javascript hit counter
Close

This site uses cookies. You can read how we use them in our privacy policy.

pure-evoke-f4-top.jpgPure have just lifted the covers off the Pure Evoke F4 DAB radio, complete with built-in Wi-Fi and wireless streaming technology.

Using both a Bluetooth and a Wi-Fi connection, the Evoke F4 can act as a standalone radio, or be paired with the company's Jongo multi-room systems, Pure's answer to the Sonos multi-room kits, letting the Evoke F4 act as another satellite speaker.

That Wi-Fi connection also allows the radio to play tracks from internet radio stations, while Bluetooth lets you wireless stream tracks from a tablet or smartphone.

Pure claim to have designed the Evoke in such a way as to pump out the best possible audio quality from a small speaker, taking its cues from the Evoke Flow.

Rolling out in June, find the Pure Evoke F4 in shops priced at £179.99. An optional matching stereo speaker for the radio will also be available, along with a battery pack for taking the radio on the go, both priced at £34.99 each.

2012-05-15 14.30.13.jpgViewQuest have updated their range of retro-styled radios. The Retro Radio Wi-Fi adds, you guessed it, wireless connectivity to the range, while a special edition Union Jack Retro Radio (without the Wi-Fi connectivity) has also been put together in time for this summer's patriotic festivities.

Looking firstly at the Retro Radio Wi-Fi, you get wireless connectivity for accessing web radio stations and local weather and stock news through the backlit LCD display, an iPhone/iPod dock, Aux-in, DAB/FM radio and 10 channel presets. Packing 2x10 watt speakers, it's available in two styles: 'Black with Grey' front and 'Black with Cream' front. It's a penny shy of £149.99.

Next, the Union Jack Retro Radio offers similar connectivity, barring the wireless option. For £129.99 you're getting an iPhone/iPod dock, DAB/FM radio, 10 presets, Aux-in, auto scan tuning, a backlit LCD screen and 15 hours of juice from four C size batteries, all wrapped up in leather Union Jack casing. It two uses 2x10 watt speakers.

2012-05-15 14.30.26.jpg
We had the pleasure of a brief hands-on play with the Wi-Fi Retro Radio this week, and came away pleasantly surprised by the quality of its build and solid sound. We particularly liked the nifty pop-out iPod dock, keeping connections safely tucked away when not in use.

We'll be getting the Wi-Fi equipped radio in for a review shortly, so keep your eyes peeled for that when it touches down on Tech Digest in the coming weeks.

For more infor, visit the ViewQuest website.

bose-wave-iii.jpgBose have today announced updated versions of two of their most popular home audio products, the Bose Wave Radio and Bose Wave Music System.

Each now includes an integrated DAB, DAB+, and T-DMB broadcast signals and also an improved FM/AM tuner which should help listeners get a clearer sound in areas where radio signals are hampered by interference.

The two Bose units also now offer a touch pad on their top sides for power and alarm/snooze control, while two different alarms set to two different sources can now be configured.

The Wave Music System also houses a front-loading CD player, while each also has an auxiliary input for other audio sources such as MP3 players. Both units offer a Bose Link input for hooking up sold-separately accessories like the Wave Bluetooth adaptor for wireless music streaming, Wave Connect Kit for easy iPod/iPhone docking and a Wave Multi-CD Changer.

"The Bose Wave Radio and Wave Music System changed the way people listen to music," said Santiago Carvajal, business director for Bose Wave products.

"They've delighted and excited owners for years, and have become two of the most enduring consumer electronics products in history. We've updated them with new features and accessories, making each even better for enjoying the radio and digital music."

The Bose Wave Radio III and Wave Music System III will be available only from Bose as of the 2nd May, 2012, at £449.95 and £599.95, respectively. Each comes in either Platinum White or Graphite Gray colours, while the Wave Music System will also be available in Titanium Silver.

Vita-Audio-R1-MkII.jpgVita Audio have teamed up with London's swanky Selfridges department store to launch a limited edition version of their R1 MkII DAB radio. Using the premium shop's iconic yellow colouring, only 2,000 of the individually numbered radios will be available for sale, before the R1 MkII range reverts back to its more traditional colour scheme.

