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OMAN’S ONLY TECHNOLOGY MAGAZINE

EDITORIAL Editor-in-chief

Hatim al Taie Content Head

Sujata Sengupta Dy. Content Head

Poornima Ramani Senior Designer

Shyniben Koyakkil Designer

Muneeb Khan

CORPORATE Managing Director

Abdullah al Taie General Manager

Rathish Ramachandran Asst. General Manager

Terry Mathukutty Sales

Mary Gonzales Sami Dalwai Leticia Meneses

Small is the new big You don’t organise shelf space any more, that term is used in connection to ethereal playlists, files and videos. Some of us still remember the decks and the huge TVs in our childhood homes. Not so long ago, the PC took a place of pride in the study with a massive desktop having a special berth in the table. Yes, indeed, those were the days when carpenters made computer tables. This is definitely not an ode to the loss of those desks, but let’s take a minute and think about our growing pains in the world of shrinking technology. Today’s technology can pack billions of components (stop and think about that) into a chip the size of your fingernail. The incredible pace of shrinking technology has created new possibilities that were once science fiction. We take so many things for granted today which were impossible ten years ago, like slipping a smart phone into a pocket, reading a novel on a book-sized computer, or downloading a high-definition movie in minutes and watching it on a crystal-clear TV that is as light and thin as a picture frame on the wall. Shrinking technology has made it all possible. Today, we can video-conference, capture still images and video clips and upload them to the Internet, send and receive emails with attachments, browse the Web, read and watch the news, download and enjoy music, podcasts and videos, run business applications, play multiplayer games and, oh right, make phone calls, all on a single handheld device. Mobile handsets have become so central to our lives that we would never consider leaving the house without them. As you read through the pages describing the performance of the new Samsung Galaxy S II, LG’s new Cinema 3D TVs or even Panasonic’s new GF3 take a minute to consider the fact that big is passé and small is here to stay.

Produced by

-Ed

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: @techmagz $

2011 © All rights reserved. This publication may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form in whole or in part without the written permission of the publishers; while every care has been taken in the preparation of the magazine, the publishers cannot be held responsible if factual errors in product and pricing occur. MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) listed only as a suggestion. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time. The publishers regret they cannot accept liability for errors or omissions contained in this issue. Please check any quoted hardware specifications and pricing with your supplier before purchase.

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For queries: tech@deenarmedia.com

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VOL 2

ISSUE 4

AUGUST 2011

CONTENTS Features Page

Photography

16

- Fujifilm’s first GPS equipped camera - World’s smallest digital interchangeable lens camera - An in depth look at various photographic filters - Learn the intricacies of using depth of field

Audio Zone

22

Mobile Zone

24

A trio of iPod docks from Sony

- We put the Samsung Galaxy S II through its paces - HTC Salsa is the world’s first community driven phone - Nokia N9 is a perfect blend of design and technology

28

Interview

30

Video Zone

32

VR Dilip is proud of OTE’s sales and service network

- Bring home the true cinema experience - Thomson TVs make their return to Oman in style - Panasonic’s C-Series offer more than their prices imply

38

Interview Dr Muthanna talks about Genetco’s core values

40

Computing

48

- A guide to all your mobile computing needs - Protect your PC from viruses

TECH Art

47

Learn to bring out the true colours of your photographs

Luxury TECH

48

The Trimaran Adastra looks like the ‘Starship Enterprise’ of the Ocean

Business TECH

The Makita LD100P is the ultimate in precision distance measuring

Time Zone

The Kisai Rogue SR2 looks like a watch right out of TRON

Gamer’s Delight

Pointman returns to Fairport city in F.E.A.R. 3

Movie Zone

The Spy Kids are back for their fourth round of saving the world

49 50 50

Regulars

Tech News NouvoTech 52 Quiz Tech Favourites 54 Tech Directory

10 14 55 56 63


Letters to the Editor

: @techmagz

If you have any queries, mail us on tech@deenarmedia.com, and we will try to answer them in our next issue

Hi guys, There are so many smart phones in the market now, that I am just confused which one to buy. I do read all the reviews that come in TECH, but I can’t decide. Could you suggest the best one in market now? Shakeb A. Khan Dear Shakeb, There are a lot of smart phones to choose from today but the ones we would probably recommend and also the ones dominating the market today are Android based phones. If you are looking for the best then look no further than the new Samsung Galaxy S II. It is by far one of the best we have seen and used and it is also very reasonably priced. We have even carried a full review of the phone on pg.24 of this issue. -Ed

I want to gift my friend some games for his birthday. Which is the best one in store now? My friend is 24 years old and loves cars. Rohan Dear Rohan, You have unfortunately forgotten to mention which console your friend plays on but no matter. Dirt 3 is a great game for racing fans and is available across all platforms. Alternatively, Need for Speed Shift 2 is also a good choice and is also available across all platforms. If your brother uses a PS3 then Motorstorm: Apocalypse and Gran Turismo 5 are also great choices. -Ed Dear Readers, Please note the following changes to the article on Page 36-37, Volume 2, Issue 03 of this magazine. The lines should have read as follows; italics indicate change: CLARIFICATION: But Omasco will soon be starting to deal in musical products in the country. “This will be a different experience for the consumers here. We will open an exclusive showroom for these musical products.” ERRATA: “… there will be new products in the Panasonic home appliances and air conditioners…”

Dear TECH team, I just came across an ad for a graphics competition in the latest TECH. Could you brief me on the rules to enter the competition? Arif al Farsi Dear Arif, We have included the basic rules of the competition below. If you are interested in a more detailed copy of the rules do let us know and we will gladly mail them to you. - All artwork must be in digital format and the use of any digital painting software is permitted eg. Photoshop, Corel Painter, Artrage etc. We will not accept any works done on paper, canvas as this is a digital art competition. Photo manipulation and artwork involving photo collages are allowed. - We will not accept any 3D models (3D Max, Maya, Zbrush etc.) as entries, whether textured or not. However, their screenshots can be used as elements of your final piece. - A brief explanation of the methods and programs used for achieving the final result and screenshots of the work in progress are required. - All participants must be at least 16 years of age to participate in the competition. - Participation fee is OMR2.000 only -Ed


TECH NEWS

Express your creativity

Canon Middle East recently launched the IXUS 115 HS, a stylish and slim IXUS that blends looks with performance, even in low-light. Featuring Canon’s HS System, the 115 HS makes it easy to take outstanding shots in all conditions and is available in four vibrant colours, featuring a super-slim metal body. Thanks to Canon’s Smart Auto mode there’s no need to worry about settings as it

automatically detects up to 32 different scenes. Handheld Night Scene mode helps shoot a number of pictures of the same scene in succession, combining them to create one blur-free, and perfectly exposed image. You can instantly record Full HD 1080p movies by pressing the dedicated movie record button. Super Slow Motion Movie can capture life up to eight times slower than real-time. Get

creative with a wide range of shooting modes, including Toy Camera effect that re-creates the look and feel of images produced by an older-style camera; or Poster Effect that creates bright, retrolooking images. You can shoot underwater down to depths of 3m with a lightweight, compact waterproof case, or go down further with a 40m diving case, giving you incredible flexibility.

Be secure ESET, an industry leader in IT Security, has added to its already existing platform of security solutions – Mobile Security (Beta Version) for Android devices. ESET’s Mobile Security is a full suite of security and privacy tools rolled into one app. From full-phone antivirus and malware scanning to Call/SMS/MMS blacklisting and a host of anti-theft features, everything is made accessible from the main screen. The app has built-in system monitoring functions to show you every running process along with its resource usage. While full-system scans are available at any time, on-access scanning runs in the background to check files as they’re downloaded. The app’s built-in help documents are written simply and to the point, making the well-defined interface, user-friendly. Features you can look forward to in the ESET Mobile Security for Androids include anti-spam, remote lock, anti-virus, anti-theft, GPS localisation and remote wipe, and security audit.

12 / TECH

Intuitive sharing in oman Targeting over 200,000 Facebook users in Oman, Sony Ericsson has introduced ‘Facebook inside Xperia,’ a unique application that allows instant communication and advanced social media experience. ‘Facebook inside Xperia’ is included in the latest Xperia mini and mini pro series. An exclusive feature for the Xperia family, the application makes Facebook immediately accessible from the most used areas of the phone such as the picture gallery, music player, phonebook and calendar. It enables users to ‘like’, share and comment more easily than ever. Xperia phones offer an absolute music experience that enables users to track, manage, store or buy downloads. Users have the ability to keep track of the music and videos their friends have liked, recommended or commented even on services such as YouTube. Existing Xperia arc and Xperia PLAY users will be able to access the new integrated features by updating their software. Sony Ericsson Xperia mini pro and Xperia mini will be available across all leading stores in the Middle East from the third quarter of 2011.


Outstanding Growth

In a ceremony that took place on Thursday July 7, Sanyo awarded Genetco the ‘Best Growth of Sales in the Middle East’. Genetco has achieved a substantial 28 per cent growth in sales. This achievement would have not been possible without outstanding customers service support combined with top product reliability. Genetco has traditionally been a strong player in the appliances segment with state-of-the-art air conditioners, refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, vacuum cleaners and microwave ovens with Sanyo being the largest contributor. Sanyo has just increased its range of washing machines with the addition of four models in the fully automatic segment and two models in the semi automatic segment. The addition of six new microwave ovens also gives it an edge over the competition. With ten models in residential ACs, six models in the duct able air conditions, 27 models in refrigerators, seven models in the semi automatic and five models in the fully automatic washing machines segment, Sanyo clearly has one of the largest portfolios of products in the appliance segment.

Steam cleaning

Milestone

Apple announced that in just one day, over one million users bought and downloaded Mac OS X Lion, the eighth major release of the Apple operating system. Available through the Mac App Store for USD29.99, users are buying Lion faster than any other OS release in Apple’s history. Lion introduces more than 250 new features to the Mac, including Multi-Touch gestures; system-wide support for full screen apps; Mission Control, an innovative view of everything running on your Mac; the Mac App Store, the best place to find and explore great software; Launchpad, a new home for all your apps; and a completely redesigned Mail app. Available in 123 countries, the Mac App Store brings the revolutionary App Store experience to the Mac so you can find great new apps, buy them using your iTunes account, download and install them in just one step. The Mac App Store offers apps in education, games, graphics and design, lifestyle, productivity, utilities and other categories. Users can browse new and noteworthy apps, find out what’s hot, see staff favourites, search categories and look up top charts for paid and free apps, as well as user ratings and reviews. The Mac App Store is built right into Lion and available for Snow Leopard users through Software Update as part of Mac OS X version 10.6.8.

Black & Decker has launched a new steam mop with Autoselect technology that easily gets rid of tough-to-remove marks and germs with minimal effort, ensuring that your floors are sparkling clean while reducing the time and energy spent mopping. Equipped with an on/off button for added control, the environmentally friendly steam mop kills 99.99 per cent of germs, operating on water and heat alone. This eliminates any concerns surrounding the use of chemicals in the family home. The internal water filter will purify water that is poured into the 500ml reservoir directly from the tap, saving the additional filtering time that is necessary with most steam mops. With a heating time of less than fifteen seconds, the light indicator turns from pink to blue when heated, clearly showing that it is ready to use. A removable microfibre pad is attached to the flexible head, meaning the mop can easily glide across the floor and clean in all those tight, awkward corners where germs gather. Each pad will last 100 cleaning cycles and can be washed to reuse. SEPTEMBER 2011 / 13


Homegrown cinema LG Electronics has just launched its range of Cinema 3D TVs, Smart TVs and Pen Touch Plasma TVs. The technology behind the CINEMA 3D TV is LG’s patented Film Patterned Retarder (FPR) technology. FPR provides a crisp and sharp 3D image when viewed through lightweight polarised glasses, allowing viewers to watch TV for longer, and in greater comfort. Further improving the picture quality is LG’s 3D Light Boost, a thin film covering the screen

that ensures images are shown at full brightness. It is the world’s first ‘Flicker Free’ TV, as certified by Intertek and TUV, two world-renowned European certification agencies, and has the lowest cross talk. LG’s Smart TV range provides users with access to thousands of movies, customisable apps, videos, and the ability to browse the Internet with an easy to use interface. A keyboard is not needed to surf

the Web, but a QWERTY keyboard App is available for download on Android smart phones or iPhone. The new Pentouch TV, is a innovative plasma set that offers all the advantages of PCs and the internet, while letting viewers control content directly on the screen using a special pen. By incorporating LG’s Plasma Display Panel’s (PDP) cells, the Pentouch TV also offers a more sophisticated slim design at a lower price than conventional units.

Sound of Music Patent infringement Impulse Technology, an Ohio-based company, sued Microsoft Corp in Delaware yesterday, alleging that the Xbox Kinect game console infringed on seven of Impulse’s patents for technology that tracks users’ movements and lets them play video games without a controller. The patents in suit are U.S. Patent Nos.6,308,565; 6,430,997; 6,765,726; 6,876,496; 7,359,121; and 7,791,808 describing a “System and method for tracking and assessing movement skills in multidimensional space,” and U.S. Patent No. 6,749,432 covering an “Education system challenging a subject’s physiologic and kinesthetic systems to synergistically enhance cognitive function.” The complaint alleges that Impulse informed Microsoft of their patents before the suit, and told them that these patents covered a “wide variety of games where the movement of a player is tracked in three dimensions and certain exercise games 14 / TECH

where the motion of the player is tracked to effect movement of a virtual avatar, and the exertion of the user is monitored, including where the tracking of the player is done by use of a camera.” The suit claims that Microsoft is willfully infringing these patents, and alleges direct, inducing, and contributory infringement. In addition to Microsoft, a slew of other companies who make games for Xbox were named as defendants. Eight video game makers, including EA, Sega, and Konami, stand accused of making exercise games, sports games and other games designed for the Kinect system that violate Impulse’s technology. Impulse alleges that like Microsoft, these companies are guilty of making, selling and importing into the U.S., games that infringe several of their patents. Impulse is seeking a permanent injunction, damages, treble damages, interest, attorneys’ fees and costs.

