Items tagged with review

Today we are going to take a look at Gigabyte’s Z170X-Designare motherboard, one of the company's more recent Socket 1151-based boards for Intel's 6th Generation Skylake-based processors. At first glance this is an unassuming board, at least in terms of its appearance. It features a dark and subdued black PCB with chrome highlights and nothing overly dramatic or gaudy. Yet for the sub-$250 price tag, this motherboard is loaded up with a strong array of cutting edge technologies. Among them is support for Intel Thunderbolt 3 across the board’s USB Type-c connection on the back I/O. This... Read more...
Mechanically speaking, Dell has done little to change or update the company's wildly popular XPS 13 and 15 series of premium consumer notebooks since their initial release. There's no mystery as to why that is the case, however. When something works this well, you stick with it. The Dell XPS 13 and XPS 15 have been two of the best selling notebooks in the company's history. That's a bold statement and it stands to reason. The Dell XPS 13 and XPS 15 line of machines, with their unique Infinity Edge displays and gorgeous carbon fiber and aluminum adorned chassis, are some of the best looking, best... Read more...
Electronics manufacturer, Huawei (pronounced "wah-WAY"), has been around for a very long time. It's the largest telecommunications company in the world, actually, though it doesn't have the same brand recognition in the US versus competitors like Apple, Samsung, or Motorola. We won't delve into all of the politics surrounding the situation, but will note that part of the reason Huawei's consumer footprint in the U.S. isn't more significant is because buyers have been caught in the crosshairs of a strained relationship between the U.S. and China in the tech sector. There's even a ban in place preventing... Read more...
Dell's Alienware gaming PC division recently announced a refresh of their 13, 15 and 17 notebook product lines, starting with the introduction of their 15 and 17 inch models and more recently unchaining their smaller but just as scrappy 13-inch beast. While the new machines don't usher in Intel's latest Kaby Lake 7th Gen Core series processors (of which only dual-core variants are currently available), they are now packing NVIDIA Pascal firepower, with a GeForce GTX 1080, GeForce GTX 1070 and GeForce GTX 1060 powering the Alienware 17, 15 and 13 models respectively. It was a clean sweep for NVIDIA... Read more...
Suit-up mech pilots! Titanfall 2 has landed! Developer Respawn has returned with a sequel to its frenectic-paced FPS from 2014, offering yet even more stylistic wall-running, double-jumping and a bit of mech-on-mech action peppered throughout. Titanfall 2 is not your average first-person shooter, to say the least. The original TitanFall was fun but quaint affair that felt under supported, with DLC distribution that essentially fragmented the community. Acknowledging this shortcoming  for the sequel, EA and Respawn are promising that all additional content made available post-purchase, (maps,... Read more...
Consumer WiFi router products are generally classified by three major performance characteristics: overall throughput or bandwidth, multi-client performance, and range. Although throughput and multi-client bandwidth has scaled-up nicely over the years, range perhaps hasn't improved quite as robustly and even the most powerful WiFi routers, like Netgear's own beastly Nighthawk X8, with its active antennas, can still leave dead spots in large home or office installations. That's where the recent crop of mesh router technologies, that startups like Eero and Google with Google WiFi, are making significant... Read more...
Moto introduced the Moto Z family back in July with the launch of the Moto Z and Moto Z Force. Packed with flagship worthy hardware like the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, both phones made a serious statement (click for full review) thanks to their modular capabilities, by way of Moto Mods. Moto Mods tune the already premium smartphones to a whole new level when attached. We were impressed by the Moto Mods we played with, including JBL's SoundBoost and the Moto Insta-Share Projector. Unfortunately, these phones were tied to Verizon at the time of our review, but unlocked variants are now trickling... Read more...
Although most of us would prefer to own all of the latest and greatest smartphones, there are plenty of us who don’t need all of the power and features today’s top phones have to offer. In addition, the high price tags on today's flagship phones presents a barrier for many. For casual smartphone users, there isn’t enough to gain by spending many hundreds of dollars more on a high end phone versus a more modest (and budget-friendly) model. It is for these reasons that Moto created the Moto G4 Play. As the third member of the new Moto G family, the Moto G4 Play is designed for fundamental smartphone... Read more...
On October 11, Gear of War 4 landed with boots on the ground for Microsoft Windows and the Xbox One console. This fifth entry in the series marks the first time a Gears title has launched simultaneously on both the PC and Xbox. It's also breaking new ground with cross-play functionality between the two platforms and is part of the Microsoft Xbox Play Anywhere program. That means if you picked the title up on PC you can also access it on Xbox One for no additional charge. Gears of War 4 is a great looking game that makes impressive use of Epic Games' Unreal Engine 4 and the rich... Read more...
Although they were initially announced all the way back at Computex, ASUS held a casual event in NYC this past Wednesday (Oct. 5) to officially launch an array of new products, including the ZenBook 3, ZenWatch 3, ZenPhone 3, and Transformer Pro 3 and Mini. We’ve got some initial coverage of all of those products here at HotHardware if you’d like some additional background on the full line-up, including hands-on video of the latest ZenBook and smartwatch. However, we couldn’t wait to dive in a little deeper with the ZenBook 3 for a couple of reasons. First off, the ZenBook 3 is the first Ultrabook... Read more...
Android 7, aka Nougat, has been rolling out primarily to Google's Nexus and new Pixel phones, as well as a few Motorola handsets, but a new Nougat contender has entered the fray, hot off the press from LG. The LG V20 is the follow-on to last year’s LG V10 and a current follow-up to the modular LG G5 that we reviewed recently. LG’s V series focuses on high quality, premium, larger-format designs that are feature-rich and the new LG V20 very much sticks to that mantra. Sporting a large 5.7-inch QHD display with 2560X1440 resolution and powered by Qualcomm's venerable Snapdragon 820 SoC (System... Read more...
We have another premium Z170-based motherboard on the test bench today, by way of MSI. The MSI Z170A Gaming M9 ACK motherboard is the company’s top end gaming board for use with Intel 6th Generation Skylake-based Core series processors. The MSI Z170A Gaming M9 is packed with a host of premium features aimed at improving and enhancing your experience. Like most gaming enthusiast boards, this one also commands top dollar, but still manages to ring in $100 shy of the wallet-busting ASUS Z170 ROG Maximus VIII we previously reviewed. Some of the more notable features on this motherboard include a built-in... Read more...
Now, more than ever, manufacturers are exploring alternative ways to differentiate smartphones. One savior to the oversaturated smartphone market, that is rife with products with similar specifications, may come in the form of modularity. The promise of a modular phone, is an ability to adapt to a user’s needs in the moment. Purchasing a smartphone is traditionally a long-term investment. What might perfectly address day-to-day use, however, could come up short under specific use cases. We already took a close look at the Moto Z family and see promise in Moto Mods, but modular smartphones... Read more...
The ThinkPad X1 Yoga marks a marriage between two of Lenovo's premium notebook lines: the ThinkPad X1 Carbon and the ThinkPad Yoga. The X1 Carbon line was introduced in 2012, bringing a largely carbon-fiber filled construction to decrease weight and increase durability compared to their previous X1 ultrabooks, while still maintaining the classic ThinkPad design established way back by IBM. The ThinkPad Yoga line, introduced a year later in 2013, consists of smaller 11 and 13 inch 2-in-1 form factors with a reinforced hinge capable of folding beyond 180 degrees into tent, stand or even tablet modes.... Read more...
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