Welcome to my blog - Read and enjoy

Thank you for visiting my Scooby1970 blogspot. I update whenever I can and when I have something interesting to share. You will also find published work of mine at Gaming Illustrated. Gaming Illustrated is where most of my work now takes place, but I will transfer some of my more popular articles from there over to this blog, in extended format.

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Enjoy the blogs, and relive my ups and downs in life, view some interesting reviews and just enjoy the site. If you are interested in learning something about some of my favourite music then click here it's the official Jan & Dean Site that has taken me and my friend from across the sea, June many years to keep updated.

:) Mark

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Tesco Hudl Review

Android Tablets
This Christmas (2013) has seen Android tablets outsell their Apple iPad equivalents. This is because of course not everyone can afford an Apple device, and because people are more aware of what they are now buying, and know that just because it's an Apple iPad, it doesn't mean it's the best device on the market.
Thanks to Android tablets such as the Tesco Hudl,consumers now have a choice of quality tablets at low prices. The Hudl may only be £119, but don't think for one second that it's a budget tablet, because beneath its cheap price point is a quality tablet that can run side by side with the rest of the pack.
General impressions
On opening the Hudl and turning on the machine, the Hudl updates to the latest software version (4.2.2) and swiftly kicks into action. The first thing you'll notice about it is the quality of the build. The Hudl feels like a premium device, with a rubberised back panel, and a sturdy build that feels good in the hand, with nice weight behind it, without being heavy.
And then you notice the screen, this £119 device has a screen which really is beautiful. With a resolution of 1440x900 pixels on a screen of 7 inches, it gives a pixel density of 242ppi. For those of you who don't know what that means, it means the screen looks damn lovely, and everything is crisp and sharp. The screen can be turned up very bright, and the colours are bold and lifelike.
Power and Graphics
The Hudl runs an almost pure version of Android, meaning that there are no overlays such as HTC's Sense or Samsung's TouchWiz. This means that everything is fast and fluid, and it looks as Android should. Tesco have added some widgets, but these are easily removed, and the only thing that gives it away as being a Tesco tablet is a small "[T]" in the bottom right of the screen.
The Hudl's internal power is not representative of the £119 price point, as it runs a 1.5ghz A9 quad-core processor, with 1GB of RAM and a Mali Quad-core GPU. To give you some ideas of that power, it more powerful than the 2012 Nexus 7 which was a powerful tablet, and it can run games such as the various Grand Theft Auto's, Rayman Jungle, Minecraft, Angry Birds Go, Dead Trigger 2 and N.O.V.A 3 with no problem at all. Of course, with this power, it also means that running Chrome browser, YouTube and other such applications is a breeze.
The sound quality of the tablet is pretty good too. With the volume turned up loudest, it can easily fill a room with music without distorting. The tablet sports a pair of 1 watt speakers, which while doesn't sound much, is quite adequate.
Extra Ports, bits and pieces
The Hudl once again belies it's price with the extra bits and pieces that can be found on and in it. Of course, there's the usual headphone socket for the sound, plus the standard mini-USB connection for charging and exchanging data. There is also a mini-HDMI port for attaching the Hudl to a large screen TV. Not even some of the more expensive tablets have this option and it's good to see.
For some, 16GB will not be enough, so the Hudl supports a micro-SD card slot for upgrading the memory. Having this option is something that too many tablets forget to add, and is a must for adding movies and music to your tablet. Of course, you can always stream from services such as Blinkbox and Spotify, and use your Google Drive but the option to hold data on a card is most welcome.
Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS are supported, as is WiFi (2.4GHz and 5GHz) 802.11 a/b/g/n. So there's nothing really that this tablet is missing. It's all there, it all works well and it's all for a bargain
Final Thoughts
After using an iPad for so long, and stuck with the constraints of the Apple ecosystem, using the Hudl has been a joy. Android has been ahead in customisation and general ease of use for a while, and using a tablet rather than a mobile phone really shows the power of Android.
The smaller 7 inch size of the tablet is ideal for general use, and makes it especially ideal for gaming, as you don't get cramp in your hands as much as you do with a larger iPad. For work with documents, because of the high screen resolution, once again the tablet is a joy to use.
Battery life is good, and with installing tons of apps, and playing GTA while running Fusion music player in the background, the battery lasted around 6 hours after it's initial charge. That's not bad for a game that is pushing the machine so hard, plus music playing in the background.
This tablet can be recommended to anyone, whether on a budget or not. For the price, there is no comparison between a Hudl and an iPad mini, as the Hudl is just as good, and even more customisable and user friendly than any Apple product. Compared to other Android tablets, again, with price versus quality, the Hudl is a clear winner, unless you desperately need a larger screen.

