review articles

GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost Review, SLI Performance Tested

GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost Review, SLI Performance Tested

The GTX 650 Ti was our favorite $100 - $150 graphics card last year, as it thrashed the Radeon HD 7770, its direct competitor. Then last month AMD decided to attack the $150 price point with a new HD 7790 GPU, but the reaction didn't take long to arrive.

Just a week later Nvidia officially countered by releasing the poorly named GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost, now the third graphics card to carry the GTX 650 name. At $170, the GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost sits between the Radeon HD 7790 and the 7850. In terms of performance, we actually expect the GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost to be a lot faster than the GTX 650 Ti, even when it's based on the same GK106 architecture.

LG Lucid 2 Review: Android aimed at the mid-range

LG Lucid 2 Review: Android aimed at the mid-range

The original LG Lucid was behind the curve when it launched on Verizon Wireless last year. It had 4G LTE, but it was running an outdated version of Android at a time when users were clamoring for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The Lucid 2 arrives just over a year later and is thankfully closer to what's expected of a modern smartphone.

The Lucid 2 has 4G LTE, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, plenty of software additions courtesy of LG, and a favorable price for someone looking for a new Android smartphone (free with a two-year contract). Is it favorable enough? You may be surprised to learn how tall the new Lucid can stand.

LG 29EA93 Review: Monitors Go Ultra-Wide

LG 29EA93 Review: Monitors Go Ultra-Wide

The LG 29EA93-P is the company's first entry into the still nascent category of ultra-wide consumer displays. There remain few options to compete against the 29EA93’s expansive 21:9 aspect ratio, however, LG, Dell and a few others ostensibly believe there’s a market for ultra-wides and I’ll admit -- I think they’re right.

While the 29EA93 seems suitably equipped to watch movies, how does it fare against other types of computer use? Could it possibly be a worthy replacement for your trusty dual-monitor setup?

Synology DS2413+ NAS Review: For when you're serious about storage

Synology DS2413+ NAS Review: For when you're serious about storage

The DS2413+ is Synology's newest twelve-bay DiskStation NAS for small to medium sized businesses who need loads of storage. Along with supporting up to 48TB worth of drives out of the box, the DS2413+ can be paired with the company's DX1211 expansion enclosure that houses an extra 12 drives, doubling the maximum storage capacity of the base unit to a whopping 96TB.

We should also make a quick note before you get to the end and scoff at the price: the DS2413+ isn't for average home users. It's retailing for $1,700 without drives or the 12-bay expansion. With that in mind, let's see what the DS2413+'s upgrades offer.

Radeon HD 7790 Review: Aiming straight for the $150 segment

Radeon HD 7790 Review: Aiming straight for the $150 segment

The latest member of the Southern Islands family, the new Radeon HD 7790 is designed to fill the gap between the Radeon HD 7770 and 7850. Set to precisely target the $150 price tag, the HD 7790 should be an affordable solution that provides good value to gamers on a budget.

The HD 7790 is set to go head to head against the GeForce GTX 650 Ti, which represented the best value in this bracket. To sweeten the deal, AMD is also offering a free game bundle of Bioshock Infinite for a limited time.

Acer Iconia W510 Tablet: Making Windows 8's Dichotomy Shine

Acer Iconia W510 Tablet: Making Windows 8's Dichotomy Shine

Microsoft’s answer to the changing computing landscape is Windows 8, an operating system that attempts to balance the demands of traditional productivity-oriented desktops with the mobility of, well, mobile devices.

Hybrids thus appear to be the optimal home for Windows 8 as both aspects of the OS are in use and get to shine as they were designed to. That brings us to the Acer Iconia W510 hybrid tablet, which can be essentially converted into a full-fledged PC with its keyboard dock – no Windows RT here, folks.

SimCity Review: Real or Simulated Disaster?

SimCity Review: Real or Simulated Disaster?

To many fans of the original city building simulation series, the idea of an online multiplayer game that required even solo players to be connected to the internet at all times seemed like a recipe for disaster.

Maxis' latest creation is easily the most compelling SimCity I've played since the 1989 original. It's also a disaster.

Crysis 3 Review: Nanosuit-up!

Crysis 3 Review: Nanosuit-up!

The Crysis series of first-person action games mix stealthy sneaking with huge explosions, all draped across lush, exquisitely rendered environments. The games aren't really known for their winning personality, story or characters. They're known, first and foremost, for their sweet tech and using your suit's powers to stalk and kill.

