It's been another exciting week for the TechRadar reviews team.
For a start, we've been testing Nvidia's newest range-topping GeForce graphics card, which offers industry-leading performance and fantastic power efficiency.
We've also had our first extended play with the new Nikon D800, possibly the most exciting DSLR of the year so far.
And it's also been a week full of interesting TV and AV reviews with more of Panasonic's 2012 LED TVs and Blu-ray players breaking cover for the first time.
The graphics card war is finally heating up with the release of Nvidia's GeForce GTX 680. It's been a long time coming, especially considering Nvidia's AMD-shaped competition has managed to launch its entire range of Radeon HD 7000 series cards over the last three months. But the GeForce GTX 680 is rather a beauty in terms of both graphical performance and power efficiency.
In fact, we've got a card in front of us that's cool, quiet and less power-hungry than Nvidia's normal top-end GPUs. It's not the power-crazed GPU behemoths we're used to from Nvidia, but it's still got the performance chops and some neat extra tricks.
Stuffed with goodies on a Wi-Fi-powered Viera Connect, the Panasonic DMP-BDT320 handles a plethora of digital files and indulges - albeit in a somewhat muddy manner - in DLNA home networking.
A super-slim Blu-ray player that needs only Wi-Fi to perform a host of tricks, the Panasonic DMP-BDT320 boasts excellent 2D and 3D Blu-ray coupled with reference-level DVD upscaling. This makes for a deck that has few flaws. Whether or not the inclusion of a trackpad-style remote control makes this slightly slimmer deck a worthy upgrade from its little brother, the DMP-BDT220, is doubtful. But as a standalone Blu-ray proposition, the Panasonic DMP-BDT320 is a top-notch all-rounder that oozes class.
It's clear that Nikon is really striving to make 2012 its year. In the past 23 working days, the company has launched 20 products (including DSLRs, compacts and accessories).
For the price, the D800 represents a good investment. You get pretty much all of the best features of the D4 in a more compact and lighter body, for just shy of half of the price. It seems like a smart move to introduce this camera at around the same time as the D4 as we can see lots of pros deciding to invest in both, using the D800 as a good second body. High-end enthusiasts and videographers should find lots that they like about this camera, too.
As one of the first TVs from Panasonic's 2012 range, the L42ET5B is nothing if not unexpected. As little as a year ago a passive 3D model from the brand would have been unthinkable, and the fact that the L42ET5B is an LED rather than plasma model is perhaps significant too, in that it introduces us to the idea that in 2012 Panasonic seems to be putting its LCD TVs on a more or less even footing with its plasma TVs for the first time.
The name 'Popcorn Hour' may conjure thoughts of long nights streaming movies from the internet and elsewhere, but the reality of using the Popcorn Hour C-300 is somewhat more complex.
And this week's other reviews on TechRadar...
Media Streaming Devices
Portable media players and recorders
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