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Posts tagged ‘Panasonic’

2
Jul

Panasonic’s $699 UHD Blu-ray player arrives in September


If you thought Ultra HD Blu-ray players were already pretty expensive, Panasonic would like to have a word. Whereas Samsung’s player and the recently released unit from Philips aim for a mainstream crowd with $400 price tags, Panasonic is targeting audiophiles and folks with slightly deeper pockets. The DMP-UB900 costs $699 and features a few wild specs like twin HDMI outputs for separating audio and video signals; premium capacitors, circuitry and signal processors; “digital tube sound” that supposedly replicates analog warmth from a digital signal and playback for DSD and ALAC audio formats. Yep, your TV’s speakers would be a waste of all this tech.

Everything else is pretty standard fare for the format though, with 4K/60FPS playback, high dynamic range video and Ultra HD streaming apps along for the ride. Contrary to what we heard at CES this year, the UB900 will play nicely with 3D Blu-ray. Panasonic says to expect seeing this at “select” retailers, including Best Buy stores with a Magnolia room, this September.

For now, it’s definitely the most expensive UHD Blu-ray player available and definitely isn’t for everyone. If you’re looking for a UHD machine that does more than just play Blu-rays and video streams, remember, the Xbox One S will launch next month. Whether or not you should buy one is another matter entirely.

1
Jul

Best cheap in-ear headphones to replace your stock earbuds


By Lauren Dragan

This post was done in partnership with The Wirecutter, a buyer’s guide to the best technology. Read the full article here.

If we wanted to buy in-ear headphones to replace the earbuds that came with our phone for around the same price, we’d get the AKG Y20U. After researching hundreds of headphones in this price range, seriously considering 244, and testing 108 (68 in the last two rounds, and 40 this round) with our panel of audio experts, we’re confident that the AKG Y20U is the best purchase for the money. The headphones are comfortable, have a one-button universal remote and mic, and sound a lot better than their price tag would lead you to believe.

Who should buy this?

Ever wonder if you could get better sound than the headphones that came with your smartphone without spending much more than it would cost to replace them? Or perhaps your tween is asking you for new earbuds because they lost their latest pair (again). Or maybe you have a pet who is a fan of munching cords. Sometimes you just want a pair of headphones that cost as little as possible but still get the job done. These are those.

If you’re looking for something a little better, check out our $100 in-ear picks; if you want something for the gym, check out our exercise headphones; if you have no clue where to start, read our guide titled Which Headphones Should I Get? to help the process along.

How we chose what to test

Testing is serious business. Our panelist John tackles the third round of contenders. Photo: Lauren Dragan

We began by finding as many positive single reviews by professionals as we could. This started our “to consider” list. Next, we emailed several of our colleagues in the audio industry to ask for their favorites. Then we crowdsourced: Amazon, Best Buy, HeadFi, NewEgg, and others—if there were reviews, we read them. Anything we hadn’t previously tested that was rated four stars (out of five) or better (keeping a careful eye out for trustworthy reviews) got added to the list. Since our original testing, we’ve seriously considered 244 headphones in this category.

We made a final qualification. If a pair of headphones cost more than Apple EarPods, they were required to have a mic and remote option, like the EarPods. Pairs without mic and remote were acceptable at $25 or less. After choosing our contenders, we tested 40 new pairs of headphones in like-priced groups to see which would come out on top.

Our pick

The AKG Y20U were the clear winners in our latest round of testing with the best combination of fit, sound, and convenience for the money. Photo: Michael Hession

The AKG Y20U fit every one of our panelists, sounded great, and cost only $30 at the time of writing. For those paying attention, that’s the same price as a replacement pair of Apple EarPods—and the Y20Us sound vastly superior.

These earphones have more depth to their sound than any of our picks in this category to date. Their boosted bass is pleasant and doesn’t muddy up the mids or overwhelm the highs. You may notice a bit more oomph to an already intense bassline, but you won’t lose detail in the vocals or guitars. Unlike a significant number of headphones we tested, the Y20U’s highs aren’t piercing or sizzling, nor do they make voices insanely sibilant.

The fit is secure and low-profile. Unlike many earbuds that stick straight out from your ear, the Y20U curve slightly and tuck in against your outer ear. This means the tips aren’t bearing the brunt of stabilization, and you won’t need to adjust the Y20U in your ears frequently when you’re walking.

