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BlackBerry Bold 9900, $780\n\nSmartphone supreme:\n\nThe new Bold sports similar looks to its predecessors though there are some nice new additions that make the phone look a little more up-to-date. The frame of the phone is surrounded by a steel strip for instance and this contrasts nicely with the otherwise mostly black body. The rear of the smartphone is, unfortunately, a fingerprint magnet but does look good thanks to a carbon-fibre-inspired design. This rear end also offers a good deal of grip and so is less likely to slip out of your hand when you aren’t paying attention. The phone exudes solidity too and thus should stand up to rough use, and time. As you’d expect the Bold 9900’s biggest selling point is its keyboard which just makes typing messages and e-mails a stress-free and precise affair. Since this Bold is also equipped with the new BlackBerry 7 operating system and has a 2.8-inch screen that’s touch-sensitive, the Bold 9900 is unbelievably intuitive to use. $780.
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Canon 1100D, $654\n\nFor the budget snapper:\n\nWhereas the EOS 600D sits at the top of Canon’s entry-level SLR range, the 1100D is designed to tempt users to upgrade from point-and-shoots. The EOS looks and feels its price when studied closely however. The body is created using plastic and thus looks and feels quite basic. The lack of rubber grips and the plastic mode wheel also ram home the camera’s budget nature. Due to the camera’s compact (for a SLR) size the 1100D is more suitable for those with smaller hands. Users with larger hands may struggle to comfortably hold on to this Canon camera when shooting. When it came to grabbing photos we found the camera competent. Colours on photos appeared natural and when shooting at different ISO settings the camera never let us down. The best results were, expectedly, at lower ISO settings where there was no sign of noise and decent detail. That said, photos were slightly soft in terms of overall crispness.\n
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Samsung SyncMaster, $476\n\nAll around performer:\n\nStudying the SyncMaster we couldn’t help but notice its attractive looks and finish. The screen itself is finished in what Samsung calls ‘ToC Mystic Brown Cabinet’ and the chrome four-prong stand just accentuates its looks. The stand also provides a super stable base for the screen. Exposing the screen to our battery of visual tests we found ourselves quite impressed. The screen blew us away with its extremely wide viewing angles; looking at the screen from 90-degrees both vertically and horizontally, we noticed absolutely no loss of brightness or contrast. The FX2490HD then is perfect as a TV or LCD, as people don’t have to be sat directly in front of it for the best viewing experience. Colours were natural yet vibrant with blacks appearing deep and uniform. The screen also handled fast moving content with ease. The Samsung also produced razor sharp text and graphics, so you can work on it for hours without eyestrain.\n
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SyncMaster SA750, 3D LED Monitor, $819\n\nEco-friendly viewing:\n\nThe new SyncMaster SA750 series 27” 3D LED Monitor, is perfect for home entertainment from the comfort of your desk or your bed. The key feature of the monitor is its 3D capabilities, run on the 3D HyperReal Engine, as well as the Real 120Hz to deliver unbelievable picture quality. A wide range of inputs are available such as AV content, 3D connectivity, HDMI, and DVI. The monitor also comes with 2D to 3D converter. The amazing picture quality is made possible with the Mega Dynamic Contrast Ratio with an incredible 5,000,000:1 contrast ratio. Supporting 16.7 million colours at a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080, we can almost guarantee that you have never seen something this good, this close to your face. The monitor is also environmentally friendly with the inclusion of the new smart motion technology. A built-in Pyrolectric Infrared Ray sensor detects movement within a specified area in front of the screen. Should it detect nothing, the monitor will automatically power off and back on again when someone returns. Definitely worth a look.
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Packard Bell Dot S, $326\n\nCompetitive performance:\n\nWhen we unpacked Packard Bell’s Dot S, we were quick to dismiss its appeal owing to its dull lavender finish. We’ve tested a number of other netbooks that feature striking colours that make people stand up and take notice. Studying the machine closer however revealed its star qualities. Component-wise it features a 1.66GHz Intel Atom N570 CPU, 2GB of DDR2 RAM, Intel’s HD Graphics adapter, a 10.1-inch LCD screen and a 500GB hard disk drive. While most of these parts can also be found on other netbooks, the Packard Bell packs a bigger hard drive. Moving to performance the Dot S performed as expected; it managed competitive numbers across the board. \nTipping the scales at 1.148kg the Packard Bell dot S is a light and versatile machine and while its battery life of four hours and 31 minutes isn’t mind blowing, it’s far from limited.
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Denon RCD-N7, $600\n\nMusic lover’s dream:\n\nAnother first for Denon is the N7, which comes with the RCD-N7 Network CD Receiver and SC-N7 Loudspeaker. The RCD-N7 is a compact network CD receiver that lets users dock their iPod or iPhone into a dedicated cradle on the unit’s top to enjoy music via a direct digital feed. A fast broadband connection to the internet is achieved via an ethernet cable or wireless LAN (Wi-Fi), allowing for a unique music experience anywhere at home. \nSince the RCD-N7 supports WPS, it is incredibly easy to connect to a Wi-Fi network and immediately enjoy the benefits, like playing music files from a PC or directly from DLNA network hard discs or listen to more than 15,000 internet radio stations worldwide. The system also plays CDs, incorporates an FM/AM radio, while music files recorded on USB memory or other portable media are equally at home. Despite the Denon RCD-N7’s compact size, it delivers plenty of power with a 130W output, filling the listening space with \nbeautiful sound.
