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Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 (GU605) review: a sleek Intel gaming laptop with creator appeal
9:30 am | June 21, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Gaming Computers Gaming Laptops | Tags: , | Comments: Off

Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 : Two-minute review

Thinner and lighter than it looks, the ROG Zephyrus G16 packs some serious hardware in a stylish 16-inch frame. While there are multiple configurations available, the G16 that was sent to me for this review features an Intel Core Ultra 7 155H CPU paired up with a Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 that can boost up to 100W. Sadly the 16GB of LPDDR5X 7467MHz RAM is soldered in and not upgradeable, and 32GB is only available on the Ultra 9 with RTX 4070/4080/4090 configuration for a significantly higher price. The 16-inch IPS screen has a 16:10 ratio, with a 2.5K (2560 x 1600) resolution, up to 500 nit brightness, a 3ms response time and a 240Hz G-Sync compatible refresh rate. You also get a 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD, Wi-Fi 6 and a large 90Wh battery. 

The G16 has two USB-C ports (one on each side), and while both support PD spec 100W charging and DisplayPort output, the left one is Thunderbolt 4 spec (40Gbps) and the right is USB 3.2 Gen 2 spec (10Gbps). You also get USB-A 3.2 ports on both the left and right, as well as HDMI 2.1, an SD card slot, and a 3.5mm audio jack. The G16 includes an array of customizable RGB lighting in the keyboard backlight, as well as “slash lighting” option that runs across the back of the display. 

Performance is excellent, and the G16 has the cooling capacity to let the Intel Ultra 7 CPU sustain high performance. Even with the GPU joining in, heat dissipation isn’t an issue in most scenarios. The RTX 4060 GPU means you will need to turn the details down for most intensive games if you want to take advantage of the high refresh rate – especially at the native resolution. Dropping back to 1080p makes it easy to keep the details high, but still achieve 120+ fps. The laptop scales back performance on battery or USB-C, but it’s still plenty good enough for plugging into a dock at work, without needing to bring along the monster 200W PSU. 

The 2560 x 1600 display is vibrant and bright, while G-Sync, the 240Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time makes for very smooth gaming. Moreover, the 100 DCI-P3 color reproduction will satisfy creators as well. The 90Wh battery is on the larger side and can be charged to 50% in 30 minutes, but the G16 isn’t too keen to run efficiently when unplugged. In silent mode (and half screen brightness) it struggles to last 4.5 hours for productivity tasks on default settings.

The keyboard is well spaced with deep 1.7mm travel, and the trackpad is large and accurate. The 1080p webcam quality is nothing special but gets the job done, and is equipped with IR that works well for facial recognition. The speakers provide better than expected sound considering the form factor.

Asus Zephyrus G16 displaying Red Dead Redemption II home screen

(Image credit: Future)

Asus ROG Zephyrus G16: Price and availability

  • How much does it cost? from $2,899 / £2,299 / AU$3,299
  • Where is it available? Available in different configurations in most markets

Asus gives a price tag of $2,899 / £2,299 / AU$3,299 for the base configuration of the G16, but what hardware is included at that price varies across different markets. 

It's hard to judge the value of the G16, as the base spec (in some regions) isn't overly appealing, and opting for higher-specced models can make the G16 much more expensive and reduces the overall value. I tested a G16 with the bang for buck RTX 4060, but you can opt for a lesser RTX 4050, or bump up to an RTX 4070, RTX 4080 or RTX 4090. While the other options are appealing, the RTX 4060 is well suited to the G16 form factor.

Depending on your location, the specific configurations available vary and can include an OLED or IPS screen, and Intel Core Ultra 7 or 9 CPUs. For example, the G16 tested is available in Australia with an RRP of AU$3,499 (RTX 4060) but, at the time of writing, isn’t available in the USA or the UK. In comparison, the higher end Core i9, RTX 4090 model costs $3,499 / £3,999 / AU$6,999.

Asus also announced a new ROG Zephyrus G16 (GA605) at Computex on June 3, 2024, which will be available later in the year. The new model brings increased AI focus with an AMD CPU and Copilot+ support, but is unlikely to improve gaming performance by a significant amount. The good news is that the new model should help drive down prices of the current Zephyrus G16 (GU605) and make it an even better deal. 

  • Value score:  4 / 5

Asus Zephyrus G16 keyboard side angle

(Image credit: Future)

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G16 review: Specs

Availability varies widely depending on your location, but overall the G16 has a large number of configurations that include AMD and Intel CPUS, and GPUs from the RTX 4050 all the way through to the mighty RTX 4090. 

The specs listed below are for the G16 model tested for this review.

Asus Zephyrus G16 right-hand side ports

(Image credit: Future)
  • Specs score: 4 / 5

Asus Zephyrus G16 left-hand side ports

(Image credit: Future)

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G16 review: Design

  • Balanced hardware
  • Customizable lighting
  • Surprisingly portable

The Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 is sold as a gaming machine that can also fly under the radar and make for a capable workstation. At 35.4 x 24.6 x 1.62 – 1.72 cm (13.94 x 9.69 x 0.64 – 0.68 inches) and 1.85kg (4.08 lbs) the G16 is pretty slim for a 16-inch, discrete GPU-sporting laptop. It’s worth noting that while Asus claims the thickness is up to 1.72cm, I measured the laptop at up to 1.79cm at the thickest point and 2.1cm off the table when including the feet. On the plus side, the width, depth and weight are accurate.

The G16 chassis is CNC-machined (a computerized manufacturing process) from aluminum, then anodized, which makes it stiff and robust without adding to the weight. Overall, the G16 is very portable, but keep in mind it does come with a monster 200W PSU that is needed for full performance. That said, the 100W USB-C charging is relatively capable (more on that later), so the G16 does well plugged into a dock.

I tested the mid-range model featuring a Intel Ultra 7 155H CPU and a Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 8GB GPU that features a 100W TGP. The 16GB (2x8GB) of DDR5 is low profile, so soldered to the board and sadly not upgradeable. My G16 also had a 1TB Pcie 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD, which is upgradable if needed down the track. The problem here is that if you want 32GB of RAM, then you need to opt for the higher-end Ultra 9 185H-powered G16, with either RTX 4070/4080/4090 and an OLED screen. This is a shame, because 32GB of RAM is well suited to the Ultra 7 and RTX 4060 variants – especially for use as a high-powered workstation. Whereas the RTX 4080 and RTX 4090 GPUs are overkill for the cooling capacity of the laptop, and as they are capped at 115W TGP, don’t offer a huge amount of additional gaming performance considering in relation to the price increase. 

On the plus side, the cooling setup is great – and fresh air is drawn in from below and vented out the rear of the laptop, meaning there are no vents on the sides aimed at your hand.

The G16 has a 16-inch 16:10 ratio (2560 x 1600) IPS panel with a very fast 240Hz  G-Sync compatible refresh rate and a solid 3ms GTG response time for smooth gaming at high or low frame rates. The display has up to a 500 nit brightness and covers 100% of the DCI-P3 gamut, so has vibrant, accurate colors. While I wish the OLED was also available on the RTX 4060 variant, the IPS panel is a good match for the laptop overall. 

Wireless connectivity is good, with Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax, triple band 2x2 antennas) and Bluetooth 5.3. The selection of ports is also excellent, and we really appreciate having USB-C PD 100W charging and DisplayPort capable USB-C ports on both sides of the laptop – again making the G16 well suited to use with a dock or USB-C charging.  The full complement of fast USB-C and USB-A ports, HDMI 2.1, SD card slot and 3.5mm audio jack mean the G16 is very versatile without needing to carry any extra dongles.

Asus Zephyrus G16

(Image credit: Future)

The G16 has a Windows Hello-ready 1080p IR webcam with an array of three microphones and noise-canceling tech. It’s a perfectly serviceable setup and better than lower-end laptops, giving about average performance for the price point the RTX 4060 G16 is targeting, but it would be a touch underwhelming on the much more expensive configurations. A fingerprint reader would have been a nice addition rather than the “Premium Glass” power button. The upwards and downwards firing speakers are quite good (for a laptop) and the Asus woofer setup gives noticeable kick to lower frequencies.

The G16 has a large RGB backlit keyboard with 1.7mm keyboard that opts to do without a numpad in favor of larger keys. The keyboard is very pleasant to type on, and we had no trouble with extended work sessions or gaming. The trackpad is also very large, and the premium feeling surface was very accurate – even with clammy hands. I just wish it included the fantastic light-up numpad in the trackpad as featured on some other Asus models. 

The keyboard RGB lighting has a reasonable amount of customization and can be turned white to blend in. The rear of the laptop screen has what Asus calls Slash Lighting – a strip of LEDs that can be used to create customized lighting that can run through 15 different animations, match sounds or give notifications. The latter is not very useful when using the laptop (as you can’t see the lights) and isn't very bright. While I liked the concept, the Slash Lighting could have done with more options for customization.

  • Design score: 4 / 5

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G16 review: Performance

  • Excellent RTX 4060 performance
  • High sustained CPU wattage
  • Impressive cooling system
ASUS ROG Zephyrus G16: Benchmarks

Here's how the Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark: Speed Way: 2,602; Port Royal: 5,912; Time Spy Extreme: 5,058; Fire Strike Ultra: 6,222.
GeekBench 6.2: 2,324 (single-core); 13,546 (multi-core)
Cinebench R24: 996 (multi-core); 102 (single-core)
PCMark 10: 7,690
CrystalDiskMark 8 NVMe: 5,046 MB/s (read); 3,638 MB/s (write)
Red Dead Redemption II: (Ultra 1080p) 65 fps
Cyberpunk 2077: 1080p, (Ultra) 51 fps; QHD, (Ultra) 39 fps
F1 2023: 1080p (Ultra): 50 fps
PCMark 10 Battery Life: 4 hours and 45 minutes
1080p video playback battery life: 6 hours and 27 minutes

As a thinner and lighter laptop, the G16 faces some minor cooling restrictions that mean it doesn’t run the GPU or CPU as hard as possible. When using the 200W AC adaptor, the Intel Ultra 7 155H is limited to 80W (down from 115W) and the RTX 4060 has a 100W TGP (Total Graphics Power, reduced from a possible 140W). These limits tend to have very little impact on gaming performance, as the CPU isn’t running at full load, and the 100W GPU TGP is plenty to reach the point of diminishing returns on RTX 4060 performance vs power use.

