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Cliff Joseph

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The Glorious Resolution: Feast your eyes on 5 HiDPI laptops

Product round-up First it was slimline Ultrabooks, then it was convertibles. Now the latest high-tech morsel that PC manufacturers are dangling before us in an attempt to boost their flagging sales is the high-DPI laptop. The information that Microsoft provides for developers refers to high-DPI displays as having a resolution of more than 120dpi …
Cliff Joseph, 28 Nov 2014
Lenovo Yoga 2 13

Too 4K-ing expensive? Five full HD laptops for work and play

Product round-up The intense competition in the PC market means that you can now get some pretty decent laptops for less than £500. However, one common cost-cutting measure employed by most budget laptops is the use of a lower-res display – typically just 1366x768 pixels. Most likely these displays will still be called HD in the blurb, but that’ …
Cliff Joseph, 24 Nov 2014
Apple 20th Anniversary Mac

Rotten to the core: Apple’s 10 greatest FAILS

Feature There has been no shortage of rose-tinted retrospective adulation marking the 30th birthday of the Macintosh over past weeks. Here at El Reg, we’d be the last to deny Apple’s significance and continuing influence on the history of personal computing. But to put everything in perspective, we thought it was worth looking back at …
Apple MacBook Air 13-inch 2013

Mass Effect: Ten lightweight laptops that won’t bust your back

Product Roundup The arrival of Intel’s Haswell processors this year promised a new generation of ultraportable laptops that would be slimmer, lighter and provide better battery life than ever before. With that in mind, El Reg decided to round up 10 of the lightest laptops that we could find and see if they really delivered the goods. Not every …
Cliff Joseph, 28 Nov 2013
Sony Vaio L Series

Seven all-in-ones that aren't the Apple iMac - and one that is

Product Roundup Pride comes before a fall, or so they say. When Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiled the new super-slimline iMac towards the end of 2012, he started by announcing that the iMac was now the top-selling desktop computer in the US. Six months later, he has admitted that Apple launched the machine too soon, and that the complicated …
Cliff Joseph, 07 Jun 2013
Asus N56VM 15.6in notebook

Asus N56VM 15.6in notebook review

A good journalist always tries to avoid clichés, but sometimes when I’m writing laptop reviews I do find myself reaching for a few stock phrases, such as: the speakers are crap. Imagine my relief, then, to discover that the speakers on the Asus N56VM don't fall into the crap category, but are actually rather good, no doubt …
Cliff Joseph, 15 Oct 2012
HP Spectre XT 13-2000ea

HP Spectre XT 13in Ivy Bridge Ultrabook review

The Spectre XT is HP’s third shot at an Ultrabook in less than six months. The gleaming Gorilla Glass livery of the original 14-inch Spectre was both eye-catching and rugged, but it was also very expensive and quite a bit heavier than you’d expect from an Ultrabook. That was quickly followed by the Envy 4, which was much more …
Cliff Joseph, 01 Oct 2012
Samsung Series 3 300E5A 15in notebook

Ten 15in notebooks for under 400 quid

Product Round-up As much as Intel would like us all to rush out and buy an expensive new Ultrabook, the fact remains that the top-selling laptops for most manufacturers are still low-cost 15.6in models. Laptops for £400 or less have back-to-school appeal written all over them, but the mix of components varies enormously to appeal to different …
Cliff Joseph, 01 Sep 2012
Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M3 Ultrabook

Acer Aspire Timeline M3 Ultra review

It seems safe to say that Ultrabooks haven’t given the PC market the shot in the arm that Intel was hoping for. The high prices haven’t helped, of course, and there also seems to be some evidence that many people are turned off by the relatively small 13in screens that dominate the Ultrabook category. Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra …
Cliff Joseph, 13 Aug 2012
HP Envy 4-1010ea Ultrabook

HP Envy 4-1010ea 14in Ultrabook review

HP made quite a fuss when it launched its Spectre Ultrabook back in May, and whilst we praised its gleaming, glass design we also noted that the Spectre was a bit on the porky side for what was meant to be an ‘ultraportable’ laptop. It was also burdened by a £1200 price-tag that might make even Apple blush. HP Envy 4-1010ea …
Cliff Joseph, 27 Jul 2012
Dell Inspiron 17R 17in Core i7 notebook