Highly recommended and a full five stars for Christmas present of the year 2013!

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Why I'm Not Excited About The New Generation Of Consoles

It’s time that you can now test-drive the new Xbox One and Playstation 4 in the gaming shops, you can pick up the controllers, play the games on the huge sixty-inch 1080p LCD screens that they have them displayed on and look at the new sheen that the extra processing power of the new consoles brings.

I’ve not picked up a shiny new console at launch yet, but have watched and played quite a few games on one of these demo-units. Playing retail versions of game, the one thought that comes to my mind is “Hmmmm, haven’t I seen this before, like… One million times!”.

The new consoles may have better specifications, but as far as new games goes, it’s just more of the same. Sure Killzone Shadow Fall looks damn sweet,as does Forza Motorsport 5 but it’s just more of the same with a slight graphical improvement over the Xbox 360 and PS3, less frame rate-issues, better colours and of course better lighting and particle effects.

But graphics do not make a better game! Yes, they give you those “wow” moments, but in all honesty, the difference between the new Xbox One and Playstation 4 graphics and PS3’s flagship The Last Of Us is miniscule.

Until these new consoles give us new experiences, and what I mean by this is jaw-dropping moments such as never been-seen before, then I’m going to hold off buying one. We need far better games, with many new IPs, we need better graphics, we need better media capabilities unlocked on the machine.

It’s early days yet, however that said, the jump from Playstation to Playstation 2 was big, from Playstation 2 to Playstation 3 was a bit smaller, and the jump up from there seems to be smaller, and indeed gone backwards a step in some areas.

So, I'm not excited at the moment, a lot of the excitement I had at the announcement of the new consoles has faded and it will take time for something special to happen  with the new consoles before I feel excited again.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Android As A Desktop Operating System

There are numerous Operating Systems for desktop use, Windows 7 & 8, Mac OS, various versions of Linux and more. Android is currently a Mobile Device Operating System competing with the likes of Apple's iOS and Window phones.
Take a closer look at Android though and you'll see that underneath its mobile device skin, there is potentially an Operating System that could be used on a Desktop PC. It already does everything a PC can, and the advent of Android gaming consoles such as the Ouya shows that Android is more than capable of being shown on larger screens.
Imagine a world where your desktop OS and mobile phone was identical... oh yes, Ubuntu have already done that! So there's no reason at all why Android 4.4 KitKat could not be used on a desktop environment.
Let's think about this. Productivity suites such as Microsoft Office, these can be done with Google's very own Documents, so that would work perfectly. Music and video players, these work perfectly in Android so again no problem on a laptop. Then there's downloading things from the internet, again, Android is more than capable with even Torrent clients being simple to use.
As a web browser, Chrome works perfectly on an Android machine, and if you're not a fan of a Google browser or product then there are plenty of alternatives. As for storage, we all know you can easily attach a USB drive to your mobile device, so again there's no problem at all and Android can cope admirably.
So, what's stopping Google releasing Android as a desktop Operating System? It's not even as if Android needs huge specifications on a machine to run. Simple answer is, I have no idea, but I believe in the coming years Google will release an Operating System. They already have Google Chrome OS which works on Chromebooks, surely with a few tweaks it would be easy enough to get a complete Android system working.
There are USB stick based mini-computers that actually run Android on your TV. These work usually with Android version 4.0 or so using very low spec chips. They are basic, but prove that it is indeed possible for this mobile OS to work on a big screen.

