By James Rivington

Roundup: Best of TechRadar: this week's best features and hottest reviews

Everything you need to know about your next tablet

iPad Mini

All the buying advice you need

Your trusty iPad 4 might have cut it last year, but it’s 2014 now and a new wave of tablets is fast approaching, with specs and features set to blow away earlier models. More power, better screens and increasingly premium builds are just the tip of the iceberg and we’ve got all the latest details on all the most promising upcoming slates. If you’re feeling impatient though there have already been some high profile and high quality launches in the last few months, so head over to page two to see the best tablets you can currently get your hands on. …

Hands on: HTC One Mini 2 review

HTC One Mini 2

The best phone in the world now has a little brother

The HTC One Mini 2 is a beautifully designed smartphone with a reasonable feature set providing a pleasing advance on its predecessor. Altogether it creates a package which rivals the equally pocketable iPhone 5S in terms of premium appeal and raw power. If you’re looking for the best of HTC the One Mini 2 comes close, but you’ll want to plump for its fully fledged bigger brother the One M8 for the true experience. HTC One Mini 2 review

Has Sony given up on the dream of 4K OLED TVs?

Has Sony given up on the dream of 4K OLED TVs?

It’s gone the way of Crystal LED, for now…

OLED TV development remains a cash-hungry black hole so it’s not hugely surprising to hear that Sony might have turned its back on it. It makes some business sense for Sony because it’s currently doing quite well with its LCD TVs and 4K products after years of heavy losses. But for those of us praying for a new dawn in ultimate yet affordable picture quality, it would be a tragic shame. That’s because Sony was our great hope for OLED – its ideas for the technology were far more exciting than that of Samsung and LG, the only brands to make decent headway with OLED to date. Read all about it

Nintendo Wii U review

Nintendo Wii U

It’s been 18 months, so is the family console finally worth buying?

The Wii U is now over 18 months old, and as any gamer will know, a hell of a lot can happen in that time. Most significant has been the launch of the Xbox One and PS4, which officially fired the starting gun on the new-gen race. Meanwhile the Wii U has been slowly building up its arsenal of titles and attempting to lure us over to its unique style of GamePad play. Now it’s had time to settle in, we’ve gone back and taken another look at Nintendo’s latest console to see how it’s coming along, and whether 2014 is the year that will make the U an essential buy. Nintendo Wii U review

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Train as a firefighter with Oculus Rift

Oculus Rift could one day let you train as a firefighter

Virtual pole sadly not included

To help Gloucestershire’s Fire Services College prepare new recruits for service while keeping them clear of danger zones, Capita’s G2G3 unit developed a series of 14 increasingly challenging simulation exercises for the Oculus Rift. …

Hands on: Sony RX100 III review

Sony RX100 III

The best pocket camera just got better

Unlike most pocket-sized compact cameras the RX100 III has a viewfinder. That, and the high-quality sensor and processing engine combination, could make it a popular choice with enthusiast photographers. Hands on: Sony RX100 III review

Best cheap smartphones: PAYG mobiles compared

Best cheap smartphones: PAYG mobiles compared

The best budget blowers on test

With the mobile marketplace teeming with a multitude of highly priced smartphones, one might wonder whether cheap phones still have a place in the mobile infrastructure. With massive innovation in both hardware and operating systems, phones now do a lot more than just let you talk and text, with handsets like the Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One and iPhone 5S stealing headlines around the world these days. Sadly all this innovation isn’t cheap – and most of it is reserved for high-end contract handsets. So, is there such a thing as the ‘best phone on a budget’?

Tado review

Tado review

Finally, an end to fiddly thermostats and wasted energy

Tado is a smart system with a minimalist design and an intuitive user interface. It’ll save you time fiddling about with heating controls from the minute it’s set up, and it’ll save you money in the long run. We recommend it wholeheartedly, although if you have any doubts about fitting it yourself we’d advise having it professionally installed. Tado review

How phone messaging will look in the future

Google Glass

Will we wave bye bye to smartphones?

