it is these which grace most machines today. The variants range from the Core i3 right up to Core i9 but the intricacies don’t end there. Within each bracket, there is a whole load of other numbers and letters which have meanings too!

    Intel’s Core processors don’t have their equivalent to AMD’s multithreading, hyperthreading, until you get all the way up to the Core i9 level. However, when the Core i10 generation is released, all of them will include hyperthreading. That’s not to say Intel processors aren’t sufficiently powerful though – quite the opposite. A Core i7 will deliver a huge amount of capability, usually beyond what most average users would require. This is one of our favourite machines with a Core i7 processor.

    HP EliteDesk 800 G1 Intel Core i7

    Intel benefits from being compatible with more motherboards on the market and they also tend to use less power meaning they are great in laptops where battery life is a concern.

    What’s the verdict?

    There is certainly no firm right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing either the manufacturer or the capability of your CPU. All you need to do is ensure you get the right one for your needs and budget. So if you still want to ask a few questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch and one of the experts at HST will be happy to help.

  • Which Sanitiser Suits You?

    With so many hand sanitiser’s currently on the market and in demand, it can be difficult to find one that is perfect for you. HST Hygiene’s new sanitiser products suit every need whether you want to squirt or spray and buy for the office or for your handbag.  

    All of our products are WHO recommended and kill 99.9% of bacteria. Find out more about our products below and which sanitiser best suits you.

    Organic Hand Sanitiser Spray

    The cruelty free, vegan one

    Are you fed up with the strong stench of alcohol based hand sanitisers? Then try our organic, alcohol free solution. The organic hand sanitiser leaves your hands feeling silky smooth, whilst still killing 99.9% of bacteria and viruses. The non-alcohol substance is eco-friendly and vegan. This product is perfect for anybody wanting to keep safe and clean but wants to avoid harsh, chemical sanitisers that leave your skin feeling rough and dry.

    Surface Disinfectant

    The clean freak

    Don’t just sanitise your hands, sanitise your surfaces as well! This fast-drying formula is perfect for spraying over any surface to instantly kill germs and bacteria. Germs and bacteria love clinging to surfaces so it is super important to keep them clean. After all, there’s no point having clean hands when your surfaces are dirty.

    Hand Sanitiser Spray

    The ‘always in a rush’ one

    The hand sanitiser spray is perfect for those in a rush who need a quick spritz every now and then. Ideal for when you don’t have the time to moisturise gel into their hands and wait for the solution to dry. The spray is rinse free and is ideal for travelling around with you, or keeping on the desk at work if you quickly want to freshen up and sanitise your hands.

    Hand Sanitiser Gel

    The reliable one

    Use the hand sanitiser gel to reach into every nook and cranny in your hands for full sanitation. The hand sanitiser gel is great for full  coverage to sanitise your hands. Available in 50ml, 150ml, 500ml and 5 litres, this product is perfect for throwing in your handbag or bulk buying for an office to keep your employees and customers safe. You can always rely on the gel hand sanitiser to keep your hands safe and sanitised at any time.

    Bulk Buy

    The macho one

    Why have 1 hand sanitiser when you can have 24? Bulk buy is perfect for office environments and shops. With bulk buy, you lose the fear of running out and also save costs. Choose from the 10 pack, 24 pack or 5 litre bottles that are great for refills.

  • Get yourself ‘Back to School’ ready

    It barely seems possible, but the summer is drawing to a close and some normality is due to be restored when millions of students return to school. This will bring with it excitement, routine, huge change from the recent months and perhaps a little anxiety in stepping into the big wide world again. One way to overcome this, is to ensure you get yourself back to school ready in plenty of time so you feel mentally prepared to face the challenges the academic year will bring.

    So how do you do this? Obvious things such as making sure your uniform fits and is clean and ironed is one thing. But you need to consider other things such as, how will you make up for all that lost teaching time and how are you going to excel in and out of the classroom? One thing is for certain – the right tech will help. We have put a few pointers below to help ensure you are raring to go on the first day of term.

    The perfect desktop

    You’ll have spent a good chunk of this year performing your studies at home. For some, it was a walk in the park but others will have struggled. One thing that will make your life easier going forwards is having the right tech at home to ensure you can complete your studies to the best of your ability. No longer can you rely solely on exercise books, calculators and encyclopaedias. Instead, you must be able to complete tasks online, do your research, develop work for classes using software applications. Whilst some of this will be done in school, a lot will need to be done at home and if you really want a bright future, you’ll need to be IT proficient to get ahead. So invest in a machine such as the Dell OptiPlex 990 intel i5 bundle. It has everything you need from a fast processor to enough RAM and a big enough solid state drive to get your work done in a timely manner. It also includes a monitor, keyboard and mouse so you’ll be all set from the word go.

