For those looking for a round PC experience, hardware manufacturer Zotac International has unveiled the new ZBOX Sphere OI520 Series. The form for this series of mini PCs is in the shape of a sphere and is powered by the Intel Core i5 4200U processor (1.6 GHZ base, 2.6GHz Turbo).
There’s a little secret in the high-end PC market—few if any of these premium rigs actually have truly unique case enclosures. Instead, most boutique builders start with existing off-the-shelf chassis and customize from there.
\Note: This review was originally featured in the January 2014 issue of the magazine.
The Gigabyte GTX 780 Ti OC Edition is somewhat like a Maximum PC editor, in that it is powerful and mostly silent. This is the OC Edition we are testing, so it’s in a high state of tune right out of the box, thanks to a colossal “WindForce” cooler that can expel up to 450W of heat—it’s almost overkill on this 250W TDP GPU. Keep in mind we are big fans of overkill, though, particularly when this package costs exactly the same amount of money as the reference board. So, yes, you get all this cooling and overclocking for free.
Note: This review was originally featured in the February 2014 issue of the magazine
Six cutting-edge gaming mice. Which one belongs in your paw?
We tend to think of some PC components as having a longer shelf life than others. A video card gets out of date faster than a motherboard, which gets out of date faster than an optical drive, for instance. Some people think that a mouse falls way down at the bottom of that list, somewhere between a power supply and the screwdriver you use to put the whole thing together, but those people have got it all wrong.
Note: This article was originally featured in the January 2014 issue of the magazine.
Looking at Microsoft’s hardware model, you might think that all Windows tablet/laptop hybrids fall into one of two camps: capable-but-pricey, à la the Surface 2 Pro, or the opposite of that, i.e., the ARM-toting, Windows RT–sporting Surface 2. Luckily, not all PC manufacturers see things so black-and-white. Hence we have the Asus Transformer Book T100, which not only offers Intel’s new x86 Bay Trail Atom processor and a full version of Windows 8.1, but is also priced at an affordable $400 for the 64GB model reviewed here ($350 for the 32GB). Shoot, an ARM-based Surface 2 with 64GB of storage costs $550! And that’s with the funky, fuzzy, flat TouchCover keyboard. That makes the T100 a compelling value proposition, to be sure. But we wanted to know how this combination tablet/laptop fares in actual use.
Note: This review was originally featured in the January 2014 issue of the magazine.
Cooler Master has unveiled the NovaTouch TKL mechanical keyboard an Pax East. Maximum PC’s Jimmy Thang was able to see the new keyboard that features a silicon-based injection around the mechanical key switches.
If you have been looking for a mouse that will let you shoot the wings off of a fly, then Logitech’s G502 Proteus Core gaming mouse might be the one for you. Maximum PC’s Jimmy Thang got to see the Proteus Core, which features a 12,000DPI sensor, up close and personal at PAX East.
HyperX is showing off its HyperX Cloud headset at PAX East. A division of Kingston, HyperX has added quite a few interesting features to this headset which Maximum PC’s Jimmy Thang was able to learn about.
A 4K gaming laptop and the Aorus X7 gaming notebook
With 4K monitors on the shelves, it is only a matter of time before 4K laptops start to reach into the wallets of tech enthusiasts. Maximum PC’s Jimmy Thang got to see an Alienware18-inch laptop running in 4K during his Intel booth tour at Pax East.