Friday, 4 June 2010 - tech news fast! - tech news fast!

Def Jam Rapstar arriving November: embarrassing amateur rappers rejoice!

Posted: 03 Jun 2010 09:03 AM PDT

Def Jam Rapstar, the hip-hop answer to Rock Band 3 and Guitar Hero 6, has just got a confirmed UK release date. That's great new for amateur rappers but not so much for anyone who has to listen to them. The developers have revealed a clutch of new and classic tracks to be included in the Def Jam Rapstar set and revealed a feature with serious potential for hilarity – Freestyle Mode. Start scouring your rhyming dictionaries now…

As well as previously announced tracks from rappers including Slick Rick, Lil Wayne and Notorious B.I.G and Dizzee Rascal, the Def Jam Rapstar developers have revealed six more songs destined for the game.

The latest clutch of songs includes 1990s classics from Biz Markie (Just A Friend) and Salt-N-Pepa (Push It) and more recent cuts like Outkast's So Fresh, So Clean and Number 1 by Tiny Stryder feat N-Dubz which is a UK exclusive. We're not sure what we did so wrong to get lumbered with that last one.

As well as rapping over pre-existing tracks, Def Jam Rapstar will feature a Freestyle Mode with new instrumentals for players to add their own rhymes. The first two producers offering up their creations for amateur rappers to ruin are Gang Starr's DJ Premier and Jay-Z producer Just Blaze.

Def Jam Rapstar will arrive in the UK on November 6 on Xbox 360, PS3 and Nintendo. Pricing and bundle information hasn't arrived yet but we're assured it's due imminently.

Let us know: what rappers and tracks do you want to see added to Def Jam Rapstar? And kudos to anyone in the comments who can compose a rap including Electricpig in the lyrics.

Out November 5 | £TBC | Def Jam Rapstar

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Sony NEX-5 unboxed: See the photos and shape the review!

Posted: 03 Jun 2010 07:59 AM PDT

The Sony NEX-5 ultra compact interchangeable lens camera is set to go on sale shortly, so naturally, we’ve nabbed one to test out thoroughly, and break down the highs and lows versus rival Micro Four Thirds shooters. Take a peek at the tiny Sony NEX-5 coming out of its packaging here in our unboxing gallery, and tell us what you want to know for our review, coming next week!

The Sony NEX-5 is the top end camera in Sony’s new line of mirrorless cameras with a slim body but a DSLR sized sensor and switchable lenses, and we’ve now grabbed a finished version, complete with 18-55mm lens kit.

Of course, we’ve already had some extensive facetime with the Sony NEX-5 and its lenses (including the delightful pancake lens), and came away extremely impressed, not least with its astonishing low light ability. But it’s good to see that the external flash has made it into the box at no extra cost, and the build is as slim and sturdy as we remember.

Sony NEX-5 first impressions and sample video

We’ll be posting our full Sony NEX-5 review soon, but we want you to get involved. What’s piqued your interest about this little camera? Want to know if it’s a better option than the Olympus E-PL1? Tempted to upgrade from a compact camera? Whatever you want to know, we’re here to answer: just enter your thoughts below in the comments. In the meantime, tuck into our photo gallery of the Sony NEX-5 right here!

Got a burning question for our Sony NEX-5 review? Tell us what it is here in the comments and we’ll answer it next week!

Out Summer | c£660 with 18-55mm lens | Sony

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Samsung Galaxy tablet: 7in Android slate revealed

Posted: 03 Jun 2010 07:33 AM PDT

A Samsung Galaxy tablet has just burst into view. We'd heard rumours of a Samsung S-Pad on the horizon but now it's got very real with Samsung South Africa revealing the photo you can see above on Twitter. The 7in tablet is seen posing beside a Samsung Galaxy S but so far no concrete specs have been unveiled.

Close inspection of the Samsung Galaxy tablet photo shows the TouchWiz UI in evidence, a microSD card symbol lurking in the status bar and an Android-style no-signal indicator. All of that certainly suggest the Samsung Galaxy tablet will arrive running Android (possibly Android 2.2) and packing 3G.

Previous reports suggested that the Samsung S-PAd would be a 7in tablet boasting the same Super AMOLED screen tech as the Samsung Wave and Samsung Galaxy S. The fact that the Samsung Galaxy tablet seems to share its name suggests that's the case.

Samsung South Africa has confirmed that the Samsung Galaxy tablet will get a release there so with any luck it should be headed to the UK too.

Will this turn out to be an iPad rival or something to slay the Dell Streak? With a lot of love out there for the Samsung Galaxy S, let us know what you think of the Samsung Galaxy tablet at first glance.

Due TBC | £TBC | Samsung (via Slash Gear)

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Nokia C5 unboxed: photos!

