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					                                                                                                    MAY 2011 • VOLUME 8 • ISSUE 6 • Rs 150




        05
        11


                                                                                                                                             18 QWERTY PHONES
                                                                                                                                                UNDER RS 6,000

                                                                                                                                             12 SOLID-STATE DRIVES TO
www.chip.in




                                                                                                                                                SPEED UP YOUR PC




                                                                                                                                             NOKIA E7, SAMSUNG RV411,
                                                                                                                                             GEFORCE GTX 590, TATA SKY+ HD,
                                                                                                                                             TUNEUP UTILITIES 2011, CRYSIS 2




                                                                                             SMART
                                                                                             TV
  Smart TV
| 18 Budget QWERTY phones & 12 SSDs | Build an XBMC Media Center




                                                                                       Stream digital movies, browse the Web
                                                                                         and play games online—all without
                                                                                            spending money on a new TV




                                                                   Record HD video without                                                    Control your movies and
                                                                   spending a bomb                                                            music with your iPhone

                                                                                                                                              Build a home theater PC
  Rs 150




                                                                   Can the Government kill                                                    with the free XBMC OS
                                                                   the Internet in India?
                                                                                                                                              The best April Fool’s Day
                                                                                                                                              pranks online
                                                                   Save your kids from social
                                                                   networking addiction
                                                                            EDITORIAL




Smart and happy
           e’ve spent a lot of time talking about how computers that are even ten


W          years old are perfectly good for many of the tasks that people need them
           to perform. Leaving aside professional applications that actually do
           harness every bit of speed new hardware can produce, it’s hard to find that
many performance-related reasons to throw away an old home PC. New computers
can of course produce fancier graphics and crunch numbers faster, but how much has
really changed in the way we type letters or browse the Web? The market has
therefore moved towards promoting convenience, portability, and “experiences” such
as connecting with loved ones and enjoying 3D video.

   The way things are going, though, we won’t be getting these experiences by sitting
at our desks for much longer. Now, more than ever before, technology is ready to take
them all and deliver them to you through smartphones, tablets, TVs and other
appliances. Ultramobile and ultrapersonal computing has been in the offing for years
now, but it’s probably only now that a lot of good things have started clicking into
place. First of all, we have the right type of devices—CPUs powerful and tiny enough
to deliver crisp video and even games on handheld devices, running software that’s
easy enough for everyone to use without having to be taught. Even more important,
they’re approachable—maybe because of their increasing familiarity or just better
design, people today don’t seem to be as daunted by phones or gadgets as they were
by computers fifteen or more years ago. Second, we have dirt-cheap storage in the
form of rugged Flash memory chips, and this is what not only allows designers to
create rich software experiences, but also allows users to carry enough media that
they get a good amount of use out of their devices.

   A third defining factor is the mass availability of cheap, wireless Internet access. A
huge amount of the satisfaction we feel with our phones and tablets today comes
from the fact that they’re always online. Whether it’s Facebook or Twitter, looking
things up online, downloading games, catching up on news and blog posts, or even
getting serious work done, the Internet connection is the reason we are able to do
 these things without thinking twice. We could be lazing in bed or waiting at a bus
   stop, or watching TV in the living room, and we can just whip out our remote
      controls or gadgets and get things done with a few taps or clicks. That’s the kind
       of satisfaction that leads to engagement, and then to further imagination,
       which is what is needed to overcome people’s doubts about buying in to new
       technology. That’s the foundation of all the advertisements you see today
       which promise that buying a gadget of any sort will somehow unlock a whole
       new digital lifestyle for you. None of it would be possible without the Internet to
       demonstrate immediately how much a person can do.

         The PC isn’t dead, dying, or going anywhere for that matter. It’s still got
         plenty of work to do and plenty of reasons to stick around. It won’t be the
          center of your digital universe for long though, and in a decade or so it won’t
          be uncommon for people to not have PCs at home at all. Till then, smart
           gadgets will keep augmenting the PC and its promise.


           Jamshed Avari
           editor@chip.in




                                                   INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP   05/2011      3
Contents                                                                                                   MAY 2011




    88 COVER STORY
    COOL CONTENT ON YOUR TV
    Check out the best devices to get smart TV
    functions on your existing set, without
    breaking the bank.




      NEWSWIRE
             E
      NEWSWIRE                                               TEST CENTE
                                                                  CENTER
                                                                   E E
                                                             TEST CENTER                                            FEATURED
14 In the News...                                                     potlight
                                                          34 Product Spotlight                                                      your
                                                                                                                                     o
                                                                                                                 88 Cool Content on your TV
       A look at what's making news in the world of                         ck     communicator,
                                                                                         u c
                                                             Nokia brings back the communicator, but can it          You dont need
                                                                                                                     You dont'' need to spend money on a fancy new
                                                                                                                         dont'                 money o         n
       technology.                                                                  smartphone seg
                                                                                         p o segment? t?
                                                             compete in the hostile smartphone segment?              smart TV to get the best of its features.
                                                                                                                     smart            the best   its features.
                                                                                                                                                      e


20 The Buzz List                                          36 Hardware Tested                                     94 High Definition Weapons
       The people, products and innovations that have        The latest PC hardware, mobile phones and               Many types of portable devices can record HD
       got the tech world talking.                           peripherals tested and rated.                           video, but are they really good enough at it?


22 New Products Launched                                  56 Cheap QWERTYs                                       100 Social Networking Addicts
       A round-up of the latest products that are            QWERTY phones are now available for every               Sites like Facebook have become an addicition
       hitting shelves now.                                  budget. We compare 18 entry-level handsets.             for many adults, but kids are just as vulnerable.


26 Internet Kill Switch                                   66 Speed Demons                                        102 Web Watch
       The government now has the power to switch            12 solid state drives, ranging from entry-lvel to       We scour the Internet and bring you some
       off the Internet. What does this mean for us?         blazingly fast, put to the test.                        interesting websites that you may want to visit.


30 Tech in Rural Education                                70 Software Spotlight
       How the winner of the CHIP eBay.in Dream              A must-have utility to optimize system
       Workstation Contest puts his prize to great use.      performance.


                                                          72 Software Tested
                                                             Everything from Web browsers and system
                                                             tools to video editors and security suites.



4       05/2011      INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
Contents
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3.5 lakts                                                                                         lakh
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        N! Rs s, ing cool gadge
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    WIN!prizes includbooks and software                                               WIN!
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                                                                                                                                                                                                     3 • Rs
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                       accessories
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       accessories
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                150                                                             150
                                                                                                                                                                                       E 8 • ISSUE                                                                                     4 • Rs                                                          5 • Rs
                                                                                                                                                                                • VOLUM                                                                                  E 8 • ISSUE                                                     E 8 • ISSUE
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   MP3
                                                                       MAY 2011




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Playe
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                                                                                                                               Turn to page 42


    34 TEST CENTER
    HARDWARE
    The latest hardware reviewed.




                                                                                                       ON DVD Pro 2011
                                                                                                       Autodesk SketchBook




    108 HANDS ON                                                                                       70 TEST CENTER
    SUPER CHEAP HTPC                                                                                   SOFTWARE SPOTLIGHT
    Turn an old PC into a media center                                                                 TuneUp Utilities 2011



      HANDS ON                                           UNWIND                                          REGULARS
104 Dr CHIP                                           118 April Fool's Pranks                          03 Editorial, 08 Colophon, 10 Letters,
       Our in-house expert helps you out with your        A look at some of the best pranks of 2011.   14 In the News..., 20 The Buzz List,
       computing woes.                                                                                 22 New Products Launched, 82 Long
                                                      120 Crysis 2                                     Term Test, 86 PC Configs, 102 Web Watch,
108 Super Cheap HTPC                                      Maximum satisfaction!                        104 Dr CHIP, 112 Tips & Tricks,
       Turn an old PC or an unused laptop into an                                                      128 Market Watch, 142 Contests,
       HTPC for all your entertainment needs.
                                                      122 Top Spin 4                                   145 Personal Tech
                                                          Can 2K stay ahead of the competition?
110 The Power of DLNA
       The simple networking standard that lets you
       use various entertainment devices together.    123 Dragon Age 2
                                                          Everything that could go wrong...

112 Tips N Tricks                                     124 Shift 2: Unleashed
       Some useful tweaks and hidden application
       features you may not know about.                   EA takes on the big boys of sim racing.


                                                      125 Yakuza 4
                                                          Back, and better than ever!




6       05/2011      INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                        MAY 2011 | VOLUME 8 | ISSUE 06                                                             www.chip.in

CEO-PUBLISHING                                              SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT - SALES
Sandeep Khosla                                              Siddhartha Chatterjee                                        ADVERTISING SALES
MANAGING EDITOR                                             NATIONAL SALES HEAD                                          MUMBAI
Hatim Kantawalla                                            Badri Narayan                                                Amit Dhotre
hatim.kantawalla@network18online.com                        HEAD - MARKETING
DEPUTY EDITOR                                               Amit Seth                                                    BANGALORE
Jamshed Avari                                               SENIOR MANAGER - MARKETING                                   Dennis Mathew
jamshed.avari@chip.in                                       Nikhil Sharma                                                Milan Abraham
DEPUTY EDITOR - TECHNICAL                                   DISTRIBUTION HEAD                                            HYDERABAD
Anand Tuliani                                               Sunil Nair
anand.tuliani@chip.in                                                                                                    Rocky Joseph
                                                            SALES SUPPORT HEAD
COPY DESK                                                   Sagar Salunkhe                                               NEW DELHI
Sameer Desai                                                HEAD - INTERNET                                              Jitendra Gupta
SENIOR FEATURES WRITER                                      Tushar Burman
                                                                                                                         CHENNAI
Priyanka Tilve
                                                            HEAD OFFICE                                                  Madhivaanan
TECHNOLOGY WRITER                                           Intelligent Computing Chip,
Francis D’Sa                                                Infomedia 18 Ltd.                                            FOR ADVERTISING/SALES INQUIRIES:
                                                            `A’ Wing, Ruby House, 2nd Floor, J.K. Sawant Marg,           chipsales@infomedia18.in
INTERN
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Pranav Tonseker                                             Phone: (91 22) 3024 5000 • Fax: (91 22) 3003 4499
MULTIMEDIA COORDINATOR                                      E-mail: feedback@chip.in                                     COPY SALES & SUBSCRIPTIONS
Sachin Haldankar
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TEST CENTER COORDINATOR                                     Editorial Consultant International
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                                                            CHIP is also published in the following countries
SPECIAL PROJECTS WRITERS                                    China, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary,                                 Sanjay Bhujle, Dinesh Devadiga
Kamakshi Venugopal, Kushal Mamoowala                        Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Netherlands, Poland,
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Nirmal Biswas                                               be reproduced without the prior written permission of the
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DESIGN                                                      information published herein in any manner whatsoever.
Jagdish Limbachiya, Hemali Limbachiya,                                                                                                       Devaraju Gowda - Bangalore
Harshad Gujare, Sanjay Shelar, Ravi Salian,                 Copyright 2004 INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                        Venkata Narasimman - Chennai
Ravikumar Potdar
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PHOTOGRAPHERS:                                                      is an internationally protected trademark owned by   Co-ordinators        Sarita Quadros, Chaitali Parkar,
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 Base Corporation                      Inside Front Cover                                                                Subject: LETTERS

 Best IT World (India) Pvt Ltd                      7,15    Quantum Hitech Merchandising Pvt Ltd                77       Magazine, DVD, Web and Design feedback:
                                                                                                                         feedback@chip.in
 Busy Infotech Pvt Ltd                                75    Safenet India (P) Ltd                              141
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8       05/2011          INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
     LETTERS


                                                                                     SPONSORED BY

                                                                                                                              STAR
                                                                                                                             LETT'sEinR
INBOX
Next month's Star Letter wins
                                                                                                                                th w ner
                                                                                                                              This mon cool
                                                                                                                                   gets a set
                                                                                                                                 accessories

accessories set (worth Rs 5,000)
                                                                         Deal or no deal?
                                                                                    Hi Priyanka,
                                                                                    H
                                                                                    I read your article titled ‘Shopping 2.0: It's Raining
                                                                                    Deals!’ in the March 2011 edition of CHIP magazine. It
                                                                                    D
                                                                                    may be an eye-opener for many who are not aware of
                                                                                    m
                                                                                    the e-commerce market in India. But I must point out
                                                                                    t
                                                                                    that many e-commerce sites indulge in deceptive
                                                                                    t
                                                                                    marketing practices to attract customers. For example
                                                                                    m
                                                                                    some sites attract customers through fake
                                                                                    s
                                                                                    promotions. A site once promised one free voucher to
                                                                                    p
                                                                                    purchase anything to any customer who just signed
                                                                                    p
                                                                                    up. But customers who did sign up soon realized that
                                                                                    u
                                                                                    it was not applicable for many of the reasonably good
                                                                                    i
                                                                                    deals (hidden terms and conditions). It is just one of
                                                                                    d
                                                                                    the deceptive marketing practices of this site, an
                                                                                    t
                                                                                    e-commerce site ranked number one in India by
                                                                                    e
                                                                                    Dataquest & Sapient E-Commerce Survey 2011. This
                                                                                    D
                                                                                    only puts the validity of Dataquest and Sapient
                                                                                    o
                                                                                    surveys in question. Probably they chose to ignore
                                                                                    s
                                                                                    the deeper issues for the surveys. God save
                                                                                    t
                                                                                    e-commerce in India!
                                                                                    e
                                                                                        Warm Wishes,
                                                                                                                             – J HENRY ALEX


                                                                                    Dear Henry,
                                                                                    D
                                                                                    We’re sorry to hear about your negative experience.
                                                                                    W
                                                                                    Unfortunately practices such as this are probably more
                                                                                    U
                                                                 Chaitanya Surpur
                                                                                    common than most people realize. You might have
                                                                                    c
                                                                                    agreed to a huge page of terms and conditions without
                                                                                    a
                            actually reading it—most people just blindly click on end-user agreements, and all kinds of companies use
                            this to their advantage. We can only hope that others read about your story and keep their eyes open, not
                            just when shopping online but when using any service, especially one that promises a tempting offer or deal.
                            If you’re concerned about the validity of the survey, it should be possible to contact the companies
                            responsible and question them on their processes. In the end, the phrase ‘caveat emptor’ still applies—the
                            customer should beware! As long as you keep your eyes open, there’s no need to give up on e-commerce
                            altogether. Best of luck with your future experiences!
                                                                                                                                 – TEAM CHIP




  CONTACT INFO        Inspiration                              Little Blogger article). So, I got a few    are constantly coming up (take me,
                      Dear Sir,                                of my friends, persuaded my                 for instance) and blogging won't be
Please send your
                      This is Vedant from Kolkata. I'm in      mother and purchased a domain               dead anytime soon. I would also like
letters to:
                      the Xth standard and have been           from BigRock (your guide helped me          if you carry out a Blogger vs
editor@chip.in
                      reading CHIP for the past 3 years. It    a lot). It was a blog-website about         Wordpress.com vs Wordpress.org
with "LETTERS" in
                      has inspired and helped me a lot         gaming that I decided to put up and         comparison, and a few articles on
the subject line
                      and I have gone from being a n00b        the URL is www.gamershub.co.in. I           setting up Wordpress would be
                      to a pro. The most recent thing that     also read your article about                very good.
                      I decided to do was make a website       blogging being on the wane.                    Moving on, I feel that the last
                      (after being inspired by the Dumb        However, I felt that new bloggers           issue's cover story was excellent


10    05/2011   INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
      LETTERS


   SMS US                        and it's quite true that privacy is                                           APRIL 2011 • VOLUME 8 • ISSUE 5 • Rs 150
                                                                                                                                                                                          Maharashtra. I have been a regular
Since we like knowing what’s     (almost) dead. When I signed up for                                                                                                                      reader and subscriber of CHIP
on your mind and what you        Google Adsense It too showed a                                                                                            23 MP3 AND PORTABLE
                                                                                                                                                              VIDEO PLAYERS
                                                                                                                                                                                          magazine for three years. You won't
think about our magazine,                                                                                                                                  11 COMPLETESUITES
                                                                                                                                                              SECURITY
                                                                                                                                                                       INTERNET



we bring you another way         collection of information for its                                                                                                                        believe all the knowledge I have got
to get in touch. Do you have     advertisers. I think that we should                                                                                                                      about computers, hardware and
something to say about a test                                                            YOU’RE BEING
                                                                                                                                                           HTC HD7, MOROTOLA QUENCH,
                                                                                                                                                           H
                                                                                                                                                           D
                                                                                                                                                           DELL ZINO HD, NORTON 360 v5,

                                 just accept this fact and move on.                      TRACKED!
                                                                                                                                                           X
                                                                                                                                                           XFX RADEON HD 6970
                                                                                                                                                                                          software is from you!
or review? Liked a feature                                                               Social networks and online advertisers are

story? Was the workshop          We should also be very careful of                       recording your every move, whether you
                                                                                         like it or not.                                                                                     My elder brother was reading
useful? SMS us your feedback!    what we should share online.
                                                                                         Directions   Search Nearby        Save to...        More

                                                                                                                                                                                          your magazine in the 90s. I got

For general comments, create        Regards,                                                                                                                                              those magazines from my store
the following message:                              – VEDANT KUMAR                                                                                                                        room and at that time I decided to
ICCO <Your comments here>                                                                                                                                                                 subscribe. I have witnessed how far
Example: ICCO The cover story
was very useful                  Dear Vedant,                                                                                                                                             you have come till now, and I can
                                                                         Save yourself from
                                 We’re so happy that CHIP has helped     scams online
                                                                                                                                                            Secure your Wi-Fi router
                                                                                                                                                            against intruders             see the proof of your hard work
To rate a story, product         you learn about technology and          Is blogging as we                                                                  Get help with your online
                                                                                                                                                            shopping complaints           and commitment towards work. I
                                                                         know it dead?
review, etc look out for the                                                                                                                                Walk through Mumbai's
                                                                                                                                                            Lamington Road
story tag at the base of each    apply it to do something you’re         The truth about mobile
                                                                         number portability                                                                                               wish you the best of luck for your
article and type:                passionate about. The site looks                                                                                                                         future. Keep your good work up and
ICCO <Story tag> <Rating>
                                 good, and we’ll keep following it.      some fake modems are in the                                                                                      teach us about futuristic technology
Example: ICCO PWS 5
                                 Keep on adding content and              market. Is there any risk? Please tell                                                                           and gadgets!
The “Story tag” is mentioned     experimenting with various formats.     me which one is best for my study                                                                                   I remember the days when I had
at the base of every story in
the magazine and the “Rating”    It’s a great achievement that you       purposes. Thank you in advance.                                                                                  a Celeron PC and I didn't have much
is on a scale of 1 to 5.         can show off later during college and                                                                           – UTSAV RANA                             idea about hardware and software.
                                 work applications. Blogger or not,                                                                                                                       At that time my PC was full of
Finally, send your messages to
51818. Cheers!                   it’s people like you who’ll keep the    Hi Utsav,                                                                                                        infections due to piracy. I also did
                                 Internet buzzing! We wish you the       You haven’t told us where you live or                                                                            not know about piracy and its
Please keep comments to          best of luck with all your future       what type of connection you need. If                                                                             drawbacks. Thanks to you guys for
160 characters per message!
Include your email address       endeavors.                              you’re looking for a basic home                                                                                  teaching me about that. Because of
to help us reply or check out                             – TEAM CHIP    connection, check with your landline                                                                             CHIP I am able to see futuristic
the SMS Feedback thread at
                                                                         phone provider and cable operator.                                                                               gadgets, computers, hardware and
www.chip.in/forums
                                 Learning Networking                     MTNL and BSNL cover most of the                                                                                  software. Otherwise it is very
                                 Dear Sir,                               country, so you can check their rates                                                                            difficult to gain knowledge in a
                                 I have been reading CHIP for about      in your local newspapers. As a                                                                                   town like the one I live in.
                                 a year however it is my first email     student, even a basic connection                                                                                                         – NILESH UIKE
                                 to you. I wanted to you to suggest      with a minimum speed of 256 Kbps
                                 the names of sites which provide        and a download limit of 1 GB per                                                                                 Suggestions
                                 knowledge on computer networking        month should suffice—just avoid                                                                                  Dear Sir,
                                 from the beginner level and are         the temptation of downloading                                                                                    My name is Tejashwi, I am a
                                 easy to follow. Thanks, I am            large files.                                                                                                     computer science engineering
                                 sure that my query will be                                                                                               – TEAM CHIP                     student. I am interested in coding
                                 answered soon.                                                                                                                                           with C. So I have gone into depth
                                               – WASIM AKRAM KHAN        Suggestions                                                                                                      with windows API programming
                                                                         Hello team CHIP,                                                                                                 with C in console mode. Now I am
                                 Dear Wasim,                             This is the first time I’m writing a                                                                             trying with Visual C++ Windows GUI
                                 You should be able to find all the      letter to you guys. CHIP keeps me                                                                                Forms. I want some books on VC++
                                 information you need with a few         updated all the time. Compared to                                                                                Windows API programming and
                                 simple online search. A good place to   the other similar magazines, CHIP is                                                                             with details on how to work with
                                 get started is compnetworking.          much better. Compared to previous                                                                                forms. If possible please tell me
                                 about.com.                              packages, CHIP now comes in a                                                                                    some books.
                                                          – TEAM CHIP    simple package which is a good step                                                                                                        – TEJASHWI
                                                                         in saving resources. Please take
                                 Going Online                            such initiatives in the future also.                                                                             Dear Tejashwi,
                                 Hi CHIP,                                Please also increase the contents                                                                                Thanks for your letter, unfortunately
                                 I want to buy an Internet connection    and reduce ads. Also please include                                                                              we do not cover programming and
                                 for study purposes and socializing      the system requirements on the                                                                                   such topics in the magazine. You
                                 with friends. Can you help me with      game review section. Thank you.                                                                                  haven't mentioned where you live,
                                 one is best? I have also seen some                                                                                                    – GOKU             but if there's no suitable bookstore
                                 network modems from various                                                                                                                              nearby, do check out sites such as
                                 dealers but I am not satisfied          Thanks, CHIP                                                                                                     Flipkart, Rediff and Indiaplaza where
                                 because there is a problem of           Hi,                                                                                                              you'll find everything you need.
                                 network connectivity. I have heard      This is Nilesh Uike from Gadchiroli,                                                                                                      – TEAM CHIP


12      05/2011           INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                 NEWSWIRE
         NEWS SNIPPETS


             DANGER FORECAST                                                            IN THE NEWS...
                                                               HIGH RISK                COMPILED BY JAMSHED AVARI


          Currently,
      spammers and                                                                      HARDWARE
        phishers are
   holding back—but
  that doesn't mean
                                                               MEDIUM RISK
                                                                                        Mediocre Xoom sales cast doubt on entire Android
      we can just sit
     back and relax.                                                                    tablet market; iPads still flying off shelves
                                                               LOW RISK                 Weak sales of Motorola's Xoom tablet are       by news of Apple's iPad 2; its price, which
                                                                                        causing a number of manufacturers to           was higher than the iPad's; and the lack
                                                                                        rethink their plans for launching similar      of a cheap Wi-Fi only model at launch
                                                                                        products this year. The Xoom is not only       time, which cemented its poor reception.
                                                                                        Motorola's flagship product,                    Additionally, tablet-ready apps for Android
                                                                                        but also the only                              haven't been as numerous as expected, and
          FAKE ANTIVIRUS TOOLS                                                          major product running                                    Honeycomb itself doesn't match the
                                                                                        Android 3.0 which was                                     visual flair or ease of use of iOS.
         System
          Guard                                                              26%        designed specifically                                       Manufacturers are also limited
                                                                                        for tablets and was                                        in terms of customization, with
        MS
AntiSpyware                                                                 20%         intended to demonstrate                                     most products looking much
                                                                                        the platform's capabilities                                 the same thanks to Android's
    Maleware
      Doctor                                                                 12%        in the face of extremely                                     interface and hardware
                                                                                        tough competition from                                        requirements.
Anti Malware
      Doctor                                                                 11%        Apple's iPad ecosystem.                                            However other reports cite
                                                                                        However, multiple reports                                    shortages of display panels
     Antivirus
           Pro                                                                   8%     from analysts have                                  and other hardware due to the recent
                                                                                        revealed that its sales have                   tragedies in Japan as the reason for the
   Adware /
Securtiy Tool                                                                    6%     been much poorer than anticipated.             delayed launches. Meanwhile, Research in
                                                                                           Now, reports from Taiwan and Japan          Motion's PlayBook tablet has had relatively
Fake security software is responsible for
about a quarter of all infections. People                                               indicate that manufacturers are holding off    strong sales in its first week, with an
trust these names too easily.                                                           in order to gauge the market better. Factors   esitmated 45,000 units sold on the first day
                                                        Source: Panda Security          for the Xoom's weak performance include the    alone. The PlayBook is based on RIM's own
                                                                                        timing of its launch, which was dampened       operating system.
         HACKERS IN DECLINE?
MIo. 8
                                                                                        HARDWARE
     6


     4                                                                                  Commodore returns with nettops in classic shapes
     2

                                                                                        Classic computer manufacturer Commodore's         The revived Commodore has also
     0
          July    Aug   Sept   Oct   Nov   Dec    Jan    Feb   Mar   Apr   May   June   name and rights have been revived, and a       announced its VIC-PRO and VIC-SLIM all-
           09     09     09    09    09    09     10     10    10    10    10     10

                                                                                        slew of new products with the exact look       in-one keyboard computers which have no
Symantec has shown in a recent report that                                              and feel of classic '80s-era computers are     resemblance to classic products, and the
the number of dubious websites has reduced
greatly in the past year.                                                               set to release this year. Highest up on the    Amiga 1000, 2000 and 3000 home-theater
                               Source: Symantec                                         nostalgia list is the reborn Commodore 64,     PC cabinets. The new C64 will cost upwards
                                                                                        an exact replica down to the colors, labels    of US$ 595 (approx Rs 26,400) while the
                                                                                        and Cherry key switches. The new C64           VIC-SLIM will cost $395 (approx Rs 17,525).
         FIGURE OF THE MONTH                                                            however has standard netbook components
                                                                                        inside, including an Intel Atom CPU, Nvidia


                        30%                                                             Ion graphics, and even a DVD drive. Other
                                                                                        modern conveniences include USB ports and
                                                                                        a multi-format card reader.
of Indian cellular mobile subscribers will
                                                                                           Provided C64 emulator software can run
have 3G connections by the year 2015,                                                   at bootup, allowing users with long memories
        according to a new report                                                       (and excellent backups) to run all their old
                                            Source: Wireless Intelligence               programs and games.


          14            05/2011                  INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                                      SMS us!     Story code: NSN to 51818
      NEWSWIRE
  NEWS SNIPPETS


                                           SECURITY                                                       SECURITY
SECURITY
                                           Facebook tries two-factor login,                               iPhones secretly
NEW SECURITY                               new Family Safety Center                                       logging location
RISKS DETECTED                             Facebook has made a brief mention on its blog about rolling
AND PATCHED                                out two-factor authentication to help users secure their
                                           accounts, but not many details have been forthcoming.
                                           Two-factor logins require a unique token in addition to the
                                           usual username and password, at least in cases where the
                                           Website detects that the computer or device being used
                                           isn't on your list of authorized login points. The unique
                                           codes would presumably be delivered via SMS or email. The      Forensic researcher Alex
                                           news was part of other announcements relating to account       Levinson has published
                                           security and online                                            evidence that iPhones running
                                           bullying, but made no                                          iOS 4 secretly record their
                                           mention about when the                                         location upto twice a day, and
                                           feature would be rolled                                        that this information can be
MOZILLA FIREFOX
                                           out to users or what                                           retrieved quite easily from
Hackers' malicious code can take
                                           can be done when a                                             any computer on which a
advantage of more than 13 security
gaps in the Firefox browser version 3      suspicious login attempt                                       phone backup is stored even
installed on the system.                   is detected.                                                   though it is secured on the
SOLUTION: With an update to version              Facebook also rolled                                     phone itself. Apple's terms of
3.6.15 Mozilla fixes the vulnerability.    out a new Family Safety                                        use seem to cover such data
However, users are advised by the          Center in an effort to respond to the growing number           gathering, although it has
company to update to the newest            of cyberbullying incidents being reported. The microsite       never been made explicitly
Firefox version 4.
                                           contains information for families as well as educators.        clear that this is happening.

ORACLE JAVA
Through an error in conversion in a        SECURITY                                                       SECURITY
floating-point number in certain
calculations, Java attackers can get
the Java Runtime Engine to crash.
                                           Game consoles can also be used                                 Flaw alleged in
SOLUTION: An update to version 24
resolves the bug and is available at
                                           to spread viruses                                              Thunderbolt
the manufacturer’s website or via the
update function.                                                                                          Research outfit
                                                                                                          Errata Security
GOOGLE CHROME                                                                                             claims to have
Hackers can use 19 security gaps in                                                                       discovered a
Google Chrome to run malicious code                                                                       flaw with Intel's
on the computer or to crash the                                                                           new high-speed
browser. Google has classified 16 of       Korean security experts Dong Joo Ha and Kichan Ahn             Thunderbolt
them as critical. The company has not
                                           showed how gaming consoles can be misused to spread            interface.
announced the details of the bugs.
                                           viruses, at the annual security show CanSecWest. According     Unlike USB, connected devices
SOLUTION: Google has fixed the
corresponding flaws—users should           to experts, the growing number of devices that cane            can identify themselves
update their systems to the new            be hacked to run "home-brew" software has led to an            as controllers and send
version 10 of the Google Chrome            increase in the use of games and other software that is not    commands to their hosts. This
browser.                                   approved by the manufacturer. Ha and Ahn used Nintendo         means a person could simply
                                           DS and Wii consoles to demonstrate a game infected with        plug in a pre-programmed
WINDOWS SECURITY ESSENTIALS                malware that can cause havoc if the console is connected       storage device, and it would
Attackers with administrator rights        to a Wi-Fi or wired home network. The virus searches           be able to search the host
can use a specific modified registry       for vulnerable computers on the LAN and then gives the         for data or simply copy its
entry that when scanned with Security      attacker remote access to infected devices. If the user has    entire hard drive without
Essentials, will be executed with full     a gaming account saved on the console with his credit          user intervention. While the
administrator rights.
                                           card data stored in it, even this can be read without any      claim is alarming, the firm
SOLUTON: A patch is aready available
via Windows Update. Users are              problem. The only solution is to stick to the manufacturer's   acknowledges that it hasn't
advised to enable automatic updates.       original software—but then all the advantages of running       actually tested its theory with
                                           custom firmware are lost.                                       actual Thunderbolt devices.


   16    05/2011    INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                    NEWSWIRE
                                                                                                                 NEWS SNIPPETS


SOFTWARE                          LEGAL ISSUES                                                        SOFTWARE

IE 10 demoed on Apple, Samsung latest to trade                                                        Windows Kinect
ARM systems     patent infringement lawsuits                                                          SDK released
                                  Apple and Samsung have
                                  joined the long list of
                                  companies at war with
                                  each other over intellectual
                                  property issues. The two
                                  companies are competing in an                                       Microsoft has released a
                                  increasing number of product                                        general-purpose Windows-
Mere weeks after the launch       categories, most notably                                            based developers' toolkit for
of IE 9, Microsoft showed off     smartphones and tablets, but      series of tablets. The move is    Kinect. Hackers who have been
its progress on IE 10 at its      also have several longstanding    being seen as a shot against      finding innovative uses for the
annual MIX developer event.       business arrangements—Apple       all manufacturers of Android-     motion-control peripheral since
The IE 10 platform preview        is the biggest customer of        based products, especially        its launch now have an official
not only demonstrated             Samsung's Flash memory            because of a claim regarding      way to develop applications
advanced CSS support, but         business and also buys billions   the use of rows of icons in the   that harness its motion,
also its ability to run on ARM-   of dollars' worth of display      user interface.                   infrared and sound sensors.
based platforms. This also        panels from them.                    Samsung has of course          Microsoft's strategy for Kinect
implied that it was running on       Apple's specific claims         fired back, alleging Apple has     extends way beyond gaming;
an unannounced custom port        involve the shape, design,        impinged upon its patents         the company is betting heavily
of Windows. ARM will be a big     user interface and packaging      relating to wireless data         on sound, motion and other
part of Microsoft's strategy in   of Samsung's Galaxy S, Epic       transmission and releasing        physical cues to power the
2012 as it aims to compete in     and Nexus smartphone lines        statements vehemently             future of immersive user
the growing tablet space.         as well as the Galaxy Tab         defending its own innovations.    interaction experiences.
  NEWSWIRE
NEWS SNIPPETS


BUSINESS                           HARDWARE                             HARDWARE                           HARDWARE

Nokia pins hopes Android 3.0 to                                         2.5 GHz ARM chip Next-gen chipsets
on a new font    debut on X86                                           for future phones to support USB3
                                                                        Christmas season 2012 could        Both AMD and Intel have
                                                                        see a number of superpowered       finally announced native USB
                                                                        smartphones and tablets            3.0 support in their next
                                                                        available for purchase. ARM        chipset releases. AMD will
                                                                        Holdings has announced it is       likely be the first to launch its
After giving up on Symbian OS                                           on track to deliver its Cortex     AMD A75 and A70M Fusion
and shaking up its corporate       Intel has confirmed that it is        A15 CPU                            chipsets in June this year
structure, the next step in        working on a port of Android         clocked at                         to match the desktop and
Nokia's reinvention will be the    3.0, AKA Honeycomb, that             2.5 GHz                            mobile versions of its Llano
retirement of its iconic font.     will run on its X86 CPUs,            either in                          APU products respectively.
The instantly recognizable         most importantly the newly           late 2012                          Intel will follow later, with
Nokia Sans, which graces           launched low-power Atom              or early                           both USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt
Nokia's products, packaging,       chips formerly known as              2013, and                          native to the next-generation
advertising and Website, will      "Oaktrail". The tablet-oriented      the design                         chipsets that will be part
soon be replaced by Nokia          OS will be key to its tablet         will scale                         of its Ivy Bridge platform
Pure. The new typeface has         strategy following Nokia's           from two to 16 cores. Nvidia,      launch. Intel's latest position
been designed with screen          adoption of Windows Phone            Samsung, Texas Instruments         is that USB and Thunderbolt
readability in mind, but is also   at the expense of Meego.             and others will soon begin         are complementary. The
intended to convey newness,        The move also increases              readying A15-based designs.        move to eliminate third-party
freshness and vitality. The font   competition with ARM, whose          ARM further plans to challenge     USB 3.0 controllers will save
will include multiple language     CPUs dominate tablet designs         X86 in the low-power server        motherboard makers a few
scripts including Devanagari.      at present.                          market, but not before 2014.       dollars per unit.




BUSINESS                           CENSORSHIP                                                              LEGAL ISSUES

Samsung exits                      XXX TLD pits free speech and anti-                                      Google to face 20
HDD business                       smut advocates against each other                                       years of audits
                                   India has become one of the          of course no indication how or
                                   first countries to explicitly state   whether or not the exact same
                                   it will block the XXX top-level      sites operating under standard
                                   domain when sites registered         .com or other country-specific
                                   under it begin operating. One        TLDs would be affected.            The US Federal Trade
                                   of the biggest                                       Adult websites     Commission has imposed 20
Samsung has announced plans        objections to                                     themselves are        years of privacy audits on
to sell its entire hard drive      creating the                                      against the XXX       Google after settling disputes
manufacturing unit to Seagate,     domain was that it                                TLD, since they'll    primarily based around the
marking further consolidation      would "ghettoize"             ED                  have to pay extra     launch of Google Buzz which
in the market. Seagate will        the Web, or               BANN                    to register new       exposed the frequency of
supply hard drives to Samsung      create an easily                                  domain names in       users' communications with
for its PC, notebook, netbook      identifiable cluster                               addition to paying    contacts and was not easy
and other product lines. The       of sites that could                               for existing ones     to disable even if they never
agreement between the two          be targeted and                                   in order to prevent   wanted it in the first place.
companies gives Samsung            blocked by countries and             cybersquatting or imposters.       Google also has to be much
an approximately 10 percent        self-appointed moral police          There is also no legal             more transparent about the
ownership share in Seagate,        agents, thus defeating the           requirement anywhere for such      way it collects and uses
and also increases cooperation     free and open nature of the          sites to operate only under        data, and must not share this
between the two to cross-          Web. Other countries in favor        the XXX TLD, making all such       information without explicit
license patents relating to the    of blocking the TLD entirely         filtering attempts pointless        user consent. The audits will
development of solid-state         include Indonesia and some           unless the sites voluntarily       be conducted regularly and by
drives and enterprise products.    middle-eastern nations. There is     change over.                       independent agents.


18    05/2011    INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
  NEWSWIRE
     BUZZ LIST



GAMING

Portal 2 release is a game
in itself

                                                                             SOFTWARE

                                                                             Windows 8 leaks
                                                                             Finally, information and screenshots of Windows 8 have started
Not satisfied with having millions of gamers salivate over the               to leak out on the Internet. Early leaks show a revamped login
expected release of Portal 2, game developer Valve chose to                  screen with text and imagery similar to the 'Metro' look and feel of
tantalizing the world with the promise of an early release if a              Windows Phone 7. The much-discussed 'Portable Workspace'
series of cryprtic clues could be solved. Hints were also put out            tool seems like it will allow users to create a fully personlized copy
that purchasing a collection of indie games called 'The Potato               of Windows on a bootable pen drive, to use wherever necessary.
Sack' and playing each title would advance a countdown timer                 Other features promised but not yet seen or confirmed include
and help the game release early. Clues were                                                         fully-integrated cloud syncing, a redesigned




                                                     BUZZ
discovered throughout the week leading up                                                           Task Manager, a built-in malware filter
to Portal 2's release, including elaborate                                                          called SmartScreen, a PDF reader, Ribbon
patterns in the waveforms of audio files and                                                        interfaces in Windows Explorer and other
split-second messages hidden in YouTube                                                             applications, a vastly improved backup




                                                   LIST
videos. Sadly, despite a huge collaborative                                                         system called History Vault, and of course
global effort, the puzzles couldn't be solved                                                       Windows' very own App Store. Still no word
before the official release time.                                                                   on a likely release date, though.


GADGETS                                                                                             PEOPLE

iPhone 5 delay                                               COMPILED BY JAMSHED AVARI

                                                          The simple lowdown on
                                                                                                    Allen vs Gates
By all appearances, Apple will break its                  what everyone's talking                   As one of the original founders of Microsoft,
famous yearly update cycle and push the                      about this month                       Paul Allen spent a lot of time working and
launch of its next iPhone model to                                                                  fighting with Bill Gates. Now, nearly 30 years
September alongside or instead of the next iPod touch, instead of            after ceasing to be an active part of the company due to medical
the usual June event. This will not only extend the life of the              reasons, Allen has published an autobiography that sheds light on
iPhone 4, but create bigger demand around the US and European                Gates' alleged rude, brash, and
holiday season. Analysts and insiders are hinting that the next              dominating behavior. A large
iPhone won't have anything dramatically new to offer, and will               excerpt published by Vanity Fair
look much the same as the current model. The strongest rumors                magazine reveals how Allen and
suggest not only that the phone will finally be available in white,          Gates first met in high school
but that the largest capacity model will now be 64 GB. Other                 and began working on ideas to
possibilities include an 8-megapixel camera and the same dual-               build a business around the
core A9 processor that debuted with the iPad 2. The component                emerging field of computers.
                                                   supply situation             The memoir reveals how
                                                   in Japan is also          driven the pair were, and how
                                                   being cited as a          they built their earliest products.
                                                   reason for the            According to Allen though, Gates
                                                   delay, but for us         was deliberately rude and
                                                   in India, it'll be        always had a sense of entitlement, and eventually demanded a
                                                   little relief—we          64–36 ownership split when Microsoft was incorporated, rather
                                                   still have no             than the initial 50–50 that was agreed upon. Other highlights
                                                   launch date more          include the controversial appointment of Steve Ballmer, and
                                                   specific than             Allen's outrage at being sidelined and overruled while he was
                                                   "coming soon".            recuperating from Hodgkin's Lymphoma.




20    05/2011     INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                                  SMS us!   Story code: NBL to 51818
      NEWSWIRE
NEW PRODUCTS LAUNCHED




   NEW PRODUCTS LAUNCHED
   COMPILED BY JAMSHED AVARI




   LG                                               large data storage. Offering easy RAID       HTC
                                                    configuration, this device provides an
   Powerful multimedia                              excellent speed of 5.0 Gbps for USB 3.0      Premium Android
   phone                                            and 480 Mbps for USB 2.0 and 3 Gbps
                                                    with eSATA Interface. The Drive Station      Smartphone
                                                    Duo also gives additional storage to
                       LG has introduced the        quickly back up all your multimedia files.   HTC has launched the new HTC Incredible
                       world’s first dual core      It is compatible with Windows Server         S in the Indian market. The Incredible S
                       processor smartphone,        2003/2008 and is also available with         features a stunning, contoured body that
                       the LG Optimus 2X in         software that quickly backs up your          highlights the internal hardware
                       India. The Optimus 2X        entire system and database. It also comes    components of the device. Capturing and
                       (LG-P990) is the first       with an Eco Manager mode that reduces        viewing video in crystal clear High-
                       phone to run on              the power consumption up to 80 percent.      Definition has never
                       Nvidia’s new Tegra 2         PRICE: Rs 11,000 (starting)                  been so easy and a
                       chipset, which promises      WEBSITE: www.buffalo-asia.com                bright 4-inch WVGA
                       a mobile experience                                                       Super LCD display
                       beyond the ordinary. It      ASUS                                         and stereo surround
   features an HDMI connection so you can                                                        sound bring a
   easily play your images, videos and music        Overclocked graphics                         vibrant cinematic
   content on your HDTV in stunning high-
   definition. The Optimus 2X delivers a            card                                         experience to the
                                                                                                 palm of your hand.
   seamless multitasking experience. Now,                                                        HTC Incredible S
   switch between numerous applications             Asus has launched the new GTX550 Ti          also takes high
   and widgets at once. The responsive 4.0          DirectCU graphics card which continues       quality pictures with its 8-megapixel
   inches TFT capacitive touchscreen                Asus’ tradition for gaming performance.      camera with dual flash, and it easily
   displays 16 million colors. With 8 GB                          e
                                                    Asus’ exclusive DirectCU technology          enables videos, photos and music to be
   internal storage expandable upto 32 GB,                       vantages
                                                    offers the advantages of 20                   share from the handset direct to a TV
                                                                                                  shared
   you can store unlimited music and data.          percent more cooling                             usi
                                                                                                     using DLNA technology. It includes an
   The Dual Core processor provides the             out of its                                         i
                                                                                                       industry first with automatic
   ultimate gaming experience of smooth             direct GPU                                           shifting of the virtual home,
   graphics rendering with 7.1 channel              contact,                                             menu, back and search keys
   surround sound. Gyro and accelerometer           all-copper                                       ba
                                                                                                     based on how it is held. Add to this a
   sensors enable a more dynamic                    cooling                                      premi
                                                                                                 premium Hi-Fi experience with dual mics,
   experience.                                                  ell
                                                    design, as well                              noise cancellation, surround sound and
   PRICE: Rs 30,000                                 as exclusive                                 HTC S
                                                                                                     Sense.
   WEBSITE: www.lge.com                             Super Alloy Power                            PRIC
                                                                                                 PRICE: Rs. 28,900
                                                    quality components for faster                WEBSITE: www.htc.com
   BUFFALO                                          performance and longer lifespan. The
                                                    card is factory overclocked to perform at    COOLER MASTER
   SOHO storage device                              910MHz faster than stock performance,
                                                    resulting in higher frame rates in games.    Value PC Chassis
   Buffalo Technology has unveiled their            Super Alloy Power is an exclusive Asus
   power packed                                     development that injects a custom alloy      Cooler Master has launched its new
   Drive Station Duo.                               mixture into critical power delivery         affordable mid-tower chassis, the CMP-
   Built with USB 3.0,                              components offering a performance            350. Targeted at first-time PC buyers, this
   USB 2.0 and eSATA                                 boost of 15 percent and running up to       chassis offers excellent quality at an
   interfaces, it is                                 35°C cooler than reference. Real-time       attractive price. A quality chassis is hard
   best suited for                                   overclocking, benchmarking and video        to come by in the entry-level space and
   home as well as                                   capturing is possible in any PC game        that’s what the CMP-350 intends to
   smaller working                                   with Gamer OSD.                             change. Crafted with cooling efficiency in
   environments                                      PRICE: Rs 10,500                            mind, the CMP-350 offers excellent
   which require                                     WEBSITE: www.asus.in                        airflow, courtesy its active front, side and


   22     05/2011      INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                       SMS us!      Story code: NPL to 51818
     NEWSWIRE
NEW PRODUCTS LAUNCHED

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




                            rear ventilation         WEBSITE: www.digilink.in                           construction protects the internal fan from
                            systems. Blue LED        AKAI                                               dust and damage. The device is compatible
                            light further                                                               with PC and Mac laptops.
                            accentuates its classy   Slim QWERTY phone                                  PRICE: Rs 1,195
                            looks. It comes with                                                        WEBSITE: www.logitech.com
   one 120mm fan at the rear and one more            Akai Mobiles has announced the launch of a
   can be added to the front. This mid-tower         full QWERTY mobile phone, Connect Leaf.            MAYA SOFTWARE
   chassis is large enough to accept ATX             This new offering comes packed with all the
   motherboards and up to six hard drives.                            features expected in a            Antivirus Solution
   Most important is the standard ATX power                           business phone. Connect
   supply with a lifetime of 100,000 hours and                        Leaf has a bar form factor        Maya software
   circuits for Over Voltage, Over Power and                          and facilitates both dual         technologies has
   Short Circuit protection—a first in the value                      SIM and dual standby              announced N360
   segment.                                                           options. The USPs of this         Internet Security 2011,
   PRICE: Rs 2,950                                                    phone are its ultra slim          a complete Antivirus
   WEBSITE: www.coolermaster.co.in                                    metallic body which comes         solution for desktops,
                                                                      in two color variants, black      laptops and servers.
   DIGISOL                                                           and red; dual camera, and a        N360 is the lightest
                                                     host of social networking sites. The phone         antivirus software in
   Professional                                      comes with a 5.6 cm QVGA Screen with               the world and includes various features like

   surveillance cameras                              262K color. The keypad of this phone
                                                     enables users to comfortably and speedily
                                                                                                        antivirus, antispyware, antimalware,
                                                                                                        firewall, bootable CD, rescue kit CD, backup
                                                     send SMS and MMS. Connectivity options in          etc. N360 Antivirus is available for
   Digisol has launched two feature rich IP          the phone include PC connectivity,                 Microsoft Windows 7/Vista/XP/2000 and
   surveillance cameras, the DG-SC3630 Pan/          Bluetooth (A2DP), GPRS, MMS, Opera Mini,           Windows Server 2008 and 2003.
   Tilt Camera with Power over Ethernet, and         social networking sites like Facebook, Yahoo       PRICE : Rs 799
   the DG-SC3610W Wireless Pan/Tilt Camera.          , E-buddy and MSN. The Micro SD card slot          WEBSITE : www.n360.in
   Both are high-end network cameras                 facilitates memory expansion of up to 8GB.
                           l
   designed for professional                         PRICE
                                                     PRICE: Rs 2,900                                    WILEY
                           y
   surveillance and security                               WEBSITE: NA
   applications, providing                                                                              Cloud Computing Book
   powerful and versatile                                  LOGITECH
   security solutions for                                                                                                          Cloud computing,
   businesses of any size                                  Stylish Cooling Pad                                                     dynamic
                           e
   requiring local or remote                                                                                                       infrastructure and
   monitoring with                                        L
                                                          Logitech has announced the Logitech                                      virtualization have
   features including day                               Cooling Pad N120, a sleek and stylish
                                                        Co                                                                         been deployed
   & night viewing, SD card                            acce
                                                       accessory with a virtually silent, USB-                                     within every
   for local recording, and                          powe
                                                     powered fan that cools your laptop                                            corporate function in
   Power over Ethernet (PoE)                         computer. Designed for efficiency, this                                       a broad range of
   support. The DG-SC3630 and DG-SC3610W             cooling pad with low power consumption                                        businesses and
   feature remote pan/tilt control which helps       has a minimal impact on your laptop’s                                         markets. It has
   in monitoring a large area more easily.           battery. The Cooling Pad N120 has a sleek          brought about phenomenal changes in the
   Further, users can set preset points to let       look with an ergonomically designed slotted        way the world works, the way corporations
   the cameras go to a specific angle                surface, which helps ward off heat and             function, and the way human role in each
   accurately and quickly. These cameras also        distribute air quietly and evenly. To              has developed. Cloud Computing – Insight
   offer simultaneous real-time viewing              maintain a steady and unobstructed airflow,        into New-Era Infrastructure reflects the
   allowing multiple users from various              the Logitech Cooling Pad N120 uses rear air        core insights of cloud models, service
   locations to view live video at the               intake, unlike other cooling pads which            offerings and other benefits.
   same time.                                        generate airflow from angles that are easily       PRICE: Rs 329
   PRICE: DG-SC3630: Rs 16,500; DG-                  blocked by the laptop itself or loose              WEBSITE: www.wileyindia.com
   SC3610W: Rs 17,900                                clothing. Moreover, its enclosed, durable                                        – jamshed.avari@chip.in



   24    05/2011     INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
  NEWSWIRE
     FEATURE




                                                                                                                               Shamik Banerjee




Internet Kill Switch: A Noose
Around the Internet?
Supreme Court Advocate Pawan Duggal tells us how India quietly passed legislation to
empower the government to block Internet access, and the ramifications of such a move.
BY PRIYANKA TILVE




T
       he world has already witnessed           Supreme Court, to gain an insight into the       So it has nothing to do with the
       the power of the Internet, as it         provisions of the law.
                                                                                              Q  recent uprisings in Egypt and
       emerged as a powerful tool in                                                         elsewhere?
the downfall of the Mubarak regime in                The Indian government recently
Egypt. Caught unawares, the Egyptian
                                                 Q   armed itself with the power to               No, it has nothing to do with the
government did try to block access to           block Internet access as and when it
                                                                                              A   recent events in Egypt, Libya or
the Internet and was even marginally            deems fit. What are the provisions            Tunisia. The Indian law makers decided
successful in doing so, but the damage          of the bill?                                 immediately after the 26/11 Mumbai terror
had already been done and the President                                                      attacks that enough was enough and it
had no option but to step down. This                 The amendments made to the              was time to strengthen the hands of the
event had a rippling effect in many of
                                                 A   Information Technology Act 2000         government. They wanted to give the
Egypt’s neighboring nations, as they too        grants these rights to the government.       government adequate powers to deal
stirred up an Internet-inspired revolution.     The Act itself was primarily an              with any potential abuse or misuse of
   The governments around the world             e-commerce-enabling legislation and its      technology, including the Internet.
were forced to sit up and take notice, and      focus a decade ago was to grant legality     Consequently, huge amounts of power
they didn’t lose any time in taking steps       to the electronic format and for pushing     were given to the government for
to arm themselves with a powerful law           e-commerce.                                  interception, monitoring, blocking and
to block access or even kill the Internet          However, over the years, it came          decryption. These powers were unheard
when faced with a similar situation. While      to be very much known that the IT            of because earlier, the powers were only
the Internet Kill Switch Bill is being highly   Act was deficient and that it required        given for interception.
debated in the US Senate and in China,          various amendments. Now, the various            The powers have been couched in
the Indian government has already silently      amendments have been thought over            such vast enough language that if the
armed itself with such a power. We spoke        and discussed, especially after the 26/11    Central or the state government feels
with Pavan Duggal, an Advocate in the           Mumbai terror attacks.                       that it is necessary in the interest of the


