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Dave Stevenson

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Sony Alpha NEX-C3 compact system camera

Sony NEX-C3 compact system camera

Review For years, early adopters have been saying that the mirrorless camera will see off the budget DSLR. Even Nikon, maker of the superb D3100, has entered the fray with the J1 and V1 compacts Arguably, it wasn’t until Sony’s NEX series appeared over a year ago that the somewhat DSLR-resistant mainstream consumer began to see the …
Dave Stevenson, 30 Dec 2011
Samsung RV720 17in Core i3 notebook

Samsung RV720 17in Core i3 notebook

Review Desktop replacement laptops are a genre of portable computer apparently intent on chuntering on forever without ever truly succeeding or dying. By nature, they tend not to be petite, and Samsung's RV720 is no exception. Samsung RV720 17in Core i3 notebook Desktop replacement on the cheap: Samsung's RV720 Weighing around 2. …
Dave Stevenson, 14 Nov 2011
Canon EOS-1D X full-frame DSLR camera

Hands on with Canon's EOS-1D X full-frame DSLR

First look Canon’s top-end DSLR range has long been a slightly confusing place. The EOS-5D, both Mark I and II cameras, were self evident – slower, very high-quality stills models for studio photographers on a budget. The high-end, featuring EOS-1D variants was baffling, though. Canon EOS-1D X full-frame DSLR camera Next year's model: …
Dave Stevenson, 28 Oct 2011
Dell Vostro 131 laptop

Dell Vostro V131 13.3in Core i5 notebook

Review Back in the old days, you knew where you were a Dell business laptop. Heave it out of the box and you’d be rewarded with a giant, hot-running thing with the aesthetic appeal of a pile-up on the M40. Dell Vostro V131 laptop Dell's Vostro V131 looks the business and with the Celeron CPU option can be bought on the cheap …
Dave Stevenson, 19 Oct 2011
Acer Timeline X 5830T 15in laptop

Acer Timeline X 5830T

Review Acer has ploughed itself a nice furrow over the last few years, building nice-looking, well-made laptops. The 5830T might lack the instant recognition and wow-factor of the Apple MacBook Pro, but there’s no arguing that it’s a nice-looking system. The wrist-rest is finished in a light metallic blue, and while the metal strip …
Dave Stevenson, 29 Sep 2011
Sony Vaio SB 13.3in laptop

Sony Vaio SB 13.3in notebook

Review Not everyone wants to lug a 15.6in notebook around - even less a 17-incher - so the 13.3in category has always appealed to folk keen for plenty of performance without the bulk. Sony has long offered 13.3in machines, the latest being its SB series, part of its broader S series. Sony Vaio SB 13.3in laptop Available with a non- …
Dave Stevenson, 26 Sep 2011
Dell XPS 15z

Dell XPS 15z 15.6in Core i5 notebook

Review When the 15z was announced there was no small amount of fanfare, not least due to Dell’s interesting claim that this was the thinnest 15in laptop in existence. In no time at all, it had been pointed out that the accompanying asterisk needed to be the size of an actual star, since the machine the 15z was aping, the Apple MacBook …
Dave Stevenson, 16 Sep 2011
HP Pavilion dv7 6101sa

HP Pavilion dv7 17.3in Llano notebook

Review Heave the 3kg HP dv7 from its enormous box and you can’t help but have your hopes raised: this is a notebook that gives the impression of high-end consumer tech promise. The brushed silver back has a refined air to it and Apple stylee, the HP logo lights up using the screen’s LED lamps. Appearances aside, there are tech treats …
Dave Stevenson, 07 Sep 2011
Range Rover Evoque Si4

Range Rover Evoque Si4

First Look By the time the Range Rover Evoque is launched in September, Land Rover expects to be producing one every seven seconds from its Halewood factory, which should leave you in no doubt as to how important Range Rover views its first step into true mainstream motoring. Range Rover Evoque Si4 Land Rover's Range Rover Evoque Si4: …
Dave Stevenson, 17 Aug 2011
Acer Aspire 5755G

