Best USB Bluetooth Adapter for Windows 10

Wireless technology allows one or several computers to connect to printers, copiers, and other devices without needing to string cable across a room. Most new desktops and laptops can connect devices wirelessly through Bluetooth technology with a Bluetooth antenna built into the computer.

However, if your system doesn’t have a Bluetooth antenna, you can still connect it by finding the best USB Bluetooth adapter for Windows 10 for your desktop or laptop.

Best USB Bluetooth Adapter for Windows 10: Comparison Table

PRODUCT

IMAGE

WHERE TO BUY

Techkey USB bluetooth adapter

techkey usb bluetooth adapter

HIGHEVER USB Bluetooth 4.0 Adapter

Mpow USB Bluetooth 4.0 Adapter

Avantree USB Bluetooth 4.0 Adapter For PC

ZEXMTE USB Bluetooth Adapter

Kinivo BDT 400 USB Bluetooth Adapter

Plugable USB Bluetooth Adapter

Asus 4.0 USB Bluetooth Adapter

Sabrent USB Bluetooth Adapter

Rocketek USB Bluetooth 4.0 PC Adapter

How We Chose Our Ratings

To find the best USB Bluetooth adapters, we read about each choice and the reviews and testimonials from people who bought them to find the list of the best ones to recommend to our readers. We then gave each device a star rating from one to five stars, with five being the best, to help people choose the best adapter for their Windows 10 system.

Top 10 - Best USB Bluetooth Adapter For Windows 10

Here are the 10 adapters that we found to connect Bluetooth to a Windows 10 laptop or desktop.

TECHKEY Bluetooth 4.0 Adapter for PC  4.5 Stars

Whether you have a laptop or desktop PC that needs a Bluetooth dongle, you can use this TECHKEY USB Bluetooth 4.0 adapter on either type of device.


It provides support for Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, and Linux systems that don’t have it. Additionally, it adds Bluetooth 4.0 support for Low Energy Bluetooth technology for Windows 8, 8.1, and 10.

The adapter is compact and can be left in a laptop while traveling with it. It will connect to a variety of devices like headsets, keyboards, mice, speakers, and others. It is also compatible with Ubuntu and Raspbian for Raspberry Pi. This device will not work with Mac systems, TVs, or car stereos.


It provides a Bluetooth signal up to 33 feet away, and it has a data transfer rate of three Mbps with EDS or Enhanced Data Support.

HIGHEVER USB Bluetooth 4.0 Adapter

If you need to add Bluetooth to your desktop or laptop PC, this adapter can do that for Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP, and Windows 2000.

It is also compatible with Linux laptop and desktop computers, as well as Raspberry Pi. It does not work with Mac OS, TVs, or car stereos.

The data transfer speed on this adapter is three Mbps, and it has a working range of 33 feet. It should be connected through a USB 2.0 port as USB 3.0 can cause some interference. It will connect to several Bluetooth devices and services like:

  • Keyboards
  • Speakers
  • Headphones
  • Mice
  • Printers
  • Skype
  • Music Streaming
  • Google Hangouts

This Bluetooth 4.0 adapter uses the latest Low Energy technology, and it is backward compatible with Bluetooth versions 3.0, 2.1, 2.0 and 1.1. HIGHEVER offers a 24-month warranty on this device.

Mpow USB Bluetooth 4.0 Adapter

Add Bluetooth connectivity to your desktop or laptop computer by installing this USB Bluetooth 4.0 adapter. It is compatible with 32- and 64-bit Windows computers, versions 10, 8.1, 8. 7. Vista, and XP.

It does not work with iOS or Mac OS, car stereos, or TVs.

It has a wireless range of up to 33 feet, and it provides high-speed data and audio transmissions. It works with USB 2.0, and it is compatible with USB 1.1. It has low power consumption, so it won't use up too much energy when it is connecting your system to Bluetooth devices. The adapter has an indicator light to let you know when it Is working.

It connects to Bluetooth devices like:

  • Smartphones
  • Headsets
  • Keyboards
  • Mice
  • Headphones
  • Speakers

It does not support mics, HP Elite Book, or Wi-Fi Pinter. It is also compatible with the XBOX One S and PS3/4 Controllers.

Avantree USB Bluetooth 4.0 Adapter For PC Or Laptop Computers 

If you need a Bluetooth dongle for your Windows 10 laptop or desktop PC, the Avantree USB adapter is an Amazon's Choice device.

It is also compatible with Windows 8.1, 8, 7, and Windows Vista systems. It is compatible with a wide range of Bluetooth devices, although it will not work with 2.4G devices like a mouse.

For Windows 10 and 8, it is a plug and play device. You need to plug it into an available USB port, and it will install itself. However, for other Windows systems, you will need to add the driver from Avantree’s support site or the install it from the CD that comes with the device. 

This dongle comes with 24-months of support and warranty. You can choose to buy a dongle just for Windows 10, or they have one available for all compatible versions of Windows.

ZEXMTE USB Bluetooth Adapter

This ZEXMTE USB Bluetooth adapter is Amazon’s Choice for a Bluetooth desktop adapter. It is a Bluetooth v4.0 dongle that is compatible with Windows 10, 8.1, 8. 7, XP, and Vista.

It does not work with TVs, Mac OS systems, or car stereos. It is not compatible with 2.4G wireless technology.

For Windows 10, 8.1, and 8, the adapter is plug and play, but for Windows 7 and prior versions, a driver needs to be added to connect Bluetooth to your desktop. The dongle uses the latest Low Energy Bluetooth technology, and it is compatible with other Bluetooth versions, including 3.0, 2.1, 2.0, and 1.

Although most Bluetooth devices will connect to your system once the adapter is in place, some products like the Bose QC35 require a special driver downloaded to your system before it can connect. It connects from far away as 33 feet, and it runs at a speed of 3Mpbs.

Kinivo BTD-400 Low Energy Bluetooth 4.0 Adapter 

Kinivo’s BTD-400 dongle helps to connect your desktop or laptop to Bluetooth devices like headphones, printers, stereo speakers, and smartphones.

Along with new Bluetooth devices, it is also compatible with older equipment that accepts low energy technology Bluetooth v4.0.

It is compatible with both 32- and 64-bit Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, and XP. It is also compatible with Raspberry Pi and Linux systems that do not have built-in Bluetooth. It provides plug and play installation for Windows 10, 8.1, and 8, and the driver for all other Windows versions, plus Raspberry Pi. The wireless range for Raspberry is 10 meters or 30 feet.

The company offers a two-year warranty on the device and the support for the adapter is based in the United States.

Plugable USB Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy Micro Adapter

The tiny dongle with Plugable allows your Windows 10, 8.1, 8, or Windows 7 computer to use Bluetooth connectivity available on many devices.

It is also compatible with Ubuntu, Mint, Fedora, and other Linux computers.

While it is plug and play for most versions of Windows, special drivers will need to be added for Windows 7 to use it with Bose devices like the QC35 and others. This adapter will not work on Mac computers, for TVs, or in cars.

The company offers a full one-year warranty on the adapter, and its email support is in the US.

ASUS USB Bluetooth 4.0 Adapter

This ASUS USB Bluetooth adapter is compatible with several versions of Windows including:

  • Windows 10
  • Windows 8, 32- and 64-bit
  • Windows 7, 32- and 64-bit
  • Windows XP, 32- and 64-bit

It supports USB 2.0 and Bluetooth v4.0. For Windows 10, the adapter is plug and play as the OS will automatically recognize it, but for the other versions of Windows, the driver needs to be installed to use Bluetooth on the system.

It also supports Bluetooth Low Energy devices to reduce power consumption. It has full backward compatibility with Bluetooth v3.0, 2.1, and 2.0, so it can connect to a wide variety of devices using Bluetooth connectivity.

Sabrent USB Bluetooth 4.0 Micro Adapter

This small adapter allows you to add Bluetooth technology to your Windows 10, 8.1, or 8 desktop or laptop.

It uses Bluetooth Low Energy Technology to save on power consumption when you’re using a Bluetooth device like a printer, headset, smartphone, or mouse.

Although this is Bluetooth version 4.0, it is also compatible with v3.0, 2.1, 2.0, and 1.1. Along with being compatible with Windows computers, this Bluetooth adapter is compatible with Linux systems as well.

Sabrent offers a 1-year warranty on the adapter, but if you register it within the first 90-days, then they will extend the warranty to two years for free.  

Rocketek USB Bluetooth 4.0 PC Adapter 

Rocketek offers a Low Energy USB Bluetooth adapter that is compatible with Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP.

