The Astell & Kern A&norma SR25 music player confirms that there are music gods and they have blessed us with sensory overload.
As the borders open up and holidays are being booked, it’s also a great time to think about home security. There are loads of products on the market now from an array of manufacturers which we have reviewed here and here. D-Link recently released what I think is one of the best ‘connected cameras’ on the market. The D-Link All-Weather Full HD WiFi Camera.
I’m sure you have heard the expression, “…you don’t know what you don’t know.”. Well, it turns out I don’t know an awful lot about coffee and coffee machines, as I learnt during my few weeks with the Jura Z8 coffee machine.
Two seriously luxurious and highly capable Toyotas go head to head. Think you know people movers? Think again...
Jaguar Land Rover in partnership with noise cancellation technology specialist Silentium, and high-end in-car audio systems provider Meridian, have developed an in-car noise cancelling system that they say can reduce driver fatigue on longer journeys.
Our ability to carry around hours and hours of fast back-up power for our devices is as important as it is easy with the Belkin Power Bank 10K.
Wear OS by Google is the beating heart of the Hublot Big Bang e and its this combination of high-precision engineering and bullet-proof software that makes the Big Bang e an everyday smartwatch if you're looking for a blend of rugged good looks and powerful connectivity.
Wonderfully small and incredibly light, the Buds Q are extremely well built and have an astonishing amount of the latest tech built into them.
As digital media and content design have become more mainstream thanks to platforms such as Canva and Sketch, so does the need for high-resolution, high-function displays. The BenQ 4K UHD display certainly lives up to the company’s corporate vision: “Bringing Enjoyment-N-Quality to Life” to users of its products.
The soundbar market is a pretty saturated one. Tap the soundbar section of your favourite electronics retailer’s website and you will see dozens of options. All-in-one units. Wireless units. 5-Channel Surround units. Dolby Atmos this. DTS that. Sometimes all you really need is sound that’s better than you get from a smart speaker or smaller portable speakers.
We recently tested the moto e6s smartphone from Motorola and we were very impressed with the performance and capabilities of a sub $200 device. This week we have moved up a notch in the range to the moto g8. Sitting between the moto e range and the Motorola one family, the g8 is packed with all the features you want in a sturdy and durable every-day device.
Laptops are the modern equivalent to the ‘Hot Hatch’ cars from the 1990s. Most are pretty dismal, but there are a few that hit the sweet spot perfectly. The new Razer Blade Stealth 13 is one of the good ones – a perfect blend of size and strength for everyday use and powerful gaming on-the-go. The ‘Ultrabook’ as Razer calls it.
There’s a common thought in business that the most successful companies are those that are open and willing to partner with other companies to achieve sustainable growth – especially during tough times. In the last decade, Toyota has partnered with Subaru on the GT86 / BRZ and more recently they have partnered with BMW on the Z4 / Supra. In both cases, the outcomes were exceptional for Toyota.
It’s very rare that the world’s most recognisable brands update their visual persona or values. Rolls-Royce – has just released an update to its visual identity that is aligned to perfectly to its founder, Sir Henry Royce’s, famous words, “Take the Best that Exists and Make it Better“.
The Motorola moto e family shows that the size of the sticker price of a smartphone is in no way related to its hardware and software features. Ever since Google sold Motorola to Lenovo in 2014, the engineers have been working away on a range of devices that provide a robust and elegant form-factor matched to the 9th Generation of Google’s Android operating system. The moto e6s is a new entrant for Motorola in the Australian market. With an RRP of $179 this is one of the best value...
The Ring doorbell completely redefined home security and peace of mind when it was launched in 2012. Founder Jamie Siminoff’s wife described it as “Caller-ID for your front door.”. Originally branded as ‘Doorbot’, Ring grabbed hold of a market that was more than ripe for enhancement. So too did NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal who took an equity stake in 2016. Amazon subsequently bought the company for $1.2-$1.8B in February 2018.
I have written of my fondness for Kia’s vehicles on more than one occasion here at SonnyDickson.com, so my expectations were pretty high when I slid behind the wheel of the 2020 Kia Stinger GT Carbon Edition. The Carbon Edition is a limited run model sitting at the top of the Stinger range next to the Night Sky Edition. Think of the Carbon Edition as more sporty and spirited and the Night Sky Edition as luxurious, soft and supple – but still very much a Stinger.
One of the upsides of COVD-19 and the lockdowns is that leisure activities like bike riding and golf are flourishing. With a renewed vigour for golf and joining one of the local courses, we’ve taken a keen interest in the vast array of golf equipment that is now available at your local pro-shop. The team at Callaway Australia were good enough recently to send us a couple of sleeves of their new Chrome Soft Golf Balls to try out. Retailing at approximately $70 per dozen, the 2020 Chrome Soft...
