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Gioteck: DF-1 DuelFuel Ammo Box Review.

The Gioteck DF-1 DuelFuel Ammo Box for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 takes charging your controllers to a whole new level! Packaged within a full metal jacket casing, the DF-1 DuelFuel Ammo Box eliminates the clutter and wires that surround your Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 whilst charging your battery packs. While most plug and charge kits can only accommodate one controller at a time the DF-1 DuelFuel Ammo Box can accommodate two. Additionally, the charge kit is powered by A/C power, which means you can plug it into any main power source and achieve a much faster charging time than conventional USB charge kits.

Another upside to the DF-1 DuelFuel Ammo Box is its authentic military design, which is appealing to the eye and easy to store either next to your console or within a suitable storage area; however, I suggest leaving it out in full view as it truly compliments your console space.

When it comes to charging, the DF-1 Duel Ammo Box features external charge indicators that will allow you to keep track of the current charge status of your controllers. Additionally the charge kit for the Xbox 360 comes standard with two contact charging battery packs, which is perfect for gamers who need their controllers at peak performance all the time.

The Conclusion:
Gioteck definitely has a wide variety of products that compliment gaming in a really unique, stylish and visually appealing fashion. While the DF-1 DuelFuel Ammo Box is definitely a great piece of kit to look at, it is also a great alternative to the stock standard plug and charge kits on the market at the moment.

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Free Comic Book Day 2012 met with resounding success

Not everyone knows this but I have always been fascinated by comic books, graphic novels and the different characters that are featured therein. I haven’t read many since I was much younger and have never really found a good place to purchase them. Well, that and someone stole the small collection that I did have when I was younger. I never found out who that was. Anyway, I was recently informed about a place called Readers Den Comic Shop and it seems that they would be hosting an event called Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) on the 5th of May. I was in disbelief but I decided to head down to a centre in Claremont, Cape Town called Stadium on Main to check it out.

I arrived at the venue to find that Free Comic Day was no small event; it was more of a festival. I arrived at around 08:45, thinking that I could still get in line before most of the people. I couldn’t have been more wrong. When I arrived, there were more than 100 people already waiting. Hell, it might have even been 200.

Shortly after getting into line, owner and manager of Readers Den, Nizar Abrahams hopped onto the microphone and welcomed all the comic book fans to Free Comic Book Day. According to Abrahams, FCBD is an international event in which over 2 million comic books are given away for free and that his shop was handling the Cape Town part of the event. After this welcome by Abrahams, everyone was allowed to purchase discounted comic books, graphic novels, posters and even some figurines. It was like someone told the attendees that free iPhones were being given away. Yes, it was that hectic.

People had also formed a queue in order to get into the actual store. After making my way into that queue, it took nearly an hour to get into the store. However, when I did, I felt like I had walked into a little piece of heaven. Everything had been marked down for the event and the first 50 people also received goodie bags provided that they spent at least R100 inside the store. Unfortunately, I was not one of those 50 people.

In addition to the well known comic books, there were also a few local artists launching their own comic books at the event. Mutabor Sculptures were also present, showing off some of their fine work. Glenn Alexander from 2upGamers attended FCBD in order to let the attendees play one the best comic book games on the current generation of consoles, Batman: Arkham City.

There were also many cosplayers that attended the event. People dressed up as characters from films, comic books, manga and anime. I wouldn’t be able to name them all but I’m pretty sure that I saw Batman, Spider-Man, Superman, The Spirit, a Sith Lord, Black Widow, Loki, the Red Hood, Wonder Woman, Supergirl and Harley Quinn. I just loved how everyone’s costume looked so damn good. I’d really like to try my hand at cosplay sometime. Also, their efforts didn’t go unnoticed, the people with the best costumes walked away with some nice prizes.

All in all, I felt that the event was a huge success and really enjoyed myself. It’s a pity that it only happens once a year. Either way, I feel that I’ll be able to start my comic book collection from scratch now that I know about Readers Den. I only had 2 regrets; firstly, I should’ve gone much earlier and secondly, I just wish that I had more money to spend.

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Look & Listen Diablo III midnight launch a rocking success

Look & Listen, situated in Fourways Johannesburg, held one hell of an epic Diablo III launch party! Upon arrival to the midnight launch, gamers were treated to some rather tasty snacks, coldrinks and a phenomenal evening of entertainment. The event kicked off at around 21:15pm and gamers attended in the masses. Among the attendees was the team from Megarom Interactive, official distributor of Diablo III in South Africa.

