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CES Monday Wrap-up: The Hottest Stories from TechRadar

TechRadarThe non-stop tech news craziness of the Consumer Electronics Show officially kicks off on Tuesday, but that doesn’t mean Monday was without a deluge of announcements. Thankfully, the team at our sister site TechRadar were on hand to bring us all the latest from Las Vegas. Here’s a rundown of some of the biggest stories from CES on Monday.

Dish Slings Offline DVR Content to iPad

Subscribers of Dish Network who also happen to own an iPad have something to potentially look forward to in the coming weeks. Speaking at a CES press conference on Monday, Dish CEO Joseph Clayton announced an all-new second-screen iPad app, as well as the ability to watch DVR content on your Apple tablet. The Dish Explorer app will be available starting Tuesday, offering content playback and programming recommendations. The company’s redesigned Hopper DVR box will integrate Sling technology in the next few weeks, transferring DVR content to watch on your iPad offline.

LaCie 5big Thunderbolt

LaCie Reveals the 5big Thunderbolt RAID

Looking for an absolutely massive storage solution for your Mac? Well, LeCie has a positively huge option for you. The newly announced 5big offers up to 20TB of space across — you guessed it — five bays. A comparatively smaller version can store up to 10TB of data. The solution offers two Thunderbolt ports, with the ability to connect six Thunderbolt devices together. Just think of all the amazing things you could store on a speedy, 20TB Thunderbolt RAID. Why, you could store over 5,000 feature-length movies!

LG 55-inch OLED TV Available in March, Costs K

OLED TVs are awesome, but if you’re looking forward to grabbing the 2013 LG 55-inch OLED TV this March, go ahead and take out a loan. At ,000, the new LG model is probably just a bit out of reach for the average consumer. But a company representative said new OLEDs will also have the option of a 65-inch or 84-inch model. We can only assume the 84-inch model will cost almost as much as some cars. Yikes.

Nvidia Shows Off Streaming Game Controller ‘Project Shield’

While the announcement of the truly powerful Tegra 4 processor is big news, Nvidia’s Project Shield may have been one of the most interesting reveals at CES on Monday. The device is basically an Android-powered game controller with a 720p HD touch-screen attached. But beyond its ability to play TegraZone and Google Play titles, the Shield can also stream games directly from your PC (assuming you have a GeForce GTX 650 or better in said PC). And you’re not bound to playing those games on the Shield screen, either; an HDMI port pushes the games to your TV, as well.

Sony Announces ‘The World’s First’ 4K OLED TV (Prototype)

Remember last CES, when Sony had us all excited about the possibilities of the Crystal LED TV? Well, according to the TechRadar team Sony just sort of…didn’t bring it up this year. Harumph. But, the company has announced what it’s calling the “world’s first” 4K OLED TV in a 56-inch prototype form. The TV looks amazing, but we have to wonder what ever happened to the Crystal LED. Moreover, we have no idea how much this fancy TV is going to cost. But judging by the LG model mentioned above, we’re guessing somewhere between “ouch” and “the kids can’t go to college now.”

Be sure to head over to TechRadar for all the news as it develops live form Las Vegas this week. We’ll have a nightly recap of all their shenanigans all week long.

 

Follow this article’s author, Matt Clark on Twitter.

Image source: TechRadar

 

News

This week’s hottest reviews on TechRadar

GoPro Hero

It’s only 8 days until Christmas! What do you mean you’ve not started your Christmas shopping yet?

OK so it’s a little more than 8 days until Christmas. But let this serve as a kick up the behind to get your creative juices flowing – it’s been a great year for tech, and there are lots of cool gadgets out there for you to either give… or ask for!

Here’s the best of all the new gear we’ve looked at this week, starting with the new GoPro!

GoPro HERO3 Black Edition review

Compared to the competition, such as the £100 cheaper Sony HDR-AS15, which already has Wi-Fi built in for live streaming, identical frame rates at 1080p and 720p plus a stereo microphone and speaker compared to the GoPro’s mono and no speaker; and the £160 cheaper Drift HD which has a built in colour screen and more buttons for menu navigation, is the GoPro worth the extra money?

