• , ,

    5 Best Soundbar for PC Gaming in 2017

    Launch your favorite game and turn off the sound. Notice the lack of depth and immersion—almost as if the game has lost one dimension. As you’ve just experienced, sound plays a critical role in modern gaming.

    Competitive gamers rely on accurate sound reproduction to sense incoming enemies before they place their crosshairs on them, and those who play just for fun know how goosebumps-inducing audio effects and orchestral soundtracks can be when played through a high-fidelity sound system.

    Best Soundbar for PC Gaming

    For a long time, gamers very limited to either headphones or speakers. Now, soundbars have emerged as a great alternative for those with limited desk space and appreciation for audiophile-grade sound quality.

    Razer Leviathan

    The Razer Leviathan sound system consists of a compact soundbar and a subwoofer with an authoritative presence. Together, they create a full-range 5.1 true-to-life surround sound experience powered by the Dolby technology. A dedicated button switches between 3 equalizer presets, fine-tuned for gaming, movies, and music.

    The soundbar hides 4 drivers optimized for accurate reproduction of mids and highs, and the powerful 5.25-inch subwoofer delivers windows-shattering bass without even reaching the upper volume limit. The system can be connected to an audio source either via Bluetooth 4.0 or an audio cable. The wireless range is around 10 meters (30 feet), and the award-winning aptX technology enhances the wireless sound quality, making it indistinguishable from a wired connection.

    Compared to 2.0 and 2.1 speaker setups, the virtual 5.1 surround sound produced by the Razer Leviathan is noticeably more immersive, making you feel as if the action were happening all around you. Neither mids, highs, nor lows are distorted beyond what we consider acceptable for a high-fidelity sound system, and the overall sound signature is pleasantly warm and musical.

    For less than $200, Razer is offering an excellent solution for all gamers who prefer speakers over headphones but don’t have the space nor the need for large bookshelf speakers or a home theater system.

    Sonos Playbar

    The Playbar from Sonos is part of the company’s home theater system, but it can also be used on its own, placed under a monitor. Don’t even think that using the Playbar without the rest of the home theater system will result in poor sound quality. The Playbar houses 9 (yep, that’s not a mistake) amplified speakers that cover the entire sound range.

    All you need to connect the Playbar is a single cable for power. The soundbar can then receive audio signal wirelessly over Wi-Fi or through an optical audio cable. Compared to Bluetooth, Wi-Fi provides a stronger and more stable signal reception over longer distances.

    The Playbar can be controlled via the Sonos app for mobile devices, which lets you access your music, make playlists, set music alarms, and more. Even though the app’s usefulness for PC gaming is limited, it’s still a nice addition that may come in handy when relaxing on the couch or having friends over for a party.

    At $699, you have every right to expect fantastic sound quality. As the excellent total Amazon user rating of 4.4 stars suggests, the Sonos Playbar doesn’t disappoint. The sound it produces is crystal-clear, well-balanced, and full of life. And while the Playbar alone doesn’t produce the same virtual surround sound listening experience as 5.1 systems, it’s still more immersive than most 2.0 and 2.1 systems.

    Nakamichi Shockwafe Pro

    The Nakamichi Shockwafe Pro (not a typo) is a 7.1 surround sound system with 400 watts of power produced by a 200-watt soundbar, a 150-watt subwoofer, and a pair of rear speakers that together deliver 50 watts of power. The soundbar is 45.5 inches long, and it hides left, right, center, and side speakers. Everything is powered by 5 chipsets with support for Dolby Audio and DTS Digital Surround reference cinema audio technologies.

    Being a home theater system first and a gaming audio solution second, the Nakamichi Shockwafe Pro features a full range of connectivity options, including HDMI, analog, optical, coaxial, Bluetooth, and USB. It also comes with a remote control with HDMI CEC compatibility, a wall-mounting kit, and several cables.

    To properly position all speakers, especially the soundbar, you need a lot of space and a large desk. But once you have everything in place and your favorite game loaded up, the next thing that awaits you is a sound nirvana. Yes, the subwoofer could be used by construction crews to tear down old buildings; yes, all frequencies are in perfect harmony.

    What makes the Nakamichi Shockwafe Pro so enjoyable to listen to the sound system’s ability to envelop you in a cloud of sound and make you forget about the world around you. At $479, this versatile home theater system will make any gamer wonder just how many gamers out there don’t know how different gaming is with audiophile-grade 7.1 sound.

    Bose Solo

    You probably know Bose as the manufacturer of those expensive noise-cancelling Bluetooth headphones that would make your days in the office so much more bearable. But the company has also released a number of other audio listening devices, including a wireless soundbar.

    The Bose Solo is designed with TVs in mind, but there’s no reason why you couldn’t plug any audio source to one of several audio inputs located on the back of the soundbar. What’s more, you can also wirelessly stream audio from your smartphone or laptop thanks to Bluetooth connectivity.

    The soundbar comes with a remote control with buttons for the soundbar itself and also for gaming systems and Blu-ray players. Located right in the middle of the remote is a special button labeled “bass.” Press it, and you instantly unleash a fury of soundwaves and raw energy.

    Like with all other Bose audio products, the sound quality is top-notch, and the design of the product is well-thought-out to every little detail. The Bose Solo usually retails for $249, but Amazon frequently sells it for less.

    Vizio SB3821-C6

    As the most affordable soundbar and sound system on this list, the Vizio SB3821-C6 is the likable underdog to cheer for. For around $150, you’re looking at an elegant, contemporary soundbar with a stand-alone subwoofer that have less than 1 percent total harmonic distortion and deliver up to 100 dB of loudness. The subwoofer connects to the soundbar wirelessly, and the soundbar supports both wireless and wired audio input as well as Dolby and DTS audio technologies.

    A row of control buttons is located on the top side of the soundbar, allowing you to adjust the volume, initiate Bluetooth pairing, and switch the soundbar on and off. The addition of the dedicated subwoofer has resulted in fantastic bass reproduction and remarkable mid-range clarity. Physically feeling explosions, gun shots, and the roar of car engines while clearly hearing what in-game characters are saying is something you don’t always get even with sound systems that cost twice as much as the Vizio SB3821-C6.

    Best Soundbar for PC Gaming

  • , ,

    5 Best TV for Gaming in 2017

    A great TV is essential for immersive couch gaming. Gaming TVs range from a couple of hundreds of dollars to thousands. The price mostly depends on the size and resolution, but smart features and design also come into play.

    Best TV For Gaming

    Best TV for Gaming

    Most consumers find it much more difficult to select a gaming TV than a gaming monitor, especially when shopping in the high-end category. The sheer number of features advertised by TV manufacturers can be overwhelming, not to mention the time it takes to go through online tests, image quality comparisons, and customer reviews.

    Trust us—we understand the pain. This list of top 5 best TVs for gaming in 2017 is the result of meticulous research, years’ worth of experience, and our desire to make shopping for a new gaming TV something that you can look forward to doing.

    Winner: LG OLED55C6P

    Our favorite gaming TV in 2017 is a stunning OLED 55-incher with the 4K resolution from LG. The advantage of the OLED technology is that every single pixel is individually illuminated. When an OLED TV displays black, it doesn’t just display a very dark shade of gray but perfect black, achieving incredible contrast. The LG OLED55C6P can display over billion colors, delivering a stunning high dynamic range picture.

    When you decide to take a short break from gaming and watch a movie, you’ll appreciate the support for Dolby Vision, an HDR standard that offers dramatically expanded brightness, contrast, and color gamut. The 4K resolution makes the TV future-proof, and thanks to its wide viewing angles, everyone in the room can appreciate the stunning picture quality, no matter where they sit.

    As one would expect from a high-end product, the TV features a striking design with slim bezels, blending the LG OLED55C6P with the most elegant décor. The onboard sound system from Harman Kardon will make you think twice about purchasing external speakers.

    Second Place: Samsung UN65MU6300

    Available in sizes from 40 inches all the way up to 75 inches, the Samsung UN65MU6300 is a modern smart TV with the 4K resolution and 120 Hz refresh rate. With Samsung, who manufactures displays for Apple, you have a guarantee of excellent image and build quality.

    Gaming on an extra-large 4K TV is incomparable with gaming on a PC monitor. Even when sitting farther away from the screen, the grand action never fails to look utterly impressive. What’s also impressive is the quad-core processor inside the TV. The processor takes care of media playback, steaming, and makes all downloadable apps fly.

    The 2017 model may not seem all that different from the last year’s model, but there are many under-the-hood improvements that make it worth the price.

    Third Place: Sony XBR75X850D

    Featuring Sony’s cutting-edge X1 processor, which intelligently optimizes color, contrast, and clarity based on what you’re watching, the Sony XBR75X850D is a gaming TV for gamers willing to pay extra to get the best technology currently available.

    Its TRILUMINOS display with the 4K resolution produces authentic-looking images with life-like colors, deep blacks, and natural tonal gradation. Sony’s Dynamic Contrast Enhancer adds more life, more texture, and more energy to every scene. The TV also supports high refresh rates for smooth gameplay, and the presence of Android TV means that you’ll never run out of interesting content.

    Despite the size of the display, the TV doesn’t occupy to much space thanks to its slim bezels and thin design. You can either hang it on a wall or take advantage of the rugged yet elegant stand.

    Best Cheap TV for Gaming

    The great news for all gamers in 2017 is that even budget TVs are more than good enough. Thanks to the trickle-down nature of technology, affordable TVs come with many of the same features that one would have to pay thousands of dollars for just a few years ago, including LED-backlit panels, high refresh rates, and downloadable apps.

    If you were one of the early adopters of flat-screen televisions, you probably remember how awful was the image quality of most budget TVs at the time. Thankfully, that’s no longer the case. You would be hard-pressed to find a TV from a reputable manufacturer with image quality so bad that it would make the TV downright unusable.

    Our Favorite: TCL 49S305 

    TCL Corporation is a Chinese multinational electronics company and America’s fastest-growing TV brand. The company has been manufacturing high-quality televisions for more than three decades along with components used by other renowned TV manufacturers.

    The TCL 49S305 is a 49-inch Full HD smart TV with an LED-backlit display and slim bezels. The TV is also available in sizes from 28 inches to 43 inches, but the 49-inch model seems perfect for comfortable couch gaming given its amazing price of just $359.

