Brands go hoarse advertising their “cutting-edge” technology products, but it does not get us rushing to the stores. Hopeful that the device would get cheaper by the months or the company would release newer versions, models or colours, most buyers opt to wait and watch. Besides a handful of enthusiasts who like to own the gadget as soon as it hits the shelves, most consumers prefer to buy only when they see a value in the device. But some avant-garde gadgets make the buy worth all the money you pay for them. Here’s one:
SAMSUNG SMART TV
Starts at Rs 68,900
If you are looking to upgrade your TV and haven’t done so in the last few years, you will be amazed at the superlative quality, viewing experience and the interconnectivity of these so-called Smart TVs that Samsung boasts about. We reviewed the D6000 46 inch LED TV in Samsung’s Smart TV range. Don’t get bamboozled by the fancy words the company uses to advertise - 3D HyperReal Engine, a slim 12-millimetre bezel, AllShare and One Foot Connection and so on. To begin with, the most basic thing that you set out to see in your new TV is the quality of the picture and that’s simply brilliant on the D6600.
Second, it capably produces audible low frequencies, a fuller sound (thanks to the built-in equaliser) as opposed to the cheap and metallic sound usually associated with most slim TV panels.
And what makes this TV a smart TV are features like Allshare that allows the TV to wirelessly connect with compatible mobile devices such as smartphone, laptop or hard drives using the Dynamic Living Network Alliance protocol (DLNA). Simply download the Allshare software on any laptop, hook it up to your home network that connects TV too and you are good to share movies, photos and music, files and so on through the connected device on your TV.
The impossibly thin looking D6000 comes with a Freeview digital tuner built in as well as a range of picture and sound options, all of which can be fiddled with to get that perfect picture output. It’s also 3D-enabled, so couple it with a 3D Blu-ray player and you can watch movies in 3D but, yes, you still have to wear the stupid glasses. The D6000’s remote has a button labelled “3D” that converts a standard 2D feed into 3D. Initially, it might look like a cool feature to boast but it’s really kind of gimmicky and definitely not as impressive as watching something filmed in true 3D.
The D6000 has a wireless adaptor so you don’t have to get a wireless dongle (to hook it to a wireless home network) or choose to connect the unit with even a wired internet connection. Once the TV is connected to a home network, you can really put the smart TV to work. On the remote, there a Smart Hub button that allows direct access to YouTube, Skype, photo-editing & sharing software Picasa, Facebook, Twitter, some games and news sites. The web browser on the TV can access most websites and also supports HTML5 and Flash. Samsung gives you about 400 free and paid apps from its app store to download and make the D6000 even smarter. If you happen to own the Samsung Galaxy smartphones, then you have to try the app that turns your Galaxy phone into a standard remote control. This comes very handy if you are too lazy to locate the remote control.
If you can live with a TV that can post Twitter updates, share photos on Facebook or surf for directions to newest neighbourhood restaurant besides being just a TV, then look no further than the Samsung Smart TV range.
DELL LATITUDE XT3
Price: Rs 1,00,000 (approx)
There’s something about a quirky design that makes a device stand out. A convertible tablet PC equipped with Intel’s second generation Sandy Bridge processor steams up the Dell Latitude XT3’s hood. Using the dual-core processor Intel Core i5 2.5GHz, Dell Latitude XT3 tops a 2GB RAM.
A 13-inch swivelling screen that supports dual-digitiser display (multi-touch inputs and stylus input) makes the Latitude XT3 different. It comes handy for professionals who need the power of a full-blown PC while enjoying a full-screen touch flexibility of a tablet PC. The screen changes from laptop to tablet mode, as the XT3 screen rotates from left-to-right or right-to-left in full 360 degrees. The picture-perfect clarity of the 13-inch touchscreen display gives a wider landscape and better viewing angles.
Being a business-oriented product, the slightly larger screen size will appeal to professionals whose work includes filling out forms or reviewing documents.
Running on Windows 7 Professional operating system, Latitude XT3 has enhanced security, including Dell data protection, remote data delete, a free-fall sensor to protect against drops and support for pre-integrated Citrix and VMwareremote desktop clients. We were impressed by Latitude XT3’s noiseless operation. The ergonomics of this device are good. The keyboard offers well-spaced keys, a soft-touch wrist rest makes it a pleasure to type. Users can opt for hard drives up to 320GB and optional SSD.
Depending on what specifications of hardware you choose, the XT3 delivers over eight hours of battery life and with Dell’s Latitude ExpressCharge the battery recharges nearly 80 per cent in one hour.