The overall result is a gaming laptop that gives performance just as good as most other RTX 4060-based machines, but in a thinner and lighter form factor. The G16 will happily run any modern game at high frame rates, but you will need to turn down the details (or reduce the resolution) if you want to push beyond 100 fps or try to make use of the full 240Hz screen refresh rate. Intense games such as Cyberpunk 2077 will push the RTX 4060 to its limits, but turning on Nvidia DLSS can give a big boost – taking frame rates from 51 fps to 83 fps at 1080p Ultra settings. With a bit of tweaking it's possible to get reasonable quality results at over 100 fps, but a higher-end GPU would be needed to go much further without major reductions to quality.

The Zephyrus G16 is available in configurations equipped with high-end RTX 4080 or 4090 GPUs. While these models will give improved performance, the GPUs are capped at 115W, and so won’t give the same result as the same GPU in a thicker gaming laptop using a higher TGP.

Asus Zephyrus G16 underside

(Image credit: Future)

The G16 is positioned as a gaming machine that is also a very capable creator or productivity workstation. Thanks to the high-power cooling system, the G16 can run the CPU at the full 80W TPD (Thermal Design Power) most of the time, and even under extended heavy load can sustain 70W. This means performance in CPU-heavy tasks that is as good as, or better than, most productivity-only focused laptops. 

On battery, Asus limits the CPU and GPU to 40W. If plugged in via 100W USB-C (such as a charger or dock), the G16 uses the same power limits. For most productivity work this doesn’t have much of an impact, but sustained CPU or GPU heavy workloads do suffer a little. For example, I saw about a 10% reduction in PCMark10 score on USB-C or battery vs AC. But in sustained Cinebench24 testing or long encodes, CPU performance can be up to 30% lower if not plugged in with the AC adapter. GPU-heavy loads suffer similar reductions if using the RTX 4060.

I would have preferred to see the G16 use smarter power profiles when on battery or USB-C that could route more than 40W to the CPU or GPU, depending on the total load. For example, if the RTX 4060 is not in use, making 70W available to the CPU would give near identical performance on USB-C or battery compared to the AC PSU. While it’s reasonable that gaming needs the AC PSU plugged in, plugging into a 100W PD dock (or using a power bank if away from the wall socket) is very common for productivity work. While performance is still good, it could have been even better.

At full tilt, the G16 does have to vent a lot of heat (I pulled 160W from the AC PSU when running flat out), requiring the fans to run at a dull roar. Scaling back the performance settings gives relatively quiet usage with less than a 15% hit to performance or game frame rates. The G16 has a large rear vent, which can reach a toasty 50ºC / 122ºF. The underside of the laptop peaks at 46ºC / 115ºF, whereas the keyboard is a warm but not uncomfortable 37ºC / 98ºF, and the trackpad a cool 24.1ºC / 75ºF.

  • Performance score: 4 / 5

Asus Zephyrus G16 keyboard

(Image credit: Future)

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G16 review: Battery life

  • 4 hours and 45 minutes of use when unplugged
  • 6 hours and 27 minutes of video playback

The G16 has a large 90Wh battery but the power-hungry hardware takes a toll even on efficiency mode. I could manage 4 hours 45 minutes of work unplugged, or about an hour of gaming. If playing video with the screen brightness set to 50%, I could make it 6 hours and 27 minutes before needing to charge. This is a below-average result and, as a comparison, the Alienware m16 R2 with the same 90Wh battery (but a Ultra 9 CPU) can reach over 8 hours of video playback or light office use, and the Gigabyte Aorus 16X manages similar. At the time of writing, Asus does not give any battery life figures on the G16 product page, but I'm hopeful that a future software update will improve power management and help extend the battery life.

If charging from the AC PSU, the G16 can hit 50% in just 30 minutes, making quick top-ups easy. Charge speed drops as you approach 80% and a full charge takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes. I saw up to 93W of power when using a 100W USB-C charger, and total charge times around 1.5 hours. 

  • Battery life score: 3.5 / 5

Should I buy the Asus ROG Zephyrus G16?

Buy it if...

You want solid gaming performance in a very portable package
The G16 is all about being slimmer than most gaming machines, which makes it ideal for those who need portability without sacrificing too much performance. 

You want a workstation as well as a gaming machine
The design and spec of the G16 makes for a great gaming laptop, but it’s even better if you need a powerful laptop for productivity or creative needs. 

You want to stand out but also blend in when needed
The G16 has plenty of customizable RGB lighting options to satisfy your inner gamer, but can also quickly tone it down to hide in plain sight. 

Don't buy it if...

You want bang-for-buck gaming
The Zephyrus G16 is a standout premium option but, for pure gaming, the FPS per dollar lags behind chunkier dedicated gaming laptops.

You want an unplugged productivity laptop
Over 4 hours on battery is useful, but if you want to make it through a work day without a charger, the G16 is not the right choice. 

You want to be able to upgrade your laptop in the future
The slim nature of the G16 means it uses low profile RAM soldered to the motherboard, limiting future upgrades to just the SSD. 

Also consider

If this Asus Zephyrus G16 review has you considering other options, here are some other gaming laptops you can take a look at.

How I tested the Asus ROG Zephyrus G16

  • I tested the Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 for two weeks
  • I used it both on a desk, and put it in a backpack for travel
  • I used it for gaming, as well as office productivity work and video editing

I ran the Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 through our usual comprehensive array of benchmarks, as well as using it for actual day-to-day work.

I used a range of synthetic gaming and productivity benchmarks, real-world gaming benchmarks, and battery and power testing.

I used the TechRadar movie test for assessing battery life during video playback, as well as productivity battery benchmarks. I logged power use in a variety of scenarios, including when charging from USB-C. I also tested charging the G16 with a power bank. 

Read more about how we test

[First reviewed May 2024]

Corsair K65 Plus Wireless Keyboard: a responsive, well-featured gaming keyboard that’s great for typing too
4:41 pm | June 13, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Keyboards Peripherals & Accessories | Tags: | Comments: Off

Corsair K65 Plus Wireless Keyboard: one-minute review

Let’s cut to the chase – the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless Keyboard is a fantastic wireless RGB gaming peripheral. Really, the only reasons to stay away are if you need a different form factor, whether it’s a full-size model or something in a more diminutive package, or if you find the price a bit too much to stomach. While plenty of premium gaming keyboards go for a similar price, you can certainly find decent models for much less.

That said, I will say I was essentially smitten the first time I typed on the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless. For me personally, it’s certainly among the best wireless keyboards and best mechanical keyboards out there. Whether it’s one of the best keyboards for you will depend on what you’re looking for, of course.

Outside of the main downsides I already mentioned, the only other reason someone might avoid this keyboard is if they want something that looks a little less like a gaming keyboard. As good as I think this keyboard looks, it still feels more appropriate for a gaming setting than a professional one.

Corsair K65 Plus Wireless Keyboard: price and availability

Connectivity options of the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)
  • How much does it cost? $159.99 / £149.99 (about AU$250)
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? On sale in the US and UK

Paying $159.99 / £149.99 (about AU$250) for a gaming keyboard is a lot for most people, especially as everything else in life seems to cost a little more these days. For better or worse, though, spending that much on a premium gaming keyboard with wireless connectivity is par for the course.

The Razer BlackWidow V4 75% I reviewed last year, which not only shares the same size, but also allows you to replace keycaps and switches to your heart’s content (in fact, you can use both three- and five-pin switches) goes for $189.99 / £189.99 / AU$349.95. And, since it’s aimed at modders, any first-party additions like different keycaps only adds to that price tag.

Or, take a look at the Yunzii AL71. It costs almost the same depending on where you are ($159.99 / £129 / AU$245), and offers a lot of the same features regarding customization, connectivity, and even being able to switch between Windows and Mac connectivity. It is a slightly smaller form factor and you won’t get the control dial seen on this Corsair keyboard (more on that in a moment).

Value: 4 / 5

Corsair K65 Plus Wireless Keyboard: design and features

Corsair K65 Plus Wireless keycaps

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

As far as the design of the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless goes, let’s start with the basics. This is a 75% sized model, meaning that you forgo a number pad and extra dedicated macro keys as you would see on full-sized options, but you still have the arrow keys as well as Page Up, Page Down, and Home (that you would miss out on with even smaller form factors). Plus, you still have a media key in the form of the control dial in the upper-right corner of the keyboard.

The keycaps have a soft feel with a concave shape to them that makes for easy, comfortable presses. And, since Corsair uses a top mount plate and stabilizers, not to mention pre-lubed switches, every press feels almost like pressing into a firm pillow (that might be a bit hyperbolic, but you get the idea). Each press is stable as the switches and keycaps have no wiggle to them – just a proper up and down motion.

There are also two layers of sound dampening built into the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless, and the Corsair MLX Red switches are designed for quiet operation as well. That makes this among the quieter mechanical keyboards I’ve used.

Corsair K65 Plus Wireless Keyboard Specs

Layout: 75%
Switch: Corsair MLX Red
Programmable keys: Yes
Dimensions: 12.59 x 5.35 x 1.37-inches (LxWxH)
RGB or backlighting: Yes (customizable)

Moving on to connectivity, the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless has just about everything you could ask for. There’s the wireless dongle, of course, for 2.4GHz operation, as well as USB connectivity for wired use and charging. Furthermore, there’s also Bluetooth on hand. Plus, you can pair this keyboard with three different devices and use hotkeys (mapped to Home, Page Up, and Page Down) to switch between each Bluetooth connection.

The controls for switching connectivity, excluding the different Bluetooth sources, are on the back of the keyboard along with another little switch that lets you flip between the Windows and Mac layout, a feature I really appreciate.

Since this is a gaming keyboard, RGB lighting is on hand and it’s quite colorful. You can customize to your heart’s content, even on a per-key basis, in the iCue software. Using that you can also remap all the keys along with some limited but useful customizations for the control dial, which controls the volume by default.

If there’s a missing piece of the puzzle here, for me it’s a nice wrist rest, especially considering the price. However, Corsair does include a keycap puller to remove both the keycaps and switches, which are hot-swappable.

