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Dyson’s Supersonic costs £299 but looks like no hair dryer before it


The new Dyson Supersonic hair dryer runs almost silently but it will cost you a pretty penny

Dyson has just branched out with its first personal care product, the Supersonic hair dryer. First thing’s first, the Supersonic hair dryer will cost a pretty penny at 299. This is more than most Salon-grade, commercial hair dryers out there, but what you’re getting is a pretty radical departure from every hair dryer you might have seen before. The wand-like design should hopefully help with manoeuvrability, especially in reaching the back of your head without too much awkward contortion. The motor is housed inside the handle, which is meant to help with balance. The Supersonic uses Dyson’s air multiplier technology as seen in the company’s bladeless fans and more recently in the Pure Cool Link air purifier1. Dyson says this enables the Supersonic to multiply the air it takes in three-fold, in order to produce a high-pressure, high-velocity jet of air, which should both dry your hair quicker, supposedly up to eight times faster than rivals, but also aids styling due to its more targeted control of airflow.

Dyson's Supersonic Costs £299 But Looks Like No Hair Dryer Before It

The Supersonic uses a specially-designed V9 digital motor. Importantly, the Supersonic will run almost silently. Well, technically, not completely silently, just that the motor operates at a single tone frequency outside of human perception. Finally, then, you’ll be able to dry your hair without annoying everyone else in the household. Temperature control is included to avoid potential hair damage from excessive heat.

An array of attachments will also be included that attach through magnets and make the Supersonic resemble a more traditional hair dryer. These include diffusers and smooth nozzles. As the hot air passes through a layer of cold air, the surface of each attachment remains cool to the touch. The Dyson Supersonic will launch initially in Asian markets before reaching the UK in June and will cost a significant 299. Dyson, then, is banking on there really not being a price you can put on looking good.

References

  1. ^ Pure Cool Link air purifier (www.expertreviews.co.uk)

Samsung Galaxy S7 vs HTC 10

The HTC 101 is easily HTC’s best flagship smartphone in recent years, but does it have what it takes to go up against this year’s Android heavyweights? We’ve already seen how the HTC 10 compares to the LG G52, but now we’re going to focus on how it stacks up against the Galaxy S73, Samsung’s top flagship for 2016. To help you decide which phone you should buy, we’ll be comparing each phone’s design, display, performance, battery life and camera to see which one deserves a place in your pocket. In this article, I’ll be focusing on the regular, flat Galaxy S7 rather than its fancier, curved sibling, the Galaxy S7 Edge4 (see our S7 vs S7 Edge article5 to see how these two phones differ), but considering how similar the two phones are bar the size of the screen and its curves much of what’s said here can also be applied to the S7 Edge rather than just the S7.

Design

Materials: On this front, not much has changed since last year. Once again, HTC’s gone with an all-metal design for the HTC 10, while Samsung’s stuck with its glass and metal combo. As a result, both phones feel equally well-made, and each one has that top-end, premium feel you’d expect from a flagship handset. However, while the S7 arguably looks more attractive out of the box, its glass rear does mean it’s much more prone to picking up grubby fingerprints. This is something HTC 10 owners needn’t worry about, as its full-metal chassis stays in pristine condition no matter how much grease or grime happens to be lingering on your fingers.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Vs HTC 10

A glass rear also isn’t great when you’re using the phone in one hand, especially when you’re also having to deal with some rather smooth and rounded edges. Again, this isn’t a problem on the HTC 10, as it’s large, chamfered edges provide plenty of grip and something to hold on to when you need it most. Unlike the S7, I don’t feel like I need a case with the HTC 10 to use it confidently.

Dimensions: Overall, the HTC 10 is noticeably bigger than the Galaxy S7, measuring 146x72x9.0mm and weighing 161g. The S7, meanwhile, only has a footprint of 142x70x7.9mm and weighs 152g. This can be explained by the HTC 10’s marginally larger screen, though, and in practice, the difference is minuscule, so you can rest assured that picking the HTC 10 won’t feel like you’re secretly opting for a giant phablet compared to the svelte S7.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Vs HTC 10

Conclusion: The Samsung Galaxy S7 is a lovely-looking phone, but it soon loses that brand-new shine pretty quickly. As a result, the HTC 10 wins this category by a long-shot, as it’s not only more attractive, but it also doesn’t need wiping down after every touch of your hand.

Display

Screen size and resolution: Just like the phone’s design, the S7’s screen is very much in keeping with what came before it on the Galaxy S66. Measuring 5.1in across the diagonal, it has a 2,560×1,440 resolution and uses one of Samsung’s Super AMOLED displays. The HTC 10, meanwhile, has a 5.2in screen based around HTC’s Super LCD5 technology, and this also comes with a 2,560×1,440 resolution. As a result, the HTC 10’s pixel density isn’t quite as high, coming in at 565ppi compared to the S7’s 577ppi, but this tiny difference simply isn’t visible to the human eye, so you’re certainly not missing out on sharpness by choosing one or the other.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Vs HTC 10

Screen quality: Instead, the thing you should be paying attention to is image quality. Samsung’s Super AMOLED displays are arguably the best type of screen technology currently available, as they have much higher contrast levels and deeper blacks than LCD screens. Indeed, the S7 was able to produce perfect 0.00cd/m2 blacks and our colour calibrator returned a score of infinity:1 for its contrast ratio. It also covered a full 100% of the sRGB colour gamut, producing bright, rich images that are true to life. The only downside to AMOLED screens is their low peak brightness. For instance, the S7 could only reach 352.74cd/m2 when we set the brightness to max, which pales in comparison to the HTC 10’s 449.22cd/m2. However, Samsung’s found a clever way round this problem, as its adaptive light sensor can dramatically bump up the brightness when it detects bright sunlight.

