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* Posts by Al Taylor

306 posts • joined 30 Mar 2007

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Asus VivoBook S200 11.6in touchscreen notebook review

Al Taylor
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Top heavy?

Not at all. The very solid not to say stiff screen hinge and the sensitivity of the panel both help on this front. I was genuinely surprised how secure and stable using the touch screen felt.

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Acer CloudMobile S500 Android phone review

Al Taylor
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Re: Display

Fair comment but the Acer's screen still has the more natural hue to it when you place the two side by side.

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Al Taylor
Facepalm

Re: Another alternative

Well spotted. I've been badgering Sony for some sort of news on an official UK release for the Acro S but with no luck so far. No joy either via the usual third party channels like Expansys and Clove.

And I was wrong about the the CloudMobile being the only 720p 4.3 inch smartphone. Like the Acro the HTC 8X has one as well.

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Al Taylor
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acercloud apps

No, you can't install them without rooting the handset. They only take up a few MB of space though so it's not the end of the world.

Al

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Brits swallow Google Nexus 4 supply 'in 30 minutes'

Al Taylor
Happy

After a few false starts and about 20 minutes

I managed to order an 8GB handset at 08.30 this morning. Only a few glitches between between choosing device and successfully exiting checkout. With luck it will arrive in the not too distant future as it's the Reg's review unit!

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Ten... Apple iPad Mini alternatives

Al Taylor
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Re: Operating system

Festimo,

All ten devices have Wi-Fi

Two lack GPS - the Kindle and Nook, but these are really tied-down media access devices from retailers not Android tablets proper and since the Wi-Fi iPad mini lacks GPS too I didn't use this is a stick to beat them with.

Two have (as standard) cellular radios and work as phones (Galaxy Note 2 and Vu).

If you want Android updates direct from Google buy the Nexus 7.

Hope that clarifies matters to your satisfaction.

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Renault Clio IV and R-Link Android console hands-on preview

Al Taylor
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Engine

It's not the Nissan engine. The 3-cyl turbo in the Clio is a new and entirely different motor.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 2 review

Al Taylor
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SIII

"It's basically a bigger S3 with a better quality screen."

Indeed, that's a fair description of the Note 2. And since in my opinion the Galaxy S3 is a better device than the iPhone 5 that makes the Note 2 better than something that's already better than the iP5.

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Al Taylor
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Re: unsatisfying review :(

" does the thin phone etches into the skin if holding it at the ear for more than 5 minutes?"

Not at all. At 9.4mm it's not actually all that thin by modern standards.

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Al Taylor
Thumb Up

Re: Build quality

Build quality is very much akin to the Galaxy S3 so while it is all plastic, and the battery cover is a bit bendy when not fixed in place it still felt solid enough as a unit. I'd have no qualms about taking one on a two year contract from this perspective. And at least being plastic it won't start showing up minor scuffs and scratches.

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Al Taylor
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Re: Voice and Handwriting - again

The handwriting recognition does actually work now, even with my left-handed scrawl. As you say, the original was pretty wretched but Note 2 interpreted my cursive scribble correctly more often than not. It's a big, big improvement.

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Peugeot 508 RXH estate car review

Al Taylor
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Re: Here's a question...

Good question. Yes, loads up to 1,100Kg

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Archos 101 XS 10.1in Android tablet review

Al Taylor
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Re: Quick question

Very good question. No you can't is the answer. The coverboard and keyboard only mate keyboard-to-screen so you can't stick the coverboard to the back of the tablet.

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Ten apps to install on your Nexus 7 first

Al Taylor
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Taptu

My default news client and an excellent app all around.

It was a toss up between Go EX and Apex for a launcher. I use Go on my phone but picked Apex for the N7 because it gives more of a stock feel.

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Asus Transformer Pad Infinity 64GB Android tablet review

Al Taylor
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Re: Dock

Mea culpa. You can indeed attach the Prime to the Infinity dock, but not the other way around. Or rather I should say apparently you can. I've certainly not tried it.

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Al Taylor
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MKV

Hi Len, if you use a 3rd party video player like VPlayer then yes. It even supports subtitles within the MKV container.

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Sony Xperia Go waterproof Android phone review

Al Taylor
Pint

Re: All very well but ...

Oh yes.

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Android 4.1 Jelly Bean review

Al Taylor
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Video

Hi illiad, sorry for the late reply.

JB ships with Chrome as the default browser so playing Flash video in the browser a non starter. Also the Flash player won't download onto the Nexus 7 from the Play Store. I have heard tell that if you root your Nexus 7, side load Flash player and use a third party browser you can play Flash video in-browser. I've not tried this so can't comment.

The YouTube app works as it does in previous versions of Android and HTML video plays in Chrome. All the video links you posted either played in Chrome or launched the YouTube app.

I didn't cover this in the article as I didn't consider it part of the story of what's changed from ICS to JB though I should perhaps have mentioned that Chrome has now replaced the old webkit browser as the default.