Dell Inspiron 17R SE 17in Ivy Bridge notebook review

I’m currently mourning the demise of the 18-inch Dell XPS that I’ve been using as a TV/DVD player in my bedroom for the last five years. Hardly anyone seems to make 18-inch laptops anymore, but Dell has come up with a good alternative in the form of the new Inspiron 17R SE (Special Edition). Dell Inspiron 17R 17in Core i7 …
Cliff Joseph, 17 Jul 2012
Bento 4 iPad app icon

FileMaker Bento 4

iOS App of the Week When the iPad was first launched it was very much considered to be a device for content consumption, rather than a proper computer that could be used for work. Apps like Bento show that the iPad is, in fact, a very practical work tool. Bento 4 iPad app screenshot Choose a template... There’s been an iOS version of the Bento …
Cliff Joseph, 28 Jun 2012
Crime Map

Crime Map

iOS App of the Week It’s often been said that there’s big difference between the public’s perception of crime – getting worse all the time, the country’s going to the dogs, blah-Daily-Mail-blah – and the actual crime figures that have shown a decrease in recent years. Of course, there’s plenty of statistical information about UK crime rates …
Cliff Joseph, 21 Jun 2012
Over 40 Magnifier iOS app icon

Over 40 Magnifier

iOS App of the Week I almost decided not to review Over 40 Magnifier, simply because of its rather insulting name. I may be over 40 but my eyeballs haven’t given up the ghost just yet. Nonetheless, this simple little app has still proven to be very useful and has taken up permanent residence on my iPhone. My eyesight is respectable enough, but I …
Cliff Joseph, 14 Jun 2012
HMRC Tax Calc iOS app

HMRC Tax Calc

iOS App of the Week The Inland Revenue’s latest on-line tax calculator fell flat on its face when it was launched last week – swamped, no doubt, by starving millionaires desperate to know how much their 5 per cent tax cut was worth. HMRC Tax Calc iOS app   HMRC Tax Calc iOS app Quick input and summary calculation And even when it was up and …
Cliff Joseph, 07 Jun 2012
Vyclone iPhone app icon

Vyclone

iOS App of the Week Everyone’s looking for the new Instagram – an app with zero revenue that was bought by Facebook for $1 billion – and there’s a lot of buzz on the web right now about video-sharing app Vyclone. Of course, there’s no shortage of apps and web sites that let you upload and share videos. However, Vyclone does more than just upload …
Cliff Joseph, 31 May 2012
iOS app Zombies Run icon

Zombies, Run!

iOS App of the Week There are dozens of apps aimed at joggers that can plot a route for you, and measure your speed, progress and calories burned. Yet none of them deal with the fundamental fact that jogging is the most boring form of exercise known to humanity. Zombies, Run! attempts to add a bit of fun to your pavement pounding by involving you …
Cliff Joseph, 24 May 2012
SoundBrush iOS app icon

SoundBrush

iOS App of the Week After happily tapping away with Figure just recently, I decided to try and find some other simple apps that might be fun for musically challenged people like me. SoundBrush is well named, as its clever interface allows you to doodle with sound in the same way that you would sketch with a simple painting app. SoundBrush iOS app …
Cliff Joseph, 17 May 2012
Ten Ultrabooks

Ten... Ultrabooks

Product round-up Reg Hardware PC Week It took a little while for the production lines to get going, but the first few months of 2012 have seen super-slim Ultrabooks completely outnumbering every other type of desktop or laptop PC coming our way. Intel’s tight definition of the Ultrabook category means that there are certain things you can …
Cliff Joseph, 12 May 2012
Skydrive iOS app icon

Microsoft SkyDrive

iOS App of the Week I looked at SkyDrive back in early 2011 and was impressed by the 25GB of free cloud storage that it offered. Unfortunately, it also suffered from the Microsoft’s traditional ‘designed by committee’ syndrome, and lacked the simplicity of rivals such as Dropbox and, more recently, Apple’s iCloud. Skydrive iOS app screenshot …
Cliff Joseph, 10 May 2012
Sony Vaio L VPCL22V1E

