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Editorial It appears as though we're just now arriving to that sweet spot where fewer compromises can be made to build fast and svelte machines that are budget-friendly, all at the same time. However, it's easy to miss what a true next-generation ultraportable notebook should be.
Manufacturers are short-sighted if they only focus on building fast machines that weigh 3 pounds or less, without putting design and user experience at the core of their future developments. Here are some key aspects where I believe PC makers should focus and where some are already failing on their first try to deliver a killer ultrabook.
Although its popularity is undoubtedly aided by the cult-like status of the Elder Scrolls franchise, Skyrim isn't just a clone of its predecessors (we're looking at you MW3). Bethesda has made many gameplay refinements, especially to the graphics and animations -- our area of interest.
While it may not bring your PC to its knees, Skyrim promises to be the best-looking Elder Scrolls title to date with its newly developed game engine, called the "Creation Engine." As usual we have put a wide range of hardware to the test, 17 graphics cards and CPU performance comparisons await inside.
The tantalizingly brief Skyrim teaser trailer debuted by Bethesda Softworks late last year filled my mind with visions of titanic battles between man and beast; of shining steel bathed in ancient flames; of a champion rising from humble origins, prepared to sacrifice everything for the fate of the world.
After 60+ hours with the game those visions have been fully realized — and rendered largely inconsequential.It's the sort of tale that fuels ancient epics and trashy fantasy novel trilogies alike. This is not your average role-playing game. In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, this titanic tale is merely a framing device for a much larger story. My story.
One of the problems we've seen with Windows Phone devices thus far is that if you've seen one Windows Phone, you've basically seen them all. Or so we thought...
Nokia has proven to the industry that it can do Windows Phone better than the competition. Its Lumia 800 features one of the best hardware designs found on a smartphone today -- on any platform. In short, it's a fantastic smartphone that truly takes Windows Phone to the next level.
It’s mid-November already, the holidays are quickly approaching and like every year you want to find the perfect gift for your loved ones. If you are reading this, chances are someone on your list is a ‘techie’, gadget freak, or simply one who enjoys tinkering with the latest technology.
Just like in previous years we’ve thoughtfully compiled a list of technology toys and gadgets from least to most expensive. Whether you’re looking to keep your spending in check or go all out and buy that big bad HDTV you've been gazing at, we hope you'll find this guide handy.
Twenty-eleven is coming to a rapid conclusion and game makers are preparing to cash in on the holiday season by unleashing some of the year's finest titles. Although some of our most anticipated games wound up being duds on some level, there's still hope for the tailgunners of 2011.
In keeping with tradition, we've assembled a list of 16 PC games that should be on your radar for the frigid months ahead. Titles are ordered by their North American PC release date -- no earlier than September 15 and no later than December 31.
Intel is preparing to strike back by bolstering their 2nd generation Core processors even further. Today marks the arrival of Sandy Bridge-E and three new processors which include the Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition, Core i7-3930K and Core i7-3820.
The flagship Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition is powered by the new X79/LGA2011 platform supporting quad channel memory and up to 40 lanes of PCIe 2.0 bandwidth.
As you've undoubtedly heard, Modern Warfare 3 launched this week and, well, what can we say? The game has reportedly sold a record 9.3 million copies in a single day.
In terms of graphical fidelity though, Infinity Ward's latest effort is about as visually appealing as its 2009 predecessor. No, I don't stutter. Unfortunately, the company has focused on optimizing the game for consoles while ignoring PC development for the last five years. If you're itching to see how your DirectX 10 or 11 GPU handles a DX9 engine, then maybe MW3 has something to offer you.
Built around Intel's H61 chipset, the DH61AG may not seem all that exciting on the surface. However, if you gaze a little deeper, you'll see this is no ordinary Mini-ITX motherboard, as it supports the low profile variant known as Thin Mini-ITX.
The board utilizes Sandy Bridge's integrated graphics engine with support for HDMI and DVI-I, which is complemented by flexible eDP or LVDS flat panel display support. The combination of low height components, premium features and an external power supply make this the perfect solution for affordable all-in-one desktops or tiny HTPC systems.
To start with, Motorola really hit it out of the park with the hardware. The 7.1mm thick body is super tough thanks to its Kevlar back cover, Gorilla Glass up front, and a steel internal frame.
You might lament the lack of a user replaceable battery, but you'll love the qHD resolution Super AMOLED display, speedy dual-core 1.2GHz processor, and fine 1080p-capable 8 megapixel camera. You simply can't argue with the results.
With the rapid pace at which smartphones are developing, many have called the iterative improvements with the iPhone 4S a mistake, as it seems like every other minute a new Android device is out with better, bigger, faster everything.
Beyond the identical exterior lies the hard work that Apple put forth on the inside. An upgraded processor, an improved antenna and camera. The other big story, or should we say, the bigger story with the iPhone 4S is the iOS 5 software upgrade and the voice-controlled personal assistant called Siri.
For years we have maintained that the single most important upgrade you can make to an enthusiast-grade machine is adding an SSD for your operating system and applications. The key downside to SSD technology is its cost per gigabyte, which is significantly higher than traditional mechanical hard drives.
Hoping to nab a slice of the hybrid market, OCZ has launched its RevoDrive Hybrid, which fuses a 100GB SSD to a PCB alongside a 1TB 2.5" hard drive and connects using the PCI Express 2.0 x4 bus. At $500, this solution is priced at a peculiar $0.50/GB. It isn't exactly entry-level but that's significantly less than any SSD.
