The Hot & The Not So Happening

     Print Edition: October 2012

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

SONY ERICSSON XPERIA NEO L
Rs 19,499


FEATURES
>> Ice Cream Sandwich, 1 GHz Scorpion, 512 MB RAM
>> 5 MP camera, microSD up to 32GB, Flash 11 support


Don't expect a lot, it is mid-ranger with average performance . The specifications match the affordable smartphone segment , though internal memory is inadequate.

Even so, it competed very well on benchmark tests in the category. The custom skin is a lot of Sony and very little of ICS, something only Sony fans might like. The minimalist browser is quiet nice and updated with 4.0 features.

Built quality, though, is below par. It's another choice in a very crowded segment.


GALAXY NOTE 10.1
Rs 39,990


FEATURES
>> 1.4GHz Exynos Quad-Core, 2 GB RAM
>> ICS, 5 MP rear and 1.9 MP front camera


The Wacom digitiser should attract creative professionals but the middling display takes off the sheen. The improved horsepower and Samsung's proprietary chipset is fantastic, allowing multi-screen implementation (running different apps on the same screen).

Even the most prodigious power users will be satisfied. S pen applicability is a huge improvement, with better pressure sensitivity and handwriting recognition.

But don't expect too many third-party apps. The feel and finishing is disappointing as well.


FUJIFILM FINEPIX S4500
Rs 15,500


FEATURES
>> 30x optical zoom, 24-720mm focal length
>> 64-6400 ISO, USB and MiniHDMI options


The sale of an S4500 will hinge on its superzoom to price ratio. It's amazing that such a zoom range is being fit into a camera this price. Overall, it's your average point-andshoot with a 14 megapixel, 1/2.3-inch CCD sensor and a 24mm wide-angle lens.

The Fuji is also easy to use and handles well and won't intimidate the average user. The electronic viewfinder is small and not very comfortable but expected for the price range.

If not, you always have the LCD. Don't expect great pictures either. If you wait a bit, the price might drop as well.


SONY HX850
Rs 1.24 lakh


FEATURES
>> SEN: Online store for downloads from Sony
>> Good connectivity options, built-in Wi-Fi


Features at the cost of picture quality is a real problem right now, one the HX850 avoids. It is minimal on extravagance but delivers excellent picture quality, with deep blacks and plenty of detail, and viewing angles that are more than satisfactory.

The single sheet Gorilla Glass front looks very stylish and is also tough. The HX850 also has one of the most accurate settings of any TV. However, it is expensive compared with similar plasma televisions.


DELL INSPRION 14Z
Rs 45,990


FEATURES
>> Intel Core i5-3317U, 8 GB RAM
>> Windows 7, 32GB SSD + 500GB


The Ivy Bridge core makes it faster and efficient (also cooler) and one would find it difficult to overburden the system. The AMD Radeon HD7570M graphics chip is also good enough for some heavy games.

The design and feel is premium with a combination of aluminium and plastic. The 14z is also one of the thinnest and lightest notebooks in the market. The display is less impressive, with narrow viewing angles and muted colours.

Despite its diminutive frame, the Skull Candy speakers are loud and tones accurate. A reasonable number of ports including an SD Card reader, USB 3.0 and Ethernet.

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