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

Things That Should Exist: The Instant Rap Battle Machine

Things That Should Exist is a column by James Trickey. Things suggested are not always good ideas.

I know it sounds incredibly similar to the Instant Insult Machine and I can tell you now that it is indeed. I have my reasons for this, the first being that I have been running low on ideas lately, but to be honest I’ve been struggling for ideas since day one. The second being that it is another thing that should exist and so ended up here on Digixav.

I want to explain to you lot that it is an “upgrade” of the previous machine that looked like some odd tortoise thing and will look exactly the same but with a few different features. If you really want, I can throw in some accessories for it like sunglasses and a pimp hat (or anything else from that Build-A-Bear place). This means you could have a pimp beatboxer! Here is an example that I made on Paint yet again and, if you didn’t know, the purple thing sticking out of his hat is a feather, like pimps have. If you don’t get it, nevermind. We really need to get Photoshop.

The Instant Rap Battle Machine will come with a preset beat that you and your challenger or challenged can rap along to. You could enter your rap names into the machine (mine’s MC Jtrick) and as the beat drops the robot shouts “Get ready (I can’t think of a good rap name so I’ll) Eminem! Lets hear you rap in 3..2…1!” and then everyone listens to the intense rap that has been spat. This will be repeated for the other guy (someone crap so we’ll go for) “Justin Bieber!” and he will sing some song which technically won’t be allowed because it’s not a rap but we won;t go into details. And just so you know, Eminem won that one.

It will also feature a sound detector thing so if there is an enormous crowd present (which there will be) it will take the volume of the “OOOooooo….R U GONNA TAKE THAT FAM?!?!”s (as in the plural, you understand, no?) and the rap with the loudest  “OOOooooo….R U GONNA TAKE THAT FAM?!?!”s wins.

This new version won’t do the insulting for you but rather enhance your insulting enjoyment, because I know that I could do with something that makes hurting people’s feelings more fun since it’s just a bit plain at the moment.

As with the previous model, you could download different voices for the machine and different beats off iTunes or whatever. I’m sorry for having no imagination with the photos but meh.

And so with another week gone I say goodbye, but I’ve run out of stereotypical comic book noises.

POW.

Header image from spinningpixels

Things That Should Exist: The Instant Insult Machine

Things That Should Exist is a column by James Trickey. Things suggested are not always good ideas.

Firstly, shut up. This idea may sound stupid but I can completely reassure you that it is in fact 100% pointless, unneeded, antisocial and probably stupid, but, since I said it first, you can take that and shove it somewhere where I’m not looking.

Secondly, this idea may or may not already exist but I don’t care.

And thirdly, here are some fire extinguishers for your own sick amusement.

Onto the subject for today which is, as you might have guessed, an incredible device that allows you to instantly insult your best friends at merely the touch of a button. I know – awesome. As I’ve  clearly stated in the paragraph beginning with ‘secondly’, this may already exist. but this is my own take and what I want my Instasult machine to do.

I’m certain you have (so certain you wouldn’t believe, in fact) that you have accidentally got yourself into an argument that you just can’t be bothered to fight for anymore. This is where the magic happens. Because you’re so damn bored of this person, you can whip out this small (or large) box/tortoise-shaped robot and, at the press of a button, have his mum called fat for some reason.

BAYM!! He feels sad and depressed and you’ve got that smug grin on your face because after the insult the whole crowd went “OOOooooo….R U GONNA TAKE THAT FAM?!?!” and in the end he cannot come up with anything to beat it. These insults would be downloaded at your own pleasure and I’m thinking that an app would be able to send new insult to the machine via your mobile device or such like.

Also, think of the advertising potential. I won’t go into detail, but you can imagine some happy clappy man presenting a machine that AUTOMATICALLY INSULTS YOUR FRIENDS. Sorry for the caps lock, but I just wanted my point to get across one last time.

And, once again, I bid you farewell for another week as I leave to go and do something better, more constructive and that might actually give me some sort of pleasure in my life.

Insert sound from typical comic book here.

Header image from spinningpixels

April Fools: Toshiba unveils new tablets that inspire individuality

Not content with the wide range of Android tablets on the market today? Toshiba may be able to answer your prayers, with the announcement of tablets in three new form factors. The Oblong, Amore and Rhombus slates will hit the market soon, and the unveil video can be seen below.