Not since I spent many a Summer’s day in the back of my neighbour’s baby blue 244 DL commuting to and from the beach, have I looked forward to spending time in a Volvo estate car. My love affair with the Volvo XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered is well documented, so the opportunity to get behind the wheel of another of Sweden’s automotive gems was very easy to say yes to.
The ARCHIMEDE watch brand is a relative new-comer to the market – only launching in 2003. The Ickler family that designs and produces these timepieces has been manufacturing watchcases for almost a century. The first ARCHIMEDE watch was modelled on the classic Pilot design with extremely easy to read dials and numerals and was very popular from launch. Following the launch of the Pilot, there have been a succession of other families of watches under the ARCHIMEDE brand – Klassik, DeckWatch, SportTaucher and OutDoor. All made with the same...
I have often marvelled at car companies like Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen who at the peak of their product offerings had ranges that spanned hundreds of thousands of dollars and addressed every market segment from micro to mega-luxury. Even today, Mercedes-Benz has a range that starts with the A180 and goes all the way up to the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. Back in 2007 Hyundai launched a large saloon called the Genesis and marketed it as a ‘modern rear-wheel-drive sports sedan’ which it certainly was. Then in 2015 Hyundai split the Genesis...
Depending on where you grew up and whether your upbringing was urban or rural, it’s highly likely that you know what a Hilux is. Like Google or Atari or Qantas or GoPro, Hilux is a combination of letters that lacks any ambiguity. From movies such as Back to The Future to iconic TV shows such as Top Gear, the Hilux has been worshipped for its iconic looks and immense toughness. The latest and greatest version – the Rugged X – is a monument to the 52-year-old legacy that is...
I’m more used to reviewing cars but when I really think about it – it’s the engineering of a motor vehicle that really appeals to me. It’s the same with the Dyson V11 Outsize cordless vacuum that we’ve been using in the house during the COVID-19 Lockdown. It is an extremely thorough vacuum cleaner with some very clever technology baked in.
My plan is to approach this review in the same fashion that I write my car reviews. There are plenty of people out there that can talk about RAM and CPU and Inter CORE i7 processors. I’m nerdy, but not that nerdy. What I really want you to know is what this Lenovo Thinkbook 15 is like to live with. As such I’ve written this review on the very unit that Lenovo were good enough to lend me.
The Renault brand has been around for 120 years since being founded by three brothers in 1899. In that time, the company has diversified like many European car-makers into everything from tractors to trucks to EVs to world championship-winning Formula 1 engines.
There is a sweet-spot in almost everything we do. That point at which the delicate balance between needs and wants, night and day, fast and slow, or small and large is just right. For me, this was the lasting impression with the Mitsubishi ASX Exceed.
Very few companies today have a 115 year heritage that has remained steadfast in its principles and values. It’s this heritage that keeps Oris at the forefront of watchmaking having “survived two world wars, crisis in the Swiss watch industry and the birth of the connected age.” An incredible story indeed. Scores of watches now make up the Oris collection – all manufactured at the company’s headquarters in Hölstein, Switzerland. We’ve been wearing a couple of timepieces from the Big Crown Pointer Date collection.
When (as legend has it) a Gippsland farmer’s wife wrote to Ford Australia suggesting that they consider building a car that could “take them to church on Sundays and the pigs to market on Mondays” I doubt that the farmer or his wife would have pictured the pick-up / light truck market that we have today. Well beyond what we would call the humble “ute” is now a category that contains vehicles that have six figure prices and an array of features and options that boggles the mind. For...
Growing up, my Dad worked for a company specialising in agriculture. We spent many hours of our school holidays cris-crossing Western NSW visiting cousins and friends whilst Dad went about his business. His company cars back then were always Fords. First a couple of Falcons, then a Fairmont, before a few Fairmont Ghias, then Fairlanes as he ascended the corporate ladder.
Within a couple of hours I was out of a Nissan Leaf and into the Hyundai IONIQ Premium. Back to back from one all-electric 5 door hatch-back into another. The perfect comparative environment. My initial thinking was that these two EVs would be on the whole pretty much the same. They are both EVs, yes – however, the similarities for better and worse end there.
I’ve always loved the 5-door hatch-back. Back in my youth, the Honda Civic was a favourite. My own car today is a Volkswagen Golf. A great combination of useable space, thrifty economics in terms of running costs, and occasionally a great drive when the moment and environment is right. As a result I was very much looking forward to my first proper experience in an all-electric car that was also a 5-door hatch. And so my week with the Nissan Leaf began.
