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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.

Battlefield 4 Debuted This Week, Here's the Review

The world is on the brink of war, and it looks like you and the rest of the Tombstone squad are riding that fine, dangerous line that circles all around it. Like almost everything hinges on you carrying out one mission on top of the other. There are these big set-piece moments—the Michael Bay explosions and extravagantly violent and precarious situations you and your squadmates find yourselves in—that set an exciting tone for all of a few seconds.

Building a Hackintosh The Easy Way

Building a Hackintosh has definitely gotten easier over the years but there's still plenty of tinkering involved for the uninitiated. Earlier this year a company known as Quo launched a Kickstarter to fund a motherboard designed to run "any operating system". Though they don’t explicitly market it as a Hackintosh board, it’s clearly one of the board's key selling points. For the past few weeks we've been experimenting with the Quo motherboard (and the office's brand new hackintosh), here's how it all went...

Batman: Arkham Origins Tested, Benchmarked

Despite being built with Epic's aging Unreal Engine 3, WB Montreal used a heavily modified version of the software. The PC version has received some special attention in the graphics department including many DirectX 11 and PhysX effects.

Batman Arkham Origins Review

On multiple levels, this game is about finding one's voice. Players inhabit a Bruce Wayne who's been Batman for two years, as he faces a crucible that will test his resolve as never before. The people making Origins are trying to establish their creative voice as well. The game has been made by a new studio who are following up two well-regarded games by originating studio Rocksteady.

AMD Radeon R9 290X Review: Challenging the Titan at half the price

The GeForce GTX Titan blew us all away eight months ago with its mindblowingly fast GPU. The catch, of course, was that Nvidia wanted $1,000 for it. In a sense, the Radeon R9 290X could be considered AMD's Titan, as it takes the Tahiti architecture and stuffs with nearly 2000 million more transistors. It's the most complex GPU AMD has created and by no coincidence, it's also one of the most expensive, but before you click away, that's "only" $550, which is substantially cheaper than Nvidia's solution.

Gaming Mice Roundup 2013: 12-Way Shootout

With many hot PC game releases scheduled over the coming months, it seems like a fine opportunity to step up your game with a new mouse this holiday season if you were thinking about pitting your trusty, dusty retail rodent against Battlefield 4. Come along as a dozen mice compete for spots in our holiday and PC buying guides, and ultimately for your cash.

Best Tablets of 2013: Putting them together, spec-by-spec

As we move closer to the end of the year everyone’s moving to refresh their lineups in preparation for the lucrative holiday season. Apple just announced a new iPad Air and iPad mini Retina, Microsoft pushed out the second generation Surfaces, Amazon Kindles hedged its bets on high-end hardware and real-time support, Samsung did its own thing with numerous Android devices, and Google is set to refresh the Nexus line later this month.

When Amazon's Customer Reviews Get Ridiculously Funny

What these reviews lack in helpfulness they make up for in gleeful goofiness. For its part, Amazon hasn't tried to dissuade this phenomenon, as these self-generating memes can actually increase sales. For example, when an unexceptional graphic T-shirt featuring three howling wolves caught the ire of the sarcastic community in 2008, it went on to become one of the top selling pieces of apparel on Amazon that year.

Apple iPhone 5s Review

As an incremental update, the new iPhone 5s borrows heavily from its predecessor, building upon its solid foundation yet adding an all-new 64-bit A7 processor, the Touch ID fingerprint reader, a totally revamped operating system, while also learning a few new software tricks that enhance how the camera operates.

Ahead of Its Time: 9 Tech Products That Were Too Early to Market

Ahead of Its Time: 9 Tech Products That Were Too Early to Market

Finding the good in a failed product can be difficult at the time but in hindsight, it’s those same products that often serve as precursors to existing technology. In this article, we will be profiling nine such ideas that were conceived and brought to market well before their time.

While some weren’t exactly failures, most were – and all are responsible for playing a role in current devices or services that make our lives more comfortable and enjoyable.