Genetco announced that it has won the tender to supply Grand Pianos for the new Royal Opera House in Oman - Bosendorfer Model 290 Imperial, first time in GCC, Upright 130SP, and Celesta from Yamaha Model CEL 56P. Genetco has also supplied high end pianos and musical instruments in Muscat Philharmonic -ROSSO, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Defense, Wind and Brass instruments for The Royal Army of Oman, Royal Navy of Oman, Sultan Qaboos University College of Arts and Music, The Royal Guard of Oman and also installed professional audio systems in Oman chamber of commerce and Industry, Ibri for their Conference Room and Golden Tulip Hotel Seeb for their Banquet Hall. Genetco’s leading retail store in Al Araimi Qurum is a destination for Yamaha range of products where customers can feel the products and can experience the features. Also Genetco has been supporting leading musical schools in the Sultanate by providing Yamaha Musical instruments. Leading hyper markets like Carrefour, Lulu and Emax are regularly promoting the AV products and keyboards of Yamaha range supplied exclusively by Genetco.


Rewarding talent Over 550 of the global games development elite were present at the Develop Awards 2011 held on July 19 at the Hilton Metropole Hotel, Brighton, to see the hottest studios in Europe take home key prizes at the Develop Industry Excellence Awards. Independent games developers free of publisher control dominated a winners list of 17 companies from eight different countries - all in total showing a European games industry in great health. Big winners were indie PC game Minecraft and its developer Mojang Specifications, which won three honours (New Studio, Micro Studio and Download IP) and Angry Birds creator Rovio Mobile. Rovio was named best Handheld Studio but also collected the ultimate accolade: the Grand Prix. Other key independent winners included Playdead’s Limbo (winner of Visual Arts), Ninja Theory’s Enslaved (New IP),

Moshi Monsters creator Mind Candy (Business Development), Valve (which won Publishing Hero for its Steam platform) and Crytek (Independent Developer). The Develop Awards also single out great technical innovation. Microsoft’s Kinect motion-sensor peripheral for Xbox 360 won the Technical Innovation prize. Epic’s Unreal Engine 3 was named best Engine - its third consecutive win in that field. As previously announced, Ian Livingstone co-founder of Games Workshop, the man who published Tomb Raider and current Square Enix life president - was awarded Development Legend, honouring his many contributions to the games industry.

Battery problems

Luminous range Panasonic has recently launched its new Range of LUMIX G Series professional digital SLR cameras as well as the compact point-and-shoot cameras, with new release models ranging from the S Series up to the high end and extremely successful, travel zoom TZ range. The new line up boasts better zoom capabilities, wider angle lenses and professional consumer features, such as GPS and a touch screen with shutter activation. The stars of the launch include the GF3, the world’s smallest and lightest Digital SLR, and the new TZ20, the sixth generation in the ‘Travel Zoom’ ranges.

Whoever knew that the chip that helps control your Mac notebook’s battery could be the latest target for attackers. A report in Forbes recently detailed the findings of Accuvant security researcher Charlie Miller who, after culling through a battery firmware update Apple released back in 2009, pulled out two passwords that would grant access to that firmware, giving would-be attackers the ability to alter readings sent back to the OS and even add small software programs that stay off the hard drive. Miller noted that he outright permanently disabled seven notebook batteries during testing. A key part of the exploit, Miller told Forbes, was that the batteries use the same passwords, making it an easy hack once you have the right credentials. So far the hack is a proof of concept only and has not yet been documented in the real world. However Miller still plans to detail the exploit as well as show off a fix at the upcoming Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas. SEPTEMBER 2011 / 15


My name is neo Sony Ericsson just announced the regional launch of the Xperia neo, the first GreenHeart smartphone from the Xperia range. The neo is equipped with 8.1 mega-pixel camera that boasts Sony’s award-winning Exmor R mobile sensor. Captured pictures and HD video recordings can be shared on an HD TV via the built in HDMI-connector. It can also be viewed on the 3.7” screen which features the Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA Engine. It runs on the latest Android 2.3 Gingerbread platform that gives users access to over 200,000 applications. ‘Facebook inside Xperia’ is also included.

Movie world Kaleidescape’s all new M700 Disc Vault is designed from the ground up to simplify and accelerate the process of adding movies and music to a Kaleidescape System. Up to 320 discs can be loaded into the M700 Disc Vault’s precision carousel, where their contents are quickly copied onto the Kaleidescape System. This process is fully automated and requires no additional work on the part of the user. Once copied, a Blu-ray Disc must remain in the disc vault to enable playback of the digital copy from the server. DVDs and CDs may either be ejected or left in the M700 Disc Vault for safe storage and easy accessibility. The M700 Disc Vault makes it easier than ever to build and enjoy a personal movie collection. The M700 Disc Vault is available immediately at a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of USD6,000. Paired with a 1U Server, the M700 Disc Vault comprises a complete Blu-ray movie server at just USD16,000.

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Getting slimmer Victorinox Swiss Army’s new Slim and Slim Duo USB drives feature iron-clad protection and a range of storage capabilities in a ‘slim’ design and stylish colour options. The Slim and Slim Duo lines join Victorinox Swiss Army’s current offering of Flash Memory devices, which boast the most sophisticated USB data encryption technology available and provide consumers with unmatched protection for their digital data. The Slim is available in 4GB, 8GB and 16GB, 32GB and 64GB capacities while the Slim Duo is available in 128GB. They are also available in an array of stylish colors including silver, blue, orange, pink, and green.


Rugged solution LaCie Rugged Mini, design by Neil Poulton, is based on the original Rugged’s shock- and drop-resistant features except it is 40 per cent smaller, rain-resistant and can withstand one ton of pressure. Coupled with its scratchresistant aluminium casing and LaCie Private-Public software, the Rugged Mini is sure to keep your data safe and secure. While the Rugged Mini is ideal for anyone on the go, video professionals in particular will appreciate the Mini’s speed with USB 3.0 and 7,200 RPM model for onsite file transfer. Additionally, the HDD is backward compatible with USB 2.0. This means it will work with any computer or notebook that has a USB connection – offering instant usability, no matter what version of USB you have.

Total Freedom Mutewatch AB’s eponymous sort of anti-watch, a personal vibrating time management wristband, equipped with a hidden touch-activated LED display, became available for pre-order back in August 2010. The wait is now over as retail availability is slotted for July. Although our mobile phones can do pretty much the same thing as this USD259 (approximately RO100) timepiece, you are bound to get addicted to its looks.

Storm power Apple recently unveiled the new Apple Thunderbolt Display, the world’s first display with Thunderbolt I/O technology and the ultimate docking station for your Mac notebook. With just a single cable, users can connect a Thunderbolt-enabled Mac to the 27-inch Apple Thunderbolt Display and access its FaceTime camera, high quality audio, and Gigabit Ethernet, FireWire 800, USB 2.0 and Thunderbolt

ports. Designed specifically for Mac notebooks, the new display features an elegant, thin, aluminium and glass enclosure, and includes a MagSafe connector that charges your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air. At the same time, Apple has also updated the latter with next generation processors, high-speed Thunderbolt I/O technology, a backlit keyboard and Mac OS X Lion. The new

Air has up to twice the performance of the previous generation, flash storage for instant-on responsiveness and a compact design so portable you can take it everywhere. While on the subject of Thunderbolt, Apple has also updated the Mac mini with the same connector. Additionally, it also features next generation Intel Core processors, new discrete graphics and Mac OS X Lion.

JULY 2011 / 17


photography

c a p a b i l i t y FinePix F550 EXR is the first Fujifilm model to feature built-in GPS Fujifilm FinePix F550 EXR is packed with features and loaded with some of the latest technological innovations. Following in the footsteps of FinePix F200 EXR and F300 EXR models, this latest addition to the range sports a 16MP EXR CMOS sensor, advanced GPS functions, high-speed shooting capabilities, a 15x wideangle zoom lens, full-HD movie functionality and an improved user interface.

FinePix F550 EXR is the first Fujifilm model to have built-in GPS

The camera features full-HD movie capability, capablke of taking videos even under lowlight condition, with Pixel Fusion Movie technology

Intelligent Camera The F550 EXR can recognise 27 scenes. With each scene the camera adjusts the AF, exposure, white balance and flash. The EXR processor also has the capability to spot and reduce purple colour fringing, most common on dark subjects against light backgrounds, and improves the resolution at the corners of an image for more uniform sharpness.

EXR Technology

It also boasts stereo sound audio and the industry standard H.264 video format

The camera features a 15x optical zoom; the zoom range extends from a wide-angle setting of 24mm through to 360mm, giving users a huge range of shooting options from sweeping landscapes through to tightly-cropped details

The EXR technology modifies its behaviour according to the lighting condition. Users can either let the EXR Auto mode choose the correct setting or pick from three manually selected options: Resolution Priority, High ISO and Low Noise Priority, and Dynamic Range Priority modes.

Key features GPS functionality Fast AF Advanced anti-blur technologies Full-resolution high-speed shooting at 8fps New EXR Auto mode featuring 27 scenes Film simulation modes Motion Panorama 360 mode Photobook Assist function 18 / TECH

Effective Pixels Image Sensor Digital Zoom LCD Monitor Dimensions (WxHxD) Weight

Fujifilm FinePix F550 EXR

16MP 1/2-inch EXR CMOS Sensor 5x Three-inch TFT Colour LCD 103.5x59.2x32.6mm 195g


Intuitive control The LUMIX GF3 comes with full-HD video recording capabilities and smart touchscreen controls

Panasonic recently announced its latest compact system camera, the mirror-free LUMIX DMC-GF3. This is the company’s smallest and lightest digital interchangeable lens camera with a built-in flash, weighing 222g (body only). The DMC-GF3’s image quality comes from a large DSLR-sized 12.1-megapixel sensor and advanced image processing technologies. With a newly-designed aluminium body that incorporates an ergonomic grip, and a welldesigned control dial combined with a threeinch touch-enabled screen, the LUMIX GF3 is intuitive and easy to use. The camera is also compatible with other Micro Four Thirds lenses and the full-sized Four Thirds System

Get Creative Two modes – Photo Style and Creative Control – let users get creative with their photos. With Creative Control, the user can choose the frequently used colour modes with easy access. The Photo Style mode revitalises the conventional film mode with settings in Standard, Vivid, Natural, Monochrome, Scenery and Portrait presets while enabling finer adjustment of contrast, sharpness, saturation and noise reduction.

Effective Pixels LCD Monitor Digital Zoom Dimensions (WxHxD) Weight Suggested Retail Price

standard via an optional mount adaptor. The Panasonic LUMIX GF3 features a highspeed and extremely precise Contrast AF system that locks in approximately 0.18 seconds. Manual control over focus is also available, with a quick 4x magnification

feature. The camera has a three-inch touch-enabled LCD that allows for intuitive touch control of menus and most shooting, focusing, playback and effects controls. Menus can be customised using simple drag-and-drop actions.

The LUMIX GF3 sports a dedicated video record button on the top that records 1,920x1,080 full-HD video in the AVCHD format; the camera allows for Touch AF in video recording, enabling professional-like features

The LUMIX GF3 features Panasonic’s iA*3 (Intelligent Auto) mode and the new advanced iA Plus mode; the iA features include MEGA OIS, Intelligent ISO Control, Intelligent Scene Selector, Face Detection, AF Tracking, Intelligent D-range Control and Intelligent Resolution

Panasonic LUMIX GF3

12.1 megapixels Three-inch TFT LCD with touch panel 4x 107.7x67.1x32.5mm 222g (body only) USD599.99 (approximately RO230) with 14-42mm Lens Kit System

SEPTEMBER 2011 / 19


Artistic effects

As long as there are still some things that we can’t change in post-production, filters will remain a necessity in photography ‘Filters’ in photographic terms is something that allows certain types of light to pass through and block or reduces the rest. They can help add special effects or abilities to your camera lens. Understanding how filters work will give you an extra arsenal of equipment to create that magical shot you’ve been looking for. But the term now can also be taken to mean any kind of attachment that modifies light in some way. So, polarisers

(known as polarising screens), close-up attachments and other accessories are known as filters. Most lenses have the ability to add filters, primarily by screwing them on in front of the lens. However, some lenses require the filters to be attached at the rear end of the lens. Filters are used for several different reasons, including increasing contrast, changing the exposure,

capturing invisible light or minimising reflections. The use of filters has gone downhill in this age of digital photography. These days it’s simply easier to make these changes in post-production instead of using a filter during the photo shoot. While that might be true, there are still some things we can’t change in postproduction, and filters can become a necessity. Here are a few types of filters that can be used in photography.

UV Filters

UV (Ultraviolet) filters were used to cut down on haziness, such as in mountains and around coastal areas, but the digital sensor isn’t as sensitive to this as 35mm film was. However, the UV filters are still around, mainly because these filters are used for lens protection. Having a UV filter attached to the lens at all times keeps the lens protected from scratches, dust and weather.

ND Filters

ND (Neutral Density) filters are a great way to take control over exposure time. They are used to reduce the amount of light that reaches the sensor, which makes it possible for the photographer to use a larger aperture for a longer period of time than what would be normal under given circumstances. An example of this would be the ability to photograph a waterfall with a slow shutter speed during a bright day.

Graduated ND Filters

These filters have the same principle as the regular ND filters but with one important distinction – they do not have the ND effect on the whole glass. The ND effect is gradual and is perfect if you want to have the sky darkened, for example, but not the foreground.

Polarising Filters

The polariser filter reduces reflections on non-metallic surfaces, such as water and glass. Removing reflections can be very useful in both urban and wild life situations and have the ability to totally alter the outcome of the photograph. The polarising filter also increases contrast and colour saturation while at the same time reducing haze. This effect can clearly be seen in skies – the sky can be darkened and made more colourful, keeping the clouds white. 20 / TECH


Macro Filters

Macro filters, close-up filters or diopters, are not ordinary filters – they are more like an extra lens you place in front of another lens. This makes close-ups possible even with normal or telephoto lenses. Several filters can be stacked on top of each other to intensify the effect. However, macro filters have many drawbacks such as softening up the image considerably and reducing the quality.

IR Filters

IR (Infrared) wavelengths are on the opposite side of the light spectrum from UV. To photograph in IR you need a filter that only lets through IR light. However, there are some problems with modern cameras. The sensor is constructed to not record IR light, and unless you want to permanently modify your camera there are some restrictions.

Three main types of filters fitted to lenses Glass filters – the most expensive and long-lasting Optical Resin filters – special form of plastic; cheaper than glass, but more easily damaged by scratches Let us now look at the various filters available for colour films.

Gels – delicate and easily scratched; some ‘gels’ are now made from polyester which is more durable and can be cleaned

Colour compensating filters are designed to correct the colour temperature of the light and are normally used with transparency film. With colour negative film, used to make prints, correct colour temperature is far less important because compensations are made automatically during the printing process.

