HST News Blog

  • Understanding Tech Jargon

    At HST, we offer a huge range of computers from laptops to desktops. We even supply a range of bundles which provide all your needs in a single purchase. We specialise in all kinds of refurbished computers which gives you incredible value for money.

    When buying new tech, there’s a lot to get to grips with, especially when there’s so much to choose from! That’s why we’ve put together a guide to understand tech jargon and make your tech buying experience easier.

    CPU

    The CPU (central processing unit) is the brain of the computer. Whenever you move the mouse, open a program or load a file, the processor makes it happen. The kind of CPU setup you have, can tell you about the kind of tech you’re buying.

    Core i3 - If you're buying a basic desktop, it may well feature a core i3 CPU. It's a dual core CPU which should do the job for basic, everyday computing.

    Core i5 - This is Intel's main processor. Coming in dual and quad-core, this processor will be found on many desktops and is very popular.

    Core i7 - If you’re buying a Core i7 PC, it’s likely that you need a lot of processing power. This is ideal for video editing and playing heavy-duty games. 

    Hard drive

    Hard drives come in two main types: hard disk drives (HDD) and solid-state drives (SSD). Solid state hard drives use flash memory. You can expect your machine to boot up faster, and applications and programmes to load quicker when you choose an SSD.

    Hard drives are measured in gigabytes, and the more you have the better so it’s best to have a hard drive with at least 250GB, while also considering those with 500GB or 750GB). Don't forget too, external hard drives can be bought and plugged into your computer,  so you can expand to as much space as you need.

    RAM

    RAM stands for Random Access Memory. The more RAM your machine has the better it will run. If your computer doesn't have enough RAM, it will run slowly.

    We would recommend 8GB of RAM. The more RAM you have the better set up you'll be for doing more than one thing at a time. Plus, you’ll be able to run apps and multitasking on your computer all the more smoothly.

    Graphics Card 

    If you're just planning on browsing the web and watching videos, an integrated graphics card should be fine. This is the graphics card that comes already built into your computer and shares the computer's memory, which can make it slower to process video and images.

    However, if you plan on playing some serious games, you'll need a decent graphics card. Graphics cards usually have their own dedicated RAM - the amount you need depends on what you plan to do but try to ensure you have enough memory to play your games to the best standard.

  • The Perfect Tech For Your First Year At University

    Are you heading to university this September? University is a huge step and it’s important to be fully prepared before you head off to start your new adventure. 

    Take a look at our top tech picks below that will help you along your university journey.

    Game All Day... When You’re Not Studying

    When you’re not studying, one of the most fun ways to pass the time is to get into the world of gaming. If you’re new to the world of gaming, it’s advisable to go for one of the more entry-level machines in case you don’t get into it completely (which is unlikely), and you can even use a high-powered desktop if you wish.

    We would always recommend a machine dedicated solely to gaming and at HST, some start from as little as £249! Take a look at the HST Seven i5 Quad Core gaming PC. It comes with 8GB RAM, a 500GB HDD and a GT710 NVIDIA graphics card. Many of the components can be upgraded to suit your gaming preferences, whether you’re a beginner or pro gamer, we have something for you!

    Take a look at the HST Seven i5 Quad Core gaming PC here.

    Get The Full University Setup

    Our desktop bundles allow you to get a full setup for university in just one purchase. Meaning you get your desktop, monitor, keyboard and mouse altogether! This is the perfect addition to your university room and our bundles are fantastic for both work and personal use.

    The Dell OptiPlex 7020 bundle comes with two monitors, a mouse and keyboard and has all the tech spec you need for work and play. You can get all this from just £260 so you might have some budget to upgrade any of the elements you want to get a little more out of your purchase. 

    Shop the Dell OptiPlex 7020 bundle here. 

    A Laptop Will Be Your Best Friend At University

    At university, you will be adopting a flexible approach to working. Whether you’re studying in your room, the library or your lectures, having a laptop that you can carry around with you is essential!

    At HST, our laptops are refurbished; however a refurbished laptop doesn't mean poor quality! You'll get a year's warranty and if you choose one like this Dell Latitude E5450, you'll get an Intel i5 5th gen CPU to give you all the performance you need. It starts at just £260 but you can upgrade parts too if you want more RAM or a bigger HDD. 

