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APRIL 2013 • VOLUME 10 • ISSUE 05 • Rs 150




GADGETS COME FROM We show you why almost everything is made in China today, how some products are still so expensive, and what you really need to worry about.

APPS THAT STEAL YOUR PRIVATE DATA Make sure your phone isn’t spying on you

CAN YOU DITCH DTH AND CABLE? Loads of TV shows are now available online for free

GRUDGE MATCH! Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos vs Micromax Canvas HD

HARDWARE BlackBerry Z10 Micromax Canvas HD Nokia Lumia 820 Xolo X500 LG Optimus G Dell Inspiron 15z Acer Iconia W510 HCL Me Y3 Nikon D5200 Wacom Inkling

COMPARED inkjet 6 Low-cost multifunction printers suites 12 Security for Android



letter The ways of the world T

hat China with its bazillion smoke stacks is the manufacturing hub of the world is old news. The assembly line model adopted by our neighbour has made it an economic juggernaut that holds the strings of the global economy. Any report of a super-heating or slowdown in the Chinese economy sends shudders all across the world and there is always a scramble to stop any such thing from happening.

Do you care about where your gadget is manufactured? Is the label on the front the only assurance of quality you seek?

Our cover story this month tells us how the high-tech electronics manufacturing story has evolved. That mobile device sitting on your desk with its blinking red light telling you that you have an unread message is in all probability made up of components from a number of different manufacturers, most of which are located near the South China Sea. This is true of any electronic device that you (or pretty much anyone else in the world) own. As the article points out, even some of the biggest brands have surrendered all of their manufacturing duties to contractors and ODMs. I'm a bit old-school, and while I have no problems with what comes from where (as long as it is from a conflict-free zone), I'd definitely be excited to see India gaining a stronger foothold in manufacturing. Sitting across the Himalayas, we yearn to be in the position that China is in today, hoping that someday paeans will eventually be sung about Indian manufacturing prowess. Imagine every electronic device in every house in any part of the world stamped with an ubiquitous "Made in India" label. Is it possible for India to become a bigger or more dominant part of this manufacturing matrix, or have we missed this bus? Theoretically, we could emulate China. All we need is the right set of policies to promote manufacturing—like we did for software services—and we could see a proliferation of "Made in India" labels. However, the odds are stacked badly against us. We are firmly stuck within a triumvirate chakravyuh of a desire to have cheaper products, the exorbitantly high R&D investments required to set up these high-tech foundries, and a sputtering infrastructure. Do you care about where your gadget is manufactured? Is the label on the front the only assurance of quality you seek? Will you be happy with any phone as long as it is an Apple or Android product? Read the full story on page 85 and send in your views telling us what you think of this complex yet geographically-centred manufacturing network.

Hatim Kantawalla





APRIL 2013







GADGETS COME FROM NEWSWIRE 16 In the news... Keep yourself up-to-date and safe from harm with our definitive news roundup.

22 Buzz List


28 Can You Do Away With DTH and Cable? Broadcasters and content creators are moving online. Can we pull the plug on TV for good?

32 The Best of MWC 2013 Phones, tablets and software that will rock the world in 2013.

34 Product Spotlight The Blackberry Z10 has a huge legacy to live up to. Will it keep the company alive?

Smartphones, printers, laptops, cameras, tablets and lots of cool hardware.

58 Page Churners These budget inkjet multifunction devices will take care of all your printing and scanning.

64 Software Spotlight Tune-Up Utilities is a handy all-in-one package for keeping your PC running smoothly.

66 Software Tested Recover lost files, back-up important memories and make the most of your smartphone.

76 Complete Protection for Your Smartphone Stay safe from all the latest Android threats.


Samsung's Galaxy Grand Duos goes up against the homegrown Micromax Canvas HD.


36 Hardware Tested

What's worthy of the hottest discussions, from gadgets to games and online services.


80 Grudge Match


88 The Truth About Where Your Gadgets Come From Everything comes from China these days, so why are some gadgets so expensive while others are dirt cheap?

96 Apps on Your Phone Could be Stealing Your Data Keep track of your apps and see if any of them are secretly trying to steal your data.

01 201 20 RY 2013 ARY JANUA



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APRIL 2013

SUBSCRIBE NOW! Turn to page 42 12/27/2














HANDS ON 102 Dr CHIP Viruses? Data loss? Not sure about the best upgrade options? Dr CHIP will help.

108 How to Simulate Firefox Smartphone on Your PC Get up close and personal with one of the latest smartphone platforms on the scene.

110 Back-up and Restore Apps and Data From a PC Make that next Android upgrade less of a chore with this useful workshop.

112 Tips & Tricks Tweak Windows, take awesome photos and get the most out of your gadgets and software.

REGULARS 04 Editorial, 10 Colophon, 12 Letters, 16 In the News..., 22 The Buzz List, 24 New Products Launched, 86 PC Configs, 100 Web Watch, 102 Dr CHIP, 112 Tips & Tricks, 118 Market Watch, 126 Personal Tech


DVD HIGHLIGHTS RED HOT APPLICATIONS CorelCAD 2013 Corel WordPerfect Office X6 – Standard Edition Corel PaintShop Pro X5 Ultimate and more...

FULL GAMES Euthanasia 1.0, PainTown 3.6.0, Crusaders of Space. Final Shootout, Xeno Assault, Need For Extreme 3D and more...

GAME DEMOS Rush Bros. 1.01, Bollywood Wannabe 1.0.0, Maximum Roller Coaster Demo 1.01, The Five Cores 1.1, The Balloon Quest 1.1, Navy Seals - Sea Air Land Demo 1.01 and more...

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LINUX TOOLS Data Crow 3.9.15, JShot, X File Explorer 1.34, Airtime 2.3.0 and more...





FOUNDER & EDITOR, NETWORK18 Raghav Bahl PRESIDENT & EDITORIAL DIRECTOR, TV18 Senthil Chengalvarayan MANAGING EDITOR Hatim Kantawalla DEPUTY EDITORS Jamshed Avari Shayne Rana DEPUTY EDITOR—TECHNICAL Anand Tuliani ASSISTANT HEAD—TEST CENTER Francis D’Sa SENIOR REVIEWER Roydon Cerejo COPY DESK Sharon Khare, Ramkumar Iyer, Aneez Shaikh SENIOR FEATURES WRITERS Priyanka Tilve, Nachiket Mhatre, Nikhil Subramaniam FEATURES WRITER Naina Khedekar STAFF WRITERS Aaron Almeida, Anuradha Shett y, Shunal Doke, Nishtha Kanal MULTIMEDIA COORDINATOR Sachin Haldankar TEST CENTER COORDINATORS Gautami Chalke, Rajesh Dsouza SENIOR ART DIRECTOR Ashwin R Boricha ASSISTANT ART DIRECTOR Jagdish Limbachiya SENIOR DESIGNER Harshad Gujare


ADVERTISING SALES SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT - SALES Siddhartha Chatterjee NATIONAL SALES HEAD Badri Narayan (badri.narayan@ SALES SUPPORT HEAD Sagar Salunkhe ( MUMBAI: Elvin Easo ( HYDERABAD: Rocky Joseph ( NEW DELHI: Zubair Ahmad ( CHENNAI: Madhivaanan (


NEWSSTAND AND SUBSCRIPTIONS HEAD (COPY SALES) Sunil Nair DEPUTY GENERAL MANAGER Manoj Palsay West: Mumbai: Soorendra Desai, Sanjay Bhujle, Dinesh Devadiga; Pune: Sachin Kamble, Nitin Agre; Ahmedabad: Pranav Dave; Nagpur: Abhijeet Roy. North: Delhi: Ashish Chakravorty, Kamal Bisht, Sanjay Sharma, Kamakhya Pandey; Lucknow: Amit Singh. East: Kolkata: Debraj Sur. South: Chennai: Kripanand S, Balaji G; Bengaluru: Devaraju Gowda; Hyderabad: G.S. Mahesh; Cochin: A.K.Shihabuddin.


SENIOR ILLUSTRATORS Sachin Pandit, Chaitanya Surpur


HEAD - INTERNET Tushar Burman


EDITOR - PHOTOGRAPHY Mexy Xavier PHOTOGRAPHERS Neha Mithbawkar, Joshua Navalkar, Nachiket Gujar ASSISTANT MANAGER - PRODUCTION Ravi Salian IMAGE PROCESSING Sanjay Shelar



SENIOR MANAGER (SUBSCRIPTIONS) Sheetal Kotawdekar COORDINATORS Sarita Quadros, Chaitali Parkar, Kamlesh Mathkar, Vaibhav Ghavale, Meena Katt a LOGISTICS TEAM Percy Palkhiwala, Anant Shirke

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INBOX Next month's Star Letter wins accessories set (worth Rs 5,000)

Knowledge gap


Hi Team CHIP, The cover story of the February 2013 issue of CHIP was one of the best articles I've ever come across. I've been a subscriber of CHIP for the past four years and this article was very informative not only for me, but also for other die-hard tech-junkies like me. Smartphones along with other high-end gadgets are becoming trendy and symbols of social status, but most people don’t know what they are dealing with. I don’t think many people who own high-end gadgets use them to their full potential. They will be using them for basic purposes only, like messaging, music, texting, etc. which can be accomplished using low-end and low-priced devices. Youngsters are the most vulnerable and become easy targets due to a lack of awareness. Only tech junkies like me will dig up the in-depth features of a gadget, select a suitable one, and take appropriate measures to safeguard it. I do hope that articles like this will shed light on the issue for many people. Technology is supposed to make our lives easier and simpler. Instead, it’s making man lazier and corrupt. Keep up the good work, team CHIP. You’re the best. Regards, - GOKUL M R Hi Gokul, Thanks for your words of encouragement! We do share your disappointment that not everyone harnesses the full power of their devices. Due to its popularity and inherent openness, Android is the new frontier for malware. We Sachin Pandit dit

hope that as awareness grows and people get more familiar with their gadgets, threats will become more manageable and people won't have to find out how to keep themselves safe the hard way. - TEAM CHIP

Moderation needed

today, it is easy. We should be

their postures and habits, and to


careful while using technology and

take frequent breaks from typing

I read your February issue and

make others aware also.

and staring at screens.


found it quite interesting. I first


read CHIP a year ago in my school library. My mother wants to buy a

Dear Raghav

Payment woes

new smartphone and is confused

You can look forward to a test of


between Sony and Samsung. In the

the Xperia ZL soon, and we'll try to

I read about all these new gadgets

next issue of CHIP can you please

do a comparison. However, it is a

out there with a WOW! on my face,

compare the Sony Xperia ZL and

very new product and in a different

and take pride in recommending

Samsung Galaxy S3? I have an iPad

price class than the Galaxy S3.

CHIP to my friends. Thank you team

and I am getting addicted to it. My


Please send your letters to: with "LETTERS" in the subject line 12


As your excellent example shows,

CHIP for making my life energetic

mother always warns me about the

tech products and services can

and excited. I have been reading

harm it does to our eyes, but I

improve our lives in many ways.

CHIP since the days when mobile

never listened to her. Now I am

However, we agree that technology,

Internet was a joke and the best

having difficulty in seeing and I am

as with everything else, should be

way to get the latest software was

thinking she was right. It is very

handled responsibly. Gadgets cannot

through the CHIP DVD. I have some

good that technology has improved

be the sole cause of eye strain, but

of these treasures which are more

quickly and has made us very

it's possible that using some

than five years old and still work.

comfortable, but it has to be the

products excessively or in an

Most of my issues get resolved by

main reason behind the weak eyes

uncomfortable position can cause or

going through previous Dr CHIP

of children. I remember when I was

exacerbate health problems. Only a

columns again, but I have had a

a child, my father had to go abroad

certified ophthalmologist can say for

problem for more than a year. I am

many times a year. We had many

sure what your eye problem is. We

unable to buy any app from the

difficulties in talking to him but

encourage all readers to be aware of

Play Store as they don't accept my



SMS US Since we like knowing what’s on your mind and what you think about our magazine, we bring you another way to get in touch. Do you have something to say about a test or review? Liked a feature story? Was the workshop useful? SMS us your feedback! For general comments, create the following message: ICCO <Your comments here> Example: ICCO The cover story was very useful To rate a story, product review, etc look out for the story tag at the base of each article and type: ICCO <Story tag> <Rating> Example: ICCO PWS 5 The “Story tag” is mentioned at the base of every story in the magazine and the “Rating” is on a scale of 1 to 5. Finally, send your messages to 51818. Cheers! Please keep comments to 160 characters per message! Include your email address to help us reply or check out the SMS Feedback thread at

Visa debit card or Mastercard. I am

Dear Krapesh,

able to use these cards for online

Thanks for your letter. Information

shopping. Please help me. Which

security is becoming a concern for

card can I use? Thanks again from

companies around the world. We

your grateful reader.

often see intrusions that result in thousands or millions of credit card


numbers, health records, passwords, Dear Dhirendra,

etc. leaked at a time. Many Indian

The problem you describe is certainly

businesses need to have their

unusual. Dr CHIP took a crack at it,

security mechanisms audited, and

and he reports that there shouldn't

customers need to be aware of what

be any trouble with Indian Visa and

to look out for when using online

Mastercard services as long as your

services and making transactions.

account is also Indian. Make sure

We do our best to highlight these

your account is set up with India as

issues and an entire page is dedicated to security-related news in

the home country. Then try clearing all saved payment information from

mindset. We have our Cyber laws,

each issue. We hope that exposing

your Google account and entering it

but they are not implemented as

our readers to the things that go on

again. Make sure all details, including

they should be. This is because

around the world will help them

the CVV number, are typed in

most of the top management is

recognise existing weaknesses and

accurately. If this doesn't work, you

unaware about information security

anticipate new threats to their

could attempt to send Google a

and they are not ready to adopt

privacy and personal information.

report using the form on the

security measures because of rigid

'Contact us' link in the Help Center.

attitudes. The article shows how


industries in the economic sector

Matters of security

Electric cars are the future

are, not to mention that they care



about their reputation and also are

I read your recent issue with great

This letter is in reference to the

aware of the laws related to data

interest. There is no doubt that

article Israel's anti-hacker industry

security they have to comply with.

electric cars will replace fuel-

(issue of Jan 2013). I should

CHIP must include a section

guzzling petrol and diesel ones in

congratulate you on this excellent

dedicated to cyber security

the future. I had imagined this

article. It was very informative and

awareness that addresses all the

would be a natural evolution, but

I learned about how the security

current trends in the security field

now I do not think that India is

professionals work hard to keep

and also cyber laws of India so that

ready for such cars, since charging

their clients protected. Also, I

each and every reader of CHIP will

a car will be seen as a waste of

learned about the newer breeds of

be enlightened with valuable

power when so many people can't

malware that are evolving and

knowledge and will know his/her

even switch on their lights and fans

targeting bank accounts. I

rights in the cyberspace. Knowingly

for hours every day.

thoroughly enjoyed reading your

or unknowingly, many of us give

article and I appreciate the quality

people with malicious intent ways

of the content.

to acquire and misuse our personal

Dear Lila

data and use it against us in the

You're right about the scarcity of

attitude towards security must be

form of phishing and social

power. That's why hybrids are a

made a habit here in India too. No

engineering attacks.

promising middle ground. We'd also


I must say that such a serious

serious the banking and other

I hope that I will read more

doubt, it is evolving, but companies


like to see more solar and wind-

here look at security as a barrier,

relating to information security and

based power generators in people's

not an enabler. But as we are a

cyber laws in upcoming articles of

homes to supplement the capabilities

powerhouse of software and BPOs/

CHIP. Thanks and regards,

of the already strained grid.

KPOs we need to develop a security





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DANGER PREDICTION Smartphone users are being targeted by scams as well as newer and more aggressive forms of malware.



Your Facebook likes could give away the most intimate details of your life















2% 8



In 2012, 50 percent of all malware attacks were through loopholes in Oracle’s Java. SOURCE: KASPERSKY


800 700 600

Proving that most people reveal far more information online than they are aware of, a team of University of Cambridge and Microsoft researchers has identified that users' Facebook likes can be used to

achieved results comparable to those of a

construct highly accurate profiles, including

standard personality test—accuracy was 95

sensitive personal attributes such as their

percent for determining ethnicity, 88 percent

ethnicity, religious and political opinions,

for determining male sexual orientation, 85

sexual orientation, intelligence and history of

percent for political affiliation and 82 percent

drug use, in addition to age and gender.

for religious affiliation. The model relied on


Their research paper (

drawing inferences based on pop culture


details a study of 58,000 volunteers in the

likes: TV shows, music, celebrities, brands


US whose Facebook profiles were scanned.

and ideologies. The information is a potential


The team developed a model to correlate

goldmine for advertisers but raises serious


personal attributes and Facebook likes, and

questions about individual privacy online.









Last December, every 370th email was a phishing attack. Levels dipped significantly in September 2012 but have risen again. SOURCE: SYMANTEC



Ecommerce becoming a habit for rural Indians: Ebay Online buying and selling

Guntur (AP), Choryasi

have become common

(GJ), Karthikapally (KL),


activities in India, as

Villupuram (TN) and Dindori

per Ebay's 2012 Census

(MH) were the most active

report. The site saw

rural hubs, with mobile

consumer activity from

phone cases the most

4,306 towns across

commonly traded product

Petabytes of data were consumed by Indian mobile web surfers between June and December 2012.

all states and Union




category. Smartphones

Territories over the course of the 18-month

and wrist watches were the most imported

study. Indians are now exporting to 201

products, while natural diamonds and salwar

countries, and imports have taken off as well.

kameezes were exported the most.


SMS us! ¾ Story code: NSN to 51818




LG buys WebOS from HP for smart TVs; doesn't rule out future phones

Nielsen, Billboard now factor streaming views into rankings

There might be hope for fans of the underrated WebOS after all.

For decades, the

LG is interested in using it to power a new generation of smart

Billboard Hot

TVs with Internet connectivity. The move will allow the Korean

100 has been

electronics giant to compete with other TV manufacturers'

a barometer of

in-house efforts as well as the Apple TV, which runs iOS, and

pop music singles

Google TV products that run Android. Other devices might be

trending on radio

considered at a later stage. WebOS was initially developed by Palm

stations and in record stores in

as a means to reinvent itself for the post-

the US and around the world. After incorporating statistics from

iPhone age, but the company didn't manage

digital sales and streaming services, Billboard will now also

to promote it well enough despite largely

count YouTube views in recognition of the role played by the

positive reviews. Palm was bought out by

world's most popular video streaming site in music distribution.

HP, which released its own smartphones

Unsurprisingly, the recent viral YouTube sensation, Harlem

and tablets and announced plans to

Shake, was the first track to be ranked at number 1 after the

develop printers and PCs based on WebOS.

change took effect. A revamped Nielsen ratings chart will also

However HP abruptly pulled the plug on all

bring streaming data to rankings of TV shows for the fall 2013

its WebOS plans and turned the platform

season. The company has plans to incorporate streaming via

over to the open source community as

game consoles and streaming devices. It will consider views via

part of an ill-conceived reorganisation

services including Amazon, Netflix and Hulu. Both companies'

plan. While HP will retain Palm's backend

plans reflect changing approaches to content consumption and

capabilities, LG gets the source code,

customers' increasing preference of on-demand services over

documentation and staff.

traditional delivery methods.




USB bug in first Haswell chipsets

75MB Pirate Bay Pebble smart archive available watch gets SDK


SSDs kill 7200rpm notebook drives

The Pirate Bay has published a 75 MB archive containing a copy of every single magnet link indexed by it.

Seagate will soon cease

Multiple reports from Taiwan

The self-described "galaxy's

production of 7200rpm

appear to confirm that the

most resilient bittorrent

first wave of motherboards

site" switched from hosting

The team behind the Pebble

to a general industry shift in

with 8-series chipsets for

actual Torrents to text-based

smart watch is ready to

favour of SSDs. The prices

Intel's Haswell generation CPUs

magnet links a year ago,

release an early version of its

of solid-state memory chips

have a bug that could prevent

allowing users to scrape all

SDK for developers who want

have dropped steadily,

USB 3.0 devices from being

the essential information

to try tinkering with the tiny

making reasonably-sized SSDs

recognised when a computer

from the site's 2-million-plus

wrist-mounted platform. Early

feasible for high-performance

wakes up from sleep mode.

entries into such a small file.

third-party apps will be simple

notebooks. Slimmer premium

Intel is said to be aware of

While 75 MB gets you only

watch faces, and devs won't

models are moving to smaller

the issue but is not planning

file titles and Magnet links, an

be able to harness the Pebble's

form factor storage devices

to delay the launch. A future

expanded 631 MB version of

accelerometer and other

or even hard-soldered chips.

respin of the chipset will

the archive includes comments

sensors yet. However a few

The company will now invest

correct the issue, which cannot

and descriptions. The archive

enterprising devs have already

in solid-state hybrid drives.

be patched by a software

has been published to help

created simple games that can

5400rpm 2.5-inch drives will

update. It isn't clear whether

users continue sharing files

be controlled with the onboard

continue to serve as large

motherboards with this bug

even if the site is disrupted or

buttons. Early supporters have

secondary drives, and in

will be labeled as such, so

forced offline in the course of

already received their Pebbles.

budget notebooks and external

early adopters should be wary.

its various legal battles.

Preorders will ship by May.

portable drives.




notebook hard drives, thanks






Car radio gets YouTube vids pulled Trojan promises fake Tata jobs Videos of meteorite fragments raining down over parts of Russia recently were blocked

A Trojan named Android/

in some parts of Europe due

JobFraud displays a popup

to a bizarre copyright claim on

message saying "Important

the music playing through a

incoming message from HR".

car radio. The videos were shot

Clicking on it loads a fake job

from inside cars, inadvertently

offer letter from "Tata India

capturing some of the music in the background. German

Ltd" including

copyright body GEMA is demanding a small royalty every


time a song it holds the rights of is played.

to deposit Rs 8,150 in a bank account as a

KASPERSKY FIREWALL A specially crafted IPv6 packet could cause the firewall to crash and allow all traffic through. Kaspersky 2013 products that include the firewall are also vulnerable. SOLUTION: An automatic patch will soon be pushed to all customers.

MICROSOFT SILVERLIGHT A vulnerability that depends on users downloading a specially manipulated Silverlight app and then visiting a maliciously crafted website, most commonly through spam or social engineering tactics. SOLUTION: Updates that will patch the vulnerabilities have been released via Windows Update.



AdBlock kicked out of Play store

security deposit. Furthermore, the fabricated

Google has removed AdBlock from its Android app store on

letterhead and signature are

the grounds that it interferes with other apps and services,

quite unsophisticated, and

but the search giant is being criticised for abusing its

the text is full of mistakes.

position to protect its own substantial advertising business.

Antimalware apps should

Users can still sideload it, though the process isn't well

detect and remove the Trojan.

known to many. AdBlock has described the move as harmful

Users are warned to be wary

to Internet freedom and customer choice.

of such unsolicited messages.



Massive increase in mobile threats Celebs' credit info in 2013; Windows still a target stolen, published ESET has identified


a number of trends

The makers of both browsers reacted quickly to patch security vulnerabilities discovered during the annual PWN2OWN security research competition. Google rated one flaw's severity as "High" and Mozilla rated one as "Critical" SOLUTION: Chrome has been updated to version 25.0.1364.160 and Firefox to version 19.0.2.

Predictions for 2013

APPLE OS X Version 10.8.3 fixes 11 known vulnerabilities, including one that would allow code to be executed remotely. Standalone security fixes for OS X 10.6 and 10.7 are also released. SOLUTION: Users are advised to allow their Macs to update automatically via the Mac App Store or Software Updater.



in its Malware report, chief among them being a huge increase in mobile malware. The number

Two of the largest credit rating

and complexity of

agencies in the US, Equifax

Android threats will

and Transunion, have been

grow even further,

compromised by external

targeting users'

attackers. Sophos has found

personal and corporate

private financial records

information, recruiting

of high-profile celebrities

devices into botnets,

including Michelle Obama,

downloading paid

Beyoncé Knowles and Hillary

apps from fraudulent app stores without user consent, and

Clinton on an underground

abusing premium-rate SMS and call services.

website. It isn't known

On the Windows side of things, Autorun malware is still

how exactly the data was

popular. Websites and third-party modules deliberately

compromised or how many

modified to include malware are fast gaining in popularity.

other peoples' information

Botnets will continue to actively recruit zombie PCs using a

was stolen along with the

combination of social engineering tricks.






Gamers enraged by bugs, DRM in new SimCity

Cult hit TV show breaks Kickstarter records Despite stellar ratings and a devoted fan club, the teen-detective TV drama Veronica Mars was cancelled in its third season in 2007 due to poor ratings. Creator Rob

EA's big SimCity franchise resurrection was preceded by months

Thomas and star Kristen

of hype and mounting expectations, which peaked when early

Bell tried to persuade

reviews rated it as 9.5/10 and above. However gamers who

Warner Bros to ressurect the series or try a spin-off, but to no

bought it were in for a rude surpriseâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;at launch time, EA's servers

avail, till they turned to Kickstarter. As news that most of the cast

couldn't handle the load, leading to hour-long waits and repeated

and crew were willing to reunite for a movie spread virally, the

crashes. Even worse, EA responded by reducing functionality and

campaign to fund it reached its minimum US$ 2m goal in under 10

killing online features. Gamers, who never wanted the game to

hours. Fans who contribute will get DVDs, digital copies of the

require a constant Internet connection, also quickly discovered

movie, T-shirts and posters. One has paid $10,000 for a speaking

that traffic routing is completely illogical, and usable land area is laughably limited. EA still refused to allow offline play, claiming that calculations are offloaded to the cloud, but this has been proven to be untrue. EA hasn't yet responded to the latest set of revelations.


Death of Reader angers Web users



The simple lowdown on what everyone's talking about this month.

Legions of Google Reader loyalists have

role, and dozens have paid $1,000 or more to be background extras and to attend the red-carpet premiere. As fans rejoice at the now-confirmed 2014 release, studio bosses and industry watchers are no doubt studying the possibility of crowdfunding more such efforts. Firefly, anyone?


Seattle bar bans Google Glass A bar in Seattle has taken the unusual step

taken to the Web to protest Google's sudden announcement that

of preemptively banning customers from wearing Google Glass

it will be discontinued on July 1, 2013. Not only is the window of

devices on its premises. The 5 Point Cafe, a self-described "dive

time very short, but Reader is one of Google's most popular

bar", has declared itself a "No Google Glass zone" despite the

products. The search giant's official line is that it wants to

fact that the product that isn't even available yet. Owner Dave

dispense with products not related to its core businesses, but

Meinert has since said that the ban is mostly a PR stunt, but that

that hasn't stopped it

he considers his bar

from launching Keep, a

a private place that

note-taking service.

people go to with an

Google had already

expectation that

stripped Reader of its

they will not be

social features at the

photographed or

time of the Google+ launch, which alienated thousands of users,

filmed. The ban reflects a growing concern that always-on

so it's likely that Reader's death is a strategic move. Competitors

wearable cameras will make it impossible to expect any kind of

including Feedly and Flipboard have jumped in to attract Google

privacy in public spaces in the near future. The wearable gadget

loyalists, and even non-related companies such as Digg have said

could easily integrate face and voice recognition along with GPS

they will create RSS products to fill the void. Google doesn't seem

location tagging, though Google has not yet spoken about how

to mind losing some of its users, but the development forces us to

Glass will work with Google+, AdSense, Maps, or any of the other

reconsider trusting so many parts of our digital lives to a company

things it mines personal information for. Suspicious intentions

that doesn't mind arbitrarily killing off products to serve its own

aside, Meinert adds that he's saving customers from looking like

interests, no matter what users want.

"the fanny-pack and never-removed-Bluetooth-wearing set".




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Videocon A27 is

DX-format DSLR camera

powered by a 1GHz


Broadcomm processor with 3.75G capabilities. Running on Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), the phone has a high resolution, 4.0-inch


Military-grade motherboard

WVGA capacitive touchscreen, a 1500

ASUS has announced the TUF Series

mAh battery, FM radio


with recording and two

world’s first AMD-based motherboard to

cameras. It can house two SIM cards and supports dual standby and expandable memory up to 32GB. It also has Bluetooth, and supports GPRS, EDGE, HSPA, and WCDMA, along with Wi-Fi, GPS, A-GPS, and pre-loaded apps like TOI, ET, Facebook, Saavn, Fun Zone and Movie Studio. Nikon India has announced the highperformance DX-format D7100 digital SLR


camera. The D7100 is a compact, lightweight camera that offers superior


portability. The 51-point AF system

Versatile wireless reader

accurately detects the intended subject for superior tracking performance, and a cross-type sensor has been adopted for

feature PCI Express 3.0 for high performance graphics cards. Up to three DirectX 11 graphics cards can be used via NVIDIA SLI or AMD CrossFireX to create desktop PCs with formidable

the 15 most frequently used focus points at the centre of the frame. The D7100 is

ADATA has released the

graphics performance. The

also equipped with a new crop image

0, DashDrive Air AE400,


area, 1.3x DX crop, which increases the

a versatile wireless

features the renowned ASUS TUF

angle of view by approximately 1.3x

reader that can read

Series thermal design for superior

compared to the standard DX-format

and stream data

heat removal. SABERTOOTH 990FX/

viewing angle. The D7100 boasts a

from USB storage

G GEN3 R2.0 meets strict quality

DX-format CMOS sensor of 24.1 effective

media and SD

megapixels and the high-performance

cards. It can also

EXPEED 3 image-processing engine

function as a

gra tests. TUF-certified alloy chokes, grade

without a low-pass filter. These features

power bank that

tog together with solid state capacitors and

enable sharp focusing with high

can charge other mobile

MOSFETs, ensure reliability even when the

resolution. It is also equipped with a

devices. The AE400 can be turned into a

motherboard is subjected to intense use

large, 3.2-inch high-resolution TFT LCD

wireless hotspot too, as it has support for

for prolonged periods of time. The TUF

monitor with a wide viewing angle.

802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi. When functioning as a

Series motherboards are designed to

PRICE: Rs 79,450 (body only) WEBSITE:

network bridge, the Internet connection can

provide absolute stability and reliability

be shared by up to 10 devices at the same

under harsh operating conditions, and

time. The AE400 permits wireless data

feature sophisticated thermal


transfer between mobile devices and SD

management to handle extreme heat.

Affordable smartphone

cards, USB flash drives or portable HDDs. It

The motherboard also features a TUF

supports up to three users streaming

Thermal Radar, which uses multiple heat

1080P video, or up to five users

sensors for real time temperature

Videocon Mobile Phones has announced

simultaneously streaming 720p video. It


its new smartphone, the A27 for the

supports iOS, Android, Windows XP, Vista,

country’s evolving consumer base. The

7, 8, OS X, and Linux 2.4+.





a assurance standards, which consist of m multiple-stage military and server-

SMS us! ¾ Story code: NPL to 51818


NEW PRODUCTS LAUNCHED The products and services listed here have not been reviewed by IC-CHIP. These are not endorsements or recommendations. All prices, specifications and claims are as stated by the respective manufacturers and publicists.


camera. Swipe Fablet F2

Feature-rich smartphone

comes with Android

design for multi-view angle and an

Ginger Bread 2.3.6 OS.

in-built battery that lasts over 1.5

The device has a 2200

hours are some of the other highlights

mAh battery for

of the HCL Beanstalk All-In-One (AIO)

entertainment up to 6

PC series. HCL Beanstalk AIO comes as

LG Electronics has

hours. The sleek looking

a sturdy, robust PC that also suits the

launched LG Optimus G

phablet comes in

need of small businesses and is geared

smartphone in India.

dimensions of 145 x 80 x

to provide an uninterrupted

With a 4.7-inch True HD

10.9 mm and weighs only

computing experience even during

IPS Plus Display and a

260 gm. The Fablet F2 is

power cuts which are common in cities

Qualcomm Snapdragon

available with three

and towns in India. Other features

S4 Pro 1.5GHz quad-core

trendy free back shells

include integrated stereo speakers,

processor, the Optimus G

(black, white and trendy

1.3 MP webcam, four USB 2.0 slots,

transcends the

blue). It comes with a free

constraints of a

business navigator to protect your device

Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Windows 7 Home

traditional phone.

from dust and scratches. It has an in-built


Optimus G is stylishly

FM receiver for music on the move. There is

designed into a slim,

space for applications, movies, etc. with

PRICE: Rs 33,500 to Rs 43,000 WEBSITE:

timeless form. It breaks

4GB of internal storage, expandable up to

options, SATA 2.5-inch HDD, hinge-

4-in-1 multi-format card readers, HDMI,

away from tradition by flaunting a premium

32GB. It provides connectivity through


glass-made back graced with a crystal

Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi and USB.

pattern. The 4.7-inch display is equipped


Small, quiet speakers

with Zerogap Touch display technology, which brings visuals closer to the surface of the screen and gives a more immersive


experience. Optimus G’s 13-megapixel rear

Stylish all-in-one PC

camera and 1.3-megapixel front camera come with a number of apps. The QSlide feature allows consumers to simultaneously

HCL Infosystems has launched new models

run two apps and multitask their way

of HCL Beanstalk All-In-One (AIO) PCs. The

through work and play. QuickTranslator

range offers a 21.5-inch screen with

easily translates any international language

frameless design and an in-built battery

into English and vice-versa. QuickMemo app

together in one product for the first time in

Techcom has introduced the latest in its

allows users to jot down important notes on

the Indian market. HD LED backlit display,

range of 2.0 multimedia speakers, the SSD-

any phone screenshot, even while on active

anti-glare display, Intel Core/Pentium CPU

410 USB. The SSD-410 USB comes with hi-fi

call. When videos are played in the player,

sound. The speakers provide you an

the Zoom In function enables consumers to

enriching musical experience. It also has

zoom in/ out of a live video.

noise reduction technology. It is powered


by USB, which will be very convenient for laptop users. They can just plug the speaker into a USB port and use, no additional


power outlet required. It also maintains

Dual-SIM phablet

accurate instrumental balance even at low listening levels, ideal for users who listen in areas where louder volume could

Swipe Telecom has launched the Swipe

distract others. Music maintains depth

Fablet F2, India’s First 2G dual-SIM

and clarity, even when played softly

smartphone phablet powered by a 1GHz

during a late night at home.

processor. The phone boasts a 5-inch WVGA


capacitive multi-touch screen. It packs a 5 MP back camera and 0.3 MP front facing






Can You Do Away with

DTH or Cable?

If you are a desi soap opera buff, then you can quite easily enjoy your regular fare online at your convenience, legally and for free. BY PRIYANKA TILVE


amir Khan’s show Satyamev

Again, the app was a huge success.

different from third-party services that

Jayate managed to create quite a

Another popular entertainment channel

provide TV streaming on-the-go. These

stir as it touched upon sensitive

Sony recently launched Sony LIV, a digital

are initiatives taken by TV channels to

platform to connect with its audience.

establish their presence online.

subjects that mattered and jolted the conscience of the common people

These aren’t isolated initiatives, but

Explaining the rationale of adopting

as well as the authorities. To further

point towards an emerging trend. In fact,

the digital medium, Vivek Srivastava,

augment the impact, Star India leveraged

UTV Bindass, a popular youth-oriented

Head Digital, Colors, said, “People today

the digital medium and let people watch

channel, was amongst the first to adopt

are using multiple screens—laptops,

the show, comment, provide solutions,

the digital path. It, however, went a step

smartphones, tablets, and multiple

donate or even share their stories.

ahead by creating content exclusively

platforms like video sites, social

Needless to say, the digital initiative

for the web. These web series have a

networks, apps and games to access

garnered a lot of response. Colors

substantial fan following. The fact is that

content. Although the numbers are

took a similar initiative with the latest

the good old idiot box is broadening its

small when compared to the reach TV

installment of the popular reality show

horizons beyond your living room. In step

as a medium provides, the growth and

Bigg Boss. It launched an app to provide

with the digital era, it has set its feet

engagement the digital media provides

a live 24x7 feed from inside the house.

firmly on the online platform. But this is

is phenomenal. Viewers are watching,




Jagdish Limbachiya

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sharing, blogging and tweeting TV

and you will have to be content with

via the video timeline, even during a live

content. Consumers are rather eager

watching your favourite soap opera a day

match. Apart from the commentary, it

to engage with their favourite shows

after it has been broadcast. This isn’t too

also brings you conversations from social

and characters outside of the silver

huge a price to pay, especially when you

media. However, it is still in the beta

screen. We realise this need; these

consider the benefits: you won’t have to

stage and will be available for free only

serve as great conversation starters and

pay a single penny to avail these services,

for a limited duration. For other sports,

opinion builders. It’s important that we

you can get rid of the annoying ads,

the site directs you to the Fox Sports

are present wherever our consumers

and lastly, you can watch it at your own

Asia site (

are seeking us, and wherever possible,

convenience. So, could this mean that we

channel conversations to positively

can enjoy free television without having

impact the brands.”

to bother about cable or DTH? Here’s

Sony Entertainment Television 

a breakdown of what the major players

Want to watch "Bade Acche Lagte Hain"

have to offer.

on your PC? Sony has introduced the

Even Star India—having launched Star Player and Star Sports, its online platform—is quite bullish on the future

Sony LIV service (

of the digital medium and its focus is

Star TV

Like Star Player, this is a dedicated player

on deepening the level of engagement.

