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Reviews

  • 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...

  • First impressions — Windows 8 Developer Preview

    When you have been using multiple versions of Windows over a two decade period, it's not difficult to write an unbiased review about Windows 8, it's impossible. Thankfully, this is the Windows 8 Developer Preview, Build 8102, therefore I can rip it apart if it doesn't meet my ridiculously high standards. It's Windows, but not quite. How so? Think of it as an exceptionally well crafted alpha version of Microsoft’s latest magnum opus. It's fast, it's slick and it makes my heart beat wet, noisy thumps of happiness. Note: of course, myriad operating systems have now evolved well past...

  • Review: LG Flatron IPS 236V

    Sleek, black curved edges melding into a clear Perspex strip designed to house a single light. A bespoke amber arm, sitting off-centre, joins the ensemble to a raised circular base. No, it’s not some concept piece from a high-profile design house. It’s the LG Flatron IPS 236V. So, you may be thinking, it looks pretty but how does it work as a monitor? The short, simple answer: Brilliantly. The longer, slightly more complicated answer: Brilliantly, but with limitations. Although LG has other products which are LCD/LED hybrids, this one is riding the LED train all the way. In fact, the Korean...