Samsung T7 Portable SSD Review: Blazing Fast, Portable Storage

Earlier this year, Samsung unveiled the privacy-minded Portable SSD T7 Touch. This external USB-C storage device delivered high capacities up to 2TB and impressive read-write speeds over USB 3.2 Gen 2. Its headlining feature, however, was an integrated fingerprint reader to effortlessly unlock the drive’s AES 256-bit encryption. Not everyone needs this one-touch access to their files though, and would prefer a more straightforward external storage solution. For these users Samsung has released a non-touch variant of the T7 to shed some cost, but keep the rest of the goodness intact. Samsung...

TONOR Q9 USB Microphone Kit Review: Affordable, Quality Audio

This is undoubtedly the year of video conferences and virtual meetings. Perhaps nothing makes one of these conferences more insufferable than someone’s scratchy, low-quality integrated microphone -- and the last thing you want is for that scratchy mic to be yours. Fortunately, upping your microphone game can be very easy. You do not need to dive into the expensive world of audio interfaces, mixers, and XLR cables to see a massive improvement. The TONOR Q9 USB microphone kit we'll be showing you here provides everything necessary to step up your audio production quality for a very attractive...

Broadband And WiFi Optimizations To Boost Work From Home Network Performance [Updated]

With the massive uptick in people working from home due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing guidelines in place, the load on our broadband infrastructure has skyrocketed. Here are some tips – mostly free – to maximize and optimize your Wi-Fi and broadband performance so that you can get work done more quickly and efficiently, with better quality video conferences and virtual happy hours. Also these, these tips should help with your online gaming performance when you need some [well-deserved] downtime during this chaos as well. First up, there are a number...

Addlink S70 SSD Review: Speedy, Affordable NVMe Storage

Addlink isn't a particularly well-known manufacturer in the PC storage space, but the company has been in the business for a little over a decade. Online shops carry all sorts of flash memory products from Addlink, from micro SD cards to PCI-Express 4.0 solid state drives, and all points in between. However, just because you may not be as familiar with a certain brand or product doesn't mean it's not worth paying attention to. At the risk of giving away the conclusion in the first paragraph of this review, we dare say that Addlink's S70 M.2 SSD is one of those situations. As you'll see in the features...

ASUS ROG Phone II Review: A Mobile Gaming And Battery Life Beast

The concept of a purpose-built gaming phone is still somewhat in its infancy, though we are starting to see generational upgrades, such as the ASUS ROG Phone II. As the name implies, this is the second generation of ASUS' gaming handset. Like the original ROG Phone released last year, the ROG Phone II combines bleeding edge hardware with gaming-centric software optimizations. ASUS sprinkles in some nifty features (like Air Triggers) and then surrounds it all with optional accessories to amp up the experience. What ASUS has essentially created is not just a gaming phone, but a smartphone gaming...

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...

HOT Raspberry Pi DIY Mini Desktop PC Build

We recently set out to design a mini desktop computer with the wildly popular Raspberry Pi single board computer. The Raspberry Pi is a Linux-driven, ARM processor-based micro computer that is known for its low cost and small size. People use the device for a variety of projects, from micro-servers to low cost media players. Basically, our goal was to turn what is currently one of the cheapest bare-bones computer boards  into a fully enclosed mini desktop computer that could be taken anywhere without the need for cabling or setup. One of the high level goals of this project was also to learn...

ASUS ZenPad S 8.0 Z580CA Intel-Powered Premium Android Tablet Review

Competing with Apple in the mobile space isn't rocket science, it's just a matter of sticking to a proven formula for success -- build a premium device with superior specs than the one Apple is selling, inject it with Android, and then undercut the iWhatever in price. That's not to say Apple is the only premium slate target of opportunity but we'd surmise Apple would consider it the sincerest for of flattery anyway. Incidentally, we've just described the ASUS ZenPad S 8.0. It's a well designed Android tablet with Intel inside, and it boasts better specs than the iPad mini 3. It's also less expensive...

Fondling Samsung's Next Big Thing, Galaxy S6 Edge+ And Note 5 Hands On

We just left Samsung’s Unpacked 2015 event in New York City, at which the company unveiled its latest flagship, big-screen smartphones, the Galaxy S6 Edge+ and Note5. Immediately following the on-stage presentations and big reveals, Samsung opened up a demo area featuring the new devices and we got to spend some hands-on time with each of them. A video of both devices in action is embedded below. Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ Home Screen Before we dive into the video, we should point you all towards our existing coverage. We’ve got additional details regarding the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ available at...

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