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Reviews

  • Can the Vodafone SmartTab 7-inch beat its brethren? [Review]

    Steve Jobs was never all that big on seven inch tablets calling them "dead on arrival". Here at Gearburn, we're not so sure. We like the ultra-cheap Netsurfer Touch and we really like the BlackBerry PlayBook now that it's rocking OS 2.0. So, can Vodafone's seven inch offering match up to these two beauties? One thing is for certain -- it won't have as difficult-a-task of pleasing us as its 10-inch sibling. After all, that was starting to get into iPad and Galaxy Tab price territory without delivering anywhere near their specs. Everything that was discordant on Vodafone's...

  • Nokia Asha 201 — the opposite of excellence [Review]

    First impressions last the longest and if the Nokia Asha 201 was a person, I'd have slapped the taste out of its mouth the second it started speaking. Straight off the bat I can see that the Asha wasn't made for me. It's for the teens/tweens you know? The young at heart, the carefree who don't give a damn about responsive touchscreens, a decent camera, a fast display, a modern look or anything of that ilk. Onto the review. "Not terrible" is the phrase I'd associate with the design of the Asha. "A total clone of the BlackBerry Curve" is another....

  • Alcatel One Touch 990: Budget, but good [Review]

    I can’t recall that I’ve ever heard Alcatel smartphones being mentioned along mobile manufacturer heavyweights such as Samsung, HTC, LG, Motorola, RIM, Sony, Apple or even Huawei. I can vividly recall however, my first encounter with an Alcatel phone. I remember the frustration and subsequent catharsis I felt as I repeatedly bashed it against my car’s steering wheel shortly before throwing it out the window. That happened a few years ago. Since then, I’ve matured -- I’d like to think I’m less impetuous -- but have Alcatel’s consumer phones? When the One Touch 990 arrived at Gearburn HQ, no one...

  • Logitech Tablet Keyboard [Review]

    Was typing ever an issue on the iPad? For some, yeah it's a pain in the ass. The lack of tactile feedback leads to spelling errors, frustrations and eye rollings as you scream at the gods saying, "Why Apple, why?". So let's say that you fall into one of these camps. In this instance you need the Logitech Tablet Keyboard, an incredibly fancy piece of tech which connects via Bluetooth to an iPad, or an iPhone if you're mad enough. The US$70 keyboard makes typing much easier. It feels quite strange to not have a mouse alongside...

  • Water-proof, life-proof: the Motorola Defy+ [Review]

    When I first saw the Motorola Defy+, it was sitting in a glass of water. The poor phone hadn’t even been in the office for five minutes and it was already being tested to see if all of this “water tight” PR propaganda was true. It wasn’t immersed a meter deep for half an hour -- its advertised tolerance threshold -- but it survived nonetheless. Considering the fact that I’m still a bit upset that my last laptop was fatally wounded by a pathetically light shower of Kenyan blend coffee, the phone earned immediate brownie points. But, as it...

  • Marvel VS. Capcom 2 for iOS [Review]

    Deep breath... Marvel VS. Capcom 2 is the best port of a fighting game on iOS, ever. The controls are spot on, the graphics are pixelated prettiness and the fighting is oceans-deep. Breath out a sigh of relief, this games a cracker. The zany goodness of MVC2 has been condensed into a tiny 150MB download that is well worth the time you invest into it. It's a full-on port of the PS2 version,...

  • The design-fantastic in Botanicula

    Indie developer Amanita Design outdoes itself with this point-and-click exploration game chock full of imagination and flair. Band of Brothers What do Mr. Lantern, Mr. Feather, Mr. Poppy Head, Mr. Twig and Mrs. Mushroom all have in common? Well a quest to save the last seed of their home tree of course. Confused? You should be. One thing you shouldn’t be though is surprised. Coming from the hive mind of Czech company Amanita Design, Botanicula is a product of love. The company is known for its games brimming with imagination, bursting at the seams with gorgeous visuals, clever puzzles and colourful...

  • Samsung Galaxy Nexus — bow to our Android overlords

    If brilliance is a crime, Samsung's Galaxy Nexus is a mass-murderer. From tip to toe, the Nexus exudes class. It doesn't have the glass and metal knockout combo of the iPhone 4S, rather a plastic shell with a screen which seems to melt into the sides of the phone. At 135g, the Nexus is a heavyweight which is baffling considering the all-plastic exterior. We can chalk this up to the massive battery which lurks inside. Run your finger along the rear of the Nexus and you'll feel the richly dimpled back which curves ever so slightly on the bottom of the phone. The sides are matte black but again, it's...

  • Fez: breaking the fourth wall [Review]

    Fez is a dreamy platformer, the purest distillation of gaming I’ve played in years. Press start, and sink into a pillow of 16-bit gaming nirvana from the word go. It’s not hard to quantify Fez. For roughly US$10, Fez delivers a 2D platformer which exists in a 3D world. Click the left or right triggers and Fez spins the world on a vertical axis, revelling each side of the chunky cube you get to play in. “Play” is a word that videogame developers have all but forgotten. We run, shoot, jump, gain achievements and breeze through modern games without experiencing the...

  • Samsung NX200 — rolling with the big boys [Review]

    In an ever-evolving digital age where everything seems to get smaller, it just makes sense that manufacturers of cameras would be right there in the thick of it. Thing is, they have to miniaturise the equipment at the same time as trying to maintain the quality of modern DSLR cameras.  Over the past few years this led to the development of a whole new breed of cameras, called compact system cameras, or CSC’s as they are referred to in photographic circles. These cameras have the benefit of interchangeable lenses, which gives much more flexibility and better quality than the point-and-shoot...