Posted: 03 Jun 2010 07:08 AM PDT

The Nokia C5 looked set to be a contender for title of world’s best budget phone when it was unveiled earlier this year, and now the phone’s found its way to the UK, we’re about to find out if it’s up to the challenge. See the Nokia C5 coming out of its box right here, and tell us what you want to know for our review!

In case you missed the official unveiling a few months ago, the Nokia C5 is a slim candybar phone with a low price (€135 unlocked, about £120), but some top end smartphone features, including GPS, free Ovi Maps navigation and Symbian S60 for apps aplenty.

NokNok has now managed to get its hands on a shipping Nokia C5, and is duly impressed: build quality is sound and it zips around the menus and operating system.

That’s great news, as while we’ve not been huge fans of Symbian S60 on top end touchscreen phones, it should be more than capable of sucking down everything you need on a slim phone with a keypad – and at that price we really shouldn’t have much to complain about.

Nokia C2 official photos: first dual SIM Nokia unleashed

The Nokia C5 doesn’t ship for a few more weeks at least, but jump through the link below to see plenty more unboxing photos, then head straight back here to tell us your burning questions.

We’ll be putting up a full Nokia C5 review early next week, so jot down everything you want us to test in the comments below.

Out Q2 | €135 | Nokia (Via NokNok)

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Freeview+ HD PVR: Technika Smartbox with Sky Player hits Tesco tomorrow

Posted: 03 Jun 2010 07:04 AM PDT

A new Freeview + HD box with FetchTV with Sky Player support hits Tesco tomorrow. The Technika Smartbox, which we previously spotted as the FetchTV Smartbox 8320HD in March, gives you Freeview, Freeview HD and on-demand content from FetchTV including BBC iPlayer and Sky Player. Read on for the full specs and how much the super-telly box will set you back…

The Technika Smartbox Freeview+ HD PVR has a 320GB hard drive for stashing recorded programmes. It hooks up to your broadband via Ethernet and will grab shows from FetchTV's movie and streaming channels as well as other services including BBC iPlayer and 4OD.

Once you've hooked the Freeview+ HD PVR up to the FetchTV service you'll also be able to subscribe to Sky Player and grab paid content from channels including Sky Movies and Sky Sports. Live channel subscriptions start at a minimum of 30 days but other content on the service can be grabbed for shorter periods.

The Technika Smartbox also acts as a media streamer. It'll grab music, films and photos from your PC or other networked devices and is DNLA compliant. There's also two USB ports so it can sup files straight from thumb drives too.

The Technika Smartbox Freeview+ HD PVR hist Tesco stores and Tesco Direct tomorrow, just in time to catch Freeview HD World Cup matches. Let us know: have you upgraded to Freeview HD for the World Cup? And if you haven't does this deal look tempting?

Out tomorrow | £200 | Tesco Direct

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Teufel System 8: world’s smallest THX Ultra 2-approved speakers

Posted: 03 Jun 2010 07:03 AM PDT

The freshly-announced Teufel System 8 THX Ultra 2 speaker package is, according to its makers, the tiniest THX Ultra 2-approved 5.1-channel speaker set in the world. A bit of a mouthful – but it should provide two earfuls of lovely sonic assault.

Reportedly the fruit of several years' labour at Teufel's labs, the Teufel System 8 features the S 8000 SW subwoofer, which is just a third the size of its predecessor yet powerful enough to fill rooms of 100 square metres with low end rumble.

There are also three S 800 FCR satellite speakers (for the front and centre channels), which are 40 percent smaller than the speakers they replace, and two wall mounted S 800 D speakers for the rear channels.

The Teufel System 8 is available in three different arrangements: the £2,899 Cinema 5.1 package (the setup mentioned above); the £3,099 Concert 5.1, which uses S 800 FCRs for the two rear channels where wall mounting isn't possible; and the Cinema 7.1, which features an extra pair of S 800 FCRs and costs £3,299.

Out now | From £2,899 | Teufel

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Best iPad and DSLR camera bag

Posted: 03 Jun 2010 06:46 AM PDT

I’ve been on the hunt for a compact and swish-looking DSLR camera bag that will also stow an iPad. Turns out it’s not as easy to find one as you might think. But after a heap of obsessive research I think I’ve found the best iPad and DSLR camera bag on the planet, and it just turned up in the post this morning. It’s called the Naneu Pro Sierra N (pictured). I took a bunch of snaps so have a click through the photo gallery, and read on to find out more.

Now, there are a few camera bags out there that will hold a DSLR and an iPad, but in each case there was a compromise. Take the Domke F-803 – it’s a great looking DSLR camera bag so warrants some style points, and over at they show it has a sleeve at the back that will hold an iPad. So what’s the compromise? Well, the sleeve is open – no zipper for weather protection or to stop light fingered rogues from pilfering your iPad in the hustle and bustle of urban living. Plus, the slick wax finish version will costs around £170.