Colour conversion and colour correction filters are used to ‘convert’ the colour of the light to suit the film. Colour effect filters are used to produce special effects on colour film. Perhaps the best-known of these are the graduated filters, clear at the bottom and gradually changing to a colour, often used to colour skies. They do more than just colour the sky, because the coloured portion of the filters block some of the light and so prevent over-exposure of the sky. Filters of this type are normally supplied in rotating mounts, so that they can be positioned exactly as required.

Filter care Filters are quite difficult to clean, and some cannot be cleaned at all. Make sure they don’t touch the surface and keep them in filter wallets when not in use. With screw-in filters it is a good idea to lubricate the filter thread with graphite (pencil lead) to help prevent jamming.

SEPTEMBER 2011 / 21


Photographic depth With depth of field and bokeh techniques get the desired effect on all your magical moments Depth of Field and Bokeh are two terms that one always comes across in photography. They are techniques that help photographers create beautiful pictures. To photograph the aesthetics of a subject and the background, one should know the difference between the two. Depth of field refers to the area of sharp focus in a photograph. When taking a photograph you might want the entire image sharp or you may be interested in focusing only on a small portion of the scene. This desired effect can be achieved by tuning the camera to aperture priority mode for either high or low depth of field.

A high depth of field is the scenario where everything is in sharp focus. The shallow depth of field on the other hand is the technique of focusing only on a small portion scene, resulting in effectively focused subject amidst defocused background and foreground. The shallow depth of field helps in separating the subject by blurring the background clutter.

when the camera is tuned for shallow depth of field. The effective brightness in the background of the subject renders beautiful imagery to the out-of-focus areas, thus resulting in smooth, soft circular discs in the background. To conclude, we can say that bokeh is dependent on depth of field but depth of field is in no way dependent on the bokeh.

Bokeh is the aesthetic quality of blur in out-of-focus areas of the image. The bokeh refers to the circular discs formed as the result of blurring the background. The pronounced bokeh effect is created Specification Purpose Influence

Depth of Field Represent the area of sharp focus in the photograph Determined by the camera-to-subject distance, the lens focal length, the lens f-number, and the format size or circle of confusion criterion

Bokeh Represents the artistic quality of out-of-focus area Influenced by phenomena outside the focal plane, such as foreground and background brightness, lens aberration, speed of the lens, colour, shapes and patterns of the subject

Scenic beauty Here are a few basic tips to capturing the magnificence of the Omani landscape

Consider the three elements that are common in great landscape photos: a foreground, background and great light Have a tripod, a polarising filter to help eliminate unwanted reflections and deepen the blue of the sky Don’t rely on auto white balance; if you shoot in RAW though, you can safely fine tune the white balance setting later in postprocessing, without sacrificing any quality 22 / TECH

Turn on extra noise reduction for long exposures; remember to turn it on when photographing in extremely low light conditions Photograph the landscape at the right time and take two shots if you need extra depth of field – one that’s focused on the foreground and the other on the background, then just merge these two photos later in post-processing


audio zone

handy triplets The RDP series of docks from Sony have something new to offer Sony recently launched a three-pronged attack on the iPhone and iPod speaker dock market. First in line is the RDP-X60iP. Its room-filling 20W+20W power output is complemented by

Bluetooth audio playback, a first for Sony. The M15iP is a more portable affair, and it comes with a rechargeable battery that offers six hours of on-the-go listening. A swivelling bracket to cradle the iDevice

in either orientation is another unique feature. Last up is the M5iP that can pump out music for almost ten hours on just four AAA batteries. All three models share a nifty remote.

RDP-X60iP The X60iP features Bluetooth for wireless listening. It streams audio from Sony Ericsson mobile phones, Xperia X10, X10 mini and X8. Even if your MP3 player isn’t equipped with Bluetooth you can still enjoy the powerful stereo sound by connecting your player via the speaker dock’s audio input.

RDP-M5iP

RDP-M15iP

The speaker dock features a handy grab handle. Despite its compact size, the M5iP delivers rich stereo sound from its bass reflex speaker system.

Great for travel or home listening, the M15iP features an ingenious swivelling bracket. It comes supplied with a soft protective carry pouch if you want to pack the speaker dock for a holiday break or business trip.

Sony RDP-X60iP

Output Power Speaker System Dimensions (WxHxD) Weight 24 / TECH

Sony RDP-M15iP

Sony RDP-M5iP

Stereo Digital Amplifier 20W+20W 2x76mm Loudspeakers with Twin Port System 356x158.3x151.9mm

Stereo Digital Amplifier 10W+10W (AC Adapter), 2W+2W (Battery) 2x50mm Loudspeakers, Full Range with Bass Reflex 337x108.2x77mm

Stereo Digital Amplifier 2W+2W RMS 2x50mm Loudspeakers, Full Range with Bass Reflex 226x165x164mm

1.8kg

1.1kg

1.1kg


mobile zone

Star Struck The Galaxy S II is the perfect example a company’s proactive approach to fan critisism

There is no denying the capabilities of the original Galaxy S. It was, after all, the benchmark for all Android phones to come after it. But it wasn’t perfect. Thankfully, Samsung has taken in as much feedback as possible before working on its successor. The result is a phone that trumps its predecessor in almost every conceivable way and once again raises the performance bar for every Android phone that follows.

Hardware, functionality and ease of use The Galaxy S II is powered by the new Exynos chipset. You get a dual-core 1.2GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor coupled with a powerful Mali-400MP GPU. It has 1GB of RAM to take care of all your multitasking needs. The phone also comes with Android 2.3 right out of the box. The result of this combination is simply astounding, there is no lag whatsoever with the phone, no matter what apps or how many of them are running at the same time. In one instance we counted 21 applications, including three games and a live wallpaper running all at 26 / TECH

once without a hint of lag. This performance is further exemplified with the outstanding benchmark scores that the S II managed to produce with every test. Not only does it support one of the widest ranges of codecs we have seen in a handheld device, it is also capable of full 1080p playback. It also has a 8MP camera that is capable of 1080p recording. And in case you are worried about space, it comes with built in 16GB of space with room for expansion via a microSD card slot.

In addition to all this performance you have the easy to use Gingerbread OS. Samsung however, has gone a step further enveloping it with their TouchWiz UI. While not really necessary, it does add a sense of identity to the phone and we didn’t face any real problems with it. Of special mention is the brilliant Kies Air software that makes file transfers a breeze. It allows you to connect your phone to any PC with a wireless connection through a network for data transfer.


Look and Feel Except for the metal rim around the display area, the S II has a complete plastic body. While this is a bit disappointing, it is perfectly justifiable given the weight of the device. Besides, the quality is high and the glossy back of the old phone has been replaced with a nice new textured surface. The front face of the device is dominated by the glorious 4.3-inch Super AMOLED plus display and the same three keys as on first Galaxy S. On the right hand side is a power button and on the left is the volume rocker. The top and the bottom house the 3.5mm audio jack and microUSB port respectively. On the back you will find the 8MP camera which thankfully has a flash this time.

The display The 4.3inch Super AMOLED Plus screen is simply gorgeous. While it retains the WVGA resolution of its predecessor, it now has more sub pixels leading to a sharper image. Brightness and viewing angles are never a problem; the screen is perfectly useable from any angle and even in the brightest sunlight. Also, no other screen can match the black levels of a Super AMOLED. And if that wasn’t enough, the colour reproduction has also improved and the phone now offers three different colour settings to choose from. Simply put, the Galaxy S II has the best display of any phone on the market today.

Conclusion The Galaxy S II is like a jack of all trades but is a master of them all. It addresses almost every issue the previous phone had and then tops it off with insanely powerful hardware, a huge number of new features and an extremely competitive price. We could find only two flaws in the phone – the memory card slot that isn’t hot-swappable and the lack of a dedicated camera button. Aside from this the phone surpassed all our expectations and has set a new benchmark for all Android phones to come.

OS Processor Display Camera Memory

Dimensions Price (OMR) Available at

Galaxy S II I9100

Android 2.3 Gingerbread Dual-core 1.2GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor 4.3 inch Super AMOLED Plus 480 x 800 pixels, capacitive touchscreen 8MP

Internal 16GB with MicroSD card support and 1GB RAM 125.3 x 66.1 x 8.5 mm RO260.000 SARCO, 24593025 SEPTEMBER 2011 / 27


Benchmark results Test Linpack Nenamark2 Quadrant SmartBench 2011 Productivity SmartBench 2011 Games* Benchmark Pi**

Galaxy S 13.71 23 980 802 2285 1249

Galaxy S II 55.37 46 3578 3913 2305 449

We have included the score of the original Galaxy S wherever possible as a reference to see just how powerful the Galaxy S II is. Also, the Galaxy S test results are from a phone running Android 2.3 so the differences should be down to the hardware. * The underwhelming score of the Galaxy S II in the ‘SmartBench 2011 Games’ benchmark was quite odd. We suspect this has more to do with the benchmark software and not the S II’s hardware considering the results in every other test. ** Lower is better.

Clash of the titans By popular demand we decided to compare the newly arrived Galaxy S II with the iPhone 4 and see which one was truly better. However, it has to be said that the iPhone is quite old now and a more appropriate comparison would be with the next generation iPhone when it is released. It is a given that Galaxy S II will surpass the latter but the true question is by how much?

Design Hardware

iPhone 4

Galaxy S II

Has a much more premium look with glass panels on both sides of the phone iPhone 4 is powered by a 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor and PowerVR SGX535GPU, 512MB of RAM and a choice of either 16 or 32GB

The Galaxy S II is significantly bigger, lighter and thinner but has an all plastic body The S II is powered by a far superior dual-core 1.2GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor coupled with a powerful Mali400MP GPU. You even get 1GB of RAM and expandable memory … but it simply cannot match the size, colour reproduction or contrast of the S II’s Super AMOLED plus display, and the resolution is decent too The S II also runs that Android 2.3 OS as smooth as possible and its superior power is only really noticeable when you run multiple apps, a live wallpaper and watch 1080p media; all at the same time The Galaxy S II comes with a 8MP camera with a LED flash and is capable of 1080p video recording at 30fps The S II is an absolute breeze for data transfers with multiple options at your disposal – direct USB connectivity, via Kies through USB, even Kies air for wireless transfers The S II has extensive codec support for both audio and video with no real need for conversions, just drop it into the phone and it will most probably play While Google’s App market isn’t as extensive as Apple’s or as optimised, a huge percentage of the apps are free

Display

iPhone 4 still has the best and highest resolution LCD display on the market by a huge margin…

Performance

The iPhone 4 runs its OS smoothly without any performance issues and has the advantage of apps and games that are optimised specifically for the phone The iPhone4 comes with a 5MP camera with a LED flash and is capable of 720p video recording at 30fps As always iTunes is your passage for transferring anything onto your phone. And once transferred you can’t really get it back, so a backup is always advised

Camera Date transfer

Media playback

Apps

Ease of use

Media playback is also very restrictive and has to be converted via iTunes before being transferred to the device Has one of the most extensive collection of apps, almost all of which are perfectly optimised for the device The Apple OS is the easier of the two to use but is restrictive, not that Apple users will really mind

Verdict 28 / TECH

The Android OS is improving with every update but is still the more complex OS of the two; it does however offer far more freedom in terms of settings and customisability

As expected the S II claimed a clear victory. But we will just have to wait for the next iPhone to do a more justified comparison and only then can we see if Samsung can hold onto its crown.


HTC Salsa is a people-centric mode of communication People are the most important feature when it comes to the new HTC Salsa. You can stay connected with the new Facebook widget that lets you select the friends and family whose updates really matter, so you can always see them right on your home screen. HTC Salsa has a Facebook button that lets you share just about anything with just one touch. It is a very people-centric communication device as all your calls, messages and updates are organised by people and not by applications.

If you’ve got a work email and a private one, the mobile helps keep you on top of things by merging the accounts together into one inbox; the emails are colour coded so that you can sort them by importance, groups or content

Whether it’s evidence of a night out with friends or a lucky shot of some rare wildlife, it’s easier to snap and share with HTC Salsa – just grab it, upload it and tag it for all your friends to see

HTC Salsa lets you listen to all your favourite tunes straight from your in-built music player

HTC Salsa

Display Platform CPU Speed Camera Memory Dimensions (WxHxD) Weight

480x320, 3.4-inch capacitive touchscreen Android 2.3 with HTC Sense 800MHz 5MP colour camera with auto focus and flash Internal 512MB 58.9x109.1x12.3mm 120g

HTC Salsa lets you surf from one website to another with multiple browsing windows, zoom in and out of a page, and watch the text resize automatically on screen so you don’t waste time panning left and right; you can even highlight text and look up what you’re reading about on Google, Wikipedia or YouTube

SEPTEMBER 2011 / 29


Apps shine Nokia N9 is a blend of design and the latest smartphone technology The Nokia N9 introduces a new design where the home key is replaced by a simple gesture: a swipe. The three home views of the user interface are designed to give fast access to the most important things people do with a phone: using apps, staying up to date with notifications and social networks, and switching between activities.

Fitted with Near Field Communication (NFC), the N9 allows you to share images and videos between devices by touching them together; pair it with Bluetooth accessories like the new NFC-enabled Nokia Play 360째 wireless music speaker and you get a great surround sound music experience with just a tap

With the N9 you can watch videos in true 16:9 widescreen format The Nokia N9 incorporates Dolby Digital Plus decoding and Dolby Headphone postprocessing technology, and so you experience sound with any set of headphones

Options Design

Colour: Black, Cyan and Magenta

The body of the N9 is machined from a single piece of polycarbonate that enables quite good antenna performance. This means better reception and voice quality, and fewer dropped calls. The design then flows seamlessly into a curved glass. The 3.9-inch AMOLED screen makes more room for apps to shine and is protected by scratch-resistant gorilla glass display.

