The Chicago Journal

8 Best laptops in 2020

Laptops have become more essential than ever for remote access to work, school, and web-based apps. Maximizing battery life becomes an even greater priority to make sure we remain connected to the rest of the world without interruption. These dozen laptops can keep you online and working longer when you need to be unplugged.

Disclosure: ZDNet may earn an affiliate commission from some of the products featured on this page. ZDNet and the author were not compensated for this independent review.

Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1

A business convertible laptop with a number of features — and a price tag to match — the Latitude 7400’s most impressive spec has to be its battery life. While laptop review sites have varying methods of battery testing, top reviewers are getting at least 13 hours of juice from the system.

Though its eighth-generation Core processors options aren’t Intel’s latest, they’re still powerful Core i5 and i7 options. Step up from the base configuration, and you get 8GB or 16GB of RAM, 256GB or 512GB solid-state storage, a full 1,920×1,080 14-inch display, and a larger 60Whr battery that can maximizes battery life. Regardless of configuration, once you do reach the end of your charge, Dell claims the ExpressCharge feature provides an 80% recharge in a just an hour.

Acer Aspire 5

In a world of snazzy luxe notebooks and dirt-cheap laptops, it’s hard for a solid mainstream laptop to stand out. But that shouldn’t stop you from looking past Acer’s Aspire family, which offers all-around quality at a reasonable price While the Aspire 5 won’t stand out in most areas, long battery life is its calling card. In its review of the Aspire 5, our sister site CNET got over 8.5 hours of juice from its battery. 

That finding is close to the 9 hours Acer claims for the Aspire 5, and is noticeably higher than most sub-$500 laptops provide. You also get decent performance from Intel Core and AMD Ryzen processors, and Acer even throws in a full HD 15.6-inch screen to boot.

Acer Swift 1

Need a little more battery life and don’t mind a bit less performance than the Aspire 5? Acer has you covered with the Swift 1, a 2020 version of what we used to think of as the type of laptop that would sport good battery life: It’s pretty cheap and small, and won’t be confused with a $2,000 gaming laptop in the performance realm.  

Nonetheless, the Swift 1 is more than competent for basic tasks, which you can perform all day thanks to its battery life. CNET’s testing found that the laptop provided more than 9 hours of life between charges, close to the 10 hours that Acer claims for the Swift 1. It manages to hit that figure by using lower performance, but more efficient Intel Pentium and Celeron processors, though Acer does throw in a full HD 14-inch display even on the base configuration. 

Apple MacBook Pro

Just from its name along, the MacBook Air should have the best battery life of Apple’s laptops, right? Not anymore, as the latest MacBook Pro models have surpassed the svelte Air. One advantage of the MacBook Pro’s bigger size is that Apple can squeeze a bigger battery within it, and in the case of the 16-inch version, it’s much bigger: 100Whr compared to the 58Whr of the 13-inch edition. 

While you’re supposed to get an extra hour of battery life from the bigger MacBook Pro, it also has more room for top-notch components that can quickly erase that advantage. If you want a more consistent 10 hours of battery life, the smaller MacBook Pro might be the ticket if you’re set on an Apple laptop with the top battery life. 

Asus ExpertBook B9450

Asus isn’t the first name when you think of business laptops, but that might change with the ExpertBook B9450, which weights a mere 1.9 pounds and promises up to an astounding 24 hours of battery when it launches in the coming weeks.

To go up against the likes of the Lenovo ThinkPads of the world, a full day’s battery life definitely helps, as does its meeting of MIL-STD 810G durability standards. Other cool features include a LED number pad that’s built into the trackpad area of the keyboard and, like the Dell Latitiude 7400, a quick-charging mode that recharges the battery up to 60 percent in just 40 minutes. Designed around the principles of Intel’s Project Athena initiative, the ExpertBook B9450’s combination of top battery life and design savvy could make it a business laptop worth considering compared to the more traditional players in the market.

Google PixelBook Go

Google rolled out the Chromebook concept years ago around a cheap laptop with minimal specs that could offer excellent battery life using the efficient Chrome OS and cloud-based apps. While it’s succeeded wildly with that concept, its own forays into Chromebook systems has taken a different tact, emphasizing higher specs and a higher price tag.