26    05/2011   INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                          SMS us!     Story code: NKS to 51818
                                                                                                                                         NEWSWIRE
                                                                                                                                           FEATURE




sovereignty or integrity of India, defense
of India, security of the state, friendly
                                                        AMENDMENT TO THE IT ACT, 2000
relations with foreign states, public            The amended Information Technology Act, 2000             relating to above, it may subject to the
order, or to preventing incitement to the        talks that the power to issue directions for             provisions of sub-section (2), for reasons to be
commission of any cognizable offence             blocking for public access of any information            recorded in writing, by order, direct any
                                                 through any computer resource is given under             agency of the Government or intermediary to
or for investigation of any offence,
                                                 Section 69A of the amended Information                   block for access by the public or cause to be
then it can direct the governmental
                                                 Technology Act, 2000 which states as follows:            blocked for access by the public any
agency to intercept, monitor, decrypt                                                                     information generated, transmitted, received,
                                                 “Section 69A - Power to issue directions for
any information generated, transmitted,                                                                   stored or hosted in any computer resource.
                                                 blocking for public access of any information
received or stored in any computer               through any computer resource.                         2. The procedure and safeguards subject to
resource. Unfortunately, if they decide to       1. Where the Central Government or any of its             which such blocking for access by the public
block, then they can block the Internet             officer specially authorised by it in this behalf      may be carried out, shall be such as may be
with immediate effect. They will have               is satisfied that it is necessary or expedient so      prescribed.
to connect through the ISPs of the                  to do in the interest of sovereignty and            3. The intermediary who fails to comply with the
country to block it. This action can be             integrity of India, defence of India, security of      direction issued under sub-section (1) shall be
                                                    the State, friendly relations with foreign States      punished with an imprisonment for a term
carried out by any officer of the Central
                                                    or public order or for preventing incitement           which may extend to seven years and also be
government duly authorized by the
                                                    to the commission of any cognizable offence            liable to fine.”
Central government under Section 69A
of the amended Information Technology
Act, 2000.
                                                              Why Are They Censoring The Internet?
    So is this on the same lines as                                  The countries listed here are those that best represent the
 Q  the Internet Kill Switch that is                                     three major motives behind internet censorshop.
been so hotly debated in the US
Senate?
                                                                                   Censoring to maintain
      If you talk in terms of an Internet kill                                    traditional social values
 A    switch, one needs to understand the
fundamental conditionality to that. This
expression has gained more currency                                                              Sudan
from the recent bill that has been                                                               Oman
introduced in the US Senate, which gives                                                         UK
powers to the US President to switch off                                                         Singapore
the Internet, but that’s very different from
the powers we have under the IT Act. If
                                                                                                                  Yemen
the proposed US legislation is passed,
then that will grant huge powers to the
                                                                    Thailand                     China            South Korea
President of the US to switch off the                               Uzbekistan                   Ethiopia
Internet. However, that power cannot be                             Vietnam                      Iran
exercised in our country primarily because                          Baharin                      Myanmar
even if the government decides to block                                                          Pakistan
access to the Internet, that does not kill
                                                                                                 Saudi Arabia
the Internet, as the Internet still remains
                                                             Libya                               Syria
valid, existing and kicking all over the
                                                             Jordan                              Tunisia
world.
   It’s not possible to completely switch
                                                             Tajikistan                          UAE                          India
off the Internet in India, primarily because                 Azerbaijan                                                       Morocco
most of the servers are located outside                                                                                       USA
the territorial boundaries of India. I think
you can have the ability to switch off the
Internet if you have control over majority
of the servers. Historically speaking, a
majority of the servers are located in
the US so even if the Indian government                Censoring to maintain                                       Censoring to maintain
decides to switch off, it can only block                 political stability                                         national security
access to the Internet like what happened
                                                                                                                             Data Source: http://yuxiyou.net/open/
in Egypt. However, that would not amount


                                                                                                           INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP           05/2011        27
  NEWSWIRE
     FEATURE




                                                                                                                    Internet. Currently, India as a nation has
                            Who Is Censoring The Internet?                                                          some major challenges; we still don’t
     Most countries that are connected to the internet conducts some level of internet censorship.                  have a national cyber security policy in
                                                                                                                    place. We still don’t have a dedicated
                                                                                                                    body that will coordinate all issues
                                                                                                                    pertaining to cyber security. Computer
                                                                                                                    Emergency Response Teams or CERTs
                                                                                                                    world over are like soldiers who are on
                                                                                                                    the top of the fortress having a view of
                                                                                                                    the horizon. The moment they see the
                                                                                                                    enemy in the form of computer
                                                                                                                    emergencies, they alert people to get
                                                                                                                    prepared. But in our country, we have a
                                                                                                                    unique situation where CERT- In i.e. the
                                                                                                                    Computer Emergency Response Team of
                                                                                                                    India has been given the role of a general.
                                                                                                                    It has not only been responsible for
                                                                                                                    looking at all computer emergencies but
                                                                                                                    is also expected to be a nodal agency for
        No censorship               Some censorship                Under surveillance       Heavy surveillance      cyber security and a lot of powers have
                                                                                                                    been given to them under the IT Act. So I
  Data Source: Reporters without borders / Original map by prootie23 @ Wiki Commons
                                                                                                                    am of the opinion that India needs to do
                                                                                                                    far more to increase its level of
to killing the Internet because Internet                             only the CCA had the power of direct           preparedness.
would still exist.                                                   interception. But after 26/11, under the
                                                                     new amendments, the power of the CCA               Do individuals have the right to
    How important do you think is                                    has been curtailed. The government or its
                                                                                                                     Q  contest the decision of the
 Q  it for the government to have                                    representative or the state government         government in case the Internet has
such a law in place?                                                 can intercept, monitor, decrypt or even        been blocked?
                                                                     block Internet access.
       I think given the huge misuse of                                  We have to realize that Internet                 Absolutely. Individuals have the right
 A     Internet at the hands of the cyber                            and technology are like fast streams
                                                                                                                     A    to challenge any governmental
criminals and cyber terrorist, it’s                                  down the mountain, they are hugely,            action, which has the effect of blocking
absolutely imperative that the                                       immensely powerful in their speed and          access to the Internet. I see access to
government must have complete powers                                 momentum. You can’t block the stream.          Internet as a part of the Article 21 of the
of handling the Internet access in the                               If you block the Internet then you have        constitution of India. Article 21 deals with
country. If you don’t empower your                                   to be prepared for situations like Estonia     the fundamental rights to life and
Central government with such powers,                                 and Egypt. People today consciously or         personal liberty. The Supreme Court has
then there is a possibility that there                               unconsciously are realizing that the right     said that our right to life does not mean
could be situation like Estonia and the                              to access the Internet is the part of the      animal existence. It means having access
country is brought to a standstill because                           fundamental human rights to life and           to all those amenities, which help you to
of sudden unauthorized activities on the                             existence. Because what is human life          lead a balanced normal life. Today,
Internet. Power needs to be given, but                               today without access to Internet? So if        Internet and the access to Internet is an
there needs to be a lot of checks and                                government thinks that they can block off      integral part of leading a balanced life
balances.                                                            the Internet, then I think that is a thought   and therefore I feel that the right to
   Currently, there are no guidelines                                process of the 20th century. The 21st          access the Internet is part of the
to ensure that the potential misuse of                               century time frame requires governments        fundamental right. If any governmental
the said powers doesn’t take place.                                  to find more innovative ways to manage          order blocks access to the Internet, such
Earlier, the law was far better balanced,                            the Internet rather then to block off the      an action can always be challenged in the
because there was limited power of                                   Internet.                                      court of law and I think we have a very
interception that was granted, and even                                                                             strong judiciary and a very vibrant
then the government could not do direct                                      Do you think our government            constitution. So if the reasons for blocking
interception on its own. It had to go to a
                                                                       Q     can manage the Internet?               the Internet are not warranted by law,
statutory independent authority known                                                                               then the decision may not be upheld by
as the Controller of Certifying Authorities                                  I think we need to up our levels of    the judiciary.
or the CCA to get its approval and
                                                                       A     preparedness for managing the                                    – priyanka.tilve@chip.in



28     05/2011       INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
       NEWSWIRE
        FEATURE




                             Anil Sonune: Bringing
                             Tech to Rural Education
                             They lack many basic facilities and their school building is just
                             five rooms with tin roofs, but Anil Sonune ensures that his
                             students benefit from modern-day technology. BY PRIYANKA TILVE



                             A
                                        bout 50 kilometers away             about the lessons during the day, but
                                        from Jalna in Aurangabad            not before making Sonune Sir promise to
                                        lies Jafarabad taluka, a non-       play the song again the next day.
                             descript village. The highway is dotted           What Anil Sonune has achieved is
                             on both sides, with acres of farm land         exemplary, more so because he’s never
                             yielding cotton, wheat, millets and other      stepped inside a computer institute nor
                             crops. The people here work mostly as          does he have a professional degree. All
                             farmhands and lead modest lives on             the computer knowledge he has acquired
                             meager incomes. There is a Zilla Parishad      is from reading magazines, especially
                             school that has classes up to standard         CHIP. Born and brought up in Jalna, he
                             seven, and like any other Zilla Parishad       decided to follow in his father’s footsteps
                             school in the region, it consists of just      and become a teacher. Anil always had a
                             four to five tin-roofed classrooms. But         passion for technology and he started by
                             what sets this school apart from the           creating simple Powerpoint presentations
                             rest is the efforts put in by one man, Anil    based on the school syllabus to teach



                                    Anil Sonune’s entry really stood out from all the other entries
                             for the purpose he was putting the gadgets to. The mention of
                             benefitting his school and making it a 21st century school, and his
                             current scarcity of resources really stood out for me. While his was an
                             early entry and we reviewed many others, his really made an impact
                             and I am so proud that eBay and CHIP could help transform his
                             school with these dream gadgets.
                                                                                   - Deepa Thomas
                                            Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, Partnerships and Pop Culture
                                                                                 eBay India, Philippines & Malaysia

                             Sonune. For his outstanding endeavor to        the children. He then set up a computer
                             bring technology to the students of this       in one of the classrooms and used it to
                             school, he was chosen as the winner of         teach the children. Needless to say, the
                             CHIP eBay.in Dream Workstation Contest.        children loved it.
                                We visited the school recently and             His students are mostly children of
                             were greeted by the usual banter of            farmers, who aren’t even familiar with
                             school kids all excited, as they knew that     televisions, let alone computers. So when
                             their favorite Sonune Sir had won a prize.     Anil set up a computer to teach these
                             We were taken to the computer room,            children, they were hooked. He says,
                             where the solitary computer in the corner      “Most of these children are tribal. Their
                             opens up a world of possibilities for these    parents work hard in the fields and during
                             children. The room was filled with six-         the harvest season they expect their
                             year-olds; their eyes glued to the screen.     children to miss school and help them on
                             They seemed familiar with the study            the field. Schooling or proper education
                             material, as they rattle off all the correct   is the least of their concerns. One of the
                             answers. Then they request their teacher       reasons they come to school are the mid-
                             to play their favorite folk song. Once the     day meals that they receive. Attendance
Anil Sonune,                 class is dismissed, they run along, excited    amongst these children is quite poor
winner of the CHIP eBay.in
Dream Workstation Contest
                                Priyanka Tilve
                                                                                   SMS us!       Story code: NOD to 51818
                                                                                                                                              NEWSWIRE
                                                                                                                                               FEATURE


and most of them do not continue their                                                                           Another feather in his cap is the DVD
education beyond standard seven. As                     ANIL'S SHOPPING CART (in Rs.)                        he created based on Edubuntu, which is
even their parents are illiterate, they do              Sony VPL-EX7 LCD Projector               31,500      a Marathi Educational flavor of Ubuntu.
not receive any support form home. What                 Panasonic SDR -H85 HDD Camcorder         19,999      Named Deep, the DVD is a compilation
they learn at school is pretty much it. So              Samsung N150 Netbook                     19,199      of fun educational activities that includes
I wanted to have their attention, involve               Sony H-55 14 MP Digital Camera           14,469      puzzles, games, fun activities, exercises,
them, teach them in ways that are fun                   UTL-810 VA Pure SIne Wave Inverter        4,250      etc. The DVD has made it possible for
and easy to recall.”                                    Micromax 310g #G USB Modem                           him to take his work to places that do not
   As opposed to the traditional text                     Mobile Datacard                         2,690      have proper Internet connections, which
book and black board education                          VGA Projector Cable Male to                          is especially the case in small villages.
approach, the visual medium Anil                          Male 15Pin 10 Meter                       498      Furthermore, he has also created a nodal
employs is far more effective. For                                                                           server called WINGS based on the state
instance, he has created slides to teach               going children as well as teachers and                syllabus of both Marathi and English
children the names common birds,                       parents. For the children, the site has               mediums. Teachers as well as students
animals, etc. So each slide has a picture              videos of lessons, games, story books,                can log in and take up short courses. It
of the animal, with the name alongside                 puzzles, etc. whereas the teachers and                will have related videos, audio, pictures,
it. Similarly, he teaches them concepts                parents can read the various articles on              etc. to help students understand the
of maths and science. The impact was                   how to make learning fun, new techniques              concept. At the end of the course, there is
visible, as not only were the children                 of teaching, etc. It provides them with a             a quiz, which will give an idea of how well
more inclined towards attending school,                platform to share their views and ideas as            the child has learned the lesson.
but their knowledge had also improved.                 well as contribute to the site.                           When he was declared the winner
He was then selected to be trained                         He put in a lot of effort to create this          of the CHIP eBay.in Dream Workstation
under the Project Shiksha undertaking                  site. “I have often noticed that teachers             Contest, Anil was ecstatic. He says the
of the Government of India conducted                   are scared of technology, and even                    products that he has received will help




Anil uses the camcorder to make short movies with the help of the children,       Ever since Anil set up a computer in one of the classrooms, the children have
while the camera is used to take pictures to enhance the classroom experience.    been more regular at school and have found learning easier.


with the help of Microsoft. Here, they                 though they may have several ideas                    him create better lessons for the children
train teachers on how to effectively use               of what they can do to make learning                  and reach out to a wider audience. He
technology in the classroom. Later, his                fun, the execution never works out.                   says, “It will definitely help improve
project Our Earth was selected as the                  Lots of projects are started only to be               learning amongst the children as well
national winner in the Innovative Teachers             abandoned half way. I wanted to change                as make the teacher’s task easy. Now
Leadership Award. He also got a chance                 that. So I learned the Joomla content                 that we have the resources, I will also
to be a part of the forum held in Cape                 management system for developing the                  encourage other teachers to create
Town, South Africa. He now makes use of                site and Macromedia Flash for developing              lessons, as it’s a difficult job for one
Microsoft software like Photostudio and                content. I started by uploading Flash                 person.” His vision is to make his school
Soundsmith to make learning fun.                       work teaching things that even I had                  a 21st century school, and he has already
   As the word spread, many teachers                   difficulty teaching, like the proper method           taken a few confident steps towards that
approached him to share his knowledge.                 of writing alphabets, etc.” His efforts               goal. Recently, the school also received
That’s when he came up with the idea of                have paid off as the site has received                a grant from the Zilla Parishad to set up
creating a website. He had noticed that                more than 1,80,000 hits in the past two               a computer lab, which is sure to give his
there wasn’t much meaningful content on                years from over 89 countries. It was also             mission a further fillip. We wish him the
the Internet for young children in Marathi.            adjudged the best website in a contest                best of luck and hope that he realizes his
So he went about creating ‘Baljagat.com’,              arranged by Government of Maharashtra                 dreams.
a site aimed at Marathi-speaking school                and C-DAC Mumbai.                                                                     – priyanka.tilve@chip.in



                                                                                                                 INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP        05/2011        31
 TEST CENTER
  HARDWARE
                                    PRODUCT
                                     SPOTLIGHT
   VERDICT

XXXXX
SMART PHONE




NOKIA E7
VERDICT: A great phone for Nokia loyalists, but does not
live up to expectations.
FOR: Large AMOLED display, great build quality, 8
megapixel camera, large QWERTY keyboard.
AGAINST: Heavy, no autofocus, low battery life.




                         W
                                     e’ve been without a Communicator for
                                                 LAPTOP                           a little tray that can be extracted to slip in your SIM
                                     quite some time now, but then again,         card. To make matters worse, it features 16 GB of


                                                XXXX
                                     Nokia hasn’t quite been at the top of
                         its game lately. But now, it’s back with the E7.
                         It takes its cue from the funky looking anodized
                                                                                  internal storage with no microSD card slot. Keeping
                                                                                  with tradition, the E7 Communicator comes with
                                                                                  a large QWERTY keypad under the display. While
                         aluminum shelled N8, but the E7 is quite larger          the keypad was comfortable to use, accessing
                                              FOR: XXX
                         and heavier (176 g). The 4-inch AMOLED capacitive        it will take a bit of getting used to. It requires a
                                              AGAINST: XXXX
                         touchscreen (360 x 640) should have featured a           very precise push to pop it up, but once open, the
                         higher resolution, but it does boast Nokia’s Clear       viewing angle and keypad layout is great. The keys



                                                X
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
                         Black Display technology, which makes the display
                                                      XXXXXX                      are soft and easy on the fingers and the separated
                         phenomenal in virtually any lighting condition. It’s
                                                          XXXx                    buttons are perfect for speed typing.
                                                                                  The E7 is
                                                                 - dushyant.khilnani@chip.in a stunning looking handset that,
                         easy on the eyes and extremely responsive, and
                         encased in Gorilla glass, you’re assured a scratch-      although slightly on the heavy side, is the sleekest
                         free screen.                                             Communicator we’ve ever seen. If only Nokia had
                                                                                  perfected the slide out panel, we’d have absolutely
                         Form Factor                                              no gripes about the design.
                         The Home key has been moved to the bottom-
                         centre of the handset. A micro USB/charging port,        Interface
The 8 megapixel          mini HDMI and 3.5 mm handsfree socket are located        The Communicators were traditionally considered
camera is a great
                         on top. As well designed as the provided handsfree       to be the most powerful mobile handsets, but the
shooter and is also
capable of capturing     is, we were unable to use any other handsfree with       E7 cannot boast the same. It packs a disappointing
720p videos.             the E7. Like the N8, the E7 is completely sealed, with   680 MHz ARM 11 processor and a Broadcom
                                                                                  BCM2727 GPU and 1 GB ROM. In this age of dual
                                                                                  core processing speeds on mobiles, how is this
  SPECIFICATIONS                                                                  going to survive? Still, the E7 is by no means
Rs XXX                                                                            sluggish. We could use over ten apps at the same
www.XXXX.XXXX
                                                                                  time and still watch videos and access the Internet
XXXXX: XXXXXX;
                                                                                  without much lag. While most functions run quite
CONTACT           XXX
PHONE             XXX                                                             smoothly, a few UI quirks could really get to you,
EMAIL             XXX                                                             especially if you’re switching over from another
  RATINGS                                                                         smartphone OS, like Android.
BUILD QUALITY                                                                        The world has moved on to virtual QWERTY
ERGONOMICS
FEATURES
                                                                                  keypads even in standard mode, but Nokia is
PERFORMANCE                                                                       sticking to the alphanumeric num-pad style, with
OVERALL RATING
                                                                                  no option to change. The onscreen QWERTY
VALUE FOR MONEY




34      05/2011    INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                         SMS us!    Story code: HCI to 51818
                                                                                                                                                  TEST CENTER
                                                                                                                                                      HARDWARE



                                                                                                                                 VERDICT


in landscape is a little constricted and not as
                                                                                                                             XXXXX
functional as some others. Symbian ^3 feels
outdated in some ways; the desktop widgets and
shortcuts seem a little too ridged and structured,
and sending messages requires a couple extra key
presses than it would on other platforms. That said,
access to new messages and connectivity options
is quite easy from the desktop. The task manager
option is also handy and easy for multitasking or
closing running apps.
                                                                         The 4-inch full-touch AMOLED tilting display sits at a natural
Media                                                                    angle for optimal viewing.

The Nokia Music player is better than average. The
few presets, stereo widening and loudness settings                       your phone book is poorly managed. You have to
do help enhance the audio quality. Tone quality is                       manually sync contacts to their Facebook accounts
excellent, with highs moderately divided to enhance                      individually. Nokia Email works well and it’s a
vocals and higher frequencies, and the bass line is                      breeze to set up accounts. For the handset’s GPS
of superb clarity. What’s disappointing is the lack of                   functionality, Ovi Maps are on board. They’re quite
a customizable EQ. The FM radio didn’t work as well                      intuitive, with an easy-to-use UI and speedy satellite
as we’d hoped. It was able to pick up only four of
 LAPTOP                                                                  sync ability. Nokia has added in access to Burrp for
the nine stations.                                                       places to eat, and TripAdvisor and a Lonely Planet


XXXXThe E7 doesn’t share the N8’s penchant for video
playback. While most H.264 and WMV files in DivX
formats played without a hitch, some coded in XviD
                                                                         app for travelers.


                                                                         Miscellaneous Features
didn’t. Nokia has added apps for streaming files                          The E7, being part of Nokia’s business series,
FOR: XXX
from Paramount Movie Trailers, CNN Video, National                       comes preloaded with functions for the business
AGAINST: XXXX Entertainment. Video and photo
Geographic and E!                                                        user. QuickOffice is not a read-only app, but is fully
editing software are also on board. TV out via HDMI                      registered and can be used to even create new



X
supports Dolby Digital Plus. The E7 didn’t come with
       XXXXXX                                                            documents. Adobe’s PDF reader is also preloaded.
                                                                                                                 XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
any preloaded games.
          XXXx                                                           F-Secure virus protection is preloaded with security
                              - dushyant.khilnani@chip.in                features like remote wipe, and locate and locking
Connectivity                                                             options. The E7’s camera is a bit of a downer. Nokia
The E7 supports all kinds of connectivity, from 3G                       didn’t seem to think the 8 megapixel camera with
to EDGE, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (with A2DP), but                            dual LED flash required autofocus. The quality of
lacks DLNA support. The native browser is fairly                         images in most lighting conditions proved to be
competent and allows you to pinch or double tap to                       quite good with colors and details retained to quite
zoom in or out of screens. With Flash support, Web                       an extent. HD video recording (720p at 25 fps) is
browsing is close to the desktop experience.                             also supported with image stabilization. The 1200
    Nokia’s Social Networking app allows you                             mAh Li-ion battery didn’t seem sufficient. With Web
connect to your Twitter and Facebook accounts and                        browsing, messages and calls, social networking
   SPECIFICATIONS                                     update both        and a little music thrown in, we needed to charge
Rs 29,999                                             simultaneously.    the handset on a daily basis. Talk time averaged in
www.nokia.co.in                                       You can upload     at about 4 hours 35 minutes.
Dimensions (WxHxD): 123.7 x 62.4 x 13.6 mm;           images to                                                                 SPECIFICATIONS
Weight: 176 g; CPU: 680 MHz ARM 11; Display:          Twitter or         The Bottom Line                                      Rs XXX
4-inch AMOLED 360x640; Camera: 8 MP;                                                                                          www.XXXX.XXXX
Connectivity: Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, EDGE, 3G.   Facebook, but      With a price tag of Rs 29,990, the Nokia E7 does not
                                                                                                                              XXXXX: XXXXXX;
CONTACT               Nokia India                     nowhere else;      live up to its Communicator legacy. Nokia loyalists
                                                                                                                              CONTACT           XXX
PHONE                 011-30303838                    not even Flickr.                                              with
                                                                         will find great value with this device, but PHONE the                   XXX
EMAIL                 NA
                                                      Another serious                                             EMAIL
                                                                         current level of smartphone technology, the E7 is                      XXX
   RATINGS                                            issue with                                                       device.
                                                                         a little behind, even as a business oriented RATINGS
BUILD QUALITY
ERGONOMICS
                                                      Symbian ^3 is                                                 BUILD ^3
                                                                         Nokia needs to seriously rethink the SymbianQUALITY
                                                                                                                              ERGONOMICS
FEATURES                                              that the social    UI; that’s all that’s keeping the E7 from its true
                                                                                                                     FEATURES
PERFORMANCE
OVERALL RATING
                                                      networking         potential.                                           PERFORMANCE
                                                                                                                             OVERALL RATING
VALUE FOR MONEY                                       integration with                                                       - Shayne Rana
                                                                                                                              VALUE FOR MONEY




                                                                                                                      INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP        05/2011   35
  TEST CENTER
   HARDWARE




                                                                               LAPTOP


                                                                              ASUS G73JW
                                                                              FOR: Looks great, good build quality, 3D-ready.
                                                                              AGAINST: Disappointing gaming performance, average
                                                                              battery life.




                                                                           I
                                                                               f you’ve seen the      Wi-Fi N, Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR, three USB
                                                                               G53J, it’s quite       2.0 ports and one USB 3.0 port. There’s
                                                                               apparent that Asus     also a Blu-ray 4x combo drive.
                                                         has not added much to that design               We ran the laptop through our set of
                                                         for the G73Jw. Nevertheless, there’s         benchmarks to assess its capabilities. The
                                                         absolutely nothing to complain about         numbers looked pretty good, but paled in
                                                         in the stealth fighter-like design. Those     comparison to those of the MSI GT663R.
                                                         straight cut edges and vents behind          While simple tasks like video encoding
                                                         look really attractive. The notebook         and file copy are pretty quick, heavier
                                                         might be a little bulky, but you cannot      tasks like gaming delivered poor scores.
                                                         really take that as a negative given that    Even at a lower resolution and medium
                                                         most gaming laptops weigh the same.          settings, Mafia 2 got an average of only 46
                                                            The G73Jw is really comfortable to        fps, while the MSI GT663R got 33 fps at
                                                         use. The 17.3-inch 3D-enabled screen is      1080p resolution and maxed out settings.
                                                         big enough for comfortable viewing, but      At max settings, the G73Jw gave us a very
                                                         the keyboard might feel small. The space     poor 21 fps!
                                                         around the keyboard could have been             After looking at the benchmarks, it’s
                                                         utilized better. The whole panel along       clear that you can game on this machine,
                                                         with the keys seems to be a tad loose        but it’ll be advisable to lower the settings
                                                         and even the chiclet design doesn’t do it    to medium. It also means that upcoming
                                                         justice. The trackpad is quite responsive    games that require higher specifications
                                                         and the buttons are spacious. The quick      might not be handled well on the G73Jw.
                                                         launch buttons for turbo boost, 3D vision    The turbo boost did not yield much of a
                                                         and backlighting are a good addition.        change in performance either. Our gaming
                                                         We liked the rubberized finish below the      benchmark saw a difference of 2 fps and
                                                         keyboard. The build quality also feels       another synthetic benchmark had a similar
                                                         really rugged. The screen quality is quite   effect. Also, battery life is average, conking
                                                         good, but from wider angles, the screen      off in an hour after a heavy battery
The G73jw gets the bulk from its thick chassis, which    contents aren’t easily visible.              benchmark test. Despite a lot of neat
houses powerful hardware.
                                                            The G73Jw packs in a quad-core Intel      features and decent specifications, the
                                                         Core i7-740QM processor clocked at 1.73      G73Jw disappoints where it matters the
                                                         GHz, 8 GB of DDR3 RAM, and Nvidia’s          most - gaming. Although the MSI GT663R
    SPECIFICATIONS
                                                         Geforce GTX 460M graphics. It also           comes at Rs 1,49,999, it gives you better
Rs 1,15,999                                              comes with two 750 GB disk drives (which     value than the G73Jw at Rs 1,15,399. Sure,
www.asus.in

Dimensions (WxHxD): 41.5 x 1.9 x 32 cm; Weight: 3.85     are not setup in RAID), and the laptop is    the G73Jw is about Rs 37,000 less, but if
Kg; CPU: Intel Core i7 740QM, 1.73 GHz, Chipset: Intel   bundled with Nvidia’s 3D Vision glasses to   you’re buying a gaming laptop, you might
HM55 Express; RAM: 8 GB; Graphics: Nvidia GeForce        take advantage of the 3D-ready hardware.     as well go the whole nine yards.
GTX 460M; Storage: 2 x 750 GB; Display: 17.3-inch.
                                                         For connectivity, the notebook features                                       - Ashish Koshy
CONTACT                 ASUS Technology
PHONE                   022-67668800
EMAIL                   reachus@asus.com
                                                            VERDICT
    RATINGS
BUILD QUALITY
ERGONOMICS                                               POWERFUL CONFIGURATION BUT NOT
                                                         GOOD ENOUGH FOR SERIOUS GAMING.
FEATURES
PERFORMANCE
OVERALL RATING
VALUE FOR MONEY




36       05/2011          INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                                   TEST CENTER
                                                                                                                                    HARDWARE




 LAPTOP


LENOVO
IDEAPAD U260
FOR: Excellent build, good looks.
AGAINST: No optical drive or card reader, just two USB
ports, non-replaceable battery.



I
  f you are looking for an ultra-            Edition 64-bit
  portable notebook, the Lenovo              pre-installed.
  IdeaPad U260 should definitely                 The super light weight
feature on your shopping list. It has a      U260 sports a rugged build quality
good build, is lightweight and features      with matte-finished exteriors and a
a good configuration, but a few               leather palm rest for the keyboard. The
things left us a little disappointed.        spill-proof keyboard is quite large, and
    The U260 features an Intel Core i3       the chiclet keys are well spaced and have
U380 processor clocked at 1.33 GHz,          great tactility. However, Lenovo should
which comes from Intel’s ULV (Ultra-         have made better use of the space on
Low Voltage) series processor family         either side of the keyboard by extending
designed for higher performance along        it to the edges of the unit. This could
with intelligent power management. The       have helped them replace the mid-sized
processor is handled by an Intel QS57        [Enter] and [Shift] keys with normal-sized
chipset motherboard and complimented         ones. The touchpad is built with a glass
with a massive 4 GB of DDR3 RAM              surface for extra toughness, smoother
clocked at 1066 MHz, and a roomy 320         usage and higher accuracy. The display
GB hard drive. The display panel is an       panel is slim and the frame is quite tough,
LED backlit 12.5-inch anti-glare screen      with firm hinges.
with a matte-finished surface and a              We ran our rigid benchmarks on
resolution 1366 x 768. The U260 series is    the notebook and found performance
also available with Intel Core i5 U470UM     to be reasonable for a ULV processor,
processors. The notebook lacks an optical    which is not intended for power use.
drive and a card reader and also features    But if compared to a notebook powered
only two USB 2.0 ports. The manufacturer     by a dual core processor, the U260
could have thrown in a few more USB          features half way on the charts. Since
ports or at least added a USB 3.0 or an      this notebook is designed for extreme
eSATA/USB combo port. An HDMI port,          mobility, we expected the U260 to have a         The Levovo IdeaPad U260 does not feature a card reader and
                                                                                              sports only two USB 2.0 ports.
D-sub and an Ethernet port are the only      higher battery life.
other available interfaces. To gain a slim      Considering the overall build, features
design and lighter weight, Lenovo has        and performance, we feel the IdeaPad                            SPECIFICATIONS
built the 2.7 Ah batteries into the shell,   U260 carries a reasonable price tag, but                    Rs 44,990
                                                                                                         www.lenovo.com
so it cannot be replaced by the user. The    additional features, such as a slot-in
                                                                                                         Dimensions (WxHxD): 31.8 x 1.8 x 20.5 inches;
internal batteries can power the U260        optical drive, additional USB ports, a card
                                                                                                         Weight: 1.4 Kg; CPU: Intel Core i3-U380 @1.33 GHz;
for a maximum 3.5 hours. Higher rated        reader and a better battery would have                      Chipset: Intel QS57; RAM: 4 GB; HDD: 320 GB;
batteries should have been included. The     helped sweeten the deal.                                    Display: 12.5-inch, 1366x768; Optical Drive: None;
                                                                                                         Others: Bluetooth, WLAN, OS: Windows 7 Home
notebook comes with Windows 7 Home                                           - Francis D’sa              Premium 64-bit.
                                                                                                         CONTACT                Lenovo India
                                                                                                         PHONE                  080-30533192
    VERDICT                                                                                              EMAIL                  pmatthan@lenovo.com


A GREAT ULTRA-PORTABLE, BUT COULD                                                                            RATINGS
                                                                                                         BUILD QUALITY



USE A BETTER CONFIGURATION.
                                                                                                         FEATURES
                                                                                                         PERFORMANCE
                                                                                                         OVERALL RATING
                                                                                                         VALUE FOR MONEY




                                                                                                 INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                05/2011         37
  TEST CENTER
   HARDWARE




                                                            LAPTOP


                                                           SAMSUNG NP-RV411
                                                           FOR: Very good value for money, lots of storage space, HDMI output.
                                                           AGAINST: Average viewing angle.




                                                          E
                                                                 ntry-level laptops are ideal for    is the glossy finish of the area around the
                                                                 students and home/office users      keyboard. That’s the only glossy bit prone
                                                                 because they are best suited for    to stains and scratches.
                                                           light workloads like word processing,        Considering the configuration, the
                                                               presentations, browsing the           overall performance of this laptop is
                                                                    Web, watching movies, and        very good. It scored 4074 points in
                                                                           so on. Priced under       PCMark Vantage and took 129 seconds
                                                                                Rs 30,000, the       to transcode a 1 minute MPEG video to
                                                                                    Samsung          H.264 format. Gaming is not possible
                                                                                    RV411 is one     because the integrated graphics
                                                                                  such wallet-       processor isn’t very powerful. However,
                                                                         friendly solution for       it can handle full HD playback. There is
                                                             those who are on a tight budget.        an HDMI port on the side, so you can
                                                       Like most entry-level laptops, this one       connect this laptop to a high definition
                                                       is powered by the Intel Pentium P6200         TV or a projector. The battery life is
                                                       dual-core CPU, 3 GB of RAM and a              respectable; if you only surf the Web
                                                       500 GB hard disk. So you get decent           and throw in a bit of Word and Excel,
                                                       processing power and ample storage            the battery should last around 4 hours.
                                                       space. The RV411 sports a 14-inch             With continuous heavy workload, video
                                                       widescreen display with a resolution of       playback and multitasking, you’ll need to
                                                       1366x768 pixels, and is smaller and lighter   resort to the charger after 1.5 hours. The
                                                       than models with 15.6-inch displays.          stereo speakers aren’t the loudest we’ve
                                                       Other features like a DVD-writer, three       heard but the quality of sound is good.
                                                       USB ports, gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi,           At full volume, the dialogues in movies
                                                       Bluetooth, webcam and card reader             can be heard clearly. The only complaint
                                                       are standard features these days.             we have with this laptop is the average
                                                          The RV411 sports a simplistic design       viewing angle of the screen. The colors
                                                       and comes across as a serious device          deviate with slight change in the viewing
                                                       rather than an entertainment laptop.          angle. The angle of the lid has to be
                                                       Samsung has gone in with a silver and         adjusted to get the optimal black levels
The keys of the island keyboard are very well spaced   black theme. The Chiclet type keyboard        while watching movies.
and the provision of HDMI output is a bonus feature.
                                                       and the base of the laptop are black,            You’ll find plenty of entry-level models
                                                       and the rest is mostly silver. The surface    in the market with similar configuration
    SPECIFICATIONS                                     of the lid has very fine horizontal ridges,    as the RV411. However, very few models
Rs 30,490                                              which lends a sophisticated look. The         feature HDMI output and a preloaded
 www.samsung.com
                                                       overall build quality of the laptop is        operating system. This laptop deserves
Dimensions (WxHxD): 346 x 31 x 238 mm;
                                                       very good. The chassis, screen frame          serious consideration mainly for the extra
Weight: 2.2 Kg; CPU: Intel Pentium P6200; RAM: 3 GB:
Hard disk: 500 GB; Display: 14-in, 1366x768; USB       and hinges feel sturdy and the tactile        features it offers along with sturdy build
ports: 3; Video out: D-sub and HDMI; OS: Windows 7     response of the keyboard and mouse            and good ergonomics.
Home Basic, 32-bit.
                                                       buttons is good. One thing we didn’t like                                    - Anand Tuliani
CONTACT                Samsung India Electronics
PHONE                  0124-4881234
EMAIL                   ravi.gulati@samsung.com
                                                         VERDICT
    RATINGS
BUILD QUALITY
ERGONOMICS
                                                       A BUDGET-FRIENDLY OPTION WITH A
                                                       DECENT FEATURE SET.
FEATURES
PERFORMANCE
OVERALL RATING
VALUE FOR MONEY




38       05/2011         INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
  TEST CENTER
   HARDWARE




                                                                          ALL-IN-ONE PC


                                                                          LENOVO
                                                                          IDEACENTRE B500
                                                                          FOR: Good looks, rugged build, great configuration.
                                                                          AGAINST: Sluggish mouse, lacks wall mount options.



                                                                          T
                                                                                  he IdeaCentre       optical drive and a power switch. The
                                                                                  B500 all-in-one     front panel highlights backlit touch
                                                                                  PC from Lenovo is   buttons for volume, brightness, display
                                                                          designed for a complete     power and a multifunction switch for
                                                                          multimedia experience       input device connectivity and to power
                                                         in a compact design. It features a large,    on an LED light below the display panel.
                                                         bright and crisp 23-inch full HD matte-      The overall build quality is excellent apart
                                                         finished TFT display, which contains          from the dull chrome base, which tends
                                                         the rest of the hardware components          to reflect the glare from the ceiling lights
                                                         built within. The B500 is powered by an      directly to your eyes. The laptop-style
                                                         Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400S clocked at          full-sized multimedia keyboard is quite
                                                         2.66 GHz and built around the Intel G41      light and has soft keys, but the mouse
                                                         chipset. It is supported by 4 GB of DDR3     seems a bit sluggish. The rear panel has
                                                         RAM. The graphics card is an entry-level     a non-detachable stand, which allows
                                                         ATI Radeon HD5450 with 512 MB GDDR3          a maximum desktop placement angle
                                                         memory. The massive 1 TB hard drive is       of just 35 degrees and lacks an option
                                                         roomy enough for large amounts of data       for wall mounting. We tested the PC
                                                         or media files. Also built into the unit is   using some standard benchmarks such
                                                         a TV tuner along with A/V inputs at the      as PCMark Vantage (overall 6058),
                                                         rear, which allow you to play, pause and     3DMark Vantage (overall E6647, GPU
                                                         record your favorite shows via a cable       5968) and CineBench R11 (3.10 Pts). We
                                                         or DTH service. A tray-in DVD writer is      found the top vents on the rear panel
                                                         situated on the right side of the panel; a   heating to almost 60 degrees even in
                                                         slot-in design would have been nice. To      idle state. We also noticed numerous
                                                         complement the multimedia experience,        applications running in the background,
                                                         the PC has JBL stereo speakers on-board,     such as Lenovo’s own utilities, Cyberlink
                                                         a bundled Windows Media Center remote,       applications, security suite and a few
                                                         and Bluetooth-enabled keyboard and           more, which tends to either hamper
The side panel sports two USB ports, audio jacks and a   mouse. Additional features include six       the system performance or come in
6-in-1 MMC card reader.
                                                         USB 2.0 ports, a built-in 0.3 megapixel      the way of using the PC. The system,
    SPECIFICATIONS                                       webcam, gigabit Ethernet, and 802.11         though powerful enough for multimedia
Rs 56,000                                                b/g/n wireless LAN. The B500 ships with      and regular graphics applications,
www.lenovo.com                                           Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit and the        is not completely suitable for high-
Dimensions (WxHxD): 22 x 17.2 x 34 in; Weight: 10 kg;    hardware is not user-upgradable. The rear    end gaming. The IdeaCentre B500 is
CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400S @ 2.66 GHz; Chipset:
                                                         panel includes an A/V and RF input for       ideal for use as an HTPC with casual
Intel G41; RAM: 4 GB DDR3; HDD: 1 TB; Display: 2.3
in TFT, 1920 x 1080; Optical Drive: DVD Writer; OS:      TV and a PS2 port for a keyboard, while      gaming and graphics use, but hardcore
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. Others: Bluetooth         the left features an MMC card reader. The    gamers should look elsewhere.
keyboard and mouse, Wi-Fi N, JBL stereo speakers,
Windows Media Center remote                              right side sports the vertically mounted                                      - Francis D’sa
CONTACT                 Lenovo India
PHONE                   080-30533192
EMAIL                   pmatthan@lenovo.com                 VERDICT

    RATINGS
BUILD QUALITY
                                                         A POWERFUL PC WITH A ONE-STOP
                                                         HOME ENTERTAINMENT CENTER.
FEATURES
PERFORMANCE
OVERALL RATING
VALUE FOR MONEY




40       05/2011         INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                                             TEST CENTER
                                                                                                                                              HARDWARE




 PHONE

NOKIA X3-02
VERDICT: An overall good performer with excellent music playback.
FOR: Great music player, decent battery life, good camera
AGAINST: Unconventional keypad layout, resistive touchscreen




T
           he X3-02 looks sleek with is light             the 360p and 480p H.264 videos we tried
           candy bar design. Nokia has                    did not run. The X3-02 comes preloaded
           moved the location of the T9                   with apps for Facebook and Shazam. For
keys to the right, which will take some                   connectivity, it features 3G, Wi-Fi, EDGE,
getting used to. It runs on the Symbian                   GPRS and Bluetooth 2.1, all of which                        SPECIFICATIONS
S 40 version 5 platform, which is pretty                  worked absolutely fine. The 5 megapixel                   Rs 8,839
average. The 2.4-inch touchscreen,                        camera is no slouch, producing crisp                     www.nokia.co.in

although resistive, responds without                      images with good detail and colors. The                  Dimensions (WxHxD): 48.4 x 106.2 x 9.6 mm; Weight:
lag. The home screen is customizable,                     X3-02 packs in a good battery, delivering                77.4 g; Display: 2.4 in, 240 x 320; Internal memory:
                                                                                                                   50 MB; Camera: 5 megapixels
allowing you to add three quick shortcuts,                about two hours of talk time. The Rs
                                                                                                                   CONTACT                Nokia India
as well as a customizable quick launch                    8,404 price tag is attractive because the                PHONE                  011-30303838
bar at the bottom of the screen. The                      phone scores well in almost every area.                  EMAIL                  NA

X3-02 performs really well in the music                   Symbian lacks the app support you would                     RATINGS
department, and the bundled earphones                     get from an Android phone, but this is                   BUILD QUALITY
                                                                                                                   ERGONOMICS
are quite good. It also supports XviD,                    still a good no-nonsense phone.                          FEATURES
H.263, H.264 and MP4 video formats, but                                                   - Ashish Koshy           PERFORMANCE
                                                                                                                   OVERALL RATING
                                                                                                                   VALUE FOR MONEY




                                                           PHONE

                                                          iBALL FLOATER
                                                          VERDICT: A rugged waterproof phone with basic features.
                                                          FOR: Rugged build, good battery life, light weight.
                                                          AGAINST: Tacky keypad, mini-USB connector would have been nice.




                                                          T
                                                                 he iBall Floater is named so              dropping it from a height of 1 meter,
                                                                 because of its ability to, well, float.    the phone went off, but powered back
                                                                 So naturally, we went ahead and           on. The second time, the cover opened
                                                          tossed the phone into a tub of water. The        and the battery popped out, but the
                                                          phone immediately rose to the surface.           phone survived. The Floater’s only extra
   SPECIFICATIONS                                         We were afraid of water entering the             features are FM radio and an LED torch.
Rs 2,999                                                  speaker and earpiece, but after wiping it        There are no multimedia features, so the
www.iBallMobiles.co.in
                                                          dry, it worked like nothing had happened.        built-in memory is limited; just enough
Dimensions (WxHxD): 51 x 112 x 19 mm; Weight:
                                                          The battery compartment has a rubber             for 100 messages and 500 contacts.
85 g; Phonebook: 500 entries; Messages: 100 entries;
Display: 128x128 pixels; Extra functions: LED torch and   lining to prevent water from entering and        The responsiveness of the user interface
FM radio (requires headset); Battery: 650 mAh             the keypad is made from a single piece           is excellent, and the audio quality of
(3 hours talk time).
                                                          of rubber with raised keys. The keys feel        the earpiece and speaker is very good.
CONTACT                 Best IT World
PHONE                   1800 300 42255                    tacky and typing long messages can be            The battery lasted three days, which is
EMAIL                   sales@iBall.co.in                 frustrating at times. The phone sports           very good. The only thing we didn’t like
                                                          a grey plastic shell and the overall build       is the proprietary USB connector. This
   RATINGS
BUILD QUALITY                                             is quite strong. It is said to be able to        phone is ideal for those who want a
ERGONOMICS
                                                          sustain drops from up to 1.6 meters,             rugged device at an affordable price.
FEATURES
PERFORMANCE                                               so we subjected it to a drop test. On                                                       - Anand Tuliani
OVERALL RATING
VALUE FOR MONEY




                                                                                                             INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP               05/2011        41
                                                                                                                                                                     TEST CENTER
                                                                                                                                                                      HARDWARE




 DTH SET-TOP BOX


TATA SKY+ HD
FOR: Good looks, slick menus, HD & DVR features.
AGAINST: Intrusive ads, overblown colors.



A
           s its name implies, Tata Sky+ HD                         During
           offers standard DVR features such                        the test
           as recording and pausing live TV                         period, Tata
in addition to HD reception and recording.                          Sky launched
The box itself is far more attractive than                          four new “asli HD”
its older cousins, with a silver trim running                       channels: Star World,
across the bottom, and no physical                                  Star Plus, Star Movies
buttons at all on the front face. The                               and Star Gold; existing
subscriber card slot is neatly concealed                            HD customers will be happy
behind a pop-out panel. Its LED indicators                          to note that their subscription
are pleasantly dim while still functional.                          charge isn’t increasing. Watching these
On the rear, you’ll find two satellite inputs                        was indeed a pleasure. In addition to the
and a RF cable pass-through, apart from                             improved clarity, the contrast and color
the HDMI, component and composite                                   levels were also far higher than their SD
audio/video outputs and optical and                                 counterparts, making them appear quite                             VERDICT
coaxial S/PDIF for digital surround sound.
You’ll find an Ethernet port and two USB
                                                                    garish and oversaturated. These channels
                                                                    currently have no commercial advertising,                         HD DOES MAKE A
                                                                                                                                      DIFFERENCE, AND
ports, which have no function whatsoever.                           so each show and movie is followed by
The remote control is identical to the                              15-20 minutes worth of promos to keep
Sky+ remote apart from an attractive new                            schedules synced. Recording is a painless
silver finish and slightly softer buttons.
The interface is thankfully the same as
                                                                    procedure. Compared to the standard
                                                                    Sky+ DVR box, the Sky+ HD offers a few
                                                                                                                                      NOW YOU CAN
the Sky HD box, with translucent black
panels and crisp, readable text. There
                                                                    additional features, such as easier sorting
                                                                    of recorded series, and the ability to
                                                                                                                                      RECORD SHOWS IN
are quite a few configurable options,
including how long the banner should
                                                                    resume playback. Recordings are definitely
                                                                    compressed, and while the exact format
                                                                                                                                      HIGH QUALITY.
stay visible. We’re disappointed to see a                           and degree of compression is unknown,
lot of screen space used up by irrelevant                           it’s a lot milder on HD recordings than SD
advertisements for its premium services,                            ones. Hard drive space is boosted to 500
and also that the messaging system is                               GB, which the company states will cover
not only in its old garish red-and-blue                             entire sporting events in HD. The Tata
style from the first-gen boxes, but is just                          Sky+ HD box is priced at Rs 3,999, which
as slow, intrusive, poorly integrated and                           is a decent price, but will leave existing
spam-ridden. There’s also an aggravating                            consumers of Sky+ and Sky HD fuming,
five-second delay when manually typing                               considering the lack of adequate upgrade
in a channel number, which is a problem                             or buyback offers. Still, this is the best of
                                                                                                                                               SPECIFICATIONS
all DTH boxes have to some extent. Tata                             both worlds, and there is now enough HD
                                                                                                                                            Rs 3,999
Sky’s official specs list 1080i as the HD                           content to make the jump worth it.                                      www.tatasky.com
resolution at which content is delivered.                                                                        - Jamshed Avari            Dimensions (WxHxD): 304 x 60 x 249 mm; Weight: 2.03
                                                                                                                                            kg; Drive capacity: 500 GB; Video encoding: MPEG4;
                                                                                                                                            Rear panel: HDMI, Composite A/V, Component, S/PDIF
                                                                                                                                            out, USB 2.0, Ethernet 10/100
                                                                                                                                            CONTACT               Tata sky ltd
                                                                                                                                            PHONE                 1860-425-6633
                                                                                                                                            EMAIL                 NA

                                                                                                                                               RATINGS
                                                                                                                                            FEATURES
                                                                                                                                            EASE OF USE
The HDMI and S/PDIF sockets output high quality audio and video, but for unknown reasons, those USB and Ethernet ports you see have
                                                                                                                                            PERFORMANCE
no function at all.
                                                                                                                                            OVERALL RATING
                                                                                                                                            VALUE FOR MONEY




                                                                                                                                      INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP             05/2011       43
 TEST CENTER
  HARDWARE




                                                                                                GRAPHICS CARD


                                                                                              ZOTAC
                                                                                              GEFORCE GTX
                                                                                              590
                                                                                              FOR: Very silent, incredible performance.
                                                                                              AGAINST: None.




                                                         B
                                                                oth GPU giants have launched
                                                                                    launch            31901 points in 3DMark Vantage and an
                                                                their most powerful graphic
                                                                                    graphics          overall score of 8344 points in 3DMark
                                                                cards. First came the AMD Radeon      2011. The scaling of the GPUs depends
                                                         HD 6990, and then the Nvidia Geforce         on the game – some games scaled very
                                                         GTX 590, both of which are mammoth           well while others didn’t scale at all. For
                                                         dual-GPU models. Out of the two, what        example, at 1920x1080 with all settings
                                                         we have this month is the latter, which      upped to max, Just Cause 2 ran at 58 fps
                                                         is essentially two GF110 GPUs (the one       on a single GTX 580 and things didn’t
                                                         used in GTX 580) connected by a NF200        change with two GTX 580s in SLI or a
                                                         PCIE bridge chip. So the GTX 590 has         single GTX 590. On the other hand, Crysis
                                                         twice the amount of everything used in       Warhead ran at 48.5 fps in Enthusiast
                                                         a GTX 580 – 1024 stream processors,          mode (no AA) on a single GTX 580 and
                                                         3 GB GDDR5 memory and a dozen                at 63 fps on a GTX 590. Mafia II ran at 93
                                                         64-bit memory controllers. However,          fps with everything maxed out, but with
                                                         the core and memory speeds have              PhysX disabled. With PhysX enabled, the
                                                         been reduced to keep the temperature         frame rate dipped to less than half and
                                                         and power consumption under control.         there wasn’t any scaling. The big numbers
                                                         The GTX 580 runs at 772 MHz and its          in benchmarks tell how powerful the GTX
                                                         memory is clocked at 1000 MHz. Here,         590 is. A single card supports up to three
                                                         both the GF110 GPUs run at 607 MHz           monitors in 3D Vision Surround. Configure
                                                         and the memory runs at 854 MHz.              three LCD full HD monitors and you’ll be
                                                            The biggest challenge with dual-GPU       able to comfortably game at 5760x1080
                                                         cards is the design of the cooler, and       without any hiccups.
                                                         Nvidia has done a fantastic job. The             If you have the money to build a
                                                         GTX 590 employs two vapor chambers           ridiculously powerful gaming rig to be
                                                         (one for each GPU) and a fan fitted in        able to play all the games in full glory,
                                                         the center to cool the fins of both heat      pick this God-card.
                                                         sinks. The cooler is very effective and                                                    - Anand Tuliani
                                                         remarkably silent. Even when the card is
   SPECIFICATIONS                                        running at full load, the cooler is almost
Rs 44,900                                                inaudible. The card draws power from
www.zotac.com
                                                         a pair of 8-pin PCIE power connectors
GPU: GeForce GTX 590; Memory: 3 GB GDDR5; Memory         and you’ll need at least an 800W power
bus width: 2 x 384-bit; Speed (Core | Memory): 607 MHz
| 854 MHz; Stream processors: 2 x 512 MB;                supply to feed a gaming rig built using
Video outputs: Dual-link DVI and mini-DP.                this card.                                   Three of these ports can be used simultaneously for an ultra-wide
CONTACT                Aditya Infotech                      The GTX 590 scored a whopping             multi-monitor setup.
PHONE                  0120-4555666
EMAIL                  sales@adityagroup.com
                                                            VERDICT
   RATINGS
FEATURES
PERFORMANCE
OVERALL RATING
                                                         GPU FOR THE ULTIMATE GAMING PC.
VALUE FOR MONEY




44      05/2011          INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
   APHICS
 GRAPHICS CARD

ASUS GTX 550 Ti
Direct CU
VERDICT: An ideal GPU for low-budget gaming PCs.
FOR: Good value for money, improvement over GTS 450.
AGAINST: None.



