Tag Archives: Ultra HD

Transcend 500S and 300S SD and MicroSD Cards Launched!

Transcend Information, Inc. just announced the availability of the Transcend 500S and 300S series of SD and microSD cards. These memory cards are available in capacities of up to 512 GB and feature transfer speeds of up to 95 MB/s!

 

Transcend 500S and 300S SD and MicroSD Cards

The gold Transcend 500S series, constructed of durable MLC flash, is ideal for action cameras and drones, while the silver Transcend 300S series SD and microSD cards are offered in capacities up to 512 GB.

Transcend 300S Meets A1 Performance Specifications

Transcend’s 128GB 300S microSD cards meet the SD Association’s latest Application Performance Class 1 (A1) standards for responsiveness, which call for performing 1,500 IOPS on random read operations and 500 IOPS on random write operations, and sequential speeds of at least 10 MB/s. The Transcend 300S series tops out at 95 MB/s read and 45 MB/s write speeds, making it ideal for storing and running mobile apps.

Transcend 500S : UHS V30 Compliance For Ultra HD 4K Recording

The Transcend 500S series SD and microSD cards are UHS Video Speed Class 30 (V30)-compliant, allowing for smooth, uninterrupted Ultra HD 4K video capture. These cards meet V30 specifications of at least 95 MB/s read and 60 MB/s write speeds. The Transcend 500S SD cards are offered in capacities of up to 256 GB.

Secure and reliable

Transcend microSD memory cards undergo a set of rigorous tests. These cards can perform at temperature extremes of -25° to 85°C as well as being waterproof, shock and vibration proof, and X-ray proof. Native error-correcting code embedded on the devices fixes most common file errors, ensuring files remain readable.

Transcend RecoveRx Software

Transcend offers the exclusive RecoveRx data recovery and storage device management software for use with its products. RecoveRx allows users to search deep within a storage device for traces of erased photos, documents, music, and videos. RecoveRx can also format and write-protect flash memory cards.

 

Price + Availability

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  • Transcend 300S SD cards : 16 GB to 512 GB
  • Transcend 300S microSD cards : 16 GB  to 128 GB
  • Transcend 500S SD cards : 8 GB to 256 GB
  • Transcend 500S microSD cards : 8 GB to 128 GB.

All of Transcend’s memory cards are covered by Transcend’s Five-Year Warranty.

Here are some purchase links for your convenience :

  • 32 GB Transcend 300S microSD : $10.99
  • 64 GB Transcend 300S microSD : $21.99
  • 128 GB Transcend 300S microSD : $43.99

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Dell XPS 13 2018 (9370) Preview – Ultra-Light Powerhouse

Dell revealed their brand-new Dell XPS 13 2018 ultra-light laptop at CES 2018. We managed to get our hands on it… for a short time. Let us share with you our hands-on preview, as well as the key features, specifications and pictures of the Dell XPS 13 2018!

 

The Dell XPS 13 2018 (9370) @ CES 2018

Dell revealed their Dell XPS 13 2018 ultra-light laptop at CES 2018. It introduces a new alpine white glass fibre weave material. This new material took a dedicated Dell team more than 11,500 hours and 50 trials to get right.

 

The changes are not just skin-deep. The Dell XPS 13 2018 (Amazon | Lazada) is powered by the 8th Generation Intel Core processor, and boasts up to a 1 TB SSD. It is also the first laptop in the world to feature the GORE thermal insulation – the same silica aerogel used on the Mars Rover and Stardust Probe.

 

The Dell XPS 13 2018 (9370) Up Close

At an exclusive Dell experiential session, we were given some time to try out the Dell XPS 13 2018 (Amazon | Lazada). Here is our hands-on preview!

Let’s take a look at its key features in details :

Next-Generation InfinityEdge Display

The Dell XPS 13 2018 (Amazon | Lazada) introduces the next-generation InfinityEdge IPS display, with 400-nits brightness, a 23% thinner border and an 80.7% screen-to-body ratio. The optional 4K UHD display even boasts 100% sRGB colour gamut.

Smaller, Thinner, Lighter But More Powerful

The Dell XPS 13 2018 (Amazon | Lazada) is 24% smaller by volume, than the previous XPS 13. It is also 3.4 mm thinner and lighter at just 1.21 kg (2.67 pounds).

Yet, it offers even more performance with the latest 8th Generation Intel Core quad-core processor, with a faster UHD Graphics 620 graphics processor.

New Woven Glass Fiber

The Rose Gold version of the Dell XPS 13 2018 (Amazon | Lazada) introduces an alpine white woven glass fibre palm rest. The woven crystalline silica fibre is not just strong and light, it feels like silk and better dissipates heat.

