Week in Tech: Massive tablets, fancy watches and nuclear radiation


Can a tablet really replace your laptop? if the tablet's an Amazon Fire the answer is a firm no, but what if it's an iPad Pro or Surface Pro 4? We put the big tablets to the test this week (when we weren't busy playing Fallout 4), and we also discovered the story behind the biggest update the Xbox One has ever had. Not only that but we also discovered Tag Heuer's pricey smartwatch, and where the best deals will be when Black Friday comes next week.

Surface Pro 4: is this the perfect PC?

Lock up your laptops and throw your tablets in the trash: Microsoft has made one device to rule them all, and it's called the Surface Pro 4. Since we encountered niggles with a pre-production model we've had the chance to try the same models you'll be able to buy in the Microsoft Store, and we're pleased to report that the Pro is more "woah" than woe. As Joe Osborne explains in our Surface Pro 4 review, while battery life isn't brilliant, "Microsoft seems to have captured and applied the best definition of 'iteration' to almost every end of the Surface Pro 4, making it well worth the wait for creative professionals, students and everyday folks alike."

iPad Pro: a big deal or just a big iPhone?

Let's get to the point. Gareth Beavis says that the iPad Pro is "the biggest and best tablet Apple's ever made". The screen's great, the speakers are superb and it's a joy to use. "The iPad Pro isn't a laptop replacement in the way power users will hope. But it is, by some distance, one of the most brilliant tablets I've ever used," he says.

Amazon invents a new acronym

Amazon's new Fire tablet comes with a BFGOF deal: buy five and Amazon will give you another one for free. But would you thank them for it, or would you wonder why you'd ended up with six crap tablets? The answer is "hmmm", because while the Fire is undoubtedly cheap and great for kids, it's not for everyone. Sean Cameron explains in our Amazon Fire review: "The race to the bottom in terms of tablet prices over the last year or so means there are a number of strong Android competitors which offer both better specs and better value."

Nice Tag, shame about the price tag

Tag Heuer has unveiled the "most premium" Android Wear watch to date, and it's a whopping £1,100 (US$1,500, around AU$2,100). That isn't as expensive as the £10K-plus Apple Watch I Am A Big Stupid Rich Idiot Edition, but it's four times the average price of an Android Wear watch.

Is it worth it? Spencer Hart says that "the Tag Heuer Connected is an impressive smartwatch, but again, it should be, because it's also one of the most expensive. The watch feels solid, and impressively lightweight. You can see that years of watch making experience has gone into the design of this watch. But is it worth the extra money over any other Android Wear watch with near-identical functionality? It's a tough sell".

Xbox One gets better, goes backwards

From this week, Xbox One owners will be getting the biggest update to the console since launch: the New Xbox One Experience has a new interface, backwards compatibility with Xbox 360 games and a vastly improved home screen. As Microsoft told us, it initially thought backwards compatibility would be impossible – but it's now backwards compatible with 104 titles and that number will grow every month.

Hey, Sony! How about a reboot?

Why should Xbox gamers have all the retro fun? We've gone into gaming's graveyard and dug up the digital remains of our favourite PS1 games to see which ones deserve re-animation. Dino Crisis in VR, anybody?

Fallout 4: the verdict

Old jokes time: why shouldn't you wear Russian underpants? Because Chernobyl fallout! Ahem. Fallout 4 is here, and as Hugh Langley and Nick Pino say, it "is most definitely a Fallout game." Hugh and Nick! We could have guessed that by looking at the box!

"It's a great game that is deserving of your time, but it doesn't massively shake things up," they elaborate. "Rather, it polishes the established elements that have made this series the RPG it is – to a point – and throws in some minor new features. It tweaks and prods what made Fallout 3 and New Vegas great to create an even better game." Check out their in-depth review to see why it's likely to eat all your free time for months to come.

Hubble trouble will help us see double

And by double, we mean 100x: when the excellent but ageing Hubble Space Telescope dies, it'll be replaced by the even more excellent James Webb Space Telescope. It's been in development for 20 years and it's capable of seeing much, much more than Hubble can. As Jamie Carter discovers, that's got astrophysicists doing their happy science dance: "If you thought Hubble was good, you've seen nothing yet," he says.

Gotta get down on Friday

Fridays aren't just about kickin' in the front seat, sittin' in the back seat and having to get down to the bus stop. No, next Friday is a bit more ambitious: it's Black Friday, which is losing its traditional "people punching one another in ASDA" moment as ASDA has decided not to take part. But pretty much every other retailer in the universe is joining in, and some of the deals have already started. We're keeping an eye on the various Black Friday deals to find the best ones for you, and our ever-expanding list is already massive. If you want to bag a Black Friday bargain, there's only one place you need to go.

The TechRadar hive mind. The Megazord. The Voltron. When our powers combine, we become 'TECHRADAR STAFF'. You'll usually see this author name when the entire team has collaborated on a project or an article, whether that's a run-down ranking of our favorite Marvel films, or a round-up of all the coolest things we've collectively seen at annual tech shows like CES and MWC. We are one.