How many years until Google release Android as a desktop OS? Let's just hope it's in the pipeline because potentially it'll be an Operating System that anyone can just pick up and use.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Why Now Is The Time To Use Cloud Services

Way back in 2011 I wrote an article about Ubuntu One’s cloud space and the uses I had for it. At the time it was a relatively new thing, and although I was excited about the idea of the cloud and what it had in store for everyone, it’s potential was never fully reached at the time and I only used the service for a number of things. This was due in part to Ubuntu One not being as flexible as other cloud services. Today however, things have changed and cloud services are a whole new breed.

Before we let you know why using cloud services should be part of your everyday life, perhaps an explanation is needed on exactly what a cloud service such as Google Drive is. Basically, you should think of it as a storage place, similar to that of your hard-drive that is built into your PC. Your files are sent up to a server which is run by a company such as Google, where your work and files are safely stored, and can be accessed anywhere there is an internet connection.

This access to your files allows you to do various things with them, such as upload, download, edit and delete. Some services allow files and folders to be automatically synced on your PC or other device, while others allow you to drag and drop files into a dedicated folder that connects to your cloud account. It’s all very simple, and computers such as the new Google Chromebooks solely run using a cloud service. That’s how powerful the internet is, and what you can now do with it.

For many, there are a lot of options to choose from, and there may not be enough reasons to use them. Well, once you start using them, you’ll realise just how handy cloud services are and how you really can’t live without them. Here then, are the services that I use in my day to day use, and how I use them.

Google Drive
This is my main cloud service, and the service I use to do all my donkey work. Google Drive along with Google Documents is a powerful combination that allows you to store everything you need, and access it exactly when you need it.

All my writings are held on Google Drive, and although the service gives to 15GB of storage space, all files created within Google’s own applications (such as Documents, Presentations, Spreadsheets etc) do not eat into that space. So this leaves 15GB to play with for other things.

I have various .PDF files stored on Google Drive, such as manuals, timetables, menus etc. I have various Word documents which I have used in the past, plus a couple of photographs, some music and even a video file.

To access Google Drive simply click on my Google Drive Bookmark, and it takes me to where I can create or edit files. If there’s a file I have downloaded to my computer that I want to save to Google Drive, I simply drag it into the Google Drive Folder on my laptop where it is automatically saved to Google Drive.
I have my Android mobile phone tied to my Dropbox account. The account is capable of storing 50GB of data, and to make the most of this, every time I take a photograph with my mobile phone, the image is uploaded up to my Dropbox cloud account.

Dropbox can, just like Google Drive, be installed onto your PC so that there are folders which sync to the cloud. I have just stayed with Google Drive for this, and use Dropbox solely for mobile devices. When I access Dropbox from a PC, it’s via the Dropbox website. This site gives access to the files quickly and easily, and keeping two separate cloud accounts means I can manage my data with ease, knowing what’s where, and where to place things.

Amazon MP3
Something that I use now and again is Amazon MP3. This is used on my mobile devices, and means I can access all the albums I have ever bought on Amazon and stream them to my device.

Unlike the Google and Dropbox options, there is not much else you can do with this account, other than upload more of your own music to the web. It is however useful, and an option if you want to upload music to the cloud (and of course, Google has it’s own cloud service for uploading music should you ever buy music off them).

Other Cloud Services
As well as the three that have been mentioned, there are cloud services from many other companies, including Microsoft, Box, Justcloud, iCloud, Ubuntu One and the list goes on and on as other companies get in on the cloud services act.

There are options there for light users and heavy users, and prices differ drastically depending on your need. But don’t be fooled by price, as there are some great free options, including Google Drive which gives 15GB of space and is my number one recommendation for a cloud service.

Final Word
Just think about how many times you use your mobile phone or tablet these days. Think also how often you use your PC, and just how often you use the internet. Think how many times you have taken photos with your mobile phone… It’s almost guaranteed that you use your PC differently now to when it was used before the advent of ultra-powerful smart-phones and tablets.

It’s so easy to have all your files with you at all times, no matter what device you have with you. Should I wish to check out the latest .PDF booklet I have on HTML code, I can simply jump on any device I own (laptop, iPad, Samsung Galaxy S3) and open that booklet and read it. If I forget any of my devices, it doesn’t matter, because I can get the file I need from a borrowed device that has a web-browser on it! It really is that simple, and most of all that reliable.

