Gadget news
UK deals: OnePlus 12 goes on sale, as do the Galaxy A15 and A15 5G
4:21 pm | February 24, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Mobile phones news | Tags: | Comments: Off

The OnePlus 12 recently rolled out internationally and in the UK it already has a discount – the 16/512GB model is down to £900. The base model is 12/256GB, but that one isn’t on sale so it costs £850. The £50 for 4 extra gigs of RAM and double the storage are well worth it. The phone received several major updates sine launch. The first introduced Master Mode, which offers Hasselblad color tuning in the camera. ProXDR support for the Google Photos app was enabled by another update. Yet another update introduced several AI features – e.g. the AIGC Remover removes unwanted objects and...

UK deals: OnePlus 12 goes on sale, as do the Galaxy A15 and A15 5G
4:21 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Mobile phones news | Tags: | Comments: Off

The OnePlus 12 recently rolled out internationally and in the UK it already has a discount – the 16/512GB model is down to £900. The base model is 12/256GB, but that one isn’t on sale so it costs £850. The £50 for 4 extra gigs of RAM and double the storage are well worth it. The phone received several major updates sine launch. The first introduced Master Mode, which offers Hasselblad color tuning in the camera. ProXDR support for the Google Photos app was enabled by another update. Yet another update introduced several AI features – e.g. the AIGC Remover removes unwanted objects and...

Honor Pad 9 now available in the UK and Ireland
6:29 pm | February 22, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Mobile phones news | Tags: , | Comments: Off

Honor Pad 9 is a midrange Android tablet that launched in China back in December and has now made its way to the UK and Ireland. The slate is offered in a single 8/256GB trim and Space Gray color option for £300 or £350 if you want the optional keyboard case. You can pick one up from HiHonor, Argos, Amazon, Very, and Currys online with open sales starting on Sunday, February 25. As a refresher, Honor Pad 9 features a 12.1-inch IPS LCD with a 2,560x1,600 px resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. The panel boasts 500 nits of brightness and supports stylus input though the pen will be...

Ninja Foodi FlexBasket Dual Air Fryer review: a behemoth air fryer that can serve 8+ people
6:30 pm | February 20, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Air Fryers Computers Gadgets Home Small Appliances | Tags: , | Comments: Off

Ninja Foodi FlexBasket Dual Air Fryer review: one minute review

You might be wondering how many more ways a company can innovate on the best air fryers, but Ninja is at it again with its enormous Foodi FlexBasket dual air fryer, also known as the FlexDrawer in the UK. This vast air fryer can serve eight (or more, by a small margin – although I felt six was the sweet spot) and offers up Ninja’s excellent air fry features, including Dual Zone technology.

But is bigger always better? Broadly speaking, yes – and if you regularly need to cook for more than four people, the Ninja Foodi FlexBasket 11qt / 10.4L dual air fryer is easily the best large-capacity air fryer I’ve tried. For a bit of visual context, 11qt / 10.4L can easily fit a whole leg of lamb and accompanying vegetables. 

It isn’t flawless, of course. Compared even to Ninja’s own dual-drawer competition, the Ninja Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer AF300, the Foodi FlexBasket has one large basket with a divider rather than two distinct drawers that can be independently opened and cleaned. Granted, this difference is intentional; the FlexBasket allows you to cook either across two zones or remove the divider to create one aptly named MegaZone, which is excellent for cooking larger meals such as roasts. 

When using the independent zones, you can choose any of the seven cooking functions, different times and temperatures, and use the Sync mode to ensure cooking in both compartments completes at the same time. 

It’s a delightfully easy machine to use that delivers consistent, fantastic results; but it absolutely dominated my kitchen countertop. Were it a little lighter then I wouldn’t have been so bothered by it, but the combination of size and weight make it difficult appliance to stow away.

A portion of fries cooked in the Ninja Foodi FlexBasket Dual Air Fryer

(Image credit: Future)

Ninja Foodi FlexBasket Dual Air Fryer review: price and availability

  •  Price: $199 / £270 / AU$599.99 
  •  Available directly from Ninja and most third-party retailers 

With great power comes a pretty hefty price tag for the Ninja Foodi FlexBasket 11qt / 10.4L dual air fryer, coming in at  $199 / £270 / AU$600. It’s available directly from Ninja in the UK and Australia as well as from third-party retailers; but, interestingly, it appears to only be available from the likes of Walmart in the US at the time of writing. 

The slightly smaller 7qt FlexBasket is more widely available in the US both at Ninja and on websites such as Amazon, where it’s also available for other regions wanting a slightly less domineering MegaZone air fryer, and sells for $179.99 / 

There’s little else to consider in terms of maintenance costs and accessories for this air fryer, and it’s pretty well-priced overall. Considering that some rival models, such as the Instant Vortex Plus XL 8QT ClearCook, come in at a far higher price for less capacity – and, in my opinion, inferior build materials – the Ninja Foodi FlexBasket dual air fryer offers impressive value for money. However, I’d have loved to see a cooking window included. 

Value: 4.5/5

Ninja Foodi Flexdrawer air fryer

(Image credit: Ninja)

Ninja Foodi FlexBasket Dual Air Fryer review: design

  •  One 11qt / 10.4L basket that can be configured to have two zones 
  •  Absolutely enormous 
  •  Easy controls 

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room; literally. The Ninja Foodi FlexBasket dual air fryer is huge at 12.9 x 19.5 x 12.4 inches / 32.7 x 49.6 x 31.6cm and weighs in at 9.3kg – which shouldn’t be surprising, really, given its capacity. However, it's when you factor in things like the clearance needed at the front of the machine to open and close the drawer and the space required on either side to ensure good airflow while cooking that its size could become an issue. 

The basket itself measures 12.9 x 19.5 x 12.4 inches / 13.7 x 37 x 21.5cm, and with its 10.4L capacity, there’s plenty of cooking room available. Simply insert the two crisper trays (and the divider, if you want to cook across two zones) and you’re ready to get started. Note, too, that all of the drawer parts are dishwasher friendly, for convenient cleanup.

However, if you don’t have a dishwasher then you might find cleaning the Ninja Foodi FlexBasket dual air fryer a little annoying. Since it uses one large basket instead of the two independent drawers of some other dual air fryers, you’ll have to wash the entire basket regardless of whether or not you used both sides. 

On the front of the machine are the controls: you can select the time and temperature as well as one of the seven cooking modes that include air fry, max crisp, roast, bake, reheat, dehydrate and prove. 

There’s a silver roller dial that allows you to navigate these modes, as well as buttons to switch between Sync and Match cooking times and powering the machine on and off. It’s overall a very inoffensive control system, although every now and then, it would become non-responsive if I pressed too many buttons in close succession while trying to change cooking zones.

Ninja Foodi FlexBasket Dual Air Fryer review: performance

  •  No need to preheat 
  •  Gorgeous, crispy results 
  •  Very configurable for every meal 

Ninja Foodi cooking a chicken

(Image credit: Future)

As a smaller household, I was a little intimidated by the sheer size of the Ninja Foodi FlexBasket dual air fryer, but I put it to the test by making several meals using a variety of ingredients – including a whole roast chicken. 

The air fryer can heat up to 450°F / 240°C for up to four hours (although not at its highest temperature, which only offers up to 30 minutes of continuous cooking time) and offers seven cooking modes – air fry, max crisp, roast, bake, reheat, dehydrate and prove. These offer rough guidelines for cooking times and temperature, although it’s likely you’ll need to tweak these set times. 

