Five Electronic Gadgets worth waiting for

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The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018 at Las Vegas saw many new launches in product categories ranging from smartphones to virtual reality (VR) headsets. Here we bring to you select few that are expected to roll out this year

Oculus Go
This name has been doing the rounds for a while. Facebook is keen on delivering a virtual reality experience to the masses. The USP of Oculus Go is that, unlike the existing VR sets in the market, it need not be wired to a smartphone or a laptop to run. The screen to generate VR and processors of the device are in-built.

Go is powered by a strong Snapdragon 821 processor, ensuring a smooth experience to users. The device is said to use a fast-switching 2560×1440-pixel LCD technology. Developers claim that this kind of display eliminates lags in image transition, excessive glares and screen door effect (the feeling of viewing the display through a screen door). Go also has an inbuilt audio system for immersive experience. Alternatively, it comes with a 3.5mm jack, allowing users to connect a pair of headphones.

However, Go is restricted to three degrees of freedom (DOF)—different ways an object can move in a three-dimensional space; an object in a 3D plane has six DOFs.
The material of the headset is designed to avoid any kind of discomfort to users, like sweating, heaviness or congestion. For face padding, it uses a mesh-like (breathable) fabric on a lightweight frame.

Oculus Go may be released early this year at a starting price of $199. Going by its features, it is an affordable and interesting gadget to look forward to.

Apple Homepod
Amazon and Google are already running strong with their voice-assisted speakers, and Apple is going to join the race too. Apple’s Homepod was planned to hit the market by Christmas last year but it got delayed. However, its official launch got delayed and pre-orders started from January this year.

The Apple Homepod (Source: www.pcr-online.biz)

Homepod is a Wi-Fi-compatible wholesome speaker, standing 17.8cm (7-inch) tall. It houses seven treble speakers, six microphones and a 10cm (4-inch) woofer, surrounded by an audio-friendly mesh fabric. A compact 272×340-pixel touchscreen display on the top of the speaker enables manual control of various properties like volume, playlist and track selection.

At the heart of Homepod is Apple’s proprietary A8 processor and 1GB RAM. However, the USP of the product is support for Siri—Apple’s voice-driven AI personal assistant. Siri can help you control and use Homepod with voice commands. You can do quite many things like ask about the weather or send messages. Homepod is expected to cost $349 onwards.

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+
Following the success of Galaxy S8, Samsung is moving forward with even better flagship models. Galaxy S9 and S9+ are expected to be available for pre-order March onwards. These retain all the goodness of S8 and S8+, including the super-AMOLED infinity display technology, voice-assistance using Bixby and a strong processing unit.

Apart from these, S9 will have 14.7cm (5.8-inch) 1440×2960-pixel super-AMOLED screen with 18:9 aspect ratio. S9+, on the other hand, will have 15.7cm (6.2-inch) screen. Both the models are expected to come with iris scanner and fingerprint locks as well.
The variable-aperture (f/2.4 and f/1.5) camera will allow much better framing options. The front camera will presumably be 8MP. S9 will come with 12MP rear camera, while S9+ will have a strong 12MP+12MP dual camera.

Suggestive images of Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ (Source: independent.co.uk)

As per reports, smartphones shipping to China and US markets will be powered by a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, while those shipping to other markets will include Exynos 9810 series, an equally capable alternative. S9 model will pack 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage and 3000mAh battery. On the other hand, S9+ will house 6GB RAM, 128GB internal storage and 3500mAh battery. The phones will run Android Oreo 8.0 and come with stereo speakers at the bottom. These are expected to cost $750 onwards.

MSI GE63 Raider RGB
For gaming enthusiasts and power users, this laptop is worth the wait. A successor to MSI’s earlier iteration GE63VR, it takes gaming to another level. The laptop’s main attraction is the cover and backlight effect, produced by SteelSeries’ software called GameSense. It can generate 24 million lighting combinations including lighting up the keys, USB ports and patterns changing according to games that you might play! For instance, if you see your health depleting in a level, you can customise the keyboard lights to replicate your health bar.

MSI GE63 Raider RGB laptop

The laptop is no less than a computing beast with Intel Core i7 processor, massive 32GB RAM and GTX 1060 graphics card. The 39.6cm (15.6-inch) display will deliver a stunning 4K resolution. Talking of connectivity, it is expected to come with two USB 3.1, one USB-C 3.1, HDMI, Ethernet and display ports, as well as a dual audio jack.
The price has not yet been announced and the market release is expected around the second quarter this year.

Lenovo Smart Display
Lenovo has unveiled a voice-assisted display gadget that can get you the latest updates and a little more. Called Smart Display, it supports Google Assistant as its AI voice-assistant suite. You get the usual functions available in a smart speaker or mobile, like weather information, traffic status, navigation routes and latest news. In addition, you can surf YouTube, make video calls on Google Duo, and play music or even some trivia games.
The display looks like a tablet with an expanded vertical speaker to the left, but you need not touch the screen for controls. Once you set up voice recognition, you can operate the system with a simple “Ok, Google” message. When not in use, the device looks like a table-top screen-saver.

The Lenovo Smart Display (Source: CNET.com)

The product will be available in two iterations: 20cm (8-inch) screen with 1200×800-pixel display, and a bigger 25.4cm (10-inch) panel with 1920×1200-pixel resolution.
At the core, Smart Display packs a Qualcomm SDA 624 chipset. It also comes with a 720p camera, which can be covered when not in use. First-hand reviewers have suggested more accurate voice recognition than Google Home. Also, the screen provides more clarity to the information shared.

Overall, Smart Display opens doors to many possibilities apart from the basic uses. Costing around $199 (for 20cm model) and $249 (for 25.4cm model), it is likely to give Amazon Echo Show a run for its money.

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