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Asus' Eee Pad Transformer launched with much fanfare last year as it bridged the gap between tablets and netbooks via its docking station. At the time, we thought the Eee Pad Transformer was a great bargain, but that value was slightly diminished later in 2011 when Asus unveiled its $620 Eee Pad Transformer Prime.
Although the Transformer Prime's price increase was technically justifiable, it pushed the upper budgets of some shoppers. Addressing that issue, Asus has released a more affordable yet still powerful version called the Transformer Pad TF300T.
Let's just get this out of the way: Yes, Quantum Conundrum is a first-person puzzler, just like Portal. Yes, it was designed by Kim Swift, the project lead on Portal. And yes, it shares some of Portal's core traits: there's a physics-altering arm device, a goofy omniscient narrator, and an alarming number of buttons that need to be pushed.
But Quantum Conundrum crawls out from its spiritual predecessor's mighty shadow and stands, triumphant, as a game that's unique, raw, and brilliant in many ways. Finally, Portal has a worthy rival.
Having successfully launched their first 28nm GPU last January, AMD went on to release an entire family of Radeon HD 7000 GPUs over the next few months. The last of the series were the Radeon HD 7870 and 7850 graphics cards, which were closely followed by the launch of Nvidia’s next generation flagship part, the GeForce GTX 680.
Fast forward to the present day and it'd appear that AMD is desperate to claim the bragging rights of offering the single fastest GPU money can buy. As the name suggests the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition features a core clock speed of 1GHz, along with overclocked GDDR5 memory running at 1500MHz. But is it worth it?
Last year Samsung solidified its position as the dominant Android smartphone manufacturer with the Galaxy S II. The massive success of this phone helped propel Samsung into becoming the largest mobile phone manufacturer in the world.
Samsung isn't sitting idly by as others ramp up their smartphone offerings, and its efforts to stay at the top are wrapped up in the Galaxy S III, a 4.8-inch powerhouse of a smartphone. The S III features cutting edge hardware paired with useful software additions that make it an attractive option for the prospective smartphone buyer.
Out of nowhere, Microsoft had an announcement to make. Nothing concrete leaked ahead of the event except that it would be tablet-related. Everybody was skeptical, myself included.
The presentation began and it seemed like more of the same. Don't call it a tablet -- it's the new "Surface"… boring. It's thin, but not much more than existing tablets. It has a kickstand... umm ok. A magnetic cover -- yeah, we’ve seen that somewhere before. Oh, and it doubles as a super-thin keyboard. Wait, what?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, you’ve no doubt seen the Cooler Master Cosmos II either online or at your local hardware retailer or LAN party. Cooler Master showcased their 'Ultra Tower' at this year's CES and we've been anxious to get it on the test bench ever since to see if it lives up to the hype.
With support for up to 13 hard drives and a total weight of nearly 50 pounds without any hardware installed, this is probably the largest case I've ever worked with in over 10 years of reviewing computer hardware.
Earlier this week Apple announced updates to its entire notebook lineup, bringing it up to date with Ivy Bridge processors and a few other goodies. Like them, many other computer manufacturers have been showcasing new and updated laptops over the past few days and weeks.
Ultrabooks in particular received quite a bit of attention, and we’re not surprised. Intel is putting a lot of weight behind the concept and expects it to be the main driver of PC market growth in the short term. With that in mind, we’re taking a couple of Wintel alternatives to check how well they stack up next to the new 13-inch MacBook Air.
Instead of breaking new ground in performance, Ivy Bridge improves efficiency, marking the arrival of Intel's 22nm design process which uses new 3D transistors. This allows the flagship quad-core 3.5GHz Core i7-3770K to consume less power than the more modest Sandy Bridge i5-2500K.
Granted, the 19-watt power savings we recorded in our tests probably won't excite desktop users, but it does present a tangible benefit for battery-bound mobile machines. Ivy Bridge's improved fuel efficiency should grant laptops a little more mileage away from wall chargers.
Back when the Windows 8 Consumer Preview hit the Web, we offered a basic guide on configuring a virtual machine. With Windows 8's Release Preview available and the final version inching toward completion, we figure it's a great time to offer a similarly easy step-by-step walkthrough on installing Windows 8 with a USB drive.
