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Belkin Express Dock Thunderbolt adaptor

Review: Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock

Apple WWDC If the word from the Apple WWDC is to be believed, we’re just months away from hooking up all our peripherals using Thunderbolt 2 cables. Funny that, as I thought this was supposed to happen when the original Thunderbolt ports appeared on Macs back in 2011. Even though this Apple-Intel interface love-in can be found on PCs too, …
Bob Dormon, 14 Jun 2013
Acer Iconia A1-810

Acer Iconia A1-810: The Android tab longing for eight-inch Apple action

Review The Iconia A1-810 is, of course, an iPad Mini clone. How else could Acer, after years of offering slates with 16:9 widescreen panels, have suddenly hit on the idea that punters want a 4:3 tablet - “the right aspect ratio”, an Acer exec eagerly told me - without being inspired by Cupertino’s latest? Acer Iconia A1-810 Mini me- …
Tony Smith, 13 Jun 2013
Asus FonePad

Asus FonePad: You may feel a bit of a spanner

Review Do you really need a smartphone and a tablet? One overly expensive device with a screen and a battery that are both just a bit too small for comfort in this day and age to use for voice calls and cellular data, and a larger, Wi-Fi-connected gadget with a 7- or 8-inch screen for browsing the web, reading ebooks and watching …
Alun Taylor, 12 Jun 2013
Beagleboard Beaglebone Black

Review: Beagleboard Beaglebone Black

It's nice to see that the broader community of Arduino, Raspberry Pi and Beagleboard Beaglebone users is a friendly and seemingly mature one. Each of these board computers has its own adherents, but few of them seem to feel the need to engage in the kind of hair-pulling and name-calling that defined the Windows versus Mac spat …
Tony Smith, 11 Jun 2013
Acer Aspire P3 Ultrabook

Review: Acer Aspire P3 Windows 8 slate

Acer's recent tablet bash in London not only showcased its latest A1 Iconia Android fondleslab but also on display was its forthcoming Aspire P3 Windows 8 slate. This model exists in the convertible-cum-tablet twilight zone, as it comes with a keyboard cover as standard. Yet Acer really wants you to forget it's a tablet and …
Bob Dormon, 7 Jun 2013
HP Slate 7 Android tablet speakers and micro USB interface

Review: HP Slate 7 Android tablet

The other day Vulture Central was visited by HP with a Google chap in tow. We were treated to a couple of HP products: the new Slate 7 Android tablet and the company’s latest Chromebook, which we’d already seen as it happens. The smart-looking seven-inch, dual-processor-core tablet appeared to have little to distinguish it from …
Bob Dormon, 4 Jun 2013
Pure Jongo S3 multiroom speaker system

Review: Pure Jongo S3 multiroom speakers

I’ll admit, I didn’t think I was going to have much to say about Pure’s Jongo S3 speakers, the latest addition to its growing wireless audio gear range. It connects to mobile devices, but what else is new? Well, there are a few nice touches to this boombox, the most significant being its integration with the online streaming …
Bob Dormon, 31 May 2013
Samsung Series 5 Ultra Touch Ultrabook

Review: Samsung Series 5 Ultra Touch Ultrabook

When it comes to handing out Windows 8 laptops to the UK reviewers, Samsung has been surprisingly glacial. Whether this is another Apple emulation strategy to become more elusive or a sign of hesitancy to have the brand tarnished by Windows 8’s underwhelming reception, is unclear. The hardware was paraded at CES 2013 five months …
Bob Dormon, 29 May 2013
Sony Xperia SP

Review: Sony Xperia SP

Sony’s flagship Android smartphones have been a bit of a disappointment to me. But if the Xperia S and Xperia T didn’t quite cut the Colman’s, the cheaper follow-ups, the Xperias P and V, were more convincing. Sony, it seems, is better in the middle than at the top. Now the new Xperia Z - another high-end Sony that didn't really …
Alun Taylor, 21 May 2013
HP Pavilion 14 Chromebook

Review: HP Pavilion 14 Chromebook

If you read my comparison of the Asus C7 and Samsung Series 3 Chromebooks, you may well have come away thinking: "All well and good, but can I have something with a bigger screen for the same sort of money?" Now, thanks to HP, the answer to that question is yes. The latest entry into the Chromebook steeplechase is powered by …
Alun Taylor, 15 May 2013
Samsung Galaxy S4