There shall never be a time when I can’t get a file that I require because it’s there on the cloud waiting for me, and you should be the same. Whether you enjoy reading, writing, creating online art, storing photographs, it doesn’t matter because with cloud storage it’s only a click away!

If you enjoyed this article, please read through my blog. The last few updates have been particularly tech-oriented and aimed at new and old PC users alike.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Google Keyboard For Android

Google Keyboard vs Stock Android
Stock Android keyboards are good at doing their job, and most people don't realise that you can actually change them for other keyboards. There are other keyboards out there, but Google's own keyboard is an exceptional choice for those who want to type a lot of text quickly and accurately.

The Difference
Most keyboards do the job quite well, however spelling mistakes can be common and they don't always offer a variety of options. What Google Keyboard does is look good and perform to a level you simply won't be used to on your Android mobile phone.
It's key feature is the ability to swipe to type. You simply drag your fingers over the rough direction of the letters on your pad and the keyboard places that word on the screen. Without even thinking about it, it's quick and intuitive and this article was written using it on a Samsung S3 with not a single error while writing it. Swipe and type... Boom... That simple.
Even if you're a regular typist hitting each letter by letter, you'll notice the difference as this keyboard really know how to spell! I deliberately typed a few words incorrectly and without hesitation the keyboard corrected them for me. Words that are not in the dictionary such as place names or strangely spelt Christian names can be added easily to the dictionary and work perfectly once added.
Worth The Change?
Google Keyboards is free to download and use. It works better than the stock Android keyboard and genuinely saves you time. It has direct access to voice dictation and direct access to the keyboard settings.
An article like this would normally be tedious to write on a mobile phone, however it was simple to write and saved a lot of time compared to using the standard keyboard.
Swipe is accurate, type is accurate and voice input is accurate. This keyboard should be considered if you keep getting spelling errors on your current keyboard as it offers a lot considering it is a free application.
Simple To Replace
As a final word on the application, Google Keyboard is simple to install and configure. It talks you through configuration when you first run it, so as long as you follow the simple instructions it's easy.

UPDATE {November 9th 2013}
Google has updated the keyboard, the main difference is now that the streak that shows you where your fingers have been is now white instead of blue, while you can now keep your fingers sweeping and go over the space-bar to trigger new words. This works very well, and once mastered, typing becomes even faster then ever.

Also there are no emoticons that can be accessed straight from the keyboard, quickly and easily. With updates like these, Google's keyboard goes from strength to strength.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Living With A Chromebook

I’ve been obsessed with Chromebooks lately. They’re appealing to me because of their simplicity, and at the same time because they offer an intriguing new concept of computing. For those of you who do not know what a Chromebook is, it’s basically a laptop designed by Google that only has access to the internet, along with a minimal 32GB of onboard flash storage.

What this means to the average person is that this computer does not run Windows, however, for anyone who can use a web browser, it should be an intuitive experience that once you’ve tried, you realise just how effective it is. In order to replicate the experience, I have lived life in a web browser for a while now, and hunted for programs that can be used to deal with video, music and general programs which you take for granted on a fully blown Operating System such as Windows or Linux.

Ok, skip the bull… can you live with a Chromebook?
Well, the simple answer is yes! Unless you’re a dedicated gamer, or require a dedicated high-powered application  such as photoshop, then there is no reason why the average man or woman on the street cannot live with a Chromebook.

Think about how often you use your mobile phone for things now, that has replaced a lot of your PC time with you doing everything from streaming music, watching video and even answering emails! If you have a tablet such as an iPad or Android tablet, then there’s a chance your PC is gathering dust for most of you, and you probably only use it now and again.

The Chromebook can be seen as one of these devices but with a keyboard. It looks and acts like a laptop, as most of the time the majority of people only ever have a web-browser open on their machines.

So for the majority of people, a Chromebook would be an ideal computer, no need to worry about viruses or constant windows update,it just turns on in under 10 seconds and away to go!

And what does cloud computing offer?
Just as an example, here are some programs that you can use in a web browser based environment. I’ve chosen some of my favourite ones, which may not always be the best, but are easy to use and do the job perfectly well. All these can be accessed from your Google Chrome App Launcher.