Design: 4.5 / 5

Corsair K65 Plus Wireless Keyboard: performance

Corsair K65 Plus Wireless gaming

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

All this attention to detail spills over to the way the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless performs. Thanks to a polling rate of 1,000Hz and switches that have an actuation point of 1.9mm, not to mention require just 45g of actuation force, this keyboard is as quick as most people will need.

While there are a few keyboards with a higher polling rate or lower actuation point, I would say that pretty much nobody but the most competitive gamers will notice any kind of difference. Even then, I have my doubts.

Whether it’s keeping up with the action in Battlefield 2042, Rocket League, Cyberpunk 2077 (the games I like to use for testing), or any other fast-paced title, there’s no question that this keyboard is up to the task.

I was even able to get the desired results with very light presses, so there’s no need for a heavy hand. Of course, if you are heavy-handed, the switches are rated to last 70 million keystrokes. Since Corsair employs N-key rollover, I never experienced any missed presses either.

More broadly, thanks to all the factors incorporated in its construction that I mentioned before, as well as the fact that the switches are pre-lubed, typing on this keyboard is a dream. In fact, I find that most decent gaming keyboards can keep up with general typing needs. 

Where this keyboard really sets itself apart is with its feel, as I was able to do quite a bit of typing without putting too much pressure on my fingers. Plus, it feels really nice to type on. If you’re willing to splurge, I definitely think the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless is a worthy recommendation.

Performance: 5 / 5

Should I buy the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless Keyboard?

RGB lighting of the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

Buy it if…

You want a lot of features
From being able to hot-swap the switches to changing between a Windows and Mac layout, not to mention all the connectivity options, the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless is about as fully loaded as they come.

You want an accurate, fast, and comfortable typing experience
It’s not only fast and accurate for just about any gaming needs, the K65’s quiet, soft operation makes for a very comfortable typing experience.

Don’t buy it if…

You need to save some money
Let’s be clear: the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless is worth its price. But if you’re on a budget, you can sacrifice some of its quality-of-life features for a cheaper keyboard that will still provide the performance you need.

You need a wrist rest
As comfortable as this keyboard is to use, I’m surprised it didn’t come with its own wrist rest. You can buy a third-party one, but for the price, you would think it would come included.

Also consider

How I tested the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless

  • Used regularly for a couple of weeks
  • Tested with typing as well as gaming
  • Tested all included features

I used the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless Keyboard regularly for a couple of weeks, typing quite a bit on it, as well as playing games. Specifically, I tried fast-paced gaming like Battlefield 2042, Cyberpunk 2077 and Rocket League as well as more sedate games like Starfield. I even tried it with some RTS titles like Iron Harvest.

I looked at other aspects beyond performance, of course. I played with the K65’s programmable features, whether remapping or adjusting RGB, and the various connectivity options.

I’ve tested a lot of tech gear over the years from laptops to keyboards and mice, and so have been able to use my expertise towards giving an honest and fair opinion, not to mention a critical eye, to any product I test.

  • First reviewed June 2024
HP E45c G5: a huge, immersive monitor, but it comes at a price
9:30 pm | June 12, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Monitors Peripherals & Accessories | Comments: Off

HP E45C G5: One-minute review

Using the HP E45c G5, a 44.5-inch ultrawide monitor, is an experience. It’s not for everyone as the price tag is high, and it takes up a lot of space (as any 40-inch+ monitor would, of course). However, it’s engagingly immersive for media and, more importantly, allows for the ability to streamline a workflow where you need to look at multiple tabs or windows without having to switch between them.

If you’re looking for 4K resolution or need impeccable color accuracy and coverage for editing, your money may be better spent elsewhere. That’s not to say this screen isn’t great, or falls down badly in those respects, but the HP E45c G5 is among the best monitors for those looking for that immersive experience or ability to spread out a workflow, and not so much for other considerations.

Of course, if you’re reading this review, you’re probably looking for one of the best ultrawide monitors for your needs, anyway. In that regard, I think it’s up there.

HP E45C G5: Price and availability

HP E45c G5 running Sable

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)
  • How much does it cost? $1,099 / £959.99 / AU$2,045
  • When is it available? It’s out now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US, UK and Australia

While the HP E45c G5’s price tag is certainly justifiable, $1,099 / £959.99 / AU$2,045 is not a small chunk of change to pay for a monitor. However, it fills a very specific niche as it’s for those who like to have the screen real-estate of two monitors, but in a somewhat more streamlined setup.

Looking at it from that perspective, the price tag isn’t so bad. Most decent monitors are going to set you back about $400 to $500 anyway, so getting two of them will be the same price as the HP E45c G5, while requiring two spots on an outlet or power strip for power, not to mention you won’t have a single ultrawide screen if you want to use it this way.

As for the similarly-sized competition, you’re looking at the same kind of asking price or more. For instance, the Corsair Xeneon Flex 45WQHD240 OLED is just as big and has a nicer OLED display with a faster 240Hz refresh rate, but costs $1,999.99 / £2,099.99 / AU$3,299.99.

Or, consider the Samsung Odyssey OLED G9 with its similar aspect ratio and resolution. Of course, it does have an OLED display as well, so it’s going to cost much more at $2,199.99 / £1,599 / AU$3,399. Really, the only way you’ll pay the same $1,000-ish price tag as this HP display is to find the older non-OLED version of this monitor or go smaller.

Value: 4 / 5

HP E45C G5: Design and features

Image 1 of 2

HP E45C G5 cable management

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)
Image 2 of 2

Assembling the HP E45C G5

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

When discussing the design of this HP monitor, we have to go into detail about the obvious fact that this thing is big. With a 44.5-inch VA panel, it’s made to replace the need for two monitors. In fact, I would say it’s mostly better than using two monitors as the 1500R curvature allows for a more natural way to take in the whole panel. Plus, you can either split the screen between two sources, or expand the screen real-estate of one source in a way that isn’t separated by the blemish of an inconvenient bezel (well, two bezels).

HP E45c G5 Specs

Screen size: 44.5-inches
Aspect ratio: 32:9
Resolution: 5,120 x 1,440
Brightness: 400 nits
Refresh rate: 165Hz
Response time: 3ms gtg (overdrive)
Viewing angle: 178/178
Contrast ratio: 3,000:1
Color coverage: 99% sRGB
Inputs: 1x DP 1.4, 1x HDMI 2.1, 2x USB-C, 4x USB-A, 1x RJ-45
Weight: 32.18lbs (14.6kg)

Of course, the downside with this one-panel solution is that you don’t have the same level of ergonomic control as with two separate monitors, so for example, some people like to use the second monitor in portrait mode, and obviously that’s not possible with the HP E45c. Aside from that, the HP monitor’s overall ergonomics are somewhat limited, offering a 10-degree swivel in either direction, along with a 5-degree downward tilt and 20-degree upward tilt. On a more positive note, at least its height adjustment is substantial at around 8-inches.

Another point in HP’s favor compared to using two monitors is that the HP E45c’s base, while substantial, takes up less space than you would need for two monitors. Additionally, its stand comes with some basic cable management to keep the desk looking tidy. On a side note, assembling the whole thing is much easier than I thought it would be – just attach the stand to the back of the monitor while in the box, attach the base, and just pick it up from behind.

There are plenty of ports available as well, including three video-capable inputs: HDMI, DisplayPort, and USB-C. While there are no duplicates, so you won’t be able to plug in two laptops that only have HDMI, that’s still enough to take advantage of its ability to split the screen between two sources. Also, that USB-C port can deliver up to 100W of power to one PC, or 65W to two computers.

There’s also an additional USB-C port and a couple of USB-As on hand for peripherals. Since this monitor is a multi-tasker’s dream, KVM is incorporated too. You can even plug in an Ethernet cable with the HP E45c G5.

The last design-related aspect I want to mention is the OSD menu button on the back. It’s situated all the way over on the right side behind the panel, requiring a bit of a stretch whenever you want to change a setting.

Design: 4.5 / 5

HP E45C G5: Performance

Using the HP E45c as a productivity monitor

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

When it comes to performance, most of the negatives go right out of the window. Though this large display is limited to a (still great) 99% sRGB color coverage, its DCI-P3 coverage is not provided, and there are no settings for different color coverages, meaning that this is probably not an ideal monitor for photo and video editing.

However, for the rest of us non-creatives, it’s a blast to use. It still looks great with its dual QHD (5,120 x 1,440) resolution at a 165Hz refresh rate, and offers the kind of immersion for gaming and media that I found engrossing (I did have a powerful PC on hand to run it, of course).

This isn’t meant as a gaming monitor necessarily and is more targeted to worker bees who need a lot of screen real-estate to spread out on. This is an aspect I really appreciate, as I often have to look at several tabs to access and process different bits of information for articles and reviews. Additionally, the monitor can snap windows to an assortment of grids for easy organization.

HP was thoughtful enough to include a pair of 3W speakers. They’re loud enough and sound fine if you just need some audio in a pinch. But, if you care about sound quality, you’ll really want to pair this monitor with some decent speakers. This is true of 99% of the monitors I test, mind you, and it’s still nice to have integrated speakers as a little extra for a well-rounded experience.

Performance: 4.5 / 5

Should I buy the HP E45C G5?

HP E45c G5 picture in picture

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

Buy it if…

You hate switching windows or tabs
With this ultrawide panel, you no longer have to rifle through different tabs and windows to find what you’re looking for. You can streamline, organize, and spread out your workflow here.

You want an immersive experience
It might not be 4K, but the dual QHD screen is plenty sharp enough. And, with its 1500R curvature and ultrawide panel, you’ll be engrossed in whatever you’re doing.

You have multiple PCs to connect
As a monitor meant for multi-taskers, the HP E45c comes with the right kind of features including KVM and picture-by-picture so you can seamlessly switch between two different computers.

Don’t buy it if…

You’re on a budget
Compared to buying two separate monitors, the price is right. But if you’re on a budget, you can get a decent monitor for much less. You’ll just need to go smaller.

You need portrait mode
If you’re considering alternatives to a second display, just be aware that by the very nature of this monitor, ergonomically speaking you’ll be forever locked in landscape mode.

Also consider

How I tested the HP E45C G5

  • Used regularly for a couple of weeks
  • Tested with multiple sources
  • Tried out all the features

I used the HP E45c G5 regularly for a couple weeks. I tested it with various games, as well as connecting multiple sources to see what it’s like viewing them side-by-side with its wide 32:9 aspect ratio. I tested the various features as well, not to mention the built-in speakers.

