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Latest Reviews

  • Dying Light Benchmarked: Graphics & CPU Performance

    By Steven Walton on

    Dying Light takes place in an expansive urban environment where players navigate using free running 'parkour' mechanics while scavenge for supplies to craft weapons and defend against the city's growing infected population. It's the first game built with the Chrome Engine 6, which is a proprietary 3D game engine developed by Techland that was first used over 10 years ago in Speedway Grand Prix and sci-fi shooter Chrome
  • My First Few Hours with Dying Light

    By Yannick LeJacq on

    I wasn't sure what to expect from Dying Light, a new open-world zombie game from a studio known for making the regrettable open-world zombie series Dead Island. Imagine my pleasant surprise when I discovered some cool ideas during my first hours with the game. Dying Light improves aspects of Dead Island's zombie-centric gameplay by adding parkour-style movement into the mix along with other promising features.
  • Samsung T1 Portable SSD Review

    By Steven Walton on

    Flash-based thumb drives have come a long way, but while a 16GB stick can be purchased with spare change, those who need to move large volumes of data on without spending an arm and a leg have traditionally had to rely on comparatively sluggish USB 3.0 hard drives. Thanks to Samsung, we may finally have an external SSD that delivers blisteringly fast transfers at an affordable price in the form of its new T1 Portable SSD.
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  • littleBits Smart Home Kit Review

    By Shawn Knight on

    Retrofitting an existing home with so-called "Internet of Things" gadgets isn't cheap, but with the right tools you can hack some cloud functionality to your dumb appliances. littleBits is an ever-growing library of small electronic modules that easily connect together. Created by Ayah Bdeir, it started as a tool to help designers incorporate electronics into the prototyping process. Today, it's much more than that. Think of them as Lego bricks for the iPad generation.
  • GeForce GTX 960 Review: Gainward GTX 960 Phantom Tested

    By Steven Walton on

    With most gamers spending $200 or less on a GPU, the new GeForce GTX 960 is set to take over the so-called value sweet spot, offering a cost-effective way to enjoy high-end games and should appeal to gamers who are preparing for the impending wave of DirectX 12 titles on a budget.
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  • GeForce GTX 960 SLI Review: 2x Gigabyte GTX 960s Put to the Test

    By Steven Walton on

    Because they're meant to provide the best bang for your buck, sweet spot GPUs have typically been an affordable way to achieve high-end performance via SLI or Crossfire. Gigabyte sent us a pair of GTX 960s for testing. We have a GTX 960 G1 Gaming card as well as a GTX 960 WindForce 2X.
  • Alienware 13 + Graphics Amplifier Review

    By Tim Schiesser on

    With the new Alienware 13 you get a gaming-class portable machine with the added benefit of connecting the Graphics Amplifier. The Amplifier houses a standard desktop GPU and power supply. When it's plugged in, the mobile GPU in the laptop is disabled, and all the graphics power comes from the Amplifier, improving graphics performance substantially.
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  • Huawei Ascend Mate 7 Review

    By Tim Schiesser on

    The phablet market isn't just the iPhone 6 Plus or the Galaxy Note line. While they get a ton of attention from the media and marketing departments, there are plenty of other options available. One such option is Huawei's Ascend Mate 7, a six-inch handset that is full of surprises and certainly worth more attention than it gets.
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  • Cougar 600K Mechanical Keyboard & 600M Gaming Mouse Review

    By Steven Walton on

    Since launching its first mechanical gaming keyboard, Cougar has continued releasing PC gaming devices ranging from the ultra affordable to the relatively expensive. On the upper end of things, Cougar's flagship 700K fetches $150, but for folks who can't quite justify the price Cougar has developed the 600K we have in house for review. Along for the ride is Cougar's 600M gaming mouse, which is surprisingly well-equipped for $60.
  • Samsung Galaxy Note Edge Review

    By Tim Schiesser on

    Samsung isn't afraid to experiment with new concepts. Their latest is adding a curved AMOLED display on their flagship large-screened smartphone. They call this device the Galaxy Note Edge, and it's one of the more interesting devices released in 2014. It's a prototype device, but one that Samsung has put on the market to tempt consumers.
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  • Samsung SSD 850 Evo 500GB Review