    See for yourself! Shop the Dell Latitude E5450 laptop here. 

  • Laptops VS Desktops

    Buying new tech isn’t always an easy decision, from different specifications and models to the look of a new machine, there are many decisions to make. Whilst you might already have your heart set on a new laptop or desktop, do you know which is really the best purchase for your needs?

    Although the key difference of portability between laptops and desktops is clear, what are the other differences? Take a look below to help you decide which is right for you.

    Laptops

    Portability

    A laptop is small, light, unpluggable and can be easily popped in a bag and taken wherever you need it. A desktop on the other hand is installed for the long haul. Whilst more people are taking advantage of flexible working, the portability of technology has become more essential than ever.

    Desktop PC’s are larger, heavier and require more wires making them much more difficult to be moved. If you require the ability to work from multiple locations, then a laptop is definitely the option for you.

    Assembly

    Laptops are usually pre-built and are perfect to plug and go once you’ve purchased one. Desktops require a bit more set up so bear this in mind when you are choosing yours.

    If you’re an expert at setting up your own tech, this may not be a consideration. But for those who aren’t, it could be a key factor.

    Sleek Design

    How a device looks isn’t always the selling point, but it’s definitely worth considering if you’re using the device in a room that serves other purposes.

    Laptops have sleek, slimline designs and can be easily hidden away when needed. Even better, they still look modern and stylish if you decide to leave them out on a desk. Desktops are a lot bigger and bulkier than laptops and don’t have the same sleek, thin design that a laptop has.

    Desktops

    Price Options

    If you’re on a budget, desktops are often the cheaper option. Once you’ve bought all the hardware for your desktop. you can upgrade the software regularly to ensure it is fully up to date.

    A laptop can seem cheaper in the first instance but it is harder to upgrade so would potentially need replacing, making a PC more cost effective in some cases. If you don’t want to upgrade for many years then a laptop might be better thanks to its cheaper initial outlay.

    Screen Size

    As a desktop remains in the same place, you can utilise whatever screen size you choose - You can even hook it up to a TV screen!

    Laptops are more limited in this area. You can connect a laptop to a second screen which not only gives you a much bigger one, it means you have two but this ultimately reduces its portability which is one of the key features of buying a laptop in the first place.

    Repair

    Desktops can be easier to repair as they can be easily opened up and parts or new software ordered online. A specific engineer would most likely be required to fix a laptop and parts would need to come from the manufacturer itself which drives the cost up.

  • What tech to get?

    At HST, we have a huge variety of tech and have something for everyone. But how do you know what tech to get and what best suits your needs?

    Whether you’re a gamer, a student or even just an avid online shopper, we’ve got a PC for you. We all use technology, so having the best tech to suit your needs is a huge benefit. Plus, it doesn’t have to cost as much as you might think.

    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!

    The Tech Newbie

    Are you just starting out in the world of technology? We have plenty of suitable options for tech beginners.

    A basic PC will be more than capable to handle whatever you need to use it for – whether that’s browsing the internet, emails or word processing.

    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.

    HST Dell OptiPlex

    Shop the Dell OptiPlex 790 PC here.

    The Tech Lover

    If you are a serious tech lover, we have a range of products that are a great investment for you. When looking for a new PC that is going to fit the bill for a tech lover, it’s essential to purchase a PC that has high performance and is reliable.

    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 your needs perfectly.

    HST Optimus PC

    Take a look at the HST Optimus PC here.

    The Gamers

    At HST, we understand that it’s extremely important that a gaming kit has an excellent specification. That’s why we make sure that we sell great gaming PC’s that are sure to improve the quality of your gaming experience.

    Take a look at the HST F3 Gaming PC with dual screen bundle. It gives everything you would want including keyboard, mouse, headset and two monitors plus it comes in blue or red! It includes a 500GB 3.5" SATA HDD, XUM 8GB DDR3 and Nvidia GT710 2GB graphics card.

    HST Gaming PC Bundle

    Shop the HST F3 Gaming PC with dual screen bundle here.

