Items tagged with Reviews

So here it is, the mid-2012 refresh of Apple's trend setting MacBook Air line.  In all likelihood, the MacBook Air inspired Intel's Ultrabook specification, created so that Windows users would have access to the same overall experience on their platform of choice. The MacBook Air is the real McCoy, so to speak, and though technically not an Ultrabook, the newest models cross over to Intel's 3rd generation Ivy Bridge Core processor microarchitecture. In fact, Ivy Bridge is at the heart of Apple's mid-2012 refresh, bringing with it not only greater processing power, but a graphics speed bump from Intel HD Graphics 3000 to Intel HD Graphics 4000, topped off with DX11 compatibility and improved... Read more...
So here it is, the mid-2012 refresh of Apple's trend setting MacBook Air line. It's been four long years since Apple first introduced the MacBook Air to the world, which at the time was almost considered a luxury item, with a comparatively steep price tag versus other ultralight machines. That changed a couple of years later, and in the process of making the MacBook Air more affordable, Apple helped shift the mobile market away from chunky desktop replacements, to a trend where competent computing power exists within thin and light profiles. In all likelihood, the MacBook Air inspired Intel's Ultrabook specification, created so that Windows users would have access to the same overall experience... Read more...
Cloud-based storage solutions are all the rage these days, but if you don't want to trust your files to a third-party data center and deal with the risk of hacker attacks and unexpected downtime, maintaining your own centralized storage platform is the way to go. This is where network attached storage (NAS) devices come into play.  With hard drive prices as cheap as they are, owning your own NAS box is a totally viable option for wrangling your data, automating backup routines, and serving up files to a growing number of connected devices, including tablets, notebooks, smartphones, game consoles, set-top boxes, and more. Plus, there are no monthly or annual subscription fees to deal with.... Read more...
Cloud-based storage solutions are all the rage these days, but if you don't want to trust your files to a third-party data center and deal with the risk of hacker attacks and unexpected downtime, maintaining your own centralized storage platform is the way to go. This is where network attached storage (NAS) devices come into play. With hard drive prices as cheap as they are, owning your own NAS box is a totally viable option for wrangling your data, automating backup routines, and serving up files to a growing number of connected devices, including tablets, notebooks, smartphones, game consoles, set-top boxes, and more. Plus, there are no monthly or annual subscription fees to deal with.... Read more...
Notebook makers aren't the only ones trying to cram big performance parts into little form factors. Desktop system builders are attempting the same thing, and if you require proof, all the evidence you need is packed inside Maingear's Potenza Super Stock (SS) gaming PC. Built around the mini-ITX form factor, the Potenza SS is a small form factor (SFF) system that rises above the moderate expectations of what a comparatively itty-bitty PC can truly deliver. As it turns out, a mini-ITX rig can pack quite the payload. It starts with an Intel Ivy Bridge foundation, and Maingear bumped up the default processor option to an unlocked Core i7 3770K chip. Maingear then goosed the CPU past its stock 3.5GHz... Read more...
Notebook makers aren't the only ones trying to cram big performance parts into little form factors. Desktop system builders are attempting the same thing, and if you require proof, all the evidence you need is packed inside Maingear's Potenza Super Stock (SS) gaming PC. Built around the mini-ITX form factor, the Potenza SS is a small form factor (SFF) system that rises above moderate expectations of what a comparatively itty-bitty PC can truly deliver. As it turns out, a mini-ITX rig can pack quite the payload. It starts with an Intel Ivy Bridge foundation, and Maingear bumped up the default processor option to an unlocked Core i7 3770K chip. Maingear then goosed the CPU past its stock 3.5GHz... Read more...
Give credit to Intel for recognizing that the notebook market needed a swift kick in the pants, and for putting a noose around the necks of netbooks, which have all but been eliminated from the market place. Sure, a few straggling netbooks remain, but by and large, Intel is now heavily invested (both literally and figuratively) in the Ultrabook platform. These thin and light machines represent the natural evolution of laptops, and the form factor continues to evolve right before our eyes, which is something that's underscored by the likes of Dell's Inspiron 14z Ultrabook. The Inspiron 14z Ultrabook configuration Dell sent us to examine sports an AMD Radeon HD 7570M GPU with 1GB of onboard memory,... Read more...
