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    Tested In-Depth: HTC One M8 Smartphone

    Will and Norm sit down to review HTC's new flagship Android smartphone. The HTC One (M8) is the successor to the phone that got Norm to switch from iOS to Android, and it has a few new features that differentiate it from phones like Google's Nexus 5.

    Tested In-Depth: Amazon Fire TV Streaming Media Player

    We sit down to review and discuss of Amazon's new streaming media player, the Fire TV. We test its voice control and gaming capabilities and demo some unique video playback features.Here's how this set-top box compares with Apple TV, the Roku 3, and other dedicated living room devices when it comes to streaming video from the most popular video services.

    Testing: Logitech G502 Proteus Core Gaming Mouse

    Wait, wasn't it just one year ago that Logitech released the G500s, the rebirth of its venerated G5 line of gaming mice? Hold on for just a second while I check my review. Yep, that was just last March. But here we are, with another new high-end gaming mouse, the G502. And this year, Logitech's given it a fancy moniker: the Proteus Core. I'm not sure if that's meant to evoke a certain StarCraft faction in gamers' minds, or simply a take on the SAT-friendly word 'protean', meaning versatile or adaptable. The latter's likely the case, given the G502's ability to be calibrated for different mousing surfaces (glass and mirrors notwithstanding). Regardless, Logitech's new flagship is an aggressive product, an $80 mouse that not only succeeds last year's G500s, but revamps the design of Logitech's gaming mouse line. That curvy G5 design that I was so hot on last year has once again been retired (at least temporarily).

    I've been testing the G502 for about a week, in first-person shooters, real-time strategy games, and lots of desktop imaging work. I'm not a MOBA player, so my perspective may not reflect those playing the dominant PC gaming game type today. And as I've said before, a gaming mouse is an accessory that most people rarely change--they find the one that works for them and stick with it. If you like the Razer DeathAdder, Mad Catz R.A.T., or even Logitech's own previous G-series, mice, there's really not a lot of reason to spend another $80 on a new gaming mouse unless your current one breaks. Gaming mice technology has really reached a point where every new generation of product offers fewer new benefits; product engineers really feel like they're reaching when they push the boundaries of sensor DPI or add more configurable buttons. And the G502 has plenty of those new back-of-box features, for sure. Let's run through them and evaluate whether they truly add any benefit to your gaming experience.

    Arguably the most important component in a gaming mouse is its sensor, and the G502's optical (IR) sensor was apparently designed from the ground up to introduce two notable features. The first is DPI (dots per inch, or technically counts per inch) sensitivity that ranges from 200 to 12000. You read that correctly: this mouse is sensitive to past 10,000 DPI, which I believe is a first for a gaming mouse. (Consider that the G5, circa 2005, topped out at 2000 DPI). At that maximum setting, the tiniest flick of the wrist will send the cursor all the way across a 1080p panel; it's meant for gamers who want to make extremely large movements quickly, or desktop users running multiple monitors spanning many thousands of pixels wide. Of course, high DPI doesn't denote accuracy, just sensitivity. A mouse set to 10,000 DPI isn't useful if it isn't accurate at that "resolution"--the trick is testing the mouse's accuracy at the sensitivities that you find most useful.

    Tested In-Depth: Sony a7 Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera

    Will and Norm sit down and chat about testing the Sony a7 mirrorless camera. It's the smallest interchangeable lens camera with a full-frame sensor, which means it's comparable to high-end Canon and Nikon DSLRs, but is much more portable. Find test and sample photos from this review here.

    Show and Tell: Guts of Glory Boardgame

    For today's Show and Tell, Will shares a silly and fun board game he backed on Kickstarter. Guts of Glory is a 2-4 player game about eating food in the post-apocalypse, and only takes about half an hour to play. The game has great art and a wicked sense of humor, but also has surprising depth. Watch Will explain the rules!

    Show and Tell: Our Favorite LED Light Bulb

    This week, Will shares his pick for an LED light bulb to replace the power-hungry incandescent and compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulbs that many people use these days. The 9.5W Cree bulb turns on instantly and is also dimmable using a normal room fixture.

    Show and Tell: Settlers of Catan Boards

    For today's Show and Tell, Will shares one of the first projects he backed on Kickstarter: a plastic board to lock in the hex tile pieces for the Settles of Catan tabletop game. The board is perfectly sized for the game's hex tiles and road pieces, and makes the game portable.

    Show and Tell: LEGO Mystery Build #4

    Will tackles a LEGO Mystery Build in this week's Show and Tell. It's a small kit that doesn't take too long to assemble, but neat knolling of all the pieces still helps! See if you can guess what Will's building during the time-lapse.

    Show and Tell: Apply Directly to Forehead

    For this week's Show and Tell, Will extols the virtues of using headlamps for various tasks, like PC building and repair. A good headlamp frees your hands while providing bright spot lighting, and the two recommendations here are each useful for different situations. Will's pick is actually the one that costs a little bit more but gives better illumination.

    Tested In-Depth: Nest Protect Smart Smoke Detector

    What's the difference between a $5 and $130 smoke detector? How do smoke detectors even work? Will and Norm sit down to discuss those points and review the Nest Protect, a "smart" smoke and carbon monoxide detector invented by the father of the original iPod.

    12 Days of Tested Christmas: New Year's Reading

    On the final day of Tested Christmas, Will shares some of his favorite books from this year. They range from dessert cookbooks to a comprehensive guide to modern tools to a mysterious meta-book that's unlike any we've ever seen. Put them on your list for reading in the new year!

    12 Days of Tested Christmas: Mini Quadcopter

    On the 11th day of Tested Christmas, Norm shares his pick for a great micro quadcopter that's ideal for beginners. It comes ready to fly out of the box, with an included radio transmitter, and has easily replaceable parts in case you crash it. This model has a built-in video camera, but there's also one without, for $50 less.

    12 Days of Tested Christmas: One Remote to Control Them All

    For the 10th day of Tested Christmas, Will shares his pick for a universal remote to control all the set top boxes and game consoles in his living room. There are two options here for the Logitech Harmony system, and the more affordable one is recommended if you don't have more than 8 devices to set up.

    12 Days of Tested Christmas: Portal 2 Turret

    For the 9th day of Tested Christmas, Norm adds to his collection of collectible statues with this lovable turret model from Portal 2. This polystone statue was made by Gaming Heads, with a license from Valve software. First released in 2012, Norm found it for half the original price online.