  • Why should you customise your tech?

    Buying technology can be one of the best purchases if you’re into that sort of thing. Obviously at HST, we are massive fans of all things technical and love nothing more than browsing the latest machines and considering what we would buy next. But for some people it’s a highly daunting prospect and you might truly have no idea where to start. When you start getting asked questions of how much power you want, or how much memory you need, you might be one of those who stares back blankly, unsure what to say.

    Ordering online can sometimes be tricky for these reasons but fortunately at HST, we have excellent support to help ensure that even those with no idea about technology can get the right machine for them. One of the key concerns for a lot of people is overpaying for things that they simply will not use, after being blinded by jargon and convinced they need what is being sold. The problem often comes with buying a standard product straight off the shelf, rather than having something custom-built for you. The perception is often that custom-made products are more expensive but at HST, we are challenging that every day!

    The majority of what we sell is made to order, and we often use refurbished parts before our trained technicians fully test everything. This means that you get excellent value for money as refurbished parts are much cheaper than brand new (without having to compromise on quality) you’ll also get the benefits of customisation. These include:

    You get what you pay for – with a customised machine, there is simply no paying for hardware that you do not need. If you want to upgrade one element, you can do without having to get a machine which is more advanced on every level

    You’ll only have what you need – it would be wasteful to include a load of kit that you’ll never use. Not only would it waste your money, speed or performance might be impacted if you choose to add in things you simply do not need to. There is also a small level of pressure which comes from underusing your technology, that feeling that you should be doing more and more with it. If you don’t need or want to do anything more, you won’t feel guilty if you don’t have the capability in the first place!

    Customised means bespoke built – basically, your machine will not have been rolled off a production line by a robot, but will instead be put together by a qualified and trained technician. They will take great care to ensure your computer is crafted as it should be and works efficiently before certifying it and guaranteeing a 1-year warranty.

    The ability to upgrade / replace – if you find that you do want certain elements upgrading, you will be able to arrange this when you have had a custom-built machine. Equally, if your computer is aging and there are parts which need replacing, you can have this done much more easily.

    When it comes to a customised machine, there is a level of flexibility that simply is not offered by the pre-built tech you order from faceless retailers online or buy within a large chain store. At HST, we are available to chat and as such, can talk you through exactly what you need. We will then create the right computer for you and your requirements whether it be a laptop, desktop or gaming PC. The refurbished nature of them will ensure you get high quality equipment at great value for money, and you’ll have the peace of mind from a 1-year warranty. So when you want some new tech, get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to help.

  • How to stay safe around your tech

    Technology has been both a blessing and saviour over the past twelve months, throughout the various lockdowns and isolation. It has been a way of buying our necessities, entertaining ourselves for hours on end with very little else to do, and critically, it has been a way of keeping in touch with loved ones and the outside world. In short, technology has been a lifesaver for so many and screentime limits have been relaxed everywhere. But with this increased tech usage comes some additional considerations. So we’ve put together this guidance on how to stay safe around your tech in all ways.

    Hygiene

    Of course, we have always been mindful of keeping things clean, but the reality is that a global pandemic of a deadly virus will make us a lot more vigilant and rightly so. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that we consider how many germs our technology can carry and how easily they could infect us. Anything that is taken out of the home such as smart phones, tablets and laptops will need to be disinfected with the appropriate cleaning products. After all, our hands are one of the key carriers of bacteria and viruses so it is wise to do this regularly. With sprays and gels and solutions at your disposal, it is more straightforward than ever to keep your tech and work spaces clean.

    Physical health

    The act of sitting at a desk for hours upon hours at a time can wreak havoc on the musculature and skeletal structures of the body. If you’ve been working from home for an extended period of time, this can be aggravated by inadequate seating or desk set up so it is imperative these problems are remedied as soon as possible. If you’re returning to the office, you can ask for support with a health and safety assessment of your working space. If not, you can usually request these at home. This will help ensure you are sitting in the right position and working in a way that won’t negatively impact you. Having additional monitors can really help this as it prevents you from looking down at a laptop screen which can place stress on the neck and shoulders. Having dual monitors whilst using a desktop can also help with productivity from not having to constantly flit between windows. We sell a huge amount of ‘bundles’, whether it be for working at home or in the office, or even for gaming and these bundles include additional screens, keyboards and mice to help. This Dell Optiplex 990 Monitor Bundle is great value for money at just £299 and includes the extras you need.