Its Pixelbook Go costs more than many mainstream Windows laptops, thanks to specs like Intel Core processors, superior keyboard and a full HD 13.3-inch touchscreen display. It’s also one of the increasing number of Chromebooks that offers Google Play store integration for access to Android apps. In terms of battery hours, Google claims 12 hours between charges, but ZDNet’s own Matthew Miller says he’s been getting closer to 10 hours. He’s also been using it as his daily laptop, which should say something about the effectiveness of Google’s approach.

HP Spectre x360

HP really stepped it up with the latest version of its ultraportable business 2-in-1, which gets a processor boost, receives some significant cosmetic surgery, and still retains superior battery life.

Specifically, the newest Spectre x360 leaps from 8th-generation to 10th-gen Intel Core CPU options, significantly improving its performance. It also loses a lot of unnecessary bezel space, making it 13 percent smaller than it previously was. Even with those changes, the Spectre x360 still provided 10.5 hours of battery life in CNET’s testing, part of the reason it earned our sister site’s Editors’ Choice award.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

The ExpertBook B9450 is designed to compete against the likes of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, one of the leading ultraportable business laptops. It’s a tall order, as the ThinkPad is a staple of the corporate world, and Lenovo doesn’t rest on its laurels with the X1 Carbon, including solid battery life. 

There’s one important caveat to its battery duration, however: If you opt for the 4K display with 500 nits of brightness, battery life plunges. If you can live with the 1080p display for superior battery performance, you still get a 2.4 pound system with a carbon-fiber chassis that has passed a dozen different MIL-STD-810G durability tests. 

Beyonce Drops Surprise New Single that Speaks Black Live Matters ‘Black Parade’: ‘I Can’t Forget My History, It’s Her-Story’

Truth to be told, Beyonce is making out most of her energy in fighting for the rights of the Black Community. Her fame and influence in music have brought changes and anarchy. Her resilience and power have dominated the hearts of women in color. Moreover, she never disappoints and here she is, giving us a taste of revenge and justice through her art in music. How cool is that?

In true Beyonce form, the singer surprised everyone when she released a new song co-written by husband Jay-Z on Juneteenth.

Beyonce fans rendered speechless and really caught in surprise when Queen Bey dropped a surprise single on Juneteenth. The 38-year-old took to Instagram to reveal her latest song, “Black Parade” which was co-written by her husband Jay-Z. The track, which has an overarching theme of empowerment and resilience, centers on the recent Black Lives Matter protests sweeping the nation in the wake of George Floyd‘s tragic death at the hands of police. The song screams power and demands for justice, making the single a trend and a hit few hours of its official release on music platforms. 

“Happy Juneteenth Weekend! I hope we continue to share joy and celebrate each other, even in the midst of struggle. Please continue to remember our beauty, strength and power,” she captioned her June 19 Instagram post. “BLACK PARADE celebrates you, your voice and your joy and will benefit Black-owned small businesses.”

 Beyonce articulately deliver the message and will make our fist to pump with headbang at the same time. The superstar is rally vocal with her roots in her music but her tracks will always leave an imprint and impact as always. 

Happy Juneteenth Weekend! I hope we continue to share joy and celebrate each other, even in the midst of struggle. Please continue to remember our beauty, strength and power. _ “BLACK PARADE” celebrates you, your voice and your joy and will benefit Black-owned small businesses. Click the link in my bio to learn more.

A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on Jun 19, 2020 at 6:47pm PDT

Just like other musicians that are really voicing out their opinions on social media, Beyonce also initiated causes that will help to seek justice and demand for justified accountability among violators. The untoward incidents made her wake since the beginning and poured it into music. 

The “Crazy In Love” hitmaker referenced her roots in the south, specifically Texas, which is one state below Oklahoma where Trump is holding a rally this weekend. “I’m goin’ back to the South … Back where my roots ain’t watered down,” she sings at the beginning of the song. She also sings about police brutality and the George Floyd protests. “Put your fists up in the air, show black love. Need peace and reparation for my people.” Her lyrics are really on point and goosebumps all over the song. 