One of the key benefits of standard air fryers is that they’re able to deliver speedy results, using less energy, due to their reduced capacities over regular ovens. As such, I had expected the FlexBasket’s cooking times to be longer. Pleasingly, I didn’t find a significant difference, with cooking times only a few minutes longer. 

The Ninja Foodi FlexBasket dual air fryer doesn’t require preheating, doing so very quickly during the first few minutes of cooking time, but it does have an automatic cooling mode at the end of the cycle. Of course, there’s no imperative to observe this, but it won’t alert you to remove your food until that time has elapsed. 

You also have Sync and Match cooking modes, which allow you to set individual temperatures and times for both sides of the basket, cook on just one side, or use the MegaZone. All of these settings worked as expected but, every now and then, the air fryer would become a little confused or overwhelmed when I was flitting between the different drawer settings – although this is more likely me being too scattergun than it is the machine being faulty.

Ninja Foodi air fryer cooked chicken

(Image credit: Future)

A lot of the air fryers I’ve tested feature automatic shake timers that encourage you to move your food around mid-cook to ensure even cooking results; but this air fryer doesn’t, and that isn’t the end of the world. Especially given that this behemoth of a basket couldn’t be easily shaken. It’s much better to just grab a fork or a pair of tongs to shuffle around your food. 

As with most Ninja air fryers, the Ninja Foodi FlexBasket dual air fryer performs exceptionally on test, delivering deliciously crispy results with ease. In addition to our standard tests of fries, potatoes, and chicken wings, I wanted to try using the MegaZone configuration for its intended use. I opted to test with a whole roast chicken and a few roast potatoes thrown in for good measure. 

Ninja air fryers easily cook the best frozen fries I’ve ever tried, and it was no different with the FlexBasket I tried both its max crisp and bake settings for my thick-cut fries, and the results were excellent, with the air fryer producing wonderfully crispy fries with soft, fluffy centres – although the max crisp came out on top. 

Likewise, my chicken wings were perfectly cooked, too. Full of flavor and moist on the inside, and crisp and golden skinned on the outside, even without the use of lashings of oil. 

However, it was the full roast chicken and potatoes that were the pièce de résistance. I was incredibly nervous that the innermost part of the chicken wouldn’t reach an adequate temperature to cook off any harmful bacteria, but I forged onwards, and I’m so glad I did. I cooked the chicken at 350°F / 180°C for 40 minutes, adding in the roast potatoes after 10 minutes, and turning the chicken halfway through. I cranked up the temperature a little for the last five minutes, for good measure; but I don’t think it was required. My chicken came out gorgeously cooked: succulent inside, and with a wonderful brown skin on the exterior. The roast potatoes were some of my best, despite having cut back on the amount of butter I usually use to encourage a crispy outer layer. 

One issue I have found is that the divider doesn’t prevent heat transfer between the two cooking zones. However, this is only a problem if you’re cooking food at vastly different temperatures, or only using one zone since energy is wasted heating the whole fryer. TIt proved most problematic when cooking my greatest nemesis, crispy kale. At the best of times, I struggle to nail perfect results even in the oven; but when you’re contending with the other side of the air fryer leaking much hotter air into the side holding the kale, it produces less than ideal results. I ended up with a lot of too well cooked kale. 

Should I buy?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

How I tested

  •  I used all of the air fryer presets 
  •  I cooked fries, potatoes, chicken wings, and a roast dinner 
  •  I used both the dual zone and MegaZone configurations 

Ninja Foodi air fryer end result

(Image credit: Future)

Testing the Ninja Foodi FlexBasket dual air fryer involved eating a lot of food. As well as performing all of our standard tests (fries, potatoes, and chicken wings), I used it to cook my usual weekday meals, including salmon, kale, and roast vegetables to see how well the presets represent standard cooking times as well as the overall cooking performance of the machine.

I tried out the various basket configurations, and the Sync and Match cooking modes to see how easy the air fryer was to set up, use, and clean. 

I’ve been testing home appliances for three years now, from cleaning tech to cooking to smart home, and I’ve become familiar with what a variety of different users need from their home devices. I’ve also been cooking with an air fryer almost every week throughout that period, so I’m pretty used to navigating these clever cookers.

Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023) review: only smouldering
4:32 pm | February 15, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Tablets | Tags: , , | Comments: Off

Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023): two-minute review

The budget tablet world that the Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023) enters is a much different one than its predecessor, the Fire HD 10 (2021) did. Not only has every tech company and its mother began pumping out low-cost Android tablets, but even Amazon has created its own bigger-body rival in the form of the Amazon Fire Max 11.

The Amazon Fire HD 10 is the newest entry in Amazon’s line of low-cost entertainment slates, each of which gets refreshed biannually. The Fire 7 is the budget option, the Fire HD 8 is the Goldilocks model and the Fire HD 10 was the big-screen behemoth – but the Max 11 steals its thunder now.

This is still a tablet you may well consider. It has a large display, perfect for watching movies on journeys, and it’s inextricably linked to Amazon’s ecosystem: you can read Kindle books, stream from Amazon Music, watch movies and shows from Prime Video, review novels on Goodreads, stream from FreeVee and more. Rival apps are available too, including Spotify and Netflix, making this an all-around entertainment beast.

Amazon’s tablets remain some of the most popular non-iPad slates on the market, and it’s because they’re cheap and cheery. That doesn’t mean they’re not full of little annoyances, though.

By being tied to Amazon’s ecosystem, it means this slate is hard to properly use if you don’t have a Prime account. Plus, unless you pay more, the user interface will be chock-full of adverts, which can be incredibly annoying.

The Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023) on a colored background.

(Image credit: Future)

While Amazon has long sold accessories for its Fire tablets, it’s making more of a push for them with the Fire HD 10, offering various bundles with its new stylus, keyboard case or kid-friendly cases. We didn’t test the slate alongside any of these accessories, but they’re options that make it a better rival for all the new Android tablets cluttering up the market now.

So what place is there for the new Fire HD 10? Uh – not much, but that’s its own fault.

When designing its new tablet, Amazon must have heard the term ‘iterative update’ and confused this derogatory dismissal with a goal. The 2023 model is basically the same as its predecessor; while its front camera is higher-res, it’s slightly faster and slightly lighter, that’s not a huge amount in the grand scheme of things. 

While the Fire HD 10’s lower price than its Max 11 counterpart ensures that it still has a price in Amazon’s line-up, we can’t help but advise cost-savvy buyers to try and find the 2021 model of Fire HD 10 and save a penny or two. And if price isn’t an issue, just go to the Max 11.

Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023) review: price and availability

The Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023) on a colored background.

(Image credit: Future)
  • Went on sale October 2023 in US and UK
  • Base price is $139.99 / £149.99 (roughly AU$220)
  • For more storage and ad-free navigation, costs $194.99 / £189.99 (around AU$280)

The newest Amazon Fire HD 10 went on sale in October 2023, and unlike its predecessor, it wasn’t accompanied by a Plus sibling. The Fire Max 11, released in May 2023, was just the same.

The Fire HD 10 (2023) costs $139.99 / £149.99 (roughly AU$220, though we couldn’t see the slate on sale in Australia yet). That’s for the most affordable configuration, with 32GB storage and ads on the lock screen.

If you pay $40 / £30 (around AU$60), you can bump the storage up to 64GB, and $15 / £10 (around AU$20) will remove the ads from the lock screen. For both, you’re paying a grand total of $194.99 / £189.99 (around AU$280). 