    Dell Optiplex 990 Monitor Bundle

    Online safety

    More time spent online inevitably means more exposure to risk, especially for the more vulnerable amongst us. So we need to be mindful to ensure everyone and the technology is as safe as possible. It’s not only a case of avoiding predatory behaviour from individuals, there are so many convincing scams occurring that it can be very easy to fall foul of them. Texts sent to smart phones from seemingly reputable and well-known senders are one of the key offenders so ensure all your loved ones are educated about them and reminded regularly. Your machines themselves are also open to attack from the likes of viruses or hackers so ensure you have the right software installed to prevent against this as much as possible – we can chat to you about it.

     

    Our lifestyles have changed a lot over the past 12 months and a good deal of the changes look set to continue for the foreseeable – certainly how we use the digital world. It has opened up different methods of communication and ways of staying in contact with people, we do more buying online than ever before and we’ve learnt to entertain ourselves in ways that can be educational too. So in many respects, these changes should be here to stay!

    So if you are sold on your tech and know it will play a huge role in your life going forwards, get in touch with us to see how you can get a customised computer that will suit your needs perfectly.

     

  • Why Choose A Refurbished Gaming PC?

    The debate of gaming PCs versus consoles has been solved for a long time - for speed, graphics and storage, both Xbox and Playstation can’t quite compete.

    But higher quality hardware can mean the cost rises too - which is why many gamers are opting for the unrivalled ROI of a refurbished gaming PC.

    From the convenience of a laptop to the processing power of a desktop machine, more and more players are picking customised systems that suit their needs.

    A gaming PC configured to meet individual preferences, without the increased cost of buying brand new, represents real value.

    Refurbished gaming PC

    Refurbished doesn’t mean faulty

    Some users may be reluctant to trust a refurbished gaming PC simply because of the word itself - believing the system may have had something wrong with it.

    In fact, in some cases a PC can be classed as refurbished simply by being ordered by a customer then not actually paid for.

    The most important factor to consider is the reputation and testing standards of the business building your gaming PC.

    Our machines are put together by professionals over several days, to precision standards trusted and positively reviewed by countless customers.

    And aftercare is just as important as initial order fulfilment - our customer service specialists offer impartial advice tailored to suit you and your gaming.

    Plus, by subscribing to our newsletter, you can stay up-to-date with the latest trends in gaming technology, peripherals and latest releases.

    Bag a bundle

    Typically, a refurbished gaming PC package will incorporate everything required to give you the most impressive and immersive experience while playing:

    • NVIDIA GPU (for leading edge speed and task completion)
    • Microsoft DirectX (for stunning cinematic visuals)
    • DDR3 SDRAM (for rapid data transfer rates)
    • Windows 10 OS (including all relevant drivers pre-installed)
    • Durable plastic tower case (with steel mesh for increased air flow)
    • One year warranty as standard
    • Trackable delivery via DPD

    Our refurbished PC bundles showcase the best value tech for enthusiasts who are serious about getting the greatest gaming experience without overspending.

    Many elements of our bundles are customisable, meaning that extra value can be added, including upgrades to further enhance gameplay.

    Find out more

    To talk to a member of our specialist team and discuss what you want from a refurbished gaming PC, get in touch today.

    We’ll be happy to geek out with you over your best options, whether you’re looking to take your first steps into PC gaming or upgrade your current system.

  • Top Three PC Games For Summer 2021

    At the start of the year when we were cold, dark and locked down, we talked about the benefits of taking up PC gaming as a new year’s resolution.

    But with summer coming, the wait is over for several great games to keep your reflexes and problem solving skills sharp, until the days get shorter again.

    Here’s our take on three of the biggest releases of summer 2021 for PC gamers to look forward to.