It is plug and play for Windows versions 7 and above, but you will need to download Bluetooth drivers for Windows XP and Vista.

This adapter will work with both desktop and laptop PC with these Windows versions. You can connect seven devices with one adapter like speakers, printers, headsets, phones, and more. It has a wireless range of 30 feet or 10 meters.

Along with having the latest Bluetooth v4.0 Class 2 low energy technology, the adapter also works with older Bluetooth devices. The tiny adapter carries a 12-year manufacturer’s warranty. Rocketek also offers an adapter compatible with Linux OS and an EDR wireless receiver for Bluetooth.

How To Use A Bluetooth Adapter

Image via Freepik

Setting up a Windows 10 computer with Bluetooth is a simple task because Windows 10 has the necessary drivers for connecting it to the software. An adapter, also known as a dongle, is the hardware that is necessary to connect to Bluetooth. All you need to do is plug the adapter into a free USB port and then pair the Bluetooth devices to your system.

However, before buying an adapter, you need to know which Bluetooth version to buy. To use a system with Windows 10, you will need an adapter that has Bluetooth 3.0 or 4.0 on it. Otherwise, it may not connect the devices to your system. Also, to make sure it has the drivers on your system, go into the Device Manager to check for a Bluetooth Network Connection.

If the computer has that listed, you are ready to plug the adapter into an available USB port and start pairing your devices. If you don’t have any open USB ports, you can buy a USB hub or expansion card to get one to use.

Some of the devices you can pair to your computer using Bluetooth connectivity include:

  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Speakers
  • Headset
  • Printers
  • Copiers
  • Scanners

Pairing Devices With Windows

To pair one of these devices to your Windows computer once the adapter is plugged in, you need to place the device in “Discovery” mode. With a headset, keyboard, or speaker, there is usually a button you can press and hold down for a moment that will start the device seeking the Bluetooth connection.

Once some devices are turned on, they will automatically go into a Discovery mode. Many of these devices have an indicator light that tells you if it is in Discovery mode.

In Windows, you can help devices find the PC by going into the Control Panel and changing the Bluetooth settings. Click "Change Bluetooth Settings" and then, "Allow Bluetooth devices to find this PC."

Once the Bluetooth device discovers your computer, a small Bluetooth icon should appear, or you can go to the Control Panel to manage Bluetooth devices to ensure the printer, headset, or whatever the device happens to be is listed there.

Image via Freepik

Buyers Guide

The best USB Bluetooth adapter for Windows 10 is a plug and play device, so when you connect it to the USB port, it will detect the Bluetooth Network, and you can start connecting the Bluetooth devices you have to your computer.

However, if you have certain versions of Windows, such as 7, XP, or Vista, then you will need to download drivers to use Bluetooth. Also, check to make sure your USB port is 2.0. A USB 3.0 port can infer with the signal, and you may not be able to use your Bluetooth devices with that type of port.

Knowing which Bluetooth and USB versions to look for can save a lot of frustration when trying to use wireless devices with your desktop or laptop computer.

Best Torrent Program For Windows 10

Since the rise of music and movie sharing sites that skirted the grey areas of the legal system, torrents and peer-to-peer (P2P) filesharing may seem like dirty words to many people. However, torrents and torrent programs are just tools, and they have their uses. Many companies use them to share large files while some use torrents to share large software downloads to save money.

It’s much cheaper to use P2P sharing if hundreds of people download your software each week. The bandwidth costs alone on such a thing can get pretty expensive. So many companies have opted to use P2P sharing via torrents and torrent software as a way to offset this cost. The popular Linux distribution Ubuntu uses torrents, but they give you the option of using a direct download as well.

There are some security risks involved if you participate in P2P sharing and you may end up paying a little more for bandwidth since it uses your computer and internet connection to serve the files to others once you download it. Your computer becomes part of the sharing network, but no one can see your data. The torrent handles that part. All anyone else knows if they're getting the files.

If you think using P2P filesharing or torrent software makes you a pirate, those days have passed, and it's safe to assume no one will question you for using this technology. Well, provided you don’t download anything you shouldn’t or didn’t pay for in the first place. That said, the next trick is finding reliable torrent software that’s easy to use and not cluttered with ads.

We’ve done most of the research for you on which torrent programs are the best to use with Windows 10. Most of them are free which is a bonus. However, free software often comes with ads and those ads can get pretty intrusive. We searched for software that met specific criteria including minimal advertising. Ranked from most to least significant, this is how we graded each torrent program:

  • Minimal or no advertising inside the software
  • Reliability and ease of use including a simple installation
  • User opinions and reviews
  • The cost of the software if there is a cost

A tiny ad in the corner or something of that nature is acceptable, but some software is prone to splashing large ads that cover your screen and won’t go away. None of the torrent programs for Windows 10 on our list use intrusive or annoying advertising schemes. This was a critical part of the selection process since we found that most torrent software includes a lot of ads.

The software must be reliable and easy to use. That translates into an easy installation and a basic configuration out of the box. They should all work immediately after installation without you needing to setup anything unless you want to change some things to suit your needs. Safety and security are also part of this section since the software allows for random remote connections to your computer.

Customer opinions play an important role in selecting anything that goes on a best of or top 10 type list. The people that regularly use the software are its reputation, so we listen to them. Since most of the torrent programs that made the cut are free, so the price wasn't a significant concern during the research and selection process.

Only one of the torrent programs on our list of the best torrent programs for Windows 10 comes with a price tag attached to it. Vuze, which you can read about below, offers a free and paid version. The paid version removes the ads, so it’s technically free if you don’t mind the tiny ad in the corner. For these reasons, the cost of the software didn’t play a role in our selection process.

The Best Torrent Programs

You can pretty much rely on the order these programs got listed in starting with our favorite. We included our favorites first and worked down the list to the honorable mentions. They all work well and will get the job done, but some got higher marks from users or came with added features that gave them a little edge over their competition.

This is arguably the best torrent program for Windows 10, MacOS, and Linux. It’s free and open-source but contains no ads or any annoying addon software. It’s a complete solution that works immediately after installation. All you have to do is tell it where to find the files you want to download and wait until it’s finished.

One thing that gave this torrent program an advantage over the others on the list is the installation and setup process. It’s simple and adds an exception to Window’s firewall for you. Windows firewall is notorious for complaining about torrent programs and ignoring their requests to connect to other computers. This small bonus feature saves time and reduces stress for less experienced users.

You can add URLs to the program manually or let it set itself up as the default application for torrent files. If you choose the latter, when you click on a torrent link online it will automatically open in qBittorrent and begin downloading based on your current configuration. Many other torrent programs expect you to set up any file associations after installation, so this is another nice bonus perk.

One of the best features this software comes with is the simple interface. Everything you need to know is on one screen from download time remaining to any errors that may pop up. You can click on anything that's currently downloading or in the queue to download and see all the information about that link at the bottom of the application window.

This torrent program almost made the top of the list as the best torrent program for Windows 10. It’s free and doesn’t contain any ads. Like qBittorrent, it’s a complete torrent tool that works immediately after installation with minimal setup required. It’s been around since 2006 which is a good indication it works, and the developers plan to keep making it better.

The main reasons it didn’t come in at number one is that it doesn’t add a firewall rule for you, and it has trouble making itself the default torrent program for Windows 10. Granted, the problem with making itself the default is likely Window’s fault, but we can’t be sure since other torrent programs seem to handle the job without error.

You can add URLs manually or open your Window’s settings and add it as the default application for torrents. The process for doing this varies depending on which Windows version you have due to Microsoft’s strange update schedule. That said, a minute or two of searching online will net you a dozen guides on how to set Deluge as your default torrent program.

The interface for Deluge is similar to qBittorrent and everything in on one screen. You can click through each current download or queued download to see all the details about it at the bottom of the screen. It handles errors better than most torrent programs, and it'll seek solutions for you like updating trackers or restarting a download if it fails. You can adjust or turn these features off in the settings.

This torrent program made the list in spite of serving ads to you while it's running. The adds are small and confined to the bottom left corner of the screen, so they aren't annoying or in the way. There's a paid version that's ad-free and allows you to burn CDs and DVDs directly from the device. As of this writing, it was on sale for $9.99.

During installation, this software tries to add a firewall exception and configure your file associations automatically. It works for Windows 10 Pro, but users that installed it on Windows 10 Home Edition had issues. Many of them reported the firewall rule got added, but they had to configure Vuze as their default torrent program manually.

Aside from the ads and the small issues with installation, this torrent program makes adding URLs manually a breeze. If you configured it as the default torrent program for Windows, torrents you click on with automatically open in Vuze and begin downloading or waiting in the download queue. You can download multiple torrents at once, but this practice may increase download times.

