Intel Clover Trail+ and more
Posted on: 02/25/2013 09:16 AM

Here a roundup of today's reviews and articles, including Intel Clover Trail+, Advancing Atom For Smartphones and Tablets, Crysis 3 Review: New York, Here We Come (Again), Dell XPS 12 Convertible Ultrabook Review, Seagate Enterprise Capacity 3.5 V.3 4TB SAS 6Gb/s HDD Review, and CM STORM TRIGGER Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Intel Clover Trail+, Advancing Atom For Smartphones and Tablets @ HotHardware
Today, Intel is keeping on track for execution of their roadmap plan in the mobile space, with the release of their follow-on to Medfield, code-named Clover Trail+. Clover Trail, as you'll remember, is powering many a Windows 8 tablet these days. Intel's latest Atom-based SoC is a more natural fit here, with the intrinsic advantages of being able to run full X86 compatible software on a tablet or convertible device, while still offering strong battery life performance. That said, Clover Trail+, Intel's new performance and feature-optimized version of Clover Trail for the smartphone and tablet market, has that same long row to hoe versus incumbents, at least in the highly competitive handset arena.

What's more than interesting this time around is that Clover Trail+ seems to really have the chops (at least on paper) to keep pace with, and even exceed, certain performance characteristics of current, best-of-class ARM-based architectures that have been so dominant in smartphone designs thus far. And on the power consumption front, Intel is claiming their long-beloved "HUGI" (Hurry-Up and Get Idle) approach to clock gating will afford them a platform power advantage like no other smartphone architecture on the market current. A tall order. Big claims. Is Intel just getting warmed up?

Let's take a look.

Read more: Intel Clover Trail+, Advancing Atom For Smartphones and Tablets @ HotHardware

Func MS-3 Mouse and Surface 1030XL Mousepad Review @ Hi Tech Legion
In response to the lack of high-quality, innovative and practically functional gaming peripherals available in the market back in 1999, a group of PC enthusiasts from California formed Func. It was born out of necessity in hopes of pointing out and drawing attention to the specific needs of PC gamers. Func introduced innovative designs that have set the standard in gaming peripheral design which endure even over a decade later. Reemerging in 2013, Func is back with their redesigned signature dual-sided 1030XL mouse pad as well as a new high-end gaming mouse.

The Func MS-3 gaming mouse uses an Avago 9500 laser sensor with variable DPI adjustment ranging from 90 to 5670. The Func MS-3 is ergonomically designed to comfortably fit right handed use with a generous resting area for the ring and pinky fingers. There are four extra buttons around the thumb area of the Func MS-3 mouse which are strategically placed so accidental button presses are avoided. Through the Func-MS3 software, buttons can be reassigned and features can be enabled or disabled. Macros can also be recorded and stored either as a *.map file or onboard the 512KB memory. Combined with the Func Surface 1030XL dual-surface mousepad, users have flexible options and control how responsive their gameplay experience can be. Both the Surface 1030XL and MS-3 gaming mouse are made from high-quality materials covered with a 2-year warranty.

Read more: Func MS-3 Mouse and Surface 1030XL Mousepad Review @ Hi Tech Legion

Crysis 3 Review: New York, Here We Come (Again) @ Techgage
New York City can’t catch a break. In Crysis 2, the city was the battleground as we fought against the alien Ceph and the corrupt CELL organization. But as Crysis 3 quickly proves, New York, along with the rest of the world, is far from safe.

Taking place 24 years after the events of Crysis 2, the game begins by telling us how things have unfolded since. CELL, in its attempt to continue its plan for world domination, captured most of those equipped with the Nanosuit and skinned it from their bodies. One of these victims was Michael “Psycho” Sykes, the protagonist in Crysis Warhead. At the game’s outset, Psycho and others help spring Prophet, returning from Crysis 2, from a storage device – sparing him from a fate similar to Psycho’s.

The Ceph’s intent has always been to eradicate all human life on earth, and while some believed that the aliens were all but wiped out, that wasn’t the case. Instead, our protagonists discover the existence of the Alpha Ceph, an overlord of sorts that has opened up a wormhole leading from its home planet, to earth. You, as Prophet, and Psycho now must wage a war to eliminate the alien threat.