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HP Pavilion dv6-6090ee, $1,253\n\nTop notch performer:\n\nThe Pavilion dv6-6090ee comes from HP’s Home Notebook range and is the first Sandy Bridge-based desktop replacement we’ve received from the technology titan. Weighing in at 2.65kg the Pavilion is a desktop replacement machine for certain; it’s a notebook that you’ll want to avoid lugging around, unless you have a wheeled travel bag. The handsome HP is also just a bit too heavy to have on your lap for more than 30 minutes at a stretch. Working on the Pavilion dv6 is a pleasing experience however, thanks to its competent keyboard, trackpad and LCD screen. The keyboard is perhaps the most solid we’ve seen from HP to date — it exhibits minimal amounts of flex when pressed. The HP is something of a rocket thanks to its fast core components. The 2GHz Sandy Bridge processor, 8GB of DDR3 memory and 1TB hard drive made it a quick performer.
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Acer S243HL, $326\n\nViewing pleasure:\n\nThe Acer S243HL offers 24-inches of screen space and can be yours for $326, which makes it great value when you consider the cost of other 24-inch screens. The Acer sports an interesting L-shaped base and because of its weight, the monitor is able to sit on your desk with serious stability. The base also features space-age-esque buttons which you can use to control the OSD. Hooking the screen up to our test rig via HDMI, we found ourselves impressed with its performance. The combination of its 24 inches of screen space and native resolution of 1,920 x 1,200 means that it offers serious screen real estate. The high resolution also meant the Acer returned a sharp rendition of the Windows desktop and every other application and game that ran at the screen’s native resolution. With a brightness rating of 250cd/m2 the S243HL proved bright and while colours were vibrant, there weren’t unnatural. The screen’s viewing angles were also wide on both the horizontal and vertical fronts.
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JVC DLA-X3 Full HD 3D Projector, $5,444\n\nYour own home 3D cinema:\n\nNow watching a movie will no longer require a trip to the cinema, thanks to the new JVC DLA-X3 Full High Definition 3D Ready Projector. Choose the mode you wish to watch, either 2D or 3D, depending on the content, and set up screen sizes from 60 inches all the way to 200 inches if space at home permits. The JVC Full HD 1,920 x 1,080 3D projector comes with a native contrast of 50,000:1, matched with a brightness of 1,300 lumen, delivering an image resolution which rivals optical film enjoyed at the cinema. No matter what the content you are watching, be it sports, action, drama or horror the experience is thrilling and chilling with the depths of reality coming alive. Switch to 3D content and you’ll be mesmerised into being part of the action. The model comes with multiple input terminals including twin HDMI so you can hook up all the entertainment sources you have to enjoy converting your home to a theatre for a movie.
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Sennheiser RS 220\n\nStrictly for audiophiles only:\n\nWith their uncompressed transmission technology, the RS 220 digital headphones combine high-end quality with absolute freedom of movement. The Sennheiser RS 220 open up a master class in wireless audio transmission and are being touted as pioneers of wireless high-end headphones.\nThe transmitter for the new RS 220 wireless headphones transmits the digital signals to the headphones without compression via a stable 2.4 GHz connection. The wireless system makes use of what is called Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) technology. The RS 220 can be connected to various outputs including analogue, coaxial digital and optical digital. Several audio sources can be connected to the transmitter of the Sennheiser RS 220 at the same time. Signal loop-through is also possible, allowing the transmitter to be integrated into an existing connection between an audio source and a further device.
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Razer Blade, $2,799\n\nRazor-sharp performance:\n\nFrom the leading high performance gaming hardware manufacturer comes the Razer Blade — a full aluminium chassis gaming laptop featuring true portability, incredible performance, and an all-new revolutionary user interface. \nMobile systems developed for gaming today compromise on portability and form factor for game performance. The Razer Blade measures 0.88 inches thin and weighs only 6.97lbs, achieving a balance between portability and performance. Developed in partnership with Intel, the Razer Blade features a fast Intel Core i7 processor and a high performance NVIDIA GeForce graphics processor. The hardware was designed to run the most demanding games of today without sacrificing the laptop’s portable form factor. The Razer Blade also does not compromise on screen size as it comes with an incredible LED-backlit high-definition seventeen inch display. The Razer Blade features the Switchblade User Interface — Razer’s multi-award winning, highly intuitive interface technology. The interface is comprised of ten dynamic adaptive tactile keys for easier access.
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Denon AVR-3312, $1,100\n\nHome theatre in a box:\n\nIn addition to its new receiver lineup, Denon is providing consumers with the features and capabilities they need to take maximum advantage of all of today’s home entertainment possibilities, ranging from firmware updates and upgrades to an affordable new surround sound system and more. The audio/video receiver remains at the heart of Denon’s mission to enhance the quality of home entertainment, and the company’s three new “in-command” series, Models AVR-3312, AVR-2312 and AVR-1912, home theater receivers put consumers “in command and in control” of their home entertainment in new and exciting ways, including total access to networked content and connected devices. All models include Apple’s AirPlay, a feature which allows users to stream their iTunes music whether from Mac or PC, as well as music stored on their iPad, iPhone or iPod touch to select Denon components through Wi-Fi.
