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Can You Survive on a Chromebook Alone?

We use nothing but Google's lightweight, cloud-based OS for a week

When Google announced Chrome OS, many people scoffed at the viability of a browser-based OS. Currently, however, Chromebooks are among the most popular inexpensive computing devices today. The search giant has done a great job of making an OS that is light enough to function on entry-level Atom-based SOCs and even low-powered ARM silicon. With the launch of many new Chromebooks (click hear to find out which one we think is the best chromebook) we wanted to see if a person could survive with a Chromebook playing games, videos, word processing and more for an entire week. Read on to see how the OS fared against Windows in our seven-day challenge.

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MSI N780 Lightning Review

MSI includes a separate utility just for the card’s fans, letting you control the outer ones separate from the inner fan.

Too exotic (and expensive) for mere mortals

Back in October, we took a look at the MSI GTX 770 Lightning, which was a bit like a hot rod that had been given a little too much go-go juice. It was fast, and provided a plethora of performance options for horsepower junkies, but it was simply unstable, even at stock clocks. Undaunted, MSI followed it up by sending us an even bigger, badder board in the same series, the GTX 780 Lightning. Like the other Lightning cards, this is the cream of the crop from MSI in terms of board design, cooling, features, and clock speeds. In other words, if you are looking for the fastest non-Titan board MSI offers, this is it. Unfortunately for MSI, though this board was quite stable overall, we didn’t see enough of a performance advantage over other GTX 780 cards to justify its outrageous $750 sticker price.

Note: This review was originally featured in the December 2013 issue of the magazine

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The Intel DZ87KLT-75K includes a USB Wi-Fi/ Bluetooth adapter that attaches to the inside of your drive bays.

LGA1150 is here to stay—get used to it

We’ve seen a mixed reaction to Intel’s new Haswell CPU and LGA1150 socket from enthusiasts. Some, like us, see it as a solid piece of hardware with welcome improvements for the platform if upgrading from older hardware. Others have unfurled “Don’t Reboot Me” flags and refuse to give up on their LGA1155 socket until we pry it from their warm, moist hands.

Note: This review was originally featured in the November 2013 issue of the magazine.

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Google Nexus 7 Review

Google and Asus again teamed up to make the new Nexus 7, and while the physical changes are subtle, they amount to a more sophisticated-looking device.

Same name, new-and-improved experience

It’s hard not to have high expectations of Google’s new Nexus 7—the original was a standout product that offered a satisfying Android experience in a highly portable 7-inch form factor, for less than $200. Now we’ve got the new Nexus 7 (is it us, or is it very annoying that it has the exact same name?) promising a number of refinements to the original, but also asking a higher price: $230 for 16GB, $270 for 32GB (reviewed here). You’re probably wondering if it’s still a compelling product.

Note: This article was originally featured in the December 2013 issue of the magazine