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Reviews

  • 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...

  • Street Fighter X Tekken – The pinnacle of a stale genre

    New Tricks The Cross Gauge is a power bar shared between both of your fighters; plain and simple. You build it up by landing hits, or blocking successfully. The bar is divided into three sections, and different special moves will use one bar, two bars or all three, depending on their strength. The special moves are stylish, and the damage satisfying. The power bar is a welcome addition, and means that you can’t unleash your most powerful attacks all of the time, but rather have to build up to them adding a bit of a tempo, a dance if you...

  • Review: Philips DCM292 Sleek micro music system

    On the front you’ll find a power button, slide out iDevice docking tray and CD compartment eject button. On top there are source selection, back, forward, play/pause stop and volume buttons as well a 3.5mm auxiliary input, headphone jack and USB port for direct MP3/WMA playback. If you’ve been dreading digitising your CD collection, you’ll love the DCM292’s CD player. To me, it feels out of place in 2012 and at first glance made the DCM292 appear anachronistic. Actually, it is. The DCM292 first came to market in 2010 and it’s worth mentioning that unless you can pick one...