After spending some time with the HP E45c G5, it’s obvious that this monitor is for those looking for an impressive visual experience for gaming, for instance, or, as HP has positioned it, for streamlining and organizing a large workflow.

I’ve tested a lot of tech gear over the years from laptops to keyboards and speakers, and so have been able to use my expertise towards giving an honest and fair opinion, not to mention a critical eye, to any product I test.

  • First reviewed June 2024
Corsair M75 Wireless Mouse: top-notch gaming performance for both righties and lefties
4:56 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Mice Peripherals & Accessories | Comments: Off

Corsair M75 Wireless Mouse: Two-minute review

While there are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to the best gaming mouse, Corsair’s new M75 Wireless looks like it has all the goodies necessary to make that shortlist.

This mouse has the speedy and accurate performance that gamers need, the lightness that makes whipping it around furiously on a mousepad (or appropriate surface) effortless, and the kind of connectivity that lets one not only go cord-free, but allows for use with a second source without having to move the wireless dongle.

Whether it’s the best mouse for you will depend on a few factors. While there is a dedicated DPI button, it’s located underneath, which will deter some, especially if you still need all the other buttons for whatever hotkeys and shortcuts you like to have at your fingertips. More importantly, it’s expensive for a mouse. There are plenty of capable mice for much less, especially if you don’t care so much about wireless connectivity.

With that in mind, you’ll see regular comparisons to the non-wireless Corsair M75 that the company also provided for review. Since they’re very similar mice, with the main differences being connectivity and weight (the non-wireless version is quite a bit lighter), you can decide if you want to spend more for wireless connectivity or not.

Corsair M75 Wireless Mouse: Price and availability

Corsair M75 wireless mouse

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)
  • How much does it cost? $129.99 / £119.99 / AU$203.08
  • When is it available? It's out now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US, UK, and Australia

If you were to categorize gaming mice into budget, mid-range, and premium brackets, the Corsair M75 Wireless fits into the latter category. While there are some more expensive options out there, the Corsair M75 Wireless is plenty pricey at $129.99 / £119.99 / AU$203.08.

If you want to spend a little less and don’t care about wireless connectivity, the Corsair M75 non-wireless version goes for a somewhat more palatable $79.99 / £79.99 / AU$141.08. That’s still somewhat expensive, but you’re partially paying for its ambidextrous quality, not to mention its top-notch components.

You can certainly spend much more on a gaming mouse as the Razer Basilisk V3 Pro shows us with its $159 / £159 / AU$289 price tag. It does have 10+1 buttons (the +1 is a profile button underneath) and the ability to upgrade to wireless charging capabilities. But all that’s rather overkill for most people.

If you want something that’s competent and works for both righties and lefties but at a significant discount, the Cooler Master MM311 might be a better fit. It still has a solid 10k DPI and 2.4GHz wireless connectivity, and while it doesn’t have Bluetooth onboard, it is way more affordable at $39.99 (about £34, AU$59).

Value: 4 / 5

Corsair M75 Wireless Mouse: Specs

Corsair M75 Wireless Mouse: design and features

Corsair M75 Wireless compared to the wired Hero model

Corsair M75 Wireless compared to the wired Hero model (Image credit: Future / James Holland)

First off, let’s dive into the design of the Corsair M75 Wireless. The most striking thing to me is not the two zones of RGB lighting on the palm rest and underneath, which are plenty bright, or the M75’s very smooth exterior. What strikes me most is its symmetrical design.

This mouse was made for both righties and lefties. In fact, it has identical side buttons on both sides that are magnetically held in place. Corsair included raised buttons that can be substituted for easier pressing no matter which orientation you prefer. This is also the case for the non-wireless version.

On top, you have the normal left and right buttons, and center wheel. What’s different compared to a lot of other gaming mice is the fact that the DPI button is nestling underneath. This is always a pain (again, also true for the non-wireless version).

Luckily, you can easily reprogram any but the dominant main button (left click in regular mode, right click in left-handed mode) however you like, including setting as the DPI toggle, DPI up, DPI down, and Sniper. Unfortunately, if you want to use all those buttons for other hotkeys, you’re going to have to find a compromise somewhere.

Also worth noting is how light this mouse is at just 89 grams. That’s very good for a wireless mouse as it needs to hold a battery, something that you don’t have to worry about with wired mice. The wired Corsair M75 is even lighter at 75 grams. While you can find some even lighter mice that hover in the 50 gram range, these feel balanced and lightweight enough to not cause any fatigue.

Before we dive into the performance, I also want to mention the connectivity on hand. While the wired version just connects via USB, the wireless M75 also adds in 2.4G Wireless (it also comes with a wireless dongle) and Bluetooth. Due to this, you can switch between your gaming PC with the wireless connection and a work computer on Bluetooth with just the press of a button. That button also happens to be the power button, which sits opposite the DPI button underneath.

Design: 4.5 / 5

Corsair M75 Wireless Mouse: performance

Corsair M75 mouse underside

Underside of the Corsair M75 mouse reveals the DPI button (Image credit: Future / James Holland)

When it comes to performance, there’s only one complaint about the Corsair M75 and that’s the placement of the DPI button. You either lose another button for that purpose (by remapping it), or you live with your DPI setting as it is, with no ability to switch on-the-fly (as changing involves messing about with turning over the mouse, of course).

Beyond that, its 2,000Hz polling rate when used in wireless mode and 26,000 DPI provided via Corsair’s own Marksman sensor, not to mention speedy optical switches for all the buttons, all make for a mouse that will have no trouble keeping up.

I used it in firefights when playing Cyberpunk 2077 and Battlefield 2042, and also in RTS games like Iron Harvest, as well as in Rocket League. All I can say is that if there was a bottleneck in doing better in any of those games, that bottleneck was me.

Lastly, I want to quickly mention the iCue software used to remap buttons, change RGB lighting, or adjust settings like putting the mouse in left-handed mode or enabling all side buttons. I’ve used the software for a long time in the course of testing Corsair products and have gotten used to it. Once you get iCue, it’s easy to use, but it does have a little bit of a learning curve. Be patient and you’ll be able to unlock just as much from the Corsair M75 Wireless as any other mouse.

Performance: 5 / 5

Should I buy the Corsair M75 Wireless Mouse?

Corsair M75 gaming mouse in action

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

Buy it if…

You’re a leftie or ambidextrous
You can use the Corsair M75 Wireless and its wired sibling no matter the orientation you need. And you can replace the side buttons with raised ones for better personalization.

You want top-notch performance
With its 26K sensor, optical switches, and relatively light nature, this mouse will keep up with all your gaming needs.

Don't buy it if...

You can’t sacrifice any buttons
If you need access to that DPI button but can’t sacrifice any of the other buttons to remap it, other mice place the DPI button on top where you can use it on-the-fly.

You’re on a budget
This is an expensive mouse. If you’re on a budget, there’s something out there that will meet your needs (or, at least, most of them) for far less.

Also consider

How I tested the Corsair M75 Wireless Mouse

  • Used regularly for a week
  • Tested with different genres of games
  • Fully tested all features

I used the Corsair M75 Wireless as well as its non-wired sibling regularly for a week, playing fast-paced games like Battlefield 2042 and Rocket League, as well as RTS games like Iron Harvest, not to mention less demanding titles like Starfield.

I looked at other aspects beyond performance, of course. I played with the M75’s programmable features, including remapping and adjusting RGB, and also looked at how easy it was to remove and replace the side buttons.

I’ve tested a lot of tech gear over the years from laptops to keyboards and mice, and so have been able to use my expertise towards giving an honest and fair opinion, not to mention a critical eye, to any product I test.

  • First reviewed June 2024
Acer Swift Go 14 review: a solid laptop with some fun twists and turns
9:43 pm | June 11, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets | Tags: , | Comments: Off

Acer Swift Go 14: One-minute review

If we were to compare the Acer Swift Go 14 to a car, it would be like driving a Honda Accord. It’s a solid laptop that looks nice, but is pretty far from premium. There are some aspects of it that even come off a little cheap. However, it does the job it’s supposed to for the majority of those looking for a laptop.

In that regard, it could be considered one of the best laptops for the average joe as it’s priced very reasonably and comes with enough power to handle daily tasks for the next three to five years. 

Plus, it comes with a few interesting extra features such as its built-in Copilot AI. Even though that’s technically a Microsoft thing, Copilot comes with its own processing unit as well as a physical button on the keyboard to call it up. The multi-gesture touchpad as well as the feature-filled webcam and mic are also nice touches.

If budget isn’t an issue, then you might not find the Acer Swift Go 14 to be among the best Ultrabooks to choose from. But, considering how inflation has reached us all, most of us looking for a daily laptop for emails, streaming, and the like are probably trying to stretch that budget as much as possible. And, with that in mind, the Acer Swift Go 14 is an easy recommendation. 

Acer Swift Go 14: Price & availability

An Acer Swift Go 14 on a desk

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)
  • How much does it cost? Starting at $799.99 (about £640.00 / AU$1,230.00)
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US, UK and Australia

The Acer Swift Go 14, reviewed here (model number SFG14-73/T), and available at Costco for $799.99 (about £640/AU$1,230) as of the beginning of May, is priced perfectly. If you don’t have a Costco membership, you’ll have to spend at least $949.99 (about £760 / AU$1440) to get a model with the same CPU, RAM, and display, and you’ll have a hard drive with half the space. 

Of course, there is a model that goes for $829.99 (about £670 / AU$1260), but you’ll end up with the weaker Intel Core Ultra 5 125H CPU.  If you’re in the UK or Australia, you really only have access to more expensive versions that come with a 2.8k resolution OLED display, which retail for £1,399.99 / AU$1,899 (about $1260.00).

Just be aware that the models with the Intel Core i5 or i7 CPUs are technically of the previous generation, even if they’re very close in terms of performance – they’re just not quite as robust in terms of their AI capabilities as the ones with the Intel Core Ultra SoCs with Intel Arc graphics and dedicated NPU. 

If you need to differentiate, the newer models whether through Costco or direct have a 73 in the model name as opposed to 72 or 71, i.e. the one reviewed here is SFG14-73/T while the maxed out one mentioned in the paragraph above is the SFG14-71-785V.