Acer Aspire 5755G 15in Core i7 laptop

Review The Aspire 5755G is a fairly winsome system, combining sober, executive-class slate grey with a glossy black lid adding a touch of glamour. When it’s closed it’s a good looking slice of plastic, measuring just 35mm thick. Acer Aspire 5755G Acer's Aspire 5755G: widescreen but, alas, not quite full HD The 16:9, 15.6in screen …
Dave Stevenson, 16 Aug 2011
Canon EOS 600D

Canon EOS 600D 18Mp DSLR

Review Those looking for a new DSLR haven’t had a decision this tricky in years. In one corner, Nikon’s D5100 and in the other, Canon’s EOS 600D. Both offer similar specifications, and neither is exactly lacking when it comes to both image quality and platform support. Canon EOS 600D Entry-level in the mid-range market? Canon's EOS …
Dave Stevenson, 29 Jul 2011
Samsung RF711

Samsung RF711 17.3in Core i7 laptop

Review It’s not unusual for desktop replacements to have a bit of heft, but Samsung’s RF711 positively throws caution to the wind. Tipping the scales at an obese 2.9kg and measuring 416mm across (almost one-and-a-half feet), it’s only a laptop in the sense that the screen folds down to cover the keyboard when you’ve finished using it. …
Dave Stevenson, 11 Jul 2011
Samsung NC110

Samsung NC110 matte-screen netbook

Review Tight spots don’t come much trickier than the one netbook makers find themselves in. Squeezed from above by prettier, more interesting tablets, netbooks such as Samsung’s £350 N350 are barely appealing alternatives to Apple’s glossy view of the future. Samsung NC110 Samsung's NC110: more of the same, but with a gloss-less …
Dave Stevenson, 27 Jun 2011
Fujifilm Finepix X100

Fujifilm Finepix X100 APS-C camera

Review The Fuji FinePix X100 is, of course, a camera for those with more money than sense. Just look at it. Finished in wildly ostentatious silver magnesium alloy with splashes of leather on the grip, the retro viewfinder styling and chunky shutter speed dial evoke the rangefinders of the 1960s and 1970s. Fujifilm Finepix X100 …
Dave Stevenson, 29 Apr 2011
Olympus PEN E-PL2

Olympus PEN E-PL2 Micro Four-Thirds camera

Review When the original Olympus PEN E-P1 came out in 2009 it arguably marked the start of a revolution. Its mirrorless design meant that it was far smaller than a DSLR, yet its relatively large sensor meant it took considerably better quality images than compact cameras; besides that, its retro Japanese styling also made it a far more …
Dave Stevenson, 04 Mar 2011
Canon 1000D

Canon EOS 1000D

Review Canon has left no corner of the saturated DSLR market untouched, which certainly has a knock-on effect for potential buyers of the 10.1Mp EOS 1000D. While its 2.5in LCD screen feels cramped by modern standards, and its all-plastic construction does make it feel cheap compared to the Nikon D3000, it is, however, compatible with …
Dave Stevenson, 10 Sep 2010
DSLR Group Test

Best Buys: Budget DSLR Cameras

Group Test If you shop around you won’t have to try too hard to find deals around £100 cheaper than the manufacturer prices quoted here. Moreover, even at the budget end of the market, there really does appear to be something for everyone. DSLR Group Test The Olympus E-450 is a fast shooter and very pocketable too. However, the storage …
Dave Stevenson, 10 Sep 2010
Pentax k-x

Pentax K-x

Review One truly exceptional feature of the K-x is its kit lens. Anyone who’s used a few kit lenses will know that they tend not to be the best – worrying build quality and adequate optical performance mean they’re typically the first thing you’ll upgrade. However, the Pentax 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens that comes with the K-x kit is …
Dave Stevenson, 10 Sep 2010
Sony A290

Sony Alpha A290

Review The topmost plastic of the 14.2Mp Sony A290 might be slightly mottled to make it look like it's a distant relation to magnesium alloy, but pick it up and it's easy enough to guess where the camera lies in Sony's range – the all-plastic finish is a tad uninspiring. Sony A290 Yet everything falls neatly to hand, and although …
Dave Stevenson, 10 Sep 2010

