Hands-on review: Sony PS4 and more
Posted on: 11/14/2013 11:57 AM
Here a roundup of today's reviews and articles, including Hands-on review: Sony PS4, Nike+ FuelBand SE Review, How AMD's Mantle Will Redefine Gaming, MSI Radeon R9 270 Gaming OC and Sapphire Dual-X R9 270 OC Video Card Review, and Corsair Hydro Series H80i Review
Hands-on review: Sony PS4 @ Techradar
The PlayStation 4 is here, but as of this writing, PSN servers have yet to go online. We're currently putting the system through our rigorous review process, and will report back when we have the whole the story. Until then, enjoy our updated hands on and keep checking back for our full review. The battle for the living room is a cold war no more. Sony's PlayStation 4 is ready to go thermonuclear, hitting North American retailers on November 15, and marching onto UK shelves November 29.
Read more: Hands-on review: Sony PS4 @ TechradarDell Alienware 14 review @ The Inquirer
We see if Dell's latest gaming notebook is a supercharged ultrabook beater
Read more: Dell Alienware 14 review @ The InquirerSteelSeries Apex Keyboard Review @ APH Networks
Back in the days, I used to visit my cousin in Toronto every year. Actually, I still do, but that is another story. We used to hang out in the den of his house, where he would sit in front of his desktop computer, and I would work away on my laptop. Occasionally, as guys goes, we would hurl random insults at each other. The conversation will end when the epitome of all insults are made. "Yeah, well, your keyboard is loud," we used to say, and it will be quiet for about five seconds before we burst out laughing at our immaturity and geekiness. After all, we were both in Junior High back then. Since when is calling someone's keyboard loud an insult? Even we are not sure how that was started, but the thing is, having a loud keyboard may not be the most pleasant thing at all times. Here at APH Networks, we have covered quite a number of mechanical keyboards from various manufacturers such as Cooler Master and Thermaltake. Like many computer enthusiasts, we love our mechanical keyboards. Its independent keyswitches provide a unique level of tactility, response, and reliability that cannot be replicated by anyone else. On the other hand, it is not the solution to all problems in life. What if I prefer short key travel like my laptop? What if I wanted something a little quieter, so your cousin next to you cannot say your keyboard is loud? In situations like this, you might want something other than a mechanical keyboard, and fortunately, there are some pretty good ones to choose from. Today, we will take a look at the SteelSeries Apex, a high end non-mechanical keyboard that features twenty two macro keys, four macro layers, and five independent backlight zones configurable to over sixteen million colors at eight intensity levels. Is this the keyboard to splash your cash on? Read on to find out!
Read more: SteelSeries Apex Keyboard Review @ APH NetworksASUSTOR AS-304T NAS Server @ NikKTech
Roughly 7 years ago if you wanted to surf the web or playback your media collection onto your large TV screen you had two easy choices, either build a small HTPC system which you could also use as a download server or opt for one of the newly introduced hardware media players. Things however became even more complicated if you wanted to build a surveillance system to safeguard your property since you could either use the same HTPC (or any computer for that matter) and pair it with IP Cameras or choose a standalone DVR device. Needless to say that if you wanted to be able to do all of the above the more appropriate solution would be an HTPC since not only would it save space but it would also reduce the overall cost significantly. There were two problems with that solution however, first that you'd need to spend more to purchase software licenses (especially for multiple IP Camera setups) and that even a small HTPC would use quite a bit of electricity when running 24/7. NAS Servers changed all that when they entered the market for good in 2009 thanks to their multiple functions, small size, limited power consumption and reduced cost (always compared to a full HTPC system). Well it did take 4 years for people to actually get to know and trust NAS servers but today they've advanced so much both in terms of performance and features that in some cases they can even replace entire server systems. Today's review is about one of the latest NAS servers to hit the market and more specifically the AS-304T by ASUSTOR which is aimed at Home and Power Users alike.
Read more: ASUSTOR AS-304T NAS Server @ NikKTechASUS RT-AC56U Gigabit Router @ LanOC Reviews
The home network is one of the most consistently neglected things in modern computing, usually relegated to the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” category even by most enthusiasts. However, it is also a market with constantly evolving technologies just like everything else and in the current landscape of always online games and every phone and gadget starving for wireless data why wouldn’t you want a network you can rely on? Earlier we reviewed My Net AC1300 from Western Digital and today we are back to put the ASUS RT-AC56U through the same paces. Is wireless AC technology all it’s cracked up to be? We will soon find out.