But every time Crysis games get away from that core routine, things become less enjoyable. Crysis 3, unfortunately, spends most of its time lost in the weeds. There's plenty of hunting, but it's sporadic, and changes made to the formula combine with dodgy AI and odd level-design to make the whole thing feel uncomfortable.

Pebble Review: Kickstarter's E-Paper Smartwatch

Pebble Review: Kickstarter's E-Paper Smartwatch

The Pebble smartwatch for iPhone and Android is a prime example of the bizarre times in which we live. In an era of people increasingly telling time by looking at the corner of their computer's screen or their smartphone lock screens, Pebble wants to make the wristwatch everyone's preferred timepiece.

A humble Kickstarter project embraced by nearly 70,000 backers, Pebble is the most buzzed-about smartwatch yet. Have those early believers been vindicated by the release of a phenomenal product or are they just another cautionary tale of what happens when reality doesn't meet the hype?

BlackBerry Z10 Review: The Last Hope

BlackBerry Z10 Review: The Last Hope

The BlackBerry Z10 is a sink or swim device that will likely determine if the company will manage to hold on to its dwindling market share and right the ship that sent it from first to worst in smartphone relevance.

The first smartphone to run the BlackBerry 10 OS debuts at a time when smartphones are as much about play as they are productivity, and this phone can thrive in this era only if it can strike a balance between entertainment and enterprise. Can the BlackBerry Z10 be the savior that BlackBerry so desperately needs?

Neowin: Sony Vaio Tap 20 review

Neowin: Sony Vaio Tap 20 review

Windows 8 has brought with it an influx of new computer form factors, including dockable tablets, flipping convertible hybrids and even dual-screen laptops. But perhaps one of the most bizarre ideas came out of the labs at Sony. We all…
Reviewing Cooler Master's HAF XB "LAN Box"

Reviewing Cooler Master's HAF XB "LAN Box"

Following the success of 2008's HAF 932 chassis, Cooler Master didn't waste any time adapting its High Air Flow design to various other form factors and price points -- many of which we've covered in depth. Along with its larger options, the company offers three mid-towers: the $50 HAF 912, $100 HAF 922 and $130 HAF XM.

While the cost of these cases varies significantly, they're all fairly similar in terms of stature in that their tall, rectangular profile resembles most other mid-towers. Mixing things up, Cooler Master's latest mid-size enclosure, the HAF XB, breaks the conventional mold with boxier dimensions -- in fact, the company describes it as a "LAN box".

MSI GX60 Gaming Notebook: Powerful mobile GPU without breaking the bank?

MSI GX60 Gaming Notebook: Powerful mobile GPU without breaking the bank?

Most people can’t afford to spend a few thousand on a notebook computer, even if it's on a solid gaming machine that doubles as a desktop replacement. To that end, today we'll be checking out a portable from MSI that aims to deliver a solid gaming experience without the excessive cost.

The MSI GX60 comes packed with a quad-core AMD A10-4600M CPU clocked at 2.3GHz alongside AMD Radeon HD 7970M discrete graphics with 2GB of GDDR5 memory, a 15.6-inch non-glare display operating at 1920x1080, 8GB of DDR3 memory in a 4GBx2 configuration, 128GB of flash storage used as the OS drive and a 750GB 7200RPM disk drive for storage.

ATI Radeon 5670 Review

While we usually try to bring you timely and breaking facts from the two main discrete GPU makers, Nvidia and ATI, as of late it's not been up to us to bring balance to the coverage that goes to each…

ATI Radeon 5870 Review

Following a successful run with the codenamed R700 family of GPUs, which was originally released back in June 2008 as the Radeon HD 4000 series, AMD is launching the highly anticipated R800. Debuting to no one's surprise as the ATI…

AMD Athlon II X4 620 Review

AMD is launching a new series of affordable quad-core processors today under the Athlon II brand name. Based on the 'Propus' architecture and built using a 45nm design process, the new series is intended to help AMD secure the low-end…
Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet (1st Gen) Review

Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet (1st Gen) Review

Lenovo has expanded their line of computing devices to include tablets. The company introduced two new slates earlier this year – the consumer-oriented IdeaPad K1 and the business-minded ThinkPad Tablet that we are examining today.

