A week in reviews: 3 - 7 March
Meteorological spring has arrived. Hurrah. And with the scent of the sun on the horizon in the UK, we're bringing you rays of tech-review sunshine this week in various forms.
First and foremost it's Geneva Motor Show week. We've seen the BMW M235i and Audi TT ahead of the show itself, in addition to bringing the fun from the show floor too. But it's the Dacia Duster - the ultimate budget motor - that's dressed the review pages this week. Can this sub-£10,000 prospect make brand new cars more feasible for more without breaking the bank?
Despite next-gen - or, we suppose, now current-gen - consoles being big business in 2014, there's on title that might be the sole reason to keep hold of that PS3 or 360. And that's South Park: The Stick of Truth. If you're a fan of the show then this is as good as it gets, but does it step beyond the mark of acceptable?
Other big news comes in the form of the big-screen Nokia Lumia 1320. It's got the same 6-inch screen size as its top-spec 1520 phablet brother, but trims back on resolution and camera appeal. But with 4G capabilities is it the phone to spot a gap in the large-screen phone market and succeed?
In addition we've got reviews of the Denon T100 speaker base, HK Aura wireless Bluetooth speaker system - both of which bring bundles of audio excitement. But is either perfect? So many questions, so many answers - take a browse through this week's reviews below to see what we made of all this kit in greater detail.
Denon DHT-T100 review
Quick review: The competitive price and good all-round performance makes the Denon DHT-T100 an attractive prospect for boosting TV audio, but those wanting more bass control might want to look elsewhere.
Pros: Compact dimensions, attractive price, no external power brick, sound quality
Cons: Remote is a little unresponsive, limited bass/treb controls, might be too small for some TVs
Full article: Denon DHT-T100 review
South Park: The Stick of Truth review
Quick review: The Stick of Truth is a curiously addictive, often hilarious, yet frequently offensive - or just hilarious depending on your take - turn-based RPG that’s not content with just a single finger in the toilet-humour pie, but a whole fist. And you know what? We love the audacity of it all. If you're a South Park fan then this will be for you. If you're not then, well, it'll definitely be a rude, crude slice of video game history to avoid.
Pros: Perfect South Park style and representation, all the key characters provide amusement, good balance of platform/exploration/turn-based gameplay, curiously addictive
Cons: Obviously offensive, some minor glitches, load times, rarely taxing gameplay, humour can wear off, can feel repetitive, no next-gen platforms, not online
Full article: South Park: The Stick of Truth review
Nokia Lumia 1320 review
Quick review: If you're after a phablet but don't want to break the bank then the Nokia Lumia 1320 captures the 4G market perfectly. Similar competitors in the UK are otherwise 3G-only for now. However, despite its great features considering the price point, the camera and screen abilities are clearly a few notches below the top-spec 1520 model.
Pros: Large screen size, affordable, 4G connectivity, great apps suite, decent battery life
Cons: Low resolution screen, camera not of Nokia's best
Full article: Nokia Lumia 1320 review
Dacia Duster review
Quick review: The Dacia Duster isn't about having "more" and treating yourself to motoring’s modern creature comforts. Instead it’s about honesty, authenticity and real bang-for-your-buck in terms of value and space. And in that sense the Dacia Duster really does clear up where budget cars are concerned - it's managed to charm us in our week of use.
Pros: Incredible value, loads of space, great ride, most of the features you need and none you don’t
Cons: Some evident cost-cutting, certain features (e.g. air con) only available on top-of-range vehicles, cabin trim a bit of a shock after many modern cars
Full article: Dacia Duster Ambience review
Harman Kardon Aura review
Quick review: Space-age looks and exceptional sound are a definite from the HK Aura. It's one issue is erratic volume and Bluetooth behaviour when (for us) paired with a Mac which, ultimately, damages the product's 5-star audio quality.
Pros: Space-age design looks great, excellent sound quality at all volumes, loud output warm bass sits perfectly in the mix, great separation, omni-directional output produces all-encompassing sound
Cons: Occasional erratic volume behaviour after turning on, always seeking Wi-Fi network can interrupt Bluetooth connection, design won't suit all
Full article: HK Aura review