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Reviews

  • Logitech Wireless Mini Mouse — smaller than a baby otter

    I barely felt it move in my pocket. A tiny red nugget, the Logitech Wireless Mini Mouse (M187) isn’t the best mouse in the world, but lord have mercy if it ain’t the smallest. The mouse is usually the final hardware option users consider after purchasing a bleeding-edge laptop or desktop computer. But why?! It’s the single most important purchase after a USB vagina. I’m deadly serious. So it’s a teeny little mouse practically swallowed in my ginormous hands. It’s a red jewel of control which runs on a single AAA battery and fits between a half an apple and a...

  • The Toshiba Portégé R380-10R – the beast within

    The Toshiba Portégé R380-10R is the first “Ultrabook” (I use inverted commas because the term sickens me) I’ve managed to lay my hands on. It’s thin, dangerously fast and exceedingly powerful. The benchmarks, which I’ll discuss later, paint the picture of laptop ahead of the curve. Let’s find out how I fell in love with the Portégé R380-10R. Overall design For a GPB£1 599 (approximately R19 200) laptop, the crazy price seems unjustified by the flimsy design. The screen, and the hinges attached to the screen, especially worry me. The lid is too flexible for my liking. Slightly bending it, which happens...

  • Olympus Tough TG-810 — Can a camera make you rugged?

    I walked into the editorial office a few days ago, just after a fresh gadget delivery. "Here," said one of my colleagues, "We've got something for you to review". His gym-calloused hands tossed it my way, just missing the bearded man mountain of a writer who sits between us. It was a camera. With the word "tough" in its name. Now let’s just get one thing clear, I cry at the end of Gladiator, and Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. Every time. I use moisturiser. Oil free. With built in sunscreen. I’ve even been known to write...

  • Review: Nokia Lumia 800 – Achingly beautiful

    Writing this review was emotional. I became deeply pensive, and at one stage called my mom to tell her that I love her and that I’ve found the perfect phone for her. It’s what the Nokia Lumia 800 does. It evokes emotive responses. It makes you, for the lack of a better word, gaga. I work with a panoply of personality types, and the Lumia 800 drew superlative praise from everyone. No hyperbole here, just plain, honest truth. Expletives were thrown around, crooning was done, and shrieks of delight were commonplace. I tried to figure out why people were having these...

  • Logitech Wireless Touchpad: reinventing the wheel

    Who ever thought that turning a mouse on its belly and rubbing its little rubber nubbin would be preferable to standard mouse control? The trackball actually predates the mouse, so screw that antiquated form of movement and embrace the gleaming future of control with the Logitech Wireless Touchpad. Overall design With the colour scheme of a killer whale, the Touchpad is a thing of refined beauty. Logitech knows how to design desktop gadgets. The Touchpad's smooth surface feels dense and resilient, it's like rubbing my finger against the surface of a fine leather wallet. The back is made of pure ivory-like...

  • App of the Week: Puzzlejuice

    This week I take a look at Puzzlejuice, a brand new puzzle game for iOS that will, as the developers say, punch your brain in the face. Let me start off by saying, and I'm sure I've said it before, that I am not much of a gamer, at all. Yes, there have been a couple games on the iOS platform like Swords & Scorcery, Tiny Wings and Angry Birds that have grabbed and held my attention for a while and impressed me with their innovative take on the device's controls and capabilities, but not many. To sum up, when...

  • The Gobii 12MP camera turns you into an ‘almost pro’

    A little while ago I sat with the Gobii 12MP camera box on my desk, about to open it and thinking to myself how cleverly named and packaged it was. On opening the box, I found all the usual contents neatly packaged: the camera itself, a fake suede camera bag, strap, Li-ion battery, battery charger, Kingston 4GB SDHC card and a USB cable to connect it to your computer. Above all, a neat and fairly comprehensive manual is included, as well as a software CD. The little camera feels solid in the hand and boasts a 4X optical zoom and...

  • Review: Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro — unforgettable it ain’t

    When I first got my hands on the Xperia Pro, I thought I was going to be pondering the merits of a slide-out keyboard in a touch-screen world. Then I started playing with it and was overwhelmed by how unimpressive it is. Sure it packs some serious fire power, but it just doesn’t leave an impression. It's a bit like that nice couple next door, with their two mid-sized sedans. Perfectly nice to have a conversation with, but the whole time you'll be looking at the whiskey-drinking, Mustang-driving designer and his indie-singer girlfriend across the road. It’s funny that we’ve got...

  • DStv Walka — Plastic fantastic

    It feels cheap, the sound quality is dire, and the signal is rarely clear. But hell, I love the DSTV Walka. It’s compact, low-res and filled with charm. But is it worth dropping R600 plus the R36 per month subscription? Clear and present danger The DStv Walka is a handheld TV with a dubious name, but oodles of personality. The screen is tiny -- a mere 320p by 240p resolution which can by no means compete with the full HD capability of DStv's PVR offering. It's not meant to appeal to that crowd though. The Walka is for the guy who wants...

  • Not a Review: Gobii digital photo frame

    Most of us need a digital photo frame like we need a hole in the head. In the era of flat panel TVs to which we can effortlessly beam images, or into which we can stuff USB cards filled with an endless supply of inane holiday snaps, crossing-the-harrassment-line staff party pics, minute details of bloody baby showers and simpering soft-focus wedding pictures, digital photo frames -- even cheap photo frames such as this one from Gobii -- matter no more than a Kardashian nuptials. What possible reason to stuff this turkey down your Christmas stocking? If digital photo frames are...