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Sony Xperia M4 Aqua 4G Android Smartphone

Sony Xperia M4 Aqua 4G: The Android smartie that can take its drink

Review Read any technology site and the advice is pretty unequivocal: if you want an Android smartphone for less than £200 that’s not an import, then buy the Mk 3 Motorola Moto G. Sony Xperia M4 Aqua 4G Android Smartphone Drinking buddy: Sony's Xperia M4 Aqua I'm not about to deny that the new Moto G is a nice bit of kit, or that …
Alun Taylor, 24 Aug 2015
ix35_filling_station

Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell: El Reg on the hydrogen highway

Vulture at the Wheel Ask me what my ideal electric car would be and I’ll probably tell you one with a range of 400 miles and a three-minute charge time. Shame no such car exists, I hear you say. Not so. I drove just such a vehicle last week. ix35_hero The ix35 at the hydrogen filling station near Heathrow. One of three in the UK at the time of …
Alun Taylor, 22 Aug 2015
Intel Skylake unlocked Core i5 and i7 CPUs

All aboard the Skylake: How Intel stopped worrying and learned to love overclocking

Review Nope, it’s not the next instalment of the James Bond franchise, but Intel’s eagerly awaited successor to the Broadwell platform. Skylake, like Broadwell, is built on a 14nm process but this time we get yet another new socket, as the new CPUs use the LGA1151 Socket. Intel Skylake unlocked Core i5 and i7 CPUs Ready for a CPU …
Simon Crisp, 21 Aug 2015
Intel compute stick

Intel's Compute Sticks stick it to Windows To Go, Chromecast

Quick review "Little Stick. Big Surprise." That's what Intel says about its Compute Sticks, the new 'smaller than an iPhone' mini-PCs designed for portability and ease of use The Intel Compute Stick (ICS) is perhaps best thought of as the mutant offspring of a Raspberry Pi on steroids and Google Chromecast. The offspring emerges as a tiny …
Adam Fowler, 20 Aug 2015
ZTE Nubia Z9 Mini Android smartphone

ZTE Nubia Z9 Mini: The able Android smartie the company won't sell you

Review The Nubia brand is largely unknown in the UK, because ZTE chooses not to flog its so-named wares here in Blighty. Nevertheless, international-spec Nubia Z9s are reasonably easy to acquire and when Chinese wholesaler GearBest offered to lend us one to poke with the El Reg reviewing stick, we thought: why not? ZTE Nubia Z9 Mini …
Alun Taylor, 18 Aug 2015
Asus VivoMini UN42-M054Y

Introducing the Asus VivoMini UN42 – a pint-sized PC, literally

Review You only have to own a mini PC for a short while to understand the attraction. Minimal footprint, easy to handle and with any luck, a useful selection of interfacing options. Go for the latest fifth generation Intel chips and you can have sufficient grunt to tackle even the most arduous of desktops tasks. Asus VivoMini UN42- …
Bob Dormon, 10 Aug 2015
The RS3 takes on Shelsley Walsh

Audi RS3: Keep running up that hill, with no problems

Vulture at the Wheel On the June 6 1936, Audi – or Auto Union, as it was known at the time – first visited the Shelsley Walsh hillclimb course with its 550hp Grand Prix car. Rain spoiled Hans Stuck’s runs on the day, but in practice he had equalled Raymond Mays’ course record of 39.6 seconds up the 1.5km hill in rural Gloucestershire. Just over 50 …
Guy Swarbrick, 8 Aug 2015
Motorola Moto G 3rd generation

Testing Motorola's Moto G third-gen mobe: Is it still king of the hill?

Review It's been relatively easy recommending a SIM-free phone for under £200 for the past couple of years. The decision tree looked like this: If you wanted those specific apps, you’d want to consider the Moto G. But if you didn’t, then the Lumia range gave you a better phone at any sub-£200 price point. Windows Phone was intended …

Sengled lightbulb speakers: The best worst stereo on Earth

Review It's not often these days that you are disappointed by a product. Websites with online ratings and amateur reviews have made it so easy and fast for people to share experiences of new gizmos that you can instantly tell a hit from a dud – and avoid the duds. What makes the Sengled lightbulbs all the more disappointing is that I …
Sony Xperia Z4 4G Android tablet

Sony Xperia Z4 4G Android tablet – gift of sound and vision

Review Time to recap the history of Sony’s Xperia tablet range to put this new model into context. In the beginning was the Xperia Tablet, the first Sony 10-inch slab. Then came the Z2 Tablet, launched just over a year ago and reviewed here. The Z3 Tablet never existed, only the clumsily named Z3 Tablet Compact, an 8-inch affair. …
Alun Taylor, 4 Aug 2015
Intel SSD750 NVMe 1.2TB PCIe SSD