Hope this clarifies matters.

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Al Taylor
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Re: Widgets

The battery meter is this...

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.hubalek.android.reborn.beta&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwyLDEsIm5ldC5odWJhbGVrLmFuZHJvaWQucmVib3JuLmJldGEiXQ..

and the WiFi widget is this....

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.kman.WifiManager&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEsIm9yZy5rbWFuLldpZmlNYW5hZ2VyIl0.

I heartily recommend both.

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Al Taylor
Alert

Hi Thomas, that was a general opinion based on my experience of other ICS / Tegra 3 machines like the Asus Transformer Pad compared to the JB Nexus 7.

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LG Optimus 4X HD quad-core Android phone review

Al Taylor
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Re: Dumb question

Not a dumb question at all. The phones in question are the same. I'm not sure why the one page lacks the "HD". The P880 is the P880. Incidentally when I wrote the review the price was £424.99...at £25 less it's now that much more of a bargain.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1

Al Taylor
Happy

Re: Now playing 2012 mkv

It's only the 3 minute trailer.

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Google Nexus 7 Android tablet

Al Taylor
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Already ordered mine

See title.

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Panasonic Eluga DL1 waterproof Android

Al Taylor
Pint

Re: Just popping out to perform some field tests for the review.

Late breakfast.

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Orange San Diego Intel-based Android phone

Al Taylor
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Re: Epic fails on 3 fronts gets 85%?!

"Epic fail #2: Can shoot video in 1080p and the reviewer benchmarked with a 720p looping video and yet the screen only has 600 pixels vertically and cannot view 720p+ videos without dropping whole chunks of lines. Scooby says huh?"

The reviews says...

I tested the battery life looping a 720p video as I do with all smartphones that land on my desk. As a "benchmark" it was purely to demonstrate battery life, nothing more.

Why 720p? Simple. My entire video collection is encoded 720p MP4 because they play on most Android phones, don't take up too much space and look OK on a HD telly when played back over HDMI.

As for "whole chunks of lines" missing, that simply was not the case. Yes the image was down-scaled from true 720p but it was still pin sharp and to the naked eye near indistinguishable from the image you see on a handset with a 1280 x 720 display. Even down-scaled 1080p looked good.

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Al Taylor
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Re: Curious...

I'm taking Orange at its word that an ICS update in imminent.

As for the games, not everyone plays games on their phone. If you are desperate to play Shadowgun on your blower then the SD is clearly not for you at the moment which is why I emphasized this failing, drawback, call it what you will, in the review. That caveat aside it's a very fine device for the asking price.

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Sony SmartWatch Android remote

Al Taylor
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Re: BBlluueettooootthh

Yes you can.

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Samsung Galaxy S Advance mid-range Android

Al Taylor
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Re: One S

I thought it made more sense to draw a comparison with the V based on the similar contract price from the main high street vendors rather than with the S which shares the same number of CPU cores.

If you can find the One S on a similar price/allowance tariff I'd suggest you buy it.

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Volkswagen Up!

Al Taylor
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Fuel economy

I should come clean here and admit I spent most of my week driving the Up with my right foot buried in the carpet - it being someone else's car and petrol. Had it been my car and fuel I'm pretty sure I could have got 60+mpg from it. My actual figure of 52mpg is probably the very worst you would get.

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Pocket

Al Taylor
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Re: Capturing buzzards?

Sadly yes and at the cost of £325,000 to the taxpayer,

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Al Taylor
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Re: so....

Could this app do it?

Yes

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IMDb

Al Taylor
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Re: Update fail

The problem is not one of the "problems" mentioned after the last update has manifested itself on my Desire HD or on any of the Android phones I've tested recently (it's one of the dozen or so apps I always download just to see how it runs on any phone I'm reviewing).

Scanning back over the first half dozen or so pages of user reviews the ratings still look pretty consistently 4 and 5 star to me.

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Al Taylor
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Re: I uninstalled it ages ago

As I seem to be getting quite a few e-mails about app permissions recently, this is what IMDb asks for.

YOUR LOCATION

COARSE (NETWORK-BASED) LOCATION

Access coarse location sources such as the cellular network database to determine an approximate tablet location, where available. Malicious apps may use this to determine approximately where you are. Access coarse location sources such as the cellular network database to determine an approximate phone location, where available. Malicious apps may use this to determine approximately where you are.

NETWORK COMMUNICATION

FULL INTERNET ACCESS

Allows the app to create network sockets.

SYSTEM TOOLS

PREVENT TABLET FROM SLEEPING PREVENT PHONE FROM SLEEPING

Allows the app to prevent the tablet from going to sleep. Allows the app to prevent the phone from going to sleep.

HARDWARE CONTROLS

CONTROL VIBRATOR

Allows the app to control the vibrator.

NETWORK COMMUNICATION

VIEW NETWORK STATE

Allows the app to view the state of all networks.

