Chip May 2014
Editor’s Letter Maria Warnes, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org @ChipTechMag
Welcome So what is Chip magazine? I designed Chip magazine because I felt that gadget magazines are not up to scratch these days. When you look at the technology section in a magazine shop you will see two types of gadget/technology magazine; what I like to call the “bikini model” type and the “introduction to brand” type. The “bikini model” type of technology magazine will often feature a scantily clad lady on the front, posing with a gadget that is featured in the magazine. This type of magazine is obviously aimed exclusively at adult, straight men. The “introduction to brand” type magazine will often feature a single brand on the front like Windows 8 or Android. This type of magazine focuses on one brand or operating system exclusively and is aimed at the beginner or novice user of that particular technology, most commonly senior citizens. What I think is missing from the magazine market at the moment is a gender-neutral, age-neutral gadget/ technology magazine that covers all types of gadgets, aiming to include a female and senior audience who are hardly ever addressed in a technology environment.
I hope to do this by removing as much jargon as possible, and if it is needed, explaining it. I also want reviews to reflect a wider variety of people, not just the one opinion of the one person reviewing it. So in this magazine you will find reviews from three people from different generations, backgrounds and countries, this way you can make a more informed decision about the gadget that is being reviewed. In the Best Buys section you will find that the products are listed by best of ‘Budget’, ‘Midrange’ and ‘Luxury’ in each category. After all, everyone has different income and priorities with their money, so what’s the point of a top 10 list when everything has a really expensive price tag? Gadgets and technology are interesting and wonderful things that I think should be available to anyone who wants to learn more about them. So I hope that you enjoy this magazine and find it helpful and interesting, especially if you’re the type of person who looks at all of the gadget magazines out there today, like me, and thinks “not for me”.
Buy the Print Edition at chipmag.businesscatalyst.com/buy.html © 2014, Chip Media Group Ltd. All rights reserved. This publication may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form in whole or in part without the written permission of the publishers. Liability: while every care has been taken in the preparation of this magazine, the publishers cannot can’t be held responsible for the accuracy of the information herein, or any consequences arising from it. In the case of all product reviews, judgements have been mane in the context of ware based on the UK prices at the time of the review, which are subject to fluctuation and only applicable to the UK market.
Chip May 2014
Tech News 7–10 8 9 9 10
First ‘Heartbleed’ bug related arrest in London, Ontario, Canada Microsoft announce Apple ‘CarPlay’ rival concept ‘Microsoft in Car’. Google’s picks up viral video ‘Phoneblokks’ modular phone project ‘Ara’. Sony struggles to keep up with demand for their new console the PlayStation 4.
Quick Looks 11–14 12 13
FitBit One: The little fitness tracker that packs a big punch. Samsung Galaxy S5: The latest is the galaxy line up, how does it fare compared to it’s predecessors and it’s competition? Leap Motion: An intuitive yet innovative way of using your computer, look ma, no hands!
Reviews 15–20 16 18 20
Bowers & Wilkins P3: A beautiful balance of design, inside and out, an introduction. The reviewers spend a day with the the Bowers & Wilkins P3 Headphones. What did the reviewers think? Their scores, verdicts and thoughts.
Chip May 2014
Features 21–34 22
The Apple iMac: Looking like nothing that has come before it. 26 Microsoft Xbox One: Microsoft’s entry in the ongoing battle of the consoles is a strong one. 30 Sony PlayStation 4: Sony’s latest console puts emphasis on “Games without barriers”.
Learning 35–40 36
Cloud Computing; What is it? A description and brief history. 38 How does Cloud Computing work? An explanation of the types of services and the types of clouds available. 40 Which service is best for me? An explanation of Dropbox, OneDrive, iCloud and Google Drive.
Best Buys 41–50 42
Smartphones: Motorola’s Moto G, LG’s G2 and Apple’s iPhone 5S. 43 Tablets: Asus’s FonePad, Google’s Nexus 7, and Apple’s iPad Mini. 44 Desktop Computers: Lenovo’s C365, Asus’ ET2220IUTI-B010K, and Apple’s iMac.
