HP Spectre X360 13 (2021) Review: Gem-Cut Beauty Of A Laptop

As time goes on, more laptops built around Intel's Evo platform are emerging, bringing with them a combination of specifications and features that meet or exceed specific baseline criteria for performance, battery life, connectivity, and a few other bits. These common threads weave through Intel's Tiger Lake silicon with Xe graphics, which are key cogs in the Evo machine. HP's latest refresh of its Spectre X360 13 for 2021 is one of those laptops, blending luxury styling with Intel's newest generation CPUs and graphics, and the result is an absolutely gorgeous convertible with plenty of zip. The...

OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro Review: Great 5G Flagships With A Catch

By now, you’ve read the leaks, rumors, buzz and hype. The OnePlus 9 series is finally here, and as always, there’s a lot to talk about. 2020 saw OnePlus launch three flagships, the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro in the spring, and the 8T (basically an updated OnePlus 8) in the fall. But OnePlus also went down-market with three more handsets last year -- the mid-range Nord and the affordable Nord N10 5G and N100. If that seems like a lot of devices, it is -- not to mention the TVs, earbuds, and watch. OnePlus is basically following Oppo’s playbook. And after years of obviously sharing tech,...

Xiaomi Mi 11 Review: A Loaded, Value-Priced Android Flagship

If you’re a regular HotHardware reader, or live outside the US, you’re probably somewhat familiar with Chinese giant Xiaomi. The company makes and sells a wide variety of consumer electronics from smartphones (branded Mi, RedMi, Poco, and CC), to electric scooters. It keeps prices low by subsidizing its products in several markets (like China and India) via online services -- much like Amazon does here in the US. Today, Xiaomi ranks number three in global smartphone market share. Its latest flagship, the $750 / €750 Mi 11, was the first handset to feature Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon...

Behold The Sweet Rock Pi X Powered Serene Screen Aquarium And How To Build One

Some may think it strange to design and build an entire PC and custom enclosure dedicated to running a 20-year-old screensaver, but I can explain. Retro computing fans and well-seasoned enthusiasts may remember that the superlative Defender of the Crown first hit the Amiga in 1986. Four years old at the time, and eight years away from getting my first PC, I had no idea what I was missing. I figured it out a few years and a couple of computers later though, when I stumbled upon the Serene Screen Marine Aquarium. This classic screensaver from the late 90s was created by the legendary artist of Defender...

ASUS ROG Phone 5 Benchmarks: The Mightiest Android Yet

The ASUS ROG Phone family has always been synonymous with squeezing the most performance out the Android smartphone platform and more specifically Qualcomm's Snapdragon mobile processing platforms. If you've been keeping tabs on the ROG phone line-up, you're probably aware that ASUS recently unveiled its 5th gen ROG Phone 5, and it's based on Qualcomm's powerful new Snapdragon 888 mobile SoC. With big gains claimed in both standard compute and graphics workloads, versus Qualcomm's previous gen Snapdragon 865, the ASUS ROG Phone 5 provides for an interesting vehicle to look at what should prove...

Samsung Galaxy S21 5G Review: Packed With Features And Value

When Samsung first introduced its new Galaxy S21 5G line-up, the company took a similar good, better, best approach to its previous generation launch. Like the Galaxy S20, the new Galaxy S21 lineup consists of a base device, a mid-tier device and a top-end model, though all of them can be considered "flagship" phones among Samsung's large and varied handset product offerings. However, for the Galaxy S21 launch, it was clear that Samsung was more focused on value at all tiers this time around, with pricing starting at $799 and topping out $1199 for the Galaxy S21 Ultra, representing a $200...

Alienware m15 R4 Review: A GeForce RTX 30 Series Invasion

Alienware's m15 series of notebooks has typically impressed us, thanks to the family's performance and unique good looks in a relatively svelte mobile package. Performance always hinges upon having the latest platform hardware, so perhaps it's no surprise that the laptop we're looking at today has one of NVIDIA's latest mobile Ampere GPUs on board from its new GeForce RTX 30 family. When NVIDIA pulled the lid off mobile Ampere, it made some pretty big promises. Performance across the Ampere lineup that spans from RTX 3060 to 3080 should be faster than NVIDIA's previous mobile powerhouse, the...