Apart from the main highlight of the release of Diablo III, the team at Look & Listen entertained gamers with stylish fire dancers. The fire dancers thrilled the crowd with intense, theatrical movements using various tools of the fire dancing trade, which included the world renowned Poi – A pair of roughly arm-length chains with handles attached to one end and bundled with wicking material on the other, and Staffs – A rod of wood or metal, with wicking material applied to one or both ends.

If fire dancers were not enough, the crowd was also treated to an exuberant performance by local South African metal band, Agro. Agro enticed the crowd with a powerful performance that really set the mood for the launch of one the most anticipated games of 2012. Cliff Crabb, lead singer of Agro, also hyped up the fans at the Diablo III launch with some fantastic giveaways, which included Diablo III merchandise and other awesome goodies.

Formed in Johannesburg, South Africa in the early 1990’s, Agro have been the forerunners of Heavy Metal on the African continent for many years and continue striving to enlighten all in their path, preaching the true ethics of real metal! To be honest, Agro’s music can be best described as powerful, heavy, fast, intriguing and ultimately symphonic. The band truly knows how to entertain a crowd and many attendees to the Diablo III midnight launch were rocking the night away in style… Cosplay style!

While I have attended many midnight launches in the past, the team at Look & Listen really blew my mind! Here is hoping to attend many more launches like this in future.

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Operation: Ghost Recon Future Soldier launch event

PRIMARY MISSION OBJECTIVE: INFILTRATE MILITARY STRONGHOLD LOCATED AT CAFE CULTURE IN FOURWAYS JHB. FURTHERMORE, GATHER INTEL ON FUTURISTIC SPEC MILITARY TECHNOLOGY AND RENDEZVOUS AT LZ DESIGNATED ALPHA CHARLIE FOR EXTRACTION.

SECONDARY MISSION OBJECTIVE: CONFISCATE MILITARY HARDWARE, LOCATED AT THE CAFE CULTURE, FOR FURTHER ASSESSMENT AT ITF HQ.

MISSION REPORT: THE ITF SQUAD DESIGNATED ROMEO FIVE ARRIVED AT THE DMZ AT APPROX. 1930 HRS AND PROCEEDED STEALTHILY TO THE DESIGNATED TARGET BUILDING. UPON APPROACHING THE BUILDING, ROMEO LEADER PROCEEDED TO BREACH THE FACILITY USING A WELL PLACED BREACHING CHARGE. ROMEO LEADER THEN ORDERED THE SQUAD MATES, DESIGNATED ROMEO CHARLIE AND ROMEO ZULU, TO ENTER THE COMPOUND AND ASSESS THE ACTIVITY INSIDE.

THE SQUAD FOUND INSIDE A GATHERING OF AGENTS BEING ADDRESSED BY A MAN IDENTIFIED AS GENERAL DEVON STANTON OF THE MILITARY SOFTWARE DIVISION CALLED MEGAROM. HE WAS ACCOMPANIED BY THE NEFARIOUS LEADER OF THE LOCAL TERRORIST CELL ONLY IDENTIFIED BY THE DESIGNATION JHBGAMERS, A MAN ONLY REFERRED TO BY THE CODE – NOODLEZA, ALTHOUGH SOME SOURCES HAVE ALLUDED TO HIM ACTUALLY BEING A CERTAIN JARROD LANE, WHO IS WANTED IN SEVERAL COUNTRIES FOR THE CRIMES OF WEAPONS SMUGGLING, EVENT CO-ORDINATION, RALLYING TROOPS FOR INTEL OPS, AND THROWING ORDINANCE INTO UNREACHABLE PLACES.

WITH OUR INCREDIBLY STEALTHY CAMOUFLAGE, WE BLENDED IN PERFECTLY WITH OUR SURROUNDINGS AS WE PROCEEDED TO ASSESS THE BRIEFING THAT THE AGENTS WERE RECEIVING VIA THE OVERHEAD PROJECTOR AND INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN BY GENERAL STANTON.

