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A groovy headset and a strong laptop

A groovy headset and a strong laptop
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First Published: Tue, Jun 07 2011. 09 43 PM IST

Sennheiser HD 598
Sennheiser HD 598
Updated: Tue, Jun 07 2011. 09 43 PM IST
Sennheiser HD 598
The successor to the best-selling HD 595 has been due for a while. The HD 598 is the cheapest among circumaural consumer headphones. The HD 598 looks attractive with a cream-coloured headband and earcups. Build quality is strictly so-so. They’re quite comfortable, with a luxurious headband, and despite the strong clamping, the soft ear padding cushions your head.
Sennheiser HD 598
The HD 598 sounds best amped with a solid state amp, since they tend to be a little lush, but they’ll sound fine out of an audio out-port. There is a slight hump in the mid bass, and on account of this, the bass notes tend to have more emphasis. Bass is reasonably tight, but not taut and springy, and fast bass notes have noticeable overhang. There is a bit of sibilance to some vocals, particularly noticeable on quieter tracks such as Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven. If you’re a music enthusiast, you’ll enjoy the HD 598; if you have a good system and a Rs9,000 headphone amp, you will enjoy them a bit more, as long as the amp’s neutral. The soundstage is pretty compressed, and you really need to concentrate before you can imagine instruments around you. If you’re really discerning about the nitty-gritty, the HD 598 will not satisfy, but neither will anything else at that price.
At Rs12,990, the HD 598 is already beyond the shopping range of most headphone buyers. If they’re in your budget, they’re a good buy as they aren’t very fussy with equipment and sources, and will give you a true peep into the world of mid- to high-fidelity sound.
SPECIFICATIONS
Frequency response: 12-38500 Hz Sound pressure: 112 dB Impedance: 50 ohms Weight: 270g Cable length: 3m
Price: Rs12,990
RATING*
Features: 7
Performance: 7.5
Build quality: 6.5
Value for money: 6
Overall: 7
*Out of 10
Samsung Nexus S
Samsung Nexus S
The Nexus S requires no introduction. It is quite a revered device and now that we’ve tested it, we’re still scratching our heads over what the fuss is about. The Nexus S is typical Samsung—piano black, with a flat front and a contoured battery cover. Although lighter than the Incredible S, it feels heavier and is thicker and longer. Right away, the S-LCD is inferior to the display on the Incredible S—it’s not as bright, neither does it have good colours. Incidentally, the FB app is quirky—we noticed comments posted weren’t available even on refreshing. We had issues with calls on two occasions—despite at least eight attempts, the capacitive display wouldn’t register a swipe to accept an incoming call. The on-screen keypad is decent, certainly on a par with the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc, although we made more mistakes than on the Incredible S. Performance in-call was good, although the weak ringer and weaker vibration leave a lot to be desired and resulted in 11 missed calls in three days. Music quality on the Nexus S is pretty good with good bass and a pleasing mid-range.
At a price of Rs29,590, the Nexus S is a little too expensive. We’re sorry to break it to you, but while patches might be very frequent, this will only satisfy geeks wanting a device to tinker with, not people wanting a good “phone”. It’s not a bad handset, but there are better ones around for less.
SPECIFICATIONS
Display: 4-inch, 480 x 800 pixels, S-LCD OS: Android 2.3Camera: 5 MPStorage: 16 GBBattery: 1,500 mAh Weight: 129g
Website: www.in.samsung.com
Price: Rs29,590
RATING
Features: 7
Performance: 6.5
Build quality: 6.5
Value for money: 6
Overall: 6.5
HP Pavilion g6
HP Pavilion g6
Of late, we have seen uninhibited growth in the number of mid-range multimedia laptops that are capitalizing on the demand for budget laptops in the market. The HP Pavilion g6 pits itself against level-headed rivals MSI FX600, Acer Aspire 5740 and the popular Dell Inspiron 15R series with Intel Core i5 processor configuration within the Rs45,000 price range.
The Pavilion g6 comes with a glossy charcoal-grey finish on the lid, with a dominant HP logo etched on it. The glossy black finish on the keypad and the body contours surrounding it add a nice contrast with the charcoal-grey finish on the areas engulfing the palm-rest and the contours of the keypad. The lack of dedicated number pad keys is a major flaw.
The Pavilion g6 ships with some interesting apps, such as the Magic Desktop software, which will allow you to work on another virtual desktop, where you can lock access to your files and settings by assigning a master password. The HP Pavilion g6 is a strong performer in the sub-Rs45,000 price category. A decent gaming performance across Doom 3 and Far Cry 2 benchmarks, and coupled with the feature-rich configuration, it makes a strong statement. The g6 is aimed at the casual gamer, who needs a decent multimedia laptop under Rs45,000—but it’s unsuitable for high-end gamers.
SPECIFICATIONS
Processor:Intel Core i5—M480 Memory: 3GB DDR3 667 MHzChipset: Intel HM55 ExpressGraphics: HD 6470M
Hard drive: 610.5 GB
Display: 15.6 LEDScreen resolution: 1366 x 768 pixelsWeight: 2.55 kg Website: www8.hp.com/in/en/home.html
Price: Rs45,000
RATING
Features: 7
Performance: 7
Build quality: 7
Value for money: 7
Overall: 7
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First Published: Tue, Jun 07 2011. 09 43 PM IST