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop Performance: What To Expect

NVIDIA unveiled its Ampere-based RTX 30 series mobile GPUs at a special GeForce Event during this year's virtual CES 2021 festivities. A wide range of notebook design wins were also showed off at various events, spanning a variety of form factors. With the GeForce RTX 30 series, NVIDIA is targeting high-performance gaming notebooks in form factors as thin 16mm, even with the flagship GeForce RTX 3080. Thinner, higher-performance form factors aren’t the only features NVIDIA is touting. A number of upcoming notebooks will also be sporting 1440p, ultra-high refresh rate IPS displays. In...

AMD Ryzen 5000 Mobile Explored: The Future Of Zen 3 Laptops

During her CES2021 keynote address, AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su, along with a handful of partners, revealed the AMD Ryzen 5000 series mobile processors. At that event, the overall line-up and a few details were disclosed, and over the course of CES many design wins were announced by multiple OEMs as well. Shortly thereafter though, AMD hosted a deep-dive press briefing and discussed a number of additional details regarding the Ryzen 5000 Mobile Series. And today, we’re able to disclose to you more details of AMD's robust new laptop platform, but before we do, a bit of a recap is probably in order......

Moto One 5G Ace Review: Solid 5G Phone, Battery Life Champ

One positive trend in 2020 was that of affordable mid-range 5G-capable smartphones, with devices like the OnePlus Nord, Moto One 5G, Pixel 4a 5G, TCL 10 5G UW, and Realme 7 5G, all costing less than $500 and packing decent specs -- including reasonably quick SoCs, multiple rear cameras, and even high refresh-rate displays. Thankfully, 2021 is looking even more promising, and January isn’t even over yet. The OnePlus Nord N10 5G ($299, Snapdragon 690) recently landed in the US, and Moto just launched the Moto One 5G Ace ($399, Snapdragon 750G), a detuned and unlocked variant of last year’s...

MSI Prestige 14 EVO Review: Great Performance And Value

Intel's Tiger Lake mobile platform came out of the gate swinging, with excellent performance and improved power efficiency. The early Core i7-1185G7 development platform we evaluated set several mobile processor records in our benchmarks, and retail notebooks were just as strong when they arrived. So far we've reviewed two such notebooks from ASUS and Dell, but both of those targeted the 2-in-1 segment and commanded a bit of premium as a result, due to their smaller sizes and expanded feature sets. For folks who don't mind (or rather, prefer) the traditional clamshell form factor, and would like...

Samsung Galaxy Tab Active3 Review: Rugged, Feature-Rich And Compact

First announced back in September, we've now gotten a chance to test drive the new Samsung Galaxy Tab Active3. Samsung's new Android slate manages to fill a rather specific niche for those that require the versatility of small tablet, but also need something that is rugged enough to be used outdoors and won’t be affected if it takes a quick dip. The Galaxy Tab Active3 meets these requirements while also boasting support for touch input with gloved hands, which is plus for some the market segments that Samsung is targeting with this tablet. We took a look at the Galaxy Tab Active Pro in June...

Intel Takes Fight To AMD With Bevy Of New Mobile And Desktop CPUs Unveiled At CES 2021

At its virtual CES 2021 event today, Intel’s Executive Vice President Gregory Bryant, along with a host of additional executives, engineers, and partners, unveiled an array of new processors and technologies targeting virtually every market, from affordable Chromebooks, to enthusiast-class gaming laptops, and high-end desktops, to big-iron servers. Whereas some companies tend to focus on just a handful of specific products during CES, it seems Intel is making a stand in multiple market segments with no less than 50 processors being announced or teased, with hundreds of design wins in tow....

OnePlus Nord N10 5G US-Edition: A Solid Value With Limitations

OnePlus officially launched North American versions of its Nord N10 5G ($299) and Nord N100 ($179) today. The N10 5G is effectively the same affordable 5G phone we reviewed back in November, and the N100 is a low-priced budget 4G handset. We just spent a few days testing the US-bound N10 5G and wanted to give you an update. So what’s changed versus the European variant? Does the aggressive US pricing help better differentiate it in some way? Let’s find out... OnePlus Nord N10 5G Hardware, Design, and Display From a design and materials perspective, the Nord N10 5G for North America...

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Review: Ryzen Powered Thin And Light

Lenovo was among the first partners to announce support for AMD’s Ryzen 4000 U-series mobile processors. When it initially unveiled the processors, AMD also revealed the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7, which was the first thin-and-light, ultrabook-class machine to pack an 8-core / 16-thread processor. To date, all other notebooks in this category featured dual or quad-core processors, with support for up to 8-threads. That kind of bump in core count could mean big things for the kind of multi-threaded workloads that are increasingly becoming more common among content creators and heavy multi-taskers....