WE LEARNED THAT THE MILITARY TECHNOLOGY IN DEVELOPMENT BY MILITARY MANUFACTURER, DESIGNATED UBISOFT, FAR SURPASSED OUR OWN. SOME OF THE TECHNOLOGY HIGHLIGHTED IN THE BRIEFING INCLUDED SENSORY GRENADES, WHICH WHEN THROWN INTO AN OTHERWISE UNVIEWABLE AREA WILL REVEAL THE ENEMY LOCATION, EVEN THROUGH SOLID OBJECTS, AND THE SOLDIER MAY THEN FIRE THROUGH THESE SOLID OBJECTS TO ELIMINATE THE ENEMY. HOWEVER, THIS IS ONLY TRUE WHEN IT COMES TO CERTAIN SOLID OBJECTS AS WELL AS THE DENSITY OF SAID SOLID OBJECT.

WE ALSO LEARNED OF PRECISE MILITARY TACTICS EMPLOYED BY THESE SO-CALLED “GHOSTS”, WHICH WE CAN ONLY REVEAL AS A DIVISION OF THE ENEMY’S FORCES. THESE GHOSTS ARE APPARENTLY SO ADEPT IN THEIR SKILLS AND TACTICS THAT THEY ARE ABLE TO ELIMINATE SEVERAL ENEMIES WITHIN THE SPACE OF A FEW SECONDS.

ANOTHER PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY HIGHLIGHTED IN THE BRIEFING WAS THE CAMOUFLAGE TECHNOLOGY EMPLOYED BY THE GHOSTS. WE SUDDENLY FELT VERY INADEQUATE IN OUR CAMOUFLAGE AND GILLY SUITS, AS THE CAMOUFLAGE TECHNOLOGY ILLUSTRATED IN THE DEMONSTRATION LITERALLY RENDERED THE GHOSTS INVISIBLE TO THE HUMAN EYE.

GENERAL STANTON ALSO DEMONSTRATED THE PROFICIENCY IN MILITARY TECHNOLOGY, SIMPLY REFERRED TO AS “KINECT“, WHICH WE SUSPECT MIGHT BE CODE FOR SOME SORT OF NEW VIRTUAL TRAINING TECHNOLOGY TO INCREASE THE EDGE OF THEIR SOLDIERS IN THE FIELD. SOMETHING CALLED GUNSMITH, MILITARY SOFTWARE TO AID SOLDIERS ON THE SHOOTING RANGE, WAS DEMONSTRATED ON THIS KINECT DEVICE AND SHOWED NOT ONLY THE ACTUAL SHOOTING OF TARGETS, BUT ALSO THE ASSEMBLY AND DISASSEMBLY OF WEAPONS, WHICH WAS FURTHER ENHANCED UPON, BY THE ABILITY TO CUSTOMISE YOUR WEAPONS PIECE BY PIECE.

AT THIS POINT NOODLEZA, USING SOME SORT OF STEALTH DETECTION TECHNOLOGY, MANAGED TO CAPTURE ROMEO LEADER AND ROMEO CHARLIE AND HAD THEM BROUGHT TO HIS HQ OVERLOOKING THE MASSES. THERE THEY WERE QUESTIONED, BUT SURPRISINGLY NOT HARMED. INSTEAD, THEY WERE GIVEN MILITARY CODES WHICH COULD BE USED TO DOWNLOAD SOME OF THIS FUTURE TECHNOLOGY FOR THEMSELVES.

ROMEO LEADER AND ROMEO CHARLIE WERE THEN RELEASED AND GENERAL STANTON THEN PROCEEDED WITH THE BRIEFING BY SHOWING THE AGENTS A PREVIEW OF YET MORE TECHNOLOGY, WHICH IS TO BE MADE AVAILABLE AT AN UNANNOUNCED TIME.

WHEN THIS WAS OVER THE AGENTS IN ATTENDANCE ALONG WITH ROMEO FIVE WERE THEN ALLOWED TO EXPERIENCE THIS NEW MILITARY TECHNOLOGY FOR THEMSELVES AND FOUND IT TO BE QUITE A STEP FORWARD IN THE ENDLESS MILITARY RACE. THERE WERE MULTIPLE VIRTUAL TRAINING CONSOLES AVAILABLE FOR THE AGENTS TO PERUSE THROUGHOUT THE FACILITY. ROMEO LEADER EVEN TRIED OUT THE KINECT SIMULATOR WITH THE GUNSMITH TRAINING MODULE.

WE MET WITH SEVERAL OF THE AGENTS AND COLLABORATORS WITHIN THE JHBGAMERS AND MEGAROM CELL AND CONSUMED SOME OF THE RATIONS AND DRINKS PROVIDED, AFTER WHICH WE WERE THEN GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO YET AGAIN GAIN MORE MILITARY TECHNOLOGY AS PROVIDED BY MEGAROM.

