Sony

The choices are blurring for consumers looking for a mobile device. While tablets are still popular, laptop screens and keyboards are being separated and recombined in new ways. Hybrid machines from Lenovo and Sony, using Microsoft’s Windows 8, give the indecisive a – somewhat unsatisfying – taste of both.

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Chris Nuttall

AT&T has launched two smartphones licensed to kill the opposition with their specifications.

I felt rather like Q, 007’s gadget meister, in testing the Sony Xperia TL (a.k.a. the Bond phone), and the LG Optimus G quad-core, LTE smartphone, available since November 2 for $100 and $200 respectively with their two-year contracts. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Behind every daredevil stunt or eye-popping event of late, a pint-sized point-of-view camera costing a few hundred dollars has been there to capture the moment through the eyes of the performer.

And, until a new thrust by Sony into a booming category, behind every “action cam” there has been a maverick entrepreneur pursuing a dream, which in the case of GoPro could lead to a $500m reported IPO next year. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Contour is first out of the gate with a new hands-free video camera going on sale today, ahead of fresh competition from Sony and an expected product announcement from GoPro in October.

The Contour+2 is the only camera of this type, popular with sports enthusiasts, to be made available in the Apple Store and it has a much improved iOS app to go with it. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Sony’s huge push into 3D led by Sir Howard Stringer has dominated its announcements at recent consumer electronics shows on both sides of the Atlantic, with new products and frequent instructions to the audience to don their 3D glasses during presentations.

But 3D, which has failed to give a significant lift to Sony’s consistently loss-making TV business, didn’t rate a mention when Kaz Hirai, who took over as chief executive in April, conducted Sony’s press conference at the IFA show in Berlin on Wednesday.  Instead, the event climaxed with the unveiling of an 84in 4K LCD TV. Read more

Chris Nuttall

HP, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba have been showing the shape of Windows 8 computing to come, unveiling hybrid PC/tablet devices that take advantage of the new dual-mode operating system when it launches on October 26.

HP has been demonstrating its Envy x2 (pictured left) to media in San Francisco, while its Asian rivals launched their takes on hybrid computing at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin.  None of them have anything to fear from Apple in this area, in terms of patent disputes or rival devices, with Tim Cook, chief executive, describing such designs as being as unsatisfactory as combining a toaster with a refrigerator. Read more

Chris Nuttall

A year after launching its first tablet, Sony has announced a next-generation version, the Xperia Tablet S.

The new slate is a slimmer version of the original, battery life has been boosted from eight hours to a claimed 10 hours and new accessories have been added.  The Tablet S was unveiled at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin along with new smartphones, hybrid PCs and an 84in 4K LCD TV. Read more

Maija Palmer

It has not been a great week for Sony employees, as the Japanese consumer electronics group carries out some late-summer pruning on its businesses. Around 1,000 people at Sony Mobile’s operations are to be let go, with two-thirds of the redundancies falling in Lund, Sweden,  as the headquarters of the mobile phone unit moves to Japan.

This was widely expected after Sony bought out Ericsson from their Sony Ericsson joint venture last year. In April this year, Sony had announced plans to cut 10,000 jobs globally. About half of these would come from the sale and spin-off of two subsidiaries, but detail about the rest is just starting to trickle through. Read more

Chris Nuttall

A major investor in Gaikai, the cloud gaming service bought by Sony for $380m last week, has said the console maker could do something revolutionary with its acquisition that would transcend its hardware business.

“I think [Gaikai] will really show its true promise in the hands of Sony,” Mitch Lasky, general partner at the Benchmark Capital VC firm (pictured left), told the GamesBeat 2012 conference in San Francisco on Wednesday. “My hope is that we are going to see ‘PlayStation as a Service’,” he said. Read more

Sony Xperia Ion

Android smartphones have the summer to themselves in the absence of any new iPhone launch – so Sony and Samsung are taking on America this week with the Ion and Galaxy S III respectively. Also a look at a cellular Wi-Fi hotspot device from Tep that prevents rip-off roaming charges when using your smartphones abroad.

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