Microsoft is growing its Surface family of PCs with the launch of Surface Pro, which will features Windows 8.
Described by the company as a ‘PC in a tablet form’, the Surface Pro is powered by an Intel Core i5 processor, weighs less than 1kg and measures 13.5mm thin. It also integrated with a kickstand to enable hands-free standing.
“Surface Pro is an extension of the Windows 8 experience, letting Australians work, play and connect via numerous apps and features,” wrote Microsoft corporate communications manager, Ben Tan, on the Microsoft Australia blog.
In Australia, Surface Pro will be available in two configurations: a 64GB standalone version for $999 RRP and a 128GB standalone version priced at $1,099 RRP. A range of accessories are available with the Surface family, including the Type Cover at $149.99 RRP and Touch Cover for $139.99 RRP.
It will hit the shelves of JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman, as well as online via the Microsoft store, from May 30.]]>
A Nokia exec has hinted at the idea the mobile phone supplier may release a tablet later in the year, BGR has reported. During an interview with CNET, Nokia’s executive vice president of smart devices, Jo Harlow, apparently said the company was “very interested” in entering the tablet market.
This comes after Nokia CEO Stephen Elop had previously said the company was examining the tablet market “very closely”. There’s speculation a Lumia tablet may come from all of these hints. Along the same rumour mill, Nokia is also considering partnering with Microsoft for their Windows 8 or Windows RT – the platform the potential tablet would run on.]]>
Canon has kicked off a seven week long national campaign that will be followed by continued action by the company to help local retailers add value to their sales and help draw customers in-store.
“We’re making every effort to grow the local market and are investing heavily in retail partnerships to drive growth by offering consumers a great imaging experience and fantastic value, ” said Canon Australia consumer imaging director, Jason McLean. “This year alone we’ve invested millions to help authorised retailers offer very competitive pricing and we’re actively making consumers aware that the value locally has never been so good.”
The campaign follows a host of recent activities by Canon Australia to grow the local market including the launch in April of the company’s largest-ever marketing campaign “No One Sees It Like You”, aimed at engaging consumers in the complete imaging experience and drawing attention to Canon locally.
Also, noting that Recommended Retail Pricing was being used to make unfair price comparisons with overseas selling prices online, Canon Australia took the step of not publishing RRPs and instead encouraging consumers and media alike to compare local value based on actual transacted store pricing.
“At a time of significant market change we’re making bold moves to achieve market growth in Australia from which we all benefit,” McLean said.
The company also announced the release of its new in-camera Picture Style pre-set, called Video Camera X-series-look, for its range of EOS DSLRS. This will allow users to capture movie footage with low contrast levels, or it can be applied to still images captured in RAW or JPEG formats.]]>
Noticing consumers are demanding for a more connected and seamless experience when it comes to photography, Olympus has introduced the new PEN E-P5, its first digital camera with built-in Wi-Fi functionality.
Having Wi-Fi means users have access to the latest version of the Olympus OI.Share app for iOS and Android, giving users wireless LiveView and wireless touch-shooting capability, including remote shutter with self-timer, transmitting GPS data to the camera for geo-located photography and transferring images to social media.
It also sports a top shutter speed of 1/8000s, a flash synchronisation speed of 1/320s, and a 5-axis image stabiliser.
Olympus has also launched its VF-4 digital viewfinder as an optional accessory and will also be bundled in selected E-P5 camera kits. The VF-4 has a tilt-feature for low or odd angle shooting and has a 2.36MP resolution and 1.48x magnification.
The PEN E-P5 is available in silver and black in various kit configurations from July 2013. Recommended retail prices of camera kits and new system accessories are to be announced.]]>
Australian-owned company Vixtel has acquired Silicon Valley-based glass phone developer CloudTC
The acquisition will see the release of the world’s first full screen Android desk phone. The design will use Vixtel’s Glass 1100, an Android based 9-inch touchscreen phone that delivers a user experience comparable to a smartphone but in a desk phone that is available now for all businesses within
“We’re very proud to have worked with CloudTC for the last four years to develop the Glass Phone and we’re thrilled to have now acquired 100 per cent of the company. It’s very exciting to now own the world’s most innovative desk phone and we look forward to further extending its capabilities with our local research and development team,” said Vixtel CEO, Terry Crews.