SEVERAL ITEMS WERE DISTRIBUTED AMONGST THE AGENTS AND ROMEO LEADER MANAGED TO GET HIS HANDS ON SOME OF THE MORE IMPORTANT TECHNOLOGY WHICH WILL BE BROUGHT BACK TO HQ FOR FURTHER ASSESSMENT.

WE DO NOT KNOW WHAT JHBGAMERS OR MEGAROMS MOTIVES ARE, BUT I THINK UPON FURTHER ASSESSMENT OF THE INTEL AND TECHNOLOGY GAINED AT THIS TOP SECRET CONFERENCE, WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO ASCERTAIN WHAT THEIR PLANS ARE SO WE CAN MOVE ON TO PHASE TWO OF OUR MISSION.

WE HAVE INCLUDED SEVERAL SURVEILLANCE SHOTS WHICH WERE TAKEN DURING THE MISSION FOR YOUR PERUSAL.

***END OF TRANSMISSION***

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2upGamers 6th Gen: Shaky Start with a Strong Finish

It was once again the first Friday of the month and that means another 2upGamers event. It took place on the 1st of June 2012; this time at Peninsula Cricket Academy. It meant a longer drive for me but I was excited nonetheless.

I arrived at the venue just before the scheduled starting time of 18:30 and thought that the event may have started. I got upstairs and then realised that I was wrong. Things were still being set up and didn’t look close to being done.

There was quite a delay but after a while, Hylton Arendse got things underway by welcoming the gamers to this new venue and letting us all know what was on the agenda for the evening. It turns out that Glenn was in Johannesburg busy with another event not relating to the 6th Gen.

First up were the guys from LG, who brought along one of their new products. This came in the form of a 3D TV, which was capable of enabling players to play a split-screen game but still allows the players to see the full image across the screen. This is done by overlapping the images and giving the players different sets of glasses in order to see the images separately. I had only heard of this kind of technology before; seeing it in action was an absolutely brilliant experience.

Next on the microphone was Philipp Schmid from Friends of Design with guests from Blankets for Africa. Schmid showed off a game entitled “Run Vlokkie Run” in which players control a sheep and have to dodge different obstacles in order to get its wool shaven off to produce blankets. There are different power-ups throughout the levels which will make the sheep move faster or even bypass obstacles. He also mentioned that the game will be available to play on PC, Mac and Real Player.

Nick Holden from Clan Connection then took the stage and told everyone what they’re all about; their main goal is to develop competitive gaming in South Africa to a point where we can compete on an international level. Their site isn’t ready yet but be sure to keep an eye on www.clanconnection.co.za. Holden then called up MWEB’s Desmond Kurz to tell everyone about the upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (MW3) tournament that MWEB, Apex Interactive and Clan Connection will be holding called the King of Console Tournament. It will start off as a Free-For-All tournament in order to determine the top 16 players on both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The 16 on each platform will then fight it out until they are narrowed down to the top 4 players. The top 4 players on each console will then do battle as a team to decide the victor. The best part is that anyone can enter and stand a chance to win prizes worth over R25 000. How awesome is that?

Nintendo South Africa’s Communications Manager, Mandy Meredith was up next. She told everyone in attendance about some of the upcoming games from Nintendo. Project Zero, Kingdom Hearts 3D and Luigi’s Mansion are just a few of the titles that were mentioned. Meredith was rather excited about a game entitled Spirit Camera: Cursed Memoir and then proceeded to show us a rather chilling trailer for the game. She also informed us about the DS Lite’s comeback as it is now retailing for only R999. Also, she didn’t come empty handed; Meredith came prepared with mugs, a Mario hoodie, copies of Mario Tennis and Pandora’s Tower and Resident Evil holographic covers. Can I get a 3DS over here? Anyone? No? Okay.

Last but not least was Wikus from Ozone South Africa, who mentioned that their Ozone Energy Drink would be launching very, very soon. He also introduced something called the ‘Ozone Circle’, which will become a regular feature at future 2upGamers events. The Ozone Circle will be home to exhibition matches that will take place on different platforms and with different games. Wikus also announced that the PlayStation 3 clan known as F34R would be the next clan to be sponsored by Ozone. Congratulations go out to the guys from F34R!

By the time that all the speakers had finished saying their piece, the pizza had arrived and everyone was free to go play games, socialise and chow down. The clans High 5 and F34R went head to head in a series of MW3 matches but not before the power tripped and shut off their consoles. After the technical hiccup, the matches continued and had many attendees focused on the action.