To simulate this, we shone a torch over the light sensor, and our calibrator reading promptly jumped up to 470/m2, putting it on a much more level playing field with its rival. The HTC 10 doesn’t have this ability to jump beyond its normal brightness levels, but when you consider it can reach the same level by default anyway, you could argue that it doesn’t really need it.

We certainly didn’t have any complaints about the rest of the HTC 10’s screen, as we measured an impressive 99.8% coverage of the sRGB colour gamut, a black level of 0.25cd/m2 and a contrast ratio of 1,793:1. These scores make it one of the best LCD screens we’ve ever tested better even than the LG G57 and it’s certainly a marked improvement over the One M98, which had one of the poorest flagship displays of last year.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Vs HTC 10

The only thing the HTC 10’s lacking is an always-on display. Both Samsung and LG have included one on their top-end handsets this year, and this means you can still see things like the time, date and battery status even when the phone’s main screen is turned off. It’s incredibly handy, particularly if all you want to do is glance at the time, and once you’ve lived with it for a while, you’ll quickly find it very difficult indeed to go back.

Conclusion: There’s no denying that both phones have excellent screens, but for us, the S7 is the clear winner. The HTC 10 certainly has one of the best LCD screens currently available, but it just can’t match the extra convenience provided by Samsung’s always-on display.

References

  1. ^ HTC 10 (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  2. ^ how the HTC 10 compares to the LG G5 (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  3. ^ Galaxy S7 (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  4. ^ Galaxy S7 Edge (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  5. ^ S7 vs S7 Edge article (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  6. ^ Galaxy S6 (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  7. ^ LG G5 (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  8. ^ One M9 (www.expertreviews.co.uk)

China ban on Apple services is a challenge for key growth area

China Ban On Apple Services Is A Challenge For Key Growth Area People line up outside an Apple store as iPhone SE goes on sale in China, in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, March 31, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

The blocking of Apple mobile entertainment services in China poses fresh challenges for the tech company as it prepares to report its first-ever drop in iPhone sales. The news on Thursday that Apple Inc’s (AAPL.O1) online book and film services had gone dark in China came at a vulnerable moment for the company. Apple executives have said that iPhone sales will fall for the first time in the company’s second quarter, and the results for that quarter will be released on Tuesday. Investors are sensitive to any signs of trouble in Greater China, the company’s second-largest market by revenue. Apple executives have flagged the growing services business as a potential source of revenue as sales of the company’s flagship devices level off, upping the stakes for success in China, said analyst Bob O Donnell of TECHnalysis Research.

“It raises questions in an area that we know long-term is going to be very strategically important to Apple,” he said.

The New York Times reported on Thursday that a state regulator demanded Apple halt the service. The move came after Beijing introduced regulations in March imposing strict curbs on online publishing, particularly for foreign firms. Still, the outage is only troubling if it persists, O Donnell said. Apple said in a statement on Thursday that it hopes to make the services available to customers in China as soon as possible.

Apple has a strong track record of working with officials in China, where it has launched a series of services including mobile payment Apple Pay, but some analysts questioned whether the company may receive a chillier reception in the future.

“Is this the beginning of more pressure on Apple by the Chinese government?” asked analyst of Frank Gillett of research firm Forrester. “It’s a symbolic turn, and the question is to what extent is it a harbinger.”

The company released its book and movie services in China only late last year, leaving Chinese consumers little time to form a habit.

“People who are buying iPhones in China aren’t buying them for iTunes,” said O’Donnell. “They are buying it for the status and the cachet of owning an Apple product, and that is really more about the hardware.”

Chinese consumers’ appetite for the phones themselves will be critical to quarterly earnings. Apple is expected to post its first-ever quarterly drop in iPhone sales, to about 50 million units, reflecting a saturated global market. Wall Street expects adjusted earnings per share to drop 14 percent to $2.00 and revenue to drop 10 percent to $52.0 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

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References

  1. ^ AAPL.O (www.reuters.com)
  2. ^ Next (www.standardmedia.co.ke)
  3. ^ Sci & Tech (www.standardmedia.co.ke)
  4. ^ comments powered by Disqus. (disqus.com)

Birmingham pickpocket gang jailed for 24 mobile phone thefts

A Birmingham pickpocket gang who stole mobile phones from pubs, shops and restaurants across the country have been jailed. The five Romanian crooks used a tactic known as table surfing , where they swiped phones from tables after covering them with menus and leaflets. The professional thieves were charged with conspiracy to steal in relation to 24 thefts and were found guilty at Oxford Crown Court on April 18.