  • Google Docs - Word, Excel, Powerpoint are all at your fingertips, these can be opened in Google Docs and if you don’t use them then you can just go ahead and use Documents, Spreadsheet, Presentation and more. What’s more, the documents sync to all your devices so you can start where you last finished off from any machine.
  • Google Keep - A neat little notebook that syncs with all your devices.
  • Pixlr Editor - A powerful photo editor with layers, filters and much more.
  • Pixorial Video - A video editor online! This may be simple compared to some stand-alone editors, however it does the job perfectly for the average person who just wants to edit videos quickly and easily.
  • Sumo Paint - Think Microsoft Paint or Paint.Net and you can’t go far wrong. This drawing/art program is powerful and even features layers. You can save your creations as you would on a normal paint program.

The above is just a brief list, but it goes to shows how versatile a browser is these days, and just how anyone can live without a powerful PC. The future is cloud computing no matter what we may think today, so why not embrace it and give these programs a try out (all can be found on Google Extensions).

Thursday, 10 October 2013

The Demise Of The PC

The humble Personal Computer is selling less year-by-year. Figures out this week show a 9% decrease in sales of PCs, and this is in no small part to the abundance of Android Tablets, iPads and Mobile Phones.

Only a few years ago, the thought of living without a PC would have been unbearable for many. However, with the modern power of Tablets and Mobile Phones, less and less people feel compelled to upgrade their PCs when they finally stop working.

Looking at the situation, there really is nothing much you you can’t do now even with a humble mobile phone. And as most people only ever use a PC for browsing the internet, for some, there really is no need for a PC.

Internet use is perfectly acceptable on a tablet or mobile phone, downloading music and movies is just as easy on a tablet and phone, games (although of a different caliber) are widely played on mobile devices, even printing out paperwork such as maps and school-work can be done on any wireless printer with solutions such as Google’s Print Cloud.

For many who crave a “real” keyboard to do minimal office work, there are many bluetooth keyboards available which will turn your tablet into a pretty smart and powerful computer. Simply pair the keyboard with the tablet and you have a PC! Coupled with the powerful Google ecosystem for example (with it’s Google Drive Cloud computing capabilities and Google Documents), this is a powerful set-up that should not be underestimated.

It is predicted that PC sales will continue to fall, and of course as long as people have just one laptop or PC in their house for emergency use, the general public will continue to cuddle up on the sofa and play on their iPads and Android tablets. There’s something about a tablet that is just more comfortable to use than a laptop or PC. It’s an altogether more personal experience, and one which the general population seem to be enjoying.

PC’s are all well and good in work, but the once humble tablet and mobile phone have become mini-computers in their own right. There is nothing that can’t be done on a PC now that you can’t achieve on a mobile device. As an example of this, both Windows and Ubuntu have the same operating systems on their PCs as they do on their computers. What’s more, Ubuntu’s mobile phones can be plugged into a docking system and be used exactly the same as their PC counterparts with the full Ubuntu Operating System being in use on the mobile phone!

My advice, just keep your old laptop or PC as backup for the times you may need to dedicate some time to these ancient devices, and get to grips with your Tablets and Mobile Phones. There’s so much you can do with them, there really is no need for a PC!

Monday, 7 October 2013

My Google Life

Google is taking over our lives, and while some people are horrified at that thought, some of us have really embraced the whole eco-system. If a company puts together a suite of products that genuinely help you in your day to day life, then let’s make the most of it and enjoy the benefits that they offer. What’s more, Google’s products are free, so integration into your everyday life costs you nothing at all.

So, programs do I use and how are they integrated into everyday use? The list is quite long, and hopefully will give you some ideas of things you can use to keep your day to day life running smoothly.

Google Calendar
There are many calendar applications and programs around these days, however Google Calendar is available for your PC and Tablet or Phone and works a treat. I input a date I need to remember on my Samsung S3, and it syncs with my PC and iPad, so that when I go on those devices, I don’t forget anything.

The god thing is, no matter what device is used, they all sync perfectly. You can set up alarms and reminders which will let you know when you are close to the time, and you can schedule slots of times so that your life is fully organised.