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Dell Streak, $817\n\nWinning Streak:\n\nThe Streak is Dell’s version of a widescreen tablet device. Like Samsung’s Galaxy Tab the Dell is based on Google’s Android operating system. The Streak is an elegant device that resembles an oversized smartphone. Dell intends that the device be used in landscape mode and this is obvious because the symbols for the three touch sensitive buttons only make sense when you look at them in landscape.\nThe tablet features a five-inch capacitive LCD screen that runs at a native resolution of 800 x 480 pixels. The screen is multi-touch compatible and using it to type e-mails proved quick and easy, provided you use it in landscape. The device itself is slick in terms of performance. There’s almost no wait time when you summon applications and move from screen-to-screen. The Streak features two cameras; one five-megapixel camera with a LED flash and one forward facing camera, which will allow you to make 3G video calls.
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LG’s Cinema 3D LED TV, $1,335\n\nLife in 3D:\n\nThe 42LW5700 Cinema 3D LED TV is one of LG’s latest Full HD screens and is an internet-enabled TV that can tackle 3D content. The LG’s polarised 3D glasses are much simpler and less bulky than other offerings, as well as every other set of 3D glasses we’ve come across. The best part is because the 3D glasses LG uses are polarised they never gave anyone headaches over our testing period. Comfort aside the Cinema 3D LED TV is a superstar that’s able to create great depth and thoroughly immersive 3D experiences. Watching the 3D-enabled Blu-ray movies we were blown away by what we were seeing on screen. We noticed incredible depth and when we switched to other movies, we were just as impressed. The LG is also able to maintain 3D visuals even when you aren’t sitting directly in front of it and, it also allows you a good deal of freedom in terms of how far you have to be from the screen for 3D effects.
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BlackBerry PlayBook, $572\n\nFinally, a tablet for serious business:\n\nGiven that RIM is best known for its smartphones which are geared more for business use, we were surprised by the PlayBook’s entertainment capabilities. The tablet’s speakers produced the loudest and clearest audio we’ve ever heard from a tablet, which made watching movies a treat. \nThe LCD screen is also brilliant in terms of the visuals it creates. Colours look like they’re ready to jump right off the screen and there’s an undeniable sharpness to everything you see — the PlayBook’s screen is easily one of the best we’ve seen to date. The tablet also sports strong rear and front facing cameras, both of which worked exceptionally well. The PlayBook offers considerable business functionality too, though this depends on whether or not you already have a BlackBerry smartphone, as you have to tether the two together to reap the business benefits. When we tried tethering the two devices together we found it a quick and painless process and this holds true even when the two are disconnected and reconnected abruptly.
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Samsung LED 7000 Series Smart TV, $3,542\n\nSmart viewing:\n\nSamsung Smart TVs allow you to easily search for movies, TV shows, browse the web, explore Samsung apps, chat with friends and find many other types of new interactive TV content. In addition there is Samsung Apps, which is a growing collection of premium apps specifically built for your TV that connects you to your favourite digital content such as movies from Netflix or Blockbuster, TV shows from Hulu Plus, videos from YouTube, Next Level sports information from ESPN, Music from Pandora, and social updates from Facebook or Twitter. The Samsung LED 7000 Series Smart TV also includes a full web browser to navigate the internet, a Search All feature so you can find videos via apps or other connected devices and a recommendation engine which suggests movies you might like from your Video-On-Demand services. Samsung Smart TVs allow your digital experiences to converge on a brilliant HD screen.
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Sony NEX-7, $1,199\n\nFlawless image quality:\n\nSony takes pro-quality imaging and creative options to new extremes with the easy to use NEX-7. Styled in magnesium alloy for strength and premium looks, the NEX-7 weighs a travel-friendly 291 grammes.\nThe NEX-7 features a newly-developed Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor with 24.3 effective megapixel resolution that’s teamed with the latest revision of Sony’s BIONZ image processing engine. This unique combination of sensor and processor assures ultra-rapid shooting responses, plus superior image quality with ultra-low noise when shooting still images or Full HD video. Extending from ISO 100-16000, the ultra-high sensitivity range makes it easy to capture clean, low-noise images in dimly lit interiors or at dusk. The NEX-7 offers quick, easy control over creative settings via an intuitive new TRINAVI control. Two control dials on the top of the camera are complemented by a control wheel. Pushing the navigation button cycles quickly through various shooting modes, allowing enthusiasts to make custom adjustments.
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Tango TRX, $217\n\nApple’s best friend:\n\nXtremeMac, leading designer and manufacturer of accessories and audio solutions for Apple devices, is pleased to announce a prestigious new audio solution for Apple users. The Tango TRX is a 2.1 wireless high-fidelity audio system for iPod, iPhone and iPad. It combines superior sound quality, wireless audio connectivity, sleek design and an exclusive app to create a unique and powerful listening experience. The elegantly designed Tango TRX allows users to wirelessly transmit high quality audio through the latest Bluetooth technology. It boasts a 2.1 digital audio system that includes two midrange drivers, two dome tweeters and a downward firing subwoofer for crystal clear and dynamic sound. Tango TRX features LED status indicators for system feedback, a line-in jack for connecting other audio devices and a multifunction remote control. The free XtremeMac Tango TRX app seamlessly integrates with the unit for enhanced control and functionality. With the Tango app, users can control music directly from their iPod, iPhone, or iPad, turning any of these devices into a virtual remote.
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BlackBerry 9860, $545\n\nThe winner gets even better:\n\nForgoing the QWERTY keyboard of its smaller cousin, the BlackBerry 9860 sports a 3.7” touchscreen, relying solely on touch technology to navigate the new BlackBerry 7 OS. The larger screen obviously means a higher resolution of 800x480 WVGA, though when compared side-by-side with the 9810, you can see the smaller phone beats it in picture quality and colour depth. Aside from that there are few remarkable differences between the two. Both have a 1.2 GHz processor, running side-by-side with 768MB RAM. The 9860 has less onboard memory with four GB, but offers the same expansion options up to 32GB. The smarphone also has a five megapixel camera with the same features as the 9810, minus the multiple picture-taking modes. The BlackBerry 9860 is a solid addition to the market and offers an alternative for business execs who want to mix pleasure and work.
