Nokia Launches the Lumia 1520 in India

In a press event yesterday, Nokia launched their first Phablet in their Lumia range here in India. The 1520 features a 6 inch screen with a 20 Megapixel Pureview Camera which also boast of a Rich Audio Recording. More on that a little later in this post.

Nokia Lumia 1520

Here are some quick specs of the Lumia 1520:

  • Windows Phone 8 with the latest Nokia Black update.
  • Display: 6” full HD 1080p LCD , ClearBlack, High Brightness Mode, Sunlight readability, Super sensitive touch for glove and nail usage, Gorilla Glass 2
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 (2.2GHz Quad Core )
  • Memory: 2GB RAM, 32 GB internal user memory this is expandable via a micro SD card  up to 64GB
  • Camera: PureView 20 MP Auto Focus ZEISS optics with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), 2x lossless zoom, oversampling technology, dual LED flash.  Rear Camera: HD 1.2 MP wide angle
  • Battery: 3400 mAh (non-removable) with built-in wireless charging.
  • Networks: GSM/EDGE: 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz | WCDMA: 850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz 
  • Audio: Rich Recording with four microphones; Wide-band Voice and multi-microphone noise reduction with four microphones; Dolby(R) Headphone,  FM radio

The 1520 is quite a slim phone for all the features it packs, especially a beefy 3400 mAh battery, which should  give you quite a lot of play time on the device between charges. The device also features Wireless charging capability, so you just need to drop the phone on a wireless charging plate and you’re on charge.

P1010031

The 1520 comes in four colors – yellow, white, black and glossy red. I played around with the glossy red version of the phone and was immediately in love with it, given that I had a read 920 earlier. The rest of the colors come with a matte finish.

On the camera, well the 1520 follows in the long line of the PureView greats with Ziess Optics, Optical Image Stabilization and the Pureview Oversampling technology to give you great photos during daylight and low light as well.

Apart from the great camera, the 1520 comes with Rich audio recording. An industry first with this device, it with four microphones, which enable the phone to pick up sound from your intended source while you’re recording and the rest of the of the microphones are used to cancel out the other ambient noise to give you great sound from your recorded video.

The Nokia Lumia 1520 is available in stores now at a best buy price of Rs. 46,999. If you are heading to check out the phone, don’t miss checking out the Nokia Protective Cover CP-623 for the Lumia 1520 as well. This should be available in the next few days, which provides flip cover protection for the phone and doubles up as a stand as well. This should retail around Rs. 2999.

Nokia_1520_Protective

Intex Launches the Aqua i7 an Android with full HD display and 2GB RAM

Intex Aqua i7Intex, earlier known for their computer peripherals, has jumped into the Android Smartphone bandwagon with their latest phone. At a press event in Mumbai yesterday, Farhan Akhtar, brand ambassador for Intex mobiles, unveiled their flagship model the Intex Aqua i7. This phone comes with a 5 inch full HD resolution (1280×1080) screen which features OGS (One Glass Solution) display technology and Corning Gorilla Glass. It runs on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, powered by a 1.5GHz quad core processor with 2GB RAM, which should make your apps and games operate with ease.

The phone will retail in India for Rs. 21,900 starting from September 9th from retail and online e-commerce retailers around India. The price for the phone includes accessories worth Rs. 5,500 from Intex which includes a flip cover, Cloud space , screen guard, limited edition key chain and pen personally signed by Farhan.

Commenting on the launch, Sanjay Kumar Kalirona, Senior GM-Mobility Division, Intex Technologies  said, “After an overwhelming response to Aqua i5, we are excited to launch our flagship offering Aqua i7. Intex takes pride in consistently introducing quality and performance oriented products for its consumers. With the launch of Aqua i7, we are foraying into the premium handsets segment and are confident of providing the best user experience to consumers who are looking for a device with pleasing aesthetics designed to offer power packed performance.”