The Apple MacBook Air 13-inch (M3) is still the standard bearer for these types of more affordable Ultrabook models despite not being a Windows laptop. Yet, the starting price is $1,099 / £1,099 / AU$1,799. And, once you get into any kind of upgrades, the price goes way up. Plus, this base model comes with 8GB 'unified memory.' While Apple does a great job of creating efficient laptops, that’s still too little in this day and age. That puts the Acer Swift Go 14’s price into a proper and very positive context.

If you really need to go cheaper than the Acer Swift Go 14, there are some models out there worth considering, such as the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3i. It has a good touch screen, some security features, and enough power for day-to-day work, even if it’s weaker than the Acer Swift Go 14, which you’ll notice more near the end of its life cycle as it will struggle more to keep up. And, it goes for a cheaper $659.99 / £518 (about AU$970). 

  • Value: 4.5 / 5

Acer Swift Go 14: Specs

Though the Acer Swift Go 14 came in a number of configurations in previous generations, the current one (which is not that big of a leap from the previous i5 or i7-powered generation) has a very small number of models. 

In the US, the only difference is either getting one with an Intel Core Ultra 5 or Core Ultra 7 SoC for the non-Costco models, or getting the Costco model, which is both cheaper and comes with a bigger hard drive.

The Acer Swift Go 14 is slightly different in the UK and Australia as it comes with a 2.8k resolution OLED screen. Of course, it’s more expensive as well. 

Acer Swift Go 14: Design

An Acer Swift Go 14 on a desk

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)
  • Decidedly mid-tier in build quality and aesthetics
  • Powerful enough for most people’s needs
  • Keyboard is fine but touchpad has a lot going for it

As a mid-tier laptop, the Acer Swift Go 14 comes with its set of compromises starting with the fact that it has an aluminum lid and top plate but is plastic underneath, keeping this laptop from feeling truly premium. But if you don’t look too closely, its silver and black colorway looks good enough. And, at a little over 3 lbs, it’s fairly light – this is essentially a mid-range Ultrabook.

As far as components go, again it’s not going to be the most robust computer out there. However, if you consider who this is meant for, it’s more than robust enough, coming with an Intel Core Ultra 7 155H CPU, integrated Intel Arc graphics, 16GB DDR5 RAM, and a substantial 1TB SSD. 

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An Acer Swift Go 14 on a desk

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)
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An Acer Swift Go 14 on a desk

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)
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An Acer Swift Go 14 on a desk

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)
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An Acer Swift Go 14 on a desk

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

If you want a computer that’s good enough for day-to-day activity that doesn’t include heavy editing or gaming, the Acer Swift Go 14 should do the job for at least a few years. Plus, it’s somewhat future-proof, or at least forward-looking with the fact that it comes with an Intel AI boost neural processing unit, which does the AI processing that you’ll mostly access through Copilot (more on that later).

The screen is capable here, but not quite wow-level, though there are some impressive upgrade options. The display that accompanies the review model is an IPS 1920x1200p 16:10 ratio one with a standard 60Hz refresh rate. It doesn’t do HDR but can handle HDR streaming.

The keyboard and touchpad are serviceable, but nothing special. Typing out this review on the Acer Swift Go 14 somewhat makes me miss my MacBook Pro, as the key presses are a bit shallower here. That said, you won’t find either the keyboard or touchpad to get in the way of your day-to-day activities. While the backlight on the keyboard is on the weaker side, a bright “SWIFT” lights up on the trackpad when the laptop is powered up – a nice touch, in my opinion.

One more point in favor of the touchpad is the fact that it registers all sorts of gestures, which can be customized to a degree in the settings, to the point where you use three or four fingers at a time for additional commands such as showing the desktop or adjusting the volume.

  • Design: 4 / 5

Acer Swift Go 14: Performance

A screenshot of the Acer Swift Go 14 laptop's Windows Copilot functionality

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)
  • Enough performance for most
  • Copilot AI is a nice, if extraneous addition
  • Webcam and mic are very good

Here is how the  Acer Swift Go 14 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark: Night Raid: 27,154; Fire Strike: 8,046; Time Spy: 3,827
GeekBench 6.1: 2,364 (single-core); 12,612 (multi-core)
25GB File Copy:
15.05 seconds
Handbrake 1.6.1 (4K to 1080p encode): 5:12 minutes
CrossMark: Overall: 1,809 Productivity: 1,750 Creativity: 1,921 Responsiveness: 1,670
Sid Meier's Civilization VI: Gathering Storm (1080p): 36.214 fps
Web Surfing (Battery Informant): 8:25:23 

The Acer Swift Go 14 is not a powerhouse, nor is it meant to be. This is the kind of portable computer for someone who doesn’t want to pay too much money, but still wants something robust enough to handle their daily workload for a few years without hassle. And, its performance lines up nicely there.

It won’t have any trouble running multiple tabs at the same time, and is even able to handle some basic gaming like CS:GO, despite not having discrete graphics. You won’t do any heavy lifting with this laptop, but its performance is more than enough for most people, especially since it comes with some good quality-of-life inclusions.

Now, whether the built-in Copilot AI that’s replaced Cortana, and has its own dedicated button, is one of those QoL inclusions worth paying for really depends on how much you rely on or want to rely on AI. 

It certainly makes searching for solutions when troubleshooting issues, whether computer-related or not, a bit easier. However, it’s not that much more robust than what you can find googling. It just happens to all be in one place. As things with generative AI evolve, we’ll get a good idea of how integral something like Copilot really will be to the user’s end experience. For me, it was more of a curiosity than anything else.

What I’m more impressed by is the nice, bright touch screen. It has a slightly better than 1080p resolution (1920 x 1200) and supports HDR streaming though not HDR in general. Still, it’s enjoyable enough when watching something like Shogun with a very crisp, clear video quality that produces a good accurate color range, at least with sRGB (109% to be specific), though it doesn’t quite have the color gamut coverage for much editing work with its almost 78% DCI-P3 coverage. 

Still, that’s not what this computer is for. And, if you really want to upgrade the viewing experience without dumping too much money on a computer, you can always go with an upgraded Acer Swift Go 14 with a higher-res OLED screen.

Another area that surprised me was the sound quality. While lacking bass or a lot of volume, it is surprisingly decent for a fairly slim laptop. It doesn’t sound boxy like most thinner laptops. Instead, you get a fairly unadulterated sound (all things considered).

Lastly, the conferencing capabilities are very good here. The webcam, with its 1440p at 30Hz resolution, is quite sharp. And, despite that lower refresh rate, has a 60Hz flickering reduction so that you look pretty smooth without a lot of noise in the image. I also appreciate the fact that it has a physical privacy shutter.

Plus, Acer paired it with AI noise reduction technology implemented on the mic, so you’ll be heard as clearly as you’re seen. I particularly appreciated the fact that this laptop would ask if I wanted to use a conference-style or personal-style noise reduction, though it does ask every single time.

  • Performance: 4.5 / 5

Acer Swift Go 14: Battery life

An Acer Swift Go 14 on a desk

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)
  • Mediocre battery life for this form factor
  • Keeps its charge when asleep

Considering the Acer Swift Go 14 technically fits into the Ultrabook category, its battery-informant benchmark of eight hours and 25 minutes is pretty underwhelming. Of course, it’s good enough to get you through a day of work without needing a charge, but just barely. While it’s unfair to compare it to something like the Apple MacBook Air 15-inch (M3), which gets almost double the battery life, getting above ten hours is normal these days for a computer like this.

Of course, this laptop does have a slightly higher resolution and built-in AI that might need a little more power, but the battery life is still not anything special. Since it charges via USB-C, it doesn’t take long to get back up to a full charge. And, more interestingly, it does a better job keeping a charge when asleep than many Windows laptops I’ve come across (something Apple has solved a long time ago).

  • Battery Life: 4 / 5

Should you buy the Acer Swift Go 14?

Buy the Acer Swift Go 14 if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider

How I tested the Acer Swift Go 14

  • Tested for three weeks
  • Used it for work, light gaming, and streaming
  • Played around with generative AI

I used the Acer Swift Go 14 for three weeks, using it in a number of different ways. I used it for work, including typing up most of this review (along with the requisite online research). I used it to stream video. I even did some light gaming. On top of that, I tested the webcam and mic as well as the Copilot AI.

After spending time with the Acer Swift Go 14, it’s clear that it’s a mid-range laptop with a few extra features to set it apart. On the whole, though, it’s a solid computer for those who don’t need their computer to do anything particularly fancy.

I’ve spent the last few years reviewing tech gear for gaming and otherwise, where I’ve gotten a feel for what to look for and how to put a piece of kit through its paces to see whether it’s worth the recommendation.

We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.

Read more about how we test

  • First reviewed June 2024
Asus ROG Rapture GT-BE98: lightning-fast Wi-Fi 7 router with impressive features for hardcore gamers
9:29 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Computing Components Gadgets Servers & Network Devices | Comments: Off

Asus ROG Rapture GT-BE98: One-minute review

Most of the Wi-Fi 7 routers that we’ve seen in recent months are general-purpose models, designed for home and office use. However, the new ROG Rapture GT-BE98 from Asus is very much a specialist router aimed at hardcore gamers who want the very best performance for their online action.

Asus has pretty much thrown in the kitchen sink with the GT-BE98 – and then given the sink a bit of a polish and some go-faster stripes to ensure that every aspect of its performance is fine-tuned to perfection. 

With quad-band Wi-Fi 7 and a top speed of 24.4Gbps – which Asus slightly exaggerates by rounding it up to 25Gbps on its web site – the GT-BE98 is one of the fastest Wi-Fi 7 routers we’ve seen so far.

It also boasts top-of-the-range wired connectivity, along with a high-performance quad-core processor, and no less than eight chunky antennae that are designed to push the Wi-Fi signal into every corner of your home. Needless to say, it’s serious overkill for most of us – and, in fact, there can’t be many non-professional gamers who have access to the sort of high-speed broadband that could really do justice to a router like the GT-BE98.

However, it’s a great demonstration of the kind of performance provided by Wi-Fi 7, and how promising more affordable Wi-Fi 7 kit should be when it arrives for the rest of us. And, of course, Wi-Fi 7 is still backwards-compatible with older PCs and devices as well.