Whether you use the free version or the paid version, the interface is simple and contains all the information you need on one screen. You can scroll through each torrent to see specifics about each link including download times and any connected peers. Vuze takes steps to scan downloads for common malicious software as well. This is a feature other torrent programs lack.

This torrent program is vastly different from any of the others on our list. It’s free and got started as a research project at the Delft University of Technology. It technically has its own department there where Ph.D. students work on the project. It’s the result of the work of three academic generations of students. Its purpose is to act as a torrent client while taking steps to protect your privacy.

We added it to the list because privacy awareness is growing among internet users and Tribler offers a way to protect your privacy while using a P2P network. It won’t protect you from governments and law enforcement but aims to guard against people that try to hitchhike on torrents and get into your computer. This technique is one of several layer-based attacks hackers seem to be adopting.

Aside from the unique privacy features, Tribler works like any other torrent client with some bonuses like a search feature and channels. Many common files that use the BitTorrent protocol, like Ubuntu, can be found using Tribler’s search feature, so you don’t need to use a web browser or any other method to find these files; Tribler can find them and download them for you.

It offers the same features you'd expect to find including the ability to add URLs for downloading manually. The interface design is clean, and everything is easy to find. However, if you want to see specific download information, you'll get forced into a new screen for details. That's a minor fault since it adds a step to checking on your downloads, but its one that's easy to accept.

A Torrent User’s Buyer’s Guide

Since most of the torrent software we reviewed is free, the real choice comes down to what features you need or want to use. That said, with the exception of a few minor installation problems, most of these torrent clients look and act the same. They all feature a one screen interface that gives you all the information you may want at a glance.

However, we recommend trying qBittorrent fist since it is free and doesn't contain ads. It beats the competition but only in some very minor ways like adding firewall rules without failing. If you remove all the other features and just consider user reviews and comments, qBittorrent still wins the tops spot. So, try it first and see if it does what you need before you delve into torrent programs that feature ads.

If you’re concerned about privacy, try Tribler. It doesn't protect you if you use is for foul purposes. Its goal is to give you some protection against layer-based attacks and snooping ISPs. Keep in mind it downloads files much slower than other torrent programs because it uses an anonymity feature similar to Tor. In short, your files make several more stops along the way to confuse prying eyes.

Some Final Notes

Whether you need privacy or speed, one of these excellent torrent programs will work for you. If you’re wondering why we didn’t include some of the popular torrent programs that pop up at the top of search engine results, they’re riddled with ads. Even the torrent programs developed by the developers of BitTorrent comes with ads. We’re sure any of the torrent programs on our list will suffice.

Turn off hibernation in Windows 10

So, the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book have had some growing pains. One of the more annoying issues has been that the Surface isn’t sleeping “deeply” enough and is draining its battery when it shouldn’t be.

Microsoft is working on a patch for this problem, but the Surface’s sleeping mode should, instead, configure it to hibernate. They claim doing so will mitigate the issue until they get the patch out.

However, there is a problem with using the hibernate option.

You see, when your Surface (or any other Windows-based computer) hibernates, it dumps the contents of the RAM into a file on the hard drive called hiberfil.sys. As a result, this file may be quite large (multiple GigaBytes), and, if you’re low on disk space already, can strongly impact performance.

If you want to see how big your hiberfil.sys file is, you can find it on the root of your C:\ drive. It’s hidden, so you’ll need to change your Windows Explorer view to allow you to see hidden and system files.

How to Enable Hibernation on a Computer

Though we are talking about the glitches that come along with sleep and Windows hibernation mode and how to disable it, these issues may not be a problem for you. If this is the case, Windows’ hibernation mode can be a good option. We will walk you through how to enable this mode on your Windows 10 device. Thankfully, this is a straightforward process.

  1. First, you will want to select the Start Menu Shortcut and X keys. This duo will open the Power User menu.
  2. From here, choose the Command or Admin Prompt.
  3. Type in “poweroff/availablesleepstates” and select it by choosing Enter.
  4. Your computer should tell you that these sleep states are now available on your system.

Here is another option to use if the hibernate mode is not on the menu:

  1. Select the Windows Start Menu and X button once again.
  2. Choose Power Options.
  3. To get to these options, choose the Require a Password Upon Wakeup option.
  4. Choose to change the Available Settings. This will help you modify your settings and select Hibernation.
  5. From here, select the Hibernate option. Then you can save your changes.
  6. Now, the Hibernation mode will be available in your Power Menu with a simple click of the Windows key.

If you want to manually choose the time of hibernation:

  • Go to the Advanced Option after selecting Power from the Startup control panel.
  • Opt to change the Advanced Power Settings.
  • Then choose Sleep, Hibernate.
  • On Battery and Plugged in, you are given the ability to change the times you want the device to hibernate in Windows automatically.
  • Once finished, click Apply and then select Okay to save the new settings.

Turn off hibernation in Windows 10: How To Do It

Disabling the hibernate option on your Surface is pretty easy. In fact, you only need to run one command. However, you’ll need to do it from an admin command prompt.

  • Tap and hold (right-click) the Start Button.
  • Select Command Prompt (Admin) from the list.
  • Enter the following command power cfg -h off then hit Enter.

That’s it. The hibernation option will disappear and, perhaps more importantly, the (potentially gigantic) hiberfil.sys file will be removed from your hard drive.

Turn Off Hibernation In Windows 10: Is There Something Else I Should Do Instead?

Personally, I recommend that instead of setting your Surface to hibernate instead of sleep, you simply configure it to do a full shutdown. Doing so will not only prevent a multi-GigaByte file from appearing on your (potentially full) drive, it will also let you avoid the battery drain while sleeping problems.

Even if you have an SP3 or earlier, I still recommend configuring it to power off instead of sleeping or hibernating since it can extend your battery life between charges and it frees up a couple of GB on your Surface’s hard drive.

The trade-off is that it will take a little longer for your Surface to be ready when you hit the power button, but it’ll only be about 10 seconds. It’s your call but, for me, longer battery life and extra drive space are totally worth the slight delay. I should probably add that shutting down also means that you won’t be able to start your Surface with a click of the Pen – if that’s important to you, then you shouldn’t shut down your Surface when it’s in sleep mode.

Turn Off Hibernation In Windows 10: How To Troubleshoot

Of course, there is always the possibility that your Surface’s sleep problems are not related to the well-known bug. If you want to make sure and verify, see our other posts on the topic:

Turn Off Hibernation In Windows 10: Other Things That Could Be Draining Your Battery

Aside from the other things that could be draining your battery listed in the articles above, there are plenty of lesser-known things that could be hindering battery life preservation during daily use of your Windows 10 device. If you want to find out precisely what is going on with the battery, check your Windows Battery Saver utility. In the meantime, here are some helpful tips to help you tackle the issue.

1. Dim Your Lights

The biggest battery sucker is undoubtedly your display. Regardless of what device you have, this will always be true. The work that goes into powering up the lighting and pixels takes a lot of battery power out of your computer. To help conserve battery with your display, begin by keeping your brightness lower than usual. There is typically a perfect neutral spot. You can even set it to automatically adjust the light, which could definitely help your battery life!

2. Allow it to Sleep

If you do not have issues with hibernation or sleep mode, this could be a good option for you. If you are anything like me, you may do a bit of work and then decide to get up for a quick snack or a cup of coffee. By the time you get back, you have gotten caught up in cleaning the kitchen, walking the dog, and making a three-course meal. If that sounds like you, then it’s just another reason that setting specific sleep modes may be your best option.

Choose the Computer or Display Sleep Options for your device if you tend to allow it to sit for long periods of time. You can find the detailed tutorial on how to choose a certain amount of time for it to sit without being used before it sleeps above.

3. Unplug Battery Suckers

Take out any plugged-in devices or cords, as well as anything else that is unnecessarily inserted into your computer. Leaving these in is doing nothing but draining your battery.

4. Deselect Bluetooth and Wi-Fi

You may think leaving your Bluetooth or Wifi on is harmless, but did you know they are always searching to connect to a network when on? That means your laptop is working overtime, nonstop! Turn these features off when you are not using them.

5. Turn It off When Not in Use

It is unwise for your computer to remain on continuously. If it is not in use all night while you sleep or you don’t use it during the workday, keep it turned off during those hours. Leaving it on 24/7  wears it down, and that is not worth leaving it on for a tiny bit of added convenience in regards to startup time.

