TechSpot

Review Index Page 3

  • Dell XPS 13 (2015) Review

    By Tim Schiesser on

    The ideal Windows laptop is very hard to find but the new XPS 13 ticks most boxes. It has a 13-inch display with a very slim bezel, the aluminium shell with a carbon fibre-style interior looks pretty darn good, there's a new Intel Broadwell Core i5 under the hood, and battery life is rated at up to 15 hours. The XPS 13 is a return to form for Dell in a big way.
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  • Silverstone Sugo SG13 Mini-ITX Case Review

    By Steven Walton on

    Just when we were starting to think that the Sugo series lost its Mini-ITX mojo, after the last couple of models moved to MicroATX, Silverstone has stepped forward with the itty bitty 11.5L SG13. The thirteenth Sugo isn't quite the smallest to date, but it may be the most capable. Its 11.5L body is said to be capable of housing a standard ATX power supply up to 150mm long, a 120/140mm radiator and a 10.5" dual-slot graphics card.
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  • Evolve Benchmarked: Graphics & CPU Performance

    By Steven Walton on

    We've been eagerly anticipating more games based on the latest CryEngine build and now that wait is over: after being delayed from its original October 2014 release date, Evolve has launched this week on PC, Xbox One and PS4. Developed by Turtle Rock Studios (creator of Left 4 Dead), Evolve is the company's latest squad-based co-op shooter and unsurprisingly, it calls for some fairly beefy hardware.
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 Review

    By Tim Schiesser on

    Rather than completely dropping last year's Alpha design, Samsung reworked it for a new and much more compelling product for the mid-range market. The Galaxy A5 is a $400 smartphone inside a $700 body.
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  • The Best CPU for the Money: AMD vs. Intel Budget Shootout

    By Steven Walton on

    These days you might expect buying a new processor to be fairly straightforward. The choice seems clear: Intel has proven to offer superior core performance with considerably greater efficiency. However, many enthusiasts argue that AMD offers better overclocking on its more affordable processors and therefore delivers a better bang for your buck. We put that notion to the test.
  • Battlefield Hardline Performance Preview

    By Steven Walton on

    Battlefield Hardline is scheduled to arrive on March 17 but starting this week you can get your frag on for free during EA's open beta phase, which should hopefully help avoid a repeat of the launch issues that plagued Battlefield 4. While the Battlefield Hardline beta will be available to gamers on all platforms folks playing on PC can use this performance preview to determine what kind of performance your graphics card will deliver.
  • Lenovo ThinkPad Helix Review

    By Tim Schiesser on

    Now that low-power Intel Broadwell Core M CPUs are out, Lenovo is back with a refresh of the ThinkPad Helix, their detachable tablet-laptop hybrid. The new Helix offers a similar feature set than its predecessor, but Lenovo claims it's now 15% slimmer and will last several hours longer on battery. It's also over $500 cheaper than the original.
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  • 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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