Don't buy the wrong stuff: TechSpot Tech Gift Shortlist 2017

Feature Index Page 9

  • Fire TV vs. Roku vs. Chromecast: Between a set-top box and a streaming stick

    As Amazon Fire TV bursts onto the market to compete with streamers like the Roku 3 and Apple TV, you may be wondering what these set-top boxes offer over cheaper streaming sticks, specifically Google's Chromecast and Roku's Streaming Stick.

    By Simon Hill and Louis Ramirez on

  • Media Players and Video Formats: A Detailed Battery Life Analysis

    Video playback is one common case scenario where efficiency is crucial and where a lengthy battery life is an infrequently found godsend. But what you may not realize is that the video player itself, and the format your videos are encoded in, can also have an impact on battery life consumption.

    By Tim Schiesser on

  • These 9 Devices Might Be a Waste of Your Money

    Sometimes it pays to buy slightly older devices in place of tempting deals on newly released tech. But that approach to buying electronics can only take you so far. Before you consider buying any of the items on this list, think long and hard about whether such a device is actually a redundant waste of your money.

    By Simon Hill on

  • TechSpot PC Buying Guide (2013-2014)

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

    By TechSpot Staff on

  • Screenshot Sharing in a Snap: 7 Free Alternatives to Droplr

    Many of us at TechSpot use Droplr to quickly share screenshots. While this simple app is great at what it does, since it moved to a subscription-only model I decided to look for a replacement. It's just hard to justify paying $4.99 a month when there are quite a few options out there that work just as well. Here are 7 of them.

    By Erik Orejuela on

  • Mobile Messaging Clients Compared

    Messaging is not only among the top activities on smartphones (if not THE top activity), messaging apps are increasingly seen as social networks. After all people use them to send each other texts, videos, photos and other content either one-on-one or as a group. Sounds familiar, right?

    By Jose Vilches on

  • The Homebrew Litecoin Mining Project

    If you're looking to treat virtual coin mining as a hobby, Litecoins are probably the best bet right now and we'll show you how to get started with choosing and configuring the hardware and software you'll need.

    By Shawn Knight on

  • Testing Reliability: Puget Systems' List of Tried and True PC Hardware

    We've all been there. You want to buy a new graphics card, you read the reviews, and settle on the best GPU within your budget. Then you have to decide from half dozen or so manufacturers that offer nearly identical hardware. But which is the most reliable?

    By Matt Bach on

  • How Much Does It Cost to Make a Video Game?

    How much does a blockbuster game cost to make? Of all the opaque video game industry questions, this is perhaps the most opaque. Many in the industry don't even know the budgets of games. It is not unusual for developer working on a big-budget game to have no idea of the game's budget.

    By superannuation (via Kotaku) on

  • SSD Form Factors: Everything You Need to Know

    When solid state drives first started replacing HDDs, they had to fit into computer chassis or laptop drive bays built for HDDs, so they had to conform to HDD dimensions. However, there's no requirement for the SSD to match the shape of a typical HDD as it's more evident today.

    By Kent Smith on

  • The World Wide Web Turns 25: A Timeline

    The web is turning 25 years old today. We've come a long way since Tim-Berners Lee wrote his paper proposing an information management system to facilitate information-sharing between physicists in universities and institutes around the world. Nowadays it's hard to imagine what life would be like without the web.

    By Jose Vilches on

  • Free-For-All: How Valve Is Building a New Way to Play Games

    The decidedly odd, innovative Steam Controller. What will happen when a company steeped in software releases their first piece of hardware? No one -- including the people making the controller -- is quite sure.

    By Kirk Hamilton on

  • 10 Mobile Tech Predictions for 2014

    High resolution 1080p displays started to rival real paper, quad-core processors dominated, and smartphone cameras packed more megapixels than a professional DSLR. So what will 2014 bring?

    By Tim Schiesser on

  • The Year in Tech: 2013 Top Technology Stories

    Twenty-thirteen has been an eventful year marked by a changing landscape in the computing world, the usual product refreshes in mobile, the birth of new consoles, the rise of Bitcoin, and the harsh realization that pretty much nothing you do online (and sometimes even offline) is private.

    By TechSpot Staff on

  • Best Gadgets and Tech Products of 2013

    As we reach the end of the year, it's a good time to look back and draw a line between the best tech product launches of 2013 and the rest of the pack. Leveraging the power of TechSpot's Product Finder, here come 2013's most popular and noteworthy tech products across 14 categories.

    By TechSpot Staff on

  • WTF: 10 of the Weirdest Products Ever

    First, a friendly disclaimer. This is not a holiday shopping list. If you were hoping to find something useful to give, this ain't the place. For all the useful items you can potentially find while browsing around on Amazon, eBay or your online retailer of choice, there are always the occasional WTF?! products in the mix.