It's looking a sensible spec'ed bit of kit too, particularly if you're looking to listen to some tunes down the park this summer. With a 9W speaker, the R1 MkII features a rechargeable battery pack and can be bought with an optional carrying case. Add to this an auxiliary input socket for iPods or other mp3 players and phones and you're left with a very capable picnic partner.

You also get 10 station presets to play about with alongside a traditional FM tuner, with a sizeable screen that adjusts its brightness depending on ambient lighting conditions for the most comfortable viewing.

Available, naturally, from Selfridges as well as a few other select stores, you can pick up the Vita Audio R1 MkII for £179.99.

sony-XDR-S16DBP.jpg
Sony have today lifted the lid on a pair of DAB+ enabled radios, the XDR-S16DBP and XDRC706DBP.

While the higher-quality DAB+ standard is now commonplace on the continent, it's still yet to be established in the UK. Look at these two new radios as future-proofing your listening rather than being ready to play back DAB+ straight out of the box then.

Not that you'll have nothing to listen to on them - both come with trusty regular DAB and FM signals.

In terms of build and features, the pictured XDR-S16DBP goes for an updated retro-chic look, with an LCD display that can be used to store ten presets for both DAB and FM favourites. Speakers come in the 0.8W+0.8W stereo variety, with the unit costing around the £80 mark.

The bedside-friendly XDRC706DBP will cost £60, with clock radio functions such as an alarm, and again 10 preset channels for each band.

Both radios are available now.

Mother's Day Gadgets Guide: As tested by Mum!

Mother's Day gadgets 1.jpg
Mother's Day is just around the corner in the UK (Sunday the 3rd of April to be exact) and, if you're anything like me, it's going to be a last minute dash to the shops to pick up something she'd like. Chocolates, flowers and a Michael Bublé CD are the staple gift choices, but what if Mum deserves something a little bit more adventurous this year? Gadgets are increasingly being tailored towards technophobic users with kit like the Kindle 3G, iPad 2 and Nintendo 3DS now billed as family devices rather than just for hardcore users.

And while we're sure there are plenty of mothers out there who know their way around a smartphone or tablet like the back of their hands, there are just as many who think an iPad is something you get from an optician. How will you know which gadgets would be suitable for them?

By following the advice of Tech Digest's Mum, that's how! Falling somewhere between the gadget-phobic and gadget-literate categories, we put five top bits of tech into Bernadette's hands (a Nintendo 3DS, an iPhone 4, a Kindle 3G, a Robert's colourSTREAM DAB and Internet Radio and an iPad 2) to see which device she'd most like to own.

Left on her own with each device for an hour, with only minimal input from us tech-heads, read on to see what she thought of each.
review-line.JPG
Nintendo 3DS - £187 from Amazon

Mother's Day gadgets 3.jpg

It's the handheld games console that all the kids are clamouring for, and our full review awarded it a more-than-respectable score of 4/5. But what does our near-sighted mother make of glasses-free 3D?

"That 3D top screen is really good. I'm surprised to see that it actually works like they say in the adverts, but I'm not sure if I'd like to use it for too long. I think it would hurt my eyes. It's a nice size too, and all the little characters who keep popping up are funny. It's fairly simple to use and the 3D camera is a nice feature, but I honestly can't keep up with all the controls in these games. That Pilotwings one was far too difficult to steer, and all the other ones were too fast to keep up with. The speed of them made it difficult for my eyes to focus."
review-line.JPG
Apple iPhone 4 - starting at £510 from Apple

Mother's Day gadgets 6.jpg

Despite being almost a year old, Apple's iPhone 4 is, signalling issues aside, still the smartphone to beat. With all those apps and a vibrant Retina display, have Apple done enough to pique Mum's interest?

