Thursday, March 12, 2015
Author: Ken Scott
Asus ROG G751JY-DH72X

There are not many laptops in the market that are optimized for gaming. Even the few that are usually do not live up to expectations. Gamers have to stick to gaming consoles or PCs for heavy gaming. Asus released a few laptops that are especially meant for gaming. One laptop that really stands out in their range of gaming systems is the ROG G751JY-DH72X. This laptop was released in the latter half of 2014 and has been garnering some pretty good reviews since. Let’s take a look at what this gaming laptop has to offer.

Laptop specs that are perfect for gaming

What should a good gaming laptop ideally be like? It needs to have a really good memory and storage, a good keyboard for playing, fans that keep the system cool even with hours of intensive gaming and most importantly, a good wide screen with a great display that lets you really immerse yourself in the world of gaming.

  • A 17.3 inch IPS (In-plane Switching) matte finish display with a high definition screen. It has a 1,080 by 1,920 resolution, and is very bright. It is a perfect display for mobile gaming.
  • 1 TB hard disk drive that gives it a huge storage space, along with a 32 GB memory.
  • The latest 4th generation Core i7 processors from Intel coupled with the best GeForce GTX graphics that NVIDIA has to offer.
  • Dual fans to keep the machine cool even at the peak of gaming and battles.
  • Special buttons to share gaming stats and scores with your friends on social media.
  • Red backlit keyboard is well spaced with a full numeric keypad, all of which is optimized for better gaming comfort.

Do not compare it with prices of gaming consoles, because you will definitely be disappointed. But if you consider its pricing of just under $3000, it is actually very affordable for a gaming laptop considering all the specs it offers. Other good gaming laptops and desktops are easily at least four to five times the price of this Asus.

A few red flags for the ROG G751JY-DH72X

  • Screen not big enough. You will need to invest in a separate wide screen for your gaming.
  • Battery life could be better. It is moderately good, not that great.
  • No touch screen, so you have make do with the keyboard for controls and gaming.

Overall, if you have been looking for a good gaming laptop and have just a few thousand dollars to spare, the Asus ROG G751JY-DH72X is a good deal for the specs and features it offers. It is a perfect laptop for mobile gaming with amazing features and specs that gives you a very satisfying gaming experience.

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Monday, March 9, 2015
Author: Ken Scott
Razer Blade 2015 – The Ultraportable Gaming Machine

The Razer Blade (2015) is a great improvement over its 2014 version. The latest Razer Blade promises to offer a better hardware and improve all the shortcoming of its 2014 version and find its top spot as the ultraportable machine for gaming.

Design and features

There is no change in the design of Razer Blade 2015 as it has always been perfect. The device weighs about 4.47 pounds with a height of 0.7 inches and a width of 13.6 inches. The machine is lightweight; the keyboard is back-lit and the aluminum is matte black.

The resolution (3,200 by 1,800) is impressive as its predecessor. The screen comes with a touch capability of 10 points and this is quite unusual for a gaming ultrabook. The Razer keyboards have always been good and likewise, the 2015 Razer Blade also has a nice comfortable keyboard ideal for gaming. You can also remap keys or use macro commands that you can assign in the Synapse dashboard. The keyboard has a nice set of speakers attached with a great sound system.

Razer Blade (2015) has three USB 3.0 ports; two on the left and one on the right. It comes with the usual Wi-Fi and Bluetooth features. The power adapter is lightweight and compact for ease of portability.

Performance

The new Razer Blade comes with a 16 GB RAM, which is exactly twice the previous model. The processor is Intel Core i7-4720HQ and combined with the allotted RAM gives the machine good power. It is good for general tasks and is just okay when it comes to gaming as compared with other similar laptops. But the makers have improved the graphics in comparison to the previous version. But since it is marketed as a gaming laptop it is made available in the new version and it definitely scores higher than the 2014 model. But the improved graphics are still not perfect and you need to tweak the settings a bit when you want a lower resolution.

The battery life is an improvement over the 2014 Razer Blade, which had a dismal battery performance. At 5.52 hours the new Razer Blade not only scores over its predecessor, but holds an upper hand over all gaming portables in the market today. Razer fans might be disappointed if they compare it with Razer Blade (2013), which offered two hours more than the current version. But it levels the scores when you take into account the improved resolution and graphics of the Razer Blade 2015.

Overall it is a marked improvement over the 2014 version in every way. But it also is better than the 2013 version in terms of overall value. At an approximate price of $2400, Razer Blade 2015 is a good lightweight machine for gaming and comes with all the features needed for a good gaming experience.

