Reviews

Asus Transformer Pad TF701 — Review

Asus Transformer Pad TF701 — Review

Asus aren’t what you’d refer to as a newcomer to the IT market and have earned their place in the manufacturers’ pecking order. They’ve been involved in hardware manufacturing for years; PC’s, Laptops, Monitors and more recently Android devices such as the Nexus 7, Transformer Prime and more recently Chromebooks and Chromeboxes. They’ve had a couple of really good devices in the recent past that have seen mediocre sales which shows that Asus are (outside the Nexus product line) yet to find a strong footprint in the Android world with their own branding. Clearly, given Google chose them over other[Read More...]

by 9:44 AM on May 9, 2014 3 comments Design, News, Reviews, Tablets
ASUS Chromebox — Review

ASUS Chromebox — Review

We’ve reviewed quite a few Chromebooks on Ausdroid now, and while the hardware generally differs a little bit, in the sense of keyboard quality, screen quality and battery life, they’re generally very similar; screen resolution is invariably the same, and ChromeOS is ChromeOS regardless of the platform it’s running on. In short, within a reasonable margin of error, if you’ve used one ChromeOS device, you’ve used them all. However, with very few exceptions, ChromeOS devices have thus far been of the laptop and notebook variety. Early in the piece there were some desktop variants announced, but they certainly weren’t what you’d[Read More...]

by 1:17 PM on May 7, 2014 9 comments ChromeBox, ChromeOS, Reviews
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact — Review

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact — Review

It’s been a long road to market for Sony’s pint-sized powerhouse, the Xperia Z1 Compact. We first heard rumours that the device would arrive in a Japanese-only “Z1 F” incarnation in October of 2013, and Sony was quick to deliver on those rumours at the end of that month. Fast-forward to the end of March 2014 and the device has finally made it to market in Australia. Size Matters In the Z1 Compact, Sony is out to prove that bigger doesn’t necessarily equal better. It’s an amusing edict to see in Sony’s marketing materials, given their recent forays into over-6-inch[Read More...]

by 3:55 PM on May 2, 2014 13 comments Design, Reviews
Toshiba CB30 Chromebook — Review

Toshiba CB30 Chromebook — Review

Can Toshiba bring their Windows laptop expertise to the Chromebook market Back when I used to sell laptops at retail — back in the late 90’s, early 2000’s — there was one name that was synonymous with quality: Toshiba. Customers would ask for the best, and I’d recommend Toshiba. There was a premium price on their gear but it was worth it: they were well made, ran well and their after-sales service was fantastic. Times have changed though, not just for Toshiba but the entire industry. Toshiba still strives to make some of the best laptops on the planet, but[Read More...]

by 5:01 PM on May 1, 2014 8 comments Chromebook, ChromeOS, Design, Reviews
Sonos Wireless Hi-Fi — Review

Sonos Wireless Hi-Fi — Review

US home entertainment company Sonos calls its product “the wireless hi-fi system”. The company’s products can form a wireless network around your house and you can control what music plays on which speakers. You can play back music stored locally on your home network, or via an increasing number of streaming music services. Sonos has been around for about 10 years now, and its equipment isn’t known for being cheap, but some of the company’s products have significantly reduced the barrier to entry in recent years. You can get started with a single Play:1 speaker (and no wireless network) if[Read More...]

by 10:11 AM on April 28, 2014 11 comments Accessories, Other, Reviews
Samsung Gear Fit – Smartwatch Review

Samsung Gear Fit – Smartwatch Review

Samsung has managed to put a smartwatch on my wrist, and I don’t mind it – at least, I don’t mind the feel of it. Unfortunately, while there’s some appealing qualities to the Gear Fit, there’s also a few aspects of Samsung’s $250 smartwatch that are a bit of a mess. The Gear Fit is actually a rather attractive piece of technology with an understated, almost anonymous design that belies its heritage if you remember the original bright orange Galaxy Gear. There’s no exposed ‘SAMSUNG’ branding on device at all, and the face is all screen, with a small black[Read More...]

by 9:03 AM on April 24, 2014 4 comments Reviews, Smartwatch
Samsung Galaxy S 5 — Review