    Dell OptiPlex 990 Monitor Bundle

    Keep it clean

    Now, more than ever before, we are focused on hygiene, and rightly so. It has never been a bad idea to keep your tech clean but now it’s imperative so make sure you keep on top of yours. There is a whole range of cleaning products available which will make your life easier – just make sure you follow the instructions! Always turn your kit off and unplug it before you clean it and don’t get too much liquid near any of the internal parts. Make sure it is all dry before plugging back in again too. Make sure you clean your kit regularly to keep the germs at bay.

    Organise yourself

    Nothing will get your more back to school ready than a bit of organisation! Set your desk up at home exactly as you want it. Think about how you prefer to work and how you’d like your monitor, keyboard, notepads and desk tidies arranged. Prep your uniform or the clothes you plan to wear. Make sure you have all the stationery you want and need. Pack your bag for your first day. Clean your shoes. Make your lunch and prep your snacks. You’ll feel ready to take on the world in no time!

    Make a little time for relaxation

    We all know that ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’ so whilst you might feel ready to get stuck into a load of hard work, don’t forget to make some time to relax, whatever that might look like. Whether it’s going for a run or seeing friends or spending even more time with your tech in the form of gaming – make time for it. If it is the latter, you can even buy a machine that will allow you to complete your work to a high standard but also have some fun gaming too such as this HST Optimus Ryzen 5. It has all the features you need for superior gaming including Radeon RX Vega 11 Graphics, Adata Premier 8GB 2400Mhz RAM and an Asrock A320M-HDV motherboard.

    HST Optimus Ryzen 5

    Follow our tips and your back to school experience will go much better than you anticipate!

  • The benefits of bundles

    Buying a new computer can be an onerous task. From thinking about what you want to use it for, to ascertain what type of machine you need, the size, power, speed and so on, the questions for a non-expert can seem endless and a little daunting. And then there is the cost too – you can spend an absolute fortune if you really want to but the question is always how much do you need to spend?

    If you’re in the market for a new machine, this can keep the cost lower. But if you need to upgrade everything on your desk, the costs can spiral making it a much larger outlay than you might have originally wanted. One way of keeping costs in check is to bulk buy. No, we don’t mean buy ten machines to keep you going for the next century or so, but rather buy more kit in one go together. That’s where a bundle can come in. We have put together sets of equipment that we think work well together so that you can make a single purchase and get everything you need at a price you can afford.

    Full suite of equipment

    For first time buyers, those setting up a new or additional system, and those wanting to replace existing kit, you possibly want to have a fresh new set of everything. It’s highly deflating to fork out for a fancy new computer only to still have to use a sub-standard monitor, keyboard with letters wearing off and a mouse that belongs back in its house. The beauty of buying a bundle is that you can get new everything, all for not much more than the price of the computer – you’ll find many bundles are discounted to give you better value for money than if you were to buy the pieces separately. Take a look at one of our most popular sets, the Dell Optiplex 990 bundle with Intel i5 CPU, monitor, keyboard and mouse. Like most of our bundles, it’s refurbished so it’s great value for money without compromising on quality having been fully checked and tested by trained technicians.

    Dell OptiPlex 990 Monitor Bundle

    Customisability

    Sounds like a mouthful but it actually means you can get the tech you need at home or at work. As many of our bundles are refurbished, we can offer a variety of upgrades to increase the spec in accordance with your needs. Choose your RAM, HDD, SSD, graphics card and even what monitor you want plus any extras too. Everyone has different requirements for their IT so we don’t try to force something on someone that isn’t suitable – you can get exactly what you need within the budget you are happy to pay.

    Space savers

    If you’re setting your system up at home, you might not be blessed with a huge desk on which to set yourself up so an all-in-one might suit you better – onesies aren’t just for pyjamas! We have a couple of machines which have a computer built into the monitor casing such as this HP EliteOne 800 Touch Screen All-in-One 23” FHD PC. It shows that buying a bundle doesn’t mean lesser capability or inferior technology as the touch screen is up-to-date and its 4th gen processor offers superior clock performance. Its DDR3 SDRAM enables higher bandwidth or peak data rates and may achieve a transfer rate of up to 64 times the memory clock speed. If you need to use even heavier applications, and need more than the 500GB storage provided, this machine can also be upgraded so speak to us about the options available.

