Even though it's one of the quietest periods of the tech year, we've still got a great bunch of reviews for you this week.
We've got a superb Asus entertainment laptop, A 50-inch Phllips CinemaScope TV and the Samsung Infuse 4G. Read on for more!
Is the Philips 50PFL7956T the first affordable CinemaScope TV? Not quite, but this effort from Philips halves the price of a 21:9 aspect ratio telly while also halving the resolution of 3D. Using Edge LED backlighting and passive Easy 3D tech, the Philips 50PFL7956T is a noticeable step down from the flagship 58-inch – and £4,000+ – 58PFL9956, but here the experience is smaller, so those compromises on ultimate quality are less of a problem.
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The fullscreen option for split-screen games provides a tempting trickle-down tech from 3D, and some games look fabulous in a 21:9 shape, although this TV is at its best when it's simply removing the black bars from Blu-ray discs – and presenting them with more detail than ever.
The N55SF is a superb home entertainment laptop with only a couple of weak points in the odd keyboard, mouse controls and some irritating software alerts. Performance is excellent and the spec sheet as a whole is impressive. The powerful Core i7-2570QM processor, huge keyboard with numeric keypad and slab of speaker atop the keyboard suggest that it may be intended as a desktop replacement. But the weight and general lack of bulk suggest otherwise.
Of course, all this doesn't come cheap, but this machine compares extremely favourably to more stylised and costly entertainment laptops from the likes of Toshiba and Alienware. We'd definitely recommend it – if you can put up with the strange keyboard.
Fuji appears to have had an epiphany and has decided to distinguish itself by producing high quality cameras that get photographers excited.
First, we had the X100, a retro-styled camera with a fixed 23mm lens and an APS-C sized sensor. Then we had the X10, a more compact version of the X100 with a 2/3in, 12-million pixel EXR CMOS sensor and a zoom lens with angle of view equivalent to a 28-112mm optic. Now the X-S1 joins the prestigious X-series adding a high-end bridge camera to the range. We haven't been able to examine images from the X-S1 yet, but as it has the same sensor as the X10 we have fairly high expectations.
The Philips Fidelio SoundSphere is one of the best-looking Airplay speaker systems we've ever seen – and, we're extremely happy to report, its beauty is far from skin-deep. Comprising two forward-leaning cylindrical speakers clad in a classy gloss black, it's accompanied by a simple iPod/iPhone/iPad charging dock, remote control and all the cables you need to get it up and running quickly and simply. So should you buy the Fidelio SoundSphere? If you love music, the answer is definitely.
The first thing anyone will notice about the Samsung Infuse is its gargantuan 4.5" Super AMOLED display. But the Samsung Infuse 4G feels a bit like a phone with an identity crisis. It costs the same as the Epic 4G Touch, but is excluded from the Galaxy line. It's got a 4G right in the name, but it doesn't boast 4G speeds. And at 4.5" it's also large enough to feel almost like a tablet - albeit one rocking the stale Froyo Android OS. But is it a good phone?
This week's other reviews
Hands on reviews