A
           fter the GTX 560 Ti, we now have an even more
           affordable GPU from Nvidia, the GTX 550 Ti, which is
           targeted at budget gaming PCs. It features the new GF116
GPU, which benefits from transistor level improvements like
the GTX 580 and GTX 560 Ti. This means less heat and more
performance per watt thanks to higher memory bus width and
clock speed. The 550 Ti has 192 shader units, which is similar
to the GTS 450. However, the memory bus is wider (192-bit
versus 128-bit on the GTS 450) and both the core and memory
are clocked around 100 MHz higher at 900 MHz and 1025 MHz
respectively. Factory-overclocked variants of GTX 550 Ti graphics
cards by a few brands are already available. The GTX 550 Ti
Direct CU from Asus features their new cooler, which is seen on
most of their new cards. The GPU on this card is overclocked
                                                         by a mere 10 MHz and
   SPECIFICATIONS                                        the memory speed is
Rs 9,600                                                 untouched. The Zotac
www.asus.in
                                                         GTX 550 Ti Amp Edition
GPU: GTX 550 Ti; Memory: 1 GB GDDR5; Memory bus
width: 192-bit; Speed (Core | Memory): 900 MHz | 1250    is factory overclocked to
MHz; Stream processors: 1408; Video outputs: Dual-link   quite an extent. The core
DVI, HDMI and mini-DP.
                                                         speed is cranked by 100
CONTACT                ASUS Technology
PHONE                  022-67668800
                                                         MHz and the memory
EMAIL                  reachus@asus.com                  speed by 75 MHz. The
                                                         video outputs on both the
   RATINGS
FEATURES                                                 cards are also different.
PERFORMANCE                                              Zotac offers DisplayPort,
OVERALL RATING
VALUE FOR MONEY                                          HDMI, and a pair of DVI
                                                         ports, while Asus offers a
D-sub and an HDMI port. Performance-wise, the GTX 550 Ti fits
right between the GTS 450 and GTX 460. The overall 3DMark
Vantage score was 10050 at stock speed. Crysis Warhead
at 1920x1080 in Gamer mode ran at 34 fps. Mafia II was also
smooth at 32 fps, but with PhysX disabled. The GTX 460 was
faster by 5 to 8 fps and the Radeon HD 5770 came close, but
took a hit when it came to tessellation and PhysX. If your budget
for a gaming PC is up to Rs 45,000, this GPU would be ideal.
                                                                        - Anand Tuliani
 TEST CENTER
  HARDWARE


                                                        GRAPHICS CARD

                                                       XFX RADEON HD 6950
                                                       VER
                                                       VERDICT: A great card for high-end gaming, but would you sacrifice PhysX?
                                                       FOR: Good tessellation performance, very good overall performance.
                                                       FOR
                                                       AGAINST: Below average PhysX performance.




                                                       X
                                                               FX’s Radeon HD 6950 is based          output and two mini-DisplayPort outputs.
                                                               on the reference design and           The performance can be compared
                                                               doesn’t boast any added bells and     to the GeForce GTX 560 Ti. In 3DMark
                                                       whistles. The card ships with only a driver   2011, it scored 4659 points (400 higher
                                                       disc, CrossFire connector, and a quick        than GTX 560 Ti). However, the real
                                                       installation guide. It runs at stock speed    world gaming performance was similar.
   SPECIFICATIONS                                      with the GPU clocked at 800 MHz and 1         Crysis Warhead in Enthusiast mode at
Rs 30,000                                              GB of GDDR5 memory clocked at 1250            1920x1080 with AA pushed to 4x, churned
www.rptechindia.com
                                                       MHz. The card uses evaporative cooling        out 34.8 fps and the visual effects looked
GPU: Radeon HD 6950; Memory: 1 GB GDDR5; Memory
                                                       with a vapor chamber installed over the       stunning. Mafia II was also smooth at
bus width: 256-bit; Speed (Core | Memory): 800 MHz
| 1250 MHz; Stream processors: 1408; Video outputs:    GPU and a blower at the end to cool the       59 fps with all settings maxed out, but
Dual-link DVI, HDMI 1.4a and mini-DP.                  heatsink. The hot air is expelled from the    PhysX disabled. With PhsyX enabled, the
CONTACT                Rashi Peripherals               rear and a small cutout at the side of        frame rate dropped to 23.5 fps, but the
PHONE                  022-40470828
EMAIL                  response@rptechindia.com        the card. Metal plates are fitted on both      GTX 560 Ti managed a smooth 37 fps.
                                                       sides of the PCB to dissipate heat from       This card is worth consideration for a
   RATINGS
BUILD QUALITY
                                                       the memory chips, voltage regulators          high-end gaming rig, but crippled PhysX
FEATURES                                               and other components. The rear panel          performance cannot be ignored.
PERFORMANCE
                                                       has two dual-link DVI ports, an HDMI 1.4a                                    - Anand Tuliani
OVERALL RATING
VALUE FOR MONEY




                                                        CABINET

                                                       CORSAIR GRAPHITE 600T
                                                       VERDICT: Hands-on enthusiasts who frequently open out their PCs will love this
                                                       cabinet.
                                                       FOR: Tool-free design, excellent construction, sober looks.
                                                       AGAINST: Expensive, no side window.



                                                       C
                                                              orsasir’s 600T is a beefy cabinet      graphics cards. The backplate has a large
                                                              with high-end features tailor-         cutout for easy CPU heatsink installation.
                                                              made for enthusiasts, and a            Rubber-lined holes let you route cables
                                                       sophisticated and understated look.           behind the backplate for neatness and
                                                       You’ll find only a simple black monolith       airflow. Component installation was
                                                       with a front face almost entirely made        comfortable, thanks to the spaciousness
   SPECIFICATIONS
                                                       up of metal mesh. Construction quality is     and tool-free touches. The port cluster
Rs 13,500
www.corsair.com                                        excellent. The side panels are held by two    is on top, even though the 600T isn’t so
Dimensions (WxDxH): 592 x 507 x 265 mm; Size: ATX      clips which pop open without any fuss.        large that it has to be placed on the floor.
mid-tower; Expansion slots: 8; Drive bays: 5.25 x 4,   The power supply space is on the bottom,      You get a USB 3.0 port, four USB 2.0
3.5 x 6; Fans: 200mm x 2, 120 mm x 1; PSU: not
included                                               complete with an adjustable clamp and         ports, FireWire, and the usual headphones
CONTACT                Corsair Memory                  cable routing holes. In addition to the       and mic sockets. The fan controller can
PHONE                  18004255464                     four tool-free 5.25-inch bays, there are      handle up to four fans, and there’s no
EMAIL                  salesindia@corsair.com
                                                       six 3.5-inch bays, all rotated 90 degrees     temperature or speed display. The front
   RATINGS                                             with provisions for 2.5-inch SSDs. A          and top panel are easily removable for
BUILD QUALITY
                                                       removable cage lets you trade three of the    cleaning, and feature a 200 mm fan.
ERGONOMICS
FEATURES                                               bays for added breathing room for large                                     - Jamshed Avari
OVERALL RATING
VALUE FOR MONEY




46      05/2011          INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                        TEST CENTER
                                                                                                                         HARDWARE


 NAS DRIVE

WD MY BOOK LIVE (1 TB)
VERDICT: This has to be the simplest and most beginner-friendly NAS drive we’ve ever seen.
FOR: Simple setup, friendly config page, unobtrusive LEDs make it usable anywhere.
AGAINST: Lack of security and flexibility, no USB port.




N
       etworked hard drives are beginning     change any security and sharing settings,
       to make a lot of sense in the home,    which are by default set up for a single
       but many of them are designed          user who wants to share all the stored
to be used by those who know their            media. Configuration is easy, and the
way around network configuration. WD           interface is vastly improved over WD’s
eliminates most of the guesswork, right       older World Edition NAS drives. Creating
from setup to configuration and regular        users and setting permissions per folder
                                                                                                  SPECIFICATIONS
use. On the downside, there’s no USB port     couldn’t be easier. Twonky and iTunes
for connecting additional storage devices.    server functions are built in. The drive         Rs 7,699
                                                                                               www.wdc.com
All you have to do is plug in the power and   recognizes Windows’ built-in backup utility
                                                                                               Dimensions (WxHxD): 50 x 167 x 139 mm; Weight: 1.09
Ethernet cables. WD ships its Smartware       and works with OSX Time Machine. The             kg; Capacity: 1 TB; Interface: Ethernet (10/100/1000
program on a CD, and IP configuration is       Smartware tool is highly dumbed down             Mbps); Servers: iTunes, DLNA
set to automatic by default. Alternatively,   and can only be set to back up Music,            CONTACT               Western Digital
                                                                                               PHONE                 9880293193
you can type ‘mybooklive’ into your           Audio, Documents etc; you have no control        EMAIL                 srinivas.sampangi@wdc.com
browser’s address bar without needing to      over which folders are backed up. Still, it’s
                                                                                                  RATINGS
know its IP address, and there isn’t even     friendly enough for first-time users, which       BUILD QUALITY
a password prompt. You’ll only need to        is probably what WD had in mind.                 FEATURES
                                                                                               PERFORMANCE
use the configuration page if you want to                                     - Jamshed Avari
                                                                                               OVERALL RATING
                                                                                               VALUE FOR MONEY
 TEST CENTER
  HARDWARE




                                                                                                       MOTHERBOARD


                                                                                                     ASUS E35
                                                                                                     M1-M PRO
                                                                                                     FOR: USB 3.0 ports, eSATA and FireWire ports on rear,
                                                                                                     EFI BIOS.
                                                                                                     AGAINST: None.




                                                           W
   VERDICT                                                                 e’ve seen a few motherboards                         graphics. Thus, the dual-core processor
                                                                           based on the Brazos platform                         is also capable of high-definition video

BEST SUITED                                                                in the past. Both the MSI
                                                           E350IA-E45 and Gigabyte E350N-USB3,
                                                                                                                                acceleration and handling light-weight
                                                                                                                                games as well. The APU and chipset are

FOR HTPCs AND                                              which are currently available in the
                                                           market, are mini-ATX boards built around
                                                                                                                                cooled by a common big heatsink with
                                                                                                                                ample surface area for heat dissipation.

BUDGET HOME                                                the AMD E350 APU. Asus’ offering is
                                                           slightly different and offers a little more
                                                                                                                                You can either build a completely
                                                                                                                                passive-cooled PC (provided your case

PCS.                                                       than its competitors due to its larger form
                                                           factor. The E35M1-M Pro is a micro-ATX
                                                                                                                                has good air flow) or fit the bundled fan
                                                                                                                                on the heat sink to keep it cool.
                                                           board and hence has more room to                                         We added 4 GB of DDR3 RAM and
                                                           accommodate extra expansion slots                                    an SSD and our test rig was ready. HD
                                                           and on-board headers. Mini-ITX boards                                video playback is E350 APU’s forte and
                                                           offer only a single PCIE x16 slot and a                              hence this motherboard is best suited
                                                           few on-board headers for USB ports.                                  for media center PCs and budget home
                                                           The rear panel also has fewer ports and                              or office PCs. Our test setup consumed
                                                           connectivity options. In addition to the                             only 40 Watts of power at full load and
                                                           PCIE x16 slot, which runs at x4 speed,                               28 Watts when idle; less than what a
                                                           the E35M1-M Pro features a PCIE x1 slot                              light bulb consumes. The advantage of
                                                           and two PCI slots. The rear panel has                                the detachable fan is that you can build a
                                                           six USB ports out of which two are USB                               fan-less system but without the bundled
                                                           3.0. Asus has also added a FireWire and                              fan, the heatsink can heat up to as high
                                                           an eSATA port. The on-board headers                                  as 70 degrees C.
                                                           at the bottom of the board allow adding                                  Now for the cost of building a PC with
                                                           up to eight USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire                                this motherboard. With 4 GB of RAM, 1
                                                           port and a parallel port, but you’ll need                            TB hard disk, DVD-writer and cabinet, the
   SPECIFICATIONS                                          to purchase the brackets separately.                                 PC will cost slightly less than Rs 16,000
                                                               The model number suggests that this                              excluding the monitor, speakers and input
Rs 8,000
www.asus.in                                                board is also powered by the E350 APU,                               devices.
Form factor: Micro ATX; APU: AMD E350; Chipset: AMD        which has Radeon HD 6310 integrated                                                                               - Anand Tuliani
Hudson M1; Memory: Up to 8 GB DDR3; USB 2.0: 12 (8
via headers); USB 3.0: 2; SATA 6 Gb/s: 5; Video outputs:
D-sub, DVI and HDMI; Expansion slots: 1x PCIE x16, 1x
PCIE x1 and 2x PCI.
CONTACT                  ASUS Technology
PHONE                    022-67668800
EMAIL                    reachus@asus.com

   RATINGS
FEATURES                                                   Unlike the mini-ITX motherboards based on the Brazos platform, this board has more USB ports, a FireWire port and an eSATA port. You
PERFORMANCE
                                                           also have the option to add more expansion cards.
OVERALL RATING
VALUE FOR MONEY




48       05/2011          INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
 TEST CENTER
  HARDWARE




                                                         COLOR LASER MFD

                                                        SAMSUNG CLX-3186 FN
                                                        VERDICT: A compact and feature-rich color laser printer for SMBs.
                                                        FOR: Compact design, good print quality, Eco Copy mode.
                                                        AGAINST: Flimsy scanner lid, slightly overpriced.




                                                        S
                                                                amsung’s CLX-3186 FN is                    might be sluggish due to the tiny display.
                                                                multifunction color laser printer          The printer can deliver 16 pages per
                                                                in a compact design that saves             minute in black, but only four pages in
                                                        on desk space. The MFD features ADF                color. The quality of prints is excellent,
   SPECIFICATIONS                                       scanning and fax capability along with             with vibrant colors even on regular paper.
Rs 45,499                                               network connectivity. You can initiate             The toner waste collection chamber can
www.samsung.com                                         the scanning on your network computer              be easily removed and emptied. It can
Dimensions (WxHxD): 16.4 x 14.9 x 13.5 inch;            from the scanner itself. The CLX-3186              scan and copy multiple pages quickly and
Weight: 15.25 Kg; Print resolution: 2400 x 600 dpi;
                                                        has a large control panel, with tactile            without any user intervention. The device
Scan resolution: 4800 x 4800 dpi; Interface: USB 2.0;
Ethernet; Input sheet tray: 150 sheets.                 and well-spaced keys on top. Sadly,                comes with a puny 150-sheet input paper
CONTACT                 Samsung India Electronics       the screen is restricted to a two-line             tray and a 100-sheet output tray, which
PHONE                   0124-4881234                    display. The MFD features a one-touch              don’t seem sufficient for high volumes.
EMAIL                   amit.bansal@samsung.com
                                                        ‘Eco Copy’ button, which can help save             Also, the scanner lid tends to slam down
   RATINGS                                              on time, paper and toner by printing four          too hard. This CLX-3186 FN seems a bit
BUILD QUALITY
FEATURES
                                                        documents on a single sheet. Setting it            expensive, but it is an excellent MFD.
PERFORMANCE                                             up is a piece of cake, but daily operaton                                                         - Francis D’sa
OVERALL RATING
VALUE FOR MONEY




 INKJET MFD

EPSON ME OFFICE 960FWD
VERDICT: The ideal all-in-one for homes and small offices.
FOR: Duplexer, various connectivity options, easy to use, compact design.
AGAINST: Paper out tray is a bit flimsy, print quality is average.




P
           rint, scan, copy or fax with a single        printer uses four color ink tanks and can
           compact unit. Connect via USB                print at resolutions up to 5760x1440 dpi.
           or share it over the network using           Printing speeds reach a maximum of 23
Ethernet or WLAN. Connect your camera                   ppm in black or color. The draft copies
directly to the PictBridge port or simply               are quite hazy, but readable. Photos
print from the MMC card reader without                  in 4x6 size print a little slowly, with a
                                                                                                                      SPECIFICATIONS
the need of a PC. Scan multiple copies                  single print obtained in a little over two
in one go using the ADF and go green                    minutes. The photo quality is just about
                                                                                                                   Rs 14,999
                                                                                                                   www.epson.co.in
by saving paper using the automatic                     average; the colors aren’t vibrant and we
                                                                                                                   Dimensions (WxHxD): 446 x 226 x 360 mm;
duplexer. The Epson ME Office 960FWD                    found the image a tad grainy. In copier                    Weight: 7.6 Kg; Print resolution: 5760 x 1440 dpi;
is an all-in-one that has it all. It sports             mode, a black copy prints in 19 seconds,                   Scan resolution: 2400 x 2400 dpi; Connectivity: USB 2.0,
                                                                                                                   Ethernet, WLAN; Others: PictBridge, MMC card reader,
a compact design to save space on                       while a color copy takes 25 seconds.                       ADF, Duplexer.
your desk. The front features a large                   Other features include reduction and                       CONTACT                 Epson India
swivel control panel with well-spaced                   enlargement of copies and cropping                         PHONE                   080-30515000
                                                                                                                   EMAIL                   think@eid.epson.co.in
and tactile buttons and a 2.5-inch color                photos on the printer itself. This is a great
display. The ADF paper feed tray is                     compact all-in-one, but don’t expect lab                      RATINGS
                                                                                                                   BUILD QUALITY
intelligently designed to double up as a                quality professional photos from it.
                                                                                                                   FEATURES
cover when folded to keep dust out. The                                                   - Francis D’sa           PERFORMANCE
                                                                                                                   OVERALL RATING
                                                                                                                   VALUE FOR MONEY




50      05/2011           INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
 TEST CENTER
  HARDWARE




 INPUT DEVICE                                                   INPUT DEVICE                                                   CPU COOLER

GENIUS NAVIGATOR 905                                           ZEBRONICS ZEBTOUCH                                             THERMALTAKE FRIO OCK
VERDICT: A very comfortable, feature-                          VERDICT: A good looking wireless mouse                         VERDICT: Easy to install, ample cooling,
rich mouse for laptops.                                        with a few flaws.                                               but bulky design.
FOR: Small size, feature-rich, single AAA                      FOR: Good looks, no moving parts.                              FOR: Excellent cooling, extensive CPU
battery needed.                                                AGAINST: Bad tactility, low height, no                         socket support.
AGAINST: Glossy surface.                                       provision for USB receiver docking.                            AGAINST: No LED fans, bulky design.

   SPECIFICATIONS                                                 SPECIFICATIONS                                                 SPECIFICATIONS
Rs 1,300                                                       Rs 850                                                         Rs 3,500
www.geniusnet.com                                              www.zebronics.net                                              www.tirupati.net

Dimensions (WxHxD): 85 x 50 x 30 mm; Weight: 62 g;             Dimensions (WxHxD): 220 x 105 x 55 mm; Weight: 63 g;           Dimensions (WxHxD): 136.8 x 158.4 x 143 mm; Heatsink:
Interface: USB 2.0 (Wireless 2.4 GHz); Power requirements:     Interface: USB 2.0 (Wireless 2.4 GHz).                         Aluminum fins, copper base; Heatpipe: 6 x 6 mm; Fans: 2 x
1 x AAA battery.                                               CONTACT               Top Notch Infotronix                     130 mm; Fan speed: 1200–2100 rpm; Max air flow: 121 CFM.
CONTACT                 Genius                                 PHONE                 044-30406000                             CONTACT               Tirupati Enterprises
PHONE                   NA                                     EMAIL                 enquiry@zebronics.com                    PHONE                 9339207519
EMAIL                   sales_india@geniusnet.com.tw                                                                          EMAIL                 mail@tirupati.net
                                                                  RATINGS
   RATINGS                                                     BUILD QUALITY                                                     RATINGS
BUILD QUALITY                                                  FEATURES                                                       BUILD QUALITY
FEATURES                                                       PERFORMANCE                                                    PERFORMANCE
PERFORMANCE                                                    OVERALL RATING                                                 OVERALL RATING
OVERALL RATING                                                 VALUE FOR MONEY                                                VALUE FOR MONEY
VALUE FOR MONEY




T    he Genius Navigator 905 wireless
     mouse is pretty small in size, has a
rugged shell and is powered using just
                                                               T    he Zebronics Zebtouch mouse is
                                                                    designed similar to Apple’s Magic
                                                               Mouse, but is nowhere close in terms
                                                                                                                              T    hermaltake Frio OCK is designed
                                                                                                                                   for high-end gaming PCs and
                                                                                                                              overclocking. The cooler comprises a
a single AAA battery. The power saving                         of performance. Though it has a rugged                         heatsink and a fan module which fits
features are excellent too; it goes                            build, the glossy exteriors can easily                         on top. The removable fan module
into sleep mode within 10 seconds of                           pickup fingerprints. It features regular                        eases installation and cleaning the
detecting no movement or six seconds                           left and right click buttons, but has                          heatsink and fans. The two 130 mm
after the Pico USB receiver module is                          a touch-sensitive scroll zone instead                          fans are arranged in a push-pull
unplugged from the USB port. It also                           of a wheel. The center button is now                           manner to draw air through the fins
features a physical power button. A                            just below the touch zone. The overall                         and blow hot air towards the rear.
2-in-1 slot located on the bottom can                          tactility of buttons is below average.                         The heatsink features two towers
be used to hook the mouse up to the                            Getting accustomed to the design                               of aluminium fins with six copper
laptop or onto a wall, preventing it                           will also take a long time because                             heatpipes running through them. The
from being misplaced when not in                               of the unique shape and low height.                            heatpipes don’t come in direct contact
use. It can also be used for mounting                          The mouse is powered using two AAA                             with the CPU but pass through a
the receiver. The USB receiver can                             batteries, but does not feature any                            copper block on top of the CPU. The
also be housed inside the shell when                           room to house the USB receiver. A                              kit includes thermal compound and
the mouse is clipped to the laptop.                            physical power button is located on the                        mounting hardware for Intel LGA 775,
The mouse features an on-the-fly                                bottom to help save the battery. As far                        1155 (Sandy Bridge), 1156, 1366 sockets
DPI resolution adjustment to change                            as the performance is concerned, this                          and AMD Socket AM2, AM2+ and AM3.
the pointer speed effortlessly. The                            mouse is nothing out of the ordinary,                          The Frio OCK is efficient, but make
mouse works on the BlueEye tracking                            but flaws such as poor button tactility,                        sure your motherboard’s CPU socket
technology, which practically allows                           uncomfortable design, and low height                           has ample clearance around it and
it to be used on any surface.                                  could adversely affect productivity.                           your cabinet has enough room.
                                              - Francis D’sa                                                 - Francis D’sa                                                -Anand Tuliani




52      05/2011          INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
 TEST CENTER
  HARDWARE




 OPTICAL DRIVE                                                BLUETOOTH HEADSET                                              HEADPHONES

SONY BD-5300S                                                SMART INFOCOMM SB-07                                           WICKED AUDIO CHILL
VERDICT: A Blu-ray drive with faster                         VERDICT: Stylish Bluetooth headphones                          VERDICT: A good looking headphones
speeds at a great price.                                     with below average sound quality.                              with average sound quality.
FOR: Faster speeds, good price.                              FOR: Stylish, lightweight, water-                              FOR: Build quality, wearing comfort.
AGAINST: None.                                               resistant, rubberized exterior.                                AGAINST: Average sound quality, flimsy
                                                             AGAINST: Below average sound quality.                          cables.

   SPECIFICATIONS                                               SPECIFICATIONS                                                 SPECIFICATIONS
Rs 11,000                                                    Rs 4,000                                                       Rs 965
www.rptechindia.com                                          www.smartinfocomm.com                                          www.accessinfoworld.com

Interface: SATA; Cache: 8 MB; Read/Write speed: BD-8x/12x,   Dimensions (WxHxD): 72 x 25.5 x 85 mm; Weight: 23 g;           Dimensions (WxHxD): 208 x 157 x 71 mm; Weight: 180 g;
DVD-16x/16x, CD-48x/48x.                                     Connectivity: Bluetooth; operating range: 10 meters;           Connectivity: 3.5 mm jack; Cord length: 1.2 m; Freq response:
CONTACT                Rashi Peripherals                     Battery life: Up to 10 hrs, Operating range: 10 meters.        20 Hz – 20 KHz.
PHONE                  022-40470828                          CONTACT                 Smart Infocomm                         CONTACT                 Access
EMAIL                  response@rptechindia.com              PHONE                   9381004767                             PHONE                   022-23840789
                                                             EMAIL                   rakesh@smartinfocomm.com               EMAIL                   accessinfoworld@vsnl.com
   RATINGS
FEATURES                                                        RATINGS                                                        RATINGS
PERFORMANCE                                                  BUILD QUALITY                                                  BUILD QUALITY
OVERALL RATING                                               FEATURES                                                       FEATURES
VALUE FOR MONEY                                              PERFORMANCE                                                    PERFORMANCE
                                                             OVERALL RATING                                                 OVERALL RATING
                                                             VALUE FOR MONEY                                                VALUE FOR MONEY




B    lu-ray discs offer large storage
     capacities ideal for HD videos
and massive data backups. The Sony
                                                             T    he SB-07 Bluetooth headphones
                                                                  are made from a water-resistant
                                                             rubberized shell and feature tactile
                                                                                                                            W         ith an all plastic body, Wicked
                                                                                                                                      Audio’s Chill headphones do
                                                                                                                            seem a little cheap, but they are
BD-5300S is a speedy drive that                              buttons that are designed for use                              definitely rugged, flexible and very
can read Blu-rays, DVDs and CDs at                           on-the-move. The internal 170 mA                               comfortable to wear. The ear pads
speeds of 8x, 16x and 48x respectively.                      Lithium battery can be charged using                           are made of a soft material that can
Recording speeds on single layer                             the bundled USB cable and powers                               possibly wear out in a few months of
BDs and DVD discs reach 12x and 16x                          the headphones for almost 10 hours.                            extensive usage. The Chill headphones
respectively, while dual-layer BDs and                       They weigh just 23 grams and can pair                          are designed for casual listening, so
DVDs can be burned at 8x. The drive                          with up to seven Bluetooth devices                             don’t expect too much from these
has a cache buffer of 8 MB, enabling                         without requiring a pass code. Bundled                         headphones; the audio quality is just
faster read/write speeds. You can                            with the headphones are two sets of                            about average. The bass and highs
now store up to 50 GB of data or HD                          different-sized ear plugs, which help in                       aren’t great, but the music quality
videos on a dual-layer Blu-ray disc in                       cutting out ambient noise. We paired                           is quite good. The cables are a bit
20 minutes. The drive uses the SATA                          the headphones with a mobile phone                             flimsy and thin, which can easily break
interface and has a standard tray load                       and tested it with music, movies and                           if stretched unexpectedly. Also, the
mechanism for use in horizontal and                          phone calls. The music quality was not                         length of the cables is pretty short,
vertical PC cases. The BD-5300S is                           satisfactory; it has an average bass                           so using them with a desktop PC is a
ideal for those who like to enjoy high-                      and treble range. The mid frequencies                          bit uncomfortable. The headphones
definition movies and also store large                        are excellent and perfect for telephone                        are available in three colors - black,
chunks of data or media files. This Blu-                      conversations. The headphones                                  white and golden. The Chill is a
ray drive is also recommended for use                        look outstanding and are simple to                             great option for those who want
in servers or in large offices for daily,                    operate, but for the sound quality                             a simple set of headphones and
weekly or monthly data backups.                              it offers, the price is too steep.                             don’t want to spend too much.
                                            - Francis D’sa                                                 - Francis D’sa                                                - Francis D’sa




54      05/2011          INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
    TEST CENTER
QWERTY PHONE COMPARISON




                                                 Cheap
                                                 QWERTYs
                                                 SMS, social networking and e-mail are now
                                                 standard mobile phone features, and QWERTY
                                                 handsets make these services a breeze to use.
                                                 If you're on a tight budget, here are 18 sub-
                                                 Rs 6,000 QWERTY phones you could consider.
                                                 BY ANAND TULIANI, FRANCIS D'SA AND PRANAV TONSEKER




   56   05/2011   INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP   Mexy Xavier
                                                                                              TEST CENTER
                                                                                       QWERTY PHONE COMPARISON




                                                                    TES
                                                                    TEST PROCESS
T
                  shou ld
                   ho                     an
                                           ny
       welve keys should be sufficient in any
                                        calls,
                                          lls
       phone for daily use, be it voice cal s,                         thi
                                                                    In this roundup, we featured 18 QWERTY
              photos,                 minimal
                                           al
       taking photos browsing or even minima                        phon
                                                                    phones priced under Rs 6,000. To
                                      t
texting. However, when it comes to text                             determine which one is the best
                                                                    deter
intensive applications like heavy messaging,                        cand
                                                                    candidate under this price bracket, we
composing emails, tweeting and chatting, the                            each phone through various tests.
                                                                    put e
standard T9 input available on most phones                              tests were designed to evaluate the
                                                                    The t
is not fast enough and requires multiple key                        phon
                                                                    phones across the following categories
presses, which becomes quite a repetitive                           - feat
                                                                      features, build quality, ergonomics,
task. It is in such cases that a phone armed with a                 perfo
                                                                    performance and warranty. Read on to
QWERTY keypad comes in handy.                                           o
                                                                    find out what each section comprises.
   The QWERTY keypad has a layout akin to that of your              FEATURES: The features is one of
                                                                    FEAT
                                            e
standard keyboard, and like on any PC, is the preferred mode        the m
                                                                        most important aspects to keep in
                                            d
of text input. QWERTY phones have been around since quite a            d
                                                                    mind before buying a cell phone. From
while now, but had always been restricted to smartphones by the     the handset’s display characteristics,
likes of Palm, Blackberry and Nokia. Such phones were deemed        to the layout of the keypad, and
to be business-oriented and often carried a hefty price tag. Till   connectivity options, it’s all relevant. In
date, higher end smartphones with QWERTY keypads have a             this comparison, the two main purposes
plethora of features, ranging from Wi-Fi to push mail to even an    of the categorization were the price and
                                                  sheets.
office suite to view and edit documents and spreadsheets. Just      features. So we d
                                                                                    decided to evaluate
                                                        ving
like the manufacturers advertize it, it is truly like having an     the phones based on how much you
office in your pocket!                                                                y
                                                                    get for the price you’re paying. These
   Twitter clients and chat applications for phones,                phones obviously offer features higher
combined with cheaper GPRS and messaging                                             c
                                                                    than the regular candy-bar phones, such
plans have led to an increase in popularity of                      as the full-QUERT keypad for typing
                                                                           full-QUERTY
QWERTY handsets. The successful Nokia E series                       comfort, social networking options,
and the Blackberry Curve series of devices is a                         bigger screens some even with
                                                                               screens,
standing example of the same. Most of these handsets
                                                 ets                      Wi-Fi and T We looked for more
                                                                                    TV.
                                                 ories.
still come under the high-end and mid-range categories.                            fea
                                                                            useful features such as dual
However, there is an emerging market for budget QWERTY
                                                 WERTY                        or triple SIM support, built-in
phones. Such phones cannot be expected to perform any of
                                                m                               memory, option for memory
                                                                                memo
your office tasks or replace your laptop as they are mostly Java-
                                                      ostly                       expansion and amount
                                                                                  expa
based. These devices are targeted towards the entry-level user
                                                  y-level                            bundled memory,
                                                                                  of b
and are meant for intensive texting and chatting.                               additional features such
                                                                                additio
                                               r
   Eighteen such QWERTY phones, all priced under Rs 7,000,                 as Wi-Fi, T and pre-installed
                                                                                     TV
were pitted against each other and evaluated at the Test Center.      social networking applications. Other
                                                                             networki
Dual SIM card support was a persistent feature, found in almost
                                                    d               areas which make up for the features
every phone. Twitter, Facebook, chat and e-mail support
                                                  pport             section were also recorded, such as the
are features that add to the utility of the QWERTY keypad
                                                      pad                          LED
                                                                    presence of an LE torch, the type of
                                              me
and ensure it is used to the fullest. While some phones             headph
                                                                    headphone jack available, and the type
had cut down on frills like Wi-Fi and EDGE connectivity,
                                             nnectivity,                  interface. The overall aesthetic
                                                                    of PC i
others had it all; even a mobile TV, making it quite the            appeal was also a major aspect taken
attractive package. Do these phones truly provide                        co
                                                                    into consideration. After all, no one
the promised value for money? Are the added                         would like to carry an ugly brick in their
features noteworthy or do they just prove to be                     pocket.
                                                                    pocket Finally, the bundled goodies
marketing gimmicks? Let’s find out.




SMS us!    Story code: TQP to 51818                                    INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP   05/2011   57
     TEST CENTER
QWERTY PHONE COMPARISON


   included in the package, such as the
   type and quality of earphones, memory
                                                       the battery. We also included points for
                                                       legibility of the characters printed on the                     PERSONAL TAKE
   cards for additional storage, if any, and           keypad and its backlight brightness. We
   carry case or sleeve were taken into                gave points for ease of installation of
   consideration.                                      the SIM card, memory card and battery
   BUILD QUALITY: Since a mobile                       because no one likes to struggle with the
   phone is usually bound to be handled                phone just so you can replace the SIM
   within short intervals every day, the               card or remove the battery. Points were
                                                                                                                              ANAND TULIANI
   overall build quality or sturdiness of              also awarded for the navigation aids                                  anand.tuliani@chip.in
   the phone has to be rugged enough to                provided, overall ease of use and the
   withstand daily handling and possible               swiftness of the user interface.                        In the budget QWERTY phone category, where
   drops. The more rugged the shell,                   PERFORMANCE: Since the quality and                      there’s a flood of phones by various brands
   buttons and the screen are, the more                volume of the phone calls varies when                   and every model offers similar features,
   durable the handset, and hence, better              it comes to different cell phone service                narrowing down on one device is a difficult
   its score. It goes without saying that              providers and the area it is tested in, we              task. Of course, you want good performance
   a handset made using a metallic shell               preferred to eliminate the in-call volume               and the best of features at an attractive price,
   is sturdier than the one made out of                and clarity test. The most important                    but things don’t just end there. The ergonomics
   plastic. Dropping a cell phone from                 factor we considered here is the audio                  play a very important role here. If I were to
   the hand or pocket is not uncommon,                 and video clarity of the built-in speakers              pick a phone from this roundup, I would go in
   so it’s good to have a secure battery               and display screen. We noted the sound                  for the Videocon V1676. It has a good feature
   retention clamp and a scratch-resistant             quality of the built-in speakers, and                   set, but more importantly, it scores high on
   body. Finally, the presence of port flaps            for this test, we played a couple of                    ergonomics and overall performance. The Lava
   helps keep dust away from the insides               music files. Other tests included image                  B8 is the most feature-rich phone; I would
   and reduces dirt and corrosion to the               capture quality, display quality and                    have gone for it had its keypad been
   respective slots.                                   display viewing angle. To arrive at the                 comfortable. The tips of my thumbs used to
   ERGONOMICS: The ergonomics of                       best performer, we totaled the scores                   slip to the top or the bottom corner of the keys
   the handset is also something we place              of the features, ergonomics and the                     while typing. Also composing messages with
   a lot of importance on while testing                performance. This is simply because                     the T9 dictionary activated was very slow.
   a handset. For example, the size of                 the feature set and the ergonomics of
   the keypad and its keys are crucial                 a handset indirectly affect the overall
   to comfort. The space between keys,                 performance of a phone.
   overall tactility of the keypad and the             VALUE FOR MONEY: This is one of
   placement of the connectivity ports,                the most crucial factors that we take
   also determine the level of comfort a               into account when comparing handsets,
   user will experience. The overall design            and this is what affects the buying                                       FRANCIS D'SA
                                                                                                                               francis.dsa@chip.in
   comes into play when we talk about                  decision. All of the above features and
   the grip it provides during phone calls             attributes will contribute towards helping              The most important factor to keep in mind
   and while texting. Finally, some phones             you determine whether or not a phone is                 when buying a QWERTY phone is the
   are equipped with shortcut for the                  ideal for you. So we calculated the value               ergonomics. Try using the handset for a while,
   camera, radio, music, torch, etc that               for money index based on the ratio of                   by using the QWERTY keypad to its fullest.
   make accessibility easy. Hot-swappable              the features, build quality, ergonomics,                Check if it's convenient and comfortable to
   memory is of utmost importance as                   performance and warranty against the                    type, has spacious and tactile keys, and most
   you should have the option to exchange              price of the handset.                                   importantly, has legible letters. A badly
   memory cards without the need to                                                  – anand.tuliani@chip.in   designed keypad can create frustration,
   switch off the mobile phone and remove                                                francis.dsa@chip.in   leading to sluggish productivity and even
                                                                                                               fatigue. Once you are satisfied with the
                                                                                                               keypad, you can move on to the other features
                                                                                                               it offers. Check for connectivity options (Wi-Fi,
                                                                                                               EDGE, GPRS or 3G), pre-installed social
                                                                                                               networking applications, memory capacity and
                                                                                                               camera and display quality. Last, but not the
                                                                                                               least, bank on the sturdiness of the phone as
                                                                                                               the build quality should never be ignored. The
                                                                                                               Videocon V1676 handset fits most of these
                                                                                                               criteria quite well. The next best deal is the
                                                                                                               Lava B8. It offers Wi-Fi connectivity, excellent
                                                                                                               build, great camera and display quality, but the
    The battery needs to be removed for phones that    Port flaps are a must to prevent dust from entering     keypad is a bit uncomfortable.
    do not feature a hot-swap memory expansion slot.   the phone via the memory or the USB slot.



   58     05/2011    INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                                     TEST CENTER
                                                                                                                           QWERTY PHONE COMPARISON




T
       rouncing the Lava B8 in                 sound very well. The keypad consists of
       performance, the Videocon v1676         tactile keys with high relief, which are
                                                                                               VIDEOCON V1676
       offers a limited set of features,       big enough to type without much error.
but performs exceptionally with whatever       The four-way D-pad makes navigation a
it has to offer. The body of the phone         breeze. The select button, however, could
is sturdy yet sleek, and is quite pleasing     have been slightly bigger. Characters on
to the eye; a breeze of change from the        keys are legible so typing even from a
flimsy, plasticky shells of most other          distance is not difficult, but the backlight
phones in this range. Despite the metallic     could have been brighter. Volume keys
build, at just above 100 grams, the phone      are raised, which makes it easy to change
is not bulky. A rugged battery panel           volume at the flick of a thumb. They also
ensures that it suffers no scratches even      double up as navigation keys in the menu.
                                                                                                 SPECIFICATIONS
when placed on rough surfaces. A solitary      There is only one shortcut key, which
                                                                                              Rs 4,275
mini USB port protected by a flap is on         opens the messaging app.
                                                                                              Dimensions (WxHxD): 60.5 x 112.5 x 12.5 mm; Weight: 105
the top side of the phone. However, there         Like most other phones in the roundup,      g; Display: 2.4-inch, 262 K color, 320 x 240; SIM: GSM + GSM;
is no 3.5 mm jack, which means you can’t       the v1676 is a dual SIM, Java-based            Camera: 2 MP; Internal Mem: 81 MB; Bundled: None.
plug in your favorite pair of earphones.       phone. The user interface is quick and         CONTACT                 Videocon Mobile Services
                                                                                              PHONE                   0124-33660000
   The v1676 is armed with a modest            easy to use. The phone starts up quickly       EMAIL                   support@udcl.in
2 megapixel snapper, which provides            sans annoyingly noisy startup tones.
good quality pictures in most conditions.      Opera Mini, chat applications and Twitter         RATINGS
                                                                                              BUILD QUALITY
However, there is no flash or autofocus.        and Facebook clients are installed by          ERGONOMICS

The handset is provided with a 1000 mAh        default on the phone, making the phone         FEATURES
                                                                                              PERFORMANCE
battery rated for 6.3 hours of talktime,       more social networking-centric.                OVERALL RATING
which should last long enough. Yet,            VERDICT: A classy looking phone with a         VALUE FOR MONEY

should you run out of juice, the phone can     brilliant keypad.
charge through USB, so getting it back         FOR: Decent camera, good keypad, great
up shouldn’t be a problem. The speaker         speaker.
may not be the loudest, but it plays back      AGAINST: No 3.5 mm audio jack.




T
       he Audiovox AU201 is a feature-         keypad is too dim. There is no predictive
       packed phone available for a            or auto-correct text input. A [Caps Lock]       AUDIOVOX AU201
       sub-Rs 3,000 price. Its build           button is in place of the [Shift] button
quality is decent. The surface has a           at the bottom left, which makes typing
metallic finish, yet is resistant to mild       yet more annoying. The four-way D-pad
scratches. The design looks good and           is a tiny ring placed around an oversized
is original; this is not one of the cheap      center button, making navigation slightly
Blackberry knockoffs. The body has a 3.5       tricky. Wireless connectivity includes
mm jack at the top and a micro-USB port        only Bluetooth; this phone does not have
at the bottom. A flimsy portflap covers          EDGE, which is a standard feature in
the latter. The 2.4-inch screen has 262K       almost every phone.
colors, looks bright and vivid, but has a         The UI is themed well and looks good,
                                                                                                 SPECIFICATIONS
poor viewing angle. A speaker at the back      though it is slightly sluggish and riddled
plays out inferior quality sound and tends     with poor, translated English. Apps for
                                                                                              Rs 2,999
to sound shrill. Memory cards cannot be        instant messaging are not preloaded.           Dimensions (WxHxD): 61 x 110 x 12 mm; Weight: 108 g; Display:
                                                                                              2.4-inch, 262 K color, 320 x 240; SIM: GSM + GSM; Camera: 1.3
hot-swapped. The battery is a 1100 mAh         As an alternative, you can find Web             MP; Internal Mem: 10 MB; Bundled: None.
unit with a rated talktime of 5 hours, and     shortcuts to Yahoo and MSN. The email          CONTACT                 Rashi Peripherals
the phone can be charged via USB.              application lets you check webmail, but        PHONE                   022-40470828
                                                                                              EMAIL                   response@rptechindia.com
   The camera on the AU201 has a               only supports three services - Gmail,
resolution of 1.3 megapixels, and delivers     Hotmail and Yahoo. The accelerometer is           RATINGS
                                                                                              BUILD QUALITY
subpar performance. The results are            a fun gimmick that lets you play motion-
                                                                                              ERGONOMICS
blurry, overly saturated images with           based games and change wallpapers and          FEATURES
                                                                                              PERFORMANCE
considerable noise even in well-lit            tracks with the flick of a wrist.
                                                                                              OVERALL RATING
conditions. A tiny LED on the top acts as      VERDICT: Low in price, high on features,       VALUE FOR MONEY
a torch. Ideally, the LED should have been     and an unsatisfactory performer.
next to the camera and doubled up as a         FOR: Great value for money, USB
flash. The keypad consists of sufficiently      charging, above average display.
large keys with high relief, so typing isn’t   AGAINST: No EDGE, no predictive text,
a problem. However, the backlight of the       poor camera.


                                                                                                 INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                      05/2011      59
     TEST CENTER
QWERTY PHONE COMPARISON


                                                          1                                                 2                                                3
    SpecScan

    NAME                                                  LAVA B8                                           VIDEOCON V1676                                   KARBONN K25I
    Contact                                               LAVA International                                Videocon Mobile Services                         Jaina Marketing & Associates
    Phone                                                 0120-4637333                                      0124-33660000                                    011-46604660
    E-mail                                                info@lavainternational.in                         support@udcl.in                                  manvi.s@jainaindia.com
    Price*                                                Rs. 5,299                                         Rs. 4,275                                        Rs. 4,760
    OVERALL
    Features (35%)                                                                      75                                        55                                                        68

    Build quality (15%)                                                                     78                                              69                                         63

    Ergonomics (25%)                                                            56                                                     64                                              62

    Performance (20%)                                                                            83                                               95                                        70

    Warranty (5%)                                                                      73                                                    73                                                  73

                                                            0                  50                     100     0                  50                    100     0                  50                  100

    Overall (Out of 100%)                                 72                                                67                                               66
    Value For Money
    FEATURES
    Dimensions (WxHxD) | Weight                           63 x 108 x 13 mm | 109 g                          60.5 x 112.5 x 12.5 mm | 105 g                   60 x 113 x 13.5 mm | 80 g
    SIM Card support                                      GSM + GSM                                         GSM + GSM                                        GSM + GSM
    Memory: Internal | Bundled                            65 MB | 2 GB                                      80 MB | None                                     78 KB | None
    Display                                               2.3-inch, 262K color, 320 x 240                   2.4-inch, 262K color, 320 x 240                  2.4-inch, 262K color, 320 x 240
    Camera | Secondary camera | Flash                     3.2 MP | ✖ | ✔                                    2 MP | ✖ | ✖                                     2 MP | ✖ | ✔
    Connectivity: EDGE | Bluetooth | WLAN                 ✔|✔|✔                                             ✔|✔|✖                                            ✔|✔|✔
    Social networking apps (Built-in)
      Yahoo | MSN | Facebook                              ✔|✔|✔                                             ✔|✔|✔                                            ✖|✖|✖
      Twitter | Skype | Nimbuzz                           ✖|✔|✖                                             ✔|✖|✔                                            ✖|✖|✔
    Pushmail | Webmail                                    ✔|✔                                               ✔|✖                                              ✔|✖
    FM w/o antenna | TV | Earphone jack | Torch           ✖ | ✖ | 3.5 mm | ✔                                ✖ | ✖ | Propreitary | ✖                          ✔ | ✖ | 3.5 mm | ✔
    Accelerometer | PC interface | Charge from USB        ✔ | Micro USB | ✔                                 ✖ | Mini USB | ✔                                 ✔ | Mini USB | ✔
    Bettery rating | Rated talk time                      1400 mAh | 3 hours                                1000 mAh | 6.3 hours                             1450 mAh | 3 hours
    Bundled sleeve / cover | Handsfree type               ✖ | Earbuds                                       ✖ | NA                                           ✔ | In-ear
    BUILD QUALITY
    Quality ***: Shell                                    5                                                 5                                                4
    Quality **: Buttons | Handsfree                       3 | 2.5                                           3|1                                              3|3
    Use of metal in construction | Port flaps             ✔|✔                                               ✔|✔                                              ✖|✔
    Scratch-resistant body                                ✖                                                 ✖                                                ✖
    Aesthetic appeal ***                                  5                                                 4                                                4
    ERGONOMICS
    Keypad
      Button size | Spacing | Tactility ***               4 | 3.5 | 5                                       4.5 | 4 | 4.5                                    4 | 4 | 4.5
      Legibility of characters ** | Backlight **          3 | 2.5                                           3 | 2.5                                          3|3
    Hot-swap memory | Dedicated volume controls           ✖|✔                                               ✔|✔                                              ✔|✖
    Installation ease **: SIM | Memory | Battery          1.5 | 1.5 | 2                                     3|3|2                                            3|3|2
    Shortcut keys: Music | Camera | Messaging | Browser   ✖|✖|✔|✖                                           ✖|✖|✔|✖                                          ✖|✖|✔|✖
      WLAN | FM Radio / TV | Torch                        ✔|✖|✖                                             ✖|✖|✖                                            ✖|✖|✖
    Navigation aid                                        D-pad + Optical Trackpad                          D-pad                                            Optical Trackpad
    Overall ease of use | Smoothness of UI ***            4|5                                               4|5                                              4|5
    PERFORMANCE
    Built-in speaker | Loudness ***                       3|4                                               4|3                                              3.5 | 3
    Display: Quality *** | Viewing angle **               4 | 2.5                                           4.5 | 2.5                                        4 | 1.5
    Imaging quality (Camera) ***                          5                                                 4.5                                              4
    WARRANTY
    Warranty period                                       1 Year                                            1 Year                                           1 Year
   * Prices are indicative and are subject to change, taxes extra         ** Scores out of 3          *** Scores out of 5


   60      05/2011        INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
4                                       5                                       6                                             7                                        8



NOKIA C3-00                             WYNNCOM Y50                             AKAI CONNECT BOOK                             NOKIA X2-01                              FLY CIRCLE B436
Nokia India                             Wynn Telecom                            Global Brands                                 Nokia India                              Fly India
011-30303838                            1800-1029-299                           0124-4305000                                  011-30303838                             9311282589
NA                                      info@wynntelecom.com                    info@gbes.asia                                NA                                       amit.chauhan@meridiantelecom.in
Rs. 6,429                               Rs. 3,595                               Rs. 5,795                                     Rs. 3,999                                Rs. 3,599

                  55                                       58                                            63                                 43                                     37

                             76                                   78                                    60                                                  88                                        83

                       65                                  58                                     51                                                  69                                  57

                            73                                   75                                                81                                 69                                       70

                            73                                  73                                            73                                       73                                        73

  0               50              100     0               50              100     0                50                   100     0                50              100     0               50                100

65                                      65                                      64                                            63                                       57



58.1 x 115.5 x 13.6 mm | 114 g          60 x 109 x 12.5 mm | 126 g              60 x 107 x 13.33 mm | 120 g                   59.8 x 119.4 x 14.3 mm | 107.5 g         59.5 x 115.5 x 12.6 mm | 108 g
GSM                                     GSM + GSM                               GSM + GSM                                     GSM                                      GSM + GSM
55 MB | 2 GB                            82 MB | None                            24 MB | 4 GB                                  55 MB | None                             236 KB | None
2.4-inch, 262K color, 320 x 240         2.4-inch, 262K color, 320 x 240         2.4-inch, 262K color, 320 x 240               2.4-inch, 262K color, 320 x 240          2.4-inch, 262K color, 320 x 240
2 MP | ✖ | ✖                            2 MP | ✖ | ✔                            3.2 MP | ✖ | ✖                                0.3 MP | ✖ | ✖                           1.3 MP | ✔ | ✖
✔|✔|✔                                   ✔|✔|✖                                   ✔|✔|✔                                         ✔|✔|✖                                    ✖|✔|✖

✔|✔|✔                                   ✖|✖|✔                                   ✔|✔|✖                                         ✔|✔|✔                                    ✖|✖|✖
✔|✖|✖                                   ✔|✖|✔                                   ✖|✖|✖                                         ✔|✖|✖                                    ✖|✖|✔
✔|✖                                     ✔|✖                                     ✔|✖                                           ✖|✔                                      ✖|✖
✖ | ✖ | 3.5 mm | ✖                      ✖ | ✖ | 3.5 mm | ✖                      ✖ | ✖ | 3.5 mm | ✖                            ✖ | ✖ | 3.5 mm | ✖                       ✔ | ✖ | Proprietary | ✖
✖ | Micro USB | ✖                       ✔ | Micro USB | ✔                       ✔ | Micro USB | ✔                             ✖ | Micro USB | ✖                        ✖ | Mini USB | ✔
1320 mAh | 7 hours                      1000 mAh | 9 hours                      1000 mAh | 4 hours                            1020 mAh | 4.5 hours                     1200 mAh | 12.5 hours
✖ | Earbuds                             ✖ | In-ear                              ✖ | NA                                        ✖ | Earbuds                              ✔ | Earbuds

5                                       4                                       4.5                                           5                                        4.5
3|3                                     3 | 1.5                                 3|1                                           3|3                                      3|2
✔|✔                                     ✔|✖                                     ✖|✔                                           ✖|✔                                      ✖|✔
✖                                       ✔                                       ✖                                             ✔                                        ✔
4                                       4                                       4.5                                           4.5                                      4.5



5 | 4.5 | 5                             4.5 | 4.5 | 4.5                         4.5 | 4.5 | 4.5                               5 | 5 | 4.5                              4 | 4.5 | 3.5
2|3                                     3 | 2.5                                 3|2                                           3|3                                      2.5 | 3
✔|✖                                     ✖|✖                                     ✖|✖                                           ✔|✖                                      ✖|✔
3|3|3                                   3|3|3                                   2.5 | 3 | 3                                   3 | 3 | 2.5                              2.5 | 3 | 2
✖|✖|✔|✖                                 ✖|✖|✔|✔                                 ✖|✖|✖|✖                                       ✔|✖|✔|✖                                  ✔|✔|✔|✖
✖|✖|✖                                   ✖|✖|✖                                   ✖|✖|✖                                         ✖|✖|✖                                    ✖|✖|✖
D-pad                                   Trackball                               Trackball                                     D-pad                                    D-pad
5|5                                     4|5                                     4|5                                           5|5                                      4 | 4.5

