Lenovo Smart Clock Review: A Bedside Google Assistant

Humans have been dreaming up machines that take care of everyday household tasks since the Industrial Revolution. Smart home devices of various types have existed for several decades, but have become increasingly popular over the last few years as they have become more powerful, intelligent, and connected. Many consumers are now able to do everything from preheating their ovens to checking up on their home security cameras, with a simple tap on their smart device. Lenovo started to inch its way into the smart home market last year. The Lenovo Smart Display with Google Assistant was released...

Maingear Vybe 2019 Review: Fast, Quiet, Clean, And Ready To Ship

One of the advantages to owning a custom PC from a boutique builder is the meticulous attention to detail. Tight cable management is not just a perk, it is an expectation when paying a premium for a boutique shop to assemble your rig with off-the-shelf components, and having to wait a bit longer compared to buying from a bulk OEM is an inherent trade off. Or is it? Maingear, a stalwart in the boutique space, would argue otherwise. Maingear Vybe At PAX East 2019 - AMD Ryzen Edition Earlier this month at PAX East, Maingear announced what it is calling the Vybe Enthusiast Platform. You might already...

Samsung EVO Plus 512GB MicroSD Card Review: Speedy Device Storage

The humble SD card has evolved in a number of ways since its introduction two decades ago. While early SD cards could hardly store more photos than a roll of film, modern cards may offer the capacity to contain hours of high-quality HD video. SD cards have also become commonly used as boot drives for lightweight operating systems, powering everything from Raspberry Pi's to server hypervisors. SD Cards, and MicroSD cards in particular, can also be useful for expanding the storage of cell phones and even laptops. Samsung introduced its blazing fast EVO Plus UHS-I MicroSD cards last year, featuring...

Huawei MateBook 13 Review: A High Performance Ultrabook With Caveats

Huawei is perhaps best known as the second largest smartphone manufacturer in the world. The Chinese company recently surpassed Apple's marketshare despite difficulties cracking the U.S. market. The company has enjoyed strong demand for their products internationally, thanks to competitive pricing and premium designs. We have previously reviewed Huawei's MateBook X Pro and Matebook D notebooks and found both to be solid values and worthy of recommendation.  At CES this year, Huawei introduced its newest ultrabook, the Matebook 13. We took it for a spin to see how it compares to Huawei's...

Arctic Accelero Xtreme IV GPU Cooler Review: Chilling A GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition

It seems a little late in the game to be reviewing Arctic's Accelero Xtreme IV GPU cooler, so what gives? Well, I recently upgraded my ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card to an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition model, and while that is a solid GPU upgrade for sure, it is a downgrade acoustically and thermally. Some people prefer the blower style cooler that ships on Founders Editions cards. I am not one of them. My main system sits in an open air Thermaltake Core P5 chassis, so there really is not a benefit to expelling hot hair out of the rear of the case, as Founders...

Dell XPS 15 2-In-1 Teardown Exposes Massive Battery, Upgradable SSD

Dell’s XPS 15 2-In-1 is a unique hybrid convertible, premium ultrabook in a couple of respects, partly because of its high quality Dell XPS series machined aluminum and hybrid carbon fiber construction, along with its beautiful 15-inch, 400 nits, near bezel-less Dell Infinity Edge display. However, the machine is also powered by a unique processor that marks the first collaboration of its kind by two archrivals in the PC processor arena, both Intel and AMD. Otherwise known as Kaby Lake G, the new Intel 8th Gen Core Series with integrated AMD Radeon RX Vega M graphics is a potent hybrid...

How To Build A Commodore 64 With Raspberry Pi Zero For Under $50

The Commodore 64 holds a Guinness World record as the highest-selling single computer model of all time. After its initial release in August 1982, the C64 went on to sell millions of units – outselling all other popular 8-bit machines at the time, including the Apple II. For many long-time technology geeks, including me, the Commodore 64 was the first personal computer they ever owned. So, it’s no surprise that all these years later, the machine still hold a special place in our hearts. It is with that in mind, along with knowing how popular our Building An Amiga Emulator article was,...

