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E3 2001 Report Day 1

So there I was, with Allan (who was along for the ride and acting as my photographer) at E3. Supposedly, this is where the best, the “l33t” folks of the gaming community go to hang out every year in order to show off their new products or to take a closer look at said products. Although the conference portion of E3 had started a day earlier, the exhibits opened that day on May 17. Being an E3 virgin, I didn’t really know what to expect other than the fact that there would be new games, assorted gaming paraphernalia, and booth babes on display. There is one thing that I have to say at this point, and that is no matter how much you’ve read about E3 in the past, or how many pictures you’ve seen, nothing prepares you for the sheer size of the event.
May 28th, 2001

Samsung 1100p Plus 21inch Monitor Review

After our first look at 19inch CRT monitors, it came to our attention that there are a number of designers, developers, and gamers who really want to get something even bigger. So here we are, with the Samsung 1100p+, a beautiful 21” monitor with 20.0 inches of viewable area.
May 25th, 2001

Matrox G450e-TV Review

While not at the forefront of gaming solutions, Matrox has made quite a name for themselves in the business community with their superior image quality and unique features like the uber-cool DualHead technology. (DualHead, if you aren’t already aware, provides support for two displays to run on a single card – while it may not sound all that great at first, once you go dual, you can’t look back.)
May 23rd, 2001

Iwill DVD266-R Dual Socket 370 Motherboard Review

We don’t get too many dual mobos coming through these parts, but when we do I am always slightly more giddy than usual. There is something about being at the helm of two phat CPUs that I find most excellent, which you already know if you’ve read our last dual mobo review, that of the EPoX D3VA.
May 22nd, 2001

Fallout Tactics Review

Incorporating elements from X-Com, Jagged Alliance, and Baldur’s Gate, Fallout Tactics is a squad based action/strategy game that allows you to control a maximum number of six grunts. There are six races to choose from and these include humans, super mutants, ghouls, deathclaws, dogs, and robots. There are a total of twenty missions occurring on very large maps. Online play can support up to 18 people and there are two modes of game play.
May 14th, 2001

Evil Dead: Hail to the King Review

So I was walking out of the kitchen after picking up a baloney sandwich, when I heard this ungodly scream coming from the living room. I turn around and there’s this stupid ‘deadite’ floating around, waving its freaky arms and puking ectoplasm all over me. Yeah yeah I get it, you’re scary and evil. So what? I’VE GOT A CHAINSAW FOR A HAND. Needless to say, I finished him off by gutting him and sticking a shotgun in his mouth and blowing his head off whilst quipping “Say hi to disco”.
May 11th, 2001

Soyo SY-7VDA Socket 370 Motherboard Review

The Apollo Pro 266 chipset is VIA’s latest offering for the Intel Pentium III processor. As the successor to the Apollo Pro 133A, the 266 is a significant release on several fronts, the reasons for which we will take a look at in a moment. The 266 is comprised of the VT8633 V-Link Host North Bridge and the VT8233 V-Link Client South Bridge (V-Link is one of the significant improvements). The South Bridge is quite similar to the 686B except the 8233 contains the PCI bus interface, it can support up to 6 USB ports, and it has an integrated 10/100 Ethernet controller.
May 11th, 2001

ATEN IC-1394 Firewire PCI Card Review

Firewire is currently the hot ticket interface in the multimedia world and has been for some time. This isn’t surprising considering Firewire, which is also known as IEEE 1394, was developed by Apple – the kings of audio / video computing – and has a maximum data transfer throughput of 400Megabits/s or 50Mbytes/s. This is leagues faster than USB which maxes out at 12Mb/s or 1.5MB/s – no wonder why those USB webcams can be so jerky.
May 10th, 2001

Logitech Cordless MouseMan Optical Review

In late March, Logitech announced that they would be shipping the world’s first cordless optical mouse: the Cordless MouseMan Optical. It was a ripe time for the announcement since the public was beginning to wonder just when a company would marry the two coolest advances in mousing technology into a single product. People were also beginning to ask whether they should buy a cordless mouse, for convenience, or an optical mouse, for accuracy and reliability. Which is what makes the cordless optical such a cool option: you don’t have to choose between two of the hottest technologies, you can get both in one package.
May 9th, 2001

Samsung SyncMaster 955DF 19" Monitor Review

When we took a look at the professional grade flat screen 19” CRT monitors a few weeks ago, I also received Samsung’s popular 955DF 19” monitor for review. Although one of the most popular products on the market right now (in the Top 100 List of most popular priced items), the 955DF wasn’t included in our roundup because it was more targeted towards the budget sector. Yet, even with net prices as low as $275, the 955DF managed to fare rather well in our objective and subjective tests.
May 8th, 2001

Canon S800 Colour Bubble Jet Photo Printer Review

Now that digital cameras are such a big thing, more and more amateur and do-it-yourself photographers are looking into their own, digital studio. And why not? It’s relatively easy, it’s fun, and it gives you a lot more creative and qualititative control over your pictures.
May 4th, 2001

