Dell XPS 27

The Dell XPS 27 is a Windows 10 PC. It has excellent display and reasonable performance. More notably, it has the most refined sound system built into a PC, and a UHD 4K display, making it very suitable for home entertainment.

It provides the choice of Core i5 or i7 processors. You can choose a touchscreen display or a non-touchscreen but brighter display. It has a total of 10 speakers(although only 6 is visible) that provide great audio. It can provide extremely loud audio with little distortions. It provides rich, accurate sounds at low volumes, proving its audio system very sophisticated.

Dell XPS 27 AIO (2017)

Price $3720.15
Display size/resolution 27-inch 3,840 x 2,160 touchscreen display
PC CPU 3.6GHz Intel Core i7-7700
PC Memory 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,400MHz
Graphics 8GB AMD Radeon RX 570
Storage 512GB SSD, SD card slot
Connections 1 x Ethernet, 2 x USB-C/Thunderbolt, 4 x USB 3.0 Type-A, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-A; 1 x DisplayPort 1.2, 1 x HDMI out; audio out, headphone jack
Networking 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2
Operating system Windows 10 Home (64-bit)

While it isn’t usually used for gaming, it certainly can be. It can provide midlevel-frame. As long as you aren’t too hung up on the frame rate or need to max the quality settings. You can configure it to deliver decent game play with basic VR capability.

It does have its downsides though. It has cables that run from the back which might be fine for some people, but if you need to use the USB ports regularly, you would face several difficulties. In order to reach the ports, one would need to contort their hand awkwardly to reach it, and one would have to try to reach blindly. Otherwise they would have to rotate the entire PC which is difficult as it has rubber legs that increase friction. It also weighs about 17kg. It doesn’t have the best design for an all-in-one, and the webcam is poorly placed.

Overall this PC has terrific audio quality, excellent visuals and although not designed to do so, it can be used for gaming as well. Though it does has its downsides, I would say that its worth the money and I would recommend it to friends and family if they are in need of a decent PC for a reasonable cost.

Photo Courtesy of:

http://www.zdnet.com/product/dell-xps-27-2017/

Portal

Portal is made by Valve Corporation as a test experiment on a different type of game genre. Instead of the typical shooters Valve has made portal was a first-person puzzle game where the player is given a device called the “Aperture Science Hand-held Portal Device” where you’re able to shoot a blue and orange portal on certain surfaces and allows the player to walk through it.

In the game, you play as a test subject and have to complete test chambers in the Aperture Science Testing Facility. When you first start up the game, you wake up and is greeted by a robot named GLaDOS (Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System) and it explains what you are going to do. GLaDOS then promises you cake after completing all the test for going through all the trouble.

Throughout the game, you get to play many of the fun-packed levels, each with it’s own unique and special way needed to solve it which would definitely prove to get one’s brain thinking if it isn’t already. There are endless possibilities you can do with portals, for example, you could mess around and make a small bowling alley where you would shoot a prop at turrets to knock them over. As you progress further into the game, you will soon discover the secrets of the facility.

Gameplay Footage

You will discover the use of physics in this game like catapulting yourself by jumping from a high position into a portal and flinging yourself out of the other portal, allowing you to travel long distances with ease. Aperture Science Weighted Storage Cubes can also be used to push down buttons to activate certain things like doors. As you reach to the end of all the test chambers, GLaDOS would give you the surprise.

Aperture Science has a lore too, it was founded in the early 1940s by a man named Cave Johnson. During that time the company was known as ‘Aperture Fixtures’ and it was primary dedicated to the manufacturing of shower curtains but was soon changed to ‘Aperture Science Innovators’. Cave Johnson’s company soon changed their focus to science due to the name and he purchased an abandoned salt mine where the Aperture Science’s Enrichment Centre was built. However in the early 1970s Aperture Science was financially unstable and in the 1980s testing was necessary for all employees and Cave Johnson became gravely ill himself with experiments from moon rock poisoning which were used as a portal conductor.

In conclusion, Portal is a great choice if you’re looking for a puzzle game that has simple yet challenging puzzles. It is not that pricey either as it cost only S$1o.50 on steam and is sure to keep you entertained throughout the game.