    By Steven Walton on

    Helping to build anticipation for the 850 Evo was the SSD 850 Pro, remaining to this day the fastest 2.5" SSD money can buy. The good news is the 850 Evo shares many of the same technologies found in the 850 Pro, however by using TLC V-NAND the 850 Evo is much more cost effective.
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  • Alienware Alpha Review

    By Tim Schiesser on

    The Alienware Alpha is a compact living room gaming PC that suits the gamer wanting better graphics, frame rates, and resolutions on a more consistent basis. On top of this, you get the advantages of gaming on a PC, such as a massive game library, cheaper games and the excellent modding community.
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  • Lian Li PC-O5S Review

    By Steven Walton on

    I would say the 'O' stands for "oversized window," as one of the key aspects of the series are the oversized tempered glass windows that combined with Lian Li's renowned aluminum construction and PCI riser cards make them perfect for showing off your machine's guts.
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  • Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro Review

    By Tim Schiesser on

    The Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro features an aluminium body with an intriguing watchband hinge, it's surprisingly thin and light, sports an ultra high resolution display and a bleeding edge Core M processor. At least on paper it ticks all the right boxes.
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  • Razer Leviathan 5.1 Surround Sound Bar Review

    By Mike Fahey on

    The Razer Leviathan is a smallish 5.1 surround sound bar that comes packaged with a keyboard key-shaped downward facing subwoofer. The bar itself is only around four inches high, making it as unobtrusive in front of a PC monitor as it is on a television stand.
  • Nokia Lumia 735 Review

    By Tim Schiesser on

    Selfies are a huge trend but the problem with this is that most front facing cameras on phones still suck. Looking to address this, Microsoft's device team has produced a mid-range handset dubbed the "selfie phone", complete with a higher resolution and better quality five megapixel front facing camera. Although the 735's standout feature is the selfie cam, it also packs other things we've come to love from Lumias.
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  • The Crew Benchmarked: Graphics & CPU Performance

    By Steven Walton on

    Ubisoft's new action-driving MMO has 7,000 miles of roads, 15 cities and 15 million individual objects. The Crew has been designed for the latest generation consoles and PCs, though the former are capped at 30fps/1080p while our preferred platform ought to look and feel better with a 60fps cap and a higher res. Here's our full PC benchmark test.
  • Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Review

    By Tim Schiesser on

    The Sony Xperia Z3 Compact packs all the same goodness of its larger sibling in a more manageable body. That includes a powerful Snapdragon 801 SoC, a 20.7-megapixel Exmor RS camera, Category 4 LTE, NFC, and IP68 waterproofing. Paired with a 4.6-inch display, the Z3 Compact occupies an interesting position in the market with little, if any competition if you're not particularly fond of the recent trend of massive flagships.
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  • Lenovo Y70 Touch Laptop Review

    By Paul Lilly on

    Lenovo's Y70 Touch isn't a wild departure from the laptop designs you're used to seeing. In fact, it mostly looks like an average notebook, only sleeker and slightly more aggressive than most. It boasts a 17.3-inch 1920x1080 multi-touch display, Lenovo's largest touchscreen laptop to date, and it's built for gaming, video editing, and to be an all-around work horse for the modern era with a Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and a GeForce GTX 860M GPU.
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  • Dragon Age: Inquisition Benchmarked: Graphics & CPU Performance

    By Steven Walton on

    PC gamers can expect a crisper, more detailed world, though precisely how crisp and detailed will depend on your setup. We test the latest AMD and Nvidia graphics cards, in total 25 DirectX 11 graphics card configurations from both companies covering all prices.
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition Review

    By Kirk Hamilton on

    Dragon Age: Inquisition is a role-playing game from BioWare, the third in the Dragon Age series. Being a fantasy game it has dragons, and elves, and magic. But it is also a fantasy in another, more special way. Inquisition ushers us into a vast world and sets that world revolving around us, patiently waiting on our every action. It has time for us. Finally, the world will be what we want it to be. Finally, we'll have the time to get everything right.
  • Far Cry 4 Review

