TechSpot

Review Index Page 3

  • Toshiba Encore Windows 8 Tablet Review

    By Tim Schiesser on February 27, 2014

    When it comes to 8-inch Windows tablets, the release of Windows 8.1 has seen many companies try their hands at crafting the perfect tablet. Today we check out Toshiba's Encore tablet that packs a 1280x720 HFFS LCD display, Intel Bay Trail internals and expandable 32 or 64 GB internal storage.
    65
  • Thief Review

    By Kirk Hamilton on February 27, 2014

    Thief is the long-awaited fourth entry in the storied Thief series. Its predecessors are often credited with revolutionizing if not flat-out inventing a particular genre of immersive stealth game. Unfortunately the latest release boils down to a city full of closed doors and dead ends, boxed in and lined with nothing but rough edges.
  • Nokia Lumia 525 Review

    By Tim Schiesser on February 20, 2014

    Nokia has been especially successful with their entry-level range of Windows Phones, particularly the Lumia 520, which on the back of its dirt-cheap price, quickly propelled itself to be the best-selling Windows Phone. A successor was always on the cards, but what Nokia has provided - the Lumia 525 - is a little unusual.
    50
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 750 Ti vs. AMD Radeon R7 265

    By Steven Walton on February 18, 2014

    Marking the introduction of its Maxwell architecture, Nvidia has targeted AMD's $150 Radeon R7 265 with the new GeForce GTX 750 Ti. The GTX 750 Ti's GM107 makes Nvidia's 28nm design as efficient as possible by splitting Kepler's 192-core SMs into four blocks with each block featuring its own control logic.
  • AMD A10-7850K Dual Graphics Performance

    By Steven Walton on February 14, 2014

    AMD Kaveri APUs can be paired with two discrete GPUs: the Radeon R7 240 and R7 250. Both are sub-$100 cards that we wouldn't recommend for gaming, but when combined with the A10's on-die GPU we could see performance with bigger implications for value-oriented builders.
  • Xigmatek Nebula Case Review

    By Steven Walton on February 12, 2014

    Enter the Nebula by Xigmatek, a striking solution that caught our attention with a neat cube design that offers a 2.2L capacity. It's safe to say the Nebula is unlike anything we've seen before, and that tends to come at a premium.
    70
  • Broken Age, Act 1 Review

    By Evan Narcisse on February 07, 2014

    Nostalgia seeps out of every virtual pore of Double Fine's latest game. The game exists only because of the generosity of thousands of people who, by and large, wanted to recapture the charms of their video game playing youth. So, it's fitting that Broken Age looks like a gorgeously designed animated movie you can play through.
  • Motorola Moto G Review

    By Tim Schiesser on February 05, 2014

    The Moto G is Motorola's biggest and best effort yet in conquering the entry-level market. It's not a handset meant to break records, but the 4.5-inch 720p display, Snapdragon 400 SoC will please the right crowds. Plus, at $179 unlocked and off-contract, it certainly fits the definition of what an affordable smartphone should be.
    85
  • Asrock Vision HT 420D Review

    By Steven Walton on February 04, 2014

    Now on its fourth generation, the Vision HT 420D has received an upgrade to Intel's Haswell architecture as well as other improvements that contribute to the system's respectable list of features, making it one of the most impressive HTPCs to date.
    75
  • Asus Transformer Book T100 Review

    By Tim Schiesser on January 29, 2014

    The Asus Transformer Book T100 is an entry level Windows 8.1 tablet, sporting a 10-inch touchscreen, Intel Bay Trail internals and a keyboard dock all for under $500.
    80
  • AMD A8-7600 Kaveri APU Review

    By Steven Walton on January 23, 2014

    AMD really is focused on gaming performance with Kaveri and believes this is where its latest APUs have a serious advantage over the competition. The company's latest processors are being pushed as budget solutions for modern 1080p gaming, though on paper the Radeon R7 doesn't look quite up to the task...
    80
  • QNAP HS-210 Silent NAS Review

    By Steven Walton on January 21, 2014

    QNAP's latest two-bay NAS looks more like a set-top box than network-attached storage and that's no accident. It's becoming more common to see NAS devices replacing entire HTPCs, which makes it more practical for a design that can blend in with the kind of electronic gear you typically find around a TV.
    70
  • Nokia Lumia 1520 Review

    By Tim Schiesser on January 16, 2014

    Throughout the past year we've seen companies try and pry the large-screen crown away from Samsung's Galaxy Note line. Nokia is hoping that their Lumia 1520 will give the Note 3 a run for its money, especially with its impressive spec sheet.
    80
  • Dell UltraSharp 32 Ultra HD Monitor Review

    By Rick Burgess on January 14, 2014

    Although still in its early days, consumer 4K UHD is here. No stranger to the business of high-end displays, long-time monitor manufacturer Dell has lunged into the UHD market with some solid offerings. Today we'll be taking a look at Dell's monstrous 32-inch flagship, the UltraSharp UP3214Q.
    85
  • Gigabyte Radeon R9 290X OC and R9 290 OC Review

    By Steven Walton on January 09, 2014

    AMD's Radeon R9 290 and 290X made a strong case against Nvidia's GeForces last year, but that position soon weakened with unexpectedly high prices. High temps on reference cards didn't help either. This time we'll revisit the cards with actual production units from Gigabyte so we can weigh in on third-party performance at actual market prices.
    80
  • Asrock Z87 Extreme11/ac Review: The Making of a Unique Motherboard

    By Steven Walton on January 06, 2014

    Asrock's new Z87 Extreme11/ac may very well be the most extreme motherboard we've handled. It touts four-way GPU support, over 20(!) SATA ports, premium onboard audio, dual gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and -- unsurprisingly -- the largest price tag in its class. So, how exactly does a company justify $540 for a motherboard?
    85
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Review

    By Tim Schiesser on December 27, 2013

    Many companies have tried to make a large, note-friendly smartphone, but none have succeeded quite as well as Samsung. While the first Galaxy Note was rather large and lacking in refinement, Samsung has steadily improved the line, this year releasing the brand new Galaxy Note 3, and it has some true competition for the first time.
    80
  • Aftermarket CPU Cooling: Closed Loop Water Cooling vs. Air Cooling

    By Steven Walton on December 20, 2013

    Recently we compared 10 of the best CPU air coolers and we've since wondered how these would fare against a water cooling setup. Closed loop systems simplify the process of diving into water cooling, are safe and easy to work with as air cooling.
  • 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