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Go digital this Diwali!

Last updated on: October 25, 2010 12:32 IST

Go digital this Diwali!

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Priyanka Joshi in Mumbai

A Bluetooth headset that comes with a self-charging case, a camera that doubles up as a projector -- just some of the gadgets that truly stand out amid the modern electronics crowd.

Business Standard reviews a few of them so that you can decide what to buy this festive season...

The Nokia N8 and BlackBerry Torch: Rs 26,259 and Rs 35,000 (respectively)

Essentially touchscreen devices, both Nokia N8 and BlackBerry Torch rank far ahead in the smartphone list.

The N8 runs on Symbian 3, while the Torch flaunts the BlackBerry 6 platform.

Both come loaded with software, intuitive user interfaces and multimedia features that can put devices like digital cameras, video cameras and even netbooks to shame.

BlackBerry's biggest innovation in Torch is a 3.5-inch capacitive touchscreen display that shares hands-on interface duties with Research in Motion's familiar slider keyboard.

The Torch is powered by a 624MHz processor that is sufficiently responsive while multi-tasking.

In case you use a BlackBerry server extensively for official purposes, the Torch will be a great upgrade since it supports social networking like Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace.

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Image: Nokia N8.

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The N8, clearly, has the best camera and video phone.

Its 12-megapixel capability can singularly outclick almost all other digital cameras out there.

The N8 also has a built-in graphics processor which, combined with its accelerometer, makes for an intuitive game play.

Nokia pioneered the use of GPS in phones and Ovi Maps app is now right on top of the curve.

Better still, with Ovi Maps, all of the maps that you need can be stored on the N8 itself. So, you need not worry about mobile data charges.

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Image: BlackBerry Torch.

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Dell Streak: Rs 34,990

When a respected PC & laptop brand like Dell decides to dip its toes in the tablet PC market, you can conclude it has done its homework.

Of course, you will need to debate at leisure whether this is a tablet computer or a smartphone (at least Dell's intent seems to position Streak more as a tablet than phone, banking on the five-inch screen and Android platform that makes watching videos or surfing on the internet a pleasure).

One major reason people have been waiting for an Android tablet to compete with the Apple's iPad (which hasn't even announced its launch dates in India yet) is that the Android ecosystem is everything that the Apple ecosystem isn't -- open, customisable, and free for developers to experiment on. Dell Streak is open to all GSM or 3G connections like Airtel, Vodafone or Aircel in India.

The company is also offering all Streak users a free upgrade to Android 2.1/2.2 available for download at its service centres or over the air by December this year, once it has completed testing.

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Image: Dell Streak.

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A hard drive, evolved Rs 7,700 (1 TB)

Want to see the smartest magnetic memory? Then go buy the Hitachi's latest Lifestudio Desk Plus hard drives.

These comprise a standard rotating disk and dockable USB keys that auto-organise your media, as well as several gigabytes of cloud (online) storage.

An online cloud backup programme ensures that all user data is stored safely and can be accessed from any Internet browser, including from Apple iPhones as well as iPads.

The Lifestudio drives are bundled with a 3D Wall browser that can display photos, images and videos stored on the device in an animated, scrollable window, allowing you to view large thumbnails of all of the content stored.

Images can be searched and posted to Facebook, Flickr and Picasa -- all from within the 3D browser. Hitachi's Lifestudio Plus drives come with a dockable 4GB-USB key that synchronises with the hard drive and can be used to grab-and-go files you need, say, just for the day.

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Image: Hitachi's Lifestudio Desk Plus hard drive.

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Razer Naga Maelstrom and Naga Molten Mice: Rs 4,999

Gaming peripherals giant Razer hopes to impress gamers with a special edition of gaming mice, and it does not fail. If you want to shop for a new gaming mouse, then do check out the special edition versions of Razer's Naga gaming mouse -- the Naga Maelstrom (pictured) and Naga Molten.

Both sport 17 MMO-optimised buttons with macro functionality and, just as the names suggest, the Maelstrom gets a blue light while the Molten gets a red light. The designs are complimented by an ergonomic form shape, which maximises ease of use for gamers.

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Image: Razer Naga Maelstrom.

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COOLPIX S1100pj: Rs 19,950 (includes a 4GD data card)

Almost a year after launching the world's first digital camera with an in-built projector, Nikon has now unveiled its successor -- the S1100pj.
Make no mistakes people, this is not just any camera model that Nikon is boasting here.

The S1100pj has a 14.1-megapixel sensor, a wide-angle 5x-zoom lens and a 3-inch extra high-resolution (460K-dot) touchscreen LCD monitor for intuitive touch control.
At 14 lumens, the in-built projector can handle projections in lighted rooms, or against lighter surfaces.

It can also be linked to your PC or Mac. So, stored pictures or presentations can be shown instantly through the projector.
The company also claims the camera can detect whether it's being hand-held or operated on a tripod and make proper adjustments for an ideal exposure.

Click NEXT to read further. . .


Image: COOLPIX S1100pj.

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Headsets with charging case: Rs 5,499

The single-most impressive feature of Plantronics Discovery 975 is its styling, which is both cool and professional.

The company has packed a new audio technology and a distinctive combination of a carrying as well as a charging case, making it a truly interesting new Bluetooth headset for smartphone users.

According to Plantronics, the headset has a 20-band equaliser that produces a true natural sound, rather than giving you a metallic voice.

It also has the ability to connect to two phones at once and a two-battery array that provides a total of 15 hours of talk time.

Discovery 975's case has a spring-loaded release latch to pop the earpiece out when not charging, plus an indicator that shows the power levels of both the earpiece and battery.

A wall charger is also included to power the 975, its case, or both simultaneously.
We liked this 'chargeable' case and the extra juice it provides -- the main reason why Discovery 975 costs so high.

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Image: Plantronics Discovery 975.

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Godrej game LCD: Rs 40,000

There may be nothing new about multimedia features being crammed into TVs.

But Godrej's LCD TV debut is still impressive with 25 preloaded interactive games and a more than capable 2.4GHz wireless joystick that syncs with the television.

The joystick's gyroscopic motion sensor allows you to experience motion gaming without any console attached.

So, you can swing a racket, throw darts, bowl down an alley -- all right in front of the TV. What's more, the LCD set also allows a user to load games through an SD card or a USB connection.

This can be a TV for not only kids but also the entire family, maybe!

Click NEXT to read further. . .


Image: Godrej game LCD.
Photographs: Courtesy: http://godrejtv.blogspot.com/
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Newest Nano in Town: Rs 10,700

In its sixth generation, the Apple iPod Nano got its first ever true makeover.

The changes are clearly visible -- a clip-on design and seven different colors (silver, pink, grey, red, blue, orange and green) for users to choose from.

Yes, it is a touchscreen device and has the smallest LCD we have ever seen.

The good thing about this is that it is pretty colourful and bright, with a 240x240-pixel resolution and high-responsive nature.

The size has been reduced and the battery lasts for about 24 hours.

Other features are similar to existing ones -- music playback, Genius mixes, FM radio that can be paused, audio books, podcasts, clock, photo gallery, stopwatch and pedometer.

No wonder the iPods are the most popular family of digital music players with over a quarter of a billion already sold globally.


Image: New Apple iPod Nano.

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