    The TV comes with Roku steaming service, offering access to over 4,000 channels featuring more than 450,000 movies and TV episodes. You can connect your gaming PC or console to the TV using the three available HDMI ports and switch between connected devices either using the included remote or the powerful smartphone app.

    What makes this TV particularly great for gaming—besides its affordable price and fantastic image quality—is the high refresh rate of 120 Hz. The higher refresh rate can make gameplay look a lot smoother, and it makes the TV more futureproof.

    Alternative: Sony KDL48W650D

    The Sony KDL48W650D supports the company’s Motionflow XR technology for smooth and natural display of dynamic scenes. Using the combination of the nominal frequency of updates, the average frame rate, and improved LED backlight control, Motionflow XR increases the number of frames, achieving a real refresh rate of 120 Hz.

    Despite the TV’s affordable price, the KDL48W650D shares many features with its high-end siblings, such as a well-thought-out cable management system, a narrow frame with slim bezels, and the ability to play digital content from USB devices. You can also mirror your smartphone to your TV and enjoy your favorite apps and games in a brand-new way.

    Like all TVs from Sony, the KDL48W650D stands out with its remarkable sharpness, vivid colors, and outstanding clarity. Whether you’re watching a movie on Netflix or trying to win a championship in Dirt 4, the TV will pull you right into the action on the screen.

    Best TV For Gaming

  • , ,

    What is CS:GO Skin Betting and How Do You Get Started?

    So you’re probably wondering, “What is this ‘skin betting,’ and how do I get into it?” Skin betting is actually quite interesting (at least we think so!), and can really add to your gaming experience in CS:GO. But I won’t give too much away, because today, we’ll answer all of those burning questions, and more.

    What is Skin Betting

    CS:GO skin betting is just like betting on your favorite sports game or the like, but with less moolah and more skins (accessories of sorts that make your gun or dagger look cool). Think of CS:GO betting the same way you think about betting on sports; except while you use cash for your regular, every day bet, in this case, you’re using skins. By doing this, you can earn quite a bit more skins if the team you’re supporting wins.

    How To Bet With CS:GO Skins

    First, you probably want some skins, since you need them in order to bet. You can acquire skins from special events, gameplay, and/or you can get them from the Steam market. Now, how do you bet skins you have acquired? Well, betting skins has been made very simple, so anyone can do it. To bet, you go to any trusted betting website, and there should be a matches or games tab where you can choose which match or game you want to bet on. You’ll put some “skin” into the game so to speak, and then wait and see if the person or team you bet on wins or not.

    Is CS:GO Skin Betting Legal?

    Whether skin betting is legal or not varies between countries and states, so you’ll need to do your research first, but typically here in the great U.S. of A, it’s legal (depending on your state) if you’re 18 or older, so you can enjoy this form of sharing skins as much or as little as you want to. That being said, if you’re not sure whether you live in a country where skin betting is frowned upon or not, it’s very easy to do a quick search to find those answers.

    How Will This Benefit You?

    In-game, there are no damage or armor benefits or anything, as skins are purely cosmetic. The skins are just there to give a fresher look to your standard weapons that you already love to use in-game. Now if you constantly win these bets, you can earn a lot  of skins that you can easily turn in for gems (which let you buy more skins), or you can sell them on the Steam market for Steam currency, which is used solely for buying more games or skins on Steam.

    Why Bet With CS:GO

    Betting with CS:GO skins can be very profitable, plus you may be able to get some awesome skins that you’ve always wanted, whether to sell or to keep. You can sell, breakdown, and trade any skins you have, but although you can earn money by selling skins, keep in mind that it’s only Steam currency to be used toward a videogame or more skins to bet or trade with.

    Our Take

    Betting skins for CS:GO is actually really fun, because who knows what you’ll end up with next? While there’s not really a benefit beyond the aesthetics, you might find that you really enjoy doing it. And, although it may take some effort, you really can earn Steam currency, which is awesome if you’re looking at some new games that you’re not wanting to a pay a ton for. Skin betting really just adds another intriguing element to CS:GO. So get out there, and start betting and earning more skins. See what you end up with next!

  • , ,

    5 Best High Refresh Rate Monitors for Gaming in 2017

    From the dawn of PC gaming, players have been pursuing higher and more stable frame rates. In the recent years, monitor manufacturers have finally started to venture beyond 60 frames per second, releasing gaming monitors with high refresh rates and support for adaptive sync technologies like G-Sync from Nvidia and FreeSync from AMD.

    Best High Refresh Rate Monitors for Gaming

    When milliseconds are the difference between life and death, regular monitors with refresh rates fixed at 60 Hz just don’t cut it. According to researchers, many people can see more than 60 frames per second, with some individuals being able to spot temporal gaps of up to 2 milliseconds. The ability to process higher frame rates improves with training, as exemplified by fighter pilots who have been observed to accurately spot 1/255th of a frame.

    In other words, a monitor with a high refresh rate can actually make you a better gamer—not to mention how much more enjoyable gaming becomes when the action is fluid and life-like. Relying on our expertise, experience, and user reviews, we have put together a list of top 5 best high refresh rate monitors for gaming in 2017.

    G-Sync vs FreeSync

    Increasingly more manufacturers of gaming monitors advertise support for two technologies that promise to eliminate screen tearing and stutter: G-Sync and FreeSync. Even though they both solve the same issues, each takes a vastly different approach.

    Every G-Sync-compatible monitor has a built-in FPGA module that controls the monitor’s refresh rate at the hardware level. These chips can be quite expensive and Nvidia also requires manufacturers to pay a licensing fee to integrate the technology in their monitors. Typically, a G-Sync monitor costs up to $100 more than an identical FreeSync monitor.

    AMD based its technology on the Adaptive-Sync ingredient component of the DisplayPort 1.2a specification, which was announced by VESA, a technical standards organization for computer display standards, in 2015. The biggest downside to AMD’s approach is the limited compatibility with older graphics cards. Whereas most of the GTX 600 series graphics cards and newer support G-Sync, only the latest AMD graphics card support FreeSync.

    G-Sync can better handle GPU output outside of the supported refresh rate range of the monitor, but the range itself is smaller (from 30Hz to 144Hz compared to 9Hz to 240Hz with FreeSync). G-Sync is also more barebones, supporting only some preliminary color processing and completely disregarding support for audio output.

    At the end of the day, most gamers will pick a graphics card first and a gaming monitor second, so the choice between G-Sync and FreeSync is mostly a matter of compatibility.

    Best 240 Hz Refresh Rate Monitor: BenQ ZOWIE

    If you have an AMD card and want to get into FreeSync, there’s no monitor within the realm of what the average human can afford with a higher refresh rate than the BenQ ZOWIE. This Full HD 24.5-incher goes up to 240 Hz, basically guaranteeing that even your future graphics card won’t be able to use it to its fullest potential on maximum details.

    The adjustable frame of the monitor comes with a removable shield that prevents glare. Additional features intended to give you an extra edge over your opponents include the Black eQualizer technology, which increases the visibility in dark scenes, and several game modes customized for different game genres. There’s also a 24-inch and a 27-inch version of the monitor, but both go up to only 144 Hz.

    Best 200 Hz Refresh Rate Monitor: Acer Predator Z301C

    Ultrawide monitors are meant for gaming, and the Acer Predator Z301C is one of the best ultrawide monitors with high refresh rate on the market. Typically, it goes up to 144 Hz, but it can be also overclocked to 200 Hz for extra smooth framerates. Monitor overclocking is perfectly safe, it’s just that the display hasn’t been tested for such high refresh rates. At worst, you may see some visual artefacts.

    The 29.5-inch display has a resolution of 2560 x 1080 pixels and a fantastic response time of just 4 ms. Acer has included its EyeProtect technology to reduce blue light and make the large display easier on eyes. With Predator GameView, you can precisely adjust colors, brightness, and boost dark areas. What’s more, the Acer Predator Z301C also cover 100 percent of the sRGB color gamut, making it great even for photo and video editing.

    Best 144 Hz Refresh Rate Monitor: BenQ XR3501

    The BenQ XR3501 is a relatively affordable large, ultrawide monitor with a high refresh rate and three exclusive game modes. This 35-inch monitor has the resolution of 2560 x 1080 pixels and achieves excellent color reproduction thanks to BenQ’s 20 built-in levels of color vibrance. The slim bezels around the screen would make three of these monitors placed side by side look absolutely fantastic, creating a battlestation worthy of any member of the PC Master Race.

    One feature that you don’t see very often is the ability to display images from two different input sources at the same time. This way, two people can play two different games on the same monitor at the same time. Pretty interesting, right? Other extra features include BenQ’s eQualizer technology for automatic optimization of dark areas, a blue light filter, and the ZeroFlicker technology.

    Best G-Sync Monitor: Acer Predator XB252Q

    When selecting a G-Sync monitor with a high refresh rate, it makes a lot of sense to stick with the Full HD resolution. Even the most ridiculously expensive graphics cards are unable to render AAA games at the highest quality setting at 144 frames per second. Many people who purchase QHD 144 Hz monitors find themselves quickly reducing the quality of shadows and textures to the absolute minimum, ending with a worse gaming experience than before.

    The Acer Predator XB252Q has the Full HD resolution, which is just about right given its display size of 24.5-inchdes. Like all Predator monitors, it delivers ultra-fast response times, has state-of-the-art connectivity options, and its picture quality is stunning. Priced at just over $500, the Acer Predator XB252Q

    Best FreeSync Monitor: LG 34UC79G-B

    Our favorite FreeSync monitor is the LG 34UC79G-B. As the name suggest, this monitor has a 34-inch display and the resolution of 2560 x 1080 pixels. It uses the IPS display technology, which is known for wide viewing angles and superior color reproduction compared to TN panels.

    LG has thrown in a few strictly gaming features, such as the onscreen crosshair that can be activated regardless of whether the game itself displays a crosshair, the ability to automatically reveal details in dark scenes, and the Dynamic Action Sync feature for fluid, stutter-free action.

    Best High Refresh Rate Monitors for Gaming

  • , ,

    5 Ultra-Thin and Light Weight Laptops in 2017

    When selecting a new laptop, most people value portability and long battery life above everything else. It’s no surprise then that the ultrabook category is booming, with laptop manufacturers trying to squeeze in as much processing power as they can into well-built, elegant devices suitable for travel and daily commuting.