Storage: 16GB and 64GB

Nokia N9

Operating System Display

Bluetooth Dimensions Weight 30 / TECH

MeeGo OS, v1.2 Harmattan 3.9-inch AMOLED Capacitive Touchscreen, 480x854 pixels v2.1 with A2DP, EDR 116.5x61.2x12.1mm 135g

All-round experience The Nokia N9 packs the latest in camera, navigation and audio technology. The 8MP Carl Zeiss autofocus sensor, wide-angle lens, HD-quality video capture and large lens aperture enable good camera performance even in lowlight conditions. It features free turn-by-turn drive and walk navigation with voice guidance in Maps. With the new dedicated Drive app, you can get in your car and start navigating to your destination right away.


interview

A ‘Kindle’ man V R Dilip believes that LG, one of OTE Group’s flagship brands, has a unique position in the Oman market thanks to its wide range of offerings

V

R Dilip, the chief operating officer with the OTE Group, has been in this beautiful country for almost two decades now. Initially, he shared his expertise with the Suhail Bahwan Group as general manager, handling different businesses. Basically an IIT engineer, Dilip is also a tech geek. He shows a keen interest in technology and loves to keep in touch with the latest developments, particularly in the field of corporate and consumer technology. And let’s not forget to mention that he is a voracious reader (not surprisingly, on a Kindle, Amazon’s e-reader). He is also an audiophile, an avid photographer and videographer. Talking about the OTE Group which is a leading group in sectors like automotive, 32 / TECH

electronics and home appliances, and tyres and batteries, Dilip explains that the core business of all the divisions is providing value to the customer. “Automobiles, EHA [Electronics and Home Appliances] and Tyres and Batteries are equally important to us,” he explains. The OTE Group’s franchises in the Electronics and Home Appliances business include global powerhouse brands like LG, White-Westinghouse and Bosch. LG is one of OTE Group’s flagship brands and Dilip believes that the wide range of offerings from LG gives it a unique position in the Oman market. He adds, “LG is probably the only manufacturer in the world that can offer such a wide range of products to the customers – TVs and commercial

displays, ACs – both retail and commercial solutions, refrigerators, washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, microwave ovens, cooking ranges and other home appliances, IT products, home theatre systems, hotel interactive TVs and more.” Each brand has got its own USP. And when it comes to LG, Dilip states that OTE Group’s wide sales and service network plays a major role. He adds, “‘Nothing Compares’ and ‘Nobody Does it Better’ as LG-OTE Group advertisements say. From the world’s largest 3D Full LED TV, Cinema 3D TVs which use lightweight and no-charging glasses (as against active-shutter, heavy, chargeable glasses used in earlier 3D TVs) and fast-cooling ACs(TITAN) to the largest-capacity-inthe- same-footprint washing machines


“We at OTE Group have been partnering LG with a wide sales network and ‘Day and Night Service’. Together, this adds up to the best value that the consumer can get.”

adoption and has kept pace with global trends. In today’s ‘global village’, thanks to the power of the Internet and television, the Omani consumer is exposed, like their worldwide counterparts, to all the technological innovations that are being brought to the market worldwide.”

Every year top brands like LG come up with something innovative. “While it is too early for specifics, more new and innovative offerings are planned for the second half,” Dilip adds. Well, the tech-savvy in Oman can now look forward to something this year, for there are quite a few major launches expected, especially in the electronics and home appliances division.

(BIGIN), LG has been at the forefront of technological innovations that truly bring value to the consumer. We at OTE Group have been partnering LG with a wide sales network and ‘Day and Night Service’. Together, this adds up to the best value that the consumer can get.” One of the major launches by LG was the 72-inch 3D TV, known as the world’s largest 3D Full LED television. Launched in Oman about four months back, Dilip is very happy with the response so far. He proudly states, “The product has generated a lot of customer interest and has been able to showcase the technological innovativeness of LG TVs.” He is also quite confident about the Omani consumer when it comes to technology. He states, “The Omani consumer has always been at the forefront of technology SEPTEMBER 2011 / 33


VIDEO ZONE

Truly Cinematic LG’s Cinema 3D TV may very well be the next big thing in 3D home entertainment

Getting a 3D TV for the family to enjoy has always been an expensive proposition. Not only do you have to shell out money for the high-end TV itself but also the expensive active shutter glasses. And even once you do it isn’t completely practical. You have to deal with restricted viewing positions and angles thus restricting the number of people viewing the image and how comfortable they can do so. And finally you have the discomfort of the glasses themselves, they are mostly heavy and not all people are comfortable with using active shutter technology for extended periods of time. LG now claims that they have the perfect solution – their new range of Cinema 3D televisions.

How it works These new 3D TVs utilise similar technology to what you find in the cinema, hence the name. The Film Patterned Retarder (FPR) technology, the TV optimises the separation of images for the left and right eye. These are then filtered through the glasses to give viewers a better 3D effect with minimal cross-talk. Also because the TV shows both images on screen at the same time, using alternate rows of pixels, there is no flickering of the screen. Because of this technology, the TV does not require shutter glasses. This innovation resulted in the TVs receiving a ‘Flicker Free’ certification from Intertek and TÜV, two of the most respected inspection and certification bodies in the world. Also, by offering a smooth flicker free picture, the TV practically eliminates the feelings of dizziness or eye fatigue that could occur with previous 3D TVs, meaning viewers can enjoy 3D content for longer and in greater comfort. In face these TVs are the first in the world to receive this designation. Furthermore, by using another technology called Light Boost, a thin film covering the screen, the TV overcomes another disadvantage of conventional 3D TVs – low brightness. This film counteracts any dimness that can occur with 3D content and creates a brighter image for a better viewing experience. 34 / TECH


The Glasses Tipping the scales at just 16 grams, the included 3D glasses have no electrical parts and are free of electromagnetic waves and never need to be recharged. The glasses do not need to be synchronis ed so viewers can watch the screen from any angle. They are also highly affordable making it easier to buy as many pairs as needed. Also, people who already wear glasses can add clip-on versions to their spectacles for greater comfort and convenience. Each Cinema 3D TV is bundled with four pairs of the glasses.

Getting smarter In addition to its 3D features the TVs, depending on the model, also have almost all of LG’s Smart TV capabilities as well. Thanks to this, it provides users with access to thousands of movies, customisable apps, videos, and the ability to browse the Internet with an easy to use interface. A keyboard is not needed to surf the Web, but a QWERTY keyboard App is available for download on Android smart phones or the iPhone.

The remote Screen size Panel Resolution Backlight Panel Type Connections Price Range Available at

LG Cinema 3D TV

42” – 55” 1920x1080 Edge LED IPS HDMI, USB 2.0, Dsub, component, RF in, AV in, LAN, digital audio out RO439.000 – RO1,299.000 Oman Trading Est, 24834162

The TVs use a ‘Magic Motion Remote Control’ which makes it a breeze to control the complex menus and ‘Smart TV’ features. It works like a mouse using simple movements and gestures, allowing you to drag, flick and select your preferences, without the hassle of using multiple buttons and arrow keys. SEPTEMBER 2011 / 35


Super -slim joy Thomson, the French TV brand, has been re-launched in Oman With its first wave of LED super-slim TVs now out, the Thomson brand has been re-launched in the Oman market and is bound to make an impact. The latest 32inch and 40-inch LED TVs to be launched

sport a Samsung panel with a maximum resolution of 1,920x1,080 running at 120Hz. The 32-inch and 40-inch TVs have a brightness of 450 cd/m2. The LED TV has a USB input port, supporting several

video formats such as MPG, MOV, MKV, DAT, MP4, VOB and AVI, including DivX and Xvid. The TVs from Thomson also sport two HDMI and a PC input.

Thomson super-slim 32inch and 40-inch LED TV comes with a Samsung Panel and a contrast ratio of 2,000,000:1

It sports a Nicam/ A2 stereo and noise reduction features; other features include Teletext (1,000 pages), manual and auto labelling of programs, colour temperature adjustment, picture and sound presetting, to name a few

The TV has a brightness of 450 cd/m2 and a response time of 3ms

Panel Size Maximum Panel Resolution Brightness Contrast Ratio Power Consumption Audio Unit Size (WxDxH) Net Weight Available at 36 / TECH

Thomson LED TV

40-inch Samsung Panel 1,920x1,080 450 cd/m2 2,000,000:1 120W RMS Output Power Consumption: 8W*2 Built-in Speakers: 10W*2 981x255x670mm (with stand) 981x40x618mm (without stand) 17.5kg Mustafa Sultan Electronics, 24636015


Picture perfect

If you are looking for a good TV on a budget, Panasonic has a solution with their new C-Series LCDs These two TVs, the TH-L32C3M and TH-L32C30M, are part of Panasonic’s new entry level C-Series LCD panels. But just because they are entry level systems doesn’t mean they skimp on features. You get most of the picture wizardry of the higher end LCD panels and almost all the same connectivity options. With the panel size and the fact that the LCD is only 720p being your only real concessions.

The TVs have a Dynamic Contrast of 20,000:1 achieved through improvements in panel contrast, scene-adaptive contrast gamma correction and an Intelligent Scene Controller; the backlight tuning area is also expanded to achieve deeper blacks.

The VIERA’s wide 178° viewing angle allows you can see the video clearly from every seat in the room; the backlight also features a wide transmission aperture that enhances contrast between light and dark and improves response to provide smoother motion images

Equipped with an SD card slot, the TVs make it easy to view fullHD photos and motion images; simply insert the SD memory card into the slot and you’re ready to view your photos and full-HD videos or even make your own slide shows on the big screen 38 / TECH

Using the USB port you can watch PC-stored photos and videos or listen to music on the TV; you can also enjoy a variety of easy-to-use functions, such as slideshows and thumbnail displays

You can also connect a USB Keyboard and Wireless LAN Adaptor for a more comfortable experience


Games are much more fun when there’s no lag in operation which is why, when the TV is in game mode, it automatically chooses settings that provide the optimal image, so you get the fastest possible response and no delays

The L32C30 is DLNA-compatible which means you can connect it with any DLNA-compatible AV equipment to your home network to watch movies, listen to music, and view photos from any room in the house

With the L32C30 you can simply press the VIERA Tools button on the remote control to directly access entertaining Internet services such as online music and social networking

With the L32C30 you can also connect a USB Keyboard and Wireless LAN Adaptor for a more comfortable experience

TH-L32C3M and TH-L32C30M

Screen Size Panel Contrast Resolution Format playback

Price

32" (80 cm) diagonal IPS-alpha LCD Panel 20,000:1 1,366 x 768 (16:9) Y (AVCHD / SD-VIDEO / Motion JPEG [Lumix] / MP4 [Xacti] / DivXHD / MKV / MPEG4 / JPEG / MP3 / AAC / WMV / WMA playback) USB, SD Card, HDMI, Composite Video Input, Component Video Input, PC Input, LAN Port, Analogue Audio Out, Digital Audio Output, Headphone Jack TH-L32C3M – RO129.900, TH-L32C30M – RO149.900

Available at

OMASCO, 24564310

Connectivity

SEPTEMBER 2011 / 39


interview

Customer centric As the CEO of Genetco, Dr Muthanna al Durrah talks about the company’s dedication to its customers and what it has in store for them over the course of this year 40 / TECH


A

man of many achievements, Dr Muthanna al Durrahhas many success stories behind him. He completed his PhD from Purdue University, USA in 1982. He kick started his career when he joined the team that established IKEA in Kuwait in 1984. Over the course of eight years in Kuwait he worked with a number of projects including Arby’s fast food, Naf Naf, NAPCO, and Portfolio and Property Management of Al Homaizi Group. He was then responsible for the establishment of two companies, RadioShack in Egypt and the Middle East and Mobile Shop in Egypt, both of which turned out to be stellar successes. He joined Genetco in 2009 as the CEO and has successfully managed the company for the past three years. Genetco (General Electric & Trading Co) was established in 1971 with the exclusive distribution of Sanyo products. Over these past 40 years Genetco has gained a significant reputation for itself as a prime distributor for home appliances and electronics. In addition, the company today has 1600 employees and has also established itself as an engineering firm. “We are one of the very few companies that have 100 per cent market penetration in Oman. What I mean by this is we are present in 150 dealer showrooms, in all power retailers and government institutions and we have our own showrooms,” says Dr Muthanna. As a whole the company has two divisions – Engineering and trade. The former has experienced significant growth in engineering projects such as MEP Contracting, Facility Management and Operations of Maintenance, Cold Rooms, Industrial Kitchens, Laundromats, and Medical Equipment. Under the Trade division; Genetco represents world renowned organisations and is the distributor for many prestigious brands such as Sanyo, Yamaha, Canon, RadioShack, York, Videocon, Gree, Mitsubishi, Hitachi, Asus, Smart, Finlux, TCL, Godrej, Best, Sure, and many others. Genetco is very much a customer focused company. Dr Muthanna says, “Being the CEO, I am at the disposal of the division heads and they are at the disposal of the sales team who are in turn the ones serving the customer. As such the entire structure of the company is being oriented

Every Bösendorfer takes a year to make, with the know-how since 1828. towards customer service.” He adds, “The bottom line in Genetco is that everyone is serving a customer or is servicing someone who is serving a customer.” This is the driving force of the company. To further establish its commitment to its customers, the company has setup training centres for its staff that primarily focuses on three issues – selling skills and techniques, customer service and product knowledge. For the managers, the company has outsourced training programs such as higher management, communications and leadership programs. All these together improve the performance of the Genetco team to international standards.

“The bottom line in Genetco is that everyone is serving a customer or is servicing someone who is serving a customer.” However, it is not always calm sailing for the company. Product shortages from Japan as a result of the Tsunami have been an issue with most companies and international brands especially for the products or components manufactured in Japan. This calamity affected Genetco in two prime brands – Canon and Yamaha. The company suffered supply shortages

from Canon especially in the Cameras segment. The brand has since overcome these shortages and by end of August will resume standard supply of products. On the other hand Yamaha’s condition is much more serious. The company hasn’t had any supplies for the past three months and in July was only provided with 20 per cent of their needs. This orders fill percentage will improve with time and is expected to resume normal supply sometime after September or October. That said, Yamaha is one of Genetco’s strongest brands and has been with the company for the past three decades. “We have an exclusive Yamaha showroom in Al Araimi and we also have distribution channels that sell to most of the institutions and ministries in the country. Just recently we have also won the tender to supply grand pianos to the Opera House. These will be very high-end Yamaha-Bosendorfer Grand Pianos,” says Dr Muthanna. Genetco also has a couple of interesting launches in store before the end of the year. These include a new range of LCDs from Finlux which will feature direct iPhone docking and inbuilt receivers; a new line of Godrej Game LCD TVs which will feature inbuilt interactive games; a new range of air conditioners from Hitachi featuring the world’s first twin rotary compressors; and Sanyo’s new range of tilted drum washing machines. That said, Genetco has some great things in store for its customers over the course of the year and will continue to live by its customer centric philosophy under the watchful eye of Dr Muthanna. SEPTEMBER 2011 / 41


computing

The Right Choice Laptops have become an inevitable part of our daily lives but purchasing a good laptop can be a lot harder than it looks Purists will always swear by desktops saying that a laptop can never be as powerful or as cost effective. To a certain extent this is true but laptops have one major advantage – portability. Besides, there are ways to get the best possible performance for your money, you just need to know what to look for. To ease this burden, here are a few key things to look for when purchasing a laptop outside of a good warranty coverage, which is a must no matter the laptop.