Photo courtesy of:

http://store.steampowered.com/app/400/

http://www.ign.com/blogs/rcc97/2014/01/01/game-review-portal-2007

http://www.engadget.com/2009/11/02/valve-explains-why-portals-companion-cube-had-to-die/

 

G402 HYPERION FURY

 

G402 Hyperion Fury is a gaming mouse made by Logitech. The mouse is said to enhance gaming performance and does not take a huge chunk of money out of your wallet. It comes with high speed tracking and 8 programmable buttons.

With the buttons, you could do a lot of actions with just one simple click, like quick accessing your inventory when you’re playing a game. You could even switch your DPI (dots per inch) settings almost instantly, like sniping in-game with 250 DPI and run away from your foes with 4000 DPI. This allows flexibility when in the midst of battle in a game.

The mouse design is for right-handed only and weighs 141g which is relatively light. It comes with a 32-bit ARM processor that promises high performance and using the Logitech Gaming Software you can craft and assign macro commands with ease.

It uses a USB 2.0 with a 3.14m long cable and 4 low friction plastic feet at the bottom to glide smoothly on your mouse pad or desktop. The mouse designed for maximum comfort for people with medium-sized hands; however the thumb rest might be a little too short for people with long fingers.

It is a really durable mouse with the ability of 20 million clicks on the left and right side while the 4 low friction plastic feet have a maximum of 250km. But do keep in mind that this might vary from different type of users.

In conclusion, this gaming mouse is quite worth to get. It is priced at S$65.00 which is relatively cheap for a gaming mouse with quite good performance as it has a 1 millisecond report rate. However the only thing that could be improved is the thumb rest as it could be game changing factors if you have a long thumb and the fact that to get the full feature set you need a Windows. I would really recommend this mouse for both casual and hardcore gamers.

Photo courtesy of:

http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/07/30/logitech-reveals-the-g402-hyperion-fury-gaming-mouse

 

 

Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse

 

The Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse is a special type of mouse. Unlike other average computer mice, it has a flexible design. The flexible design allows the mouse to be curved to suit to what you think best and can be flattened after use for packing.

Another unique feature is that it does not have a mouse wheel. Instead it comes with a touch-sensitive scroll wheel, where all you require is a quick flick and a hyper fast vertical scrolling for smooth, intuitive navigation.  However, the mouse wheel tab is easy to lose track of and might cause some minor annoyance.

It comes with the usual two physical buttons for both the left-click and right-click functions. The mouse comes with the BlueTrack Technology which allows you to track on almost any surface, from your office desk to your living room floor. However, it doesn’t work on clear glass or mirrored surfaces.

A Plug-and-go Nano Transceiver is provided where it can either be stowed magnetically in the mouse or it can be plugged into your computer’s USB 3.0 port, but it does not support Bluetooth. By flattening the mouse, it turns off the mouse to avoid draining its AAA batteries with a green light to show the battery working.

In conclusion, the Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse is a great mouse for people who are required to travel a lot and need an easily portable mouse. It also has a variety of surfaces that you can use it on. However, it is said to have a slightly unresponsive scroll tab and it is easy to lose track of the scroll tab, making it slightly inconvenient. The price of it is around S$59.95 depending on the retailer price. Thus, I would recommend this mouse if you find the price affordable and need to travel frequently.

 

photo courtesy of:                                                       https://www.microsoft.com/hardware/en-us/p/arc-touch-mouse#details

Razer Blade 14

The Razer Blade 14 is another one of Razer’s gaming laptops. This laptop has made some huge improvement compared to some of the previous gaming laptops they have made. This laptop has a upgraded Nvidia graphics and hugely improved IGXO 3,200×1,800-pixel-resolution touch display.

The Razer Blade 14 has a price tag of $2,399 and it has a 14-inch, 3,200×1,800 screen. It has a 2.2GHz Intel Core i7-4702HQ. And it has a PC memory of 8GB 1,600MHZ DDR3 SDRAM. It uses a 3GB Nvidia Geforce GTX 870M for it’s graphics. It has 256GB of storage. It does not have a optical drive. As for networking it uses Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 4.0. It’s operating system is a Windows 8.1 (64-bit)

It is 0.7 inch thick and weighs 4.47 pounds and can easily be placed in a bag allowing you to carrying the laptop to wherever you want. The keyboard and touchpad are great, welly placed and responsive. But for gaming you would most probably use a external mouse instead of the touchpad. It also allows you to go on social media and use it like a smartphone thanks to it’s touchscreen. It has glowing green keys which makes the laptop look even more flashy. It also has a Razer logo that glows from the back lid which makes the laptop look very good.

