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Think golf buggy meets milk float

Living with a Renault Twizy: Pah! Bring out the HOVERCRAFT

VULTURE AT THE WHEEL If you saw the Top Gear where James May drove a Renault Twizy to win a city commuting challenge, you might get the impression that it’s a fun little car. Renault Twizy by Simon Rockman Sensible is NOT the first word that comes to mind when you see this dorky 'leccy little 'un. If you’ve read our review of the Tesla S, you …
Simon Rockman, 31 Jan 2015
Withings Activité Pop watch and fitness tracker

Strap on fitness finesse: Withings Activité Pop

Review One problem with wearable fitness trackers: you may not want to wear one when you’ve also got a watch on. This may be especially the case if, like me, you have a tracker not to monitor an aggressive fitness regime, but simply to ensure you don’t spend the entire working day parked on your arse. And you’d like it to be discreet …
Tony Smith, 29 Jan 2015
Tek Gear Twiddler III remote handheld keyboard

Come and Twiddle Tek Gear's one handed keyboard

Review Over the years a plethora of keyboard alternatives have crossed the El Reg hardware desk, but none has had the utility, or longevity, of the Handykey Twiddler. This third incarnation has been a decade in the making, and arrived a year late, but with small hands and a willingness to learn it could make wearable computing …
Bill Ray, 21 Jan 2015
Samsung 850 EVO 1TB SSD

Samsung's 850 EVO 1TB SSD appears live ... in 3D

Review It was only a matter of time before Samsung dropped its 32-layer 3D V-NAND (3D Vertical NAND) technology further down the food chain, following its début in the high-end 850 PRO. The result is now with us in the shape of the 850 EVO, which, just like its 840 EVO predecessor, differs from the standard 850 PRO in the type of NAND …
Simon Crisp, 19 Jan 2015
Acer Chromebook 13

Acer Chromebook 13: The best Googletop on the market?

Review Take a quick gander at any decent tech news site and you'll find stories about Chromebook sales doubling in 2014 and the Googly laptop being a gadget that is here to stay. That’s why every self-respecting PC maker is muscling in on the Chromebook scene. Acer Chromebook 13 Acer's Chromebook 13: full HD display anyone? Newest …
Alun Taylor, 16 Jan 2015
HTC Desire Eye Android smartphone

HTC Desire Eye: The Android superior selfie shooter

Review Why has HTC’s flagship M8 One not been more popular? It’s visually arresting, critically highly regarded, has a great display, and is very well made. It should sell more strongly than it does. Of course there are some negatives. The 4MP large-pixel camera is a bit of a strange fish, some regard the ostentatious speakers as ugly …
Alun Taylor, 12 Jan 2015

Tesla S P85+: Smiling all the way to the next charging point

Vulture at the Wheel The Tesla S is astonishing. I’d driven one around the London Docklands at a launch, but a week with one has me converted to merits of auto electricity. I have to admit I was sceptical. Electric car owners as a tribe can be quite hard work. They are always convinced that their cars are wonderful, even the ones with G-Wizzes. So …
Simon Rockman, 11 Jan 2015
Bookeen Cybook Ocean

An e-reader you HAVEN'T heard of: Cybook Ocean 8"

Review The e-reader market has not yet been conquered by the likes of Amazon and Kobo. There are still a number of less well known players out there making affordable or niche devices for the discerning shopper. French company Bookeen is focused on European territories with its book store, but that doesn’t mean the English-speaking …
Mark Diston, 10 Jan 2015
BlackBerry Classic QWERTY key smartphone

QWERTY-tastic BlackBerry Classic actually a classic

Review BlackBerry has looked into the abyss and seen ... a vintage BlackBerry staring back. Two years on from a catastrophic “modernisation”, BlackBerry has finally made a modern BlackBerry that people who used and liked a classic QWERTY keyboard BlackBerry will feel right at home with. Which accounts for the name. Natch. BlackBerry …
Andrew Orlowski, 31 Dec 2014
Robox 3D printer

Robox: How good could a sub-£1k 3D printer be?

