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Monday, October 7, 2013

Nokia Lumia 625 review: 4G smartphone on a budget

Adding to the already large family of Lumia smartphones, Nokia has introduced the budget Lumia 625. Here's our Nokia Lumia 625 review.

The aim of the Lumia 625, according to Nokia, is to offer users a large screen and 4G connectivity for an attractive budget price – just £189 on Pay As You Go. "With a super-fast internet connection, there's a real demand for big, beautiful screens that help bring all the content to life – this is where the Nokia Lumia 625 arrives with a really competitive price to match." said Vinay Jayakumar, product manager at Nokia.

Nokia Lumia 1020 review: An amazing camera bolted on to year-old smartphone

The Nokia Lumia 1020 is the Finnish firm's latest and greatest Windows smartphone with a 41Mp camera at its core. Here's our Nokia Lumia 1020 review. Review UPDATED: 23rd September 2013

The Lumia 1020 can be thought of as a replacement for the 808 PureView.  That model also had a 41Mp camera offering high-quality photography for a smartphone but was severely hindered by the Symbian operating system.

Quiet PC UltraNUC review: a small budget PC offering good value for money

The UltraNUC from Quiet PC is one of the smallest PCs we've ever seen. Although undoubtedly thicker than a modern laptop, it's much smaller in the other two dimensions, and weighs well under half as any laptop too. See all Budget PCs reviews.

Plantronics BackBeat Go 2 review: decent quality sound for a reasonable price

Plantronics is aiming to be a market leader in wireless earbuds with the BackBeat Go 2, and the second generation model is a significant improvement over its predecessor. The BackBeat Go 2 earbuds produce decent quality sound for a reasonable price, but we still long for improved battery life and better quality bass. See all headphones reviews.

Sony Xperia Z1 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphone comparison review - which is the best Android phone?

We test a lot of smartphones here at PC Advisor, but recently two have stood out. The Sony Xperia Z1 and the Galaxy Note 3 are both big Android phones that offer stunning performance and excellent displays. They are part of a new breed of phones alongside the iPhone 5S that is taking portable computing to a new level of performance and  functionality. But which is best, the Xperia Z1 or the Galaxy Note 3?

Synology DS1813 review: sophisticated 8-bay NAS drive

Two's company and three's a crowd. But in NAS circles, the real magic starts when you have four drive bays to play with. That's when the circles of ‘data security' and ‘performance' coincide, by striping data across several disks in RAID 5 for added performance and disk redundancy.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sony Xperia Z1 review: Xperia Z gets tuned but puts on weight

 Sony topped our smartphone chart with its flagship Xperia Z smartphone and now it's back with a new and supposedly improved model. Read our Sony Xperia Z1 review to find out if it's a worthy replacement. Updated on 25/09/13

Shadow Warrior review

Endless, endlessly cheap innuendo, extreme gore, coloured keycards, complete linearity - all the hallmarks of an exceptionally irritating and retrograde first-person shooter. Yet Shadow Warrior gets away with it. Just about.

Samsung Ativ Book 9 Lite review: affordable ultraportable laptop

Samsung says the Ativ Book 9 Lite shares the same 'design identity' as the flagship Ativ Book 9 Plus. It certainly looks similar – no bad thing since the flagship Plus model is one sleek and attractive laptop. See all mid-range laptop reviews.

WD Se 4TB review: fast and relatively quiet hard disk

Western Digital – just WD to its friends these days – spotted a rich untapped vein when it launched the WD Red hard disk last year. The 3.5in SATA Red disk neatly filled the gap that existed between the slow-spin Caviar Green drive, oft installed in consumer network-storage boxes, and the RE-4 business and enterprise hard disk, optimised for filling racks upon racks of network-storage shelves. See all Storage device reviews.

Toshiba Satellite L50DT-A-10C review: an AMD-powered budget laptop

AMD’s processors are still the chips of choice for many affordable laptops, despite Intel’s dominance at the more lucrative end of the market. So it’s no surprise that Toshiba has opted to slot one of AMD’s accelerated processing units (APU) inside its £550 Satellite L50DT. This APU is just a CPU and graphics controller combined, as we now also see in most Intel Core chips.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Asus GeForce GTX 780 3GB review - powerful graphics card for serious gamers is expensive

The Asus GeForce GTX Titan took us rather by surprise when it appeared earlier this year. We're less surprised now to be looking at the nVidia GeForce GTX 780 graphics card. Particularly so given that this is really just another Titan, only with access to some areas barred.

Arbico H4676 Quiet PC Package review: a modest all-round family PC

A modest all-round family PC that benefits from relatively quiet noise levels – with components carefully selected for price – the Arbico H4676 will make a decent addition to homes up and down the country. See Group test: What's the best family PC?