Read more: Crysis 3 Review: New York, Here We Come (Again) @ Techgage

NETGEAR ProSafe GS110T Gigabit SmartSwitch @ Benchmark Reviews
Network switches are not reviewed by the press that often, but they are a necessary part of many home or small business networks, so we need to take a look now and then at what's available, what works, and how well they work. NETGEAR is a major player in the networking market, and they have several different product lines to choose from. Today we're looking at one of the less expensive offerings in their ProSafe SmartSwitch line.

First, let's clarify what a network switch is. It is strictly a wired device, and is most often designed to switch Ethernet traffic. There are telco switches, and video switchers, and fiber optic switches, but the vast majority of network switches you and I will encounter handle Ethernet. In Wireless networks, routers and adapters generally communicate directly with one another, but wireless media bridges are starting to make that distinction a little fuzzy. You could use the couple of ports on the back of your router to connect a few devices together, but switches still have some advantages:

Switches allow dozens of devices to connect
Switches keep traffic between two devices from getting in the way of your other devices using the same network
Switches allow control of who has access to various parts of the network
Switches allow you to monitor usage
High-end switches have pluggable modules to tailor them to network needs

Read more: NETGEAR ProSafe GS110T Gigabit SmartSwitch @ Benchmark Reviews

Dell XPS 12 Convertible Ultrabook Review @ Hardware Canucks
Since the advent of Window 8 and its touch-centric interface, notebook manufacturers have been striving to find a balance between typical form factors and the new realities Microsoft’s latest OS brings to the table. The results have been quite varied with some taking a basic approach of incorporating a touch screen onto their standard chassis and calling it a day. Meanwhile, others like Dell, Lenovo and ASUS have been feeding the market with a steady stream of convertible notebooks which are supposed to blend the physical input options of a notebook alongside a tablet-like experience.

Dell’s new XPS 12 takes this convertible mentality and runs with by allowing for a fully capable Ultrabook to be quickly converted into a tablet. They’ve accomplished this by simply incorporating a flip mechanism into the XPS 12’s screen bezel so there aren’t supposed to be too many sacrifices when changing between notebook and tablet modes. In addition it doesn’t turn a blind eye to performance since the included hardware is top-shelf stuff, unlike what most tablets come equipped with. You do however pay for the novelty of this design since the XPS 12 starts at around $1200, making its base configuration $200 more than Dell’s excellent XPS 13 Ultrabook.

Read more: Dell XPS 12 Convertible Ultrabook Review @ Hardware Canucks

The TR Podcast 129: PlayStation 4, Titan, and more @ The Tech Report
Between Sony's AMD-centered bid for next-gen gaming, Nvidia's monster GeForce GTX Titan GPU, Mini-ITX motherboards, and listener mail... our latest episode has a lot to offer.

Read more: The TR Podcast 129: PlayStation 4, Titan, and more @ The Tech Report

Seagate Enterprise Capacity 3.5 V.3 4TB SAS 6Gb/s HDD Review @ NikKTech
When it comes to PCs and MACs most people believe that the heart of the system is the CPU with the exception of gamers who naturally put the GPU (graphics card) above everything else. I too had the same opinion almost a decade ago but slowly and after countless of storage related reviews i begun to realize that the true heart of a system is neither the CPU nor the GPU but rather the storage device regardless of whether we are talking about mechanical HDDs or SSDs. You see no matter of what kind of CPU or GPU a system has you can always perform certain functions, perhaps not the highest demanding ones but you can nevertheless. However without a storage device or with one that has but a limited available capacity there's really that many things one can do especially nowadays when most people have several TBs of data. Now last month we tested the latest Enterprise Capacity 3.5 V.3 4TB SATA III enterprise class hard disk drives (former Constellation ES.3) by Seagate which pretty much dominated the competition. Well today we will be taking a look at the SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) variants which as you will see later on had no issue surpassing their SATA brothers to become the fastest HDDs to ever pass from our test bench.

Read more: Seagate Enterprise Capacity 3.5 V.3 4TB SAS 6Gb/s HDD Review @ NikKTech

Diamond 7870 GHz Edition @ PureOverclock
We’ve looked at the gamut of graphics cards in AMD’s current lineup, including several 7900 models, cards which garner much of the exposure, in no small part due to the extreme nature of those products. Those cards have proven to be powerhouses, posting impressive results, but it’s no secret that what one considers a reasonably-priced purchase might be extravagant and expensive to another. Not everyone is a hardcore gamer and enthusiast, and there is a considerable number of consumers out there that need something far more affordable that can still satisfy a gaming fix.