This channel offers its content online

where you can catch the latest TV shows.

A spokesperson from Star India,

via Star Player. Head to

It’s also available for Android and iOS.

said, “The consumers for these offerings

and you can select the channel you wish

Users can catch all the latest episodes of

are broadly of two types—those who

to watch. While it lists all its channels,

popular shows from all Sony channels.

prefer digital screens because of time/

up-to-date and full content is available

Besides this, it even includes videos of its

location constraints and are unable

only for some of them. Basically, you can

popular older serials. Additionally, it will

to watch linear TV, and our existing

watch all the episodes of regional daily

also feature events and movies. Users

consumers who happen to miss their

soap operas. Though the list of channels

have the option to queue their videos and

favourite show(s) and watch to catch up.

also includes Star World, Star Movies and

even have videos suggested via a mood

It provides them with an opportunity to

Channel V, the content here is miniscule.

wheel. Sony has plans to have deeper

engage deeply with their favourite shows;

Again, on Star World, you can catch

user connect via the platform by offering

watch, rate, comment and discuss about

the latest episodes of Indian series, but

loyalty reward points, sharing, interacting,

the content and also share something

there are only a few old and archived

gift hampers and even on-set visits.

they like. For instance, in the case of

international shows available, besides

sports, users can view a video timeline

some promos and clips of the current

the serials from your favourite channels

with key moments tagged, which allows

ones. So if you like international series,

on their respective YouTube channels.

them to go back to a specific moment in

Star Player won’t be of any use to you. It

There is a dedicated YouTube account for

the match and watch it again. We intend

also has an app for iOS.

each of Sony's channels, namely Sony,

to build audiences across mediums

Recently, it also launched

Apart from Sony LIV, you can watch all

Sab TV, Sony Max, Sony Pix and more.

and increase the affinity for our content to coincide with

The latest episodes are uploaded on

amongst the connected consumers, and

the Pakistan cricket team’s tour of India.

YouTube a day after they are broadcast.

offer opportunities to our consumers to

It provides viewers with live HD video

It also includes Sony Six, a dedicated

engage with our content.”

streams of cricket matches. Additionally,

sports channel that brings you action

you can follow-up on matches via video

from all the latest regional sporting

other major entertainment channels in

scorecards and a video timeline that

events. Apart from this, the Sony Max

India have made their content available

marks the key moments of a game. You

channel will bring you live streams of IPL

online. However, it isn’t live streaming

can view the crucial moments of a match

cricket matches.

Apart from Colors and Star, all the







based on its genre. Alternatively, you can

acceptance amongst consumers in India.

Viacom18, which has a bouquet of

head to YouTube as all the serials from

If you have one of these Smart TVs,

news and entertainment channels,

all of the Zee channels are available

then you can simply stream TV content

offers a deferred live streaming option.

on YouTube via their official channels.

on it and enjoy shows on the big screen

Additionally, the Colors website has

Zee TV has dedicated accounts for its

itself. In fact, you could also look at IPTV

exclusive web content from all of the

channels, including Zee TV, Zee News,

services. IPTV services provide television

popular serials. A special section is

Zing, Zee Khana Khazana, Zee Marathi

content over Internet protocol. Basically,

dedicated to Roadies, which is one of

and regional channels. In addition to

the TV channels are encoded and sent

its most popular shows. Similarly, Bigg

the currently on-air serials, you will

to TV using a set-top box. It’s a truly

Boss, its top-grossing reality show, was

also find old classics that were really

personalised TV viewing experience as

adequately supplemented with online

popular back in the day. Apart from this,

you have the option to record, pause

content. This content was not just

it has separate YouTube channels for its

or rewind live TV programmes, have

limited to the episodes, but included

popular television shows like Dance India

video-on-demand and much more.

exclusive content, 24x7 streaming, polls

Dance and Pavitra Rishta.

Additionally, you also get a high-speed broadband and phone connection, which

and much more. Such content can also be accessed from each channel's

Movies online?

will take care of all your communication

respective YouTube account.

The movie buffs won't be left out

needs. Currently, such services are being

In addition to the regular shows,

either, as in the past couple of years

offered by players like MTNL, BSNL, Airtel

MTV’s YouTube channel also features

we have seen a multitude of services

and Reliance. Apart from this, there are

some webisodes that bring you exclusive

like Hungama Movies, YouTube Box

several local players who have launched

interviews and uncensored, behind-

Office, BigFlix, Yahoo Movieplex, and

IPTV plans.

the-scenes action. Colors also runs

apps like Spuul being launched. We

several contests based on its daily

have put together a complete list

Can we ditch TV? 

soaps, wherein people can participate

of services (

Considering the current scenario, the desi

and stand a chance to win exclusive

and apps ( that

daily soaps shouldn’t be a problem, but

Colors merchandise. The content from

allow you to stream content. Besides

when it comes to international TV shows

Viacom 18’s other regional channels like

this, many production houses have

broadcast on Indian channels, then you

ETV Marathi and ETV Gujrati is officially

launched their online initiatives that

will draw a blank. However, if you are a

available on YouTube as well.

allow viewers to watch movies. Rajshri

desi soap opera buff, then you can quite

Media and Yash Raj Films are two

easily enjoy your regular fare online at

Zee Entertainment  

prominent production houses that have

your convenience, legally and for free.

To access the content from channels

made their content available online.

When it comes to movies, your choice is

that are part of Zee Entertainment’s

However, just like with other services, you

heavily restricted to old movies. However,

bouquet, you can head to http://video.

won’t find the latest movies. Strangely,

you should keep heart as content is Here you will find the latest

Yash Raj Films' online movie rental

bound to follow the audience and it is

episodes from all its channels. However,

service currently isn’t available for India.

only a matter of time before the

the content is segregated according to

entire gamut of "television" programming

genre, and not channels. So if you are

The shift is imminent    

is available wherever you want through

looking for a particular show that airs on

Smart TVs that allow you to connect

the Internet.

Zee TV, then you will have to look for it

to the Internet are already gaining







Best of MWC 2013 Here's the low-down on the hottest tablets, smartphones and platforms unveiled at MWC BY NIKHIL SUBRAMANIAM

MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS. Those three words get most smartphone fans salivating at the prospect of seeing the latest and the greatest devices in the world. This year’s event didn’t disappoint, but as most big-name manufacturers preferred to hold their own events before MWC, the show took on a different form. This year Barcelona saw small manufacturers and hitherto unknowns come to the fore with mega processors, frighteningly large screens and full HD glory.



LG announced the massive Optimus G Pro,

The Finnish company filled up the

which updates nearly all the internals of the

mid-range void in its WP8 lineup

Optimus G. There’s a 5.5-inch IPS LCD on top

with the Nokia 720, which replaces

with a 1920 x 1080 resolution. A Snapdragon

the Lumia 710. It adds new features

600 SoC ticks inside and there’s a flagship-

and brings the Nokia design language

befitting 13-megapixel camera on the back

to a mid-range phone without

along with a 2.1-megapixel unit on the front.

sacrificing on the hardware. There’s a

Together, they are capable of neat tricks like

Carl Zeiss, BSI 6.7-megapixel camera,

dual-recording, which uses both cameras to

besides NFC, Bluetooth 3.0, GPS with

record a PIP video, or like the VR Panorama

GLONASS and the Nokia HERE location apps suite. The only thing we

Mode, which allows users to click panoramas

wish was better is the resolution of the 4.3-inch display, which is

more easily, just like Google’s Photosphere.

stuck at WVGA. But for around Rs 17,000, we can’t complain too much.



Is it really a smartphone? After all, there are two parts to the PadFone.

Alcatel surprised one and all with this 5-inch, ch, 1080p

Asus has endowed both the phone and tablet components with 1080p

wonder. At only 7.1mm-thick, it’s slim, but still

displays, and the tablet dock for the phone also ensures

ssor of manages to pack a quad-core 1.2GHz processor

superb battery life thanks to the additional

unknown make. With HSPA support, an 8 orr

5000mAh battery it brings to the package. It is

13-megapixel camera (market dependent)

still a very odd device to wrap your head

on the back, 1080p video recording, a

around, and we venture a guess that not many

healthy 16GB of internal storage plus a

folks will try it, thanks to the exorbitant 999

microSD card slot, this phone has all the

euro (approximately Rs 71,000) price tag. For

trappings to attract a smartphone nerd.

that price, at least there’s a quad-core

The 2000 mAh battery, however, makes

Snap Snapdragon 600 chip clocked at 1.7GHz and an 32 GPU, while the RAM is a healthy 2GB. Adreno 320

us worry a little bit. On the other hand, the colourful polycarbonate shells give off a pretty premium vibe.



We can easily combine the first two Firefox OS phones under one

Huawei made a splash with its Ascend P2,

subhead. Both the ZTE and the Alcatel handsets have gone with a

which has a 4.7-inch 1280 x 720 display and

modest 1GHz single-core processor based on the Cortex A5 chipset.

a homegrown Huawei K3V2 CPU with four

They have the same 3.5-inch display with an HVGA resolution,

cores clocked at 1.5GHz. The Ascend P2 runs

3.2-megapixel cameras and Wi-Fi 802.11

Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean and is the first

b/g/n support. The focus here is on the

smartphone to support LTE Cat 4, which

HTML5-based Firefox OS rather than the

means it can theoretically reach download

hardware, but initial reactions to the new

speeds of up to 150Mbps. The 13-megapixel

operating system have been less than

camera has a BSI sensor and can shoot


1080p HDR videos. But what we really love is the large 2,420 mAh battery.




SMS us! ¾ Story code: NMC to 51818




The newest addition to Samsung’s Note


Inspired by the Xperia Z,

family brings an 8-inch TFT LCD with a

Sony’s Tablet Z is just 6.9mm

1280 x 800-pixel display. The Note 8.0

in depth and still has IP55/57

(Galaxy Note 510 in India) is powered by

certification, which makes it

an Exynos 4 Quad processor clocked at

water and dust-proof. Powered by a Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core

1.6GHz, and has 2GB of RAM. It runs

processor, it runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and has an 8-megapixel camera

Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean and comes with the S Pen. The back panel is

on the back, a 2-megapixel front-facing unit, and NFC One-Touch

non-removable and contains a 4600mAh battery. It supports microSD

functions, which allow users to transfer content among compatible

cards and has a micro SIM slot for HSPA+ support for data. You can

devices. The 16GB and 32GB versions will retail for $499 (around Rs

actually use the Note 510 as your primary phone as it has voice-calling

26,888) and $599 (around Rs 32,277), respectively.

functionality out of the box, besides the Wi-Fi connectivity.



Alongside the A1000 and the A3000,

We were expecting great things from the

Lenovo announced a new 10-inch tablet,

first HP Android tablet, but the Slate 7,

the S6000. It offers extended I/O options,

which will retail for $169.99 (around Rs

a large screen and a slim profile. The

9,221), is decidedly middling. The Slate 7

S6000 is powered by an MTK 8389/8125

runs on an ARM dual-core Cortex A9

quad-core processor clocked at 1.2GHz,

1.6GHz CPU and has 1GB of RAM.

and sports a 10.1-inch IPS display with a

Thankfully, there is stock Android 4.1

resolution of 1280 X 800 pixels. It also

Jelly Bean in the software department.

has a micro HDMI port, a digital microphone, optional HSPA+ and a

The initial reaction of the press folk at MWC toward the FFS+LCD screen

battery that allows for a quoted eight hours of Wi-Fi connectivity.

has been quite lukewarm and not just due to the low 1024 x 600-pixel

There’s a healthy 16GB of internal storage space, which can be bumped

resolution. Just like every new HP device, this one has Beats Audio

up by another 64GB via the microSD card slot. Around back there’s a

processing. Rounding off the package is a 3-megapixel camera on the

5-megapixel camera and VGA one on the front.

back and a VGA one up front.



Canonical's Ubuntu OS for smartphones

Jolla showed up with a reference device

and tablets is very similar to the full-

running SailFish OS and demonstrated the

blown PC experience. However, there is a

platform’s UI and features. Not much was

whole lot of emphasis on gestures. Don’t

shown off, but we did get a pretty good

expect hardware keys when the first

idea of how navigation would work. There’s

official Ubuntu OS devices are launched

a lot of emphasis on gestures and the

later this year in October. For now, you

implementation of multitasking in the OS

can test the build on any Nexus device.

really stands out. Users can interact with multiple apps without entering them.



The Firefox OS brings a touch of web to the

Samsung came to MWC to present its progress

smartphone experience. Since everything is

with Tizen. The OS looks very much like Meego did

based on HTML5, the OS itself can be

and feels like Android and iOS crossed paths to

customised easily, and new apps can be added

produce it. The menus and page backgrounds

in a cinch. However, initial reception of the

appear inspired by the iPhone, while the

new OS has been lukewarm with many critics

homescreen and notification centre have a touch

dubbing it a poor effort for a modern OS. Still,

of Android. It seems to be in the most advanced

if Firefox manages to break into the emerging

stage of development among the four new

markets, then there’s no telling how much of

platforms present in Barcelona.

an impact this OS will have.









BLACKBERRY Z10 VERDICT: The BlackBerry Z10 has plenty to offer but is too costly. FOR: Well built; great keyboard; speedy browser; great battery life. AGAINST: Hub could be better; needs more apps; average camera; too expensive.

lackBerry’s all-new Z10 smartphone has


great construction. The dedicated BBM button that

created quite a stir in the smartphone

BlackBerry was touting recently has been done away

industry. It’s a step in the right direction

with. Minimalism is the design theme here, and it’s

for the company and is definitely an improvement

important to note that with the Z10, BlackBerry has

over its past technology. Here’s a look at

gone from having the most buttons on a smartphone

what the BB10-running Z10 has to offer.

to the least. It’s all about gestures now.

Form factor

by an LED flash on the back, along with a

The size, weight and tactile feel of the BlackBerry

2-megapixel camera up front. The 4.2-inch IPS LCD

Z10 are definite wins for BlackBerry’s designers. If

touchscreen has a resolution of 1280 x 768 pixels

you notice a similarity to the iPhone 5, you wouldn’t

(356 ppi), beating the Apple’s Retina display and

be wrong, but those who’ve seen and used the

the Lumia 920. The Z10 uses a microSIM and has

BlackBerry PlayBook would know where the design

a hot-swap slot that’ll let you increase the 16GB of

cues really come from. It has a great grip thanks to

onboard storage to up to 80GB. Connectivity options

the pimpled and slightly rubberised rear panel and

include dual-band 3G, Wi-Fi with DLNA support,

the display is quite resistant to scratches. Weighing

Bluetooth with A2DP and, of course, NFC.

There’s an 8-megapixel HD camera accompanied

just 135gm and with dimensions of 130x65.6x9 mm, the Z10 fits well into pockets—even tight ones. The buttons are brushed metal just like the thin

Powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and 2GB of RAM, the Z10 works smoothly almost all the time. The BlackBerry Flow user interface is a sort of

speaker grille above the screen. They have almost

amalgamation of the iOS and Android UIs but has

zero play, strengthening our impressions about the

quite a bit of fresh functionality as well. The highlight of the BB10 OS is the BlackBerry Hub system: it pulls all your notifications into one space, allowing you easy access to messages, emails, social updates, etc. Getting to the Hub requires only a simple swipe to the right. A swipe upwards from the bottom bezel gives you a “Peek” from any application. This allows you to see what notifications have come in without closing an app. If it’s important enough, a quick swipe to the right will take you to the Hub. You can define what goes into the BlackBerry Hub. While it is arguably one of the best smartphone communications centres, there are a few things we didn’t find comfortable about it. For instance, it will

The Z10 has a 8-megapixel camera accompanied by an LED flash.




always direct you back to the last notification that

SMS us! ¾ Story code: HCI to 51818


you had open and not to the Hub’s landing page, which would have been more appropriate. The home page is a grid that shows you thumbnails of the apps that are currently running (maximum of 8). Active apps can be closed with a simple tap on the ‘X’ in the corner of each thumbnail. While eight might seem just right, we discovered that when you go beyond that, it’s possible that apps you might have been using before would be shut down. This could close running apps that you were using. While this might not be perfect, it does strike the best balance for conserving battery power. BB10 apps are listed just like iOS in a grid that can be reordered by long-pressing an icon and dragging it over the screen. The new BB10 keyboard is designed extremely well and is very intuitive with a learn-as-you-type

Under the back cover, you‘ll find the battery, the NFC antenna and the microSD slot.

feature that makes for speedy typing. Preloaded ringtones seem a little inaudible at times, but the

get to use this if your organisation runs BES. On the

vibration compensates for this quite well.

other hand, say goodbye to BlackBerry plans. On

The BB10 audio player has room for improvement in terms of UI and quality, and the company should have retained the personalisation functionality

the Z10, any data plan works, so you no longer need separate BIS plans to use BBM. Apps are still a serious issue with the OS.

that came with the older models. There’s no

BlackBerry World needs an influx of major app

support for MKV, MOV and WMV formats but most

names before it can truly take on the big players.

others, even in full HD, played flawlessly. The Hub

Music is available for purchase in the store, with

is not accessible when videos are being played

songs starting from Rs 30 apiece and albums

in landscape so you’ll need to switch to portrait

ranging from Rs 160 to Rs 250. To compensate for

orientation first. The player also needs a Skip option.

the lack of BB Maps in India, BlackBerry has tied up

There were some issues with the performance—a few heavy games like Asphalt 7 framed a bit, but

with MapMyIndia, giving you the option to download local maps for free.

those too seem to have dissipated with the most

While regular smartphone features such as the

recent update. Story Maker is a very cool app that

Calendar and Reminder apps (tied in with Evernote)

lets you combine videos and photos, add some neat

are very well-designed, the Contacts app makes it

effects and create a compilation video. There are

surprisingly complicated to choose a contact and

plenty of tweaks, filters and adjustment settings to

send them a message.

give you some innovative media moments.

The Z10’s camera allows 1080p video recording

Another feather in the BB cap is its brilliant

along with TimeShift. The feature lets you choose

webkit browser, which is proven to be one of the

from multiple frames to get a smile just right, but

fastest browsers on mobile. There is also a very

it’s not as sophisticated as Nokia’s implementation.

useful Reader mode that strips web pages of

Settings are quite limited and images in low-light

everything except text and important pictures and

conditions weren’t as good as expected. The Z10’s

is very useful for reading without being distracted;

camera is, however, capable of rendering quite a


Rs 43,490

Dimensions (WxHxD): 130 x 65.6 x 9 mm; Weight: 137.5 g; CPU: Dual-core 1.5GHz Ti OMAP; RAM: 2GB; Display: 4.2-inch LCD, 768x1280 pixels; Camera: 8 MP with autofocus and LED flash; Storage: 16GB; Video: 1080p @30 fps; OS: BlackBerry 10.

it also makes reading RSS feeds easy.

high level of depth of field. Battery life proved to be a pleasant surprise: the phone easily lasted a full day with power to spare.


At Rs 43,490, the Z10 and BB10 still have quite a

Balance is the

few wrinkles that need ironing out. The Z10 is a well

most elegant

built handset with plenty to offer and brings some


much needed refinements. The OS has a few things

of work and

that could be further tweaked, but is nevertheless a


well-designed system. The fact that it functions so

spaces in a

fluidly on a dual-core device is testament to the fact


that ‘core’ power isn’t everything. The company has

It’s also

come a long way from the Curve and Bold devices

activated with

and things now look quite promising for good old


a simple swipe,



but you’ll only




BlackBerry India 9892579925

- Shayne Rana






MICROMAX A116 CANVAS HD FOR: Quad-core CPU; HD screen; good battery life; value for money. AGAINST: Slightly bulky. ompared to the Micromax A110,


Bean player. The quality of audio is

we’re happy to report the A116

strictly average, but sounds good once

scores much higher in the build

you tweak the equaliser a little. The rear

quality department. The front is similar

speaker is quite loud too, so you won’t

but the rear cover now has a glossy

miss any of the alerts.

finish with a fine sprinkle of pixie dust.

seems to have been lifted from the A110,

the microSD card slot between them.

but with a slightly different interface.

The power and volume rocker buttons

colour effect, scene modes and white

of the handset and are easy to reach.

balance. For stills, the camera is capable

The headphone jack and microUSB port

of taking up to 99 shots in burst mode.

are placed on the top. The Canvas HD is

The sensor is able to capture a decent

slightly narrower than the A110 thanks to

amount of detail and accurate colours.

the smaller bezel around the screen and

The image gets a bit hazy when viewed

is lighter as well at 157g. Overall, we really

at 100 percent, but that’s to be expected.

The IPS panel makes a return with

Rs 13,990

Dimensions (WxHxD): 146 x 74 x 9 mm; Weight: 157 g; CPU: Quad-core 1.2GHz Cortex-A7; RAM: 1GB; Display: 5-inch IPS LCD, 720x1280 pixels; Camera: 8 megapixel with autofocus and LED flash; Storage: 4GB; Video: 1080p @30 fps; OS: Android 4.1Jelly Bean CONTACT PHONE EMAIL

Micromax Informatics 1860-500-8266

playback. This translates to roughly 14

WVGA resolution, the A116 boasts of an

hours of real-world usage, which is not

impressive HD (1280 x 720) resolution,

bad all things considered.

which makes all the difference in the



The Micromax A116 Canvas HD is

world. Text is sharper, images are more

available for the great price of Rs 13,990,

vivid and crisp and the UI looks better.

which easily makes it the most powerful

The A116 features a lightly-modified

smartphone under Rs 15,000 right now.

version of stock Jelly Bean 4.1.2. You get

The Canvas HD is lighter and slimmer

notification toggles and extra settings in

than the A110, has a much better screen,

the menu to configure the two SIM cards.

features Jelly Bean, packs a powerful SoC, provides 1080p video recording and

MediaTek MT6589 quad-core SoC. This

playback, and has a surprisingly decent

is made up of four ARM Cortex-A7 CPUs

battery life. Apart from the lack of an OTA

running at 1.2GHz and a PowerVR SGX

update option and the video playback

544MP GPU. All this power, along with a

being a bit dull, there’s very little to

whole 1GB of RAM, translates well into

complain about here. The Micromax A116

the device’s real-world performance.

Canvas HD is the handset to beat in the

The UI is incredibly smooth. The music

mid-range price bracket.

playback is handled by the stock Jelly

- Roydon Cerejo





The Canvas HD managed to deliver 7 hours and 45 minutes of continuous video

the Canvas HD, but instead of a lowly

The Canvas HD is powered by a


There’s the usual selection of exposure,

assume their usual places on either side

like what Micromax has achieved here.

The Canvas HD has a very capable 8MP camera and can handle two SIM cards.

The 8 megapixel shooter on the back

Inside, there are two GSM SIM slots with




NOKIA LUMIA 820 FOR: Good performance; excellent battery life; crisp display; good build. AGAINST: Glossy exterior; no HDMI out.

the younger sibling to the Finnish


of its handsets with rugged shells; be they

company’s flagship Lumia 920.

basic candy bar mobile phones or large-

It packs a dual-core Snapdragon S4

screen smartphones. The Lumia 820 is no

SoC, which has a processor clocked

different. The entire shell is well-crafted

at 1.5GHz, and that being paired with

and looks like a single piece of hardware.

an Adreno 225 GPU along with 1GB

This is true to an extent, but the rear

of RAM certainly helps with overall

panel opens up to house the battery,

performance and smoothness. The

and the SIM and memory cards. Nokia

phone runs on Windows Phone 8 and

has given this handset an entirely glossy

the user interface is very fluid; we barely

exterior that can be ruined if not handled

experienced any lag or glitches.

with care. Considering the good side, if

he Lumia 820 is intended to be

The AMOLED display has a resolution

Nokia has been known to equip most

you end up damaging the rear panel, you

of just 480x800 pixels, but its quality is

could always opt for replacement panels,

crisp and clear. It’s so good, you could

which would make the phone look as

mistake it for an HD display. The colour

good as new. The rear panel is available

levels are great, the pictures are crisp and

in different colours, and in rubberised and

the blacks are deep and realistic, thanks

wireless charging options. The handset

to Nokia’s ClearBlack Display and the

weighs 160 grams, is around 9.9 mm

AMOLED display.

thick and 68.5 mm wide, which gives you

The phone has 8GB of internal storage space, of which around 5GB is available for your data; it also supports microSD

a decent enough grip whilst handling or operating it. The primary camera is a good shooter,

cards up to 64GB in size. The primary

which is not surprising at all when

camera has an 8-megapixel Carl Zeiss

comparing it to the elder sibling, the

sensor that is capable of recording full HD

Nokia Lumia 920. Both cameras feature

1080p videos at 30 fps. It is accompanied

identical user interfaces and optics,

by a dual-LED flash on the rear and a

and perform similarly too. Photos taken

VGA camera on the front. Connectivity

outdoors turned out to be a bit below

options include dual-band Wi-Fi, 3G, NFC,

average—not very sharp, slightly grainy,

Bluetooth 3.1 with A2DP, and LTE. What

and the contrast levels are low. Photos

we found missing on the handset was a

shot in broad daylight look as though

video output such as an AV or mini HDMI

they were shot in low light or shaded

port, as most Android-based entry-level

environments. Indoor shoots are decent

tablets and mainstream smartphones can

enough, but fail to impress. Photographs

been seen sporting at least a mini HDMI

captured close to the subject aren’t

port. The handset is powered by a 1650

remarkable either; they have average

mAh battery and bundled along are a

colour levels and sharpness, and are

charger, a pair of earphones and a micro

altogether a bit dull.

USB cable.

- Francis D’sa

The Lumia 820 has a removable back panel, which means you can replace the battery if it grows weak.


Rs 25,500

Dimensions (WxHxD): 68.5 123.8 x 9.9 mm ; Weight: 160 g; CPU: Dual–core 1.5 GHz, GPU: Adreno 225; RAM: 1GB; Storage: 8GB; Display: 4.3-inch AMOLED, 480 x 800 pixels; Connectivity: Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, 3G, Bluetooth, GPS, NFC; OS: Windows Phone 8; Battery: 1650 mAh. CONTACT




Nokia India 022-30303838 NA







Panasonic KX-MB1536 SX VERDICT: A compact network-enabled laser MFP for homes and SOHO setups. FOR: Rugged build; well-spaced control panel. AGAINST: Small display panel.


Rs 19,600

Dimensions (WxHxD): 391 x 242 x 360 mm; Weight: 9.5 Kg; Functions: Print, Scan, Copy, Fax; Technology: Monochrome Laser printing; Print resolution: 600 x 600 dpi; Scan resolution: 600 x 1200 dpi; Interface: USB 2.0, Ethernet Panasonic India NA



he KX-MB1536 SX can print


control panel with large keys. The paper

A4 images with a resolution of

input tray can hold up to 150 sheets

600x600 dpi. It also features a

while the ADF can hold up to 15 sheets.

scanner that can scan images of up to

A manual sheet feeder is also provided.

600x1200 dpi. It also features a 33.6Kbps

Loading cartridges is very simple and you

fax machine with 32MB of built-in storage

can access the toner compartment from

that can store up to 110 pages of incoming

the front. A free toner cartridge that can

or 150 pages of outgoing pages. The fax

print about 2,500 pages is also bundled.

also features a speakerphone with a

The company says the printer can spew

built-in microphone and is equipped with

pages at 18 ppm, but our tests revealed

a Caller ID function too. The MFP can be

speeds of 17 ppm. The print quality is

connected to the PC via the USB interface

pretty sharp and crisp. We recommend

or can be shared on the network via an

this printer to those seeking a compact,

Ethernet cable. The unit has a rugged,

network-enabled printer for homes,

black matte-finished exterior. There is a

offices and small business setups.

two-inch dot matrix display on a large


- Francis D’sa



WickedLeak Wammy Titan VERDICT: A good smartphone for those seeking a power phone for a low price. FOR: Good build quality; decent performance; large display. AGAINST: The camera isn’t very good. he Wammy Titan looks almost


very good, with good levels of brightness,

identical to the Samsung Galaxy

contrast and colours. The main camera

Grand, except for its larger screen,

is an 8-megapixel snapper, while the

better display resolution and hardware.

front-facing camera has a 2-megapixel

Encased in a glossy shell with a chrome

sensor. The primary camera is below

border, the Titan is 9.9 mm-thick. The

average. Outdoor shots were very dull

chassis is rugged, but the glossy exterior

with bad colour and contrast. Reds look

can be tarnished easily. It is a dual-SIM

oversaturated and the photos are almost

smartphone that runs on a dual-core

useless. Sharpness levels were too low

1GHz processor and has 1GB of RAM. It

and indoor shots were no good either.


Rs 13,000

Dimensions (WxHxD): 81 x 151.5 x 9.9 mm; Weight: 160 g; Display: 5.5-inch qHD IPS, 540 x 960 pixels; CPU: 1 GHz dual core, GPU: PowerVR SGX 531; RAM: 1 GB; Storage: 4 GB; Battery: 2800 mAh; OS: Android JB

uses the MTK 6577 SoC, which includes

The device is powered by a 2800

the PowerVR SGX 531 GPU. It has 1GB of

mAh battery, which the company claims

storage space that is shared between the

will last for three days of basic usage. In


ROM, apps and user data. The Wammy

our video battery drain test, the battery


Titan runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

lasted for an impressive 6 hours and 30

The Titan has a large 5.5-inch qHD TFT display sporting a resolution of 540x960 pixels. The display quality is

minutes, which is pretty good for a phone



with such a large screen. - Francis D’sa





WickedLeak Inc 9324311617



Spice Stellar Virtuoso VERDICT: The phone has too many glitches to be recommended. FOR: Good looks. AGAINST: Below average performance; poor battery life.


Rs 12,499

Dimensions (WxHxD): 134 x 68 x 9.4 mm; Weight: 150g; CPU: Dual-core 1GHz; RAM: 512MB; GPU: PowerVR SGX 531; Display: 4.5-inch 960 x 540 pixels, Camera: 8 MP, 1.3 MP; Storage: 4GB internal; Battery: 1700 mAh; Operating system: Android ICS Spice Mobile 022-61190509



he Spice Stellar Virtuoso is a


are easily visible due to oversharpening.

dual-SIM, dual-standby Android

The connectivity options include Wi-Fi,

smartphone. It is powered by

3G and A-GPS, besides a microUSB

a 1GHz dual-core CPU and a PowerVR

port. The phone runs on Android 4.0

SGX 531 GPU, and has 512MB of RAM. It

ICS and a 1700 mAh battery provides

has a 4.5-inch display with a resolution

the power. We were disappointed with

of 540x960 pixels that gives you sharp

the battery life as it lasted for only

and crisp picture quality. Watching a

three hours in our video drain test. As it

movie or viewing photos or pictures

is based on a dual-core processor, the

is enjoyable, but the display’s viewing

phone tends to behave itself at first, but

angles could be a little better. The phone

run it for a while and it starts getting a

has 4GB of internal storage space, but

bit too sluggish. Installing a proper RAM

only 1.58GB can be accessed by users.

optimising app and an app killer would

As usual, Virtuoso has two cameras: a

keep the phone running smoother than

1.3-megapixel front-facing camera and

it would otherwise. The 512MB of RAM

an 8-megapixel rear shooter. However,

seems to be a bit low for the phone.

the camera isn’t very good and grains


- Francis D’sa



XOLO X500 VERDICT: Extremely good performance for the price. FOR: Very good feature set; dual-SIM; 1080p playback and recording; IPS display. AGAINST: Average battery life; slightly bulky. OLO hasn’t had much luck with


GPS, a compass, and expandable

its Intel-based smartphones. But

memory. The camera on the XOLO is not

it’s not their fault these chips were

too bad. Tap-to-focus is present and the

notoriously power hungry and heated

5-megapixel sensor can capture some

up a lot. The X500 is based on the new

pretty good shots. You also get burst

low-power Lexington platform. The X500

mode, which captures 6 images in one

is handsomely built and feels nice in your

second. These are all pretty impressive

hand. It resembles the HTC Explorer a

features for a budget handset. The

little but is on the thicker side. The 3.5-

battery life is also not too shabby, as the

inch IPS display produces sharp and vivid

phone will last you an entire day of regular

colours, along with good viewing angles.

usage. Using two SIMs might take that

The Z2420 Atom CPU easily handles

down a notch but it’s still above average.

1080p video playback and recording. The

At around Rs 9,000, the XOLO X500


Rs 9,000

Dimensions (WxHxD): 110 x 61 x 12.5 mm; Weight: 132 g; CPU: Single-core 1.2GHz; RAM: 512MB; Display: 3.5-inch IPS, 320 x 480 pixels; Camera: 5MP with autofocus and LED flash; Storage: 4GB; Video: 1080p @30 fps; OS: Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich CONTACT PHONE

audio quality is also pretty good through a

delivers very good performance and

good pair of IEMs. The X500 is a quad-

features for the price, making it one of the

band handset, which means you can use

best smartphones available under


it on networks around the globe. You also

Rs 10,000.


have dual-SIM support, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth,

- Roydon Cerejo






LAVA International Ltd 0120-4637333



Dell Inspiron 15z VERDICT: An overpriced notebook that’s not up to the mark. FOR: Powerful internals; trendy look; slim and relatively light. AGAINST: Average build quality; expensive, touch screen is pointless. he Inspiron 15z is similar to


This version of the 15z also has a multi-

other notebooks in the series,

touch panel, but it’s not a very good one.

a 15-incher; it is just 21 mm-thick and

last about 2 hours in Battery Eater Pro,

weighs around 2.17 Kg. We have four

which means you should get about four

USB 3.0 ports, a memory card reader, a

to five hours under normal usage.

but is fairly slim and light for


Rs 74,990

Dimensions (WxHxD): 382 x 21 x 250 mm; Weight: 2.17 Kg; CPU: Intel Core i7-3537U; RAM: 8 GB; Hard disk: 500 GB; GPU: Nvidia GT 620M; Display: 15.6-inch, 1366x768; Optical drive: DVD-writer; Other features: Bluetooth, webcam and card reader

DVD drive, a LAN jack, HDMI out and a

The 44WHr 6-cell battery manages to

The flagship version of the Dell

headphone and microphone combo jack.

Inspiron 15z will set you back Rs 74,990,

The high-end model of the 15z we

plus taxes. This makes it quite expensive

tested has an Intel Core i7-3537U—a dual-

for an Inspiron, which were originally

core multi-threaded CPU running at 2GHz

supposed to be budget-oriented

and the ability to turbo up to 3.1GHz. You

notebooks. Overall, the Inspiron 15z is a

also get 8GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard

decent buy if you pick the one that costs


drive, besides a 32GB SSD for IRST. For

around Rs 50,000, but any configuration


graphics, we have a dedicated Nvidia

above that is not worth the premium.