Asus ROG Rapture GT-BE98: Price & Availability

An Asus ROG Rapture GT-BE98 on a table

(Image credit: Future / Cliff Joseph)
  • How much does it cost? $749.99 / £699.99 / AU$1,499
  • When is it available? It's on sale now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US, UK, Australia

Pricing for the GT-BE98 is a little erratic, depending on the region where you live. You can’t currently buy the GT-BE98 directly from Asus in the US or Australia at the moment, so you’ll need to shop around online, with prices in the region of $749.99 or AU$1,499 (and Asus’ US website doesn’t even bother to point you in the direction of any retailers, which isn’t very helpful). 

Customers in the UK can buy direct from Asus, with both Asus and Amazon listing the router at £699.99. And, believe it or not, that’s not a bad price for a state-of-the-art Wi-Fi 7 router such as this, since rivals such as Netgear’s Nighthawk RS700S are just as expensive – around $699.99 / £799.99 / AU$1,499 at the moment – while only providing tri-band support and a top speed of 19Gbps.

  • Value: 4 / 5

Asus ROG Rapture GT-BE98: Specs

Asus ROG Rapture GT-BE98: Design

An Asus ROG Rapture GT-BE98 on a table

(Image credit: Future / Cliff Joseph)
  • Weighs a hefty 2kg 
  • 10Gb Ethernet WAN/LAN port
  • 4x 2.5Gb Ethernet LAN ports

Even by the standards of most gaming routers, the GT-BE98 is a seriously over-the-top piece of kit.

It’s built like a tank and, at 2kg, weighs more than many laptops. Even its array of eight external antennae seems unusually threatening, with a chunky ‘dual-feed’ design that helps to isolate the transmission and reception circuitry for optimum performance.

The router is powered by a quad-core processor running at 2.6GHz, and there are separate amplifiers for each of the four frequency bands. That sort of power requires good cooling and ventilation, so there’s a large heating vent on the top of the router, while the top panel consists of an aluminum heat plate coated with a nano-carbon layer to help dissipate the heat. 

And, of course, like any good gaming router, the GT-BE98 has a glowing logo on top, with completely gratuitous RGB lighting effects that can be controlled via the Asus app.

  • Design: 5 / 5

Asus ROG Rapture GT-BE98: Features

  • Free parental controls
  • Option to prioritize gaming performance
  • Supports additional ‘virtual’ networks

Most Wi-Fi 6E and Wi-Fi 7 routers support tri-band Wi-Fi, using the 2.4GHz, 5.0GHz and 6.0GHz frequency bands, but the GT-BE98 adds a second 5.0GHz band to provide quad-band Wi-Fi 7 with a top speed of 24.4Gbps. 

That’s backed up by state-of-the-art wired connectivity as well, with the GT-BE98 boasting 10Gb and 2.5Gb Ethernet ports that can be used for either high-speed broadband connections (WAN) or wired connections to a laptop or other devices (LAN).

There’s a second 10Gb LAN port as well, which is set as a dedicated ‘gaming port’ that takes priority over all the other ports to ensure that your gaming rig gets the best possible performance. There are three additional 2.5Gb ports for LAN connections, and a single Gigabit Ethernet LAN port that dawdles along behind for doing boring stuff like email and work. You even get two USB-A ports for connecting a hard drive or other storage device to your network.

The Asus app could use a little fine-tuning, though. The app didn’t seem to recognize the GT-BE98 even when my laptop was already connected to it and was happily streaming the BBC News channel while I worked. 

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A screenshot of the Asus ROG Rapture GT-BE98's mobile app interface

(Image credit: Future / Cliff Joseph)
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A screenshot of the Asus ROG Rapture GT-BE98's mobile app interface

(Image credit: Future / Cliff Joseph)
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A screenshot of the Asus ROG Rapture GT-BE98's mobile app interface

(Image credit: Future / Cliff Joseph)

Eventually I had to do things the old-fashioned way, using an Ethernet cable to connect the laptop to the router, and then configuring the router via its web browser interface.

Once that was done the Asus app was then able to connect to the GT-BE98 and worked without any further problems. However, Asus still needs to update the app so that less experienced users can get started without having to muck around with Ethernet cables and the not-very-friendly browser interface.

The app does provide some useful features, though – most notably free parental controls that include scheduling features and content filters to block various categories of unsuitable material.

And, unlike some of its rivals, Asus doesn’t charge an extra subscription for these features (Netgear, we’re looking at you). Gamers have the option to prioritize gaming to provide maximum performance, or other tasks such as video streaming or file transfers.

You can also use Asus AiMesh technology to run the GT-BE98 as part of a mesh Wi-Fi system. And, unusually, the Asus app lets you set aside some bandwidth to create ‘virtual’ networks for specific uses, such as having a kids’ network, or an IoT network (Internet of Things) for smart devices such as lights that you may have in your home.

Once again, though, the app feels a little cumbersome here, and assumes a fair amount of technical knowledge from the user, so ease of use remains an area that needs improvement.

  • Features: 5 / 5

Asus ROG Rapture GT-BE98: Performance

An Asus ROG Rapture GT-BE98 on a table

(Image credit: Future / Cliff Joseph)
  • Quad-band Wi-Fi 7
  • 24.4Gbps speed
  • High-speed wired connections

Here is how the Asus ROG Rapture GT-BE98 performed in our benchmark tests:

Ookla Speed Test - 2.4GHz (download/upload)
Within 5ft, no obstructions: 145Mbps / 20Mbps
Within 30ft, three partition walls: 80Mbps / 20Mbps
Ookla Speed Test - 5.0GHz (download/upload)
Within 5ft, no obstructions: 150Mbps / 20Mbps
Within 30ft, three partition walls: 150Mbps / 20Mbps
Ookla Speed Test - 6.0GHz (download/upload)
Within 5ft, no obstructions: 150Mbps / 20Mbps
Within 30ft, three partition walls: 150Mbps / 20Mbps
20GB Steam Download - 2.4GHz
Within 5ft, no obstructions:  75Mbps
Within 30ft, three partition walls: 75Mbps
20GB Steam Download - 5.0GHz
Within 5ft, no obstructions:  150Mbps
Within 30ft, three partition walls: 150Mbps
20GB Steam Download - 6.0GHz
Within 5ft, no obstructions: 150Mbps
Within 30ft, three partition walls: 150Mbps

The initial setup process could be a little smoother, but we certainly don’t have any complaints about the performance of the GT-BE98. Our ageing office router only transmits on the 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz bands, and even then it struggles with our office broadband connection, which runs at 150Mbps. 

Even at close range, when transmitting to devices in the same room, our office router can only manage 80Mbps for the Ookla Speed Test on the 2.4GHz band, and 120Mbps on the 5.0GHz band. Steam downloads tell a similar story, at just 40Mbps for 2.4GHz and 100Mbps for 5.0GHz. 

However, we also have an office located at the back of the building that the Wi-Fi signal from our old router can barely reach, forcing us to rely on Powerline connectors to provide a more reliable wired connection. 

Unsurprisingly, the GT-BE98 coped with both office locations easily. Even on the slowest 2.4GHz band, it boosted the Ookla test to 145Mbps for devices in the same room, and even managed to provide a steady 80Mbps in the back office that normally can’t get Wi-Fi at all.

Steam downloads on 2.4GHz almost doubled to 75Mbps for devices in the same room, and the GT-BE98 maintained that speed even in our back office as well. There are many smart devices, such as lights and security cameras, that still rely on the 2.4GHz band, so it’s worth having that speed improvement on 2.4GHz if you want the option of creating an IoT network using the Asus app.

But, of course, the 2.4GHz band is the slowest of the four frequency bands supported by the GT-BE98, and we weren’t at all surprised to find that the GT-BE98 effortlessly hit our maximum 150Mbps in both of our test locations when using its additional 5.0GHz and 6.0GHz bands. 

Like most Wi-Fi 7 routers, the GT-BE98 is overkill for most home users, but it’s competitively priced when compared to rival models, and will be a great option for gamers who need every advantage when they’re fighting it out online.

  • Performance: 5 / 5

Should you buy the Asus ROG Rapture GT-BE98?

An Asus ROG Rapture GT-BE98 on a table

(Image credit: Future / Cliff Joseph)

Buy the Asus ROG Rapture GT-BE98 if...

You’re a gaming guru
Very much aimed at hardcore gamers, the GT-BE98 provides state-of-the-art performance and features for serious gaming and online matches.

You have a tricked-out gaming rig
Gaming PCs with Wi-Fi 7 are now starting to appear, so the GT-BE98 will be the perfect Wi-Fi upgrade for the well-heeled gamer.  

Don't buy it if...

You don’t have Wi-Fi 7
Wi-Fi 7 is backwards-compatible with older versions of Wi-Fi, but there are some advanced features that won’t be available with older PCs and gaming consoles. 

You’re on a budget
Needless to say, the GT-BE98 is seriously expensive. There are more affordable routers with Wi-Fi 6 or 6E that can still provide good gaming performance.

Asus ROG Rapture GT-BE98: Also consider

If my Asus ROG Rapture GT-BE98 review has you looking for other options, here are two more routers to consider...

How I tested the Asus ROG Rapture GT-BE98

We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.

Read more about how we test

  • First reviewed April 2024
Razer Viper V3 Pro review: a super-light, super-customizable gaming mouse
6:55 pm | June 10, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Mice Peripherals & Accessories | Tags: , | Comments: Off

Razer Viper V3 Pro review

The Razer Viper V3 Pro, as the name implies, is touted as a gaming mouse fit for professionals, with endorsements and development feedback from various esports stars. A follow-up to the Viper V2 Pro, the V3 is even lighter and has a new optical sensor for purportedly greater precision and control.

For a gaming peripheral, the Razer Viper V3 Pro's styling isn’t as brash as you might expect. It seems that Razer has toned down its adolescent designs for the most part, and the Viper V3 Pro continues in this newly established tradition. It's very minimal and sleek, with just a single instance of the Razer logo, positioned toward the back. It's barely visible on the black variant, as the outline is almost the same shade as the finish. On the white model, the logo remains black, but it’s still pleasantly restrained.

At just 54g (55g for the white variant), it’s very easy to maneuver, helped by the wide PTFE feet that make for frictionless gliding across multiple surfaces, including glass at least 4mm thick.

