12.5 C
New York
Friday, October 9, 2020
Home News The Razer Tomahawk N1 gaming desktop hands-on review: No tools necessary

The Razer Tomahawk N1 gaming desktop hands-on review: No tools necessary

When you buy a desktop, it’s an investment. If you’re down to get your hands dirty and open it up, it has much longer legs than your average laptop. But what if you want that future-proofing without the hassle of screws and tools and thermal paste?

The new Razer Tomahawk N1 Gaming Desktop is one answer to that problem. It’s a tiny PC that doesn’t lose any of its modularity thanks to the use of what’s called the Intel NUC Compute Element. Don’t let that scare you — it might be one of the simplest and most intuitive gaming PCs ever made.

A desktop unlike any other

The Tomahawk I saw is still a prototype, meaning it was missing important details on front-facing ports and a power button. But what I did see, I liked.

The chassis itself is similar to the Razer Core external graphics card enclosures, and features an all-black finish and a tool-free method of getting direct access to your components. A simple twist of the handle unlocks the back and lets you pull it out in one easy pull. No screws, levers, or latches. Impressively, it’s not much bigger than the Razer Core, despite being a complete system.

The one big difference in the chassis is that the Tomahawk features a larger open window on the side to get a drool-worthy glimpse of your graphics card. Like the Razer Core, the Tomahawk supports full-length GPUs, even up to something as powerful as the Nvidia RTX 2080 Super.

Once you do get inside, you’ll find the heart of the Tomahawk — the thing that makes it tick. The Intel NUC 9 Extreme Unit, as it’s called. This is a compute element that plugs right into one of the two available full-sized PCIe slots. In this single package is everything you need for a PC — the processor, memory, and storage. It’s not flashy, but it makes for one tidy piece of kit.

Don’t let the small, modest package fool you, either. Inside is a powerful processor, up to a 9th-gen Core i9 H-series chip. That maxes out at an 8-core, 16-thread CPU capable of handling some serious content creation tasks like video editing or music production. It is a mobile processor, though, and quite a powerful one.

You can also configure it with up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM. The board also includes room for two M.2 slots for additional storage, as well as the power supply.

The road to expansion

Razer says it does intend on packaging everything together, possibly even including the graphics card. It has to be a full PC gaming experience right out of the box. So why not just buy a small mini-ATX case, or even a smaller gaming PC like the Lenovo C730 Cube?

For one, the Tomahawk seems significantly easier to upgrade. Sure, you can’t get in and upgrade your processor separate from your RAM — and that might bother the average gamer more than Razer thinks. After all, even many laptops allow for memory expansion.

But as long as Intel continues to support it, it should make for a great way to upgrade your rig with almost zero effort. Not everyone who likes PC gaming wants to deal with thermal paste. Concepts like the Tomahawk play directly toward that audience, and could even make some strides in expanding it.

The Tomahawk is the first of its kind (outside of Intel’s own NUCs), but I doubt it’ll be the last. The NUC concept has always been niche, but with the compute element, it’s starting to feel like it could grow into something more.

Razer hasn’t announced pricing details yet for the Tomahawk N1, but it’s scheduled for launch sometime in the first half of 2020.

Follow our live blog for more CES news and announcements.


Fortnite season 4 week 7 challenge guide: Finding Tony Stark’s hidden laboratory

Having trouble finding Tony Stark's hidden lake house laboratory in Fortnite? Here's how to complete the challenge for finding the lab during season 4 week 7.

Learning to fly in Lemuria: Some tips to get you started in Child of Light

We have some helpful hints and tricks to get you started on your journey through Child of Light's beautiful hand-drawn world of Lemuria.

This Android 11 feature has changed how I use my smart home

When Google announced the new smart home power menu in Android 11, my initial response was “that’s cute”. However, the more I delve into this new quick menu, the more I have enjoyed it. It truly has how changed how I interact with my connected home.Fragmentation is realMy main issue with home automation is that there are soooo many options. These are fringe devices that I think most people just pick the cheapest one on Amazon when a need arises. While I tend to gravitate towards eufy products, I still have accumulated smart devices from six different companies with a combination of switches, lights, and cameras.The problem is that each one also has its own app for controlling these devices. This is really where I’d started using Google Home as my aggregation point. Most of the home gadgets I have can be plugged into the Home app and most of the features for all of them can be easily accessed with a single interface.Power menu is super convenientWhile the Google Home app started my consolidation project, the new power menu made it even more accessible. Gone are the hunt and peck through apps or even scrolling through Google Home.I have set the power menu to only show me the smart devices that I use the most and it really has made the interaction much more pain-free. Everything in my home that’s connected to the internet is now just a long-press of the power button away.A smart addition to a dumb buttonI have to applaud Google for continuing to innovate on something even as trivial as the power button. As we all salivate over the future of a buttonless slab phone, buttons are just plain useful. They offer users a tactile and functional way to interact with their phones without the fuss of navigating layers of software.Google meeting this paradigm halfway and finding a marriage between traditional buttons and software layers is just smart. The company started this journey with contactless payments in Google Pay and extended it to the Google Home is a great addition.

TCL TAB joins Verizon tablet lineup as carrier exclusive

TCL seems to want to keep its name in the spotlight this year; it made a pretty big splash with the TCL 10L and 10 Pro at the start of the year. Both devices were almost universally praised in the tech community. Now it seems TCL isn’t content with just making some pretty darn good smartphones. It’s hoping to get the same praise in the tablet market.Starting October 8 the TCL TAB is available exclusively through Verizon. From the looks of it, the TCL TAB will be a sleek little 8″ tablet running Android 10 (no word on being updated to Android 11). Your eyes will be looking at a FHD display with Eye Comfort mode, which filters out that harmful blue light. Of course it will also have dark mode. TCL TAB Features8″ FHD+ Display (1200×1920)Snapdragon 6653GB RAM, 32GB storage with support for up to a 256GB microSD cardRear camera – 8mp with recording up to 1080p @ 30fpsFront camera – 5mp with recording up to 1080p @ 30fps5500mAh batteryGSM – 850/900/1800/1900MHzUMTS – 1/2/4/5/8LTE – 2/4/5/12/13/66Wi-Fi – 802.11 b/g/n/acBluetooth 5.0USB-CTCL is claiming 17 hours worth of mixed usage on a 5500mAh battery. One neat trick is the fact that the TCL TAB has OTG reverse charging. Basically if you need a quick charge on your smartphone or even your smartwatch, the TCL TAB can act as an external battery of sorts.Here’s something I thought was interesting. The TCL TAB does have a fingerprint sensor built into the power button, but that’s not the cool part. You can register up to five different fingerprints to quick launch your favorite apps.The TCL TAB seems to be a solid little device, and it doesn’t carry a giant price tag. The TCL TAB will be priced at a very reasonable $199.99. Will you be getting one? Let us know in the comments.