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HP ZBook 17 mobile workstation

Chuh. Heavy, dude: HP ZBook 17 mobile workstation

Review I don’t know which is going to kick in first: pins and needles or deep vein thrombosis. One thing I do know is that having a mobile workstation on your lap makes its presence felt in no time at all. HP ZBook 17 mobile workstation Making a big impression: HP's ZBook 17 mobile workstation As I sit here typing on HP’s ZBook 17, …
Bob Dormon, 26 May 2014
Nokia Lumia 630

Hello Moto... It's the Nokia Lumia 630

Review Nokia’s cheap-as-chips Windows Phone the Lumia 520 finally gave it a hit after years of decline, and the new 630 is itching to take the baton. The timing and the price of the Lumia 520 were spot on. BlackBerry had failed to update its BB7 phones for almost two years, and had nothing new to offer the budget segment of the market …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 May 2014
Apple MacBook Air 13-inch (early 2014)

MacBook Air 13-inch: If you squint hard enough, you'll see a lesser-spotted Apple Price Cut

Review I suppose this is one of those glass half-empty, half-full situations. For months, the interweb was aflutter with rumours of a new MacBook Air with a high-definition Retina display to match that of the MacBook Pro. Apple MacBook Air 13-inch (early 2014) Apple's MacBook Air 2014-style: use the price cut to get more RAM However …
Stephen Dean, 21 May 2014
No flash and a fixed battery

Motorola Moto E: Brill budget blower with one bothersome blunder

Review Motorola couldn't have asked for more from the affordable Moto G. It bumped the company’s UK smartphone market share from next to nothing to 6 per cent all by itself. For the first time in more than a decade, it gave European stores a Motorola device people actually wanted. Motorola Moto E budget Android smartphone Motorola's …
Alun Taylor, 19 May 2014
Gigabyte Brix Pro

Gigabyte Brix Pro: You don't need no steenkin' Xbox... when you have 4K-ing amazing graphics

Review PC sales maybe on a downward trend, but it seems there will always be an interest in an alternative to buying into the console wars. Enter the Gigabyte Brix Pro, just one offering among over a dozen from manufacturers that have committed to releasing Steam gaming machines this year. This heralds the beginning of the latest …

What the frag? Earn millions as the world watches you SLAY rivals

Review After learning how much Swedish gamer PewDiePie earns in a year from his YouTube channel (reportedly $7m for 3.7 billion views), I recommend everyone buys an HD capture device and starts uploading gaming videos. You never know, perhaps you too can cash in before the filming-your-reactions-while-gaming bubble bursts... But …
Lucy Orr, 12 May 2014
Pimoroni/Cyntech Pibrella

Hungry for humbler Pi? Check out kid-friendly LED-laden Pibrella

Review There is no shortage of clip-on boards designed for the Raspberry Pi, almost all designed to make the tiny computer’s GPIO pins more accessible in order to ease the connection of devices to it, particularly ones that operate at voltages that are not Pi friendly. Pimoroni/Cyntech Pibrella Jump to the beep: the Pibrella from …
Tony Smith, 8 May 2014
Crucial M550 SSD form factors

It's GOOD to get RAIN on your upgrade parade: Crucial M550 1TB SSD

Review Just under a year ago Crucial sent shock waves through the SSD consumer market space with the launch of the M500 series. Not only did the family contain the first near-1TB SSD in this space, in the shape of the flagship M500 960GB drive, but the whole range had been priced at such a competitive level it had rivals scurrying …
Simon Crisp, 23 Apr 2014

Sony Xperia Z2: 4K vid, great audio, waterproof ... Oh, and you can make a phone call

Review What do you want in a smartphone? A premium build quality? A high-resolution display that looks the business whether you’re watching a movie or reading a book? Maybe it’s a decent camera so you can ditch your compact snapper. As phones become better at doing all these things, manufacturers struggle to make their products stand …
David Phelan, 23 Apr 2014
Oppo N1 CyanogenMod Edition

A premium smartie lump: Oppo N1 CyanogenMod Edition

Review While most Chinese smartphone OEMs started life making cheap tat and then slowly began moving upmarket, Oppo has taken a slightly different tack. Its devices have been fairly high-end from the get-go and the N1, initially released running Android 4.2 back in September 2013, made quite a splash. Oppo N1 CyanogenMod Edition Oppo …
Alun Taylor, 22 Apr 2014

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft – A jolly little war for lunchtime

Quick review Hearthstone is a game that I've been a bit obsessed with lately. Hearthstone is a free game from Blizzard for PC and iPad. Free to play to be specific, but there is definitely no requirement to actually pay money – I'll get into why later. Using World of Warcraft themes and art style, it's an online turn-based card game. No, …
Adam Fowler, 17 Apr 2014
Motoral Moto G with a 64GB Kingston DataTraveler microDuo