Dell India 1800-425-4026 NA



GT630M with 2GB of dedicated memory.

- Roydon Cerejo



Kyocera Ecosys FS-1120MFP VERDICT: An ideal solution for small businesses and offices. FOR: Good printing speed; user-definable presets; compact design. AGAINST: No manual sheet feed. he Kyocera Ecosys FS-1120MFP is


preset buttons. By default these are set

a versatile MFP with an integrated

to copy Fine Text, Eco Copy (multiple

scanner and fax machine. Also

pages on a sheet) and Photo Copy. The

integrated is an automatic document

Client Tool allows you to customise the

feeder. The FS-1120MFP doesn’t take

paper size, resolution, number of copies,

up too much desk space—its footprint

orientation, toner density and zoom for

is as large as that of an inkjet MFD.

each preset. The FS-1120MFP printed

The source is a single feed tray at the

our test document at 22 ppm. Copying

bottom that can hold up to 250 sheets.

a single page takes around 11 seconds,

The output tray is located at the top.

out of which around three seconds are

The control panel is well laid out and

needed to first scan the source. The print


Rs 22,400

Dimensions (WxHxD): 390 x 362 x 361 mm; Weight: 9.7 kg; Print resolution: Fast 1200 (1800 x 600 dpi); Scan / copy resolution: 600 dpi; Max monthly duty cycle: 20,000 pages; Feed tray capacity: 250 sheets

you don’t need the user manual to figure

quality is very good; even fine text (3 point


out how to use it. The left side of the

size) was quite legible.


panel allows you to select the functions

If your printing needs are up to 20,000

(Copy, Scan and Fax). The ID card copy

pages a month, we suggest you consider

mode scans and copies both sides of ID

this multifunction printer.

cards. To the right are three user-definable


Kyocera Document Solutions 9311998000


- Anand Tuliani







HCL ME Tablet Y3 VERDICT: A costly 7-inch tablet with dual-SIM calling support. FOR: Good build; Bluetooth; GPS; FM transmitter. AGAINST: Expensive. he HCL ME Tablet Y3 is a dual-SIM,


Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, and a mini USB port.

7-inch Android tablet that has

The Y3 also features a built-in FM radio

a tough, rugged shell and runs

with RDS and recording capabilities. Also

Android 4.0 ICS. It sports a 1024 x 600-

included is an FM transmitter which can

pixel WSVGA HD screen that has a good

transmit all audio on an FM frequency.

balance of colours and sharpness. The Y3

On the performance front, the Y3 did not

is powered by a 1GHz Cortex A9 processor

let us down. Since we are accustomed

and a PowerVR SGX531 GPU. The system

to the dual-core processors on most

has 1GB of RAM and 4GB of internal

tablets today, we initially expected

storage. It plays standard definition videos

the Y3 to perform just as fast. But

well, but 720p videos run a bit sluggish

since it has a single-core processor,

and jittery, while 1080p videos barely play.

we went a bit light on it. However, the


The battery provided within is a 3100

Y3 performed quite well in spite of its


mAh one, but is disappointing—the tablet

limitations. The user interface is stock


lasted just three hours and 25 minutes in

tablet-based and is perfectly smooth

our video loop test. Connectivity options

thanks to the 1GB RAM provided.

available are 3G via SIM, Wi-Fi b/g/n,

- Francis D’sa


Rs 11,999

Dimensions (WxHxD): 198 x 125 x 11 mm; Weight: 322.5 g; Display: 7-inch, 1024 x 600 pixels, CPU: ARM Cortex A9, 1GHz, RAM: 1GB; Storage: 4GB; Battery: 3100 mAh; Connectivity: 3G (Dual SIM), Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth v4.0, GPS, mini USB; OS: Android ICS v4.0 HCL Infosystems 0120-4203122



Wacom Inkling VERDICT: A severely limited tool that few digital artists will find useful. FOR: Portable; convenient; lets you draw with pen on paper. AGAINST: Inaccurate; pathetic software; only ball-point nibs. acom’s Inkling is a drawing


well reproduced. If you go over the same

tablet minus the tablet. It lets

lines, you’ll see multiple, slightly offset

you sketch on plain paper and

lines. Corners don’t meet, curves are jaggy

recreates your pen’s movements on a

and the promised pressure sensitivity

computer. The unit comprises a receiver

is missing. The Sketch Manager will let

that clips onto the top of a paper, and

you save your drawings as BMP, PNG,

a ball-point pen. The receiver tracks the

SVG, PDF or JPG, but you can’t export

pen using infrared and ultrasonic sensors.

layers as individual files. You might prefer

The pen is thicker than most regular pens,

to just scan the papers you’ve drawn

Weight: 19g (pen), 39g (receiver); Sensors: Infrared, ultrasonic; Paper size: max A4 (210 x 297mm) ; Interface: USB 2.0; Capacity: 2GB

but has a rubber coating. Direct line of

on. There’s no character recognition, so

sight is needed between the pen and

you can’t manage handwritten notes.


Rs 14,999


Wacom India 9971767474

receiver. You can only use the included

Our disappointments derive from

ball-point pen and you can’t see what’s

things that could be corrected with a

happening on your computer screen.

software update. The Inkling is only

Wacom’s software is crude and difficult

suitable for rough concept illustrations,


to understand, but you’ll see thumbnails

doodles and brainstorming sessions, not


of your sketches. Layers are preserved

detailed artwork or diagrams.



perfectly, but the drawings aren’t very





- Jamshed Avari



LG OPTIMUS G (E975) FOR: Powerful CPU; very good feature set; good media playback. AGAINST: Chassis build isn’t great; average battery life.


f you liked the Galaxy S II, then you’ll

This is pretty impressive and is the first

probably like the Optimus G as well.

of its kind we’ve come across. Next, we

The chrome trim running along the

have QSlide, which takes Samsung’s split

edge gives it presence and the handset sure grabs eyeballs. The glossy finish isn’t

simultaneously as floating windows and

the chassis also gets the same treatment.

if you need to use the menu, instead of transparency, which automatically puts

to reach. There’s only one slot for the

them in the background. media player looks slick and is feature-

the back is completely sealed off. The

rich, with support for FLAC amongst other

display is protected by Gorilla Glass, but

formats. LG also features Dolby Mobile

the plastic chassis is very vulnerable and

sound enhancement. The video player is

gets damaged very easily.

pretty robust and on par with Samsung’s

4.1.2 Jelly Bean along with a revamped Optimus UI v3.0. The interface is


LG Electronics India 1800-180-9999



The Optimus G packs in a

even a slight hint of lag while using it. The

tweaking options like scene modes, HDR,

three capacitive buttons work well and

continuous shot and a couple of new

the screen is very sensitive to touch. The

ones like Time catch shot and Cheese

phone is powered by Qualcomm’s potent

shutter. Cheese shutter especially comes

APQ8064 SoC, which packs in four Krait

in handy. The LG Optimus G is available for a

complemented by Adreno 320 graphics

street price of roughly Rs 31,000, which

and 2GB of RAM.

is quite competitive considering the Samsung Galaxy S III is priced similarly.

panel that produces sharp colours and

The phone also looks classy and doesn’t

has very good viewing angles. Baked

feel cheap, which is a big step up from

into the new Optimus UI are two new

LG’s previous offerings. On the other hand,

features called QuickMemo and QSlide. In

the build quality of the chassis leaves a

a nutshell, QuickMemo lets you scribble

lot to be desired and we also found the

notes on any screen by simply pressing

battery life to be average. Given a choice,

the volume up and down keys together.

we’d go with the Galaxy S III just for the

After that, you can save, send the

better battery life and a chassis that isn’t

screenshot or continue using the phone

so fragile.

while your writing remains as an overlay.

- Roydon Cerejo





HD videos and MKV files. 13-megapixel BSI sensor along with

The display is a 4.7-inch True HD-IPS+

Dimensions (WxHxD):131.9 x68.9 x 8.5 mm; Weight: 145 g; CPU: Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A9; RAM: 2GB; Display: 4.7-inch HD IPS+, 720x1280 pixels; Camera: 13 MP with autofocus and LED flash; Storage: 32GB; Video: 1080p @30 fps; OS: Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean

TouchWiz player. There’s support for DivX

extremely quick and peppy and there isn’t

CPUs running at 1.5GHz each. This is

The new brushed metal theme for the

option to expand the 16GB of storage and

The Optimus G comes with Android

Rs 31,000

closing the apps, you simply increase the

are placed on the sides and are easy microSIM card on the side. There’s no


You can open up to two apps

just limited to the screen, as the rest of The power and volume buttons

The 13MP camera does a good job with low-light shots and the Cheeze Shutter feature is great.

screen mode a notch above.




ACER ICONIA W510 FOR: Good feature set; good battery life; crisp display; available without dock. AGAINST: Wobbly when docked; the dock’s build is average; cramped keyboard. he Iconia W510 sports a


port and a microSD card slot. The top of

detachable design, similar to

the frame houses a 2-megapixel camera

that of the HP Envy X2. So you

while an 8-megapixel camera with LED

get the portability of a tablet along

flash is placed on the rear. The bottom

with the option to use it as a notebook

has a proprietary connector for the dock/

when docked. Further, the screen can be

charger and notches for retention when

swivelled back (similar to the IdeaPad


Yoga) should you want to keep the device

Unlike larger tablet/laptop hybrids

standing like a photo frame on your desk.

with 11.6-inch or 12-inch displays with full

At 570 grams, the Iconia W510 by itself

HD resolutions, the Iconia W510 sports a

is quite light and portable. The keyboard

10-inch IPS display that has a resolution

dock adds another 700 grams, which

of 1366 x 768 pixels. It isn’t as crisp, but

makes the total weight 1270 grams, which

it’s not too bad either, thanks to the

is quite light for an ultra-portable laptop.

smaller display.

The keyboard dock isn’t just a

With the Intel Atom Z2760 at the core,

keyboard and a touchpad; it packs an

it would be unfair to expect wonders

additional battery and has a USB 2.0

from this tablet. Its performance can’t

port on the side of the right hinge. When

be compared even to the most entry-

plugged, the device switches to the

level laptop. At most, the Iconia W510

battery in the dock. It switches to the

is ideal for running basic everyday apps.

built-in battery when the dock’s battery

You can multi-task with a few of these

runs dry or when you detach it from the

applications running together, but that

dock. This is a good thing as it helps

could be a bit taxing for the processor.

conserve the battery life of the tablet.

With the batteries of both the tablet

Making up the internals of the Iconia

and the dock completely charged, the

W510 are an Intel Atom Z2760 processor,

Iconia W10 logged a whopping 9 hours

2GB of RAM and a 64GB eSSD. Due

and 40 minutes of battery life in Battery

to the limitation of the Atom SoC, the

Eater Pro, which is quite good for a

tablet runs a 32-bit version of Windows


8. Nevertheless, it gives you more

This is the first time we’re seeing a

flexibility than Windows 8 RT—you can

Windows 8 tablet selling for the price

install software and apps of your choice

of a mainstream laptop or the iPad 4.

so long as they are 32-bit. As this is a

Of course, the iPad is more intuitive

capable Windows 8 device, a raft of I/O

and fluid, and has the awesome Retina

options can be found on the side. The

display. But if you’re specifically looking

top right corner has the power button

for a Windows 8 device without having

and a switch to toggle auto-orientation.

to exhaust your bank balance, the Iconia

The right side has the volume rocker,

W510 is for you.

HDMI output (micro type), a micro USB

- Anand Tuliani

The dock’s retention mechanism should have held the tablet more firmly in place.


Rs 46,349 (with dock) and Rs 35,019 (without dock)

Dimensions (WxHxD): 186.5 x 9.9 x 258.5 mm; Weight: 569g (tablet only), 1269g (with dock); CPU: Intel Atom Z2760; RAM: 2GB; Storage: 64GB eSSD; Display: 10.1-inch IPS, 1366x768; Camera: 8MP with flash rear and 2MP front; USB ports: 1 on tablet, 1 on dock and 1 via adapter; Video outputs: micro HDMI and D-sub (via adapter); Card reader: microSD CONTACT PHONE




Acer India 080-39408700







HP 2000-2202TU FOR: Priced well; Windows 8 OS; Connected Music. AGAINST: Glossy lid is a fingerprint magnet; small amount of RAM; poor battery life. he HP 2000-2202TU uses a


30,000 mark, and that is inclusive of the

slightly dated configuration, but slight

Windows 8 64-bit operating system.

thanks to the generous use of gloss. The

Windows 8 include a year’s subscription

shiny lid sports a large HP logo imprinted

to HP Connected Music. It’s a service that

at the bottom corner, close to the hinge.

lets you stream music and download

It looks classy so long as it’s devoid of

tracks free of charge. HP has apparently

fingerprints, dust particles and scratches,

tied up with and Universal

which it unfortunately attracts easily. The

Music for the service.

offers good bang for your buck. offers

The notebook looks simple yet elegant

same goes with the palm rest on either side of the touchpad. Open the lid and you’ll be greeted by a

exactly very poor, but there’s room for improvement. The use of more solid

on the larger side of things, we expected

plastic would have done away with the

the keyboard to have a dedicated numeric

cheap feel.

pad, which it doesn’t have. It seems HP

You can easily tell that the laptop

has chosen a more ergonomic keyboard

lacks punch within five minutes of use.

with larger and well-spaced keys.

There’s a noticeable lag even while using

you get only USB 2.0 ports. Two of them are placed on the right side, in line with

built-in apps in Windows, which is mainly due to the meagre amount of RAM. Anything above 3000 points in PCMark

the DVD writer, and one is placed on the

7 is a very good score for an entry-level

left side alongside a D-sub port, Gigabit

laptop. The HP 2000-2202TU logged

Ethernet port and HDMI port, two 3.5 mm

1964 points, which isn’t too bad. The

jacks for headphone and mic, and a

biggest weakness of this laptop is its

card reader.

dismal battery life. Most entry-level

The HP 2000-2202TU runs the


The HP 2202TU looks good, but the build quality isn’t exceptional. It isn’t

slick 15.6-inch display. Since the laptop is

As it runs on an older configuration,

The memory and hard drive of the HP 2000-2202TU are user-replaceable.

Interestingly, select HP laptops (the 2000 series included) that ship with

laptops survive for around 1.5 hours in the

second-generation Intel Core i3-2328M

Classic test in Battery Eater Pro. The HP

processor (dual-core; clocked at 2.2GHz).

2202TU survived for only 72 minutes.

The configuration is a bit disappointing—

The HP 2000-2202TU is one of the

Rs 30,467

the laptop comes with only 2GB of

most affordable Core i3-powered laptops

RAM and a 500GB hard drive that has

that come pre-installed with Windows 8.

Dimensions (WxHxD): 375.9 x 35.8 x 246.8 mm; Weight: 2.24 Kg; CPU: Intel Core i3-2328M; RAM: 2GB; Hard drive: 500GB; Display: 15.6-inch, 1366x768; USB 2.0 ports: 3; Video outputs: HDMI and D-sub; Other features: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and card reader; OS: Windows 8, 64-bit

a spindle speed of 5400 rpm. At least

It packs good punch for its configuration,

4GB of RAM and a 7200 rpm hard drive

but we recommend adding 2GB of RAM

would have made a remarkable difference

for optimal performance; a RAM stick will

in performance, but that would have

set you back about Rs 900.


Hewlett Packard India 1800-4254-999 NA



- Anand Tuliani





pushed the cost much farther than the Rs




NIKON D5200 FOR: 24.1-megapixel sensor; high-res display; effect filters; good performance. AGAINST: RAW not supported when using effect filters.

unique combination of features


want to record the activities in an area

of earlier Nikon models. Housed

over a long period of time. The interval

inside the body of a D5100 is a high-

can be set anywhere between 1 second to

resolution 24.1-megapixel image sensor

24 hours. The shots can then be used to

like in the D3200; the auto-focus is a

create time-lapse videos or HDR photos.

he Nikon D5200 seems to be a

39-point system module from the D7000;

about 550 grams and fits very snugly in

engine is from the professional grade D4.

your hand. With the dials and buttons

The placement of the dials is similar to

within easy access of your fingers, it

most Nikon models. The mode dial button

is very easy to operate. However, one

is placed on the top to the right of the

has to be careful with the monitor,

flash. The live mode switch sits below

especially if you have a tendency to just

this dial. The release mode, where you

drop the camera into the bag without

can select single, continuous, low or high

remembering to flip it close. exceptionally well. We used this camera

the memory card slot, which supports SD,

in a studio setup and shot photos at ISOs

SDHC and SDXC cards. The left has the

between 100 and Hi-2. We found that the

accessory terminals and ports for USB,

camera performs very well even at the

A/V and the optional wireless adapters.

highest ISO level at Hi-2 mode (equivalent noise extremely well at high ISO values,

circles on the monitor. It displays the

even up to ISO 3,200.

aperture circle expanding and contracting The D5200 is one of the few DSLRs to

Dimensions (WxHxD): 129 x 98 x 78 mm; Weight: 555 g; Sensor size: APS-C type (1.5x crop); Resolution: 24.1 MP; ISO: 100-6400 (25600 with boost); Shutter speed: 60-1/4000 sec; Screen size: 3-inch, 921K dots; Video recording: 1920x1080 (up to 60fps) CONTACT PHONE EMAIL

Nikon India 0124-4688500



There are some interesting filters packaged into this mid-sized camera, one of them being Selective Color. Here

have stereo microphones and speakers.

you can select the colour you wish, with

They are placed in front of the hot-shoe

the option to increase or decrease the

for the external flash. Like the Nikon

strength of the colour. Miniature, Color

D3100, this camera too has a Live View

Sketch, High Key, Low Key, Silhouette and

mode. There is usually a time lag in this

Night Vision are some of the other effects.

mode, but it is much lower than the D90. The monitor at the back is of the fully-

With an MRP of Rs 46,950 (with an 18-55 mm VR kit lens), the Nikon D5200

articulating type that can be swivelled

is definitely a worthy consideration for

and rotated up to 180 degrees—handy

enthusiasts—it’s ideal for someone

for shooting self-portraits, bug’s eye-level

walking the path to becoming a

shots of pets and babies, or shots with

professional photographer.

the camera above the head.

- Mexy Xavier





to ISO 25,600). The camera controls

Aperture and ISO) is displayed as three

when adjusted.

Rs 46,950 (with 18-55mm VR kit lens)

The D5200 can reproduce images

Towards the right of the camera grip is

The exposure triangle (Shutter speed,


The camera is pretty lightweight at

and the Expeed 3 image processing

number of frames, is further to the right.

The intuitive user interface and well laid-out control panel make the camera easy to use.

The Time Interval mode is useful if you




Acer Aspire V5-571 VERDICT: An affordable laptop that’s ideal for basic tasks. FOR: Good battery life; large touchpad; good value for money. AGAINST: Very plain design; average keyboard.


Rs 30,899 Dimensions (WxHxD): 382 x 23 x 253 mm; Weight: 2.3 Kg; CPU: Intel Core i3-2365M; RAM: 4GB; Hard drive: 500GB; Display: 15.6-inch, 1366x768; Optical drive: DVD-writer; Other fatures: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, card reader and webcam; OS: Linux Acer India 080-39408700


HDMI port. Next to the HDMI port is a

approach with the Aspire V5-571.

proprietary port for the breakout cable,

It’s slim with rounded corners, but

which adds a Gigabit Ethernet port and

the plain exterior feels like it’s absolutely basic. Even the screen frame, palm rest



cer has taken a simplistic

D-sub video output. This particular variant runs the Intel

and keyboard have a plain finish. Acer

Core i3-2365M processor (clocked at

could have added some texture or glossy

1.4GHz) and packs 4GB of RAM and a

accents to add a premium feel. The only

500GB hard drive. It comes with Linpus

bits that add some style are the island-

Linux pre-installed.

type keyboard and the large touchpad. The V5-571 line-up comprises models

The Acer Aspire V5-571 has enough muscle to handle medium to slightly

with 15.6-inch displays. Features common

heavy applications. Rest assured,

across all the models include a tray-

multitasking will be a breeze. However,


loading DVD-writer, a card reader, a 3.5

intensive tasks will surely make this


mm headphone/mic combo jack, a pair

laptop stutter.



of USB 2.0 ports, a USB 3.0 port and an


- Anand Tuliani



WickedLeak Wammy Magnus VERDICT: A powerful quad-core tablet with an HD IPS display. FOR: 4K video support; IPS display; powerful hardware; low price. AGAINST: Average build quality; OS needs to be updated by user. he Wammy Magnus is a 10.1-inch


Magnus has 16GB of internal storage of

tablet that runs Android 4.1 Jelly

which 13GB is available for the user’s

Bean and is upgradeable to

data while the rest is reserved for the

Android 4.2. The tablet has an Allwinner

ROM and app data. Connectivity options

A31 SoC, which comprises an ARM

include Wi-Fi b/g/n, 3G via an external

Cortex-A7 quad-core 1.5GHz CPU. The

dongle, and a micro USB port. The tablet

processor is presently clocked at 1GHz,

is powered by an 8000 mAh battery that

but will be able to run at full speed when

can last you for around 7 hours. Since

upgraded to Android 4.2. It has 2 GB of

the tablet is not running on the latest

RAM. The GPU onboard is the octa-core

compatible Android operating system,

PowerVR SGX 544MP2, which is capable

we did find the user interface to be a

of handling 4K videos @ 30 fps and

bit buggy. The system would behave

1080p videos @ 60 fps. The IPS display

erratically at times: the touch sensor


has a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels

would either lag or act too quickly, making


and looks crisp and sharp. We tested a

you think the tablet was sluggish. But

few SD, HD, full HD and 4K videos on the

we shall blame it on the incompatible

tablet and had no complaints, except

operating system installed.

for a little jitter in the 4K videos. The


Rs 15,499

Dimensions (WxHxD): 267 x 177 x 80 mm; Weight: 620g; Display: 10.1-inch IPS, 1280 x 800 pixels; CPU: Allwinner A31, quad-core, 1.5GHz, GPU: PowerVR SGX 544 8-core; RAM: 2GB; Storage: 16GB; Connectivity: WiFi b/g/n; Battery: 8000 mAh, OS: Android JB 4.1



- Francis D’sa





WickedLeak Inc 9324311617



SONY XPERIA Z FOR: Water-proof and dust-proof; expandable memory; ergonomic button placement; great specs; aggressive pricing. AGAINST: Average battery life; screen is dull; mediocre camera. ony’s latest flagship, the Xperia


The music player app is really slick this

Z, has managed what would’ve

time around, and the new lock screen

been considered impossible a few

widget is very convenient. Audio quality

years ago. It has an IP55/57 certification

is very good thanks to the MH-EX300AP

(water and dust-proof) and still keeps

stock in-ear phones. The headphones

its waistline at just 7.9 mm thick. What’s

have a snug fit and produce deep bass

more, it weighs only 146g. The Xperia Z

while providing good noise isolation.

feels unusual in your hand at first and the

The Xperia Z is a quad-band GSM and

sides aren’t very grippy either. The power

3G handset but there’s no LTE support

and volume rocker are lower down on

for India. You also get dual-band Wi-Fi,

the sides so your thumb easily reaches

Bluetooth v4.0, NFC and GPS. The word

them, and just below that is the speaker

prediction works pretty well, as does

grill. The microSIM and microSD slots,

the auto-correct. The Xperia Z is the

microUSB port and headphone jack are

second handset in the Indian market

all enclosed in rubber-lined flaps. Around

with a 13-megapixel camera. The primary

the back, we have a second microphone

camera’s sensor has a 28 mm lens with

for noise cancellation, a 13-megapixel

an aperture value of f/2.2, which is large

camera and an LED flash. The build

enough for low-light shots. The flash

and finish of the handset is very good

provides good illumination if the subject

and even a few falls left nothing more

is less than 2 feet away, but anything

than minor scuff marks along the edge.

more than that and the picture gets quite

It is a big fingerprint magnet, though.

grainy. The Z is fitted with a 2330mAh

You get a 5-inch 1920 x 1080-pixel

non-removable battery that managed

LCD display, giving you sharp text and

two full loops in our video drain test and

images. While this sounds good on paper,

about 10 minutes into the third, which

the reality is quite different. Even with

adds up to a grand total of 5 hours and

the BRAVIA Engine 2 on, the colours are

40 minutes. This poor performance is

washed out and not at all rich. Boosting

mainly due to the high-resolution screen.

the brightness only worsens the contrast.

The Sony Xperia Z is available in India

For power management, Sony has added

for a street price of Rs 38,790, which

a STAMINA mode, which actually does a

makes it the cheapest high-end phone

very good job of prolonging battery life.

with a Full HD display. Besides the display

You can choose at what battery level the

and the fact that it’s aggressively priced,

mode should kick in and when it does,

the Xperia Z is quite a mediocre handset

it restricts apps from using packet data.

that doesn’t offer anything more than an

However, if you want WhatsApp or GTalk

evolutionary upgrade over its previous

to be active, you can add these apps to

generation handsets.

a whitelist of sorts so they will still work.

The volume rocker and the power/unlock button are placed quite ergonomically.

- Roydon Cerejo


Rs 38,790

Dimensions (WxHxD): 139 x 71 x 7.9 mm; Weight: 146 g; CPU: Quad-core 1.5 GHz; RAM: 2 GB; Display: 5-inch LCD, 1080 x 1920 pixels; Camera: 13 MP with autofocus and LED flash; Storage: 16 GB; Video: 1080p @30 fps; OS: Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean CONTACT PHONE




Sony India 1800-103-7799







Cowon EM1 VERDICT: The best budget IEM money can buy. FOR: Flat cable; excellent performance; unmatched value; inline mic. AGAINST: A tad hard to drive. he Cowon EM1 incorporates


audio quality-wise, especially if you have

relatively large 10 mm dynamic

restricted yourself to budget IEMs. It

drivers and features better material

offers a tonal balance that’s hard to find

quality than what you’d otherwise get

even when you stretch your budget to

for just Rs 1200. The dual-tone finish

Rs 2,000. The lows are deep and tight,

looks classy enough for the EM1 to

while the highs don’t roll off as soon

pass off as more expensive earphones.

as you’d expect from IEMs at this price

Rs 1,200

The driver enclosures have a vented

range. The mids are clear as well, with

design that tightens the bass response

no particular frequency preponderant

Driver unit: 10mm, dynamic canal type; Impedance: 16 Ohm; Rated power: 3 mW; Cord length: 1.2mm; Plug: 3.5mm TRS

and reduces sound colouration as

over another. The only downside is

well. The 1.2 m Y-cable features a flat,

that the relatively large drivers are a bit

flexible construction found usually on

harder to drive for average PMPs and

premium earphones. The earphones

smartphones. The IEMs sound brilliant

are comfortable and can be worn for

without any amplification though, so it’s

hours without discomfort. The inline

no harm done. The Cowon EM1 is by far,

mic with Call Answer button comes in

the best budget IEM money can buy.


Cowon (Lipap systems) 9819917440



handy too. The EM1 will blow you away


- Nachiket Mhatre



Biostar Hi-Fi H61S3 VERDICT: Good for building a budget gaming PC. FOR: HDMI output; all-solid capacitors; great audio quality. AGAINST: No PCI slots; layout could be slightly better. he Hi-Fi H61S3 is Biostar’s latest


if you install a large dual-slot graphics phics

offering in the entry-level segment.

card. We loaded the board with Intel tel Core

Based on the H61 chipset, this

i7-2600K, 4GB G.Skill RipjawsX DDR3DR3-

board lacks support for SATA 6 Gb/s

1333 RAM and 256GB Plextor PX-256M2S 256M2S

and USB 3.0, so you only get the bare

SSD. The setup reported 3841 points in

essentials to build an entry-level PC.

PCMark 7. It took 27 seconds to compress

The H61S3 supports up to 16GB of

100MB of multiple files to format

DDR3 RAM and offers four SATA 3

(ultra preset) and around the same

GB/s ports, eight USB 2.0 ports, a PCIe

amount of time to encode a 1-minute

x16 slot and a pair of PCIe x1 slots.

MPEG video to H.264 format. We found

This board is one of the few in its

the board’s performance optimal, but you

segment to feature HDMI output and all-

won’t be able to harness the full potential

solid capacitors. It comes with Biostar’s

of SATA 6 Gb/s and USB 3.0 drives.

Hi-Fi technology and uses an independent

Consider the Biostar Hi-Fi H61S3 if

power design to improve audio quality.

you’re planning to build a gaming PC or a

The layout is very good, except for the

basic PC for home or office and are on a

SATA ports stacked in the bottom right

tight budget.

corner. The topmost port gets blocked


Rs 3,500

Socket: LGA 1155; Chipset: Intel H1; Memory: DDR3 (up to 16GB); Video outputs: D-sub and HDMI; SATA | USB ports: 4 | 8 (four via headers); Expansion slots: 1 x PCIe x16 and 2 x PCIe x1 CONTACT PHONE EMAIL


- Anand Tuliani





Abacus Peripherals Pvt Ltd 022-40914618



BENQ L32-7000 FOR: Easy to use remote control. AGAINST: Substandard build quality; backlight bleed; poor colour fidelity. he BenQ L32-7000’s relatively


banding and artefacting apparent is

lower pixel dimensions of 1366

reminiscent of inexpensive 6-bit TN

x 768 may seem inadequate

panels that incorporate FRC-based

when compared to contemporary full

dithering techniques to reproduce all 16

HD panels, but this is a boon because a

million colours. This shortcoming was

lower native pixel count results in better

underscored when we ran my battery of

performance. Unfortunately, its budget

test images, which revealed a worrying

roots means that it’s not put together

amount of banding and colour inaccuracy

very well. The build and material quality is

on the test gradients.

rather disappointing. The plastics on the

margin as well. Ditto for colours, contrast

the matte back panel seems like it was

and brightness at the default settings.

recycled from rejected Chinese toys.

The L32-L7000’s inability to resolve much

The LCD panel mounting is even

bothersome when we popped in our test

enough to open up a huge gap between

Blu-ray movies. However, this issue pales

the panel and the bezel. A ridiculously

in comparison to the more conspicuous

high amount of backlight bleeding is the

problem of heavy backlight bleeding.

inevitable fallout of such build quality.

Watching movies was an ordeal due to

Rs 32,000

Resolution: 1366x768; Screen Size: 32-inch; Video Inputs: 3xHDMI, Component, Composite, VGA (D-Sub) CONTACT PHONE EMAIL

BenQ India Pvt Ltd 0124-4501400





BenQ’s poor showing in the greyscale and

connectivity front. You get three HDMI,

backlight management department. The

two USB, one component, one composite,

colours looked underwhelming and we

one VGA (D-Sub), one 75ohm RF and one

couldn’t help but notice the higher-than-

3.5 mm audio jack. The UI is basic and

usual levels of noise.

features all the necessary picture, input

Overall, the performance of the

selection and sound adjustment options.

BenQ L32-L7000 was below-par when

Unfortunately, it looks incredibly tacky

compared to similar 32-inch LED-backlit

and would have looked more appropriate

offerings from Samsung (UA32EH5000R)

on a no-name cheap TV brand.

and LG (32LS4600)—both of which offer

The LED-backlit LCD panel is touted


of the black and white levels became

worse. Just a gentle push with a finger is

BenQ has been generous on the

A good selection of connectivity options, not to miss the USB ports on the side.

The gamma levels were off by a large

front fascia look and feel cheap, whereas

better resolution with their native support

to be an 8-bit IPS panel sporting pixel

for 1080p mode, even while retailing for

dimensions of 1366 x 768. Although

a comparable price on the street. The

the excellent viewing angles confirm its

problem of BenQ’s shockingly shoddy

IPS pedigree, the overall quality of the

build quality is compounded by a panel

display makes it seem inferior to much

that performs rather poorly. This makes

cheaper TN panels we have witnessed

it hard to choose the TV over better

over the years. For starters, we seriously

offerings from more well-known brands

doubt if the panel is actually 8-bit. We

selling for roughly the same price.

say this because the degree of colour

- Nachiket Mhatre





Page Churners Print, scan and copy at your convenience.



t goes without saying that inkjet multifunction devices

need the device to be plugged into a PC or for the PC to be

(MFDs) are the most convenient printing solution in

switched on when you use the copy function.

the home and small office segments. It’s the integrated

The prices of MFDs clearly illustrate why you should

scanner that transforms an ordinary inkjet printer into a

invest in one instead of a single-function inkjet printer. A

versatile all-in-one machine. Printing might still be the

colour inkjet printer costs anywhere between Rs 1,800 and

most common use of the device, but it doesn't cost too

Rs 2,500. Add just Rs 1,000 and you can buy a decent

much extra to have a scanner handy. With a combination

inkjet MFD. Entry-level devices offer only print, scan and

of the two, you needn’t rush to the photocopying guy

copy functions. Moving up the ladder, higher-end devices

down your lane every time you need to make a copy. With

feature a card reader and a colour LCD display so you can

an MFD within with arm’s reach, you can duplicate documents

preview and print photos directly from memory cards. The

and photos hotos in no time. It’s as simple as placing the source

device itself lets you specify the paper type, print quality

on the scanner bed a and pressing a button. You don’t even

and number of copies, without a PC. Some devices also let you print multiple passport sized photos on a single 4x6-inch or A4 size photo paper. Not much innovation has occurred in the inkjet MFD segment for a few years now. Newer models are more compact and come with improved drivers and user interfaces, and that’s about it. The print quality and print speeds are similar to those of their predecessors. If you already have an inkjet MFD, there’s really no compelling reason to upgrade, unless you want a higher-end device wit with faster printing speed or features such as Wi-Fi and networ network connectivity. That said, we suggest you think




Jagdish Limbachiya

SMS us! ¾ Story code: TIM to 51818

carefully before befor investing in an inkjet MFD because it won’t

(text and images) can ges) that ca n

get outdated and a can easily sit on your desk for years.

n a single minu ute be printed in minute

roun In this roundup we tested six mainstream inkjet MFDs.

aft, normal and best each in draft,

are ideal for home use, others are better While some ar

modes. The time taken to print

suited for pho photographers or office desks. So, turn over and

e 4x6 photo in bestt a single

take your pick pick.

mode was also noted. Quality of fine print:

Test Process Proc

We took prints of a text

The AIO devices devic were evaluated on the basis of their

passage in 1 point, 2

features, build quality, ergonomics, performance and

point and 3 point font

warranty. Let’s find out what went into each of these

sizes in draft, normal and


de best modes on a high-grade

FEATURES: W We started logging basic characteristics such

sheet of alabaster paper. Then we

as features like copier, scanner, and fax. Connectivity

took a macro shot (1 cm distance) of the

options such as USB, PictBridge, memory card support and

a to evaluate the quality print with a digital camera

wired and wireless networking were also noted. Devices

of character formation.

that featured multiple connectivity options scored higher

Imaging quality: To assess the quality of photo prints,

points than those that had only a USB port. We also noted

we analyzed each 4x6 photo. We subjectively evaluated

the number of ink tanks that the printer required. Finally,

the quality of the print in terms of faithfulness in color

the copier settings including options for choosing the paper

reproduction, contrast, image details and skin tones.

size and type, and setting the print quality, reduction and

mila Similarly, we also evaluated the image quality of a 300 dpi

enlargement percentages were noted.

scan of an A4 size photo, and also the print quality of a

BUILD QUALITY: Here we subjectively evaluated the

magazine p page copy taken in normal mode on an alabaster

quality of the outer shell and the paper trays


of each AIO. Overall aesthetics and a

Warranty: W t Since Si ce an AIO has lots of moving components

scratch-resistant shell were given ven points

within, it is prone e to mechanical problems. Hence it’s good


for it to be backed by extensive warranty and support. Value for money: m This index was calculated

ERGONOMICS: Packing four

by stacking g the sum of the device’s

functions in a single unit, an AIO O

overall features, build

should be easy to operate

quality, ergonomics and

even for a first timer. An intuitive user interface, well

performance scores against its price. The

laid out control panel, l, and e good button size, all contribute

AIO that scored the

iness. We also no oted to user friendliness. noted

highest index was given the Best

if the paper trays ys could be folded folded om creeping iin n to prevent dust from

Value award.

ot in use. when the device is not

PERFORMANCE: ber of Speed: We measured the numb number cuments text documents and combi doc documents

Joshua Nawalkar








revealed that the 3525 can spew out a

functions. It supports wireless connectivity

prints were standard documents that

apart from the standard USB 2.0 interface,

one might use. 4x6-inch photos print

but lacks an Ethernet port for wired

in around one and a half minute, while

networking. The MFD is very compact, has

copying required 17 seconds and 23

a low height, and sports a classy look. The

seconds per sheet for mono and color

body is made of a good quality plastic

modes respectively. As far as speeds

and the frame is pretty tough, except for

are concerned, this printer stands in the

the flimsy paper trays which feel like they

second position in the roundup, but it

could easily be broken.

bagged the Best Performance crown

he HP DeskJet Ink Advantage 3525



Rs 7,200 Dimensions (WxHxD): 17.4 x 5.6 x 14.3 inches; Functions: Print, scan, copy; Resolution: Print-4800 x 1200 dpi, Scan-1200 dpi; No of cartridges: 4; Input capacity: 80 sheets; Connectivity: USB 2.0, Wi-Fi 802.11n Hewlett Packard India 1800-4254999

On the performance front, our tests

e-All-in-One is a three-function device with print, scan and copy

maximum of 15 pages per minute. These

The shell is matte-finished except for

because of the points it gained when

the area around the control panel which

averaging all performance scores across

is highly glossy. The panel features a dot-

print, copy and scan tasks, plus of course

matrix LCD panel flanked by six control

the printing quality. The print quality of

buttons. The input and output trays are

general text in both draft or best modes

foldable to help prevent dust entry when

was excellent and so were the photos we

not in use. The top is an A4-sized flatbed

printed. The scanner is also fast enough

scanner which does not have an ADF

with an average speed of 24 seconds for a

mechanism. The printer can create images

full sized A4-photograph at 300 dpi.

at 4800 x 1200 dpi (optimized) and uses

If you are looking for a multi-function

four ink tank cartridges. To save on paper

printer for your home, we definitely

and time, the printer features an automatic

recommend the HP DeskJet 3525 e-All-in-

duplexing mechanism which turns over the

One because of its printing performance in

paper internally to print on both sides. The

terms of both speed and quality.


