Summer is coming to a close, which means it's almost time for our favorite time of year: the holiday season. But wait, what about Fall? Indeed, before the madness of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the rest of the holiday season, we have a whole nother quarter to get through. And while most exciting hardware gets announced in the first half of the year, at places such as CES and Computex, there's still some new and upcoming hardware to get excited about in the Fall season. Here's what we recommend keeping your eyes on:
A good display can last you half a decade and more, so it's often better to save up and get the best rather than making do with a mediocre screen that you stare at for eight hours a day. The future 'best' consists of 4K 144Hz displays, but they won't be here until early 2018 by all accounts. 4K, high refresh rate, and HDR should make the upcoming displays killer products … with a killer price tag rumored to be in the $2,000 range.
If you want a new high-end gaming monitor right now, for a less exorbitant price, the best options continue to be 1440p 144Hz IPS displays, with either FreeSync or G-Sync depending on your choice of GPU (see below). You can get the , or the , either of which would make a fine addition to your gaming rig.
With behind us, there's no indication of any major impending GPU launches between now and spring—that's when we might see Nvidia's Volta GPUs start showing up in consumer products. There will probably be an RX Vega Nano this fall, but it shouldn't muddy the waters too much.
Prices on video cards are still elevated right now, but if you're looking for a fast graphics card that can last you for the next several years, Nvidia's GTX 1070, 1080, and 1080 Ti remain the best options. The GTX 1070 ideally should cost $400 or less, the 1080 sells for around $500, and the 1080 Ti goes for a hefty $700.
If those cards are out of reach, GTX 1060 3GB and 6GB cards are available for $220 and $260, respectively. AMD's RX 570/580 and Vega 56/64 meanwhile are priced right out of the market, thanks to cryptocurrency miners. Until they get down to $200-$240 for the RX 570/580, and $400/$500 for the Vega 56/64, I see no reason to consider buying one.
Mouse tech has mostly been at a point of exceedingly excellent for several years now, but there's still advancements being made. The one we're most excited about is Logitech's new Powerplay wireless charging system. It's a mouse mat that pairs with updated versions to two of Logitech's most popular gaming rodents—the G903 (formerly known as the G900 Chaos Spectrum, our for wireless gaming mice) and the G703 (formerly the G403 wireless). The mat is embedded with a conductive field that wirelessly charges your mouse (via a small power-receiving chip that fits in the base of the mouse). And not just while sitting in a single small charging zone. It might sound like a small deal never having to plug your mouse in again, but you . It's quite nice.
The keyboard is a matter of personal preference but users will judge by feel, and then aesthetics afterwards. While some of us prefer Cherry-MX Blue switches for that clicky tactile feel, gamers are leaning more towards browns for shorter actuation distances and overall performance when playing competitively. For our overall pick, the , such as rugged build quality, programmable buttons and volume rocker, as well as individually lit RGB keys. You can usually find the K95 RGB Platinum for under $100.
If you have multiple PCs and devices, such as an iPhone that you want one keyboard for, . Designed for creative professionals, the Craft can actually be paired up with multiple devices and systems at once, and you can easily switch between them. Sure, the Craft won’t give you the full mechanical pleasure of an MX-based plank, but it is a very high quality membrane keyboard with excellent feel.
The most exciting thing in the laptop space right now is Nvidia's new Max-Q design philosophy, which aims to deliver light, thin, and quiet gaming laptops that don't sacrifice on performance. There aren't too many Max-Q models on the market yet—we've only been able to test the Asus ROG Zephyrus so far—but more are coming. Look for these light-and-thin gaming beasts to make a big splash in the coming hardware cycles.
A good pair of cans will perform well in basically any situation—gaming, music, movies, and anything else you want to listen to. What’s even better is if you get a pair of headphones plays nicely with both your PC and your phone. This is why we generally shy away from USB-only headsets and prefer the traditional 3.5mm jack. For that, . It’s got great audio chops and works well in basically all situations. It’s comfortable to wear for long durations and it’s microphone is crip and clear in games.
If you're in the market for a phone, the new iPhone 8 will surely be a hot commodity this fall. Our pals over at TechRadar are collecting everything you need to know about Apple's next flagship phone right . Despite strong offerings from companies dishing out Android-based phones, the app-quality on iOS remains the best. With the right software, such as TeamViewer, you can even control and monitor your PC from your phone. Besides, when you’re not at your desk playing PC games, you can duke it out with phone games—and iOS has a much better game selection than Android.
Since phones are huge (size-wise) these days, there’s no doubt that the new iPhone 8 will continue the trend. If you have a big phone, you can actually use it as an external monitor for your PC. With that costs just $5, you can easily extend your desktop onto your phone—or tablet. Make a dedicated space for that trusty overclocking utility.
These days a battery pack is part of an essential tech enthusiast’s arsenal. If you’re on the move, having a battery pack that’s powerful enough to charge your phone your laptop can be really handy. And even if it can’t fully charge your gaming laptop fully, getting a top off can be a lifesaver. Some of our favorites are the , which our friends at TechRadar point out are both potent and affordable.