Close up of Razer Viper V3 Pro mouse buttons and scroll wheel

(Image credit: Future)

The low overall weight means acceleration is very fast – ideal for rapid swipes with low DPI settings – so it can hold its own against many of the best gaming mice when playing tactical shooters and the like. I did find the sharp cursor movement quite jarring at first, though. 

To help with this issue, you can adjust the tracking cut-off height in the free Razer Synapse software, which offers to install itself as soon as you connect the Viper V3 Pro. Synapse is a historically wonky piece of software, but it does the job well here. Higher settings reduce the snappiness of cursor movements, and you can even toggle asymmetric cut-off values, letting you set different height values for lift-off and landing. The V3 has 26 height adjustment values, whereas the V2 only had three, courtesy of the second-generation Razer Focus Pro Optical Sensor.

The Viper V3 Pro feels slender in the hand and the overall shape seems to accommodate various grip styles. It also comes with optional grip tape you can adhere to the sides and mouse buttons, should you prefer that extra level of tactility. However, the hump in the middle is quite pronounced, which made me curl my hand more than I’m accustomed to, and forced me away from a fuller grip in the palm, so those who prefer this may want to take note.

The mouse buttons feel snappy and only require a light press, yet they are well-dampened and lubed, with a satisfying click that provides good feedback for your actions. There are indentations on both buttons to keep your fingers in position, which I found improved comfort during long sessions.

Underneath of Razer Viper V3 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

A pair of side buttons and a scroll wheel are the only extra topside features, but they perform excellently. The buttons are easy to use in the heat of the moment, being large and responsive enough to be found and pressed easily with the thumb. The scroll wheel is tightly notched while still being smooth, making for quick and accurate selections every time. The lack of a fast-scrolling mode, however, was a minor gripe of mine away from gaming, as navigating web pages and documents can feel too slow at times. 

Pressing down on the scroll wheel button is incisive and tactile, and like the main mouse buttons, it's pre-lubed for smoother actuation. It gave me the confidence to use it without fear of accidentally scrolling the wheel. There's no side tilt input function, but for most gamers, this would've been an unnecessary inclusion.

The Viper V3 Pro is capable of DPI resolutions all the way up to 35,000, an increase over the V2, which peaked at 30,000. Settings this high, though, will frankly be unusable in most cases. If you’re using an 8K monitor, it may prove useful, but these remain rare, especially in the competitive gaming world, where 1080p and 1440p resolutions still reign supreme. The lowest possible DPI setting is 100, and the adjustments are available in single increments using Synapse software – another improvement over the V2 – meaning any gamer will be able to dial in the perfect amount of precision. The X and Y axes can also be adjusted independently. 

Right side of Razer Viper V3 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

The DPI/power switch is on the underside of the mouse, which some may find inconvenient. But if you're a pro-level player, you want your mouse to be as utilitarian as possible, without any unnecessary accouterments that might interfere with gameplay. I was also able to wrap my middle finger underneath if I needed to adjust it since it's positioned to the right-hand side, making for easier access.

The Viper V3 Pro can be connected wirelessly or with the included USB-C cable. However, due to the thickness of the cable, I found it caused a noticeable amount of drag, which is particularly bothersome given the extremely light weight of the mouse itself. 

Using the Viper V3 Pro wirelessly is certainly a better experience. The included dongle (there’s no Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity) can elevate the poll rate all the way up to 8,000Hz (which Razer dubs “HyperPolling”), whereas a wired connection maxes out at 1,000Hz. This isn't a case where the dongle is a tiny USB attachment; here, it's a full-length cable with a transmitter on one end that needs to be placed near the mouse. Thankfully, due to the length of the USB cable, the dongle can be positioned comfortably within a desktop setup for minimal interference. During my time in this mode, I had nothing but flawless connectivity, with no dropouts or noticeable lag whatsoever.

Razer claims that the Viper V3 Pro battery life can last up to 95 hours, and I have to say that during my tests, this figure seemed to hold true. After just over an hour of continuous gaming from a full charge, the Viper V3 Pro only dropped a single percentage. Charging is also fast, and I managed to go from 28% to 72% in around 50 minutes. It's worth noting that the higher poll rates will drain the battery faster, however.

Close up of Razer Viper V3 Pro HyperPolling Wireless Dongle

(Image credit: Future)

Despite the relative dearth of physical buttons on the Viper V3 Pro, the number of customization options via the Synapse software is mind-boggling. All buttons can be remapped to perform other functions besides their usual defaults – even the left click can be modified to have a secondary function when activating Hypershift mode. Multiple profiles can also be created to easily switch between your desired set of customizations. 

Customizable functions range from simple Windows system-level actions – macOS isn’t supported – such as opening an app or putting your PC to sleep to creating a sniper button or cycling DPI resolutions (which rectifies the inaccessibility of the DPI button). You can also record keyboard shortcuts, activate individual keys, and write blocks of text with the press of a single button. The text option even features a full character list with virtually every possible symbol, including those in other languages, and emojis. It’s hard to imagine who would make use of all these functions with their mouse alone, but the fact that Synapse offers this much scope is impressive nonetheless. 

There's also the ability to record your own macros and assign them to a mouse button of your choice. (Adding the Macros menu to your instance of Synapse may mean installing the add-on in the Modules menu). It lets you record any input from your mouse and keyboard (even non-Razer ones), adjust their delay times, and set up loops. You can also run commands, and even run macros within other macros. 

All of this, in addition to the calibration and setup tools, make Synapse an extremely involved piece of peripheral software with an incredible amount of tweakability. It is the ideal companion for the Viper V3 Pro, which similarly aims for top-level performance – and for the most part, it hits the target. 

Razer Viper V3 Pro: Price and availability

  • $159 / £159 / AU$279
  • Black and White options
  • Available now

The Razer Viper V3 Pro is priced at $159 / £159 / AU$279 and comes in two color schemes: black or white. Thanks to the symmetrical design, both right- and left-handers are catered for. It was released on April 23, 2024. 

This is Razer’s lightest full-size gaming mouse. The next lightest full-size mouse in its esports line, the DeathAdder V3 Pro, is almost 10g heavier. There is, however, a smaller version – the Viper Mini Signature Edition – which tips the scales at a mere 1.72oz / 49g. This is priced much higher, though, at $279 / £279 / AU$449.

Other lightweight contenders include the ASUS TUF Gaming M4 Air, which comes in at 1.76oz / 50g and is much lower in price ($49 / £39 / AU$69), but it has no wireless option.  

Razer Viper V3 Pro gaming mouse and grip tape

(Image credit: Future)

Razer Viper V3 Pro: Specs

Should you buy the Razer Viper V3 Pro?

Buy it if...

You want an ultra-lightweight, high-quality gaming mouse
At 1.9oz / 54g, this is one of the lightest full-size gaming mice on the market, so those who want rapid movements with no resistance should get along fine with the Viper V3 Pro. All the buttons have a high-quality feel as well, instilling confidence there’ll be no slip-ups.  

You want to be among the esports pros
The Viper V3 Pro has plenty of ringing endorsements from esports stars, and some even provided development feedback to make this a gaming mouse worthy of tournament use. The lack of fuss is also highly prized in such circles.

You want in-depth customization
Razer’s free Synapse software still has a dodgy reputation, but after many, many updates, it's now about as involved as customization software gets, letting you create almost any shortcut and macro you could wish for, as well as the ability to tweak the Viper V3 Pro to your heart’s content.

Don't buy it if...

You want plenty of buttons
The Viper V3 Pro is fairly spartan, with a scroll wheel and side buttons being the only extras. A top-facing DPI button would help appease those who’ll use the mouse for both gaming and general PC use in equal measure. 

You want something to fit your palm
Of course, everyone’s hand size and grip style are different, but I found the Viper V3 Pro didn’t fit well within the palm of my hand, so if this is a style you prefer, it might not be for you. 

Razer Viper V3 Pro: Also consider

How I tested the Razer Viper V3 Pro

  • Tested for gaming and general use
  • Played competitive FPS and strategy games
  • Over a decade of PC gaming experience

I used the Viper V3 Pro for over a week in various scenarios, from gaming to productivity and general use.

I played FPS games such as Counter-Strike 2 and Black Mesa, as well as strategy games like XCOM 2, to cover each end of the gaming spectrum.

I have been PC gaming for over a decade and for the most part, I measured the Viper V3 Pro against my erstwhile companion, the Logitech G502 Lightspeed.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed May 2024

Samsung Odyssey OLED G60SD/G80SD: two exciting new entries in the gaming monitor market
12:30 am | June 7, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Monitors Peripherals & Accessories | Tags: | Comments: Off

Several monitors were showcased at the Samsung Wonders Unlocked event, with two of them gaming-oriented. In recent years, the manufacturer has really stepped up its gaming monitor game, with the Odyssey series nearly always delivering on display quality and performance as some of the best gaming monitors out there.

I tested two of the latest in the Odyssey series – the Odyssey OLED G60SD and the Odyssey OLED G80SD – to see how these iterations hold up. So far, I've been very pleased with the results. Not only do they look great, but they offer plenty of upgrades, quality-of-life additions, and improved specs to justify the steep price - especially the HDR 10 support, which was stunning to witness.

Odyssey OLED G60SD: price and availability

The Odyssey OLED G series has two models: the 27-inch Odyssey OLED G60SD and the 32-inch Odyssey OLED G80SD.

The G60SD is available for preorder on the Samsung online store at $899.99 / £799 / AU$1,499, while the G80SD is priced at $1,299.99 / ££1,099.99 / AU$2,058. You'll also receive a bonus of $300 in Samsung credit if you purchase one of the new monitor models.

Odyssey OLED G60SD: specs

Here are the specs for the Odyssey OLED G60SD/G80SD at a glance. 

Odyssey OLED G60SD/G80SD: design

Odyssey OLED G60SD

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gaming monitor near pink keyboard

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gaming monitor near pink keyboard

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gaming monitor near pink keyboard

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Odyssey OLED G80SD

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gaming monitor near white keyboard

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gaming monitor near white keyboard

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Like most other Odyssey-series gaming monitors, the Odyssey OLED G60SD and G80SD look gorgeous. They sport luscious QHD+ and UHD 4K OLED displays, respectively, both outfitted with glare-free technology that actually works - and quite well at that. 