RECEIVE DATA FROM INTERNET

Allows apps to accept cloud to device messages sent by the app's service. Using this service will incur data usage. Malicious apps could cause excess data usage.

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Hyundai Veloster coupé

Al Taylor
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Re: After the Scirocco and GTI markets..

There is actually a 184bhp turbo version due soon. To be honest I'd rather like a Veloster with the 134bhp 1.7CRDi turbo-diesel motor out of the i40.

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Microsoft SkyDrive

Al Taylor
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Android option

This is the best I've found, called Skydrive Browser. It's not bad for a 3rd party app. Decent amount of functionality.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bolero.skydrivebrowser&hl=en

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Head over Heels

Al Taylor
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Ah...

I remember the days spent playing this on an Amstrad PCW while at university in Leeds. Just started playing the version for PC, forgotten how difficult it was!

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National Rail Enquiries

Al Taylor
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Just to clarify

You don't have to pay for the app - it's free and add-supported. I just think that a fiver is a lot to ask to get rid of the adverts when the app itself can be had for nothing. 99p fair enough, but 4.99?

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Ten... Satnavs to suit all budgets

Al Taylor

Re: Info please

Most tablets make perfectly good satnavs but you need to buy a separate screen mount and many won't take a charge from a 12v socket.

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Al Taylor
Facepalm

Re: TomTom Go Live 1005 Europe

Well spotted, should be £40 not £140. Apologies for the typo.

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HTC One S Android smartphone

Al Taylor

Re: "Liù to the One X’s Turandot."?

I wish

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Renault Twizy budget e-car

Al Taylor
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Re: Oh do be quiet

Matt, I hate to disabuse you but that AC comment had nothing to do with me. I always post under my own name for all to see.

As for "reasoned counter arguments" though I found your "fat girl" comments not a little puerile and childish.

While on secondment to the Paris office of a record label I worked for at the time I had plenty of opportunity to zip around town on one of the fleet of scooters the company ran for staff to get between offices and studios so it's something I can comment on from experience.

To touch on another point visibility in the Twizy is very impressive. Yes the back is a blind spot, but a small one thanks to the large side mirrors which are much better than anything I've seen or used on a bike. Otherwise visual and aural awareness is helped massively but not having to wear a helmet.

Whether or not the Twizy will find a home in the UK is open to debate - I'd agree that we don't have a scooter culture in the same way that France or Italy does but that doesn't in any way detract from my appreciation of it as the fine execution of an interesting idea.

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Al Taylor

Re: Safety

"I survived the Arc de Triumph on a motorbike"

As have I, but on a 50cc Yamaha moped.

And I've driven a Twizy so can make a direct and first hand comparison between the speed, visibility and maneuverability of the Renault verses that of a moped or a 125cc bike while wearing a crash helmet.

That's a first hand comparison I'm going to assume you can not.make.

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Al Taylor
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Safety

Renault's comments on this are that "Renault's rigorous safety standards were applied to Twizy to the letter, well beyond the requirements demanded by quadricylce legislation."

Personally I can't see Renault selling something that will fold like a wet cardboard box when thumped by a black cab at 20mph.

But even if it got a 5 star Euro NCAP rating you would still be toast if you got hit by a Range Rover doing 70mph just as you would be on a scooter or in a small hatchback.

Let me put it this way, I've ridden a scooter around central Rome but I'd have been a hell of a lot happier in a Twizy.

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Samsung Galaxy S WiFi 5.0 Android media player

Al Taylor

Re: Optical track pad

I'll have to put my hands up to that one, it is of course a Home button not a track pad.

It just looks so much like one....

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Al Taylor
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Re: Hang on...

Yup, works a treat with Google Navigation as long as you remember to pre-cache the map tiles.

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Al Taylor
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TV / DAB

I'm guessing that's a new model. The one I had on test - the YP-G70CW to use the Samsung product code - didn't have DAB/+ or a TV receiver.

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Al Taylor
Holmes

Is this an iPod wannabe?

Well, it's a media player. The clue is in the title.

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Dijit

Al Taylor
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2.3.7?

Well spotted.

Dijit's product page in Google Play does indeed say 2.3.7 but that's clearly nonsense as it works on my Desire HD running 2.3.5.

Slight case of reading spec sheet with brain in neutral.

Apologies

Al

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N7Player

Al Taylor
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Re: Putting on my luddite hat...

Nothing screwy about it. It's my experience that sonically Android music players are much the same and that the real benefits are found by A) using a decent pair of 'phones, and B) having a comprehensive and competent sound modification suite. Point A is beyond the remit of this review, Point B is covered.

Also sound quality is subjective. I like the effects the N7Player's 'reverb' setting produces. Others may disagree.

If the sound the app produced was in anyway below standard, I wouldn't have rated it so highly.

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Viewsonic Viewpad 10e tablet

Al Taylor

Fair cop #2. See above.

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