Gadget corner

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 10 August, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 10 August, 2008, 12:00am

Target market

Lenovo sees demand growing for affordable, always connected, multimedia-capable laptops, especially from entrepreneurs, small businesses and frequent travellers. That's why its new mid-range, energy-efficient ThinkPad SL series notebook computers (below) deliver the goods: Wi-fi links, a Nvidia graphics processor, high-definition audio and video, a widescreen display (14.1 inch and 15.4 inch), a built-in 2-megapixel camera for video-conferencing, ThinkVantage client security system and online support. Prices for the ThinkPad SL series notebooks start at HK$8,388, with a one-year parts and labour warranty.

In stereo

The crowded local market for compact audio systems has received another attractive option: Onkyo's CS- 725 mini stereo (above right), which includes a CD receiver and two-way bass reflex speakers. The receiver uses so-called vector linear shaping circuitry, which was previously found only in high- end components. It enables the stereo to deliver an analogue signal virtually free of noise (hiss and skips, for example), based on the digital source, including MP3 files, DVD audio and super audio CD. The Onkyo CS-725 costs HK$4,380.

Bold and beautiful

In a city swept by the iPhone 3G hype, Canadian firm Research In Motion is putting its best foot forward by releasing this month the company's first 3.5G smartphone, geared for both the consumer and business markets. The stylishly designed BlackBerry Bold (right), like Apple's latest handset, supports fast 3G data services, Wi-fi networks, Bluetooth connectivity and a global positioning system, and can synchronise - surprise, surprise - with an iTunes software-based digital music collection. The device lacks the iPhone's large, touch-activated display and access to a fancy online applications store but it offers what many BlackBerry enthusiasts want: a keyboard for fast and accurate thumb-typing, a proprietary internet service for up to 10 personal and business e-mail accounts, mobile multimedia messaging support and a video-capable camera. The BlackBerry Bold, unlike the iPhone, is available from all five mobile phone network operators in Hong Kong, the first Asian city to have the device. It will have a PCCW launch price of HK$1,988.