Features of the Intex Aqua i7

  • Running on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system the phone is powered by 1.5 GHz quad core processor
  • A slim design (7.88 mm) with has a 5 inch full HD (1280X1080) screen which flaunts Corning® Gorilla® Glass that produces deep color rich display while providing protection
  • The phone comes bundled with 13MP rear camera capable of capturing full HD videos and 5MP front camera videos and videos
  • The phone features 2GB RAM for your apps and  32GB internal storage for your media and files.
  • For the sequrity concious, the phone comes pre-loaded with NQ Vault and NQ Security
  • The smartphone is equipped with a host of 15 applications and various cool features such as: Look away, wireless display, Intex cloud, Intex OTA, locate, Intex Play, Intex Zone, personalized screen and 10 pre-loaded full HD video songs which makes it a perfect phone to hang out with
  • Movies for free via Intex Movies app with one month free subscription
  • Intex’s online OTA (over the air) software application will help you update your phone’s software automatically to do away with lag timing or other delays faced while using various applications on the phone
  • Aqua i7 also has 3G, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, GSM+WCDMA and HSPA+ as connectivity options.
  • The phone is bundled with a  2000mAh battery that provides a talk-time of 7 hours and standby time of 220 hrs

For more details on the phone, head over to Intex’s Aqua i7 product page.

Nokia Launches the Lumia 925 and the Lumia 625 in India

Nokia has just launched the much awaited Lumia 925 in India for Rs. 33,499, along with the mid-range Lumia 625 for Rs. 19,999. Whilst the selling point of the Lumia 925 is its brilliant camera and its aluminum frame, the Lumia 625 is touted as an entertainment device with its big 4.7” screen.

nokia lumia 925

The Lumia 925 being a spiritual successor to the previous flagship Nokia 920 comes with improvements to the camera and design. The Lumia 925 becomes the first phone in the Lumia line to feature an aluminum frame, with polycarbonate back available in white, grey or black. The result is it makes the phone thinner and lighter; this is a huge relief as the 920 was too heavy and bulky to live with. The Lumia 925 will also taste the much appreciated Nokia Pro Cam seen first on the Lumia 1020 once the Amber update is out.

Nokia Lumia 925 Specs:

  • 4.5″ 16M-color PureMotionHD+ AMOLED capacitive touchscreen of 1280 x 768 pixels, with a 332 ppi pixel density.
  • 8 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash, [email protected] video recording and 1.3MP front-facing camera
  • Optical Image stabilization with floating lens technology
  • 32GB of inbuilt storage ( Not expandable)
  • Aluminum frame, with thinner and lighter profile.
  • FM radio
  • White, grey or black color.
  • Rs. 33,499 retail price.

Nokia Lumia 625 front and back

On the other hand, the Lumia 625 is purely marketed as an entertainment device. The device boasts a huge 4.7” screen, biggest in the Lumia line up and it looks like Nokia wants its users to fully utilize this screen. For starters, Nokia is offering goodies worth Rs.16000 in the form of an Entertainment package out-of-the-box. This includes movies, eBooks from Flipkart and access to the Nokia Music Store, among others.  The phone also comes preloaded with Your Movies app, through which the users can not only stream but also download movies.

Nokia Lumia 625 Specs:

  • 4.7″ 16M-color IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen of 480 x 800 pixels, with a 199 ppi pixel density
  • 5 MP autofocus camera with LED flash, [email protected] video recording
  • 8GB internal memory, expandable up to 64GB.
  • 1.2 GHz Dual-core Krait with 512MB RAM.
  • Orange, Bright green, Yellow, Black and white colors.
  • Upgradeable to WP8 Amber.
  • Rs. 19,999 retail price.

Follow the link to the press release for more – Nokia Lumia 625+925 India Launch Press Release.

Blackberry Launches the Blackberry Q5 in India for Rs. 24990

Sunil Lalvani, Managing Director, BlackBerry India unveiling the new BlackBerry Q5 in New Delhi
Sunil Lalvani, Managing Director, BlackBerry India unveiling the new BlackBerry Q5 in New Delhi

At a press event in New Delhi yesterday, Blackberry launched their next phone running on the BB10 platform, the Blackberry Q5.The Blackberry Q5, like the Q10 also features a QWERTY keyboard to complement the touch screen interactions on the phone. The Q5 should be available in India from the 20th of June at a price of around Rs. 24,990.

