Maximum PC - All Articles http://www.maximumpc.com/articles/all/feed en HP Omen Review http://www.maximumpc.com/hp_omen_review_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3>A good sign</h3> <p>The word “omen” generally connotes bad juju for most people. For some longtime PC enthusiasts, however, it evokes fond memories of Voodoo PC’s old beautiful and powerful desktops. While HP isn’t bringing Voodoo PC back from the grave, it hopes to pay homage to the Omen namesake by rebirthing it as a modern gaming notebook.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u99720/hpomen.jpg" alt="HP Omen press shot" width="492" height="366" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>The Omen isn't the most powerful notebook, but it's one of the most polished.</strong></p> <p>Right off the bat, you’ll notice that the 15.6-inch HP Omen is one sleek-looking laptop, with its machined-aluminum chassis. The anodized black finish coupled with its thin 0.8 inch body gives the notebook some added sex appeal. It’s also really portable for its class, weighing four pounds, 11.9 ounces.</p> <p>While we were a little dismayed to hear that it uses a 1080p monitor, something we’ve seen dozens of times over, this isn’t some mediocre display. It uses an IPS panel that features a 72 percent color gamut, which provides beautiful, saturated colors. It also sports a touchscreen, which makes it the first gaming laptop we’ve reviewed that offers one.</p> <p>We were generally pleased with the keyboard, which offers seven customizable color zones that you can tweak using HP’s Omen Control Panel software. The keys themselves offer a satisfying amount of travel and feel quite tactile, as a result. You also get a column of six macro keys on the left side of the keyboard, which is rare to see in a notebook of this size. We weren’t enamored of the Omen’s trackpad, however. Measuring 5.5 inches across, it’s so wide that we often found our resting fingers interfering with our swiping gestures.</p> <p>On opposite ends of the trackpad are a pair of LED lights that pulsate with the sound of your audio. It’s a unique touch that gives the notebook added flair. The speakers themselves are quite good and offer decent volume firepower. Despite being licensed by Beats Audio, a company known for its bass-heavy emphasis, the audio here is balanced.</p> <p>Unlike the sexy chassis, the specs of the laptop aren’t super fancy. It uses a 2.5GHz i7-4710HQ processor for its CPU. For its graphics card, HP went with the GeForce GTX 860M, which is the de facto GPU for thin gaming notebooks. The base model comes with two gigs of GDDR5 VRAM, but ours included four. In regard to system RAM, configs starts out at 8GB, which is fine in most instances, but our maxed-out unit came with 16GB.</p> <p>CPU performance was pretty average, performing ever so slightly faster than our Alienware 14 zero-point’s 2.4GHz i7-4700MQ processor. In GPU perf, we saw respectable gains between 20 and 60 percent. In short, our graphics tests reminds us that the 860M is a midrange card. It will run the majority of modern games at high settings with smooth framerates, but don’t expect to max out games here.</p> <p>While the laptop’s performance didn’t blow us away, neither did its fans (pun intended). The Omen isn’t silent, but it’s very reasonable under load. We’d go so far as to say HP found the perfect balance between performance and acoustics. The laptop is able to keep its cool by using dual fans that pull in cool air from the bottom, which it expels through the back. A benefit of this design is that gamers won’t have to worry about warm wrists.</p> <p>When it came to battery life, the laptop was pretty average. The first time we ran our video-rundown test, the notebook lasted a mediocre 172 minutes. When we turned off all the fancy LED lights, we got an extra half hour. Our biggest concern with the Omen really pertained to storage. While we love the fact that it uses the faster M.2 PCIe standard, we’re a little put off that it doesn’t support traditional hard drives. This means you’re topped off at 512GBs. Luckily, the drive is really fast, and allowed the notebook to boot up in 11 seconds.</p> <p>The Omen may not be the most powerful notebook out there, but it’s extremely polished and well-designed. Everything from its looks, portability, and thermals are top notch. While our decked-out unit cost $2,100, if you’re looking for a more affordable configuration, we recommend going with the $1,800 model, which includes a 512GB SSD, 8GB of RAM, and an 860M with 2GB of VRAM. It’s still a pretty good Omen.</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/hp_omen_review_2014#comments Gaming Hardware HP Omen laptop notebook Thin voodoo pc Gaming Reviews Notebooks Wed, 17 Dec 2014 22:45:39 +0000 Jimmy Thang 29111 at http://www.maximumpc.com Logitech K830 Review http://www.maximumpc.com/logitech_k830_review_2014 <!