    Best Ultra Thin Light Weight Laptops

    Generally, a laptop is classified as an ultrabook when it weighs under 3 pounds and delivers an above-average performance. Because it takes more effort for manufacturers to keep the weight down without compromising durability, ultrabooks often cost more than heavier and thicker laptops with the same hardware specifications.

    But raw performance aside, ultrabooks usually outperform regular laptops in every way. They come with high-resolutions displays with excellent viewing angles, feature backlit keyboards for comfortable and accurate typing, and are built from aluminum instead of plastic.

    The selection of ultra-thin and lightweight laptops in 2017 is vast, with many fantastic ultrabooks available for well under $1000.

    ASUS ZenBook UX330UA

    If you think the MacBook Air is light and small, think again. The ASUS ZenBook UX330UA weights just 2.6 pounds and measures 12.7 x 8.7 x 0.5 inches, making it 0.36 pounds lighter than the MacBook Air. It will also set you back over $100 less, despite being more powerful and having a much better display. Given similar the two laptops are in design, it’s clear that ASUS is trying to give consumers a compelling reason to stay away from Apple.

    But even on its own, the ZenBook UX330UA is an easy recommendation. The laptop comes with the Intel i5-7200U processor clocked at 2.5 GHz, with Turbo up to 3.1 GHz. CPUBoss gave the processor score of 8.4 points out of 10, placing it 0.2 points above the older i5-6200U and just a 0.1 points below the pricier i5-7500U. Needless to say that the processor makes even demanding applications, such as Adobe Photoshop and Vegas Pro, fly. Heavy multitasking is no problem thanks to 8 GB of RAM, and the fast 256 GB SSD makes the pre-installed Windows 10 operating system incredibly responsive.

    For such a small laptop, the ASUS ZenBook UX330UA can deliver a surprisingly immersive multimedia experience. The SonicMaster speakers with several pre-set software profiles bring music and movies to life, and the 13.3-inch anti-glare display with wide viewing angles and the Full HD resolution is easy on eyes and provides plenty of screen real estate for work.

    The latest MacBook Pro has been criticized for its revamped keyboard with a different feel compared to previous-generation MacBook Pro models. People for whom writing is a daily task have been looking for alternatives to MacBooks, and the ZenBook UX330UA fits the bill nicely. It has a full-size keyboard that features optimal 1.5-millimeter key travel and a rubberized palm rest for added comfort.

    These and many other features make the ASUS ZenBook UX330UA the best affordable ultrabook of this year. It offers excellent value at a highly competitive price.

    Apple MacBook Air

    Over 3 years after its release in March 2015, the latest generation Apple MacBook Air remains one of the most sought-after ultrabooks by writers, college students, and everyday users who value portability and prefer the Mac OS X operating system over Windows 10. While it’s no longer the thinnest, the lightest, nor the prettiest ultrabook on the market, it still holds up great even in 2017.

    There’s no doubt that the laptop’s fantastic build quality is the main thing that’s keeping it so popular. Apple engineers know how to turn a solid block of aluminum into a work of art. The MacBook Air feels solid and looks stunning from every angle. Place your hands on the full-size keyboard and the large touchpad, and you’ll immediately understand why professional writers cling to their MacBook Airs and refuse even to consider buying a different laptop.

    It’s only once you look at the laptop’s specification when its age starts to show. The Intel i5-5250U processor and the Intel HD Graphics 6000 graphics card are generations behinds the cutting-edge, and the 13.3-inch display with 1440 x 900 pixels looks outdated, to say the least. The presence of only 128 GB of PCIe-based flash storage isn’t nothing to write home about either, but it’s unlikely that anyone would purchase the MacBook Air with the intention of storing hundreds of GBs of data.

    So, is the MacBook Air still a good buy even in 2017? Yes, it is! The latest version of Mac OS X, Sierra, runs flawlessly, and not many laptops under $1000 can run up to 12 hours on a single battery charge like the MacBook Air. There are many fantastic apps available for Mac OS X for writing, photo and video editing, personal organization, and other things that you won’t find on Windows or Linux.

    ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA

    The ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA is the most affordable ultrabook on this list. Instead of Windows or Mac OS X, it runs Chrome OS, an operating system designed by Google that is based on the Linux kernel and uses the Google Chrome web browser as its principal user interface. The advantages of this innovative, web-based operating system are abundant, especially for casual users who barely leave the web browser anyway.

    Chrome OS is highly secure, boots nearly instantly, runs hundreds of thousands of Play Store apps and games, supports multiple users, automatically updates to the latest version, and consumes minimum processing power. It’s only thanks to Chrome OS that even a relatively underpowered ultrabook, such as the Flip, can run without any slowdowns and performance issues.

    Thanks to the 360-degree hinge, it’s possible to turn the Flip into a tablet or flip it to the tent mode and watch a movie on the 12.5-inch Full HD display. The large battery lasts up to 10 hours, and charging is realized via a USB Type-C port. The Flip has only 64 GB of storage space, but you get 100 GB for free from Google as soon as you activate the laptop with your Google account.

    The precision one-piece chiclet keyboard with 1.4-millimeter key travel feels solid, and the 104.5mm x 61mm touchpad with intelligent palm rejection feature is spacious and responsive. If you’re so inclined, you can install a full-fledged Linux distribution and dual-boot into a Linux desktop. Once in, the world is your oyster. You can code Android apps, develop IoT software, create presentations using Libre Office, or run penetration tests on wireless networks.

    Samsung Notebook 9

    Ultrabooks with 15-inch displays are a rare breed, but certainly not an oxymoron. Even a 15-inch laptop can be light enough for travel and commuting—it all depends on how well it’s engineered. Weighing just 2.9 pounds, the Samsung Notebook 9 is one of the lightest 15-inch laptops on the market. It features a durable aluminum and magnesium alloy construction that helps to keep it cool and quiet when pushed to its limits.

    Not that it’s easy to hit the performance ceiling of this machine. The powerful Intel Core i7-6500U processor and 8 GB of RAM make the Samsung Notebook 9 suitable even professional use. The vibrant 15-inch display with the Full HD resolution and LED backlighting is the highlight of the show. With a display so large, you don’t need an external monitor even when working on the laptop for the entire day. The display is coated with a special anti-reflective compound and greatly increases the laptop’s usability outside in the sun. The large chassis houses fast-charging batteries that can keep the laptop up and running for up to 12 hours yet take only 90 minutes to recharge.

    The Samsung Notebook 9 comes with Windows 10 pre-installed as well as with Samsung SideSync, the company’s PC to Mobile solution that enables screens, windows, and data to be shared easily. Also included are extra security features to help users cope with the latest malware threats.

    Overall, the Samsung Notebook 9 is a great choice for anyone who wants to get things done without hauling a heavy laptop. The only thing to watch out for is the lack of a dedicated graphics card, which makes it unfit for gaming and 3D graphic design.

    Dell XPS 13

    The fourth-generation model of the XPS 13 line, the Dell XPS 13 (9360), was released in October 2016 as a minor improvement over the previous generation. The newest version of this popular ultrabook features the Intel Core i7-7500U processor, which is built on the Kaby Lake processor microarchitecture, and up to 16 GB of RAM. We recommend the version with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB SSD storage. The top-of-the-range version costs $300 more, and we don’t expect most people to notice any significant performance difference between the two versions.

    No matter which version of the Dell XPS 13 you ultimately choose, you’ll get a stunning QHD+ display with non-existent bezels and amazing 400 nit brightness. Thanks to the IGZO IPS display technology, colors are vivid and accurate even when looked at from an acute angle. The display supports touch input, allowing you to interact with the content on the screen in a natural, intuitive way.

    You can purchase the optional Dell Thunderbolt Dock and instantly turn the laptop into a capable workstation. The dock supports up to three Full HD displays or two 4K displays and has a single-cable connection for power, Ethernet, audio, and video. With Dell’s business industry-leading endpoint solutions, the Dell XPS 13 is an ideal machine for business professionals who dislike moving between several different computers and would like to have all data in one place.

    Best Ultra Thin Light Weight Laptops

  • , , ,

    How To Get Better FPS On A Laptop For Playing CS:GO

    In CS:GO, are you always being shot up, or can’t get that kill you need due to low fps (frames per second)? Then you’ve come to the right place. Today we are going to share some tips and great gaming laptops you can get that will increase your fps exponentially, so you won’t miss out on being in first place, or at the top of the leaderboards.

    Best CSGO Gaming Laptop 2017

    ImgBrandProduct$
    Razer Razer Blade Touchscreen Gaming Laptop 1900.13
    Acer Acer Predator 15 Gaming Laptop 1717
    Alienware Alienware 13 Gaming Laptop 1298.99


    GPU Settings

    An easy thing you could try is changing your resolution to a lower setting that would still be comfortable, but wouldn’t be as taxing to your CPU or memory. Another thing you could try is adjusting your screen’s “digital vibrance.” This particular setting will allow you to see enemy players easily as well, and most popular CS:GO players usually play with the digital vibrance at 70% or higher. Also keep in mind that even graphics card updates can slow your gaming down, so make sure all your graphic card updates are done. If you turn AA(Anti-Aliasing) off or to a lower setting, that should increase your gaming experience too.

    Windows Settings

    If you’re a Windows user, you should know that Windows has a nice little power management option. If you search on your computer’s control panel for “power options” and select it, next a window will pop up, and there will be two options: “balanced,” and “high performance.” If you select high performance, you should see higher performance in CS:GO, and in any other of the games you play. Also with Windows 10, there’s a new option called “Game Bar.” Game Bar takes up CPU and will slow down your games some, but thankfully you can turn this option off, which will, in turn, increase your fps.

    CS:GO Settings

    Finally, we have CS:GO launch settings. If you go to CS:GO in your steam library and right click it, there will be an option to set the launch settings. What you want to put in your launch settings is (minus quotes, of course): “-console,” “-novid,” “-freq 144,” and “-tickrate 128.” “-console” opens the console when you launch the game, “-novid” skips the valve intro video or helps you get into the game faster, “-freq 144” sets your refresh rate to 144 (it’s suggested that you set it to your monitor’s refresh rate), and “-tickrate 128” means that your offline server will refresh 128 times a second (basically this just means that it knows what’s going on, and it makes everything more accurate on the offline server).