“Mr Watson, come here, I want to see you,” said Alexander Graham Bell on March 10 1876 in the first telephone call. The technology pioneered by Bell was soon making it possible for anyone to hold conversations across the world in an instant. As this technological upheaval continues, how will our inability to concentrate on one task impact the way we communicate with each other over the next 10-20 years? Read all about it

If you buy an Xbox One without Kinect you’ll regret it

If you buy an Xbox One without Kinect you'll regret it

Kinect is still it’s biggest selling point!

It’s not often a company announces a price cut for a product and gets a kicking by way of thank you. That’s what’s happened to Microsoft this week after it announced a cheaper Kinect-free Xbox One package. Heaven forbid a company listen to some feedback and give customers what they want! My own view is that it’s not a particularly big deal, I think it was inevitable (did anyone seriously think this wouldn’t happen eventually?) and I don’t think it means Microsoft has given up on Kinect. At all. …

Humax STA1200BSW soundbar review

Humax soundbar

The world’s slimmest soundbar is decent but not brilliant

We have a few grumbles with certain aspects of its design and build quality but the soundbar’s slimness is certainly a talking point and it should still look great wall-mounted. The system’s overall performance isn’t going to ‘knock your socks off’ and it can’t be considered a substitute for a proper multi-speaker set-up (a criticism that, in fairness, could be levelled at many other soundbars). However whether you’re watching TV, a movie or playing a game it’s liable to sound a definite improvement on many user’s TV speakers. Humax soundbar review

Why you still can’t pay with your smartphone to travel the tube in London

Why you still can't pay with your smartphone to travel the tube

We’ve got the tech, we’re just not using it

Using a paper ticket on public transport is so last century. With the introduction of the Oyster card, and more recently NFC-enabled bank cards, our ways of paying for travel are fast becoming contactless. But we’ve been asking the same question for years: if NFC-enabled phones can be used for payments, why are they not now commonplace for use on our contactless-ready transport network? Read all about it

Forget MPH, cars need more frames per second

Forget miles-per-hour, cars need more frames-per-second

In-car systems need more CPU power

If we’re going to have sophisticated in-car features like internet connectivity and high-def navigation, can we please have the computing power to go with it? It’s now 2014 and I’m constantly amazed by brand new cars with CPUs so slow, they can barely render the webpages, graphics and maps thrown up by built-in multimedia systems. …

Hands on: Motorola Moto E review

Motorola Moto E

A dinky dialler that’s got a lot to shout about

It appears that Motorola has done it again. It’s created a desirable smartphone with an impressively low price tag and a decent set of specs. There are a few more concessions to be had on the Moto E over the Moto G, with no front camera, no rear flash and a shockingly low amount of internal storage – but a decent screen and microSD slot go some way to make up for those shortcomings. You won’t find a better offering at this price point, and even with a few limitations the Moto E could be the perfect first-time or festival smartphone. That said, spend a bit of extra cash (£70 in the UK) and you can nab yourself the new Moto G 4G, which comes with superfast connectivity, microSD slot, 8GB of internal storage and a front facing snapper. Motorola Moto E review

Apple and Beats: it ain’t about the headphones

Apple and Beats: it ain't about the headphones

Steve wouldn’t have bought Beats. Are you sure about?

The case for the prosecution is pretty damning. The deal can’t be about the existing headphones, because as many audiophiles will tell you (often loudly, and at great length), Beats headphones aren’t very good. It can’t be to get Beats’ design smarts, because its designs are outsourced. It can’t be about the streaming service, because with around 200,000 subscribers Beats Music is hardly doing big numbers. And it can’t be about the licensing deals, because they’ll have clauses that force termination or renegotiation in the event of Beats coming under new management. So what IS it all about?

Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 review

Samsung Galaxy Camera 2

The big-screened, Android-powered compact zoom camera makes a comeback

The Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 seems to be aimed at quite a niche area of the compact camera market. For those who want something with a huge screen and Android functionality, but are willing to compromise on some aspects of image quality, this is an ideal choice. For everybody else, it’s a confusing entity. Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 review