China Telecom’s obsession with Samsung’s luxury clamshells isn’t dwindling any time soon. In fact, the two companies have just launched a new model, the SCH-W2014, at their annual “Heart Of The World” charity concert in Nanjing last night. While it shares a similar appearance with the W2013 and the more recent Galaxy Golden, the new W2014 is by far the most powerful dual-screen flip phone in Samsung’s line-up, featuring Android 4.3, a 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 SoC, 2GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel main camera, a 2-megapixel front-facing imager and dual-SIM connectivity (CDMA2000 800/1900 and GSM 900/1800/1900). You’ll also find 32GB of internal storage plus microSD expansion.
Compared to the Galaxy Golden and the W2013, the only notable downsides on the W2014 are the same 800 x 480 resolution on its 3.7-inch Super AMOLED displays, as well as its similar 1,900mAh battery capacity (but removable). On the flip side, the weight has gone down to 173.5g, making this the lightest model in the “Heart Of The World” clamshell family since the W699 — the first of the series — from 2008. Chinese website iFeng, which got to check out the device at the event, praised the phone’s overall design and keypad feedback, but also criticized the plastic look and feel of the hinge.
There’s no launch date or price just yet, but expect the W2014 to cost beyond CN¥10,000, which works out to be about US$1,640. Yes, it’s certainly not everyone’s cup of tea, but you can still head over to PCPOP for more hands-on photos.
The good: With a new Intel Core i7 CPU, an Nvidia GPU, a 1TB hard drive, and a touch screen, the Toshiba Satellite S55t-A5277 is a genre-buster laptop.
The bad: Hitting its $999 price clearly required some compromises, and the low-resolution 15-inch screen takes the fun out of gaming and media watching.
The bottom line: The Toshiba Satellite S55t-A5277 comes close to being a great mainstream slim gaming laptop, but it’s undone by an unimpressive display.
Why can’t I get what I want? It doesn’t seem too complicated to me, but I find myself frustrated at every turn by the PC industry. Maybe it’s a pipe dream, but I want a reasonably thin, reasonably good-looking laptop, with a high-quality touch screen, and a decent discrete graphics card for gaming. Of course, I don’t want to pay too much for it.
The Toshiba Satellite S55t-A5277 is the latest to promise this to the world, but deliver significantly less. It’s painfully close to being a near-perfect laptop, offering a new fourth-generation Intel Core i7 CPU, a reasonably good Nvidia GeForce 740M graphics card, 12GB of RAM, and a huge 1TB hard drive, all for $999.
What’s not to like? Well, if you’ve got a solid CPU-GPU combo for playing games, you’re going to want a decent screen to play on, and that’s where the S55t-A5277 falls painfully short. While it’s a touch screen, which is practically a requirement for Windows 8 these days, it has a low screen resolution of 1,366×768 pixels. That’s rare in midprice, midsize laptops these days, and I can’t imagine feeling good about paying $999 for a laptop that’s not at least 1,600×900. On top of that, the screen just doesn’t look very good.
I had high hopes for the S55t-A5277 as a mainstream gaming laptop that could also work as an everyday slim 15-inch productivity machine, but the poor display sticks a real wrench in that plan. Laptop gaming is a question of choosing priorities, with high-end gaming rigs such as the Toshiba Qosmio X75 and Razer Blade lacking a touch screen, and most sub-$1,000 laptops being stuck with basic integrated graphics.
That one major flaw, the screen, aside, the S55t-A5277 is more than powerful enough for everyday use, with a slim body, optical drive, plenty of ports, and better components than you usually find outside of very expensive premium laptops. It’s so close to what I want that it’s especially frustrating to see it fall short.
Design and features
Toshiba’s entire laptop line has been slightly redesigned for the 2013 back-to-school season, although the S55t-A5277 isn’t radically different from previous Toshiba Satellite models. The body is a mix of brushed aluminum and black plastic, with an understated two-tone design that would work in an office, coffee shop, or at home. If the system cost a few hundred dollars more, it would be too plastic-feeling, but as priced, it’s just right.
While not as thin and light as Razer’s Blade gaming laptop, the S55t-A5277 is close to other 14- and 15-inch ultrabook-style laptops we’ve seen (although that term is used too extensively these days to cover a very wide range of sizes and weights). It’s just over 5 pounds and a hair thicker than 1 inch, but considering the discrete GPU and Core i7 CPU, that’s pretty good.
Toshiba’s keyboard style is built around chunky square keys that offer a satisfyingly deep click under your fingers. This keyboard looked and felt a lot like the one on the recent Qosmio X75, with generous flat-topped keys, plus a full-size separate number pad. Toshiba laptops have oddly short spacebars, which I always find hard to get used to, but at least the function keys are reversed, which means you don’t have to hold down the Fn key to access the volume, brightness, and other controls on the F1 to F12 keys. The keyboard is also backlit, which is a nice extra in a midprice laptop.
Google has updated its Nexus line with the new version of the Nexus 7 tablet. With a design similar to the original Nexus 7, the new model is also made by Asus and is enhanced with new hardware features and the latest Android 4.3. The 7.02-inch 1920×1080 Full HD (323ppi) IPS touchscreen is probably the most eye-catching feature of this next gen Nexus tablet.
