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AUGUST 2012 ISSUE 28

RACE TO PERFECT

A BULGARI-MASERATI DREAM AFFAIR

AUDIOPHILE’S

HAPPINESS

BEATS OF MUSIC

MAXX LIFE

MOTOROLA RAZR MAXX REVIEWED

EBANKING

BATTLE

ONLINE BANKING ANALYSED

RECORDING REALITY CAPTURING MEMORIES FOR A LIFETIME

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ASHRAF FAWKHERJI GM GULF ELECTRONICS TELECOM


RAMADAN MUBARAK

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A matter of perspective

ISSUE 28

AUGUST 2012

Editor-in-chief

Hatim al Taie Managing Director

Abdullah al Taie General Manager

Rathish Ramachandran Asst. General Manager

Terry Mathukutty Content Head

Namitha Roy Content

Vinod Chandran Deepali Kumar Julina Selwin Anirudh Ram

Treasuring memories are a lot easier when there are various options that allow you to store video-footage, upload videos directly to the Web or even capture 3D video with ease. New camcorders generally boast bigger sensors than the average digital camera, meaning they can capture sharper footage. In fact, a good camcorder can rival the resolution of some TV broadcasts. Whereas many digital cameras use the MPEG4 format to squeeze around 30 minutes of footage to a gigabyte of memory, camcorders with a hard drive can save up to a minimum of 45 hours of HD footage onto a massive 60GB memory reserve. Look out for Sony’s clutch of new HD technologies if you want your films to have the professional edge. While Canon helps everyday moviemakers create amazing live works of art with its CMOS sensor technology, Panasonic takes 3D filming to the next level. And as JVC introduces the sleekest camcorder yet in the market, Samsung goes smart by working with intuitive technology. It really comes down to your personal taste and what is it that you would really like to shoot.

Head - Design

Shyniben Koyakkil Senior Designer

Manu Martin

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Advancement of camera and mobile technology over the last few years have popularised video shooting immensely. However, the surge of various devices with video-recording capabilities have still not overthrown a true dedicated camcorder. While there are certainly cameras and phones that shoot some pretty good video these days, there is still something to be said about having a true dedicated camcorder for your movie-making purposes.

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Aaron Davidson Leticia Meneses Vibha Ashar Produced by

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PO Box 139, PC 102, Al Qurm, Sultanate of Oman Tel: + 968 24696868, Fax: +968 24693569 E-mail: info@deenarmedia.com

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2012 © 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.


AUGUST 2012 ISSUE 28

16 COMPUTING Google serves Jelly Bean on its very own tablet

18 INTERVIEW Ashraf Fawakherji general manager of Gulf Electronics Telecommunications Group

20 AUDIO ZONE Add a burst of colour to your headphones

26 SPECIAL FEATURE

22 VIDEO ZONE

Create memoirs in time with camcorders of your choice

The Phantom takes over cinematography

24 PHOTOGRAPHY Olympus cameras get travel friendly with the new S-series

34 MOBILE ZONE Razr Maxx is Motorola’s latest supercharged mobile

36 SURVEY Find out how e-banking systems fare against each other

46 TIME ZONE Two luxury brands pair up to create a masterpiece of time

48 TECH ART Learn how to set your pictures on fire

50 DASHBOARD A snake with an 8.4 litre, V10 for a heart

54 MOVIE ZONE The Dark Knight Rises – Is this the last of Batman?

News 10 NouvoTech 14

Next issue WONDER WOMEN

We talk about women who have turned technology around

Quiz 55 Tech Favourites 56 Tech Directory 63

REGULARS

Features

Share pictures effortlessly with Samsung’s Wi-Fi enabled camera


LETTERS

TO THE EDITOR Dear Editor, I am planning to get the Alienware M17xR4 soon. However, I have a couple of questions before I do so. Can I upgrade the video card in the laptop? Secondly, is it compatible with AMD 7970 and Geforce GTX 675m.? Also, I will be getting it from the US, will repair be any issue out of the country? Abbas Dear Abbas, It is compatible with both the cards. You can actually buy the cards along with your M17x. I suggest you go with the 7970 as it is much faster than the 675m. You can switch to between Nvidia and AMD in the future, just keep in mind that mobile GPUs are not easy to get and are pretty expensive. Repairs can be carried out locally if it’s possible, if not it will be necessary to get it done in the US. Getting an international warranty would definitely help. -Ed

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

Hi Tech, Right now my Ipod touch has three updates in the app store but when I go to download them a thing comes up saying ‘Sign in Required. Tap continue and sign in to view billing information’ but there is no option to continue, only the ‘Okay’ button is available. I would appreciate any help. Pinto Dear Pinto This usually happens when you spend more than you have in your account. This means you are not allowed to download the free apps either. Once your debts are cleared using an itunes card or credit card, you will be able to update again. -Ed

Dear Editor, How can I play PS3 using PC monitor and speakers when the monitor and speakers are also linked to the PC? Ismail Dear Ismail, You can display PS3 output on a PC monitor, if it has DVI or HDMI, and if it supports HDCP. If the monitor has HDMI and built in speakers, sound should play from monitor. If you have analog speakers you need to get an audio selector box and analog A/V cable from the PS3. -Ed

Hello, I am very interested in 3D designing. Could you please list out a few 3D softwares that are available for download from the internet for free. Feroz Dear Feroz, Google SketchUp 6, Softimage, Art of illusion, Seamless3d and 3D plus are a few 3D softwares that might interest you. They are free to be downloaded from the net. -Ed

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NEWS

iSwim Turn your iPhone into a fully featured recreational diving computer with the iGills Smart Diving System. Simply connect your phone into the waterproof case and gain access to depth and temperature sensors with the help of a companion app. Not only does the software provide vital diving information but it also allows users to take stills and videos of their underwater excursions through a glass camera port. So dive in deep upto 130 feet with your new underwater companion, without having to worry about perfect pictures and navigation.

Samsung checks-in at the 2012 Olympics It turns out that Samsung’s Galaxy SIII is the key to your stay in London, during the Olympics. Forty rooms at the Holiday Inn in Stratford, next to the London 2012 Olympic arena, have been made compatible with a new app available exclusively to Samsung Galaxy SIII users. As a worldwide Olympic partner, Samsung has collaborated with Fingi Inc. to offer residents’ a full suite of services including latest updates of the London 2012 Olympics. The mobile solution provides complete integrated control of TVs, lighting, AC and many other audio-visual and in-room functions apart from serving as a room key. Keeping up with the spirit of the Olympics, Samsung has also released an Olympic Edition SIII which boasts a limited edition Team GB cover, enabling customers to show their support by waving their smartphones during the games.

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Smart Walkman

Apple vs Samsung

Sony is out with their newest Android 4.0 PMP, the Walkman F800. It has a multi-touch display of 8.8cm. It is available in 8GB, 16GB and 32GB storage options. This player also has Wi-Fi, bluetooth, a USB port, a 3.5mm headset jack and it runs on Android 4.0 OS.

Known as the Apple vs Samsung lawsuit, this is the first of a series of on-going case between Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics. Apple’s patent portfolio shows the emphasis the company puts on designbased innovations, rather than its technology. Of the 359 patents listing Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs as an inventor, 86 percent were for design. Apple is holding Samsung against three patent infringements, one being for ‘rubberbanding’ and another relates to how users can

double-tap a web page or photo to zoom in. In its opening statement against Apple, Samsung says any similarities in its devices are due to the competitive nature of the electronics business. In a countersuit, Samsung claims that Apple is infringing five patents, including two that involve basic telecommunications technology that let mobile phones talk to each other. Samsung bringing cheaper and durable technology to the masses, has given Apple a lot to think about.

Flash it

Dell goes Ubuntu As much as we all agree that the iPhone is an amazing device, it lacks a true notification light rather than just the LED camera flash. The Kickstarter project aims to solve this issue in a flash. The FLASHr is simply an iPhone case that supercharges the LED flash notification. Using a Glow Frame, the LED flash illuminates several sides of the case, making the notification impossible to miss, no matter how the phone is oriented.

‘Project Sputnik’ is Dell’s latest venture to target Linux developers. Though the project does not have anything to do with satellites or space crafts, the Dell XPS 13 ultrabook comes preloaded with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and is available in select geographies. Officially releasing this fall, the ultrabook release will coincide with the Windows 8 launch. We presume since the laptop runs on Linux, it will cost less than its counterpart running on Windows.

August 2012 / 11


NEWS

Personal groomer

Motion sensing Camera Panasonic recently launched yet another range of stylish grooming products for both men and woman. A waterproof yet stylish Milano Shaver caters to men who desire performance, ease and efficiency in shaving. For the active, on-thego woman, Panasonic offers a hot pink makeup bag that includes a chic shaver, a facial groomer, an eyelash curler as well as a nail care product. Get groomed effortlessly this summer with Panasonic.

Wireless HDD Available in 500GB only, Buffalo’s latest hard-disk, the HDW-P550U3 has been tailored for people who need to get wireless access to their data on-the-go. This USB 3.0 External HDD comes with WiFi connectivity and a 2860mAh internal battery allowing you to access your data even away from the nearest electric plug. The Android and iOS friendly HDD can give you an approximate four and a half hours of usage without power. However, this piece of hardware doesn’t come cheap. Priced at USD297 (RO114) the HDD will be up for sale in Japan this August.

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Samsung has announced the launch of a new digital camera called the MV900F. This digi-cam has Wi-Fi integrated in it and a 180-degree rotating MultiView display. The rear LCD is a 3.3-inch model that flips to shoot different angles. The camera has a resolution of 16.3-megapixels and a 5x optical zoom. It records full HD video and has a number of automatic features. The camera

One touch coffee

will launch in late August for USD350 (RO135). the camera also supports Gesture Shot using motion sensing technology to zoom in and snap a photo using hand motions from across the room. That means no more running from the camera to your friends when you’re trying to take a group photo.

The German maker of high quality small domestic appliances, Severin, is fast expanding its Middle East footprint. In an exclusive partnership with SARCO, one of the Sultanate’s leading distributors of consumer goods, Severin has stepped into the Oman market as well. During a recent launch the family-owned brand unveiled a fully automatic coffee maker named the S2 One Touch. For a high-end product, this beanto-cup machine, is easy to maintain and affordable as well. Apart from the One Touch, the launch also showcased several other domestic appliances ranging from egg boilers and bottle warmers to electric BBQ grills and food processors.


TECH RADAR

Rumour has it that these are the gadgets to watch out for from the apple store in the coming months

Windows 8 release date

iPad mini

As the iPad got heavier, Apple has found another way to make big bucks. The iPad mini is said to be of the same thickness as the iPod touch 4G, with a screen measuring 7.85-inches. If you are tired of lugging the iPad along, this September might see you carry a lot lesser.

iTV Yes, Apple is entering your living room too. Though rumours predict a 2013 Apple iTV release date, the more optimistic observers think Apple won’t want to miss 2012’s winter shopping season. Now here’s something to expect under our Christmas trees.

iPHONE 5

The most anxiously awaited iPhone is rumoured to be released by midSeptember. Meanwhile the mobile world is having a good time forecasting possible iPhone 5 concepts.

Distraction at its best Getting distracted just got a lot easier with Big Fish Unlimited. Ardent gamers can now resume play on mobile, PC or TV without having to restart the game as they switch devices. By using HTML5 to constantly save progress, a cloud computing service remembers exactly where a player was and ports it to the next device. This means you can now hop from Android to Android or from a Roku box to a Windows PC easily without having to replay anything. Though this won’t give OnLive players second thoughts to shift to cloud gaming, its lighter footprint won’t demand as much from an internet connection. The Big Fish Unlimited is your answer to staying distracted at all times.

