Items tagged with review

There's a wide range of ultra-premium laptops on the market at the moment. However, many of them are simply out of reach for the average mainstream consumer due to budget constraints. There are more budget friendly options though, such as the Acer Swift 3 we are looking at today. The base model in the series starts at a thrifty $650 USD, and that gets you an Intel 8th Gen Core i5-8250U processor, a 14-inch FHD display, and a 256GB SSD. Along with that premium hardware, the exterior also features a sleek brushed aluminum chassis and its display sports relatively thin bezels.  The model we were sent to evaluate, however, doesn't sit at the top of the Swift 3 stack. Although, it does have some... Read more...
LG is at the ready again with its latest V-series smartphone, the V40 ThinQ. Like its predecessors, the LG V40 ThinQ is a large-screen device that’s outfitted with some high-end internal hardware and an array of innovative features meant to distinguish it from the competition. In the case of the LG V40 ThinQ, in addition to its beautiful 6.4” OLED display and svelte exterior, the phone is equipped with a total of five cameras – two in front, and three in back – and the ability to do some interesting and useful things with those cameras, including creating cinemagraphs and multi-shot GIF animations. Before we drop in for our detailed evaluation, we have a quick video tour... Read more...
NVIDIA's Max-Q technology has only been on the market for about a year, but in that time quite few OEMs have jumped on the bandwagon. And for good reason. Max-Q is, or wants to be, the answer to a problem that has plagued mobile gamers since the first gaming laptop was birthed, spanked, and shipped off into the real world. We are, of course, talking about size. Bigger is not always better, especially in the mobile computing market. Most gaming laptops are bulky, heavy, and short on battery life. With Max-Q, NVIDIA is looking to change this by focusing on what they call the sweet spot when it comes to performance, power usage, and acoustics.  In order to achieve this "sweet spot" NVIDIA has... Read more...
Shenzhen China-based smartphone manufacturer OnePlus has been on the rise as of late, cultivating a strong following of mobile users that subscribe to the company's "Never Settle" moniker. Its Never Settle mantra refers to an effort the company has made to bring lower cost, unlocked phones to market that do not compromise on quality or performance. If there's one device that perhaps underscores that mantra best, it may be the OnePlus 6.  Codenamed "Enchilada", the OnePlus 6 really has it all (almost, more later). On board is a gorgeous 6.28-inch OLED display, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform, up to 8GB of RAM, dual rear cameras, up to 256GB of storage, USB-C, and a dedicated headphone... Read more...
The Dell XPS 15 should look familiar if you're a regular HotHardware reader. We’ve seen various iterations of this power-users’ mobile PC over the past few years, usually with an Editors’ Choice logo pegged at the end of the review. The latest version keeps that winning streak alive, thanks to new, more powerful six-core Coffee Lake-based Intel Core processor options and robust NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics. As in previous generations, this new model is all about the upgrades, and the big news this time around is a selection of Coffee Lake 8Th Gen Intel Core i5, i7, and yes, i9 processors. In addition to the new CPUs though, the machine's maximum RAM config has been... Read more...
If we were to characterize a Samsung Galaxy Note user in a single word it would have to be "enthusiast." Specifically, we're talking about an Android smartphone enthusiast but regardless, among the vast general populous of smartphone consumers, if you're packing a device like any of the previous Samsung Galaxy Notes, you likely want the most powerful, feature-rich, large format device you can get your hands on. And when it came to the 9th incarnation of the Galaxy Note, the Galaxy Note 9, Samsung spared no expense once again, not only in its design and feature set, but even the venue it chose to launch from last week at the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn, New York. The Brooklyn Nets play here,... Read more...
Gamers are willing to spend more on PC hardware than the average consumer, but at the same time, they are a knowledgeable and discerning bunch who understand exactly what it is they are getting for their hard-earned buck. They also follow market trends and appreciate a good value when one comes along. Dell is likely hoping that is what gamers will see in its recently introduced G Series laptops. And after spending some hands-on time with the new G7 15 Gaming, we think the Round Rock crew might be on to something. As the model name suggests, the G7 15 Gaming is a 15.6-inch laptop. It sits atop the new Dell G Series stack, offering a bit more power and style than the G5 and G3 SKUs, but with... Read more...
