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buying guide articles

TechSpot PC Buying Guide: Mid-2014 Update

The TechSpot PC Buying Guide offers an in-depth list of today's best desktop PC hardware, spanning four unique yet typical budgets. Whether you're a first time builder seeking guidance or a seasoned enthusiast, we have you covered.

• Decent performance • Good for everyday computing • Gaming with add-on GPU
• Good performance • Fast for everyday computing • Casual gaming
• Excellent performance • Great Multitasker • Perfect for gaming
• Workstation-like performance • Heavy multitasking • Extreme gaming
These 10 Electronic Devices Are Nearly Impossible to Repair

These 10 Electronic Devices Are Nearly Impossible to Repair

It's becoming tradition that with every new high-profile gadget release, we showcase whatever findings the repair commandos at iFixit.com share with us, whether it's the latest iPhone 5S and 5C, the Nvidia Shield, Moto X smartphone, or the yet unfinalized Oculus Rift VR headset.

In a follow-up article we'll list devices and gadgets you can service on your own. But if it's controversy and indignation you want, this is the week you've been waiting for! Here are iFixit's top 10 hardest-to-repair electronics.

TechSpot PC Buying Guide: Mid-2013 Update

TechSpot PC Buying Guide: Mid-2013 Update

TechSpot's PC Buying Guide offers an in-depth list of today's best desktop PC hardware, spanning four typical budgets starting at ~$500 for a well-balanced machine capable of medium workloads, up to $3,000+ for the Luxury build which includes the best PC hardware recommendations when budget is not a big concern. In-between you will find two mainstream systems that are good for heavy-multitasking and depending on your choice of GPU casual to high-end gaming.

• Decent performance • Good for everyday computing • Gaming with add-on GPU
• Good performance • Fast for everyday computing • Casual gaming
• Excellent performance • Great Multitasker • Perfect for gaming
• Workstation-like performance • Heavy multitasking • Extreme gaming
Tablets of 2013 Rundown: Nexus vs. Surface vs. iPad

Tablets of 2013 Rundown: Nexus vs. Surface vs. iPad

The tablet market doesn’t look very different than it did a year ago from the perspective of who’s doing well and who’s not. Perhaps the most exciting developments came towards the end of 2012 and beginning of 2013 from the usual big guys: Google released the Nexus 10 and updated the Nexus 7, Apple launched a smaller and cheaper iPad mini, while Microsoft went all in with the Surface RT and Pro.

As usual, we've compiled a comparative table with what we consider are the best options either currently available or announced so far, complete with metascores from our Product Finder engine and review links.

TechSpot Holiday Gift Guide 2012

TechSpot Holiday Gift Guide 2012

With barely a month to go before Christmas, the race is on to clear your holiday shopping list -- or, for the procrastinators out there, to start putting one together. Although you're working against the clock, the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales make this a fairly sensible time to dive in and ensure your loved ones are sufficiently showered in silicon-laced trinkets and baubles on the morning of December 25. As it happens, we have a soft spot for said gadgets and we've compiled a list of over two dozen things spanning all budgets that we'd love to find under the tree this year.

Free to $60 Gifts Gifts for Less Than $200 Between $200 and $400 Gifts $400 and Up

TechSpot Laptop Buying Guide: The Ivy Bridge Update

When choosing the right laptop it all comes down to what you are willing to spend and what you plan to use it for. This guide will help you navigate through the countless options out there. As usual, we've narrowed down our favorite notebooks and grouped them into five different categories: ultraportables, business and workstations, desktop replacements, gaming, and budget-oriented machines.

Ultraportables Thin and light laptops balance portability, performance and battery life. Business Mid to high end components with an emphasis on durability, security and battery life.
Desktop Replacements The most complete set of features, often forgo battery life and portability for extra horsepower. Gaming If mobility is a priority, there are some solid choices for gaming on the go.
Budget-oriented A good blend of price and features, but slim form factors are not necessarily a priority.    
Smartphone Buying Guide: Best 2012 Phones (So Far)

Smartphone Buying Guide: Best 2012 Phones (So Far)

The smartphone market is heating up once again as Microsoft and Nokia finally have a hero device out to push the Windows Phone platform, and it's priced quite competitively to boot. Also a handful of Android devices announced back in CES and MWC are finally seeing the light of day.