3|3                                     3.5 | 3.5                               3.5 | 4                                       2.5 | 2.5                                4.5 | 5
4.5 | 2                                 4.5 | 2.5                               4.5 | 2.5                                     4.5 | 2                                  4 | 1.5
3.5                                     2.5                                     1                                             3                                        2.5

1 Year                                  1 Year                                  1 Year                                        1 Year                                   1 Year



                                                                                                                                                      INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP              05/2011      61
     TEST CENTER
QWERTY PHONE COMPARISON


                                                          9                                            10                                         11
    SpecScan

    NAME                                                  AUDIOVOX AU201                               G’FIVE G269i                               WYNNCOM Y45
    Contact                                               Rashi Peripherals                            Kingtech Electronics                       Wynn Telecom
    Phone                                                 022-40470828                                 0120-4060555                               1800-1029-299
    E-mail                                                response@rptechindia.com                     contatcus@gfivemobile.com                  info@wynntelecom.com
    Price*                                                Rs. 2,999                                    Rs. 3,699                                  Rs. 3,295
    OVERALL
    Features (35%)                                                          46                                         41                                           46

    Build quality (15%)                                                                     81                               57                                      48

    Ergonomics (25%)                                                             55                                              58                                   50

    Performance (20%)                                                            54                                                   65                                       67

    Warranty (5%)                                                                      73                                                  100                                      73

                                                              0                  50              100     0                  50              100     0                     50             100

    Overall (Out of 100%)                                 56                                           55                                         53
    Value For Money
    FEATURES
    Dimensions (WxHxD) | Weight                           61 x 110 x 12 mm | 104 g                     56.5 x 110 x 11 mm | 84 g                  62.8 x 107 x 12.3 mm | 100 g
    SIM Card support                                      GSM + GSM                                    GSM + GSM                                  GSM + GSM
    Memory: Internal | Bundled                            10 MB | None                                 250 KB | None                              1 MB | None
    Display                                               2.4-inch, 262K color, 320 x 240              2.4-inch, 320 x 240                        2.2-inch, 65K color, 320 x 240
    Camera | Secondary camera | Flash                     1.3 MP | ✔ | ✖                               0.3 MP | ✔ | ✖                             1.3 MP | ✖ | ✖
    Connectivity: EDGE | Bluetooth | WLAN                 ✖|✔|✖                                        ✖|✔|✖                                      ✖|✔|✖
    Social networking apps (Built-in)
      Yahoo | MSN | Facebook                              ✖|✖|✖                                        ✔|✔|✔                                      ✔|✔|✔
      Twitter | Skype | Nimbuzz                           ✖|✖|✖                                        ✔|✖|✔                                      ✖|✖|✖
    Pushmail | Webmail                                    ✖|✔                                          ✖|✖                                        ✔|✖
    FM w/o antenna | TV | Earphone jack | Torch           ✖ | ✖ | 3.5 mm | ✔                           ✔ | ✔ | Proprietary | ✖                    ✖ | ✖ | 3.5 mm | ✖
    Accelerometer | PC interface | Charge from USB        ✔ | Micro USB | ✔                            ✔ | Proprietary | ✖                        ✔ | Mini USB | ✔
    Bettery rating | Rated talk time                      1100 mAh | NA                                800 mAh | 4 hours                          1000 mAh | 6.5 hours
    Bundled sleeve / cover | Handsfree type               ✔ | Earbuds                                  ✖ | Earbuds                                ✖ | Earbuds
    BUILD QUALITY
    Quality ***: Shell                                    4.5                                          4                                          4
    Quality **: Buttons | Handsfree                       3|2                                          2.5 | 2.5                                  3|2
    Use of metal in construction | Port flaps             ✖|✔                                          ✔|✖                                        ✖|✖
    Scratch-resistant body                                ✔                                            ✖                                          ✖
    Aesthetic appeal ***                                  4                                            3.5                                        3.5
    ERGONOMICS
    Keypad
      Button size | Spacing | Tactility ***               4.5 | 4.5 | 4                                3 | 4.5 | 4                                4.5 | 4.5 | 4
      Legibility of characters ** | Backlight **          3 | 1.5                                      3|2                                        2 | 1.5
    Hot-swap memory | Dedicated volume controls           ✖|✔                                          ✔|✖                                        ✖|✔
    Installation ease **: SIM | Memory | Battery          2.5 | 3 | 3                                  2.5 | 3 | 3                                1.5 | 1.5 | 3
    Shortcut keys: Music | Camera | Messaging | Browser   ✖|✖|✔|✖                                      ✖|✖|✖|✖                                    ✖|✔|✖|✖
      WLAN | FM Radio / TV | Torch                        ✖|✖|✖                                        ✖ | TV | ✖                                 ✖|✖|✖
    Navigation aid                                        D-pad                                        D-pad                                      D-pad
    Overall ease of use | Smoothness of UI ***            4|5                                          4|4                                        4 | 4.5
    PERFORMANCE
    Built-in speaker | Loudness ***                       2|3                                          2|2                                        3.5 | 2.5
    Display: Quality *** | Viewing angle **               3.5 | 1.5                                    3.5 | 3                                    4 | 2.5
    Imaging quality (Camera) ***                          2                                            2.5                                        2
    WARRANTY
    Warranty period                                       1 Year                                       500 days                                   1 Year
   * Prices are indicative and are subject to change, taxes extra         ** Scores out of 3     *** Scores out of 5


   62      05/2011        INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                                                                      TEST CENTER
                                                                                                                                                         QWERTY PHONE COMPARISON


12                                                13                                        14                                             15



BYOND Q99                                         G’FIVE GC90                               MICROMAX Q50                                   G’FIVE G580
Byond                                             Kingtech Electronics                      Micromax                                       Kingtech Electronics
020-41029633                                      0120-4060555                              011-44770000                                   0120-4060555
NA                                                contatcus@gfivemobile.com                 info@micromaxinfo.com                          contatcus@gfivemobile.com
Rs. 3,500                                         Rs. 5,499                                 Rs. 2,900                                      Rs. 2,799

                        48                                            46                                         46                                        39

                   43                                                   50                                             55                                             55

                                  60                                    48                                        49                                             48

                         52                                                   57                                           58                                              58

                                       73                                            100                                        73                                                        100

  0                          50             100     0                        50       100     0                       50             100     0                        50                   100

52                                                52                                        52                                             51



60 x 112 x 13.8 mm | 90 g                         57.5 x 114.2 x 14.5 mm | 128.5 g          60 x 114 x10.4 mm | 96 g                       51.1 x 113.7 x 13 mm | 110 g
GSM + GSM                                         GSM + GSM + CDMA                          GSM + GSM                                      GSM + GSM
500 KB | 2 GB                                     269 KB | None                             24 MB | None                                   294 KB | None
2-inch, 65K color, 176 x 220                      2.2-inch, 220 x 176                       2.2-inch, 262K color, 320 x 240                2.4-inch, 240 x 320
1.3 MP | ✖ | ✖                                    3 MP | ✔ | ✖                              2 MP | ✖ | ✖                                   3 MP | ✖ | ✖
✖|✔|✖                                             ✖|✔|✖                                     ✖|✔|✖                                          ✖|✔|✖

✔|✔|✔                                             ✔|✔|✔                                     ✖|✖|✔                                          ✔|✔|✔
✔|✔|✖                                             ✔|✖|✔                                     ✖|✖|✔                                          ✔|✖|✖
✖|✖                                               ✖|✖                                       ✔|✖                                            ✖|✖
✖ | ✖ | 3.5 mm | ✔                                ✔ | ✔ | 3.5 mm | ✔                        ✖ | ✖ | 3.5 mm | ✖                             ✖ | ✖ | 3.5 mm | ✔
✖ | Micro USB | ✔                                 ✖ | Proprietary | ✖                       ✖ | Micro USB | ✔                              ✖ | Proprietary | ✖
1000 mAh | 4 hours                                1500 mAh | 4 hours                        1000 mAh | 3 hours                             1000 mAh | 4 hours
✖ | NA                                            ✔ | Earbuds                               ✔ | Earbuds                                    ✖ | Earbuds

3.5                                               3                                         4                                              4
3|1                                               2.5 | 2                                   3|3                                            2.5 | 2
✖|✖                                               ✔|✖                                       ✖|✖                                            ✔|✖
✖                                                 ✖                                         ✖                                              ✖
3.5                                               3                                         4.5                                            3.5



3.5 | 3.5 | 5                                     4 | 4 | 3.5                               4 | 3.5 | 4                                    2 | 2 | 3.5
3|3                                               2.5 | 2                                   3 | 1.5                                        2 | 1.5
✖|✖                                               ✖|✖                                       ✖|✖                                            ✖|✖
2|2|3                                             3|3|2                                     2.5 | 1.5 | 2                                  2|3|3
✔|✔|✔|✖                                           ✔|✖|✖|✖                                   ✖|✖|✔|✖                                        ✔|✔|✔|✖
✖|✖|✔                                             ✖|✖|✖                                     ✖|✖|✖                                          ✖|✖|✖
D-pad + Optical Trackpad                          D-pad                                     Optical Trackpad                               Jogdial + Touchscreen
4|5                                               4 | 4.5                                   4|5                                            4|4

2 | 3.5                                           2 | 2.5                                   2.5 | 4                                        2.5 | 4
3.5 | 2                                           3.5 | 1.5                                 3.5 | 1.5                                      2.5 | 1.5
0.5                                               3                                         2                                              3.5

1 Year                                            500 days                                  1 Year                                         500 days



                                                                                                                                     INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                 05/2011         63
     TEST CENTER
QWERTY PHONE COMPARISON


                                                          16                                            17                                        18
    SpecScan

    NAME                                                  VIDEOCON V1476                                TECH-COM TQ-21                            G’FIVE G216
    Contact                                               Videocon Mobile Services                      Shree Sagarmata distrubutors              Kingtech Electronics
    Phone                                                 0124-33660000                                 011-26428541                              0120-4060555
    E-mail                                                support@udcl.in                               techcom@airtelmail.in                     contatcus@gfivemobile.com
    Price*                                                Rs. 2,675                                     Rs. 2,999                                 Rs. 2,699
    OVERALL
    Features (35%)                                                    31                                               38                                       38

    Build quality (15%)                                                        51                                       40                                      38

    Ergonomics (25%)                                                          48                                             50                                      43

    Performance (20%)                                                                   62                                   52                                           49

    Warranty (5%)                                                                            73                                        73                                           100

                                                            0                      50             100     0                   50            100     0                          50    100

    Overall (Out of 100%)                                 47                                            46                                        45
    Value For Money
    FEATURES
    Dimensions (WxHxD) | Weight                           55 x 112 x 11 mm | 85 g                       47 x 112 x 14.5 mm | 104 g                54 x 95 x 13 mm | 75 g
    SIM Card support                                      GSM + GSM                                     GSM + GSM                                 GSM + GSM
    Memory: Internal | Bundled                            123 KB | None                                 250 KB | None                             2 MB | None
    Display                                               2-inch, 65K color, 220 x 176                  2.2-inch, 262K color, 320 x 240           2.2-inch, 220 x 176
    Camera | Secondary camera | Flash                     0.3 MP | ✖ | ✖                                1.3 MP | ✖ | ✖                            0.3 MP | ✖ | ✖
    Connectivity: EDGE | Bluetooth | WLAN                 ✖|✔|✖                                         ✖|✔|✖                                     ✖|✔|✖
    Social networking apps (Built-in)
      Yahoo | MSN | Facebook                              ✖|✖|✖                                         ✔|✔|✔                                     ✔|✔|✔
      Twitter | Skype | Nimbuzz                           ✖|✖|✔                                         ✔|✖|✖                                     ✔|✖|✔
    Pushmail | Webmail                                    ✖|✖                                           ✖|✖                                       ✖|✖
    FM w/o antenna | TV | Earphone jack | Torch           ✖ | ✖ | 3.5 mm | ✖                            ✖ | ✖ | 3.5 mm | ✖                        ✖ | ✖ | 3.5 mm | ✔
    Accelerometer | PC interface | Charge from USB        ✖ | Mini USB | ✔                              ✖ | Mini USB | ✖                          ✖ | Mini USB | ✖
    Bettery rating | Rated talk time                      1500 mAh | 5 hours                            1200 mAh | 4 hours                        900 mAh | 4 hours
    Bundled sleeve / cover | Handsfree type               ✖ | Earbuds                                   ✖ | Earbuds                               ✖ | Earbuds
    BUILD QUALITY
    Quality ***: Shell                                    4                                             3.5                                       3
    Quality **: Buttons | Handsfree                       3 | 2.5                                       2.5 | 1.5                                 2|2
    Use of metal in construction | Port flaps             ✖|✖                                           ✖|✖                                       ✖|✖
    Scratch-resistant body                                ✖                                             ✖                                         ✖
    Aesthetic appeal ***                                  4                                             3                                         3
    ERGONOMICS
    Keypad
      Button size | Spacing | Tactility ***               4.5 | 4 | 3.5                                 3 | 3.5 | 4                               2.5 | 4 | 3.5
      Legibility of characters ** | Backlight **          3 | 1.5                                       3 | 2.5                                   2 | 2.5
    Hot-swap memory | Dedicated volume controls           ✖|✖                                           ✖|✖                                       ✖|✖
    Installation ease **: SIM | Memory | Battery          3|3|3                                         3|3|2                                     2|3|2
    Shortcut keys: Music | Camera | Messaging | Browser   ✖|✖|✖|✖                                       ✖|✔|✖|✖                                   ✔|✖|✖|✖
      WLAN | FM Radio / TV | Torch                        ✖|✖|✖                                         ✖|✖|✖                                     ✖|✖|✔
    Navigation aid                                        D-pad                                         D-pad + Optical Trackpad                  D-pad
    Overall ease of use | Smoothness of UI ***            4|5                                           4|5                                       4 | 2.5
    PERFORMANCE
    Built-in speaker | Loudness ***                       3.5 | 3.5                                     2|4                                       2.5 | 3.5
    Display: Quality *** | Viewing angle **               3|2                                           2.5 | 1.5                                 2 | 1.5
    Imaging quality (Camera) ***                          2.5                                           2.5                                       2.5
    WARRANTY
    Warranty period                                       1 Year                                        1 Year                                    500 days
   * Prices are indicative and are subject to change, taxes extra          ** Scores out of 3     *** Scores out of 5


   64      05/2011        INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
      TEST CENTER
SOLID STATE DRIVE COMPARISON




                                        Speed Demons
                                             Give your PC a mighty speed boost by
                                             switching from a hard drive to a solid
                                            state drive. CHIP tested 12 SSDs ranging
                                           from entry-level to blazingly fast models.
                                                 BY ANAND TULIANI, FRANCIS D'SA AND PRANAV TONSEKER




     66   05/2011   INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                          Mexy Xavier                   SMS us!   Story code: TSS to 51818
                                                                                                                                                       TEST CENTER
                                                                                                                                           SOLID STATE DRIVE COMPARISON




T
        wo years ago, when solid state                 heat up less and consume less energy.
        drives first appeared in the                    The only drawback is that they aren’t
                                                                                                                SILICON POWER E20
        market, they were expensive                    available in very large capacities and
and there weren’t many brands and                      models with higher capacities are very
capacities to choose from. Currently,                  expensive. The entry-level segment
many manufacturers offer a range of                    starts with 30 GB models, which cost
SSDs and prices have dropped too.                      a few hundred Rupees less than a 1 TB
   Although platter-based hard drives                  hard drive. These drives are ideal for use
offer incredible price-per-GB ratios, SSDs             as the boot drive.
are more than twice as fast. They can                     In this roundup, we tested all kinds
read and write data at high speeds due                 of SSDs, from the most affordable to
to the absence of moving parts. The                    the fastest, to the most capacious.
                                                                                                                  SPECIFICATIONS
seek times are negligible, unlike hard                 Take your pick from the table on the
                                                                                                               Rs 9,820
drives, where spindle speed and head                   next spread, which also covers the
                                                                                                               Form factor: 2.5 in; Capacity: 128 GB; SATA interface: 3 Gb/s.
movement result in latency. SSDs also                  performance scores and prices.
                                                                                                               CONTACT                  Silicon Power
                                                                                                               PHONE                    9971574923
                                                                                                               EMAIL                    india_service@silicon-power.com

TEST PROCESS                                           we awarded higher points to drives                         RATINGS
Comparing and testing solid state hard                 which feature a higher cache memory                     FEATURES
                                                                                                               PERFORMANCE
drives involves just three categories                  size. Finally, drives which bundle
                                                                                                               OVERALL RATING
of tests, which include the feature                    along a 3.5-inch mounting plate for                     VALUE FOR MONEY

set, actual performance and the                        computer cases scored higher points.
                                                       PERFORMANCE: In this section, we put

                                                                                                               E
warranty period. In this test, we noted                                                                                  20 is Silicon Power’s mainstream
down the features and warranty                         each drive through a series of synthetic                          series of solid state drives,
period of each hard drive and later                    and real-world tests. We ran tests such                           which is targeted at those who
put each drive to a series of synthetic                as PCMark Vantage, SiSoft Sandra 2011                   want good value for money. The E20
and real-world tests. After finalizing                  and HD Tach to log the random access                    is available in four capacities – 32 GB,
the scores, we analyzed the drives’                    time and read/write speeds. Finally, a                  64 GB, 128 GB and 256 GB. The one
features, performance and warranty                     real-world test was performed using the                 that we received from Silicon Power
against each other to determine the                    File Copy test utility. This test physically            was the 128 GB variant. There were
best performers. Let’s briefly run                      copies (not simulates) files amounting to                very few drives in the round up which
through each of these three sections.                  4 GB in size, in both linear and random                 were able to both read and write data
FEATURES: Internal storage drives,                     fashion, between the hard drive and                     at over 200 MB/s, and the E20 is one
especially SSD drives (as they do not                  the system memory (RAM). The data                       of them. In our real world file transfer
have any moving parts), have very few                  is transferred in a particular period of                test, the drive managed to copy 4 GB
characteristics to offer. For example:                 time, which is later converted into the                 worth of multiple files in 19 seconds. HD
RPM speeds, acoustics, number of                       throughput speed (MB/s).                                Tach reported average read and write
heads and platters, etc are completely                 WARRANTY: Each manufacturer must                        speeds of 237.6 MB/s and 229 MB/s
eliminated. In this section, we recorded               offer a robust warranty for their product               respectively. Going by the overall read
information such as the capacity,                      in case of any future mishaps. Therefore,               and write scores in all the benchmarks,
interface type and cache memory                        the product that carries the highest                    the Silicon Power E20 is the clear winner.
(buffer memory) of each drive. The                     amount of warranty period is awarded                        Scores aside, the E20 is also the
amount of cache memory present                         greater number of points.                               most affordable 128 GB SSD in this
does affect the read/write speeds                      VALUE FOR MONEY: This section is                        round-up. While 128 GB models by
(the overall performance) and hence                    critical and highlights the product’s worth             other brands cost around Rs 12,500,
                                                       in terms of price and performance, and                  this one costs Rs 2,700 less and offers
                                                       definitely not forgetting capacity. We                   a price per GB ratio of Rs 76.7, which is
                                                       evaluated the VFM index based on the                    the least when compared to all other
                                                       combined scores of its performance and                  drives. In fact, the price per GB ratio
                                                       capacity in ratio to its price.                         is lesser than that of drives of lower
                                                          Now that you’ve gone through the                     capacities. So if you buy this drive,
                                                       details of how we evaluate each drive’s                 you get both blistering performance
                                                       characteristics and performance, it                     as well as good bang for the buck.
                                                       is time to take a look at the features                  VERDICT: A brilliant performer at an
                                                       offered by all the SSDs, how they all                   excellent price.
                                                       scored, as well as the winners of the Best              FOR: Excellent read and write speeds,
                                                       Performance and Best Value awards.                      very well priced.
Some manufacturers bundled a 3.5-inch mounting                                    – anand.tuliani@chip.in      AGAINST: 3.5-inch bracket is not
plate along with the SSD drives for use in PC cases.
                                                                                         francis.dsa@chip.in   bundled.


                                                                                                                  INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                    05/2011         67
      TEST CENTER
SOLID STATE DRIVE COMPARISON


              PERSONAL TAKE                                                                                     1                                               2
                                                           SpecScan

                                                          NAME                                                  KINGSTON SSDNOW 100 V                           KINGSTON SSDNOW 100 V+
                                                          Contact                                               Kingston Technology                             Kingston Technology
                     ANAND TULIANI                        Phone                                                 022-42230300                                    022-42230300
                    anand.tuliani@chip.in
                                                          E-mail                                                sales_india@kingston.com                        sales_india@kingston.com
      A low capacity drive is good for basic home or      Price*                                                Rs. 12,599                                      Rs. 11,999
      office PCs, where all you'll be installing is the   OVERALL
      operating system and only the basic                 Features (15%)                                                       40                                                              80


      applications. But if you need a lot of storage      Performance (80%)                                                                        90                                          79


      space for installing large applications like the    Warranty (5%)                                                                                 100                                          100

                                                                                                                  0                 50                    100     0                 50                 100
      Adobe CS5 designing suite or lots of games, I
      would suggest going in for at least a 128 GB
                                                          Overall                                               83                                              80
      SSD. There are two reasons for this. First off,
                                                          Value For Money
      128 GB SSDs offer a good price-per-GB ratio of
                                                          FEATURES
      around Rs 110 per GB. Secondly, they are
                                                          Capacity | Cache                                      128 GB | 64 MB                                  128 GB | 128 MB
                                                          Price-per-GB                                          Rs. 98.43                                       Rs. 93.74
      faster than many models with lower capacities.
                                                          SATA interface | Bundled 3.5-inch mount               3 Gb/s | n                                      3 Gb/s | n
      Out of all the SSDs we have tested, the Silicon
                                                          PERFORMANCE
      Power E20 is the smartest choice. In addition
                                                          PCMark Vantage - HDD score                            20320                                           23510
      to being the best overall performer, with read
                                                          Sisoft Sandra 2011: Linear (R / W) | Random (R / W)   247 MB/s / 111 MB/s | 203 MB/s / 187 MB/s       277 MB/s / 170 MB/s | 212 MB/s / 100 MB/s
      and write speeds of over 200 MB/s, it’s also
                                                          HD Tach: Average (R / W) | Burst speed (Avg)          229.4 MB/s / 220 MB/s | 256 MB/s                202.3 MB/s / 197 MB/s | 233 MB/s
      the cheapest 128 GB drive in the round-up. In
                                                          File Copy test: Linear (R / W) | Random (R / W)       238 MB/s / 246 MB/s | 203 MB/s / 198 MB/s       245 MB/s / 201 MB/s | 176 MB/s / 115 MB/s
      fact, it even costs less than some drives with
                                                          WARRANTY
      lesser capacities. Also note that two 128 GB
                                                          Warranty period                                       3 years                                         3 years
      SSDs cost less than a 256 GB SSD – a good
      option for RAID.

                                                                                                                7                                               8
                                                           SpecScan

                           FRANCIS D'SA
                         francis.dsa@chip.in              NAME                                                  MUSHKIN CALLISTO DELUXE                         CORSAIR FORCE F120
                                                          Contact                                               Prime ABGB                                      Corsair
      What would you actually need a superfast            Phone                                                 022-67402000                                    1800-425-5464
      storage drive for? Definitely not for storage.      E-mail                                                neelima@primeabgb.com                           salesindia@corsair.com
      SSDs are specifically aimed towards speedy          Price*                                                Rs. 13,000                                      Rs. 13,500
      system operations. Operating System booting         OVERALL
      time and resource heavy applications such           Features (15%)                                                  20                                              20

      Photoshop can be pulled up twice as fast            Performance (80%)                                                                   73                                          69

      using an SSD as the primary storage. But as         Warranty (5%)                                                                  67                                                          100

      they fall under a higher price bracket, it can                                                              0                 50                    100     0                  50                100

      be very tricky to choose the right one. In my       Overall                                               65                                              63
      view, if you are on a shoe-string budget but        Value For Money
      still need performance from your desktop PC,        FEATURES
      you should opt for the Kingston SSDNow V            Capacity | Cache                                      90 GB | NA                                      120 GB | NA
      series 30 GB hard drive, which can fulfill your     Price-per-GB                                          Rs. 144.44                                      Rs. 112.50
      requirements to an extent. The drive does lag       SATA interface | Bundled 3.5-inch mount               3 Gb/s | y                                      3 Gb/s | y
      in write speeds, but has an above average           PERFORMANCE
      read speed, which is ideal for basic operating      PCMark Vantage - HDD score                            33527                                           35268
      system and application performance. But if          Sisoft Sandra 2011: Linear (R / W) | Random (R / W)   229 MB/s / 244 MB/s | 230 MB/s / 247 MB/s       229 MB/s / 245 MB/s | 228 MB/s / 245 MB/s
      you need a little more storage and higher           HD Tach: Average (R / W) | Burst speed (Avg)          239.7 MB/s / 233 MB/s | 263 MB/s                203.3 MB/s / 231 MB/s | 249 MB/s
      performance, the Silicon Power E20 128 GB           File Copy test: Linear (R / W) | Random (R / W)       249 MB/s / 138 MB/s | 114 MB/s / 131 MB/s       249 MB/s / 79 MB/s | 150 MB/s / 79 MB/s
      SSD is the one you should opt for. You can          WARRANTY
      also gain exhorbitant speeds using RAID 0.          Warranty period                                       2 years                                         3 years
                                                          * Prices are indicative and are subject to change, taxes extra. **Scores out of 5

     68     05/2011      INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
3                                                 4                                                 5                                                 6



SILICON POWER E20                                 WD SILICON BLUE                                   G.SKILL FALCON                                    OCZ VERTEX 2
Silicon Power                                     Western Digital                                   Prime ABGB                                        Prime ABGB
9971574923                                        9880293193                                        022-67402000                                      022-67402000
india_service@silicon-power.com                   srinivas.sampangi@wdc.com                         neelima@primeabgb.com                             neelima@primeabgb.com
Rs. 9,820                                         Rs. 58,250                                        Rs. 34,000                                        Rs. 13,200

          20                                                                          80                             40                                         20

                                     91                                              76                                                83                                               79

                                          100                                               100                                   67                                             67

    0                 50                    100     0                      50                 100       0                 50                    100       0                 50                    100

78                                                78                                                76                                                70



128 GB | NA                                       256 GB | 128 MB                                   256 GB | 64 MB                                    120 GB | NA
Rs. 76.72                                         Rs. 227.54                                        Rs. 132.81                                        Rs. 110.00
3 Gb/s | n                                        3 Gb/s | n                                        3 Gb/s | n                                        3 Gb/s | y

20480                                             25236                                             24508                                             34883
244 MB/s / 98 MB/s | 195 MB/s / 134 MB/s          242 MB/s / 155 MB/s | 214 MB/s / 153 MB/s         247 MB/s / 169 MB/s | 175 MB/s / 186 MB/s         229 MB/s / 245 MB/s | 227 MB/s / 245 MB/s
237.6 MB/s / 229 MB/s | 260 MB/s                  224 MB/s / 182 MB/s | 253 MB/s                    229.1 MB/s / 220 MB/s | 194 MB/s                  236.5 MB/s / 234 MB/s | 239 MB/s
236 MB/s / 250 MB/s | 205 MB/s / 205 MB/s         205 MB/s / 127 MB/s | 194 MB/s / 104 MB/s         237 MB/s / 174 MB/s | 177 MB/s / 160 MB/s         249 MB/s / 145 MB/s | 150 MB/s / 141 MB/s

3 years                                           3 years                                           2 years                                           2 years



9                                                 10                                                11                                                12



INTEL X25-V                                       KINGSTON SSDNOW V SERIES                          INTEL X25-M                                       TRANSCEND TS32GSSD
Intel Technologies                                Kingston Technology                               Intel Technologies                                Mediaman Infotech
080-28542105                                      022-42230300                                      080-28542105                                      022-43441111
sasupport@mailbox.intel.com                       sales_india@kingston.com                          sasupport@mailbox.intel.com                       santosh@mediamangroup.com
Rs. 5,700                                         Rs. 3,195                                         Rs. 10,800                                        Rs. 5,000

                40                                                              60                          10                                                  20

                      54                                              48                                                  52                                               52

                                          100                                               100                                             100                                  67

  0                   50                    100     0                      50                 100     0                   50                    100     0                   50                    100

54                                                52                                                48                                                45



40 GB | 32 MB                                     30 GB | 64 MB                                     80 GB | 16 MB                                     32 GB | NA
Rs. 142.50                                        Rs. 106.50                                        Rs. 135.00                                        Rs. 156.25
3 Gb/s | y                                        3 Gb/s | y                                        3 Gb/s | n                                        3 Gb/s | n

35623                                             10605                                             20712                                             15611
187 MB/s / 38 MB/s | 135 MB/s / 41 MB/s           189 MB/s / 49 MB/s | 171 MB/s / 15 MB/s           240 MB/s / 9 MB/s | 82 MB/s / 9 MB/s              207 MB/s / 64 MB/s | 187 MB/s / 16 MB/s
237 MB/s / 43 MB/s | 259 MB/s                     196.5 MB/s / 58 MB/s | 222 MB/s                   225.3 MB/s / 31 MB/s | 261 MB/s                   161.1 MB/s / 73 MB/s | 231 MB/s
40 MB/s / 46 MB/s | 137 MB/s / 46 MB/s            233 MB/s / 55 MB/s | 151 MB/s / 33 MB/s           8 MB/s / 14 MB/s | 190 MB/s / 12 MB/s             240 MB/s / 76 MB/s | 174 MB/s / 24 MB/s

3 years                                           3 years                                           3 years                                           2 years


                                                                                                                                            INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                05/2011      69
 TEST CENTER
     TESTED                                  SOFTWARE
                                             SPOTLIGHT
                                          SYSTEM UTILITY




                                         TUNEUP
                                         UTILITIES 2011
                                           VERDICT: A must-have optimization tool for PCs that are used extensively.
                                           FOR: Turbo mode; disk space saving option, problem fixing element.
                                           AGAINST: Though easy to configure, the process is a bit lengthy.



                                      O
                                                 ne of the all-time favorites, TuneUp               such as registry cleaning, defragmenting, broken
                                                 Utilities has always been trusted by               shortcut removal, deleting temporary files, and
                                                 system administrators and enthusiasts.             optimization of the startup and shutdown. The
                                      The utility comes to the rescue when you                      one-click option does the same, but immediately.
                                      experience Windows behaving sluggish after                    OPTIMIZE SYSTEM: This helps in disabling
                                      day-to-day use. The operating system tends                    and/or uninstalling unwanted programs,
                                      to get slow due to several reasons - erratic                  disabling programs from startup, and other
                                      and fragmented hard drives or registry,                       maintenance tasks. A great feature here is the
                                      unwanted files and programs occupying space,                   TuneUp Programs On-Demand Technology,
                                      unnecessary processes in the memory, etc.                     which helps start a particular program or service
                                      TuneUp Utilities 2011 has a bunch of features                 only when demanded, saving huge amounts of
                                      under one roof which help tweak, repair and                   memory space and processor utilization.
                                      optimize Windows to quite an extent. The                      GAIN DISK SPACE: This section is our favorite;
                                      utility is reasonably priced and is very simple to            it features a complete analysis of the hard drive
                                      configure and use. It features several segments,               and lists down the amount of unwanted files
                                      which help with the system’s current status and               that occupy hard drive space. These include
                                      recommendations for tweaking, optimization of                 all unnecessary files, windows functions
                                      the system, disk space retrieval, fixing registry              (hibernation files, search indexes, messenger
                                      problems, and customizing Windows according                   cache), and old backups (system restore points).
                                      to one’s personal preference.                                 Additionally, one can also find and securely delete
                                      STATUS AND RECOMMENDATIONS: This                              large files that you might not know even existed.
                                      section is beneficial for automation in optimizing             FIX PROBLEMS: This section helps
                                      the operating system. It features two modes—                  troubleshoot areas in the operating system
                                      automatic and one-click maintenance. The                      where problems usually crop up. For example, it
                                      automatic mode has options to run when in idle                can help you fix issues that usually come up after
                                      mode every ‘X’ number of days and can run tasks               prolonged usage of Windows, such as menu bar




The user interface is pretty easy to follow. The system's present optimization   1-Click Maintenance is a pre-defined tweaking setup which tackles the registry,
status is highlighted on the main screen for you to analyze and tweak.           shortcuts and temp files and also automatically optimizes the system.



70    05/2011       INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                                       SMS us!      Story code: TSM to 51818
                                                                      ON DVD
errors, or ‘run’ command not showing up, taskbar
not being displayed, icon errors, link failures, font
problems, system updates, etc. You can also restore
recently deleted files, check and fix for hard drive
errors, list detailed information of the hardware and
software, and display running processes.                              MAY 2011
CUSTOMIZE WINDOWS: Here, you can change
or modify the look and settings of the Windows                        RED HOT APPLICATIONS
operating system. This includes transforming                          Adobe Acrobat X Pro                              NewTek LightWave™ 10
the logon screen or visual styles, or the overall
                                                                      Autodesk SketchBook Pro 2011                     Xara 3D Maker 7.0.0.415
appearance of Windows. You can also download
and apply new themes for Windows for free.
                                                                      FULL GAMES                          AnimateGif 0.85                    Immunet Protect Free 3.0.18
Plenty of customization options are available                                                             Appnimi Video Converter 1.0        Kaspersky PURE 9.0.0.192
                                                                      Atlantis
here, which deal with minute settings of programs                     Elementals: The Magic Key           Burning Mill Advanced 0.44.1.0     Malware Defender 2.7.3.0002
                                                                                                          CDBurnerXP 4.3.8.2523              My Lockbox FREE 2.4 Build
such as browsers, mail clients, or the network,                       Persian Puzzle
                                                                      Time to Hurry: Nicole’s Story       Fisheye Explorer 1.03                2.4.15.303
administration of logon screens, drives and memory                                                        Free MP3 Converter 3.2             Panda Antivirus Pro 2011
                                                                      Wizard Land
or even standard tweaks and settings related to                                                           Freemake Video Converter 2.1.0.3     10.00.00
                                                                                                          Image Analyzer 1.33                Portable Threat Killer 1.7.3.0
input modes, startup and the taskbar.
                                                                      GAME ADD ONS                        InfraRecorder 0.52 (32-bit)        Privatefirewall 7.0.23.4
TURBO MODE: This section is the best of all; it is a                  Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare      Kantaris 0.6.9                     Secure Folder 4.4.0.0
one-click solution, which can be either temporarily                     Hollow Multiplayer Map            MAGIX Mobile Movie Creator         Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus
                                                                      Crysis 2 Multiplayer Demo              4.0.0.18 and more...              2011 8.0.0.624 and more...
applied until shutdown or permanently applied
                                                                        v1.2 Patch
until it is relaxed. This mode boosts the system                      Decisive Campaigns:                 INTERNET
                                                                        The Blitzkrieg From Warsaw to
                                                                                                                                             SYSTEM
performance by at least 25 percent, if not more,                                                          anyTV 2.61                         Advanced SystemCare 4.0
                                                                        Paris v1.04g Patch                Core FTP LE 2.2 (Build 1673)
by running tasks such as postponing scheduled                                                                                                  Beta 1.5
                                                                      Gary Grigsbys World at War:         DC++ 0.782                         Avantquest Expert PDF 7
processes like defragmentation, maintenance                             A World Divided v1.040 Patch      Firefox 4.0 Bengali                  Business Edition
and automatic updates. Further, it can also turn off                  Star Sentinel Tactics v1.01 and     Firefox 4.0 English
                                                                      more...                                                                CCleaner 3.04.1389
                                                                                                          Firefox 4.0 Gujarati               Chameleon Window Manager
auto-sync modes with cameras and mobile phones,
                                                                                                          Firefox 4.0 Hindi                    1.1.0.123
disable Aero themes and switch the Windows power                      GAME DEMOS                          Firefox 4.0 Kannada                CopyTexty 1.2.0
plan to Performance Mode. Additionally, it can turn                   Crysis 2 - Multiplayer              Firefox 4.0 Maithili               EASEUS Partition Master 7.1.1
                                                                      Farm 2                              Firefox 4.0 Malayalam              Effective Notes Reminder Free
off media sharing, Windows search and indexing,                       Legend of Fae                       Firefox 4.0 Marathi                  1.410.000
error reporting, rarely used services, and a lot more.                PreVa                               Firefox 4.0 Oriya                  ESET SysInspector 1.2.026.0
These rules can be applied by default or can be set                                                       Firefox 4.0 Punjabi                iRobosoft Word 4.0.0.4
                                                                                                          Firefox 4.0 Tamil                  Mz RAM Booster 4.1
according to your preferences.                                        GAME TRAILERS                       Firefox 4.0 Telugu                 NiceCopier 11.08.03
We installed the application on a standard                            Cars 2: The Video Game - Teaser     Free Download Manager 3.5          Nitro PDF Reader 1.4.0.11
                                                                      Crysis 2 Be Fast                       Build 954 RC                    PDF Converter Pro 8.88
desktop computer (as a test rig), which was
                                                                      DC Universe Online - Origin Story   Freemake Video Downloader          PowerArchiver 12.00 RC2
being optimized using various other utilities                           - Tech Mentors                       2.1.1.2                         ProtectStar Data Shredder Free
one after the other. We did find that TuneUp                           Duels of the Planeswalkers          Fresh Download 8.67                  2.2.11.02.21
                                                                        2012 Teaser                       HTMLcoder 2.8                      Remove Empty Directories
Utilities could still scan and detect errors and                      Homefront Launch                    Internet Download Accelerator      Scribus 1.4.0 RC2
optimization tweaks on the test PC and help us                        LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean -        5.9.3.1255 and more...          ShadowProtect Desktop
further optimize the PC. We did all the required                        The Curse of the Black Pearl                                           Edition 4.1.0 and more...
                                                                      Mortal Kombat Raiden and more...
tweaks and optimizations suggested by default                                                             MOBILE
by TuneUp and found our PC working better than
                                                                                                          AndFTP 2.5                         MUST HAVES
                                                                      LINUX                               Atomic (Android) 2.3.2             .NET Framework Version 4.0
we expected. Using the Turbo Mode, we did find                         LINUX DISTRIBUTION                  FBReader (Android) 0.99.18         ATI Catalyst Drivers 11.2 XP/Vista
a substantial boost in performance, where we                          openSUSE GNOME Live CD 11.4         LightsOff (Symbian) 1.1            DirectX 9.0c (Jun 10)
                                                                      XBMC Live 10.1                      MobileWitch Bluetooth Remote       Java Runtime Environment
could see unwanted services being shutdown                                                                   Control 3.3.0                      1.6.0.24 (32-bit)
   SPECIFICATIONS                       and the CPU being                                                 MobiShield (Android) 2.1.4         NVIDIA Forceware 266.58 WHQL
                                                                      LINUX TOOLS                         MobiShield (Symbian) 3.0
                                        freed-up for additional                                                                                 XP/Vista and more...
$49.95                                                                eSpeak 1.45.02
                                                                                                          MyPhoneExplorer 1.8.1
(approx Rs 2,500)                       jobs. Overall, the            Grisbi 0.8.4
                                                                                                          NetQin Mobile Antivirus            ADOBE PLAYERS
www.tune-up.com
                                                                      Group-Office 3.6.29
                                        experience with                                                      (Android) 4.8 and more...       Adobe Air 2.6.0.19120
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
                                                                      KTorrent 4.1.0
                                        TuneUp Utilities              Phoronix Test Suite 3.0.1                                              Flash Player 10.2.153.1 (IE &
OS: Windows all; Processor: 1 GHz or                                                                      SECURITY
                                        2011 was great. This          PHPDevShell 3.0.1                                                         Non-IE)
higher; RAM; 1 GB; Disk space: 60 MB.
                                                                      SQLyog Free Edition 8.8.2           Analyze Scanner 4.0.0.800          Shockwave Player 11.5.9.620
CONTACT       TuneUp Corporation        single utility can            TinyMCE 3.4                         AntiVir Personal 10.0.0.635
PHONE         NA                                                                                          AVG Antivirus Professional 2011
                                        help optimize your            Tonido 2.26.0.13504 and more...
                                                                                                                                             E-BOOKS
EMAIL         NA                                                                                             10.0 Build 1204a3402
                                        system extensively,                                               CyberGhost VPN 4.7.0.0             CHIP ARCHIVES
   RATINGS                              in turn helping you           TOOLS                               Emsisoft Anti-Malware 5.1.0.10     December 2010 to February 2011
FEATURES
PERFORMANCE                             save on time and PC           MULTIMEDIA                          F-Secure Antivirus 2011 10.51
EASE OF USE
                                                                      3nity CD/DVD Burner 2.0.1              Build 106                       BUSY
                                        maintenance costs.            AHD Video Converter 2.1.2.0         Heth Client Utility 5.0.75         Accounting, Inventory & Billing
OVERALL RATING
VALUE FOR MONEY                                      - Francis D’sa   ALLPlayer 4.6.0.0                   Hijack Hunter 1.8.4.1              Software
  TEST CENTER
        TESTED



    VERDICT

A WELL-
ROUNDED SUITE,
BUT IT COULD
HAVE BEEN
BETTER.




                                                       SECURITY SUITE


                                                      KASPERSKY PURE
                                                      FOR: Data shredding tool, encryption utility, remote control of PCs in LAN.
                                                      AGAINST: Too many in-depth settings can be daunting for new users.



                                                      K
                                                             aspersky Pure offers all the            isn’t well-versed with security suites.

Each and every component of Kaspersky Pure can be
                                                             features of the Internet Security          Backup and Restore, Parental Control
configured, but it's not a task for novice users.             suite with stronger digital identity    and Password Manager are common
                                                      protection, a password manager, a              features in protection suites, but what
                                                      backup/restore utility and home network        we really liked is the inclusion of a
                                                      security. The main console looks slick and     shredding utility, data encryption tool and
                                                      it presents all the important functions        utilities for erasing temporary files and
                                                      in a grid. The main modules - Backup           application history, which add value.
                                                      and Restore, Computer Protection and              It took 12 minutes to run a first-time
                                                      Parental Control, are lined up at the top.     full scan on the primary partition (26
                                                      A ‘Quick Tasks’ button is present under        GB used) of our test PC, which was the
                                                      each of these, which provides easy access      Lenovo U260 laptop powered by an
                                                      to the related functions. For example, you     Intel Core i3-U380 CPU and 4 GB RAM.
                                                      can run a full system scan and update          Successive scans were quicker and took
   SPECIFICATIONS                                     the definitions via the button under the        under 3 minutes. However, Kaspersky
1 PC (1 year) - Rs 1,995                              Computer Protection module. Below the          needs to work on the memory footprint,
3 PCs (1 year) - Rs 3,495                             main modules are icons for quick access        which can go beyond 50 MB in idle mode.
www.kaspersky.com
                                                      to Additional Tools, Virtual Keyboard,            As per Dennis Technology Labs,
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
                                                      Home Network Control, Data Encryption          Kaspersky Pure ranks 7th in total
OS: Windows XP/Vista/7; RAM: 1 GB;
Drive space: 500 MB.                                  and Password Manager.                          accuracy and 8th in protection. The
CONTACT               Kaspersky Lab India
                                                         Kaspersky Pure is very easy to use so       top performers are Norton 360 v5 and
EMAIL                 india.info@kaspersky-asia.com   long as you don’t delve into fine-grain         Trend Micro Titanium Maximum 2011. We
PHONE                 NA
                                                      settings, because too many nested              suggest going in for the suite that offers
   RATINGS                                            dialog boxes and check boxes can make          the best protection, but if you want to go
FEATURES
                                                      configuring the suite time-consuming.           with this one, first evaluate it.
PERFORMANCE
EASE OF USE                                           Also, it may be daunting for a user who                                           - Anand Tuliani
OVERALL RATING
VALUE FOR MONEY




72      05/2011        INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                             TEST CENTER
                                                                                                                                  TESTED



                                                                                                  VERDICT

                                                                                              A MUCH NEEDED
                                                                                              OVERHAUL, BUT
                                                                                              COMPETING
                                                                                              BROWSERS
                                                                                              AREN’T SITTING
                                                                                              STILL EITHER.


 WEB BROWSER


FIREFOX 4.0
FOR: Clean new interface, updated standards support.
AGAINST: Half-baked tab groups feature.




I
    f you’ve been using any of the twelve    background when not in use. You can
    Firefox 4 betas that have been           choose which Tab Group is currently
    released over the past year, you might   active, but there’s no way to see how               The newer, cleaner interface is the most significant
not notice much at first glance. However,     many others are open in the background,             visual overhaul Firefox has ever had.
this is the most significant overhaul         making it too easy to accidentally
Firefox has ever had, and a lot has          close sites you might later need.
changed under the hood since the last           Under the hood, there’s a new
official release, version 3.6.               JavaScript engine that promises a
    A lot has happened on the Web in         massive boost in page load speeds.
the past year, and the browser war has       Firefox 4 also introduces hardware
heated up in recent months, with IE9,        graphics acceleration, which greatly
Opera 11 and Chrome 10 all trying to         improves the performance of today’s
best each other in terms of raw speed,       graphics-rich Web apps, especially those
HTML5 support, video, security, and          with embedded HD video. Performance
usability. To this end, Firefox 4 has a      was noticeably snappier in day-to-
drastically altered interface with smooth    day use. Standards support is a lot
lines, transparency effects and better       more up-to-date, with more HTML5
use of space. Much of it is borrowed         elements recognized, including advanced                SPECIFICATIONS
from Opera 10/11 and IE 8/9, with tabs       interactive forms, WebM video, and other
                                                                                                 Freeware
now on top, an awkward consolidated          formatting for text and graphics. For               www.firefox.com

“Firefox menu”, and a status bar that        those concerned about privacy, a new                SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

disappears when not in use. Tabs can         option called ‘Do Not Track’ is designed            OS: Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7; Mac OS X 10.5+, Linux;
                                                                                                 RAM: 512 MB; Free space: 200 MB;
be reduced and permanently pinned,           to prevent advertisers from collecting
                                                                                                 CONTACT                Mozilla
which saves space if you leave sites such    information about you, but this will be
                                                                                                 EMAIL                  NA
as your mail and news sources open           ineffective unless advertisers themselves
all day. Tab Groups are visual clusters      agree to honor it.                                     RATINGS
                                                                                                 FEATURES
of tabs, which can be consigned to the                                    - Jamshed Avari        PERFORMANCE
                                                                                                 EASE OF USE
                                                                                                 OVERALL RATING




                                                                                            INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP              05/2011        73
  TEST CENTER
        TESTED



    VERDICT

A VERY GOOD
BACKUP UTILITY
WITH LOTS OF
FEATURES.




                                                       BACKUP UTILITY


                                                      SHADOW PROTECT
                                                      DESKTOP 4
                                                      FOR: Excellent feature set, wizard-driven functions.
The wizard-driven interface for the main functions
makes this utility very easy to use.                  AGAINST: Integrated help instead of online would be better.




                                                      S
                                                             hadowProtect Desktop 4 promises        can be daily, weekly, monthly or in real
                                                             stellar performance and offers an      time. In the last step, you can password-
                                                             extensive feature set. The user        protect the backup and choose to split the
                                                      interface is cluttered and may seem a         backup image into specified file sizes.
                                                      bit intimidating to first-time users. The         In our test, ShadowProtect Desktop
                                                      primary functions are clubbed together in     backed up a 650 GB partition (97 GB
                                                      the left pane of the main interface. The      used) to an external storage device
                                                      right side has tabs for Wizards, Backup       in about 1.5 hours and the size of the
                                                      Jobs, Destinations, Disk Map and Backup       backup image was 75 GB. The speed was
                                                      History. You start with the Wizards tab       average, but the space saving was good.
                                                      to create backups. Alternatively, you can     After creating the backup, you can verify
                                                      click on the Backup function under Tasks      the integrity of the image and explore its
                                                      in the left pane to bring up the Wizard.      contents. Backups can be restored on
                                                      A good thing is that every function in the    the same PC or another PC with different
    SPECIFICATIONS
                                                      left pane brings up a wizard, which makes     hardware. The software also features a
$89.95 (approx Rs 4,200)                              this application easy to use. The Backup      tool for converting backups to Microsoft’s
www.storagecraft.com
                                                      wizard first prompts you to choose the         VHD or VMWare’s VMDK formats. The
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
OS: Windows XP/Vista/7; RAM: 256 MB;                  partitions you wish to backup. Next, you      overall performance of this software is
Drive space: 32 MB.                                   select a location on the hard drive or LAN,   very good. The time taken to backup data
CONTACT                StorageCraft                   where you wish to store the backup. The       depends on the size of the partition and
EMAIL                  contactus@storagecraft.com
                                                      next step asks you to specify the backup      the destination. Backups on local drive will
    RATINGS                                           schedule. Here, you can set the days of the   be fast, but you’ll need patience if you use
FEATURES
                                                      week and the time of backup for full and      an external USB storage device.
PERFORMANCE
EASE OF USE                                           incremental backups. Further, the backups                                - feedback@chip.in
OVERALL RATING
VALUE FOR MONEY




74       05/2011         INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
 VIDEO TRANSCODING UTILITY

MAGIX MOBILE MOVIE
CREATOR
VERDICT: A good utility, but with lots of limitations.
FOR: Easy to use, removes ads from videos, picture enhancements.
AGAINST: Doesn’t support MKV format, freeware utilities offer
more features.




M
              agix Mobile Movie Creator is aimed at beginners, who
              want to transcode videos for playback on cellphones
              and portable players. You start with selecting the
videos you wish to transcode. You can choose multiple videos
because the software supports batch processing. The selected
videos appear as thumbnails in the leftmost pane. In the next
step, you choose a device preset from a drop-down list, but
                                          you’ll have to update the
   SPECIFICATIONS
                                          device list online to get a
$39.99 (approx Rs 1,900)                  broader range to select
www.magix.com

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
                                          from. The software has
OS: Windows XP/Vista/7; RAM: 512 MB;      preset settings for many
Drive space: 700 MB.                      mobile phone models,
CONTACT              Magix                PMPs, PDAs and digital
EMAIL                NA
                                          photo frames by various
   RATINGS                                brands. If your device is
FEATURES
                                          not listed or if you’re an
PERFORMANCE
EASE OF USE                               advanced user, you can
OVERALL RATING                            choose the video format
VALUE FOR MONEY
                                          supported by the player
(3GP, DivX, MPEG-4, Quicktime and WMV) and move on to the
next step. The settings section allows tweaking of parameters
for audio and video codecs and video resolution. Then all you
have to do is click on ‘Transform’.
   Magix Mobile Movie Creator is extremely easy to use and
offers features like removing advertisements from videos and
enhancing picture quality (brightness, saturation and contrast),
which add value. However, the software lacks support for
transcoding MKV files and cropping videos, which could be
deal-breakers.
                                                          - Anand Tuliani
  TEST CENTER
        TESTED


    VERDICT

PERFECT FOR
USERS WHO
WANT TO SURF
THE WEB
WITHOUT
LEAVING AN
IDENTITY TRAIL.



                                                         ANONYMIZATION


                                                        CYBERGHOST VPN
                                                        2011
                                                        FOR: Anonymous surfing, ease of use, almost automated, free.
You can choose from a list of available proxy servers   AGAINST: Expensive for higher volume of data transfers.
based on the status of availability and anonymity.



