Mobile security company Lookout have conducted an in-depth investigation into the most prevalent threats to mobile users across the globe.
Based on data collated from the start of this year through to May 16th, the company found that 2.16% of their UK app users have encountered a threat on their smartphones. If that number translates across the total of all UK smartphone users, that could amount to as many as 518,400 UK smartphone users affected this year, giveneMarketer stats that state their are now 24 million smartphone users in the UK.
While adware is the most prevalent threat in the UK (collecting sensitive data about individuals), Chargeware attacks (applications that charge users without necessarily making it clear to them) are more prevalent in the UK than anywhere else.
"The implications of these threats to consumers run the gamut, from annoying to extremely invasive," says Lookout in a blog post.
"While an individual's chance of encountering a mobile threat is still relatively low, it's important to identify the types of emerging threats and how they vary in likelihood around the world, providing a better sense of how the bad actors are experimenting."
Check out the infographic with the full details from Lookout below. Click to expand it full size:
Heading out to the swamps of the Glastonbury 2013 festival? It's a big site with lots going on, so sponsors EE have handily put together an official app to help guide your stay at the world's best music festival.
The app includes an annotated site map, up-to-date news straight from the event, a schedule organiser so you don't miss your favourite bands, artist biographies and access to the seven live streams that BBC's iPlayer platform will be running from the main stages, among other features.
Kicking off on Wednesday June 26th, this year's headliners include the Arctic Monkeys, The Rolling Stones and Mumford and Sons, alongside hundreds of other performers and artists.
"We put a lot into making this festival as good as it can possibly be," said Emily Eavis, organiser of this year's Glastonbury Festival.
"I hope the app helps people navigate the site and introduces them to acts they've never seen before."
Acer's Aspire R7 Star Trek Into Darkness limited edition convertible ultrabook is to boldly go where none of its 24 brethren have gone before: into an eBay charity auction!
One of only 25 in the world, the auction package includes Acer's insane ultrabook/tablet hybrid, complete with a special sandblast finish, a poster signed by the movie's cast, Star Trek wallpapers, videos and sounds pre-installed, a soundtrack and also a copy of the latest Star Trek game.
The laptop itself would be a lustworthy prize, featuring a unique easel-like hinge, a 1080p 15.6-inch touchscreen, a 500GB HDD with fast-booting 24GB SSD and an Intel Core i5 processor.
"Acer is giving one lucky person in the world the opportunity to become the sole owner of the Acer Aspire R7 Star Trek Into Darkness Limited Edition Package", said Neil Marshall, managing director, Acer UK.
As well as the near-certain launch of iOS7 at next week's annual WWDC bash from Apple, the Cupertino company are now being tipped to reveal new hardware at the event. Set to take top billing is a new line up of MacBook Air products for 2013.
So what's set for inclusion in the slimline new notebooks? For starters, Intel's latest Haswell 4th-gen Core processors looks a dead-cert, offering improved battery efficiency and double the integrated graphics capabilities of last year's Ivy Bridge generation.
A dual-microphone system, similar to that seen in the Retina MacBook Pro line-up is also set for inclusion according to 9to5Mac, alongside faster 802.11ac Wi-Fi chips.
What's looking very unlikely to feature however is Intel's Thunderbolt 2 technology. Though rumoured for inclusion, Intel revealed today that their new data transfer protocol (capable of 20Gbps speeds) won't hit mass production until much later this year in time for a 2014 roll-out.
Apple's 2013 WWDC keynote kicks off on Monday. We'll bring you all the latest official announcements as they're delivered then.
Intel have revealed Thunderbolt 2, the latest version of their super-speedy data transfer protocol.
Codenamed Falcon Ridge, Thunderbolt 2 makes use of a new controller chip that pops two of the 10Gbps uni-directional channels from the first iteration of Thunderbolt into a single 20Gbps bi-directional channel, effectively doubling the speeds of what was already a blisteringly-fast data transfer system.
It's introduction seems purpose built for video editors looking to put together high-quality 4K video productions at speed, allowing the simultaneous display and transfer of 4K content.
Thunderbolt 2 will also support DisplayPort 1.2, offering video streaming to a single 4K monitor or a pair of QHD monitors, without needing any fresh cables or add-ons.
Fully backwards compatible with first-generation Thunderbolt products, Thunderbolt 2 will begin production by the end of 2013 and will hit full speed at the start of 2014. That rules the technology out of any launches at Apple's WWDC next week, though next year's models could well feature it.
Offering up full HD touchscreen controls buoyed by Sony's Bravia, X-Reality and Triluminos display technologies, Sony claim it's the lightest touch-capable ultrabook available.
"By using uni-direction carbon fibre throughout the case, the touch enabled Vaio Pro 11 achieves the light weight of 0.870 kg and the touch-enabled Vaio Pro 13 achieves a weight of only 1.060 kg," says Sony.Under that svelte hood sits an Intel Haswell 4th-gen Core processor, as much as 8GB of RAM and an SSD as large as 512GB, as well as connectivity options that include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC. Ports include an SD card slot, USB 3.0 and HDMI out.
Like the Vaio Duo 13, a built-in router allows the laptop to act as a hotspot for up to five other devices, while NFC is also included here for tap-sharing between compatible devices.
