Gadget corner

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 19 October, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 19 October, 2008, 12:00am

Live wire

With no competing high-definition video standard to confuse consumers any more, Sony has released a high-end, broadband-ready Blu-ray Disc player - the BDP-S550 (above). It supports BD Live, a proprietary function to access or download online content (including ring tones and wallpapers) from discs with such functionality. The device's internet capability could help convince some people to give their PlayStation 3 console a rest from double-duty as a Blu-ray player. Standard-definition DVDs are also supported, with the playback upgraded to near-HD quality. The BDP-S550, which delivers 1080p full HD resolution and has a 1GB Flash memory, costs HK$4,980.

Pocket cinema

Svelte touch-screen smartphones may be all the rage but Nokia has opted to update its beefy N95 premium slider handset. The N96 (below left), with a 2.8-inch colour display, has been adjusted for high-quality video playback in popular formats, such as Windows Media and Flash. The device's USB 2.0, 3.5G cellular network and Wi-fi connections enable quick access to videos online. Its 16GB of internal memory can store up to 40 hours of video content. Add more with the optional 8GB microSD card. It also has a 5-megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, flash and video light. The N96 smartphone is priced at HK$6,598.

Snap happy

Canon's new flagship compact digital camera is the 14.7-megapixel Digital Ixus 980 IS (below). That amount of resolution brings rich depth and detail, so you can print larger photos and crop without sacrificing quality. Its 3.7x optical zoom lens gets you close to the action, while the image stabiliser reduces blur. The manual mode allows users to control the shutter speed and aperture; great for experimental shots and unusual lighting situations. Instead of framing the shot using the 2.5-inch display on the back, you can try the QuickShot mode to focus with the optical viewfinder. In silver, black or red, the Digital Ixus 980 IS sells for HK$3,280 at Fortress stores.