    Far Cry 6 (release date TBC)

    With an originally planned launch for way back in February, anticipation for this has been building for what seems like an age, XX

    Starring Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito, Far Cry 6 for PC was teased with a chilling cinematic trailer unveiled by game developers Ubisoft last July.

    This frenetic first person shooter looks likely to include hallmarks Far Cry fans love: charismatic characterisation and landscapes that are fictional yet familiar.

    And of course, the main player protagonist should see even more access to makeshift weaponry and new vehicles than previous versions.

    Halo Infinite (release date TBC)

    Another hotly anticipated shooter, this latest instalment in the globally popular Halo series marks the return of hero Master Chief in a multiplayer story.

    Also apparently making another appearance is ‘The Banished’ - a faction first introduced in Halo Wars 2.

    Cross platform play and progression will come as welcome news to any friends you may have that are still yet to embrace the superiority of PC gaming.

    And of course, there are some sweet new weapons to look forward to, with names like ‘Ravager’, ‘Mangler’ and ‘Bulldog’ - we can’t wait!

    Resident Evil 8: Village (out now)

    Another action horror title from Capcom’s hugely popular series sees protagonist Ethan Winter pitted against evils including the notorious ‘Mother Miranda’.

    A gothic twist on the gameplay familiar to fans of Resident Evil 7 (Biohazard), Village continues the story with Winter aiming to find his kidnapped daughter.

    It’s less reliant on the all-out action that blunted the impact of mid timeline RE titles and focuses more on survival and suspense, to great effect.

    Darkly stunning graphics and extra attention paid by developers to perfecting the combat sequences makes for an immersive and atmospheric instalment.

    Refurbished gaming PCs

    These summer blockbuster titles are best enjoyed on a PC that has been tailored to your requirements for the best possible personal gaming experience.

    A refurbished gaming PC can often be customised to suit the needs of any player or game, resulting in unrivalled entertainment that’ll last way beyond summer.

    To talk about configuring your setup without overspending, get in touch with our PC gaming expert team today.

  • Choosing the right laptop

    Buying any kind of computer equipment can seem daunting if you don’t feel like an expert in IT. It’s a considerable financial outlay and the item (or items) will often be used a great deal, for important tasks, so you want to ensure you get it just right.

    The first decision most people have to make is ‘what type of machine do I want?’. This is usually a choice between desktop and laptop so a simple look at when and where you might want to use it will largely make that choice for you. If it’s a desktop you opt for, there are so many different types available, from ones perfect for basic home use, to high-powered office workstations to gaming PCs that will transport you to other worlds.

    So the choice of laptop might seem easy by comparison. But there are several options in this area too and we understand that you might need some help making the right choice for you. Take a look at these key points to consider and if you need some more help, don’t hesitate to contact our expert team who will be happy to help:

    The standard laptop

    Even in today’s tech-obsessed world, there are still a lot of people who will only ever require a ‘basic’ computer. The problem is, so many get convinced they need more power, more memory, better graphics and so on; it’s very easy to get upsold. At HST, we believe in selling the right product to the customer and as such, you’ll only ever pay for what you need. We have a broad range of standard laptops to choose from starting at just £230 for this HP EliteBook 8470P laptop.

    hp-elitebook-8470p

    The multi-function laptop

    Most of us seem to have an array of IT equipment from desktops, to laptops, to tablets, to smart phones and frankly, it would be hard to use all of it to the best of its capability all the time. Fortunately, you can now get hybrid machines which will offer two functions such as this HP EliteBook X360 2-in-1 convertible laptop. It basically doubles as a tablet thanks to its touchscreen abilities and the fact it will fold back on itself too.

