This week's hottest reviews on TechRadar
20th Aug 2011 | 07:00
All the latest kit reviewed and rated
TechRadar's best reviews of the week
We may be in the middle of summer (not that you'd know it, looking outside) but we've still got some great kit reviewed this week.
First up is Sony's new Alpha 35 SLT camera which has plenty of innovative features for those who want a bit more from an upgrade.
We've also got a review of the monstrous EVGA GeForce GTX 560 2Win - two full-spec Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 GPUs together on the same card - as well as the excellent new Xperia Mini.
It's a new Android-toting miniature smartphone from Sony Ericsson. Read on to see what we thought of it as well as tens of other products reviewed this week on TechRadar.
The Sony Alpha A35 is the latest launch to join the manufacturer's innovative Single Lens Translucent (SLT) camera line-up, debuting a number of new technologies that look set to turn the heads of first-time entry-level buyers and upgraders alike. Sony has succeeded in taking an already impressive piece of technology and really exploring its potential. Using their innovative SLT design, it has created a very responsive camera that impresses in just about every aspect. With a glut of high-end features that elevate the SLT-A35 above the rank of your typical 'entry-level' camera, there's plenty to love about this model.
These days we're seeing a lot more slim and light ultraportable laptops. Rising up against these size zero models is the Acer Aspire Ethos 8951G. Like the Dell XPS 15z and the Macbook Pro 17 inch, this is all about packing in huge amounts of power, and who cares if it's on the chunky side. After all, as our mothers told us: it's not the outside, it's what's on the inside that counts. Acer's Ethos range are built for entertainment, and aimed squarely at those who want a smart and powerful portable for enjoying their games and media collection. We're big fans of previous Ethos models, so we gleefully put the Aspire Ethos 8951G through its paces.
What fresh madness is this? Two full-spec Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 GPUs on a single slab silicon? Either the EVGA GeForce GTX 460 2Win is a stroke of genius in a graphics card or it's something to do with a surplus of old graphics chips. Select your benchmarks just right and you can happily say that this twin-GPU card outperforms the EVGA GTX 580 Superclocked. You can say it happily, but you surely can't say it without feeling slightly guilty at putting so much spin on it. As a technical achievement, it is impressive, but it's far too expensive compared to a standard GTX 460 SLI pairing or a vanilla GTX 580.
So the British summer is having another shocker, and let's face it, autumn will likely be just as grim. On that merry note, it's well worth saving up some cash for a new entertainment machine to keep you occupied during those long, dark evenings, so you don't have to resort to conversations with family members. We've seen some excellent and unique multimedia laptops recently, from the sleek and powerful Dell XPS 15z, to the Acer Aspire Ethos 8951G, with its detachable remote control touchpad. The MSI FX720 certainly has a lot of competition, but it comes with a less eye-watering price tag than many of its peers.
Before the arrival of Sony's Ericsson's new Xperia Mini, the X10 Mini and X10 Mini Pro were an odd little couple, launching in mid-2010 with Android 1.6 and a bespoke and heavily-customised user interface on top. They weren't amazingly powerful phones and their 2.55-inch screens were shockingly small - but Sony Ericsson did a good job of maximising the available space with its corner-based interface. The same system has returned in 2011's updates, albeit improved thanks to Sony Ericsson's developers having another year to fiddle with the interface and add more new layers of social integration.
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