Chip May 2014
Images: News: pcmag.com. Quick Looks: Maria Warnes. Review: ibtimes.co.uk. Features: daily-i.com. Learning: underconsideration.com, blog.apterainc. com, npr.org play.google.com. Best Buys: theverge.com. Content: Maria Warnes.
Images: pcmag.com, bbc.co.uk, sfgate.com, gizmodo.co.uk, google.com, geeky-gadgets.com, fresh.amazon.com, guardian.com. Content: Maria Warnes.
Images: Samsung Galaxy S5: technabob.com, trustedreviews.com. FitBit One: Maria Warnes. Leap Motion: createddigitalmusic.com, edge-online.com. Content: Maria Warnes.
Images: themachinenetwork.com, ibtimes.co.uk, bestavdeals.co.uk, gadgetmac.com, corbisimages.com, Strauss/Curtis/Corbis, Eric Audras/Onoky/Corbis, Rick Gomez/Corbis. Content: Maria Warnes.
Images: Mac Pro: wired.com. pcadvisor.co.uk, pursuitist.com, stagesoundservices.co.uk, 521pixels.net, extremetech.com. Xbox One: mystatesman.com, www.last.fm, imgarcade.com, eggplante.com, hostingkartinok.com. PS4: Maria Warnes, community.us.playstation.com, hobbyconsolas.com, roznice.com. Accessories: macrumors.com, uk.hardware.info, amazon.co.jp, xbox.com, nextgengamingblog.com, pensardevelopment.com. Content: Maria Warnes.
Images: Cloud, Illustrations: Maria Warnes. Map: vecteezy.com. Dropbox logo: underconsideration.com. OneDrive Logo: blog.apterainc.com. iCloud logo: apple.com. Google Drive Logo: play.google.com. Content: Maria Warnes.
Images: Smartphones: techradar.net, Maria Warnes. Tablets: asus.com, nbcnews.com, Maria Warnes. Computers: amazon.com, asus.com, Maria Warnes. Laptops: amazon.com, uk.hardware.info, theregister.com. Music Players: techspot.com, slashgear.com, datasplice.com. Headphones: techspot.com, whathifi.com, johnlewis.com Gaming: amazon.com, wikipedia.com, Maria Warnes. SLRs: ephotozine.com. Compact Cameras: trustedreviews.com, photographyblog.com, amatuerphotographer.co.uk. eReaders: ebouquin.fr, malaprops.com, amazon.com. TVs: trustedreviews.com, esgroup.platforma.ab.pl, 365electrical.com. Content: Maria Warnes.
Chip May 2014
First ‘Heartbleed’ related arrest in Canada Stephen Arthuro Solis-Reyes, a 19 year old from London, Ontario has been accused of hacking into the Canadian Revenue Agency’s website. On the 11th May, he used the ‘Heartbleed’ vulnerability to gain access, and stole 900 social security numbers. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police investigated Mr Solis-Reyes’ case for four days and have since charged him with “unauthorised use of a computer” and “mischief in relation to data”. Mr Solis-Reyes is expected to appear in court in July. Solis-Reyes’ lawyer Faisal Joseph is saying that Solis-Reyes’ actions have done the Canadian government a favour; by highlighting the lack of real protection of people’s sensitive information. Learn more about the ‘Heartbleed’ bug and how to protect yourself and your devices at heartbleed.com.
Facebook buys Oculus VR for £1.2 billion
Google Glass wearer attacked in San Francisco
Facebook announced this month that it had acquired the California based start-up company Oculus VR for $2 billion. In a statement released by Facebook they stated that they were looking to expand upon current Oculus technologies to include “communications, media and entertainment, education and other areas”. Oculus VR’s flagship technology, the Oculus Rift headset, (seen above) has been greatly anticipated by the public with more than 75,000 pre-orders, but Facebook’s acquisition has led to a drop in shares. A number of the original funders have taken to the Oculus Rift’s Kickstarter page to voice their complaints, with some even demanding a refund.
Kyle Russell, 20, from Berkeley states that a woman ran up to him, took the glasses forcibly from his face, ran off with them and then proceeded to smash the £900 device. Russell was unharmed. Russell is unsure about replacing the device saying that if “I’m someone giving off the appearance that I’m flaunting it or flaunting wealth” he doesn’t want to replace it. Russell added that he is a gadget lover but sympathises with his attacker and agrees that there are some concerning aspects to privacy of other individuals when someone is wearing Glass.
