Review Index Page 2

  • Nest Learning Thermostat Review

    By Shawn Knight on December 17, 2013

    Like many of you, I never really gave much thought to something as basic as my thermostat. So long as it kicked on the heater or air conditioner when I needed it to, I was happy. I'll admit I was a bit intrigued when I read about the Nest Learning Thermostat back in 2011 but even then, the thought of purchasing one never really crossed my mind.
    90
  • Western Digital Black2 Dual Drive Review

    By Steven Walton on December 04, 2013

    The Black2 crams both solid state and disk drive technologies into one drive, and does so in the simplest of ways. Similar to what desktop users have been doing for years, the Black2 makes the flash portion a primary boot drive with the disk serving as bulk storage. The difference is that the Black2 only uses a single slot.
    85
  • Lenovo Erazer X700 Gaming Desktop PC Review

    By Rick Burgess on December 03, 2013

    Features which qualify the X700 as a full-fledged gaming PC are its unique exterior, performance-centered parts, ample tool-free expandability, liquid cooling and OneKey overclocking. Sound good so far?
    80
  • Apple iPad mini Retina Review

    By Tim Schiesser on November 27, 2013

    With the Retina display in the 2nd-gen iPad mini, Apple has increased the price on the base 16 GB Wi-Fi model from $329 to $399, making it one of the most expensive tablets of its size. However, past iPads have been of exceptional quality, so will this be the same for the iPad mini? Does the Retina display and faster processor make a worthy upgrade for first-gen owners?
    90
  • Google Nexus 5: The TechSpot Review

    By Tim Schiesser on November 20, 2013

    It's that time of the year again, where Google releases a new Nexus handset for those wanting a cheap yet powerful device running stock Android. 2013's Nexus is the Nexus 5, aptly named as it's both the fifth Nexus device and it packs a five-inch display.
    85
  • Xbox One Review

    By Kirk Hamilton on November 20, 2013

    Microsoft's new device is not meant to merely join your living room entertainment center, it is meant to rule it. Thanks to its ability to both input and output HDMI audio and video, it can function as a mother brain linking your digital cable box, your AV receiver and your HDTV. Better yet, with its upgraded Kinect camera, you can control everything.
  • Apple iPad Air: The TechSpot Review

    By Shawn Knight on November 19, 2013

    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.
    90
  • Sony Xperia Z1 Review

    By Tim Schiesser on November 14, 2013

    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. 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.
    75
  • PlayStation 4 Review: (In Progress), But Do You Need to Have One Yet?

    By Stephen Totilo on November 14, 2013

    The PS4 is a surprisingly small box. It is so sleek that it might as well be the 2015 PS4 Slim tossed back to us 2013ers via a time machine. Some game machines, such as the original PS3 or Nintendo DS, arrive with an imperfect design that predicts their own looming displacement. Not this one. The PS4 shapes up as a box in need of no space-saving or cosmetic improvement.
  • Gigabyte GTX 780 Ti OC & Gigabyte GTX 780 GHz Edition Review

    By Steven Walton on November 12, 2013

    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.
    90
  • Asrock M8 Mini-ITX Gaming PC Review

    By Steven Walton on November 08, 2013

    Even if the Asrock M8's style is not your thing, there's less room to argue that the M8 is unique and that was enough to earn our attention. We've been impressed with the looks of previous Asrock products, 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.
    75
  • OCZ Vector 150 SSD Review

    By Steven Walton on November 07, 2013

    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. Performance-wise, little has changed about OCZ's Vector series over the last year.
    85
  • AMD Radeon R9 290 Review

    By Steven Walton on November 05, 2013

    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 will trail the 290X closely enough. In a sense, the R9 290 has kind of made R9 290X redundant, much like the GTX 780 did to the GTX Titan.
    95
  • Battlefield 4 Benchmarked: Graphics & CPU Performance

    By Steven Walton on October 31, 2013

    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.
  • Battlefield 4 Review

    By Tina Amini on October 31, 2013

    Occasionally in Battlefield 4's solo campaign you'll meet some variance. Jump out of a plane to land on a ship, ready to attack immediately after landing. Ride a speedboat while shooting down those of the enemies'. Hike around that quintessential snow level. You know the sort of thing if you've ever played any shooter ever.
  • Batman: Arkham Origins Benchmarked: GPU & CPU Performance

    By Steven Walton on October 29, 2013

    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

    By Evan Narcisse on October 26, 2013

    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

    By Steven Walton on October 24, 2013

    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 and powerful 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.
    95
  • Gaming Mice Roundup 2013: Corsair, Steelseries, Gigabyte, Tt eSports, Logitech and Razer Devices Tested

    By Chris Ittensohn on October 23, 2013

    Shifting from a standard office mouse to something more appropriate for gaming is worthwhile if you care about your performance, but investing $60 or more in handful of plastic might seem silly if you've never experienced the realm of difference a proper mouse can make.
  • Apple iPhone 5s: The TechSpot Review

    By Shawn Knight on October 18, 2013

    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.
    90
  • LG G2 Review

    By Tim Schiesser on October 14, 2013

    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?
    85
  • AMD Radeon R9 270X and R7 260X Review

    By Steven Walton on October 08, 2013

    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.
  • HTC One Mini Review

    By Tim Schiesser on October 02, 2013

    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'.
    70
  • Mionix Avior 8200 Gaming Mouse Review

    By Luke Plunkett on October 02, 2013

    Like its bigger brother the Naos, the Avior is that rarest of beasts, a fantastic gaming mouse that's also subtle in design. There are no enormous logos or flashy color schemes, build quality is superb, the soft matte finish to the exterior is extremely comfortable, and not once did it stall, slow down or glitch out during tests.
  • Silverstone Fortress FT04 Case Review

    By Steven Walton on October 01, 2013

    The Fortress FT04 has been designed to maximize cooling while generating as little noise as possible and it sets out to do it in style. Upon first glance this latest version looks a lot like the FT01 that was released back in 2008.
    70
  • Google Nexus 7: The TechSpot Review

    By Tim Schiesser on September 19, 2013

    Time to refresh the Nexus 7 with a new model and new specifications. Asus is still producing the device, receiving a serious speed boost, a better quality display, a rear camera and new features. At $220 the new Nexus 7 presents itself as a remarkably attractive proposition for people who want to read, watch or play.
    90
  • ARMA 3 Benchmarked: GPU & CPU Performance

    By Steven Walton on September 17, 2013

    Built with Real Virtuality 4, Arma 3 expands on its predecessors' realistic military experience with features including an enhanced mission editor, 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.
  • Grand Theft Auto V Review

    By Stephen Totilo on September 17, 2013

    GTA V's credits roll for 36 minutes. For however many hours they play the game, players will feel that they are playing a game made by the amount of people it takes to keep a crawl rolling that long. The attention to detail in GTA V is likely unparalleled in any other video game.
  • Samsung SSD 840 Evo 1TB & 250GB Review

    By Steven Walton on September 16, 2013

    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.
    95
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra Review

    By Tim Schiesser on September 12, 2013

    If I had to describe the Xperia Z Ultra in two words, it would be 'gorgeously massive'. On the one hand, Sony has crafted an astoundingly beautiful smartphone, combining a slim design with premium materials. On the other, the device is ridiculously large, pushing the boundaries of what can be considered a phone, and making it somewhat hard to use.
    70