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Our latest original content and features. TechSpot offers comprehensive product reviews, practical and in-depth how-to guides, PC enthusiast must-reads, as well as buying recommendations round up our daily tech coverage.

Running With Scissors: 7 Myths About Cord Cutting

My household cut the metaphorical cable cord about five years ago, so I've watched this idea evolve in the media from "insane notion" to "cable industry crisis." If the headlines are to be believed, consumers are abandoning traditional TV in droves in favor of streaming gadgets and apps, but the truth is actually a bit more complicated than that. To help you decide whether cable abandonment is right for you, we're tackling seven major cord-cutting myths.

Obsidian 450D & Carbide Air 540 Review: Corsair's Take on Dual-Chamber and Mid-Tower Case Designs

First unveiled at Computex 2013, Corsair's Carbide Air 540 employs an interesting dual-chamber design and is available in black, white and silver versions. The newer Obsidian 450D features a more traditional tower case design. In fact, it looks a lot like a smaller version of the 650D, which is in turn a smaller version of the legendary 800D. Despite having different designs, the Carbide Air 540 and Obsidian 450D are closely priced at $110 and $120.

Tech Tip: Quick Guide to Running Linux From a USB Drive

There are a number of uses for running live Linux environments from a USB drive, from simply test driving Linux to troubleshooting a Windows PC, or working on the go securely from someone else’s computer. There are two options when it comes to running Linux from a USB drive: from within Windows using virtualization software such as VirtualBox, or creating a boot disk. This quick guide details both methods in a few easy steps.

AMD Beema & Mullins Preview: Low Power, High Performance Mobile APUs

Intel's Bay Trail platform and low-power Haswell offerings may be the go-to choice when it comes to mainstream Windows tablets and laptops, but AMD believes that their next generation chips will be the best. A refinement of their work on APUs in the past few years, the new chips, ‘Beema’ and ‘Mullins’, are set to be strong contenders in this segment. Both products make use of AMD’s new Puma+ CPU cores and a GCN GPU with 128 compute cores at varying frequencies.

Under $100: AMD Kabini & Intel Bay Trail-D CPUs put to the test

Low-end desktop SoCs typically come soldered to motherboards, including AMD's 2011 Brazos platform as well as Intel's Bay Trail-D. AMD hopes to change that with its AM1 platform, which currently offers four APUs as well as a range of affordable motherboards. While checking out the new AM1 APUs, we have rounded up competing chips to give you a clearer picture of what is available in the budget CPU market.

OCZ RevoDrive 350 PCIe SSD 480GB Review: Blazing Fast RAID0 Storage in a Single Package

Back when OCZ released the RevoDrive 3 X2 in 2011, it was the fastest SSD for desktop users that we had seen. Using PCI Express, it eliminated the SATA bottleneck that most SSDs still face today while also offering hassle-free RAID. Three years later, the company is replacing it with the RevoDrive 350, touted as the ultimate storage solution for intensive workstation applications. The new RevoDrive has been upgraded to x8 PCIe 2.0 and boasts read/write speeds of 1.8/1.7GBps.

Iconic Hardware: The products that made a dent on the PC industry

What makes a product iconic? Design, functionality, styling, and innovation will get you part of the way there, but the true tests are how these products distinguished themselves from their competitors, how widely those traits were imitated by those competitors, and how history remembers their status. Here are some products that left their mark on the PC industry, whether in the form of full systems, CPUs, graphics cards, motherboards, cases or peripherals.

Quick & Dirty: Fire TV vs. Roku vs. Chromecast vs. Apple TV

As Amazon Fire TV bursts onto the market to compete with streamers like the Roku 3 and Apple TV, you may be wondering what these set-top boxes offer over cheaper streaming sticks, specifically Google's Chromecast and Roku's Streaming Stick. Each has its own advantages and drawbacks, and it really comes down to what features you want, and possibly what tech ecosystem you are already a part of.

Acer TA272 HUL All-in-One Review: Android Invades the Desktop

Veering off the beaten path, Acer decided to see what would happen if they took the traditional AIO formula, threw out the Windows operating system and PC hardware, replacing it instead with high-end smartphone guts powered by Android. They nailed the key component of the system -- the display -- as its AIO is built on top of an existing monitor, the T272 HUL, offering 10-point multi-touch and a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440. But does Android make sense on the desktop?

HTC One M8 Review: Solid Feature Set, Unmatched in Android Hardware Design

The HTC One was one of my favorite pieces of hardware from 2013. It was the first time we had really seen a company succeed at producing an Android smartphone with a premium look and feel that rivaled Apple’s iPhone. In 2014, HTC is releasing the all new One, or HTC One M8. The evolution of this flagship takes many forms. There’s more aluminum than the original model; the display size has been bumped to 5-inches; the Ultrapixel camera is now the new Duo Camera array; there’s a faster Snapdragon 801 SoC inside; there’s a refined Sense 6.0 UI atop Android 4.4; and much more.

AMD Radeon R9 295X2 Review: A Dual-GPU Beast

Today marks the arrival of AMD's successor to the Radeon HD 7990. The latter was a formidable rival for the GeForce GTX Titan but it faced poor frame latency performance and enormous power consumption figures. Later on the single-GPU R9 290X managed an even more impressive feat but that card was also 20% more power hungry and thus had a huge thermal output. So much so that we weren't sure if AMD was seriously considering two Hawaii XT GPUs on a single PCB.

Apparently so, as they are unveiling the Radeon R9 295X2, the most extreme graphics cards we have ever seen.

BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episode 2 Review

Burial at Sea has long promised to let us finally step into the shoes of Elizabeth, the young woman who in BioShock Infinite alternated as sidekick, damsel in distress, super-powered plot device, and harbinger of the apocalypse. The game picks up immediately after the events at the end of the first episode. Of course, picking up "immediately after" the first chapter doesn't really mean much in the multiverse of BioShock Infinite. In a matter of minutes, everything that seemed to (sort of) make sense at the end of episode one has been turned on its ear.

Get with the Times: These 9 Devices Might Be a Waste of Your Money

Sometimes it pays to buy slightly older devices in place of tempting deals on newly released tech. But that approach to buying electronics can only take you so far. As today's gadgets become ever more powerful and multi-purpose, there are some product categories that are nearing outright extinction and would make for silly purchases. Before you consider buying any of the items on this list, think long and hard about whether such a device is not a waste of your money.

In Win tou Review: All-Glass Case Offers Plenty of Flair, for a Price

The In Win tou is an $800 enclosure inspired by glass architecture and named after the Chinese word for "transparent". Its tempered glass panels are finished with a special coating that turns the outside into a mirror when your PC is off. However, when illuminated from the inside with the computer on, the tou's mirror coating becomes transparent.

AMD Mantle Performance: Thief & Battlefield 4

The biggest news for Mantle since being announced as a method of improving performance in games by allowing them to use your CPU and GPU more efficiently, has been support from DICE's Frostbite 3 engine (and by extension, Battlefield 4). Recently that support expanded to Eidos' Thief, while Crytek revealed at GDC 2014 that CryEngine will support it too. AMD says its latest update is of "tremendous benefit to a large cross-section of the gaming public" so we are keen to check it out.

Acer Iconia W4 Tablet Review: Improves on the W3 but not quite there yet

We’ve seen a flurry of 8-inch Windows 8.1 tablets hit the market over the past several months, including the Toshiba Encore and the Lenovo Miix 2 8 (no, that isn’t a typo). Neither of these systems was terribly impressive, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on Windows 8.1 slates just yet.

Next up to the plate is the Acer Iconia W4, the follow-up to the company’s first Windows 8.1 tablet, featuring an 8.0-inch 1,280 x 800 display and the same quad-core Intel “Bay Trail” Atom Z3740 SoC that we’ve seen from the competition.

Acer Iconia W4

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact Review: A "mini" handset that doesn't compromise on specs

In the world smartphones there are typically two choices to go with: large-screened handsets with top-end specifications, and smaller devices with mid-range internals. Recently we've seen some large devices with low-end specs like the Samsung Galaxy Mega or Nokia Lumia 1320, but the opposite has been negleted.

Sony has an answer in the form of the Xperia Z1 Compact, a no-compromise, ultra-portable handset for those that don’t want to carry around something with a 5-inch display. Nearly everything about this smartphone is the same as its large-screened brother, the Xperia Z1, including a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC and 20.7-megapixel rear camera.

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact Review

Titanfall Review: Is this what first person shooters have been missing?

I think I know what my favorite moment in Titanfall is. I'm in a Titan when my display tells me an enemy pilot has crawled up my back. My Titan's near death anyway and I know there won't be time to hop off and shoot the pilot down. Besides, my Titan is prepared for this exact moment. Earlier, I equipped it with a kit that would eject me, cloaked, just before it was set to explode. I should be just fine.

Titanfall Review

Screenshot Sharing in a Snap: 7 Free Alternatives to Droplr

Many of us here at TechSpot use Droplr on a daily basis to quickly share screenshots. While this simple app is great at what it does, since it moved to a subscription-only model I decided to look for a replacement. It’s just hard to justify paying $4.99 a month when there are quite a few options out there that work just as well.

For those unfamiliar with the service, Droplr offers a quick and easy way to share not just screenshots, but also text snippets and any type of files. No folders, no syncing. It excels at simplicity. But if, like me, you feel it’s not critical enough to your workflow to pay a monthly subscription, here are some free alternatives you should look at.

Screenshot Sharing Apps

The World Wide Web Turns 25

Twenty five years has brought along a lot of changes to the World Wide Web and in that time we’ve witnessed how it evolved from static to brimming with activity and creativity. As we commemorate another anniversary let’s look back at some of the events and milestones that helped transform the web into what it is today.

World Wide Web

Lenovo Miix 2 8 Review: Good, Affordable 8-inch Tablet With One Major Flaw

The Miix 2 8 isn’t geared up for high performance tasks, nor does it have top-end features, but its use of an Intel Atom x86-capable processor and 1280 x 800 display present very decent value for the tablet’s $240 asking price.

The use of aluminum as part of the Miix 2 8’s slim design is great to see, and its overall size is quite comfortable, striking a great mix between portability and usability. All of this is complemented by Windows 8.1 itself, which may not have the greatest selection of touch-enabled apps, but does have a fantastic range of built-in features for power users.

Lenovo Miix 2 8 Review

Benchmarking Free to Play: World of Tanks, Dota 2, PlanetSide 2 and League of Legends Tested

World of Warcraft is considered a massive success, yet it's dwarfed by World of Tanks' 1 million concurrent players and 75 million total users. You can also find more than half a million people playing Dota 2 on any given day and League of Legends has over 7.5 million players online during peak hours.

While you may not need a Radeon R9 290X or a GeForce GTX 780 Ti to get the most out of these games, we're curious to see how hard those titles can push today's hardware.

league of legends and world of tanks benchmarks

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