I tested it out by simply having the monitor near sunlight coming in through an open window (one of the most pervasive lighting situations for the average buyer), and light didn't wash out the screen in the slightest. Thanks to said tech, the flat shape of the monitors isn't a hindrance as they don't require the curved shape to filter out light. I'll go out on a limb and say that this is such an important feature that it'll make reviewing other monitors difficult, as glare is one of my biggest issues.

Other nifty new features that combat overheating and OLED burn-in are Samsung OLED Safeguard+ technology and the Dynamic Cooling System. These tools diffuse heat and reduce the monitor's core and surface temperatures, keeping the internal components safe from heat damage and preventing burn-in from static images like logos and taskbars.

The two monitors' vibrant white color stands out in the sea of plain black monitors on the market, especially when paired with the CoreSync and Core Lighting+ features. Those are RGB light rings in the back of the monitor that you can control through various settings. They're purely aesthetic but help brighten up your gaming desk setup in a fun and unobtrusive way.

I also appreciate how, despite the large screen sizes, it's easy to pick up both the monitor and stand, making moving them around a living space much easier. The thin displays also mean that it doesn't take up much desk real estate, an absolute boon for any gamer struggling with space issues.

Odyssey OLED G60SD/G80SD: performance

Odyssey OLED G60SD

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gaming monitor menu

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gaming monitor menu

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Odyssey OLED G80SD

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gaming monitor near white keyboard

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I tested out both the Odyssey OLED G60SD and G80SD gaming monitors through Cyberpunk 2077, Red Dead Redemption 2, and more of the best PC games. The G60SD has a higher refresh rate at 360Hz versus the G80SD's 240Hz, while both sport a 0.03ms response time. Combined with AMD FreeSync Premium Pro, you can fully eliminate choppiness, screen lag, and image tears. 

No matter what title I played, the gameplay was silky smooth and made the QHD+ and UHD 4K resolution shine even more. It was also explained to me that the G80SD featured no color shifting, no added latency, and could maintain its 240Hz refresh rate at 4K - an impressive feat. It has a tool called the Samsung NQ8 AI Gen3 Processor, meaning that the monitor can upscale content to nearly 4K

I was also able to try HDR10 through the G80SD and compare the image to the G60SD. We started with Red Dead Redemption 2's prologue through the wintery landscape as the protagonist navigated through a snowstorm on horseback. Not only were the colors, the whites, and the blacks far more vibrant, but the overall picture quality was much sharper and cleaner, with improved visuals.

Odyssey OLED G60SD/G80SD: early verdict

gaming monitor near white keyboard

(Image credit: Future)

Both the Samsung Odyssey OLED G60SD and G80SD are exceptional gaming monitors that not only boast excellent specs but also come with a host of other quality-of-life features and upgrades that enhance the gaming experience. 

From a full ventilation system that prevents the dreaded OLED burn-in to HDR 10 that takes an iconic scene from a video game and elevates it to new heights to (one of my personal favorites) glare-free technology that ensures sunlight from an open window won't completely wash out your screen during a gaming session.

I'm excited to see what Samsung will churn out next, as its gaming offerings just keep getting better and better with each new year.

Asus Zenbook S 16: much more than just a refresh
6:16 pm | June 5, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Laptops | Comments: Off

Laptops from Asus's Zenbook series are always impressive-looking Ultrabooks, with a unique design that sets them apart from nearly every other laptop in the market. The Asus Zenbook S 16 is no exception, sporting the iconic lined look and benefitting from a lovely thin and light chassis.

But this year's refresh has two key updates: the first being the addition of the AI processor and the second being the newly developed material it's made of. It's clear that this year Asus isn't content to sit on its laurels but instead is breathing new life into the Zenbook series.

Asus Zenbook S 16: price and availability

The Asus Zenbook S 16 is available in the US and UK, price starting at $1,699.99 / £1,599.99 (around AU$2,550). Meanwhile, Australia has other versions of the laptop (mainly the S 13) but not the 16-inch laptop.

For an Ultrabook, the retail price isn't too shabby, even bordering on reasonable. And now that it has an AI processor, that value has increased tremendously.

Asus Zenbook S 16: specs

Here are the specs for the Asus Zenbook S 16 at a glance. 

Asus Zenbook S 16: design

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light silver and grey laptops on table

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light silver laptop on table

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Zenbook design is always impeccable, with those distinctive etched-in marks and unique texture that sets it apart from some of the other best Ultrabooks you can buy. And this year's Asus Zenbook S 16 is no slouch in that regard, especially when that design is paired with the white color variant. But the darker version makes the etched lines stand out more, so both versions are distinctive in their own way.

One of the biggest talking points is the new material that the Zenbook S 16 is made from, called Ceraluminum. Through a complex chemical process, aluminum oxide (essentially rust) is transformed from a brittle material into something strong, lightweight, and sturdy. And when I tried out the laptop myself, I could feel the difference in the material. It was much lighter but felt just as tough as previous models.

It features a 3K resolution display with a 120Hz refresh rate, surprisingly high for a non-gaming laptop. It also comes with Lumina OLED, giving it a beautifully clear and crisp image that's perfect for creative and editing projects.

The keyboard is solid, with well-sized keys for any finger size and type, and a snappy feedback. But what really sells this laptop is its glass touchpad, which not only feels ultra smooth and responsive but has a feature called Smart Gesture. This means you can set up shortcuts for the top and sides of the pad to control various tasks like volume, video controls, and more.

Port selection isn't too shabby, with two USB Type-C ports, one USB Type-A port, a combo jack, and an HDMI port. No ethernet port, unfortunately - disappointing when we're dealing with an Ultrabook that should be premium in every way.

Asus Zenbook S 16: performance

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I wasn't able to properly test out the Asus Zenbook S 16 during my hands-on period, so unfortunately its true performance levels aren't known to me at this time. However, if we're going by the potential of AI processors then it's possible that this laptop could have some exceptional benchmark scores.

The ventilation system has also been revamped, potentially lending itself to longer periods of use without overheating. It's called Airvent and it improves airflow while keeping moisture and dust out. You can see the unique design of the vent above the keyboard.

Asus Zenbook S 16: early verdict

light silver laptop on table

(Image credit: Future)

The Asus Zenbook S 16 is probably the biggest change out of all the laptops Asus showcased so far. Not only does it have the AI processor upgrade but Asus invented a whole new material just to build the laptop with. 

Coupled with useful features like the touchpad's Smart Gesture and a brand-new ventilation system, and you have an Ultrabook that could very well be one of the best laptops in the market. I look forward to test-driving the Zenbook S 16 once it releases - and very few laptops have made me feel that way this year.

Asus TUF Gaming A16/A14: a premium look for an affordable price
5:40 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Gaming Computers Gaming Laptops | Comments: Off

Asus's TUF brand has always been its affordable line and the Asus TUF Gaming A16 refresh and the newly revealed A14 continues the tradition. However, the stark difference here is the aesthetics, which have essentially been overhauled to look far more premium.

Not only that, but the addition of the A14 means there's another, more portable option to the gaming laptop lineup. Of course, performance is the most important aspect of any laptop and I wasn't able to run benchmarks to officially test that out during my hands-on. But with those specs, it should be able to handle any PC title you throw its way - including AAA games.

Asus TUF Gaming A16/A14: price and availability

Both the Asus TUF Gaming A16 and Asus TUF Gaming A14 are expected to ship on July 22, 2024 in the US, UK, and Australia.

The TUF Gaming A16 launches with a starting price of $1,799.99 / £1,799.99 / AU$2,299 while the TUF Gaming A14 launches priced at $1,399.99 / £1,299 / (around AU$2,400).

Asus TUF Gaming A16/A14: specs

Here are the specs for the Asus TUF Gaming A16/A14 at a glance. 

Asus TUF Gaming A16/A14: design

Asus TUF Gaming A16

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Asus TUF Gaming A14

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What impressed me the most about the upcoming Asus TUF Gaming A16 and A14 models is how much more attractive they are compared to previous iterations of the TUF series. The A16 has a sleeker and more premium-looking design that defies its relatively lower price tag, and the A14 is compact and much more lightweight than you'd expect from a gaming laptop. It also features an aluminum lid and bottom cover, making the smaller model even more durable.

I like the added touch of the power light, shaped in a cute flower-like pattern. It complements the revamped look of the laptop in a simple yet non-obtrusive way. My only real complaint is that I wish we could get more colors, but considering it's a more budget-minded line the decision not to makes sense.

The A16 has a full keyboard with a numpad, taking advantage of the extra space. Both versions have well-sized and spaced-out keys that make error-free typing much easier and large touchpads perfect for navigating while gaming. The A14 in particular has a beautiful glass touchpad, which feels silky smooth.

Both also have great port selections including USB Type-A and Type-C ports, combo jacks, HMDI ports, SD readers, and the A16 even has an ethernet port. It's refreshing to have a gaming laptop with the full breathe of ports and slots available, and for the smaller one to be as close as possible.

What also impressed me was the A16's improved bezels, a full width heatsink hidden in that thinner frame, and even a pop up screw to pop out the chassis and make repairs and upgrades that much easier.

Asus TUF Gaming A16/A14: performance

Asus TUF Gaming A16

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(Image credit: Future)
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Asus TUF Gaming A14

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(Image credit: Future)
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The Asus TUF Gaming A16 and A14 are outfitted with the latest AMD Ryzen 9 CPUs, as well as up to a Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 GPU. Past benchmark results inform us that both gaming laptops should perform well with the best PC games, including more demanding AAA titles. However, I wasn't able to benchmark these laptops during my time with them, meaning this is all still speculation. 

The A16 and A14 screens are both QHD+ 2.5K resolution with 400 nits of brightness, sport a 165Hz refresh rate, and a 3ms response time, which ensures a smooth and stutter-free experience for most gamers. 

Asus TUF Gaming A16/A14: early verdict

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(Image credit: Future)

Out of the gaming laptops featured in the Asus Computex 2024 event, the TUF Gaming A16 and A14 impressed me the most by far. Asus is overhauling its affordable line, giving it a cleaner and prettier look. I especially love the A14, with its small and thinner frame that has plenty of power.

The pricing for both is pretty solid, with the A14 being quite more affordable. The A16 is a bit steep but, compared to other laptops with similar specs it's far more reasonable. Hopefully, as manufacturers lean more into AI processors, we continue to see budget and near budget machines being pushed out as there's still a market for them.

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