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Print Edition: November 2012

Q: I have been an avid reader of Gadgets & Gizmos from the date it was launched. Please advise me on the configuration of a desktop PC that I intend to purchase with a budget of Rs 80,000. I'll need it for gaming and home use. The configuration should be Intel i7 Ivy Bridge Platform. Please suggest whether I should go in for a branded PC or an assembled PC. - Rajesh Ayade, on email

G&G: Since you have a budget of Rs 80,000 and gaming is one of your primary aims, we suggest you buy the Alienware X51 desktop PC. This unit costs Rs 72,000 and you will need to spend about Rs 10,000 more on a good monitor. But it will still be within your budget and you will have a top-notch machine for gaming and regular use. We think a branded unit is best if you are not sure of the configuration you need. The other option in the range is the Dell XPS 8500.

Q: I am looking for a top-class smartphone and am confused between the Samsung Galaxy SIII and the HTC One X. I need your advice. The important criteria are that the operating system should be simple to use for Internet and e-mail and should have Swype facility, a good camera and simple music uploads. Please guide me as both phones are comparable in price and capabilities. With the Samsung S, my friend ran into software problems within 18 months and the touch feature developed problems. - Hari Mundra, on email

G&G: Both the Samsung Galaxy SIII and the HTC One X are neat devices. While I would say the hardware build quality of the HTC One X is superior, the camera on the Samsung Galaxy SIII is better. Both phones are easy to use and run Android Ice-Cream Sandwich. We suggest you test both the devices and their interfaces. Swype is available as a free download from Google Play store and can be installed without any trouble. While buying, do keep in mind that Samsung Galaxy SIII is now available for around Rs 35,000 after a price cut.

Q: Can you please recommend a good phone that costs around Rs 25,000? Also, what is the price of the Sony Xperia P in the Indian market? What are the other good options available? - Puneet Singh, on email

G&G: Here is a list of smartphones that you can consider. Sony Xperia Go (Rs 19,000), Sony Xperia Sola (Rs 20,000), Sony Xperia P (Rs 25,000), HTC One S (Rs 28,700), Samsung Galaxy S Advance (Rs 19,500) and the older Samsung Galaxy SII (Rs 25,900).

Q: I use high-end phones. But the problem is that none of them come with dual SIMs. I want to know if there is some software that lets you save the data from one SIM so that this can be used on another if needed. - Dr Sunil Patil, Aurangabad

G&G: The concept of dual-SIM devices is to allow two active connections on a single device. There are two different categories of these phones. There are phones which are dual-SIM enabled, but only on standby mode. This means both SIM cards will remain active, but during the duration of a call on the first SIM, the second SIM remains unreachable. Ditto when the second SIM is in use. These phones are relatively cheaper. The second segment comprises phones with dual connections that are active all the time. As for saving data of the two SIM 1 and SIM 2, you can create groups and save the data separately. But even then, you will be able to use only a single SIM in your handset. Hope, this answers your query.

Q: I recently shifted home and had to disconnect my BSNL broadband connection since the company says there is no space for a new connection in "DP". I am thinking of getting a 3G dongle but I wonder whether I can create a Wi-Fi network with such a dongle to connect my desktop, laptop and iPad. - Bhushit Dave, on email

G&G: There are routers that convert data from dongles into Wi-Fi network. Olive Telecom, Lava Mobile, Edimax, D-Link, Micromax, etc, all have such products. But when buying do check for the networks these devices support. Also, go for an independent router and not one that will block your PC port. Independent routers are portable and easy to use.

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