Sunil Lalvani, Managing Director for India at BlackBerry said, “The BlackBerry Q5 smartphone has a stunning youthful design that comes in exciting colors, and offers the full cutting-edge BlackBerry 10 functionality as well as access to the growing catalog of BlackBerry 10 apps. With its physical QWERTY keyboard and touchscreen, it gives customers the best of both worlds.”

Quick Specs

Blackberry Q5 India LaunchThe Q5 has a 3.1 inch touch-screen, with a resolution of 720 x 720 resolution, at 329 PPI. It’s powered by a Dual Core 1.2 GHz processor and comes with 8 GB internal storage capacity. The storage is expandable up to 32GB  via a microSD card. It’s powered by a 2180mAH non-removable battery, rated for up to 12.5 hours of talktime on 3G.

As we mentioned this device is running on the BlackBerry 10.1 operating system and comes with a physical QWERTY keyboard. The phone also features a 5 megapixel rear camera which is capable of capturing HD videos at 1080p, and a 2 megapixel front camera.  The Blackberry Q5 comes in Red, White and Black for the Indian market.

You can get the full specifications of the Q5 here. For more information on the Q5, head over to Blackberry’s Q5 page. Read on for the press release from Blackberry:

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Press Release

Bangalore – India, July 16, 2013– BlackBerry® (NASDAQ: BBRY; TSX: BB) today launched the newest BlackBerry® 10 smartphone, the BlackBerry® Q5 smartphone in India. The BlackBerry Q5 smartphone features a QWERTY keyboard in a stunning, youthful design that is confident and makes it easy for customers to have fun, create, share and stay connected.

Available in Black, Pure White and Pure Red color models, the BlackBerry Q5 smartphone offers a powerful and unique mobile computing experience with its cutting-edge BlackBerry 10 functionality. Features and apps work seamlessly together, allowing your every move to flow into the next. With its classic QWERTY keyboard re-engineered for optimized typing and its 3.1” touchscreen, the BlackBerry Q5 smartphone gives you the best of both worlds.

Sunil Lalvani, Managing Director for India at BlackBerry said, “The BlackBerry Q5 smartphone has a stunning youthful design that comes in exciting colors, and offers the full cutting-edge BlackBerry 10 functionality as well as access to the growing catalog of BlackBerry 10 apps. With its physical QWERTY keyboard and touchscreen, it gives customers the best of both worlds.”

The BlackBerry Q5 smartphone comes with the BlackBerry 10.1 software. As part of the BlackBerry 10 experience, a peek into the BlackBerry® Hub lets you stay close to what’s important to you without stopping what you’re doing. Create the perfect shot every time with BlackBerry Time Shift, and tell your story using BlackBerry Story Maker and share with friends on Facebook. Use BBM video and Screen Share, and discover local apps from a catalogue of over 120,000 apps available on the BlackBerry® World™ storefront.

The new BlackBerry Q5 smartphone is expected to be available from authorized retailers in India starting July 20th.

For more information on BlackBerry 10, please visit www.blackberry.com/blackberry10

About BlackBerry

A global leader in wireless innovation, BlackBerry® revolutionized the mobile industry when it was introduced in 1999. Today, BlackBerry aims to inspire the success of our millions of customers around the world by continuously pushing the boundaries of mobile experiences. Founded in 1984 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, BlackBerry operates offices in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America. BlackBerry is listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market (NASDAQ: BBRY) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: BB). For more information, visit www.blackberry.com.

XOLO launches Q600, a Quad-Core Android Phone at Rs. 8999

Xolo has announced that they’ve just released the fourth Q-series phone running on Android Jelly Bean. The Q600 is a Dual-SIM 3G device powered by a 1.2Ghz Quad-Core processor. The phone also sports 4.5 inch display with a resolution of 854 x 480 with a pixel density of 217 PPI. This is the cheapest Quad-c0re phone from Xolo, pegged at a retail price of Rs. 8999.

