This week's hottest reviews on TechRadar

This week's hottest reviews on TechRadar

It's only 8 days until Christmas! What do you mean you've not started your Christmas shopping yet?

OK so it's a little more than 8 days until Christmas. But let this serve as a kick up the behind to get your creative juices flowing - it's been a great year for tech, and there are lots of cool gadgets out there for you to either give... or ask for!

Here's the best of all the new gear we've looked at this week, starting with the new GoPro!

GoPro HERO3 Black Edition review

Compared to the competition, such as the £100 cheaper Sony HDR-AS15, which already has Wi-Fi built in for live streaming, identical frame rates at 1080p and 720p plus a stereo microphone and speaker compared to the GoPro's mono and no speaker; and the £160 cheaper Drift HD which has a built in colour screen and more buttons for menu navigation, is the GoPro worth the extra money?

Yes. Especially if you're a professional videographer, because of the wide range of resolutions and frame rates it offers. And yes again, if you want a small, light camera that is capable across a wide range of environmental conditions. It's an amazing and robust camera that can go all the places you can, and some places you can't. Better, faster, and now with higher-end video modes more suited to the pro market, it's a serious little piece of kit.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

When Amazon introduced the Kindle into the virtually nonexistent ebook reader landscape five years ago, it changed the way many of us view and consume literature. Several years on, and minor issues aside, Amazon's Kindle Paperwhite is more aces than not. It has the same primary advantage of every Kindle and Amazon device: the largest selection of digital reading material anywhere. That alone puts the Paperwhite among the best devices of its kind.

With a wonderful physical design, a legitimately impressive screen, an operating system that gets out of the way, and the largest selection of digital reading material anywhere, the Amazon Paperwhite is the best pure ebook reader currently available. It might not let you to visit Facebook, send Tweets, watch YouTube, or download the latest Kanye West album, but it displays ebooks, and in the absolute best manner possible. If that's all you're looking for, you can't go wrong with the Paperwhite.

Olympus XZ-2 review

Although handling the XZ-2 isn't as straightforward as Canon's Powershots or as intuitive as Nikon's Coolpix range, it does offer a plethora of shooting choice to cater for all levels of shooter; with manual and semi-manual controls for advanced enthusiasts, a dedicated auto mode (iAuto) and scene selector for novices, plus an art palette for keen creatives. Thanks to the lens, it's an absolute must for low-light enthusiasts as it catalogues impressively crisp captures, even at lower ISOs, helped by the camera's image stabilisation technology that cements details even when shot at noticeably slow shutter speeds, and when executed hand-held.

Olympus OXZ

Overall the price tag is a little steep, considering that some low-end to mid-range DSLRs and CSCs can cost a lot less, but for those seeking an all-encompassing compact camera with a solid lens performance the Olympus Stylus XZ-2 has to be one of the best currently on the market.

Hands on: Samsung Galaxy S3 mini review

While we're all for the idea of cutting down the smartphone experience to make the cost a little bit more palatable, the Galaxy S3 mini is still too expensive to be considered an ideal choice if you don't want the heft of its larger brother. Be it the lack of auto-brightness, the slightly less sharp screen or the fact it takes a normal-sized SIM (which will annoy those that have made the jump to microSIM already and want to move onto this budget option) there's definitely a feeling that £300 for a phone of this quality is a little high.

Scrub off £50 and we can see a Christmas hit on the cards - although given the branding afforded to it, there's a strong chance that will happen anyway - and we like to see consumers getting a fair deal, especially around the holiday season.

Other reviews on TechRadar this week:

Audio systems

Logitech UE Boombox review

Sonoro Troy review

AV accessories

Dr Who Sonic Screwdriver Universal Remote review


Canon EOS M review

Hands on: Nikon D5200 review

CCTV cameras

Stem IZON Video Monitor 2.0 review


Deepcool Ice Matrix review

NoFan CR-95C review

Scythe Mugen 3 Rev. B review

Scythe Katana 4 review

Thermolab Trinity review

Zalman CNPS14X review


Raspberry Pi 512MB review

Digital TV recorders

Humax Freesat+ HDR-1000S review

Sky+ HD 2TB review

ebook readers

Nook Simple Touch GlowLight review

Kobo Glo review

In Car Gadgets

Handpresso Auto E.S.E. review


Asus VivoBook S200 review

Samsung Series 3 Chromebook review

PC Specialist Optimus IV review

Scan 3XS Graphite LG5 review

Toshiba Satellite P855-32G review

Lenovo IdeaPad S300 review


Kingston HyperX Predator 8GB 2,600MHz review


Thermaltake Level 10M review

Mobile phone accessories

Altigen iFusion AP300 SmartStation review

Jabra Solemate review

Mobile phones

ZTE Kis review

Hands on: HTC Droid DNA review

Hands on: Google Nexus 4 review

Samsung Array review

Google Nexus 4 review

Windows Phone 8 review


AOC i2757Fm review


Sapphire Pure Platinum A85XT review


Intel Core i3-3225 review

AMD FX-8350 review


Hands on: Nokia Here review


Hands on: Google Nexus 10 review

Apple iPad mini review

New iPad 4 review

Microsoft Surface review

Kobo Mini review


Toshiba 42VL963 review

Philips 55PFL6007T review

Panasonic TX-P42X50B review

James Rivington

James was part of the TechRadar editorial team for eight years up until 2015 and now works in a senior position for TR's parent company Future. An experienced Content Director with a demonstrated history of working in the media production industry. Skilled in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), E-commerce Optimization, Journalism, Digital Marketing, and Social Media. James can do it all.