"This is very nice. I like its size and design; it looks very clean and tasteful. That screen is really nice too, and I like all the cookery tools and news applications are on there. I really like looking up songs on YouTube too so it's good that that is in there too. It's a bit fiddily for me though; I don't want to have to swipe through loads of screens just to make a call, and I don't think I'd be able to figure out the internet settings stuff by myself. I can see why people would like it, but it's a little bit too complicated for me to have more than just a passing interest in."
review-line.JPG
Amazon Kindle 3G - £152 from Amazon

Mother's Day gadgets 7.jpg

The wave of tablets that has washed over the tech world in recent months has done little to dent the popularity of Amazon's Kindle ereader devices. The 3G version is the top-spec model, offering a free mobile internet connection and book downloads straight to the device without the need for cables. But will it convince Mum to drop her paperbacks?

"At first the way the screen turns black before every page turn was quite off-putting, but once you get used to that quirk, the Kindle is great. I much prefer buttons over touchscreens, and the way you can buy books straight from the reader is a great idea. It's light too, and a good size for taking out; I could see myself happily reading on this in the park. The Twitter and Facebook bits don't interest me much, but I like how you can search for information on Wikipedia with it, as I find that website very useful."
review-line.JPG
Robert's colourSTREAM DAB and Internet Radio - £189.95 from Amazon

Mother's Day gadgets 4.jpg

With thousands of internet radio stations, an iPod dock, USB port, DAB capabilities and a colour touchscreen, the Robert's colourSTREAM radio is one of our favourite music-boxes out there. It's not without its flaws though, and Mum is quick to spot them.

"That touch screen on the radio was a chore to use. It often didn't do what I wanted it to, or was too slow to react to things I thought I'd already selected. I don't think I'd be able to connect it to the internet by myself either, and some of those menus are full of things that I'd never use, like the sound settings. The number of radio stations is incredible though, and I like that I'm able to plug an mp3 player in (via a line-in port - Ed.) if I wanted to. It looks great, but it's just too much like hard work to use for me."
review-line.JPG
Apple iPad 2 - starting at £399 from Apple

Mother's Day gadgets 5.jpg

The iPad 2 needs no introduction, being the top tablet on the market at the moment. Access to thousands and thousands of apps, equipped with dual cameras and significantly lighter than its predecessor, this dual-core sequel is a showstopper. Mum's smitten, but will the price tag sway her choice?

"This is lovely. It's like the iPhone but bigger I suppose, but I'd feel far more comfortable sitting down with this than the phone because of the size. The screen is nice and easy to read, and I like the App Store and iTunes and all the videos and simple games there are on them. It's a pity lots of them cost a couple of quid, especially since this thing costs so much money. You shouldn't spend over £500 on a gadget unless you're really going to use it a lot, and to me I could find plenty of things more interesting for that amount of money. I can totally see the appeal, but this is a sort of special gift, the kind you should reserve for Christmas or my birthday."
review-line.JPG
Mum's Verdict: Kindle 3G takes the crown

Mother's Day gadgets 2.jpg

With all five gadgets tested, Mum goes for what many would consider the underdog of the pack - the Kindle 3G.

"They've each got little things I like and don't like about them. The Nintendo looks unlike any screen I've ever looked at, but I think it'd hurt my eyes after a while. I'm never really going to sit down and play Mario or whatever on it either really, am I? I like how much you can do with an iPhone, especially YouTube videos, but it looks like all the best of those app things have to be bought afterwards and I can't be bothered spending more money on something once I've already paid lots of money for it in the first place. The same goes for the iPad, though it's far too expensive in the first place; anyone spending that much money on me for Mother's Day needs to get their head checked. The Robert's radio was really good actually, but I've already got a radio that suits me fine, and the touchscreen wasn't as good as on the other gadgets.

"The Kindle would probably be the one I use most often I think. You don't need to faff around with it like the others to get it to work, and the screen was the easiest for me to read. It's a shame it isn't in colour, but I like how simple it is to use and how light it was too. I feel like there's less I could do wrong with the Kindle, and it'd probably make me read more because of the text size choices. The price is reasonable too. If the iPad was cheaper I'd lean towards that, but I think the Kindle is enough for me."

