The future of sound

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IO_scitech sony logo0 REUTERS The move comes on the heels of the sale of its struggling PC business and as Sony looks to plug gaping holes in its balance sheet.

New smartphone from Huawei

Huawei has launched a new smartphone, the Ascend G615. The 4.5-inch device has a 1.4-gigahertz processor, a 1280 x 720 pixel touchscreen and an 8-megapixel camera. There's also a second camera for video calls.

The phone runs the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) operating system and the Chinese manufacturer has announced an update to the latest version of the Google OS, 4.1 (Jelly Bean), will be available shortly after the smartphone goes on sale this month. The Ascend G 615 will cost 299 euros (about R3 000).

Home cinema devices from Sony support NFC

Sony has announced a range of new home cinema devices. The Soundbar HT-CT660 and a variety of new AV receivers support Bluetooth and the NFC (near field communications) standard.

NFC means a compatible smartphone can transfer music to the system wirelessly just by being placed close by. The sound quality should be noticeably better than over Bluetooth, Sony says. The devices also have a special football mode whereby fans can fade out the voice of the commentator during live matches.

The AV receivers BDV-E2100, 4100, 7100 and 9100 will be available in April along with matching speakers. The Soundbar is to hit shops in May. Sony hasn't yet announced prices.

Super-fast games monitor from Asus

The new VG248QE monitor from Asus will react very quickly to games and display high quality fluid images, the manufacturer says.

The 24-inch Full HD display supports a frame rate of 144 frames per second and the monitor's response time is said to be one millisecond. However, to achieve this the monitor will have to be connected to a computer that can play games at that speed.

The VG248QE can also reproduce 3D images and can be connected via HDMI port to Blu-ray players and games consoles. Available now, the monitor sells for 329 euros.

Bluetooth keyboard for iPad

Archos is offering a 5-millimetre-thick Bluetooth keyboard for the iPad. The aluminum keyboard functions much like the Smart Cover produced by Apple: it's attached to the tablet with magnets and serves simultaneously as a keyboard and case.

The built-in stand for the iPad can be adjusted and the keyboard also offers iOS shortcuts for ease of use. Compatible with versions 2, 3 and 4 of the tablet, the keyboard is available now for 69 euros. - Sapa-dpa

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