Kingston DataTraveler MicroDuo: Turn your phone into a 72GB beast

Review The Kingston DataTraveler microDuo is a convenient flash storage device that features a full-size USB interface at one end and micro USB at the other. The thinking here is that you can upload data to it from your computer or NAS box, and then stuff it into your phone or tablet for easy file sharing and to supplement any fixed …
Bob Dormon, 16 Apr 2014
Samsung Galaxy S5

Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style

Review Samsung is the world’s dominant mobile phone manufacturer – but does that mean it’s the best? Its latest release is the Galaxy S5, a mainstream phone designed to sell in huge numbers. It’s big, with a 5.1-inch screen, measuring up at 142 x 73 x 8mm, so it won’t suit smaller mitts. Samsung Galaxy S5 Samsung's Galaxy S5: eye- …
David Phelan, 11 Apr 2014
Dell Wyse Cloud Connect Android dongle

Dell Wyse Cloud Connect: Pocket Android desktop

Review When somebody hands you a dongle-sized computer, you might, for a moment, be impressed. But when they then put it in a bag with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse and suggest you find a monitor somewhere, you might wonder what exactly it is they are trying to sell you. Dell Wyse Cloud Connect Android dongle Mini USB – fancy seeing …
Bob Dormon, 9 Apr 2014
Samasung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2

Samsung's thumb-achingly ENORMO Galaxy Note Pro 12.2

Review As if Samsung's Galaxy range of tablets wasn’t broad enough with its plethora of Tab and Note machines in various screen sizes, the company has added a new subgroup: the Galaxy Pro. Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 The line-up consists of both Note and Tab machines – the latter minus the S Pen …
Alun Taylor, 7 Apr 2014
StarTech S252SMTB3 2-bay Thunderbolt enclosure

Hobbyist or hardcore? StarTech dual-bay Thunderbolt enclosure

Review The last couple of Thunderbolt drive reviews we’ve undertaken at Vulture Central tempted us to crack open the enclosures to see what made them tick. In the case of the GTech GDrive, substituting the supplied hard drive with an SSD proved it could turn over some respectable figures in this configuration. StarTech S252SMTB3 2-bay …
Bob Dormon, 3 Apr 2014
HTC One M8 camera tricks

HTC One M8: Reg man takes spin in Alfa Romeo of smartphone world

Review If phone companies were car manufacturers, HTC would be Alfa Romeo to Samsung's BMW. Customers look at the HTC One, see how it matches the Galaxy spec for spec, how it's that little bit more interesting and significantly nicer as a physical object... and then buy the Samsung anyway. HTC One M8 The road less travelled? HTC's One …
Simon Rockman, 1 Apr 2014
We were going to show a pic of Simon wearing it but thought you'd prefer this on instead

Facebook, you fools! Forget Oculus, you could have bought TRON-type headsets

Review It's quite exciting putting on the Durovis Dive virtual reality headset, but watching someone else do it is even better as they coo and gasp at the world in which they have become immersed. The HTC One M8 is speedy and there is no VR lag Durovis Dive set up with an HTC One M8 proved speedy with no VR lag The Durovis Dive from …
Simon Rockman, 31 Mar 2014
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

Little pink handjob: Sony's Xperia Z1 Compact

Review For the last 18 or so months, if you'd wanted a high-end Android smartphone you’ve had to make do with something a bit on the large size. The HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4, LG G Flex, Nokia 925, Sony Xperia Z1 all have one thing in common: they are big old Hectors compared to Apple’s iPhone 5S. Sony Xperia Z1 Compact Sony Xperia …
Alun Taylor, 28 Mar 2014
 GTech GDrive Mobile with Thunderbolt

We dig into the GTech GDrive Mobile ... and watch WORST tear-down vid OF ALL TIME

Review Not so long ago, El Reg was pulling apart, in every sense of the phrase, Elgato’s Thunderbolt Drive+ SSD. A portable 512GB storage device with USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt interfacing. It put in a nifty performance, for sure, but man, it was pricey. GTech GDrive Mobile with Thunderbolt GTech's GDrive Mobile with Thunderbolt: 1TB of …
Bob Dormon, 25 Mar 2014
Google Chromecast

Reg tries out Google's Chromecast: Yep, we even tested smut sites

Review Google’s Chromecast has finally gone on sale in the UK after an age of waiting following its initial US release in July last year. This digital media player in the form of an HDMI dongle delivers streaming content to a telly including support for the BBC’s iPlayer. It’s only 30 quid too – so you might as well buy one even if it …
Bob Dormon, 21 Mar 2014
Elgato Thunderbolt Drive+