Chip May 2014
Microsoft announce Apple ‘CarPlay’ rival concept
Google’s picks up modular phone project ‘Ara’
Currently named “Microsoft in Car”, the concept plans to connect a screen in your car to your Windows Phone using “Mirrorlink”, the current leading technology in car/phone connectivity. Apple’s CarPlay will soon be available in Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes and Volvo cars.
After the viral hit video ‘Phonebloks’by Dave Hakkens introduced the concept of modular phones to the public, there has been a surge of interest in the concept. Google have now picked up the idea and are now starting to look into the possibility of bringing the concept into reality.
Amazon introduce Dash, home shopping assistant
UK government pays Microsoft £5.5m to extend Windows XP support
Dash is a hand-held barcode scanner with voice recognition, designed to help customers of Amazon Fresh keep up-to-date on their food shop. Scan or say what you need to order and Dash will save it to your Amazon Fresh account ready to be delivered to your doorstep.
Microsoft has made separate agreements with both the UK and Dutch governments to extend important security updates to public sector users of Windows XP like the NHS.
Land Rover introduce ‘Transparent Bonnet’ concept technology The team at Jaguar Land Rover developed the idea of having a camera at the front of the bonnet that would send an image of underneath the car to the windscreen which would display the image. The concept is hoped to help driving in difficult terrain.
New ‘.london’ domain launched London is the second city in the world to have it’s own domain, after New York City’s ‘.nyc’. The domain launch hopes to promote London based businesses in an effort to boost the brand of London.
Chip May 2014
FITBIT ONE The little fitness tracker that packs a big punch. No doubt you’ve seen some of these fitness trackers about, lots of them are loud and proud and meant to be shown off. The FitBit One is different, available in black or burgundy, weighing only 18g and measuring in at just under 6 x 2cm (2.4” x 0.8”) it is subtle. You can wear it on your belt, bra or pocket (as FitBit reccomends) and it will be virtually invisible. However, small does not mean lacking in the case of the One, it is full of features: a pedometer, calorie counter, altimeter (for stairs climbed), sleep tracker, clock and alarm. It also had bluetooth connectivity compatible with the majority of smartphones models including iPhone, Samsung, LG, HTC, Motorola and Nexus which display the various pieces of information on the free FitBit app. FitBit have cleverly added a feature that allows you to use the One with other popular Fitness apps like MapMyRun, and Endomondo, further expanding your fitness tracking experience. FitBit also claim that the battery life of the One will last 5–7 days before it needs recharging and is “rain, splash and sweat-proof”. The sleep experience has been well thought out too, the One vibrates to wake you or to inform you of a target you have reached, allowing a subtle notification system that lends itself to such a subtle device.
Out now for £80 Visit fitbit.com/uk/one for more information
(Above) The FitBit One can be easily clipped onto any clothing.
• Small and discreet. • No wires due to bluetooth connectivity. • Long battery life.
The Bad • Not a very big community at the moment. • Size makes it easier to lose or leave on clothes.
If you need a community of friends or strangers to encourage you to get fit, this is not for you, but if you are self-motivated type, go for it.
Chip May 2014
SAMSUNG GALAXY S5 The latest in the Galaxy line up, how does it fare compared to it’s predecessors and it’s competition? The first thing you will probably notice about the Galaxy S5 is it’s screen size. It’s 5.1” screen is the largest of the Galaxys yet and it has astonishing resolution too, it’s 1920 x 1080 screen will display 1080p HD pictures and videos with ease, it’s Super AMOLED technology also gives great contrast. The next thing you will probably notice about the S5 is it’s rubberised, perforated back, reminiscent of the 1st generation of Google Nexus 7 tablets, giving the S5 a great feel in your hands. The S5 is full of new tech too, including a fingerprint scanner. One thing that the S5 has that stands out from the crowd though, is it’s heart rate monitor. It’s certainly good at what it does, taking less than 10 seconds to get your bpm, but the majority of people are going to use this once and then never again. If you are a fitness type or someone with health problems then this will probably be a very helpful tool for you, but the rest of us are going to find it’s just added weight. Another feature of the S5 is it’s dust and water resistance, however a lot of phones out there at the moment have full water proofing, meaning the S5 isn’t really keeping up in this area. Some of the S5’s sins can be forgiven however when we look at it’s camera. It has HDR and fast auto-focus while bumping the camera up to 16MP giving some seriously stunning pictures. Out 24th June 2014 from £500 Visit samsung.co.uk for more information
(Above) The S5’s 5.1” screen is the biggest Galaxy screen yet.