Finally, the Y20U pair has a universal single-button remote/mic, comes with a small coin-purse-style case, and is available in a few fun colors (teal, yellow, and gray).

The best-sounding option with an iOS-compatible remote/mic

If you need a three-button remote/mic, a pair of the Brainwavz Delta is your best option; however, it does come with a few caveats. Photo: Michael Hession

The Brainwavz Delta headphones are a great value for the price. They have a well-balanced sound signature, with a slight bump in the bass in the 60 Hz area and a little treble boost around 2 kHz to 4 kHz to balance that out. This means that you’ll have a clear, robust bassline without losing clarity in lyrics, hi-hat hits, or guitar riffs.

Another major part of why the Brainwavz work so well is their ability to fit various ear sizes and shapes. There were other models we couldn’t even test due to one or more testers not being able to get a good seal. The Deltas come with three pairs of silicone tips and one pair of noise-isolating Comply foam tips, which is a treat in this price range. The Deltas are available in both an Apple and Android three-button option with remote and mic, too.

Though the Brainwavz were highly ranked by our testers, we did receive a number of comments from unhappy readers who’d experienced breakage or static, and even though Brainwavz made some changes in the model’s build, the occasional comment persists. What also holds true, though, is that Brainwavz’s customer service is exemplary, which is worth mentioning.

The best sound for the least money

At this low price, the Panasonic RP-TCM125’s quality is tough to beat. Photo: Michael Hession

If you want to spend the absolute least amount possible and still get quality sound, you can’t beat the Panasonic RP-TCM125 ErgoFit. A former overall pick, the headphones still hold up really well and are now our budget choice. They were the favorite of every panelist in the $13-and-under category. The RP-TCM125 headphones have a nice overall balance with airy, mellow highs and present-but-not-dominating bass. They sound just as good listening to acoustic guitar as they do hip hop and rock. Unlike most competition in this price range, nothing pierces, nothing’s muddy—every frequency plays well with the others. They don’t have the depth of field or bass quality of the AKG pair, but for $13 or so, they’re really great. The RP-TCM125 headphones have a single-button remote and mic and come in a variety of colors, too.

This guide may have been updated by The Wirecutter. To see the current recommendation, please go here.

22
May

Tesla can count on Panasonic to keep up with Model 3 demand


Tesla may be willing to stump up a lot of cash to meet brisk demand for the Model 3, but it still can’t do this alone — not when Panasonic is pouring $1.6 billion into the Gigafactory needed to make the electric car’s batteries. Thankfully, the Japanese electronics giant has Tesla’s back. Panasonic tells reporters that the company will “do [its] best” to speed up its investment if it’s needed to help Tesla meet its accelerated production goals, which now have it making 500,000 cars per year by 2018 instead of 2020. While the firm wants to get a good return on its investment, it also doesn’t want to “be a bottleneck” to Tesla’s plans.

It’s not shocking that Panasonic would be so willing to open its wallet. The tech giant stands to profit from a flood of Model 3 sales, of course, but this could also be crucial to a major shift in strategy. Panasonic is trying to reduce its dependence on consumer electronics like phones and razors, which don’t generate much profit and are subject to volatile markets. By shifting more of its efforts to the car industry, the tech giant gets both more profit and relatively stable demand. The Tesla investment is still something of a gamble (we don’t know how well the Model 3 will fare after the initial rush), but it could give Panasonic a solid foundation for its future.

Source: Reuters

15
Feb

Pansonics’s mirrorless selfie camera fixes your flaws


To get the best possible pictures — of yourself — you could do worse than Panasonic’s latest Lumix, the GF8. With a 16-megapixel sensor and flip-around screen, the mirrorless camera will certainly take far better pictures of you (and other stuff) than a smartphone. The drawback of putting an interchangeable-lens camera next to your face is that it also highlights your flaws, so Panasonic has introduced “Beauty Retouch” mode for selfies. In its own words, the feature “enables users –- especially women — to shoot portraits more attractively with its Soft Skin, Defocusing and Slimming effects.”

If you’re as vain as Panasonic supposes, you’ll also appreciate the faux-leather-wrapped body and choice of brown, silver, pink or orange colors. It should make a good walking-around camera too, thanks to the small size, WiFi smartphone connectivity, 5.8fps shooting speed and 1080p/60fps movie capability. Other than the re-touching features, it’s little changed over the previous GF7 model, so that must mean there’s more demand for a chichi, high-performance selfie camera than we figured. There’s no word yet on pricing or availability.