    Overclocking

    Overclocking isn’t really recommended, especially for people who don’t know what they are doing, as it can destroy your CPU, GPU, and RAM if you don’t know what you’re dealing with. All overclocking does is speed up your RAM, GPU, and CPU so they work harder, in turn giving you better performance. However, if you’ve got the experience and know your way around your machine, then by all means, you could definitely give it a shot. Overclocking obviously has its benefits, as it speeds up your RAM, CPU, and GPU so that they work harder than normal, and increases your fps to a decent rate that will satisfy you. So, as you can see, it offers some good things, and some not so good things, but depending on what you’re willing to try, it has the potential to help improve your gaming experience.

    Optimization Utilities

    Still having trouble with your fps? Your computer can run a lot in the background, some things necessary, and some not so necessary. Windows has a built in tool that can help turn these pesky applications off, or there are some third party tools that can help. Take Razer Cortex, for example; this application in particular will turn programs off that you don’t need at that moment. Windows also came out with an update called the “Creators Update.” With this update, there is an option that prioritizes your game, so it will turn off background applications that you’re not using or don’t need right then, which optimizes your gaming experience. All you have to do is just flip it off after you’re done playing.

    Benchmarking

    Usually there is a fps counter built into the game, but that isn’t the case all the time. There are some third party programs like Fraps that tell you the fps you’re running at. Knowing the fps your game is running at helps you to know how much messing around with the graphics you’ll need to do, so you don’t have to go overboard trying to optimize your computer settings. Generally you want over 25 fps, otherwise it looks like an old lady trying to eat soup. It’s good to have around 60 to 100 fps, but 25 is bearable.

    Gaming Laptops

    If the settings we suggested earlier are not working for you, maybe it’s time for you to upgrade to a better gaming laptop, which is great because then you can get a better view as well as better fps on games like CS:GO.

    Alienware 13

    Alienware 13 comes with Windows 10, 7th gen intel core i5 processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 with 2GB graphics card, 13 inch HD Anti-Glare 200-nits Display, and 8GB DDR4 2400MHz of memory, although I suggest buying a couple 16GB memory cards and putting those in depending on how computer savvy you are.

    Razer Blade

    As a runner up, we have the Razer Blade, which comes with 280 Ghz CPU, 14 inch no-touch screen, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card.), and now you can choose 16 or 30 GB worth of memory. As a plus, this particular laptop is very thin compared to most gaming laptops at 0.07 inches.

    Acer Predator 15

    The last gaming laptop we suggest for you is the Acer Predator 15, which is a great laptop for running CS:GO and other games like it. This laptop has a GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card, 16GB of memory, and an intel core i7 6th gen 2.60 GHz. Although this laptop isn’t as small as the Razer Blade, it offers great performance and doesn’t cost as much compared to most gaming laptops.

    Our Take

    Today we covered quite a bit, talking about some settings you can set to fix your fps and if that didn’t work, there’s some really good gaming laptops out there you could buy to fix your fps issues. Personally, I have not had any fps issues after changing my settings accordingly, and as a plus, the settings previously mentioned don’t just work with CS:GO, but with other fps and MOBA games as well. So whether you decide to tinker around with the settings or go all out and pick up a brand new laptop, you should be all set to go out there and “shoot ‘em up” with your newly unleashed fps.

    Best CSGO Gaming Laptop 2017

    ImgBrandProduct$
    Razer Razer Blade Touchscreen Gaming Laptop 1900.13
    Acer Acer Predator 15 Gaming Laptop 1717
    Alienware Alienware 13 Gaming Laptop 1298.99


  • , ,

    5 Best Intel Kaby Lake Laptops in 2017

    Intel’s Kaby Lake processor architecture hit the market near the end of last year, improving upon the previous Skylake architecture. Months after the first Kaby Lake laptop was released, the selection of laptop with Kaby Lake chips has finally grown to the point where anyone should have no issues finding the right Kaby Lake laptop.

    Best Intel Kaby Lake Laptops

    Compared to the Skylake architecture, Kaby Lake brings minor but noticeable improvements. Besides faster clock speeds and lower temperatures, Kaby Lake CPU’s natively support USB-C Gen 2, Thunderbolt 3, and HDCP 2.2. The integrated graphics card can decode 10-bit 4K video content played at 60 frames per second. Kaby Lake laptops generally last longer on a single charge and run slightly cooler than their Skylake counterparts.

    If you own a Skylake laptop that performs well and does everything you need, you’re not missing out on anything truly important. But if you’re in store for a new laptop, you should definitely go with a Kaby Lake laptop, if only for the slight performance boost.

    ASUS ZenBook UX330UA

    Don’t let the unsightly thick bezels put you off from considering the purchase of this affordable ultrabook. At around $700, this Intel i5-7200U-powered machine seems ideal for college students, writers, and managers. Out of all the different configurations, we strongly recommend the one with 8 GB of memory and 256 GB of fast SSD storage space.

    With 8 GB of RAM, you can have several dozens of web browser tabs opened at the same time, with a bunch of other applications running in the background, and still have at least 1 or 2 GB available. If you see the laptop with a 512 GB HDD or a hybrid drive, don’t let the larger amount of storage space convince you that you’re looking at a better deal. The extra speed of a proper SSD will be with you at all times, whereas the added storage space comes in handy only if you don’t use a cloud storage solution, an SD card, or an external USB hard drive.

    The 13.3-inch display has a special anti-glare layer to help you work outside, and its large viewing angles make it possible for a bunch of people to gather around the laptop and work on group assignments, presentations, or just watch a movie. Under the display is a responsive keyboard with 1.5 mm key travel and a rubberized palm rest for extra comfort.

    The Asus ZenBook UX330UA may not look as good as other ultrabooks on the market, but it sure performs like the best.

    HP Spectre x360

    This HP laptop means business even though it’s not intended strictly for business. The HP Spectre x360 is the kind of laptop you buy when you want to get by without a desktop computer, or a tablet for that matter. Its 15.6-inch display with the 4K resolution can display more pixels at the same time than most standard desktop monitors almost twice its size, and the 360-degree hinge allows you to instantly turn it from a laptop to a tablet.

    Thanks to the presence of the NVIDIA GeForce 940MX graphics card with 2 GVB of dedicated video memory, you should be able to play most AAA games at medium details. The Intel Core i7-7500U processor with 16 GB of memory easily handles even some of the most demanding desktop applications, yet it doesn’t produce so much heat for the CPU fan to sound like an angry bee.

    HP includes a Windows Ink-compatible pen for drawing and note-taking. The pen is a welcome addition to the excellent full-size, backlit keyboard. You can seamlessly switch from writing notes to drawing charts, graphs, and illustrations, making the x360 one of the most versatile Kaby Lake laptops available.

    Dell XPS 13 (9360)

    A few years ago, Dell started the great bezel war. Ever since, ultrabook manufacturers have been trying to minimize display borders and extend the usable screen space. While Dell’s competitors have stepped up their game, the Dell XPS 13 still leads the way. The latest iteration of this premium laptop has a 13.3-inch touch display with the resolution of 3200 x 1800 pixels. The picture quality is superb, and the support for touch input makes certain tasks much easier to perform compared to using mouse and keyboard.

    The laptop is sold either on its own or in a discounted bundle with a monitor and dock. The Intel Core i7-7500u processor delivers a desktop performance, so it makes sense to use it as a desktop computer. Even with so many cloud services available, one can still greatly benefit from having to maintain only a single device. In addition to the powerful CPU, the latest Dell XPS 13 also comes with 512 GB of SSD storage space and 16 GB of memory.

    The only thing to watch out for is the unorthodox position of the high-resolution web camera. To get rid of the top bezel, Dell has moved it to the bottom. This means that the people you Skype with will have a nice view of the inside of your nose. Unfortunately, Dell doesn’t include a nose hair trimmer with the laptop.

    Alienware 17 R4

    The Alienware 17 R4 is a Kaby Lake-powered gaming laptop with 16 GB of RAM and the NVIDIA GTX 1070 graphics card. The presence of a full-fledged desktop GPU makes it possible to play all the latest AAA titles at the highest settings in Full HD. Interestingly, Alienware went with a large 1 TB HDD instead of a smaller but faster SSD. This means that you’ll be able to keep several games installed at the same time, but it also means that you’ll have to wait longer for them to load. That said, once your game loads, you should see no framerate difference compared to laptops with SSDs.

    Alienware has intelligently placed the most used ports on the back, allowing your mouse to freely roam right next to the laptop while your other hands rests on the upgraded Alienware TactX keyboard. The keyboard has 2.2mm of key travel, n-key rollover, and LED backlighting. With the vibrant 17-inch display with 4ms response time, the Alienware 17 R4 allows even seasoned pro-gamers to achieve peak performance and obliterate their enemies.

    Razer Blade Stealth

    It’s true that Razer is known chiefly for gaming laptops, but the company isn’t afraid to venture into uncharted water. The Razer blade Stealth is a compact ultrabook with a QHD 12.5-inch display and CNC aluminum chassis. The RGB keyboard is a clear evidence of this laptop’s gaming pedigree, but that’s where it ends. The Intel Core i5-7200U Processor and the Intel HD Graphics 620 aren’t exactly suited for AAA gaming, which means that the Razer Blade Stealth competes directly with the ASUS ZenBook UX330UA and other similar laptops.

    If you wanted to, you could turn it into a gaming machine by purchasing the optional Razer Core external desktop graphics enclosure. This enclosure comes with a Thunderbolt 3 port, 4 USB 3.0 ports, and a single Ethernet port. It quickly transforms the Razer Blade Stealth into a powerful gaming rig.

    Without the external GPU enclosure, the Blade Stealth is a great portable laptop for students and people on the go. Its build quality is remarkable, its performance is more than satisfactory for all office tasks, and its display is downright stunning.

    Best Intel Kaby Lake Laptops

  • , ,

    3 Cool Raspberry Pi Projects for Beginners

    The Raspberry Pi single-board computers have captured the imagination of countless hackers and computer enthusiasts around the world, inspiring them to come up with clever projects that solve real problems and allowing anyone to rediscover just how fun computing can be.

    Raspberry Pi Projects

    For those of you who don’t know, the latest member of the fruity family of tiny computers, the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, has a powerful 1.2GHz 64-bit quad-core ARMv8 CPU, Bluetooth 4.1, 802.11n Wi-Fi connectivity, 1GB memory, 4 USB ports, 1 HDMI port, 1 Ethernet port, a slot for a microSD card, and plenty more bells and whistles that make it ideal as an inexpensive computer for schools, programming, IoT development, and other applications.