Assessing the power of Intel’s SSD 750 … but check your motherboard before buying

Review Although SSDs have a huge performance advantage over the good, old-fashioned clattering mechanical drive, they have (up till now) been held back because of their reliance on AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface) architecture, developed in 2004 for standard disks and, in particular, SATA interfaced disks. Intel SSD750 NVMe …
Simon Crisp, 3 Aug 2015
Q7_front_hero

The Q7: Audi’s big SUV goes from tosspot to tip-top

Vulture at the Wheel Too large, too ugly, too late. Luckily (for El Reg’s relationship with Audi) that’s my opinion of the outgoing Q7. Why anyone coughed up good money for a Q7 when for less you could have pretty much the same thing with a VW Touareg badge on the back was beyond me. Q7_side New Q7, looks less leaden than old model. In fact, it' …
Alun Taylor, 1 Aug 2015
Speed

Speed freak: Kingston HyperX Predator 480GB PCIe SSD

Review If evidence from last/early this year’s large technology shows is anything to go by, then 2015 might just be the year that consumer PCIe SSD market begins stirring – something that's long overdue. Kingston HyperX Predator 480GB HHHL PCIe SSD Kingston's HyperX Predator, the company's fastest SSD to date PCIe-based drives, …
Simon Crisp, 28 Jul 2015
HP Spectre x360

If Microsoft made laptops, it'd make this: HP Spectre x360

Review What happens when you lock a group of product engineers from a major PC manufacturer and a team software developers from a separate company together in a room? HP's Spectre x360 does. It's the result of some serious conversations between the lads and lasses at Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft; put simply, if Microsoft made a …
Alun Taylor, 27 Jul 2015
Acer Revo One RL85 System

Acer Revo One RL85: A pint-sized PC for the snug

Review Acer has produced a number of small form factor systems over recent years, and the Revo One RL85 is the latest incarnation. It's designed very much as a home PC, and comes in an upright enclosure that's about two thirds the size of a shoebox – 106.6mm square and 155mm tall – but still manages to pack a fair bit inside. Not the …
Nigel Whitfield, 24 Jul 2015
Pebble Time

Neat but narky at times: Pebble Time colour e-paper watch

Review I love what Eric Migovsky has done with the Pebble by creating an antidote to modern smartwatches. The two generations of Pebble so far have been useful, durable and practical – qualities which elude the over-specced and costly Apple and Android kit. Pebble Time Pebble Time: Fit for purpose With its early mover advantage, …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Jul 2015
Apple iPod touch

Dead device walking: Apple iPod Touch 6th generation

Review The iPod is dead. The sales figures say so. The absence of updates to the range says so. The lack of concern about the absence of updates to the range says so. There are neither ‘Shock – new iPod!’ stories, nor are there “shock – no new iPod!” stories. It’s inert. It has ceased to be. The only thing it’s shuffling is off this …
Adam Banks, 21 Jul 2015
Meta35 film camera accessory

Roll up, roll up, for the Meta35: The hybrid snapper's data dumpster

Review For many people, digital photography is a no-brainer. You can shoot as much as you like, there's no need to worry about running out of film, and you don't need to carry a notebook with you to record all the details of every shot. At the very least, your digital camera will record exposure details such as shutter speed and …
Nigel Whitfield, 19 Jul 2015
900cc Fiat 500 should be called the Fiat 900

2015 Fiat 500 fashionista, complete with facelift

VULTURE AT THE WHEEL It’s all about the engines. Fiat has added new Euro 6 compliant engines to its line-up and this is the excuse the company has employed to call the facelifted 500 “new”. It gets a bit of a nip and tuck in the form of a nose job. Lights slanted back a bit and LED running lights. Mani beam is still halogen or optionally Xenon, …
Simon Rockman, 18 Jul 2015
Hammerhead bicycle satnav

On yer bike: Hammerhead satnav for cyclists – just don't look down

Review Cycling an unknown route can be tricky. Either you have to keep stopping to check the map app in your pocket or, if you have your smartphone strapped to your handlebars, you have to take your eyes off the road in order to peer the screen. You also have to decide whether to leave it on for the whole journey, running the battery …
Steve Caplin, 12 Jul 2015
Nissan Juke RS

Nissan Juke Nismo RS: Family hot-hatch SUV that looks a bit like Darth Vader's hat

Vulture at the Wheel A sporty SUV seems like an oxymoron, but from the moment you get into the Juke it feels like a great combination of two themes. Here is a practical car which punches above its weight in desirability. Crossovers are trendy. Nismo is Nissan’s sporty moniker, so this is a crossover which absorbs SUV, family car, and hot hatch, …
Simon Rockman, 11 Jul 2015
Xiaomi Mi4 LTE Android smartphone