The PC is powered by the trusty Intel Core i5-4670K processor, clocked at 3.4GHz (with a max of 3.8GHz) and backed by 8GB of high-calibre 1600MHz Corsair XMS3 memory.

Arbico Elite 4670 OCX review: gaming PC with great specs and a low price

Aribico's low cost system offers great value for money. At only £829, this PC comes without a monitor, keyboard or mouse. But even when factoring in the price of a decent display, the Elite 4670 OCX costs less than any other in this group test. See all gaming PCs.

Despite the low price, there has been no sacrifice in processing power. This system features the same Intel Core i5-4670K processor as most of the competition, overclocked to a speedy 4.4GHz. See also: What's the best gaming PC?

Epson Perfection V370 Photo review: good quality budget scanner

The V370 here is a fully-featured A4 scanner that comes with a transparency unit. Or the otherwise very similar V37 is available without a transparency unit for £20 less.

It's a fairly plain-looking model, with rather blocky brushed black casing, and a functional four-button control panel. It certainly lacks the glamour of Canon's silver and svelte models.

Grand Theft Auto V review - the slickest and the most varied Grand Theft Auto yet

Poor old Xbox One and PlayStation 4 - they're looking a bit unnecessary right now. Sure, you can get your protractor and slide rule out to gripe that Grand Theft Auto V is only 720p and the textures are a bit mucky on 360 and PS3, but Rockstar's latest open world ode to chaos does things we could never have imagined the outgoing console generation was capable of. It's an incredible accomplishment in scope and scale.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

iPhone 5c vs Nokia Lumia 520 comparison review: which colourful smartphone is better?

Apple has now launched a 'budget' smartphone that is bright and colourful and offers some, but not all, of the functionality of its flagship phone. Nokia also has a smartphone that does the same thing, this is the Lumia 520, here is where we put the two smartphones up against each other in what we call an iPhone 5c vs Nokia Lumia 520 comparison review.

We haven't yet had any hands-on time with the Apple iPhone 5c, so until we do we will be able to comment only on the smartphone's specs and reported features. We will update this comparison review once we have had some time with the device. 

iPhone 5S vs BlackBerry Z10 smartphone comparison review - how does BlackBerry Z10 compare to latest iPhone?

The Z10 is BlackBerry's first fully touchscreen smartphone - it has no physical keys or buttons for navigation. It is clean, simple and stylish; with straight edges and rounded corners.

As is traditional for an 'S' model, the Apple iPhone 5S shares a similar size, shape, design and weight as the iPhone 5 – although it's now available in silver, gold and space grey. It's pretty similar to the BlackBerry Z10, which from the front at least looks like a squarer iPhone 5.

Truffol Signature iPhone case review - quality case in wood, leather or steel

The new iPhone 5S is a premium product (not that the old iPhone 5 or new iPhone 5c aren’t expensive…), and so slipping it into a cheap and cheerful silicon case somehow just feels wrong – unless you have no cash left after the initial outlay. See: iPhone 5s review.

Sure you want to protect your phone from bumps and scratches but do you really want to hide its beauty in a cheap case?

Total War: Rome II (PC) review - relive the glory days of Roman Empire

With the popularity of TV shows such as Spartacus, interest in all things Roman seems to be at an all-time high. Sega has chosen this moment to release Total War: Rome II, the sequel to its 2004 strategy game. Massive battles have been a trait of past Total War games, and Rome II makes use of today’s modern PC technology to recreate epic clashes between Romans and their adversaries. See all PC game reviews.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

SteelSeries Flux headset (luxury edition) review: solid headset for gaming

Danish peripheral manufacturer, SteelSeries, has several lines of gaming-focused headphones, and the Flux line is at the upper end of the scale. The regular Flux headset comes with different colour options, but if you want a more premium look you can go for the Luxury Edition that we’re reviewing here.

Dell B1265dfw review - mono laser printer offers good speed, quality, but pricey toner

Small businesses and home-office workers needing relatively small volumes of black-and-white documents might be attracted to Dell's B1265dfw. And beyond the monochrome laser printing, it also has further multifunction capabilities. See all printer reviews.

HP Pavilion 11 Touchsmart notebook reveiw: this 'mini' notebook has good features

HP's Pavilion 11 Touchsmart is an 11.6in notebook (some call it a 'sub-notebook') that runs an AMD A6 accelerated processing unit (APU), 4GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive. It's a small and highly portable laptop of 1.5kg, and it’s also cheap. We think of it as a souped up netbook. See all budget laptop reviews.

BlackBerry Q10 review - BlackBerry with physical keyboard offers decent performance at high price

The BlackBerry Q10 is the flagship BlackBerry phone with a physical keyboard. It offers a similar BlackBerry 10 experience to its touchscreen cousin the BlackBerry Z10, but looks and feels much more like a traditional BlackBerry handset. As such it should prove popular with long-term BlackBerry users. But how does it stack up against other high-end smartphones?