                                                        T
                                                               he IP address is the trail left         is slow due to high traffic. The developer
                                                               behind on various websites which        guarantees speeds of at least 2 Mb/s, but
                                                               can provide details such as your        we reached up to 3.8 Mb/s. Therefore,
                                                        browsing habits. CyberGhost VPN allows         the application is basically meant for
                                                        the user to surf the Internet anonymously.     home users and not for large corporate
                                                        For this purpose, the transmitted data is      offices. However, there is a data limit of
                                                        encrypted with 128-bit encryption and it       1 GB per month. Additional monthly data
                                                        also has a virtual private network (VPN)       traffic can cost you more, which can be
                                                        managed IP address. So the user actually       purchased according to the package price.
                                                        has the IP address of the respective           Those who opt for the super premium
                                                        CyberGhost/VPN server instead of               option can also take advantage of two
                                                        broadcasting his own IP address. This          Ukrainian and US servers. This also adds
    SPECIFICATIONS                                      works when browsing, downloading,              an advantage on websites which overrule
Freeware                                                using FTP data transfers and also while        Geo-IP-blocked websites. Initiating the
www. cyberghostvpn.com
                                                        file sharing. Only when sending e-mails,        service is quite easy; simply download,
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
                                                        the user has to give up the anonymity          install, create a one-time account, log in,
OS: Windows All; Processor: 1 GHz or higher: RAM: 512
MB or higher; Disk space: 1 MB.                         to prevent the service from spam mail          connect to the server, and start surfing
CONTACT                 S.A.D. Software
                                                        senders abusing it. In practice, the test on   the Internet. You can use CyberGhost VPN
PHONE                   +49 73059629                    CyberGhost VPN worked very well and did        with applications such as Firefox, Opera,
EMAIL                   upport@s-a-d.de
                                                        exactly what it says. The user can choose      Internet Explorer, ICQ, MSN Messenger,
    RATINGS                                             a different VPN server through which the       Skype, Bit-Torrent, downloading
FEATURES
                                                        data is being passed if the transmission       applications, and games.
PERFORMANCE
EASE OF USE                                             speed of a particular connected server                                    - feedback@chip.in
OVERALL RATING
VALUE FOR MONEY




76       05/2011         INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
 TEST CENTER
        TESTED




 PDF CONVERTER                                             SYSTEM UTILITY                                                 DATA SHREDDING UTILITY

AVANQUEST EXPERT                                          NICECOPIER                                                     PROTECTSTAR DATA
PDF 7                                                     VERDICT: A nice file copy utility with a
                                                                                                                         SHREDDER FREEWARE
                                                          few minor flaws.
VERDICT: Lots of features, good                           FOR: Speedy copying, detailed                                  VERDICT: An easy-to-use tool for
performance but a little rough around the                 information while copying.                                     deleting data securely.
edges.                                                    AGAINST: User intervention needed for                          FOR: Easy to use, shreds selective data or
FOR: Converts URLs to PDF.                                duplicate files.                                                entire drive.
AGAINST: Expensive, no convert option                                                                                    AGAINST: None.
from context menu.                                           SPECIFICATIONS
                                                                                                                            SPECIFICATIONS
                                                          Freeware
   SPECIFICATIONS                                         sourceforge.net/projects/nicecopier                            Freeware
                                                                                                                         www.protectstar.com
$109.44 (approx Rs 5,200)                                 SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
www.avanquest.com                                         Operating system: Windows all; processor: 800 MHz or higher;   SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS                                       RAM: 256 MB or higher; Disk space: 5 MB.                       OS: Windows XP/Vista/7; RAM: 256 MB; Drive space: 5 MB.
OS: Windows XP/Vista/7; RAM: 512MB; Drive space: 30 MB.   CONTACT                patricklx                               CONTACT               ProtectStar Inc.
                                                          PHONE                  NA                                      PHONE                 NA
CONTACT               Avanquest Software Publishing
                                                          EMAIL                  patricklx@users.sourceforge.net         EMAIL                 info@protectstar.com
PHONE                 NA
EMAIL                 infouk@avanquest.com
                                                             RATINGS                                                        RATINGS
                                                          FEATURES                                                       FEATURES
   RATINGS
                                                          EASE OF USE                                                    EASE OF USE
FEATURES
                                                          PERFORMANCE                                                    PERFORMANCE
EASE OF USE
                                                          OVERALL RATING                                                 OVERALL RATING
PERFORMANCE
                                                          VALUE FOR MONEY
OVERALL RATING




T    he greatest strength of PDF Expert
     7 lies in converting documents and
URLs to PDFs. It converts both text and
                                                          N     iceCopier is an alternative to
                                                                Windows’ built-in file transfer
                                                          mechanism. Simply install the utility
                                                                                                                         W         hen you sell off or give away
                                                                                                                                   your old PC or hard drive, it’s
                                                                                                                         important to delete confidential data
images from the source and elements                       and it runs automatically in the                               in a way that it’s irrecoverable. This
can be added, modified or deleted. It’s                    background. It automatically overrides                         can be done using a data shredding
as simple as adding the documents and                     the copy/move command from                                     utility, which not only deletes data but
URLs you wish to convert and clicking                     Windows the moment you initiate the                            overwrites the sectors so that nothing
the ‘Create PDF’ button. It then converts                 paste command. The interface starts                            can be recovered. The freeware version
and combines all the sources into a                       up in a small window, which can be                             of Data Shredder can securely erase
single PDF file. Thanks to support for                     positioned to any corner of the screen.                        user-specified files and folders and
Word, Excel and Powerpoint, you can                       It shows information such as the source                        temporary files. It runs one shredding
convert documents to PDF directly,                        and destination folders, file and size                          cycle in which it erases data and
but only in PDF version 1.7. The user                     information, progress bar, time lapsed                         replaces it with random values. There’s
interface has ribbons like in Office                      and throughput speed. It also inspects                         a separate shredding method for SSDs.
2007, which makes it easy to use. The                     the destination folders for duplicate                          In addition to shredding, you can also
software works like a charm, but it has                   files, prompting you with options to                            move data to another location and
a few quirks. Files cannot be converted                   select/deselect, overwrite and rename                          shred the data at the source. The user
from the Windows context menu. At                         files. Sadly, there are no options to                           interface has minimal options, and
this price, this feature should have been                 rename all files in a single click. We                          being freeware, there isn’t much you
added. We hope Avanquest resolves                         would recommend TeraCopy, which is                             can do, which makes this tool very easy
such issues in the next version.                          far superior.                                                  to use.
                                   – feedback@chip.in                                                   - Francis D’sa                                            – Anand Tuliani




78      05/2011         INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
  TEST CENTER
      TESTED




 BROWSER                                                                      GAME

Atomic Web                                                                   Circuloid                         the most intuitive form of
                                                                                                               control, and gameplay is often
Browser                                                                      $0.99 (approx Rs 47)
                                                                                                               frustrating because there’s no
                                                                             iPad; iOS 4.0+                    way to slip a paddle into place
$0.99 (approx Rs 47)                                                         OVERALL RATING                    in time. Several levels feature
iPad, iPhone or iPod touch; iOS 3.0+                                                                           moving targets or difficult
OVERALL RATING                                                                                                 arrangements. The usual
                                                                             Gameplay in Circuloid is          powerups include extra lives
Safari on the iPad is a little                                               identical to classic Arkanoid,    and bonus points, but there
easier to manage than on                                                     except here you have to           are also negative powerups
the iPhone, but it still doesn’t                                             defend the perimeter of the       that deduct lives and points—
make full use of the available                                               circle with your paddle(s). The   which are difficult to avoid
space. Atomic Browser is an                                                  ball can bounce off anything      given the mechanics.
alternative that offers not                                                  and head in any direction, so                       - Jamshed Avari
only actual tabs and a more             or briefly switch to another          you’ll have to be
usable interface, but a number          app. Fullscreen mode lets            quick to swing your
of other improvements. Tabs             you make even better use             paddle to catch it.
function just as they would             of the screen, and you can           Many levels give
on a desktop. Long-tapping              choose which controls appear         you two or three
on a link lets you choose to            as translucent overlays on           paddles, sometimes
open it in a new background             the bottom. You can even             of varying sizes,
tab. When in privacy mode,              download files and send them          but they move
you can have all history,               to other apps for storage or         synchronously when
typed URLs and cookies                  playback.                            you swipe around
erased when you exit the app                              - Jamshed Avari    the circle. It isn’t



                                                                              GAME                             footsoldier, tank and other
 NEWS READER
                                        news items are filtered from                                            vehicle one by one—but
Hitpad                                  popular lists of trending topics.    Tesla Wars HD                     you’ll have to be quick with
                                        Clicking a news item pulls                                             your fingers, because the
                                        up context-related elements          $4.99                             pace gets frenetic. As you
Free
iPad; iOS 3.2+                          in the colored bars helpfully        (approx Rs 243)                   progress, you’ll earn money
OVERALL RATING                          named News, Tweets, Videos,                                            that can buy you repairs,
                                                                             iPad; iOS 4.0+
                                        Web and Photos. The Tweets           OVERALL RATING                    upgrades and weapons. The
Many apps have tried to infuse          bar is hit or miss: you could                                          game is wickedly enjoyable,
a bit of design into the boring         end up with foreign-language         You’re in an empty field,          and you get to throw puddles
act of reading the news, and            updates. The Web bar usually         besieged from all sides and       of radioactive muck, X-ray
Hitpad is the latest take on            shows Wikipedia entries and          charged with the protection of    beams, freeze rays, and other
this idea. It pulls newsfeeds           word definitions, which might         an enormous tower. You have       fantastical weapons at a wide
from various sources on the             not be very useful. You can          to shoot each enemy unit with     variety of enemies. The only
Web, most notably Twitter,              search for your own terms too,       a single burst of electricity!    letdown is that you almost
Bing and Google News. The               but apart from that, there’s         Watch in glee as you fry each     never have enough money to
                                                        nothing much                                                           get through
                                                        to do. More                                                            sticky patches,
                                                        features might                                                         a situation the
                                                        be added, but                                                          developers
                                                        for now, it’s                                                          seem to have
                                                        just a splash                                                          created in
                                                        of design on                                                           order to tempt
                                                        otherwise                                                              you to buy
                                                        mundane                                                                more credits.
                                                        functionality.
                                                           - Jamshed Avari                                                        - Jamshed Avari



80      05/2011        INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                      TEST CENTER
                                                                                                                            TESTED




 SUDOKU                                                                 NETWORK UTILITY

Andoku                                                                 Overlook Fing
Free                                                                   Free
Android                                                                Android 2.1 and above

OVERALL RATING                                                         OVERALL RATING



Sudoku fans will love this                                             Similar to Look@LAN,
game for its simplicity and                                            Overlook Fing helps you
the level of challenge. Puzzles                                        discover other computers and
with Easy and Medium                                                   mobile phones connected
difficulty levels are the kind                                         on your wireless network.
that appear in newspapers. If                                          The other devices are easily
you think they’re too easy, you                                        identifiable with different
can give Hard and Fiendish                                             icons for individual devices
puzzles a shot. When you          use numbers 1 to 9 without           such as phones, tablets,
start a new game, you can         repetition. The extra regions        servers, routers, desktop PCs,
choose the grid style and         parameter has options like           etc. Other than discovering       at home or small offices
extra regions to add a twist      X-Sudoku, Hyper Sudoku and           devices, you can also list the    as well as for engineers for
to the game. Besides the          Percent Sudoku for more              running services and scan         accumulating information
standard 9x9 grid, there’s the    interesting games. Andoku            open TCP ports on the devices     such as open ports and MAC
Squiggly grid style in which      has hundreds of puzzles and          and launch third-party apps       addresses. The app can
random groups of nine boxes       supports pencil-marking              for SSH, Telnet, FTP, FTPS,       also be used for detecting
are color-shaded. In addition     values in cells for easier           SFTP, SCP, HTTP, HTTPS and        unauthorized devices
to the nine 3x3 grids, these      analysis while solving.              SAMBA. This is a great utility    connected to your network.
shaded groups must also                              - Anand Tuliani   to help to setup networks                              - Francis D’sa



 PUZZLE GAME                                                            MEDIA STREAMING

Wood Enigma                                                            Qloud Video Free
Rs 62.28                                                               Free
Android                                                                Android 2.1 and above

OVERALL RATING                                                         OVERALL RATING



Wood Enigma is a puzzle                                                Qloud Video Free allows
game in which you’re given                                             audio and video streaming on
wooden pieces of various                                               your Android phones using
shapes. Some pieces are                                                the wireless or 3G network.
shaped like Tetris blocks,                                             The Qloud server needs to
while others are strangely                                             be installed on a Windows-
shaped. The objective is to                                            based machine to stream
fit all the pieces together                                             media to the phone over the
on the target shape. Unlike       places. The free version of the      network. All you need to do
Phit Droid, which is similar,     game has 50 puzzles and the          on the server end is to specify   match your device’s screen
the pieces can be rotated by      full version has a compilation       the media files/folders, add       resolution. You can also
tapping on them. You start        of 875 puzzles. Each page            a user and password for           stream Qloud server to the
with simple shapes requiring      has 25 puzzles to choose             authentication and start the      Internet using the external
few pieces to solve and then      from and you have to solve           server. The Android application   IP address of your router (if
progress to tougher puzzles.      the first 75 puzzles (3 pages)        can then connect to this server   port forwarding is allowed on
At times, you’ll end up           to unlock the later stages.          and port and play the content.    your router). This way, you can
spending a lot of time on one     Highly addictive and no hints        The playback is smooth and        share your personal media
puzzle trying to rotate pieces    available!                           with MKV support, you don’t       files across the globe.
and fit them in all possible                          - Anand Tuliani   need to transcode files to                              - Francis D’sa



                                                                                               INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP    05/2011     81
 TEST CENTER
  LONG TERM




Long Term Test                                                        The CHIP Test Center steps out into the real world!


 GAMING ACCESSORY                                                         PORTABLE MEDIA PLAYER

Kinect for Xbox 360                                                      Zebronics Cinema 4.3

W                                                                       B
           hen we reviewed Kinect for Xbox 360 in our                           ig brands like Apple, Cowon and Creative produce
           January issue, we were quite impressed by the                        the best portable media players, they command a
           technology. We had also reviewed two of the                          premium price. On the other hand, smaller brands like
launch titles for the motion control tech – Dance Central and            Yes and Zebronics offer super affordable models out of which
Kinect Sports. To me, these were the only two decent Kinect              some seem very promising. One such player is the Zebronics
games from the entire launch catalogue, and months later,                Cinema 4.3, which I’ve been playing around with for more than
that still remains the case. The last few months have been               a month. It gets its name from
                                                                                                me
peppered with Kinect game releases from third parties, but               the fact that it sports a large
these have mostly been either mini-game collections, which               4.3-inch display. It features
                                                                                                 tures
are a dime a dozen on the Wii; fitness games, which have                  8 GB of built-in storage,
                                                                                                e,
also been done to death; or dance/rhythm games, a genre                  memory expansion,
which seems perfectly suited for Kinect, but barring Dance               FM radio, TV-out and
Central, none of the games have implemented it well enough.              native support for
  Not that it’s any surprise, but there is absolutely no content         DivX, MP4, MKV and MOV
available for Kinect that would appeal to hardcore gamers.               videos. Priced at Rs 4,200, this
                                                                                                200,
Microsoft made it very clear that they were targeting the casual         player provides great bang for the buck.
audience with the Kinect, and they’ve been tremendously                    The Cinema 4.3 comes as a kit; you
                                                                                            mes
successful in doing this. Guinness has recognized Kinect as the          get a stylus, charger, earphones and a clip-on
                                                                                                 arphones
fastest selling consumer electronics device ever (over a two             stand. You can use your index finger to operate the player,
month period), eclipsing the likes of the iPad.                          but the responsiveness and touch accuracy of the resistive
  Surprisingly, most of the post-release support for Kinect              touchscreen is better with a stylus. The clip-on stand is used
has come from games by third-party publishers like Ubisoft.              to keep the player upright on a flat surface, so you don’t need
Microsoft itself hasn’t released a single Kinect title since             to hold it while you’re sitting at your desk. What I found missing
launch, which is very strange, although Rare is said to be               was a pouch and an AV cable for using the TV-out function.
working on Kinect Sports 2. Aside from that, there are a few               Initially, I was turned off by the player because transferring
games coming up that may make Kinect owners wipe the dust                media to it was painful. It took 2.5 minutes to transfer a 700 MB
off the shiny black camera. These include the new title from             movie, which translates to a write speed of 4.6 MB/s. So if you
the Carnival Games series of mini-game compilations. There’s             have lots of movies or music to transfer, it would be best to click
also Ubisoft’s Child of Eden, a unique on-rails shooter created          ‘Paste’ and go to bed.
by Tetsuya Mizuguchi. On the horizon, there’s Double Fine’s                I didn’t face any issues with music and video playback. It
Sesame Street game Once Upon A Monster, as well as The                   works like a charm, except that the tiny speaker behind the
Gunstringer by indie developer Twisted Pixel. The biggest of             player, although loud, sounds muffled. So you have to use
them all perhaps is Michael Jackson: The Experience, which is a          earphones and the bundled set is really good. In fact, I found
dance game featuring Jackson’s legendary music catalogue.                them to be better than the ones bundled with the Apple iPods.
  But for gamers used to experiences like Assassin’s Creed               The user interface is fluid and intuitive. At no point did I have to
and Battlefield, dance games and mini-game compilations just              hunt for options. It will just take a few minutes for a new user
won’t cut it. That’s not Microsoft’s fault; we’re simply not the         to get used to the UI. I also tried using subtitle files (.SRT) with
target audience for Kinect. So anyone expecting games for the            videos and it worked. It’s as simple as copying the file in the
Halo-playing audience can just forget about it.                          same folder as the movie file and the subtitles get displayed
                                                     - Sameer Desai      when you play the movie. The battery life is great; on a full
                                                                         charge you can watch two 1.5 hour movies.
                                                                           Apart from the average build quality, physical volume control
                                                                         buttons and missing pouch and AV cable, the Zebronics Cinema
                                                                         4.3 is indeed a good PMP. If you’re on a shoestring budget and
                                                                         want a good device, I strongly recommend this.
                                                                                                                                - Anand Tuliani



82    05/2011    INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                          SMS us!   Story code: TLT to 51818
                                                                                                                        TEST CENTER
                                                                                                                         LONG TERM




 TABLET                                                                  VIDEO CAMERA

Apple iPad                                                              Sony Handycam
                                                                        DCR-SR68E
A
        fter months of reading about the iPad and playing
        with a few imported ones, I finally got to spend quality



                                                                        T
        time with one when the Indian launch happened in                       he Sony Handycam
late January. I put aside all thoughts of it being delayed and                 DCR-SR68E
soon outdated, choosing instead to focus on the then and                       is an HDD-
there. The iPad was extraordinary fun to use; at times almost           based video camera
thrilling in its simplicity and straightforwardness. At the time        featuring 80 GB of
of its initial review, I wondered whether the novelty would             built-in storage and
wear off or whether there would actually be place for an iPad,          60x optical zoom. It’s
or any sort of tablet, in my day-to-day routine.                        light and compact.
  After three months, I’m happy to report that the iPad has             The camera is great
indeed found a permanent place in my gadget arsenal. It is by           for instant outdoor
far the most convenient thing I’ve carried around in my bag             as well as indoor video shooting and is as quick as simply
everywhere I go—not unnoticeable, but not a burden at all.              flipping open the LCD screen and pressing the record button. I
I’ve tried all sorts of laptops and netbooks, and decided the           have been using it for more than a year now and it works with
shoulder strain just isn’t worth the superior utility they provide.     minimum fuss. All you need is to set controls such as white
At work, it can never be the primary machine on which I type            balance, exposures, focus modes and recording quality just
out full stories and check page layouts, but if I’m away from my        once and be ready for action whenever the moment arrives.
desk and need a document or email, using a Remote Desktop               From power on to recording takes less than five seconds. The
Connection app via Wi-Fi is surprisingly handy. At home, it’s           captured videos are smooth and almost flawless, thanks to
my bedtime reading and movie-watching device of choice.                 the Carl Zeiss lens and the image stabilization. Night videos
That doesn’t mean that the work PC or the laptop at home are            are also pretty decent using the built-in LED light, but far-off
useless; it’s just that having the luxury of choice, the iPad is        subjects cannot be spotted. The audio pickup quality is
simply more comfortable in many situations.                             crystal clear. The zoom factor is 60x, enabling you to capture
  Many apps and games make full use of the iPad screen and              tight shots from quite a distance. I once used the Direct Copy
capabilities, and are simply a pleasure to use. No phone screen         mode as a life-saver for transferring videos directly from the
can match it when it comes to Web browsing, information                 camera to an external storage drive without the need of a
referencing, or just playing games. My iPad is a Wi-Fi+3G model,        computer when I was short of onboard storage. The camera
but with Wi-Fi nearly everywhere, I haven’t yet found any need          also features an option for database repairing; a must-have
to pay an additional monthly fee. Apple launched the iPad in            feature in case of any hard drive errors. Now moving on to
                         India right when the buzz around its           the negatives, of which there aren’t many, but they cannot be
                                    successor was reaching fever        ignored either. Whilst zooming in fast, the focus tends to blur
                                          pitch. Sure enough, just      out and takes a short while to adjust. The color reproduction
                                          one month later, the          is just above average; the videos are not as sharp as I
                                         newer, slimmer, more           would have liked. The recorded videos look pretty soft with
                                     powerful iPad 2 became             noticeable fringing on subjects under bright lights. The image
                                  available nearly everywhere           stabilization made zooming in on far off subjects a little
                               else in the world. In that context,      painful without a tripod. Still shoots are a complete no-no
                           the iPad was a letdown even before           because the images are almost unusable. What else can
                       it had a chance. Early adopters were             you expect from a 0.2 megapixel sensor? Using the SR68E
then miffed when Apple cut prices by around Rs 3,000 on each            is child’s play and anyone can become a videographer with
model, and now it seems we’ll see the iPad 2 launch here in just        almost zero effort. I must say, if you are looking for a basic
a few months. As far as indulgences go, a tablet will probably          and easy-to-use entry-level camcorder, this one will surely
make you very happy indeed, but you really need to think hard           fit the need and budget. However, I would recommend also
about where and how you’re actually going to be using it.               checking other similar HD camcorders.
                                                      - Jamshed Avari                                                          - Francis D’Sa



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                                                                                                                             Micromax X1i+
                                                                                                                             Rs 1,700
                                                                                                                             www.micromaxinfo.com
                                                                                                                             verdict An all-rounder with maximum
                                                                                                                             features and excellent battery life.
                                                                                                                             love Memory expansion (2 GB), camera,
                                                                                                                             mobile tracker.
                                                                                                                             hate Glossy front panel is a fingerprint
                                                                                                                             magnet, limited phonebook entries.

                                                                                                                                 SPECIFICATIONS
                                                                                                                             Weight: 95 g; Screen: 1.8 in, 128x160; Phonebook: 100
                                                                                                                             entries; Rated talk time: 15 hours.




                                                                     ANAND'S PICKS

     ULTRA-BUDGET CANDYBARS
                      Strictly for calls and messaging. Marathon battery life guaranteed!




                        Nokia C1-00                                               LG A120
                        Rs 1,500                                                  Rs 1,550
                                                                                  www.samsung.com/in
                        www.nokia.co.in
                        verdict A dual-SIM phone with limited                     verdict Pick this phone if you want
                                                                                  something simple with good audio quality.
                        features and a rugged build from a world-
                        class brand.                                              love Dual speakers, mobile tracker, built-in
                                                                                  antenna for FM radio.
                        love Dual-SIM support, very good build,
                        light weight.                                             hate Memory expansion would have made
                                                                                  this one a great device.
                        hate Absolutely the bare necessities, no
                        extra frills.
                                                                                      SPECIFICATIONS
                                                                                  Weight: 73 g; Screen: 1.8 in, 128x160; Phonebook: 1000
                            SPECIFICATIONS
                                                                                  entries; Rated talk time: 13 hours.
                        Weight: 73 g; Screen: 1.8 in, 128x160; Phonebook: 500
                        entries; Rated talk time: 13 hours.




                        Samsung E1175                                             Spice M-4242
                        Rs 1,616                                                  Rs 1,450
                        www.samsung.com/in                                        www.spiceglobal.com
                        verdict A plain vanilla phone with                        verdict Plenty of features at a great price
                        excellent battery life and very good build.               - truly value for money.
                        love Light weight, built-in antenna for FM                love Memory expansion (2 GB), convenient
                        radio, good build, mobile tracker.                        shortcuts on keypad, dual-LED torch.
                        hate The odd-shaped d-pad feels a bit odd.                hate Heavy battery adds bulk.

                            SPECIFICATIONS                                            SPECIFICATIONS
                        Weight: 72 g; Screen: 1.52 in, 128x128; Phonebook: 1000   Weight: 93 g; Screen: 1.8 in, 128x160; Phonebook: 500
                        entries; Rated talk time: 12 hours.                       entries; Rated talk time: 5 hours.




84   05/2011   INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
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                                                     ARE CHEAP QWERTY
                                                     PHONES REALLY GOOD?
                                                     ANAND TULIANI, DEPUTY EDITOR - TECHNICAL




   TO BUY OR NOT TO BUY
Q
           WERTY phones by big brands          phones shot horrible photos.
           like Blackberry, Nokia and             The Fly Circle B436 has an excellent
           Samsung have been around for a      keypad, dedicated volume control and
           very long time. A few years ago,    secondary camera for self-portrait. Its
the choices were limited, but the market       key feature is its speaker, which is
is now flooded with offerings by smaller       loud… really, really loud. You’ll have
brands like Karbonn, Lava and Micromax,        angry eyes staring at you if you play
which are giving the giants a run for their    music at full volume on this phone in
money. These Java-based phones offer a lot     public places. The Lava B8 looks great
more than their reputed counterparts —         and reminded me of the Nokia E71. It
dual-SIM support, answering machine, TV,       was the most feature-rich phone, but it
FM radio with antenna, optical trackpad,       scores low on ergonomics. Its keypad
and so on. And the best thing is that they     isn’t very comfortable and typing
cost only a few thousand Rupees. Top-          messages with the T9 dictionary active
end models with Wi-Fi cost around Rs           was painful. The Videocon
4,500. Considering only the feature set,
are these phones value for money? Yes,
                                               V1676 has everything
                                               except Wi-Fi, which is
                                                                             DON’T BASE YOUR
absolutely! However, the feature set is not
the aspect that makes or breaks a phone.
                                               forgivable because it offers
                                               very good ergonomics
                                                                             BUYING DECISION ONLY
Build quality, ergonomics and performance
are also important and go a long way in
                                               and performance. It
                                               has dedicated volume
                                                                             ON THE FEATURE SET.
adding value. Fine details like hot-swap for   control, hot-swap for memory card,
memory card, dedicated volume control          excellent keypad and separate keys
buttons and shortcuts add to user comfort.     for commonly used punctuations like
For a QWERTY phone, the size, spacing          period and comma. Other phones had
and tactility of buttons is important. Tiny    punctuations combined with the alphabet
and stiff buttons are frustrating, whereas,    keys, requiring the user the press the
large buttons with good tactility help         shift/function key in combination; I’ve
composing messages efficiently.                observed this in QWERTY phones by
    The budget QWERTY phone roundup            Nokia. Out of all brands, only Videocon
was a very good opportunity to find            has got the keypad correct. And yes, it’s
out how good the models by smaller             a C3 killer. It offers more features than
brands are and whether any of them             the Nokia C3 for a lesser price and the
can defeat the Nokia C3 or X2. The             overall performance is impressive.
ones I found most fascinating were the            When buying a budget QWERTY
Fly Circle B436, Lava B8, and Videocon         phone, I strongly suggest you get a feel
V1676. Other phones had some issues or         for the device and pay good attention
the other. Some had poor build quality,        to ergonomics. Don’t base your buying
while others lacked good ergonomics.           decision only on the feature set.
Some phones had a sluggish UI and most                                    – anand.tuliani@chip.in




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PC CONFIGS
GAMING - ENTRY-LEVEL                                         Rs 42,440      GAMING - HIGH-END                                         Rs 1,37,350
Processor           AMD Phenom II X2 560 Black Ed, 3.3 GHz          5,200   Processor           Intel Core i7-2600, 3.4 GHz                          15,500
Motherboard         Asus M4A88T-M, AMD 880G                         4,750   Motherboard         Asus P8P67 Pro, Intel P67                            12,900
RAM                 2 GB Strontium DDR3-1333 MHz                    1,300   RAM                 Mushkin Blackline DDR3-1600 (4 GB kit)                5,200
Hard disk           Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 - 1 TB SATA           2,850   Hard disk           2x Western Digital Caviar Black - 1 TB (RAID 0)       9,300
Graphics card       Sapphire Radeon HD 5750 - 1 GB DDR5             6,600   Graphics card       Zotac GeForce GTX 580 - 1536 MB DDR5                 28,750
Optical drive       LG GH22 SATA 22x DVD-writer                       950   Optical drive       LG GH22 SATA 22x DVD-writer                            950
Monitor             Samsung SyncMaster B2030N - 20-inch TFT         6,800   Monitor             Benq V2400 Eco - 22-inch TFT (LED)                   17,500
Keyboard            Logitech G1 Gaming Desktop                      1,700   Keyboard            Razer Lycosa                                          3,800
Mouse               Included in Combo                                   -   Mouse               Razer Imperator                                       3,150
Speakers            F&D FD600                                       2,990   Speakers            Creative Gigaworks T3                                16,000
Sound card          Onboard high-definition audio                       -   Sound card          Asus Xonar DX 7.1-channel                             5,000
PC Case             Cooler Master Elite 335                         2,500   PC Case             Antec Six Hundred                                     5,200
Power supply unit   Corsair CX 430                                  2,500   Power supply unit   Cooler Master Silent Pro M700 - 700 Watts             7,800
Operating system    Windows 7 Home Basic                            4,300   Operating system    Windows 7 Home Premium                                6,300
TOTAL                                                             42,440    TOTAL                                                                 1,37,350



HOME                                                         Rs 26,990 HTPC                                                               Rs 93,895
Processor           AMD Athlon X2 255, 3.10 GHz                     3,100   Processor           AMD Athlon ll X4 645, 3.10 GHz                       5,500
Motherboard         Gigabyte GA-880GM-USB3, AMD 880G               5,400    Motherboard         Asus M4A88TD-M EVO/USB3                              6,400
RAM                 2 GB Zion DDR3-1333 MHz                         1,300   RAM                 2x 2 GB Zion DDR3-1333 MHz                           2,600
                    Western Digital Caviar Green -                          Hard disk           Western Digital Caviar Green - 1 TB                  2,900
Hard disk                                                           1,900
                    500 GB SATA                                             Graphics card       Sapphire Radeon HD 5570, 1 GB                        4,100
Graphics card       Onboard graphics                                    -   Optical drive       Sony BC-5100S-OB, 24x SATA Blu-ray combo             8,700
Optical drive       LG GH22 SATA 22x DVD-writer                      950    Monitor             BenQ V2400 Eco, 24-inch TFT (LED)                   17,500
Monitor             LG W2043T - 20-inch LCD                        6,600    Keyboard and
                                                                                                Logitech Wireless Combo MK320                        1,795
Keyboard and                                                                mouse combo
                    Logitech Deluxe 250 Desktop USB                  700
mouse combo                                                                 Speakers            Logitech Z-5500 Digital                             15,500
Speakers            Altec Lansing VS2621                            1,895   Sound card          Asus Xonar DX 7.1-channel                            5,000
Sound card          Onboard high-definition audio                       -   PC Case             Silver Stone LC16B MR220                            11,800
PC Case             Circle Lush Red / Blue                          1,650   Power supply unit   Corsair CX 430                                       2,500
Power supply unit   Included with the PC Case - 250 Watts               -   TV tuner card       Avermedia AverTV Speedy PCIE                         3,300
Operating system    Windows 7 Home Basic                           4,300    Operating system    Windows 7 Home Premium                               6,300
TOTAL                                                             26,990    TOTAL                                                                  93,895



86      05/2011     INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
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                  LAPTOP CONFIGS
BUDGET                                            MAINSTREAM                                             NETBOOK
PROCESSOR Intel Celeron, Pentium Dual-Core,       PROCESSOR Intel Core i3, Intel Core i5                 PROCESSOR Intel Atom Single / Dual-core
AMD Turion X2                                     MEMORY 2 GB or 3 GB                                    MEMORY 1 GB to 2 GB
MEMORY 1 GB or 2 GB                                                                                      HARD DRIVE 160 GB, 250 GB, 320 GB
                                                  HARD DRIVE 250 GB or 320 GB
HARD DRIVE 160 GB, 250 GB, 320 GB
                                                  DISPLAY 14.1-inch or 15.4-inch                         DISPLAY 10-inch to 11.6-inch
DISPLAY 14.1-inch or 15.6-inch
                                                  GRAPHICS On-board or Discrete                          GRAPHICS On-board
GRAPHICS On-board
                                                  WEIGHT 2.3 Kg to 3 Kg                                  WEIGHT 1 Kg to 1.5 Kg
WEIGHT 2.3 Kg to 2.7 Kg
OTHER Bluetooth, DVD-writer, Wi-Fi b/g, Webcam    OTHER Bluetooth, DVD-writer, Wi-Fi b/g or n, Webcam    OTHER Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Webcam, Card reader
PRICE RANGE Rs 23,000 to Rs 35,000                PRICE RANGE Rs 35,000 To Rs 45,000                     PRICE RANGE Rs 15,000 to Rs 30,000




                    6
LENOVO G460 59-057056                             SONY VAIO VPCEB42EG                                    SAMSUNG N150-JPOGIN
Rs 24,000                                         Rs 35,990                                              Rs 16,500
CPU Intel Pentium P6200, 2.13 GHz;                CPU Intel Core i3-380M, 2.53 GHz; MEMORY 2 GB;         CPU Intel Atom N550 (dual-core), 1.5 GHz;
MEMORY 2 GB; HARD DISK 500 GB;                    HARD DISK 320 GB; DISPLAY 15.6-in;                     MEMORY 1 GB; HARD DISK 250 GB; DISPLAY 10.1 in;
DISPLAY 14 in; GRAPHICS On-board;                 GRAPHICS On-board; WEIGHT 2.7 Kg;                      GRAPHICS On-board; WEIGHT 1.24 Kg;
WEIGHT 2.3 Kg; OS Free-DOS;                       OS Windows 7 Home Basic;                               OS Windows 7 Starter; OTHER Bluetooth, Wi-Fi,
OTHER Bluetooth, HDMI, Card reader                OTHER Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, HDMI, eSATA                    Webcam, Card reader




ACER ASPIRE 4738Z                                                         4310
                                                  TOSHIBA SATELLITE L640-X4310                           ACER ASPIRE ONE HAPPY
Rs 26,999                                         Rs 37,990                                              Rs 17,599
CPU Intel Pentium P6200, 2.13 GHz; MEMORY 2 GB;   CPU Intel Core i5-450M, 2.4 GHz; MEMORY 3 GB;          CPU Intel Atom N455, 1.66 GHz; MEMORY 1 GB;
HARD DISK 500 GB; DISPLAY 14 in;                  HARD DISK 320 GB; DISPLAY 14 in;                       HARD DISK 320 GB; DISPLAY 10.1 in;
GRAPHICS On-board; WEIGHT 2.4 Kg; OS Linux;       GRAPHICS AMD M92XT-S2, 512 MB;                         GRAPHICS On-board; WEIGHT 1.3 Kg;
OTHER Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Webcam, HDMI              WEIGHT 2.26 Kg; OS Windows 7 Home Premium;             OS Windows 7 Starter; OTHER Bluetooth, Wi-Fi,
                                                  OTHER Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Webcam, HDMI                   Webcam, Card reader




                          12
TOSHIBA SATELLITE L640-I4012                      LENOVO IDEAPAD Z570 59-069601                          LENOVO S10-3S
Rs 29,490                                         Rs 39,500                                              Rs 20,500
CPU Intel Core i3-350M, 2.26 GHz; MEMORY 2 GB;    CPU Intel Core i3-2310M; MEMORY 3 GB;                  CPU Intel Atom N475, 1.83 GHz; MEMORY 2 GB;
HARD DISK 320 GB; DISPLAY 14 in;                  HARD DISK 640 GB; DISPLAY 15.6 in;                     HARD DISK 250 GB; DISPLAY 10.1 in;
GRAPHICS On-board; WEIGHT 2.26 Kg; OS Linux;      GRAPHICS Nvidia GeForce GT520M, 1 GB;                  GRAPHICS On-board; WEIGHT 1.3 Kg;
OTHER Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Webcam, HDMI              WEIGHT 2.6 Kg; OS Windows 7 Home Basic;                OS Windows 7 Starter; OTHER Bluetooth, Wi-Fi,
                                                  OTHER Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Webcam, HDMI                   Webcam, Card reader




HP PAVILION DV6-3217TU                            DELL INSPIRON 15R                                      HP MINI 110-3535TU
Rs 32,500                                         Rs 43,500                                              Rs 21,500
CPU Intel Core i3-370M, 2.4 GHz; MEMORY 3 GB;     CPU Intel Core i5-480M, 2.66 GHz; MEMORY 4 GB;         CPU Intel Atom D550 (dual-core), 1.6 GHz;
HARD DISK 500 GB; DISPLAY 15.6 in;                HARD DISK 500 GB; DISPLAY 15.6 in;                     MEMORY 2 GB; HARD DISK 320 GB; DISPLAY 10.1 in;
GRAPHICS On-board; WEIGHT 2.49 Kg; OS Free-DOS;   GRAPHICS Radeon HD 550v, 1 GB; WEIGHT 2.6 Kg;          GRAPHICS On-board; WEIGHT 1.22 Kg;
OTHER Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Webcam, Card reader       OS Windows 7 Home Premium;                             OS Windows 7 Starter; OTHER Bluetooth, Wi-Fi,
                                                  OTHER Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Webcam, HDMI                   Webcam, Card reader


                                                                                                        INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP          05/2011      87
Chaitanya Surpur
                                                                                                      FEATURED
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                                     SMART TV
                                     There's a new wave of so-called "smart TVs" in the
                                     market, offering Internet-connected features and
                                     digital media streaming. But do you really need to
                                     spend so much money?
                                     BY JAMSHED AVARI AND SAMEER DESAI




                                     T
                                            ech companies have been         have adapted to accommodate
                                            trying to get into the living   new sources long ago, but since
                                            room for years, and failing     they didn't, a huge number of third-
                                     for the most part. That's because      party solutions have sprung up.
                                     everyone's been trying to make the     Unsurprisingly, it was the storage
                                     TV more like a computer, breaking      companies who first realized what
                                     the one-way flow of content and         people were really using their tech
                                     adding more options. As it turns       for—Western Digital, Seagate,
                                     out, people don't really want that.    Amkette and others all came out
                                     They like TV to be simple. No one      with media playback devices for
                                     wants to wait a minute or longer       TVs within months of each other.
                                     for a TV to boot up, then select a        If you bought an LCD TV any
                                     user profile, then deal with a bunch    time within the last five years,
                                     of notification messages, then          chances are it's in perfectly good
                                     jump through a tangle of menus         condition. If you're thinking of an
                                     before reaching the show they          upgrade, it's only because you've
                                     want to watch. That's why even         been convinced or seduced by
                                     complicated home theater systems       advertising and shop displays.
                                     have few takers.                       All these new "smart" features
                                        People enjoy just turning on        fall into two main categories:
                                     the TV without much purpose,           accessing digital or online media,
                                     browsing around till they find          and using social networking or
                                     something. That's why we have to       apps through the TV. The first
                                     be smart about smart TVs. If we        set of functions can be added on
                                     want to change anything about the      with one or more of the variety
                                     TV experience, we have to make it      of devices we're talking about.
                                     unobtrusive and genuinely useful.      We'll take you through the whole
                                        On the other hand, people are       range of options, starting with the
                                     using their TVs less and less simply   cheapest and ending with the most
                                     because the content they want          indulgent. Smart TVs will no doubt
                                     to watch isn't coming through the      change. For the second set? You'd
                                     cable or satellite dish. It's coming   probably be happier with a phone
                                     through the Internet (legally or       or tablet in your hands than pulling
                                     otherwise) and it's making people      up Facebook updates for the whole
                                     squint over their laptop screens       family to see anyway! The choice is
                                     instead of relaxing on the sofa. To    yours, but we've got the pros and
                                     bridge these worlds, TVs should        cons of each listed right here.


SMS us!   Story code: CBS to 51818                                           INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP   05/2011   89
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          DVD PLAYER WITH USB                                                         AMKETTE FLASH TV
  The cheapest and most simple option, this will even work                  Simple, portable and inexpensive, though limited in flexibility
  with old boxy CRT TVs and is perfect for the bedroom.                     and overall functionality.
  GOOD Simple and unobtrusive, basic playback of digital files               GOOD Plug in your pen drives and watch movies on the big
  stored on common media.                                                   screen. You can even carry it around while travelling.
  BAD Zero Internet connected features, not really worth it for             BAD Again, no online features and no HDMI. Your mileage will
  enthusiasts who really want to manage their media.                        vary when it comes to the more exotic file formats.




WHAT IS A SMART TV?                            access your media across multiple devices        also offer a Web browser, an app store
Manufacturers have realized that               wirelessly from the TV itself. What’s more,      and social networking features, LG has
consumers don't just watch TV single-          you get complete Web browsing, social            gone the extra mile to bring India-specific
mindedly anymore. We're usually fidgeting       networking, and online media streaming           content to their TVs. The home dashboard
with our phones or laptops, doing some         functionality right on your TV. And the big      gives users access to on-demand film,
chores, or chatting on the phone if not        players have already begun their smart TV        music, news and lifestyle content from
with friends and family sitting next to us.    push in the Indian market.                       NDTV, Zapak, Indiatimes, CarWale, and
What's more, we're using the TV screen for        Samsung recently announced smart              Hungama Ditigal Media. LG’s smart TVs
a lot more than broadcast TV—our media         TVs for both their LED and Plasma                also come with the signature Magic
is largely delivered through the Internet or   ranges, featuring the Samsung Smart              Motion remote, a neat device that allows
downloaded and then watched later from         Hub, a central home screen that gives you        you to access all these interactive features
pen drives or similar methods.                 access to movies, TV and music content           by simply pointing the remote at the
   The worst part of all of this is our        via your connected DLNA devices. It also         screen and using the built-in motion
peripheral activities are making it less       features a full-function browser to surf         sensor to browse through the dashboard.
likely that we're even sitting in front of     the Web on your TV, and Samsung Apps,            The Smart Share and Media Link functions
the TV anymore! For online content, we         a collection of over 400 apps ranging            sync wirelessly with PCs and media
usually jump to our computer screens,          from entertainment to social networking.         players to give you access to all your
and to chat with friends, we've got our        The Your Video feature recommends                media directly from the TV.
phones or other, more personal and handy       video content based on your viewing                 Panasonic’s has also introduced the
devices. That's why it's all coming back to    preferences, while Social TV allows you          Viera Concect feature into its smart
the TV now in the form of smart features.      to chat with friends as you watch your           TV range through which a variety of
Everyone, including giants such as Intel       favorite movie or TV show together.              on-demand video, music, and gaming
and Google, is racing to bring these things    Additionally, Samsung smart TVs will             content is made available.
back to the livingroom TV.                     also feature India-specific content by way
   If you don’t want to go through the         of tie-ups with NDTV, Times Music and            BASIC DVD PLAYER
process of hooking up all your devices         Moneycontrol.com.                                (UPTO RS 4,000)
that store digital movie and music files to        LG also hopes to make a splash in             We all have libraries of digital movies
the TV and controlling them individually,      the interactive TV segment with its own          and TV shows, and it isn’t uncommon
this new wave of smart TVs will let you        range of new smart TVs. While their TVs          to share these around on pen drives. A


90    05/2011     INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
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           SONY PLAYSTATION 3                                                               ZOTAC ZBOX
  Young folks would probably like to have a game console                  Zotac offers a variety of models with various levels of
  around anyway–the other features are a welcome bonus                    capabillities, including Blu-ray and USB 3.0
  GOOD It'll be right at home in most rooms and the cost isn't            GOOD They're tiny, look great, and don't consume much
  unreasonable anymore. Lots of functions for your money.                 power. You can't ask for a simpler HTPC setup.
  BAD The game controller might be a bit awkward and it                   BAD You'll have to deal with the "features" of a PC, including
  won't be the best way for grandma to browse family photos.              viruses, driver error messages, and possible crashes.




DVD player that can handle digital files is     formats and resolutions supported. Most        want to unless the TV is in your own room.
basically the cheapest way to get digital      support external subtitle files, and you           WD’s offerings might be of particular
content playing on your TV, but it falls       can control how and when these appear.         interest to those with a geekier mindset,
short of actually bringing any connected       The more expensive varieties can handle        as a thriving community of modders online
smart features to your set. Most budget        HD video and high-quality sound as well.       has created custom firmware that can be
DVD players now come with USB ports            Examples include WD’s WDTV, Amkette’s          run on these devices and greatly extends
and support the playback of digital            FlashTV, Asus’ O!Play, etc.                    their capabilities. Known loosely as
files from pen drives. If not USB, many            The higher end models include               WDLXTV (www.wdlxtv.com), the current
models also read digital files from CD/         network connectivity as well as USB,           release lets you plug in a USB DVD Drive,
DVD-R discs. These are priced as low as        which is where the fun comes in. Network       download torrents, browse and search
Rs 3,000 and are effortless to set up and      streaming becomes amazingly easy, and          network shares more efficiently, tweak
use. Simply navigate using your remote         it’s even possible over Wi-Fi. The WDTV        subtitles and other settings, use a USB
control. Moving further up the price ladder,   Live supports Windows’ built in ‘Play          hub with multiple drives attached, and a
most Blu-ray players include networking        To’ feature, which means you can just          variety of other neat touches.
capabilities and can handle media              right-click any file on your hard drive and
streaming around the home, which is great      select ‘Play To | WDTV Live’ to send it        MEDIA STORAGE HUB
bonus functionality, but not the primary       streaming across to your big screen TV.        (RS 10,000 AND ABOVE)
reason to buy a Blu-ray player when so         You can browse media servers and even          Previously the domain of ultra geeks,
many other options exist.                      your own PC’s contents with the included       media hubs are becoming more and more
                                               remote control. Pair such a device with        common now. These essentially combine
USB MEDIA RECEIVER                             a networked hard drive and you can pull        the functions of a USB media receiver
(RS 4,000 – 7,500)                             up Terabytes’ worth of media with a few        with a built in hard drive and media server
A number of brands sell tiny devices           button presses. Finally, Internet services     capabilities in addition to mere reception.
that connect to your TV and allow you          are supported as well. You can play video      The advantage is that you have your
to play digital files off USB pen drives        from YouTube, radio from Live365, photos       entire collection accessible in one single
or hard drives. These vary in size and         from Flickr and snippets of everything         box, rather than having to browse over a
sometimes in functionality—check for the       from MediaFly, amongst others. You             network and deal with configuration and
type of connection offered (Composite,         can even sign in to Facebook and check         laying wire. You also don’t have to get up
component, HDMI) and the number of file         updates, though you probably wouldn’t          repeatedly to plug in pen drives and fiddle


                                                                                                INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP     05/2011   91
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                      WDTV LIVE                                                           XTREAMER PRO
  A simple USB reciever, but with the added benefit of an                 This heavy-duty player is practically a super-optimized
  Ethernet port for network and online features.                         computer in itself. Geeks will be more than happy.
  GOOD Small, cheap, simple to use, and lets you browse all              GOOD Massive storage potential and media server functions,
  your network shares, plus stream YouTube and others.                   designed solely to satisfy your appetite for digital media.
  BAD Other products such as the Live Hub might be better                BAD Slightly over the top for most casual users, and it's a bit
  value for many users, considering their built-in storage.              expensive, being a specialized device.




around. These usually come with 1 or 2        text input is a bit easier using the game       what is effectively a giant monitor, you
TB of storage space, or in some cases,        controller. They also have USB ports and        can organize your entire media collection
make you supply your own hard drive.          can directly play most audio and video          in one spot, use the same machine to
Some of the better known manufacturers        formats. The PS3 has a rudimentary Web          download and stream whatever you like,
are Xtreamer (www.xtreamer.net) and           browser, and the Xbox can stream live TV        browse the full Web and use other online
Popcorn Hour (www.popcornhour.com).           from a Windows PC if you use its Media          services, and even play 3D games from
Even WD recently joined the fray with its     Center features. This is a good option if       the comfort of your sofa. You’ll need at
Live Hub, which is easy enough for anyone     you want to play high def games anyway          the least a wireless keyboard and mouse,
to use and automatically copies media it      or just have an additional TV in the            though several combo products exist just
finds to its internal drive. Again, you get    bedroom, as you get extra functionality         for the purpose, such as Amkette’s Wi-Key.
different kinds of smart online features,     in the same box and don’t need to mess          You can even use a smartphone with the
including movie and music streaming.          around with multiple wires and remotes.         right apps to control media playback.
Customers in other countries have access                                                      Logitech offers a touchpad app for iOS,
to online movie rental services such as       LAPTOPS, NETBOOKS, HTPCS                        and various apps exist to remote control
Netflix, although no such option exists        (EXISTING OR NEW)                               software including Winamp and VLC.
in India at present. If you find yourself      Want the ultimate in flexibility? Just plug in      HTPCs don’t have to be big or bulky,
managing a lot of media files, you can         your laptop, netbook or PC and you’ll never     the newer “nettops ” from Acer, Zotac and
even plug in a wireless USB keyboard to       have to worry about which file formats are       other manufacturers which use Intel Atom
make typing easier.                           supported or whether you can add more           CPUs and Nvidia Ion graphics are up to the
                                              storage in the future. Granted, it’s not        task of HD video playback. More elaborate
GAME CONSOLES                                 necessarily the most elegant solution, but      options can be much larger, and usually
(RS 15,000—22,00)                             there’s no comparison in terms of sheer         include powerful graphics cards, multiple
Modern game consoles, namely the Xbox         power and flexibility. You can use VGA           hard drives, and silent cooling systems
360 and PlayStation 3, both come with         or HDMI to plug in a laptop or netbook          so you can place them unobtrusively in
networking capabilities and can receive       (with suitable hardware specifications           your livingroom. However you’ll have to
streamed content from home media              for the kind of features you want to use)       contend with all the downsides of running
servers. Both also include online services    on demand, or opt for a dedicated PC            a full-sized PC, such as ensuring you have
including Facebook and Twitter, which         that’s permanently connected. In addition       the right software updates, antivirus
actually makes a bit more sense since         to simply watching your digital files on         protection, etc.


92    05/2011    INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                               FEATURED
                                                                                                                          COVER STORY




                 WDTV LIVE HUB                                                         SAMSUNG SMART TV
  Perhaps the best balance between cost, storage, simplicity                 Expensive, but impressive. You'll have access to a wide range
  and functionality.                                                         of services that Samsung will no doubt keep updating.
  GOOD 1 TB of built-in space, beautiful interface, unobtrusive              GOOD It's a great-looking high-end TV with the potential to
  and easy to set up. Plus, all the online features of the Live.             reduce a ton of clutter no matter where you install it.
  BAD Control is a little difficult and it's easy to get lost in the         BAD Bragging rights don't come cheap, and who knows what
  menus, but those are minor niggles with a superb product.                  features nest year's killer high-end set will offer?




