Systems

Season's greetings; it's that time of year again, when we here at Hot Hardware assemble our holiday gift guides for your browsing and shopping pleasure. There was an embarrassment of riches this year, as the industry continued to innovate and come up with interesting new designs based on the latest, greatest technologies. Those of us buying computer hardware demand more and faster from every iteration, and many OEMs usually manage to deliver. Some don't but you won't see them on this list. This list is a collection of some of the best hardware for gifting in four top categories that we think are... Read more...
Microsoft unveiled its first all-in-one desktop system yesterday, known as the Surface Studio. Just in case you missed the announcement, you can find our initial coverage of it right here. We’re not going to rehash all of the specifications and main features again, but to quickly reiterate and provide a little more background, the new Surface Studio is a premium, all-in-one PC that’s outfitted with an Intel processor, NVIDIA graphics, and hybrid storage system. It also has a super-thin, ultra-high resolution 28” / 125mm thin touch display that is optimized for color accuracy and wide viewing angles.... Read more...
Store shelves are packed with fresh pencils, pens, and backpacks. Kids are begging their parents for new clothes and kicks. And teachers are frantically organizing their classrooms in the last few days of summer. It is that time of year again -- back-to-school season is upon us, like it or not. If you are looking to pick up some new tech gear for you or a loved one for the impending school year, but do not want to do all of the homework necessary to find that perfect product, do not sweat it, we have got you covered. This is Hot Hardware's personal study guide to help you choose the perfect laptop,... Read more...
We covered a lot of miles at CES 2016 this year, our fitness trackers often chirping "success" rather early in the day, but we saw a lot of people and a lot of tech gear in our travels. Some of it was hot - damn hot - some of it, not so much. There were some recurring themes this year, as with every year at CES it seems. The hot topics and trends this year were autonomous cars, virtual reality, more thin and light computing and of course more powerful gaming gear. Every Tech Web publication has its own short list of the best products showcased at CES 2016. We're going to run down our top 10 products... Read more...
It's hard to believe this year is nearly over. It feels as if our holiday gift guides are being assembled at an ever more rapid pace. Perhaps that has to do with the non-stop innovation in the tech sector, and our insatiable desire for ever-advancing product development. Each year, the leaps in processing power and graphics performance, in addition to the miniaturization and integration of advanced technologies, seems to constantly push the envelope, which means that there are almost always plenty of suitable replacements for our favorite gadgets and gizmos. And if you're on the hunt for gifts... Read more...
We recently set out to design a mini desktop computer with the wildly popular Raspberry Pi single board computer. The Raspberry Pi is a Linux-driven, ARM processor-based micro computer that is known for its low cost and small size. People use the device for a variety of projects, from micro-servers to low cost media players. Basically, our goal was to turn what is currently one of the cheapest bare-bones computer boards  into a fully enclosed mini desktop computer that could be taken anywhere without the need for cabling or setup. One of the high level goals of this project was also to learn... Read more...
If your kiddos are griping about how soon they start back to school (or, if you are heading that way yourself, begrudgingly), it's probably high time you took inventory. Is that aging netbook really going to get you through another semester? Is that Gingerbread handset up to the task of piloting you through yet another straight-A year? Take solace, a tech refresh or complete makeover can be rather refreshing.Back to school season is in full swing, and we're here to offer up the best of the best in a few key categories. If you're shopping for phones, desktops, laptops, or accessories, we've got... Read more...
We first caught wind on the Alienware Alpha in the lead-up to Valve’s Steam Box announcements, prior to the Consumer Electronics Show. If you’re unfamiliar with the Alienware Alpha, it is a sleek, small form factor gaming PC, designed specifically for gamers. Valve is not quite ready with Steam OS or the Steam Controller, so the whole Steam Box angle is on hold for now, but that didn’t stop Alienware from re-tooling a bit and shipping the Alpha with Windows 8.1 instead. There are a number of Alpha configurations currently available. The machines have a starting price of $549 with the entry-level... Read more...
Mainstream All-In-One PCs have become increasingly more popular in recent years, but AIO workstations remain a rare breed. After all, workstations typically require more horsepower than your average AIO, and IT folks demand better access to a computer’s internals than most ordinary AIOs allow. That makes HP’s Z1 workstation all the more attractive perhaps: it’s meant to give you the power and access of your big workstation box in a small footprint, with no (or few) compromises. HP Z1 All-In-One Workstation Before we dive into the Z1 specifications (and its gorgeous, 27-inch... Read more...
2012 has been a banner year for both notebooks and desktops, in terms of design and innovation. It's not every holiday season that you get to swoon over a new Windows operating system and freshly designed hardware to go with it, but those in the market this winter will be treated with Windows 8 and some slick new machines should they choose to go that route. Whether it's for yourself or someone else, consider this your go-to guide for picking out the perfect notebook or desktop PC this holiday season. We're all about spreading the holiday cheer, and if it means sifting through dozens or even hundreds... Read more...
Considering how close HP came to selling off or severing its world leading PC division, it's products like the new TouchSmart 520-1070 all-in-one (AIO) that make us glad somebody switched out the company's water supply. Actually, it's HP's old CEO, Leo Apotheker, who was responsible for the OEM's temporary insanity, and not some tainted H2O, but that's a rant for another time and another place. What we're focusing on here is an AIO system that comes well spec'd and offers a surprising amount of performance in a form factor typically more focused on aesthetics and convenience than raw computing... Read more...
We just recently ran a contest on HotHardware in which we planned to give away a high-end, custom-built gaming system (built by yours truly), to one lucky reader who came up with a creative name for our weekly video podcast. The parts for the system were as follows… CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 970 Black Edition   Cooler: Xigmatek Dark Knight   Motherboard: Asus CrossHair IV Formula   Graphics: Asus EAH6870   Sound: Asus Xonar D2X   RAM: 4GB OCZ DDR-1333   SSD: WD Silicon Edge Blue 64GB   HD: WD Caviar Black 2TB   PSU: OCZ 850W Z-Series   Optical: Asus... Read more...
It's that time again. The time of year where students and parents frantically hit e-tailers with overnight shipping deals in order to get that all-important back-to-school technology into a dorm room or backpack before classes begins. It's back-to-school season, and whether you've started classes recently or are awaiting (dreading?) that first 8AM lecture, there may be a few bits of techno-shopping that need to be taken care of before you can be on you're on your way to that straight-A report card. Whether you're about to begin the Fall semester of college or your... Read more...
Building a Home Theater PC is often times a much better option for enabling your entertainment center for various forms of digital media playback capability.  Rather than stepping up to additional discrete components, like a stand-alone Blu-ray, DVD or CD player, why not infuse your living room entertainment center with real intelligence and multimedia muscle and build an HTPC (Home Theater PC)?  In this video, we'll give you some suggestions on a few component selection options for building an HTPC, as well as a high-level overview of its assembly and a few key design points to look... Read more...
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