Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra And S22+ Review: Ultimate Android Flagships

Another year, another triplet of Samsung Galaxy S flagships. Last week, Samsung launched the Galaxy S22 ($799), S22+ ($999), and S22 Ultra ($1,199), three premium phones with high-end specs that are targeted at dominating the Android landscape in the US, and battling the Android competition abroad. Needless to say, these are important handsets for the company, the carriers, the industry, and consumers alike. But things are different this year. Samsung has a lot more riding on the S22 series, especially after last year’s lackluster flagship sales. Regardless, by all accounts, the S21 series...

Apple Knows AirTags Have A Stalking Problem, Here's What It's Doing About It

Apple’s AirTag tracking device has garnered a bit of negative attention since its release as privacy and safety concerns have arisen. The device is intended to be attached to personal belongings that are liable to be lost, so that their rightful owners may find them again. Apple claims that it has received written accounts of “countless” stories of AirTags helping users recover lost items. However, not long after Apple first introduced the AirTag, fears arose of the trackers being used for stalking or other nefarious behavior. AirTags are quite affordable at just $29, and Apple’s...

Alienware x14 Laptop Review: Potent, Petite Gaming Prowess

Alienware's X Series of thin and light gaming laptops was first introduced a little less than a year ago, and Dell's gaming products division has been refining the sleek, spacey looking machines at a fairly rapid clip ever since. A couple of weeks ago, we gave you a look at the new Alienware x17 R2, the second coming of Alienware X Series flagship, now powered by Intel's 12th Gen Core (Alder Lake) CPUs and the mighty GeForce RTX 3080 Ti mobile GPU. That machine put up some fantastic numbers and looked great doing it, but today we return to the X Series with an entirely new offering from Alienware,...

Unpacking Samsung's Hot New Galaxy S22 And Tab S8 Flagships, A Hands-On First Look

Ahead of today's Galaxy Unpacked 2022 event, Samsung had teased the introduction of "the most noteworthy S series device we've ever created," and had even been accepting reservations, with a $50 credit serving as an incentive for doing so. Samsung was obviously referencing its Galaxy S22 series, and today's reveal makes it official—the Galaxy S22 lineup is here, and we've gone hands on with the series for a first look at the actual phones (read: these are not renders). And spoiler alert, they're gorgeous. There are three main models to choose from, including the Galaxy S22 Ultra, Galaxy S22+,...

Sony Xperia 5 iii Review: Petite Android Phone With Camera Chops

For a few years now, Sony’s been making premium, feature-rich, media-centric, flagship smartphones that incorporate technologies from its Alpha cameras, and target die-hard Sony customers. This niche strategy appears to be working for the company, as it continues to bring new handsets to market. In 2021, Sony launched the Xperia Pro ($2000), Xperia Pro-I ($1800), Xperia 1 iii ($1300), and Xperia5 iii ($1000). Today we take a look at Sony's most affordable flagship, the Xperia 5 iii. If you’ve been keeping tabs, Sony’s “bread and butter” phones – if there is such...

Microsoft Claims Hololens Is Doing Great Actually And Is Critical To Its Metaverse Plan

Last week, we wrote about a report that Microsoft recently ditched its plans for the device that would have launched as the HoloLens 3, according to three insiders. However, the claim of these insiders goes against Microsoft’s official messaging regarding HoloLens. Frank Shaw, Microsoft’s spokesperson, without saying anything about the HoloLens 3 specifically, said that the HoloLens is a “critical part of [the company's] plans for emerging categories like mixed reality and the metaverse." He further stated, "We remain committed to HoloLens and future HoloLens development." Microsoft...

Intel Core i9-12900HK With RTX 3080 Ti Review: MSI's GE76 Raider Laptop Screams

At its annual architecture day event late last year, Intel revealed a multitude of details regarding its 12th Gen Core desktop and mobile processors based on Alder Lake. For the uninitiated, 12th Gen Core processors feature Intel’s latest CPU microarchitectures (yes, plural), in a hybrid design that mixes high-performance and high-efficiency cores on a single chip. Well, most 12th Gen Core mobile processors leverage a hybrid design, anyway. When CES 2022 rolled around earlier this month, Intel also revealed its initial line-up of 12th Gen Core mobile processors, some of which featured...