Yes. Especially if you’re a professional videographer, because of the wide range of resolutions and frame rates it offers. And yes again, if you want a small, light camera that is capable across a wide range of environmental conditions. It’s an amazing and robust camera that can go all the places you can, and some places you can’t. Better, faster, and now with higher-end video modes more suited to the pro market, it’s a serious little piece of kit.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

When Amazon introduced the Kindle into the virtually nonexistent ebook reader landscape five years ago, it changed the way many of us view and consume literature. Several years on, and minor issues aside, Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite is more aces than not. It has the same primary advantage of every Kindle and Amazon device: the largest selection of digital reading material anywhere. That alone puts the Paperwhite among the best devices of its kind.

With a wonderful physical design, a legitimately impressive screen, an operating system that gets out of the way, and the largest selection of digital reading material anywhere, the Amazon Paperwhite is the best pure ebook reader currently available. It might not let you to visit Facebook, send Tweets, watch YouTube, or download the latest Kanye West album, but it displays ebooks, and in the absolute best manner possible. If that’s all you’re looking for, you can’t go wrong with the Paperwhite.

Olympus XZ-2 review

Although handling the XZ-2 isn’t as straightforward as Canon’s Powershots or as intuitive as Nikon’s Coolpix range, it does offer a plethora of shooting choice to cater for all levels of shooter; with manual and semi-manual controls for advanced enthusiasts, a dedicated auto mode (iAuto) and scene selector for novices, plus an art palette for keen creatives. Thanks to the lens, it’s an absolute must for low-light enthusiasts as it catalogues impressively crisp captures, even at lower ISOs, helped by the camera’s image stabilisation technology that cements details even when shot at noticeably slow shutter speeds, and when executed hand-held.

Olympus OXZ

Overall the price tag is a little steep, considering that some low-end to mid-range DSLRs and CSCs can cost a lot less, but for those seeking an all-encompassing compact camera with a solid lens performance the Olympus Stylus XZ-2 has to be one of the best currently on the market.

Hands on: Samsung Galaxy S3 mini review

While we’re all for the idea of cutting down the smartphone experience to make the cost a little bit more palatable, the Galaxy S3 mini is still too expensive to be considered an ideal choice if you don’t want the heft of its larger brother. Be it the lack of auto-brightness, the slightly less sharp screen or the fact it takes a normal-sized SIM (which will annoy those that have made the jump to microSIM already and want to move onto this budget option) there’s definitely a feeling that £300 for a phone of this quality is a little high.

Scrub off £50 and we can see a Christmas hit on the cards – although given the branding afforded to it, there’s a strong chance that will happen anyway – and we like to see consumers getting a fair deal, especially around the holiday season.

Other reviews on TechRadar this week:

Audio systems

Logitech UE Boombox review

Sonoro Troy review

AV accessories

Dr Who Sonic Screwdriver Universal Remote review

Cameras

Canon EOS M review

Hands on: Nikon D5200 review

CCTV cameras

Stem IZON Video Monitor 2.0 review

Cooling

Deepcool Ice Matrix review

NoFan CR-95C review

Scythe Mugen 3 Rev. B review

Scythe Katana 4 review

Thermolab Trinity review

Zalman CNPS14X review

Desktops

Raspberry Pi 512MB review

Digital TV recorders

Humax Freesat+ HDR-1000S review

Sky+ HD 2TB review

ebook readers

Nook Simple Touch GlowLight review

Kobo Glo review

In Car Gadgets

Handpresso Auto E.S.E. review

Laptops

Asus VivoBook S200 review

Samsung Series 3 Chromebook review

PC Specialist Optimus IV review

Scan 3XS Graphite LG5 review

Toshiba Satellite P855-32G review

Lenovo IdeaPad S300 review

Memory

Kingston HyperX Predator 8GB 2,600MHz review

Mice

Thermaltake Level 10M review

Mobile phone accessories

Altigen iFusion AP300 SmartStation review

Jabra Solemate review

Mobile phones

ZTE Kis review

ZTE Kis

Hands on: HTC Droid DNA review

Hands on: Google Nexus 4 review

Samsung Array review

Google Nexus 4 review

Windows Phone 8 review

Monitors

AOC i2757Fm review

Motherboards

Sapphire Pure Platinum A85XT review

Processors

Intel Core i3-3225 review

AMD FX-8350 review

Software

Hands on: Nokia Here review

Tablets

Hands on: Google Nexus 10 review

Apple iPad mini review

New iPad 4 review

Microsoft Surface review

Microsoft Surface

Kobo Mini review

Televisions

Toshiba 42VL963 review

Philips 55PFL6007T review

Panasonic TX-P42X50B review

News

This week’s hottest reviews on TechRadar

HTC 8X

While Apple has dominated the techlines for much of 2012, the time has come for Microsoft to shine.