They’ve bundled  Swype along with the phone, so you don’t have to go buy the replacement keyboard app when you get the phone, so you can start Swyping as soon as you get it.

XOLO Q600 Key features on the Q600

  • 1.2 GHz Quad-Core Processor
  • 4.5″ TFT Display
  • Android Jelly Bean 4.2
  • Dual SIM (3G+2G)
  • 4 GB Internal Memory
  • External memory expandable up to 32 GB
  • 5 MP rear camera
  • VGA front camera
  • 2000 mAh battery

For more details about the phone, just to the Press Release right after the image gallery.

The XOLO Q600 in Pictures

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Read the Press Release

XOLO launches Q600 – The powerful smartphone powered by Quad core.

XOLO Q600 is priced at Rs. 8,999
July 2, 2013: After the successful launch of XOLO Q1000, Q700 and Q800, XOLO – the Premium Smartphone brand, today announced the launch of Q600. XOLO Q600 is the fourth Quad-core smartphone announced by the brand under its Qcore series. With this new launch XOLO with its promise of delivering something better and extra with every product, aims to provide a faster smartphone experience to its customers at an attractive price.

Q600 packs in a powerful 1.2 GHz Quad-core processor which offers Fast User Interface (UI) responsiveness, fast applications launches and smooth performance.

The XOLO Q600 runs on latest Android Jelly Bean v4.2. It comes packed with an exclusive app XOLO Secure – an Anti-theft app to protect your beloved device.  XOLO Q600 also comes preloaded with Swype keyborad to enable users to type faster in lesser time with unmatched ease of use and convenience.

It is equipped with a 4.5″ TFT display which supports 5 finger touch gesture. It has a resolution of 854×480 with 217 PPI. It comes with 4 GB of internal storage and 512 MB of RAM for a smoother smartphone experience.

The XOLO Q600 sports a 5 MP rear camera to capture vivid and sharp images and a VGA front camera for 3G video calling. It comes with a powerful 2000 mAh battery which offers up to 333 hours of stand by time and up to 13.4 hours of talk time on 2G and up to 10 hours of talk time on 3G.

The XOLO Q600 comes with a PowerVR SGX544 GPU and has an Accelerometer for a great gaming experience. This smartphone is available in a beautiful white color.

The other phones in XOLO’s portfolio are X500, X900, X910, X1000, A500, A700, A800, A1000, B700, Q700, Q800 and Q1000.

The Nokia Lumia 520 – First Impressions

Last Friday, Nokia India had invited a few bloggers to preview the Lumia 520, which is just hitting the shelves here in India. Apart from a presentation about the device, we did get to use the device for a short while after, which gave us a good feel of the Lumia 520. Let’s check out the tech specs of this phone before we go ahead.

Lumia 520 Tech Specs

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  • Display: 4 inch IPS (800*480) display with Super Sensitive touch allowing you to control the phone using your nails as well.
  • Processor: 1 Ghz Snapdragon Processor, and a Adreno 305 GPU to lift the heavy graphics computations.
  • Memory: 512MB RAM for applications on the phone to use.
  • Storage: 8GB Internal Storage expandable via Micro-SD card for an additional 64 GB external storage.
  • Camera: 5MP Autofocus primary camera without flash. Lacks a front facing camera.
  • Connectivity: 3G Cellular data, WiFi, USB2.0, Bluetooth 3.0, Micro USB connector and 3.5 mm audio connector.
  • Battery: 1430 mAH battery
  • Price in Indian Market:  Best Buy price of Rs. 10,500, but available for less via online retailers

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First Impressions

To be fair, it’s not possible to do an entire review of the phone given the amount of time I got to spend with the device. But a quick post on what my first impressions of the phone is the perfect way to write this up. Lumia 520 colors

The phone itself is a Monoblock touch phone, which comes in 5 colors. It seems out of the 5 available colors, only 3 are available during the initial launch of the device here in India – Yellow, Red and Cyan. One thing which intrigued me about the phone was the way the back cover has to be removed. The entire colored back cover of the phone has to be peeled off the back to revel the battery and SIM and micro-USB slots. It’s a little tricky for a first time user.

