This week's hottest reviews on TechRadar
19th Jan 2013 | 08:00
All the hottest hits and techiest toys from the last 12 months
As the whole of the UK comes to a grinding halt underneath a vigorous sprinkling of snow, TechRadar's international team has been forging on. The testing never ends!
This week we've been playing with a wide range of play things: TVs, phones, cameras, tablets, laptops… Check out this week's hottest gear and the rest of the week's tested tipples:
The Yoga 11 is the little brother of last year's Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13, one of the flagship laptop-tablet hybrids for the launch of full-blown Windows 8. At 11 inches, it's smaller and runs the ARM-powered so it has more in common with an Android tablet than a traditional laptop. While the market has been disappointingly quiet, the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11 offers something a little different for Windows hybrid hunters. Its screen is the same size as the Sony Vaio Duo 11, and an inch smaller than the Dell XPS 12, but those machines run full-fat x86 Intel chips and cost over £1,000/US$1,100 to the Yoga 11's £699/$849. It's a nifty device in itself, but it's not as fun as Microsoft Surface, and unless you're looking for a work laptop that doubles as a nifty tablet to watch films on, we'd advise forking out for the Sony Vaio Duo.
Microsoft Surface Pro is the full-blown Windows 8 version of the Surface RT laptop-tablet hybrid device we reviewed in Tech. last year. It will run on an Intel chip rather than a low-power mobile option, and will consequently be able to run any software that any other Windows 8 machine can run. In other words, it's the non-hamstrung version. The one people might actually want to buy. Microsoft isn't yet ready to talk about the exact launch date for this product, but we have had a chance to have a good play with it and to try out the new pen. We didn't have enough time to test battery life but Windows Store apps feels just as responsive as on Surface RT, and desktop programs feel as responsive as you'd expect from a Core i5. Microsoft's first real PC is shaping up to be really great and really portable.
Although the Nikon 1 J1 proved to be an incredibly popular compact system camera (which has since been replaced by the Nikon 1 J2 and joined by the Nikon 1 J3), its larger sibling, the Nikon 1 V1, was never as popular. Perhaps seen as not serious enough for "advanced photographers", its high asking price put off the beginners who were busy investing in the Nikon 1 J1. Now, however, Nikon has replaced the Nikon 1 V1 with the Nikon 1 V2, which promises to be an evolution of the existing camera and is what Nikon hopes will attract those lucrative more serious customers - the ones who are more likely to buy additional lenses and other accessories down the line. Although this camera probably still won't overtake the J series in terms of popularity, the images from it are a step up for those looking to get a little more serious with their photography, making it a good introduction to the world of CSCs.
The 27-inch 2012 iMac has real style, but it doesn't sacrifice function to form. Its screen is excellent, has lots of power under the hood and the Fusion Drive option is a great alternative to a speedy-but-expensive SSD or a capacitous-but-slow HDD. Some may bemoan the lack of an optical drive, but for our money, a portable solution is more than sufficient considering how little they're used nowadays. Overall, the new iMac is a triumph.
A good value package from Toshiba that performs at its best with 2D Blu-ray and upscales reasonably well, the Toshiba 46TL968 nevertheless misses a trick or two.
And the rest...