As Christmas approaches, good old MS has kicked off its seasonal campaign with a hugue onslaught of new gear. There’s Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Office 2013 and of course, a multitude of brand new laptops, ultrabooks, tablets and handsets to run it all.

So make yourself a cuppa and allow us to walk you through the week’s best gear.

HTC Windows Phone 8X review

When we reviewed earlier Windows Phone handsets, we were told the platform needed time to bed in. It’s had that and it’s evolved but we can’t help feeling there are still a few areas it really is left lacking. Things like the poor media support are inexcusable and these are places where Microsoft is to blame more than HTC.

We’re sure it will be fixed but it takes the gloss off a new purchase when things like this don’t work flawlessly. And the sad fact is that even though Microsoft provides an OS that HTC can hardly tinker with in the way it can with Android, the buck stops with the Taiwanese here in punters’ eyes. The HTC 8X promised so much on paper and the excitement leading to it arriving was building up for us. Yet when it arrived, we found it to be a mediocre handset and this is the best of the two WP8 phones HTC is launching. Which means it’s not even the best value.

Word 2013

Office 2013 review

With a new version of Office, the first question that always springs to mind is whether or not there is anything new that Microsoft can add to a mature and powerful productivity package. Word is a product with 20 years of features and being able to insert videos and online images is more a matter of catching up with the times than a major new feature. But PDF Flow and the massive improvements in tracking changes and comments in documents are hugely useful.

All of the key Office applications get new features that are well implemented and equally well worth having. And with the switch to subscription pricing, the days of asking ‘is it worth upgrading for this feature, no matter how useful?’ are over. When new features come along, you’ll just get them for the same price. But you won’t be able to skip a year if you’re happy with what you have, so do the sums on what Office costs you long term.

HTC Windows Phone 8S review

Hands on: HTC Windows Phone 8S review

If we had a to pick a favorite aspect of the Windows Phone 8S by HTC, it would have to been its overall look. Between the iPhone 5, Galaxy S3 and Droid Razr M, we live in a sea of polished aluminum. In the past, we’ve claimed to prefer its feel, but HTC’s 8X and 8S have proven that a little aesthetic variety is indeed nice. It’s a compact phone that’s still got reputable specs, and the option for microSD expansion is an unexpected plus, given the 8X’s completely sealed design.

We do wonder what its battery life will be like with a 1700 mAh cell, and the lack of front-facing camera is rather strange. A special version of Skype has been one of Microsoft’s major bragging points with Windows Phone 8, and it seems the 8S won’t be able to enjoy all the benefits. This could be a corner that was cut to make a highly affordable device, making us all the more eager to get firm pricing numbers, and equally eager to give the 8S a full-blown review.

Hands on: Samsung Ativ S review

Hands on: Samsung Ativ S review

The Ativ S is our favorite Windows Phone 8 smartphone so far. While we like the eye catching and grippy construction of HTC’s Windows Phone 8X and 8S, and the colourful, swappable backplates of the Nokia Lumia 810, Lumia 820 and 822, the Ativ S looks great. It’s plenty thin and you can’t argue with those specs. We’re excited to give the Ativ S a full run-down once we get one in for review. The same goes for the Verizon version, the Ativ Odyssey, which may come with even more perks. We can’t wait to find out what they are.

Asus Vivo Tab RT review

Asus Vivo Tab RT review

The Asus Vivo Tab RT offers a super touchscreen Windows 8 experience in a lightweight package. However, it hasn’t matched its main rivals for price. That’s a real shame and may put some buyer’s off, but overall, the benefits of the Asus Vivo Tab RT do justify the substantial extra outlay.