Battery life is also said to be strong, despite a backlit keyboard being among the battery-draining features. The 13-inch model can squeeze out 8 hours of battery life while the 11-inch model can manage 11 hours. Each can also be supplemented by a high capacity sheet battery, boosting the battery life to 18 and 11 hours respectively.
Avaialble from June, we'll keep you posted on pricing as it's revealed.
When routine bites hard and ambitions are low, many of us turn to video games to raise a smile. Developers Mighty Box Games have found inspiration for the latest browser-based title from an unlikely source - Joy Division's classic track Love Will Tear Us Apart.
Much like the song, the game is about "coming to terms with the reality of an irreconcilable relationship," according to Calleja, encouraging player to look "on the darker side of love: miscommunication, emotional impasse and the sadness of separation".
"What guides this game is an ambition to frustrate, upset and sting the player into remembering the dark days preceding the death of a relationship...Solace may be found in the brief moment of lightness that comes over us when we come to terms with the reality of an irreconcilable relationship."
The game's black and white art style also seems to take its inspiration from another Joy Division work; the cover art to their album Unknown Pleasures.
Designed by Peter Saville, it's a visual representation of the radio waves from pulsar CP 1919, a dying star.
Sony have today announced a new and improved Vaio slider, the Sony Vaio Duo 13.
Doubling up as both ultrabook and tablet, the device features a sliding screen that can lay flat while facing upwards over the keys to act like a traditional slate device.
Measuring 13.3-inches and packing in a Full HD Triluminous touchscreen display with X-Reality picture processing technology, the Vaio Duo 13 can be configured to include Intel's latest Haswell 4th generation processors, as much as 8GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD.
Running Windows 8, the 4G-enabled slider also comes with a digitiser stylus for handwritten note taking, with the device's Note Anytime software allowing you to scribble whenever you like rather than hunting for an associated app.
The Vaio Duo 13 also features an 8MP rear-facing camera that is capable of character recognition alongside built-in software, making the device also a sort of on-the-go document scanner too. There's also a Wi-Fi router included, allowing the ultrabook to act as a hotspot for 5 other devices.
15 hours is the stated battery life, one that, if true, would put it in the upper echelons of laptop power packs.
No word on pricing yet, but expect a June release.
After numerous leaks, that Samsung Galaxy S4 Active has finally been officially confirmed for release. And, thankfully unlike some of the more recent Samsung releases to piggyback off the Galaxy S4 name, the handset doesn't look half bad.
Overhauling the best-selling Galaxy S4 design to include rugged features such as IP67 dust and waterproofing in a fully-sealed chassis, the Galaxy S4 Active is otherwise almost identical to its namesake.
Featuring a 5-inch Full HD display, the Active is powered by a 1.9GHz quad-core processor, backed by 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage space.
Running off a 2600mAh battery, the S4 Active also sports an 8MP rear snapper, one of the few specs to be dialled back from the standard Galaxy S4, which makes use of a 13MP sensor.
Running Android Jelly Bean 4.2 with Samsung's TouchWiz UI laid over the top, the 4G-enabled handset is a little chubbier than the standard S4, measuring 139.7 x 71.3 x 9.1 mm and weighing 151g - a substantial 21g more than the original. Still, considering it's aimed at the extreme end of the market, a little more heft may do it some good.
Set to hit stores in the UK over the Summer in "Urban Grey, Dive Blue and Orange Flare" colours, Phones4U have confirmed they will be stocking the handset. We'll keep you posted on pricing as it is announced.
We've truly been spoiled when it comes to game graphics this console generation. From the rolling tundras of Skyrim to the open plains of Red Dead Redemption, from Uncharted's lush jungles to the city-in-the-sky of Bioshock Infinite, we've been taken to some truly incredible places.
We may, however, be on the verge of seeing the release of a game that tops them all. The post-apocalyptic world of The Last Of Us is as beautiful as it is brutal and harrowing, with some of most incredible environments, facial animations and set pieces we've ever played through. The world of The Last Of Us may be in tatters, but your eyes will be in heaven, taking in all the detail crammed into this sumptuous world.
Our The Last Of Us review is now live so check it out for our full verdict on the game's visuals, story, gameplay and more. But before you do, check out this collection of sumptuous The Last Of Us screenshots:
Horror, stealth, action and cinematic storytelling combine in Naughty Dog's latest PS3 exclusive, The Last Of Us. A completely different beast compared to the development team's award-winning Uncharted series, can Joel and Ellie's long-awaited road-trip live up to the standard set by Nathan Drake's globe-trotting adventures? Read our full review to find out!
Survival horror is dead, right? Resident Evil has gone off the rails and the last couple of Silent Hill games were barely better than the recent movies (which were, you know, bad). They are franchises which have lost their patience with the moody, spine-tingling scenarios they used to set up in favour of epic Hollywood set-pieces and Rambo-like shootouts. It's a trend that was arguably in part triggered by the Uncharted series, the Indiana Jones-like japes that The Last Of Us developers Naughty Dog wowed all PlayStation 3 fans with across this console generation. Click here for more images
Those expecting The Last Of Us to be like Uncharted are in for a shock. If anything, it's the closest we've come to a truly next-gen survival horror game since Resident Evil 4 shook up the genre, and it's a triumph of smart game design.