    In this article, we bring to you 3 cool Raspberry Pi projects suitable both for complete beginners and those who have already a Raspberry Pi computer before.

    Build an Amazon Echo with Raspberry Pi

    The Amazon Echo is a huge hit, but, at $179.99, not everyone can afford to buy one. The good news is that you can build your own Echo using the latest Raspberry Pi. Apart from accessing music services, your Raspberry-powered Echo will do everything a normal Echo can, and you’ll get to enjoy the nice feeling of knowing that MacGyver would be proud of you.

    If you already own a Raspberry Pi 3, you most likely also have a suitable power supply and a large microSD card. The only other things you’ll need are a USB microphone and decent speakers. Keep in mind that you can assemble your Raspberry Echo from any parts you want. As long as you check that they’re compatible with the latest Raspberry Pi, you should have no issues whatsoever.

    Once you have all the hardware components, the next step is to install the Amazon Alexa Skills Kit onto your Raspberry Pi. This takes a few steps to complete, but this excellent guide will show you step-by-step what to do. If you still get stuck, take a look at this helpful video tutorial.

    By turning your Raspberry Pi into Amazon Echo, you can save a lot of money and learn just what’s possible with the Raspberry Pi at the same time.

    Build Your Own Portable Gaming Console with Raspberry Pi

    Many popular Raspberry Pi projects revolve around retro gaming. The Pi’s small size and decent CPU make it ideal for emulating old gaming consoles, such as the SNES, NES, Gameboy Color, Sega Genesis, and even the original PlayStation.  People often 3D-print custom cases that accurately copy the design of the original consoles, but you actually don’t need much else besides a Pi and a controller. You can get a USB version of the legendary SNES controller for under $10 on Amazon, and you’ll find similarly great deals on USB versions of controllers from other systems, as well.

    The one thing that makes retro gaming on the Raspberry Pi so great and accessible is called RetroPie. According to the official description, “RetroPie allows you to turn your Raspberry Pi, ODroid C1/C2, or PC into a retro-gaming machine. It builds upon Raspbian, EmulationStation, RetroArch and many other projects to enable you to play your favourite Arcade, home-console, and classic PC games with the minimum set-up.”

    There are pre-made images available for download on the official website, so you can simply copy them onto an SD card and go through the self-explanatory initial setup process. This guide explains everything in detail and provides links to the official website of RetroPie.

    Build Your Own Raspberry Pi Laptop

    The Raspberry Pi has inspired many hackers to create their own laptops from scratch. Usually, this involves a host of hard-to-find parts assembled together with some duct tape and, perhaps, a help of a 3D printer—not something a beginner is likely to have the resources to replicate.

    You can skip all that and pour yourself a glass of refreshing PiJuice. This self-powered, portable platform turns every Raspberry Pi into a full-fledged laptop. It has a 1400 mAh battery, which lasts up to 6 hours, on-board intelligent on/off switch, low-power sleep state, programmable multi-colored LED, Raspberry Pi HAT compatible layout, and several other features that no laptop can be without.

    This tutorial shows how to set up PiJuice and how the finished laptop looks like. Of course, you are free to make your own modifications to create a laptop that perfectly suits your needs. After all, that’s the whole point of Raspberry Pi hacking—to create something made by you for you.

    Raspberry Pi Projects

  • , ,

    5 Best Dota 2 Heroes For Beginners

    Here we have five of the best heroes you can use to better your chances out in the battlefields of Dota 2. With these heroes, you’ll deal quite a bit of damage with a decent amount of devastating ultimate abilities, while having a good amount of health so you won’t go down easy. Read on to find out exactly what heroes these are and why they are so fantastic, especially for beginners.

    5. Sven

    No, not from that one movie, sorry to disappoint. Starting with the easiest hero to play, we have Sven. Sven, in my opinion, is the easiest to play as he deals a fair amount of damage and has a decent amount of survivability. As a plus, he also  has a stun ability so that he can escape easily if need be. This stun ability  will also help you lock an enemy in place, making it easier for him to hit and defeat them.

    Sven is also capable of many roles such as Carry, Disabler, Initiator, Durable, as well as the Nuker. Carry and Durable are the harder roles to fill but are certainly not impossible. With a little practice, you can do well with any of the available roles.

    4. Lich

    Second on the list we have Lich. The Lich hero can fill just two roles: Support and Nuker, but both of these are great roles for new players to try out. I suggest beginning as a Nuker, simply seeing as the Nuker is easier to play than the Support role. As a nuker, people don’t really depend on you as much to stay alive, so there is less pressure in the matches you play. I recommend the Lich for its ultimate ability. This ability throws an oversized bouncy ice ball, and every time it bounces it does more damage to enemies. Not only is this attack basically epic, but it’s also extremely useful to newer players.

    There’s not a whole lot more to the Lich, but if you are just beginning in Dota 2, simple and effective may be exactly what you’re looking for. If that’s the case, then the Lich might be perfect for you. Another fun fact about the Lich you might find intriguing has to do with his long-ranged ice abilities. Along with his ultimate ability, his long-ranged ice makes him one of the better gankers in this Dota 2. This means that he can deal plenty of damage in a short amount of time (awesome), although after that damage spending spree, there’s a cooldown that basically renders him useless until it resets (not awesome). However, if you can wait that out, you’ll be good as gold.

    3. Sniper

    The Sniper is another great hero to pick, especially with his ability to deal a good amount of damage at a long range. Although his health isn’t as plentiful as it may be with some of the other heroes, he makes up for it with his damaging skills. The Sniper can slow down and even stun or lock his enemies in place, giving him the opportunity to shoot the enemy without worrying about having to protect himself as much.

    Since Sniper attacks are ranged, he can easily jump in and out of combat making, which makes this a great hero to play for beginners. Let’s also not forget his ultimate ability, which is a long-range devastating attack that deals a lot of damage, just as well as the previously mentioned heroes. The Sniper can fill the roles of Carry and Nuker. Again, for beginners, I personally recommend Nuker because they deal an awesome amount of damage.

    2. Vengeful Spirit

    Vengeful Spirit has the skills needed for beginners, plus they are easy to learn (and even easier to execute), which is definitely handy if you’re new to the game. She comes equipped with a debuff that lowers her enemy’s armor as well as a ranged stun, so if an enemy is gaining on her while she is trying to run, she can easily turn around and use said ranged stun. Or, if enemy is running away. she can just as easily stun and lock him, making it easier for her to take him down.

    The Vengeful Spirit also has a neat ability that allows her to swap positions with an enemy player, throwing them in a position to be easily taken over by team members. Finally, but certainly not least, she has a passive ability that makes every teammate around her get a damage buff, so they can easily obliterate the enemy currently being fought. With this hero I suggest taking on the role of Support, simply for the buffs. Vengeful Spirit does a decent amount of damage but will do better playing as the Support role.

    1. Bristleback

    Bristleback is the number one on this list simply because he is the hardest hero to defeat. Because of this, he is the one beginners are definitely going to want to try out.  Bristleback has a lot of health to waste, and he deals tons of damage, which is, of course, to the player’s advantage. He also has few skills to use, and because there are so few, they deal more damage than if he had a variety of them.

    As a plus, when someone hits a Bristleback, he shoots guilles back, and these gullies actually end up giving him a pretty awesome damage buff. He also seems to run faster than other heroes if the need arises, so I’m pretty sure he runs track in his free time. His speed alone would make him the perfect candidate for any beginner.

    Our Take

    Now that you’re better equipped to find the best Dota 2 hero for you, you can play with the confidence that you’ll be defeating your enemies in no time. And as a bonus, you now know that even digital fantasy characters run track. In all seriousness though, each of these heroes have unique roles that will set you on the right path to increasing your success in Dota 2.

  • , ,

    5 Best CS:GO Players in 2017

    Have you ever been curious about the top CS:GO players? It’s taken them a lot of time and hard work to get where they are. Today we’re going to cover people from the highest rated to the most headshots per round, and we hope you can find useful tips in here to increase your own technique. So without further ado, here’s the top 5 best CS:GO players for this year.

    Best Rated CS:GO Players

    Ismailcan ‘XANTARES’ Dörtkardeş from Turkey plays on the team “Space Soldiers.” Xantares has a K/D ratio of 1.27, which just means he gets about 1 kill per 27 deaths in that round. Xantares has played over 400 maps and a total of 11918 rounds, and has won first place in 8 tournaments ranging from April 2016 to May of 2017.

    Second on the list, we have Marcelo ‘Coldzera’ David from Brazil, who plays on the team “SK.” Coldzera has played a total of 13409 rounds and a little more than 500 maps, and has a K/D ratio of 1.35, meaning 1 kill every 35 deaths in that round. While he has only won 6 games in first place, he’s earned much more money than Xantares in winnings.

    CS:GO Player With Most Damage Per Round

    Here we have Valdemar ‘Valde’ BjørnVangså from Denmark, who actually plays on no team as of right now. Valde’s K/D ratio is 1.15 per round, or one kill per fifteen deaths each round. He’s played a total of 8920 rounds and over 300 maps, and he’s only won three times in first place. But that’s not to say he doesn’t know his way around the maps of CS:GO. Valde was the best player on the team “Heroic” before he was unfortunately benched for unknown reasons.

    CS:GO Most Total Kills

    The guy with the most kills is Christopher ‘GeT_RiGhT’ Alesund. GeT_RiGhT is from good old Sweden and plays on the team “NiP.” He has played over 28k rounds and around 1000 maps, and has a K/D ratio of 1.27. As you can see, he does really well ranking high on those kills in CS:GO. From 2009 to 2016, he’s also won six tournaments in first place. Bonus, this guy got into gaming by watching his older brother play, he loved video games so much he decided to get into CS:GO with a friend who made a clan based on 2v2 but eventually grew into 5v5.

    CSGO Most Headshots per round

    Adil ‘ScreaM’ Benrlitom (from a nice little town in Belgium) plays on the “EnVyUs” team. ScreaM has played over 900 maps and 24,000 rounds. He has a K/D ratio of 1.15, or one kill every fifteen deaths. He’s also only won first place in five tournaments from 2014 to 2016.

    One fun fact is that screaM started his competitive gaming journey at only the age of 16. And when his eLogic team did well in EPS, in 2011, he joined “3DMAX” with Richard “shox”, and dethroned “VeryGames” at MaxLan.