Other reviews:

Cameras

Hands on: Nikon 1 V2 review

Cooling

Arctic Cooling Accelero Hybrid review

Desktops

Lenovo IdeaCentre A720 review

Dell XPS One 27 Touch review

In Car Gadgets

xTool iOBD2 review

Laptops

Sony Vaio Duo 11 review

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon review

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga review

Hands on: Dell Latitude 6430u review

Hands on: Lenovo ThinkPad Twist review

Media players

Apple iPod nano 7th Generation review

Mobile phone accessories

Fitbit Zip review

Mobile phones

LG Motion 4G review

HTC One X+ review

Hands on: Nokia Lumia 822 review

NAS

D-Link DNS-320L review

Software

Adobe Acrobat X1 Pro review

Sound cards

Creative Ziisound D3x review

Speakers

Creative Sound Blaster Axx SBX20 review

Storage

KingSpec Multi Core 1TB PCIe review

KingSpec Pro E3000 240GB SSD review

Corsair Neutron 240GB review

Tablets

Hands on: iPad mini review

Hands on: iPad 4 review

Televisions

Sony KD-84X9005 review

News

This week’s hottest reviews on TechRadar

Kindle Fire HD

This week we’ve got the definitive verdict on Amazon’s new Kindle Fire HD 7-inch, while we’ve also updated our Hands on review of the hottest Windows 8 tablet around – the Microsoft Surface which goes on sale next week for £399.

We’ve also checked out one of hottest bridge cameras around – the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200.

Enjoy this week’s reviews on TechRadar and prepare yourself for a bumper week of tech next week, with iPad mini and Windows 8 laptops and tablets also taking a bow. On with the show…

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7″ review

While the standard Kindle Fire has been lightly revised and reissued to actually make it to Britain for a mere £129, the new Kindle Fire HD is Amazon’s true effort to fight off the Nexus 7 and upcoming Nook HD. With a totally new build, notably enhanced display, and front-facing camera, it’s a marked enhancement over the original Fire model, but are Amazon’s custom UI and ecosystem still holding it back for power users?

Whereas the base Kindle Fire model sports a rather clunky, utilitarian build, the HD feels smoothed out – it’s a little taller (7.6 inches vs 7.44) and notably wider (5.4 inches vs 4.72) when held in portrait orientation, though it’s also slightly slimmer (0.4 inches vs 0.45). Weight-wise, it drops only .2 oz to 13.9.

Hands on: Microsoft Surface review

Microsoft Surface

Black, bevelled and beautifully designed; has Microsoft actually got a decent iPad competitor in its Windows RT-toting Surface tablet?

Magnesium chassis, vapour deposition coating, cutaway edges, ClearType HD display; the design credentials and the specs for the Microsoft Surface Windows RT tablet are impressive. In the flesh this is a delightful piece of hardware that looks good – and is practical too.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 review

Lumix DMCFZ200

Bridge cameras are perhaps sometimes unfairly dismissed as not being tools for ‘proper photographers’. Perhaps what this niche has needed is a newcomer to storm onto the scene with a specification list that will make all the dedicated DSLR users out there do a double-take.

Perhaps the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 is that camera.

With an impressive list of numbers and features, the Panasonic FZ200 could very well be the first small bridge camera to truly make DSLR owners – or those thinking about upgrading to a DSLR – rethink their plans.

Other reviews on TechRadar this week

Compact Cameras

Nikon P7700 review

Canon PowerShot SX50 HS review

Nikon Coolpix S6300 review

Graphics Cards

Zotac GeForce GTX 650 Ti review

Headsets

Plantronics Voyager Legend review

Plantronics headset

Mobile phones

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 review

Verizon Jetpack 890L review

LG Intuition 4G LTE review

Motorola MotoSmart review

Sony Xperia Miro review

Motherboards

Asus F2A85-V Pro review

Asus F2A85-V Pro review

Asus F2A85V Pro

ASRock Z77 OC Formula review

Gigabyte G1.Sniper M3 review

NAS drives

Transcend StoreJet Cloud review

Operating systems

Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Standard and Datacentre review

Processors

AMD A10-5800K review

Projectors

Epson EH-TW6000W review

Tablets

Hands on: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite review

Hands on: Asus Padfone 2 review

Asus Padfone 2

Televisions

Toshiba 46TL963 review

Panasonic TX-P50VT50B review

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This week’s hottest reviews on TechRadar

TXP50VT50

This week it’s all about TV – we’ve got a tremendous new plasma from Panasonic and a stunning new 46-inch from Toshiba.

Then there’s a full assessment of Samsung’s new Series 7 Gamer – a powerful new gaming laptop from the Korean manufacturer.

And we’re also hands on with Amazon’s new Kindle Paperwhite; a stunning new model in the Kindle ereader range that has a higher definition screen. Plus there’s plenty more besides: read on for a full rundown of the entire week’s reviews on TechRadar.