Sony Vaio L VPCL22V1E 3D PC

Review Reg Hardware PC Week Finding the all-in-one Sony Vaio L Series with a 1TB hard disk isn't as easy as it might have been. The reason you'll need to be keep a keen eye on the specs is, according to Sony, due to a shortage of hard disks – a consequence of the flooding in Thailand. Indeed, the Vaio L series models soon to go on …
Cliff Joseph, 09 May 2012
Philips HMP2000 HD networked media player

Philips HMP2000 HD Media Player

Review Philips describes its new HMP2000 as a ‘smart media box’, along the lines of rivals such as the AppleTV and Western Digital’s WDTV Live. However, it would probably be more accurate to describe it as a Netflix box, since Netflix is clearly its primary raison d’être. Philips HMP2000 HD networked media player Media smartie: …
Cliff Joseph, 07 May 2012
Snapguide iOS app icon

SnapGuide

iOS App of the Week There are zillions of ‘how to’ apps that provide expert – or not-so-expert – advice on pretty much any topic you care to name. However, SnapGuide is a free app that puts you in the driving seat and allows you to share your know-how and wisdom with the rest of the world. If there’s something that you’re really good at – whether …
Cliff Joseph, 03 May 2012
CloudOn iOS app icon

CloudOn

iOS App of the Week There have been a lot of rumours recently about Microsoft launching a version of Office for the iPad. I doubt it - it would amount to a pre-admission of the failure of Windows 8 on tablets. It’s not really essential either, as there are a number of good Office-compatible applications and suites that are already available for iOS …
Cliff Joseph, 26 Apr 2012
Propellerhead Figure iOS app icon

Propellerhead Figure

iOS App of the Week Propellerhead’s ReBirth app brought some powerful sequencer tools to iOS last year, but made a fatal mistake by simply transplanting the complex interface of the original PC software onto the smaller screen of the iPhone and iPad. Propellerhead Figure iOS app screenshot Propellerhead Figure iOS app screenshot Clear hints help …
Cliff Joseph, 19 Apr 2012
Wondershare PowerCam ios app icon

Wondershare PowerCam

iOS App of the Week I thought that the recent one-two punch of Adobe's Photoshop Touch and Apple's iPhoto would have knocked out most of the competition from other photo apps, but Wondershare’s PowerCam shows that the big-name boys don’t have a monopoly on good ideas. Wondershare PowerCam ios app screenshot Pick your effect At first glance, …
Cliff Joseph, 12 Apr 2012
Tapose iOS app icon

Zanther Taposé

iOS App of the Week Oh the irony. Microsoft cancelled plans for its Courier tablet when Apple launched the iPad, but the Courier’s two-screen design has now found a home on the very device that killed it off, courtesy of Taposé from developer Zanther. Tapose iOS app screenshot Create your journal then add handwritten notes... The basic idea …
Cliff Joseph, 05 Apr 2012
TopWrite iOS app icon

TopWrite

iOS App of the Week There’s no end of messaging apps available for the iPhone and iPad, not to mention the built-in email and SMS/IM apps included in iOS itself. But that over-abundance of apps can actually be something of a problem: you can often find yourself fiddling with multiple apps and services when all you want to do is fire off a quick …
Cliff Joseph, 29 Mar 2012
Apple iPhoto iOS app icon

Apple iPhoto

iOS App of the Week Apple’s iPhoto has a relatively modest set of editing tools but – as you might expect from Apple – wraps them up in an attractive and easy-to-use interface that leaves most other photo-editing apps looking positively antiquated. Apple iPhoto iOS app screenshot Collate your photos in albums on the iPhoto bookshelf The app is …
Cliff Joseph, 22 Mar 2012
Apple iPad 3 aka new iPad

Apple New iPad Wi-Fi only

Review Let’s cut to the chase. The "new iPad" doesn’t have the much-rumoured haptic touch technology. In fact, its list of major new features can be counted on the fingers of one hand. It doesn’t even have a number after its name. How disappointing is that? Apple New iPad 3 And yet, after a weekend of gazing longingly at the …
Cliff Joseph, 19 Mar 2012
Adobe Photoshop Touch ios app icon