So there you go; if you're looking for a techy-toy for your old dear come this Sunday, it appears the Kindle 3G may be the gadget of choice. The iPad 2 is a close runner-up, and if money is no option, that too is more than worth a look.

colourstream-top.jpg.jpg

Name: colourSTREAM (ROBERTS)

Type: DAB/Internet Radio with iPod Dock

Specs: Click here for full specs

Price: £176.09 from Amazon

Image Gallery: Click here

Billed as a next-gen radio system, the ROBERTS colourSTREAM has a list of features as long as your arm. Everything from DAB to internet radio stations are included, while a touchscreen and iPod dock make it very much a device for Generation App. There's a lot to love here, but a few niggling issues prevent the colourSTREAM from achieving five-star status.

While quite large at 340(w) x 130(h) x 260(d) mm and 3.4 kg in weight, the colourSTREAM's gloss-black finish and curved edges will make it slip in comfortably in most homes. This attractive look is only improved upon turning the radio on, when the front-mounted, bright and colourful resistive touchscreen fires up with a blue ring and strip of lights surround the central volume and power dial.

As mentioned before, the colourSTREAM can pipe in music from an excellently varied number of sources. These include DAB, FM, internet radio, iPod, a networked PC, a music-filled USB drive, AUX source or via Last.fm (to which a 30-day premium subscription is included within the colourSTREAM's asking price). Many of these obviously require a network connection, and the colourSTREAM makes the set-up process very painless. A set-up wizard launches upon first switching on the radio; you can either set a wired LAN as your connection of choice, or a Wi-Fi one. Using the touchscreen text entry keypad made finding our network very easy, as well as entering our WEP key, and we were good to go within 5 or 10 minutes.

colourstream-middle.jpg.jpg

Once the wizard is complete, the colourSTREAM launches its home screen, which, with it's icon-based interface, will be look eerily familiar to iPhone users. From here you're able to select your source, with each given a separate brightly coloured tile.

As we mentioned earlier, setting up the internet connection was incredibly easy, and we never once experienced a signal drop-out from whichever networked source we accessed, despite a notoriously flakey Wi-Fi connection being used. The colourSTREAM UI however, left a little to be desired. While it's sensibly laid out, allowing you to intuitively browse tens of thousands of internet web stations and search for them by text-entry, the small number of channels displayed on screen at once meant for painfully long lists to scroll through. This was particularly noticeable when browsing our relatively large PC-based mp3 collection; if we weren't using the text entry screen to pinpoint a specific track, it was a real chore to navigate.

colourstream-bottom.jpg.jpg

This problem is exacerbated by the sluggish speed of the system; you'll often wait a few seconds for the screen to refresh your browsing scroll, which can result in you pushing the down-scroll touch button too many times by mistake, believing your tap of the resistive touchscreen to have gone unrecognised, and making you over-shoot the track you're looking for. Also, giving support for iPods, but not iPhones, seems quite the oversight.

Despite these problems, the colourSTREAM still manages to impress in the audio department. A full-bodied warm sound blasts out of the 2 x 15 watts speakers at a reasonably loud level, making even the comparatively low bitrate internet radio streams and podcasts sound great. There's also the option to tweak custom equaliser settings, or pick from a lengthy list of presets to suit all ears. The included remote control is nice and sturdy too, with dedicated "Love" and "Ban" buttons for those who make plenty of use of the Last.fm functionality, though all the buttons are a little stiff to push.

It's got its problems which hold it back from true greatness, but we do have a soft spot for the ROBERTS colourSTREAM. It's the easiest internet radio to set-up we've ever used, and while the UI is sluggish and a little cramped in places, it's so self-explanatory that even a technophobe could navigate it, providing they have the patience. Not a bad first attempt by ROBERTS by any means, and we look forward to seeing them explore touchscreen interfaces in future releases.


4/5


roberts-colour-stream.jpg
Roberts are readying the launch of two new DAB/iPod dock combos to add to their STREAM range. The STREAM 63i and colourSTREAM will both be clambering for your attention at an electrical shop near you soon.

