Dell Inspiron 15z Ultrabook Review

Dell inspiron 15z is the latest touch based notebook in the Inspiron series. The new Ultrabook comes with good specifications at a very reasonable price. The laptop has a large 15 inch touchscreen which makes it user friendly while working on the Windows 8 operating system. Being an ultrabook with touchscreen it supports all the basic features of a regular notebook. The notebook though weighs 2.17kgs which is almost double the weight of the normal 13 inch Ultrabooks available.

Compared to other Inspiron notebooks, Inspiron 15z looks quite hefty. However with a 15 inch large touchscreen and with connectivity ports available like 4 USB 3.0 ports, a full HDMI slot, ethernet, card reader, a secure lock slot and jack for a headset, it is made quite compact. Inspiron 15z also comes with an optical read write drive which is not available in other ultrabooks in the market.

Specification

ProcessorIntel® Core™ i7
OSWindows8 64-bit
Memory8GB 2 DIMM (4GB x 2) DDR3 1600MHz
Hard Drive500GB 5400 RPM SATA HDD, 32 mSATA SDD
Display15.6 inch LED Display with touch,
HD(1366 x 768)
Graphic CardNvidia GeForce GT630M 2GB
Optical DeviceTray load DVD Drive (Reads and Writes DVD)
Sound CardStereo Speakers with Waves MaxxAudio® 4.0
Battery6-Cell 44 WHr Battery (built-in)
KeyboardDell™ Chiclet Backlit Keyboard with Multi-touch Touchpad (English)
Adaptor65W AC Adapter
Card Reader8-in-1 Memory Card Reader: SD, SDXC, SDHC, MS, MS-Pro, MSXC, MMC, MMC+
Web CamIntegrated 1.0mp widescreen HD (1280 x 720)
BluetoothBluetooth v4.0
Controller CardIntel® Centrino® Wireless-N 2230, 802.11b/g/n + Bluetooth v4.0
SpeakersSkull Candy speakers integrated
Slots/Ports HDMI 1.4,USB 3.0 x 3,USB 3.0  PowerShare x 1,RJ45 x 1,Microphone/Headphone Jack x 1,Kinsington Lock

Looks, Build Quality, Connectivity Slots

Dell inspiron 15z comes with a matt silver aluminium lid and light grey plastic border and similar to the other notebooks in the Inspiron series. On opening the lid the display screen is cornered with a glossy glass border. The frame with plastic borders definitely cuts down the cost but does not look of great build quality.

The ultrabook comes with a backlit keyboard. If you do not want to use the backlit keys you can manually turn it of using Fn + F6 key. The keyboard is spill resistant and comfortable enough to type on even for a longer duration. The backlit keyboard is helpful while you are sitting in a room with dull lighting.

There is also a large touch pad which is pretty smooth to use and comes with a couple of mouse button on it. Further below, the base has rubber support which give a better grip to the laptop.

The ultrabook looks a little huge (dimensions 15 x 9.8 x 0.9 inch) and is not that stylish. However, it is very simple and mainly for those who want to buy a simple looking low cost model with high specications and touch technology. It also has an integrated 1MP webcam and a microphone adjacent to it for video conferencing.

Connectivity slots provided are HDMI 1.4, three USB 3.0,one USB 3.0 which provides transfer of data at faster speed, common jack for Microphone/Headphone, a secure lock, a card read and also a CD/DVD optical drive.

Display, Touchscreen

15z ultrabook display border is made of a scratch resistant gorilla glass, thus giving it a little glossy effect. The 15.6 inch LED display touch with high definition resolution (HD 1366 x 768) is not good enough for a 15 incher screens. The resolution should have been a minimum of 1400 x 800 to suit the larger screen.

There is no multi touch support with this system. It comes with normal touch, however, touch based laptops is soon going to a basic feature with the Windows 8 operating system. It is very easy to swipe and switch between docs or interfaces. The touch feature also makes browsing menus, interaction with Windows 8 tiles and the Charms menu faster and easier to access.

The Windows 8 UI is created in such a way that the touchscreen becomes addictive and the lack of it makes it harder to navigate. The downside is that the screen might get dirty quickly with fingerprint marks.

Performance

The performance is of the Inspiron 15z Ultrabook is good. It takes about 16sec to boot with SSD caching. The skully speakers located at the base just at the chassis are quite large and outputs a good sound quality. The web cam with 1MP outputs a good quality image and adjusts with the surrounding lighting to offer a clear image.