Strong & Light

The XPS 13 2018 (Amazon | Lazada) is cut from a single block of aluminium, with a carbon fibre / woven glass fibre palm rest, for maximum strength with minimal weight. The display is protected with Corning Gorilla Glass 4, making it twice as resistant to damage.

Aerospace-Inspired Thermal Design

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The Dell XPS 13 2018 (Amazon | Lazada) boasts a new cooler with two heat pipes and two fans, increasing its cooling capacity while allowing for a thinner form factor. It is also the first to use GORE thermal insulation to channel heat from the CPU and GPU to the heat pipes, and away from the chassis.

Windows Hello

You can either use the built-in infra-red camera to recognise your face, or the optional fingerprint reader, to log in using Windows Hello.

Far-Field Cortana

Thanks to four built-in microphones, Microsoft Cortana and Waves-enabled speech technology, the XPS 13 2018 (Amazon | Lazada) responds to your voice from 14 feet (4 meters) away.

Next Page > Dell XPS 13 2018 Specifications, Price & Availability

 

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Dell XPS 13 2018 (9370) Specifications

SpecificationsDell XPS 13 2018
ModelXPS 13 9370
Design OptionsCNC-machined aluminium in platinum silver with carbon fibre composite palm rest in black

CNC-machined aluminium in rose gold with alpine white woven glass fibre palm rest, with titanium oxide UV- and stain-resistant coating
Operating System OptionsMicrosoft Windows 10 Pro (64-bit)
Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit)
Ubuntu 16.04 (no support for fingerprint reader, Waves MaxxAudio and Cortana)
Processor OptionsIntel Core i7-8550U (8 MB cache, up to 4.0 GHz)
Intel Core i5-8250U (6 MB cache, up to 3.4 GHz)
Memory Options16 GB LPDDR3 SDRAM (2133 MHz, dual channel)
8 GB LPDDR3 SDRAM (1866 MHz, dual channel)
4 GB LPDDR3 SDRAM (1866 MHz, dual channel)
Graphics ProcessorIntel UHD Graphics 620
Display Options13.3" UltraSharp 4K InfinityEdge display
- 3840 x 2160 pixels, 100% sRGB
- 400 nits, 1500:1 contrast ratio
- 178°wide viewing angle, anti-reflective coating

13.3" UltraSharp FHD InfinityEdge touch display
- 1920 x 1080 pixels, 72% sRGB
- 400 nits, 1500:1 contrast ratio
- 178°wide viewing angle, anti-reflective coating
Display ProtectionEdge-to-edge Corning Gorilla Glass 4
Storage Options1 TB PCIe SSD
512 GB PCIe SSD
256 GB PCIe SSD
128 GB SATA SSD
Keyboard & TouchpadFull size, backlit chiclet keyboard; 1.3mm travel
Precision touchpad, seamless glass integrated button
Wireless Connectivity OptionsIntel 8265 802.11ac (2x2) + BT 4.1
Killer 1435 802.11ac (2x2) + BT 4.1
Ports & Slots2 x Thunderbolt 3 with PowerShare, DC-In and DisplayPort
1 x USB-C 3.1 with PowerShare, DC-In & DisplayPort
microSD card reader
3.5" earphone port
Noble lock slot
Fingerprint SensorOptional Windows Hello-compliant fingerprint reader in Power button
Optical Drive OptionsNo internal drive
Only external options
AudioStereo speakers (1 W x 2) with Waves MaxxAudio Pro
WebcamWidescreen 720p webcam with 4-array digital microphones
Windows Hello-compliant infra-red camera
Far-Field Cortana capable
Battery52 WHr battery (non-replaceable)
AC Adapter45 W AC adapter
Docking OptionsDell Dock (130 W)
Dell Thunderbolt Dock (180 W)
DimensionsHeight : 0.3-0.46 inches / 7.8 -11.6 mm
Width : 11.9 inches / 302 mm
Depth : 7.8 inches / 199 mm
WeightStarting weight : 2.67 lbs / 1.21 kg
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Dell XPS 13 2018 (9370) Price & Availability

The new Dell XPS 13 2018 (Amazon | Lazada) is available globally, with starting price of US$ 999.99, or at Dell.com.my with a starting price of RM 5,999.

Dell will also be offering a Ubuntu-based XPS 13 Developer Edition with Linux preloaded in selected countries. It will have a starting price of US$ 949.99 / ~RM 3,895.

Here are some purchase links for select Dell XPS 13 2018 configurations :

* This model is not officially available in Malaysia at Dell.com.my.

 

More Dell XPS 13 2018 (9370) Pictures

Next Page > The Dell XPS 13 2018 (9370) CES 2018 Announcement

 

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The Dell XPS 13 2018 (9370) CES 2018 Announcement

by Frank Azor, VP and GM, XPS, Alienware and Dell Gaming

Technology has become an expression of style for those who use it – though fashion can be fickle. One thing we do know is elegance never goes out of style.