HP's EliteBook series laptops launched back in 2008 to general success, and a decade later it remains one of HP's top-selling thin and light laptop lines. To celebrate 10 years of that success, the company decided to completely redesigned their business class powerhouse notebook to cater to today's changing workforce. When first launched, baby boomers were still a force in the corporate world. Fast forward a decade, and many of those boomers are living out their golden years on the golf course, with millennials making up nearly half of the mainstream workforce in the United States currently. To appeal to this younger, more tech-savvy road warrior, HP claims to have reinvented their EliteBook... Read more...
Had someone asked us a year ago what we thought the top laptop brands would be heading into the summer of 2018, one name that would probably not have been mentioned is Huawei. It's not that laptops are a foreign product category to the Chinese manufacturer, it is just that Huawei is better known here in the U.S. for its smartphone lineup. It would be a mistake to overlook Huawei's new MateBook X Pro, however. Cutting right to the chase, the MateBook X Pro challenges the notion that you have to pay a hefty premium for a high-end ultraportable, one that brings all the bells and whistles that you would expect from a pricier laptop, while maintaining a thin and light profile. Typically, the compromises... Read more...
LG debuted the G7 ThinQ in early May and certainly turned some heads with the promise of a 1000 nits capable display, an AI-powered camera, and its Boombox Speaker features. On the surface, if you consider some of the salient features consumers are looking for in a modern smartphone, the marketing folks at LG had their ears to the ground, so to speak. The new LG G7 ThinQ checks many of the key feature boxes consumers look for in a handset, and it strikes a nice size balance as well, in a thin-bezel 6.1-inch form factor.    However, what makes true smartphone success is practical usability and how some of those key features translate in terms of overall user experience. We've been... Read more...
Boutique, custom-built Gaming PCs from some of the more prominent brands are almost always a cut above mainstream pre-built computers from larger OEMs. However, even among premium boutique brands, build quality, design aesthetics and cost can vary greatly. Maingear has delivered its share of ultra-high end killer gaming rigs to us for evaluation over the years, but perhaps nothing so custom and so premium in design as the machine we're about to dig deep on today. We got a look at Maingear's highly custom F131 back at CES 2018 in Las Vegas, and though we came away impressed at the time, it was really only a quick chance to kick the tires. Now that we have it in house for a full review? Well,... Read more...
The ThinkPad line of notebooks has a long, storied history, from its beginnings as an IBM product, to Lenovo's continued refinements and improvements, generation over generation. ThinkPads are well known, often sought after products, especially by business-class road warriors, due to their no-nonsense design language, excellent keyboards, and reputation for reliability.  In addition, ThinkPads have had one other thing remain consistent over the years -- a glorious little red nub, called a TrackPoint or pointing stick, that remains faithfully nestled between the G and H keys. For some it's a love it or hate it sort of feature but Lenovo has maintained it generation after generation, so it's... Read more...
We have covered Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Yoga series since its inception, and while the company might only be on its 3rd generation machine, what's under its hood is what might be thought of as four generations of advancement since then. Of course we are speaking of the 8th Gen Intel Core-i5 8250U quad-core mobile processor on board the new Thinkpad X1 Yoga. What makes this chip different from its predecessor, is it has 4 psychical cores now and supports Hyper-Threading, all within the same 15W power envelope. At just 15W the Core i5-8250U doesn't require hefty thermal solution and large chassis to prevent a full on meltdown  so, Lenovo was able to pack an impressive 8 thread chip... Read more...
At CES earlier this year, Dell strutted out a few new products, including its XPS 15 2-in-1 with a 360-degree hinge. It is the first XPS 15 to adopt the convertible 2-in-1 form factor, providing customers with flexible use case scenarios, like folding the display all the way back onto itself to become a tablet, or propping it up in tent mode as a kitchen counter companion. While not groundbreaking in 2018, it's a welcome upgrade to one of the more desirable and premium laptops on the market. What is groundbreaking, however, is what lies inside this laptop in terms of processing engines. Dell's new 15-inch convertible wields Intel's 8th generation Kaby Lake G processors with Radeon RX Vega graphics.... Read more...
Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Carbon line has been widely regarded as the company's flagship business-class laptop over the past few years. The previous model, which we pored over in deep-dive detail here, brought a new, more compact chassis design with it, along with thinner display bezels and a refresh of Intel's Kaby Lake mobile processor platform. There was a notable caveat or two with the previous-gen ThinkPad X1 Carbon, and it could have been a showstopper, depending on your perspective and use case. Last year's model was only available with a  non-touch, standard IPS display, which could be a shortcoming for some folks looking for accessibility and ultimate image fidelity. Fortunately, however,... Read more...
