Items tagged with review

Intel's successful line of NUC (Next Unit of Computing) mini PCs have done well for the company, for various use cases where an ultra-small form factor computer might come in handy. In areas where a PC either needs to stay out of sight, blend in with its surroundings or squeeze in places where other, larger computers just couldn't go, a NUC can make a lot of sense. Tiny boxes like the Intel NUC5i5RYK can pack a fair amount of CPU horsepower in their petite, silver 4.5-inch frames, but some users still want more juice and beefier graphics for heavier gaming and content creation workloads.Fortunately,... 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...
The Asus Z170 ROG Maximus VIII Extreme motherboard is the latest in Asus' flagship line of enthusiast-class motherboards for gamers. It’s a top-end premium solution with a dizzying array of tuning options to supercharge your next build and tweak overall performance in games, networking and more. Our previous motherboard eval featured the Gigabyte Z170X-UD5 Ultra Durable, which was a budget-friendly Z170 motherboard that offered strong performance, without a ton of superfluous bells and whistles. Yet the Gigabyte board was quite the performer, holding its own in most tests and even coming out ahead... Read more...
You read the headline correctly – this is not a review of a Synology NAS, but instead a wireless router. If this sounds unusual to you, you are not alone. Synology is a Network-Attached Storage (NAS) company, or at least it used to be, as it's now taking all its networking expertise and jumping into the router market, and the black beauty you see below is its maiden attempt. Plainly named, the Synology RT1900ac Router, the company’s fledgling entry into this crowded market, is a dual-band AC unit. As you might have guessed, it’s capable of 1,900Mb/s of bandwidth across its 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands,... Read more...
Dell recently refreshed its popular XPS 13 with new hardware to bring it up to date with current CPU and storage offerings.  The updated model now sports a Skylake-based Intel processor and a Samsung PM951 NVMe solid state drive, plus a few minor tweaks to its already impressive design.  When the current iteration of the Dell XPS 13 debuted back in January of last year, it was nearly unrivaled in terms of its power to size ratio, and overall value in the space. The ultrabook market has heated-up a lot since then though, and the XPS 13 has some stiff competition at the moment. In addition... Read more...
Rise of the Tomb Raider has hit the PC lining it up in our gun sights for graphics, gameplay and performance analysis. The game launched on the Xbox family of consoles a few months back and has since been ported to PC thanks to NIXXES Software. It’s a competent console to PC port updated with many graphics settings and effects to tweak and dial to your particular tastes and system capabilities. Some of the rendering and effects features include, Ambient Occlusion, Depth of Field, Dynamic Foliage, Bloom shader effects, Tessellation and several more. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let's give... Read more...
The 2-in-1 and convertible PC space has changed significantly over the past couple of years. What was once a cluttered mess of kludges is now a well-defined market segment packed with refinement, power, and plenty of options. You could partially credit Microsoft's Surface line for making 2-in-1s an object of desire, but it's also products like the Dell XPS 12 that make today's line-up of convertible devices so much more interesting. Dell's XPS 12, which was first announced last fall, is just as capable as a laptop as it is a tablet. That's no small feat, and it's multifaceted abilities are largely... Read more...
At a glance, you may assume the phone we're testing here is one you've seen before -- a Nokia Lumia 1020 clone perhaps? Despite having a similar circular camera fixture on the handset's back side, suggesting a strong focus on photography, this is actually a newly released phone produced by ASUS. The ASUS ZenFone Zoom is an interesting beast. Though it was initially released for a more international audience, ASUS has since seen fit to bring the device to North American shores. It makes sense, though. Other than calling or texting, cameras have long been a key smartphone feature that gets used most... Read more...
Huawei may not be a household name here in the US, nor does the brand name roll off the tongue easily for many Americans, but you might be surprised to learn that the Chinese networking and telecommunications manufacturer is the 3rd largest smartphone supplier in the world, behind Apple and Samsung. Much of that global market share comes from China, but the company has been making significant inroads here in the US with devices like Google's Nexus 6P, which is a Huawei private labeled device.  Further, like Samsung and Apple, Huawei has access to significant manufacturing capabilities, including... Read more...
If three's company, we'd say Motorola has gone and made a full-on family out of its Moto 360 smartwatch. Hot on the heels of its second-generation Moto 360 comes the Moto 360 Sport, an Android Wear timepiece designed to compete not with TAG or Sony or Samsung, but with FitBit, Polar, Garmin, and TomTom. The ruggedized or sports smartwatch field is an interesting one. The target market isn't your typical smartwatch buyer. Instead, it's the fitness tracker buyer that a company hopes to upsell to.   At $300, the Moto 360 Sport isn't exactly cheap. It's a full $50 cheaper than the Apple Watch... Read more...
EVGA decided to branch out this year. No, not with AMD graphics; the company's GPU offerings are still very much based on reference cards from Team Green. Yet, in an effort to expand their product lines, the largest North American vendor of NVIDIA graphics cards now offers their own branded memory modules in both DDR3 and DDR4 flavors, spanning 10 different SKUs. Today, we’re checking out the burliest DRAM module set on offer—the High Performance 2800 SuperSC DDR4 Series 16GB kit (4x4GB). Many DIY builders still using older platforms and DDR3 are wondering if they'll see concrete benefits from... Read more...
Dell's Alienware Steam Machine is under the microscope today. In partnership with several leading PC makers, Valve has finally taken their often-talked about Steam Machine with custom SteamOS to market, promising the depth and precision of PC gaming driven by a purpose-built operating system, that offers a standardized platform similar to a tried and true "just push play" console gaming experience.The Alienware Steam Machine seems like just the thing for PC gamers looking for a simpler way to game without a lot of fuss and configuration. What’s a Steam Machine, you ask? The Steam Machine is a PC-based... Read more...
The original Google Nexus 5 shipped right around this time two full years ago. Much has evolved in the smartphone space in the 24 months since then, but little has changed in terms of branding with this latest LG-built Nexus device. The 5.2-inch Nexus 5X we will be showing you here is positioned as the mainstream Nexus phone in the Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) lineup, with an unlocked base price of only $379, though street prices are actually lower. Nexus 5X on the left; Nexus 6P on the right Put simply, the Nexus 5X is designed for mainstream smartphone users, looking for a strong value. Google... Read more...
The nascent smartwatch market has delivered a number of near-winners thus far. The Apple Watch and Microsoft Band, for example, are better-than-average fitness trackers and smart timepieces. The 2nd generation Moto 360 is impressive from an aesthetics standpoint. The Huawei Watch hits the mark for those looking for a good-looking, functional, timepiece that also happens to feature smartphone notifications. And then, there's Samsung. In a bid to be first to market, the original Galaxy Gear was launched with a less-than-optimal design, poor battery life, and a camera that wasn't very useful.... Read more...
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