The acoustically tuned STREAM 63i is "the perfect sound system for the modern home" acording to Roberts. With a wooden cabinet with high gloss black finish, it features DAB, an FM tuner, Wi-Fi connectivity and SD Card / USB playback, as well as a dock for iPod. CD owners are not left out thanks to the built in CD player, and it also comes with a multi function remote control. Expect to see this retail for around £350.

The colourSTREAM comes equipped with a colour touch screen for navigation. Internet radio stations are accessible via a Wi-Fi connection, with DAB and FM tuners also built in. This iPod dock/radio combo weighs in at around £200.

Both systems also come with 30 station presets, a 30 day trial of Last FM, and a stereo auxiliary input socket for iPod and MP3 playback. Sleepyheads will be pleased to hear they come with a clock and multi function / dual alarm too.

Click here for more info.

Roberts Radio £99 DAB/FM stereo radio

4 Comments

Roberts Radio Expression.jpg Roberts has launched the Expression DAB/FM stereo radio. Costing £99, it boasts a built-in battery charger and up to 100 hours of battery life.

There are two neat rotary tuning and volume controls on top, a 'favourite station' button plus a headphone socket and line in socket for iPod/MP3 playback. A USB socket is provided for software upgrades

www.robertsradio.co.uk

ipod docks header.jpgIt's party time and you've got an iPod full of tunes but no way of blaring them out to your gang of expectant, drunk friends. The keg's running dry, all the Pringles have been eaten and a riot's about to kick off unless someone starts blasting out Lady Gaga's "Poker Face". "You've got to fight for your right to party", said the Beastie Boys, so why not have one of these top-notch iPhone/iPod speaker systems fighting your corner, cranking it up all the way to 11?

Here's Tech Digest's favourite 10 iPhone/iPod speaker systems.

Robert's Ecologic 7 DAB.jpgYou know what I hate? I hate it when I'm trying to have an intimate, 6 day garden rave with a little DAB radio, only for the batteries to give up the ghost a few hours into my epic party. Yes, I know a dedicated PA would make far more sense, but I like the portability factor and random nature of broadcast radio, so stay with me on this one.

It looks like the folks over at Roberts have had similar problems in the past, as they're looking to launch the ecologic 7 portable DAB/FM radio, which features a mammoth battery life.

Running off of 6xD size batteries, the ecologic 7 will give you 150 hours worth of playback, as well as offering 20 station presets, an alarm function and headphone and line-in sockets.

While it'll also work with an AC adaptor, its 295w x x168h x 115d size and 1.3kg weight put it on the right side of portable too.

Available in black or white and retailing for around £89.99, you can get more info on the ecologic 7 by visiting the Roberts website here.

Pure Evoke 1S Marshall.jpgPure and Marshall have joined forces once again to revamp their rocking Evoke Marshall range with the Evoke 1S Marshall radio.

Now complete with an aux-input for MP3 players, it also features an FM radio, an OLED display and support for all Profile 1 digital standards such as DAB, DAB+ and DAB-R, making it travel friendly if you take it on any European trips. While it runs off of mains power, it's also compatible with the Pure ChargePak, allowing you to use it when a plug socket isn't handy.

Made with as many real Marshall amp bits and bobs they could find, the solid wood radio is as sturdy as any full size radio, and, in a cheeky nod to classic mockumentary Spinal Tap, has a volume knob that goes all the way up to "11".

It's one drawback is that it only plays your tunes in mono-output, unless you fork out an extra £34.99 for the mini-Marshall amp auxiliary speaker to go along with it.

Paul Marshall of Marshall Amplification said: "We're excited to bring the Marshall brand back to this fast growing segment of consumer electronics. Working with PURE we've created a digital radio that brings iconic Marshall design to an equally iconic radio that all listeners can embrace as a stylish statement of their love for music."
 
Available from HMV in August, the EVOKE-1S Marshall will cost £119.99.

BBC 6Music saved from the axe!