Then there’s the likes of the Lowepro Stealth D550 AW – it’ll hold an iPad, but it looks dead dull. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big Lowepro fan, but if you want something that looks the business this a little too buttoned-up-shirt for my liking. The LowePro Passport Sling looked interesting, but again it was a compromise as it didn’t have any protection for an iPad and wasn’t that compact.

So my search finally led me to the Naneu Pro Sierra N. It’s compact, lightweight, has great storage for a DSLR, plus a room for a few lenses, a notebook and a dedicated sleeve for a netbook or 12-inch laptop, making it ideal for an iPad. There’s heaps pockets and padding too, so you can feel secure knowing that it can take a knock without fear of any bruising. As well as a standard shoulder strap and handles, it also has a concealed messenger strap so you can wear it comfortably across your shoulder so it feels more like a backpack – good for hiking. Plus, the well-padded inserts can be easily removed, should you just want to throw in a compact camera and a picnic.

Plus it looks sharp. It’s part of Naneu Pro’s Military Ops range, so it’s got some smart touches like a compass, plus it’s waterproof, has waterproof zippers and I love that it’s described by Naneu Pro as being “Made of water repellent ballistic 1680D” – who cares what it means, you gotta like the sound of that. Plus, the Military Ops range is made even cooler by its mission statement that reads “Ready for action for people on the run”. Sold.

Now, getting hold of the Naneu Pro Sierra N isn’t that easy if you live in the UK, but you can get one. I bought one direct from the States from a retailer called B& and it was sent via UPS and got here within 5 days. Including international delivery (UPS World Saver – 3-5 business days) it cost £99.66 ($140.59), plus I had to pay £21.96 for taxes when it arrived, bringing it to a grand total of £121.62. Sure that’s pretty steep (but not as expensive as the Domke F-803), but it’s a great bag and I think it’s definitely worth it if you’re seriously into your photography and want to carry around your iPad in style. It’s ideal for photo journalists, bloggers and amateur snappers wanting to travel light. Highly recommended.

Click here to buy it now!

Out now | £121.62 when buying from the UK including delivery – Naneu

Read the rest of our iPad accessories round up
iPad accessories: Artist toolkit
iPad accessories: Music must haves
iPad accessories: Five of the best cases
iPad accessories: Professional briefcase extras

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DoubleTwist: Android gets iTunes-style syncing

Posted: 03 Jun 2010 06:28 AM PDT

DoubleTwist has just launched a native app for Android phones. That means you can now sync music and videos from your PC or Mac to your Android-powered mobile.

DoubleTwist is a bit like iTunes in its look and features: it's a clean, simple-looking media player app that makes it easy to transfer media, playlists and your personal song ratings from your computer to your phone.

The DoubleTwist app is available free from the Android Market "for a limited time", and will be getting other features, including a widget, in the future.

Out now | £Free | Android Market (via Engadget)

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Sonic hitting Natal in Sonic Free Riders?

Posted: 03 Jun 2010 06:05 AM PDT

Sonic looks set to spin onto Natal during the Natal E3 launch event. A Sega Natal game was teased by a senior exec back in March but now a few more details have been discharged into the rumoursphere claiming Sonic will be the first Sega character to hit Natal. Could that mean some serious running and lunging for rings?

Well-placed whispers say Sega's working on an Xbox Live Arcade game for Natal. Sonic Free Riders will be along the lines of the Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing but with a more radical motion-sensitive twist. ??Sonic Free Riders will apparently use Natal's tracking tech to let you steer by twisting and turning, pick up weapons by reaching for the screen and attack foes by gesturing towards them.

Sega North America and Europe boss, Mike Hayes, promised Sega's Natal game would be "genuinely entertaining" when he talked it up earlier this year and Sonic Free Riders sounds like it could fit the bill. Natal games are looking a little bit too much like actual exercise though.

Let us know: do you think Sonic is ripe for a Natal-based makeover? Or would you rather stay old school with the button bashing fun promised by Sonic 4?

Due TBC | £TBC | Sega (via Joystiq)

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Super Mario Galaxy 2 launch next week: meet Mr Mario!

Posted: 03 Jun 2010 05:35 AM PDT

Super Mario Galaxy 2 is out a week tomorrow, and if you happen to be in the London area you can celebrate in style – by meeting the voice behind Mario himself, Charles Martinet!

Toddle along to the midnight launch at the Oxford Street brand of Game on Thursday 10 June and you'll get the chance to meet Mr Martinet. If you do, we'd advise you to get him to say "It'sa me, Mario!". But not before posing for a photo with him – send yours to and we may even print it!

Also, if you come to the Super Mario Galaxy 2 launch dressed as everyone's favourite turtle-stomping plumber, you may be able to walk away with a pretty sweet goody bag. The first 50 attendees in Mario garb will get a bag filled with "exciting Mario treats".

Oh, and don't forget to look out for our Super Mario Galaxy 2 review: it'll be on the site tomorrow morning.

Out 10 June | £35 | Nintendo

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