First unveiled at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show, the XPS 13 immediately enhanced the legacy of XPS as the world’s most celebrated laptop and winner of more product awards than any other line in Dell’s history, most recently named a CES 2018 Innovation Award Honoree.

And how did it garner this latest honor? Vision and a lot of hard work.

In reimagining the XPS 13, Dell took inspiration from the realm of fashion, where rose gold remains a trending color and white accents have been growing in popularity, seen everywhere from watch bands to sneakers.

However when turning our XPS white, we strived to achieve elegance and invested more than a dozen people, 11,520 hours and 50 trials to create a new system that was as stunning inside and out. The Dell design team didn’t want to simply paint a system white – they wanted to use authentic materials and make sure the system looked as beautiful on day 1000 as it does on day 1.

With the desire to give its white palm rest a weaved appearance, the team considered different materials beyond the color limits of traditional carbon fiber. The solution? An innovative new crystalline silica material with the white color literally woven in, like a fabric, in nine composite layers. Dell is the first to use this woven glass fiber in a laptop.

Complementing the new rose gold aluminum shell of the XPS 13, the alpine white glass fiber weave is elegant to the eye and silky to the touch. Durable as it is beautiful, atop its soft-textured lattice is titanium oxide for a pearlescent sheen and UV and stain-resistant coating to prevent yellowing or staining over time.

In fact, if you get a pen mark or other stain on the white interior you can just wipe it off. And with a heat resistance superior to metal, woven glass fiber also stays cooler to facilitate longer performance.

Interesting fact: The glass fibers in one palm rest, if laid end to end, would extend for 117,500 miles, nearly enough to stretch halfway from Earth to the moon. Now that’s one giant leap.

We not only worked to create the most beautiful laptop on the market, but extended that design ethos to its matching white power cords and USB-A/USB-C adapter. And moving from style, to lifestyle, we invested in sustainable recycled ocean plastics and bamboo packaging so you can purchase with confidence knowing that Dell is doing its part to help the planet.

Besides its head-turning exterior, the all-new XPS 13 is better by every measure. Now even more portable as the smallest 13-inch laptop on the planet, its stunning InfinityEdge display fits this 13-inch laptop in an 11-inch frame. It’s a full 30% (3.4mm) thinner as well as lighter, starting at just 2.7 pounds, making the XPS 13 the ultimate in mobility and durability.

Running Windows 10 and powered by the latest Intel 8th Generation Quad Core processor, XPS 13 delivers superior mobile performance with fast booting SSDs up to 1TB. You can also expect the longest battery life of any 13-inch laptop, with almost 20 hours on FHD, up to 11 on UHD (Mobile Mark 14).

While we made the system smaller and lighter, we were able to increase the performance by 2x, over the original XPS 13 launched in 2015, and maintain the world’s most powerful 13-inch laptop in its class. So how did we do that? We have the most innovative performance and thermal engineering at Dell.

We developed Dell Power Manager to let you customize your balance of battery life, charging, thermals and acoustics and Dynamic Power Mode that intuitively delivers maximum power as needed, for such tasks as video rendering applications and advanced spreadsheets, while intelligently monitoring and managing system temperatures.

 

This means the XPS 13 has sustained high performance while competitors performance declines with continued use, making the XPS 13 the most powerful 13-inch in its class (Tested by Principled Technologies in December 2017 using the Cinebench CPU (multi-core test)).

As for thermal engineering, XPS 13 is the world’s first laptop built with GORE Thermal Insulation, the same silica aerogels that have been used in high tech science and extreme engineering environments to diffuse and dissipate heat, such as insulation on the Mars Rovers and Hyper Velocity Particle capture in the Stardust Probe. This material directs heat out of the device, keeping your system cool while it works hard.

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Now with a higher resolution display, incorporating 2.5 million more pixels with 4K Ultra HD compared to the previous QHD+, the 100% sRGB display on the XPS 13 gives you great, saturated and accurate color, whether for graphic professionals or watching your favorite Netflix show. In fact, Dell knows people today use their PCs to stream content, so the XPS 13 also delivers an unparalleled immersive cinematic experience with richer colors and details, crisper and stronger audio, and reduced buffering, so you really can watch Netflix and chill.

Activated by voice, touch or facial recognition, access to the new XPS 13 comes through a triad of biometric doorways. Log in with a look or a touch with the infrared camera and optional fingerprint reader in the power button for Windows Hello, or talk to your device from across the room, with four integrated digital microphones and Microsoft’s Cortana voice recognition capabilities.

The new XPS 13 is available globally beginning today on Dell.com, Microsoft.com and at your local Microsoft Store, starting at $999.99. Dell is also offering a Ubuntu-based developer edition with Linux preloaded starting at $949.99 beginning today on Dell.com in the US and Europe as well.

