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Review and Technology

This issue we check out the latest Thinkpad, and a great way to watch digital content on your TV.

Kushan Mitra | Print Edition: July 11, 2010

Thinkpad Comes Home

This is not your "traditional" Thinkpad; after all, it is aimed more at the consumer rather than the enterprise market and its price reflects that. The glossy back cover and the overall feel of the computer is nice, and refreshingly different from Thinkpads of the past.

Yes, the irritating (or useful, depending on your point of view) TrackPoint still inhabits the middle of the keyboard like a permanent bindi, but the keyboard itself is new. Gone is the flush keyboard of previous Thinkpads: what you get is a "chiclet" keyboard, or keys having a slightly convex surface. This is a low-power computer. You can configure the machine with a choice of AMD or Intel (a 1.3 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo is usual) processors.

A standard fitment Thinkpad Edge still has the rather nice 13.3-inch 1366 x 768 pixel resolution LED-backlit screen. The six-cell battery delivers a good amount of back-up for five hours of watching movies. It may not stun you with spectacular performance but it does most mundane day-to-day things fairly well.

  • Pros: New exterior looks, nice keyboard, decent battery life, good price
  • Cons: Feels underpowered, the trackpoint lives on
  • Price: Rs 34,000 onwards

Digital Video on Demand!

Happiness in a small package for those who use the Internet as a medium to find content. This small product from Iomega plays back most digital video formats, including the relatively new Matroshka (.mkv) format which is used for high-definition digital videos.

It does not shrink all formats and can be caught out by some video sizes occasionally. The best part about this player is that it has two front USB ports where you can plug in your portable hard drives and it will play back content happily. The HDMI out port allows your TV to receive the content in Full-HD and it is a lot better than playing back content on a computer screen.

In fact, you can even buy a Wi-Fi adapter that allows the device to connect to the Internet and stream YouTube videos directly to the TV. A slightly higher end version comes with in-built storage. However, the remote could be slightly better.

  • Pros: Compact, useful, support for two hard drives
  • Cons: Remote could be easier to use, can lead to an impressive wire tangle
  • Price: Rs 6,500

Website

Want a product from the US really bad? This website promises to get it for you and takes care of all the headaches. But pricing ummm... is an issue.

Times have changed, Hollywood movies launch in India within a week if not the same day as they open in the United States. But when it comes to gadgets, India remains woefully behind. It isn't just gadgets, but also clothes, shoes, accessories—the choice in India seems limited compared to the West.

Here is a site which allows you to shop in the US and get delivery here: 20north.com. It ships the product to India, taking care of the customs, shipping and handling. Worth it? Let's, the 16GB iPad (Wi-Fi) costs $499 (Rs 23,500 approximately) in the US. At 20north, you get it for Rs 33,000, all inclusive. Worth it?

Possibly yes, for the desperate shopper, but the extras are massive. With many other products, the price difference was small. The site does give people the option to buy from any US site. Keep in mind that eBay India also has a 'Global easy Buy' option on its website now.

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