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Five Best Small Form Factor PCs

If you’re looking for a computer that can fit anywhere and do almost anything, a small form-factor PC is your best bet. The best ones offer power and portability, make the right compromises, and still come in at a good price. This week we’re looking at five of the best, based on your nominations and suggestions.

Briefly: Crazy Cosplay, Cheap 1TB HDD, George R R Martin Slams Fans

Brief news items for Lifehacker readers, including: the craziest cosplay from Anime Expo 2014, George R R Martin says “f*ck you” to doomsayer fans, how PC enthusiasts are like dog owners.

Netbooks Rapidly Grabbing Notebook Market Share

It’s well-recognised that notebook sales are now outstripping desktop PCs, but within the notebook category, netbooks are also claiming an increasing chunk of the market.

Top 10 Computer Hardware Fixes And Upgrades

If desktop or laptop parts have died or seen better days, you’ve got a friend. All of your Lifehacker editors—and many helpful net denizens—have upgraded or repaired faulty systems, and we’ve rounded some of their helpful tutorials.

Is The Desktop PC Dead?

Desktop sales fell by 23 percent last year across the computer industry. In the U.S., 80 percent of sales went to notebooks. Gizmodo declares the desktop dead, but we’re wondering if you see a future for non-mobile systems.

Why I Didn't Buy A Mac

When I decided to purchase a new PC for the Hand Luggage Only project, I had a pretty open mind about what I might get, but I must admit there was one decision already made: I definitely wasn’t going to buy a Mac.

Dear Lifehacker: Can I Survive University With Just A Laptop PC?

Dear Lifehacker, A combination of dire economic times and a certain level of job dissatisfaction has steered me back towards uni. I’ll be starting a course in Tasmania in mid-Feb and I was wondering what systems people were using to get the most out of their study. I’m considering going down the laptop route however feel that there are times where paper will be necessary. Is all electronic the way to go? Unfortunately I didn’t buy a tablet and can’t see myself getting one in the foreseeable future due to budget restraints. Thanks, Ryan

As my only exposure to universities in recent years has been when attending conferences, I’m definitely opening this one up to the readers, but I will make the following points first:

Access to power is your biggest challenge — very few if any lecture rooms have power at every seat, and even libraries are tricky — so maximum battery life is an important consideration. Every time I’ve tested tablet PCs for note-taking, I’ve abandoned them. They seem OK for business meetings, but not for lectures where detail is more likely to be important.

Beyond that, though, I’ll ask everyone else: have you managed a wholly electronic education?

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