Items tagged with review

We are no longer on the cusp of Wi-Fi 6 (otherwise known as 802.11ax) connectivity -- it has arrived -- just not in earnest yet. It will take some time before the Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) standard is truly shoved aside in favor of the new kid on the block, the one that is faster and more adept at juggling multiple wireless devices simultaneously. Nevertheless, early adopters who want to live on the bleeding edge have options. One of them is the beastly ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 we will be showing you here. As you might have surmised from the ROG branding, the GT-AX11000 is geared towards power users and gamers. That is also evident by the physical design, which we will discuss in a bit. In terms... Read more...
New year, new ThinkPad X1 Carbon—it's easy to think that yearly laptop iterations would be mundane. However, today we're looking at one of our most heavily-awarded line of laptops here at HotHardware, so expectations run high. Last year's Lenovo flagship really impressed us, with power under the hood combined with its well-designed and lightweight body, impressive 2560x1440 Dolby HDR IPS display, and great battery life. That model earned an Editor's Choice award and still stands tall as one of our favorite business-oriented ultraportables. How could the 2019 variant be made even better?  To start with, this year's model is thinner, lighter, has even more powerful hardware... Read more...
We love premium laptops and convertibles. A meticulously engineered build, finely-tuned performance, and solid battery life comprise the three primary tenets we look for when reviewing new machines. Checking these boxes does come at a cost, leaving many of our favorite laptops with hefty price tags. Unfortunately, most of us cannot justify dropping a stack of cash for the latest and greatest. Instead, mainstream consumers turn to the thriving midrange market. Here, manufacturer’s compete for our hard earned dollar with a wide range of solutions, each of which caters to a slightly different slice of end user usage models. When you cannot have it all, compromises must be made. In recent years,... Read more...
Generally speaking, pricing on flagship smartphones has continued to climb, because all of those fancy bells and whistles found on the top-end models do not come cheap. Not everyone has or is willing to spend a grand or more on a top-shelf handset, though, and some of the cheaper alternatives make too many sacrifices to hit a lower price point. That is not the case with Samsung's Galaxy S10e. The Samsung Galaxy S10e is the least expensive model in the Galaxy S10 family, the others consisting of the regular Galaxy S10, the larger Galaxy S10+, and the decked out Galaxy S10 5G. Make no mistake, however, even though the Galaxy S10e is positioned at the rear of the pack, it is not a budget or entry-level... Read more...
The OnePlus 7 Pro is one of the most highly anticipated Android phones to hit the market this year for a number of reasons. At first blush, it was about a few stand-out specs. The phone's 6.7-inch display supports a speedy 90Hz refresh rate and a super-tight 3120x1440 QHD+ resolution in punchy, HDR10+ certified OLED technology. The new OnePlus phone is also powered by the fastest Qualcomm chip on the market currently, the Snapdragon 855, but it's also backed up but up to 12GB of RAM as well as up to 256GB of snappy new UFS 3.0 based Flash storage. Oh, and the aforementioned display is not marred by either a notch, nor a bullet-hole punch-out for its front facing camera -- nothing, nada, just... Read more...
There is a fledgling wireless standard that effectively renders the vast majority of home networks out of date -- don't panic though, your stuff isn't necessarily obsolete. It is called Wi-Fi 6, if using the simplified nomenclature that the Wi-Fi Alliance introduced last year, or 802.11ax if you want to stick with the more technical (and potentially confusing for the average consumer) description. Either way, what we have is a bleeding-edge standard that router makers are just now starting to adopt, one that is better equipped to handle the growing number of wireless devices that are commonly found in our homes (PCs and laptops, smartphones, tablets, game consoles, smart speakers, and so forth).... Read more...
When's the last time you saw a full-featured smartphone launch for well under $500? There have been a few to hit the market in this price range recently, usually with significant caveats, but in general the trend is towards more expensive flagship devices that are commanding upwards of $1000 quite often. Google's new Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL, however, buck this trend with HD OLED displays, big batteries, and the same great camera configuration that made Google's higher-end Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL the Android phones to beat, when it comes to smartphone photography. The new Pixel 3a is a 5.6-inch device, for folks who prefer their phone be a bit more pocketable, but the Pixel 3a XL sports a 6-inch... Read more...
