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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Microsoft Surface 3 Windows 8.1 tablet

Microsoft's Surface 3 is sweet – but I wouldn't tickle my nads with it

Review There’s a commuter who gets off the train where I live who has a tablet down his trousers. Call it the middle-class version of builder’s crack or the male equivalent of the inappropriate G-string, it peeks out over the top of his chinos. Microsoft Surface 3 Windows 8.1 tablet Intel inside: Microsoft's Surface 3 Windows 8.1 …
Gavin Clarke, 18 May 2015

Roku 3: Probably the best streaming player on the market ... for now, at least

Review Ok, so let's get this out the way quickly: this updated Roku 3 is the best streaming player on the market right now. And it will most likely remain the best on the market until the Roku 4 arrives toward the end of the year. And yes, that includes the Apple TV fourth generation that everyone expects to be this 2015's pant-wetting …
Kieren McCarthy, 16 May 2015
Crucial BX100 and MX200 SSDs

Business or pleasure? Crucial MX200 and BX100 1TB SSDs

Review It’s not often you get an SSD manufacturer launching two new families of drives at the same time, but Crucial is back from kicking the sand into the faces of its competitors with its aggressive pricing policy of the MX100 series. This time it's flexing its muscles with the BX100 and MX200 ranges. Crucial BX100 SSD Budget 1TB …
Simon Crisp, 12 May 2015
Samsung Galaxy A5

Gaze upon the desirable Son of Alpha: Samsung Galaxy A5

Review The most important Samsung phone of the last 12 months was the Galaxy S6, right? Nah. It was the Galaxy Alpha. The Alpha heralded a momentous change in Samsung design, from tired and mundane to rather stylish, and in material quality, from cheap plastic to high quality metal. Samsung Galaxy A5 Samsung Galaxy A5 In one leap it …
Alun Taylor, 11 May 2015

Ding-dong, the cloud calling: The Ring Video Doorbell

Review If you have ever missed a FedEx delivery and had to drive over to the depot, if you have had someone break into your house, or if you are often a long way from your front door when someone knocks, then you should really consider the Ring doorbell. For $200, it packs a lot in: an HD camera, a high-quality intercom, a motion …
The smallest vehicle in the Mercedes Range

Going up hills past blokes with coke-bottle legs: The Smart E-bike

Vulture in the Saddle Eighteen miles an hour:It’s the difference between loving the Smart E-bike and hating it. This is because the bike is electrically assisted up to 15 mph – the legal limit for assistance in Europe – and beyond that pedalling the very heavy machine becomes exceptionally hard work. Below that speed it’s wonderful. The 200 watt …
Simon Rockman, 8 May 2015
Microsoft Lumia 640 XL

Phablet for the biz fleet with easy typing: Microsoft Lumia 640 XL

Review One of my surprising reviews last year was Nokia’s huge, budget phablet, the Lumia 1320. It's fairly similar to the most recent Lumia 640 XL. Microsoft Lumia 640 XL Microsoft's Lumia 640 XL: available in 3G and 4G versions The previous Lumia 1320 was hard to find in the retail catalogues and even Nokia didn’t seem to care for …
2.0 190ps

Volkswagen Passat GT 2.0-litre TDI SCR 190 PS 6spd DSG

VULTURE AT THE WHEEL The VW Passat 2/0 is a car you buy with your head. All cars are a combination of a head and heart purchase. Some, like an Atom or Elise swing wildly towards the heart. Some like the Skoda Citigo are bought on numbers and practicality. All manufacturers try to inject some aspect of both into their cars. Even if it’s just lowering …
Simon Rockman, 7 May 2015
Macbook 2015. Pic: Apple

Apple MacBook 2015: Twelve inches of slim and shiny fanboi joy

Review As Geddy Lee of Rush once sang – “plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose”. When Apple unveiled the MacBook Air back in 2008 we all scoffed and said that Steve Jobs’ slimline progeny was over-priced and underpowered. “It doesn’t even have an Ethernet port”, came the mocking cry (followed by the entire PC industry doing exactly …
Stephen Dean, 6 May 2015

Range Rover Sport: Like a cathedral on wheels, only with comfier pews

Vulture at the wheel It’s all about the headrests. Forget the 4.4 litre V8, the defining feature of the Range Rover Sport is the driver's headrest. It’s an analogue for the rest of the car: supremely comfortable and cosseting. It’s a bit fraudulent to review the “best four by four by far” without taking it on as much as a dirt road, let alone a …
Simon Rockman, 28 Apr 2015
BlackBerry Leap

BlackBerry Leap: Touching biz users with a budget(ish) device

Review The Leap is the first full-touch device BlackBerry has released in 18 months, and only the third to be released in developed markets. It’s also the cheapest, with the BlackBerry UK store listing it at £199 including VAT. BlackBerry Leap Fleeting gesture: BlackBerry Leap So at first glance, the Leap promises to be a 2015 …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Apr 2015
Apple Watch Sport

The Apple Watch: THROBBING STRAP-ON with a knurled knob

Review No, this isn’t the first Apple Watch review you’ve seen. Cupertino supplied review units to a few selected journalists at the start of April; the rest of us had to order our own. I almost ignored mine arriving because I was looking out for a watch. It came in a box more suitable for a truncheon. Apple Watch Sport No, we're not …
Adam Banks, 27 Apr 2015
Microsoft Lumia 640 Windows Phone

Life after Nokia: Microsoft Lumia 640 budget WinPho blower

Review Is the Nokia Microsoft Lumia 640 an Office subscription with a free phone, or a phone with a free Office subscription? Either way, it's likely to be the biggest mobile device for Microsoft since the days of Zune and Kin – and the company is getting more aggressive with its marketing. Microsoft Lumia 640 Windows Phone Office …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Apr 2015
Motorola Moto G 4G

Motorola's 5-incher finds the G-spot: Moto G 4G budget Android smartie

Review Back in December 2013, I hailed the first generation Motorola Moto G as the best affordable smartphone on the market. If you want a reasonably compact 4.5-inch device, then, arguably, it still is the best, thanks to a midlife facelift that added a microSD slot and 4G reception. Motorola Moto G 4G Motorola Moto G 4G A larger, …
Alun Taylor, 13 Apr 2015
Samsung Galaxy S6

Steely wonder? It's blind to 4G and needs armour: Samsung Galaxy S6

Review I’ve found life is so much easier if one sticks to three simple rules. Never drive a Volvo car, never buy a Samsung phone, and always grind your own coffee. However, I might have to rethink one of those – and it isn’t the coffee. Samsung Galaxy S6 Samsung's Galaxy S6 flagship handset Samsung can’t do anything without a …