Category Archives: Reviews

Tech Review: Sonos One is the most promising smart speaker out there

The official next step for speaker technology is upon us, ushered in with the advent of voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant, Apple’s Siri, Samsung’s Bixby and Window’s Cortana. We can now command our speakers to play music and give out all sorts of information thanks to robotic helpers ready and willing to serve, living inside these Virtual Personal Assistant (VPA) Speakers, positioned as an appealing access point to the ever-growing interest in smart home technology. We knew Sonos was going to get into the game sooner or later, and with the recently released Sonos One, the celebrated consumer electronics company have done so in a very big, very clever way. ... Continue Reading

Games Review: Xbox One X (2017): Raw power, same mistakes

Boy, Don Mattrick really fucked Xbox, didn’t he? It’s been five years since Microsoft’s now-infamous E3 2013 presentation, the unveiling of an All-in-One corporate fantasy wildly out of step with what its audience actually wanted and expected. Microsoft have been trying to course correct ever since. So dominated have they been by the runaway success of the competing PlayStation 4 that Xbox stopped reporting sales numbers entirely over a year ago, only beginning again when pre-orders for the Xbox One X went big.

To that end, the Xbox One X has been positioned as something of a saviour. A powerhouse console built to cater to the hardcore gamer and herald of a new age of ultra high definition content. To read between the lines of Microsoft’s breathless marketing for the machine, it feels a bit like this is the make-or-break moment for the Xbox One as a brand and as a hardware family. They really seem to want to convey that they have a lot riding on this machine. The questions that leap to mind then are: Can the Xbox One be saved this late in the game? And, could the Xbox One X save them if it had to? Continue reading Games Review: Xbox One X (2017): Raw power, same mistakes

Tech Review: HyperX Cloud Alpha Pro Gaming Headset: Bang for buck

It’s risky to send me headphones for review, especially gaming headphones. I am a hard-to-please audiophile at the best of times and gaming headsets never pass muster for me. Almost without exception the mix is bad, the weight oppressive and the degree to which they clamp down on your ears borderline painful. So intense is my distaste for the vast majority of gaming headphones, I’ve taken to using a pair of Sennheiser 598’s with an external mic when gaming on PC or console. I tell you all of that, so I can tell you this: I’ve never liked a pair of gaming cans as much as I like the HyperX Cloud Alphas. Continue reading Tech Review: HyperX Cloud Alpha Pro Gaming Headset: Bang for buck

Tech Review: Edifier R1010BT Bookshelf Speakers won’t break the bank, won’t blow your mind either

We’ve come to expect a certain standard from Edifier’s many different speakers. When we took at a look at the older R2000DB speakers  about this time last year, we found them to be an extremely solid option in the 2.1 home speaker category. The R1010BT, a much cheaper alternative by comparison, feels like the jaded kid that refuses to try because they think no-one expects anything of them.

Continue reading Tech Review: Edifier R1010BT Bookshelf Speakers won’t break the bank, won’t blow your mind either

Tech Review: Lenovo Yoga 910 Hybrid Laptop: A powerhouse with a few odd design quirks

I’m a writer so there’s a few things I consider must-haves in a laptop. It should be lightweight, it should have a comfortable keyboard layout, it should feel good to type on and it should be quite nimble. In this regard, the Lenovo Yoga 910 Hybrid Laptop ticks the vast majority of my own personal boxes, but will it do the same for you? Continue reading Tech Review: Lenovo Yoga 910 Hybrid Laptop: A powerhouse with a few odd design quirks

Tech Review: JBL Xtreme is detailed and nimble for such a super-sized bluetooth speaker

JBL sure do like to cover all bases. While those who prefer what is now the standard size of portable speakers have been well satisfied with the likes of the Flip 3, anyone who wants a bit more muscle and meat while still retaining at least some semblance of portability should lean towards the super-sized JBL Xtreme. It’s big, noticeable, even a bit obnoxious, but it sure does the trick as it offers a significantly more powerful profile than other in the JBL range, which means tighter bass response and a boost in overall power compared to the standard Bluetooth speaker. Continue reading Tech Review: JBL Xtreme is detailed and nimble for such a super-sized bluetooth speaker

Tech Review: Lumix DMC-GX850 Camera: Tiny, Helpful and Tough

What better time to test out a travel camera than while travelling? I took Panasonic’s tiny mirrorless Lumix DMC-GX850 on a cruise to put it to the test in all the difficult lighting conditions that travelling brings, and it held its own – for the most part. I’ve included several images I took on the holiday here, plus a video shot almost completely on the GX850 (except for the slow motion and party footage). My selfie game is not strong. Apologies in advance.... Continue Reading