The Good • • • •
Amazing quality screen. Great camera. Feels great to hold, very comfy. Removable cover makes for easier repairs.
The Bad • Some of the tech is gimicky, fingerprint scanner and heart rate monitor will rarely be used. • Apart from the back, the build quality could be better.
The Verdict The screen and camera is brilliant, but Samsung needs to stop trying to sell the phone for the gimicks and focus on better build quality.
Chip May 2014
BOWERS & WILKINS P3 A beautiful balance of design, inside and out.
(Above) Every P3 comes with a matching protective carry case.
The fabric covering the earpads is made from specialised acoustic fabric that allows more sound to travel through. The actual earpads are made from heat sensitive memoryfoam that mould to your ears.
Out now from ÂŁ170 Visit bowers-wilkins.co.uk for more information
Chip May 2014
Bowers & Wilkins P3s are making waves in the headphone industry, they have managed to impress with their audio quality and have hit a tricky compromise between in-ear and on-ear headphones. The P3s have taken a leaf from Beats book; people like to have really good sound combined with really good design. However Bowers & Wilkins are taking a
more subtle approach to their headphones, you don’t need great big cans for great big sound. The P3s are beautifully designed outside and in, with ear-pads that mould to your ears and a strong Mylar frame that flexes but keeps it’s shape. The interior of the headphones also channels as much of the your music as possible towards your ears.
(Left) Included in the P3’s design is the ability to remove the earpads so that you can swap out specific cables like an iPhone microphone cable.
Chip May 2014
1080p Kinect Camera Motion Sensor Voice Sensor
Microsoft’s latest entry in the ongoing battle of the consoles is a strong one, with a home screen and navigation system that people are starting to get used to due to it’s similarity to Windows 8, and it’s focus on personalising your gaming experience, the Xbox One is a strong contender.
Chip May 2014
500Gb Storage HDMI In & Out 2x USB WiFi
One Wireless Batteries Inside Case Expansion Port
Chip May 2014
While the Xbox One is larger than it’s predecessor it weighs in at 3kg (7lbs), compared to the 3.5kgs (7.5lbs) of the 360.
Xbox 360 E (2013)
Xbox 360 Slim (2010)
Microsoft’s Xbox team have put an emphasis on personalisation with the One, with the ability to control it with your voice and to customise your home screen with whatever games, movies, music or apps that you like and use the most. A great addition to the ports on the back of the Xbox One is it’s ‘HDMI pass-thru’, allowing your TV box to be plugged into the HDMI port of your Xbox One rather than your TV, meaning that you can watch TV from your Xbox’s home screen, removing the need to unplug and swap around HDMI cables. Another handy feature is the Xbox One’s ability to keep tasks running in the background, so you can pause a game, start watching a TV show and swap back to your game and start straight where you left off. You can even have your game on one half of your
34cm (13.5”) 30cm (12”)
Xbox 360 (2007)
Xbox One (2013)
screen and the TV show on the other if you want. The online Xbox community is big, and full of people that will be frustratingly better or worse than you at each game you play. To tackle this problem Microsoft have developed a new matchmaking system called “Smart Match” which finds players with similar skill level, who speak the same language and have the same reputation as you. Reputation on the Xbox One is a new feature that allows users to report other players for undesirable behaviour such as cheating or abusive language. The feedback on your reputation will result in one of three titles: “Good Player”, “Needs Work”, and “Avoid Me”, allowing good players to play with similar people and for people who need avoiding with other undesirables.