Give credit to Intel for recognizing the notebook market needed a swift kick in the pants, and for putting a noose around the necks of netbooks, which have all but been eliminated from the market place. Sure, a few straggling netbooks remain, but by and large, Intel is now heavily invested (both literally and figuratively) in the Ultrabook platform. These thin and light machines represent the natural evolution of laptops, and the form factor continues to evolve right before our eyes, which is something that's underscored by the likes of Dell's Inspiron 14z Ultrabook. When man discovered fire, everything was different from that point forward. Ribeye, Filet, and the Weber -- how did we survive... Read more...
There's a transformation taking place in the PC market, and despite what the doomsayers might tell you, it has nothing to do with tablets, smartphones, tweener devices like the Galaxy Note, or increasingly media-centric game consoles. No, the transformation we're observing is one where people are trading in their towers and monitors for space-saving all-in-one (AIO) desktops. The AIO form factor isn't new by any means, but for a number of reasons, it's finally starting to gain momentum. And as they become more popular, companies like Dell have begun paying more attention to ways they can improve upon the design. To wit, Dell's new XPS One 27, reviewed here, introduces a spacious and vibrant 27-inch... Read more...
There's a transformation taking place in the PC market, and despite what the doomsayers might tell you, it has nothing to do with tablets, smartphones, tweener devices like the Galaxy Note, or increasingly media-centric game consoles. No, the transformation we're observing is one where people are trading in their towers and monitors for space-saving all-in-one (AIO) desktops. The AIO form factor isn't new by any means, but for a number of reasons, it's finally starting to gain momentum. And as they become more popular, companies like Dell have begun paying more attention to ways they can improve upon the design. To wit, Dell's new XPS One 27, reviewed here, introduces a spacious and vibrant 27-inch... Read more...
Apple called its first iPad tablet "magical," as if owning one would turn flatulence into a flowery fragrance and unlock the mystery of double complete rainbows. Instead it entranced millions of people into buying one, even though it lacked basic amenities like expandable storage, built-in cameras, and Flash support (back when people still cared about Flash). This year Tim Cook took to the stage to introduce the world to Apple's "new iPad" -- not the iPad 2S, iPad 3, or iPad HD, just iPad -- with what Apple is billing as a "resolutionary" upgrade. One of Apple's big reveals is the Retina display. It was long rumored the new iPad would ship with a higher resolution display, and Apple made it happen... Read more...
One of Merriam-Webster's definitions for the word obscene is "so excessive as to be offensive." By that definition, Maingear sent us an obscenely spec'd SHIFT Super Stock X79 system packed to the hilt with so much decadent hardware that even the one percenters would feel guilty owning it, right up until the moment they pushed the power button and remembered exactly why it's so fun to be filthy rich. As configured, this thing costs $7,570, and that's after deducting $100 as part of Maingear's 'Spring Savings' promotion and before tacking on another $100 or so for shipping. It's not a configuration most of us will ever own -- it's more than half the price of a 5-door Kia Rio, for crying out loud... Read more...
One of Merriam-Webster's definitions for the word obscene is "so excessive as to be offensive." By that definition, Maingear sent us an obscenely spec'd SHIFT Super Stock X79 system packed to the hilt with so much decadent hardware that even the one percenters would feel guilty owning it, right up until the moment they pushed the power button and remembered exactly why it's so fun to be filthy rich. As configured, this thing costs $7,570, and that's after deducting $100 as part of Maingear's 'Spring Savings' promotion and before tacking on another $100 or so for shipping. It's not a configuration most of us will ever own -- it's more than half the price of a 5-door Kia Rio, for crying out loud... Read more...
As the premiere model in NEC's next generation MultiSync EA Series of desktop displays for high-performance enterprise users, the EA273WM-BK brings a big 27-inch, LED-backlit display to the workplace and is ready to impress with a completely redesigned chassis that's up to 30 percent thinner and 25 percent lighter than previous models. It also has a 130mm height-adjustable stand and a boatload of inputs, including DisplayPort, HDMI, VGA, DVI-D, and an integrated 4-port USB 2.0 hub... NEC MultiSync EA273WM-BK 27-inch LED Monitor Review... Read more...
Most people associate business with boring, but there's little about NEC's MultiSync EA273WM-BK monitor that's a snooze-fest. As the premiere model in NEC's next generation MultiSync EA Series of desktop displays for high-performance enterprise users, the EA273WM-BK brings a big 27-inch, LED-backlit display to the workplace and is ready to impress with a completely redesigned chassis that's up to 30 percent thinner and 25 percent lighter than previous models. It also has a 130mm height-adjustable stand and a boatload of inputs, including DisplayPort, HDMI, VGA, DVI-D, and an integrated 4-port USB 2.0 hub. In addition to its physical characteristics, NEC also slimmed down the power consumption... Read more...
