Assassin’s Creed: Revelations Review (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)

assassins-creed-revelations-cover-artOur old friend Ezio Auditore is back for one final romp, and this yearly dose of conspiratorial frolics is getting somewhat perplexing. Surely such a hasty turnaround should result in shoddy and rushed sequels? But I think it’s safe to say last year’s Brotherhood proved us all wrong, with a healthy measure of new content and logical improvements. The question is, as we close Ezio’s chapter of the story, has Ubisoft’s army of international studios pulled it off once again?

Revelations is the first game to tie all three existing protagonists together, exploring both the twilight years of ancestors Ezio and Altair (the 12th century Syrian assassin), and fleshing out present day Desmond’s troubled past. Now here’s where I have to blurb the “previously on Assassin’s Creed..”, but to tell you the truth, it isn’t exactly straightforward. Not that the esotericism is necessarily detrimental to the franchise, but it does make it a tad impenetrable to newcomers.
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Netflix Launches In The UK – Will You Switch From LoveFilm?

After years of uncertainty and waiting whilst we watched our friends on the other side of the pond enjoy streaming services, Netflix has finally launched in the UK and Ireland! From today, anyone can head over to the Netflix website and sign up for a month’s trial completely free of charge so that you can try out its services and see what the company has to offer on its UK movie catalogue.

Once you’ve signed up, you will be able to choose from a catalogue of both movies and TV shows, although the content appears to be somewhat limited at first glance, perhaps due to content already tied up in contracts with LoveFilm. Whether content providers will choose to add more shows and movies to the service in due course, and how many may be added, is yet to be seen. [Read more…]

Acer Announces The Aspire S5, The World’s ‘Thinnest Ultrabook’

The ultrabook competition is well under way at this year’s CES; we’ve already seen the ThinkPad T430u announced by Lenovo, and now it’s Acer’s turn to shine in the spotlight. The Taiwanese company has just announced what it’s calling “the world’s thinnest ultrabook’, and at 15mm thick at its maximal point it may be in the running for that title.

The 13.3-inch laptop is constructed from a magnesium-aluminum alloy cover and brushed metal, and weighs just 1.35kg. Needless to say, if you’re looking for a computer to take on-the-go with you, this one would fit the bill quite nicely. [Read more…]

Lenovo K91 Shuns Google TV, Puts Android 4.0 On The Big Screen

Lenovo’s certainly been busy at this year’s CES; we’ve already seen their new hybrid ThinkPad X1 and T430u ultrabook, and now it’s time for round 3: the smart TV.

If there are two underlying themes at this year’s event, it’s certainly the presence of ultrabooks and smart TVs. Lenovo’s ultrabook effort was a valiant one, with a nice entry price point of $849 and a wide choice of hardware. The TV on the other hand? Well Lenovo has certainly pushed out the boat on this one, fitting it with an array of very impressive technologies. [Read more…]

Boxee 1.5 For Windows, Mac And Linux Review

boxee-logoI’m a huge fan of Boxee’s media centre software, having used it for three years now. Since the release of the Boxee Box in 2010, however, development of the PC version has suffered from a lack of support and updates.

We’ve been promised Boxee 1.0, the same version that originally shipped on the Boxee Box, for over a year now, but it turns out that all this time the Boxee team was hard at work creating Boxee 1.5 for the PC instead, bringing it right in line with the software that’s currently available on the set top box. That’s the good news. The bad news is that this update is the last that we’ll see Boxee ship for the PC, as the company is now focusing all of its resources on the Boxee Box instead, which you can’t really blame them for as that’s where the revenue is. So is Boxee 1.5 for PC the grand finale that we’ve all been waiting for, or is it an anti-climax to compete with LOST’s finale? Let’s take a look and find out! [Read more…]

Lenovo Unveils The Hybrid ThinkPad X1 With Dual Windows – Linux Boot Options

Reports concerning the impending death of the conventional notebook have been greatly exaggerated. They certainly aren’t going to be replaced by tablets anytime soon; professionals and regular consumers around the globe use them on a daily hourly basis, so it’s great to see them getting the attention that they deserve from companies such as Lenovo at this year’s CES.

One of the biggest issues with conventional notebooks is the poor battery life that they achieve. Many new models coming to market can barely reach 3 hours without completely dying, so it’s naturally become a major issue for a lot of manufacturers.

We’ve been promised new battery technology for many years now, and it’s never arrived. Processors have become more efficient, but there’s only so much that hardware optimisation for minimum power consumption can achieve. As a result, Lenovo has turned to software to solve their problem. [Read more…]

How To Enable Text Copying In OS X’s Quick Look

mac-finder-logoQuick Look is a feature that was introduced in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard and has remained part of the operating system since, receiving a facelift in the latest release, Mac OS X 10.7.

If you’re browsing through your files in Finder and you’d like to preview a file before opening it, you can simply hit the spacebar and see it without opening a full program. You can’t, however, copy text from within that file. Not by default anyway. [Read more…]

Invisor For Mac Review

I really dislike optical media. This partly stems from the fact that I am incredibly clumsy and tend to have a tech-related accident at least three times a week, and it also stems from the amount of space that optical media takes in cupboards and on shelves and underneath televisions. You get the idea.

So for any one of the reasons listed above, I do my best to keep optical media at a minimum. To ensure I don’t compromise on quality, a big part of this effort involves remuxing (ripping, without compression) my blu-ray discs with MakeMKV whilst keeping the original video and audio tracks uncompressed and at the best quality possible.
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Sparrow 1.5 For Mac Review

The last time we looked at Sparrow for the Mac, it was fresh off its original release and creating quite a bit of buzz on various blogs and social networks. It takes a lot of good design work to take email down to a Twitter sized client but the Sparrow team managed it well, creating an application that was as minimalist as possible whilst doing a lot of the things a full sized client such as Mail or Postbox could do.

Despite this, there were a few key features missing from Sparrow when it first launched, and the user interface had a tendency to be a little too simple at times. With this in mind, the Sparrow team has just updated the application to version 1.5 and there are a number of new features well worth checking out, so let’s get to it! [Read more…]

Nokia Lumia 800 Review

nokia-lumia-800-groupAfter a much hyped launch, many Windows Phone 7 devices saw underwhelming sales figures in their first year on the market. With the inability to apply custom skins and unique features to devices, manufacturers such as HTC have so far failed to turn Microsoft’s new mobile operating system into the storming success as they have done with Android, but that hasn’t stopped Nokia from going all in with Windows Phone.

Following a lacklustre performance from Symbian devices up against competitors such as the iPhone, Nokia certainly needs to side with the right software provider for their latest generation of smartphones, and Microsoft seemed like the only logical choice outside of Google’s Android, which the Finnish company seems reluctant to consider.

The first flagship Windows Phone 7 device to come out of Nokia is the Lumia 800, which is available on Three here in the UK. With Nokia’s hardware and Microsoft’s software this phone should blow the competition away, but does it live up to expectations or fall flat on its face? Let’s take a closer look… [Read more…]