Size

Case

There are many different sized laptops in the market today ranging from tiny 4.8-inch netbooks all the way to 80-inch behemoths. While not always true there is a general rule you can follow – portability is inversely proportional to performance. This means that smaller laptops while more portable will most probably offer lesser performance. So choose one that is appropriate for you.

Make sure the case is rigid and without flex, the catch hook mechanism is robust and it has a secure closing mechanism. Style should always come secondary to build quality. Once you are satisfied, make sure it has all the connections that you require and to a lesser extent their layout. The latter is important to avoid unnecessary cable clutter. Ensure that the keyboard and track pad is comfortable to use and, if you are purchasing a touch screen equipped model, its sensitivity is to your liking. Another important factor to look at is the cooling system and noise. Make sure the case can effectively cool the internal components, it is not too noisy and the operating surface temperature remains acceptable under heavy load. Of course you will not be able to test all of these factors at the showroom but a little internet research can go a long way in ensuring a good purchase.

Display

Performance

There are primarily two types of displays – ones with a reflective surface and ones with a matt surface. The former are better with colour reproduction but strong reflectivity means using it in bright environments becomes tricky. The latter is less susceptible to external lighting conditions but needs a brightness of at least 150cd/m2 to provide a good image. Then there is the resolution and backlight. The higher the resolution the better, and LED backlighting should be given preference. All LCDs are susceptible to stuck or dead pixels so make sure the manufacturer offers a competent pixel-error warranty. Lastly, take note of the display’s reaction times. The lower it is the better.

Getting the fastest processor and largest HDD does not necessarily mean it is a powerful laptop. The performance of a laptop is based on many factors including the CPU, the GPU chipset, type and capacity of the RAM, type of HDD and more. It is extremely important to get a PC that has no bottlenecks. If you want a fast CPU, ensure that all the other components complement its speed or you will never be able to extract its full potential and it will be a waste of money. Also, regardless of whether you are a gamer or not, try to get a laptop with a dedicated GPU. As opposed to the common misconception, Graphics card does more than just enhance the PC’s performance in games. It will do wonders to the performance of your system, especially in the long run.

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Battery Last but not the least; make sure the laptop has got an appropriate battery to suit your lifestyle. If you are going to consistently use the laptop on the move a considerable battery runtime of four to five hours is a must. Alternatively a second battery will also suffice. Almost all manufacturers claims are theoretical and real world results will most probably be lower.


ACER ASPIRE 5750-2414 The Aspire series offers a diverse range of notebooks that give you the performance, graphics and communication tools to step up your digital entertainment, complete your daily computing tasks, and stay in touch with everyone you know, whether you’re at home or away. With the abundance of graphic-intensive multimedia and sharing applications available these days, smooth multitasking is more vital than ever before. Keeping this in mind, Aspire series notebooks pack the best processors and memory options. The 5750-2414 sports a dual-core processor based on the Sandy Bridge architecture and is clocked at 2.3GHz (Turbo Boost 2.6-2.9GHz). It boasts a 15.6-inch display with an aspect ratio of 16:9. At 2.6kg this notebook is light and when combined with the 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 540M GPU, it makes for a very compelling mid-range gaming laptop. The notebook is also attractive, ergonomic and durable.

Acer Aspire 5750-2414

Processor Display Memory Hard Disk Drive Graphics Weight Price

Intel Core i5 2410M processor 15.6-inch (1,366x768) Acer CineCrystal LED-backlit TFT LCD 4GB DDR3 RAM 500GB 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 540 2.6kg RO253.000

HP DV7-6099 The HP Pavilion DV7-6099 is a fast quad-core processing system wrapped in a sleek, cool design. The DV7 helps you manage everything, from photos to finances and looks great in aluminium.

It has 1.5TB of storage space, for all the sharing, storing and transferring you want. With the HP TruVision webcam you can now stay in touch with family and friends. It is also equipped with a

high-performance GPU and high-quality Beats audio with quad speakers, all stylishly presented in a sleek and elegant aluminium chassis.

HP DV7-6099

Processor Display Memory Hard Disk Drive Graphics Dimensions (WxDxH) Weight Price

Intel Core i7 2630QM processor 17.3-inch (1,600x900) HP BrightView Display 8GB DDR3 RAM 2x750GB SATA 1GB AMD Radeon HD 6770M 416x275x31.6mm 3.43kg RO539.900

SEPTEMBER 2011 / 43


ASUS G51J 3D A pair of Nvidia 3D Vision active-shutter glasses coupled with a wide-range infra-red emitter delivers stereoscopic images with clarity and brightness at full resolution without viewing angle restrictions. Powered by a dedicated 1GB GDDR5 NVIDIA GeForce GTS360M graphics card and NVIDIA’s PhysX Technology, the Asus G51J 3D offers users a promising gaming experience. It features Asus-exclusive ‘Power4 Gear Hybrid’ technology, which allows users to boost their system performance with an intuitive user interface by simply selecting ‘Extreme Turbo’ mode. Equipped with an illuminating chiclet keyboard that intelligently detects its environment for dimmed lighting conditions, it enables gamers to control the brightness of the keyboard. It also features the latest Intel Core i7 processor.

Asus G51J 3D

Processor Display Memory Hard Disk Drive Graphics Dimensions (WxDxH) Weight Price

DELL INSPIRON 15R-0199 The Dell Inspiron 15R offers a balance of mobility, performance and looks few laptops can provide. The compact design makes the 15R easy to take with you for work or entertainment. With the Intel’s new processor technology multitasking is easy. It comes equipped with up to 6GB of memory and a 640GB HDD. Its 1GB Nvidia Geforce GT525M GPU is also good enough for some casual gaming.

Dell Inspiron 15R-0199

Processor Display Memory Hard Disk Drive Graphics Dimensions (WxDxH) Weight Price

44 / TECH

Intel Core i7 2630QM processor 15.6-inch HD WLED Screen 6GB RAM 640GB 1GB Nvidia Geforce GT525M 378x245x37.7 (front) / 40.2 (rear) mm 2.5kg RO409.900

Intel Core i7 720QM processor 15.6-inch HD LED-backlit (1,366x768) 4GB DDR3 RAM 640GB NVIDIA GeForce GTS360M, 1GB GDDR5 375x265x34.3mm 3.3kg RO759.900


TOSHIBA L755-167 The Satellite L755 provides all the computing essentials one would need. It has a powerful Intel processor to ensure smooth multi-tasking, a 15.6-inch TruBrite HD display with LED backlighting, an Nvidia Geforce GT525M GPU to handle all graphic-intensive tasks and a Blu-ray rewritable drive coupled with advanced audio technology to take care of all your HD playback needs. You can even enjoy enhanced DVD playback thanks to Toshiba’s unique Resolution+ technology that up-converts standard definition to near-HD-quality. It even has an eye-catching exterior with a new matrix pattern design and is available in four colours – dark silver, pearl white, maroon brown and bright red.

Toshiba L755-167

Processor Display Memory Hard Disk Drive Graphics Dimensions (WxLxH) Weight Price

Intel Core i5 2410M processor 15.6-inch TruBrite HD TFT Display (1,366x768) 4GB DDR3 RAM 500GB 1GB NVIDIA GeForce GT 525M 380x250x27.7 (front) / 37.5 (rear)mm 2.50kg RO329.000

ALIENWARE M14X For gamers seeking a mobile HD gaming experience who want a balance of performance and mobility, the new 14inch M14x offers the best of both worlds. Weighing in at less than 3kg, the M14x features full-voltage Second-generation four-core Intel Core i7 CPU, discrete

graphics and an optical disk drive. For the gaming enthusiast or anyone who needs mobile computing performance, the M14x is a mobile yet powerful option. It is also equipped with Nvidia’s new GeForce GT 555M GPU with 3GB of memory, 8GB DDR3 RAM and a 750GB HDD.

Alienware M14x

Processor Display Memory Hard Disk Drive Graphics Dimensions (WxDxH) Weight Price

Intel Core i7 2630QM processor 14.1-inch Display 8GB DDR3 RAM 750GB 3GB Nvidia Geforce GT555M 337x258x38mm 2.92kg RO689.900

SEPTEMBER 2011 / 45


SAMSUNG NP200B5A If you’re looking for a reliable business notebook then look no further. Samsung Series 4 notebook is engineered for superior usability, craftsmanship and performance. Encased safely within a rugged, anti-shock Duracase Pro chassis is an Intel Core i5 2520M processor and Windows 7 Professional. For maximum ease of use there’s a host of ergonomic features like a responsive keyboard and a large touchpad. Samsung’s intelligent battery charging technology enables the battery to keep 80 per cent of its original capacity for up to 1,000 recharges. The anti-reflective LED display has no mirror effect and has a brightness of 300nit. You can enjoy complete peace of mind with a secure biometric Fingerprint Reader that protects your data without passwords and a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) that encrypts files and folders.

Samsung NP200B5A

Processor Display Memory Hard Disk Drive Graphics Dimensions (WxDxH) Weight Price

Intel Core i5 2520M processor 15.6-inch LED HD (1,366x768) 4GB DDR3 RAM 500GB Nvidia GeForce 315M with 1GB GDDR3 RAM 370x248.3x28.6mm 2.5kg RO335.000

LG P420 The LG P420 is a 14-inch notebook with a blend of performance and style. It boasts a second generation Intel Core i5 2410M processor and 4GB DDR3 memory. Combined with LG’s Optimisation Technology, it provides an improved experience in both applications

and multimedia processing speeds. By bringing the screen right to the edges of the notebook, the wafer-thin bezel provides you with a wider-screen on a compact body. The P420’s sleek, compact, and lightweight frame offers a refreshing alternative to typical compact notebooks. Offering a

LG P420

Processor Display Memory Hard Disk Drive Graphics Dimensions (WxDxH) Weight Price

46 / TECH

Intel Core i5 2410M 14-inch HD (1,366x768) LED LCD 4GB RAM 750GB Nvidia GeForce GT 520M with 1GB 333x221x25.9mm 1.99kg RO359.900

streamlined interior design with a clean and modern look in harmony with a slim bezel, it creates a minimalist feel. The P420 also packs a 512MB Nvidia GeForce GT520M Graphics Card. With SRS TruSurround HD, it powers up the entertainment experience in both visual and sound categories.


SONY VAIO SB18GA The SB18GA sports second generation Intel Core i7 processor that provides the ultimate smart performance for the toughest tasks, with higher frequencies and greater cache size. It also features Intel Turbo Boost Technology and Intel Hyper-Threading Technology for a smart PC experience. The AMD Radeon HD 6470M is a capable mid-range DirectX 11 GPU making it a decent choice if you are a casual gamer. Built-in Bluetooth unleashes the power of communication by enabling swift wireless data transfer with minimum power consumption. A single HDMI cable lets you digitally output movies and music to your large-screen television. It’s the perfect way to enjoy original HD home movies.

Sony Vaio SB18GA

Processor Display Memory Hard Disk Drive Graphics Dimensions (WxDxH) Weight Price

Intel Core i7 2620M processor 13.3-inch TFT Display (1,366x768) 4GB DDR3 RAM 500GB 512MB AMD Radeon HD 6470M 331x224.5x23.9mm 1.72kg RO559.900

LENOVO Y560A-3 Lenovo Y560 notebook is equipped with i7-740QM processor, ATI 5730 GPU, 7,200rpm 500GB HDD, 4GB RAM and a 15.6-inch HD LED screen. It is equipped with four USB2.0 ports and has a 500GB

HDD running at 7,200rpm. It weighs only 2.6kg, making it ideal for carrying around. Its JBL speakers and relatively powerful hardware makes for a good on-the-go games and entertainment notebook.

Lenovo Y560A-3

Processor Display Memory Hard Disk Drive Graphics Dimensions (WxDxH) Weight Price

Intel Core i7 740QM processor 15.6-inch HD LED Screen 4GB RAM 500GB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5730, 1GB Dedicated VRAM 385x255x33mm 2.62kg RO424.600

SEPTEMBER 2011 / 47


A VIRUS VIRUS by any other name…

Brain, Melissa or Benjamin, call them what you will, but a computer virus attack is bad news

Computers have become part of our everyday lives. It is hard to imagine a day spent not staring at the screen. So, can you imagine the state we would get into when our computers have been ‘attacked’? Well, not to worry. You can get rid of the curse. First, how do you know your system has been infected? There are symptoms that may or may not be viruses but are worth looking into: slow computer performance for one thing; Web browser suddenly looks different;

computer is unstable, crashing often; and files getting corrupted for no reason. Well, now moving on to solving the problem – run an antivirus program to weed the virus out. In fact you should try to get an antivirus suite as they can tackle any sort of malware that has infected your PC, not just viruses. Regardless, if your program is up-to-date, it should be able to detect most, if not all, infected files. Once the program states successful removal of malware, shut down your computer,

reboot and run the antivirus program again. If the program gives you a clean chit, you’re good to go. In case your luck runs out and your program detects more malware, repeat the entire process. If all your methods of deleting the virus backfire, then as a last resort you can reformat the entire system and reload the operating system. Ensure to have a backup of all important, virus-free files before you start and run a fresh scan on them before putting them back into your newly formatted system.

One is company, two’s a crowd If you think one antivirus program is good and two is better, you’re in for a surprise. Loading more than one antivirus program will slow your computer down and might even cause it to crash since not all antivirus programs are compatible with each other. Instead, try to upgrade to a full antivirus software suite if you desire more protection.

Prevention is better than cure 1. Don’t open strange or unfamiliar email attachments 2. Don’t visit questionable websites (software, music and video piracy sites) 3. Avoid pop-up windows when you surf the Web 4. Run your antivirus software at least once a week 5. Avoid any web banners or links that say your PC is infected and needs a cleanup

48 / TECH


TECH ART

Colour Correction Learn how to breathe new life into your photographs by effectively colour correcting them To get started, open an image that you think has a colour cast. Choose Window > Info to display the Info palette. As the panel name implies, this gives you information about the pixels in your image and the colour format it follows i.e. RGB or CMYK.

