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Latest Reviews

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Review

    By Tim Schiesser on

    Samsung was on to something when they launched the original Galaxy Note back in 2011. The large-screened smartphone seemed awkward at the time, but quickly became Samsung's second most popular line. The fourth-generation Galaxy Note is the same 5.7" size as its predecessor but packs a Quad HD display, a more premium and much requested part-metal construction, and an improved 16MP camera with optical image stabilization.
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  • Maingear Pulse 15 Gaming Laptop Review

    By Shawn Knight on

    Slim gaming notebooks have been getting a lot of attention lately as newer, more efficient technology allows manufacturers to cram high-end parts in a chassis that looks no different than a general-purpose notebook. The Maingear Pulse 15 falls right into this burgeoning segment packing a Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, dual SSDs and a GeForce GTX 870M GPU in its a 0.7" thick body. Its standout feature is a 3K (2880 x 1620) display.
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  • Alien: Isolation Benchmarked: Graphics & CPU Performance

    By Steven Walton on

    Classified as a survival horror/stealth game instead of an action shooter, Alien: Isolation differs from last year's Alien: Colonial Marines in that there is just one Alien who can't be killed, requiring you to employ stealth tactics. The game has plenty of pants-wetting moments and sounds like a blast if you're comfortable with soiling yourself, but we're more interested in Alien: Isolation's performance when running at max quality and varying resolutions.
  • Alien: Isolation Review

    By Kirk Hamilton on

    While many a video game has been designed for people who enjoy killing aliens, Alien: Isolation can only have been created for people who derive some perverse pleasure out of being killed by an alien. Regardless of how it happens, rest assured that the alien will kill you. The game is rarely less than terrifying, the Sevastopol is splendidly awful, and the straightforward story pays homage to the film without going overboard.
  • Kogan Agora 4G Budget Smartphone Review

    By Tim Schiesser on

    Although the Kogan brand is known in Australia, especially their low-cost TVs, the Agora 4G represents their first real push into smartphones on a global scale. The phone is actually manufactured by BenQ's ODM division, as indicated by a small BenQ logo on the back of the handset. The phone's standout feature is its 5.0-inch 720p display, paired with a Snapdragon 400 SoC. On the back you'll find an 8-megapixel camera, and inside is a sizable 2,500 mAh battery.
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  • Silverstone Fortress FT05 Mid-Tower Case Review

    By Steven Walton on

    Silverstone's Fortress FT05 has enough going for it to justify its premium over the Raven RV05 if you're after a similar design with calmer aesthetics, a more space-efficient layout and fantastic cooling.
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  • Motorola Moto G (2014) Review

    By Tim Schiesser on

    The first-generation Moto G was a fantastic Android smartphone that cost just $179 unlocked and outright. It was Motorola's first major push into the entry-level market under the guidance of Google, and it was quite a successful one. The new 2014 model keeps the same low price point, packs a larger 5-inch display and addresses some of its predecessors shortcomings with a much improved camera and a microSD slot for expandable storage.
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  • FIFA 15 Review

    By Luke Plunkett on

    Look, I like FIFA. I've liked it for a long time, and even when the game has an off year, I've stuck by it and enjoyed my time with it. This year is no different.
  • Fanless HTPC: Intel Pentium J2900 Bay Trail-D Quad Core & Asrock Q2900-ITX Review

    By Steven Walton on

    The new Asrock Q2900-ITX ships with a Pentium J2900 on a Mini-ITX board for $104 and is aimed straight against AMD's Kabini Athlon 5350. The Pentium chip is nearly identical to Intel's Celeron J1900 at first glance, but differs in raw clock speed.
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  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus Review

    By Shawn Knight on

    While virtually every other manufacturer began pumping out phones with increasingly larger screens, Apple held off as long as it could while still selling millions of iPhone 5 and 5s handsets. Apple's response finally came in the form of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus -- the latter of which represents its first foray into phablet territory.
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  • Destiny Review