Via: Engadget Chinese

Source: DP Review

9
Feb

The best beard trimmer


By Seamus Bellamy

This post was done in partnership with The Sweethome, a buyer’s guide to the best things for your home. Read the full article here.

After 46 hours of research and a week of testing tools with a pair of professional barbers, plus an additional two months spent testing five new devices this year, we concluded that the Wahl Lithium Ion all-in-one trimmer is the best beard trimmer for most people. It has the sharpest blades, the most reliable beard guides, the longest run time, and the strongest overall stubble-cutting power of any cordless tool we tested.

How we tested

The Wahl Lithium Ion’s blade is near professional quality, according to our expert barbers.

In three years of reporting on this category and updating this guide, we’ve considered about 70 beard trimmers and tested 37 of them. While none of them are perfect, they are the best we’ve found. The two Wahl products in particular are standouts; both rose to the top after a week of scrutiny and testing against 10 devices by the employees at Victory Barber & Brand in Victoria, British Columbia. This year, thanks to what we learned from the experts, we felt comfortable testing five new devices on our own, adhering to the barbers’ exacting test standards.

We spent nearly two months using our test group of trimmers to see how well they dealt with balding or patchier beards, how they trimmed with beard guides on and off, and how they did quick touch-ups in easy-to-screw-up areas like along the lip and jawline. We also looked at construction, blade quality, ergonomics, how long the device could go between charges, and how easy it was to clean and maintain.

Our pick

The cordless Wahl Lithium Ion all-in-one trimmer cut more hair in a single pass, and cut it shorter, than all the other rechargeable trimmers we tested.

We think the Wahl Lithium Ion all-in-one trimmer is the best beard trimmer for most people. While not as powerful as the Wahl Peanut (which we’ll get to in a minute), it proved more than capable of cutting through coarse beard hair, no matter whether we trimmed around an upper lip or took a full beard off. Among the battery-powered trimmers we tested, the Wahl Lithium Ion had the most power overall. No other rechargeable trimmer we tested cut more hair in one stroke than the Wahl. Working without a cord is convenient, and this tool’s battery offers the best balance of charge times and run times in our test group: With a roughly two-hour run time from a one-hour charge or the option to use it for five minutes after plugging it in for one minute, it’s almost always ready to go.

A more powerful, corded pick

The Wahl Peanut’s powerful motor and sharp blades make it a great choice for men with thick, coarse beards.

Cordless trimmers aren’t for everyone. If you want a reliable corded tool that can cut a thick beard and moustache down to nothing but stubble, we recommend the Wahl Peanut. It beat everything we tested it against in overall cutting power and closeness of the trim. You see it in hair salons everywhere; professionals dig its powerful motor, easy-to-maintain blades, solid ergonomics, and rugged durability. But unlike some pro tools, the Peanut is easy to clean and maintain without breaking out the screwdriver. It’s also lighter, smaller, and more maneuverable than other tank-like pro trimmers, yet because it’s so well built, the Wahl Peanut is bound to last home users for years.

A pick for fine length control

If you want incremental control over your facial-hair length, the Panasonic’s guides give you 39 different settings.

If you prefer a trimmer with incremental length controls, we suggest the Panasonic ER-GB60-K, which comes with two trimmer guards that add up to 39 length settings, far more than the competition provides (even our main pick offers only 12 settings). The Panasonic’s cutting power is mediocre compared against that of the high-quality blades and motors in the two Wahl trimmers we feature in this guide, but it has better cutting power than the competition. The ER-GB60-K is best suited for people with thinner beards who want to have as much control as they can over the length.

Wrapping it up

After 46 hours spent researching and testing tools with a pair of professional barbers, plus a new round of testing this year, we found that the Wahl Lithium Ion all-in-one trimmer is the best beard trimmer for most people. It has the sharpest blades, the longest run time, and the strongest overall stubble-cutting power of any cordless tool we tested.

This guide may have been updated by The Sweethome. To see the current recommendation, please go here.

5
Feb

The Wirecutter’s best deals: A Vizio smart TV and more!


This post was done in partnership with The Wirecutter, a buyer’s guide to the best technology. Read their continuously updated list of deals at TheWirecutter.com.

You may have already seen Engadget posting reviews from our friends at The Wirecutter. Now, from time to time, we’ll also be publishing their recommended deals on some of their top picks. Read on, and strike while the iron is hot — some of these sales could expire mighty soon.

