Ask an Expert: Featuring Avram Piltch, LaptopMag Editor

Ask an Expert: Featuring Avram Piltch, LaptopMag Editor
  1. Ask an Expert: Featuring Avram Piltch, LaptopMag Editor
    Are you looking for the perfect laptop and need an expert’s opinion on the latest and greatest? Avram Piltch, Editorial Director of Tom's Guide and LaptopMag, is here to h…

Are you having difficulty finding the right laptop? Need an expert’s opinion on the latest and greatest? We’re introducing on Tom’s Guide our advice installment ‘Ask an Expert’, hosted by your community staff.

For a time, we’re going to help you and answer questions regarding laptop tech support. What type of tech you’re looking for, how powerful of a laptop you need, and the gear necessary to cover all your needs.

Our special guest this week is Avram Piltch, Editorial Director of Tom’s Guide and LaptopMag. As one of the geekiest members of the Tom’s Guide staff, Avram directs both the editorial and production teams. Passionate about testing his products, Avram has developed several of our real-world benchmarks including the Laptop Battery Test and the Spreadsheet Productivity Test. He holds a Master’s degree in English from New York University.

‘Ask an Expert’ will be running from 2PM Wednesday July 19th to 4PM Friday July 21st. The forum thread will open on 10AM July 19th in preparation for questions.

