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TechSpot

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.

Lumia 1520 Review: Nokia outdoes itself with best Windows Phone yet

Nokia is hoping that their 6-inch Lumia 1520 will give the Note 3 a run for its money. The Lumia 1520 is the first Windows Phone to come with a Snapdragon 800 SoC, the first with a quad-core CPU, the first with a 1080p display, and the first to compete on a hardware level with top Android devices. It also sees Nokia’s vast imaging expertise put to good use with the inclusion of a 20-megapixel PureView shooter sure to please enthusiasts out there.

nokia lumia 1520 review

Your Desktop Gone 4K: Dell UltraSharp 32 UP3214Q Review

Knowing the reputation (and price) the UltraSharp moniker commands, there would normally be little more to say than “immense IPS display”, “great image” but “prosumer price tag”. However, the UP3214Q’s defining feature isn’t its enormity, IPS panel, nor certainly the $3,500 sticker price. Rather, its most distinct feature is a glorious spread of 3840 x 2160 pixels which is, ironically, also the source of its biggest issues.

dell 4k monitor review

Gigabyte Radeon R9 290X OC & R9 290 OC Review: Immense potential lost to GPU shortages and inflated prices

AMD's Radeon R9 290 and 290X made a strong case against Nvidia's GTX 780 and Titan late last year, but that position soon weakened with unexpectedly high prices and limited options from board partners. This time we'll revisit the cards with actual production units from Gigabyte so we can weigh in on third-party performance at actual market prices.

asrock Z87 Extreme11 ac

Asrock Z87 Extreme11/ac Review: 22 SATA ports, 4-way GPU support and more

Asrock's new Z87 Extreme11/ac may very well be the most extreme motherboard we've handled. It touts four-way GPU support, over 20(!) SATA ports, premium onboard audio, dual gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and -- unsurprisingly -- the largest price tag in its class. So, how exactly does a company justify $540 for a motherboard?

asrock Z87 Extreme11 ac

Mobile Tech Trends and Predictions for 2014

During 2013 we were introduced to a range of cool new tech in the mobile space. High resolution 1080p displays made us question whether the smartphone you were holding was sharper looking than real paper, quad-core processors dominated every device, and some smartphone cameras packed more megapixels than a professional DSLR. So what will 2014 bring? Here’s our list of predictions for the next year in smartphone and tablet technology...

smartphone and tablet trends 2014

Looking Back at 2013: The Year's Top Tech Stories

Twenty-thirteen has been an eventful year marked by a changing landscape in the computing world, product refreshes in the mobile scene, a new generation of consoles, the rise of Bitcoin and the harsh realization that pretty much nothing you do online (and sometimes offline) is private. Our yearly recount of the most relevant tech happenings awaits...

top tech news 2013

King of the Big Phones: Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Review

Many companies have tried to make a large, note-friendly smartphone, but none have succeeded quite as well as Samsung. While the first Galaxy Note was rather large and lacking in refinement, Samsung has steadily improved the line, this year releasing the brand new Galaxy Note 3, and it has some true competition for the first time.

galaxy note 3 review

Liquid Cooling vs Air Cooling: A TechSpot Comparison

Recently we compared 10 of the best CPU air coolers and while we didn't think twice about stamping the NH-U14S with our Outstanding Award, we've since wondered how it would fare against a basic water cooling setup. On paper, closed loop systems simplify the process of diving into water cooling, being about as safe and easy to work with as air cooling while delivering much of the performance you'd expect from an elaborate custom loop at a fraction of the cost.

wtf

Infamous Tech Industry Predictions and Quotations

Within an industry known as much for its predictive pronouncements and verbal sparring as its actual innovation, low bandwidth morality, and elastic attitude towards intellectual property rights, many have felt compelled to follow Intel co-founder Gordon Moore (of Moore's Law) in bringing their judgements and observations into the public eye… with varying degrees of success.

