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.
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:
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.
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:
The iPad is now on its fifth iteration and with it comes a new name, the iPad Air. True to the moniker, Apple’s latest full-size tablet has been put on a significant diet. It retains the same 9.7-inch display but with a bezel that is 43 percent thinner along with a 20 percent reduction in overall thickness.
Enter the Xperia Z1. New Snapdragon 800 SoC. New 20.7-megapixel Exmor RS camera. New aluminium body. In many respects, this is what Sony was aiming for with the original Xperia Z: a solid set of features to lure any smartphone buyer including waterproofing. It may be out a little later than your Galaxy S4 or HTC One, but there’s no doubting that the Z1 is a high-end handset to take Sony into 2014.
How good is the PlayStation 4? Ask me in five years. Ask me after I figure out whether God of War is headed in the right direction, after I learn whether it has become unfathomable to play a console game without livestreaming it. These days, many game reviews aren't really done when they first run. They can explain parts of the game accurately at launch, but online communities shape these games. That's true, too, for the surprisingly online-centric PlayStation 4.
As if it wasn't already fast enough, Gigabyte has armed its GTX 780 Ti with a massive air cooler that allows its variant of Nvidia's newcomer with a 17% overclock. The company has also been working on other overclocked GTX 780s, including a "GHz Edition" allowing a core clock of 1.02GHz or 18% higher than the standard version of the card.
Even if the Asrock M8's style is not your thing, there's less room to argue that this is a unique gaming PC barebones kit and that was enough to earn our attention. We've been impressed with the looks of previous Asrock products -- including its mini PCs -- but the M8 is a clear step up having been designed by BMW Group DesignworksUSA, the driving force behind Thermaltake's Level 10 chassis, a case as overpriced as it is iconic.
The Vector 150 is an evolutionary step forward for OCZ's enthusiast series, improving the original Vector's endurance and security by supposedly being able to withstand 150% more writes along with providing AES-256 encryption. By focusing on those features, OCZ left us with the impression that speed wasn't a priority, but that hasn't prevented the company from boasting about breaking performance barriers.
At no less than $1.00 per gigabyte, we're skeptical about OCZ being able to justify the Vector 150's price, but the company has surprised us with knockout performance in the past so it only seems fair to expect big things from them.
AMD surprised everyone last month by delivering Titan-like performance for nearly half the price with the R9 290X. However before Nvidia can strike back, it'll have to eat another blow in the form of the new Radeon R9 290. At $400, the R9 290 offers fantastic value when you consider it still packs much of what made the R9 290X a GeForce killer.
With roots that stretch back more than a decade and enough fans to justify new content every year, Battlefield is among the handful of franchises that needs no introduction around here. Even if you hate EA's approach modern military madness, you can typically expect Battlefield's graphics to raise the bar. This year's release is no different, of course, having been built with an updated version of the Frostbite engine.
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 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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
LG has jam-packed nearly every feature you can imagine into the G2, from a powerful Qualcomm Snadpdragon 800 SoC and a 1080p display, to an optically stabilized camera and finely tuned software. LG has clearly thrown everything they can into this device, but does it stand above the rest of the flagship pack?