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Today's Tech: ZTE lining up superphone, Nintendo Wii Mini on the way, Microsoft to rival Apple with UK stores

Recent reports indicate that upstart Chinese handset manufacturer ZTE is on the brink of dramatically announcing a new mobile, code-named Apache, in early-2013, with January's CES and February's MWC cited as potential platforms for the device's unveiling. Depending on when the Android superphone arrives, it may feature the world's most powerful processor set-up to date - depending on when it arrives - with rumours indicating that it will coming packing a monster 8-core MediaTek SoC based on ARM's new-gen Cortex A-15 architecture. The Apache is also thought to feature a 13-megapixel primary camera, 1080p display, and 4G LTE support - the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S4 are certainly going to have to come out fighting in the new year if they want to maintain their market share.

Japanese games developer Nintendo has today revealed an upcoming new SKU of its Wii gaming console. The news originated from a presumptuous listing on Best Buy's Canadian website, and Nintendo later confirmed the existence of the miniaturised ‘Wii Mini’ – which will begin its retail life as an exclusive to Canada over the holiday period. As if Friday’s Wii U release in the UK wasn’t enough… Follow the link for more on Nintendo’s festive surprise.

The holidays are undeniably upon us, and that means you may be looking to get your hands on a great laptop for you or your loved ones. Our editor Désiré Athow rounds up the year's best options in that department, including Ultrabooks and hybrids whose designs pleasantly takes on that of the Apple MacBook family. Désiré's list includes the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Ultrabook and the Lenovo Yoga 11, among other standout laptops released over the past year. Click on for a guide to which notebooks you should consider putting under your Christmas tree next month.

According to the Financial Times, Microsoft is considering opening stores in the UK next year, with the software giant perhaps hoping to emulate the success of its rival Apple, which opened its first store a decade ago and has demonstrated that the retail experience is just as important for building its brand as pushing its products. Its flagship store is likely to be in London and would add to the 70 stores it already has in the US. Whether it can mirror Apple’s business model remains to be seen, considering that its recently released Windows 8 products have got off to a somewhat lacklustre start.

Supplementing the news headlines from the tech world today is our review of the Focal Spirit headphones, which try and pull off the trick of being stylish while still providing great sound quality. Do they achieve this feat? You’ll have to check out Riyad Emeran’s analysis for the answer.