Hopefully, you will find our suggestions useful and experience success with any battery problems you’re having. Turning off hibernation mode is a good option, but I would consider it a temporary workaround rather than a solution.

 

Manual Disk Cleanup: How To Find Out What Is Taking Up Your Hard Drive Space In Windows 10

Have you deleted old Operating System files, removed local copies of OneDrive, and even emptied the trash on your Surface, only to find your hard drive to still be nearly full? Are you at your wit’s end trying to figure out what is taking up your hard drive space in Windows 10? Or do you simply want to do an excellent manual disk cleanup and optimize storage?

Then you’re not alone.

Many of our readers are reporting that since switching to Windows 10 on their Surface, they seem to be running out of space more often. If you’ve already done all the other things we’ve recommended, like delete old files left over from the upgrade, or set your OneDrive to only keep files, and you still see this problem, don’t worry. Help is on the way to help you optimize storage!

Windows 10 includes several improved settings that allow you to identify what is taking up your hard drive easily, so you can perform thorough manual disk cleanup.

How to Fix “Startup Disk is Almost Full” Error

This error code is an indicator that there is some work to be done freeing up disk space. Don’t let this worry or overwhelm you, though. It is surely not the end of the world. There are relatively simple measures you can take to clear this error and do a whole lot of good for your computer. These suggestions are ways for you to find out how to clear up disk space on your Mac, as well as your Microsoft Windows.

1. Empty Out the Trash

This step may almost seem too simple, but it is one that is pushed to a later date (a later date that never comes) all the time. Make sure to scan through all the items stored up in your trash before emptying it.

2. Compress Your files

Our next step is an organizational suggestion. If you have large files you want to keep, the best thing you can do is make them smaller by compressing them. There is a way to do this on your Windows, or you can install third party tools.

4. Clear Out Your Downloads Folder

Chances are, you will open your downloads folder to find that you do not need the majority of things in there. We tend to download things when we need them and forget to delete them when they are no longer useful. Now is the best time to go through your downloads and remove the excess clutter!

5. Delete Old Photos

Do you know what always plagues my computer? Old photos. For added storage space, get rid of these. From profile pictures to headshots for a professional profile icon, my photo folder gets cluttered quickly. Just like with the downloads, it is likely these photos were only needed the one time. Your computer does not need them taking up precious hard disk space, and slowing it down in the meantime!

5. Remove Duplicate Files!

There are a variety of ways to do this. You can install an extra app or a variety of third-party tools, and then have them attack the source and delete these Windows duplicate files.

Be sure to restart your computer once you try all these steps! The error code will likely not disappear unless you have rebooted the system. You can avoid getting to the point of having to do a mass clearing of data by simply keeping up with deleting unnecessary content.

How to Clean Up Your Computer the Easy Way

Our following topics in this article get deep down into the details of how to clean up your disk system and create more storage space. But before we go into complex ways to do this, let’s first talk about some easy ways you can get more space on your hard drive, regardless of if you are a Windows or Mac user.

  • Get rid of viruses. These little buggers may not be fatal to your computer, but they sure can slow it down a ton! They can potentially hide in the darkest corners of your device without you ever knowing. Virus protection called Microsoft Windows Defender Antivirus can help you get the job done, and there are other softwares like this for Mac users. Antivirus software is a simple download and an easy fix away. Not only does it clean up your system now, but it is a preventative measure for the time to come.
  • Another excellent and straightforward option for cleaning up your hard drive is reinstalling everything on your system. Before getting to this, you will need to backup all your data (this is just an excellent excuse to back up what should have already been backed up ages ago. Yes-  we are looking at you!). Then reinstall everything and enjoy a fresh start.
  • Did you know the most well-known browser is also the worst browser for your computer speeds? Internet Explorer could be the thing that is slowing your system down. Simply uninstalling this browser and choosing a more updated and efficient one will not only speed your hard drive up, but it will also speed up your web searches!
  • The age-old “clear your cookies” suggestion may be the answer for you. Cleaning out your old internet leftovers will speed your device up. Did you know a bit of every single site you click on gets stored on your browser? If you use your PC device as much as I do, this is a crazy thing to imagine! All browsers have a way to clear your cookies, and some give you the option to clear them automatically every time you edit a site. Be careful about deleting passwords, browsing history,  and other things you would rather keep.
  • Have you ever bought a smartphone? You likely started it up, excited to choose all the applications and features you will add to it. But as you scroll the screen, you begin to realize endless apps and software you did not want. It is the same situation with computers. These devices come with software and systems you did not ask for, already stored on your device. Kiss the clutter you do not use goodbye by uninstalling these applications and be on your way! Dropping the baggage that continually runs in the background is a surefire way to speed up your hard drive.
  • Windows updates. These are a full-blown pain to deal with, but they are vital to keeping up with if you want your system to run correctly. These updates seem constant and neverending, but they work wonders on your device. If you are behind on an update, click the update button and don’t delay any longer! These updates protect your system, close up holes in the software, and make everything run smoother and faster.

Manual Disk Cleanup: New Windows 10 Storage Settings Can Help

I want to be clear, I’m not talking about using the built-in running Disk Cleanup utility as was mentioned in our post on getting rid of the Windows old folder after an upgrade. In this article, I’m going to be covering tools that are part of Windows 10 that can help you manually identify what’s on with your Surface’s hard drive and remove files and programs you don’t need, which will free up space.

Windows 8.1 didn’t do a very good job of helping you do this. While it provided some information, it didn’t really help do any actual clean up. Basically, you had to look at the information provided and then go track down the files and programs that needed to be removed on your own.

Windows 10, however, takes storage management to the next level. It helps you free up disk space with options to identify and remove files and programs you don’t want that are taking up disk space on your Surface.

Windows 10 just won’t do it automatically (which is a good thing since you don’t want the software “guessing” which apps you want to keep and which you want to discard).

Manual Disk Cleanup: See What’s Eating Up Your Space

To figure out what’s using up your disk space, start by accessing storage settings. To do so, go to System group in Settings (you can get here from All Settings, or you can search for it manually) and choose Storage from the list.

Here you will see a list of your drives, partitions, and external drives attached to your Surface. Choose the one you want to inspect by clicking on it. Once you do, you will see the Storage usage section where you will find a decent overview of what exactly and how of it much is taking up drive space.

From this overview, you can select and dig deep into each category by tapping or clicking on one of the items. You may notice that System & reserved takes up a big chunk of your space. Select it to see more details. Here, you will find info on system files, virtual memory, hibernation files, and system restore backups.

Selecting the other sections will give you similar details to the displayed categories.

It’s worth mentioning that your Hibernation file is probably going to appear large (3GB – 16GB). If you want to free up that space, you can disable hibernation which will delete the large file from your Surface’s drive. This can’t be removed any other way.

Manual Disk Cleanup: Free Up Space

Next, it’s time to do some cleanup. Go back to Storage usage in your settings (by selecting the back arrow in the upper left) and then click Apps & Games. Here, you can search for an app and sort by name, size, and install date. If you select Sort by size, you will see the apps that take up the most space at the top.

If you don’t need or use a particular app, click on it and select Uninstall, as we have suggested above.

After you’re done removing applications, go back to the Storage usage section and inspect all other items that take up your drive space. Another area that you will want to check is Temporary Files.

Click Temporary files and delete anything you don’t need to get more disk space usage.

Note that you will always see the previous version of the Windows section taking up space (even if your Surface came with Windows 10 pre-installed) because of the Windows 10 updates. This is a large space gobbler, but delete it only if you are sure you are not going to need to remove installed patches.

After you finish with the Temporary Files, System, Apps and Games sections, you can check out any other sections that are listed as consuming a large chunk of disk space to see if there are any old files you don’t want anymore.

Finally, remember to empty your Recycle Bin when you’ve completed your cleanup.

These tutorials should help you get to the bottom of what’s taking up your disk space usage and do a thorough manual disk cleanup.

Best Defragger for Windows 10

Over time you’ll probably find that your computer begins to slow down. Partly this could be down to the aging of the hardware. However, much of the slowing is due to the data that is on the drives. As more information is on the disc, it becomes slower to find what the computer is looking for on the device.

To think of it simply, imagine filling up a bag with a bunch of different objects. When you’ve only got a few in there, it’s easy to find what you’re looking for. But with a hundred objects in the same sized bag, it’s going to take forever. The same is true for your computer drive. While it’s not quite this simplistic, it’s a good way to think of the problem.

Indeed, the computer separates segments of data from one another. This fragmentation makes running software, opening files and using your machine far slower. What defragmentation software, or defraggers, do is to arrange the data closer together for greater efficiency. The result should be a faster system and even more drive space.