But to call The Last Of Us solely a survival horror game is to tell only part of its story. Naughty Dog have proved themselves to be incredibly adept gaming and cultural magpies, mining all sorts of influences (both gaming and otherwise) to create a game that constantly surprises, horrifies and delights. There's a slice of Splinter Cell here, a scene ripped out of Cormac McCarthy's novel 'The Road' here, and indeed a fair helping of Uncharted's all-out-action too. There's more variety in an hour of The Last Of Us than some third-person adventures manage in their entire playtime.Pulling all of these disparate parts together is a story that plays out like a post-apocalyptic road movie. A worldwide epidemic has turned the majority of the planet's population into fungal monstrosities, with spores floating in the air that first turn humans into raging animals and then, over time dull all their senses except for hearing and cause them to deform with large mushroom-like growths. The few who have managed to avoid infection live out their lives in high-walled police state cities, barely eating enough to survive. A mysterious freedom fighting force named the Fireflies aims to bring balance to the hardships of city life, but for many the relative safety behind the walls is far more preferable than the dangers beyond. Urban life as we know it is irreversibly changed; in the 20-odd years since the infection took hold, skyscrapers have crumbled, cars rust in piles on motorways and nature has reclaimed the land, growing over the concrete monoliths of civilisation past. Only wildlife and the roaming, screaming infected remain.
You take on the role of Joel, a middle-aged, gruff smuggler who is both feared and liked in equal measure. Though just as likeable, he's no Nathan Drake; Joel's past is touched by tragedy, and he has done questionable things in order to survive in this harsh new world. He's tasked with smuggling Ellie, a young girl born after the outbreak of infection, beyond the city walls for mysterious reasons. It quickly transpires that she is the most precious cargo Joel has ever cared for, and the pair embark on a journey that takes them across the dark heart of the deformed American wasteland.Click here for more images
The Last Of Us is survival horror in the truest sense. Joel and Ellie will constantly be scavenging, always on the verge of running out of ammunition, always looking for the means to incrementally improve their meagre arsenal. Every shot fired not only runs the risk of alerting deadly enemies but takes away resources that may be truly hard to come by in the future.
Such low supplies not only makes each encounter with the infected tense and frightening, but also truly challenging. There's no "one-approach-fits-all" to fights, and you'll have to think on your feet in order to survive. Sometimes it's a matter of patience, crouching quietly behind cover and listening with Joel's focus ability (think of it like a spider-sense for the ears, allowing you to hear - and see - enemy movements through walls) in order to get a grasp of the numbers you're facing and the places the infected are hiding. Perhaps you'll need to quietly strangle a few, or throw a bottle to cause a distraction to sneak past them all entirely. Other times there's no choice but to face them head on, but even then a well-designed arsenal of weaponry forces your approach to combat to be a thoughtful one.
This sense of variety is aided by the enemy and level design. From 28 Days Later style-runners that swarm Joel to the creepy, blind Clickers that use sound waves in order to hunt and shamble towards your position, to putrefying Bloaters with ranged spore attacks and armoured plating, each feels a vastly different foe. And when they combine forces to attack Joel all at once, it can be a chaotic battle to make it out alive. From tight, pitch-black corridors to wide open spaces, some with plenty of cover spots and some with next to none, some with the chance for attacks from on high, others where your best bet is to take a low-down path, your surroundings keep you on your toes as much as the monsters.Human enemies will also attack Joel and Ellie from time to time, be they military forces on the lookout for the runaways or scavengers whose morality has been dashed with the struggle to keep on living. They're a truly devious challenge, often attacking in numbers and changing patrol routes regularly, with an uncanny ability to communicate your last known position and eventually surrounded you. Though you have a flashlight at your disposal, the shadows are often your best friend, and The Last Of Us' stealth sequences are right up their with the best moments the Splinter Cell games managed.
As well as a spot of bare-knuckle boxing (taking the best bits of Uncharted 3's interactive environments to use as on-the-fly bludgeoning spots), Joel has access to a number of bats, clubs and handguns, a shotgun and rifle, a bow and projectile consumable weapons including molotov cocktails and nailbombs, as well as shivs that can be used to sneak-kill enemies and unlock some doors in the game. Scavenging parts littered around levels will let Joel craft new projectiles, while weapon benches can be found to upgrade your guns. Supplements can also be found to improve your skills such as the range of your focus listening and maximum health. Though it's not full of space-age weaponry, each offensive item in the game serves a unique purpose in combat, making their varied use a necessity to survival. By comparison, in Uncharted I spent 90% of all three games just using the pistols. Do that here and you'll die a lot. Neat touches, like seeing a molotov smash on a runner enemy, only to attract Clickers that in turn burst into flames as they stand over the source of the splintering glass sound, is as satisfying a combat moment as I've had in any game. You'll also sometimes enlist companions who can cover your back out in the dangerous world.Click here for more images
Puzzles play their part too in progression, and, like everything in The Last Of Us, feel carefully considered so as to feel a natural part of the game's world. You may have to find and place sturdy planks in order to bridge otherwise impassable gaps in the world, or find a makeshift raft in a subway to help Ellie across a flooded track she cannot swim against. They're never too taxing, but add a layer of believability to the many hardships and conundrums a world like this would throw at you.
