* Posts by Al Taylor

339 posts • joined 30 Mar 2007

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Subaru Outback Lineartronic: The thinking person’s 4x4

Al Taylor

Re: Questions

What is the ground clearance?

200mm. That's in the review.

Can it drive through 30cm deep mud?

Wading depth is 500mm (also in review) so 300mm of mud shouldn't be an issue.

What is it like negotiating dirt road washouts?

Assuming you have the right tyres it should manage what I take to mean a rough and muddy unmetalled lane.

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Renault Kadjar: La Regie's new full-sized, inexplicably named SUV

Al Taylor

kadjar

think ajar with an added k

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Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV: The new common-as-muck hybrid

Al Taylor

Mileage

That's my daily commute and then some. I only go looking for extra miles when I'm road testing for El Reg. Obvs.

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Al Taylor

Re: Curious about break lights

I may have over egged the pudding with the "anchors" comment. Even with the recuperation set to maximum there'd be little chance of getting rear-ended unless the following car was much, much too close. No matter what the setting the brake lights don't come on you you take your foot off the gas.

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Al Taylor

Re: "Charge it" button

You're probably right, though I have trouble convincing myself that that anyone who actually bought a PHEV would forget to hold enough charge if they planned on heading into a ZEV zone.

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Split decision: Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi convertible

Al Taylor

Re: Proper review for once!

That's the highest resolution Crysis will output. Don't think screens like this were all that common back in 2007.

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Al Taylor

Ooops

That should have read microSD card slot. Apols

Al

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Gaze upon the desirable Son of Alpha: Samsung Galaxy A5

Al Taylor

"There is nothing to catch up to"

In terms of build quality and design there most certainly was.

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Al Taylor

Re: the competition from the more obscure Chinese OEMs is irrelevant

You are more than likely quite right about muppets and lemmings, but it doesn't alter the fact that the average punter British seems to think in terms of Apple, Samsung and Other Stuff.

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Kia Soul EV: Nifty Korean 'leccy hatchback has heart and Seoul

Al Taylor

Re: Energy Density maths

Probably, but using the given weight for the battery pack the arithmetic doesn't work out. I'm guessing the calculation is based on the battery weight minus the control hardware but since I couldn't lay hands on that info for the Soul or the Leaf or the Zoe I can't make any comment as to the accuracy of the statement.

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We're not sure what it is, but we like it: Lexus NX300h hybrid SUV

Al Taylor

Re: re. braking

That's exactly right. I should have said "rather than purely with good old discs".

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Al Taylor

Re: Not a CVT

Fair point but as Toyota/Lexus refer to the transmission in the NX300h as a CVT system I thought it best to stick with their nomenclature but include a short para about how the system actually works. As you say, it is extremely complicated.

Complexity aside it feels very much like a belt CVT system from the driving seat.

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Acer Chromebook 13: The best Googletop on the market?

Al Taylor

Re: Chrome and screen resolutions

You can change the overall screen rez but the result looks pretty dire. You can change the size of content text in the browser panel but not in the menu, tab and bookmarks bar. That's the stuff that looks too small to my eyes.

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PHONDLESLAB-ULOUS: Motorola Moto X Android phablet

Al Taylor

Re: So I have to ask

"for such a pricey phone"

I'd not call £420 pricey for a mobe with this spec.

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Bendy, but hangs loose too: Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 10-inch Android tab

Al Taylor

The reflections look much, much worse in the pics than in real life. More a testament to my lack of photographic expertise than anything else.

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This is why we CAN have nice things: Samsung Galaxy Alpha

Al Taylor

Re: Megapixel myth

No space for a multi-paragraph analysis of the respective qualities of the webcams in the iP6 and the Alpha but a quick comparison demonstrated to my personal satisfaction that the Alpha's camera has the iP6's beaten in terms of both colour accuracy and image brightness. The extra pixels are the least of it.

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Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?

Al Taylor

Re: Rear Glass

This feels more like glass than whatever was on the back of the Z2 so yes, I'm (pretty) sure it is toughened glass rather than some sort of plastic.

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Son of Hudl: Tesco flogs new Atom-powered 8.3-inch Android tablet

Al Taylor

Re: There’s no official word from Tesco on the weight of the Hudl 2

Hmm...that drop down spec list wasn't there when I wrote the review.

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Al Taylor

Re: Tin foil? That'll be the third aisle

Probably all the same data they glean from your Clubcard?

