Spread the love! TechSpot Tech Gift Shortlist 2017

Review Index Page 15

  • Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet Review

    The Xperia Z2 Tablet is a successor to last year's Xperia Tablet Z, and like what we're seeing in Sony's smartphone range, the device is an incremental update to what came before. The most significant update is the specification bump to Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 801 SoC along with a sizable weight reduction.

    By Tim Schiesser on

    75
  • Das Keyboard 4 Professional Review

    Metadot is arguably responsible for pioneering the commercial mechanical keyboard market much like OCZ did with solid state drives. We've seen a number of revisions and competitors hit the scene since the original Das Keyboard launched in 2005 but their latest offering promises to be an order of magnitude better than previous generations.

    By Shawn Knight on

    85
  • Mario Kart 8 Review

    Mario Kart was never my game. When it was originally released in 1992, I was already in love with another Nintendo racing game featuring high-tech Mode 7 graphics - F-Zero. Though I dabbled with every Mario Kart release over the last couple of decades they all felt pretty much the same. But this time, within seconds of starting my first race, I could tell this was more than just plain old Mario Kart with fancy HD graphics.

    By Mike Fahey on

  • Haswell Refresh: Intel's Latest Platform Explored

    Nearly six years have passed since the Core i7 series debuted. Since then, Intel has been refining it over many iterations through its tick-tock philosophy, which follows every architectural update with a die shrink. Today's release isn't a tick or a tock, it's simply a refresh. But while we don't expect much more than slight speed bumps, the company has also released new 9-series chipsets.

    By Steven Walton on

  • Samsung Galaxy S5: The TechSpot Review

    Since the release of the original Galaxy S in 2010, Samsung has been routinely refining their flagship formula through hardware upgrades, software polish and no shortage of gimmicks. We typically see larger displays, more cores, bigger megapixel counts, larger batteries and interesting new additions with every release, and 2014's Galaxy S5 does little to break away from this formula.

    By Tim Schiesser on

    80
  • Corsair Obsidian Series 450D & Carbide Series Air 540 Case Review

    Corsair's Carbide Air 540 employs an interesting dual-chamber design and is available in black, white and silver versions. The Obsidian 450D features a more traditional tower case design that looks a lot like a smaller version of the 650D, which is in turn a smaller version of the legendary 800D. Despite these differences in design both are closely priced at $110 and $120.

    By Steven Walton on

  • Mionix Naos 7000 Review

    What happens when Mionix get around to making a mouse that feels as good as it works? You get the Naos 7000, which is a great mouse. On the outside, it looks exactly the same as the company's last few flagship mice. Even feels mostly the same. A few tweaks have been but for the most part it's a case of ain't broke, don't fix.

    By Luke Plunkett on

  • Budget CPU Roundup: AMD Kabini vs. Intel Bay Trail-D

    AMD set its sights on desktops in emerging markets last month, announcing its AM1 platform and the first Kabini-based socket APUs. The platform is more flexible than other budget SoCs, which typically come soldered to motherboards. But in terms of performance how does it compare to the competition?

    By Steven Walton on

  • OCZ RevoDrive 350 PCIe SSD 480GB Review

    Back when OCZ released the RevoDrive 3 X2 in 2011, it was the fastest SSD for desktop users we'd seen. Using PCI Express, it eliminated the SATA bottleneck that most SSDs still face today. Three years later, the RevoDrive 350 is being touted as the new ultimate storage solution for intensive workstation applications, with x8 PCIe 2.0 support and read/write speeds of 1.8/1.7GBps.

    By Steven Walton on

    80
  • Silverstone Raven Z RVZ01 Mini-ITX Case Review

    Unveiled at CES 2014, the latest member to Silverstone's Raven family quickly gained recognition for being the ultimate Steam Machine enclosure. Called the Raven Z RVZ01, this gaming chassis is among the best compact designs we've seen for cramming a fully-fledged enthusiast PC into an impressively small space.

    By Steven Walton on

    95
  • Acer TA272 HUL Android All-in-One Review

    Veering off the beaten path, Acer decided to see what would happen if they took the traditional AIO formula, threw out the Windows operating system and PC hardware, replacing it instead with high-end smartphone guts powered by Android. The TA272 HUL also doubles as a standalone monitor.

    By Shawn Knight on

    65
  • HTC One M8 Review

    The all new HTC One, or HTC One M8, is the evolution of last year's model featuring a larger 5-inch display, a new Duo Camera array that allows after-the-fact refocusing, a faster Snapdragon 801 chipset inside replacing the Snapdragon 600, there's a refined Sense 6.0 interface atop Android 4.4, and much more.

    By Tim Schiesser on

    90
  • AMD Radeon R9 295X2 Review

    Considering the Radeon R9 290X's record for being pretty hot at its 300w TDP, I had my doubts about AMD placing two Hawaii XT GPUs on a single 500w TDP card. However, with a closed-loop water-cooling system AMD has solved the thermal and acoustic problems that most dual-GPU cards face.

    By Steven Walton on

    90
  • In Win tou Case Review

    The In Win tou is an $800 enclosure inspired by glass architecture and named after the Chinese word for "transparent". Its tempered glass panels are finished with a special coating that turns the outside into a mirror when your PC is off. However, when illuminated from the inside, the tou's mirror coating becomes transparent.

