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V3's technology review highlights of 2012

21 Dec 2012

This year has been a memorable one for major product releases, but it wasn't just the big brands and the exciting gadgets that have caught the eye of the V3 team during 2012.

Here at V3, we try to give our readers an evaluation of as many key business IT products as possible, and during this year that amounted to more than 150 full reviews, which averages out at about three reviews published for every week of the year.

And while almost every product is a worthy solution to a particular problem, not all of them stand out from the crowd. Sometimes even those released from the big names in the IT industry don't make for a particularly good read.

Here, the V3 team has selected products that, for one reason or another, turned out to be the most notable or interesting reviews resulting from the crop of 2012 releases, in no particular order.

Apple iPad Mini

Apple iPad Mini tablet with FaceTime and A5 processor

Back in 2010, Apple founder Steve Jobs declared that Apple wouldn't make a 7in tablet. And here it is.

Preceded by the usual hype and rumour, Apple introduced its iPad Mini in October and soon saw brisk sales in the firm's London stores.

However, V3's review pointed to the device's low-screen resolution compared with the full-size iPad, and a less powerful processor, and took issue with the relatively high price of the device compared to rival tablets.

Nevertheless, our reviewer conceded that the new model has its good points, concluding that, "The iPad Mini is a great device, featuring good build quality, brilliant software and surprisingly good battery life. The only drawback is that, as is the case for all Apple products, you pay a premium for the brand."

Apple also launched a new version of its full-size iPad this year, as well as the latest iPhone 5 model of its popular smartphone.


Nokia Lumia 920

Nokia Lumia 920 hands on Windows Phone 8

Nokia had to pull something out of the bag in order to draw buyers away from the magnetic pull of Apple's iPad, and it seems to have excelled itself with the Lumia 920.

As one of the first handsets to run Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 platform, the Lumia won praise from our reviewer for its performance, an impressive 4.5in display, and its 8.7MP Pureview camera with Carl Zeiss optics.

Proving a hit was the Nokia City Lens app, which offers users an augmented reality view through the device's camera, overlaid with information about whatever is in view, such as shops, restaurants and places of interest.

On the down side, the Lumia 920 is fairly large and heavy, but this didn't stop it picking up five stars and being judged our top smartphone of 2012.


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Daniel Robinson

Daniel Robinson is technology editor at V3, and has been working as a technology journalist for over two decades. Dan has served on a number of publications including PC Direct and enterprise news publication IT Week. Areas of coverage include desktops, laptops, smartphones, enterprise mobility, storage, networks, servers, microprocessors, virtualisation and cloud computing.

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