Microsoft has revealed an official release date for its Windows 8 Operating System. The most popular OS will be officially released on October 26. It will be the most radical overhaul of the familiar Windows desktop style since it was initially conceived in 1985. In place of the traditional desktop, Microsoft is adopting a similar Metro UI to the one already found on the Xbox 360 dashboard and on Windows Phone 7 devices. As it suggests, Microsoft is aiming for a ‘one OS to rule them all’ approach across its various platforms. The new OS comes with an icon-heavy approach designed to work, as well as touch screen inputs similar to a traditional mouse.

A Ramadan with Google Every year the Holy month of Ramadan brings over a billion devout Muslims globally together through fasting and prayers. Similar to last year’s initiative Google is out to help celebrate the occasion by streaming Islamic prayers live from Mecca. However, the search giant intends to reach out even further this year. With the help of YouTube, a new channel allows viewers to watch more than fifty Ramadanrelated TV shows on-demand. YouTube will ensure uninterrupted broadcast worldwide during this Holy month.

August 2012 / 13


NOUVOTECH

INTERESTINGLY DIFFERENT Immerse yourself in technology that is engagingly interactive

COD gamers essential Turtle Beach has unveiled a new addition to their range of peripherals, with the unveiling of the Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Tango headphones. The headphones are equipped with 5.1 surround sound technology, and can dual pair via Bluetooth with multiple devices. We are sure this is a must have for serious gamers.

Weigh smart If you think a weighing scale is a low-tech, lowmaintenance gadget, think again. The Fit Bit Aria Wi-Fi Smart scale is not your average weighing scale. It records your weight and body-fat percentage and automatically sends your precious body data to the web or a mobile app. The app then graphs your weight and charts your progress towards whatever goals you’ve set, using visualizations that are pretty to look at and easy to understand. We think this bit of tech is perfect for the weight-obsessed.

Kung-Fu iPhone Brace yourself for the iPhone case has been created to protect your phone from drops and knocks. It also protects you from threats. It is fitted with a stun gun. Now that is interesting. The cover is fitted with a 650k volt stun gun that is guaranteed to take down an attacker. It is powered by an external battery that also provides your iPhone with more battery life.

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Party printer Created by Kickstarter, the Instaprint is an instant party printer. This wall-hanging gadget is paired wirelessly with your phone and programmed to look out for event-specific hash-tags. When you snap photos and tag them appropriately, the Instaprint rolls out hard copies of the same instantly. This compact little photo booth uses special inkless paper making rather eco-friendly. The colors for the pictures are pulled directly from the paper, making the printing process somewhat cheaper and less wasteful than it would be with ink cartridges and photo paper.

Media cloud Bid adieu to downloading, syncing or running out of space. The first of its kind social streaming media player is here. The Nexus Q, streams entertainment using the cloud computing technology. By using the Google Play or the YouTube app from an android phone or tablet, you can browse through music, videos and movies on the web as you please. The orb look-alike is also equipped with a built-in amplifier to boost your media experience.

Super sleek ChargeCard The ChargeCard, specifically designed for apple devices, is an ultra portable charger. With a thickness of 2.54mm, it is constructed from durable ABS plastic with a foldout USB arm. This device replaces the bulky apple charger.

Tokyo flash Kisai Online is an easy-to-read digital wrist watch. The ‘always on’ LCD display is made up of vertical lines which at first look like a cryptic pattern. Once the watch is turned towards you, the lines fall away to reveal the time. Push the lower button, and the screen changes to date mode. It is perfect for unusual gadget collectors.

August 2012 / 15


COMPUTING

THE 7-INCH LINK

The nexus of hardware and software is finally here

P

resently, the consumer electronic industry is crowded. All products have a short shelf life. However, some rise above the rest and have a long lasting impact in the market. This happens with many popular brands like Apple’s iPhone or iPad, HTC’s EVO and Samsung’s Galaxy series. Google has established itself as a great force by building Android from scratch years ago. The release of Google Nexus One managed to name

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themselves as hardware makers as well. Primarily, all the Nexus devices released so far have been smart phones but, Google has decided to bring Nexus to the tablet sphere. The Nexus 7 catches people by surprise by redefining the meaning of a budget tablet. The collaboration of Taiwan based ASUS and Google aims at broadening the appeal of Android tablets. This tablet is amazingly

functional. It has an excellent screen, up to nine hours long battery life that’s guaranteed to keep you entertained and an advanced quad-core processor. It will respond faster to impatient user’s fingers. With this, Google demands serious attention in the ocean of Android tablets. The software is the best Google has made. Jelly Bean offers a host of features that utilise Google’s search adequately.


Reorganising apps and widgets on the home screen is easier. In our opinion, this tablet is made for those who haven’t used an Android tablet. What takes it a few steps back though, is the relatively low 8GB storage. You would eventually like to expand its memory. The possibility for expansion via a MicroSD card would have been a useful addition. The Nexus 7 is not likely to tempt many iPad users. It has a wider audience as opposed to devices made specifically for geeks. The Nexus 7 is likely to take tablets from a niche category to the mass market.

It boasts a 1.3GHz quadcore NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor and the Nexus is the first tablet to feature Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

SPECIFICATIONS

Display 7-inch backlit IPS capacitive touchscreen, 1280x800 pixels Connectivity Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 Ports Micro USB, 3.5mm headphone jack Camera 1.2 megapixel front-facing Battery Li-ion 4325mAh Size 199x120x10mm Weight 340g

The Nexus 7 is thin, light weight and portable. Adequate spacing enables us to easily hold the tablet in one hand. We are surprised at how ASUS managed to pull this off with a limited budget.

The two things that stand out are, the buttons-free display and the front facing camera, positioned in the center.

With storage of just 8GB/16GB, it has no expansion slots.

VERDICT The pros of the product are its quality hardware, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and the bundled Google Play freebies. The Nexus’s shortcomings, however, are its weak IPS display contrast, limited storage options and limited Android tablet apps. Some of the content is hard to read too. As of now, the Google Nexus 7 is riding into the sunset at top gear, let’s see how far this tablet progresses.

August 2012 / 17


INTERVIEW

ARABIAN

STRATEGIST

Samsung believes that customer feedback is key to their success

S

amsung is currently the leading mobile phone company in the world. It has replaced Nokia from its global number one position and given tough competition to other smartphone vendors. Keeping the GCC countries in mind, Samsung has performed exceptionally well. They have achieved the number one position in both UAE and Qatar. Narrowing it down, the launch of the Galaxy SIII in Oman has increased the company’s smart phone market share to 45 per cent. How does Samsung plan on taking it a notch higher? Ashraf Fawakherji, General Manager, Gulf Electronics Telecommunication Group is responsible for devising and monitoring sales activities and product development. Additionally, he makes sure of brand visibility and advanced products are of the right value to consumers.

Ashraf Fawakherji, General Manager, Gulf Electronics

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Presently, a series of new product releases have helped stimulate Oman’s consumer electronics market. The local population seeks products that have better connectivity viz-a-viz, performance, speed, quality and convenience to suit their lifestyle. They expect Oman’s smart phone and tablet


industry to experience upward growth in the second half of 2012 with more consumers embracing new technologies and smart devices such as the GALAXY SIII. Fawakherji believes that Samsung’s primary aim, through promotions and campaigns, is to highlight their technology, cutting-edge design and premium-quality products. As for the Oman market, the main channel for marketing is print media. They are now making investments in digital and social media. They also collaborate with service providers through data package partnerships, ensuring that customers gain access to smart data packages and optimally utilise the phone’s innovative features.

year. They have recently introduced their new weapon that will shape Samsung’s future, the Samsung GALAXY S III.”He believes that the GALAXY S III is the best in class smartphone that is smart and intuitively simple. It is a gamechanger that introduces a whole new concept in mobile usability, content sharing and interactivity. Moving forward, they will continue to maintain the momentum by introducing competitive devices that match the unique needs of the regional consumers. The short comings, however, is the consumer awareness of its features. They rely on a solid marketing campaign combined with effective business management to ensure that stakeholders are fully aware of the S III’s unique features.

“The industry is constantly developing. One of the main challenges we face, is the ability to stay relevant in terms of offering new and innovative products, consistently. The other is that, the consumer electronics market includes low margins, which creates intense competition.” Says Fawakherji.

To him, success is primarily based on consumer feedback on the products. They are committed to match the diverse consumer needs with a wide portfolio of products that are based on a synergy of excellent hardware, software and services. A deep understanding for their consumers, drive them to innovate.

We asked Fawakherji what Samsung’s vision for the near future is, he explained, “By 2015, mobile application development projects, targeting smartphones and tablets will outnumber native PC projects. In the Gulf region specifically, the technology landscape will continue to grow. Driven by factors such as a developed infrastructure, higher broadband speed and growing consumer demand for the latest devices, more consumers are now demanding smart devices such as smartphones and tablets.”

To conclude, we enquired of the changes Samsung would have made last year, keeping in mind the present. To that he said that, being the world’s leading mobile phone and smartphone maker, they constantly strive to keep their finger on the consumer’s pulse.

Fawakherji says, “The region can expect a lot of exciting things from Samsung this

Consumers will increasingly gravitate to devices that are not only ‘cool’ and ‘slick’ but also provide experiences that are seamless and intuitive

They dedicate their resources to research and development so they can be notified on the consumer usage patterns, demands and expectations. He says that they would not go back to make changes but they are relentlessly seeking to better their products, just so that it becomes an extension of the user.

August 2012 / 19


St ylish AUDIOZONE

SOUND

Enjoy listening to music with these vibrant headphones

S

ome enjoy listening to music amplified directly to the head. Thankfully inventions like headphones save the rest of us from hearing these unsocial sounds. Headphones are a fast growing trend amongst youngsters everywhere.

missed with earphones. The rear acoustic dome-shaped housing enhances bass for stunning audio without distortion. These headphones also come with a detachable chord that allows you to move around and work on other tasks while listening to your favourite tunes.

Ear candy

KEY FEATURES

Skullcandy has become one of the most reliable and sturdy manufacturers of headphones worldwide. The brand known for great sound quality and stylish designs is also quite affordable as compared to other brands that promise similar quality. The Skullcandy Hesh 2.0 focuses on build and sound quality. The lightweight headphone has leather touch ear pillows and a strong, sturdy construction that fit very snugly over the ears. Its soundisolating technology blocks ambient noise for crystal-clear audio. It does a good job of picking up tiny sounds

An athlete’s ear A man used to breaking and making records, Usain Bolt, has teamed up with SOUL Electronics to design headphones this summer. A perfect exemplification of the brand, the athlete gave inputs in the design process focusing on functionality, color, style and overall feel of the product. SOUL headphones are known for its sound quality, noise cancellation ability, high definition acoustic balance and comfort. The SL300 Usain Bolt edition headphones include a Bluetooth earbud with removable ear safety-hooks for added stability. The over-ear model has a green and yellow scheme that pays a stylish homage to the sprinter’s home, Jamaica.