It was quite literally a dark and stormy night recently when we attended an evening of “Arts-n-Crafts” with the team from BWS. The event was held in the bowels of the old Readers Digest building in Surry Hills which is now home to Woolworths subsidiary Endeavour Drinks Group which covers brands like Dan Murphy’s, BWS, and Cellarmasters to name a few.
I’m writing this review the very week that Holden is farewelling Australia after 164 years of operation. From the very comfortable driver’s seat of the Kia Sorento GT-Line, I’m sorry to say that I am completely convinced that Holden’s demise was avoidable.
I have to admit, I was perplexed in the lead-up to driving this week’s car and writing this review. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Exceed was the second PHEV vehicle I had driven in two weeks. Déjà vu was kicking in hard as I hopped into the very comfortable front seats of the Outlander. “Remain objective…” I kept telling myself.
There are no two ways about it, the EV (Electric Vehicle) has arrived and is here to stay. The PHEV (Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle) takes the concept of a ‘battery powered car’ to another level of practicality today. Amongst a number of manufacturers in the market right now, I think Volvo is right up there – getting the blend of today’s world and tomorrow’s world almost perfect. I’ve been driving the Volvo XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered mid-sized SUV for the past week and I can’t write this with more...
In 2019 the Light Commercial / Truck segment made up 114,428 units representing 21.2% of all cars sold in Australia. That’s 13 new Light Trucks / Utes being delivered every hour – 24×7 – every day of the year! When you look at what’s on offer in this segment, you can certainly see what the appeal is for literally tens of thousands of people. There is no shortage of models and options and some very good engineering. The Nissan Navara N-TREK is no exception.
You may have noticed recently that the Google Maps app on your smartphone or tablet has changed. Gone is the little snippet of a map that we had all become so used to, and in its place the new colourful “map pin” that aligns to the other Google apps such as Home, Chrome, and the main Google app. Something you may not have noticed was that on Friday February 8th 2020, Google Maps celebrated its 15th birthday.
If Ferruccio Lamborghini was alive today he would be approaching his 104th birthday and would be witness to the consistent and healthy growth of the supercar brand that features his name and the symbol of his Taurus zodiac sign – the bull. In the past 5 years Lamborghini sales globally have risen 153% and judging by the quality and variety of the range on display at their Sydney showroom, I see no reason why one of the world’s greatest supercar makers should not continue to prosper.
I have previously reviewed the Suzuki Vitara Turbo (2WD) and came away very impressed with its capabilities and standard features. This past week I have been driving what is essentially the same car with a slightly larger engine that also lacks a small turbo-charger, as well as some bells and whistles along the way. What struck me was for the budget conscious, the base model Vitara is still a very well equipped small SUV that boasts all the important features and eschews any flimflam. With a saving of nearly...
The WhatsApp message from the boss read: “How would you like to test a Ferrari Portofino for a couple of days in January?“ He did not have to ask me twice. I was a little nervous – I have to admit. I’ve driven some quick cars in my time however, the Prancing Horse was one I hadn’t yet ‘ticked off’. Some desk research was necessary, and the best preview of the Portofino I found was thanks to Tim Burton aka Shmee150.
The Stinger has been available in Australia for a number of years now and recently received a mid-life upgrade for the 2020 range. I have to admit I was very much looking forward to getting behind the wheel as Kia has endured quite the renaissance in recent years with wholesale styling and engineering changes across the entire range that now spans 10 product lines. It was a very damp day in Sydney when I collected the Stinger 200S finished in Silky Silver and black leather interior. The 200S is...
The original Suzuki Vitara was launched in Australia in the late 1980s joining the very successful Suzuki Sierra (sold today as the Jimny). The Vitara was a more well equipped, sporty, and urban focussed version of the Sierra – which for over a decade was the cheap-and-cheerful go to for a small, reliable 4×4 for those that couldn’t afford or didn’t need something as robust as a Toyota LandCruiser or as utilitarian as the Subaru Brumby. In the 1990s the Vitara buyer was very likely characterised by words like...
It was a very smoky and hazy afternoon in early December when we attended the Amazon Prime Video Australia end of year party. Held on the edge of Sydney Harbor this was a glimpse into what Amazon has achieved in the past two years since launching Amazon.com.au and more recently Amazon Prime and Amazon Prime Video. At the entrance to the event sat the Amazon Tiny Holiday House – that has spent much of the week in the center of Sydney with no views – and now had arguably...