    HP EliteOne 800 TouchScreen All-In-One 23" FHD PC

    A bundle is a great way to get everything you need in one go to set yourself up. Whether it is for work or play – or both – you can pick one and upgrade certain bits to make it perfect for just you. You’ll find it’s a great value way to replace your older stuff or install the new kit you need. Get in touch with us today to discuss the right tech bundle for you.

  • How to be tech-safety-savvy

    Personal safety has been in particular focus in recent months thanks to the threat posed to human life we have been exposed too. We’ve all become far more conscious of not only who surrounds us, but also the effect we might have on others. We should, of course, always pay attention to our physical safety but also to our financial, electronic and psychological safety too.

    These areas are commonly breached via the technology we use daily and most likely take for granted. Our smartphones, tablets and computers if not properly secured open us up to all manner of abuse whether it be of our bank accounts or anything even more sinister. There are different types of breaches that can usually be grouped into categories – from hackers, from viruses and behavioural issues. So how do you ensure you, and your family, are kept safe in the tech world? Read on to find out…

    Protection from hackers

    For reasons only known to them, some people in this world take great pleasure in accessing others’ data and systems. It can be with the intention of stealing money but sometimes, it is simply to cause anarchy! By following these tips, you can help to protect yourself:

    • WiFi – be careful which networks you access and only ever use trusted ones. Free ones that are publicly available are great for hackers as the connection you make with it opens your device up for easy entry
    • Anti-malware software – there are specialist programs that you can install on your machine that will detect suspicious hacker-type behaviour and block their access to your machine. It doesn’t need to cost the earth and can be far cheaper than having to right the wrongs of an attack
    • Alerts – your email, social media or any other accounts that might house secure and personal data often have an ‘alert’ function to let you know when someone has tried to sign in from an unrecognised source. You should always have to verify sign in to certain types of accounts so ensure these alerts are turned on and if you get one that looks questionable, investigate it
    • Phishing – never click on a link from an email and enter any private information on the site you land on even if it seems legitimate. You need to be extremely vigilant as these sites can look and feel secure – if in doubt, call the company in question

     

    Anonymous hacker

    Protection from viruses

    A computer virus is typically described as “a piece of code which is capable of copying itself and typically has a detrimental effect, such as corrupting the system or destroying data”. And if one gets into your machine it can destroy everything so protect yourself with the following:

    • Anti-virus software – in much the same way as anti-malware works, anti-virus software is an affordable way to stop viruses getting into your system and wreaking havoc so invest in one to protect yourself
    • Updates – systems and programs release updates for a reason. That reason is usually improved functionality but it can sometimes be to correct errors or bugs that might be chinks in the armour, opening up exposure to viruses
    • Clickbait – don’t open anything from people you don’t know, whether it be an email, an attachment or even clicking on a link. All of these can result in a virus getting in and is known as ‘phishing’

     

    Protective behaviour

    Sometimes, you can have all the right software in place but then you can go ahead and allow emotional abuse or other such problems. Protect your loved ones with:

    • Privacy settings – make sure that social media accounts (and everything else) is as locked down as it can be by limiting profile views and what strangers can see
    • Monitoring tools – there are certain tools available particularly for social media that can bring your attention to negative posts or messages that might be made about your child or other loved one. These tools that also monitor outgoing, as well as incoming content, can give you the peace of mind that nothing untoward is being said by your child too
    • Parental controls – there are accessibility restrictions which can be placed on your web browser which will limit what your child is able to see, thus keeping them safer online
    • Locks – by ensuring that the lock function is turned on for all devices, including the auto-lock function and ensuring that passwords are in place (and ones that are not very easy to guess!), you will increase tech safety almost immeasurably
    • Education – teaching the less informed how to stay safe online is a key way to preventing any issues before they arise

     

    Child on tablet

    Staying safe on your tech

    These days, machines even have in built security settings that work to enhance whatever additional software you might install on them. For example, this HST Optimus i5 PC has hardware to give you better peace of mind for your on- and offline activities.

    HST Optimus i5

    This isn’t a preventative measure but backing up your work can prevent a lot of lost time and even money if you do suffer a security breach. So, just make sure you do what is needed and back everything up in a separate location to re-install if needed.

    The internet, and technology are wonderful things when used safely with the right protection in place. So follow our tips and you’ll have a much better chance at keeping your machines away from negative activity.

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