We put six high-end keyboards to the test in search of the best keyboard
If you’re a gamer, you can probably identify a few points in time when you realized something important about your control setup that made you better at the game. When you discovered that putting your left hand on WASD gives you more options than putting it on the arrow keys, for instance, or when you realized that your crappy optical mouse was actually holding you back in shooters. These kinds of peripheral epiphanies don’t happen every day, but it might be just about time for you to have a new one. It might be time for you to realize that your keyboard is holding you back.
Note: This article originally appeared in our March 2013 issue of the magazine.
We like building our own PCs because there's a certain satisfaction that comes from hand-picking the right combination of parts, putting them together, and then fine tuning their collective performance both on a hardware and software level. A home brewed PC is never finished -- we can always add, subtract, or upgrade components, and over time, our machines become a living entity that grows alongside us. What started off as a lean, mean, pixel pushing machine may eventually end up as a whisper quiet home theater PC (HTPC).
Windows 8 ships with a new version of Windows Defender that’s supposed to offer the same level of protection as Microsoft Security Essentials. Along with other security upgrades, we’re left wondering if there’s any reason to saddle up with a third-party antivirus program. To find out, we compared Windows Defender with Avast, which as we discovered in last month’s antivirus roundup is a formidable ally to have by your side as you romp around the web.
Note: This article originally appeared in the May 2013 issue of the magazine.
What time is it? It's time to build a PC with our Blueprints! This month, we've built three rigs at three approximate price points:Budget, Baseline, and Performance. Budget gets you a capable but affordable rig, Baseline gets you a powerful that is suitable for gaming and content creation at 1080p, and Performance gets you even more.
These rigs are lab-tested and editor-approved. Feedback is, of course, welcome. Tell us what you think!
Two large, affordable gaming notebooks go fang-to-fang
Gaming notebooks can be quite pricey, but Gigabyte's P2742 and CyberPower's Fangbook X7-200 remind us that we don't need to break the bank to get PC gaming on the go. Not only are both of these 17.3-inch notebooks affordable at around $1,500, they also both feature the same Core i7 Ivy Bridge processor. Which one is worth your hard-earned money? Read on to find out.
Note: This article was taken from the May 2013 issue of the magazine.
For whatever reason, audiophile-quality headsets don’t exist unless you can spring for something like the $250 Sennheiser PC 360. Fortunately, you don’t have to use a dedicated headset anymore and can stick a capable microphone right onto your beloved headphones. The Zalman ZM-MIC1, the AntLion ModMic 2.0, and ModMic 3.0 are all priced under $50 and are aimed at headphone users.
The Samsung 840 Pro was our top SSD until the OCZ Vector came along several months later and was able to run neck-and-neck with the Sammy through our benchmark gauntlet. As it currently stands, the 256GB versions of these drives both wear a 9/Kick Ass bandolier around their midsections, but there’s still another contest that has yet to be decided. So this month, we gathered the 512GB versions of both drives and set them loose in the blood-splattered arena known as the Lab.
Note: This review was originally featured in the May 2013 issue of the magazine.
Learn how to root your Nexus Android, HTC One, and Samsung Galaxy S4
Android offers a wide variety of advanced customization options, but that’s only scratching the surface of everything you can do with Google’s open source operating system. With root access you can get down to the system level and tweak things to your liking, even going so far as completely replacing the OS.
Mechanical, membrane, and all the Cherry switches explained
So you want to buy a mechanical keyboard, eh? Why is that? Perhaps you’ve heard that they’re the growing rage among gamers and PC enthusiasts – assuming that’s still a “cool” phrase to use. Maybe you’ve gotten your hands on one and, while you’re not quite 100% sure what exactly makes them different from the keyboards you’ve been using, you nevertheless have fallen in love with the mechanical experience. Maybe you have no idea what a mechanical keyboard really is or why it rocks, but you’re interested to find out.