No Comments

BBC 6Music, in my honest opinion, is one of the last bastions of taste in a sea of dodgy radio stations. So it's with no small amount of pleasure that I am happy to report that it is to be saved from the axe, contrary to plans drawn up in February of this year!

Fans were in uproar when the BBC announced that the station was to close, with many Facebook protest groups popping up and the #save6music Twitter hashtag quickly trending. According to a lengthy statement, the protests worked, with "significant public support for the service" making up 78% of the 50,000 online responses to the proposed cuts.

"As things stand, the case has not been made for the closure of 6Music. The Executive should draw up an overarching strategy for digital radio. If the Director General wanted to propose a different shape for the BBC's music radio stations...the Trust would consider it," the statement reads. Safe for now then, but BBC 6Music could still be in danger if a solid case for its closure was drawn up.

Many of the proposed closures however will still go ahead. The Asian Network and teen-aimed Blast! Are still set to close, while the online budget will still be subject to 25% funding cuts.

Tiny Pure One Mi DAB radio on its way

1 Comment

Pure One Mi.jpgLooking for a quality portable radio to take with you to the park this summer? Pure's One Mi may be just what you're after; friendly on your pocket in terms of both size and, most importantly, price.

"Palm-sized" according to Pure, it measures up at just 155 x 100 x 38mm, but packs in DAB, DAB+ and FM radio tuners, as well as a digital LCD screen for scrolling through stations.

The One Mi comes with 16 preset stations, 8 for digital bands and 8 for the FM wavelength, and will get firmware updates via a USB port. Add to the mix a Pure ChargePAK battery pack and you'll get 18 hours worth of DAB playback from the radio.

Pure consider the One Mi to be the first cheap "quality" portable DAB out there. At £34.99 you certainly cant argue with the cheap part, so keep it in mind when you're on the lookout for new radio this summer.

ViewQuest Wi-Fi radio.jpgIf you're a fan of digital radio but are sick of seeing DABs that could square up in size with an 80s boombox, then take a look at the ViewQuest Wi-fi Radio, now available from Firebox.

At just 72.9 x 125.1 x 23.1mm in size and weighing a mere 160g, it's a pocket-friendly, Wi-Fi connected radio able to pick up nearly 11,000 web radio stations from across the globe.

Featuring a scroll wheel and LCD display, the ViewQuest Wi-fi Radio's built-in rechargeable battery offers 15 hours of continuous playback, great for listening to lengthy podcasts or audio streams.

If you're planning on taking the ViewQuest Wi-fi Radio to a park or any other place out of range of a wi-fi network, you'll still be able to keep listening to the radio over an analogue signal thanks to a built in FM receiver too. UPDATE: Firebox have just had word in from thier supplier that this model does not in fact feature an FM reciever.

Perfect for listening in to the World Cup when away from a TV, you can pick this one up here from Firebox for £89.99.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Sony ICF-C71PJ.JPG
Sony have launched the ICF-C71PJ clock radio. Not content with just waking you in the morning with the sounds of FM static, the clock also features an adjustable projector which will throw a digital time display onto the walls of your bedroom.

As well as the projector, the ICF-C717PJ has all the other features you'd usually come to expect from a clock radio. There's an FM/AM digital tuner, input for an MP3 player, five different sets of soothing nature sounds and a room temperature thermometer.

The clock's LCD display has adjustable brightness controls, so you can keep it down low if you find its blue glow a bit eerie during the night. There is also a back-up battery to ensure your alarm always wakes you up, even in the event of a mains power failure.

In Sony's own words the ICF-C71PJ is "so much more than just a clock radio". Well, if you consider the niche need for a clock radio/projector double act to be "so much more than a clock radio" then that's fine, but we're still a little unconvinced.


Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

save 6 music.jpgThe Times today is running with a story that the BBC will soon announce a series of massive cutbacks which will see them axe the 6 Music Station and Asian Network, and introduce a cap on spending on broadcast rights for sports events of 8.5% of the licence fee, as well as downsizing the BBC website.