CONNECTED TVS                                     kind of content the user is watching and          The fantasy smart TV (which is of
One step away from full-fledged smart              would be able to react accordingly. For        course unencumbered by restrictive
TVs, “connected TV” was last year’s               example, most households with DTH              antipiracy measures) would also make
buzzword. These are sets which have               service don’t even use the TV to tune          most of the devices and methods we’ve
USB and/or network ports, which act               channels; they’re fed instead via the          discussed above redundant. Network
exactly like built-in media receivers. Older      set-top box. A smart TV would handle           browsing would be effortless, with large
models featured USB ports mainly as a             DTH signals and would be able to decide        posters, album covers and background
marketing gimmick—owners could run                what kind of services to offer the user        information synced from the Web to make
photo slideshows and maybe play music,            based on the electronic program guide          selections easier. And we’d be able to
but not video. Usability was also typically       that is constantly updated, or would be        network with our smartphones, tablets
limited, with no support for playlists or         able to detect and match shows after a         and other devices to control playback,
anything other than just clicking on a file to     few seconds, unobtrusively and without         discover related content, and maybe
play it. Later high-end models introduced         disturbing the experience. Facebook and        even buy fan merchandise etc without
video playback via USB, but even then,            Twitter status entry boxes would be just       disturbing the image on screen.
format support has been spotty. Only              a button press away, and users would              There’s still a lot more to expect from
the highest end TVs sold in the past few          be able to choose to tag whatever show         TVs, and these features will undoubtedly
years have come with LAN ports (or rarer          or movie they’re watching. Similarly, a        make it into new models in a year or two,
still, Wi-Fi) that let you run the standard       ‘Share’ button would allow users to ‘Like’ a   possibly making buyers feel even more
media sharing and DLNA functions. Some            particular show’s Facebook page, or post       frustrated at having spent lakhs of rupees
even used the Internet connection to              about it to all available social networks.     only to discover something better so
display weather, stock updates, and other         Sites like IMDb and perhaps the channel’s      quickly. If you’re an enthusiast who loves
such widgets. These early experiments             or show’s own website and forums would         movies and TV and you’re buying a TV
weren’t always comfortable to use, so             be accessible via the TV remote. Fans          anyway, it makes complete sense to go for
manufacturers are now using the “smart            or those watching later could choose           the top-end models that offer today’s best
TV” line to set their latest products apart.      to block out commentary that contains          features. But if not, there’s no need to buy
                                                  spoilers, while others could freeze frame      the upgrade hype—just choose from any
THE ULTIMATE FANTASY                              and discuss points at length—which would       of our listed solutions and wait for the real
What would truly make a TV smart? In              eventually change the way TV shows and         killer apps to be launched.
our fantasy, the TV would know what               movies themselves are created.                                        - jamshed.avari@chip.in


                                                                                                  INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP     05/2011   93
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       A    ED
     FEATURED
HD VIDEO RECORDING
     D    ECO
HD VIDEO RECORDING




       High Definition
       Weapons
       From tiny cellphones to full-fledged
       camcorders, there are plenty of devices
       that can record HD video. But are they
       good enough at it? BY ANAND TULIANI




  H
          igh definition TVs and LCD             photos and 720p videos.                      HS is a compact digital camera, which
          monitors have become a lot               We pitted six devices capable of          can easily fit in your pocket. It boasts the
          more affordable and devices           shooting at least standard definition         ability to shoot full HD videos and has
  capable of HD playback are plenty.            videos against each other and found          a 10x zoom lens for capturing details of
  Today, if you’re planning to invest in an     out how each one performed. However,         distant subjects. The Canon EOS 1100D
  LCD TV or a device to shoot HD videos,        performance is not the only criteria         is an entry-level DSLR camera, which
  it should be at least 720p-capable. Full      we laid emphasis upon. Other factors         is the successor to the EOS 1000D. HD
  HD or 1080p videos look theatrical when       like the capabilities of the device, cost,   video capturing support and a new image
  viewed on a large screen complemented         portability, and convenience were also       processing engine are among the key
  with great sound. However, 720p               taken into consideration. Ready to find       features of the new model. The Flip Mino
  (1280 x 720) is a big step up from            out which is the ultimate HD weapon?         HD is about the size of a deck of cards
  conventional VCD quality videos, which                                                     and it has only one function; shooting
  have a resolution of 352 x 288 pixels.        The Contenders                               720p videos. The latest generation of
     Formerly, the video recording              We picked one of the stellar performers      Apple iPod Touch can shoot 720p videos.
  capability in cellphones and digital          from six categories of devices —             It looks promising, but let’s see how well
  cameras was restricted to VGA quality         camcorders, cell phones, point-and-          it fares.
  or 640x 480 pixels, and the quality of        shoot digital cameras, DSLR cameras,
  video wasn't too great. So, one had           pocket camcorders and portable media         How We Tested
  to resort to a camcorder for shooting         players. The camcorder that we used          Before starting with the video tests, we
  DVD-quality videos. Also, there weren’t       was the Sony Handycam DCR-SR68E,             first made sure all the parameters were
  many devices that could shoot videos.         which boasts an 80 GB hard drive and         set to defaults and the video quality was
  Today, capturing standard definition or        60x optical zoom lens. In the cellphone      set to highest. For devices which could
  720p videos isn’t a big deal; you can do      category, we chose the top-end Nokia         shoot full HD videos, we set the size
  that with a cellphone, pocket camcorder,      N series phone, the N8, which is armed       to 720p. Our first test was the indoor
  digital camera or a DSLR camera. Some         with Carl Zeiss optics and support for       test, in which we shot a one-minute
  portable media players also come              capturing 720p videos.                       video of our office floor with the device
  equipped with cameras that can capture           The newly launched Canon IXUS 1000        held in hand. We then moved outdoors


  94    05/2011    INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                         Jagdish Limbachiya             SMS us!   Story code: FHD to 51818
                                                                                                                                                                    FEATURED
                                                                                                                                                          D VID
                                                                                                                                                            VIDEO RECORDING
                                                                                                                                                                       D G
                                                                                                                                                         HD VI EO RECORDING




and shot a busy scene on the street at                   the dynamic range of the camera by                                    indoor scene is also optimally exposed.
noon. We judged the video quality on                     shooting an outdoor scene with the                                    For devices which had optical zoom,
the basis of reproduction of colors and                  device hand-held in our lobby. This is a                              we checked the focus speed by first
details, smoothness while zooming and                    challenging task because the camera                                   focussing on a nearby subject and then
panning and playback smoothness of                       has to meter light such that the outdoor                              immediately pointing the device to a
the captured video. We also assessed                     scene isn’t overexposed while the                                     distant subject.

                                                                                                           POINT-AND-SHOOT
                      POCKET CAMCORDER        PORTABLE MEDIA PLAYER              CELLPHONE                                             DSLR CAMERA                CAMCORDER
                                                                                                           CAMERA
Price                 > Rs 8,000              > Rs 15,000                        > Rs 25,000               > Rs 12,000                 > Rs 35,000                > Rs 15,000
Portability           Pocketable              Pocketable                         Pocketable                Almost pocketable           Very bulky                 Less bulky
Zoom                  Digital only            Digital only                       Digital only              Optical (model dependent) Optical (lens dependent) Optical
Built-in storage      Up to 8 GB              Up to 64 GB                        Up to 32 GB               Negligible                  None                       Up to 250 GB
Memory expansion      ✖                       ✔ (model dependent)                ✔                         ✔                           ✔                          ✔
Tripod mount          ✔                       ✖                                  ✖                         ✔                           ✔                          ✔
Still photo quality   Average                 Average                            Good                      Very good                   Excellent                  Average
VIDEO QUALITY
   Picture            Good                    Above average                      Above average             Very good                   Excellent                  Excellent
   Panning            Smooth                  Slightly jittery                   Jittery                   Slightly jittery            Smooth                     Smoothest
   Focus              Infinity                Infinity                           Infinity                  Auto                        Auto and manual            Auto and manual
Verdict               The simplest and        A 720p video recorder is nice      Don't expect micracles    Still camera and HD video   DSLRs are better suited    Although slightly bulky,
                      cheapest HD video       to have in a PMP and the           from a phone camera,      recorder with brilliant     for shooting photos than   these monsters have
                      recorder for instant    results are not that bad. Pretty   but, you do get four      performance for a great     videos. Interchangeable    stood the test of time and
                      shooting. But only      good for home videos.              functions in one device   price. Make sure the        lens is a bonus but the    are undoubtedly the best
                      good for casual video                                      — phone, media player,    camera supports optical     mic picks the sound of     performers. Plus you get
                      recording.                                                 still camera and 720p     zoom while shooting         focusing while shooting.   a great zoom ratio and
                                                                                 recorder.                 videos.                                                plenty of storage space.


                                                                                                                                INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP               05/2011        95
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HD VIDEO RECORDING




                         POCKET CAMCORDER

                                                 These tiny HD video shooting gizmos fit the bill perfectly if you’re on a shoestring
                                                 budget. Choosing one shouldn’t be difficult because there are very few models
                                                 available in the market by brands such as Creative, Kodak and Cisco. The Creative
                                                 Vado and Cisco’s Flip series feature on-board memory (4 GB and 8 GB variants),
                                                 which is sufficient for shooting up to two hours of video. On the other hand,
                                                 the Kodak Zi8, which is capable of shooting 1080p videos, has only 128 MB of
                                                 on-board memory and offers memory expansion.
                                                    The Flip Mino HD records videos at 720p and is very easy to use. Simply pull it
                                                 out of your pocket, turn it on and press the big red button; there are absolutely no
                                                 settings you have to adjust. The results were great; better than a 720p-capable
                                                 cellphone and a step below a digital camera. If you need a camcorder for casual
                                                 shooting and home videos, then a pocket camcorder is perfect for you.




       CAMCORDER

       Camcorders are the most mature video capturing devices and have been in the market
                                                                                      y,
       for a very long time. In the past few years, the prices have dropped drastically, making
                                                                                 n
       standard definition camcorders very good value for money. Standard definition
       camcorders have smaller sensors than their full HD counterparts because of
       which they can house a high-ratio zoom lens in a tiny body. The entry-level
       models are more compact and flash memory-based, so they use memory
       cards. With the ones that use hard drives, you don’t need to worry about
       running out of storage space.
          The Sony Handycam SR68E was the best performer, with crisp image
       quality and smooth panning. It offers 80 GB of storage space and comes
       equipped with a 60x zoom lens. For Rs 18,500 it’s a very sweet deal.
          Camcorders are bulky and you have to be armed with one if you don’t
       want to miss candid moments.




                         CELL PHONE

                                                  A high resolution camera with HD video recording capability is a common feature
                                                     current-genera
                                                  in current-generation high-end cellphones such as the Nokia N8, Sony Ericsson
                                                  Xperia Arc and A
                                                                 Apple iPhone 4. These phones cost more than Rs 20,000, but
                                                                  a
                                                  they are mighty all-in-one devices that offer functions of a phone, mobile Internet
                                                                  m
                                                 device, portable media player, still camera, HD camcorder and gaming device.
                                                                       One of the key highlights of the Nokia N8 is the 12 megapixel
                                                                     camera, which can also shoot videos at 720p. It seemed very
                                                                     promising, but the videos weren’t too great. The reproduction
                                                                     of colors and details was very good, but we had to pan very
                                                                     slowly and hold the device steadily to avoid jitter.
                                                                        Cellphones are perfect for shooting videos to put up
                                                                     on YouTube and social networking websites. The biggest
                                                                     advantage is that you don’t need to carry an additional device.



  96     05/2011   INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
    FEATURED
HD VIDEO RECORDING




                          PORTABLE MEDIA PLAYER

                                                         Cameras have recently made their way into portable media players. Apple’s
                                                         iPod range of music players and portable media players are the most talked
                                                         about in the market. The fourth generation iPod Touch is a major overhaul
                                                         from the previous generation. It features Retina display with a resolution of
                                                         960 x 640 pixels for crisper image quality, and a 6.9 megapixel rear camera
                                                         that can shoot 720p videos. The secondary front camera can shoot VGA
                                                         quality photos and videos. So, while you’re in a Wi-Fi hotspot, the iPod
                                                         Touch can be a great social networking tool with a bonus feature of being
                                                         able to shoot and upload photos and videos. If you already own the latest
                                                         iPod Touch, you don’t need a separate camcorder because the quality of
                                                         captured videos is quite good for casual shooting. Videos shot outdoors
                                                         came out quite well, but the ones shot indoors in low light were a bit grainy.




       POINT-AND-SHOOT DIGITAL CAMERA

       With a compact digital camera, you get the best of both worlds; a fantastic still
       image camera and a camcorder, and that too at a great price. Entry-level
       digital cameras shoot videos at VGA quality, but when you’re investing more
       than Rs 10,000 in a digital camera, make sure it can shoot videos at 720p
       if you’re seriously going to use the video recording function. Also check
       whether the camera supports optical zoom while recording videos. Many
       models support only digital zoom and have fixed focus while shooting.
          The Canon IXUS 1000HS is a premium compact camera and 720p
       video shooting is one of its greatest strengths. It supports optical zoom
       while shooting videos and its 10x zoom lens helps shooting distant objects.
       The quality of videos we shot was excellent with very smooth panning and
       reproduction of details. However, the camera takes time to auto-focus when shifting
       from nearby to distant subjects and vice-versa.




                          DSLR CAMERA

                                                    v
                                                 HD video shooting is now a common feature of mainstream DSLR cameras and
                                                   mir
                                                   mirrorless cameras like the Sony Alpha NEX-3. Armed with large sensors, these
                                                       cameras are best at shooting still images and capturing fine details in videos.
                                                         With DSLRs, you have the option to shoot videos with the lens of your
                                                         choice. Use a tele lens to shoot distant scenes or a fisheye lens to shoot
                                                         creative videos. Lenses with built-in image stabilizers help getting steady
                                                         frames while shooting. We used the stock 18-55 mm IS lens that came
                                                         with the EOS 1100D for shooting videos. In this case, we had to control the
                                                         zoom manually. Focussing can be done manually or set to auto, however,
                                                         the former is a better option because the mic picks the sound of the motor
                                                         when it tries to autofocus, which ruins the fun. The quality of the videos
                                                       was second only to the camcorder.
                                                                                                                      – anand.tuliani@chip.in




  98     05/2011    INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
        FEATURED
 SOCIAL NETWORKING




   Social Networking: Is Your
   Child an Addict?




                                                                              From being just a fad, Facebook has grown
                                                                             to the point where users are being afflicted
                                                                            with FAD (Facebook Addiction Disorder). And
Chaitanya Surpur
                                                                                     children are as vulnerable as adults.
                                                                                                                            BY PRIYANKA TILVE




   A
               standard nine student of a          site, which is a public forum. This is not a   percent, followed by Orkut at 50 percent.
               reputed city school had to          one-off occurrence; many such incidents        What makes the results interesting is
               miss a term because he was in       have come to light in recent years on          that the kids surveyed for the study
   depression. He would make up excuses            social networking sites, and looking at        were between ages 7 and 14, while the
   to miss school, grew listless and would         the ever increasing number of kids signing     minimum required age for registration on
   spend a lot of time locked up in his            up at social networking sites, it will be a    most social networking sites is 13. This
   room. Concerned by his behavior, his            serious issue in the coming years.             means that most of the 19 percent of
   parents took him to a psychologist                 The ‘The New Generations 2011 Study’        kids accessing social networks are not
   and that’s when he divulged the cause           conducted by television channel Cartoon        supposed to be on these sites.
   of his angst. They found out that his           Network revealed that 22 percent the
   depression was not due to academics,            kids today have access to the computer         Kids and Social Networking
   but because his friends from school had         and the Internet; more than ever before.       There are many reasons why teenagers
   taken to teasing him about his weight on        The study further revealed that 45             may take to social networking sites, but
   a social networking site. After sessions        percent of kids went online to search          Varkha Chulani, a prominent psychologist,
   of counseling, coupled with intervention        for information; 26 percent for email; 23      says that there is an underlying emotional
   on the part of the school teachers, he          percent for homework; and 19 percent           condition that you need to look at.
   finally came out of his depression.              for social networking. Amongst those           She says, “What we need to look at is
        A matter of great concern was that         who visited social networks, Facebook          whether this is an escape that the child
   he was targeted on a social networking          topped the popularity list with 93             is using for the fear of being rejected in


   100      05/2011   INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                         SMS us!    Story code: FSN to 51818
                                                                                                                                        FEATURED
                                                                                                                                  SOCIAL NETWORKING


the real world, which makes him turn
to the computer to be able to say what
he wants to say. Many teenagers do not
have the confidence to be able to go
out in the real world and manage real
affairs with real people. So the computer
and the social network become a safe
ground for them to target their enemies
or people with whom they can’t get even
with or people they can’t talk back to
in real life situations. So often this is an
escape, and in a way a very protective
mechanism, to help the person express
what he wants to. Some of us don’t have
the courage to say what we want to say,
so through social networking sites, we get
this false confidence to speak because          Facebook has a strict policy against underaged users. It was recently reported that it deletes nearly 20,000
                                               user accounts each day because they are reported as being used by underaged users.
the ramifications are not face-to-face but
in writing. This doesn’t carry the same        must supervise their children’s online                  precedence over the real one.
impact as it would if somebody directly        activities and set a limit to their Internet                American psychologists have coined
told you something in reaction to a            time. More importantly, you have to set                 the term FAD (Facebook Addiction
comment you made.”                             a good example for your children to                     Disorder) to explain such behavior.
   Cybermum is a part of McAfee’s              follow. You cannot expect your kids to                  How does one identify FAD? Very
initiative to help parents deal with           not spend time on the Internet when                     simple; the first thing these people will
issues related to the cyberworld.              they see you constantly texting or glued                do when given a computer is log on
Anindita Mishra, a Cybermum, says              to a computer screen. Anindita says,                    to Facebook. They constantly update
that parents need to come to terms             “Parents need to come to terms with this                their status messages, often multiple
with this unfortunate reality with social      unfortunate reality with social networking              times in a day, and sometimes even
networking becoming a way of life for          becoming a way of life for most kids                    with inconsequential updates like ‘Good
most kids and teenagers. “Since social         and teenagers. However, the solution                    Morning’ or ‘Good Night’. When they
networking sites allow users to indulge in     is not to forbid children from using the                are out, they will take pictures and
activities like link sharing, status updates   Internet because they can easily access                 will immediately upload them on to
and instant messaging, kids find them           it even in their parents’ absence through               Facebook. They will grow restless when
more useful as they consume less time.         school computers, Internet cafes and                    they are not able to access their account.
While it is not recommended for kids           friends’ mobile phones. Instead, parents                What will also set them apart are the
under 13 to be on social networking sites,     must play a proactive role and ensure                   mood swings that are caused by negative
there are cases of many kids that even         that their children are not made victims                or positive comments on their profiles.
lie about their age to become active on        in cyberspace. They must note that an                       This addiction to social networking
such sites,” she says.                         active cyber identity brings with it a                  sites is similar to drug addiction, as it
   The fact that parents are themselves        host of dangers ranging from malware                    triggers the same response. Varkha says,
hooked on to these sites and rarely            attacks to more grave ones such as                      “The only difference is that drugs create
supervise their kid’s online behavior only     cyber bullying, cyber stalking, sharing of              a disadvantage to the body, whereas
makes matters worse. Varkha says, “I           unnecessary or confidential information                  the disadvantages that arise from
think the computer and the Internet is         with online strangers, etc.”                            social networks are mostly in terms of
being used to unhealthy disadvantages.                                                                 lack of sleep, attention deficit disorder,
It is not the Internet or the computer         From Fad to FAD                                         distractibility, etc. So the physiological
itself, but the lack of control that the       It’s almost become imperative to have                   manifestations don’t come in the way
parents exercise on their children that is     an account on social networking sites                   drugs would cause them, but there are
to blame. There is just no supervision,        and Facebook is by far the most popular.                different kinds of manifestations that
discipline or any sort of expectations         While being on a social networking site                 would come from addiction to the social
that the parents voice to the kids. As a       in itself is not a bad thing, the growing               networking sites.” So if you find that your
result, kids are doing as they please and      obsession with it is. Children and                      child is addicted to social networking
getting addicted to gaming sites, social       teenagers are a vulnerable bunch as their               sites, then it’s important that you seek
networks, etc.”                                actions are dictated by their peers. There              professional help. Therapy sessions
                                               is a need to fit in and belong. You will                 educating them about better ways of
Take Precautions                               find that they obsess over their display                 communication and interaction, and
While there is no way to keep your             pictures, status updates, number of                     encouraging social activities will help
children away from social networking           friends, likes, groups, pages, etc. to the              them get rid of the addiction.
sites, supervision is essential. Parents       point where the virtual world may take                                                 – priyanka.tilve@chip.in



                                                                                                           INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP        05/2011   101
    FEATURED
 WEB WATCH




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




 NOTEHALL                                      VAMOOSE                                      INTERNETBUTTONS

I                                             W                                            W
    f you are a student, then you surely             ith e-commerce taking off in a               hen it comes to technology,
    realize the importance of notes. And             big way in India, everyday you               you will find that it’s usually
    even though you make take notes                  come across new sites offering               the youngsters who are at the
regularly during lectures, you could          group discounts. Most of these sites         forefront in adopting new gadgets. Even
always do with additional notes to            offer discount for restaurants, salons,      when it comes to the Internet, you will
supplement your study material. While         jewellery, apparels, footwear, clubs, etc.   find that there is a digital divide and
there are many online resources where         But Vamoose.in brings to you national        the older generation is still not that
you can find notes from, NoteHallIndia.        and international travel packages via        comfortable in finding their way around
com makes things a whole lot simpler.         group buying.                                the Internet.
NoteHall is already quite popular in             Vamoose is backed by                         If you have ever tried teaching
the US and it has been bought to India        TravelMartIndia, which is one of the         Internet usage to an elderly member
by Sundeep Mahajan, a graduate from           leading travel portals in India. Vamoose     of your family, you will be aware just
Rutgers University. NoteHall is an online     brings to you travel packages at great       how difficult a task it is. UK-based
document marketplace, where students          discounts, which is possible as they         InternetButtons.org was launched with a
can not only buy notes, but even sell         negotiate and have tie-ups with service      view to simplify this task and to make
the notes they have. Apart form notes,        providers. You can subscribe for daily       surfing the Internet less daunting for
you can also access other study material      travel deals by providing your email         new users.
like lecture notes, class documents,          id or you can follow them on social             You can set up InternetButtons for
study guides, etc. On singing up, you         networking sites.                            yourself or for someone else by simply
will get free NoteHall credits, which            The travel deals range from weekend       selecting an appropriate account. It’s a
can then be used to view documents,           getaways, national destinations,             fairly simple process that allows you
video tutorials and buy notes. You can        international destinations, adventure        to set up buttons for sites and pages
also upload the notes you have so that        vacations, relaxation and wellness           depending upon the individual’s interest.
others can buy them. For every study          packages and even cruise vacations.          For instance, if you want to set up an
guide downloaded, you earn Rs 50,             Currently, it has deals for national         account for your grandfather, who is
while you will earn Rs 25 for every           destinations like Goa, Bangalore,            interested in news and sports, then you
lecture note downloaded.                      Rajasthan, Himachal, Uttaranchal, Tamil      can create buttons for individual news,
    You can then choose to cash out           Nadu, Maharashtra, Kerala, Hyderabad         sports sites, etc.
and your money will be sent to you            etc. On the other hand, it offers               Once you have set up an account
either via checque or through PayPal.         discounts for international tourist          on InternetButtons, you can share the
You can also trade the cash earned to         destinations like Thailand, Phuket,          details with the user you’ve created
purchase NoteHall credits. Other ways         Bangkok, Singapore, Bali, Malaysia, etc.     it for. When the user logs in to
in which you can earn credits is by              The site offers discounts ranging from    InternetButtons.org, he/she will see the
referring your friends and rating the         20% to 60%. You can even earn money          buttons bearing the names of the sites
documents that you have downloaded.           by referring your friends. However,          you have set up. Upon clicking them,
Currently, NoteHall has over 80 colleges      following the principal of group buying,     the user will be taken directly to those
that include top institutions like Delhi      a deal will become active only when          websites. You can also add and delete
University, Amity, Symbiosis, etc. They       bought by a set minimum number of            buttons as you wish. Since it’s a Web-
plan to add more then 500 colleges by         people. It’s great for those who love to     based tool, it can be accessed from any
the end of the year.                          travel and do so in big groups.              computer.


102    05/2011   INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                      SMS us!    Story code: FWW to 51818
                                                                                                                       FEATURED
                                                                                                                     WEB WATCH


                                                                                             THE INTERNET IS
                                                                                             TURNING OUT TO BE
                                                                                             A POWERFUL TOOL TO
                                                                                             CREATE AWARENESS
                                                                                             AND MOBILIZE PUBLIC
                                                                                             SUPPORT.
                                                                                             PRIYANKA TILVE,
                                                                                             SENIOR FEATURES WRITER




A
 MENTORPOLIS
     pplying to universities abroad for
     further study is a lot more complex
     than applying to a college in India
                                                   REVOLUTION 2.0
                                              T
and requires an expert opinion. Which                  he hunger strike has proved to be      Since then, the bill has been introduced
universities to apply to is also an                    a powerful and persuasive tool         over the years, but even after 42 years, it
important decision. At times like this,                since the days of the freedom          has not been passed.
you need a mentor who can guide you                    struggle. It was Gandhiji who             In the current scenario, with ever
on the correct path. For a small fee,         popularized this form of non-violent            increasing cases of corruption coming
MentorPolis.com aims to do just that.         protest, which proved quite effective           to light, when Anna Hazare took up the
   It’s a platform that facilitates the flow   against the British regime. In those days,      issue, it found strong support from people
of authentic information and advice from      hundreds of his followers would join            from all walks of life. Anna was fighting
mentors who have been high achievers          him mostly via word-of-mouth. And the           for more stringent changes to be made
to those seeking advice. Currently, the       numbers were usually large as they had          to the bill, including the right for the
site offers mentorship in six major           the hunger for independence. Over the           common man to fi le complaints, more
verticals – engineering India, engineering    years, many social activists and even           power to the Lokpal advisory body, equal
abroad, MBA India, MBA abroad,                some politicians have taken to hunger           public and political representation in the
entrepreneurship, and careers.                strikes, but gathering the support of the       advisory body, amongst other things.
   They have mentors who come                 people hasn’t been easy.                           His campaign received momentum
from diverse educational backgrounds             The recent events in Egypt have              and widespread support via Internet.
and prestigious institutes like IIT,          spawned a new trend. Even though the            The youth of the nation was at the
IIM, Harvard, Oxford, MIT, etc. to            Internet has been in use as a tool to           forefront, organizing events to support
name a few. You can approach these            garner support for causes and events,           the campaign by engaging the medium
mentors to seek guidance about                the Egypt outcome reinforced its true           they are adept at. The Anna Hazare page
universities, courses, admission              potential. The Internet played a huge role      on Facebook has over 129,500 followers,
processes, career advice, etc. They will      ousting the Mubarak regime, and closer          while on Twitter, it found support from
work with you and help you identify           to home, our politicians had their fi rst       celebrities and common users alike,
your strengths and weaknesses,                taste of Internet revolution with the issue     with #Anna Hazare, #corruption, and
and help you reach your goals.                of the Lokpal Bill.                             #Jantar Mantar emerging as the top
   If you would like to have a telephonic        Kisan Baburao Hazare, a 71-year old          trending words. Even Youtube was abuzz
conversation with your mentor, you will       Gandhian popularly known as Anna                with videos supporting the campaign.
have to pay Rs 300 per consultation           Hazare, has been a prolific social activist     The Internet was the medium of choice
call. You will get an incoming call from      for decades. He began a fast unto death at      to organize candle light marches,
the mentor, so you need not worry             Jantar Mantar in Delhi on April 5, 2011,        protests and even hunger strikes across
about the calling charges. There is no        demanding a much stronger Lokpal Bill,          the country. As the campaign gained
time limit on a consultation call as it       which is an anti-corruption bill under          momentum and with more and more
depends on the query. On the other            which complaints can be fi led against the      people joining in, the government was
hand, the Web seminars held from time         prime minister, ministers, bureaucrats          forced to give in to the demands. After
to time are free. Here you can raise          and other public officers. The fi rst Lokpal    four days of fasting, Anna fi nally called
your concerns and queries, which will be      Bill was passed in 1969 in Lok Sabha, but       off his hunger strike on April 9.
answered by the mentors.                      could not get through in upper house.                                   - priyanka.tilve@chip.in



                                                                                              INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP    05/2011    103
   HANDS ON
      DR CHIP




                                                                        Dr CHIP                      SEND YOUR QUERIES TO: drchip@chip.in




      hin Pandit
             d
   Sachin Pandit



[Q] Dear Dr CHIP, I am presently
                              l
                       presently                     help desk and ask for a solution. Email or           websites that distribute free authentic
using Windows XP with SP2. Whenever                  call them.                                           movies, but you will have to hunt for
I start my system it shows me the                                                                         them. Torrents and P2P sharing is
error ‘The AA number has not been                    [Q] Respected sir, what happens when                 completely legal unless the content is
programmed on the system, press                      we download music and movies from                    copyright-protected.
the Enter key to continue’, and after                torrent sites? Is it illegal and piracy?
pressing [Enter] Windows starts                      If yes, is there any legitimate way of               [Q] Hello Dr CHIP. I am an NRI living
properly. Please help me.                            downloading movies? Thank you.                       in Saudi Arabia. I really like your
                                – Amrut Dange                                      – Pranshu kumar        magazine and every time I come to
                                                                                                          Mumbai, I buy a copy from the airport.
                                                                                                          I currently have an issue with my PC.
                                                                                                          It is installed with Windows 7 Ultimate
                                                                                                          Edition. It was working fine for around
                                                                                                          a year, but as I upgraded it to Windows
                                                                                                          7 Service Pack 1, the gadgets do not
                                                                                                          work anymore. I read the compatibility
                                                                                                          report from Windows and found
                                                                                                          that my computer was completely
                                                                                                          compatible with Windows 7. I removed
                                                                                                          the service pack update but still the
                                                                                                          gadgets do not work. Please help me.
Flashing the BIOS is risky and should be done only   P2P sharing is completely legal unless the content   Also you must extend your coverage
if you know how to do it.                            or data that is shared is copyright protected.
                                                                                                          of CHIP to Saudi Arabia as there are
[A]    Hello Amrut. The error is a BIOS-             [A] Hello Pranshu. Yes, it is illegal to             many Indians here.
related issue. If you have recently flashed           download movies, music and software                                                   – Farida Ahmed
your BIOS to a newer update, the issue               from torrents and other P2P software.
cannot be resolved. If your motherboard              These files usually contain pirated
is under warranty, have it serviced by the           content and are uploaded to various
service center. If you have not flashed               servers for others to download and
your BIOS with a newer update, try doing             use. If the files are shareware, freeware
so (Note: flashing the BIOS is risky and              or self-made for distribution or if the
should be done only if you know how                  developer of the software or owner of
to do it). If your motherboard is not                the movie or music give the authority
under warranty and you do not want to                or permission for it to be shared for
risk flashing the BIOS, I would suggest               free, then these files can be legally
that you let the problem remain if your              put up on torrents and PSP sites. We
system is functioning properly after                 strictly oppose piracy and recommend
bypassing the error. Check with your                 using only genuine software, movies                   Registry errors and system file corruption can
                                                                                                           lead to errors that require lots of troubleshooting.
motherboard manufacturer’s support                   and music. There are only a few limited


104    05/2011     INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                                     SMS us!      Story code: HDC to 51818
                                                                                                                               HANDS ON
                                                                                                                                DR CHIP


[A] Hello Farida. I am glad that you are           bad sectors on the hard drive platters,     new Hardware: SCSI RAID Controller.
keen on getting CHIP in Saudi Arabia               too many programs starting up in the        Problem with Hardware AQ98UE91 IDE
for the benefit of the Indian population            background, insufficient space on the       Controller’. And finally, the DVD drive
settled and working there. I shall forward         primary partition, bloated junk files        does not detect any type of CDs or
your request and suggestion to the                 folder, registry errors, bad or corrupted   DVDs, but they work fine on other PCs.
concerned department. As far as your               system files, etc. In order to resolve       I tried using a lens cleaner and also
query goes, you will have to try a registry        your issues, you should tackle each of      reinstalled the necessary DVD drivers,
tweak. Go to ‘Start’ and type ‘regedit’            these issues step by step. Run a virus      but no luck as yet. Please help me out.
in the ‘Search’ field and press [Enter].            check, scan and repair your hard drive      I would be really grateful to you. Also
The registry editor will open up and               for problems, defragment your hard          can you help me with slipstreaming
you need to navigate to the key ‘HKEY_             drive, update your operating system,        Windows XP Professional with SP3?
LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\                  remove unwanted junk files using a disk                                         – James Kane
Windows\CurrentVersion\Sidebar\                    scrubbing utility, uninstall programs
Settings’. Here, right-click on the right          that you don’t require, remove entries
pane of the editor window and create               from the startup (MSCONFIG) that
a new ‘DWORD’ with a 32-bit value and              start programs automatically, and use
name it as ‘AllowElevatedProcess’. Once            a utility to scan, repair and defrag the
done, set the value of this new DWORD              registry. Apart from these issues, your
entry to ‘1’ and close the registry editor.        system can also underperform due
Now restart Windows and check if your              to overheating. Open the computer
gadget works normally.                             cabinet and clean out the dust using
                                                   a blower and a brush. Ensure that the
[Q] Dear sir, lately I have come across            processor, power supply and case fans
your magazine and I am truly amazed                are dust-free. Neatly tie the cables to
after reading it. Your magazine is a               make sure there is enough air flow. Also     Integration of the Service Pack 3 with the original
                                                                                               Windows XP CD is a simple five-step procedure.
front runner in the path to the tech               keep the computer cabinet in an area
savvy world. I have a problem with my              that has air circulation such as on a       [A]   Hello James. The BIOS of your
PC. The icons and the taskbar appear               desk or away from the wall. If you follow   motherboard is the main culprit here.
only after around 45-90 seconds after              these steps regularly (at least once a      The fact that the date resets indicates
I start my PC. Sometimes it exceeds                week) your system should work fine.          that the CMOS battery has been drained
two minutes. Is it a problem? I have                                                           and needs replacement. But looking at
the following the configuration - Intel             [Q] Hi Dr CHIP. I have some problems        the FDD and CPU frequency errors, it
D 945 Intel motherboard, Intel Core                with my PC and the configuration is          seems that you are not setting the right
2 Duo 2.0 GHz processor, 2 GB DDR2                 as follows. Windows XP Professional         values for the BIOS. Check if you have
RAM, 500 GB HDD, Quick Heal Total                  with SP2, AMD Athlon 64 x 2 Dual            disabled the FDD drive in the BIOS and
Security antivirus and Window XP                   Core 6000+ 3.01 GHz processor, 960          also confirm that you have not changed
Professional with SP3. Further, my                 MB RAM, 160 GB HDD, LG DVD writer           any values to the voltage, frequency and
PC’s performance seems to be getting               (Combo drive), Biostar motherboard,         timings of the processor and/or RAM. To
sluggish day after day. Is there any               and Nvidia onboard graphics with            get help with this, I would recommend
remedy for this?                                   128 MB RAM. The initial booting             choosing the defaults in the BIOS and
                           – Soumen Ghoshal        screen reads the following message:         saving it. Also your motherboard’s RAID
                                                   ‘IDE Channel 0 Master - HL-DT-ST            controller seems to be enabled, but is
[A] Hello Soumen. The decreasing                   DVD-RAM GSA-H55N 1.02, IDE                  unused. Either disable the RAID feature
performance could be due to many                   Channel 0 Slave - None, IDE Channel         from the BIOS or install a driver for the
factors - virus, fragmented hard drive,            2 Master - None, IDE Channel 3              RAID controller in Windows. None of
                                                   Master - ST3160215 AS3.AAD, Floppy          the above problems are related to the
                                                   disks fail(40). CMOS checksum               registry and hence registry cleaners can’t
                                                   error – Defaults Loaded. Warning!!          help you here. Your DVD drive has failed
                                                   System is in Safe Mode. Please reset        and needs to be repaired or replaced.
                                                   the CPU frequency in CMOS setup’.           Replacing is a better option. Finally, you
                                                   After restarting two to three times         can slipstream Windows XP SP3 and for
                                                   system, the system goes out of the          the entire procedure you can refer to the
                                                   ‘Safe Mode’ but the other problems          website http://go.chip.in/helpxpsp3.
                                                   still persist. I used various registry
                                                   cleaners but the registry errors keep       [Q] Hi Dr. CHIP. I am a big fan of CHIP
                                                   coming back. Also the Clock and             Magazine and I find your suggestions
                                                   Calendar show January 1, 2007 and the       very useful. I have a problem related
Neatly tied cables can reduce heat by increasing   time shows as 12:00. I also get a few       to webcams. I need to know that if a
airflow inside the cabinet.
                                                   messages in Windows such as: ‘Found         Sony DSC-W350 digital camera can


                                                                                                INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP         05/2011   105
   HANDS ON
    DR CHIP


                                               can I buy it from. Also, my laptop                    problems and the credit actually
                                               keeps creating sounds (the Windows                    goes to you guys. I have a query. I
                                               default sound) like as though some                    need to network one of my desktop
                                               USB device is inserted or ejected                     computers with my Dell laptop.
                                               frequently, but nothing is actually                   The configurations are as follows:
                                               inserted or ejected. What should I do                 Dell Laptop 1510 - Intel Core 2 Duo
                                               in this case? My system is completely                 processor, 160 GB HDD, 2 GB RAM and
                                               virus-free as reported by AVG Free                    Windows Vista Ultimate operating
                                               version 2011, which is updated                        system; desktop PC - Pentium 4
                                               frequently. Eagerly awaiting your reply.              processor, 40 GB HDD, 2 GB RAM
                                               Thanks and best regards.                              and Windows XP with Service Pack
                                                                                         - Nilesh    2. My budget is not much and I want
Use your mobile phone as a webcam on your PC
with Mobiola using USB, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
                                                                                                     to network these two devices using a
                                                                                                     simple LAN cable. The networking is
be used as a webcam. Can I use my                                                                    needed to transfer the data from one
mobile phone as a webcam? I have                                                                     computer to the other. Please tell me
two mobile phones, a Nokia 6300 and                                                                  the entire process of how to network
a Sony Ericsson K530i. Please help me                                                                these devices. Waiting for your reply.
out. Thanks.                                                                                         Thanks.
                                – Sagar Goel                                                                                      – Anubhav Kumar


[A] Hello Sagar. As far as I know, you                                                               [A] Hello Anubhav. In order to network
cannot use your Sony DSC-W350 as a                                                                   the two computers you can opt for three
webcam, but you can use your mobile                                                                  methods. Firstly, you can use a cross
phone as a webcam using a Bluetooth,           The SIM card provision is for 3G compatibility, but   cable (you can either make one for under
                                               it still needs additional hardware to work.
Wi-Fi or USB connection. You will need                                                               Rs 30 or purchase a readymade cable
to install software on both, the computer      [A] Hello Nilesh. The provision for a                 for around Rs 150 depending on the
and the phone, in order to do so. You          SIM card in your Dell laptop is given                 length of the cable) to connect the two
can try using the Mobiola WebCamera            as an optional GPRS/HSPDA network                     machines. The second method is using
application, which is compatible with          connection, but it works only in certain              a network hub/switch to connect the
BlackBerry phones, Windows mobile              countries, and not in India as yet.                   two machines. This method uses two
phones and Symbian (Nokia) phones.             Additionally, just inserting a SIM card               patch cords (a straight-through network
You can use the webcam for Skype,              will not help. You will need to install               cable which connects each machine
Yahoo, Windows Messenger, AIM, ICQ             a WWAN card (Wireless Wide Area                       to the hub/switch). In the above two
and a few more chat applications.              Network), which connects to a cellular                methods, you need to specify individual
Download it from www.mobiola.com.              service in conjunction with the SIM card              IP addresses to each machine. For
                                               to gain Internet connectivity. Presently,             example, use the IP address 192.168.0.1
[Q] Hi Dr. CHIP, Reading CHIP is like          the service is not available in India. I              on one machine and 192.168.0.2 on the
a regular dose of tonic to my brain.           would advise you to switch to a USB                   other machine while keeping the subnet
My friends call me a one-stop-shop             3G dongle from various Internet service               mask of both machines as 255.255.255.0.
for all their technical concerns. I can        providers. It is relatively cheaper and               You don’t need any gateway or DNS
proudly say that all of my knowledge           will save you the trouble of investing                addresses to be specified. These
about the computers and related IT             on additional hardware. You can also                  settings need to be entered in the TCP/
stuff comes from my monthly dosage             use the USB dongle on other computers                 IP (IPV4) settings under the properties
of IC-CHIP. Keep up the good work.             whenever needed. For your second query,               of the network card, which is available
I have a question regarding my Dell            you will need to find which hardware
Inspiron 1525 laptop. I have a SIM card        device on your laptop is responsible
slot located below (inside) the battery        for the error sounds. It could be a
compartment. I was wondering if I can          loose connection or a driver issue with
use the newly launched 3G Internet             the respective hardware, which keeps
services on my laptop by just inserting        disconnecting and reconnecting the
a 3G-enabled SIM card without the              hardware. It could also be a software
need of any other hardware. The                error or a virus. You will need to
hardware configuration of my laptop             investigate accordingly.
is Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 1
GB RAM and Windows 7 Professional              [Q] Dear Dr CHIP, I am an avid reader
(Genuine). Also If I need to install new       of CHIP Magazine. I really appreciate
hardware, please advise me on the              your work. Now my friends seek                        The article in the August 2010 issue teaches you to
installation procedure, price and where        my help for their computer related                    make your own network cable.



106   05/2011     INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                               HANDS ON
                                                                                                                                   DR CHIP


in the networking section of the Control       80 GB hard disk drive. When I start
panel. The third option is to use a            my system, it hangs or freezes and
wireless router, which can connect the         just displays the window with the
two machines together and also gives           processor information. After three or
out IP addresses automatically to the          four reboots, it starts working properly.
machines. The laptop can be connected          But sometimes even that does not
wirelessly while the desktop needs to be       help and the system starts producing a
connected using a network patch cord. In       continuous beep sound.
all the above cases, once the networking                                             – Bhagirath
has been finalized, you need to ensure
that the machine names are not identical
and the folders that need to be seen
on network are shared with appropriate
rights. To know more on how to make
your own cross-cable and complete the
networking with sharing of folders, you
can refer to the article/workshop in the
August 2010 issue of CHIP. You can find it
online at http://go.chip.in/homenetwork.


[Q] Hi Dr CHIP. I have an HCL PC. The
trouble is that when I try to shut down        Some computer hardware stores sell pressurized
                                               air cans to help clean dust from inside the PC case.
the system, it automatically restarts
after being shutting down. What could          [A] Hello Bhagirath. Since you are
be the possible reason?                        using an old computer, the system could
                             – Arjun Prakash   be refusing to boot up due to dust or
                                               corroded components. Open the case
                                               and disconnect all hardware components
                                               and cables. Using a good hard bristle
                                               brush, gently tap and remove all the
                                               dust from the motherboard, processor
                                               fans, memory chips and other places
                                               where you find dust. Use the blower
                                               end of a vacuum cleaner and get rid of
                                               the dust entirely. Dip the brush in IPA
                                               (Isopropyl alcohol; available at most
                                               computer hardware stores) and gently
                                               try scrubbing away any stubborn dust
Most errors are caused due to insufficient     and corrosive layers from the memory
operating system updates. You should update
                                               slot and memory sticks. You can also do
Windows via the internet frequently.
                                               the same where you can see dust and
[A] Hello Arjun. This problem could be         corrosion on other components. Make
in the BIOS (check with default settings       sure you don’t apply too much pressure
in the BIOS), corrupted system files (run       as you can damage the delicate SMD
the ‘SFC/scannow’ command in the               components and your hardware will be
command prompt to repair any missing,          rendered dead. If you are not confident
altered or damaged system file), or a           about doing this yourself, take help
heavily fragmented hard drive (scan and        from a friend or call in an experienced
fix errors and defragment the drive once        computer technician who can deal with
a week). You should update Windows             this. Once you have cleaned all the
too. Most errors are caused due to             components, wait around 20 minutes
insufficient OS updates. Ensure that your      for the IPA to dry up completely. Then
PC is virus-free.                              reconnect all the components and check
                                               if the problem is solved. The continuous
[Q] Dear Dr CHIP. I am using a five             beeping sounds while powering up the
year-old desktop PC bearing the                machine states a faulty RAM or a loosely
configuration Pentium 4 250 MHz                 connected RAM stick.
processor, Intel motherboard with                   — Send your queries to Francis D’Sa
D101GGC chipset, 512 MB RAM, and                                            at drchip@chip.in


                                                                                                      INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP    05/2011   107
     HANDS ON
SUPER CHEAP HTPC




  Super Cheap HTPC
  M
             ost of you will have a desktop               expensive operating system for the                    the network. XBMC is an open source
             PC or laptop just lying around               HTPC conversion. All you would need is                cross-platform media player and home
             simply because it’s either                   your bank of media files either stored                 entertainment system application
  too old for daily use and the resale                    on the hard drive, external storage or                designed for a living room TV. It has a
  value is too low for you to bother with                 on a DLNA/UPnP compatible NAS.                        graphical user interface and allows one to
  it. Why not convert it into an HTPC                         In this workshop, we will show you                play video, photos, music and podcasts
  (home theater PC) for use in your                       how you can use XBMC Live (formerly                   on your TV. XBMC Live is a free Ubuntu-
  living room or bedroom? You don’t                       known as Xbox Media Center) on an                     based Linux distribution with XBMC for
  need any large capacity hard drives,                    old PC and connect it to your LCD TV                  Linux pre-installed and pre-configured,
  high-end graphics cards or even an                      to enjoy your movies and music on                     and hence we can avoid the purchase




  On booting from the USB drive, choose the XBMCLive option unless you intend       You need to initially setup the networking parameters. Unless your router
  to permanently install the XBMC OS on your PC's internal hard drive.              assigns the IP address via the DHCP server, you should specify the IP address.




  Once done, you must add the source of your media files, be it the internal hard   Select the source(s) accordingly and add them to the list. Once done, you will be
  drive, a USB storage, a NAS, PC or SAMBA share, or DLNA server.                   able to select the source of your media files in the begining.


  108   05/2011     INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                                           SMS us!      Story code: HWB to 51818
                                                                                                                                      HANDS ON
                                                                                                                               SUPER CHEAP HTPC




Have an old PC or laptop lying around? Why not convert it into an HTPC and enjoy your music
and movies stored on it or streamed from a centrally located media server.
BY FRANCIS D'SA


of an expensive operating system such                 theatre speakers or amplifier),
as Windows. For this workshop, all you                configure the BIOS to boot
need is a regular x86-based PC and a                  from USB/CD ROM and boot
blank CD or a 1 GB USB pen drive. Your                the PC from the USB/CD drive.
media files can either be on your PC’s                 You will shortly be taken to the
internal hard drive, external storage on a            XBMC user interface, where
media server available on your network.               you can select the ‘Live’ option.
This server can either be a Windows PC                If your media collection is on
with Windows Media Player configured                   the internal hard drive or an
to stream your movie collection, a DLNA/              external USB storage, make sure
UPnP compatible NAS, or a router which                you have the drive connected
holds your entire media collection.                   before powering up the HTPC.
   First, download the XBMC Live                      Once the XBMC media center is
                                                                                            Remote control apps for iPhone as well as Symbian, Java and
distribution from ‘www.xbmc.org’ or use               running, you can browse through       Android-based mobile phones are available for free.
the ISO distribution in the CHIP DVD.                 your collection and enjoy your
Download a utility called ‘UNetbootin’                favorite flicks.                                  troubles with XBMC, you can always refer
for Windows from http://unetbootin.                       If your media files are locat ed on the       to the ‘xbmc.org’ website for any issues.
sourceforge.net. This application will                network server, you will need to configure        The website also features downloadable
help you create your XBMC Live USB                    the network card or WLAN adapter.                skins for tweaking the user interface.
drive, unless you prefer burning the                  Also make sure you have connected the            Additionally, you can use your Wi-Fi
ISO file onto a CD. That’s all; the XBMC               network cable before XBMC is booting.            capable mobile phone or a Windows
Live media center is ready to play your               Usually, XBMC, being based on the                Media Center remote as a remote
favorite flicks over the network.                      Ubuntu Linux distribution, installs the          controller or you can also use XBMC to
   Connect the PC reserved for the HTPC               network drives by default. If your PC is         act as a media server on your network.
to the LCD TV (VGA/HDMI, whichever                    fairly new, you might need to download           There are several other features in XBMC
is compatible), run your audio wiring                 the necessary drivers and setup the              waiting for you to be discovered.
accordingly (from the PC to the home                  network accordingly. In case you face any                                        – francis.dsa@chip.in




                                                                                       CREATING A BOOTABLE USB PEN DRIVE
                                                                               Plug your USB pen drive into
                                                                               a Windows-based PC. Your
                                                                               pen drive should have at
                                                                               least 600 MB of free space.
                                                                               Start UNetbootin and select
                                                                               the ‘Diskimage’ radio button.
                                                                               Next, from the dropdown list
                                                                               alongside, select ‘ISO’ and on
                                                                               the extreme right side, click
                                                                               on the browse button and
                                                                               select your XBMC distribution file. Next, select the Type as ‘USB
                                                                               Drive’, make sure your drive letter matches your USB pen drive,
                                                                               and click on the ‘OK’ button. Let the utility finish its job. The time
                                                                               to create the USB bootable pen drive will depend on the computer
Add-ons and plug-ins for XBMC for playing movies and music over the Internet   and pen drive’s write speeds. It should take a few minutes.
can be downloaded from XBMC's interface itself.