The phone also felt quite good while holding it. It didn’t exude any ‘cheapness’ at all. The Nokia build quality does come through well on this phone. The phone features the standard volume control, power button and camera buttons on the right side of the device, the 3.5 mm audio connector on top and the micro-USB at the bottom. Pretty standard placements like the other Lumia devices.

The 1Ghz processor on the phone gives the phone a snappy feel to it. Even though this is the cheapest Windows Phone 8 devices in the market, the phone didn’t show any lags during normal operations, and while opening the apps which were on the phone. Quite impressive.  The only disadvantage I see is that the phone has only 512 MB memory onboard, which puts a few apps and games out of reach for users of phone. Thanks to an alert Twitter follower, I also discovered that Nokia’s City Lens also is missing on the phone.

The camera on the Lumia 520, being 5 MP, didn’t perform as well as the 920, but for the price point, did considerably well. Of course, you can play around with the Smart shoot, Cinemagraph and other lenses available for the Lumia Phone range to augment the phone’s camera functionality.   I don’t have any of the pictures which I took, since the phones went back with the Nokia folks after the event.

In all, the Nokia Lumia 520 offers a good package for a Rs. 10K price range. This phone will certainly become a volume seller for Nokia given the cost and features offered.

Launch Offers

Data Offers

Nokia has a few offers for buyers of the  Lumia 520. They have a tie up with Reliance which offers users  1 GB data of 3G connectivity per month from Reliance for two months. These two months of usage includes unlimited usage of Facebook and WhatsApp.

Movie Offers from Bigflix

They also have a tie up with BigFlix, so new Lumia 520 users will get a voucher which entitles them to unlimited streaming of Bigflix titles for 3 months.

Nokia Music Unlimited

Of course, the device also comes with three months of Nokia Music subscription allowing you to download unlimited tracks during that period from Nokia Music, which is yours to keep even after the subscription expires.

Image Gallery

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HTC Announces the new HTC One

HTC One
HTC hasn’t been having a good time of late. They’ve made good products, designed quite well with good build quality, but they just haven’t taken off. They had committed to streamlining their product portfolio in 2012, which they haven’t really stuck to (One X, One X+, One S, One V, One SV, etc). Well, they’ve now announced the new flagship One for 2013, and it’s called just the HTC One.

Here’s what the spec sheet looks like:

Processor:  Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 600, quad-core, 1.7GHz
Display: 4.7″ 1080p LCD
Storage: 32GB/64GB, No Expansion Slots, 2 GB RAM
Connectivity: WiFi a/b/g/n/AC, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC,  Quadband GSM, Quadband HSPA, DLNA, WiFi Direct
Software: Android 4.1.2 with the New HTC Sense
Imaging: HTC’s “UltraPixel” Camera, F2.0, 28mm lens, 1080p video with all the additional Sense features such as capturing full resolution images while recording video and HTC Zoe mode. 2.1 MP Front Facing Camera
Battery: 2300 mAh, Non Removable

It’s an aluminium uni-body device and if it’s anything like the One Xs Polycarbonate build, it’s something to look forward to, look and feel-wise at least. They’ve revamped HTC Sense too. Gone are the 3D widgets and transitions, with HTC Blink replacing one of the home screens (you should be able to remove it if you don’t want it). HTC Blink is a curated list of news and social updates, based on sources that you pick or you could just let HTC create a curated list for you.

The other thing that HTC has been harping about is the new camera. They’re calling it the “UltraPixel” camera. It’s a BSI Sensor with a resolution of 4MP, which has larger photosites, which technically allows for more light to be captured. It also has Optical Image Stabilization. We’ll have to wait and find out if it does any image oversampling like the Nokia 808 Pureview and if the OIS is as capable as the system used in the Lumia 920 (or even close to it).

It should be available soon, check the HTC Press Release for a list of all the countries and operators that will be carrying it. There’s no official word on pricing for India as yet.

