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Alun Taylor

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Barton aqueduct mid swing, photo Alun Taylor

Avoiding Liverpool was the aim: All aboard the world's ONLY moving aqueduct

Geek's Guide to Britain There are several fine examples of Victorian engineering still working in Blighty. Tower Bridge in London is one of my personal favourites. I was surprised to discover that another was on my doorstep. Well, 4.34km (2.7 miles) from my doorstep to be more accurate. The Grade II-listed Barton Swing Aqueduct in Salford was built …
Alun Taylor, 28 Jul 2016

DS5: Vive la différence ... oh, and throw away the Citroën badge

Vulture @ the Wheel Oh, how car-makers like to mine their archive in the name of style. BMW’s Mini, VW’s Beetle, Fiat’s 500 ... all doff their caps to the style and nomenclature of an imaginary post-war automotive utopia. Citroën got in on the act back in 2010 with the resurrection of the DS marque. A few months ago to celebrate the DS brand's …
Alun Taylor, 19 Nov 2015
HD8_hero

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
i30_hero

Hyundai i30 Turbo: Softly, softly, catchee Audi

Vulture at the Wheel When The Reg went for a spin in the Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell, one of the most common reactions we got was “who knew the Koreans would be leading the field in this sort of tech!” i30_side_moors Surprisingly nice to drive, surprisingly nice to look at. The Hyundai i30 Turbo is just surprisingly nice Indeed. A decade and a half …
Alun Taylor, 04 Oct 2015
ZenPad_stock

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, 02 Oct 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
idol3_hero

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
UX305_hero

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, 08 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, 02 Sep 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
ix35_filling_station

Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell: El Reg on the hydrogen highway

Vulture at the Wheel Ask me what my ideal electric car would be and I’ll probably tell you one with a range of 400 miles and a three-minute charge time. Shame no such car exists, I hear you say. Not so. I drove just such a vehicle last week. ix35_hero The ix35 at the hydrogen filling station near Heathrow. One of three in the UK at the time of …
Alun Taylor, 22 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
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, 04 Aug 2015
Q7_front_hero

The Q7: Audi’s big SUV goes from tosspot to tip-top

Vulture at the Wheel Too large, too ugly, too late. Luckily (for El Reg’s relationship with Audi) that’s my opinion of the outgoing Q7. Why anyone coughed up good money for a Q7 when for less you could have pretty much the same thing with a VW Touareg badge on the back was beyond me. Q7_side New Q7, looks less leaden than old model. In fact, it' …
Alun Taylor, 01 Aug 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
Android Wear 5.1 installed on Asus ZenWatch

Android Wear 5.1: A more enduring wristjob for your pleasure

Review It’s fair to say that sales of wristy wearables haven’t set the world on fire. Even Apple seems to be hard pushed to flog them in quantity. The reason is not hard to fathom. Watch the TV advertisements for either Android Wear or Apple Watch and I defy you not to ask yourself why the hell would you spend good money on either. …
Alun Taylor, 14 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, 07 Jul 2015
subaru_outback_hero

Subaru Outback Lineartronic: The thinking person’s 4x4

Vulture at the Wheel Everyone I know who needs a full-sized, five-door road car that can also drive across fen, bog and hillside owns a Subaru. Not a Range Rover or Land Rover, as they're too expensive. Not a Land Cruiser, as they are too big. Not a suburban SUV, as they are designed for slippery supermarket car parks. Not a Mitsubishi L200, as it …
Alun Taylor, 27 Jun 2015
kadjar_story_image

Renault Kadjar: La Regie's new full-sized, inexplicably named SUV

Vulture @ the Wheel It’s surprising that Renault has taken so long to make this car; a Gallicised version of the Nissan Qashqai, an SUV that’s been selling like hot cakes in the UK for a good few years. What we have here then is a variation on the theme of what the Renault-Nissan Alliance thinks a soft-roader should be. kadjar_red_side El Reg …
Alun Taylor, 14 Jun 2015
Urban Safe 5L Dry Flat Bag

Festival tech: Charge your mobe while you queue for a pee

Product Roundup I’m now of an age and hair density where the idea of standing in a muddy field in wellies, queuing to answer a call of nature, getting trench foot and eating the sort of food the troops at Passchendaele had to endure just to hear some live music has long since lost its appeal. But if in some weird parallel universe there’s …
Alun Taylor, 06 Jun 2015
Outlander_lurking

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV: The new common-as-muck hybrid

Vulture @ the wheel And so we come full circle. Back in 2009 The Reg’s very first ‘leccy car review took a gander at the Mitsubishi i-MiEV. That was essentially just a technology demonstrator and much of that technology has now cropped up in the Outlander PHEV, a plug-in hybrid which, judging by the number I've seen on the roads and Mitsubishi UK's …
Alun Taylor, 31 May 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, …
Alun Taylor, 28 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 …
Alun Taylor, 11 May 2015
mondeo_thumb2

Mondeo Man turns into mutant electrical beauty: Ford Mondeo Hybrid

Vulture at the Wheel Considering the number of Toyota hybrids that you see on British roads, it’s surprising that, despite Ford having offered a range of the things to the North American market since 2009, the new Mondeo Hybrid is the first one Uncle Henry has punted on this side of the pond. mondeo_hero_image Ford's new Mondeo Hybrid. A touch …
Alun Taylor, 09 May 2015

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