The Full HD Nexus 7 also received quite a huge specs bump, sporting Qualcomm’s SnapDragon S4 Pro 1.5GHz CPU with Adreno 320 GPU, and 2GB of RAM. While the original Nexus 7 has a 1.2 Megapixel front-facing camera, the 2nd gen packs a 5 Megapixel rear-facing camera for taking photos and videos. The tablet supports dual-band 2.4G/5G WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and NFC connectivity, and it is compatible with Qi wireless charging standard. The 3950mAh battery can provide up to 9 hours of active use. Other features include stereo speaker with Fraunhofer-powered surround sound, microUSB port, SlimPort support,and a range of built-in sensors such as gyroscope, accelerometer.
Despite all these specs bump and hardware enhancement, the new Nexus 7 is slimmer at 8.65mm (compare to 10.56mm of original Nexus 7) and and lighter at 290g (vs. 340g). 16GB and 32GB versions are available and optional 4G LTE model is also available. The prices are $229 for 16GB and $295 for 32GB.
Here comes a new convenient video camcorder for those who want to capture videos of themselves. Canon’s newly announced VIXIA Mini compact personal camcorder is a unique device that let you to become the Stars of your own videos, allowing you to record your hobbies and memorable moments hands-free. With built-in WiFi connectivity, users can share videos and images easily to social networking sites.
The VIXIA Mini sports a 12.8 Megapixel High-sensitivity CMOS image sensor and the DIGIC DV4 image processor, creating the Canon HS System for capturing high quality Full HD video and still images. The F/2.8 fisheye ultra wide angle lens 160-degree angle of view that allows you include surroundings in the video. Users can swithc between Wide Mode for capturing wide view of the scene, and Close-up Mode if they want to emphasis emphasize the subject.
To make yourself Star, you can make use of the Mirror Image Recording mode to view the scene you are recording in real time so you can watch as you record. There are new Special Scene Modes including Food & Fashion, Sports, and Macro as well as Slow Motion and Fast Motion modes and Intervel Recording to fit different users’ needs. If you don’t want to trouble with all these modes, simply use the Smart Auto mode that can intelligently selects one of 38 predefined situations.
The built-in adjustable stand can tilt and elevate the VIXIA Mini about 60 degrees that allows for flexible positioning for shooting different video scenes. The camcorder has a Vari-Angle 2.7-inch capactive touch display that can be adjusted to fit various shooting styles, such as low-angle shooting, self-shooting and high-angle shooting.
Canon will release the mini VIXIA in September for $299.99.
Today at CES 2011, Lexar Media has announced industry’s first high speed 128GB along with a 64GB professional SDXC memory cards. These SDXC memory cards have 133x speed which means it can transfer data at speed of minimum 20MB per second. Because of its high speeds, these memory cards can be used by professional videographers and photographers who can capture extended lengths of 1080p HD video and for shoot continuous rapid-fire images. Read more
Roland has launched a new GR-55 guitar synthesizer which features the newly developed pitch-detection technology and includes a triple-core engine that comprises two PCM synthesizers and COSM guitar modeling. GR-55 has two USB ports- one on the rear panel port for MIDI/Audio data communication and other on the side-panel port dedicated for real-time playback of audio files from a USB memory device.
The Roland GR-55 offers two types of multi-effects engines along with global reverb, chorus, and delay effects, and an onboard looper. It comes with over 900 of Roland’s latest fully editable PCM sounds, including pianos, organs, strings, vintage synths, and much more.
Today Onkyo has released two new affordable “home-theater-in-a-box” (HTiB) systems- HT-S5400 and HT-S3400.
The HT-S5400 is a high end model and the costlier one which is a 7.1-channel HTiB that features two extra audio channels for more audio control to enhance movie and gaming ambience and supports Dolby Pro Logi IIz with its superior audio DACs. There is also a front panel USB port for iPod or iPhone connectivity. Read more
Google gave a stunner today by announcing that Eric Schmidt who was the company’s CEO from 2001 will be stepping down from his post from April 4 while Google co-founder Larry Page will take over his position. Larry Page has in fact already served as Google’s CEO previously from 1998 to 2001. Read more
Acer has announced two new DLP projectors, the P1100C and the P1200B. The Acer P1100C offers 800×600 resolution and 4000:1 contrast ratio while the P1200B offers 1024×768 resolution and 3700:1 contrast ratio. Both the projectors has 2600 ANSI lumens, 3 USB port, D-sub, S-video, composite inputs while P1200B has an additional HDMI port. Both has body size of 269 × 206 × 84mm (width × depth × height) and weighs 2.45kg. Both the P1100C and P1200B projectors will hit Japan first on 4 August for 60,000 Yen and 80,000 Yen respectively.
Stuart Hughes has unveiled a 24ct gold plated version of iPhone 4. The 32GB iPhone 4 chasis is completely replaced with 150 grams of 24ct gold and is completely hand crafted which took weeks for development. Along with the handset you also get a hand finished wallet made from real Ostrich foot whch can hold upto four credit cards. Stuart Hughes gold plated iPhone 4 is an unlocked version with updated firmware for worldwide use and is priced at £21,995 ($34,079).