Vulture wraps claws around Elgato Thunderbolt Drive+ portable SSD

Review It took a bit of persuading to be convinced that Elgato’s Thunderbolt Drive+ drive should end up on the test bench for review. The company had released the, er, "non-plussed" version a couple of years ago and it didn’t quite set the world on fire. Elgato Thunderbolt Drive+ Elgato Thunderbolt Drive+ now has the addition of USB 3 …
Bob Dormon, 6 Mar 2014
Motorola Moto X

X-rated Android antics: Motorola's Moto X puts boot in chunky brother

Review When the Moto X was launched in the US back in August, it was a pretty big deal. Why? Because it was the first handset wholly conceived by Motorola under Google's stewardship, it was assembled in the States itself rather than the Far East, it was available with a dizzying number of personalisation options thanks to the Moto …
Alun Taylor, 4 Mar 2014
Intel 730 SSD

We test Intel's 730 480GB SSD Skulltrail scorcher

Review While Crucial and Samsung have been making waves in the consumer SSD market with their affordable – well, kind of affordable – 1TB drives, there has been a noticeable silence from one of the giants in the consumer space – Intel. Intel 730 SSD Intel 730 SSD complete with the Skulltrail logo found on its gaming-centric …
Simon Crisp, 3 Mar 2014
Toshiba Encore Windows 8.1 tablet

Toshiba Encore: The Windows 8.1 tablet that might catch on

Review Windows tablets have hardly set the world on fire. Limp processors, confusion in the mind of Joe Public over the difference between Windows proper and Windows RT, plus a lack of apps for the user-interface-once-known-as-Metro have all combined to dampen enthusiasm. Toshiba Encore Windows 8.1 tablet Mighty Atom: Toshiba's Encore …
Alun Taylor, 21 Feb 2014
Apple Mac Pro

Apple Mac Pro: It's a death star, not a nappy bin, OK?

Review We all got a sneak preview last summer and many were miffed when the scheduled arrival time at the close of 2013 came and went. However, it appears that the new Mac Pro did ship in small numbers in January of this year. But the dispatch of new orders quickly slipped to March, and Apple’s UK and US websites are currently listing …
Stephen Dean, 14 Feb 2014
WD My Cloud EX4 NAS box

WD My Cloud EX4 four-bay NAS

Review WD is on a mission to make using NAS as easy as possible for consumers to use, from setting a unit up to accessing it remotely via a personal cloud. It’s not exactly a new mission, yet it has gained momentum since the company introduced its popular single bay My Cloud range. Now to get over the limitations of using just a single …
Simon Crisp, 13 Feb 2014
LG G2

Baby's got the bends: LG's D958 G Flex Android smartie

Review Ask any consumer technology pundit and they will tell you the future of communications gadgets is all about physical flexibility and wearability. With its new G Flex tablette, LG has embraced the former and produced a device with a flexible screen and a flexible battery. It's a handset that trumpets its form just as loudly as …
Alun Taylor, 7 Feb 2014
Asus Transformer Book Trio

This THREESOME is a HANDFUL: It’s the Asus Transformer Book Trio

Review No matter what sort of tablet you prefer, be it an iPad or an Android slate, there will be times when you will also need a good old-fashioned Windows laptop too. Asus, which has form when it comes to cooking up strange combo designs - witness the PadFone - obviously thinks that’s the case as the new Transformer Book Trio is both …
Alun Taylor, 3 Feb 2014
Sonos Sub

It's big, it's expensive and it's an audiophile's dream: The Sonos Sub

The big dog in the streaming Wi-Fi speaker business has barked and delivered a sub-woofer - called the Sub. In fact it launched it a year and a half ago, but we can only now write about this heavy boom-box, so to speak, because the damn thing costs the best part of six hundred quid and we've had to save up our pennies. It's the …
Chris Mellor, 30 Jan 2014
Intel Galileo

The other end of the telescope: Intel’s Galileo developer board

Review Any notions that the Arduino platform is completely wedded to the Atmel ATmega family of microcontrollers have been shattered. The ARM-equipped Arduino Tre, which is based on Texas Instruments’ Sitara chip, is coming in the spring. And here, now is Intel’s Galileo, an Arduino board based on one of Chipzilla’s x86 processors, the …
Tony Smith, 29 Jan 2014
Lumo Body Tech Lumoback

Quivering, spine-tingling wearable tech: Strap it on and don't look back

Review If you’ve never had back pain, then thank your lucky stars. It can make a 20-year-old feel like they’re 100 and it’s a sore point that I know this to be true. If you’ll excuse the pun, you’re not necessarily lumbered with back pain as a life sentence, some problems can go away over time but they can just as easily return if you’ …
Bob Dormon, 27 Jan 2014
Ouya

