Archive for Mike Lowe - Page 6

Nest 3.0 review: The smartest thermostat just got smarter
4.0 stars

Nest 3.0 review: The smartest thermostat just got smarter

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We had Nest 3.0, the smart learning thermostat, installed at the tail-end of 2015, replacing the 2.0 model installed in the summer of 2014. Since then it's been sensing and learning our heating habits. Good job, as the wintry cold spell has really stuck... >>

Nest Cam review: The next level in home security?
4.0 stars

Nest Cam review: The next level in home security?

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Wi-Fi based home security camera options are everywhere at the moment, with the Google-owned Nest Cam not the first product with its foot in the door, so to speak. We've already seen Withings Home, Netatmo Welcome and Panasonic Nubo to name but a few.Nest... >>

Samsung Gear VR Consumer Edition review: The stepping-stone to Oculus proper
4.0 stars

Samsung Gear VR Consumer Edition review: The stepping-stone to Oculus proper

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Virtual reality, often known as VR, has a long and winding history. From the distant dream of Sega's VR, unveiled back in 1993, to the modern day it's-almost-here reality of Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR, it's South Korean giant Samsung that's... >>

Fujifilm X-Pro2 review: Pro perfection?
4.5 stars

Fujifilm X-Pro2 review: Pro perfection?

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When the Fujifilm X-Pro1 burst onto the camera scene its retro digital rangefinder style was like a pleasurable punch to the face; the kind of kipper-slap that left us, and many, a bit tingly around the chops and hungry for more. No camera maker had dared... >>

Nest major update: Phone geo-tracking added, family accounts introduced

Nest major update: Phone geo-tracking added, family accounts introduced

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Nest has introduced a major update to its app and services today, adding family accounts for up to 10 individual users per account and phone-based geo-tracking for smarter auto-home/away activation.As long-time users of the Nest Learning Thermostat, Nest... >>

Canon EOS 1300D brings Wi-Fi to the entry-level DSLR

Canon EOS 1300D brings Wi-Fi to the entry-level DSLR

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The entry-level DSLR camera sector doesn't see too many new models these days, but Canon has quietly just unveiled its latest: the EOS 1300D.An update to 2014's EOS 1200D, the 1300D is an altogether similar and affordable beginner product, but dresses... >>

Fujifilm X70 review: Wide-angle wonder
4.5 stars

Fujifilm X70 review: Wide-angle wonder

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Fujifilm is a winner when it comes to high-end compact cameras. So when the company unveiled the X70 at the tail-end of 2015 we were surprised and delighted by the concept: this 28mm f/2.8 (equivalent) fixed-lens camera pools together all that's great... >>

Mini Cooper Convertible (2016) first drive: Topless fun

Mini Cooper Convertible (2016) first drive: Topless fun

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It's almost hard to believe that the BMW-reimagined Mini is now in its 15th year. Call it a birthday, if you will, that the Cooper Convertible arrives this month in its third-generation and best-looking guise to date; a little puppy fat, cute looks, bags... >>

Libratone Zipp review: A sound Scandinavian success
4.5 stars

Libratone Zipp review: A sound Scandinavian success

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Libratone is a Scandinavian company and does things a little differently. First, it likes its materials: whether woolly coats or similar, like with its Diva soundbar. Second, its products aren't as outlandishly expensive as most things in Copenhagen.The... >>

Panasonic Lumix TZ100 review: Imaging liberation meet lens limitation
4.0 stars

Panasonic Lumix TZ100 review: Imaging liberation meet lens limitation

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The Panasonic Lumix TZ100 (known as ZS100 in the US) joins an increasing raft of cameras built around a 1-inch sensor size, promising upgraded image quality over what you would normally expect from a standard compact.Most prominent camera companies are... >>

Oppo F1 review: Pole position or pit stop for this affordable phone?
4.0 stars

Oppo F1 review: Pole position or pit stop for this affordable phone?

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When you look back at how phones have progressed over the last few years, it's easy to just focus on the top models: your iPhones and Samsung Galaxy S-es. However, for your average person who wants a phone but doesn't want to blow a massive hole in their... >>

Far Cry Primal review: Kings of the Stone Age
4.5 stars

Far Cry Primal review: Kings of the Stone Age

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In the modern games industry, once a publisher has a hit and follows it up with a successful sequel, all thoughts of risk and reward go out of the window. For that marks the point at which a new "franchise" is established, and we all know what those are... >>

Nikon DL: Trio of 1-inch sensor cameras, can Nikon finally make its mark in compacts?

Nikon DL: Trio of 1-inch sensor cameras, can Nikon finally make its mark in compacts?