Panasonic TX-P50VT50B review

Among home cinema aficionados the talk is always of the importance of a TV’s ability to produce pure black. And while there can be too much emphasis on this, there’s no doubting how much more nuanced, detailed and believable a well-made film appears when viewed on a top spec plasma. And this 50-inch Panasonic VT50 Series plasma is exactly that.

Plasma, for now, is king among AV perfectionists who want as near to total accuracy as possible. The traditional downsides to plasma technology are largely aesthetic and to do with wider bezels and fatter chassis, but on the Panasonic TX-P50VT50 we’re struggling to see where the problem is.

Toshiba 46TL963 review

Toshiba 46TL963

Although Toshiba isn’t afraid to dabble with seriously fancy stuff at the very top of its TV range – including the remarkably cutting-edge Toshiba 55ZL2, with its 4K resolution and glasses-free 3D – it knows better than to muck about when it comes to the mainstream heart of its business.

Take this Toshiba 46TL963, for example. On paper, at least, this new 46-inch TV looks as if someone has taken all of the most important points on our TV wish list and assembled them together into a single, potentially irresistible product.

Samsung Series 7 Gamer review

Series 7 gamer

With its blue backlit keyboard and i7 processor, Samsung’s Series 7 Gamer laptop is a big shiny box of power. At 17 inches wide, it’s more of a semi-portable desktop replacement than a truly portable laptop. Still, this is a gaming computer, and with great power generally comes some serious bulk and a hefty down payment.

The first thing you’ll notice about the Series 7 Gamer are all the blue lights, and a silver dial on the right side, near the monitor. This lets you cycle the computer into one of four modes: Gaming, Balanced, Library and Green Mode. The Series 7 Gamer isn’t cheap, but it’s also not the priciest mobile gaming solution on the market. A little under two grand is pretty much par for the course with any machine that’s (partially) portable and capable of running Skyrim at a respectable resolution.

Hands on: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite review

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

Amazon’s media-friendly Kindle Fire took off like nobody’s business when it was introduced in 2011, but the bookseller isn’t abandoning the traditional, books-only Kindle by any stretch of the imagination. The 6-inch Kindle Paperwhite represents the next iteration of the company’s iconic brand of e-readers.

The most important factor of any device that you’re going to be staring at for hours on end is the screen, and the Kindle Paperwhite sports a new display with the highest contrast and resolution and least glare of any Kindle screen yet. Amazon’s new patented light guide tech directs light down toward the screen, reducing ambient light emitted by the Kindle Paperwhite – it worked well in environments.

Fuji FinePix X10 review

Finepix x10

Fuji created quite a stir when it released its FinePix X100 in March 2011. The combination of a retro-styled metal body, APS-C sized sensor, fixed 23mm f/2 lens and a unique hybrid viewfinder caused plenty of interest among enthusiast and professional photographers alike. Now Fuji’s X10 sits below the X100 in the range, sporting similar retro styling, but sacrificing the large APS-C sensor and fixed lens in favour of a 2/3-inch EXR CMOS sensor and a 4x zoom lens providing an angle of view equivalent to a 28-112mm lens on a 35mm camera.

A positive point to glean from this specification is that the price is much more modest. It is much more reasonably priced than its bigger brother, so it will be interesting to see how it fares when it comes to image quality. Fuji’s EXR CMOS technology uses a different pixel arrangement to conventional image sensors. This enables the camera to either take pictures at the full 12MP resolution, or to combine neighbouring pixels to increase image quality in low light conditions.

Other reviews this week:

Cameras

Hands on: Panasonic GH3 review

Graphics Cards

Zotac GTX 660 review

Mobile phones

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 review

Galaxy Note II

Verizon Jetpack 890L review

LG Intuition 4G LTE review

Hands on: Nokia Lumia 810 review

Hands on: LG Mach review

Motherboards

Asus F2A85-V Pro review

Asus F2A85-V Pro review

ASRock Z77 OC Formula review

Processors

AMD A10 5800K review

AMD A10-5800K review

Routers

Linksys EA4500 review

Software

VMWare Fusion 5 review

Parallels Desktop 8 review

Tablets

Kogan Agora ICS tablet review

Kogan Agora ICS

Televisions

Sony KDL-26EX553 review

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