Chinese takeaway, hold the Google: Xiaomi Mi4 LTE Android

Review When I reviewed the mid-range Samsung Galaxy A5, I reckoned that Samsung didn't have much to fear from Chinese OEMs who will sell you more phone for less money. Xiaomi Mi4 LTE Android smartphone Xiaomi Mi4 Are the masses really going to be bothered to track down one of these ever so slightly grey Chinese imports, pay …
Alun Taylor, 7 Jul 2015
Kingston HyperX Savage 240GB SSD

Kingston offers up its fastest SATA SSD: HyperX Savage 240GB

Review Kingston’s latest SATA-based addition to its HyperX range of SSDs is the Savage, an SSD which boasts some pretty impressive performance and endurance figures. Kingston HyperX Savage 240GB SSD The beast within: Kingston's HyperX Savage According to the official sequential figures for the drive, it is the company’s fastest …
Simon Crisp, 6 Jul 2015
Kobo Glo HD and Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

Kobo Glo HD vs Amazon Kindle Paperwhite: Which one's best?

Review Over the last few years, the market for e-readers and books has managed to both consolidate and grow. Many more people have an e-reading device, or use tablets to read, while at the same time the number of players has shrunk. Kobo Glo HD and Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Bought to book: Kobo Glo HD (left) and Amazon Kindle …
IK Multimedia iRig 2 guitar interface

Got a GUITAR, daddio? Wanna plug it into iOS or Droid? Try the iRig 2

Review Music gear manufacturer IK Multimedia will be 20 years old next year. It’s known to many these days for its iOS gadgets, but the Italian company began with software development focused on digital signal processing, producing standalone sound-creation apps and plug-in effects. One of its earliest creations, T-Racks, was dynamics …
Bob Dormon, 3 Jul 2015
Huawei P8

China's best phone yet: Huawei P8 5.2-inch money-saving Android smartie

Review Huawei’s P8 has finally rolled into UK shops, the latest wave of China’s assault on Tier One Android flagships. Huawei P8 Huawei's P8: set to give South Korean phone makers sleepless nights If you don’t know the Huawei proposition, here it is. You won’t get all the bells and whistles from a phone that arrives on a £40-£50 …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Jun 2015
subaru_outback_hero

Subaru Outback Lineartronic: The thinking person’s 4x4

Vulture at the Wheel Everyone I know who needs a full-sized, five-door road car that can also drive across fen, bog and hillside owns a Subaru. Not a Range Rover or Land Rover, as they're too expensive. Not a Land Cruiser, as they are too big. Not a suburban SUV, as they are designed for slippery supermarket car parks. Not a Mitsubishi L200, as it …
Alun Taylor, 27 Jun 2015
Intel NUC5i5RYK

Pint-sized PCIe powerhouse: Intel NUC5i5RYK

Review Intel’s teeny-weeny NUC or Next Unit of Computing device was first launched back in 2012 and has been tweaked and updated at regular intervals ever since. Just recently, the latest version of the NUC landed in my lap – or to be more precise, landed in the palm of my hand. Intel NUC5i5RYK Intel's next Next Unit of Computing …
Simon Crisp, 23 Jun 2015

Ecobee3: If you're crazy enough to want a smart thermostat – but not too crazy – this is for you

So in order to test out the Ecobee3 - as its names suggests, the third iteration of the product - it was necessary to pull the Nest smart thermostat off the wall and put it away. That this act seemed somehow wrong and even came with a twinge of guilt is an indication of just how entrancing the product that has become the face of …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Jun 2015
The Alfa 4C needs a small number plate

Buy with your head, drive with your heart: Alfa Romeo 4C Coupe

Vulture at the Wheel The Alfa Romeo 4C is unusual. It’s not, like every other Alfa, “the make or break car for the company’s future” – a tag which has been attached to pretty much every new launch since the 75 in 1985. The 4C is truly head-turning If you buy a 4C, budget for a shorter number plate At £51,500, this is an out-and-out sports car. …
Simon Rockman, 21 Jun 2015
kadjar_story_image

Renault Kadjar: La Regie's new full-sized, inexplicably named SUV

Vulture @ the Wheel It’s surprising that Renault has taken so long to make this car; a Gallicised version of the Nissan Qashqai, an SUV that’s been selling like hot cakes in the UK for a good few years. What we have here then is a variation on the theme of what the Renault-Nissan Alliance thinks a soft-roader should be. kadjar_red_side El Reg …
Alun Taylor, 14 Jun 2015
Bright orange Vauxhall