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As one of the biggest camera manufacturers in the world, Nikon compacts have, by and large, been uninspiring and lost out to better competition. Until now, thanks to the announcement of a trio of 1-inch sensor compacts, called Nikon DL.It's an interesting... >>

Microsoft Surface Book review: One for the books
4.0 stars

Microsoft Surface Book review: One for the books

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After picking up the Microsoft Surface Book the bag in which it was placed promptly ripped through at the handles as we wandered down the street. Ah, this isn't a lightweight tablet-esque Surface product and, we suppose, we learnt that the hard way before... >>

Denon AH-MM400 headphones review: Wonderful or just wooden?
4.0 stars

Denon AH-MM400 headphones review: Wonderful or just wooden?

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Tired of plasticky headphones? Well, here's your chance to buy into some with a wooden exterior - Denon's new AH-MM400 reference over-ears.Which, some might think, look somewhat mad. Apt, then, that they top the "Music Maniac" range, we suppose.We've... >>

Canon PowerShot SX720 HS preview: Putting 40x zoom in the palm of your hand

Canon PowerShot SX720 HS preview: Putting 40x zoom in the palm of your hand

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Ah, the compact superzoom. Over the years they've got smaller yet, somehow, have managed to cram more and more features in. In the case of the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS it's all about the zoom - 40x optical zoom, no less.Which is quite a feat. In the hand... >>

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II: Upping the high-end compact ante

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II: Upping the high-end compact ante

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When we first used the Canon PowerShot G7 X, the company's first 1-inch sensor compact, it felt like Canon's attempt to deflect a strong Sony line-up - namely the RX100 series.Some 18-months later and it's time for round two, with the G7 X Mark II upping... >>

Beats Pill+ review: A pricey pill to swallow
3.5 stars

Beats Pill+ review: A pricey pill to swallow

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Portable Bluetooth speakers are available in abundance right now. Whether ones made by companies you've heard of, or ones that you haven't, the price and ability of such speakers hugely varies. With Beats now owned by Apple adding a sense of extra kudos... >>

Samsung is launching a Wi-Fi and touchscreen-toting fridge in the UK. Yep, a refrigerator with Wi-Fi

Samsung is launching a Wi-Fi and touchscreen-toting fridge in the UK. Yep, a refrigerator with Wi-Fi

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What's the thing clearly missing from your fridge? And no, it's not a pint of milk. It's Wi-Fi. And cameras. And a touchscreen.Which is exactly what the catchily-named Samsung F-Hub RB38J7755B1 - which is the single-stack UK slant on the double-stack... >>

Samsung Pay coming to UK ‘very soon’, to coincide with Galaxy S7 launch

Samsung Pay coming to UK ‘very soon’, to coincide with Galaxy S7 launch

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Fuelling the march towards the Samsung Galaxy S7 phone launch, the Korean company dangled a Samsung Pay UK release date carrot at its European Forum 2016.Nathalie Oestmann, Head of Samsung Pay Europe, announced on stage that the mobile payment tech will... >>

Philips PUS8601 4K TV with 4-sided Ambilight review: Colour us impressed
4.5 stars

Philips PUS8601 4K TV with 4-sided Ambilight review: Colour us impressed

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It can take quite a lot for a TV to stand-out from the crowd. Philips' approach? Plonk some LED lights around all four sides of its rear - aka Ambilight, used to real-time project coloured lighting in sync with the image on screen - and, no doubt, you've... >>

Panasonic Lumix TZ80 review: Can't Touch This
4.5 stars

Panasonic Lumix TZ80 review: Can't Touch This

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The Panasonic TZ range is hugely popular when it comes to dedicated compact cameras, especially if you're looking for big zoom in a relatively small package. In 2016 the range is diversifying: 2015's TZ70 is replaced by the similar TZ80 (or SZ60 for our... >>

Sony A6300 shows what system cameras can do: 425-point autofocus, 4K video, 11fps burst and more

Sony A6300 shows what system cameras can do: 425-point autofocus, 4K video, 11fps burst and more

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We've long been expecting a Sony Alpha A7000 to replace 2010's NEX-7, but Sony has other plans, instead announcing the A6300. But it doesn't scrimp on the features at any level.Touting the "world's fastest autofocus" at just 0.05-seconds - although it... >>

Canon EOS 1D X Mark II vs 1D X: What's new?

Canon EOS 1D X Mark II vs 1D X: What's new?