I find Google Calendar a God-send and even though I do not push the program to it’s limits, it works perfectly well and I wouldn’t be without it.

Google Keep
Another useful Google program is Google Keep. It’s, at it’s most basic, a notepad where you can jot notes down at times when you need to remember things. It really is simple to use on phone, tablet and PC, and again whichever platform you use, it will sync to all platforms so that you never miss a thing.

There are useful things that you can do with Google Keep, such as set up reminders and add images, plus change the colours of the notes to highlight important ones. It’s a simple program, but one of the most useful programs you can use.

Google Docs & Google Drive
This article was written in Google’s Documents program (essentially a basic and useable version of Microsoft’s Word) , plus it offers Spreadsheets (just like Excel), Presentations (similar to Power Point) , Forms (allows you to design and send questionnaires), Drawings (a simple but powerful art program) plus it will integrate other programs such as Pixlr Express.

The beauty of Google Docs is that everything is saved on Google’s cloud service, Google Drive. So you can access your work anywhere there’s an internet connection and anywhere you have some hardware to access that connection.

The beauty of Google Docs and Google Drive cannot be underestimated, it offers a truly powerful suite of productivity programs as mentioned above, plus 15GB of web-storage that everything gets instantly backed up onto (though Google Docs themselves do not take up any of that storage). And when I say instantly, I mean just that. If you’re writing an article and your computer dies on you, then next time you go to your Google Drive, the article will be there at exactly the point that you left it. Amazing, and important!

You can upload anything you want to your Google Drive, from music and video, to photos and anything else in-between. All can be accessed from your PC or Tablet/Phone at any time, so it really does become part of your everyday life.

Google Mail
Everyone has a mail client they use, however Gmail has to be one of the best these days. What's more it organises your mail into the order that you decide it to be organised (ie Primary, Social,Updates and Forums etc) which means you can get the important mail you need while ignoring the not so important stuff.

Google Mail lets you store almost infinite emails and attachments and of course you can use Google to collect your email from other email address’ that you may have, so everything can be accessed from one place.

Google Sound Search
Just as Shazam and SoundHound have programs that listen to songs from your mobile device and discover them to tell you what they are, Google has Sound Search which works just as well and is very simple to use. This time this is a mobile only device, but one which should be on everyone’s phones.

Google Chrome
Last but not least is Google Chrome, Google’s internet browser. To give you some perspective of how good Google Chrome is, I was an ardent Mozilla Firefox fan for many years before trying Chrome. I tried it and fell in love with it instantly.  It’s fast, slick and has everything from your Google world integrated into it.

Google Chrome is synced across all your devices, so your favourites will be where you expect them to be, and available on your phone, tablet and PC. Yes, other browsers can do this, but Google Chrome seems to do it seamlessly, so much so you don’t even know it’s doing it.

Google offers more services, such as Blogger and YouTube which I also use, and of course YouTube is used by everyone on this Earth, so thats how big Google is. There are also other services that Google Offer, and as time goes by, there’s no doubt they I will be using them more. At the moment though, knowing that whatever I do on my phone will be shared with my other devices, and vice-versa makes life so much easier. In fact, if I wanted to I can share any of my Calendar reminders, or documents with one simple click to other users, thats how flexible the whole system is.

Don’t dismiss Google, because it has a lot it has a lot to offer, and of course it’s all free!

Friday, 15 February 2013

Revo Axis radio review

The Revo Axis FM/DAB/Internet Radio, with ability to stream Last.FM and local music content over the network, plus the ability to play you iPod and connect another device  is only 125mm (H) x 220mm (W) x 150mm (D) in size. The small size makes it an ideal bed-side radio, but the big sound makes it ideal to place anywhere in your household.

The reason I wanted a new radio was because I was obsessed with the TuneIn radio application found on mobile phones and tablets. As I've always been a bit of a radio geek, it was important that my new radio had the ability to play the stations I wanted to hear, plus have superior sound quality. Thankfully, after a lot of research, I picked up this award winning radio, and thankfully it's an amazing piece of kit.


