Items tagged with review

When you're on the path to becoming a power user, you begin to notice certain things that the average person might not. One of those is the difference between typing on a sweet mechanical keyboard with luxurious key action versus pounding away on a run-of-the-mill squishy plank that relies on mushy membranes to register your keystrokes. The difference may seem subtle to the uninitiated, though even casual typists can recognize that there's something inherently superior about typing on a mechanical keyboard, even if they can't pinpoint what exactly it is. Of course, we know it's the mechanical... Read more...
Over the past several years, Lenovo has been aggressively targeting PC gamers, who are known both for their willingness to drop serious cash on hardware and for their skepticism of mainstream brands. Lenovo inherited some of IBM’s corporate image when it took over the company’s laptop business, but winners like the Yoga line got Lenovo tons of exposure with mainstream consumers too. Along the way, the entertainment-friendly Y series of laptops became Lenovo’s gaming line: a suite of affordable systems that brought Lenovo’s understated design sense to bear in a market awash in garish... Read more...
Now that Intel's newest LGA 1150 motherboard chipset is out in full force, numerous enthusiast-class boards abound. We've already taken a look at five Z97 motherboards from Gigabyte, EVGA, and MSI, and this time around we're reviewing the Asus Z97-Pro (Wi-Fi ac). This board is one of Asus' mid-range offerings in the $200 price range and is interesting on the storage front as it includes both M.2 and SATA Express, so its as future proof as it gets when it comes to storage options--at least for today. This board also comes in a non-Wi-Fi version, dubbed simply "Pro," as well as versions that are... Read more...
Large screen smartphones, a.k.a. phablets, are expected to account for nearly 25% of all smartphone shipments this year. Given the popularity and prevalence of these large-screen devices which includes LG’s G3, Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4, and HTC’s One Max, it’s not surprising that Google is also going big with its latest flagship phone, the Nexus 6. Even before the Nexus 6 was announced, its codename of Shamu (named after the whale at SeaWorld) pretty much gave away the fact that this flagship smartphone was going to be a large-screen device. The Nexus 6 has the largest screen... Read more...
Lenovo's Yoga 3 Pro 2-in-1 ultrabook has made a bit of a splash as of late, from appearing in a number of holiday shopping-infused TV spots, to flash prank comparisons tricking unwitting mall shoppers into thinking they got framed for busting up a MacBook Air laptop. It's with good reason that Lenovo is making an effort to amplify interest in the product. The Yoga 3 Pro one of the first hybrid ultrabooks to hit the market powered by Intel's new low power Core M Broadwell processor. In a nutshell, you can think of Broadwell as a full-featured Intel Core series notebook processor that performs at... Read more...
We're willing to concede that size matters, but too often in tech manufacturers take advantage of that notion by offering multiple size options of the same product without upping the ante in any other way. Without shaming specific manufacturers by pointing out some examples, let's just say that we've seen both knock-off and name-brand laptop and tablet makers offer bigger size versions of the same product without even bumping up the resolution, let alone upgrading the hardware inside. Bah, humbug!That's not a concern with Amazon has refreshed Fire HDX 8.9 tablet. It's not simply a bigger version... Read more...
Samsung is at the ready with a brand new family of mainstream solid state drives, targeting the market segment previously occupied by its popular SSD 840 EVO series. The new Samsung SSD 850 EVO series is the follow-up to the company’s current flagship SSD 850 PRO, but the new EVO is Samsung’s first to pack 32‐layer 3D V‐NAND 3-bit MLC flash memory. The move to 32‐layer 3D V‐NAND 3-bit MLC flash (a.k.a. TLC) brings costs down, but doesn’t adversely affect endurance because the cell structure doesn’t suffer from the same inherent limitations of planar NAND, since the cells are stacked vertically... Read more...
Samsung deserves much of the credit for ushering in today’s trend of large-screened smartphones, often referred to as "phablets." Whether you’re a fan of big smartphones or not, there is a no denying that the original Samsung Galaxy Note set the stage for the battles currently being waged in the smartphone market. If larger-screened devices like the original Galaxy Note hadn’t taken hold, Apple most likely would not have produced the iPhone 6 Plus and devices like the Google Nexus 6, Nokia Lumia 1520, and HTC One Max (among others) would not exist.One of the advantages of blazing a trail like Samsung... Read more...
To say that BioWare has something to prove with Dragon Age: Inquisition is something of an understatement. The first Dragon Age: Origins was a colossal, sprawling, unabashed throwback to classic RPGs. Origins introduced gamers to the world of Thedas. As a newly-minted Grey Warden, players were tasked with stopping a deadly invasion of darkspawn -- creatures that had laid waste to vast swathes of the continent in ages past and ground entire nations into dust. The game took place over a relatively short span of time, but featured a wide array of memorable locations, landmarks, and NPCs. One of Dragon... Read more...
When Intel gave us an early deep-dive look at their new 14nm Broadwell Core M series processor back in August, we were hopeful that great things would be coming to ultra-light notebooks and premium 2-in-1 tablet devices. Intel's low power 14nm Tri-Gate architecture coupled with an enhanced integrated graphics core, offered the promise of "fanless" devices as thin as tablets that could offer true notebook-class performance. Then, once we got a sneak peek at some performance numbers at IDF 2014, we came away even more impressed with Broadwell, at least in its early stages. However, without quality... Read more...
When we took at look at SanDisk's Extreme II series of solid state drives in June of last year, we began our article by noting, "odds are, if you’ve bought anything that uses flash memory in the last 20 years or so, you already own a small piece of SanDisk technology. The company has been a leader in flash memory storage since the late ‘80s and manufactures products used in everything from smartphones and portable media players to digital cameras and camcorders. With such a long history in the flash memory business, it’s should be no surprise that SanDisk offers an array of solid... Read more...
Chromebooks seem to have found their place in the market, especially in the education segment, and shipments have increased significantly. The latest statistics show Chromebook shipments jumped 67 percent in the most recent quarter and are on track to double compared to last year. Now that Intel and Google have joined forces to further the Chromebook platform, companies such as Lenovo (and others) are expanding their Chromebook offerings. Lenovo’s N20 and N20p Chromebooks are the company's first Chromebooks targeting consumers (previous Lenovo Chromebook models are geared toward... Read more...
When Microsoft first released Windows 8, the company hoped that hardware manufacturers would get creative with form factors and customers would be enticed by the intriguing new PC designs. One of the clear leaders to emerge since Windows 8's launch is the Lenovo Yoga series of laptops, which fold in half to mimic tablets or can be used in tent and stand modes. A similar approach that has also seen some success are 2-in-1s that essentially split in half, so you can use the display as a tablet without dragging around the weight of the keyboard. The Acer Aspire Switch 10 is one of these... Read more...
As it does every so often, Amazon recently updated and revamped its line of Fire tablets to include upgraded models and a somewhat simplified naming scheme. The new models abandon the "Kindle" branding and are now simply known as Fire HDX 8.9, Fire HD 7, and Fire HD 6. To flesh out the lineup, Amazon still sells a Fire HDX and a Fire HD Kids Edition, which is really a Fire HD 7 or 6 with a protective case, accidental damage protection, and a collection of pre-loaded apps targeted at a younger audience. It's admittedly a bit confusing at first, but assuming Amazon sticks with its new branding,... Read more...
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