A week in reviews: 23 - 27 December

This week has been more reserved in the Pocket-lint offices. We blame the port. And the mince pies. What with it being Christmas, we've taken the liberty of hanging up our boots for a couple of days this week and focused instead on eating, drinking and playing with various accumulated tech from throughout the year.

But we've put plenty of festive treats onto the site. In addition to the team's Gear of the Year we've also published some reviews of those lesser thought of Christmas essentials: the TomTom Go satnav to ensure you get home in that awful wind and rain; a Linksys router to control who can do what on your network with all those extra guests over (and that's ignoring you Mr Cameron); and a techie smoke alarm - the Nest Protect - to ensure you don't burn down your house when cooking the turkey.

Next week it's back to normal business, with a full reviews rosta due to hit the site. That will be met with the increasingly audible volume of what we like to call the CES drumroll - because with the Consumer Electronics Show 2014 in Las Vegas just around the corner we will have hands-on reviews and tech news by the bucket load direct from the show.

Merry Christmas one and all.

Linksys EA6900 Smart Wi-Fi Wireless AC Router AC1900

Quick review: Routers are boring, but they're also hugely important. And the faster things work, the quicker all those streamed files, large downloads, software updates, fitness data uploads, gadget orders and general browsing can happen. That's where the joy lies in it all - and that's what this Linksys enables. On top of that we're particularly keen on the ability to control access by device and time schedules from one master computer.

Pros: Plenty of options, easy to setup, parental controls

Cons: Not very consumer-friendly look, doesn't include a modem

Price: £170

Full article: Linksys EA6900 Router AC1900 review

 

TomTom Go 6000 review

Quick review: If you're after excellent navigation, a traffic system that's second to none and all on a big screen, then the TomTom Go 6000 is what you want. However, we feel it is too big for normal car driving, so we'd opt for the Go 5000 instead - which is the same but in a smaller form factor. Priced at £300, the Go 6000 is also expensive. There's value in the lifetime traffic and the lifetime map updates, but if you're after speed cameras too, they will need an additional subscription - and that's an extra £20 for 12 months. There's also value in the connection to TomTom's traffic services across Europe, without having to worry about data charges incurred by roaming - certainly a benefit to those regularly driving in Europe for work or holidays.

Pros: Great European mapping, integrated lifetime traffic, 6-inch display may suit those with a larger cockpit

Cons: It feels too big for a regular sized car

Price: £300

Full article: TomTom Go satnav review

 

Nest Protect review

Quick review: The Nest Protect is a very clever safety device that wraps up a smoke alarm, carbon monoxide alarm and nightlight into one techie package. Multiple devices can "talk" to one another over a wider system and they can literally talk to you too - there's a rather post pre-alarm voice that explains everything that's happening. Thanks to the associated app you can even detect a fire when not in the home. Very clever. However, all of that is fairly excessive for a smoke detector and you really have to work out how important it is to have a connected smoke detector to justify the £109 price tag. That's really the only kicker here.

Pros: Monitor status via your phone, acts as a nightlight, battery lasts for five years, will connects to other Nest products, speaks to you, wave to turn off alarm

Cons: Expensive, need to have Wi-Fi for it to work

Price: £109

Full article: Nest Protect smoke alarm review