--paging_filter--><p><span style="font-family: Calibri;"><span style="font-size: 15px; line-height: 22px;"><strong>A premium HTPC keyboard with backlighting</strong></span></span></p> <p>People don’t just buy desktop keyboards, they have long-term monogamous relationships with them that last years. Hell, some editors we know just celebrated their fifth-year anniversary with their desktop keyboard (the traditional gift is wood, by the way).</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u187432/keyboard.jpg" style="text-align: center;" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>The K830 is good but suffers from mushy-key syndrome.</strong></p> <p>It’s not that way with HTPC keyboards, though. No, HTPC keyboards are more like those “business” trips to Thailand. Just look at us for example: Over the last few years, we’ve not only stepped out with an assortment of no-name Bluetooth keyboards, we’ve also had flings with Logitech’s DiNovo Edge, DiNovo Mini, the K400, and even the K700 from Google and Logitech’s ill-fated Google TV product.</p> <p>The latest so-so pretty keyboard to catch our eye is Logitech’s K830. And what a beauty she is. Slightly wider than the K400 at 14.5-inches, the K830 has a feeling of heft and quality that the budget K400 lacks. The sexiest aspect of the K830 is its subtle white LED backlighting. The lighting has four steps: off, low, medium, and high, and once switched on, the volume and mute buttons also light up. Logitech also did the right thing by also illuminating all the characters of the keyboard. A lot of far more expensive gaming keyboards fail to do this, forcing you to guess which shifted keys to press for $#%^, among others.</p> <p>Also much improved is the trackpad, which has a luxuriously smooth surface and is slightly larger than the K400’s. Although we will say if Logitech had pushed the trackpad further into the corner of the keyboard, it would be easier to use the trackpad one-handed, as with the K700. In Logitech’s defense, the K830 is also a little too heavy to one-hand it for long sessions.</p> <p>With the power consumption of the LED, the possibility of running off of AAA alkalines is out—instead, Logitech uses a lithium ion, which charges through micro-USB. Logitech says that gives the K830 about ten days of runtime. That’s pretty poor when you consider that the K400 is rated to run for 12 months off of a pair of AAA’s. Realistically, though, you’re not going to be using the keyboard to type for ten days straight, so we’d expect more along the lines of a month or more, depending on the back-light levels.</p> <p>That brings us to us to the biggest ding against the K830—the actual keys. While the keyboard looks drop-dead sexy next to the K400 and K700, the keys are down-right mushy and just no fun to type on. Yes, you typically won’t be typing more than “Maximum PC No BS podcast” in the search bar of Youtube, but it’s a bit of a heart-breaker that the K830’s key action is its worst aspect. If you’re looking for hot keyboard action for typing-heavy duties, we’d recommend scrounging up an old K700, honestly. We will laude one thing Logitech did, though: The function keys have dedicated functions for such things as launching the browser and search rather than the function + F8 you’d typically find.</p> <p>One other thing to note, the K830 uses Logitech’s Unify USB dongles to connect to devices. Unify lets you run multiple devices simultaneously, which is great. What’s not great are so-called “smart” televisions that don’t support standard USB HID devices. We tried, for example, to hook the K830 up to a new Sony 65-inch Bravia 65W850A and had no joy despite the three USB ports on the set. So, if you intend to use the keyboard with your “smart” TV, we recommend you read the manual first.</p> <p>The last hang-up is the price. At $99, the K830 is far more expensive than its current siblings. But we will say one thing, it certainly looks better and feels better than them, too. It’s also not that expensive when compared to the Dinovo Edge, which sold for $200 minimum when new. Still, it’s not perfect. If Logitech could just combine the keys of the K700, move the trackpad a little farther into the corner, and shed a few grams, this could be the ultimate HTPC keyboard. As is, it’s good but not great.</p> <p>$99, <a href="http://www.logitech.com" target="_self">www.logitech.com</a></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/logitech_k830_review_2014#comments htpc keyboard Logitech K830 wireless Keyboards Reviews Wed, 17 Dec 2014 20:55:39 +0000 The Maximum PC Staff 28916 at http://www.maximumpc.com Newegg Daily Deals: MSI Z97S SLI Plus Motherboard, Asus GeForce GTX 760 GPU, and More! http://www.maximumpc.com/newegg_daily_deals_msi_z97s_sli_plus_motherboard_asus_geforce_gtx_760_gpu_and_more <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u69/msi_z97s_sli_plus.jpg" alt="MSI Z97S SLI Plus Motherboard" title="MSI Z97S SLI Plus Motherboard" width="300" height="216" style="float: right;" /><img src="/files/u154082/newegg_logo_small.png" alt="newegg logo" title="newegg logo" width="200" height="80" /></p> <p><strong>Top Deal:</strong></p> <p>If you