Watch and learn on May 14th: HP Expert Day

On May 14th, we’re going to teach you to fish – tech support-wise. For the first time ever, HP Experts will host live videos on YouTube discussing topics you, the customers, have asked about again and again.  This is fantastic for two reasons: Not only will you get great walkthroughs to solve tech issues on your own, but you’re also getting a ringside seat to see everything that these products are capable of doing.

Labels: how-to| support

Best games for benchmarking your PC

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As new machines come in, I do my best to get a little quality one-on-one time with these new PCs (ESPECIALLY our gaming-grade PCs). I yank em out of the box, do the optimizational rain dance of configuring the PC and write about my results here on the blog. A couple weeks back, I laid out some quick tips for tweaking your gaming rig. Today, let’s take that next step: Using games to benchmark your PC.

Labels: how-to

Tuning up your HP PC: Leave the work to us!

You’ve had a secret weapon sitting on your HP computer for years – YEARS! – and you didn’t even realize it. The HP Support Assistant is a vital app that we’ve put on machines since fall, 2009. It’s helping run things in the background, assure you’ve got the latest driver updates for your hardware – it’s even your shortcut hotline to get customer support. Want to learn more about it? Sure you do....keep reading!

Labels: how-to| support

Windows 8.1 Update: Why you should get it now!

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You upgraded to Windows 8.1. You got a front row seat here on TheNextBench as we walked you through the ins-and-outs of stuff like the new Windows shortcuts, the tweaked start screensmarter searches and more. You’re done, right? Not quite. Microsoft continues to iterate and improve upon what’s already on your HP computer. Enter “Windows 8.1 Update (KB2919355)” or, as I like to call it, “The Update.” Keep reading to learn more about how this update is exactly what Keyboard / mouse users have been waiting for...

Labels: how-to

Flip your PC screen - go vertical for a change

At some point we all got sold on widescreen. That awesome 16:9 (or 16:10) aspect ratio gets the most out of your movies and games. Hey, more screen real estate, bigger screens – what’s not to love? Problem is, a lot of the content you look at these days doesn’t always work that way. Whether you’re at the office or goofing around online at home, it’s all about flipping the script. And the screen. Think about it. How do you usually hold a tablet when you’re reading? Two-handing it, landscape style? Or with one hand? No matter how you look at it, HP’s actually been thinking about this very thing for years. What got me yapping about this on HP’s blog: Mashable’s  Jason Abbruzzesse. Keep reading and I’ll explain where I’m going with this.

Labels: how-to| trend

HOW TO: Make your laptop a gaming laptop


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If you wanted to, you can pour a metric ton of money into a laptop and make it a game-ready mobile monsterlike one of these gaming-grade laptops). Go ahead, I’m not going to stop you. However, since Intel released the Haswell processors, the game has changed. Many smaller machines that couldn’t even run some games in the past are now perfectly viable for gaming – provided you adjust your settings and expectations. If you want some suggested laptop builds and how to tweak them when you get home, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading…..

Labels: gaming| how-to

HOW TO: Improve laptop game performance


Don’t know about you, but when I get a new PC, I try to tweak settings to goose a little extra performance out of games. If you’re like me, here’s a handy checklist of what I do right after unboxing. It goes without saying that some of these tips are about digging deeper into the guts of your laptop. If you’re not comfortable with changing settings or removing services and files, don’t try these tips. For everyone else: LET’S GET NERDY!

Labels: gaming| how-to

How to Prepare your PC for Titanfall

titanfall screenshot.jpgLast night, at Midnight, the first big next-gen game launched for the PC and Xbox One - Titanfall. Like some nerdy New Years ball drop, servers and computers lit up to play without a hitch all over the globe. Here’s the good news: You don’t need a killer system to play the game. In fact, a modest machine will do you just fine....learn all about tweaking your PC to play right here.

Labels: gaming| how-to

A Windows 8.1 tale (and tips)

Not too long ago, I posted about why HP was selling Windows 7 PCs again. The Cliff’s Notes version: To give our customers a choice. But something interesting happened in the comments: Users came pouring out with their stories – how they felt about Windows 7 and 8. Even now, months after the release of Windows 8.1 update, I'm seeing people comment about an update they hadn’t really fully tested out for themselves. Well, I was inspired to share a bunch of tips, observations from my day-to-day use – and my in-laws’ collective two cents.

