Tuesday 20 February 2018

Digital Life: Now even your hoover has gone wireless

A scene from Call of Duty Black Ops 2
A scene from Call of Duty Black Ops 2
Ronan Price

Ronan Price

Wires? Who needs 'em? Not the 21st century, that's for sure. And the latest hot tech to go wireless is the vacuum cleaner, which has long been tied to a socket and a fiddly trailing hose.

The Dyson Digital Slim is not the first vacuum to go rechargeable battery-powered, but don't think of it as an overgrown Dust Buster, rather a lightweight version of a full room cleaner.

In truth, lugging it around a normal house actually gets tiring because you're carrying the whole thing in your hand.

But with all the accoutrements of its big brothers, it's more suited to apartment living for quick bursts of cleaning up.

Like all Dysons, this much engineering doesn't come cheap. Suck it up, baby.

€330, www.dyson.ie

IF James Bond could choose a phone, it probably wouldn't be the new Sony Xperia T, a rather nondescript Android that is nonetheless featured in the new Skyfall flick.

Its anonymous styling undercuts its powerful camera and generally respectable performance in a way that's unlikely to challenge the Samsung Galaxy SIII.

Nothing wrong with the Xperia T, per se, it just lacks raw sex appeal. So more Roger Moore than Daniel Craig, then.

Price varies on contract, www.sonymobile.com/uk

Game of the week: Call of Duty: Black ops 2 * * * * *

Wot, no aliens? As the first of the blockbuster CoD series to plant its boots in the future, some artistic licence was expected. Instead, we're treated to a scenery-chewing turn from a cardboard villain coupled to some vaguely sci-fi military schtick.

But never mind the pulp-fiction yarn, feel the quality of the gameplay, a breathless single-player that's as taut and yet flexible as its multiplayer counterpart. It's supremely polished entertainment, rippled with set-pieces but also a branching storyline.

Multiplayer will take time to reveal its nuances but the tinkering relates mostly to the new freedom in loadout of weapons. Fans will be in heaven, sceptics unmoved.

Need for Speed Most Wanted * * * *

Imagine the chaotic racer Burnout Paradise tuned down a notch and you have Most Wanted, not coincidentally made by the same team. Exploring a wide-open city dotted with new cars to discover, the intoxicating freedom can be distracting.

Without the utter mayhem of Burnout, though, NFS:MW feels a little polite. But it's never less than compelling fun, a moreish concoction of squealing tyres, showers of sparks and inviting streets.

Little Big Planet Karting * * *

Quite why it was decided we need another Mario Kart clone, albeit one in charming LBP apparel, is anyone's guess. PS3 already has a decent contender in ModNation Racer.

This one oozes charm, naturally, but its convoluted structure withholds the instant gratification of traditional racers.

Stephen Fry's honeyed tones in the front end ease the pain of fighting the over-aggressive AI on the tracks.

At least the level designer is effortlessly easy to use.

Medal of Honor: Warfighter * * *

The gulf between Black Ops 2 and Warfighter is stark. Obviously lacking enough budget or time to squash the copious bugs, Warfighter suffers.

More importantly, it fails to elevate itself beyond a competent shooter, funnelling you through endless corridors with only occasional diversions into sniping, driving and the like.

Multiplayer offers a redemption of sorts, but if you were to choose one military shooter this week, Warfighter wouldn't be it.

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