We pit a 60Hz panel against a 144Hz panel to see if hype over the higher spec is warranted
We all know how the game is played when it comes to selling tech products. Six cores are better than four, two GPUs are better than one, and 1GHz is better than 500MHz. Besides the underlying pixel technology, monitors have really only been sold on either size or resolution—until now. In the last few years, manufacturers have begun marketing panels with more than double the refresh rate of a standard LCD panel. Rather than the 60Hz refresh rate that LCDs have been stuck with since, well, forever, these new monitors push the refresh rate to 120Hz and even 144Hz. A high refresh rate promises smoother scrolling and less blur in games, but these qualities may not be for everyone.
Note: This review was originally featured in the May 2013 issue of the magazine.
Since time began, the fittest of any species have found ways to test their mettle in the fiery cauldron of competition. First there was the Olympics, then Jeopardy, and finally – the Maximum PC Geek Quiz. Though you are probably cracking your knuckles, keep in mind that we've designed this timed quiz, not to entertain you, but to destroy you. Yes, those are fighting words. And yes, we mean it. Don't worry – we've made this a fair fight by mixing softballs with knees-to-the-groin-region, so if you're a regular reader of Maximum PC, and don't go running off to your Google mommy, you should come out the other end of this a better man, woman, or child.
Note: We have listened to your feedback and have removed the pesky timer on the quiz! Now you'll be able to enjoy the test at your own pace. To take it a step further, we encourage you to discuss the questions and answers in the comments below!
The fine art of browser vendors touting their respective browsers while simultaneously deriding competing ones has been reduced to a very banal affair of late, with most vendors simply concentrating on browsing speeds and HTML5-related enhancements. Does even a single browser vendor not possess the will and imagination necessary to break this trend? Apparently, Microsoft has done just that by comparing IE9’s power consumption habits with that of other major browsers, including Safari 5, Opera 11, Chrome 10, and Firefox 4. Hit the jump for the results.
Instead, the company has restricted the Intel Atom-based device to Google employees and those accepted into the Chrome OS Pilot Program, implying that the Cr-48 is just a pilot device. According to the internet titan, Chrome OS is still not a finished product and that user feedback is needed to lend finishing touches to the software.
“Some of the features of Chrome OS require new hardware, but we didn’t want to sell pre-beta computers. Instead we’re launching a pilot program where we will give test notebooks to qualified users, developers, schools and businesses. We're starting with the U.S. and will expand to other countries once we get the necessary certifications,” the Google Chrome team said in a blog post.
The Cr-48 features a 12.1-inch screen, integrated 3G from Verizon, Wi-Fi, and a full-sized keyboard and touch pad. The pilot program will also include 100MB of free data per day for two years, with the option of additional data through paid plans starting at $9.99. The pilot program is currently only restricted to applicants from the United States, but will gradually be expanded to other countries.
According to Taiwanese site Digitimes, the Cr-48 is being manufactured by Inventec, which has already shipped 60,000 units of the device to Google. The first mass market Chrome OS devices will be available in the first half of next year.
Anyone can benchmark a Web browser. While the overall validity of any given browser test can vary, in terms of how well it actually indicates a browser's average performance, there are nevertheless a ton of different ways to approximate your browser's rendering speeds. And not only can you run these tools across different versions of a single browser--you can use the benchmarks to compare competing browsers to determine which is really the best combination of speed and features for you.
Okay, i'm doing my best not to write about the iPad too much this weekend, but believe me its not easy. First impressions, app lists, and talk of accessories seems to have completely dominated the news cycle, but one article I stumbled upon seems to stand out from the rest. The iPad is a good looking piece of hardware, I won't deny it that, but what would it take to kill one? Well according to the guys over at PCWorld not much.
Turns out spilling coffee on the screen and even a few soft bounces on carpet are more than enough to cause serious hardware failure. I'm sure most of us expect a bit more durability out of our mobile gadgets, but hey they said it was magical not droppable right? Either way its a good reminder for new iPad owners that it is probably worth it to pony up for a protective case as one of those two scenarios are bound to happen eventually.
The spilled coffee and dropping on carpet pretty much cover off the normal use case accidents, but if you want to check out the iPad getting submerged, dropped on concrete, and even hit with a baseball you should probably check out the rest of the video for yourself after the jump.
How much battery life does your laptop or netbook have? I don't know. I bet you don't know either. Or, at the very least, you're probably relying on a manufacturer's statement as to just how much computing time you can get on a fully charged battery. But as you well know, your battery life can vary depending on how you use your laptop: If you're rocking the brightness at maximum, keeping an active Wi-Fi on at all times, and burning your CPU at full-blast, you're going to run through your available power far faster than if your laptop was doing little-to-nothing.
Sure, you can hover your mouse over the battery icon of your Windows taskbar to estimate just how much juice is left in the pitcher. But if you want a more comprehensive analysis of how your portable PC will perform at full-blast under whatever conditions you've set up, you'll need to turn to a third-party utility for the full breakdown.
And as it just so happens, I have the perfect piece of freeware in mind: Imtec Battery Mark. Click the jump to find out more about this awesome laptop battery tester!
I'm sure many readers of Maximum PC--this one included--have jumped onboard the Google DNS ship, lured either by promises of increased speed versus one's own DNS server or a simple fascination at anything Google does. Fair, at least with the latter. Because it would be erroneous to just switch over to an alternate DNS server without any kind of assessment that what you're doing is actually the best-case scenario for your home or office setup.
That said, it's important to first give props to Google for delivering a DNS service that appears to be free of any kind of takeovers or unexpected redirects. Just try hand-pounding your keyboard after clicking on your browser's address board, then hit enter. If the resulting "fasdfljsajdf.com" isn't actually a Web site, you'll notice how... nothing happens, save for the standard "what are you doing?" error page (depending on your browser of choice). That's a bit different than OpenDNS, which routes you over to one of its own landing pages--oddly, a rebranded version of Yahoo! search--that's stacked with advertising related to whatever it is you mistyped. Weak.
Redirects aside, it's important to know exactly what you're getting into when you start fussing around with going a step beyond your ISP's default DNS servers. Like a tangible product review, you should really assess what you're gaining and losing through the use of either OpenDNS or Google DNS from both a performance and features standpoint.
After the jump, I'll share my own personal results with using both Google DNS and OpenDNS, and show you exactly how you can figure out the best-case scenario for your own browsing needs!
Factor these (now) thirty-six tests against an average of ten test suite iterations--a minimum number of variances that Resig runs in a common jQuery testing environment. That's three hundred and sixty runs for every test you create, more if you're expanding to include OSX and Linux platforms. And did I mention that the best results tend to occur when actual human beings are behind the testing instead of some automated attempt at user interaction? Yeaaaah...