    By Yannick LeJacq on

    Staying true to tradition, Far Cry 4 takes place in an expansive world that's seductively beautiful. Kyrat is located somewhere in the Himalayas, and this mountainous region adds an incredible amount of density to the game. And depth. So what if it feels a lot like Far Cry 3? That's one of the best shooters I've ever played. But it was also flawed enough to warrant a revision, and more often than not, Far Cry 4 is able to surpass its predecessor.
  • Be Quiet! Silent Base 800 Case Review

    By Steven Walton on

    Although this is Be Quiet!'s first case the company not only applied what it learned about high-quality cooling and fan solutions in the past, it also brought in world renowned case experts. The Silent Base 800 was designed in-house from the ground up emphasizing function over form with a goal of achieving the best cooling performance possible at ultra low noise levels while still offering ample space for high-end components.
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  • Far Cry 4 Benchmarked: Graphics & CPU Performance

    By Steven Walton on

    Graphics have always been a selling point of the Far Cry series as few games offer the same open world environments that can be experienced in Far Cry. The latest iteration is no exception. Being an Nvidia "The Way It's Meant to be Played" title, FC4 has loads of optimizations for GeForce cards, including HBAO+, PCSS, TXAA, Godrays, and HairWorks. If nothing else, this should make it all the more interesting to compare results.
  • Aorus Thunder K7 Mechanical Keyboard, M7 MMO Mouse & P3X Mouse Pad Review

    By Steven Walton on

    Gigabyte may be best known for its award winning motherboards and graphics cards, but the brand is home to a host of products, from entire systems to high-end gaming gear. Today we're taking a look at thee of the latter, sold under its Aorus subsidiary: the Aorus Thunder K7 backlit mechanical gaming keyboard with a detachable macro/numpad, the 16-button Thunder M7 MMO gaming mouse, and the meter-longP3X gaming mouse pad.
  • Sony Xperia Z3 Review

    By Tim Schiesser on

    Compared to the Z2, Sony has made some minute changes in the Xperia Z3. We're looking at a slightly upgraded Snapdragon 801 SoC, a marginally smaller 3,100 mAh battery, a thinner design, and a few software tweaks. The camera and display are essentially the same. It's clear Sony has been tinkering with the perfect smartphone formula, and while those on the six-months-old Z2 can probably skip this, it might make users of competing phones consider a switch.
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  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha Review

    By Tim Schiesser on

    The Galaxy Alpha accompanies the Galaxy S5 at the top of Samsung's line-up. The 4.7-inch device is a smaller alternative to their popular flagship, designed for people who place form at the top of their priority list. Samsung seems to be realizing that cheap plastic just doesn't cut it anymore for its flagship smartphones, but the choice to focus on design has also left the Alpha with slightly downgraded specs compared to the S5.
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  • ECS Liva 64GB Mini PC Kit Review

    By Steven Walton on

    Setting the bar for small form factor PCs in July, ECS' Liva made comparable machines look oversized and overpriced, weighing only 190g and measuring 118mm wide, 56mm tall and70mm deep. Since its debut, ECS has updated the Liva with a 64GB option and though that's double the storage, we have only seen a mild price increase to $185. Paired with a super efficient fanless design that promises smooth 1080p playback it certainly grabbed our attention.
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  • HIS Liquid-Cooled R9 290X Hybrid IceQ Review

    By Steven Walton on

    Although the AMD Radeon R9 290X is blisteringly fast it also has a problem with heat. Board partners solved this issue for the most part with massive heatsinks riddled with copper heatpipes cooled by a battery of fans. But what if you want a 290X that is even faster and at the same time much quieter? Seems like a dream, but HIS has been working hard to make it a reality with the HIS Radeon R9 290X Hybrid IceQ 4GB.
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  • PlayStation TV Review

    By Mike Fahey on

    The PlayStation TV is a small black box that connects to a television set via HDMI cable. Inside of that box are the guts of a PlayStation Vita handheld gaming system, and as such it can play PlayStation Vita games. It can also play PSP games, PS One classics, stream PS4 and PlayStation Now games, and stream TV shows and movies.