Best Windows 8 laptops and more
Posted on: 03/11/2014 10:41 AM

Here a roundup of the latest reviews and articles:

2014 Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook Delivers With Exceptional Battery Life Review
AMD Radeon R9 270X and R9 270 Video Card Review
ASRock Fatal1ty FM2A88X+ Killer Motherboard
Asus Z87-Deluxe/Quad Motherboard Review
Best Windows 8 laptops: the top Windows 8 notebooks weve reviewed
BitFenix Prodigy M Review
Ducky Shine 3 DK-9008 Tuhaojin Gold (Cherry Green switches) Review
EVGA GTX 750Ti FTW ACX reviewed
G.Skill TridentX 16GB DDR3-1866 CL8 Memory Review
Genius GX Gaming Gila Mouse Review
In Win 904
Intel 2D GLAMOR vs. UXA vs. SNA On Ubuntu 14.04
Klipsch KG-200 Headset Video Review
Mach Xtreme DIY 16GB SATA DOM
Nokia Lumia Icon: First Impressions and Photos
NZXT Kraken G10 Review: Liquid Cooling for Your GPU
PNY GeForce GTX 770 OC2 4GB Review
Raspberry Pi gets its own sound card
Sapphire R7 250 Ultimate Video Card Review
Sony KDL-50W829 Review
The Performance Impact Of Linux Disk Encryption On Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
The TR Podcast 151: Key switch explosion, the new System Guide, and overclocked SSDs
Thermaltake Tt eSPORTS THERON Infrared Gaming Mouse Review
Zalman Reserator 3 MAX Review
Zotac Zbox AQ02 Review
Zotac Zbox EI750 Plus Review
Zotac Zbox EI750 Plus review: Square powerhouse

2014 Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook Delivers With Exceptional Battery Life Review
Today we're going to take a look at the latest version of the XPS 13. This updated version has not been redesigned, but it does include a new, larger capacity battery (55WHr compared to the previous 47WHr battery). And along with Intel's 4th generation Haswell Core series processor for more efficient computing, Dell claims the new XPS 13 can deliver up to 11 hours of wireless web browsing on a single charge. Other key updates for this iteration of XPS 13 includes an optional 13.3-inch touch-enabled 1080p display and Windows 8.1.

Like previous versions of the XPS series, the 2014 version of the XPS 13 features machined aluminum and carbon fiber for strength and durability. The carbon fiber composite base helps make the XPS 13 very lightweight-as little as 2.95 pounds. In this review, we'll be taking a look at the high-end version of theXPS 13. Priced at $1649, this system features a 4th generation Core i7 processor, Windows 8.1, 8GB memory, a 256GB solid state drive, and is touch enabled.

Let's dive in...


Read full article @ HotHardware

AMD Radeon R9 270X and R9 270 Video Card Review
We take a look at AMD's mid-range R9 270X and R9 270 with an MSI R9 270X GAMING and SAPPHIRE R9 270 Dual-X. We will make comparisons to NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 760 using a retail card which is within this range of AMD's GPUs. We will overclock all three video cards and put these head-to-head for the ultimate mid-range performance comparison.

AMD's mid-range lineup, the AMD R9 270X and AMD R9 270 have yet to be evaluated by us, and that is about to change. Whenever possible, we like to use retail video cards as the comparison card for our main video card evaluations.

Normally we would take the AMD R9 270X GPU based retail card being evaluated today and compare it with reference cards. Then, we'd do another separate review on the AMD R9 270 GPU based retail card being evaluated and compare it with reference cards. However, since the competitive reference card that needs to be compared to both video cards is the same, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760, and the performance and price points are similar between all cards, we can bring all three retail cards together for you and compare these in one review.


Read full article @ HardOCP

ASRock Fatal1ty FM2A88X+ Killer Motherboard
The Fatal1ty FM2A88X+ Killer is a socket FM2+ motherboard from ASRock, based on the most high-end chipset for this platform, the A88X. It is targeted to the forthcoming FM2+ "Kaveri" APUs, but it is also compatible with socket FM2, second-generation APUs from AMD, codenamed "Trinity." Let's see what this motherboard has to offer.