    By Kirk Hamilton on

    Destiny can be a cruel, exploitative game. It is deliberately unsurprising in so many ways, yet brilliantly bold in others. It's usually a lot of fun, except when it aggressively isn't. I can't stop playing.
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 & GeForce GTX 970 Review

    By Steven Walton on

    Last year's GeForce 700 series pushed Kepler to its limits. With such a strong showing, Maxwell's first appearance had us excited for higher-end cards and today we finally have them: the $400 GTX 970 will go head to head with the Radeon R9 290 while the $600 GTX 980 is positioned around $50 higher than the R9 290X.
  • Intel Z97 Motherboard Roundup: Asus, Asrock, EVGA, MSI & Gigabyte

    By Steven Walton on

    Codenamed 'Wildcat Point', the Z97 chipset brings support for future Broadwell CPUs, along with SATA Express and the M.2 socket. With over 90 designs available right now, picking the right one can be a difficult decision. Hoping to narrow the search down, we have taken seven popular boards and compared them in every way possible.
  • The Sims 4 Review

    By Yannick LeJacq on

    The Sims 4 is a big game. But like any so-called life simulator, it only seems that way when you add up its countless tiny bits and pieces into one giant mosaic. Actually playing the game feels like you're both telling and watching a series of private, intimate stories. It is a beautiful new act in EA's popular franchise. Even with its controversial changes and missing features, I've never had this much fun playing with my Sims.
  • Metro: Redux Benchmarked: Graphics & CPU Performance

    By Steven Walton on

    Already one of the most iconic and atmospheric first-person shooters around, Metro has received some post-release polish that should present a greater challenge for today's GPU. Metro Redux features improved versions of both Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light, including completely remastered visuals.
  • Intel Core i7-5960X Haswell-E Review: A True 8-core Desktop CPU

    By Steven Walton on

    Intel's Extreme Edition processor line is over a decade old now, starting way back in 2003 with the single-core Pentium 4 EE 3.4GHz. Fast forward to today, the chip we'll be looking at boasts eight cores, a massive 20MB smart cache, support for the latest DDR4 memory, and is accompanied by the new X99 chipset.
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  • Nokia Lumia 930 Review

    By Tim Schiesser on

    The Lumia 930 is Nokia's new flagship and successor to the Lumia 925. You might notice that this handset looks very similar to the Lumia Icon the company released earlier this year exclusively on Verizon, and that's because it's essentially the international version of the Icon, packing Windows Phone 8.1 out of the box. Hardware-wise you get a large, 5-inch 1080p display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC, and Nokia's signature 20-megapixel PureView camera.
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  • AMD Radeon R9 285 Review: The New $250 Card to Beat

    By Steven Walton on

    As a mid-range GPU, the R9 285 is meant to deliver mainstream performance at a competitive price. The "Tonga" GPU is essentially a newer, cheaper to produce version of the tried and true "Tahiti" GPU, with features such as DirectX 12 support and next-gen CrossFire. It does have an inferior memory controller, however.
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  • MSI GS70 Stealth Pro Gaming Laptop Review

    By Shawn Knight on

    Most gaming notebooks have a certain stigma attached to them. While some of the better systems available are more than capable of running the latest graphically demanding PC games out there, they're often hulking beasts that can easily tip the scales at over 12 pounds. That's been changing, however, and the MSI GS70 Stealth Pro on our hands today is another example of powerful gaming laptops steering towards slimmer form factors.
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  • Motorola Moto E Smartphone Review

    By Tim Schiesser on

    Having just three smartphones on the market has allowed Motorola to give each the time and polish needed for success. The Moto X's innovative contextual processing features made it a compelling option, while the Moto G is arguably the best sub-$200 device you can buy. Motorola's budget model, the Moto E, is also highly polished and aims to be the best option for $130, unlocked and off-contract.
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  • Logitech G402 Hyperion Fury FPS Gaming Mouse Review