Top 9 Best Defraggers For Windows 10

Almost certainly the most intuitive defragger for Windows 10, it’s ideal for non-technical folks. If you’re looking for a one-click solution, Disk Speedup is right for you. All you need to do is select the drive that you want and then click start. It will immediately start a scan of the drive to figure out how much fragmentation has occurred and what you can do to fix it.

After, you’ll be able to click to defragment the drive. But if you’re more technical and looking for greater customization, you can change the settings. While it doesn’t give you control over individual files or software, it’s for non-programmers. If you need extensive control, this might not be ideal for you.

However, the vast majority of users need simplicity. Rather than a variety of complicated menus, you get a large start button. It doesn’t get much simpler than this. For most Windows 10 users, this is the best defragger. It takes up little space on your computer and is incredibly effective at defragging your data.

When compared to many free or inferior software, Disk Speedup can have a significant impact on your computer speed. By fixing fragmentation, it allows your computer to more quickly access data. Their algorithm is incredibly useful and will give you better results than most other software.


Possibly the most popular solution, Defraggler gives you extensive customizability. While nowhere near as intuitive as Disk Speedup, Defraggler is the go-to option for techies. If you want detailed information outputs on the process and greater control of what it defrags, you need to get Defraggler.

After completing a quick analysis, you can decide whether you want to defrag the whole drive. Alternatively, you can select individual files. This control means that you don’t have to wait a long time when you only want to defrag certain pieces of data. While not a useful feature for most people, it’s a critical option for many advanced users.

For this reason, we believe that Defraggler is the premier choice for techies. Defraggler is by CCleaner, an incredibly popular software provider. With a free option as well as a professional edition, it’s perfect for home and business users. If you’re only looking for a free defragger, get Defraggler and don’t look back. It’s an exceptional piece of software.


Almost as intuitive as Disk Speedup, Smart Defrag prioritizes a beautiful and relatively simplistic user interface. This interface ensures that even the least technical users can defrag in seconds. From the home screen, you’ll see all of your disks. You only need to click the drive, and you’ll be able to analyze and then defragment the entire disk.

Interestingly, it also comes with two unique options. It has a feature specifically for gamers. By defragging using this method, you’ll be able to improve the speed at which your video games load and play.

Similarly, if your main complaint is that your PC isn’t turning on fast enough, there’s an option for that. Again, by creating these features, it makes operating the software easy for the average user. For this reason, we believe that Smart Defrag is a fantastic option. With a pro version filled with features, it’s ideal for beginners and advanced users.


PerfectDisk is an excellent piece of software. While not as intuitive as others and with less of a UX focus, it’s a power player. It gives you excellent customization options, allowing you to skip files and only spend time on data that you care about. For this reason, it’s best suited for intermediate and above computer users.

This program is particularly common in enterprise level suites. Its algorithm is unmatched, according to some experts, making it perfect for dealing with servers that have large amounts of data. While the average user may never use them, it comes with advanced features that can improve performance substantially.

As you might imagine, it’s not cheap. This price tag is why we’ve ranked it relatively low, given that it’s an outstanding piece of software. But for the average person looking for the best defragger for Windows 10, it’s a little bit overkill and therefore isn’t the best value for money.


Available in a free and paid edition, it’s most famous for its free version. Typically, most free options are lackluster. But that’s not the case with O&O Defrag. With a more professional interface that resembles a peer-to-peer system, you get plenty of advanced features and options.

With the option to divide folders, pre-analyze drives and check a drive for errors, it’s ideal for advanced users who don’t want to spend a dime. You can also set up regular defragging. As you might imagine, fragmentation is a constant problem. This software can defrag your drives on a weekly basis, ensuring maximum performance at all times.


A favorite of many, Puran Defrag offers a variety of intermediate features with a complicated interface. While lacking some very advanced options, it’s ideal for the person who has some technical ability. If you’re looking to speed up your computer or even particular files or folders, Puran Defrag can help.

As mentioned, the main issue with this software is that the interface is poor. It’s not particularly logical, and you can tell that it hasn't had an update in years. For a smoother feel, we’d recommend a program like Disk Speedup. However, if you want a traditional feeling software, Puran is for the purists.

We believe that software should be simple. Looking at the other options, it’s clear that there’s no need for defraggers to be complicated. While what they do behind the screen is complex, it should appear intuitive to the user. Puran fails here. Not only is the interface clunky, but it’s also quite unattractive, and that’s unfortunate given the amount of competition.


#7 Windows Disk Defragmenter

If you don’t want to have to download an extra piece of software onto your already full HDD, you don’t need to. Windows 10 comes with a defragger. You can find it by searching for Disk Defragmenter. This software is effective, easy to use and far more attractive than some other alternatives.

However, it doesn’t do as good a job as some of the above options. We prefer software like Disk Speedup. While the Windows Disk Defragmenter is easy to use and being pre-installed is a huge benefit, for real improvements, it’s not ideal. The software isn’t very efficient, and you don’t get a lot of the advanced features that some users might want.

For most people, the Windows Disk Defragmenter will do a decent job. Therefore, if you’re not a technical person, we’d recommend you give it a shot. But for more serious users, it’s going to give you disappointing results. If you’re playing video games, in particular, you’ll want a more powerful piece of software to defragment the data.


Auslogics has a relatively competitive algorithm. The software does a fairly good job at defragging your data. However, it’s still subpar when compared to Disk Speedup and other top tier options. Likewise, the user interface is disappointing and doesn’t make it simple to get started.

We wouldn’t recommend Auslogics for most people. It does come with some advanced options like defragging individual files and folders. Plus, you can set it to defragment and optimize, when is a slow but effective process. However, it doesn’t bring anything interesting or new to the table.


Finally, we have Diskeeper. This software has been recommended in a variety of magazines and websites but is incredibly disappointing. The effectiveness of the software is very low, even when compared to free alternatives like the Windows Disk Defragmenter. For this reason, there is no reason to use it.

The interface is clunky and unappealing. It’s more reminiscent of a video editing suite than a defragger. For the average user, this is likely to be confusing. Software like Smart Defrag and Disk Speedup are far more intuitive, and comparisons show that they are also more effective.

The main benefit of Diskeeper Professional is that for a single license you can use it on up to three different machines. However, when free alternatives are superior, this is hardly a selling point. It’s probably best to skip this software. Give Smart Defrag a chance if you’re looking for a simple, or Disk Speedup or Defraggler for more advanced options.

How We Rank Software

When we’re looking at software, we consider three primary factors. The first is how effective it is. For a defragger, we’re looking at how efficiently the data can be arranged to maximize speed. Depending on the algorithm they use and how well they develop the software, the results can differ significantly.

Secondly, we’ll be considering how intuitive the software is. A great design makes using the software easy. Defragmentation programs should be simple so that people of varying technical ability can use them. This simplicity is where many defraggers go wrong, making it hard for beginners to get the results that they are looking for.

Finally, we’ll be considering the value of the software. To calculate the value, we’ll need to find both the sticker price of the product as well as how well it works for the cost. While price isn’t everything, the value is critical.

After looking at all of the available options, we’ll narrow it down to a list of ten. From there, we can rank them according to their value, effectiveness, and simplicity. As a result, we hope that you’ll be able to find the best defragger from Windows 10 within seconds and with no additional research. To summarize we:

  • Learn about defraggers
  • Look at a vast array of different options
  • Evaluate their simplicity, effectiveness, and value
  • Rank and rate them to make your life easier

Buyers Guide: Finding The Best Defragger
For Windows 10

  • When deciding on a piece of software, you need to be realistic about your needs and ability. If you’re a technical wizard, simplicity should rank last on your list of requirements. Whereas the average Joe should prioritize an intuitive UX with straightforward menus and an extensive support manual.
  • Similarly, you should consider the amount of data that you’re dealing with. For the average person, defragmentation is essential but not mission-critical. While for large enterprise servers and users dealing with large amounts of data or playing many video games, defragging is vital.
  • Defragmentation is particularly essential when files and data are frequently changing. If you’re only using necessary software like Microsoft Office, it’s unlikely that you need an advanced defragger. However, video games, data crunching software and graphical programs often create data rapidly. Therefore, defragging is more critical for these types of users.
  • Defragging shouldn’t take long. It can be done in a few minutes if done regularly. Alternatively, you can do weekly maintenance defrags. Advanced software can schedule this ahead of time.