Alienware x17 R2 Review: An Alder Lake-H And RTX 3080 Ti Gaming Battleship

For those of you who find joy in larger gaming laptop form factors, the recently unveiled Alienware x17 R2 is proof that your mobile battle station size preference has not been left behind. Better still, Dell has a found a way to maintain its larger display and keyboard form factor while making this the thinnest 17-inch Alienware laptop yet, and it doesn't come at the expense of CPU and GPU firepower or cutting-edge features. So, when the opportunity came to kick the tires on the new Alienware x17 R2, we pounced. Afterall, now also infused with Intel Alder Lake mobile CPU and beastly GeForce...

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE Review: Full-Featured Yet Affordable

Samsung's previous generation Galaxy S20 Fan Edition was met with high praise for its value proposition when it launched last November. The goal of Samsung's Galaxy FE products is to deliver key features most mainstream and enthusiast users want at a price point that's more approachable for the masses. This class of smartphones has been wildly popular with tech-savvy enthusiast consumers, so it's no surprise Samsung is bringing the Galaxy S21 FE 5G out as an extension of its successful Galaxy S21 family, just ahead of its next generation product launch that we should be hearing about in short order....

OnePlus 10 Pro Flagship Shows Off Premium Design In Its Official Launch Unveil

Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus has given us an official sneak peek at its newest flagship handset. Rumors and leaks about the OnePlus 10 Pro have surfaced recently, but the company has kept quiet officially until now. With CES 2022 just around the corner, the excitement is building. As it did with the OnePlus 9 series of smartphones, OnePlus has partnered with renowned camera brand Hasselblad. For decades, Hasselblad has produced some of the finest camera equipment money could buy, making things look real good for the trio of camera lenses we can see on the rear of the OnePlus 10 Pro. While the...

OnePlus Buds Z2 Review: Solid ANC Earbuds For Under $100

Since OnePlus introduced the original and excellent OnePlus Buds ($79) a year and a half ago, the company has launched two more pairs of TWS (true wireless) earbuds – the affordable ($49) OnePlus Buds Z, and the higher end ($149) OnePlus Buds Pro with ANC and wireless charging. Today we’re taking a listen to OnePlus’ fourth set of earbuds, the brand new OnePlus Buds Z2 ($99), which feature ANC but lack wireless charging. Basically, the OnePlus Buds Z2 are to the Buds Pro what the Buds Z were to the original OnePus Buds – lower specced, but also more affordable. So, what...

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Benchmarks: Huge AI And Gaming Gains For Next-Gen Android Flagships

Qualcomm recently announced a new flagship mobile chipset for next-gen Android devices, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, which also kicks off a rebrand of the Snapdragon platform. Going forward, Qualcomm will no longer use three-digit model number designations as it has done with past chipsets like the Snapdragon 888+ 5G. In somewhat vague terms, Qualcomm said it needed a "bigger tent, a longer playing field so to speak," as it aims to broaden the appeal of Snapdragon "while keeping true to its core." The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 gets the party started, with Qualcomm kicking off its rebranding effort with a premium...

Qualcomm And Razer Partner On Impressive Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 Android Gaming Handheld

Gaming is a lucrative business, and that includes the mobile front, which generates around $175 billion per year from an audience of 2.5 billion mobile gamers. Compare that to the movie industry that raked in less than $45 billion last year and you'll understand why gaming is such an important consideration for many companies. That's all to say there is ample incentive for chip makers to focus on gaming, and so it's no surprise Qualcomm is expanding its offerings with the new Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 gaming platform, with an assist from Razer (more on that in a moment). The Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 is...

HiFive Unmatched: Exploring A RISC-V Computing Experience

Experimenting with SiFive's HiFive Unmatched RISC-V development board over the last few weeks has felt a bit like stepping back in time. The experience left me feeling a bit nostalgic. Picture this. It's 1997. I'm a high school sophomore. I head over to my friend's house after class because a long-awaited CD with something called "Slackware Linux" on it has arrived. It's installed on a 486DX4 100 PC that lives in their poorly-lit, unfinished basement. The day's 30 minutes of free dial-up from the local ISP are used to download "tarballs" with "Kermit." Linux is strange and confusing, but I do like...