Fans and musicians were so impressed with the lyrical content and the cohesiveness of the track, and not to mention, it’s Beyonce. 

It comes as Bey and her fam flew into the Hamptons via private jet to New York’s East Hampton airport. They wore their protective face masks while getting off their plane: Bey carried three-year-old daughter Rumi in her arms, as Jay held on to her twin brother Sir. The couple’s eldest child, daughter Blue Ivy, eight, walked the stairs behind her superstar mom in the first new photos that show the entire Carter family on the move since the COVID-19 quarantine began in March.

Sam Mendes calls on Netflix and Amazon

The Director Sam Mendes has made his points to rescue package for free theatre during the coronavirus crisis and warned that if the performing arts are not protected, “an ecosystem this intricate and evolved cannot be rebuilt from scratch”. Mendes’ suggested measures, outlined in a long article for the Financial Times, have been applauded by key figures in the industry, with the choreographer Matthew Bourne hailing the plan as a “great call to arms”. Mendes said that TV streaming services should be made used to support performing arts industries, says Mendes as he outlines other rescue measures for free streaming.

According to Mendes, the COVID-19 is “the biggest challenge to Britain’s cultural life since the outbreak of the second world war” and stresses that the arts are “a giant economic growth engine”, with theatre launching the careers of thousands who go on to work in the film and TV industries. During his early career, Mendes sparked his film career out as a theatre director and launched his film career with the Oscar-winning American Beauty after he had spent several years at the Donmar Warehouse in London.

With his love of arts and during the dark times of careers of those in theatre have suffered in recent months, there are many, he writes, “whom Covid-19 has made rich”. He continues: “It would be deeply ironic if the streaming services – Netflix, Amazon Prime et al – should be making lockdown millions from our finest acting, producing, writing and directing talent, while the very arts culture that nurtured that talent pool is allowed to die.” He calls upon the titans of those industries to “use a fraction of their Covid-19 windfall” to support the performing arts during the crisis, he added.

With his vivid imagination and creative mind, Mendes’ career have sprung to success detailing practical propositions for steering theatre through the period of shutdown and recognizing the impracticalities of staging economically viable productions for socially distanced audiences in venues. He urges the continuation of the job retention scheme and a package to support theatre’s vital freelance workforce.

Mendes suggested that government should become a “theatrical angel” to support the private individuals who invest in productions and share in the profits of successful shows, asking for an increase in the rate for theatre’s tax-relief scheme, from 20% to 50%. 

 “This is not a request for a handout, or for long-term life support,” he writes, calling on the government to commit to a Cultural Investment Participation Scheme. “It is an offer for the government to become partners in a successful business.”

Also, Mendes used his voice of artistry to encourage The Cultural Investment Participation Scheme. Luckily it was outlined last month by the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre, which submitted a paper to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport proposing a series of practical solutions to support the theatre industry, amid warnings that 70% of theatres will run out of cash by the end of 2020. The paper points out theatre generates £133m in VAT payments for the Treasury in London alone: “We want the government to invest in our sector so we can continue to play our vital role in Britain’s future success and help the UK’s recovery.”

Tottenham take £175m Bank of England Loan to Ease Coronavirus Impact

Due to immediate lockdown that have caused too much trouble in our daily life as well in the business, Tottenham have borrowed £175m from the Bank of England to help them through and also as help to respond to the financial needs and funding of the necessities of the Covid-19 crisis.

With the big amount that have lost during the lockdown, the club is on worry that they could not get even profit more than £200m of revenue in the period from the start of lockdown to June 2021, that includes broadcast rebates, and they have sought help from the government’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility, which has provided them with the unsecured loan. The loans given will be used for expenses. Indeed, it is repayable in full next April at a rate of 0.5%, which is low in commercial terms, although Spurs could redraw it for another year. The rebate from the loans will not be spent for development of the club. This speaks frugality and practicality. 