In most major sports, there are a handful of teams that dominate the competition and garner the lion's share of attention from fans. The same is true in the smartphone market where there are relatively few established players at the top. Every so often, however, a contender comes along to potentially disrupt the hierarchy, and that is what Huawei hopes to accomplish with its newest flagship phone, the Mate 10 Pro. Who exactly is Huawei, you ask? While not as recognizable in the US market as Apple and Samsung, Huawei is no Johnny-come-lately to the land of mobile. Huawei is a major player in China and is actually the largest telecommunications hardware and services company in the world. The company's... Read more...
One of the biggest unveils at this year's Mobile World Congress was the new and highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+, which we were lucky enough to get some hands-on preview time with for you here late last month. Samsung's Galaxy S9 series doesn't look a whole lot different than the previous generation Galaxy S8 and 8+ line. And though the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ are ever so slightly smaller than their older siblings, with slightly thinner top and bottom bezels, these new Galaxy S devices have been upgraded and re-engineered in a number of ways with some impressive new features and promised performance. Today marks the official embargo lift on full reviews of Samsung's new... Read more...
Origin PC has been making the case for buying a premium PC from a boutique builder, ever since its founders set up shop in Florida nearly a decade ago. A little more recently, Origin PC started quite literally making the case, designing a custom chassis for its Genesis (full-tower) and Millennium (mid-tower) desktops that were first introduced in 2014. We are now in 2018 (barely) and to drive home the pun, Origin PC is still making the case (get it?) for these desktop lines. With a new year came an opportunity for Origin PC to refresh these desktops, and that is exactly what it did, both inside and out. As you might expect, the Millennium setup the company sent us is running the latest hardware,... Read more...
When Lenovo launched the Yoga 910, it was beautifully styled, powerful enough for most mobile users, and it offered reasonably good battery life. However, the public reception of the 2-in-1 convertible was a bit mixed and perhaps not quite what the company had hoped for. Some critics took issue with the Yoga 910's thermal characteristics, fan noise, and its awkwardly-placed upward-facing web cam. However, Lenovo took this feedback into consideration and developed the new Yoga 920 we'll be showing you here. From the outside, the Yoga 910 and 920 look similar at first glance, but there are a multitude of significant updates that improve the machine in a number of ways. Nestled inside an all-aluminum... Read more...
If you've shopped for a custom built gaming desktops recently, you might have come across a company called Xidax, a relative newcomer to the boutique building scene. Xidax launched online in 2013, right in the midst of a resurgence in PC gaming. To some, it may have seemed downright crazy at the time to enter a market that had previously chewed up and spit out other players (does anyone remember Hypersonic?). But Xidax forged ahead anyway in hopes of rising in the ranks of brand recognition. Xidax is not quite there yet among the more established brands, though it is definitely more recognizable today than it was even just two years ago, let alone when it first arrived on the scene. Even then,... Read more...
The mega-popular PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, aka PUBG, is finally here in full release form. With its time in the Steam Early Access easy-bake oven complete, the inspiring battle royal FPS game is now ready for mass retail consumption with an impressive new map, new weapons, vehicles and lots more. Back in September we had a blast running, gunning and dying quite a bit, to show you how the game had integrated NVIDIA’s Shadowplay Highlight’s custom replay features. Now we're giving this masterpiece of mayhem the formal treatment with its own gameplay and performance review.  Much of Miramar is open country for snipers PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is the leading battle-royale... Read more...
Dell has been updating its XPS line of laptops at a brisk clip as of late. Though we just showed you a recent update of the highly decorated Dell XPS 13 here, with Intel 8th Gen Kaby Lake R technology on board, we're back again today with yet another update to the XPS 13 family, and this time its beauty is not just skin-deep.   What you're looking at above is the Rose Gold version of the latest XPS 13 with its Alpine White, woven glass fiber keyboard deck. The material for the palm rest is comprised of woven crystaline silicon fiber for low weight, high tensile strength and durability, combined with textured lattice fibers that provides a smooth, slightly hatched appearance and feel that's... Read more...
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