“For us, it’s about delivering a seamless communications experience; ensuring clients have access to a world-class network regardless of device or location. We don’t wait for others to create the future. When clients join the Vixtel community, they become part of the future and are able to quickly adapt to the market environment.”
Vixtel has also commenced developing the Glass 2200, which will have a quad core processor, Linux operating system and boast the functionality of both a phone and desktop PC.
According to the company, this development is consistent with its strategy to own, develop and maintain all technology within their product offering, believing it allows them the truly differentiate their product and meet market demand faster. The Glass 2200 will be launched and released later this year.]]>
Aerial7 brings sound and style with the launch of two new headphones – the Sumo in-ear headphones and Phoenix.
Available in five street styles, the Sumo in-ear headphones’ 10mm drivers product natural audio with wide frequency. It also comes with ear gels in four different sizes for best fit, comfort and noise isolate. Included is also a inline microphone for making phone calls and taking voice notes on compatible smartphones such as iPhones and Blackberry and MP3 players versatile.
Meanwhile, the Phoenix is a mid-sized headphone designed for professional DJs. It has swivel ear cups for single sided monitoring and a reinforced frame to give users the freedom to scratch it up on their own, while a detachable coiled cable and an inline microphone cable allows for easy switch back between tunes. The over-ear headphones come with thick ear cushions and a padded adjustable headband and are available in five different styles.
The Sumo headphones come with a recommended retail price of $39.99 and the Phoenix at $69.99.]]>
Panasonic has introduced the new 68 Series of cordless phone, which features the KX-TG6822 and the KX-TG6821.
Both feature a noise reduction function that reduces background noise from the other call by up to 75 per cent making the person’s voice easier to hear. The function can be easily accessed by pressing the smart key or NR button on the handset.
The 68 series also has an anti-blackout feature, which means there is no interruption even in mid-call when the power goes out. With a twin handset model, calls can also be made from the second handset.
Other features include a large 1.8-inch white blacklit LCD screen, incoming call block and night mode to block unwanted calls during specific times, long range clear sound for error correction system ensuring fewer interruptions.
The Digital Answering Machine has a fast forward & rewind capability as well as a new remote operation function. When a message is recorded, the base unit alerts the user by sending an audible message or a text message (SMS) to the pre-registered mobile phone or office phone.
The series is expandable up to six handsets and offers a shared phonebook of 120 names and numbers accessible from any of the handsets.
The KX-TG6822 twin pack has an RRP of $69.95 while the KX-TG6821 as a single pack has an RRP of $69.95 and an additional handset will retail for $49.95.]]>
Shown off earlier at this year’s CES, the NX300 has a 1/6000 sec shutter speed and allows for up to 8.6fps in continuous shooting mode. It’s also integrated with a 20.3MP APS-CMOS sensor, meaning pixels are reduced and the camera can perform just as well in a low light environment. The DRIMe IV engine has been incorporated to reduce noise and improve speed. And like all the other cameras in the NX range, the NX300 is packed with the Hybrid Auto Focus (AF) system for fast, accurate phase and contrast detection.
Samsung Australia head of digital imaging, Craig Gillespie, said the NX300 will help further secure and increase the company’s market share within the camera segment, which is currently sitting at around 9 per cent in value terms.
“The performance we’re getting for the NX300 is challenging the DSLR category and that’s going to be the key differentiator for 2013 when we move forward. Breaking through that category it means that lighter, smaller form factor of these cameras represents the true challenge of the DSLR category,” he said.
To drive hype around the release, Samsung has signed an ambassador agreement with the ‘fastest man on the world’, Usain Bolt. The OIympic gold medallist will star in a “Shoot Fast. Share Fast.” TVC, due for release in June. Gillespie said the TVC will be the key focus to getting the word out with a heavy focus on delivering it to the digital channel. At the same time, delivering hands-on experience to consumers to drive awareness will also be part of the company’s marketing initiative in coming months.
