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All posts by Christopher Phin

  • Chromebook Pixel review: Google goes gunning for the premium market

    Most companies make products because they want people to buy them, but Google doesn’t give a fig if you buy a Chromebook Pixel or not. It wasn’t made so that people would buy it, though doubtless some will; it’s a learning exercise made flesh. Let us explain. Google’s Chrome OS is a fast, secure, always-updated lightweight operating system whose only job is to give you a computer that has a web browser on it. Almost the only thing you can do on a Chrome OS computer such as the Samsung Series 3 or the Acer C7 is open a web browser. This sounds like a stupid idea...

  • Nike FuelBand review: the gamification of sporting tech begins anew

    At its heart, the FuelBand is little different to the UP or Fitbit; it’s basically an accelerometer you wear on your wrist that tracks how active you are throughout the day, and though its understated styling and system of monitoring and achievements on your iPhone or at nikeplus.nike.com is cleverer and richer than with its competitors, the fundamental idea is the same. That’s good, because the idea works really well. Even if you make no other conscious changes to your lifestyle, just having something telling you how active you are each day is an astonishing motivator. Tired and want to get the...

  • Acer C7 Chromebook review: affordable but flawed

    The Acer C7 Chromebook is a cheap laptop at just £199.99/US$199.99 (around AU$191). The reason for this is that it’s a Google Chromebook, a thing that runs Google’s Chrome OS – essentially replacing the entire notion of an operating system with a web browser. And while the Chromebooks that we’ve reviewed before, such as its predecessor, the Samsung Series 3, and the Samsung Series 5, are configured differently and feel different to traditional laptops, this new C7 Chromebook from Acer seems to have been designed, consciously or not, to look and to feel as traditionally laptop-like as possible. In doing so, though, some of whatever...

  • Acer C7 Chromebook review: flawed, but affordable

    The Acer C7 Chromebook is a cheap laptop. Given that – look at it – it’s clearly a laptop. And, when you further note the £199.99/US$199.99 (around AU$191) price tag, it’s obviously cheap. But this is a Chromebook, a thing that runs Google’s Chrome OS – essentially replacing the entire notion of an operating system with a web browser. And while the Chromebooks that we’ve reviewed before, such as its predecessor, the Samsung Series 3, and the Samsung Series 5, are configured differently and feel different to traditional laptops, this new C7 Chromebook from Acer seems to have been designed, consciously or not, to look and...