Honda would like to add another team to its roster, in the hope that it will benefit from the feedback from running its engine in two different cars. The only problem seems to be that nobody wants to be that second team.

In truth, nobody wants to be the first team either. Right now McLaren would take any other engine offered to them for 2018, if it could solve the many financial problems which would result. For example buying out of its Honda contract, paying Fernando Alonso's salary and paying for the alternative engines themselves.

Having failed to make good on its deal with Sauber, which was announced and then hurriedly withdrawn by the team, Honda looked to be in good shape to pull together a deal with Toro Russo. Now that deal has died too.

I suspect it was Honda who killed that deal, probably realising that if Toro Rossi bought their way out of their Renault contract, it would release a space in Renault's supply for McLaren, who would then be free to abandon Honda.

Honda's best hope for a second team is to repeat its previous 'B' team exercise. A decade ago Honda helped bring the Super Aguri team into F1. A repeat of that partnership would seem to be the way forward now.

A Japanese driver and an all Japanese team on the grid would be a boost in its home market. Whether it can find someone charismatic enough to bring sufficient Japanese funding to the table remains to be seen. It's unlikely Honda could afford to do it alone.


Look, this is a slick looking setup, but unless you want to store up significant health problems for your future, I'd really suggest you avoid anything like it. If you're really intent on using your iPad as a desktop computer you need to get the Lightning to HDMI dongle and mirror your iPad screen onto an external monitor.

You need to have the top of your monitor level with your eye line and it needs to be far enough away to be able to scan the screen without tilting your head. At the same time you should be able to use your keyboard with your arms at your side and elbows at around 90°.

The need to touch the screen on the iPad means it can't be positioned in a way which keeps your head in the right position - or vice versa. With the main display in the right place the iPad can be placed much closer to the user to allow touch screen interaction without huge arms movements being required.

Using this setup for any length of time will cause you serious neck and back problems, which will build up over time and lead to chronic back pain.

Really, get the external monitor. Your future self will thank you.


Great video demonstrating the skill and care that goes into annotating architectural drawings. If this doesn't persuade you to do something about your handwriting, nothing will.

We seem to hear a lot about how an iPad can replace a PC and become your only computing device these days. The truth is that for most PC users and most use cases this is emphatically not true. I'm rather more interested in the opposite journey. Can you PC replace your tablet and become your only computing device by approaching the problem from the other direction?

So when I updated to the new Surface Pro 2017 I parked my iPad Air 2 and my Galaxy Tab S2; and set out to discover if a Windows 10 tablet was a viable option.

I've now had the new Surface Pro for two months and it has been  my only computing device for almost all of that time. All the tasks that used to happen on one of my tablets now get completed here. There isn't a single one that I've found in any way troubling to either find an appropriate Windows software package or use the browser to complete.

As has been said before, tablet users do very few things with their tablets. It's a second screen when watching the TV, it's an email device, maybe a few games... you get the picture. All those things are better on a Windows 10 tablet. Edge is a real browser and deals with every page on the internet exactly as you'd expect, the same is absolutely not true of Safari on iOS.

The other things which used to be easier or better on a tablet - battery life, instant on and biometric security - are gaps that have been closed with the latest Surface Pro. 

So what about the outlier use cases? Obviously that's going to be something that needs to be considered on a case by case basis. However what I would say is that with decades of Win32 applications out there it seems extremely unlikely that you'll find an iOS or Android use case which can't be covered by the Surface Pro.

Using the Surface Pro as a tablet is every bit as good as an experience as any other tablet. The onscreen keyboard works, it's easy in the hand, easy in the lap and Windows 10 flexes between laptop and tablet modes very well indeed.

In the past I've said that Microsoft's Surface Pro is a better tablet than the iPad (or any Android tablet) is a PC. I can now update that and say that the Surface Pro is a better tablet and the better PC than any iOS or Android offering.

