Show us any all-screen touch phone without a keypad and the first thing most of us do is benchmark it against the iPhone. I couldn’t help doing the same to the LG Arena. I was intrigued by this 105g quad-band phone, with a 3-inch capacitive touch screen, multi-touch input interface and 5-megapixel camera.
LG Arena (KM900): Rs27,000 www.lgeindia.com
The Arena’s interface impressed me. The innovative 3-D motion user interface (UI), with its smooth-flowing transitions, is surprisingly good and very slick. Scurrying through screens is not tedious. No, it’s not as magical as the iPhone. Yet, it’s hooky enough to stand on its own. It is, in fact, the best UI I’ve seen from LG.
The camera on the Arena is very decent. My photos were sharp, with great colour balance and bright tones. The built-in image stabilization helped. Though I found the zoom function rather awkward, its video recording is excellent. You can even geo-tag your pictures. While the LED flash is bright, I’d have preferred a Xenon.
The Arena boasts 8GB onboard memory with expandability up to a chunky 32GB. GPS/A-GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, along with a doc viewer, anti-theft mobile tracker, Google apps, motion-sensing games and multitasking.
Its 1000 mAh battery disappoints. It survived just about a day’s use—but it outlasted my iPhone.
Also Read earlier columns on Hands On
I liked the Arena for its interesting, intuitive and usable interface, its very capable camera and decent audio. If you’re looking for a good camera phone, definitely give this multimedia monster a thought.
It’s stylish, elegant and eco-friendly. With an exterior that’s essentially made of bamboo wood, this Asus notebook is perfect for those who are not looking for a rugged road warrior portable but an ornamental electronic embellishment that’ll attract attention.
Asus Bamboo U Series Notebook: Rs98,990
It’s not just the organic build. According to Asus, the 1.57kg notebook also features a proprietary Super Hybrid Engine to monitor and adjust component power requirements for optimum energy use. The battery lasted me just over 3 hours with always-on max performance and under 4 hours 15 min in max battery mode.
Its adapter is bulkier than most others. The left of centre trackpad is fine but the flush buttons, though large, are a shade too hard, with little travel depth. I thought the placement of the fingerprint scanner between the twin trackpad buttons was a little odd. I presume it’s a design/appearance override. The keyboard is very comfortable and ergonomic, with excellent wrist-rest space.
Running Windows Vista on an 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB RAM, 320GB HDD, 12.1-inch WXVGA LED screen, the Bamboo is a sharp performer. It comes with a DVD drive, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 0.3-megapixel webcam, mic, Dolby audio and all the necessary connectivity trappings. I liked the clear, sharp and fairly loud audio quality emanating from the built-in speakers. The specially crafted Targus camel faux-suede carrying sleeve is also neat.
Overall, a spiffy head-turner for tree-hugging head honchos with a conscience and a fat wallet.