Read full article @ Hardware Secrets

Asus Z87-Deluxe/Quad Motherboard Review
Thunderbolt continues to gain pace in the marketplace, especially amongst professional users to whom time is money. Today we take a look at Asus’s Thunderbolt 2-equipped Z87-Deluxe/Quad, aimed at small-scale professional users who regularly transfer large amounts of data.


Read full article @ KitGuru

Best Windows 8 laptops: the top Windows 8 notebooks weve reviewed
Microsoft fundamentally changed the way Windows works when it introduced Windows 8, ensuring it works better with touchscreens and tablets.But what about Windows 8 laptops, Ultrabooks and convertibles? They're all supported, too.

One thing Windows 8 has in spades is convergence. A Windows 8 Ultrabook that has a touchscreen? Check. A laptop with a flip-around screen? Check. Tablet PCs that slide up to reveal a keyboard? Check.It can be tough differentiating some of these from tablets, but the only conditions required for laptops to make it into this article are that they have a keyboard and also run x86 Intel or AMD processors. (None of the machines you'll see here are ARM-based.) They also come with keyboards in one way or another - for something more tablet-specific, check out our Best Windows 8 tablets article.All of which means they don't run Windows RT, the version of Windows for ARM systems. They do, however, run either Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro.


Read full article @ Techradar

BitFenix Prodigy M Review
With the Prodigy BitFenix have created a really neat looking case, where there initially only was a mini ITX version. Meanwhile BitFenix have launched the Prodigy M, offering plenty of space even for mATX motherboards. Therefore the interior had to be rearranged and we're curious to find out how well a job BitFenix have done.


Read full article @ ocaholic

Ducky Shine 3 DK-9008 Tuhaojin Gold (Cherry Green switches) Review
Very few companies have made such a positive mark on the peripherals sector as the Taiwanese based ‘Ducky’. While their name is almost comical, their keyboards are rated as some of the best that money can buy. Today we look at their latest DK 9008 Shine 3 Tuhaojin Mechanical keyboard, cast in Aluminum, with a gold finish. This features the expensive Cherry Green MX Switches.


Read full article @ KitGuru

EVGA GTX 750Ti FTW ACX reviewed
13% faster than reference design. EVGA has launched no less than ten cards based on Nvidia's new, power efficient Maxwell architecture. EVGA has six different GTX 750 cards and four GTX 750 Ti cards. All of them are based on the GM 107 GPU, but cards with the Ti suffix have 640 shaders and 2GB of memory, while the plain GTX 750 feature 512 shaders and 1GB of memory. In addition to reference GTX 750 cards, EVGA also has two SKUs with 2GB of memory. The GTX 750 Ti also has 16 ROPs, 40 TMUs and five streaming multiprocessors (SM). The GTX 750 has four streaming multiprocessors, 16 ROPs and 32 TMUs.


Read full article @ Fudzilla

G.Skill TridentX 16GB DDR3-1866 CL8 Memory Review
This is the second time that I have reviewed the G.Skill TridentX memory series here on FunkyKit. A couple of months ago we checked how the TridentX DDR3-2400 CL9 memory performed; it achieved not only one of the highest scores but also the FunkyKit Recommended Award.

Today's review is based on the higher density chips and this kit contains two 8GB memory sticks specified to run at 933MHz (DDR3-1866) with 8-9-9-24 main timings. Anyone who follows the changes of the memory market already know that this specification is pretty good and probably only G.Skill decided to release higher density memory with such tight main timings.

Throughout this review we will find out what the G.Skill TridentX 16GB DDR3-1866 CL9 memory kit has to offer and if it is worthy to be called the best memory available on the market.