Vizio M43-C1 43-inch Smart LED TV

Street price: $550; MSRP: $600; deal price: $498

This matches the best price we’ve seen on this TV, which was set during Black Friday sales. We saw this price a couple times around then, from both Costco and Amazon, but haven’t seen it drop since.

The Vizio M43-C1 TV is our pick for the best TV around $500. Chris Heinonen said, “The Vizio M43-C1 offers the darkest blacks, the best contrast ratios, five HDMI inputs, superior daytime performance, and Ultra HD resolution for the best overall package.”

Jaybird X2 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

Street price: $144; MSRP: $180; deal price: $128

This isn’t quite the lowest price we’ve seen on these headphones, but it comes within $3 of that mark. We haven’t seen them drop this low since the holidays. This deal is for the Alpha color headphones, but you can also get the Ice and Midnight models for just $1 more.

The Jaybird X2s are the runner-up pick in our guide on the best wireless exercise headphones. Lauren Dragan said, “They are light, they stay put, they sound fantastic, they have a lifetime warranty against sweat damage (which, if you sweat through one pair of headphones a year, can really add up!), they charge pretty quickly (around 2 hours), they have a nice case, and you can wear them several different ways, depending on what works for you.”

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 Digital Camera

Street price: $750; MSRP: $900; deal price: $700

While this isn’t as good as the eBay deal (down to $600) we posted back in December, this is the best price it’s ever been at Amazon. Except for eBay, this camera has stayed firm at $750 pretty much everywhere. This $50 drop from street price makes for a good discount.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 is the upgrade pick in our guide on the best superzoom camera. Amadou Diallo said, “The Panasonic FZ1000’s sensor is four times larger (and several times better) than the one in our main pick. Spending the extra money on this model gets you shallower depth of field, less image noise at high ISO settings, and a lens that lets in a lot more light. You do have to settle for a rather limited 16x zoom range, though.”

DeWalt DCBL790H140V MAX Lithium Ion XR Brushless Blower

Street price: $332; MSRP: $370; deal price: $295

This is the best price we’ve ever seen on this model, beating the previous low by $12. This is the first time it has dropped below $320 in almost a year.

The DeWalt is the portable pick in our guide on the best leaf blower. Doug Mahoney said, “It offers power comparable to that of our corded picks, and with a 22-minute run time, it has twice the stamina of the four other cordless models we tested. We also liked its pro-grade durability and beefy design; it feels tougher than the other cordless (and corded) models we tried.”

Deals change all the time, and some of these may have expired. To see an updated list of current deals, please go to The Wirecutter.com.

25
Jan

Panasonic launches the 5-inch Eluga Turbo in India for Rs. 10,999


Panasonic-Eluga-Turbo

It’s rare that a day goes by without the announcement of a new smartphone in India. This time, it’s Panasonic taking the wraps off of the Eluga Turbo that packs Dual-SIM support, 3GB of RAM, and a 5-inch HD display for Rs. 10,999 ($162). The Eluga Turbo will be available to buy on January 27th from the Indian retailer, Snapdeal. Join us after the break for a rundown on the specifications of Panasonic’s latest smartphone.

Let’s talk about the design first, and it would appear as if Panasonic has taken some inspiration from Sony’s OmniBalance design language, with the Eluga Turbo having a glass back panel (made out of Asahi Dragon Trail Glass) and squared off corners. It isn’t a bad design, and certainly something different from the usual black slab handsets seen at this price point.

Specifications:

  • Android 5.1.1 Lollipop with Panasonic’s FlitHome UI
  • 5-Inch HD IPS display with 1280 x 720 resolution (Corning Gorilla Glass 3)
  • 64-bit Octa-core processor @ 1.5GHz
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32GB Internal storage
  • MicroSD card support
  • 13MP Rear camera with LED Flash, Full HD video recording @ 30FPS
  • 5MP Front camera
  • Dual-SIM/ 4G/ 3G HSPA+ connectivity
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS
  • Battery: 2,350mAh
  • 6.95mm Thick

The Eluga Turbo is currently a Snapdeal exclusive (you’ll need to register your interest), and will be available in Marine Blue, Champagne Gold, and Rose Gold colours.

Let us know your thoughts on Panasonic’s Eluga Turbo in the comments below. For Rs.10,999, does it offer enough to stand out against the competition?