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In 2016 it's the year of the pro DSLR once again: the Canon EOS 1D X Mark II follows hot on the heels of the Nikon D5, which was announced a month earlier at CES 2016, but how does this full-frame pro-spec DSLR compare to its 1D X original?We handled... >>

Huawei Mate 8 review: Big beauty
4.5 stars

Huawei Mate 8 review: Big beauty

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Not so long ago the idea of a 6-inch phone sounded like a bonkers one. Now it's the norm for many, helped along by the iPhone 6S Plus, and with devices as powerful and refined as the Huawei Mate 8 also coming to market it's perhaps a more appealing concept... >>

Audi Q7 e-tron first drive: Electro efficiency

Audi Q7 e-tron first drive: Electro efficiency

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Plug-in electric vehicles are on the rise, with the Audi Q7 e-tron joining the A3 Sportback e-tron and R8 e-tron - taking the German maker's count up to three. There's clearly momentum behind electric, thanks to its efficiency, environmental and fuel-saving... >>

Motorola Moto Force review: Not all it’s cracked up to be
3.5 stars

Motorola Moto Force review: Not all it’s cracked up to be

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Butterfingers? The Moto Force might be the ideal flagship phone for those prone to dropping their smartphone on the regs, as its the first handset to offer a shatterproof screen. Well, if you discount the Droid Turbo 2, the name of the very same handset... >>

Fujifilm X-E2S official: It's S for subtle performance push

Fujifilm X-E2S official: It's S for subtle performance push

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In tech it seems that tacking an "S" onto the end of a product means "it's new, it's a bit better than the last one, but not by loads". We only need to look at Apple and the annual iPhone updates to see that. Now it's the turn of Fujiiflm with its X-E2S,... >>

Fujifilm X-Pro2 vs X-Pro1: What's the difference?

Fujifilm X-Pro2 vs X-Pro1: What's the difference?

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Four years in the making, the Fujifilm X-Pro2 is the company's highest-ranking compact system camera. But have those four years been worth the wait, or is the latest model barely different to its X-Pro1 predecessor?We've handled both cameras to break... >>

HP EliteBook Folio preview: Super-slim laptop means business

HP EliteBook Folio preview: Super-slim laptop means business

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It may well be a business laptop, but the HP EliteBook Folio sure does mean business. This slender workhorse is a mere 12.4mm thin - making it even more trim than the 12-inch MacBook.How's that possible? As the EliteBook Folio uses an Intel Core M processor... >>

Bang & Olufsen BeoSound 35 preview: Pentagonal powerhouse

Bang & Olufsen BeoSound 35 preview: Pentagonal powerhouse

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Danish audio maker Bang & Olufsen is known for its high-end materials and finish in its products. That's something the BeoSound 35 soundbar-esque multi-room music system strives to achieve, but with a somewhat harsher-looking pentagonal form than the... >>

HP Spectre x360 (2016) preview: OLED ace might be the best looking laptop ever

HP Spectre x360 (2016) preview: OLED ace might be the best looking laptop ever

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The original Spectre x360 saw HP assert its strengths in the laptop market. It was, and is, one great looking, great functioning laptop. For 2016 it's gone one better for the refresh by incorporating a 13.3-inch OLED panel into the design.And boy does... >>

What is 4K UHD? Ultra-High Definition explained, and why it matters for your next TV

What is 4K UHD? Ultra-High Definition explained, and why it matters for your next TV

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The term Ultra-High Definition - also known as Ultra HD or UHD - has been kicking around for a couple of years now. But what does it actually mean and why does it matter if you're looking to buy a new TV?Just as we've got used to the "Full HD" term, along... >>

Technics SL-1200GAE turntable in pictures: Classic design, stunning quality

Technics SL-1200GAE turntable in pictures: Classic design, stunning quality

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We're long-time fans of the Technics SL-1200 (and 1210) turntable series. So when Panasonic announced that production of a 7th generation model in 2016 was about to commence we got rather excited.At CES 2016 in Las Vegas, we got a first hand sampling... >>

Naim Mu-so Qb: Rounded audio meets square design

Naim Mu-so Qb: Rounded audio meets square design

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When the Naim Mu-so launched in 2014 it attracted critical acclaim, bagging the Pocket-lint Awards 2015 gong for best speaker. Now the essence of that high-end wireless all-in-one multiroom speaker is available in a smaller, cube-shaped form factor: the... >>

UHD Blu-ray players are finally here: Panasonic enters 4K disc market with DMP-UB900

UHD Blu-ray players are finally here: Panasonic enters 4K disc market with DMP-UB900

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With 4K ultra-high definition TVs beginning to become the norm, it's been a long and winding road for the physical format, UHD Blu-ray, to reach its final standard. With the UHD Alliance now signed and sealed on that deal, 4K Blu-ray players will, finally,... >>

Want a premium 4K experience? Panasonic DX900 is first-to-market Ultra HD Premium TV

Want a premium 4K experience? Panasonic DX900 is first-to-market Ultra HD Premium TV

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The battle for the ultimate 4K TV is on at this year's CES, with Panasonic the first to get an Ultra HD Premium qualified TV to market - the DX900 - which is due out this February.While Ultra HD Premium doesn't redefine the core of what 4K is all about... >>

Panasonic Lumix TZ80 vs TZ70: What's the difference?