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• Over-the-ear design • 50mm drivers • Sound-isolating technology • 3.9-inch detachable cord • 3.5mm gold-plated connector


VIDEOZONE

GHOST OF

CINEMATOGRAPHY Phantom Miro M320S takes portable high-speed imaging to the next level

Standard rechargeable battery

HD-SD video output

Size: 7.5 x 3.5 x 4 inches

Extreme Dynamic Range (EDR)

Canon EOS, Nikon F, 35mmPL and C Lens mounts

Continuous recording

Weight: 1.4kgs

Internal Mechanical Shutter

V

ision Research’s Miro M series has once again brought in its tradition and versatility with the new Miro M320S. Adaptable to numerous imaging applications, it is packed with features every motion picture enthusiast looks for. It’s rugged design and advanced features make it prominent in its category. The M320S has specific control over resolution, frame rate, exposure time and trigger point. The highlight of this camera is its light weight and compactness. This makes it one of the most accessible Phantom cameras

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today. The Miro is capable of recording 1320 frames per second (fps) at its full 1920x1200 resolution. Influenced by the Academy Award winning camera technology of the Phantom Flex, the Miro offers brilliant picture quality and light sensitivity. Thanks to its two megapixel CMOS it has a 35mm depth of field. The footage can be reviewed and reprocessed using Phantom software or other compatible third party solutions. Vision Research is a leading manufacturer of high speed digital imaging systems. Their cameras are used

in numerous fields including science, TV production and digital cinematography. Over the last sixty years, Vision Research has won several awards with regard to their innovations. Their range of cameras, add a new dimension to the sense of sight. In comparison to the other cameras we have seen the Miro makes it impossible to miss out on precise detail.


PHOTOGRAPHY

TRAVEL COMPANION

For that picture perfect moment during the most challenging tours

Olympus SH-25MR

OLYMPUS SP-810UZ

The new Olympus SH-25MR camera packs some big surprises into its ultraslim casing for even the most demanding travelers. One of its special defining feature is its multi-recording, which gives the option to record a 1080 full HD movie in the background while you can also take still photos. The Multi-framing captures close ups and wide shots all at the same time. Another exceptional feature is the Multi Motion movie IS and iHS technologies that boosts image quality in the most challenging conditions.

The Olympus SP-810UZ is quite an uncomplicated camera, with just a few key features. The 36x wide angle zoom guarantees, virtually limitless freedom. The zoom lens and it’s 14-megapixel image sensor makes the camera the benchmark in its class. The Olympus SP-810UZ feels well built, and there is a solidity to it that feels nice when held. Olympus has also included Dual Image Stabilization for smooth shooting without a tripod.

12.5x super-wide optical zoom (24-300mm)

36x wide optical zoom (24-864mm)

Multi Recording functions

Dual Image Stabilization

iHS Technology

Eye-Fi Card compatibility

1080 60p Full HD Movie and HDMI Control

3D Photo Shooting Mode

Olympus SZ-30MR

A truly competent travel companion to capture stills and full HD movies is finally here. Whether it is multi-tasking or multi recording, the SZ-30MR does it all. This multipurpose, light weight, ultra compact camera, comes with great features you can’t resist. It has a

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16-megapixel backlit CMOS sensor, 7fps high-speed continuous shooting in full resolution, a powerful 24x wide optical zoom, and hand-held starlight mode for high performance in low light shooting situations. Plus, you can simultaneously capture 16-megapixel still photos and 1080p full HD movies.


SMART ZOOMING, SMARTER SHARING Click brilliant photos with Samsung’ s WB850F Dual Capture mode: Take videos and pictures at the same time

Full manual mode: Lets you capture photos just the way you want them. With Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority you can experiment with shutter speeds and depth of field, so you can shoot fastmoving images in low light.

Full HD movie recording creates home movies worthy of 1080p HDTV at 30fps

W

hether you are a wandering traveler, or a photography enthusiast who likes to travel light, Samsung’s 16.2MP, WB850F is the ideal camera for you. Samsung has launched WB850F as a part of their smart camera range of compact cameras. What excites us most about this camera is it’s built- in Wi-Fi that makes it easy to share pictures directly from the camera. This smarter than average camera, has a Schneider-Kreuznach Variopia lens that offers a focal length range of 23 to 483mm. Photographers on the go, may also appreciate its built in GPS technology. The WB850F lets you access information about the location you are present in. You can download maps and use the camera’s on screen MapView to navigate. The camera’s key feature, being its Wi-Fi capability, allows you to

connect to networks and upload pictures on Facebook, Picasa and PhotoBucket. You can also email pictures directly. Videos can be uploaded to YouTube and files can be wirelessly backed up on a Cloud network or a computer. The 7.6cm screen has a 614,000dot AMOLED display that ensures a good view in bright light. We think that the Samsung WB850F is a compact camera that produces crisp images. It is user-friendly, and provides short cuts to many features like the two non-photographic featuresLive Landmark and the compass. The WB850F can easily slip into a pocket or small handbag. It is fairly durable and looks well put together.

August 2012 / 25


Record memories that last a lifetime within the palm of your hand


O

ver the past few years, the trusty camcorder has gone through a sea of change. Tape-based camcorders gave way to digital ones but technology did not stop there. Digitalisation resulted in High Definition camcorders, tapeless recording systems and now 3D filming. Today’s HD camcorder models are smaller, lighter, and more affordable than ever. Despite their tiny sizes, they capture morevibrant colours, sharper video, and smoother motion than ever before. So whether you want to treasure memories by filming your adventures, record your infant’s first steps, create the next indie-film masterpiece or shoot everything in 3D, the following pages will direct you to a camcorder that meets your needs. As technology turns image know-how to smart feature based reality for great-value prices, there’s never been a better time for ‘Action’.

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CANON LEGRIA HF-R36

Instant sharing with the Wi-Fi enabled Canon Legria HF R36

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ith the creation of the Canon Legria HF R-Series, Canon has brought a little Wi-Fi joy to its entry-level range of HD camcorders. The R36 is equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity and 8GB of internal storage system apart from image filters, smart scenes and a range of control and creative options which take movie making to the next level. If you want a fun, good quality camcorder, then Canon HF R36 is for you.

Wi-Fi with MP4 support 3-inch touch screen 51x Advanced zoom; Full HD CMOS

HD-SD conversion 8GB memory, SDXC card slot

RO137

Available at Emax, 24558062

Design

performance

lens

The R36 is a full-HD compact camcorder with a CMOS sensor, 32x optical zoom, a three-inch colour touchscreen monitor and a good 8GB of internal storage space. These specifications are already pretty good for a camcorder of this price, but Canon has gone even further by adding Wi-Fi connectivity, which means you can transfer recorded videos to your PC without a USB cable and stream videos to DLNA-enabled TVs and games consoles. The built-in Wi-Fi adaptor uses a 2.4GHz band to enable effortless sharing.

At the heart of this Legria is an HD CMOS sensor that gives true HD quality without any blurring, ensuring excellent colour reproduction, low power consumption, sensitivity to low light and provides brilliant colour balance for superior image quality. Features such as Cinema-Look filters enhance movie recordings while Smart Auto mode analyses the scene and selects appropriate settings suitably. The Wi-Fi connectivity also enables you to wirelessly transfer movies directly to social networking sites, with just a click of a button.

The camera’s CMOS sensor is supported by a 32x Optical Zoom and 51x Advanced Zoom that give high magnification in vivid detail. The 51x Advanced Zoom allows you to capture details in far subjects and can also be further extended to zoom digitally to 1020x. The digital zoom gives you a zoom boost without degrading much quality. A DIGIC DV III processor adds the power of an updated image stabilisation system to clips ensuring that they do not shake even when it’s zoomed in to the maximum.

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JVC GZ-V505

Capture memories with ease wherever you go

J

VC’s merger with Kenwood brought out a whole new range of camcorders called the Everio series. The lightest one of the series is the new GZ-V505. Equipped with a 10x magnification, image stabilisation and auto-focus options, this compact camcorder is capable of producing photographic images and videos that are clear, sharp and stable.

Design The GZ-V505 takes an entirely different approach to styling by emphasising its utility as an image acquisition tool. Weighing as light as 210g, the GZ-V505 is sleek and easy to operate. Its design is simple and gives the term, compact camcorder, a whole new meaning.

performance The GZ-V505 can record in 1920x1080 Full HD based on AVCHD format and offer high quality recording in UXP mode with industry leading 24mbps sampling rate which is quite impressive for a camera this size. Additionally it offers HDMI output for superior results when viewed on the big screen. However, the only downfall is its battery life, which comes in at a mere five hours.

Media Recorder: Single SD / SDHC / SDXC slot

Zoom Capability: 10x optical zoom (HD) Recorder System: AVCD Standard, AVC/H.264 LCD Display: Three-inch touch panel LCD

Available at Emax, 24558062

RO240

Dimension: 36x57x115mm Weight: 230g (Including supplied battery pack)

lens JVC has incorporated Konica Minolta 29.5mm Wide HD GT lens assuring high quality images. A 40X optical zoom option enables capturing closeup shots from a distance, without sacrificing optical quality.

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PANASONIC HDR 101 The perfect companion for your big adventures

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he Panasonic SDR-H101 is an exceptional standard-definition camcorder that offers the convenience of recording with HDD, SDXC, SDHC or SD memory cards. This combination of Super Zoom functions, Optical Image Stabiliser and a wideangle lens captures special moments in beautiful, well-focused images exactly as they happen.

80GB Hard Disc Drive and SD card slot 70x optical zoom with a 78x Enhanced Optical Zoom 2.7 inch wide LCD

Advanced O.I.S. with Active Mode

Weight: 273g Dimensions: 55.1x64.0x107.3mm 33mm wide-angle lens

RO100

Design

Panasonic’s affordable SDR-H101 is a lean camcorder considering its 80GB HDD and extra SD card provisions. Though the battery juts out from the back of the entire camcorder, the SDR-H101 is a pleasure to use. It is comfortable in the hand, and the essential shooting controls were easy to grasp. Sporting a steely metallic lustre and a black polymer body, the build is quite rugged. The internal hard drive has a drop protection mechanism that parks the head when it detects a state of falling, thus protecting the drive and data.

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performance

The Advanced Optical Image Stabilisation feature gets the most out of the SDRH101’s zoom lens making it handy during active video shooting. The Intelligent Auto Mode on the SDR-H101 senses the shooting conditions and automatically adjusts the settings and activates functions that will deliver optimal results. The Zoom Mic function now includes a Wind Noise Canceller, which supresses wind noise while recording. The 80GB built-in HDD and additional storage memory provisions makes the H101 great for recording long events and trips.

Available at Carrefour QCC, 24534209

lens

The lens on this gun-metal coloured camcorder is highly versatile. A 33mm-equivalent wide angle makes it possible to accomodate more within the frame. A 78x optical zoom puts distant scenes within your reach. Featuring a powerful 70x optical zoom with a 78x Enhanced Optical Zoom function, the effective area of the CCD can further extend the zooming power at the wide-angle setting. This makes it possible to capture beautiful images of sweeping landscapes and pull in distant subjects for dynamic close-ups.


SAMSUNG HMX Q20 A budget-friendly way to record all of life’s memorable moments

T

he HMX Q20 HD camcorder is Samsung’s brand new full HD high-technology compact camcorder with very intuitive functionality. The successor of the Q10 digital camcorder, the Q20 series will offer 1080i HD movie record quality, 5.1-megapixels CMOS and 20x optical zoom that helps you to get close to the action. With features such as the Smart Touch and Switch Grip, this camcorder offers portable performance that meets comfort and convenience.

