Read all abyte it

The Independent's gaming guru Rebecca Armstrong picks the best mags and websites for the discerning geek
Click to follow
The Independent Online

BBC Origin Publishing Ltd. Circulation: 53,270. £3.25

www.focusmag.co.uk

For monthly science and technology stories, Focus is the UK's answer to Wired magazine. Alongside eye-catching photography and light-hearted news - "pond of death fills with exploding toads" - Focus's articles are educational and accessible. With "ask the experts" boxes accompanying most of the big features and a monthly look at "the world's greatest mysteries" ("Are alien big cats roaming the UK?"), never have science and technology been so user-friendly. 8/10

Stuff

Haymarket Magazines Ltd. Circulation: 74,570. £3.70

www.stuffmagazine.co.uk

Stuff is full to the brim of "gadgets, gear and technology" - its pages feature gorgeous photos of new kit and the gorgeous models holding them, plus pages of consumer technology top 10 lists. As a buyer's guide, Stuff excels, and its place as Britain's favourite tech magazine means that it gets the best exclusives and first-looks of any of its rivals. This month, in-depth articles include the secrets of the PSP, a glimpse of the Infinium Phantom and iPods for the car. Good for serious gadget fans. 9/10

T3

Future Publishing. Circulation: 54,217. £3.70

www.t3.co.uk

Self-styled as "the world's best gadget magazine", T3 is Future Publishing's answer to Stuff, and is priced the same. There is crisp photography, cheeky copy and pages of product information on items like iPod skins and Bluetooth headsets. There's a page devoted to stylish laptop bags this month that marries fashion with functionality, and another to fancy football boots. Detailed "how-to" guides at the back add value to what could easily be an also-ran. T3 has a lot to offer the tech-savvy reader. 7/10

Boys Toys

Freestyle Publications. Circulation: 50,000. £3.50

www.boystoys.co.uk

Covering technology, home entertainment, cars and motoring, Boys Toys describes itself as "probably the best gadget magazine in the world". With sections on men's lifestyle, travel, films and women, Boys Toys crams a lot into its 122 pages, but inevitably comes across as more of a men's consumer title than a technology bible. Aimed squarely at the 18 to 40-year-old male, it hammers home its irreverent reputation each issue with jokes on the back page, this month's including one about two blondes.6/10

Wired

CondeNast. Circulation: 550,000 (US). £4.25/$4.99

www.wired.com

This monthly US-based mag is top of most technophiles' reading lists. Instead of endless gadget reviews, Wired offers a mix of technology, culture, business and politics; it was a winner at this year's US National Magazine Awards. Also recommended is www.wired.com, updated daily, which runs online versions of Wired stories and has a huge number of blogs. A British edition was on sale here in 1995, but it never caught on, leaving fans to track down the US version. High end, high minded, essential reading. 10/10

.net

Future Publishing. Circulation: 13,774. £4.99

www.netmag.co.uk

Another tech title from Future, .net's focus is on the mysteries of the internet. Less a general technology magazine than an online bible, it is a good place to look for practical information and advice. This month's edition includes a feature on the dumbest questions web professionals have been asked, including: "Will people in America be able to see my website?" and "What does the delete button do?" Circulation may not be monumental, but .net hold its own against the bigger hitters. 5/10

Computer Active

VNU Business Publications. Circulation: 236,026. £1.35

www.computeractive.co.uk

This fortnightly isn't just about computers. Its coverage has widened to topics such gaming, ID theft and the best broadband deals. As well as news and features, ComputerActive offers jargon-free instruction on maintenance and troubleshooting. The www.computeractive.co.uk website is a great resource for free downloads, news and forums, plus the InterActive Blog, a guide to home entertainment and technology. Active Home, another VNU title, offers advice on home entertainment systems. 5/10

Boinboing

www.boinboing.net

This "directory of wonderful things" is something of an antidote to po-faced technology reporting. Based in America, the stories and comments are posted by its editors and army of fans. Current stories include a New Scientist article entitled "Hairworms brainwash grasshoppers into watery suicide" and a review of a DVD entitled "How to make latex puppets for animated videos". There's also an impressive back-catalogue for newcomers to explore. Eclectic and always compelling, this site deserves a place on everyone's internet favourites list. 9/10

BBC Technology

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/default.stm

The BBC's technology homepage is as accomplished as one would expect. Regularly updated throughout the day, it offers readers a broad range of up-to-the-minute information on every aspect of technology. News stories, computer game reviews, video links and online polls make this site an interactive delight. It's the best place to find out about the big stories in the technological world, from clothes pegs that help keep washing dry to how doctors are running clinics by video link. Check out the news alerts on e-mail, mobile phones and PDAs. 10/10

The Register

www.theregister.com

Offering science and technology news for the world, The Register is a hot bed of rumours, tip-offs and hard-core technology news. The site has a US and UK version, and focuses on the negative aspects of technology giants - the site's motto is "biting the hand that feeds IT". Seemingly existing with little or no PR support, the site is a popular place with technology journalists - stories posted on The Register normally gather loads of momentum news-wise. A great place to go for the latest dirt on software, science, the internet and telecoms. 6/10

Information Week

www.informationweek.com

This is the web version of America's leading business technology magazine, read by 440,000 people every week. It may not make the lightest of reading, but Information Week offers first-class analysis on news, IT trends and research. The magazine has been running for 19 years and the easiest way in the UK to check out its content is to log on. Blogs, white papers and research sit alongside adviceon outsourcing, management, software and hardware. A great read for tech professionals, but probably too in-depth for the casual reader. 5/10

Tech Digest

www.tech-digest.com

Described by one technology publisher as unbelievably comprehensive and well designed, this site has all the UK and European news, reviews and opinion on consumer electronics and gadgets that you could possibly want. Tech Digest is produced by Ashley Norris and Chris Price, two freelance journalists whose work regularly appears in national newspapers and magazines. Read by 250,000 people worldwide each month, the site has five stories uploaded daily Monday to Friday. It is one of the finest technology resources around. 8/10

Comments