What's more challenging is uncovering all the game's collectibles, deftly hidden throughout the densely detailed world. Notes and diaries reveal more of the harrowing events leading up to the game, and Naughty Dog have done well to make their collection more than just ticking boxes on a checklist. Characters react to the findings and discuss their meanings with each other, giving their discovery purpose and grounding in the world of the game rather than being just an arbitrary treasure hunt.
And it's this attention to detail that makes The Last Of Us truly outstanding. This is a living, barely-breathing world, full of believable relationships and stories of survival. You'll wander into conversations on someone's lost ration card, or witness a brutal police execution, just by chance, or by lingering around a point of interest just a little longer than the average gamer would. Though it's less set-piece heavy than Uncharted, when Naughty Dog do flex their directorial chops, they prove themselves to be masters of the medium. The opening sequence in particularly is one of the most finely scripted scenes (both mechanically and in terms of writing) that I've ever played through, with surround sound audio cues and dramatic events drawing the players attention in a natural way that cinema's cuts and transitions could only ever dream of. This is interactive fiction at its best.
As you'd expect from Naughty Dog, voice acting and animations are top drawer. Ellie and Joel's voice actors are among the best we've heard in any game ever, and their slowly-forming friendship rivals even that of the superb one found between Bioshock Infinite's protagonists. In-game engine conversations seamlessly merge with pre-rendered cutscenes, with the quality of the game's visuals so high as to make the transition barely noticeable.
Honestly - The Last Of Us looks every bit as good as every next-gen PS4 or Xbox One demo reel we've seen so far. Levels vary from murky tunnel systems to crumbling buildings, lush woodland to imposing military checkpoints and dilapidated interiors, each littered with details that bring the world to life. Wade through a stream and lilly pads will float with the ripples; a flashlight's beam casts chequered illumination through a punctured wall; tree roots protrude from high within the ruins of a tower. It's incredibly detailed, and it carries over to the delivery of each character's lines - from a barely-noticeable raise of an eyebrow or widening of an eye to some of the most stomach-turning death animations we've seen for some time, it's all masterfully executed.The Last Of Us is a magnificent achievement, one that weaves exciting, varied gameplay challenges naturally through an engrossing, expertly delivered story in a visually arresting world.
Does it top the Uncharted series' best moments? That's a matter of taste - the quality of The Last Of Us is not in question, and in terms of polish is every bit its stablemate's equal. What will be to be decided is whether you prefer the pulpy, colourful action-flick thrills of Nathan Drake's outings, or The Last Of Us' visceral, more studied and thoughtful challenge. Thankfully it's not an "either/or" choice - Naughty Dog have proved themselves Sony's premier first party exclusives developer, and The Last Of Us proves that their range knows no bounds.
At the time of writing, The Last Of Us multiplayer servers have yet to be switched on, meaning we can't truly judge what it will involve at the moment. As such, the final review score is only reflective of the single player campaign (we'll update it if the multiplayer somehow proves awful enough to drag it down).
We can however share what we've learnt from scouring the multiplayer menus, which may give you some sort of indication as to what to expect. Multiplayer in The Last Of Us is called "Factions" and sees you siding with either the Fireflies or the Hunters. Winning multiplayer matches will see you bolster the number of members in your clan, and the clan's survival appears to be tied to your ability to collect supplies littered around maps and scavenged from the bodies of fallen foes. Helping your clan survive a set number of days will unlock new weapons and customisation options, while hitting a 12 week milestone looks set to introduce new challenges to the mode and unlock the top-tier rewards.
Two match modes look to be included, titled "Survival" and "Supply Raid". Both seem to be team deathmatch variants, though the only differentiating factor that the menus give away at the moment is that Survival mode doesn't allow for respawns. Much emphasis will be on scavenging supplies at the start of each round, enabling you to craft on the fly weapons that will be vital to your success.
As is now customary in online multiplayer, you'll be able to unlock player customisations through play, including new hats, masks and emblems. As well as customising weapon loadouts (with your arsenal again bolstering as your play), you'll also unlock one-use perks for your teams as you play, that include everything from boosted ammo supplies to reduced armour crafting costs.There's also Facebook integration included in Factions. We're not sure how deep it runs yet, having not been able to access a multiplayer game, but in the menus at least it throws your pals' profile pictures together with a line of text describing what they've been up to in the world of Factions. Seeing my girlfriend's aunt's picture pop up along with a line saying she was currently distilling ethanol definitely made me laugh.
With the servers set to go live shortly, we'll update this review with a full verdict on the multiplayer mode once we've had substantial time with it.
I'm not a massive fan of stealth games, and even less of a horror fan, so for The Last Of Us to have so thoroughly won me over, even with its developer's pedigree behind it, comes as a surprise. Though sharing the production values and superb execution of the Uncharted series, The Last Of Us is very much its own adventure, a sombre and engrossing tale that's both harrowing and warm, set in a world both beautiful and horrific, throwing surprising gameplay challenges at you around every turn. A majestic swan-song for the PlayStation 3, where developers Naughty Dog can go from here is anyone's guess.
