The Register Columnists

Bob Dormon

Contact Mail Follow Twitter RSS feed

Viewsonic 22in Android 'tablet' hands-on review

There was birthday cake aplenty at Viewsonic’s 25th anniversary event in London today that also saw the introduction of three new products covering an innovative range of display options. Viewsonic VSD220 Smart Display Viewsonic's VSD220 Smart Display: 22in fondleslab, anyone? The main attraction was the VSD220 Smart Display …
Bob Dormon, 11 Sep 2012
Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Android smartphone hands-on review

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 hands-on review

Samsung’s big idea, well, big phone actually, has not only spawned the 10in Galaxy Note but, at IFA, the company announced the Galaxy Note II successor to its original 5in stylophone stylus phone. It seems that if you add a pen to a touchscreen device these days, then it acts as insurance that you haven’t copied from Apple. Note …
Bob Dormon, 04 Sep 2012
Sony Vaio 11 Duo hybrid PC Ultrabook

Sony Vaio 11 Duo hybrid PC hands on review

Examples of Windows 8 tablet plus detachable keyboard combo devices were all over IFA like a rash. However, Sony’s Vaio Duo 11 has a different approach that keeps the two components together. There are advantages and disadvantages to this arrangement, whichever way you look at it. Great, I’ll never lose that keyboard... mmmh, …
Bob Dormon, 03 Sep 2012
LG EA93 21:9 monitor

Hands on with LG's 21:9 monitors

With so many telly boxes out there, it seems likely an on-board tuner on the TV itself will become a thing of the past in the not too distant. Perhaps LG’s EA93 21:9 aspect monitor, announced at IFA, offers a clue to the shape of things to come. LG EA93 21:9 monitor A 29in monitor touting a 2560 x 1080-pixel resolution it may …
Bob Dormon, 31 Aug 2012
HP Envy X2

Hands on with the HP Envy X2

The tablet plus keyboard combo looks set to be a prominent vehicle in getting Windows 8 into the hands of punters. Along with the new OS comes a slightly different form factor too with 11.6in keyblets from Samsung – its Ativ Smart PCs play this game with Core i5 and Atom CPU options – and HP has its own Atom-powered Envy X2 …
Bob Dormon, 31 Aug 2012
The Register breaking news

If you can't take the Samsung, get out of the kitchen

Samsung’s IFA keynote was true to form, some might say. Although the company had "a different script" with its presentation style, it did seem to have copied been influenced by the recent UK Olympic opening ceremony, given its theatricalities. Samsung's head honcho and chief wizard of the day, Boo-Keun Yoon, consumer electronics …
Bob Dormon, 30 Aug 2012
The Register breaking news

Samsung readies handheld releases for Windows 8

At the Mobile Unpacked event in Berlin last night, Samsung showed off its Windows 8 handheld devices that appear in its new Ativ range of computing products that all feature touchscreen functionality. Samsung Ativ tablet The Windows RT Ativ Tab is a 10.1in fondleslab with a 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor with 2GB …
Bob Dormon, 30 Aug 2012
Amazon Kindle Touch e-book reader

Amazon Kindle Touch Wi-Fi eBook reader review

Having so many unread books at home, the Amazon Kindle and its numerous variants never really captured my imagination. I just wasn’t that fussed about e-Books and using them was a slow burn, starting with iBooks on my iPhone – I’m blessed with good eyesight – followed by musing over tomes on an iPad 2. Amazon Kindle Touch e- …
Bob Dormon, 09 Aug 2012
Pure Sensia 200D Connect

Pure Stream takes on AirPlay

Pure’s Sensia 200D Connect has been on its web site for a while, but now you can actually buy one. This latest incarnation of the company’s touchscreen Wi-Fi radio is a significant revamp on the original Sensia and showcases Pure Stream, which enables content to play wirelessly from Android and iOS devices. It’s an obvious take …
Bob Dormon, 19 Jul 2012
Pure Contour 200i Air AirPlay wireless music system