The Inspiron 15z is not a gaming notebook but comes with Nvidia GeForce GT630M 2GB graphics card. It consumes less power and does not overheat. However, it is not convineint to use this for hardcore gaming.

The battery used is 44Whr which is a little disappointing because it only lasts for 3 hours which is not that feasible for an Ultrabook.

Conclusion

Overall it’s a budget ultrabook with all the latest specifications. There is no limitation on the basic features and ports provided in the regular notebooks. The screen is pretty huge and comfortable to work on with the touch feature. It also supports DVD/CD optical drive which is usually not found in many of the ultrabooks. It also comes with skully speakers which are good enough for the laptops.

The best thing is with the 3rd generation intel core i7 processor and memory of 8 GB, 500GB HDD, a pretty good 15 inch touchscreen with Windows 8, Dell Inspiron 15z costs only Rs. 74,990 which is quite reasonable compared to other same spec ultrabook available in the market.

The bad is its very heavy to carry and looks hefty. The display resolution could be much better. Poor battery life might also limit the amount of time you can use the device without using the AC adapter.

Vizio Launches Crapware Free All-In-One PCs and Laptops

One of the things I hate while buying OEM PCs is that they come filled with tons of unwanted crapware and software which are both useless to me and not required for the functioning of the PC. I usually end up wiping up the PC and installing my own set of software. The idea of having to clean up bloatware does not ring well with consumers and it looks like Vizio’s foray into the desktop and laptop industry will change things forever.

Vizio All-In-ONE PC

Yesterday at an event in NYC, Vizio launched their new line of All-In-One PCs and Laptops which will not contain any additional software except for the operating system. Yes, you heard it right. Vizio has worked with Microsoft to keep their out-of-box PCs simple and will not include any extra software including Microsoft’s own Office.

Vizio had been working on these PCs for last couple of years and the fruits were definitely visible in the way the products were designed. The All-In-One PCs and laptops are sleek and well designed and like many may say very similar to the Mac. However, one cannot help but notice that Vizio did make them standout well at a far more cheaper cost than their competition.

All of Vizio’s products use 3rd Generation Intel Processors with Ivy Bridge processors in the laptop. The laptops also come with Nvidia’s Kepler graphics card.

Here are the specifications and prices for Vizio’s newly launched All-In-One PCs and Laptops.

24″ and 27″ All-In-One PCs

The 24″ and 27″ All-In-One PCs include a HD monitor along with a wireless keyboard, trackpad, remote and 2.1 subwoofer. The device has an adjustable monitor and also a brilliant look and feel.

Vizio 27 inch and 24 inch All-In-One PCs

Specifications and Pricing

You get a 24″ or 27″ Full HD 1080p (1920 x 1080p) Resolution Monitor. The AIOs also come with Intel Core i3, 3rd Gen Dual Processors and 4GB RAM. You will also have plenty of disk space with a 1 TB HDD and an additional 32 GB SSD to make things faster. The graphics card is the Intel HD 4000 Graphics which is on-board.

There are also plenty of ports including 4 USB 3.0 ports, 1 eSATA port, 2 HDMI Input ports and a SD Card reader slot among others. The PCs will also come with a charging unit which also doubles as a 2.1 Subwoofer with SRS sound surround. The All-In-One PCs are reasonably priced and start at $898.

14.1″ and 15.6″ Ultra-thin HD Laptops

Along with the All-In-One PCs, Vizio also launched a new line of Ultra-thin laptops, which are really thin and pack a whole lot of power into it. Vizio worked hard with Intel and their other partners to fit all those goodies into a very compact space. Kudos to them on pulling this off. All Vizio laptops have a aluminum unibody construction and comes with a trackpad which is not the best one you could use. Hopefully, some driver updates could fix that.

Vizio Ultra-thin Laptop

Specifications and Price

The 14.1″ HD comes with a 1600×900 resolution and 15.6″ Full HD with 1080p (1920×1080) resolution. Both the ultra books use Intel 3rd generation dual core Ivy bridge processors. The ultrabooks will also come equipped with 4GB RAM and 256GB SSD and make use of the Intel HD 4000 graphics card which is on-board.

It also includes 2 USB 3.0 ports and a HDMI out port and promises battery life of up to 7 hours in ideal conditions.  Both the 14.1″ and 15.6″ Ultra-thin laptops will also start retailing at $898.