Check out our selection of the hottest devices currently out there (or soon to be released). Each phone is listed alongside its feature highlights, specs and prices, from newest to oldest. To further aid you in making well-informed decisions on your next purchase, we've also included metascores from our Product Finder.

Best of 2011: Gadgets and Tech Devices

Best of 2011: Gadgets and Tech Devices

As 2011 nears its expiration date you've probably already wrapped up your holiday shopping and are looking forward to the year-end celebrations with your loved ones. Being the tech fanatics that we are we'd also like to take a moment and look back at what 2011 had to offer, from the greatest computer hardware produced to some of the cool gadgets you shouldn't have missed.

We've used our Product Finder engine to selectively pick this year's standout products in over twenty categories as reviewed by hundreds of seasoned specialists across the web.

TechSpot Laptop Buying Guide: Holiday 2011 Update

With the holiday shopping season in full swing it's time we give our Laptop Buying Guide one last pass before the year is over to make sure it's packing enough punch. Netbooks have lost their lure to simply become smaller, entry-level notebooks, while other categories are only seeing minor spec bumps. But if you are looking into the ultraportable market, a new breed of devices has emerged. Intel is pushing the Ultrabooks as thin and light systems with plenty of power, for now we're seeing a first generation of devices, with plenty more to come.

Ultraportables Thin and light laptops balance portability, performance and battery life. Business Mid to high end components with an emphasis on durability, security and battery life.
Desktop Replacements The most complete set of features, often forgo battery life and portability for extra horsepower. Gaming If mobility is a priority, there are some solid choices for gaming on the go.
Budget-oriented A good blend of price and features, but slim form factors are not necessarily a priority.    
TechSpot Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Tech Toys and Gadgets

TechSpot Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Tech Toys and Gadgets

It’s mid-November already, the holidays are quickly approaching and like every year you want to find the perfect gift for your loved ones. If you are reading this, chances are someone on your list is a ‘techie’, gadget freak, or simply one who enjoys tinkering with the latest technology.

Just like in previous years we’ve thoughtfully compiled a list of technology toys and gadgets from least to most expensive. Whether you’re looking to keep your spending in check or go all out and buy that big bad HDTV you've been gazing at, we hope you'll find this guide handy.

Holiday Guide: This Season's Hottest PC Games

Holiday Guide: This Season's Hottest PC Games

Twenty-eleven is coming to a rapid conclusion and game makers are preparing to cash in on the holiday season by unleashing some of the year's finest titles. Although some of our most anticipated games wound up being duds on some level, there's still hope for the tailgunners of 2011.

In keeping with tradition, we've assembled a list of 16 PC games that should be on your radar for the frigid months ahead. Titles are ordered by their North American PC release date -- no earlier than September 15 and no later than December 31.

TechSpot's Smartphone Buying Guide: Q4 2011 Update

Smartphone manufacturers are bringing out the big guns as we move into the final months of the year. While much of the attention will undoubtedly center on Apple's new iPhone 4S, Android fans are spoilt for choice this holiday season. Anticipation is growing with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) expected to arrive any time now.

Without further ado, check out our selection of the hottest devices currently out there. Each phone is listed alongside its feature highlights, specs and prices, broken down in three categories depending on its time of release.

We've also added metascores from our Product Finder engine besides each phone to further aid you in making well-informed decisions on your next purchase.

TechSpot's Laptop Buying Guide: Q3 2011 Update

To help ease the hassle of going through countless notebook models getting released week in and week out, we've compiled a list of our favorite notebooks available right now and grouped them into six different categories: ultraportables, business & general purpose laptops, desktop replacements, gaming notebooks, budget laptops, and netbooks.