Adobe Photoshop Touch

iOS App of the Week Annoyingly for us iOS fans, Photoshop Touch actually made its debut on Android, late last year. You can download it from Google Play. However, it has now arrived on the iPad 2 and the ‘new iPad’ – but not the first-generation iPad or any other iOS device – just in time to bump pixels with Apple’s own iPhoto. They’re not really …
Cliff Joseph, 15 Mar 2012
Poynt iOS app icon

Poynt

iOS App of the Week Reg Hardware Car Week With the price of petrol hitting yet another all-time high, I decided to try and find an app that could save us all some money when we fill up our tanks. Also available on BlackBerry and Android, Poynt started out as an app for locating nearby businesses, such as restaurants and cinemas. But the …
Cliff Joseph, 08 Mar 2012
Cthulu iOS game icon

Ten... top iOS games

App of the Week Special Reg Hardware Mobile Week Love 'em or hate 'em, iDevices - iPad, iPod and iPhone - are now serious players in handheld gaming. We love the new PlayStation Vita, but we can see why some folk would want to game on a gadget they're already carrying with them. And the bigger screen play offered by Apple's tablet can be a real joy …
Cliff Joseph, 01 Mar 2012
Grid Lens iOS app icon

Grid Lens

iOS App of the Week Grid Lens is a fun little photography app that allows you to combine multiple images within a single shot. Grid Lens iOS app screenshot Grid Lens iOS app screenshot Single lens mode The app uses a grid to divide the image on the iPhone’s screen into a series of frames. You can then take photos in two different ways. Single- …
Cliff Joseph, 23 Feb 2012
NHS Direct iOS app icon

NHS Direct

iOS App of the Week Reg Hardware Sex Week Apple, in its infinite prudery wisdom, has decided to protect users of iOS devices from any material that it deems "inappropriate" or "overtly sexual". Dating apps have to be constantly monitored by developers to ensure that your profile pics don’t show too much, and even the mighty Playboy has had to …
Cliff Joseph, 16 Feb 2012
First Aid by the British Red Cross app icon

British Red Cross First Aid

iOS App of the Week The Red Cross was in the news recently when it issued new guidelines for performing CPR - Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation - and it has followed this up with a free First Aid app that's worth downloading in case of emergencies. The app is divided into four sections. The Emergency area provides instant advice for dealing with common …
Cliff Joseph, 09 Feb 2012
CNN iOS app icon

CNN

iOS App of the Week I’m a news junkie, and when I recently cancelled my Sky subscription I found that the one channel that I really missed was CNN. So I was pleased to find that there’s a free CNN app that is available in versions for both iPhone and iPad. CNN iOS app iPad screenshot The iPad version opens in 'front page' mode There are actually …
Cliff Joseph, 02 Feb 2012
TVcatchup iOS app icon

TVCatchup

iOS App of the Week IPTV Week logo I don’t know how I ever lived without the BBC iPlayer. And, of course, there are now similar catch-up TV apps available from many UK TV companies. The drawback with these apps is that they’re tied to specific channels or broadcasters, which means you can’t hop from channel to channel within any single app. …
Cliff Joseph, 26 Jan 2012
Toshiba Qosmio DX730-102 all-in-one desktop PC

Toshiba Qosmio DX730 PC TV combo

Review IPTV Week logo Toshiba’s Qosmio laptops regularly appear in our hardware reviews but the new Qosmio DX730 is a bit of a departure. In fact, it’s not a laptop at all. It is, according to Toshiba, the very first desktop PC that they’ve ever released here in Europe. And it’s a pretty good one at that. Toshiba Qosmio DX730-102 …
Cliff Joseph, 25 Jan 2012
Infinity Blade iOS game icon

Infinity Blade II

iGamer I liked the original Infinity Blade when it arrived just over a year ago, but it seemed to fall short of classic status due to the repetitive nature of the combat, the rigidly linear exploration and threadbare fantasy storyline. This sequel does try to add a bit more variety to the formula, although I still found the continuous …
Cliff Joseph, 25 Jan 2012
Ten... boomboxes

