I played with the Xperia Z for the first time at CES and I loved it from the second I laid hands on it. You won't find a bigger fan of the Samsung Galaxy Note than me, but I'd swap my Note for a Z in a second… if it wasn't for that enormous price tag.
Still though, it's a very exciting handset and its good news for everyone that Sony has joined the likes of Apple, Samsung and HTC at the truly premium end of the smartphone market. Taking a bath with a waterproof phone never sounded so good!
To that end, our Sony Xperia Z review has gone up this week, along with a number of other interesting products… not least the GTX Titan graphics card which delivers simply stunning – STUNNING – benchmark results from a single GPU.
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So here we go – check out this week's hottest reviews…
The Sony Xperia Z is the first next-gen smartphone of the year and it's a brilliant device. Sony is making a triumphant comeback in many areas at the moment, but mobile is an area it's focussing on more than any other. With blistering fast performance, market-leading features and some unique talents - including the ability to go underwater without drowning – it's a definite candidate for phone of the year. The only real problem is the price – it costs even more than the iPhone and significantly more than the next-best Android offering, the Samsung Galaxy S3. Sony knows it can always lower the price, but putting it up is more tricky – so it's giving itself plenty of room to find the perfect price point. Should you buy it? If you're happy to spend the money, absolutely.
The GTX Titan is the world's fastest single-GPU graphics card and is likely to stay that way for some time. It packs the same full-fat Kepler core as used by the 18,688 Tesla K20 cards inside Cray Titan – the world's most powerful supercomputer. In our benchmarks it came close to beating two next-best-thing GeForce GTX 680 cards in SLI and you'd hope it would be that power full too, given the retail price is north of £800. SO it's the graphics card to buy if price is ni object, then. But for general PC gamers, this is not a card that will have much relevance when you can get far better price-to-performance balance from the likes of the GTX 670.
The HTC One is the firm's new attempt at a market-leading handset, and with an all-aluminium body, super-high-res 4.7-inch HD screen and futuristic camera technology, it could be something of a winner. HTC has brought even better design and improved things even further by innovating on things like user experience and camera functionality - in a world of smartphone patent litigation, this is a breath of fresh air. In short, we're really glad to see HTC is still putting its weight behind a top-end smartphone; confusing name aside, the HTC One shows a lot of promise and could well see the firm pulling back into the black in 2013.
It's a Chromebook, which means it only runs Chrome OS. And Chrome OS is just the Google Chrome browser with a couple of extra features. So is it hot... or not? Well we're still hesitant to recommend anyone buy one of these things but this is certainly the best Chromebook yet. It's sparkly and pretty and high res and lovely. But it's still a Chromebook...
And this week's other reviews...