Design The Q20 was designed to shoot full HD videos quickly and easily through a number of easy-to-use features. Many of the confusing buttons that are typically found on standard camcorders are eliminated. Switch grip gives you the freedom to get the shot onehanded, using either hand. With the Art Time Lapse Recording option, stills taken at preset intervals can be put together to create a video that speeds up the slow passage of time.

20x optical zoom lens

2.7-inch LCD touchscreen display with 230k-dot resolution

microSD/SDHC/SDXC media slot

5.1-megapixel BSI CMOS image sensor

1080p Full HD video capture enabled

performance Samsung’s CMOS sensors are getting yet better and better every year. The QF20’s 5.1-megapixel backside-illuminated CMOS sensor is 1/4.1” large and is designed to increase the amount of light captured during recording. It thus achieves high-quality capture in low-light conditions. The QF20 captures HD at the 1080 resolution for top quality or the 720p for longer recording time. The footage gets stored on an SD memory card which can conveniently be offloaded into your computer. Crisp 5.1-megapixel still photos in JPEG format can be taken while filming.

Available at Emax, 24558062

lens

RO100

The QF20 is equipped with a Schneider-Kreuznach Varioplan-HD 29.6mm wide angle lens capable of 20x optical zoom, which magnifies the scene while preserving the quality of object that ends up in focus. Additionally, the lens functions with a fast aperture of f/1.8 which only enhances the excellent low-light performance of the sensor. Moreover, the Dual Optical Image Stabilization feature ensures smooth shoots by compensating for any shakes that the camera detects.

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SONY HDR XR-260 The fun and easy-to-use camcorder

A

n entry level HD model, Sony’s HDR-XR 260 is a complete HD camera with fantastic picture quality and great storage options. A perfect family product, the camcorder is stuffed with features including a built-in GPS and maps for geo-tagging purposes, highlight playback, improved wind noise reduction, and closer voice recording that give video recording a whole new feel.

Optical Sensor Resolution: 8.9-megapixel

Display: three-inch LCD touch-screen

Sensor: 1/3.91 inch Exmor R CMOS Zoom: 30xopical zoom and 55x extended digital zoom

RO265

Design

The XR-260 records HD movies in full 1920x1080 resolutions resulting in super smooth motion while recording fast-moving action. The Exmor RTM sensor is extra fast and sensitive and this coupled to the BIONZ processor gives the camcorder great performance in low light. A high capacity 160GB disk drive has been built into the camcorder allowing a user to record up to 65 hours of complete HD movie without an extra requirement for memory. As for microphones, the XR260V has an HQ 5.1ch built-in microphone in addition to a built-in stereo speaker.

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performance

Sony HDR-XR260 camcorder gives you full high definition recording with its 8.9-megapixel Exmor R sensor. Features such as red eye reduction function, face detection, white balancing and multisegment metering give sharper and clearer pictures. The high specifications of the sensor has vastly improved picture in low lighting circumstances. This new function has also reduced the scratchiness and feed effect present in earlier models. At 12.1-megapixel, the XR260 offers one of the sharpest stillphoto resolution in the market giving excellent picture quality.

Available at Emax, 24558062

lens

Sony’s G lenses are some of their highest quality optics and are ideal for HD recorders. With this lens, the camcorder has excellent visual performance. A 55x extended digital zoom works in conjunction with 30x optical zoom to get closer to the action while at the same time maintaining HD image quality as you zoom in for an extreme close-up. A 29.8mm Wide Angle ideal for group photos, areas and more also increases the zoom range without noticeable damage to the image quality.


PANASONIC SDT750 Bring 3D filming home

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s the first consumer 3D camcorder, Panasonic’s HDCSDT750 allows anyone, with deep enough pockets, to have a go at 3D movie-making. An excellent 2D camcorder at heart, the T740 is equipped with a host of useful, creative features, most of which are limited when you opt to film in 3D. A pair of bolt-on 3D conversion lens sits side-by-side to pick up two slightly different points of view – one for each eye. When the lens is secured for the first time, the camera prompts you to follow a calibration wizard to make sure it’s properly configured. A high-performance 3MOS sensor delivers astoundingly good image fidelity for the form factor. Digital still images can be taken while recording video, with the 7.89-megapixel still picture mode, optical image stabiliser

and face detection. The design of this particular camcorder is sleek until you attach the 3D lens which almost doubles the length of the camcorder. This adds 215g to the camcorder’s 375g body weight making it rather front heavy and unbalanced. Since it has only been released in the European and Western markets, you can get hold of one by solely ordering the same.

USD1,868 (RO718)

Not available in Oman

SONY SDT750

Plunge into the deep with Sony’s water-baby

S

ony has taken a dip in the blue with the Sony HDR-GW77V nicknamed Sony 77V, a camcorder that Sony defines is built for ‘life on the go’. The camcorder offers full HD 60p recording, 20-megapixel still image capture, a three-inch touch screen and 16GB of internal flash memory. Designed to be completely waterproof up to 16 feet the Sony 77V enables you to film underwater and even use the touch-display functions. According to Sony, the Sony 77V is also shockresistant and can survive a five feet drop. This is one camcorder that doesn’t mind going wherever you do. Unlike most camcorders this one records in AVCHD giving superior

video quality with a higher bitrate and less compression. Additionally, Sony distinguishes itself with its imaging system for the 77V by using a Sony EXMOR BSI sensor normally associated with optics that is capable of achieving a 17x optical zoom. If you are tempted by underwater photography, the Sony HDR-GW77V will be your perfect buddy at a plump USD700 (RO269).

USD700 (RO269)

Not available in Oman

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MOBILEZONE

MAXXimise your life Motorola’s gains battery superpower with the new Razr Maxx

S

even months after the release of the ultra-thin Motorola Razr, there’s a new Razr in town. A splitting image of its predecessor, the Razr Maxx is identical to the Razr in almost every way except one. A huge powerful 3,300mAh battery powers this new Razr. Almost double the battery than that of the iPhone, the Razr Maxx claims to give you 600 hours standby, 18 hours talk-time and 17 hours video playback.

4G LTE speed dual core power Powered by android 4.0 21.5 hours talktime KEVLAR strong

Design At first glance there doesn’t seem to be much of a difference between the two Razr’s. Apart from a brushed metallic logo, the company has maintained the same proportions and design on the new handset. However due to the bigger battery the Razr Maxx is slightly bigger having a thickness of 9mm as compared to the svelte 7mm Razr making it 18g heavier. A scratch-proof rear-casing and a water-resistive coating adds to the phone’s durability.

Display Just like the Razr, the Razr Maxx sports a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED display which is decent. Pixel density is respectable at 256ppi and colour representation is good with excellent saturation. The bold bright colours together with high contrast make viewing of media a pleasure for the users.

Hardware

Camera

Software

Once again Motorola hasn’t done much to update processor. The Razr Maxx still uses the Razr’s dual-core 1.2 GHz TI OMAP 4430 chipset featuring 1GB RAM. It comes in two storage varieties, the 16GB and the 32GB versions. The lack of a quad-core device now puts the company behind the other handset manufacturers.

The Razr Maxx’s 8-megapixel rear camera setup is decent enough with better than average image quality, excellent tap-to-focus functionality and an LED flash. The 1.3-megapixel frontfacing camera is great for video-calling. The front-facing camera can record 720p video, while the main camera can capture at 1080p. These are quite impressive given good light levels.

For the Razr Maxx, Motorola has deployed Android Gingerbread 2.3.6. Though this is a step up from the Android Gingerbread 2.3.5 we are quite disappointed with the absence of Ice Cream Sandwich OS. Minor enhancements extend the usefulness of the Maxx. Customizable home screens, resizable widgets, additional apps make the phone more user friendly and interactive.

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Enjoy a special Ramadan with up to 50% off on select items from June 30th to August 29th, 2012. Ramadan Kareem.


SURVEY

We test the top banks in Muscat and see how they fare at online banking transactions

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B

anking today is at an altogether new level with transactions literally in the palm of your hands. But there has never been a study or analysis on how they perform from a consumer’s perspective. The banking industry has taken advantage of the latest in IT and produced various facilities that now come under the recent terminology of ‘e-banking’. While the Oman’s banking industry has been cautious in moving from traditional banking channels, the wait and watch game has finally ticked over and almost all of them now offer e-banking. Interestingly, if you look today, there are only two who offer ‘m-banking’ – BankMuscat and NBO. This concept born, in some twisted way out of smartphone competition, has reached into the marketing minds of these currency institutions. Except the aforementioned banks, the rest purport text-messaging as a form of m-banking. In fact, this is done so well that their staff believe that their employers are also at the cutting-edge – we have to stress this is SMS-banking; a relatively unsafe mobile transaction compared to m-banking that works on the well-established, even trusted, avenue of HTTPS using mobile OS like iOS and Android. Nevertheless, we decided to find out ourselves –we became their customers. Of course we needed a selection criteria, and found a recent survey conducted in Oman Economic Review (OER) on banks by OER-Gulf Baader Capital Markets.

Methodology To ensure an unbiased test, we developed a methodology that is common to all. Only the main branches were approached since the banks could have less or more attention to suit their individual branch requirements. Our staff called the banks to ask the procedure of opening an account; just to be sure they had the exact qualifications or documents on hand. We then approached each branch with the intention of opening a savings account specifically for Internet banking purposes. It’s at that time that we found a discrepancy between what the call-centre person said, and what was actually required at the bank’s branch. For example, BankMuscat call centre said RO100 was required to start an account, however at the bank we were

told there was no minimum opening balance required. Over the phone, we found out that at certain banks the information passed on to us through customer service representatives to be slightly misleading and incorrect. Extensive questions were required to understand the information provided by the call centre since at times they seemed contradictory. Upon going to the banks in person, we were required to submit copies of our resident card and passport (for expatriates), two very basic documents, for opening an account. Whereas in certain banks there was no deposit required to start an account, Bank Sohar and NBO required a minimum deposit of RO5 to initialise the banking process.

In the next few pages you will see our analysis for each bank. Each criteria has a star rating that, although subjective, was arrived at after paying due diligence to all possible scenarios that a consumer might be put through. So, if you ever plan to open a bank account that is in the palm of your hand, flip through the story laid out in descending order of performance.

Disclaimer The views mentioned in this article are the concurred opinions of our surveyors.

August 2012 / 37


BANK MUSCAT

bank branch in five days. Your username is sent to your registered email as well.

Service Other than the delay at the customer care desk, we were content with BankMuscat’s overall service.

Bank Muscat head office in Seeb, 24768888

BankMuscat is voted the ‘Best Bank of Oman’, seven years in a row, by The Banker, FT London. In comparison to the other banks we covered, it is the only bank with the largest network in the Sultanate. They have 130 branches, 135 Cash Deposit Machines (CDM) and over 390 ATMs. With an excellent e-banking service, BankMuscat lives up to its reputation.

Time An initial deposit was not required, although, if the balance in the account is below RO100, a monthly rental charge of 500baiza is deducted. We weren’t satisfied with the service as were made to wait at an empty table for fifteen minutes to be attended. That was the longest time we waited at any bank. However, we feel BankMuscat compensated for the lost time as the account was activated on the spot. We also received the ATM card and could make transactions immediately. We applied for e-banking via the call center and collected our username and password three days later. We made two visits to the bank.

Security In our opinion, the BankMuscat website is highly secure. When you log in to your account, you have the option of choosing the virtual keyboard which automatically shuffles characters. If you press ‘back’ on the window, the page content expires.