And with that monetary insufficiency, José Mourinho has stated that the club are “not going to spend rivers of money” in the next transfer windows when things will be back to its normal track, and the bank loan will not be used for new players instead, rather to provide flexibility and support during what will be a hugely testing time amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

As mentioned, Mourinho was briefed from the beginning when he joined last November that there would not be a bunch of crispy cash for a January squad overhaul; the manager was allowed to sign Steven Bergwijn for £25.4m and this was offset by Christian Eriksen’s £16.9m departure to Internazionale. Mourinho’s eyes were wide open as to the financial realities at the club and the situation is even more straitened now. 

Spurs have undergone monetary downfall just like other businesses and franchises and hit by the pandemic big time because they had banked on revenue streams from fans attending various events at their stadium and does include and not only football matches aired. And with that, they have decided that they have had to cancel a rugby union game between Saracens and Harlequins, Anthony Joshua’s world title fight against Kubrat Pulev, two NFL fixtures and England versus Australia in the rugby league Ashes. Several concerts and events from Guns N’Roses and Lady Gaga and the Capital Radio Summertime Ball have also got cancelled. 

The club have emphasized in a statement that “as of today, it is unclear when there will be a return to spectator-attended live events”, and Daniel Levy is eager to look for more feasible and accessible technological solutions that could help fans to come back and have fun at the stadium.

The chairman said: “We have always run this club on a self-sustaining commercial basis. I said as early as 18 March that, in all my 20 years at the club, there have been many hurdles along the way but none of this magnitude – the Covid-19 pandemic has shown itself to be the most serious of them all.

“It is imperative that we now all work together – scientists, technologists, the government and the live events sector – to find a safe way to bring spectators back to sport and entertainment venues. Collectively we have the ability to support the development of new technologies to make this possible and to once again experience the passion of fans at live events.”

Last September, the Spurs have announced that they have to look again to their financial matters at their stadium loans. Consequently, they have borrowed £637m from Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and HSBC for the £1bn project and the money was due to be repaid by April 2022. But through US investors Levy converted roughly £525m of the debt into a bond scheme, with staggered maturities of between 15 and 30 years. This entails a bunch of money to look forward with. 

On the flip side, Levy have released a statement that Spurs’ accounts for last season at the start of the coronavirus crisis, which showed total revenues of £460.7m and robust post-tax profits of £68.6m.

Voice of the Customer Really Matters

Customers are becoming demanding than ever. With the ever-changing demands of the customer, adjustments and innovation will be our primary matra to keep the business relations at peace. It is really essential to pay attention of the wants, feedbacks, suggestions and comments of the customer to improve the quality business we are running. So, it is really important to open your eyes and ears to see and hear the feedbacks of your customers. In business, we have to be more assertive and critical in meeting the demands of the customer. Disregarding their voice will lead your company in the turmoil. By the way, what is Voice of the Customer?

Voice of the Customer (VoC) is a term that describes your customer’s feedback about their experiences with and expectations for your products or services. It focuses on customer needs, expectations, understandings, and product improvement. Maintaining the connection between the company and customer is the most challenging task in the corporate world. The strategies and the services should remain consistent and flexible for as the customer needs vary from time to time. 

Before you begin the building and planning for achieving customer relations consistent growth, you have to gather data or conduct a market research for the validity and identification of their needs and wants. Too often people rush into building a program without aligning all the necessary factors to move forward with creating a customer-centric organization


It always starts with the leaders. As the chief of the corporate world, you have to exemplify the qualities and traits of a strong and consistent leader. The decision is always on your last word. Leaders must initiate and inculcate to the members about the importance of prioritizing the voice of the customer. Also, you have to begin it inside your organization or staff. As they say, “you have to walk the talk”.


The goals and objectives should be clear so that the goals will be easily identified. Start with coming up with conventional ways on how to build connections and linkages with your customer to understand the demands to be met. 

Collaboration is really vital in for the long-term success of the customer-relations. The employees must be fully engaged and dynamic in creating successful customer initiatives. Hence, Social Media is the most widely used platform wherein the customers can relay their feedbacks and suggestions. The company should also keep abreast with the latest trend to keep up with the ever-changing needs of the customers.