Is Buying a Sound Card Worth The Money? An Enthusiast's Perspective

Buying a sound card has always felt more like a gamble than an investment to me. At the same time, I know audio snobs with thousands in equipment and all-FLAC libraries, and I'd like to believe they aren't delusional -- surely there's something to be experienced beyond my basic setup. But I mean, just how much better can music, movies and games sound? Enough to prevent buyer's remorse?

Learn to Code: 22 Free Resources

Whether you’re looking for something new to learn, or just want to refresh your memory on something that might be a bit rusty, there are plenty of free sources online that you can take advantage of free code classes. In this article, we’re going to look at a few different resources online you can tap into for coding know-how; some of these are email-based, some are in a game format (always my favorite!), and some are instructor-led via video. Just pick and choose the one that works best for you.

WD Black2 Dual Drive Review

The WD Black2 sports both a 120GB SSD and a 1TB HDD in a single package. Unlike other hybrid configs such as Seagate's Momentus XT which combine ample magnetic storage with a little NAND, the Black2 crams both technologies into one drive too, but it simply does what desktop users have been doing for years by making the flash portion a primary boot drive with the disk serving as bulk storage.

Lenovo Erazer X700 Gaming PC Review

Lenovo is well-known for its diverse portfolio of offerings spanning home and business. Gaming, on the other hand, is one area Lenovo has mostly ignored over the years. With that in mind, we introduce to you the Erazer X700 -- Lenovo’s first stab at a PC tailored for gamers. Features which qualify the X700 as a full-fledged gaming PC are its unique exterior, performance-centered parts, ample tool-free expandability, liquid cooling and OneKey overclocking. Sound good so far?

Time Saver: Download subtitles automatically with a simple script

Finding subtitles for ripped or downloaded videos isn’t terribly complicated, but there are a few handy apps that can save you some time by making the whole process extremely easy, as simple as dragging and dropping a video file. Why not take it to the next level and make subtitle downloads 100% hands off? With the help of a couple handy tools we certainly can!

You Want to Know This: Xbox One vs. PS4

Two new gaming consoles. Both very powerful. Both very ambitious. Both about to meet head to head... and do battle for your time, money and attention, as well as the fate of the universe! Two weeks ago we reviewed the PlayStation 4. Last week we reviewed the Xbox One. Now that we've had a decent chunk of time with both consoles, let's bang them together and pretend they're fighting.

Apple iPad mini with Retina Display: The TechSpot Review

Every year Apple refreshes their tablet line-up with new hardware and new features. The full sized iPad got faster, lighter, slimmer and even received a new name (iPad Air), while the second-generation mini is more impressive than ever, thanks to a major update. This new iPad mini comes with a high-resolution 7.9-inch panel whose resolution is on-par with the Air at 2048 x 1536. Not only that, but Apple’s new A7 SoC is included, alongside a larger battery in a shell that’s nearly identical in size to the original iPad mini.

Read the full review inside -- watch the video review below:

Xbox One Review: Microsoft's Ambitious Play For The Living Room

The Xbox One is a testament to Microsoft's towering ambition. It represents their desire not only to occupy a place in your home entertainment center, but to lumber straight into the center of it. The Xbox One I've been using for the past week and a half is significantly different from that announced back in May. The relatively short period of time Microsoft has had to make so many changes is evident in the console and its software. Xbox One is clearly coming in hot, and many of its features aren't quite complete. It ain't easy evaluating a work in progress. This is going to be a long review.

Google Nexus 5 Review

Despite its low price – $349 for an unlocked 16 GB model – the Nexus 5 packs top-of-the-line specifications. Internally there’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC with a 2.3 GHz quad-core CPU, 2 GB of RAM, LTE radios worldwide (a first for Nexus devices) and a 2,300 mAh battery, complemented by a 4.95-inch 1080p IPS display. Let’s not forget the camera either, which is an 8-megapixel unit and will hopefully prove much more capable than the Nexus cameras of the past.

Read the full review inside -- watch the video review below:

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