Review It seems like the Robox has been talked about for such a long time, with a subsequent build-up in hype and publicity. So, is it all justified? Originally funded through a Kickstarter campaign and slated for release earlier in 2014, it has now finally appeared, and is drawing attention. Being placed in all the right sales …
Anthony Smith, 30 Dec 2014
Zony Xperia Z3

Grab a SLIM MODEL for Xmas cheer: Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact

Review With small tablets getting bigger it came as quite a surprise to me when one of the main Android tablet wallah’s newest devices turned out to also be its smallest. Prior to the launch of the 8-inch Z3 Tablet Compact (sic) Sony’s smallest fondleslab packed a 9.4-inch screen. Yes, I know that ignores the clamshell Tablet P but …
Alun Taylor, 24 Dec 2014
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

Little big phone: Sony Xperia Z3 Compact, a toothsome hand-fulla Android

Review This has been a year of pain for Android phone makers, and Sony has suffered as much in this over-saturated market as anyone. But manufacturers' pain is your gain. Sony's overlooked Z3 Compact is, for you if not Sony, the happy result. Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Sony's Xperia Z3 Compact: the flagship for smaller pockets It’s a …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Dec 2014
Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 tablet

Goes like the blazes: Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 late 2014 edition

Review Before you all take to the comments page and start asking why in the name of hell it has taken us more than six months to review the Fire 8.9 HDX, let me clarify one thing. This is the new, refreshed winter 2014 model. Yes, I know it looks very similar, OK, make that identical, to the previous (3rd) generation 8.9 HDX but trust …
Alun Taylor, 16 Dec 2014
EE TV Freeview PVR

Four tuner frenzy: The all-you-can-EEat TV Freeview PVR

Review Television's a lot smarter than it used to be, and there's an ever-increasing number of ways that the basic experience can be enhanced, whether it's by providing extra Over-The-Top (OTT) content with services such as Netflix, or convenient features, such as the ability to set recordings when you're out and about, using text …
Nigel Whitfield, 15 Dec 2014
Audi A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid car

The STEALTH Plug-in Hybrid: Audi A3 e-tron Sportback

Vulture at the Wheel It would have been difficult for Audi to launch an electric car differentiated more from BMW's. Whilst the BMW i3 has been styled and engineered to look and perform like something from another planet, the new A3 e-tron most definitely has not. Audi A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid car Bar the stickers, the e-tron looks like any other …
Alun Taylor, 14 Dec 2014
OCZ ARC 100 SSD

Sink your teeth into OCZ's ARC 100 SSD sizzler with tasty home-grown chips

Review After Toshiba’s acquisition of the company, OCZ has in one fell swoop joined the elite band of SSD manufacturers who are in the extremely fortunate position of being able to source “in-house” all the internal chips that matter in a drive: namely, the NAND and the controller. OCZ ARC 100 SSD Teaming up with Tosh: OCZ's ARC 100 …
Simon Crisp, 8 Dec 2014
Amazon Fire Phone

What's MISSING on Amazon Fire Phone... and why it WON'T set the world alight

Review Having a headline piece of consumer tech crash and burn in the US market is every company's nightmare – and that's exactly what happened to Amazon’s Fire Phone, whose price has just PLUNGED from $449 to $199 Stateside. Amazon Fire Phone top and bottom bezels. Pic: Alun Taylor Hefty bezels: Amazon's Fire Phone is pretty pricey …
Alun Taylor, 26 Nov 2014
 Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Samsung Galaxy Note 4: Spawn of Galaxy Alpha and a Note 3 unveiled

Review My, but how time flies. It seems like only yesterday when The Reg called up and said: “Al, we’ve got this huge phone with a stylus from Samsung called the Galaxy Note. Fancy giving it a once over?” I don’t recall being that enthusiastic. Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Android smartphone Making it big: Samsung's Galaxy Note 4 Around …
Alun Taylor, 20 Nov 2014
Motorola Moto X Android smartphone

PHONDLESLAB-ULOUS: Motorola Moto X Android phablet

Review So, you want a Nexus 6. And why not? It’s a cracking bit of kit. But to my mind it’s a bit big and a bit expensive. And as for personalisation, forget it. Perhaps then Motorola can tempt you with the 6’s smaller, cheaper and altogether more modifiable little brother, the new Moto X? Motorola Moto X Android smartphone Not such a …
Alun Taylor, 18 Nov 2014
Toyota Aygo

The Toyota Aygo is PARKtastic ... but it is very much a City slicker

Vulture at the Wheel Toyota had good reason to be pleased with its little Aygo. Launched in 2005, it went on to sell over three-quarters of a million units in Europe alone. That number doesn't include the near identical Citroën C1 and Peugeot 107 cars that also rolled off the Toyota-Peugeot-Citroën Automobile joint-venture production line at Kolín …
Alun Taylor, 16 Nov 2014
Nexus 6

LARGE, ROUND and FEELS SO GOOD in your hand: Yes! It's a Nexus 6

Review We've been running the new Google-mungous big Nexus 6 smartphone and Android 5.0 through our hands-on real-world testing – and here are the results. Nexus 6 The Nexus range is Google's attempt to show the world exactly what an Android phone should be. As we've seen with past models, that usually means a stripped-down handset …
Iain Thomson, 12 Nov 2014
Lenovo Yoga 2 Android tablet