Thursday, March 5, 2015
Author: Ken Scott
Digital Storm Vanquish II

Gaming systems are expensive, be it desktops or laptops. It is difficult a find a gaming computer that is good and inexpensive. Digital Storm is a privately owned company in the United States that makes customized laptops and desktops specifically for gaming. The company released their latest custom-designed gaming PC, the Digital Storm Vanquish II, in 2014. It is a desktop computer that is solidly built, performs really well and can be bought for next to nothing. Take a look at the features and specs of this new gaming PC on the market.

What is good in the Digital Storm Vanquish II

Digital Storm is of the few boutique companies that makes and sells custom computers. The Vanquish II, their latest offering, does not disappoint. It looks pretty sharp with its gray body and blue lighting, and surprises you with its build quality.

  • Processor is the latest Intel 3.3GHz quad-core Haswell Refresh Core i5-4590.
  • The latest NVIDIA GTX770 or GTX780 graphics (depending on the level you choose), that gives high resolutions even at 1080p gaming and decently usable frame rates at even 2560x1600.
  • Spacious 8 GB memory, up to 1 TB Seagate storage, and a 120 GB SSD.

It is a very reasonably priced gaming computer that costs anywhere between $700 and $1300, depending on the level you choose to buy. It offers really good build quality for the price. The computer performs amazingly well while gaming even with a single GPU.

The system comes in four pre-tested models according to different gaming levels. Since they are ready pieces that are pre-customized and tested, they are shipped within hours of ordering, a big first for customized PCs. These computers come with an extended 3 year limited warranty period, another first. Most custom PC manufacturers offer just one or two year warranty periods in general.

What keeps the Digital Storm Vanquish II from being the best in its class

Although the Digital Storm Vanquish II is a well-built gaming computer, it does have a few drawbacks for its price point. The limited ports reduce expandability and performance enhancement options and the computer can feel quite bulky.

  • Micro ATX motherboard limits expansion capacity.
  • Limited ports not adequate for performance-enhanced gaming.
  • A bit bulky when it comes to the back plate.

If you are looking at value for money in a customized gaming computer that will be shipped right away and are not looking at updating your system very often, then the Digital Storm Vanquish II is the way to go. It is built really well, takes care of gaming needs beautifully up to 1080p, and is great value for money for the specs and features it has to offer.

Monday, March 2, 2015
Author: Ken Scott
Digital Storm Triton

Digital Storm Triton is a nice mid-range gaming machine with cool features and good performance. With an approximate price of $1700 it is a great value buy for gaming fans.

Features and design

Digital Storm Triton weighs about 5.8 pounds and has a height of 0.98 inches and width of 15 inches. Its design is so low-key that it looks more like a business laptop rather than a gaming laptop. But it has beveled corners and side venting which adds an edge to its simple design.

It has a comfortable back-lit keyboard with a numeric keypad. The keys are slightly curved in  which provides better grip to the user. There are two mouse buttons on the touch-pad, which offers functional ease during gaming. The screen measures 15.6 inches and offers a resolution of 1920 by 1080. This resolution is good enough for gaming enabling the makers to keep the price tag affordable.

The Triton comes with great connectivity options. You get an Ethernet port, one USB port (2.0), three USB ports (3.0), two DisplayPorts (mini) one HDMI port and also an SD card reader, Bluetooth (4.0) and other options for wireless connectivity. Storage is decent, but you get the optical drives only as an external option.

Performance

Digital Storm Triton has a great processor (Intel Core i7-4710HQ), a good graphics card and an 8 GB RAM, which can be upgraded to 32 GB. All these make Triton a great gaming laptop and offer gamers a perfect choice of machine at a good price. This holds Triton in good stead when compared with other gaming laptops with a higher price tag.

Battery life is good enough at about four and a half hours. This is better than other gaming laptops in the similar price ranges. But more than four hours is a good time for a few sessions of your favorite game and if you keep the power adapter nearby you don’t need to interrupt your gaming session. The sound can be better and you can’t hear much if there is a loud noise nearby. The speakers are not great so you would need headphones. The cooling fans are very noisy and you can hear its whirring when using the laptop.

Digital Storm Triton may not be the best gaming laptop available today. But it is the best gaming laptop thanks to its decent price range. It also comes with a warranty of three years, which is an added bonus when you buy the Digital Storm Triton. Feature-wise it only lacks a few, compared with pricier models. It offers everything you need for a satisfactory to good gaming experience and you can’t get better than this at the same cost.