Despite a shaky and delayed start to the proceedings, the event was great. Everyone had a really good time and to me, that makes a successful event. Despite the problematic acoustics at the venue the occasional heckler in the audience, I felt Hylton Arendse did a great job of driving the evening into the right direction. In the end, people left with a smile on their face; including the 3 journalists who were last to leave at around 01:30, about half an hour after the venue’s doors had been closed. Ah, good times. See you at the next event!

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Heroic mutants and devious demons: Megarom at rAge 2011

The Megarom stand was probably one of the places that I spent most of my time at rAge this year. What excited me the most was 2k’s The Darkness II. It was similar to the first game in the comic-based series, except this time it featured quad-wielding, meaning that you can wield four weapons simultaneously. The protagonist Jackie Estacado can now use two guns and two demon arms at once. The player also has more control over summoned minions and the graphics have been given more of a comic feel through the introduction of the cell shaded graphics. Even at this early stage in production (this was not even a Beta version yet) the game looks and plays flawlessly, making for an enjoyable experience.

Additionally, Megarom showcased a preview of Assassin’s Creed: Revelations that was almost hidden away in a booth, like a contract killer in the shadows. Dark Souls was also on show and is anticipated as one of the hardest games to be released in the near future. The demo definitely lives up to being difficult as I could not even get past the first opponent the first few times I attempted to.

Aside from this, I played the latest Marvel title, X-men: Destiny, which predominantly appears to be a third-person beat-em-up, action title. X-men: Destiny allows the player to alter the destiny of his/her character by creating unique mutants as he/she plays throughout the game. I also tried my hand at the latest Final Fantasy, however I am out of practice and I didn’t get very far in the demo. One thing I did notice was the new Final Fantasy has opened up and will be staying true to the original concept, by offering players a non-linear experience… unlike the previous title.

Megarom also hosted a preview of Tomb Raider. The demonstration went a little further than the footage seen at E3 earlier this year. It showed that Lara can visit locations that are seen far off in the horizon, completely reinventing the franchise as a sandbox title. The Hitman preview also looked promising, although I couldn’t help thinking that it wasn’t bringing anything new to the table, unlike the Darkness II.

The Megarom stand and events definitely stood out amongst the others, but what else can you expect from one of the top leaders in video game distribution in South Africa?

Due to certain restrictions, ITF Gaming respected Megaroms restriction on photosensitive products.

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rAge 2012: ITF Arrival

As the sun rose over the hustle and bustle of Jo’burg, the ITF Team prepared to charge into rAge! The preparations were complete, Darryl’s ominous surveying of the state of affairs in general, Brady did his two thousand and first sit-up, Jonathan awkwardly hugged his last victim and I did my last odd job. rAge Expo 2012 was at hand. We assembled, ITF Gaming T-Shirt and Press Pass clad, and all squeezed into Darryl’s car. As we screamed towards the Coca-Cola Dome, Brady was astounded, as his last memory of the Dome was 2 years ago where he remembers only grassland and trees.

Entering the event, we all put on our most patriotic poses and charged into the chaos which is rAge. Jonathan charged in, immediately charging through barriers and awkwardly hugging Silent Hill’s Pyramid Head and I did my best to rock out with Mario and Luigi, while Darryl and Brady retained their civility and respectability.

ITF Gaming will be covering rAge 2012 this entire weekend; If you see us, feel free to say hi! We will have several spot prizes on offer periodically and we will all be in ITF Gaming T-Shirts. Expect to see coverage of various stalls and presentations popping up throughout today and the rest of the weekend, and feel free to give us your feedback.

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rAge 2012: Forza Horizon Hands-On

Forza Horizon is the latest title in the Forza series of racing titles, and was playable at this year’s Microsoft Xbox 360 stand at rAge 2012. Roaring into life is how I would describe my initial experience with the Forza Horizon playable demo, the vehicles sprinted down the road with extreme pace and the distinctive growls of their engines echoed through the provided Tritton Headsets. The visuals shown were fantastic, vivid and the landscapes flew past me as the motion blur kicked in, not to mention the car models, which looked absolutely sublime. At my last viewing, there were nine consoles running Forza Horizon, so if you’re an Xbox 360 owner, a fan of the Forza series or both, I would highly recommend giving Forza Horizon a try.

