First impressions of HP’s Envy x2 when the company showed it to the media last year were that this appeared to be the best of the first wave of Windows 8 laptop/tablet convertibles.
But spending some time with this hybrid device since it was launched last month, I find the x2 highlights how convertibles do not necessarily offer the best of both worlds, but can often represent unsatisfying compromises. Read more
Small, square, sub-$100 black boxes dominate streaming internet-television devices in the US, in the shape of Apple TV and Roku’s LT, XS, XD and HD boxes.
There’s no shame then in Western Digital imitating this successful formula in launching today the WD TV Play - the latest variation of its WD TV lineup of content-streaming set-top boxes. Read more
Microsoft’s Surface Windows 8 Pro tablet is on sale from Saturday, costing 50 per cent more than its equivalent Windows RT forerunner – from $900 rather than $600 in the US for the 64Gb versions.
At first glance, the two look identical in their size and dark titanium design, but Microsoft is providing quite a few more features for the money. Whether they are enough to justify this price for a tablet is debatable. A review after the jump. Read more
Research In Motion unveils the BlackBerry 10 today amid the greatest degree of anticipation and scrutiny in the company’s history. At events in New York, Toronto and London, the Canadian manufacturer is launching a new operating system and two smartphones.
The company and CEO Thorsten Heins are betting it will secure RIM’s future – and even its survival – in a tough marketplace where it has lost share to Apple’s iPhone and Android-based devices. Read more
What it is: ION’s second-generation point-of-view action camera, the Air Pro 2
Key points: 14Mp sensor, 180-degree lens and the addition of a microphone in-jack are the main improvements to the Air Pro, which retains its basic design and features, such as vibrating when it is turned on and its body being watertight, obviating the need for an extra waterproof case. Read more
What it is: The PowerShot N - a point-and-shoot camera from Canon with a radical new design.
Key points: Very compact and lightweight with an 8x optical zoom, 12.1Mp sensor, 28mm wide-angle lens, tilt-touch LCD panel and Full HD video capability. The unusual feature is two rings on the lens are used for operating the shutter and the zoom. The camera’s Creative Shot mode analyses a photo taken and offers you five different versions of it, using various filters, crops and focuses. A “mobile device connect” button activates Wi-Fi, turning it into a hotspot and allowing a mobile device such as a tablet or laptop to connect to it and download photos. An app is available. Read more
What it is: Cambridge Consultants, the product development company that helped create the first round tea bag, has come up with a prototype pod-based tea maker called the Tê.
Key points: Hot water is drawn into a brewing chamber where a pod containing tea has been placed on a spindle and will begin to spin, pulling water in, mixing it with the tea leaves and then forcing it out through small holes in the side of the pod. (See video below) This dispenses an excellent cup of tea in just two minutes. Read more
Surging mobile sales drove earnings at Samsung Electronics to another record, despite competition from Apple’s iPhone 5. The FT’s Simon Mundy reports from Seoul on how Samsung beat analysts’ forecasts and how the company is positioned.
Sony is calling its new smartphone, launched at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, a ‘super phone’, winding the clock back to the time of super models, super cars and when the Japanese group ruled the high-end electronics market. Daniel Thomas, telecoms correspondent, says the device is grown-up but far from revolutionary.
Sony has announced new TVs, content and distribution services for the Ultra HD standard it refers to as 4K, where screens have four times the number of pixels as the current Full HD standard.
At its press conference at the International CES consumer electronics show here in Las Vegas on Monday, it also showed a prototype TV where 4K was combined with another hot technology – OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diodes) – although the demonstration failed. Read more
Our highlights from the 2013 International CES in Las Vegas (January 6 -11).
What it is: LG kicked off the CES press day with its news conference and announcements on OLED, Ultra HD and Smart TVs
Key points: A 55in OLED TV will finally go on sale; an 84in Ultra HD TV is on the way; LG’s smart TV lineup features an improved interface, better voice and gesture controls and new apps including a Verizon FiOS one that gives access to 75 live channels. Its plasma lineup is being reduced from five to three models and CCFLs – the old screen lighting technology for LCDs – are gone, with LG just using LED from now on. Three new screen sizes for Google TV models are being introduced, increasing the offering to five. Read more
We pick our highlights of the product unveilings, bringing you the essential news from the 2013 International CES in Las Vegas (January 6 -11).
What it is: Roku has added six new TV partners that will use its streaming stick with their sets and announced new content, bringing its internet-streaming offering to more than 700 channels.
Key points: Coby Electronics, Harman Kardon, HiSense, TCL, Voxx and Westinghouse join eight other “Roku-ready” partners that will integrate its streaming service through the stick that fits in an MHL-enabled HDMI port. Fourteen new channel apps are being announced including Blockbuster on Demand movies and live TV channels Fox Now and Time Warner Cable TV, the latter offering up to 300 live TV channels Read more