Read full article @ FunkyKit

Genius GX Gaming Gila Mouse Review
For Genius GX Gaming brand, the Gila represents their high-end gaming mouse and so far it has impressed many of discerning tastes and has even earned a CES 2013 Design and Engineering award. Whether it is worthy of the hype or not is exactly why you are reading this article.


Read full article @ Modders-Inc

In Win 904
The In Win 904 is aiming to accomplish one thing: to make computers beautiful. And it does, strutting its mixture of thick aluminium and tempered glass around perfectly. Consider it the McLaren of cases: too tight for that family of four, senselessly expensive to most, but put it into a row with all the cases out there and people will look at it in awe.


Read full article @ techPowerUp

Intel 2D GLAMOR vs. UXA vs. SNA On Ubuntu 14.04
With GLAMOR generating a lot of interest lately due to AMD's RadeonSI Gallium3D driver depending upon it and Intel driving lots of improvements into it now that it's been merged into the X.Org Server, here's some new benchmarks of Intel Haswell HD Graphics 2D performance of the latest Intel xf86-video-intel 3.0 pre-release on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS comparing the GLAMOR, UXA, and SNA acceleration architectures.


Read full article @ Phoronix

Klipsch KG-200 Headset Video Review
Kaeyi takes a look at the Klipsch KG-200 headset in her latest video review, check it out now.


Read full article @ HardwareHeaven.com

Mach Xtreme DIY 16GB SATA DOM
Although we've been trying to focus on bringing some of the latest HDDs, SSDs and USB Flash Drives to hit the market over at NikKTech for testing you might have noticed that we haven't done so with mSATA drives mainly because hardly anyone has asked for such reviews and since we feel we need to test (at least primarily) whatever our readers ask SSDs and HDDs with USB Flash Drives following closely are the things we try most to acquire. However recently some of you asked our opinion about the somewhat new SATA DOM (Disk On Module) drives which are used both in tiny systems and some NAS models (other devices feature such connectors as well) either as boot drives just for the needs of the OS or as storage media for the firmware. Well not many manufacturers make such devices currently and the majority of the ones that do are currently offering them just to system integrators and NAS manufacturers so they are not really available in the market for consumers so the moment Mach Xtreme announced that they are launching their own DIY SATA DOM product line we wasted no time in asking for one to see how it does.


Read full article @ NikKTech

Nokia Lumia Icon: First Impressions and Photos
A month ago, Nokia announced its new Windows Phone handset for Verizon Wireless, the Lumia Icon. Originally called the Lumia 929, the Icon doesn't otherwise break with Lumia tradition. This is a solid, wedge-shaped smart phone handset with unique styling, a superior camera and a gorgeous 5-inch 1080p screen.


Read full article @ WinSuperSite

NZXT Kraken G10 Review: Liquid Cooling for Your GPU
Liquid-cooling is nothing new in the world of computers; enthusiasts first started creating custom water cooling setups back in the 80486 era, and even prior to that some mainframes used liquid-cooling. Due to their cost and complexity however, such cooling solutions often do not appeal to a large portion of users. With the advent of of closed loop, ready-to-run liquid-cooling kits from Asetek and CoolIT a few years back, however, liquid-cooling is now significantly less costly and complex. Today, the cooling solutions of both these two OEMs are being marketed by several brands and are becoming increasingly popular among all classes of users.

Despite the low cost and ease of installation however, these closed loop systems entirely lack the one thing that a custom liquid-cooling solution has: versatility. All of the closed loop liquid-cooling kits currently available in the market are designed be installed on a single CPU, without the possibility of any expansion, whereas custom setups could potentially cool all of the critical components in a system. Until recently, those who purchased any closed loop liquid-cooling kit were limited to cooling their CPU only, leaving their high-end graphics cards running on air. NZXT came up with a very simple and effective solution to this problem: a metallic bracket called the Kraken G10 that allows the installation of any Asetek-based liquid-cooling kit on most modern graphics cards


Read full article @ Anandtech

PNY GeForce GTX 770 OC2 4GB Review
It may come as a surprise but with the GTX 770 4GB OC2, PNY is gunning for the big leagues and aims to compete against the likes of EVGA, ASUS, MSI and Gigabyte. After a period of silence when they primarily focused on the high margin Quadro cards, PNY is finally putting some serious money back into their XLR8 gaming brand, launching a number of high end and pretty appealing GPUs.