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Thursday, February 26, 2015
Author: Ken Scott
Dell XPS 13 Touch

For those looking for a premium ultrabook with good looks and solid performance Dell XPS 13 Touch is worth a buy. It is slim, light and comes with a powerful processor. At an approximate price of $1400 it is a high-end buy, but matches the cost with a solid performance.

Slim looks and other features

The chassis of the machine has a width of 12 inches, depth of eight inches and is 0.6 inches in height with a weight of around 2.75 pounds. This makes XPS 13 Touch lighter than the previous model. This puts it in the middle when it comes to weight of several other notebooks in the market, which are priced lower and some that cost way more. So with XPS 13 you get a lightweight and slim notebook with good looks in the decent price range.

It comes with a keyboard covered with carbon fiber, but the outer parts are made with machined aluminum. The screen comes with a resolution of 3,200 by 1,800, which is great for movies and videos. You can see the finer details and really enjoy the visual quality that XPS 13 offers. You might be a bit disappointed with port selection, but it is good enough with two USB ports (3.0) and one mini port and comes with an SD card reader. Don’t let the lack of ports stop you from buying it. You can easily add more with Dell’s USB adapter that you can buy for $60 and add HDMI, VGA, Ethernet and USB 2.0 port.

The XPS 13 Touch also comes with an 8 GB memory and 256 GB SSD.  Some might not find it adequate storage for all downloads, but it is good enough especially if you subscribe to streaming services.

Solid performance

The XPS 13 Touch is equipped with an Intel Core processor (fifth-generation, i5-5200U) and is enough to thoroughly impress any user. It also comes with a CPU with low voltage and HD graphics from Intel. It is also an ideal ultrabook for web developers and photographers as it has options for creating 2D content.

With such a premium notebook you might expect a great battery life. Sadly that is not the case here. It gives you almost 7.5 hours and there are many notebooks offering many more hours. But more than seven hours can be considered quite a good number if you don’t compare it with higher numbers of other machines.

The bottom line is that Dell XPS 13 Touch is worth a buy for its superior touch screen, slim looks, sturdy construction and its really good processor and hence performance. This is a good choice if you are looking for a slim, premium, high-performing windows ultrabook costing just a bit more than other notebooks.

Monday, February 23, 2015
Author: Ken Scott
Acer Aspire E (E5-771G-51T2)

It is good to see that in these times of compact machines you can still find a laptop with a big screen if you so desire. The Aspire E (E5-771G-51T2) is just once such offering from Acer. But it offers a whole more than just its large size. However, people are buying it mostly for its size and let other features be the bonuses that come along with it.

Massive screen and other features

Acer Aspire E is large in size, but it doesn’t weigh much at 6.5 pounds and isn’t very thick. So the large size doesn’t bog the look of the machine down. The screen measures 17 inches and has a resolution of 1,920 by 1,080. This feature makes Aspire E a good buy in the market with similar price tags.

The large size of Aspire E also accommodates a wide keyboard. It has a nice full-sized numeric pad, but the keys are not back-lit. But the key sizes are good so typing is comfortable and the overall keyboard layout is spacious. The touch-pad is also comfortable to use with its width of more than four inches. There is another advantage to its size as it comes with many connectivity options. It offers an HDMI port, four USB ports (both 2.0 and 3.0), a VGA port, and an Ethernet port.

Aspire E comes with an 8 GB memory and worked perfectly when you need to keep open many browser tabs. It also comes with a spacious hard drive (1TB). So you do have download space and speed.

Good performance

Acer Aspire E gives a decent performance with its Intel Core processor (1.7GHz, i5-4210U). It is also a good laptop for gaming. Another good point is its battery life, which gives up to 4.25 hours of steady use. This doesn’t matter much as first it is quite a decent time and gives you enough power to work unplugged for a few hours. And second, owing to its size, you are hardly going to be traveling with it over long distances. So, the power is good enough for home use. The battery however is sealed so it is not easy to replace if you need to after a few years but it’s just a minor issue.

Overall, Aspire E is a good choice if you are looking to buy a laptop as a desktop replacement and with a price tag of $799 approximately it really is a good choice. You can definitely buy laptops with better performance in similar or even lower price ranges. But if you want a laptop with a large screen that also gives good performance for most features, then Aspire E (E5-771G-51T2) is a good machine to buy.

