Tech Stocking Stuffers: 18 awesome gifts under $50

Review Index Page 8

  • AVADirect Avant P870DM-G Laptop Mini-Review

    Gaming on a laptop normally requires a sacrifice of graphics power for form factor. AVADirect's Avant P870DM-G gaming laptop houses a Nvidia Geforce GTX 980 desktop GPU, and it makes a hell of a difference. Properly cooled and clocked, this mini GTX 980 is capable of performing at or close to the same as its desktop counterpart.

    By Mike Fahey on

  • Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum Wireless Gaming Mouse Review

    The Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum has been designed with an emphasis on reducing as much weight as possible. From the thin wall molding to the hollow "spoked" hyper-fast scroll wheel design. The result is a wireless gaming mouse that weighs just 107g, which should make it comfortable to use over long periods while delivering quicker response to motion.

    By Steven Walton on

    95
  • Oppo F1 Budget Smartphone Review

    The Oppo F1 is loaded with a collection of very respectable hardware for its $200 price tag. Inside is an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 SoC to power a 5.0-inch 720p display, all in a slim metal body. The cameras are billed as the stars of the show, alongside the 2.5D Gorilla Glass 4 that protects the display. But the question is, what don't you get given the cost of admission?

    By Tim Schiesser on

    70
  • HTC's Vive is Virtual Reality at its Best and Worst

    Valve and HTC's Vive is the most immediately impressive (and imposing) VR headset on the market. And it comes with a price to match: $800. Once you've got everything setup you can walk through a virtual space with your own legs and grab things with your own "hands." That's the key differentiator here: while the Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR have so far been largely focused on seated experiences, Vive is more focused on standing, walking, grabbing, and bopping.

    By Nathan Grayson on

  • Razer Blade Stealth Review

    Diverging from its usual modus operandi, Razer introduced its first ultrabook earlier this year, the Razer Blade Stealth. This is not a gaming machine out of the box. Rather, Razer has unapologetically prioritized mobility over gaming, and its specs are in line with a number of other premium non-gaming ultrabook offerings. But does the Blade Stealth have what it takes to stand apart?

    By Rick Burgess on

    80
  • One Wild, Occasionally Nauseating Week of Virtual Reality with the Oculus Rift

    A week ago, Oculus sent me one of their commercial Rift headsets, along with a special loaner "Oculus Ready" PC to use with it. Since then, I've been using a pre-release version of their Oculus store and headset operating system. I'll be covering the Rift a lot over the coming week and beyond. For now, I thought I'd share some general impressions after a week of heavy VR usage.

    By Kirk Hamilton on

  • HP Envy 13 Review

    For many people, spending $1,000 on a laptop is not feasible, even if high-end hardware is important. This is where the HP Envy 13 comes in: it packs hardware that's comparable to a $1,000 laptop in a MacBook Air-like package, complete with a price that starts at just $800. In some ways, the Envy is the budget high-end laptop that price-conscious shoppers may be after.

    By Tim Schiesser on

    75
  • Hitman Episode One Review

    The new Hitman seeks to combine the strongest elements of the series' previous entries. All three levels in the first episode, particularly the culminating Paris level, are glitzy sandboxes in the vein of Blood Money, featuring numerous ways to manipulate your targets into meeting a stylish demise. There are guns to fire, vials of poison to pour into drinks, fuseboxes to detonate, winches to release, and wrenches to throw.

    By Riley MacLeod on

  • Tom Clancy's The Division PC Graphics and CPU Performance

    The Division is set in an open world with immersive and destructive environments based on a mid-crisis Manhattan. Built upon the Snowdrop Engine, Ubisoft aims to take graphics fidelity to the next level with a focus on dynamic global illumination, destruction and a number of cutting edge visual effects, especially on the PC version.

    By Steven Walton on

  • Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Review

    The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is an excellent phone and easily gets my recommendation for those wanting to purchase something this early into 2016. Samsung has addressed many of the Galaxy S6 issues while adding or improving features that make this year's flagship an extremely compelling choice.

