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HP ZBook Studio G3 Rreview: Solid Performer With Great Display, But Average Battery Life



For anyone used to today’s teeny laptops that are, well, lappable, the HP ZBook Studio G3 will be a surprise. It’s big. Yes, it’s a laptop form factor. And yes, it’s actually not too bad on the lap, although at 4.4 lb and 14.76 x 10.04 x 0.71 in, it’s rather hefty for carrying around. The price is hefty too, starting at $3,769. The list price as tested was $3,922.39.

It seems funny to grumble about 4.4 lb (5.5 lb with the monster 150 watt a/c adapter factored in), when I can still remember hauling 6 lb plus laptops around, but compared to today’s thin and light machines, the ZBook is substantial (although, believe it or not, it still qualifies as an Ultrabook). But it packs a ton more power than the average Ultrabook. Our review unit boasted a quad core Intel Xeon processor (you can also get the ZBook with Intel Core i5 or i7 CPUs), and 32 GB RAM, as well as 512 GB of NVMe PCIe SSD storage. It is a serious workstation, not a business laptop, hence both the size and the price.

Its PCMark Creative Accelerated score (for measuring video editing, etc) was 4487, which is better than 63 per cent of machines. It is not, however, adequate for high end gaming or Oculus Rift virtual reality, which needs scores over 6600. For standard office applications, it was also mid-range, besting 59 per cent of systems. This, however, may have been because the benchmark did not recognize the special edition NVIDIA Quadro M1000M graphics subsystem driving the 15.6 inch, 3480×2160 display (the machine also contains an Intel HD Graphics P530 adapter, which appears to be what the benchmark tested). This machine was designed for performance applications, so it’s no wimp.

The backlit keyboard is full-sized, with a huge palmrest (with optional fingerprint reader) and 5.5 inch trackpad. Navigation is a bit of a pain on the large, high-resolution screen – you have to swipe repeatedly to get the cursor from side to side on the display. An external mouse is almost a must with this machine. The keyboard has the Home/PgUp/PgDn/End keys down the right side, which wreaks a certain amount of havoc on typing accuracy until you get used to it. An attempt at backspacing hits the Home key, for example, and trying for Enter results in PgDn, until you remember to shift your hand a keyspace inwards.

The screen resolution is excellent — you can easily watch 4K video on it. In fact, Windows displays text and icons at 250 per cent magnification, just so you can see them clearly. I found that to be overkill — it was better at 200 per cent — but it’s easily adjustable.

The physical design is attractive, with a latticed underside (partly for cooling) and dotted charcoal top that doesn’t show smudges or fingerprints. A series of tiny indicator lights occupy the front left edge, but oddly enough, the legend explaining them is on the bottom of the machine, so you have to pick it up and peer underneath to discover what each one means.

The port collection is extensive, with an RJ-45, two USB 3.0 ports, and an SD card slot on the left, and HDMI, power, audio, a pair of Thunderbolt 3 ports, and another USB 3.0 port on the right. If you want DisplayPort, though, you’re out of luck.

The ZBook is built like a tank, designed to pass 15 MIL-SPEC-810G tests that mean it should survive drops, vibration, shocks, extreme temperatures, and rainy and dusty conditions. HP is confident enough in its durability to provide a standard warranty of three years parts and labour, onsite.

All of this power, of course, impacts battery life. I managed just over four and a half hours, with relatively modest use. That’s not great – longer would be nice if the machine is expected to do things like on-location video editing, where it may be difficult to find a plug. When charging, the bottom rear of the machine gets uncomfortably warm.

The system comes with Windows 10 Pro, with downgrade rights to Windows 7. Our review unit ran Windows 10 quite capably.

Overall, if you’re looking for a solid performer with a great display, the HP ZBook Studio G3 could be a good choice, as long as battery life isn’t a consideration.

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Beauty Week is back at Hudson’s Bay in Toronto and it’s time to get glam



Beauty enthusiasts rejoice! Beauty Week at Hudson’s Bay is back in Toronto for another year. It’s time to stock up on all of your fall essentials and, maybe discover some new ones. 

From Friday, August 18 to Sunday, August 27, you can expect a truly elevated beauty experience in-store with incredible special offers, limited-time gifts, and exciting activations. 

If you’re a diehard beauty lover, you’ll already know that Hudson’s Bay is the place to shop thanks to its extensive range of over 195 skin and makeup brands from both luxury labels and masstige brands — including Tata Harper, Estée Lauder, YSL, Nars Cosmetics, Bobbi Brown, and so much more.

Throughout The Bay’s Beauty Week, visitors can take in some at-counter activations and interactive expert-led tutorials, where there will be chances to get makeup touch-ups from top-tier brands, try a spritz of the most alluring fragrances, and sample tons of new products.

This year’s Beauty Week highlight is the ‘Best in Beauty’ tote, a meticulously-curated selection of 30 deluxe samples from an array of top-tier brands like Dr. Barbara Sturm and Shiseido spanning skincare, fragrance, and makeup — all in a super sleek bag.

The tote, which is valued at over $300, is retailing for just $39 and is a fantastic way to explore new products (without breaking the bank). However, there is a limited quantity, so if you want to get your hands on one, you’ll need to be fast.

Wondering exactly what Beauty Week’s free gifts with purchases entail? If you spend over $95 at Lancôme, you will receive a six-piece set valued at $130. Or, you can get an Estée Lauder gift valued at $170 with purchases over $80. (And that’s just to name a few.)

If you’re a Hudson’s Bay Rewards member, you’ll also get $20 in Hudson’s Bay rewards when you spend over $100 on beauty.