Nikon D3000

Review It's all very well having a decent printed manual along with your camera, but the 10.2Mp D3000 is the only DSLR to offer a user guide built in to the camera. Flick the mode dial on the top to the Guide position, press the Menu button, and the 3in LCD gives you the options of Shoot, View, Delete, or Set up. Nikon D3000 Select …
Dave Stevenson, 10 Sep 2010
DSLR Group Test

Budget DSLR Cameras

Group Test If we at Reg Hardware made DSLRs, we’d be looking nervously over our shoulders, as compact cameras have never been so good. The rise of APS-C EVIL (Electronic Viewfinder, Interchangeable Lens) cameras, such as the Sony NEX models, promises DSLR-quality without the bulk to carry around. Size matters and Canon now appears to be …
Dave Stevenson, 10 Sep 2010
Olympus E-450

Olympus E-450

Review Olympus isn't the first brand that comes to mind when you're looking for a new DSLR, but that doesn't mean the 10Mp E-450 is a disappointment. Its styling has a retro charm, with its chunky leather-effect grip, and there's no complaining about its size, either. 130mm wide and just under 100mm tall, it's easily small enough to …
Dave Stevenson, 10 Sep 2010
DSLR Group Test

Buyer's Guide: Budget DSLR Cameras

Group Test With DSLRs costing anything from £300 to over ten times that much, it's interesting to note that there's not always a huge difference in image quality between cheap and expensive models. DSLR Group Test While expensive models such as the Nikon D3s offer superlative performance in low light and at high ISOs, lower down the …
Dave Stevenson, 10 Sep 2010
The Register breaking news

Ten Essential... Symbian Apps

Product Round-up Nokia may have come a little late to the app store party, but it's Ovi Store now has plenty of software to choose from, whether you're looking for games or utilities, productivity, comms or entertainment apps. Not sure where to start? Well, you can start by downloading the following ten apps that will help you get the most …
Dave Stevenson, 03 Aug 2010
Pentax Optio W90

Pentax Optio W90 rugged camera

Review Summer is here, sort of. The beaches are soon to be filled to capacity and anyone with any sense is clambering aboard the first plane to somewhere hot and sandy. That's a disaster for most cameras, which don't happily take to beaches, airport baggage handlers or seawater. Unless you've a 'ruggedised' model, of course, Pentax …
Dave Stevenson, 04 Jun 2010
Olympus Tough 8010

Olympus Tough 8010 rugged camera

Review Hardy products, such as Panasonic's range of Toughbooks, Dell's XFR laptop range, or Olympus's venerable range of Tough cameras, are a tricky sell. Not only do weather proofed, shock-resistant products command inflated prices, it's also difficult to convince the average electronics buyer that they really need the extra strength …
Dave Stevenson, 21 May 2010
Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands

Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands

Review Fun fact: the Prince of Persia franchise celebrated its 20th birthday last year, making it one of the most venerable names in videogaming. It transitioned smoothly enough from side-scrolling platformer into the spectacular, button-hammering Tomb Raider-style modern classics of today. Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands …
Dave Stevenson, 21 May 2010
Samsung WB1000

Premium Compact Cameras: Best Buys

Group Test All the cameras included in this group test performed reasonably well, though they have their inevitable quirks. Here's are the cameras in the test: Canon PowerShot G11 Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR Nikon CoolPix S8000 Panasonic Lumix LX3 Ricoh CX3 Samsung WB1000 Prices range from £210 for the Fujifilm to £599 for the Canon …
Dave Stevenson, 12 Apr 2010
Canon PowerShot G11

Canon PowerShot G11

Review The G11 is an intimidating camera. Hand it to someone inexperienced and it's likely they'll hand it straight back. The top is scattered with dials controlling everything from the shooting mode, exposure compensation and even - unusually - ISO. Canon Powershot G11 This is a double-edged sword. On the one hand it makes the G11 …
Dave Stevenson, 12 Apr 2010
Samsung WB1000

Buyer's Guide: Premium Compact Cameras

Group Test There's a compact camera for all wallets, whether you're spending under £100 or as much as you could on an entry-level digital SLR. The crowded bit of the market is the mid-range, where compact cameras blend into a mess of near-identical features and specifications. The high end occupies more of a niche, with cameras costing …
Dave Stevenson, 12 Apr 2010
Nikon CoolPix S8000