When we signed in for the first time, it was compulsory for us to change the password.

Usability

We feel that the website is consistent and easy to navigate with instructions explained in lay-man terms. It is also possible to give feedback with interactive tools. The site has a demo that gives you an introduction to the internet banking website, helping you to make the most of the e-banking facility. BankMuscat is one the two banks that has m-banking service for smartphone users. An app allows you to transfer funds, pay bills, make enquiries and connect with the nearest bank. We find this a lot more secure when compared with SMS banking.

Recovery If you forget your username or password, you have to send an email with your name and account number. The new e-banking details can then be collected from your

VERDICT

4.0/5

In comparison to the other banks we put to the test, the e-banking service at BankMuscat is secure and user friendly. With a convenient m-baking application and great website, we feel BankMuscat has the best e-banking service among the banks we covered.

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NATIONAL BANK OF OMAN National Bank of Oman, founded in 1973, was the first bank in Oman and is currently the second largest bank in the country. They have 67 branches and 173 ATMs and CDMs combined. They have won several accolades in the past and have strong corporate governance. With retail internet banking, customers can check the account balance, manage funds transfer and pay utility bills.

National Bank of Oman head office in CBD, 24778000

Time

Recovery

A minimum of RO5 has to be deposited, if the balance is below RO100, monthly charge of 500baiza is deducted. The account activates immediately and the ATM card can ideally be collected in 2 working days. If you have applied for the e-banking service, you can collect it on the same day as the ATM card. We thought that it was fairly convenient, as we had to go to the bank just twice.

If you happen to forget your username and password, you can either inform the call centre or visit the branch and collect it immediately.

Service Though we were assisted by a trainee, the customer service executive provided us with adequate information. The service was quick and efficient.

Security The website’s security system is fairly good. It provides you with number of general security tips and guidelines. Instructions on how to activate the service too are explained briefly. However, the absence of a virtual keyboard gave us second thoughts.

Usability Signing in to the e-banking account was easy. At first we entered our resident card number and ATM PIN. After we registered we had to create a login ID and generate a new password. This made our first time experience secure. The SMS banking service at NBO lets you receive updates of account balance, your credits and debits. NBO also has a mobile application for smart phones. However, the app was not available in the Apple store or the Google store.

VERDICT

3.4/5

NBO earns second place in the e-banking battle. They are time efficient and provide us with a hasslefree e-banking service. The presence of the m-banking application pushes NBO a notch higher.

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AHLIBANK

Usability

We must say that Ahli’s website gave us a very clear idea of the services they provide. The MyE-bank website was easy to use and very well organized. We were impressed with the one-on-one interaction with customers and the simple language used to communicate procedures. Though a comprehensive SMS-banking service is available, m-banking is yet to be introduced in the bank.

Recovery Ahlibank head office in Wattayah, 24577000

Formerly known as Alliance Housing Bank, Ahlibank has been in Oman for over a decade. The bank has a total of 12 branches and 16 ATMs all over Oman. Ahli’s MyE-bank provides basic functions like transferring funds between accounts, resolving ATM and credit card related services, and so on. As we analysed their internet banking service, we found that the bank has a lot more distinct features than any other bank.

Time

Security

There isn’t a fixed amount required to start a savings account at Ahli. Once the account gets activated you are free to deposit as you please. Though our account got activated immediately, there was a delay in receiving our ATM card. Initially, we were told our card would be ready within five working days, however, when we went to collect we were informed that the card would take another two days to be ready. On the other hand we received our e-banking user name and password along with a transaction password within three working days as promised. We made three visits to the bank in total.

We were a bit concerned by the lack of a virtual keyboard in Ahli’s login page. However, apart from our ID and password, an additional computergenerated security code was also required. On our first login it was mandatory for us to change the password before continuing. An SMS is immediately sent to your mobile number each time you sign in. We found the use of a One Time Password (OTP) for transactions to be an added measure of security. On logging out, a detailed summary of your online session is presented.

BANK DHOFAR

Service We have mixed feelings when it comes to the customer service provided by Ahli. The accuracy of information passed over the phone was incorrect. The executive who attended us was very friendly and patiently explained the bank’s procedures. However, we were quite disappointed with the executive’s inability to differentiate m-banking and SMS-banking services.

VERDICT

3.2/5

We feel Ahlibank’s online banking system is a well thought out and structured service. The clarity of services and stringent security system makes e-banking with Ahli a pleasure to use. When it comes to the time factor and customer service, we felt it could have been better.

Bank Dhofar was initially established in 1990 as ‘Bank Dhofar al Omani al Fransi’ in association with Banque Paribas. Originally managed by the French bank, Bank Dhofar later merged with Ma jan International Bank in 2002. Currently the bank has a network of 59 commercial branches, 120 ATMs and 37 CDMs spread across the nation. Bank Dhofar head office in CBD, 24790466

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Along with account, card and payment related inquiries, we could communicate messages directly to the bank and receive a personalised response from the bank. We were able to check pending transactions, bill payments and apply for loans as well.


also receive automatic notifications about your account balance when there are chances. However, the bank does not possess a mobile banking application.

Recovery

We gathered that in case you forget your username and password, you can directly request the bank for new details and collect it from the nearest branch most convenient to you three days later.

Service

Time

The customer care desk at the bank was prompt. A minimum amount of RO5 had to be deposited to activate the account. Once we opened our bank account, it was activated immediately and we were able to collect our ATM card in three working days. The e-banking username and password was ready at the home branch in four days. We made a total of at three trips to the bank.

Security

The online FAQs give clear instructions to new and existing users. The website has a virtual keyboard, reducing the risk of password theft. We found this quite stable and secure.

Usability

Bank Dhofar’s SMS banking service lets you inquire about your account balance and allows you to pay utility bills. You

BANK SOHAR

Bank Sohar head office in CBD, 24730000

Time

Similar to most banks, our account was activated the same day we applied. We were presented with a welcome kit which included an ATM card and pin details. On the contrary it takes two weeks to get

We observed that Bank Dhofar makes it easy for customers to apply for their e-banking service. Along with the option of contacting the call centre and applying for e-banking, Bank Dhofar also lets customers fill a form, online. On another note, Bank Dhofar’s brokerage division has what is called the ‘e z trade’ service, an online trading stand within the GCC.

the Al Mumayaz internet banking ID and password. This is the longest time period required as compared to other banks.

Security

The security system of this bank is remarkably strong. Before you log

VERDICT

3.0/5

Bank Dhofar provided us with speedy trustworthy service. We opened our bank account within fifteen minutes. Bank Dhofar falls short with the other banks only when it comes to the absence of the m-banking service.

Headquartered in Muscat, Bank Sohar is a retail and corporate bank licensed by the Central Bank of Oman. In existence since 2007, the last five years has brought the bank on a par with other leading banks in the country. In 2010, Bank Sohar was awarded a BBB+ rating by Fitch, a renowned global rating agency, highlighting the bank’s rising market share as a creditable achievement. into your account Bank Sohar advices you briefly on how you can be safe while banking online. Safe banking practices and e-banking features are also reminded as you log in. Your user ID gets disabled after five unsuccessful log in attempts, after which you will have to

August 2012 / 41


contact customer service. Only selected browsers as mentioned in the site, supports Bank Sohar’s added security features such as the virtual keypad. On the whole, we were extremely satisfied with the Al Mumayaz package.

Usability

The e-banking facility is fairly simple and easy to use. There are detailed instructions and cautionary notes that help during the e-banking process. You can directly access the e-banking service you want as you log in. With no m-banking option available, Bank Sohar makes the most with their SMS-banking service. By following a few simple steps, you make balance and cheque inquiries, change ATM pin

and even transfer funds within banks. The customer service executive helpfully handed out a detailed leaflet for the same.

Recovery

In case you forget your online ID or password, you can place a request for a new one through the call centre and collect your ID and password from your base branch after four working days. Bank Sohar has clearly mentioned the procedure in their website itself in a clear and comprehensible manner.

Service

Customer service at Bank Sohar when compared to most banks was pleasingly good. There was a genial ambience at the

OMAN ARAB BANK

bank and the executives answered all our queries courteously and guided us clearly. On one occasion, we were called back by the bank when our call to the customer service went unanswered.

VERDICT

3.0/5

We feel Bank Sohar performed reasonably well given the extra security features and the user-friendliness of the Al Mumayaz services. The customer service was impeccable and responsive. On the downside, we were quite disappointed with the time required to get the ID and password. If not for that factor, Bank Sohar would surely match up to a five star rating.

for a new one. For further assistance regarding online banking queries, the bank provided us the contact details of an e-banking representative.

Service

Opening a bank account with OAB was a satisfactory experience. We were quite disappointed as the customer service executive continued to stay on the phone and did not give us undivided attention. Despite that, they were helpful enough to address our e-banking concerns.

Oman Arab Bank head office in CBD, 24706265

OAB has been operating in Oman since 1973. The bank has a very simple disposition. Their products and services range from corporate and retail banking to investment banking and trade finance. OAB has 48 ATMs, 13 CDMs and 43 fast banks

Time

There was no initial amount that had to be deposited to start the account. It took us three working days to get the ATM card. We filled out a separate form to apply for internet banking and provided three different options for the username as instructed. When we collected our ATM card, we were given our e-banking password. The chosen username would be sent to our registered email along with a link which would redirect us to the website.

Security

The e-banking website is very basic and does not seem as appealing as the rest of the e-banking sites we saw. However, we were relieved with the presence of a virtual keyboard. Apart from that there were no additional security questions or

42 / TECH

codes required for logging in.

Usability

After you register for OAB’s Direct Debit service, the bank automatically settles monthly bills and notifies you via SMS. Though the service does not include many utility bill options, we found this service quite interesting. OAB does not have a mobile banking service as yet but the SMS banking facility attempts to make up for it. With SMS banking, you can enquire about your account balance, transfer funds within accounts, pay utility bills and settle your credit card account.

Recovery

OAB’s login page does not have a ‘Forgot password’ link. In case you have forgotten your password, you can either contact the call centre or visit the bank and apply

VERDICT

2.8/5

In comparison to the surveyed banks, OAB provided us with a very basic e-banking service. The lack of a m-banking facility also weighed down the bank. Nevertheless, its SMS banking is quite efficient and simple to use.