Read more: ASUS RT-AC56U Gigabit Router @ LanOC ReviewsPatriot Viper 3 Black Mamba PC3-19200 16GB Review @ Neoseeker
Today I will be taking a look at 16GB (2x8GB) of Patriot Viper 3 2400MHz Black Mamba memory. Patriot's Viper 3 is available in several sizes and configurations, starting with single DIMMs of 8GB (1x8), 8GB (2x4) and 16GB (2x8) dual channel and 32GB (4x8) quad channel kits. Due to the varying needs of the consumer, Patriot's Viper 3 memory is available in several speeds ranging from DDR3-1600, 1866, 2133 and 2400MHz at 1.5 to 1.65 volts. And for those of you who like to add a little color to your life (myself included), Patriot’s Viper 3 is available in the following colors Black, Venom Red, Jungle Green and Sapphire Blue.
Patriot wanted to make sure that no chipset was left behind, so they designed the Viper 3 series to work flawlessly with the Intel series 6, 7 and 8, along with AMD's 9, FM1 and FM2 series chipsets. Not only does the Viper 3 memory play well with a wide selection of motherboard chipsets, support for Intel’s XMP 1.3 profile has also been added to the mix as well.
Read more: Patriot Viper 3 Black Mamba PC3-19200 16GB Review @ NeoseekeriPin Laser Presenter Review @ TestFreaks
Over my career I have reviewed more iPhone and iPad devices than I could ever remember. At this point in time it is hard to come across something that is new and unique. Well lo and behold today’s review item falls into this category.
The iPin Laser Presenter is a device that plugs into the iPhone’s 3.5 mm jack to provide a red presentation laser in the tiniest of form factors. It also works with a free iOS app that allows the user to remotely control their PC or Mac along with presentation slides from their computer by using the iPhone.
Read more: iPin Laser Presenter Review @ TestFreaksSteelSeries Apex Gaming Keyboard Review @ ocaholic
At first sight, SteelSeries Apex will capture your attention with its light zones, size and macro keys. Apex features a very unique design, 16.8 million colors to choose, raised macro keys and other features which we will mention later on. It is truly a great piece of equipment for a gamer.
Read more: SteelSeries Apex Gaming Keyboard Review @ ocaholicNike+ FuelBand SE Review @ TechReviewSource.com
The Nike+ FuelBand SE, from the international sports apparel giant, is the second generation of the Nike+ FuelBand series, and it does a decent job of tracking your daily activity and displaying it to you when and where you want to see it.
Read more: Nike+ FuelBand SE Review @ TechReviewSource.comHD 5870 vs HD 7970 - Should I upgrade? @ ocaholic
The AMD Radeon HD 5870 is definitely still running in many gaming rigs and despite the fact that we are looking at a graphics card that is now three generations behind, it still holds its ground in many games, at least if you are not pushing UHD resolutions or ultra-high in game settings. Unfortunately, with latest batch of games, it definitely shows its age and when compared to the Radeon HD 7970, it becomes a rather unfair battle, making the HD 7970 a much better choice.
Read more: HD 5870 vs HD 7970 - Should I upgrade? @ ocaholicNZXT H230 @ techPowerUp
The NZXT H230 is going head on with other players in the sought-after 70 US dollar market. The slogan "All you love about the H" makes us eager enough to figure out if it holds true. But can the NZXT H230 also take on the competition at this price point?
Read more: NZXT H230 @ techPowerUpWestern Digital My Cloud EX4 Personal Cloud Storage System @ TechwareLabs.com
TechwareLabs was invited to a private product briefing with WD just a week ago on the EX4. The invitation was appealing with a half concealed product behind a curtain alluding to the potential of more to come. Over the next hour we were briefed on a startling simple storage device that meets every need we could conceive of for a product in this price category. The two most interesting things about the EX4 are its simplicity to use and staggering number of powerful. We have tested storage devices for years at TechwareLabs. So many devices and designs that its easy to lose count. TheEX4 immediately presents itself out of the box with a professional appearance, good design, and good price.
Read more: Western Digital My Cloud EX4 Personal Cloud Storage System @ TechwareLabs.comEnermax iVektor Case Review @ Hardware Asylum
We have reviewed a good number of cases over the years. Some of the designs are for small form factor builds while others embody the epitome of an extreme system. Of course they all serve a purpose and it’s in our nature to gravitate to the most unique designs so to distance ourselves from our peers. The problem with unique designs is that they often create problems later on. For instance a 200mm fan is great for cooling a chassis but replacing that fan when it dies is almost impossible. Likewise, big cases aren’t well suited for small apartments and small cases limit your build options so you have to be careful which one you pick. In these instances we need a case that symbolizes a balance, something with curb appeal and something large enough for your enthusiast build and yet small enough to fit anywhere.