can use a screwdriver without maiming yourself, you can build a PC. And if you can build a PC, now is a great time to thing about doing it. The price to performance ratio has never been better, and that includes systems with Intel inside. For example, check out today's top deal for an <a href="http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130775&amp;cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-MOBO-N82E16813130775-_-1217&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">MSI Z97S SLI Plus Motherboard</a> for <strong>$110</strong> with free shipping (normally $130 - use coupon code: [<strong>MOON12</strong>]; additional $20 mail-in-rebate). That's a low-cost foundation with high end features, like DDR3-3300 (OC) memory support, USB 3.0, SATA 6Gbps, M.2 support, and more!</p> <p><strong>Other Deals:</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236392&amp;cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-DISPLAY-N82E16824236392-_-1217&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Asus VN289H Black 28-inch 5ms HDMI LCD Monitor</a> for <strong>$220</strong> with free shipping (normally $330; additional $30 Mail-in rebate)</p> <p><a href="http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822149382&amp;cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-INT-HDD-N82E16822149382-_-1217&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Toshiba DT01ACA100 1TB 3.5-inch Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive</a> for <strong>$45</strong> with free shipping (normally $55 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCWHWD38</strong>])</p> <p><a href="http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822236623&amp;cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-INT-HDD-N82E16822236623-_-1217&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">WD Black Series 3TB 64MB Cache SATA 3.5-inch Internal Hard Drive</a> for <strong>$145</strong> with free shipping (normally $163 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCWHWD42</strong>])</p> <p><a href="http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121775&amp;cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-GPU-N82E16814121775-_-1217&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Asus GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card</a> for <strong>$200</strong> with free shipping (normally $210 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCWHWD46</strong>]; additional $20 Mail-in rebate)</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/newegg_daily_deals_msi_z97s_sli_plus_motherboard_asus_geforce_gtx_760_gpu_and_more#comments Daily Deals daily deals Newegg Wed, 17 Dec 2014 19:53:37 +0000 The Maximum PC Staff 29110 at http://www.maximumpc.com Gabe Newell Vetoes Valve's Decision to Remove Hatred from Steam Greenlight http://www.maximumpc.com/gabe_newell_vetoes_valves_decision_remove_hatred_steam_greenlight_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/hatred_banner.jpg" alt="Hatred Banner" title="Hatred Banner" width="228" height="128" style="float: right;" />Controversial game returns to Steam Greenlight</h3> <p>In case you haven't heard, Hatred is an isometric shooter that even the developers -- Destructive Creations -- claim is "disturbing." It's about an antagonist with a "hatred for humanity" who wanders the outskirts of New York seeking out innocent victims. Or simply put, "Yes, it's a game about killing people" for no other reason than the main character's "deep-rooted hatred" of, well, everything and everyone. Or of himself. Whatever -- <strong>the subject matter prompted Valve's Doug Lombardi to yank the title from Steam Greenlight yesterday, only to have his decision vetoed today by Gabe Newell</strong>.</p> <p>"Based on what we've seen on Greenlight we would not publish Hatred on Steam," Lombardi explained to Destructive Creations as the reason why it was pulled. His decision sparked a debate and a bit of controversy in and of itself, especially since at the time it had over 13,000 "yes" votes, moving it to the number seven spot on the Greenlight list.</p> <p>A day later, Newell reversed the decision after he did a bit of investigating.</p> <p>"Yesterday I heard that we were taking Hatred down from Greenlight. Since I wasn't up to speed, I asked around internally to find out why we had done that. It turns out that it wasn't a good decision, and we'll be putting Hatred back up. My apologies to you and your team. Steam is about creating tools for content creators and customers," Newell said.</p> <p>All the publicity from the controversy has no doubt helped Hatred ascend to the number one spot after being brought back to the Greenlight. That doesn't necessarily mean it will make it to Steam, though it's hard to picture any other scenario at this point.