Fractal Design released it highly acclaimed Define S2 case a little over seven months ago and they are already back with a new iteration, the Fractal Design Define S2 Vision RGB. That's a mouthful, but even if the name doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, this DIY PC chassis is easy on the eyes. The Fractal Vision S2 RGB takes everything that made the Define S2, and the Fractal R6 before it, great but it but now it brings RGB lighting and tempered glass panels into the mix. We aren't talking just a single tempered glass panel here, however. Fractal has literally surrounded the case with tempered glass. The front and side panels are all tempered glass, as is a portion of the top panel.... Read more...
WD’s Blue family of solid state drives has historically been comprised of nothing but SATA-based offerings, but the company recently updated the line-up with some brand-new NVMe-based drives. The WD Blue SN500 we’ll be showing you here today is the first Blue-branded NVMe SSD from the company, and as has been the case with many of WD’s “Blue” products, it is aggressively priced and pushes NVMe into more mainstream territory. The WD Blue SN500, however, does not target the high-end of the NVMe market; that is the WD Black family's job. As you’ll see in the WD Blue SN500’s specifications below, it’s much more tame than many of other NVMe solid state... Read more...
Lenovo's line of Legion laptops and desktops are designed for gamers, but one complaint levied against last year's Legion Y730 model was the lack of more powerful graphics options. However, Lenovo was obviously listening to consumer feedback and the new Lenovo Legion Y740 we are looking at today, rights this previous wrong by giving potential buyers not one, but two powerful NVIDIA GeForce RTX GPUs to choose from. The base model comes with a GeForce RTX 2060, but if you're able to spend a few more greenbacks on your config, you can move up to a GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q. NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q wasn't the only high-end component selection Lenovo managed to squeeze under the hood of this... Read more...
A couple of weeks back, NVIDIA launched the latest edition to its Turing-based GPU line-up, the GeForce GTX 1650. As its name suggests, the GeForce GTX 1650 is similar to the recently-released GeForce GTX 1660 and 1660 Ti, but it is powered by a different GPU with somewhat tamer specifications, which results in a lower price point as well. We’ll dig into the specifics in just a moment. As was the case with the GeForce GTX 1660 and 1660 Ti, there will be no Founder’s Edition version of the GeForce GTX 1650 arriving on store shelves. Instead, NVIDIA is relying on their add-in board partners to seed the market this time around. The card we’ll be looking at today is one the higher-end... Read more...
If you are looking for a bit more intelligence in your "smart" phone, the LG G8 ThinQ may have a few additional tricks up its sleeve. LG is aiming to create a more intuitive and automated experience by embracing artificial intelligence processing care of Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 SoC and their own in-house algorithms. The LG G8 ThinQ is more than just clever silicon and software, of course, and it boasts a premium build quality and expanded camera features to match. Beyond its Snapdragon 855 mobile platform, the G8 ThinQ runs with 6GB of LPDDR4x RAM and 128GB of UFS 2.1 flash storage. If you record a ton of video or have other significant storage needs, you can also slot in a card like the... Read more...
Today we are going to take a look at Gigabyte’s Z390 Designare motherboard, one of the company's more recent Socket 1151-based boards for Intel's 8th and 9th Generation Coffee Lake-based processors. This board has a lean and mean look about it, even menacing in a way, with its mostly black aesthetic with silver highlights scattered about. Its VRM heatsink even carries a yin-yang motif, with the black sink at the top and silver to the left of the CPU socket.   This color palette provides a clean, sharp look with its M.2 slot sharing the same light and dark offset and the PCH sink providing a final accent. The board carries a bevy of features targeted at creative professionals.... Read more...
As far as gaming laptops go, Dell's Alienware brand has historically been synonymous with some of the most powerful configurations on the market. And where the trend lately has been toward ever thinner and lighter versions of these otherwise traditional desktop replacement machines, even Dell's recently released Alienware m15 eschews trimming every bit of mass from its design in order to keep from cutting too deeply into its performance-optimized, muscular build. And then there's Alienware's all-new Area-51m that we're looking at here. Although you wouldn't know it at first glance, the Area-51m is nearly a complete departure from traditional gaming laptop platforms, and one that's... Read more...
Samsung leads the pack in global smartphone market share, with over 21 percent command, versus second place Apple that sits at a little over 15 percent, and Huawei at about 14.8. Samsung and Apple both lost ground to Huawei last year, but if early indications for the first quarter of 2019 are on point, Samsung could come roaring back, due in part to the positive reception of the company's 10th generation Galaxy S series device, the Galaxy S10. Samsung's Galaxy S10 family is currently a trio of Android handsets, soon to expand to a quartet, with the introduction of a 5G-targeted variant sometime next month. To say the buzz around Samsung's launch has been deafening would be an understatement.... Read more...