Once you’ve bought the tablet, you better keep your credit card handy, because there are plenty of extras that you may need to shell out for. Not only is an Amazon Prime subscription handy ($14.99 / £8.99  per month, $139 / £95 per year) but there’s the Stylus Pen ($34.99 / £34.99), Bluetooth Keyboard Case ($49.99 / £52.99) and standing protective cover ($39.99 / £42.99) that you can splash out on should you wish. None are strictly necessary, but will just help you protect your tablet more or use it to its fullest extent.

Amazon isn’t alone in charging you an arm and a leg for tablet accessories, with Apple’s versions costing much more, but many of the Fire’s rival tablets do come with extras included. Samsung tablets have an S Pen in the box, for example.

  • Value score: 3.5/5

Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023) review: specs

The Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023) specs list will be familiar to anyone who's glanced at the facts and figures on a previous Fire slate. Here's how it's looking:

Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023) review: design

The Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023) on a colored background.

(Image credit: Future)
  • Big protected plastic hunk
  • Lighter and slightly smaller than previous model
  • Comes in black, blue or lilac

The Amazon Fire HD 10 follows all previous Amazon tablets in being a large plastic box – and that’s not an insult. This is a utilitarian design made from a durable material, and more so than many other slates it’s ready to survive being dropped, being sat on and being left in the bottom of very-full bags.

Weighing in at 433.6g, the tablet is 30g lighter than its predecessor, though you’d need scales to notice such a difference. There’s no such dramatic size shift in the dimensions either, as at 246 x 164.8 x 8.6mm, it’s only 1 x 1.2 x 0.6 mm smaller than the 2021 model. 

The front of the tablet boasts a front-facing camera along one of the longer bezels, like many modern-day tablets (slates of yore often put them 90-degrees around, resembling smartphones so the camera would be at the top when held portrait, but this is awkward for video calls). 

Around one edge of the slate you’ve got a USB-C port for charging, a 3.5mm audio jack so you can plug in headphones instead of relying on wireless, and the power button to wake the device or send it back into its slumber. All the important buttons and holes are on the same edge, leaving the rest clear.

Amazon is offering the tablet in three color options: black (as our test unit is), lilac or blue. The accessories you can buy generally match these colors, though Amazon sometimes sells themed accessories too.

If you’re considering buying the Amazon Fire HD 10, bear in mind that it’s a fairly big tablet, and the Fire HD 8 and Fire 7 are smaller. They’ll fit in bags easier, and the latter can even slip into pockets – though the FIre HD 10 is far from the giant slates that Apple and Samsung make.

  • Design score: 3.5/5

Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023) review: display

The Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023) on a colored background.

(Image credit: Future)
  • 10.1-inch 16:10 1920 x 1200 display
  • Fine for its apps but nothing stellar
  • Third-biggest of four tabs in Amazon range

There’s an easy way to remember the screen sizes for Amazon tablets: the company literally puts it in the name (basically, at least). The tablet’s display is 10 inches (well, 10.1 inches) across diagonally, which is 2 inches bigger than the HD 8, 3 inches bigger than the Fire 7 and 1 inch smaller than the Max 11.

The pixel count is 1920 x 1200, or FHD. That’s the same resolution as the vast majority of videos you’ll get from streaming services like Netflix, Disney Plus, Prime Video – totally fit for purpose.

Don’t expect stellar viewing experiences: it’s a little dim, only has a 60Hz refresh rate and lacks vibrancy in the colors. But if you just want an affordable screen to entertain kids, or for you to read Kindle books on, it’ll do just fine.

  • Display score: 2.5/5

Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023) review: software

The Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023) on a colored background.

(Image credit: Future)
  • Fire OS 8 is based on Android 11
  • Software is full of Amazon apps and features
  • Some uninstallable apps

Like all Amazon tablets, the Fire HD 10 comes on Amazon’s home-brewed software, called Fire OS 8, which is a distant cousin of Android 11 (that is to say, it’s based on it). Fire OS definitely doesn’t feel like Android, though.

The entire user interface of Fire tablets revolves around entertainment. The home screen has widgets for discovering new movies and TV shows on Prime Video or Freevee, books to read on the Kindle store, extra streaming services and games you might want to download. By default, you’ll have most of Amazon’s subscription service apps installed like Amazon Music, Audible and Goodreads. From the home screen, swiping right takes you to a list of recommended games, books and film/TV, while swiping left takes you to your entire library of things installed or available to you based on your subscriptions.

That is to say, this isn’t a tablet designed for people who need a creative or business tool. It’s for entertainment, specifically of the moving picture or word variety (though there are several audio apps too).

It’s also a tablet designed for people with active Amazon Prime subscriptions. Prime Video, Amazon Music and Amazon Shopping are three of its most prominent apps, while Kindle, Freevee, Audible and more all require Amazon accounts (but not Prime). If you’re not on Prime, you’re going to find that a limiting factor in enjoying the slate.

The Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023) on a colored background.

(Image credit: Future)

Credit where credit’s due, Amazon does allow its competition onto the slate. Netflix, Disney Plus and a few free streaming services are there if Prime Video and Freevee aren’t cutting it, and Spotify is there for everyone who can’t be bothered to try out Amazon Music.

If you are in the Amazon ecosystem, the Fire tablet has a few extras that will help you. Not only is Alexa the only smart assistant, with the Google Assistant having been dumped on Android’s journey to Fire OS, but there’s a handy button always on-screen (on the navigation bar), that brings up your Device Dashboard.

The Device Dashboard basically lists all your Alexa-enabled gadgets, so you can control them from one place. Smart bulbs, appliances, plugs, blink cameras and so on – all can be at your whim from this one place.

Compared to most other Android forks, Fire OS offers little in the way of customization options, with a few alternative wallpapers but none of the style perks that newer builds of Android offer. You also can’t remove most of Amazon’s apps, even the likes of ‘Amazon Kids’, which there’s not much need for if you’re not a child. 

It’s hard to avoid accusing Amazon of adding its own bloatware to the Fire HD 10 when you’re not given a choice of whether you keep it or not; instead, it’ll stay blocking up your home screen.

It's here that we've got to mention that, if you don't add on ad removal when you buy the tablet, you'll be shown annoying ads every time you open up the slate's lock screen. These can be very bright and distracting, especially the ones that include videos that can play when you try to unlock the device.

  • Software score: 2/5

Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023) review: performance

  • Low-end Mediatek MT8186A with 3GB RAM
  • A 5MP front-facing camera and another 5MP snapper on the back
  • Offers 32/64GB storage, expandable up to 1TB with microSD

The Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023) on a colored background.

(Image credit: Future)

While you can get a few ‘high-end’ mobile games on the Amazon Fire HD 10, it’s not exactly a gaming powerhouse, and you shouldn’t buy it if you’re looking for such a device.

Amazon has put the Mediatek MT8186A chipset in the slate, a low-end system-on-a-chip that it’s been using versions of in tablets for years now (I tested the Fire HD 8 (2020) years ago and it had basically the same chip). It’s paired with 3GB RAM.

The slate doesn’t feel particularly fast, either to navigate or when booting up or using apps. It doesn’t necessarily feel as sluggish as some of Amazon’s older slates, but the tablet works best for tasks that don’t need much processor power like reading books on the Kindle app or watching TV shows.

At least you can load up lots of data onto the tablet. While its basic configuration comes with either 32GB or 64GB memory, depending on what you pay for, you can use a microSD card to expand the storage up to 1TB. Just as a word of money-saving advice: 1TB microSD cards generally cost three-figure prices, and 500GB ones aren’t much cheaper, so if you only think you’ll need 64GB space it’s a lot cheaper to just buy the tablet with more storage rather than rely on microSD cards. 

