The best TechRadar reads you may have missed

by admin July 13, 2020 at 5:01 pm

Need a quick update on the latest and most-interesting tech reads from TechRadar? With a global 24-hour tech news cycle, it can be hard to keep track of everything going on, so our weekly digest of the best TechRadar reads will bring you up to speed with our favourite in-depth coverage from the week that was.

From Canon’s latest Hollywood-quality video camera tools in the EOS R5 to Ubisoft’s latest historical gaming epic, the viking-themed Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, to the best home workout apps, there’s something for everyone.

Prefer a listen than a read? Well, keep scrolling and you’ll find the latest episode of our Noise Cancelling Podcast for in-depth commentary on the latest tech news too.

Assassin's Creed Valhalla Eivor

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Adam Vjestica

After playing just under three hours of an early build of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, I came away suitably impressed. Not because the game dramatically differs from Assassin’s Creed Origins or Odyssey – Ubisoft hasn’t delivered the type of paradigm shift that we saw after the much-maligned Assassin’s Creed Unity – but because Valhalla has managed to deliver a thoroughly convincing world, set in a historical time period that I’m genuinely fascinated by.

After all, the Viking age is one that had far-reaching implications for many European countries, particularly Britain, and its effects can still be seen today. York, a scenic town no more than 45 minutes away from my home, was famously invaded by Ivar The Boneless and subsequently renamed Jorvik. Pretty cool, right?

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Canon EOS R5

(Image credit: Canon)

Tim Bunn

Every so often you get an absolute mic-drop of a product launch – and the Canon EOS R5 feels like that moment for cameras.

I’m a video director who runs a small production company (Belafonte, if you’re interested) and normally dismiss the hype about new video cameras, in favor of making my own (usually more reserved) judgements. But this is the first time in a long time that I’ve been super-excited about a new camera.

The Canon EOS R5 is a game-changer that is, on paper, more than capable of being used on big budget TV and film productions. The combination of its size and skills (8K video, in particular) are completely unprecedented.

But it’s also overkill for most people. For reasons I’ll go into, it would never be our main camera and there are plenty of more suitable options for amateur videographers. Before we get into that, here’s why it’s such an exciting video tool and how its skills might be harnessed by pros.

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Star Wars: Squadrons

(Image credit: EA Star Wars)

Chris McMullen

Between Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and the upcoming Star Wars: Squadrons, we’ve started to get excited about Star Wars games again. But if the Star Wars game franchise is to go forward, it should start by looking back. 

Relegated to non-canon ‘Legends’ status since Disney purchased the franchise, the Star Wars Expanded Universe is a rich vein of lore that just begs to be mined. It encompasses hundreds of books and comics, exploring corners of the Star Wars universe that the movies never could.

And while it’s been swept under the Jedi Academy’s carpet, the Expanded Universe’s new status is oddly liberating. With no ties to current continuity, there’s no reason (Lucasfilm willing) that game developers couldn’t dive back into this Expanded Universe and dig out some of those forgotten tales. 

So here are five Star Wars Legends stories we’d like to see turned into games.

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Electric scooter

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Cat Ellis

Are electric scooters safe? They can be, but only if they’re well built, have certain key safety features, are well maintained, and most importantly, are ridden well.

Countries, states and cities all have their own laws that are designed to protect scooter riders, pedestrians, cyclists and other road users, but they vary enormously

Part of the problem is that electric scooters often don’t fit neatly into existing traffic laws. Sometimes they can only be ridden on roads and cycle lanes, while in other places they must be kept off the roads. In most territories the maximum speed of a street-legal electric scooter is capped at 15mph, but there are exceptions. There’s not yet any established best practice.

By knowing the following advice, you can minimize the chance that a scooter-based accident will involve you.

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The best home workout apps

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Cat Ellis

Home workout apps are a great way to get moving when you’re unable to get to a gym. It can be tricky to know which ones are worth your time, though. The App Store and Google Play Store are both packed with apps that promise to help you improve your flexibility and fitness at home, but only the best are made by qualified professionals with a real understanding of what makes a workout safe and effective.

The best home workout apps provide clear instructions in video or audio form (or both), and provide encouragement from real coaches as you progress. They also provide a wide range of different workout ideas so you never get bored, and let you create custom plans and monitor your progress.

Some workouts will require some basic kit like a yoga mat, dumbbells and resistance bands, whereas others need nothing extra at all.

Here we’re looking at apps that offer workouts you can perform indoors at home, though many also offer ideas, guidance and support for exercising outdoors or at the gym. We’ve also included a mix of free and paid-for options so there’s something for every budget.

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(Image credit: Naughty Dog/Sony)

Ben Gilbert

The dystopian Seattle of The Last of Us 2 is a vision of the Pacific-Northwest unlike anything witnessed in the pages of Lonely Planet. The cordyceps fungus has lain waste to a city flooded by busted waterways and overgrown with foliage, which only serves to camouflage its diseased population. Rusted campervans share blocked highways with abandoned tanks and the detritus of a guerrilla conflict that is dysfunctional, desperate and coming to get you.

But amid the chaos of this beautiful apocalypse there are scraps from the past and connections with a vanished life that help to build the humane core running through Naughty Dog’s universally lauded new blockbuster. Here, for example, you will find the Valiant Music Shop. Scavenge beyond the corroded synths and warped vinyl to discover an acoustic guitar, where Ellie can practice her newfound craft and, even, strum the chords of A-ha’s Take On Me. 

Indeed, for all the accompanying headlines around character bloodlust, crunch culture and LGBTQ+ themes, music plays a decisive role. It’s there in the unblinking devotion of Joel’s Future Days Pearl Jam cover, Ellie’s reworking of New Order’s True Faith – with its bullseye refrain of “My morning sun is the drug that brings me near. To the childhood I lost, replaced by fear” – and also, of course, in the soundtrack of Gustavo Santaolalla.

Like The Last of Us, the overarching tone of this immersive experience is set by the Argentinian composer, who feels as integral as any component in realizing the bleak heart and wilderness soul of these debased environments. 

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Can’t find the time to keep up with tech news? Looking for some awesome lockdown listening? We have you covered with the Noise Cancelling podcast, which is brought to you by TechRadar and our sister sites Laptop Mag and Tom’s Guide.

This week we discuss the ongoing Apple VR rumors, the AirPods Pro Dolby Atmos update and all about the Xbox Series X games reveal. We also discuss the unacceptable backlash that The Last of Us 2 voice actor has received from the gaming community. 

Meanwhile, this week’s Unpopular Opinions is all about laptop trends that must die – you’ll need to listen to the show to find out what which trends we’re talking about.

For all this and more, tune into the all-new Noise Cancelling podcast – you can subscribe on Spotify, grab it on Apple podcasts, or find us wherever you get your pods. New episodes land every Friday.

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