Windows 8 as a desktop OS hasn't quite had the impact in the enterprise or education markets that Microsoft had hoped for, with new stats revealed today showing the operating system has only had 0.53% penetration in the enterprise sector. But we're living in the post-PC age, right? It's all about the tablet for the future of Windows, right? Right? Toshiba certainly believe so, showing off today their new WT310 Windows 8 Pro tablet. We had a brief play with it a little earlier.A 11.6-inch tablet with a full HD touch screen, it's a highly configurable tablet aimed at both the education and business sectors, which can be equipped with either an Atom chip or the latest Core i5 Haswell processors.SSD storage in every imaginable capacity (within reason) is available, as well as the same DigitizerPen for text input and handwriting recognition that we saw earlier in the Android-based Toshiba Excite Write tablet.Though it's not the most exciting design, the WT310 did offer a wide variety of useful ports in a chassis that looked as though it could withstand the rigours of both business trips and the classroom. Measuring 229mm x 189mm x 12.4mm and weighing 825g, it has a single USB 3.0 port, a microHDMI output, an SD card slot and internal support for LTE mobile data connections and Intel WiDi screen sharing. Silver-coloured plastic edging also houses a docking port. But though the majority of the tablet seemed sturdy, the home button however can be described as flimsy at best, and looked worryingly loose on the demo model at today's event.An optional docking cradle is also available for the WT310, folding down for maximum portability. It houses an additional USB 3.0 port, as well as an SD card slot and Ethernet port. It's pricing has not yet been disclosed, but looks like a sensible add-on for those intending to use the tablet as a laptop or desktop replacement.Pricing will vary wildly depending on the specifics of the configuration, maxing out at around the £700-£800 mark according to the Toshiba rep on hand today. Expect to see these up for sale before the summer is out.
Alongside all-in-one PCs and high-spec Android tablets, Toshiba also had a premium gaming laptop on show today. Packing in the latest Nvidia notebook GPU and Haswell Intel processor, the Toshiba Qosmio X70 is a (relatively) portable gaming beast. We went hands-on earlier in a hotel playing host to Toshiba's press event and share our thoughts here."Relatively portable, you say?" That's right - though billed as a gaming laptop, there's some serious heft to the Toshiba Qosmio X70. Exact measurements haven't been made available yet (and we didn't attend today's press event with weighing scales and a tape measure in our rucksack), but you're looking at a laptop at the very least an inch thick at it's chunkiest point, and weighty enough to make you think twice about carrying it over to a mate's house. This is as much a desktop replacement as a laptop.In its defence, there's some incredible power tucked under the hood though, and that space is needed to house it all and keep air flowing over all the hot-running components. The Qosmio X70 can be configured to include a Haswell Quad-Core i7 CPU, Nvidia's GeForce GTX 770M, a whopping 32GB of RAM over 4 slots and a 3TB HDD paired with a 256GB SSD. Though it'd push your bank balance into the red, that's a formidable configuration.It's certainly enough power to see many games shine on the machine's 17.3 inch 1080p display. With an 8ms response time and LED backlighting it's both responsive enough for hardcore gamers and vibrant enough for enjoyable Blu-ray playback from the included high-def disc drive, if a little reflective.
The Qosmio also continues the line's in-your-face design sensibilities, with matte and gloss black plastics sitting alongside brushed aluminium elements and red accents. The keyboard too features red-glowing backlighting.We had a brief play through the introductory chapter of recent PC release Metro: Last Light on the laptop. The performance was incredibly impressive, given how demanding a title the game is. Running at the display's native full HD resolution and all graphical settings set to their highest value (tessellation and anti-aliasing effects maxed out, and texture settings cranked up too), the game ran incredibly smoothly. Though we didn't have the means to run a proper framerate test, to the naked eye it looked as though the game was hovering around a consistent 30fps mark - not a buttery smooth 60fps, but very playable indeed nonetheless. The machine obviously has some mean gaming chops, and should have no problem playing the current generation of top-tier, demanding PC games.We did make two slightly concerning observations however during the brief testing session. Firstly, the Qosmio X70 was running hot. Like really hot; we stood to the side of the machine to take a few photos (next to where its ventilation system is placed), and we thought for a moment that someone had turned the hotel's radiators on, despite it being a summers day. Of course, gaming laptops always run hot, what with the powerful components crammed into such a tight space, but this seemed worryingly toasty.Our second issue came with the trackpad. Though comfortably sized and responsive, it wouldn't allow us to move our Metro: Last Light character forward while also turning. Having not played the game on another computer, this could potentially be a quirk with the title as opposed to the machine (please do chime in in the comments section below if that's the case), or maybe a problem with the pre-production model we were testing, or even an elusive setting having been activated. It's probably nothing, but worth pointing out at this stage if it's a system-wide problem that rears its head again upon release. We'll keep an eye out.
Despite the concerns, the Qosmio X70, like last year's model, again has the potential to be a winner. It's certainly powerful enough to tempt pro gamers, who will wan't to keep an eye out for it's launch come Q3 2013. You'll need to start saving now though if you're interested, with prices starting at a high £1,499.
Lionhead Studios have just revealed a teaser trailer for the next game in the Fable franchise.
Rather than being a whole new adventure, the studio is heading back to the series' roots with Fable Anniversary, a HD remake of the 2004 title that introduced gamers to Peter Molyneux's fairy-tale inspired world of Albion.
Though the above trailer gives little away beyond a high-resolution model of the game's main antagonist, Jack Of Blades, a few other details of the remake have been revealed.