It seems unthinkable, but over the last few months I have found myself gradually moving towards the Windows Store version of OneNote as my choice of notetaker. It has improved out of sight, especially if I think of the shortcomings of the version which launched with Windows 10 nearly three years ago.

Whilst OneNote 2016 remains the best all out version for a number of reasons - ink to text and note organisation primarily - I find that OneNote has evolved into a good enough approximation for me to use for notetaking almost all of the time. Audio to handwriting synchronisation is about the one thing missing that would prevent me for using it for all notetaking.

The recent addition of ink to math to the Windows Store version of OneNote strongly suggests that Microsoft sees the Store version as the future and key legacy features will make their way across to OneNote over time.

For now however, both versions are required to get the best OneNote experience.


Images are circulating of what claims to be a large screen Apple TV undergoing testing. Aside from the suspect nature of the images themselves, common sense should tell us that such a product just doesn't seem plausible.

AppleTV, an iOS based device which is a must buy (and a must upgrade when it comes down to it) for most Apple owners fills the niche for Apple very nicely indeed.

There's not really a gap in Apple's lineup for an actual television. Nor would a television sell in the sort of numbers which would make one worth pursuing.

What's missing in the Apple product portfolio is the TV service to enable Apple to build its revenue from the large number of people who have bought an AppleTV.

The more plausible rumour is that Apple has been shopping in Hollywood and has a large purse ($1bn has been mentioned) to allow it to buy the shows it needs to build a service.

So, an Apple TV, no. An Apple TV service offering, much more likely.


Nokia's first flagship Android device was unveiled today and the company has set its stall out to complete a reversal of the collapse which wiped the name from the top of the phone sales charts.

Since HMD acquired the rights to use the Nokia brand it has pushed out to some respectable phones with limited ambitions. Low and mid-rangers designed to compete in the most forgiving, if competitive part of the market.

Now with the Nokia 8, there's signs that leveraging the power of Android and the remaining loyalty to the Nokia brand, the company has the props to take the battle to growing brands like Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi; and can legitimately target volume sales in the smartphone space.

As expected there's lots of Zeiss co-branding, renewing a partnership that pre-dates Microsoft's purchase of the original Nokia smartphone division. In this case it means dual rear cameras and a single front facing cameras, which all sport 13mp sensors and can all be used in conjunction to create a combined image from both front and back of the phone.

The screen is a QuadHD, IPS LCD, and it's set into an aluminium unibody which is available in some rather fetching finishes. Inside there's a SD835, along with 4GB RAM, 64GB of storage and a MicroSD card slot. Charging is via USB-C and supports Quick Charge 3.0.

It's the software where Nokia may find its biggest win against the top tier of China's manufacturing might: Android. The Nokia 8 runs stock Android and Nokia is promising that it will deliver updates the same day Google releases them, except where they update the modem.

That's a big promise and if Nokia can pull it off will make it the only option outside of Google for maintaining a fully up to date Android phone. With the current mess of missed security patches and slow system upgrades this is exactly the sort of move that marks out a new offering as having something special to offer.

This might seem to be a fairly standard 2017 flagship in terms of build, hardware and even in styling; but I'd suggest that this could be the start of a phoenix from the flames recovery for a Nokia freed from dependence on Symbian or Windows Phone.

It's almost time for IFA, Berlin's huge tech show and Sony will be one of the first OEMs to break out new smartphones.

Leaks lead us to expect three new devices, an updated XZ1, packing the innards of the XZ Premium into a standard 5.2" screened device; the XZ1 Compact, which will be a 4.7" version of the same device; and the X1, a replacement for the original X and a device which Sony said wouldn't happen six months ago.

There are wilder rumours that Sony has a bezel-less phone coming too. However given the company's inability to keep its new devices secret I'm not convinced this one will happen. The mid-range XA1 will probably be as close as Sony goes this year.