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/gabe_newell_vetoes_valves_decision_remove_hatred_steam_greenlight_2014#comments doug lombardi Gabe Newell games hatred steam greenlight stream Valve News Wed, 17 Dec 2014 19:38:18 +0000 Paul Lilly 29109 at http://www.maximumpc.com Nvidia Releases GeForce 347.09 Beta Driver http://www.maximumpc.com/nvidia_releases_geforce_34709_beta_driver_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/nvidia_1.jpg" alt="Nvidia" title="Nvidia" width="228" height="176" style="float: right;" />For best performance in Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes</h3> <p>Standard warning always applies to pre-release software and drivers -- if you'e running a mission critical rig or otherwise need to minimize the risk of buggy behavior, then stay away. Savvy? For everyone else, especially those who want to live on the cutting edge, be advised that <strong>Nvidia just made its GeForce Game Ready driver, release 347.09, available to download in beta form</strong>.</p> <p>According to Nvidia, 347.09 offers the best possible gaming experience for Metal Gear Solid: V Ground Zeroes and Elite: Dangerous. Otherwise, it's a pretty straightforward driver update with new and updated application and 3D Vision profiles, and updates to 3D compatibility mode in certain games.</p> <p>Specifically, Nvidia added an application profile for Project CARS, along with the following 3D Vision Profile updates:</p> <ul> <li>Alien: Isolation - Not recommended</li> <li>Elite: Dangerous - Not recommended</li> <li>Escape Dead Island - rated as Fair</li> <li>Far Cry 4 - Not recommended</li> <li>Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes - Not recommended</li> <li>Middle-EArth - Shadow of Mordor - Not recommended</li> <li>Reisdent Evil Revelations 2 - Disabled</li> <li>The Vanishing of Ethan Carter - rated as Fair</li> </ul> <p>You can download the <a href="http://www.nvidia.com/Download/index.aspx?lang=en-us" target="_blank">driver here</a> and check out the <a href="http://us.download.nvidia.com/Windows/347.09/347.09-win8-win7-winvista-desktop-release-notes.pdf" target="_blank">release notes here (PDF)</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/nvidia_releases_geforce_34709_beta_driver_2014#comments Drivers elite: dangerous geforce 347.09 beta metal gear solid v: ground zeroes nvidia Software News Wed, 17 Dec 2014 18:54:37 +0000 Paul Lilly 29108 at http://www.maximumpc.com Look for More Business-Class Laptops Pairing SSDs with HDDs in 2015 http://www.maximumpc.com/look_more_business-class_laptops_pairing_ssds_hdds_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/hdd_ssd.jpg" alt="SSD and HDD" title="SSD and HDD" width="228" height="169" style="float: right;" />Falling prices have vendors more willing to adopt low capacity SSDs</h3> <p>Solid state drive pricing has fallen off a cliff in recent years, which is largely the result of lower cost NAND flash memory chips. Since then, SSDs have continued to trickle downwards in price, though at a much slower pace. Nevertheless, with costs still trending downward, <strong>laptop vendors are expected to offer more business-class laptops with both SSD and HDD storage options inside</strong>.</p> <p><a href="http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20141216PD213.html" target="_blank">According to <em>Digitimes</em></a>, the proportion of hybrid business-use notebooks -- laptops equipped with an SSD for the OS and HDD for storage -- currently sits at around 10 percent, though looking ahead to next year, those in the notebook supply chain say they expect that number to double to 20 percent.</p> <p>This is based on the expectation that the price for a 128GB SSD will drop to $60 in the first quarter of 2015, which would be equal to the cost of a 1TB HDD, <em>Digitimes</em> says. So what's likely to happen is there will be a bunch of business notebooks that pair a 128GB SDD with a 500GB HDD.</p> <p>Why the prominence in business-class laptops? These tend to be more expensive than consumer notebooks, which makes it easier to squeeze in upgrades like this. And with cloud-based storage taking off the way it has, vendors don't need to worry so much about equipping laptops with increasingly capacious HDDs, or so the theory goes.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/look_more_business-class_laptops_pairing_ssds_hdds_2015#comments Hard Drive Hardware HDD laptop notebook solid state drive ssd storage News Wed, 17 Dec 2014 17:44:27 +0000 Paul Lilly 29107 at http://www.maximumpc.com Sony Preps Attachable OLED Smart Glasses for CES Debut http://www.maximumpc.com/sony_preps_attachable_oled_smart_glasses_ces_debut_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/sony_smart_glasses_accessory.jpg" alt="Sony Smart Glasses Accessory" title="Sony Smart Glasses Accessory" width="228" height="218" style="float: right;" />Compact accessory turns your existing eyewear into a set of smart glasses</h3> <p>The wearables category is shaping up to be a big one, or at least manufacturers will give the segment the ol' college try. We expect to see a bunch of wearable devices at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas next month, especially since we're already seeing a handful of products hit the web ahead of the convention. Take Sony for instance -- <strong>Sony is developing a compact and lightweight single-lens display module that it says can turn various eyewear into smart devices</strong>.