Best Touch Screen Monitors for Windows 10

Between phones, tablets, and gaming devices, touchscreens have become increasingly commonplace in our lives. Computers are no exception to this trend, with everything from laptops to full desktop setups starting to have touchscreens implemented, increasing the flexibility of how we interact with and use our technology.

As it is, though, some touchscreens are better than others, whether it’s because of their image quality, their, functionality, or even their incorporation of specific features and technology. For those seeking to upgrade to touch, we’ve compiled our guide to the best touch screen monitors for Windows 10.

Best Touch Screen Monitors For Windows 10: Comparison Table

Touch Screen Monitor

Image

Buy Now

Acer T272HL Touch Screen Widescreen Monitor

Planar PCT2235

Dell P2418HT

ViewSonic TD2421 24-Inch 1080p Dual Point Optical Touch Screen Monitor

Gechic 1303i Touchscreen Portable Monitor

TOGUARD Fifteen Inch TFT LED 

Touch Screen Monitor

Planar Helium PCT2485

Review of the Best Touch Screen Monitors For Windows 10

Acer T272HL Touch Screen Widescreen Monitor

429 Reviews
Acer T272HL bmjjz 27-Inch (1920 x 1080) Touch Screen Widescreen Monitor, Black
  • This intuitive and fun LCD with 10-point touch screen lets you take advantage of touch features and...
  • This large 27" edge-to-edge widescreen display (1920 x 1080 resolution) brings the best viewing...
  • With VGA, DVI & HDMI (MHL) inputs so you can easily power and extend the enjoyment from your...
  • Brightness:300 nit

Last update on 2021-10-20 at 10:10 / Affiliate links / Images / Prices / from Amazon Product Advertising API

To start our guide to the best touchscreen monitors for Windows 10, we have Acer’s T272HL widescreen monitor. This setup works excellently with Windows 10, but you can even connect it to Mac OS if the need arises. It also includes Acer’s EcoDisplay technology, which helps adjust energy output and can help you save a bit on your bill—especially if you’re a heavy computer user.

Not only does this monitor have the build to perform well, but it also provides incredible image quality across its entire twenty-seven inches. The brightness and contrast settings work to enhance that quality even further. No matter what other high-quality parts you have in your computer build, the T272HL Touch Screen monitor can keep up.

While this monitor does have impressive performance and plenty of other outlets, it’s missing a headphones output. If you regularly plug in and unplug your phones, this lack can quickly become inconvenient.

PROS

  • The display is scratch resistant
  • Stunning image quality
  • Suitable for any cutting edge computer setup
  • Also compatible with Mac OS

CONS

  • No headphone output

Image via Flickr

Planar PCT2235

758 Reviews
Planar Helium PCT2235 Touch Screen 22" LED LCD Full HD Resolution Monitor with Helium Stand,black
  • Featuring Projected Capacitive touch technology which registers up to 10 simultaneous touch points,...
  • The Planar Helium Stand can be easily tilted from 15° to 70° - quickly moving the user from...
  • For more integration flexibility, the Planar PCT2235 multi-touch monitor boasts multiple video...
  • The Planar PCT2235 includes Planar's leading Customer First 3-Year Warranty, including a free 2-day...
  • OS Compatibility- Windows 7, 8, 10 - HID Compliant - no drivers needed for basic touchscreen...

Last update on 2021-10-20 at 10:10 / Affiliate links / Images / Prices / from Amazon Product Advertising API

Sometimes trying to upgrade your computer components can be a strain on the finances, but you don’t always have to break the bank to get something of quality. The Planar PCT2235 monitor brings together a reasonable price with the performance those who don’t need a supped up setup can be happy with (for those that want that, see the Helium PCT2485).

The PCT2235 is lightweight and a broader tilt range than you can find on some other monitors. This build makes it easy to choose to a comfortable angle for use. You can even lie the display flat on your table or desk if you need to do so.

Regarding display, this monitor has excellent color accuracy, which is essential for anyone working with photos, videos, or other art.

However, that budget component means that there are some downsides, too—namely that it has a slow display response time. The viewing area and touch surface are also somewhat small in comparison to other monitors.

PROS

  • A top budget choice for touchscreen monitors
  • Lightweight
  • Able to lie flat on a table
  • Wide tilt range
  • Excellent color accuracy

CONS

  • Slow response time
  • Smaller touch surface and viewing area than some other top picks

You might also like:

Which Is The Most Popular Surface Device On Windows 10?

Dell P2418HT

327 Reviews
Dell P2418HT 23.8" Touch Monitor - 1920X1080 LED-LIT, Black
  • Brand Dell , Model DELL P2418HT
  • Screen Size 24 inch, Touchscreen Type 10 point touch, Cabinet Color Black, Usage Consumer, Panel...
  • Display Type Full HD, Maximum Resolution 1920 x 1080, Recommended Resolution 1920 x 1080, Viewing...
  • Brightness 250 cd/square meter, Contrast Ratio DCR 8,000,000:1 (1,000:1), Response Time 6ms (GTG),...
  • Power Supply AC 100/240 Volts (50/60 Hertz), Power Consumption Power Consumption Operational: 18...

Last update on 2021-10-20 at 10:10 / Affiliate links / Images / Prices / from Amazon Product Advertising API

Dell’s P2418 monitor brings together high-quality performance and a simple, thin design that allows you to focus on your screen picture without the bezel getting in the way.

Its ten-point gesture handling is compatible with Windows 10, and the 1920 x 1080 resolution helps display your screen. The anti-glare coating and wide viewing angles through IPS improve the experience.

The stand on this monitor also allows you to lie the screen flat on the table if you like. Additionally, if you wish to VESA mount your screen, the Dell P2418HT enables you to do just that, though you’ll need additional hardware to do the job. It also provides USB 3.0, HMDI, VGA, and display port for easy access.

While these connection options include some of the essentials, you may find that a much-needed port isn’t present on the P2418. It also isn’t as stable as some other models, and you may see that the monitor shakes when you type or use the touch screen features.

PROS

  • Simple, attractive design
  • A quality image and anti-glare protection
  • Allows you to lay the monitor flat or VESA mount
  • Has several available ports

CONS

  • Is missing some ports available on other models
  • The monitor can shake during use

ViewSonic TD2421 24-Inch 1080p Dual Point Optical Touch Screen Monitor

349 Reviews
ViewSonic TD2421 24 Inch 1080p Dual-Point Optical Touch Screen Monitor with HDMI and DVI, Black
  • 24-Inch Full HD 1080p (1920x1080) 16:9 LED Touch Computer Monitor with HDMI 1.4, USB 2.0, DVI-D, and...
  • With a robust, Full HD 1080p two-point touchscreen, versatile connections, and ultra-wide viewing...
  • Modern design with muted black finish, adjustable forward/back tilt, and 6H scratch resistant...
  • 50M:1 Dynamic Contrast Ratio; Two Built-In Speaker; 178/178 Degree Viewing Angles; Physical...
  • 3-year Limited Warranty; Energy Star Certified; Package Content: TD2421 Monitor, Power Cable, VGA...

Last update on 2021-10-20 at 10:10 / Affiliate links / Images / Prices / from Amazon Product Advertising API

When working on a computer for any period, eye strain can become a concern—especially for those who tend to work long hours while staring at the monitor. ViewSonic’s TD2421 not only has a full HD display, but it also includes a Blue Light Filter and Flicker-free Technology to help you work without these concerns, no matter how long you use your computer.

The technology included can support all manner of OSes, including both Windows and Mac systems. Not only is the image quality stellar, but the built-in speakers give you impeccable sound. The wide-viewing angles and SuperClear MVA panel also mean that you can see the same, no matter how you look at it. You can even start up the computer by merely tapping the screen.

If you want to rely on the manual to help you navigate your new monitor, however, you may have some difficulties. And while the design allows you to VEGA mount the TD2421, you can’t adjust the angle of the screen, which can be a significant inconvenience for touch-operated monitors.

PROS

  • Blue Light Filter and Flicker-free technology help reduce eye strain
  • Full HD display
  • Operates with both Windows and Mac
  • High-quality speakers
  • Wide viewing angles

CONS

  • The included instruction manual is lacking
  • Unable to freely adjust the perspective of the monitor

Gechic 1303i Touchscreen Portable Monitor

163 Reviews
GeChic 1303i 13.3 inch 1080p Touchscreen Portable Monitor with HDMI, VGA, MiniDisplay Inputs
  • FHD PORTABLE TOUCH MONITOR: 13.3” full HD 1920x1080 (16.7M colors) wide viewing display
  • EASY WRITING & DESIGNING: Ten-finger multi-touch recognition allows you to type on screen as if on...
  • EXTRA LIGHT & SLIM: monitor weights only 900g with 10.5mm in thickness
  • MULTI-CONNECTIONS: headphone output, micro-HDMI, VGA, Mini-DISPLAY port
  • VARIOUS APPLICATION: Applicable for laptop, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Mini PC, smartphone

Last update on 2021-10-20 at 10:10 / Affiliate links / Images / Prices / from Amazon Product Advertising API

Gechic’s 1303i touch screen monitor is flexible in many ways. Because it doesn’t require you to install drivers to operate, you can easily connect it to any Mac or Windows based computer you like—including Windows 10. The mobility is also a nice touch, allowing you to use the monitor in even on the go situations.