In this review we will be looking at the Enermax iVektor. The iVektor is a classic mid-tower chassis which is a form factor that seems to be ignored by many of the major case manufactures. Yes, you can still buy a mid tower but, the options appear to have dwindled over the years in favor of slightly larger designs.
Read more: Enermax iVektor Case Review @ Hardware AsylumiconBIT NetTAB MERCURY Q7 (NT-3602M) Smartphone Review @ Madshrimps
Mercury Q7 is the large 6.5’’ smartphone from iconBIT, which sports a Cortex A7 MTK-6589 Turbo processor clocked at 1.5GHz, PowerVR SGX 544MP GPU, 1GB of DDR3 memory, 8GB of NAND Flash for applications (with expansion up to 32GB via microSDHC) and a 13MP camera. The offered Android revision is 4.2.1 and for having longer standby times the manufacturer has also packed a large 2800mAh Li-ion battery.
Read more: iconBIT NetTAB MERCURY Q7 (NT-3602M) Smartphone Review @ MadshrimpsCooler Master CM Storm SF-17 Gaming Notebook Cooler Review @ Madshrimps
CM Storm is Cooler Masters' hardware related gaming brand. Covering gaming gear from cases, input devices in the shape of gaming keyboards and mice, headsets, mouse pads and last but not least three different laptop coolers. The today reviewed SF-17 is the mid range notebook cooler variant. The little SF-15 brother, supports laptops up to 15.6 inch, while this SF-17 model has no issues to provide support for up to 19 inch sized laptops. The flagship SF-19 version is compatible with laptops from 19 inch and beyond. Time to unravel the refined design features of this mid range SF-17 model.
Read more: Cooler Master CM Storm SF-17 Gaming Notebook Cooler Review @ MadshrimpsReview: MSI R9 270 Gaming 2GB @ Custom PC Review
If you haven’t heard already, over the past couple weeks AMD has been on a graphics card launch frenzy launching a number of new graphics cards including the Radeon R9 270X, R9 280X, R9 290X and the R9 290. While impressive, with the exception of the R9 290X and the R9 290, most of the R9 200 lineup that’s been launched already is still based off AMD’s last generation GPU technology with the R9 280 series based off the Tahiti GPU found in the Radeon HD 7900 series and the R9 270 series based off the Pitcairn GPU found on the Radeon HD 7800 series. Given that AMD is expected to launch around eight GPUs for the R9 200 series before the end of the holiday season, it’s not all that surprising.
While it is disappointing that AMD is essentially re-branding a number of their GPUs for the new generation, I think it’s much needed especially from a marketing standpoint even if AMD doesn’t have a brand, brand new GPU to go with the new name. Over the past year and a half, AMD has made a lot of improvements to the drivers and the 28nm manufacturing process in a way that significantly improves the older Pitcairn and Tahiti GPUs. Given that most reviews on the Radeon HD 7800 and HD 7900 series were written before most of these changes were implemented, giving the old GPUs a new name and a new SKU is actually a good idea.
Read more: Review: MSI R9 270 Gaming 2GB @ Custom PC ReviewHow AMD's Mantle Will Redefine Gaming, AMD Hardware Not Required @ HotHardware
One of the major planks of AMD's APU13 developer conference has been an in-depth discussion of its next-generation API, Mantle. Mantle, which first debuted at the company's Hawaii unveil in late September, has been billed as a high-performance alternative to DirectX 11. Prior to today, AMD has mostly discussed Mantle in broad terms, without giving much detail on the nuts and bolts of what it offers.
Thanks to new information released at APU13, we can give you a better idea what Mantle offers, what games will support it, and how it could shape gaming in years to come.
Read more: How AMD's Mantle Will Redefine Gaming, AMD Hardware Not Required @ HotHardwareMantle to power 15 Frostbite games; DICE calls for multi-vendor support @ The Tech Report
Johan Andersson, the man behind DICE's Frostbite game engine, spoke today at the APU13 conference in San Jose. After getting into the nitty-gritty details of AMD's Mantle API (more on that as soon as I wrap my head around it), Andersson shared an update about the upcoming Mantle version of Battlefield 4. He also brought up other Frostbite games that will support the API, and he shared his own wish list for Mantle's future.
