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Sean Bacher

Something on the Side: Sony reinvents notebook – again



In this week’s product roundup. SEAN BACHER looks at the Sony Viao Fit 15A, the Nintendo 2DS, Garmin’s Zumo 390 motorcycle navigator, the Oregon Scientific ATC Chameleon action camera and the PKparis K’1 USB 3.0 key.

Sony Viao Fit 15A

Sony has created a new form-factor in the notebook world with the Viao Fit 15A.The device’s screen is able to flip over for presentations or slide down to cover the keyboard thereby transforming it into a tablet. The notebook combines a physical keyboard, touch screen and track pad together so elegantly, that after using it for a few days, users will begin to wonder how they could have worked without it. Windows 8 is installed and those who have used it, know that it shows its true colours when used via touch, unless an additional Start bar is downloaded. The notebook is also really powerful, with an Intel Core I7 processor keeping things speedy.

Stockists: Major electronics retail outlets nationwide.

Expect to pay: R18 000

Nintendo 2DS

The Nintendo 2DS retains many of the hardware features of the 3DS, including easy gameplay controls. Its main differences are that it has a rigid two-screen face that does not fold over, and it does not run in 3D. However, it is backward compatible, meaning users can play their 3DS and DS games on the console. It also offers wireless connectivity, letting users browse the Internet, access the Nintendo e-shop and play multi-player games. Additional features are StreetPass, which allows users to exchange data from games and applications that they own, and SpotPass, letting gamers view movie trailers and download new content, like additional game levels.

Stockists: Major electronics retail outlets nationwide.

Expect to pay: R1 500

Garmin Zumo 390 motorcycle navigator

The Garmin Zumo 390 features a large display with oversized buttons to make operation easy when wearing gloves. The display has also been tweaked so that it can be read in bright sunlight. Apart from directing motorcyclists to their destination, the Zumo 390 also lets riders log their service history and reminds them when the next service is due. Bluetooth connectivity allows for connectivity to a mobile phone or headset and the Zumo 390 even monitors tyre pressure in real-time.


Expect to pay: R5 800

Oregon Scientific ATC Chameleon

Oregon Scientific ATC Chameleon action camera is said to be the world’s first dual-lens video action camera. Just as a chameleon has two eyes moving independently from one another, the ATC Chameleon has two fisheye lenses that can be positioned independently to catch activity within a 180¬∞ radius. Video can be recorded at a maximum resolution of 1280×720 pixels and up to 30 frames per second. The battery will offer up to two hours of use and the microSD slot supports cards up to 32GB.


Expect to pay: R2 400

PKparis K’1 USB 3.0 key

The PKparis K’1 is the world’s smallest USB 3.0 memory stick, measuring 16.8 x 16 x 7 mm. Once plugged into a notebook, it blends in smoothly and is almost invisible. The stick is available in 32 or 64GB configurations and offers read speeds of up to 140 MB/s up to 5 times faster than USB 2.0 storage devices.


Expect to pay: R550 for the 32GB version and R950 for the 64GB version.

Sean Bacher is editor of Follow him on Twitter on @SeanBacher

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