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Islamic Compass includes a beautiful compass always pointing to Makkah from any position in the world

Recitation of the Holy Quran and its English Translation. You can even use the repeat button to help you memorise the text

PRAYER TIMES FREE Simply enter in your city, state and country and prayer times calculates the Islamic prayer times for Fajr, Shuruq, Dhuhur, Maghrib and Isha

Qur’an Weekly FREE

The Qur’an Weekly Podcast publishes a surah (chapter) of the Qur’an every Friday. It is translated in English for easy comprehension

Ramadan Times FREE An innovative interface showing time remaining time for Iftar/Sehar. It also has a daily alarm for Ramadan timings

44 / TECH

Islamic Prayer timings FREE Islamic Prayer Times is your own pocket companion with automatic prayer notifier having Qibla direction

My Quran USD5.99 Whether you are a beginner or an advanced student of the Quran, myQuran is an unique and powerful application that enables us to study the Quran with beautiful recitations

Quran android FREE Quran android has audio recitations that are available for streaming and downloading. Translations are also available in over twenty languages

The first Quran application that does not involve downloading text. Its screen transition and quick browsing makes it easy to use

Mohammad FREE An application that teaches you how to follow Prophet Muhammad’s life and learn lessons

Qibla Locator USD0.99 Qibla locator helps its user to determine direction of Qibla using built in compass functionality of Blackberry OS7 devices

Surah Al Fatiha USD0.99

This app is a great way to carry Surah Al-Fatiha with you. Useful for all ages, it is especially great for kids to learn by listening to the recitation


TIMEZONE

TIMELY AFFAIR

The lovechild of two luxurious Italian brands, Bulgari and Maserati, the Octo Maserati effortlessly captures style and opulence Automatic movement

38 hour power reserve

45 encrusted jewels

A

quintessential timepiece, the Octo Maserati, redefines men’s jewellery with sophistication, innovation and timeless elegance. After the Ferrari-Hublot collaboration, the Bulgari-Maserati union is a vision of excellence. The watch is a sporty representation of Bulgari’s distinguished craftsmanship and Maserati’s graceful style that appeals to watch connoisseurs and auto-enthusiasts alike. The Octo Maserati features a 45mm broad dial encased in polished steel. The automatic watch, powered by the Caliber GG7800, is a column wheel chronograph that features quad retrograde hands, a jumping hour function and gorgeous symmetry. This includes the famous Gerald Genta retrograde minutes and jumping hour system of telling the time and a cool retrograde 12 hour chronograph using two fan shaped dials on the sides of the watch. Though the Maserati’s is not mentioned anywhere on the watch surface, the automaker’s distinctive design is subtle and elegant. The lacquered dial with silver-blue tones matches the Maserati’s theme seamlessly. The dial has a vertical linear design, inset with a complicated set up of sub dials with stripes representing the Maserati car’s front grills. A soft calfskin strap designed to resemble car seats, caresses the skin and sits comfortably on the wrist. Speed markings on the outer rim of the dial and the Trident symbol resting on the transparent case-back also pay tribute to the iconic automaker.

45mm diameter steel case

46 / TECH

100m water-resistant

True to its name, the Bulgari Octo Maserati measures time to a level of precision and sophisticated style that is synonym to the brands luxury status.


TECHART

Balls of fury Fire up your photos with effects that sizzle

Here we will learn how to create a fire effect to our images. This is an easy and simple approach to create fire in Photoshop, without using another software or copying a real fire into photoshop. First we will select an image, to which we will add fire.

Here, we have selected a football to add the effects. The football has been cropped out seperately as seen in the image below.

Using the brush tool, we spray the fire colours from on the football. Once that is done, we will use the smudge tool (see below) to create a fire shape out of it.

48 / TECH


So, when you are finally satisfied with your smudge tool, use the colour balance to achieve the required glow out of it. It is better to use a black layer background to see the depth of fire. Football and fire is on the top most layer. See the layer hierarchy for reference.

This is the final image when once you are done with your color balance. Don’t forget to try ‘Shadows, Midtones & Highlights’ to achieve better effects.

Final Image


DASHBOARD

SERPENT ON

WHEELS

Hold your breath, the SRT Viper 2013 slithers back with vengeance

T

he fifth generation of the American supercar is back after shedding its Dodge skin for the SRT brand. Reborn with a new logo, new drivetrain and a new look, the SRT Viper takes the road by storm living up to its reputation for ferocity, performance and speed. Thoroughly revamped for 2013 the contemporary Viper harnesses superior craftsmanship, premium material appointments and performance-oriented technologies. Structural changes to the engine and body make this car the lightest Viper to poison the roads so far.

SPECIFICATIONS Engine 8.4-litre V10 Horsepower 640hp@6,150rpm Torque 600lb-ft@4,950rpm Transmission 6-speed manual 0–60 mph 3.5seconds Top Speed 330kmph Weight 1,500kgs Length 4,470mm Tires: Front 295/30ZR-18, Rear 355/30ZR-19

50 / TECH


Powertrain

Drivability

Design

At the heart of this beast sits an 8.4litre V10 engine with an estimated power rating of 640horsepower at 6,150rpm and 600lbs at 4,950rpm of torque running through its veins producing the maximum torque in any naturally aspirated sports car in the world. A Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual transmission offers shorter sift throws and also features a sixth gear designed for more power.

The newly added aluminium ‘X’ brace under the hood provides the Viper a stiffer structure and 50 percent more torsional rigidity. Pirelli P Zero tires substantially improve performance, grip and steering response on a variety of road surfaces. For the first time, safety technologies such as electronic stability control and traction control help to maximize performance at virtually any speed and driving environment.

A continuous experiment with technology, the Viper is now 32 percent lighter having a body of mostly carbon fibre and super-formed aluminium on the sills and doors. The interior of the Viper is more luxurious than before, with comfortable race-style seats from Sabel and driver-oriented interior surfaces. Improved legroom and more rearward seat track movement makes the Viper the most spacious model yet.

August 2012 / 51


WEARABLETECHNOLOGY

SUIT

UP

Nike unveils a high-tech garment designed to win medals by seconds

M

ade from an equivalent of 13 plastic bottles per suit, Nike’s Turbo Speed suit is a super – light dimpled suit designed to reduce wind resistance and improve speed by as much as 0.023 seconds. Though it may not seem like much, for an athlete, this could mean the difference between world records and personal best or even a first place finish. The golf ball inspired suit, features a 3D dimpled surface helping athletes

52 / TECH

slice through air more efficiently. These aerodynamic dimples create low pressure turbulence on the wind–facing side of the suit as the athlete sprints thereby reducing drag on the shoulders, arms and calves. Nike claims that wind tunnel tests suggest the suit can shave as much as 0.023 seconds from a 100meter sprint, when compared to the uniforms worn previously at the Beijing Olympic Games. Strong graphics added to parts of the suit operate on a sub-conscious level creating a flickering effect on the

mover that physically makes the run feel faster for the wearer and add a massive visual appeal to the spectators. The Turbo Speed suit will make its debut at the London Olympic Games empowering athletes from America, Germany, China, and Russia to challenge world records with a suit that’s faster than skin.


GAMING

Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 Xbox360, PC

August 21

Transformers: Fall of Cybertron Xbox360, PS3

August 28

Madden NFL 13 Xbox360, PS3, Wii

Hooked on pain killers, a stumbling alcoholic, plagued by guilt, loneliness, and rage, its Bullet Time once again

M

ax Payne 3 is by far one of Rockstar’s finest accomplishment yet. Though the 30GB installation is quite a system overload, for those who were waiting to get their hands on this game, it’s definitely worth the wait. Payne relocates to Sao Paulo, Brazil to begin a new crime-free life. Still haunted by the memories of his traumatic past he makes a living as a bodyguard who protects a rich family from Brazilian gangsters. Naturally, things take a turn for the worse, which sends Max right back into action with guns blazing. The famed Bullet Time mode is revamped and back with a bang, giving the gameplay an improved facelift. Expectations of the latest addition to the Max Payne series were quite high due to the fact it has been nine years since the last release. Apart from the annoying cutscenes, Max Payne has definitely wowed

the gamers with leaps in technology coupled with old school gameplay. Whether you’re a fan of the franchise or you have never played a Max Payne game before, the Max Payne 3 is definitely a must-play owing to the action packed roller coaster ride it offers.

Publisher: Rockstar Games Developer: Rockstar Studios Platform(s): PC, PS3, Xbox 360 Genre: Third-person shooter ESRB Rating: Mature

SCORE Gameplay Graphics Sound Story Re-playability OVERALL

8 9 8.5 8 9 8.5

August 28

Darksiders 2 PC

August 31

August 2012 / 53


MOVIEZONE

Director: Christopher Nolan Genre: Action, Adventure, Crime Cast: Tom Hardy, Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Joseph GordonLevitt, Gary Oldman

S

tory lines in films unlike comics don’t go on forever. Hence, watching Christopher Nolan’s last of the Batman trilogy is best watched as the end. The distinguishing aspect of the trilogy is its dark and intelligent storyline. Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) is now older and has retreated into Wayne Manor. A recluse, he is overcoming the injuries he sustained being batman. He had put aside his batman gear for eight years since the death of Harvey Dent and Rachel Dawes. Wayne is strained out of his exile by Selina Kyle (Anna Hathaway), the cat burglar, and Bane (Tom Hardy), the masked terrorist, who wants to mercilessly punish Gotham city. The City is once again in the hands of Batman and GCPD’s Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman).

In comparison to the other movies, this is most like the comics; Wayne isn’t the revengeful man he used to be. In fact, it is Bale’s finest performance yet. His character is well formed and comprehensive. The Cat burglar too is enacted superbly by Hathaway. She is genuine and compassionate, yet she manages to have a feisty side. Hathaway and Bale have a great chemistry too. Meanwhile, Hardy’s power is as intimidating as his intelligence. Even though we think it is lengthy, the film continues at a rapid pace with great action pieces, clashes and pursuits. The film depicts the enduring story of Batman, the legend and Bruce Wayne, the man behind it all. This is Nolan’s most stimulating and intense movies yet.

DVD Releases 18 August

21 August

The Hunger Games

Lovely Molly

The Five-Year Engagement

Think like a Man

Horror

Comedy

Romance

Action 54 / TECH

28 August

28 August


FAX TO 24693569 Choose the correct answer and send in your entries for a chance to win 1 What movie did Steve Jobs help produce before working at Apple Inc.? (a) Toy Story (c) Star Trek

(b) Cody Banks (d) James Bond

3 How many columns are there in MS Excel? (a) 247 (b) 256 (c) 255 (d) 240

2 Which storage device holds the least amount of data? (a) Hard disks (c) CD ROM

(b) Diskettes (d) Magnetic tape

4 Which company developed Real Player? (a) Google (b) Real Networks (c) Ask (d) Yahoo

Please send us your entries by August 25 for a chance to win a Panasonic DVD player

Name ______________________________________ Age ______ Mobile ___________________________ Email _______________________________________ Occupation __________________________________

Previous quiz answers: 1 – (d) 2 – (b) 3 – (b) 4 – (b)

Last month’s winner:

Rahima Salim Al Ismaily

Company ____________________________________

Employees and family members of Deenar Press and Publishing cannot participate in the quiz. Judge’s decision is final. Please email the answers to tech@deenarmedia.com or fax this page to 24693569 by the deadline. Correspondence after the deadline will not be entertained. PLEASE WRITE CLEARLY. Incomplete or illegible entries will be disqualified. Winner must provide valid ID to claim the prize. Allow up to two weeks to process.

Step into our world August 2012 / 55


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.

FAVOURITES

N New

LG 60PA6500 This is a 60-inch,2Megapixels,full HD,USB port movie play(DIVX HD),600Hz subfield,razor frame,3 HDMI AND PC input PenTouch Plasma HD Ready TV with 600Hz Tru Motion flow.

U Updated

3d TVs

N

3D LED 72-inch Smart TV, full HD, four HDMI/PC input, USB port, two megapixels, 400Hz Tru Motion, 2D to 3D converter

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.

RO3,600

RO699

Sony KDL55HX855

Sharp LC32M400M

55-inch 3D dynamic LED tv,2megapixels,full HD,2 USB port,2D-3D Converter,4HDMI N

65-inch full LED 3D TV,2 megapixel,full HD,800HZ motion flow,2 USB port,4HDMI N

This is a 1MP, HD Ready, 32-inch LCD TV with three HDMI/PC inputs. It features Surround Sound and an OPC sensor. It sports a USB port.