One of the headline upgrades the Fire HD 10 (2023) over its chip is an upgraded front camera resolution, from 2MP to 5MP on the new slate. That means that selfies you take will be a little higher-quality, and depending on your network connection, you might appear a little higher-res on video calls too. 

On the back, the same 5MP camera remains. For both of these snappers, they’re fine for basic like scanning documents, taking picture of notes to remember them and so on, but you’re not exactly getting DSLR-rivalling photography chops.

In terms of audio, you’ve got a few options. The slate supports Bluetooth 5.3 LE, the low-energy equivalent of the current top standard of Bluetooth connection, and so it’ll work well with wireless headphones and speakers. There’s also a 3.5mm headphone jack, so you can stick to wired audio if you prefer.

  • Performance score: 2.5/5

Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023) review: battery life

The Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023) on a colored background.

(Image credit: Future)
  • 13-hour battery life
  • Lasting power varies by task
  • USB-C charging takes four hours

The estimate Amazon gives for the Fire HD 10 is “up to 13 hours”, and in our testing we’d say that this rough guess is okay, but there’s a lot of nuance. That’s because the battery life varies a lot by what you’re doing.

If you’re playing a video game or streaming lots of TV, you won’t hit that 13 hour mark – I’d guess you’d probably get at least 10 hours, and maybe more, but those processes are more intensive than some others. However, if you’re just browsing your emails or reading a Kindle book, I’d say that you could possibly exceed that 13-hour mark.

In our Future Labs rundown test, the Fire HD 10 managed 12 hours and 39 minutes before giving up the ghost, which generally tracks with my real-world use of the tablets. 

Either way, that’s a pretty decent battery life that squeaks past the average staying power of an entry-level iPad.

Charging is done using a USB-C cable (the industry standard that you likely use for your smartphone, headphones, laptop etc.). It takes up to 4 hours to power the device fully.

  • Battery score: 3.5/5

Should you buy the Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023)?

Buy it if...

You need something portable
The Amazon Fire HD 10 is lightweight and slender, making it great for on-the-go entertainment, with its battery life and software focus only helping.

You're buying for a child
There's lots of entertainment for a kid to like on the Fire HD 10, with special kids apps and services plus a suitably kid-proof design. While Amazon does sell tabs designed for youngsters, they cost more and are actually just its regular slates with protective cases.

You're already an Amazon user
Whether you're a Prime customer who makes the most of Prime Video, Amazon Music, Kindle Reads and more, or someone with an Alexa-enabled home set-up, the Fire HD 10 will let you make the most of these.

Don't buy it if...

You're looking for a business or creative device
Many people buy tablets for work, or for creative endeavors like sketching or editing. Amazon's tablets are best for entertainment fans, though, and you'd best be looking elsewhere if you want more than that.

You don't need a big display
The main difference between Amazon's tablets is the screen size. If you don't think you need a full 10.1 inches (say, if you can just hold the device a little closer to your eyes so it looks bigger), you can save a fair bit of cash by buying the Fire 7 or Fire HD 8.

Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023) review: Also consider

If you just need a new tablet and aren't selective about which, here are some rivals you might want to consider:

How I tested the Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023)

  • Review test period = 2 week
  • Testing included = streaming movies and TV, checking emails, listening to music, reading Kindle books, playing games

Amazon's limited ecosystem means that not many benchmarking or testing apps can be installed onto the tablet, but I've used many devices from the company before so know what to look for in them.

The review period for this tablet was two weeks, though I continued to use the device as I wrote the review itself. While I like to try writing tablet reviews on the tablet itself, that can be more hassle than it's worth on Fire slates.

Instead I used the device as you're supposed to: I watched movies and TV shows on Prime Video, Freevee, Disney Plus and Plex, I made further attempts to whittle down my Kindle library, I played some of the games that the device suggests, and I streamed music using wired and wireless options. 

I've been testing tech for TechRadar for just about five years now, so I've got a lot of experience reviewing things like slates, smartphones and ereaders to work out whether they're worth buying. As mentioned I've used lots of Amazon's tablets as well as competing devices, so know the market well.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed January 2024

Shark SpeedStyle RapidGloss Finisher & High-Velocity Dryer review: hair drying made easy
2:21 am | February 12, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Hair Care Home Small Appliances | Tags: , , | Comments: Off

Shark SpeedStyle RapidGloss Finisher & High-Velocity Dryer: One-minute review

It might be a mouthful of a name but the SpeedStyle RapidGloss Finisher & High-Velocity Dryer (hereon referred to as the SpeedStyle) has been designed to dry hair with less time and effort. Coming with a selection of five attachments, you can even reduce the amount of frizz in your hair while styling, resulting in glossier looks.

Its high performance is backed by the Shark SpeedStyle’s ability to automatically adjust the heat and airflow settings when switching between attachments, recycling this feature from the Shark Style iQ. You can still manually adjust the settings to your liking though, as the hair dryer sports two convenient buttons for airflow and temperature, allowing you to gain complete control over your styling needs.

The hardware that allows these intelligent features to function, along with a 1700W motor, are packed into a stylish and compact design, though it does mean the Shark SpeedStyle tips the scales towards the heavier end when compared to some of the best hair dryers. Despite the extra weight, it’s still small enough to neatly pack away into luggage, making it a good travel companion if your flight’s weight allowance allows for it.

Adding to the weight are five attachments that come with the SpeedStyle, and each one performs a specific task when drying and styling hair. They all use a simple rotating lock mechanism to connect to the hair dryer, and are cool-touch zones that don’t retain as much heat so you can touch them safely when swapping them. However, I found that those cool-touch zones would often still retain heat and I’d need to wait a moment or blast some cool air through them before I could touch them.

Depending on your location, you can find different Shark SpeedStyle bundles at various price points. The one I tested for this review comes with all the bells and whistles and is a hefty investment, which gets a little difficult to justify when you consider that the brand has a more versatile hair styling tool in the Shark FlexStyle Air Styling & Hair Drying System for around the same price.

Shark SpeedStyle hairdryer being held in front of mirror

The Shark SpeedStyle comes with five different attachments and a carry bag in its most expensive bundle. (Image credit: Future / Petra Player)

Shark SpeedStyle RapidGloss Finisher & High-Velocity Dryer review: price & availability

  • Initially released in the US in August 2023
  • Available now in the US, UK and Australia
  • List price for full bundle: $259 / £249.99 / AU$559.99

Released initially in the US back in August 2023, the Shark SpeedStyle is available in all major markets in different bundles, although these options will vary depending on where you live. You can purchase the SpeedStyle directly from its maker or through various retailers, including on Amazon in the US, UK and Australia, and other regional sellers who typically stock Shark products.

The full package with five different attachments and a handy travel pouch will set you back $259 / £249.99 / AU$559.99 at full price, and is the only available bundle in Australia at the time of publication. In the US, you can select two of your own attachments with a regular list price of $179, or buy bundles with three pre-selected attachments for various hair types, including curly and wavy hair, for $199. The UK also has the pre-selected bundles for £199.

This price isn’t as extreme as the Dyson Supersonic – the British brand’s popular hair dryer is available from $429 / £329.99 / AU$649. Though, in Australia you can find the Supersonic for AU$549 with five different attachments in an exclusive bundle, making it a slightly more affordable option than the SpeedStyle at full price.

While it might be possible to justify the SpeedStyle’s price in comparison to Dyson, I find its cost a little confusing compared to the Shark FlexStyle. Admittedly the latter is more of a styling tool, but it can still be used as a hair dryer and comes with five attachments costing $299 / £299 / AU$499. It’s a more versatile appliance as it can transform between a hair dryer and a styling wand, plus, it’s lighter too. It might be a bit more expensive in the US and UK, but in Australia especially, the FlexStyle sits at a more affordable price – so you do the math.

