Digixav at The Gadget Show Live 2013

Henry and I went to The Gadget Show Live in Birmingham on Friday, an annual extravaganza for tech companies to show off their latest wares to consumers in partnership with the popular Channel 5 programme, and we decided that we would turn our experiences of the event into a comprehensive report at the end of it. What you will read below this paragraph is the resulting document, which grew progressively more animated as the day drew to a close. What started out as a ‘thoughtful’ and ‘insightful’ piece descended into madness, dictated by bouncing, swiveling and a whole plethora of GIFs. This article is not for those with poor internet connections, but we hope you join us through our journey into the wonderful madness that was The Gadget Show Live 2013.

This was the ticket, which arrived in my hands thanks to a Twitter giveaway from YouTube’s PDTechHD and Otone Audio, whose stand boasted the loudest speakers by far.

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This was the entrance.

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As you can probably tell, the whole event was sponsored by Microsoft, and it became apparent that the company wanted to push its products, mainly Windows, to the showgoers. Dominating the show floor was this stand.

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On this stand, you could find pretty much every Windows Phone and bizarre Windows 8 form factor under the sun, so we made GIFs of them all.

Windows Phone 8 Phones

Windows 8 Form Factors

What impressed us in particular was the Dell XPS 12. We spent a long time just spinning its screen round and round.

Dell XPS 12

In the end, we left it like this.

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Lenovo’s ThinkPad Twist received similar treatment from both myself…

…and Henry.

Lenovo ThinkPad Twist

Henry also took a shine to the dual-screened Asus Taichi.

Asus Taichi

We both just laughed at Toshiba’s 21:9 offering, though.

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As we moved away from Microsoft’s stand, Henry tried to capture the atmosphere on his Surface RT.

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Soon after, we found ourselves in the Game Zone for an on-stage Grid 2 competition. Henry was lucky enough to be one of the 8 competitors hand-picked from the crowd.

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He then faced the embarassment of coming in 4th in front of the gathered crowd. See if you can spot us both by clicking the image for full resolution.

Grid 2 Stage

After this, we found some calmer places to demo the game, which is set for release at the end of May.

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The best one was undoubtedly the LG stand, which let visitors drive round the Red Bull Ring on a £19,999 84″ 4K/Ultra HD TV, shown off in the UK for the first time, coupled with a Vesaro sim racing setup that clocked in at £15,000. Stay tuned to our YouTube channel for videos from this stand later this week.

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Just next door, Samsung had a few HDTVs, a Galaxy Note 10.1 and a Perspex-encased Galaxy S4.

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On the other side of LG, Bowers & Wilkins were showing off some bizarre speakers.

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Sony, perched close to Microsoft, had a bus, which was sadly not open to the public.

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Honda’s tiny stand showcased Miimo, a robotic lawnmower that borrows technology from the company’s line of Asimo humanoid robots.

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Pioneer’s DJ equipment got Henry up and scratching merrily.

DJ Henry

3D printers were all the rage this year.

3D Printing

Parrot’s cage full of AR.Drones being demoed every 5 minutes was prime material for GIFs.

Parrot AR Drone Spin

Parrot AR Drone Fall

The most fun we had all day was at the end with Kangoo Jumps. We bounced a lot.

Xavier Bounce

Henry Bounce

Although Henry gained unnatural amounts of pleasure from making unusual GIFs of me.

Xavier Drinking

Xavier Conveyor

The opposite was also true, however.

Henry Conveyor

Henry Walking

All in all, we had a great day at The Gadget Show Live. It was jam-packed full of cutting-edge technology and definitely worth the 6 hour round trip to Birmingham. From Henry…

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…and from myself…

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…we hope to see you all there next year!

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Mac vs. PC: The Final Battle

Since PCs and Macs hit the market, the debate has raged on over which is best. Depending upon who you’re talking to, the Mac vs. PC debate is often even hotter than politics or religion. While you have many who are die hard Microsoft PC users, another group exists that are just as dedicated to Apple’s Mac. A final group exists in the undecided computer category, with either no clue what to use or a version of Linux. I’m here to sort this out, I am not going to be biased, but I will state my opinion. If you think differently, leave a comment below.

Cost

For many users, cost is key. You want to get the absolute most for your money. In years past, PCs dominated the budget friendly market, with Macs ranging anywhere from £100 to £500 more than a comparable PC. Now this price gap has lessened significantly. However, you will notice a few key features that Macs tend to lack in order to provide a lower price: memory and hard drive space

PC = 8/10
Mac = 6/10

Memory

Most PCs have anywhere from 2GB to 8GB of RAM in laptops and desktops, while Macs usually have only 1GB to 4GB. Keep in mind that this is for standard models, not custom orders

PC= 7/10
Mac = 4/10

Hard Drive Space

Macs typically have smaller hard drives than PCs. This could be because some Mac files and applications are slightly smaller than their PC counterparts. On average, you will still see price gaps of several hundred dollars between comparable Macs and PCs. For computing on a budget, PCs win.

There are a few things to take into consideration that may actually make Macs more cost effective: stability and compatibility.

PC = 7/10
Mac = 8/10

Stability

In years past, PCs were known to crash and users would get the blue screen of death, but Microsoft has made their operating systems more reliable in recent years. On the other hand, Mac hardware and software has tended to be stable and crashes occur infrequently.

PC = 6/10
Mac = 8/10

Compatibility

Unlike with a PC, a Mac can also run Windows using a tool such as Boot Camp or Parallels. If you want to have a combination Mac and PC, a Mac is your best option.

PC = 5/10
Mac = 8/10

Availability

Macs are exclusive to Apple. This means for the most part, prices and features are the same no matter where you shop. This limits Mac availability. With the numerous Apple Stores around the world, however, it’s even easier to buy Macs and Mac accessories.  Any upgrades or repairs can only be done by an authorized Apple support centre.

PCs on the other hand, are available from a wide range of retailers and manufacturers. This means more variation, a wider price range for all budgets and repairs and upgrades available at most electronics retailers and manufacturers. It also makes it easier for the home user to perform upgrades and repairs themselves as parts are easy to find.

PC = 9/10
Mac = 7/10

Software

The final Mac vs. PC comparison comes down to software. For the most part, the two are neck and neck. Microsoft has even released Microsoft Office specifically for Mac, proving Apple and Microsoft can get along. All and all, Macs are more software compatible as PCs only support Windows friendly software. Both systems support most open-source software. Software for both systems is user friendly and easy to learn.

PC = 8/10
Mac = 8/10

Conclusion

Many people say that they want to get a Mac for things like Photo Booth and GarageBand along with the rest of Apple’s software,  however this is pointless as you can get better alternatives on Windows. If you have the money for a Mac, you have the money for a high-end Windows machine too. In the end, the choice comes down to personal preference. Due to price and availability, PCs tend to be the winner, while Macs remain the choice for the more elite or anti-Microsoft computer users. As you can tell, I’m a PC and this verdict was my idea.

PC = 50
Mac =49

Deal: Grab a Dell Streak 7 for less than £100 at PC World

The Dell Streak 7 was recently discontinued and, like a certain other tablet, this action is a cue for price cuts. It has now hit the low low price of £99.97 at PC World which will get you a Tegra 2 powered slab with an 800 x 480 resolution and, while sporting Froyo out of the box, an official update to Android 3.2 ie. Honeycomb is available over the air. It is unlikely that you will ever see Ice Cream Sandwich officially on this but, at this price, you may as well give it a go. The deal is in store only so head on over to your local PC World to grab this bargain.