Author: Stefan Etienne

Razer’s gunmetal Blade Stealth is like dressing a gaming laptop in a suit

The chassis of this Blade Stealth isn’t dramatically different than it has been in past generations — except for its new gunmetal paint job. An all-black exterior, backlit triple snake logo and a keyboard with every color in the rainbow is often what kept corporate types and minimalists away from Razer’s laptop portfolio. Everything screamed “gamer” or “PC enthusiast,” but the user experience has been well-revered across the internet. Now for the first time, Razer is making a laptop with a new color scheme, with a basic backlit keyboard, sans snake light show — it’s refreshing. A Blade is only as sharp as its specs… Let’s not get ahead of ourselves — as nice as the Blade Stealth is as a productivity machine, it’s not a gaming computer despite being the product of one of the most gaming-oriented companies on Earth. This Stealth comes with a Core i7-7500U processor (2.7GHz, 2.9GHz TurboBoost), 16GB of RAM and a 256GB solid state drive. However, the prime feature of this configuration is the dazzling 13″ QHD + IGZO touchscreen, which is set at a 3200 x 1800 resolution. It’s glossy and crisp, and its 100 percent sRGB color distribution is among some of the best of the Windows ultrabooks, hands down. Beyond those core specs, the gunmetal Blade Stealth is an ordinary Windows 10 ultrabook. Its only special feature is being part...

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The ASUS ROG Zephyrus is a powerful Max Q laptop with one notable flaw

This is the Republic of Gamers Zephyrus by ASUS. Zephyrus for short, it’s a gaming-oriented ultrabook-style laptop with an NVIDIA GTX 1080 graphics card living inside. The twist? The card is slightly underclocked, using a new design spec NVIDIA is calling Max Q, which allows a thinner, lighter chassis to be used with a top-tier card, instead of the usual seven pound metal behemoths we’re used to seeing. By contrast, the Zephyrus weighs five pounds, but looks even lighter than that. What NVIDIA’s Max Q design is about The Zephyrus would be considered a dream about a year ago. For...

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HP caters to gaming enthusiasts with new overclockable OMEN X laptops

HP has been producing some solid gaming hardware as of late — the OMEN 17 laptop I reviewed and the cube desktop built by Maingear are good examples. However, HP has yet to go all out with their OMEN X brand — the “X” denoting the upper echelon of its high-performance brand — until now, with two new laptops. The OMEN X laptop comes in 15-inch and 17-inch versions, both equipped with NVIDIA G-Sync and optional, overclocked NVIDIA GTX 1080 graphics cards. If you feel the need to upgrade RAM, the SSDs or make your own risky adjustments, you can...

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The Huger Tech Racer electric skateboard proves fast doesn’t mean first place

The pursuit of finding the best electric skateboard continues, with a startup based out of Orange County, California called Huger Tech. The board in question, named the Racer, is supposed to be the most bang for your buck, but with better performance than the two current leading electric skateboards — the Boosted Board and Inboard. However, on the streets of Manhattan, the gap between the Racer and the other boards is huge. Video Good specs can come a long way Specs only tell part of the experience for a product like this, but they are entirely worth mentioning. The Racer...

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AMD’s new $499 RX Vega 64 and $399 Vega 56 top-end graphics cards launch in August

It’s high time for launch details regarding new AMD RX Vega cards that were teased in May  — high-end graphics cards designed to challenge NVIDIA’s domination with the GTX 1080 and 1070. Both cards are going on sale August 14, at $499 for the Radeon RX Vega 64 and $399 for the Radeon RX Vega 56. For the specs intro, the RX Vega 64’s core specs include 64 compute units, a base clock of 1,247MHz and a boost clock of 1,547MHz, with 8GB of HBM2 memory — a new GPU memory technology that spots 484GB/s of bandwidth. All this power...

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Logitech Circle2 is a great surveillance system, but for a price

Accessible home monitoring should be more than just being able to buy a security camera. It’s means having a packaged software experience, where you should be able to link cameras together over a secure cloud connection, while mounting them on walls, glass or the outdoors. Since we live in the age of connected devices, being able to interface with Alexa and HomeKit software should not only be a bonus but a given. Well luckily for you, the Circle2 does all of it. The only nagging requirement is setting aside a personal surveillance budget, but otherwise the Circle2 is a great monitoring device. Now you can spy ….or catch the package thief If you wanted to catch a thief at the door before they run away with your package — I may be projecting here, but it happens — then a single Circle2 is great for that. However, if your goal is to catch a break-in, you would at least need a camera at the entrance and another in the living room or kitchen, with accessories to match. A speaker/microphone duo exists in the camera, allowing you to communicate briefly with whomever you see via the Logi Circle iOS/Android app. It functions as a push-to-talk feature within the app or a signed-in desktop. Video quality is solid, outputting up to 1080p HD video with a 180-degree wide-angle lens. Though maybe...

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Even’s H2 headphones produce sound based on your hearing ability

Based out of Israel, Even is an audio startup that designs headphones tailored to the listener’s hearing. It starts with a short audio test of the frequencies you can hear in each ear, with an algorithm Even says stitches the resulting data into a sound profile called, your “EarPrint”. It’s an interesting concept that works well in the instances I’ve used it. At the same time, this is a feature I’d like to see having a proven advantage, rather than anecdotal experiences. What is an “EarPrint” and how does it help listeners? Before I  describe what Even’s headphones are...

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Playkey raises $2.8M to fund its US expansion

Playkey, a game streaming service we saw earlier this year at Disrupt NY, has just closed an additional $2.8 million round of funding from Russia’s Internet Initiatives Development Fund (IIDF). Created at the suggestion of Vladimir Putin in 2013, the IIDF has invested in 293 companies to-date with the objective to strengthen infrastructure for Russian businesses. However, the investment does not represent official government support or involvement in Playkey. According to Playkey CEO, Egor Guriev, profits have increased 300% over the last year. Current attendance of the gaming service is ~1M people per month, with 400k users. The Moscow-based streaming...

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