If you're familiar with the process, there isn't much for you to see here, but this should serve as a quick confidence booster for anyone who hasn't installed an operating system recently.
If you've been a gamer for at least a decade, then you will recognize Max Payne as the PC third-person shooter of the early 2000s. Notable for its film noir style and use of the bullet time effect (The Matrix), Max Payne's character went on to surpass anyone's expectations with several console ports, a sequel, and a feature film adaptation in 2008.
It's been hinted that Max Payne 3 will make the most of current high-end PCs, with DirectX 11 tessellation compatibility and advanced graphics options. With that in mind we test it with 25 graphics card configurations and a range of CPUs.
Last week HTC published a list of phones that will receive an update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with a projected completion date of late August 2012. This is not a very encouraging prospect considering Google officially introduced ICS last October. Also because Android's next major revision codenamed “Jelly Bean” will be close to release by then.
But this is not an issue with HTC phones exclusively. In fact, Ice Cream Sandwich is more the exception rather than the rule on Android devices across the board. There’s a total of four smartphones shipping with the OS preloaded, just over a dozen with upgrades available, and more than 30 on the “coming soon” list.
After the success of the SF-1200 controller, virtually every SSD maker was eager to climb aboard the SandForce express. That bandwagon continued trucking through last year, as the second-gen SF-2200 powered many of 2011's noteworthy flash drives.
It's unclear when SandForce's next controllers will arrive, but in the meantime, Kingston has released a pair of new SF-2281-based drives said to emphasize speed and affordability: the HyperX 3K and the SSDNow V+200. The former is aimed at enthusuasts and uses synchronous memory, while the latter is intended for businesses but uses cheaper asynchronous memory.
Eben Upton has had an interesting trajectory both as an entrepreneur and academic, founding a couple of startups over the last decade and a half, as well as acting as the Director of Studies in Computer Science at the University of Cambridge.
Now employed at Broadcom as an SoC architect, his latest “on-the-side” venture combines a little bit of each facet and is perhaps its most ambitious yet: reignite programming in schools with a cheap ($25-$35), compact computing platform that kids could buy themselves. But despite targeting students, his foundation's tiny computer has already captured the imaginations of tinkers worldwide.
The legendary series' third installment is finally here, a mouse drive-action game that sees the player take on the role of one of five characters tasked with saving the world from being overrun by the forces of evil. umanity cowers in the shadow of ever-growing darkness, their only hope for salvation a player more engaged with collecting magical equipment and earning experience points than any noble quest.
Diablo III the action role-playing game that launched a thousand clones remains the most viscerally entertaining way to click your mouse several hundred thousand times.
After 11 years in the making and more setbacks than we care to count, Blizzard has finally unleashed a third installment to its cult classic dungeon crawler.
Blizzard has somewhat of a reputation for making highly scalable titles that run on virtually any gaming rigs, so that's largely what we expect from the developer's latest offering... watch us beat the hell out of Diablo III with today's finest hardware.
Hoping to drive small and medium business sales, NAS-makers have been pushing to deliver enterprise features such as cloud storage, virtualization support, automated backup software and iSCSI support. There's also been an effort to include technologies such as Link Aggregation, which can increase network bandwidth when dealing with multiple users and also provides redundancy in case one of the links fails.
First seen over a decade ago, 10GbE is ten times faster than Gigabit Ethernet, but it's been largely reserved for pricey devices. With that in mind, we're checking out two new high-end SMB NAS devices: the QNAP TS-879 Pro and the Synology DS3612xs.
After months of talking up its latest architecture, Nvidia reclaimed the single-GPU performance crown with its GeForce GTX 680, which outpaced the Radeon HD 7970 by about 7% in our tests. Kepler's arrival forced AMD to slash prices across its Southern Islands lineup.
The HD 7950 took a $60 cut to $399, making it one of the most tempting 7000 series cards because it has no equal -- or had no equal, we should say. Continuing Kepler's rollout, Nvidia has unveiled the GTX 670, which is priced against the HD 7950 at $399. Despite being $100 cheaper than the GTX 680, the GTX 670 doesn't appear to be much slower on paper, and that could spell disaster for AMD.