You also have micro-HDMI, VGA, and mini DisplayPort inputs. All of these will allow you to work with plenty of other accessories and peripheral devices, whatever they may be. Performance quality is also top-notch, providing you with a fantastic overall monitor experience.

While those inputs allow for work with many peripheral devices, stay aware that the mini version of the Display Port included in the Gechic 1303i is non-standard, so it may not connect to everything you need. Take stock of your devices before committing.

PROS

  • Can connect to both Mac and Windows computers
  • Good for mobile situations
  • Multiple input ports

CONS

  • Mini Display port is nonstandard

Planar Helium PCT2485

758 Reviews
Planar PCT2485 Helium 24" Widescreen Multi-Touch Monitor
  • 24" LED LCD monitor
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080, 16:9
  • Number of Touch Points: 10,Refresh Rate:56 to 75 Hz (60 Hz recommended)
  • Touchscreen Interface: USB. OS Compatibility- Windows 7, 8, 10 - HID Compliant - no drivers needed...
  • A built-in HD web-cam and microphone connects users through the internet and the built-in USB hub...

Last update on 2021-10-20 at 10:10 / Affiliate links / Images / Prices / from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you liked what you saw with Planar’s budget touch screen monitor, but you found yourself wanting a bit more, then you should consider the Helium PCT2485. This screen has one of the widest angles for adjusting on the market, reaching up to fifty-five degrees and even being able to lie flat on the desk. If you want a larger screen, there’s also the Planar PCT2785 variant.

Another feature that seems to be missing on many other monitors is a built-in webcam. The Helium PCT2485 does have a camera in its build, allowing for video chats and other recording purposes. Anyone who read, working on documents, or works with graphic design will find that this monitor delivers on all such fronts.

Because of the response time, this monitor won’t be enough for gamers, but it should be plenty for anyone else.

PROS

  • Wide fifty-five-degree adjustable angle
  • Can lie flat
  • Has a webcam

CONS

  • Does not have a high enough response time for gaming

Image via Pexels

TOGUARD Fifteen Inch TFT LEDTouch Screen Monitor

If you don’t need the full-screen space of our other top picks, then the fifteen inches of screen on TOGUARD’s model might fit the job. It has HD capabilities, which makes dealing with work tasks and entertainment alike look stunning. The response time is also hyper fast, helping to keep images clear, no matter what’s happening.

For those reading this review, there’s no doubt that Windows is the preferred OS of choice, but TOGUARD’s monitor is also compatible with Linux systems. TOGUARD also has included a Security Surveillance Monitor to help keep your screen safe. The provided power adaptor also helps save energy use, and it includes VGA, USB, and HDMI ports.

One inconvenience is that the monitor doesn’t include touch capabilities out of the box—you need to install the drivers on the included disk. The built-in hanging slot is also not very stable, which can cause the monitor to rotate if mounted on a wall.

PROS

  • Smaller, more compact size
  • Includes TOGUARD Security Surveillance Monitor
  • Power adaptor helps save energy
  • High response time

CONS

  • Need to use provided disk to install touchscreen drivers
  • Can hang from a wall, but the built-in slot is not very stable
  • Can be challenging to set monitor into sleep mode

Image via Pexels

Things To Consider When Purchasing A Touch Screen Monitor

Aside from looking at which products are the best, there are other factors you should consider on your quest for the best touch screen monitor for you. Keep these things in mind as you compare our top picks.

1. Size

It’s no secret that monitors can come in different sizes, which tends to impact the overall visibility of information on the screen. In part, the measurement factor may come down to how much space you have available and what you’re willing to spend the money on getting. Aiming to at least hit a minimum of fifteen inches will allow you to see the screen from a reasonable distance without straining yourself.

However, you also need to remember that a touchscreen involves touching the monitor. For that reason, you don’t want to have too large of a screen to make it inconvenient to use. Twenty-one-inch monitors can still be convenient while having excellent visibility.

2. Viewing Angle

Another aspect of viewing a monitor is in its viewing angle, or at how wide you can still clearly see an image. The wider this angle is, the more you’ll be able to see the picture clearly, even when you’re not looking at it straight on.

3. Future-Proof

The term future proof refers to pieces of technology that include features that may ultimately become the standard. This qualification may consist of entirely new features, or advancements to existing tech—like more efficient ports, for example. While the included pieces may not become the standard, investing in a future-proof monitor can prevent the scramble to upgrade shortly after purchasing your monitor.

4. Extra Features

It’s become increasingly more common for not only computer towers to include ports, but for monitors to have these aspects as well. USB ports, speakers, SD card readers, and even disc readers can operate from the monitor. Having these extras as part of the monitor not only makes it more valuable, but it also adds some convenience.

If you don’t need an extra feature, you shouldn’t go out of your way to find it (especially if you’re working on a budget). But it’s beyond worth the effort to find the features that are important to your use. Take stock of what you foresee yourself needing and wanting before making a final decision.

5. Design

While functionality is necessary when selecting a top tier touchscreen monitor, you don’t want to neglect design. After all, you’ll spend plenty of time looking at your monitor, and it’ll likely be a part of your workspace décor as well. No matter what your preferences are, look for a touchscreen that meets your choices for both functionality and aesthetic.

Wrapping Up

via Giphy

A monitor is an integral part of your computer setup, contributing in many ways to overall performance. With touchscreen models becoming more common than in the past, what we look for in our computer screens has changed. Across our top picks for the best touchscreen monitors for Windows 10, you now have plenty of options to consider, even if you have a high-quality build for the rest of your PC.

The most important thing to remember is that you need a monitor that fits your computer needs and habits. Once you’ve narrowed down your preferences, out list will be right here to help you find one that meets both your technological goals, but also your budget.

Battery Life comparison – Core m3 vs Core i5 vs Core i7

By looking at the specs on paper between these processors, you’d expect the Core m3 model to grossly outperform the rest. But what about the differences between the Core i5 and the Core i7? After all, their TDP numbers are identical, despite featuring much more powerful GPU.

Let’s look into their claimed battery capacities first.

Battery capacity

The following are the specs/stats for the batteries built into each model:

Core m3 7Y30 (Surface Pro):

Core i5 7300U (Surface Pro):

Core i7 7660U (Surface Pro):

Can you see the difference? The differences are extremely small. So it appears that all 3 models are using identical batteries, all designed to be rated at 45,000 mWh.

(Just as a comparison, my “old” Surface Pro 4 features a 38,152 mWh battery. These are significant 18% improvements!)

Battery Test – Youtube 32:05 mins HD video

I’ve setup all 3 devices to run an identical Youtube video with 32 mins 5 secs duration. The machines were fully charged, the power settings were left at their default settings (which is about 33% level). The volumes were left at the maximum level.

The video in this test was HD quality (1080p) and they were streamed via WiFi. I have plenty of WiFi bandwidth capacity, so the videos weren’t choppy at all even when all of them were running at the same time.

Here’s how they fared. These are the remaining battery capacity after the video has finished. (Hence higher % the better!)

Core m3 7Y30 Core i5 7300U Core i7 7660U
Youtube video HD (32mins 5 secs) 92% 92% 83%

Surprised? Perhaps.

I’m actually not surprised that the Core i7 performed poorly here. There is a good chance that the Iris Plus 640 GPU in that Core i7 is consuming more than the Intel HD GPUs in the lesser CPUs.

What I am surprised here is that the Core i5 with “slightly better” Intel HD 620 consuming essentially the same battery power as the Core m3 with the lesser Intel HD 615.

Since the visual video quality of all 3 were exactly the same, the Core i5 wins here. At the default power settings, of course.

Battery Test – Youtube 32:05 mins 4K video

Once again, the devices were ran using their default power settings. This time, the streamed video is a 4K feed (2080p). Obviously, this will stress the machine far more as there are 4 times as many pixels to push through.

I had to run one machine at a time to make sure WiFi is not the bottleneck.

