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There's a first time for everything, as the saying goes, and the Alienware 13 OLED is a first for us without question. Though there were a couple of OLED (Organic LED) display driven laptops at CES 2016 this year, Dell's Alienware division is the first in the door here at HotHardware with a retail ready product. OLED displays offer better brightness, contrast, saturation and pixel response times versus legacy display types like IPS, and in in general they're more power efficient as well. OLED displays are somewhat common these days in smartphones and as it turns out, OLED-enabled handsets... 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...
Though it still hasn't grabbed consumers like some manufacturers had hoped, the smartwatch market is growing rather quickly, and a number of good options are currently available. For some users, price may be one of the key factors holding them back from buying a smartwatch. While many watches cost at least $250, and some can run hundreds of dollars more, ASUS’s latest ZenWatch 2 we'll be showing you here is available for as little as $129. Of course, any time we see a budget-friendly smartphone, laptop, tablet, or smartwatch we assume sacrifices were made to keep the price low. In the case of the... Read more...
Although updated sales figures haven’t yet been released, and some initial reviews were less than stellar, if the movie is any indicator, EA’s Star Wars Battlefront is poised to be a resounding success in the gaming community. And with an expansion pack inbound, that will likely feature content that ties in with the Force Awakens, it’ll probably continue that success for quite a while. AMD has been offering free copies of Star Wars Battlefront to new buyers of Radeon Fury graphics cards since mid-November 2015 and will continue to do so through the end of this month. But with... Read more...
Periodically, Amazon updates and revamps its lineup of tablets with upgraded models and new names. While the company's tablets have kept the Fire branding over the years, the combination of letters and numbers that follow have changed. This year, for example, Amazon removed the HDX tag and now offers tablets with simply “Fire” or “Fire HD” branding. As its simpler name may suggest, Amazon’s latest Fire tablet is a more basic model that doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles of the HD series, which is available in three sizes. Instead, the all-new 7-inch Fire tablet has an ultra-low $50 price... Read more...
Competing with Apple in the mobile space isn't rocket science, it's just a matter of sticking to a proven formula for success -- build a premium device with superior specs than the one Apple is selling, inject it with Android, and then undercut the iWhatever in price. That's not to say Apple is the only premium slate target of opportunity but we'd surmise Apple would consider it the sincerest for of flattery anyway. Incidentally, we've just described the ASUS ZenPad S 8.0. It's a well designed Android tablet with Intel inside, and it boasts better specs than the iPad mini 3. It's also less expensive... Read more...
In November, Amazon announced the latest addition to its hardware line-up, the Amazon Echo. The Echo smart speaker doubles as a digital assistant and home entertainment device. It’s an always-connected, always-available Siri or Cortana-like device designed for your home that can provide answers to common questions, play music, provide traffic updates, control your lights, read audiobooks, and much more. Because it’s tied to your Amazon account, the Echo can also be used to reorder products you’ve previously purchased from Amazon. Although the Echo was announced in November, it was available for... Read more...
Dell took the wraps off a fresh, new revamp of their popular XPS 13 ultrabook line, out at CES in Las Vegas last week. The new machine was widely considered best-of-show for core computing products and racked-up awards left and right from major publications, including accolades from us here. Dell seemingly hit all the high notes with this machine, from its new 14nm Intel Core i5-5200U Broadwell-U processor power plant, to its absolutely stunning 13.3-inch 3200X1800 IPS display that's strapped with Corning Gorilla Glass NBT and nearly completely devoid of bezel on its... Read more...
Most are in agreement that Apple's iPad Air 2 is one of the finest tablets ever produced, if not the best out there, period. Certainly, it's not difficult to make that case -- after all, the latest 9.7-inch iPad is thinner than its predecessor at just 6.1mm thick, wicked fast with its custom A8X System-on-Chip (SoC), and incredibly light at just under a pound. Toss in a gorgeous display and a set of ancillary features that have been upgraded for this latest release, and even the most stringent critics can't help but pile on the praise. That's the easy part. What's a bit more difficult to address... Read more...
The PC laptop market is a funny place. Good laptops are fairly easy to find, but great laptops are staggeringly rare. This is true even at the boutique end of the market, where manufacturers have a tendency to choose powerful components, but cram them into a chassis that can't handle the heat without sounding like a jet turbine, or pick great, quiet hardware but opt for a sub-par 1080p screen whose quality leaves something to be desired. The Asus G751 is not a good laptop. The G751 is a great laptop. It is, in fact, the single best gaming laptop I have ever reviewed. If you're in the market... Read more...
In late August, Dell Alienware took the wraps off of a radically new Area 51-branded desktop system featuring an angular case designed for maximum thermal efficiency and ergonomics. We first gave you a glimpse of that system right here, and have a full review of Haswell-E and Tri-SLI powered version of the Area 51 in the works as we speak--that article should be posted very soon. Alienware is officially launching the Area 51 tonight at a swanky event in New York City, but the company has another couple of surprises coming down the pipeline as well, also being unveiled tonight, namely the Alienware... Read more...
When introducing the iPhone 6 Plus, Apple described it as the “biggest advancement in iPhone history.” Naturally, the use of “biggest” was quite intentional, a pun almost. Prior to 2014, Apple’s entire iPhone line had only ever had two screen sizes: 3.5-inch and 4-inch. Those sizes were perfectly acceptable in their day, but of late, the market has asked for more. More screen real estate, more pixels, more horsepower and more battery life. While Samsung, LG, HTC, Nokia, Sony, and just about every other smartphone maker on the planet introduced larger... Read more...
Bold. That’s the word that comes to mind when we consider Amazon’s Fire Phone. In a world where precious little has happened in the smartphone space over the past few years, at least in terms of groundbreaking innovation, Amazon’s entrance provides all the spark you need to sit up and pay attention. These days, a major OEM doesn’t just enter the smartphone space. Apple and Samsung have dominated market share and profits for years, squeezing BlackBerry out almost entirely and putting HTC on life support. Nokia, meanwhile, is stutter-stepping as Microsoft begins a massive... Read more...
The ability to stream movies and other content to your TV is relatively commonplace thanks to set top boxes such as the Roku 3, Apple TV, gaming consoles that support streaming, and built-in functionality that comes with many of today’s Blu-ray players and TVs. Even so, there’s always room for additional competition, right? Amazon believes there is, and recently launched its Fire TV to prove it. Amazon Fire TV provides access to a number of popular services including Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, WatchESPN, Showtime Anytime, Pandora, tunein, YouTube, Vimeo, Crackle, and much... Read more...
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