 

Source: FoneArena

Come comment on this article: Panasonic launches the 5-inch Eluga Turbo in India for Rs. 10,999

11
Dec

The Wirecutter’s best deals: The iPad Air 2, and more!


This post was done in partnership with The Wirecutter, a buyer’s guide to the best technology. Read their continuously updated list of deals at TheWirecutter.com.

You may have already seen Engadget posting reviews from our friends at The Wirecutter. Now, from time to time, we’ll also be publishing their recommended deals on some of their top picks. Read on, and strike while the iron is hot — some of these sales could expire mighty soon.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 Digital Camera

Street Price: $748; MSRP: $900; Deal Price: $600

This is the best price we’ve seen on this camera by a huge margin. It’s nearly $150 below its previous best deal. Free shipping is included.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 is the upgrade pick in our guide on the best superzoom camera. Amadou Diallo said, “The Panasonic FZ1000’s sensor is four times larger (and several times better) than the one in our main pick. Spending the extra money on this model gets you shallower depth of field, less image noise at high ISO settings, and a lens that lets in a lot more light. You do have to settle for a rather limited 16x zoom range, though.”

iPad Air 2 64GB

Street Price: $600 MSRP: $600 Deal Price: $475

This isn’t the best price we’ve seen on this tablet, but close. Staples had a couple sales that brought it down to $450. One was around the start of fall, the other recently during Black Friday. They managed to sell out of them during Black Friday, so if you missed your chance to grab it then, $475 is still an excellent deal.

The iPad Air 2 is our pick for the best tablet. Chris Heinonen and Dan Frakes wrote, “The new iPads are always better than last year’s, and the newest devices always have a better balance of speed and features than older hardware. Also, the things that have made all the iPads strong tablets — like unbeatable app choices — are still present in this generation of the tablet.”

Canon Powershot ELPH 350 HS Camera

Street Price: $200; MSRP: $210; Deal Price: $140

We recently featured a deal on this for $159 that came with a small bundle, which included an alright camera bag and a 16GB SD card. Considering the costs of SD cards and how small this camera is, the additional $20 savings makes for a much nicer deal.

The Canon PowerShot ELPH 350 HS is our pick for the best cheap camera. Amadou Diallo said, “This budget-priced point-and-shoot camera is compact, dead simple to use, and able to take photos that look better than other cameras’ in its price range.”

Audio-Technica ATH-M40x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones

Street Price: $100; MSRP: $140; Deal Price: $79

Here’s a chance to get these headphones at a great price if you missed their Black Friday discount. This deal isn’t quite as good, but it’s still better than the street price. There’s also a deal right now to get these headphones plus a Blue Yeti USB mic for $130, but if all you’re looking for are the headphones, this is the better deal.

The Audio-Technica ATH-M40x headphones are the runner-up pick in our guide on the best $150 over-ear headphones. Lauren Dragan said, “The Audio Technica ATH-M40x pair is pretty well balanced for the price, with a crisp, articulate high end (that some listeners might find too bright) and rich bass. The replaceable cable is a nice bonus.”

Deals change all the time, and some of these may have expired. To see an updated list of current deals, please go to The Wirecutter.com.

4
Dec

The Wirecutter’s best deals: Panasonic’s TS6 camera, and more!


This post was done in partnership with The Wirecutter, a buyer’s guide to the best technology. Read their continuously updated list of deals at TheWirecutter.com.

You may have already seen Engadget posting reviews from our friends at The Wirecutter. Now, from time to time, we’ll also be publishing their recommended deals on some of their top picks. Read on, and strike while the iron is hot — some of these sales could expire mighty soon.

26
Nov

Panasonic makes its 4K Toughpad more film industry-friendly


When Panasonic’s 20-inch, 4K Toughpad tablet arrived to CES 2013, there was nothing even remotely like it on the market. The company did have a method to its madness, however, positioning the then-$6,000 tablet as a bulletproof, strictly-business tablet aimed at industrial CAD designers and graphics pros. It has now updated the Windows 10 Pro device with specs better suited to its price, and aimed it at a new, deep-pocketed market: cinema companies. The $4,229 FZ-Y1D Toughpad model now has HDMI 2.0 input, and thanks to Panasonic’s proprietary software, can function as a Digital Cinema 4K (4,096 x 2,160, 60fps) monitor for cameras like Red’s Raven.

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Source: Panasonic

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