15.6″ Notebook Specifications and Price

In addition to the ultra-thin laptops, Vizio also launched a powerful notebook which has some great specs. The 15.6″ notebook comes with a Full HD 1080p display with a 1920×1080 max resolution. It is also powered by a third-gen Intel quad core processor and will have up to 8GB RAM and a 1TB HDD with a 32GB SSD for performance boost.

The 15.6″ notebook will also come with Nvidia’s latest Kepler graphics card and provide up to 6 hours of battery life. It also has several ports including 2 USB 3.0 ports and a HDMI output along with a SD Card reader. The Vizio Notebook will also retail for about $898.

Overall Vizio has definitely set a new precedent with the crapware and bloatware free AIO PCs and laptops. The products are designed well and will have the ability to stand-out in a market full of OEMs who are fighting the influx of smartphones and tablets. Rest aside, the PC is not dead yet.

Panasonic Launches The Toughbook CF-53 In India

Panasonic recently unveiled its latest range of Toughbooks for businesses at an event in India. The new Panasonic fully-rugged and semi-rugged Toughbooks are specially designed to withstand drops, spills, dust and grime. The company also launched its new Toughbook CF-53, which is a part of the semi-rugged range. Check out the complete specs below.

Speaking at the launch, Mr. Daizo Ito President, Panasonic India said,

With the rapid pace of urban life developments and demands from various businesses, we have introduced our new range of durable, efficient and portable fully rugged laptops Toughbook. We are hoping to reach out to a wide customer segment with this product and cater to the needs of businesses. Panasonic Toughbook have been designed keeping in mind the challenges and requirements of various industries and localization being the key to our success, Panasonic continues to deliver technology and products best suited to the Indian market without compromising on quality.

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Panasonic Toughbook CF-53 Specs:

  • 14 inch high brightness LCD
  • 1366 x 768 pixels resolution
  • Genuine Windows 7 Professional OS
  • 2nd generation Intel core processor
  • 2GB – 8GB RAM
  • Oversized touchpad with multi touch support
  • Drop-resistant to 30 inch on 6 sides
  • Spill-resistant keyboard
  • Magnesium alloy case with handle
  • Shock-mounted flex-connect HDD with quick-release
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • 1.3MP webcam and digital mic
  • Backlit emissive keyboard
  • SmartCard reader
  • Fingerprint reader
  • 10 hours of operating time
  • Weight: 2.35kg
  • High Reliability & Security
  • 3-year limited warranty, parts and labor

The Panasonic Toughbook CF-53 is suitable for workers at warehouses, engineers at construction sites, technicians at car dealers, etc. thanks to its unique features and performance. It will be available in the market at a price less than Rs. 100,000.

Quickheal To Build India-wide Database For Stolen Laptops

Quick Heal has launched a web portal – www.trackmylaptop.net   that will help users to find the location of their lost or stolen laptops. You may be wondering that how does this service work. Well, this service totally relies on the Internet. The research team at Symantec believes that majority of the lost or stolen laptops would be, at least once, connected to the Internet and the chances for this is very high according to Symantec.

All that an user who has lost a laptop needs to do is register with www.trackmylaptop.net and key in the physical address number (MAC) of the laptop. Some laptop vendors generally mention this number on the bill but not all do this. Users can also obtain MAC address of their laptops by other methods store it in a safe place. So, whenever a stolen or lost laptop is connected to the Internet, it’s IP address along with the location can be traced using the physical address number. However, users of Quick Heal anti-virus need not worry as the MAC Ids and other details would be automatically picked up.

The company then plans to build an extensive database of stolen or lost laptops in India using the data from www.trackmylaptop.net and provide the cyber police of different States separate login accounts so that they can access the database for the missing computers.

Buy HP Pavilion DV4-1548dx Notebook for $450 [Gadget Deals]

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Want a smart notebook for a cheap price? Best Buy has the HP Pavilion DV4-1548dx notebook for only $450, with free pickup or $0.99 shipping. The laptop is quite a bargain considering the specs it has.

HP Pavilion DV4-1548dx Specs

  • Intel Pentium T4300 2.1Mhz Processor with 800Mhz FSB and 1MB L2 Cache
  • 4GB DDR3 RAM expandable to 8GB
  • DVD ±RW/CD-RW with Lightscribe support
  • 250GB SATA HDD (5400 RPM)
  • 14.1LCD with 1280×800 max resolution (potential deal breaker)
  • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator with 1695MB total memory
  • HP Remote, built-in LAN, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 2 USB ports, Digital card reader, HDMI port.