I can confidently say the new XPS 13 is the most stunning system we have ever created with the perfect blend of elegance and performance.

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The Samsung Soundbar Sound+ & 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player Revealed!

At an exclusive experiential session, Samsung gave us a taste of their latest home entertainment products to hit our shores – the Samsung Soundbar Sound+ (HW-MS751) and the Samsung 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player (UBD-M8500). Designed to complement their QLED TV offerings, the new MS751 sound bar and M8500 Blu-ray player promise to give audiophiles and movie buffs an enhanced music and cinematic experience, right at home. Let’s check them out!

 

The Samsung Soundbar Sound+ & 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player Revealed!

Let’s start with this presentation on the new Samsung Soundbar Sound+ and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player by Jason Foo, Head of Audio Visual, Samsung Malaysia.

 

The Samsung Soundbar Sound+ (HW-MS751)

The Samsung Soundbar Sound+ is a 5-channel soundbar with a total of 11 speaker units – each with dedicated amplifiers. They include 3 wide-range tweeters, 6 woofers, and 2 vertical wide-range tweeters.

The vertical tweeters are situated on top of the unit and spray audio vertically to expand the sound image. The vertical tweeters also feature ‘Height Channel Up-mix’ technology, which allows you to enjoy a 3D surround sound as if you are actually experiencing sound of a flight or a bird over the sky.

The Soundbar Sound+ features an Ultra High Quality (UHQ) 32-bit audio, which provides a crisper sound and allows listeners to experience audio that is nearest to its original recording quality. The new Soundbar Sound+ will not only upscale any music content to 32-bit sound, it can also reproduce deep and detailed bass to as low as 35 Hz.

To reproduce deep and detailed bass from its compact 3-inch body, Samsung used their proprietary distortion cancelling technology eliminates low frequency distortion by predicting the distortion at the end of the speaker movement and pre-adjusting upfront. The resulting lows are smooth and distortion-free, meaning listeners can enjoy bass-heavy content as it was meant to be heard.

The Soundbar Sound+ also has 3 wide range tweeters that create wider sound dispersion from the source (cross-over range 600Hz ~ 20kHz).

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The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player (UBD-M8500)

The new Samsung M8500 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player is promises to offer incredibly lifelike pictures when paired with a TV with HDR support. You will be able to enjoy the latest movies in True 4K, UHD level, as the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player shows every detail as the director intended, from the darkest to the brightest scenes, while expressing a full color range that human eyes can recognise.

Price & Availability

The new Samsung Soundbar Sound+ and the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player are now available at all Samsung Brand Stores and authorised dealers nationwide at a recommended retail price of RM 3,499 (~US$ 833) and RM 1,799 (~US$ 428) respectively.

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The Logitech MeetUp Live Demo & Hands-On Look

On 22 June 2017, Logitech invited us to an exclusive live demo of the new Logitech MeetUp premier ConferenceCam conducted across four different countries. We were also given the opportunity for some hands-on time with the Logitech MeetUp. Join us for this exclusive live demo session, and check out our hands-on look, of this new ConferenceCam designed for small conference rooms or huddle rooms.

 

The Logitech MeetUp Live Demo

Unlike typical press conferences and tech briefings, Logitech conducted this live demo of Logitech MeetUp (Lowest Price) across four different countries to showcase its abilities. Note that they were not conducted in 4K resolution (more on this later), due to software and bandwidth limitations.

Here are the Logitech MeetUp’s key features :

  • Super-Wide 120° Field of View: MeetUp offers the widest field of view of any Logitech video conferencing solution, without any fisheye lens distortion. This allows everyone in the room to be seen on-screen, even those close to the camera or seated at the edges of the room.
  • 3-Microphones and Custom-Tuned Speaker: Three broadside beamforming, omnidirectional microphones with noise and echo cancellation – plus a custom-tuned speaker – are specifically optimized for voice clarity in small conference rooms. The microphones are Microsoft Cortana-certified for voice command precision with any Windows 10 system. An optional expansion microphone increases conversational radius even further in larger rooms.[adrotate banner=”4″]
  • All-In-One Design: MeetUp’s compact, all-in-one form factor saves space and minimizes cable clutter.
  • Razor-Sharp Optics: Advanced Logitech lens technology delivers remarkable, distortion-free video quality with superb resolution, speed, fluidity, color balance, and detail.
  • Motorized Pan/Tilt with Optical Zoom: The motorized lens smoothly pans and tilts, expanding the total field of view to 170° by 105°, while a 5X optical zoom lets you focus on participants and whiteboards with razor-sharp clarity.
  • RF Remote Control: MeetUp’s paired remote control lets you adjust audio and camera settings from anywhere in the room, even without line-of-sight.
  • Ultra HD 4K Image Sensor: Supports multiple resolutions, including 4K (Ultra HD), 1080p (Full HD) and 720p (HD) to best support the quality offered by your application and monitor.