Elisai Paun, 20, of Botha Road, Bordesley Green and Vasile Dinu, 19, of Rogers Road, Ward End1 , were both jailed for 12 months. David Panghatia, 19, of Alum Rock2 Road, was sentenced to 14 months and a 16-year-old male youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was given a youth rehabilitation order. Police are hunting Teofil Schian, 20 and from Bordesley Green East3 , who failed to attend the sentencing hearing.

Officers from Thames Valley Police in Oxfordshire and West Midlands Police4 were able to trace the men using CCTV and intelligence. The crimes took place across Birmingham, Wolverhampton5 , Oxford, Mansfield, Nottingham, Rugby, Loughborough, Stamford and Lutterworth between June and August last year. Eight offences were committed in the West Midlands, including three within an hour in Birmingham on July 9.

PC Mat Evans, of the Birmingham city centre6 pro-active team which targets pickpockets, said: These were professional thieves who were part of an organised gang.

I have no doubt they would have continued to steal if they had not been stopped by police.

I would advise members of the public to be very suspicious of anyone who approaches them in a cafe, restaurant or bar who is not a member of staff, and who tries to distract them with leaflets, greeting cards or menus.

Keep phones in your pocket, not on show on the table, and always keep bags in view.

References

  1. ^ Ward End (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  2. ^ Alum Rock (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  3. ^ Bordesley Green East (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  4. ^ West Midlands Police (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  5. ^ Wolverhampton (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  6. ^ Birmingham city centre (www.birminghammail.co.uk)

Asus VivoBook Pro N552VW review

When it comes to the Asus VivoBook Pro N552VW’s internal specifications, it has a lot in common with its gaming oriented cousin, the Asus Republic of Gamers (ROG) GL552VW1. Both use an Intel Skylake-based Core i7-6700HQ processor and each of them comes with a dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M graphics card.

However, in terms of their design, they couldn t be more different. While the GL552VW shares all the hallmarks of a gaming system with its aggressive design, large fans and bulky chassis, the VivoBook cuts a far more refined and elegant figure.

Asus VivoBook Pro N552VW Review

On the outside, there’s Asus trademark brushed metal concentric circle finish, half resembling the grooves of a vinyl record, while inside you’ve got a classy silver keyboard tray. Admittedly, I did notice a little flex on the keyboard tray, but it wasn’t particularly worrisome.

For all its good looks, though, the N552VW is still quite a hefty general-purpose laptop, measuring 29.9mm thick and weighing a sizable 2.5kg, so it’s not the best laptop for carrying around all day. Most of its bulk can be attributed to its built-in DVD drive, but the thick, black bezels around the display also drag down its overall appeal. Still, when this is clearly a desktop replacement laptop rather than a thin, sleek ultra-portable, it’s easy to forgive its rather unwieldy dimensions.

Keyboard and Touchpad

The keyboard in particular was incredibly comfortable to type on. The keys have a good amount of travel with a good action to each stroke, and they all sit precisely where your fingers would expect them to, meaning I had no acclimatisation period and only made very infrequent mistakes. More importantly, the keys are relatively quiet, too, which is great if you value unobtrusive working. The only disappointment was that my particular review model lacked any backlighting, so make sure you check the model number before you buy.

The large touchpad is equally comfortable to use and its smooth, slick surface allows your fingers to glide across it without much resistance. It felt lovely and responsive during testing, and the integrated mouse buttons worked well, too.

Asus VivoBook Pro N552VW Review

Display and Speakers

The other massive difference separating the VivoBook from Asus’ ROG laptop is the display. Whereas the ROG made do with a standard 1,920×1,080 resolution panel, the VivoBook Pro uses a vastly superior 15.6in 3,840×2,160 IPS screen.

This not only has lower black levels of 0.49cd/m2 compared to the ROG, but it’s also a lot brighter, hitting 287.9cd/m2 on its maximum settings. That said, its contrast ratio of 538:1 is still pretty poor, but at least its colour accuracy hits 81% of the sRGB colour gamut, which is a definite step up over the ROG’s paltry 61% coverage.

There are, of course, better displays out there – most notably on the Dell XPS 152 – but to get the same kind of specification as the Vivobook, you’re also looking at paying around 700 more, so this is still a pretty good display considering its price. Likewise, the Vivobook’s 4K resolution is great for those who like to multi-task and work on multiple documents simulataneously, and it’s also a good fit for digital creatives like audio engineers who don’t need to rely on colour-sensitive work, particularly when you combine it with the Vivobook’s dedicated graphics card.

Asus VivoBook Pro N552VW Review

As for the speakers, they re distinctly average, but since they fire upwards they re not as muffled as other laptops with down-firing speakers. They re perfectly adequate for watching films on Netflix, but for a more enjoyable audio experience, all you need to do is simply plug in some headphones or external speakers and you’ll be all the happier for it.

References

  1. ^ Asus Republic of Gamers (ROG) GL552VW (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  2. ^ Dell XPS 15 (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
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