                                                                                                          INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP       05/2011   109
     HANDS ON
THE POWER OF DLNA




  The Power of DLNA
  A simple set of networking standards built into most of
  today’s entertainment devices will let you use them all
  together. BY JAMSHED AVARI



  N
          early a decade ago, consumer             can use a DLNA device to pull media
          electronics manufacturers                from a server and play it on another
          began realizing that consumers’          device. In this case, one device is the
  demands were evolving, and the idea              Controller (such as a smartphone
  of a “digital lifestyle” began to take           running a remote control app) and
  hold. People were already looking                the target device is a Renderer (TVs,
  for ways to avoid duplicating files,              media receivers, speaker docks etc,
  burning CDs and being physically tied            which simply receive media that is
  to their devices. So manufacturers               pushed to them).
  began seeing the advantages of a                 Additionally, some of these devices        computers
  more connected lifestyle—why should              might support Digital Media Uploader       or storage
  anyone be forced to play digital music           and Downloader functions, which            devices) will
  tracks only on the computers they are            were conceptualized for copying            need to be
  saved on when they have a perfectly              media to and from portable devices         on the same
  good stereo system? Why shouldn’t                such as MP3 players. You can usually       network,
  anyone be able to watch their movies             use these functions to copy files from      though
  and TV shows on any screen in the                a Server to a Player or vice versa.        they can be
  house, including phones and tablets?          Different devices will support different      connected
     DLNA (the Digital Living Network           combinations of DLNA functions, for           either with
  Alliance) is a set of guidelines and          example a network media receiver such         a fixed wire
  standards that PC and electronics             as the WD TV Live Hub lets you browse         or wirelessly.
  makers can use to ensure that their           and play media on a server (acting as         Once you
  devices are able to share media and talk      a Player), but will also stream to other      select your server, you’ll be able to
  to each other without the need to deal        devices from its internal hard drive          navigate its contents. You can browse
  with any of the technicalities. Certified      (acting as a Server) and can receive          by metadata such as title, artist, etc, or
  products usually carry the DLNA logo,         commands from a cellphone (acting             by the files’ actual folder location. Note
  so buyers are assured of compatibility.       only as a Renderer). Most apps let you        that both applications have a dropdown
  In order to be compliant, devices have        choose between rendering on the device        menu near the top. Clicking this scans the
  to be able to connect to a network. If        itself or on other devices detected on the    network for compatible DLNA Renderers,
  the network is set to allow devices to        network. This might be confusing, but         so you can select which device your files
  join automatically, configuration can be       the good news is you really don’t have        will start playing on. You can play most
  automatic. Ideally, users should be able      to keep track of what each device is          types of videos on your iPhone, iPod or
  to plug in their devices and immediately      doing—this information is just to help you    iPad itself (with the notable exception
  start browsing, playing and controlling       use all the flexibility that your devices      of AVI files, due to a limitation in iOS).
  media. Different devices support DLNA         are capable of offering.                      However you can still use these apps
  functions differently, and can be summed         DLNA streaming also lets you avoid         to control playback of the same files on
  up as follows:                                making additional copies of your files         other devices such as your TV or media
     DLNA SERVERS: These are typically          and wasting space on your phone or            receiver—in this case the apps act only
     networked hard drives, libraries on        tablet. To use your iPhone, iPad or iPod      as DLNA Controllers. SmartStor Fusion
     your PC, and media hubs that attach        touch as a DLNA Player or Controller,         Stream adds Uploader and Downloader
     to your TV. They host the files that        you’ll need a suitable app. Two examples      functions in addition to playlist creation.
     will be streamed across your network.      are SmartStor Fusion Stream, which is         If the need arises, you can use it to carry
     DLNA PLAYERS: These are TVs,               packed with features, and Living Media        copies of your files with you, or selectively
     mobile phones, speaker docks, digital      Player, which is a much simpler option.       copy them to other compatible devices.
     receivers and even some PC software,          After downloading and LMPlayer or          You can even upload photos taken with
     which you can use to pull media from       Smartstor Fusion Stream, the first thing       your iPhone/iPod camera to a server for
     a server and play it.                      you’ll see is a list of servers detected on   storage, though you have to select one at
     DLNA CONTROLLERS AND                       the network. You’ll need to be connected      a time.
     RENDERERS: In many cases, you              via Wi-Fi and the DLNA Server (your                                     – jamshed.avari@chip.in



  110   05/2011    INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                           SMS us!   Story code: HDL to 51818
                   HANDS ON
                TIPS & TRICKS




                                                                                                        Tips &
                                                                                                         Tricks
Sachin Pandit




                                                                                                                                               MAY 2011
                                                                                                                  SHARE YOUR TIPS. Write to: tnt@chip.in


                                                                      n     sel
                                                                            selected
                                                                     on the selected file type, you will see a         command ‘Run as administrator’. This
                WINDOWS
                  NDOW
                WIND WS                                              long list of information there that can be
                                                                     l
                                                                     long                                             instruction must be confirmed via the
                                                                     saved along with the file. Then, place the
                                                                                          file.                        Control Panel and authorised by selecting
                        Windows Vista 7                              cursor over a particular specification in         an account with administrator rights and
                  1     Trace and delete personal                    the ‘Value’ column. If this information can      entering the relevant password.
                        metadata from files                          be changed, you will now see an input               Then browse to the left side of the
                                                                     field or a combination field.                      editor in the tree structure to the key
                When trying to manage a large number                    There, you can change the value.              ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\
                of applications, private metadata tags               If you want to just delete all personal          Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\
                such as your name, designation and                   information, this method is a little             Explorer\Shell Icons’. Now right click
                other information manage to sneak                    cumbersome. In such a case, click the            a free point and select the context
                into the file without being noticeable.               link ‘Delete Properties and Personal             command ‘New | Character String’.
                You now want to check and clear this                 Information’. The option ‘Create a copy          Overwrite the name suggested by
                information before forwarding the files.              with all properties deleted’ is activated        Windows with ‘4’ so that an internal key is
                                                                     by default in the next dialog box. If            defined for the open folders. The closed
                       In Windows Explorer, you can not              you retain it and click ‘OK’, a new file          folders are represented by the number ‘3’.
                only trace hidden additional data, but               containing all the information is created           Open the new character string by
                can also delete it. For this, browse to              as a backup.                                     double-clicking your entry and enter the
                the relevant file, right click its entry and                                                           complete path to the ‘shell32.dll’ file as
                select the context command ‘Properties’.                     Windows 7                                ‘Value’. You can access the icons in this
                Then go to the ‘Details’ tab. Depending                2     Set up different views for open          file by entering the internal index value of
                                                                             and closed folders in Explorer
                                                                 1                                                                                                      2
                                                                     You do not find Windows’ way of
                                                                     displaying open and closed folders
                                                                     in the tree structure of Explorer clear
                                                                     enough. You thus want to use other,
                                                                     more meaningful icons.


                                                                            For this, open the Registry Editor,
                                                                     click ‘Start’ and enter ‘regedit’ in the
                                                                     ‘Programs | Search Files’ field. You then
                                                                     see the search results directly in the
                You can now trace and delete personal metadata       start menu. Then right click ‘regedit.exe’        Different views for opened and closed folders can
                information from files in just a few clicks.                                                           be set up in explorer according to your preference.
                                                                     under ‘Programs’ and select the context


                112   05/2011     INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                                   SMS us!     Story code: HTT to 51818
                                                                                                                                  HANDS ON
                                                                                                                                TIPS & TRICKS


the desired icon right after the path and            entering the password. You can now            can repeat the process to add some
separating it with a comma. For instance,            select from four security levels of the       more images. It will also go faster if you
use ‘%SystemRoot%/system32\SHELL32.                  User Account Control in the next dialog       keep the [Ctrl] key pressed and then click
dll,144’ in order to replace the icon of             box. For this, move the scroller to the       the desired images one after the other or
an open folder with a red checkmark in               desired setting using the mouse and           simply click ‘Select All’.
Windows Explorer.                                    confirm with ‘OK’. This must also be              If you select more than one image,
   After making these changes, close the             confirmed by means of an authentication        Windows activates the controls under
Registry Editor with ‘File | Close’ and then         via an administrator account.                 the heading ‘Change image every…’. In
restart the system.                                     The securest setting informs you           this combination field, select a time
   Also, if you want to know which icons             about all changes made to the system          period between ‘10 seconds’ and ‘1
the file ‘shell32.dll’ contains, here is a            settings that require administrator rights.   day’ after which the background image
small trick: Right click any folder and              For this, Windows dims the desktop out        should change automatically. Enable the
select the context command ‘Properties’.             and you cannot access other applications      ‘Shuffle’ option if you want Windows to
In the ‘Customize’ tab, click the ‘Choose            till you decided about the changes to be      use images in a random sequence. In the
icon’ button. The next dialog box displays           made to the system settings. Microsoft        ‘Image position’ combination field, define
all the icons from the ‘shell32.dll’ file. You        calls this status ‘Safe Desktop Mode’.        the display method of the wallpapers
still need to count the position of an icon             The next level only provides               on the desktop. For example, Windows
in order to define its index value. Start             information about attempts to make            can increase the size of the image till it
with 0 and go in ascending order to reach            changes using external programs. As           fills the entire desktop, maintaining the
the correct icon. Since Windows 7 lists              against that, if you make changes             aspect ratio. Depending on the image
icons in four rows, the second icon in the           manually, they are ignored by this new        format, the image is cropped from the
first row has the number ‘4’.                         User Account Control level. The third         upper to the lower edge. The ‘Stretch’
                                                     level functions exactly like the second       option is not very practical because
         Windows 7                                   but does not involve the dimming out of       Windows then stretches the image to the
  3      Set User Account Control                    the desktop.                                  desktop dimensions
         settings individually                          The fourth level provides no more
                                                     information and is completely automatic               Windows XP, Vista, 7
The User Account Control (UAC) is a                  in it functioning: If you are logged on as      5     Do not record file accesses
matter of dispute. In Vista, a user has              the administrator, hackers or viruses can
the option of disabling it entirely. You             make easily system changes without any        NTFS logs the time of every file access.
wonder how it works in Windows 7.                    kind of control. If you are using a user      But you want only the date and time
                                                     account without administrator rights,         of creation and last modification,
                                                 3   Windows rejects all system changes            and want to disable the remaining
                                                     without any queries.                          functions.


                                                            Windows 7                                     For this, enter ‘regedit’ in the input
                                                       4    Get a changing desktop                 field of the start menu and press [Enter].
                                                            background without                     Then confirm the security query of the
                                                                                                   User Account Control. Then browse to
                                                            additional software
                                                                                                   the ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\
                                                     You want more variety on your desktop         CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem’
                                                     and thus want the wallpaper to keep           key in the Registry. In the right part of the
                                                     changing every few minutes. Till now,         dialog box, double click the DWORD value
 Unlike Windows Vista, in Windows 7, you can         you have been using a third-party tool,       ‘NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate’. Change
 select from four user account control levels.
                                                     but Windows 7 can do this on its own.         it to ‘1’ to disable the saving of the time.


        In Windows 7, you can select from                   Right click a free place on                                                                5
four different User Account Control levels.          the desktop and select the context
For this, open ‘Start | Control Panel’ and           command ‘Personalize’. Click the
then click ‘System and Security’ and                 ‘Desktop background’ link in the
‘Security Center’. In the classic view of            next dialog box. You can now select
the control panel, you can go to this                an image by clicking any one of the
window directly via the ‘Security Center’            thumbnails. Then simply click the
icon. Then click the ‘Change Settings                next image for your future slideshow.
of User Account Control’ link in the                 As soon as you hover the cursor over
left side of the window. This must be                the image, an empty checkbox is
confirmed via the User Account Control                displayed in the upper left corner.
and must be authorised by selecting an                  Here, click to add a checkmark for         Enable recording of only date, time, creation and
                                                                                                   last modifications and disable the rest.
account with administrator rights and                adding an image to the slideshow. You


                                                                                                     INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP        05/2011   113
   HANDS ON
TIPS & TRICKS


This is a default setting on some systems.                                                               initial problems with the service pack can
Confirm the value with ‘OK’ and close the                      QUICK TIPS                                 be identified and resolved in time. This is
Registry. The access times are no longer                                                                 because it is often difficult to reset the
logged after the system is restarted.
                                                       OPEN WINDOWS DIRECTLY IN THE                      installation of a service pack.
                                                       TASK SWITCHER
NOTE: Logging all file accesses with the
                                                       In order to open windows directly when the
times is an extremely practical option for                                                                       Windows XP, Vista, 7
administrators from the point of view of
                                                       Aero task switcher is active, keep [Alt]
                                                       pressed and select the window you want
                                                                                                           7     Add useful functions to
security. As a normal user, you usually do             with a click.                                             Windows Explorer
not require these rules. Certain programs
like defragmentation programs still use                OPEN TASK MANAGER VIA MOUSE                       You trust Windows Explorer when it
these values.                                          Right click anywhere in the taskbar and           comes to file management, but you still
   The disabling should not be a problem.              select the ‘Task Manager’ context command         think a couple of useful functions are
                                                       in most versions of Windows.
In fact it should accelerate the access to                                                               missing and want to know whether you
large folders because it makes logging of              ACTIVATE EXPLORER PREVIEW                         can expand its functionality.
writing accesses redundant. It is also less            You can easily display or hide the new
rough on SSDs.                                         preview pane on the right side of the                     FilerFrog is an extremely practical
                                                       Windows Explorer using the [Alt] + [P] key        Shell extension for Windows Explorer. It is
        Windows 7                                      combination.                                      available for free, and can be downloaded
  6     Block updates temporarily with                 ENABLE OR DISABLE XP FIREWALL
                                                                                                         from www.filerfrog.com.
        Service Pack 1                                                                                      First unzip the ZIP archive and then run
                                                       For this, press the [Win] + [R] key
                                                                                                         the relevant MSI installation file for your
                                                       combination and use the command ‘netsh
Long before the Service Pack 1 for                     firewall set opmode enable’ or ‘netsh firewall    system since FilerFrog is available in 32
Windows 7 appeared on the Internet,                    set opmode disable’.                              and 64-bit versions. The installation must
incomplete pre-release versions were                                                                     be authorised via User Account Control.
already circulating on the Internet,                   DISPLAY FILE EXTENSION PIF                        Then restart the computer so that the
which must be uninstalled. You now                     In order to display the file extension PIF, set   tool is integrated into Explorer.
                                                       the value of ‘NeverShowExt’ to ‘1’ in the
want to disable automatic installation                                                                      ‘FilerFrog’ will also be available as an
                                                       ‘HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\piffile’ in the registry.
of the official service pack in order to                                                                 additional menu item in the context menu
avoid any potential problems.                                                                            of Windows Explorer. If you for instance
                                                      SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\               want to sort a few files in a big folder,
       In order to activate automatic                 WindowsUpdate’. Then set the value to ‘1’.         select them and then select the context
updates, use the free ‘Windows Service                Users without administrative rights should         command ‘Filerfrog | Organize | Extract
Pack Blocker Tool Kit’ from Microsoft                 right-click the file ‘SPBlockingTool.exe’           Files to Folder’. Now enter a name for the
(download from www.microsoft.com/                     and select the context command ‘Run                new subfolder and click ‘OK’.
downloads). Double-click the EXE                      as Administrator’. Then confirm the User               The tool now creates this subfolder
archive file and select a target folder for            Account Control query and also authorise           and moves all the selected files to it. You
unzipping it. The target folder will then             the input by selecting an account with             can also move the contents of individual
contain the ‘SPreg.cmd’ script as well                administrator rights and entering the              subfolders into the higher level folder just
as the ‘NoSPUpdate’ guideline template                relevant password. A message confirms               as quickly. Just right click the subfolder(s)
along with the standard ‘SPBlockingTool.              the setup.                                         or select the command ‘FilerFrog |
exe’ component. The actual function                      This setting blocks only the download           Organize | Extract Files to Folder’. Confirm
requires a registry entry. To do this                 via Windows Update but does not prevent            the deletion of the empty sub-folder
manually, simply create a DWORD                       a subsequent manual installation of the            in the end with ‘Yes’. In the ‘Organize’
value with the name ‘DoNotAllowSP’                    service pack. The installation is blocked          submenu, you can also copy and move
in the key ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\                       for maximum 12 months after the release            files, or can copy the current path to
                                                      of the service pack. During this time, you
                                                  6   should test the installation on another                                                                  7
                                                      computer and/or trace the reactions in
                                                      the network and re-install the service
                                                      pack at the earliest.
                                                      NOTE: The announced service pack is
                                                      automatically distributed and installed
                                                      via Windows Update Service. Immediate
                                                      installation is however not necessary. The
                                                      important security updates contained
                                                      in it are automatically installed on the
                                                      latest systems and compiled again into
In order to activate automatic updates, use the       the service pack. You can usually wait for         ‘FilerFrog’ will also be available as an additional
free ‘Windows Service Pack Blocker Tool Kit’.                                                            menu item in the context menu.
                                                      modified or advanced functions so that


114   05/2011      INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                                 HANDS ON
                                                                                                                              TIPS & TRICKS


clipboard. The ‘List of Files’ menu item                                                              through and also click on pages directly.
                                                                                                  8
can be used to create file lists in various                                                            Another option is the ‘Document Map’,
formats and save them as text or HTML.                                                                which shows you the outline of the entire
This is extremely practical if you want to                                                            document.
create and print a list of songs or videos.                                                              Word 2010 incorporates a more
   Under ‘Security’, the tool provides a                                                              powerful ‘Navigation Pane’, which can
pre-programmed option of encrypting                                                                   be reached via the ‘View’ tab. This pane
files or folders quickly and to protect                                                                usually appears on the left, but can be
them with a password. Data can be                                                                     positioned anywhere by simply dragging
encrypted only on systems with FilerFrog.                                                             it. The ‘Heading Tab’ will show you all
You can also split large files into pre-                                                               the headings in the document as well
defined or random parts using ‘Split and                                                               as sub-headings for ease of navigation.
                                               'Paste Special' does more than one thing and can
Join’ if for instance you want to burn the     actually help you swap rows and columns.               You can easily go to the desired part
data on to several CDs. In the ‘Rename’                                                               of the document by clicking on the
menu item, the tool provides numerous          will now swap columns and rows.                        corresponding heading in the navigation
options for complex renaming. You can                                                                 pane. You can even shift text from
thus set automatic numbering, set or                   Word 2007, 2010                                here by simply dragging the heading
attach specific text or delete a specified         9     Get a better overview of large                 to the desired location. Next up is the
number of characters from the name.                    Word documents                                 ‘Thumbnail View’ that displays the
Moreover, names can also be edited using                                                              thumbnail images of each page in the
‘Find & Replace’. These functions are          In case of large documents, you                        document, which makes it easy to jump
useful if you want to sort the files of a       often end up scrolling up and down,                    from one page to another. The third tab
photo album for instance.                      especially when you are reviewing it.                  is the ‘Search Option’ which displays the
                                               It becomes very difficult to go back to                search result in the navigation pane while
APPLICATIONS                                   where you last were. In such a scenario,               highlighting the search words or phrases
                                               the ‘Thumbnail’ option as in Adobe can                 in yellow. From there, you can directly
       Excel XP, 2003, 2007, 2010              come in handy.                                         jump to the relevant place with a click.
  8    Rotate tables - just swap
                                                      The Thumbnails option is available                     Outlook 2003, 2007, 2010
       columns and rows
                                               from Word 2007. In order to display it, go              10    Adopt signatures and
Sometimes after you are done creating          to ‘View’ tab from the main menu and                          templates from an older
tables in Excel, you realize that the          then activate the option ‘Thumbnails’
                                                                                                             version
columns could be better as rows and            from the ‘Show/Hide’ section. You will
vice versa.                                    now see Thumbnails of pages on the left                You have integrated your new PST file
                                               hand side, which you can easily browse                 (Personal Store) after switching to a
     PASTE SPECIAL AND                                                                                new version or after reformatting your
TRANSPOSE: First select the area whose                                                            9   computer. But some data, such as the
columns and rows you want to swap.                                                                    email signatures, etc. is missing.
Then right-click the selected area and
select ‘Copy’ or ‘Cut’, depending on                                                                         Outlook saves elements such as
whether you want to entirely replace the                                                              signatures, templates and regulations
table or create a new one while keeping                                                               not in the PST file, but in the Registry
the original. Ensure that the area where                                                              or in separate files in the user profile
you want to insert the table should be                                                                under Windows. In order to adopt these
the same as the original. Next, right click                                                           signatures, take a backup of these files
and select the option ‘Paste Special’. In                                                             from the old version or retrieve them. For
the dialog box that you see next, select                                                              this, browse to the folder ‘C:\Documents
the option Transpose, which you will find       The new navigation area in Word simplifies search      and Settings\[User Name]\Application
                                               and orientation in long text documents.
in the right-hand corner. Select ‘Ok’. Excel                                                          Data\Microsoft\Signatures' of the old
   HANDS ON
TIPS & TRICKS


                                                                                                                  Previously, it was possible to
                                                10                                                    11
                                                                                                           improve the functionality of Opera by
                                                                                                           means of widgets. But from Opera 11
                                                                                                           onwards, you now have add-ons that are
                                                                                                           similar to those available for Firefox. You
                                                                                                           can see the list of add-ons by visiting
                                                                                                           http://www.opera.com/addons/. It has
                                                                                                           many useful add-ons and one such tool
                                                                                                           is ‘Documents Preview’, which provides
                                                                                                           a quick preview of documents like PDF,
                                                                                                           DOC or PPT. This is done with the help
                                                                                                           of a JavaScript that guides you to a
Outlook signatures are located in a sub-folder of    Tab on demand loads the tab contents only when
your Windows application data.                       you need them, speeding up your Firefox start-up.     preview with the Google Observer. Some
                                                                                                           other useful apps include ‘NoAds’, an
system or the backup in Windows                      simultaneously.                                       advertisement filter, ‘GmailChecker’ that
Explorer under XP. In case of Vista or                                                                     displays the number of unread messages
Windows 7, the folder is located in ‘C:\                    Having lots of tabs open when                  in your Gmail inbox, and ‘LetPass’ that
User\[User Name]\AppData\Roaming\                    working can cause your browser to slow                manages passwords. The overview and
Microsoft\Signatures’. Copy all the                  down, especially when you restart it. It              configuration of your add-ons can be set
relevant files. There is a TXT, HTML and              will take a lot of time to restore all your           via ‘Menu | Add-ons | Manage Add-Ons’.
RTF file for every signature so that it is            tabs; this is where the free BarTab add-on            You can ‘Disable’, ‘Uninstall’ and configure
compatible with various email formats.               for Firefox will come in handy. You can               add-ons individually.
   Go to the new system on which                     download the add-on from https://
Outlook is installed. Depending on the               addons.mozilla.org/en-us/firefox/                              Internet Explorer
OS, browse to the relevant data folder               addon/bartab. Once you install it, you                 13     Printing the favorites list from
and copy the saved signature files. If                can put all the tabs that you require                         Internet Explorer.
a sub-folder is required and there isn’t             frequently in here. And when the browser
one, create it. The next time you compile            is restarted, BarTab will not load these              You can print all your favorites from
a message, you will see the signatures               tabs automatically, but only when you                 Internet Explorer for easy reference.
again. For automatic application, open               specifically visit them. It will show you
a new message. Click ‘Signature’ in the              the status for each tab, you can load                        Select the ‘File | Import and
menu bar and then click ‘Signatures’.                the ones that you need and unload the                 Export’ command from the menu bar.
You can then select and edit signatures              rest. Furthermore, you have the option to             Next, select the option ‘Export to a File’
individually in the next dialog box. Define           specify which tabs should be loaded and               and then, select ‘Export Favourites’. Next,
the default in the upper right combination           which should never be loaded at the start.            specify the file name and location. The
fields. Under that, you can define different                                                                 file will be saved as an HTML, which can
signatures for ‘New Messages’ and for                        Opera 10                                      be easily opened and printed via Word
‘Replies/Forwards’. Repeat the process                12     Use add-ons in Opera as well –                or the browser. However, only the names
for all other mail accounts. Click ‘OK’ to                   finally!                                      will be displayed and not the links.
apply the configuration.
NOTE: You can use the same procedure                 Opera has led the way for a lot of new                        Outlook 2010
to adopt templates from your old                     functions, but it lacked the flexibility                14     Configure and use QuickSteps
Outlook version. The required files are               offered by other browsers. All that is                        practically
located in the ‘Templates’ sub-folder now            set to change now, as it finally offers
instead of the ‘Signatures’ sub-folder               add-ons.                                              Outlook 2010's new QuickSteps section
but in the same location in the directory                                                                  helps you simplify day-to-day work.
structure. Copy all the existing OFT files                                                             12
from there and paste them in the new                                                                              The new QuickSteps are like mini
system.                                                                                                    macros with which you can complete
                                                                                                           your daily tasks with just a couple of
        Firefox                                                                                            clicks. QuickSteps help you manage the
 11     Load open tabs in the Web                                                                          mails flooding your inbox in an efficient
        browser only on request                                                                            and practical manner. If you file your
                                                                                                           emails into folders in Outlook, then
When using Firefox, you end up having                                                                      QuickSteps is a life saver. Earlier, you had
lots of tabs open for a quick overview                                                                     to manually move emails to the desired
of all the important websites. But                                                                         folder. However, with QuickSteps, you
this can slow down the start-up and                  Opera now offers useful add-ons for free, thus        can do so with just a click. You can, for
                                                     making it much more flexible.
cause problems as all the tabs load                                                                        instance, forward an email directly to your


116   05/2011      INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
                                                                                                                                        HANDS ON
                                                                                                                                     TIPS & TRICKS


                                                                                                        forgotten the password to it.
                                               14                                                  15
                                                                                                               The easiest way to reset a BIOS
                                                                                                        password is to use the Clear RTC jumper.
                                                                                                        This jumper is present on almost all
                                                                                                        classic motherboards in desktop PCs.
                                                                                                        Search for ‘BIOS Reset’, ‘Clear RTC’ or
                                                                                                        ‘CMOS Reset’ in the manual of your

                                                                                                                                                         16

QuickSteps simplifies your day-to-day tasks with    With the Firmware update, the WDTV Live Plus
just a click.                                       supports Facebook and weather applications.


team by just specifying their email ids             Internet Radio streams with least effort.
while creating the QuickStep. Similarly,            With the new Firmware version 1.04.10
you can create QuickSteps to perform                dated 13.1.2011, it now supports Facebook,
several task like send to archive, send to          Blockbuster on Demand, Deezer, Flingo
folder (specify folder name), delete, mark          and AccuWeather.com as well. You
as read, etc. Additionally, if you have a           would now probably wonder how you
long email conversation, then keeping               can manage your Facebook account                    A proven method for deleting the password is to
                                                                                                        set the Clear RTC Jumper, if you have one that is.
track of it can become difficult. You can           with the WDTV remote control. Well, you
simplify the process by setting up a                do not have to! You can now connect a
Meeting Reply QuickStep with the people             keyboard to the USB port. This will make            motherboard (if you don’t have the
involved. This will ensure easy and quick           not only Facebook easier to operate, but            manual, you can download it from the
access to all the conversations. Also, it’s         it will also be much easier to surf through         manufacturer’s website if required). The
easy to manage the QuickSteps that you              YouTube videos since you no longer                  instructions are often in the ‘Jumpers’
create. You can easily edit, modify, reset          need to select the particular alphabets             chapter. If your motherboard does not
or delete these QuickSteps.                         using the remote control. Furthermore,              have a suitable jumper, then you can try
                                                    you can now also download two files                  resetting the BIOS RAM values to default
HARDWARE                                            simultaneously. In theory, these features           by removing the CMOS battery. Always
                                                    have always been there, but not used                disconnect the computer from the main
        WDTV Live Plus                              until now. The easiest way to update                plug. Remove the lithium button cell and
 15     New features for your media                 the firmware of your WDTV box is a                   place a 50 p coin in the battery holder
        client via firmware update.                 functional Internet connection during the           (to short out the pins). This ensures that
                                                    device startup. The box checks whether              any residual voltage holding the content
You are impressed with the WDTV Live                a new firmware is available at the time              of the BIOS memory is done away with.
Plus you recently purchased. It plays               of every booting and asks whether you               Now wait for at least 10 minutes (15
smoothly and is easy to operate. Don’t              want to install it. If you click on ‘Yes’           minutes if you are in a cooler area) before
you think you could've got even more?               (with the remote control), everything runs          removing the coin and re-positioning the
                                                    automatically without any effort.                   battery. During the booting process, enter
       Media clients such as WDTV Live                                                                  the BIOS and load the default settings.
Plus from Western Digital enjoy huge                        Desktop computer                            You can re-configure BIOS after a restart.
popularity and allow reproduction of                 16     Read out or delete the BIOS                 This does not usually work for notebooks,
multimedia content directly from a USB                      password successfully                       laptops and netbooks. In this case, you
stick, external portable drive, from media                                                              should seek help from the manufacturer’s
servers in the LAN or over the Internet.            Your security awareness has become                  help desk or service center.
The WDTV box could have a lot more                  a curse for you. You now want to                                          – Compiled by Team CHIP
within. It plays YouTube videos or Pandora          reconfigure your BIOS but have                                         send your tips to tnt@chip.in




                                                                                                         INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP          05/2011   117
         UNWIND
         FEATURE


                                                                                Every year on the first of April, the
                                                                                Interet goes just a little crazy. A whole
                                                                                host of websites kept up the fine
                                                                                tradition this year too. BY JAMSHED AVARI
                                                                                                                         Google
                                                                                                                      is probably
                                                                                                                     the Internet's
                                                                                                                foremost prank player.
                                                                                                                This was only one of its
                                                                                                                 fake announcements;
                                                                                                                other gems included job
                                                                                                                 openings for manual
                                                                                                                   autocompleters!


                                                           Software
                                                         development
                                                      company Atlassian
                                                     earned major kudos
                                                     with its 'Angry Nerds'
                                                   parody that poked fun of
                                                    the general sterotypes
                                                     you can find in most
                                                          dev houses.




                                                                                                                            Imagine
                                                                                                                          the ultimate
           This                                                                                                        gaming peripheral,
      sober-looking                                                                                                   one that could boost
     announcement                                                                                                   your reflexes and power
   hides some snarky                                                                                               you through any extended
details! Enforced Twitter                                                                                              deathmatch. Razer
compatibility by limiting                                                                                             promises to deliver
    all emails to 140                                                                                                     exactly that.
       characters?
       Yes please!




      Grooveshark
       introduced                                                                   Remember
 customizable themes                                                              Clippy? How he
by jumping completely                                                           made typing letters
  overboard! At least                                                          and spreadsheets that
their migraine-inducing                                                       much more fun? A distant
   experiment will be                                                         cousin of his is now here
  remembered by one                                                             to help you get the
         and all.                                                                most out of your
                                                                                     MMORPGS!
     118   05/2011    INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                                   SMS us!   Story code: UAF to 51818
                                                           UNWIND
                                                           FEATURE
                                                              What
                                                         gets Internet
                                                     fanboys screaming?
                                                    Shameless promises of
                                                  sequels or spinoffs of big-
                                                   name properties such as
                                                   Harry Potter! The trailer
                                                     is acually quite cool,
                                                        but the joke's all
                                                            too real.




           Return
        to a simpler
       Internet, circa
   1996! Hulu rounded
 off its effort with front-
  page links to the best
  '90s dramas, sitcoms
  and even daily news
           shows.




             Moog,
            whose
       instruments are                                  Australian
    some the most widely                                 Business
    regarded in the world,                           Traveller broke
      proves that no one                          the "news" of a local
      can resist pulling a                       carrier's double-decker
      really good prank.                          seating on its newest
         Go watch the                              aircraft. They even
          video now!                                whipped up these
                                                      cool renders!




         Slashdot,
      whose "OMG
                                                             Topping
  Ponies!!" makeover
                                                           it all off, PC
   will live forever in                                 Magazine made
infamy, decided to turn                               this comment about
editorial functions over                              the times we live in,
  to readers, allowing                               with plenty of visitors
 anyone to edit stories                              convinced it was true.
       as per their                                   Maybe this one will
          whims.                                           prove to be
                                                            prescient.
                              INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP    05/2011   119
    UNWIND
GAME REVIEW




  RATING 4/5                            M
                                        Maximum Satisfaction                    BY AVINASH BALI




C
       rysis was a game well known             its plethora of abilities, it allows players           as to what was going on that they just
       for its visuals as well as its          to adopt and run with their very own                   stood on the battlefield as I ran around
       open-ended gameplay. As a               style of gameplay, opening the door for                with reckless abandon slaughtering
marine strapped with a million-dollar          multiple play-throughs. Most of the suit’s             their mates. Even after blowing up cars
Nanosuit on a fictitious island, players        abilities are back from the first game,                 near some their guard posts, they never
could analyze and approach an enemy            so you can run fast, cloak yourself,                   budged an inch. Then there were times
encounter any way they wanted to,              jump real high and hit real hard. Where                during intense firefights when I saw
be it with deadly stealth or excessive         the first game tied it all down to the                  certain enemies running away – into
force. With the move to a more concrete        mouse, Crysis 2 allows players to map                  walls. Their stupidity also shines through
jungle, developer Crytek have sacrificed        the suit’s abilities to the keyboard. This             in some of their voice communication
that beloved open-ended mechanic,              kind of a streamlined control scheme                   that either makes no sense or is totally
but Crysis 2 still remains a gorgeous          actually facilitates gameplay, so instead              inappropriate for the situation. Also, if I
and enjoyable shooter that thankfully          of clicking the middle mouse and then                  stealth kill some dude a mile away, how
will not melt your PC this time round.         choosing cloak from a dial, I simply hit               is it that his compadre suddenly decides
   Crysis 2 takes place nearly three years     [E] and bam; invisible man in the house.               to ask him if he’s all right at that very
after the events of Crysis, where New          This definitely adds a layer of swiftness               same moment? Am I fighting psychics
York has been hit by a deadly virus and        to the game where players truly feel like              now?
an alien invasion. Most of the citizens        predatory hunters.                                        Things do improve a bit when you
are dead, and the few that survived are            Unfortunately, the new system is                   start battling the Ceph, but besides their
dying painful deaths. You are Alcatraz,        also a bit imbalanced. Shooting even                   acrobatic, fast movements, they charge
a special ops dude sent in to survey the       a silenced pistol while cloaked rapidly                at you in a straight line, making it very
situation and provide backup to a certain      drains your energy, and unless you get                 easy to kill them. Besides the run-of-the-
scientist. Obviously, things don’t go quite    to cover quickly, you’ll soon be visible               mill grunts, you’ll face some mini bosses
as planned and you end up in a world of        to all. This could be the game’s way of                who, once again, can be killed pretty
hurt. As fate closes one door, it opens        challenging me, but at the same time,                  easily thanks to their lack of brain cells.
up another for you and hands you the           Crysis 2’s enemy AI is so dense that I                 After around an hour into the game,
Nanosuit, leaving New York’s salvation in      rarely felt threatened or challenged. In               you’ll be able to upgrade your suit using
your hands. Like its predecessor, Crysis       fact, there were times I felt bad killing              nano catalysts dropped by dead Ceph,
2 is all about the Nanosuit. Thanks to         them. Most enemies were so clueless                    making you an even more powerful force



                                              Crysis 2 takes the series away from the lush tropical
                                                    forests to the concrete jungle in New York City




120   05/2011   INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                Jagdish Limbachiya                 SMS us!    Story code: UC2 to 51818
                                                                                                                                           UNWIND
                                                                                                                                    GAME REVIEW


                                                to reckon with. Now, if I was challenged       without dying. Successfully doing so will
                                                by the game, this would validate my            allow you to call in for radar support
                                                upgrades, but running around virtually         (displaying nearby enemies on the map),
                                                invincible wasn’t a whole lot of fun.          a devastating laser strike, and lots more.
                                                   There’s a huge hue and cry about the           But like every multiplayer game in
                                                game’s visuals and about how Crytek            the recent past, the game’s multiplayer
                                                have let PC gamers down by not putting         is not without its issues. For starters,
                                                in DirectX 11 support in the game, but the     on the PC, I had to enter my CD key
                                                truth of the matter is that the game still     multiple times when the game should
                                                looks phenomenal. It’s highly scalable as      have registered it the first time. Even
                                                well. On my modest GTX 280, the game           though the game released here on the
                                                performed flawlessly at a 1920x1080             international release date, there was a
                                                resolution on Very High settings. You          dearth of low ping servers for us Indians.
                                                could nitpick about how Crytek has used        I understand this isn’t an issue with
                                                certain low res textures in the game, but      the game, but it does end up crippling
                                                unless you actually sit and zoom into          your experience nevertheless. But
                                                stuff, it won’t be apparent during the         perhaps one of my biggest frustrations
                                                frantic action.                                stemmed from the fact that I suddenly
                                                   New York looks phenomenal and               lost nearly three levels out of nowhere,
                                                the amount of detail that has gone into        along with my unlocks that I had earned
                                                recreating the Big Apple is admirable.         with them. I do hope this is rectified in
                                                Watching this once thriving and lively         a patch immediately. All issues aside,
                                                city reduced to a crumbling reflection of       I still enjoyed the game’s multi-player,
                                                its former self is chilling. Special mention   as there are few games that offer the
                                                goes out to the audio department;              kinetic and frantic action Crysis 2 brings
                                                they’ve done a brilliant job with the          to the table.
                                                sounds that accompany your every                  I was a bit apprehensive about
                                                move, be it metallic clink of detaching        the game at first because of all the
                                                a turret, firing off rounds from your           negativity around how Crytek ‘sold out’
                                                machine gun, or the satisfying thump of        by developing games for the console,
                                                a shotgun. The game’s score has been           ditching their die-hard PC gamers in the
                                                performed by Hans Zimmer and it grows          process. Yes, Cytek may be guilty of
                                                on you through the course of the game.         that to a certain extent, but I don’t really
                                                The Xbox 360 version obviously doesn’t         see a big issue as long as the product
                                                look as good as its PC counterpart, but        delivers. Besides the dumb AI and a few
                                                it plays just as well thanks to a solid        multiplayer niggles, Crysis 2 is a visual
                                                control scheme. Crytek have managed            powerhouse backed by lofty production
                                                to milk the Xbox 360 for what it’s worth       values, solid gameplay and frantic action
                                                and even if Crysis 2 may not be the best       across both single and multiplayer.
                                                game to grace Microsoft’s console, it                                                     – avinash@tech2.com
                                                certainly is top contender for that honor.
                                                   Multiplayer in Crysis 2 is more Call
                                                of Duty than Battlefield primarily                         RATINGS
                                                because of the absence of vehicles.             FIRST-PERSON SHOOTER
                                                Like Activision’s juggernaut, you play
                                                well and earn points that can be used
                                                                                                Crysis 2
                                                to purchase and enhance upgrades                PRICE                    Rs 999 (PC), Rs 2,499 (PS3, Xbox 360)

                                                like better cloaking, faster reloading,         PUBLISHER                EA
                                                                                                DEVELOPER                Crytek
                                                stronger armor, etc. Of course, the
                                                                                                DISTRIBUTOR              Milestone Interactive
                                                biggest challenge in multiplayer
                                                                                                PHONE                    022 42764000
                                                is balancing your suit to face real
                                                                                                E-MAIL                   sales@milestoneinteractive.com
                                                opponents. By default, your suit will
                                                                                                PLATFORM                 PC, PS3, Xbox 360
                                                have certain abilities like the ability to
                                                cloak or sprint faster and the more you         FOR
                                                use them, the cooler stuff you unlock.          Gorgeous visuals, frantic, fast paced action, multi-player is
                                                The game even has its variation of              a blast.

                                                killstreaks, which, if you haven’t played       AGAINST
Every now and then, the game will throw mini    any Call of Duty game in the recent past,       Stupid enemy AI, multi-player has a few issues.
             bosses at you to liven things up   means racking up an ‘x’ amount of kills


                                                                                                INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                       05/2011         121
     UNWIND
GAME REVIEW




RATING 4/5                                             It’s still the one to beat.        BY SAMEER DESAI




T
           op Spin 3 was a risky game, and                      shots, a feature that, in earlier games,
           one that went against the norms                      would let you completely change the
           of current-generation gaming.                        balance in a rally. Its timely use would
In a time of easily accessibility and                           turn the tide in your favor, while misusing   more match or just one more level up. It’s
features designed to broaden audiences,                         it would almost certainly result in an        easily the best career mode in any tennis
Top Spin 3 held back its best for those                         unforced error. Taking it away makes          game yet.
who were willing to persevere past its                          the game more predictable, but the new           The game’s Normal difficulty setting
steep learning curve. Not many did,                             gameplay still relies on power and timing     is rather meek, so if you’ve played
but those who stuck with it loved it. Its                       to win you points. In place of the risk       tennis games before, it would be a
gameplay stressed on shot selection                             shots are the completely risk-free control    good idea to start with Hard. However,
over just brute force, making it deeper                         shots, which will let you keep the ball in    playing at Normal, the game has some
and more challenging than its arcade                            play in desperate situations, but at the      severe difficulty spikes later in the
counterparts. With Top Spin 4, 2K Sports                        expense of shot power.                        career and semi-final and final matches
has attempted to bring that winning                                The career mode is where it’s at.          in tournaments artificially ratchet up
gameplay formula and present it in a                            These modes in tennis games often just        the difficulty to Hard. Selecting the
way that is less daunting. While this has                       turn into match after match, separated        Hard difficulty would also be a good
meant that some of the more punishing                           by lots of menus and pointless mini-          idea if you’re playing a doubles match
features are removed, it still holds a fair                     games; but not in Top Spin 4. The             solo, because on Normal, the partner
amount of challenge.                                            game uses a brilliant leveling system         AI is abysmal, hitting easy volleys
   As in previous games, gameplay is all                        to improve your attributes. XP earned         conveniently into the opponent’s path.
about timing, precision and positioning,                        from matches, allows you to build your        The game doesn’t include Wimbledon,
but at the same time, it’s a lot more                           player’s attributes across three areas –      but does have the other three grand
lenient on you when you don’t get a shot                        serve and volley, baseline offence and        slams. Surprisingly, you can’t just play
right. This game does away with risk                            baseline defense. You can use these to        a single tournament; you’re resigned to
                                                                mold your player to your liking. You can      the career mode or exhibition matches,

           RATINGS                                              also hire coaches, who will help you in
                                                                certain areas of your game, and once you
                                                                                                              which is a little disappointing.
                                                                                                                 Fans of past Top Spin games may
 SPORTS
                                                                achieve the objectives they set for you,      feel a little cheated by the series’ new
 Top Spin 4                                                     they will grant you skills, for example,      approach towards more accessible
 PRICE                   Rs 1,999 (Wii), Rs 2,499 (PS3, X360)   more powerful or accurate serves,             gameplay, but they shouldn’t be too
 PUBLISHER               2K Sports                              stronger forehand, or improved passing        disappointed, because Top Spin 4 still
 DEVELOPER               2K Czech                               shots against opponents at the net.           maintains its own identity, even if it
 DISTRIBUTOR             E-Xpress Interactive                      As you earn XP, level up your              is now closer to its competitors than
 PHONE                   022 29661017                           character, and earn fans by competing in      before. It still produces an exciting game
 E-MAIL                  info@expressgames.in                   tournaments, you also move up through         of tennis, with lively atmospheres where
 PLATFORM                PS3, Xbox 360, Wii                     various status levels; from nobody to         crowds will gasp during long rallies
                                                                legend. Each status also has objectives       and burst into cheers after a winner.
 FOR
                                                                tied to it, so there’s a lot of motivation    Its career mode flows naturally, feels
 Brilliant career mode, great presentation, good selection of
 current and past tennis stars, more accessible gameplay.       to keep playing. Great games are the          rewarding, and is presented beautifully.
                                                                ones that will keep pushing you to play       So apprehensions aside, Top Spin is still
 AGAINST
                                                                them even when you’re tired or when           at the top of the stack when it comes to
 Some unique gameplay features are removed, no tournament
 mode, difficulty spikes in career mode.
                                                                its way past bed time. Top Spin 4 is one      tennis game. Now, it’s Sega’s serve.
                                                                of them. You’ll keep playing for just one                                – sameer.desai@chip.in



122       05/2011      INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                                     Jagdish Limbachiya             SMS us!    Story code: UTS to 51818
                                                                                                                                        UNWIND
                                                                                                                                 GAME REVIEW




       The Maker disappoints.                BY SRIRAM GURUNATHAN

RATING 3/5

D
        ragon Age: Origins gave me              locales and dungeons, and bland art
        immense pleasure during my              design. Nearly every location or dungeon               RATINGS
        multiple playthroughs because           you visit will give you a feeling of déjà     ROLE-PLAYING GAME
of the fantastic writing, good characters       vu because you probably have visited          Dragon Age 2
and immense scope; which is what had            the same place several times before.
                                                                                              PRICE                   Rs 999 (PC), Rs 1,999 (Xbox 360),
a lot of people interested in the sequel.       There’s a reason for that, but just having                            Rs 2,499 (PS3)
In Dragon Age 2, however, gameplay has          a reason doesn’t justify the lazy work.       PUBLISHER               EA
been oversimplified to the point where it           That reason is the narrative. The          DEVELOPER               Bioware
almost feels like a hack-and-slash action       entire game is set in Kirkwall, where the     PLATFORM                PC, Xbox 360, PS3
RPG. DAO made tactics and positioning           game’s protagonist Hawke and his family
                                                                                              FOR
important, but you can forget all that.         move following the demise of Lothering.
                                                                                              Fun gameplay on higher difficulties, improved skill trees,
Respawning enemies make choke points            DA2 begins pretty much at the same            Dialogue wheel is a nice change.
useless, the friendly AI is too competent       point in the timeline as DAO did, but the
(yes, that can be a bad thing) and the          story is told via flashbacks. You learn        AGAINST
increased tactic slots are overkill. Bump       what Hawke, the fixed main character           Flat narrative, locales and dungeons are repetitive, very buggy.

up the difficulty though, and the game          that replaced the character creator from
becomes much more fun to play.                  DAO, did to have such a big bullseye on      But by that point, I was apathetic to the
   The game looks terribly outdated,            his back. That the story is told like this   whole thing because none of Bioware’s
with poor texture quality and awful PC          is the saving grace, because it gives you    famed writing skills were on show. The
optimization. The game is also riddled          a reason to complete it to see just what     characters are bland; a far cry from
with numerous bugs. One bug rendered            Hawke did to piss so many people off.        DAO’s motley crew, and their interactions




                                                                                                                                                                 SMS us!
me unable to make Hawke collect loot               Without that sense of curiosity, I        with Hawke, or between each other, don’t
or go to a certain position. It’d get fixed      doubt many people would want to              bring out the reactions you’d expect from
if I selected another character and then        complete the game, because it takes a        a Dragon Age game. However, the Mass
came back to Hawke, but it was annoying         long time to get any good. With the entire   Effect-style dialogue wheel worked out



                                                                                                                                                                 Story code: UDA to 51818
nonetheless. Other issues included a            game set in Kirkwall, all quests make you    unexpectedly well.
huge number of sidequests that wouldn’t         visit the same areas over and over in a         There are times when Dragon Age
activate, and some that would strangely         mundane first half. This brings the copy-     2 does things right and brings back
auto-complete. The game looks terrible,         paste locales into the picture, and the      that feeling of epic fantasy scope from
but that’s no different from DAO and it         ‘go fetch’ nature of the sidequests simply   Origins, but those times are few and far
never was an issue there because of the         augment the frustration. The game does       between. Everything else reeks of a rush
artistic diversity and the atmosphere.          get better later, though, as the story       job trying to capitalize on a big new IP.
DA2, however, survives on copy-paste            picks up pace and gets more focused.                                                     – sriram@tech2.com
    UNWIND
GAME REVIEW




                                                                                                   ick                    up its sleeve.
                                                                                    with a nifty tr
                                                                      A solid racer
                                                                                       NUKUMAR
                                                                      BY MUR ALI VE
                                                                                                                 RATING 4/5

S
        hift 2: Unleashed’s introductory          is some fun to be had if you persist,          to what’s behind the tire wall. Crashes are
        sequence aims high, exhaust fumes         acknowledge its arcade leanings and learn      spectacular, with pile-ups and barrel rolls
        and cheesy driver expressions             to work with the game. There’s on-screen       par for the course. Your car satisfyingly
included, attempting to capture the               telemetry that you can pull up should you      crumples with repeated impact, and major
visceral experience of driving a race car         feel the need to do so.                        wrecks can not only take you out of the
flat out against a full grid. And to its credit,      You have a standard career mode to          race but your opponents as well.
the game does go some way in achieving            work your way through and a set of cars,          The Autolog feature from the wonderful
its goals. Once you actually start a race,        segregated into three categories. Every        Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit has been
you have the option of toggling between           action you perform on track, from drafting     transplanted into Shift 2 wholesale. It
different camera views (so far, so ordinary),     to overtaking to sticking to the racing line   tracks your friends’ performances to the
but unlike other games, you also get a            earns you XP and cash. The XP unlocks          minutest detail and challenges you to retry
stunner of a helmet cam. This places you          new events, vehicles and assortments           events that they’ve bested you in. You’ll
right smack inside the helmet of the driver       for your car, whereas your prize money         find all the features intact, although it feels
and throws in a raft of nifty effects to          can be used to purchase cars as well as        like it was integrated when the game was
sell the experience. This includes muffled        upgrades and parts to customize stock          late in development. This, in addition to
audio, depth of field effects that blur out        cars. Upgrading also moves cars between        the multiplayer modes, gives the Shift 2
the instrument cluster, and the draining          performance classes. AI is solid, with cars    enough legs to last out the rest of the year.
of color from your screen whenever you            actively aware of your position on track,         While Shift 2 may not make the best
happen to make contact with an opponent           avoiding needless scrapes, adapting to         first impression, it does grow on you. It
or the nearest wall. The best of them,            your style, and generally showing more         doesn’t reach the giddy heights of its
however, is the dynamic nature of the             realism that most other games.                 peers, but it’s still a ride worth taking.
camera. You’ll notice that the perspective           The menus have been spruced up quite                                                      – feedback@chip.in
bobs with each track undulation that              nicely, and are both speedy and intuitive
you drive over, and how your view turns
towards the apex as you take a corner.
                                                  to work through, while being visually
                                                  attractive at the same time. Of special
                                                                                                            RATINGS
                                                                                                  RACING
   It’s all quite impressive provided you         note is the soundtrack. What could have
can stomach it. There’s also the practical        been a motley collection of inoffensive         Shift 2: Unleashed
concern of preferring to see as much of the       modern rock tracks instead becomes an           PRICE                    Rs 2,499 (PS3), Rs 1,999 (Xbox 360),
track as possible rather than being cooped        eclectic b-sides remix set with orchestral                               Rs 999 (PC)
up inside a helmet with a restricted view.        versions of songs that work beautifully         PUBLISHER                EA
If these aren’t a concern, you’re in for an       as background menu music. The in-game           DEVELOPER                Slightly Mad Studios
experience no other racer can give you.           audio is also well done, with crunchy           DISTRIBUTOR              Milestone Interactive
Driving feels squirrelly, with your vehicle       collisions, tarmac effects that convey a        PHONE                    022 42764000
over and under-steering at random.                sense of grip, and engine sounds of various     E-MAIL                   sales@milestoneinteractive.com

Granted, the level of twitchiness varies          cars given well defined spacing and depth.       PLATFORM                 Xbox 360, PS3, PC

from car to car, but you can sense that              The graphics have also received a            FOR
the developers were confused as to what           significant overhaul, and while the cars on      Exciting racing, brutal crashes
direction the driving model should take.          track are nowhere near as detailed as the
                                                                                                  AGAINST
You may feel the urge to give up on the           beauties in Gran Turismo, they get the job
                                                                                                  Uneven driving model
game the first time your car magnetically          done. Trackside objects are a sore point if
pulls itself into a gravel trap, but there        you’re the kind to pay too much attention


124   05/2011   INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                              Jagdish Limbachiya                 SMS us!          Story code: US2 to 51818
                                                                                                                                        UNWIND
                                                                                                                                  GAME REVIEW




                                                                                                      Th
                                                                                                      This is one street fight

                                                                                         MUST
                                                                                                      you want to get into.
                                                                                                      yo
                                                                                                      BY MURALI VENUKUMAR


RATING 4.5/5                                                                             PLAY

T
       he Yakuza series has always been       though Kiryu’s story-beat last is the              man
                                                                                             the many shops dotting the district. You
       stuck in a perennial time warp.        proverbial icing on the cake. In a nice        also have weapons to purchase and craft
       The most notable change you            touch, all his combat upgrades from            and certain confrontations also let you
could attribute to the games has been         previous games have been carried over          use firearms with limited ammunition.
its constantly expanding story and cast       with even more outlandish moves to                Yakuza 4 is as close to a slice-of-life
of characters, all the while keeping the      unlock with which to clean up the streets.     experience as gaming gets. The graphics
gameplay mechanics largely intact. Some          Yakuza 4 seems to have finally taken         may not hit the highs of Crysis, but it
would see this as reason to write the         on and conquered the little niggles that       looks perfectly fine for what it tries to
series off, but Yakuza consistently turns     kept the previous games from reaching          do. There are improvements as well,
what would be a death-kneel for other         their true potential. The story that took      with textures and load times much better
franchises into one of the primary reasons    way too long to get going in Yakuza 3 now      now. The streets, rooftops and alleyways
to invest into its intricate world.           has a lot more happening in each of the        of Kamurocho are dense and detailed,
   For those starting off on the series,      four parts. There are better characters all    with stores selling licensed merchandise,
rest assured that there has never been a      around, more plausible (well, for the world    arcades with working cabinets, pachinko
better time to do so. Just about everything   of Yakuza anyway) antagonists, and most        parlors, hostess bars, pawn shops,
that could be improved on, has. Expect a      importantly, the main cast is fleshed out       restaurants, and more. The streets teem
deep quasi-RPG that trades high fantasy       enough for you to empathize with. You’ll       with crowds going about their lives and
for a baseball bat and an old-fashioned       spend a lot of your time watching several      with enough sub-missions to make other
beat down on the streets of Kamurocho.        beautifully directed and scored cutscenes,     games blush. There are also activities to
While the previous games had you playing      and reading reams of conversational text       partake in, such as hostess management,
Kazuma Kiryu, an impossibly cool                    boxes. The voice acting is still best    dojo management, karaoke, and more.
ex-Yakuza type, who now runs an                     of class, with every character done         With just the story alone clocking in
orphanage in Okinawa, Yakuza                        justice to. Don’t be surprised if        at 30 hours (discounting side-quests
4 mixes it up with four main                        you go more than an hour without         and other sundry pastimes), this is a
characters to take control of and                   actually throwing a punch. This is a     game that you don’t just play, but lose
play as. There’s the kind-hearted                   game that demands patience and           yourself in. With high profile titles such
loan shark, an unorthodox cop,                      (eventually) rewards you for it.         as Bulletstorm and Homefront striking
a man-mountain of a prison-                            Each playable character               out, there’s more than enough reason
escapee, and lastly, Kiryu himself.                 has almost all of the district of        for everyone to sample this oft-forgotten
These characters each have their                    Kamurocho at his disposal, with          jewel in Sega’s knuckle-duster.
own parts to play through with                      certain areas such as the rooftops,                                                      – feedback@chip.in
multiple sub-chapters, mini games                   the immigrant quarter and the
and side stories to enjoy, while
still being tied together with an
                                                    sewers being opened up by the
                                                    act (all being new additions to the
                                                                                                        RATINGS
                                                                                              ACTION-ADVENTURE/RPG
over-arching plot. To top that off,                 series). In GTA fashion, you have
you’ll be able to switch between                    a mini-map at your disposal as            Yakuza 4
the characters when they come                       well as a cellphone, with missions        PRICE                   Rs 2,499
together for the fifth and final act.                 spread out across the district. You’ll    PUBLISHER               Sega
   Each of your crew also comes                     do your fair share of running (sorry,     DEVELOPER               Sega
with a different set of combat                      no vehicles.), while stopping to          DISTRIBUTOR             E-Xpress Interactive
skills. Akiyama the loan shark                      fight the random yakuza that stop          PHONE                   022 29661017
fights with his feet, whereas                        you for often-hilarious reasons.          E-MAIL                  info@expressgames.in
Tanimura the cop is an expert                       Unlike other RPGs, you’ll love these      PLATFORM                PS3
at countering and evasion, and                      random events because the combat
                                                                                              FOR
Seijama is an old fashioned                         gameplay and combo system is
                                                                                              Excellent story, fun combat, content-rich, aesthetically
brawler who steam-rolls through                     rock solid, and because these fights       beautiful.
the lower rungs of the Yakuza                       always net you XP that you use to
ladder. Sega smartly saves the                      level up and unlock new moves and
                                                                                              AGAINST
                                                                                              None.
best for last though, as playing                    abilities, as well as cash to spend in