Pure Contour 200i Air wireless music system

Sometimes, the only way to appreciate what a new technology or product can do for you is to actually try it. So when Pure dropped by the office and left a Contour 200i Air – its latest AirPlay savvy wireless music system – I felt dutybound to use it. Pure Contour 200i Air AirPlay wireless music system Pure Contour 200i Air …
Bob Dormon, 12 Jul 2012
Samsung Chromebox Series 3 XE300M22 Chrome OS cloud computer

Review: Samsung Chromebox

Moan, moan, moan: that’s how I suspected this review would come across as I pondered on my initial impressions of Samsung’s Chromebox – its Mac Mini-styled desktop computer that runs Google’s Chrome OS. You know, the online operating system that turns your computer into paperweight when there’s no internet connection. And then I …
Bob Dormon, 05 Jul 2012
Nokia 808 Symbian 3 camera phone

Hands on with Nokia's 808 41Mp camphone

If a company needed some luck right now, then Nokia would certainly fit the bill. Having partnered with Microsoft to deliver a new range of smartphones based on Windows Phone 7, it consequently shares a platform with the likes of HTC and Samsung. Still, Nokia is thinking lucky because it reckons it can deliver services on …
Bob Dormon, 28 May 2012
Nikon D3200 DSLR camera

Hands on with the Nikon D3200 DSLR

The great and the good were out in force at Nikon’s London press launch this week of its latest entry-level DSLR, the D3200. Boasting a new 24.2Mp DX format CMOS sensor, the camera also bags an Expeed 3 processor – the same imaging engine featured on the Nikon D4, the company’s flagship shooter. Nikon D3200 DSLR camera Indeed …
Bob Dormon, 19 Apr 2012
Digitech iPB-10 guitar effects pedalboard for iPad

Digitech iPB-10 guitar effects pedalboard for iPad

When the Digitech iPB-10 arrived, I duly dispatched an e-mail to a muso mate with a link to this ultimate iPad guitar pedalboard. The wag replied: Nice machine you're reviewing, but I don't know whether 87 pedals, 54 amps and 26 cabinets is quite enough for me... Digitech iPB-10 guitar effects pedalboard for iPad Heavy metal: …
Bob Dormon, 29 Mar 2012
Lantronix xPrintServer

Lantronix xPrintServer

As far a tech goes, my encounter with the Lantronix xPrintServer was somewhat unusual. This fag packet of a device plumbs into your network and enables an iPhone, iPad or even an iPod Touch to access the local printers, assuming there’s a Wi-Fi access point on the same subnet. There’s no need to track down an AirPrint compatible …
Bob Dormon, 20 Feb 2012
Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook

Dell debuts shrunken Ultrabook

CES 2012 Week Although Intel has been busy faking Ultrabook gaming demos, Dell has been busy working on the real deal. At CES the Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook was unveiled – touted as a “13.3in display machine in near 11-inch form factor”. Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook It sounds a bit TARDIS, but compared with both the Asus Zenbook UX31E …
Bob Dormon, 11 Jan 2012
Nikon 1 J1 compact camera

2011's Best... compact cameras

2011 was the year when compact system cameras (CSC) really began to hit their stride. Late to this year’s party were the Nikon 1 J1 and V1 models, but we’re still waiting to on Canon to show its hand in this arena. More to the point, Canon has yet to deliver a successor to its revered PowerShot G12 which is showing its age now. …
Bob Dormon, 20 Dec 2011
Nikon D7000

2011's Best... DSLRs

While few would argue that a DSLR offers the best combination of features, performance and image quality, 2011 didn’t really set the world alight with new models. For the most part manufacturers patched holes in their respective ranges, to provide a full spectrum of models to suit both budgets and ability. A couple of years ago …
Bob Dormon, 16 Dec 2011
Prada Phone by LG 3.0

Prada and LG peg up third fashion phone

The tech meets trendsetter partnership between the fashion tour de force Prada and Korean electronics giant LG continues where others have failed. Indeed, that was the message both companies were pleased to convey as the third Prada phone by LG was unveiled with some seriousness at Claridges in London yesterday. Prada Phone by …
Bob Dormon, 15 Dec 2011
Ensoniq Mirage DSK keyboard sampler