The news of the closure of 6 Music in particular has caused alarm, with its programming a veritable oasis in a sea of otherwise cookie-cutter stations.

Jon Morter, the man who masterminded the Rage Against the Machine Christmas #1 campaign, has now established a new Facebook campaign called "Save BBC 6 Music". It has already picked up over 58,000 vocal members, all decrying the BBC's decision.

Morter's previous campaign saved us from the annual Christmas number one X-Factor doldrums, and proved the growing power of social networking as a force for change. Will this new campaign have the same impact and be able to help save BBC 6 Music? Here's hoping.

Check out the Facebook group by clicking here, and take a look at the growing Twitter feed at #save6music .

CES 2010: Final Thoughts

3 Comments

las vegas sign.jpgThe Consumer Electronics show, the behemoth of tech, the Valhalla of gadgetry, has come and gone for yet another year. But this time, rather than arriving with a bang, it slinked into sight with something more like a whimper.

CES 2010 had really had the wind knocked out of it before it had even got into the ring this year. All eyes were already on Apple and their rumoured Tablet in the run up to the event, despite the fact that Apple are traditionally a no-show at CES, instead planning their own top-secret unveiling at the end of January. Likewise, Google delivered a sucker-punch in the shape of the Nexus One, their flagship handset revealed at their own event on the eve of CES 2010's opening.

ballmer.jpg

To make matter's worse, Microsoft's opening keynote speech (delivered by walking personality drain Steve Ballmer) was pretty darn dull. First a power cut, then a load of waffle on the 2 month old Windows 7, Ballmer hardly seemed to be trying to keep our attention. Though the Christmas release date for Project Natal was welcome news, it revealed nothing new about the device, whilst the partnership with Hewlett Packard for the new Slate device seemed merely like a case of keeping-up with the Joneses. Or should that be the Jobs-es?

But the Las Vegas event wasn't without its highlights. Far from it in fact. Maybe it's the recession, or the generally pocket-pinching mood in the air these days, but for once the most sought after tech wasn't in the realms of dreamy aspiration, but was actually fairly affordable.

Take for instance the brand new 3D TVs on show, of which the Sony BRAVIA XBR-52HX900 (video above, courtesy of Ashley) was the pick of the litter. Finally shaping up to the standards set by its cinema siblings, company reps promised that the average 3D TV will cost little more than a top-end Full HD set. Skype and video calling in many TV sets too will help turn your living room into somewhere the Jetsons could only dream of.

E-readers are also looking to be both big and affordable in 2010. As a comic book fanatic I'd have liked to have seen more attempts at a colour screened e-reader (I'm not including the MSI offering, which is really just a dual-touch screened PC, super-cool as it is). Plastic Logic's Que Pro e-reader looked great though, with a massive, durable screen, and was far lighter than the hundreds of books you'd be able to store on the tabloid-sized device.

There were, of course, tablets aplenty. The dual-booting Viliv P3 may be an underdog in the category, but seemed way more exciting than Microsoft's offering. The offer of both Windows and Android on the same device showed a respect for user choice not often seen in the back-slapping world of consumer tech.

There was still time for fun too. The Parrot AR Drone Quadricopter was fun and fresh, combining real-world toys with augmented reality controls. A little less high-tech but full of retro-chic was the Lasonic i931 iPhone dock/ghetto blaster mash-up. Odd's on its at the top of Flava Flav's Christmas list. And there was still some time for the weird and the plain old dumb, too.

light touch.jpg

Though less prevalent than other years, there were some great examples of brand new tech on show that were genuinely exciting. A real head-turner and my favourite item of the show was the Light Blue Optic Light Touch. Using a pico projection engine and a touch sensitive sensor, it'll turn any flat surface into a touchscreen. It works ridiculously well despite still being in the development stages, and has almost unlimited potential.

Some detractors say that, recession or not, CES looks to be on its last legs. It's sad, but not unlikely, when you consider the audiences that companies like Apple and Google can command for just a single product launch. However, for emerging companies like Light Blue Optics CES is still vital to gain some exposure, not to mention the fact that such a prominent date in the calendar forces the tech giants to have made some significant, competitive advances in their gear, year-on-year.