When you think of Dell or its Alienware brand, the first thing that comes to mind is probably a PCs and not a peripheral. Be that as it may, Dell is uniquely positioned to capitalize on the peripheral market as part of a larger play, one in which it can sell gamers on a unified ecosystem through its Alienware division. You could, for example, buy an Alienware desktop and plug it into an Alienware monitor (even a giant 55-inch OLED display, if you have the bankroll), and then surround it with Alienware peripherals. Talk about an invasion! Whether you would want to is another question, and to help answer that, Dell sent us its AW988 Wireless Gaming Headset and AW959 Elite Gaming Mouse. We're already... Read more...
The gaming laptop market is one of one of the largest and most diverse segments of the PC industry, with systems ranging in price from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Dell's Alienware gaming machines typically lean towards the higher-end of the price spectrum, with premium build quality and strong component configurations, like the Alienware m15 that we're looking at here today. Dell's Alienware gaming division has re-tooled this machine as well, almost from the ground-up, while still preserving its classic Alienware design signature. The new Alienware m15 ranges in price from $1,379.99 up to just under $4,000, if you want to go for broke. Our exact test unit is well-equipped, but sits... Read more...
Earlier this year we took a detailed look at the OnePlus 6 and determined it was one of the best values in Android flagship smartphones on the market. The OP6 has a beautiful, large display, a clean near-stock Android setup and great performance with 6GB or 8GB RAM standard at price points of $529 and $579 respectively. When rumors of the OnePlus 6T hit, we wondered if OnePlus could really improve on an already great design and offer even more of a good thing. As is the case with virtually any high tech device, trade-offs are a constant in the overall design equation. Then again, with its mantra of "Never Settle" seemingly driving the company's design choices, the question remained,... Read more...
Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 series of business-class laptops have long been staff favorites here at HotHardware, because in terms of fit, form, and functionally they just get things done. Lenovo ThinkPad keyboards have arguably been the best in the business for years and general ergonomics of the ThinkPad X1 line have been excellent. Furthermore, starting with the first ThinkPad X1 Carbon, their utilitarian designs have begun to incorporate more sleek ultrabook styling, while maintaining their usual understated and clean ThinkPad lineage. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme More recently, Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Carbon and Yoga have incorporated either high-end OLED displays or full Dolby Vision HDR compliant... Read more...
Gaming headsets are a dime a dozen these days, particularly with the explosion of eSports drawing the attention of PC peripheral companies, new and old. Be that as it may, HP figured out a way to stand out from the crowd with its new Omen Mindframe, the first audio headset to employ an active cooling solution inside each of the earcups. Say goodbye to sweaty ears, if that is something you find yourself battling against amid the throes of the frag. Before we dive into the headset, let's quickly reflect on the Omen brand. Omen is essentially a rebirth of the VoodooPC acquisition HP made more than a decade ago. VoodooPC was a popular boutique builder of premium PCs, founded by Rahul Sood, and the... Read more...
There was a time when choosing a thin and light 2-in-1 laptop meant making compromises and deciding which features you could live without. That isn’t much of a problem nowadays, as there are excellent premium notebook offerings from all the major OEMs, including Dell, HP, Microsoft, Acer, and Lenovo. Lenovo, however, always sought to innovate ahead of the curve with its Yoga 2-in-1 form factor and continues to do so today with the beautiful new Yoga C930 we'll be showing you here. It takes a lot to stand out in the crowded segment of premium, high-quality 2-in-1 notebooks, however. Lenovo’s latest iteration does so by going beyond the usual yearly hardware updates and sprinkles a... Read more...
When Acer debuted its Predator Helios 300 laptop line a little over a year ago, it quickly garnered praise for delivering an unexpected level of gaming performance for the price. At the time, the Predator Helios 300 came equipped with an assortment of hardware that could typically be found only on more expensive laptops. As such, we've had multiple requests to get our hands on one of the newer models and give it a full review. Well, for those who asked (and those who didn't), that's exactly what we're doing here. This past summer, Acer refreshed its Predator Helios 300 with an upgraded display supporting a 144Hz refresh rate, Intel 8th generation Core processor options, and faster storage. It... Read more...
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