Review Index Page 12

  • Aorus Thunder K7 Mechanical Keyboard, M7 MMO Mouse & P3X Mouse Pad Review

    Gigabyte may be best known for its award winning motherboards and graphics cards, but the brand is home to a host of products, from entire systems to high-end gaming gear. Today we're taking a look at thee of the latter, sold under its Aorus subsidiary: the Aorus Thunder K7 backlit mechanical gaming keyboard with a detachable macro/numpad, the 16-button Thunder M7 MMO gaming mouse, and the meter-longP3X gaming mouse pad.

    By Steven Walton on

  • Sony Xperia Z3 Review

    Compared to the Z2, Sony has made some minute changes in the Xperia Z3. We're looking at a slightly upgraded Snapdragon 801 SoC, a marginally smaller 3,100 mAh battery, a thinner design, and a few software tweaks. The camera and display are essentially the same. It's clear Sony has been tinkering with the perfect smartphone formula, and while those on the six-months-old Z2 can probably skip this, it might make users of competing phones consider a switch.

    By Tim Schiesser on

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  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha Review

    The Galaxy Alpha accompanies the Galaxy S5 at the top of Samsung's line-up. The 4.7-inch device is a smaller alternative to their popular flagship, designed for people who place form at the top of their priority list. Samsung seems to be realizing that cheap plastic just doesn't cut it anymore for its flagship smartphones, but the choice to focus on design has also left the Alpha with slightly downgraded specs compared to the S5.

    By Tim Schiesser on

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  • ECS Liva 64GB Mini PC Kit Review

    Setting the bar for small form factor PCs in July, ECS' Liva made comparable machines look oversized and overpriced, weighing only 190g and measuring 118mm wide, 56mm tall and70mm deep. Since its debut, ECS has updated the Liva with a 64GB option and though that's double the storage, we have only seen a mild price increase to $185. Paired with a super efficient fanless design that promises smooth 1080p playback it certainly grabbed our attention.

    By Steven Walton on

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  • HIS Liquid-Cooled R9 290X Hybrid IceQ Review

    Although the AMD Radeon R9 290X is blisteringly fast it also has a problem with heat. Board partners solved this issue for the most part with massive heatsinks riddled with copper heatpipes cooled by a battery of fans. But what if you want a 290X that is even faster and at the same time much quieter? Seems like a dream, but HIS has been working hard to make it a reality with the HIS Radeon R9 290X Hybrid IceQ 4GB.

    By Steven Walton on

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  • PlayStation TV Review

    The PlayStation TV is a small black box that connects to a television set via HDMI cable. Inside of that box are the guts of a PlayStation Vita handheld gaming system, and as such it can play PlayStation Vita games. It can also play PSP games, PS One classics, stream PS4 and PlayStation Now games, and stream TV shows and movies.

    By Mike Fahey on

  • In Win D-Frame Mini Case Review

    Of all the weird and wonderful cases we saw in 2013, In Win's D-Frame remains most memorable. The D-Frame Mini takes the original design and shrinks it down to accommodate the now popular Mini-ITX form factor. Despite the reduction in size the case can now support cooling radiators and models as large as 240mm, the graphics card length has been extended from 330mm to 340mm, and the chassis can rest on one of six sides rather than just two.

    By Steven Walton on

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  • Gaming at 4K with Gainward's GeForce GTX 970 SLI Graphics Cards

    Nvidia's GeForce GTX 970 positioned itself it as an ideal candidate for multi-GPU 4K gaming by outperforming the Radeon R9 290 while undercutting in price, too. Folks looking to game at 4K have some capable multi-GPU options for as little as $600.

    By Steven Walton on

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Review

    Samsung was on to something when they launched the original Galaxy Note back in 2011. The large-screened smartphone seemed awkward at the time, but quickly became Samsung's second most popular line. The fourth-generation Galaxy Note is the same 5.7" size as its predecessor but packs a Quad HD display, a more premium and much requested part-metal construction, and an improved 16MP camera with optical image stabilization.