Intel 8th Gen Core Mobile Performance Review: Kaby Lake R Explored

Intel’s newest 8th generation Core processors are here and have delivered promising early results in our initial tests on the desktop, and more recently in Dell's XPS 13 laptop. The biggest change with Intel's 8th Gen Core Mobile processors comes by way of doubled core counts. This makes many of this new generation of Core i5 and i7 mobile chips true quad-core processors now, with support for up to eight threads with Hyper Threading, all within a 15W TDP target. This improvement does not come without trade-offs, of course, as we see base clocks dropped by up to 900MHz relative to each chip’s...

Streacom DB-4 Silent Kaby Lake Media PC Build: The Sound Of Silence

The sound of silence -- there’s nothing like it, especially when it comes to a media PC. The last thing anyone wants while binging on the new season of Game of Thrones is the distracting drone of a fan or whir of a hard drive. Silence is precisely what the Streacom DB-4 chassis we'll be featuring here has to offer. I’ve been wanting to build a Home Theater PC (HTPC) for years now. My current rig actually started life as an HTPC, but was soon upgraded for gaming and workstation tasks and now lives under my desk instead of in my living room. When Streacom reached out to us to review the DB-4, I was...

Build A Killer Amiga Emulator For Under $100 With The Raspberry Pi 3

Dave Haynie, one of the chief engineers that worked on the Amiga back in its heyday, put it best when he said, “Amiga users make Macintosh users look like PC users”, in the Viva Amiga documentary that was released early this year. Those of us that were around when the Amiga initially debuted knew Commodore had something special on its hands. At the time of its launch, the Amiga was the most advanced personal computer money could buy – bar none. It offered multimedia features that were unmatched for many years, it was affordably priced (relatively speaking), and was the first personal computer with...

Building Your Own Classic Game Console, A DIY RetroPi Project With Raspberry Pi

Retro gaming made a major resurgence this past holiday season, with the release of Nintendo’s ultra-hyped NES Classic, a scaled down clone of the original Nintendo Entertainment System. Out of the box, the NES Classic has thirty preloaded game titles, though some recent hacks exposed a method for uploading more if you're willing to mess with it. That's all well and good, but if you weren’t able to get your hands on one this past holiday season -- like the majority of people -- getting your retro-gaming fix isn't happening any time soon, unless you fork out an unreasonable sum, paying hundreds to...

Streacom BC1 Open Benchtable Review: Open-Source Open-Air PC Building Done Right

Overclockers and frequent PC builders alike can appreciate the advantages of having an open air bench or rack for testing. These make component swapping a breeze for comparisons and provide a flexible platform for checking a build before installing it inside a tight case. Few things are more frustrating than learning your motherboard is dead on arrival after you finished meticulously routing every last cable.As nice as open air cases and test benches are, however, they have largely come with their own share of hassles. Many test benches walk a spectrum between structural rigidity and layout flexibility....

ASUS ZenWatch 2 Review: An Affordable Android Wear Smartwatch

Though it still hasn't grabbed consumers like some manufacturers had hoped, the smartwatch market is growing rather quickly, and a number of good options are currently available. For some users, price may be one of the key factors holding them back from buying a smartwatch. While many watches cost at least $250, and some can run hundreds of dollars more, ASUS’s latest ZenWatch 2 we'll be showing you here is available for as little as $129. Of course, any time we see a budget-friendly smartphone, laptop, tablet, or smartwatch we assume sacrifices were made to keep the price low. In the case of the...

Amazon 7-inch Fire Tablet Review: Here's What $50 Delivers

Periodically, Amazon updates and revamps its lineup of tablets with upgraded models and new names. While the company's tablets have kept the Fire branding over the years, the combination of letters and numbers that follow have changed. This year, for example, Amazon removed the HDX tag and now offers tablets with simply “Fire” or “Fire HD” branding. As its simpler name may suggest, Amazon’s latest Fire tablet is a more basic model that doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles of the HD series, which is available in three sizes. Instead, the all-new 7-inch Fire tablet has an ultra-low $50 price...

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