We've got loads of great products up for review this week, including the Google Nexus 7 tablet and the Lenovo IdeaPad U310 laptop. Scroll down for the full line-up.
Last Week's Top Fives
Articles: Top 52 - Camera ReviewsProduct Reviews: Top 55 - Sony RX100
Reviews Coming This Week
Google Nexus 7 review, coming Thursday
Here's a quick reminder of our weekly schedule so you know what to look out for:
Mondays: displays, including monitors and TVs. Tuesdays: cameras, camcorders and peripherals. Wednesdays: hardware components and printers. Thursdays: mobiles, smartphones and tablets. Fridays: laptops, notebooks, buyer's guides. Saturdays and Sundays: insight and analysis.
- Monday: we started this week off with the AOC e2343Fi, an interesting hybrid monitor/iPod docking station.
- Tuesday: then today was the Canon PowerShot D20, a waterproof compact worth its salt, and the fastest USB memory card yet, the SanDisk Extreme Pro microSDHC UHS-I.
- Wednesday: tomorrow we're reviewing the Canon Pixma MG3250 three-in-one inkjet printer to see what it's worth.
- Thursday: we take an in-depth look at Google's very first touchscreen tablet, the Nexus 7, made in partnership with Asus.
- Friday: to end the week we'll be blowing the lid off the Lenovo IdeaPad U310 ultrabook.
Don't forget you can follow @digitalversus on Twitter for updates and info!
We've added a new memory card to our collection: the 16 GB SanDisk Extreme Pro microSDHC UHS-I.
SanDisk Extreme Pro microSDHC UHS-I
SanDisk is hitting hard with its new line of microSDHC memory cards. While all of the company's competitors are working with 23 MB/s read speeds and 13 MB/s write speeds, SanDisk's new Extreme Pro gives read speeds of 95 MB/s and write speeds of 90 MB/s.
> Review: SanDisk Extreme Pro microSDHC UHS-I (16 GB)
> Reviews: SD, MicroSD and Compact Flash Memory Cards
Every year Forbes compiles economic and financial data to make its World's Most Innovative Companies list, and this year both Apple and Google have dropped in the ranking.
Google and Apple have fallen to "only" 24th and 26th place, as opposed to last year's 7th and 5th, respectively, in Forbes' ranking. (Amazon is now #3.) The bad news comes only days before the official new iPhone launch. So the question is, what happened? Forbes does not include any analysis with its findings, but the figures alone are a good lead to work with. Next to the ranking and country, you also see three percentages for each company: 12-month sales growth, 5-year annualised total return and innovation premium (a measure of the company's investments in relation to its net worth).
As explained in Les Echos, the ranking does not take into account newly released products, patents or research and development activities. What Forbes attempts to determine with its calculation is how much faith investors have in the companies' ability to innovate. Les Echos sees Google's and Apple's new standing as representing a form of "gentrification" in which "both companies have created highly profitable ecosystems, but are not necessarily the most apt to create the ecosystems of tomorrow".
We see things slightly differently. Perhaps Forbes should change the name of its list to "What Investors Believe The World's Most Innovative Companies Are". The two are not the same. After all, in the late '70s there was no shortage of investors who declined to jump on the Steve Jobs boat. To their great chagrin.
Canon has finally got round to expanding its range of waterproof compacts with the PowerShot D20 (the D10 was launched at the beginning of 2009, after all).
Canon PowerShot D20
The 2012 model sees the arrival of a backlit CMOS sensor, a more powerful 5x zoom (28 mm), a GPS and a Full HD video mode. How will it compare to the top models of the moment?
> Review: Canon PowerShot D20
> Digital Camera Reviews: Choose the Best Compact Camera
As the Photokina trade show gets closer, camera manufacturers are presenting their new advanced cameras. Pentax is launching two DSLRs, the K-5 II and K-5 IIs, and a new mirrorless camera, the Q10. All three have one common point: they are very, very close to their previous counterparts.
Pentax K-5 II
Though it is now two years old, the Pentax K-5 is not outdated yet. Therefore, Pentax has chosen a conservative approach: rather than a new camera, the Pentax K-5 II is—as its name suggests—a close evolution of its predecessor. The body remains exactly the same, compact and sturdy with better-than-average ergonomics and advanced weather-sealing.
The internal electronics seem pretty similar, too. The sensor is still 16 Mpx CMOS, which is a good point—the newer 24 Mpx found in new Sony and Nikon DSLRs does not add much, other than heavier files. Those seeking higher resolution should know there is a K-5 IIs version with no low-pass filter, which may cause moiré problems but should provide the sensor's full resolution, provided lenses are sharp enough of course.
The bottom line: the changes are minor, limited to H.264 video encoding (but still no stereo microphone included) and a new auto-focus system with improved low-light performance and new subject tracking capability.
Pentax may have been a little shy here, as some could hope the new camera would get closer to the Nikon D7000, but we should test the new AF system before reaching any conclusions...
The Pentax Q is a remarkable little camera: the first really "compact" mirrorless camera, it uses a very small (1/2.3") BSI CMOS sensor, but with ergonomics closer to DSLRs than to compact cameras. A year has passed and still the Q doesn't have any competition; therefore, no big revolution seems needed and its replacement is a very similar camera.
Indeed, the Pentax Q10 has gotten a little facelift to a rounder shape, but keeps the exact same volume, the same commands in the very same places, the same 3"/460,000 dot screen, and doesn't even get a stereo microphone.
The sensor is supposed to be new; yet, it is still built using BSI CMOS technology with 12 Mpx—so there should be little, if any, difference in image quality.
Though this looks very much like a copy-paste of the Q, the new Q10 should be quite expensive: its price tag should be around £400, quite close to the Sony Nex-F3—which is of course bigger, but is also in a totally different league when it comes to image quality.
> Digital Cameras: DSLR, Micro 4/3 and Interchangable Lenses Reviews
> Photokina 2012: See all news
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