    By Steven Walton on

    85
  • AMD Mantle Performance: Thief & Battlefield 4

    AMD' Mantle API promises to improve performance in games by allowing them to speak directly to the Graphics Core Next architecture in your GPU or APU and help remove load from your CPU. Now that high profile games Thief and Battlefield 4 support the technology we're ready to take it for a test drive.

    By Steven Walton on

  • Acer Iconia W4 Tablet Review

    We've seen a flurry of 8-inch Windows 8.1 tablets hit the market over the past several months. Next up is the Acer Iconia W4, the follow-up to the company's first Windows 8.1 tablet, featuring an 8.0-inch 1,280 x 800 display and the same quad-core Intel Bay Trail Atom Z3740 that we've seen from the competition.

    By Shawn Knight on

    60
  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact Review

    In the world smartphones there are typically two choices: large-screened handsets with top-end specs, and smaller devices with mid-range internals. Sony is bucking the trend with a no-compromise, ultra-portable handset for those that don't want to carry around something with a 5-inch display.

    By Tim Schiesser on

    85
  • Titanfall Review

    I have a lot of favorite moments in Titanfall. It's hard not to when you can string jumps together to navigate dilapidated buildings, side-run against suspended walls and hang against ledges and platforms all in one sequence. Titanfall starts you off as a pilot capable of these movements. You're outfitted with a jetpack of sorts that lets you jump and double-jump across each map.

    By Tina Amini on

  • Lenovo Miix 2 8 Review

    Lenovo has made a decent, low-cost 8-inch tablet that runs a full copy of Windows 8.1. The use of aluminum as part of the Miix 2 8's slim design is great to see, and its overall size feels quite comfortable in the hand. Unfortunately there's one major aspect Lenovo got wrong: the touch-screen display.

    By Tim Schiesser on

    60
  • Free-to-Play Games Benchmarked: 4 Popular Titles Put to the Test

    Typically we focus our gaming performance articles on blockbuster titles but that's not to say we're not paying attention to the evolving free-to-play market. Here's our brief benchmark test for World of Tanks, Dota 2, League of Legends and PlanetSide 2.

    By Steven Walton on

  • Thief Benchmarked: Graphics & CPU Performance

    Despite being built with the aging Unreal Engine 3, Thief touts some cutting edge rendering techniques that have put the game on our radar. Thief's benchmark appears to do a good job of demonstrating a worst-case performance scenario, so if your system can average 60fps in the benchmark you should enjoy perfectly smooth gameplay from start to finish.

    By Steven Walton on

  • Toshiba Encore Windows 8 Tablet Review

    When it comes to 8-inch Windows tablets, the release of Windows 8.1 has seen many companies try their hands at crafting the perfect tablet. Today we check out Toshiba's Encore tablet that packs a 1280x720 HFFS LCD display, Intel Bay Trail internals and expandable 32 or 64 GB internal storage.

    By Tim Schiesser on

    65
  • Thief Review

    Thief is the long-awaited fourth entry in the storied Thief series. Its predecessors are often credited with revolutionizing if not flat-out inventing a particular genre of immersive stealth game. Unfortunately the latest release boils down to a city full of closed doors and dead ends, boxed in and lined with nothing but rough edges.

    By Kirk Hamilton on

  • Nokia Lumia 525 Review

    Nokia has been especially successful with their entry-level range of Windows Phones, particularly the Lumia 520, which on the back of its dirt-cheap price, quickly propelled itself to be the best-selling Windows Phone. A successor was always on the cards, but what Nokia has provided - the Lumia 525 - is a little unusual.

    By Tim Schiesser on

    50
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 750 Ti vs. AMD Radeon R7 265

    Marking the introduction of its Maxwell architecture, Nvidia has targeted AMD's $150 Radeon R7 265 with the new GeForce GTX 750 Ti. The GTX 750 Ti's GM107 makes Nvidia's 28nm design as efficient as possible by splitting Kepler's 192-core SMs into four blocks with each block featuring its own control logic.

    By Steven Walton on

  • AMD A10-7850K Dual Graphics Performance

    AMD Kaveri APUs can be paired with two discrete GPUs: the Radeon R7 240 and R7 250. Both are sub-$100 cards that we wouldn't recommend for gaming, but when combined with the A10's on-die GPU we could see performance with bigger implications for value-oriented builders.

    By Steven Walton on

  • Xigmatek Nebula Case Review

    Enter the Nebula by Xigmatek, a striking solution that caught our attention with a neat cube design that offers a 2.2L capacity. It's safe to say the Nebula is unlike anything we've seen before, and that tends to come at a premium.

    By Steven Walton on

    70
  • Broken Age, Act 1 Review

    Nostalgia seeps out of every virtual pore of Double Fine's latest game. The game exists only because of the generosity of thousands of people who, by and large, wanted to recapture the charms of their video game playing youth. So, it's fitting that Broken Age looks like a gorgeously designed animated movie you can play through.

    By Evan Narcisse on

  • Motorola Moto G Review

    The Moto G is Motorola's biggest and best effort yet in conquering the entry-level market. It's not a handset meant to break records, but the 4.5-inch 720p display, Snapdragon 400 SoC will please the right crowds. Plus, at $179 unlocked and off-contract, it certainly fits the definition of what an affordable smartphone should be.

    By Tim Schiesser on

    85
  • Asrock Vision HT 420D Review

    Now on its fourth generation, the Vision HT 420D has received an upgrade to Intel's Haswell architecture as well as other improvements that contribute to the system's respectable list of features, making it one of the most impressive HTPCs to date.

    By Steven Walton on

    75