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Al Taylor

Re: cheap, but...

Yes, Ingress runs just fine

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Reg man looks through a Glass, darkly: Google's toy ploy or killer tech specs?

Al Taylor

Re: car

Yup, spot on,.

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Al Taylor

Re: Couple of questions

Not as you'd notice despite the way it looks. You are aware that there is "something" lurking above your right eyebrow but you soon forget it's there as you would a thick pair of spectacle frames.

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Al Taylor

Re: Couple of questions

Re. getting a headache, surprisingly not. I longest I had them on continuously was just over two hours (while driving) and though I expected a headache, none arrived.

In regard to the vignette with the satnav showing, the navigation box actually appears a little larger than that by a factor of about x 1.5. Also, as you move your head to the left and/or down the box appears to move more into the centre of your line of sight.

Incidentally I wear contacts (+2.25 left, +2.5 right) but found that this caused no issues with Glass.

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Al Taylor

Re: Non-optional spannerisation...

You may be right, and sadly it's nothing to do with Glass.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4: 4G Android tablet is easy to swallow

Al Taylor

Re: Confused

When I ran a few dedicated graphics benchmarks like GFXBench 2.7 the Tab S 8.4 didn't perform as well as the Snapdragon 801 Galaxy S5. I didn't go into greater detail in the review because frankly it's a bit irrelevant. Sorry for any confusion.

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Al Taylor

Re: Elephant in the room

No it's not. I took that as read but in retrospect should have clarified the point.

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You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad

Al Taylor

App compatability

For what it's worth I loaded up the same sixty-odd apps that I have on my Moto G onto the MeMO Pad 7 and they all ran perfectly.

Of course the 61st or 62nd app may have decided to play silly buggers...

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Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid: The plug-in for plutocrats

Al Taylor

Re: Er messing with hybrids for how long?

Well spotted.

Note to self, musty stop obsessing over exotic German armoured vehicles of WW2.

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BMW i8 plug-in hybrid: It's a supercar, Jim, but not as we know it

Al Taylor

Re: 49g/km

You'll get no arguments from me - the EU's consumption and emission test for plug-in hybrids makes little sense as the real world figures are entirely dependent on how much plug-in charge you use every time you drive. On our test run we close to drained the battery at the start of the day so we'd get a better idea of average economy without the aid of further external charge. I maintain that 33mpg is very good for a car of this type driven the way it was driven. But if we'd plugged our i8 in for two hours at lunch we could have probably doubled the mpg figure. As I said in the article, it's an entirely movable feast.

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Al Taylor

Scotch...

That term just scanned more agreeably than "Scottish plod". And being half Scot myself I'll call my compatriots anything I like. Besides, if it's good enough for Siegfried Sassoon, it's good enough for me...

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/feb/03/siegfried-sassoon-poem-atrocities

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Sony Xperia Z2: What we REALLY thought of this Android fondleslab

Al Taylor

Re: design flaw?

"If the dock also has an audio jack then this is forgivable."

It doesn't.

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Al Taylor

Re: Meh

"Is thinner than an iPad Air really necessary?"

after you've held both in one hand for any period of time the answer is, I can assure you, yes.

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Motorola Moto E: Brill budget blower with one bothersome blunder

Al Taylor

Bar code scanner

Quite right, the fixed focus camera does indeed put the kibosh on scanning bar codes. I should have mentioned that in my review.

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Little pink handjob: Sony's Xperia Z1 Compact

Al Taylor

Re: Unit police

I'd challenge anyone to tell the difference between the pixel density of the Z1 Compact and iP5 when they have both devices side-by-side WITH a microscope! But since the main gist of my review was to look at the Z1 Compact as a potential alternative to the iP5 for people who think the current crop of Android flagships too large a brief comparison of the technical details - size, weight, screen dimensions and dot density - seemed not just appropriate but essential. Whether or not any of the differences matter a rat's ass is up to the reader. Comment - intelligent or otherwise - is in paras 4, 5, 6 & 7 after the basic facts in para 3.

As for using 'mAh' in regards to battery capacity, yup, it is far from ideal, I agree, but the full technical specifications of phone batteries are nigh on impossible to get hold of in these days of sealed devices so it's really the least worst option.

Al

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Al Taylor

Re: a high-end Android smartphone ... Nokia 925

Doh,

I mean't to remove the word "Android" when I added the Nokia to the list.

But you get the gist.

