The Telegraph
Sunday , August 29 , 2010
Since 1st March, 1999
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Think right

If you run a tight ship and expect your PCs to look the part, the Lenovo ThinkCentre A70z is the ThinkPad-esque all-in-one PC for you. It’s got that dull, grayish black tough exterior that means business, and forget bells and whistles, you’d be hard pressed to find a glossy surface on this baby, screen included. It stands on your desk like a huge photo frame, complete with a metal leg for support at the back, and this allows you to tilt and turn it as per your needs. The all-in-one is very much a workhorse PC, with a just-about-passable-resolution 19-in matte screen, and bog standard components — an Intel Pentium Core 2 Duo E7500 2.93-GHz processor, 2GB of RAM, a 320GB fast hard drive and built-in Intel GMA X4500 graphics. Set-up is as easy as plugging the power cord in — with the power supply built into the unit, there’s no adapter to clutter your desk. There’s a standard set of ports including six USB ports, but it lacks a VGA port, so no dual monitor setups possible with the A70z.

Performance wise, the A70z is adequate for office work, and the occasional movie watching as well. In fact, if anything, it could be overpowered for most work scenarios. It feels perfectly suited to the enterprise environment — borderline boring but space-saving design, competent performance, and reliable build.

• Rating: 8/10

• Price: Rs 39,100

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Lightweight performer

Even with digital SLRs going mainstream and affordable, they’ve still some way to go in terms of reducing sheer bulk. Interchangeable lens cameras (ILC) like the new Samsung NX10 represent a theoretically compelling alternative — by getting rid of the mirror box and relying solely on their sensors to handle everything from focusing to live composing, they dramatically cut down the body size and weight, without forsaking the versatility of interchangeable lenses. So, with the NX10, you get a slim SLR-styled body with an SLR-worthy 14.6 megapixel CMOS sensor (APS-C size). It’s built of a heavy plastic and feels sturdy yet it weighs less with its kit lens and battery than most dSLR bodies alone do. The controls are easy to use, and to compose, you can choose to use the brilliant 3-in AMOLED display, plus a high-resolution electronic viewfinder.

When you start using the camera, the flaws start showing up. While the image quality is on the whole good and the camera is a snappy performer, it suffers from the heavy noise at higher sensitivity (ISO) settings. Like the competition, the NX10 has the ability to record HD videos, upto 1280 x 720 (30 fps) with monaural sound but it has a maximum limit of 4GB or 25 minutes video. Honestly, I didn’t think the video quality was worth writing home about either. You will also have to consider that the NX10 comes with an all-new lens mount, so you will have to get new lens and Samsung’s is essentially a closed system right now and the introduction third-party lenses will depend heavily on the success of the NX10. At its price, it seems a bit much to pay for the reduced size, and anyone but the most finicky (for size) should head to a dSLR instead.

• Rating: 7/10
• Price: Kit1 (with an 18-55mm lens): Rs 42,990 & Kit 2 (with 30mm pancake lens): Rs 44,990
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