Panasonic Lumix TZ80 vs TZ70: What's the difference?

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When it comes to what some call "travel zoom" compact cameras, Panasonic is on top form. Its Lumix TZ70 from 2015 combined a wide-ranging 30x optical zoom lens with built-in electronic viewfinder and general all-round top performance.For 2016 the updated... >>

Technics SL-1200G official: DJ turntable makes an audiophile return for 2016

Technics SL-1200G official: DJ turntable makes an audiophile return for 2016

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Technics had already teased its return to turntables at the IFA electronics show in 2015, but its nameless mock-up model lacked a tone arm and, well, didn't really look much like a turntable at all.Skip the needle to 2016 and all is revealed: the SL-1200G... >>

Sony A7 II review: Mostly alpha, some beta
4.5 stars

Sony A7 II review: Mostly alpha, some beta

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The very first full-frame compact system camera, the Alpha A7, was such an out-there trend setter that it nabbed the Pocket-lint Awards gong for best system camera back in 2014. Fast-forward a couple of years and, as we tread into 2016, the latest-generation... >>

Sony Cyber-shot RX10 II review: One serious superzoom
4.5 stars

Sony Cyber-shot RX10 II review: One serious superzoom

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The Sony Cyber-shot RX10 II is, just like its predecessor, a camera that's going to divide opinion. On paper its 24-200mm f/2.8 equivalent lens and 1-inch sensor combination sounds like the bees knees. Until, that is, you see the physical size of this... >>

Canon PowerShot G5 X review: Chunky but comprehensive compact
4.0 stars

Canon PowerShot G5 X review: Chunky but comprehensive compact

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It's all change in the camera market, with the focus on throwaway compacts all but dead in the face of smartphone domination. Canon is well known for its chunky-but-capable compact cameras, with 2013's G16 seemingly representing the end of that range,... >>

Apple iPad Pro vs Microsoft Surface Pro 4: Which is best?

Apple iPad Pro vs Microsoft Surface Pro 4: Which is best?

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It’s battle of the big tabs. Literally. Apple has introduced the iPad Pro, following in the footsteps of the Microsoft Surface Pro 4. But which is best: the newcomer iPad or the more established Surface Pro?On the (ahem) surface the concept of iPad... >>

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 review: Brilliant, bar battery life
4.0 stars

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 review: Brilliant, bar battery life

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Microsoft is probably smiling gleefully: it's got the upper hand on Apple, with the Surface Pro 4 really shaking its tail-feather at the iPad Pro.For the Surface Pro 4 is the most refined and comprehensive model in the Surface series yet - if you're in... >>

Canon PowerShot G9 X review: Touching the void
4.0 stars

Canon PowerShot G9 X review: Touching the void

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On the evidence of the Canon PowerShot G9 X it's time to wave goodbye to the company's older, small-sensor PowerShot cameras. Why? Because the G9 X packs a large 1-inch sensor size into a slender body, making a good case to out-and-out replace models... >>

OnePlus X review: Affordable, but no ace
4.0 stars

OnePlus X review: Affordable, but no ace

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OnePlus has a formula: make phones affordable. We're huge fans of the OnePlus 2 handset, which effectively carved a new standard by delivering near-flagship quality for a middling £239 price-point.With the OnePlus X, however, the formula has been tweaked.... >>

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 IV review: Still the compact to beat
4.5 stars

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 IV review: Still the compact to beat

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It's 2015 and there's an argument that the compact camera is obsolete in the face of advancing smartphones. The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 IV is the absolute antithesis to that; a high-end, pocketable compact with large 1-inch sensor and 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8... >>

Toyota Prius (2016) first drive: Taxi!

Toyota Prius (2016) first drive: Taxi!

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When we think Toyota Prius we think taxi. Whether New York City Taxicab or one of many Uber cars, this hybrid electric vehicle is a well-established player that, well, you're probably more used to sitting in the back of rather than behind the actual wheel.Back... >>

Audi A7 Sportback h-tron first drive: Hydrogen goes hyper

Audi A7 Sportback h-tron first drive: Hydrogen goes hyper

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Hydrogen fuel cell powered cars aren't new - we've already driven the BMW 5 Series concept, the Hyundai IX35 and the road-ready Toyota Mirai - but Audi's first foray into the tech is an altogether meatier, more powerful concept car. The A7 Sportback h-tron... >>

Audi A4 (2016) first drive: All about the extras

Audi A4 (2016) first drive: All about the extras

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During our pre-brief ahead of test-driving the 2016 Audi A4 Saloon, there was one line that resonated in our minds: "connectivity and systems are now as important as ride handling". It's largely true - as we'll come to later in separating our views between... >>