3525 also features e-printing, using which

FOR: Wireless networking, good build,


one can print from your wireless-enabled

compact, good print quality.


mobile phone or from a remote location

AGAINST: No card reader, mono LCD


over the Internet.

display, no Ethernet port.











for black ink and the other for colour. The

performance, and a reasonable set of

which is a good feature in the long run—if

features to its advantage. The MG3170

the heads or nozzles are blocked or bad,

we tested surprised us with its unusual

you can simply replace the cartridge unlike

maroon color, which might not have many

other printers that have a separate print

takers, but thankfully it comes in black as

head which is costlier.

he Best Value award was given

The MG3170 uses two cartridges; one

to the Canon Pixma MG3170 as it has the lowest price, decent

cartridges have their own print heads

well. The entire shell is also highly glossy

On the performance front, the printer

and can get smudged in no time because

is similarly unexciting. The highest speed

of dust and fingerprints. Scratches are

we obtained was 11 pages per minute in

also likely to be noticeable. On the build

draft mode. Scanning an A4 photo at 300

quality front, the printer did not impress

dpi and printing a 4x6-inch photo takes

us very much—though the shell is firm, the

19 seconds and 1.5 minutes respectively,

scanner lid and the output tray are flimsy

which is close to what most of the other

and seem too delicate.

models managed. Print quality is just

The device is also low on features.

above average. Text, fonts and photos are

Though it supports wireless networking, it

just about good enough for casual printing,

lacks a proper display on the control panel

but not for demanding work.



Rs 5,965

network needs to be configured via a

only for home users who need to print a

control panel on the PC, without which,

document or photo at home occasionally.

Dimensions (WxHxD): 17.6 x 5.9 x 11.9 inches; Functions: Print, scan, copy; Resolution: Print-4800 x 1200 dpi, Scan-1200 x 2400 dpi; No of cartridges: 2; Input capacity: 80 sheets; Connectivity: USB 2.0, Wi-Fi 802.11n

the MFD can only be used as a standalone

The price is low, but the performance


copier. The 7-segment LED display is very

is a bit of a letdown. If you don’t mind

confusing and is just sufficient for showing

increasing your budget by Rs 1,200, we

the number of copies being made.

would recommend opting for the HP 3525

to help the user configure it. The wireless

The printer and A4-sized flatbed

We would recommend this printer



or the Brother MFC-J430W.


scanner feature resolutions of 4800 x 1200

FOR: Low price.


dpi and 1200 x 2400 dpi respectively. The

AGAINST: Glossy shell, below average

printer also features auto-duplexing.


Joshua Nawalkar

Canon India 1800-1803366 NA









BROTHER MFC-J430W Brother International India 1800-222422 Rs. 7,200

CANON PIXMA MX457 Canon India 1800-1803366 NA Rs. 8,730


FRANCIS D'SA The multi-function printers in this roundup are all good in some ways. If I were to recommend only one, it would be the Epson L210 Ink Tank series since it has the lowest print costs. Though it is a bit noisy whilst printing, those who require lots of prints at a low cost will not mind. The inks are also

NAME Contact Phone E-mail Price* OVERALL Features (30%) Build Quality (15%) Ergonomics (10%) Performance (40%) Warranty & Support (5%)


features such as wireless and fax capabilities, the HP and Brother printers are also worth considering. They are compact and the build quality is pretty good too. As far as printing quality is concerned, the HP printers definitely have an edge—the quality of photos was excellent. But to get the best of both worlds, the Canon MG3170 is a better deal—it comes at the lowest price with decent print quality.

ANAND TULIANI You should set aside at least Rs 7,500 if you’re looking to buy a multifunction device with a good set of features and stellar performance. My recommendation from this roundup is the HP Deskjet Ink Advantage 3525—it’s compact, offers wireless connectivity, and most importantly, its print quality is excellent. It would have been a sweeter deal if it had a card reader and could let the user preview photos and print them directly from memory cards, but nevertheless, it’s still a good package. On the other hand, the Canon Pixma MG3170 is for those who don’t have a very high budget and would like wireless connectivity. It’s not as good as its competitors when it comes to printing photos, but it’s good for documents with black text, and it’s fast. Also, note that Canon is the only brand that offers a two-year warranty on its inkjet multifunction devices.







50 0

Overall (Out of 100) Value for money FEATURES Dimensions (WxHxD) Functions Connectivity Display: Size | Type Resolution: Printer Scanner Copier settings Max copies | Quality presets | Ink intensity Reduce / enlarge | Paper type | Paper size Fax: Modem | Page memory Number of cartridges BUILD QUALITY Quality: Shell | Paper trays Resistant to scratches | Aesthetic appeal ERGONOMICS Folder paper trays: Feed | Output Display quality Size of buttons PERFORMANCE Initialization time Printing speed Text document: Draft | Normal | Best Text and graphics: Draft | Normal | Best 4x6 Photo (Best mode) Copier speed (Normal mode) Plain text | Text and graphics Scanning speed: A4 photo (300 dpi) Font size test: Draft | Normal | Best Text and graphics print quality Photo print quality (4x6) Image details | Skin tones Color reproduction | Contrast Quality of scans (A4 photo) Image details | Color reproduction WARRANTY Warranty period Scores out of 5



cheaper compared to other printers. On the other hand, if you require office-centric

68 98


100 100





15.9 x 7.1 x 14.9 inches Printer | Scanner | Copier | Fax USB | Wi-Fi | Ethernet 1.9-inch | Color LCD

18 x 11.8 x 15.1 inches Printer | Scanner | Copier | Fax USB | Wi-Fi | PictBridge 2-inch | Dot matrix LCD

6000 x 1200 DPI 2400 x 1200 DPI

4800 x 1200 DPI 1200 x 2400 DPI

99 | ✔ | ✔ ✔|✔|✔ 14.4 Kbps | 170 pages 4

99 | ✔ | ✔ ✔|✔|✔ 33.6 Kbps | None 2

5|5 ✔ | 4.5

5|4 ✔|4

✔|✔ 4.5 5

✔|✔ 3 5

19 sec

2 sec

18 ppm | 10 ppm | 2 ppm 15 ppm | 7 ppm | 2 ppm 120 sec

10 ppm | 10 ppm | 2 ppm 5 ppm | 5 ppm | 2 ppm 96 sec

17 sec | 23 sec 16 sec 2 | 2 | 3.5 3.5

11 sec | 37 sec 16 sec 3.5 | 3.5 | 2 4

4.5 | 3.5 3 | 4.5

3|3 2.5 | 3.5

3 | 4.5

3.5 | 3.5

1 year

2 years

* Prices are indicative and are subject to change, taxes extra








HP DESKJET INK ADVANTAGE 3525 E-ALL-IN-ONE Hewlett Packard India 1800-4254999 Rs. 7,200

HP DESKJET INK ADVANTAGE 5525 E-ALL-IN-ONE Hewlett Packard India 1800-4254999 Rs. 8,500

CANON PIXMA MG3170 Canon India 1800-1803366 NA Rs. 5,965

EPSON  L210 ALL-IN-ONE Epson India 080-30515000 Rs. 10,499


56 93

35 66




50 50







50 100





61 100





50 0






17.4 x 5.6 x 14.3 inches Printer | Scanner | Copier USB | Wi-Fi 2-inch | Dot matrix LCD

21.4 x 5.62 x 17.4 inches Printer | Scanner | Copier USB | Wi-Fi | Card reader 2.65-inch | Color LCD

17.6 x 5.9 x 11.9 inches Printer | Scanner | Copier USB | Wi-Fi 2-inch | 7-segment

18.5 x 5.7 x 11.8 inches Printer | Scanner | Copier USB No Display

4800 x 1200 DPI 1200 DPI

4800 x 1200 DPI 1200 DPI

4800 x 1200 DPI 1200 x 2400 DPI

5760 x 1440 DPI 600 x 1200 DPI

50 | ✔ | ✔ ✔|✔|✔ NA 4

50 | ✔ | ✔ ✔|✔|✔ NA 4

20 | ✖ | ✖ ✖|✔|✖ NA 2

20 | ✖ | ✖ ✖|✖|✖ NA 4

5|3 ✔|5

5|3 ✖|5

5|4 ✖ | 3.5

4|4 ✔|4

✔|✔ 4 5

✔|✔ 5 5

✔|✔ 3 5

✔|✔ NA 5

15 sec

13 sec

2 sec

12 sec

15 ppm | 10 ppm | 2 ppm 12 ppm | 5 ppm | 1 ppm 95 sec

15 ppm | 10 ppm | 2 ppm 12 ppm | 5 ppm | 1 ppm 93 sec

11 ppm | 10 ppm | 2 ppm 5 ppm | 3 ppm | 2 ppm 94 sec

17 ppm | 7 ppm | 5 ppm 7 ppm | 3 ppm | 2 ppm 240 sec

17 sec | 23 sec 24 sec 4.5 | 4.5 | 4.5 4.25

29 sec | 21 sec 23 sec 3 | 3.5 | 3.5 4

17 sec | 32 sec 19 sec 3 | 2.5 | 2 4

21 sec | 51 sec 45 sec 3|3|2 2.75

4 | 4.5 4|4

5 | 4.5 4|4

3|3 2.5 | 3.5

3.5 | 3.5 3|4

4.5 | 4

4.5 | 4

3.5 | 3.5


1 year

1 year

2 years

1 year

Joshua Nawalkar









TUNEUP UTILITIES 2013 V VERDICT: A handy suite to keep your PC running smoothly. FOR: Intuitive user interface; useful functions; effective tuning. AGAINST: Can’t be trusted blindly. he reason for PC slowing down could be


half an hour or so. The “Turbo” mode is meant to

many, such as bloated registry due to

give your PC an instant speed boost—in addition

hundreds of redundant entries, invalid

to postponing scheduled maintenance tasks,

shortcuts, fragmented partitions and unwanted

disabling visual effects and rarely used services, it

start up programs and services that take forever to

ensures optimal performance regardless of power

load. Such issues pile up over a period of time and

consumption. Moving on to the five tabs in the main

should be resolved from time to time to maintain

UI here’s what they offer:

optimal performance. The easy way out is using a


tuning utility that fixes everything in one go. The

displays status and suggests recommendations

latest version of TuneUp Utilities adds support for

related to system maintenance, performance and fixing

Windows 8, browser cleaner, and Live Optimization

problems. These are presented as separate blocks

among many other improvements.

along with individual statuses. “Maintain System” does exactly what “1-Click Maintenance” does, but while the


Performance” recommends optimisations based on

prompts you to run 1-click Maintenance—it scans

the type of Internet connection and visual effects you

for redundant registry entries, invalid shortcuts and

specify. “Fix Problems” suggests resolving issues that

references in the start menu and desktop, junk files,

negatively impact system health, for example, checking

browser cache, fragmented drives, and so on. It

for drive errors. You know your system is running

takes around a minute to complete the scan after

optimally if all the statuses are green with a checkmark.

which it displays the number of issues found and

OPTIMIZE COMPUTER: This section presents tools to

the overall condition of the system. You can click

reduce system load and optimise registry. So, you have

on the number of problems found to view them and

Program Deactivator, StartUp Manager and Uninstall

uncheck the changes you don’t want the software

Manager to manage startup items and installed

to perform. Clicking the “Run maintenance” button

software—each of these is a separate module. To help

fixes all the issues in one go.

you decide whether you should enable or disable items,

The main UI comprises five tabs in the decreasing



PC is idle or as per user-defined schedule. “Increase

Immediately after installation, the software

the software uses rating system that evaluates priority.

order of priority—Status and recommendations,

CLEAN UP COMPUTER: As soon as you click this tab,

Optimize computer, Clean up computer, Fix problems

the software analyses the amount of disk space that

and Customize Windows. The lower one-third portion

can be freed by getting rid of unwanted system files,

of the UI stays static. The left side of this panel

browser data (cache, history, cookies, form data and

has buttons to choose the PC Optimization mode

passwords), broken shortcuts and Windows functions

(Economy, Standard and Turbo). The “Economy”

(such as Hibernation data and search index).

mode helps prolong battery life of mobile devices

FIX PROBLEMS: This section helps fix commonly

by turning off the display and wireless radios

faced problems such as Computer, Recycle Bin and

when idle, disabling visual effects and turning off

Network icon not being displayed on the Desktop,

background services that are rarely used such as

“New” and “Send to” submenus not appearing in the

support for virtual machines, error reporting, Quick

context menu, Windows Update not functioning. You

Windows search, etc. With Economy mode enabled,

simply have to check the problems you’re facing and

your laptop’s battery life should extend by around

they will be solved when you click the “Next” button.


SMS us! ¾ Story code: TSM to 51818



RED HOT CorelCAD 2013

Corel WordPerfect You can recover a few gigabyte of storage space using the Clean up computer tab.

and more...


SketchUp) 8.0.16846

the performance or solves issues. It’s a bonus feature

K-3D Portable

Blender 2.65a / 2.66 RC

that allows you to customise look and feel. You can

SketchUp (formerly Google

Wings 3D 1.4.1

CUSTOMIZE WINDOWS: This section doesn’t boost

and more...

choose to enable or disable Window and menu animations. Other than that, there’s a useful mix of functions present in Windows Control Panel and Task Bar and Start Menu properties.

Performance Our test PC was a home PC powered by AMD Phenom II X4 955 processor, 4GB DDR3 RAM and 500GB hard drive. The operating system was Windows 7, 32-bit. The system had been used for more than a year and was never optimised using a tuning utility. Prior to installing TuneUp Utilities 2013, the time taken to boot up and shut down was 42 seconds and 12 seconds respectively. Photoshop CS 5 and Lightroom 4 took 9.5 and 14 seconds to load respectively. After running 1-Click Maintenance, we didn’t find any difference in the time taken to boot up and shutdown. However, both Photoshop CS5 and Lightroom 4 loaded three seconds faster. Also, we managed to recover around 4GB of storage space using the Clean Up computer tab. We ran the recommended fixes and

FULL GAMES Euthanasia 1.0 PainTown 3.6.0 Crusaders of Space Final Shootout Xeno Assault Star Defender 4 Need For Extreme 3D


GAME DEMOS Rush Bros. 1.01 Maximum Roller Coaster Demo 1.01 Bollywood Wannabe 1.0.0 The Five Cores 1.1 The Balloon Quest 1.1 Navy Seals - Sea Air Land Demo 1.01 and more...

GAME ADD ONS GameSave Manager Database Update 8.2013-01-14_01 GodsWar Online Patch StarCraft II Patch 1.5.4 WW2 Total Patch 1.4.0 Talisman Online Patch and more...

found the system to be slightly more responsive.


Verdict TuneUp Utilities 2013 offers a good mix of utilities and tweaks to keep your PC running optimally. Even if you’re an expert at system maintenance,


you will like some

$ 49.95 (approx Rs 2,715)

of the included

utilities and


OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/8; RAM: 4GB; Disk space: 75MB. CONTACT PHONE EMAIL

TuneUp Corporation NA

tweaks—we must say they are better than the

TeamViewer 7.0.9377 Mozilla Firefox 18.0 and more...

Dead Space 3: The Story So Far Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2: Brutal War Crimes Dark Souls 2: VGA Announcement The Phantom Pain: VGA 2012 Announcement Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time: Once Upon a Time and more...


WinFF 1.5.0 ocenaudio 2 Build 4486 Beta 27 FlaX 5.10 Flash Banner Maker 1.0.0 Flash X-Tractor FlowPlayer Flash 3.2.15 Phisketeer and more...

INTERNET Remote Desktop Manager Maxthon Cloud Browser RC Opera Mini PC Edition 0.2 Epic 1.9.7 BlazeVideo YouTube Downloader 2.0.1 VSO Downloader ICQ 8.0 Build 5999 Miranda IM 0.10.10 Trillian 5.3 Build 14 Facebook Chat IM 1.1 and more...

MOBILE Nokia Suite 3.7.22 ALLConverter to 3GP 1.2 Free Ringtone Maker Portable Free Mp3 Cutter WhatsApp Messenger (Symbian) 2.9.6 UC Browser (Symbian) 8.8.1 TTPod (Symbian) 3.72 / 4.41 Nokia Care Suite 5.0 HTC Sync 3.3.21 Samsung Kies

ones included in Windows.




Moreover, it’s nice


to have everything

Data Crow 3.9.15 JShot X File Explorer 1.34 Youtube High Definition 4.7 Airtime 2.3.0

Avast! Internet Security 7.0.1474 Avira Internet Security 2013 AVG Antivirus Professional 2013 Build 2805a5946


in one package. - Anand Tulianii

Rising Antivirus Free Edition Norman Malware Cleaner 2.07.06 FortiClient Standard Anvi Smart Defender 1.8 iSpy and more...

SYSTEM RegSeeker 2.1 Build 4412 Beta DiskMax 4.60 SIVeX 0.1.5 AllDup 3.4.18 BackUp Maker Standard Edition 6.501 Wise Memory Optimizer 3.17.72 EASEUS Todo Backup Home 5.5 Build 20121226 ExtractNow PDF Builder (formerly PDF Creator) 3.1.0 VistaMizer

MUST HAVES .NET Framework Version 4.5 AMD Catalyst Drivers 13.1 XP AMD Catalyst Drivers 13.1 Vista Realtek AC’97 Driver A4.06 Realtek High Definition Audio 2.70 XP Realtek High Definition Audio 2.70 Vista DirectX 9.0c (Jun 10) Java Runtime Environment (32-bit) NVIDIA Forceware 310.90 WHQL XP/Vista

ADOBE PLAYERS Adobe Air Flash Player 11.6.602.168 (IE) Flash Player 11.6.602.168 (Non-IE) Shockwave Player

E-BOOKS CHIP ARCHIVES November 2012 to January 2013






ACTIVE@ FILE RECOVERY 10 PRO It will also recover files that have been lost by damage, virus or directory destruction

FOR: Easy to use, powerful features, RAID compatible. AGAINST: Some functions are not easy to find.


ome users would appreciate this

can be opened and worked on as a usual

extremely easy-to-use data recovery

hard drive or volume. Files recovered can

utility. The recovery utility has the

also be previewed before being recovered.

ability to even recover data from a crashed

The Version 10 includes the multi-tasking

or non-bootable hard drive. Simply create

feature, whereby, the utility can scan as

a bootable CD/DVD and boot through it

well as recover data at the same time

when you have an OS crash. The system

reducing the overall recovery time. Recovery

boots up via a Windows-styles interface

scans can be saved and put to use later.

and helps you recover your data from the

One can also convert or dump the entire

drive. Active@ can also recover data from

drive (to be recovered) into an image file

formatted drives and deleted partitions too.

which can be worked upon later. This

The utility is easy-to-use, but there are a

reduces the risk of damage to the original

few features that are almost hard to find

drive under recovery. Active@ is beneficial

as the interface is a bit confusing. But once

for external drives such as SD cards, pen

$ 44.95 (Approx Rs 2,450)

you start using it, the software feels friendly

drives and portable hard drives. lastly, the

enough to find your way around.

utility also can burn your recovered data



OS: Windows XP or higher, Disk space: 50 MB. CONTACT PHONE EMAIL

LSoft Technologies Inc. +1 (877) 477-3553





Active@ is feature-rich and can recover

directly onto a CD or DVD eliminating the

data from RAID drives and supports

need of another hard drive for storing the

various well-known file systems such as

recovered data.

FAT, FAT32, NTFS, exFAT, Unix UFS, Apple

Active@ uses modules which are

HFS+ and Linux Ext2/3/4. The list does

built-in for each level of data recovery.

not end here—the utility also supports

These include the following. Active Disk

VMWARE and VirtualPC HDD images which

Image which dumps every sector of the





YTD VIDEO DOWNLOADER FOR: Ease of use. It features a converter and also a tool to cut videos. AGAINST: Download speeds aren’t that good. TD Video Downloader is a simple


original, optimal, high, medium or low, and

tool to download and convert

also set the volume. The Cut Video option

videos from the Internet. When

is quite a handy feature. If you want to

installing the tool, take care to uncheck the

download or save only a part of a video

browser add-ons. Once installed, it’s quite

then you can specify the start and the end

easy to use. To download a video, copy

times and the software will only convert

paste the video URL in the interface, specify

that part of the video. If you buy the full

the folder you want the video to be saved

version, which costs approximately Rs 800,

in, and click on download. The software

you can specify which format you want to

also automatically captures the URL from

convert the video into while downloading it,

the clipboard if you've copied it. It will by

which is highly convenient. The full version

default download the best available video,

also supports multiple downloads and

but you can change this to normal, HD

conversions. The software also features a

1080p, HD 720p, HQ 480p, FLV, or MP4.

basic video player.

You can pause or cancel downloads. It took

YTD has a video converter that supports several popular video and audio formats.

Overall, it’s a good tool for downloading

over eight minutes to download a 40MB

videos and supports over sixty sites

FLV file from YouTube over a fast Wi-Fi

including YouTube, Facebook, Google

connection. The free version will let you

Video, Yahoo Video,, ESPN


download only one video at a time. The

Videos and Metacafe. Keep in mind that

download speeds aren’t that great either

downloading copyrighted videos can have

and you will have to purchase the paid

legal implications and will land you in

version if you want better speed.

trouble. You should take care to download


copyright-free videos and only with the


The software also features a video converter that supports MPEG, MP4, MOV,

permission of the video's creators or

mobile video formats, WMV, AVI and MP3.


You can set the conversion quality to



OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/8; Disk Space: 64 MB CONTACT

GreenTree Applications SRL NA NA


- Priyanka Tilve









FREE VIDEO CONVERTER FOR: Easy to use interface, long list of presets, small download. AGAINST: No GPU support, conversion takes a long time. It has an easy to use user interface, but GPU support would have made it a lot better.


hile most modern smartphones

you a preview about the audio and video

can playback Full HD content,

codec used by the highlighted video along

it’s not always practical to

with a preview window. You may have

store 1080p videos since space is always

to trim a certain part of the video in this

limited. Video converters are still the

section itself.

best option in this case and today’s


The software also comes with a long

free versions offer plenty of tweaks and

list of presets, right from iPod to HDTVs.

options that are just as good as their paid

You even have an option to just rip the

counterparts. Free Video Converter is one

audio track of the video if you need to.

such program and is very good at what

Alternately, you can fine tune some of

it does. The software has a web-based

the conversion settings and save it as

installer, so once you download the setup

a custom preset. We tried converting

file (758KB), the actual program—around

a 1080p AVI movie trailer (2 minutes

13MB in size—will be downloaded and

and 30 seconds) to a 720p file, but the


conversion took longer than expected.

Free Video Converter has a simple

Also, the software doesn’t make full use


interface and everything is laid out on one

of the CPU cores, as the CPU usage on

page. You have your usual menu bar on

our test rig hovered around 52 percent.


the top along with another row of menu

It would have been better if it used all

buttons below it. This is a bit redundant

the power of the CPU to speed up the

since the same options are repeated in

process. CUDA or any kind of GPGPU

both places. You drag and drop all the

support is also absent. Overall, Free

videos to be converted into the main

Video converter is a decent software but

window, and you can queue up as many

it’s not the quickest of the lot.

OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/8; Drive space: 13.2 MB CONTACT PHONE EMAIL

Koyotesoft NA


videos as you like. The right side gives





- Roydon Cerejo





FBACKUP FOR: Free; easy-to-use. AGAINST: Limited backup types; few features. The Backup wizard lets you select from predefined plugins to back-up specific folders.


Backup is an easy to install free

use zip compression to reduce the size of

backup and restore software for

the files. On the other hand, you won’t be

Windows. It has a two-part interface

able to backup data from your network

and a wizard to explain each step, making

drive, FTP/SFTP or CD/DVD, and stop,

it extremely simple and straightforward to

pause or resume a backup once it starts.

use. FBackup’s interface is almost similar

When you want to start a backup job,

to Softland’s premium Backup4All, but

you can choose Mirror Backup (without

is quite weak when it comes to features

compression) or Full Backup. However,

compared to the latter.

you can't take incremental or differential

The software lets you create multiple


backups using this software. It has also

backup jobs; each job lets you choose your

given AES encryption a miss. Unlike some

files and where you want to save them.

of the other offerings available, FBackup

You can backup data to your local, network

doesn’t support email notifications

or external portable drives. It allows you

to alert users about the status of the

to run predefined backups (using plugins)

backup process.

for the My Documents and My Pictures

FBackup will also test the backup files

folders as well as your Outlook Express

automatically (using CRC32) to ensure

accounts and emails. Creating new backup

that the process has been executed


jobs is simple using the interface: just load

successfully. It is quite handy for casual or

OS: Windows 8, 7, Vista, XP, 2008/2003/2000 Server (32 and 64-bit)

the plugin of a specific folder/program

home use, but is not quite up to the mark

into the source. A link from where you can

for users who would require more in terms

download several other plugins has also

of backup types, encryption and so on. We

been included.

didn't face any problems during our test




FBackup has options to schedule daily,


weekly or monthly backups. It also lets you


choose to password-protect your data and





run. The backup was moderately paced and smooth. - Naina Khedekar



PHOTO STAMP REMOVER 5.1 VERDICT: A handy program for fixing photographs. FOR: Light weight; works well; batch fixing; preview function. AGAINST: A little expensive; UI is not the best looking. his program is designed to rid


watermarks, objects or photobombs will

photos of unwanted objects,

be removed with no trace. The affected

timestamps, watermarks or other

area blends well with the background

anomalies in your photographs. Photo

and it’s quite difficult to tell that it was

Stamp Remover uses an algorithm

manipulated. If the object you wish to

similar to Photoshop’s content-aware

correct is a bit more complicated such

fill tool, which uses the information

as wrinkles under the eyes, then you

from neighbouring pixels to cover up

can make a fine selection by using the

$49.5 (Approx Rs 2,722)

the highlighted area. You'll have to pay

‘Selection Marker’. The software works

to use this software, but you can try it

well, but the interface is not the prettiest

for 30 days for free. The installation is

and looks pretty bland. The personal

pretty straight forward and the interface

licence retails for $49.5 (around Rs

is easy to use. You can add files by simply

2,722) and gives you access to any future

dragging and dropping them into the

updates, unlimited usage, e-mail support

interface. To get started, simply select

and no reminders to register. If you plan

the portion of the image you wish to

on using this on two machines then that


correct and click remove. The process is

will cost you $74.93 (around Rs 4,097).


completed in a matter of seconds and any



OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/8; RAM: 512 MB; Drive space: 7.6 MB SoftOrbits +1-209-8908343



- Roydon Cerejo



NERO MICRO 8 VERDICT: A stripped down version of the original software with minimal features. FOR: Very light; takes up very little disk space. AGAINST: None.


ero Micro, a product of

Micro editions are available for Nero, is a stripped down

version 7 and 8. Do keep in mind that the

version of Nero Burning ROM. It

Micro edition is meant for those who need

only gives you the features essential for

to burn data for daily use; it only supports

burning optical discs. The Micro edition

video CDs, DVDs and disc copy modes.

does not contain any of the bloated

You cannot burn HD or Blu-ray discs with

utilities and features included in the full

this edition of Nero.

edition. It only comes with Nero Burning

To get started, simply download the

ROM, Video CD support, a few audio

installer, enter your serial key and run Nero

plugins and Nero Express. The installer is

Express. The Micro edition was mainly

only 20MB in size and can be downloaded

developed or stripped down for those who

from for free. However,

did not want to install the full version,

you will need to buy a license or serial

which has features and plug-ins that most

number in order to use it. You can also

people rarely use. If you want a few other

use the serial number you've already

features, we recommend trying out the Lite

bought for Nero Burning ROM. Nero is also

version or opting for the full version of the

available in a Lite version that includes

Nero suite.

CoverDesigner and WaveEditor.



OS: Windows all; Disk space: 30 MB CONTACT PHONE EMAIL


- Francis D’sa








Haiku Deck fills the PowerPoint void on

pie. Again, design trumps information—

to the art of making good presentations.

there are no tables and no calculations.

Haiku Deck emphasises visual appeal and

Charts are created by dragging bars or

its standout feature is a built-in Creative

segments till they are at the desired size.

Commons image search that puts an

Colours are locked and you can have

extraordinary number of high-quality

only eight data points. There’s no way to

images at your disposal.

name axes or add data labels. It works

You get five free themes, with another

even force you to keep things simple, but

default background images with preset

PowerPoint jockeys will be disappointed.

fonts and colours that you can't change.

Animations are non-customisable but

The background image can be swapped

subtle. While presenting, swipe sideways

out for a photo or a CC search result. Text

to move between slides. You can output

layouts are limited to blocks, bulleted lists

to a TV or projector using AirPlay. Finally,

and numbered lists. Text is positioned to

you get to host your slide decks on Haiku’s

help accentuate visuals. In fact, it’s much

website and embed them on your website

better for photo slideshows than actual

or, of course, on Facebook or Twitter. - Jamshed Avari


FLICKR Free iPad, iPhone, iPod touch; iOS 4.3 OVERALL RATING

The Flickr app now comes with filters and

brightness, contrast, saturation and

effects to compete with Instagram. You

sharpness after shooting. You can also

can go through your contacts and browse

crop, rotate, annotate, fix red eye, whiten

their photos. Double-tapping a photo adds

teeth and get rid of blemishes. After

it to your Favorites. Single-tapping allows

you’re done, add a title, description and

you to add a comment or share it. An Info

location, and then upload to your stream.

icon lets you check the shutter speed, ISO,

Adding photos to sets, assigning tags and

focal length, aperture and flash settings of

setting privacy preferences are available

each photo. The Interesting & Nearby tab

via the Advanced button. The app has all the features of Flickr

that you’ll just want to keep going through.

on the web plus the ability to instantly

—Flickr uses geotagging for this. You can

upload photos. Unlike Facebook, which

also use Google Maps to select locations.

is more for socialising, Flickr is a network

You may want to use Flickr just for the

for serious photographers. If you want to

Aviary-powered camera tool. Touch the

create an online gallery of your photos,

screen with two fingers to independently

network with other photographers around

select a focus area and spot to meter

the globe and have critics to comment on

light. You have 16 filters, which you can

your work, Flickr is for you.

disable if you're a purist. You can adjust




for putting basic points across and could

11 available for Rs 110 each. Themes are


displays an incredible selection of photos

There are two charting options: bar and

tablets, and brings a totally fresh look

- Anand Tuliani




some time to get used to. On


other features like Look Around, Shake,

the homescreen you will find

Moments, Drift Bottle and QQ Contacts.

all your contacts who use the application.

Look Around allows you to connect

You can start a conversation with them

with other users based on your location.

by tapping on their name and convert the

Shake also allows you to connect with

conversation into group chat by clicking

others, but is not location dependent.

on the face icon. Clicking on the keyboard

You have to shake your device and then it

icon will allow you to type a message.

shows you the profile of the person who

This keyboard icon also alternates as

happened to have been simultaneously

a speaker icon to send voice messages

shaking their device at the same time

when the keyboard is in use. Currently,

as you. On the other hand, Moments is

you can send messages up to one-minute

something like a Facebook wall.

eChat's interface will take you

Besides these, it offers several

long. You can also conduct video calls.

Overall, it's a good application for

Another good option is WebChat,

chatting with friends and your contacts,

which lets you chat via WeChat from your

but convincing your friends to switch to

desktop. You can transfer files from your

WeChat from WhatsApp or Viber could be

PC to your phone and vice versa and even


share them with friends.

- Priyanka Tilve



hile almost all the leading


option. Here you can select the categories

newspapers have their

and you also have an option to rearrange

individual apps, the advantage

the order.

several of them together on one

you have the option to change the

platform. It includes over thirty popular

background colour and even the font size.

news dailies. The app has a very simple

Additionally, NewHunt also features a job

interface: on the homepage, you will find

section where you can access the popular

a list of all the newspapers and news

job sites Naukri and Monster.

of NewsHunt is that you can access

sites segregated according to language.

When reading a particular article,

The app works without any glitches.

Apart from English, regional languages

It’s light on resources and even when

like Hindi, Malayalam, Oriya, Tamil, Telugu,

using it over EDGE, the pages don’t take

Gujarati, Marathi and Kannada are also

too much time to load. Overall, it’s a

supported. When you select a newspaper,

great app that will bring you your daily

you will find the various news categories

dose of news. It’s available for free, but

divided into several tabs. A great feature

is supported by ads. However, the ad

is the ability to select which categories

placement is not annoying and won’t

you would like to read the news from. The

hinder your reading experience.

same can be set from the "Add Category"

- Priyanka Tilve






Complete Protection for Your Smartphone Six million people were victims of Android viruses in the past year. Security apps are supposed to protect smartphones, so we tested them to see how well they do it. BY JÖRG GEIGER

lthough every new iPhone launch


test in conjunction with AV Comparatives

have already earned their spurs with their

still sees huge crowds gathering

to figure out just that. The laboratory

security software for PCs.

overnight outside stores, Android

selected twelve security apps costing

has long overtaken it as the real king

between nothing to Rs 2,100 that offer

of the smartphone market. Current

effective virus protection. Most of the apps

Virus protection is different for mobile devices

statistics reveal that two out of every

require at least Android 2.1 or 2.2 and must

Malware is only one of the threats a

three smartphones run Google’s operating

run on version 4.1, which covers almost 100

security app must help Android users

system. However, this popularity has a

percent of the Android versions running

avoid. The second biggest task is

flip side—increased attacks in the form

on devices today. If a manufacturer offers

protection of data on the device if it is

of Android malware. Currently, security

free as well as paid versions of the same

lost or broken. In the CHIP test, detection

experts have identified approximately

product, then we tested the paid version

of viruses contributed only 20 percent to

30,000 viruses and other threats; a year

because these tend to offer more features

the final rating. Android viruses are also

ago it was just 250. Almost six million

and capabilities.

much more manageable than Windows

users have been affected by mobile

We should also warn readers that there

viruses at the moment, but the apps had

malware in the past year. Antivirus

are plenty of fake apps with names like

to detect and eliminate approximately

software now needs to become an

“Antivirus” and “DefendeR” in Google’s Play

18,000 infected apps in this test. The test

essential feature for Android users.