1

To carry out effective colour correction you will need to make proper use of the Info palette. To do this you’ll need to take some colour sample points on the image using the ‘Colour Sampler’ tool which shares its position on the toolbar with the Eyedropper. Once you have clicked on the tool, select the ‘3x3 Average Sample’ option from the toolbar. This is important as you will need to sample a larger area than just a single pixel.

4

Next choose Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves. From here onwards you will be correcting individual channels. From the channel dropdown list select Red and then hold Ctrl while clicking on the first point that you marked in your image. Identify whether you need to increase or decrease the value at this point.

2

Now locate a white or a light neutral gray area in the image. Click on it with the colour sampler tool and you should see a marker appear on the image with the number ‘1’ beside it. Make sure the point you select is either white or light gray. Repeat the process, this time selecting an area of black or a neutral gray colour. This gives you a second sample point. You can continue to add a total of four markers if desired.

5

Make adjustments in such a way that the numbers get closer to the desired value of 245 for a white point and 15 for a black one. Repeat this last step for all the sample points that you created on the image and then repeat the entire procedure again for Green and Blue channels so that you end up with sample points within two to three values of each other.

3

Check the Info palette to read the colour information for each of these points. For the lightest points you should see values of around 245 for each of the R, G and B channels. For the darkest points the value should be around 15 for each of the channels. For each of the gray points you should have equivalent values of each of the R, G and B channels. The value itself can be of any number.

6

When you’re done, click the Ok button to close the curves dialog box. You can now apply other fixes such as contrast and brightness to the image with a further curves adjustment or use the new ‘Brightness/Contrast’ tool in Photoshop CS3.Using the info palette along with sample points and by simply reading and adjusting numbers you can easily remove colour casts from any image you desire. SEPTEMBER 2011 / 49


luxury tech

Futuristic fun The Trimaran Adastra superyacht is an expensive one-off piece for a very rich Hong Kong client

The striking 42.5m Trimaran Adastra is being built in China for Hong Kong clients Anto and Elaine Marden. It is the result of more than five years of design and discussion with the owners. The superstructure is carbon fibre with Nomex honeycomb core. The hull is made from glass or kevlar foam sandwich and the interior is lightweight oak cabinetry using honeycomb panels. To help reduce weight,

More space has been created below deck by flaring the central hull – this area has been split into two with the master cabin located aft and the galley located forward of the engine

virtually every aspect of the boat is custom built. This includes carbon fibre hatches, port lights, ladders and even hinges, which are all built specifically for the vessel. A SiMON-integrated ships monitoring system monitors fuel, security, pump sensors, electrical, lights, etc. The vessel has a fully automated fuel management system which includes an Alfa Laval system for cleaning

Adastra’s 16m beam creates a spacious saloon area on the main deck which offers superb views through a panoramic window and accommodates a lounge area, dining table, and navigation station

the fuel. The anchoring system is unique with three anchors all driven by carbon fibre drum winches run by hydraulics. Adastra offers comfortable accommodation for nine guests and up to six crew members.

A forward-facing door through the saloon window gives easy access to a large sun bed on the foredeck

Superyacht Adastra

LOA Beam Hull Draft Main Engine Maximum Speed Fuel Consumption at 17 knots Range at 17 knots Styling and Architecture

50 / TECH

42.5m 16m 1.12m (1.6m to tip of rudder) 1xCaterpillar C18 -1,150hp @ 2,300rpm 22.5 knots 120L/hr 6,437km John Shuttleworth Yacht Designs

The aft deck has a sofa and bar area to port and a dining area to starboard, further aft of this there is space for a 4.9m tender and directly below is a garage which can store a 3.1m tender


business tech

Intelligent measuring The LD100P is a laser distance measuring tool with Swiss precision optics

Makita LD100P is a specially designed instrument for indoor applications. It is a compact, robust model that is easy to use. It comes with a handy soft grip. It includes shortcut keys for addition and subtraction, along with area and volume calculation. The measuring range is from 0.05m to 100m and accuracy is within 0.3 per cent. The measuring units can also be displayed in either metric or imperial values. Swiss precision optics along with a heavy duty titanium inner body gives high accuracy. With its rugged durability the LD100P is also suitable for site use. It is powered by two AAA batteries that will give up to 5,000 measurements. The LD100P is supplied with a carrying case as well.

The Makita LD100P laser distance measuring tool can store up to the last 20 measurements It offers automatic measuring point adjustment with either a metric or imperial measuring scale

Measuring Range Measuring Accuracy Tilt Sensor Power Supply Weight Available at

Makita LD100P

0.05m to 100m ± 1.5mm over 30m Measuring Range ± 45° Two 15V AAA Batteries 110g Gulf Services & Industrial Supplies, 93221856

SEPTEMBER 2011 / 51


time zone

Artistic tribute The Bressel 1665 Small Hour and Minute features a traditional aesthetic style

JeanRichard pays tribute to its history by unveiling a new model as part of the Bressel 1665 collection. Dedicated to Daniel JeanRichard, the brand has drawn on its rich heritage to create the Bressel 1665 Small Hour and Minute. This model features an understated yet original arrangement of functions on its dial. The JR1040 movement was developed and produced in the brand’s workshops. The hours and minutes are displayed off-centre at 12 o’clock, freeing up space for the other functions: date, power reserve and second indicator. The functions are arranged using traditional watchmaking stylistic elements: Roman numerals, ‘railway’ minute track and leaf-shaped hands in blued steel.

The elegant 38mm Bressel 1665 steel case sports smooth contours and features a new bezel with a reworked curve

This model is available with a diamond-set bezel or a pink gold case

The lugs are designed for a perfect fit on the wrist, with the sapphire case-back revealing the automatic movement

Subtle, yet cool The new Kisai Rogue SR2 LCD watch presents the time through a circle of connecting blocks With an ever-present LCD display in a choice of four colours (green, blue, red, orange), time can be read at a glance but can also be illuminated with bright LEDs at the touch of a button. This exciting function is especially effective at night. The slim, curved case design is complemented by a solid stainless steel strap which can be adjusted easily to fit your wrist. The watch also features an alarm mode.

The inner ring of blocks represents hours; the gap in the ring shows the current hour, as on a clock face

The ring of large blocks represents approximate minutes; the position of the gap shows the current approximate minutes 52 / TECH

The outer ring of small dots represents exact minutes; every fifth dot being slightly smaller to distinguish fiveminute groups


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gamer’s delight

The third instalment in the F.E.A.R. series is finally here. Malcolm Xavier Crasta gears up to see if it still has the thrills and chills of the last two games

T

he first F.E.A.R. game was, at its time, the poster child for ‘bullet time’ action. It had state-of-the-art graphics coupled with an intriguing story and great gameplay. The second game, while not as good, retained most of what made the first game so great. Following in the wake of its two great predecessors, the third game in the franchise has a lot to live up to. F.E.A.R. 3 takes place right after the cataclysmic destruction of Fairport city at the end of the second game. The genetically enhanced protagonist from the first, known simply as ‘Point Man’, makes a return. Despite getting a bullet lodged in his skull by his brother, Point Man, at the end of the first

54 / TECH

game, series antagonist Paxton Fettel makes a return. Only he is not exactly alive this time around and not only does he seem to have joined forces with his brother but is also a playable character in the game. The reason for Point Man’s return is to rescue a former squad mate who seems to be caught in the middle of the chaos and to stop Alma, the sadistic and violent supernatural girl behind the entire mess, from giving birth to a new unimaginable horror. While the story isn’t anything to write home about, it is enough to keep you interested till the end. Just don’t expect to make much sense of it all unless you are a truly hardcore fan of the game.

F.E.A.R. 3 is a corridor shooter through and through constantly closing paths behind you in a bid to keep you pushing forward. Furthermore, closed environments and a lacklustre first level may throw off players. But keep at it because there is true fun to be had once the game picks up the pace. It’s true that ‘bullet time’ has lost its novelty a while back but few games put it so such tactical use and fewer still manage to pull it off so well. It is more a necessity than a perk to bypass the tough fire fights the game throws you into. The game does break up the fights with quite sequences which it uses to spook you and build up the atmosphere and tension to good effect. There are even


AUGUST 2011

Pirates of Black Cove Platforms: PC

Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Developer: Day 1 Studios Platform(s): PC, PS3, Xbox 360 Genre: Action ESRB Rating: Mature PEGI Rating: 18

SCORE

7.0

August 02

Arcana Heart 3 Platforms: PS3, Xbox360

The Good Near perfect controls, great sound design and atmosphere, you can finally play as Fettel The Bad

visuals look dated, forgetable multiplayer, no as scary as the last two games, bit too linear

August 19 sequences that have you piloting a mech down the streets making mincemeat of anything that comes in your way. And if that wasn’t enough, once you finish a level you unlock Fettel as a playable character for that same level. Considering that he is a far more interesting character to play than Point Man it offers a decent incentive for replaying the campaign. The game does sport a few multiplayer modes but all are restricted to a maximum of four players. While they do feature novel takes on popular game modes, none are strong enough to hold your interest for long. F.E.A.R. used to be at the forefront of graphical advancement but those days are

The Cursed Crusade Platforms: PS3, Xbox360, PC

long gone. While the third instalment may not be a bad looking game, it isn’t all that great either. The visuals look dated and the environments look bare. As a result, the cutscenes that used to send a chill down our spines no longer have the visual punch to do so again. Sound design on the other hand is brilliant and definitely contributes a lot to the game’s spooky atmosphere.

August 26

Deus Ex: Human Revolution Platforms: PS3, Xbox360, PC

While F.E.A.R 3 may not be as good as the first two games in the series, it is still a fun game to play. It also has decent replay value and is the only game in which you can play as Fettel. If you are a fan of the series, there is absolutely no reason for you not to pick up the game right now.

August 26 AUGUST 2011 / 55


movie zone

Cowboys & Aliens Release Date: 29 July Genre: Action | Sci-Fi | Thriller Director: Jon Favreau Cast: Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde It is 1873 and Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig), a stranger with no memory of his past stumbles into the hard desert town of Absolution in the Arizona Territory. The only hint to his history is a mysterious shackle that encircles one wrist. What he discovers is that the people of Absolution don’t welcome strangers, and nobody makes a move on its streets unless ordered to do so by the iron-fisted Colonel Woodrow Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford). It’s a town that lives in fear. But Absolution is about to experience fear it can scarcely comprehend as the desolate city is attacked by marauders from the sky. Screaming down with breathtaking velocity and

blinding lights to abduct the helpless one by one, these monsters challenge everything the residents have ever known. Now, the stranger they rejected is their only hope for salvation. As this gunslinger slowly starts to remember who he is and where he’s been, he realises he holds a secret that could give the town a fighting chance against the alien force. With the help of the elusive traveller Ella (Olivia Wilde), he pulls together a posse comprised of former opponents, townsfolk, Dolarhyde and his boys, outlaws and Apache warriors – all in danger of annihilation. United against a common enemy, they will prepare for an epic showdown for survival.

Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World Release Date: 19 August Genre: Action | Adventure | Comedy Director: Robert Rodriguez Cast: Jessica Alba, Jeremy Piven, Joel McHale On the surface, Marissa Cortez Wilson (Jessica Alba) has it all... married to a famous spy-hunting television reporter, a new baby and intelligent twin step kids. But in reality trying to mother Rebecca (Rowan Blanchard) and Cecil (Mason Cook) who clearly don’t want her around, is her toughest challenge yet. Also, her husband Wilbur (Joel McHale) wouldn’t know a spy if he lived with one, which is exactly the case – Marissa’s a retired secret agent. Marissa’s world is turned upside down when the maniacal Timekeeper (Jeremy Piven) threatens to take over the planet and she’s called back into action by the head of OSS, home of the greatest spies and where the now-defunct Spy Kids division was created.

With Armageddon quickly approaching, Rebecca and Cecil are thrust into action when they learn their boring stepmom was once a top agent... now the world’s most competitive ten-year-olds are forced to put their bickering aside and rely on their wits. With a little help from a couple of very familiar Spy Kids, Carmen (Alexa Vega) and Juni Cortez (Daryl Sabara), and some mind-blowing gadgets, they just may be able to save the world and possibly bring their family together while they’re at it.

DVD Releases AUGUST 1 August

Faster

Action | Crime | Drama

8 August

Scream 4

Horror | Mystery | Thriller

22 August

Insidious

Horror | Thriller

29 August

Hop

Animation | Comedy | Family


Fax to 24693569 Choose the correct answer and send in your entries for a chance to win 1 Which of the following refers to a small, single-site network?

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(a) LAN (c) RAM

(a) 192.168.1.1 (b) 192.168.111.1111 (c) 192.168.900.1 (d) 192.900.168.1

(b) DSL (d) USB

3 What is the term ‘Pentium’ related to?

4 MS-Word is an example of

(a) Microprocessor (b) Mouse (c) Hard Disk (d) DVD

(a) Application Software (b) System Software (c) Operating System (d) Scanner

Send us your entries by August 22 and you could be one of the ten lucky winners of a 3D Blue-ray movie Previous quiz answers: 1 – (b) 2 – (b) 3 – (b) 4 – (b)

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Welcome to our ‘TECH Favourites’ section. With these lists we aim to keep you updated with our favourite products in a concise format. Please give us your feedback on the basis of which we can further improve it.

Flat-Panel Displays LG 42LV3710 RO349.900

This is a 42-inch LED television with 2MP screen. It is a full HD TV with four HDMI/ PC inputs and a USB port

Philips 52PFL5605H RO899.900

This is a 2MP, full-HD 52-inch TV with three HDMI inputs, USB port and PIP. It features Pixel Plus HD and HD natural motion.

LG Plasma TV 60PK550 RO849.900

This is a 60-inch, full HD, 2MP, plasma TV with 600Hz sub-field. It sports two HDMI/PC input, and has USB port.

Sony KLV40CX520 RO269.900

This is a 40-inch, full HD, 2MP TV. It sports four HDMI inputs, two USB ports, PIP system and Internet TV. It also features an X-Reality engine.

Sony KLV40EX710 RO329.900

This is a 40-inch, full HD, 2MP, edge-lit LED display with 100Hz motion flow. It sports four HDMI inputs, a USB port, PIP and Internet TV.

