All too often, gaming laptops have the problem of overstating just how "made for gamers" they are. With their neon lights, science fiction-like design elements, and brightly colored accents, it usually doesn't take long to identify if a particular portable computer was made for gaming. MSI's new GS70, on the other hand, takes a different approach. Sporting an ultra-slim build, a dark gray aluminum chasis, and lacking unnecessary LEDs, the company's latest laptop is obviously designed with a more mature look in mind. It may not be quite as attractive as the Razer Blade line, but you definitely won't feel ashamed when you pull out the GS70 public — that is, as long as you can find a bag big enough to fit the laptop and its giant 17.3-inch display.
From the ashes of the Nexus Q — the half-baked $299 set-top box introduced at Google I/O 2012 that was discontinued before ever making it to store shelves — the Chromecast has risen. Honing the same AirPlay-style streaming capabilities, but ditching the expensive orb-like hardware in favor of a $35 HDMI dongle, the Chromecast is a simplified solution with an unbeatable price. Though certainly not without its flaws, the Chromecast is a great cross-platform wireless streaming system that will only get better with time.
The Nvidia Shield is a product designed for a world where Android games have evolved into rich, immersive 3D experiences optimized for traditional gamepad controls. The trouble is, that world doesn’t exist — at least, not yet. Nvidia is attempting to kickstart the revolution with its Tegra 4-powered handheld, but at $299, the Shield’s premium price stands in sharp contrast of a market dominated largely by casual titles that cost $0.99 or less. Although a handful of Android titles and the Shield’s local PC streaming capability may appeal to core gamers, it’s simply not enough to attract more than a small audience of early adopters.
Thinner than the thickest edge of the MacBook Air but packing next-gen processors from Nvidia and Intel, Razer's new 14-inch Blade is the smallest, most compact gaming laptop on the market. It's unlike anything I've seen before, but how does it look, feel, and perform in person? I went hands-on to find out.
To say Verizon has had an underwhelming Windows Phone selection is an understatement. Wholly occupied by a series of mid to low-end smartphones, there has been little reason for any of the carrier's subscribers to adopt Microsoft's mobile operating system. But with the recent addition of Nokia's Lumia 928, a flagship Windows Phone is finally available through the nation's largest wireless provider.
The Lumia 928 is the latest flagship Windows Phone device from Nokia, and the first high-end smartphone from the Finnish manufacturer to be sold through Verizon Wireless. In many ways, the Lumia 928 is not unlike AT&T's Lumia 920 — both feature a 4.5-inch display, 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, and 1GB of RAM — but the Verizon exclusive still has some unique tricks of its own, specifically its AMOLED display, new design, and the Xenon flash that accompanies Nokia's signature PureView camera.
If the HTC One was a glimpse of Android's promising future of thoughtfully crafted hardware paired with elegantly designed software, the Samsung Galaxy S4 represents its poorly conceived and shoddily constructed past. Like countless Android handsets before it, the Galaxy S4 is spec and feature-rich, but limited by its cheap, flimsy hardware and unnecessarily bloated suite of proprietary software. It's not a bad phone — in fact, there's plenty to like — it simply lacks the level of polish and consideration found in a growing number of its competitors.
In the world of smartphones, especially in the ever-changing arms race that is the Android market, it's all about being at the right place at the right time. LG's much-awaited Optimus G Pro finally hits stores this week, and it's clear that its keen on clawing the premier megaphone title away from the current King of the Hill, the super successful Samsung Galaxy Note II.
At LG's "Share Your Genius" event, we had the opportunity to get in some quality time with the Korean company's newest smartphone, the Optimus G Pro. Due to early leaks, advanced hands-on impressions, and the months since its original announcement, the actual assessment was anti-climactic: every feature of the phone has already been out in the open for some time now. But that doesn't mean that the Optimus G Pro isn't interesting — its solid features and smart build make the nearly 6-inch phone a contender in the Android smartphone arena. But will it stand out amidst heavyweights like the Galaxy S4 and HTC One?
The HTC One isn't just the best smartphone the company has ever made, it's one of the best devices on the market. It blends the power and versatility of the Android platform with the sleek, stylish design and premium build of the iPhone. But don't be fooled, the One isn't just another Android phone with a pretty shell — with its own unique UI layer and innovative photography and social features, HTC has forged a cohesive relationship between software and hardware for a superior user experience. But has HTC achieved smartphone perfection? Read on to find out.
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