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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.

Plextor M6 SSD Series: SATA, mSATA, M.2 Form Factors Reviewed

Conventional hard drives are far from tapping SATA 3.0's 600MB/s bandwidth, yet those speeds have already grown inadequate for the quickest flash drives. With the arrival of SATA 3.2 Plextor is launching the new M6 range comprising a regular 2.5" SATA drive, and mSATA drive and a PCI Express/M.2 version. Today we're putting all three to the test.

Plextor M6 SSD Series Review

Round-up: Five Free VPN Services You Should Check Out

Totally free high quality VPN services are few and far between. The current business model being used by some is to offer a free basic application with the option to upgrade to a paid, more feature rich version. However, for users simply looking for some extra privacy or sporadically accessing a geo-restricted website these free versions get the job done.

Free VPN Services

Watch Dogs Benchmarked, Performance Review

Set in an alternate reality techno-dystopian Chicago, Watch Dogs hit every gamer's holiday wishlist after appearing at E3 2012. The open world hackfest wowed onlookers with its urban stealth action and its seemingly 'next-gen' graphics, built on the studio's new 'Disrupt' engine. Although there was a lot of controversy surrounding Watch Dog's graphics approaching its launch, ultimately the game looks amazing when set to ultra on the PC.

Watch Dogs Benchmarks

Logitech G502 Proteus Core Review: 4K-friendly 12,000 DPI Gaming Mouse

Being the first mouse to tout a staggering 12,000 DPI makes the Logitech G502 particularly interesting for early adopters already on 4K displays. But its advanced sensor is complemented by a host of other features that also make for the ultimate gaming companion. This mouse is super flexible, working flawlessly on a variety of surfaces, it has chevron-shaped 3.6g weights, eleven programmable buttons, in-game DPI shifting and dual mouse wheel modes.

Logitech G502 Proteus Core Gaming Mouse

Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet Review: Beautiful slate hardware meets Android

The Xperia Z2 Tablet is a successor to last year’s Xperia Tablet Z, and like what we’re seeing in Sony’s smartphone range, the device is an incremental update to what came before. Like the Tablet Z, the Z2 Tablet is fully water resistant, packs a 10.1-inch WUXGA display, and is under 7mm thick. The most significant update is the specification bump to Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 801 SoC, plus there’s an improved camera and a sizable weight reduction.

Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet Review

Das Keyboard 4 Review: Sturdier And Sleeker Than Ever

Metadot is arguably responsible for pioneering the commercial mechanical keyboard market, much like OCZ did with solid state drives. We’ve seen a number of revisions and competitors hit the scene since the original Das Keyboard launched in 2005, but their latest offering promises to be an order of magnitude better than previous generations, bringing in new features while staying true to its roots in terms of aesthetics and its 104-key layout.

Das Keyboard 4 Professional Review

Mario Kart 8 Review: Continuation of a Classic

Mario Kart was never my game. When it was originally released in 1992, I was already in love with another Nintendo racing game featuring high-tech Mode 7 graphics — F-Zero. I've dabbled with each iteration of Mario Kart over the past couple of decades and they all feel pretty much the same every time. But this time it's different. Within seconds of starting my first race, I could tell this was more than just plain old Mario Kart with fancy HD graphics.

Mario Kart 8 Review

Haswell Refresh: Intel's New Z97 Platform Explored

Nearly six years have passed since the Core i7 series debuted as a 45nm part on the LGA1366 platform, which Intel has been refining over many iterations through its tick-tock philosophy that follows every architectural update with a die shrink. Today's release isn't a tick or a tock, it's simply a refresh. But while we don't expect much more than slight speed bumps, the company has also released new 9-series chipsets, and we happen to have a few motherboards on hand.

Intel Haswell Refresh: The Z97 Platform Arrives

Samsung Galaxy S5 Review: Refining Android's Most Popular Phone

Another year, another Galaxy device. Since the release of the original Galaxy S in 2010, Samsung has been routinely refining their flagship formula through hardware upgrades, software polish and no shortage of gimmicks. We typically see larger displays, more cores, bigger megapixel counts, larger batteries and interesting new additions with every release. As you'd expect, 2014’s Galaxy S5 does little to break away from this formula.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Review

The Coming of 4K: PC Gaming in Ultra HD

The next-generation of monitor technology is upon us, quadrupling the number pixels on our screens and placing a heavy burden on our beleaguered GPUs. What does it take to put together a 4K-ready gaming PC? If you've got a gaming PC capable of playing most modern-day games at Ultra settings, there's a good chance it'll be able to handle an Ultra HD monitor. How well it handles an Ultra HD monitor will come down to your graphics hardware.

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.

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