Walt Mossberg

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Where’s the Intel Sticker?

Q:

Thanks for explaining how to use the new-style Intel Inside sticker to find a laptop with the latest Intel chip. But what if I’m shopping online, where they usually don’t show the sticker?

A:

Besides the sticker, there are two ways to tell if the PC or Mac you are considering has the latest Intel Core processor, which boosts battery life. One is to look for the words “Fourth Generation” or “4th gen” or even “Haswell” (the chip’s code name) in the description of the processor. The other is to check what Intel calls the processor number, which follows the chip’s name, to make sure it starts with the number 4. One example might be Intel Core i5 — 4300M.

Q:

Apple’s iTunes Genius feature is getting on my nerves, because, when I sync my device, it takes up time syncing “Genius data.” What does Genius do and how can I turn it off?

A:

Genius is a free, optional feature that can create mixes or playlists based on songs in your music library. The data that is synced is used to update the playlist-creation algorithms about changes to your library. If you don’t use Genius or like it, you can turn it off by going to iTunes on your computer, selecting the Store menu, and clicking on “Turn Off Genius.” Note: These menu items won’t be available if you use iTunes Match, a separate, paid service that stores your music in the cloud.

Q:

I need a new laptop and I want Windows, but I don’t want to get one with Windows 8, or Windows 8.1. Is it still possible to buy a laptop with Windows 7?

A:

Yes. They are getting scarcer, but you can find them at both stores and online. I saw a few in a Micro Center chain store about 10 days ago. Checking on the chain’s website, I see more, from $350 to over $1,000. But many listings indicate a limited number remain in stock.

Write to Walt at mossberg@wsj.com.


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