Bendy, but hangs loose too: Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 10-inch Android tab

Review When I reviewed Lenovo’s original Yoga Android tablet I was impressed by the design but underwhelmed by the technology within. Now Lenovo has released its successor, rather predictably called the Yoga 2. Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 10-inch Android fondleslab A 10-inch fondleslab with a difference: Lenovo's Yoga Tablet 2 Although it …
Alun Taylor, 11 Nov 2014
Amazon Fire TV

Boxing clever? Amazon Fire TV is SO CLOSE to being excellent

Review Amazon has made its Fire TV video streaming device available in the UK; an inexpensive set-top box that runs the company’s de-Googled version of Android, as also found in the Fire Phone. Confusing matters, Amazon also offers the Fire TV Stick. This will be available on November 19, but only in the US. Amazon Fire TV Amazon Fire …
Tim Anderson, 7 Nov 2014
Apple Mac Mini late 2014

The late 2014 Apple Mac Mini: The best (and worst) of both worlds

Review The Mac Mini is a machine I half expected Apple to quietly drop. The decline of the desktop personal computer business in general, and the fact that you’ll never see a Mac Mini as a prominent piece of product placement, means this miniature micro is unlikely to ever to hold a place in Apple's heart like the iMac. Apple Mac Mini …
Tony Smith, 5 Nov 2014
HTC Nexus 9

Nexus 9: Google and HTC deliver Android 5.0 'Lollipop' at iPad prices

Review Google and HTC's new Nexus 9 tablet is most notable for being the first device to ship with Android 5.0 "Lollipop," making it attractive to Android fans. But it also delivers a bright hi-res screen and impressive performance that could win more than a few converts to the Nexus camp, provided they can stomach the mid-tier price …
LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2

LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 – dual SSD sizzler

Review It’s not exactly uncommon to find manufacturers making claims for product performance that few of us would actually be able replicate. Often the testing methods are not typical or are adorned with an asterisk or two – involving a bit of effort to find the relevant footnote. Battery life and data rates are among the worst …
Bob Dormon, 3 Nov 2014
Apple iMac 27-inch with Retina Display

Pixel mania: Apple 27-inch iMac with 5K Retina display

Review It’s kind of ironic really, that the most expensive, over-the-top version of the iMac ever released should actually turn out to be pretty good value for money. Apple iMac 27-inch with Retina Display Costs on a par with a 5K monitor: Apple's iMac with 5K Retina display The so-called "entry level" iMac launched a few months ago …
Stephen Dean, 31 Oct 2014
Samsung Galaxy Alpha

This is why we CAN have nice things: Samsung Galaxy Alpha

Review It must sting Samsung that the criticism most often levelled at the manufacturer is that its flagship Galaxy S devices feel cheap and plasticky. And for once the criticism is not just coming from Apple fans. Samsung Galaxy Alpha Samsung's Galaxy Alpha: looks like all the others in the range at first glance The Galaxy S3, S4 …
Alun Taylor, 29 Oct 2014
Apple iPad Air 2

iPad Air 2: Vulture chews on new Apple tablet

Review This year’s update to Apple’s full-size iPad looks like a minor one. With headline changes like a Touch ID sensor, a faster processor, and a further reduction in thickness and weight, it is tempting to write off the mods as a little window dressing to raise the iPad’s profile in time for the winter sales fest. Apple iPad Air 2 …
Richard Brenner, 28 Oct 2014

Lumia 830: Microsoft hopes to seduce with slim 'affordable' model

The Lumia 830, which is already available in the UK, is another midrange Lumia (from Microsoft, but it retains the Nokia brand) fighting for your attention. It squeaks in at under £300 SIM-free (it's £279 on PAYG at EE) or is free on contracts at around £25/month. I must admit, before the device arrived, the omens weren't good …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Oct 2014
Peugeot 308 e-THP 110

Sporty in all but name: Peugeot 308 e-THP 110

Vulture at the Wheel Peugeot’s recent mid-sized hatchbacks have been a less than inspiring bunch. The 307 and the original 2007 model year 308 were dull, globulous mediocrities and not very well screwed together to boot. The all-new 308 however is a rather more interesting bag of bananas. Peugeot 308 e-THP 110 Peugeot's 308 e-THP 110: handsome in …
Alun Taylor, 26 Oct 2014
Seventh Heven

Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring

Vulture at the Wheel When I took my seatbelt off, the Caterham 160 didn’t beep at me. I didn’t get electronically reprimanded when I got out and left the headlights on and I didn’t have any problems bluetoothing my phone to the radio because it doesn’t have Bluetooth. Or a radio. An interactive photo of the Caterham. Click on a spot and the …
Simon Rockman, 25 Oct 2014
Lenovo N20p touchscreen Chromebook

Vulture trails claw across Lenovo's touchy N20p Chromebook

Review A friend recently introduced me to a North West fast-food tradition called half-and-half. That’s chips, rice and curry sauce to those of us born and raised in the more enlightened parts of the realm. It’s not a combination I’d considered before, but truth be told it’s a pleasant repast. Especially after a beer or three. Lenovo …
Alun Taylor, 23 Oct 2014
Kingston SSDNow V310 960GB

You get what you pay for: Kingston's SSDNow V310 960GB whopper

Review Kingston’s SSD division have been a bit quiet lately but now they're back in the limelight with the V310 960GB. This is the latest model in the company’s SSDNow V300 series of drives aimed at the budget/entry level end of the market. At 960GB it’s the largest capacity Kingston SSD to date. Kingston SSDNow V310 960GB Kingston …
Simon Crisp, 21 Oct 2014
Sony Xperia Z3 Android smartphone

Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?

Review The decisions that must be going on at Sony’s mobile R&D division are certainly intriguing, if not baffling. Six months after it was launched, the Xperia Z2 has been replaced by the Z3 and barely nine months after it was launched, the Z1 Compact has been replaced by the Z3 Compact (there wasn’t a Z2 Compact, so don’t panic). …
Alun Taylor, 20 Oct 2014
Kobo Aura H2O e-reader

Watersports-friendly e-reader: Kobo's Aura H2O is literary when wet

Review Now that even the cheapest tablets are notching up increased battery life these days, it seems that the ever-ready e-reader could run the risk of becoming extinct. Kobo Aura H2O e-reader Kobo's Aura H2O hi-res waterproof e-reader In recent months Barnes and Noble has announced a partnership with Samsung to make Nook tablets. …
Mark Diston, 17 Oct 2014
Tesco Hudl 2 Android tablet

Son of Hudl: Tesco flogs new Atom-powered 8.3-inch Android tablet

Review Retailer own-brand tablets are unholy piles of rubbish, right? Usually, yes. But last year’s Tesco Hudl rather bucked the trend. While there was nothing individually outstanding about Tesco’s first tablet, it had a good HD screen, a decent Rockchip CPU, a more-than-adequate battery life and was well glued together. For £129 – …
Alun Taylor, 14 Oct 2014
BlackBerry Passport

Vulture takes BlackBerry's Passport through customs

Review Absent for almost a year, BlackBerry has returned to the fray with the striking Passport, an updated OS and Blend – a secure desktop companion for the phone. BlackBerry Passport Daring to be different: BlackBerry's Passport There are two distinguishing features in this device: first, its display is square and very wide. …
Nokia Lumia 735 Windows Phone

Nokia Lumia 735: Ignore the selfie hype, it's a grown-up phone

Review Occasionally a phonemaker hits one out of the park, getting almost everything right, and bringing it together in one satisfying package. Motorola did that with the Moto G, and Microsoft's (formerly Nokia) phones division has done the same with its Lumia 730 and 735 models. Nokia Lumia 735 Windows Phone A glimpse of perfection? …
Inatek BP2001 Bluetooth Speaker

Inateck BP2001 Bluetooth speaker: The metalhead sysadmin's choice? Not exactly

Review The Inateck BP2001 is a 2 x 5W Bluetooth enabled portable stereo speaker. It's reasonably stylish in design, easy to use, has a slot on top where your mobile device sits and charges via standard micro-USB. It's a reasonably good catch at £50, although the Inateck website will direct you to Amazon where you can buy it for under £ …
Apple iPhone 4s, 5s, 6 and 6 Plus

Apple iPhone 6 Plus: GORGEOUS FAT pixel density - but it's WASTED

Review + Vid Samsung doesn’t invent anything: it just "copies Apple." Even judges say so. The only explanation for the new iPhone 6 Plus, then, is that Samsung copied it early. Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Fatboy Slim: Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus side by side As the South Koreans have been quick to point out, Cupertino’s 5.5-inch …
Apple iPhone 6

Apple iPhone 6: Looking good, slim. AW... your battery died

Review When Apple released the first commercially available multi-touch phone in 2007, it had to decide how big it should be. And it got it right first time. Yet this year’s new models – the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus – both break that mould. The iPhone 6 Plus, which we review tomorrow, makes a feature of its bigness; but the …
Adam Banks, 22 Sep 2014