• Value score: 3.5/5

Shark SpeedStyle RapidGloss Finisher & High-Velocity Dryer review: specs

Shark SpeedStyle and Shark FlexStyle compared

The Shark SpeedStyle is larger than the FlexStyle, especially when the latter is in hair dryer mode. (Image credit: Future / Petra Player)

Shark SpeedStyle RapidGloss Finisher & High-Velocity Dryer review: design & features

  • Slim design with a decent heft
  • Intelligent sensor for automatic adjustments
  • Four heat settings, including a cool-shot button, and three for airflow

Shark has designed a sleek and compact hair dryer, although the FlexStyle is a touch smaller when folded into its dryer mode. Compared to other brands, though, the SpeedStyle is slim. Also aiding in giving it a modern look is an unique off-white and rose-gold color scheme.

Even with its attachments, the SpeedStyle is small enough to slip into a travel bag – its most expensive bundle even comes with a neat carry case for this purpose. However, it will tip the scales in luggage as the SpeedStyle is heavier than some of its competitors, weighing in at 750g before any attachment. In comparison, the FlexStyle is only 700g, while the Dyson Supersonic and T3 AirLuxe are also both lighter at 650g and 707g respectively. On the flipside, the GHD Helios weighs 780g, so there are still heavier hair dryers than the SpeedStyle.

Its main barrel is a simple cylinder that’s uniform from end to end, Similar to what Dyson did with the Supersonic hair dryer. The Shark SpeedStyle, however, is thinner and slightly longer than its competitor, which is both a good and a bad thing.

I personally found the handle uncomfortable to grip, occasionally causing cramps if I’ve held it for too long while using it as a styler. In comparison, I found the wider handle design of the FlexStyle more comfortable when I reviewed it for sister site Tom’s Guide. That said, the slimmer design might suit smaller hands, which is complimented by a well-thought out button placement for a shot of cool air that’s easy to reach and press when needed.

Shark SpeedStyle hairdryer showing the button placement

There's a button for both heat and air flow settings just above the on/off switch on the handle of the Shark SpeedStyle. These buttons are low enough that they won't accidentally be bumped while styling. (Image credit: Future / Petra Player)

The other buttons are also well situated – the power switch is at the base of the handle but nowhere you would accidentally turn the dryer off, while the heat and airflow controls sit just above the power button and light up to indicate the setting you’re currently using. You likely won’t have to use the latter two buttons as the SpeedStyle inherits the auto-adjustments from the much older Shark Style iQ hair dryer. You can still manually make adjustments if you need to, although I found letting the SpeedStyle do its thing can save a little time.

Fitting attachments is a simple clip-in-and-lock mechanism, and these include a diffuser for drying curly hair, a Touchup brush for natural-looking blowouts, a round one for straightening, a styling concentrator that lets you focus on sections of hair, and a RapidGloss Finisher to add a glossy and smooth finish to your hairdo.

Shark SpeedStyle hairdryer on table with filter removed

The Shark SpeedStyle's filter can be removed from the back of the hair dryer for easy cleaning with a simple twist. (Image credit: Future / Petra Player)

Like a lot of other hair dryers out there, the SpeedStyle boasts a removable filter, which is a major improvement over the Shark Style Qi – keeping it clean will prolong the life of the product by preventing overheating. Given that the SpeedStyle can hit temperatures of up to 100ºC, you’ll want to clean it regularly to avoid any ongoing issues, especially if you use it every day.

While I didn’t have issues with overheating during my testing of the SpeedStyle, which included everyday use over a full week, I found that its barrel and attachments retained heat for quite some time and I had to wait a few minutes before I was able to touch them to switch attachments. And this is despite the fact that Shark has included cool-touch zones on the dryer and the attachments.

• Design & features score: 4/5

Shark SpeedStyle on table surrounded by attachments and hair brushes

Each attachment included with the Shark SpeedStyle has a specific purpose, allowing it to dry and style multiple different hair types. (Image credit: Future / Petra Player)

Shark SpeedStyle RapidGloss Finisher & High-Velocity Dryer review: performance

  • Fast drying times
  • Good for different hair types
  • Requires a small learning curve for some attachments

Don’t be fooled by its compact size – the Shark SpeedStyle has some speedy dry times. Its 1,700W motor allows it to hit 100ºC / 212ºF, and I found I could dry my thick shoulder-length hair in three and a half minutes without any attachments at the highest settings. Brushing and styling my hair with the round brush attachment while also drying, however, took approximately 15 minutes for a simple and neat hairdo. While this is still quite fast, it doesn’t quite compete with the Dyson Supersonic or the GHD Helios – our reviewers found that the Supersonic can dry hair in a little over 2 minutes without attachments and the GHD Helios could do so in just over a minute.

What I really appreciate is that, even at its highest setting, the SpeedStyle doesn’t get very loud, hitting 85dB when on the maximum settings, but sitting comfortably between 76dB-80dB when on the lower settings, as recorded on the Decibel X app I used to measure sound for this review. Importantly, there’s no annoying high-pitched tone that I found with the Shark FlexStyle and that a colleague experienced with the Shark Cordless Detect Pro with Auto-empty System vacuum cleaner that was also reviewed on sister site Tom’s Guide.

My hair isn’t curly, so I didn’t use the diffuser very much but, for my needs, I found the Touchup brush the most useful. It can swivel to different angles while moving around your head, and uses the second heat setting to reduce heat damage. I found both brush attachments – the Touchup and round – capable of untangling knots easily, something my hair is prone to due to previous damage from bleaching, thanks to the combination of long, short and bunched bristles on both brushes.

Shark SpeedStyle hairdryer being held in hand with RapidGloss Finisher attachement

The RapidGloss Finisher attachment has a slight learning curve, but can be used for sleek and glossy styles with less frizz thanks to its metallic plating. (Image credit: Future / Petra Player)

I found that the RapidGloss Finisher – the SpeedStyle’s headline attachment – can take a bit of getting used to. It’s designed to smooth flyaways and leave a glossy finish by pulling locks of hair along a metal roller, but I couldn’t get it to work right the first few times I tried it. It took a few tries before I was able to smoothen my hair and achieve a glossier result than what my usual styling method yields. To get the best results from the RapidGloss Finisher, though, you need to use the highest heat setting along with the strongest airflow, so it can get uncomfortably hot on the scalp.

The styling concentrator also works well, but it’s a staple attachment for most hair dryers and not unique to the Shark Speedstyle.

I’m quite impressed with the cool-shot button – it kicks in real quick with an almost instantaneous temperature change even if the dryer is set at its hottest. I found that I could even use the cool-shot function to deal with the heat retention issue on the attachments, saving me a little bit of time.

• Performance score: 4/5

Shark SpeedStyle hairdryer behind held in hand with diffuser attachment

The Shark SpeedStyle comes with a diffuser attachment to help keep natural hairstyles while drying. (Image credit: Future / Petra Player)

Should I buy the Shark SpeedStyle RapidGloss Finisher & High-Velocity Dryer?

Buy it if…

Don’t buy it if…

Also consider

If you’re not sold on the Shark SpeedStyle, here’s how it compares to three other hair dryers.

How I tested the Shark SpeedStyle RapidGloss Finisher & High-Velocity Dryer

  • Used all attachments for different styles
  • Tested on thick, shoulder-length hair
  • Testing was done during summer months in Sydney, Australia

To put the Shark SpeedStyle to the test, I used it every time I washed my hair over a period of eight weeks. My testing included a week when I used it every single day. To put it through its paces, I swapped between the SpeedStyle’s attachments each time, using a paddle brush and comb to achieve different styles and results. 

