This “home theatre out of the box” package consists of an AVR-1311 receiver and a SYS-391HT 5.1 channel speaker system. The AVR-1311 has a black-coloured finish. The volume control is a retro-styled dial. The SYS-391HT speaker system is a 5.1 channel configuration. The five speakers are all housed in black wooden cabinets. The front and centre channel speakers have dual 8cm drivers, while the rear ones have a single 8cm driver each. Denon is quite big, and packs a punch.
Configuring the sound takes a bit of hard work, since it is a multilayered menu. However, after a couple of tries, you’ll be able to work out which setting is where, and configure accordingly. The AVR remembers all settings like sound volume, surround setting and speaker configuration for each input source that you set the last time that input was used. Only one optical input is a bit of a limitation.
Sound love: The Denon DHT-1311XP home theatre system scores on clarity
The clarity on offer with these speakers is absolutely delightful. The centre channel speaker, which is essentially for dialogue delivery, does its job extremely well, both in terms of clarity and audibility. If you like a lot of bass, set the subwoofer to +2dB, and there’s enough punch to throw things off shelves. The bass adjustment dial is on the subwoofer itself.
The AVR-1311 is “one level above the basic” receiver, and only falls behind with the no HD upscale and just one optical audio input. The SYS-391HT speakers are powerful. The DHT-1311XP is a very good option if it is within your budget.
Denon AVR-1311 receiver;
4 HDMI 1.4a inputs; 1 HDMI out; 3D pass-through 1 optical and 1 coaxial audio input; iPod dock port
Denon SYS-391HT 5.1 channel speaker system;
Price: Rs 42,000
•Build quality: 7.5
•Value for money: 7
*Out of 10
Lenovo ThinkPad X1
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 is a lacklustre greyish-black in colour, which makes it an ideal fit around boardrooms and conference tables. The laptop’s screen lid has a smooth but tough rubber coating.
Like previous X-series ultraportables, the X1 is quite rugged, and built like a tank. It survived three drops from heights ranging from 3-4 ft, with the lid closed, without smashing its innards, thanks to a reinforced metal roll cage designed chassis and metal hinges—and resumed its session within seconds of being picked up. There were no scratches on the screen or loose hinges.
X-factor: The laptop is quite the performance machine, if you can overlook its underwhelming battery life
The ThinkPad X1 is 0.65 inches thin and weighs 1.72kg. Considering its 13-inch form factor, it’s an ultraportable laptop to rival the likes of the 13-inch Apple MacBook Air and the Sony Vaio S. It may not be thinner or lighter compared with these two, but the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 is definitely the most rugged and solidly built laptop of them all.
The X1 comes equipped with an edge-to-edge Corning Gorilla Glass display screen, and it does work—we tried scratching the ThinkPad X1’s surface with coins and keys, and it was impervious to damage. However, the ThinkPad X1’s 13.3-inch LED backlit LCD display is glossy, which may not go down too well with ThinkPad loyalists. We’re also miffed by the fact that the X1 only has a 1366x768 resolution screen compared with the X300/X301’s 1440x900 pixel screen.
The glossy screen of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 is very bright—350 nits, brighter than the Sony Vaio S—and displays sharp and crisp text and video. Its 2 MP webcam works well with Skype and we like its Web conferencing control panel, which lets you exert fine control over the mic and camera.
The laptop has one of the best keyboards we’ve seen on a laptop. The island-styled, isolated keys have a slight dip or scooped/scalloped design, helping your fingers rest on top of the keys perfectly while typing. It has an Intel Core i5-2520M 2.5 GHz processor with a turbo boost speed of 2.93 GHz. It also has vPro support for advanced IT management. There’s also 4 GB of DDR3 RAM, a 320 GB hard drive and Intel HD 3000 graphics to complete its core hardware components— quite good for an ultraportable business notebook. Needless to say, the ThinkPad X1 packs a lot more firepower than its predecessors, and can match the performance of most current-generation 14- or 15-inch mainstream laptops.
Despite being touted primarily as a premium business ultraportable laptop, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 is quite the performance machine. In our synthetic benchmarks—including PC Mark Vantage—the X1 scored pretty high, better than average, in fact. Its high-speed turbo boost-enabled processor and 4 GB fast-paced RAM paid rich dividends, letting us multitask with a multitude of apps simultaneously without facing any performance bottlenecks. The laptop handled tasks such as video encoding and file transfer pretty well. With the Lenovo ThinkPad X1, you can be sure that you can do a lot more than just work with spreadsheets and presentation slide shows.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 falls short in one department—battery life. Its battery lasted just over an hour in our synthetic test—this is below average and definitely less than the MacBook Air and Sony Vaio S. On a conservative power plan, you can barely reach 3 hours. If you can overlook the ThinkPad X1’s underwhelming battery performance, it’s exactly the kind of business ultraportable frequent-flying executives need—slim, sturdy and easy to tuck away.
Screen: 13.3-inch Gorilla Glass display
Camera: 2 MP webcam
Connectivity: USB 3.0, Wi-Fi 802.11n, Bluetooth, SD Card reader, mini Display port, HDMI, eSATA, 3G SIM card slot
Misc: Fingerprint sensor
Price: Rs 85,000
•Build quality: 9.5
•Value for Money: 7
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