Nikon CoolPix S8000

Review Along with the Ricoh CX3, the Nikon S8000 stands out in this group for not having a proper manual mode. This proved an annoyance during testing, not least because it's combined with the longest lens of any camera here. Nikon CoolPix S8000 The S8000 is the slimmest camera on the market with a 10x optical zoom, somehow hiding …
Dave Stevenson, 12 Apr 2010
Samsung WB1000

Premium Compact Cameras

Group Test Despite the clear benefits of using a Digital SLR for your photography, it's easy enough to come up with some drawbacks. The price of most DSLRs puts them beyond the reach of many buyers, while a typical DSLR's size, weight and complexity repels others. Fortunately, the high-end compact camera makes for a good alternative. …
Dave Stevenson, 12 Apr 2010
Samsung WB1000

Samsung WB1000

Review With its wacky analogue-style dials on the top for battery charge and memory card monitoring, the Samsung WB1000 doesn't initially inspire as a camera you might consider for ‘serious’ photography. Samsung WB1000 It's the second-cheapest camera on test, and despite that still comes with a proper manual mode, a 5x optical zoom …
Dave Stevenson, 12 Apr 2010
Panasonic Lumix LX3

Panasonic Lumix LX3

Review With its all-metal body and rangefinder styling, Panasonic's Lumix DMC-LX3 makes a definite impression. Unlike the other cameras on test, its lens sits about 2cm proud of the body, making this the least pocketable camera here with the hulking exception of the Canon G11. Panasonic Lumix LX3 The layout is traditional, with a …
Dave Stevenson, 12 Apr 2010
Ricoh CX3

Ricoh CX3

Review The CX3 makes an underwhelming first impression. Where high-end compacts such as the Canon G11 and Panasonic Lumix LX3 go all-out with manual controls scattered across the body, the Ricoh is decidedly bare-looking. Ricoh CX3 Certain settings, such as white balance, exposure compensation and ISO can be accessed by prodding …
Dave Stevenson, 12 Apr 2010
Fujifilm F200 EXR

Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR

Review As the Fujifilm is the cheapest camera here, now coming in at a relatively-paltry £160, it would be fair to expect the F200EXR will offer fewer features than any of our other compacts. No so. Look at the back and you'll find a mode dial bursting with features, including a fully manual mode. Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR The …
Dave Stevenson, 12 Apr 2010
Dell Vostro V13

Dell Vostro V13

Review You know where you stand with business-oriented laptops. They're chunky, dull-looking machines with all the pizazz of a rainy afternoon in Chester. Dell's Vostro range has been a case in point: a collection of low-power, low-charisma laptops likely to appeal only to the most frugal of IT department bean counters. Dell Vostro …
Dave Stevenson, 18 Mar 2010
Sony Vaio VPCX11S1E/B

Sony Vaio X

Review Sony discovered it had a major problem when the first round of netbooks hit the market in late 2007. Having spent years educating well-heeled consumers that small notebooks were expensive, shoppers were hit by a deluge of small, light laptops that did everything they wanted for a fraction of Sony's traditionally high prices. …
Dave Stevenson, 18 Dec 2009
Sony Ericsson Satio

Sony Ericsson Satio 12.1Mp cameraphone

Review Business has never been harder for touchscreen mobile phones. Not only is the iPhone 3GSso far ahead it’s little more than a speck on a distant horizon, but HTC has the geek market neatly sewn up with its Android-based Hero. Sony Ericsson Satio Sony Ericsson's Satio: coming in behind some hard-to-beat acts Even the Palm …
Dave Stevenson, 11 Nov 2009
Palm Pré

Palm Pre smartphone

Review The most hyped phone of the year, the Palm Pre, has arrived and now you can actually buy one. The 3.1in touchscreen combined with a physical keyboard are welcome features, but it’s the software that might change the face of the smartphone market and challenge the Apple iPhone. Palm Pré Palm's Pre smartphone touting its new …
Dave Stevenson, 16 Oct 2009