Read more: Mantle to power 15 Frostbite games; DICE calls for multi-vendor support @ The Tech ReportAMD reveals 2014 APU roadmap for tablets, convertibles @ the Tech Report
We already know that AMD's next-gen Kaveri APU is coming to mobile systems. However, the chip will only fit into power envelopes ranging from 15W to 35W. For the tighter TDPs suited to tablets and convertibles, AMD has a couple of other, lower-power chips plannedâ€”and it announced them today at its APU13 event in San Jose.
These low-power APUs are called Beema and Mullins, and they're successors to today's Kabini and Temash offerings. AMD says they deliver twice the performance per watt of their predecessors and are scheduled for release in the first half of 2014.
Read more: AMD reveals 2014 APU roadmap for tablets, convertibles @ the Tech ReportMSI Radeon R9 270 Gaming OC and Sapphire Dual-X R9 270 OC Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has been keeping us extremely busy launching new graphics cards and this week is no different. AMD announced the Radeon R9 270 graphics card this morning at the $179.99 price point. This is the sixth video card that AMD has added to the Radeon R7 and R9 series of video cards since October! This 'new' card is interesting as it reduces the entry price into the high-end R9 series down to the $179 price point and uses the same exact Pitcarin GPU found on the AMD Radeon R9 270X!
Read more: MSI Radeon R9 270 Gaming OC and Sapphire Dual-X R9 270 OC Video Card Review @ Legit ReviewsCorsair Hydro Series H80i Review @ ChipLoco
Corsair is one of the few companies who have excelled at every component market they have entered. Right now, they are at the top of peripherals, cooling, memory, chassis and some other markets. Main reason behind their unstoppable success is the quality and the feature set offered. All these things come at a cost though; Corsair products usually come at a price premium.
Only a year or two back, Corsair entered the cooling market and now they’ve a large stack of all-in-one CPU water coolers ranging from $65 all the way up to $130. We’ve their $110 Hyrdro Series H80i cooler with us. It features a 120mm radiator with 38mm of thickness. This radiator is on the thicker side as compared to other offering by Corsair or other manufacturers. The H80i is basically an improved version of the H80. Both were launched at the same price point but the later one is discontinued now. Corsair simply took the old H80 and improved a few things to make the new H80i. To begin with, it comes with a better CPU block. Secondly, the tubing has also been improved. The old H80 had plastic tubing which had some tendency of kinking but the new H80i has thick rubber tubing which doesn’t kink that easily. And now it also comes with better fans. This time Corsair has bundled two of their SP120L high-performance fans which produce air flow of 77 CFM. The H80i also supports the Corsair Link; all you need to do is connect the Corsair Link cable to a USB header on your board and after downloading the Corsair Link Dashboard software, you can monitor coolant temperature and adjust cooling temperature for your desktop.
Read more: Corsair Hydro Series H80i Review @ ChipLocoROCCAT Kone Pure Optical Review @ Vortez
The Kone is a now venerable mouse range from ROCCAT’s already comprehensive stable of gaming peripherals. The original Kone was of a 2008 vintage, but had customisation options rare for its time and still uncommon by today's standards. More recently the Kone XTD brought very high levels of customisation, even beyond that of the original, whilst the Kone Pure stripped it all out to perform as the name indicates - a pure gaming mouse. Although the Kone Pure Color introduced a range of colour options this fundamental ethos has remained true.
With that in mind, we come to the Kone Pure Optical. It’s a subtly different beast to the Kone Pure, which integrates the 8200dpi Pro-Aim Laser Sensor R3 for scanning the mousing surface. In order to satisfy those with slightly different preferences the Pure Optical utilises a 4000dpi Pro-Optical Sensor R3; in most other aspects the Pure Optical is identical, only changing up the aesthetics slightly and removing a tracking control unit no longer relevant without a laser sensor.
Read more: ROCCAT Kone Pure Optical Review @ VortezAMD updates mobile roadmap @ Fudzilla
AMD is shedding more light on upcoming Beema and Mullins APUs. A lot of info on the upcoming SoCs has already leaked out, but now most of it is official, so let’s take a look at what AMD has in store for 2014.
Beema is the replacement for Kabini. It is based on Puma CPU cores and like its predecessor it features GCN graphics. In addition, AMD has added an ARM Cortex A5 core to boost security, hence it’s dubbed AMD Security Processor. The lowest TDP is 10W, quite a bit less than Kabini which started at 15W. However, AMD is now using Scenario Design Power (SDP) instead of TDP and we can’t say we’re thrilled with the decision to embrace what is essentially Intel’s marketing talk.
Read more: AMD updates mobile roadmap @ Fudzilla