 

The Logitech MeetUp Hands-On Look

The Logitech MeetUp (Lowest Price) is a compact all-in-one video conferencing solution. It combines an ultra-wide camera with three beam-forming microphones and a voice-optimised speaker. In addition, the camera has motorised pan and tilt capabilities, and even 5X optical zoom.

The Logitech MeetUp (Lowest Price) is designed for huddle rooms. In larger conference rooms, you can attach an expansion microphone for greater reach. Its remote control uses radio-frequency, instead of infra-red, allowing you to control it even without line-of-sight.

There are some caveats we must point out though :

  • The Logitech MeetUp (Lowest Price) is a hardware solution, and does not come with any video conferencing software. You are free to use any video conferencing service like Skype or WebEx,
  • MeetUp requires additional hardware to operate, specifically a host PC. You can hook it up to a desktop, a laptop or even a NUC.
  • Logitech MeetUp (Lowest Price) has an Ultra HD 4K-capable camera for future-proofing. That capability requires a video conferencing service that is 4K capable, and a USB 3.0 cable. MeetUp currently ships only with a USB 2.0 cable, and is therefore not capable of supporting 4K video streaming.
  • The external microphone port is proprietary and can only be used with the official MeetUp external microphone.

 

Price & Availability

The Logitech MeetUp (Lowest Price) will be available for sale in late July 2017 at the following prices (for ASEAN countries) :

  • Singapore : SGD 1,529 for MeetUp, and SGD 375 for the optional external microphone
  • Thailand : THB 37,900 for MeetUp, and THB 9,199 for the optional external microphone
  • Malaysia : MYR 4,799 for MeetUp, and MYR 1,169 for the optional external microphone
  • Philippines : PHP 56,500 for MeetUp, and PHP 13,500 for the optional external microphone

You can also buy it from Amazon at US$ 899 for MeetUp, and US$ 1,079 for MeetUp with the optional external microphone.

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Sony X1000V 4K Action Camera Review Rev. 2.0

In the world of action cameras, GoPro action cameras dominate the sports action video footage on YouTub. Many companies have tried to take a piece out of GoPro’s pie – Garmin Virb, Xiaomi Yi, and even the lowly SJ4000. However, Sony is, arguably, the closest competitor to GoPro.

Unlike most of the GoPro’s competitors, Sony created a rather unique form factor, which may be better or worse than GoPro, depending on your usage. Its “telescopic” design, for example, is more aerodynamic than the traditional camera design.

Sony started selling their action camera series with the AS10 and AS15 capturing a respectable Full HD resolution at 30 fps. However, the model I’m reviewing today is their latest top-of-the-line (as of February 2016) model, called the Sony FDR-X1000V.

It doesn’t have a sexy name like Hero 4 Black, which is its most obvious rival today. But they are both equally capable of recording 4K video at 30 fps. So why did I get the Sony instead of GoPro, the defacto choice for action cam?

Updated @ 2016-04-09 : Updated the review with the X1000V’s features vs. its competitors, as well as the speed requirements for recording at the highest quality 4K resolution.

 

Size and Features

The size and weight are important considerations for an action camera. In that aspect, the Sony FDR-X1000V loses out to GoPro Hero 4, especially when both are installed in their respective waterproof case. But Sony has a number of key advantages over the GoPro.

For one thing, the X1000V is “splash-proof” with an IPX4 rating and a 1/4″ tripod socket on the camera itself. In other words, you can use the camera outdoors in light rain without a waterproof case. However, the biggest advantage of the Sony Action Cam has to be its digital Steadyshot capability.

Steadyshot reduces the handshake vibration and also micro vibrations when hard mounted onto a moving object, like a sports equipment or a car. The downside is a limited Field of View choice. With only the options of Steadyshot Off (170° FOV) and On (120° FOV), you can forget about trying to use a narrower FOV without Steadyshot, or a wider FOV with Steadyshot enabled.

The Sony FDR-X1000V also has some features that are not found in many other action cameras, like the wind noise reduction, GPS (available on the Garmin Virb), NFC etc, which may or may not sway your decision to purchase.

By default (at least in Malaysia anyway), the Sony FDR-X1000V comes with a live view remote watch, which allows you to view the recorded footage of the camera on-the-fly. It also makes for easier setting changes to the camera. The remote watch is waterproof up to 3 meters, not as deep as the camera’s waterproof case of 10 meters. But that’s not as annoying as the fact you have to turn both the camera and remote watch on and off separately.

If your Sony FDR-X1000V does not come with the remote watch, its built-in WiFi capability allows you to stream live footage directly to your iOS or Android devices using the PlayMemories app. You can change the camera settings, view photos and videos using the app. This can be much more convenient than using the camera itself.