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Monday, February 16, 2015
Author: Ken Scott
Acer TravelMate B

If you are a basic laptop user, many of the new laptops and computers can easily overwhelm you with their specifications, features and price. They may provide you with things that you know you do not need and will never use, but will still end up paying for it all. If this is a problem you have faced every time you need to change your laptop, here is some respite. If you are looking for a change, check out the new Acer TravelMate B.

Why the Acer TravelMate B?

The Acer TravelMate B is made keeping in mind the basic laptop user. It is simple, basic and has no frills attached. It is easy-to-use and help you work just about anywhere, be it browsing the internet, writing or editing documents or doing other simple jobs like photo editing. It can be used for both home and office work, as well as for studying. If you are someone who flies frequently and works on flights, this laptop is perfect with its compact size and weight.

A few specifications of the Acer TravelMate:

  • It has a 11.6 inch LCD touchscreen display with a resolution of 1366 x 768
  • It comes with an Intel Celeron N2940 processor
  • It has an in-built 500 GB HDD storage capacity
  • It comes with an Intel HD Graphics card
  • It weighs just under 3 lbs
  • It has Ethernet and wi-fi connectivity
  • It has a classy matte black finish
  • Ultra-portable with all the basic ports in place

The specifications are basic, nothing very grand, but will meet all your everyday needs.

Pros and cons of the Acer TravelMate B

Here is a look at what is great and not so good about this laptop. There is not much you can say when it comes to the cons, since it is something very user-specific and is mostly about what you are more comfortable with.

Pros:

  • Very light and easy to carry around
  • Over 7 hours of battery life with mixed use
  • 10 point touch screen display for under $400
  • Matte texture both on the outside and for the keypad makes it easy to use
  • Great value for money
  • Two year warranty

Cons:

  • All ports on the back panel, may be difficult to use at times
  • Good only for basic photo editing work
  • Cost slightly higher than competitors, due to a 10-point touch screen

As you can see, the pros of this laptop are many and makes it a great piece of technology to own if you are not looking at playing games with heavy files or doing heavy photo editing work. For all other daily use, be it at home, work or for studies, this ultra-portable laptop works really well.

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Thursday, February 12, 2015
Author: Ken Scott
Dell Inspiron 14

If you have had a desktop all this time at home or work and are looking at getting a replacement without compromising on the advantages of a desktop, consider buying Dell. Dell has of late come out with a range of laptops that is giving stiff competition to the best desktops out there for regular home or office use. One such laptop is the Dell Inspiron 14 5447. If you are looking for a change, you have to take a look at this laptop.

What is so great about Inspiron 14?

The Dell Inspiron series is known for its sturdiness, great looks, sleek design and amazing functionality at unbelievably low prices. It can compete with the best home and work desktops out there and give them a run for their money. Here are a few of the specifications of the Dell Inspiron 14 to give you some idea about how good it is.

  • It has a 14-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels
  • It has an Intel Core i5 – 4210U processor with a speed of 1.7gHz
  • It weighs just over 2 kilos
  • It comes with  a 1TB HDD storage capacity
  • It has an in-built graphics card
  • It has a 3-cell battery that lasts for about 5-6 hours with mixed usage
  • It also has a back-lit keyboard

With these specifications, it can easily replace your home, study or work desktop without you having to adjust much in terms of usage or functionality.

Advantages of switching to the Dell Inspiron 14 5447

Dell has a number of advantages over your desktop. Here are a few pros of switching to this laptop:

  • Light, sleek design helps you save space at home or work
  • Unlike desktops, you can carry the laptop around with you wherever you go, making it more convenient and accessible for everyday use
  • You can watch movies in HD as well as use simple photo editing tools without issues on this powerful system
  • You get a better, classier and more refined look to your home or office without you having to spend a large amount of money
  • You can carry the laptop to the library if you need to refer books and make notes
  • You can also take it with you for meals if you are in the middle of a great movie and do not want to break the continuity when ordering food

If you are looking at a great buy and good value for money, you should definitely consider going for the Dell Inspiron 114 5447 laptop. You can rent it out from computer rental services in case you do not want to directly invest in buying one for yourself.

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Friday, January 30, 2015
Author: Ken Scott
HP Omen 15 Gaming Laptop

Many mainstream manufacturers of personal computers have ventured into the gaming industry over the past two years or so. HP is one such PC manufacturer and the Omen 15 is its best gaming machine yet. The laptop is slim and features a 15-inch screen. It is available in a unique trapezoidal profile in an anodized black finish with glowing red accents. A sparkly chrome hinge provides some visual flair while a colored flame design at the hinge’s ends adds to its aesthetics. Tiny triangles are present on the black aluminium across the lid, and the company’s logo is imprinted into it.