    By Tim Schiesser on

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  • Maingear Pulse 15 Gaming Laptop Review

    Slim gaming notebooks have been getting a lot of attention lately as newer, more efficient technology allows manufacturers to cram high-end parts in a chassis that looks no different than a general-purpose notebook. The Maingear Pulse 15 falls right into this burgeoning segment packing a Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, dual SSDs and a GeForce GTX 870M GPU in its a 0.7" thick body. Its standout feature is a 3K (2880 x 1620) display.

    By Shawn Knight on

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  • Alien: Isolation Benchmarked: Graphics & CPU Performance

    Classified as a survival horror/stealth game instead of an action shooter, Alien: Isolation differs from last year's Alien: Colonial Marines in that there is just one Alien who can't be killed, requiring you to employ stealth tactics. The game has plenty of pants-wetting moments and sounds like a blast if you're comfortable with soiling yourself, but we're more interested in Alien: Isolation's performance when running at max quality and varying resolutions.

    By Steven Walton on

  • Alien: Isolation Review

    While many a video game has been designed for people who enjoy killing aliens, Alien: Isolation can only have been created for people who derive some perverse pleasure out of being killed by an alien. Regardless of how it happens, rest assured that the alien will kill you. The game is rarely less than terrifying, the Sevastopol is splendidly awful, and the straightforward story pays homage to the film without going overboard.

    By Kirk Hamilton on

  • Kogan Agora 4G Budget Smartphone Review

    Although the Kogan brand is known in Australia, especially their low-cost TVs, the Agora 4G represents their first real push into smartphones on a global scale. The phone is actually manufactured by BenQ's ODM division, as indicated by a small BenQ logo on the back of the handset. The phone's standout feature is its 5.0-inch 720p display, paired with a Snapdragon 400 SoC. On the back you'll find an 8-megapixel camera, and inside is a sizable 2,500 mAh battery.

    By Tim Schiesser on

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  • Silverstone Fortress FT05 Mid-Tower Case Review

    Silverstone's Fortress FT05 has enough going for it to justify its premium over the Raven RV05 if you're after a similar design with calmer aesthetics, a more space-efficient layout and fantastic cooling.

    By Steven Walton on

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  • Motorola Moto G (2014) Review

    The first-generation Moto G was a fantastic Android smartphone that cost just $179 unlocked and outright. It was Motorola's first major push into the entry-level market under the guidance of Google, and it was quite a successful one. The new 2014 model keeps the same low price point, packs a larger 5-inch display and addresses some of its predecessors shortcomings with a much improved camera and a microSD slot for expandable storage.

    By Tim Schiesser on

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  • FIFA 15 Review

    Look, I like FIFA. I've liked it for a long time, and even when the game has an off year, I've stuck by it and enjoyed my time with it. This year is no different.

    By Luke Plunkett on

  • Fanless HTPC: Intel Pentium J2900 Bay Trail-D Quad Core & Asrock Q2900-ITX Review

    The new Asrock Q2900-ITX ships with a Pentium J2900 on a Mini-ITX board for $104 and is aimed straight against AMD's Kabini Athlon 5350. The Pentium chip is nearly identical to Intel's Celeron J1900 at first glance, but differs in raw clock speed.

    By Steven Walton on

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  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus Review

    While virtually every other manufacturer began pumping out phones with increasingly larger screens, Apple held off as long as it could while still selling millions of iPhone 5 and 5s handsets. Apple's response finally came in the form of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus -- the latter of which represents its first foray into phablet territory.

    By Shawn Knight on

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  • Destiny Review

    Destiny can be a cruel, exploitative game. It is deliberately unsurprising in so many ways, yet brilliantly bold in others. It's usually a lot of fun, except when it aggressively isn't. I can't stop playing.

    By Kirk Hamilton on

  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 & GeForce GTX 970 Review

    Last year's GeForce 700 series pushed Kepler to its limits. With such a strong showing, Maxwell's first appearance had us excited for higher-end cards and today we finally have them: the $400 GTX 970 will go head to head with the Radeon R9 290 while the $600 GTX 980 is positioned around $50 higher than the R9 290X.