Samsung is also bundling the NX300, which will retail for $899 and available in brown or white, with a complimentary copy of the Adobe Lightroom 4 editing software.
Gillespie said the drive behind this is to enhance this total photographing experience.
“When we talk about what value we’re offering the customer, it’s not just functionality and performance or the speed benefits in terms of shutter speed and apertures but it’s also about the usability after. At this level the camera is capable of taking photos in a RAW file format and what people want to do is play, edit and really involve themselves in the act of photography and not just in the act of photo taking and this software is going to be a key differentiator.”
The company also launched its first 3D lens, which will retail for $499, which allows users to capture still or video in 1080p. It has also been designed to feature a unique prism that allows 3D mode to be switched on or off. When off, the lens becomes a standard 45mm f/1.8 lens.
Set to join the NX300 on the market is the NX2000, which will be available in-store from late June in white or black. This too will also be bundled with Adobe Lightroom 4. It will replace the company’s existing NX1000, currently retailing for $649, by the end of the year.]]>
Hisense has expanded its appliance range by entering into the laundry category, debuting with two front loading washing machines – the 6.5kg capacity HWFR9012V and 9kg capacity HWFR6510.
Speaking to TT, Andre Iannuzzi, head of Marketing, Hisense Australia, said the decision to enter the laundry category has been a long time coming.
“The idea to localise it has been in development for a year. We’re very serious about advancing into this category and we weren’t going to enter the market by bringing in just another washer,” he said.
The 6.5kg model has a slim bodied depth of 500mm, allowing it to fit into compact laundry spaces.
“The laundry market share research is showing there’s been an increase in different sizes of washers. But we believe we’re going to market to help retailers sell-through, and with the apartment scene exploding the 6.5kg washer is still feature packed but still narrow enough to fit into a small cabinet,” Iannuzzi said.
Meanwhile, the 9kg machine is incorporated with a digital inverter motor, which allows for accurate control of speed and torque without sacrificing efficiency. The invertor motor comes with an 11-year warranty.
Both machines have 14 wash programs and feature the 360 Smart Wash Technology. This means they can automatically measures the weights of laundry to determine the washing time and the water and power usage. It can also detect and heat the water above 15 degrees Celsius or reduce excess foam when necessary. There’s also a self-fault detector that will automatically detect incorrect usage and alert the user.
“The core value of our brand is to offer more features at a better price and we’ve managed to successfully do this with these machines,” Iannuzzi said.
He also said the take-up of the machines from retailers has also been positive. Like most of its products, Hisense will support the release of these machines with focus on direct communication with its consumers at retail level, as well through social media.
The Hisense HWFR9012V and HWFR6510 washing machines, which will retail for $699 and $899 respectively, will be available in-store early June 2013.]]>
While Windows 8 may never reach the popularity levels as iOS or Android, it has brought Microsoft back into the game once again.
Now, Microsoft is looking to upgrade the software with Windows 8.1, previously referred to as ‘Windows Blue’. It will be a free update to Windows 8 for consumers through the Windows Store.
At a recent presentation in Boston, Windows CFO and CMO, Tami Reller, said the company is pleased with the progress of Windows 8 so far and it will continue to evolve.
“Our OEM partners have delivered tablets, touch laptops, and convertibles that bring the vision of Windows 8 and mobile computing to life. They have introduced some incredible (and unique) new form factors like the Dell XPS 12, the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13, the Sony VAIO Tap 20, or the recently announced Acer Aspire R7. And today at retail, you can find a powerful mobile touch laptop starting at just over $400,” she said at the JP Morgan technology, media & telcom conference.
“We now have more than 70,000 apps in the Windows Store (the online app store for Windows) – apps such as Twitter, eBay, Netflix, CNN and games like Temple Run: Brave, Bejeweled LIVE and Angry Birds Star Wars and many others.
“As PCs continue to evolve for this world of mobile computing, so does Windows 8.”
More about the upgrade will be shared in coming weeks, the company said.]]>