Sharp Aquos Quattron LC46LE820M RO539.900

This is a full-HD 1,080p 46-inch TV with 2MP RGBY LED screen. It has four HDMI/PC inputs and supports USB DIVX HD.

Panasonic TH-P50U30M RO499.000

This is an HD, 50-inch Plasma TV with V-Audio ProSurround sound. It has three HDMI and USB ports.

Samsung UA40D5500 RO399.000

This is a 40-inch LED TV with an ultra slim design. It sports four HDMI/PC input, AllShare and PIP System. With 100Hz motion flow and two megapixels, this TV also has USB port.

3D TVs LG 42LW5700 RO679.900

3D LED 72-inch screen, 400Hz motion flow, four HDMI/PC input, two USB port, two megapixels

Sony KDL55EX720 RO899.900

3D LED 55-inch screen, full HD, four HDMI/PC input, Internet Video, Wireless LAN Ready

Panasonic TH-P42GT20M RO299.900

3D Plasma 42-inch screen, full HD, Resolution Enhancer, VIERA Cast

Samsung Smart TV UA46D6600 RO899.000

3D LED 46-inch screen, full HD, four HDMI/PC input, three USB port, Internet TV, 400Hz motion, 2D-3D converter

Players Sony DAV-DZ940K RO174.900

DVD, VCD, CD, MP3, DIVX playback, USB play and record, 1,000W RMS, multi digital input, HDMI up-scaling

LG HB994PK RO999.900

1,00W RMS, full HD 1080p, Wireless Rear Speaker, iPod dock, Blu-ray playback, supports DVD, VCD, CD, MP3 and DIVX, iPod dock

Philips HTS7540 RO289.000

Full HD 1,080p, supports Blu-ray, DVD, VCD, CD, PM3 and DIVX, 1,000W RMS, Dolby Tru-HD, HDMI out, USB link Disclaimer: Prices quoted in the magazine maybe subject to change. Please check with your local dealer for current costs. Lists are not in any particular order.


57 Acer Aspire 5820TG-5484G50 RO274.900

Laptops

Intel Core i5 480M processor, 15.6-inch HD LED screen, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, Wireless LAN, Bluetooth, 1.3MP web camera, card reader

HP ENVY 14-1111ee RO690.000

Intel Core i7 720QM processor, 1.6GHz with Turbo Boost up to 2.8GHz, 6GB RAM, 1,024MB VRAM, 500GB HDD, 14.5-inch HD LCD, DVD super multi drive, Wireless, Bluetooth, 5-in-1 digital media reader, 1.3MP web camera

Asus G51J RO759.900

Intel Core i7 720QM, 1.6GHz Turbo Boost, 4GB DDR3 RAM, 640GB HDD, 1GB VRAM, 15.6-inch HD Glare LED, DVD multi drive, Wireless, Bluetooth, 1.3MP web camera

Dell XPS-L502-195(ALM) RO479.900

Intel Core i7 2,630QM processor, 2GHz CPU speed, 6GB RAM, 640GB HDD, 15.6-inch HD WLED screen, DVD super multi drive, 2GB dedicated graphics, Wireless, Bluetooth, card reader, web camera

HP Pavilion dV7-6099 RO539.900

Intel Core i5 2,630QM second generation processor, 2.0GHz, 8GB DDR3 SDRAM, 1.5TB HDD, 17.3-inch diagonal HD LED, DVD super multi drive and Blu-ray, Wireless, Bluetooth, fingerprint reader, HD web camera

Toshiba Satellite L755-16C RO329.000

Intel Core i5 2,410M processor, 2.53GHz CPU speed, 4GB RAM, 1GB VRAM, 500GB SATA HDD, 15.6-inch TruBrite HD LED screen, Wireless LAN, Bluetooth, 1.3MP web camera

Asus N53S RO465.900

Intel Core i7 2,630QM processor, 2.0GHz Turbo boost, 4GB DDR3 RAM, 640GB HDD, 15.6-inch LED screen, DVD super multi drive, Wireless, Bluetooth, 1.3MP web camera, 4x Blu-ray player, TV tunner

Sony Vaio VPCCA15FA RO419.900

Intel Core i5 2,410M processor, 2.3GHz CPU speed with Turbo Boost, 1GB VRAM, Dynamic Hybrid Graphics System, 500GB HDD, 14-inch display

Samsung RF511-S04 RO424.000

Intel Core i7 2,630QM processor, 1GB VRAM, 750GB HDD, 15.6-inch HD LED screen, DVD super multi drive, Wireless, Bluetooth, 1.3MP web camera

Toshiba Satellite P755-10C RO649.000

Intel Core i7 2,630QM, 2.00GHz CPU speed, 6GB RAM, 500GB SATA HDD, 2GB VRAM, 15.6-inch HD LED, Blu-ray and DVD super multi drive, Wireless and Bluetooth.

Netbooks & Ultra Portables Archos 101 Internet Tablet RO169.900

10.1-inch capacitive multi-touch screen, 16GB flash memory, SD slot, HDMI output, seven hours video playback, 36 hours music playback

Asus Eee Pad Transformer RO249.900

Nvidia TEGRA 2 dual core processor, 1GHz speed, 32GB internal memory, 10.1-inch LCD display, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Google Android 3.0 Honeycomb

Apple iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G RO374.900

32GB, 9.7-inch LED backlit screen, 1GHz dual-core Apple A5 processor, Wi-Fi and 3G, two cameras

BlackBerry PlayBook RO299.900

32GB, 1GHz dual-core processor, seven-inch capacitive display, 1GB RAM, dual cameras – 5MP rear and 3MP front

Acer ICONIA TAB A500 RO209.900

32GB, 1GB RAM, 1GHz processor speed, 5MP camera, 2MP front camera, HDMI port, eight hours video playback

Computer Accessories Microsoft Arc Keyboard RO27.500

2.4GHz wireless keyboard, stowable nano transceiver, battery life indicator, lightweight

Seagate GoFlex 1TB RO45.000

Features USB 3.0 plug-and-play connectivity, illuminated capacity gauge, 1TB portable drive

WD ShareSpace 8TB RO410.000

High-speed Gigabit Ethernet storage system, three USB 2.0 ports, offers multiple RAID configurations for data protection and speed

SteelSeries Siberia v2 RO62.200

Full-size headset with retractable microphone, a 50mm driver unit with clear sound


58 Cameras Canon A3300is RO71.400

This is a 16-megapixel camera with a 28mm wide-angle lens and 5x optical zoom. It offers the flexibility of a high-resolution image sensor. Canon’s latest DIGIC 4 image processing provides excellent quality shots.

Sony DSC-H70 RO109.900

The H70 sports a 10x optical zoom lens and a 16.1-megapixel sensor. It supports Sweep Panorama mode and HD movie capture capability. It comes with a three-inch LCD and optical image stabilisation.

Sony DSC-T110 RO95.900

This is a 16.1-megapixel camera with a three-inch touch LCD screen. It comes with 4x optical zoom and HD movie capture capability. It also has Sweep Panorama Mode.

Fujifilm F500 EXR RO179.000

This is a 16-megapixel camera with a three-inch LCD. It has 15x optical zoom. It also supports full HD movie recording capability and Panorama mode.

Canon IXUS 310 HS RO143.200

This is a 12.1-megapixel CMOS sensor digital camera with a 3.2-inch touch LCD screen. It also has 4.4x optical zoom, an optical image stabiliser and supports full HD with optical zoom.

Samsung ST80 RO69.500

The ST80 is equipped with a 7.83mm high-resolution CCD sensor, in addition to an all-new image processor. It delivers 720p HD quality video at 30fps. It is a 14.2MP camera with a three-inch WQVGA TFT LCD display.

Camcorders Panasonic SDR-S71GC RO119.900

Advanced OIS with Active Mode, 33mm wide-angle lens, iA (Intelligent Auto) with AF/AE tracking, 78x enhanced optical zoom

Sony HDR-PJ30E RO399.900

7.1 megapixel resolution, 12x optical zoom, threeinch LCD touchscreen, built-in projector, 32GB internal memory

Panasonic SDR-H101GC RO150.000

Advanced OIS with Active Mode, 33mm wide-angle lens, iA (Intelligent Auto) with AF/AE tracking

Sony HDR-CX160E RO249.900

16GB built-in memory, 3.3 megapixel, full HD video, 42 extended zoom, three-inch LCD wide screen

Canon HF R26 RO179.000

28x advance zoom, 8GB built-in dual flash memory, full HD 1080p

DSLRS & Micro Four-Thirds Nikon D5100 RO389.900

Olympus TG-810 RO189.000

The TOUGH TG810 from Olympus features a 14-megapixel sensor with 5x optical zoom. It sports a 2.7-inch LCD screen.

Panasonic S1 RO43.000

This is a 12.1-megapixel camera with a 2.7-inch LCD screen. It comes with 4x optical zoom and optical image stabiliser. It features a new design with distinct round shape that fits in the palm.

Sony W580 RO89.900

This is a 16.1-megapixel, 5x optical zoom camera. It comes with a three-inch LCD screen and a 25mm wide-angle lens. It supports Sweep Panorama Mode for the perfect landscape images.

Fujifilm Z90 RO94.900

This is a 14-megapixel camera with 5x optical zoom. It sports a three-inch LCD touchscreen. It has a Panorama mode for good landscape shots. It also supports HD movie recording.

Offers

Service

16.2 megapixel, 11-point autofocus, three-inch LCD screen, HD movie, 4fps

Canon EOS 1D Mark 4 RO2,329.900 16.1 megapixel CMOS sensor, 10fps shooting, three-inch Clear View LCD, HD video recording

Canon EOS-550D RO446.600

18 megapixel, nine-point autofocus, three-inch LCD screen, full HD video

Sony SLT Îą 55 RO399.900

16.7 megapixel, three-inch LCD screen, full HD movie, 10fps, 3D Sweep Panorama mode Disclaimer: Prices quoted in the magazine maybe subject to change. Please check with your local dealer for current costs. Lists are not in any particular order.

Emax


59 Phones HTC Desire RO219.000

This phone sports a 3.7-inch AMOLED capacitive touchscreen and a 5MP camera. It comes with internal memory of 576MB RAM and 512MB ROM. It also supports Bluetooth, WLAN, A-GPS and Geotagging.

Samsung Galaxy SII RO269.900

The Samsung Galaxy SII has a 4.3-inch SUPER AMOLED Plus display with a Dual Core Application Processor. This 8.49mm slim phone operates on Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and features an 8MP camera with LED flash, 16GB storage, Wi-Fi and A-GPS support.

Samsung I9003 Galaxy S RO179.900

Samsung’s Galaxy S smartphone is Android-powered and boasts a super clear capacitive touchscreen. It includes a 5MP camera with autofocus, HSDPA Internet connectivity, and 4GB storage.

Apple iPhone 4 RO325.000

The iPhone 4 sports a 3.5-inch LED-backlit TFT capacitive touchscreen. With an internal memory of 16GB and a 512MB RAM, the iPhone 4 supports Wi-Fi, A-GPS, Bluetooth v2.1 with A2DP. It has a 1GHz Apple A4 processor.

iPod Docks SonicGear 1000i RO94.200

iPod dock and recharge, FM radio, 30W RMS

movieCENTER RO19.600

Connect iPod to TV, stereo and computer, USB port, high fidelity surround sound processing

Altec Lansing M602 RO84.900

Dock and Play, recharge for iPod, video output for iPod video, wall-mountable

Logitech S715i RO57.900

Plays and charges iPhone and iPod, two threeinch laser-tuned neodymium drivers

Bose Sound Dock-10 RO279.000

iPod and iPhone dock, recharge and play, remote control, audio input

Motorola Milestone XT720 RO199.000

This smartphone is Android powered with an 8MP camera and Xenon flash. It features a TFT capacitive touchscreen, Gorilla Glass display with touch-sensitive navigation controls.

Nokia N8 RO164.900

The Nokia N8 comes with AMOLED capacitive touchscreen. Its features include a 12MP camera with Carl Zeiss optics, 16GB storage, Bluetooth 3.0, micro USB connector and charging, and HDMI port.

LG Optimus One P500 RO99.900

This phone sports a 3.2MP camera with Bluetooth, 3G and Wi-Fi facilities. With TFT capacitive touchscreen this phone runs on Android OS v2.2. It includes a 2GB micro SD card.

Samsung S8530 Wave II RO162.900

It sports a 3.7-inch super clear capacitive touchscreen, 5MP camera, ARM Cortex A8 1GHz processor and Bluetooth v3.0 with A2DP.

MP3 Players Apple iPod Nano 6G RO86.500

16GB, VoiceOver gesture-based screen reader, 1.54-inch (diagonal) colour TFT display, Live Pause feature

Apple iPod Touch 4G RO99.900

8GB, 3.5-inch (diagonal) widescreen, multitouch display, 720p HD video capture, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR

Philips SA3RGA04R RO19.900

4GB, FM radio and FM recording, one-inch screen, FullSound technology, 22 hours battery support

Sony Walkman NWZ-B162 RO20.900 BlackBerry Torch 9800 RO219.900

This smartphone sports a 5MP camera and a 3.2-inch TFT capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 360x480 pixels. In addition, it has Wi-Fi, A-GPS and Bluetooth v2.1 with A2DP.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play RO264.900

The Xperia Play offers immersive gaming experience. It sports a 5MP camera, and comes with Wi-Fi and A-GPS support. This phone runs on Android OS v2.3 (Gingerbread).

Built-in equaliser, Bass boost, voice recording, power illuminator, style-up clip, quick charge

Sony Zappin NWZ-W252 RO36.900

2GB, high speed connectivity, built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery, water-resistant


60 Air Conditioners Sharp AHAP18HME RO191.000

This 1.5-tonne split air conditioner is a low noise design with Plasmacluster technology. By releasing the cluster ions, it enables the creation of an environment that is very close to that found in nature.

Refrigerators

Samsung AS18DW RO199.500

756L capacity, door-mounted ice maker, moisture-control vegetable box, deodoriser, soft touch mini bar

Samsung’s 1.5-tonne capacity split air conditioner is best known for its high efficiency heat exchanger and silver nano filter. It has an anti-rust cabinet.

Samsung AWT18WHBM RO129.500

Samsung’s 1.5-tonne window air conditioner with a rotary compressor has a digital temperature control, anti-corrosion body, fuzzy logic feature and a silver nano health system.

