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Reviews

  • HP Omen 15 review: expect unlimited HP from this one

    Gaming laptops are generally overpriced. Hell, quality laptops in general can be extremely overpriced. So colour us impressed when we took delivery of HP's Omen 15 (ce004nl), packing some imposing specs into a package that starts at R21 999. Sure, it's still expensive for a laptop, but when compared to other gaming notebooks and the likes of the Macbook range, it's a really tempting purchase. It looks like a stereotypical gaming laptop First up, we have the aesthetics. The Omen 15 is big, brash and borderline gaudy, owing to its stylised vents on the back, the cutouts on the laptop lid and...

  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium review: more than a one-trick pony?

    I've made no bones about my indifference towards Sony's smartphones over the last two years or so. The Z5 range was more of the same from the company (although the Premium and side-mounted fingerprint scanners were interesting), while the Xperia X (review) felt like an overpriced retread. Then the Xperia XZ Premium was revealed at MWC 2017, and you know what? I was actually excited again. Yeah yeah, the 4K HDR screen is pretty crazy on paper but I didn't care about that. No, it was the allure of the slowest slow motion recording around -- 960fps at 720p, compared to...

  • Darkside Detective review: you’ll want to play this

    Darkside Detective is a point-and-click adventure game developed by the Ireland-based five-man indie studio, Spooky Doorway. Although it is the first title to come from the new indie studio, the team boasts an impressive collective experience, sporting the likes of artist Paul Conway, who worked on franchises such as The Sims and composer Ben Prunty, best known for his work on FTL: Faster Than Light. Darkside Detective follows the adventures of the sharp-witted Detective Francis McQueen and his partner, the utterly clueless but equally loveable Officer Dooley. They are the only two members of the heavily under-funded and under-appreciated Twin Falls...

  • Tacoma review: time is oxygen…

    Tacoma is a sci-fi narrative-exploration game developed by Fullbright, the same Portland-based indie studio that brought us Gone Home, one of the very titles that started the trend of this genre. Tacoma is a considerably more ambitious title than Gone Home. Jumping from one voice actor and a 90s American Home to a cast of seven on-board a floating space station in the year 2088, the Fullbright team have definitely gone for a much larger experience. But now the question begs: is this for the better? At first, I didn’t like this new approach. I was a massive fan of Gone...

  • Wacaco Minipresso review: bold coffee, murky value for money

    It's never a dull day at the Gearburn office. One day you're reviewing the latest smartphone, the next you're hand-pressing an espresso like a seasoned, gadget-wielding barista. As luck would have it, I quite like coffee. So my mood immediately perked when the Wacaco Minipresso landed on my desk for review. It's an odd device as first glance, and it gets stranger the more you fiddle. But in summary, it's a miniature, manual espresso press. It has four distinct parts -- a cup, a water reservoir, the actual business end and a compartment for your coffee. You won't be using any granules...

  • Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch: A PC user’s review diary [Week Two]

    The last Apple Mac I used for any length of time was our tech's G5 machine for editing purposes. That was in 2008 and 2009. My only other notable experience with Apple Mac computers came from using a buddy's Mac G4 well over a decade ago. In other words, I'm essentially a Mac newbie then, having spent the vast majority of my time on Windows (with a few brief forays into Linux territory). So when an iStore representative asked if I'd like to review the 2017 13-inch MacBook Pro (no Touchbar, mind you), I figured why not? After all, there have...

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 review: it’s less powerful, but…

    The Redmi Note 3 (review) was one of our favourite smartphones of 2016, packing a gigantic battery, powerful Snapdragon 650 chipset and a solid hardware design. You'd expect a phone like this to retail for R6000 or more, but a price tag just below R4000 made the Note 3 one of the best deals of the year. The phablet wasn't without flaws though, with a solid but not great camera being the chief culprit here. Other annoyances include the off-centre microUSB port and the 2GB RAM/16GB storage (before the 3GB/32GB model was introduced). So we're glad to see the Redmi Note 4...

  • Fitbit Alta HR review: Is the HR a good Alta-rnative?

    Some of us aren't good at motivating ourselves to exercise. Sometimes you get home after a long day at work, and there seems nothing better than popping something frozen into the oven and crawling into bed. But those days become weeks, and then months, until eventually you're faced with the fact that neither your body nor your mind can handle your lifestyle anymore. For some, that's when you call your fit friend who lifts, like, 300kg a day, boet. But not even they can be there everyday to make sure you're meeting your goals. Enter Fitbit: the company that designs wristbands...

  • Fire Pro Wrestling World early access review: no Botchamania here

    The Fire Pro Wrestling games have been going for almost three decades now, but you'd be forgiven for never hearing of it until last month's Fire Pro Wrestling World. Human Entertainment released the first game way back on the PC Engine in 1989, with multiple titles coming out since then, before moving under the Spike Chunsoft banner. Bar a few off-shoots though, the gameplay and presentation has remained similar over the years. And the same rings true for the latest entry in the series, which hit Early Access on Steam after an almost decade-long absence for the franchise. The meat and potatoes You've got...

  • Better Late Than Never: Thimbleweed Park and The Final Station reviewed

    It’s Better Late Than Never time again, the review series that takes a look at the gaming titles we have unforgivably overlooked in recent months. In this instalment we will be looking at two mystery-ridden, pixel art titles: the pleasingly bizarre retro-inspired point-and- click adventure, Thimbleweed Park, and the dark and unforgiving 2D-sidescroller, The Final Station. Thimbleweed Park If you've ever played any of the old-school Sierra or LucasArts point-and-click adventure games, then you will feel right at home in Thimbleweed Park. This game does not only blatantly and shamelessly draw its inspiration from these titles, but its characters often openly, and...