Other than the display, the laptop is a steal for the price. Another issue is that it has only 2 USB ports, but you can always use an expansion port.

Buy HP Pavilion DV4-1548dx Notebook [via]

Recover Data From Dead Laptop’s Hard Drive

Quite recently my laptop stopped working altogether. The laptop would boot but I could not see anything, the whole screen turned blank. I tried every trick in the book, but could not get it to work.

Now the only options I had were:

  1. Get a new laptop
  2. Send the laptop to an authorized service center for repairs

Both these were fine, but I still had important data in my laptop, most of which was backed up, however some of it was more recent and was not backed up.

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Now, I am bit paranoid about sending my laptop with a hard drive filled with important and sensitive data to a service center, and since the laptop did not display anything I could not even get it on a network. So how did I manage to recover data from the laptop? Keep reading to know more.

40 Artistic And Eye-Catching Laptop Skins and Decals

Ever noticed the artistic skins some laptops sport? Like the Lamborghini or Ferrari models that some manufactures launch? Fancy sporting a similar one for your laptop without spending a fortune on those brand centric models? You’ve come to the right place. Artistic decals or skins for laptops aren’t a new thing. People have been designing them since years, and laptops have been wearing them like Guccis and Armanis and Axes.

But finding the perfect skin for your laptop, the one that suits your dashing personality, may need some digging in. So we’ve got help. Without further ado, let me take you through the best artistic laptops skins that I’ve found, dashing ones.   Prices are not much, each of them vary between ~$7-20 and $30 at the most.

jules-laptop-decal

Give your laptop a mean look with this Jules Winnfield skin, of the virile hitman from Quentin Tarantino’s evergreen classic Pulp Fiction. It will play to parts. First it will attract eye balls and then it will keep bad prying eyes away. So what’ver you need, this solves the purpose. We just need art, right?

Made for 13, 15and 17notebooks and available on Etsy.

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So here comes the squirrel to eat the nuts..err.. no, it’s the Apple this time. So if you like the lovely, shining Apple being chomped down by a cute squirrel, feel free to put this on your Macbook. Well, I guess non-macbook users are out of luck on this one, because Dell, HP or another manufacturer don’t have fruits or vegetables as their logos. The mighty squirrel doesn’t like to starve.

This black die cut vinyl decal is approximately 5″ high by 10″ wide. Fits on 13″, 15″ and 17″ laptop covers. Decals will adhere to most smooth flat surfaces, are easily removable and won’t leave sticky residue. Available on Etsy.

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This one sports a classic and traditional look. Although it covers the entire laptop lid, you could order a translucent skin, from which the laptop label can be seen, if you care. It is anti-scratch and waterproof and leaves no residue when removed. Available on Etsy in sizes ranging for 10to 17

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This is a perfect fit for those who love pianos, and well, flowers, and well, leaves, and well…all that you see in the picture. Like it? Get it here. Order as per your laptop size and select between the type of material to be used for the skin: Dull polished, leather, silk and shimmering.

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For those who love to fly and feel the air, can bring the experience to their laptops with this decal. Although stay warned, even if the laptop sports a featherydecal, it won’t fly. So don’t throw it up in the air to try.

Make it yours here. You also get texture options like the previous one.

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If you’d wanna scare your coworkers with CCTV Cameras built right into your laptop hood and staring them like their fifth-grade chemistry teacher, this might be a better bet.

Made of black vinyl, the skin can be ordered from here.

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If you are the ataraxis kind of person, this should look cool on your laptop. Make it stand out in a fun way with this tree and birds vinyl decal. Select a color that will personalize your computer your way. The tree measures approximately 7″ tall and 4.25″ wide and comes with 3 birds that can be placed anywhere you would like. Get yours here.

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Light up your laptop with this blue fireworks sticker. Works best on dark bodies. Available in leather, silk, shimmering and dull polished. Get it!

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You like cats? You like them sitting on your keyboard, spilling your coffee? Then you should surely like them sitting on your laptop hood spilling everyone’s prying eyes.

Get this sleeping cat with eyes open’ (brings back Top & Jerry memories! ) from Etsy.

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If you are the industry type then this cog wheel and gear decal should interest you. Available in custom sizes and colors of your choice, get it from here.