Vauxhall VXR8: You know when you've been tangoed

Vulture at the Wheel I wanted to like the Vauxhall VXR8, but I didn’t and I’m still not entirely sure why not. It’s very fast and has the magic ingredient I look for in a car: exclusivity. Not the you-can’t-afford-it kind of exclusivity, but a special kind of petrol-head, what’s-one-of-those? exclusivity. I used to own a VX220, which was a Vauxhall …
Simon Rockman, 13 Jun 2015
Amazon Fire TV Stick

Entertaining prospect: Amazon Fire TV Stick

Review Amazon’s Fire TV Stick may well be late to the streaming HDMI dongle party but, as is the company’s wont, it’s even later when it comes to turning up in European markets. Still, it’s here now and keenly priced too at just £35. OK, so Google’s Chromecast is only £30 but at least Amazon supplies a remote control. Amazon Fire TV …
Bob Dormon, 13 Jun 2015
Dell Venue 8 7840 Android tablet

RealSense possibilities: Dell Venue 8 7000 8.4in Android tablet

Review These days, it seems like the world and his civil partner has a tablet to offer you, whether it's a bargain basement offering like the Tesco Hudl 2 or something more media-centric, like the Amazon Fire HDX 8. One of the sweet spots for tablet pricing seems to be around the £300–350 range, where you'll expect to get a decent- …
Nigel Whitfield, 10 Jun 2015
Toshiba Chromebook 2 CB30-B-104

Remake, remodel: Toshiba Chromebook 2

Review Of the Chromebook ilk, Toshiba’s original CB30 was one of my favourites from 2014. Slim, light and stylish and, of course, affordable. This year, you’d think that all the company would need to do is refresh a few components and it could keep on going with this design. Yet with the arrival of Toshiba’s Chromebook 2 that also …
Bob Dormon, 8 Jun 2015
Caterham. Pic: Simon Rockman

Caterham 270S: The automotive equivalent of crack

Vulture at the Wheel More power is always good, so the question is: how much better is the Caterham 270S than the Caterham 160 we reviewed a while back? The answer is "not a lot". And the real improvement isn’t the power, it’s the gearbox and the sound. This is surprising. Caterham nomenclature is based on power-to-weight ratios, with the car …
Simon Rockman, 7 Jun 2015
LG G4 Android smartphone

LG G4: Be careful while fingering this leather-clad smartie pants

Review Despite some lovely work, LG has been a perennial bridesmaid at the smartphone wedding. LG’s rival giant Samsung has walked off with the only profits being made in the Android business. But this year LG senses a chance to be the bride. LG G4 Android smartphone LG's G4 flagship smartie For 2015, Samsung has made its best phone …
Apple iMac 27-in WRD mid-2015

What an eyeful: Apple's cut price 27in iMac with Retina Display

Review The last time Apple released a ‘more affordable’ iMac it turned out to be a damp squib of a thing that fully merited the oft-hurled criticism about Apple kit being over-priced and under-powered. I was, therefore, a bit worried when Apple announced a less expensive version of the 27-inch iMac With Retina 5K Display. Apple iMac …
Stephen Dean, 3 Jun 2015
Apple MacBook Pro 15-in WRD mid-2015

Force Touch tweak: Apple 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display

Review When is an update not an update? The MacBook Pro has been something of the poor relation in the Apple family in the last few years. The recent Intel Broadwell chip family update given to the 13-inch MacBook Pro offered a small boost to battery life, but did little for performance. Apple MacBook Pro 15-in WRD mid-2015 Intel …
Stephen Dean, 2 Jun 2015
Outlander_lurking

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV: The new common-as-muck hybrid

Vulture @ the wheel And so we come full circle. Back in 2009 The Reg’s very first ‘leccy car review took a gander at the Mitsubishi i-MiEV. That was essentially just a technology demonstrator and much of that technology has now cropped up in the Outlander PHEV, a plug-in hybrid which, judging by the number I've seen on the roads and Mitsubishi UK's …
Alun Taylor, 31 May 2015
Asus Chi T300 Transformer Book

Split decision: Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi convertible

Review Convergence. Wretched word. But one particularly liked by hardware wallahs trying to convince us that instead of buying a laptop and a tablet, we should buy something that is a laptop and a tablet. Asus is king of the convergers. Asus Chi T300 Transformer Book Doing the splits: Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi To be fair, Asus …
Alun Taylor, 28 May 2015
404bhp of refined fun

Maserati Ghibli S: Who cares what Joe Walsh thinks?

Vulture at the wheel When Joe Walsh sang “My Maserati does 185, I lost my licence so now I don’t drive”, he was lying. In 1978 no Maserati could do that speed. He could have had been talking km/h, in which case it might have been an earlier-generation Ghibli: that did 155mph, or 174mph if he had the Ghibli SS. The Ghibli S reviewed here won’t do 185 …
Simon Rockman, 24 May 2015