A week in reviews: 22 - 25 April
After a long Easter bank holiday weekend we return not with chocolate eggs, but gaming goodies: for it's the week that we can talk about Watch Dogs once again. After a six month delay, has this open-world hacking epic been moulded into the title everyone has been waiting for? We've had four hours of preview time to get our teeth into the game.
Elsewhere this week it's a mixture of affordable techie goodies. The latest Samsung sub-£1000 telly, Toshiba's take on the Chromebook, Philips fuses the classic bookshelf speaker with Bluetooth connectivity in its Fidelio E2, and for the sporty yet discerning there are the Sol Republic Relays in-ear headphones.
Toshiba Chromebook review
Quick review: As far as affordable Chromebooks go the Toshiba is king. But if you want your computer to do more, or to be able to use it more productively without an internet connection, then a Chromebook might not be all too appealing. As tablets and all-in-one devices continue to blur the lines, our stance is still that Chrome OS won't ever be a true king. Toshiba fills a need here.
Pros: Affordable, easy to use, ample ports including HDMI out, good keyboard, slim, Chrome OS continues to improve
Cons: Plasticky, screen's limited angle of view, outclassed by many tablets, needs internet connection for best use
Full article: Toshiba Chromebook review
Philips Fidelio E2 review
Quick review: The Fidelio E2 Bluetooth speakers deliver loud, clear audio in a classic bookshelf design that bucks the current mono trend of single Bluetooth units currently flooding the market. If you're a sucker for big bass then you might want to spend some extra on a more complete system for true chest-shaking low-end output though.
Pros: Bigger sound than some similar-priced Bluetooth speaker standalones, wood top control, proper stereo sound, classic design aesthetic
Cons: Cheap looking remote, can sound a little flat in the mids, low-end frequency limitations, short power cable, loose 13 pin connecting cable
Full article: Philips Fidelio Bluetooth speakers review
Samsung UE40H6400 6 Series TV review
Quick review: The Samsung UE40H6400 is an alluring 40-inch telly. It combines a sharp, contrasty high definition image with a well stocked Smart Hub that offers a full complement of catch-up TV services and related apps. There are some caveats, but that's not enough to prevent our thumbs from pointing skyward.
Pros: Well equipped Smart Hub with a full complement of catch-up TV services, sharp and colour-rich HD picture performance, crowd-pleasing design, reasonable audio performance for the size
Cons: Some picture presets and Motion Plus modes are too artefact ridden for their own good, images from the Soccer mode look downright ugly, crosstalk-addled 3D won't do your eyes many favours
Full article: Samsung UE40H6400 review
Sol Republic Relays review
Quick review: The Sol Republic Relays in-ear headphones sound amazing and, although not a budget buy, they're on the right side of affordable. And they're worth every penny: they look good, feel good and sound great.
Pros: Sound lovely, feel amazing to wear, work well for sports
Cons: Clip has limited use, physical volume control not for Android
Full article: Sol Republic Relays in-ear headphones review