Store, but these do not detect a single

by AV Comparatives, which uses all the

virus. It’s best to stick to the security apps

latest malware families, was carried out in

produced by known manufacturers who

August 2012.

But how do you know which one to choose? Well, we conducted an extensive




SMS us! ¾ Story code: FGT to 51818



Detection rates for Android virus scanners are at par with those for Windows. Eight protection apps detected over 98 percent of the viruses, while the rest found out at least 93 percent. The best at virus detection is F-Secure, but the freeof-cost TrustGo is a good contender as well. Both perform their scans through the cloud as well as compare unknown viruses with a database of Android viruses for pattern detection. This

THE SECURITY SITUATION The situation is clear. As smartphone penetration and mobile Internet usage increases, so will the number of security threats. Infection rates are relatively low right now, but will rise soon. Mobile security solutions are thus quite important.

is important because virus scanners should not depend only on the signatures stored on the device when it comes to malware detection. Heuristics, which is the process of searching for new virus variants or detecting virus-like behaviour, is yet to become a part of Android security apps. The frontrunners for malware detection scored 100 points in the virus detection test. In addition to F-Secure and TrustGo, both Bitdefender and Trend Micro also did very well. Apps also score points for features if they offer extra features. For example, free apps such as avast! and Sophos Mobile Security let you schedule regular virus scans. Some paid products like Eset and Trend Micro do not have this feature. On the other hand, these free apps may have some surprises in store as well: avast! can scan the entire system and memory cards, but simply skips some files. Besides this, avast! ran into a couple of problems when removing viruses. A good virus scanner should also examine SMS and MMS messages, and more importantly, protect users as they are browsing the web. F-Secure, McAfee

SMARTPHONES ARE INTERNET DEVICES Even when you aren't surfing the web on your smartphone, it might be constantly connected to the Internet and downloading updates for you. For this reason, smartphones are becoming increasingly interesting targets for hackers.










and avast! are designed for this, along with Sophos and Ikarus. False positive results, which means clean apps being incorrectly classified as viruses, aren’t a problem as far as Android virus scanners are concerned. AV Comparatives tested 200 uninfected apps and all came out clean.

Does a virus scanner slow down the system?

RAPID INCREASE IN MOBILE MALWARE The number of malware families for mobile devices has exploded from a few hundred to almost 30,000 in just a year—a growth of a factor of 100. This is a clear sign that malware writers are now directing their attention to the mobile space. 30,000


We consider the score for resource usage more important than the one for virus detection. The reason for this is, if an app slows down a device too much, the user will quickly get rid of it. It’s


also worth noting how much of the CPU’s capacity is being battery, and how much space they occupy. Can a smartphone be


hogged in the background, how much of a load are they on the 10,000

protected in real-time without inconveniencing the user? To test this, we simultaneously opened four apps (Google+, Facebook, WhatsApp and a video streaming servoce) as well as the virus

0 7/11

scanner and measured the system load when the scanner was












added. The result was a surprise: manufacturers have learnt from their previous mistakes. The top scorers here are avast! and Sophos, which only added one to two percent to the CPU load. Even the two frontrunners in the virus test, McAfee and F-Secure, were consistent with CPU loads of under 10 percent. However, Lookout and Ikarus are power hogs and squeeze out as much as 20 percent from the CPU. All the tested apps need less than three percent of the total battery capacity. Sophos and avast!

INFECTION RATES DOWNPLAY THE RISK Among the users of mobile protection app Lookout, the infection rate in the past year has been less than one percent. But when extrapolated to the total number of activated Android devices, it indicates more than a million infections per month. 0.8 %


0.6 %

notable battery guzzlers.


again topped this list while Ikarus and Webroot were the most 0.4 %

Unlike in PCs, data protection is an absolute must for Android security suites in case the device is lost or damaged. All apps

0.2 %

in the test could geolocate, block and reset devices. For this purpose, there are generally two methods: avast! and Kaspersky use SMS commands to trigger blocking, while BitDefender and

0% 7/11












Webroot offer a web interface for this. Savvy smartphone thieves






might be able to bypass a security code, so users must be able to wipe out their sensitive information remotely. At least nine out the twelve test candidates provide this functionality. Test-winner F-Secure cannot be uninstalled simply by changing a few settings. The user has to set a code at the time of installation and only upon entering the code can it be uninstalled. In case of Kaspersky, the app protects itself with a

SECURE YOUR ANDROID PHONE AND TABLET IN 5 STEPS CHIP recommends that you use a security app on your Android device. Besides an app, there are more steps to be taken to secure your mobile device. We describe the procedure using a device running Android 4.1 in this example.

PIN code and someone who does not know the code cannot change any virus scan settings. On the other hand, avast!

PIN or unlock pattern: Go to 'Settings | Security' and tap 'Screen lock'. Choose the best pattern and draw a line between the points with your finger on the screen.


disguises itself with a pseudonym. Protection against unwanted uninstallation was not found in Sophos and Lookout. We also tested the secure wipe feature of the apps, if they had it. A user should be able to completely wipe sensitive data from the device and a thief should not be able to reconstruct any

Important: Also activate the automatic lock so your phone is protected when you leave it idle.

of it even with special tools. We tested this out and could recover at least some deleted data wiped by almost all the tested apps. Only Eset users need not be worried about their data being retrieved, since the app does a thorough job.

The latest threat is fake apps Currently, the most significant threats to Android devices are apps that require many authorisations, including permissions to read users’ address books, use the Internet connection, and send text messages. F-Secure cannot conduct an app audit, but can at least show the risky permissions granted. TrustGo has the app audit feature, as do Sophos, Lookout and Bitdefender. If you want to make your smartphone child-safe, apps must be blocked, which only F-Secure can do. However, the test winner cannot block websites that have already been visited. This can only be done with the Trend Micro app. Backups are an additional protection measure, but this is not a standard feature across

Encryption: In security settings, there is also an 'Encryption' option, which you set up the same way. Using a PIN, password or pattern, the device is decrypted when powering up.


Note: If you forget your PIN or pattern, only a factory reset will make the device usable and your data will be lost. The top backup app:


Ultimate Backup Tool is available fot free at forum. It is a Windows tool that can back up your apps and data without requiring root access.

products. Moreover, only the top three ranked products in this list can secure text messages, conversations and contacts. Mobile security apps can’t really be compared with the antivirus scanners we are used to on PCs. On one hand, these apps offer fewer functions and options, but manufacturers have done a great job of developing intuitive user interfaces. There are only a few exceptions: operating F-Secure is somewhat cumbersome. The app cannot be downloaded from the Google Play Store, but has to be downloaded from the F-Secure website, which is a pity as it is considered secure to only download apps from trusted sources like the Play Store, and apps downloaded from elsewhere might even be blocked. The interface is a little inconsistent, and even the progress bar, which should show the approximate time remaining for a system scan to complete, is not available. Lookout is perfect when it comes to certain features— its main functions are explained briefly in three simple steps, and the user can control everything with a few taps. For Bitdefender,

Wireless connections only when needed: It might be a little inconvenient, but one way to stay safe is to only turn on the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections when absolutely required. That way malware can't communicate with the outside world.


you must first create a user account before the app can be used. The reason for this is, it works in the cloud and does not do anything without being connected to the Internet. Sophos is more flexible in this regard and can disable the cloud-scan mode when you are roaming so that you do not incur high data usage costs. What does seem to be standard now is that a virus scan will be conducted automatically every time an app is installed and the user is kept aware of scheduled scans using eye-catching popups. For cloud services, you might want to ensure that you are within range of a Wi-Fi connection when it’s time to run a scan.





Check the permissions of each app: Some apps don't really require access to your address book and photo library, for example. Malicious apps can potentially be weeded out in this way.


Theft is as dangerous as malware

Experts at the Austrian testing laboratory AV Comparatives conducted exhaustive virus and adware detection tests in July and August 2012 on a Samsung Galaxy S Plus running Android 2.3. For the system load tests, we used a Samsung Galaxy SII with Android 4.0.4 in our own Test Center. Besides this, we have tested whether or not each security app (colour codes given below and in the pie diagram above) can be installed on an Android tablet, for which we used an Asus Nexus 7.

 Performance (20%) 75 major families of Android malware, including 18,021 viruses, were used in the test.  System load (30%) How much CPU time, battery capacity and storage space do virus scans eat up when active? We measured this with two benchmark apps.  Features (30%) Just virus protection is not enough. Can the apps protect user data in case of loss or theft? Features like locating, blocking and deleting a phone’s contents as well as backup functions win points in this test.  Ease of use (20%) How good is the app’s interface? We score the user experience right from installation to setting up and using various features.


TEST VERDICT A number of free and paid malware scanner apps are available for Android, but F-Secure and McAfee, which are the most expensive of the lot, are at the top. If you don’t want to pay the full price, keep track of sales that happen regularly in the Play Store. But if you want security apps for free, the best choices are avast! and TrustGo, which are placed third and fourth on our list. All manufacturers except Eset have to do better when it comes to securely deleting files, because we were able to recover lost data after using every other app. Test Winner: F-Secure offers the most complete package with its top-notch malware detection and superb features, and it doesn't use up too much of your battery. We have a complaint though— the app must be installed through the F-Secure website, which is not ideal. McAfee succeeded in the test mainly because it's easy to operate, but be warned that the app requires you to register your SIM card, and thus cannot run on Wi-Fi-only tablets. Value Tip: When it comes to malware detection, TrustGo is not far behind F-Secure and is a little easier to operate. The huge advantage here is the built-in backup function, which other free options such as avast! lack. -

avast! Mobile Security can do a lot, and it's free

The test winner: F-Secure scored the highest with top-class features and performance With no real weaknesses, the runner up is McAfee Mobile Security



1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12


od Pr



F-Secure Mobile Security McAfee Antivirus & Security TrustGo Antivirus & Mobile Security avast! Mobile Security Sophos Mobile Security Kaspersky Mobile Security Lookout Security & Antivirus Premium Bitdefender Mobile Security & Antivirus Webroot Security Anywhere Mobile Eset Mobile Security Trend Micro Mobile Security PE Ikarus Mobile Security

) m e n1 (Rs n ( tio ion d /m tec ect ion ting year ersio nce ad oa tery t s e l r e D n e a d m at ra per id v lo re rm m res atio ware d v all ste b o l wa Sy PU / rfo yste eatu per ste ver rice ndr Te O P A Pe S F O Ad Ma (C

7.6 2.1 1.1 1.0 1.0 9.4 7.4 1.1 2.9 1.1 2.5 1.1

81.4 2,140 80.2 1,350 79.9 – 79.5 – 79.0 – 77.7 599 75.6 1,604 74.5 249.95 72.7 1,098 71.8 1,175 71.6 1,602 64.3 –

2.2 2.1 2.2 2.1 2.2 2.2 2.1 2.2 2.1 2.0 2.2 2.2

100 85 100 88 95 98 93 100 88 90 100 88

65 75 65 95 95 80 65 70 60 75 55 60

85 75 80 50 45 55 65 55 65 45 55 37.5

82 91 82 92 90 88 90 85 88 89 93 87

>98 % >93 % >98 % >98 % >93 % >98 % >93 % >98 % >93 % >98 % >98 % >98 %

TOP PERFORMANCE (100–90.0)   

Good ausreich. Good ausreich. ausreich. ausreich. No Good Good Good Good ausreich.

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ry mo

8.9 %/1.11 %/32.57 MB 8.72 %/1.5 %/17.21 MB 14.24 %/2.3 %/19.82 MB 0.48 %/0.09 %/6.21 MB 1.27 %/0.9 %/8.4 MB 7.82 %/1.32 %/14.56 MB 19.23 %/1.28 %/22.77 MB 11.21 %/1.34 %/19.86 MB 15.2 %/2.74 %/18.52 MB 10.46 %/1.45 %/12.27 MB 15.67 %/1.89 %/22.56 MB 17.28 %/2.4 %/17.31 MB


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GOOD PERFORMANCE (89.9–75.0)    MID-LEVEL (74.9–45.0)    NOT RECOMMENDED (44.9–0)      ALL VOTES IN POINTS (MAX. 100) 1 AV Comparatives has tested only individual representatives of malware families and the result is applied to all members of each family.




Micromax Canvas HD vs Samsung Galaxy Grand A lot has been said about Micromax's Canvas HD, but can it stand against Samsung's dualSIM Galaxy Grand? Here's a look at which phone offers the best specifications for your buck. BY NIKHIL SUBRAMANIAM


here is no doubt in our minds that the launch of the Micromax A116 Canvas HD has signalled the

advent of cheap quad-core phones in India. But Samsung’s Galaxy Grand is still a very good handset. While Micromax has perfected the art of selling smartphones with decent specs at a low price, Samsung brings to the table better hardware, quality of service and its brand. However, this grudge match is purely based on the specifications and does not account for the phones' real-world performance.

Samsung Galaxy Grand Rs 21,500 The Samsung Galaxy Grand has a 5-inch WVGA TFT LCD, but the display has a resolution of only 800 x 480 pixels. It runs Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean and is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core Broadcom BCM28155 processor. There is an 8-megapixel camera on the back and a 2-megapixel one on the front. The handset has a healthy 8GB of onboard storage, expandable to 64GB via microSD cards. The Galaxy Grand comes with features normally seen on Samsung’s high-end handsets. The Grand will feature Smart Stay, Direct Call, Smart Alert, Popup

The Canvas HD's PowerVR Series5XT


Play, S-Voice and Face & Voice Unlock.

GPU is known to be highly efficient. The

While the Micromax A116 Canvas HD

The phone costs Rs 21,500 and Samsung

HD in the phone's name is courtesy of the

entices with a quad-core processor, an

bundles a flip cover, free movies and music

5-inch IPS display, which has a resolution

HD screen and a great price, the Samsung

worth Rs 8,000, and 50GB of space on

of 1280 x 720 pixels and a pixel density of

Galaxy Grand takes the cake for a number


294ppi. It has an 8-megapixel camera on

of reasons. For one, the handset is lighter

the back and a VGA snapper on the front.

and sleeker than the A116. It also has

Micromax A116 Canvas HD

The A116 costs just Rs 13,990, which is a

image stabilisation and a 2-megapixel

Rs 13,990

fantastic price for the hardware it packs.

front-facing camera—something the

The Canvas HD is powered by a MediaTek

The A116 comes with 4GB of onboard

Canvas HD can't match. The Grand also

MT6589 quad-core CPU clocked at 1.2GHz,

storage, which can be expanded up to

supports more audio codecs out of the

which is more than capable of delivering a

32GB via microSD cards. Micromax has

box and offers better connectivity options.

smooth, lag-free experience. The processor

managed to pack a 2000mAh battery,

The Grand has secured a win over the

is highly power-efficient, thanks to a 28nm

which should be enough to keep the

Canvas HD, but we'll have to watch out for

manufacturing process. The phone runs

device running for about 12 hours of

Micromax's next move.

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

medium to heavy usage.




Jagdish Limbachiya


SMS us! ¾ Story code: TMS to 51818





Samsung Galaxy Grand

Micromax A116 Canvas HD

Display Size and resolution

5-inch, 800 x 480

5-inch, 1280 x 720

Display Type



Scratch Resistant




143.5 x 76.9 x 9.6 mm






Accelerometer, Geo-magnetic sensor, ✔ Accelerometer, proximity sensor Gyro-sensor, Proximity sensor


Broadcom BCM28155 dual-core 1.2GHz

MediaTek MT6589 quad-core 1.2 GHz




OS version out of the box

Android 4.1

Android 4.1

On-Board Memory


Memory card Support

Yes, microSD card slot, up to 64 GB


Li-Ion 2100 mAh

Li-Ion 2100mAh

USB Connectivity

Yes, microUSB v2.0

Yes, microUSB v2.0

Net connectivity options



GPS Software



v4.0 with A2DP, LE, EDR

NFC Support



Camera Resolution

8MP, Autofocus, LED flash

8MP, Autofocus, LED flash

Camera Features

✔ Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection Geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection, image stabilisation

Secondary Camera


Multimedia Support Out of the Box

Video - MP4/WMV/H.264/H.263 player Video - MP4/WMV/H.264/H.263 player Audio - MP3/AAC/WMA/WAV player Audio - AAC, AAC+, AMR, ✔ AMR-NB, eAAC+, IMY, MIDI, MP3, OGG, WAV, WMA

Media Transfer Options

Drag & Drop

Drag & Drop

FM Radio



Virtual keypad option (Out of the box)

Standard QWERTY

Standard QWERTY


Rs 21,500

Rs 13,990

✔ ✔

✔ 144 x 74 x 10.7 mm ✔ 168gms Yes

✔ 4GB ✔ Yes, microSD card slot up to 32 GB


✔ v3.0 with A2DP



✔ 04/2013





CHIP's guide to CPUs and GPUs will give you an insight into the processor and graphics chips market. BY MICHAEL ECKSTEIN AND ANAND TULIANI


ith its greatly-improved AVX2

and AMD A10-5700. All three have

instruction set, Haswell

integrated graphics processors. For the kind of performance they offer, they

memory bus width (256-bit). Despite

than its predecessor (Ivy Bridge) in

are too expensive. In fact the more

a slightly slower core it comes very

carrying out floating point calculations.

powerful FX-8320 and FX-8350 offer a

close to the more expensive GTX 680

Apparently Intel has achieved its goal

better price-performance ratio, but they

in gaming performance. However, our

of improving the performance-per-

don’t feature integrated graphics. In the

recommendation is the GTX 660: For

clock while improving energy efficiency.

mobile processors segment, the quad-

around Rs 16,500 it’s an excellent

Intel has manage to reduce the power

core Intel Core i7-3720QM still rules the

graphics card. For around Rs 4,000

consumption of Haswell processors for

roost—it’s the best processor to have in

more you can get the higher-end GTX

Ultrabooks from 10W to 7W, which is a

a high-end notebook. Though it is much

660Ti that has higher number of

good 30 percent. The official launch date

cheaper, the slightly older model is the

stream processors and hence better

hasn’t been announced yet, but it will

Core i7-2670QM, also with four physical

performance. In the entry-level segment,

probably be during the Computex trade

cores, which is still available in some

the new GeForce GTX 650 Ti doesn’t

show in June 2013.

notebooks in the market.

score well against the Radeon HD 7850

Desktop and mobile CPUs: New

Graphics processors: The new

and 6850—it’s less powerful and more

entrants in the desktop CPUs list are

Nvidia GeForce GTX 670 is comparable

expensive than AMD's offerings.

the Intel Core i3-3240, Core i3-3220

to the GTX 660 which has a wider

will be more efficient

/s) MB . ) p. ( r e erf fps S it /s) U in od 0( n 2P ati shGP 4B -M s( DP x1 .0. re s (KB er ofi 6 ) o s T 1 x x 2 o ( c z 1 e b e w e c 1 5 e r . an ss ) 4.0 S-T roc Tu (GH Ind ind B) 11 PU tag il 5 ip e AE r lo 64 orm (M (KB ed np ce ce ed fC an Ev hR ch typ pe pe an an we tio 7.1 erf ro he he Rx nc nt kV cs s s t o . c e p i c c e r e A m m r e P u b h a a r r k b a k d d p c e c x eC nR m M si fo fo ck -C -C ice Ma Pe Pr So Nu Clo Pro Cin Wi Tru Pe Gra 3D Re L3 L2 Clo








GH e(



tt Wa


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Intel Core i7-3970X Intel Core i7-3960X Intel Core i7-3770K Intel Core i7-3820 AMD FX-8350 Intel Core i7-2700K AMD FX-8320 Intel Core i7-2600K Intel Core i5-3570K Intel Core i5-3550

100 96.9 78.6 76.7 75.6 73.0 72.3 71.6 68.0 66.8

45.0 42.8 68.5 70.8 96.3 63.3 100 57.6 66.6 66.4

2011 2011 1155 2011 AM3+ 1155 AM3+ 1155 1155 1155

6 6 4 4 8 4 8 4 4 4

3.50 3.30 3.50 3.60 4.00 3.50 3.50 3.40 3.40 3.30

4.00 6 x 256 3.90 6 x 256 3.90 4 x 256 3.90 4 x 256 4.20 4 x 2048 3.90 4 x 256 4.00 4 x 2048 3.80 4 x 256 3.80 4 x 256 3.70 4 x 256

15 15 8 10 8 8 8 8 6 6

32 32 22 32 32 32 32 32 22 22

150 130 77 130 125 95 125 95 77 77

10.76 10.43 7.50 7.23 6.95 7.05 6.42 6.84 5.99 5.48

4172 4144 3497 3529 4702 3465 4665 3427 3242 3213

324 302 228 206 259 201 244 196 171 170

– – 67.9 – – 44.3 – 44.2 67.3 37.1

– – HD4000 – – HD3000 – HD3000 HD4000 HD2500

– – 3960 – – 2192 – 2191 3946 1992

– – 38.4 – – 28.9 – 28.8 37.9 22.7

11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

AMD FX-8150 Intel Core i5-3470 AMD FX-8120 Intel Core i5-2400 AMD FX-6100 AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE Intel Core i3-3240 AMD A10-5800K Intel Core i3-3220 AMD A10-5700

66.1 64.7 58.8 58.2 50.3 45.7 45.0 44.9 43.9 42.7

71.9 67.4 61.5 46.4 53.9 47.5 29.7 34.8 32.6 30.0

AM3+ 1155 AM3+ 1155 AM3+ AM3 1155 FM2 1155 FM2

8 4 8 4 6 4 2 4 2 4

3.60 3.20 3.10 3.10 3.30 3.40 3.40 3.80 3.30 3.40

4.20 3.60 4.00 3.40 3.90 3.40 3.40 4.20 3.30 4.00

4 x 2048 4 x 256 4 x 2048 4 x 256 3 x 2048 4 x 512 2 x 256 2 x 2048 2 x 256 2 x 2048

8 6 8 6 8 6 3 0 3 0

32 22 32 32 32 45 22 32 22 32

125 77 125 95 95 125 55 100 55 65

5.98 5.67 5.11 5.13 4.05 4.00 3.41 3.31 3.33 3.05

4103 3054 3777 3108 3203 2338 1828 2554 1815 2439

223 161 190 134 150 121 85 127 82 118

– – – 34.9 HD2500 1873 – – – 22.7 HD2000 1065 – – – – – – 33.5 HD2500 1752 100 HD7660D 5769 33.2 HD2500 1751 97.2 HD7660D 5599

– 21.3 – 15.4 – – 21 57.2 20.6 55.7

21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

AMD FX-4100 AMD A8-5600K Intel Core i3-2100 AMD A8-3870K AMD A6-3670K Intel Pentium G850 Intel Celeron G540 AMD Athlon II X2 270 Intel Celeron G530 AMD A4-3300

41.6 41.1 40.6 39.9 37.6 32.3 28.3 27.8 27.4 22.0

33.9 32.7 25.8 31.6 32.1 21.9 27.4 20.2 21.8 12.9

AM3+ FM2 1155 FM1 FM1 1155 1155 AM3 1155 FM1

4 4 2 4 4 2 2 2 2 2

3.60 3.60 3.10 3.00 2.70 2.90 2.50 3.40 2.40 2.50

3.80 3.90 3.10 3.00 2.70 2.90 2.50 3.40 2.40 2.50

2 x 2048 2 x 2048 2 x 256 4 x 1024 4 x 1024 2 x 256 2 x 256 2 x 1024 2 x 256 2 x 512

8 0 3 0 0 3 2 0 2 0

32 32 32 32 32 32 32 45 32 32

95 100 65 100 100 65 65 65 65 65

2.96 3.17 3.01 3.58 3.24 2.27 1.96 1.96 1.87 1.42

2631 2152 2637 1802 1777 1656 1533 1293 1502 1012

110 113 70 109 99 50 43 61 42 46

– 87.6 21.9 72.4 56.0 20.9 18.7 – 18.7 32.9

– 51.8 14.5 43.4 35 13.5 12.5 – 12.5 21.6

– HD7560D HD2000 HD6550D HD6530D HD1000 HD1000 – HD1000 HD6410D

– 4882 1063 3972 2929 1045 898 – 896 1621

* in KB/s




SMS us! ¾ Story code: HCG to 57007





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2 X GT GT c in) (m phi 0M 30M a 6 y 3 r r 5 ) g e e s rc rce s att fps ps) ex ad set s) ts) eFo ex nd hb U( los s (f eFo hip hre int nd 0 eI oin er CP PU t) G /t t) G 0-W z) t) c po p l C l l w ( 1 ( 6 e i to 10 nc u H s u o u x , c a ) a h p re (G PU PU an d efa efa .5, rm m tts) 9.5 wit def MB co ed 5C 5C rm ize h9 1( rfo 1 (d 1 (d e ( ximu Wa ch me pe PU rfo rd Pe ch rk0 en rk0 nti rk0 enc a P in rk0 rk0 a a ks fC b a u a a a b r Pe anda rice M c C e o e M M M M M Ø P No Clo PC Cin Cin 3D 3D 3D 3D st (TD L2

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Intel Core i7-3720QM Intel Core i7-2760QM Intel Core i7-3610QM Intel Core i7-2670QM Intel Core i7-2720QM Intel Core i5-3360M Intel Core i5-3320M Intel Core i7-2630QM Intel Core i7-2620M Intel Core i5-2520M

Ivy Bridge Sandy Bridge Ivy Bridge Sandy Bridge Sandy Bridge Ivy Bridge Ivy Bridge Sandy Bridge Sandy Bridge Sandy Bridge

100 90.3 87.4 81.5 78.9 74.1 73.3 72.8 69.3 67.4

100 69.7 66.8 78.9 53.7 52.7 65.6 39.7 36.4 51.0

4/8 4/8 4/8 4/8 4/8 2/4 2/4 4/8 2/4 2/4

2.60 2.40 2.30 2.20 2.20 2.80 2.60 2.00 2.70 2.50

6 6 6 6 6 3 3 6 3 3

45 45 45 45 45 35 35 45 35 35

120 120 120 120 120 154 154 120 154 154

12998 11685 11837 10343 9969 10278 10223 9604 9762 9168

921 852 848 765 797 859 858 695 833 719

3158 2799 2897 2604 2706 1809 1745 2363 1708 1935

32452 29250 24568 26266 22100 23112 23095 21800 20420 19882

21500 12750 21000 12250 12000 15000 15000 11500 11400 11250

32000 29000 31500 28000 27500 30000 30000 27000 26500 26000

51500 44000 51000 42000 41000 48000 48000 40000 38000 37000

11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Intel Core i7-3517U Intel Core i5-3317U Intel Core i7-2677M Intel Core i5-520M Intel Core i3-2310M Intel Core 2 Duo T9900 AMD A10-4600M Intel Core i5-2467M Intel Core 2 Duo P8700 AMD A8-3520M

Ivy Bridge Ivy Bridge Sandy Bridge Arrandale Sandy Bridge Penryn Trinity Sandy Bridge Penryn Llano

61.6 56.4 50.1 47.9 44.5 44.0 43.9 43.2 37.1 36.2

23.4 27.9 13.8 20.2 30.8 5.6 11.8 11.3 8.9 7.5

2/4 2/4 2/4 2/4 2/4 2/2 4/4 2/4 2/2 4/4

1.90 1.70 1.80 2.40 2.10 3.06 2.30 1.60 2.53 1.60

4 3 4 3 3 6 4 3 3 4

17 17 17 35 35 35 35 17 25 35

318 318 318 154 154 154 154 318 216 154

8787 8203 6512 6803 7045 6922 6606 6164 5866 6020

783 668 693 576 531 558 445 537 469 310

1425 1308 1336 1187 1121 1034 1178 1028 836 936

18031 17312 12803 13851 11513 11487 13114 12537 10075 12100

17000 16500 13000 8300 9500 7900 22500 12500 5400 17000

– – – 19000 22000 17500 – – – –

– – – 32000 30000 29000 – – – –

21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

AMD A6-4400M Intel Core 2 Duo T6500 AMD A6-4455M Intel Core i5-520UM AMD E-450 Intel Pentium SU4100 AMD Athlon Neo MV-40 AMD C-60 Intel Atom D525 Intel Atom N550

Trinity Penryn Trinity Arrandale Zacate Penryn Huron Ontario Pineview Pineview

35.3 28.2 26.4 26.1 18.5 17.4 14.7 11.5 8.4 8.0

8.6 8.7 4.3 2.6 3.2 2.0 1.9 0.9 0.3 0.2

2/2 2/2 2/2 2/4 2/2 2/2 1/1 2/2 2/4 2/4

2.70 2.10 2.10 1.06 1.65 1.30 1.60 1.00 1.80 1.50

1 2 2 3 1 2 0.5 1 1 1

35 35 17 18 18 10 15 9 13 8.5

154 154 318 300 300 480 360 600 415 635

5413 4401 3578 3812 2888 3121 2150 2057 2145 2142

498 369 385 369 225 234 231 143 101 95

704 695 503 553 419 410 231 225 265 234

10085 6889 8543 7350 5255 3715 4951 3204 1055 1050

16500 4900 10500 6300 9000 4300 3500 7000 3100 3100

– – – – – – – – – –

– – – – – – – – – –

1 Mobile CPUs are only available with a notebook 2 Typical runtime with integrated graphics, discrete GPUs reduce runtime by 40 percent.


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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Nvidia GeForce GTX 690 AMD Radeon HD 7990 AMD Radeon HD 7970 Nvidia GeForce GTX 590 AMD Radeon HD 7970 Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 Nvidia GeForce GTX 670 Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 Ti AMD Radeon HD 7950 Nvidia GeForce GTX 660

2 x 2048/GDDR5 2 x 3072/GDDR5 6144/GDDR5 2 x 1536/GDDR5 3072/GDDR5 2048/GDDR5 2048/GDDR5 2048/GDDR5 3072/GDDR5 2048/GDDR5

100 98.6 86.8 81.4 79.6 78.4 76.7 68.9 67.0 63.1

37.4 38.5 49.7 37.3 66.7 59.9 71.3 91.2 69.8 98.6

915 925 1150 608 1000 1006 1020 1033 900 1072

– – – 1215 – – – – – –

6008 5500 6400 3416 6000 6008 6008 6008 5000 6108

11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

AMD Radeon HD 7870 Nvidia GeForce GTX 580 AMD Radeon HD 6970 Nvidia GeForce GTX 570 AMD Radeon HD 7850 Nvidia GeForce GTX 480 Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti AMD Radeon HD 7850 AMD Radeon HD 6950 AMD Radeon HD 6870

2048/GDDR5 1536/GDDR5 2048/GDDR5 1280/GDDR5 2048/GDDR5 1536/GDDR5 1024/GDDR5 1024/GDDR5 1024/GDDR5 1024/GDDR5

59.1 59.1 53.7 50.3 47.7 46.4 44.1 43.6 43.6 42.3

88.4 41.4 44.0 61.7 71.2 48.3 72.1 100.0 79.0 66.1

1010 772 880 732 870 700 823 860 800 900

– 1544 – 1464 – 1401 1645 – – –

4840 4008 5500 3800 4840 3696 4008 4800 5000 4200

256 384 256 320 256 384 256 256 256 256

21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 AMD Radeon HD 6850 Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti AMD Radeon HD 7770 AMD Radeon HD 6770 Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti AMD Radeon HD 7750 Nvidia GeForce GT 640 AMD Radeon HD 6570 Nvidia GeForce GT 430

1024/GDDR5 1024/GDDR5 1024/GDDR5 1024/GDDR5 1024/GDDR5 1024/GDDR5 1024/GDDR5 2048/GDDR3 512/GDDR5 1024/GDDR3

40.0 36.2 34.6 29.8 26.4 26.1 22.2 17.6 13.3 9.8

59.8 95.7 74.4 93.1 64.8 89.7 84.8 75.7 83.2 44.9

820 775 928 1000 850 930 800 901 650 700

1640 – – – – 1860 – – – 1400

4008 4800 5400 4500 4800 4200 4500 1782 4000 1800

256 256 128 128 128 192 128 128 128 128

M l in

t (Bi

2 x 256 2 x 1536 2 x 384 2 x 2048 384 2048 2 x 384 1024 384 2048 256 1536 256 1344 192 1344 384 1792 192 960


nm s(


1 2x

) ns

) fps 2( x1

28 28 28 40 28 28 28 28 28 28

2 x 3540 2 x 4313 4313 6000 4313 3540 3540 3540 4313 2540

300 500 230 375 250 195 175 150 200 140

79 65 80 78 76 77 78 69 62 62

73 91 53 38 49 38 40 31 44 31

104 117 90 102 82 92 73 84 74 78

27851 27135 21487 19296 18777 18547 18346 16035 15262 14074

1280 512 1536 480 1024 480 384 1024 1408 1120

28 40 40 40 28 40 40 28 40 40

2800 3000 2640 3000 2800 3200 1950 2800 2640 1700

175 244 250 219 130 320 180 130 200 151

62 59 53 52 51 48 45 51 50 42

32 24 35 18 27 20 18 27 32 29

57 80 61 67 48 63 60 14 13 51

13240 13135 11192 11137 9671 9177 9364 10170 9767 7809

336 960 768 640 800 192 512 384 480 96

40 40 28 28 40 40 28 28 40 40

1950 1700 2540 1500 1040 1170 1500 1300 716 585

150 127 110 80 108 110 55 65 60 56

41 36 38 31 27 27 25 18 14 10

17 26 18 19 17 10 14 9 9 4

53 46 22 26 31 36 13 21 13 13

8446 6104 8276 6482 4869 5297 4678 3812 2621 1903

Enthusiast (100-90.0)

x 26


High-end (89.9-75.0) Mid-range (74.9-45.0) Entry level (44.9-0) All valuations in points (max. 100)




Á Gigabyte GA-78LMT-USB3 Rs 3,640

verdict Absolutely worth its price! Excellent feature set and very good layout.

love USB 3.0 ports; four RAM slots; allsolid caps; HDMI output; good layout. hate None.

SPECIFICATIONS Socket: AM3+; Chipset: AMD 760G+SB710; Memory: Up to 32GB; Video: VGA, DVI and HDMI; SATA | USB: 6 | 12 (six via headers); Expansion slots: 1 x PCIe x16, 1 x PCIe x1, 1 x PCI


BUDGET BOARDS FOR AMD CPUS The best motherboards for ultra-budget gaming PCs and home/office PCs

Á Asus M5A78L-M-LX PLUS Rs 3,100

Biostar A960G+ Â Rs 2,491

verdict A solidly-built board with a good

verdict One of the most affordable

feature set, but slightly expensive. love All-solid caps; very good layout; Parallel port. hate Slightly expensive for its feature set.

SPECIFICATIONS Socket: AM3+; Chipset: AMD 760G+SB710; Memory: Up to 16GB; Video: VGA; SATA | USB: 6 | 10 (six via headers); Expansion slots: 1 x PCIe x16, 2 x PCIe x1 and 1 x PCI

Á MSI 760GM-P21 Rs 2,438

motherboards for AMD processors.

love Very good price; brownie points for the jazzy colour scheme. hate No PCIe x1 slot.

SPECIFICATIONS Socket: AM3+; Chipset: AMD 760G+SB710; Memory: Up to 16GB; Video: VGA; SATA | USB: 4 | 8 (four via headers); Expansion slots: 1 x PCIe x16 and 1 x PCI

ASRock N68-VGS3 FX Â Rs 2,490

verdict Would have been an absolute bang

verdict Very affordable but uses an

for your buck if it had HDMI output. love Good layout; affordably priced. hate None.

love Very affordable; IDE port for older

outdated chipset. hard drives. hate Outdated chipset; no PCIe x1 slot.

