Desktop articles

Microsoft Windows 8, The TechSpot Review

First, let's get something out of the way. Most of what's really new in Windows 8 relates to the Metro touch interface, which is Microsoft's biggest bet on this OS generation -- a bet that's risky but necessary given the company's lack of presence in the growing tablet market. This is also how the folks at Redmond have figured could give a needed boost to its smartphone business (“Windows everywhere”), which is well behind market leaders, iOS and Android.

This review is based on my experience with Windows 8 using a desktop, so I've been treating Windows 8 like most computer enthusiasts will: as a direct upgrade from Windows 7 on my custom-built machine, just like I did with Vista, XP, 2k, and other previous Windows releases.

Tech Tip of the Week: Bypass Metro and Boot Directly to Windows 8's Desktop

I've been running the Windows 8 Consumer Preview for a few months and although I'm okay with Metro replacing the Start Menu, I hate seeing the new interface by default every time I reboot. When Windows 7 starts, you hit a login screen (assuming it's enabled) and then you're brought straight to the desktop.

When Windows 8 starts, it displays a lock screen that you have to move out of the way before entering your credentials, and then you have to dismiss the Metro interface before accessing the desktop. Like I said, I'm cool with Metro, but I have no desire to see a full-screen Start Menu when I log into my PC.

PC shipments sluggish in Q2 despite ultrabook push

Market research firms Gartner and IDC released separate reports yesterday suggesting PC shipments slowed down during the second quarter of the year, as shifting technology trends and a shaky economy dampened demand. The firms estimate worldwide PC shipments fell 0.1%…

Tuesday tech deals: Ivy Bridge i7-3770 desktop for $800

TigerDirect offers the Asus CM6870-US-3AB Desktop PC (no monitor) for $849.99. Coupon code "LZE65200" slashes it to $799.99. With $12.95 for shipping, that's the lowest total price we could find by $83 and the least expensive desktop we've seen with an Ivy Bridge CPU and a 2TB HDD...

iMac vs. Windows All-in-Ones: Apple Tax or Not?

When Apple updated its notebook lineup earlier this month we were eager to find out how well the new MacBook Air stacked up next to a couple of Ultrabook alternatives. Turned out the so-called “Apple Tax” wasn’t as much of an issue as Apple detractors often claim.

Now we’re taking a look at another area of the PC market that’s experiencing healthy growth in recent times, comparing Apple’s 27-inch iMac to all-in-one alternatives from the likes of Dell, HP and newcomer Vizio. As we’ve said before, we don’t expect this comparison to be representative of the entire Apple Tax argument, but it will help paint a better picture as we contrast it with our previous findings.

Asus unveils new ROG desktops with Ivy Bridge, GTX 680

With Ivy Bridge, Southern Islands and Kepler on the loose, it's a great time to upgrade. Recognizing that fact, Asus has unveiled new enthusiast-grade desktops, the CM6870, CG8270 and CG8580. The first machine is lower specced than the latter two, though it should still hold its own...

Tuesday tech deals: Ivy Bridge desktop $760, 40" HDTV $340

HP offers its Pavilion Elite HPE h8xt (no monitor) for $799.99. Coupon code "DTE8467" cuts it to $759.99. With free shipping, that's $190 off list and the lowest total price we could find for this configuration. It features an Intel Core i7-3770 Ivy Bridge CPU, AMD Radeon HD 7570...

The All-Purpose All-In-One: HP TouchSmart 520 Review

HP supplied us with their TouchSmart model 520-1070 which they described as the star of their current all-in-one lineup that features a lighter, thinner design and an upgraded version of HP’s Magic Canvas software.

The 23-inch multi-touch AIO is powered by a 2nd generation Intel Core i7-2600S processor clocked at 2.8GHz, 8GB of DDR3 system memory, a 2TB Western Digital Caviar Green hard drive, Radeon HD 6450A graphics and Beats Audio. Additional perks include a built-in TV tuner and HDMI-in, essentially transforming the 520 into a venerable entertainment / gaming station.

Lenovo IdeaCentre K330 Review

The Lenovo IdeaCentre K330 is a budget gaming desktop PC that has ample power for general-purpose work, and should be well suited for video and other multimedia work as well as PC gaming.

Our review unit's $1,099 configuration features a 3.4 GHz Intel i7-2600, 12GB of DDR3 RAM, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 graphics card, a Hitachi 2TB 7200 RPM hard drive, a Blu-ray / DVD combo drive and a 16-in-1 card reader, all running on Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.

BitFenix unveils $39 Merc Alpha and Beta cases

BitFenix has unveiled a new budget desktop chassis series comprised of two enclosures: Alpha and Beta. Both are constructed out of steel and plastic -- the de facto materials among budget cases. While the company clearly cut corners where possible,…

Acer launches new sub-$500 desktops, touchscreen

Acer's getting a jumpstart on its back-to-school lineup today, unveiling two new mass market desktop ranges: the Aspire M and X Series. Starting at less than $500, both are intended for everyday productivity and multimedia purposes, featuring relatively powerful processors…

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.