Specifications

Weighing around 4.7 pounds and measuring 9.7 by 15.1 by 0.8 inches, the Omen 15 is sturdy yet light enough, so users can carry it in their backpacks or under their arms. The display has a resolution of 1920-by-1080, making it an ideal combination for gaming systems. The touch-screen aspect of the laptop offers a fuller experience whilst boasting quality sound owing to Beats Audio and two speakers that face towards the front.

RGB back-lighting is present in the keyboard and there are multiple lighting zones (WASD, centre, left, and right keys), allowing you to change the color to the hue of your choice. The speakers can also have the lighting set in a manner such that it throbs to the beats, or reacts in accordance with the loud noise in whichever game you may be playing.

Almost all the ports in Omen 15 are placed on the laptop’s back edge and located between exhaust vents. Not only does it keep the tangling of cables at a minimum, but also makes it easier to plug in a mouse, an external monitor, or a flash drive. There are four USB 3.0 ports along with a mini Display Port and an HDMI-out port so that the headset combo jack and external monitors can be easily connected.

HP Omen 15 Gaming Laptop

Performance

An i7-4710HQ processor from Intel Core is fitted into the Omen 15. It comes with a quad-core processor with a 16 GB RAM, making it ideal for gamers. With 4 GB memory and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M GPU, the Omen 15 provides a better gaming experience than most laptops out there.

The only surprise in the Omen 15 is that there aren’t too many apps and software preloaded into the cmputer system. Several mainstream laptop manufacturers usually stick with their software loads when designing gaming systems, which is why they are often priced at a premium and unnecessarily bloated. There is no such problem with the Omen 15 and it also comes with Office 365 and McAfee Security with a trial period of 30 days. The keyboard customisation, driver controls and performance monitoring are included in a custom dashboard. The system is covered with a one-year warranty.

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Thursday, January 29, 2015
Author: Ken Scott
Dell Inspiron 13 7000 Hybrid Laptop

Tech-savvy users find convertible-hybrid laptops convenient because they can be used as a tablet and can also use a touchpad and keyboard as their main input devices. The metal-clad, sturdy chassis in the Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1 laptop features a foldable full-size keyboard, enabling users to use it like a tablet. The 13.3 inches In-Plane Switching panel  displays bold and bright colors as well as wide viewing angles whilst providing a receptive 10-point capacitive touch technology. An i5 Intel Core processor offers excellent performance, but users find that the system is somewhat heavy for a tablet of its size.

Design

The aluminium chassis along with a sleek design offers a solid feel and look to the Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1. At 8.7 by 12.9 by 0.8 inches, it is quite portable. A 1920-by-1080 full HD IPS display is used to build the system with edge-to-edge glass. Scrolling gestures, zooming, and swiping are handled by the touch screen with some aplomb. Moreover, the brilliant colors displayed by the panel offer a great viewing experience, which is only enhanced by the wonderful color tone and sharp detail to image. The speakers are embedded in the base and offer exceptional volume, but the lack of bass response makes the sound tinny.

The screen on the laptop is attached to the keyboard with the use of two strong hinges that come with a folding range of 360 degrees, enabling the device to be used as a tablet or a laptop. Users can also partially fold the keyboard and use it in stand-by mode or Tent mode.

Dell Inspiron 13 7000 Hybrid Laptop

The keyboard comes in a chiclet style with white lettering and black keys and the exterior of the laptop matches the palm rest, making the keyboard both responsive as well as comfortable. The 2.5-by-4.0-inch multipoint touchpad offers excellent receptiveness too whilst offering enough room for Windows 8 gestures. The Pen functionality can also be used thanks to a stylus provided with the system, while a webcam of 720p is also present in the upper bezel of the display.

Features

The system comes with two 3.0 USB ports, one 2.0 USB port, a headphone jack, an HDMI video output, plus an SD card reader. There is no Ethernet port in the Dell Inspiron, but there is dual-band (5 GHz and 2.4 GHz) Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11ac Wi-Fi connectivity.

The presence of a 5400 rpm, 500 GB hard drive along with several Dell utilities such as Digital Delivery, PC Checkup, and Backup and Recovery make it a highly effective and efficient system. Users can also make the most of Dropbox storage of 20 GB along with Microsoft Office 365 and McAfee LiveSafe trial versions. The model is also covered with a one-year warranty.

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