Review: Samsung Galaxy S4

In purely commercial terms, the Samsung Galaxy S III was always going to be a tough act to follow. After all, it established and then cemented Samsung’s position as the number one smartphone maker by volume - and the only one to give Apple the collywobbles. I suspect that’s why Samsung has played it safe and opted for evolution …
Alun Taylor, 13 May 2013

Review: BlackBerry Q10

One of my four-year-olds pointed to a BlackBerry Bold recently and exclaimed "It's HALF A PHONE!".  She was pointing at the screen. And the other half? The answer, I elicited later, was that it was some kind of letters game. Just think about that for a moment. Every day of your life you've seen adults pawing at a phone, but only …
Crucial M500 SSD internals

Review: Crucial M500 960GB SSD

When Intel entered the personal computer solid-state drive market it was with the stated aim of making SSDs something more than an expensive luxury. It implied it would drive prices down to a point where SSDs would become a viable alternative to the standard rattling old mechanical disk drive. But even the blue-hued chip giant …
Simon Crisp, 8 May 2013
Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 in the shower

Review: Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 WinPro 8 tablet

Vid In the UK, Panasonic is not known as a high-street PC player - but the company’s Tough range of products makes quite an impression in the world of business. Out in the field you’ll spot them in the hands of BT engineers and the like where the manufacturer's rugged laptops, and now tablets, survive the rigours of white-van man …
Bob Dormon, 1 May 2013
Nokia Lumia 520

Review: Nokia Lumia 520

A few years ago the late music magazine The Word coined the phrase "landfill indie" to describe the thousands of generic groups it encountered. Today the shops are full of "landfill Android": utterly generic, non-too-inspiring handsets. It’s into this Valley of Death that Nokia tosses its new Lumia 520. In the UK, the average …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Apr 2013
WD Sentinel DX4000

Review: Western Digital Sentinel DX4000

Western Digital makes Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices and recently sent a Sentinel DX4000 to El Reg for review. When I was asked to write about it I was initially unsure exactly how I would approach this: where's the novelty in a small consumer or SME device? The Sentinel stands out for me not only because it's the first …
Trevor Pott, 25 Apr 2013
Corsair Voyager Air

Review: Corsair Voyager Air 1TB wireless hard drive

Corsair has made a name for itself offering solid-state drives, fast memory and other components to fit inside high-performance PCs. But its latest product takes the supplier out of its comfort zone and into the world of smartphones and tablets. It also carries the company into the network-attached storage arena. It’s a good …
Tony Smith, 24 Apr 2013
Nokia Lumia 720 Windows Phone 8

Review: Nokia Lumia 720

Nokia completed its Windows 8 range with two new models recently, including this midrange offering the 720. With a choice of five Lumias it's now clearer to see what Nokia hopes to achieve. The 720 strikes me as the Ford Cortina of the Lumias, a well made mass market compact. The 720 has everything going for it except, perhaps, …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Apr 2013
Disgo 8400G Android tablet

Review: Disgo 8400G 7.9in Android tablet

A 7.9in Jelly Bean Android tablet with 3G connectivity for £150? There has to be a catch, right? Absolutely. The catch with the Disgo 8400G is that you’ve probably never heard of the company before... Now, this could mean you’ll be ahead of the game with the next big thing in affordable fondleslabs if you bought one. However, …
Bob Dormon, 22 Apr 2013
NetAtmo Urban Weather Station

Review: NetAtmo Urban Weather Station

Do we need a new obsession? Isn’t Facebook and Twitter enough for most folk? Some argue the British are obsessed about the weather. It’s hardly surprising we talk about it all the time, the weather here changes so much, it never fails to be topical. Well that’s how it used to be. Lately, Blighty has been blighted by a godawful …
Bob Dormon, 19 Apr 2013
Asus PadFone 2

Review: Asus PadFone 2 phone-tablet combo

I thought the first Asus PadFone was a jolly good idea the moment I clapped eyes on it. Sadly it never made it to these shores but the PadFone 2 has. In a nutshell, what we have here is an Android smartphone that can be docked into a dumb tablet giving you not only a choice of two screen sizes but also the convenience of one …
Alun Taylor, 18 Apr 2013
Kobo Arc 7in Android AnTuTu results and format warning