    By Tim Schiesser on

    95
  • WD MyCloud EX2 Ultra 8TB NAS Review

    The newly released My Cloud EX2 Ultra from WD is essentially a more consumer-friendly version of the existing My Cloud EX2100. The drive can be purchased in capacities from 4TB to 12TB as well as without drives. Under its sleek curved enclouse you'll find a Marvell Armada 385 1.3 GHz dual-core SoC and 1GB of DDR3 memory, while connectivity includes a single gigabit Ethernet connector and two USB 3.0 ports.

    By Steven Walton on

    80
  • MSI GS40 Phantom 6QE Gaming Laptop Review

    The GS40 Phantom is loaded up with a 14" 1080p display, a Core i7-6700HQ CPU, GeForce GTX 970M graphics, 16 GB of RAM, and a combination of a 128 GB SSD with a 1 TB disk drive. It also packs the latest connectivity, including a USB Type-C port sporting Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1 gen 2. When it comes to looks the GS40 Phantom's design is both understated and nice enough to stand out from the pack.

    By Tim Schiesser on

    75
  • Synology DiskStation DS216+ NAS Review

    The two-bay DiskStation DS216+ is designed to bridge the pricing gap between the DS716+ and DS216. Priced at $300 it's the cheapest Synology device to support the more modern B-tree file system (BTRFS). In this review we'll compare the performance between EXT4 and BTRFS while also checking out the new features offered by Synology's latest DSM 6.0 Beta software.

    By Steven Walton on

    90
  • Superhot Review

    Superhot can be very bossy, and has instructed me to tell people that it's "the most innovative shooter I've played in years." I wouldn't go that far, but it's certainly one of the purest and most enjoyable I've played in a while.

    By Kirk Hamilton on

  • Samsung Portable SSD T3 1TB Review

    The new Samsung Portable SSD T3 drives build upon the T1's strong foundation with a few key upgrades and capacities all the way up to 2TB. From a performance point of view little appears to have changed but the T1 already topped our performance charts for USB storage. Notable upgrades include the change to a USB Type-C connector and a more durable metal case.

    By Steven Walton on

    85
  • OCZ Trion 150 480GB SSD Review

    The OCZ Trion 150 SSD is meant to replace the floundering Trion 100 SSD as a slightly cheaper revision that should improve performance and hopefully reliability as well. By moving away from Toshiba's A19nm TLC NAND in favor of its newer 15nm TLC NAND, OCZ claims users will see up to a 50% increase in performance in many real world cases such as file transfers.

    By Steven Walton on

    70
  • Dying Light: The Following Review

    Dying Light: The Following is just what an expansion should be: more of the the same great game, with a number of refinements and small, interesting tweaks. In one respect it's altogether different: You have an automobile now, and an enormous new explorable area that requires the use of it.

    By Kirk Hamilton on

  • Dell XPS 13 Review: The Best Windows Laptop, Updated

    The revamped Dell XPS 13 includes just a handful of improvements: a new Skylake CPU, a USB Type-C port that supports Thunderbolt 3, and the option to get the laptop in gold. But considering the Broadwell-based Dell XPS 13 was our favorite laptop of 2015, we just had to get in the new model and see if it's still a class-leading device.

    By Tim Schiesser on

    95
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider PC Graphics and CPU Performance

    Rise of the Tomb Raider has been widely praised for its gameplay and visuals and now that the PC version is out, we are taking it for a spin. Rise of the Tomb Raider is arguably the best looking game to hit the PC yet, and without question the cut-scenes are the best I have seen. Now it's benchmark time.

    By Steven Walton on

  • Rise of the Tomb Raider Review

    Rise of the Tomb Raider tells the story of young Lara Croft, alone in a dangerous place, exploring ruins, solving puzzles, and shooting lots of guys with flaming arrows. This is an enjoyable sequel and the reason it's very fun is because it feels upgraded in nearly every way.

