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hands on

  • TomTom Bandit hands on: extremely different

    Ask a common consumer to name an action camera and they'll almost immediately say "GoPro." But that doesn't have to be the case. Although the American marque is there on merit launching some great devices at perfectly timed intervals, the world of action gadgetry is taking an interesting turn. More and more companies that haven't trudged this space before are finding that there's one massive market here, especially for South African weekend warriors, who enjoy getting their bikes dirty in the Cederberg. That's where the TomTom Bandit slots in. Although it launched the device in Amsterdam back in July, TomTom has only...

  • ‘Layers of Fear’ Early Access preview: trust nothing, fear everything

    Enter a world of true madness where nothing is as it seems. A terrifying place where the lines between horror and reality are all too blurred. Layers of Fear, a first-person indie title by Polish developer Bloober Team SA, is one of the most outstanding horror experiences I’ve ever had. A game has honestly not scared me this much since I played the original Outlast. In Layers of Fear you delve into the mind of a mentally insane painter who is on a quest to create his magnum opus, the greatest work he will ever produce. But in the pursuit...

  • Windows 10 first impressions: what Gearburn thinks of Microsoft’s new baby

    For all Windows 10 related views, breaking stories and deeper analysis, visit our comprehensive Windows 10 Hub before and after Microsoft’s big launch. We may be soulless journalists, but that doesn't mean a software release has no bearing on our lives. As a squad of Windows users (except for one or two in this office), we expect to receive the best user experience constantly. The operating system we use daily doesn't only affect our productivity, but our sanity. Microsoft's new baby has a lot to live up to especially after the problem children that were Windows 8 and Windows Vista (an...

  • Hands on with the Hisense H6 smartphone and Sero 8 Pro tablet

    Something interesting happens when technology starts to become so ubiquitous that we can't imagine living without it: the ability for manufacturers to differentiate themselves from the competition starts to slowly diminish. If you're one of the big Android manufacturers especially, then you're starting to see it in the smartphone and tablet space in the same way as notebook manufacturers did a few years back. You can try innovating, but someone, somewhere out there can simply copy said innovation at a much lower cost. And let's be honest, your average member of the public is going to care a lot more...

  • Alcatel One Touch Idol Alpha hands on review: light up my life

    New, exciting and brimming with promise. Yeah, it’s another Android smartphone, but the Alcatel Idol One Touch Alpha (let’s call it the Alpha for brevity) is a beautiful phone. We managed to get our hands on it and have created a sort-of, kind-of review. It’s also the first phone I’ve ever used that comes in two flavours of champagne colouring, namely gold and rose (although South Africa only gets the rose-coloured variant Q4 2014). The one I used had the third, boring-as-sin "slate" colour, but thankfully it's wrapped in a metal frame that's almost as handsome as the iPhone...

  • Alien Isolation preview: fangs for the memories

    Alien Isolation (I was privy to the alpha build) did something that games rarely do: it scared me. And not because of the choppy framerate or fuzzy controls. No, Alien Isolation genuinely made me fearful of what lurked in the shadows. Armed with an Xbox One controller and a noise-cancellation headset, I was plunged into a world that slicked sweat across my brow. As I said earlier, I played the alpha which set me loose in a deadly playground with only a small set of objectives and one main task, to avoid the deadliest xenomorph in science fiction. I...

  • Ori and the Blind Forest preview: spirited away

    As an Xbox One exclusive game, this sublime Metroid-style adventure is going to make many PS4 owners Microsoft-green with envy. Ori and the Blind Forest looks to be an incredible adventure and in the scant 20-minute demo with the game, I fell in love. The introduction sets a gentle tone and evokes Miyazaki's classics like Spirited Away and My Neighbour Totoro with the type of childish glee many games have sadly lacked. Whatever happened to exploration, delight and thrilling puzzles? The answer is Ori and the Blind Forest. Ori and the Blind Forest is going to be a touching game,...

  • Bayonetta 2 hands-on preview: outrageous witching

    I have a special relationship with Bayonette. Not in the creepy stalker way (I promise), but I'm rather attached to the character who is a kick-ass, near-invulnerable death machine with the moves of a sadistic ballet dancer. Bayonette 1 was one of the most fun, bombastic games for the Xbox 360 and because Bayonette 2 lands exclusively on the Wii U -- a strange choice of platform indeed -- many of us won't be experiencing this mad-combo witches adventure. But I did, and it's still as excellent, oddball and maniac as the original. I must admit, I haven't played much Wii U but the...

  • Samsung Galaxy S5, Gear 2 unboxing [Video]

    Samsung's recently launched the Galaxy S5 and its follow-up smartwatch, the Gear 2. Want to know what these tasty gadgets look like? Then you're in luck as Editor Steven Norris digs into the fully-recycled packaging to see what's inside. As usual, Samsung's managed to cram as much as possible into its boxed products. But can the internals of the Gear 2 and S5 match the simplicity of Apple's packaging? Let's take a look inside.

  • ‘Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2′ preview: What is a Man?

    "...A miserable little pile of secrets." barks Dracula (played by Robert Carlyle of Trainspotting, Once Upon a Time) as the colossal hand of a steampunk god robot smashes into him, ruining his monologue but beautifully setting the stage for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2. The 750MB demo launched for PS3 and Xbox 360 earlier this week (13 February), and I, being an immense fan of the series played it thoroughly. Those who played Castlevania: Lords of Shadow way back in 2010 should have played the demo already, but for those who haven't been so lucky, bear in mind the spoilers aplenty...