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The Hot & The Not So Happening

Sam Abraham        Print Edition: May 2012

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

HTC ONE X | Rs 37,899

Features
> 1.5 GHz Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 1 GB RAM
> 4.7-inch, 1280 x 720 resolution, 8MP camera

This very powerful monster can handle any task effortlessly. Gaming, video and audio playback, browsing can all run at the same time, though it might pause when switching between heavier tasks. Browser performance is a revelation too. Sense 4 is much more refreshing, eliminating erstwhile unnecessary UI elements. The design is free of complications and polished while the camera is good enough to get a review of its own. Watch out for the price.

MARUTI SUZUKI ERTIGA | Rs 6.5-8 lakh

Features
> 1.4 petrol (K series)/1.3 diesel, 95bhp/90bhp

Based on a modified Swift platform, the wheelbase is considerably longer, just a shade shorter than the Innova's. Though a seven-seater, getting into the last row is just a little difficult. The petrol engine is refined with a slick gearbox and clutch, though lacks the pace to be suited for long distance travel. The diesel engine is the better option, being more drivable everywhere, but is a bit noisy at higher rpms. The design is pleasing but not impressive while the ride quality is not the most plush.

NIKON 1 V1 | Rs 43,950

Features
> 10MP 1inch CMOS sensor, 2.7x focal length multiplier
> 60fps at full resolution, ISO 100-3200

The 1 V1 is a compact system camera (CSC), meaning it lacks the reflex mirror and optical viewfinder found in DSLRs, but can accept interchangeable lenses. It uses a 'hybrid' AF system, combining phase and contrast detection, which allows it to keep track of fast-moving subjects the same way as SLRs. Being limited to only 10.1 megapixel stills, an ISO ceiling of 3200 and a surprisingly limited lens selection of entry-level optics do not go in its favour.

DELL XPS 13 | Rs 79,900

Features
> 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-2467M processor, 4GB RAM
> 13-inch, 1366 x 768 resolution

The XPS looks and feels like a premium product and with a decent keyboard and goodish performance, it's a machine you can use. The disappointment is the display-middling resolution and poor off-angle contrast while the biggest annoyance is the trackpad, which only works well when it feels like it. On the other hand the integrated speakers were surprisingly good. It also manages at least six hours on moderate use.

HTC ONE V | Rs 18,299

Features
> 1 GHz Qualcomm processor, 512 MB RAM
> 3.7 inches, 480 x 800 resolution, 5MP camera

Legend, the now seemingly ancient Android device has come back to life (sort of) in the One V-especially with its size and feel of the aluminium unibody. It moves well without hesitance despite not having a dual-core heart like its siblings. And yes, it will run Android 4.0 and have Sense 4.0, undoubtedly the best version yet. The capacitative touchscreen is competent, sensitive and accurately registers taps.

SENNHEISER 439 | Rs 4,490

Features
> Neodymium magnets for enhanced bass
>  Optical fiber cable cord, 3.5mm jack

The HD 439 is focused on sound without compromising on design. It has a high-gloss gray plastic ring and a matte black turbine along with a chrome ring surrounding the ear cups. The use of a single-sided detachable cable (comes with two different lengths) makes it easier to use while moving around and carry during trips. The sound is excellent, catching details well, especially the bass while the highs are crisp. The design is comfortable.

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