Finally, the Sony X1000V comes with stereo microphones on the front of the camera. This means it has superior audio recording capabilities than the GoPro Hero 4 series.

 

It’s All About 4K, Or Is It?

Another reason to get the Sony FDR-X1000V is the ability to record 4K videos at 30 fps. However, your options are very limited if you choose to record at that resolution. You lose Steadyshot, and the 120 fps slow-mo option, that are available if you choose to record in Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution instead. You are also limited to a 170° FOV.

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Sony actually “downgraded” from a 13 MP sensor in the previous flagship AS100V camera, to a 8.8 MP Sony Exmor R sensor in both the AS200V and the X1000V cameras. The 8.8 MP sensor allows for a maximum photo resolution of 3952 x 2224. They probably used the lower resolution sensor to allow a 1:1 pixel readout from the sensor at 4K resolution without pixel binning. In theory, that should allow for better image quality. The downside, though, is the loss of Steadyshot when recording 4K videos.

To shoot videos in the 4K or other 100 Mbps modes, you will need a fast MicroSDXC card that is rated U3 class at the very least. The Sony FDR-X1000V Action Cam can be quite finicky when comes to MicroSD cards. It may refuse to enable the highest quality options with some MicroSD cards that meet the requirements.

If you want to record to the normal XAVC-S format, a standard MicroSDXC card (64 GB and above) will be sufficient. However, if you want to record at the highest quality 4K resolution XAVC-S 100Mbps or other high frame rate modes, there’s no need to buy expensive cards like the SanDisk Extreme Pro series. The SanDisk Extreme card below is more than sufficient at just 1/3 of the price of the Extreme Pro series.

The Sony X1000V offers a few shooting modes for you to play with – Loop Recording, Video, Photo, and Time Lapse. Disappointingly, Time Lapse does not support the 4K resolution, even though the X1000V obviously can record video in the 4K resolution.

Next Page > Closer Look At The Sony X1000V, The Live View Remote

 

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Closer Look At The Sony X1000V

The Sony FDR-X1000V camera has just 3 buttons to control and navigate the menu. In fact, it doesn’t even have a dedicated On/Off button. Turning on is simple – just press any of the 3 buttons, except the Record button on top. Pressing that obviously turns the camera on to immediately start recording a video based on your last recording mode.

Turning it off is a completely different story. You actually need to navigate through the menu to turn the camera off, depending on your existing recording mode. Alternatively, you can wait for the camera to turn off by itself in 20 or 60 seconds. This option can be disabled if you want.

The Next and Previous buttons at the side allow you to navigate the recording mode and the setup configuration, where the Record button doubles as the Enter button. The buttons’ tactile feedback is pretty inconsistent, especially the red Record button which failed to register my presses on some occasions.

It is also painful to navigate using the buttons, as they are not very responsive due to a laggy menu. The small LCD display also makes navigation and changing settings onerous because it cannot display the name of the options in full. It is much easier and faster to change the settings using the Live View Remote or the PlayMemories app on your smartphone.

The battery compartment, MicroSD slot, and other miscellaneous cable ports can be found under the back cover. As you can see, it is rubber sealed to prevent water seeping in.

There’s a 3.5mm microphone input jack at the bottom of the X1000V. You can attach an external microphone to it, should you require better sound recording.

The Sony FDR-X1000V also comes with built-in GPS capability. You can even create videos with GPS overlays using the Action Cam Movie Creator, if you turn on its GPS when you take photos or record a video.

If you have other Sony action cameras, you will be happy to know that Sony FDR-X1000V retains the same NP-BX1 battery. However, battery life is not that great if you are recording in the highest quality mode with WIFI enabled – it will last about 1 hour. Thankfully, Sony threw in an additional battery for free, which is a sweet deal.

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The Live View Remote

The Previous and Next buttons on the Live View Remote has the same lack of tactile feel. However, the other buttons are fine. This inconsistency is not something I would expect from Sony. Thankfully, this is the only major concern.

The response time of its screen is almost seamless, with minimal lag. All the important options can be modified on the remote, and you can even playback and delete footage on the remote. It makes recording video so much easier, especially if the camera is out of your reach.

Next Page > Performance, The Need For Accessories, Our Verdict

 

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Performance

There are many side-by-side comparisons between Sony FDR-X1000V and GoPro Hero 4 Black on YouTube, and the general consensus is that Sony X1000V has better sharpness, image stabilization, low light noise and audio clarity, while the GoPro Hero 4 has better customization options in terms of ISO settings, metering options, FOV options, time lapse at full sensor resolution, and dynamic range.