To that end, the Radeon 7870 sits in the middle of AMD’s product lineup, at the “performance” echelon. It’s far more affordable than the potent flagship 7970, yet packs far more than the gaming-anemic 7750. It’s been awhile since we’ve seen a graphics card from Diamond, but today we’re looking at the company’s 7870 GHz Edition, a model that sports a smaller PCB design and a custom cooler, as well as some flashy red styling.

Retailing for about $239 ($219 after rebate), this card is quite affordable, and while we don’t expect it to be a gaming powerhouse, it could prove very enticing to gamers on a more modest budget. Let’s take a closer look at the Diamond 7870 GHz Edition and see how it fares.

Read more: Diamond 7870 GHz Edition @ PureOverclock

CM STORM TRIGGER Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review @ NikKTech
Yesterday SONY announced the upcoming Playstation 4 console, short of that is since we didn't actually see the console itself so my guess is that SONY has yet to decide on the design which is fine since we will not see it before this summer. Of course Microsoft is not far behind since they will also be announcing their upcoming XBOX 720 quite soon (probably by July in order to make Christmas sales). Regardless i am not much into consoles (but i do acknowledge that many are) mainly because i consider them quite inferior (specs wise) and also because i don't like gamepads/d-pads (a keyboard just doesn't feel at home when used with a console so PCs all the way for me). So because i happen to love using keyboards i always do my best to test every single one i can get my hands on and today we will be talking about the TRIGGER Mechanical Gaming Keyboard by CM STORM.

Read more: CM STORM TRIGGER Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review @ NikKTech

3DMark Review @ OCC
Overall this 3DMark is definitely proving to be a powerful tool with its many options, though they are only available to those who purchase a license. Even with the Basic edition though, you have access to the default tests, which is all that matters for comparing results and showing off your graphical prowess. It will be very interesting to see what happens once the mobile device versions are released though; these will usher in a consistent benchmarking tool for the most popular non-console gaming platforms currently available.

Read more: 3DMark Review @ OCC

Kitguru Windows 8 users fight back: its not so bad! @ KitGuru
Since we published The ‘Windows 8 a flop with Kitguru readers‘ article on February 22nd, we have been inundated with emails from Kitguru readers who really like, or have grown to enjoy the latest Microsoft operating system. Bear in mind, none of this is the viewpoint of Kitguru, but an overview of votes received via the main Kitguru website and Facebook over the last 90 days. Some of Kitguru’s editors hate Windows 8, and some, like myself use it on a daily basis.

Read more: Kitguru Windows 8 users fight back: its not so bad! @ KitGuru

D-Link Cloud Camera 5000 (DCS-5222L) Review @ TestFreaks
In the past camera based home security cameras were expensive and required professional installation. Thankfully as technology has improved the cost of this type of security has come down dramatically. D-Link recently released the Cloud Camera 5000, a surveillance solution designed for the home or small business. This is their top of the line model and has several enticing features. The Cloud Camera 5000 is remote control enabled with pan/tilt function, night viewing capacity and local recording via a micro SD card.

The specs on the camera are quite impressive with a 1/4” Megapixel Progressive CMOS sensor that has 5-meter IR illumination distance, Infrared-Cut Removable (ICR) Filter module, Passive Infra-Red (PIR) and an aperture of F1.9. Of course the camera is only as good as its software. Today we focus in on whether the Cloud Camera 5000 is the total package or lacking in one or more areas.

The Cloud Camera 5000 comes packaged in a cardboard box with the familiar D-Link product colors – white, turquoise and black. An image of the camera is seen on the front along with a highlight of features, the mydlink cloud logo plus an image of an iPhone and laptop transmitting video. On the sides of the box are a full list of features, package contents, and minimum requirements. The back of box provides a detailed description of the Cloud Camera 5000, mydlink cloud services and a schematic of how it operates.

Read more: D-Link Cloud Camera 5000 (DCS-5222L) Review @ TestFreaks

Crysis 3 Review @ KitGuru
I remember when the original Crysis was released and a horde of PC gamers went rushing to the hardware store to spend money on a new graphics card. That game must have been responsible for millions of graphics card sales. The comment But can it run Crysis? turned into a catchphrase to verify the ultimate power of a system. When Crysis 2 was released many people cried foul due to the console port graphics. The developers did follow up with a high quality texture pack for the PC game, but a lot of people already had it beaten. Can Crysis 3 recapture the magical experience of the first game?

Read more: Crysis 3 Review @ KitGuru

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