Will this be the One for HTC? Will it really help turn the company around? We’ll know soon enough, but as was the case with the One X (read our review here), there is the looming spectre of the new Galaxy S device (as was the case with the One X before this).

You can check out more images and videos of the HTC one over at the Product Page, here.

You can read the full Press Release, here.

Trakdot: Keep an eye on your luggage

Trakdot

CES  2013 is in full flow and there are more things being announced than can be followed. There were a few really cool things that stood out from the usual crowd of TVs and Phones announced. One of them is Globatrac’s Trakdot.

It’s a simple concept that could be invaluable for frequent travellers (especially if you’re stuck flying Airlines that keep losing your baggage). It’s got a GSM radio and two AA Batteries. All you need to do is place it in your bag (or bags) and you can track it via the website or from their iOS and Android Apps. It’ll let you know if you’re luggage has arrived at the same location, or it could notify you as to where it is. It’ll also alert you when you’re within 30ft of your bags. For $49.99 (along with a $8.99 activation fee and a $12.99 Annual service fee), it’s something that’s a must have for frequent travellers. Check out their website for more details.

 

Source: The Verge  Image Credit: Ubergizmo

 

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 – The Return of the Phablet

Samsung Galaxy Note II like it’s predecessor has become a showstealer, being a bridge between the phone and a tablet. The phablet! According to a recent news item, more than 5 million Galaxy Note II’s have been sold till date. Yup it is indeed big – the phone comes with a 5.5 inch screen which makes it to look stunning. At the same time, do not be afraid that you will have to hold a big block near your ears when you have to make a call. The phone is actually slimmer than the original Galaxy Note.

The size of the phone is the most debated element. Some find the phone to be OK after they’ve played with it a little bit; some men and women had no problems in sliding the phone to their pant pockets and/or handbag/purse, respectively. But, some find the phone to be too large to handle with one hand, especially when one has to reach the other end of the screen. Nevertheless, the big screen is a winner. The super AMOLED screen makes the experience excellent for media, games and graphics. The phone also overcomes the most popular bluish tint problem that is common with AMOLED displays.

Build – Samsung Galaxy Note II is available in two colors – Marble white and Titanium Gray. A hard silver color bezel runs around the glossy plastic corners of the device. In fact the Note 2 has borrowed it’s styling from the Galaxy S III, making this look like the bigger brother. Even though the device is ‘large’ the slim form factor of the phone makes it feel smaller than it actually is when you hold it. In fact the Note 2 is larger than the original Note!

Processor and Internals –  The device has a 1.6 GHz quad core processor, 2GB RAM and 16 to 64GB of internal memory (depending on the model you pick). You can add an additional of up to 64 GB of memory via a microSD slot. Due to the quad-core processor, switching between apps is smooth and swift; but the phone does lag behind when switching between the portrait and landscape views (this can however be locked if you don’t prefer the auto-rotate). The speedy processor also ensures that the apps and games you load on the device don’t lag.

Platform – The Galaxy Note 2 ships with Android Jelly Bean. Samsung has also added their TouchWiz interface on top of the Android layer. The Android Purists can always find things to niggle about this since it overrides some of the Android Jelly Bean interfaces, but the Touch Wiz should go well with most other Android users.

Stylus Pen – The phone comes with a more easy-to-use and handy stylus pen, which is redesigned from that of the original Note. Since it is not round and has squared off edges, the pen is easy to hold and helps keep away accidental presses and doesn’t slip off the hand. Even though the television ads show the S Pen working up it’s magic on the Note, a word of caution – it can be clunky at times and some of the features work well only with Samsung Apps. It’s a useful addition nevertheless for quick scribbles, annotations and notes on the fly.

Software – The camera software has many predefined shooting modes for efficient capture. One of the coolest features is the Best Face feature that lets you take multiple shots of group photos and the feature looks out for out-of-focus faces or faces that look away from the camera. The Best Face feature then combines the best faces (of individual persons) from the different shots to make a better photo. The camera is also able to quickly auto focus on moving objects and also changes orientation pretty fast. The front camera is 1.9 megapixels and helps with good quality video calls.