I even went on holiday with it, leading me to the conclusion that it’s a good travel size despite being slightly weighty. I used it late at night in my hotel room and was relieved to not get any noise complaints.

Read more about how we test

[First reviewed February 2024]

Tribit StormBox Flow review: simple and effective with an incredible battery life
1:00 pm | February 3, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Audio Computers Gadgets Hi-Fi Wireless & Bluetooth Speakers | Tags: , , | Comments: Off

Tribit StormBox Flow: Two-minute review

The Tribit StormBox Flow is a neat portable Bluetooth speaker that packs more of a punch than you’d expect. It’s certainly not stylish but if you look past that and appreciate how simple it is to use, it’s pretty good value for money.

The Tribit StormBox Flow sounds far better than you’d expect. At high volumes it struggles for clarity, but at more comfortable levels for your ears, it sounds crisp with some strong bass booming through. 

That’s further helped by the companion app where you can adjust the EQ to your desired needs or you can just pick out a preset option with some reasonable choices available. It’s all simply laid out even if the app also lacks the wow factor. 

Other useful features include being able to charge your phone via the Tribit StormBox Flow if you’re stuck for power. Also, you can pair it with another Tribit StormBox Flow for stereo sound which works well. 

Priced at $79.99 in the US and £79.99 in the UK, it’s a little cheaper than other rivals among the best Bluetooth speakers in this price range, but there are some design differences in comparison to these.

There’s IP67 waterproofing to help it rival the best waterproof speakers and a robust build with tactile buttons for easy tapping. A strap on one end means you can grab it easily too, although it is a little weightier than some of the competition.

That’s the thing about the Tribit StormBox Flow. It ticks all the right boxes but it won’t stir up excitement. Not everything needs to be exciting and the Tribit StormBox Flow is certainly dependable. If that’s what you need, you won’t be disappointed.

Tribit StormBox Flow review: Price and release date

The Tribit StormBox Flow on a bench

There are plenty of physical controls on the speaker itself for power, volume and more.   (Image credit: Future)
  • Released in August 2023
  • Costs $79.99 / £79.99
  • Available in the US and UK

The Tribit StormBox Flow was launched in August 2023 and is available to buy across the US and the UK. It's priced at $79.99 and £79.99 respectively, but the speaker is already discounted at third-party retailers like Amazon. 

Like much of Tribit’s range, the Tribit StormBox Flow is well-priced, costing a little more than budget offerings such as the Tribit Stormbox Micro 2, while being cheaper than mid-range options from JBL like the JBL Flip 6

It’s heftier than some of the most portable Bluetooth speakers like the Stormbox Micro 2, but it’s still fairly easy to grab and take places with you.  

Tribit StormBox Flow review: Specs

Tribit StormBox Flow review: Features

Tribit StormBox Flow control app

The Tribit control app lets you switch sound modes and customize EQ settings.  (Image credit: Future)
  • IP67 waterproofing
  • Companion app and EQ button
  • Can pair with other Tribit Stormbox Flow speakers

The Tribit StormBox Flow is designed to be taken around with you easily. It has a loose handle on one side so you can easily grab it. It could also be hooked on certain things including a tree. Because yes, the Tribit StormBox Flow is designed for the outdoors. While it doesn’t look massively robust, it offers IP67 waterproofing. 

It’s reasonably lightweight too although not quite ‘I didn’t realise it was in this bag’ level of light, such as the Nokia Portable Wireless Speaker 2. Battery life wise, it’s incredible. It has a massive 30 hours of playtime, which probably makes up for a tiny bit of extra bulk.

Bluetooth 5.3 helps here and also means drop-outs simply don’t happen. The speaker supports the AAC and SBC codes, although not AptX, but this isn’t really the kind of speaker you’re buying for exceptionally crisp sound (although, as we’ll see shortly, it’s still pretty good).

The Tribit StormBox Flow also pairs up with another speaker so you can enjoy stereo sound. It’s simple to set up via a couple of buttons. There’s an EQ button so you can rotate through an XBass and audiobook mode. More functionality comes from the Tribit app which allows you to create your own EQ settings as well as use one of six presets. It’s also possible to check battery life via the app with the time dipping a little if you enable XBass. It only drops to around 20-24 hours though, which is still more than good enough for most situations.

Finally, you can use the USB-C port to charge up your phone which is useful when you’re in a jam.

Features score: 4 / 5

Tribit StormBox Flow review: Sound quality

Tribit StormBox Flow on a bench

The Stormbox Flow is built to withstand being dunked under water for a small amount of time and is completely dust tight. (Image credit: Future)
  • 25W drivers
  • Volumes goes high
  • Muddy audio after a certain point

The Tribit StormBox Flow manages to go surprisingly high when you crank up the volume. For a little speaker, it’s going to boom out amongst the pool party you’re having or if you’re simply relaxing at home. The bass is the most impressive part although it does turn into a bit of a mess if you crank things up too high.

Still, the Tribit StormBox Flow is packing a punch here. Pair up two speakers like I did and it’s surprisingly compelling with a wide soundstage. I enjoyed hearing Queen’s Under Pressure all around me. Listening to Taylor Swift’s 1989 album was also suitably vibrant, offering some smooth mids. 

It’s an enjoyable listen all around. Just don’t be surprised if you lower the volume a little more than usual. Also, stick with the XBass sound mode where possible for the punchiest sound. 

Sound quality score: 4 / 5 

Tribit StormBox Flow review: Design

Tribit StormBox Flow on a bench

It's simple design, means the Stormbox Flow isn't the most of exciting of speakers.  (Image credit: Future)
  • Tactile buttons
  • EQ buttons
  • Simple design

I’m not a huge fan of how the Tribit StormBox Flow looks because it’s so simple and straightforward – it somehow manages to look less exciting than even the Bose SoundLink Flex, which costs $70 / £70 more than the Stormbox Flow. However, while far from a designing dream, it does all work suitably well.

On the top are all the buttons – power, Bluetooth, volume, EQ and a button for pairing up with another speaker. Each is raised ever so slightly so you can identify which is which without looking. Having a way to adjust the EQ without the app is useful even if it’s restricted to only a couple of predefined options. 

The power button is a little finicky about how long you need (or don’t need) to hold it down but I have a sneaky feeling that’s more my fault than anything. On the side is the USB-C port, which isn’t obscured by a flap or similar to ensure waterproofing. It’s still fine though and doesn’t cause any issues.

Design score: 3 / 5 

Tribit StormBox Flow review: Value

Tribit StormBox Flow on a bench

It's reasonable price tag means you can quite easily consider buying two to unlock the multipoint pairing feature.  (Image credit: Future)
  • A little cheaper than some of the competition 
  • Robust design
  • Unassuming 

The Tribit StormBox Flow is that device that will surprise you. It looks very unassuming and not exactly as stylish as something like the JBL Flip or Bose SoundLink Flex range but it works well. 

Also cheaper than the JBL Flip 6, the Tribit StormBox Flow makes up for its lack of looks by making it more affordable for you to buy two, while also still being pretty loud. You just might not be showing it off to all and sundry.

Should you buy the Tribit StormBox Flow?

Buy it if...

Don’t buy it if...

Tribit StormBox Flow review: Also consider

How I tested the Tribit StormBox Flow

Tribit StormBox Flow on a desk

(Image credit: Future)
  • Tested over 10 days 
  • Used the speaker individually and paired with another 
  • 10 years of audio equipment reviewing experience

The Tribit StormBox Flow was my trusty companion throughout the last 10 days. It was by my side while I worked in my home office and thanks to its portable nature, I took it with me when I headed to the living room and kitchen for extended periods of time. 