Sony does seem to pushing a lot of phones out of the door this year. I'm not sure whether that's a sign that the last two years of (small) successes have persuaded the Mobile division that it can once again be a major player in the market (seems unlikely); or because the company has lost direction and is employing the scattergun approach to Xperia launches once more.

Either way more choice from Sony can only be a good thing for fans. Sony's unveil is scheduled for August 31st, before the show proper opens to the public.

Microsoft boasts that the new 2017 Surface Pro has greatly improved battery life - 13.5 hours being the claimed runtime from a single charge. That sounds to me like a comfortable working day of activity so last week, when the opportunity presented itself to gauge my confidence in that figure there was no way I wasn't going to take up the challenge.

My day would begin with a 6.30 flight out of Auckland, arriving in Wellington for back to back meetings and planning sessions until lunchtime, followed by an afternoon of technical workshops and design sessions, before ending with a 7pm flight back to Auckland.

In that time my Surface Pro would serve duty as my notepad - I use OneNote to capture everything, all of the time; as well as being my link back to the office, email and Skype for Business via a Citrix VDI session. And I wasn't planning on carrying a charger.

In fact my travel pack was going to be about as light as its possible to be. My Surface Pro (with Surface Pen and Type Cover, work iPhone, personal Xperia XZ, a pair of Sony noise cancelling earbuds and my RSA token. All fitting comfortably into an InCase sleeve. Total weight, zero - or as close to as possible given the requirements.

In the past, on comparable journeys, I would be carrying a charger and as a result would require a bigger bag. Then, having decided to carry the larger bag I'd tempted to add more items 'just in case'. Charging cables for my phones, my iPad or Galaxy Tab, maybe a battery pack... but not this time.

So how did it go? I left the SP on default settings for power management (as it came out of the box actually, I've never felt the need to adjust them) which meant during lulls in meeting activity it would sleep. A quick touch of the screen and instant wake plus speedy Windows Hello unlocking had me right back into OneNote almost instantly. On the plane I used Overdrive to read an ebook, whilst my Xperia provided sonic isolation thanks to the proprietary headset.

By the time I returned home, after a punishing sixteen hour day, of which at least half was spent using the Surface Pro, it was still showing 51% battery remaining. More than vindicating Microsoft's battery life claims.

The Intel m3 chip in the Surface Pro provides a fine balance of power management and performance. However the i5 and i7 CPUs in other versions consume around three times as much juice, balanced by a slightly larger battery (apparently), but they might not prove to have the endurance of the entry model.

The upshot is then, that by any definition of a working day the newest Surface Pro has got you covered for battery life. Comfortably so.

Last year Siemens and Scania came together to create the first ever eHighway installation, adding overhead power delivery and pantograph equipped trucks to a 2km stretch of the E16 highway in Sweden. With the Swedish government looking for fossil fuel independence by 2030, this was an important trial for all concerned.

Also a successful one, given news that the trial is to be extended to Germany, with a 10km stretch of the A5 autobahn to receive the overhead power delivery infrastructure.

Siemens claims that the hybrid trucks are twice as efficient as diesel trucks, although results of the Swedish trial have yet to be published. It's hard to see how a short 2km stretch of eHighway can support such claims, however the science seems good.

After all, for any EV a large part of the problem is carrying sufficient energy to complete a journey in as carefree a manner as a combustion engine vehicle. Remove the need for extensive power storage and that equation changes significantly.

Overhead power delivery has been successfully used in the rail industry for decadesand there's no question the concept would work. However the infrastructure costs required to electrify a national road network, even at a primary route only level, would be monstrous. Not to mention the incredible levels of disruption.

Starting that process now, especially in countries with a high proportion of electricity generated from renewables, would be an eminently good idea. This is the sort of project whose cost rises exponentially the more it is delayed.

For road haulage operators the projected savings - €20,000 per annum - would be a definite driver towards adoption.

Making the solution financially viable for governments could prove to be a much trickier problem.