High-tech product releases announced the week ending April 18 include a TV cabinet with an integrated Smart TV and sound system, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 2 tablets, the Meizu MX Quad-core smartphone, an Android-powered smartwatch, and an e-book reader that lets you read in the dark.
DIY furniture that features an integrated smart TV and sound system
Ikea is launching a new furniture range that features an integrated smart TV, sound system and Blu-Ray player. Called Uppleva (Swedish for “Experience”), the new range aims to solve the problem of cable clutter while freeing style-conscious home decorators from the unsightly “mismatch between TV and furniture.” Selected Uppleva LED Smart TVs come with built-in WiFi, internet access, and a light sensor that automatically changes the screen brightness to save energy. The Uppleva also features a 2.1 sound system with wireless subwoofer, an integrated radio and MP3 player, a USB memory slot, a CD/DVD/Blu-Ray player with smartphone and iPod connectivity, and just one remote to control it all. The Uppleva range will be available in selected stores in late June with a wider European roll-out planned for autumn. The product will be available in additional countries in spring 2013. Prices are expected to start at around 6500 kr (€730).
Next-gen tablets that can double as your remote control
Samsung finally announced the pricing and release dates for its Galaxy Tab 2 Series tablets. The 10.1” and 7.0” versions both sport dual-core processors and run the latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich. They also have an integrated IR blaster that turns them into a universal smart remote plus full access to apps and content on the Google Play store. The 10.1 and 7.0 Galaxy Tab 2 tablets are priced at $399.99 and $249.99 respectively. The 10.1” version will be available for purchase in the US on May 4 and the 7” version will be available for purchase on April 22.
The world’s first smartphone to use the Exynos A9 processor
Chinese electronics manufacturer Meizu is launching the world’s first smartphone with Samsung’s quad-core Exynos A9 processor. Called simply the MX Quad-core smartphone, the device closely resembles the Meizu’s popular (dual-core) MX smartphone which was launched earlier this year. The processor is 60 percent faster, power consumption has been reduced by up to 20 percent and the device is said to stay powered up for longer thanks to a bigger 1700mAh battery. The MX Quad-core also sports an 8MP camera, Meizu’s unique Flyme OS which is based on Android 4.0, and a 4” 960x640 display. The Meizu MX Quad-core smartphone is due to hit stores in June this year. The 32GB and 64GB versions of the device will be priced at ¥2999/3999 CNY (€365/€485) and $3099/4099 HKD (€305/€405) in mainland China and Hong Kong respectively.
A smartwatch that teams up with your Android smartphone
Sony has introduced an Android-powered wristwatch called the SmartWatch. The Sony SmartWatch features a 1.3” OLED touch display and is dustproof and splashproof. It syncs with your Android smartphone via Bluetooth enabling you to manage phone calls with a swipe of the finger, control the music that’s playing on your smartphone or snap a photo on your smartphone remotely. The wearable device also displays social updates, text messages, emails and notifications and can download apps from the Google Play app store. The Sony Xperia SmartWatch is priced at $149.99.
An e-book reader that lets you read in the dark
The new Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight is the world’s first and only e-ink reader that allows you to read in the dark. The Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight features a built-in, adjustable light plus a fast e-ink display and a precise infrared touchscreen. It’s lighter than its Nook predecessors and sports a battery that will last for over one month of reading on a single charge. The Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight can be pre-ordered for $139 and will start shipping in early May.