Different locations meant I could compare the Tribit StormBox Flow against the noise of my dehumidifier, the neighbours’ never-ending construction work, and more regular noises like the air fryer ticking away in the kitchen. 

The Tribit StormBox Flow’s music choice was powered by my iPhone 14 Pro. I used a mixture of Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube to listen to. Mostly, I listened to various genres of music including pop, rock, jazz, classical, and a few other random choices. 

I also checked out how well the Tribit StormBox Flow sounded when listening to podcasts and other more talk-focused content like Twitch and YouTube videos on my phone. 

  • First reviewed January 2024
Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 13 series is now available in the UK
4:04 pm | January 28, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Mobile phones news | Tags: | Comments: Off

Last week marked the international debut of the Redmi Note 13 series and are now on pre-order in the UK. Shipping is set to start on February 1, which is just a few days away (Thursday). The Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 Pro+ flexes a 200MP main camera (1/1.4” sensor) with OIS and a basic 8MP ultra wide. It has a 6.67” 1220p display, a 120Hz AMOLED panel with 12-bit colors and Dolby Vision. The phone is powered by the Dimensity 7200 Ultra and a 5,000mAh battery with 120W fast charging (wired only). Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 Pro+ ...

Audi Electric Mountain Bike review: Premium-priced offroad excellence
2:00 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Health & Fitness | Tags: , | Comments: Off

Audi Electric Mountain Bike: One minute review

The clue is in the name, as the Audi Electric Mountain Bike powered by Fantic (to give it its full title) is just one of the Italian marque’s XEF Enduro bikes with a little Audi attitude applied to it. 

Anyone expecting motors developed by the German automaker, or quattro all-wheel-drive technology, will be a little bit disappointed. However, if you like the idea of a dream spec downhill eBike that looks fantastic when attached to one of Audi’s electric vehicles, this is the only bike to have.

It offers the rider a potent Brose S-Mag 250W electric hub motor that offers several rider assist modes. This is all neatly wrapped inside a chunky aluminum frame, with SRAM GX and NX Eagle components and gearing.

Stopping power is taken care of by IN.CA.S disk brakes, which are massive to help bring the action safely to a halt. In addition to this, shock absorption is left to Swedish experts Ohlins, which provides both the front fork (complete with 180mm of travel) and the TTX 22M shock at the rear.

It’s a serious package for riders looking to tackle some serious terrain and although we found the entire set-up to be arguably too heavy, the 720Wh lithium-ion battery pack copes with the mass well and offers a solid all-electric range. As for the Audi branding, it looks a bit like an afterthought in a few places, even though it is influenced by the RS Q e-tron E2 Dakar Rally car. But it will undoubtedly go down well with fans of the brand. 

Audi Electric Mountain Bike: Specifications

Audi Electric Mountain Bike: Price and availability

Audi ebike

(Image credit: Ed Hill)
  • Only available in UK and Europe
  • RRP £8,499
  • Heavily discounted to £5,990

The Audi Electric Mountain Bike was released in the Spring of 2023 and went on sale via the company’s official online accessories store soon after. Originally, it cost £8,499 in the UK, which is the equivalent of around $10,500 or nearly AUS$16,000, although it didn’t officially go on sale in those territories.

That said, the bike was claimed to be a limited run, but it is already heavily discounted on the UK site, with large frame models available to buy for £5,990, which feels like a bit of a bargain to us considering the components on offer. 

  • Value score: 3.5/5 

Audi Electric Mountain Bike: Design

  • Very well constructed, like other Fantic bikes
  • Heavy at 24 kgs
  • Excellent component choices

As previously mentioned, Fantic doesn’t really mess around when it comes to making hardy electrified mountain bikes, and its current range comprises everything from Trail to Mountain, Enduro to Downhill and even classic hardtail models.

In this instance, the Audi e-bike’s frame is fashioned from toughened aluminium, with some very obvious and robust welding in key, high-stress areas. The rearmost triangle is made from carbon fiber to help keep some of the weight down, but this is still a chunky machine. Neither Fantic nor Audi reveal the official weight, but we’d say it’s easily in excess of 24kg after hauling it from a rear-mounted bike rack a number of times.

Further robustness is added by Vittoria off-road tyres and ultra-wide handlebars, which in this case were provided by FSA, although official specification says it should be Renthal’s Fatbar offering. There’s also the ubiquitous dropper seat post for ditching the saddle quickly during punishing downhill descents.

Audi has removed all Fantic branding and has instead added its own grey, silver and red livery, which is apparently inspired by its current electric Dakar Rally car. There is red and black hatching on the battery pack, bold e-tron lettering, Audi Sport stickers on the cranks and the Four Ring logo on the front of the headstock. There is certainly no mistaking this is an Audi product.

That said, some of the stickering feels like a bit of an afterthought, with the red and black hatching on the rims reminding us of the cheap rim tape boy racers add to their sports bikes, while the “Future is an Attitude” logo on the chainstays makes little sense.

  • Design score: 4/5

Audi Electric Mountain Bike: Performance

Audi ebike

(Image credit: Ed Hill)
  • Superb off-road handling
  • Great power delivery
  • UK road legal, so only 15.5mph-speed assistance

As is the way with most e-bikes on sale today, the electric motor offered here only provides assistance at speeds of up to 15.5mph: anything more than that and the electric motor cuts its power.

That said, this isn’t a bike designed for speeding around town, instead the 90Nm of torque offered up by the system is more than enough to ease riders up the toughest uphill sections so they can spend more time doing the fun stuff… namely careering downhill and trying not to hit a tree.

Four assistance modes allow the rider to tailor the power delivery and these are easily accessed via a small colour screen computer mounted to the bars. This also gives a readout of remaining battery levels, current speed and distance travelled.

Power delivery is based on the amount of torque being pushed through the cranks and the rider’s cadence. In Eco and Tour modes, the electric system will offer minimal assistance in an effort to eke the most from the battery pack - which can be removed or charged on the bike. Sport and Boost seemed to unleash full power, with the latter enough to have the rear wheel spinning on loose surfaces.

The wide bars, slack headtube angle and long, low chassis are all classic hallmarks of a downhill/endurance bike and the Audi offering is perfectly at home being thrown down steep trails. It’s also easy to ride over distance, but we wouldn’t say this is right for touring… it’s too heavy and clearly designed for adrenaline junkies.

“The Audi electric mountain bike in cooperation with Fantic is another fantastic example of how we can expand our mobility offering to customers that extends beyond the award-winning models they drive,” Andrew Doyle, Director Audi UK said. 

It’s a strange sentiment, considering this is most definitely not a commuter bike, while we feel Audi has probably alienated a bunch of potential customers by opting for one of Fantic’s more focused off-road machines.

But we’re not complaining, as it proved an extremely fun way to tear up a few local trails and send down a number of root-laden descents. It’s certainly capable and at the discounted price we previously mentioned, it’s a lot of bike for the money.  

  •  Performance score: 4/5 

Audi Electric Mountain Bike: Scorecard

Audi Electric Mountain Bike: Should I buy?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider

Specialized Turbo Levo SL Expert Carbon

The best electric mountain bike on our list - a lightweight and cheaper, but less powerful, alternative.

