There have been some interesting developments in the gadget world over the past one week. Although Sony has not officially launched its Android smartphone Xperia Ion (that comes with a 12 MP camera) in the Indian market, it is already available online for Rs 35,999. You will find it both on Flipkart.com and Snapdeal.com, and you can also get it cheaper (Rs 709 less) from Maniacstore.com.
On the other hand, Lenovo has unveiled its first tablet specifically designed for Windows 8 and has christened it ThinkPad Tablet 2. It will be available here in October this year, around the same time when Windows 8 will be launched. Here is a look at both the devices.
Sony Xperia Ion
This smartphone has a 4.55 inch TFT capacitive touchscreen display (720Ã—1280 pixel resolution) and runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system (at least that is what the e-com sites are claiming) with the Timescape user interface. It is powered by a 1.5 GHz Qualcomm dual core processor and comes with 1 GB of RAM. The internal memory is 16 GB, which can be expanded up to 32 GB with a microSD card.
Sony has provided a 12 MP auto-focus rear camera with LED flash and 16x digital zoom (with Sony's Exmor R for mobile CMOS sensor) â€“ so you can expect good quality pictures. The rear camera can also record full high definition videos (1080p) at 30 frames per second and then there is a secondary 1.3 MP front-facing camera that can also record HD videos (720p) at 30 fps.
On the connectivity front, it has Bluetooth, Wi-Fi (with Wi-Fi hotspot) and 3G, and comes with a microUSB port and a microSD card slot. The smartphone also has A-GPS support, stereo FM radio with RDS and Near Field Communication.
The device measures 133mm x 68mm x 10.6mm and weighs 144 gm. It has a 1,900 mAh battery that the company claims will provide up to 10 hours of talk time and 400 hours of standby time. The smartphone is currently available in classy black and bold red.
Considering its price, this one will compete with the likes of Samsung Galaxy S III (Rs 37,990), HTC One X (Rs 36,099) and One S (Rs 33,590), LG Optimus 4X HD (Rs 32,999) and Galaxy Note (Rs 32,700), among others. While some of its competitors come with quad-core processors (meaning they are much more powerful), this one surely has an edge in the camera department.
The tablet will have a 10.1 inch touchscreen HD display and will run on Windows 8 Pro operating system. It will be powered by an upcoming Intel Atom Processor and will support multiple input methods including multi-finger touch and an optional digitiser pen that will ensure better note taking, capturing signatures and completing forms.
The company is also providing an optional keyboard dock that can be paired with the tablet for more PC-like computing. It will also sport front (for video calling) and rear-facing cameras and will come with a full-size USB and HDMI ports. There will a 3G and a 4G model although the 4G one will be available only in the US (with AT&T).
It will also come with an optional fingerprint reader that stores passwords biometrically.
"For the next generation of Lenovo PCs, we're working closer than ever with Microsoft Corp and our silicon partners. We are excited to reveal the fruit of this collaborative co-engineering, the ThinkPad Tablet 2, a joint effort between Lenovo, Microsoft and Intel," said Dilip Bhatia, VP and GM of the ThinkPad business unit.
The tablet will be less than 1 cm in width (9.8 mm thin) and will weigh less than 600 gm. Plus, there will be full Microsoft Office support, which means users will be able to view, edit and create MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint files without converting file formats.
Additionally, there will be full corporate compatibility in the sense it will allow users to securely browse the company intranet, run special applications and log in to their respective company's online databases, among others.
For added security, users can also create temporary visitor IDs or age-restricted accounts for children. The tablet will be primarily targeted at professionals but till date, no Indian launch date or pricing has been announced by the company.
(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)