Penned in for release this year, the visually upgraded Anniversary will include improved lighting effects and high-resolution textures, alongside an updated control scheme and user interface that will bring the game in line with newer entries into the series. A new save system will also be introduced, accommodating The Lost Chapters special edition content, which looks also set for inclusion. Smart Glass functionality has also been teased.
The above trailer ends with the Xbox 360 logo, suggesting the remake will at least be coming to the current Microsoft console, though we wouldn't rule out an Xbox One version either. Expect to find out more about Fable Anniversary at E3.
As well as a range of laptops and an all-in-one PC, Toshiba took today to refresh their tablet line-up, bringing their Excite range to the UK for the first time. Though the company has had a chequered history in the tablet space, they seem to be on the right track with their new top-end models, the Excite Pro and Excite Write. Each packs in a high-resolution display, while the Excite Write with stylus support targets the market cornered by Samsung's Galaxy Note range, being particularly similar to Samsung's Galaxy Note 10.1.Measuring 10.1 inches in size and running Android Jelly Bean 4.2, both the Excite Write and Excite Pro are essentially the same tablet, powered by Nvidia Tegra 4 quad-core processors and employing a very attractive 2560x1600 resolution display. 8MP rear camera's feature on both too.Where they differ however is in the Excite Write's support of stylus input and handwriting recognition. Adding a digitising layer to the screen and coming complete with a stylus pen that (thankfully) feels very comfortable due to it closely resembling a standard ink ballpoint, you can scribble notes and sketches on the display. Toshiba's pre-loaded TruNote application (though worringly unstable and prone to crashing during our short hand-on time with a pre-release model) seemed particularly promising, accurately turning our spider like scrawl into typed text and allowing us to search the web with handwritten notes of export them to the tablet's mail app. Input was recognised with only a split-second delay, making writing at speed reasonably comfortable on the tablet.However, with both tablets sharing the same 260mm x 179mm x 10.5mm casing, there's no slot to tuck that digital pen safely away into, so you'll have to be careful not to lose it. Likewise, the overall design lacks inspiration, weighing a considerable 632g and featuring a thick black border around its edge. A nicely textured chrome-look back panel does make the tablet comfortable to grip though.Over specs include 2GB of RAM, 16GB or 32GB storage options, micro USB and HDMI ports, Bluetooth 4.0, 3G, LTE support in the 32GB version, microSD storage expansion and a 3.5mm headphone socket.Set to be exclusives to PC World and Currys a little later this summer, the Excite Pro will command prices starting at £349, while the Excite Write will start at £499 (the higher price seemingly justified by pen input). That's a fairly premium price, but it's also a relatively premium spec sheet. That screen in particular is gorgeous, making the Excite Pro a slightly pricer alternative to Google's Nexus 10. A sturdy, optional keyboard case will also be available for the pair, though pricing hasn't been announced yet.
We'll have more hands-on first looks at Toshiba's latest gear throughout the day, so keep checking back for more details.
Toshiba have today unwrapped their 2013 laptop, tablet and PC lines at a preview event in London, and Tech Digest went hands-on with a number of forthcoming products from Tosh. First up, the Qosmio PX30t 23-inch touchscreen all-in-one PC, set to challenge Apple's iMac for self-contained desktop dominance.Running the touch-friendly Windows 8 operating system, runs at a full HD 1920 x 1080p resolution, with 10-point multitouch input accepted.
Available in both 3rd generation Ivy Bridge and brand-spanking-new 4th generation Haswell processor configurations, we tested a model packing a Core i7-4900MQ processor clocked at 2.8GHz, backed by 16GB of RAM. As well as Intel HD 4000 graphics being offered, optional Nvidia GeForce GT 740M discrete graphics options can also be configured.As well as offering as much as 3TB of storage space, the Qosmio PX30t also boasts a side-mounted Blu-ray drive, 2x USB 2.0 ports, 4x USB 3.0 ports, wireless connectivity (including Intel WiDi and Miracast) and HDMI input. That HDMI port can be used to carry 4K content to an external compatible display, while the Qosmio PX30t display itself can also double up as a standalone monitor.All is housed within a reasonably compact black plastic chassis with chrome trim, sitting on an attractive aluminium stand. Each will also come with a wireless mouse and keyboard, the mouse having an angular yet comfortable design. HarmonKardon supply the audio tech, with the screen housing built-in 20W stereo speakers, tuned with DTS Studio Sound.Though our time with the Qosmio PX30t was limited, it felt a snappy and responsive AIO. Even over the din of a busy showroom the speakers seemed very capable, lining the machine up as (at the very least) a competent media player, while the screen itself reacted well to touch input and was richly colourful thanks to LED backlighting. It was fairly reflective, though again the bright lights of the showroom may not be the best place to judge it in this respect.Love it or loathe it, jumping about the Windows "Modern" or "Metro" UI was snappy too, and though we couldn't put the graphics chip through its paces with something a little more demanding like Crysis 3, the Qosmio PX30t handled racing title Drift Mania Championship 2 without a stutter, suggesting that some casual gaming wont tax the system, nor will some older 3D titles.
Available from Q3 2013, entry level configurations of the Qosmio PX30t will start at £799. We'll have more from today's Toshiba press conference a little later.