Cubitek is a relative newcomer to the chassis industry, but that's not stopping it from challenging the biggest names in the business -- including veteran Lian Li. Last month, the company unveiled its latest ICE series with five premium models spanning everything from Mini-ITX to HPTX.
All of the ICE series chassis feature a 2.5mm aluminum construction and Cubitek says this makes them stronger than standard aluminum cases while maintaining a thin and light figure. The largest model, the Cubitek HPTX-ICE, stands 559mm (22") tall and 613mm (24") long, weighing 19.6lbs (8.9kg) when empty.
Six years ago, Raspberry Pi set out to reignite programming in schools with a cheap, compact computing platform. Despite targeting students, his foundation's $35 computer captured the imaginations of tinkers worldwide, resulting in overwhelming demand.
Along with a hands-on review of the Pi, today we'll be covering basic steps for setting up the computer and other elemental post-installation tasks to get you up and running with applications. In other words, this should serve as a starting point no matter what you want to do with your Raspberry Pi.
There are two surefire ways to have your name immortalized in history: succeed in your stride toward greatness or, as so many tech firms did in 2011, faceplant trying.
Fresh in our memory are failed products like the Blackberry Playbook, the PlayStation Network getting hacked, Microsoft's Kin smartphones, AMD's FX relaunch and Duke Nukem Forever. Those and a few others have served as inspiration for us to look further back and revisit some of the biggest flops of the new millennia, starting with what many consider Microsoft's worst OS ever.
On paper, the GTX 680 has almost 200% more shader performance than the GTX 580, roughly 250% more texture performance, 90% more ROP performance and 100% more memory bandwidth. With the Radeon HD 7970 only being ~9% faster than the GTX 580, AMD appears to have priced itself into a corner this time around.
Because we didn't get a reference sample last month, our GTX 680 review will showcase one of the special edition products instead, meet the Gainward GTX 680 Phantom...
It's cloud storage week apparently, with Dropbox rolling out an update that improves how its users can share things, Microsoft's SkyDrive getting dedicated desktop apps and a revamped feature set, and Google Drive finally making its long-awaited debut.
We've hand-picked some of the most established and consumer-friendly cloud storage services and took them for a spin to see how well they stack against each other, with a comparative table to provide an at-a-glance overview of each service's strong points.
Considered a successor to Tribes 2, Tribes: Ascend embraces its heritage by incorporating the same fast-paced combat, tons of maps, weapons, vehicles and unique traversal mechanics.
The game is built on a modified Unreal Engine 3 and only supports DirectX 9 graphics, but the recommended specs are relatively high, calling for a GeForce GTX 560 or Radeon HD 6950 with a quad-core processor. Considering those requirements, we're hoping the game gives our test hardware a nice workout.
Today the company is unveiling its full new line of Core i7 and Core i5 processors, accompanying chipsets and Centrino wireless options. Ivy Bridge is a 'tick' release, but Intel is calling it a tick+ due to the more significant overhaul the graphics side of things is getting. The new chips are set to provide 20–50% better GPU performance over Sandy Bridge, the kind of jump we'd normally expect from a tock release.
Having already discussed the new Tri-Gate transistors in great detail, the new 7-series chipsets, and some of the motherboards that use them, we are going to focus primarily on the Core i7-3770K processor in this review.
Although Intel's die shrink of Sandy Bridge isn't due until next week (Monday, rumors say), the company has long shipped Ivy Bridge's accompanying chipsets. It might seem odd to jump the gun on "next-gen" motherboards, but 7-series platforms are backwards compatible with Sandy Bridge processors, so users have actually been able to buy a Z77 motherboard and use it for a few weeks without Ivy Bridge.
After surveying Panther Point's spec sheet, we're itching to get a little more hands-on. Fortunately, we have four new Z77 motherboards in the shop and begging for attention, including the Asrock Z77 Extreme6, ECS Z77H2-AX, Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H-WB and Intel DZ77GA-70K.
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