Although Sony FDR-X1000V Action Cam is capable of a 170° FOV, it suffers from serious barrel distortion. Sharpness across the frame is pretty good with slight chromatic aberration, which is only visible at 4K. The dynamic range is not bad in the Neutral colour mode. I didn’t like the Vivid color mode as it exaggerates the colors too much for my liking, and the increase in contrast removed a lot of details.

In bright daylight, the Sony X1000V has very good image quality at both 1080p and 4K resolutions, at all supported frame rates. I have only tried recording in the high bitrate mode. Recording at 1080p 120 fps allows me to reduce the speed to 0.25x for some cool slow motion footage.

Its best low light performance was seen at 1080p 30 fps. There is noticeable noise when recording at 60 fps. This is to be expected since it requires a bump in the ISO to record at 60 fps. I did not expect 4K to suffer the same fate, but its noise level was higher than at 1080p. So if light is not optimal, it’s better to switch to the 1080p 30 fps mode.

The Sony X1000V may not have many features, like custom ISO settings, metering options etc, but there’s really no need to fiddle with those settings especially when you only have one shot at taking your footage. Sony’s Auto mode has been pretty decent and consistent in terms of exposure. The Steadyshot feature reduces handshake vibration pretty effectively, but I didn’t like Steadyshot when the camera was hard-mounted onto my bike. The video felt like I was floating on rough water, instead of riding on an offroad trail.

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The X1000V has a wind noise reduction mode. It effectively cancels out wind noise without affecting the audio. I would definitely use this option when I ride on my mountain bike or mount the camera onto my car.

The Time Lapse mode is one of the major flaws of this camera. This is a 4K action camera, but it only records time lapse photos at 1080p. This is simply unacceptable. There’s no 0.5 second interval option too. You can only set the interval in 1 second steps, from 1 up to 60 seconds.

Another major drawback of this camera is its underwater abilities. The original waterproof housing is capable of protecting the X1000V up to 10 meters deep. However, the curvature of front lens cover prevents the camera from focusing properly, resulting in blur photos and videos. The only way to resolve this problem is to purchase another accessory, called the Dive Door (AKA-DDX1K), which also increases the depth limit to 60 meters.

 

The Need For Accessories

One of the most basic accessories for the Sony action cam is the lens cover, AKA-HLP1. It is overpriced for such a basic item, but it is crucial if you want the lens on the camera to remain scratch-free.

Sony has been slowly improving their mounting accessories. As I would be primarily using it for my mountain biking, the Roll Bar Mount is probably the most useful mount. I can mount it on the top tube of my bike, where it offers more stability and a great point of view. The latest VCT-RBM2 uses a knob to tighten the strap, and the strap can wrap around non-rounded objects better.

The form factor makes mounting onto a helmet less obstructive than a GoPro camera. If you are mounting on top, it will have less drag especially if you are riding downhill… fast. Likewise, if you are mounting it at the side of the helmet, it is also less likely to clip onto objects like tree branches. There’s no official top-mount option, so you will need to be imaginative. You can probably use a strap to secure it to your helmet if it has vents. You can also use the (included) double-sided tape, but I would not recommend that at all.

Sony also has an interesting mount option if you are using a backpack (which I do while cycling since I carry a water bag). Unfortunately, all the official mounts are quite expensive – a common “problem” with GoPro as well, so I did not buy any official mounting accessories. Please note that most of the official accessories made for the smaller Sony AS-series action cameras, like the Skeleton Frame (AKA-SF1) will not fit the X1000V.

GoPro has been in the market a few years longer than Sony, and they have a far wider choice of accessories. Even eBay offers a ton of knockoff versions. Thankfully, you can actually use GoPro mounts with a Sony action camera. All you need to buy is a 1/4″ x 20 thread to GoPro mount adapter, which only costs USD 1 on eBay! Using this nifty trick, I get to enjoy GoPro mounting accessories with my Sony X1000V action camera, and so can you.

 

Our Verdict

The Sony FDR-X1000V is one of the best action cameras in the market today, and I have definitely no qualms recommending this, especially in its price range. The X1000V costs just RM 1450 (~USD 353), including a remote watch and a 32 GB MicroSD card (which is not capable of recording using XAVC-S mode). The GoPro Hero 4 Black edition will cost almost double the price, if you factor in the remote watch.

Not everyone will like its unusual form factor. However, it is better than GoPro or similar cameras for high speed sports.

The Sony X1000V is not without its flaws though. What may kill your interest is its inability to support a 4K resolution time lapse mode, or a narrow FOV mode without Steadyshot enabled. Sony can possibly fix these issues with firmware updates. However, this model has been in the market for more than a year and there’s still no firmware update. The digital zoom mode is now available on the newly launched Sony AS50R, and it is also capable of recording 4K time lapse. So you might want to consider the AS50R instead.