Intel have officially launched its fourth generation of processors, Haswell and Bay Trail, looking to focus on getting the chips in ultrabooks, tablets and hybrid devices.
Revealed during the company's Computex 2013 press event in Taipei after many months of snippets of info being released, Intel claim their Core Haswell processors are the most power efficient they've ever made, delivering "the biggest power savings" in Intel's history, squeezing as much as 9 hours of battery life out of laptops while doubling the graphics performance of the Ivy Bridge generation of Intel chips.
Likewise, the new Bay Trail-T Atom chipset is billed as the " most powerful Intel Atom system on chip yet for tablets."
A 22nm quad-core Atom system on chip based on Silvermount microarchitecture, it'll support both Windows 8.1 and Android machines, and is expected to be found in plenty of tablets before the end of the year. The Bay Trail-T can offer as much as 8 hours or more battery life, and weeks on standby, and integrates Intel's newly announced 4G LTE multimode for high-speed mobile data transfers/
"Today we deliver on the vision set forth 2 years ago to reinvent the laptop with the introduction of our 4th generation Intel Core processors that were designed from the ground up for the Ultrabook and serve as the foundation for a new era of 2-in-1 computing," said Executive Vice President Tom Kilroy.
"We made one of the most seismic changes to our roadmap ever to build these new Core processors that deliver the stunning performance of the PC and the mobility of a tablet in one device. The new processors power the most exciting 2-in-1 designs to-date."
Formed from the ashes of the late, great TOCA racing series, the long-dormant Grid franchise returns. Walking the line between simulation and arcade racer, can it measure up against petrol-head favourites Gran Turismo and Forza? Read our full review to find out.
Though the TOCA series that laid the foundations for Grid 2 many moons ago was primarily a simulation racer, the rise of titles like Burnout and the Forza series have seen developers Codemasters take the Grid series down a more accessible route. As punchy as the Burnout series with its car damage modelling (if not quite as boisterously over the top), Grid 2's cars lean slightly more towards the arcade end of the racing spectrum. Though steering is weighty and measured, the emphasis on drifting and the ability to rewind time a limited number of times following particularly nasty crashes give Grid 2, like its predecessor, a more playful tone than the likes of Gran Turismo or even its TOCA forefathers. There's no scalable handling assist option here either, meaning you've to persevere and learn the quirks of Grid 2's driving systems in order to succeed. While it arguably denies Grid 2 a unique feel, being a sort of mash-up of some of the best bits of recent driving titles, it's undeniably good fun throughout, giving all races a thrilling sense of speed and danger.Rather than obsessing over an exhaustive list of cars, Grid 2 focuses on a few dozen lust-worthy road warriors, decking them out in fictional sponsor-heavy paint jobs. While the lack of real-world licensing may put off purists, Codemasters have weaved a worthy plot through Grid 2's single player campaign to justify the game's cars and sponsors. A monied petrol-head is looking to establish a new racing championship called "World Series Racing", a multi-discipline season that pits racers of many specialities against each other on a global stage. You're among those racers. Though only ever really a framing device to get you from one race or event to the next, it's delivered with authenticity, as your racer rises in popularity on social media channels and becomes the talk of in-game ESPN pundits. It gives a great sense of momentum and progression to the campaign.
Races occur across the globe in locations as varied as Paris and Hong Kong, on circuit tracks and offroad trails. As well as standard races, other of the many modes contained within include point-to-point chases, time trials and an interesting "live-routes" race that sees corners and turns revealed only after the previous one was hit, changing with every lap. It's chaotic fun, and one where the visceral car damage modelling system really shines as racers trying to second-guess the circuit collide spectacularly, causing bonnets to crumple and fibre glass to splinter.However, while there's a good number of tracks and modes to conquer, many reuse track segments and assets too often to feel truly unique, and you'll likely tire of them before long if you choose to pursue multiple WSR seasons. Likewise, some of the city-based tracks can feel a little bit lifeless and drab, whereas offroad races are filled with neat touches such as animals crossing roads and flurries of leaves. The influence of Codemaster's Colin McRae series is keenly felt here, and it seems to be where the developers are most confident when it comes to track design.
Even if you put the car damage system to one side, Grid 2's vehicles look great. Though those weaned on the auto-erotica of Forza's in-car recreations will be disappointed to see only a bonnet view as close as you'll come to the driver's seat, the cars have been lovingly created. Particularly praise worthy is the reflections of each bonnet, picking up details like firework displays and skyscraper lights as you tear around night-time tracks. Presentation across the board is of a high standard, with clean, inviting menus, roaring engine sounds and a soundtrack that kicks in at the most heart-pounding moments of tightly fought challenges and races.Multiplayer is delivered through the thorough RaceNet system, which tracks all of your Grid 2 online achievements. It smartly sets you up against racers of a similar ability to yourself, and even assigns you a real-world "Rival" to challenge for grudge matches, rotating rivals to give fresh opposition over time. Live events too will offer unique challenges throughout Grid 2's online lifetime, letting the hardiest of racers battle it out for the most prestigious rankings. However, Grid 2's multiplayer suffers from the same track shortcomings as the single player mode, and it's frustrating that you can't carry over your fleet of unlocked cars from single player to multiplayer too. You'll have to be committed to a wholly separate progression system to make use of the best cars online.