Roundup: The 12 Best Games for Android Phones

Roundup: The 12 Best Games for Android Phones

Screw Apple, you say. You don't need to enter their closed system to taste sweet mobile bliss! Look, you have a perfectly fine Android handset or tablet on your person. It's still wrapped in plastic, even. Once you remove that protective layer, it's Fun City! We've got you covered on games, you non-conformist rebel.

Google's mobile OS keeps proliferating on more and more handsets and the games hitting that hardware keep getting better. Among our picks are Angry Birds Star Wars II, which is a mild improvement over the original but an improvement nonetheless, as well as Reaper, Temple Run 2, The Room, and more.

Old Is New Again: Radeon R9 270X and R7 260X Review

Old Is New Again: Radeon R9 270X and R7 260X Review

AMD announced the next generation Volcanic Islands GPUs last month at their GPU14 Tech Day event in Hawaii. Previous years have seen the release of a new GPU generation every year which makes the Radeon HD 7000's shelf life surprising, even more so considering the majority of the new RX 200 series cards rebadges from existing HD 7000 products.

The RX 200 series will consist of the Radeon R7 240, R7 250, R7 260X, R9 270X, R9 280X and later this month the R9 290 and R9 290X. Confused yet? Well let us try and clear a few things up.

Six Things Apple Got Right in iOS 7 and Six Still Missing

Six Things Apple Got Right in iOS 7 and Six Still Missing

Despite how much people claim to like change, at the core we are creatures of habit. Described as the biggest change to iOS since the introduction of the iPhone, iOS 7 has been available to the general public for roughly two weeks at this point. That’s given everyone plenty of time to get accustomed to all of the changes and vent about them, but for us, it’s served as an evaluation period.

Looking beyond the flat UI and the animated background, has that much really changed in Apple’s mobile OS? What did Cupertino get right with the update and what areas or features are still missing? Here's our take.

HTC One Mini Review: Downsizing the best Android phone

HTC One Mini Review: Downsizing the best Android phone

On paper, the naming of the HTC One mini makes perfect sense. The mini is a mid-to-high-end aluminum-clad smartphone with a 4.3-inch display, designed for those who want a premium device without the massive size that’s often associated with its bigger and faster brother, as well as other Android 'superphones'.

But will HTC’s tradeoffs have too much of an effect on the overall product, keeping it from being a great 4.3-inch device? Or will the price be just right for what you’re getting out of the box?

Mionix Avior 8200 Review: An Ambidextrous Gaming Mouse

Mionix Avior 8200 Review: An Ambidextrous Gaming Mouse

I'm left-handed. Yet when it comes to computers, like most other lefties I know, I use a mouse with my right hand. It's just how I was taught. So I've never seen the need for a mouse that tries to accommodate both normal humans and sinister mutants.

But this category of the market exists because people want that flexibility anyway, so if you really must sit on the fence, the Avior 8200 is a good way to do it. Made by Mionix, the Avior is a fantastic gaming mouse that's also subtle in design. There are no enormous logos or flashy color schemes, build quality is superb with a nice feel to every button, and the soft matte finish to the exterior is extremely comfortable.

Silverstone Fortress FT04 Review: Improving the Formula?

Silverstone Fortress FT04 Review: Improving the Formula?

Silverstone cases are often praised by enthusiasts and HTPC builders alike, and with good reason. We last checked the Fortress FT03 which deserved TechSpot's Outstanding award and now two years later, the much anticipated Fortress FT04 has made it to market.

Upon first glance this latest version looks a lot like the FT01 that was released back in 2008. The FT04 shares similar dimensions to the FT01, with a slight increase in size that we assume simply means it can fit drives and longer graphics cards more comfortably.

These 10 Electronic Devices Are Nearly Impossible to Repair

These 10 Electronic Devices Are Nearly Impossible to Repair

It's becoming tradition that with every new high-profile gadget release, we showcase whatever findings the repair commandos at iFixit.com share with us, whether it's the latest iPhone 5S and 5C, the Nvidia Shield, Moto X smartphone, or the yet unfinalized Oculus Rift VR headset.