    By Steven Walton on

  • Intel Z97 Motherboard Roundup: Asus, Asrock, EVGA, MSI & Gigabyte

    Codenamed 'Wildcat Point', the Z97 chipset brings support for future Broadwell CPUs, along with SATA Express and the M.2 socket. With over 90 designs available right now, picking the right one can be a difficult decision. Hoping to narrow the search down, we have taken seven popular boards and compared them in every way possible.

    By Steven Walton on

  • The Sims 4 Review

    The Sims 4 is a big game. But like any so-called life simulator, it only seems that way when you add up its countless tiny bits and pieces into one giant mosaic. Actually playing the game feels like you're both telling and watching a series of private, intimate stories. It is a beautiful new act in EA's popular franchise. Even with its controversial changes and missing features, I've never had this much fun playing with my Sims.

    By Yannick LeJacq on

  • Metro: Redux Benchmarked: Graphics & CPU Performance

    Already one of the most iconic and atmospheric first-person shooters around, Metro has received some post-release polish that should present a greater challenge for today's GPU. Metro Redux features improved versions of both Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light, including completely remastered visuals.

    By Steven Walton on

  • Intel Core i7-5960X Haswell-E Review: A True 8-core Desktop CPU

    Intel's Extreme Edition processor line is over a decade old now, starting way back in 2003 with the single-core Pentium 4 EE 3.4GHz. Fast forward to today, the chip we'll be looking at boasts eight cores, a massive 20MB smart cache, support for the latest DDR4 memory, and is accompanied by the new X99 chipset.

    By Steven Walton on

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  • Nokia Lumia 930 Review

    The Lumia 930 is Nokia's new flagship and successor to the Lumia 925. You might notice that this handset looks very similar to the Lumia Icon the company released earlier this year exclusively on Verizon, and that's because it's essentially the international version of the Icon, packing Windows Phone 8.1 out of the box. Hardware-wise you get a large, 5-inch 1080p display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC, and Nokia's signature 20-megapixel PureView camera.

    By Tim Schiesser on

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  • AMD Radeon R9 285 Review: The New $250 Card to Beat

    As a mid-range GPU, the R9 285 is meant to deliver mainstream performance at a competitive price. The "Tonga" GPU is essentially a newer, cheaper to produce version of the tried and true "Tahiti" GPU, with features such as DirectX 12 support and next-gen CrossFire. It does have an inferior memory controller, however.

    By Steven Walton on

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  • MSI GS70 Stealth Pro Gaming Laptop Review

    Most gaming notebooks have a certain stigma attached to them. While some of the better systems available are more than capable of running the latest graphically demanding PC games out there, they're often hulking beasts that can easily tip the scales at over 12 pounds. That's been changing, however, and the MSI GS70 Stealth Pro on our hands today is another example of powerful gaming laptops steering towards slimmer form factors.

    By Shawn Knight on

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  • Motorola Moto E Smartphone Review

    Having just three smartphones on the market has allowed Motorola to give each the time and polish needed for success. The Moto X's innovative contextual processing features made it a compelling option, while the Moto G is arguably the best sub-$200 device you can buy. Motorola's budget model, the Moto E, is also highly polished and aims to be the best option for $130, unlocked and off-contract.

    By Tim Schiesser on

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  • Logitech G402 Hyperion Fury Mouse Review

    Logitech's new G402 is billed as the fastest gaming mouse money can buy for high-speed FPS gameplay, with a track speed of over 500 inches per second using the company's Fusion Engine sensor technology combining an accelerometer and gyroscope, as well as its Delta Zero sensor tech for extreme accuracy.

    By Steven Walton on

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  • SanDisk Extreme Pro 480GB SSD Review

    Released in early June, SanDisk's Extreme Pro is the successor to the venerable Extreme II, which was among the best SSDs of its generation in terms of performance and reliability. The drive is aimed at gamers, enthusiasts and professionals who demand the highest real-world performance, and will trade blows in that regard (and on pricing) with Samsung's excellent SSD 850 Pro.

    By Steven Walton on

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