Ultraportables Thin and light laptops balance portability, performance and battery life. Business Mid to high end components with an emphasis on durability, security and battery life.
Desktop Replacements The most complete set of features, often forgo battery life and portability for extra horsepower. Gaming If mobility is a priority, there are some solid portable choices for gamers.
Value These hot sellers offer a good balance of price and features. Netbooks Best suited as travel companions or as secondary systems.

 

TechSpot's Smartphone Buying Guide: Q3 2011

TechSpot's Smartphone Buying Guide: Q3 2011

If you are in the market for a smartphone there are plenty of great options to choose from. An overwhelming majority is powered by Google's Android platform, which continues to extend its lead in terms of total users thanks to a growing lineup of devices covering a wide range of features and form factors. But there's also stuff going on elsewhere.

As with previous editions of this guide, we've put together a selection of the hottest devices out there to help you navigate through the sea of new smartphones getting released week in and week out. Each phone is listed alongside its feature highlights, specs and prices, from newest to oldest.

Tablets of 2011: What to Look For (Updated)

Tablets of 2011: What to Look For (Updated)

Apple iPad remains the undisputed best-selling tablet in the market, but companies such as Asus and Samsung are coming on strong with their first Android "Honeycomb" tablets. RIM on the other hand hasn't been doing too well with the PlayBook.

We've compiled a comparative table with what we consider are the hottest tablets either currently available or announced so far. With more than a dozen options already in the market, this will serve as a starting point for narrowing down your purchase.

Top Budget & Enthusiast-Level SSDs for the Price

Top Budget & Enthusiast-Level SSDs for the Price

We've been following the evolution of solid state drives for some time now, highlighting the most relevant offerings at any given time, and noting the impact newer controllers had in improving performance.

To ease your pain in choosing the right SSD, we've put together a condensed list with what we consider the best SSDs in the market right now, basing our picks on performance and highlighting a slightly slower alternative offering a better cost per gigabyte value.

Top Budget & Mainstream CPUs: $80 - $220

Top Budget & Mainstream CPUs: $80 - $220

If you've been following our reviews and PC buying guide you probably already have a good idea of the current landscape: Intel introduced their Sandy Bridge processors at the beginning of the year, bringing unparalleled performance and improved power consumption, while AMD has little to compete with above the $125 mark -- though that might change soon.

Although we always try to keep you up to speed by reviewing the latest CPU releases as these take place, we've compiled a handy list of what we consider the best processor options right now at several price points between $80 and $225.

TechSpot Laptop Buying Guide: First Half of 2011

TechSpot Laptop Buying Guide: First Half of 2011

The year kicked off to a good start in the laptop sector with AMD finally delivering its promised Fusion chips -- five years in the making -- and Intel launching its Huron River platform powered by Sandy Bridge processors.

The sudden delay of Intel new CPUs pushed back our laptop guide an entire quarter, but now that the issues have been resolved and laptop makers are getting their latest designs out in the market, we are once again ready to bring you a list of our favorite notebooks in six different categories: Thin and light, business or general purpose, desktop replacements, gaming, budget offerings, and netbooks.

Smartphone Buying Guide: First Half of 2011

The year kicked off with two major events in the technology world -- CES in Las Vegas and MWC in Barcelona -- playing host to the launch of numerous smartphones.

To help you navigate through the sea of devices getting released week in and week out we've put together a selection with what we consider are the hottest ones out there. They are listed alongside their respective specs, price, and features from newest to oldest.

TechSpot PC Buying Guide: 2011 Kick Off

About a year ago we revamped our long-standing guide for PC builders and prospective buyers, setting it to be updated on an ongoing basis. Throughout 2010 we kept to our word, making near immediate changes when major product launches took place, and giving the guide biweekly passes to make sure the best component recommendations were live at any given moment with its respective pricing information and analysis.

The TechSpot PC Buying Guide offers an in-depth list of today's best hardware, spanning four unique, yet typical budgets. Whether you are a first time builder seeking guidance or a seasoned enthusiast, we've got you covered.