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The Sony X1000V is also pretty finicky with MicroSD cards. It’s really a game of hits and misses, as there’s no official list of recommended cards. It can be very frustrating for users who want to record in the highest possible modes.

Customization is not something that Sony action cam is famous for. So if you like playing with ISO settings, metering mode, FOV options, non-standard ratio formats, GoPro is definitely your best bet.

Aside from all the drawbacks, the Sony X1000V is a fantastic action camera, oozing with great image quality and consistent performance, high quality audio recording, slightly better low light noise than GoPro, more mounting locations, water resistant without the waterproof casing. If all you want is outstanding video recording without any fuss, the Sony FDR-X1000V is definitely the right choice for you.

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Samsung K8500 4K UHD Blu-ray Player Revealed

Earlier this month, we attended the Samsung Forum 2016, where we saw the latest and greatest Samsung home entertainment – all slated for sale this year. One of  them was the Samsung K8500 4K UHD Blu-ray player.

Let’s take a closer look at this Ultra HD Blu-ray player designed to complement Samsung’s 2016 SUHD TV and Smart TV models.

 

The Samsung K8500 Blu-ray Player

The Samsung K8500, or as it is officially known as – the Samsung UBD-K8500, is a Blu-ray player that supports 4K Ultra HD movies. Its built-in upscaling engine will automatically upscale lower-resolution content to full 4K resolution for display on your 4K UHD TV.

The Samsung K8500 also doubles as a streaming hub, allowing you to watch 4K videos from your favourite streaming services. You can either connect a network cable to its LAN port, or stream your videos to it via built-in WiFi capability.

As Samsung’s top-of-the-line Blu-ray player, you can expect nothing but the best features built-in – HDR capability, wider colour range, Dolby Digital 7.1, DTS HD Master Audio and Dolby True HD.

 

Samsung K8500 Specifications

Model UBD-K8500/ZA
Supported Media 3D Blu-ray
Blu-ray Video
CD / DVD Video
CD / DVD±RW
CD / DVD±R
Supported Formats MPEG-2
MPEG-4
JPEG
HD-JPEG
AVCHD 4.1
MKV
WMV
MPO
MP3
LPCM
WMA
FLAC
Network Capabilities LAN
WiFi
Audio Capabilities Dolby Digital 7.1
Dolby True HD
DTS HD Master Audio
Other Capabilities CD Ripping
Wireless Multiroom Compatible
Power Consumption Standby : 0.3 W
Operating : 34 W
Dimensions 40.6 cm / 15.98” wide
23 cm / 9.06” deep
4.47 cm / 1.76” tall
Weight 1.90 kg / 4.19 lbs
Accessories In Box TM1241 Remote Controller
Battery for remote controller
RRP (At Launch) US$399

 

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2016 Samsung SUHD TV Models Revealed

At the recent Samsung Forum 2016, we were given the first look at the 2016 Samsung SUHD TV models to hit the market in the coming months. Join us as we share with you the videos and pictures we took of these new Samsung SUHD TV models.

 

Samsung KS9000 SUHD TV

Samsung’s flagship SUHD TV in 2016 will be the Samsung KS9000 series, which tops out with the 65″ Samsung 65KS9500. This series is the first Samsung curved TV to feature what Samsung calls a “bezel-less” display. Of course, there is still a thin bezel, so it’s not a true “bezel-less” display. It just appears bezel-less from the optimal viewing distance.

Check out this video we took of the 65″ Samsung KS9000 SUHD TV :

Like all of Samsung 2016 SUHD TVs, the Samsung KS9000 series uses a 10-bit quantum dot display, with a 1,000 nits HDR (high dynamic range) capability. Samsung also introduced a 360° design philosophy, in which the TV is designed to look elegant at all angles – even from behind.

 

Samsung 8K SUHD TV

This behemoth is a 98″ SUHD TV with an 8K display. It features the same quantum dot display of the KS9000 series SUHD TVs, just with a much higher resolution and obviously in a much more opulent size. Check out the video and pictures we took of it :

In case you are wondering, yes, you can order this 98″ 8K Samsung SUHD TV for your mansion. There is no price indication, but when it comes to bespoke models like this, if you have to ask – you can’t afford it! 😀

 

Other New Samsung SUHD TV Models

All of the 2016 Samsung SUHD TV models will feature Samsung’s own cadmium-free, 10-bit quantum dot display. They also boast improved HDR performance – with a peak brightness of 1,000 nits.

These SUHD TV models, as well as their 2016 Smart TVs will feature a new Smart Hub with simplified access to the user’s content and games.

They will also come with a new Samsung Smart Control remote, which replaces multiple remote controls. The 2016 SUHD TVs and Smart TVs will automatically recognise game consoles, home theatre systems and even OTT boxes connected to them, and the Smart Control remote will automatically control them all – no setup required!