So here's hoping the old dog's got a bit of life left in it yet. Hopefully next year will kick off the recessionary cobwebs and kick the show back into high-tech gear. It wouldn't take much to tempt us back to the City of Sin once more.

Click here for full CES 2010 pre-show, day one, day two and day three round-ups.

CES 2010: Day 3 Round-Up

No Comments

ces 2010 day three.jpgAnother day, another Tech Digest CES 2010 round-up. Fancy Tweeting hands-free in your car or controlling your PC by breathing? Check today's top stories below and find out how.

Twitter coming to Ford cars
The digital equivalent of drink-driving?

Motorola announce Backflip Android Phone
Hinged smartphone is Motorola's big CES 2010 offering


Ion launch the iType full QWERTY keyboard add-on for the iPhone

Making the portable unwieldy

Vuzix demo Wrap 920AR Augmented Reality visor
Turning your trip to the shops into a scene out of Robocop

Zyxio's new breathing-based PC controller, the Sensawaft
Affordable accessibility gadget, perfect for disabled PC users

3D gaming headed to the Palm family
Apple isn't the only mobile now capable of some hardcore gaming action

Is the Viliv P3 the underdog tablet to look out?
Dual-booting tablet is looking very tasty indeed

Razer and Sixense bring motion gaming to the PC
But will it catch on within the incredibly competitive PC gaming peripheral market?

UK getting the Dell Mini 3i
Android phone hitting UK shores in the not-so-distant-future

Video- Armour Home Q2 Tilt Internet radio
Innovative and simple radio from Brit-based Armour

Video - "World's smallest Windows PC" the UMID M Book 1
It makes a gnat's bum look big. Well...not quite. But you get the idea

Video- Casio's Digital Art Frame
Making all those dodgy Facebook snaps look good

Video - The coolest retro iPhone hi-fi ever, Lasonic's i931
Bring 80's boom box street-chic bang up to date

Video - Toshiba's Cell TV that is controlled by hand gestures
Innovative tech, but it makes you look a bit of an idiot; not sure I want a work out in front of the telly

Video - Sony's BRAVIA XBR-52HX900 3D TV

Their flagship 3D set is a stunner

Video - Panasonic's 3D camera
Bet the adult-entertainment industry cant wait to get its mitts on this one

Click here for more CES 2010 coverage from Tech Digest

Tech Digest at CES is sponsored by Best Buy. For more CES stories and videos go here

Why the £15 DAB digital radio is weeks away

1 Comment

Tesco DAB-907 (£24.97)Not too long ago DAB radio seemed to have a glittering future. Championed by the BBC and backed by a slew of high profile manufacturers it seemed inevitable that DAB would be the radio format of the future. However in the last two years much has changed and DAB radio is now at an interesting crossroads.

Listening to the radio via the internet is becoming hugely popular thanks in part to the BBC iPlayer but also the growing availability of internet radios. There are also some doubts about DAB as a format after it was dealt a blow by several other European countries. Several radio stations have also pulled out of the DAB franchise now too it faces the challenge of satellite radio which is already huge in the US and has the backing of several major car manufacturers.

So should you still buy a Dab radio this Christmas?

Well the short answer is yes. It does seem incredible now that only three years ago the average price of a DAB radio was around £80. Fortunately prices have plummeted and now there's a good selection of models that are below £25.

It seems that the £20, and maybe even the £15 DAB radio is just weeks away.
Ultimately there is a question mark about the future of the format. But it will survive if the number of DAB radios installed in the UK reaches a critical point. At the moment around 15% of the population own one - ideally the govenrment would like that figure to be 50% by 2015 when it would like to switch off analogue transmissions.

Also even if some commercial broadcasters desert the format, it is very unlikely that the BBC will follow suit.

So expect to see the prices of DAB radios continue to fall in the coming months as the format seeks to ensure its future.

©2014 Shiny Digital Privacy Policy
Related Posts with Thumbnails