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The Canadian Armed Forces are hiring for several non-combat military jobs



The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have several non-combat jobs, some of which do not require a college degree or past work experience.

Life in the forces has several benefits, such as paid education plans (college, university and graduate-level programs), 20 paid vacation days, health and dental coverage for you and your family, maternity and paternal leave, and pension plans. You can learn more about the benefits in detail here.

And to make it easier to gauge if you qualify, the listings also include related civilian jobs to see if it’s your ideal role.

Financial services administrator

Related civilian jobs: Financial records entry clerk, financial manager, accounting technician, bookkeeper, budget officer, cashier clerk, business planner technician, and verification manager.

Description: You’ll help budget resources for all military activities besides providing financial assistance.

Education: You need to have completed Grade 10.

Duties: As a financial services administrator, you’ll be responsible for bookkeeping and managing budgets. You’ll also provide support in accounts payable and accounts receivable.

Work environment: Those in this role work at CAF bases, on ships or overseas. You might also be expected to help special operation units, recruiting offices, schools, and medical organizations.

Postal clerk

Related civilian jobs: Mail clerk, mail sorter.

Description: You’ll provide postal services to members and their families at bases and establishments.

Education: Grade 10. No previous work experience or related career skills are required.

Duties: As the postal clerk, you’ll handle mail duties.

Work environment: Besides a postal office, you may work on a ship or a mobile postal van. You might be expected to serve with Royal Canadian Navy, the Army, and the Royal Canadian Air Force in Canada and abroad.

Dental technician

Related civilian jobs: Dental assistant, dental hygienist.

Description: You’ll be helping dental officers provide dental services to CAF members, their families, and dependents.

Education: Level II dental assisting diploma from an accredited college or a National Dental Assisting Examining Board (NDAEB) certificate.

Duties: Those in this role will be responsible for various responsibilities, including disinfection and sterilization of dental equipment, applying rubber dams, placing cavity liners, and controlling bleeding. In addition, you’ll assist in laboratory procedures like creating casts, custom trays, and mouthguards.

Work environment: This role will require you to work in a military dental clinic, a Mobile Dental Clinic, an Air Transportable Dental System, or onboard a ship. You might be expected to work on a base in Canada or other operations in other parts of the world.

Human resources administrator

Related civilian jobs: Records administrator, data entry supervisor, receptionist, office manager, executive assistant, payroll clerk, and information management technician.

Description: Provide administrative and general human resources support.

Education: Grade 10. No previous work experience or related career skills are required.

Duties: In addition to human resources administration and services, you’ll be handling pay and allowances, managing automated pay systems, and maintaining personnel records.

Work environment: HR administrators work at all CAF bases in Canada. They also work on ships and overseas to support the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Navy, or Royal Canadian Air Force operations.

Medical assistant

Related civilian jobs: Emergency medical responder, ambulance and first aid attendant, registered nursing assistant, licensed practical nurse, and hospital orderly.

Description: Successful candidates will help treat the sick and injured in CAF units. You’ll be assisting and supporting nursing and medical officers.

Education: Minimum of Grade 11 biology, Grade 10 physics or chemistry, and Grade 10 math.

Duties: You’ll provide initial care and essential life support treatments in trauma cases. You’ll help with health assessments (hearing and vision tests, perform basic lab procedures, etc.) and initiate and manage medical records and reports. You’ll also be expected to provide support and first aid during training exercises.

Work environment: Medical assistants may serve with the Royal Canadian Navy, the Royal Canadian Air Force or the Canadian Army as part of the Canadian Forces Health Services Group. Those in this role are exposed to the same risks as the forces they support.

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Porter’s new loyalty program promises to match Air Canada’s Aeroplan status



Porter Airlines is once again stirring the pot among Canadian airline rivals, now going after Air Canada’s Aeroplan members by offering to match their loyalty status to an equivalent of their own.

The beloved airline, which recently ranked as having the best cabin service in North America, challenged the competition for the second time this year, after previously deploying a similar tactic against WestJet in the spring. 

Earlier in April, Porter presented customers with a limited-time offer to match the loyalty status of WestJet’s patrons with VIPorter levels.

Now, they’re offering Aeroplan members to seamlessly transition to an equivalent VIPorter Avid Traveller status based on their existing membership tier.

Members can then take advantage of an array of travel perks that come with flying Porter, including seat selection, baggage, and flight changes.

For those currently holding an Aeroplan membership, there are two ways to acquire the Avid Traveller status for the rest of 2023:

Status-Based Match:
  • Aeroplan 25K members = VIPorter Venture
  • Aeroplan 35K members = VIPorter Ascent
  • Aeroplan 50K, 75K, and Super Elite = VIPorter First
Flight Segments-Based Match:
  • 5 flight segments = VIPorter Passport
  • 8 segments = VIPorter Venture
  • 17 segments = VIPorter Ascent
  • 28 or more segments = VIPorter First

Members will have to first submit their applications on Porter’s website. Registration will remain open until September 6, 2023.

In order to maintain their membership level through 2024, customers will have until the end of 2023 to reach the following reduced qualifying spend (QS) targets:

  • Passport = $500 in QS
  • Venture = $750 in QS
  • Ascent = $1500 in QS
  • First = $2500 in QS

Over the past year, Porter has launched an aggressive expansion strategy, including everything from introducing longer flights on newly-purchased jet planes flying out of Toronto Pearson, free WiFi, and a new all-inclusive economy experience.

With Canadians losing both Swoop and Sunwing as WestJet incorporates both into their mainline business, Porter’s direct competition is welcome to keep prices competitive.

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