The GTX 770 4GB OC2 may not jump out as being radically different from the countless competitors that have come before it but there is one major differentiating factor: its warranty. This isn’t something we normally focus on review simply because warranties have become pretty generic these days with two or three years of coverage being the de facto standard. EVGA, XFX and Zotac have largely done away with their lifetime warranties while other companies that championed the long-term coverage flag (like BFG) have been consigned to the dustbin of history. PNY is doing things differently by backing up their XLR8 brand with a full lifetime warranty (for the original purchaser) free of charge provided the card is registered on their website. This should be a breath of fresh air for anyone who puts emphasis on protecting their investment.


Read full article @ Hardware Canucks

Raspberry Pi gets its own sound card
When UK Prime Minister David Cameron gave a speech as CeBIT this year, what examples did he use to highlight tech innovation in Britain? Yes, ARM and Imagination were on his list, but he also referred to the tiny, Linux-based computer called Raspberry Pi, which has now sold over 2.5 million units. In a timely fashion, the Pi's makers, element 14, have just announced a new $33, Wolfson-powered audio card that should give the device a broader range of functions.


Read full article @ Engadget

Sapphire R7 250 Ultimate Video Card Review
Sapphire’s R7 250 Ultimate graphics card is unlike most other R7 250’s out there. The thing that most people will notice is that it is 100% passively cooled. This means that there are no fans at all so it will be 100% silent during operation. This makes it the perfect card for those building a silent PC or home theater PC. On top of that this card is actually based on the “Cape Verde” GPU rather than the “Oland” GPU that most R7 250’s are based on. So you get 512 shader units and faster GDDR5 memory. Let’s see what this passively cooled card is all about!


Read full article @ ThinkComputers.org

Sony KDL-50W829 Review
The KDL-50W829 may seem an unglamorous mid-range offering from Sony, but with a full armoury of features including Smart connectivity, 3D compatibility and a picture processor that punches well above its weight (although you'd never guess it).Also available in 42- and 55-inch guises (aka the KDL-42W829 and KDL-55W829), it sits some way above the brand's entry-level R4 and W6 ranges, and offers a dimensional shin-up from the similar 2D-only W7 models, which are available in 50-, 42- and 32-inch screen sizes.Immediately above the W8 are Sony's range-topping wedge-designed W85 and W95 Full HD models, which span 55-, 60- and 65-inch screen sizes.High street rivals include Samsung's similarly priced 6-Series, principally the UE50F6200, as well as LG's 47LA860 Full HD Smart TV. However, this will undoubtedly change as all manufacturers' ranges are in a state of flux this early in the year, with the price and positioning of many 2014 launches yet to be revealed. Sony is first out of the gate with its new TV fleet.Embracing minimalist designDesign wise, the 2014 W8 is unapologetically minimalist. A black, ultra-slim, brushed aluminium bezel provides just enough contrast to set off the image – black always works better in this regard than silver or grey – and the pedestal itself is thin and mirrored.Connectivity is generous.


Read full article @ Techradar

The Performance Impact Of Linux Disk Encryption On Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
For any Linux laptop users or those concerned about their data's safety on production systems, I highly recommend utilizing disk encryption for safeguarding the data. However, what's the performance impact like these days? In this article with the current development snapshot of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS on a modern Intel ultrabook we're looking at the impact (including CPU utilization) of using an eCryptfs-based home directory encryption and LUKS-based full-disk encryption on Ubuntu Linux.