Review: Kobo Arc Android tablet

As pocketable Android tablets gather momentum and e-reader manufacturers look to offer a more flexible platform, the twilight zone where both meet is certainly looking lively. A criticism of Amazon’s Kindle Fire e-book-meets-Android offerings is the company’s imposition of a walled garden for installing apps: you have to …
Bob Dormon, 10 Apr 2013
HP ElitePad 900 Windows 8 Pro tablet

Review: HP ElitePad 900 Atom tablet

If HP’s ElitePad 900 is anything to go by, not everybody expects a business Windows 8 Pro Atom tablet to be a pocketable wafer. You only have to hold it in your hand to get the impression that this model has been built for endurance rather than designed as a fashion accessory. That’s not to say that it doesn’t look good, quite …
Bob Dormon, 8 Apr 2013
Intel NUC DC3217BY

Review: Intel Next Unit of Computing barebones desktop PC

Intel must really like the sound of its own ‘voice’. How else can you explain the fact that sliding open the box containing the chip giant’s latest desktop package plays the ding-da-ding-ding-ding jingle as soon as you open it. Amaze your friends! Irritate your colleagues! Keep opening and closing the box to replay the ditty …
Tony Smith, 4 Apr 2013
Jabra Revo

Review: Jabra Revo Wireless headphones

I’ve tried a fair few wireless headphones over the past ten years, almost all of them unsatisfactory in one way or another. Many of the early ones were over-the-ear jobs with those round-the-back-of-your-head bands, but all suffered from either excessive weight - thanks to the on-board battery - or simply didn’t play for long. …
Tony Smith, 2 Apr 2013
Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 Modern UI

Review: Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2

I’ve tried out quite a few variations on the Windows 8 theme just lately – touchscreen notebooks mainly – but I’ve been dabbling with Boot Camp and virtual machine incarnations on the desktop too but without the finger friendliness. So trying out Lenovo’s business-centric ThinkPad Tablet 2 seemed like it would be an easy …
Bob Dormon, 28 Mar 2013
Renault Zoe

Review: Renault Zoe electric car

To argue that the electric car has already failed is farcical. To date only one mass-market EV from an established car maker has been launched in the UK: the Nissan Leaf. Even I’m not fully convinced by the Leaf. I think it’s too big, too ugly and too expensive. A revised, cheaper, longer-range Sunderland-built model will …
Alun Taylor, 22 Mar 2013
HTC One

Review: HTC One

A year ago, I finished off my review of HTC’s One X by predicting great things for it and its maker. And then Samsung’s Galaxy S3 merrily outsold it ten to one. Thing is, that wasn’t a case of me being a colossal twit. The One X is the better phone - it’s better made, better looking and better to use. Luckily for HTC, the new …
Alun Taylor, 21 Mar 2013
Sony Xperia Z

Review: Sony Xperia Z

How it must gall Sony to find that along with the likes of HTC, ZTE and LG it is now firmly in the second division of Android phone makers, floundering in the spume and wake of the global sales monster that is Samsung. Sony Xperia Z Xperia Z: a bit of a slab Personally I blame a ludicrously complex model portfolio as much as …
Alun Taylor, 19 Mar 2013
Toshiba Satellite U920T Ultrabook

Review: Toshiba Satellite U920T Ultrabook

Whatever you might think about Windows 8, when it comes to taking the top down on the new ranges of convertible laptops, it’s certainly not boring. Every single one I’ve encountered so far has a different take on how to make the laptop-tablet duo dance work and Toshiba’s Satellite U920T Ultrabook offers yet another approach. …
Bob Dormon, 5 Mar 2013

Review: Livin' in the cloud with Google's new Chromebook Pixel

It has been well over two years years since Google released its first Chromebook, the CR-48, and set off on a quest to convince the world of the benefits of living in the browser. Last week, the company unveiled its latest attempt to seduce the public – the luxury touchscreen Chromebook Pixel – and gave The Reg a $1,449 LTE- …
Iain Thomson, 2 Mar 2013
Sony Vaio Duo 11

Review: Sony Vaio Duo 11 Ultrabook

The other day, a friend sent me a Picasa link to photos he'd taken at a recent vintage motorcycle show. It was a wide ranging display of classic engineering imagination put to work to power a rider on two wheels. Similarly, it’s those variations on a theme that Windows 8 has spurred among mainstream computer makers, as they all …
Bob Dormon, 26 Feb 2013
Chromebooks: Acer vs Samsung