How digital audio ate itself ... and the music biz

In the first part of this series, we looked at how digital audio emerged in the studio, going beyond its Compact Disc domestic debut. As Moore’s law impacted on the cost of digital audio recording, studio techniques were emerging to add colour to this transparent medium – first in hardware, then in software. Digital signal …
Bob Dormon, 29 Nov 2011
Mitsubishi_X-880 32-track_ProDigi recorder

How digital audio ate itself and the music industry

Digital audio began life with high ideals and worthy engineering feats, with its extended dynamic range came the promise of noise-free recording. This is a story of how it first charmed and then choked the industry it was designed to enhance. HHB Digital Information Exchange agenda and newsletter 1987 1987 DIE roster and HHB …
Bob Dormon, 24 Nov 2011
Windows Phone 7

Updating to Windows Phone 7.5

Just like Apple iPhone users needn’t own a Mac to sync data and apply updates, Windows Phone 7 users needn’t be reliant on a PC either. To broaden the appeal of Microsoft’s latest handset OS, the company offers a Mac software alternative. Windows Phone Connector for Mac Nice to know there's an update, but what version is it? …
Bob Dormon, 25 Oct 2011
Lingo iMini DAB/FM receiver for iOS

Lingo iMini DAB/FM iOS pocket tuner

DAB radio: always a contentious topic given its cost and varying fidelity. But a DAB radio accessory for iOS devices and for £55 too? You might as well skip the rest of this waffle and head for the comments now. Go on, you know you want to. Lingo iMini DAB/FM receiver for iOS Lingo's iMini: puts DAB on your pad Ah, didn’t get …
Bob Dormon, 23 Sep 2011
M-Audio Keystation Mini 32

M-Audio Keystation Mini 32

It always pays to read the fine print, especially when it’s to be found on the bottom of a box, while on the top the label says, ‘Works with iPad’. Such is the case with M-Audio’s Keystation Mini 32, a really rather good portable keyboard controller for mobile musos and the classroom. This host powered 32-note USB keyboard isn’t …
Bob Dormon, 19 Sep 2011
Kingston Wi-Drive

Kingston Wi-Drive wireless flash storage

The lack of any direct storage expansion in Apple's iOS products has been one of the more enduring causes of complaint for those using or pondering on owning one of these devices. Kingston Technology demonstrated its idea of a workaround when it previewed the MobiSX at CES at the beginning of the year. Now in production, with a …
Bob Dormon, 08 Sep 2011
Eton Mobius iPhone 4 solar charger

Apple gives green light to Eton solar cell iPhone case

At IFA in Berlin, Eton set a shining example among the iPhone 4 portable chargers with its Mobius battery case that features a solar panel on the back. Eton Mobius iPhone 4 solar charger As is the norm with portable solar products, the panel keeps a secondary battery topped up that then offloads its power into the …
Bob Dormon, 03 Sep 2011
Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook

Acer claims first Core-i7 Ultrabook

At IFA in Berlin today, Acer took the wraps off its first Ultrabook, the Aspire S3. At 1.3kg and 13mm thick it falls well within Intel’s 18mm max to claim this slimline performance computing marque. Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook Also requisite is an Intel Core-i Sandy Bridge ULV CPU, with Acer making claims to be the first to …
Bob Dormon, 02 Sep 2011
Samsung NX200

Samsung unveils 20Mp EVIL shooter

At IFA today, Samsung upped the ante on the EVIL (electronic viewfinder, interchangeable lenses) marketplace by introducing the NX200, sporting a 20.3Mp APS-C CMOS sensor. Besides being a stills shooter capable with RAW support, the NX200 captures video at full HD 1080p at 30fps with stereo audio. Samsung NX200 Its …
Bob Dormon, 01 Sep 2011
Sharp 8K4K hi-res prototype TV

Sharp shows off 8K4K hi-res prototype telly

At IFA, Berlin Sharp set about wowing its press audience with a European premiere of it Super Hi-Vision 8K4K, 85in LCD TV, developed in collaboration with Japanese broadcaster NHK. Sharp 8K4K hi-res prototype TV Touted as the next-gen HD format, this telly has a knock ’em dead 7680 x 4320 resolution – 16 times higher than …
Bob Dormon, 01 Sep 2011
Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7

