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The Hot & The Not So Happening

Print Edition: June 2012

Sam Abraham introduces new products and services to help you zero in on those that offer value for money.

GOOGLE DRIVE

> Great integration if you are part of the Google ecosystem (Android, Chrome etc.)

Drive has a Web console and a desktop app (installation takes less than 5 minutes) providing 5 GB of free storage for photos, videos and documents. A big advantage is Drive's ability to recognise and open more than 30 file types, including HD video files and Adobe Illustrator and PSD files. Docs integration, interface with Chrome apps and Drive Android all add to the charm. What is missing is an iOS app.

MOTOROLA ATRIX 2

> 1 GHz Cortex-A9 dual core, 1 GB RAM
> 4.3 in. screen, 960 x 540 resolution, 8MP primary and 0.3 secondary camera

It's no trailblazer-apart from a few spec bumps, a larger display and a change in design, it's similar to the original. Moto has given it elegant curves and smoothed out the sides and back this time around. There has also been a change in management, with the NVIDIA chip going out for the TI OMAP 4430 (same clock speed), but no massive performance changes. Also, no ICS update yet.

FUJIFILM FINEPIX JZ100

> 14MP image sensor, 4288 x 3216 max resolution, 8X optical zoom
> 2.7 inch LCD screen, USB 2.0

The JZ100 has a close focus distance (minimum distance needed to focus) of 5cm, aiding capture of sharp macro images. Another interesting feature is the Scene Recognition Auto mode that can assess a scene and select the optimal settings to capture it. The focal length is 25-200mm, minimum shutter speed 8 seconds, maxing out at 1/2000 of a second, and has ISO options upto 1600.

APPLE NEW IPAD

> Dual-core Apple A5X chip with quad-core GPU, 5 MP camera
> 16-64 GB storage, Wi-Fi/Wi-Fi+4G (incompatible in India)

What sets the 'new' iPad apart from its predecessor? Sure, it's chipper with a quad-core graphics component but that's to accommodate the gorgeous 2048x1536 Retina display (best ever on a tab). The rest is familiar, maintaining the standards (size, form-factor, speed, capacities and price) Apple fanboys have come to expect from Steve Jobs' legacy.

HUAWEI HONOR

> Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) upgradable to 4.0 (ICS)
> 1.4 GHz Qualcomm Scorpion, 4 in. screen, 854 x 480 display

This middling smartphone gives great performance for a mid-range device, above-average display and stellar battery life. It's mostly smooth and considering the specifications, value for money. The build quality and design is disappointing and the camera average, especially video capture. It comes loaded with a few native apps, few interesting and some annoying as these cannot be uninstalled. It's DLNA-compliant as well.

FUJITSU LIFEBOOK SH531

> 2nd gen Intel Core i3/i5, 2 GB DDR3 RAM, 320 GB (7,200 rpm)
> 13.3 in. LED display, 1366 x 768 resolution, 16:9 aspect ratio

The SH531 specs are not particularly interesting (Core i5 and i3 variants accompanied by Intel HD Graphics 3000) considering the price. The design is a bit bulky and its not the most pleasant looking machine. The high-gloss surfaces around the screen and the keyboard smudge quickly as well. What impresses are the matt screen and connectivity options (including Bluetooth, USB 3.0).

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