    Our Take

    So, there we have it, statistics from five of the best CS:GO players worldwide, as well as some highlights from their Twitch streams. Now you can go out there, inspired to shoot some bad guys up and increase your K/D ratio. We hope you can glean some tips and tricks from these top players and be well on your way to high rated success in the game.

  • , ,

    How to Earn Money on Twitch Playing Video Games

    So you want to make money off of playing video games, aye? Twitch is a great place to start. There is a multitude of gamers worldwide that stream two to three times a week, and that pays their bills and puts food on their tables. In this article I will show you multiple ways that could earn you a decent amount of pocket cash off of a platform like Twitch.

    How to Earn Money on Twitch Playing Video Games

    Ask for Donations

    Believe it or not, if you ask for donations, many people may actually give a small donation of $5  or $10, just for playing a video game they take interest in. While no donation is guaranteed by any means, it certainly doesn’t hurt to ask. You would be surprised how many people are actually eager to support something like this, if it really interests them.

    Collecting Bits

    Bits are wondrous things. Bits are given through cheering, and cheering is a great way for someone to show you they are pleased with an action you completed. An example would be something like scoring that hard to get no-scope headshot, that you would get in a game like Call of Duty Black Ops III or Counter Strike Global Offense. Someone would give you bits to show you they thought what you did was awesome or incredible. Each Bit is worth one penny so if someone gave you One-thousand bits that would be worth $10. You could easily earn these Bits by accomplishing great feats of awesomeness (or just things that your audience really enjoys).

    Collecting Subscribers

    A great way to earn subscribers is through Youtube. With Youtube, you can make promotional videos to promote your channel on Twitch. Believe it or not, a good way to earn subscribers is with your personality. No one has your exact personality or humor, and if it is natural, it will draw people in. The key point there is “natural,” because if your humor is forced or you’re  trying too hard, it’ll just look awfully  strange (just like that one guy who’s always trying to get people laughing, but he’s trying too hard so he comes across as creepy). That will drive people away, while just being yourself will draw them into whatever you’re doing.

    Earn Ad Revenue

    You have a chance at earning even more money from Twitch! All you need is a steady growing audience, a regular broadcast schedule of at least 3 times a week, and content that follows their Terms of Service, Rules of Conduct, and DMCA Guidelines. Then you can apply for a partnership right here, so you’ll be able to  start earning even more money from Twitch. Acquiring a partnership with Twitch also has a nice feature that allows you to decide how long the ads on your stream run for. While the longer the ad, the more money you make from said ad, bear in mind that people don’t typically enjoy ads, so longer ads could possibly drive people away. It’s kind of like a catch twenty-two; you have the potential to earn more money, but you could lose subscribers due to the longer ads, and less subscribers means less money for you. The best way to go about it is to find a happy medium, and maybe even see how short other people’s ads need to be in order to keep you interested and coming back.

    Top Twitch Earners

    Lots of people do earn money from Twitch, so we wanted to give you a couple of real-life examples.

    Jordan “n0thing” Gilbert

    Jordan Gilbert, or better known as “n0thing,” is a competitive Counter Strike Global Offensive player/streamer who is the captain of the famous and renowned Cloud9 team. Gilbert makes a comfortable 6 figures playing CSGO. He earned 1st place in an eSports tournament back in October of 2016, so we can see why people not only really admire him, but also want to glean from his skills.

    Castro1021

    Castro1021 is a more renowned FIFA player who streams weekly, and he’s rumored to make 6 figures easily. With all the charity he does, we know for sure brings in quite a bit of revenue from everyone watching him play, on top of all the donations he gets. It’s amazing that from this revenue, he’s been able to help so many people through his charitable donations to research and hospitals.

    SovietWomble

    SovietWomble is another famous Twitch streamer. He streams many different video game genres such as fps, horror, simulation, and so on. This particular streamer is mostly known for being humorous or silly while playing these different games which makes his content that much more enjoyable. While he’s not a bad player by any means, SovietWomble is an example that you don’t have to be fantastic at the games themselves. People like to laugh, and it’s really his humor that they keep coming back for.

    Our Take

    The financial success each of these streamers have garnered from Twitch alone is honestly pretty inspiring. If they could do it, then surely you can, too. And of course, if you’re interested in learning more about them or other successful Twitch users, take some time to do some research. Not only will you learn more about their stories, but hopefully you’ll take away some encouragement to get started on Twitch yourself.

    How much money you will actually end up earning depends on your audience. Having a YouTube channel can help you build that audience significantly while earning money at the same time. Getting a partnership with Twitch is also advisable, seeing as you get different features that are uniquely customizable to your stream.

    The most important part of all, though, is to make sure to stick with it! Building any online presence can be hard at first, but chances are, if you stay with it and continually work at it, eventually you’re going to grow, and you’ll be able to start earning money doing what you really enjoy. Thousands, if not millions, of people have had the opportunity to earn money online, and you could be next if you set your mind to it.

  • , ,

    5 Best Laptop Brands in 2017

    Last year, Laptop manufacturers shipped over 154 million laptops, and experts predict that the figure will have risen to 170 by the end of this year. A quick look at Amazon’s inventory reveals just how many different laptop brands there are. It may then surprise you that almost 70 percent of all laptops shipped in 2016 came from just 5 laptop brands: Dell, Apple, Asus, Lenovo, and HP. These top 5 brands release the most innovative products, constantly pushing the boundaries of laptop computing. In this article, we’re taking a a brief look at what these brands have to offer in 2017 to help you select your next laptop.

    Best Laptop Brands 2017

    Dell

    This multinational computer technology company based in Texas has successfully established itself as the most reputable manufacturer of business-oriented hardware. In the recent years, Dell has shown the entire world that they can not only work hard but also play hard.

    Dell’s gaming computer hardware subsidiary, Alienware, never fails to impress with its offering of cutting-edge laptops designed to never dip below 60 frames per second. Currently, Alienware’s lineup of gaming laptops consists of three similar models—one for each popular display size. The top model features the latest NVIDIA graphics card, a 7th generation Intel processor, up to 32 GB of memory, and up to 1TB PCIe SSD.

    If there’s one thing that many consumers used to dislike about Dell in the past, it has to be its corporate image. While extremely popular thanks to the great balance of price and performance, laptops like the Dell Latitude E6420 were huge eyesores—not to mention the leading cause of back pain around the world. Fortunately, Dell’s design sensibility has grown astronomically in the second decade of the 21st century. The Dell XPS 13 makes MacBooks look like overpriced toys and ordinary laptops like clunky electronic contraptions from a bygone era.

    With a market share of 15.9 percent in the first quarter of 2017 and over 100,000 employees in all parts of the world, the future is looking very bright for Dell.

    Apple

    Shaped by the visionary ability of Steve Jobs and the technical wizardry of Steve Wozniak, Apple is perhaps the most polarizing laptop manufacturer in the world. As the world’s most valuable brand for 4 years in a row, with a valuation in 2016 of $178.1 billion, Apple’s success is undeniable. Critics and haters like to point out controversies surrounding Apple’s labor and tax practices, steep pricing, and limited serviceability.

    These issues aren’t enough to convince small armies of coders, designers, writers, and other professionals to stay away from Apple’s beautifully crafted laptops. The list of celebrities who use Macs includes Tom Cruise, Tim Allen, Douglas Adams, Mark Zuckerberg, Bjork, Bill Clinton, or the Czech ex-president Vaclav Havel.

    Apple laptops are crafted from high-end materials, featuring capable hardware and modern technologies. Designers love them because they come with some of the best laptop screens out there, writers enjoy the refined typing experience, coders value the stability of the operating system, and casual users appreciate the fantastic usability that characterizes all Apple products.

    The most affordable Apple laptop is the Apple MacBook Pro with an LED-backlit display with the resolution of 1280×800 pixels. It’s powered by a dual-core Intel Core i5 processor and Intel HD Graphics 4000. Even though the specifications of the laptop are a far cry from the offering of other laptop manufacturers, especially considering the price, the build and design more than make up for the performance.

    Asus

    The Taiwanese multinational computer hardware and electronics company headquartered in Taipei understands what customers want. After you spend a short while reading various laptop reviews, you’ll begin to think that some laptop manufacturers purposefully sabotage their products. It’s almost mind-boggling how often they ruin what would otherwise be great machines just by including sluggish hard drives, low-res screens, or laughable batteries.

    The latest generation of Asus Zenbook laptops is a prime example of quality at affordable prices. The company compromises in places customers care about the least and spend money on features that really make a difference. The ZenBook UX303UA is a sleek laptop with a Full HD screen, 256 GB SSD drive, and a powerful Skylake processor with plenty of processing power to spare. You might expect a laptop like this to cost upwards of $1,000, but this metallic beauty retails for just around $800 with the 64-bit version of Windows included.

    Asus also makes one of the most popular Chromebooks on the market, the Chromebook Flip C302CA. For just $499, you get a convertible laptop with a flexible 360-degree hinge, lightweight aluminum body, long battery life of up to 10 hours, Intel Core processor with 64GB storage and 4GB RAM, and a comfortable keyboard with 1.4mm of key travel. A laptop like this is perfect for casual computer users who spend most time in the web browser.

    Lenovo

    Lenovo is leading the sales charts as the number one laptop manufacturer in the world in market share. Their laptops are synonymous with productivity, but some newer models, such as the Lenovo Yoga 910 and the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon, have come far from the barebones, utilitarian design of the Lenovo ThinkPad T560 and other decisively business-oriented laptops from Lenovo.

    Owners often say that Lenovo machines are built like tanks, and we can’t but agree. While the extra durability often adds a few hundred grams here and there, professionals working in poor conditions are more than happy to accept this trade-off.

    One of the most popular laptops from this Chinese multinational technology company with headquarters in Beijing is the Lenovo ThinkPad T470. This 14-inch laptop comes with the Intel Core i5-7300U processor, 8 GB of memory, Intel HD Graphics 620, a backlit keyboard with an integrated fingerprint reader, and all the ports and slots you might ever need. The laptop suffered from some stability issues after its launch, but Lenovo has already sorted everything out, which goes to show that this laptop manufacturer really stands behind its products.

    HP

    No wonder that this American multinational information technology company headquartered in Palo Alto is the number one choice of American customers. Since Packard and Hewlett established Hewlett-Packard (HP) in Packard’s garage in 1939, HP has emerged as a successful developer and provider of a wide variety of hardware components as well as software and related services to consumers, small- and medium-sized businesses, and large enterprises.