In a follow-up article we'll list devices and gadgets you can service on your own. But if it's controversy and indignation you want, this is the week you've been waiting for! Here are iFixit's top 10 hardest-to-repair electronics.

TechSpot PC Buying Guide: Mid-2013 Update

TechSpot PC Buying Guide: Mid-2013 Update

TechSpot's PC Buying Guide offers an in-depth list of today's best desktop PC hardware, spanning four typical budgets starting at ~$500 for a well-balanced machine capable of medium workloads, up to $3,000+ for the Luxury build which includes the best PC hardware recommendations when budget is not a big concern. In-between you will find two mainstream systems that are good for heavy-multitasking and depending on your choice of GPU casual to high-end gaming.

• Decent performance • Good for everyday computing • Gaming with add-on GPU
• Good performance • Fast for everyday computing • Casual gaming
• Excellent performance • Great Multitasker • Perfect for gaming
• Workstation-like performance • Heavy multitasking • Extreme gaming
Google Nexus 7 (2nd-Gen) Review: The Android Tablet to Beat

Google Nexus 7 (2nd-Gen) Review: The Android Tablet to Beat

Google stormed into the tablet market last year with the Nexus 7, a low-cost but high quality 7-inch tablet that significantly lowered the price barrier for Android media consumption.

Enter 2013, time to refresh the Nexus 7, receiving a serious speed boost, a better quality display, a rear camera and new features. At $220 the 2nd-gen Nexus tablet presents itself as a remarkably attractive proposition for people who want to read, watch or play.

Arma 3 Benchmarked: Graphics and CPU Performance Tested

Arma 3 Benchmarked: Graphics and CPU Performance Tested

Built with Real Virtuality 4, ARMA 3 builds on its predecessors' superb graphics and realism, DirectX 10 and 11 support, improved physics across the board, underwater environments, volumetric clouds, better lighting and a 20km view distance with photo-realistic terrain.

ARMA 3 will offer the largest official terrain of its franchise, with ground area covering approximately 270 km² across the Aegean islands of Altis and 20 km² on the Greek island Stratis. Between its expansive world and graphical advancements, it's no surprise that the developer's recommended specifications are set relatively high.

GTA 5 Review: Unparalleled Attention to Detail

GTA 5 Review: Unparalleled Attention to Detail

Rockstar Games has scaled a mountain with Grand Theft Auto V, creating the best-looking, best-sounding and, most importantly, best-playing version of gaming's most notorious franchise.

Scaling one peak, however, reveals another—their cloud-piercing ambition to create a great ensemble video game drama, an epic of intersecting, interactive lives. Rockstar doesn't summit that new peak as impressively with GTA V, but in its first attempt at such an audacious feat, makes a good go of it.

Samsung SSD 840 Evo Review: 250GB & 1TB Drives Tested

Samsung SSD 840 Evo Review: 250GB & 1TB Drives Tested

Flash performance and endurance is a tricky subject, and yet Samsung's flagship, the SSD 840 Pro remains one of the best in both categories.

Having aced its attempts at speed and durability, Samsung seems focused on solving flash's biggest sacrifices: size and affordability. Its new SSD 840 Evo lineup has models spanning from 120GB to 1TB, with the largest costing only $0.65 per gigabyte thanks to its use of TLC NAND.

Sony Xperia Z Ultra Review: A powerful 6.4-inch Android phablet

Sony Xperia Z Ultra Review: A powerful 6.4-inch Android phablet

With no less than 30 devices in their Xperia smartphone range, Sony certainly doesn’t shy away from releasing multitudes of Android devices. However, nothing Sony has released thus far can be likened to the Xperia Z Ultra.

For the first time, the Japanese company has released a phablet. Sporting a gargantuan 6.4-inch display and powerful Snapdragon 800 processor in a body that’s easily the largest, but also the slimmest that I’ve ever seen in a similar smartphone.

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