Samsung SD-612 DVD-ROM Review

Despite the lack of consumer support for DVD Drives for anything other than watching movies, DVD drive manufacturers battle for the leading edge 16x DVD-ROM marketplace. With the rapid introduction of faster and faster drives the prices for the slower 12x drives should be dropping quite rapidly. The SD-612 is Samsung's entry into this maketplace posting speeds of DVD 12x read and 40x for CD-ROM read.
May 3rd, 2001

AVC 112680 Athlon Cooler Review

Everyone knows that having a steaming hot CPU is a good thing if that implies that it's capable of running a compile, Unreal Tournament, and hacking the pentagon all at the same time. What you do have to note is that it's a very bad thing if your CPU temperature shoots up to be hotter than the core of the sun.
May 1st, 2001

Tribes 2 Review

…Mokona suddenly found himself drop out of thin air and onto a patch of grass. A light breeze gently blew against his face as he looked around to get his bearings. Light rain fell from the sky as he observed men, women, and cybrids moving about in a panic – there seemed to be something going on. “Defend our base!” a terse voice barked into the radio.
April 29th, 2001

Olympus E-10 Digital Camera Review

One camera that has received a lot of attention is the Olympus E-10. It is the flagship of Olympus' filmless digital camera line and rightly so - it is the world's first 4 megapixel digital camera in the sub $2000 market. It is the sister model to the E-100RS that we reviewed last month. Where the E-100RS rests slightly more on the semi-pro side of the fence (in terms of picture quality), the E-10 is a full fledged professional contender.
April 27th, 2001

QPS Que! Fire External CD-RW 16x10x40 Review

As far as CD Burners go, external drives are where it’s at. Being able to use the drive at home, work, school, a friend’s, and not to mention those “unforeseen” situations, is a real boon. The external drive in question today is the Que! Fire CD-RW 16x/10x/40x which supports both Mac and PC, extending its value even further.
April 26th, 2001

Samsung Yepp YP-NDU Review

The new year has come and gone, and with it are a new generation of different MP3 portable players. Some of you may recall that Samsung was one of the first companies to produce a high-end player several months ago, when they introduced their Yepp E64 player. Because the E64 was such a beautiful and impressive player, we were eager to see what innovations its successor, the YP-NDU, would bring to the masses.
April 25th, 2001

Star Trek: Away Team Review

Activision combines team based action & strategy to form a title unlike any other Star Trek PC Game on the Market. Daryl discusses his experience in playing Star Trek Away Team.
April 24th, 2001

Tropico Preview

Welcome to Tropico, the new creation of PopTop and GODgames. Here you can fulfill all your wildest dreams of becoming a power-tripped dictator all with a few clicks of the mouse. From importing and exporting crappy cigars, to cheating in elections, and building those tourist attracting brothels, you truly are the man in control.
April 20th, 2001

Samsung SW212 12x8x32x CDRW Review

With 16x drives coming onto the market the price of 12x drives will soon be plunging due to the unstoppable forces of market satuaton. Into this fray jumps Samsung with their SW-212, a 12/8/32 CD-RW drive. With this drive, Samsung takes a bold approach; instead of using the delicious new BURN-Prof style technologies they slap on a whopping 8MB of buffer memory. Will this be enough to cover Samsung's gambit? Will their drive rise to fame as the king of 12x Burners or will it plunge into the depths of Buffer Underrun hell? Read this article to find out.
April 19th, 2001

Samsung SM304 DVD/CDRW Combo Review

DVD/CD-RW drives are quickly becoming more prevalent; and for good reason, too. DVD is the new standard for removable data, and most new computers now come equipped with a DVD drive, however a CD burner is still necessary for users who want to be able to distribute large data files and to support the huge installed base of CD-ROM drives. A combination DVD and CD-RW drive like the SM-304 would seem to fit these needs easily in a single, easy to use package.
April 18th, 2001

Europa Universalis Review

Spanning 300 years of Europe’s colourful history and giving you a potential of over “800+ named provinces” to conquer… err control, EU promises to give megalomaniacal gamers a chance to satisfy their dark urges for world exploration, conquest and of course, domination.
April 17th, 2001

Soyo K7VTA-B Socket A Motherboard Review

The Soyo K7VTA-B is an updated version of the K7VTA which was released back in November 2000. The major differences are the newer 82C686B south bridge (up from the 82C686A) and better overclocking support (namely in the way of an added clock multiplier setting). Since both boards make use of the aging VIA KT133 chipset, Soyo has also released the K7VTA Pro which uses the updated KT133A. Here is a terse comparison table between the three.
April 13th, 2001

Samsung QL-7050/N Laser Printer Review

The interest in a high-speed printer for the home and small office has been steadily on the rise, as the old adage “time is money” has become increasingly reflective of our often hectic lives. This could also be an extension of our love of more power and more speed – our CPUs are already past the Ghz mark, now let’s concentrate on speeding up everything else.
April 11th, 2001

Thermaltake Mini Super Orb DU0462-8 Review

Back in December of 2000, we reviewed the Thermaltake Super Orb – a large, sexy looking cooler in its day. The major problem with that particular cooler is its width which makes it near impossible to install it on some motherboards (most notably, the Abit KT7, the EPoX 8KTA3 and the FIC AZ11E). I say “near impossible” because with a little handy work and a few bent fins, the Super Orb (or SOrb as I like to call it) could be coerced into fitting.
April 10th, 2001