SPECIFICATIONS Socket: AM3+; Chipset: AMD 760G+SB710; Memory: Up to 16GB; Video: VGA; SATA | USB: 4 | 10 (four via headers); Expansion slots: 1 x PCIe x16, 1 x PCIe x1 and 1 x PCI




SPECIFICATIONS Socket AM3+; Chipset: Nvidia 7025+nForce 630a; Memory: Up to 8GB; Video: VGA; SATA | USB: 4 | 8 (four via headers); Expansion slots: 1 x PCIe x16 and 1 x PCI.





don’t remember the last time I witnessed

detect accidental/wrong clicks. The poor quality

something major in the laptop arena. Whenever

of buttons used under the touchpad further

Intel announces its latest mobile platform or

deteriorate user comfort.

a new version of Windows is released, all we

Better build quality Build quality-related

see are brands refreshing their existing series of

issues in laptops never go away! Apart from the

laptops. Apart from the core hardware, everything

immaculately-built Apple MacBooks and premium

else remains the same. Subtle design changes and

models like the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon and

jazzy colour options are only the icing, but what

Dell XPS 13, I haven’t come across one laptop that

if the cake itself is old and stale? Instead, I would

is built perfectly from head to toe. Just adding

consider the following as major upgrades:

gloss and trimmings to accentuate aesthetics

Full HD display, please! “1366 x 768” is

isn’t going to take away

getting on my nerves, especially after having used

the plasticky feel. Instead,

high-end Ultrabooks and hybrid devices with

a sturdier chassis, firmer

slick Full HD displays. Considering the fact that

hinges and better quality


smartphones already feature Full HD screens and

plastic would bring smiles.

Apple's Retina display has been out for a long

No bloatware! The first

time, I see no reason other than a slight price

thing I do when I get my

hike for not including a Full HD display in laptops.

hands on a new laptop

Budget models should feature a 1600 x 900-pixel

is disable everything

display and Full HD panels can be reserved for

that loads at startup.

mid-range and high-end models.

In some cases, the list of bloatware is almost

Built-in 3G support Embedding a 3G radio

endless! Utilities for the webcam, touchpad,

and SIM card slot shouldn’t cost much and would

media players, video editors, apps to configure

make laptops true mobile Internet devices—you

hotkeys, disc burning suites, trial versions of

wouldn't need to carry a 3G dongle or worry about

Internet security suites, and much more can be

incompatibilities. How about a budget laptop

found on new notebooks. Laptops with Windows

(under Rs 30,000) with 3G support?

preinstalled should ideally come with the latest

Ergonomic input devices Instead of regular

version installed and of course, the necessary

keyboards and trackpads, laptops now feature

software to restore the operating system. All other

island-like keyboards and clickpad-esque

applications should be provided as installable

trackpads. Also, keyboards in many 15.6-inch

packages on a DVD or in a separate folder on the

laptops feature a numeric keypad. I agree the

laptop’s hard drive. A wizard-driven batch installer

newer input devices are more aesthetically

would make installation simple for first-timers.

appealing, but they feel very mushy. The amount

It shouldn’t cost more than a few thousand

of key travel, key spacing, bevel and a good

rupees over the existing prices to incorporate

tactile feel go a long way in adding comfort and

these improvements. I wouldn’t mind shelling out

improving productivity. I prefer the older trackpads

Rs 50,000 for a decently powerful laptop with

with the left and right-click buttons at the bottom.

a sturdy build, Full HD display, 3G support and

Clickpad-type trackpads require compatible drivers

ergonomically designed input devices.

to detect right-click, and there’s a tendency to







Rs 46,195


Rs 71,495


Intel Core i3-3210, 3.2 GHz



AMD FX-6100, 3.3 GHz



Gigabyte GA-B75M-D3H, Intel B75



Asus M5A97 Evo-R2.0, AMD 970



4GB Zion DDR3-1333



Corsair XMS3 - 2 x 2GB DDR3-1600


Hard disk

Seagate Barracuda 7200.14, 500GB


Hard disk

Toshiba DT01ACA100 - 1TB


Graphics card

Sapphire HD 7750 - 1GB GDDR5


Graphics card

Zotac GTX 650 Ti Amp - 2GB GDDR5

Optical drive

LG GH22 SATA 22x DVD-writer


Optical drive

LG GH22 SATA 22x DVD-writer


BenQ GW2250HM - 22-inch LED



AOC i2353PH - 23-inch IPS LED backlit


Logitech Gaming Combo G100



Logitech Media Keyboard K200


Included in combo


Razer Abyssus


14,300 950 12,900 470 1,735


F&D A520, 2.1 stereo



Sony SRS D8


PC Case

Cooler Master Elite 311


PC Case

Corsair Carbide 300R


Power supply unit

Antec VP450 - 450W


Power supply unit

Corsair CMPSU-600GS


Operating system

Windows 7 Home Basic


Operating system

Windows 7 Home Premium





Rs 29,020




Rs 79,520


Intel Pentium G630, 2.7 GHz



Intel Pentium G630, 2.7 GHz



Gigabyte GA-B75M-D3H, Intel B75



Asus P8B75-M, Intel B75



4GB Zion DDR3-1333



4GB Zion DDR3-1333


Hard disk

Seagate Barracuda 7200.14, 500 GB


Graphics card

Integrated graphics

Optical drive

LG GH22 SATA 22x DVD-writer


Samsung S20B300B - 20-inch LED


Logitech Deluxe 250 Desktop USB


Keyboard and mouse combo

Hard disk

Toshiba DT01ACA100 - 1TB



Graphics card

Zotac Geforce GT630 - 2GB DDR3



Optical drive

LiteOn iHBS312, 8x Blu-ray Writer


AOC i2352phz - 23-inch IPS LED backlit

Keyboard and mouse combo

Logitech Wireless Combo MK320

7,250 15,900 1,700


F&D A510, 2.1 stereo



Creative Gigaworks T3, 2.1


PC Case

iBall Pride


PC Case

Antec Micro Fusion Remote 350


Power supply unit

Included with the PC Case - 250 Watts


Power supply unit

Included with the PC Case - 350 Watts 80 Plus

Operating system

Windows 7 Home Basic


Operating system

Windows 7 Home Premium







6,200 79,520






PROCESSOR Intel Pentium P6200,

PROCESSOR Intel Core i3, Intel Core i5

PROCESSOR Intel Core i5, Intel Core i7

Intel Core i3, Intel Core i5 MEMORY 2 GB or more HARD DRIVE 320 GB or higher DISPLAY 14.1-in or 15.6-in GRAPHICS On-board or Discrete WEIGHT 2.3 Kg to 2.7 Kg OTHER Bluetooth, DVD-writer, Wi-Fi b/g, Webcam PRICE RANGE Up to Rs 35,000

MEMORY 3 GB or more

MEMORY 3 GB or more

HARD DRIVE 320 GB or higher

HARD DRIVE 500 GB or higher

DISPLAY 14.1-in or 15.6-in

DISPLAY 15.4-inch to 17-inch

GRAPHICS On-board or Discrete


WEIGHT 2.3 Kg to 3 Kg

WEIGHT 2.5 Kg to 4 Kg

OTHER Bluetooth, DVD-writer, Wi-Fi b/g or n, Webcam

OTHER Bluetooth, DVD-writer or Blu-ray, Wi-Fi n,

PRICE RANGE Rs 35,000 To Rs 45,000

Webcam, TV Tuner PRICE RANGE Rs 45,000 to Rs 1,50,000

SAMSUNG NP300E5C-A0BIN Rs 24,600


SONY VAIO E15129CN CN Rs 57,900

CPU Intel Celeron B820, 1.7 GHz; MEMORY 2 GB; HARD DISK 320 GB; DISPLAY 15.6-in; GRAPHICS On-board; WEIGHT 2.28 Kg; OS Windows 8; OTHER Wi-Fi, Webcam, HDMI, Card reader

CPU Intel Core i3-3110M, 2.4 GHz; MEMORY 4 GB; HARD DISK 1 TB; DISPLAY 15.6-in; GRAPHICS On-board; WEIGHT 2.7 Kg; OS Windows 8; OTHER Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Webcam, HDMI

CPU Intel Core i7-3632QM, 2.2 GHz; MEMORY 4 GB; HARD DISK 750 GB; DISPLAY 15.6-in; GRAPHICS AMD Radeon HD 7650M, 2 GB; WEIGHT 2.7 Kg; OS Windows 8; OTHER Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Webcam, HDMI

SONY VAIO E14123CN Rs 31,990

HP PAVILION G6-2202TX Rs 43,700


CPU Intel Core i3-3110M, 2.4 GHz; MEMORY 2 GB; HARD DISK 500 GB; DISPLAY 14-in; GRAPHICS On-board; WEIGHT 2.4 Kg; OS Windows 8; OTHER Bluetooth, HDMI, Webcam

CPU Intel Core i5-3210M, 2.5 GHz; MEMORY 4 GB; HARD DISK 500 GB; DISPLAY 15.6-in; GRAPHICS AMD Mobility Radeon HD 7670M; WEIGHT 2.4 Kg; OS Windows 8; OTHER DVD Writer, Bluetooth, Webcam, Wi-Fi, HDMI.

CPU Intel Core i7-3632QM, 2.2 GHz; MEMORY 4 GB; HARD DISK 1 TB; DISPLAY 15.6-in; GRAPHICS AMD Radeon HD 7730M, 2GB; WEIGHT 2.7 Kg; OS Windows 8; OTHER Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Webcam, HDMI

TOSHIBA SATELLITE C850-I0110 Rs 32,200

ACER V5-571G Rs 45,000


CPU Intel Core i3-3110M, 2.4 GHz; MEMORY 2 GB; HARD DISK 500 GB; DISPLAY 15.6-in; GRAPHICS On-board; WEIGHT 2.3 Kg; OS Windows 8; OTHER DVD-writer, Bluetooth, HDMI, Webcam

CPU Intel Core i5-3317U, 1.7GHz; MEMORY 4 GB; HARD DISK 750 GB; DISPLAY 15.6-in; GRAPHICS On-board; WEIGHT 2.3 Kg; OS Windows 8; OTHER DVD-writer, Wi-Fi, Webcam, HDMI

CPU Intel Core i7-3632QM, 2.2 GHz; MEMORY 8 GB; HARD DISK 1 TB; DISPLAY 15.6-in; GRAPHICS Nvidia Geforce GT 650M, 2 GB; WEIGHT 2.7 Kg; OS Windows 8; OTHER Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Webcam, HDMI


LENOVO IDEAPAD U4100 Rs 45,900

ASUS G75VW Rs 1,39,999

CPU Intel Core i3-3110M, 2.4 GHz; MEMORY 2 GB; HARD DISK 320 GB; DISPLAY 15.6-in; GRAPHICS Nvidia G610M; WEIGHT 2.7 Kg; OS Windows 8; OTHER DVD-writer, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Webcam, HDMI

CPU Intel Core i5-3317U, 1.7GHz; MEMORY 4 GB; HARD DISK 750 GB; DISPLAY 15.6-in; GRAPHICS On-board; WEIGHT 2.3 Kg; OS Windows 8; OTHER DVD-writer, Bluetooth, HDMI, Webcam

CPU Intel Core i7-3610QM, 2.3 GHz; MEMORY 16 GB; HARD DISK 1.5TB; DISPLAY 17.3-in; GRAPHICS Nvidia Geforce GTX 670M, 2 GB; WEIGHT 4.5 Kg; OS Windows 7 Home Premium; OTHER Blu-ray writer, Nvidia 3D Vision 2, HDMI







GADGETS COME FROM Premium branded products and budget alternatives come from the same Chinese megafactories—so what really makes them different? BY CHRISTOPH SCHMIDT




SMS us! ¾ Story code: NCS to 51818









t used to be a matter of pride


available outside of certain locations.

for people to only buy products

When it comes to technology such as

that were manufactureed in

processors and screens, R&D can cost

their own countries. But these days,

billions of dollars, and even if anyone

people wouldn't be caught dead

wants to start spending that kind of

without imported lifestyle products.

money, they would take decades to

Globalisation has now made it almost

catch up to the level required.

impossible to find products built and

Because of the ready availability

sold only in one country. It's easy to

of cheap labour, easy regulations and

export finished goods and sell them

rapid turnaround, all phones, gadgets

all over the world, but it would be

and PCs today are "Made in China". The

punishingly expensive to manufacture

devices look great and perform well, so

them in each place they are being sold.

no one has a problem. On the flip side,

Certain raw materials and the expertise

we might be becoming too dependent

and infrastructure required to turn them

on China and hampering our own ability

into finished products are also just not

to innovate in the future.








SIMILAR INTERNALLY Apple's iPad costs at least twice as much as most of the low-cost Android models from various brands, but they are at least partially the same from inside. Many of the components of both tablets come from exactly the same suppliers.

In this case, both products use Flash memory chips sourced from Hynix


hould you buy a sleek Lenovo

stationed in China but are completely

step to create goodwill or to save on taxes,

notebook or an affordable Acer?

swamped keeping up with the flow

only Apple knows.

What about Apple’s flagship iPad

of displays, processors, memory chips

Other companies that have transformed

or an unbranded Android tablet? The

and other components to the contract

themselves from hardware manufacturing

brands and products vary significantly in

manufacturers, since many of the

to only development and sales will be

price and associated prestige. However,

participating megafactories work to their

glad to know that supply problems are

these supposedly premium devices are

maximum capacities. According to Richard

not isolated to them. One such example

often assembled in the same factories

Shin, Analyst at Display Search, the

is Acer. The Taiwanese company used to

using the same components that cheaper,

display manufacturers LG and AUO can

manufacture components like memory

mass-produced goods are. Many hardware

barely cope with the production of Apple’s

chips and displays, and also used to

companies are now just sellers and

popular devices.

build computers in its own factories.

service providers; they have outsourced

It is impossible for a single company

In the mid '90s, these industries were

all production functions—and maybe even

to produce so many devices at a scale

hived off in order to make the company

the development of new products—to

that completely saturates several of the

more profitable. That gave rise to

megafactories in Taiwan and China. Only a

world’s biggest production sites. There are

independent companies like BenQ,

handful of companies, such as Samsung,

also multiple suppliers of each component

contract manufacturer Wistron, chassis

still trust only their own production

in Apple’s devices—as long as they can

manufacturer AOpen, and the display

facilities. Which approach is better?

meet the required technical specifications,

supplier AUO. Till five or six years ago, that

quality and quantity at the right price.

arrangement worked very well. Now, with

Design in-house but outsource production

Although Apple can get its products

the declining notebook and PC markets,

manufactured extremely efficiently in Asia,

Acer must deal with a variety of products

Till early 2000, Apple manufactured

it still plans to return to manufacturing

and suppliers, making it less flexible than

computers in a northern Californian

certain computer models in the USA.

Apple, which has only a few products to

city called Elk Grove. Today, there is

This decision was taken after US

concentrate on.

a call centre and warehouse in the

president Barack Obama asked Steve Jobs

former factory’s premises. The company

directly in February 2011 about why Apple

gets its MacBooks, iPads and iPhones

no longer carried out production in the

Anyone can develop and sell a product

produced by contract manufacturers

US. The late Apple founder replied that

Two software giants have chosen a new

whose headquarters are in Taiwan and

China’s scale, skills and rapid turnaround

path for themselves: both Google and

whose factories are in China. Apple now

were bigger factors than the lower cost

Microsoft are now selling their own tablet

restricts itself to development, marketing

of manufacturing abroad. All the parts

PCs and/or smartphones. Google has

and logistics. Considering that it sells 9

needed in the supply chain can be found

its Nexus devices and Microsoft has the

million iPhones and 4.7 million iPads each

close to China’s industrial cities, but are

Surface line, which both use standard

month, logistics is the biggest challenge.

completely absent in the US. Whether

commodity hardware. However, a lot

Some of Apple’s own employees are

Apple’s return to its home country was a

of the differentiation comes down to






QUANTA COMPUTER (Tao Yuan Shien, Taiwan) Biggest laptop ODM

COMPAL ELECTRONICS (Taipei, Taiwan) Second biggest ODM for laptops and PCs

manufacturing techniques and software.

Both companies have limited logistical

HON HAI PRECISION INDUSTRY (FOXCONN) (New Taipei, Taiwan) Biggest ODM in the world

low wages in crowded dormitories on the

The Nexus and Surface devices act as

experience in the hardware manufacturing

factory sites, and work six days a week for

showcase products for the companies’

business. In the beginning, Microsoft

up to 12 hours at a stretch.

all-important operating systems. Other

sold its Surface tablets only in a few,

companies still have to use Windows and

inconveniently located shops, and so early

Precision Industry Co., better known

Android to run their products, but now

sales figures were disappointing. Google

as Foxconn. This company alone

Google and Microsoft can show off their

has greatly misjudged the demand for the

manufactures around 40 percent of all

own hardware when they demonstrate the

latest Nexus 4 smartphone, and it is still

the electronic devices on sale worldwide.

OSes. Microsoft has been selling its own-

practically impossible to find the device on

It has dozens of factories, most of them

branded computer accessories since 1983

sale anywhere since it entered the market

the size of small cities, according to Keith

for much the same reason: at that time,

in late 2012.

Bradsher, a Hong-Kong-based economic

The world’s biggest ODM is Hon Hai

correspondent for the New York Times.

it wanted to popularise the mouse so its

Because of its resources and capacity, Hon

Word (and later Windows too). Now, going

Contract manufacturers and megafactories

beyond input devices and the Xbox gaming

The brands mentioned so far depend

The Apple iPhone, Microsoft Xbox and

console, Microsoft’s hardware division is

completely on contract manufacturers,

Amazon Kindle come mostly from Foxconn

responsible for the Surface tablets, which

who create and supply components,

factories alongside Intel mainboards, Acer

are supposed to show how an optimum

assemble the hardware, and take care

computers and Nokia mobile phones.

Windows RT or Windows 8 tablet feels to

of the final packaging and shipping. The

use. Microsoft developed Surface together

business model is called Original Design

poor working conditions in its factories.

with the contract manufacturer Pegatron,

Manufacturing (ODM), and has the

“Excessive and forced overtime, terrible

though it is marketed solely by Microsoft

advantage of being able to deliver large

salary, military-style management and

as a Microsoft product.

orders at high speeds and at low costs.

humiliating punishments are part of the

ODMs are the end-point of a complicated

working conditions at the world’s largest

somewhat different path: the company

infrastructure chain for parts and

electronic supplier. Foxconn has barely

chooses a manufacturer and gives it the

production material. This “supply chain” is

improved even after the wave of employee

specifications it requires. The device is then

present only in East Asia. This localisation

suicides in 2010”, says Oliver Classen,

sold under the Nexus name but as part

means that any possible parts required

who works for the Berne Declaration, a

of the respective brand’s existing lineup

for a new product or a revised production

Swiss organization for the promotion of

via that brand’s distribution channels as

process, ranging from new circuit boards,

sustainable globalisation. The continuing

well as directly through Google's online

screws of a particular size or cables of

growth and lack of change at the giant

shop. As the user experience depends a

an exact length—will be available in large

company are perpetuated by the pressure

lot on software, Google does not allow the

numbers within hours. Similar attempts

of churning out millions of gadgets for

manufacturer to customise the Android

at production in Europe or the USA might

prominent customers. This pressure

experience. As long as the hardware

require week-long sourcing cycles. Another

directly affects the employees in the form

conforms to Google’s requirements, the

important factor is the poor working and

of constantly increasing workloads, rigid

end user will have the experience that

living conditions of the Chinese employees

discipline and unethical wages.

Google wants to give them—the same end

who facilitate quick production at low

Apart from Foxconn, there are other

result as Microsoft’s strategy with the new

costs. It is well documented that the

ODMs, some of which specialise in certain

Surface series.

employees are often accommodated for

products. Quanta Computer and Compal

customers could get the best experience in

Google has decided to follow a

Hai caters to almost every tech company.

Foxconn is infamous for the notoriously







The 46PFL8007k uses a panel sourced from Samsung

Of all the big TV brands, only LG, Samsung and Sharp actually design and build their own panels. All other manufacturers buy their panels from these three or other suppliers. Some companies use different suppliers for different product lines, and some use multiple suppliers for the same product.

The Philips 32PFL6007k has an LG panel

are the world’s largest notebook factories,

matter less where the product came from

innovations to maturity faster than most

and supply inventory to practically

and more what quality the ODM was

other companies. We use efficient models

every brand today. Pegatron, which was

ordered to supply.

and a good communication flow, so we

hived off from Asus, now manufactures

The story of Philips illustrates how

can respond to changing markets with

Microsoft’s Surface as well as Apple’s

economically powerful the contract

enormous speed, and redirect production

iPad and MacBook Air. Pegatron had to

manufacturers have become. The

as required”. External suppliers are often

give up production of Asus’ Zenbooks

Netherlands used to be a huge force in TV

not flexible enough to implement changes

lines due to pressure from Apple, which

manufacturing, with a history going back

quickly. “Obviously, we are in a position to

believed that they were turning out to

80 years. As the production of TVs began

manage more synergies and to combine

be too similar to the MacBook Air. Apple

being outsourced to TPV Technology

technologies of our different fields. That

is widely credited with developing the

Ltd of Hong Kong, it became the world’s

allows for diversity in production and

techniques and materials research that

largest TV and monitor manufacturer.

makes possible solutions for the various

went into the revolutionary MacBook Air

When Philips decided to get out of the

needs of our customers”.

when it launched, but by outsourcing the

game altogether, TPV continued to pay

manufacturing process, Pegatron learned

Philips to license its name, and continues

components for other companies as well

how to do the same things themselves.

to produce and sell TVs. The brand’s

as in-house products. The company gives

Wistron is another large ODM, which was

reputation continues to pull customers in,

preference to components it manufactures

created when Acer decided to shed its

but all devices are designed, manufactured

itself, but does make exceptions in case

manufacturing assets.

and marketed by a completely different

the required quality or quantity cannot be

company—and the LCD panels themselves

achieved. This is how all important parts of

come from various other manufacturers.

the Galaxy S III smartphone were chosen:

The most important aspect in this phenomenon of mass production is the price that the contracting company is

Samsung’s various divisions produce

the screen, ARM processor and other

willing to pay. The ODMs can create

Not many do it themselves

chips, RAM and storage are all in-house

products at any level of quality ranging

Samsung has had a successful run of

components. The device is primarily

from flawless to low-value. The products

late, and interestingly, it uses a different

manufactured in a factory in South Korea,

that go into the market depend on

business model. The Korean electronics

but when that plant’s capacity of 5 million

whether the contracting brand chooses to

giant does almost everything itself

devices per month fell short, Samsung

optimise for price or for quality. “Chinese

in-house, and takes advantage of the

supplemented its efforts through a Chinese

products” are often considered low-quality

economies of its massive scale. Samsung

contract manufacturer to ensure healthy

and easy to break, but that’s only because

has more than 370,000 employees and a

supply of the product in the market.

companies pushed for extreme cost

turnover of US$ 250 billion—as much as

savings in the beginning. Now, Chinese

the gross domestic product of Finland. It

Common building blocks

skill and precision can be seen in recent

produces 90 percent of the components

The Korean giant is currently in a leading

products from Apple, HTC, Nokia and

in its products itself. A spokesperson

position, and does not need to worry

others. For the end consumers, it should

explains: “In this way, we can bring

about losing a technological advantage






THREE BRANDS FROM ONE FACTORY Lenovo builds some of its own machines but also uses contract manufacturers. Wistron was part of Acer, but now builds laptops for many clients. Thus, your next ThinkPad might have been built at the same factory that Acer builds its value-priced models, even though it will feel just as sturdy as any other ThinkPad.

European brand Medion is now owned and operated by Lenovo Lenovo's flagship products are its rugged ThinkPads

Acer now has no factories of its own and relies on outside manufacturers

by favouring in-house parts. Samsung

Though most PC manufacturers buy

brand labels on them. HTC is another

dominates the market in case of high-

components like screens and CPUs

big Taiwanese company which believes

contrast OLED displays. While it uses

from suppliers, they design the bodies

in assembling its own devices. The

the latest HD Super-AMOLED displays in

themselves and perform some of the

smartphone giant buys its chips and

its own devices, slightly older AMOLED

manufacturing functions. With this

displays from outside and has them

displays are sold to HTC and Nokia. Even

business model, Lenovo overtook HP last

shipped to its own production sites. HTC

for TVs, Samsung uses the latest panels

year to become the world’s largest PC

started out as a manufacturer of iconic

from its own production lines themselves,

brand. Lenovo can adjust the capacities

devices for other brands, including early

while only some other panel types are

of its own factories in China, Hungary

handheld devices and smartphones such

offered for sale to the competition.

and South America to respond quickly

as the Palm Treo 650. It started designing

to changes in demand. This was a big

and manufacturing products to sell under

on the company’s own factories in Korea

advantage after the floods in Thailand,

its own name only later. In this way, the

does not necessarily mean a quality lead

which constrained the supply of hard

company gained experience and expertise.

over the Chinese mega-factories. According

drives in the world’s markets for most

HTC also manufactured the very first

to, Korean factory

of early 2011. Lenovo could move faster

Android smartphone, which was sold in

employees earn around US$ 2,000, which

than its competitors to reconfigure

the USA as the T-Mobile G1, as well as the

is five times that of Foxconn employees.

production to compensate. “While contract

Nexus One which was the first smartphone

That increases costs and could compel

manufacturers always need some lead

sold directly by Google.

Samsung to cut corners in other aspects

time and fixed volumes, we can adjust

of manufacturing. It could be one of the

the production in our factories quickly to

reasons that Samsung continues to use

respond to demand”, says Thilo Huys, a

All components from a few sources

cheap plastic casings for its premium

Lenovo spokesperson. Lenovo aims to build

Even though some companies build their

products, while arch-rival Apple can invest

50 percent of its products in-house by

devices themselves, they cannot build

in expensive metal bodies manufactured

2013. Qualitatively, it makes no difference

some of the most fundamental building

by Foxconn.

whether manufacturing is done internally

blocks—which happen to be the most

or externally: “Our quality assurance sets

difficult to manufacture. The best example

the same standards in each case” he says.

of this is CPUs: every PC, irrespective of

However, the strategy of relying mainly

LG, the second-largest Korean electronics company, also owns its own production chain and manufactures

In-house production has also reduced

whether it is built by Apple, HP or Dell, has

a significant proportion of its own

costs for Micro-Star International, better

an X86-class processor made by either

components. LG Display is the world’s

known as MSI. Apart from motherboards

Intel or AMD. It takes billions of dollars and

largest manufacturer of display panels,

and graphics cards, the Taiwanese

several years to design a CPU from scratch,

ahead of even Samsung—but on the

company manufactures notebooks and

and no other company has the expertise

other hand it needs to purchase other

all-in-one PCs in their factories, which

to match Intel or AMD today. Investing in

components such as processors and

they sell under their own name and supply

CPU design and manufacturing capabilities

memory chips from third parties.

to OEM customers who put their own

would be pointlessly expensive.






GOOGLE NEXUS: MANY FACES The Nexus One 1 , the first Android phone branded by Google, was manufactured by HTC but sold directly by the Web giant. Similarly, the T-Mobile G1, which was the very first Android phone, was built by HTC for the American carrier. Google's second branded device was the Nexus S 2 , made by Samsung, which also built its successor, the Galaxy Nexus. Next in the family was the Nexus 4 3 , which is now built by LG, though the Korean competitor had trouble delivering enough units to match demand. Google's first tablet, the Nexus 7 4 , is actually an Asus product, while its bigger sibling the Nexus 10 5 is again manufactured by Samsung.

5 3


1 2

go, nearly all the CPUs used are based

their time and billions of dollars to develop

Does the customer really care about minor details?

on ARM architecture which is licensed

capabilities to produce DRAM chips and

Customers can compare one product

by semiconductor companies such as

LCD panels of the required quality.

to another in a shop or online, but will

As far as smartphones and tablets

Qualcomm, Freescale and Nvidia, which

sense for companies to spend years of

There will obviously be a reduction

hardly ever question where each individual

in turn rely on foundries such as TSMC,

in cost by sourcing components from

component comes from. It does not

UMC, Globalfoundries and Samsung

in-house divisions rather than buying them

seem to matter that a product sold by

Semiconductor to actually build the chips.

in the open market, where prices tend to

one company is built using dozens of

Apple and Qualcomm license ARM’s

react sharply to changes in supply and

other companies’ products, manpower

technology and build their own chips,

demand. Mass production also lowers

and expertise. Production processes and

whereas many other licensees use ARM’s

prices, which is why it makes sense to

the business environment have become

designs as-is.

buy from the large conglomerates rather

far too complex to allow any new upstart

In a competitive hard drive market,

than investing in small-scale production

to change this state of affairs, which is

there are now only three manufacturers in

capacity in-house. Every brand wants to

why most small brands rely so heavily on

the world: Seagate, Toshiba and Western

offer products at the lowest possible price

Chinese and Taiwanese ODMs.

Digital. Most display panels for televisions,

in order to be competitive in the market,

PC monitors and portable gadgets come

which diminishes any incentive to shift to

products which are not entirely made by

from five big suppliers—Samsung, LG

in-house production, except for the handful

one company. The only valid question

and Sharp are the big names, but Japan

of luxury or lifestyle brands which can still

is whether or not a product fulfils its

Display (the merger of Sony, Hitachi and

attract customers with high prices.

promises. Companies take a calculated risk

Toshiba’s LCD assets) and AU Optronics

The end customer is not aware of any

There is no falsehood in selling

by putting their brand names on products

(Acer and BenQ’s divested businesses, now

difference, but very often the components

manufactured on the other side of the

merged with Quanta) are also major panel

used in expensive tablets come from

world, and must be very careful with

suppliers. Recently, unbranded monitors

exactly the same place as those used in

quality control at each step of the sourcing

from Korea have been showing up on eBay

cheap models. For example, there is no

and assembly processes. The customer is

and other such sites, priced at a fraction

qualitative difference in the memory chips

pleased when he gets his money’s worth,

of what the major brands sell them for,

of a cut-price device as compared to a

without worrying about international

and while they might not be built as well

very expensive one. However, it can’t be

commerce, politics and industry. Many

as monitors with Dell or HP stickers, they

guaranteed that all the components are

times, it’s true that you get what you pay

use exactly the same panels. Even RAM

shared, so the performance and lifespan

for—and once in a while, there’s the bonus

and flash memory chips are fabricated in

of cheaper devices could be compromised

of finding an unbranded, low-cost gem

only a few factories worldwide—Samsung

by other cost-cutting measures such as

that’s identical to a high-priced and highly

Semiconductor, Toshiba, Hynix and Micron

inferior construction, use of a few weak

desirable gadget.

dominate this market. It just makes no

parts, and lower quality packaging.







Apps on Your Phone Could Be Stealing Your Data The seemingly innocent app that promises you one good joke a day may actually be a tool to just gather data. Every app you download has access to your private information and this data may be making its way back to hackers. BY PRIYANKA TILVE Jagdish Limbachiya


ow many apps do you have?

Product Marketing Manager, Asia Pacific,

to drive revenue growth through mobile

On an average, on any given

Norton by Symantec, says, “Smartphone

ads. This includes a more aggressive and

smartphone or tablet you will be

and tablet sales are set to soar, and more

potentially malicious approach towards

sure to find at least six to seven apps,

users than ever will have their virtual

the monetisation of 'free' mobile apps.”

and it wouldn’t be a surprise if you were

lives and sensitive data with them at all

to find more than twenty apps. Whether

times. Threats arising out of apps would

The big data

it’s a smartphone you are using or a

become a serious concern as a user’s

Every app you download requires access

tablet, your experience would be quite

rising dependence on the functionality of

to certain data to function, and the

limiting without the presence of apps.

personal or professional apps would leave

permission for the same will be sought.

There are apps as diverse and varied as

them vulnerable to a myriad range of

Unfortunately, when we grant apps the

the flora and fauna on Earth. Whether

online threats. Lack of proper protection

permission to access our data by agreeing

it’s information you are seeking or simply

against such threats is equivalent

to the end-user agreement, none of

looking to kill some time, there is an app

to serving crucial data like contacts,

us take the pain to go through what

that will help you do just that.

confidential mails, passwords and other

information the app is accessing. Hence,

personal information on a platter and

many of the apps get away with access

is a price you pay. For every app you

letting the cyber vultures feast on them.

to information that they do not require

download, you allow it access to your

With more and more features being

to function. On the other hand, there

private information—right from your

added to applications to enhance the

are also several apps that clandestinely

address book to messages, calendar,

functionality of the apps, one of Norton’s

access information without seeking prior

photo gallery and much more. Much of

predictions for 2013 is the rise in mobile

permission from the user.

the data from your device, thanks to these

adware, commonly also called ‘madware’.”

But it’s not all hunky-dory as there

apps, is being saved on servers belonging

He added, “Madware disrupts the user

Over the years, several instances have come forth about apps accessing user

either to the app developer, advertisers,

experience and can potentially expose

information without their permission.

app stores and possibly, data harvesters

location details, contact information,

Apart from your contact book, apps can

or even hackers. A seemingly innocent

and device identifiers to cybercriminals.

also access/send messages, location

app that promises you one good joke a

Madware—which sneaks onto a

data, initiate calls, use camera and even

day may actually be a tool to just gather

user's device when they download an

transfer keystroke information back to

data. Simply put, your privacy and security

app—often sends pop-up alerts to the

the developers. One incident that caused

is at stake. Since we use our smartphone

notification bar, adds icons, changes

quite a furore was when it was discovered

for more than just communicating—from

browser settings, and gathers personal

that a private social networking app, Path,

social networking and e-commerce to

information. Because location and

was not just accessing users' contact

even banking—the device holds sensitive

device information can be legitimately

book information, but was also sending

data, which the miscreants can use to

collected by advertising networks—as it

the same to Path’s servers. While the

cause irrevocable damage.

helps them target users with appropriate

Android version of the app had the option

advertising—we expect increased use

wherein users could opt-in for the same,

in madware as more companies seek

no such permission was sought from

Elaborating on the threats that users face, David Hall, Regional Consumer




SMS us! ¾ Story code: NSD to 51818



iOS users. While a social networking app wanting to access the said data isn't unheard of, what backfired was that it did so without seeking permission from the users. The users were aghast to know that the content of their phonebook

India 84%


“smartphone apps are important to my daily life”

Mainly for games & entertainment

Globally: 70%

Mainly for work

was accessed and stored without their


consent. This was seen as a heinous breach of privacy and a security threat. The latest app to come under the scanner is WhatsApp, which is amongst the

How many apps do you need?

world's top five instant messaging apps. Canadian and Dutch data protection authorities recently rebuked the app as they discovered that it forced users to part with their entire address books instead of limiting only to the users of the app, and



Use 1 to 9 apps regularly 60% globally

use 10 to 25 apps regularly 20% globally

thus violates privacy laws. However, Siddhartha Banerjee, who started with developing apps for the

The 2012 Cisco Connected World Technology Report highlighted the increasing proliferation of apps.