Chip May 2014
The Xbox One’s controller has seen an overhaul too, the dual thumb-sticks have a new grip texture to stop them slipping. The D-Pad has been redesigned too with increased sensitivity to sweeping movements, and the battery pack that used to jut out of the 360’s controller body has been redesigned so that it fits inside the One’s controller. The new Kinect 2 camera has seen some changes too, the main camera has been improved from the standard definition 480p camera to a 1080p HD camera, it has a larger field of view, and there’s an added Infra-red camera too, to enable the Kinect to see in low-light/ darkness. The microphone system inside the Kinect includes several microphones to remove game and ambient noise from the voice input.
(Above) The Xbox One’s home screen has been designed alongside the home screen for Windows 8 to give them a uniform look. (Below) The improved Kinect 2 bundled with the Xbox One picks up a stunning amount of detail.
Chip May 2014
The Cloud What is it, how does it work and which service is best for me?
Chip May 2014
What is it? Cloud Computing in it’s most basic form is a metaphor for using services through the internet. These services can be anything computer-based, the most common for personal users being that of file storage and the use of programmes. The process of cloud computing can be likened to people using electricity from the power grid; everyone shares access to the main source and each control their own piece. The idea of Cloud Computing is much older than most think, in fact the idea of the Cloud was what the internet was intended to be since it’s origins in “ARPANET” in the sixties. J.C.R. Licklider’s introduction of interconnected computers in the ARPANET meant that information could be shared between them, but Licklider’s vision was for any computer to access any file or programme from anywhere, much like Cloud Computing. Cloud Computing’s most significant step forward since then was the introduction of ‘Salesforce.com’ in 1999, who began hosting a programme which users could input information about their business and see their sales/profits reports and marketing feedback. There are advantages and disadvantages of using Cloud Computing. The advantages of storing files via the cloud is that they are easily available; you can access them from any computer with an internet connection. If you’re computer breaks for any reason your files are unaffected. This also means that your files are not taking up space on your computer and they are not on a disc or USB which can be lost or destroyed. Advantages of using cloud-based programming include not needing any dedicated software installed or a powerful computer, as it is all processed on the server’s end. However there are disadvantages to cloud computing; if you store your files with a cloud service, they aren’t as safe from hacking as if they were being stored on your computer. As you access the internet to store your files on the Cloud it means there is a chance they could be intercepted, also if your internet connection is down there is no way of accessing your files. As Cloud Computing is a shared service, you will only get access to a certain amount of file storage, this is likely to be lower than the storage on your computer, although in most cases you can pay for more storage.
Many think that the name ‘Cloud’ originated from how the internet was often represented with a cloud symbol on charts and graphs.
Chip May 2014
Smartphones Whether it’s for calling, texting, or having fun on the Internet, the smartphone is the essential gadget.
Budget Motorola Moto G Google’s Motorola have done a great job with this smartphone. Considering how cheap it is compared to the rest of the market it’s hard to expect much from the Moto G, but it holds it’s own and more with it’s quick processors, intuitive operating system and truly impressive screen. + Speedy quad-cores, high quality screen. – No expandable memory. £130 motorola.com
Midrange LG G2 The G2 is unlike any phone you will have held before, with all of it’s physical navigation buttons on the back, but this is intuitive and quick to get used to. It has a 5.2” HD display, is only 9mm (0.35”) thick and weighs only 140g (5oz). It has a stunning 13MP camera with a quick shutter speed and built-in image stabilisation and a 2MP front camera. + Long battery life, great display. – No expandable memory, camera is not great in low light. £350 lg.com/uk
Luxury Apple iPhone 5S The iPhone 5S is undeniably beautiful, available in gold, silver or “space grey” aluminium. The main difference between the 5 and the 5S is the addition of the fingerprint scanner replacing the familiar ‘Home’ button. The iPhone 5S is also one of the thinnest and lightest smartphones on the market at only 7.6 mm (0.3”) and 112g (4oz). + Great build quality, high-quality camera, plenty of apps. – No expandable memory, battery cannot be replaced. £550 apple.com/uk
Chip May 2014
Tablets When your smartphone screen is too small but you don’t want the added weight of a laptop, tablets are great for playing and surfing.
