Good news for all you couch potatoes. Here’s the skinny on Hitachi’s new 1.5-Series Ultra-Thin 42-inch LCD TV. An incredible 1.5 inches in thickness, the UT 42-MX 700A is available in two colours: black and white.

Price: Rs1.35 lakh (Optional HD Multimedia Station: 20,000)

The twin 6W speakers deliver crisp and clear sound, but they scrimp on resonance and depth to a degree. Understandable, if you consider the squelched dimensions, yet inconsequential, if you’re hooking the panel to a home theatre system. The auto volume levelling is a boon.

The more demanding geeks may complain about the limited video connectivity options (just one HDMI and RGB input each). For additional options, you will have to fork out an additional Rs20,000 for a separate High Definition Multimedia Station receiver/tuner which hooks to the LCD via an HDMI cable.

Apart from serving as an analogue and digital receiver, the Station boosts connectivity via its twin HDMI ports, component and composite inputs, a USB port for photo viewing and a digital audio out. And this means an additional “box" and an elaborate, all-in-one remote.

The Hitachi UT 42-MX’s elegance, aesthetics and superior performance comes at a price. If value for money is your only mantra in life, eyeball and experience, and then envy and eliminate.

Also Read Hands On earlier columns

Nano Technology

A far cry from the tubby, third-generation personal media player that was, the fourth-edition Apple iPod Nano is a lean, mean, digital audio video machine. Its screen size is the same (2 inch), as is the capacity (8GB and 16GB) and video support. Yet, it is longer, lighter, slimmer and slicker, with more rounded surfaces, a curved LCD screen, an added tilt motion sensor (accelerometer) for rotated viewing, a much-improved interface, and accessibility features for the visually impaired. All this adds to the Nano’s appeal.

The new look 3.6 inch high, 0.2 inch thick Nano still comes with a 320x240 pixel screen but weighs only 36.8g. Its one-piece anodized aluminium casing feels robust and boasts a vibrant range of funky shades—pink, yellow, orange, black, blue, silver, red, and purple. The motion sensor works well with all images and video. There is also a neat “shake to shuffle" feature to randomly play songs from your music cache. The video display is crisp and the scroll wheel nimbly responsive. Genius technology now allows you to build insta-playlists based on the characteristics of a song. Plus, of course, the new Nano comes loaded with everything its previous avatars boasted. The stereo 3.5mm earbud headphones and USB cable aside, the sole accessory included is a docking station adapter. No complaints on sound quality.

The lithium ion battery needs 3 hours to top up and lasts over the rated 24 hours with audio and four hours with video—though decent, it is not an improvement over the previous versions. Nano faithfuls may call it old wine in a new bottle. Even so, you can’t miss the more evolved, refined flavour.