Reviews/How Tos

The sound of silence -- there’s nothing like it, especially when it comes to a media PC. The last thing anyone wants while binging on the new season of Game of Thrones is the distracting drone of a fan or whir of a hard drive. Silence is precisely what the Streacom DB-4 chassis we'll be featuring here has to offer. I’ve been wanting to build a Home Theater PC (HTPC) for years now. My current rig actually started life as an HTPC, but was soon upgraded for gaming and workstation tasks and now lives under my desk instead of in my living room. When Streacom reached out to us to review the DB-4, I was... Read more...
Overclockers and frequent PC builders alike can appreciate the advantages of having an open air bench or rack for testing. These make component swapping a breeze for comparisons and provide a flexible platform for checking a build before installing it inside a tight case. Few things are more frustrating than learning your motherboard is dead on arrival after you finished meticulously routing every last cable.As nice as open air cases and test benches are, however, they have largely come with their own share of hassles. Many test benches walk a spectrum between structural rigidity and layout flexibility.... Read more...
In June, Samsung announced a new flagship line of tablets known as the Galaxy Tab S. Available in 8.4- and 10.5-inch versions, the Galaxy Tab S is geared towards media consumption, with hardware specifications that are designed to deliver an outstanding media experience. Not only does the Galaxy Tab S have killer hardware, but Samsung also managed to pack these features into the company’s thinnest and lightest tablet design yet. To deliver the best possible visual experience, the high-resolution Super AMOLED display found in the Galaxy Tab S supports a resolution of 2560x1600 and boasts of... Read more...
Wearables in general--and smartwatches in particular--are among the hottest tech trends of today. Despite a great deal of hullabaloo over these devices, though, many aren’t quite finding them as compelling as you might think. As a result, there’s a sense that no one has yet figured out the secret sauce that makes a wearable / smartwatch a "much have" device. Samsung is at the forefront of the smartwatch push, looking to develop that perfect swoon-worthy device. The company is already on the second generation of its smartwatch line with its Gear 2, the wearable that we’re... Read more...
The Android smartphone wars are heating up here in Q2 with Samsung, HTC and soon LG releasing flagship devices targeted at luring in enthusiasts and mainstream consumers who might be looking to upgrade to the latest technologies and screen sizes.  We just gave you a detailed evaluation of HTC's One (M8) for 2014 and today we're here to bring you our view of Samsung's new Galaxy S5 Android superphone. At Samsung's Unpacked event in February, we got some early hands-on time with the Galaxy S5 and what impressed us then is what impresses us now, now that we've had a few weeks to live and... Read more...
Whether you’re a fan of oversized smartphones or not, it’s clear that they are here to stay. When Samsung initially released the first Galaxy Note, many of us in the industry looked at it a little sideways and wondered what the designers at Samsung were thinking. The original Galaxy Note seemed simply gargantuan next to virtually every other device available at the time and it was somewhat comical to see such a large device perched next to someone’s ear when they were making a call. The Note had a transformative effect on the smartphone industry, however. Yes, it was large. But... Read more...
Considering just how much we all rely on smartphones every day, they’re shockingly fragile. All it takes is one quick drop or spilled drink to end in disaster for your expensive gadget. For as quickly as phone technology is advancing, durability for many smartphones has remained a problem. That’s where Samsung hopes to make some waves with their latest handset, the Galaxy S4 Active. Get the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active at Amazon The formula is simple: take the tried and true Galaxy S4, make a few tweaks here and there to ruggedize it and you have the Galaxy S4 Active. It’s a slight... Read more...
Samsung has done an exceptional job the past few years building interest and recognition for their Galaxy-branded smartphones. The fervor isn’t quite on the level of Apple's iPhone launches, but if the attendance of their “Samsung Unpacked” event at Radio City Music Hall and the buzz on-line for today’s introduction is any indicator, Samsung has tapped into something big and earned a cult following, very much like Apple has over the years. And the sales figures back this up, of course, all of which show Samsung dominating the Android-based smartphone market. When a company... Read more...
The original Samsung Galaxy Note was a bit of an oddity in the smartphone market. When it was first introduced, many reviewers, analysts, and industry pundits scoffed at the device’s relatively large form factor. The 5.3” screen on the original Note looked simply gargantuan next to anything else available on the market at the time, leading many folks to call the original Note a “phablet”. It wasn’t quite large enough to be a full-blown tablet, but was considered too big by some to be called a smartphone, hence “phablet”. In spite of the widespread... Read more...
One of the most highly anticipated Android phones of the year is the Samsung Galaxy S III. This smartphone comes with a number of new features we haven't seen on other phones including S Voice (improved voice control functionality), new sharing features, NFC features including Samsung's new TecTiles, and more. The hardware specifications for the Galaxy S III are impressive as well. The US variations of this phone feature a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED touchscreen (1280x720), a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, 2GB RAM, 16 GB or 32 GB of internal memory, an 8MP rear-facing camera,... Read more...
Samsung's Galaxy Tab line continues to expand, with the latest additions coming in the form of the Galaxy Tab 2 Series. The Galaxy Tab 2 Series is available in 10.1-inch and 7.0-inch screen sizes. While these second-generation models clearly borrow some design cues and other specifications from their predecessors, we were a bit surprised to find out that not a lot has changed from the first-generation models to the new Galaxy Tab 2 series, at least in terms of their internal components. In fact, many of the key specifications of the first-generation 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab match that of the second-generation... Read more...
While many of today's better smartphones offer dual-core processors and 1GB of RAM, alongside plenty of onboard storage, one of the easiest differentiating points between smartphones today has become the screen--size, resolution, and screen technology are all considerations. Samsung is pushing the former limits of smartphone screen sizes with the introduction of the new Samsung Galaxy Note. This smartphone offers one of the largest screens we've seen from a phone yet – 5.3 inches. In addition to being large, it is also a gorgeous display which uses Super AMOLED technology and offers... Read more...
Samsung continues to unload with both barrels on the tablet market, releasing one product after another. Consumers can choose from 7-inch, 8.9-inch, and 10.1-inch sizes; WiFi-only or carrier-specific versions, including models for Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint; and a couple of different storage options too. (Who knows, by the time you read this, there could be even more.) Today, we’re looking specifically at the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus (WiFi, 16GB). There is no shortage of competition in the 7-inch tablet space, including offerings from (if you want to get alphabetical about... Read more...
Not too long ago, we took an in-depth, hands-on look at the unlocked version of the Samsung Galaxy S II smartphone. At the time, the phone wasn't available in the US, so we weren't able to show you a hands-on video of a US version of the phone. Now, however, the Samsung Galaxy S II is available through Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile. All of the phones have a similar look and feel, though there are a few differentiating points among the models. We've been testing the Sprint version of the Samsung Galaxy S II, otherwise known as the Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch for a couple weeks now, and we... Read more...
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