SMS us!     Story code: UTS to 51818                                Jagdish Limbachiya          INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                    05/2011    125
    UNWIND
GAME REVIEW




RATING 3/5                                        A greatest hits package that misses a few tricks.                                        BY SAMEER DESAI




U
         nlike the WWE Smackdown vs             may not know all the wrestlers' signature
         Raw titles, which feature an
         expansive roster of pretty much
                                                moves. Collisions have always been an
                                                issue in WWE games, and here, it’s worse
                                                                                                           RATINGS
                                                                                                 FIGHTING
every current WWE wrestler and every            than ever. Being able to land attacks on
match type you can imagine, WWE All             an opponent on the mat is hit-or-miss,           WWE All Stars
Stars’ biggest hook is giving you the best      and if you’re standing close to him when         PRICE                   Rs 2,499 (PS3, 360), Rs 1,999 (Wii),
of both worlds – the biggest icons from         he gets up, he’ll knock you off balance,                                 Rs 1,299 (PSP)

yesteryear, including the likes of The          making you lose the advantage. It feels          PUBLISHER               THQ
                                                                                                 DEVELOPER               THQ San Diego
Ultimate Warrior and Hulk Hogan, along          quite sloppy, and matters aren’t helped
                                                                                                 DISTRIBUTOR             E-Xpress Interactive
with the best wrestlers from the current        by a strange reversal system that again
                                                                                                 PHONE                   022 29661017
generation, such as John Cena and The           expects you to know what maneuver your
                                                                                                 E-MAIL                  info@expressgames.in
Mizz. It’s a great idea, giving fans the        opponent is about to perform. It will show
                                                                                                 PLATFORM                Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PSP
opportunity to create fantasy matches,          you an on-screen indicator for when the
but the execution is far from perfect.          reversal can be performed, but bizarrely, it     FOR
   The most noticeable difference in All        expects you to press the required button         Great over-the-top art style, limited but good roster
Stars is the over-the-top design, which         before the indicator shows up, which
                                                                                                 AGAINST
extends from the character design to the        defeats the purpose of the indicator. It
                                                                                                 Collision issues, strange reversal system, inadequate game
exaggerated impact of attacks. Opponents        looks like All Stars is designed to be a         modes, limited match types
will bounce off the mat and fly ten feet in      pick-up-and-play party game, but these
the air from a simple clothesline, allowing     gameplay issues keep it from being as                                          profiles
                                                                                                even more interesting with FMV profiles
you to pull off a grappling move while he       accessible as a party game should be.           of both wrestlers before the match gets
is helplessly suspended in mid-air. It’s all       All Stars is also severely lacking           underway. The other mode is The Path
intentionally unrealistic and it works quite    in the content department, and this             of Champions, which is just a series
well with the game’s overall art style. They    includes game modes, match types                of matches interspersed with canned
wrestlers' character models are beefed          and the character creation options. The         cutscenes.
up to at least five times their original size,   SvR games have a fantastic Create                  WWE All Stars held a lot of promise,
more closely resembling action figures           A Superstar mechanic that lets you              but a lack of content and some
than their real life counterparts. Their        customize nearly every detail, but what’s       bewildering gameplay decisions turn this
facial features are also more pronounced,       on offer here is far more barebones.            into nothing more than filler material
but instantly recognizable.                     Barring exhibition matches, there are two       between two SvR titles. It aimed to be the
   All the wrestlers have their signature       game modes, and both are just comprised         NBA Street to Smackdown vs Raw’s NBA
moves, but the game expects you to know         of a series of matches with very little else.   Live, but its implementation is more in line
what they are and when they can be used.        Fantasy Warfare is the better of the two,       with the woeful FIFA Street games. Bring
This can be a little annoying because           pitting a Legend versus a Superstar in a        back Yuke’s, THQ!
there's a huge generation gap, so you           battle of styles. The match-ups are made                                                 – sameer.desai@chip.in




126   05/2011   INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP                            Jagdish Limbachiya                  SMS us!        Story code: UWW to 51818
                                                                                                                       UNWIND
                                                                                                                       COLUMN




                                           CONTRARY TO WHAT MOBILE
                                           GAME DEVELOPERS MAY
                                           SAY, CONSOLE GAMING ISN’T
                                           GOING ANYWHERE
                                           SAMEER DESAI




R.I.P. CONSOLE GAMING?
L
          ately, many developers, who              Let me come back to my earlier point -
          focus on games for mobile devices    console gaming platforms are constantly
          or social networks, have been        evolving. From simple cartridge-based
          talking about how these games        devices, they’re today high definition
are the future and how console gaming          multimedia powerhouses that push the
is dying. It’s funny that these one-hit        boundaries of gameplay through motion
wonders suddenly think they're experts         controls and 3D. So rather than being
on the decades-old gaming industry.            replaced by mobile devices like tablets, a
Home consoles have been around since           more realistic possibility is that consoles
the 80s, and the fact they’re still relevant   will expand in scope to allow mobile-
is testament to the fact that they're always   centric content to be played on them. It’s
evolving.                                      far easier for mobile games to be ported
    A jack-of-all-trades device is not going   to a more powerful specialized console
to replace a specialized one, so while         than the other way around, and we’re
tablets and mobile phones will constantly      already seeing that happen
offer engaging gaming content, they’re         with Sony’s upcoming
never going offer what dedicated game
consoles or high-end gaming PCs do.
                                               handheld console – the
                                               NGP. Sony has recognized
                                                                              JACK-OF-ALL-TRADES
This argument is similar to the one
about whether motion controls would
                                               the potential of mobile
                                               games by introducing the
                                                                              MOBILE DEVICES ARE
replace the traditional controller. What
the button controller or keyboard-mouse
                                               Playstation Suite, a selection
                                               of Playstation-approved
                                                                              NOT GOING TO REPLACE
combination offers is unparalleled control
and precision; the kind that motion control
                                               games and compliant
                                               devices. For instance, Tegra
                                                                              SPECIALIZED CONSOLES.
devices cannot match and devices with          2-powered Android devices will include
touch-interfaces can only dream of. Just       the Playstation Suite, which means old
try playing the iOS versions of Dead Space     PS One games will be made available to
2 and you’ll see what I mean.                  mobile users, and compliant mobile games
    The other major difference is in quality   will be made available to NGP owners.
of content. One of the most vocal parties          Every time there’s new technology in
predicting the impending demise of             the market that’s creating a lot of buzz,
consoles is Angry Birds developer Rovio.       the natural tendency is for people to get
Now, Angry Birds has been a phenomenal         overexcited and predict how it’s going to
success, but it is one game in a sea of        change everything. The Wii came and it
mediocre shovelware - throwaway titles         was a big success, but people still went
priced at $2 and $3 that you’ll end up never   out and bought PS3s and Xbox 360s.
playing beyond the couple of hours after       Similarly, Android and iOS devices are all
you’ve bought them. They’re cheap to           the rage right now, but they’re not going
develop, cheap to publish, and cheap for       to kill traditional forms of gaming. There’s
the consumer to buy, but most of the time,     enough room for everyone.
that doesn’t translate into a better game.                             - sameer.desai@chip.in


                                                                                              INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP   05/2011   127
 MARKET WATCH



                                MARKET WATCH
PROCESSORS: Intel
                                                                                                NUMBER OF
 NAME                                                           PRICE (Rs)    CPU SOCKET                     CLOCK SPEED       MFG PROCESS                 TDP
                                                                                                  CORES
 Intel Core i3-540                                                  5,618        LGA 1156           2          3.06 GHz            32 nm                  73 W
 Intel Core 2 Duo E7500                                             5,778         LGA 775           2          2.93 GHz            45 nm                  65 W
 Intel Core i3-550                                                  6,447        LGA 1156           2          3.20 GHz            32 nm                  73 W
 Intel Core i5-2300 (Sandy Bridge)                                  9,657        LGA 1155           4          2.8 GHz             32 nm                  95 W
 Intel Core 2 Duo E8400                                             9,951         LGA 775           2           3.0 GHz            45 nm                  65 W
 Intel Core i5-661                                                 10,754        LGA 1156           2          3.33 GHz            32 nm                  87 W
 Intel Core i5-760                                                 10,968        LGA 1156           4          2.80 GHz            45 nm                  95 W
 Intel Core i5-2400 (Sandy Bridge)                                 11,449        LGA 1155           4          3.10 Ghz            32 nm                  95 W
 Intel Core i5-2500 (Sandy Bridge)                                 11,877        LGA 1155           4          3.30 GHz            32 nm                  95 W
 Intel Core i7-950                                                 16,371        LGA 1366           4          3.06 GHz            45 nm                 130 W
 Intel Core i7-2600 (Sandy Bridge)                                 18,404        LGA 1155           4          3.40 GHz            32 nm                  95 W
 Intel Core i7-875K                                                21,507        LGA 1156           4          2.93 GHz            45 nm                  95 W
 Intel Core i7-960                                                 28,623        LGA 1366           4          3.20 GHz            45 nm                 130 W
 Intel Core i7-980X Extreme                                        55,640        LGA 1366           6          3.33 GHz            32 nm                 130 W




PROCESSORS: AMD
                                                                                                NUMBER OF
 NAME                                                           PRICE (Rs)    CPU SOCKET                     CLOCK SPEED       MFG PROCESS                 TDP
                                                                                                  CORES
 AMD Sempron 145                                                    1,925            AM3            1          2.80 GHz            45 nm                  45 W
 AMD Athlon II X2 250                                               3,025            AM3            2          3.00 GHz            45 nm                  65 W
 AMD Athlon II X2 245                                               3,080            AM3            2          2.90 GHz            45 nm                  65 W
 AMD Athlon II X2 255                                               3,163            AM3            2          3.10 GHz            45 nm                  65 W
 AMD Phenom II X2 555 BE                                            4,730            AM3            2          3.20 GHz            45 nm                  80 W
 AMD Athlon II X4 645                                               5,885            AM3            4          3.10 GHz            45 nm                  95 W
 AMD Phenom II X4 945                                               7,260            AM3            4          3.00 GHz            45 nm                  95 W
 AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE                                            7,425            AM3            4          3.20 GHz            45 nm                 125 W
 AMD Phenom II X4 970                                               9,130            AM3            4          3.50 GHz            45 nm                 125 W
 AMD Phenom II X6 1055T                                             9,130            AM3            6          2.80 GHz            45 nm                 125 W
 AMD Phenom II X6 1075T                                            10,203            AM3            6          3.00 GHz            45 nm                 125 W
 AMD Phenom II X6 1090T BE                                         12,091            AM3            6          3.20 GHz            45 nm                 125 W




MOTHERBOARDS: AMD - IGP
                                            PRICE         CPU                                                                                   PCI X16 | PCI |
                               NAME                                                  CHIPSET           MEMORY SUPPORT      D-SUB | DVI | HDMI
                                              (Rs)     SOCKET                                                                                      SATA | USB
 MSI 740GM-P25                              2,461         AM3            AMD 740G + AMD SB710                    DDR3         ✖|✖|✖                 1|1|6|4
 Biostar A780L                              2,568        AM2+            AMD 760G + AMD SB710                    DDR2         ✖|✔|✖                 1|2|6|7
 ECS A785GM-M3                              2,943        AM2+            AMD 785G + AMD SB710                    DDR2         ✔|✔|✖                 1|2|6|4
 ECS A885GM-A2                              4,253         AM3            AMD 880G + AMD SB850                    DDR3         ✔|✔|✖                 2|2|0|6
 Biostar TA880GB+                           4,280         AM3            AMD 880G + AMD SB710                    DDR3         ✔|✔|✔                 1|2|6|7
 Gigabyte 880GM-UD2H                        4,441         AM3            AMD 880G + AMD SB710                    DDR3         ✔|✔|✔                 1|2|6|6
 Asus M4A88T-M                              4,976         AM3            AMD 880G + AMD SB710                    DDR3         ✔|✔|✔                 1|1|6|6
 Gigabyte GA-880GM-USB3                     5,671         AM3            AMD 880G + AMD SB710                    DDR3         ✔|✔|✔               1 | 2 | 5 | 12
 Biostar TA890GXE                           6,795         AM3           AMD 890GX + AMD SB850                    DDR3         ✖ | ✔ |✔              1|2|5|6
 ECS A890GXM-A                               7,570        AM3           AMD 890GX + AMD SB850                    DDR3         ✔|✔|✔                 3|1|0|6
 MSI 890GXM-G65                              7,704        AM3           AMD 890GX + AMD SB850                    DDR3         ✔|✔|✔                 1|1|5|4
 Asus M4A89GTD PRO                          8,774         AM3           AMD 890GX + AMD SB850                    DDR3         ✔|✔|✔                 2|2|0|6
NOTE: Street prices (incl. VAT) as on 10 April 2011.


128     05/2011     INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
CHIP brings you a roundup of all the latest and greatest products on the market.


MOTHERBOARDS: AMD - Non-IGP
 NAME                           PRICE (RS)      CPU SOCKET                        CHIPSET        MEMORY SUPPORT              PCIE X16 SLOTS          PCI | SATA | USB
 Asus M4A87TD/USB3                   5,725               AM3          AMD 870 + AMD SB850                      DDR3                       1                   0|6|2
 Asus M4A87TD EVO                    6,902               AM3          AMD 870 + AMD SB850                      DDR3                       2                   0|6|2
 MSI 870A FUZION                    10,700               AM3          AMD 770 + AMD SB710                      DDR3                       2                   1|6|6
 MSI 890FXA-GD70                    10,700               AM3        AMD 890FX + AMD SB850                      DDR3                       5                   1|6|6
 Gigabyte 890FXA-UD5                12,198               AM3        AMD 890FX + AMD SB850                      DDR3                       2                 1 | 6 | 14




MOTHERBOARDS: Intel - IGP
                                                      CPU                                                                                            PCIE X16 | PCI |
 NAME                             PRICE (Rs)                                        CHIPSET               MEMORY SUPPORT        D-SUB | DVI | HDMI
                                                   SOCKET                                                                                                SATA | USB
 ECS G41T-M5                           2,006       LGA 775                   Intel G41 + ICH7                         DDR2         ✖|✖|✖                  1|1|2|4
 MSI G41M-P33                          2,622    LGA 775                      Intel G41 + ICH7                         DDR3         ✔|✖|✖                  1|2|4|4
 Asus P5G41C-M LX                      2,809    LGA 775                      Intel G41 + ICH7                         DDR3         ✖|✖|✖                  1|2|4|8
 Intel BOXDG41TX                       3,906    LGA 775                      Intel G41 + ICH7                         DDR3         ✔|✔|✖                  1|2|4|8
 Gigabyte H55M-S2V                     4,013   LGA 1156                             Intel H55                         DDR3         ✔|✖|✔                  1|2|6|8
 ECS H55H-CM                           4,093   LGA 1156                             Intel H55                         DDR3         ✔|✔|✔                  1|1|6|6
 Intel BOXDG43RK                       4,655    LGA 775                     Intel G43 + ICH10                         DDR3         ✔|✖|✖                 1 | 2 | 4 | 12
 Intel BLKDH67CL                       6,260   LGA 1155                             Intel H67                         DDR3         ✔|✔|✔                  1|3|3|6
 Asus P8H67-M                          7,918   LGA 1155                             Intel H67                         DDR3         ✔|✔|✖                  2|1|4|6
 Asus P8H67-M PRO                      8,346   LGA 1155                             Intel H67                         DDR3         ✔|✔|✔                  2|2|4|4
 Asus P8H67-M EVO                      9,175   LGA 1155                             Intel H67                         DDR3         ✔|✔|✔                  2|1|4|4




MOTHERBOARDS: Intel - Non-IGP
 NAME                                 PRICE (Rs)       CPU SOCKET                               CHIPSET      MEMORY SUPPORT        PCIE X16 SLOTS    PCI | SATA | USB

 ECS P55H-A                                6,554               LGA 1156                       Intel P55                  DDR3                    2           2|6|8
 Intel BLKDP67BA                           7,062               LGA 1155                       Intel P67                  DDR3                    1           3|3|6
 MSI P55A-G55                              7,303               LGA 1156                       Intel P55                  DDR3                    2           3|6|8
 Asus P7P55D Pro                           9,122               LGA 1156                       Intel P55                  DDR3                    1           2|7|8
 MSI P55A-GD65                             9,898               LGA 1156                       Intel P55                  DDR3                    2           2|2|5
 MSI X58 Pro-E                            10,700               LGA 1366             Intel X58 + ICH10R                   DDR3                    3           2|2|6
 Asus P8P67                               11,850               LGA 1155                       Intel P67                  DDR3                    2           3|4|6
 Asus Sabertooth X58                      12,038               LGA 1366             Intel X58 + ICH10R                   DDR3                    3           1|6|6
 Gigabyte GA-X58-USB3                     12,091               LGA 1366             Intel X58 + ICH10R                   DDR3                    2           1|6|6
 Intel DX58SO                             13,268               LGA 1366             Intel X58 + ICH10R                   DDR3                    2           1|6|8
 Asus P8P67 Pro                           13,536               LGA 1155                       Intel P67                  DDR3                    3           2|4|6
 Intel BOXDX58SO2                         14,659               LGA 1366             Intel X58 + ICH10R                   DDR3                    2           1|6|6
 Asus Rampage III Gene                    15,622               LGA 1366             Intel X58 + ICH10R                   DDR3                    2           1|6|7
 MSI Big-Bang X-Power                     18,565               LGA 1366             Intel X58 + ICH10R                   DDR3                    6           6|6|4
 Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD7                     19,849               LGA 1366             Intel X58 + ICH10R                   DDR3                    2          1 | 6 | 10
NOTE: Street prices (incl. VAT) as on 10 April 2011.


                                                                                                                      INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP     05/2011     129
 MARKET WATCH



                              MARKET WATCH
GRAPHICS CARDS: ATI
                                                                     RADEON              MEMORY       MEMORY | BUS      STREAM               CORE | MEMORY
 NAME                                                  PRICE (Rs)           DIRECT X
                                                                        GPU                TYPE            WIDTH     PROCESSORS                SPEED (MHZ)

 Asus EAH5450 SILENT/DI/1GD3                                2,836    HD 5450     11.0       DDR3     1 GB | 64-bit            80          650 MHz | 800 MHz
 Sapphire HD 5670                                           4,762    HD 5670     11.0      GDDR5 512 MB | 128-bit            400         775 MHz | 1000 MHz
 Sapphire HD5750 11164-00                                   6,850    HD 5750     11.0      GDDR5   1 GB | 128-bit            720         700 MHz | 1150 MHz
 Sapphire HD5770 11163-02                                   8,105    HD 5770     11.0      GDDR5   1 GB | 128-bit            800         850 MHz | 1200 MHz
 XFX HD-577X-ZNFK                                           8,293    HD 5770     11.0      GDDR5   1 GB | 128-bit            800         850 MHz | 1200 MHz
 MSI R6850-PM2D1GD5                                        10,352    HD 6850     11.0      GDDR5   1 GB | 256-bit            960         775 MHz | 1000 MHz
 Asus EAH6850 DC/2DIS/1GD5                                 12,599    HD 6850     11.0      GDDR5   1 GB | 256-bit            960         790 MHz | 1000 MHz
 MSI R6870-2PM2D1GD5                                       14,445    HD 6870     11.0      GDDR5   1 GB | 256-bit           1120         900 MHz | 1050 MHz
 Powercolor AX6870 1GBD5-2DH                               14,445    HD 6870     11.0      GDDR5   1 GB | 128-bit           1120         900 MHz | 1050 MHz
 Asus EAH6870/2DI2S/1GD5                                   14,579    HD 6870     11.0      GDDR5   1 GB | 256-bit           1120         900 MHz | 1050 MHz
 Sapphire HD 6950                                          16,692    HD 6950     11.0      GDDR5   2 GB | 256-bit           1408         800 MHz | 1250 MHz
 Powercolor AX6950 2GBD5-M2DH                              17,521    HD 6950     11.0      GDDR5   2 GB | 256-bit           1408         800 MHz | 1250 MHz
 Asus EAH6950/2DI2S/2GD5                                   18,220    HD 6950     11.0      GDDR5   2 GB | 256-bit           1408         800 MHz | 1250 MHz
 Powercolor AX6970 2GBD5-M2DH                              21,454    HD 6970     11.0      GDDR5   2 GB | 256-bit           1536         880 MHz | 1375 MHz
 Sapphire HD 6970                                          22,470    HD 6970     11.0      GDDR5   2 GB | 256-bit           1536         880 MHz | 1375 MHz
 Asus EAH6970/2DI2S/2GD5                                   23,440    HD 6970     11.0      GDDR5   2 GB | 256-bit           1536         880 MHz | 1375 MHz




GRAPHICS CARDS: Nvidia
                                                                                                                               STREAM        CORE | MEMORY
 NAME                                            PRICE (Rs) GEFORCE GPU DIRECT X        MEMORY TYPE MEMORY | BUS WIDTH
                                                                                                                            PROCESSORS         SPEED (MHZ)
 Palit NE221000FHD56                                    2,434            210   10.1            DDR2      512 MB | 64-bit            16    589 MHz | 800 MHz
 Asus EN9500GT/DI/1GD2/V2                               3,317        9500GT     10             DDR2        1 GB | 128-bit           32    550 MHz | 800 MHz
 Asus Nvidia ENGT220/DI/1GD2                            3,665         GT 220   10.1            DDR2        1 GB | 128-bit           48    625 MHz | 800 MHz
 Palit NEAT2400FHD01                                    4,280         GT 240   10.1            DDR3        1 GB | 128-bit           96    575 MHz | 800 MHz
 Zotac Geforce GT240                                    4,494         GT 240   10.1            DDR3        1 GB | 128-bit           96    550 MHz | 900 MHz
 MSI N430GT-MD1GD3/LP                                   4,735         GT 430    11             DDR3        1 GB | 128-bit           96    700 MHz | 900 MHz
 Sparkle GeForce GT240                                  5,350         GT 240   10.1            DDR2        1 GB | 128-bit           96    550 MHz | 850 MHz
 Zotca GeForce GT430                                    5,360         GT 430    11             DDR3        1 GB | 128-bit           96    700 MHz | 900 MHz
 Asus ENGT240/DI/1GD3/A                                 5,484         GT 240   10.1            DDR3        1 GB | 128-bit           96    550 MHz | 850 MHz
 eVGA GeForce 9800GT                                    6,688        9800GT     10             DDR3        1 GB | 256-bit          112    550 MHz | 900 MHz
 Zotac GeForce GTS 450                                  7,410       GTS 450     11            GDDR5        1 GB | 128-bit          192    810 MHz | 900 MHz
 MSI N450GTS Cyclone 1GD5/OC                            7,704       GTS 450     11            GDDR5        1 GB | 128-bit          192   850 MHz | 1000 MHz
 Asus ENGTS450 DIRECTCU/DI/1GD5                         8,801       GTS 450     11            GDDR5    1024 MB | 128-bit           192    850 MHz | 900 MHz
 MSI Geforce GTX 460 Cyclone                           10,914       GTX 460     11            GDDR5        1 GB | 256-bit          336    725 MHz | 900 MHz
 Zotac GeForce GTX 460 AMP                             12,252       GTX 460     11            GDDR5        1 GB | 256-bit          336   810 MHz | 1000 MHz
 Sparkle Geforce GTX470                                19,902       GTX 470     11            GDDR5    1280 MB | 320-bit           448    607 MHz | 837 MHz
 MSI N570GTX M2D12D5                                   20,111       GTX 570     11            GDDR5    1280 MB | 320-bit           512    732 MHz | 950 MHz
 ZotacGeforce GTX 570                                  21,935       GTX 570     11            GDDR5    1280 MB | 320-bit           480    732 MHz | 950 MHz
 Palit GeForce GTX580                                  29,880       GTX 580     11            GDDR5    1536 MB | 384-bit           512   772 MHz | 1002 MHz
 Asus Nvidia GTX 580                                   32,421       GTX 580     11            GDDR5      1.5 GB | 384-bit          512   782 MHz | 1002 MHz
 Sparkle Geforce GTX 580                               33,919       GTX 580     11            GDDR5      1.5 GB | 384-bit          512   772 MHz | 1002 MHz

NOTE: Street prices (incl. VAT) as on 10 April 2011.


130     05/2011     INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
CHIP brings you a roundup of all the latest and greatest products on the market.



EXTERNAL DRIVE
 NAME                                                               PRICE(Rs)               CAPACITY                   INTERFACE             FORM FACTOR
 Buffalo MiniStation Lite                                               2,568                 320 GB                      USB 2.0                 2.5-inch
 Transcend StoreJet 25D2                                                2,595                 500 GB                      USB 2.0                 2.5-inch
 Toshiba Canvio                                                         2,729                 320 GB                      USB 2.0                 2.5-inch
 Seagate Free Agent GoFlex                                              2,862                 320 GB                      USB 2.0                 2.5-inch
 Iomega EGO Portable                                                    2,943                 320 GB                      USB 2.0                 2.5-inch
 Buffalo MiniStation                                                    3,050                 320 GB                      USB 2.0                 2.5-inch
 Toshiba Canvio                                                         3,103                 500 GB                      USB 2.0                 2.5-inch
 Iomega EGO Portable Helium                                             3,531                 500 GB                      USB 2.0                 2.5-inch
 Buffalo MiniStation                                                    3,959                 500 GB                      USB 2.0                 2.5-inch
 Transcend StoreJet 25D2                                                4,093                 640 GB                      USB 2.0                 2.5-inch
 Western Digital My Book Essential                                      4,443                    1 TB                     USB 2.0                 2.5-inch
 Western Digital My Book Essential                                      5,163                  1.5 TB                     USB 2.0                 2.5-inch
 Toshiba Canvio                                                         6,206                    1 TB                     USB 3.0                 3.5-inch
 Western Digital My Book Studio Edition II                             10,673                    2 TB                     USB 2.0                 3.5-inch




USB FLASH DRIVE                                                            CAMCORDERS
 NAME                                   CAPACITY       PRICE (Rs)          NAME                                   PRICE (Rs)    RESOLUTION OPTICAL ZOOM
 Kingston V90V                              4 GB             330           Canon Legria FS 305                       14,630       1024 x 768         37x
 iBall Ultra Strong                         4 GB             358           Sony Handycam DCR-SX44E                   15,345        720 x 480         60x
 Corsair CMF Mini                           4 GB             605
 Kingston V90V                              8 GB             605           Samsung K44                               16,205        720 x 480         52x
 Verbatim Store n Go Micro                  8 GB             673           Sony Handycam DCR-SR68E                   20,460        720 x 480         60x
 Sandisk Cruzer Blade                       8 GB             688           Sony Handycam DCR-SR88E                   24,558        720 x 480         60x
 Kingston V90V                             16 GB           1,183           Canon Legria HF R17                       32,175      1920 x 1080         20x
 Sandisk Cruzer Blade                      16 GB           1,265           Canon Legria HF R18                       42,020      1920 x 1080         20x
 Transcend V30                             16 GB           1,485
                                                                           Canon Legria HF M300                      44,110      1920 x 1080         15x
 Corsair CMF GT                            16 GB           1,760
 Kingston V90V                             32 GB           2,613           Sony Handycam XR 550                      59,400      1920 x 1080         10x
 Transcend JetFlash 600                    32 GB           2,640           Canon Legria HF S200                      61,490      1920 x 1080         10x




PROJECTORS
 NAME                                                         PRICE (Rs)        TYPE            BRIGHTNESS         NATIVE RESOLUTION       CONTRAST RATIO
 BENQ MP515                                                       27,610         DLP            2500 Lumens                  800 x 600             2600:1
 LG BS275                                                         33,110         DLP            2700 Lumens                  800 x 600             2200:1
 Sony VPL-EX100 Projector                                        36,960          LCD            2300 Lumens                 1024 x 768             2200:1
 Mitsubishi EX200U                                               39,105          DLP            2300 Lumens                 1024 x 768             1250:1
 LG HS201 G                                                      43,010          DLP            2000 Lumens                  800 x 600             2000:1
 Sharp PGF312X                                                   44,055          DLP            3000 Lumens                 1024 x 768             2200:1
 LG DX630                                                        44,110          DLP            3000 Lumens                 1024 x 768             2300:1
 Sony VPL-EX120 Projector                                        50,710          LCD            2600 Lumens                 1024 x 768             2500:1
 Sharp XGC435X                                                   74,250          LCD            4000 Lumens                 1024 x 768               550:1
 Mitsubishi XD600U                                               84,260          DLP            4500 Lumens                 1024 x 768             2000:1
 Mitsubishi HC6800                                              143,660          DLP            1500 Lumens                1920 x 1080            30000:1

NOTE: Street prices (incl. VAT) as on 10 April 2011.


                                                                                                              INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP     05/2011   131
 MARKET WATCH



                               MARKET WATCH
LAPTOPS
                                       PRICE                                                                                  OPTICAL
NAME                                         WEIGHT            PROCESSOR            MEMORY     CHIPSET   DISPLAY       HDD                  OS
                                        (Rs)                                                                                   DRIVE
iBall Lilbook-1017                    15,034 1.06 Kg            Intel Atom          1.60 GHz    1 GB     10.1-inch   250 GB    None              Linux
iBall Lilbook-1044                     17,655 1.22 Kg           Intel Atom          1.60 GHz    2 GB     10.1-inch   500 GB    None              Linux
Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3C                 17,869 1.50 Kg            Intel Atom          1.66 GHz    1 GB     10.1-inch   250 GB    None     Win 7 Starter
Dell Inspiron Mini 10                 18,672 1.37 Kg            Intel Atom          1.66 GHz    1 GB      10-inch    250 GB    None     Win 7 Starter
Dell Mini 10                          18,672 1.37 Kg            Intel Atom          1.66 GHz    1 GB     10.1-inch   250 GB    None     Win 7 Starter
Lenovo Ideapad S10                    18,725 1.50 Kg            Intel Atom          1.66 GHz    1 GB     10.1-inch   250 GB    None     Win 7 Starter
Toshiba NB250-A1110                   19,260    1.18 Kg         Intel Atom          1.66 GHz    1 GB     10.1-inch   250 GB    None     Win 7 Starter
Dell Inspiron Mini 10                 20,330 1.37 Kg            Intel Atom          1.66 GHz    2 GB      10-inch    250 GB    None     Win 7 Starter
Lenovo Ideapad S10-3s Wind            22,042 1.50 Kg            Intel Atom          1.83 GHz    2 GB     10.1-inch   250 GB    None     Win 7 Starter
Asus EeePC 1008P                      22,791    1.14 Kg         Intel Atom          1.66 GHz    2 GB     10.1-inch   320 GB    None         Win 7 HP
HP Mini 210-1095TU                    22,791 1.22 Kg            Intel Atom          1.66 GHz    2 GB     10.1-inch   320 GB    None     Win 7 starter
Toshiba Satellite C660-P5012           24,610    2.4 Kg   Intel Pentium Dual Core   2.13 GHz    2 GB     15.6-inch   320 GB   DVD±RW              DOS
Asus EeePC 1215P-BLK019S              25,110    2.70 Kg      Intel Atom N550        1.50 GHz    2 GB     12.0-inch   320 GB    None     Win7 Starter
Samsung NP-R430-JA06                  25,145 2.26 Kg      Intel Pentium Dual-Core   2.30 GHz    2 GB      14-inch    320 GB    None        Win 7 HB
Samsung NP-RV508-A01IN                25,145 2.40 Kg      Intel Pentium Dual Core   2.30 GHz    2 GB     15.6-inch   250 GB   DVD±RW              DOS
Toshiba Satellite Pro C650-D5010      26,750 2.68 Kg         Intel Core 2 Duo       2.10 GHz    2 GB     15.6-inch   320 GB   DVD±RW              DOS
Lenovo IdeaPad G460                   27,553 2.20 Kg      Intel Pentium Dual-Core   2.10 GHz    2 GB      14-inch    500 GB   DVD±RW              DOS
HP Mini 210-1042VU                     27,713 1.22 Kg           Intel Atom          1.66 GHz    1 GB     10.1-inch   160 GB    None        Win 7 HB
Acer Aspire 4736Z                     27,820    2.45 Kg   Intel Pentium Dual-Core   2.30 GHz    3 GB      14-inch    320 GB   DVD±RW             Linux
Acer Aspire 5742                      28,088     2.6 Kg        Intel Core i3        2.26 GHz    2 GB     15.6-inch   500 GB   DVD±RW             Linux
Samsung NP-R538-DA04IN                28,195 2.50 Kg       Intel Pentium P6100      2.00 GHz    3 GB     15.6-inch   320 GB   DVD RW              DOS
Acer Aspire 5742z                     28,355     2.6 Kg   Intel Pentium Dual-Core   2.00 GHz    2 GB     15.6-inch   500 GB   DVD±RW       Win 7 HB
Dell Vostro 1014                      29,425     2.2 Kg      Intel Core 2 Duo       2.1 GHz     4 GB     14.1-inch   320 GB   DVD±RW             Linux
MSI CR420                             29,666      2 Kg         Intel Core i3        2.13 GHz    2 GB      14-inch    250 GB   DVD±RW              DOS
Toshiba Satellite C650-P5210          32,100 2.68 Kg      Intel Pentium Dual-Core   2.26 GHz    3 GB     15.6-inch   320 GB   DVD±RW       Win 7 HB
Samsung NP-R439-DA02IN                32,207 2.26 Kg           Intel Core i3        2.26 GHz    4 GB      14-inch    320 GB   DVD±RW              DOS
Samsung NP-R439-DT02IN                32,207 2.26 Kg           Intel Core i3        2.26 GHz    2 GB      14-inch    250 GB   DVD±RW              DOS
MSI CR620                             32,582 2.48 Kg           Intel Core i3        2.40 GHz    2 GB     15.6-inch   320 GB   DVD±RW       Win 7 HB
Lenovo IdeaPad G560                   33,075 2.60 Kg           Intel Core i3        2.10 GHz    3 GB     15.6-inch   320 GB   DVD±RW              DOS
Acer Aspire 5745                      33,438     2.6 Kg        Intel Core i5        2.26 GHz    4 GB     15.6-inch   320 GB   DVD±RW             Linux
Fujitsu Lifebook AH530                33,919     2.6 Kg        Intel Core i3        2.26 GHz    2 GB     15.6-inch   320 GB   DVD±RW        Win 7 HP
Toshiba Satellite C660-I5014          34,240     2.4 Kg        Intel Core i3        2.53 GHz    2 GB     15.6-inch   320 GB   DVD±RW              DOS
Asus A52JT-SX374D                     35,200 2.62 Kg        Intel Core i3-350M      2.26 GHz    2 GB     15.6-inch   500 GB   DVD±RW              DOS
Toshiba Satellite L650-I5310          35,310 2.68 Kg           Intel Core i3        2.26 GHz    4 GB     15.6-inch   320 GB   DVD±RW        Win 7 HP
Asus A42F-VX408R                      35,417 2.62 Kg        Intel Core i3-350M      2.26 GHz    3 GB     14-inch     500 GB   DVD±RW       Win 7 HB
NOTE: Street prices (incl. VAT) as on 10 April 2011.


132    05/2011       INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
CHIP brings you a roundup of all the latest and greatest products on the market.



LAPTOPS
                                       PRICE                                                                           OPTICAL
NAME                                         WEIGHT        PROCESSOR         MEMORY     CHIPSET   DISPLAY      HDD                    OS
                                        (Rs)                                                                            DRIVE
Lenovo IdeaPad Z460 59-045596         35,417     2.2 Kg    Intel Core i3     2.40 GHz    3 GB     14-inch     500 GB   DVD±RW              DOS
Dell Inspiron 15R                     35,524    2.50 Kg    Intel Core i3     2.40 GHz    3 GB     15.6-inch   320 GB   DVD±RW              DOS
HP Compaq Presario CQ42-273TU         35,524     2.2 Kg    Intel Core i3     2.26 GHz    3 GB     14-inch     320 GB   DVD±RW              DOS
HP Pavilion dv6-3004TU                36,059    3.00 Kg    Intel Core i3     2.26 GHz    2 GB     15.6-inch   320 GB   DVD±RW              DOS
Lenovo IdeaPad Z560 59-045432         36,380     2.9 Kg    Intel Core i3     2.40 GHz    2 GB     15.6-inch   500 GB   DVD±RW         Win 7 HB
Lenovo IdeaPad Z560 59-045426          37,183    2.9 Kg    Intel Core i3     2.40 GHz    2 GB     15.6-inch   500 GB   DVD±RW              DOS
HP Pavilion dv6-3109TU                38,734    2.49 Kg    Intel Core i3     2.40 GHz    3 GB     15.6-inch   320 GB   DVD±RW         Win 7 HB
Asus X42JE-VX132D                     39,109    2.30 Kg    Intel Core i3     2.40 GHz    2 GB     14-inch     500 GB   DVD±RW              DOS
Asus K52JR-SX196D                     40,446    2.62 Kg    Intel Core i3     2.40 GHz    8 GB     15.6-inch   500 GB   DVD±RW              DOS
Toshiba Satellite L640-X4310          40,660    2.26 Kg    Intel Core i5     2.66 GHz    3 GB     14-inch     320 GB   DVD±RW         Win 7 HP
HP Pavilion dv6-3085TX                41,623    2.45 Kg    Intel Core i3     2.40 GHz    3 GB     15.6-inch   320 GB   DVD±RW         Win 7 HB
Fujitsu Lifebook AH530                41,730     2.5 Kg     Intel Core i5    2.40 GHz    2 GB     15.6-inch   500 GB   DVD±RW         Win 7 HP
Samsung R580-JT01-IN                  41,730     2.6 Kg    Intel Core i3     2.40 GHz    4 GB     14-inch     500 GB   DVD±RW         Win 7 HP
Toshiba Satellite L650-X5310          43,870    2.68 Kg    Intel Core i5     2.90 GHz    4 GB     15.6-inch   500 GB   DVD±RW         Win 7 HP
HP Pavilion dv6-2174TX                46,652    3.00 Kg    Intel Core i3     2.26 GHz    2 GB     15.6-inch   320 GB   DVD±RW         Win 7 HP
Dell Inspiron 15R                     48,578     2.6 Kg    Intel Core i5     1.60 GHz    4 GB     15.6-inch   500 GB   DVD±RW         Win 7 HB
MSI FX400                             48,979     2.2 Kg    Intel Core i5     2.60 GHz    4 GB     14-inch     500 GB   DVD±RW         Win 7 HP
Lenovo IdeaPad Y560 59-044203         49,862     2.9 Kg    Intel Core i3     2.26 GHz    4 GB     15.6-inch   500 GB   DVD±RW         Win 7 HP
Dell XPS 15                           51,788    2.96 Kg     Intel Core i3    2.66 GHz    4 GB     15.6-inch   500 GB   DVD±RW         Win 7 HP
MSI FX600                             51,788     2.4 Kg    Intel Core i5     2.0 GHz     4 GB     15.6-inch   500 GB   DVD±RW         Win 7 HP
Asus B43F-VO023V                      52,778    2.48 Kg    Intel Core i5     2.53 GHz    4 GB     14-inch     500 GB   DVD±RW         Win 7 HP
Sony Vaio VPCEB3AGG                   53,019    2.70 Kg    Intel Core i5     2.66 GHz    4 GB     15.5-inch   320 GB   DVD±RW         Win 7 Pro
Lenovo IdeaPad Y560 59-040352         53,928     2.9 Kg    Intel Core i5     2.40 GHz    4 GB     15.6-inch   500 GB   DVD±RW         Win 7 HP
Asus U45JC-WX016X                      57,111   2.14 Kg    Intel Core i3     2.40 GHz    4 GB     14-inch     320 GB   DVD±RW         Win 7 Pro
Lenovo IdeaPad Y560 59-055616         60,990      2 Kg     Intel Core i7     1.73 GHz    4 GB     15.6-inch   500 GB   DVD±RW         Win 7 HP
HP Pavilion dv6-3052TX                61,204    3.00 Kg    Intel Core i7     1.60 GHz    4 GB     15.6-inch   640 GB   DVD±RW         Win 7 HP
Sony Vaio VPCS137GG                   65,377    2.00 Kg    Intel Core i5     2.66 GHz    4 GB     13.3-inch   500 GB   DVD±RW         Win 7 Pro
Asus N53JQ-SZ103V                      67,017   2.90 Kg    Intel Core i7     1.73 GHz    4 GB     15.6-inch   640 GB   DVD±RW         Win 7 HP
Dell Alienware M11x                   71,365     2.0 Kg   Intel Core 2 Duo   1.30 GHz    4 GB     11.6-inch   500 GB    None          Win 7 HP
Toshiba Satellite A660-X5310          80,785    2.62 Kg    Intel Core i5     2.66 GHz    4 GB     15.6-inch   500 GB   DVD±RW         Win 7 HP
Fujitsu Lifebook S710                 84,958    2.15 Kg     Intel Core i5    2.53 GHz    4 GB     14-inch     320 GB   DVD±RW         Win 7 Pro
Dell Alienware M15X                  100,586    4.08 Kg    Intel Core i7     1.60 GHz    4 GB     15.6-inch   500 GB   DVD±RW         Win 7 HP
Asus G53JW-IX157V                    107,589     3.6 Kg    Intel Core i7     1.73 GHz    6 GB     15.6-inch   500 GB   BD-ROM         Win 7 HP
                                                                                                              128 GB
Sony Vaio VPCZ136GG                  110,558    1.41 Kg    Intel Core i5     2.66 GHz    6 GB     13.1-inch            DVD±RW         Win 7 Pro
                                                                                                               (SSD)
NOTE: Street prices (incl. VAT) as on 10 April 2011.


                                                                                                  INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP     05/2011   133
 MARKET WATCH



                                MARKET WATCH
DIGITAL CAMERAS
 NAME                                       PRICE (Rs)   RESOLUTION OPTICAL ZOOM   WIDE ANGLE   APERTURE      LCD SIZE    SHUTTER SPEED

 Nikon Coolpix L21                               4,785   4000 x 3000        3.6x     35 mm      F3.1 - F6.7   2.5-inch      2 - 1/4000 sec
 Sony Cybershot DSC-S2100                        6,078   4000 x 3000          3x     26 mm      F3.1 - F5.6   3.0-inch    1/4 - 1/2000 sec
 Olympus FE-4020                                 7,040   4288 x 3216          4x     26 mm      F2.6 - F5.9    2.7-inch    1/2-1/2000 sec
 Panasonic Lumix DMC FS42                        7,150   3648 x 2736          4x     22 mm      F2.8 - F5.9   2.5-inch      8 - 1/2000 sec
 Canon Powershot A3100 IS                        7,194   4000 x 3000          4x     35 mm      F2.7 - F5.6    2.7-inch     1 - 1/1600 sec
 Sony Cybershot DSC-W310                         7,260   4000 x 3000          4x     28 mm      F3.0 - F4.3    2.7-inch   1/4 - 1/2000 sec
 Nikon Coolpix S3000                             7,453   4000 x 3000          4x     27 mm      F3.2 - F5.9    2.7-inch     4 - 1/1000 sec
 Sony Cybershot DSC-W320                         8,984   4320 x 3240          4x     26 mm      F2.7 - F5.7    2.7-inch   1/8 - 1/1600 sec
 Casio Exilim EX-Z90                             9,020   4000 x 3000          3x     35 mm      F3.1 - F5.9    2.7-inch   1/4 - 1/2000 sec
 Canon Digital IXUS 105 IS                       9,240   4000 x 3000          4x     28 mm      F2.8 - F5.9    2.7-inch     1 - 1/1500 sec
 Fujifilm FinePix JZ300                          9,680   4000 x 3000         10x     28 mm      F3.3 - F5.6    2.7-inch     8 - 1/2000 sec
 Casio Exilim EX-Z280                           10,010   4000 x 3000          4x     26 mm      F2.6 - F5.9    2.7-inch     4 - 1/2000 sec
 Sony Cybershot DSC-W360                        10,258   4320 x 3240          4x     26 mm      F2.7 - F8.0   3.0-inch      2 - 1/1600 sec
 Casio Exilim EX-Z550                           10,945   4320 x 3240          4x     26 mm      F2.6 - F5.9    2.7-inch     4 - 1/2000 sec
 Canon Digital IXUS 130 IS                      11,715   4320 x 3240          4x     24 mm       F2.8 - F8     2.7-inch     1 - 1/1500 sec
 Fujifilm FinePix Z700 EXR                      12,595   4000 x 3000          5x     35 mm      F3.9 - F4.7   3.5-inch      4 - 1/1000 sec
 Olympus SP-600 UZ                              12,980   3968 x 2976         15x     28 mm      F3.5 - F5.4    2.7-inch   1/2 - 1/2000 sec
 Sony Cybershot DSC-H55                         13,283   4320 x 3240         10x     25 mm      F3.5 - F5.5   3.0-inch      2 - 1/1600 sec
 Nikon Coolpix L110                             13,998   4000 x 3000         15x     28 mm      F3.5 - F5.4   3.0-inch     15 - 1/1500 sec
 Nikon Coolpix S8000                            14,933   4320 x 3240         10x     35 mm       F3.5 - F7    3.0-inch      4 - 1/1000 sec
 Sony Cybershot DSC-WX1                         15,345   3648 x 2736          5x     24 mm      F2.4 - F5.9    2.7-inch     2 - 1/6000 sec
 Panasonic Digital Camera Lumix ZR1             16,720   4000 x 3000          8x     25 mm      F3.3 - F5.9    2.7-inch     8 - 1/2000 sec
 Nikon Coolpix S1100pj                          16,803   4320 x 3240          5x     28 mm      F3.9 - F5.8   3.0-inch                 NA
 Samsung EC-ST5500                              17,217   4320 x 3240          7x     31 mm      F3.3 - F5.5    3.7-inch    1/8-1/2000 sec
 Samsung EC-WB650                               17,217   4000 x 3000         15x     24 mm      F3.2 - F5.8   3.0-inch       1-1/2000 sec
 Casio Exilim EX-H10                            17,930   4000 x 3000         10x     24 mm      F3.2 - F5.7   3.0-inch      4 - 1/2000 sec
 Canon Powershot SX210 IS                       18,645   4320 x 3240         14x     28 mm      F3.1 - F5.9   3.0-inch      1 - 1/3200 sec
 Olympus MJU-Tough 8010                         18,920   4288 x 3216          5x     28 mm      F3.9 - F5.9    2.7-inch   1/4 - 1/2000 sec
 Canon Digital IXUS 210 IS                      21,670   4320 x 3240          5x     24 mm      F2.8 - F5.9   3.5-inch      1 - 1/3000 sec
 Canon Powershot D10 IS                         24,530   4000 x 3000          3x     35 mm      F2.8 - F4.9   2.5-inch      1 - 1/1500 sec
 Canon Digital IXUS 1000 HS                     25,483   3648 x 2736         10x     36 mm      F2.8 - F5.6   3.0-inch      1 - 1/2000 sec
 Canon Powershot SX30 IS                        28,380   3744 x 2104         35x     24 mm      F2.7 - F5.8    2.7-inch   15 - 1/3200 sec
 Canon Powershot G12                            31,350   3648 x 2736          5x     28 mm      F2.8 - F4.5   2.8-inch    15 - 1/4000 sec

NOTE: Street prices (incl. VAT) as on 10 April 2011.


134     05/2011        INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP
PERSONAL TECH




                IT DOESN'T TAKE A LOT OF TIME OR EFFORT TO LEARN
                HOW TO MAKE THE BEST USE OF AN APP OR GADGET,
                BUT WE STILL RARELY DO ANYTHING BUT SCRATCH
                THE SURFACE.
                JAMSHED AVARI, DEPUTY EDITOR




                       SICK LEAVE
                A
                          nasty bout of malaria earlier this          dealt with properly. I also have a big stack of
                          month left me with a lot of free time       DVDs that I haven’t even had time to begin
                          on my hands. With a high fever,             on. After dealing with those, I finally paid
                          headaches, shivers and general              hundreds of ripped audio tracks the attention
                wooziness, you’d think I’d have been happy to lie     they deserved. They’re now perfectly named
                in bed and take a break from staring at computer      and tagged, with matching album artwork
                screens all day. Well, that didn’t happen. Not        and sensible folder names. They’re also stored
                even slightly. As it turns out, sick days are         neatly and synced to my recently installed
                the perfect opportunity to catch up on missed         network drive for backup and streaming
                computer and gadget time!                             around the house. I’ve been spending a lot
                   Backups are often neglected, so even with          of time dabbling with home streaming and
                a stuffy head, the chance to sort out years’          sharing over the past few months, so the
                worth of data was too good to miss. I dug             chance to really spend time with the hardware
                out stuff I’d long forgotten I even had (which        paid off.
                probably meant it was safe to delete for                  A few friends came to visit one night while
                good). I discovered multiple copies of backups        I was lying in bed. Even pity parties need
                from several years ago, which had somehow             good music, and I was quite pleased to note
                migrated from one old PC to another and               the impressed looks on everyone’s faces when
                finally landed up in a long-forgotten folder on       I just tapped my phone a few times to make
                my current laptop. Piles and piles of freeware        my laptop came to life and start music playing
                saved from old CHIP CDs and DVDs, many                out of the speakers on the desk. A little while
                of them too ancient to ever be of use again.          later our chatter turned to a YouTube video
                At one point I must have copied entire hard           someone had posted online and we decided we
                drives for safekeeping—40 GB used to be an            needed to watch it again right away. I wasn't
                entire computer’s worth of data; now it’s a           about to get out of bed for anything, so while
                subfolder preserved just in case something            the others assumed we were heading to my
                important is still in there. I still couldn’t bring   laptop, I just grabbed my TV and WDTV Live
                myself to delete any of the old backups, but          remotes and pulled up YouTube. That caused
                at least now they’re in some kind of shape            even more excitement than the video itself!
                and are sitting happily on an external drive,             Smartphones, USB storage and Wi-Fi aren't
                where they’ll actually be more safe in case of        uncommon at all these days, but people are
                a system crash. So I didn’t wind up freeing           still excited to see applications like that in
                much space, but I feel a whole lot better             ordinary use. That's exactly the sentiment
                knowing exactly what I still have from my             that's inspired some of the stories in this
                oldest computers, and where it all is! I’d never      month's issue. So go ahead, it really doesn't
                have dreamt of taking a day off from work             take much effort to make your life simpler and
                solely to manage backups, but even I was              impress your friends. And with everything at
                amazed at the amount and scope of work that           your fingertips, your next sick leave could be a
                was required to whip things into shape.               lot more rewarding too.
                   Music and DVDs, digitized over the years,                                        - jamshed.avari@chip.in
                also have a habit of lying around till they’re                                          - twitter.com/ja140


146   05/2011   INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP

				
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Description: CHIP INDIA 2012 ARCHIVE