    By Paula Kerrigan on

  • Learn How to Code: 22 Free Online Resources

    Whether you're looking for something new to learn, or just want to refresh your memory on something that might be a bit rusty, there are plenty of free sources online that you can take advantage of free code classes.

    By Wendy Boswell on

  • Time Saver: 100% Hands Off Subtitle Downloads in Windows or Mac

    We've seen a few applications that make the process of downloading subtitles for movies and TV shows as simple as dragging and dropping a video file. Why not take it to the next level and make subtitles fetching 100% hands off? With the help AHK in Windows and Automator in OS X we certainly can.

    By Jose Vilches on

  • Xbox One vs. PS4: How They Stack Up Today

    Both the Xbox One and the PS4 received "Not Yet" verdicts in our reviews. Are they must-have systems? Are they essential? Not yet. Wait and see. That said, we've now compared both on a number of categories so if you're not one to wait, you'll definitely know what you are getting into with each of them.

    By Kirk Hamilton on

  • 12 Ways Black Friday 2013 Will Be Different

    As the official starter for the holiday shopping season, Black Friday is expected to be a frenzy of bargains, but with each passing year there are some elements that change. Our friends at DealNews feel that the best way to make the most of this annual shopping event is to be prepared. Here are 12 ways in which Black Friday 2013 will be different than previous years.

    By Louis Ramirez on

  • Hot PC Games for the 2013 Holiday Season

    To help keep track of what's actually shipping over the year's final weeks, we've prepared a list of this season's hottest PC games ordered by their North American Windows release date. As always, you're welcome to pitch in with comments about PC releases we may have overlooked or otherwise excluded.

    By Matthew DeCarlo on

  • Best Tablets of 2013: Holiday Season Edition

    Apple just announced a new iPad Air and iPad mini, Microsoft pushed out the second generation Surfaces, Amazon Kindles hedged its bets on high-end hardware and real-time support, Samsung did its own thing with numerous Android devices and Google is set to refresh the Nexus line later this month.

    By Jose Vilches on

  • Building a Hackintosh with Quo's "Any OS" Motherboard

    Building a Hackintosh has definitely gotten easier over the years but there's still plenty of tinkering involved for the uninitiated. Earlier this year a company known as Quo launched a Kickstarter to fund a motherboard designed to run "any operating system". Though they don't explicitly market it as a Hackintosh board it's clearly one of the board's key selling points.

    By Jose Vilches on

  • When Amazon's Customer Reviews Get Ridiculous (and Seriously Funny)

    What these reviews lack in helpfulness they make up for in gleeful goofiness. For its part, Amazon hasn't tried to dissuade this phenomenon, as these self-generating memes can actually increase sales. For example, when an unexceptional graphic T-shirt featuring three howling wolves caught the ire of the sarcastic community in 2008, it went on to become one of the top selling pieces of apparel on Amazon that year.

    By Evan Dashevsky and Alan Byrne on

  • Windows 8.1: Six Things Microsoft Got Right and Others That Are Still Missing

    Not unlike previous releases of Microsoft's ubiquitous desktop OS, Windows 8 has faced a lot of scrutiny in the year it's been available. Every time the company has made a drastic change to Windows, it's been on the losing end of user opinion. Windows 8 has been no different.

    By Julio Franco on

  • Technology Before Its Time: 9 Products That Were Too Early to Market

    Every now and again, someone comes up with a revolutionary idea for a product or service and brings it to market. Just as often, however, the supporting technology isn't there, consumers aren't ready to embrace it, or management mishandles its launch. Some ideas just aren't meant to take root no matter how groundbreaking.

    By Shawn Knight on

  • The Best Android Games: 12 Must-Play Titles

    Google's mobile OS keeps proliferating on more and more handsets and the games hitting that hardware keep getting better. Among our picks are Angry Birds Star Wars II, which is a mild improvement over the original but an improvement nonetheless, as well as Reaper, Temple Run 2, The Room, and more.

    By Evan Narcisse on

  • iOS 7: Six Things Apple Got Right and Six That Are Still Missing

    Described as the biggest change to iOS since the introduction of the iPhone, iOS 7 has been available to the general public for roughly two weeks at this point. Looking beyond the flat UI and the animated background, has that much really changed in Apple's mobile OS? Here are 6 things they got right and 6 still missing.

    By Shawn Knight on

  • 10 Electronic Devices That 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. 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.

    By Lou Carlozo on

  • How to Reduce Your Monthly Wireless Bill: 12 Useful Tips

    Wireless providers thrive on peddling a myriad of extra features and services on top of your basic service plan. Early nights and weekends, roadside assistance, mobile TV, hotspots and GPS are all fair game and can add anywhere between a couple of bucks to $10 or more to your wireless bill each month, per service.

    By Shawn Knight on