    By Evan Narcisse on

  • Division Zero X40 Pro Gaming Mechanical Keyboard and M50 Pro Gaming Mouse Review

    Metadot, maker of the well-known Das Keyboard today is launching Division Zero, a new brand and product line developed specifically for the pro gaming and eSports community. Its debut offerings include the X40 Pro Gaming Mechanical Keyboard and the M50 Pro Gaming Mouse, both of which we'll be looking at today.

    By Shawn Knight on

  • The Witness Review

    In The Witness, a magnificent new puzzle game from from developer Jonathan Blow you come upon challenges by wandering, in a first-person perspective, through the most beautiful island I've ever been to in a video game. The island is densely packed with puzzles, some propped up for you to solve, many others masterfully hidden.

    By Stephen Totilo on

  • Gigabyte P34W v5 Gaming Laptop Review

    The Gigabyte P34W v5 is a fairly typical gaming laptop that sacrifices looks to bring value with decent gaming specs. Powered by an Intel Skylake Core i7-6700HQ CPU and a GeForce GTX 970M GPU, a decent display, and a body that won't be setting any records for slimness or lightness.

    By Tim Schiesser on

    60
  • Google Pixel C Review

    The Pixel C is the first tablet to be fully developed in-house by Google. Not unlike the Chromebook Pixel that runs Chrome OS, with the Pixel line Google means to show off what's possible to build using their software platforms even if it's inpractical for most to buy.

    By Tim Schiesser on

    70
  • Corsair Carbide 400Q Review

    With its vast experience of case building, Corsair must have foreseen that the Carbide 600C we reviewed last month wouldn't appeal to everyone with its inverted ATX layout, so its counteroffer seems premeditated. The new The Carbide 400 series is a more traditional approach that still maintains the clean lines and curved solid-steel exterior of the 600 series for a great minimalist look.

    By Steven Walton on

    90
  • VRAM Put to the Test: 2GB vs. 4GB GTX 960 and R9 380, 4GB R9 290 vs. 8GB R9 390

    Since publishing our annual graphics card roundup, we've received several reader inquiries regarding the performance difference between GPUs sporting 2GB and 4GB. We have put together a clock-for-clock comparison of the GeForce GTX 960 and Radeon R9 380 using 2GB and 4GB cards. Also, the previous-gen Radeon R9 290 4GB and the newer (rebadged) R9 390 8GB.

    By Steven Walton on

  • Origin PC Omega Review

    The Origin PC Omega is a small, quiet gaming machine that comes in a few different shapes, all of which are based on Silverstone's great line of mini-ITX SFF cases. Our review unit is built on the slim desktop design of the Silverstone RVZ01, which houses an overclocked Skylake Intel Core i7-6700K and a full-sized Geforce GTX Titan X graphics card.

    By Rick Burgess on

    90
  • Microsoft Surface Book Review

    The Surface Book is one of the most compelling products Microsoft has released in several years and for the first time in decades, the company's first laptop. The Surface Book is an early glimpse into the future of hybrid computing devices.

    By Tim Schiesser on

    75
  • Google Nexus 6P Review

    Last year's Nexus 6 wasn't a hugely successful smartphone. For 2015's successor, the company enlisted Huawei to build a new Nexus in a slightly more manageable body and true high-end hardware under the hood -- two of the main gripes from last year's model. The result is the Nexus 6P, and it's one of the best Android smartphones you can purchase today.

    By Tim Schiesser on

    95
  • Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB PCIe Review

    Since the arrival of the these initial M.2 SSD products, we've been waiting for a more affordable mainstream release, and that's exactly what the Samsung SSD 950 Pro delivers. Made exclusively in the M.2 2280 form factor, the SSD 950 Pro comes in 256GB or 512GB capacities.

    By Steven Walton on

    95