    This year, HP has captured the imagination of many customers when they released the HP Spectre x360, a stunning 2.8 pounds heavy convertible laptop that’s both versatile and powerful. It starts at just over $700 and comes with a 13.3-inch touchscreen display with the Full HD resolution, the Intel Dual Core i5-6300U processor, 128 GB M.2 SATA SSD, Intel HD 520 GPU, and Windows 10 Professional 64-bit.

    HP also sells excellent low-end laptops, like this 15.6-incher with the AMD A6-7310 Quad-Core APU and 4 GB DDR3L SDRAM memory. This laptop is great for email, web, light office work, instant messaging, or as a reliable backup device.

    Best Laptop Brands 2017

  • , ,

    5 Best USB 2-Factor Token for Preventing Email Phishing and WannaCry Ransomware

    On average, security experts capture around 200,000 new ransomware samples every single day. The recent proliferation of ransomware attacks goes hand in hand with our increasing reliance on data. Modern businesses and organizations capture massive amounts of data about their employees, business partners, customers, and internal processes.

    Best External 2 Factor Tokens

    Even regular users store hundreds of gigabytes of data of immense emotional and practical value. Malicious attackers behind ransomware attacks are aware of this. By creating increasingly sophisticated strains of malware, they cause global ransomware epidemics, earning millions of dollars paid in cryptocurrencies by unfortunate victims.

    Recently a ransomware cryptoworm called WannaCry infected more than 230,000 computers in over 150 countries, asking users to pay a $300 ransom in Bitcoins, a popular cryptocurrency often associated with the infamous online black market Silk Road. Attacks like this raise one critical question: How can average users protect themselves and still be able to browse the web and use the email without hindrance? Two-factor authentication is one possible answer, and, in this article, we explore how it works and what are some of the best 2-factor authentication systems on the market.

    WannaCry Ransomware Attack

    The WannaCry ransomware attack started on Friday, May 12, 2017. It spread by exploiting critical vulnerabilities in Windows computers. Even though Microsoft had patched these vulnerabilities two months prior to the outbreak, many system administrators and users left their computers unpatched and vulnerable.

    Once infected, WannaCry contacts a command and control (C&C) server and begins the encryption process. At the same time, it attempts to spread itself to other computers connected to the internet. WannaCry then displays a warning message on the screen, informing the user that his or her files have been encrypted and demanding a $300 ransom. This ransom must be paid within 3 days otherwise it increases to $600. After that, the user has 7 days to pay the requested amount in Bitcoins. Those who fail to do so will lose all their files.

    What Is 2-Factor Authentication

    Two-factor authentication (often abbreviated as 2FA) offers extra protection against hacking and malware by introducing an additional layer of protection. If you’ve ever used internet banking, you should be familiar with how 2-factor authentication works. In addition to your login name and password, you’re also requested to enter a confirmation code that you receive on your mobile phone.

    Other forms of 2-factor authentication may rely on different authentication methods, such as passphrases, security questions, biometric data, or hardware security tokens. The additional layer of protection means that even if hackers somehow managed to get hold of your username and password, they wouldn’t be able to access your email, social media accounts, or PayPal account.

    Best External 2-Factor Token

    When compared to other 2-factor authentication methods, physical tokens stand out thanks to their simplicity and reliability. There are no extra passwords to remember and no waiting for the arrival of a confirmation SMS message. All you need to do is plug your 2-factor token into your computer just like you would a USB thumb drive. This tells websites and applications that it’s really you who is using the computer and not someone else.

    YubiKey 4

    The YubiKey is a popular 2-factor hardware authentication device manufactured by Yubico. It supports the Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) protocol, which is an open authentication standard supported by Google Chrome, Dropbox, Facebook, and many other influential tech companies.

    The fourth generation of the YubiKey is light, small, and extremely durable, designed to survive just about anything. It plugs into USB Type A ports and works great even with lightening or USB-C adapters. Because the YubiKey is likely the most popular 2-factor authentication device on the market, you can expect out-of-the-box compatibility with most websites and applications.

    FIDO U2F Security Key

    The FIDO Alliance launched in February 2013 to improve the interoperability among authentication devices. The founders of the organization included PayPal and Lenovo, and FIDO now has almost 300 members, including MasterCard, Visa, Microsoft, Samsung, Intel, and Google, just to name a few.

    Hardware tokens that comply with FIDO specifications are extremely secure, reliable, and widely supported. The FIDO U2F Security Key supports the Chrome web browser on Windows, Mac, and Linux as well as a host of other services and applications. It’s extremely affordable, and its tiny size makes it easy to always have it at hand.

    OnlyKey Color

    The OnlyKey Color offers a unique take on 2-factor hardware authentication. It combines a password manager, a two-factor token, and offline encryption key storage into a single package. Its most striking feature is the integrated touch keyboard. The OnlyKey Color identifies as a standard USB keyboard, allowing you to circumvent keyloggers.

    It supports all standard 2-factor authentication methods like U2F, YubiKey compatible OTP, and Google Authenticator. The integrated LED visually informs you whether you’ve entered the right or the wrong password. While more expensive than many other 2-factor authentication solutions, the OnlyKey Color solves many common privacy and security issues with one hit.

    DIGIPASS SecureClick FIDO U2F Security Key

    This FIDO-compatible 2-factor authentication token makes hardware authentication even more secure. It’s not unheard of for employees to forget their hardware 2-factor tokens at work. Should this happen with the DIGIPASS SecureClick FIDO U2F Security Key, it would still be impossible for an attacker to get in because a press of a small Bluetooth button with a 2-year lifespan is required to complete the authentication.

    Feitian ePass NFC FIDO U2F Security Key

    The Feitian ePass NFC FIDO U2F Security Key is great for people who need to be protected even when on the phone. It’s compatible with all modern operating systems and features an NFC chip for wireless authentication. Just place it near your smartphone to authenticate your online payments and website log in attempts. The Feitian ePass is FIDO-certified and costs less than $20. It’s so small and light that you won’t even notice it on your keyring.

    Best External 2 Factor Tokens

  • , ,

    5 Best Webcams in 2017 for PC

    When speccing a new PC for work or gaming, webcams don’t get nearly as much attention as they deserve. From livestreaming to job interviews to Skype calls with family members and friends, a reliable, high-quality webcam is a must-have for anyone who doesn’t want to deal with bad drivers and poor picture quality.

    Best Webcams 2017

    ImgBrandProduct$
    Apple Apple iPhone 7 Unlocked Phone 828.79
    Logitech Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 61.99
    Microsoft Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 24.09
    Ausdom AUSDOM 1080P Webcam 23.99
    Creative Creative Live! Cam Sync HD 720P Webcam 21.99


    How to Select a Webcam

    Resolution is what webcam manufacturers love to advertise the most. Camera chips with the Full HD resolution have become extremely affordable over the past few years, especially considering bulk prices offered by OEM manufacturers, so it makes sense that we see Full HD webcams everywhere. But not all Full HD webcams are created equal. Resolution is just a small part of what determines the overall picture quality. Autofocus, white balance, image noise, focal length, and even software processing all come into play and influence whether your significant other will spend the next 20 minutes talking with a pixelated blob or the person he or she knows and loves.

    Since webcams don’t capture just image but also record sound, it may be worth selecting a webcam with stereo microphones with adequate noise reduction to suppress the hum (or screech) of your PC. Visit YouTube and look for sample footage. Unless you’re considering an obscure model from an unknown camera manufacturer, you should be able to find something fairly easily.

    More expensive webcams often come with proprietary software that allows you to apply visual effects, color filters, and do all sorts of crazy things with the footage. You may find these extras useful, but chances are that you’ll spend most of your time with the webcam using Skype, Google Hangouts, or Windows Camera. To use your webcam with these and other webcam applications, you’ll need reliable drivers. Always double-check whether the camera you’ve set your sights on is certified to work with your operating system, and don’t forget to read what other buyers have to say about it.

    Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920

    Often voted as the best webcam for YouTube, the C920 from Logitech offers fantastic image quality at a very affordable price of just around $60. Its two main competitors are the LifeCam HD-3000 from Microsoft (which is our second pick) and Logitech’s C930e. The HD-3000 lacks the crisp details of the C920, and the C930e has better image quality and a higher FOV, but it also costs almost $40 more.

    The Logitech C920 supports the Full HD resolution and the H.264 video compression standard, which provides good video quality at substantially lower bit rates compared to other video compression standards. While some video chat applications support only the HD resolution, the latest version of Skype can use the C920 to its full potential.

    On the sides of the webcam are two high-quality microphones that capture clear stereo sound. The webcam drivers automatically filter out unwanted background noise, making your voice pop out even if you happen to live right next to a busy road. The C920 copes extremely well with low-light conditions, and Logitech’s webcam software, which requires manual installation, allows you to fine-tune the image to your liking. The Logitech C920 is compatible with all recent versions of the Windows operating system as well as Mac OS X, Chrome OS, and Android 5.0 or above.

    Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000

    If you’re not a content creator and just want an affordable webcam for business and personal video calls, the Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 is a wonderful choice. At less than $30, it offers great image quality and a plug-and-play setup.

    The webcam features a flexible plastic stand that securely fits virtually all monitors and allows the webcam to stand on its own on your desk. You can tilt the camera head in every direction to find the most flattering angle. While it doesn’t support the Full HD resolution, we’ve found the image quality to be perfectly satisfactory, especially for casual video calls with friends and family. Microsoft is using something called True Color technology, which automatically adjusts how the image looks while still allowing users to make manual adjustments. A single omnidirectional microphone takes care of sound recording. Again, you wouldn’t want to use a microphone like this for YouTube, but it’s fine for video calls.

    The highlight of the show is how easy it is to set up the camera on Windows. All you have to do is plug it in, and your operating system will take care of the rest, including future driver updates. Because of how much it costs, the HD-3000 is often compared to the Logitech C270. Both have the same resolution and a similar microphone, but the HD-3000 is supported by more applications and records crisper video footage.

    Creative Live! Cam Sync HD

    Compared to other webcams in the $20 range, the Creative Live! Cam Sync HD has a few neat tricks up its sleeve. It comes with a surveillance software tool that instantly turns it from a regular webcam into a security camera for your home or office. The tool is part of Live! Central 3, which is Creative’s slightly antiquated webcam software. Despite its age, it accomplishes what it set out to do, and the same can be said about the webcam drivers.