Battery backup –  The 3, 100 mAh battery can keep the phone up to 14 hrs of intense use (watching Youtube videos, streaming high quality songs etc), most users who end up getting the Note 2 is because of the battery life on this device – it just gones on and on, on a single charge.

Overall the phone excels in its performance, look and feel. I applaud  Samsung’s attempt to make Galaxy Note II a bridge between the phone & the tablet.

You can get more information on the Galaxy Note II from Samsung’s site.

Top 5 Windows 8 tablets – A new dawn for the Post-PC Age

Microsoft Trusts its Competitors with its Future – A new dawn for the Post-PC Age

Windows 8 tablet PCs will shortly be hitting the shelves. So, which is model is going to blow the market away? The prices are out, so let the game commence! Here are our top 5. Keep an eye out for a desktop touting as a tablet.

Microsoft’s Surface
Microsoft’s Surface tablet PC completely changes the way we think about keyboards…kinda

1. Microsoft Surface. A beautiful piece of kit, the Surface is Microsoft’s best attempt at revolutionizing the tablet so far. With a magnesium chassis, a ClearType HD display and an awesome fold-out reimagining of that most archaic of peripherals, the keyboard, Microsoft may have played a blinder. Reviews are positive, and pricing seems competitive, starting at $599 for the basic 32GB model. Unlike Apple’s iPad, the Surface has upgradeable memory —you can whack an SD card in the back and boost your memory straight out. Brilliant.

The HP Envy x2 is pretty, but somehow familiar

2. HP Envy x2. The first hybrid tablet-cum-ultrabook device on our list, the HP Envy x2 is clearly designed to provoke a deadly sin in all who behold it. With a massive 64GB starting SSD, HP’s sleek new machine has been accused of copying the Apple MacBook Air, with its brushed aluminium shell and rounded corners. The Envy x2 looks like a strong competitor: boasting Beats Audio speakers, NFC support and a gorgeous IPS display. There’s always the fear, though, that HP may fall foul of the Cupertino patent machine. One for a wait-and-see approach.

Lenovo’s ThinkPad is designed with business and travel in mind

3. Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2. Showcasing Intel’s signature tablet PC processor, the Atom Clover Trail, Lenovo’s ThinkPad has met with critical acclaim. It’s solidly built, spec-ed up to the rim, and includes a full version of Office 2013 at launch. Though the price tag puts it at the upper end of the category, it would not be paying over the odds for this extremely powerful tablet

The Vivo Tab RT is a mere 10.6” across

4. Asus Vivo Tab RT. We’ve not yet mentioned a Windows RT tablet PC in this run-down, but here’s one worth the mention. The little brother to the Asus Vivo Tab, the Vivo Tab RT features a fairly standard hybrid ultrabook detachable keyboard, an Nvidia Tegra 3 graphics chip and a Super IPS+ panel with a resolution of 1366×768, just tipping it into the ‘HD Ready’ category. And, because, it’s ARM-powered and running RT, the Vivo Tab RT comes bundled with Office 2013. Priced to sell at $599.99
This is one of the most interesting Windows RT machines to watch. Its success or failure may well be depend on Microsoft’s ability to acquire a mobile ecosystem full of customers.

The VAIO Tap 20 can be angled to virtually any inclination you want

5. Sony VAIO Tap 20. Perhaps unimpressed with the competition’s attempts to combine tablet and laptop into hybrid ultrabooks, Sony have instead tried to create and all-in-one desktop computer in a single touch-screen device. It’s got a cool stand – there’s something you don’t hear often in computer reviews – and it is a big old piece of kit that could easily serve as a family media hub. The 1TB hard drive it packs is, therefore, to be expected. But, is its lack of mobility stuck just a little too far in the past?


Author Bio:

This article is written by Louise Miller. Louise graduated from LSE in 2011 with an MA in engineering and is now working as a freelance web designer. She loves blogging about tech and social media in her free time, especially all things Android.