Review: The ultimate Chromebook challenge

Too slow, too expensive, too limited. That was the verdict of most hacks and punters on the early Google Chromebook laptops. Google has kept its shoulder to the wheel, though, and recently announced that 2000 schools are now using Chromebooks. Lenovo and HP have both recently jumped on the Chromebook bandwagon too, joining …
Alun Taylor, 19 Feb 2013
HP Spectre XT TouchSmart 15-4000ea Ultrabook

Review: HP Spectre XT TouchSmart

El Reg looked at HP's 13in Spectre XT Ultrabook in October last year and liked it a lot. What you're looking at here, then, is a meatier version with a bigger display, touchscreen support, more ports and the inevitable Windows 8. I like it a lot. HP Spectre XT TouchSmart 15-4000ea Ultrabook It looks absolutely nothing like an …
Alistair Dabbs, 11 Feb 2013
Seagate Wireless Plus

Review: Seagate Wireless Plus Wi-Fi hard drive

In the week Apple finally released an iPad with a storage capacity greater than 64GB - double that; 128GB to be precise - Seagate made its Wireless Plus available. Of course, if Apple’s Flash mark-up wasn’t so colossal, or it had had the wit to either built a Micro SD port into its tablets or allow USB mass storage devices to …
Tony Smith, 7 Feb 2013
Dell XPS 10

Review: Dell XPS 10 Windows RT tablet and dock

Windows RT: unholy fondleslab abomination or clever integration of a grown-up desktop and touch-friendly tablet UI? Opinions veer wildly and violently between one and the other extreme. The newest and first non-Nvidia Tegra 3 receptacle for Microsoft’s alleged problem child is Dell’s Asus Transformer-esque XPS 10. On paper, and …
Alun Taylor, 6 Feb 2013
Intel 335 240GB SSD

Review: Intel 335 240GB SSD

Intel’s 520 and 330 range of 2.5in consumer SSDs are the product of its relationship with LSI SandForce. It's practically unheard of for Intel not to have a controller of its own but its reliance on SandForce has left it in the same boat as every other drive manufacturer using these controllers. Namely, they are all eagerly …
Simon Crisp, 29 Jan 2013
Inifniti M35h

Review: Infiniti M35h hybrid sports saloon

If you’ve got a little over 40 grand lying about and fancy a four-door hybrid sports saloon then Infiniti - the posh bit of Nissan in a relationship similar to that between Lexus and Toyota - would have you know that the latest M35h is not only the fastest, but also the cheapest car of its type. Tempting words. After all who …
Alun Taylor, 22 Jan 2013
Google Nexus 4

Review: Google Nexus 4

There are two numbers you need to keep in mind as you read this review. Firstly, 239, the remarkably small number of beer tokens Google wants in return for an unlocked, Sim-free 8GB example of the latest Nexus phone. And 2, which is the number of months it has taken me to actually get hold of one for a long-term test. The second …
Alun Taylor, 14 Jan 2013
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 Ultrabook

Review: Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 Windows 8 convertible Ultrabook

To be fair to Lenovo, reviewing the IdeaPad Yoga shouldn't really be all about Windows 8. After all, this touchscreen Ultrabook – that bends over backwards to become a fully fledged tablet – is a well crafted piece of hardware with engineering merits of its own. So what, if it runs Windows 8? So do a lot of PCs these days. The …
Bob Dormon, 11 Jan 2013
HP Envy x2 Windows 8 convertible

Review: HP ENVY x2 Windows 8 convertible

The flourishing market for tablet computers has left people wanting more. Those using tablets at work invariably end up buying a keyboard and regularly curse the limitations of a mobile operating system. Those using a Windows laptop at work often wish they could occasionally dispense with the keyboard for convenient touchscreen …
Alistair Dabbs, 10 Jan 2013
HTC 8X Windows Phone 8

Review: HTC 8X Windows Phone 8 handset

It’s hard not to feel a little sorry for HTC. Eighteen months ago it was the darling of smartphone manufacturers having reinvented itself from a maker of unbranded handsets for the likes of O2 to an outfit boasting some of the best Android smartphones around. HTC 8X Windows Phone 8 Platform alteration: HTC's 8X Windows Phone 8 …
Alun Taylor, 10 Jan 2013