Even the Core m3 machine performed admirably as far as the smoothness is concerned. I expected the Core m3 machine to struggle, but that wasn’t the case. Perhaps Youtube’s video compression technology allows for less powerful machines to stream 4K feeds with less raw power. Also, Intel claims Kaby Lake can do 4K streaming better, which perhaps is the case here.

Here are the results for the 4K test. I have also included the result for the HD video for some comparison points.

Core m3 7Y30 Core i5 7300U Core i7 7660U
Youtube video 4K (21mins 28 secs) 95% 94% 91%
Youtube video HD (32mins 5 secs) 92% 92% 83%

What you can see here is that for the Core m3 and Core i5 models, the numbers are just about where you’d expect. But the Core i7 model has performed significantly better – now reasonably close to the lesser models.

Apparently, the Core i7 model doesn’t consume any more power when it is streaming 4K over HD contents!

Battery Test – Youtube 23:59 mins 720p video

In this test, I’ve lowered the power saving mode all the way to the minimum on all the machines. This immediately caused all screens to go dimmer as well. If you want to watch Youtube videos as long as possible on batteries with no outlets around you, this could be one scenario.

Here are the results:

Core m3 7Y30 Core i5 7300U Core i7 7660U
Youtube video 720p (23mins 59 secs) – minimum power setting 96% 95% 95%
Youtube video 4K (21mins 28 secs) 95% 94% 91%
Youtube video HD (32mins 5 secs) 92% 92% 83%

Under this setting, all machines came out about equal. This shows that it is possible to throttle the Core i7 machine down to the level of the lesser machines if you desired, to increase the battery usage time, at least for Youtube viewing.

PCMark v8.0 Battery Tests

PCMark is normally used as a benchmarking tool to test performance of different devices. But it also has a feature that allows users to run each tests until the battery runs out completely. The application then captures the total run time.

Here are the description of some of the test featured in the PCMark v8.0:

  • Home Conventional (“common home computing”) – this benchmark includes workloads that reflect common tasks for a typical home user. These workloads have low computational requirements making PCMark 8 Home suitable for testing the performance of low-cost tablets, notebooks and desktops. Home includes workloads for web browsing, writing, gaming, photo editing, and video chat.
  • Work Conventional (“common work computing”) – This benchmark measures your system’s ability to perform basic office work tasks, such as writing documents, browsing websites, creating spreadsheets and using video chat. The Work benchmark is suitable for measuring the performance of typical office PC systems that lack media capabilities.

Here are the results for each tests. This time, we are back to the default power setting.

Core m3 7Y30 Core i5 7300U Core i7 7660U
Home Conventional 6h 17min 25s 4h 37min 9s 4h 18min 34s
Work Conventional 5h 35min 25s 4h 25min 43s 3h 57min 49s

This is where the lower TDP number appears to be helping the Core m3 model. The difference between the Core i5 and the Core i7 is quite small. But the difference between the Core m3 and the Core i5 is quite significant.

Now one more testing to go. This time, we are going to run the same Home Conventional test, but using the minimum power setting. My hope is that the higher end models will perform nearly at the level as the Core m3 when minimum power setting is used.

After all, the overall power consumption isn’t only about the CPU, right?

Here it goes…

Core m3 7Y30 Core i5 7300U Core i7 7660U
Home Conventional (minimum power setting)  6h 44min 40s  4h 49min 49s  4h 30min 23s
Home Conventional (default setting) 6h 17min 25s 4h 37min 9s 4h 18min 34s

Well, that was a disappointing moment… There is a small improvement, but based on this set of test results, you can tell the minimum power setting doesn’t really extend the battery life all that much.

The default setting already pulls the power setting to a one third level, and that appears to be a nice tradeoff level, at least for a productivity type of work.

Charging time

During testing, I observed an interesting fact.

The chargers that came with the Core i7 and the Core i5 models were identical. Both features a box with cords coming out from both ends. The Core m3 model however, uses a completely different design – the box and the plug are integrated together. I assumed this is possibly to save cost made it possible due to the lower power requirement of the Core m3 model.

So what about the charging time? I had the opportunity to start charging all 3 boxes at the same time multiple times after they were all completely drained.

Interestingly, after a short while, both the Core i7 and the Core i5 models were sitting at 70% charged, while the Core m3 model was still sitting at 62%!

(I did another test just to be sure, and they are currently sitting at 94%, 94%, and 87% charged, so this pattern seems to hold true)

May not be a big deal to most of us, but it could make a difference under a difficult or unusual circumstances, especially during travel.

Conclusion

Looks like we have a split result here.

For productivity type of workflow (both for home and work usage), the Core m3 clearly wins, by a good margin. But for Youtube streaming, only the Core i7 loses out but you have an option to use the minimum power settings to almost level the competition.

I was hoping to see the Core i7 perform better for work usage under minimum power settings since that is the model I want to use for my daily need, but I do travel a lot, unfortunately.

My solution? I’ll keep the Core i7, and let my dear wife use the Core m3 without telling her it is an Core m3 model. That way, we (well, I) have the best of both world… 🙂

(Please check out this review article, if you are interested in performance comparison between the Core m3, the Core i5 and the Core i7 models using the Surface Pro)

Microsoft Surface Pro 5 releasing in Q1 of 2017

Hey guys and happy New Years Eve! 2016 is ending and 2017 is about to begin! There are a lot of releases coming out for Microsoft.

From a reputable source, Digitimes, the Surface Pro 5 is releasing Q1 of 2017.

As you know the Surface Pro 5 will have a ultra HD display and a magnetic charging stylus!

We are not sure when the Surface Pro 5 will release exactly but we are sure it will not disappoint us like the Surface Pro 3 and 4 battery life.

The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 came a long way from when it was first released in October 26, 2015 to now with many firmware updates.

Let’s hope Microsoft learnt from last year to improve the Surface Pro battery life since many people had problems with the Surface Pro 3 and 4.

Click here for the article about the Surface Pro 5.

Most power efficient browser for your Surface Book and Surface Pro 4?

Microsoft has recently performed some study on various browsers in the area of battery efficiency. They picked the usual popular browsers – Chrome, Firefox and Opera. They then compared them against their latest browser – the Edge. Microsoft says the Edge is especially optimized for mobile devices such as the Surface Book and the Surface Pro 4.

Their quote:

“You can simply browse longer with Microsoft Edge than with Chrome, Firefox, or Opera on Windows 10 devices”

You can read the this article to find out the details of their test methods. This is the chart they came up with:

All the tests were performed on the Surface Book which means the results probably apply well to the Surface Pro 4 as well.

Given the above, and if you care about longevity, its a no brainer to go with the Edge, right? Even the Wall Street Journal’s article confirmed that the Edge lasts longer than Chrome.

Well, a day later, Opera fought back, posting an article on their own blog, refuting Microsoft’s claim. Here’s what they posted:

Both Microsoft and Opera posted videos running their own tests.

Looking further into details, it does appear that Opera has used several methods to conserve battery. They offer a ‘power saving mode’ (the Edge doesn’t have one) and some of what it does may not suit your need. Of course, Microsoft has decided not to use this mode. Also, an insider build was used which may or may not point to anything.

Me? I use Chrome. I use Chrome’s bookmark synchronization heavily. I’ve built up a huge collection of bookmarks over the years in a hierarchy format. This can be used on any platform as long as I stay with Chrome. If someone comes up with something that lasts 50% longer than Chrome, I would use it alongside Chrome for those special occasions.

As for you guys, which browser do you use on your Surface device?

[poll id=”3″]

Oh and by the way, my wife and I are currently on vacation and we will be for another 10 days. Here are two of many pictures I’ve taken so far. Can anyone guess where we are? 🙂

Android notifications coming to your Windows 10 soon!

If you currently own an Android phone and also use Windows 10 (the most popular combo amongst this blog readers), then we  may have an interesting feature coming to us soon. This feature allows you to see Android notifications on your Windows PC/laptop/laplets!

Of course, to get this feature working, you will need to install an app in your Android phone, and that role will be fulfilled by the Cortana App. Once you have the latest update applied to your Windows 10 when it becomes available, you will be able to enable the notification synchronization feature. Notifications such as e-mails, messages and missed calls will be visible on your Windows 10 and the process is near real time. This feature is called synchronization for a good reason – if you dismiss any of the notifications from any of the devices, the rest will be automatically dismissed as well. Its a two way communication, not one.

This feature was discovered by one of the user who are currently part of the Microsoft Windows Insider Program. This means for most of you, this notification feature is still not visible. It is expected to be rolled out as part of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update which is currently scheduled for late this summer.