Panasonic CS-C18MKF RO199.000

The CS-C18MKF incorporates the ECONAVI technology. Advance+ Plus e-ion is designed to monitor changes in the degree of air cleanliness. AUTOCOMFORT is another important feature.

Hitachi RAN-209CP RO132.900

This 1.5-tonne window air conditioner has a high energy-efficient compressor with a super quite air flow. There is a symmetric twin flow air discharge, washable filters and a rotary compressor.

LG GRP-277ZGG RO625.000

Toshiba GRRG-70UT RO239.900

700L capacity, frost free, glassy finish, twist ice tray, temperature control, insulated wired shelves

Samsung RL-52VEBTB RO219.500

350L capacity, LCD touchscreen, bottommounted freezer, blue LED display, silver plus anti-bacterial coating

Hitachi RW-660FUK RO364.900

660L capacity, ice maker with water dispenser, nano titanium cooling system, four-door top mounted no-frost freezer

Sharp SJK42SSL RO138.900

382L capacity, double-door refrigerator, frostfree, deodoriser, twist ice tray, wired shelves

Hitachi RAS-18CPX RO189.900

This split-type air conditioner has a Green Fin condenser that is durable, thanks to the green rust-resistant coating. It also employs Nano Titanium technology in its stainless steel filters.

Toshiba RAS-18G RO135.900

With a compact design and precise operation, this 1.5-tonne window air conditioner has an eight-in-one air filter system. It is a flat type window air conditioner.

Toshiba RAS-18SKP RO204.900

This is a 1.5-tonne capacity split-type wall-mounted air conditioner. It has a seven-layer air filter and a self-cleaning function that eliminates mould. It also has a new compact chassis.

Sanyo SA186M5 RO117.900

Sanyo’s 1.5-tonne window air conditioner is a low noise design with a rotary compressor and comes with an anti-bacteria filter. It is easy to clean and allows smooth air flow.

Washing Machines Ariston AQ7F091 RO179.900

7kg capacity, 16 programmes, 1,000rpm, extra rinse, Woolmark Platinum Care certified

Toshiba AW1160/70 RO126.900

9.5kg capacity, six wash programmes, digital display, water level selection, top load washer

LG F1422TD RO188.000

Front load washer, 8kg capacity, 13 programmes, 1,400rpm, Bio care, child lock, direct drive motor

Samsung WD-7704 RO249.500

8kg washer and 3.5kg dryer, 1,400rpm, silver wash, delay end, 14 wash programmes, air wash, diamond drum, silver nano, child lock

LG T186RC RO285.000

This is a 1.5-tonne capacity split air conditioner with virus and allergy-safe filter. It has a four-way swing and jet cool feature. It also employs a multi-stage tropical compressor.

Disclaimer: Prices quoted in the magazine maybe subject to change. Please check with your local dealer for current costs. Lists are not in any particular order.


61 Microwaves & Ovens Samsung CQV513S RO169.500

A 36L oven with 800W microwave output power and 1,540W grill power, Samsung’s family-size combi steam oven has six power levels for cooking. It also has auto steam cook and auto power defrost.

Elekta EBRO-444HP RO28.900

This is a 43L capacity electric oven with five stages of heating selector. It comes with a 60-minute timer with bell ring. It has a temperature selector between zero and 250 degrees Celsius.

Sanyo EM-C7586V RO54.000

This is a 32L convection microwave with grill function. With an output power of 1,000W, this oven has an electronic timer. It includes auto defrost and auto delay start feature. It has five power levels and ten auto menus.

Sharp R241KS RO32.000

This is a 23L microwave oven with English and Arabic control key sheet. It has three auto cook menus. This microwave also features easy defrost, express defrost and slow cook functions.

Samsung GE109MST RO69.500

This is a 28L grill microwave oven. Designed for performance, it has a wide tempered glass door. This microwave features the Triple Distribution System and Steam Clean function.

Samsung GE614ST RO54.500

This is a 40L grill combi oven with six power levels. It has auto cook menus and auto defrost function. It has a microwave output power of 900W. It features ceramic enamel interior movable heater.

GE GMOH30UCPSS RO56.900

Vacuum Cleaners Hoover HFC-2000 RO29.900

2,000W power vacuum cleaner, indicator for full bag, bagged canister

Rowenta RWRO442711 RO74.900 2,100W vacuum cleaner, anti-bacteria HEPA filtration, Delta Silence Force technology

Karcher VC 5200 RO77.000

Dry vacuum cleaner, 3.3L dust bag capacity, 1,800W input power, indicator for full bag, HEPA 12 filter

Samsung SD-9420 RO69.500

Dry vacuum cleaner, 2L dust capacity, bagless water filtration, telescopic pipe, auto cord rewinder, foot switch, 200W suction power

Domestic Appliances Krups EA8255K1 RO284.600

Espresso, Cappuccino and Coffee maker, compact Thermoblock system, metal drip tray, steam function, automatic cleaning

Philips Airfryer HD9220 RO99.900

2.2L capacity, oil-free frying using Rapid Air technology, food separators, integrated timer, 1,425W power

A 30L convection microwave/grill with electronic touch control, GE’s latest in this series has time and weight defrost feature and express cook. It has a 1,000W grill power and 900W microwave power.

Philips Blender HR2027 RO14.200

LG MC-8088FRR RO89.900

Braun Food Processor K-600 RO50.100

This is a 30L convection microwave with grill function. It includes quick defrost and auto defrost functions. Additional features include the speed cook and sweet menu buttons.

LG MH7046 RO49.900

This is a 30L microwave oven with grill function. It features an antibacterial interior, five power levels and a smart LED display with touch panel. It has six auto cook menus. It also sports a mirror design.

Black & Decker TRO2000 RO26.700

This is a 1,380W toaster oven that features a 19L capacity. It comes with an adjustable timer, a wire rack and a food tray handle. It also has a removable crumb tray for easy crumb disposal.

400W power, 1.75L capacity, two speeds and pulse, dishwasher safe, serrated blades

600W power, 2L bowl capacity, 14 levels with turbo boost, safety lock, useful for chopping, slicing, grating and shredding

Tefal Actifry TFAH9000 RO99.900

1,400W power, ceramic coating, digital display, one spoon of oil for 1kg of crispy chips

Moulinex CE-400070 RO40.900

1,000W power, 6L capacity, six automatic cooking functions, digital timer, steamed and hot frying material container


62 Gaming Consoles & Accessories PSP 3000+4 Games RO76.000

This current version of the PlayStation Portable has a built-in microphone and a better screen that is able to resist glare and so works better outdoors.

PS3 320GB + Move Bundle RO160.000

The Move is broken into three parts: the ‘Motion Controller’, the ‘Navigation Controller’ and the ‘PlayStation Eye Camera’. The Motion Controller contains built-in motion sensors.

Nintendo 3DS RO138.000

A built-in 3D Depth Slider allows you to adjust the intensity of the 3D settings on the new Nintendo 3DS system. Other features include the built-in motion and gyro sensor.

Logitech G13 RO37.000

The GamePanel LCD in this gaming keyboard keeps you informed of the game stats and other vital information to help you claim victory. It includes programmable G-keys that let you create macros on the fly.

Logitech G27 RO160.000

Logitech racing wheels and flight controllers simulate remarkable realism. Force feedback lets you feel every slip of the tyre, every shudder of the wing and the controls feel like the real thing.

Our Current Top 5 Recommended Games Alice: Madness Returns RO28.900

Publisher: EA Games Developer: Spicy Horse Platform(s): Xbox 360, PS3, PC Genre: Action ESRB Rating: Mature

Dead or Alive Dimensions RO26.700 Publisher: Nintendo of America Developer: Tecmo Koei Platform(s): 3DS Genre: Fighting ESRB Rating: R/P

inFamous 2 RO28.900

XBOX 360 Kinect 250GB RO177.000

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) Developer: Sucker Punch Platform(s): PS3 Genre: Adventure ESRB Rating: Teen

Logitech Z906 RO160.000

L. A. Noire RO28.900

With a stylish design, the integrated internal memory of 250GB allows you to save games and content. It has built-in Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11 b/g/n) and 5.1 channel surround sound.

Successor to the highly acclaimed Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 Speaker System, the new THX-Certified Z906 delivers 500W of pure power.

SteelSeries Spectrum 5XB RO53.600

This is a premium quality, wired headset designed for Xbox 360. With the custom-built soundscape via 40mm SunDancer (SCS) units, you can pinpoint the direction of noises and movement throughout the game.

Thrustmaster T500RS RO241.000

The T500RS employs new H.E.A.R.T (HallEffect AccuRate Technology) on the wheel’s steering and so offers precision, force feedback and a realistic angle of rotation. The controls feel like the real thing.

Publisher: Rockstar Games Developer: Team Bondi Platform(s): Xbox 360, PS3 Genre: Adventure ESRB Rating: R/P

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time RO26.700 Publisher: Nintendo Developer: Nintendo Platform(s): 3DS Genre: Action ESRB Rating: R/P

Nintendo Wii Sports Resort Pack RO107.000

This is Super Mario Bro.’s 25th Anniversary Edition and comes with two games. The Wii now sells its Wii Sports Resort and Wii MotionPlus accessory bundled into a console package.

SEVEN DAYS EXERCISE T U O H T I W EAK W E N SO MAKE

Disclaimer: Prices quoted in the magazine maybe subject to change. Please check with your local dealer for current costs. Lists are not in any particular order.

Excellent range of fitness equipment at fantastic prices!


Company

Products

Showroom

Service Dept.

Abu Hani

La Germania, Starway, Westar, Starline, Tatung

24495141

24491327

Al Khalili Technology

Fijitsu, Siemon, Coral Telecom, Honeywell, Epson, Camtron, Pyronix, SD3, Tripp-lite, Cummins, Schnider Electric, Sanyo, Sakar, Sterline, Sonicwall

24616900

24816303

Bahwan Electronics

Asset, Carrier, Ignis, Napro, Toshiba, Seiko, Casio, Titan, Sony Ericsson, Tempstar, Cooline, Corning, Print electronics, Dolphin, Benq, Ausonia, Daewoo, VIP, Dometic, Corby

Ruwi 24796629/32

24501965 / 66

24798222

Belltel

Nokia

Ruwi 24798222

Emax

Multibrand

MCC 24558062, Fax 24558063

Genetco

Sanyo, Videocon, Fujitsu, Thomson, York, Yamaha, Canon, HAAS, AEG, Sure, Caravell, Gulf Star, Safari, Admiral, Francia, Mitsubishi, Marc Climatic, Vortice, Guntner, Zanussi , Ziegra Imesa, Bitzer , Manitowoc, Bremer, Dito- Electrolux, Metro, Taylor, Costan

Al Qurum 24568806 Al Qurum 24561948 Muttrah 24713138 Ruwi 24830919 Seeb 24422797 Shatti al Qurum 24693292

24503653

HiTec Centre

Boston Accoustics, Denon, Leica, Polk Audio

Azaiba 24497384

24497384

Jashanmal

Mytag, Hoover

24702312

Jawahir Oman

Bang & Olufsen

Qurm 24563213

24563213

Jumbo Electronics

Sony, VAIO, Sony professional Products, Blackberry, Supra, Midea Air-conditioners, Casio, Brother Sewing Machines, Acer, HP, Dyson, Gorenje

MBD 24818358, Al Araimi 24565845 QCC 24470529, Salalah 23291984

Wadi Kabir 24814815, 24814751, Fax 24815267

Khimji Luxury

Krups, Moulinex

Ruwi 24796161

99881627

K R Household

O General, Siemens

Wadi Kabir 24813333

24814793

K R P&G

Braun, Oral-B

24831045

24831045

Loay International

Macintosh, Benq, Epson, Sokkia, Acer

24708795

24708845

MHD

Fagor, Pioneer

Ruwi 24732440

24732440

Meta Galaxy

Hitachi

Ruwi 24503653

24503653

Moayyed Integrated Ente

Daewoo Electronics

24488795

24488795

Molecules

Micromax

24830108

24830108

Muscat Electronics

Daikin, Wansa, Ricoh, Chigo, Media, G-Hanz, Sony Professional products

Ruwi 24702985, 24799246 Sohar:26845647, Salalah:23291617

24813408,24560874

Mustafa Sultan Electronics (MSE)

Samsung, Haier, Philips, Nevica, Whirlpool

Al Khuwair 24636015

Wadi Kabir 24818018

Oman Intl. Electronics & Trading Co.

Bose, Nec, JVC

Qurm 24565490

24830606

Oman Modern Electronics Co.

Sharp, JBL, Mastergas, Harman/Kardon, Onida, Nikai

24702555

24702555

OMASCO

Raymond Weil, Kolber, Westar, Alba, Maxima, HMT, Panasonic, Xper, Aftron, Black&Decker, GE

Qurm, 24564310 Ruwi 24833630

24560232

OMASCO - System Solutions

Panasonic

24565696

24565696

Oman Trading Est.

Bosch, LG, Palson, TCL, Prolux, Promate, Pearl, Souq Technia, GHanz, White Westinghouse, Hostess, Kenstar,

Ruwi 24834162 Al Araimi 2456148, 24810522

24810522, 24810156, 80075545

Photocentre

Amano, Archivtechnik Kunze, Unomat Intl., Broncolor, Delkin Devices, Fuji Film, Epson, Green Clean, Hama, Hasselbald, Marumi, Mitsubishu Electric, Peli, Sigma, Sinar

Qurm 24565305 Al Khuwair 24479296

Sarco

Samsung, Technoflame

Ruwi

Ghala 24593025

Sayed Bin Nasser Al Hashar

Ariston, Rinnai, Voltas, JBL, Kirloskar, Kardex, Lexmark

Ruwi 24700571 Ruwi 24706004, 24796007 Ruwi High Street 24834460 Salalah 23291405, Sohar 26840763 Sur 25544613

24704494

Salman Store

Seb, Janome, Coolex

24799332

Shah Nagardas Manji Co.

Kodak, Olympus, Yashica, Cokin, Case Logic, Lexar, Noritsu, Durst, Bushnell, Eiki, Iriver, Steiner, Tasco, White Westinghouse, Igloo, Venus, Russel Hobbs, Addis, Noritake, Ocean, Wenger

Ruwi , Qurm 24562656 Lulu Baushe 24593806, Nizwa 25410184

Technical Trading Co

Westinghouse

Ruwi 24703515, Fax 24700010

If you would like to be listed, e-mail: tech@deenarmedia.com

24700883


TECH Issue 16  

Android Overdrive, August 2011

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