Ask and Expert Rules

  •  All Rules of Conduct apply.
  •  Keep questions direct and to the point.
  • Avoid opinion bias, as in, "Why are all your products awesome/horrible?"
  •  Be respectful of our guests--no insults, no leading questions.
  • Do not post duplicate questions or repost your question multiple times.
  •  Not all ques…
  1. SwiftKey Update Brings Emoji Prediction, 'Oxygen' Themes, and More Languages - Gadgets
    07.20 / 14:30
    Microsoft today released an update for SwiftKey that includes a handful of new features including emoji prediction and enhancements to 3D Touch gestures. Users who tap on the emoji key will now see a new prediction panel that automatically suggests up to 18 relevant emoji depending on what they type, saving them the trouble of searching through the entire list. The update also includes eight new "Oxygen" themes adding up to a spectrum of vibrant colors for SwiftKey…
  2. TSMC Rumored to Be Sole Supplier of A-Series iPhone Chips in 2018 - Gadgets
    07.20 / 14:30
    Earlier this week, a report by The Korea Herald suggested that Samsung Electronics could be returning as a supplier for the so-called A12 chip in 2018's line of iPhones, after being removed from the A-series chip supply chain in 2016 and 2017, years in which Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company took on all of the orders. Now, industry observers reported upon by DigiTimes are predicting that TSMC is "still likely" to retain its title as the sole manufacturer of A-series chips in…
  3. Rhianna Pratchett: From newbie to the ‘rock star’ of video game writing - Gadgets
    07.20 / 14:30
    Rhianna Pratchett has established herself as one of the few ‘rock stars’ of video game writing, but it hasn’t always been so straightforward. The post Rhianna Pratchett: From newbie to the ‘rock star’ of video game writing appeared first on Silicon Republic…
  4. Comment: The suggestion of a constrained iPhone 8 launch in September seems credible to me - Gadgets
    07.20 / 14:09
    We’ve been hearing all kinds of speculation about when the iPhone 8 might go on sale. I think we’ve now had at least one guesstimate for every month from October through to January of next year. But JP Morgan yesterday suggested that the iPhone 8 (or iPhone Pro, as they dub it) will appear on time in September, just in constrained volumes. Specifically, JP Morgan predicts that around 2M units will be available in September. To me, this seems the most credible of all the reports …
  5. Transmit 5 review: File transfer utility expands support for cloud services - Apple
    07.20 / 14:08
    File-transfer programs seem like a vestige of the internet that once was. FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is one of the oldest of the internet’s standards, and it’s still in broad use. But our need to shift files around among servers we control or those run by others hasn’t decreased a bit. So many companies offer cloud-based storage and sync that you may be drowning in a multiplicity of options. For […] The post Transmit 5 review: File transfer utility expands support…
  6. Apple Privacy Executives Lobby Australian Government Against New Encryption Law - Gadgets
    07.20 / 13:58
    A looming change in Australia’s privacy law has led Apple to send its top privacy executives to the country twice over the last month to lobby the government against such changes. The proposed law would force tech companies to hand over their encryption keys to the Australian government. Continue reading…
  7. iTunes and App Store Carrier Billing Comes to Three More Countries - Gadgets
    07.20 / 13:58
    Customers in Denmark, Hong Kong, and Sweden will now be able to pay for iTunes and App Store purchases through their carriers directly without requiring to furnish a debit/credit card or any other payment method. Continue reading …
  8. Become Batman with the KILLSPENCER Utility Belt - Gadgets
    07.20 / 13:56
    Why use your pockets when you can hang all your EDC gear from your belt? You know, like Batman. KILLSPENCER lets you live that dream with their new Utility Belt. See, they even used the same name. The KILLSPENCER Utility Belt is a handcrafted, made in the USA (Los Angeles) bull hide leather belt that…
  9. Picture-in-picture mode for video calls coming to WhatsApp on Android O - Gadgets
    07.20 / 13:49
    WhatsApp is very close to getting a new feature that would allow users to watch YouTube videos directly in the app, but only on iOS devices. We had already reported on the matter a few days ago, but if you don't remember, then you should know the feature is still under development and will work just like picture-in-picture mode.Apparently, the team behind WhatsApp is working on a similar feature for Android devices, which will work on video calls. The bad news is it will only support…
  10. Poll: same price, different beasts – would you buy the LG G6 or OnePlus 5? - Gadgets
    07.20 / 13:49
    About a month ago, the OnePlus 5 hit the market and, save for a few unfortunate bumps, it has the smartphone fandom pleased. Well, almost pleased, as OnePlus has managed to slither up in the price tiers and its “flagship killer” no longer costs a measly $300. Nope, the OnePlus 5 will set you back either $480 or $540, depending on which storage / RAM variant you go for.All the while, one of the major manufacturers — LG — has sliced the price of its latest flagship in less than half a year of…
  11. Harvey Norman Security Launches Helix Smart Security & Home Automation System Featuring Self-Monitoring from Your Phone - Gadgets
    07.20 / 13:48
    For more mobile technology news Sydney, Australia, July 20, 2017 –(– Harvey Norman Security, one of the Australia’s leaders in the security industry, has launched a new home security & home automation product (Helix) featuring Self-Monitoring. It’s a giant leap for Harvey Norman Security to launch a next generation product in Australia enabling you to monitor your home security without […] The post Harvey Norman Security Launches Helix Smart Security & Home Aut…
  12. PSA: Google Calendar added a drag-and-drop gesture for moving events to different times and days - Gadgets
    07.20 / 13:43
    With version 5.7.25 of Google Calendar published on June 15, the app added one feature that we've always wanted and sort of gave up on having: drag-and-drop for events. But it took until Reddit user Racing24 noticed it yesterday for us to go back a few versions and track the change down to that specific release of Calendar. How it works is simple. With your Calendar open on the day view, 3-day view, or week view, you can hold any event and drag it to another time slot. Read MorePSA:…
  13. [Deal Alert] Caseology are having a sale on Amazon, including $4 cases for the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ - Gadgets
    07.20 / 13:43
    Caseology is a trusted and well-reviewed case maker, so a sale of its products on Amazon may well be of interest to some of you. Particularly those of you who've so far managed not to break that beautiful screen on you Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+, as there are cases for those devices starting at $4, as well as many others. Deals are also available for cases that fit Samsung phones such as the Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, S6 Edge, and Note 5. Read More[Deal Alert] Caseology are having a sale on…
  14. Play Protect is starting to roll out to all devices on Google Play Services 11 - Gadgets
    07.20 / 13:43
    Back at Google I/O in May, Google announced Play Protect, the consumer-facing evolution of Verify Apps, which is the background app check service that makes sure you don't have any suspicious or malicious software installed on your device. Verify Apps has existed for many years and has grown from an opt-in feature to an opt-out one, then to a background process, and then earlier in February it started displaying the apps it had scanned. Read MorePlay Protect is starting to roll out to all…
  15. Microsoft Smashes Windows 10 Support for These CPUs -Gadgets
    07.20 / 13:32
    It's official: Microsoft has ended Windows 10 support for PCs with older Intel Atom Clover Trail CPUs. Specifically, machines with those chips can't upgrade to the Creators Update.“Recognizing that…
  16. Planning to watch a pirated version of Game of Thrones? HBO is coming - Gadgets
    07.20 / 13:29
    If you’re a Game of Thrones fan and simply cannot wait till HBO airs each episode, then you have something more than spoilers to worry about. HBO is maintaining constant vigilance online and is tracking every pirated version for the latest season. While the Season 7 premiere episode saw the maximum number of viewers tuning in to watch it, there were even more who streamed the series online through pirated sites or other illegal sources. HBO has now gotten quite serious regarding Game…
  17. Meizu’s latest teaser confirms secondary display on Pro 7: Here’s everything you need to know - Gadgets
    07.20 / 13:29
    The Meizu Pro 7 has been a part of rumor mills for quite some time now. The company recently announced that it will be launching the Pro 7 and Pro 7 Plus smartphones in China on July 26. Now, the company has posted a teaser on Twitter hinting at the USP of the phone — the secondary display. While we already knew that the smartphone would come with a secondary display, this is the first time Meizu has officially confirmed the existence of the feature. The tweet reads “A new…
  18. Apple starts Machine Learning blog for AI students, researchers and developers - Gadgets
    07.20 / 13:29
    After publishing its first Artificial Intelligence research paper in an academic journal last year, Apple has today announced its Machine Learning blog. The official Apple Machine Learning Journal will allow Apple’s software engineers to share their research and innovations. According to the blog, followers can “read posts written by Apple engineers about their work using machine learning technologies to help build innovative products for millions of people around the…
  19. OnePlus 5 gets support for Snapdragon Music and MusicFX apps - Gadgets
    07.20 / 13:29
    OnePlus 5 users can now install the MusicFX app. Courtesy an XDADeveloper member, OnePlus 5 users can now download and install the Snapdragon Music and MusicFX apps over the internet. There are a number of CAF-optimized applications that are made to run well on Snapdragon devices. A popular one is the Snapdragon Camera, and now Snapdragon Music is available too. To download the Snapdragon Music and MusicFX apps, these are the APK files – Snapdragonmusic.apk and MusicFX.apk. Just go…
  20. Intex Aqua Lions 3 with Android Nougat, 4,000mAh battery launched, priced at Rs 6,499: Specifications and features - Gadgets
    07.20 / 13:29
    Catering to the growing demand of 4G VoLTE-enabled smartphones, homegrown Intex launched its Aqua Lions 3 today. Priced at Rs 6,499, the Intex Aqua Lions 3 is available in Champagne and Black color choices. One of the key highlights of the affordable smartphone is that it comes with SwiftKey keyboard by Microsoft which makes regional language input easy. The Intex Aqua Lions 3 includes support for 22 Indian languages and is powered by the newest Android operating system. In addition to…