Ten... boomboxes

Product round-up There are some really excellent iOS speaker systems available at the moment, but most of them are designed for a tasteful dinner party with friends rather than a full-on party scene. And, of course, they’re mostly mains-powered and designed for use at home. However, there are a number of boombox systems that can run off …
Cliff Joseph, 21 Jan 2012
Iomega TV With Boxee and Network Storage

Iomega TV with Boxee

Review I’ve reviewed various models in Iomega’s ScreenPlay range in the past and, to be honest, haven’t been wildly impressed by any of them. Weaknesses such as the inability to list album tracks in the correct order suggested that Iomega’s designers hadn’t exactly thought things through properly. Iomega TV With Boxee and Network …
Cliff Joseph, 20 Jan 2012
Errands To-Do List iOS app icon

Errands To-Do List

iOS App of the Week For some reason, I just don’t get on with the new Reminders app that Apple introduced with iOS 5, so I recently went looking for a decent task manager to take its place. There are hundreds of these on the App Store, of course, but the one that seems to best suit my semi-organised approach to life is Errands To-Do List. Errands …
Cliff Joseph, 19 Jan 2012
Samsung Remote iOS app icon

Samsung Remote

iOS App of the Week CES 2012 Week We’ve reviewed a number of gadgets, such as the Gear4 Unity Remote, that allow you to use an iOS device as a universal remote for your TV and other AV kit. iDevices don’t have IR transmitters built into them so the Unity and its rivals all have to encompass both an app and a separate piece of hardware that acts …
Cliff Joseph, 12 Jan 2012
OnLive cloud gaming app

OnLive

iGamer CES 2012 Week Sometimes technology just blows your mind. When I reviewed the OnLive Game System, I was impressed by the simple fact that this "cloud gaming" kit worked at all – let alone that it worked so well. Then the company invited me along to see its new iPad app and my jaw landed with a thud on the ground as they fired …
Cliff Joseph, 11 Jan 2012
Sleep Cycle iOS app icon

Sleep Cycle

iOS App of the Week Perhaps it’s a sign of the troubled times we live in but I’ve noticed a recent rash of gadgets and apps, such as the Jawbone Up, that are designed to monitor – and hopefully improve – your sleep patterns. I’m a somewhat erratic sleeper myself, so I decided to look at a few of these apps over Christmas. The one that stands out …
Cliff Joseph, 05 Jan 2012
Belkin LiveAction Camera Grip

Belkin LiveAction Camera Grip

Geek Treat of the Week Hats off to Belkin for coming up with some really neat iOS-oriented gadgets just lately. Following on from its kitchen stands for the iPad, it has now come up with some handy little photographic accessories for the iPhone. The first one to arrive is the LiveAction Camera Grip, with an external microphone and remote control unit …
Cliff Joseph, 19 Dec 2011
Dermandar iOS app icon

Dermandar Panorama

iOS App of the Week There are quite a few apps that can be used to stitch together a series of overlapping photos in order to create a single, wide-angle panoramic picture. These apps all use clever algorithms to try to line up elements within the photos in order to create a seamless overlap, but even the smartest software can’t do much to help if …
Cliff Joseph, 15 Dec 2011
Philips Fidelio AS851 speaker dock for Android devices

Philips Fidelio AS851 speaker

Geek Treat of the Week Philips’ Fidelio speakers for iOS - such as the DS9 - have gotten a big thumbs-up from us in the past, and now Philips has released a new range specifically designed for Android devices. I got my hands on the top-of-the-range Fidelio AS851, which comes in at £200, but there’s also a smaller model called the AS351 priced at £129 …
Cliff Joseph, 12 Dec 2011
Dell XPS 14z 14in notebook

Dell XPS 14z 14in Core i5 notebook

Review Don’t worry, the XPS 14z may be one of Dell’s new "thin and powerful" range, but it doesn’t fit into the superslim Ultrabook category so there’s absolutely no need whatsoever for a gratuitous comparison with Apple's MacBook Air. Dell XPS 14z 14in notebook It’s certainly a more stylish affair than the businesslike hardware I’m …
Cliff Joseph, 12 Dec 2011