Cool Stuffs Of The Month – March 2013 (Part 3) : Acer Iconia W510, Simmtronics SIMM X720, PANASONIC AE 8000

3/26/2013 3:43:38 PM

Price: $ 898

Specs: Windows 8, lO.l" HD LED-backlit multi-touch display (l 366 x 768p), Intel Atom Z2760,2GB RAM, 64GB, Intel Graphics Media Accelerator, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, Micro-H Micro-USB, H 0.3" x W 6.6", H 10.2"

Acer Iconia W510

Acer is so sure of its Iconia W510 hybrid that it is selling the tablet without the keyboard dock too. This means the tablet is independent of the dock, which is not necessary to charge the device.

The clamshell design of the device is very solid, though the plastic white hinge sticks out of the aluminum finish body. The tablet side is heavier and will fall back if you don't get the angle correct. But the display can rotate 180 degrees into a presentation mode where the keyboard is facing down.

Frankly, we didn't particularly like the keyboard which is well spaced out, but keeps repeating letters that you type. The space key is also stubborn and registers a stroke only when you hit its middle. But the keyboard nestles an extra battery that doubles the amount of juice you have on the tablet as well as the only full USB port.

On the other hand, the tablet is very good and comes with most connectivity options that you need. A micro-USB, micro-HDMI and micro-SD card reader Dot different sides of the tablet. The IPS panel is crystal clear and the touchscreen good. For a change, this is one screen that is visible even in sunlight. The sound quality is good too.

Like other hybrids, this one too is made for regular computing and high-end tasks. The Atom processor won't give you any trouble with content consumption and can also do some types of content creation. But don't stretch the device by asking it to do tough tasks. Acer has added a host of proprietary apps. We really liked the Acer Crystal Eye that lets you take full control of the front and rear cameras.

Simmtronics SIMM X720 - For Price Watchers

Price: $ 85

Spec: Android v4.0;7inchcapac-s display; 1 GHz processor; 512MB iM; no rear camera; Wi-Fi; 2800 mAh battery

Into the already cluttered seven-inch Android tablet market, Simmtronics has launched its XPad X720. The tablet has a black bezel and white textured rear. Like most of the other companies in the budget device space, this one too does not have; branding on the front. The branding at the back, however, indicates that the device is best used in portrait mode. But with the power key on the bottom panel, one is forced to use the tablet in the landscape mode.

At first, we felt that the touch on the capacitive display wasn't smooth and the display not that bright. But then we should not crib much as this is a sub-? 5,000 tablet. With connectivity options restricted to Wi-Fi, browsing on the onboard browser was about average. We could play non-HD videos on this tablet. For all these basic chores, the tablet packs a 1 GHz processor paired with a 512MB RAM.

Thanks to the Android IceCream Sandwich operating system there is a dedicated multi-tasking key at the bottom using which we could use to switch or close apps. One big drag is the fact that this device does not have a rear camera and you will have to do with just the 0.3MP front camera. Browsing the web and watching videos over Wi-Fi, the 2800 mAh battery lasted close to four hours.

Bag it or junk it?

Average quality for the price

PANASONIC AE 8000 - Projected Dimensions


Price: $ 4,619

Specs: 2400 lumens lamp; 500000:1 contrast ration; 3D enabled; 3HDMI, composite in, video in, 2 triggers


Targeted at the niche crowd, the Panasonic's AE projectors try to bring home a cinema experience. While the AE 7000 came with an impressive 2000 lumens lamp, the latest AE 8000 stands out for its 3D projection quality. This full-size projector comes with a 2400 lumens lamp, which is red rich for more brightness. The projector also offers a contrast ratio of 500000:1.

There is a 480 Hz full HD panel that also aids in projecting bright and clear content. The colors look natural, even when you are projecting in 3D, the USP of this unit.

Usually, the brightness decreases drastically while viewing 3D content, but here the videos were bright and impressive. There is a 3D viewing monitor onboard to help increase and decrease the depth of the 3D content. Considering there isn't much 3D content available in the market, Panasonic has 2D to 3D upscale feature that works really well. But the 3D viewing monitor does not work in the 2D to 3D mode. Unlike LG, Panasonic continues to stick to active shutter 3D glasses (not accompanied with the projector]. For connecting 3D glasses, an infrared transmitter with a 10 meter range is placed on front of the projector. The company also has an accessory that can increase this range.

The neat design of the AE 8000 is dominated by the big lamp in front. Three HDMI ports are placed at the back along with composite in, S-Video In, etc. There are two triggers with 12V added at the back that can be used for connecting the lights and other essentials for setting up the projector. The AE 8000 has a back-lit remote control that illuminates when used. We spotted a Viera Link key that can be used to operate all connected Panasonic products (post 2010] with a single remote. There is also a ‘memory load' key that can store six different lens and zoom settings.

The company claims a lamp life of around 4,000 hours on low-power mode where the brightness is reduced by 30 per cent. In regular mode the lamp life is up to 3,000 hours. The lamp can be replaced for $462

Bag it or junk it?

A must-have if you are splurging on a home theatre.

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