Posts byFran Thirley

Using Surface Pro for business

If, like many businesses, your company is accustomed to using laptops to carry out your administrative tasks, you may think there’s no way a tablet could compare. After all, only a laptop could be capable of the range of functions, performance and connectivity your business needs, right?

Not necessarily. Microsoft’s latest Surface Pro tablet, simply called the Surface Pro, is a hybrid enterprise device that combines a number of essential business-specific requirements, and could prove a versatile and cost-effective alternative to the traditional laptop. read more


Mac users: survey results revealed

Last month, we ran a survey to find out how Apple customers use their machines. We came across some startling results that showed us just how vital Macs are to their users – and how important it is to have a functioning Mac at any time.

The survey was open to Hardsoft customers and general Mac users. Most of the respondents were in the UK, but we received responses from all over the world.

  • 74% of current Mac owners said they would buy another for their next computer
  • Just 6% of Mac owners don’t own any other Apple products
  • 5% of respondents admitted to owning a Mac because it made them look cool (the other 95% were too cool to say so).


Mac user survey sample results

Of the professional users that participated the survey, most users slotted into design, creative or development jobs (over 51 per cent). read more


Six of the best iPad apps for education

Apple iPads are fast becoming a valuable tool within the classroom. Using an iPad opens the door to a wealth of information and enables the user to share their knowledge in a range of ways.

The portability of the iPad means that students no longer have to sit at a computer and presents endless opportunities for teachers and students to create and share knowledge. Through iOS apps schools can deliver a richer learning experience.

Apple is very focused on education, particularly when it comes to the iPad, and offers a huge number of free resources for children, parents and teachers. On the Apple website, you’ll find specialist help with creating content for iPad for use in schools and colleges. read more


A MacBook Pro challenger from HP? Meet the new ZBook G2 Mobile Workstations…

Hp zbook leasing

Could the new HP ZBook G2 start to out-perform Apple?

HP have recently announced the release of their new updated ZBook mobile workstations, which will go on sale early November 2014. Termed the ZBook G2. After doing some research on the new ZBooks here at HardSoft, we got to thinking about how they might compare to the Apple MacBook Pros updated just a few months ago…

Apple traditionally are always first with the latest CPUs, but maybe HP are catching up? Let’s start by looking at some basic features – we use the term “basic” lightly! HP have released two new ZBook workstations, both of which come with Intel Core i7 quad-core processors and ISV-certified NVIDIA Quadro or AMD FirePro professional graphics. (These graphics cards are ‘certified’ for CAD use- the Geforce on the Mac is great for Gaming but not as fast for CAD. read more


How to get 20% off Apple iPad Airs…

As Apple Authorised Resellers HardSoft are pleased to say that we have a variety of Apple Certified refurbished iPads in stock – available to lease at 20% cheaper than their normal price. This is like leasing five iPads but only paying for four !

To give you an example on pricing our most popular iPad product, the 32GB iPad Air, can be leased at just £3.95 per week. From a small business perspective, you could equip 5 employees with the latest iPad Air for less than £20 per week. Other iPad Air and Mini retinas are available so feel free to contact us for other specs. read more


Take a look at the new Mobile Workstation, the MSI WS60…

msi workstationsEstablished over 25 years ago, HardSoft are specialists in the leasing of both PC and Mac. Even better, much of the equipment we have on lease is chosen with the creative business in mind. We appreciate that the kit the creative amongst you need is highly expensive to purchase outright, but without it you can’t get the work done properly or on time!

With this in mind, let us introduce a new laptop to you that has been designed for the serious creative/CAD user: the MSI WS60 – described as being perfect for mobile designers and CAD CAM engineers! MSI or Micro-Star International was set-up in 1986 and has focused on innovation ever since. Competing against the HP Z Book (which some reviews say is struggling to keep up with the competition because of its price) and the Lenovo W Series (which does the job but is bulky in appearance), we believe this laptop lives up to MSI’s aims and deserves some recognition. Users tend to stick with the HP or the Lenovo because they feel safe with these products – they are well known and get the job done. … and they are  certainly value for money and represent a circa 40% saving over the equivalent HP Z Book or Lenovo WS540. read more