Playing Forza Horizon may have also netted a few players a prize over the weekend of rAge 2012, as there was a competition hosted on the stand. By posting your Forza Horizon experience and entering online at the actual stand, you stand in line to win a ride in a Ferrari F360 driven by South African racer, Jaki Schekter around Zwartkops International raceway. This drive will most likely reach speeds of up to 260 km/h, which will test the Italian sports car’s sophisticated braking system to the fullest extent. The winner will also receive a Wireless Racing Wheel and Forza Horizon, while the two runners up will both receive a copy of the game.

Thankfully, the Forza part of the Xbox stand was open until Sunday, the final day of rAge 2012. Good luck to those who entered!

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Nokia N8 Review

The world of smartphones has become a largely populated one with various makes and models being made available to the everyday consumer, tech junkie and business professional, the only problem is finding the right phone that suits the user. So, let’s find out if the Nokia N8 is a phone that truly shines when it comes to the smartphone world or deserves a good old dropkick into the trashcan.

Design:
The Nokia N8 certainly looks better than other devices on the market. The housing is visually appealing and has a great feel to it. Another nice addition to this phone is the array of aluminium colours it comes in: dark grey, silver white, green, blue and orange, so if you are a business professional, tech junkie or a punk rock princess the Nokia N8 has got you covered.

The N8′s 113.5 x 59 x 12mm dimensions and 135g weight make it light and small enough to carry around on a day to day basis, without feeling like you are carrying a cinder block in your pocket.

Although the N8 is a stunner in the visual department, its only downfall on design is the fact that you may need to seek professional help when trying to remove and replace the battery. The upside to this is the fact that if you do drop the phone you wont find yourself having to look for a scattered battery and back cover.

Unlocking and locking the device with the slider was fairly simply and straight forward. The slider is located on the right hand side of the casing, but to be honest, it would of been better to place the slider on the top of the phone, as it tends to activate when removing it from ones pocket or phone cover.

Display and touch screen:
The Nokia N8’s 3.5 inch widescreen (640 x 360 pixels) looks great while browsing through the phones menu’s, pictures as well as websites. I had no issues viewing videos and pictures on this device and it offers a crystal clear experience.

One thing that annoys the living life out of me with most touch screen phones these days is the fact that the touch screen is unresponsive and often frustrates me to the point of wanting to throw the device against a wall. Surprisingly this is not the case with the Nokia N8. The touch screen on the N8 is actually a pleasure to use; sliding your finger across this devices screen is responsive although the menu’s don’t entirely move with your finger but tend to move in a bulky fashion.

The Nokia N8 features a crisp clean visual experience. One thing I would like to note is while browsing websites that are very heavy on data usage the device does tend to slow down a fair bit, although this is not entirely an issue at all.

Sound:
Call quality on the Nokia N8 is superb and no issues were noted with the device. Audio playback on this device is actually not too bad; although it’s not the loudest device on the market it certainly is clear. The headset provided with the device also offers clear sound and is definitely a useful addition.

Camera:
The Nokia N8 features a 12 Megapixel and in my point of view its one of the best cameras I have come in across on a device so far. The photo quality is sharp and detailed and the auto exposure and white balance controls actually work. Images look natural and colours stand out. The device also features a Xenon flash that does a brilliant job of lighting low light shots as well as night shots.

The video capabilities on this device are pretty much on the same standard as other HD-capable devices. This was ok and to be honest nothing truly excited me about the video quality on this device. The only bonus feature is the fact that the device allows for HD output that can be played on any HD compatible display at 720p.

User experience:
The user experience on the Nokia N8 is fantastic and features an easy to use user interface. Getting used to this device took me around about a day. The Nokia N8 runs the Symbian^3 OS which is often a hassle to use and seems rather outdated, although I wish Nokia would move on to Android or something more powerful, this would greatly improve the user experience.

The Battery life on the Nokia N8 is not too bad for day to day use, although you might need to charge it once every second day. I found this decent due to the fact that most other mobile phones on the market only tend to last around 8 hours of the day.

The Verdict:
The Nokia N8 is a great phone to look at it has a slick, stylish look to it and comes in an array on colours that would suit any individual out there. The device is not heavy and its dimensions and weight don’t feel like you are carrying a cinder block in your pocket. The device features an accurate touch screen that is a pleasure to use although menu movement does seem bulky and a visual display that is crisp and clean.

The call quality on the Nokia N8 is superb, although it does seem to lack very high volume while playing music or watching videos, the upside is the sound is at least clear.