Read full article @ Phoronix

The TR Podcast 151: Key switch explosion, the new System Guide, and overclocked SSDs
Join us for our newest jaunt through the latest news and reviews from The Tech Report. From Batman: Arkham Knight to home-brewed keyboards from Razer, it's a stunningly elegant achievement in vocal tech reporting.


Read full article @ The Tech Report

Thermaltake Tt eSPORTS THERON Infrared Gaming Mouse Review
With the upcoming release of Respawn’s Titanfall, one can only sit back and prepare their gaming systems for the intense game. Whether you are just getting into the gaming scene, or you are an avid gamer, one of the most important aspects of your gaming rig is your mouse. While it is important to note that hardware does not make you a better gamer, it can still enhance your gaming experience and help you master your skills. Today, Technology X is taking a look at the Thermaltake Tt eSPORTS THERON Infrared gaming mouse.


Read full article @ TechnologyX

Zalman Reserator 3 MAX Review
In this review we test the ZALMAN Reserator 3 MAX liquid cooler. The All-In-one kit features a 120 mm fan and copper dual-radial radiators (one inner radiator and one outer radiator). The new cooler combines two radial radiators, a circular water block, and nanofluids to cool Intel and AMD’s latest processors. The radiators route the nanofluid coolant through copper pipes that are surrounded by copper fins.

The pump is fitted over the water block and two tubes connect the block to radiator. The copper on the radiator is nickel plated in a black pearl color. A 120mm fan with blue LED is bundled with the cooler, and users have the option to set up a push-pull configuration by adding a second 120mm fan. The bundled fan is PWM controlled and spins at anywhere between 1,000 and 2,200 RPM (18.9 to 36.7 dBA).

The cooler is intersting on the eyes and has a relatively simple to manage installation, the product is compatible with AMD Socket AM2, AM3, FM1 and FM2 any modern AMD CPU really. All current Intel socket formats are covered too, so whether you have a LGA1155, LGA1156, LGA1366 or LGA2011 motherboard this product will fit / can be used. The cooler weighs in at a combined 897 grams.


Read full article @ Guru3D

Zotac Zbox AQ02 Review
Today ZOTAC release the latest in their ZBOX Nano range, the ZBOX Nano AQ02. Palm sized and featuring an AMD APU we have the Plus version on our test bench for a quick look.


Read full article @ HardwareHeaven

Zotac Zbox EI750 Plus Review
Intel's Core i7-4770R shows up in another multimedia-focused micro PC. Which is the best CPU in Intel's fourth-generation 'Haswell' Core i7 stable? There's no shortage of choice - the i5-4210Y offers excellent credentials in an ultra-low-power package while the the i5-4440 hits an agreeable balance between price and performance - but from a purely technological standpoint, we'd be leaning toward the i7-4770R.

Armed with almost all of the quad-core prowess of the enthusiast-orientated 4770K, and topped-up with Intel's best Iris Pro 5200 graphics, the 4770R has the best overall combination of current Intel processing technology, and it wraps it all nicely in a 65W power envelope.

The catch? Well, it's a pretty big one: you can't go out and buy a Core i7-4770R. For this generation, at least, Intel's best desktop CPU-and-IGP combination is a socketed part reserved solely for OEMs who can choose to integrate the chip into turnkey PCs. Trouble is, there aren't many desktops carrying the premium 65W chip, and those that have attempted to use this attractive processor haven't been without fault: Gigabyte's Brix Pro shoehorned the i7-4770R into a teeny-tiny enclosure and paid the price in terms of sky-high temperatures and unbearable noise.


Read full article @ Hexus

Zotac Zbox EI750 Plus review: Square powerhouse
The Intel Core i7-4770R is one of the first processors which really excited us when it comes to its integrated graphical processor. Zotac has now incorporated this clever quad-core processor into their latest mini, the Zbox EI750 Plus.

A square, flat case with a width and depth of nearly 19 x 19 cm, and a height of almost five centimetres.


Read full article @ Hardware.Info




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