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I’m sure geeks would love this one. This circuitry board decal would surely had an extra spark to your laptop lid. Available in custom sizes and different colors. Get it.

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This vector type artistic decal comes personalized for 13laptops, although you can ask for custom sizes when ordering. The decal is like a really big vinyl sticker with a special adhesive that sticks to the smooth, clean surface of a laptop, but doesn’t damage it when removed. It’s also scratchproof. Find it here.

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Let’s jam with Lego! This one’s 7″ X 5″ wide and sticks to any smooth surface, including laptops. As usual, leaves nothing behind when removed and keeps your laptop clean. Get it here.

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Make your machine The Pirate Bay Machine! This Pirate ghost ship sticker is 6.25″ X 7″ wide and can be ordered in different colors. Get it here if you like pirates and their ghost ships. (this decal does not infringe any copyright, :P )

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These lovely hibiscus flowers are available in sizes of 5and 4and you can select between different colors. Light your laptop with these large colorful flowers, grab these here.

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Hail the Fail whale! Really admire the lovely fail whale? Get it on your laptop! (It won’t fail your laptop, though :P ) Have it custom build as per your laptop size and the color you wish from here.

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This one is a cute Hello Kitty sticker. Works best on light colored bodies. Available in custom sizes from Etsy.

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Check out this blossom vinyl sticker for a scintillating looking laptop. Sizes available, get it from here.

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Have a look at this Blossom in the nightdecal. Interests you? Get it in custom sizes and different textures from Etsy.

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Finally! A Ferrari sticker! Even if you don’t have a Ferrari, you could have a Ferrari laptop, at least ;) Try it with custom sizes and different textures. Grab it here.

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Check out this cute cat face. Put it on any smooth surface, whether laptops, fridges or cars. Available in three different sizes 2, 3and 4, get it from here.

greenshot_2009-09-12_14-08-44 If you think that I is greater than youthan take your ego with you wherever you go with this sporty decal. Shop for it on LaptopSkins.

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This one is hand-down the best laptop decal to carry for any, any support desk guy! Tell everyone to Read the F’ing manualand sip a cup of coffee in the meantime. Get it on LaptopSkins.

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Give your laptop an industrial look with this cool looking decal. Shop for this one and other industrial types here.

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Get this Hokusai The Great Wavelaptop skin for PC, Mac or a custom size. Get it from Schtickers.

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Sport your laptop with a chic urban look. Take it in the city and make it yours. Available for all sizes, from Schtickers.

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You like racing striped? Custom ones? Check this out. Put this Red Racy striped laptop skin on your computer and you’re ready to swoosh. Get it from Schtickers, in all sizes. Don’t like red? There’s a black alternative too.

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Have this Rock on decal on your laptop and get ready for some fun. Suits best for party goers and office bunkers. Available in all sizes. Get it here.

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Put this cute panda guitar hero on your laptop and enjoy the fun. Comes in custom sizes from Gelaskins. (Skins from Gelaskins usually go above $20)

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Get this sea side scenery for your laptop. An excellent work on hand painting, this one will cost you thirty bucks from Gelaskins.

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This one brings back memories of Wall-E. This red robot is shown leaving this city, a city of well, broken building and bigger bad robots. If it mesmerizes you, get it from here.

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Another lego robot on the list. This time it’s with birds. Get this Red Robot decal from here. If you fancy a red robot with a dog instead, it’s there too.

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This one’s for music freaks. Get this cool cartoonish figure for your laptop hood from here.

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I love this one. The picture is so artistically made, it makes the whale look so cute, don’t you think so? Well, go ahead if you’re just getting it for the sake of a better fail whale. Grab it here.

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I don’t know what bird is this, but it looks like a peacock. And it’s beautiful. To put it on your laptop, get it here.

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Pwn! others with this slick decal. Available on for both Mac and PC, get it from here.

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Flight to the rhythmwith this cool vector decal. Another one for music lovers, get this one here.

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This one’s called Madness and mind it, the face really looks like of a drunk person! But it’s cool, and if you like it, get it here.

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Put this exhilarating artwork on your laptop lid. It’s called What lies aheadand is available on Infectious.

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If you like old school stuff, you might wanna adapt your laptop to your liking. This VHS decal makes your laptop look like a pile of tapes. Like it? Get it here.

So that finishes the list. Last, but not the least, do tell us about your favorite laptop skins in the comments and also how you like your laptop dressed!