The camera is one of the best camera’s I have had the pleasure to use on a mobile device and packs a powerful Xenon flash that lights up even the darkest moments. The video experience on the device is standard and offers nothing too exciting except for the fact that all HD videos can be played via a HD compatible device.

The user experience is fantastic and the device is easy to use. I just really wish Nokia would move on from Symbian.

The battery life on the device is decent and you won’t find yourself drastically needing to find a charger on a day to day basis.

Full specs:
System: WCDMA 850/900/1700/1900/2100 and
GSM/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900

OS: Symbian^3

Form Factor: Touch screen monoblock

Dimensions: 113.5 x 59.12 x 12.9 mm (L x W x H)

Weight: 135g

Display: 3.5 inch widescreen (640 x 360 pixels)
capacitive touch

Battery: 1200mAh BL-4D

Media Storage/Memory: 16GB mass memory + micro SD card
slot, 135MB internal memory, support
up to 32GB memory cards. RAM256

ROM512

Video Playback: Video recording, Performance: encoding
25fps, decoding 30fps, File Formats:
H.264, MPEG-4, VC-1, H.263, Real Video
10, ON2 VP6, Flash video

Music Playback: FM radio, FM transmitter, MP3 player,
Supported codecs: MP3,AAC,eAAC,
eAAC+,WMA,AMR-WB, DRM support, DRM:
OMA DRM 2.0

Main Camera:
• Lens: Carl Zeiss optics
• Image capture: 12 megapixels
• Video capture: HD 720p
• Aperture: F2.8
• Focal length: 5.4
• Flash: Xenon flash

Connectivity:
• Nokia Adapter Cable for HDMI CA-156
• WLAN IEEE802.11 b/g/n
• BT3.0 with support for stereo

headsets
• Positioning with GPS, A-GPS, WLAN
and Cell-ID
• Micro-USB 2.0 high speed for file
transfers and charging
• USB On-the-Go
•Nokia AV connector 3.5 mm for audio
input/output and TV out
• HSDPA Cat9, maximum speed up to 10.2 Mbps, HSUPA Cat5 2.0 Mbps
Available colors:
•Dark Grey •Silver White •Green •Blue •Orange
Nokia N8 Highlights:
HD quality imaging and cinematic sound
•Shoot and edit photos and video with supreme clarity of a 12 MP camera with Carl Zeiss optics
•Dolby Digital Plus Surround Sound and HDMI connection to a home entertainment system

Personalization capabilities for a truly individual experience
•Personal touches come to life on three fully customizable home screens
•Instant access to Ovi Store’s apps, games and other cool content
•Web TV delivers local and global TV favorites right to the home screen
A seamless and fully integrated social network experience
•Get live updates from Facebook, Twitter, and RenRen pushed right to your home screen, with feeds visible at a single glance
•Connect from anywhere on your phone—your home screen, contacts, or map
•Enrich your social network experience with content from your phone including pictures, location and more

Free navigation, forever
•Free worldwide satellite car and walk navigation from Ovi Maps in over 70 countries
•Built in premium guides from Lonely Planet and Via Michelin for tips on travel, restaurants, weather, and hotels

Operating times:
•Talk time (GSM/WCDMA) –12/5 h 50min
•Standby (GSM/WCDMA) –390/400 h
•Video record –3 h 20 min
•Music playback –50 h
•Video playback –7 h
•Video playback with HDMI –6 h
•Web TV –3 h 20 min

Nokia Original Accessories:
•Nokia Stereo Headset WH-701 (in box)
•Nokia Bluetooth Stereo Headset BH-905
•Nokia Bluetooth Headset BH-608
•Nokia Extra Battery DC-11
•Nokia Bluetooth Stereo Headset BH-214
•Nokia Bluetooth Stereo Headset BH-505
•Nokia Mini Speaker MD-9
Planned Market Introduction:
• Q3 2010

Category:
• NSeries, Smartphones

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ASUS G Series G53SW Review

Welcome to the world of 3D gaming with the ASUS G Series G53SW 3D laptop. This powerhouse laptop sports a quad-core Core i7 processor, Nvidia GeForce GTX460M, full HD/LED display, 8GB Ram and 2X 500 GB Hard drives.