Bests by Dre Studio 2013 review: Stylish and powerful headphones that deliver excellent audio

The headphone business is booming right now. Go on any plane, train, tube or bus and you will see several people enjoying their audio with a serious pair of cans on their heads. The most desirable of these headphones to the masses – for whatever reason - are Beats by Dre. Here's our review of the latest Studio headphones from Beats by Dre. See all audio reviews.

The new design of the Studio 2013 headphones from Beats by Dre, aren't that far off the beaten track from previous Beats products (excuse the truly awful pun!). They're big, curvy, in your face, and come in three colours; red, white and black. The glossy and plastic finish my not be to everyone's taste, but one thing they are not is boring. See also What are the best headphones you can buy in 2013?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

TomTom Multi-Sport GPS watch review: a reliable, durable GPS watch

Many novice and experienced runners use GPS watches. They're great for keeping a close eye on your average pace throughout a run, particularly during those last few kilometres when you're striving towards the finish line.

Runners would be forgiven for thinking that American company Garmin is dominating the GPS watch market. Every runner we know uses a Garmin. We've used a Garmin Forerunner 110 for two years now for short runs, half marathons and marathons — it's a reliable entry-level sports watch. See all smartwatch reviews.

Computer Planet ND 3000 review: a good value gaming PC

Computer Planet’s offerings include a range of bespoke and customisable PC systems, this particular model however comes from their Next Day range, which are available for immediate delivery. See all gaming PCs.

Chillblast Messiah 17 GTX780M review: powerful gaming laptop

It's not much to look at, but Chillblast's prophetically named Messiah provides pretty serious gaming performance – albeit with an even more serious price tag. See all high-end laptop reviews.

Chillblast Fusion Uzi review: small gaming PC with big performance

Clad in a bright blue plastic case, the Chillblast Fusion Uzi certainly stands out from the crowd. It's also the only small form factor PC in the group, featuring a compact Mini-ITX motherboard in the form of Gigabyte's Z87N-WIFI. See all gaming PCs.

Dell XPS 12 Haswell Ultrabook (late 2013) review: improved performance and battery life

Dell’s XPS 12 was one of the more successful attempts to create a convertible laptop/tablet device for Windows 8, and this latest version provides improved performance and battery life courtesy of its new Haswell processor. Take a look at Tested: best laptops with Intel's 4th-gen Core 'Haswell' processors.

Bose SoundLink Mini review: portable Bluetooth speaker

Bose has produced a number of portable speaker systems in the past, but the SoundLink Mini marks the first time it intends to compete on both size and price. Designed for devices like smartphones and tablets, the SoundLink Mini is one of the best sounding portable Bluetooth speakers on the market and really packs a punch for its compact size. See all audio reviews.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

HTC One vs iPhone 5 comparison review

The HTC One and iPhone 5 are two of the most impressive smartphones available to buy in the UK right now. Here’s where we put the two up against each other in this HTC One vs iPhone 5 comparison review.

In this HTC One vs iPhone 5 comparison review we will be comparing the two smartphone’s overall design, screens, processors, storage options, cameras, connectivity and software/operating systems.

Fitbit Flex review - fitness monitor wristband that's cool and fun

Keep fit wristbands such as the Fitbit Flex are becoming a popular way of monitoring and prompting better exercise and health through wearable technology.

Keeping fit and using computers didn’t used to go together. Sitting in front of a screen for hours doesn’t burn calories or do anything for your posture.

HTC One vs iPhone 5s comparison review: We compare both smartphone's specs

This week saw Apple launch its new flagship smartphone the iPhone 5s. The new iPhone 5s will face stiff competition for consumer's attention from the high-end Android market. One of the most popular Android smartphones around right now is the HTC One - this is the place where we compare the two phone's specs in what we call a HTC One vs iPhone 5s comparison review.

HP Envy Rove review: all-in-one PC is also a Windows tablet, but lacks power

Is the HP Envy Rove a supersized tablet or a portable all-in-one PC? You can make an argument for either case, but at the end of the day, the Rove's 5kg-plus weight precludes serious consideration as a portable in the traditional sense of the word.

Gigabyte S1185 review: Windows 8 tablet for business users

Microsoft’s Surface Windows tablets haven’t exactly set the world on fire. But there are other manufacturers still trying to find some sort of winning formula for Windows tablets. Gigabyte’s S1185 is probably too heavy to appeal to ordinary home users, but it does have some interesting features that could find a niche with certain types of business users. See all tablet reviews.