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HD Multimedia Dock, $109\n\nThe sound of black:\n\nWhile docks for most MP3 players, smartphones and digital cameras bore the us to tears, the HD Multimedia Dock for Motorola Atrix is far from your bog standard dock. Like the Motorola Atrix smartphone for which it was designed, the dock sports a black finish. There are no physical buttons placed on its exterior but look to the rear of the dock and you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Not only do you get a power port to charge your Atrix, there’s also a headphones output port, three USB2.0 ports and one High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) port. The dock allows you to turn the smartphone into a ‘Webtop’ because its USB ports, HDMI port and even the standard 3.5mm mini jack audio port allow you to connect the Atrix to a variety of HDMI compliant screens and peripherals. Even if you don’t connect any peripherals to the Atrix when it’s plugged into the HD Multimedia Dock, you can still do plenty thanks to the supplied remote control. You can use the device to simply hold and charge the phone while you look up YouTube videos, listen to music or browse the web on the phone’s capacitive screen for example.
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Canon IXUS 220HS, $280\n\nPoint, shoot and enjoy:\n\nThis unit combines HS System-powered performance with classic IXUS design to create a compact and user-friendly point and shoot camera. The HS System excels in low light allowing you to capture the real atmosphere of the moment without flash or tripod. A high-performance DIGIC4 processor and high sensitivity sensor give superior image quality in all situations, while a high-quality 24mm ultra-wide angle lens gives you the flexibility to include more in the frame, from vast landscapes to indoor party shots. The 5x zoom with optical Image Stabilizer makes it easy to home in on details and reduce image blur. A slim and stylish metal body gives the camera a quality feel with performance to match, while the tempered glass-covered LCD screen is durable, strong and offers excellent contrast, allowing you to frame and review images quickly and accurately from any angle. Two additions to greater quality are crystal clear stereo sound and Dynamic IS, which stabilises movies against wobble and shake. The HDMI connection allows you to enjoy your memories on an HDTV and browse the gallery using a TV remote.
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Powershot SX150, $199\n\nReady to snap the special moments:\n\nThe compact size of the Powershot SX150 IS makes it convenient to carry around everywhere, to capture those special moments that can happen at anytime. The 14.1 megapixel lens delivers stunning image detail and enables you to make beautiful large prints, while the 12x optical zoom lets you get close to distant subjects, and the 28mm wide-angle capability makes this camera great for photographing large groups of people and scenic landscapes. Advanced technologies, such as Intelligent IS and Smart AUTO, make it easy and effortless to capture gorgeous still images and breathtaking 720p HD video in stereo sound with the dedicated movie button and zoom while shooting.
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Divoom iTour jukebox, $45\n\nA jukebox for your pocket:\n\nDivoom has recently started making waves with its line of great audio products, including the all-new iTour-wow jukebox. You’ll notice right away its most interest feature being its small size. It can fit comfortably within the palm of your hand and is small enough to fit in your pocket. You might be misled into thinking that the small size translates to low volume output, but you would entirely wrong. In fact the unit can pump out a surprisingly high decibel output with clarity and little distortion. The iTour-wow also employs a unique vacuum bass system that is small in size, but is able to deliver a strong bass through a type of technology called Passive Oscillation Bass. This is done in such a small package by converting a panel-shaped diaphragm with one side to be completely immobilized, acting as a passive radiator. That way when the diaphragm itself vibrates it increases bass energy dramatically; complicated in explanation but unbelievable in use. Divoom has included as part of the jukebox, an in-built rechargeable battery, FM radio function, as well as SD card support for wireless music.
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Magnus MS, from $160\n\nSmartphone for the masses:\n\nNewcomer to the market Magnus has released a new line of what it has termed ‘healthy’ smartphones. While the ambition to promote healthy phone use is admirable, it may not be enough to help the phone break into a market of heavy-weight high-end competitors. As a phone it is small with a tiny 2.4” screen, tight QWERTY keyboard and a dull trackball to navigate the JAVA operating system. The graphics quality is quite poor with a low resolution. The phone does come equipped with a 3.2 MP camera, up to sixteen gigabyte external memory support, and a USB 2.0 jack. It can also hold two SIM cards. The Magnus M8 is a cheap alternative to users looking to avoid a top of the line smartphone, but it certainly will have a hard time penetrating the market.
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SLT-A77, $1205\n\nSpeed and realism all in one:\n\nThe Alpha SLT-A77 is reportedly the world’s fastest 12fps full-resolution continuous shooting camera with high-precision phase-detection AF. It is also equipped with a 24.3 effective megapixel EXMOR APS HD CMOS sensor and new BIONZ image processor which gives the camera unparalleled speed and accuracy. Sony has given the SLT-A77 the world’s first XGA OLED True-Finder, providing the best resolution, contrast and responsiveness of any electronic view finder (EVF). Film makers will also benefit from a number of enhanced video capabilities in the SLT-A77. Thanks to the faster speed of the new BIONZ processor, users can now film in both interlace and progressive including cinematic mode. Sony extends the appeal of its Translucent Mirror camera range with two new A-mount models appealing to advanced amateurs and serious photo enthusiasts. Latest refinements in Translucent Mirror Technology by Sony make the SLT-A77 (77) and SLT-A65 (65) the quickest, most responsive interchangeable lens cameras in their class.