Samsung's Galaxy Tab 7.7 gets aired

At IFA in Berlin today, Samsung unveiled its Galaxy Tab 7.7 Android tablet and, with its 1280 x 800-pixel touchscreen, claimed a world’s first for display resolution on a 7.7in tablet. Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 This latest addition to the Galaxy Tab range features a dual core 1.4GHz processor and runs Android 3.2 (Honeycomb). It …
Bob Dormon, 01 Sep 2011
Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S

Sony Ericsson launches Xperia Arc S

Sony has given its Xperia Android smartphones range a boost with the Arc S, it’s fastest model yet featuring a 1.4GHz CPU. Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S The Xperia Arc S remains in keeping with the sleek styling of the rest of the range and includes an 8.1Mp camera with 3D/2D sweep panorama functions, 720p video and HDMI support …
Bob Dormon, 01 Sep 2011
Sony CDX-DAB700U

Sony drives DAB+ motoring

Sony has announced its first DAB+ car radio that’s due to hit the road early next year. The CDX-DAB700U is touted as a CD receiver with DAB/DAB+/DMB-R support as well as FM/AM reception. Sony CDX-DAB700U If loading a CD seems a bit too 1980s for you, MP3, WMA and AAC discs are also playable as well as audio from USB flash …
Bob Dormon, 01 Sep 2011
Nikon Coolpix P7100

Nikon reheats Coolpix range

Nikon has refreshed its range of Coolpix cameras bringing a swathe of new features to its compact models. A year on from the Nikon P7000 debut – the company’s well-overdue answer to the Canon G-series Powershot – the Coolpix P7100 is here. Nikon Coolpix P7100 Apart from the front dial and articulating 3in LCD panel on the …
Bob Dormon, 26 Aug 2011
RIM BlackBerry Curve 9360

BlackBerry Curve 9360 hits UK

RIM has launched the BlackBerry Curve 9360 in the UK, featuring BlackBerry 7 OS and BBM6, the company’s fuel in the crowd jewel-in-the-crown messenger service. RIM BlackBerry Curve 9360 Curve handsets are RIM’s most popular smartphone both globally and in the UK, and the company has high hopes that this revamp will sustain …
Bob Dormon, 23 Aug 2011
Motorola Atrix Lapdock

Motorola Atrix Lapdock

If you had thought that Motorola’s Android offerings might have ended up as the also-rans in the mêlée of Googlephone handsets, then recent events in the mobile marketplace would suggest it could well be the standard bearer. The Chocolate Factory’s bid for Motorola’s Mobility division – the handset and tablet line – certainly …
Bob Dormon, 19 Aug 2011
Audio Technica ATH ANC7b

Audio Technica ANC7b noise-cancelling headphones

You don’t have to be a geek to have a fondness for a gadget that just ‘works’. Perhaps a mobile phone that does bugger all than manage calls but gets a signal wherever you are. How about a simple pair of headphones? From a technical standpoint, perhaps not so simple in the case of Audio Technica’s ATH-ANC7b cans. However, just …
Bob Dormon, 15 Aug 2011
iLuv iCK826 Pro case and Bluetooth keyboard

iLuv iPad 2 case and Bluetooth keyboard

If you have an Apple iPad, the chances are you'll have some kind of accessory to protect it. While a Jiffy bag would do, you'll probably be inclined to consider something more enduring. Typing on a piece of glass has a few shortcomings too – not only the lack of tactile responsiveness but the fact that the virtual keyboard …
Bob Dormon, 12 Aug 2011
Mackie Onyx Blackjack

Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB audio interface

In the early 1990s, the Mackie name became synonymous with project studio recording consoles that, while not the most sophisticated, offered a good deal of routing flexibility and mounting options. The CR1604 was the breakthrough product for the company – a mixer that is still in production in various guises. The idea behind …
Bob Dormon, 01 Aug 2011
Ten Compact Cameras

Ten... pocket compact cameras

When it comes to quick pics, the expedience of a phonecam can't be overestimated, yet the image quality expectations frequently are. With this in mind Reg Hardware has rounded up the smallest and cheapest compacts produced by all the usual suspects from the photography world. Here are ten cameras that will not only take decent …
Bob Dormon, 01 Jul 2011
Mac OS X 10.7

