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Reviews

  • Sony’s Xperia S hits the right notes [Review]

    It was the hypnotic, blue background swirl of the Xperia S which first drew me in. Like staring into the night sky, digital ribbons flux merrily on a 342PPI display. It's gorgeous, an apt display of this 1.5Ghz dual-core beast's powers. Sony's gone and pulled an ace out of it's smartphone collection and I'm pleased to say that the Xperia S is one of the better phones of this generation. Nothing is without its flaws though, and minor issues reign the Xperia back from being the next iPhone 4S or Galaxy S III. The design both impresses and disappoints,...

  • Targus Truss case for BlackBerry PlayBook [Review]

    This review can go one of two ways. Super short, punchy and insightful or long and rambling. I'm going for the former. Targus' Truss case is a beautifully realised accessory. It's jam-packed with oodles of luxury, stinks of class and turns the already gorgeous PlayBook into a tome of mighty power. Let me explain. The case is roughly US$40 depending on where you find it. If you find it laying in the road, it's free. If it's hanging in a fancy tech store, it's going to be US$40. But what a case it is. The (very) hard outer shell is pure...

  • Magic cube virtual keyboard: The future ain’t here [Review]

    Everyone wants a virtual keyboard and anyone who says otherwise is lying. Seriously, what could be cooler? When I got handed the virtual keyboard to review I squealed a little. My Matrixesque dreams were finally coming true. Since I was eight-years-old I have been waiting for hovercrafts and in-brain wireless technology. I feel technology is taking its sweet time to catch up with my ambitions. The virtual keyboard isn't the revolutionary tech I yearned for but it's a start. So here goes my ride with Magic Cube from Celluon. The tech that enables these kind of laser-based keyboards has actually...

  • 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...