RO1,500

Sony KDL65HX920

RO2,500

RO100

Samsung PS51D550 3D Plasma 51-inch screen, full HD, 2MP, 600Hz subfield motion, USB port, PIP system, Internet TV

3D LED 46-inch screen, full HD, 2MP, 2D to 3D Converter, Wi-Fi, four HDMI/PC inputs, three USB ports

Samsung PS50D490

55-inch 3D LED TV, 2MP full HD 3D,USB port movie play(DIVX HD), 800Hz MCI, four HDMI/PC input, dual play, Built-in Wifi

3D Plasma 50-inch screen, 600Hz sub-field motion drive, 1MP, HD Ready, 2D to 3D converter, USB port, PIP system

RO1,400

RO390

This is a 40-inch LED, full HD TV. Two HDMI inputs, Eco mode,200Hz,USB port play movie. N

This is a 42-inch 3D Plasma, full HD,2 megapixel,SD card slot,3 HDMI INPUT, and 600Hz sub-field drive,pc input.

N

Samsung UA55D7000 55-inch 3D LED TV,2 megapixels,full HD,2D-3D converter,smart hub,web browser N

This is a 51-inch, 1megapixel, HD ready, It sports two HDMI/PC input, and USB port,clear image panel,real black,600Hz motion. N

RO280

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

Sony STR-KM3

LG DM-5620

Samsung HT-E5550K

1200 WATTS RMS,USB play,FM RADIO,HDMI input,DOLBY DIGITAL.

4200W PMPO/DVD,CD,MP3 PLAYBACK,usb play playback,cassete play back, FM radio.

3D Blu-ray home theatre system,5.1 channel,2D-3D CONVERTER, 1,000W RMS, All share play, built-in wireless, Blu-ray, DVD, VCD, CD, MP3 andCD-R, USB port play movie

RO232

RO160

Samsung PS51E450A1R

RO800

Players

56 / TECH

RO300

Panasonic TH-P42UT30

RO649 LG 55LM8600

Samsung UA40EH6000

RO500

Sharp LC-46LE830M

N

RO600

Philips 52PFL5605H LG 72LW9900

N

Flat-Panel Displays

N

RO90

N

RO230

Panasonic SC-HX165GS-K 5.1 channel home theatre system, 1,000W RMS, DVD, CD and MP3 playback, USB music and movie playback, downfiring subwoofer

RO156


Netbooks, Portables

laptops Dell M14-ALNW-0251

Amazon Fire

Intel Core i7 2,670M processor, 2.2GHz CPU speed, 8GBDDR3 RAM, 750GB HDD, 14.1-inch HD WLED screen

Seven-inch multi-touch display with In-Plane Switching (IPS); 8GB internal memory; free cloud storage; Wi-Fi; 7.5 hours of battery life

RO695

NN

Toshiba Portégé Z830-A167

Acer Aspire S5 Intel Core i5-3317U,4GB DDR3,128 GB SSD,Intel HD Graphics4000,wireless bluetooth

RO295

N

RO100 Samsung Galaxy GT-P7500

Intel ULV Core i5 2467M processor, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD, 13.3-inch HD screen, 1.3MP web camera

Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor, Google Android 3.1, 16GB memory, 1GHz processor with 3G, 10.1-inch WXGA touchscreen, Wi-Fi

RO230

RO459

HP ENVY 14-3000

Apple iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G

Intel Core i5-2557M,1.7GHz CPU speed,4GB DDR3 RAM,256GB SSD,13.3-inch HD

RO600

N

Asus UX31E Intel Core i5 ,630QM processor, 4GB DDR3 RAM, 640GB HDD, 2GB DDR3 SDRAM, 15.6-inch LED HD screen N

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

RO600

Samsung 550P5CS02

Apple iPad 3 Wi-Fi + 4G

Intel Core i7-3610QM, 2.3GHz CPU speed, 8GB RAM,1TB HDD, 2GB NVIDIA GT650M VRAM N

Lenovo Y570

RO290 32GB, 9.7-inch LED backlit multi-touch display with IPS technology, dual-core Apple A5X processor, Wi-Fi and 4G, fivemegapixel iSight camera

RO470

U

Intel Core i7 2,630M processor, 6GB DDR3 RAM, 750GB HDD, 1GB VRAM, 15.6-inch LED HD screen

BlackBerry PlayBook 64GB, 1GHz dual-core processor, seveninch LCD screen, 1GB RAM, dual cameras – 5MP rear and 3MP front

RO380 HP Pavilion DV66C40

Sony SEV15115B

Intel Core i5 2450M processor, 2.5GHz, 6GB RAM, 1GB VRAM, 750GB HDD, 15.6-inch HD LED

Intel core 13-23750M, 2.40GHz CPU speed,4GB DDR3 RAM,500 GB HDD,INTEL HD Graphics 3000(1GB), 3 in 1 card reader

U

RO300

N

U

Samsung XE700T1A

RO280

RO100

Asus Transformer TF101G

Intel Core i5 2467M processor, 1.6GHz CPU speed, 4GB RAM, 64GB SSD, Intel HD graphics

Android, 1GHz processor, 1GB LPDDR2 RAM, 3G, GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 16GB internal memory, 10.1-inch LCD screen

RO300

RO525

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.

computer accessories HP TopShot

Linksys X2000

Philips SHM1900

Laser Jet printer, Print, scan and copy features, resolution of 2,400, 17ppm (pages per minute) black, 4ppm colour, air print, Wireless network

Directly connects to the Internet, provides wireless coverage without the need for a separate DSL modem

Stereo PC headset with in-line volume control, adjustable microphone, lightweight, great acoustics

RO165

RO310

RO37

RO9

WD My Book Essential 1TB, USB 3.0 and 2.0 compatible interface, WD SmartWare visual backup software, automatic, continuous backup

U

RO48

August 2012 / 57


camcorders

digital still cameras Panasonic DMC-TZ30

Sony HDR-CX260

35mm ultra wide-angle 20x optical zoom ,LEICA DC lens,full HD movie,3D, three-inch LCD,stabilizer N

RO174

Sony WX100

18.2MP; 10x optical zoom camera; 2.7-inch LCD; HD video recording; CMOS sensor, Optical SteadyShot

8.9MP CMOS sensor, 30x optical zoom, three-inch wide touchscreen, built-in GPS, optical graphic stabilisation

Samsung WB850F 16.2MP; 21x optical zoom;23mm wide angle, three-inch LCD screen;GPS N

RO220 Sony HDR-XR260 8.9MP, Pixel Super Resolution technology, three-inch Clear Photo LCD, BIONZ processor, Optical SteadyShot stabilisation

RO160

RO110

RO265

Olympus SP-810 Three-inch LCD screen; 14MP; 36x optical zoom; HD movie; 24mm wide-angle; 3D photo mode

RO170

JVC Camera GZ-EX255 SD/SDHC/SDXC Card Slot/Built-in Memory 16GB/1920 x 1080/50P Output/ Wi-Fi Wireless Functions Built-in LED

Fujifilm HS25 16MP, 30x optical zoom, three-inch LCD, CMOS sensor, panoramic view

RO170

RO200

Canon IXUS 500 10.1MP CMOS and DIGIC 5, 12x optical zoom, three-inch LCD, Intelligent IS, High-speed shooting

Samsung HMX-Q20 20x optical zoom, 5.3Megapixel, 3-inch LCD screen, HD movie,2hours 30minutes Battery ,smart auto

RO140

N

RO100

Canon SX 240

Samsung WB150F

12.1Megapixels,20x optical zoom, three-inch LCD, smart auto,full HD movies, CMOS

Panasonic SDR-HC-V10

24mm ultra-wide lens; 18x optical zoom; 14.2MP; 720p HD video; three-inch LCD

70x enhanced optical zoom, , 2.7-inch LCD screen, Hdmovie,31.6mm wide lens,smart auto

N

RO140

RO100

N

RO105

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.

dsLRs Canon EOS-600D

Olympus E-PM1

18-megapixel sensor, 3.7fps shooting, three-inch LCD, nine Auto-Focus points, full HD movie, Live View feature

12-megapixel sensor, 5fps, 35-point autofocus, three-inch LCD screen, Full HD movie, 3D mode

RO475

58 / TECH

RO310

Sony Mirrorless cam NEX-7 24.3-megapixel/FPS,3-inch lcd screen,steady shoot,full HD movie,exmor sensor,18-55 lens.

N

RO550

Nikon D3200 24.2 megapixels,4fps,3-inch LCD screen,11 AF point ,Full HD Movie,Live View,18-55mm Lens.

N

RO340


ipod docks

PHONES BlackBerry Curve 9360

Samsung Galaxy Note

2.44-inch TFT screen, 5MP camera with LED flash, BlackBerry OS v7.0

5.3-inch HD Super AMOLED display; 1.4GHz dual-core processor

RO115

RO220

Logitech Mini Boombox Handy speakerphone with built-in mic; backlit, touch panel controls; specially designed acoustic chamber

Nokia N9

4.3-inch super AMOLED Plus display; Android 2.3 (Gingerbread); 8MP camera with LED flash

AMOLED capacitive touchscreen; 8MP camera with Carl Zeiss optics; 64GB storage

RO250

U

RO223

Apple iPhone 4S

Motorola RAZR XT910

3.5-inch LED-backlit IPS TFT capacitive touchscreen; internal memory of 32GB

4.3-inch Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen; 8MP camera; Android OS (Gingerbread)

U

RO315

U

RO200

LG Optimus P920

Sony Ericsson Xperia S

4.3-inch 3D LCD capacitive touchscreen; touch-sensitive controls; Android v2.2 (Froyo) OS

Android Gingerbread smartphone; 12MP camera; 4.3-inch HD screen; 32GB memory

U

RO189

8GB, dual camera, video, photo view, MP3 music, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, clock, calendar, YouTube, newsstand, mail

RO93

RO35 Bose Sound Dock-10 iPod and iPhone dock, recharge and play, remote control, audio input

RO279 Bose SoundLink Works wirelessly with iPhone, Android, Blackberry, tablet or laptop, 30-foot wireless range

RO155 Gear4 StreetParty Revolve Rotating dock for watching movies in landscape, powered by four AAA batteries, Line-in port, charges iPod or iPhone

RO30

RO260

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.

mp3 players Apple iPod Touch 5G

Dock and Play, recharge for iPod, FM radio, AUX-in for easy connection, CD and MP3 playback

RO33

Samsung Galaxy SIII

U

Philips AZD208

Sony NWZ-W262

Philips SA3VBE08K

Samsung YP-U6A

2GB, 8 hours of battery life, water resistant, 3 minutes charge for 60 minutes playback, light weight and comfortable

8GB MP4 player, supports MP3, WAV, and WMA playback, FM radio and FM recording, 1.8inch screen, five hours battery support

4GB memory, Voice recording, MP3 and WMA playback, FM radio

RO37

RO30

RO24

August 2012 / 59


REFRIGERATORS

air conditioners & air purifiers Panasonic CS-C18MKF

LG T186RC

Toshiba GRKE-69

Two-tonne unit; incorporates ECONAVI technology; Advance+ e-ion monitors changes in the degree of air cleanliness; features AUTOCOMFORT

1.5-tonne split air-conditioner with virus and allergy-safe filter; four-way swing and jet cool feature; employs multistage tropical compressor

690L capacity, double-door refrigerator, frost-free, insulated wire shelves, platinum deodoriser N

RO228

LG RB7122YVS

RO199 Sharp FU-P60S

710L capacity, frost-free, double-door refrigerator, tempered glass shelves, digital display, deodoriser, water dispenser

RO286

RO309

Samsung AS18ES

Air purifier; washable HEPA filter; activated carbon filter; Plasmacluster technology that creates environment very close to that found in nature

RO90

Window AC 1.5 Ton capacity, slim design, powerful output

N

Air purifier that works within 20sqm; sports a modern, elegant design; comes with washable carbon filter; easy filterchange system; touch control panel

RO100

RO220

RO220

Hitachi RAS-18CPX Sharp SJ-GC48V

492L capacity, frost-free, double-door refrigerator, adjustable wired shelves, Plasmacluster Ion

RO193

RO290

Toshiba RAS-18

Whirlpool WTM620S

1.5-tonne split-type wall-mounted air conditioner,Self cleaning function,automatic 3mins safety control

N

620L capacity, frost-free, multi air flow, tempered glass shelves

RO245

RO222

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.