Samsung Galaxy S 5 — Review

Samsung’s Galaxy S5. Announced only recently at Mobile World Congress 2014 and released in Australia last week, the Galaxy S5 is already taking the world by storm. We’ve had the opportunity, and we expect you have too, to read reviews of the 2014 flagship from Samsung (and that’s the last time we’ll use that overworked cliché). It’s safe to say that most tech news outlets that have reviewed the S5 have given it overwhelmingly positive reviews. This is what makes me a curious choice to review the Galaxy S5. You see, I don’t really like Samsung phones. I’ve used each[Read More...]

by 12:22 PM on April 20, 2014 29 comments Design, Phones, Reviews
HTC One (M8) — Review

HTC One (M8) — Review

Is the HTC One (M8) your new Mate? HTC has a long and proud history in the mobile industry. From their early years as an ODM (original design manufacturer) making phones and mobile devices to be branded as HP and Palm, HTC have grown through leaps and bounds to their current standing as one of the leaders in design and mobile innovation. There’s been some trying financial times of late, and last years HTC One was described as their last ditch effort to save the company. But that wasn’t the case. The One wasn’t as successful as it might have[Read More...]

by 3:17 PM on April 18, 2014 28 comments Design, Reviews
Samsung Gear 2 — Smartwatch Review

Samsung Gear 2 — Smartwatch Review

Samsung’s Gear 2 is the anticipated successor to the original Galaxy Gear concept launched by Samsung last year. Where the original Galaxy Gear had a few issues — which you can discover in detail in our review — the Gear 2 makes some leaps and bounds forward to become quite an acceptable smartwatch. Having recently savaged the Pebble Steel as being a fairly mediocre and problematic upgrade to the original Pebble, I was keen to see what else was happening in the realm of the smartwatch. I’m very much looking forward to the arrival of Android Wear later this year,[Read More...]

by 4:04 PM on April 17, 2014 11 comments Accessories, Reviews, Smartwatch
Era by Jawbone — Accessory Review

Era by Jawbone — Accessory Review

For the last week I’ve been playing with Jawbone’s latest Bluetooth headset, the ERAtm. Marketed as the smallest, lightest, most comfortable headset that Jawbone has created, it makes some bold claims. I’m perhaps not the best person to review a Bluetooth headset, as I come at them from the angle of never having found one that I enjoyed using, much less on an ongoing basis. So I could have a play, Jawbone supplied me with an Era in black, paired with the portable charging unit. I couldn’t take a photo of the unit supplied as good as the press shots[Read More...]

by 10:00 AM on April 15, 2014 1 comment Accessories, Reviews
Review: Not Just Another Car Dock Charger

Review: Not Just Another Car Dock Charger

One of the best things about modern phones in my opinion is the wireless charging via the Qi standard. The ability to easily just place a phone onto a pad and have it charge and then be able to pick it up quickly without being constrained by an attached USB cable or having to disconnect this cable before using the phone is an amazing convenience. Slowly there have been more and more Chinese suppliers coming out with Qi chargers suitable for charging our devices. Way back at the beginning of December last year I reviewed a Car Dock Qi charger.[Read More...]

by 8:58 AM on April 14, 2014 13 comments Accessories, Reviews
Pebble Steel — Smartwatch Review

Pebble Steel — Smartwatch Review

The Pebble Steel is the second generation Pebble smart watch, following on the success of the original Pebble, after its own success as a Kickstarter graduate. The Pebble presents a simple premise: a watch that doubles as a ‘second screen’ for your smartphone, allowing you to see emails, notifications, reminders and the like on your wrist without having to pull your phone from your pocket. Both the Pebble Steel and the original Pebble did this, but there’s really one major difference between the two. The original Pebble made for a pretty ugly watch. As shipped, it had a fairly ordinary[Read More...]

by 2:20 PM on April 13, 2014 5 comments News, Reviews, Smartwatch
Samsung Galaxy S5 — First Impressions

Samsung Galaxy S5 — First Impressions

So, I bought a Samsung Galaxy S5. I didn’t intend to buy it, but I saw it in the store yesterday and a couple of things lured me in. I’m also becoming a bit bored with my Nexus 5, which didn’t help. I’m not sure whether I’ll keep the S5 or if it will become eBay fodder, but I’m giving it a go at any rate. Update (Sunday, 6.45pm): Added some sample photos and videos. Click here to scroll down! Screen That screen. I think the Galaxy S5’s Super AMOLED screen is one of the most gorgeous mobile displays I’ve[Read More...]

by 11:27 AM on April 12, 2014 63 comments Phones, Reviews