</p> <p>It's equipped with a high-resolution color OLED microdisplay and a micro-optical unit that's supposed to bring out the full potential of the display's image quality. There's also a miniaturized control board with arithmetic processing capabilities that Sony claims is on par with smartphones.</p> <p>Comparisons to Google Glass are inevitable, and though you can use Sony's device with different eyewear, the press shots show end results that are reminiscent of several Google Glass wearables. And of course both offer a way to interact with the world in a new way.</p> <p>"By simply attaching it to a pair of fashionable glasses, goggles, sunglasses, or other type of eyewear, you can instantly gain access to visual information that adds a level of convenience to your everyday life," <a href="http://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/News/Press/201412/14-118E/index.html" target="_blank">Sony explains</a>. "The module also has potential applications in sports or for work, among other areas, displaying helpful information that supports you in the activity you are engaged in. And this is all done in a small sub-window that does not obstruct your field of vision."</p> <p>Sony plans to provide software development kits (SDKs) to partnering organizations. It also wants to enter into mass production within the coming year.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/sony_preps_attachable_oled_smart_glasses_ces_debut_2014#comments CES display oled smart glasses sony wearables News Wed, 17 Dec 2014 17:22:07 +0000 Paul Lilly 29106 at http://www.maximumpc.com BlackBerry Classic Tips Hat to the Past, Kicks Off Comeback Strategy http://www.maximumpc.com/blackberry_classic_tips_hat_past_kicks_comeback_strategy_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/blackberry_classic_0.jpg" alt="BlackBerry Classic" title="BlackBerry Classic" width="228" height="197" style="float: right;" />Old school philosophy with new school hardware</h3> <p>Well, it's official -- <strong>BlackBerry (the company formerly known as Research In Motion, or RIM) launched its BlackBerry Classic today</strong>, a "no-nonsense" phone that harkens back to the Canadian handset maker's glory days with a physical QWERTY keyboard and built-in trackpad. It also sports several modern amenities and upgrades to go along with its keyboard, like a browser that's three times faster compared to the BlackBerry Bold 9900.</p> <p>The 3.5-inch touchscreen offers 60 percent more screen space while the phone as a whole offers 50 percent longer battery life, BlackBerry claims. Other features include a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage (expandable by up to 128GB via microSD), 2-megapixel front-facing camera, 8-megapixel rear facing camera with enhanced optics and upgraded imaging sensors, and BlackBerry 10 OS (10.3.1).</p> <p>"We listened closely to our customers’ feedback to ensure we are delivering the technologies to power them through their day – and that feedback led directly to the development of BlackBerry Classic," <a href="http://press.blackberry.com/press/2014/blackberry-classic--familiar-qwerty-design-packs-high-performanc.html" target="_blank">said John Chen</a>, Executive Chairman and CEO at BlackBerry. "BlackBerry Classic is the powerful communications tool that many BlackBerry Bold and Curve users have been waiting for. It’s the secure device that feels familiar in their hands, with the added performance and agility they need to be competitive in today’s busy world."</p> <p>With the BlackBerry Classic, BlackBerry is hoping to attract fans of physical keyboards, both loyal and new, as it attempts to regain a level of relevancy in the mobile space that it hasn't seen since Android and iOS skyrocketed to the top. According to data provided by IDC, BlackBerry OS is clinging to a meager 0.5 percent share of the worldwide smartphone market, compared to Windows Phone at 2.9 percent, iOS at 11.7 percent, and Android at 84.4 percent.</p> <p>The unlocked BlackBerry Classic runs <a href="http://shop.blackberry.com/store/bbrryus/en_US/pd/productID.310234500/Currency.USD" target="_blank">$449 on BlackBerry's website</a> and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/product/B00OYZZ3VS/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=bbclassic-20&amp;linkId=2UVALKBYIDNGYW3M" target="_blank">$499.99 on Amazon</a>. AT&amp;T and Verizon have also confirmed plans to sell the device beginning sometime next year.