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Summer Tech Round-Up 2013

Summer Tech Round-Up 2013

Summer Tech Round-Up 2013

The XBOX one console Hello everyone. Time for another delve into the wonderful world of Tech. What's been going on? Well... you'd be hard pushed not to have noticed things are happening in the gaming world. Apparently there's a couple of new consoles in the works!  

Xbox One or Sony PS4?

At the time of writing, Sony teased the world with a short clip of blurry shots of a black box from various angles. Following the initial launch where they didn’t show the hardware at all, this is an interesting take and doesn't really give us much to go on aside from the fact that a tangible product now exists. Microsoft went somewhat further, and actually showed us their new console... though by all accounts it doesn't seem to have gone down too well. It seems that the roles have swapped here. Where the 360 was first and foremost a games console, the PS3 was a media centre that played games. Now, the Xbox One is the home entertainment device you've been waiting for, and from what we can see of the PS4 it's a games machine. Make of that what you will. On the upside of that though... Microsoft’s Illumiroom - fantastic idea, I can't wait to play with this one. My favourite thing about Illumiroom is the way that it senses what colours the items it's projecting onto are, so it can actually change the colour of your gaming area to match what you're playing. Now Sony have made their announcement and Microsoft have given more details, why not pop in to our Community Forums and let us know what you think? PS4 Controller

Windows 8.1 'Blue'

Windows 8 certainly hasn't had the take-up that Windows 7 did, it still seems to be very much the 'marmite' of the operating system world - you love it or hate it. There's a fair bit of noise online about the pending update to 8.1, due late this month - Microsoft have said they're bringing back the start button, improving the user interface for keyboard and mouse users and adding a fair number of other tweaks. The general opinion though is that Windows 8 users are stuck with two operating systems that don't quite work together rather than the ideal; a compromise that offers the best of both worlds. has made an interesting proposal which may or may not have thrown a spanner in these works, with an alternative idea - Windows Red. Have you used Windows 8 yet? Are you a fan? Let us know what you think.  

New Razer laptop

Yes, we have to have some gadgets in here. We love gadgets. On that subject, Razer, a company best known for their gaming peripherals, have announced a new gaming laptop - the Razer Blade. Boasting the title of ‘The Worlds Thinnest Gaming Laptop’, this is an i7 based platform that looks incredibly svelte and stylish. It has dual graphics, Intel HD on-chip for power saving when you're not doing anything demanding and a discrete nVidia GTX 765M to make sure when demands are made they are fulfilled. There's also the Killer brand wireless networking and an SSD for speedy storage. Given those specs we don't expect this to be cheap, but it will play pretty much whatever you can throw at it and with those looks it might possibly be able to fly undetected over Russia or even the US. We're trying not to drool but it's a tough challenge.  

The Fairphone

What do you picture, with a name like that? Nothing to do with merry-go-rounds we're afraid, this is in fact an open source phone that's intended to be fair for everyone from the manufacturers of the components that make it up, to the designers, the manufacturers and through to the people who buy it. The Fairphone specs look very good - quad-core chip, 16GB of memory and the worryingly diminishing Micro SD card slot is present. The screen is qHD (960x540), a way from retina display territory but not a long way - it looks very good. If you're tempted by a new phone you might find this worth checking out, buying a phone outright and using a PAYG contract is certainly much cheaper overall than going on a contract to get the latest handset. There's no doubt though that the initial expense is significantly bigger. Read more about it at  

The Nokia 105

From smartphones to, well, phones. There's a lot of people out there who don't want facebook on the move, don't want to be getting email, and don't want to be charging their phone every night. For those people Nokia have released the 105. It's a £35 mobile phone that harks back to the days of the allegedly indestructible 3310 - it has a 35 day standby time, can receive calls, send texts and if you're bored on the bus you may be glad to find you can still have a game of snake. Granted there's not much more to say, but if you like your mobile to be a phone and just a phone you can't really go wrong.  

A rival for the Pebble?

Is this the iWatch You may (or may not) remember us mentioning the Pebble watch in our tech blog back in February. Well, the plot thickens. While there's nothing announced aside from speculation...if you've seen the 'Music Every Day' advert for the iPhone 5, someone's drumming on a table 30 seconds in and what's that on their wrist? As a result the web is awash with rumours and as interest ramps up more and more people are adding to them. We'll sit back and wait for things to develop and wait for our Pebbles to arrive first... but no doubt we'll find out more as the year goes on. We hope there's been something in this article that's captured your interest. Want an iWatch? Just want to discuss the pros and cons of Windows 8? Why not join us in our Community Forums?

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I have two machines with Windows 8 Pro on, an elderly laptop and a 1st generation intel powered Mac Mini that's had RAM, hard-disk and CPU upgrades. The Mac runs 64-bit Windows 8 despite the fact that it won't run 64-bit Mac OS X and the laptop run 32-bit Windows 8. The laptop runs at a usable speed and the desktop version of Windows 8 works a treat. The Mac is really underpowered for 64-bit computing and struggles a bit. If the modern UI was removed Windows 8 would be a fine update to Windows 7. It's faster, smarter and more resource efficient, the only thing I miss from 7 is the aero interface styling. However the modern UI is a disgusting ugly mess, the built-in apps are clunky and unusabley bad, the design aesthetic is one only a teenage design wannabe would consider attractive and it's not even remotely intuitive on non-touch systems. Every user I've supported who has a new Windows 8 PC has had a copy of Classic Shell installed and the modern-UI hidden from view to the best of my ability.
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No mention of Apples' WWDC 2013, and Mavericks ? And iOS7... etc
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Consoles focusing on being all in one media devices is an awful idea and one that is rapidly becoming outdated as TV's evolve, tablets and high resolution phones become more prevalent, and companies like Sky and Virgin focus more on these elements with their set top boxes. Needless features such as annoying social networking, multimedia focusing (music stores, video stores etc) and more abusive trends such as Online passes, season passes, micro DLC and adverts are all the disgusting legacy of this long gaming generation and, as a passionate gamer, I'm not excited for the next gen; I'm worried.
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Getting a PS4 for sure. Looks amazing. No interest in Windows 8, found it really hard to use on my laptop, removed it and installed Windows 7. The Apple WDC had nothing of interest for me, it seemed like they are trying (and failing) to make iOS more like Android, incorporating it's better features and style. The Mac Pro was just laughable. What sort of idiot designed that? A round PC? Circuit boards are flat for a reason, they have to be screen printed and surface mounted. This design novelty will add considerable cost to an already expensive gimmick.
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I want to cancel the contract I ordered. According to my rights, I have a 14 day cooling off period. Why is there no way of me doing this online? Why are you such a disgusting company?i can sign up online, why not cancel? I am going to report you to OfCom for this.
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Hi there Joan, I believe I've replied to a few tweets about the matter today - Calls to our cancellation department are free from a landline. If calling from a mobile you can use the 0345 number that comes out of any inclusive minutes you have.