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  • Petrol be damned, here’s the gas-powered Audi A3

    With all the hype surrounding electric vehicles, it seems like other possible energy sources have been forgotten, namely natural gas. Audi hasn’t forgotten, and has been hard at work developing a nice little A3 with gas-powered technology called the A3 Sportback g-tron. The cars will be built in collaboration with Audi’s new e-gas plant in Werlte, which produces carbon-neutral gas via renewable electricity. The North Sea will be host to wind farms responsible for providing electricity for the plant. So, yes, Audi will actually be producing a synthetic natural gas by a process called methanation, as the diagram below demonstrates....

  • Asus Zenbook U500 review: power at a price

    The sheer scale of the Asus Zenbook U500 is quite a surprise when you first open it up – we’re used to seeing thin and light laptops, yes, but not at this 15.6-inch screen size. We’d argue that its size means it isn’t truly portable. It’s more like a desktop replacement to have around the home; one that’s light enough to use on your lap, or carry between different rooms. It’s powerful too, and immensely sturdy, with an exquisite aluminium finish that follows on from the other Zenbooks Asus has released over the last few months. We really liked the Zenbook’s keyboard;...

  • Your next Windows Phone update is hopefully coming Xmas 2013

    According to a job posting asking for a Microsoft Phone engineer, the next Windows Phone update is set for a Christmas release. Unless you care for technical jargon, here’s the entry in the Microsoft job posting that drops the fresh details: This is a great time to join as we’re completing our current release are getting ready for our next release targeting the holiday of this year and we’re chartered with keeping the momentum for Windows Phone by bringing new killer devices and delightful user experiences. Windows Phone has been fairly slow to update, and Christmas seems like a fine...

  • ASUS Transformer Pad snags Android 4.2 update

    Thought Android 4.2 was only for the Nexus 7? Asus has just issued a press release saying that the Android 4.2 update has hit its Transformer Pad TF300, “one of the most successful ASUS tablets to date”. The TF300 is also the first non-Nexus 7 tablet to receive Android 4.2. Android 4.2, amongst other things offers “enhanced performance and stability, improves the user experience with new features as well as providing multiple user account logins.” Read everything new and shiny about the latest Jellybean update here. Owners of the ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity, MeMO Pad Smart 10” or MeMO Pad,...

  • Seagate says ‘cheers’ to 7 200rpm drives by the end of 2013

    By year-end, Seagate will discontinue production of 7200rpm drives, says Anandtech. Seagate’s 2.5-inch 7200rpm will hit the skids, and there are currently four models Seagate adheres to: Momentus 7200.4, 7200.2, Momentus Thin 7200, and Momentus XT. This makes logical sense, both fiscally and on the hardware front. A 5 400rpm drive from Seagate costs on average US$60 (500MB). The same size in a 7 200rpm formate is US$10 dearer. With solid-state drives offering faster performance at veritably the same price, the 7 200rpm drive simply reached the end of its tech-cycle. Seagate has long embraced SSDs though, with the Momentus XT being...

  • 7 reasons you might actually want a Chromebook

    It’s been nearly two years since the launch of the first ChromeOS laptop. With each new release, the platform is showing its mettle with a small, but growing number of disaffected Windows consumers. First it was the low price. Then it was the aspect of working in the cloud. Or maybe it’s that ultra fast (seven second) start-up. In any case, today’s tech manufacturers are coming up with new models of Google Chromebooks faster and faster — and buyers will benefit. Using Web tools offered by Google and other apps, these new Chromebooks from producers like Acer, HP, Samsung and...

  • HP Envy X2 review: a laptop, a tablet, and no good as either

    The HP Envy X2 is marketing type’s dream. It’s small, sleek and portable. It has a shiny silver exterior done up in brushed aluminium with trendy tapered edges. In terms of simple aesthetics, it oozes appeal. And then there’s the X2’s trump card. It’s both a laptop and a tablet. By holding a switch in place the screen detaches from the keyboard. It’s the sort of gimmick to make an impressionable geek swoon. On first inspection alone, the Envy X2 really will be the envy of your friends. But once you start operating the X2 its pretty exterior seems utterly superfluous....

  • Samsung Galaxy Young hands-on review: super-budget smartphone

    Samsung knows there’s a lot to be gained in the cheap phone game, so has released the basic Galaxy Young. Similar in many ways to the new Samsung Galaxy Fame, and likely to be sold side by side in some outlets, the Young skimps on a number of specs in order to bring an ultra-low price to consumers. As the name clearly suggests, this is a smartphone designed for the whippersnappers, those who don’t want to do anything more than download a few apps, show off to their friends and generally do smartphone things that don’t involve trawling through a million menus...

  • Apple’s new cheaper iPhone to sport a plastic case [rumour]

    Just as you think you have the latest iPhone, Apple surprises us once again with a new more accessible or better offering in the pipeline. According to claims by Macotakara, Apple plans to manufacture a cheaper iPhone. The Japanese Blog says the device will sport a polycarbonate plastic enclosure much like the one found on the MacBook and iBook before it. Other rumored details include a 4.5-inch screen, which would be half an inch larger than the one found on the iPhone 5 and iPod Touch, Apple’s usual home button, and a US$330 price tag that would be a...

  • 4 electric cars you’d actually want to own

    The improvements around electric cars over the last decade have been phenomenal. As the world begins to understand the need for alternate energy sources, electric cars lower in price and end up sitting driveways, just like a regular car would. While Top Gear pretty much hates the electric car, we love them, so let’s get stuck into four electric cars that you should consider owning. Volkswagon XL1: When choosing a car, people tend to decide based on a a combination of factors: design, practicality, performance and price. As a car junkie, I tend towards the performance side of things, but when...