Video Goes Personal (Part 2) : Harman/Kardon CL, Micromax LED42K316, BENQ LR100

3/28/2013 4:07:52 AM

Perfect fit

Harman/Kardon CL

Price: $185

Specs: On-ear style, 40mm driver, 16Hz—20kHz, 1.4m cable, Apple three-button (MFI); Pricey, but well worth the money.


There are very few headphones that are drastically different in design from the rest of the pack. The Har-Man/kardon CL is among the ones with rare square ear cups and a full aluminum headband.

But the design while being modern is very practical too. The leather band under the metal is elastic and holds the entire thing in place - actually, everything sort of strives for the perfect fit. Since the metal band is also tight on your ears, it is able to keep out most external noises. The ear cups can also fold flat, which is good for people who carry their music wherever they go. There is an extra pair of metal headbands in case this one doesn't fit you.

We feared the tight on-ear cups will have you sweating and fuming near the ears in a few minutes, but the soft retention foam used in the cups increases your comfort level substantially. Within minutes you feel as if the headphone

is no longer there, and this we think is the measure of a good device. Then, the CL does not have wires hanging down from both sides, there is just a single cord and that is much more convenient than a Y-type design.

The sound quality is really good and robust, and we think that is due to the large 40mm drivers. The bass is really good, better than most other units in this range. The voice clarity also comes out well. The audio range on the device is good enough to satisfy most users. There are some goodies for those who would yoke this to Apple products as there is a remote with microphone. And, because of the Mic, the remote on the cord is position almost at the level of your mouth, which is an awkward position if you want to adjust the volume. This gives you great volume precision.


Great music, portable

Clear picture

Micromax LED42K316

Price: $889,9

Specs: 42-inch 1080p zero bright dots panel, 3000000: l contrast ratio, 5-band SRS sound, 10x2w speakers, 3 HDMI,2 USB, VGA, component, 80w consumption.

Micromax LED42K316

There is some awkwardness when you see Micromax written on a screen that is larger than seven inches. Yes, there is a Micromax that is larger than a tablet. Yes, Micromax now has a television.

We were excited to test how this popular Indian phonemaker's entry into televisions would pan out. And we were not all that disappointed. At least, there is nothing bad about the unit that we test. In fact it is good enough to be recommended to anyone who wants a large screen LED and is not really bothered about getting a big brand home.

The unit on the whole is quite thin and neatly designed. It is easy to set up and took us about 20 minutes to unbox and install. As the white Micromax home-screen comes alive, you realize that the 1080p Full HD LED screen is very clear - it is actually a zero dots LED panel. The viewing angles are very good, though we though the bezel could have been thinner. You can play around with the picture with a handful of preset modes. The zoom is also good and gives you multiple options, which can be handy when the broadcast stars to pixel-late. The sound is very loud and is again aided by a set of presets.

The TV also has a good built-in media player, which can be accessed through the DMP button on the remote. For video, it gives much more controls than the average non-smart television models. It can also open picture as well as some types of text files. The TV also accommodates a lot of sources, including three HDMI, two USB and a VGA input. But all this is pretty standard in most television sets these days.

While there are no surprises with this LED TV, it is among the cheapest available in the market for this size. Buy this if you want a good picture and the regular movie player functions. You can get the brains for the television separately.


Good value for money, but nothing spectacular

One for the pocket


Price: $167

Specs: Panasonic 14 MP 1/2.3 inch CMOS sensor, f = 4.6 ~ 23 mm, F= 3.2 (W) ~ 6.4 (T), ISO 6400 af 3MR 1080p 30fps, SD card


Almost the entire entry-level digital camera segment has been wiped off by the improving quality of cameras in even the cheapest of phones. No one is now buying a compact camera that is priced under? 5,000 because it has just an 8MP sensor and very few features, BenQ is now offering a 14MP camera for under? 9,000 and it comes loaded with features. But remember; for the affordability there are some sacrifices that you will have to make.

The BenQ LR1OO is one of the most compact cameras available at the moment and will easily slip into your jeans pocket. It is actually as portable as a phone and weighs just 100 grams. The LCD is 2.7 inches and 230k pixels. This is the sort of camera you would get a teenager as a birthday present. For it has every feature they would want. There are dozens of modes to play around with the picture, even before you start clicking. The zoom is just 5x, and considering the quality of the optics on the camera this is about the best it could do.

While you can really play around with shooting options and preset modes, the ultimate picture is not all that impressive. In fact, the image quality reminded us a lot of the Canon A400 which was among the first digital cameras to find mass base in India. The pictures are good if you plan to share it on social networking sites, but lack a bit of subtlety. Thanks to the 14MP you will be able to get decent sized prints from this camera. But low-light isn't one of its strong points.

But the HD video with water color mode will keep a lot of users happy. Such settings are usually seen for stills, rarely for video.


Buy it as a first camera, not as an upgrade

In everywhere

Norton 360 Multi-Device

Price: $ 78 for fives devices


We are all increasingly becoming multi-device personalities. As we wait for that super device that will fold all our smartphones, tablets and computers into one, we keep on adding new devices into our digital lives. The proliferation of these devices is also increasing our exposure to the multiple security threats out there. The scary part is that while we are very careful about protecting our computers, we do not seem to be that serious when it comes to our smartphones, tablets and other connected devices which are also equally vulnerable.

Norton 360 Multi-device is a unique solution for this unique problem of our times. This Norton product comes in the form of a single license to protect up to five different devices. And these devices could be on platforms as diverse as Windows, Mac OSx and Android. We tested the device on a Windows 7 desktop, a Windows 8 laptop and an Android connected device.

Norton 360 protects your device against all kinds of threats, without actually slowing it up as we have noticed with many other such solutions. It was no surprise that the programme was able to detect and sanitize all EICAR test files we tried to download. It also kept warning us of suspicious websites that we tried to open. But you expect a premier Norton programme to do this and much more.

Well, it does. If you are a Windows user, the programme will keep you PC tuned up removing unnecessary files and also let you snoop into the online activities of your kids. There is also a 25GB online backup. On an Adroid phone or tablet it lets you lock and wipe your device in case it is stolen or lost. It also blocks spam messages, which will be a big relief to most of us. It can also protect your iOS device.

But what the Norton 360 Multi-device really gives you is a dashboard to control the security of all your devices running the software. The management tab in the software shows you all the devices running the same license and their current status. We could see all our three devices, though we could not do much more than since there was no threat there. It lets you install Norton programs remotely into these devices. There is also a web console which you can log and see the status of your devices.


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