A week in reviews: May 20 - 24
This week in reviews, we took a look at a camera that aims to rival the GoPro, both in terms of features but also in terms of pricing. The Veho Muvi comes with a remote and a waterproof housing that can keep it safe in some very deep water. In short, we loved it, but there's loads more detail in our review.
We also looked at a new Nokia Windows Phone that offers a lot of bang for your buck, but perhaps not as much as Nokia's other phones. We also saw an affordable tablet, an affordable superzoom a semi-affordable mouse and a fairly expensive Windows 8 tablet from Microsoft.
Veho Muvi HD NPNG edition
Rugged sports camcorders are having a good time of it at the moment. These impressive little cameras achieve things that weren't possible for less than tens of thousands of pounds a few years ago. These days, you can get a good one like this Muvi HD for £200 with a stack of accessories included.
We think it's a bargain, and we love the quality. It might lack some of the features of the high-end GoPro, but it's also £150 more expensive. Well worth a look.
Quick verdict: The package here is brilliant, and the Muvi is fantastically well designed too. The menus are easy to use, the video quality is great and the ability to stick it on anything with a tripod mount shouldn't be underestimated. Overall, we think this camera is a great buy if you're looking for a super-rugged waterproof camera that has pretty much every feature you need included.
Full review:Veho Muvi HD NPNG edition review
Logitech T620 touch mouse
Mice peaked a few years ago if you ask us. And honestly, the humble cabled mouse is still cheaper and less bulky to push around than wireless mice. But at least here Logitech has used some common sense and made a mouse that is flexible, stylish and works pretty well.
It's not perfect, we'll admit that, but it's one of the better wireless mice we've used. You will need to disable some of the touch features though, and we'd advise shopping around because the RRP is steep, but there are bargains online.
Quick verdict:A great little mouse for most use. Touch control can be troublesome, but overall it's nice to use, and the unified dongle and flexible battery options make it a smarter choice than most wireless mice we've used.
Full review: Logitech T620 touch mouse review
Microsoft Surface Pro
We liked the Surface RT, despite its being a bit of a communications disaster for Microsoft with that version of WIndows not running Windows apps. Still, the hardware proves that Microsoft can compete with Apple for build-quality, and the power means that if you did chose this as your laptop, you wouldn't be disappointed.
We think the price is too steep though, especially given the lack of included keyboard. But given that this is version 1.0 of an idea, we think Microsoft has done great things.
Price: £719 (64GB)
Quick verdict: Surface Pro is all about its build quality and quality 1080p screen. Otherwise there are lots of qualms which amount to a less impressive hybrid product oveall, but one with stacks of potential. Iron out the price point and it's a winner despite the shortcomings.
Full review:Microsoft Surface Pro review
Nokia Lumia 520
The Lumia 620 is one of our favourite budget phones, and now it's been joined by the 520. That said, the newer handset has fewer features but seems to cost about the same sort of money, which erodes the purpose of it slightly.
There are no serious issues with this phone though, and we have to say that Windows Phone 8 is really proving itself at the entry level. Take a look at the phones that run Android in this price region, and you'll find capable handsets, but now so accomplished as this Nokia. For that reason, if you're looking to save money, we think Windows Phone should be your first choice.
Quick verdict: The Nokia Lumia 520 is a competent smartphone, delivering the Windows Phone 8 experience aptly, so if you're in the market for a phone that won't cost the earth, it's well worth consideration
Full review: Nokia Lumia 520 review
Barnes & Noble Nook HD+
The Nook HD+ is staggeringly cheap, and incredibly capable. It runs Android, but you'd never be able to tell by looking at it. It's got a custom UI that rivals - or even beats - the one on the Kindle Fire HD, and what's more, it has the flexibility of access to the Nook Shop, Google Play and Amazon's store and book library.
Our big worry is whether Barnes & Noble can make enough money on these hardware devices to make it worth carrying on making them. Time will tell, but for now, if you want a cheap Android tablet that's got an exceptional screen and is a total bargain, look no further.
Price: £179 (16GB limited time price)
Quick verdict: There's so much more to like here than to grumble about. In fact, the biggest problem and worry we have is that it's too cheap, and Barnes & Noble won't be able to make a viable business out of Nook. But that's not our problem, nor is it yours, because this is a great tablet, even if it lacks the power of more expensive devices. It's certainly a better buy than Amazon's Kindle Fire HD
Full review: Barnes & Noble Nook HD+ review
Nikon Coolpix P520
The P520 is a pretty decent camera with some minor flaws. Nikon should have kept a lower-resolution sensor and spent more time and money reducing the camera shake at high zooms and colour fringing on wide-angle shots. Even with these quite minor flaws though, the camera is solid and worth considering. Just bear in mind that the competition achieves slightly better, albeit for higher prices.
Quick verdict: The P520 is an affordable and capable superzoom for the most part, but it fails to represent a significant push forward for Nikon in the superzoom market. While its pictures are fine considering the 18-megapixel resolution, this Coolpix just can't quite keep up the pace compared to many of its competitors. Good, just shy of greater things.
Full review: Nikon Coolpix P520 review