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/blackberry_classic_tips_hat_past_kicks_comeback_strategy_2014#comments BlackBerry blackberry classic Hardware keyboard mobile smartphone News Wed, 17 Dec 2014 16:58:40 +0000 Paul Lilly 29105 at http://www.maximumpc.com Hearthstone Arrives on Android Tablets http://www.maximumpc.com/hearthstone_arrives_android_tablets_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3>Welcome to the world of Hearthstone</h3> <p><img src="/files/u166440/hearthstone.jpg" alt="Hearthstone" title="Hearthstone" width="200" height="158" style="float: right;" />Hearthstone has been a major success for Blizzard that boasts, at last count, 20 million players. Released in March, the digital collectible card game continues to grow at a rapid pace and is available for PC, Mac OS X, and iPad devices. However, Android users have been left out until now. On Monday, <strong>Blizzard announced that Hearthstone is now available on Android tablets</strong>.</p> <p>Android tablet owners can now download the game, based on Blizzard’s Warcraft franchise, for free on Google Play or the Amazon Appstore. Initially, the Android version of Hearthstone was available only to players in Australia Canada, and New Zealand as part of phase one, but is now available globally. However, Blizzard advises those who picked up the Android version through a third-party channel should delete that version and download it from Amazon or Google Play.</p> <p>The <a title="Heartstone for Android tablets" href="http://us.battle.net/hearthstone/en/blog/17141107/hearthstone-now-available-on-android%E2%84%A2-tablets-12-15-2014?abt=nav1&amp;utm_expid=68589644-24.yOgsCsWhSz-gOSDIbl82Wg.1&amp;utm_referrer=http%3A%2F%2Fus.battle.net%2Fhearthstone%2Fen%2Fblog%2F%3Fabt%3Dnav1" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">announcement</span></a> comes shortly after the release of Goblins vs Gnomes, the latest card expansion for Hearthstone. As an incentive, those who decide to give the game a try on their Android tablet will earn a free pack of classic cards. All you have to do is play a complete game of Hearthstone in Play, Arena, or Practice mode and, win or lose, you’ll earn the free card pack.&nbsp;</p> <p>For those wondering if they Android device can handle the game, the minimum requirements for an eligible device is a 6-inch screen or larger, runs Android 4.0, and 1GB of RAM. Some of the Android tablets that can run Hearthstone include Amazon Kindle Fire HD 6, Asus Google Nexus 7, Nvidia Shield Tablet, and the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0.&nbsp;</p> <p>For a list of all Android tablets capable of running Hearthstone, feel free to visit Blizzard’s <a title="Hearthstone support page" href="https://us.battle.net/support/en/article/hearthstone-system-requirements" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">support page</span></a>.</p> <p>As for when Hearthstone will be available on smartphones, Blizzard stated that more news will be provided in early 2015</p> <p><em>Follow Sean on&nbsp;<a title="SeanDKnight Google+" href="https://plus.google.com/+SeanKnightD?rel=author" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Google+</span></a>, <a title="SeanDKnight's Twitter" href="https://twitter.com/SeanDKnight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitter</span></a>, and <a title="SeanDKnight Facebook" href="https://www.facebook.com/seandknight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Facebook</span></a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/hearthstone_arrives_android_tablets_2014#comments android Android Tablet blizzard card game hearthstone Gaming News Wed, 17 Dec 2014 02:34:12 +0000 Sean D Knight 29104 at http://www.maximumpc.com Best of the Best: Now Updated! http://www.maximumpc.com/best_of_the_best_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/best.jpg" alt="Best" title="Best" width="228" height="169" style="float: right;" />Maximum PC's "Best of the Best" List Gets Updated</h3> <p>The holiday shopping is in full swing, and though Black Friday and Cyber Monday have both come and gone, deals and savings are all over the place. If you're going to shop for computer hardware, this is one of the best times of the year to do it. And as an added bonus, you can write some of this stuff off on your taxes if you're building a new system for work chores.</p> <p>Deciding to buy new hardware is the easy part. Where it gets difficult is in deciding <em>which</em> hardware to purchase. To help make things easier for you, we've gone and updated our "Best of the Best" list one last time for 2014. We have refreshed entries for graphics cards, CPUs, motherboards, and storage.</p> <p>You can check out all of our new pics in the gallery below, though keep in mind this is a small sample of the complete list, which you can <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/best-of-the-best" target="_blank">view here</a>. And hey, we know these things tend to stir up controversy, so if have a different pick in any given category, feel free to post it in the comments section along with a note as to why you think it's the best.</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/best_of_the_best_2014#comments best of the best Build a PC features gallery Hardware maximum pc Features Tue, 16 Dec 2014 21:32:27 +0000 The Maximum PC Staff and Paul Lilly 29010 at http://www.maximumpc.com