Items tagged with review

Update: 11/9/19 - You could WIN a machine just like this, only with a killer Outer Worlds paint job, in our 20th Anniversary Giveaway! Falcon Northwest has been in the boutique PC building game since 1992, but the company's Talon desktop PC didn't hit the market until 1999. Ironically, that's about the time HotHardware.com came into being on the interwebs, but we digress. The first Talon came loaded with a AMD Athlon 500MHz processor, a 13.5GB hard drive, 64MB SDRAM, and the Pièce de résistance: a 3dfx Voodoo3 graphics card. Yeah baby, good times. These specs are laughable by today's standards, but at the time the Talon was a solid performer at a sensible price and it featured a smaller chassis... Read more...
Over that last few years, OnePlus has earned a reputation for offering well-appointed, high-performance mobile devices that compete with other contemporary flagships, but with highly aggressive pricing. When we looked at the OnePlus 7 Pro back in June, or the OnePlus 6T before that, we declared both handsets leaders, in terms of value and performance. With the upcoming OnePlus 7T, which is due to start shipping in just a few days, OnePlus is trying to capture that status again. Looking at the OnePlus 7T’s list of features and hardware specifications, it appears to be a premium Android phone in every sense of the word. The device is built upon Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 855+ mobile... Read more...
The modern work place is everywhere. Thanks to the need to attract top talent, many employers have generous work-from-home policies that allow employees who would normally be stuck in an office, to work from almost anywhere. Without the advent of fast portable PCs to do that work, however, this wouldn't be as easy as folding up a laptop and taking it with you. There are also plenty of road warriors who spend more than half their working lives traveling, and those folks need (or want) good-looking, fast laptop PCs like the HP Zbook 14u G6 we'll be showing you here, to take with them.  Back in April, Hewlett-Packard announced a whole host of new Zbook mobile workstations. At the time,... Read more...
Dell often rides the bleeding edge, as it wastes little time arming its laptops and desktops with the latest hardware platforms available. At minimum, this means yearly refreshes of its popular product categories. So, right on cue, Dell has begun rolling out updated variants of its XPS 15 laptop with some nifty upgrades compared to the version we reviewed last September. One of the biggest changes is the addition of an OLED display option. Just as we have been enamored by Samsung's display panels on its mobile phones, we hold Dell's InfinityEdge displays in similar regard, as being among the best around in the laptop space. An InfinityEdge panel is again on tap for the 2019 refresh, but... Read more...
Samsung's Galaxy Note series of large format Android smartphones has never been about compromise. The pen-wielding, hybrid devices have always been bigger, more powerful and more capable, with larger batteries and as many bells, whistles and features as Samsung could cram in. As such, Galaxy Note users generally hail from a power user demographic, oftentimes with enterprise and business use cases that require an expanded tool set. And so for this passionate following, it probably comes as no surprise that Samsung has once again upped the Note's game with the latest iteration, the Galaxy Note 10 series.   The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 now comes in two sizes, a more modest 6.3-inch Galaxy... Read more...
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...
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