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Satellite L755, $749\n\nSerious power for an attractive price tag:\n\nThe Satellite L755-16C is the first Sandy Bridge-based notebook we’ve received from Toshiba. It is designed for consumers who need an everyday machine to tackle apps and casual games at home. Finished in what Toshiba refers to as ‘Modena red with matrix patterning’ the Satellite L755-16C boasts stunning looks that actually do a great job of concealing this machine’s dimensions. Even the machine’s fairly substantial 2.5kg weight sinks away when you stare at the beautiful red and black finish of the machine. The Toshiba’s 15.6-inch LCD is bog standard (size-wise) on entry-level desktop replacements and runs at a resolution of 1,366 x 768 pixels. This suits the LCD’s size beautifully; everything looks razor sharp and thanks to the LCD’s superb brightness, games, movies and photographs are vivid and vibrant. Being a desktop replacement, battery life isn’t the Satellite’s forte. Running our intensive battery benchmark, we came away with a battery time of one hour and 31 minutes. In real-world use where the CPU isn’t being used 100 percent, you’re likely to see between two and four hours of life.
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Torch 9810, $650\n\nMighty Torch:\n\nBlackBerry has delivered a fine addition to its Torch series with the all-new 9810. The all-in-one design stands out with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard that users can fall back to if the touch display don’t suit them. The screen itself is a 3.2” not that big compared to others on the market but it has that ‘just right’ feel. It also sports HD Liquid Graphics that look great and stand out. The phone has speed with its 1.2 gigahertz processor, 768 MB RAM, and ample onboard memory with eight gigabytes. Typical expanded memory options up to 32 gigabytes are available. The smartphone also has added features to enhance picture taking with its five megapixel camera. Aside from the 4x digital zoom, flash and HD recording, the 9810 also has Geo-tagging, multiple picture-taking modes, and zero shutter lag. The 9810 also comes installed with the latest BlackBerry 7 OS and all its features.
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Envy 3D 17-2000EE\n\nBig size performance:\n\nBeing one of the biggest PC and notebook manufacturers in the world, HP has a sizeable portfolio that includes everything from netbooks to desktop replacement beasts. \nThe Envy 3D 17-2000EE comes from the company’s desktop replacement line and it’s a monster. Packing a quad-core 2GHz Sandy Bridge Core i7 processor, no less than eight gigabytes of DDR3 memory and an AMD Radeon HD 6850M GPU with one gigabyte of dedicated texture memory, the machine can chew up and spit out any application or game you throw at it. The machine’s party piece isn’t raw performance however, you see this machine is equipped with a large 17.3-inch display that’s 3D ready. Factor in a Blu-ray drive and you have one heck of an integrated home entertainment system.
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Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Pro, $513\n\nBeauty and brains:\n\nSony Ericsson’s Xperia Pro is a nice smartphone that works as a business tool with a little bit of fun packed in it. The 3.7” screen on the smartphone is a bit tiny for using touch and works with gesture input and predictive slide. For those who prefer classic, the Xperia Pro comes with a full slide out QWERTY keyboard. Although the phone storage can be expanded up to 32 gigabytes, the on board one gigabyte generally limits the user’s capabilities with media. It is a shame since the phone comes with an 8.1 megapixel camera with 3D sweep panorama, Exmor R, and HD video recording. The phone does have HDMI support and can connect to TV devices wirelessly, showing off what few pictures and video you can record.
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iPhone 4S 64GB, $966\n\nApple of the eye:\n\nWhile Apple didn’t push out the iPhone 5 as some industry insiders predicted, what the company released in the iPhone 4S is a more than suitable filler.Apple’s latest boasts supreme voice control in ‘Siri’, features a faster processor and an upgraded eight megapixel digital camera. These updates have once again pushed the iPhone to the top of every techie’s wish list, while also making the device competitive with the current slew of Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone 7.5 devices on the market.The 4S is twice as fast as the iPhone 4 and looks the same as its predecessor. The new iPhone model uses the same A5 processor as the iPad 2, seven times faster graphics for gaming and has an improved battery life. The battery can now withstand eight hours of 3G talktime or nine hours of Wi-Fi use. The camera has also been improved to an eight megapixel sensor that is 30 percent sharper, with 3,264x2,448 resolution designed to capture crisper images. The iPhone 4S also includes full 1,080p HD video recording.
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Creative EP-660, $30\n\nCreativity counts:\n\nThe Creative EP-660 noise isolation earphone lets you enjoy incredibly smooth acoustic playback from the unique tilt-pipe acoustic chamber powered by high performance Neodymium drivers that deliver a wide dynamic range with a deep bass response optimised for MP3, iPod, iPad and tablet devices. The earphones come with soft, multi-sized silicone earbuds that let you personalise the fit of the EP-660, which is available in a choice of five vibrant colours: Pearl White, Cobalt Blue, Ruby Pink, Lime Green and Magna Black. The EP-660 is designed with ear-canal ergonomics in mind, which means that it is extremely comfortable even if you plan to use it for several hours at a stretch. Importantly, the in-ear design isolates ambient noise by sealing in the sound, making it an absolute pleasure to listen to your favourite music.
