I know lots of you have been eagerly awaiting this moment, so drumroll please … the Samsung UE46C7700 will today be the first active 3D TV to enter our product survey.
It features edge LED backlighting and 200 Hz Motion Plus technology for smooth-flowing pictures, not to mention 2D-to-3D conversion. It’s also got plenty of multimedia functions with DLNA compatibility, the Internet@TV content service, PVR-Ready functionality and an integrated multimedia player. It’s worth bearing in mind that our UE46C7700 is one of Samsung’s pre-issue models, although the picture quality is not likely to change much between this and the final version.
To help us get the best out of the TV’s 3D functionality, Samsung lent us their BD-C6900 3D Blu-ray player and the 3D version of the film Monsters vs. Aliens. So were we impressed? Find out in our product test.
> Test: Samsung UE46C7700 3D Television
We’ve got two eagerly-awaited media centres to add to our product survey with these mid-priced models from Dvico and PopcornHour. But is it really possible to get a great media centre on a shoestring? And how will they stand up to the competition?
The Dvico Tvix N1 is a network gateway that looks great on paper. It has the same interface as the five-star Tvix 6632N, an SDHC card reader plus networking functions, all for an RRP of around £130. Could it be a must-have media centre?
The PopcornHour A-200 is effectively a budget version of the five-star C-200. It has no screen, but features the same decoder chip and firmware. Will that be enough to temp you? Chances are it will …
> Media Centre Test: DViCO TViX N1 and PCH A-200
From the look of its solid tech specs, which include a 3.5'' WVGA touchscreen, 5 Megapixel camera and GPS, as well as an accelerometer and a well-placed 3.5 mm headphone jack, the Liquid S100 (or A1) might just have what it takes to answer the critics who were quick to mock Acer's rather late conversion from computers to Google smartphones.
You'll have to make do with version 1.6 of Android, aka Donut, but Acer has added its own set of apps, some of which are more useful than others. With a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor running at 768 MHz, it also promises to be speedy. But what are its strengths and weaknesses?
Can the Liquid, a smartphone with a very accessible price tag, stand up to its more high-end competition? Let's take a look.
> Mobile Test: Acer Liquid S100 on Android 1.6
It’s tough at the top in today’s product duel. In one corner we’ve got the iPod touch, a serious commercial heavyweight, and in the other, it’s the S9, a plucky underdog that can put up a seriously good fight in several key areas. But which product will come out on top?
Riding high on the hype surrounding the iPhone, no-one can doubt the commercial success of the Apple iPod touch. It is, nevertheless, a media player that’s not without its faults. The Cowon S9, on the other hand, is working its image as product aimed at serious music fans and audio enthusiasts. It’s also one of the few portable media players to be awarded a five-star rating in our product survey. It’s a duel that’s been waiting to happen …
> Duel: Apple iPod touch vs Cowon S9
Intel recently launched its first six-core processor available to the general public. The Core i7 980X is now its flagship product, with a price tag that matches, and will no doubt leave out of the reach of most people.
In technical terms, it's similar to its younger brother, the Core i7 975, and has the same clock speed of 3.33 GHz, along with a Turbo mode which can push that speed up to 3.49 GHz when not all of the cores are used at once. Both chips also have Hyper-threading, which means that the CPU reports to the OS that it has twice as many cores.
> Test: Intel's i7 980X CPU with 6 cores!
Sony’s new Bloggie pocket camcorder is now out, but will its 270° swivel lens and horizontal playback mode be enough to make it stand out from the crowd?
Available in blue, pink, white or black, the Bloggie films in FullHD and records to Memory Stick Pro Duo. On paper, it all looks quite promising.
Look closer though, and you might find yourself asking a few questions … Are there better FullHD pocket camcorders on the market? Is it really that practical to film with a swivel lens? What’s that weird black thing that attaches to the lens? Is it compatible with SD cards too? Find out all this and more in our product test.
> Camcorder Test: Sony Bloggie swivel-lens pocket camcorder
New for 2010, the BD65 succeeds one of the Panasonic bestsellers: the BD60. Armed for the same success? Check out our test.
> Blu-ray Player test: the Panasonic BD65
If you thought all Full HD projectors were the same, then take a look at today's tests. One came away with five stars, but is twice as expensive. What's the big difference between the Epson EH-TW5500 and the Mitsubishi HC3800?
Epson's EH-TW5500 is a top quality Tri-LCD projector, with all of the features we'd expect from such a high-performing projector. With impeccable hardware, great image quality and plenty of improvements, it's only missing a few little extras.
After testing nearly half a dozen LCD projectors from Mitsubishi, the manufacturer has gone back to DLP with the HC3800. It's half the price of its rival from Epson, and does without some of the handy features available on the EH-TW5500. That said, it's still a very workmanlike Full HD projector that does the job without any fuss.
> Full HD Projector Tests: Epson EH-TW5500 and Mitsubishi HC3800
Let's burn a Panasonic plasma, season 2, part 2! The P50V10 came out unscathed from the the first test: exposure to the same test card for an hour. We’re now going to put it through the second, 8 hours of static logos in cinema mode.
Obviously such a test is extreme. No one would put their TV through such an ordeal on purpose. Unless perhaps you were to link it up to a computer. Well, we’ve decided to push the envelope. We are after all looking to find how far you can go with plasma technology. Will the TV be able to return to an unblemished state, perhaps after a period of rest, even after this rather unrealistic test?
> Final episode: 8 hours plasma burn-in on the Panasonic P50V10
Two more monitors are heading for our product survey today with the much-awaited Philips 240PW9, complete with 5 ms IPS panel, and LG’s Flatron E2340T budget display.
With its IPS panel, the Philips 240PW9 offers wider viewing angles than TN displays. It has a height-adjustable stand that’s mounted on a swivel base, and can even be spun round into portrait mode. On paper, at least, it looks fantastic!
The LG Flatron E2340T isn’t aiming quite so high with its 5ms TN panel plus VGA and DVI entries. Even the inclusion of LED backlighting won’t be enough to keep the attention of some of our readers. This model does, however, mark a turning point in the history of the LCD monitor, as it proves that LED technology is now within the grasp of the entry-level market!
> Monitor Test: Philips 240PW9 and LG Flatron E2340T
Luxury netbook or economical ultra? This is what we're going to look at in today's duel between the Asus Eee PC 1201N and the HP Pavilion dm1. Sure, these aren't 5 star products but they're strong 4 star ones and are among the current best sellers.
Most of the time, netbooks are synonymous with poor performance, limiting them to Internet and office doc use. Over the last few months however, we've seen the appearance of some larger, better set-up, more powerful models. 3D gaming and HD video can now be envisaged on machines that are on the borderline between netbooks and ultra-portable laptops.
The Asus Eee PC 1201N and the HP Pavilion dm1 are perfect representatives of the current trends. The first is clearly a netbook with its Intel Atom processor, while the HP would usually be considered a budget ultra with its ULV processor. They are nevertheless priced similarly,
which makes the choice a difficult one.
Which one wins over? Check out our duel to find out!
> Duel: Asus 1201N vs HP dm1