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BlackBerry Priv. Press pic

BlackBerry Priv: Enterprise Android in a snazzy but functional package

Review If somebody told you six months ago that the best Android phone of 2015 would have been made by BlackBerry, you’d have thought they were a bit mad. BlackBerry didn’t really make phones any more, and what phones it made were marketed as a secure alternative to the Mad Max badlands of Android. And if anyone had dared suggest …

Joining the illuminati? Just how bright can a smart bulb really be?

Review There's no getting away from it: talking about a smart light bulb is liable to subject you to immediate mockery. Oh really? It's smart enough to turn itself on and off? Anything else? No? Okay, I think I'll just keep using my fingers then. The image of someone pulling out their phone to turn on a lamp is ludicrous and here's …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Oct 2015
Nexus 5X

New Nexus 5X, 6P smarties: Google draws a line in the sand

Review Google’s latest Nexus smartphones, the 5X and the 6P, were announced last month, and while there's a lot to be said for the upgrades, there's some unfortunate omissions. It has been five years since the first Nexus smartphone was unveiled, and since then the Chocolate Factory (and assorted hardware partners) has used the brand …
Iain Thomson, 19 Oct 2015

Amazon Echo: We put Jeff Bezos' always-on microphone-speaker in a Reg family home

Review So, um, I love the Amazon Echo. For those of you already frothing at the mouth in righteous indignation, please feel free to scroll to the bottom right away, click "Post a comment" and vent about privacy, Jeff Bezos' secret police, and whatever else is bothering. Meanwhile, for the rest of you, let's get straight to it: the …
Kieren McCarthy, 16 Oct 2015

Ring Chime: Needy wireless doorbell or $30 bling t'ing?

Review We were quite taken with the Ring doorbell earlier this year. For $200, and after some very basic DIY, you get a high-tech security device. It includes an HD camera, an intercom, a motion sensor and, yes, a doorbell. The Ring links to your phone, gives you alerts, lets you watch video of people through it and lets you have a …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Oct 2015

Amazon Fire HD 8: Mid-spec Nokia Lumi... er, MediaTek slab

There’s a wind of change blowing through the Amazon devices lineup, and I suspect its source is the pricey fart that was the Fire Phone. Previous Fire tablets have tended to offer high-end parts for mid-price money. The HDX 8.9, which is still being offered, is a good example. But I reckon the HDX’s days are numbered. HD8_flat …
Alun Taylor, 13 Oct 2015
Myo armband waving

Meaningful gesture: Thalmic Labs Myo motion sensing armband

Review For years, the way we interact with computers hasn't much changed. Keyboards and mice have been the mainstay of computing for decades. Of course, there have been experiments, like clunky VR gloves, and more successful gizmos like Kinect. Leap Motion, for example, tried to bring gesture control to your PC in 2013, where it …
Nigel Whitfield, 12 Oct 2015
Google Chromecast 2

Google Chromecast 2015: Puck-on-a-string fun ... why not, for £30?

Review OK, so we all know what Google’s Chromecast is, yes? Someone at the back – why are they always at the back – seems unsure. In a sentence, then, Chromecast is a small Wi-Fi-connected slug that you slip into a spare HDMI port on your TV, and which plays video and audio under the direction of a remote control app. Google …
Tony Smith, 6 Oct 2015

Asus ZenPad 10 Z300C: Cheap tab, dock combo you can turn up to 11

Review If you want a top-notch Android tablet and keyboard package, buy the Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet. It's very good. But at £499 it's also very expensive. If money is tight, Asus can now offer you a superficially not dissimilar package for two hundred quid. That £300 saving suggests some major compromises, so is the Asus a bargain …
Alun Taylor, 2 Oct 2015
Apple iPhone 6s

iPhone 6s and 6s Plus: Harder, faster and they'll give you a buzz

Review The latest iThing is the tock in Apple’s two-year hardware cycle, last year’s iPhone 6 and its oversized "Plus" companion having been the tick. Apple iPhone 6s Unspoilt by progress, Apple's iPhone 6s Again, the phone with an "i" on the front gets an "s" on the end, lower-cased in a sub-editor-baiting pseudo-plural. And, as …
Tom Salinger, 29 Sep 2015
Elephone P8000

The pachyderm punch: El Reg takes just-over-a-ton Elephone P8000 to tusk

Review Every time The Register reviews a high-end, large-screen smartphone we get a comment or two about how for a quarter of the price you can get something similar from a no-name Chinese manufacturer. Elephone P8000 No-name, low price, big screen: Elephone's P8000 5.5-incher No doubt we’ll see the same when we review the new …
Alun Taylor, 28 Sep 2015

Alcatel Idol 3: Holding its own with a pretty decent 5.5 inches

Review The phrase “this now the best smartphone below so-and-so quid” is going to get worn out at this rate. idol3_phones Idol 3 has JBL speakers, music app and earphones. All three are rather good The Mk 3 Motorola Moto G, the Wileyfox Swift and the Huawei Honor 7 have each recently been hailed on these very pages as a best buy …
Alun Taylor, 22 Sep 2015
Qnap TS-453mini NAS box

Brimming with VM goodness: Qnap TS-453mini 4-bay NAS

Review Qnap’s TS-453mini is the latest addition to the company’s TS-x53 Pro mid-range series of NAS units for SMBs.It is available in two basic models, the TS-453mini-2G (2GB DD3L) and the TS-453mini-8G, the flagship model of the range. The one I have to review has the maximum amount of memory the unit supports: 8GB of DDR3L running at …
Simon Crisp, 18 Sep 2015

Asus ZenBook UX305: With Windows 10, it suddenly makes perfect sense

What a difference a new operating system makes. Being a laptop without a touchscreen, the UX305 felt a little out of sorts when it was launched running touchy-feely Windows 8 earlier in the year. UX305_sideopen One of the best looking things it's made, according to Asus. Hard to argue. UX305 is a real beauty But now the …
Alun Taylor, 16 Sep 2015
Wileyfox Swift Android Smartphone

Wileyfox Swift: Brit startup budget 'droid is the mutt's nuts

Review If someone asked me what my ideal smartphone would be I’d say one that costs no more than £120, has 16GB of storage, at least 2GB of RAM, a 5-inch IPS screen, a removable battery, two SIM slots, space for a microSD card, the best iteration of Android available (that’s the Cyanogen OS Android fork, in my opinion) and is …
Alun Taylor, 8 Sep 2015
Asus Chromebook Flip

Small wonder, little competition: Asus Chromebook Flip

Review Asus’s new Chromebook Flip isn’t the first touchscreen Chromebook we’ve fondled here at The Register. That accolade belongs to the Lenovo N20p. But since the N20p has been discontinued in the UK, Asus needn't worry about its new convertible being overshadowed by it. Asus Chromebook Flip Asus' new Netb – sorry, Chromebook …
Alun Taylor, 2 Sep 2015
Honor 7 Android smartphone

Honor 7 – heir apparent to the mid-range Android crown

Review With a starting price of £249, the Honor 7 is a quality phone that offers astonishing value for money: and it could be a genuine game-changer for how people buy phones. Not only is it (comfortably) the standout product in its price range, it also has the kind of features associated with much more expensive models, and a few …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Aug 2015
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
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
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 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