Mac OS X 10.6.8 hails from Paleolithic era

Ask any seasoned Mac user and they’ll tell you to avoid using Software Update incremental download delivery approach for systems instals, but to use the standalone combo option every time. Yet even seasoned Mac users get lazy and Apple wants us to adopt this click-and-hold-your-breath delivery system. Indeed, this is how its …
Bob Dormon, 24 Jun 2011
Apple MacBook Air 11.6in

Apple anticipates Air sales surge

Sources in the component supply industry are talking of double the quantity of new MacBook Airs being delivered to Apple in Q3 compared to Q2. Digitimes has been working the numbers and reports that July will see the supply chain “run in full gear” at this time. Although MacBook Air figures doubling seems rather inflated, yearly …
Bob Dormon, 24 Jun 2011
LaCie Cloudbox

LaCie drive jumps on Cloud bandwagon

LaCie has announced the CloudBox, its first "hybrid" storage device that keeps an on-line copy of files stored on the hard disk to maximise data security. LaCie Cloudbox All data stored in the Cloud is encrypted and back-ups of content on the CloudBox hard drive can take place without the need to be tethered to your computer …
Bob Dormon, 24 Jun 2011
Pentax Q

Pentax Q takes mini system camera crown

Not long after Sony announced the NEX-C3, Panasonic revealed its Lumix DMC-GF3, as the two tech giants slugged it out to take the title for world’s smallest interchangeable lens camera. Pentax Q And just when you thought the dust had settled on that particular crown, along comes the Pentax Q which those with long memories may …
Bob Dormon, 24 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

Mirror TV hits the wall

Televisions may well be part of the furniture but design savvy company NEOD (New Era Of Device) is turning the idiots’ lantern into the furniture by applying a mirror finish to the TV screen. NEOD Home Modern Gold Mirror The concept is taken still further with the addition of bezel adornments to frame the mirror and match …
Bob Dormon, 23 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

Apple pulls 'intifada' app

Apple has removed an Arabic ‘intifada’ app from its iTunes store in response to a complaint from the Israeli government. The Israeli Public Diplomacy Minister Yuli-Yoel Edelstein wrote to Steve Jobs expressing concerns that the app, ThirdIntifada, accessed content that, he alleged, incites violence against Israel, Reuters …
Bob Dormon, 23 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

Judge lets Apple keep secrets from Samsung

The I sue you, you sue me spat between Apple and Samsung took a turn in the iPhone maker’s favour this week. U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh ruled against the Korean company’s request last month for access to unreleased iPhone and iPad models, which it had claimed would be "highly relevant" to its defence case, according to Reuters …
Bob Dormon, 22 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

Flying Keymouse II takes to the air

Tech gadgets company Brando is making moves with the Wireless Flying Keymouse II that it announced today. Wireless Flying Keymouse II This handheld device, which looks much like a designer TV remote control, features 65 keys and an integrated laser pointer. In use as a mouse, movements in the air position the cursor which are …
Bob Dormon, 22 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

Sony Ericsson announces trio of talkers

Sony Ericsson has announced three new handsets in Singapore today, the Ray, Active and Txt. The Ray and the Active have the distinction of being additions to the Xperia range and run Android 2.3 Gingerbread. The Txt, as its name suggests, is a messaging phone featuring a Qwerty keypad. Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray The Ray shines …
Bob Dormon, 22 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

Toshiba joins all-in-one PC fray

Toshiba has launched its first all in one PC, an unusual move for the company more readily associated with laptop computers. Laptop tech is becoming increasingly common in domestic PCs and it seems that Toshiba couldn't pass this opportunity by any longer. Toshiba DX1215 Described as an all-purpose entertainment hub, the …
Bob Dormon, 21 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

Apple lets slip Time Capsule update

Apple has inadvertently confirmed the arrival of a rumoured update to its Time Capsule network storage device. The company’s web site touts the 2TB and 3TB models but the 'Buy now' links on the US web site take you to the older 1TB and 2TB versions. Apple Time Capsule 3TB Recent US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) …
Bob Dormon, 21 Jun 2011