Read our full review

Pure Woodland review: charming, practical and hitting the right notes
1:00 pm | January 27, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Audio Computers DAB Radios Gadgets Hi-Fi | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

Pure Woodland: Two-minute review

The Pure Woodland Bluetooth speaker and DAB radio isn’t the cutting edge of modern technology but it knows how to be good at what it does. It has the right name, looking eco-friendly right down to its cardboard and paper only box (besides a couple of cable ties). In a fetching green, it’s just asking for you to hook it up to a tree on a hot summer’s day. 

None of this would matter if it was awful to use but some thought has been put into it. Its carry handle is soft and easy to grip onto while its 14 hours of battery life is about right for a busy day out full of music and relaxation.

This isn’t just about music though as the Pure Woodland also has a reliable DAB and FM radio component. Pull up that antenna and you’re good to go with the DAB radio automatically tuning in and the FM radio only a few steps away. It works well giving you plenty of suitable options with the LCD screen highlighting what station is playing. 

At £139.99 / €149.99, it’s not the most competitively priced radio/speaker combo but it’s reasonable. It’s going to last a while too with IP67 waterproofing and some reinforced bumpers to help it handle a few blows while you take it out and about with you.

Simple to use with its stylish yet easy to distinguish buttons, the Pure Woodland is that device that everyone will figure out making it an easy radio to provide the whole family with. Outdoors, it blends in well while on the living room bookshelf, it’s going to be just as capable with a long USB cable proving useful. 

As its closest rival, the Robert Revival RD70 might be better looking but if you need something that can travel with you, the Pure Woodland is a tempting proposition among a busy world of the best DAB radios and best Bluetooth speakers

Pure Woodland review: Price and release date

The Pure Woodland Bluetooth speaker with DAB radio

(Image credit: Future)
  • Released in July 2023
  • Costs £139.99 / €149.99
  • Only available in the UK and Europe

The Pure Woodland was released in the UK and Europe in July 2023. It costs £139.99 and €149.99 in respective markets, which places it squarely in the mid-range market. 

It’s a little cheaper than some popular favorites like the non-portable but stylish Robert Revival RD70, although pricier than the Sony XDR-P1, which has proved a hit among those looking for something portable.

It’s bulkier than the latter too although the Pure Woodland would certainly look better in your living room than the dated stylings of the Sony XDR-P1. You also get a rechargeable battery here rather than needing to dig out AA batteries all the time. 

Pure Woodland review: Features

The Pure Woodland Bluetooth speaker with DAB radio on the floor

(Image credit: Future)
  • IP67 waterproofing
  • Carry handle
  • DAB and FM radio as well as speaker

It’s perhaps weird to think immediately of the carry handle of the Pure Woodland but it feels like a genuine feature rather than a design component. So many portable speakers omit a useful way of carrying them  and are rarely light enough to throw in a bag. 

While at the time of this review, it’s the wrong time of year to be spending long days outside – the Pure Woodland feels like something you could take on a picnic with you alongside your bag of food. The handle is soft to hold too which is so important compared to it biting through your hand. 

Besides the handle, the Pure Woodland is also pretty robust with IP67 waterproofing and a build that’s light to carry yet feels like it could handle a few knocks. Its 14 hour battery life also means you have a day’s worth of picnicking without needing a power source. 

The Bluetooth 5.1 that's onboard is reliable and means no dropouts to speak of. You can also switch to DAB radio mode or a FM radio if you choose. The former is pretty much automatic while the latter requires some adjustments but odds are you’ll be focusing on DAB anyhow. 

Don’t count on any extra physical connections like an aux-in socket but otherwise, the Pure Woodland has it covered.

Features score: 4 / 5 

Pure Woodland review: Sound quality

The Pure Woodland Bluetooth speaker with DAB radio facing down

(Image credit: Future)
  • 10W speaker
  • Crisp audio 
  • Lacking a little oomph at times 

I’m not really counting on the Pure Woodland to be an audiophile’s dream. Instead, it’s a balanced mix of offering everything the average person needs. Listening to a talk-focused station like LBC brings out how crisp voices sound while switching over to music demonstrates that this isn’t a bass-heavy party speaker but it still does the job well for adding ambience to your picnic, working day, or general chill out moment.

When my random playlist switched to Corner Shop’s Brimful of Asha (yes, really), I was pleasantly surprised at how enthusiastic it sounded. It broke through the background noise of my dehumidifier and my mechanical keyboard well. Elsewhere, more vocal heavy tracks like Harry Styles’s Sign of the Times feels tamer and not quite as powerful as one might like. Similarly, Black Eyed Peas’ I Gotta Feeling doesn’t quite get you in the party mood. 

However, it’s all likeable and pleasant enough. As cliched as it might sound, the Pure Woodland is a reliable all-rounder. Nothing sounds poor or over processed and the soundstage is reasonable for this speaker, at least indoors. 

Sound quality: 4 / 5 

Pure Woodland review: Design

The Pure Woodland Bluetooth speaker with DAB radio

(Image credit: Future)
  • Pleasantly tactile
  • Clear preset buttons 
  • Reinforced bumpers

The Pure Woodland looks a little dated but on the other hand, it’s also really practical. It has the aforementioned carry handle which has been designed to be soft to hold onto yet sturdy. It’ll easily hook onto something too. It also has a string of tactile buttons laid out well so none of them are too close to each other. Unlike other devices, there are no long presses or double taps necessary so it’s simple enough for anyone to figure out.

Six presets are available in all with three DAB and three FM giving you some options. Pairing to Bluetooth takes mere moments. Next to the buttons is a thin LCD screen so you can see what station you’ve picked. 

On the back, there’s nothing to speak of. A USB-C port for charging. For a change, a long USB cable is included so you’ve got a fair bit of stretch if you need to keep it plugged in. 14 hours of battery life means this won’t be too commonplace, fortunately. Reinforced bumpers at the top and bottom of the device adds to the robustness of the Pure Woodland. 

Design score: 4 / 5

Pure Woodland review: Value

The Pure Woodland Bluetooth speaker with DAB radio

(Image credit: Future)
  • About average for what it offers
  • A little cheaper than more stylish options
  • Built to last

The Pure Woodland feels like something that will last a long time. It’s going to handle a muddy picnic in a British summer as well as it’ll handle living comfortably on your bookcase too. 

It’s not as good looking as the Robert Revival RD70 but it’s portable which is vital for some people. On the other hand, it’s far better looking than the cheaper Sony XDR-P1 and will look nice in your home during the winter months. A jack of all trades? Maybe, but it works. 

Should you buy the Pure Woodland?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if... 

Pure Woodland review: Also consider

How I tested the Pure Woodland

The Pure Woodland Bluetooth speaker with DAB radio

(Image credit: Future)
  • Tested for one week 
  • Used around the home and briefly outside (winter!)
  • 10 years of audio reviewing experience

I lived with the Pure Woodland by plonking it in the same room as I work while also moving it around the home including my living room. For a brief time, I took it outside but the weather has been awful and I feel less waterproof than the Pure Woodland. 

Around the house, it was used while I worked as background noise as well as while I cooked and cleaned. It was all very domesticated and pleasant -- just like how most people are likely to use the Pure Woodland. 

I listened to a wide variety of music. This included my faithful (and somewhat embarrassing) 1990s playlist along with more recent releases such as those of Taylor Swift and Harry Styles. I also listened to the radio a lot -- mostly a mixture of LBC, BBC Radio 5 Live, and BBC Radio 4. 

Music was streamed through Apple Music and Spotify, while I used the DAB side of things predominantly for the radio with some FM testing too.

Over the past decade, I’ve reviewed dozens of speakers, headphones, and earbuds. Covering a wide range of price ranges, these go from super cheap ‘how could they make it for so little?’ level to much more expensive options.

Next Page »