Earlier this week it was confirmed that Microsoft is acquiring Minecraft maker Mojang for $2.5 billion. I’ve got mixed feelings about the transaction. The press is speculating that Microsoft is acquiring Minecraft so it can “tap into a cultural phenomenon” and entice players to Microsoft’s platforms. I don’t buy either explanation.
The personal computing business as we know it owes itself to an environment of enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and happenstance. The invention of the microprocessor, DRAM, and EPROM integrated circuits would help bring computing to the mainstream. This is the first in a five-part series exploring the history of the microprocessor and personal computing, from the invention of the transistor to modern day chips powering our connected devices.
Codenamed 'Wildcat Point', the Z97 chipset brings support for future Broadwell CPUs, along with SATA Express and the M.2 socket. With over 90 designs available right now, picking the right one can be a difficult decision. Hoping to narrow the search down, we have taken seven popular boards and compared them in every way possible.
The Sims 4 is a big game. But like any so-called life simulator, it only seems that way when you add up its countless tiny bits and pieces into one giant mosaic. Actually playing the game feels like you're both telling and watching a series of private, intimate stories. It is a beautiful new act in EA's popular franchise. Even with its controversial changes and missing features, I've never had this much fun playing with my Sims.
Already one of the most iconic and atmospheric first-person shooters around, Metro has received some post-release polish that should present a greater challenge for today's GPUs. Metro Redux features improved versions of both Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light, including completely remastered visuals.
I don’t even know why Apple bothered with the iPhone 6, because it will go the way of the iPhone 5C: a niche product; a consolation prize; the budget choice for Apple loyalists; something you get begrudgingly and regret later. The iPhone 6 Plus is the superior phone.
Intel's Extreme Edition processor line is over a decade old now, starting way back in 2003 with the single-core Pentium 4 EE 3.4GHz. Fast forward to today, the chip we'll be looking at boasts eight cores, a massive 20MB smart cache, support for the latest DDR4 memory, and is accompanied by the new X99 chipset for more SATA 6Gb/s ports (10 rather than just two) and finally brings native USB 3.0 to Intel's flagship platform.
The common refrain has been that tablets are for consumption and that laptops are for productivity, and never the twain shall meet. But it's a different world today, and now Apple and Google want to cross that bridge, too, into Microsoft territory. Apple with the iPad Pro, and Google with the new Nexus.
The Lumia 930 is Nokia’s new flagship and successor to the Lumia 925. You might notice that this handset looks very similar to the Lumia Icon the company released earlier this year exclusively on Verizon, and that’s because it's essentially the international version of the Icon, packing Windows Phone 8.1 out of the box. Hardware-wise you get a large, 5-inch 1080p display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC, and Nokia’s signature 20-megapixel PureView camera.
As a mid-range GPU, the R9 285 is meant to deliver mainstream performance at a competitive price. The "Tonga" GPU is essentially a newer, cheaper to produce version of the tried and true "Tahiti" GPU, with features such as DirectX 12 support and next-gen CrossFire. It does have an inferior memory controller, however.
Adobe Photoshop has long been the gold standard for image editing among professionals and photo enthusiasts. But for the average user who just wants to touch up the occasional photo, it can be hard to justify the cost and it probably does more way than you really need or care to do. There are plenty of free alternatives and we've rounded out our picks.
The fear of running out of battery wields such an extraordinary influence over how we use smartphones. We are never too far from a charger, and many of us carry a heavy, cumbersome power bank. I have good news: we are on the verge of true all day battery life.
Most gaming notebooks have a certain stigma attached to them. While some of the better systems available are more than capable of running the latest graphically demanding PC games out there, they're often hulking beasts that can easily tip the scales at over 12 pounds. That's been changing, however, and the MSI GS70 Stealth Pro on our hands today is another example of powerful gaming laptops steering towards slimmer form factors.
Having just three phones on the market has allowed Motorola to give each the time and polish needed for success. The Moto X's innovative contextual processing features made it a compelling flagship option, while the Moto G is arguably the best sub-$200 device you can buy. Motorola's budget model, the Moto E, aims to be the best option for $130, unlocked and off-contract. Better yet, you get stock Android, which means no bloatware and timely updates.
A SED, or self-encrypting drive, is a type of hard drive that automatically and continuously encrypts the data in it without any user interaction. What may surprise many is that a decent potion of the drives currently in the market are in fact SEDs. The method involves a Data Encryption Key that encrypts and decrypts data whenever data is written to the drive or read from it. But the process is so transparent to user that it is unlikely they would ever realize they have such a feature.
On an absolute basis, one device is clearly better than the other; but the expectations for what a Chromebook is supposed to do is so much lower that, relatively, Acer's C720 Chromebook feels like a better device than it really is. Asus' popular T100 budget hybrid, on the other hand, gets compared to other Windows laptops (or the iPad Air) and doesn't look as good in the comparison.
Logitech's new G402 is billed as the fastest gaming mouse money can buy for high-speed FPS gameplay, with a track speed of over 500 inches per second using the company's Fusion Engine sensor technology which combines an accelerometer and gyroscope, as well as its Delta Zero sensor tech for extreme accuracy.
Unlike Windows and OS X, Linux allows you to fully customize not only the look and feel of your desktop, but also its functionality as well as settings, through different "desktop environments". Today we'll do a brief overview of the most popular Linux desktop environments to give you an idea about what each has to offer and what suits you the best.
Released in early June, SanDisk's Extreme Pro is the successor to the venerable Extreme II, which was among the best SSDs of its generation in terms of performance and reliability. The drive is aimed at gamers, enthusiasts and professionals who demand the highest real-world performance, and will trade blows with Samsung's excellent SSD 850 Pro.
I've wanted to write this for some time, but hadn't because there was no solid data to back-up my assertions. I do now. This is about why I believe the future of tablets (and by extension, computing) is 15-inches in display size, perhaps even 17-inches.
With Crucial's MX100 series recently arriving for as low as $0.42 per GB, becoming the new value king, the competition has been forced to respond. The OCZ Arc 100 SSD Series utilizes the tried and true Barefoot 3 M10 controller along with the latest 19nm Toshiba MLC flash memory and is priced at $0.50 per gig for its 480GB and 240GB models.
Leaving aside its wackier conspiracy theories, it's the quality – the prescience – of Deus Ex's story that makes it such a great game to play in 2014. Somehow, it seems timely: moment after moment of sneering, political philosophising about money, health, corporations and the poor, punctuated by regular, 400-volt jolts of "wait, when was this written?"
Targeting the entry-level market, the newly-released Zenfone 5 packs a 5.0-inch 720p display, an 8-megapixel camera, customized software, and a rarely-used Intel Atom dual-core SoC. A polished hardware offering and a form factor more closely in line with high-end devices could make this a fantastic choice for a small price.
The TechSpot PC Buying Guide offers an in-depth list of today's best desktop PC hardware, spanning four unique yet typical budgets. Whether you're a first time builder seeking guidance or a seasoned enthusiast, we have you covered.
Small Chinese companies like Xiaomi and OnePlus were able to create markets even while competitors like Apple and Samsung spend billions in advertising their smartphones. Their success is a blueprint for others to follow, whether they're running an established smartphone company or starting one, even with comparatively little resources.