Design:
The matte black stealth aircraft design of the G53SW is superb, due to the fact that minimal cleaning is needed and it simply just looks wicked. I have spent a lot of time using laptops with a glossy finish and these are a pain to clean to keep them looking in tip-top shape. The entire casing and design of the G53SW is sleek and feels great to handle and the rear vents keep it running cool and provide noise dampening.Once the lid has been opened you are presented with a matte black keyboard and a 15’ 6 inch HD/LED display. The keyboard lights up, which is an added bonus while gaming in 3D as you will be able to see each individual key. The short-cut keys are a great addition to the design and are positioned on the upper left near the screen; these are used to turn the lighting effects on or off, switch through battery modes and turn the 3D effects on and off.The G53SW is not the lightest machine to carry around, although it does beat hauling around a massive display and tower to attend LANs or other events.
Keyboard:
Typing on the G53SW is a breeze for those of you that will use it for word processing, sending emails and other things that involve words and numbers. The only downfall is the size of the keys that are used for gaming; these seem to lack the larger design that other gaming laptops feature. Although this is not a major downfall, ASUS really should have considered larger keys.The touchpad has a great feel to it and is about as accurate as you would expect from a high end laptop. It also features pinch to zoom and the left and right mouse pad buttons are a pleasure to use.Display:
The G53SW pushes visuals to the limit with full 1920 x 1080 HD capabilities. Clean crisp colours is what you expect to get from a laptop designed for gaming and to be honest, this is exactly what you get. Movies and games look insane on the G53SW HD/LED display and the 3D capabilities are astounding.I had the pleasure of testing Call of Duty Black Ops on the G53SW and the end result was around 8 hours my life disappearing while playing in 3D. This was due to the fact that I just couldn’t pull myself away from the fantastic 3D visuals.The G53SW utilises NVIDIA GTX 460M with 1.5GB GDDR5. This graphics processor offers native DirectX11 for a huge graphics gain in high definition gaming and video capabilities.The G53SW  features 3DTV Play from NVIDIA, which projects the high definition graphics of this laptop onto any compatible 3DTV via HDMI 1.4. This includes 3D video, games and photos, making this laptop a massive entertainment system for home theatre use.

Sound:The G53SW presents crisp, clear sound quality and clear audio. Positioning the speaker’s right above the keyboard is rather clever and something that most laptop manufacturers should consider in future designs (thumbs up to ASUS).Gaming on the G53SW sounds fantastic and brings most games to life. Black Ops was great to listen to and I found myself wanting the pump up the volume every time something exploded. The best part of the sound is it is not over powering in the sense that it distorts, instead sound is crisp and clear and that’s what is truly needed while gaming or viewing Blu-ray Discs.Temperature:
While reviewing the G53SW I decided to see if this monster heats up over time and the results were pretty impressive, it runs fairly cool and doesn’t tend to reach the higher levels of heat I have experienced using other laptops.

Conclusion:
The ASUS G Series G53SW 3D laptop is a monster in its own right; it features a quad-core Core i7 processor, Nvidia GeForce GTX460M graphics, full HD display, 8GB Ram and 2x 500 GB Hard drives.The matte black stealth aircraft design is great and it gives the laptop a visually appealing look. The keyboard was a pleasure to use although larger keys would be welcomed.The display, sound and 3D capabilities on the G53SW were phenomenal to use and in addition offer a crisp, clear audio and visual experience. The G53SW runs fairly cool and is whisper quiet.Overall the G53SW 3D laptop is fantastic to use in everyday life as well as a monster when it comes to gaming. The only downside was the fact that it is quite heavy although this does beat hauling around a desktop PC to LANs and other events.

Instead of ending the review off with my rating, we took the ASUS, G53SW 3D laptop to the Ground Zero LAN hosted at the Klipriviersberg Recreational Centre in Kibler Park and gave PC gamers the chance to test it out, and here is what they had to say:

Travis Lima: “Really enjoyed playing on the laptop, it is definitely the future of gaming….. Um ITF Gaming do you think you can borrow it to me for the remainder of the weekend PLZZZZZZZ!!”

Carl Du Plessis: “The 3D laptop was pretty awesome! =) I wouldn’t mind getting one, but I think after a few hours, the glasses could give problems with my eyes. I would still use it for hours on end though…”

Mohammed Ebrahim Bhamjee: “The laptop was absolutely amazing! Playing a game with the 3D glasses brought the game a new level and that was so amazing! I would definitely want to buy the laptop.”

Mike De Wet: “It was awesomely awesome”

Andrew Lima: “The ASUS G-series is a really kick ass laptop. I must say was a real excitement to test it out at out LAN! Thanks to ITF GAMING!Ricardo Tavares: “The 3D on the laptop is freaken sick!!”