We've come to know Lenovo as one of the premiere business notebook manufacturers over the past years. The foundation for its ThinkPad line has been a uniform style that's stood the test of time quite well. It's simple, practical, recognizable and instills the value of quality in the minds of many. It'll be interesting to see how that tradition has carried on to their first ThinkPad tablet running Android.

AMD Radeon 6970 Review

After a short delay, AMD brings us their new flagship GPU in the form of the Radeon HD 6970. Code-named Cayman XT, this new graphics processor features 2640 million transistors, 23% more than its predecessor, the Radeon HD 5870. Just like the Nvidia GeForce GTX 580 and GTX 570 graphics cards are refined versions of the GTX 480 and GTX 470, respectively, the Radeon HD 6970 is essentially a more refined version of the 5870. To find out exactly what this means, read on...
Cooler Master Storm Scout 2 Case Review

Cooler Master Storm Scout 2 Case Review

Cooler Master recently launched yet another enthusiast-friendly CM Storm chassis, the Scout 2. Despite its relatively low $90 price tag, the Scout 2 has plenty to offer, including ergonomic steel-reinforced carrying handles, USB 3.0 support and room for up to two SSDs, nine fans and any graphics card around.

Although we reviewed several Cooler Master enclosures in 2012, it's been a year since we laid hands on a new CM Storm-branded case, so it'll be interesting to see how the company's latest offering holds up in the increasingly competitive sub-$100 territory.

Nokia Lumia 920 Review: Can the WP8 flagship convert iPhone/Android lovers?

Nokia Lumia 920 Review: Can the WP8 flagship convert iPhone/Android lovers?

Since Microsoft introduced Windows Phone 7, they have tried in vain to introduce a legitimate competitor to the Apple iPhone. They have also failed to unseat an army of Android devices. Nokia's entry was an all-in gamble that was supposed to platform among the elite of smartphones, but being the most popular of the bunch didn't translate to commercial or critical success.

In the Nokia Lumia 920, Windows Phone 8 has a worthy competitor to iOS and Android. It continues the design philosophy that made the original Lumias the most popular Windows Phone handsets. It also features brand new software that is faster and more robust than its predecessor. Will a winning hardware foundation and vastly improved software secure the Lumia 920 a place among the elite?

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13: Reviewing the Windows 8-Ready Convertible Laptop

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13: Reviewing the Windows 8-Ready Convertible Laptop

The IdeaPad Yoga 13 was one of the first hybrid Windows 8 systems that consumers got a look at. Lenovo unveiled a near-finished prototype at CES nearly a year ago – well before Windows 8 was finished and ready for prime time.

With Windows 8 now here Lenovo is looking to capitalize early and often with the do-it-all Yoga 13. Priced from $999, this system was one of the first portable systems to launch alongside Windows 8. I’ve spent the past several weeks learning the ins and outs of this hybrid Ultrabook and without jumping right to the conclusion from the get-go, I will let you know that it’s a very capable all-around system that doesn’t compromise on that it is first and foremost: a notebook.

Acer's $199 Chromebook Put to the Test, Reviewed

Acer's $199 Chromebook Put to the Test, Reviewed

A $200 laptop is a difficult thing to assess. The Acer C7 Chromebook has that shockingly low price tag, but there's also weak build quality and a netbook-grade CPU. The trade-offs the buyer must be willing to make are not trivial. And that’s before we acknowledge the Acer C7 runs Chrome OS rather than Windows.

The most interesting question then, is who exactly is the C7 for? Before we can get to who it’s for (hint: there is more than one correct answer,) we have to get to the bottom of what the C7 is and then more importantly, what it can do.

The Battle of the Army Green Cases: Corsair vs. Thermaltake

The Battle of the Army Green Cases: Corsair vs. Thermaltake

Gamers tend to take a lot of pride in building their own rigs, but it's generally not enough to have top-notch performance without the looks to match. Motherboards, for instance, have transformed from generic green slabs to works of art. Interestingly, it seems increasingly common to find aggressive military styling among high-end motherboards. Despite the prevalence of military-themed motherboards, enthusiasts haven't had a whole lot of stock options for matching cases.

Hoping to fill that void, Corsair updated its Vengeance gaming lineup earlier this year with the C70 series which comes in Military Green. Thermaltake also launched the Level 10 GT Battle Edition with the same olive drab paint job and a few nifty details that are well worth a look if Army-themed gear is your thing.