    HP EliteBook X360 G2 2-IN-1 Convertible Laptop with Intel i5 processor

    The tailored-to-you laptop

    At HST, we are really mindful of the fact that everyone has different needs and certainly different budgets. That’s why we really try to ensure that we can offer exactly what it is you need so you only pay for something that suits you. This is mainly fulfilled by the fact that we have the ability to add in any extras you might want as we build our laptops to order. That way, we can ensure you have everything you need and won’t pay a penny more for things you don’t need. The prices you see all include everything you require to have a fully functioning laptop, you can just upgrade certain elements as preferred. Take a look at this Dell Latitude E7470 laptop for example which starts at £350. As standard, it includes an Intel i5 6th Generation processor, 4GB DDR and has a HDD capacity of 256GB. But if you’d like more memory, for example an upgrade to an 8GB DDR, this is available for just £34.99 extra.

    dell-latitude-e7470

     

    The benefit of getting a laptop from HST is that we offer refurbished machines so that they are all built according to each individual’s order. This allows us to pass significant cost savings onto the customer in comparison to them buying brand new, but without compromising on quality. Our technicians are fully qualified and every machine is tested and verified prior to being sent out – they also come with 12 months’ warranty to give you complete peace of mind. If you have any more questions, drop us a message on our LiveChat function and we’ll be happy to help.

     

     

  • Your time, spent your way

    The world has been a somewhat strange place lately with many changes for all of us. But it seems as though yet more change is on the horizon in the sense that some things are slowly starting to revert back to normal. Schools have re-opened, more staff are back at the office, a modicum of socialising is permitted, leisure facilities are to welcome people back and before we know it, everything will be ‘back to normal’.

    But it doesn’t have to be. If you have discovered certain hobbies or interests throughout lockdown that you can do from home, there is no obligation to give those up in favour of a return to past routines. Some might have got into crafting. Some might have realised they prefer Netflix to nights out. Others might have discovered a passion for tech or developed an already existing love of it. Whatever your situation, if you don’t want to go immediately back to everything you were doing before, you don’t have to despite any pressure you might feel!

    Regardless of Bank Holidays, sunny weather or whatever other reason you might feel obligated to ‘do things’, stay true to yourself and spend your time, your way. If, like us at HST, that means hours spent on screens, messing with tech, gaming or whatever else then just go for it! So if you are going to continue your love of all things computer-based in the new normal, you might want to take a look at some of our fantastic kit. We have something for everyone, no matter what you want to do.

    Ready Player One

    One of the most fun and exciting ways to pass your time on a computer is to get into the gaming world. If you have yet to try this, it’s advisable to go for one of the more entry-level machines in case you don’t get into it completely (which is unlikely), and you can even use a high-powered desktop if you so desire. However, we would always recommend a machine dedicated solely to gaming and given some start from as little as £269, you can give it a go without too much outlay. Consider this HST F3 G Series. It comes in a few colours, all of which start with 8GB RAM, a 500GB HDD and a GT710 NVIDIA graphics card but you can upgrade many of the elements too.

    HST F3 G Series

    Portability and versatility

    If you’ve got into TV series and films a little more, you might want to watch these on a tablet device or even on the move (for the times when you HAVE to go out!). You can always buy a separate tablet but if you need a laptop too, this can start to get very costly. Instead, you could consider something like the HP EliteBook X360 1030 G2 2-IN-1 convertible laptop. It has an Intel i5 7th Generation processor meaning it will be very quick to complete any demands you place on it. Starting from £499, it’s great value given the spec and functionality it offers. And did we mention it looks great too?!

    HP EliteBook X360 G2 2-IN-1 Convertible Laptop with Intel i5 processor HP EliteBook X360 1030 G2 2-IN-1 Convertible LaptopHP EliteBook X360 1030 G2 2-IN-1 Convertible Laptop i5 (7th Gen)

    Work work work

    We all know the saying that ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’. So don’t depress yourself by choosing your tech based purely on what it can do for your professional life – we have bundles that can be great for your personal life too! This Dell OptiPlex 7020 bundle comes with two monitors, a mouse and keyboard and has all the tech spec you need for work and play. It’s reduced to £314.99 so you’re snapping up a bargain with all this kit so you might even have some budget to upgrade any of the elements you want to get a little more out of. Just speak to us and we will be happy to advise you on what will suit your needs the best.

    Dell OptiPlex 7020 bundle

    Of course, there is much more to our range than just what we’ve talked about here. So drop us a line and we’ll be able to guide you to the best solution for you. We are the experts in all things tech, offer high quality products at an affordable cost thanks to many of them being refurbished and most machines can be built to your spec. There really is no need to go anywhere other than HST for your kit so you can pass your time doing exactly what you love.

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