Earlier this month we checked out the beta version of Battlefield 3 to see how it played on a range of DirectX 11 graphics cards. The results were concerning as even the latest and greatest graphics cards struggled, especially those who planned to enjoy the game in all of its visual glory.
The good news is that only one month later reviewers are finding the final game to be quite enjoyable and considerably more polished than the beta. Today we'll take a peak at what's required to play Battlefield 3 as we test a number of GPU and CPU configurations.
Up until now the tablet market has been pretty much Apple's lonely playground. But while the company is not likely to lose its throne anytime soon, its dominance could face some challenges ahead with the arrival of Amazon's $199 Kindle Fire and the introduction of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
We've compiled a comparative table with what we consider are the hottest tablets either currently available or announced so far. You should know that specs only paint part of the picture, so we've also included metascores from our Product Finder engine and review links to help you dig deeper and narrow down your next purchase.
The Titan is HTC's latest range-topping Windows Phone 7 handset. It certainly lives up to its name, being titanic in size and sporting a huge 4.7-inch display. Couple this with a 1.5GHz processor, an 8 megapixel camera, and the latest version of Windows Phone 7.5 "Mango" and you've got yourself a recipe for one heck of a handset.
Not only is the Titan's display the largest that HTC has put on a phone, but it's also the largest display you'll find on any Windows Phone 7 handset. With its narrow form factor and tricked-out camera, the overall package is certainly worth a look.
A decade ago, Apple launched an MP3 player that can be partly attributed with shaping today's mobile computing landscape. Along with being the best-selling portable media player and saving Apple from near irrelevance, the iPod influenced many of Cupertino's ambitious projects, forcing much of the industry into a perpetual state of catch-up.
In fact, the iPod prompted Apple to change its name to just "Apple Inc.” Without fawning over Apple's every endeavor, we'd like to pay homage to the company's game-changing gadget on its 10th birthday. Join us as we take a brief stroll down memory lane.
Today we're looking at a new breed of Mini-ITX motherboards from Asrock called the Z68M-ITX/HT and A75M-ITX. The former is an Intel Z68 board that supports Intel's second-generation Core processors, while the latter utilizes AMD A75's chipset to support Socket FM1 processors, namely the new Fusion A-series desktop APUs.
To spice things up we've selected Intel and AMD's $140 CPU offerings. In other words, this review will also serve as a comparison for the Core i3-2120 and AMD A8-3850.
Earlier this year we looked at three touch sensitive portable mice from the likes of Mad Catz, SpeedLink and Microsoft. Ultimately I chose Microsoft's Arc Touch as my favorite because it was the most aesthetically pleasing and comfortable to use of the trio.
Microsoft has since provided us with another touch-based rodent, the Explorer Touch Mouse, featuring a more traditional shape complete with a uniform glossy paint job and a simplistic layout. In addition, MS claims the Explorer Touch will go 18 months before needing fresh batteries.
Smartphone manufacturers are bringing out the big guns as we move into the final months of the year. While much of the attention will undoubtedly center on Apple's new iPhone 4S, Android fans are spoilt for choice this holiday season. Anticipation is growing with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) expected to arrive any time now.
Without further ado, check out our selection of the hottest devices currently out there. Each phone is listed alongside its feature highlights, specs and prices, broken down in three categories depending on its time of release.
We've also added metascores from our Product Finder engine besides each phone to further aid you in making well-informed decisions on your next purchase.
The Phenom II has had to deal with the Intel Core i7 on multiple platforms, as well as the Core i5 and Core i3 processors, for almost 3 years now. After all this time, is the pain finally coming to an end for AMD?
Today AMD is launching its new FX processor lineup comprised of the flagship FX-8150 along with the FX-8120, FX-6100 and FX-4170 processors. Keep reading as we explore the inner details of AMD's new FX series and we benchmark all four new processors being launched today.
AMD's integrated graphics received a new lease on life when the company unleashed its 32nm "Llano" desktop processors earlier this year. Sporting an on-die Radeon HD 6550D graphics processor, the AMD A8-3850 APU rendered many low-end discrete graphics cards obsolete and made Intel's HD Graphics 3000 engine look foolish in the process.
AMD is clearly targeting -- and in our opinion, commanding -- the budget market. We check out three of the most attractive AMD A75 boards from Asus, Asrock and Gigabyte.
A few months ago we posted our review of the HP ProBook 6360b, the latest HP "b" series notebook and their first in a 13.3" form factor. Today we'll be looking at another business-class notebook from HP, the EliteBook 8460p.
As the name suggests, it's a step above the standard business-minded 6360b and as such, it's billed as a Large Enterprise Business product. The "professional" EliteBook retails for about $300 more than the ProBook, but is that premium worthwhile?
Apple's new CEO Tim Cook had big shoes to fill after Steve Jobs' departure last August, but yesterday's iPhone announcement provided the executive a chance to step into the limelight. Contrary to what many were hoping, however, the iPhone 5 was a no-show at the event, so no bigger screen and no slimmer profile.
Instead, the iPhone 4S is an incremental update to the iPhone 4 that keeps the same external design with new hardware under the hood. If you're on the fence about the update and what it means for iPhone users, here's what you need to know.
We love that Battlefield 3 is using the PC as the lead platform rather than a console. When played on the PC the game will handle 40 more players and will take advantage DirectX 11 and 64-bit processors.
DICE recommends a quad-core CPU be used along with 4GB of system memory. As for the graphics card a GeForce GTX 560 or Radeon HD 6950 is suggested, meaning that gamers will want to spend around $200 on a modern graphics card to appreciate Battlefield 3. Today we'll take a peak at what's required to play Battlefield 3 as we check out how the beta performs.
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