Apple platform, and more recently for

know, for instance, that your favourite

in its description. However, unnecessarily

the Windows 8 platform, presents an

coffee shop is ten minutes away. Or you

collecting data is absolutely unethical.”

interesting viewpoint. He points out to the

follow certain people on Twitter because

fact that collecting user data is common

you are like-minded and therefore, we

practice, and what we need to focus on

will provide recommendations of people

Are the mobile platforms to be blamed?

instead is what is being done with the

to follow. For me, that is enhancing the

In the operating systems' battle of

data. He says, “More than whether there is

user experience. However, having said

supremacy, what provides them the

a security threat, for me the more relevant

that, if there is a wallpaper app asking

edge is the presence of apps. Amidst

question is whether collecting data is

for contact information and unless the

growing concerns over privacy and

ethical or not. In my opinion as long as

app is designed in such a way that after

security amongst the users, the platforms

it doesn’t violate the users' privacy then

collecting the contact details, it will,

came under fire to get their act together.

it’s fine. If you look then in today's world

say, automatically send a postcard or a

Android happens to be the most popular

almost everybody is collecting data, right

greeting card on your behalf to people on

OS around the world, but unfortunately,

from Facebook to any kind of website.

their birthdays, then it is a different story.

it is also the most vulnerable. A study

In some way or the other people are

But the app should mention the same

conducted by Juniper Networks Mobile

collecting data. And to be very honest, it’s not that the user doesn’t know about it. When we as developers upload an app to say the Apple platform or the Windows platform, there is a standard End User License Agreement which a developer needs to tick mark to go with their app. Most of the times what happens is that the users don’t actually read all those terms and conditions where it’s stated what kind of information the app will be accessing. And when the users give their consent without reading those, it means that the user is giving permission to the app to collect the data.” He explains that app developers often collect certain information as they need it to provide better features. He says, “There are certain apps, like even our app collects certain analytic data. It is a thirdparty analytics site and we embed the code for it inside our app. It is purely from a technical point of view. For instance, because we collect certain data, we will

Apple has stringent review guidelines for the apps in its store, making it one of the safest platforms.






Threat Center (MTC) analysed over 1.7 million apps on the Google Play Store from March 2011 to September 2012 and found that free apps in particular were more likely to track locations and access users' address books. In fact, there are several other reports and studies that have been conducted and present the same damning information. Another report, like the Mobile Threat Report Q1 2012 by security firm F-Secure, revealed that malware targeting Android users has quadrupled. In fact, according to a latest report from Trend Micro, the volume of malicious and high-risk Android apps will hit one million in 2013. Speaking about the threats on the Android platform, Sharda Tickoo, PMM,

Tools like Lookout provide you with information about the kind of data accessed by each app.

Trend Micro, says, “We have been in this space gathering information about

on the respective platform. Google’s

book information, steal text messages,

mobile malware for a long time and have

approach means that there are chances

steal photos, steal call records and even

actually identified widespread presence of

that when a malicious app gets published

attempt DDoS attacks. Surprisingly, the

malware on Android. Google's mobile OS

in the Play store, it may be downloaded

app went undetected. It was only when

is the most abused of these app stores

by thousands before it gets detected and

the researchers uploaded a version that

and perhaps the reason is that because

suspended by Bouncer. In fact, this seems

continuously sent data without pausing

it’s a very open platform, which makes

to be the case, as was showcased by

that the app got suspended. This incident

it more vulnerable than others. Anyone

two researchers from computer security

clearly exposed the blind spot in the

can pay a small amount and create a

company Trustwave.

system, which Google needs to address.

developer login and upload an app. We

The researchers first added a

Compared to Google, other platforms

found that it has many types of malware

harmless app on the Play Store and then

like Apple, BlackBerry and even Windows

like data feeders that send specific

went on to upgrade it with malicious

have a more hands-on approach and

information about the users to cyber-

content. They discovered that it was a

have put in place stringent tests before

criminals. We now have a dedicated team

while before the app was detected and

allowing apps to be published on their

of security researchers who crawl through

suspended by Bouncer. How far could

platform. Microsoft with Windows 8 and

all the apps and check for vulnerabilities.

they go? Their app could glean address

BlackBerry with BB10 have launched

We also do a sandboxing of these apps, run them in our data centre and check their behaviour—does it really need contact details? Will it root devices?—and provide reputation points to apps based on these checks. The tests are also carried out each time the app is updated. We feel that the threat to Android will continue to grow and there is going to be a race between attackers and security providers like us in the coming year.” Getting an app published on Google Play is relatively easy, and so it’s hardly surprising that Android touts the most number of apps. After having received flak over presence of malicious apps on the platform, Google did get into action and weeded out thousands of apps that posed threats. It relies on "Bouncer", a server-level security tool to check apps already present in the Play Store. This is a departure from the industry approach, as other platforms have in place systems to check the apps before they are published




BlackBerry has announced the Built-for-BlackBerry certificate to keep spammy apps at bay.



a slew of initiatives to woo developers to their platforms, but also have put in place a strict selection criteria. An app has to undergo a series of tests that will ensure it isn’t compromising on users' privacy or security, and at the same time is optimising the features of the OS. They are taking pains to review every app, send feedback to the developers in case something is amiss, and the app is allowed to be published only after it meets the standards. This clearly reflects that the platforms are taking it upon themselves to ensure that their users have a safe experience on their platform. Explaining their approach, Annie Mathew, Head of Alliances, Research In Motion (RIM), India, says, “These things will matter, because it’s not about quantity; it’s a serious game now. The whole hoopla surrounding apps will settle down and to a good place, I hope. Apps are here to stay as they do make the phone smart. However, security

The App Threat Monitor widget will tell you if an app is infected, and if there is potential for misuse.

will become a big thing as malware has become so rampant and most people

for an app, hopefully it won’t be bad. On

device. If any of your already downloaded

aren’t even aware that their information

the other hand while the platforms are

applications start acting strangely all of a

is being used. BlackBerry’s focus has not

changing their norms and have certain

sudden, then you should be on high alert

been on quantity; we may not have so

checks in place, the developers also need

(realise phone calls and messages are

many apps, but the ones that we do have

to understand why and what they are

made without your knowledge).”

are safe, secure, useful and reliable.” With

developing apps for and not just go about

BB10, BlackBerry introduced the Built-for-

developing apps for any platform.”

Additionally, you can make use of freely available tools that will check the apps and highlight any areas of concern.

BlackBerry certification, which will look at

It’s a good idea to have robust security

even what APIs are being used. If the apps

Should you stop downloading apps?

clear the test, then they get the Built-for-

There is no denying the fact that you

leading security suites like Norton,

BlackBerry stamp, which developers can

need apps. However, before launching

McAfee, Trend Micro, Kaspersky, Lookout,

use to market their apps.

on a downloading spree, you will save

amongst others, provide protection

yourself a great deal of trouble if you take

against malicious apps. While Google's

their bit to ensure their platforms are safe,

a moment to analyse the permissions

Play Store now lists the permissions the

Banerjee believes that it won’t really affect

that the app is requesting, whether they

app is seeking, you might not be able to

the consumer's choice when choosing an

are actually necessary for the app to

understand what the implications of the

OS. But he does hope that we will see

function and, most importantly, whether

permissions will be. At such times you can

more meaningful apps. He said, “People

you are comfortable approving the

scan the app using any of the security

in India are not willing to pay for an app,

app. Hall has a word of advice for the

suites mentioned above and they will

so that's the reason you will find, let’s say

consumers, he said, “Before you download

provide you with an explanation of how

five different versions of Angry Birds. If the

an app, consider what you know about

your data can be used. The security suites

developer is not ethically right, then to

who created it and what it does. The app

will also flag apps that are potentially

some extent they can take advantage of

stores may include information about the

threatening. Besides security, you will also

the system, so the certification process is

company that developed the app and if

be able to view other crucial details like

extremely important. And while there is an

the developer provides it. If the developer

the battery consumed, memory used, etc.

increasing awareness amongst the people

doesn’t provide contact information—like

Additionally, you can go through reviews

about the apparent threats, it won’t cause

a website or an email address—the

of the apps online to see what people are

them to change the platform. What will

app may be less than trustworthy. If

saying about the performance and actual

happen is that they will stop downloading

you’re using Android, you will have an

features. All said and done, the safety of

apps meaninglessly. They will start looking

opportunity to read the 'permissions'

your device—and most importantly, your

for authenticated apps, and with Google

just before you install an app. It’s

privacy—is in your own hands. So think

Wallet opening up, I see that there is a lot

useful information that tells you what

twice before downloading an app.

of potential, because once you have paid

information the app will access on your

all aspects like security, battery usage and

While the operating systems are doing

software installed on your device. Today,







Web Watch

Here are some interesting websites you might want to visit. COMPILED BY PRIYANKA TILVE



cool and unusual to buy online?



ThisIsWhyImBroke is the site


dvance Learning Interactive Systems Online (Alison) is one of the largest

ver wondered what happens to products that are returned due to


The brainchild of Irishman Mike Feerick, it recently celebrated its fifth birthday.

end up languishing in warehouses. But

for you. The site brings to you

It offers over 400 vocational courses

not all products end up being ignored,

everything that fits the bill of being

that are updated on a regular basis.

as some enterprising individuals have

ooking for something geeky,

cool and sometimes, even bizarre. The site is categorized into What’s

education resources on the Internet.

These courses cover diverse topics like IT, English skills, languages, Business

defects? These products make their

way back to the manufacturer and

established the retail outlets that sell factory seconds for low prices.

New, Gear+Gadgets, Geeky, Toys,

Law, Accounting, Health Safety, Human

Wearables, Home+Office, Food+Drink

Resource, etc. Under IT training,

electronic appliances, including factory

and Kid Stuff. The homepage features

you can enroll for courses in Web

seconds, carton damaged, refurbished,

all the products in a Pinterest-like

Development, Adobe Photoshop, App

surplus and even new products from

format. Clicking on products will take

Development, HTML 5, Programming,

leading brands. The product categories

you to another page where you will

Cloud Computing and more. Courses

include Mobile & Accessories, Cameras,

find additional information about them.

are divided as diploma and certificate

Computers, TV, Audio & Video, and

Even if you are not looking to buy, you

courses. The diploma courses require

Home & Kitchen. You will find some

will surely be amused by the products.

up to eleven hours of study and the

great discounts (sometimes even more

For the geeks, there is stuff like a

certificate courses require up to two

than 50 percent) on the site. Gobol

computer circuit board tie, a floppy

hours of study. While the courses on

has tied-up with Samsung, and you will

disk table, a washable keyboard and

the site are free of cost, if you wish

find smartphones on offer, including

moving gears chain clocks. Star Wars

to get a certificate as proof that you

some of the latest offerings like the

fans will be spoilt for choice, as

have taken a course from Alison, then

Galaxy Note 2 and the Galaxy Tab 2.

there is a wide range of merchandise

you will have to shell out around Rs

Other notable brands include Micromax

dedicated to the series. You’ll find

1,600 for a paper certificate. And if

and iBall. In the laptops category,

a carbon-fibre Stormtrooper helmet,

you opt for parchment, then it will cost

you will find laptops from brands

Legend Of Zelda wedding rings, Star

you approximately Rs 6,400. Alison

like Dell, HP, IBM, Lenovo, Philips and

Wars wedding rings, Star Wars iPhone

has courses geared towards specific

Toshiba. Currently, the cameras section

cases, Stormtrooper cuff links, Star

job requirements, which is something

doesn’t feature too many products.

Wars Lightsaber and much more. For

that will add to your existing degrees

The rest of the categories feature a

comic fanboys, they have glasses,

and give you an edge over others. For

substantial number of products.

Batman contact lenses, superhero socks,

instance, if you are seeking employment

hoodies, snuggie blankets and a lot of

with an import-export firm and if you

a factory second or is refurbished

other fascinating stuff. There are also

have a certificate or degree in foreign

by looking at the colour of the

products for gamers like Nintendo-

exchange policies, then you will have

discount indicator. Products are

themed furniture, mini video game

an advantage. Alison also has a concept

colour-coded to represent the state

controller rings, zombie head cookie

for flash tests, where the employers

of the product. Alternatively, you can

jars, radio control Mario karts, zombie

can ascertain the knowledge of the

also filter the products according to

masks, lawn zombie decorations, and a

candidate pertaining to the certificate

category. The site offers EMI as well

lot of stuff that’ll, well, leave you broke.

or the diploma they have opted for.

as cash-on-delivery for payments.




Gobol offers a wide range of

You can easily tell if a product is

SMS us! ¾ Story code: FWW to 51818






pps development is emerging as a lucrative career option and if you always wanted

to develop an app, the MIT App Inventor may help you get started. Formerly the Google App Inventor, this online tool is now maintained by Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for Mobile Learning. The best part is that you need not know programming languages, as it makes use of ‘blocks’ that have to be placed to perform the action that you want the app to do. This makes it perfect for enthusiasts who want to create an app without worrying about coding, as it uses a very visual approach. It also has an innovative learning approach: you can learn by building the games mentioned and the level of difficulty increases gradually. Each game addresses a function that you can add to the app. For instance, if you want to build an app that will have multiple screens, you can use the Colored Dots tutorial, which is a painting program that uses multiple screens. Before starting, it’s advisable to familiarise yourself with the tool’s various components. Some of these components can be modified, while others remain static and cannot be changed. This information can be accessed from the Reference section under the Learn tab. Additionally, you can also access a PDF of the book ‘App Inventor: Create Your Own Android Apps’ by David Wolber, Hal Abelson, Ellen Spertus and Liz Looney (2011). Most of the chapters in the book are accompanied by video screencasts.

RSS ISN’T DEAD YET W hen Google announced that Google Reader would meet its end on July 1, 2013, it stirred up strong reactions. Google cited a decline in usage of the RSS feed service, which was started in 2005, as the reason behind its decision to axe the service. While Google may want us to believe its version of the story, the buzz the news of the closure has generated on the social networks tells a different story. There has even been a petition appealing the Obama government to request Google to reconsider its decision. It’s rather amusing, but there might be some truth behind Google’s claim of declining usage. However, that clearly doesn’t mean that there aren’t enough people who care. There has certainly been a shift in the way people consume information. Rather than subscribing to feeds and skimming through tons of information, people seem to prefer reading something those in their network recommend or think they might like. Subsequently, users can get the information directly from the source, say, by following their favourite author on Twitter. And there is no question of missing out on anything big, thanks to the social networks. Although comparing social networks and Google Reader will be foolish, the fact remains that social networks are emerging as a source of information. Thanks to their popularity, websites, blogs and even brands are compelled

to make their presence felt on the platforms. Having said that, social networks will never be able to replace RSS. There are many users who crave information sans the fluff and seek to control what they want to read, rather than be told what to read. As a technology, RSS is still very much relevant. And the closure of Google Reader, which was no doubt amongst the best RSS services, shouldn’t be a cause of concern. There are a large number of tools and apps that offer RSS services. In fact, many of them used Google Reader as their back-ends. What they need to do now is step up their offerings. Some of these tools—Feedly, Flipboard and Pulse, to name a few—have gained popularity by presenting feeds in a more appealing and social manner. Google also failed with Reader when it limited the social aspects in 2011— you couldn’t follow others and share links. It was a step backwards and was probably meant to promote Google+, which ended-up infuriating the loyal RSS users. In all likelihood, this was the beginning of the end for Google Reader. What we need is a service that’s able to leverage RSS to bring information to users and has features that will make it relevant and appealing today. Digg has announced that it will soon be launching a service along the lines of Google Reader. Let’s hope it manages to fi ll the void that Google Reader will leave behind.







Sachin Pandit

[Q] I have a Dell XPS LP-OX laptop

files, make sure you do not have sharing

ICS as many games like Temple Run

with a Core i5 CPU and Windows 7

enabled and set up a strong password

and Subway Surfers are not working

Home Pro OS and use it with a Tata

for your user profile.

on my phone. XWhat changes will it bring to the

Photon Plus netcard. Can you suggest a good modem so I can also connect

[Q] I am using a HP Pavilion DV4

my mobile phone to the network? How

with Kaspersky Internet Security 2013

do I prevent other users from accessing

installed. Unfortunately, I’ve forgotten

my PC or phone if they’re using the

the password for the Internet Security

same connection?

software and can’t seem to update or - Raju Kumar

functioning of my phone? XWill I have to re-sync my Google accounts and reinstall the apps? - Prateek Anand

uninstall it. What can I do in this case? - Akataoji

Tread carefully when dealing with custom ROMs as you could brick your phone. You could opt for a 3G-enabled wireless router to share your Internet connection.

Use the My Kaspersky Account link to reset the password.

[A] Hi, Prateek. Micromax hasn’t officially released ICS for the A87, so

[A] Hello Raju. I understand you

[A] Your Kaspersky Internet Security

you can't update it via official channels.

are already using a USB 3G dongle

2013 license should be registered with

You could try using a custom ROM if

to connect to the Internet and also

your email ID. Click on the My Kaspersky

anyone has built one for the handset,

want to connect your mobile phone

Account link in the bottom left corner of

but do that at your own risk. Temple Run

to the Internet. If you want to share

the program's main screen. Click on the

2 does not require ICS as the minimum

the connection, I suggest you install

"Forgot Password?" link and follow the

requirement is Android 2.1 and above, so

a wireless router that will share the

instructions to reset your password.

it should work fine. Ice Cream Sandwich

connection from the dongle via the

brings with it many bug fixes, smoother

PC. You will have to share the Internet

[Q] I recently bought a Micromax A87

animations in the UI, multiple accounts in

connection on the PC in order for other

with Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread. I have

GTalk and more. If you do manage to port

devices to use it. To restrict other users

the following queries:

ICS over, you may have to re-sync all your

on the network from accessing your

XHow can I upgrade it to Android 4.0

data so make sure you take a backup.




SMS us! ¾ Story code: HDC to 51818


[Q] I wanted to know how can one

[A] Hi, Chacko. It’s wrong to associate

root the HTC One V. Will rooting help

brands with platforms, because apart

in the performance of the mobile and

from Apple, most OEMs provide a wide

battery life? How great is the risk of my

range of handsets across different

smartphone getting bricked? And after

platforms. WP8 is known for its slick

rooting my phone will the warranty still

UI, but if you are a heavy app user, then

be valid?

you’ll be a bit disappointed since many of the popular apps available for iOS

- Mihir Vaidya

[A] Hi Mihir. Visit this link for a very

and Android won't be available. For Rs

detailed guide on how to go about

20,000, the Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos

rooting your HTC One V:

is a very good option.

XTdn7F. The guide gives you step-bystep instructions, so there’s no chance

These errors may be caused by faulty hardware or possibly corrupt system files.

[Q] I have a problem with "YTD Video Downloader". Whenever I try to

of bricking your phone provided you follow it to the T. Rooting your handset

from there. Now run the commands

download any videos from YouTube,

will allow you to install a custom

‘FIXMBR’ and ‘FIXBOOT’. You can

it always shows the status 'Failed'. I

kernel. Depending on the kernel you

also try copying the files ‘NTLDR’ and

have upgraded the application, but the

choose, you’ll be able to overclock

‘NTDETECT.COM’ from the installation

problem persists. I use a Reliance 3G

your phone for better performance

disc’s 'i386' folder to the C:\ drive. Your

data card for Internet and it gives me

or even underclock it in order to save

problem should be solved. Make sure

very good speed. My other friends, who

battery life. Rooting will not void your

you don't have a virus or hardware

use broadband modems, can easily

warranty as long as you un-root it before

problem before you .

download videos from YouTube using the same application, though their

handing it over to the service center.

[Q] I’m very confused if I should

Internet connections are much slower

[Q] When I start my PC, I get an error

buy a Windows Phone 8 or Android

than mine. Does the problem have to

message saying "NTDLR is missing."

phone. I’m an engineering student and

do with my data card or could it be

Can you explain what that means

currently use a Symbian OS device.

something else?

and if there is a fix for it? I don't

My budget is about Rs 20,000. I was

want to format my PC as I have some

wondering if I should get a Lumia or

important documents on the main

an HTC phone, but some of my friends

drive. Please let me know what I need

said HTC has been getting complaints

to do.

frequently. So could you help me make - Kamal Thakur

[A] Hello, Kamal. The error means that

- Dipanjan Ray

up my mind which OS is better? - Chacko

your computer is not able to find the required system files for booting into the operating system. The causes could be a fault in the hard drive, HDD cable or the motherboard, or it could be a software issue, such as missing, corrupt or virusinfected files, the boot.ini file could be

Keep in mind that you should only use this tool to download copyright-free videos.

misconfigured, the boot sector could be corrupt, the MBR could be missing, or any other issue. in order to solve

[A] Hello, Dipanjay. The problem with

this problem, you will need the original

the downloading utility could be anything

Windows installation disc and boot from it. Enter the Recovery mode at the prompt and get to the MS-DOS prompt

really and solving the issue could The Galaxy Grand Duos is the best option around the Rs 20,000 price bracket right now.

become tedious. Anyway, you should try uninstalling the utility and installing the


latest version. If it still does not work,

laptop. I tried defragmenting, disabling

there could be some issues with the

startup programs and removed

supporting files it needs. Finding those

temporary files, but nothing has

would take up a lot of time and you could

happened. How can I increase the boot

even end up reformatting your system

speed of my laptop? - Apratim Sahai

and installing the operating system all over again. Try using another utility like Internet Download Manager that can download videos for you? Alternatively, you can download YouTube videos from the website for free. It is faster and also lets you specify the

The CMOS battery keeps the date and time up to date.

resolution and format a video should be downloaded in. Note that downloading copyright videos is illegal.

[Q] I have a Lenovo Y550-4186 laptop [Q] I wanted to know how to remotely

with the following specs: Intel Core 2 Duo T6500 processor, 4GB RAM and

shut down/restart a computer through LAN, using CMD or any software. Please help me out with this issue. My

CCleaner is a handy utility to clear redundant files and registry entries.

operating system is Windows 8 PRO. -Anonymous

Nvidia GT 130M graphics processor. I’d like to upgrade my processor to a T9600 so that I can play some of

[A] Hi Apratim. It's good that you

the newer games. Can you tell me if

tried defragmenting, disabled startup

upgrading is possible and also let me

programs and got rid of temporary files.

know about the compatibility of the

You should also try eliminating redundant

existing Lenovo BIOS? - Ajmer Singh

registry entries, stopping unwanted services and tuning up your system. For

[A] Hi Ajmer. Unfortunately it’s almost

that you will need a system tuning utility

impossible to upgrade a laptop’s

such as Tune Up Utilities, or you can

processor. Even though the processor is

use freeware such as CCleaner. Did you

removable, it would be difficult to find

perform a virus scan on your laptop?

an upgrade for a processor that’s more than three generations old. The only

[Q] I purchased an HP Pavilion G4

upgradeable components are the RAM

laptop from Malaysia last year. Now,

and hard drive, but that won’t help you

even though my AC adapter is plugged

run the latest games. You need a more

in and the laptop charges for some

powerful graphics processor, but that’s

[A] Hello there! In order to start your

time, after a few minutes it displays a

not possible to upgrade.

PC remotely, you need to have WoL

messaging saying “Plugged in but not

(Wake on LAN) enabled on your PC (in

charging”. Then it returns to charging.

[Q] Hi, I have a desktop with an AMD

the system BIOS). Without this option,

And when the laptop is fully charged

Athlon II X3 425 CPU, 2GB DDR3 RAM,

you cannot start your PC from a remote

and untouched for four or five days,

a MSI GF61 motherboard and a Seagate

location. To shutdown the PC, there are

while switching it on, the battery

500GB hard disk. I seem to be having

numerous options—remote controlling via

shows that it's empty while booting

a big problem—when I start my PC, it

TeamViewer, RDP, or any other remote

and it shows CMOS failure—the date

boots properly, but after half an hour

desktop utility can help you shut down

and time settings are reset. Could this

it overheats (up to 61 degrees Celsius)

the PC. You can also assign a command

be a fault with my laptop battery or the

and hangs. The only option is to restart

via Outlook, whereby you can shutdown


my PC using the reset button. But

Free utilities for WoL are available on the Internet.

the PC by sending a simple email.

- Tamil Mani

then it says there’s no hard disk and

[A] The problem could be with your

to insert boot media. The components

[Q] I recently bought a Dell XPS 15

laptop’s battery—the cells inside the

in my CPU cabinet also heat up. What

laptop with an Intel Core i7 CPU, 8GB

battery pack might have expired. Check

should I do to fix this?

RAM, 1TB HDD, Windows 7 and Nvidia

if your laptop is still under warranty and

GT 540M (2GB). When I started my

whether the warranty is global. In that

[A] Hi Sandy. First and foremost open

laptop for the first time, it was quite

case, you can approach an HP service

your PC case and service your CPU

slow. After removing some programs

centre. The CMOS failure is the result of

cooler. Detach it and clean it thoroughly—

it gained a little speed, but I still

a weak CMOS battery. It will have to be

clean the blades of the fan and the fins

cannot get the boot speed I want. I

replaced, but the laptop will have to be

of the heatsink. Also clean the surface

also have a Dell desktop with a lower

opened and serviced. Visiting a technician

of the processor and apply a fresh layer

configuration, but it is faster than my

or service centre is recommended.

of thermal paste before you reinstall




- Sandy Dss


able to scan and clean these devices as soon as they are plugged in. Also make sure that Windows is allowed to download and install updates automatically.

[Q] Hi, I have an Intel DG31PR motherboard and it supports and currently runs a DDR2 GPU (GeForce 9500GT). I have one PCIe x16 slot and intend to install another NVIDIA 220 or 210 GPU. The 220 is DDR3. I would like to know if my motherboard will Clogged CPU cooler affects cooling and leads to overheating.

support the 220? Will there be any

The EC Council has a lot of information about affiliated institutes for courses.

problems? - Debanu Das

the cooler. Does your PC case have at

be able to select your USB drive from

least two fans? If not, install one or two

[A] Hello Debanu. Your description is

exhaust fans at the rear and an intake

a little confusing. Graphics cards use

fan at the front. That will sort out the

GDDR memory, which is completely

[Q] I'm interested in hacking so could

overheating problem. Regarding the

different from the DDR RAM used by

you suggest classes or books from

problem with the hard drive, it seems

the system. Your motherboard uses an

which I could learn more about ethical

that your SATA cable is faulty or your

Intel G31 chipset and therefore supports


hard drive might have developed bad

DDR2 RAM. The type of RAM used by

sectors. Replace the SATA cable and

your graphics card is independent of

[A] Hi Daksh. If you are interested in a

check if the booting problem is solved.

this. Furthermore, the GeForce 200

serious career in ethical hacking, then

Else, run a disk check to check for bad

series is now over four-years-old and we

you should begin by first gaining some

sectors—if found, it’d be best to replace

wouldn’t consider either a GeForce GT210

training and exposure in network security.

your hard drive.

or GT220 to be worthwhile upgrades

Additionally, knowledge or familiarity

over a 9500GT. The lower-end models

with programming languages will be an

[Q] I have Windows 7 installed on my

in the latest GeForce 600 series are

advantage. There are many institutes

PC, which is equipped with an Intel

quite affordable and will provide far

that offer training in ethical hacking,

Core i3 2120 processor @ 3.30GHz,

greater value and performance than

like Jetking (

4GB of RAM, and a 500GB HDD. My

any of the cards you're suggesting.

and Institute of Information Security

drive into my system, every folder in

[Q] I am using Windows 7 Ultimate

institutes that are affiliated with the

it becomes either a screensaver or an

64-bit on my computer. I installed

International Council of E-Commerce

application and does not run. All the

Oracle Virtualbox to run Windows XP.

Consultants (EC Council), which is the

data in the drive is then lost. It is very

I can run XP successfully, but I can’t

organisation that provides courses

annoying. I formatted my PC to get rid

copy a file from 7 to XP. I tried to do

in information security. You can find

of the problem. It ran without giving

it using the 'Shared Folder' option

information about the institutes at

me problems for a few days but the

but I couldn't run it. Then I tried to

issue crept up again. Can you tell what

copy files using a 2GB flash drive

the issue could be?

but had no success. Can you tell me

information about hacking under the

problem is that whenever I insert a pen

- Samiran Chakraborty

the list.

- Daksh Khorana

( You can also check for

You will also find a lot of useful

how to copy a file from Windows 7 to

‘Resource’ section of the site. Another

[A] Hi Samiran. This is a clear case

Windows XP? Do I need to install any

great online resource to connect with

of your PC being infected by malware.

driver for it?

the global community of ethical hackers

While it isn’t possible to determine the

- Abhijit Sarode

is Again, the site is

exact nature of the virus or worm from

[A] Hello Abhijit. You need to configure

a source of rich information; you can

the description provided, you should

the Shared Folders functionality

be a part of the forums and join their

be able to scan and remove it with any

as described in Virtualbox’s

mailing list so that you are on top of the

competent antivirus tool. If you don’t

documentation. Here’s a link to the

latest news and developments. Online

have one already, we recommend a

online FAQ which outlines the process:

resources like Hackforums, Hack-a-day,

complete Internet security suite with an

Hack in the box, Hack this site, EvilZone,

antivirus, a firewall and an antispyware


etc. Books like Hacking: The Art of

application. We reckon the infection came

As far as USB drives go, you need to

Exploitation, The Basics of Hacking and

back even after formatting your PC due to

configure your virtual machine to mount

Penetration Testinga and The secret of

traces of the infection still residing on your

the drive. Click on the virtual machine’s

Hacking, may be of quite some help

pen drives and other removable storage

‘Settings’ icon and then check the

to you.

such as memory cards, digital cameras,

‘Enable USB controller’ and ‘Enable USB

- Send your queries to

etc. A good security software should be

2.0 (EHCI) controller’ options. You’ll then




How to Simulate Firefox OS on your PC Get a glimpse of Firefox OS for smartphones on your desktop today by simulating it right within Firefox. BY FRANCIS D'SA


ozilla is gearing up for

the table, and developers are already

simple way to get your own hands-on

the launch of its Firefox

building apps and testing it out as they

demo of the new mobile OS before it

OS. Naturally, the mobile

have access to development devices

makes it to the commercial space. We

community seems very curious to see

like the Keon and Peak. But they're not

demonstrate how you to use the OS

just what this new OS will bring to

the only ones who can use it. There's a

from within the Firefox browser itself.



Download and install Firefox on your PC

Download the simulator for Firefox OS



Choose the Install Add-on from File option




Install the add-on

SMS us! 他 Story code: HFI to 51818





Select Firefox OS Simulator from the Web Developer section in the Tools menu

Launch the simulator



Check out the user interface and settings in Firefox OS

Firefox OS is a Linux-based operating

You can even play around and install apps

similar to all operating system platforms.

using the drag-n-drop method too.

system for smartphones and tablets. It

Let’s get started.

Simply open Firefox, drag the .xpi file

has been under development for a few

STEP 1: Download and install Mozilla

into the browser window and Firefox will

years now. It is designed to allow HTML5

Firefox if you don’t have it on your PC.

automatically install it. Restart Firefox if

applications to integrate directly with the

The present version is 19.0 for Windows

asked to.

device’s hardware using JavaScript, and it

and you can download it by visiting

STEP 4: That's it! Your system is now

has been tested on Android-compatible

ready to simulate Firefox OS within

smartphones and Raspberry Pi. There's


Firefox. Click on "Tools", then on "Web

no way to install it on your phone right

STEP 2: Next, you will need the

Developer" and finally on "Firefox OS

now, but you can get a feel of it by using

simulator extension. Visit

Simulator". A new tab will open; there

a simulator on your desktop PC. The

PlvNG and download the appropriate

will be a simulator button on the left

operating system is based on three major

file for your operating system. The file

column and you'll see a highlight that it

software layers within—Gonk (the Linux

is around 67 MB in size and will be

is currently stopped. Click on the icon to

kernel), Gecko (the application runtime)

downloaded with the extension '.XPI'.

start it and a new window will pop up

and Gaia (the user interface). Firefox OS

STEP 3: Download the file and save it

with the smartphone operating system

is still being tested and developed until

to your desktop. Start Firefox and click

run inside the simulator.

the launch date and the desktop build

on "Tools" and then on "Add-ons". In

is code-named Boot2Gecko (B2G). It is

the tab that will now open up, click

and see what is new. You can play

available on all the major PC platforms—

on the settings icon on the top right,

around with the user interface, see what

Windows, Mac and Linux. But that's

beneath the search bar. Next, click on

the settings are like and even install new

enough description for one article; read

"Install Add-on from File". Browse to

apps by downloading them from the

on to get to the emulator part.

the desktop, select the .xpi file you just

Firefox Marketplace. Keep in mind that

downloaded and click on "Open". In the

the OS is still under development and it

system running on your desktop PC is the

next dialogue box, click on the "Install"

won't run perfectly. It is an experimental

Firefox browser extension and, of course,

button; the Extension will be added in

prototype and hence is a bit buggy.

the browser itself. The procedure is

a few seconds. You can install add-ons

All you need to get the operating

Have fun checking out the new OS







Back-up and Restore Apps and Data Directly from a PC

Here's a useful tool to help you back-up and restore apps on any Android phone. BY FRANCIS D'SA


f you are one of those who regularly

builds of custom ROMs, which are likely

your installed apps using a backup utility

flash their Android devices with

to be released at least once a week.

such as Titanium Backup or My Backup

custom ROMs, then you will definitely

But installing a custom ROM is most

Pro. You need to restart the phone,

have a rooted device. If that's the case,

often a time consuming process. The

enter the recovery mode and take a

you may also opt to install nightly

procedure involves taking backups of

Nandroid backup. Then the phone has



The tool lets you back-up multiple apps from the handset to a folder on your PC

Options to select single or multiple apps in one go



Batch install multiple apps from your PC directly to your handset




Batch backup or restore multiple apps' data with a single click

SMS us! ¾ Story code: HPA to 51818



Download APK Batch Installer Tool

to be flashed with a new firmware and

handset with new ROMs and needed a

you have to configure it all over again

quick way to restore apps. It is a simple

from It is a zip

to install your backup utility and restore

little Windows utility packaged with adb.

file and all you need to do is extract

your data. Custom ROMs often include

exe, and all it needs is a new folder to

it to a folder on your computer. Inside

file browsers, which make the job a bit

store the apps and data. The utility lets

the folder will be the executable file;

simpler by letting you install backup

you back-up all user apps and their data,

you don't need to install it. Run it and

utilities directly from the SD card. If not,

and restore them with or without their

a window will open with a simple GUI

you have to set up your Wi-Fi or 3G, set

data in batch mode. You can also choose

interface. The rest of the program is

up your Google account and download

where the apps are installed (internal

self-explanatory. Connect your phone

the apps all over again. Irritating, isn’t

memory or SD card). It can back up and

to the PC using a USB cable and select

it? But that's not all: the backup utility

restore your text messages too.

the appropriate command from the

may sometimes have issues with

Additionally, you can batch rename

drop-down list. Click on Next to start

certain ROMs and Android versions,

apps using their app names or readable

the procedure. You don’t need to restart

and won't be able to restore apps

names, whichever suits you best. All

your phone once the backup or restore

properly. In such cases, you'll require

you need is a USB cable and a rooted

process has been completed. The

the patience of a saint to select and

Android phone with USB Debugging

process will take some time depending

restore only the apps that work properly

enabled. You can use the utility over

on the amount of data to be backed-up

to avoid issues with the new ROM.

Wi-Fi too. The utility can also help those

or restored, and the speed of the data

who need to reset their phones and

transfer. You can find some screenshots

superb Windows utility called APK Batch

re-install all the applications again. If you

demonstrating the steps you need to

Installer Tool that can make things

don’t have root access on your phone,

follow for each process below.

easier for you. The utility was developed

you will be able to restore only the

by a Malaysian guy who goes by the

applications and not their data. In order

and it works like a charm. It's also pretty

alias Hamsteyr on the XDA forums,

to root your phone, head over to the XDA

easy to configure and use.

simply because he would often flash his

forums to find out the correct procedure.

But don't lose hope yet. There is a

We have successfully used this utility




Rename multiple apps on your PC by getting information from within apk files

Apk files are renamed with readable names and version numbers



Backup and restore SMS messages from your handset

The utility also works over the wireless network






Tips & Tricks APRIL 2013

SHARE YOUR TIPS. Write to: Sachin Pandit



the value ‘(Default)’ in the right window


area. Enter the GUID ‘{C2FBB630-2971-

Upgrade context menu with

11d1-A18C-00C04FD75D13}’ as the ‘Value’

the option ‘Copy to folder’

in the dialogue ‘Edit string’. After that,


move to the key ‘HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\


AllFilesystemObjects\ shellex\ ContextMenuHandlers’ and here also create a new sub-key called ‘Copy To’. Set the ‘(Default)’ value using the above given GUID again.

Customise your Windows logon screen with just a few clicks.