Nokia 8 V 5G UW Review: Too Little, Too Late

The Nokia 8 V 5G UW is a relatively expensive mid-range phone from a storied brand that’s been trying to make a comeback into the US market. Essentially, it is Verizon’s mmWave 5G version of the global Nokia 8.3 5G, a Snapdragon 765G-based handset that was announced back in March but shipped in September -- by which time it had to contend with some stiff competition. This is our quick-take review of this new option from Nokia in the US. At 171.9 x 78.6 x 9mm and 230g -- and with a large 6.81-inch screen -- the Nokia 8 V (for short) is a big and heavier phone. It feels substantial but...

Lenovo Yoga 7i Review: Premium Intel Evo Laptop On A Budget

As time goes on, Intel's 10-nanometer Tiger Lake processors will pounce on more laptop designs, given that it has only been a handful of weeks since the chip maker launched its latest mobile CPUs (which replace Ice Lake). Lenovo was quick out of the gate, however, and the company sent us an interesting sub-$1,000 Tiger Lake configuration from its rather plentiful 2-in-1 lineup. Specifically, the Lenovo Yoga 7i that arrived on our doorstep, and it's a flexible 14-inch convertible which is also the first to land in our lab armed with an 11th Gen Core i5-1135G7 processor in tow. Our dalliances with...

Realme 7 5G Review: A Great 5G Phone That’s Also Affordable

Affordable 5G phones are all the rage right now, with devices like the Moto One 5G here in the US, and in markets like Europe and India with the OnePlus Nord. But while prices are dropping rapidly, corners are getting cut -- like we saw with the lack-luster €349/£329 OnePlus Nord N10 5G. Enter the €279/£279 ($370) Realme 7 5G, a MediaTek Dimensity 800U-powered 5G handset that punches way above its weight class, and gives its OnePlus Nord N10 5G cousin a run for the money. Here’s our quick take on this sleeper alternative Android value phone. Realme 7 5G Hardware...

Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Performance Preview: Big Gains For Next-Gen Android Flagships

Just over two weeks ago, Qualcomm introduced us to the latest member of its extensive mobile platform SoC family: the Snapdragon 888. This high-end Snapdragon Mobile Platform is the successor to the Snapdragon 865/865+, and will be featured in next year's top tier flagship Android smartphones from the likes of Samsung, OnePlus, LG, and countless others. At the time of its announcement, Qualcomm gave us some high level specs on the Snapdragon 888, including the fact that it has a single prime core based on the new Arm Cortex-X1 microarchitecture clocked at 2.84GHz, three performance cores cocked...

Galaxy S20 FE 5G Review: Samsung Brings Big Android Value

The increasing cost of flagship smartphones over the last couple of years has put them out of reach for many consumers. We all knew it was coming in late 2018 when Apple priced the iPhone X at a cool $999. It wasn't long afterward that Android handset makers capitalized on the new normal of flagship phone pricing as well, but not everybody wants to toe the line with four-figure purchases for a smartphone that will be quickly outclassed and potentially obsolete after a couple of years, especially should they stop receiving updates. In 2019, Samsung's upper-mainstream device was the $750 Galaxy S10e....

LG Wing Review: A Solid 5G Phone With A Wild Twist

LG is a bit like that quiet loner in high school -- often misunderstood, but sometimes brilliant. Take the company’s 2020 smartphone lineup for example. At the top, it consists of the $700+ LG V60 ThinQ 5G, a competent affordable flagship, and the $600+ LG Velvet, a stylish premium mid-ranger. These are good phones by any measure, but they’re often outclassed by the competition, and don't have many stand-out features -- optional dual-screen case aside. Which brings us to the $1000 LG Wing, the first handset born from the company’s Explorer Project. The LG Wing's...

Qualcomm Claims Big Snapdragon 888 Performance And Feature Gains For Next-Gen 5G Flagships

Qualcomm officially announced its Snapdragon 888 5G Mobile Platform yesterday, which will be featured in a wide array of next year's flagship Android devices. Unfortunately, Qualcomm didn't provide many details on its new SoC at the time, other than to say that it would feature the next-generation Snapdragon X60 5G modem-RF system. Today, however, Qualcomm is ready to spill the beans on the underlying architecture of the Snapdragon 888 5G Mobile Platform and how it will advance next-generation devices. There's a lot to unpack here, so let's kick things off with the Kryo 680 CPU and Adreno...

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