WASHING MACHINES

9kg capacity, 1,400rpm, air bubble wash, child lock, delay start, direct drive motor

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

Split air-conditioner with Green Fin condenser; durable thanks to green rustresistant coating; employs Nano Titanium technology in its stainless steel filters

LG PS-S200WC

Daewoo DWC - 141KC

Samsung RL-52VEBTB

Hoover DYN10144DP

LG WD1443KDS

Samsung WF0804

10kg capacity, 1,400rpm, ten wash programmes, child lock, super-silent, direct drive motor, energy savings, wash time control

11kg capacity, 15 wash programmes, 1,400rpm, steam wash, quick wash, language selection, six motion washer, allergy care

8kg capacity, 1,400rpm, 14 wash programmes, delay end, Eco Bubble wash function, quick wash, child lock, diamond drum, time delay, durable ceramic heater

RO210

RO320

RO400

RO215

MASTERPIECE

GREAT PRICE

MAX ELECTRONICS LLC - OMAN SEEB - MUSCAT CITY CENTRE (LEVEL 1) TEL: +968 24558062 FAX: +968 24558063 EMAIL: memcs@cplmg.com SOHAR - CENTREPOINT MALL TEL: +968 97666631 FAX: +968 26844610 SALALAH - CENTREPOINT MALL TEL: +968 94122251, FAX: +968 23289261 BAHRAIN OMAN SAUDI ARABIA QATAR UAE

60 / TECH


VACUUM CLEANERS

microwaves & ovens

Philips FC-8146

Daewoo KOC-9N8T

Samsung CE-107V 28L multi-function microwave oven with interiors finished with Ceramic Inside coating; easy to clean; Triple Distribution System heats food deeply and equally

RO65

29L microwave oven with stainless-steel housing; 900W output power; convection/grill function; delivers 850W grill power; ten power levels; five auto cook menus

RO63

1,800W vacuum cleaner, bagless, HEPA washable filter, 300W suction power, dust container-full indicator

RO49

Panasonic NN-C784MF

Panasonic MC-CG713

28L oven capacity; microwave with oven and grill; feather touch control; auto defrosts by weight; recipe store

2,000W standard vacuum cleaner, 6L dust bag capacity, HEPA and anti-bacteria filter, metal wand, slide power control, 5m cable

RO46

Midea EM820LMP 20L capacity; 800W microwave oven with 11 power levels; child safety lock; with defrost settings; six auto menus; sports a fashionable design

Samsung SC56B0

RO105

2,000W vacuum cleaner, 3.5L dust capacity, Foam pre-motor filter, micro exhaust filter, silver nano system, power slider on handle

RO23

RO24 LG MC8088FRR 30L convection microwave oven; features over 100 Auto Cook menus; sports a motorised rotisserie; comes with Steam Clean and Defrost functions

RO90

Karcher VC 5200 Dry vacuum cleaner, 3.3L dust bag capacity, 1,800W input power, indicator for full bag, HEPA 12 filter

Sharp AX1100SLM

Sharp R200 22L microwave oven with 800W microwave power; five one-touch instant action menus; three easy defrost menus; four-digit LCD; five power levels

27L microwave oven with stainless-steel housing; 900W output power; steam oven with microwave and grill; 26 automatic programmes; LCD display

RO29

RO77 LG VCA241HT 1,400W bagless vacuum cleaner, 0.8L dust capacity, washable HEPA filter, innovative Cyclone System technology

RO160

RO33 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.

DOMESTIC APPLIANCES Krups EA8255K1

Philips HD9220

Kenwood KM400

Tefal TFAH9000

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

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

750W power kitchen machine, 4.6L bowl capacity, three coated bowl tools – a beater, whisk and dough hook, six speeds

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

RO285

RO100

RO171

RO105

Think CAMERAS Think EMAX MAX ELECTRONICS LLC - OMAN SEEB - MUSCAT CITY CENTRE (LEVEL 1) TEL: +968 24558062 FAX: +968 24558063 EMAIL: memcs@cplmg.com SOHAR - CENTREPOINT MALL TEL: +968 97666631 FAX: +968 26844610 SALALAH - CENTREPOINT MALL TEL: +968 94122251, FAX: +968 23289261 BAHRAIN OMAN SAUDI ARABIA QATAR UAE

August 2012 / 61


top 5 games

gaming consoles & accessories

FIFA Street

PS VITA Has front and rear camera; cross control play; motion sensor

N

PUBLISHER: ELECTRONIC ARTS DEVELOPER: EA CANADA PLATFORM(S): XBOX, PS3 GENRE: SPORTS ESRB RATING: EVERYONE

RO131

Nintendo 3DS Built-in 3D Depth Slider to adjust intensity of 3D; built-in motion and gyro sensor

RO94

Delivers 500W of pure power to recreate perfect theatre-quality audio experience

RO38

Logitech G13 GamePanel LCD keeps you informed of game stats; programmable G-keys

Racing wheels and flight controllers simulate realism; Force feedback feature

RO140 Xbox 360 Kinect 250GB

Turtle Beach Gaming headset, Inline amplifier, separate connecter for mic and pc lines N

RO21

Integrated internal memory of 250GB; built-in WiFi (IEEE 802.11 b/g/n); 5.1 channel surround sound N

PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION DEVELOPER: SLEDGEHAMMER GAMES PLATFORM(S): Wii, PS3, XBOX 360, PC, DS GENRE: ACTION ESRB RATING: MATURE

Nintendo Wii Sports Pack

Broken into three parts: the ‘Motion Controller’, the ‘Navigation Controller’ and the ‘PlayStation Eye Camera’

Fun activities with more than 18 sports to try, ranging from water sports like canoeing to ball games like basketball

RO85

RO29

PUBLISHER: SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT DEVELOPER: POLYPHONY DIGITAL PLATFORM(S): PS3 GENRE: RACING ESRB RATING: EVERYONE

RO14

Gears of War 3 PUBLISHER: MICROSOFT DEVELOPER: EPIC GAMES PLATFORM(S): XBOX 360 GENRE: ACTION ESRB RATING: MATURE

RO27

RO190

PS3 320GB + Move Bundle

RO160

Call of Duty: MW3

Gran Turismo 5

RO37 Logitech G27

RO29

Logitech Z506

Resistance TRILOGY Logitech Steering Wheel Playstation 3 and PC compatibility

N

RO70

PUBLISHER: SONY DEVELOPER: INSOMNIAC GAMES PLATFORM(S): PS3 GENRE: ACTION ESRB RATING: MATURE

RO27 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.


TECH DIRECTORY Company

BRANDS

Showroom

Service Dept.

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

24501965

Emax

Multibrand

MCC 24558062

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, DitoElectrolux, Metro, Taylor, Costan

Qurum 24568806, Muttrah 24713138, Ruwi 24830919, Seeb 24422797, Shatti al Qurum 24693292

24503653

Al Gurg Home Appliances - Better Life

Terim, Fisher & Paykel, SMEG, Vestfrost, Wolf Power, Grundig

24811608

24810404

HiTec Centre

Boston Acoustics, Denon, Leica, Polk Audio

Azaiba 24497384

24497384

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

24814815

Al Khalili Technology

Fujitsu, Siemen, Coral Telecom, Honeywell, Epson, Camtron, Pyronix, SD3, Tripp-lite, Cummins, Schneider Electric, Sanyo, Sakar, Sterline, Sonicwall

24616900

24816303

Moayyed Integrated Enterprises

Daewoo Electronics

24488795

24488795

Muscat Electronics

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

Ruwi 24702985, Sohar 26845647, Salalah 23291617

24813408

Mustafa Sultan Electronics (MSE)

Haier, Philips, Nevica, Whirlpool, Haas, Universal, Westpoint, Urania, ROYXON

Al Khuwair 24636015

24818018

Oman International Electronics & Trading

Bose, NEC, JVC, Nakamichi, SONOS

Qurum 24565490 Connexions 24558529

24830606

Oman Modern Electronics

Sharp, OMEC

HO 24706004, Ruwi 24832891, Sohar 26840763, Sur 25544613, Salalah 23291405

24704494

OMASCO

Panasonic, Yamaha, Stanley, Black and Decker, GE, Aftron, Xper, Raymond Weil, Kolber, Westend, Westar, Alba, Maxima, HMT

Qurum 24564310, Ruwi 24833630

24560232

OMASCO - System Solutions

Panasonic

24565696

24565696

Oman Trading Establishment

LG, Bosch, White Westinghouse

Wadi Kabir 24811572, Al Khuwair 24479448, Ruwi 24831544, Ruwi MBC 24834162, Al Araimi 24561480, Seeb 24420570, Nizwa 25412216, Sur 25545107, Bani Bu Ali 25553387, Salalah 23295237, Sohar 26842397

24810522 / 24810156, 80075545

Photocentre

Fujifilm, Olympus, Hasselblad, Sigma, Manfrotto, Qurum 24565305, Al Lowepro, EPSON, Mitsubishi Electric, STEINER, Khuwair 24479296 Broncolor, Hama, Amano

24571708

24593025

SARCO

Samsung, Technoflame

Ruwi 24593025

Shah Nagardas Manji

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

Ruwi 24562656, Lulu Bausher 24593806, Nizwa 25410184

Technical Trading

Westinghouse

Ruwi 24703515, Fax 24700010

If you would like to be listed, email: tech@deenarmedia.com


ONE STOP SOLUTION FOR CAMCORDERS

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VISIT EMAX STORE FOR FABULOUS DEALS

]

www.emaxme.com The largest electronics retailer in the Middle East ELECTRONICS • APPLIANCES • MOBILE PHONES • PHOTOGRAPHY • GAMING • IT • CD/DVD • FITNESS & EQUIPMENTS • ACCESSORIES

MAX ELECTRONICS LLC - OMAN SEEB - MUSCAT CITY CENTRE (LEVEL 1) TEL: +968 24558062 FAX: +968 24558063 EMAIL: memcs@cplmg.com SOHAR - CENTREPOINT MALL TEL: +968 97666631 FAX: +968 26844610 SALALAH - CENTREPOINT MALL TEL: +968 94122251, FAX: +968 23289261 BAHRAIN OMAN SAUDI ARABIA QATAR UAE


55 years of Manufacturing Excellence

This new Tokina lens is the first in a new generation of full frame (FX) lenses designed for professional digital SLR cameras like the Canon EOS 5D Mark II and the Nikon D700 and D3x. The 16-28 zoom range gives the professional photographer a super-wide angle of view to get close to subject for dramatic effect or to take in entire scenes

www.tokinalens.com


TECH Issue 28