Once you close the Registry editor

Easily add a useful and time-saving command to the context menu.

Normally, you duplicate a file

from ‘File | Exit’, the context menus of

clicking ‘Set as desktop background’ in

files and folders will be extended with

the context menu of an image file. But

the command ‘Copy to folder’. If in the

Windows 7 does not have any simple

future, when you select one or more files

way to let you change the background

and choose the command ‘Copy to folder’

of the welcome screen. You can use the

from the context menu, a simple dialogue

free tool Logon Screen to do this. The

appears, in which you select the target

small tool can be downloaded from

folder. The files are of course copied to Click

this folder with just a few clicks.

on ‘Download’ and save the file ‘Logon

subsequently pasting it into the target

NOTE: If you create a key called

Screen 2.56.exe’ into any folder. For

folder. You can simplify this process by


installation, double-click on the entry for

upgrading the context menu and adding

Directory\shellex\ ContextMenuHandlers’

the downloaded file in and then follow

the command ‘Copy to folder’. A small


the instructions during the setup. You

change in the registry makes this possible.


might have to authorise these instructions

Click on ‘Start’ and begin typing ‘regedit’.

ContextMenuHandlers’ and then save the

by selecting an administrator account

The result shows in the Start menu.

‘(Default)’ value using ‘{C2FBB631-2971-

and entering the password. It is best if

Right-click on the entry ‘regedit.exe’ and

11d1-A18C-00C04FD75D13}’, you add the

you use the ‘Custom Installation’ method

then click ‘Run as administrator’. You

command ‘Move to folder’ in the context

and deactivate all additional options

might then have to select an account with

menu for files and folders.

since the tool will try to install useless

by copying it to the clipboard and

administrator rights and type a password. Navigate the tree structure on the left area to get to the key ‘HKEY_ CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shellex\

adware, including Incredibar and Linkury



Smartbar. Stop this by deselecting their

Use a custom theme for the

options during the setup process. After

Windows welcome screen

the installation, you can find the tool in

Context MenuHandlers’. Create a new sub-key named ‘Copy To’ using ‘Edit | New | Key’. Select it and double-click on




‘Start | All programs | Logon Screen | You know that changing the desktop background is as simple as

Logon Screen’. You need administrator rights again to run the tool. Logon Screen

SMS us! ¾ Story code: HTT to 51818



functions only under Windows 7. You can

in the next dialogue in the combination

also tweak the appearance of text and

field ‘Element’. Confirm it with ‘OK’. This

buttons via ‘Advanced Display Settings’

new logic value is initially off. Therefore

and can activate or deactivate different

you select it in the list and click on ‘Edit’.

elements of the welcome screen. In

Then change its value to ‘True’ and

addition, you can define a notification that

confirm the setting with ‘OK’. You likewise

displays the Windows logo before log-in.

return to the graphical Boot menu of

Click on ‘Open’ in order to select a new

Windows 8 by changing the setting to

background for the welcome screen. To

‘False’ later on. The settings are saved

save your choices, click on ‘Apply’ and exit

upon closing of the Editor.

the tool.





Secure even the normally hidden user account “Administrator” meticulously using a password.

WINDOWS 7 Call up often used applets

View Boot menu in text form,

from the Control Panel directly

as before

from the Start menu


security risk. The same also applies to Windows Vista and 7. As soon as the account is activated, it provides


complete access to your system without asking for a password. However, booting the computer via a CD or a USB stick is necessary in order to activate the account using a tool like ntpasswd. You avoid this risk by activating the hidden account once and then creating a password. Then you must once again hide the account. For this enter “cmd” into the Start menu search field, then

There is a way to avoid seeing the graphical Boot menu.

You can move Control Panel items into the Start menu for quick access.

right-click on the displayed “cmd.exe” and select the context command “Run as administrator”. After confirming the

The Windows 8 boot menu

You might use a few Control Panel

User Account Control, the command

appears if you have installed the OS

commands regularly. You can add your

line is opened. Here type “net user

with another one on the same PC. It

familiar icons directly into the Start menu

Administrator /active” and confirm with

follows the Modern UI graphical style and

for quick access. Drag and drop to do this

the [Enter] key. The successful execution

reboots your PC if you choose the older

in the blink of an eye. For this, open ‘Start

is displayed in the dialogue.

OS. The Visual BCD Editor includes a

| Control Panel’. In ‘View’, either select

command to view the Boot menu in the

‘Small Icons’ or ‘Large Icons’. Then you

on “User Accounts and Family Safety”,

usual text form. You can download the

can click on the desired icon and drag it

then on “Add/remove user accounts”.

tool from The program

into the Start menu. Repeat this process

Now the account “Administrator” should

conceptualised for Windows Vista and

for all necessary commands.

be visible. Select it and click on “Create password”. Enter a secure new password

7 still works with Windows 8. You might need to install the .NET framework during the first start, which the system will take care of automatically if necessary. With



twice (at least eight characters with

Protect a hidden administrator

digits and special characters as well


as mixture of upper and lower case), and enter a password hint in the next

the tool running, click on ‘bootmgr’ on the left in the tree structure. In the list on

Now open the Control Panel and click

Even if you neither view nor use

field. You can ignore the warning about loss of EFS-encrypted files since you

the right, the entry ‘DisplayBootMenu’ is

the standard administrator account in

missing. In order to show it, click on ‘New’

Windows 8, it is created automatically

have not yet saved any files using this

and select the entry ‘DisplayBootMenu’

and thus represents a substantial

account. Confirm the process with



“Create password”. Now close the Control

but “” is missing. But you can add

Panel and again switch to the command

additional websites line-by-line in the

line or reopen the dialogue. Using the

form “<domain></domain>”. Then

command “net user Administrator /

save the changes. Since this White list is

active: no”, re-switch the administrator

possibly overwritten in case of updates,

account to inactive and invisible. Besides

you should create a backup copy of this

this, you can ensure more security if

or manage the appropriate entries in a

you also change the standard account

text file in order to be able to quickly

name “Administrator”. Automatic attack

add them again. In the end, you must

attempts which try to log into this

delete the Browser cache. For this, start

account will fail.

the app and press the key combination

NOTE: Using this safety measure, you

[Windows]+[I]. Click on “Delete” for this

may also lock yourself out of access to


the administrator account. Therefore, you should save the password securely and not use it for normal user accounts.






USB STICKS Repair a defective USB stick in a convection oven


You must initially carefully remove the pen drive encasing to expose the inside circuit board.

CD/DVD’s Recover important data off

If a USB stick stops functioning

unreadable CDs and DVDs

abruptly, you might be able to save

Display Flash contents in the IE


10 app in Windows 8

it. Try using it on another PC before deciding it is faulty. If it still doesn't work, you have two options to recover


important data from the stick. In each case you must first carefully remove the pen drive's casing. Wrap the circuit board tightly using Scotch tape. In this way, the board is firmly insulated from contact with outside objects and safe from short circuits. Check if the drive Unstoppable Copier does not wait or try to retrieve data from bad sectors and saves time.

works now. If the stick starts functioning again, quickly copy all data. If this does not prove successful, there is a possible

The IE 10 app can also display the Flash contents directly only for URLs entered in this list

You want to copy photos from a

last resort—but beware the device might

scratched disc onto the hard drive. But

thus be damaged irretrievably! Often, the

the Windows Explorer aborts the copy

solder holding the internal components

process with the error notification ‘File

together tends to get dry and does not

Internet Explorer 10: the version started

cannot be copied’. Where the Windows

make good contact. Re-soldering the

as app does not display Flash content by

Explorer fails, the mini-tool ‘Roadkil’s

entire circuit board is impossible by

default and only allows this for specific

Unstoppable Copier’ prevails against

human hands because of the tiny SMD

websites saved in a whitelist. If you need

scratch and damages on the data storage

chips used. This needs a wave soldering

Flash for other websites, then you must

medium. This program copies and

machine, which is not easy to procure.

start the browser from the Desktop or

restores data from unreadable discs—you

But you can use your oven at home to do

will be redirected there by a note. But

can download it for free at

the same work.

the desired URLs may be enabled in


There are two versions of the

the file “IECompatData” in the profile.

In order to recover data, select the

Place the USB stick for five minutes in an oven preheated to 200° C. In this way,

For this, first input “%userprofile%”

source and the target drives using

the solder melts a little and all contacts

in the Windows Explorer address bar

the ‘Browse’ button in the ‘Copy’ tab.

are strengthened. It is important that all

and press Enter. Navigate further to

Subsequently in the ‘Settings’ tab, move

plastic casing pieces be removed before

the folder “AppData\Local\Microsoft\

the slider approximately to the middle—it

popping the drive into the oven.

Internet Explorer\IECompat- Data”.

is a good compromise between the

Then right-click on “iecompatdata.

best and fastest recovery of the data.

on one side of the circuit board, place

xml” and select the context command

You should also set the tick in front

these upturned. The plastic inside the

“Edit”. You can even edit the file using

of ‘skip damaged files automatically’,

USB plug should survive this effort

another XML editor. Search the start area

otherwise it may take considerably

unscathed. Once the five minutes are up,

»<Flash>« and check the subsequent,

more time till the tool copies the still

shut down the oven and leave the door

alphabetically sorted entries. While a few

usable data. This utility is ideal for

open for cooling without moving the

standard websites are already contained,

hard drives, floppy drives, CDs and

stick. After approximately 30 minutes,

other known surfing destinations are

DVDs which could have bad sectors

you can remove the pen drive and check

missing. For example, “” exists

or partially corrupted file systems.

whether it works again.




If the memory modules are soldered






Home often requires an update to the

Optimise DLNA streaming in

latest version so that they function

order to clear the problems

without giving you problems in Windows 8. Your Windows installation should

with media clients


GOOGLE+ Display notifications from Google+ in notification bar

likewise always have the latest update





INK-JET PRINTER Remove stripes in a print image after refilling the cartridge

10 Two parallel running servers pose a problem for other clients over the network.

The Windows utility G+ Notifier will update you of new messages in Google+ in the notification bar.

Programs that feature similar functions often hamper each other on a

If you do not frequently visit

PC. Thus, for example, Windows’ internal

Google+, then you can use the Windows

settings tends to interfere with any other additional media tools installed, resulting in the Windows Media Center

utility tool G+ Notifier to stay updated If the print is not clear, use the printers head cleaning utility to clear the blocking of the nozzles.

being unable to function optimally. For example, the software Nero MediaHome

about what’s happening on the social network. You can download the tool from the site

A frequent cause of printing

Download the latest zip file” and save

establishes its own DLNA server.

problems after cartridge refills is air

the file “”.

However, if you run Windows on a home

stuck in the print head itself. While

Extract the contained files and folders

network and use the recommended

filling and even while assembling

into any folder like for example “C:\

settings for private networks, your

and disassembling cartridges, tiny air


Windows Media Center has already

bubbles may enter into the print head.

started a DLNA server. The two parallel

This is caused due to the air which can

Explorer and double-click on the file

running servers do not pose a problem

establish unwanted pressure on the print

entry “DanTup.GPlusNotifier.exe”. It

for your computer itself, but others over


automatically opens a window in which

the network will have issues. Two servers that have the same IP

Subsequently, these nozzles do not

Then open this folder in Windows

you can view and change settings. Save

spray any ink on the paper and you get

the changes with “OK”. You will then

address and the same MAC addresses

white, horizontal stripes on your prints.

have to log-in to your Google+ account.

may create a problem for clients on

If you're facing such a problem, your

Next add a shortcut to “DanTup.GPlus

the same network. Subsequently, file

printer's print head cleaning function may

Notifier.exe” in the “Autostart” folder of

synchronisation takes much longer and

help you out. The cleaning utility builds a

your ‘Start menu’. After that open the

any searches for new content may result

very distinctly higher print volume in order

info area and click “Adjust”.

in the connection ending abruptly or

to clean out the air bubbles. A bit of ink

crashing altogether. Thus, pay attention

is also reverse pumped by the vacuum

“Display symbol and notifications” is

that you only have one DLNA server

in order to restore the ink flow. This

active. You will see a symbol in the

active, and if necessary, deactivate the

procedure must sometimes be repeated

notification bar, you will be notified

streaming functions of the Windows

to get clean prints consistently. Keep in

of new messages, comments, etc. on

Media Player. Regular updates are also

mind that a lot of ink will be wasted if

Google + from here. Click on it to get

important: older versions of Nero Media

you repeat the steps and this is normal.

detailed information.

Ensure that in “G+ Notifier”, the option





the corresponding drivers during

4.0.3, you’ll need to press the Power

Conceal your friends lists

installation. Start the app “Kies Air” on

button instead of the Home key along

your smartphone, confirm the action

with the volume decrease button. From

with “Start”. On the following page, the

Android 4.0.4, it’s back to using the Home

smartphone will provide you with an

button. It is much easier in newer Sony

encrypted URL using which you can send

Xperia models where you do not need

files to your device.

any combination, instead, you can just


hold the power button for a few seconds

Enter this URL into your browser address bar. You should then receive a

until the Shut Down menu is displayed.

message on your smartphone saying that

This menu includes a Screenshot option

access is successful. This action can also

as well.

be stopped, if need be using the “Decline” option. Furthermore, the device will In Facebook you have the option to hide your friends list from all or even selective people

prompt you for a PIN, using which you can authorise your entry into the browser.



While booting, the tool offers to create a On Facebook you may be

Desktop shortcut to the software in order

connected with diverse people like your

to simplify the connection with “Kies Air”

friends, colleagues, business associates

in the future. This request may also be

and relatives who do not know each

deactivated later on. Using this system

other. Log into your Facebook account

you will have access via the browser to

and go to your profile page. Click on

your Photos, Videos, Music, Ringtones,

‘Friends’. Here at the top right hand

Call list, File explorer, Favorites, Contacts,

corner you will see an option ‘Edit’. Click

Messages and Calendar features of

on it and you will find the option ‘Who

you smartphone. After it’s opened, the

can see your friend list?’ From here you

browser presents a simple overview over

can manage who will be able to see your

the above-mentioned areas. Detailed

friend list, you can keep it ‘Public’, restrict

information can be obtained by selecting

it to ‘Friends except acquaintances’ so

an area on the left side of the browser.

that only your direct friends but not your

Without a special Java applet, the

acquaintances can view the information.

maximum file size while downloading

You can even select any lists that you

comes up to 100 MB.

black and white photos


Adjusting selective colours in black and white photos.

Tintii is a small image processing program with which you can intensify or soften the colours in an image. The tool

may have configured.




Image Processing Adjusting selective colours in


allows adjusting the saturation and shade

Capture screenshots correctly

of selective colours. It automatically


identifies the most dominant colour in the photo and presents a menu to


Transfer data to your

make processing simple. Unfortunately, Tintii isn’t freeware and costs Rs 300

smartphone wirelessly

(app version). You can test it for 21 days


to check whether it fulfils your needs. The plug-in version for Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro (includes the app version) is also available, and is priced at Rs 1,262. Using the software is pretty straightforward. You simply have to load a photo and use the sliders to fine-tune Newer versions of Android let you take screenshots via the 'Power off' menu

the colour parameters. You can open multiple images that appear as tabs below the toolbar.

Using the Kies Air app, you can exchange files with your smartphone via a wireless connection.

Screenshots are often used for documentation. In case of Android devices, taking screenshots is a bit tricky


Image Composition Framing drinks perfectly

Using the Kies Air app, Samsung

and the steps often vary as per the OS

lets you to exchange data wirelessly via

version. In older versions, a screenshot

WLAN. Using this you can transfer all

can be captured by keeping the Home

role in photography. A good photo

possible files types. It is not directed via

and volume decrease buttons pressed for

intrigues the observer and looks inviting!

a USB connection between smartphone

a few seconds. But this is not possible

Thus, the photographer does not only

and PC anymore. You can even ignore

in all models. From Android 4 to version

have to be well-versed with technology,




Aesthetics play a very important




objects. Hence, Adobe recommends

Set the Distance parameter in the Motion

using Bicubic Smoother for enlargements.

Blur filter to 75 pixels and leave the Angle

However, the effect can tend to soften

untouched at zero degrees. If the subject

the details. Even the free program Gimp

is still not blurred enough, tinker with

works quite well for enlarging photos.

the parameter values until you get the

In addition, there are tools specifically

desirable result.

meant for enlarging photos, such as Perfect Resize by onOne Software. Its algorithm is based on fractals. The result Shallow depth of field and complementing subjects in the frame make a large difference.

but should also know exactly how to make subjects look eye-catching. So, first, plan how you would like to frame your

appears incredibly crisp; but finer details


Shooting technique Shooting mist and fog using correct settings

appear flat and have a painted-like effect.



Image Processing Stimulating imagination with intentional blurring of subjects

subjects. Let’s take for instance, coffee or cappuccino; decorating the scene with


coffee beans or biscotti would add punch. Since the milky froth settles down after a short time, it should be poured on the coffee just before you shoot. Even cocktails (with ice cubes or crushed ice)

Increase the exposure to capture great-looking photos of foggy scenes.

should be dressed freshly. You do not require a photo studio to shoot drinks—a coffee shop with good ambient lighting and fancy furniture is good enough. Take

Challenging scenes such as

advantage of shallow depth of field and

landscapes covered by mists, early in the Intentional blurring can bring back memories.

you’ll have great-looking shots.

mornings cannot be easily captured using the auto mode in point-and-shoot digital


Image Processing

cameras, as the resulting images will

Enlarging photos or portions of

One of the ways to evoke thoughts

appear flat, grey and lifeless. The lighting

and bring back memories is by very subtly

is poor in the wee hours of morning

blurring important subjects in photos.

when you’re out to shoot in the fog. The

Here’s how it’s done: First and foremost,

solution is to use slight over-exposure.

available in Photoshop for up-scaling

saturate the colours to add punch;

The easiest way to do this is to boost

images. One of them is Pixel Repetition,

increase the saturation in Photoshop

the exposure compensation (EV) of your

which doubles the number of pixels it

by going to ‘Image | Adjustments |

camera by one step. Access the camera’s

considers as obsolete. This results in

Hue/Saturation’ or by simply using

EV setting and increase the value on the

jaggies around the edges of contrasting

the shortcut [Ctrl]+U. You can further

EV scale by +1. If you’re using the manual

enhance the tones by going to ‘Image

mode, reduce the f/stop to increase the

| Adjustments | Variations’. Levels and

aperture by one step or lower the shutter

selective colour channels can also be

speed to increase the exposure. The

adjusted from the same menu. The

best time to capture fog/mist-covered

next step involves blurring the subject.

landscapes is just before sunrise. Sunlight

First select the subject and then use a

streaming through the trees makes for

combination of Motion Blur filter (Blur

excellent shots.

photos without quality loss There are several methods


Use one of the in-built plugins in Photoshop, Perfect Resize or GIMP to enlarge photos.

section) and Paint Daubs filter (Artistic section) to achieve the desired blur level.

– Compiled by Team CHIP Send your tips to





3,450 3,500 4,450 6,950 6,950 7,250 10,700 11,050 11,350 11,750 12,600 14,900 18,500 19,700

LGA 1155 LGA 1155 LGA 775 LGA 1155 LGA 1155 LGA 1155 LGA 1155 LGA 1155 LGA 1155 LGA 1155 LGA 1155 LGA 1155 LGA 1155 LGA 2011

Intel Pentium G645 Intel Pentium G630 Intel Pentium Dual-Core E5700 Intel Core i3-2120 Intel Core i3-3210 Intel Core i3-3220 Intel Core i5-2310 Intel Core i5-3330 Intel Core i5-3450 Intel Core i5-3470 Intel Core i5-3550 Intel Core i5-3570K Intel Core i7-3770 Intel Core i7-3820






2 2 2 2 2 2 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4

2 2 2 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 8 8

2.90 GHz 2.70 GHz 3.00 GHz 3.30 GHz 3.20 GHz 3.30 GHz 2.90 GHz 3.00 GHz 3.10 GHz 3.20 GHz 3.30 GHz 3.40 GHz 3.40 GHz 3.60 GHz

32 nm 32 nm 32 nm 32 nm 22 nm 22 nm 32 nm 22 nm 22 nm 22 nm 22 nm 22 nm 22 nm 32 nm

65 W 65 W 65 W 65 W 55 W 55 W 95 W 77 W 77 W 77 W 77 W 77 W 77 W 130 W

MOTHERBOARDS: INTEL NAME Digilite DL-H61M-PS3 Jetway MIH61M-D Biostar H61MHB Digilite DL-H61-MXEL Intel DH61WW Gigabyte GA-B75M-D3H ASRock B75M Digilite DL-B75M Gigabyte GA-P75-D3 Gigabyte GA-H77-D3H Asus P8H77-M LE Asus P8B75-M ASRock H77 Pro4 Asus P8B75-V Intel DH77EB Intel DZ68DB Gigabyte GA-Z77P-D3 Asus P8H77-M Gigabyte GA-Z77M-D3H ASRock Z77 Pro 4 ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 Asus P8Z77-M Pro Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H Asus P8Z77-V Intel DX79TO MSI Z77 MPower Gigabyte GA-X79-UD3 Asrock Fatal1ty Z77 Professional Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H






LGA 1155 LGA 1155 LGA 1155 LGA 1155 LGA 1155 LGA 1155 LGA 1155 LGA 1155 LGA 1155 LGA 1155 LGA 1155 LGA 1155 LGA 1155 LGA 1155 LGA 1155 LGA 1155 LGA 1155 LGA 1155 LGA 1155 LGA 1155 LGA 1155 LGA 1155 LGA 1155 LGA 1155 Socket 2011 LGA 1155 Socket 2011 LGA 1155 LGA 1155

Intel H61 Intel H61 Intel H61 Intel H61 Intel H61 Intel B75 Intel B75 Intel B75 Intel B75 Intel Z77 Intel H77 Intel B75 Intel H77 Intel B75 Intel Z77 Intel Z68 Intel Z77 Intel H77 Intel Z77 Intel Z77 Intel Z77 Intel Z77 Intel Z77 Intel Z77 Intel X79 Intel X79 Intel X79 Intel Z77 Intel Z77


✔|✔|✔ ✔|✔|✖ ✔|✖|✖ ✔|✔|✔ ✔|✖|✖ ✔|✔|✔ ✔|✔|✔ ✔|✔|✔

3,050 3,150 3,650 3,650 3,900 4,250 4,350 4,500 6,150 6,273 6,450 6,550 6,575 6,790 7,350 7,950 8,050 8,350 8,350 8,600 10,400 11,250 12,250 14,450 15,000 15,250 17,200 17,300 18,500

NOTE: Street prices (incl. VAT) as on 20 March 2013.




NA ✔|✔|✔ ✔|✔|✔ ✔|✔|✔ ✔|✔|✔ ✔|✔|✖ ✖|✔|✔ ✖|✔|✔ ✖|✖|✔ ✔|✔|✔ ✔|✔|✔ ✔|✔|✔ ✔|✔|✔ ✔|✔|✔ ✔|✔|✔ ✔|✔|✔

NA ✖|✖|✔

NA ✖|✖|✔ ✔|✔|✔

PCIE X16 | PCI | SATA | USB 1|1|4|8 1|0|4|8 1|2|4|8 1 | 2 | 4 | 10 1|1|4|6 2 | 2 | 6 | 12 2 | 2 | 8 | 10 1 | 2 | 6 | 10 2 | 4 | 5 | 12 2 | 2 | 6 | 14 1 | 1 | 6 | 14 1 | 2 | 6 | 12 1 | 0 | 8 |10 2 | 3 | 6 | 12 1 | 0 | 5 | 14 1 | 3 | 5 | 12 2 | 2 | 5 | 12 2 | 1 | 6 | 14 2 | 1 | 4 | 14 2 | 2 | 8 | 11 2 | 2 | 8 | 10 3 | 0 | 6 | 14 3 | 1 | 6 | 14 2 | 2 | 8 | 16 2 | 1 | 6 | 16 3 | 0 | 6 | 16 4 | 1 | 10 | 18 3 | 2 | 6 | 18 3 | 1 | 9 | 16

CHIP brings you a roundup of all the latest and greatest products on the market.



AMD Sempron 145 AMD A4-3300 AMD Athlon II X2 270 AMD A6-3500 AMD Phenom II 560 AMD FX-4100 AMD FX-6100 AMD A10-5800K AMD FX-8120 AMD FX-8150 AMD FX-8350

2,150 2,800 3,050 4,350 5,125 6,150 7,800 8,600 9,750 11,880 12,750

CPU SOCKET AM3 FM1 AM3 FM1 AM3 AM3+ AM3+ Socket FM2 AM3+ AM3+ AM3+

NUMBER OF CORES 1 2 2 3 2 4 6 4 8 8 8




2.8 GHz 2.5 GHz 3.4 GHz 2.1 GHz 3.3 GHz 3.6 GHz 3.3 GHz 3.8 GHz 3.1 GHz 3.6 GHz 4.0 GHz

45 nm 32 nm 45 nm 32 nm 45 nm 32 nm 32 nm 32 nm 32 nm 32 nm 32 nm

45 W 65 W 65 W 65 W 80 W 95 W 95 W 100 W 125 W 125 W 125 W

MOTHERBOARDS: AMD NAME Jetway N68M Gigabyte GA-78LMT-S2 Digilite DL-960GM-GS3 Asus M5A78L-M LX V2 Gigabyte GA-78LMT-S2PT Asus M5A78L-M LE Asrock A55M-HVS Jetway TA55M-L Gigabyte GA-A55M-DS2 Digilite DL-A55M Digilite DL-A88GMV Asus F1A55-M LE Jetway TA98MG Digilte DL-A75M Asrock 970 Extreme 3 Asus M5A88-M Jetway HA-18 Asus M5A88-V Evo Asus F1A75-M Pro Asrock 990 FX Extreme 4 Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3

PRICE (RS) 2,369 2,600 2,704 2,781 2,820 3,060 3,100 3,250 3,296 3,322 3,751 4,050 4,500 4,816 6,510 6,520 7,777 8,000 8,450 10,400 11,870





AM3 AM3+ AM3+ AM3+ AM3+ AM3+ FM1 FM1 FM1 FM1 AM3 FM1 AM3+ FM1 AM3+ AM3+ AM3+ AM3+ FM1 AM3+ AM3+

Nvidia GeForce 7025 AMD 760G + SB710 AMD 760G + SB710 AMD 760G + SB710 AMD 760G + SB710 AMD 760G + SB710 AMD A55 AMD A55 AMD A55 AMD A55 AMD 880G + SB710 AMD A55 AMD 880G + SB710 AMD A75 AMD 970 + SB950 AMD 880G + SB710 AMD 990X + SB950 AMD 880G + SB850 AMD A75 AMD 990FX + SB950 AMD 990FX + SB950


✔|✖|✖ ✔|✖|✖ ✔|✖|✖ ✔|✖|✖ ✔|✖|✖ ✔|✔|✖ ✔|✖|✔ ✔|✔|✖ ✔|✔|✖ ✔|✔|✔ ✔|✔|✔ ✔|✔|✖ ✔|✔|✔ ✔|✔|✔

NA ✔|✔|✔

NA ✔|✔|✔ ✔|✔|✔


PCIE X16 | PCI | SATA | USB 1|1|4|8 1|1|6|8 1|2|4|8 1 | 1 | 6 | 10 1|1|6|8 1 | 2 | 6 | 12 1 | 1 | 6 | 12 1|1|4|8 1|1|4|8 1 | 2 | 6 | 10 1 | 2 | 5 | 12 2 | 1 | 6 | 12 1|1|4|8 1 | 2 | 6 | 14 2 | 2 | 5 | 12 1 | 1 | 6 | 14 2 | 1 | 6 | 14 2 | 3 | 5 | 14 2 | 1 | 6 | 16 3 | 2 | 8 | 14 4 | 1 | 6 | 18

NOTE: Street prices (incl. VAT) as on 20 March 2013.















Fujitsu Lifebook LH531


2.20 Kg

Intel Pentium Dual Core

2.20 GHz

2 GB


320 GB



Asus X54C-SX365D


2.60 Kg

Intel Pentium Dual Core

2.20 GHz

2 GB


500 GB



Toshiba Satellite C850-P5010


2.30 Kg

Intel Pentium Dual Core

2.10 GHz

2 GB


320 GB



Acer E1-431


2.40 Kg

Intel Pentium Dual Core

2.20 GHz

2 GB


320 GB



Samsung NP-RV513-A02IN


2.45 Kg

Intel Pentium Dual Core

1.65 GHz

2 GB


320 GB



Acer E1-531


2.45 Kg

Intel Pentium Dual Core

2.20 GHz

2 GB


320 GB


Win 7 HB

Toshiba Satellite C665-P5211


2.60 Kg

Intel Pentium Dual Core

2.00 GHz

4 GB


320 GB


Win 7 HB

LG ED530-L


2.66 Kg

Intel Core i3

2.10 GHz

2 GB


500 GB



HP 2000 -2104TU


2.45 Kg

Intel Pentium Dual Core

2.10 GHz

2 GB


500 GB


Win 7 HB

Fujitsu Lifebook LH531


2.20 Kg

Intel Core i3

2.30 GHz

4 GB


500 GB



Acer V5-431


2.40 Kg

Intel Pentium Dual Core

1.50 GHz

2 GB


500 GB


Win 7 HB

Samsung NP-RV509-A0CIN


2.45 Kg

Intel Core i3

2.53 GHz

2 GB


500 GB



Toshiba Satellite L750-i5010


2.45 Kg

Intel Core i3

2.30 GHz

2 GB


500 GB



Samsung NP300E5Z-A0UIN


2.30 Kg

Intel Core i3

2.3 GHz

2 GB


500 GB



Toshiba Satellite C850-i5010


2.30 Kg

Intel Core i3

2.30 GHz

2 GB


500 GB



Lenovo B570 59-307494


2.45 Kg

Intel Core i3

2.20 GHz

2 GB


500 GB



HP 2000 -2120TU


2.45 Kg

Intel Core i3

2.40 GHz

2 GB


500 GB



LG E530-G


2.66 Kg

Intel Core i3

2.10 GHz

2 GB


500 GB


Win 7 HB

Fujitsu Lifebook LH531


2.20 Kg

Intel Core i5

2.50 GHz

4 GB


500 GB



LG S530-G


2.60 Kg

Intel Core i3

2.10 GHz

2 GB


500 GB


Win 7 HB

HP 1000-1130TU


2.45 Kg

Intel Core i3

2.40 GHz

2 GB


500 GB


Win 7 HB

Samsung NP300E5Z-S0AIN


2.30 Kg

Intel Core i3

2.3 GHz

4 GB


750 GB



HP Pavilion G6-1301TX


2.30 Kg

Intel Core i3

2.30 GHz

2 GB


500 GB


Win 7 HB

Lenovo Z370 59-313716


2.44 Kg

Intel Core i3

2.20 GHz

2 GB


320 GB


Win 7 HB

Lenovo Z470 59-313567


2.30 Kg

Intel Core i3

2.20 GHz

4 GB


750 GB


Win 7 HB

LG PD420-K


1.99 Kg

Intel Core i3

2.20 GHz

4 GB


500 GB



Toshiba Satellite L740-X4211


2.10 Kg

Intel Core i5

2.40 GHz

4 GB


500 GB


Win 7 HB

Acer V3-571G (Core i3)


2.60 Kg

Intel Core i3

2.30 GHz

4 GB


500 GB


Win 7 HB

Acer V5-571G


2.60 Kg

Intel Core i3

1.60 GHz

4 GB


500 GB


Win 7 HB

Lenovo Z370 59-314056


2.60 Kg

Intel Core i5

2.40 GHz

2 GB


750 GB


Win 7 HB

HP Pavilion G6-2101TU


2.10 Kg

Intel Core i3

2.40 GHz

2 GB


500 GB


Win 7 HB

HP Pavilion G6-2134TX


2.10 Kg

Intel Core i3

2.30 GHz

4 GB


500 GB


Win 7 HB

LG S530-K


2.60 Kg

Intel Core i3

2.10 GHz

4 GB


640 GB


Win 7 HB

Asus K53SM-SX010D


2.60 Kg

Intel Core i5

2.50 GHz

4 GB


750 GB



LG P420-N


1.99 Kg

Intel Core i5

2.3 GHz

2 GB


500 GB


Win 7 HP

Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E430


2.30 Kg

Intel Core i5

2.40 GHz

2 GB


500 GB



Fujitsu Lifebook SH531


1.90 Kg

Intel Core i5

2.50 GHz

4 GB


500 GB


Win 7 Pro

NOTE: Street prices (incl. VAT) as on 20 March 2013.




CHIP brings you a roundup of all the latest and greatest products on the market.











Lenovo Z570 59-304308


2.60 Kg

Intel Core i5

2.30 GHz

3 GB


750 GB


Win 7 HP

HP Pavilion G4-2036TU


2.00 Kg

Intel Core i5

2.50 Ghz

4 GB


500 GB


Win 7 HB

HP Pavilion G6-2103TU


2.10 Kg

Intel Core i5

2.50 Ghz

4 GB


500 GB


Win 7 HB



2.30 Kg

Intel Core i3

1.8 GHz

8 GB


500 GB

BD Combo

Win 7 HB

Fujitsu Lifebook A531


2.50 Kg

Intel Core i5

2.50 GHz

4 GB


320 GB


Win 7 Pro

Sony Vaio E14113


2.40 Kg

Intel Core i5

2.50 GHz

4 GB


500 GB


Win 7 HB

HP Pavilion G6-2106TX


2.10 Kg

Intel Core i3

2.40 GHz

4 GB


500 GB


Win 7 HB

Sony Vaio T13113


1.60 Kg

Intel Core i3

1.40 GHz

4 GB


500 GB


Win 7 HB

HP Envy 6-1001TU


1.93 Kg

Intel Core i3

1.40 GHz

4 GB


500 GB


Win 7 HB

HP Pavilion g6-2004tx


2.47 Kg

Intel Core i5

2.50 GHz

4 GB


500 GB


Win 7 HB

Lenovo Z570 59-315960


2.60 Kg

Intel Core i5

2.40 GHz

4 GB


750 GB



HP Envy 4-1036TU


1.75 Kg

Intel Core i3

1.8 GHz

4 GB


500 GB


Win 7 HB

Sony Vaio E14115


2.40 Kg

Intel Core i5

2.50 GHz

4 GB


640 GB


Win 7 HP

HP Pavilion G6-2016TX


2.10 Kg

Intel Core i5

2.50 Ghz

4 GB


500 GB


Win 7 HB

Asus S56CA-XX056R


2.30 Kg

Intel Core i5

2.60 GHz

8 GB


750 GB

BD Combo

Win 7 HB

Lenovo Z570 59-321453


2.60 Kg

Intel Core i5

2.50 GHz

4 GB


500 GB


Win 7 HP

Samsung NP300V5A-S0CIN


2.45 Kg

Intel Core i7

2.20 GHz

6 GB


1 TB


Win 7 HP

HP Envy 6-1003TX


1.93 Kg

Intel Core i3

1.40 GHz

4 GB


500 GB


Win 7 HB

Lenovo Z570 59-321133


2.60 Kg

Intel Core i7

2.20 GHz

4 GB


500 GB


Win 7 HP

Sony Vaio S13112 (Black)


1.72 Kg

Intel Core i5

2.50 GHz

4 GB


500 GB


Win 7 HB

Asus K55VM-SX086D


2.60 Kg

Intel Core i7

2.20 GHz

8 GB


1 TB



Sony Vaio E14A15


2.30 Kg

Intel Core i5

2.50 GHz

4 GB


640 GB


Win 7 HP

Acer Aspire TimelineUltra


2.25 Kg

Intel Core i5

1.60 GHz

4 GB


500 GB


Win 7 HP

HP Pavilion DM4-3010TX


1.40 Kg

Intel Core i5

2.50 GHz

6 GB


640 GB


Win 7 HP

HP Envy 4-1025TX


1.75 Kg

Intel Core i5

2.60 GHz

4 GB


500 GB


Win 7 HB

HP Env