WIN! The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug exclusive merchandise

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Week in Tech
Glass half full of Christmas cheer

Orwell was wrong. The future isn't a boot stamping on a human face forever: it's the human race so engrossed in Facebook that it walks off the end of a pier. Computing will only become more pervasive and stuck-to-our-facey with Google Glass. Google's eyewear isn't on sale yet, but its early "Explorer" adopters have been given some new goodies just in time for Christmas. And it isn't the only intelligent eyewear that wants to get in your face - there are several Glass rivals worth looking at.

As you might have noticed, it's nearly Christmas. But will you want to kiss a MyTablet under the mistletoe? We think not - and our guide to the very best tablets offers 10 much better alternatives.If you're giving or hoping to get a tablet or smartphone, why not bookmark our guides to the best apps? We have the 80 best free iPhone games on the planet, the 80 best free iPad games, the 90 best free Android apps, the 90 best free Android games, the best Android camera apps and the best camera apps for iPhone.

Once you've installed all your apps, there's more good news: you can take them travelling. This week BA became the first European airline to approve tech use during take-off and landing.

Read the full story
In this week
Week in Tech: Glass half full of Christmas cheer
Talking points: HTC One 2, Sony Xperia Z1 variants, Valve SteamOS, cheap tablets
Competition: Win! The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug exclusive merchandise
The week's best buys: iPad Air, Sony KD-55X9005A, Panasonic Lumix GM1
Top 10: Android phones
Talking points
The HTC One 2 may have just gotten certified with super-fast Wi-Fi
The HTC M8, AKA the HTC One 2, has surfaced yet again, this time appearing with its Wi-Fi certification. According to the Wi-Fi certification, the HTC One 2 will indeed come with a Wi-Fi antenna capable of switching between the 2.4 and 5GHz bands. Read more
Three Sony Xperia Z1 variants' benchmarks come in rip-roaringly fast
\Leaked benchmark scores are again outing a trio of forthcoming handsets from Sony, suggesting the Japanese manufacturer may be about to take a good thing and multiply. PhoneArena reported this weekend that Sony has not one, not two but a full three variants of its popular Xperia Z1 on the way, judging from leaked benchmarks. Read more
First look: Valve SteamOS
After so many teasers and chest-beating announcements, the public is finally getting its first look at what will tick inside Steam Machines with the December 13 release of SteamOS.  Throwing caution to the wind, we trudged through all the installation bumps to get an early look at what Steam's dedicated OS can offer. Read more
Seriously cheap Android tablet hits the UK for £30
Step aside, £70 tablets: there's a new low-rent slate in town and the UbiSlate 7Ci tablet will set you back just £30.  That's right, you can now buy an Android tablet for less than the cost of a decent haircut.  And what do three crisp tenners get you? Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich), to start with, and a 7-inch TFT 800 x 480 screen which, as you might expect, is pretty low-grade resolution-wise. Read more
WIN! The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug exclusive merchandise
To celebrate the release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in cinemas on December 13, Warner Bros. Pictures, New Line Cinema, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures and TechRadar  are offering three lucky winners the chance to get their hands on some awesome exclusive merchandise! To be in with a chance of winning this fantastic prize, just answer a simple question.
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WIN! A pair of Scandyna SmallPod speakers worth £599
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WIN! A 16GB Wi-Fi iPad Air and Canon Pixma IX6550
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Your tweets this week
The week's best buys
Make no mistake - Apple has finally nailed the tablet with a great combination of specs, power and a decent OS.  It's a joy to hold the iPad Air. From the clever construction to the fast processor to the improved user interface, Apple has found an answer to every criticism we had of the device and then some.
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Read review

Move over Nikon 1 and Pentax Q, Panasonic has made a fantastic small compact system camera with a large sensor that produces excellent images. This seems like what the Micro Four Thirds range was intended for, and makes a fantastic addition to the G series line-up.
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Read review

Based on its bigger brother the Galaxy Tab 10.1, the Tab 8.9 . provides another decent Android tablet experience, with a lighter body, but of course a sacrifice in screen size. The smaller and lighter Galaxy Tab 8.9 is great for reading books and checking emails.
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Read review
What you said about BA lifting the in-flight electronics ban
@Johnnysmalls78 surely it to make sure you can hear the instructions in an emergency? Take off and landing being the most dangerous bit
@Wotton Do people really need to use their technology that much? Just bloody turn the damn thing off.
@marypcbuk I'll try it out tomorrow and report back ;)
Top  10  Android phones
To help find the best Android phone for you, we've rounded up the best Android handsets out there today, rating the phones on hardware performance, OS upgrade potential and, of course, how shiny and nice they are to have and boast about to work colleagues.
View top 10
TechRadar Promotion
TechRadar and Carphone Warehouse bring you Smart Choice

Make the right choice with Smart Choice, brought to you by TechRadar in association with Carphone Warehouse. From self-healing phones that actually work to the latest Android update, you'll find all the info you need to get the most from your mobile.

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Kobo Arc 7-inch 16GB

We have found a bit of a bargain for those of you looking for a new tablet. The Kobo Arc 7-inch packs a crisp 1280 x 800 resolution, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor for nippy performance, plus full access to the Google Play store. And at only £69.99, it's an absolute steal, undercutting many other budget tablets out there right now.

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 Christmas gift guide
From consoles and phones to kitchen and garden gadgets, here's our bumper selection of gift ideas for tech lovers. Whoever you're buying for, we've got you covered.

Read now
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