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X-rated Android antics: Motorola's Moto X puts boot in chunky brother

Al Taylor

Compared directly in sunlight in a garden in Salford in February, yes. The X and G were compared with screen brightness on 'auto' and also when set to maximum. The X was easier to read than the G in both cases. As has been said, mileage may vary if you try the same comparison some place where the sun is turned all the way up to 11. If it's an S3 in question it may worth having a fiddle with the various Samsung-added contrast settings as they can make quite a big difference.

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Al Taylor

Good point, it didn't occur to me at the time of writing that the shake-to-launch sensor for the camera was working off the same core as the voice command system. Makes perfect sense.

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Al Taylor

Re: 299? Feck that!

Prestigio phones are indeed cheap but the MediaTek 1.2GHz dual-core chips they use are gutless (no thanks to the 512MB of RAM they are lumbered with), the cameras poor and the displays utterly dismal . That fact they have two SIM card slots is handy but otherwise you get exactly what you pay for and not one Euro more.

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Toshiba Encore: The Windows 8.1 tablet that might catch on

Al Taylor

Re: "to use the Encore as PC you really need a good Bluetooth keyboard "

Yes, cabled keyboards and mice work just fine but you need a USB/micro USB adapter or a hub if you want to connect anything else at the same time. Given the absence of a full sized USB port I'd suggest Bluetooth is the best option.

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Al Taylor

Re: Why are we talking about this .....?

....speaking personally, because I can't review something that doesn't exist.

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Al Taylor

Fair comment, but the point I was making was that on a purely aesthetic basis the Toshiba doesn't match the likes of the Nexus 7 Mk. 2 or the iPad mini. Feel free to argue that aesthetics are irrelevant or that the different OSs predicate a different consumer expectation but in my opinion for £300 the Encore could and should be a thinner, lighter and generally smarter looking bit of kit.

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Baby's got the bends: LG's D958 G Flex Android smartie

Al Taylor

Re: "strange text on the back"

Doh! Of course it is. I've been looking at it for over a week and the coin still hadn't dropped.

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This THREESOME is a HANDFUL: It’s the Asus Transformer Book Trio

Al Taylor

Re: Just wish

With a linux distro running on the dock the OS swap function would vanish thus negating the entire point of this device.

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Lenovo Yoga 10: Mediocre tech, yes, but beautifully fondleable

Al Taylor

Re: I like an analogy as much as the next man, but...

Remove "Catholic takes to guilt" and replace with "duck takes to water".

Better?

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Best budget Android smartphone there is? Must be the Moto G

Al Taylor

Re: Enjoyed the review, BUT....

Fair comment about LTE. Personally I fail to see the point of 4G at the moment, and if I did take the plunge I'd go for a 4G wireless router and a stand-alone. But each to his/her own. And again, something has to give to keep the price down. You just don't 100% of a £400 device for £135. As for build quality, the body of the G doesn't appear to be made out of anything fancy, but it feels every bit as robust and sturdy as the iPhone 5C I've got at the moment,

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Al Taylor

Re: Volume button NOT in the right place!

"This leaves Moto G's volume buttons on the crotch side of the device."

That works for me.

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Al Taylor

Re: Has it got USB TV-out, or at least Miracast ?

In a word no, the microUSB port does not output AV. And yes, I should have mentioned that in my write up.

The Skifta app should do the trick if you want to throw audio and video to a DLNA/UPnP network-attached stereo or telly.. And there is always Chromecast (when it gets an official UK release).

As for ring and speech volume, they are no worse, or better, than any of the other handsets that have landed on my desk of late. Can't say that I recall the Nexus 4 being unusually loud..

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Al Taylor

Nope, you'll need to find your own microUSB - USB cable.

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HP’s ENORMO-SLAB: The Slate 21 MONSTER tablet

Al Taylor

Price

As the eagle-eyed have already noticed, between me writing this review and it going up (about 36 hours) HP has dropped the UK price by £20.

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Getting it right on the second attempt: Sony Xperia Z1

Al Taylor

Re: Are you sure you reviewed the right phone?

This is Sony's exact wording in regards to the Z1's dust and waterproofing

"Water and dust resistant (IP55 & IP58), durable tempered glass with a solid one-piece aluminium frame"

As for the infra red transmitter I have to put my hands up and say I was wrong, the Z1 does not have one. I can only assume I was reading from my LG G2 notes when I wrote that. Apologies to one and all for the error which was wholly mine.

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