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Cliff Joseph

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Acer Aspire E5-511

Back to school: Six of the smartest cheap 'n' cheerful laptops

Product Roundup The summer’s been and gone already, and it’s the time of year when our brightest and best leave home to enter the hallowed halls of academia. Any young student will need a decent laptop to help them out with essays and other work, but the chances are that most students will also be on a pretty tight budget. Fortunately, every …
Cliff Joseph, 01 Sep 2015
Asus X555LD

Intel inside: Six of the best affordable PC laptops

Product Roundup The continued stagnation of the PC market is bad news for manufacturers, but good news for anyone who needs an affordable new laptop. Manufacturers are having to offer great value in order to attract buyers, and this means that you can now get some really attractive laptops that'll do the business for a good few years in the £ …
Cliff Joseph, 15 Jun 2015
Asus RoG G751 17-inch gaming laptop

Graphic designs: Six speedy 17-inch gaming laptops

Product Roundup Gaming laptops have a reputation for being big and heavy and providing battery life that is counted in minutes rather than hours. Slowly, though, increased power efficiency in both CPU and GPU designs has given rise to a new generation of gaming laptops that are at least semi-portable. Designs such as MSI’s 22mm Stealth Pro …
Cliff Joseph, 17 Apr 2015

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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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