Review

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HP Omni 27-1015T Review

Has HP lost its touch?

We used to get excited when HP would send us its latest all-in-one. Each new model seemed to add some cool innovation or new feature that no other manufacturer had. The Omni 27-1015T has us wondering if the all-in-one pioneer has tired of pushing the envelope.

HP needs to move the power button off the top of its all-in-one PCs; it’s too easy to accidently turn the machine off while adjusting the angle of the display.

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Gateway ZX6971-UR10P Review

A modest PC with a modest price tag

Gateway lists no fewer than 13 all-in-one models on its website, and this model with a dual-core CPU, integrated graphics, and twisted nematic LCD is its top offering. If the PCs in this roundup were playing football, the Gateway would be the water boy. But if all you need in a family PC is a machine for web browsing, email, productivity, and watching DVDs, this might be all you need.

Gateway’s ZX6970-UR10P is a very basic touchscreen PC with a price tag that won’t induce sticker shock

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Dell XPS One 27 Review

My God! It’s full of stars!

OK, our first look at the Dell XPS One’s gorgeous display didn’t leave us quite as flabbergasted as astronaut David Bowmanstaring into the monolith at the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey. But the absolutely gorgeous Samsung PLS panel—with its 2560x1440native resolution—did leave us a bit slack-jawed. The XPS One’s$2,000 price tag might have contributed to that reaction, too; then again, a 27-inch Samsung Series 9 display built using the same panel costs $1,200 all by itself.

Dell’s XPS One 27 is a gorgeous computer. You’ll have to decide if it’s $2,000

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MSI GTX 660 Twin Frozr OC Edition Review

Twin Frozr

MSI GTX 660 Twin Frozr OC Edition

MSI’s GTX 660 is an all-around great card that includes a healthy dollop of overclocking and a side of Frozr to keep it cool. Its base clock speed is a decent 53MHz over stock at 1,033Mhz, and when running at full load we saw its boost clock speed rise 130MHz over stock to 1,110MHz, which is also higher than the stock boost-clock spec. The Twin Frozr III cooler sports three copper heat pipes, aluminum fins, and dual 8cm fans housed in a metal-alloy shroud to direct the airflow. Like the other GTX 660 cards, it uses just a single 6-pin power connector, but unlike the others it sports an extra-long 9-inch PCB (Gigabyte’s board is just 7.5 inches but the cooler is actually 9 inches long).

 

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Gigabyte GTX 660 OC Version Review

Gigabyte GTX 660 OC Version

Gigabyte GTX 660 OC Version

Gigabyte’s GTX 660 is similar to MSI’s board in that it’s overclocked and has a cooler with a silly name—Windforce. The board is clocked at the same base and boost clock speeds as the MSI card, too, running at 1,033MHz and 1,098MHz, respectively. The cooler features four copper heat pipes, aluminum fins, and two large 10cm fans breathing down on the whole shebang. Even though the board sports a smallish 7.5-inch PCB, the cooling apparatus is so large that it’s 2-inches longer than the PCB and extends the length of the card to 9.5 inches. With a cooler this large you expect it to perform quite well, and it does. It kept the card absolutely silent even when the board was being tortured in the Lab, and allowed it to run at a moderately cool 63 C under full load.

 

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Asus GeForce GTX 690 Review

SLI speeds on a single card

Hello, gorgeous. That’s what we said when we first laid eyes on Nvidia’s reference design for the GeForce GTX 690, which combines two full 28nm GK104 GPUs into one PCB and covers them with the best-looking cooling shroud we’ve seen on any videocard. Our in-depth analysis of the reference card can be found in our August 2012 issue, but we can’t verdictize a reference card. If you’re wondering how this Asus GTX 690 differs from the reference card Nvidia sent us, wonder no more: It’s exactly the same, except the edges of the PCB are a slightly different color.

Still gorgeous. Still massive.

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Polywell H7700i-400B Review

Desktop power in a tiny box

We had a tough time figuring out how to categorize the Polywell H770i-400B PC. Its small size puts it clearly in the class of HTPCs or mini PCs that get tucked behind a monitor or TV.

What’s confusing about the Polywell H7700i-400B is its power curve. PCs in this class typically pack AMD’s Fusion CPUs or Intel’s lower-voltage CPUs to balance price, thermals, acoustics, and the typically modest performance requirements of a mini PC.

A handsome aluminum chassis is marred by chintzy rubber feet that easily come loose.

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Asus Zenbook UX32Vd Review

Now with discrete graphics!

When Asus’s Zenbook UX31E debuted last year, it seemed to almost single-handedly put Ultrabooks on the map. Its intriguing mix of good looks, performance, and price convinced many a skeptic, us included, that PCs could compete with the likes of Apple’s vaunted MacBook Air—at a price that catered to common folk.

The UX32Vd comes with a protective sleeve, as well as a small pouch for carrying two connector dongles: one USB-to-Ethernet, one Mini-VGA-to-VGA.

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Gigabyte G1.Sniper M3 Review

MicroATX board shoots for your dollar

Gigabyte’s G1.Killer series of motherboards have always been love-it-or-leave-it affairs. While some laud the gun-shaped heatsinks of the series, others think them garish or just plain tacky.

The G1.Sniper M3 gets you SLI and CrossFireX in a compact package

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Fractal Design Define R4 Review

A good, quiet case that needs more ‘oomph’

Fractal Design’s Define R3 chassis, which we reviewed in January 2011, impressed us with its combination of functionality and customizability at a low price. The Define R4 is an updated version of that chassis, and like its predecessor is tricked out for noise control—if not enthusiast building.

The Define R4 isn't much to look at on the outside, but Fractal Design has made some good tweaks to the system's insides to take it above and beyond its predecessor.