The TouchSmart 520-1070 is a fairly remarkable AIO equipped with high-end hardware and a robust selection of software, all of which comes wrapped in a 23-inch touchscreen display with a speaker bar blasting out Beats Audio. Any fears that HP's recent preoccupation with righting its ship would result in a degraded product line go right out the window when you run your finger down the 520's spec sheet, which includes an Intel Core i7 2600S processor clocked at 2.8GHz, 8GB of DDR3 system memory, a capacious 2TB hard drive, discrete graphics powered by AMD's Radeon HD 6450A GPU, and even a Blu-ray burner. Oh, and there's a TV tuner shoved inside too, for good measure... HP Touchsmart 520 All-in-One... 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 power. The TouchSmart 520-1070 is a fairly remarkable AIO equipped with high-end hardware and a robust... Read more...
Toshiba's Portégé R835-P330 is one of just a handful Ultrabooks currently available and is part of a new breed of laptops intended to blend ultra-portability with performance. Thin, lightweight, and well equipped, the Ultrabook form factor is the direction the Windows laptop market is headed, but first manufacturers have to get a grip on price. Early Ultrabook models have struggled to stay below the $1,000 ceiling Intel has encouraged them to stay under. Toshiba's Z835-P330 gets there, and with room to spare. It's available at Best Buy for $800, and we've seen it on sale for as low as $700. It's the least expensive Ultrabook model currently available, and unlike Acer's Aspire S3,... Read more...
We're going to let you in on a little secret, and while you're free to pass it on, understand that nobody will ever believe you. In fact, if you do share this secret, you might suffer a barrage of insults, and depending on your stature, could even end up with a wedgie. You've been warned. Are you ready? Here goes: Many Windows users, even die hard ones, have a secret lust for Apple's MacBook Air. Yup, we said it, and now we'll give you a moment to clean the coffee off your monitor and keyboard. Few Windows users will ever admit it, but the MacBook Air is a finely crafted laptop from a physical design standpoint. It's exceptionally thin, extremely lightweight, and terrifically styled. We... Read more...
Fans of Google's Android platform are proving to be a patient lot. It hasn't been easy pulling for Android in the tablet space, which for a period of time was limited to a few overpriced and underwhelming Gingerbread slates. Things began to change when Honeycomb came out, the first version of Android designed specifically for tablets, but even then it started to feel like if you've seen one Android tablet, you've seen them all. Lately we've found ourselves asking, 'Where's all the innovation that's supposed to be associated with an open source platform, and with so many different manufacturers concentrating on Android, where's the outside-the-box mentality?" Apparently over at Sony, that's where.... Read more...
Fans of Google's Android platform are proving to be a patient lot. It hasn't been easy pulling for Android in the tablet space, which for a period of time was limited to a few overpriced and underwhelming Gingerbread slates. Things began to change when Honeycomb came out, the first version of Android designed specifically for tablets, but even then it started to feel like if you've seen one Android tablet, you've seen them all. Lately we've found ourselves asking, 'Where's all the innovation that's supposed to be associated with an open source platform, and with so many different manufacturers concentrating on Android, where's the outside-the-box mentality?" Apparently over at Sony, that's where.... Read more...
Video: Sapphire HD 5770 Vapor-X Overclock Edition Review @ OCC NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285 Roundup @ HardwareZoneMotherboards and Chipsets: Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD6 Motherboard Review @ Benchmark Reviews Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD6 USB-3 SATA-6G Motherboard Review @ Benchmark ReviewsMemory and Storage: Patriot DDR3 Viper Series Tri-Channel Kit @ LanOC Reviews ioSafe Solo Disaster-Proof External HDD @ Techgage.com SanDisk 8GB Memory Stick PRO Duo Review @ TechwareLabs QNAP TS-419U Turbo NAS Review at Overclockers Online Kingston HyperX 1866Mhz Review - XSReviews Team Group Xtreem 2000 MHz CL7 6GB Kit @ techPowerUp Hitachi SimpleTough 500GB Rugged Portable HDD Review @ Techspot ineo NA301Ue 3.5” External Hard... Read more...
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