The Revo Axis is about the same size as a mains operated portable radio/alarm clock. It's a graphite black colour and is made of super-smooth plastic. As can be seen in the picture, the radio is aesthetically very pleasing; with the left of the radio being the speaker encased in a graphite black mesh, a volume knob near the centre and the main display the right.

 The main display on the Revo Axis is a 3.5 inch colour TFT touch-screen display. At first start-up the display if very bright, in-fact bright enough to light up a room! The display shows the main menu, station features or station ID photos depending on which mode and which station you are tuned in to.

At the top of the device is an input which you can sit your iPod onto. The Revo comes with a few attachments for the various iPods/iPhones that are available out there, and once the right one is selected, the iPod fits nicely on top of the radio.


The touch screen is the main hub of the radio, and lets you control everything from it. Unlike modern phones, it is only single point touch responsive, but that’s not a problem as there really is no need to touch more than one point at a time.

Depending on the mode you are in will depend what you have shown onscreen in front of you. Thankfully, the software in the Revo Axis is very intuitive and without a second thought you’ll be moving around the menus swiftly, and finding what you need to do at just a couple of touches.

The volume is controlled by the knob at the centre of the radio, and the only thing missing from the radio is a display that shows how loud the volume is. There are no numbers, no graph, nothing. It’s an odd omission but one which you won’t even realise is missing once you start using the radio.

Stations are chosen by simply pressing on their names, and favourites are added etc in exactly the same way. The touch display is responsive, but you do need to actually press the display as opposed to just glancing over it as you do on modern mobile phones.


This is a radio that does everything. The first thing I wanted it for was internet radio, and there are just short of 18,000 radio stations available to stream on this radio. They are grouped in a way that makes them very easy to search for, or you can search by name if you know what they are called. If you want to search for blues stations, you can do this, if you want to search for stations in the USA, you can do this, there are so many options, and it is quite unbelievable. You can add unlimited favourites, and folders of favourites, so you’ll never get stuck on where to look for the stations you’ve added.

The Revo Axis connects to the Frontier Radio Portal, and you can access this on your PC. Simply type in the code that your radio gives you while you are on the Frontier radio website, and set up an account and you can manage all your stations easily from the comfort of your armchair. I’d never used anything like this before, and when you realise how much is available and how easy it is to manage, you really will be one happy little radio listener.

The DAB radio section initially scans to find all the DAB stations in your area. It seems to be very responsive, and picked up everything that I expected it to very quickly and easily. Even on the weaker multiplexes, the quality of the DAB stations was very impressive. Just like the internet radio, it is easy to add favourites and manage the stations you listen to.

There is an FM radio also with RDS, and just like the DAB radio it is all very responsive and gives excellent results. Favourites are easily added and moved, and station names were displayed as they should be, with no missing character’s etc that can occur with a system struggling for signal.

The radio offers Last.FM compatibility for those with an account, plus you can stream music from your PC and connect an iPod and via the line-in you can also connect any device with a 3.5mm headphone jack. So many options on such a small radio, but they all work seamlessly and perfectly.

Sound Quality

With everything this radio offers, it would be let down if it didn’t have good sound quality. The radio boasts a single speaker with NXT Balanced Radiator technology, pumping out 8 Watts of sound. It has a bass-cone at the back of the speaker to help with the bass sound.

On playing any form of music, the sound is remarkable for such a small device. The bass notes are thumping, the mid and high are well produced and the radio gives out an award winning rich sound that belies it small size. In the menu section you can alter the bass and treble, however initial settings it comes with sound perfect and really do not need to be changed.

Internet radio stations sound stunning on this machine, as do DAB and FM. For anyone not used to listening to internet radio on decent speakers, it really is an eye-opener as every station I have tested has sounded amazing.


The Revo Axis if bought from the products maker is expensive, however shop around and you’ll find it with at least 30% off the RRP. Given it’s size, it sounds brilliant and has enough features to keep even the most ardent radio fan happy.

There is a sleep timer for those who like listening to the radio while falling asleep, plus there is the ability to set two alarms. You can wake up to DAB, Internet Radio or FM and the device is easy to setup.

The display shows a clock when not in use, although you can turn the display off if you need to. The controls work well, and a dedicated remote can be bought for as little as £10.

This is a brilliant radio, and well worth every penny.