Budget Asus FonePad The Asus FonePad is a great stepping stone between a phone and a tablet, true no one would be seen dead putting a tablet to their ear, but with speaker-phone and texting that can easily be avoided. With access to Asus Cloud Office the FonePad is a great all-rounder for a first time tablet user. + Good screen, expandable memory, 3G phone capabilities. – Not very powerful. £160 asus.com/uk
Midrange Google Nexus 7 The Nexus 7 (2013) is much improved on it’s predecessor, it has a rearfacing camera and increased pixel-density screen, and is a whole 50g (1.8oz) lighter. The battery life of the Nexus is extensive too, with 9 hours of HD video time or 10 hours of web-browsing battery life the Nexus will last for even the longest of browsing sessions. + Great screen, sharp picture, light-weight. – No expandable memory. £200 google.co.uk/nexus
Luxury Apple iPad Mini The iPad Mini undoubtedly has the edge with it’s screen, it is noticeably wider than the FonePad or the Nexus 7 and has a higher pixel density, giving it a better quality picture than a HD TV. Apple have cleverly given the iPad Mini two wireless antennas, solving some problems Apple has had with finger placement causing a disruption in wireless access. + Amazing screen, lots of power. – No options to customise home screen. £320 apple.com/uk
Chip May 2014
Desktop Computers For when real work and real play needs to be done, a desktop computer is a must for power.
Budget Lenovo C365 The Lenovo is the perfect computer for those who don’t need anything particularly powerful, if you just want to browse the web and use word documents then the Lenovo will suit you down to the ground. The best part that if you fancy putting in a bigger hard drive later, it’s easy to do so. + LED Screen, 6-in-1 card reader, easy to upgrade. – Slow to use, Windows 8 takes some getting used to. £350 lenovo.com/uk/en
Midrange Asus ET2220IUTI-B010K The succinctly titled Asus ET2220IUTI-B010K has a slim and flat design with a flip-out kick stand. It’s shape also makes it easy to wall mount, and with a touchscreen it would make a perfect kitchen computer. However where the Asus really excels is entertainment; it has a built-in blu-ray player and a TV tuner so you can watch all your favourite film or shows. + Multi-touch screen, TV tuner, LED screen, blu-ray player. – Windows 8 takes some getting used to. £740 asus.com/uk
Luxury Apple iMac The Apple iMac is undoubtedly beautiful, with 40% less volume than the 2012 generation of the iMac and with a 5mm edge it is remarkably thin, which may be due to the loss of the CD drive. The iMac may have lost some weight from 2012, but it is more powerful than ever, it has faster processors, faster graphics and faster Wi-Fi. + Very slim, incredible screen. – No CD drive. £1,150 apple.com/uk
Chip May 2014
Laptops When you need power but need to be on the go, a laptop is essential, providing you with the capability of a desktop in a small package.
Budget HP Chromebook 11 HP’s laptop is part of the new series of Chromebooks, laptops designed to work entirely from the cloud. You can’t install anything on it, but there’s plenty of software available as online version now. HP’s Chromebook 11 is ideal as a first computer, or as a casual web surfer for the sofa. + Lightweight, great keyboard, easy to maintain. – Slow, can’t install any software. £200 hp.com/uk/en
Midrange Dell Inspiron 15R Dell’s Inspiron 15R is all about a balance of work and play. The touchscreen offers a fun way of playing games while also speeding up tasks like reading and writing. Unlike most keyboards the Inspiron 15R has numerical keys, making spreadsheets and budgets quicker and easier. The Inpsiron also features a great 8-in-1 card reader. + Touchscreen, comfortable keyboard, 8-in-1 card reader. – Audio isn’t great, Windows 8 takes some getting used to. £500 dell.co.uk
Luxury Apple MacBook Pro Apple’s MacBook Pro has the new retina display, which has, in the 13inch size, 4-million pixels, so the MacBook Pro’s screen in a no-brainer for designers and photographers alike. Apple’s latest generation of the MacBook Pro has also shaved off nearly a third of the thickness of it’s predecessor and is almost a full pound lighter. + Powerful, amazing screen, mag-safe connector. – No CD drive £1,100 apple.com/uk