We see ya, Ouya, you tasty Android games console gear

Review The Powers That Be at El Reg originally asked me to take a shufty at the Ouya gaming box when it first launched in the middle of 2013. I demurred. It seemed obvious to me at the time that the success or failure of this Kickstarter poster child would depend entirely on the enthusiasm with which game makers and the wider developer …
Alun Taylor, 22 Jan 2014
Lenovo Yoga 10

Lenovo Yoga 10: Mediocre tech, yes, but beautifully fondleable

Review Do tablets have to be dull, flat slabs? If you are Asus, Apple, Samsung or Nokia, the answer to that question is clearly ‘yes’. Sure, each may boast a decorative lip here, an extra button there, or an unusual profile curve someplace else, but essentially they all look much the same. Sony once tried something different with its …
Alun Taylor, 21 Jan 2014
HP EliteBook 840 G1

HP EliteBook 840G1: Sometimes it's an Ultrabook, sometimes it's not

Review At a recent event when HP was handing out Elitebooks and other gadgetry to the great and the good of the UK’s tech press, a thought crossed my mind as the options presented themselves. Shall I go for the eminently portable Elitebook 820 G1 12.5in model or the somewhat chunkier 14in 840 G1? With you, dear reader, in mind, I had a …
Bob Dormon, 17 Jan 2014
Toshiba Portégé Z30-A-10Z

Light, fast ... and pricey: Toshiba's Portégé Z30 – now THIS is an Ultrabook

Review When Toshiba Portégé turned up and I lifted the out of the box, I started laughing. Now, I’m not suggesting that the arrival of Toshiba Ultrabook is a joke, quite the opposite in fact. What amused me was just how light it was – a mere 1.2kg for this 13.3-inch machine. I’d prepared myself to haul something heavier, only to find I …
Bob Dormon, 13 Jan 2014
Intel NUC D54250WYK

Haswell micro: Intel’s Next Unit of Computing desktop PC

Review Never let it be said that Intel doesn’t respond to criticism. Its first Next Unit of Computing (NUC) micro-desktop, which appeared in the first few months of 2013, wasn’t a bad machine, but it prompted grumbles from reviewers (myself included), about some odd design and packaging decisions. Intel NUC D54250WYK New NUC: all the …
Tony Smith, 2 Jan 2014
Acer C720 Chromebook

Acer C720 Chromebook with Haswell battery boosting goodness

Review You know, sometimes you’ve got to wonder what enables a design to go into production. I’m looking at the Acer C720 Chromebook and appreciating its dinkiness, the non-reflective 11.6in TFT screen and the fact that it was more than happy to take a bog-standard USB Ethernet adapter and run with it. Acer C720 Chromebook Acer's C720 …
Bob Dormon, 1 Jan 2014
TomTom GO 6000 satnav

TomTom GO 6000 satnav chews on smarties and tablets

Review During the launch of the revamped TomTom Go series of satnavs earlier this year, the company reeled off some interesting statistics that revealed a considerable chunk of motorists don’t bother with satnavs - 39 per cent, in fact. And of those 39 per cent, only 4 per cent were considering buying into the technology in the next 12 …
Bob Dormon, 20 Dec 2013
Misfit Wearables Shine

Heart part more art than state-of-the-art: Shine wearable activity sensor

Review I’m not a fitness fan. I don’t jog and I’m more likely to be seen at the swimming baths picking up my kids after lessons than doing lanes myself. But with the big 5-0 coming close, and working as I do in a trade that has me sitting on my bum all day, I find I have a keener interest in my personal well-being than I did when I was …
Tony Smith, 12 Dec 2013
Dell Inspiron 15-7537

Our Vulture strokes Dell's ROBUST 15 INCHER: Inspiron 15 Core i7

Review The appeal of replacing your desktop is not exactly hard to appreciate. For me, a big screen, decent sized keyboard and a measure of portability, all add up to deliver one thing: convenience. So here I am with Dell’s latest Inspiron 15 7000 series laptop and, curiously enough, it is on my lap, all 2.6kg of it. Dell Inspiron 15- …
Bob Dormon, 6 Dec 2013
WD Black2 Dual Drive

Bigger on the inside: WD’s Tardis-like Black² Dual Drive laptop disk

Review The phone call from Western Digital's people promised me “a completely new category of hard drive”. Naturally I was sceptical. After all, what could possibly be new in the world of rotating magnetic media – and don’t we all just want fast SSDs anyway? In fact, there’s no denying that WD has indeed delivered something new and, …
Leo Waldock, 6 Dec 2013