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Review: Acer Aspire U5 All-in-One Desktop

Published by on May 29th, 2015, No Comments

acer_FrontAll in one desktop PC’s aren’t really a new concept. Apple have had decades of success with their iMac (and previous) models but apart from the Cupertino company these all-in-one products have never really been that popular as household computing devices. Since the rise of touchscreen mobile devices, the all-in-one desktop industry has tried to adopt the technology to make their products more versatile.

We have however seen an uptick in sales for these all-in-one PCs due to advancing technology and the convenience they bring. Acer, among some other manufacturers, is leading the charge in this market. The company’s latest U Series all-in-one desktop has been around for a while, and now it sports some great specs, including a fourth generation Intel Core i5 CPU. But is it worth considering as a replacement for a traditional desktop? Let’s take a look… (more…)

Samsung Gear Circle review: a full revolution?

Published by on May 15th, 2015, No Comments

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Every so often, one of tech’s major conglomerates- be it Apple, Microsoft, Sony – produces a simply crazy idea. Apple, for example, introduced the modern computer mouse with the Macintosh II – the mouse itself based off the work of World War II veteran Douglas Engelbart. While seen by some as a ridiculous concept at inception, the humble mouse has since become a staple of desktop computing in modern times.

LG saw fit last year to usher in its own bid to  turn heads with the Tone Pro headset; a novel set of earphones connected to a neck-worn bracelet that accommodates both music and call playback. Now, in 2015, Samsung have fired back with the Galaxy Circle – a daring new concept of a modern bluetooth headset.

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Review: Crystal – the app to revolutionise email

Published by on May 4th, 2015, No Comments

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Those of us who work up a sweat over crafting a succinct and clear email can now take a breath; Crystal is a new platform that comes with a bold promise: to aid you in writing a clear, succinct email that will be appreciated by the recipient. Or, as the service itself phrases it: bring about the end of miscommunication.

Crystal is currently in beta, and has an open waiting list for anyone wishing to give the service a try. We delved in and got to grips with our own psychology to see if Crystal makes good on its promise to revolutionise how well we communicate.

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HTC One M9 Review: Still the One?

Published by on Apr 29th, 2015, 4 Comments

HTC_One_M9-016I have a little soft spot for the HTC One range. Last year I took the One M8 on holiday and fell in love with the Android powered smartphone. That is saying a lot coming from a die-hard iPhone user. The HTC One M8 combined everything I loved from the iPhone (design and usability) with all of the strengths that Android has to offer (customization and an open platform).

Now HTC has launched the One M9 and I was first in line at the South African launch (see my write up of the event here) to get my hands on a review unit. Needless to say I was bursting out of my shell to get stuck into this review. Has the HTC One M9 lived up to my probably over the top expectations? Read on to find out… (more…)

Samsung Galaxy A5 review: pedal to the metal

Published by on Apr 24th, 2015, 2 Comments

 

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There once was a time in smartphone history where the line in the sand was clearly drawn. On one side stood Apple, with a beautiful but limited operating system housed in a premium and stylish aluminium frame. On the other was Samsung, with a gaudy but incredibly flexible Android system stationed in enough plastic to make tupperware jealous.

Fast forward, and that axis still exists… arguably. Yet how times have changed; as Apple slowly and carefully extends iOS’ reach, Samsung have made the leap from plastic to metal; and what a fantastic leap that is. The Galaxy A5 is the second Samsung smartphone to stand on this precipice and reap the results.

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Huawei Mate 7 Review: Big is beautiful again

Published by on Apr 22nd, 2015, 19 Comments

d2 Huawei is making a big push in SA and we are happy to see it. They strive to bring top-notch devices at more affordable prices – something Chinese firms are very good at doing. Huawei, Lenovo and Xaomi are all top 5 smartphone manufacturers in the world and the competition is fierce. You might notice that Huawei has dropped the ‘Ascend’ name (previously this phone was called the Ascend Mate 7) – they are completely refining their branding and naming conventions.

Recently the Huawei Mate 7 has made its way into the South African market and we were lucky enough to review it for an extended period of time. I actually took it on a trip to Europe and exclusively used it as my daily driver for the two weeks, so it had a lot of work to do.

Before we get to the full review, here are some key features: (more…)

Review: Acer Chromebook C720P – Laptop evolution?

Published by on Apr 15th, 2015, No Comments

Acer-C720P-Chromebook-600x339The Chromebook is a bit tricky to understand. It looks like an ordinary laptop but we’re somewhere between tablet and PC, phone-style speed computing and an older, more old-fashioned computer. Chrome OS, which is Google’s browser-based, all-cloud operating system, tries to bridge the gap between a laptop and tablet with an OS that’s really just a fully-featured super-browser with a keyboard, storage and Webcam attached.

Partnering with Acer (and various other companies) Google brings you the Chromebook. These low cost devices, stripped down to the bare necessities – low-power processors, low-resolution screens and a minimum amount of memory and storage is a very affordable alternative to the super expensive laptops out there.

We got our hands on the Acer Chromebook C720P to see what all the fuss is about. (more…)

Sony Xperia Z3 Review: The smartphone underdog

Published by on Feb 10th, 2015, 3 Comments

SonyZ3-003Sony has been playing with the big boys over the last couple of years and the new Xperia range (from the Z1) has really put the company up there among the best. It seems like only yesterday (and probably was) that Sony released the Xperia Z2 in South Africa and now the new Z3 is here. What is even more baffling is that the Z4 might be revealed in May this year. This crazy release schedule probably has more down sides for me than up sides, but that does not mean that Sony will skimp on the details.

Famed for its super cool camera and sleek design, the Xperia range has continued to gather customers since its inception, or have they? The Z3 looks a lot like the Z2, and after a quick glance at the spec sheet (below), you might argue that it makes the same type of noises. This is important because, by its own admission, Sony isn’t doing very well at competing in the phone-making game. Will the Z3 offer enough over the Z2 to warrant an upgrade? Will the Z3 help the struggling Sony ship? Read our Xperia Z3 review to find out. (more…)

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