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Motorola RAZR, $708\n\nA cut above:\n\nMotorola RAZR is a dramatic re-imagination of the iconic RAZR brand, retooled and rebooted for a new generation of style-savvy consumers. The device certainly cuts a striking figure among the smartphone crowd at just 7.1mm thin, the equivalent of a McDonald’s French fry, but it is anything but flimsy.Motorola RAZR features a backing made of Kevlar® fiber — ounce for ounce, five times stronger than steel – as well as Corning® Gorilla® Glass to protect the screen against scratches and bumps, a robust stainless steel chassis. It is even decked out with a splash-guard coating that extends to the electrical boards inside. To complete the picture, Motorola RAZR features a hyper-vibrant 4.3-inch super AMOLED advanced display, and a hefty combination of one gigabyte of RAM and a dual-core 1.2GHz processor.
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Canon EOS 600D, $1,025\n\nReal life picture:\n\nThe EOS 600D provides amazing picture detail with its high-resolution eighteen megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, which combines with fourteen-bit DIGIC 4 processing so you can capture the wonder of a beautiful blue sky and enjoy exceptionally smooth gradients between colours. The camera’s low light shooting capability enables users to achieve clear, natural images in darker conditions, with an ISO range of 100-6400 that can be further expanded to 12800. This camera is also great for shooting pets, children or wildlife, because it can shoot at 3.7 frames per second (fps), enabling users to capture fast-moving action. Each shot will be captured in sharp detail thanks to the nine-point auto focus system, which can track subjects using the auto focus points across the frame. Even more accurate focusing is provided by an extra-sensitive central AF sensor, while the iFCL metering system from the semi-professional EOS 7D features a 63-zone dual-layer metering sensor, helping to ensure shot is correctly exposed, even in difficult lighting conditions.
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Jabra Supreme Headset, $154\n\nClear as a whistle:\n\nThe Jabra Supreme Headset’s sole focus is to reduce the effect of ambient noise in communications. The first non-stereo headset to come coupled with the Active Noise Cancellation technology, it helps block out noisy environments for the user. The technology which focuses solely on the user’s experience with the headset, reduces the background noise and helps to make hands free phone conversation less of a hassle. It does so by using a dedicated microphone and an electronic chipset that creates an ‘anti-noise’ sound that counters ambient noise. It also has a 24mm speaker that can project a near deafening HD sound. Additional features include the Wind-Noise reduction, specifically developed for calls outside and in windy condition. It also comes equipped with voice guidance, voice control capabilities, and can stream GPS apps from your phone. The Jabra Supreme headset uses Bluetooth technology to pair with other devices and possess a strong battery capable of achieving up to six hours of talk time. If you’ve got something to say and it must be heard then you know what you need.
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Lenovo C320 desktop, $776\n\nBoot, touch and play:\n\nLenovo has a new addition to its All-In-One (AIO) desktop PC lineup – the Lenovo C320. The company says the sleek build of the device give \nconsumers space-savings and \naffordability along with a host of multimedia capabilities.\nThe C320 AIO has a large 20-inch LED-backlit display with optional multitouch touchscreen support, which is supposed to make the computing experience more interactive. The device is powered by second generation Intel Core i3 processor with Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0. Users can watch DVDs using the AIO’s DVD player/optional burner or stream movies through the Wi-Fi connection. For an even bigger screen experience to watch video, consumers can hook up a HDTV or monitor via the PC’s HDMI port. The device also features integrated stereo speakers supporting SRS Premium Sound. Social media hounds will enjoy instant video calls with friends using the AIOs’ High Sensitivity webcam, which comes with high end software for facial tracking and fun image effects.
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Xperia Active, $383\n\nBuilt to endure:\n\nEver bought a fancy new phone to show off only to drop it accidentally and have it smashed? Well, we’re not going to tell you that the Xperia Active is indestructible, but the smartphone has been built to endure. The phone is not big by any means, a frame that is about the size of your palm with a tiny 3” screen to interact with. The low resolution 320 x 480 pixels does well with such a small size and HD video playback up to 720p certainly looks good, but you won’t be picking the Active for its entertainment capabilities. In fact most the apps that come included with the phone are geared towards the outdoors with apps such as walk mate, health mate, and ANT+ tech. The onboard camera is a decent five megapixel camera coupled with unique features like 3D sweep panorama, image stabiliser, smile detection and aperture control. It also comes with exchangeable covers if you wish to change it up.
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BenQ AE200 digital camera, $95\n\nQuality need not be expensive:\n\nBenQ is rather underselling its AE200 by saying (on its website) that the camera ‘makes great night time shots easy’. The reality is that this camera makes everything easy and does almost everything well, considering its budget price. In terms of pure specs the AE200 gets off to a good start; it boasts a sixteen megapixel image sensor, a 2.7-inch LCD screen and offers five times optical zoom. On a day-to-day basis we found the camera a treat to work with. It offers ample image stabilisation that produced crisp, detailed shots, which means you can also take advantage of its optical zoom too. The only factor that will limit you then is the flash, which doesn’t travel as far as the camera’s zoom lens can see. This is only an issue in low-light conditions of course. If you’re interested in capturing video you’ll find the BenQ a star yet again. Capturing video at 720p we found that video was smooth and grain free. The camera features an embossed diamond facade that creates a carbon fibre effect, which makes the AE200 seem more expensive than it really is.
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BlackBerry Porsche P’9981, $1,977\n\nIs it worth the price?\n\nIn an attempt to combine elegance with the best technology available on the smartphone market, BlackBerry have brought us the Porsche P’9981. Underneath the casing is a 1.2GHz processor, eight gigabyte internal memory, and NFC technology. It uses a capacitive touchscreen, but possesses a full QWERTY keyboard for traditional users. But this isn’t a very good looking phone, resembling an ugly looking transformer. There isn’t really much wrong with the smartphone, but it does feel as if it has been played too close to the chest with little to no risk in its design. While the P’9981 has the technical specs to match market standards, it lacks anything in the way of innovation.