    By Steven Walton on

    Logitech's new G402 is billed as the fastest gaming mouse money can buy for high-speed FPS gameplay, with a track speed of over 500 inches per second using the company's Fusion Engine sensor technology combining an accelerometer and gyroscope, as well as its Delta Zero sensor tech for extreme accuracy.
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  • SanDisk Extreme Pro 480GB SSD Review

    By Steven Walton on

    Released in early June, SanDisk's Extreme Pro is the successor to the venerable Extreme II, which was among the best SSDs of its generation in terms of performance and reliability. The drive is aimed at gamers, enthusiasts and professionals who demand the highest real-world performance, and will trade blows in that regard (and on pricing) with Samsung's excellent SSD 850 Pro.
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  • OCZ Arc 100 240GB SSD Review

    By Steven Walton on

    With Crucial's MX100 series recently arriving for as low as $0.42 per gigabyte and hogging SSD sales as the new value king, the competition has been forced to respond. The OCZ Arc 100 SSD Series utilizes the tried and true Barefoot 3 M10 controller along with the latest A19nm Toshiba Multi-Level Cell (MLC) flash memory and is priced at $0.50 per gig for its 480GB and 240GB models.
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  • Asus Zenfone 5 Review: Large Screen, Small Price

    By Tim Schiesser on

    Targeting the entry-level market in Asian nations, the new Zenfone 5 offers something a little different for just $170. The device packs a 5.0-inch 720p display, 8MP camera, and a rarely-used Intel Atom dual-core SoC. A polished hardware offering and a form factor more closely in line with high-end devices could make this a fantastic choice for a small price.
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  • Asus MeMO Pad 7 (2014) Review: Android on x86

    By Tim Schiesser on

    The small form factor tablet market has gotten pretty crowded, particularly when it comes to budget models, and while the generally fantastic Google Nexus 7 can be had for around $215 nowadays, going below that usually involves some compromises. Today, I'm checking out Asus' attempt at a low-cost Android tablet and whether it's worth a small amount of your cash.
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  • AMD A10-7800 Kaveri APU Review

    By Steven Walton on

    AMD promised many new APUs when unveiling its Kaveri architecture in January but until now has only been able to deliver two. Now the company is announcing an updated lineup and today we'll be looking at the $155 A10-7800, which comes in 45W or 65W TDP modes and has a full-blown R7 GPU featuring 8 CUs with 512 SPUs and 32 TAUs like the unlocked, range-topping A10-7850K.
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  • Intel Pentium Anniversary Edition Review & Overclocking Build Guide

    By Steven Walton on

    For more than a decade tech-savvy users on a budget would commonly buy a sub-$100 CPU and achieve performance comparable to $200-$300 chips by overclocking. These days Intel locks down its lower end parts, but to mark the 20th anniversary of its Pentium brand, they've released a fully unlocked dual-core Pentium G3258 for $72 -- just what the overclocking community has been waiting for.
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  • LG G3 Review

    By Tim Schiesser on

    Touting several refinements and a new 5.5-inch Quad HD display, LG has brought to market the new LG G3. The new, larger display brings a resolution and pixel density above of what we've seen on the current crop of flagships. You also get a 13-megapixel camera with a unique laser autofocus system, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 SoC that's at the top of its class.
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  • Silverstone Raven 5 (RV05) ATX Case Review

    By Steven Walton on

    Silverstone's Raven RV01 caught our attention back in 2008 with a unique layout that turned the motherboard upward so its I/O panel was on top of the enclosure instead of behind, making it very effective for cooling. 2014's RV05 sticks to this layout but Silverstone claims to have eliminated much of the wasted space in previous models while bringing one of its better looking designs so far.
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  • Wii U Review Update: 20 Months Later

    By Stephen Totilo on

    The Wii U finally has so many good games that it's possible to forget some of them. A few of the initial gripes we had with it can be addressed with add-ons or accesories -- like a better battery for its controller or external storage to expand the paltry 32GB of built-in space -- and these concerns are ultimately overwhelmed by what the Wii U does right. It's finally time to get one.