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Arrives To Supercharge Next-Gen AI Powered Flagship Phones

Last week, Qualcomm teased a fresh new look and colors as part of a bold rebranding effort, with Snapdragon becoming a standalone consumer brand. Now a week later, at the Snapdragon Tech Summit that's currently underway, Qualcomm is ready to share more details about what lies ahead for Snapdragon. To kick off the rebrand, Qualcomm has announced the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, a brand new flagship chipset that not only supplants the Snapdragon 888+ 5G at the top of the stack, it also leaves behind the old three-digit model number designations it had been using. Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon At Snapdragon...

MacBook Pro 14 Review: Testing Apple M1 Pro Performance Claims

Around this time last year, there was much hoopla over Apple's first Macs with the company's home-grown Apple Silicon, dubbed the M1. Almost immediately, rumors swirled about what the follow-up, rumored to be called the M1X, would have in store. Never mind that at the time, Apple released a power-efficient champion with four high-performance cores that could tear through just about any workload, while simultaneously rewriting the book on integrated graphics performance. No, the 2020 Mac mini was old news; we just had to know what was next.  And then 2021 kicked off and it seemed nothing would...

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 4 Review: A Powerful Refresh

Ultraportable laptops with 13 or 14-inch displays and low-power processors are great for a certain kind of user. Those folks are usually found running from gate to gate in an airport or catching an Uber to a sales meeting. These machines have great single-threaded performance and good-enough graphics capabilities, but the thermal limits and the laws of physics get in the way of more demanding workloads. Lager format machines have the extra cooling capacity and thermal budget to add in discrete graphics and more processor cores, and the users that value this extra muscle are the target demographic...

Lenovo ThinkPad P15 Gen 2 Review: Refined Mobile Workstation

If there was a poster child for business-class laptops, it is indisputably the Lenovo ThinkPad. ThinkPad notebooks are well known for their matte-black, no-nonsense designs, but their utility in corporate and industrial settings is more than skin-deep. Lenovo has wisely developed an array of ThinkPad models to address a wide range of use cases, while still being able to keep that distinct ThinkPad feel. This familiarity yields a dependable experience which has cultivated a dedicated following. We have recently reviewed several svelte ThinkPad X Series variations, but today’s offering is more...

DJI Mavic 3 Review: Did The Best Drone Get Even Better?

DJI's worst-kept secret has arrived. After months of extensive leaks, the new DJI Mavic 3 has landed (or taken off depending on your perspective). DJI has advanced its done line-up significantly since introducing the first Mavic Pro back in 2016. The Mavic Pro line, including the upgraded Mavic 2 Pro, have been workhorses for those in the aerial photography and videography fields, while the Mavic Air line targeted consumers who craved a quality drone with good camera chops, but didn't quite want to jump into prosumer territory. We mention DJI's previous-gen products here hoping to avoid some confusion....

Google Pixel 6 And Pixel 6 Pro Review: A Bold Return To Android Flagships

Last week we gave you an early hands-on look at Google's oft leaked Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. Even Google has teased these new Android flagships a time or two, leaning into the engineering the company has done on the semi-custom design of its Tensor mobile platform processor. Tensor is rumored to be based on Samsung's Exynos 2100 SoC with an amped-up neural processing engine, or TPU (Tensor Processing Unit) for improved machine learning performance, and a few other tweaks as well. Regardless of whether the rumblings of Tensor's silicon lineage are true, the new chip is manufactured by Samsung on...

Intel Is Confident It Can Win Apple Back As A Customer After Being Exiled From Macs

Apple may be on the precipice of releasing its latest processors, the M1 Max and M1 Pro, but that doesn't stop Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger from counting Intel out. Apple is now moving to its second generation of M1 CPUs after transitioning away from Intel, following 15 years of partnership. In 2020 Apple announced its own silicon and marked the move away from Intel as its CPU of choice ushering in an entirely new operating system and way of thinking for developers. The Apple M1 is an 8-core ARM-based CPU built on the 5nm architecture and is an absolute unit when it comes to efficiency. This was a sizeable...

Alienware X15 Gaming Laptop Review: A Svelte Stunner With Caveats

Thin and light gaming laptops are a bit of an enigma. They essentially aim to defy the laws of physics, eschewing size and thermal dissipation area in an effort to strike a more portable, stylish design while still maintaining respectable gaming chops. Let's face it, no one really likes the bulk and chunky demeanor of most high-end gaming laptops that are designed for all-out performance. It's a difficult, fine line to walk, but a worthy, noble one to develop a compelling, quality thin and light gaming laptop, and that's exactly what Dell went all-out for with the new Alienware X15. The new...

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