Grid 2 is a confident return for the franchise, with enjoyable car handling and a unique single player mode. It suffers from recycled tracks and its playful approach to licensing may not be for those looking for a truly authentic racer, but there's lots here to enjoy nonetheless.
Vine, the six-second clip video sharing service from the same brains as those behind Twitter, is now available on Android devices.
The free app allows users to create 6-second montages of video clips they've recorded, allowing for incredibly simple creation of clips with transitions. First released on the iPhone back in January, it's proved consistently popular, regularly topping the free section of the App Store charts.
However, with Vine's Android development a little behind the iPhone version, a few recently added features are missing from this release, including the ability to use front facing cameras, use hashtags and share to Facebook. The developers however have promised to add these features in the coming weeks, and aim to eventually have all versions of the app receive new features simultaneously.
Packing in Bluetooth and Airplay connectivity alongside a clever internet radio system, the Cambridge Audio Minx Air 100 is looking a well-rounded mini speaker system. But is it worthy of its high price tag? Read our full review to find out!
The dock is dead; long live the wireless speaker! Walk into any high street gadget retailer these days and the once ubiquitous iPod dock has been more-or-less wiped out by speakers offering Bluetooth and Airplay connectivity instead. Spearheaded by Apple (and somewhat forced upon many with the iPhone 5's introduction of the Lightning connection), it's for the most part a welcome evolution, given the device-agnostic availability of Bluetooth. Cambridge Audio's Minx Air 100 fully embraces wireless standards, and has a a unique internet radio feature that sets it apart from similar speakers.
Measuring 354mm x182mm x 118mm, the Minx Air 100 is a relatively compact, relatively understated speaker in terms of design. We think it's very attractive speaker, with a clean mix of grey/silver shades and white plastics that should blend in nicely on a shelf or side table.
Sturdily built, the Minx Air 100 has a sloping white plastic rear casing, with an exposed recess on the back that doubles as both bass port and a handle (though it's lack of a built-in battery may limit its mobility - it'll always need juice from a wall socket). A grey fabric grille sits on the speaker's curving front, while band of silver plastic wraps around the front edge of the speaker, housing a number of rubber buttons that include power, volume and Bluetooth, Airplay and analogue input controls.And though it's billed as a wireless speaker with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and WPS connectivity, it doesn't leave music players without wireless capabilities completely out in the cold: on the rear you'll also find a 3.5mm input and a phono pair.
Cambridge Audio however still haven't found a more elegant solution to connecting the speaker to a wireless network than countless over speakers without a display have also struggled with. To get the Minx Air 100 speaking with your wireless music players, you'll need to hit the WPS button on the device's rear, creating the speaker's own mini Wi-Fi network, which you'll then need to connect to with your PC before being lead through a browser-based set-up process that teaches the Minx Air 100 your standard home Wi-Fi network's credentials. It's a clumsy system that, admittedly, many similar speakers suffer from, and one that may perplex the less tech-savvy music fans out there.
Once set up however, the speaker is able to play music wirelessly from all manner of sources, from Bluetooth-enabled PCs and laptops to tablets, smartphones and Apple's Airplay-equipped iOS devices. Everything from locally stored tracks to streaming services like Spotify can then be blasted out of the Minx Air 100.
The Minx Air 100 sets itself apart however through its implementation of internet radio. Though it requires the use of an iPhone and Android app to do so, you can use the software to assign five of your favourite internet radio stations to five numbered buttons on the top of the speaker. Sure, you can pick up a DAB/Internet radio system from the likes of Robert's for a fair few quid cheaper than the Minx Air 100, but few offer Airplay and Bluetooth too, and few Airplay/Bluetooth speakers offer internet radio station-saving either, so plus points all around.Though small in stature, the Minx Air 100 does a good job of creating room-filling sound. Being a compact package, it smartly sidesteps attempts to deliver a true stereo image in favour of a wider mono-arc. Using BMR driver (balanced modal radiators), the Minx throws its tunes out at 180-degrees - a sound just as pleasing as an attempt to mimic a stereo effect within such a small distance as it removes the notion of a "sweetspot". Two BMR 10cm drivers are onboard, using Cambridge Audio's own design to deliver 100W of power.
Using a 24-bit DSP, the Minx Air 100's bass performance also impresses. The bass port on the rear allows for low-end to be pumped roomily out of the back of the speaker, delivering some stonking lows, which can be tuned to your liking with a dial on the rear. Crank it up, and it truly rumbles.
It gets a little muddled however with the mids and trebles. Though high-end presence is palpable, there's little clarity, with vocals sounding removed from the rest of the delivery. Though its output levels are amazing for a speaker its size, you'd get a more satisfying mix, especially in the mid range, from far less expensive systems.
The Minx Air 100 is a bit of a mixed bag then. In terms of design we think it looks very neat and reserved, making it a lovely choice for anyone looking for a discrete bookshelf speaker. It's wireless functionality is delivered just as well as any rival Airplay speaker, with the added bonus of smart internet radio functionality. However, while bass and output levels are impressive for a speaker its size, the lack of a solid tweeter hinders the overall sound quality. A decent enough speaker then, but audiophiles will find their money more satisfyingly spent elsewhere.