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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Despite being built with the aging Unreal Engine 3, Thief touts some cutting edge rendering techniques that have put the game on our radar. Thief's built-in benchmark appears to do a good job of demonstrating a worst-case performance scenario, so if your system can average 60fps in the benchmark you should enjoy perfectly smooth gameplay from start to finish.
Thief is the long-awaited fourth entry in the storied Thief series. Its predecessors are often credited with revolutionizing if not flat-out inventing a particular genre of immersive stealth game. Unfortunately the latest release boils down to a city full of closed doors and dead ends, boxed in and lined with nothing but rough edges.
When it comes to 8" Windows tablets, the release of Windows 8.1 has seen many companies try their hands at crafting the perfect tablet. Today we check out Toshiba's Encore that packs a 1280x720 HFFS LCD display, Intel Bay Trail internals and expandable 32 or 64 GB internal storage.
Messaging is not only among the top activities on smartphones (if not THE top activity), messaging apps are increasingly seen as social networks. After all people use them to send each other texts, videos, photos and other content either one-on-one or as a group. Sounds familiar, right?
Feature-by-feature rundown, PLUS a look at the top contenders' data policies
In nearly every way, the Lumia 525 is the same as the Lumia 520, however since the 520 launched at the start of 2013 the entry-level smartphone market has changed; new hardware has been unveiled for budget devices, and older parts have become cheaper. The competition is also ferocious, specifically Motorola's Moto G comes to mind. How does the Lumia 525 fit into the equation in 2014?
Read the full review inside -- watch the video review below:
Marking the introduction of its Maxwell architecture, Nvidia has targeted AMD's $150 Radeon R7 265 with the new GeForce GTX 750 Ti. With fewer cores being used to get more performance, Maxwell consumes less power and improves Kepler's performance per watt. Does that mean AMD's newly relaunched Radeon R7 265 could be in trouble considering it's essentially a slightly overclocked and steeply discounted HD 7850?
Currently Kaveri APUs can be paired with one of two discrete GPUs: the Radeon R7 240 and R7 250. Both are sub-$100 cards that we wouldn't typically recommend gamers invest in, but when combined with the A10-7850K's on-die GPU, we could see performance that has bigger implications for value-oriented builders.
Enter the Nebula by Xigmatek, a striking solution with a neat cube design that offers a 2.2L capacity. It's safe to say the Nebula is unlike anything we've seen before, and that tends to come at a premium. The case is pretty new and pricing isn't entirely clear yet in the US, but it's going for €85 or about $115 in other regions -- over twice the Elite RC-130's price.
If you're looking to treat virtual coin mining as a hobby, Litecoins are probably the best bet right now and we'll show you how to get started with choosing and configuring the hardware and software you'll need. Also note we are aiming this article to PC enthusiasts who likely have spare hardware around, separating our project from milk crate builds, this seems like the most logical approach for us to get started.
We've all been there. You want to buy a new graphics card, you read the reviews, and settle on the best GPU within your budget. Then you have to decide from half dozen or so manufacturers that offer nearly identical hardware. But which is the most reliable? The same scenario could be applied to other components like motherboards, storage or memory. That's why when we found this annual list compiled by boutique PC manufacturer Puget Systems we asked them to reproduce it for you.
Nostalgia seeps out of every virtual pore of Double Fine's latest game, spearheaded by beloved developer Tim Schafer. The game exists only because of the generosity of thousands of people who, by and large, wanted to recapture the charms of their video game playing youth. So, it's fitting that Broken Age looks like a gorgeously designed animated movie you can play through.
The Moto G is Motorola’s biggest and best effort yet in conquering Android's entry-level market. It’s not a handset meant to break records, but the 4.5-inch 720p display, Snapdragon 400 SoC and dual-SIM support (in certain models) will please the right crowds. Plus, at $179 for the 8 GB model and $199 for 16 GB, unlocked and off-contract, it certainly fits the definition of what an affordable smartphone should be.
It's been a few years since we published an enthusiastic review of Asrock's pricey yet powerful Vision 3D HTPC. The company has since kept our attention with annual updates, now on its fourth generation, the Vision HT 420D has received a proper upgrade to Intel's Haswell architecture as well as other improvements that contribute to the system's respectable list of features, making it one of the most impressive HTPCs to date.
The Asus Transformer Book T100 is a full Windows 8.1 entry-level 10-inch tablet, sporting Intel ‘Bay Trail’ internals, and a keyboard dock all for under $500. The Transformer line of products has typically been quite solid, so it’ll be interesting to see how this Windows convertible hybrid fares and if the T100 manages to stand out from the crowd.
AMD really is focused on gaming performance with Kaveri and believes this is where its latest APUs have a serious advantage over the competition. The company's latest processors are being pushed as budget solutions for modern 1080p gaming, though on paper the Radeon R7 doesn't look quite up to the task...