The members of a company must run towards to the same direction, vision and goal and they must communicate with each other to establish better strategies and plans to promulgate the common vision. Basically, the actions and steps made should align with the improvisation of the customer’s satisfactory needs. We cannot avoid differences of ideas in an organization but each of the members should be open with dynamic ideas as long as it will improve the better services of the company as well as the product features.


There’s no overnight success and the consistency of the strategies and actions should be executed smoothly to avoid conflicts in customer relation. The voice of your customer provides hints and direction towards the success of the company, and with this, the willingness and commitment of the company to satisfy the customer’s wants is really a challenging part. An open-communication is a must to clarify the future services that a company wants to offer. Hearing the voice of the customer will be very beneficial in establishing the growth and welfare 


The company must deliver updates about the programs and initiatives. It is very essential to notify the customers to determine if the new innovation is favorable or not relevant at all. That is why, the establishment of connection with the customer is really beneficial.  This includes increasing market penetration by widening your marketing and promotion within your target market, increasing share of wallet by getting your customers to avail your services with you than they do with your competitors and improve spending by taking what your customers are spending in other areas and getting them to spend it with you instead.

Comedian John Oliver Emphasizes How White Supremacist in Policy Started

Comedian John Oliver made his point of the importance of tracing the origin of racist violence, specifically “white supremacist” in policymaking. Currently, he is working on his HBO show June 7 that tackles the racist violence of modern U.S. policing to its white supremacy origins wherein the preservation of power takes a toll. Dating back a few decades where injustices against the black community were more vicious and violent were used as a tool to preserve White power. 

“It’s important to understand how deeply policing in this country is entangled with white supremacy,” he said during the 30-minute segment. 

Oliver’s Last Week Tonight show aired that gives ample time to tackle the prevalent issue amid weeks of public uprising around the country in response to the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd. The infamous murder and among other examples of brutal and racist policing have erupted the dying patriotism of the Americans.

“Police have not just been just incidentally tainted by racism” Oliver added.

“Some of America’s first law enforcement units were the slave patrols charged with capturing and returning people who had escaped from slavery. And when slavery ended, White people had no intention of letting that be the end of White power.”

He also made his point the timeline of violence against the Black Community was neglected for decades but due to white supremacy. The policy maker seems dormant about the pressing issue. Everybody thinks that if Floyd’s death was not caught in tape, would it ring the loudest bell? The happenings clearly scream how the Government literally hustle down the issue, the obvious reason why people demands for justice for the Black Community who were inflicted with racism. 

Quoting from Michelle Alexander’s 2010 book The New Jim Crow: “As one Alabama planter said, in the wake of emancipation, ‘We have the power to pass stringent police laws to govern the Negroes—this is a blessing—for they must be controlled in some way or white people cannot live among them.’”

“I know that’s uncomfortable to hear. It’s certainly uncomfortable for me to say. But if we want to talk about how we got here, it’s important to remember that we got here on purpose.”  

“This clearly isn’t about individual officers,” Oliver said. 

His statement strongly invokes that the injustices does not only played by the officers, clearly and obviously. It is like in the household, if the patriarch has failed to guide his kids, unfortunate things will happen. As they go out, menace will take place. Likewise, inhumane acts by the police officers or any people in authority exercises are not anymore surprising but it always gives us nothing except disappointment. 

“It’s about a structure built on systemic racism that this country created intentionally, and now needs to be dismantled intentionally and replaced with one that takes into account the needs of the people that it actually serves.”

The accountability of unlawful acts must be sought and be the utmost concern. The privilege to commit crimes such as murder can be a no brainer for the people in authority to do so. This implies the lack of knowledge to promulgate order and humanity at the same time. But what can we expect? The executive is already a menace. 

“That is the idea behind ‘defund the police,’ if you actually listen to it.”

Oliver stressed out the effectiveness of calm and sustainable protests nationwide. This embodies the dormant spirit that has been awakened by Floyd’s unlawful and untimely death. Artists and musicians are also joining the cause and using their voice to rapidly spread awareness and gather their followers to be part of the movement.