One of the best few features of this laptop is it’s new IGXO 3,200×1,800 display. It is such a great feature as it has such a high resolution screen together with touchscreen function. The new display is glass-covered, brighter, and very vivid, it has wonderful viewing angles, and it is a multitouch.

Games aren’t really meant to be played at such a high resolution though. Steam’s main UI seemed to be downscaling to lower-res. But, as for everyday usage, extra pixels are always good.

But sometimes after playing a game for half and hours causes the bottom of the laptop to get really hot. The battery life also drop quickly. It has around a 90 minute battery life when you play BioShock Infinite at medium graphics setting. Like all other Razer laptops, this laptop is also Razer Synapse 2.0-enabled, too, which saves game setting for the keyboards and peripherals in the cloud and allows deeper customization.

There are three USB 3.0 ports on the edge of this laptop, along with HDMI. It has Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.22ac Wi-Fi and a 2MP Web camera and a microphone which are slightly better than those in average laptops.

The Blade has around 4 hours, 20 minutes of battery life. As when playing games at different settings on battery power will result in between 60 minutes to 90 minutes of life.

So overall, in my opinion I think that this gaming laptop may have a few weaknesses but they are not very major and I think that the good points of this gaming laptop covers it. I think that this laptop is able to be carried around easily. The high res screen of this laptop and the high speed causes it to have a lower battery life but I think that it is worth sacrificing the battery life of this to have a better quality screen and performance of the laptop. So in conclusion, I think that this laptop is worth it to buy if you have the money, you are into gaming and travel frequently but just be sure to bring your charger due to the low battery life of this product.

Photo courtesy of : http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2419746,00.asp

 

 

Seagate Seven Portable Drive

An extremely thin portable drive, the Seagate Seven has a helpful backup software and relatively fast performance. Despite being aesthetically pleasing, the only capacity available for the it is 500 GB. For a portable drive with that capacity, it can be considered as relatively expensive at a price of around S$137. For users who desire only a moderate amount of storage space, this device would be quite ideal to invest in, especially because it has quite an attractive design.

Being the thinnest portable drive currently available on the market, the Seagate Seven also has an eye – catching design. Besides its design, it delivers a performance which is quite satisfactory. It supports USB 3.0 and has a helpful backup software. The portable drive can also work on USB 2.0 at a speed of around 30MBps, which is the fastest speed a standard USB 2.0 can achieve. However, at its price, it is possible to get a portable drive with a capacity of 200 TB.

Its name, Seven, was taken from how thin it is, 7mm. It has a chassis made out of hardened aluminium. This will protect the drive inside from crush damages and shocks. According to the company, the device is able to function even after being run over by a small car. Users have also given feedback that the portable drive feels rugged and is almost impossible to bend.

The device also comes with a USB 3.0 cable which has a foot – long length. When it is connected, a small blue status light would light up and it would pulse lightly when data activities are taking place. The portable drive is preformatted by using exFAT file system. This would mean that both Windows and Mac would work with it without requiring a software installation or setup.

The device also comes with the Seagate Dashboard application. The application has three main backup functions, the PC, Social and Mobile Backup. Only available for Windows, users are able to back up a computer’s file and its folders to the portable drive by using the PC Backup. You are able to let the software pick what should be backed up or alternatively,  you are able to choose the files yourself. The Social Backup function will allow users to share your media to social – networking sites, and the other way around too. The Mobile Backup will allow you to store content on mobile devices by using the downloadable application, Seagate Mobile Backup.

Overall, this is not a portable drive with extremely stunning performances nor does it have a very huge capacity. It is though, extremely sleek, good looking and has a very helpful backup software. I personally would not pay for a portable drive at this price but it might be a more attractive choice if its price dropped.

Photo Courtesy of : http://www.techpowerup.com/208561/seagate-launches-the-seven-slim-portable-hard-drive.html