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Reviews

  • Reviewed: Verbatim USB Audio Bar

    Let's begin with the positives: it's inoffensively small, makes a loud noise and probably works with any laptop/desktop computer on the market. As for the negatives, it's a chocolate bar-sized piece of crap and it's yours for US$20, give or take. Onto the review. A poor start I can't compliment a two-watt speaker barely able to fart out an MP3. It's impossible to recommend a portable speaker which won't clip into the top of a laptop. And I sure as hell won't recommend an audio device that is sans volume control. Seriously, how can a company release an audio device...

  • Reviewed — Indie Game: The Movie

    This Kickstarter-funded documentary reveals insights into the niche industry of indie game development. More than that though, it shows the self-doubt, risk-taking and anxiety that artists feel when working on deeply personal projects. Indie Game: The Movie could easily be dismissed as style over substance. Its digital camera techniques are currently in vogue and its full of festival hype. But even though it's not the most subtle film, it shows us the faces behind the pixels and its revelations about the creative process goes beyond the gaming industry and makes for compelling viewing. But perhaps its greatest feat is...

  • Reviewed: Epson Powerlite projector

    In a land not so very far away, lived a tribe of doubters known as the “They Say” tribe. Remaining faceless and without form, they were responsible for spreading rumours and so mere mortals were prone to say things like "They say that man will never fly", or "They Say man will never get close to the moon, never mind walk on it". Other mind-limiting favourites were "They say man will never break the four minute mile or run the 100 meters in under 10 seconds”. And in the projector world, “They say that you’ll never get more than 1000...

  • Reviewed: Vodafone Smart Tab 7-inch [video]

    Once more into the heart of tablet darkness goes Stuart Thomas as he reviews Vodafone's 7-inch Smart Tab. It's an average tablet, with middling features and a whole lot not to like about it. So why the hell are we even bothering with it? Every gadget has its place, and every gadget, no matter how shoddy deserves a spot on the Gear. Let's dig into this bothersome wet blanket of a tablet.

  • Reviewed: HTC One X — bright and beautiful

    Let me preface this review by saying that if the lovely people at HTC (or some benefactor with some extra cash lying around) would be kind enough to deliver a nice white HTC One X to the Gearburn office soon, I will reconsider my plan to run away with the review model. Alternatively, I am willing to name my first born child (or my next cat) ‘One’ or ‘X’, if this would suffice as payment. Okay, I am being (slightly) hyperbolic, but if you can spend a day with this phone without thinking it deserves some sort of shrine, please...

  • Reviewed: Freedom chair — pricey perfection

    At roughly US$950, the Freedom chair from HumanScale isn't for the the average office bum. No, the Freedom chair is a take-no-prisoners, ultra-comfy piece of office equipment miles apart from standard crappy seating. It's a goddamn evolution of the chair and it would be one of the smartest purchases you ever make. Goodbye manual adjustments The issue with chairs is that they are not made for the human body. Here's my personal experience with office chairs: Arrive in the morning, sit down. Adjust. Readjust. The day goes on and my ass begins to numb. My back pains from leaning over and staring...

  • Reviewed: Linux Ubuntu 12.04 — the pipe dream

    For years now Linux faithful have touted that year as the year of Linux. With every new version of Linux (called Distros) be it Mint, Ubuntu and others more people get hyped up over what the possibilities are for the platform. I’ll be looking into the latest Ubuntu 12.04 and giving my opinion on the matter. Ubuntu is a lot of things. Linux is a lot of things. For one thing that everyone can agree on -- including the ones that hate Linux -- is that it is probably the best server operating system available. The problem with it is...

  • Reviewed: Galaxy S III — the only phone you will ever want

    When you pick up the successor to the best phone of the year in 2011, you expect something special. The minute we unboxed the Samsung Galaxy S III at Burn HQ, something special happened. The hallelujah chorus resounded and we all stared at the device that is sure to change our lives -- it is after all the most anticipated phone of the year. Overall design The Galaxy S III, as Samsung touts it, is "inspired by nature -- it sees, listens, responds, and allows you to share the greatest moments," and that theme is ever present when you turn on...

  • Reviewed: BenQ Joybee G2 Pocket Projector

    When data video projectors first made their appearance in the early 90’s, they weighed about 35kg’s and were generally transported around in aluminium flight cases with wheels and retractable handles. They squirted out (then), an astounding 200 to 300 ANSI lumen and along with Power Point, were pretty much revolutionary in the presentation market (no more 35mm slide carousels). But that was then, and this is now. This means that there are units that can weigh as little as 1kg and punch out as much as 2500 ANSI lumen, which is respectable in almost any presentation or home theatre environment....

  • Reviewed: Windows 8 Release Preview — there goes my hero

    I’ve been using Windows 8 permanently since the first Developers Preview in September last year. I was interested to see how the latest iteration of Microsoft's iconic OS would function in a day-to-day desktop environment. A lot has changed since the first preview and Windows 8 is starting to look like a viable platform and upgrade if you’re using Windows 7. Humble beginnings From day one everyone, including me, was extremely jarred by the new Start menu. It was in your face, the apps were lacking or non-existent and it was just plain ugly. Fast forward to today and it's definitely...