Labels: how-to

Search EVERYTHING with Bing Smart Search

One of the most striking updates to come with Windows 8.1 has got to be the system-level integration of Bing’s new search engine, Smart Search. Put simply, Bing Smart Search is search rethought. Start trying to look for a file and you aren’t just tooling around your PC – it’s helping you explore the insides of your computer as well as what’s online right now.


Labels: how-to| HP 411

8.1 reasons to go with Windows 8.1

When Windows 8 launched last year, it flipped the script on how you look at your desktop – and your Start button. Now, with the big, recent update to Windows 8.1 there are a LOT of reasons to like what’s new. Here are some of our favorites:

Labels: how-to| HP 411

A new “Start” with Windows 8.1

Get a closer look at how to make the most of Windows 8.1 - and make your desktop rock.

Labels: how-to| HP 411

Get in Touch with HP and Windows 8

Windows 8.1 is all about touch. HP knows touch like nobody’s business – we’ve been in the game making touch-screen computers since 1983. Seriously. Rather than bury you with a whole history lesson, though, we wanted to give you a handy infographic you can pass along to those in need.

Labels: how-to| HP 411

Tweaks for Call of Duty: Ghosts

COD Ghosts - ENVY RECLINE - banner.jpgJust last week, I kicked your sorry butts in boot as Battlefield 4 deployed. Now, it’s time for your next tour of the latest digital battleground – Call of Duty: Ghosts is out. Provided you got the right kind of machine, we’re going to get you locked and loaded with all sorts of tips that I’ve amassed from all over the Internet. You ready?!?! WE ARE OSCAR MIKE!

Labels: gaming| how-to

Building your perfect ENVY 15 laptop

envy 15 laptop - banner.jpgI get a lot of questions from readers – and family, quite frankly – where they are looking to trick out their perfect laptop. Problem is, there’s no one perfect answer for everyone. But something is safe to assume: If you’re eyeballing a 15-inch laptop, you are likely looking for a good all-around workhorse. I went to the HP shopping site and specced-out my perfect ENVY 15 laptop. Keep reading if you want to hear my thought process.


Labels: how-to

Need to print in Mavericks? HP’s here to help

Recently, the tech world was buzzing about the announcement of the free Apple OS X Mavericks upgrade. 

Lucky for you, it was also announced that HP printers and peripherals running OS X Mavericks will remain compatible— with no extra work on your end. HP has made a commitment to support our customers on whatever computer they choose: we are providing print drivers for more than 1,500 HP peripherals worldwide using Apple Software Update.

Labels: how-to| support

Battlefield 4: Tweaks – and tech explained

bf4 - envy 27 display - banner.jpgALL RIGHT MAGGOTS, LISTEN UP. We’re skipping boot and going straight to why you came here today (or clicked on a link to get to this article): Battlefield 4. It came out this week. War may not be pretty, but this game sure is – and, I’m willing to be you want this game to look its shiniest. You want to get the most out of your PC to play this game and have it look pretty at the same time? Just keep reading! That’s notsomuch an order….as it is a request.


Labels: gaming| how-to

Getting the perfect gaming PC

building a gaming PC - banner.jpgSo I got this email the other day from the in-laws. Let’s just call her “Sally” – she promised to buy her kid a gaming computer this year for his birthday. Well, that 365th day is almost upon us and she comes to me for advice: “Speed? Memory? Graphics card? Components? I’ve heard these words but I don't know how much of any are required. What are the right upgrades needed for a desktop, so ‘Kevin’ can play his games and do his homework for the next couple of years?” I started writing an email then I realized, there’s way more here to this than a quick email reply. So…read on for my two cents on the modern gaming PC. And Sally: You’re welcome.

Labels: gaming| how-to

SmartFriend: Avoid being family tech support

Every family or circle of friends has one: The go-to tech genius. Tag, you’re it. The family tech genius is always on call, even on Labor Day weekend to solve every single family fiasco. It goes something like this: "Did you turn the computer on?" or simply walk Mom or Dad through a maze of commands that seem like ancient code to everyone else. Confuse the folks. Calm yourself down. Start all over again.

Labels: how-to| services

Ways to Avoid Hard Drive Horror

It’s Friday the 13th. You know what that means – black cats, knife-wielding hockey-masked maniacs….and…..hard drive crashes?!? Hey, that sounds like a horror story to me. What if you’ve lost those 500+ selfies you forgot to backup from your phone? Why didn’t you print out those witty essays on hip hop, microbreweries and urban farms? Where are all your passwords?

Labels: how-to
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