The 11.6-inch S1185 is currently only available in a single configuration, priced at £574 with a 1.8GHz Intel Core i5 processor – a dual-core Ivy Bridge part – with 4GB of memory and 128GB solid-state storage. Like the Surface, the S1185 only has about 80GB of free space available for your own files, but there’s a microSD slot that will allow you to add some extra storage when you need to.

iPhone 5S vs iPhone 5C comparison review: what's the difference between iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C?

Because we haven't yet had the chance to properly test the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, we're basing this article purely on specs. We'll update the review as we do more testing.

This we can cover off easily. The price for the iPhone 5S is as follows: the 16GB iPhone 5S will cost £549 inc VAT in the UK. The 32GB flavour will set you back £629 inc VAT, and the 64GB model a whopping £709 inc VAT. The iPhone 5C comes in lower, as befits Apple's first plastic phone since the 3GS. It comes in just two capacities - 16GB and 32GB - that cost £469 inc VAT and £569 inc VAT respectively.

iPhone 5C review - hands on with the budget iPhone 5C

This first iPhone 5C review is based on the iPhone 5C specification and brief hands-on time with the iPhone 5C. We'll be updating our iPhone 5C review as we spend more time with the latest Apple smartphone.

Without properly benchmarking the iPhone 5C we can't make a definitive verdict on the iPhone 5C, but you should know that the 'budget' iPhone offers premium performance.

Monday, September 16, 2013

iPhone 5S vs Galaxy Note 3 smartphone comparison review - how does Apple's latest iPhone compare to the Galaxy Note 3?

The Galaxy Note 3 is a phablet: a 6in device with the relatively large physical frame to match. But contrast the iPhone 5S is a svelte and sleek smartphone, offering performance and style in a small and slim package. They are oranges and apples, really - two very different smartphones that share a similar price point and release date. Here we compare the specs and our first impressions of the iPhone 5S and the Galaxy Note 3.

iPhone 4S vs iPhone 5C vs iPhone 5S: What iPhone should I buy 2013?

Apple has introduced the iPhone 5S, and iPhone 5C, discontinued the iPhone 5 and left the iPhone 4S on sale. Asking yourself 'Which iPhone Should I buy?', read our iPhone 4S vs iPhone 5C vs iPhone 5S comparison to find out.

We're comparing different generations and models of iPhone that are still on sale from Apple so it's not a case of which is the best iPhone – that's the iPhone 5S – it's a case of finding out which is the right iPhone for you.

iPhone 5S review: hands on with Apple's new iPhone 5S

We haven't yet had time to properly test the iPhone 5S, so this first iPhone 5S review is based on time spent with the device and the specifications as compared to other iPhones.

The 16GB iPhone 5S will cost £549 inc VAT in the UK. The 32GB flavour will set you back £629 inc VAT, and the 64GB model a whopping £709 inc VAT. For comparison purposes, the now retired iPhone 5 used to cost as follows: 16GB = £529, 32GB = £599, and 64GB £699.

Huawei Ascend P2 review - decent Android smartphone has above average camera

The Ascend P2 is arguably a nice looking smartphone, even if it's shown up in the looks department by Huawei's own Huawei Ascend P6. It's certainly thin and light at 8.4 mm and 122 g. The Google Android handset sits nicely in the hand with its flat back and rounded edges. However, for a UK audience it has nothing to make it really stand out from the crowd – and that includes Huawei’s claims to be the fastest. See also Group test: What's the best smartphone?

Mesh Elite Gamer PCA review: gaming PC that oozes quality

This imposing PC from Mesh comes in a rather expensive-looking, yet minimalist system case. Like the entry to an exclusive private club, its plain black door conceals well the coloured lights and mayhem within. As its name suggests, it’s the PC for Elite gamers with great taste in magazines. See all gaming PCs.

Samsung NX300 review: compact system camera packed with features

Samsung's NX300 is an interchangeable lens camera (or compact system camera, as they are known these days) that offers a lot more than just traditional photography to be undertaken. It's referred to by Samsung as a 'Smart Camera', which means it has plenty of built-in aids to enhance and edit your photos, and it also comes with some interesting, but perhaps not all that useful, wireless features. See all compact camera reviews.

PC Specialist Vanquish GT1 review: great balance of performance and features

PC Specialist’s mid-priced Vanquish GT1 is the result of a sensible, measured approach to PC design with a strong selection of components designed to give a great all-round-gaming experience rather than throwing in expensive high-end parts in order to edge ahead in the benchmarks. See all gaming PCs.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro hands-on review: Set to be the best hybrid around

Lenovo has served up a new version of its Yoga laptop and IFA 2013, the 2 Pro. Here's our hands-on review of the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro laptop and tablet hybrid at  IFA.

The original Yoga was one of our favourite hybrid laptop tablet combinations and Lenovo is back with a new version just in time for Christmas. We spent some time with the Yoga 2 Pro at this year's IFA technology show in Berlin, Germany.
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