High-tech product releases announced the week ending May 23 include a compact Android PC priced at just $49, Sony’s NEX-F3 mirrorless camera, a DSLR camera built for adventurers, a waterproof smartphone with FeliCa, and a 4G mobile hotspot that’s built to travel.
A tiny $49 Android PC that connects you to the web
VIA Technologies Inc. has unveiled a compact and cheap computer called the APC 8750. The minuscule device measures 17cm x 8.5cm, runs a customized version of Google’s Android operating system (optimized for keyboard and mouse input) and has the main focus of getting people connected to the internet. It is powered by an ARM processor and consumes around ten times less power than a typical computer. It features support for HD TVs, four USB 2.0 ports, one microSD slot, VGA and HDMI display ports, a 10/100 Ethernet port, Audio-out/Mic-in port and a 15W power adaptor. The APC is expected to start shipping in July for just $49.
An affordable, compact mirrorless camera with professional features
The NEX-F3 is the successor to Sony’s popular NEX-C3 mirrorless camera. It’s the first of Sony’s NEX range to gain a tilting LCD display. It also sports a built-in flash, a 16.1 MP sensor, HD recording (50i/25p) and DSLR effects and an improved battery life for up to 470 on one charge. The NEX-F3 will arrive in Europe and the US in June. It’s priced at $599.99 with a 18-55mm kit zoom lens kit.
A weatherproof DSLR for budding adventure photographers
Pentax’s K-30 Digital SLR camera is a mid-level device built for photographers who like to travel. The lightweight camera is weather, dust and cold resistant (up to -10°C) and comes with a 16MP CMOS image sensor, full HD 1080p video capture, a sensitivity range of between ISO 100 and ISO 12800, a glass pentaprism finder featuring a 100% field of view, and high-speed burst shooting. The Pentax K-30 will be available for sale in July for $849.95 in the body-only configuration or for $899.95 with a DA L 18-55mm zoom lens.
A waterproof smartphone with FeliCa technology
The Sharp Aquos phone Serie ISW16SH is the world’s first smartphone to ship with both built-in NFC and FeliCa (a contactless RFID smart card system use for smart payment) functions. The device is destined for the Japanese market on network carrier AU KDDI. It features a 4.6” LCD display, a 1.5 Ghz dual core processor, NFC, a 12MP rear camera and a 3MP front camera. The device is waterproof and dustproof and runs on Android Ice Cream Sandwich. Sharp also introduced the slide-out keyboard Aquos Phone SLIS15SH and the mid-range Aquos Phone CL IS17SH. All three phones should be available from late May. Prices have not been announced.
A 4G LTE mobile hotspot that takes WiFi global
The Verizon Jetpack 890L, developed by ZTE, is a personal WiFi device that can support up to 10 WiFi-enabled devices. Travelers can use the device to connect to the web in more than 205 countries around the world (125 with 3G speeds). It features an OLED screen and interactive keypad for managing setting plus support for VPN passthrough and WEP/WPA/WPA2 security settings. THe Jetpack 890L supports download speeds of 5 to 12 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of 2 to 5 Mbps in the US. It’s priced at $19.99 (after a $50 mail-in rebate) on a two-year contract.