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Aspire Ethos 8915, $1,907\n\nPerformance times four:\n\nAcer says its Aspire Ethos 8915 is designed for users who ‘want the ultimate technologies in the most sophisticated package’. Basically, Acer is going after power users who want a fully-fledged desktop replacement machine for their home. On specs and in the flesh the Acer certainly seems to deliver. Thanks to a fast quad-core 2.2GHz Sandy Bridge Core i7 processor and eight gigabytes of DDR3 memory, the Ethos delivered the second fastest application benchmarks across the board. In terms of gaming however the Acer falters slightly. While it packs a reasonably powerful Nvidia GeForce GT 540M GPU with one gigabyte of dedicated memory, the Ethos 8915’s massive 18.4-inch LCD screen simply runs at too high a native resolution (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) for the GPU to cope. Overall, this Aspire Ethos 8915 then is best suited for casual gaming endeavours only.
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Lenovo ThinkPad W520, $2,165\n\nMeant for serious business:\n\nLenovo says its ThinkPad W520 offers workhorse power in a pony-sized frame and, after putting the machine to the test, we agree. The Lenovo is also adorned with one of the best LCD screens available in the market today. Its colours were rich and vivid, its viewing angles wide and running at a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels, every visual on screen appeared razor sharp. In terms of performance the ThinkPad W520 is a monster due to its super-fast, quad-core 2.3GHz Sandy Bridge processor. The machine’s eight gigabytes of memory is designed for heavy-duty \nbusiness use (such as CAD/CAM), the W520 packs a \nNvidia Quadro 1000M.
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Cruzer Fit USB flash drive 16GB, $27\n\nThis Cruzer is a small bruiser:\n\nSanDisk’s new Cruzer Fit USB flash drive is about the size of a dime, fitting easily into USB-compatible tablets and notebooks for convenient storage expansion, whereas SanDisk’s new Cruzer Switch USB flash drive features a cap-less, slider-less, flip-top design for easy portability and comes in two gigabyte to 32 gigabyte capacities. Furthermore, you can keep your data safe from prying eyes with the included SanDisk SecureAccess software and enjoy the added protection of secure online backup (up to two gigabytes) offered by YuuWaa. We have truly entered the nano world with these ultra high capacity minute drives. These drives are ideally suited for applications where you can insert and forget about them, because these fit flash drives, thanks to their size, can be quite tricky to remove if you want to continually take them on the road.
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LG HW300Y projector, $815\n\nViewing gets even better:\n\nLG Electronics (LG) launches the HW300Y, a WXGA Portable LED projector whose broadband and DLNA connectivity deliver outstanding entertainment options in a highly portable package. The HW300Y produces clear, exceptionally bright pictures, while its super long-lasting lamp should still be working two decades after the projector comes out the box.\nThe HW300Y’s broadband function delivers a host of popular internet services directly onto the big screen, including pre-paid HD movies, real-time weather information from AccuWeather, and the most popular social networking sites. Its DLNA connectivity means the HW300Y also offers simple, wireless access to all viewers’ digital content stored on DLNA-compatible devices, including mobile phones, TVs and PCs. Thanks to a compact size and a weight of just 780 grammes, the elegantly designed HW300Y can be carried and taken practically anywhere. The HW300Y boasts exceptional brightness with deeper saturation. The LED lighting eliminates motion blur and colour break-up, and is also completely free of the mercury and other hazardous substances found in most lamps.
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LG CINEMA 3D Smart TV, $4,199\n\nAt last, your own home 3D cinema:\n\nEmbedded in the new CINEMA 3D Smart TV line-up for 2012, LG is aiming to provide CINEMA 3D Smart TV owners with the most comprehensive yet easy-to-use home entertainment experience possible. The evidence for this is clear as LG has provided over 1,200 apps, growing quantity of premium content services and the new Magic Remote. \nLG’s 3D Zone offers a growing collection of 3D movies and TV shows, while existing 2D movies can be converted to 3D via LG’s enhanced 3D conversion engine. Due to the use of Film Patterned Retarder (FPR) technology, LG’s 3D glasses are battery-free, lightweight and inexpensive, making them ideal for watching 3D content in large groups. And even though LG’s Smart TV ecosystem is growing in features and choices, using the TV is simpler than ever, thanks to the new Magic Remote. The new Voice Recognition mode lets users enter text — such as search terms — by making voice commands.
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Jabra Sport, $100\n\nFor the athletic music lover in you:\n\nYou can play music and take calls, skip tracks and adjust volume right from your headset with a secure and comfortable fit during workouts with the Jabra Sport. The headphones are made of US Military Grade rain, dust and shock protection. They offer a powerful bass sound and built-in FM Radio, with up to 4.5 hours of talk time and up to three hours music time. With the Jabra Sport you get exceptional music and call sound quality. It has A2DP, AM3D Power Bass audio enhancement and a wind-shielded microphone and Virtual Surround Sound audio enhancements. It also has a built-in FM radio so you can tune in to your favourite station while you work out. The Jabra Sport also comes with a free download of Endomondo Sports Tracker, a fitness tracking application for smartphones that functions as a motivational tool for running, giving quick updates on speed, distance and lap time. The Endomondo Sports Tracker app is designed to work with iPhone, Android or BlackBerry handsets.