    Video and audio quality is average. You can improve the image quality by manually adjusting the contrast and brightness. Some Apple users have reported that they haven’t been able to record footage in the HD resolution, but everything should work fine on Windows. The microphone automatically cancels background noise, helping others hear you loud and clear.

    If you know that you’re going to use your webcam only on rare occasions, we think that the Live! Cam Sync HD is a good choice, especially if you find it on sale. Regular webcam users would most likely soon start to crave something better, so it makes sense for them to spend extra $10 and get the LifeCam HD-3000 from Microsoft or even the C920 from Logitech.

    AUSDOM 1080P Webcam

    The AUSDOM 1080P is an affordable webcam with the Full HD resolution and a five-layer glass-coated lens for enhanced picture quality. It comes with an omni-directional microphone and a flexible camera stand compatible with all monitors and laptops.

    Unlike other webcams on this list, the AUSDOM allows you to manually focus the image to get the best results possible. With manual focus, you can be sure that your webcam will always be focused on what you want it to focus on—not what the webcam thinks it should focus on.

    The webcam is plug-and-play and supports all recent versions of the Windows operating system. Still, you can download drivers from the official website should you ever need them.

    Use Your iPhone as a Webcam

    Did you know that you know that you most likely already own an excellent webcam? Chances are that you have it in your pocket or on your desk right now. It takes nothing but one iOS app to turn your iPhone into a webcam. Make sure to read our article where we introduce the best camera apps for iOS.

    Android users aren’t entirely out of options, either. Several Android apps make it possible to transform most Android devices into IP webcams. Our favorite is called IP Webcam, but there are many others.

    Best Webcams 2017

    ImgBrandProduct$
    Apple Apple iPhone 7 Unlocked Phone 828.79
    Logitech Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 61.99
    Microsoft Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 24.09
    Ausdom AUSDOM 1080P Webcam 23.99
    Creative Creative Live! Cam Sync HD 720P Webcam 21.99


  • , ,

    How to Buy Riot Points for League of Legends

    Are you tired of those rubbish rags your League of Legends character is wearing now? Do you want fancy trappings or a new champion and a nice boost that will increase your experience or influence points? This article can help with just that, so you can say goodbye to your old wardrobe and weaker characters in no time.

    How To Buy Riot Points

    What Are Riot Points?

    Riot points is another form of in-game pay for currency, so you’ll be able to buy your standard in-game items as well as premium, exclusive-to-Riot-points-only items. These points will help you get an edge on enemy players or AI (Artificial Intelligence), so you can get a leg up above  other players  and make yourself a staircase to the top of the leaderboard.

    How Will Riot Points Help You?

    Riot Points will get you new champions, with new abilities and new fancy clothes or boosters. These boosters, in turn, will give you influence points or summoner points (experience). Or you could buy direct XP boosters, so you can earn even more experience in your matches. You’ll be able to buy empty rune pages as well, which give you more room for runes. Having more space for your runes will ensure that you’re on the right road to increasing the strength of your champions. If increasing your character’s strength isn’t desirable, I don’t know what is.

    How to Buy Riot Points?

    You can buy Riot points from many different places—basically anywhere that game cards are sold (Meijer, Gamestop, 7-11, etc. They’re not hard to find at all). However, if you have an Amazon credit card, you will save five percent on everything, and that even includes these Riot point game cards. For instance, if you went to your typical brick-and-mortar store, you would pay $50 USD on a card, whereas on Amazon (with your Amazon credit card), you would only end up paying $48 USD. On top of buying the card from Amazon, it’s digital and not an actual card, so you can get instant access right from your computer. While that may seem like just a small savings, every dollar counts, right?

    Even if you’re not an Amazon card holder, I would personally still recommend purchasing the digital code from them as long as it’s not a gift. While many stores carry the Riot point cards, you do run the risk of them being out of stock when you’re really hoping to get it. But on Amazon, as I previously mentioned, it’s a digital code. So you could even have League of Legends up in the background and basically get your points instantly. Amazon is a win-win all around.

    Our Take

    So all-in-all Riot Points offer you a lot of useful things that you wouldn’t be able to access on League of Legends otherwise. Not only can you buy different armor with your Riot points so you can play in style, but the different boosters are a huge help in advancing your gameplay. If getting ahead of the game and moving up is something you really enjoy, then picking up a Riot points game card may be just the thing you need to help you further your adventures on League of Legends.

    How To Buy Riot Points

  • , ,

    5 Best Frameless Thin Bezel PC Monitors in 2017

    During the past decade, we used to poke fun at bulky, headache-inducing CRT monitors. Now, frameless PC monitors are making regular LCD monitors look clunky and obsolete. As the technology improves, specifications are becoming increasingly less relevant and aesthetics are gaining on importance. We want monitors that perform great and look even better, and we want them without having to pay too much money.

    Best Thin Bezel Monitors 2017

    The good news is that multiple leading manufacturers offer stunning bezel-less monitors for working or gaming computers in a variety of sizes and with different features. In this article, we’ll introduce you to top 5 best thin monitors in 2017, and you’ll learn what the pros and cons of each monitor are.

    Dell Ultrasharp U2417HJ

    Dell’s Ultrasharp monitors come with what’s perhaps the best monitor stand ever made. The rugged stand can pivot, tilt, and swivel, allowing you to position the monitor in the most ergonomic way possible to minimize neck strain and promote better posture for long-term comfort. The stand also doubles as a wireless charger for Qi- or PMA-ready devices. Just place your smartphone or smartwatch on the stand and watch the battery indicator reach 100 percent.

    The U2417HJ is versatile not only in terms of its adjustability, but also when it comes to connectivity. You can connect the monitor to your PC either using DisplayPort or HDMI. Four USB 3.0 connectors hidden under a cover located on the back of the monitor help you reduce cable clutter when connecting peripherals, and audio line out ports are there for your headphones or speakers.

    At 24-inches, the Dell Ultrasharp U2417HJ is perfect for people who need plenty of desktop real-estate without the extra eyestrain of larger monitors. With the resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels at 60 Hz, even budget GPUs, such as the NVIDIA 1050 or AMD RX460, can drive the Ultrasharp U2417HJ with ease. Dell guarantees that every monitor has a 96 percent sRGB coverage at deltaE <4, ensuring satisfactory color accuracy even for photo or video editing.

    Dell promises a free panel replacement during the Limited Hardware Warranty period even if only one bright pixel is found, and their Advanced Exchange Service is applicable for three years.

    Dell Gaming S2716DG

    Since there’s currently no affordable or, at least, semi-affordable graphics card that can run modern video games at 60 frames per second at the 4K resolution, gaming monitors with the QHD resolution are highly sought-after, and the S2716DG from Dell answers this demand.

    This 27-inch gaming monitor supports NVIDIA’s G-Sync technology to eliminate screen tearing and the need for software deterrents. At 144 Hz, which is the maximum refresh rate of this monitor, motion becomes much more fluid and life-like. Couple this with an extremely rapid 1ms panel response time, and you’re looking at a monitor that even professional gamers could happily rely on.

    The S2761DG comes with the same excellent stand as the Ultrasharp U2414HJ. Connectivity options are also similar. This time, you’re looking at four USB downstream ports, a speaker line-out, a DisplayPort, and an HDMI connector. Included in the box is a DisplayPort cable and a USB upstream cable.

    The display panel has a special anti-glare coating, which makes it more readable under direct sunlight. The U2716DG displays colors uniformly across the entire screen, and its wide viewing angles make local multiplayer with one or two friends that much more enjoyable.

    Asus Designo MX27AQ

    A lot of thought went into the design of this monitor. The MX27AQ from Asus is a beautiful bezel-less 27-incher with the QHD resolution and very wide viewing angles. Compared to a Full HD display, you can enjoy up to 77 percent more onscreen space and 25 percent sharper images. The AH-IPS panel can reproduces 100 percent of the sRGB color space and give a 100,000,000:1 contrast ratio. Needless to say that pictures and video footage look absolutely amazing.

    But it’s not just the content on the screen that looks great—the monitor itself is a work of art. At its thinnest point, the MX27AQ is just 1.25cm thin, and the bezel has a thickness of just 0.1cm. No wonder that the monitor received and iF award for its design.

    Most people see built-in monitor speakers as the last option how to enjoy music and audio in general, but take our word on it: once you listen to the two 3W stereo speakers co-designed with Bang & Olufsen, a Danish consumer electronics company that designs and manufactures audio products, you may discover that you don’t need dedicated speakers at all.

    Another thing that won’t need are eye drops because the MX27AQ features the TÜV Rheinland-certified ASUS Flicker-Free technology designed to reduce flicker for a comfortable viewing experience. The monitor also comes with the TÜV Rheinland-certified ASUS Blue Light Filter to protect you from harmful blue light. Together, these two technologies help you work and play longer without any discomfort.

    ViewSonic VX2376-SMHD

    If you’re looking for a modern, frameless PC monitor that’s both affordable and high-performing, the ViewSonic VX2376-SMHD is as good as it gets. The combination of the Full HD resolution and the size of 23-inches makes for excellent pixel-by-pixel image performance. You can choose from five display presets to quickly adjust the gamma curve, color temperature, contrast, and brightness of the display to suit your needs. Thanks to the SuperClear IPS panel technology, you can look at the monitor from any angle, and the picture will still look great. We appreciate the inclusion of a VGA input for compatibility with older computers. Owners of newer computers can take advantage of both DisplayPort and HDMI connectivity for superior image quality.

    The VX2376-SMHD features nearly edge-to-edge screen and a sleek, triangular stand, which keeps the monitor securely supported and does a good job of reducing unwanted vibrations. For a little over $150, the ViewSonic VX2376-SMHD delivers an excellent bang for your buck, making it a solid investment for any home or office.

    Acer R240HY bidx

    This Amazon best-seller goes to show how affordable thin monitors have become over the years. The R240HY features what Acer calls Zero Frame Design, which simply means that the display borders are virtually non-existent. Having a monitor with extra thin bezels is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also very practical because you can place two side-by-side and enjoy a unique visual experience without any distracting boundaries.

    The R240HY is 23.8-inches large with the Full HD resolution. Acer has included their flicker-less technology and a blue light filter to protect your eyes from eyestrain. The only thing we don’t like about this monitor is the stand, which provides only limited adjustability, allowing you to tilt it from -5° to 15°.

    Best Thin Bezel Monitors 2017