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Sony Tablet S, from $499\n\nFast fingers:\n\nThe Sony Tablet S is optimised for rich media entertainment on its 23.8cm (9.4”) touchscreen display. With the powerful NVIDIA Tegra 2 mobile processor inside, the Sony Tablet S lets you enjoy the web plus your favourite content and applications on its large, high resolution screen. The Wi-Fi version, weighs approximately 598 grams, and its unique asymmetric design conveys a sense of lightness for hours of comfortable use. The unique form factor shifts the device’s weight closer to your palm, making it feel lighter and more comfortable while reading a book or magazine. The screen slopes gently when placed on a flat surface, enhancing visibility and making typing more comfortable. \nThe Sony Tablet P is geared for mobile communication entertainment, with an innovative folding design and dual screens for maximum portability. Weighing approximately 372 grammes, it features the same NIVIDIA Tegra 2 mobile processor and offers connectivity via Wi-Fi and 3G mobile networks.
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Sony VAIO Z, $3,000\n\nBeauty and brains:\n\nSony’s much-anticipated Vaio Z ultraportable notebook features a thirteen-inch hi-res screen, a Core i7 processor, and an external graphics card. The VAIO Z’s 13.1-inch screen has a 1,600x900 resolution, and Sony also offers an upgrade to a 1,920x1,080 screen. Both screens have an anti-glare coating. The VAIO Z weighs in at 2.7 pounds (1.2kg) and is made partly from carbon fibre. Sony rates it for up to seven hours of life on its li-poly battery; the optional add-on battery doubles the battery life. The notebook’s most interesting feature is the Power Media Dock, which is essentially an external graphics card. It houses an AMD Radeon HD 6650M graphics card with one gigabyte of its own memory. The dock also features a USB 3.0 port plus other USB 2.0 ports, VGA, HDMI, and a Blu-ray or DVD slot. Specifications of the VAIO Z include an Intel Core i7 dual-core processor, eight gigabytes of RAM, and a 256 gigabytes SSD.
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Portégé Z830 Series, from $929\n\nMobility is my game:\n\nThe Portégé Z830 series is so thin and light you might forget you have it — until you see what it can do, and hear all the compliments on its sophisticated styling. With a 0.63-inch profile and less than 2.5 pounds, the Portege Z830 ultra slim and light laptop bests its competition right down to the core. Executives, prosumers and mobility moguls all agree that this is your “IT” machine. You might expect “thin” audio from a PC this slim. But no. The Portégé Z830 comes with stereo speakers powered by MaxxAudio, providing outstanding aural performance with sound that’s louder, clearer, fuller and more lifelike. This PC has a spill-resistant backlit keyboard, which helps to guard against accidents and keep you typing when the lights go down. The Portégé Z830 also comes with acclaimed Toshiba EasyGuard Technology, so you can go mobile with confidence, including a smart, shock-absorbing design to help safeguard your files and multimedia.
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Huawei Ascend P1 S\n\nSleek smart:\n\nThe Huawei Ascend P1 S is 6.68mm thin and features a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED 960 x 540 touchscreen with Corning® Gorilla® Glass. The Ascend P1 S is also the fastest and most compact smartphone in its class with a dual-core 1.5GHz TI OMAP 4460 Cortext-A9 processor and the latest Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system. As part of the same smartphone series, Huawei also unveiled the Ascend P1, which boasts the same functionality while measuring 7.69mm thin. Delivering the ultimate in elegance and speed with a 1670mAh/1800mAh battery, the Huawei Ascend P1/P1 S series provides the fastest multi-tasking, video replay and gaming experience in its class. \nThe Huawei Ascend P1/P1 S series feature a super-sleek and narrow 64.8mm body, elegant contours and an effortlessly stylish design. The PPVD back cover coating evenly distributes heat, and provides a strong metallic, three-dimensional design with a delicate texture.
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Optimus NET Dual SIM, $223\n\nDual SIM wonder:\n\nLG Electronics (LG), a global leader and technology innovator in consumer electronics, mobile communications and home appliances, have added another advanced, convenient smartphone in their mobile offerings, the LG Optimus NET P698. The Optimus NET Dual SIM allows users to conveniently combine news, contents, friends and family in one place. It makes your smartphone experience rich with integrated SNS widget and DLNA content sharing, while remaining affordable. Enjoy extra functionality with the advanced 1500mAh battery as well as a faster application start-up and web browsing experience. As the smartphone comes with the latest Android 2.3 Gingerbread, the user does not have to worry about constantly updating the OS. \nThe 3.2 inch screen provides a cleared and sharper optimised view for multimedia applications. The Optimus NET Dual SIM also boasts of an improved and enhanced touch performance while the Optimus 2.0 UI provides emotional enhancement. This allows users to customise the home screen.
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Samsung Galaxy Note, $670\n\nThe pen is back:\n\nThis new form of device integrates the diversified smartphone applications and the excellence of tablet core efficacy, bringing users into a brand new mobile device era. With a 5.3-inch HD SUPER AMOLED full touchscreen, displaying 16.7 million colours while supported by 1,280 x 800 pixel, the Galaxy Note gives users stunning visual experience with super-high quality. Users can experience the remarkable viewing of every single video, picture and website with the HD SUPER AMOLED display, while the magnificent colour display and detailed picture quality give users real-life experience on every scene. With the Galaxy Note’s advanced eight megapixel camera users can capture every moment in deep detail. In addition, t-he Note’s high-res display ensures that e-books, Powerpoint presentations and web pages deliver crystal clear pen-input application.